THE HAGUE: Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic was dragged out of his judgement hearing Wednesday after he started shouting at war crimes judges that they were lying.
Presiding judge Alphons Orie ordered him removed from the courtroom just after denying a defence request to halt the proceedings due to Mladic’s high blood pressure.
“They are lying, you are lying. I don’t feel good,” Mladic shouted, refusing to sit down, before being hustled out of the courtroom by two UN security guards to a nearby room where he could watch the rest of the proceedings.
His outburst came after the judges refused to halt the reading of the verdict at the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where Mladic is accused of 11 charges of genocide and war crimes arising out of the 1990s Balkans conflict.
After a surprise break requested by Mladic which lasted about 45 minutes, defence lawyer Dragan Ivetic returned to tell the judges that Mladic’s blood pressure had been taken three times by nurses.
According to British and US medical organisations, that meant that Mladic was in a “hypertensive crisis” and continuing the hearing could lead to “fatality,” Ivetic said.
But the judges disagreed with the findings and refused to adjourn the hearing.