COURTSIDE: Sarajevo Trial

Sarajevo residents risked being hit by artillery fire to collect water.

COURTSIDE: Sarajevo Trial

Sarajevo residents risked being hit by artillery fire to collect water.

Five witnesses testified about sniping incidents in the Sarajevo


area that involved them as victims or eye witnesses, in the thirteenth week of the prosecution case against General Stanislav Galic.


Galic was war-time commander of Bosnian Serb army corps which is alleged to have terrorised the city by indiscriminate sniper fire and shelling of civilian targets.


The prosecution wants to show that Sarajevo civilians were not only exposed to sniper fire but to shelling carried out by forces under the defendant's control.


The witnesses, who gave their testimony via video phone from Sarajevo, said that when those of them living in the part of the city called Dobrinja had to line up for water at the risk of dying from artillery fire, they still chose to do so. "We were so desperate that we would nevertheless go out and wait in line," said one protected witness, referred to as IE.


She testified about an artillery attack in 1993 that killed 18 people in a


water queue. "The grenade hit an older man straight into the neck and blew him into pieces," said IE who was waiting in the same line.


She was wounded but took refuge under a staircase. She had been waiting for 48 hours in the line and failed to get water because of the artillery attack.


The witness recalled that one man lost his wife and two daughters in the


attack, while another woman was killed together with her daughter.


Later, she said, the wounded were transported to the closest hospital where the medical staff saved many lives.


Vjera Bogati is an IWPR special correspondent at The Hague and a journalist with SENSE News Agency.


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