We have found out that Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey has been asked to testify before The Hague Tribunal, (ICTY) in the prosecution of General Momcilo Perisic, Belgrade’s and Milosevic’s military chief, soon to be on trial for genocide and war crimes. He has been asked and expected to travel to The Hague and provide testimony. We also ask him about Holbrooke’s recent comments: that Al-Qaeda would have used BiH as a base for the September 11 terrorist attack, if it had not been for Dayton.
Bosniaks.Net: Holbrooke says that Al-Qaeda would have used BiH instead of Afghanistan for its attack on September 11, 2001, if the Dayton Accords had not been signed. What is his motivation?
Ambassador Sacirbey: He wants to be the hero of Dayton, to promote his own personal legacy and to be the Secretary of State. His legacy and calling card is Dayton. Bosnians & Herzegovinians know Dayton for the farce and obstacle to real peace that it has become. On the other hand, Holbrooke would use it as his qualification to solve Iraq and so many other problems.
If Americans though realize how functionally as well as morally and legally Dayton is, he will lose credibility as well as his legacy.
Bosniaks.Net: So what does this have to do with Al-Qaeda in BiH and September 11?
Ambassador Sacirbey: If you want to justify anything to an American audience, you throw at it the justification of September 11, 2001 and terrorism. It is easy to sell “Muslims” as potential terrorists. On the other hand, he has to justify his deals with Milosevic, Mladic and Karadzic, the betrayal of Srebrenica and Zepa, the undermining of The Hague Tribunals efforts to arrest the two most notorious war criminals as well as a Dayton that has in its implementation, if not in its initial intent maybe, has rewarded genocide and war crimes.
Bosniaks.Net: Why has no one confronted Holbrooke on this?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Who are we talking about?
Bosniaks.Net:For example, other international functionaries?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Unfortunately many are part of the same club and unwittingly have become part of the same foul enterprise. Many go in probably with good intentions, but before they know it, they are complicit. Most dare not speak out against the self-anointed again leader of American foreign policy.
Bosniaks.Net: BiH’s political leaders? They all received him the last time he came to Sarajevo. Well, Dodik made him go to Banja Luka. Even Bosnian media seems afraid to speak clearly and forcefully.
Ambassador Sacirbey: You have to ask those Bosnian leaders that question. I have been consistent about my comments and facts on Holbrooke for the last 12 years: before they put in prison, during and after.
He comes to Sarajevo so that he can write in the Washington Post as the continuing hero of Dayton. In the meantime, Bosniak leaders meet with him. Maybe they think that they can influence his thinking. However, he does not come to hear anything that does not suit them. When he leaves Sarajevo, he then blames all the problems on the same people who received him, and he raises his moral profile by calling them “nationalists,” “selfish” or “corrupt.”
Maybe some of BiH leaders are afraid that they will end up like me, in some prison. But now Holbrooke has resorted to slandering a whole people and country and completely diminishing those who defended it as well as the victims of genocide.
The same person who was invited to Srebrenica to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the massacre that his betrayal allowed, now speaks that the defenders of BiH would have allowed the country to become a base for Al-Qaeda terrorists. Remember, we are the ones who allowed to try to wash his hands of the blood of Srebrenica. We are the ones who allow him to use Sarajevo as the platform for his self promotion, and we are the ones who legitimize his deeds, his Dayton and his words, those that he ultimately uses against us.
Bosniaks.Net: Has The Hague Tribunal asked you testify against General Momcilo Perisic?
Ambassador Sacirbey: I’m not at liberty to say very much. I have been requested to keep certain discussions in confidence.
Bosniaks.Net: From the documents we happened to see that where delivered before US Courts, the ICTY has asked for you to help them in this case.
Ambassador Sacirbey: From before and the time after that I was let out of the US prison, I have been providing my assistance to the ICTY. Now, I’m at liberty to say that it was with respect to the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic. Unfortunately, I was first held in prison and then Milosevic died before I could testify and he convicted.
Bosniaks.Net: The document that we have seen has been sent to “Bosnian authorities” requesting that you be allowed to travel to The Hague to testify against General Perisic. Will you go?
Ambassador Sacirbey: I have been asked and I will provide testimony. However, that still depends on Bosnian and US authorities.
Bosniaks.Net: The Hague Tribunal apparently has requested from Bosnian authorities to facilitate your testimony. Have they agreed?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Not yet as far as I know.
to Testify Against Perisic?
Bosniaks.Net: What is the problem? Is BiH not obliged to fully cooperate with The Hague Tribunal?
Ambassador Sacirbey? Yes.
Bosniaks.Net: Who is trying to block you from giving testimony against Perisic, who is charged by the ICTY with war crimes and genocide?
Ambassador Sacirbey: I have a pretty good idea, but I will not point fingers yet.
While Ambassador Sacirbey has been asked to testify before The Hague Tribunal in the case of General Perisic, it appears that “BiH authorities” and “USA authorities” are not making this possible even if they are obliged by treaty and international obligations. Who is trying to prevent Ambassador Sacirbey to testify in the case against Milosevic’s military chief, (who is on trial for grave violations of international humanitarian law and command and control regarding the genocide in Srebrenica, the siege of Sarajevo as well as war crimes committed throughout BiH)? We also will follow up on our discussion of Holbrooke’s implicit slur upon BiH and all of its citizens as a potential center for Al-Qaeda and terrorism.
