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21 June 2011
News

Karadzic: Radiator Used as Antenna

BIRN BiH

Testifying at the trial of Radovan Karadzic, another Hague Prosecution witness speaks about the communication system in Republika Srpska during the war, saying that they “invested super-human efforts in order to perform tasks – sometimes successfully and at other times with delay”.

Ranko Vukovic, former Chief of the Republic Communications Centre in Pale, whose main task was to convey oral and written messages to civil authorities of Republika Srpska, RS, explained that the office of indictee Karadzic, the then President of RS, was connected to the Centre through a secure line.
 
“The former municipal center in Pale, which had a small number of staff members, started its transformation from a peace to a war formation. While the workload increased enormously, there was only between eight and ten of us all the time,” Vukovic said, adding that besides the Republic Centre, there were also the police and army communication centres.
 
Responding to questions made by indictee Karadzic, Vukovic said that the Communications Centre faced problems related to equipment and working conditions.
 
“At the beginning of the conflict in Vraca, the Communication Centre was destroyed. We went there to help them and established connections by tying some devices to radiators, which served as antennas. You can imagine how secure the connection was,” Vukovic recalled.
 
Vukovic said that, in the official documents received by the Centre, he never noticed Karadzic’s orders for execution of some unlawful actions.
 
Karadzic is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war in the period from 1992 to 1995.
 
As the trial continued, Karadzic completed the cross-examination of Dragan Kezunovic, former Chief of the Communications Centre with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of RS, MUP RS, who spoke about the difficulties faced when sending messages and meetings of MUP RS and safety services centres leaders.
 
Kezunovic said that at those meetings the participants discussed fighting against and documenting crimes, including war crimes.
 
“I would have left the MUP had I found out that any of the leaders approved of those actions. On the contrary, we fought against them, but the number of crimes was enormously big because of the war chaos,” Kezunovic said.
 
When asked by Karadzic if he knew that proceedings for war crimes were underway in Bosnia and Herzegovina at present on the basis of criminal reports filed by the RS institutions at that time, the witness said that he knew that “the services have disposed of a lot of material”.
 
The trial is due to continue on Wednesday, June 22.

M.T.

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