A BILLION DOLLAR FOR WARS IN WHICH SERBIA DIDN’T PARTICIPATE
The prosecution has sought to tender into evidence against General Perisic nine excerpts from Ratko Mladic’s diaries. According to the prosecution, the excerpts confirm that the former chief of the VJ General Staff provided personnel, logistic, financial and other support to the Serb armies in Bosnia and Krajina. General Perisic thus contributed to their crimes in Sarajevo, Zagreb and Srebrenica, the prosecution alleges
Momčilo Perišić u sudnici Tribunala
In the case against General Momcilo Perisic, the prosecution has sought leave to re-open its case and tender into evidence nine excerpts from the diaries Ratko Mladic kept in the period relevant for the indictment.
The prosecution contends that the portions from the diary have ‘high probative value’ and support the key elements of the prosecution case. The prosecution alleges that Perisic provided personnel, logistic, financial and other support to the Serb armies in Bosnia and Krajina, and thus contributed to their crimes in Sarajevo, Zagreb and Srebrenica.
The first of the entries from Mladic’s diary the prosecution seeks to admit is about a meeting between various military and political officials, Serbs from Serbia and from Bosnia, on 11 May 1992. At the meeting, Perisic supported the appointment of Ratko Mladic as the commander of the VRS. ‘If you support Mladic, you will get what you need’, Perisic said to Karadzic.
At a meeting on 13 December 1993 in Belgrade, Karadzic presented the six strategic goals of Bosnian Serbs to Perisic and other Serbian officials. Among the goals is ‘separating the Bosnian Serbs from Muslims and Croats and eliminating the border on the Drina river’. An operation codenamed Pancir 2 was planned at the meeting, the prosecution alleges. This operation envisaged the VJ taking part in the siege of Sarajevo. According to Mladic’s notes, Perisic first said that he could provide only the weapons for that operation and not officers, but soon afterwards changed his mind and said that ‘about a hundred VJ professional soldiers will be on disposal by 20 December 1993’. Mladic wrote down in his diary that the Guards Brigade and the VJ special units took part in Operation Pancir 2.
The prosecution also argues that the meeting on 15 March 1994 shows the FRY ‘supported’ the Bosnian Serbs’ strategic goals; there was ‘coordination and cooperation’ between the VJ, the VRS and the SVK. This is corroborated by Milosevic when he says that ‘the key strategic interest [of the FRY] is to define the borders of Republika Srpska’. Karadzic also corroborated this when he said that the cooperation of the VRS and the SVK with the VJ and Perisic was ‘good and satisfactory’ and that Republika Srpska ‘is trying to be a part of Serbia and through it, of Yugoslavia’. At the same meeting, Mladic spoke about ‘a state, army, security and economy we share’.
Another note written at a meeting on 8 July 1994 proves, according to the prosecution, that Perisic provided ‘direct support to the VRS’. Perisic says it is ‘necessary’ to help Fikret Abdic fight the BH Army’s 5th Corps, and Milosevic responds that ‘a billion dollars has been spent to buy the ammunition and military equipment for the war in Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina’.
Operation Spider to support Fikret Abdic was discussed at the meetings on 7 and 13 October 1994. Although at the time Yugoslavia purportedly imposed sanctions on Bosnian Serbs, Milosevic says on 7 October 1994 that ‘regular flow of supplies to Republika Srpska Krajina has been secured’. Milosevic also asked Perisic to see how he could provide personnel, ammunition and vehicles to support Jovica Stanisic and the Serbian state security service forces active in Operation Spider. Finally, the commander of the Serbian Army of Krajina, Milan Celeketic, remarks at the meeting on 13 October 1994, ‘we are all a single Serb army, one army’.
The diaries the prosecution wants to tender into evidence were seized during a search of the apartment used by Mladic’s wife Bosiljka on 23 February 2010. Mladic’s diaries were handed over to the OTP on 29 February and were disclosed to the defense on 9 April 2010.
- Case : Perisic
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