Note by the webmaster: This is only a portion of document. This document was emailed to me without paragraph brakes -- the formatting was my personal best guess of how the document should look like. --ddc
All the text in  brackets is ours - and not of the author, Dr. Cavoski. --pm
THE HAGUE AGAINST JUSTICE REVISITED
The Case of Dr. Radovan Karadzic
CENTAR ZA SRPSKE STUDIJE
by Dr. Kosta Cavoski
It has long been known that a bad beginning is a sure sign that things will continue badly. There is even a valid legal principle that time cannot correct or make worthwhile that which, from the outset, was misconceived. As the famous Serbian jurist, Valtazar Bogisic put it, in the form of a national proverb, "Time never straightened a hunch back."
The saying fits the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague, to a tee. From the very beginning it was wrongly conceived and badly constituted and in the course of trying the first cases brought before it, has shown absolutely no sign of improvement. Mistaken Identity At Arrest as has already been shown, (1) the Tribunal created it's first great fiasco, in the case of General Djordje Djukic. In the very next case, that of Goran Lajic, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia shamed itself in even greater measure. It was obliged to release from custody, an individual arrested on the basis of mistaken identity. The case in question was that of Goran Lajic, who was arrested in Nuremburg on 18th March 1996 on the basis of a warrant and later confirmed indictment from 1995. At the time of his arrest Lajic told the German authorities that it was a case of mistaken identity and that he was not the Goran Lajic indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal. The German Police, usually so painstakingly conscientious in the case of German citizens, did not believe him. Neither did they find it necessary to determine whether the man in custody and the man accused were, in fact, one in the same. Instead they held him in remand for 56 days without legal justification and only on the 13th May, handed him over to the International Criminal Tribunal. The overzealous prosecutor, Grant Nimen, without making any attempt to check his facts, formally accused the defendant of being a guard at the Keraterm Camp near Prijedor and of murdering four prisoners, Jasmin Izairija, Drago Tokmanovic, Emsud Bahovic and Spijo Mesic, as well as of the mistreatment of several other prisoners. When Goran Lajic appeared before the court on 17th May, 1996 he again told the court that he was the innocent victim of a case of mistaken identity and that he did not even know where the Keraterm camp was. His council, Toma Fila said that, in the area where Goran Lajic lived there were at least ten other people with the same first name and surname.
After such a statement from the accused, the judge presiding, Claude Jorda, asked prosecutor Grant Nimen's representative for an explanation and was told that the man in the dock was the "real Goran Lajic" one time guard at the Keraterm camp. Lajic's lawyer, Toma Fila reminded the court that the indictment did not contain, either his client's date of birth or his father's name and asked that the court should arrange for a so-called line up in which the witnesses would be asked to identify the accused among a randomly selected group. Instead of this reliable method of identification, at the suggestion of Judge Jorda, and at Lajic's acquiescence it was decided that the accused should be photographed and his picture, along with a larger number of pictures of randomly selected people, be shown to the witnesses who claimed to have seen the accused or been the victims of his crimes. Out of ten witnesses nine failed to recognize Lajic at all among the photographs shown and the tenth said that he had seen this Goran Lajic but that he knew nothing about the crimes he was accused of. Thus shamed the prosecutor gave up the case for lack of evidence, without prejudicing the indictment against the real Goran Lajic. The court had no option but to release Lajic on 17th June 1996.
Apart from the happy (for the accused) conclusion of this case there are hosts of doubts that bring into question the reliability and credibility of the Hague Tribunal and its prosecutors. Of course it is not impossible that people should occasionally be arrested and detained at police stations by mistake, because they resemble of or have the same name as the person for whom a warrant was issued. To avoid this the identity of the person detained is checked without delay and he is released if a mistake is found to have been made, that is, if his identity has been mistaken. In the case of Goran Lajic the prosecutors of the Hague Tribunal and the law enforcement agencies waited two months to make the necessary checks, that is to establish identity, which normal practice obliged them to do at the very beginning. Worse even, this unforgivable delay was not the result of incompetence, but rather, of blatant prejudice against Serbs.
As was the case in times of racial prejudice in Europe, when someone's wallet went missing on the bus and suspicion fell immediately on the nearest ragged, black gypsy. Today it seems, every suspicion that Serbs committed terrible war crimes is taken for granted as probable to the degree that, in most cases, it is unnecessary to make even the most cursory of inquiries.
While the infamous case of Goran Lajic exposed the incredible carelessness of the Hague Tribunal prosecutors and the absence of reliable measures against the arbitrary imprisonment and three month detention of innocent people, the following case of Dusan Tadic brought glaringly to light the fatal consequences of allowing evidence to be given from behind a mask or hood, a method much used in its time by the Holy Inquisition.
This case started with some unusual expert testimony about the background and context to the crimes of which Dusan Tadic stood accused. At the request of the prosecutor, one Dr. James Gow took it upon himself to show how the crimes - exactly the ones that Dusan Tadic was said to have committed - were part of a wider, systematically executed plan.
From this expert witness, with the reputation of a respected academic, one would have expected a wholly unbiased account, equally critical towards all sides in the unhappy civil, that is, ethnic and religious war in the former Yugoslavia. To the great surprise of the court and even to the prosecutors themselves, the defense showed that Dr. James Gow had written an article called, "Serbian Nationalism; the snake in the bosom of the International Community." In which he said, among other things, "from the ruins of Yugoslavia has slithered a snake that hisses and spits poison at international order. . . If you would tame it you will have to resort to arms." (2) The important Dr. Gow had not, however, found it necessary to write similar pieces on Croatian, Muslim or Albanian nationalism. The next problem that throws doubt upon the validity of the accusations was the fact that some of the witnesses had refused to give evidence at the trial itself, while the prosecution was unable to locate others. It was probably a case of individuals who had put themselves forward as witnesses in order to gain rights of residence in western European countries, then turned their backs on the gullible prosecutors. For lawyers unfamiliar with the methods of the Holy Inquisition the greatest surprise was the giving of evidence from behind a screen, by means of a device that cloaked the appearance and the voice of the witness, thus disguising their identity. In this way anonymous people referred to by code letters such as "P" and "Q" gave evidence. However, when it came to the most serious crimes laid at Dusan Tadic's door these secret, specially protected witnesses did not prove of much use to the prosecution. One of these crimes was the alleged rape of an inmate of Omarska, given the code letter, "F". The woman however, refused to appear before the court, going against her earlier promise, and left the prosecutors no choice but to abandon three points of their indictment. The second crime was even more horrific. It was said that a prisoner had been forced to castrate a fellow inmate with his teeth. Unfortunately witness "G", the prisoner who, in front of the garage at Omarska had been forced to bite off another man's testicles and who had previously agreed to give evidence, withdrew his testimony at the last minute. Then the next key witness, given the code letter "H", told the court that, on the 18th June 1992, outside the garage at Omarska, when the incomprehensible crime was committed, he had not seen Dusan Tadic, because, for fear of being killed, he had kept his head lowered. It quickly became clear, however, how dangerous and detrimental the institution of anonymous, specially protected witnesses is. As their last and most important witness the prosecution called "L" a young Serb who had allegedly been a guard at Trnopolje, at the end of 1992 and who, after a period of desertion, had been conscripted then wounded and captured by Muslim soldiers. According to his testimony Dusan Tadic had been commander of the Trnopolje camp where, on several occasions, older Muslims had been put to death. According to "L" Tadic had not only brought the victims out to be executed, but was present at the executions themselves and had, on occasion, killed prisoners himself. To add to the evil he claimed that Tadic had been present at and had taken part in the rape of Muslim girls in the cellar of the so called White House at the camp.
The testimony had great weight due to the fact that "L" according to his own admission, under the influence of drugs had taken part in the killing and rape, following Tadic's orders, it is true, and under threat that he would be killed himself, if he failed to carry the orders out. So Tadic stood accused by a witness who had raped and murdered with him. (3) This evidence, given by one Serb eyewitness against another, was the most important evidence of the case.
And then, like thunder from a clear sky came the news that Dragan Opacic, the star witness "L", had lied under pressure from the Muslim government in Sarajevo. Opacic admitted to the investigator, Robert Reid, that, under threat of death, the Muslim government had told him to bare false witness, and that, as "training" he had been shown videos of Tadic and Trnopolje.
