Lukic: General’s Mladic health not good, first defence witnesses from Sarajevo

Belgrade – Branko Lukic, one of defence lawyers of General Ratko Mladic, told SRNA that Mladic’s health is not good, but that he will be ready for commencement of the defence’s presentation of evidence before the ICTY, and that the defence will first call witnesses from Sarajevo.

“Everyone who knows how someone who suffered three strokes looks like can conclude that the General’s health is not good,” Lukic said, adding that Mladic will probably be ready for commencement of defence’s presentation of evidence since he had an opportunity to rest in the past few months.

He said that the defence has a list of witnesses, but that they have not spoken with everyone yet, and added that it is known the first witnesses will be from Sarajevo, but could not reveal their names as the list is confidential and witness protection measures should be determined.

“We will start presenting our case with defence witnesses from Sarajevo, in keeping with the chronology set by the ICTY Prosecutor’s Office, and then we will include municipalities in the east for which Mladic is charged, then in the west, and then Srebrenica, and at the very end, we will probably call our experts,” Lukic said.

He confirmed that the defence is ready to present their case, but that because of the little time available they did not complete everything necessary to the defence.

“We managed to talk with most of the witnesses, but foreigners must be invited by way of Embassies, and this procedure takes long. We have not managed to talk with any of the foreign witnesses. A lot of work is head of us,” Lukic said.

Lukic noted that Russian doctors should be visiting Mladic on May 19, before the defence starts presenting their case, to determine his health, but that it is not known if the Trial Chamber will take into account their findings.

“They should have visited him on April 21, but that visit was postponed because of a change in the composition of medical commission which will visit Mladic, so instead of a psychiatrist, a neuropsychiatrist will come, as per our request,” Lukic said.

He reiterated that the defence still insists that Mladic be in the courtroom only four days a week, four hours a day, and not five days as the Trial Chamber decided, adding that the Hague doctors also agree with this.(SRNA(