Former police inspector from Sarajevo Cedomir Kljajic gave evidence at the trial of Radovan Karadzic. In 1992, Kljajic was undersecretary for public security in Vrace and was the third person in the RS MUP chain of command. He testified via video link from Canada. In 1995, Kljajic emigrated to Canada purporting to be a lawyer. General Milomir Savcic began his evidence after Kljajic completed his testimony

Cedomir Kljajic, defence witness of Radovan KaradzicCedomir Kljajic, defence witness of Radovan Karadzic

At the trial of former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic, the court heard the testimony of Cedomir Kljajic via video link from Canada. A former police inspector from Sarajevo who later became the undersecretary for public security in Vrace, Kljajic was the third man in the RS MUP chain of command, subordinate only to interior minister Mico Stanisic and his deputy Stojan Zupljanin.

In his statement to Karadzic’s defense, Kljajic said that after the first multi-party elections the Muslim-Croat coalition appointed its personnel to key posts in the BH MUP. The SDA used the MUP to illegally arm its people and by the time the conflict broke out, they had obtained 160,000 rifles. At the same time, Serbs wanted peace and embraced the Lisbon agreement ‘with enthusiasm’. This agreement, as the witness noted, was eventually rejected by Alija Izetbegovic.

In the cross-examination, prosecutor Gustafson quoted from a Serbian police document stating that the intensive arming of the Serb population began in 1991. Kljajic claimed he didn’t know anything about the arming of Serbs as he was ‘isolated’ at Vrace. Kljajic nevertheless confirmed that the forming of the Serbian MUP had been agreed before the Lisbon agreement negotiations began. The witness confirmed it only after the prosecutor confronted him with the statement he had given to the OTP investigators in 2003.

In his statement to Karadzic’s defense, Kljajic said he never heard from the civilian authorities in RS about the plans to expel Muslims and Croats. When the prosecutor asked him if he had known about the prison camps where the RS authorities held a large number of Croats and Muslims in terrible conditions, Kjaljic replied that he heard only about Manjaca. According to the witness, at a meeting in Banja Luka on 11 July 1992 it was concluded that it was ‘unacceptable’ for the police to deal with the prison camps and that the best course would be for the camps to be taken over by the army.

The prosecutor highlighted the differences between what the witness said to the OTP investigators in 2003 and his statement to Karadzic’s defense. Also, as the prosecutor noted, the witness emigrated to Canada in 1995 and in his application he claimed he had worked for the past ten years as a lawyer. In Kljajic’s opinion, this was not a complete lie because he did some volunteer legal work in Sarajevo and Belgrade for a time. Kljajic didn’t list his career in the police because he feared he would be detained in Belgrade and sent to the front.

After Kljajic finished his testimony, Karadzic called his next witness, General Milomir Savcic, former commander of the VRS 65th Protection Motorized Regiment. He is currently an investigator in Radovan Karadzic’s defense team.