Ignoring the evidence of Fatima Zaimovic about the children treated in the Kosevo Hospital for wounds sustained in the artillery and sniper attacks by the Bosnian Serb army, Karadzic insisted that Sarajevo and the Kosevo Hospital were ‘military strongholds’, that Serb doctors were persecuted and ‘Muslim soldiers killed their own people’. When the witness told the accused to repent, Karadzic said ‘the Islamic Declaration is to blame for everything’

Fatima Zaimovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialFatima Zaimovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Continuing his cross-examination of Fatima Zaimovic, head nurse in the pediatric surgery ward in the Kosevo hospital, Karadzic didn’t probe her claims about the killing and wounding of the children in Sarajevo and their traumas during the siege of Sarajevo. Ignoring her evidence about 331 children treated in that hospital after the shelling and sniper attacks, the accused maintained that ‘Muslim soldiers killed the people of Sarajevo’, not him and his army.

Karadzic claimed, in support of his argument, that the BH Army troops fortified their positions around the hospital and then opened fire at passers-by. ‘It would be crazy for somebody to shoot at their own people in town’, the witness replied, adding that it ‘is not fair’ for Karadzic to speak like that about the town that ‘gave him his education and everything else in life’, the town that Karadzic ‘destroyed and devastated with his men’, the witness said. ‘You’ve destroyed thousands of persons, you should repent’, the witness told Karadzic in one moment’. ‘The Islamic Declaration is to blame for everything’, Karadzic responded.

In an effort to corroborate his argument, Karadzic mentioned several BH Army war commanders such as Ramiz Delalic Celo, Ismet Bajramovic Celo, Musan Topalovic Caco, Jusuf Juka Prazina and Almir Husic also known as Kinez. According to the accused, Husic arrested and abused Croat and Serb doctors. Karadzic also claimed that in Sarajevo there was a flourishing business: ‘throwing Serbs out of apartment windows’. A poet from Sarajevo, Marko Vesovic, described this in one of his poems, speaking about ‘arresting Chetnik snipers’, Karadzic said. The witness denied those claims, saying she knew nothing about that. The witness told Karadzic he should ask Vesovic what he meant by his verses.

Karadzic ignored the witness’s plea to ask her questions about the Sarajevo children because she ‘came to testify about that before this court’ and noted instead that about 400 doctors of Serb, Croat and Jewish extraction left Sarajevo ‘under pressure of the Muslim authorities’. Karadzic used video footage to illustrate this claim. In the video, several Serb doctors explain why they left Sarajevo. One of them, Mirko Sosic, mentions the murder of Professor Najdanovic, the ‘occupation’ of the Kosevo hospital by Jusuf Juka Prazina’s unit and the arrest of some Serb and Croat doctors.

The witness confirmed that she recognized the people in the video and the footage was admitted into evidence as Karadzic’s exhibit. However, with exception of a Sarajevo TV clip showing Dr. Zijo Avdic speaking about the conditions in the Kosevo Hospital, it was unclear who, when and where recorded the Serb doctors.

Replying to the accused, Fatima Zaimovic said that persons from many ethnic communities, including Muslims, fled Sarajevo to save themselves and their families, while some left to join the other side, Bosnian Serbs. ‘Most of them fled under your pressure so you could shell the town more easily,’ the witness noted. The witness added that those Serbs who stayed suffered the same fate as other citizens.

Karadzic then noted that none of them would have left everything they had and ‘gone into the mountains’ ‘to please’ him. ‘Your men killed people and took gold jewelry from our women. You should be ashamed of yourself’, the witness responded. Turning then to face Karadzic, the witness looked him in the eye and asked him ‘Can you sleep at night at all?’.