The prosecutors were obliged by this, not only to withdraw the parts of their case that involved the murder, rape and mistreatment of prisoners at Trnopolje, but also to start an investigation against the Muslim government who had prepared Dragan Opacic and forced him into giving false evidence.
In the meanwhile the prosecutors and the press (4) continued doggedly to speak of the Bosnian Government, thus hiding the ethnic identity of those who had fabricated the false evidence, even though it was quite clear that the government contained neither Serbs nor Croats. When the storm broke and the actions of the Bosnian, that is the Muslim Government in Sarajevo, were cast into grave doubt they responded, via their representative, by saying that Dragan Opacic "had every reason to discredit the Bosnian Government and thus avoid serving the rest of his sentence." (5) It seemed to have slipped their minds that, according to the prosecutors of the tribunal, in March 1995, they had themselves offered Dragan Opacic as a "potential witness" in the case of Dusan Tadic. Instead of going into the real reasons why the Hague Tribunal had sustained this heavy blow, the prosecutor, Louise Arbour announced that the affair showed that the Tribunal was functioning properly and the discovery of the false testimony, far from undermining it, in fact raised its reputation. (6)
She did not ask herself, however, why the Bosnian Government had fabricated evidence in the Tadic case. If the accused had really committed all these appalling crimes, then surely no such lies would be necessary. Conversely, if those who have an interest in seeing Serbs judged before the Tribunal fabricate evidence then the case against Dusan Tadic is weak indeed.
Whatever the outcome of this difficult case there is no doubt whatsoever that the institution of secret testimony from anonymous witnesses has been completely compromised and discredited.
When, with Rule 75 of the Tribunal, the possibility of secret testimony under pseudonym, via a device that altered the appearance and voice of the witness, was allowed, it was justified by the need, in judging cases of particularly brutal war crimes, to provide sufficient security for potential witnesses. However, those who drafted the rules lost sight of the fact that, the greater and more appalling the crime, the greater also is the need for guarantees that the judgment can be relied upon - these are the guarantees provided by due process of law. As a result the Judiciary and the prosecutors of the Hague Tribunal must, without delay confront the unavoidable question; would they, in their own countries - Great Britain, USA, France Italy etc. ever agree to pass judgment or appear in the role of prosecutor or defense lawyer if, for any reason, the possibility of secret testimony from anonymous witnesses, hiding behind pseudonyms was allowed?
Accusation In Response To Political Expediency
The most interesting of pending cases is that of Dr. Radovan Karadzic, President of Republika Srpska, from its foundation to the elections of September 1996. Due to his position of command responsibility, Dr. Karadzic is held responsible for the alleged crimes of others. It seems that, from the very beginning, the indictment against Dr. Karadzic was not simply motivated by a noble desire to see justice done and the guilty punished, but also by reasons of short term political expediency. This is perhaps best confirmed by the statement of Antonio Cassese, president of the International Criminal Tribunal. Speaking when the indictment was issued Cassese expressed his opinion that the indictment of Dr. Karadzic would make it impossible for western leaders to countenance peace negotiations with the Bosnian Serbs' leader. "The decision represents a decisive step. Let us see who will sit down at the negotiating table now, with a man accused of genocide." (7) Thus, concluded Cassese, the issuing of this indictment will bring about an important political result, that will have significant diplomatic consequences since, "That gentlemen will not be able to take part in peace negotiations." (8)
Although the judges and other officials of the International Criminal Tribunal angrily reject criticisms that they are "playing politics" and blithely assert that they are not at all interested in the political results of their work, but solely in the pursuit of justice, the president of the Tribunal dared make a statement as if he were not a judge, but a diplomat and a politician.
The first thing that occurred to him, after issuing the indictment against Dr. Karadzic was not that it started a legal process, but that it would bring about an important political result with significant diplomatic consequences. It seems that he was correct on this point: at the peace negotiations in Dayton, Republika Srpska was not represented by Dr. Karadzic, but by the more flexible and "cooperative" Slobodan Milosevic.
Karadzic's Responsibility For Sixteen Serious War Crimes
The astonishing statement quoted above, about a case yet to be tried and which, moreover, is due to come before Antonio Cassese himself, at the second level, was made at the time when indictments were issued against Dr. Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, on 24th July 1995. At first the indictment looked very convincing since Dr. Karadzic stood accused on sixteen counts for crimes of the most serious nature.
Genocide, crimes against humanity, violation of the laws or customs of war, unlawful confinement of civilians, the shelling of a civilian gathering, destruction of sacred sites, extensive destruction of property, appropriation and plunder of property, sniping against civilian targets, the use of hostages as human shields, and other grave breaches of the laws or customs of law. The impression was given that, in a position of command responsibility, Dr. Karadzic was guilty for almost all the serious crimes committed by anyone of Serbian nationality during the civil, that is the ethnic and religious war in Bosnia. Simply to list these numerous and horrendous crimes creates a powerful impression and fosters the illusion that Dr. Karadzic's guilt is virtually transparent and easy to prove. In this way he is made to appear guilty for unlawful confinement, murder, rape, sexual assault, torture, beating, robbery and inhumane treatment, practiced against Muslim and Croatian civilians on a nationalistic and religious basis.
These crimes were [allegedly] carried out in the Omarska, Keraterm, Trnopolje, Luka, Manjaea, and Susica camps and the penitentiary at Foca for a specified time of a few months for each camp. After a short description of the deportation of thousands of Muslims and Croats from Vlasenica, Prijedor, Bosanski Samac, Brcko and Foca, at the order of and under the control of Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic, Dr. Karadzic is accused of shelling a civilian gathering, in Srebrenica, Tuzla and eleven streets, that is quarters of Sarajevo, at precise dates from 3rd July 1992 to 24th May 1995, resulting in 361 innocent victims, a large number of dead and wounded. Convincing evidence is also provided in the form of a list of 29 towns, villages and hamlets in the municipalities of Bosanski Samac, Deventa, Bosanski Brod, Odzak, Modrica, Orasje, Gradacac, Vlasenica and Prijedor in which, at exactly specified dates, the houses and other property of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, were systematically destroyed. The same can be said of the list of 16 mosques and 11 Roman Catholic churches and monasteries, again with exact dates, which were destroyed or damaged. The lists of about twenty people killed and fifty wounded by sniper fire from positions around Sarajevo (four of those killed and fifteen of those injured were children) also represented a heavy burden of guilt on the accused. Finally Dr. Karadzic stood accused of taking prisoner 284 members of the peace keeping forces of the United Nations, in order to use them as a human shield to deter further aerial bombardment by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The most important part of this first indictment of 24th July 1995 was the pattern by which Dr. Karadzic was to be held personally responsible for war crimes obviously committed by others. To do this the position of Dr. Karadzic in his party and as a state functionary from 1992 to 1995 was first described. He was the founder and president of the Serbian Democratic Party of the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As first President of Republika Srpska he was constitutionally responsible for command of the armed forces in war and peace and had the power to promote or dismiss the officers of the armed forces. According to the law on national defense he had the authority to supervise territorial defense in war and peace and order the use of the police force in case of war, immediate danger of war or other emergency situations, and also to enlist police officers in emergency situations. In this position, among other duties, he took part in international negotiations and personally negotiated cease fire agreements and humanitarian aid.
After this description of the constitutional and legal rights of the President of Republika Srpska and his chief military officer, before each criminal act described, the prosecutor said that Dr. Radovan Karadzic by his own "acts and omissions, and in concert with others" had himself committed the crimes.
The [alleged] crimes themselves had been committed "By the Bosnian Serb military, Bosnian Serb police and their agents, under the direction and control of Radovan Karadzic. . ." and after a thorough description of the crimes committed the prosecutor unequivocally concluded that, "Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic individually and in concert with others planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of persecutions on political and religious grounds or knew or had reason to know that subordinates were about to do the same or had done so and failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof." And that, as a result they had committed as many as 16 serious war crimes, any one of which deserved the harshest penalty allowed by law. Additional Indictment On 14th November 1995 Richard Goldstone issued a new indictment against Dr. Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic. In this second indictment the prosecutor has partially avoided reference to the principle of command responsibility, in so far as he has attempted to ascribe to Dr. Karadzic, the direct command of Serbian forces in the battle for Srebrenica, and in that way make him appear an accomplice in the planning, encouragement and ordering of terrible war crimes after the fall of the town. He achieves this by mentioning Dr. Karadzic only once when describing the military operations and alleged crimes carried out from 6th to 23rd July 1995 in and around Srebrenica. "Thousands of Muslims were captured by or surrendered to Bosnian Serb Military forces under the command and control of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic."
