Ratko Mladic was confronted in court with a survivor of a 1992 mass execution in Grabovica as war crime prosecutors opened their case.
While thousands gathered in the Bosnian capital in a tribute to victims of the later Srebrenica massacre, Elvedin Pasic told international judges sitting in The Hague of his idyllic childhood before the onset of the brutal ethnic conflict. During the course of his testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Pasic is expected to detail a systematic programme of persecution leading to mass killings. “Before the war we had a great time,” Pasic, who as a 14-year-old boy lived in the village of Hvracani in northern Bosnia, told the court.
“We were playing basketball and football, we used to do everything together. Muslim, Croats and Serbs, we were all having a great time, respecting each other.” Things began to change in the spring of 1992, when Pasic first noticed a convoy of military vehicles with soldiers in the uniform of the Yugoslav national army (JNA), giving Muslims the three-fingered Serbian salute.