Radovan Karadzic wants the Trial Chamber to issue a binding order to the USA, compelling it to deliver all the documents pertaining to the ‘black flights’ to Tuzla and alleged secret arms and military equipment shipments to the BH Army in February and March 1995

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

Radovan Karadzic wants the Trial Chamber to issue a binding order to the USA, compelling it to deliver all documents originating from the Department of Defense, the National Security Council or the Central Intelligence Agency that pertain to the alleged deliveries of arms, ammunition and military equipment to the BH Army through the Tuzla airport in February and March 1995.

In his motion Karadzic notes that on 10 February 1995, around 1745 hours, an Air Force captain serving in the Norwegian Battalion, Oivind Moldestad saw two fighter aircraft flying over Tuzla. He immediately contacted the UNPROFOR base in Sarajevo where he was told that there had been no NATO flights that night. A few minutes after the call, a guard in the Tuzla base reported he had heard the sound of a C-130 Hercules transport plane over the airport.

Karadzic corroborates his claims with an interview the Norwegian captain had with BBC Panorama, where he said he "strongly believed that the Americans had delivered arms to the BH Army on that evening".

Karadzic also quotes from an article published in the Washington Post, saying that in early 1995, "the US had a hand in facilitating at least some arms deliveries by its Muslim allies to a government held airport at Tuzla in Northern Bosnia’. According to an anonymous US diplomat who served in the region at the time, the flights were organized by ‘Turkish or private contractors, using special funding the US knew about’. The Americans allegedly provided information on scheduling the flights and told the C-130 Hercules when "the coast is clear" in Tuzla.

Karadzic also quotes from a book written by Cees Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, which quotes an unidentified British general as saying those were ‘undoubtedly’ US arms deliveries and that ‘private US companies were involved’. Apart from the Norwegian Battalion soldiers, the Hercules airplanes over the Tuzla airport were seen by the UN observers who used their night-vision equipment.

The reports about airplanes over the Tuzla airport were immediately forwarded to NATO and UN commands in Vicenza and Naples. But when the military observers tried to approach the auxiliary airstrip, the BH Army denied them access. The patrol that managed to come close to the airstrip saw the personnel from the BH Army 241st Brigade loading equipment onto five trucks, according to Karadzic. But before the observers ‘could see more’, the BH Army soldiers surrounded them and forced them to leave the area.

The soldiers who surrounded the military observers were under the command of Refik Brdjanovic, who said in an interview for the BBC that the crates with US Armed Forces markings contained anti-tank or surface-to-air missiles, Karadzic alleges. In the same interview, he purportedly said that two Americans, Jim Campbell and Jack Collins were involved in organizing ‘black flights’ used to deliver weapons to Tuzla.

According to Karadzic, the personnel of the Norwegian and British battalions in the UN contingent again heard and saw the airplanes over the Tuzla Airport on 12 February 1995. On 14 February 1995, UNPROFOR Force Commander Bertrand De Lapresle ‘concluded that those were probably’ two shipments of valuable military equipment, the motion states. UNPROFOR spokesman Michael Williams later said the USA was ‘probably’ involved in the operation in same way.

Secret arms shipments have been investigated by the US Department of Defense, National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency, Karadzic says. Although the investigations have shown that the US government was not directly involved in the secret arms shipments, the reports of the investigations are likely to provide ‘important information’ about those who were involved in these shipments, Karadzic says, and wants the Trial Chamber to issue a binding order to the US administration, compelling it to deliver the documents.