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Mladic Rejects 'Obnoxious Charges,' Refuses To Enter Plea

Ratko Mladic, during his appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, earlier today (June 3, 2011).
Ratko Mladic, during his appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, earlier today (June 3, 2011).

"Former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic told a United Nations war crimes court Friday he is 'a gravely ill man' and refused to enter pleas to 'obnoxious charges' alleging he orchestrated the worst atrocities of a war that claimed 100,000 lives," The Associated Press reports from The Hague.

The B BC adds that Mladic "told the court he had been 'defending my people and my country.' "

The Guardianis live-blogging the court proceeding. Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor at the Observer, writes there that:

"The experience of being in court has very quickly brought the old General Mladic to the fore: arrogant, defiant, insisting as he has just done that he is in court to defend his people and his country and not himself, which has brought a rebuke from the judge that he is charged as an 'individual.' "

The AP adds a short video of Mladic's court appearance.

After 16 years as a fugitive, Mladic was arrested last week in Serbia. The indictment against him spells out a long list of alleged attrocities:

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