As it happened: Ratko Mladic's arrest

Key points

  • One of the world's most wanted men, Ratko Mladic, has been arrested in Serbia
  • The ex-Bosnian Serb military leader is facing an extradition hearing at a court in Belgrade
  • General Mladic is wanted by The Hague on genocide and war crimes charges
    Ratko Mladic 'captured' 1130:

    Welcome to our live page on the reported arrest of a man said to strongly resemble fugitive Bosnian war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic. He's undergoing identity tests after being arrested in Serbia. We'll be providing all the latest updates, your tweets and analysis from our correspondents. Read our breaking news story.


    Serbian state TV says the man under investigation identified himself as Milorad Komadic when he was arrested on Thursday. Serbia's war crimes prosecutors have refused to confirm or deny the report, according to AP news agency.


    A European Union spokesperson is quoted by AFP news agency as saying Brussels has every reason to believe that Ratko Mladic has been arrested.


    Reuters news agency is quoting a family friend of Mladic as saying the war crimes suspect has been detained by Serbian intelligence.


    Former BBC foreign correspondent Martin Bell tells BBC News that the last time he saw Mladic, the war crimes suspect was about to physically assault a Reuters correspondent, Kurt Schork, at an airport.


    Martin Bell adds that Mladic was not keen on the Press and once said: "I don't need the Press, because I will be vindicated by history."


    Ratko Mladic has been on the run since 1995 when he was indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for genocide in the slaughter of at least 7,500 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica and other crimes allegedly committed by his troops during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.


    The announcement of the arrest came as a report by the chief prosecutor at The Hague said Serbia was not doing enough to arrest Mladic. Martin Bell says Serbia has been very keen to join the European Union and that as long as Mladic was at large, that was never going to happen.

    Mirela in Croatia

    tweets: It seems that Ratko Mladic has been arrested - a war criminal who has ruined my youthful years for life! Thank God!

    Mark Lowen BBC News, Belgrade

    has been told by the Serbian broadcasting corporation B92 that the Serbian president's office has confirmed it's Mladic that's been arrested. The BBC has also been told the arrest occurred in Vojvodina, a northern province of Serbia in the early hours of Thursday morning.


    Reuters quotes a European Commission spokeswoman as saying that if the Serbs have arrested Mladic, that would boost the country's EU membership hopes. "If this is the case we consider that Serbia has understood the importance of... reconciliation with its history and its people and has decided it concretely wants to move further on its European path," she told a regular news briefing.


    Serbian President Boris Tadic announces at a news conference in the capital Belgrade that Mladic has been arrested.


    President Tadic says an extradition process is underway. He says Serbia has closed a painful chapter in its history.

    Toby Philpott in Belgrade

    emails: This will certainly be a massive boost to the efforts that the Serbian Government have made to prepare themselves for EU accession. This has been a shadow hanging over the work of all of us involved in this process.


    President Tadic says he can't give details of the operation to arrest Mr Mladic - he's leaving that to the security forces.


    President Tadic praises the work of the Serbian security forces, saying how proud he is of the operation and thanking those involved.


    Answering questions, Mr Tadic says the timing of the Mladic arrest was "not calculated".


    President Tadic rejects any suggestion that Serbia has dragged its feet in its pursuit of Mladic, saying he is very proud of Serbian investigators' work.


    Mr Tadic adds there will be an investigation into why Ratko Mladic was not arrested five years ago.


    The Serbian president says there's still work to do, naming Goran Hadzic as another suspect who must and will be arrested. Hadzic was charged in absentia in 2004 by the UN war crimes tribunal with the murder of hundreds of Croatians and non-Serbs. Like Mladic, he is thought to have been hiding in Serbia.


    The story of Mladic's arrest was broken by Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List, citing Serbian police sources. Not a bad scoop for a Zagreb-based daily with a reported circulation of just over 100,000 copies.


    Gabriel Partos, a former BBC Balkan affairs analyst, notes that President Tadic made some comments in English - showing that he was speaking with an international audience in mind.

    Zeljka, a Serbian refugee from Bosnia

    emails: I left Bosnia when I was eight years old. My village was burnt, and my cousin and uncle were killed by some people similar to Mladic. I grew up over a night. Being Serb, my life abroad has always had a negative mark. It's a big day for me and my family in Belgrade too, for my parents who lost everything because of him and his men! This day gives hope that my country is on the right path and that there is a bright future for the youth in Serbia who were hostage to Mladic for so many years.


