Chilling images shown at trial in Hague

 

The prosecution in the trial of the Bosnian Serb Gen. Radislav Krstic painted a graphic picture yesterday of the sites where up to 9,000 people were killed after the fall of Srebrenica.

Gen. Krstic (52), the former right-hand man of Gen. Ratko Mladic and the former Bosnian Serb leader, Dr Radovan Karadzic, is accused of masterminding the massacre.

The prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague describes the killings as Europe's worst atrocity since the second World War.

On the second day of the hearings yesterday, the ICTY special investigator, Mr Jean-Rene Ruez, used maps, photographs and video footage to describe the various sites at Potocari, 5 km from Srebrenica, where the Bosnian Muslim refugees were held after the fall of the UN "safe area".

Mr Ruez said that up to 9,000 Bosnian Muslims were grouped together in appalling conditions in a warehouse dubbed the "White House" before being transported to the execution sites.

He then showed the court harrowing video images of the open fields where the Bosnian Serbs rounded up those refugees who had surrendered after a vain effort to flee across the mountains to safety.

A video made by ICTY investigators in 1996 showed a warehouse near Kravica, to the north of Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb soldiers under Gen. Krstic's command summarily executed hundreds of Bosnian Muslim men, according to the prosecution.

The images showed that the walls of the warehouse were riddled with bullet holes, indicating, the prosecution alleges, where Bosnian Serb troops had mown down the Bosnian Muslims with automatic weapons or killed them with grenades.

In the five years since the massacre, which took place between July 11th and July 15th, 1995, at least 2,000 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves, many with hands tied behind their backs.