During the hearings in the last week of March, Radovan Karadzic claims that the number of killed in Srebrenica is exaggerated while prosecution witness recalled scared civilians.
This week Radovan Karadzic’s trial heard from Dusan Janc, an investigator in the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY, who talked about the exhumations of the Srebrenica massacre victims.
During the cross examination, Karadzic said that the number of Bosniaks killed by Bosnian Serb forces in Kravica village on July 13, 1995 was “multiplied by ten”, suggesting that there could have been 150 victims only, and not 1,000 as specified under the indictment.
Karadzic added that were “no planned or prepared executions” in Kravica, and that the captives were killed after an incident in which a Bosniak grabbed a rifle from a Serb guard and killed him.
Janc responded by saying that the investigation determined that the killing began after the incident he mentioned.
Karadzic, the former President of Republika Srpska and the Supreme Commander of its army, is charged with genocide, after more than 7,000 Bosniaks were killed when the Bosnian Serb army took control of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. He is also charged with the persecution of tens of thousands of women, children and the elderly.
Prosecution witness Christine Schmitz recalled how, a day after the occupation of Srebrenica in July 1995, the Republika Srpska Army separated able bodied Bosniak men from the rest. Afterwards 40,000 women, children and the elderly were “deported” to Tuzla.
Schmitz, who was working as a nurse with Doctors without Borders in Srebrenica at the time, confirmed that the wounded and sick from the hospital were evacuated from Potocari on July 17, 1995.
”Following the fall of Srebrenica, there was not enough food and water for civilians in Potocari. They were scared and resigned to their fate,” the witness said.
During the cross-examination Karadzic, who represents himself at the trial, asked Schmitz if she knew that he gave permission for local members of Doctors without Borders to leave Potocari together with its international members.
”Yes, they left with us, but I did not know that you gave your permission,” the witness said.
Karadzic’s trial will resume on April 10th, after Easter break.
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To the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, was a true sensation, and one to be exploited day after day.
In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.