WITNESS: MLADIC CONCEIVED VRS STRATEGY IN SARAJEVO
According to a former high-ranking UNPROFOR officer testifying under the pseudonym RM 120, Ratko Mladic ‘conceived the VRS strategy in Sarajevo’. The witness said that Milenko Indjic, VRS liaison officer with UNPROFOR, was there to put the pressure on the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander Dragomir Milosevic on behalf of Mladic to ‘make sure that Mladic’s vision was implemented’
Witness RM 120 testified at the trial of the former commander of the VRS Main Staff Ratko Mladic. From 1994 to 1995, the witness was a high-ranking French officer in the UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo. The witness’s name, image and voice are protected. The witness’s written statement based in part on his previous evidence was admitted into evidence ‘under seal’.
During his service in Sarajevo, the witness observed that the Serb side tried to make life in the city impossible by restricting the passage of humanitarian convoys and by constant sniper and artillery fire. As the UN soldiers investigated sniper incidents with civilian casualties, they established that the VRS was responsible for most of the attacks. This is why UNPROFOR implemented anti-sniping measures on the Serb side and addressed most of its protests to them. Dragomir Milosevic, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander, either claimed that the Muslims had fired first or didn’t even bother respond to the protests.
Based on his personal observations and the information he had at his disposal, the witness got the impression that Ratko Mladic ‘completely controlled the VRS strategy in Sarajevo while General Dragomir Milosevic was in charge of carrying it out’. Lieutenant colonel Milenko Indjic, VRS liaison officer with UNPROFOR, put pressure on Milosevic on Mladic’s behalf to ‘make sure that Mladic’s vision was implemented’.
In the examination-in-chief, the witness said there had been many sniping incidents. In about 70 cases, UNPROFOR was able to establish the origin of fire: in 66 cases it was determined that the fire was opened from the territory under the Bosnian Serb control, while in six cases the BH Army was responsible. According to the witness, for every casualty in the area under the VRS control, there were ten in the BH Army controlled areas.
As the witness said, during the preparatory interview he saw for the first time the protocol in which, according to the defense, the Serb side reserved the right to reclaim the heavy artillery if it came under attack. In 1994, the Serb side placed the heavy artillery under UNPROFOR’s control. The witness knew only about the agreement from February 1994 which prohibited both sides from reclaiming the heavy artillery which was kept in depots. Unfortunately, the Serb forces frequently pulled out the artillery pieces to fire on Sarajevo, the witness claimed.Because of the protective measures, most of the witness’s evidence proceeded in closed session. The cross-examination by Mladic’s defense counsel Branko Lukic also began while the hearing was in closed session. The cross-examination continues tomorrow morning.
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