In Sarejevo, in the central square a giant screen showed events from the Hague. Over 11,000 were killed here during the siege, the city pounded daily with shells and mortars. The sports fields of the city overflowed with graves. Memories remain sharp, and for one Sarajevo resident, blame and questions still hang in the air.
“I expect to see justice as soon as possible. I expect justice so that something like this doesn’t happen anywhere in the world. It is sad that Europe and America, or anyone else let this happen here, we are part of Europe.”
Alija Hodzic, a Sarajevo resident whose 17-year old daughter was killed during the siege wants to know exactly what happened.
“No one has accounted for all the children who were killed in Sarajevo, not to mention other casualties. All we need is the truth. We are not people who seek revenge. We are people who forgive. We are ready to forgive but will never forget.”
The sentiments and tone in the Bosnian Serb war-time military stronghold of Pale were in sharp contrast to those of Sarajevo. Here support is still strong for Mladic. One student from Pale came to his defence.
“They want to make it look that only Serbs committed crimes during the war. They have accused an honourable man and they don’t let him defend himself properly. Three sides were involved in the war and there were crimes on all three sides.”
In one of the bars of Pale watched as the accused flashed a thumbs up and clapped his hands as he entered the courtroom. Mladic who was arrested last May after 16 years on the run faces life imprisonment if he is found guilty.