At the trial of Radovan Karadzic, Fahra Mujanovic from the Barice district in Sarajevo recounted how the Serb soldiers on their positions sang the song, ‘Listen closely, Alija, hear our machine guns fire, Otes and Stup will be gone soon...’ at the top of their lungs, as they shelled Sarajevo. Dr. Yousef Hajir, surgeon in the make-shift war hospital in Dobrinja, began his testimony

Fahra Mujanovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial Fahra Mujanovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

‘Listen closely, Alija, hear our machine guns fire, Otes and Stup will be gone soon...’ According to the evidence of Fahra Mujanovic from the Barice district in Sarajevo, this song reverberated from the Bosnian Serb positions as the soldiers there fired rounds from mortars and other weapons on Sarajevo.

In her evidence via video link from Sarajevo, Mujanovic said that on 8 June 1992 she was injured by shell shrapnel. About 150 people sought medical help after the shelling that day in the Kosevo Hospital, Mujanovic recounted. She estimated that up to a thousand shells hit the Barice district and surrounding areas every day. As the witness said, she still feels physical and mental consequences of her injury, and she still dreams of the sound of the shell that hit her.

Karadzic wanted to learn from the witness about the ethnic background of the people who lived in Barice and the districts around it. ‘I never counted them’, the witness responded, adding that nobody cared about whether a person was a Serb or a Muslim. What mattered was ‘your qualities as a human being’. Karadzic suggested that Mujanovic was injured during an offensive the BH Army had launched on the Serb positions. Karadzic noted that the Green Berets unit had a base in the Barice district, and Vogosca and other Serb districts were attacked from there.

‘You need to be angry at your politicians who pushed you into the war and on the frontline’, Karadzic said, angry because the prosecutor had called a witness who claimed she didn’t know she had been injured in an offensive launched by the enemy. Judge Kwon called Karadzic’s comment ‘inappropriate’ and suggested he consulted his legal advisor.

After Fahra Mujanovic completed her evidence, Doctor Youssef Hajir took the stand. Hajir, a surgeon from the war hospital in Dobrinja, also testified via video link from Sarajevo. Hajir’s written statement based on his previous evidence in the cases against Stanislav Galic and Momcilo Perisic was tendered into evidence.

Dr. Hajir operated on several casualties of an artillery incident on 1 June 1993 when several shells were fired from the VRS-held positions, targeting the spectators and footballers at a football match in Dobrinja. About ten minutes after the explosions, 140-odd casualties arrived in the hospital, Hajir recounted. Some patients were transferred to other Sarajevo hospitals and about 90 injured were taken care of at the hospital in Dobrinja in the course of next three days.

About 5,000 difficult surgical procedures were done in the make-shift hospital in Dobrinja during the war. Out of a total of 16,000 persons admitted to the hospital, more than half were victims of the conflict, Dr. Hajir explained. The witness himself was injured three times. According to Dr. Hajir, the situation was the worst at the beginning of the conflict when Dobrinja was encircled by the Serb forces and it was close to impossible to move patients to other hospitals in the city.

Karadzic began his cross-examination of Dr. Hajir by reminding him of their acquaintance from their days at the university. ‘Do you remember how we got lost on Mount Trebevic and waded into waist-deep snow?’ Karadzic asked the witness. Dr. Hajir replied he remembered it very well. The witness also recalled that they watched the movie Rashomon together and that Karadzic ‘explained some tricks to him’.

Karadzic continues the cross-examination of Dr. Hajir tomorrow.

Fahra Mujanovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial
Youssef Hajir, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial