Karadzic Trial Witness Alleges Extreme Prosecutorial Misconduct

www.slobodan-milosevic.org - October 18, 2010


Written by: Andy Wilcoxson


Hearing Date: June 30, 2010


On June 30th the testimony of protected prosecution witness KDZ185 was concluded and the testimony of former Bosnian-Serb justice minister Momcilo Mandic began.


Coincidences: KDZ185’s Testimony Closely Mirrors Marcel Valentine’s Experience


According to KDZ185’s testimony “On 21 March 1993, approximately 2,400 shells were fired, including 400 on the old town of Sarajevo alone.”


Now, here’s what David Crary of the Associated Press reported on March 23, 1993: “Col. Marcel Valentin of France, head of U.N. troops in Sarajevo, said his observers counted nearly 2,400 shells in a barrage Sunday [March 21], one-sixth [or 400] of them in the Old City.” … sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it?


Marcel Valentin, the above mentioned French officer who commanded the UNPROFOR troops in Sarajevo, went on to command Operation Determined Guarantor for NATO in 1998.


As the commander of a NATO military operation, Valentin’s bio is published on the NATO website where it says: “He spent the first six months of 1993 in former Yugoslavia as commander of UNPROFOR's Sarajevo sector.”


In her summary of the KDZ185’s evidence the Prosecutor said, “This witness, KDZ-185, was in Sarajevo in 1993.” … just like Marcel Valentin.


KDZ185 testified that he “arrived in Sarajevo early 1993” and that he lived there “for six months and I was living just across the road from ‘Oslobodjenje.’” Marcel Valentin lived in Sarajevo for six months starting in early 1993 too.


KDZ185 stated during his testimony that “UNPROFOR was quite numerous in Sarajevo, we had observers, and these were the people who gave information to us.” Another coincidence, Marcel Valentin was also in UNPROFOR.


When Karadzic asked a question about the Second Corps of the ABiH the witness said, “I was only interested in the elements of the 1st Corps, which was stationed inside the city of Sarajevo, itself.” So, just like Marcel Valentin, KDZ185’s area of responsibility was Sarajevo.


When Karadzic asked KDZ185 questions about the October 26, 1993 killing of Musan Topalovic “Caco”, the witness explained “That was after I left Sarajevo.” And he said, “I was no longer in charge at the time.” Another amazing coincidence; Marcel Valentin was the man in charge of UNPROFOR in Sarajevo in early 1993 too, and he left the city before Caco got killed – just like KDZ185.


KDZ185 testified in the French language, and when Karadzic asked him a question about the Vrbanja Bridge (where French UN troops were killed) the witness said it was “notorious in my country for reasons that you know very well.” Another remarkable coincidence, KDZ185 and Marcel Valentin are both French, and all of the events that KDZ185 testified about in Sarajevo happened during the first six months of 1993 when, by sheer coincidence, Marcel Valentin was there too.


KDZ185 testified under a pseudonym, with facial and voice distortion, so his identity remains a mystery. And many of the exhibits associated with his testimony have been placed under seal and are inaccessible to the public.


In order to keep KDZ185’s identity secret, the transcript of his testimony was heavily redacted – especially in the parts where it looked like he was going to say something favorable to Karadzic’s case.


Humanitarian Aid


Karadzic asked KDZ185, “Do you know that in oxygen bottles, explosives were introduced into Sarajevo, and this was confirmed by General Delic in his memoirs, and our soldiers would even load them on to another place, and he laughs in his memoirs, saying that the Chetniks didn't know what they were reloading? So explosives entered Sarajevo in oxygen bottles, with the help of the United Nations. Did you know about that?”


KDZ185 answered, “There was an incident with the transport of black powder in oxygen tanks, and that was the beginning of 1993.” He said, “I just want to remind you that these oxygen bottles were transported by humanitarian organizations, especially UNHCR, and not by UNPROFOR. UNPROFOR was just escorting these convoys.”


The witness also explained that, “As far as I know, this type of incident did not occur afterwards. The UN forces were very much aware of it and were on their guards.” But he confessed, “I do not know whether anything else passed through.”


The witness confirmed the accuracy of a Tanjug News report (exhibit D352) that said on March 5, 1993 the Muslims attacked a humanitarian aid convoy that had been organized by the Serbian Orthodox church, and that the aid on the convoy was intended for the residents of Sarajevo regardless of their ethnicity.


Muslims Wouldn’t Let Civilians Leave Sarajevo


Karadzic asked KDZ185, “Are you aware, Witness, that the Muslim authorities did not do anything to organize departures of civilians in any civilized form?”


The witness answered, “Well, they were not refusing the departure of civilians towards the outside of the city. They were controlling, so, namely, they were letting go only those that they were prepared to let go.”


Karadzic followed-up saying, “If I tell you that they were not prepared to let them go, they allowed only small numbers to leave, whereas the majority had to pay criminals to take them in secret out of that territory, would you deny that?”


The witness answered, “Well, I don't think so, but I cannot contest this either, because I have seen mafia-like behaviors within the city and outside the city, so I'm not surprised that some people were actually using the situation of high distress and they were doing some gainful exercise out of it.”


80% of Muslim Troops in Sarajevo Wore Civilian Clothes


KDZ185 was asked, “Do you know that almost 80 per cent of the Bosnian soldiers were without uniforms, they were wearing civilian clothes? And that's according to their information. Are you aware of that?”


The witness agreed saying, “Yes. Well, most of them liked to wear certain insignia, especially the chiefs.”


The witness also said the Muslims frequently moved their artillery and that "It is possible that there were military installations all over the city."


Basically the Serbs were in a position where the enemy soldiers and the civilians are indistinguishable from one another and where the enemy military was constantly moving its weapons all over the city. It would be surprising if there hadn’t been a lot of collateral damage in Sarajevo.


Muslim Attacks on UN


Karadzic showed the witness a UN report (exhibit D351) where the Muslims had attacked UN installations in Sarajevo in January 1993.


The witness responded to the document saying, “I don't recall this specific incident, because there were several incidents of this type. But as for this very incident, I am not surprised.”


Karadzic also asked the witness, “I don't know if I remember correctly whether it was you or the previous witness who mentioned the visit of Mrs. Sadako Ogata and the incoming fire from the vicinity of the Presidency, in the hope that we would return fire. But these were tricks. Even when we were not opening fire, they did, trying to blame us.”


The witness agreed that the Muslims did engage in these kind tricks in Sarajevo. He said, “Yes, I was aware of that, because we were also sometimes indirect victims of that.”


Karadzic put it to the witness that “at the beginning of the war, the separation line in town was 42 kilometers' long and that towards the end of the war the 1st Corps expanded to cover 64 kilometres.”


The witness agreed saying, “I was not at Sarajevo at the end of the war, so I cannot know what happened at that point in time. But the 40-odd kilometres to which you refer which were there when I was present, that seems plausible. I think that was also the figure I remember.”


Prosecutorial Misconduct


After the conclusion of KDZ185’s testimony, Momcilo Mandic took the witness stand. Mandic began by telling the court that he would rather testify as a witness for the Chamber, than a witness for the Prosecution.


Mandic explained that the Prosecutor “threatened me, the associates of Mr. Tieger, they told me that if I didn't come in to testify, I would be incarcerated.”


Mandic was also persecuted by the NATO puppet regime in Belgrade. He said, “In 2003 I was suspected of aiding and abetting and hiding Dr. Karadzic. I spent five months because of that in a solitary confinement cell in Belgrade, and none of my family members could visit me. And The Hague investigators came to see me. The Prosecutor's investigator, that is, were allowed to come and see me.”


He said, “I was told that if I failed to co-operate and failed to tell them where Dr. Karadzic was, that I would be an accused before this Court and that I would be accused and found guilty by a Serbian Court.”


Mandic told the Tribunal that “My two sons were held in custody. And John Ruttel, one of the [OTP] investigators, said to my son that he would be released if I were to come to Sarajevo.”


After the Serbian police released him, Mandic said, “I was kidnapped, as a citizen of Montenegro, and transferred in the space of two hours to a prison in Sarajevo, without any extradition proceedings or anything else. And in the prison there and in the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the evening hours I was taken out and was interrogated by the operatives and investigators of The Hague Tribunal, or, rather, the OTP. He said, “they asked me, once again, about Dr. Karadzic.”


Mandic said, “I wasn't able to assist the OTP by telling them anything, because from 1996 I have had nothing to do with Dr. Karadzic. I wasn't in contact with him at all. I tried to present my arguments and to explain this to them, but they just didn't want to listen.”


He told the court that “The [Hague] investigators told me that I would be taken to court in Bosnia-Herzegovina and that the prosecutor of the BH Court would raise an indictment against me, and that I would be sentenced to a prison term of eight years. When I said that they had no grounds for filing a lawsuit against me, they said that they would find grounds and that that wasn't important.”


Sure enough, Mandic told the Tribunal that “everything those operatives told me would happen did happen. I was prosecuted because of the commercial bank in Srpsko Sarajevo, which is owned by me, that I provided credits and loans to firms and companies which assisted Dr. Karadzic. And I was found guilty and given a prison term of eight years. I served five years.”


