THE HAGUE - Unveiling Serb atrocities during the Bosnian civil war, prosecutors in the genocide trial of Serb leader Ratko Mladic on Thursday, May 17, described the mass killings of innocent Muslims by Serb troops.
"This was and will remain genocide," prosecutor Peter McCloskey told the court, Reuters reported.
"The evidence of this crime is overwhelming ... We will focus on linking General Mladic and his men to the crime."
Serb Leader on Trial for Muslim GenocideSrebrenica Mothers Await to Bury Their Dead
The prosecutor showed grainy video footage of bodies outside a warehouse where about 1,000 Muslims were gunned down.
He said nearly 6,000 bodies had been exhumed from mass graves and secondary sites where bodies were reburied to conceal them in remote mountain areas. Their remains have been identified by DNA testing.
"In only five days, forces of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic expelled the population from Srebrenica and Zepa and murdered more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys."
Mladic was the commander of the Serb forces during the 1992-95 Bosnia civil war.
He faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the Srebrenica massacre and the bloody siege of Sarajevo, in which more than 10,000 people were killed by snipers, machineguns and heavy artillery.
At the beginning of his trial on Wednesday, Mladic taunted Srebrenica Muslim survivors, running his hand across his throat in a gesture of defiance
Srebrenica was a UN-protected Muslim enclave until July 11, 1995, when it was overrun by Serb forces.
More than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered and buried in mass graves.
The Srebrenica massacre has been termed genocide by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal.
In the public area, mothers of Srebrenica victims wept as they listened to the proceedings.
"My husband was 45 years old. He was taken away and killed only because he had a different name and different religion," Zumra Sahomerovic told Reuters.
"There is no punishment good enough for him (Mladic)."
The prosecution says the massacre was part of a strategic plan, devised with Milosevic, then Serbian president, and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, to "cleanse" parts of the Balkans of non-Serbs and create a pure Serb state.
Mladic was indicted in 1995 along with Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serbs' political leader, who is also on trial in The Hague. Yet both remained free in Serbia for more than a decade before being tracked down.
Mladic has dismissed the charges as "monstrous" and says he is too ill to endure a trial that may last two years or more.
Muslim victims fear that time and failing health could help him avoid judgment like his mentor Slobodan Milosevic, the architect of the Balkan wars, who died in detention in 2006 - a few months before a verdict in his trial for genocide and other war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.The prosecution case alone is projected to last 200 hours, with testimony from 411 witnesses, and defense lawyers say they have not had have enough time to review the huge case file.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net