THE HAGUE - The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic was abruptly halted on Thursday, just a day after it opened, because of prosecution "irregularities" in the high-profile case. The decision was announced by the presiding judge shortly after the prosecution described the "horror" of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre it says was orchestrated by Mladic. "The hearing is adjourned sine die (indefinitely)," said judge Alphons Orie, three hours into the trial's second day. He said there were "irregularities" in the transfer of prosecution documents to the defence to enable it to prepare for the trial, but that the court hoped to announce a date soon for the resumption of proceedings.

Mladic, the so-called "Butcher of Bosnia", is charged on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide over the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, and in particular the Srebrenica massacre of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

Before the adjournment, prosecutors showed a series of videos taken in Srebrenica after the mass killings on July 11, 2005 in what was meant to be a UN-protected enclave.

The footage showed the former general triumphantly entering Srebrenica and congratulating his men.

In one video, the bodies of Srebrenica Muslims are stacked in piles along a road.

In another, Mladic declares: "We give this town to the Serbs as a gift."

"Mladic himself was on the ground and personally involved," prosecuting counsel Peter McCloskey told the court.