THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- Former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic has launched the defense case in his long-running U.N. trial by calling a former Serb army officer who claims he was never ordered to fire on civilians in the besieged Bosnian capital.
Mile Sladoje, a former assistant commander of a Serb battalion in Sarajevo, was the first witness called by Mladic on Monday in the trial on charges including genocide.
A summary of his testimony read by one of Mladic's lawyers made clear that Sladoje will deny ever being ordered by Mladic to deliberately target civilians with a sniping campaign -- one of the key charges Mladic faces.
The 72-year-old Mladic denies 11 charges of ordering Serb atrocities throughout the 1991-95 Bosnian war. He faces a life sentence if convicted.