In the cross-examination of Radovan Karadzic’s defense witness, the prosecutor remarked that he was ‘an eyewitness to all the conspiracy theories about Srebrenica that were published in the press’. The witness confirmed it. He denied the allegations in a report which appears to show that the people working for Karadzic’s defense had presented him with prefabricated answers. The witness allegedly ‘spoke the answers into a Dictaphone’, in exchange for a new identity and his return to a ‘third country’ from which he had been deported in order to stand trial in Republika Srpska

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

The examination-in- chief of Witness KW 012 resumed at Karadzic’s trial. The witness had introduced himself as a former BH Army soldier. He corroborated Radovan Karadzic’s defense case with stories that bordered on the impossible. His evidence began with a claim that in the first half of 1995 Muslim fighters shelled their fellow countrymen in Srebrenica in order to trigger a NATO intervention, on the orders of Alija Izetbegovic. The witness said that he personally saw a ‘wrapped up’ mortar on a BH Army position: a shell had been fired from that very mortar on the Srebrenica school yard, but this happened after he had left that position, so he heard only the sound of a mortar being fired.

Yesterday the witness tried to play down the number of victims after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995, claiming that Muslims were killing each other, while others were killed as they fought the Serb army. Today, the witness corroborated another defense claim: he said he knew dozens of people who were on the Srebrenica missing persons list, but who were actually alive, either abroad or in the BH Federation. Their families are still receiving their pensions. ‘Give me 20 minutes and I’ll find them on Facebook and Skype, so we can talk to them, it is not a problem’, the witness said. He wanted to do the same thing when he met with the representatives of Karadzic’s defense. He wanted to take them to meet the ‘fake victims and have coffee with them’, but he was not allowed to cross from Republika Srpska into the Federation, the witness recounted.

In order to show how important he was, the witness said that in 1997 he met with Alija Izetbegovic and Effendi Mustafa Ceric. They gave the witness 50,000 German marks in exchange for his departure from BH. After that, the witness claimed, he was removed from all the lists of fighters in BH to cover up his involvement in the war.

Prosecutor Pack put it to the witness that the defense provided him with various forms of assistance in exchange for false testimony, in which he was to confirm Karadzic’s defense case. The prosecutor noted that the witness claimed he had personally seen every ‘conspiracy theory about Srebrenica that was published in the press’, for instance that the Muslims had been killing each other before and after the fall of the enclave and that there were ‘fake victims’ of genocide. After the witness confirmed it, the prosecutor explained how it had happened.

An official memo of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) of 16 March 2011 stated that after the witness was released from the prison in Foca, Karadzic’s defense counsel Goran Petronijevic contacted him and asked him to testify as a defense witness. The witness had been in prison for a war crime. Petronijevic was waiting for the witness to emerge from the prison building and took him to Bijeljina. The witness was interviewed in an apartment, and the interview was recorded on a Dictaphone. The witness was purportedly asked questions and was given a paper with the answers he was supposed to read out. He was promised that he would be ‘protected from the revenge of Bosniaks’, given a new identity and transferred to Serbia first and then to a ‘third country’. The answers he was told to read contained the claims identical to Karadzic’s conspiracy theories about Srebrenica, the SIPA memo concluded.

The witness denied the allegations of the Bosnian intelligence agency, and claimed that his defense counsel Damir Alagic had set him up. While he was still in the Foca prison, the SIPA agents threatened him, the witness said. To show what kind of person the witness really was, the prosecutor read out a psychiatric report prepared for the Republika Srpska court that sentenced him to five years in prison. According to the report, the witness was ‘emotionally immature, neurotic, without integrity, with limited intellectual abilities, physiologically blunted’. The rules of medical ethics didn’t prevent Dr Karadzic from questioning the witness, in total disregard of his diagnosis. At times, the questioning was hard to watch, bordering on inhumane. In the re-examination Dr Karadzic contested the report drafted by his three colleagues from Republika Srpska. The witness was not given an IQ test and it was impossible to make any conclusions about his intelligence, or lack thereof, Karadzic stressed.

It is interesting to note that during his evidence the witness didn’t want to say who had killed his son and his mother in front of the family house on the day when he and his father were arrested in May 1992. The witness did identify the Serb soldier in his previous statement to the SIPA. Now he said he didn’t want to repeat the name because he has ‘forgiven’ the killer.

As the hearing drew to a close, Vladimir Matovic began his evidence in Karadzic’s defense. Marovic is a journalist who used to write for the Borba. He also served as home affairs adviser for Dobrica Cosic, while Cosic was the president of the FRY.