In the first week of its case, the prosecution will call Elvedin Pasic, David Harland and Richard Dannatt in order to present an overview and pattern of crimes the former commander of the VRS Main Staff is charged with in the 11 counts in the indictment
After two postponements, almost two months after the prosecution delivered its opening statement, evidence will finally be called at Ratko Mladic’s trial, on Monday, 9 July 2012. The former commander of the VRS Main Staff is charged with genocide and other crimes in the war in BH.
Mladic is charged with his part in four joint criminal enterprises: the ethnic cleansing in BH municipalities, the terror campaign in Sarajevo, taking UN staff hostage and the genocide in Srebrenica. The prosecution initially intended to dedicate a segment of its case to each of the enterprises and to have a separate, introductory segment for an overview and the pattern of crimes committed from the spring of 1992 to the end of the war in BH and Mladic’s role in them. The introductory segment was initially planned to take seven weeks and the prosecution intended to call 24 witnesses. Because of delays, this period was reduced to two weeks and the number of witnesses was limited to seven.
The first three witnesses, slated to testify next week, will cover practically all the key allegations in the 11 counts in the indictment. The first witness, Elvedin Pasic from the village of Hrvacani in Kotor Varos municipality, will draw on his own experience to describe the pattern for the treatment of the non-Serbs in about 20 municipalities claimed by the Bosnian Serb leadership: the attacks and wanton destruction of towns and villages, persecution of civilians, looting of private property, beatings, murder, brutal and inhuman treatment of civilians in prison facilities.
The second witness, David Harland, served as the chief of the civil affairs in the UN mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina from June 1993 to the end of the war. His evidence will cover an even broader area: the artillery and sniper terror campaign in Sarajevo, the attacks on the safe haven of Gorazde, the UN hostage crisis in May and June 1995 and finally, the events in Srebrenica in July 1995. In 1997, Harland wrote a detailed report on Srebrenica on behalf of the UN Secretary-General. Harland will also testify about his 20-odd meetings and conversations with the accused Mladic during the war.
The third witness, British general Richard Dannatt, will be called by the prosecution as its military expert. The former commander of the British armed forces has written an expert report for Ratko Mladic’s trial about command and control, in general terms and specifically about the command and control system in the Republika Srpska Army. In 2000, Dannatt testified at the trial of Radislav Krstic about the role and responsibilities of brigade and corps commanders engaged in the Srebrenica operation. Now, Dannat will apply his expertise to the role and responsibilities of the accused commander of the VRS Main Staff.
The second week of the introductory segment of the prosecution’s case at Ratko Mladic’s trial, from 16 to 20 July, will be devoted entirely to the events in Srebrenica in July 1995.