    As a UN negotiator on the former Yugoslavia, former British foreign secretary Lord Owen met Mladic often. He told the BBC World Service: "I know him very well. He is a racist, he is ruthless, he is a man who does carry the support of many of the soldiers who served under him, which is one of the reasons why he's been able to evade being caught and arrested."


    Analysts are noting how Serbia is keen to shed any lingering pariah status linked to the Balkan conflict of the 1990s - and dispel doubts around the long-term failure to arrest Mladic. In his news conference, President Tadic spoke of raising Serbia's "moral credibility" in the world.


    Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomes the arrest of Mladic, describing it as "a chance for justice to be done".

    Dusan in Belgrade, Serbia

    emails: Finally I can say that I am proud to be a Serb. Also, I think that the Serbian officials know everything about Mladic. But the good thing is that he is in jail.

    1251: Gordon Corera Security correspondent, BBC News

    says there should be plenty of evidence for trial, including images of Ratko Mladic commanding troops. But he notes that war crime trials can be lengthy, complex and exploited by defendants for grandstanding.


    British Defence Secretary Liam Fox welcomes the arrest, saying it's a chance for Serbia to "close a very unhappy chapter in their history".


    Here's a link to the English website of Serbian broadcaster B92, one of the first to report Ratko Mladic's arrest and a good place to go for details and updates.

    Ana in Belgrade, Serbia

    emails: We are no longer his hostages! Our normal lives can finally begin!


    Readers will recall that Mladic's Srebrenica co-accused, Radovan Karadzic, was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008. He was also using a false name, was disguised with a big beard and posing as a doctor of alternative medicine. No word yet on whether Mladic was in disguise.


    For those wanting more on Srebrenica, here's a video piece that explains what happened at the siege with some good archive images from the time.


    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso tells the BBC: "This is great news. I was exactly one week ago in Belgrade. I had an extensive, very deep, sincere conversation with President Tadic and he promised me that they would do everything to arrest Mladic."


    Here's a picture of Serbian President Boris Tadic announcing Mladic's arrest at that Belgrade news conference:

    Serbian President Boris Tadic announces Mladic's arrest in Belgrade on 26 May 2011
    1314: Gordon Corera Security correspondent, BBC News

    says there has long been speculation about how Gen Mladic might have been hiding, but for now it's unclear how high any sympathy and support for Ratko Mladic went among Serbian authorities.


    From regular army officer under Tito to a symbol of Serbian ethnic cleansing and one of the world's most wanted men, Ratko Mladic, in pictures.

    1320: Mark Lowen BBC News, Belgrade

    says it's hard to overstate the importance of the Mladic arrest for Serbia - he says many Serbs felt that the destiny of their country was being held hostage by Gen Mladic.

    Daniel Sandford Moscow correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: At this rate Serbia will be in the EU less than two decades after the Nato bombings. Reform is fast when the will is there.


    Munira Subasic, who lost her son and husband when Bosnian Serbs under Mladic seized Srebrenica, tells Reuters: "I am happy to be alive to witness his arrest and at the same time very sorry many other Srebrenica victims did not live to witness this moment."

    1326: Mark Lowen BBC News, Belgrade

    says Ratko Mladic was more popular than Radovan Karadzic among Serb nationalists, with a recent survey suggesting that a majority of Serbs did not want Mladic handed over to the Hague for prosecution. Our correspondent says there may be some protests following the Mladic arrest - as there were after Karadzic was detained - but these will not be representative of many young Serbs who now want to move on.


    A reminder of the suffering inflicted by the Balkans conflict - this photo, taken on 24 December 1995, shows a Bosnian Serb mother in Sarajevo mourning her son, who was killed a couple of months earlier near the Serb-held frontline in the city:

    A Bosnian Serb mother mourns her son in Sarajevo in December 1995
    1331: Breaking News Mark Lowen BBC News, Belgrade

    says the extradition is under way. Ratko Mladic is in a plane that's taken off from Belgrade and is expected to land in The Hague at about 1300GMT.


    The Serbs may be accused of taking too long to nab Mladic, but the United States took some time to catch up with Osama Bin Laden, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the EU envoy to the former Yugoslavia, tells the BBC World Service.

    William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary

    tweets: Arrest of Ratko Mladic a historic moment for W Balkans and belated justice for his vicitms.


    Serbian security sources say Mladic was arrested when three special units swooped early on Thursday on a house in the village of Lazarevo, Vojvodina province...

