Prosecution military expert Richard Philips contends that the VRS Sarajevo-Romanija Corps emerged from the ‘remains of the JNA 4th Corps’. Radovan Karadzic opposed this claim in his cross-examination, arguing that the frontlines in Sarajevo were set up and manned by the ‘armed people’ who ‘organized themselves’ in their own neighborhoods to confront ‘the Muslim army’, the term Karadzic uses for the BH Army

Richard Philips, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialRichard Philips, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Prosecution military expert Richard Philips has taken the stand at the trial of former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic. In 2002, Philips put together a computer-generated diagram of the command structure in the VRS Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. The diagram was admitted into evidence as a prosecution exhibit at the trial of General Stanislav Galic. The former SRK commander was on trial for crimes perpetrated in Sarajevo by the SRK troops under his command and was sentenced to life in prison. Diagrams put together for the Galic trial were admitted into evidence today.

Philips, former intelligence officer in the British Army, worked as a military analyst with the OTP at the ICTY from 2000 to 2006. Having analyzed orders, instructions, combat reports and other documents of the VRS the witness concluded that the SRK efficiently exercised command and control over its units, from brigades down to battalions, platoons and detachments and vice versa. The commanding officers had mostly had appropriate training.

During the half an hour in which the prosecutor examined Philips, the witness said that the SRK had emerged from the ‘remains of the JNA 4th Corps’.

In his cross-examination, Karadzic put it to the witness that in a war it was ‘legitimate to win’ and that it is ‘understandable’ that the SRK ‘blocked’ the BH Army forces stationed in Sarajevo to prevent them from leaving to fight in other theatres in BH. According to Karadzic, the frontlines in Sarajevo were not set up by the JNA and the VRS, but by the locals, the ‘armed people’ that ‘organized themselves in their own neighborhoods’ to ‘protect themselves’.

The witness agreed that a victory was the goal in a war. However, the witness stressed that victory was legitimate only if accomplished by ‘legitimate means’. If Karadzic’s claim that the SRK consisted of ‘armed people’ was true, the witness asked how come the people had ‘so many weapons and so much equipment’ that included even heavy artillery.

Richard Phillips’s testimony is followed not only by Karadzic, but also by the defense military expert Radovan Radinovic. The Trial Chamber has permitted Radinovic to come to The Hague in order to make the cross-examination ‘more efficient’, having first rejected Karadzic’s request for 20 hours to cross-examine Philips. Karadzic was allowed a total of five hours.