Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic’s defence asked for the removal of three judges from his appeal against conviction, alleging they are biased because of their previous rulings in Srebrenica genocide cases.
Ratko Mladic’s defence lawyers Branko Lukic and Dragan Ivetic said on Wednesday that the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals should remove judges Theodor Meron, Carmel Agius and Liu Daqun from the appeals procedure in the Bosnian Serb military chief’s case because they are “partial”.
In separate motions, Mladic’s lawyers cited parts of verdicts which Meron, Agius and Daqun wrote in which, they claimed, the judges made “unacceptable conclusions concerning Mladic”.
They said that Meron chaired the chambers that convicted Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic and military commander Zdravko Tolimir for genocide in Srebrenica, arguing that the verxdicts said that Mladic “intended to kill Bosnian Muslims” and that he was aware of the illegal activities committed by his subordinates.
Mladic’s lawyers also said that Agius was a member of the chamber that convicted Bosnian Serb military officers Vujadin Popovic, Ljubisa Beara, Drago Nikolic, Radivoje Miletic, Vinko Pandurevic, Ljubomir Borovcanin and Milan Gvero, while Daqun participated in the verdict in the case against Vidoje Blagojevic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Bratunac Brigade, and Dragan Jokic of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Zvornik Brigade.
The UN court sentenced Mladic to life imprisonment in November last year after finding him guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.
Mladic was acquitted of committing genocide in six other Bosnian municipalities.
Both the defence and the prosecutors have said they will file appeals against the verdict.