Wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic accused prosecution witness Arnout Van Lynden of producing biased and unprofessional reports from Sarajevo during the war.
“Because of that type of reporting, people in this courtroom got the wrong picture that Serbs were attacking Muslims in Bosnia,” Karadzic said during cross-examination at his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY.
Karadzic also said that Serbs during the war did not have the same opportunities to reach foreign media as the Bosnian government in Sarajevo, and that their propaganda was not as powerful.
After he repeated the accusations, Lynden said that he and other media in Sarajevo worked in extremely difficult circumstances and that they reported the best way they could, staying firm that most of the shelling in Sarajevo during the war came from the hills around the city where Serb positions were based.
"If I tell you that foreign correspondents did not want to hear the Serb side, what can you say?" Karadzic asked Lynden.
"I would say that you are talking nonsense," Lynden replied, saying that in April 1994 he was banned, without explanation, from reporting from Republika Srpska.
During his cross-examination of this witness Karadzic, as he did with previous witnesses, expressed his opinions on certain questions or read long documents that the witness could not identify or comment on. The trial chamber warned him several times that his statements were not relevant for the court, but rather the evidence and the responses of the witnesses.
However, Karadzic continued with the same line of questioning.
Karadzic today referred to the Bosnian Army more than once as the green berets or the Muslim side.
Lynden said that he did not meet any members of the green berets, noting that he did not see anyone with green berets on the streets of Sarajevo or in any other city in Bosnia, calling Karadzic's claims the “product of Serb imagination”.
“But I met Serb soldiers in Pale who called members of the other Bosnian Army green berets,” Lynden said.
Karadzic's cross-examination of Lynden, a wartime Bosnian correspondent for British Sky News, started on May 19 and will continue on May 21.
After Karadzic finishes his cross-examination of Lynden, the prosecution will call its next witness, Colm Doyle. Doyle was head of the European Commission Monitoring Mission for Bosnia from March to August 1992, and the personal representative of Lord Carrington, the peace negotiator at the beginning of the war.
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