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14 October 2014
News

Serbs Didn’t Organise Expulsions, Claims Mladic's Witness

Denis Dzidic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
A defence witness told Ratko Mladic’s war crimes trial that the Bosnian Serb military and civilian authorities did not organise the expulsion of non-Serbs from the Rogatica area in 1992.
Milenko Jankovic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Rogatica company, told his former military chief Mladic’s war crimes trial at the Hague Tribunal on Tuesday that Muslims and Croats left Rogatica voluntarily at the beginning of 1992.

“Muslims left Rogatica mainly before the war, and at the beginning of the war, the others left with their [military] units. Serbs mainly stayed or stayed with their relatives in the nearby villages, but there was no organised expulsion for sure,” Jankovic told the UN-backed court.

He said he had no knowledge about non-Serbs being detained in the police’s ‘public safety station’ in the town.

“The station had no room for someone to be detained and I can assure you that no one was detained in those rooms, there was no room,” Jankovic said.

Mladic is being tried for the persecution and expulsion of Bosniaks and Croats from 15 municipalities controlled by Bosnian Serb forces, including Rogatica.

He is also charged with genocide in Srebrenica, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

Ratomir Maksimovic, former member of the command of Bosnian Serb Army’s Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, also started testifying at Tuesday’s hearing. He said that Serb forces never intentionally targeted civilians or public transport in Sarajevo during the 1992-95 siege of the city.

Maksimovic said that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps only responded to gunfire from the Bosnian Army’s First Corps, and that its actions were purely defensive.

“There never was a thought about taking offensive actions against Sarajevo,” he said.

The trial continues on Wednesday.
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