In the cross-examination of former police inspector Dragomir Andan the prosecution noted that the VRS condoned the presence of paramilitary forces in Republika Srpska. This is evidenced by a number of reports that praise the successful ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs in Zvornik, and by Mladic’s commendation of the Panthers unit for their bravery

Dragomir Andan, defence witness at Rako Mladic trialDragomir Andan, defence witness at Rako Mladic trial

Ratko Mladic's defense called Dragomir Andan, former inspector in the Serbian MUP, in a bid to prove that the Serb army worked side by side with the police to arrest and prosecute paramilitaries. According to the defense, the operations against the paramilitaries in the Brcko, Bijeljina and Zvornik areas in June and July 1992 corroborate the claim. The prosecution, on the other hand, noted the facts that cast a different light on the relationship between the paramilitary formations and the Serb authorities, including the accused Mladic, who was the VRS Main Staff commander.

Prosecutor Camille Bibles highlighted the crimes committed by the Panthers, a unit under the command of Ljubisa Savic Mauzer in Bijeljina. Prosecutor Bibles stressed the fact that Mauzer has never been put on trial. On the contrary, in March 1993, Mladic commended the Panthers unit for their bravery and heroism. Asked if that disturbedhim, Andan replied that the commendation was not awarded to Mauzer himself, but to the unit, and it was well deserved. According to the witness, Mauzer was arrested in July 1992, but was released after his unit drove their tanks to the police station. This prompted Judge Moloto to ask if this was done by the same unit that Mladic had commended. Andan confirmed it.

The witness recounted that Biljana Plavsic invited the paramilitary units to come to BH. This prompted the prosecutor to note that the VRS condoned their presence and activities, especially their involvement in the ethnic cleansing of the non-Serbs. Prosecutor Bibles showed a report of the Drina Corps command from December 1992. According to the report, Zvornik was cleansed of Turks. The Drina Corps command report did indeed praisethe paramilitary units and ethnic cleansing, Andan admitted. But, as he explained, this was not a view shared by the entire VRS Main Staff. 'Just one unit', the Drina Corps, held that view.

Prosecutor Bibles suggested that the value of the witnesss statement to the defense lay in what it failed to address: the fact that the RS authorities never prosecuted the paramilitary leaders, although there was evidence against them. Those leaders include characters such as the brothers Vuckovic, Vojin and Dusan, who led the Yellow Wasps unit, active in Zvornik. Andan claimed that after the operation in Zvornik he pressed criminal charges against the Vuckovic brothers and several other members of the Yellow Wasps unit. The men were arrested but were soon released, for reasons unbeknown to him, Andan explained.

The prosecutor stressed the fact that in August 1992 the witness was suspended from the police force. Andan confirmed it. According to him, police minister Tomo Kovac told him that Andan had been used by the top brass in Brcko, Bijeljina and Zvornik as a disposable condom. They no longer needed him, Kovac told Andan. After that Andan accepted Petar Salapuras invitation to join the VRS. He served as an intelligence officer in the 65th Protection Regiment.

After Dragomir Andan completed his evidence, the defense called its next witness, Svetozar Guzina.