ARDUOUS EFFORTS TO "REFRESH MEMORY"
As he answered questions by the prosecution, Rajko Kasagic could not remember most of the events in the period relevant for the indictment against Momcilo Krajisnik. The prosecutor had reasons to be happy with the few things Kasagic was able to recall
Rajko Kasagic, witness in the Krajisnik trial
Although Rajko Kasagic was able to remember easily the events that marked the period relevant for the indictment when the defense was asking him questions, now that he was subjected to the cross-examination by the prosecutor Alan Tieger, he avoided answering questions, saying he had "a poor recollection of the events that happened 13-14 years ago". The former prime minister of the Republika Srpska government and the president of the Banja Luka town hall, testifying as Krajisnik's defense witness, said he "cannot remember" any of the meetings of the RS authorities he attended.
During his examination-in-chief, Kasagic claimed that war crimes had not been publicly discussed at the sessions of the Bosnian Serb Assembly. When the prosecutor reminded him that "good results" of the efforts to expel Muslims had been mentioned several times, he claimed he could not remember details from that session.
After a few dozen "I don't knows" and "I can’t remembers", even Presiding Judge Alphons Orie asked Kasagic a few times not to "get defensive" and not to waste time. The witness defended himself, saying he really had "no intention of hiding anything", but that he could only answer questions when the prosecutor reminded him of certain events".
After several warning, the prosecutor Rajko Kasagic found it easier to "refresh the memory" of the witness. Thus, Kasagic was able to recall the speeches made by the RS President Radovan Karadzic and the president of the Krajina Autonomous Region government Radoslav Brdjanin. They said the "Muslims are a demographic threat" and that for that reason "their number in the RS should be reduced to 5 percent". Kasagic also recalled that the "reduction in the number of Muslims" was achieved by violence. He said in his defense that at the time he had thought the expulsions were temporary and that all the expelled persons would return to their homes after the war.
The witness maintained that he had heard of the variants A and B of the plan for the SDS takeover of power in municipalities for the first time a few days ago when he had arrived in The Hague. He did remember, however, that Karadzic had been advocating "establishing borders separating Serbs from Croats and Muslims and the division of Sarajevo". Those are two of the six strategic goals listed in the indictment against Momcilo Krajisnik. The prosecution contends that those indicate that there was a plan to create an ethnically cleansed Serb state in BH.
Although in the examination-in-chief Kasagic tried to play down the influence of the accused on the state authorities, Kasagic later remembered that during the war he had described Krajisnik as "the man in the key position". "The people in the trenches have the hardest job as do those who, like my friend Momo, hold key positions," he had said at the time.
When Kasagic's testimony ended, the presiding judge read out the statement of the Trial Chamber regarding the deadline for Krajisnik's defense to rest its case. Taking into account the defense requests, the Chamber decided to extend the time and Krajisnik's defense case will last until 28 April 2006. Judge Orie warned the counsel that the deadline would be extended for the third time "only in exceptional circumstances" and that they would be able to call about 40 witnesses in that time, including the accused. He should be called on 23 January 2006.
- Case : Krajisnik - "Bosnia and Herzegovina"
- 2005-11-17 KRAJISNIK – MAN WITHOUT ANY INFLUENCE, MEMBER OF AN "INSIGNIFICANT BODY"
- 2005-11-10 MOSQUES WERE SET ON FIRE BY LIGHTING
- 2005-11-07 KRAJISNIK – "A BUSINESSMAN WITH NO POWER"
- 2005-12-05 LUNCH, INSTEAD OF INSTRUCTIONS
- 2005-12-14 BOSNIAN SERBS' WAR OBJECTIVES WERE "FIGURATIVE"
- 2006-05-02 KARADZIC WAS “COPYCAT”