Commenting on the attack of Pofalici in May 1992, a protected prosecution witness claimed that Ratko Mladic may not have been the person who actually ordered it. It could have been a man called Milenko or Milanko Mladic, the witness explained. According to an intercepted conversation, parts of Sarajevo ‘where there were not many Serbs’ were to be attacked. As the witness explained, that was not an attack on the non-Serb civilians but on the soldiers who had expelled Serbs

Ratko Mladic in the courtroomRatko Mladic in the courtroom

In a bid to prove that the artillery and sniper terror campaign against the Sarajevo citizens was implemented in line with Ratko Mladics orders, the prosecution has already tendered into evidence the recording and transcript of a radio conversation that took place on 28 May 1992. In the intercept, the accused is heard ordering an attack on the neighborhoods of Velesici and Pofalici,where there are not many Serbs. A former Bosnian Serb soldier testified today for the defensevia video link with measures to protect his identity: image and voice distortion and the pseudonym, GRM 010. In his statement to the defense, the witness offered an original theory in an effort to exonerate the general for the attack.

At one point in time, the witness explained in the summary of his statement, a member of his unit by the name of Milenko or Milanko Mladic informed me cryingthat Serb houses in Pofalici had been set on fire. This caused Serbs to flee the territory, the witness recounted. That same day, the witness claims, he heard a radio conversation in which the participants discussed the possibility of an attack on Pofalici because there are not many Serbs there.

The witness explained that the order to attack Velesici and Pofalici because there are not many Serbs theredidnt imply that fire would be opened on the non-Serb civilians. The artillery was to target the enemy soldiers who had expelled Serbs from Pofalici; this is why there were not many Serbs there. Furthermore, the witness explained thatbefore the order for the artillery attack came, a man by the name of Milenko or Milanko Mladic informed him about the situation in Pofalici. The witness thus implied that the order to attack the area was issued by this Mladic, rather thanthe accused general.

Most of the cross-examination was conducted in closed session. We thus do not know if prosecutor McCloskey probed the issue of Pofalici at all. In a brief part open to the public, Operation Lukavac 93 was discussed. The objective of the operation was to link up the Herzegovina and Sarajevo Corps and to force the enemy to sit down at the negotiating table in order to achieve afair peace, the witness noted.

As todays hearing drew to a close, the defense called Colonel Bosko Amidzic . From the time the Bosnian Serb Army was established in May 1992, Amidzic served as the chief quartermaster in the 1st Krajina Corps. In February 1993, the witness was appointed assistant commander for logistics in the Corps. In his statement to the defense, Amidzic stated that the VRS facedextreme shortagesof fuel, medicines, food and other necessities as it fought in the war. The Serb civilians faced the same problems, the witness explained.

In the English version of his statement from June 2014 the witness said there were several POW camps in the area of responsibility of the 1st Krajina Corps. Today the witness corrected the statement saying there was only one such prison camp Manjaca near Banja Luka. According to the statement, the witness was in charge of accommodation and food for prisoners in Manjaca; everything was done in line with the international laws of war.

The witness mentioned in the statement that during the war he met the accused Mladic. According to the witness, Mladic was a cordial, direct, honorable, energetic, decisive and reliable officerwho never let him down. The cross-examination and re-examination of the witness will take place tomorrow.

Ratko Mladic in the courtroom
Bosko Amidzic, defence witness at Rako Mladic trial