The prosecution analyst testified about Mladic’s outburst in court on 18 February 2013. During a break in the trial, the accused uttered ‘shocking’ and ‘extremely offensive’ words to the protected witness. The Trial Chamber announced that the final prosecution witness would be examined in November 2013 and that the prosecution would rest its case in January 2014

Dora Sokola, witness at the Ratko Mladic trialDora Sokola, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial

On several occasions, Ratko Mladic’s fondness for speaking too loud has resulted in his removal from the courtroom. Parts of the ‘show’ the accused put on during the breaks at the hearing on 18 February 2013 were admitted into evidence. Mladic then said something about a protected witness, RM 513, who testified entirely in closed session. Ten days later, the Trial Chamber described Mladic’s words as ‘shocking and extremely offensive’.

On 12 September 2013, Marija Karall, an OTP employee, was the first to give evidence about this incident. In closed session, Karall quoted the exact words of the accused. Today, OTP analyst Dora Sokola appeared in court. She was tasked by the prosecution to listen to Mladic’s reactions during the trial and breaks, as she speaks the same language as the accused.

Sokola noted that on 18 February 2013 during the break between the first and second sessions, Mladic told his defense lawyers he was ‘proud’ that he ‘managed to get out from Mostar’ the family of Yugoslav writer Mesa Selimovic. There followed some words that could relate to the protected witness: ‘What the f… would she want, the Muslim…’. The end of the sentence was not read out, probably to protect the integrity of the witness. ‘Ask her about Cicmo, he was a good fighter, he was killed near Trnovo. Did he rape her? Or was it Lieutenant Colonel Miljkovic, did he rape her?’, Mladic said, and finally said something about a request to get some Macedonians out of Sarajevo.

Mladic’s words sound disjointed to an extent, in part because the witness was not able to hear each and every word Mladic had said. What the witness did hear was reported in a document she wrote together with an OTP investigator. Today it was admitted into evidence in the case against Mladic.

As the defense counsel Miodrag Stojanovic cross-examined the witness, he argued that the accused had said those words in a ‘privileged communication’ with his defense lawyers. The witness replied that her task was to listen and report what the accused said, and she did it. The defense had presented a similar argument when it sought to postpone Marija Karall’s evidence. The Trial Chamber rejected the motion at that time, explaining that by ‘shouting out loudly’ the accused waived the confidentiality of his communication with the defense counsels. Dora Sokola noted today that she could hear Mladic from one end of the courtroom to the other.

As the hearing continued, the parties discussed administrative issues. It was announced that the prosecution would call its final witness in November 2013. The prosecution is expected to rest its case in January 2014 once the Trial Chamber has ruled on all outstanding motions.

The next prosecution witness will testify tomorrow.