COMMANDER AT WEDDING, TROOPS AT EXECUTION SITES
Bosiljka Mladic claims that at the time of mass executions in Srebrenica, from 14 to 17 July 1995, her husband Ratko was in Belgrade. According to the witness, Mladic spent his time in Belgrade at various meetings and at a wedding, and could not issue any orders to his subordinates because he didn't have the communications equipment to do it. The defense and the prosecution argued about the date of Mladic's return to the Main Staff: whether it was on 16 or 17 July 2015
In a bid to prove Ratko Mladic's alibi for the period from 14 to 17 July 1995 the defense called his wife Bosiljka Mladic.
In her written statement and in the brief examination-in-chief the witness confirmed that from the evening of 14 to the early morning of 17 July 1995 Mladic was in Belgrade. In that period the Bosnian Serb troops in Srebrenica killed several thousand captured Bosniaks. The killing spree has been qualified in the indictment as genocide. The witness confirmed the defense's case that in Belgrade Mladic didn't have the communications equipment and could therefore not issue any orders to his subordinates in the field. Bosiljka Mladic remembered that she spent three days with Mladic 'going to sleep, having dinner, getting up, having breakfast, drinking coffee'. According to the witness, Mladic was the best man at a wedding and attended a meeting with a delegation of Canadian Serbs at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade.
At the beginning of the cross-examination, the prosecutor asked the witness if she remembered when she learned about Mladic's indictment. 'It may have been in 1996 or in 1997', Bosiljka Mladic replied, noting that she didn't believe Mladic perpetrated the crimes he is charged with. Mladic himself confirmed it to her when she asked him straightforwardly if he had issued the order for the execution in Srebrenica, the witness said through tears. 'He got serious, gave me a sharp look and asked me if I doubted his word', Bosiljka Mladic recounted.
The prosecutor turned to the discrepancies between the statements Bosiljka Mladic gave to the prosecution in Belgrade and to the defense counsels. The witness confirmed that the correct statement was the one she gave to the defense in 2014. According to that statement, Mladic arrived in Belgrade in the evening of 14 July 1995, and not that morning or the day before, as she had claimed previously. Bosiljka Mladic also contested the evidence of Ned Krajisnik and Milan Lesic who had testified that they had met with the accused in the afternoon of 16 July 1995. According to the witness, the meeting took place in the evening, after the wedding.
The prosecutor then referred to the transcript of a telephone conversation recorded in the video footage of the meeting at the Military Medical Academy. Mladic did issue orders to his troops from Belgrade, the prosecutor argued, because he told the other party 'full steam ahead, maximum security, and don't wait for the orders. As soon as they show up in the air, shoot them down'. Bosiljka Mladic said this was not an order, although she did admit that she didn't have the expertise to tell what constituted an order.
Mile Dosenovic, the defense communications expert, began his evidence after Bosiljka Mladic completed hers. With Dosenovic's testimony the defense will try to contest the prosecution evidence on the intercepted conversations between various VRS officers during the Srebrenica operation.
- Case : Mladic
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