Dr Idriz Merdzanic completed his evidence about the prison camps in Prijedor. The trial of Radovan Karadzic continued with the testimony of a prosecution military expert about the implementation of the Bosnian Serbs’ strategic goals in BH through military means

Idriz Merdzanic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialIdriz Merdzanic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Radovan Karadzic, former Republika Srpska president, continued the cross-examination of Doctor Idriz Merdzanic today. Karadzic claimed that a ‘substantial’ number of Muslims remained in each and every municipality in the Bosnian Krajina during the entire war, including Prijedor.

Dr Merdzanic reminded Karadzic that Muslims that stayed in Prijedor didn’t live peacefully. Serbs would often search their houses. In a single night in March 1994, several families were wiped out. ‘It was done to intimidate those who stayed and make them leave’, the witness explained.

As Merdzanic said, after this incident the Muslims in Prijedor asked the Serb authorities to allow them to leave the town. The Muslims, nevertheless, had to stay in Prijedor after Karadzic, under pressure by the international community, put a ban on the non-Serbs leaving the municipality.

After Dr Merdzanic completed his evidence, the prosecution called its military expert Ewan Brown. He wrote an expert report, The Military Situation in the Bosnian Krajina in 1992; the report is based on the documents seized from the Krajina Corps and other documents and video materials in possession of the prosecution.

Having gone through various JNA documents from March and April 1992, the witness concluded that at that time the JNA sided with the Bosnian Serbs and the Serbian Democratic Party. Brown also confirmed that after Serbia and Montenegro declared ‘a new Yugoslavia’, the JNA did not really withdraw from BH. In fact, a handful of Serbian officers left, and most of the military stayed in BH and was transformed into the VRS, the witness explained.

The witness was shown several entries from Mladic’s war diaries from May 1992. According to the witness, the entries confirmed when Bosnian Serb military and political leaders met, they spoke about a ‘long-term aspiration’ to unite Republika Srpska with Serbia and Montenegro and to realize ‘the age-old dream’ of a united Serb state ‘without any internal enemies’.

Prosecutor Julian Nichols brought up a series of meetings at which Bosnian Serb political and military leaders discussed strategic goals, including the directives through which those goals were implemented using military means, in part or in full. The accused Karadzic will cross-examine the prosecution expert tomorrow.