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Monday, 3 December, 2001, 17:50 GMT
Sarajevo siege general on trial
Rescuers drag wounded from scene of market massacre
The market massacre caused revulsion worldwide
The first Bosnian Serb officer accused over the bloody siege of Sarajevo has gone on trial in The Hague charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In addition to the sheer human carnage that the shelling and the sniping caused, the endless threat of death and maiming caused extensive trauma and psychological damage to the inhabitants of Sarajevo

General Stanislav Galic, who led the troops besieging the city, is held directly responsible by prosecutors for an attack on a Sarajevo market in 1994, which left 66 people dead and 140 wounded.

The Hague indictment also says General Galic's forces used a strategy of shelling and sniping designed to keep the inhabitants of Sarajevo in a constant state of terror.

The general, who was arrested in December 1999 by Nato troops in the Bosnian Serb town of Banja Luka, has pleaded not guilty.

Shelling and sniping

"The siege of Sarajevo was an episode of such notoriety that one must go back to World War II to find a parallel in European history," lawyer Mark Ierace said, opening the case for the prosecution.

Stanislav Galic
Stanislav Galic: Took orders from Mladic and Karadzic
The indictment speaks of his forces directing "shelling and sniping at civilians who were tending vegetable plots, queuing for bread, collecting water, attending funerals, shopping in markets, riding on trams, gathering wood or simply walking with their children and friends".

The United Nations declared Sarajevo a safe area in 1993, but shelling by the Bosnian Serb Romanija Corps, led by General Galic, continued from the surrounding mountains.

More than 10,000 people were killed and 50,000 injured during the 43 months of the siege.

General Galic's superiors, General Ratko Mladic and the Bosnian Serb political leader, Radovan Karadzic, have also been indicted over the siege but are still on the run, much to the anger and frustration of the tribunal's chief prosecutor.

The siege also stands on the charge sheet of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who is awaiting trial at the tribunal.

See also:

13 Nov 01 | Europe
Bosnia prison guards jailed
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