News 22 Sep 16

Serbs to Stage Sarajevo Attack Reconstructions

Experts engaged by the Bosnian Serb authorities will stage reconstructions of the deadly blasts at Sarajevo’s Markale marketplace in 1994 and 1995 and an attack on a bread queue in 1992.

Justice Report
Banja Luka
A 20th aniversary commemoration of the deaths at the Markale market was held in 2014.

The attacks that killed scores of people in Sarajevo during the war will be reconstructed by experts in ballistics, explosives and forensics at a training ground in Nikinci, near Ruma in Serbia, in what Bosnian Serb officials said was an attempt to establish what really happened.

Milorad Kojic, director of the Republic Centre for the Investigation of War, War Crimes and the Search for the Missing, an organisation backed by the authorities in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska, said that experts from the US, France, Russia, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Serbia and Republika Srpska would work on the reconstructions.

Kojic told BIRN that “an authentic scene of the events that took place in 1992, 1994 and 1995, as described in the [court] verdicts, will be made”.

“What is most important is the fact that we have obtained consent from the Serbian Defence Ministry to perform a reconstruction of those events on the training ground in Nikinci, so the experts can give their opinion,” he said.

Republika Srpska’s wartime military and political leaders have always rejected allegations that Serb forces were responsible for the attacks, claiming that Bosniaks staged them to win international sympathy.

More than 20 civilians who were queueing for bread were killed in the explosion in Vase Miskina Street on May 27, 1992.
Sixty-six civilians were killed and more than 140 wounded in the explosion at Markale on February 5, 1994, while 37 people lost their lives and about 70 were wounded at the market on August 28, 1995.

In its verdicts, the Hague Tribunal determined that the projectiles that hit the Markale marketplace in 1994 and 1995 were fired from positions held by the Bosnian Serb Army.

Kojic said however that there was still controversy about who was responsible for the attacks.

He said that when the verdict against Radovan Karadzic was pronounced, judge Melville Baird disagreed with than the other judges about which side was responsible for the first Markale attack.

Baird said he disagreed with the majority opinion that the mortar bomb was fired from Serb positions, and said that it was possible that it could have been fired by Bosniak forces.

“We want to prove the truth. I think this is very important to all people in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Kojic said.

Former Bosnian Serb President Karadzic was sentenced under a first-instance verdict in March to 40 years in prison for various wartime crimes including a campaign of shelling and sniper attacks in Sarajevo - two of which were the Markale blasts.

Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic is still on trial at the Hague Tribunal as well, and is also conducting of waging a campaign of terror, again including the Markale attacks.

Kojic said the results of the reconstruction will be submitted to their defence teams to aid their campaigns for acquittal.

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