RUPERT SMITH: NO EVIDENCE MUSLIMS SHELLED THEMSELVES
A CASE AGAINST SERBIAN PROPAGANDA ABOUT SARAJEVO MARKALE MASSACRE
(2.) “NO EVIDENCE MUSLIMS SHELLED THEMSELVES” – testifies General Rupert Smith
(3.) UN Report also found Serbs to be responsible for the massacre,
(4.) The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia already convicted Bosnian Serb General, Stanislav Galic, for terrorizing Sarajevo and for responsibility for Markale Massacre, read here.
Today, former UNPROFOR commander Rupert Smith testified at the Hague trial of General Dragomir Milošević.
The former British general took the stand yesterday at the trial of the former Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander charged with the shelling of Sarajevo and sniper campaign against its civilians from August 1994 to November 1995.
In a brief examination-in-chief the prosecution went through the most relevant paragraphs in General Smith’s comprehensive written statement. It was admitted into evidence together with other documents whose authenticity was confirmed by the witness.
Yesterday Smith confirmed the prosecution’s description of the Bosnian Serb strategy, the nature of command and control in the VRS and the peculiar manner in which General Mladić exercised command. General Smith described it as “centralized”.
The former UNPROFOR commander said that the use of the artillery – to shell Sarajevo – was controlled at the level of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and consequently of the accused General Milošević who commanded the Corps.
The witness thought the sniper activities were coordinated at the battalion level, but they could have been “controlled from higher levels”. Smith said that the Corps command could have issued orders to limit the sniper activity or to steer them to certain targets.General Rupert Smith confirmed that he had concluded “beyond reasonable doubt” the mortar shell that caused the Markale 2 massacre had come “from the Serb positions around Sarajevo.”
He told the court he reached the conclusion by putting together the results of two investigations, undertaken by the UN military observers and the UNPROFOR Sarajevo Sector experts.
At the end of the examination-in chief, prosecutor Alex Whiting asked Smith whether he had any knowledge of the Bosnian Army “shelling and sniping at its own civilians”. The former UNPROFOR commander said that he had “heard of such allegations”, but that he was never shown “a single piece of evidence to corroborate them”.
General Milošević’s defense counsel took those claims as the starting point for the cross-examination. One of the defense lawyers referred to the book written by General Michael Rose, Smith’s predecessor at the post of UNPROFOR commander, and the testimony of General Nikolai, General Smith’s former chief of staff.
Smith said that he “had not read General Rose’s book.” He went on to testify that General Rose himself “never told him anything about the Bosnian Army shooting at its own people”. As for Nikolai’s statement, Smith said that the Dutch general “merely presented unsubstantiated claims”.