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Shelling of Population in Srebrenica

10. December 2013.00:00
As he continues testifying in defence of Radovan Karadzic, a former Bosniak soldier says that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina fired a grenade on their own children who were playing football in Srebrenica in 1995.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Protected witness KW-12 said that this was done after a letter had been received from Sarajevo telling them to “do something” in order to make NATO take the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s side.
Testifying with his face hidden and voice electronically altered, KW-12 said that the attack, which happened “two or three months before the fall of Srebrenica”, was attributed to Serb forces immediately.  
Karadzic, the then President of Republika Srpska and supreme Commander of its armed forces, is charged with genocide against about 7,000 Bosniaks in Srebrenica. Besides that, he is on trial for the persecutions throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, which reached the scale of genocide in seven municipalities, terror against citizens in Sarajevo and taking UNPROFOR members hostage.
While repeating that the Sarajevo authorities persecuted him and sent him death threats, because he told the truth about the happenings in Srebrenica, the witness said that, in 1997 Alija Izetbegovic and the then leader of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina Mustafa Ceric “gave me 50,000 Marks to disappear from Bosnia and go live in another country”.
During the cross-examination Prosecutor Melissa Pak suggested that KW-12 was “a witness of all conspiracy theories, which could be found in newspapers”.
“You should ask three key women in ‘The Mothers of Srebrenica’, as well as Sulejman Tihic’s and Bakir Izetbegovic’s Party for Democratic Action, how come that they know better than us what happened in that area, despite the fact that we were present there,” the witness said.
The Prosecutor made a series of questions, suggesting that, while he was in prison in Bosnia and Herzegovina, KW-12 carefully followed the trials at the Hague and Sarajevo, longing to appear at any of the trials as a witness.
The witness said that investigators of the Sarajevo Prosecution and State Investigation and Protection Agency, SIPA, threatened him by telling him that he “must not speak” about what he experienced in Srebrenica and Kravica.
Also, he said that attempts to kill him were organised. “I said goodbye to my life. I just wanted them to bring me here as soon as possible,” the witness said.
Witness KW-12 began testifying on Monday, December 9, when he said that Serb policemen, whom the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced for having killed 1,000 captives in Kravica, were not present at the crime scene, adding that he saw them in nearby Sandici village.  
He said that, on July 13, 1995 he fled Kravica, where Serb soldiers had brought him as a captive, by jumping through a window. When asked by the Prosecutor whether “anybody wanted to invite him as a witness”, KW-12 said: “No”.
The Prosecutor said that the witness’ allegations about the threats were “pure fantasy”, but witness KW-12 said that the Prosecutor was ridiculing him.
Prosecutor Pak tried to deny the credibility of the witness by quoting psychiatric findings prepared during proceedings against the witness, according to which KW-12 was described as neurotic, passively-dependant, non-integrated and immature person”. The witness responded by saying that “this is the first time I see that”.
The trial of Karadzic is due to continue on Wednesday, December 11.

Radoša Milutinović

This post is also available in: Bosnian