Radovan Karadzic was the leader of Bosnian Serbs, but he and Momcilo Krajisnik shared the same political views and cooperated with each other most closely – they were “two men in one body”, says Milan Trbojevic, one time Bosnian Serb cabinet member

Momcilo Krajisnik in the courtroomMomcilo Krajisnik in the courtroom

“No doubt about it, Radovan Karadzic was the supreme chief,” said former Bosnian Serb cabinet member Milan Trbojevic, called by the prosecutor to testify at the trial of Momcilo Krajisnik, the former speaker of the Assembly of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The prosecutor asked the witness to say who had the greatest power over the Bosnian Serb institutions and politics in 1992. “Radovan Karadzic was the leader of the Bosnian Serbs… people liked to use the term Vozd,” the witness said.

The prosecutor, who had interviewed Trbojevic before his testimony in court, reminded the witness that in the interviews he had said that Karadzic and Krajisnik had been “very close”, like “two men in one body” and that “in that union, Krajisnik was the main part of the body” and that he “led Karadzic”.

Trbojevic says he made that statement because Karadzic “acted in a totally disorganized fashion, without any system”, while Krajisnik was “more organized, responsible, systematic and reliable.” However, Karadzic was the one that “had the charisma, the charm, had the ability to manipulate the masses,” the witness added. The two of them shared the same political views and collaborated most closely, Trbojevic admitted.

When the prosecutor noted that in an earlier interview Trbojevic had said that Karadzic and Krajisnik “had something approaching absolute power when it comes to police, military and judiciary,” the witness confirmed that he still thought that had been the case.

Trbojevic, who was an independent deputy elected in 1990 on the SDS ticket, was appointed deputy prime minister of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. In 1993, he became an adviser in the new RS government. However, according to him, the “Government was there just to put fires out.” The political life in RS was conducted in the Assembly, but it “did not play a decisive role, since the decisions were made under the strong pressure of the SDS; the main agents being Krajisnik and Karadzic.” According to Trbojevic, the “deputies who were not SDS members – less than 10 percent of them – turned, conditionally speaking, into some kind of a powerless opposition.”

Like many other witnesses from RS institutions called by the prosecutor, Trbojevic was reminded at the beginning of the testimony by a judge that he might be called to give answers that might incriminate him, but that those could not be used against him in any future proceedings.

Milan Trbojevic will continue his testimony tomorrow.