Bosniaks.Net: Has BiH received a request to allow you to appear before The Hague Tribunal in the Perisic case?
Ambassador Sacirbey: As you already have seen from the documents that you have, yes.
before Hague Tribunal
Bosniaks.Net: Is your testimony voluntary?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Yes, and in fact I look forward to fulfilling what I believe is my responsibility in view that these war crimes occurred while I was Ambassador to UN, Agent before ICJ and BiH Foreign Minister.
Bosniaks.Net: Who is Drew Engle?
Ambassador Sacirbey: You know as much as I do.
Bosniaks.Net: Well, it is his letter that seems to be in response on behalf “BiH authorities.” There was a request or demand from the Tribunal calling upon BiH to cooperate fully and consistent with international obligations by allowing your travel to prepare and testify at The Hague. What function does he have as a “BiH authority” and how does he come to be responding here on behalf of BiH, especially since this also has clear political implications?
Ambassador Sacirbey: I’m not at all certain how he came to be the BiH authority here, but you have seen the same letter forwarded to the US Court, actually US prosecutor.
Bosniaks.Net: Yes, we have also obtained a copy of the letter and intend to publish the contents exclusively for our readers. He represents himself as BiH Prosecutor. Has BiH Presidency or any Ministry reviewed or responded to this request?
Ambassador Sacirbey: I have not seen any such indication.
Bosniaks.Net: Reading the substance of Mr. Engle’s response it appears that he is not willing, presumably on behalf of BiH authorities, to be positively responsive to the Tribunals request, actually legally binding demand.
Ambassador Sacirbey: My reading as well.
Bosniaks.Net: Is the matter now dead?
Ambassador Sacirbey: By no means, and it can have also far reaching consequences.
Bosniaks.Net: Can you tell us more about what this testimony is?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Not for now because this is a matter of confidential proceedings that are a matter before the ICTY Court.
Bosniaks.Net: It appears that some have tried to claim that your testimony was to be directed against “Bosniak” defendants.
Ambassador Sacirbey: Absolutely is not even an issue, but obviously some have tried once again to prejudice BiH citizens against me and similarly justify taking authority that is clearly against the interest of BiH, its people and truth.
Bosniaks.Net: Has the Tribunal asked “US authorities” to facilitate your travel and testimony before the ICTY Court?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Yes.
Ambassador Sacirbey: We do not have a positive answer, at least yet, although US also has similar international obligation?
Bosniaks.Net: Who is trying to obstruct your testimony?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Draw your own conclusions, but there was also obstruction for me to testify before the Milosevic case.
Bosniaks.Net: You will keep us informed?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Yes, at least as much as I can without violating confidentiality before I testify.
Bosniaks.Net: Will you testify in The Hague?
Ambassador Sacirbey: By any means that I can make it happen.
Giving Holbrooke Platform while Undermining BiH Voices
Bosniaks.Net: We have also received some comments on your interview with us and your statement on Holbrooke. Some asked why don’t you send the same comments to US public and media, including the Washington Post, were Holbrooke made his slur against BiH and Bosniaks?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Oh, I certainly have. It is another matter for my response to Holbrooke to be actually published. He has many, if not most of the big media editors and publishers under his influence. I have managed to get some of this published before some truly independent, but smaller publications including some that are quite influential, as the “Jewish Forward.”
Bosniaks.Net: What is the obstacle?
Ambassador Sacirbey: Some of it is media monopoly. It is the case in BiH as well. Even BiH media has given Holbrooke a free ride. Unfortunately those of us who have had standing in US and western press have been consistently undermined as “nationalist” or “corrupt” by Holbrooke and by others who have worked systematically to deny Bosniak leadership a voice, or at least credibility. And, we only have to blame ourselves. We, Bosniaks may not always agree with each other, but we seem to go overboard and to save the most vile accusations for each other.
For my part, I have been consistent in my comments on Holbrooke, Bildt, Akashi and Janvier for more than 10 years. When I was still in BiH diplomacy and after I was released from prison.
While in prison, CNN managed to conduct the interview with me. I also then said that Holbrooke had betrayed Srebrenica, but a year later Holbrooke was being honored in various BiH circles and was allowed to make a personal commercial for himself at the 10 year anniversary of Srebrenica, at the graves of those he betrayed. It was more than once suggested to me that if I kept silent on such things, I would no longer face so called “allegations” in BiH. If Senad Hadzifeizovic had not offered the evidence and my testimony on the Srebrenica betrayal to a Bosnian audience, Holbrooke might still be the “man” to many Bosnians. In fact, it has been the Bosnians who have been the last to accept the truth about Holbrooke, even as knowledgeable individuals like Sylvie Matton, Florence Hartmann and Bianca Jaeger have spoken of his complicity in genocide. Read Adam LeBore’s book, “Complicity with Genocide.”
It is absolutely important that US and world public knows the truth, and I will do whatever I can in that regard. However, it seems that Bosniaks were the last to accept the truth from one of their own spoken over 10 years ago.
Bosniaks.Net: Bildt once responded to your allegations: “Sacirbey is a crook, and he has been telling the same lies for over 10 years.”
Ambassador Sacirbey: Bildt inadvertently supports the consistency of my allegations. While Bildt has been inconsistent with the truth, according to him, I have at least been consistent with my lies. I have only had something to lose by speaking these lies well over 10 years ago, when no one made any allegations against me.