KDZ064 Continues Meltdown on Witness Stand; Herbert Okun Testifies About Serbian, Muslim, and Croatian Objectives in Bosnian War
www.slobodan-milosevic.org - May 11, 2010


Written by: Andy Wilcoxson


Hearing date: April 22, 2010


Radovan Karadzic continued his cross-examination of protected witness KDZ064 on Thursday, April 22. The witness, a Bosnian-Muslim, claims to be a survivor of the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre. He claims to have survived a mass-execution by Bosnian-Serb troops by feigning death. 


Because the witness’s identity is protected, the village that he comes from can not be revealed, but it came out during the cross-examination that in his village, and in many of the surrounding villages, mass graves of Serbs who were massacred were found.


Karadzic also showed the witness a hand-written note from (Srebrenica-Muslim military commander) Nasir Oric (exhibit D70 MFI) ordering the summary execution of Serbs from Sandici (the village where the witness says he was captured by the Bosnian-Serbs). The witness, predictably, denied the authenticity of the note.


The witness continued to make far fetched claims about the UN being responsible for what he claims happened in Srebrenica – namely the massacre of 18,000 people. He told the court, “The United Nations are the main cause of the deaths in Srebrenica.  They disarmed the people and allowed the executioners to kill them all.  Do you know, gentlemen, that you killed babies that had just been born several minutes ago, right up to old people who were 90 years old?” Gesturing towards the dock where Karadzic was seated the witness said, “(former UN Secretary-General) Yasushi Akashi should be on the other side, and then we should have a trial.”


The witness was emphatic that Srebrenica had been demilitarized. He insisted, “Yes, yes, yes, it was demilitarized.”


When asked to confirm that he never heard or saw any fighting around Srebrenica before the 11th of July 1995 the witness said, “That’s right, and there wasn’t any fighting then either.  The people left without any fighting.”


When asked how many men in the column that set out for Tuzla were armed the witness said, “I don’t know. Maybe about 400 rifles.”


The witness’s outrageous claims about the UN and the scale of the massacre, his dogged insistence that Srebrenica was peaceful and demilitarized, and his claim that the column was largely unarmed strain credulity. Even the prosecution acknowledges that Srebrenica wasn’t demilitarized. In its report about the fall of Srebrenica, the ABiH acknowledges that the column of 10,000 to 15,000 men that set of for Tuzla on July 11-12, 1995 (which the witness claims to have been a part of) had 6,000 armed soldiers in it. (example: Popovic trial exhibit 1D00839.E and 1D00839)

KDZ064’s propensity for exaggeration and his obvious vendetta against the Serbs cast serious doubt on the credibility of his testimony. At one point he told Karadzic, “You know what Serbs can fabricate, no one else can.” He said, “Your plan [was], to create an ethnic territory and to create a Greater Serbia, because your president, Slobodan Milosevic, always said, ‘We want all the Serbs to live in a single state.’”


When Karadzic expressed doubt about the truthfulness of KDZ064’s testimony, the witness expressed his wish that Radovan Karadzic’s children be killed. He told Karadzic, “May you look at your own children dead.”


The prosecution did not try to rehabilitate the witness. They did not ask any questions in re-examination. They just let him go. Presumably, they realized that he wasn’t helping their case and they wanted to get him off the witness stand as quickly as possible.  


Okun Takes the Stand for the Prosecution


The next prosecution witness on the docket was Ambassador Herbert Okun. From 1991 to 1997, Ambassador Okun served as the special advisor and deputy to the personal envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, former Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance.  Prior to his work in the former Yugoslavia, Ambassador Okun served for 37 years in the United States Foreign Service.


Okun is a US foreign policy advisor from way back, while serving in the United States Embassy in Moscow in the early 1960s, Okun was the person responsible, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, for translating letters from Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy.


From December 1991 to May 1993, Ambassador Okun met with the Bosnian Serb leadership on approximately 50 to 60 occasions, including Karadzic at more than 40 meetings. He maintained a record of the meetings in a series of note-books although he confessed, “I’m not a court stenographer.”


Okun was deputy co-chairman for the United Nations of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia (ICFY) and he was influential in the passage of the Vance Plan in Croatia.


Ambassador Okun testified that he believed the war aims of the Bosnian Serbs to be:  One, to have their own state; two, for the state to have territorial continuity and to be contiguous to Serbia; three, for the state to be as ethnically pure as reasonably possible; four, to have a special relationship between that state and Serbia; five, a divided Sarajevo; and, six, a veto power of any residual powers that may be held by a central government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Ambassador Okun claims that by shelling Sarajevo the Bosnain-Serbs aimed:  A, to terrorize; B, to use the shelling to physically divide the city in accordance with Bosnian Serb aims; and, C, to show the Bosnian Serb people that their army was powerful and, therefore, to animate them.


He described what he perceived as the Bosnian-Muslim war aims saying, “The Bosnian Muslim side wanted a unitary state, centralized powers, and Sarajevo with only residual administrative ordinances to be outside of the capital.  They wanted a majoritarian rule, because they were already a plurality with 44 per cent of the Bosnian population in 1991, and they were looking forward to the day when they would be an absolute majority.”


He said, “The last point of their war aims was a disputed one, and that was whether and to what degree a Bosnian-Muslim-ruled Bosnia-Herzegovina would be an Islamic state.  The reason it was an open question was that the Party of Democratic Action, the SDA, the Bosnian Muslim party, was itself divided into a secular section and a more religiously-inclined section.”


As for the Bosnian-Croats and their war aims he said: “With respect to the Bosnian Croats, they first wished to vote, as they did, to take Bosnia-Herzegovina out of the Yugoslav Federation, to declare independence.  Second, they set up their own state, called the Community of Herceg-Bosna, a rough analogue to the Republika Srpska.  And they also wanted territorial contiguity with their mother country, Croatia, and they looked forward to the day when, formally or informally, the Community of Herceg-Bosna would also have a special relationship, possibly even uniting with the Republic of Croatia.”


Okun described what he thought Radovan Karadzic’s motivation was. He said “the World War II genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina against the Bosnian Serbs was a constant theme, and therefore that framed much of the discussion with Dr. Karadzic.” Okun said, “Dr. Karadzic took the position that Alija Izetbegovic, then the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, wanted to turn Bosnia-Herzegovina into a Muslim -- Islamic state, with Sharia Law and all of the other appurtenances of Islam.”


Okun felt that Karadzic’s concerns were unreasonable. Okun said, “I recall being somewhat shocked at these constant references [to World War II genocide]. I once said to him that if he continued with that line of thinking, that some day he’d commit a genocide himself. I didn’t really take it seriously when I said it, except as a verbal way of expressing shock at the argumentation that World War II genocide justified all of Bosnian Serb behavior.”


In one of his notebooks he wrote “Summary:  Karadzic more disheveled and melodramatic, but did not use the word ‘genocide’ until three minutes into the conversation.”


When the court adjourned for the day the Prosecution had not completed its examination-in-chief.


A transcript of this court hearing is available at:


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