‘I have already proved my judging ability on The X Factor,’ said Cole, ‘so it’s a natural career progression for me to move into the realm of international jurisprudence. I’m no expert but I think these war crimes tribunals need someone like me to give them a bit of pizzazz.’
Asked if she can cope with Mladic, who has been indicted on counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Ms Cole said, ‘Oh, that shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve dealt with Wagner and I’ve dealt with Jedward. I think I can deal with an old man in a baseball cap.’
However, the trial may face delays after General Mladic refused to recognise either the court or Ms Cole’s accent.
‘I can’t understand a bloody word she’s saying,’ complained the former Bosnian Serb army chief, ‘although my translator says she said something about me dressing more upbeat and really giving it 110%.’
Lawyers for General Mladic claim that he has suffered two strokes, leaving him barely able to speak, and that he is therefore unfit to stand trial.
‘I won’t have any of that defeatist talk in my courtroom,’ said Judge Cole. ‘We all have trouble speaking and being understood but you can’t let it hold back your career. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Ratko and he should really grasp it.’
However the prospects for Mladic are not looking good. The Hague Factor 2008 finalist Radovan Karadžić made the headlines for a while but then slipped into relative obscurity and is still awaiting judgment, or even a top ten hit.
‘I won’t let that happen with Ratko,’ insisted Cole, ‘He’s under my wing now and I want him to stand in that dock and give it everything he’s got.’
hat-tip to @twr1 (via twitter) for the idea