Tomislav Premovic, another American Serb, testified at the trial of Radovan Karadzic. Premovic is convinced that the Western journalists sent ‘falsified’ reports to the world about the conflict in BH. This is why he did not believe the news reports about the crimes of the Serb army in Srebrenica in July 1995

Tomislav Premovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialTomislav Premovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Tomislav Premovic, an American Serb, testified at the trial of Radovan Karadzic today. In mid-July 1995, when the VRS Srebrenica operation was in full swing, Premovic was in the office of the Republika Srpska president in Pale. Premovic heard the telephone conversation between Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic. Karadzic had put Mladic on the speakerphone in front of his American guests.

The witness’s written statement was admitted into evidence. In his statement, Premovic said that Karadzic talked to Mladic about ‘the military events and the promotion of a VRS general’. Premovic also confirmed that two other guests from America, Slavica Ristic and Srdja Trifkovic, heard the conversation. In her testimony last month, Ristic said that Mladic reported to Karadzic that Srebrenica was ‘finished’ and that Zepa was ‘next’.

Tom Premovic, Slavica Ristic and Srdja Trifkovic were members of the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies. Alfred Sherman, Margaret Thatcher’s former advisor, was also a member. The foundation was trying to improve the Bosnian Serbs’ image in the Western media. Premovic was convinced that the Western media reported on the breakup of the former Yugoslavia ‘falsely’.

In response to Karadzic’s questions, Premovic said that he received first reports about the crimes in Srebrenica after his return to America, in July 1995. Premovic didn’t believe the reports because they were ‘completely contrary’ to what he had heard and seen in Pale. The reports merely confirmed his view that the media were biased.

Premovic confirmed that at their first meeting in 1994, Karadzic told him in detail about his proposal for a ‘peace’ plan in BH. According to Karadzic’s peace proposal, Bosnian Serbs would return 85 percent of the territory under their control to ‘the minorities’ in BH. Karadzic’s plan also envisaged territory swaps: Sarajevo would be swapped for the enclaves and vice versa. The witness said that the peace offer was ‘very similar’ to the agreement signed a year later in Dayton.

Premovic also said that an acquaintance of his, journalist Vuk Jovanovic, ‘bought off the unused footage’ containing details of the massacre in Sarajevo that had not been broadcast. Premovic couldn’t remember if it was the bread queue massacre or one of the Markale town market incidents. Premovic claimed that the recordings showed ‘the bodies of people that had been dead for a while’, ‘staged’ for the cameras. The witness promised he would try to locate the recording and hand it over to the defense team.

The trial of Radovan Karadzic continues on Tuesday, 17 April 2012.