Mladic: I do not defend myself but my country and my nation

War crimes suspect Ratko Mladic appeared before the UN war crimes court in the Hague for the first time on Friday, telling judges that he is a “gravely ill man”.

“I defended my country and my people,” Mladic said defiantly at the end of Friday’s initial hearing. He repeated the phrase several times, telling the court that he did not “kill anyone in Libya or anywhere else” and that he wanted to live to see himself as a free man, before presiding Judge Orie cut him off.

The wartime Bosnian Serb commander appeared in the courtroom at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia three days after being extradited from Serbia.

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