In the cross-examination of the French UNPROFOR officer, Radovan Karadzic extended the ‘list of ruses’ that the BH Army used, according to him, in the war to ‘vilify Serbs’. After the French officer left the courtroom, the prosecution called a woman from Sarajevo who was brutally beaten and raped by Veselin Vlahovic Batko in 1992

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

In the cross-examination of the French UNPROFOR officer testifying under the pseudonym KDZ 182, Radovan Karadzic extended the list of ‘ruses of war’ the enemy side purportedly used to ‘vilify Serbs’ and ‘draw the UN peace-keepers into the conflict’

According to Karadzic, the BH Army opened sniper and artillery fire on its own civilians, hampered the entry of humanitarian convoys, and disrupted power and water supply. The BH Army also violated ceasefire agreements and other agreements, including the agreement on the exclusion zone for heavy artillery from February 1994 and the so-called Carter truce in December 1994, Karadzic said.

Karadzic contends that the Serb side, on the contrary, ‘offered ceasefires and even declared them unilaterally’ and allowed supplies into Sarajevo and other UN protected areas. Karadzic illustrated his claims with various letters that the head of the UN peacekeeping operations Kofi Anan exchanged with the UN special representative to the former Yugoslavia, Yasushi Akashi in 1994 and 1995.

The witness replied that both sides violated the ceasefire agreements and UNPROFOR warned them about that. The witness didn’t want to comment on the letters written by UN officials, saying he didn’t know anything about them during his tour of duty in Sarajevo. The witness instructed Karadzic to ask the citizens of Sarajevo about just how bearable life in Sarajevo was during the Carter truce and other truces.

A woman from Sarajevo was called to the witness stand next. She is testifying under the pseudonym KDZ 354 and with image and voice distortion to protect her identity. During the war, the witness lived in Grbavica, controlled by the Serb troops, and was raped and subjected to other forms of abuse by the VRS troops. The amended version of her written statement was admitted into evidence; it is based on her testimony in April 2005 at the Momcilo Krajisnik trial.

In the examination-in chief, the witness confirmed that in June 1992 she and her mother were taken out of her apartment. Veselin Vlahovic Batko brutally beat her and then proceeded to rape her. The witness tried to report the incident to the Serb police in July 1992. When she mentioned rape in the course of the interrogation, the police officer by the name of Boro Sljuka shoved the report in the drawer, saying, ‘We will not write that down’.

Prosecutor Carolyn Edgerton showed a video recording of Vojislav Seselj’s visit to Grbavica on 14 May 1993. The witness was able to recognize Slavko Aleksic among those who accompanied Seselj. The witness also identified several locations in Grbavica where Serb tanks, mortars and sniper nests were located. As she said, every day she saw Serb sniper entering a building in the Lenjinova Street. A man by the name of Marinko was among them: when he ‘didn’t work as a sniper’ he worked in Dobrotvor (a charity organization). The witness also saw a woman by the name of Nada who used to work in a supermarket in the Djure Djakovica Street before the war, and a man called Zlatko Subotic.

The accused Radovan Karadzic will cross-examine witness KDZ 354 tomorrow.