[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Serbia blamed at war crimes trial
Woman mourning Srebrenica victim. File photo
Srebrenica was Europe's worst atrocity since World War II
The UN chief prosecutor in The Hague has condemned Serbia's failure to hand over Gen Ratko Mladic as seven other Bosnian Serbs face the judges again.

"Mladic should be on trial for this case," Carla del Ponte said, presenting the prosecution case against the seven on trial for the Srebrenica massacre.

It is the biggest joint trial yet over the 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims.

About 8,000 men and boys sheltering in a UN-designated safe area were killed by Bosnian Serb troops.

These seven men, serving under Mladic... are the most responsible for the crimes committed in Srebrenica
Carla del Ponte

The seven Bosnian Serb army officials on trial are charged with genocide and war crimes.

The accused men all deny the charges against them.

As the trial resumed on Monday, Ms del Ponte said it was inexcusable that Serbia had not arrested Gen Mladic, accused of masterminding the massacre.

"The government of Serbia is perfectly capable of doing so... It is absolutely scandalous," she said.

Srebrenica horror

Gen Mladic and the former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic are the most wanted fugitives in connection with the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

DEFENDANTS
Vujadin Popovic: Bosnian Serb commander
Ljubisa Beara: Chief of staff
Drago Nikolic: Security chief
Ljubomir Borovcanin: Special police commander
Radivoje Miletic: Deputy chief of staff
Milan Gvero: Assistant commander
Vinko Pandurevic: Brigade commander

The men on trial include Ljubisa Beara, the former security chief of the Bosnian Serb army.

"It is difficult, if not impossible to comprehend the horror inflicted on the inhabitants of the Srebrenica enclave," Ms del Ponte said.

The trial is being seen as a significant step in judging the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

The prosecution insisted on a joint trial to save time and to avoid witnesses giving repeated testimony.

Last week, a forensic team finished exhuming the remains of more than 1,000 victims from the massacre, found in a single grave near the village of Kamenica in eastern Bosnia.

Gen Mladic's deputy, Gen Radislav Krstic, is serving a 35-year prison term for his role in the massacre. Col Vidoje Blagojevic is appealing against his 18-year sentence for complicity in genocide.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The Serb military officials in the dock



SEE ALSO
Bosnian Muslim guilty but freed
30 Jun 06 |  Europe
Timeline: Bosnia-Hercegovina
15 Mar 06 |  Country profiles
New Srebrenica mass grave found
17 Oct 05 |  Europe
Timeline: Siege of Srebrenica
09 Jun 05 |  Europe

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific