Mile Akmadzic, the prime minister in a wartime BH government, accuses its foreign minister Haris Silajdzic of abuse of office during the negotiations about the Vance-Owen plan in early 1993. Silajdzic used his personal ’sentimental relationship’ in a US senator’s office to present Muslim interests as the interests of all three constituent peoples

Mile Akmadzic, defence witness of Jadranko PrlicMile Akmadzic, defence witness of Jadranko Prlic

Testifying at the trial of former Bosnian Croat leaders, former prime minister of the wartime BH government accused its foreign minister Haris Silajdzic of abuse of office during the intensive negotiations about the Vance-Owen peace plan in early 1993.

Akmadzic contends that Silajdzic used his personal ‘sentimental relationship’ with a person employed in the office of US senator Joseph Biden to misrepresent the official position of the BH presidency about the peace plan.

Silajdzic and Izetbegovic, Akmadzic clarified, ostensibly advocated a united BH before the representatives of the international community but in fact they wanted a unitary state based on the principle ‘one man, one vote’ thus ensuring that the Muslim majority should rule over Croats and Serbs. While Serbs wanted to break up and divide BH, Croats advocated a ‘moderate solution’ – a decentralized state with equal rights for all three constituent groups, the witness said.

Apart from using his ‘sentimental relationship’ as a means to an end for his ethnic group, Dr Silajdzic failed to fulfill other obligations he had as the foreign minister vis-à-vis the government. According to the witness, Silajdzic didn’t report about the talks he had with the international representatives and he didn’t abide by the instructions he received from the government about how to represent the interests of the country.

Akmadzic described Izetbegovic as a man he could work with well at first. They were on friendly terms, but as Akmadzic put it, Izetbegovic betrayed the Croats’ trust in late December 1992, when he refused to hand over to the Croat presidency member after the expiry of his one-year term of office, as required by the Constitution and the Presidency Rules of Procedure.

On 27 August 1993, Akmadzic was relieved of his duties as the BH prime minister. Later that year he was appointed a member of the presidential counsel of the Croatian Republic of Herceg Bosna. Akmadzic’s evidence continues tomorrow.