In his evidence in Ratko Mladic’s defense, Mile Dosenovic, communication systems expert, contested the authenticity of intercepted conversations the prosecution has admitted into evidence. Dosenovic claims that the BH Army didn’t have the know-how or adequate technology to intercept well-protected communications of the Serb units

Mile Dosenovic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trialMile Dosenovic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial

Ratko Mladic’s defense continued its case with the evidence of Bosnian Serb military colonel Mile Dosenovic. During the war Dosenovic was head of the communications in the VRS 2nd Krajina Corps and now testifies as a communication systems expert. At the request of the defense Dosenovic drafted an expert report in which he contested the authenticity of the Bosnian Serb army intercepted conversations in the possession of the prosecution, primarily those pertaining to the Srebrenica operation in the summer of 1995.

It was indicated that the report would be admitted into evidence under seal and although its parts were discussed at the hearing, they were not disclosed to the public. The witness was examined about the report in minutest detail. Thus, it often remained unclear what the defense wanted to prove.

Dosenovic denied that the BH Army could intercept conversations carried out by Mladic’s military officers over the communications system. Based on a document Dosenovic received from the defense, he concluded that the ‘other side’ had at its disposal Japanese civilian surveillance technology which was usually used by ham radio operators. In Dosenovic’s opinion, the BH Army would have needed more sensitive equipment to intercept military devices and they didn’t have it.

According to the witness, the BH Army communications officers from the electronic reconnaissance and anti-electronic operations units were not trained well enough to conduct surveillance. A handful of them were trained in the JNA while the others either worked in the Bosnian police or were ham radio operators.

Badly trained communications officers using amateur technology didn’t stand a chance against the well-trained communications officers in the Serb army. The technology VRS officers had at their disposal allowed them to protect the communication systems fully. Even if they had been able to intercept such conversations, the BH Army communications officers would have heard only noise, Dosenovic claimed. As he explained, this kind of protection was almost unbreakable.

Presiding judge Orie asked the witness if the Bosnian Serb military officers could in fact have used ‘open’ communications to talk to each other. The witness replied that it would be tantamount to ‘sabotage’. Unprotected communications could have occurred only if Serb officers on both sides had agreed to do it, and that was impossible, Dosenovic argued.

Colonel Dosenovic will continue his evidence on Monday. The defense will complete the examination-in-chief and then the witness will be cross-examined by prosecutor McCloskey.