BY ALEX P. VIDAL
LAKE FOREST, California — Could the suicide of Ratko Mladic’s 24-year-old daughter precipitated his genocidal binge in Srebenica in 1995?
Could the thought of yielding the province of Maguindanao to a lesser-known political tyke transformed Andal Ampatuan Sr. and Jr. into homicidal maniacs in 2009?
Poignantly, psychiatry experts may have the last say on the neurosis of these powerful men now stand accused respectively of war crimes and massacre of unarmed civilians and journalists.
The crimes for which they have been charged were so horrific that it prompted some sectors to question their sanity, nay their state of mind when they were pulling the trigger against their hapless victims.
Criminals may be both made and born.
The western press has already “guillotined” Mladic but his guilt still hinges on evidence the prosecution panel had vowed to present during the trial in Hague, The Netherlands for genocide to establish his infraction beyond reasonable doubt.
Meanwhile, Andal Ampatuan Sr.’s arraignment finally pushed through June 1, as per the Omnibus Order issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 last May 27.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) reported that Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes released the order in line with her word that she would decide on the arraignment of Andal Sr. and others accused who have not been arraigned yet, on or before the May 27.
Both Mladic and Ampatuan are accused of mass murder — Mladic, a former Bosnia Serb general for the carnage of 8,000 boys and men in a UN-declared safe area Srebenica and the ethnically motivated killings of more than 10,000 Muslims in Sarajevo earlier, and Ampatuan for the politically motivated massacre of nearly 70 civilians mostly women and journalists in Maguindanao.
Arrested on May 26 by Serbian security forces, Mladic was indicted on July 24 1995, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide, crimes against humanity, and numerous war crimes (including crimes relating to the alleged sniping campaign against civilians in Sarajevo).
On November 16 1995, the charges were expanded to include charges of war crimes for the attack on the UN-declared safe area of Srebrenica in July 1995.
Meanwhile, in yet another hindrance to speed up the massacre trial, NUJP reported that arraignment for the 21 others accused in the massacre, including five principally accused Ampatuans, are held in abeyance pending their respective motion for reconsideration.
Pending is an earlier motion to reconsider the earlier motion the 21 filed on March 24, 2010. The motion called for the inhibition of Reyes as presiding judge, the reconsideration of an earlier motion that found probable cause against them, the “recall of warrants of arrest issued against them”, and for “lack of probable cause”, the dismissal of cases filed against them.