The prosecution has indicated that the evidence from the mass grave in Tomasica near Prijedor will be tendered into evidence in the case against Ratko Mladic. A total of 470 bodies have been exhumed so far. The trial continued today with the evidence of the prosecution demography expert, Ewa Tabeau. According to the updated data presented by Tabeau, 6,745 victims from the Srebrenica mass graves were identified until the summer of 2013

Dermot Groome, prosecutor at the Ratko Mladic trialDermot Groome, prosecutor at the Ratko Mladic trial

Prosecutor Dermot Groome notified the Trial Chamber at the beginning of the hearing about the exhumation of the Tomasica mass grave, near Prijedor. Out of the 470 bodies exhumed to date, ten have been preliminarily identified. The data have shown that the victims could be linked to the charges listed in the indictment against Ratko Mladic.

Groome brought up the entry in Mladic’s war diary for 27 May 1993, where Mladic notes that the Prijedor police chief Simo Drljaca had asked the army to help remove about 5,000 bodies buried in the Tomasica mine. As Mladic wrote, Drljaca wanted to ‘foist that task on the army’ and to ‘get rid of’ the bodies ‘by burning them, grinding them or in some other way’.

As Groome said, the prosecution considers it as its obligation to include the Tomasica findings in the Mladic case. The prosecution will dispatch forensic anthropologist John Clark to examine the site.

The prosecution then called its next witness, demography expert Ewa Tabeau. According to the latest figures in the report Dr. Tabeau wrote for Mladic’s trial, by 21 July 2013 a total of 8,047 victims were recovered from the mass graves linked with the fall of Srebrenica and Zepa. Of that number, 6,745 persons, 85.8 percent, have been identified. The total number of confirmed victims from other incidents in other municipalities listed in Mladic’s indictment stands at 1,965.

The report about the changes in the ethnic structure of the population in 22 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina states that 436,000 persons were expelled or fled from those municipalities during the war. 218,000 of them were Muslims. According to Tabeau, this is a very high figure, which shows that the ethnic composition of the population changed substantially. Such substantial changes can, as she argued, be explained only by reasons linked to the war in BH.

As the hearing drew to a close, Mladic’s defense began cross-examining Dr. Tabeau. Tabeau’s cross-examination will be completed after the court hears the evidence of Janusz Kalbarczyk, a Pole who served in the UN as an observer. In May and June 1995, the Serb forces held Kalbarczyk hostage and used him as human shield against NATO air strikes.

Dermot Groome, prosecutor at the Ratko Mladic trial
Ewa Tabeau, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial