According to Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, the protected prosecution witness KDZ 064 ‘made up’ the execution in Orahovac in July 1995. Karadzic also claims that Srebrenica was ‘left’ to the Serb troops and that the residents were not forced to leave, but decided to do that on their own. ‘I was there one hundred percent and you can still claim that everything that is, is not, and what isn’t, is’, the witness responded

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

Only in the last thirty minutes of his cross-examination did Radovan Karadzic focus on the substance of the testimony given by protected prosecution witness KDZ 064. On 14 July 1995, KDZ 064 survived the execution at Orahovac. Karadzic put it to the witness that the witness in fact hadn’t been at the execution site and that he made it all up. ‘I was there 100 percent, and you can still say that everything that is, is not, and what isn’t, is’, the witness replied.

Presenting his case as to what actually happened, Karadzic maintained that in July 1995 Srebrenica was ‘left’ to Serb troops and that the citizens of Srebrenica were not forced to leave the enclave. They decided to do so on ‘their own’. Karadzic also tried to prove that the convoy of trucks and busses transferring detainees from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac was escorted by a UN armored personnel carrier. The witness dismissed Karadzic’s claims entirely.

In his effort to discredit the witness, Karadzic asked him what type of fabric was used to blindfold the prisoners, what weapons were used to shoot them, and why the bodies were lying on the meadow if the backhoe had already dug out a mass grave. Karadzic also referred to a part of witness’s statement where he spoke about ‘Karadzic’s baby-faced Chetniks’ who were guarding the prisoners in the school in Orahovac. ‘Don’t you know that I abolished both Chetniks and partisans’, Karadzic asked the witness today. The witness said he and the other prisoners were told that by the young Serb soldiers. The witness also reminded Karadzic that ‘some still proudly use that name today’.

Noting that Srebrenica was not a ‘demilitarized zone’ but a Muslim stronghold which was resupplied with weapons throughout the war, Karadzic put to the witness parts of his previous testimony, where he said there were armed men in the column moving out of Srebrenica on 11 July 1995. The witness confirmed that there were about 400 rifles in the column of about 15,000 men moving towards Tuzla through the woods. ‘Those who had arms were those who got through, those who didn’t now lie in mass graves and body bags’, the witness added.

As today’s hearing drew to a close, the surviving victim from Orahovac completed his evidence. The prosecution then called its next witness, American diplomat Herbert Okun. In the 1990’s, Okun was involved the effort to find a peaceful solution for ex-Yugoslavia. He served as the deputy to UN special envoy to the Balkans Cyrus Vance and to the co-chairmen of the peace conference on the former Yugoslavia. In this capacity, Okun attended a series of meetings with the leaders of the warring sides, including the accused Karadzic. Okun will continue his evidence tomorrow.