In this way Richard Goldstone tries to create the impression that Dr. Karadzic, President of Republika Srpska, and a civilian was directly in command of military operations and the following [alleged] summary execution of Muslim prisoners. And when it seems to him that the impression is convincing, in the brief descriptions of the crimes Dr. Karadzic is accused of he repeats the assertion five times, that the Serbian forces were "under the command and control of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic."
This completely unsupported assertion, that Dr. Karadzic was directly in control of the military operations around Srebrenica and the [alleged] war crimes that followed, was quite sufficient grounds for Goldstone to reach the unequivocal conclusion that Dr. Karadzic is individually responsible for, "committing, planning, instigating, ordering or otherwise aiding and abetting in the planning, preparation or execution of any crimes," he was accused of in the indictment. After this individualization of Dr. Karadzic's guilt, the prosecutor adds that he is "also or alternatively, criminally responsible as commander, for the acts of his subordinates."
Prevention And Removal Of Command Responsibility
It is hardly necessary to say that this other kind of responsibility for the acts of one's subordinates is only possible and applicable in the case of Dr. Karadzic. Clearly the prosecutor had this in mind when he transferred, from the first to the second indictment, the detailed description of the public and state position which Dr. Karadzic filled and the constitutional and legal powers he thus acquired. According to the Constitution and the law, the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska in war and peace are under the command of the President of the Republic and, in accordance with the law he has the authority to promote and dismiss officers of the Armed Forces (Article 106. of the Constitution). The prosecutor correctly concluded that Dr. Karadzic, as President of the Republic had, "a position of superior authority to Ratko Mladic and every member of the Bosnian Serb army and all units and personnel assigned or attached to the Bosnian Serb army."
Hence it is possible to raise the question of Dr. Karadzic's command criminal responsibility constituted by: "the responsibility of a superior officer for the acts of his subordinate if he knew or had reason to know that his subordinate was about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof." So, in the same way that the issue of command responsibility can always be raised, likewise the raising of the issue can be prevented by taking timely "necessary and reasonable measures" that can relieve that command responsibility. As President of Republika Srpska Dr. Karadzic did just that.
In the indictment the prosecutor says that Dr. Karadzic became President on or about 13th May 1992. On that very same day Dr. Karadzic, as President of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, issued an order (published in the Official Gazette) to the effect that the rules and international conventions of war should be implemented by the Armed Forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (see Document no. 1) which makes the commanders of the Armed Forces and every member thereof responsible for adherence to the international conventions of war in armed conflict. In addition, every officer is personally responsible for the initiation of prosecutions invoking the full sanctions of the law against individuals under their command who offend against the international conventions of war. The order also provides for regular training sessions so that the international conventions of war are understood by the members of the Armed Forces. As a part of this order made by Dr. Karadzic, instructions are provided for the treatment of prisoners (Document no. 3) which were soon after published by the Minister of Defense, Colonel Bogdan Subotic. Among other things these rules forbid any kind of repression whatever to be used against prisoners, and provide for the humane treatment of prisoners and their protection from any kind of force, insult or intimidation. Prisoners are also allowed to send a message to their families and to the Red Cross Central Agency for Prisoners of War. Finally the commanders of the Serbian Republic Army are made responsible for organizing appropriate accommodation in the detention centers. The Defense Minister's instructions also confirmed that representatives of the International Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations [probably most of their members being Western spies] should be assisted and given free access to prisoners.
Since there were probably difficulties in the practical implementation of these instructions [because people are not stupid and countless times Western "humanitarians" and their "unbiased" friends - the journalists were either giving information to the enemy or were involved in twisting facts to forward anti-Serb Nazi-like propaganda] Dr. Karadzic, as President of the Presidency, sent further orders to all local and police authorities (Document no. 8 ) in which he warned that all delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross were authorised to travel throughout the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina and visit all prisons, police stations and military camps under Serbian control. [The Western journalist then used this naive openheartedness to film refugee centers and doctor them into no less than "Serb concentration camps."] To insure that the instructions were carried out, every soldier was warned that he would be punished if he failed to do so. It seems that this was not sufficient since, on 19th August 1992 Dr. Karadzic issued a further order to the Military Command Headquarters of the Serbian Republic, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and all the offices of the security forces (Document no. 11) The order repeated the requirement that international humanitarian law should be abided by, and gave instructions to all fighters and police officers to respect prisoners, civilians, medical institutions, the emblem of the Red Cross and representatives of the United Nations. The forced expulsion and maltreatment of the civilian population was also expressly forbidden and it was made clear that all deeds of sale of property or declarations that refugees would not return had no legal validity. Finally every army or police commander was obliged to make a thorough investigation of any suspicion or sign that international humanitarian law had been violated in the zone under their jurisdiction.
Special attention should be paid to the order issued by Dr. Karadzic on 22nd October 1992 to General Ratko Mladic, Mica Stanisic and Momcilo Mandic (Document no. 13) informing them that certain local police, military and civilian authorities were ignoring his authorization for the delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross, to visit prisons and prisoners of war freely. The recipients are also informed that they should warn their commanders to respect all authorizations given to the delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross, baring Dr. Karadzic's signature under threat of, "a thorough investigation into all cases of lack of respect for the above demand."
Finally, on 11th March 1993, as President of Republika Srpska Dr. Karadzic issued a directive to the Military Command Headquarters (Document no. 14), ordering that unhindered passage and protection of parcels, equipment and personnel who give help to the civilian population of the enemy should be provided; forbidding the misuse of foodstuffs, crops and water installations, reservoirs of drinking water and dams or hydro-electric systems for military purposes and demanding that the Geneva Conventions in regard to victims of war and their protocols 1 and 2, as well as the Hague Convention on the laws and customs of warfare on land from the year 1907 and other international regulations for the conduct of war be strictly adhered to. Finally he made clear that all army units should be informed of the directive.
The Prohibition Of Paramilitary Units
These five rules and regulations issued consecutively in the first year of the war bare witness to Dr. Karadzic's dedicated perseverance, as President of Republika Srpska, to forestall war crimes that members of the military of police forces might commit, and, in the event that they were committed - which, in the context of a civil or ethnic and religious conflict, is hard to avoid - to hold responsible all military and police commanders under his command. However much these rules and regulations were desirable and effective they were not sufficient because, in the context of civil strife and war it is rare for members of the regular military and police forces under unified command to commit such crimes; they are far more often carried out by members of paramilitary units and particularly by rebels.
Dr. Karadzic had just this fact in mind when, on the 13th June 1992, - the thirtieth day after he became President of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina - he signed the decision on the prohibition against paramilitary units (Document no. 2) which was then published in the Official Gazette. By this decision the paramilitary units then operating, were given the option, either of submitting to the unified command of the military and police force of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which implied strict adherence to the international conventions of war, or to disband. If they continued to operate independently, in defiance of this instruction their members would face the harshest of punishment. On the same day Dr. Karadzic informed ( Document no. 4) the General Secretary of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Ghali, of the decision to disown all paramilitary groups that are not ready to submit to unified command. Dr. Karadzic was not, however satisfied to let the matter rest with a general prohibition of paramilitary units. On two occasions he personally ordered inquiries into the operations of such groups. He did this first on 3rd July 1992 with the order to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Document no. 5) asking for an investigation to be carried out into the operation of paramilitary units in the municipalities of Gacko and Nevesinje. On 6th August 1992 he informed the media ( Document no. 9) that the general subordination of paramilitary units to unified command cited above had been successfully carried out except in the region of Kljuc where recalcitrant groups and individuals who had continued to burn and rob in defiance of the law, had been arrested by the police.
Individual Warnings And Orders For Investigation
The only other thing to be done to halt or punish war crimes was to become personally involved in investigating particularly serious breaches of international humanitarian law.
