PROSECUTOR HIGHLIGHTS DEFENSE EXPERT’S ERRORS
At the beginning of the cross-examination of Mladic’s witness Zorica Subotic the prosecutor highlighted a number of errors in her reports. Subotic denied in her expert reports that the Bosnian Serb army was to blame for the attacks on civilians during the four-year siege of Sarajevo. The accused was cautioned for inappropriate behavior
On the first day of the cross-examination, the sixth day of Zorica Subotic’s evidence, prosecutor Weber spent most of the time critiquing the three reports Subotic has produced. The defense ballistics expert denied in her reports that the Bosnian Serb army under the command of the accused Ratko Mladic was to blame for the artillery terror campaign against the citizens of Sarajevo. The prosecutor suggested that the expert based her conclusions on erroneous premises. The expert’s findings were contrary to the prosecution's evidence on the four years of artillery attacks on Sarajevo. This evidence was for the most part based on the findings of Bosnian investigation teams.
The first argument proffered by the prosecutor is that the findings made by the police in the immediate aftermath of the artillery attacks were more reliable than the conclusions reached by the expert witness and her colleagues based on war-time photos and videos and a visit to Sarajevo in 2010. Subotic replied that it was ‘all we had’and dismissed the suggestion that it was impossible to reach valid conclusions based on this kind of evidence.
In her first report on the shelling Zorica Subotic concluded that the shell that killed 26 and wounded 108 persons in the bread queue in Vase Miskina Street on 27 May 1992 hadn’t been fired from the Bosnian Serb military positions. According to Subotic, the projectile came in from the distance of about 100 meters, which meant that the BH Army was responsible for the attack. The Bosnian Serb military positions were about 1,700 or 1,800 meters away from the place of impact. According to the prosecutor, the witness's conclusions were based on the erroneous application of firing tables because she failed to take into account the height of Mount Trebevic. Subotic rejected the allegation. The prosecutor went on to present an intercepted conversation between Milosav Gagovic and a VRS colonel by the name of Cada, which occurred on 27 May 1992. Gagovic was the commander of the JNA 4th Corps in Sarajevo. In the conversation, they say that a shell fired from Mount Trebevic killed five persons near the Faculty of Economy. Vase Miskina Street is located in that part of Sarajevo. The witness told the prosecutor that she did not have access to that exhibit when she was drafting the report.
Contesting the prosecution’s argument that modified air bombs, used by Mladic’s army in the last year of the war to attack Sarajevo, were highly indiscriminate weapons, Subotic said the accuracy of modified air bomb ‘was comparable to rocket artillery weapons’. In a bid to corroborate her allegation, the expert noted that the firing tables were produced before the weapons came into use. The tables were updated in 2001 in the Military Technical Institute in Belgrade where Subotic was employed, she said. Mirjana Andjelkovic Lukic, who was Subotic’s colleague at the Institute and worked with her on the expert reports, said in her evidence in Radovan Karadzic’s defense that no firing tables for modified air bombs had ever been made in the Institute, prosecutor said. If any tables had been made, Andjelkovic Lukic would have had to know about them. Mladic’s expert witness didn’t want to contradict her colleague but was nevertheless unwilling to retract her claim.
At the very end of the hearing today, Mladic made loudly commented against the Registrar’s decision not to allow a visit from Mladic's ‘war-time friends’who have ‘come from afar to see him’, as Mladic's lawyer Stojanovic explained. Presiding judge Orie stressed that the defense knew it all too well that a motion could be filed to appeal against the Registrar’s decision. At the same time, the presiding judge reprimanded the accused for his loud comments in the courtroom and for communicating with the visitors in the public gallery. ‘Your behavior is always contrary to what is expected of you’, Judge Orie warned Mladic. The trial continues on Monday.
- Case : Mladic
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