KARADZIC’S FINAL OFFENSIVE: ATTACK IS THE BEST FORM OF DEFENSE
At the beginning of his closing arguments, Radovan Karadzic first mercilessly attacked the whole Tribunal, then focused his attack specifically on the Tribunal’s Office of the Prosecutor. Karadzic denied the crimes and his responsibility for them, portraying himself as a ‘true friend to Muslims’. Karadzic also denied that he was a ‘liar and a mobster’ claiming that he left ‘only good deeds’ as his legacy
In his prolific career Radovan Karadzic worked as a psychologist in the Sarajevo Football Club. As a throwback to those days, today he applied the old adage, ‘attack is the best form of defense’. Karadzic thus began his closing argument by mercilessly attacking the Tribunal, likening himself to Alfred Dreyfuss, French officer of Jewish ancestry, who was falsely accused of spying for Germany and sentenced to life in prison 120 years ago. According to Karadzic, the Tribunal is the worst thing since the Dreyfuss affairs, equaling it 'in scope and wrongness'. ‘This is the first time since those days that such a large number of decent and innocent people, Serbs mostly, have been convicted and imprisoned’ even as many direct perpetrators who murdered Serbs, go free’. That, in Karadzic’s opinion, will be remembered longer than the Dreyfuss affair.
Then,Karadzic apparently realized he had gone a bit too far, and said his statement didn't refer to the Trial Chamber or the judges. Instead, it was all ‘the OTP’s handwork’, Karadzic explained, the result of its tireless efforts to lead the judges astray. ‘If I were the Trial Chamber, I would take offense’, Karadzic concluded, and continued his uncompromising struggle with the prosecution and its evidence.
Because the prosecution ‘did not have any evidence’, its conclusions were based on casual ‘chats over the phone’, assembly debates and political speeches, Karadzic continued. Many ‘bastard sentences’ and ‘semantic bastards’ were uttered in those instances, he explained.For want ofevidence, the prosecution decided to focus instead on ‘denigrating my person’ and calling him ‘a liar and a mobster’. According to the accused, the prosecution did it with a ‘heavy heart’ and surely wouldn’t have done it if they ‘had strong evidence against Radovan Karadzic’.
In order to be able to indict him, the prosecution used various tricks, Karadzic claimed. The term ‘joint criminal enterprise’ was in Karadzic’s view an ‘invention of the OTP’ borrowed from the legislation used to prosecute mobsters. It was invented with the sole purpose of making it possible to indict him. If the OTP were to be ordered to draft an indictment against Karadzic without the joint criminal enterprise, only his good deeds would remain in it. And those ‘good deeds’ are Karadzic’s efforts to stop the war, and to end the sufferings of the victims once the war had broken out. ‘Those who talk to God know for sure that it’s true’, Karadzic said. However, the prosecution stuck to the joint criminal enterprise ‘accusing all the Serbs through it’. The Tribunal’s trials were supposed to ‘shift the blame from some other ethnicities on the Serbs and to transfer the label of victims from Jews on some other ethnicities’, Karadzic stressed.
Among other things Karadzic criticized the prosecution for failing to present to the Trial Chamber the fact that ‘Hitler’s allies’ came to power in BH and Croatia in the 1990s. Karadzic qualified his statement a little by clarifying that it didn’t pertain so much to Franjo Tudjman as to his ministers. In Karadzic’s words, Tudjman’s ministers came back from abroad, where they had gone as political émigrés, and assumed power. Speaking of the Bosnian leaders Karadzic noted that ‘in 1939, Alija Izetbegovic joined the Young Muslims organization’. Izetbegovic hosted the Jerusalem grand mufti al-Husseini, who had come to establish the Handjar division as 'Hitler’s ally and personal friend’, Karadzic explained. Izetbegovic and his minions made plans to ‘import four million Turks' and to settle Muslims from Sandzak to ‘change the ethnic composition of BH’.
The prosecution’s claim that at the beginning of the war the Serbs occupied more than 60 percent of the BH territory was ‘funny’, Karadzic said. According to him, before the war Serbs had owned about 64% of the territory. Also, Karadzic denied there had been any ethnic cleansing, arguing that Muslims and Croats left ‘with a heavy heart but certainly on their own accord’.
- Case : Karadzic
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