COURTSIDE: Sarajevo Trial

Court told Bosnian Serb gunners rained shells over residential parts of the city.

COURTSIDE: Sarajevo Trial

Court told Bosnian Serb gunners rained shells over residential parts of the city.

A UN military observer in the trial of General Stanislav Galic for crimes committed during the siege of Sarajevo last week described discovering the body of a young woman who had been blown to pieces by a grenade the day before.


Carl Harding, a former RAF officer, said birds had begun pecking at the corpse, near the Lav cemetery. She had been killed when a grenade struck the shelter she and other civilians had used to escape artillery fire.


After presenting the evidence on sniper attacks on civilians, the prosecution is now calling witnesses to demonstrate that civilians were killed and terrorised by indiscriminate artillery attacks at the same time.


Harding said Bosnian Serb rocket launchers "were raining shells all over the residential parts of Sarajevo" and he reported this to UNPROFOR's commander in Bosnia, General Philippe Morillon.


In spite of hoisting white flags that could be easily seen, Sarajevo hospitals were frequent targets of the Bosnian Serb Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, he said.


By firing artillery without regard to military or civilian targets, they violated two principles in international law on war: differentiation between targets, and proportionality, as the number of civilian victims was disproportionate to any military gains.


In separate testimony, Mirsad Kucanin, a criminal investigator, described the attack on a school in the Sarajevo neighbourhood of Alipasino Polje in November 1993.


Kucanin said a grenade killed a teacher and three students. He established that the Bosnian Serbs launched the attack from the Nedjarici area. He also recalled the killing of a baby girl, shot in bed while sleeping next to her twin sister.


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


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