The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) rejected the request of the former commander of the Army of the RS (VRS), Ratko Mladic, for exemption of three judges from the appellate proceedings due to their alleged bias.
Theodor Meron, the President of the Mechanism that is legislative heir of The Hague Tribunal, stated that Mladic’s Defense submitted the request for the exemption of judges to the Appellate Chamber and they could only do it before the president of the court. The Appellate Chamber has no capacity to deal with this request, stated Meron.
Defense lawyers Branko Lukic and Dragan Ivetic requested for Meron and Carmel Agius and Liu Daqun to be exempted from the proceedings because of their “bias”. Mladic’s lawyers noted some of the verdicts pronounced by judges Meron, Agius and Daqun, in which they made “unacceptable conclusions about Mladic”, according to their opinion.
When it comes to Meron, they noted that this judge presided over the councils that condemned Radislav Krstic and Zdravko Tolimir for genocide in Srebrenica and that it was noted that Mladic “was planning to kill Bosnian Muslims” and that he was aware of all illegal activities of his subordinates. Mladic’s lawyers also noted that Agius was a member of the council that condemned Vujadin Popovic, Ljubisa Beara, Drago Nikolic, Radivoje Miletic, Vinko Pandurevic, Ljubomir Borovcanin and Milan Gvera, while Daqun took part in the decision in case of Vidoj Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
The Tribunal sentenced Ratko Mladic to life imprisonment in the month of November last year and he was declared guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, persecution of Muslims and Croats all over the territory of BiH, terrorising the residents of Sarajevo through difficult shelling and sniping, and taking members of UNPROFOR for hostages. Mladic was acquitted of charges for genocide in six other municipalities in BiH. Appeals to this verdict were announced both by Mladic’s defense and prosecutors, and the proceedings are taking place before the Mechanism.
Mladic’s lawyers repeated their request to remove the immunity for the heads of the Detention unit’s medical staff, with the aim to file a lawsuit against them. Mladic’s lawyers claim that their client does not have adequate health care at the Detention Unit in Scheveningen. Mladic has been in detention in The Hague since the end of May 2011, when he was arrested in Serbia.