As David Harland’s cross-examination continued today, Ratko Mladic’s defense counsel notified the Chamber that the accused was not feeling well and asked for a break. After he was examined in the Tribunal building by a nurse, Mladic was taken to see a doctor for additional exams. If his health improves, the trial will resume on Friday, 13 July, in the morning

Ratko Mladic in the courtroonRatko Mladic in the courtroon

Ratko Mladic’s trial for genocide and other crimes in BH was adjourned after less than an hour of David Harland’s cross-examination. At one point, Mladic’s counsel Branko Lukic said the accused was not feeling well. Mladic had covered his face with his hands. Judge Orie ordered a recess.

After more than an hour, the judges and the other participants in the trial returned to court briefly. The presiding judge stated, ‘Mr. Mladic has some health concerns’. He added that he ‘has been given a preliminary exam by a nurse in the Tribunal building’. It was decided that ‘additional exams were called for’ and he was taken to see a doctor. The trial is scheduled to continue on Friday, 13 July, in the morning. As Judge Orie noted, ‘the Chamber is for the time being unable to determine when Mladic will be able to attend the trial’. The Registry was asked to submit a confidential report on the results of the additional exams during the day, or whenever practicable.

As the cross-examination of the former UN civil affairs chief David Harland continued today, Mladic’s defense counsel Branko Lukic focused mostly on issues related to NATO’s close air support for UNPROFOR troops in 1994. As he argued, late that year NATO ‘regularly targeted’ the VRS positions around Sarajevo, Bihac and Gorazde. Mladic’s defense is trying to prove that NATO was a warring faction and that UNPROFOR staff sided with the enemy, because they spotted Serb targets for the NATO aircraft.

As Harland explained, the UN Security Council Resolution 836 from 1993 allowed the use of NATO aircraft to protect UNPROFOR’s mandate. UNPROFOR called in air support when the Serb forces hindered the humanitarian aid supplies into the enclave or launched attacks on them. The then UNPROFOR commander Rose and special envoy of the UN Secretary General, Akashi, exhibited ‘maximum restraint’, and used NATO air strikes far less than their mandate authorized them to.

Mladic’s defense counsel Lukic should continue his cross-examination of witness Harland tomorrow morning, provided Mladic is well enough to attend court.