TERRAIN CLEAN-UP, NOT CRIME COVER-UP
Ratko Mladic’s defense contests the allegations in the report written by a former OTP investigator about the exhumations of the Srebrenica mass graves
Dusan Janc, a police inspector from Slovenia and former OTP investigator, wrote a report, Summary of forensic evidence pertaining to the events in Srebrenica, using the data gathered in the Srebrenica area by the OTP, BH judicial bodies and the teams fielded by the International Commission on the Missing Persons and its BH counterparts. In his examination of the witness, Ratko Mladic’s defense counsel contested the findings in Janc’s report, especially the issue of the number of victims exhumed from the mass graves and the cause of their death.
The defense counsel put it to Janc that in his report, the figure for the victims of the executions whose remains were exhumed from mass graves included the victims killed in combat when the column of soldiers and civilians was moving towards Tuzla after the fall of Srebrenica. Janc said it was impossible to ascertain only if the 756 bodies found unburied in the area where the column had passed through had been executed or killed in combat.
When the forensic evidence from the remains, the analysis of the terrain, pollen and fabrics found in the graves were collated, it was possible to establish a link between the primary and secondary graves, Janc explained. The prosecution alleges that the graves were dug up and the bodies were transferred as part of a cover-up operation. The defense counsel put it to him the bodies of those who had been killed in the fighting were buried in those graves during the ‘terrain clear-up’ operation. It was a regular procedure after a fight to collect, remove and bury the bodies of those who had been killed in action.
Janc didn’t contest the fact that in only 6.5 per cent of the cases, DNA analysis confirmed the link between the remains from the primary and secondary graves. The witness stressed that DNA analysis was just one of the methods used in the forensic examination of the graves and remains. Final results are obtained only when different data are collated, Janc said.The trial of Ratko Mladic continues tomorrow with the evidence of a new prosecution witness.
- Case : Mladic
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