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Factbox: Key facts about Ratko Mladic

Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic declined to enter a plea at the Yugoslavia war crimes court at his first appearance at The Hague on Friday.
/ Source: Reuters

Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic declined to enter a plea at the Yugoslavia war crimes court at his first appearance at The Hague on Friday.

The court set July 4 for his next hearing.

Here are some key facts about Mladic:

LIFE DETAILS:

* Mladic was born in a southern Bosnian village in 1942, son of a partisan killed by pro-Nazi Croatian Ustasha troops in 1945. He wanted to become a teacher, but instead went to the Yugoslav capital Belgrade for military studies, graduating as one of the top three in his class.

* He spent most of his military career in the Yugoslav People's Army in Macedonia. After rising to colonel's rank, he had a short but prominent role as commander of the federal army corps in Serb-controlled southern Croatia during the opening stage of the war.

* In May 1992 Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic made Mladic, now a lieutenant-general, commander of the Bosnian Serb army, a position he held until December 1996. His troops seized most of Bosnia, laid siege to the capital Sarajevo for 43 months and executed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys after capturing the eastern enclave of Srebrenica in 1995.

* In March 1994, Mladic's daughter Ana, a medical student, shot herself with her father's pistol in Belgrade. People close to Mladic said her suicide hardened him further.

* In 2010 his family filed a request to have him legally declared dead. Milos Saljic, the Mladic family lawyer, said the motion was submitted to Belgrade's First Municipal Court "based on the fact that the family has had no information nor contacts with Mr. Mladic for about seven years and that he was a very sick man."

* On May 30 during a prison visit, Mladic met his 5-year-old grandson, possibly for the first time, and his 10-year-old granddaughter. On May 31, he was allowed a police-escorted visit to the Belgrade grave of his daughter Ana. * Aleksandar Aleksic, a lawyer appointed by the tribunal on June 2 to represent Mladic, said he met Mladic and that his health had deteriorated because of long years of neglect while a fugitive from justice.

WAR CRIMES:

* In late 1995, the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague indicted Mladic on two counts of genocide for the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Mladic went underground in 2001, shortly after Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown by a popular uprising.

* Mladic will also face nine other counts of crimes against humanity and violations of laws or customs of war.

* Mladic was found on May 26 in a village 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Belgrade after 16 years on the run.

* Serbia's war crimes court rejected an appeal against the extradition of Mladic on May 31, and he arrived at the Hague later in the day.