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Karadzic: Proof of Impartiality

25. February 2011.00:00
Court expert Berko Zecevic says that an order for his murder was issued after he said that the projectile that hit Markale marketplace in February 1994 could have been fired from a position held by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Testifying at the trial of Radovan Karadzic, the ballistics expert mentioned the death threat in an effort to refute the indictee’s allegations that he undertook additional measurements in order to prove that the projectile “was not fired from Muslim positions but from positions held by Serbs”.

“I did not do that in order to eliminate one of the positions. I shall tell you something now. An order for my murder was issued because I wrote that. We know who issued it,” the court expert said, adding that the person died two years ago.

The indictment alleges that the projectile, which hit the Markale open-air market on February 5, 1994 and killed 66 people, was launched from positions held by the Republika Srpska Army.
Radovan Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska, is charged with the Markale massacre. He also faces allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.
Zecevic was chairman of a commission whose members conducted an investigation at the marketplace one day after the explosion and made a report saying that the projectile could have been launched from six positions, including five positions held by Serbs and one held by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zecevic then eliminated three of the six positions on the basis of analysis he conducted later.
“I told you I had limited time to prepare the report. The situation was very complex at the time and no additional investigation was possible,” Zecevic said, adding that he conducted an additional analysis in 2003, at the request of the Hague Tribunal.
The indictee suggested several times that Zecevic was involved in a number of cases in order to “fix the things with which the prosecution was not satisfied”, but the court expert denied his allegation.
Answering the indictee’s questions, the court expert explained how it was possible for the projectile to murder and injure so many people at Markale and why it could not possibly “have exploded in a market stall or been launched from a nearby building, or why its stabilizer could not have been installed subsequently”.
“In the military industry it is forbidden to perform any interventions on igniters, but if you want to be a terrorist and kill your fellow citizens, you will launch a projectile from a building,” Zecevic said.
When the indictee said that the method he used to determine the incoming angle of the projectile was not scientifically verified, Zecevic said the method was not standardised at the time, but it could now be considered that it had been adopted for “terrorist activities in cities”.
“You have the right to say that I am not competent or objective, but the fact that the stabilizer penetrated into the ground is of key importance and you cannot deny it,” Zecevic said, responding to one of Karadzic’s questions.
Expressing his dissatisfaction over the fact that he was only allowed to cross-examine the court expert for six hours, instead of the 25 he had requested, Karadzic announced that the Defence might call the court expert to testify. Following the completion of Zecevic’s examination, the Trial Chamber said the indictment against him, which was filed due to his refusal to testify, would be cancelled.  
The examination of Ramiz Mujkic, which began on February 17, continued at this hearing. It will continue on Friday, February 25. 


This post is also available in: Bosnian