Conflict & Justice

Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb commander on trial for genocide, taken to hospital

Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military chief on trial for genocide at a UN court in the Hague, has been rushed to a hospital after complaining of feeling unwell.

Mladic, 70, was sent to a hospital "as a precautionary measure" after being checked by a nurse at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal (ICTY), tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said, the Associated Press reported.

The Australian Associated Press cited his lawyer, Branko Lukic, as saying Mladic was in "bad shape" and could not stand, communicate or open his eyes, and that he had suffered some paralysis.

"He is better [than] when he collapsed in the courtroom," Lukic added, saying Mladic was able to communicate and had regained movement in his right arm and leg.

Mladic is facing 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

He is accused of ordering the murder of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, Europe's worst massacre since World War II.

Mladic has repeatedly said he is too ill to stand trial, according to Reuters.

Among previous health complaints are that he suffered two strokes during his 16 years as a fugitive, has problems with his teeth and was admitted to hospital with pneumonia.

He has also undergone surgery in The Hague for a hernia and been treated for a kidney stone and pneumonia, the AP wrote.

Prosecutors and relatives of victims of the Bosnian war fear he may die before facing justice, as did former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

Milosevic died in a Dutch prison cell in 2006 while on trial before the ICTY for war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

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