Jezik / Language:
23 November 2006

Mandic: Handshake with Karadzic

Former camp inmate describes how he shook Radovan Karadzic’s hand for cameras
The state prosecution called another witness to testify against Momcilo Mandic, who is indicted for war crimes, based on his role, as justice minister of the former Srpska Republika BiH, in founding and operating all wartime detainment centres on that territory.

Amir Sehovic was arrested on May 29, 1992 in the village of Orahovice, near Gorazde. He described being taken to Pale, where he and a few dozen Bosniaks were detained in a gymnasium “for about two months”.

Beside those from his village, Sehovic said men from Sarajevo settlements and from municipality Pale were also held there.

After two months kept in very poor conditions,with only the minimum amount of  food and not even basic hygienic facilities, Sehovic testified to being transferred together with another 34 prisoners to the Kula camp near Sarajevo, where he spent the next month, until August 22.

Although he could not remember the exact date, the witness remembered that a delegation headed by Radovan Karadzic visited Kula in August. Sehovic said that he also saw Srpska Republika BiH leaders Biljana Plavsic and Momcilo Krajisnik in the delegation. both since convicted for war crimes by the International Crime Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, accompanied by journalists.

“On tape, which I later watched, you can see me standing next to Karadzic,” Sehovic told the court.

“He shook my hand and told everyone that we could,if we wanted to, stay there, and that we would be fine. Nobody decided to stay,” Sehovic continued,recalling he also having seen Paddy Ashdown among the visitors.

According to his testimony, a few hundred men were detained in the Kula camp at that time, but there were also women and children being held.

The trial continues on November 24.
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