News 26 Jun 14

Bosnian Serb Commander Ordered Sarajevo TV Bombing

A Bosnian Serb lieutenant-colonel told Ratko Mladic’s war crimes trial that he ordered an attack on Radio Television Sarajevo in 1995 because it was broadcasting ‘propaganda’ against Serbs.

Justice Report
BIRN
The Hague

“On June 28, 1995, we launched a modified air-bomb at the RTS building, which was actually the radio and television of the First Corps of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army,” Vladimir Radojcic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Ilidza Brigade, told the Hague Tribunal trial of Mladic on Wednesday.

“During the course of the war it broadcast the worst possible propaganda against the Serbian people… They presented us as the most notorious criminals,” said former lieutenant-colonel Radojcic.

Radojcic said that he “personally saw the bomb hitting the television building”.

“I was happy because of that,” the witness said.

The incident, in which one person was killed and 28 wounded, was originally included in the war crimes indictment against Mladic, the wartime chief of the Bosnian Serb Army, but was removed before the beginning of the trial.

Radojcic confirmed that he also targeted the Aleksa Santic school building in Sarajevo with the same type of bomb on April 7, 1995 because it was “a legitimate military target”.

“It was called a school, but a centre for the training of special [Bosnian Army] forces was located in it,” he said.

The bomb killed one person and wounded three others.

Radojcic said that the Bosnian Serb strategy was to protect its people around Sarajevo and prevent a breakthrough by Bosniak forces.

“Blocking civilians was not our goal. There was no full blockade of Sarajevo, as we always allowed civilians to leave. Our enemy did not allow that,” he said.

He insisted that the Ilidza Brigade only fired on military targets in the city, under orders from their top commanders.

Like previous defence witnesses at Mladic’s trial, Radojcic said that he had never received or given an order to attack or terrorise civilians.

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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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