Former Bosnian Serb Army Ratko Mladic’s request for contempt of court proceedings against medical staff at the UN Detention Unit, who he accuses of being responsible for his deteriorating health, was rejected.
The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague on Wednesday said it has rejected a request filed by Ratko Mladic’s defence to initiate proceedings for contempt of court against healthcare officers at the UN Detention Unit in nearby Scheveningen.
“Considering the fact that the motions filed by Mladic’s defence, which express dissatisfaction with medical care at the Detention Unit, do not indicate that the medical staff knowingly and intentionally obstructed justice, I conclude that Mladic’s defence has not demonstrated the existence of suspicion that they are guilty of contempt of court,” court president Theodor Meron’s decision said.
Mladic’s defence wanted proceedings launched against the chief of medical staff at the Detention Unit, Dr Paulus Falke, and other healthcare workers, claiming they were responsible for deterioration of the defendant’s health condition.
The former Bosnian Serb military chief’s lawyers have made representations to the court several times, requested on several occasions, insisting that his health has deteriorated in custody.
On previous occasions, they have asked for the pronouncement of his verdict to be postponed, for doctors to punished and for Mladic to be released for treatment, insisting that he has not received adequate care at the Detention Unit and that he needed hospitalisation.
In November last year, the UN court sentenced Mladic to life imprisonment, finding him guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.
Mladic was acquitted of genocide charges in six other Bosnian municipalities.
Both the defence and the prosecutors have announced they will file appeals.
Mladic has been held in detention since May 2011, when he was arrested in Serbia and sent to The Hague.