DID KARADZIC ARREST OR RELEASE ‘YELLOW WASPS’?
Continuing the cross-examination of Milorad Davidovic, the accused Radovan Karadzic tried to prove that in the summer of 1992 he ordered the witness to disarm and arrest paramilitaries. The witness says that Karadzic and Krajisnik made sure the paramilitaries were released, in line with their motto, ‘Serbs shouldn’t be arrested and prosecuted’
Radovan Karadzic continues the cross-examination of former inspector in the Federal Yugoslav SUP Milorad Davidovic. Karadzic tried to prove that he ordered the witness to disarm and arrest members of the paramilitary formations in the areas of Bijeljina, Zvornik and Brcko. One of the units was the notorious Yellow Wasps unit under the command of Vojin Vuckovic Zuco.
The witness didn’t know that the RS leadership ever ordered those arrests. On the contrary, the witness contends that all members of the Yellow Wasps that he arrested in cooperation with the RS MUP in the summer of 1992 were released after a month of detention. Davidovic said that they were released after Karadzic and Krajisnik intervened; this was in line with their motto that ‘Serbs shouldn’t be arrested and prosecuted’.
Karadzic tried to prove that the release of the Yellow Wasps after 30 days was ‘done in line with the law’ because the only charge against them was “theft”. Karadzic suggested that the witness failed to institute proceedings for war crimes against members of the unit and now wanted to shift the blame for his ‘failure’ on others.
Davidovic argued that the prosecution in Bijeljina was ‘under pressure’ from Karadzic and Krajisnik and they reduced the initial charge, aggravated robbery, and thus made a legal basis for the release of members of the Yellow Wasps after a one-month detention. Only later did they learn that the Yellow Wasps had committed war crimes, the witness said.
‘I disarmed and arrested the dogs of war, criminals, killers and thieves and referred those cases to Mico Stanisic for further investigation’, Davidovic says. The witness claims that Stanisic and others, including the prosecutor’s office in Bijeljina, were informed about the Yellow Wasps’ crimes. The criminal report was supposed to be amended, instead of releasing the accused and filing the case away, the witness explained.
Karadzic referred to the evidence of Biljana Simeunovic, who investigated the Yellow Wasps in Bijeljina in 1992. In the Tribunal, Simeunovic denied that she knew about the murders the unit had committed in Celopek. According to the witness, Simeunovic’s evidence was ‘the only way she could protect herself’ in light of her current post. Simeunovic has been a prosecutor in the BH Prosecutor’s Office since 2003.
The witness agreed with Karadzic that the proceedings against the Yellow Wasps continued in Serbia, insisting nevertheless that they were prosecuted ‘because of the public pressure’, just as the reports of their crimes started surfacing in the media.
In a bid to ‘get a complete picture’ of Davidovic as a man who had been in trouble with the law from the time he was a minor, Karadzic claimed Davidovic had been ‘expelled’ from Bijeljina for his ‘criminal behavior’. Davidovic dismissed the accusations, explaining that the accused was trying to make the judges see him as ‘an unreliable witness’.