He was ultimately released from prison when Karadzic was captured and it was obvious that Mandic hadn’t been harboring him. Mandic said, “It was established that I was found guilty of a crime that didn't exist and that it was all bureaucracy and false testimony on the part of false witnesses. And as an American citizen who had immunity, this person went to Dallas, Texas, and she even took some money from my bank. I was helpless, faced with a situation of that kind. And Dr. Karadzic has been in a Scheveningen prison for two or three years. I had no contact with him whatsoever, but I remain somebody who was prosecuted and found guilty and held in prison for seven or eight years, and my family suffered. And now, as such, I am supposed to come here and be here as a Prosecution witness, whereas the Prosecution thought that I was harboring him and assisting him. I think that that is not commensurate with man's dignity, and I would like to request that the Trial Chamber allow me to be a Court witness.”


The most damning thing for the Karadzic trial is the fact that after the witness had said these things; the Presiding judge absolutely did not care.


Judge Kwon reacted to Mandic’s statement saying, “Mr. Mandic, you raised several issues, but I will address only those which relate to the Tribunal's business; i.e., your testimony.” And then he asked the defense and the prosecution “what position they take in relation to allow the witness to give evidence as a Chamber witness.”


Judge Kwon did not care in the least that the witness had been blackmailed and falsely imprisoned because of the Prosecutor, or that his family was subjected false arrest and persecution. All the judge cared about was whether the witness should testify as a Chamber witness or a Prosecution witness – ultimately Mandic was allowed to testify as a Chamber witness, but who cares?


When prosecutorial misconduct of this magnitude is alleged, it at least deserves an investigation. The trial should stop, it should be ascertained what happened to the witness, what role the Office of the Prosecutor played, and whether any other witnesses are being subjected to the same kind of mistreatment.


The fact that the presiding judge deliberately ignored these allegations calls the fairness of the entire trial into question. If the prosecutor is resorting to blackmail and false imprisonment in order to get what he wants, then the entire trial process can’t be trusted and the verdict is without any legitimacy.


The Prosecutor’s behavior is scandalous, and the Presiding Judge’s decision to turn a blind eye to it proves beyond any shadow of doubt that the judicial process has been corrupted and the trial is rigged.


Mandic Examined by Prosecutor


Momcilo Mandic was the assistant minister of interior for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1991 until April 1992. After the outbreak of the conflict, Mr. Mandic was, for a short period, served as a deputy to Mr. Mico Stanisic for the Serbian Ministry of the Interior, before becoming the minister of justice for Republika Srpska on 12 May 1992. From December 1992 to 1994, Mr. Mandic served as the director of the Bureau of Republika Srpska in Belgrade.


Since Mandic was originally called as a Prosecution witness, the Prosecutor attempted to read out a summary of his evidence – which was interrupted and disputed on numerous occasions by the witness who said at one point, “It's not correct, Mr. Tieger. I did not present it that way.”


Although he did not elicit the testimony from the witness, Mr. Tieger attributed the following “evidence” to the witness:


On 31 March 1992, Mr. Mandic sent a dispatch to all Serbian police officers, instructing them, in accordance with decisions of the Serb Assembly and the Council of Ministers, to split the MUP along ethnic lines.


That the Bosnian-Serb Army and police set up collection centers and the people from war-torn areas were brought there, and they were either exchanged or ethnic cleansing was conducted where there were no war operations.


That prisoners being detained by Bosnian Serb authorities were used for forced labor and that some Muslim prisoners were killed while performing this work.


That the ethnic division of Sarajevo was one of the political objectives of the Serbian leadership, and that it was to be achieved by means of war.


That Radovan Karadzic was the absolute leader of the Bosnian-Serbs and that Momcilo Krajisnik was the number two man.


That Nobody could enter government without the permission of Karadzic and Krajisnik.


That Karadzic and Krajisnik were fully informed about all police and military matters.


In direct evidence, the witness said for years and decades before the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina started that Serbs made up a disproportionately large number of the military and police personnel.


The witness said, “It was mostly Serbs who joined the army and the police. It was a difficult job, a hard job, and the other two ethnic communities did not favor it, so Serb young men were the majority candidates for military and police academies.” He said, “Serbs happily joined the police in those years, the 1970s, because they lived in backward areas, mainly raised cattle. They lived in poverty, and this was a job that helped them provide for their families.”


A complete transcript of this hearing is available at:

http://ictytranscripts.dyndns.org/trials/karadzic/100630ED.htm and http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/trans/en/100630ED.htm



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2) http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/karadzic-s-minister-of-justice-takes-the-stand


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