In his statement to Radovan Karadzic’s defense, former head of the National Security Service in Ilidza Srdjan Sehovac claims that Croats and Muslims acted against Serbs. UNPROFOR, humanitarian organizations and Western media did the same

Srdjan Sehovac, defence witness of Radovan KaradzicSrdjan Sehovac, defence witness of Radovan Karadzic

When the Croats and Muslims organized a referendum for BH’s independence, they “tied their flags together” and made it clear that they would jointly act against Serbs. This is what Srdjan Sehovac, who was the head of the National Security Service in Ilidza from 1992 to 1994, told Karadzic’s defense.

In the summary of the statement read out by Radovan Karadzic, it is stated that the Muslim forces had much more weapons than the VRS. Many “foreigners” joined the BH Army units; some “trained Muslims how to kill Serbs”. The Bosnian media painted a “false picture” of the situation, “demonizing Serbs” and portraying Muslims as victims, while Serbs could not get their voices heard in the media. Anti-Serb propaganda was rife, and Serbs lived in constant fear. Foreign correspondents were under pressure from the Sarajevo authorities and mostly sent rigged reports to their news desks, the witness claims.

Humanitarian aid workers were also under the control of the Muslim security service, Sehovac notes in his statement. They carried messages, letters and intelligence, and humanitarian aid was resold on the black market. Muslims abused the fact that they could move freely across the Butmir airport to launch attacks from there, while UNPROFOR helped them pass through unhindered. At the same time, Serbs had to use roundabout routes, even for humanitarian aid supplies. UNPROFOR provided Muslims with intelligence about the VRS units’ disposition and their weak points, Sehovac claimed. The Muslim authorities did not allow civilians to leave the city, and often fired on civilians, schools and hospitals.

In the cross-examination, the witness insisted that his service checked all the information obtained in the preliminary interviews. He denied that force was used in the interrogations of detained Muslims. Prosecutor Kimberly West then showed him a statement given by a Muslim who had been beaten with a wooden rod during the interrogation, in the presence of a National security Service operative Mladen Bajagic. Sehovac explained Bajagic’s presence by saying that the military police asked experts from the National Security Service for advice on interrogation techniques. Bajagic, as the witness insisted, ‘did not teach them how to beat people’. In his statement, the Muslim who had been beaten indicates that Bajagic, whom he knew, apologized to him for failing to recognize him sooner; had he known who the man was, he would have made sure he was ‘beaten less badly’.

The last defense witness this week was Milan Mandic, president of the Association of the Families of the Killed and Missing Persons for Sarajevo and Romanija Areas. Karadzic is using Mandic’s testimony in a bid to contest the evidence of Amor Masovic, one of the directors of BH Institute for Missing Persons. Masovic gave evidence during prosecution case. Mandic claimed Masovic was biased and took part in the effort to move the bodies and cover up secondary graves of Serb victims.

The trial of the former RS president on charges of double genocide and other crimes in BH continues on Monday with the cross-examination of Dragomir Milosevic, former Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander, who has been sentenced to 29 years in prison for the terror campaign against the citizens in Sarajevo.