Karadzic Scores Points in Doyle Cross-Examination
www.slobodan-milosevic.org - July 6, 2010

Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

Hearing Date:
May 26, 2010


On Wednesday May 26, 2010 Radovan Karadzic continued his cross-examination of former Sarajevo EUMM chief, Col. Colm Doyle.


Attack on RTV Sarajevo


During his examination-in-chief Doyle criticized Karadzic for failing to prevent an attack against RTV Sarajevo on April 18, 1992.


Karadzic asked Doyle if a television station could be a legitimate military target and Doyle responded saying, “Well, I certainly would not deem that a television would be a target for any sort of military action.  If somebody or organization is attempting to upset or destroy the institutions of a state, then an attack on its television or on its communication complex would be one of those targets.”


Karadzic said, “I would just like to say that NATO would get upset with you because you described the attack on Television Belgrade where there was no military presence, whereas here [at RTV Sarajevo] there was a military presence.”


Doyle rejected Karadzic’s claim that a military presence existed at RTV Sarajevo. He said, “I never saw, during the period that I was in Sarajevo, any large military units at the television station.”


Armament of the Bosnian Serbs


Doyle testified that “approximately 80 per cent of the JNA army that went into Bosnia were Bosnian, and most of those were Bosnian Serbs.  And so nearly overnight you had an easy transition from JNA units become Bosnian Serb units.  It would have applied to Croats and Muslims on a much smaller scale.” He said, “I do accept that there were elements of Bosnian Muslims and Croats who had access to weapons ... I’m not denying for a moment that some of those members of the JNA who were Bosnian Muslims became part of the territorial army.”


Doyle told the court, “The Bosnian Serbs very quickly established a Bosnian Serb Army, because the arrangement was that anybody who was from the territory of Bosnia that was a member of the JNA, they could remain in Bosnia.  Most of these were Serbs and not alone did they remain, but they took with them their equipment and tanks, et cetera.” He said, “We had reports coming in of concern being expressed by various opstina that Bosnian Serbs were being gradually armed because they were obeying the call for mobilization. President Izetbegovic said that it wasn’t, in his view, legal and therefore many Bosnian Muslims did not obey the call-up for mobilization. So that would be another factor in the gradual arming of Bosnian Serbs.”


According to Doyle’s testimony, “The second reason why the Bosnian Serbs were armed was because President Izetbegovic had declared a state of neutrality and therefore directed that for the federal JNA call-up of reservists that those who were Muslims and Croats would not have to obey that, and they didn’t. Therefore, most of the people who obeyed the call for mobilization were Bosnian Serbs, and they were issued with weapons when they were mobilized, and those weapons they were allowed to retain when they were demobilized.  So you had a gradual arming of Bosnian Serbs, and this was not done to any great extent to the Bosnian Muslims.  So it was natural that they were going to have access to weapons.”


Karadzic Had No Military before May 20, 1992


Karadzic asked the witness, “Did you agree when we met that [my] armed escort was assigned by the police and that they were employees of the regular police force?” and that “You had no knowledge of and were not aware of me controlling any [military] formations before [the withdrawal of the JNA on] May 20, 1992?”


Doyle responded saying, “When we had the meeting and you put that to me, I accepted what you said.  Yes, I accept that.”


Dobrovoljacka Street Massacre and Muslim Attacks on the JNA


Doyle confirmed Karadzic’s assertion that Bosnian-Muslims attacked JNA units in Bosnia in order to steal their weapons. He said, “We had been informed that there were some attacks by Muslim elements against some of the JNA installations with a view to attempting to get weapons.”


Doyle was present in Sarajevo when the Dobrovoljacka street massacre happened on May 3, 1992. He said in an interview (exhibit D216), “Even with the passage of the military convoy, everything was arranged beforehand and that crime should not have happened, although I must say that during the evacuation of the army and command of other military regions there were military mistakes being made; namely prior to the decision to move, I had forewarned General Milutin Kukanjac that a column of 25 vehicles was far too large and I had told General MacKenzie that it was far too late to start moving.”


Doyle told the court, “I was also concerned that if this drew on much longer that darkness would fall, and trying to move a convoy in darkness would be very serious.  So I gave my views, but the president [Izetbegovic] said, ‘I will guarantee the security of the convoy.’” Doyle said, “He was the president of the country.  He had assured us he would guarantee the security of the convoy.” In spite of Izetbegovic’s guarantees Doyle testified, “I do know and accept that the convoy was attacked and that approximately five or six members of the JNA were killed.”


