As Patrick Treanor, prosecution political expert, said today, as the VRS commander-in-chief Radovan Karadzic ‘very actively used his power’. Karadzic also ‘very actively monitored’ the implementation of the instruction known as ‘Variant A and B’, according to the intercepted conversations the prosecution has obtained

Patrick Treanor, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialPatrick Treanor, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Prosecution political expert Patrick Treanor wrote three reports on the Bosnian Serb leadership from the period before the first multiparty elections in 1990 to the end of the war in BH in late 1995. The reports will be used at the trial of the former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic. One of the reports focuses on Karadzic’s role, first as the leader of the Serbian Democratic Party, and then as the RS president and commander-in-chief of the VRS.

As the president of Republika Srpska, Karadzic was commander-in-chief of the VRS and in this capacity, the prosecution expert argued, ‘very actively used his powers’. Treanor said that Ratko Mladic, the commander of the VRS Main Staff, only had powers that Karadzic gave him. Karadzic’s attempt to replace Mladic in August 1995 was caused by the defeat of the Serb army in the summer of 1995. Mladic’s refusal to yield to Slobodan Milosevic’s urging and sign the Contact Group peace plan at the 42nd meeting of the FRY Supreme Defense Council showed his commitment to the RS political leadership and their strategic goal, the unification of all Serbs, Treanor said.

In the examination-in chief, prosecutor Alan Tieger read out quotes from a number of Karadzic’s interviews and intercepted conversations which indicate that there was resurgence in the political life of the Bosnian Serbs after 1990 and their commitment to the effort to unite all Serbs in a single state. The prosecutor then focused on the activities taken to make sure that BH remain in Yugoslavia and to annex the entire BH or large parts thereof to a Greater Serbia. The party Karadzic headed played a key role in defining the Serb objectives and Serb borders within BH, Treanor said.

On 19 December 1991, the SDS Main Board issued an instruction, known as ‘Variant A and B’ about the takeover of power in BH municipalities in two stages. Variant A envisaged a complete takeover of power in municipalities with a Serb majority. The implementation of the Variant A started immediately after the instruction was issued. According to the witness, Karadzic at the time ‘very actively monitored the implementation of his instructions’. This could be inferred from an intercepted conversation with a man by the name of Cizmovic who was in charge of implementing the instruction.

As Treanor said, the next stage of the instruction, Variant B, was activated on 14 February 1992 at a meeting of the leadership of the SDS, immediately after the Bosnian authorities decided to hold a referendum on the BH independence. Karadzic then explicitly stated that the meeting was called to implement the second stage of the instruction, the expert witness said. The sequence of steps taken by the Bosnian Serbs, Treanor said, indicates that the takeover of power in the municipalities with a Serb majority were ‘planned in advance’.

Karadzic started the cross-examination by focusing on the ‘nature and origin of the job’ of the prosecution political expert. Karadzic asked for 40 hours to cross-examine Treanor and was granted nine. The trial continues tomorrow.