On the last day of her evidence in Ratko Mladic’s defense, Svetlana Radovanovic explained that she didn’t want to contest the number of the people who went missing or were killed in Srebrenica. The purpose of her testimony was to explain that in her view the methodology applied by the prosecution’s experts was not in line with the current scientific standards. Radovanovic is a professor of demography and statistics from Belgrade

Svetlana Radovanovic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trialSvetlana Radovanovic, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial

Svetlana Radovanovic, the defense’s demography expert, completed today her evidence at the trial of Ratko Mladic. The witness contested the key findings of the prosecution’s experts. Radovanovic thus challenged the prosecution demography experts’ conclusions about the scale of the ethnic cleansing in the municipalities listed in the indictment against Mladic. Also, the witness refuted the findings that about 8,000 Bosniak men and boys went missing after the fall of Srebrenica.

In the four days of her evidence even the judges were occasionally at a loss as to why the witness was critical of her colleagues. Today, Radovanovic explained she didn't ‘contest the figures but the methodology’. The defense’s goal was obviously to make the judges question the validity of the findings presented by the prosecution’s demography experts and thus reduce the scope of the crimes Mladic has been charged with.

One of key criticisms levied by the defense expert against the reports submitted by the prosecution experts was that they used matching as a method in statistics. As Radovanovic noted, the prosecution list with the names of 8,000 missing persons from Srebrenica contained 220 persons who, according to the BH Army’s lists, died before 1995 and the Srebrenica crimes. The prosecution didn’t deny the process of determining the number of victims was fraught with difficulties and that mistakes were made, but they were corrected in the meantime. Prosecutor File explained that they were able to establish subsequently that 140 persons from the list of 220 victims with the controversial dates of death were exhumed in the Srebrenica mass graves. Also, the prosecutor noted, the BH Army corrected their data base after receiving this and other information.

The retired professor of demography and statistics from Belgrade thus completed her sixth testimony before the Tribunal. She has testified in defense of seven accused: none has been acquitted. In a sense her evidence at the Mladic trial was her final professional challenge.

As the hearing drew to a close, the examination-in-chief of Simo Tusevljak continued. Tusevljak began his evidence as Mladic's defense witness in July 2015 before the Tribunal’s summer recess. During the war Tusevljak was the chief of the criminal investigations department in the Bosnian Serb Romanija-Birac security services center, located in Ilidza. Today Tusevljak said that the entire Ilidza municipality was targeted by the BH Army’s artillery and snipers. Civilian buildings such as the high school, the health center, the hospital, bus stations and residential buildings were all routinely targeted, Tusevljak claimed. The attacks were launched from high-rise civilian buildings located in Butmir, Hrasnica and Sokolovic Kolonija. The defense implies civilians ended up being casualties in shelling and sniper attacks on both sides. The defense also wants to show that civilian facilities in Sarajevo were legitimate military targets because they were used by the BH Army.

Simo Tusevljak continues his evidence on Monday.