MILITARY TARGET MISSED OR CIVILIAN TARGET HIT?
In the cross-examination of VRS colonel Vladimir Radojcic, who is testifying in Rarko Mladic's defense, the prosecution tried to prove that modified air bombs were used for random attacks on the citizens of Sarajevo. As an example, the prosecution used the attack on the center of Hrasnica in April 1995. As the witness explained, on that occasion the air bomb fired on his orders ‘did not hit civilians’: it actually ‘missed a military target’. The corps commander ‘was satisfied’, Radojcic noted
In the cross-examination of Vladimir Radojcic, former commander of the Ilidza Brigade, prosecutor Groome took most of his time to delve into the issue of modified air bombs. The Bosnian Serb Army used the weapon in the last two years of the war to attack Sarajevo. The witness argued that it was a very accurate weapon with a margin of error not greater than a dozen meters. The prosecution alleges that modified air bombs were totally unreliable and were used for random attacks on the civilians in the city.
Radojcic said that modified air bombs were more accurate when they were fired using ground launchers than when they were dropped from a plane, although they had been designed for the latter.Radojcic also explained that modified air bombs had been tested before use and that there were provisional shelling tables. The prosecutor confronted the witness with the claims made by from the Ratko Mladic’s previous witness, former operations officer in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps Stevan Veljovic. According to Veljovic, the new weapon had never been tested and there were no shelling tables. As a result, the the margin of error was up to two kilometers, and everybody in the Corps knew about it, Veljovic claimed. Radojcic agreed that the ‘differences are surprising’but he was adamant Veljovic’s claims were not true.
Three air bombs were fired on Sarajevo on Radojcic’s orders. One bomb fell on the Hladnjaca facility near Stup but it failed to detonate. The second bomb was launched on the center of Hrasnica, killing one woman and injuring several persons. The third bomb hit the TV Sarajevo building. It killed one person and wounded 28 others. The Hrasnica attack of 7 April 1995 is listed in the indictment against Mladic, and the prosecutor wanted to prove it was a random attack on civilians.
The prosecutor showed the witness an order issued by the Corps commander Dragomir Milosevic, in which he instructed Radojcic to select the ‘highest-yield target with as many human casualties as possible’. The witness replied that as a professional soldier he inferred from the order that he should select targets likely to inflict maximum damage to the enemy army, not civilians. As he explained, he told his artillery crews to choose which facility they wanted to shell: the Aleksa Santic school or the post office building. The BH Army special units were purportedly trained in the school while the 104th Brigade command was located in the post office. The artillery chose the first target but they missed it, hitting but a one-storey house with civilian residents instead.
The prosecutor stressed that the incident apparently didn’t upset anyone in the Bosnian Serb Army. In his report to his corps commander Milosevic, the witness didn’t say that he had missed the target. Milosevic's response was that he was ‘satisfied’with the result. Radojcic explained that it was only a ‘relative failure’. ‘It's not that I hit a civilian target: I actually missed a military target, but the commander was satisfied because after that the enemy stopped attacking our positions’, Radojcic specified.
The prosecution then presented a part of Martin Bell’s TV report. The footage showed a house that had been flattened and several houses nearby that had been badly damaged. Radojcic responded laconically that no one could tell for certain that the clip the showed the aftermath of the attack he had ordered. The houses might have been destroyed previously because they were located near the front line.
General Dragomir Milosevic was sentenced to 29 years in prison for the terror campaign against the Sarajevo citizens, including the Hrasnica incident. Radojcic will end his testimony on Wednesday when the trial of Ratko Mladic continues.
- Case : Mladic
- 2014-06-26 UN SOLDIERS WERE ARRESTED "IN MUTUAL INTEREST"
- 2014-06-25 CONTRADICTORY EVIDENCE ON SARAJEVO ‘RANDOM’ BOMBS
- 2014-06-24 'RANDOM' BOMBS LAUNCHED ON SARAJEVO
- 2014-07-03 WHO TERRORIZED WHOM IN SARAJEVO
- 2014-07-04 WITNESS: ‘MUSLIMS STAGED MARKALE 1’
- 2014-07-07 NEIGHBORS COMMUNICATING OVER GUN SIGHTS