News 10 Dec 12

Mladic’s Trial: Sarajevo Citizens Were Terrorized, Says Witness

The trial of the former Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, has continued with the cross examination of an ex Sarajevo policeman who investigated approximately 200 shelling and sniping incidents in the city between 1993 and 1995.

Justice Report
BIRN
The Hague

Dragan Miokovic described the attacks by the Bosnian Serb army during the Sarajevo siege as acts of terrorism.

“Other than the tragic consequences, this manner of activity had all the characteristics of terrorism. The population was terrorised, if we accept the definition of terrorism which claims it is actions taken with the aim of creating fear and panic to achieve military or political goals,” said the witness.

Miokovic said that he determined in many shelling and sniping incidents in which Sarajevo citizens were injured or killed, that the fire came from Bosnian Serb positions.

Mladic is charged by the Hague Tribunal, ICTY,  with terror against civilians in Sarajevo through artillery and sniper attacks between 1992 and 1995,  genocide in Srebrenica and seven other municipalities, the expulsion of non Serbs across Bosnia and taking UN peacekeepers as hostages.

The witness said that an investigation revealed that three grenades, which fell in the Livanjska street in Sarajevo on November 8, 1994, and killed three civilians, were fired from Bosnian Serb positions.

According to Miokovic, shots fired at two trams in the centre of Sarajevo on November 23, 1994 also came from Bosnian Serb sniper positions. In one of the trams, two people were injured, while in the second a person was killed.

Miokovic said that after the war, while searching through a skyscraper in the neighbourhood of Grbavica, he found a dozen sniper positions with a clear view of the centre of Sarajevo. The prosecutors entered into evidence photographs from the locations.

When asked by the prosecution why he wrote in his reports that the fire came from “aggressor’s positions”, Miokovic answered that Sarajevo was under siege for four years.

“Without a doubt the fire came from Bosnian Serb positions. The one who attacks is the attacker. In wartime context, the term ‘aggressor’ is more suitable then ‘attacker’,” explained Miokovic.

On Monday, during the cross examination by the defence, the witness admitted that UN protection forces concluded that one of the shells during the attack on November 8, 1994 was fired by the Bosnian side and that it was “technically not possible” to determine the source of sniper fire on trams in Sarajevo. 

Mladic’s trial will continue on Tuesday, December 11.

 

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Background

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

War in Bosnia

Key dates and events in the Bosnia war.

Ratko Mladic: The Force Behind the Srebrenica Killings

The Bosnian Serb commander’s role in the genocide committed in Srebrenica is described in detail in many indictments and verdicts pronounced before local and international judicial institutions.

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