Serbian lawyer to represent Ratko Mladic

By the Associated Press | June 2, 2011 | 4:43 AM EDT

UN Prosecutor Serge Brammertz talks to the media at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal (ICTY) at The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Prosecutors allege Radtko Mladic was a key architect of Bosnian Serb atrocities throughout the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the 1995 killings of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, Europe's worst massacre since World War II, and the deadly campaign of shelling that terrorized Sarajevo for nearly four years. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic has been assigned a Serbian lawyer to represent him when he appears before United Nations judges for the first time to face 11 war crimes charges.

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has issued an order appointing Aleksandar Aleksic as duty counsel for Mladic when he makes his first trip to its courtroom Friday morning.

Tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said Thursday Aleksic has only been appointed for the hearing and Mladic will likely indicate in court how he wants to organize his defense. Many high-ranking Serb suspects have defended themselves at the court.

Serbia extradited Mladic to the court on Tuesday, just days after arresting him and ending his 16 year flight from international justice.