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News 08 Nov 12

Bosnian Serb Army Was Well Organised, Says Witness

The Hague prosecution at the trial of Ratko Mladic resumed presenting evidence for the count of the indictment which charges the ex Bosnian Serb army chief with terrorising civilians in Sarajevo.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

The military expert, Richard Phillips, testified about the organisational structure of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska, which held the city under siege.

In his expert report, entered into evidence against Mladic, the retired British intelligence officer Phillips described the Romanija Corps as a highly organised military unit in which the chain of command and reporting functioned excellently.

He explained that combat reports from smaller units – such as platoons, companies and battalions – arrived daily to the command of brigades around Sarajevo, which then passed them on to the Corps command.

According to Phillips’ findings, orders on combat activities went from the Corps command in the opposite direction, along the same chain of command and down to the smallest units on the front.

“From these documents it becomes apparent that there was a good system of reporting up and down the command chain. The Corps command was capable of writing a complex set of orders, including detailed plans of artillery fire, and release it down the command chain,” said the witness.

The prosecution’s military expert pointed out that all brigades and battalions in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps had mortar batteries, and that they even could count on the support from the “Corps’ artillery group”.

As proof that the Corps had modified airplane bombs, which were, according to the indictment, fired on Sarajevo, Phillips presented the order from General Mladic that the Corps, on request from its commander Dragomir Milosevic, “be supplied with 20 250-kilogram bombs”.

The Hague Tribunal sentenced general Milosevic for terrorising the population of Sarajevo in 1994 and 1995 to 29 years of prison. His predecessor, Stanislav Galic, was sentenced to life in prison for terrorising civilians in Sarajevo until 1994.

Mladic is also charged with genocide committed in Srebrenica and another seven municipalities, the expulsion of Bosniaks and Croats across Bosnia, and taking UN peacekeepers as hostages.

The cross-examination of Richard Phillips will resume on November 8.

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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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