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Darko Mladic: My father's life is in danger, his health has deteriorated dramatically

Mladic's son says that documentation regarding the general's health is still not being submitted regularly

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Darko i Ratko Mladić

Photo: Tanjug/AP, Profimedia/AFP

Beside with the court in The Hague, General Ratko Mladic is also waging a fierce battle with anemia in the Scheveningen detention center. As his son Darko Mladic says in a conversation with the daily Novosti, they received indications that his blood test showed drastic worsening over the past days, even so much so that it may be life-threatening.

"We don't have official medical documentation on that yet, but the information is indisputable. His blood count is worse than ever. It is significantly worse than it had been after the colon surgery at the end of March, when it was really bad. It's not clear to us what is happening, because the detention medical service has always claimed that there was a positive trend after the surgery and that his condition regarding the blood count was improving," claims Darko Mladic.

Darko says that documentation regarding the general's health is still not being submitted regularly and that they only have old test results that they received in early April:

"Based on these results, our doctors believe that Ratko needs a blood transfusion, but the doctors there did not give it to him. We have no information about whether he is receivig medication for anemia, although his blood count has not been good for months. His iron is terribly low."

The general's son tells us that they were told the operation to remove a benign tumor from the colon was surgically done well:

"However, we don't see any improvement on that issue compared to before. He is not doing better. And the operation was forced thrpugh and done in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic, with a great risk attached because of that virus, but also because of his bad blood count."

Ratko Mladić

Photo: Tanjug/AP

"I'm like scrap iron"

On the other hand, the general has been less mobile for a long time due to feeling weakness. He talks to his family every day, but he never about how he feels.

"He neither says I'm fine, nor I'm not well. You have to 'pull' the words out of him on that topic, and then he sometimes jokes that he's like scrap iron. When he calls, he likes to talk with children about family matters."

Although Ratko Mladic's health condition is obviously far from good and stable, the court ordered that a public hearing be held in mid-June in the appeals process after the first-instance verdict.

"We are also surprised by the idea that the procedure should continue, without everything returning to normal due to the epidemic. Various restrictions are still in force in the Netherlands. He has no contact with his lawyers yet. No one can enter the prison complex yet, visit him in detention and work with him to prepare the appeal. We have no indication when visits will be allowed. The legal team is preparing some formalities, and that part which they can prepare without him, but it's essential for the defense that they have regular working meetings with him. The trial is due to continue now, while he has not had the opportunity to meet with his lawyers for three months."

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