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

2017 in Review 28 Dec 17

Bosnia: Landmark Verdicts Highlight Post-War Divisions

News 22 Dec 17

Serbia Likely to Seek Mladic’s Release for Treatment

Feature 22 Dec 17

Sarajevo Siege Mothers Remember Their Lost Children

News 06 Dec 17

Ratko Mladic Posters Appear on Belgrade Streets

Feature 05 Dec 17

‘Secret’ Serbian Indictment Claims Army Helped Mladic

Comment 30 Nov 17

A Poisonous Week at the Hague Tribunal

News 28 Nov 17

Ratko Mladic Tribute Plaque to Remain Near Sarajevo

News 27 Nov 17

Serbian Football Fans Show Support for Ratko Mladic

Comment 23 Nov 17

After Mladic’s Conviction, Can Serbia Face Its Past?

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