Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Courtside: General Galic Defence Case

By Vjera Bogati in The Hague (TU No. 291, 25-29 November, 2002)

Witness DP23, a commander of a company based at Grdonj mountain, claimed that thick woods blocked his unit’s view of Sarajevo. Galic is accused of responsibility for the shelling and sniping of civilians inside the city.

DP23, appearing as a protected witness, denied prosecution allegations that Serb sniper and mortar fire were directed at the Sarajevo districts of Sredrenik, Bakije and Grdonj. "There were no snipers or heavy artillery at my positions," he said.

The prosecutor claims that more than 30,000 shells were fired from the Serb-held village of Mrkovici, where the witness lived. But DP23 said he knew of no artillery in his village and would have spotted any big guns placed there.

Another protected witness - DP50, a former Serb artillery battery commander fighting near the Vogosce district during the Sarajevo siege - said "the city could not be seen" from his positions.

He added that there was no need to attack civilian areas, and said, as other defence witnesses have asserted, that the only attacks made on Sarajevo were directed at the position of government forces dug in around the city.

The indictment alleges that for forty-four months, Galic’s Sarajevo Romanija corps implemented a strategy in which shelling and sniping were used to kill, wound and terrorise civilians.

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

More IWPR's Global Voices

Why Did Cuba Jail This Journalist?
Rights defenders say that unusually harsh punishment reflects wider troubles for Havana regime.
Under A Watchful Eye: Cyber Surveillance in Cuba
Cuba's Less Than Beautiful Game