Karadzic read out the following excerpt from General MacKenzie’s book:


“On the 6th of May I spent a full day with Mr. Goulding, briefing him all morning.  In the afternoon, we went on a tour of the city with President Izetbegovic and came under modest fire in the middle of the Muslim old city.  There were very strong indications that it was an orchestrated show for the accompanying media intended to put the Serbs in a bad light.


“Goulding held a press conference at the end of the day’s activities. We felt it was important that he condemn the TDF (territorial defense forces) attack on the JNA convoy, and so he made the following statement:


“I went at my request to see the scene of a particularly horrible incident on Sunday evening, where, as I think a number of you know, some soldiers of the Yugoslav People’s Army were killed in cold blood when commanders of the Bosnian Territorial Defense had failed to honor a promise on safe conduct which they had given our people who were evacuating the HQ of the Yugoslav Army in Sarajevo.


“I was surprised to see just how little media coverage Goulding’s strong statement had received around the world.  I couldn’t help thinking that if the JNA had ambushed the Territorial Defense forces instead of the other way around it would have been front-page news.”


After reading the excerpt Karadzic asked the witness, “Do you agree that the world media was partial and that the Serbs had a more difficult time of it in the world media?”


Doyle replied saying, “Yes, I would.  I mean, the world’s media felt that this was a conflict started by Milosevic, and there was a certain amount of sympathy to the Bosnian Muslims.  So in the eyes of the world, yes, I would say that that is the case.”


Uncertain Legality of the Bosnian Referendum


Karadzic asked the witness if he thought Bosnia’s referendum on secession from Yugoslavia was legal or not, and the witness said, “I sought a meeting with the supreme legal court, or whatever, of Bosnia, and I met with them the following day to find out whether or not the allegations by the Bosnian Serbs that this referendum debate was constitutional, because I’m not a lawyer.


“And I met with all of these senior Judges of Bosnia, Serb, Croat, and Muslim, and when I put that to them, a female member of the senior legal branch said, ‘Mr. Doyle, you don’t understand.  I’m a Serb and this person is a Croat and this person is a Muslim.  We can’t agree amongst ourselves as to what is constitutional or not because we all follow our own political philosophies.’


“So even having a meeting with the senior legal brains of Bosnia, they could not give me collectively a definitive answer as to whether or not that debate or whether the referendum was to be constitutional or not, and I put that as part of my report which was sent to the headquarters.”


Muslims Renege on the Cutileiro Plan


Karadzic asked Doyle, “Do you know that on the 18th [of March 1992] an agreement was indeed reached with respect to the Cutileiro Plan?”


Doyle confirmed that he was aware of the agreement and said, “As I recall that the Muslims reneged or went back on that agreement.”


Muslim Aggression and Cease-Fire Violations


Doyle testified that he was aware that a cease-fire was signed in Bosnia on April 12, 1992.


Karadzic showed the witness a telegram (exhibit D218) from the commander of the Green Berets staff Sarajevo, Sead Ahmetovic, addressed to the police station in Visegrad.  The telegram is dated April 12, 1992 (i.e. the first day of the cease-fire).


The telegram said: “Please convey the message of Murat Sabanovic, the Green Berets’ commander for the region of Visegrad and its surroundings, to blow up the Visegrad Dam as soon as possible.”


After reading the telegram Doyle said, “I would say here that one of the most frustrating elements of what we were doing in Bosnia was to try and get cease-fires which were passed with what I would call monotonous regularity, because as soon as they were signed, they were broken.  So it seemed to be an exercise in futility.”


Karadzic also showed Doyle a Bosnian-Serb document (exhibit D220) for the peaceful resolution of the Bosnian war dated April 22, 1992. Among other things the document called for a “Public commitment by all the parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina that the constituent parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina will not be joined to neighboring states.” In other words, from the very beginning of the war, the Bosnian-Serbs specifically rejected the notion of transforming their territory into some kind of “Greater Serbia”.


The proposal also called for an immediate cease-fire, the resumption of negotiations, and a rejection of the “policy of fait accompli”. The Bosnian-Serb proposal said, “The territorial advantages gained by means of force will not be recognized.”


