Judges Order Disruptive Mladic Out of Court
He spoke out of turn ... and insisted on wearing a cap
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2011 7:31 AM CDT
Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic sits in the court room during his further initial appearance at the UN's Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.   (AP Photo/ Valerie Kuypers, Pool)

(Newser) – Ratko Mladic made his second appearance before the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal today, and it was kind of a mess. The AP reports that a "defiant, disruptive, and argumentative" Mladic continually yelled at judges during the arraignment, ignored their orders, and refused to enter pleas to 11 charges—all of which ultimately got him thrown out of the hearing. Mladic had earlier threatened to boycott the hearing because court officials have not yet appointed the Serbian and Russian lawyers he wants to represent him at his trial. Highlights from today's chaos:

  • Mladic put on a cap and gestured to members of the public, openly defying orders from Presiding Judge Alphons Orie.
  • Speaking out of turn, he complained of being "an old man" and told Orie he wanted to wear the cap because his head was cold.
  • Shortly before he was booted from the court, Mladic shouted at Orie, "You want to impose my defense, what kind of a court are you?"
  • When Orie asked Mladic whether he was ready to hear the charges, Mladic said, "You can do whatever you want." But when Orie began speaking, Mladic said, "No, no, no! Don't read it to me, not another word," and pulled off his earphones, sinking back in his seat with a frown.
  • After Orie gave him two options—be quiet or be removed—Mladic shot back: "Remove me."
  • After Mladic was removed, Orie formally entered not-guilty pleas on Mladic's behalf, in keeping with court rules for suspects who refuse to plead.