July 22, 2008 / 11:27 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX-Ratko Mladic, from soldier to fugitive

July 22 (Reuters) - Bosnian Serb wartime president Radovan Karadzic, charged with genocide for the murder of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica and other crimes during the Bosnian war and arrested after 11 years on the run, was indicted along with his army commander, General Ratko Mladic, 66.

Both are charged with genocide at Srebrenica, where some 8,000 unarmed Bosnian Muslim males were rounded up and murdered and bulldozed into mass graves in July 1995.

Here are some key facts on Mladic, who is still at liberty:

* Mladic was born in the village of Bozanovici in southern Bosnia on March 12, 1942, son of a partisan killed by pro-Nazi Croatian Ustasha troops in 1945. As a child he wanted to be a teacher, but moved to Belgrade for military studies and graduated in the top three of his class.

* He began his Army career in 1965, becoming a brigadier after 20 years, a slow progress colleagues attributed to his arrogant, undisciplined manner. He spent most of his career in Macedonia, with short stints in Croatia and Kosovo.

* Mladic was promoted in 1991 and 1992, rising quickly to lieutenant-general. On May 15, 1992, Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic made him commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, a position he held until December 1996.

* In March 1994, Mladic’s daughter Ana shot herself with her father’s pistol while studying medicine in Belgrade.

* In late 1995, the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague indicted Mladic on two counts of genocide for the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim males.

* He went underground in 2001, having lost the protection of toppled strongman Slobodan Milosevic. According to later reports by NATO and Serb prosecutors, he showed up in his old bunker in Bosnia in 2004 to drink with army buddies and lived in the drab high-rise New Belgrade suburb of the capital until early 2006.

* Rumours of his imminent arrest flared often, most notably on the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, the 10th anniversary of the Dayton agreements which ended the 1992-1995 war, and every time Serbia faced a milestone in its negotiations with the European Union on closer ties.





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