Ex-Irish army officer to address war crime trial

An Irish army officer who played a key role with the UN during the Balkans war is due to give crucial evidence at the trial of Serb general Ratko Mladic in The Hague.

Col Colm Doyle, now retired and living in Limerick, is due to start giving evidence on Wednesday.

“I will be meeting with the prosecution lawyers on Monday and Tuesday and then due to commence my evidence the following day,” said Col Doyle.

Mladic is being tried for his role in the slaughter of more than 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, when he headed the Bosnian Serb army.

Col Doyle, whose evidence will recount the formation of Mladic’s forces, said yesterday: “Srebrenica was the biggest massacre of innocent civilians since World War II.”

He has already given evidence at three other trials at the International Criminal Trials Yugoslavia, including against Radovan Karadzic, who was Mladic’s political boss. That trial is ongoing.

Col Doyle will be one of the prosecution’s first witnesses when the trial resumes next week after a holiday break.

His evidence will be based on his role as head of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Bosnia from Oct 1991 to Apr 1992.

Col Doyle will tell the trial judges about the disbanding of the country’s federal army, which in effect became a ready-made Bosnian Serb army under Mladic.

Mladic’s troops were responsible for widescale massacres of Croats and Muslims as part of the so-called ethnic cleansing policy.

After his initial mission, Col Doyle returned to Bosnia for another year as personal representative of Peter Carrington, chair of the International Peace Conference on Yugoslavia.

Due to his work in the Balkans war, the UN appointed Col Doyle chief of staff of the UN Military Division in New York from 2004 to 2006.

A native of Ardee, Co Louth, he is currently working on his memoirs.


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