Lawyers for Bosnian Serb war-time military chief Ratko Mladic have asked the UN tribunal in the Hague for a three-month extension to appeal the sentence handed down to the retired general, the Beta news agency reported on Thursday.
Mladic was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity and genocide in the Srebrenica enclave during the war in Bosnia.
The defence has a deadline of June 5 to file an appeal but wants an extension to September 3. Mladic’s lawyers told the tribunal that “it’s clear that the current deadline can’t be met” because the entire case is complex with multiple grounds for appeal. The lawyers recalled that the defence team in the trial against Bosnian Serb war-time political chief Radovan Karadzic was granted a two-month extension to file an appeal.
Judges on an appeals panel will rule on the request. Appeals procedures are being conducted before the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, the successor court of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) which tried cases of war crimes committed during the wars in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.
Mladic (76) was sentenced to life in prison on November 22, 2017, after the tribunal found him guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, the persecution of Moslem and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, terror tactics against the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage. The charges of genocide in six municipalities in Bosnia were dropped. Both the defence and prosecution announced appeals to the sentence.
Mladić has been in the ICTY detention unit in Scheveningen since May 2011 after having been arrested and extradited from Serbia.