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COURTSIDE: Sarajevo Trial

Still no clear proof of Markale market responsibility.
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The case of the Markale market massacre continued last week, with none of the parties yet able to present conclusive evidence on the origin of the grenade that killed 66 civilians there on February 5, 1994.


The hearing is part of the trial for the shelling of Sarajevo and the sniping campaign against civilians in the city.


The defence for the accused, General Stanislav Galic, former commander of the Bosnian Serb brigade besieging Sarajevo, denies their client was responsible for the shell. They have presented an UNPROFOR report, which said it was not possible to determine which position the grenade came from.


The prosecution is compiling evidence to prove the Serbs bore responsibility and are calling several investigation experts, who analysed the case when it happened, as witnesses.


By interpreting shrapnel traces on the marketplace's concrete floor, Mirza Sabljic, a ballistics expert from Sarajevo, said he had established that the grenade came from mountains to the north-east of the city. He did not say which army controlled this area at that time, as his formal duties did not include establishing the guilt for the incidents he was called on to investigate.


The prosecution is expected later to connect the various elements of evidence into a conclusive story.


In his cross examination, Galic's defence suggested the market might not have been hit by a mortar grenade. But they proposed no alternative cause for the explosion, nor who was responsible for it, leaving the matter open until the defence present their case and evidence.


The Markale case will continue next week with new witnesses from Sarajevo.


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


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