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22 January 2014
News

Beara Accuses Police

Radosa Milutinovic BIRN BiH The Hague
Testifying at Radovan Karadzic’s trial, Ljubisa Beara, former Colonel with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, denies guilt for genocide in Srebrenica, accusing Serb police for mass murders of Srebrenica Muslims in July 1995.
In 2010 The Hague Tribunal sentenced Beara, the then Chief of Directorate for Security with the VRS’ Main Headquarters, to life imprisonment after having found him guilty of genocide against about 7,000 Muslims, whom Serb forces shot in the days that followed the occupation of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995.

Karadzic, who was President of Republika Srpska and supreme Commander of its armed forces at that time, is also charged with Srebrenica genocide.

After being reminded by Prosecutor Melissa Pak that, according to the first instance verdict, he “gave a direct order” for and “orchestrated” the implementation of the murder plan after the fall of Srebrenica, Beara said:

“I remember very well that a cable sent by Dragomir Vasic, Chief of the Public Safety Centre in Zvornik, was presented. In that cable he said that MUP [Ministry of Internal Affairs] had taken over the tasks from the Army and that it surrounded and liquidated 8,000 Muslims… Later on it was me, not Vasic”.

At the same time Beara said that the cable was included in the case file and that it “got lost in a mysterious way, so, it seems, that I have become Vasic”.

The witness denied having known anything about the crimes against Srebrenica Muslims in July 1995, offering an alibi and saying that he was in Belgrade on July 13 and 14.

When asked by Prosecutor Pak if he denied that thousands of men were systematically killed after the fall of Srebrenica, Beara said:

“How can I deny the horrible things that happened in the civil, religious war. It was damnation, not warfare. It was dreadful, horrifying. But, in some mysterious way, all those things have been burdened upon three men of the VRS Security Service - the men, who neither had the authority nor subordinated murderers and soldiers, who were ready to kill. I don’t know…”

Beara began testifying, as per an obliging warrant issued by the Tribunal, on December 17 last year. The most part of his testimony was closed to public, when Beara refused to answer two of Karadzic’s questions in order to avoid incriminating himself.

The indictee presented the judges with two more witnesses – Cedo Sipovac and Miladin Nedic.

The trial of Karadzic, who is also charged with persecuting Muslims and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, terrorising civilians in Sarajevo and taking UNPROFOR members hostage, is due to continue tomorrow, January 23.

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