Mladic extradition appeal rejected

Updated: 2011-05-31 19:32


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Mladic extradition appeal rejected
A police convoy carries Ratko Mladic back to the Special Court in Belgrade May 31, 2011. Mladic may be sent to The Hague in the next 24 hours, Serbian officials said on Tuesday, after he was allowed to go to his daughter's grave and his grandchildren visited prison. [Photo/Agencies] 

BELGRADE, Serbia - Judges have rejected an appeal by war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic seeking to stop his extradition to a UN tribunal, Serbia's chief war crimes prosecutor said Tuesday.

The former Bosnian Serb commander will be extradited to The Hague, Netherlands "as soon as possible," Vladimir Vukcevik told The Associated Press.

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The timing of Mladic's extradition depends on when the Serbian justice minister signs an extradition order, but that is expected to be done quickly, paving the way for his immediate hand-over.

Mladic is charged at the tribunal for atrocities committed by his Serb troops during the Bosnia's 1992-5 war, including the notorious Srebrenica massacre that left 8,000 Muslim men and boys dead.

Earlier Tuesday, Mladic was briefly released from the jail cell, traveling in a secret high-security convoy to a suburban cemetery where he left a lone candle for the daughter who killed herself during Bosnia's bloody ethnic war.

Mladic extradition appeal rejected

The 69-year-old former Bosnian Serb general accused of some of the worst horrors of the 1992-5 war was accompanied by a convoy of several armored vehicles on a swift and quiet trip, Verkaric said.

At the black marble grave, Mladic left a lit candle and a small white bouquet of flowers with a red rose in the middle.

"We didn't announce his visit to the grave because it is his private thing and because it represented a security risk," deputy chief prosecutor Bruno Vekaric said. "The whole operation lasted for exactly 22 minutes and passed without a glitch. He was at the grave for a few minutes."

Europe's most wanted war crimes fugitive could be handed over to the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday, officials said. A defense extradition appeal sent by mail arguing he is not mentally and physically fit to stand trial arrived at the Belgrade court Tuesday.

Mladic was arrested Thursday in a village north of Belgrade after 16 years on the run.

His 23-year-old daughter Ana, a medical student, committed suicide in 1994 with her father's pistol. She reportedly never wrote a suicide note, but media reports at the time said she ended her life at Mladic's Belgrade family house because of depression caused by her father's role in the war.

Mladic has rejected the official investigation into his case and claimed she was killed by his wartime enemies, saying the pistol was found in her left hand, although she was right-handed.

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