After showing Doyle the Serbian proposal for resolving the conflict, Karadzic showed him a Serbian intelligence document (exhibit D221) describing a Muslim attack on the predominantly Serbian neighborhood Ilidza in Sarajevo which also took place on April 22, 1992 – the same day the Bosnian-Serbs were proposing a peaceful settlement of the conflict.


Doyle said, “I remember the attack in Ilidza on that day, and the defenders were Bosnian Serbs that were being attacked. We were under cover because it was very dangerous, and I know that approximately 13 died in that attack.  So I was aware that the attack took place and the Serbs were defending.” He said, “That was first time I had actually seen fighting in the city of Sarajevo.”


Karadzic then showed the witness a document (exhibit D222) prepared by Hasan Efendic entitled “Directive of the TO (Territorial Defense) staff of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina” dated April 23, 1992 (i.e. the next day).


The document said: “I have decided immediately to carry out the mobilization of the entire composition of the TO of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, speedily carry on with the formation of combat units in all municipalities which are to be placed under the Joint Command of municipal, district, and the staff of the TO of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina command, and forcefully carry out actions to break the assault force of the enemy.


“Immediately carry out the occupation of ammunition depots and block the barracks, occupy them and capture members of the Yugoslav Army on the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


“While negotiations are underway for a cease-fire following efforts from the European Community, preparations are being accelerated for carrying on the war.”


After seeing the document the witness said, “We know that a lot of the cease-fires were broken.  Who broke them, I have no idea.  There were counter-claims from all sides.”


Karadzic showed Doyle the orders (exhibit D224) issued to the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina dated April 29, 1992 which said:


“It is necessary that all security services centers, public security stations and SUP Sarajevo undertake all necessary measures and activities within their scope for the purpose of securing the implementation of the order of the commander of the headquarters of the Territorial Defense of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


“I hereby order:


“Carry out the full massive blockade along all road intersections on the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina which the units of the former JNA are beginning to withdraw technical equipment and materiel.”


“Carry out the blockade of the wider region of military facilities from which technical equipment and materiel are attempted to be taken out with various methods.


“Unannounced convoys of units of the former JNA and those that are not escorted by the MUP should be prevented from leaving the barracks and communicating on the territory of the republic of BH.”


After showing Doyle the Muslim documents which clearly refute their professed commitment to peace, Karadzic asked the witness, “Do you feel tricked by your Muslim partners who were supposed to inform you sincerely about their intentions, honestly and sincerely?”


Doyle said, “There was times when I did my service in Bosnia that I was tricked by everybody from all sides.  So I’m not surprised.”


The hearing ended with Karadzic reading out a document from the command of the 4th Corps of the JNA based in Sarajevo. The document, dated May 7, 1992, said:

“The situation in BiH is catastrophic.  There’s complete lack of law and order, chaos and terror towards the members of the JNA and Serb people.


“With greater or lesser intensity, the barracks and other facilities are blocked all the time.  The people are being provoked and attacked with weapons.


“Attacks against the JNA Dom, the column of motor vehicles moving towards the Dom trying to save those working there, the command, the district command and other military facilities during the 2nd of May the HOS members and Green Berets attacked the Dom JNA, and after that units of the 65th Motorised Brigade were ordered to move towards the JNA centre or Dom and pull out all the people there.


“They were ordered to move towards Skenderija to pull out the dead and wounded, however the people were attacked by strong forces in the Marin Dvor area and prevented from reaching their objective.  Since the intervention was not successful and there were no other possibilities of doing so, the column that came upon an ambush had to fight by itself.”


After looking at the document Doyle said, “I knew that the JNA barracks had been surrounded, but that was also the day that the president was detained at the airport and my total focus was to try and solve this problem.  I also made a public appeal on television because one side was blaming the other for starting the shooting in the city, and I said that I would make a contribution by making myself available provided people stopped talking about accusing each other and instead concentrated on how they were going to stop this fighting.” He said, “I had noted down also in the diary of which you’ve been now given a copy that there was heavy fighting throughout the day in the city.  And I had made this appeal on television.  So what I was doing was I was trying to make the best of what I could do to make a contribution.  Who was doing what outside I just simply did not know.”


A complete transcript of the hearing is available at:


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