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21 March 2012

Karadzic: Footage of Entering Srebrenica Sold for 50,000 DM

The trial of Radovan Karadzic continued with the testimony of a former member of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH), who participated in the wiretapping of conversations between the indictee and other political and military leaders of Bosnian Serbs in 1994 and 1995.
During the testimony of protected witness KDZ-357, Prosecutor Carolyn Edgerton entered into the file several transcripts of intercepted conversations between the then President of the Republika Srpska (RS) and his associates which were conducted during and after the fall of Srebrenica, from July 11 to July 18, 1995.
 
After the witness confirmed the authenticity of the transcripts of these conversations, their content was not discussed in court.
 
Karadzic, who was also supreme Commander of the Republika Srpska Army (VRS), is charged with genocide against more than 7,000 Bosniak men which the forces under his control shot after the fall of Srebrenica.
 
Karadzic is also charged with the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, terror against civilians in Sarajevo by a long-lasting shelling and sniping and taking members of international peace forces hostage in the period from 1992 to 1995.
 
Among the transcripts that were entered into the evidence is also one conversation from July 11, 1995, in which former Assistant Commander of the VRS, General Milan Gvero informs Karadzic about the “Serbian flag” which is waving in Srebrenica.
 
The transcript of the conversation of the VRS commander Ratko Mladic with duty officer in the VRS Main Headquarters which was conducted on July 16, 1995, was also entered into the file.
 
Ratko Mladic is awaiting his trial before The Hague Tribunal for genocide, crimes against humanity and the violations of the laws or customs of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 
By cross-examining the witness, Karadzic tried to prove that the “president” with which general Gvero talked could be “the president of the government, the municipality or the commission”.
 
“In such important moment, it is unlikely that Gvero would call the president of the municipality to tell him about the Serbian flag and the ‘Serbian silver’. We concluded that he reported that important news to you”, replied KDZ-357.
 
Gvero was sentenced to five years of imprisonment by the first-instance verdict of The Hague Tribunal.
 
The witness repeated several times that the conversations were recorded and transcribed as they were happening and that nothing was added or missed.
 
In one wiretapped conversation, KDZ-357, as he said, heard that “Mladic wanted to cash in the exclusive footage of the VRS entering in Srebrenica” by selling them to foreign television “for 50,000 marks”.
 
Answering the question of the indictee on if he could find that transcript, the witness said that he does not know. “We heard it, and as I remember, we wrote it down”, the witness added.
 
KDZ-357 also testified that during the crisis in Srebrenica, the Serb soldiers on the radio station falsely presented themselves as the Bosniak ones and thus “misled” the Bosniaks from the column that hustle through the woods towards Tuzla, leading them into ambush and minefields.
 
Asked how he knew that it was Serbs and not Bosniaks, the witness said that he and his associates “managed to distinguish it” and that they tried to alert the Bosniaks in the column.
 
After the completion of KDZ-357's testimony, the trial continued behind closed doors, with the testimony of protected witness KDZ -145.
R.M.
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