On Thursday, 11 May 2017, Trial Chamber I issued a decision rejecting the urgent Defence motion for Ratko Mladić’s provisional release, filed on 20 March 2017.
As part of its assessment of the preliminary requirements for granting provisional release pursuant to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal, the Trial Chamber noted that it is not convinced that Mladić will return to the seat of the Tribunal if granted provisional release. In the decision, the Trial Chamber recalled that Mladić did not voluntarily surrender to the custody of the Tribunal, and instead evaded arrest for 16 years despite serious ill health.
In addition, the Trial Chamber found that Mladić’s state of health is compatible with continued detention. It noted that Chamber-appointed independent medical specialists have assessed Mladić’s medical treatment over the past years as being in accordance with internationally accepted standards, and that there is no acute medical issue that remains unaddressed.
In its decision, the Trial Chamber stressed that Mladić’s health has been monitored extensively by the Registrar and the Trial Chamber itself, as “evidenced by the plethora of medical reports on the record since 2011”, which have consistently shown “a consolidated stable state of health of the Accused” with certain risks “as corresponding with his age and medical incidents in the past, mainly stemming from before his arrest”. The Trial Chamber observed that the medical reports relied upon by the Defence are based on findings by medical professionals who either have not personally examined Mladić or most recently examined him in 2015. In contrast, the Registry’s Reporting Medical Officer and the independent medical specialists appointed by the Trial Chamber have regularly seen and assessed Mladić over many years. The Chamber therefore considers their reports to be “more reliable”.
As previously forecast, Trial Chamber I will render its judgement in the Mladić case by the end of November of this year.