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Karadzic: Death Threats because of Srebrenica

4. May 2012.00:00
Testifying at the trial of Radovan Karadzic, former journalist from Belgrade Zoran Petrovic Pirocanac denies having told a London Independent reporter in July 1995 that hewas in big trouble, because the indictee was mad at him for having played adocumentary about Srebrenica, depicting bodies of Bosniaks.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Petrovic’s documentary was introduced as the Prosecution’s evidence at the trial ofKaradzic, former President of Republika Srpska. In one scene, while driving ina car, Petrovic recorded a pile of dead bodies in front of the warehouse of theCo-operative in Kravica village, while Serb policemen walked around andshooting could be heard.

According to the charges against Karadzic, members of the Republika Srpska Army and policekilled about 1,000 Bosniak prisoners in Kravica on July 13, 1995. Karadzic ischarged with genocide, the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosniaand Herzegovina, terror against civilians in Sarajevo and taking internationalsoldiers hostage.

Petrovic Pirocanac’s documentary was broadcast on Studio B TV in Belgrade on July 15,1995. The Independent journalist Robert Block testified at Karadzic’s trial, inMarch, that he watched the documentary in the TV station premises on thefollowing day and wrote an article about the first executions in Srebrenica onthe basis of that documentary.

Block said at the time that the original documentary disappeared from Studio B a short timelater and that Petrovic Pirocanac, whom he visited at his house, told him thatKaradzic was very mad because the movie was broadcast and the article publishedin the Independent and that he gave an order for confiscation of thedocumentary.

Petrovic, who was invited to the Hague at Karadzic’s request, said that it was “untrue” and that Block was “a great liar”. “Block never visited me at my house,” thewitness said. He said that the RS leadership “did not have any negativereactions” about the documentary, but he received death threats from “somesoldiers from RS”.

While Karadzic was examining him, Petrovic confirmed that, after it had been broadcasted by Studio B, he sent the cassette containing the documentary by bus to Pale,because he was told that Bosnian Serb leaders wanted to see thedocumentary.

Petrovic specified that, in addition to “15-20” corpses in Kravica, the documentary depicted “about ten” Bosniaks on “the white house” terrace in Potocari, as wellas “about one hundred” men from Srebrenica, whom the Republika Srpska Armycaptured in the vicinity of Sandici. According to the charges, those men werekilled at locations near Zvornik in the following days.

Responding to indictee’s suggestions, Petrovic said that the murders in Kravica happened after an incident in which a Serb policeman was wounded.

During an additional examination Prosecutor Jullian Nicholls asked Petrovic if any of the RS leaders expressed concern due to the recording of the corpses or a wish to investigate the event. The witness answered negatively.

“After the authorities had asked you to send them the cassette, you did that. What we received was the unprocessed material, which lacked the key parts – recordings from Kravica, Potocari and Sandici. You were not able to explain that. Youcannot explain it now either. Do you think this was a coincidence,” ProsecutorNicolls asked.

Petrovic responded by saying that he sent the cassette “to many addresses” and that he “cannot guarantee what happened and how it happened”, but he said that the key scenes were found later on and that they represented “the only evidence” in thedocumentary about what happened following the fall of Srebrenica.

The trial ofKaradzic is due to continue on Friday, May 4, when last Prosecution witness will be examined.

This post is also available in: Bosnian