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Srebrenica denial

May 29, 2011

Arrested Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic had nothing to do with the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, his son Darko told journalists after visiting him in the Serbian jail where he is being held.

Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic
Mladic was Europe's most-wanted war crimes fugitiveImage: AP

Darko Mladic, the son of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic, on Sunday said his father had told him he knew nothing of the Srebrenica massacre. Ratko Mladic has been charged with genocide for the massacre and for the 43-month siege of Sarajevo during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war by the UN war crimes court in The Hague. He was arrested on Thursday in northeastern Serbia after almost 16 years on the run.

A relative mourns victims of the Srebrenica massacre
Remains from the Srebrenica massacre continue to be foundImage: DW

"He said that whatever was done in Srebrenica, he had nothing to do with it," Darko Mladic told journalists after visiting his father in the Serbian jail where he has been held since his arrest.

"He saved so many women, children and fighters … His order was first to evacuate the wounded, women and children and then fighters. He said that whatever was done in Srebrenica, he had nothing to do with it."

Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in a massacre in 1995. It's considered the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

Skirmishes as ultranationalists protest arrest

Riot police and Mladic supporters clashed in Belgrade, with baton wielding police attempting to control small groups throwing stones and bottles and setting of firecrackers. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

Some 10,000 people had gathered to protest against Mladic's arrest, carrying signs and wearing t-shirts that read, "Mladic is a Serbian hero!" Many also carried flags of the far-right Serbian Radical Party (SRS).

"We demand that Serbian President Boris Tadic and his government be dismissed," SRS lawmaker Lidija Vukicevic told the crowd.

Serbian police officers arrest pro-Mladic supporters in Belgrade
Authorities have stepped up security for the demonstrationsImage: AP

"With their pro-Western policies and fulfilling the orders from Brussels and Washington, the regime of Boris Tadic has crushed all interested of Serbia and the Serbian people, and we are telling him to stop with this betrayal."

Mladic's son Darko also spoke, saying his father "is not a criminal, he did not order the killing of civilians and prisoners," adding that he would "tell him tomorrow everything about the rally and he will cry."

Police had stepped up security in the Serbian capital. Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said that 111 people, of whom 37 were minors, were detained after the unrest. "Ten people and 26 policemen suffered injuries, mostly minor," said Dacic.

Earlier in Bosnia, hundreds of supporters gathered in Mladic's hometown of Kalinovik. A banner hung over the main street read "Welcome to Mladicevo" (Mladic's town) and people waved Serbian flags and carried Mladic posters.

Author: Holly Fox (AFP, AP, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer