Conflict & Justice

Ratko Mladic trial suspended indefinitely due to prosecution's errors


A survivor of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre watches a television broadcast of the first day of the trial of Ratko Mladic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, May 16, 2012.



The trial of Ratko Mladic for war crimes has been suspended indefinitely, one day after it began.

Proceedings against the former Bosnian Serb army commander, who is accused of crimes against humanity and genocide during the Bosnian War of the 1990s, could be held up for months, the Associated Press said.

More from GlobalPost: Return to Sarajevo, 20 years on

Presiding judge Alphons Orie announced today that he would adjourn the UN tribunal in The Hague, due to "significant disclosure errors" by the prosecution.

Prosecutors had failed to share all of their evidence with Mladic's lawyers as required, Orie said, which required a halt in proceedings while judges analyzed the "scope and full impact" of the mistake.

According to the BBC, there are "thousands of pages of evidence" that the defense has not seen, which Mladic's lawyers say it will take them six months to go through.

More from GlobalPost: Learning compassion from Srebrenica survivors

Judges will announce a new schedule "as soon as possible," Orie said. The court had been due to begin hearing evidence on May 29.

Before today's adjournment, prosecutors had got as far as making their opening statement.

According to the Guardian, they argue that Mladic bears individual responsibility for the deaths of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, which he is accused of ordering personally in a bid to "ethnically cleanse" the area.

CNN said Mladic "showed no remorse" as he heard the allegations against him, staring at survivors across the court room, drawing his hand across his neck as if he were cutting a throat, and even at one point growling.

Mladic denies the charges against him.

More from GlobalPost: Turkey's woman at the top