In the final part of his cross-examination of the prosecution demographic expert, Radovan Karadzic tried to prove that Muslims were not victims of genocide in BH. According to Karadzic, less than 3 percent of the total number of Muslims were killed in the war: this number is far exceeded by the number of Tutsi victims in Rwanda and Jews who were killed in Europe in World War II

Ewa Tabeau, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialEwa Tabeau, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic continued his cross-examination of demographic expert Dr. Ewa Tabeau. Karadzic tried to prove that Muslims in BH were not victims of genocide; he argued that the number of Muslims killed in the BH war was far lower than the number of Tutsi victims in Rwanda and Jews killed in World War II.

Karadzic insisted that according to Dr. Tabeau’s findings, 49,111of the 1,902,056 Muslims who were living in BH according to the 1991 census were killed or went missing during the war: this is 2.6 percent of the total number. According to Karadzic, this is far less than 70 percent of the Tutsi who were killed in Rwanda and 58 percent of the Jews who were killed in Europe in World War II. The events in BH cannot be qualified as genocide, Karadzic argued.

According to the indictment, apart from the massacre in Srebrenica, the crimes committed by the Serb forces in BH from 31 March to 31 December 1992 reached the scale of genocide in seven other municipalities: Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik. Karadzic was aware that genocide was a possible consequence of the implementation of the permanent elimination of Muslims and Croats from the territories Serbs considered as theirs, one of the goals of the joint criminal enterprise, the indictment alleges.

In the cross-examination, Karadzic contended that in her reports Tabeau presented ‘an inaccurate ethnic structure’ in some of the 27 BH municipalities listed in the indictment. Karadzic also insisted that Tabeau failed to take into consideration about 200,000 persons that declared themselves as Yugoslavs in the 1991 census. Karadzic claimed that they were mostly Serbs.

As the witness explained, she focused her interest on the Muslims, Serbs and Croats; Yugoslavs were classified as ‘others’. Tabeau considered as Yugoslavs all those who declared their nationality as such in 1991, ‘regardless of Karadzic’s claim that they are in effect Serbs’. Karadzic was not happy with her reply, noting that ‘where I come from’ such an attitude was seen as a ‘communist conspiracy to present as many Serbs as possible as Yugoslavs in order to make the ethnic structure of the municipality in question seem different than it actually was’.

Radovan Karadzic’s trial will continue with the evidence of the penultimate prosecution witness, Belgrade journalist Zoran Petrovic Pirocanac.