    1353: Allan Little BBC world affairs correspondent

    says Mladic was ferocious in pursuit of what he saw as the destiny of the Serb nation. Mladic was fanatical but also fearless and this made him a folk hero among those he led. It also explains how he evaded capture for 16 years.


    Late last year the New York Times published an investigation into how Ratko Mladic evaded capture for so long. It concluded: "Over the years, as European pressure for an arrest intensified and then retreated, [Gen Mladic] received vital, little-known, assistance from Serbian military forces and several of the country's past governments."

    Michael Mann, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton

    tweets: HRVP Ashton strongly welcomes arrest of Ratko Mladic, an important step forward for Serbia and for international justice.

    The BBC's Martha Kearney

    tweets: Lord Ashdown welcomes arrest of Mladic on World At One but says it could have been done earlier.

    1402: Mark Lowen BBC News, Belgrade

    asked President Tadic if it was a coincidence that Mladic had been arrested while EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton was in Belgrade. The president said his country had always been determined to catch the fugitive.


    In a statement, The Hague chief prosecutor said: "We think first and foremost of the victims of the crimes committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. These victims have endured unimaginable horrors - including the genocide in Srebrenica - and redress for their suffering is long overdue."


    More on the poll suggesting many Serbs did not want Mladic sent to the Hague (see 1326 entry), courtesy of BBC Monitoring: The poll, first published by the Croatian daily Vecernji list on 16 May, suggested that 51% of Serbian citizens would not send Mladic to the tribunal, while 40% saw him as "a hero".


    Muhamed Durakovic was 20 years old when he escaped Srebrenica a day before the Bosnian Serb army took the town in 1995. He told the BBC World Service: "I think General Mladic is now a very old man. His health is not very good - at least that is what some reports are saying. And I'm afraid that, as in the case of Slobodan Milosevic, he will perish before the process is over."

    1420: Mark Lowen BBC News, Belgrade

    says many people in Serbia see The Hague as an anti-Serb court and there is still an ultra-nationalist fringe here that views Mladic as a hero who only ever defended Serb interests. But the new, emerging generation in Serbia seems to be tired of the past and its wars.

    Edin H, from London,

    texts: Very embarrassing for Serbia that it took them this long to arrest a man who hid in plain sight. Can't help but feel that he was used as a bargaining chip in a political deal and Serb govt always knew where he was.

    Christiane Amanpour, ABC News

    tweets: GREAT DAY. Bosnian Serb monster-killer Ratko Mladic arrested 16 yrs after war to face justice; men/women/children, besieged & sniped.


    Bosnia has responded to the Mladic arrest - Zeljko Komsic, a Croat member of the country's rotating presidency, said he was "very pleased", but pointed the finger at Serbia: "Only when the EU strongly set Ratko Mladic's arrest to Serbia as a condition to joining, it took place," Komsic told Fena news agency in Sarajevo.

    Dzenan in Sarajevo

    emails: I spent my childhood in the besieged Sarajevo and listened to daily shelling. Many of my friends have been killed, so many children. Sixteen hundred children have been killed, why, why? I am very happy to hear that the biggest war criminal has been arrested.


    Here's a link to a page on Serbia's B92 website purporting to show the house where Ratko Mladic was found.


    Sir Geoffrey Nice - who prosecuted Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague - tells the BBC World Service that "there will be a trial, unless of course [Mladic] compromises the matter by some form of plea of guilty".

    Mica in Belgrade Serbia

    emails: I cried twice in last 11 years - the first time when my father passed away and today when I found out that this murderer has been arrested.

    John in Lowestoft, UK,

    texts: War crimes must be punished, but don't think it is all one sided. Some victims would do the same if they had the chance. No nice wars!


    Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says: "Mladic tried to become a conquering hero. Instead, he lived as a fugitive in obscurity and now faces years in custody. Justice works."

    Peter Van Ham

    tweets: Ratko #Mladic is on his way to The Hague. If I see his helicopter pass by towards Scheveningen prison, I'll let you know!


    Villagers in Lazarevo, where the arrest took place, have told a Serbian correspondent they never saw Mladic, and some insisted they would not have reported him to the authorities even if they had.


    Despite earlier reports that Mladic had already been extradited to The Hague, Serbia's deputy war crimes prosecutor Bruno Vekaric has just said it could take up to seven days to complete the procedure.


    Mladic is due to appear before a judge this afternoon in Belgrade, but we don't know yet if cameras will be allowed in to the courtroom.