In his position as President of Republika Srpska Dr. Karadzic did this frequently. For example, on 6th August 1992 (Document no. 10) he instructed the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Justice to compile a report on the treatment of prisoners of war and their living conditions, to be submitted within ten days. On many occasions when there was a danger that a war crime might occur Dr. Karadzic issued orders and warnings. At the very beginning of the war on 14th July 1992 he sent a warning to the mayors of Gorazde, Foca, Han Pijesak, Sokolac, Rogatica, Visegrad, Rudo and Cajnic (Document no. 7) to the effect that Croats and Muslims who surrendered their weapons had to receive the full protection of the Serbian Republic, and made them personally responsible for the execution of the order. On 12th March 1993, after the first attack on mosques and other Muslim religious sites he ordered the Banjaluka Police (Document no. 15) to strengthen protective patrols round all the religious buildings in that town and to take measures against frequent terrorist attacks. In similar fashion he intervened in the case of Croatian soldiers who crossed, under arms, into territory controlled by Serbian forces. He ordered the Republika Srpska Military Command (Document No. 16) to escort the Croatian soldiers, with all their armament, to Vares, and to provide for the safe conduct of civilians who wished it, to go, either to [Croat controlled] Herceg-Bosna or to the Croatian Republic.
In spite of everything, serious crimes were committed. One of these was the murder of five Muslims in the village of Bastasi near Celinac. Immediately after he received the dreadful news on 19th August 1992, Dr. Karadzic ordered (Document no. 12) a most detailed investigation and the punishment of those found responsible, and ordered the police to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the civilian Muslim population in the municipality of Celinac.
Sole Possibility Of Individual Criminal Liability
Although the prosecutor tried to associate Dr. Karadzic personally, with the planning, execution and command of military operations around Srebrenica, it proved difficult.
All that remained, then, was Dr. Karadzic's responsibility for the actions of his subordinates according to the principle of command responsibility. However, he had discharged his responsibility as head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces in good time, by issuing standing orders and instructions that the international conventions of war and humanitarian law should be obeyed to the letter and by constantly warning his commanders that they were personally accountable before the law, in the areas under their control. He had also issued orders that thorough and immediate investigations should be carried out into particular instances where war crimes had been committed, and the culprits brought to justice, something that, incidentally, was not in the sphere of his duties as head of state.
All that remained for the prosecutor, in these circumstances, was to show that Dr. Karadzic did one thing in public and another in secret; that he publicly demanded respect for the international conventions of war and humanitarian law, and secretly gave orders for massive war crimes to be carried out. The prosecutor provides absolutely no evidence for the latter.
Loss Of Control Over the Military And Its Commanders
Besides Dr. Karadzic's alleged command responsibility, special attention deserves the prosecutor's attempt to make him individually accountable for twenty [alleged] horrible war crimes committed after the fall of Srebrenica.
Whereas earlier Dr. Karadzic did have a degree of control over the military top brass and the field commanders of the Serbian army, at the time of operations around Srebrenica and immediately after, these field commanders rebelled completely against civilian control and, for practical purposes, ceased to obey their nominal commander-in-chief - the President of Republika Srpska. These misunderstandings between the civilian and military commanders (the origins of which we will soon explain) had existed earlier, but had remained hidden until July 1995 when they burst into view. It was this that led Dr. Karadzic, on 2nd August 1995, to call General Ratko Mladic to Pale, to become his special advisor, thus removing the General from his position as Head of Military Command Headquarters.
On 4th August of the same year the necessary order was issued (Document no. 29). General Mladic responded immediately by leading a coup d'etat: He called together all his generals and, from 5-6th August 1995, in letters to the Parliament (Document no. 30) and to the President of Republika Srpska, openly declared that he did not accept Dr. Karadzic's order even though he was head of state and constitutional Commander-in-Chief. The letters were signed by Ratko Mladic and seventeen other generals; Manojlo Milovanovic, Milan Gvero, Djordje Djukic, Zdravko Tolimir, Petar Skrbic, Jovo Maric, Momir Talic, Bosko Kelecevic, Vladimir Arsic, Momir Zec, Radivoje Tomanic, Novica Simic, Radoslav Krstic, Radovan Grubae, Zivomir Ninkovic, Bozo Novak and Grujo Boric.
In this way he called into question the authority of the civilian government and showed that Dr. Karadzic, as Head of State, no longer controlled the Military Command of Republika Srpska. In defiance of the Constitution the letter called on the Parliament to reject dr. Karadzic's order for General Mladic's transfer, as if the highest representative body of the Serbian state had any authority to confirm such commands. Of particular weight in this conflict between the civilian and military command of Republika Srpska was the fact that the authorities in Belgrade (for this read Slobodan Milosevic) was on the side of Ratko Mladic and against Dr. Karadzic. A fact that is confirmed, among other things by the reporting at the time from state controlled television and press in Belgrade. This was a reliable sign of who, at that moment and probably throughout the whole war in Bosnia, to a greater or lesser extent, held the Military High Command of Republika Srpska under control, and who, after the fall of Srebrenica, encouraged General Mladic to publicly defy Dr. Karadzic.
Although this clash between the civilian and military authorities was hushed up it continued to simmer and in the middle of October 1995 again burst into the public domain. The trigger was the Parliament's suggestion that the President of Republika Srpska should fire Generals Milan Gvero, Djordje Djukic, Zdravko Tolimir, Grujo Boric and colonel Milutinovic.
On 17th October the Headquarters of the Military High Command issued a statement (Document no. 31) which unequivocally challenged the authority, not only of the President of the Republic, but also of the Parliament, as the highest constitutional and legislative body, for which, this time, it received the public support of the Belgrade authorities. While on 6th August 1995, they had asserted that the presidential decision to transfer General Mladic to new duties required the confirmation of the Parliament, they now pronounced the decision of the Parliament to be unconstitutional and politically damaging. The generals failed only to explain which organ of Republika Srpska had the authority to control in any way or to dismiss the Military Command, if it was not the head of state or the legislature.
Naturally, questions remain and Prosecutor Goldstone must face them. Who was in political control of the Republika Srpska top brass in the summer of 1995 and later if it was not Radovan Karadzic. It is interesting that Judge Fouad Riad, who confirmed the second indictment of 14th November 1995, hinted at an answer to this question. Although it had nothing to do with the indictment itself which Prosecutor Goldstone had issued after exhaustive investigation and extensive testament, Judge Riad said, "It is worth noting that it appears from the witness statements that not only Bosnian Serb soldiers, but also soldiers from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) were present during the take-over of Srebrenica. These soldiers where easily distinguishable by their clean-cut appearance, distinctive uniforms and use of Serbian dialects. Elements of the Yugoslav People's Army ("JNA"), including the Novi Sad Corps and "Uzice" Corps, as well as irregulars loyal to "Arkan", were seen by a number of witnesses in and around Srebrenica. Either these additional troops were also under the command of the suspects (Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, K. E.) or they were under the control of a different commander." Judge Riad almost said it all, only neglecting to name that different commander who could be no other than Slobodan Milosevic.
As a rule armies never have two commanders so if the Serbian forces at Srebrenica were not under the control of Dr. Karadzic this means they had to be under the control of that different commander.
Riad's "addition" to Goldstone's indictment exposes fully its political background and the practical political aim with which it was issued. With it, for the same thing, Dr. Karadzic was persecuted and Milosevic was threatened. The former because he had failed to "cooperate", the latter so that he would be even more "cooperative", which meant not simply bending but crawling, particularly at Dayton.
Politically this can, of course, be understood. The only problem is that the drawing of such distinctions and the arbitrary indictment of Dr. Karadzic, that is the temporary amnesty of Slobodan Milosevic, has no connection at all with Justice, which, if nothing else, demands the same approach in the same or similar circumstances.
Fatal Faults That Are the Consequences Of Perfection
After the shameful episode of General Djordje Djukic whose status was changed several times from that of defendant to witness and again to defendant, and whose death was greatly hastened thereby, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia proceeded to make unheard of and unforgivable procedural mistakes. In this way an innocent man, Goran Lajic, spent three months in jail because the Tribunal's prosecutors in particular, failed to make the most basic check of identity immediately after his arrest. Next, the trial of Dusko Tadic exposed the dangers and inadequacies of secret witness, which the Tribunal itself had allowed. The case of Dr. Radovan Karadzic reminded us again to what paradox the arbitrary indictments of 24th July and 14th November 1995 could lead, all in the name of short term political expediency.
