In the final straight of Ratko Mladic’s defense case, he will call a former high-ranking UN military observer in a bid to contest the allegation that the VRS fired the mortar shells that hit the Markale market on 28 August 1995, causing the second massacre on the same site

ICTY Headquarters in Den HaagICTY Headquarters in Den Haag

After a one-month break the trial of Ratko Mladic continues on Tuesday, 1 March 2016. The former commander of the VRS Main Staff is on trial for genocide and other crimes during the war in BH by the troops under his command.

Only one witness is slated to testify next week. Norwegian officer Per Oien was a senior UN military observer in Sarajevo at the time of the second Markale massacre in August 1995.

In May 2013, Mladic’s lawyers cross-examined Dutch general Nicolai, who was the UNPROFOR chief of staff. The defense showed him a report filed by the UN military observers, which states that on the day of the Markale explosion, Norwegian lieutenant colonel Oien told generals Smith and Nicolai that the preliminary results of the investigation did not indicate which side had fired the fatal rounds that killed 43 and wounded 75 Sarajevans on 28 August 1995. The Dutch general told Mladic’s lawyer that he didn’t remember either the Norwegian lieutenant colonel or his claim that it was impossible to determine where the mortar shells had been fired from.

Before the break, the Trial Chamber expressed its hope that the remaining eight Mladic’s defense witnesses would be examined in the first two weeks in March 2016. The wish will likely go unfulfilled, given that the defense was able to bring only one witness to The Hague to testify in the first week of March.