    Carla Del Ponte, ex-Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, tells the BBC: "I think it was in New Belgrade [in the capital city] that [Mladic] was moving from apartment to the other, changing apartment every three days. So it was a real logistical difficulty to find him."


    Villagers in Lazarevo, where the arrest took place, have told a Serbian correspondent a low-key police operation began at around 0530 local time in a street where a cousin of Mladic was known to live. Some people hurled abuse at TV crews who arrived in the village today, BBC Monitoring reports.


    Of the 161 people indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, only wartime Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic remains at large following Mladic's arrest, says Croatia's Hina news agency.


    Slobodan Homan, Serbia's Secretary of State for Justice, tells the BBC that Mladic is being held in the interior ministry before this afternoon's extradition hearing. "We have DNA and it's absolutely confirmed that it's Ratko Mladic," he adds.


    Bosnian Muslim woman from Srebrenica watch a TV report about the arrest of Mladic:

    Bosnian Muslim woman from Srebrenica watch TV report about the arrest Ratko Mladic

    The New York Times has put together this striking time-line of the hunt for Mladic.


    Journalist Paul Martin, who spent time with Mladic, says he was "very expressionless, his eyes just stared". Mr Martin tells the BBC: "There was no body-language... you got the impression he didn't have any feelings, and I think that's been borne out by facts on the ground."

    1513: Croatian President Ivo Josipovic

    says: "The entire international community and I, too, expect a fair trial to assess his guilt and punishment," he tells Croatian Radio. "This is also important for relations in the region."


    Not everyone's happy - a spokesman for the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, Boris Aleksic, tells Reuters: "This shameful arrest of a Serb general is a blow to our national interests and the state. This is a regime of liars - dirty, corrupt and treacherous."


    A photo of the nondescript-looking Serbian village where the hunt for the man wanted in connection with Europe's worst massacre WWII ended early today:

    A view of the Serbian village of Lazarevo on 26 May 2011
    1527: EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule

    says that with Mladic's capture, Serbia has fulfilled "an important obligation" that puts it closer to EU membership. But, he adds during a brief statement in Brussels, more reforms are needed before accession is possible.


    The Serbian Radical Party are not alone in their outrage about the arrest. For Bosnian Serb war veterans in the city of Banja Luka, Mladic is "a symbol of the Serb people's fight for the creation of the Serb Republic and the survival of Serbs in this region", according to one veterans' leader. Another warns Serbian President Tadic that "the arrest of Mladic will not be forgiven", the Sarajevo-based Fena news agency reports in comments picked up by our colleagues over at BBC Monitoring.

    Via Email Ivana Belgrade, Serbia

    Hopefully this arrest will finally lead to Serbia being accepted as a country that wants to cut ties with the nineties and the Milosevic regime. This is hopefully the final step towards accepting Serbia as an EU candidate. Personally, I believe that more of an effort should have been put forward to get Mladic extradited earlier, but better late then never.

    1544: John Simpson World Affairs Editor, BBC News

    says Mladic was a short, stocky character, but very tough. He was a terrifying, violent and aggressive man, but his bodyguards were even scarier. If Mladic had said, 'take this man away and sort him out', they would have killed you without any question.

    Via Email Vuk Popovic Arilje, Serbia

    It's unbelievable to think how hypocritical the West is. The horrors committed daily in Afganistan, Iraq and Lybia make the Balkan conflict look like a playground fight. This is a sad day for Serbs all around the world.

    Jarek, from London,

    texts: It doesn't matter if catching him was a part of a deal between Serbia or not. The most important thing is that he is no longer a free man.


    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has released this five-page summary with more information on the charges that Mladic faces.

    1543: John Simpson World Affairs Editor, BBC News

    says Radovan Karadzic was a professorial figure with loony ideas and his head in the clouds, inclined to weep about the killings, but always continuing on with them. Mladic, however, couldn't have cared less - he enjoyed being a soldier, and killing civilians was part of his idea of soldiering.


    Is Mladic evil? Mans Nyberg, who was a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bosnia during the war, has few doubts, telling the BBC: "He did very evil things. He planned very evil things and he was in charge of unbelievably evil things that happened, yes."


    The website for Belgrade's B92 radio says it has learnt that besides using a fake name, Mladic was not wearing a beard or any disguise, and had aged considerably in appearance. It reports one of his arms was paralysed and he was "very co-operative" during arrest.


