In his evidence at Ratko Mladic's trial, Gojko Draskovic initially agreed that the war in Sarajevo ‘inflicted damage on both sides’, only to state later in his evidence that the BH Army ‘terrorized’ Serb civilians and soldiers

Gojko Draskovic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trialGojko Draskovic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial

Gojko Draskovic gave evidence at the trial of Ratko Mladic, former commander of the VRS Main Staff. During the war Draskovic first commanded a platoon, then a company and was finally promoted to the post of the deputy commander of the 2nd Battalion in the Sarajevo Motorized Brigade. The area of responsibility of the witness’s battalion stretched along the Grbavica demarcation line, from the Vrbanja Bridge to the Slavisa Vajner Cica military barracks.

Draskovic’s unit held positions in Ozrenska Street. There, the witness and his soldiers were exposed to ‘constant’ sniper fire from the BH Army positions in Milan Pavkovic’s motel, the Loris building and the skyscrapers in Pero Kosoric square. The BH Army opened fire at Ozrenska Street ‘from the back’, too, from their positions in Debelo Brdo and Mojmilo, and from ‘portable mortars’ which were fired from the direction of the Health Center and the Vaso Miskin Crni factory. As Draskovic stated in the examination-in-chief, there were ‘no trained snipers’ in his unit. According to Draskovic, they only had one mortar that they used most often during the night to fire flares to illuminate positions.

In the cross-examination, Draskovic said that the 2nd Battalion did have mortars and snipers. After the enemy attacks, the Battalion would respond with artillery fire to ‘intimidate and warn’ the enemy. Residential buildings where the BH Army had its positions were often targeted, which meant that civilians were in constant fear for their lives. ‘That, in fact, was terror, wasn’t it’, prosecutor Edgerton asked the witness. ‘Sure, the war inflicted damage on both sides', the witness replied.

In the re-examination, Draskovic said that his unit never fired at civilian targets. They targeted only the soldiers who opened fire on Serb positions from civilian facilities. According to the witness, the BH Army ‘terrorized’ the Serb soldiers and civilians in Ozrenska Street. The BH Army troops were better trained and equipped than the VRS, Draskovic claimed. That was his assumption based on the number of victims on the Serb side, Draskovic explained. The witness didn’t know how many casualties there were on the other side.

Draskovic also said that during the war he often wished he could change places with the people working in the Civil Defense and those in the work platoons. Those units had to build fortifications on the Serb positions along the front line, working under artillery and sniper fire. As Draskovic explained, they ‘only’ had to dig trenches and could 'go back to their homes' when their job was done. Unlike him, the witness noted, they ‘didn’t have to worry about other stuff’.

After Gojko Draskovic completed his evidence, the defense called a married couple whose wedding was attended by Mladic in Belgrade on 16 July 1995. In fact, Mladic was their best man. The defense called them in a bid to prove that Mladic has an alibi for the time when mass executions were going on in Srebrenica.