Courtside: General Galic Trial

By Mirko Klarin in The Hague (TU No. 287, October 28 - November 1, 2002)

Courtside: General Galic Trial

By Mirko Klarin in The Hague (TU No. 287, October 28 - November 1, 2002)

Friday, 29 April, 2005

First was Gordan Vukovic, a former military policeman at Lukavica barracks, where the staff of general Galic was situated. The second, Izo Golic, led a mortar platoon during the war.

Vukovic said the main problem facing military police were drunken soldiers on the front line.

They were taken in to a detention unit and left for a night or as long as they needed to get sober.

He wrote reports on this, but he does not know if anyone was ever punished for offences committed while drunk.

In case of "major offences", an army prosecutor was invited to attend. However, during cross-examination, the witness could not remember a single such case.

Golic was trained in artillery in the Yugoslav Peoples Army,JNA, and later joined the VRS.

He said the rest of his platoon had only fifteen days of training. And he insisted that it opened fire from their 120 mm mortars "only when Muslim formations endangered our positions, and targeted only previously selected spots where their mortar and sniper positions were located".

Golic said the Muslim units used "mobile mortars" which were moved across town on trucks or railway carriages and changed their positions very often.

He claimed that sometimes such mortars were used from hospital or museum yards, but they had no direct orders not to respond to such fire.

During cross-examination, Golic said that for 120 mm mortars, every projectile falling within 50 m of the target is regarded as "bull's eye hit".

He admitted that, except at the beginning, his battery did not have "the best of shells", because – once the JNA reserve was gone – some "shady quality" shells appeared, produced by one of the factories controlled by Bosnian Serbs.

Galic’s testimony will be continued on November 4.

Galic is accused of crimes against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of war. He has pleaded not guilty.

Mirko Klarin is IWPR senior editor at the war crimes tribunal and editor-in-chief of SENSE News Agency.

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