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VRS Attacked Only Military Targets

27. August 2014.00:00
Testifying in defence of Ratko Mladic, former Commander of the Igman Brigade with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, Velimir Dunjic says that the Brigade did not commit crimes on the Sarajevo battlefield in 1992 and 1993.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Dunjic said that his Brigade exclusively defended the six Sarajevo municipalities, where “tens of thousands of Serbs” lived, during military offensives conducted by the Army of BiH.
The witness denied that his unit used snipers, claiming that the terrain was not suitable for that, but he confirmed that the Brigade fired big-calibre artillery grenades on targets in the city, “because it was a war, not a chess game”.
Dunjic denied the Prosecutor’s allegation during the cross-examination that those grenades hit civilian buildings as well, by saying: “We opened fire at our enemy, its units and military positions.”
When asked if civilian victims could have been caused, the witness said: “Maybe there were civilian victims, but, if enemy forces opened fire at us from civilian buildings, those were no longer considered civilian buildings, but legitimate military targets at which we opened fire.”  
Dunjic testified at the trial of Ratko Mladic, former Commander of the VRS Main Headquarters, who is charged with having terrorised the citizens of Sarajevo by conducting a sniping and shelling campaign. Also, he is on trial for genocide in Srebrenica and seven other Bosnian municipalities, persecution of Bosniaks and Croats, as well as taking UNPROFOR members hostage.  
When asked about Jovan Divjak, a Bosnian Army general, Dunjic said: “He is a Serb, who betrayed the Serbian people and took the Muslim side.”
The witness confirmed that a group of “Seselj’s men”, which was led by Branislav Gavrilovic, known as Brne, was under his command as part of the Igman Brigade of VRS, adding that they were members of VRS and that they respected the international war conventions.
According to the Prosecution’s allegations, the group set the property owned by Muslims and Croats on fire and pillaged it and committed other crimes.
Dunjic said that humanitarian convoys freely passed towards Sarajevo through the zone of responsibility of his unit despite the fact that ABiH used them for smuggling weapons and ammunition.
The next Defence witness is due to testify on Thursday, August 28.

Radoša Milutinović

This post is also available in: Bosnian