During the cross-examination of a French UNPROFOR officer testifying under the pseudonym RM-120, Ratko Mladic had to be removed from court yet again, because he was showing some photographs from a book he had brought with him in the dock

Ratko Mladic in the courtroomRatko Mladic in the courtroom

The cross-examination of a French UNPROFOR officer, testifying under the pseudonym RM-120, continued for the most part in closed session. At one point, again in closed session, the accused Ratko Mladic had to be removed from court. When the court went back in open session, presiding judge Orie stated that the measure would remain in force until the trial resumed tomorrow, adding that Mladic may show to the witness any books or photographs he considers relevant through his defense counsel, instead of waving them about in court.

The defense tried to challenge the witness’s statement that the Bosnian Serb authorities deliberately terrorized the civilians in Sarajevo. Mladic’s defense counsel Branko Lukic noted that UNPRFOR was unaware of the strength, structure, disposition and exact locations of the BH Army units in the city. The witness confirmed that UNPROFOR ‘considered any occasion when a shell impacted inside the city as firing on civilians’. When the judges asked a follow-up question, the French officer explained he could not claim that the civilians were targeted by the shells each and every time, but in his view, generally speaking, ‘the objective was to terrorize the population’.

The defense also tried to challenge the witness’s claim that ‘the primary role of Lieutenant Colonel Milenko Indjic was to control Dragomir Milosevic, commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and the secondary task was to report to Mladic everything that occurred at the meetings with UNPROFOR’. ‘Do you wish to say that a soldier of a lower rank could exert control over an officer of a higher rank in the VRS, that the VRS was not established along the same lines as the other armies in the world and that anarchy reigned there,’ Lukic asked the witness. According to the French officer, UNPROFOR staff didn’t consider that anarchy reigned in the VRS, ‘but Sarajevo was so important from the media and strategic point of view that no mistakes were allowed in the implementation of the overall strategy’. In other words, as he explained, ‘all measures were taken to implement the overall strategy’.

The cross-examination of Witness RM-120 will be completed tomorrow.