Radovan Karadzic accuses Professor Zecevic that in his findings about the Markale explosion he tried to shift the blame from the BH Army to the VRS. Zecevic replied that in February 1994, his commission identified six locations from which the shell may have been fired. One location was in the territory controlled by the BH Army; this conclusion resulted in him being ‘a target’. In a later analysis based on new information, Zecevic was able to reduce six possible locations to three: they were all in the VRS-controlled territory

Berko Zecevic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialBerko Zecevic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

The sparks that flew yesterday during Radovan Karadzic’s cross-examination of Professor Berko Zecevic culminated today in several harsh exchanges between the prosecution expert and the accused.

Karadzic tried in any way he could to challenge Zecevic’s analysis of the direction from which the shell that hit the Markale marked on 5 February 1994 had come. The witness headed an expert commission set up on the day after the explosion. After 36 hours of investigation, the commission identified six possible locations from which the projectile may have been fired. Five locations were in the VRS territory and one was in the territory controlled by the BH Army.

Some years later, Zecevic was asked by the prosecution to write another analysis of the Markale massacre for the Stanislav Galic case. In the new report, Zecevic corrected his 1994 conclusion, reducing the number of possible launch sites to three locations in the territory under the VRS control.

Karadzic asked the witness why he took a number of years to reach that conclusion. Zecevic replied that in 1994 he had a limited time to do an analysis which required ‘both time and thought’. ‘This analysis is an expression of the information and abilities I had at that moment. Later, when I was given new information and was able to live and work in peace, I did what I did...without any malice’, Zecevic said.

Karadzic put it to Zecevic that the objective of the new analysis was to blame the Serbs for the massacre rather than the BH Army. The witness denied this, adding that ‘an order was issued to kill me’ because of the conclusion he had reached in 1994. As the witness put it, ‘I was always a target in Sarajevo’. Now, ‘after debates of this kind and the propaganda on TV, I expect that somebody might kill me when I come back’, Zecevic said.

Karadzic put forth several other theories about the Markale explosion: a shell was thrown from the rooftop of a neighboring building, it was planted in the market, the shell stabilizers were hammered into the asphalt. Professor Zecevic dismissed Karadzic’s suggestions, explaining to the accused in a professorial manner why those scenarios were not logical and possible.

At the end of the cross-examination, Karadzic tried to challenge the credibility of the witness by bringing up a statement Zecevic’s lawyer had given to the Sarajevo TV. Professor Zecevic refused to even listen to the excerpt, noting that he ‘cannot interpret what somebody said while I was in prison’. Karadzic also put it to Zecevic that he was ‘jack of all trades and pet’ of the prosecution in The Hague and Sarajevo. Zecevic would change his reports on its dictate in order to bring on convictions, Karadzic claimed. The prosecution witness replied that ‘under the law’ he was obliged to respond to the Tribunal’s order, or face ‘up to 7 years in prison or a fine of € 100,000 in The Hague and € 30,000 in Bosnia’.

After Professor Zecevic completed his evidence, Ramiz Mujkic returned to the witness stand. The former prisoner in the Rajlovac prison camp continues his evidence tomorrow.