News 17 Jul 15

Sarajevo Was Not Besieged, Mladic Witness Says

Testifying in defence of Ratko Mladic, a former member of his Serbian Democratic Party Zdravko Salipur said Sarajevo was a divided city in the war but was not under siege.

Justice Report
BIRN
Belgrade

“Sarajevo was indeed divided, that is the correct term… it was divided from the start,” defence witness Salipur, who worked in the Novo Sarajevo Serb municipality, said at Mladic's trial.

During the cross examination, presented with certain documents, Salipur admitted that the Bosnian Serb leadership “wanted the division of the city”.

After being played an intercepted discussion between the former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic and an official from the Novo Sarajevo municipality in which the “reorganization of the city” was discussed, based on where Muslims live, Salipur said it was a “childish conversation” because both men “knew nothing about Sarajevo”.

The former Bosnian Serb army commander, Ratko Mladic, is charged with terrorizing the people of Sarajevo with a shelling and sniping campaign. He is also charged with genocide, persecution of non-Serbs and with taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

Karadzic is on trial in a separate case for the same crimes.

The witness denied that non-Serbs were expelled from the district of Grbavica in Sarajevo, which was under control of Bosnian Serb forces.

When the prosecution read out a UN report from September 1992, which stated that 300 Muslims were expelled from Grbavica, the witness said he knew nothing of these events.

“I never heard about this and it did not happen in Grbavica while I was there,” Salipur said, adding that Bosnian Army snipers and artillery killed hundreds of Serb civilians in Grbavica.

Because of the artillery and snipers, Grbavica was “hell on earth”, Salipur said.

Following Salipur's testimony, as the 170th defence witness, Mladic’s trial was suspended until August 10 for the summer recess.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Interview 18 Nov 17

Serbia ‘Fostered Culture of Denial’ by Hiding Mladic

Feature 17 Nov 17

How Ratko Mladic ‘Blew Sarajevo’s Mind’

Analysis 17 Nov 17

Hague Tribunal and Serbs Spent €2m on Mladic Trial

Interview 16 Nov 17

Mladic Wanted to Use Trial to ‘Defend the Serbs’

News 15 Nov 17

Ratko Mladic’s Son Expects Father’s Acquittal

Feature 15 Nov 17

In Ratko Mladic’s Village, He’s an Innocent Man

News 14 Nov 17

BIRN Publishes Ratko Mladic Trial E-Book

Profile 14 Nov 17

Ratko Mladic: Europe’s Most Wanted Faces Judgment

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.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter