Ratko Mladic tells UN court he is 'gravely ill'

By the Associated Press | June 3, 2011 | 4:43 AM EDT

Former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic salutes in the court room during his initial appearance at the U.N.'s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, June 3, 2011.Mladic's appearance Friday at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague is his first public appearance since he went into hiding nearly 16 years ago, when he was indicted for genocide and war crimes committed in the 1992-95 Bosnian war. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic has told a United Nations war crimes court he is "a gravely ill man" at his arraignment on an 11-count indictment charging him with orchestrating the worst atrocities of a war that claimed 100,000 lives.

Asked by Presiding Judge Alphons Orie if he understood his rights as a suspect at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal at The Hague, Mladic said Friday he was gravely ill and needed more time to understand the charges.

Mladic did not immediately elaborate on his illness.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic has entered a Yugoslav war crimes tribunal courtroom for his arraignment on an 11-count indictment that charges him with orchestrating the worst atrocities of a war that claimed 100,000 lives.

Mladic's appearance Friday at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague is his first public appearance since he went into hiding nearly 16 years ago, when he was indicted for genocide and war crimes committed in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Mladic, wearing a suit, tie and cap, stood looking bullish between two guards as the hearing started. He took off the cap when he sat down and confirmed he could understand the proceedings.