On the last day of the testimony of defense ballistic expert Mile Poparic the prosecutor contested his findings that the BH Army, not the Bosnian Serb troops, opened fire on the trams in Sarajevo. After he completed his evidence, Karadzic called a former official from the Zvornik municipality who is testifying under the pseudonym KW 137

Mile Poparic, defence witness of Radovan KaradzicMile Poparic, defence witness of Radovan Karadzic

In the final part of the cross-examination of Karadzic’s defense ballistic expert Mile Poparic, the prosecutor challenged his findings on the sniper attacks on Sarajevo trams. In his expert report and in his answers to the accused the expert claimed that the angles of descent of the bullets that hit the trams and passengers were extremely large. That meant, Poparic concluded, that the bullets came from nearby buildings under the control of the BH Army, not from the Bosnian Serb army positions which were farther away.

Poparic thus tried to prove that the angle of descent was quite large in an attack on a tram on 23 November 1994 in Zmaja od Bosne Street when two girls were wounded in the right shoulder. This was evidenced by the fact that the exit wounds were in the arms, not bodies. The witness agreed with prosecutor Edgerton’s suggestion that his finding was correct only under the assumption that both victims held their right arms by the body. The conclusion was not accurate if the girls, as it happens in a tram, ‘held on to the bar, scratched themselves or fixed their hair’. In those cases, the victims’ arms would have been horizontal and the angle of descent of a bullet that entered the shoulder and exited from the arm would have been small. That would mean that the bullets were fired from the Serb positions which were further away from the incident site.

As for the incident in which several persons were wounded in a tram on 27 February 1995, again in Zmaja od Bosne Street, the witness claimed that bursts were fired from a machine gun positioned in the territory under the BH Army control. According to Poparic, fire was most likely opened from the Museum of the Revolution building. The prosecutor asked the witness if he really thought that a Bosnian army soldier could sneak up on the museum roof unnoticed, as trams could only be seen from the roof, and fire bursts on people. Poparic said it was indeed possible, explaining that it takes a little time to fire a gun. ‘As soon as that man opens fire, he takes cover, and that’s it’.

As the accused re-examined his expert, they mostly rehashed the same arguments that were heard in the examination-in-chief. They claimed there was no line of sight from the Bosnian Serb army positions to the civilians targets in Sarajevo or that sniper incidents were poorly investigated because of missing forensic and medical documents.

Karadzic’s ballistic expert thus completed his testimony after six days. The trial continued with the evidence of a former official from the Zvornik municipality who is testifying under the pseudonym KW 317.