In his continuing testimony at the trial of Radovan Karadzic, General Michael Rose said he believes the projectile that hit the Markale marketplace in Sarajevo on February 5, 1994, was fired from Bosnian Serb positions in the vicinity of Sarajevo.
“Originally, it was considered that the projectile came from Bosnian [Army] positions. I informed the Bosnian authorities accordingly. However, it turned out later on that it was more likely that the projectile came from Serb positions. Nevertheless, the analysis of the crater was rather imprecise,” General Rose said in his testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY.
Rose served as a UN commander during the war in Bosnia.
Karadzic asked the witness several times what had led him to conclude that the grenade had been fired from Serbs positions. Rose said his conclusion was based on other attacks against civilians conducted at that time.
“It is true that the other report determined that the projectile could have been fired from any side, but, on the basis of the shelling of civilians who were queuing for bread in Dobrinja a few days before, I made the conclusion that this was probably done by Serbs. This was my stance at the time and it has not changed since then,” Rose said.
Radovan Karadzic, former Republika Srpska President and Supreme Commander of its armed forces, is indicted for genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.
Among other things, the indictment alleges that Karadzic participated in a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of spreading terror among the civilian population in Sarajevo by conducting a sniping and shelling campaign.
The Hague Prosecution considers him responsible for the shelling of the Markale marketplace in Sarajevo on February 5, 1994 and August 28, 1995, when several dozen civilians were killed and more than a hundred wounded.
During the course of cross-examination the witness said that during his time in Bosnia and Herzegovina he got the impression that the views of Ejup Ganic, former member of the wartime Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were “rather extreme” and he represented a threat to the establishment of peace.
Rose wrote these comments in his book, which Karadzic cited in the courtroom.
Rose also said he “believed” at the time that Ganic organized “a secret police service” with the aim of shooting at trams and blaming the attacks on Serbs.
Questioned about the Gorazde protected zone, General Rose said that the UN forces “formed an opinion” that the Bosnian authorities in the town “tried to drag NATO into the conflict”.
“We noticed they were withdrawing and leaving our forces exposed. I do not know whether this was deliberate and planned beforehand, but we certainly got the impression that they wanted to drag NATO into their war,” Rose said.
He added that he personally noticed that Bosniaks “exaggerated the data about people killed and the situation in the town in order to provoke a NATO intervention”.