Mladic’s Relative Admits Hiding ICTY Indictee

Serbian Prosecutor’s Office has announced that a relative of the war crimes defendant Ratko Mladic has entered into a plea agreement with the office.Branislav Mladic, a relative of Ratko Mladic, has pleaded guilty to a charge of hiding the former Bosnian Serb army chief while he was on the run from the Hague Tribunal, ICTY, in exchange for a suspended prison sentence, the Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor, Bruno Vekaric, said on Thursday.According to Vekaric, Branislav Mladic pleaded guilty to a crime which carries at least one year prison sentence or a three-year suspended sentence.

The court should decide on the plea agreement on August 8.

Vekaric added that the prosecutor’s office is negotiating another plea agreement with a person who is suspected of involvement in hiding Ratko Mladic in the village of Mala Mostanica, near Belgrade, during 2006, but he refused to reveal the person’s identity.

Vekaric said that the prosecutor’s office is conducting an investigation against six persons suspected of helping Mladic and another ICTY indictee, Stojan Zupljanin, to hide, while pre-trial proceedings were underway against seven more persons.

Former Republika Srpska army commander Ratko Mladic was arrested in the house owned by his relative Branislav Mladic, in the village of Lazarevo near Zrenjanin in northeastern Serbia, on May 26, 2011, after several years on the run.

Five days after the arrest, Ratko Mladic was handed over to the ICTY, where he stands trial for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s.

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