Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bosnian Genocide / International Tribunals

Karadzic Genocide Trial to Hear from 1st Witness
By Mike Corder
Associated Press dispatch on Yahoo! News, April 13, 2010
"A Bosnian Muslim opened witness testimony in Radovan Karadzic's genocide trial Tuesday by telling judges his elderly father-in-law was burned alive during the brutal Serb take-over of his village in 1992 at the outset of the Bosnian war. Ahmet Zulic said his father-in-law was killed by Serbs 'mopping up' survivors of an artillery attack on the mainly Muslim village near Sanski Most, in northwestern Bosnia, in May 1992. Zulic also watched Serbs force about 20 Muslim men to dig their own graves and then slashed their throats or shot them, prosecutor Ann Sutherland told judges. Sutherland said Zulic was held in brutal Bosnian Serb-run detention facilities from June to November 1992, during which time his weight dropped from 90 to 55 kilograms (from 198 to 121 pounds). The chilling testimony was intended to illustrate the savage campaign early in the 1992-95 war to carve out an ethnically pure Serb ministate in Bosnia.
Although Zulic did not mention Karadzic in the early part of his testimony, prosecutors allege the former Bosnian Serb leader orchestrated the plan. Karadzic's case is the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal's most important since former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic died in his jail cell in 2006 before judges at the U.N. court could reach a verdict in his trial. The cases cover many of the same atrocities. At the outset of Tuesday's hearing, judges warned Karadzic they would not tolerate him taking hours to cross examine witnesses as Milosevic often did during his four-year trial. Karadzic told judges he did not plan to testify in his own defense. That would deprive prosecutors of the opportunity to cross examine him about his activities during the war. ... Karadzic, 64, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for allegedly orchestrating atrocities perpetrated by Bosnian Serb troops and paramilitary thugs throughout the war. He faces a life sentence if convicted. He insists he is innocent and argues Serbs were defending themselves against what he has described as a fundamentalist plot to turn Bosnia into an Islamic republic. [...]"

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