The prosecutor has noted a number of strange claims made by the protected witness testifying in Mladic’s defense. The witness claimed that he had seen a series of crimes against Serbs in Sarajevo, including severed heads, on at least three occasions, the prosecutor said. Nevertheless, the witness never noticed that Muslims also suffered in the besieged city

Ratko Mladic in the courtroomRatko Mladic in the courtroom

As the cross-examination of protected witness testifying under the pseudonym GRM 311 continued, prosecutor MacGregor was less circumspect than he was yesterday, putting it to the witness that his evidence about the events in Sarajevo was not true. I dont doubt that you had had traumatic experiences during the war but the killings and mutilated bodies you mentioned in the evidence are inconsistent and incredible, prosecutor MacGregor noted. According to the prosecutions view, the witness did not see many of the things he recounted.

In his statement to the defense team and in the examination-in-chief yesterday, the witness made a number of stunning claims about his time in Sarajevo during the war. The witness said that as a Bosnian Serb he had been forced to work in a factory, making grenades for the BH Army. Young Muslimswould then throw those grenades at the people to increase the number of victims in the city. The witness also claimed he saw bodies with black bags over their heads on at least three occasions in Sarajevo. On three other occasions, the witness saw heads that had been cut off from Serb bodies: first he saw a childs head in Pofalici, then three heads hanging on the door of an Orthodox church in Novo Sarajevo, and finally, three heads that were tied to the necks of stray dogs.

Yet the witness saw no sign of any other people suffering in Sarajevo apart from Serbs, particularly not as a result of the artillery and sniper terror campaign against civilians. This is one of the charges Mladic faces. Asked if he knew that Muslims suffered too in the city, the witness replied that he had no knowledge of that. During the war he worked 12 hours a day and didnt pay any attention to what was going on around him, he explained.

For three entire years, the witness traveled 10 kilometers each day to work, yet he claimed he never saw any UN staff or vehicles in the city. The witness claimed that he didnt see them in the street that was nicknamed the Sniper alley, although he passed by the street every day. The witness didnt know about the containers and other object used to shield the passers-by from sniper attacks. The witness went there on a daily basis, but he never saw anything strange going on, particularly not sniper attacks. The witness admitted that he did hear about the Route of Life' but didnt know why Muslims would give such a name to a street in the city. On the other hand, the witness knew a lot about the BH Army snipers who were deployed in a number of buildings such as the Executive Board building, the technical school, and two city museums. The witness also claimed that he had seen mortars in the perimeter of the military hospital.

In a bid to see why the witness may have made those inconsistent and incredible claims, the prosecutor asked him if he perhaps felt psychologically unstableafter the ordeal he had been through during the war. The witness replied that all Serbs in Sarajevo felt like that today. We are all unstable, especially those Serbs who stayed in the city. I dont see them there, though. There are more Serbs in The Hague than in Sarajevo, the witness remarked.

As the hearing continued today, Mladics defense called its next witness, Dragomir Andan, a former police inspector.