Ratko Mladic’s defense has again urged judges of the Hague Tribunal that Mladic gets freed of all charges, rejecting the claim that prosecutors have proven him as being guilty.
“In all aspects of the case, prosecutors have failed to prove the criminal responsibility of General Mladic,” said, at the end of closing arguments, Mladic’s lawyer Dragan Ivetic, as reported by BIRN-Justice Report.
This ended Mladic’s Hague process that began in May 2012. Judges will now work on the verdict, whose pronouncement is planned for November 2017.
Mladic, as commander of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS), is charged with genocide in Srebrenica, persecution of Muslims and Croats which, in some municipalities, reached a scale of a genocide, terrorizing civilians in Sarajevo with long-lasting shelling and sniping and taking UNPROFOR members as hostages.
In response to the arguments of the prosecution, defense counsel Ivetic said that Mladic must be released because “defended cities were not only Sarajevo and Srebrenica, but all sites in the municipalities that were defended by armed forces, refusing to open those cities”.
Speaking about accusation regarding the genocide in Srebrenica, the defense counsel argued that prosecutors “do not know when the meeting of Mladic and his associates took place,“ on which, as they claim, it was decided to kill the Muslim prisoners.
According to the accusation, that meeting occurred in the night between 11th and 12th of July 1995 and then “they had to decide” about the killing.
The defense has sought to distance Mladic from orders, according to which in September 1995, he approved that five tons of fuel get used for engineering works in Zvornik, that is, according to the prosecutors, to move mass graves in an attempt to cover up the crime in Srebrenica.
Denying that Mladic knew what was in that document, Ivetic said that “others could use his signature even if he did not know the content of the document.”