In his famous GULAG, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, perceptively noted that the [Stalin's] Cheka, that drawn sword of [Soviet] revolution, was, "the only punitive organ in human history that combined in one set of hands, investigation, arrest, interrogation, prosecution, trial and execution of the verdict." This kind of perfection can also be seen in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. (9) It establishes the rules under which it operates then frequently adjusts and changes those rules, according to the cases that are pending; it then studies accusations itself and constructs a case, which is the job of the police. On its own it issues warrants of arrest and interrogates witnesses and those arrested. By itself, it issues indictments (the prosecution being an indistinguishable part of the Tribunal), passes judgment in its own, and it has not been ruled out that it will carry out its own sentences.
In fact the greatest problem with this court as it is presently conceived and instituted, is its all-encompassing perfection. It is to be hoped that these cases in which the International Criminal Tribunal has made shameful and unforgivable mistakes will lead to a more serious consideration of its real function. Uncritical supporters of the Tribunal most often express the opinion that it must satisfy the needs of justice, without which a peace is impossible. Its judgments to date show this to be an important misconception. As Alfred P. Rubin warns, "those who believe that a legal tribunal is useful to assure justice, and that justice is a prerequisite to peace, would do well to ponder the alternatives and whether all those who speak publicly of the need for such one-sided 'justice' really have in mind justice as seen by outsiders.
The Tribunal's role seems much more closely related to a struggle for authority over parts of the former Yugoslavia, or, indeed, control by Great Powers or UN officials or lawyers over international affairs, in disregard of the imperatives and risks of representative democracy. In sum, whatever one thinks of it in other respects, the Dayton Accord's emphasis on Security Council authority and an international tribunal to enforce a misunderstood version of the laws of war should not be supported. The Tribunal in The Hague should be disbanded." (10)
To add something of our own to the above conclusion it can be said that this should be done immediately so that, in the place of a badly constituted politically manipulated and, to some extent prejudiced ad hoc tribunal for a particular area and with predetermined targets, the attempt can be made to found a permanent International Criminal Tribunal that would satisfy Kant's requirement for universality, that is to have equal jurisdiction over all those who commit war crimes, no matter what country they come from.
The first sign that such a court is really functioning properly will be the readiness of the greatest powers to surrender their own citizens to its jurisdiction.
1 See my pamphlet, "The Hague against Justice. International Criminal Tribunal Fiasco in the Case of Tribunal Prosecutor vs. General Djordje Djukic," Belgrade: Center for Serbian Studies, 1996.
2 Nasa Borba, 11-12 May 1996.
3 Nasa Borba, 10th September 1996.
4 See for example "Witness Says Bosnia Forced Him to Lie", New York Times, October 26th 1996.
5 Nasa Borba, 28th October 1996.
7 Nasa Borba, 27th July 1995.
9 On this unbelievable similarity between Solzhenitsyn's description of the Cheka and the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague see Dr. Srdjan Trifkovic, "The Hague 'Tribunal': Bad Justice, Worse Politics, No Morality", Liberty, 25th August 1996. p. 7.
10 Alfred P. Rubin, "Dayton, Bosnia and the Limits of Law", The National Interest, Winter 1996/97, p. 46.
I ) ORDERS, DIRECTIVES AND OTHER ACTS OF DR. RADOVAN KARADZIC
DOCUMENT No. 1
OFFICIAL GAZETTE of the Serbian Nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Number 9, Saturday 13 June 1992, Sarajevo
On the basis of Article 174, paragraph 1 point 14 of the Law on the Armed Forces of The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Serbian Nation in B-H, No. 7/92) the President of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina makes the following
O R D E R
CONCERNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS OF WAR IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Number 01 - 53/92
13 May 1992
The President of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of B-H
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 2
OFFICIAL GAZETTE Of the Serbian Nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Number 9, Saturday 13 June 1992, Sarajevo
On the basis of Article 81 paragraph 1 point 7 of the Constitution of the Serbian Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 1 paragraph 2 of the Law of amendments and additions of the Constitutional Law for the Constitution's implementation, the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at its session held on 13 July 1992, issued the following
ORDER ON THE PROHIBITION AGAINST THE FORMATION AND OPERATION OF ARMED GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS IN THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC WHICH ARE NOT UNDER THE UNIFIED COMMAND OF THE ARMED FORCES OR THE POLICE FORCE
The formation and operation of all independently organized armed groups and individuals in the territory if the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is prohibited. Existing groups and individuals must, within a period of three days, place themselves under the sole command of the Armed Forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the Ministry of the Interior of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Article 2. The Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina renounces all responsibility for groups that intend to continue to act independently and will order the strictest of sanctions against their existence and actions in a forthcoming law.
Article 3. Subordination to the sole command of the Armed Forces or the Police Force implies strict adherence to the dictates of international law.
Article 4. This decision comes into effect on the date it was reached and it will be published in the Official Gazette of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 June 1992
The President of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 3
The Official Gazette of the Serbian People in Bosnia No. 9,
Saturday 13 June 1992
Following the order of the President of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency
number 01-53/92 of 13th June 1992, the defence minister issues
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR
13 June 1992
The Minister of Defense of the Serbian Republic of B-H,
Colonel, Bogdan Subotic
DOCUMENT No. 4
SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA PRESIDENCY
13 June 1992
To: HIS EXCELLENCY DR. BOUTROS GHALI
We want to inform you about our latest official decision to disown all paramilitary groups that are not ready to be under our political control. As you can see we are trying to stop the tragedy of ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina at different relevant levels. In that respect the enclosed decision is in accordance with our energetic efforts to stop the war in Bosnia as soon as possible. We deeply appreciate the peace-keeping role of the UN forces and we do our best to prove such a commitment.
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 5
On the basis of Article 80, paragraph 1, point 7 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution and Article 7 of the Law of amendments and additions of the Constitutional Law for the Constitution's implementation, the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at its session held on 3rd July 1992, issued the following
O R D E R
TO CARRY OUT AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTION OF PARAMILITARY GROUPS IN THE REGION OF THE MUNICIPALITIES OF GACKO AND NEVESINJE
3 July 1992
THE REPUBLIC PRESIDENT
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 6
MESSAGE OF CONGRATULATION FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
- TO THE PARTY MEMBERS AND OFFICIALS -
On Petrovdan, (St. Peter's Day) the President of the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Radovan Karadzic sent the following message of congratulation to party members and officials:
Although under the present circumstances the Serbian Democratic Party has reduced its activities, I am writing to express my best wishes on the occasion of the party Saint's day, and the anniversary of its formation, with the hope that the war, imposed on us, will end soon and justly. The responsibility of the Serbian Democratic Party in the defense of the people and the territory of the Serbian Republic is huge. Together with military victory we need a legal and moral victory.
The state formed by the Serbs has to be rooted in the rule of law and humanity, since 'To those who are inhuman the kingdom serves only as a ridicule in the face of the world'. Therefore, I implore you, the Serbian Democratic Party members and officials alike to keep wakeful watch over our actions, so that inhuman behavior should not darken the glory of our just struggle. Special attention should be given to proper conduct towards the civilian population of other nationalities in our Republic. As well as the rules Geneva Convention we should treat
the conquered enemy with our own orthodox mercy. May the Apostle St.
Peter help us all on our path to truth, justice and goodness.
Number: 01-262/92 Pale, 11 July 1992
THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 7
The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pale, 14 July 1992
To all municipalities in the region of Gorazde To the president of the municipality All villages in which the Croatian and Muslim population surrender their weapons and show no intention of fighting against us must enjoy the full protection of our Serbian state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The municipality presidents must be held accountable for it.
The President of the Presidency
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
The telegram was sent to the municipalities in the following way:
The last message was delivered at 15:30 hours on 14th July.
Colonel Milorad Kotlica
PS: I suggest you inform the media.
DOCUMENT No. 9
The Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Number: 01 - 448/92
Pale, 6 August 1992
THE PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF REBELS
The Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina states that a few weeks ago it issued an order for all groups and individuals to be placed under the sole command of the Armed Forces and the Police.
