As Radovan Karadzic continued his cross-examination of Mirzet Karabeg, he claimed that the modifier ‘Serb’ in the name of the newly-declared municipality of Sanski Most was used simply to indicate that what was meant was just the ‘Serb parts’ of the municipality. According to Karadzic, this implied that there was also a Muslim part. Karadzic used the town of Srbac to illustrate his point: the town had a Serb majority and there was no need to carve the municipality into two or to use this modifier

Mirzet Karabeg, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialMirzet Karabeg, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

As he continued his cross-examination of Mirzet Karabeg from Sanski Most, Radovan Karadzic tried to contest the witness’s claims that Serbs wanted the entire municipality for themselves. Quite the contrary, Karadzic argued, an offer was made to the Muslims to set up their own Muslim municipality but they purportedly turned it down.

In a bid to prove that Serbs wanted only those parts of the municipality where they lived, Karadzic showed Karabeg a list of towns and villages that were supposed to be part of the Serb municipality of Sanski Most. The municipality was established on 3 April 1992. ‘Towns and villages not included in the list were supposed to be part of the Muslim municipality’, Karadzic said.

‘Fajtovci and Caplje are Muslim villages, yet I see them on this list’, the witness noted. According to the witness, Serbs eventually got what they wanted: the entire municipality in which everything was ‘Serb’. This included the police which had to wear Serb insignia. The Serbian flag was flown on the police building.

Karadzic claimed that the modifier ‘Serb’ was used to indicate that there was a ‘Serb part’ of the municipality. This implied that there was a Muslim part too, Karadzic contended. He tried to illustrate his point with the example of Srbac, a town with a majority Serb population. There was no need for two municipalities there. There was no need to use the modifier ‘Serb’.

As Karabeg noted, the document that Karadzic showed him speaks only about the Serb municipality of Sanski Most. The witness couldn’t see where it says that it was just ‘a part’ of the municipality. When the Serb municipality was declared, Karabeg said, the Muslims were in trouble because they risked their lives going to work and the Serb authorities used it as a pretext to fire them. ‘On 25 May we were all arrested and Sanski Most was shelled’, the witness said.

Karadzic also claimed that the Serb authorities released persons who were proven not to have taken part in ‘the preparations for the war against Serbs’. Karadzic corroborated his claim by saying that 41 % of about 500 Muslims arrested in Sanski Most in early April 1992 were released. The rest were sent to Manjaca.

The witness recalled that two men, older than 70, were released from the prison in Sanski Most while he was detained there in April 1992. The witness encountered one of them later in Manjaca: the man’s name was Rahmija. He told the witness that soon after his release Serbs rearrested him and that the other man, Beco, had been killed. ‘That’s how you released us’, the witness remarked.

The trial of Radovan Karadzic continues tomorrow afternoon with the evidence of a Bosnian Muslim from Foca. The witness will testify under the pseudonym KDZ 379.