CONTROVERSIAL LINE OF SIGHT FOR SARAJEVO SNIPER TARGETS
On the fifth day of his evidence, Mladic's military expert Mile Poparic argues with the prosecutor about the scale of the sniper campaign against Sarajevo civilians. Another topic of debate was the line of sight from the Serb positions to the targets
The cross-examination of Mile Poparic continued today. The pattern remained the same: the prosecutor contested the findings in the expert reports, Ratko Mladic's witness defended his conclusions to deny the responsibility of the Bosnian Serb army for sniper attacks on Sarajevo citizens. The public following the trial from the gallery was baffled during most of the hearing because neither the photos nor video recordings which were the focus of the discussion were not shown publicly.
The prosecutor showed documents that indicate that the incidents listed in the indictment against Mladic were only a small portion of sniper attacks on the civilians. According to the prosecutor, those incidents were just a sample of the terror campaign in whichSarajevo citizens were wounded and killed on a daily basis. Poparic refused to agree with such a conclusion making it clear that he could only speak about the cases he analyzed in his reports.
In one of his four expert reports Poparic quotedNafa Taric as saying that she and her eight-year old daughter Elma were the 'first and the last' victims wounded in Ivana Krndelja Street in downtown Sarajevo on 3 September 1994. Poparic thus implied that the attacks on civilians were not frequent and that the incident wasn't necessarily a deliberate sniper attack. In response, the prosecutor also quoted from Nafa Taric's testimony at the Tribunal, when she said that there were at least five other sniper attacks on civilians that same day and in the same part of the city; she heard that in hospital. Poparic explained that he only spoke about the specific location, not about that part of Sarajevo. Also, Poparic noted that he didn't examine other incidents.
Another key topic was the line of sight from Serb positions around Sarajevo to targets. The prosecutor put it to Mladic's expert that he either deliberately or incidentally drew the wrong conclusion that there was no line of sight at some incident sites. Poparic explained that his conclusion was that the visibility was bad from some but not all thebuildings where the incidents occurred.
For example, in his report Poparic claimed the tram tracks in Zmaja od Bosne Street were not visible from the white skyscrapers in Grbavica. The prosecution alleges that the white skyscrapers were used to open fire on Sarajevo trams. Poparic nevertheless didn't contest the claim thatZmaja od Bosne Street was clearly visible from higher floors in the Grbavica white skyscrapers. Several photos and a video recording were played in the courtroom in that part of the hearing but they were not shown to the public.
Mile Poparic continues with his evidence tomorrow.
- Case : Mladic
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