Former VRS officer Stojan Malcic gave evidence at the trial of Ratko Mladic. Malcic claimed that in 1992, Muslims and Croats in the JNA could choose if they wanted to join the VRS or to leave. This was not the case with the Serbs. The prosecutor showed the grades Mladic had given to some of his closest associates, including ‘straight A students’ Radislav Krstic and Dragomir Milosevic, who have been sentenced to a total of 64 years in prison for the genocide in Srebrenica and the terror campaign in Sarajevo

Stojan Malcic, defence witness at Rako Mladic trialStojan Malcic, defence witness at Rako Mladic trial

Stojan Malcic, former deputy chief of the organization and mobilization sector in the VRS Main Staff, gave evidence at the trial of Ratko Mladic. In the written statement to Mladic’s defense Malcic said that after the JNA broke up the non-Serb officers were allowed to choose if they wanted to remain the Republika Srpska Army or go to Belgrade to new posts positions in the Army of theFR Yugoslavia.Malcic contends that this was 'a favor and a privilege' for Muslims and Croats, not available to their Serb colleagues.

In the cross-examination, prosecutor Edward Jeremy highlighted the contradiction between the witness’s allegations and the VRS documents. In a report sent from the 1st Krajina Corps to the VRS Main Staff,there was some concern about the ‘cleansing’ of non-Serb personnel because it ‘weakened’ the command staff. ‘Officers of Muslim and Croat nationality must be sent on leave immediately. Take action at once in order to resolve their status in the service',Mladic ordered in his response to the report. The documents, the prosecutor suggested, didn’t imply there were two options: in fact, the VRS ‘cleansed’ Muslims and Croats from its ranks.

Malcic replied that the 1st Krajina Corps faced the extremists who insisted on the removal ofMuslims and Croats from all command posts. Mladic merely ‘expressed his opinion’ as to what should be done, Malcic explained. The witness said that he personally also protested against the fact that Muslims and Croats were allowed to take ‘vacation’ in crucial moments. Mladic purportedly explained to Malcic that he did it because Muslim and Croat officers were facing a watershed. Mladic wanted to give them a chance to think and consult with their families as to what to do. The witness found the explanation ‘humane’.

Even if true, the judges noted, this explanation didn’t eliminate the contradiction between the witness’s statement and the VRS documents. In his order regulating the status in the active military service Mladic ordered that ‘all active duty personnel of Muslim and Croat nationality’ when they return from leave should be sent to the Personnel Department of the Yugoslav Army. The order didn’t make any distinction between those who wanted to stay and those who didn’t, contrary to what the witness said.

Malcic was in charge of personnel issues. In that capacity,he gave grades to VRS officers up to and including the rank of colonel. Malcic’s superiors graded generals. The prosecutor used the opportunity to present Mladic’s grades for generals Radislav Krstic and Dragomir Milosevic. Mladic noted that Krstic ‘did a brilliant job implementing’ the operations to ‘liberate Zepa and Srebrenica despite the direct involvement of NATOin protecting the Muslim formations’. Milosevic proved his worth in the Sarajevo theatre of war where he performed all his duties ‘expertly and professionally’. Mladic gave ‘grade A’ to both Krstic and Milosevic.

The Tribunal sentenced former commander of the Drina Corps Radislav Krstic for aiding and abetting and involvement in the Srebrenica genocide to 35 years in prison. Dragomir Milosevic, commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, was sentenced to 29 years for the artillery and sniper terror campaign against Sarajevo.

After Stojan Malcic completed his evidence, Ratko Mladic’s defense called VRS colonel Vlado Lucic. During the war Lucic commanded one of the brigades in the SRK.