Ratko Mladic’s trial was adjourned when a witness fell ill. The trial is expected to continue on Friday, as the Tribunal is closed on Thursday. In line with the Appeals Chamber’s decision, from now on, Mladic’s trial will proceed four days a week instead of five

Ratko Mladic in the courtroomRatko Mladic in the courtroom

After a half-hour delay, the trial of Ratko Mladic began without a witness and was soon adjourned. The prosecutor announced that former UN military observer in BH, Patrick Rechner, had fallen ill and was unable to appear in court. The next witness, former UN peacekeeper Jonathan Riley, will arrive in The Hague Wednesday evening. The prosecution has thus run out of witnesses for the time being.

The Trial Chamber decided to deal with some pending procedural issues and to end the hearing. Since the Tribunal is closed on Thursday because of the UN Day, the trial will continue on Friday morning. Riley will be called as the first witness. Rechner is unlikely to be called before next week.

In the spring of 1995, Rechner and Riley were both arrested by the Bosnian Serb soldiers who then held the pair hostage for a while to prevent NATO air strikes against Serb positions. Taking UN staff hostage is one of the four joint criminal enterprises in BH Mladic is charged with. The prosecutor started calling evidence on that count in the indictment on Tuesday with the testimony of a French officer whose identity was protected.

Apart from the current upset in the schedule, there will be another long-term change at the trial of the former VRS commander Ratko Mladic. It was indicated that the Appeals Chamber granted the defense motion for four-day working weeks, instead of five. Presiding judge Orie, whose Trial Chamber at first rejected the request, said that the decision on the schedule for the forthcoming week would be issued by the end of the week. The doctors that monitor Mladic’s health proposed that the court take a recess on Wednesday.