PROSECUTOR: GENOCIDE IS THE RIGHT WORD FOR KARADZIC’S CRIMES
In his closing argument, prosecutor Alan Tieger called Radovan Karadzic a liar and a mobster, the driving force behind the ethnic cleansing of parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina the Serbs had claimed as their own. The crimes ‘were not aimed against individuals but against members of an undesirable community’ with a view to forcibly changing the demographic composition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. ‘Genocide is the right word for those crimes’, the prosecutor noted
No one has ever accused another person of being 'a liar' and 'uttering falsehoods' so many times in a Tribunal courtroom as prosecutor Alan Tieger did in his closing argument at the trial of Radovan Karadzic. In the five hours of his address, prosecutor Tieger used the words about 40 times. At the very beginning, the prosecutor said that the international representatives negotiating with Karadzic openly referred to him as a ‘liar’. The prosecutor quoted General Rose, who said, 'Under pressure Karadzic is able to lie openly with a benign expression of innocence on his face’. According to the prosecutor, Karadzic continued with the same policy of ‘lying brazenly’and ‘uttering falsehoods’during the trial. Karadzic did it when he denied the crimes he is charged with and tried to shift the blame on others: out-of-control paramilitary formations or Mladic, claiming that there had been a ‘dramatic rift’ between them.
‘The Prijedor story is gruesome’, Tieger noted in the closing argument dedicated to the so-called ‘comprehensive’joint criminal enterprise of ethnic cleansing in large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina; in some municipalities, including Prijedor, it reached the scale of genocide. In just a couple of months, the prosecutor noted, thousands were killed and detained in prison camps. There they were held in inhumane conditions and subjected to torture and sexual abuse. By October 1992, 38,000 persons were expelled from the Prijedor municipality. By May 1993, the number rose to 44,000. ‘This shows a clear intention to destroy the Muslim and Croat community in Prijedor’, the prosecutor argued. Karadzic had demonstrated the same intent before the war when he wagged his finger and threatened Croats and Muslims saying they were'on the path to extermination’.
‘Karadzic is now trying to describe himself as a visionary full of goodwill who simply foresaw the upcoming terrible times. But Karadzic is not merely a construction engineer who tells people‘don’t build here because the ground is not firm’, the prosecutor said. No, he is a mobster who tells them, ‘don’t build here or else I will be forced to tear down what you have built’, prosecutor Tieger explained. According to him, Karadzic was the ‘driving force’behind the ethnic cleansing. The crimes ‘were never aimed against individuals but against members of an undesirable community with a view to forcibly changing the demographic composition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As Tieger stressed, ‘genocide is the right word for those crimes’.
According to the prosecutor, the defense’s claim that the Directive 7 –signed by Karadzic –had never been implemented is false. The directive, the prosecutor recalled, ordered the VRS troops to ‘create conditions of total insecurity with no hope of further life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa’. In Tieger’s view, this was nothing but a ‘criminal order’. Also, Karadzic’s attempt to distance himself from the VRS and to show that he didn’t control the army was ‘yet another brazen lie’. In his evidence general Manojlo Milovanovic gave the lie to the claim when he saidthe army had been under Karadzic’s supreme command. As Tieger, went on to argue, the defense's casethat the communications between Pale (the location of the supreme command) and the Serb municipalities of Prijedor, Rogatica, Foca etc. were down was also false. So were the claims that the Serb authorities prosecuted the perpetrators of the crimes against non-Serbs, the prosecutor concluded.
As the closing arguments continue tomorrow, the prosecution will sum up its evidence on Karadzic’s responsibility for the campaign of artillery and sniper terror in Sarajevo and for the Srebrenica genocide.
- Case : Karadzic
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