There is no indication that ex-Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic is suffering a terminal illness but he is still undergoing tests in prison, a UN war crimes court spokeswoman said Wednesday.
"What I can tell about his claims that he is terminally or seriously ill, is that the rule is that doctors in the detention unit have a duty and obligation to inform the registrar should there be any indications of a life-threatening situation," Nerma Jelacic told reporters.
"To date no such situation has been reported in regards to Mladic, although we have performed a number of medical examinations with him," added Jelacic, spokeswoman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Accused of some of the worst atrocities since WWII, the man called the "Butcher of Bosnia" was transferred to the UN's Yugoslav war crimes court in The Hague a week ago after his arrest in Serbia last month.
Mladic, 69, was arrested on May 26 northeast of Belgrade after spending 16 years on the run. He is now facing 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
He was transferred to The Hague on May 31, where the ICTY is based and made an initial appearance before a three-judge bench last Friday.
At his first appearance, he called the charges against him "obnoxious" and told the judges that he was "gravely ill."
"As you could see from his appearance in the courtroom on Friday, it appears that he has neglected his health over the years that he spent on the run," Jelacic said.
But she stressed the examinations were part of the routine at the ICTY's detention unit, based in The Hague's seaside suburb of Scheveningen, where other war crimes accused are also being held.
"Things have been proceeding smoothly," Jelacic said. "We are still undergoing medical examinations with him."
Although still being kept separate, Mladic was to be moved to the detention unit's "residential wing" soon.