Former deputy commander of the Kljuc Battalion Marko Adamovic claimed at the trial of Radovan Karadzic that non-Serbs in the municipality were treated ‘professionally, humanely and fairly’. Adamovic didn’t deny that the Serb troops killed about 100 persons on 1 June 1992 in the villages of Prhovo and Velagici

Marko Adamovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialMarko Adamovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

Radovan Karadzic continued with his case focusing on contesting the allegations of persecution of Muslim and Croat population. The indictment alleges that in seven municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina – including Kljuc and Sanski Most – the persecution reached the scale of genocide.

Marko Adamovic, former deputy commander of the VRS Kljuc Battalion said in his statement to Karadzic’s defense that the non-Serbs were treated ‘professionally, humanely and fairly’. According to Adamovic, the SDS didn’t plan and implement the ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs. Everyone could decide if they wanted to stay or leave Kljuc municipality.

In the cross-examination, prosecutor Carolyn Edgerton noted that on 12 December 2013, the BH State Court will deliver its verdict to Adamovic on the charges related to the crimes against non-Serbs in Kljuc municipality. Adamovic didn’t deny that on 1 June 1992 the Serb troops killed 38 persons in the village of Prhovo and 77 in the village of Velagici. However, Adamovic maintained that he had no part in those crimes.

Adamovic claimed that on 1 June 1992 he was at a Crisis Staff meeting in Kljuc. The minutes from that meeting, showed in court by the prosecutor Edgerton, didn’t corroborate Adamovic’s claim. In response, Adamovic claimed he had in his possession another set of the minutes showing that indeed he was at the Crisis Staff meeting. He said, ‘I didn’t expect to find myself in the dock’, trying to explain why he didn’t bring the minutes with him to The Hague.

Adamovic put no trust in the evidence of numerous surviving witnesses who saw and identified him at the crime scene. According to Adamovic, they all lied. Also, Adamovic contested the claim that the Kljuc Battalion was in charge of ‘cleaning up the town and the surrounding settlements’ despite the fact that this claim was corroborated by at least three documents he was shown in court. As for the crime in Velagici, Adamovic blamed it on the soldiers of former JNA who passed through Kljuc municipality after they pulled out of Croatia. Adamovic argued that the military police unit of the 1st Krajina Corps from Banja Luka was responsible for the crime in Prhovo. The military police ‘responded’ to an attack of the Muslim forces.

In his replies to the prosecutor, Adamovic at one point said that he actually meant that military authorities, not civilian, committed the crime. In Adamovic’s view, the fact that 12 perpetrators of the Velagici crime were arrested and turned over to the authorities in Banja Luka showed that the civilian authorities in Kljuc did their job. The prosecutor noted that just two of the culprits were finally prosecuted in 1993. After a month in prison, they were released. Also, the prosecutor reminded Adamovic that the Kljuc Crisis Staff declared on 8 May 1992 that it was taking over the power in the municipality unilaterally.

After Adamovic completed his evidence, Karadzic called Mikan Davidovic from Sanski Most. During the war, Davidovic was a member of the Committee which was in charge of ensuring that the exodus of the non-Serbs from the municipality ran smoothly.