Court spokeswoman Maja Kovacevic confirmed that the court has determined that Mladic is fit to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands.
A defense lawyer for Ratko Mladic says a Belgrade court has ruled that the former general can be extradited to a U.N. tribunal.
Milos Saljic told reporters the defense will appeal on Monday. Court spokeswoman Maja Kovacevic confirmed that the court has determined that Mladic is fit to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands.
Defence minister: Serbia did not hide Mladic
In Budapest, Serbia’s defence minister said the country’s army never hid Ratko Mladic.
Dragan Sutanovac says in the four years he’s been minister, Mladic’s whereabouts were unknown to officials and that an investigation will determine where Mladic was hiding and who assisted him over the past 16 years.
Mr. Sutanovac was in Budapest on Friday for talks with his Hungarian counterpart.
Mladic in Belgrade court for extradition hearing
After spending a first night in jail, genocide suspect Ratko Mladic is due back in a Belgrade court on Friday for a hearing on his extradition to a U.N. war crimes tribunal an earlier report said.
Europe’s most wanted war crimes fugitive was arrested on Thursday in a northern Serbian village after 16 years on the run. The Bosnian Serb wartime army commander is facing international war crimes charges, including the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica during Bosnia’s 1992—95 war.
Thursday’s extradition hearing was adjourned due to what Mladic’s lawyer claimed was his poor health.
Serbian war crimes prosecutors claim the health issue appears to be Mladic’s tactic to delay his extradition to the U.N. tribunal in the Hague, Netherlands.
“What’s important is that his identity has been established,” said deputy war crimes prosecutor Bruno Vekaric. “It now depends on his defense whether they will launch appeals, but a maximum deadline for his extradition is a week.”
Meanwhile, a photo portrait of Mladic during his arrest in the village of Lazarevo, 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Belgrade, was obtained by The Associated Press. It shows him looking much older than in 2002 when he was last seen in Belgrade.
In the police photo, a clean—shaven Mladic is shown wearing a navy blue baseball hat and looking with surprised eyes.
Mladic’s wife Bosiljka and son Darko walked into the courthouse on Friday to visit Mladic in the jail which is located in the same building, but did not speak to the media when they left shortly after.
Mladic, 69, was one of the world’s most—wanted fugitives. He was the top commander of the Bosnian Serb army during Bosnia’s 1992—95 war, which killed more than 100,000 people and drove another 1.8 million from their homes. Thousands of Muslims and Croats were killed, tortured or driven out in a campaign to purge the region of non—Serbs.
He was accused by the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for the massacre of Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces in eastern Bosnia and the relentless four—year siege of Sarajevo.
The arrest releases Serbia from the widespread suspicion it was protecting Mladic. U.N. war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz was due next month to give the world body a report critical of Serbia’s lack of cooperation with the hunt for Mladic and other fugitives.
The Netherlands had used such reports to justify blocking Serbia’s efforts to join the EU, and the arrest could help Serbia shed its image as a pariah state that sheltered the men responsible for the worst atrocities of the Balkan wars of the 1990s.