Mladic supporters protest against his arrest today in Banja Luka, about 240km north-west of Sarajevo. AP Photo/Amel Emric

Mladic facing extradition to the Hague as Serbian court rejects appeal

Serbian prosecutor says suspected war criminal and former general Ratko Mladic will be extradited to The Hague “as soon as possible”.

SERBIAN JUDGES have rejected the extradition appeal submitted by suspected war criminal Ratko Mladic and the country’s deputy war crimes prosecutor says he will now be sent to face trial at The Hague “as soon as possible”.

Lawyers for Mladic submitted the appeal yesterday evening by post in a vain attempt to delay the appeals process.

Mladic, 69, is now set to face trial over genocide and other war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court. Some of the charges relate to the massacre of around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica during the siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1995.

According to his son Darko Mladic, Ratko denies being the instigator of the massacre which is considered the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of the Second World War. Mladic was arrested last Thursday morning at a small Bosnian town after 16 years on the run. His family and lawyers claim his health is too poor for him to stand trial.

Thousands of Mladic supporters are protesting today against the former general’s arrest in what appears to be the biggest demonstration so far in Bosnia in his support. People marching in Banja Luka carried pictures of Mladic alongside images of Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, whom they consider allies.

Earlier today, Mladic was escorted by security forces to his daughter’s grave in Belgrade, according to the National Post. Ana, 23, killed herself in March 1994 and Mladic had requested permission from Serbian prosecutors to visit the grave after being arrested last week.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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