Radovan Karadzic has called Dr Zorica Subotic, ballistic expert from Belgrade, to help him prove that the VRS artillery did not target the citizens of Sarajevo but the commands, staffs, depots, power substations, factories and other facilities used by the BH Army. Subotic contends that the investigations conducted by the local teams produced a ‘distorted mirror-image’ of the Sarajevo artillery incidents listed in the indictment

Zorica Subotic, defence witness of Radovan KaradzicZorica Subotic, defence witness of Radovan Karadzic

Zorica Subotic, a forensic expert on ballistics from the Serbian Justice Ministry, began her evidence today at the trial of Radovan Karadzic. Through her testimony, Karadzic will try to contest the allegations pertaining to the VRS artillery terror campaign from 1992 to 1995. As alleged in the indictment, the campaign included the use of modified air bombs also known as ‘sows’.

Dr Subotic was asked by the defense to produce three expert reports on the incidents that involved civilian casualties in Sarajevo. The first two reports relate to the 14 incidents caused by air bombs and mortar shells. The third report analyzes the Markale massacres in February 1994 and August 1995. Based on the photographs and reports of both the Sarajevo police and UNPROFOR investigation teams, Dr Subotic established the type, direction and the most probable target of the projectiles.

Speaking about the modified air bombs, the defense expert concluded that civilians were not their target; they were fired on the commands, headquarters, power substations, factories and other facilities used for military purposes. According to the defense expert, the air bombs were very accurate. Contradicting the claims made by prosecution expert Dr Berko Zecevic, the witness claimed that ‘aerosol bombs’ were not used in any of the incidents. Had it been the case, there would have been far more casualties and there wouldn’t have been any survivors, the defense expert explained.

One of the mortar incidents Dr Subotic analyzed was the bread queue massacre in Vase Miskina Street. On the basis of the physical evidence, the impact site and the characteristics of the weapon, Dr Subotic established that the VRS couldn’t be responsible for the incident. Dr Subotic didn’t explain in detail her findings. The only thing she did say was that the VRS positions were between 1,700 and 1,800 meters away from the scene of the incident and that it was impossible to achieve accurate targeting from that range.

In her analysis of the mortar incidents listed in the annex to the indictment against Karadzic, Dr Subotic concluded that the investigations conducted by the local teams were flawed. Some investigations were carried out too late, other were carried out at wrong locations, the places of the incidents were ‘contaminated’, investigators misinterpreted the evidence at the scene and made mistakes when establishing the bearings, the evidence was planted. All that, in Dr Subotic’s opinion, resulted in a ‘distorted mirror-image’ of the Sarajevo artillery incidents.

Karadzic will complete Dr Subotic’s examination-in-chief tomorrow. He will ask her questions about the third report and the Markale incidents. Dr Subotic will then be cross-examined by the prosecution.