This idea has been mainly carried out, with an exception of some rebel groups in the region of Podrinje and Kljue. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina carried out the arrest of the groups and individuals who rebelled against the law and indulged in robbery and arson. Therefore, it is not a case of arresting politically organized units under some other names which submitted to the sole command and which courageously fight for the freedom of their Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina and who deserve all praise.
THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 10
THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA Pale,
6 August 1992 Number: 01-533/92
On the basis of Article 71 and 81, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Serbian Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Constitutional law for the implementation of the Constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its 24th session on 6th August 1992 reached the following
C O N C L U S I O N
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Justice of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina have a task to coordinate through their municipal organs of internal affairs, that is the administrations of penitentiaries in the area of the Serbian Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina the gathering of official written information on the attitude and behavior of the Serbian authorities towards prisoners of war and the prison conditions in the area of districts where such cases exist. On the grounds of the information gathered a complete body of information will be formed and handed to this Presidency in 10 days time.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE PRESIDENCY
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 11
THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
Date: 19 August 1992
TO THE MILITARY COMMAND HEADQUARTERS OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
TO THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS TO ALL THE CENTRES OF SECURITY SERVICES
In accordance with our decision of 13 June 1992 which refers to our respect of international wartime conventions I hereby repeat the
O R D E R
THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 12
THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
Date: 19 August 1992
TO THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
There are indications that five civilians of Muslim nationality have been murdered in the village of Bastasi, near Celinac. I hereby
O R D E R
the most thorough investigation to be carried out, the culprits to be identified and brought to justice. The Ministry officials from the Security Service Center in Banja Luka and the officials from the Station of Public Safety in Celinac must take all measures for the protection of the civilian Muslim population in the Celinac district, which, to the best of our knowledge, have no military organization nor are they preparing for a military intervention against the Serbian people.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 13
Pale, 22 October 1992
TO LIEUTENANT-COLONEL RATKO MLADIC TO MR. MICA STANISIC TO MR. MOMCILO MANDIC
Dear Sirs, as you already know I signed an official empowerment to the delegates of the International Red Cross Committee according to which, and in further compliance with the Geneva conventions, they must be allowed free access to prisons and prisoners of war. I send you again a copy of this empowerment. I have been informed that some local police, army and civil authorities completely ignore this document and make impossible the normal work of the International Committee's delegates.
I demand that you warn without any delay all your subordinate officers that the empowerment to the Red Cross International Committee delegates verified by my signature must be respected absolutely. I shall order a thorough investigation into all cases of lack of respect for the above demand.
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 14
REPUBLIKA SRPSKA THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE
Pale, 11 March 1993
TO THE MILITARY COMMAND HEADQUARTERS OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
On the basis of Article 7 of the Defense Law, Article 174 of the Republika Srpska Law and the Republic President's Decision strictly confidential number: 01-78/93 of the 11th May 1993, and with the aim of maintaining the signed cease of fire on our part, the President of the Republic issues the following
D I R E C T I V E
The Military Command Headquarters of Republika Srpska is obliged in future as well:
THE REPUBLIC PRESIDENT
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
DOCUMENT No. 15
THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE Number: 01-89/93 Date: 12 May 1993
TO THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
for the attention of Adzic Ratko
On the basis of Article 80 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska, and in response to the evident need, I hereby
O R D E R
all the religious buildings in the town of Banja Luka and its surroundings to be placed under the protection of the Security Service Center in Banja Luka by means of reinforced patrols and thus protected from frequent terrorist actions. This order is to be carried out immediately and I am to be informed of the measures undertaken.
THE REPUBLIC PRESIDENT
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
To be delivered to:
DOCUMENT No. 16
Urgent-in cipher Republika Srpska Cabinet of the President of the Republic Sarajevo
To: HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
On the basis of the Article 80 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska and Article 5 of the Decision concerning the formation of the Supreme Command of the Army of RS, I, hereby,
O R D E R
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Dr. Radovan Karadzic
II ORDERS OF THE MUSLIM LEADERS
DOCUMENT No. 17
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of National Defense Headquarters of the Territorial Defense Sarajevo No: 02/145-1
Sarajevo, 29 April 1992
Order concerning implementation of the decision of the Presidency of the Republic of B-H No. 02-11-327/92
On the basis of the Decision of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 01-11-327/92, dated 27 April 1992 concerning the withdrawal of JNA units from the territory of the Republic of B-H, and because of the violation of this Presidency decision and the beginning of the pillaging and looting of the properties of the Republic of B-H by the former JNA, I hereby,
Within the framework of the plans for military action, the inclusion of plans of wide-ranging scope for the protection of the population and the material possessions of the citizens of the Republic of B-H.
Commanding Officer Colonel
DOCUMENT No. 18
Ministry of Interior of the R B-H
To all Security Service Centers (CSB) - Chief Inspector To all Police Stations (SJB) - Chief Inspector To Police department (SUP) Sarajevo - Secretary
It is essential that all security service centers, police stations and SUP Sarajevo undertake all necessary measures and actions within their authorization to secure the execution of the order issued by the commander of the Territorial Defense Headquarters of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 02/145-1 of 29 April 1992 which we are sending on to you in its original form. Order concerning implementation of the decision of the Presidency of the Republic of B-H, No. 02-11-327/92. On the basis of the Decision of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 01-1-327/92 dated 27 April 1992 concerning the withdrawal of JNA units from the territory of the Republic of B-H, and because of the pillaging and looting of the properties of the Republic of B-H by the former JNA, I hereby,
O R D E R:
Minister of Interior Alija Delimustafic
DOCUMENT No. 19
SDA - Party of Democratic Action
Instructions concerning the moving out from Trebinje No. 52/93
Date: 20 January1993
TO SDA - TREBINJE:
As the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the security point of view is becoming more and more complex, especially after the acceptance of the Geneva documents by Karadzic and his clique in Pale, it is necessary, for the purpose of realizing the aspiration of all Muslims, the preservation and strengthening of our state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to undertake urgently the following measures in the Trebinje district:
I The rousing by our activities of all Muslims especially the prominent and the propertied, to leave Trebinje as soon as possible and cross into Montenegro.
II The partial selling-off of property, both moveable and non-moveable, but, if possible, leaving it in the care of trustworthy Serbs, known from before as friends to the Muslims and opponents of Karadzic's heretical policies.
III Not to hold back from exerting pressure, even the use of force, against those Muslims who do not follow this order.
IV On arrival in Montenegro, to make contact with the SDA, Merhamet and our people in the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro where they will receive instructions for further action. All of our religious institutions in Montenegro will offer you aid and our brothers in Tuzi, Podgorica, Plav, Rozaj and throughout Montenegro await you. Restitution will be made for all of your property when we achieve our goal and we know how to put the right price on your sacrifice, a sacrifice which all of the Muslims in the world expect from you.
Respectfully Selamu aleykum
Sarajevo, 20 January 1993
DOCUMENT No. 20
INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING BEHAVIOUR OF THE MUSLIM SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS PRISONERS OF WAR
Prisoners of war are also a phenomenon which accompany every war. Islam has also set decisive rules on this issue which are binding on Muslim soldiers. Although in this war the enemy has overstepped every limit with their crimes, Muslims are nevertheless bound by their faith to justice and to maintaining the fixed rules which apply even in conditions of war. In that sense, it is forbidden to kill women, children and priests who have in no way participated in the war and who do not, directly or indirectly, aid the enemy. Then, it is forbidden to demolish and destroy other people's holy places, cultural and historical buildings and to kill domesticated animals and destroy crops and cultivated land. Islam also forbids the torture and abuse of prisoners and the mutilation of enemy wounded and dead. Before the departure of Muslim soldiers to battle, Muhammad used to say: "Fight and do not steal from one another, do not deceive one another. Do not torture and kill children of your enemies". These are general rules, obligatory for our soldiers. However, if an officer considers that the situation and general interest demand that things be done differently, the soldiers are duty-bound to obey the officer. Thus, for example, if an officer or a commander of higher rank judges that, in the interest of defence, the protection of his people and higher aims, it is more correct to burn certain buildings, crops or woods, then it is permitted to do so because it is well known from history that Muhammad permitted the destruction of the houses and the felling of the enemy's palm groves as a reprisal. The option is also placed at the disposal of the military command to decide whether it is more useful and it the interest of the general good to liberate, exchange or liquidate enemy prisoners. The rule signified is based on the actions of Allah's messenger who, in various different circumstances, acted in various different ways. Thus, for example, at Bedar, he ordered the liquidation of Nadr bin Haris and Ukbe bin Muayt and, at Uhud, the liquidation of Ebu Izze el-Jumehi. In this respect, Allah declared: "It is not permitted that the Messenger of the Faith hold the enemy as prisoner until he has gained victory on earth. " (El-Enfal: 67). In some other cases, Alayhisselam took ransom for enemy soldiers - prisoners and in other situations he carried out an exchange.
