Former SDA president in Prijedor Mirsad Mujadzic said at the trial of Radovan Karadzic that Radoslav Brdjanin, former president of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina often included ‘off-color jokes’ at the expense of Bosniaks in his public speeches. Brdjanin openly said there were too many Muslims in the Banja Luka region. There should be enough Muslims left in Banja Luka and its environs to ‘prepare cevapcici’ for the Serbs, Brdjanin said

Mirsad Mujadzic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialMirsad Mujadzic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

The trial of Radovan Karadzic continues with the evidence of Dr Mirsad Mujadzic, former president of the SDA in Prijedor. The transcript of the witness’s evidence at the trial of Milomir Stakic, former president of the Serb municipality of Prijedor, in May 2002, was admitted into evidence. Stakic is serving his 40-year sentence in a French prison after his was convicted of persecution, extermination, murder and deportation of non-Serbs in Prijedor from April to September 1992.

Mujagic’s evidence at the Milomir Stakic trial pertained to the period when the SDS seized power in Prijedor: from the night of 29 April 1992 onwards. Mujagic also testified about the ethnic tensions in the municipality and the negotiations between the SDS and the SDA about the division of power, the establishment of Serb authorities and the expulsion of the non-Serbs that followed. At the Stakic trial, Mujagic described how after the village of Hambarine was shelled in late May 1992 he fled to the Kurevo forest and hid. Mujagic stayed in the woods until 27 June when he fled on foot to Bihac. At the beginning of the hearing, Karadzic described Milomir Stakic as a ‘wonderful man’ who has been unjustly convicted.

In a brief examination-in chief, the witness said that the former president of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina Radoslav Brdjanin often said in his public speeches that there were too many Bosniaks in the Banja Luka region. Brdjanin said their numbers should be reduced to two or three percent. According to the witness, Brdjanin often made ‘off-color jokes’, saying that there should be enough Muslims left in Banja Luka and its environs to ‘prepare cevapcici [a local delicacy]’ for the Serbs. Brdjanin was sentenced to 30 years for crimes against Bosniaks and Croats in northwestern BH; he is currently serving his sentence in Denmark.

In his cross-examination, Karadzic tried to interpret Brdjanin’s statement about the number of Bosniaks in the Banja Luka region as a ‘joke’. As Karadzic explained, if Brdjanin had said it ‘in a serious manner’, Bosniak deputies would have raised the issue in the Assembly. Karadzic also used the opportunity to add another detail to his interpretation of his famous speech before the Assembly in October 1991, when he told the deputies that if they decided to leave Yugoslavia they would take BH to hell and ‘the Muslim people might disappear’. Karadzic earlier claimed this thought was ‘peaceful’. Now Karadzic said that in the second part of the sentence he was in fact quoting Muhamed Filipovic, who, according to Karadzic, allegedly told him in a private conversation that ‘his people would disappear’ if war broke out.

Karadzic will continue cross-examining the witness tomorrow morning.