RECONSTRUCTION OF SNIPER INCIDENTS IN SARAJEVO
OTP investigator Barry Hogan began his evidence about the reconstruction of sniper incidents in Sarajevo. These attacks are among the charges against the former commander of the VRS Main Staff
In the past two and a half days, Ratko Mladic’s trial went on in closed session with the evidence of two protected witnesses. Today, the prosecution called OTP investigator Barry Hogan. For the trials of generals Stanislav Galic and Dragomir Milosevic, Hogan visited the locations of the incidents in which Sarajevo civilians were hurt or killed. Hogan also collected the documents on the operations of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. He testified about his findings at the trial of Radovan Karadzic. Parts of Hogan’s evidence in the Karadzic case were admitted into evidence at Mladic’s trial.
Using a GPS device, Hogan was able to read correctly the coordinates of each of the 16 locations where sniper incidents listed in the indictments against Karadzic and Mladic occurred. Cameras were placed in the exact spots where the victims had been and panoramic shots of the surrounding area were made. In every single case, the cameras were located precisely at the height where the bullet entered the victim’s body. Hogan marked the locations of the incidents on photos and maps of Sarajevo. Also, Hogan marked the locations from which, according to the eyewitnesses, the shots had been fired.
Mladic’s defense counsel Branko Lukic objected to the admission of the panoramic shots of the crime scenes, insisting that they be shown in court first. As he argued, ‘nothing can be seen’ in the panoramic shot of the incident in which three-year old Anisa Pita was wounded on 13 December 1992 as she stood on the porch of her house in Sirokaca, not even the mountain from which – as the prosecution alleges – the shot was fired. Judge Orie noted that ‘a lot can be seen’ on the photo including Baba Stijena, where a sniper nest was located according to the prosecution.
The prosecutor played the recording of the reconstruction of the death of Munira Zametica. On 11 July 1993, Zametica was hit by a round fired from a sniper rifle as she was trying to draw water from the Dobrinja river. According to the reconstruction, the shot was fired from the bell tower of the Orthodox church in Veljine, about 900 meters from the site where Zametica was killed. When the camera zoomed in on the bell tower, the defense lawyer jovially said, ‘I don’t see it all that well because I’m half-blind’. The judge suggested to him in the same tone to ‘go see an ophthalmologist because you would need it as a defense counsel’. The defense’s objection was eventually rejected and the panoramic photos were admitted into evidence.
The prosecutor also presented two documents investigator Hogan found earlier this year in the BH Army archives. The documents state that the enemy observation post was located on the bell tower of the church in Veljine, and that there was a sniper rifle and an anti-aircraft machine gun on the observation post. According to the documents, fire was opened from the post from a sniper with a silencer.
In addition to the incidents in which three-year old Anisa Pita was wounded and Munira Zametica killed, prosecutor Hochhauser briefly touched upon a few other sniper incidents mentioned in the indictment against Mladic, including the wounding of Nafa Taric and her eight-year old daughter Elma on 3 September 1993, and the incidents in which Ramiza Kundo and Sanela Muratovic were wounded, on 2 November 1993 and 26 June 1994 respectively.
Barry Hogan will continue his evidence tomorrow.