THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic was placed in a U.N. detention unit Tuesday to await trial on genocide charges, 16 years after he was indicted in the killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the worst massacre of civilians in Europe since World War II.
War crimes tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said tribunal staff were handing Mladic his indictment and were explaining the rules and procedures to him before he was placed in an isolation cell for the night. She said isolation is standard for new arrivals at the prison.
Mladic also was being given a list of defence lawyers who could help him through the initial proceedings of the war crimes court.
Jelacic said Mladic will be examined by a doctor and will receive any treatment he may need before the end of the day.
It was unclear when Mladic will appear in court for an initial appearance, but it must be within a few days. At that time he will be asked to formally confirm his identity and enter a plea to each of the 11 charges against him. He also will be asked whether he has any complaints about the arrangements in the prison.
Many detainees decline to plea to the charges at their first appearance, instead opting to delay their formal response by up to a month.
Mladic has said he does not recognize the authority of the U.N. tribunal.