The Trial Chamber has granted Mladic’s defense one additional week for the preparation of its case; the defense had asked for three. Mladic’s first witness will thus appear in the courtroom on 19 May 2014. The pre-defense conference will be held on 12 May, as initially planned

Ratko Mladic in the courtroomRatko Mladic in the courtroom

Ratko Mladic’s motion for the postponement of the defense case has been granted in part: instead of the three weeks it requested, the defense got one additional week to prepare its case. The defense asked for the postponement because of the problems with the Tribunal’s IT system, caused by the switch to a new version of the Windows operating system.

In its decision, Judge Orie’s Trial Chamber explains that the defense’s motion described the problems but failed to specify how that impacted the preparation of the defense case. Also, some problems, such as entering the list of exhibits to be used in the course of the witnesses’ testimony, will have a negative impact on the prosecution’s work, and the prosecution has not complained about it.

The judges are aware that the technical problems have affected the defense’s preparations to a degree. Consequently, Mladic’s defense has been granted a postponement. The pre-defense conference will take place as previously scheduled, on 12 May 2014, but the first witnesses will appear in court on 19 May 2014 instead of 13 May 2014.

Mladic will first contest the prosecution’s evidence on the sniper and artillery terror campaign against the Sarajevo citizens, mostly through the evidence of former Sarajevo-Romanija Corps soldiers. The former commander of the Bosnian Serb army is on trial for the gravest war crimes in the part of BH claimed by Serbs in 1992. In some municipalities those crimes reached the scale of genocide. Mladic is also charged with the genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995 and taking UN staff hostage in the spring of 1995.