DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

18 November, 2011


By Mike Corder

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Yugoslav war crimes tribunal prosecutors proposed Friday drastically cutting back the amount of evidence they present to support charges in Ratko Mladic’s indictment, in an attempt to speed up his trial.

In a proposal sent to judges at the U.N. court, prosecutors said they will keep all 11 charges, including two counts of genocide, in Mladic’s indictment, but can cut back the number of crimes they seek to prove by more than 45 percent.

The allegations prosecutors will present “reasonably and appropriately reflect the criminal conduct of the accused and establish a basis for conviction on all 11 counts of the indictment,” the proposal says.

The 69-year-old former commander of the Bosnian Serb army is accused of masterminding atrocities by his forces throughout the Bosnian War.

He has refused to enter pleas to the charges so judges entered not guilty pleas on his behalf. No date has been set for his trial to start.

The proposal aimed at streamlining Mladic’s trial comes amid concerns about his health. Judges asked prosecutors to trim down the indictment in October.

Judges this week ordered a full medical checkup of Mladic, who has been experiencing pain from a kidney stone, had surgery for a hernia and been hospitalized with pneumonia since he was arrested in May and transferred to a cell in The Hague. His lawyers and family also say he had two strokes during his years as a fugitive.

Prosecutors at the tribunal typically present evidence of several crimes to prove a single count in an indictment, leading to trials that can last years.

Under Friday’s proposal, they would not call evidence in just under 46 percent of crimes currently listed in Mladic’s indictment.

The biggest cut would come in evidence about Serb-run concentration camps where non-Serbs were held, a reduction of just over 70 percent.

The smallest proposed cut is in evidence concerning the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, where Serb forces killed 8,000 Bosniak men and boys. Prosecutors had planned to present evidence of 22 separate crimes making up the massacre and proposed reducing that to 20 crimes, a cut of just 9 percent.