Uncategorized @bs

Karadzic: Shelling with Imprecise “Creams”

19. January 2011.00:00
At the trial of Radovan Karadzic, a former UNPROFOR member says he noticed that civilian areas were constantly shelled with improvised projectiles in Sarajevo in the summer of 1995.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Protected Hague Prosecution witness KDZ-304 was deployed to Sarajevo as a UNPROFOR member in 1995.

“Those projectiles were very powerful, but they were not precise at all, because they were ballistic projectiles which could not be directed.”We personally saw this and we also received information from members of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, SRC, who used to call those projectiles ‘creams’,” the witness said. His testimony was interrupted several times in order to ensure that his identity was not revealed..

Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska and supreme commander of its armed forces, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and practices of war committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.

He is on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where he is charged with having planned and implemented a sniping and shelling campaign in Sarajevo with the aim of spreading fear among the civilian population. Thousands of civilians were killed and wounded in the campaign.

The witness said that from March to the end of June 1995 the number of civilian victims increased, and UNPROFOR was informed about three civilians killed in March and 27 killed in June.

“We did not have the complete data about civilian victims because the city authorities did not provide them to us and they prevented our observers from collecting the data. (…) This happened in the downtown area and it could certainly not be associated with military activities undertaken by Bosnian Muslims,” KDZ-304 said.

Karadzic said that the terror against civilians in Sarajevo was “an issue the Defence has to strongly oppose”.

KDZ-304 agreed with the indictee’s suggestion that the increase in the number of victims from March to June coincided with a big offensive undertaken by the First Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in mid May.

Karadzic presented the witness with maps showing the distribution of brigades and artillery of the 12th Division with the First Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, including its positions on Hum, Grdonj and Trebevic mountains. The witness concurred that the First Corps units were situated at those locations.

“The Brigade had between five and ten 82mm howitzers. This is a mid-caliber weapon with limited shooting range, up to 20 kilometres. It did not have good artillery arms,” the witness said in response to a question about one of the brigades.

Karadzic then questioned the witness about “Muslim sniper nests”, mentioning the wounding of one civilian in the city.

“We knew that Bosnian Muslims had positions on the front lines. We saw that, but we did not see them opening fire on civilians or UNPROFOR members,” the witness said.

The indictee was allowed an additional 30 minutes to question the witness at the next hearing, scheduled for January 19, but Karadzic complained, saying that half an hour was “not even close to being enough”.

“We asked for 18 hours for your examination. We would be happy if we could get 15. However, I have only been given three hours, so I have to do everything in a rush,” Karadzic said.M.T.

This post is also available in: Bosnian