Serbia weighs allowing Mladic to visit daughter`s grave

Mladic`s daughter Ana committed suicide in 1994 with her father`s handgun.

Belgrade: Serbia`s war crimes court would allow Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic to visit his daughter`s grave, but the security services will most probably veto the decision, a court official said on Sunday.

Mladic`s daughter Ana committed suicide in 1994 with her father`s handgun and was buried at a cemetery in the outskirts of Belgrade. Before he went underground in early 2000s Mladic was frequently seen visiting her grave.

"The court has tentatively agreed to allow this, but the final decision is in the hands of security services as such a move poses a major security risk," said the court official who asked not to be named.

"Because of that, it is unlikely this will materialize."

Mladic, indicted for genocide in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica during Bosnia`s 1992-95 war, was found on Thursday in a village 100 km (60 miles) northeast from Belgrade after 16 years on the run.

The Serbian court has ruled that Mladic is fit to be handed over to the UN war crimes court in The Hague, despite his poor health. It has served him with extradition papers.

Mladic`s lawyer Milos Saljic said he would appeal the extradition on Monday and that his client could not be handed over to the Hague-based court until his health was stable.

In Belgrade, hundreds of supporters of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party and other extremist organizations who regard Mladic as a hero were brought by bus from across the country to rally against his arrest.

"We are here to show these traitors how real Serbs will defend a Serbian hero," said Jovica Pesic, 22, from the central Serbian town of Uzice.

Interior Minister Ivica Dacic decided on Saturday to allow the rally to go ahead. After Mladic`s arrest, Serbia`s police raised the security threat level and deployed riot police near embassies and government buildings.

Dozens of people were wounded in 2008 in riots in Serbia that followed the arrest of Mladic`s wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic. Similar protests were planned for Sunday in the Serb Republic, a Bosnian Serb part of Bosnia.

Serbia has said it will now focus on arresting the last war crimes fugitive Goran Hadzic, sought by the UN tribunal for war crimes in Croatia during the 1991-1995 war.

Mladic`s arrest is instrumental for Serbia`s bid to join the European Union.

Bureau Report

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