Jezik / Language:
23 April 2013

Galic Says that Sarajevo Was Not Deprived of Humanitarian Aid

Radosa Milutinovic BIRN BiH The Hague
As he continues testifying in defence of Radovan Karadzic, former Commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, SRC, with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, Stanislav Galic denies that his units deprived civilians of humanitarian aid, water, electricity and gas.
Galic said that Karadzic and the VRS Main Headquarters ordered him to respect agreements on free passage of United Nations, UN humanitarian convoys to Sarajevo. However, he said that the intensity of fire by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the city would increase once the convoys had passed, suggesting that ammunition was smuggled in those convoys.
He said that “nobody manipulated the water supply”, adding that water shortage in Sarajevo happened due to electricity cuts, blaming Muslims forces in the city for them. According to Galic’s testimony, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina opened fire at teams who repaired the water, gas and electricity supply systems.
In 2006 The Hague Tribunal pronounced a second instance verdict, sentencing Galic to life imprisonment for terrorising the local population in Sarajevo through an artillery and sniper campaign.
The terrorising of Sarajevo residents is also charged upon Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska and supreme Commander of its Army. According to the charges, Karadzic and VRS deprived Sarajevo residents of basic supplies, using them for putting pressure on the city authorities. Besides that, Karadzic is on trial for genocide, persecution of Bosniaks and Croats and taking UNPROFOR members hostage.
Galic said that Karadzic did not personally issue “orders related to the use of units”, but the orders came from the Main Headquarters of VRS. “Karadzic was not very much involved in the planning and management of combat activities, but he did have some control over them,” Galic said.
When asked by presiding judge O-Gon Kwon what the mentioning of “Turks” and “converts to Islam” in SRC’s orders meant, Galic said that such words were not used by him, but by the Chief of Corps Headquarters. He explained that those terms referred to “Muslims, in a slightly taunting way”. Responding to an additional question by the indictee on who the converts to Islam were, the witness said: “Islamised Serbs”.
Answering a question by Prosecutor Caroline Edgerton at the beginning of cross-examination, Galic confirmed that he was sentenced for the same artillery and sniper attacks against civilians in Sarajevo, which were mentioned in the indictment against Karadzic.
Commenting on Galic’s allegation that he had never received a protest letter from UN military observers for opening fire on the city, the Prosecutor quoted statements by UNPROFOR officers, who appeared as witnesses, saying that they had personally protested to him. Galic responded by saying that he did not consider oral protests “official”, adding that he checked with subordinated commands whether any written protests had been received. He said that the protests were “general”, based on speculations and not supported by evidence.
“I cannot say from the Hague what is happening in Sarajevo right now. I could not do it from Sarajevo either at that time. Nearly 400,000 people were present in that area,” Galic said.
Mentioning an explosion at Markale open market on February 5, 1994, when 66 people were killed and more than 140 wounded, as an example, Galic said: “How many UN commissions worked in it? What did they determine? They determined that nothing could be determined.”
The Prosecutors are due to continue cross-examining Galic on Thursday. The trial of Karadzic continues on Wednesday, April 24, when a former UN envoy, Yasushi Akashi, will testify.

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