In the cross-examination of investigator Tomasz Blaszczyk, Karadzic put it to him that the Serbian authorities had altered the contents of the documents and other materials seized in 2008 and 2010 in Mladic’s wife’s apartment in Belgrade. Karadzic was surprised to learn that apparently ‘his own army’ kept him under surveillance. ‘Everybody and his uncle Abner is eavesdropping on me’, as he put it. Karadzic called for a ten-month break in the trial to allow him to prepare for his defense case

Tomasz Blaszczyk, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialTomasz Blaszczyk, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

At the trial of Radovan Karadzic, OTP investigator Tomasz Blaszczyk returned to the witness stand for the third time. In his first appearance as a witness in August 2010, Blaszczyk confirmed the authenticity of Ratko Mladic’s notebooks seized in December 2008 and February 2010 in Mladic’s wife’s house in Belgrade. During Blaszczyk’s second testimony in January 2012, the prosecution tendered into evidence through him an interactive CD showing the identified sites in the Srebrenica area recorded by Belgrade journalist Zoran Petrovic Pirocanac on video on 13 and 14 July 1995.

In his evidence today, Blaszczyk talked about the other materials seized by the Serbian authorities in the house of Mladic’s wife, including about 100 audio and video tapes. One of the tapes contains an audio recording of a conversation between Karadzic and the Drina Corps commander Milenko Zivanovic, at the time of the events in Srebrenica. Blaszczyk was also shown an interview Karadzic had given to a journalist of the Spanish newspaper El Pais on 13 July 1995. Blaszczyk confirmed that the prosecution received the audio recording of the interview from the Spanish authorities. As Blaszczyk listened to the tape, he was able to recognize Karadzic’s voice.

The prosecution today tendered into evidence a book, Photo identification of Bosnian Muslims, prepared by Blaszczyk and other OTP staff. The book contains photos of 31 men from Srebrenica who were identified based on Pirocanac’s footage of the column of men close to the ‘white house’ in Potocari and in a field in Sandici. According to the prosecution’s knowledge, only seven of the identified men survived the fall of Srebrenica. The names of 24 other men are contained in the list of the International Commission on Missing Persons.

In the cross-examination, Karadzic argued that the OTP investigators were ‘selective’ in deciding which of the materials seized in Mladic’s wife’s house to use: they took only the materials which tended to support the prosecution case. Karadzic also suggested that the Serbian authorities ‘altered’, or amended the contents of the documents delivered to the OTP investigators in The Hague. The investigators looked at the scanned materials sent from Belgrade – to which the defense has also had access – and selected those documents that were relevant for the trial, Blaszczyk replied, stressing that the investigators didn’t find any indications that the contents of the materials had been altered in any way.

Karadzic was surprised that the recording of his conversation with General Milenko Zivanovic was found in Mladic’s house. This led him to suspect that in addition to ‘everybody and his uncle Abner’, his own army had kept him under surveillance.‘Everybody is eavesdropping on me’, Karadzic complained in court. Blaszczyk replied that according to the prosecution’s sources, the VRS security service recorded all the conversations in the Main Staff. According to Blaszczyk, it was not unusual in any way for the tape to be found in the house of the former commander of the VRS Main Staff.

In his motion Karadzic today petitioned the Trial Chamber to allow him to open his defense case in March 2013. Karadzic has indicated that his defense would be as ‘robust’ as the prosecution case has been; he plans to call over 300 witnesses and needs ten months to prepare adequately for the case.

Tomasz Blaszczyk, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial
Men in Potočari