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Bosnians react as Mladic goes on trial

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 02:14

May 16 - Residents of Sarajevo and the Bosnian Serb war stronghold of Pale are divided as Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic is put on trial at the Hague. Sunita Rappai reports.

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What looks like an ordinary day in Sarajevo city centre - apart from a big screen broadcasting the trial of Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic in the Hague. Mladic stands accused of orchestrating the slaughter of more than 10,000 people here in a devastating 43-month siege. For residents like Alija Hodzic who lost his 17-year old daughter and 31 other family members, Mladic's trial offers little relief. SOUNDBITE) (Bosnian) ALIJA HODZIC, WHOSE 17-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER WAS KILLED DURING SARAJEVO, SAYING: All we need is truth. We are not people who seek revenge. We are people who forgive. We are ready to forgive but we will never forget." Others believe they've had to wait too long for justice. (SOUNDBITE) (Bosnian) RESIDENT OF SARAJEVO, DZEMAT ASIM, SAYING: "This is now of little importance. It is too late. Everything is late. When it was needed Europe did nothing to help us and to stop this massacre and killings and now it is too late for anything." The Mladic trial is stirring strong reactions across the once war-torn Balkans. Here in the former Bosnian Serb war-time stronghold of Pale, there's support for the former General - with these students cheering as Mladic appears. This young student says Mladic is an honourable man who defended the Serb people and is being unfairly singled out. Another says all Serbs should oppose the trial. (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) STUDENT FROM PALE, IVANOVIC MILAN, SAYING: "All Serb people, not only young ones but older people as well, should get better organised to express their dissatisfaction with the prosecution, with the Hague and with the international community, and with this injustice towards Serb people." The 70-year-old, who was arrested after 16 years on the run, has called the charges against him monstrous and obnoxious. Sunita Rappai, Reuters

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Bosnians react as Mladic goes on trial

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 02:14