    Belgrade's B92 radio also quotes a lawyer for Mladic's relatives as saying: "The family believed he was dead and the news of his arrest was a source of great surprise, as well as happiness."


    What awaits Mladic at The Hague? Mark Goldberg worked at the ICTY for a year and traces the legal road ahead in this pithy blogpost at UN Dispatch. "This is a very long process, to say the least," he says. "But if done correctly, it does hold out the prospect of justice for these terrible crimes."


    After Osama Bin Laden's death and Ratko Mladic's arrest, the Associated Press news agency looks at who's left on the world's most-wanted list.

    Viktor Markovic

    tweets: Protest/riot planned for tonight in [Belgrade] city center ca 20h #mladic #mladicarrest

    Sandja in Sarajevo

    emails: Without a doubt, the Serbian authorities knew all along about Mladic's whereabouts. It is only now after the EU's officials declared a negative stance on Serbia's progress towards the EU, they have taken the step forward and actually arrested one of the world's worst criminals.


    In a message through his lawyer from his cell at The Hague, Radovan Karadzic says he is "sorry for General Mladic's loss of freedom" and that he "looks forward to working with him to bring out the truth about what happened in Bosnia", reports AP news agency.

    Martina Spanjolka in Paris

    tweets: Today is an important day for Serbia, the Balkans, Europe, the world, the victims, tomorrow, our children


    From AP news agency's Mladic profile: "A bullnecked field commander with narrow, piercing blue eyes, Mladic seized [Srebrenica] and was seen handing candy to Muslim children in the town's square. He assured them everything would be fine and patted one boy on the head. Hours later, his men began days of killing, rape and torture."


    The high representative and EU special representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina Valentin Inzko says in a statement that Gen Mladic's arrest "will help to bring down barriers to reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina" and have a "positive effect" on relations throughout south-eastern Europe.


    Ratko Mladic's alias, Milorad Komadic, was an anagram of his true identity, Serbian police say.


    A reminder of the case against Mladic: "unimaginable savagery" is how war crimes judge Fouad Riad in 1995 described the alleged actions of Mladic forces, including a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson.

    Koen Verhagen

    tweets: Lot of press in The Hague, waiting for #mladic

    Milica Milivojevic Belgrade, Serbia

    emails: I am not shocked by this. The government is really struggling here. It is entirely politically motivated. The government is simply trying to appeal to the EU. I also don't think he was really captured in that village.

    1653: Breaking News

    It's understood that Ratko Mladic is now at the special war crimes court in Belgrade, where he is to appear before a judge.


    According to legal procedures, he will get a medical check-up before the closed-door extradition hearing with a judge who will verify Mladic's identity.


    This the reaction from Interpol: "The arrest by Serbian police of Ratko Mladic, an alleged architect of human carnage and mass murder, is a triumph for international justice." The international police agency will continue to work towards the arrest of the remaining Serb fugitive Goran Hadzic "wherever in the world he might be", AFP reports.

    Ermin Mujezinovic in Washington, DC

    emails: Finally, after 16 years Serbia is doing something that should have been done years ago. As a Bosnian Muslim I think this is great what Serbia did, but I feel they waited a long time for the right moment to capture him, even though I believe they knew where he was all along.


    EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton tells the BBC she understands the extradition process may take nine or 10 days.


    Baroness Ashton, tells the BBC that her presence in Belgrade is a coincidence but a good one, as she'll be able to discuss the Mladic arrest over dinner with the Serbian president and to see an "energised process towards the European Union".

    Ben Edgar

    tweets: First #binladen and now #mladic, May is proving to be a month starting to bring justice to many wrongs done in the past 20 years.


    Dragan Todorovic, deputy leader of the nationalist Serbian Radical Party, says he'll suggest a protest rally over Gen Mladic's arrest "without delay" to "show our disagreement with this loathsome act".


    French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the EU should state clearly that Serbia is destined for EU membership after Gen Mladic's arrest - Reuters

    Nadja in London

    emails: I got very emotional when I heard the news and feel very excited about it. I was only a child when the war in Bosnia and Croatia was on and I feel that my generation and I have been suffering consequences of that war for a long time. I would be very happy to see Serbia joining the EU and moving forward with the rest of Europe.


