In his cross-examination of General Praljak, Jadranko Prlic’s defense counsel has brought up Izetbegovic’s Islamic Declaration, accusing him of trying to carve out an Islamic state at the Bosnian Croats’ expense

Slobodan Praljak svjedoči u svoju odbranuSlobodan Praljak svjedoči u svoju odbranu

Continuing its cross-examination of General Praljak, the defense of the former Herceg Bosna prime minister Jadranko Prlic focused on the Islamic Declaration drafted in 1970 by Alija Izetbegovic. According to the defense, the Islamic Declaration is a program for the transformation of BH into an Islamic state at the expense of Bosnian Croats.

Prlic’s lawyer Michael Karnavas contends that Praljak was wrong when he described Izetbegovic in his examination-in chief as a man unprepared for the war that broke out and as a vacillating negotiator who had all his decisions made for him by Omer Behman and Hasan Cengic from behind the scenes. In the defense’s opinion, Izetbegovic was a true leader who did all he could to secure the support of Iran and other Islamic countries in an effort to carve out an Islamic state in BH and implement the Islamic Declaration.

Karnavas then brought up a book by Dr John Schindler, former US counter-intelligence analyst, entitled Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qaeda And The Rise of the Global Jihad. The book speaks about the political parting of ways between Izetbegovic and two Bosniak intellectuals, Adil Zulfikarpasic and Muhamed Filipovic. Prlic’s defense noted that both Zulfikarpasic and Filipovic left the SDA after a mass party gathering in Velika Kladusa in 1990, when the Jihad was invoked and Saddam Hussein was cheered. Izetbegovic failed to distance himself from those incidents.

Izetbegovic, Prlic’s defense went on, set up and armed the Patriotic League in collusion with the radical Iranian and other services throughout the world; he always avoided signing any treaties with Serbs or Croats. This policy continued during the war, as foreign fighters were brought to BH. With the help of the BH Army, those fighters tried to take as much territory as they could, to the detriment of Croats. At the same time, Croats and Serbs were expelled from the territories where Muslim were in the majority, even as the Muslims played the role of a victim defending itself against the attacks for the benefit of the world public.

‘Everybody misunderstood Tudjman in the same way’, Praljak added, saying that foreign politicians and international observers didn’t have time to listen when somebody wanted to explain all that to them. In Praljak’s words, they ‘would arrive for a 15-minute conversation’ and there was not enough time for history. Praljak was in particular angry with the Americans for supporting Izetbegovic. This, according to Praljak, led to catastrophic consequences. ‘That’s how the Americans brought Al-Qaeda to Afghanistan to fight the Russians’, Praljak added.

The defense had tendered the Islamic Declaration into evidence during the prosecution case but the Trial Chamber ruled that it was not relevant for the trial of former Bosnian Croat leaders. The presiding judge today indicated that the Trial Chamber would reconsider the issue. Prlic’s defense has recently filed a motion to reopen its case and be granted five more hours to examine former US counter-intelligence analyst whose book was analyzed today; the Trial Chamber has yet to rule on it.