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Courtside: Galic Trial

By Vjera Bogati in The Hague (TU 292, 2-6 December, 2002)
By IWPR

"[The Bosnian] army did not respect a single ceasefire. We complained to Galic after several of our men had been killed,” said the protected witness, identified only as DP17. “He said no matter which one of us is hit, we can not respond.”


DP17 said he was in charge of moral and religious affairs, and later chief of staff, of the Bosnian Serb Ilidza brigade.


Galic is accused of shelling and sniping attacks against Sarajevo civilians during the 44-month long siege of the Bosnian capital. But his former subordinates are testifying that no unlawful attacks took place, and that any civilian casualties were the result of collateral damage.


DP17 said his superiors allowed military actions only against armed individuals, never against civilians. He told the court that he was certain that such orders were respected by ordinary Serb troops in the foxholes.


Prosecutor Darril Mundis insisted violations had taken place, and pointed to a meeting held by the Ilidza brigade command - at which Galic was present - to discuss an UNPROFOR complaint about sniper attacks.


"Muslims would report an attack and General Galic would then forbid any action against civilians...and we took care this is respected," replied the witness, who also claimed that there were no specialised snipers in his brigade.


But the prosecutor produced a report by UN Military Observers report, which stated that the Ilidza brigade commander had admitted sniping had taken place from one location, and promised not to use that location as a sniping position.


DP17 replied that he doubted the report was true. The trial continues.


Vjera Bogati is an IWPR correspondent in The Hague and a journalist with SENSE news agency.


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