Former Republika Srpska Prime Minister Gojko Klickovic quoted from Njegos's verses as he defended Radovan Karadzic. The prosecutor responded by saying that Njegos's Mountain Wreath calls for the extermination of Christians who had converted to the Islamic faith. She also noted that in a speech in July 1992, the accused said, "every verse Njegos wrote reflects the situation we face today". Karadzic eventually joined in the court hearing turned poetry debate

Gojko Klickovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trialGojko Klickovic, witness at the Radovan Karadzic trial

The post-war prime minister in the Republika Srpska government Gojko Klickovic defended Radovan Karadzic, speaking from his wartime experience as a prominent member of the Serbian Democratic Party and president of the crisis staff and the war presidency in the municipality of Bosanska Krupa. In his statement to the defense, there are quite a few gaping holes that pertain to the events in Krupa, as the municipality no longer appears in the indictment against Karadzic. The accused summed up the rest of the statement and read it out in court.

The summary notes that Klickovic admits that in December 1991 the document known as Variants A and B was distributed to the attendees of the SDS Main Board in the Holiday Inn hotel in Sarajevo. The document contained instructions for the takeover of power in municipalities with a Serb majority (Variant A) and those with a Serb minority (Variant B). As the prosecution alleges, this was the first step towards the creation of an ethnically pure Serb entity. Klickovic now claims that the Serb municipality of Bosanska Krupa, headed by the crisis staff, was established in accordance with the law on all people's defense, and that Variants A and B were less relevant in that respect.

In the summary of his statement, Klickovic says that in 1996 he, as the prime minister, was informed that an agreement had been reached by Karadzic and the US diplomat Holbrooke. Karadzic agreed to leave politics in exchange for the dropping of the Tribunal's charges against him. The witness knew the accused as "a true democrat" who fought for "the people, life and stability in each and every situation".

In the cross-examination, prosecutor Gustafson first brought up the minutes from a meeting of the Bosanska Krupa municipal authorities on 24 December 1991, which show that the Serbs seized power in the municipality on the basis of the instructions issued by the Main Board in the Variant A and B document. The witness had confirmed it in an interview with the investigators from The Hague in 2003. Today, he denied it, claiming that the crisis staff and the war presidency were established "in accordance with the law", and not some "strange document" that had been "badly exploited by someone for nefarious purposes".

Klickovic was acquitted by the BH Court in Sarajevo of war crimes in Bosanska Krupa, but the prosecutor contended that there was enough incriminating evidence to discredit him as a witness. She referred to his orders to evacuate the Muslims from Bosanska Krupa: they were to be moved from the right bank of the Una river to the left bank. The Una was to be the border of the Serb state as envisaged by their leaders. Klickovic also ordered the Muslim houses and mosques to be destroyed and publicly advocated a ban on the return of the Muslim people. To counter this evidence, today he claimed the people had been evacuated for their own safety. The intention was for the Muslims to return after the war and only the buildings from which fire was opened were to be destroyed.

In his statement to the defense, Klickovic tried to paint the accused as a calm and benevolent president. To this end, he said Karadzic would often quote a verse from Njegos's Mountain Wreath, "There is no work if the ruler is timid". The prosecutor then quoted other verses from the Mountain Wreath which call for the killing and deportation of Christians who had converted to the Islamic faith, and for the destruction of their houses and mosques. The witness responded, "I have not studied Njegos", adding that it was pointless to try to establish a link between Karadzic and those events. And yet, as the prosecutor said, in a speech before the Assembly in July 1992, Karadzic said, "every verse written by Njegos reflects the situation we face now". Klickovic said he had never heard Karadzic say it. In the re-examination, the accused found some milder passages in the Mountain Wreath, such as "If your mace is your law, your tracks stink of inhumanity". Klickovic was unable to assist him, as he "read only as much Njegos as I had to in school". In his region, people preferred Branko Copic and Petar Kocic, he said.

As the hearing continued today, Karadzic called his next defense witness, who testified in closed session as a protected witness.