On 15 April, Judge Orie's Trial Chamber will render its decision on the defense’s motion to acquit Ratko Mladic on all charges at the half-time of the trial. In its motion, the defense argued that the prosecution has failed to call sufficient evidence to support a conviction in the course of its case

Ratko Mladic in the courtroomRatko Mladic in the courtroom

On Tuesday, 15 April 2014, Judge Orie's Trial Chamber will render its decision on the Rule 98 bis motion filed by Ratko Mladic's defense. The rule allows the accused to call for his acquittal after the prosecution has rested its case on some or all counts in the indictment if, in the defenses view, the prosecution has failed to call sufficient evidence that could lead to a conviction, if uncontested.

At the hearing held from 17 to 19 March 2014, Mladics defense lawyers stated their reasons for rejecting the prosecution case in its entirety. Mladics defense was particularly scathing vis-a-vis the prosecutions evidence on the responsibility of the accused for the crimes committed by the local police and the paramilitary units from Serbia, such as ArkansTigersand Slobodan Medics Scorpions. The defense of the accused former VRS commander claimed that Mladic had acted honorably, and that he never ordered any crimes. Mladics defense denied that Mladic had any ties with the war-time Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic, who is tried separately on the same charges.

The prosecution responded that the evidence called in the course of its case unequivocally points at Mladics responsibility for double genocide and other crimes against the non-Serbs in BH. According to the prosecution, the accused had control of the Bosnian Serb forces at his fingertips. Mladic used it to implement the criminal campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing of the parts of BH that were supposed to belong to Serbs. The crimes included the artillery and sniper terror campaign against the Sarajevo citizens, genocide and other crimes in Prijedor, Vlasenica, Foca and other municipalities in 1992, and another instance of genocide in Srebrenica in 1995.

If the motion for acquittal is denied in part or entirely, the trial will continue. Aware of that possibility, Mladics defense indicated at the Rule 98 bis hearing that their client is looking forward to the defense case.