Jezik / Language:
11 December 2013

CNN Informed the President

Radoša Milutinović BIRN BiH Haag

Defence witness Vladimir Matovic says, testifying at Radovan Karadzic’s trial at The Hague, that, while they were in Pale in July 1995, the indictee told him that he obtained information about the happenings in Srebrenica from CNN television.

Matovic was not able to specify the date when he met Karadzic.  

When asked by the indictee if they “mentioned the captives”, Matovic said that they spoke about it much later, when Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel came, as per an invitation by Dobrica Cosic, President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, SRJ, in order to collect information about detention camps in Republika Srpska, RS.  

“I was in your office. I conveyed to Wiesel that he would receive all the help,” said Matovic, a very old man.

Wiesel visited the detention camps in RS in the summer of 1992, when Matovic was Press Advisor to the then SRJ President Cosic.

Matovic said that, in July 1995 Karadzic told him that he “has got as much information as me… and that he only heard about an old woman having been killed, no way that it could have been 7,000 soldiers”.  

The indictment charges Karadzic, former President of RS and supreme Commander of its armed forces, with genocide against 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, as well as the persecution of Muslims and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, which reached the scale of genocide in seven municipalities, terror against civilians in Sarajevo and taking UNPROFOR members hostage.
In his statement, Matovic said that, prior to leaving to Pale, he met a woman named Nadja in Zvornik, as per an order by the then Defence Minister of SRJ Pavle Bulatovic.

“Nadja was an operational liaison officer between Belgrade and friends in NATO,” Matovic said.

According to the statement, Nadja told Matovic that there was a danger from “hawks” in NATO, in other words - the Germans and Americans - “who are in contact with VRS officers via intelligence circles”, because they were preparing the mass killing of Muslim civilians in order to justify an attack against the RS.  

Matovic said that he then visited Karadzic in order to convey “the sensational news” to him, but he was not of help, given the fact that he obtained information from CNN.

When Prosecutor Caroline Edgerton said that it meant that the liquidation of 7,000 Srebrenica Muslims was an international conspiracy, in which Americans, Germans, as well as VRS officers, participated, Matovic was not able to explain that, saying: “I did not see my statement after having given it”.

When asked by presiding judge O-gon Kwon to say what Nadja told him, the witness said that she “literally told me what is written in the statement”. After that the Chamber refused to admit the statement as evidence.

When asked by the Prosecutor if he accepted the allegation that Serb forces had killed 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, the witness said: “I accept”, adding though that “this is the first time I hear this rounded figure”.

Karadzic presented the judges with witness Milos Milincevic too. He testified about the preservation of peace and minorities in Srbac municipality, whose president he was during the Bosnian war.

The trial is due to continue tomorrow, December 12.

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