News 03 Dec 12

Mladic’s Trial: Witness Describes Attacks on Dobrinja

At the trial of the former Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, an ex Sarajevo policeman said that investigations into attacks on the Sarajevo suburb of Dobrinja showed that they came from the Bosnian Serb army positions.

Justice Report
BIRN
The Hague

Refik Sokolar, an ex policeman who investigated over 200 artillery and sniper attacks on Dobrinja, said in his written deposition which was entered into evidence, that in all those incidents “victims were civilians”.

The shells, mostly from a mortar, according to Sokolar, were fired from the positions of the Bosnian Serb army “near the Theological School, the army barracks in Nedzarici, and in the Airport settlement.”

Sokolar added that snipers fired from Nedzarici and from next to the Theological School, but also from the vicinity of the Orthodox Church at Veljine.

The witness added that the direction from which the grenades came was established on the basis of interviews with wounded in the Dobrinja infirmary and investigations at the scene, whenever possible.

Mladic, the former commander of the Army of Republika Srpska, is charged with terrorising civilians in Sarajevo with artillery and sniper attacks. He is also charged with the genocide in Srebrenica and another seven municipalities, the expulsion of Bosniaks and Croats and taking UN peacekeepers as hostages.

Sokolar said in his testimony that Dobrinja was completely blocked until mid-1992, since the road linking it with the city centre was under fire by the Bosnian Serb army snipers.

The people who were killed were buried at the spot in Dobrinja itself, among buildings and in parks, and their bodies were transferred to cemeteries only after the war.

 During the cross examination by Mladic’s lawyer, Branko Lukic, the witness confirmed that the Bosnian army used abandoned civilian apartments in Dobrinja to accommodate its soldiers.

 Sokola said that he saw some Bosnian army soldiers, but without weapons.

The witness confirmed that the headquarters of the 5th Motorised Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was stationed not far from the police station where he worked.

During the recess, Mladic had his blood pressure measured and it was very high – 190/106, the Trial Chamber was told by his lawyer, Miodrag Stojanovic.

After medical consultations, the presiding judge, Alphons Orie, said it was established that there was nothing preventing Mladic from attending the process. After that, the defendant followed the Sokolar’s testimony.

Mladic’s trial will resume on Tuesday, December 4.

 

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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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