Written by: Andy Wilcoxson


General Radomir Gojovic, former head of the Legal Directorate at the Yugoslav Defense Ministry, testified as a defense witness at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic on Tuesday.


A great deal of Gojovic’s testimony dealt with his time as a JNA military prosecutor in Sarajevo. Gojovic said that the JNA lost 26 men without firing a single shot in early 1992. He said that the Army was attacked by Muslim paramilitary forces and did not even return fire in self-defense.

General Gojovic testified as to his personal experience being sniped at in Sarajevo in 1991 in order to support the Defense contention that charges of sniping attributed to VRS or JNA forces were more properly ascribed to Muslim forces. General Gojovic singled out sniping at Novi Grad in Sarajevo as a case in point.

The witness said that Muslim snipers recognized Serbs from their clothing: women by their black clothes and men by their caps.

Gojovic said that the Muslims also inflicted atrocities against themselves and then blamed the JNA.  He recounted one instance when Muslim forces in Mojmilo shelled civilian buildings in Sarajevo and then blamed the army for the shelling. Gojovic was a direct witness to this event. He was stationed at the Viktor Bubanj Barracks in Sarajevo and the shells flew right over his base.


Gen. Gojovic recounted information that he received from an eyewitness to the “breadline massacre” that happened in Sarajevo on Vase Miskina Street in May 1992, leaving 16 people dead.


Nedeljko Lizdek, a military police officer who died in 1994, told Gojovic that he saw TV cameras being set up on Vase Miskina Street just prior to the explosion.


This is eerily similar to Gen. MacKenzie’s account of the Markale Market Massacre. Gen. MacKenzie has claimed that journalists were brought in prior to that event too.


Lizdek, who returned to the scene after the explosion, told Gojovic that there was no crater left by the explosion. He said that he saw people hammering a hole into the ground the day after the explosion in order to simulate a mortar crater.


On August 22, 1992 the London Independent published excerpts from classified reports given to the UN force commander, General Satish Nambiar. The reports say that Muslim forces loyal to Alija Izetbegovic may have detonated a bomb.

''We believe it was a command-detonated explosion, probably in a can,'' a UN official said then. ''The impact which is there now is not necessarily similar or anywhere near as large as we came to expect with a mortar round landing on a paved surface.''


Evidence that the breadline massacre was staged is important because the televised scenes of civilians cut to pieces by the explosion as they queued for bread horrified international public opinion and added to pressure for Western military intervention against the Serbs.

Secondly, the explosion on Vase Miskina Street, was used the by Muslims in order to break-off European Community-brokered talks on the state organization of Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the pretext that they have nothing to talk about with Serbs who, allegedly, carry out such massacres.


Mr. Nice strenuously objected to Gojovic’s testimony concerning the massacre on grounds that it was hearsay from the now deceased Mr. Lizdek. Mr. Nice’s objection is nonsense since there is other evidence that corroborates the truthfulness of the testimony.


Mr. Nice’s objection to hearsay in the defense case is laughable. Mr. Nice relied on hearsay of the worst kind throughout the prosecution case. When Slobodan Lazarevic testified for the prosecution, he said that he overheard a couple of drunk JNA soldiers talking about “greater Serbia” in a bar, and Mr. Nice gladly took that as evidence of a “greater Serbia” conspiracy.


Gojovic testified that charges had been brought against VJ members who had been found to commit crimes during the 1999 Kosovo conflict. His testimony refutes the claim that the Yugoslav Government failed to prevent and punish war crimes in Kosovo.


The testimony of Gen. Gojovic is corroborated by the testimony of prosecution witness Radomir Markovic. On July 26, 2002 Markovic testified that hundreds of members of the Serbian Police and Yugoslav Army were prosecuted by the Yugoslav justice system because they had committed crimes in Kosovo (See page 8729 and 8730 of the July 26, 2002 trial transcript).


Both Markovic and Gojovic have testified that the orders issued to the army police personnel explicitly called for the punishment of any member who violated the laws or customs of war. The orders mandated strict adherence to the Geneva Conventions, and the protection of the civilian population.


The fact that the Yugoslav government prosecuted its own soldiers and police shows that there was no plan, conspiracy, or joint criminal enterprise aimed at ethnically cleansing the Kosovo Albanians. Gojovic is expected to give more evidence regarding military prosecutions tomorrow.


This evidence is very bad for the prosecution. The prosecution has failed to present any written or oral orders issued by Milosevic or the main command of the VJ or MUP that indicate a policy of criminality. The prosecution case relies on the existence of an unspoken policy of war criminality. Evidence that the Government prosecuted war crimes refutes the idea of an unspoken policy of war crimes.


General Gojovic’s testimony will continue on Wednesday.

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