Mladic removed from courtroom

July 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 5 (UPI) -- Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb armed forces leader accused of war crimes, was removed from a U.N. courtroom Tuesday for being disruptive.

"You're not allowing me to breathe," Mladic shouted as he was led out of the courtroom.

With Mladic gone just 20 minutes into his hearing at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, Judge Alphons Orie entered not guilty pleas on Mladic's behalf for the 11 genocide, extermination and murder counts against him.

Mladic had refused to enter a plea, and repeatedly interrupted the judge and talked to people in the public gallery despite being warned not to do so, a U.N. release said.

The former general, who has been in custody since May after 16 years on the run from international authorities, expressed dissatisfaction with the choice of counsel provided him. He asked that two other lawyers be appointed. Orie said the lawyers' qualifications would be reviewed.

Mladic is accused of committing war crimes during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, including the massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995 in Srebrenica and the prolonged siege of Sarajevo.

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