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The trial of Serbian-Montenegro war criminal Radovan Karadzic
A Hague Prosecution witness testifying at the trial of Radovan Karadzic has said he attended the launch of modified air-bombs from Serb positions in the summer of 1995.
As per an order issued by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, electrical engineer Milomir Soja went to an ammunitions factory in Vogosca in the spring of 1995 in order to modify air-bomb firing systems and launchers which belonged to the Corps.
As he said in his statement, in the summer of 1995 he was asked to attend the launch of an air-bomb targeting the refrigerator warehouse in the Stup district of Sarajevo, from where Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina forces had opened fire on VRS positions.
“The air-bomb did not reach the warehouse, but rather exploded prematurely on the territory controlled by the VRS,” the witness said. He added that “fire was often opened on Ilidza”, an area under VRS control, from the direction in which the warehouse was located.
Radovan Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska and Supreme Commander of its armed forces, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995. He is on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The Prosecution charges him with participation in a sniper and shelling campaign conducted in Sarajevo during the war. The indictment lists five incidents in the period from April to June 1995, when “modified air-bombs were fired from the territories controlled by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps”, hitting inhabited areas and klling and wounding dozens of people.
During the course of cross-examination the witness agreed with indictee Karadzic when he said that there were no residential buildings in the part of Sarajevo towards which the air-bomb was fired, but there were just “some factory buildings”, adding that “Serb and Muslim military forts” were located there.
When asked whether he heard that the modified bomb was used against civilians, Soja said he did not know anything about the targets.
At this hearing Radovan Karadzic said he was not feeling well. Following a short discussion in private session, the Trial Chamber decided hearings would continue on October 5 with the examination of a new Prosecution witness.