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Serbian and Montenegro war crime Karadzic
DISPARITY BERWEEN WORDS AND DEEDS
During the final day of cross-examination by the accused, Radovan Karadzic, former U.S. diplomat Herbert Okun stated that the orders issued by the accused during the war were on paper " praiseworthy", but in reality did not do anything to prevent the ethnic cleansing that occurred.
The accused tried to show, by presenting several orders written by him during the war, that he had instructed ministries, army and local authorities on numerous occasions that living conditions in prisons should be improved and violations of any group's human rights was unacceptable.
In an order dating from August 1992, Karadzic "instructed how the local authorities should behave to all parties and that all of their actions should be in compliance with international humanitarian law", adding that, among other things, "imprisoned individuals should be respected, recommendations by the International Red Cross should be implemented and prisoners-of-war who are ill should be released immediately."
Okun confirmed that he had heard about these orders, but added that "unfortunately conditions in camps did not improve."
Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war committed between 1992 and 1995, as well as with participation in a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of permanent removal of Bosniaks and Croats from the parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina which Bosnian Serbs "claimed as their territory".
Showing more letters regarding orders in his own hand, Karadzic tried to show that he personally ordered several times during the war "undisturbed distribution of humanitarian aid with as little delay as possible in Sarajevo."
Okun replied by saying, "Your directives are praiseworthy Dr. Karadzic, but the conclusion from the multiplicity of orders and letters on these and other subjects let me conclude that they were not observed by troops in the field. If they would listen to you, you should not have sent so many orders."
Karadzic disputed the fact that the Bosnian Serbs were to blame for the fact that the city of Sarajevo was cut off from water supplies and electricity during the war.
Instead, he argued that local authorities prevented the continuous supply of water, quoting an UNPROFOR official present at the field at that time, that "images of residents of Sarajevo carrying water when shelled by Serbs are upheld to gain publicity".
Karadzic added that "we, the Serbs, enabled the supply of water to be regulated by UNPROFOR, but that the city itself refused this and shut the supply off again."
Okun replied by saying that Karadzic indeed allowed UNPROFOR in September 1992 to be in charge of the water supply, "but the fact that 10 months later this problem was not yet resolved indicates again the disparity between words and deeds."
Karadzic put it to the witness that "there is a widespread belief among several Serb and Muslim intellectuals that the West had intended to neutralize Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and used Serbs and Croats to achieve this goal."
Okun said this assertion was "nonsense" and "laughable".
The next hearing will take place on May 5, 2010.