HE witnessed horrors of war which few can even imagine, let alone deal with as part of their everyday job.

Forensic scientist Robert McNeil was part of a United Nations team which gathered evidence of the 1995 Balkans genocide of 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica – the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two.

And when the brutality he saw at first hand began to haunt his dreams, he turned to art to exorcise the demons lurking in his subconscious.

Now a powerful series of his painting are to feature in an exhibition entitled Witness, from January 25 to 29 at the Scottish Parliament.

Mr McNeil's team's task was to examine the remains of the victims in the hope of achieving closure and justice for relatives.

The work was particularly challenging as the bodies were in mass graves and often dug up and reburied miles away to hide the crimes which had taken place and make detective work more difficult.

Many of the bereaved have waited years for forensic evidence that confirms the death and final resting place of their loved ones.

The exhibition in Holyrood has been sponsored by Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, who is also a board member of the charity Remembering Srebrenica Scotland.

Mr McNeil, 68, was sent to Bosnia & Herzegovina several times and retired in 2009. It was then the atrocities began to surface in his dreams.

He said: “People in Bosnia felt abandoned by the UN and western politicians before, during and after the Balkans conflict and genocide in Srebrenica. I feel privileged, on behalf of Remembering Srebrenica, to be given the opportunity to exhibit these paintings to Scotland’s politicians.

“In a small way, this highlights the enormity of responsibility placed upon our politicians when making decisions about war and protection of those affected by it. With Holocaust Memorial Day occurring during the exhibition, this adds further significance to a poignant occasion.”

The men and boys slaughtered by Ratko Mladic’s Bosnian Serb army, were almost all Muslim. Mladic led an invasion of the town - which had been declared a safe area by the United Nations.

Mr McNeil has joined the board of Remembering Srebrenica Scotland, which last year organised a memorial service in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, spoke at the service and hosted a reception for guests including mothers of the dead at Srebrenica.

Robert said that he felt honoured to be asked to join Remembering Srebrenica’s Scotland board. By doing so, he hoped to further contribute towards promoting tolerance and remembrance on behalf of the charity. Robert also thanked iota gallery, in Glasgow, for their support of his work.

The charity’s Scotland board is chaired by the Very Rev Lorna Hood former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. She said:

“The Srebrenica genocide shamed Europe and shamed the world. It is one of the darkest chapters of European history, yet knowledge of what took place is still low. It is crucial we all learn the lessons from this stain on humanity’s conscience.

“Hatred can destroy communities and divide families, friends and neighbours. I am delighted that Robert has agreed to join the board and help us work towards creating a better, and stronger, safer society for everyone in Scotland."

Ruth Davidson said: "I am delighted that Robert has agreed to exhibit these powerful works in the Scottish Parliament. His experiences during the Balkans wars make him uniquely informed and able to express the conflict through his paintings."