In the final part of his cross-examination of Australian general John Wilson, Karadzic highlighted ‘a hundred important facts’ the witness ‘had to know’ – in Karadzic’s view – at the time when he was the head of UN observers and military expert of the international peace negotiators

John Wilson, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialJohn Wilson, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Concluding his cross-examination of Australian general John Wilson, Radovan Karadzic highlighted many ‘important things’ the witness didn’t know enough about. In Karadzic’s view, the witness had to know about these things if he wanted to do a good job as the head of the UN military observers and advisor for military issues to the international negotiators Vance, Owen and Stoltenberg.

Among other things Karadzic was ‘concerned’ that the witness didn’t know that the Nedzarici neighborhood was ‘a 100 percent Serb settlement’. The witness didn’t know the distance between the city center and the PTT building where the UN headquarters was, Karadzic said. The witness didn’t know that the Serbs were forced to ‘flee’ Livno before the war, that 44,000 Serbs were ‘expelled’ from the Neretva River Valley and that by 1992, the Patriotic League had its staffs and units in 103 BH municipalities.

According to Karadzic’s calculation, General Wilson didn’t know ‘almost a hundred key facts’ that, in Karadzic’c view, Wilson had to know at the time he was involved in various activities of the international community in BH. As Wilson replied, in order to be able to do his job, he didn’t have to know all the facts, but to find the necessary information. Wilson added that there were many ‘grey areas’ in BH and it was impossible to know everything.

Replying to Karadzic’s questions about Sarajevo, Wilson said that, as far as he knew, the Nedzarici neighborhood was ‘a bone of contention’ between the sides in the conflict. According to Wilson, it was difficult to talk about the distances because he was not an expert in geography. The witness also noted that Karadzic usually made a number of claims in a single question, and if Wilson disagreed with one, he gave a negative answer to the whole question.

Karadzic then asked the witness how he knew who fired at whom in Sarajevo in May and June 1992. The witness said that it was simple to determine that based on the ‘weight of fire’ and knowing the sort and quantity of arms the two sides had at their disposal. The witness repeated that the Serb forces had a powerful artillery force while the BH Presidency troops had just a few mortars and tanks at their disposal. Karadzic argued that there ‘is no evidence’ that Serbs fired on Sarajevo. ‘I saw it with my own eyes’, Wilson replied.

Judges said Karadzic’s enumeration of ‘important facts’ that the witness ‘didn’t know but had to know’ was a ‘waste of time’. When Karadzic complained that he did not have enough time for the cross-examination, he was granted additional 15 minutes, in addition to the seven hours he had been granted initially. At the very end, Karadzic triumphantly announced to the Australian general that the Serbian football team would beat Australia 3-0 at the World Cup; the current result in the courtroom is "5-0 for Serbs’, for Karadzic, as he said.