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article imageJailed war criminal Mladic 'sends kisses' live on Serb TV

By AFP     Nov 16, 2018 in World

Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, serving life in a Dutch jail for genocide, spoke live by telephone to a Serbian television channel on Friday, saying he was sending kisses.

"Grandpa Ratko sends you kisses," the 75-year-old Mladic told the Happy commercial station, a year after he was sentenced for war crimes and genocide.

Mladic, once dubbed the Butcher of Bosnia, was jailed in November 2017 for his role in Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

He was found guilty notably over the 1995 Srebrenica genocide -- Europe's worst slaughter since World War II. Serb forces led by Mladic killed more than 8,000 Muslim males.

Mladic's son Darko Mladic phoned him in jail Friday during a TV show and put the call on speaker.

Serbian ultra-nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj, also condemned for war crimes, was present in the studio.

"Tell Voja (Seselj) to come and see me to play chess, the last time I beat him 7-1," Mladic said from his cell in the seaside resort of Scheveningen.

Mladic never admitted his guilt while many Serbs in both Bosnia and Serbia still consider him a hero who defended his people.

"Thank you general," TV presenter Milomir Maric said.

"I hail notably Russia ... the communist part of the Soviet Union ... of Russia," Mladic said correcting himself during the more than two-minute conversation.

In March, Mladic launched an appeal urging UN judges to acquit him on all charges.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, which has taken over from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), is handling his case.

Bosnia's inter-ethnic war, that accompanied the collapse of Yugoslavia, claimed about 100,000 lives.

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