DHAKA: The Yuglosav war crimes court has adjourned indefinitely the trial of former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic, just a day after it opened.
‘The hearing is adjourned sine die’, presiding judge Alphons Orie said on Thursday.
‘(The court) has decided to suspend the start of the presentation of the prosecution evidence.’
The presiding judge delayed indefinitely the presentation of evidence that had been scheduled to start later this month due to ‘errors’ by prosecutors in disclosing evidence to defence lawyers.
Orie said judges were still analysing the ‘scope and full impact’ of the error.
He said he aimed to establish a new starting date ‘as soon as possible’.
Prosecutors already had admitted the errors and did not object to a delay in the trial.
Mladic’s lawyer has asked for a six-month delay.
Reporting from The Hague, Barnaby Phillips noted that the initial hearings were always supposed to last two days.
‘What has happened is that the prosecution has failed in good time to give all the evidence to the defence’, he said.
The part of the trial that is likely to be delayed is the calling of witnesses.
The judge has not yet committed to a date, although prior to the delay, it would have been July 29.
Earlier, prosecutors wrapped up their opening statement in the trial by recounting in painstaking and chilling detail the systematic murder by Bosnian Serb forces commanded by Mladic of thousands of Muslim men and boys in Bosnia’s Srebrenica enclave in July 1995, Europe’s worst massacre since World War II.
Exact numbers of the Srebrenica massacre range from 7,000 to 8,000.
BDST: 1914 HRS, MAY 17, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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