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

Courtside: Sarajevo Trial

By Vjera Bogati in The Hague (TU No. 290, 18-22 November, 2002)

The witness, identified only as DP 14, said that in fact Galic had given orders to refrain from targeting civilians.

DP 14, the latest of Galic's former officers to give evidence, was a Bosnian Serb army company commander in Sarajevo's Vogosce district.

Like other Galic witnesses, mostly former soldiers in his Romania-Sarajevo corps, he said that they fought only Bosnian government troops based in Sarajevo - and were careful not to harm civilians.

Witness DP 14 testified that the government forces used tank fire against Serbian civilian areas in Vogosce.

Another Serb soldier, Vaso Nikolic, one of a few defence witnesses who testified without identity protection, said that from his own front line position, it was "not even possible to see the city, let alone shoot at civilians there."

The prosecution alleges that inhabitants of Sarajevo, including women and children, were targeted from Vogosce hill and accuses Galic of directing a campaign of sniper and artillery fire against civilian areas.

Prosecutor Mark Lerace showed photographs made from these former Serb positions, showing a clear view of the city.

The witness replied that in a war situation he could not stand upright by the trenches to have such view. And Nikolic described a prosecution claim that his company shot at civilians as a "provocation".

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

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