Ratko Mladic was removed from the courtroom for ‘inappropriate behavior’. During the evidence of Adil Medic from Sanski Most, Mladic kept waving some papers in a bid to attract the attention of his lawyers, the judges, visitors in the public gallery or cameras. As Judge Orie explained, this was a temporary measure. Mladic is expected back in the courtroom on Monday morning to attend the trial

Adil Medic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trialAdil Medic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial

The judges decided today to remove Ratko Mladic from the courtroom during the hearing for ‘inappropriate behavior’. As Adil Medic from Sanski Most was testifying, Mladic kept waving papers on which something was written in red felt tip pen. Presiding judge Orie said the measure was temporary and Mladic was expected back in court on Monday morning to attend his trial.

Just before the second recess, Judge Orie noticed Mladic kept waving some papers in front of him in a bid to attract the attention of his lawyers, judges, visitors in the public gallery or the cameras. The judges warned the defense team that their client’s behavior could have ‘consequences’. When they returned to the courtroom, the judges said that the guards and other court officials had taken notice of Mladic’s inappropriate behavior. Mladic was ordered out of the courtroom until the witness completed his evidence.

The first part of the hearing today went on in closed session to allow the protected witness RM 018 to complete his evidence. Adil Medic was called to testify next. In 1992, Medic worked for Merhamet, a humanitarian organization, and visited the prison camp in Manjaca, where Muslim and Croat civilians from Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc and other towns and villages in the area were detained. In March 1993, the witness was arrested together with five other leaders of Merhamet and detained in the Mali Logor military prison in Banja Luka. The witness was released in December 1993.

During his first visit to Manjaca on 18 June 1992, Medic saw that prisoners were held in terrible conditions, that food and clothing were scarce and that they were beaten on a daily basis. Omer Filipovic, one of the prisoners, told the witness in front of several Serb officers, including colonels Tepsic and Dikic, and the camp warden Bozidar Popovic in detail what had happened to the captured civilians from the moment of their arrest. Soon afterwards, Omer Filipovic and Esad Bender were beaten to death.

In his evidence, Medic said that Colonel Tepsic told him Manjaca was under the control of the VRS 1st Krajina Corps. As Tepsic said, it was a ‘prison camp for prisoners of war’, although most of the detainees were demonstrably civilians. The purpose of the prison camp was to ethnically cleanse the non-Serbs, in line with the Serb leadership’s policy: not to allow more than 5 percent of Muslims and Croats to remain in the areas under the Serb control. The goal was implemented by ‘killing some of them, detaining others in prison camps and expelling the rest’.

‘In order to achieve that as easily as possible, the people had to be left leaderless. How to do that? Omer Filipovic and other intellectuals like Omer should be detained, killed or expelled. People who command respect should be eliminated: there are such people in small communities. Thirdly, there are well-off people in those small communities who provide security to the residents. They were targeted first. Those were the first three categories that were eliminated’, Medic explained. From his village of Sanice, one in ten non-Serbs were killed, one in five ended up in Manjaca; the rest were expelled, Medic said.

In the cross-examination, Mladic’s lawyer Branko Lukic tried to prove that the conditions in Manjaca were better that the witness described. Lukic put it to the witness that after his first visit to the prison camp in June 1992, the conditions improved and that relief dispatched by Merhamet played an important role. ‘Oh, sure. It was like offering a stick to someone stuck in quick-sand’, the witness replied.