A hearing was held before the Tribunal on Radovan Karadzic’s motion to compel BH to deliver documents he deems relevant for his defense. A BH representative noted that BH had done everything in its power to locate the documents, stressing that the enquiry had been hampered because Karadzic’s demands were imprecise and too broad. Presiding judge O-Gon Kwon said BH was expected to ‘voluntarily cooperate’ with all the parties

Miranda Sidran-Kamisalic, bosnian ambassador in HollandMiranda Sidran-Kamisalic, bosnian ambassador in Holland

The reason why a public hearing was held today at the trial of Radovan Karadzic is, as presiding judge O-Gon Kwon put it, ‘very slow progress’ in dealing with Radovan Karadzic’s motion for a subpoena to be issued to BH for documents he needs for his defense. ‘The judges are under the impression that to a large extent this is because BH often fails to offer satisfactory cooperation to either the accused or the Trial Chamber’, the Korean judge said, adding, ‘it seems that there is no adequate and efficient communication between various state bodies, leaving the impression that the Bosnian authorities do not take this issue seriously or deal with it somewhat haphazardly, or even with a lot of red tape’.

Bosnian ambassador to Holland, Miranda Sidran-Kamisalic took part in the hearing as an authorized representative of BH. She insisted on ‘BH’s full commitment to cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’. As Sidran-Kamisalic stressed, BH ‘has done everything in its power’ to comply with the requests. The search for the documents has been hindered because Karadzic’s demands are ‘imprecise’ and too broad, the ambassador said, adding that ‘at times it looks as if the accused has knowledge the BH authorities do not have’.

In June 2009, Karadzic’s defense asked the Bosnian authorities to submit documents referring to the purported smuggling of arms and military equipment through the Tuzla airport in early 1995. Karadzic needs the documents to corroborate the claim four parties were involved in the conflict in BH: Serbs, Croats, Muslims and the international community because it supplied arms to BH while the embargo was in force. The BH foreign ministry delivered three documents to the defense but the defense contends this is not sufficient, and has asked the Trial Chamber to issue a subpoena to BH. In January 2010, the defense sent an additional request to the Bosnian authorities for five sets of documents.

At the hearing today, the Bosnian representative explained that their current efforts have focused solely on the first request of Karadzic’s defense. A final report will be submitted to the Trial Chamber in a month, the representative said. As for Karadzic’s second request, the BH authorities haven't done anything because, as they contend, Karadzic’s defense ‘should communicate with the BH embassy exclusively through this tribunal’. Judge Kwon noted that the Trial Chamber dealt with such requests only as ‘a last resort’, expressing his hope that BH would cooperate voluntarily with the Tribunal, and that includes the defense, as a party in the proceedings.

Karadzic asked BH to deliver documents about the activities of the special units called Laste and Bosna. Karadzic maintains that the units ‘were involved in the killings of Serbs and Muslims in Sarajevo’. Those documents will help him prove that ‘in most cases, others did what Serbs were blamed for’. Karadzic also asked for documents about the Muslim inhabitants of the Srebrenica region who died of natural causes between April 1992 and July 1995. According to the accused, the Serbs have been blamed for those deaths, too.

After the hearing, the prosecutor called Bogdan Vidovic, crime technician from the Sarajevo Security Services Center. Vidovic participated in the investigations of sniper and artillery incidents in Sarajevo. The witness’s consolidated statement based on his earlier evidence at the trials of generals Stanislav Galic and Dragomir Milosevic was admitted into evidence. After that the trial was adjourned because Karadzic is still feeling unwell.

Since Canadian general David Fraser is scheduled to testify on Monday, Vidovic’s cross-examination was postponed until next Wednesday.