AGREEMENTS AND OTHER ACTS MADE BY THE SERBIAN SIDE AND DR. RADOVAN KARADzIAE PERSONALLY IN ORDER TO PREVENT WAR OR TO END IT
DOCUMENT No. 21
HISTORIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN DR. RADOVAN KARADzIAE, PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND ADIL ZULFIKARPASIAE, PRESIDENT OF THE MUSLIM BOSNIAK ORGANIZATION (MBO)
The Suggested Basis Of an Agreement Between the MBO And the SDS
Faced with the development of events which carry with them the danger of confrontation and even armed conflict between our two national groups1 , whose interests, historically, do not conflict, and conscious of the responsibility we bare towards the national groups we represent and towards all citizens of B-H and Yugoslavia, we have decided to make an agreement by means of which we wish to solve the major problems and open perspectives for future cooperation in peace and mutual trust to the benefit of all the citizens of B-H, our national groups and the whole Yugoslav community.
This agreement is intended to eradicate the danger of conflict and open prospects for life together in freedom, equality and cooperation. Conscious of the inherited difficulties as well as those which we have brought about through our own actions, we have resolved to be honest with each other and to take into account the concerns of all peoples and all national groups who have an interest in this question. As a result this will not be an agreement in opposition to any one but will be for all, and as such it will be open to all those who uphold the principle of a joint life in freedom and complete equality.
We believe that the basis for such a life is to be found in mutual recognition of the complete territorial integrity and political independence of our republic and their complete equality with Serbia and Croatia in the future Yugoslavia.
We also believe that Yugoslavia is still necessary and is fully justified as a community of wholly equal states (republics) and national groups and we are committed to the preservation and development of such a community.
We believe that Bosnia and Herzegovina in all parts of its territory should be under the control of a unified Bosno-herzegovinian government without regionalization or cantonization in the form of a socio-political and governmental organization and network.
We declare that it is in our interest that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina should live with us in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in complete equality and we call on them to endorse this agreement.
We declare our interest in a democratic solution to the status and rights of the Serbian people in Croatia and we support their efforts to attain autonomy, as we also support the autonomy of the Muslim-Bosniak people in Sanjak.
If the Serbian people express and, by legitimate means, realize their wish not to live as part of a Croatian state or if they express the wish to combine the Knin/Krajina region with Bosnia-Herzegovina, then we will raise the question of a similar merger of both Sanjaks with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Any movement what so ever that aims to partition the territory of B-H as presently constituted and with the stated organization of life within it, will be considered a movement of illegal secession. We are aware that if an agreement is to become an historic basis for the lasting peaceful cohabitation of our national groups, it must give answers to many further questions. However we believe that, with this agreement we are opening the process and creating the space necessary to discover the solutions which should be an integral part of this agreement.
The following are some of the questions at issue: the way in which every national group will participate in government and how that government will be formed: The deployment, role and constitution of armed forces: questions of equality within the domestic forces of law and order: questions of the functioning, composition and location of joint bodies (Government, Central Bank, JNA (Yugoslav National Army) Headquarters, the Presidency, Parliament and Office of Foreign Affairs) and many other questions of how the state will function. We also believe that the optimal Yugoslav community is that which includes all six republics and all the national groups that initially constituted that community.
Every abstention from that community must be preceded by agreement and the provision of guarantees protecting the realistic interests of every member.
This document contains some of the elements of the eventual agreement which have been discussed and about which it is possible to reach agreement, whereas other questions on the agenda still remain to be agreed upon by the initiators; the manner, place and form of acceptance and the procedure for implementing the agreement. The general public must be informed of the discussions, the direction in which they are leading, the initiatives and the results achieved. In response to our text the Serbs have, as a counter proposal, drafted a possible text for the agreement.
The Serbian Draft Of the Agreement Faced with the development of events which are in mounting danger of leading to conflict between our two national groups, whose interests, historically, do not conflict, and who have never before been brought to a conflict of this sort, conscious of our responsibilities to the national groups we represent and to all the national groups of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia, we have decided, in the interests of future cooperation and peace, to create and sign the following political agreement.
Sarajevo, 5 August 1992
DOCUMENT No. 22
THE LISBON AGREEMENT STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES For New Constitutional Arrangements For Bosnia And Herzegovina
A working group will be established in order to define the territory of the constituent units based on national principles and taking into account economic, geographical and other criteria. A map based on the national absolute or relative majority in each municipality will be the basis of work in the working group, and will be subject only to amendments, justified by the above-mentioned criteria. A copy is annexed to this Statement.
1. Subject to the definition of the constituent units for the purpose of the future arrangements in accordance with Part E if this Statement, a constitutional law to modify the Constitution in order to give effect to these principles will be prepared and submitted to the Assembly as soon as possible, and will have to be confirmed by a referendum of the people under international supervision.
THIS PAPER IS A SUBJECT FOR FURTHER NEGOTIATIONS
Sarajevo, 18 March 1992
As agreed by the leaders of SDA, SDS and HDZ parties in the fifth round of the talks on future constitutional arrangements for Bosnia and Herzegovina under the auspices of the EC Peace Conference
DOCUMENT No. 23
SECRETARY GENERAL OF UNITED NATIONS
Dr. BOUTROS GHALI
Starting from the right of peoples to self-determination and self-government, and bearing in mind readiness of the Serbian people to resolve the inter-ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a peaceful way and by political means, And with respect of the will of the Serbian people to be the integral part of the International Community, Assembly of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the only legitimate representative and the highest instance of legislative power of the Serbian people in B and H, with purpose to inform and address Security Council, and its permanent members - USA, Russia, France, China and Great Britain, as well as the International Community at large, proclaims the following
D E C L A R A T I O N
About acceptance and support of all humanitarian efforts of the International Community
Banja Luka, 11 August
1992 ASSEMBLY OF THE SERBIAN PEOPLE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
DOCUMENT No. 24
SERBIAN REPUBLIC ASSEMBLY Bijeljina, 9 September 1992
D E C L A R A T I O N
DOCUMENT No. 25
Official Gazette of Republika Srpska No. 15 29 September 1992
On the basis of Article 70, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska and after considering the possibilities of ending fighting and humanitarian actions which could provide assistance to the civilian population, using as a basis documents of the London Conference and its peace-making humanitarian activities and having in view the provisions of the Geneva Convention which provide for the protection of the rights of the refugees, the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, at its 20th session held on the 14 and 15 September 1992, adopted the following
D E C L A R A T I O N ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PEACE
September 1992 PRESIDENT of the National Assembly
DOCUMENT No. 26
Official Gazette of Republika Srpska Year I, 18 December 1992
Sarajevo Starting from the fact that the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina fell apart, emphasizing that, defending itself at the same time against fascism and Islamic fundamentalism, the Serbian people have defended their historic and ethnic territories and have prevented planned genocide over the Serbian people by armed popular resistance. Declaring that the Serbian people, in a war which they did not begin but which was imposed on them, have realized their legitimate and lawful aspiration for their own sovereign state. Using the sovereign right of the Serbian people to self-organization and self-determination in according to Article 1 of the UN Charter concerning the right of a people to self-determination. On basis of article 70 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska, the National Assembly adopted at its session held on 17 December 1992 the following
D E C L A R A T I O N ON THE END OF THE WAR
This Declaration comes into force eight days after its adoption.
