In its response to the defense motion demanding that Ratko Mladic be allowed to travel to Russia for medical treatment urgently, the prosecution notes that the defense of the former VRS Main Staff Commander ‘misrepresents the nature of a recent medical intervention in a disingenuous attempt to claim a dramatic new deterioration in the Accused's health’

Alan Tieger, ProsecutorAlan Tieger, Prosecutor

As was to be expected, the prosecution strenuously opposes the defense’s request that Ratko Mladic be granted provisional release and be allowed to travel to Russia for medical treatment.

In an alarmist motion published on 21 March, the defense claimed that the health of the accused had taken a dramatic turn for the worse, demanding that he be allowed to travel to Russia on humanitarian and medical grounds: a clinic in Russia had offered to admit him for treatment, as confirmed in a letter from the Russian embassy in The Hague.

In the public redacted version of the prosecution’s response released today, the prosecution notes that Mladic does not meet any of the conditions for provisional release. His ‘long history as a fugitive from justice’ and the gravity of the crimes he is charged with clearly demonstrate that he is a substantial flight risk if he is released from detention prior to judgment.

According to the prosecution, the defense’s motion is based on a mischaracterization of the opinions of medical personnel who had either minimal and outdated contact with the accused or no contact at all, which means that their findings are likewise outdated. The defense likewise misrepresents the nature of the medical intervention on the accused, ‘in a disingenuous attempt to claim a dramatic new deterioration’ of Mladic’s health.

Contrary to the claims in the defense’s motion, the accused is under the regular care of a team of medical professionals committed to providing him with ‘optimal’ treatment, the prosecution contends.

Challenging the defense’s claim about the ‘continuous and serious decline’ in Mladic’s health since his arrest and surrender to the Tribunal, the prosecution recalls that the accused himself and the independent medical experts appointed by the Chamber had nothing but praise for the medical care Mladic had received in the UN Detention Unit. In fact, Mladic publicly thanked the medical staff in the UN Detention Unit and the Bronovo Hospital for ‘saving his life’.