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

News 21 Apr 17

Serbian Court Refuses to Call Mladic to Testify

News 21 Mar 17

Ratko Mladic Asks for Hospital Treatment in Russia

News 04 Jan 17

Croatia Urges Serbia to Return Religious Artefacts

2016 in Review 23 Dec 16

Bosnia: Trials and Votes Deepen Divisions

News 15 Dec 16

Ratko Mladic’s Trial Hears Final Statements

News 13 Dec 16

Defence Urges UN Court to Acquit Ratko Mladic

News 12 Dec 16

Ratko Mladic Defence: 1992 Genocide ‘Not Proved’

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