No. 02-1954/92 17 December 1992 President of the National Assembly Mr. Momeilo Krajisnik
DOCUMENT No. 27
DECLARATION CONCERNING PEACE SIGNED BETWEEN DR. RADOVAN KARADZIC, PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA AND FIKRET ABDIC, PRESIDENT OF THE AUTONOMOUS PROVINCE OF WESTERN BOSNIA
At the invitation of the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, motivated by the desire to reach a lasting peace between Serbs and Moslems in the ex-Yugoslav republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the President of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, and the President of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia, Fikret Abdic, have met in Belgrade and, with the intercession of the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, have agreed to issue the following
D E C L A R A T I O N
In Belgrade, 22 October 1993
THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
THE PRESIDENT OF AUT. PROV. WESTERN BOSNIA OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA
In witness of the agreement achieved and with the responsibility to act as intermediary in the event that difficulties arise in its implementation
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
DOCUMENT No. 28
THE GOVERNMENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
No. 05 - 22/97
On the occasion of the visit of Mrs. Louise Arbour, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Government of Republika Srpska, at its ninth session held on 17 January 1997, adopted the following:
R E S O L U T I O N
REPUBLIKA SRPSKA PRIME MINISTER
STATEMENTS AND ACTS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT BETWEEN CIVIL AND MILITARY LEADERSHIP OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
DOCUMENT No. 29
DECREE NUMBER: 01-1566/95 OF THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA 4 August 1995
On the basis of Article 11, 168, and 369 of the Armed Forces Law, (the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska, Number 7/92) THE RE-DEPLOYMENT TO THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE OF: 1. MLADIAE (Nedjo) RATKO, Colonel General personal VES 31480, (combat deployment code) born 12 March 1942 Reg. Number: MNR 1203421 As the special advisor to the Commander-in-Chief for the coordination of the defense of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina FC (Rank): Colonel General VES 31040 PG (group): 02 (Second) To date, Commander of the Military Command Headquarters VRS. Re-deployment due to changes in formation from: 4 August 1995
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
DOCUMENT No. 30
GENERAL STAFF THE REPUBLIKA SRPSKA ARMED FORCES No. 04-12/937 5/6 August 1995
TO THE PEOPLE'S PARLIAMENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA AND THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
Respected Sirs, From the 5th to 6th August 1995 in Banja Luka a general meeting of the General Staff VRS was held. It was attended by all corps commanders, the commander of the 30th infantry division and 9 operative groups ViPVO (Air Force and Air Defense) and CVS (Military Academy) and the chiefs of staff. The meeting discussed the military situation after the most recent aggression from the Croatian Army at Glamoe and Grahovo and against RSK (the Republic of Serbian Krajina) and the urgent measures that VRS must take in order to recover the territory temporally occupied, and the success of defense measures in general. In the remit of that review is the President's decision to move the Commander of the General Staff VRS and to order some other changes in the system of organization and in personnel in VRS. The Generals of VRS wish to express their unanimous opinion that this is a wrong decision, coming at the hardest time so far, the application of which would have unforeseeable negative results for our people, our struggle and our army. This decision, in the preparation of which no one in VRS was consulted, cannot be accepted or implemented by the Generals of VRS. Since such a decision demands the assent of the Parliament of Republika Srpska we suggest that the deputies do not accept it in the unified interest of our nation, our armed forces, their combat readiness and morale, the success of our defense and our struggle for freedom, peace and the creation of a Serbian state.
Deputies, Today what we need, above all, is the unity of all Serbs and not conflict and divisions. We need every man and particularly a leader such as General Ratko Mladic whose quality is recognized by the whole world and by our enemies. No one has the right, for any reason to, leave the Serbian people, at its darkest hour, without a general whom the fighters, their commanders and the whole nation respect and value.
The Generals suggest that the deputies bare in mind the possible negative consequences that would certainly result if such an unacceptable decision which, among other things, would divide the nation into supporters of Mladic and Karadzic, were accepted. At this meeting the Generals of VRS have decided, in the further continuation of the war to respect the constitutionally founded system of management, command and subordination of Republika Srpska and that they will, according to general military experience and their own military skill and science carry out only the orders they receive from the Commander of the General Staff, General Ratko Mladic. Believing that our deputies hold the people's interests in higher esteem than any other partial or personal interests and also that when making decisions they will follow their conscience and historical responsibility for the fate of the Serbian People in Republika Srpska.
The Generals of VRS.
Signed by 1 Manojlo Milovanovic, 2 Milan Gvero, 3 Djordje Djukic, 4. Zdravko Tolimir, 5. Petar Skrbic, 6. Jovo Maric, 7. Momir Talic, 8. Bosko Keleeevic, 9. Vladimir Arsic, 10. Momir Zec, 11. Radivoje Tomanic, 12. Novica Simic, 13. Radoslav Krstic, 14. Radovan Grubae, 15. zivomir Ninkovic, 16. Bozo Novak, 17. Grujo Boric.
DOCUMENT No. 31
Statement of the Republika Srpska Military Command
The Headquarters has always been in favor of enforcing the responsibility to defend the people and preserve the territory of Republika Srpska. It is also ready to bear a part of the responsibility for that historic task. Unfortunately, we do not share the opinion that the representatives have correctly identified those who are accountable for the loss of territory and the exodus of a part of Republika Srpska's population. We are surprised that, at this last as well as some previous sessions of the Assembly, besides this issue, none of the other issues presently far more important for the defense and survival of Republika Srpska and the Serbian people were discussed. Instead the time was devoted to political issues and an unprincipled show down with certain generals and the RS Military Command. To date the political leadership and the National Assembly have still not determined the borders of Republika Srpska which the Army should protect or reach. On the contrary, the most frequently discussed issue was the percentage and the handing over of territory. At the Assembly session in the town of Sanski Most on 15th April 1995 the Military Command pointed out the fundamental problem of defense and the equipping of the army and warned of the upcoming events. We regret to state that the Assembly and state organs did not devote adequate attention to this, and as a result the problems increased and events developed unfavorably, of which the Military Command warned the Supreme Command, the state organs and the Assembly on a number of occasions. We do not contest the right of the Assembly to discuss what it chooses, but it is not difficult to notice that in time of war it did not need publicly to discuss the sacking of generals. It is easy to prove that this is even an extra-constitutional and extra-legal procedure. Therefore we are certain that the National Assembly was used as a public platform to raise support for a decision to sack the generals which had already been made. Earlier attempts to sack generals had failed. This time it was done through the Assembly to provide an easier justification of the radical change in the Military Command to the public and hence the Assembly was abused. There has been a long standing campaign against the Republika Srpska Army and some individual figures with the aim of establishing their accountability for all the failures of state politics and particularly the incapacity to verify the results of our struggle on the international level. The blame for all is now shifted onto a few generals and officers of the RS Army. For us it means avoiding responsibility on the part of some individuals and certain government bodies. The leadership had not adequately prepared the people for the war, and particularly the people of Krajina, which resulted the declaration of war at an inopportune moment; only after the occupation of RSK and western parts of RS. Generals Gvero, Djukic, Tolimir, Boric and lieutenant-colonel Milutinovic were charged without any basis or proof despite the fact that they committed no oversights which would have led to a loss of territory. We believe that the motives for proposing that the President of the Republic should sack them were of a completely different nature. The real issues is a crude party struggle for power where some ruling party leaders suffer from the misconception that officers and generals are a hindrance to the government stabilization and a factor which reduces their election chances. The SDS deputy association and its main board stress that their party formed the state of Republika Srpska in only forty five days and that the RS Army did not manage to preserve it. We are asking the question: who 'broke' the corridor, who liberated the whole of the Podrinje region, who joined Herzegovina with other parts of RS, who defended Sarajevo and who created the conditions for the state leadership to negotiate for peace on equal terms. Some figures form the SDS leadership constantly and unjustifiably point out that the officers are ideological adversaries and for that reason they want to remove them, although they are aware of the fact that the professional staff is politically non-aligned. We can not accept the Assembly proposal about the sacking of generals from the Military Command and decisions which will possibly ensue on the grounds of that rushed proposal for that would contribute to the decline of leadership, commanding and functioning of the headquarters and the Army as a whole.
DOCUMENT No. 8
SERBIAN REPUBLIC PRESIDENCY
TO ALL COMBATANTS OF THE SERBIAN FORCES OF BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegates are allowed to travel in all areas under our control in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are also authorized to visit all places of detention including military camps and police stations under our control. All combatants of the Serbian forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina are therefore requested to:
PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
The truth belongs to us all.
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Last revised: June 27, 2003