    Here's a picture of the motorcade that brought Gen Mladic to the special war crimes court in Belgrade a little earlier:

    A convoy carrying Ratko Mladic arrives at a court in Belgrade, 26 May 2011

    US President Barack Obama: "I applaud President Tadic and the Government of Serbia on their determined efforts to ensure that Mladic was found and that he faces justice... On this important day, we recommit ourselves to supporting ongoing reconciliation efforts in the Balkans and to working to prevent future atrocities."


    And here's a full quote from President Sarkozy: "France wants is that the EU responds to the historic decision by making it perfectly clear that the future of Serbia is within the European Union, because we can't ask Serbia to take a difficult decision, sometimes against part of its public opinion and (then) say 'no, sorry, the door remains closed.'"


    World Have Your Say, the BBC World Service's global affairs discussion show, is just beginning an hour-long programme where they'll be gathering reaction to the arrest of Ratko Mladic. If you want to take part you can call +4420 7083 7272. Listen to the programme here.


    People in the village where Ratko Mladic was arrested reacted angrily to the media interest, Serbian radio B92 reports. About 150 people in Lazarevo blocked the entrance to the house where Gen Mladic had been staying. Some pulled out electric cables being used by a B92 crew for a live TV report.

    1841: Breaking News

    AFP reports Gen Mladic has now appeared before a judge in Belgrade.


    Serbian state TV has shown pictures of Gen Ratko Mladic before the special war crimes court in Belgrade, reports Reuters.

    1853: Mark Lowen BBC News, Belgrade

    says protests have begun to break out in Belgrade. Crowds are "gathering in the main square with armed police, waving flags, calling for Ratko Mladic to be released. We are hearing that a Facebook request has been put on the site for gatherings this evening from 2000 local [1800 GMT] around Serbia and we are also hearing that there are protesters gathering outside the property in northern Serbia where Ratko Mladic was arrested."


    Gen Mladic looked frail and was walking slowly when he appeared before the court, AP reports.

    Manolis Stamatakis in Brighton, UK

    emails: Good thing he was arrested, such people should be punished. However, who is going to arrest the Muslim and Croat war criminals who massacred whole Serbian villages? Shame on the West for its double standards and its shameless propaganda to justify the fact that it caused the Yugoslavian war in the 1990s to sell arms and to take control of the region. The Serbian army was no more cruel than the Muslim and Croat ones.


    Gen Mladic's entry into the war crimes court in Belgrade has been shown on state TV. He was wearing a baseball cap and could be heard saying "good day" to people in the court, AP reports. We'll bring you those pictures as soon as we can.


    Here's a first shot of Gen Mladic as he arrives at the war crimes court in Belgrade. He can hardly be seen: he's the man on the right-hand side, being held by two police officers.

    Gen Ratko Mladic arriving at the war crimes court in Belgrade

    And here's a clearer shot of the man who evaded capture for nearly 16 years: Ratko Mladic, in a baseball cap, entering the war crimes court in Belgrade. This is the first new picture of Gen Mladic in several years, although unverified video purporting to be the general emerged in 2009.

    Gen Mladic entering the war crimes court (26 May 2011)

    Former war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who pressed for Gen Mladic's arrest for many years, says she'd like to see him stand trial alongside Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic. "The judges will be obliged to decide if Karadzic and Mladic are sitting in court together or not because in my view the indictment is almost the same so it will be great that both are sitting in front of the same judges, in the same moment, but I don't if it will be possible because the trial of Karadzic is ongoing," she told the BBC.


    New York Times journalists David Rohde and John F Burns, who reported from Bosnia during the 1992-95 war, have written this assessment of Gen Mladic and the executions he ordered. "He hitched his yearning for vengeance to a Napoleonic sense of himself," they say.


    Gen Mladic's first appearance before the court has been interrupted because of the state of the defendant's health, AFP reports. Doctors will decide on Friday whether he is fit to stand trial.

    News Editor at Al Jazeera Oliver Varney

    tweets: Serbia media reporting two TV crews attacked as they tried to get to house in Lazarevo where #Mladic was arrested.


    More details now on Gen Mladic's hearing before the war crimes court in Belgrade being suspended. Defence lawyer Milos Saljic says the judge tried to question Gen Mladic, but could not because the former Bosnian Serb military leader could not communicate, AP reports.

    Former BBC Central Europe correspondent Misha Glenny

    tweets: Stressful day because of #Mladic. #Tadic deserves recognition from everyone. Despite criticism from all sides, he never wavered.


    That concludes the BBC's live coverage of events in the wake of the arrest of Gen Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb wartime commander, wanted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. You can continue to follow developments in the story on our main news page.


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