Completing his cross-examination of Colm Doyle, the accused Karadzic used his own letters and Mladic’s directives to prove that the Bosnian Serb leaders ‘advocated peace and defended themselves’, while the Muslims ‘violated all agreements and attacked’. Karadzic took offense when Doyle claimed that the Bosnian Serbs agreed to hand the Sarajevo Airport over to the UN troops after the international reaction to the bread queue massacre

Colm Doyle, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialColm Doyle, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

On the last day of his cross-examination of Colm Doyle, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic used the letters he sent to the international mediators in 1992 and Mladic’s directives from the same period, in an effort to prove that Serb political leaders advocated peace and their army did nothing but defend itself against ‘the well-armed Muslim army, superior in number’.

Karadzic brought up Mladic’s directive to hand the airport in Sarajevo over to the UN forces. The matter was agreed in the talks in Lisbon on 27 May 1992. The witness reminded the accused that the agreement to hand over the airport was concluded at the insistence of Lord Carrington when the reports came in on the attack on the bread queue in Vase Miskina Street in Sarajevo. BH representative Haris Silajdzic wanted to walk out from the talks because of the incident in which 26 citizens were killed and more than 100 were wounded.

Upset over Doyle’s claim that ‘a shell forced him to become a pacifist and humane’ and agree to hand over the airport, Karadzic accused Doyle of being partial. As Karadzic put it, Doyle’s partiality ‘can be seen from the Moon’. Karadzic criticized the former chief of the European monitoring mission because he rarely if ever met with the Serb representatives in April 1992. Doyle flatly denied the allegation, saying he was equally available to everybody. Doyle said he took Karadzic’s claims as ‘a personal insult’.

Karadzic brought up his letter to Cutilheiro of 5 June 1992, where he tells the Portuguese diplomat that Izetbegovic said in a public address on TV that he ‘doesn’t want any deals about constitutive units’. Karadzic went on to quote from Mladic’s Directive No. 8 issued on 8 August 1992, where mention is made of the Tudjman-Izetbegovic agreement, aimed, as Mladic said, ‘at the subjugation and extermination of the Serb people’.

As Karadzic quoted from Mladic’s directive, he slipped up and read Mladic’s order to the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps to ‘gradually tighten the circle around Sarajevo’. As Karadzic explained, ‘tightening the circle’ cannot be interpreted as ‘a siege’.

In a brief re-examination the prosecutor quoted from Cutilheiro’s reply to Karadzic of 12 June 1992; Cutilheiro notes that the Lisbon principles for the political solution in BH would be acceptable only if the three sides reached a consensus on it, and if the territorial division would not be based on the results of conquest and ethnic cleansing.