Radovan Karadzic continued his cross-examination of Milorad Davidovic today. He was arguing that his leadership tried to impose order and was ‘fighting against chaos not for chaos’. The accused denied claims that he protected a key person in the drive to ethnically cleanse Bijeljina, Vojkan Djurkovic. Karadzic also denied that Djurkovic gave him money taken from the expelled Muslims

Milorad Davidovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialMilorad Davidovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Milorad Davidovic, former inspector of the Federal Yugoslav MUP, said in his statement to the OTP investigators that Vojkan Djurkovic told him in a conversation that he was cleared to persecute Muslims by the highest echelons of the RS political leadership. Djurkovic was ‘the man Arkan trusted’ and he was in charge of the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Bijeljina.

In a conversation immediately after Davidovic’s arrival in Bijeljina in the summer of 1992, Djurkovic angrily asked him, ‘Who do you think you are to protect the Muslims’, the witness recounted. Djurkovic then showed him a document in which Momcilo Krajisnik authorized him to carry out a ‘humane resettlement of Muslims’.

Karadzic, on the contrary, claims that the Republika Srpska leadership tried to ‘impose order’ and establish ‘the rule of law’ and was ‘fighting against chaos, not for chaos’. Karadzic asked the witness if he knew that ‘prominent people’ from the municipal authorities in Bijeljina filed criminal reports and arrested Djurkovic and other criminals. ‘This is the first time I hear of it,’ the witness replied. The witness stressed that Djurkovic was able to go about his ‘business’, ethnic cleansing, unhindered from the beginning until the end of the war.

Karadzic then brought up his letter to the International Red Cross in which he claims that Republika Srpska didn’t pursue a policy of ethnic cleansing and that the ‘events in Bijeljina were misinterpreted to the media’. In his letter Karadzic asked for patience and promised that the problems in Bijeljina would be solved the same way as they were in Prijedor. Some steps were already being taken, Karadzic wrote.

The witness remarked that Karadzic obviously ‘had to face the facts’ at that point. Pressured by the international organizations and the public, Karadzic had to take some measures, the witness said. When Karadzic asked the witness if he thought Karadzic would not have taken any measures without the public pressure, the witness replied, ‘How then is it possible that you personally promoted Vojkan Djurkovic to the rank of major and decorated him in Bijeljina’. ‘Did you do it to reward him for what he had done?’, the witness asked.

According to the witness, Djurkovic was a member of Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan’s unit that arrived in Bijeljina in April 1992 on the invitation of the SDS Crisis Staff. A video clip was played in the courtroom showing Karadzic receiving a report from Arkan. Vojkan Djurkovic stood next to Arkan.

The accused contested the claim from the witness’s statement, that Djurkovic brought ‘bags full of money’ taken from the expelled Muslims to Karadzic and Krajisnik. ‘Plastic bags’ would contain up to 150,000 or even 200,000 German Marks. Djurkovic bragged about it in public, saying that this is why no one objected to his actions. The witness claims that everybody knew about it and that Djurkovic kept in touch with Karadzic and Krajisnik through their brothers.

Milorad Davidovic will complete his evidence tomorrow.