KARADZIC CONTESTS VALIDITY OF SARAJEVO INVESTIGATIONS
Another crime scene technician from the Sarajevo Security Services Center who was involved in the investigations of artillery and sniper incidents in Sarajevo took the stand at the trial of Radovan Karadzic. The accused again noted that Sarajevo investigations were ‘inadequate’ and their findings, in his view, couldn’t be used before an international court
The trial of Radovan Karadzic continued with the evidence of protected witness KDZ-477. The witness is a former crime scene technician in the Sarajevo Security Services Center. He was involved in the investigations of various shelling and sniper incidents from 1993 to 1995. A written statement based on the witness’s previous evidence in the cases against Stanislav Galic and Dragomir Milosevic – two former VRS Sarajevo-Romanija commanders – was admitted into evidence.
The witness took part in the investigation of two shelling incidents listed in the indictment against Karadzic. Six children playing in the snow were killed by a shell in Alipasino polje on 22 January 1994. Five persons were injured. In the second incident, on 26 May 1995, two persons were seriously injured and fifteen persons sustained minor injuries in the explosion of a modified air bomb in the Safeta Hadzica Street.
The witness’s task was to take photos and collect physical evidence at crime scenes. In his examination-in chief, the witness said that the shells that hit Alipasino polje, killing the children, came ‘as a surprise’. The incident happened during a ceasefire, the witness explained. The fact that the children were out in the open playing further confirms just how unexpected the artillery attack was, the witness added.
There were no military targets in Alipasino polje, the witness noted. During the war some 10,000 civilians lived in that working class neighborhood. According to the findings of the ballistic expert from the Security Services Center investigation team, the fatal shells were fired from Serb positions in Nedzarici. One of the ballistic experts who determined the direction from which the shells were fired was Mirza Sabljica, who has already testified at this trial. He worked in the Sarajevo Security Services Center too.
As with previous witnesses who spoke about the shelling and sniper incidents, Karadzic used his cross-examination to prove that Sarajevo investigations were ‘inadequate’. Today Karadzic claimed that the investigations based on witness statements and physical evidence, but without the victims’ bodies, removed from the crime scene in the meantime, were not valid in the criminal proceedings such as his trial. This witness, like his predecessors, explained that the citizens of Sarajevo who were near the crime scene immediately took the victims to hospital, hoping that they would be able to save their lives.
Karadzic will complete his cross-examination of witness KDZ-477 tomorrow. Another former UN soldier – also used as a ‘human shield’ against NATO airstrikes by the Serb forces in late May 1995 – is slated to testify next.
- Case : Karadzic
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