Paul Conway, former Irish UN military observer in Sarajevo, has testified at the trial of Ratko Mladic. On 28 August 1995, the day of the Markale market massacre, Conway heard several subdued explosions and saw smoke rising up in that part of the city

Paul Conway, defence witness at Rako Mladic trialPaul Conway, defence witness at Rako Mladic trial

Irish major Paul Conway, former UN military observer in Sarajevo, testified at the trial of former commander of the VRS Main Staff Ratko Mladic. The defense wants Conway's evidence to bolster its case, which is that the Serb side was not responsible for the Markale incident. As alleged in the indictment, 43 Sarajevo citizens were killed and 75 were injured when a 120-mm mortar shell exploded at the market on 28 August 1995.

According to the summary of the statement Conway gave to the defense of Radovan Karadzic, former Republika Srpska president, he took up his position at the observation post in Sedrenik in the morning of 28 August 1995. About 11am Conway heard several subdued explosions and saw smoke rising up in the air in the part of Sarajevo where the Markale market is. The witness wasn't able to determine by the sound if the shells had been fired into the city or from it.

In the statement - admitted into evidence as Mladic's defense exhibit - Conway also said that several months later he saw four BH Army mortars on the hill slopes in the southern parts of the city. They were actually trained at the city. It was in December 1995 or in January 1996 and Conway was on a field visit as an officer in the UNMO Main Staff. When he went to the area to have a closer look, the BH Army soldiers stopped him, saying that a military drill was underway.

As he was questioned by prosecutor Carolyn Edgerton, Conway said that the weapons were 120mm mortars. Conway wasn't involved in any of the investigations into the Markale incident, but he nevertheless reported his observations to Dutch lieutenant colonel Harry Konings. At the time of the incident Konings was Conway's superior.

Konings was involved in the investigation of the Markale incident and he testified about it in several cases at the Tribunal, including the trials of Dragomir Milosevic, Momcilo Perisic and Radovan Karadzic. In his evidence at the Karadzic trial, Konings noted that all the findings of the investigations conducted by the UN military observers, UNPROFOR and the local police led to the conclusion that the projectile had been fired from the VRS positions.

The prosecution alleges that the deadly shell was fired from the VRS positions on Mount Trebevic.