Ratko Mladic trial blocks move to drop genocide charges

Mladic in court Ratko Mladic says the charges against him are 'monstrous'

Judges at the trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic have rejected arguments for dropping the most serious charges of genocide.

Mr Mladic faces 11 charges, including genocide and crimes against humanity, dating to the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

He is specifically accused of a hand in the massacre of more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica - Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

Mr Mladic denies all charges and has denounced the UN tribunal as "satanic".

At the session on Tuesday, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ruled that there were still good grounds to try Mr Mladic on two counts of genocide.

The charges relate to the killings at Srebrenica, and to the expulsion of the Muslim Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb populations in a wartime campaign that came to be known as "ethnic cleansing".

Lawyers for Mr Mladic had argued that there was not enough evidence linking him to the most serious of the crimes.

However, Judge Alphons Orie said "that the accused has a case to answer on all counts", citing material presented by prosecutors, including video footage of Mr Mladic calling on revenge against the Muslims of Srebrenica.

Mr Mladic is also charged in connection with the 44-month siege of Sarajevo during which more than 10,000 people died.

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