According to the prosecution military expert Richard Philipps, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was a well-organized formation. Philipps suggested that it would not have been possible to attack the citizens of Sarajevo with shells and snipers without the knowledge of the corps command and its superior command, the VRS Main Staff, headed by Ratko Mladic. The accused was cautioned and told he would be removed from court if he didn’t change his behavior

Richard Philipps, witness at the Ratko Mladic trialRichard Philipps, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial

British military intelligence officer and former OTP analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Philipps appeared today in court as a military expert for the third time before the Tribunal. After testifying in the cases against Stanislav Galic, former commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic, Philipps was again called by the prosecution at the trial of the former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic.

For General Galic’s trial, the witness produced a diagram with the structure of the VRS Sarajevo-Romanija Corps from 1992 to 1994. In the meantime, Philipps did a schematic of the corps for the period from 1994 to 1995, for the tenure of Galic’s successor Dragomir Milosevic. The Tribunal sentenced Galic to life and Milosevic to 29 years in prison for the campaign of artillery and sniper terror against the citizens of Sarajevo. Ratko Mladic is charged with the crimes committed during the terms of office of both SRK commanders, who were his subordinates. This is just one of four joint criminal enterprises Mladic is accused of.

Based on a number combat reports he had at his disposal the witness concluded that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was a well-organized military formation with a professional and well-trained officer corps able to issue and relay orders to the units at the bottom of the chain of command. The reporting system in place functioned well: from the smallest units to the battalion and brigade commands and on to the very top of the corps. Richard Philipps’s praise for the corps and the entire VRS supports the prosecution’s case: the shelling and sniping targeting the citizens of Sarajevo couldn’t have gone on without the knowledge and orders of the Bosnian Serb army leadership.

As regards the links between the Corps command and the accused Mladic, the witness highlighted a document showing that Stanislav Galic issued orders to his subordinate officers based on an order from the VRS Main Staff. Also, in a document of 16 June 1994, Mladic granted Dragomir Milosevic’ request for air bombs for the Corps. Mladic ordered the Corps personnel to comply with specific rules regarding the storage of the air bombs. These were 250 kg bombs, and, as the witness explained, normally such bombs were dropped from aircraft but the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps modified them and fired them from launchers mounted on vehicles. This novel approach resulted in highly inaccurate targeting and civilian casualties in Sarajevo neighborhoods, the prosecution alleges.

In the second part of the hearing, Mladic’s defense counsel Branko Lukic began cross-examining the witness. The accused tried several times to speak to his defense counsels, in a loud voice. In a previous decision, the Trial Chamber prohibited Mladic from talking to his defense, because he abused the privilege to address the witnesses. When Judge Orie gave him the last warning, telling him he would be removed from court, General Mladic settled down.