Transcripts depict Bosnian Muslim blame game as prosecution finds killing of Serbs “irrelevant”

Recent testimony by a former Bosnian Muslim secret service officer is chockfull of gruesome details on how the Bosnian Muslim government ran a secret terror group that assassinated Serb civilians and sniped own people in Sarajevo in order to blame Serbs for it.

Edin Garaplija testified that a secret terror unit, Seve, ran by the top echelons of the Bosnian Muslim leadership ordered all sorts of killings and used the murders to blame Serbs for it.

The descriptive pieces of Garaplija’s testimony, at the end of this blog, also reveal an equally nasty side to the Hague prosecution.

Prosecutors at The Hague court interrupted Karadzic’s questioning of a subpoenaed witness demanding that the Court put a stop to a question about execution of Serb civilians by the Bosnian Muslim government troops.

“First of all, this information is irrelevant,” snapped Ms Gustafson.

“What’s the basis on which you are saying it’s irrelevant?” Judge Kwon asked.

“It deals with the execution of a number of Serb civilians and soldiers,” Ms Gustafson explained.

“I can also withdraw the question,” Karadzic replied.

Nice to know that execution of Serb civilians is irrelevant to the Hague court.

The testimony’s low-lights below are clear that the Bosnian Muslim leadership was attempting to blame Serbs for the sniping in order to elicit American armed involvement against the Serbs. What the testimony below is not clear, however, to what extent did the US intelligence guide this secret Bosnian Muslim terror unit and what sort of advice did US give on targets and the type of murders needed to be done in order to be sufficient in getting the US administration to attack Serbs.

Page 1387

 2        Q.   Could you tell us briefly what was so shocking about what you

 3     heard in that interview?

 4        A.   All the terrorist activities pursued by the Seve unit, beginning

 5     with sniping assassinations, setting explosives and such, were conducted

 6     completely outside of the system and very compromising to Bosnian

 7     defence.  The only one who could profit from such activities was the

 8     opposing side, at that time the Army of Republika Srpska.  We were

 9     shocked by the sniping assassinations and the brutality displayed by

10     Herenda and his co-perpetrators in these crimes, because until then, we

11     knew of such things perpetrated by the other side alone, by their

12     constant sniping and artillery attacks through the city.

13             We had never expected anyone from, conditionally speaking, our

14     side to be involved in such things.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Did Mr. Herenda, in that interview, say anything

16     about the murder of a French soldier in Sarajevo during the war?  But

17     before that, Mr. Garaplija, what you discussed, did the Seve unit do

18     those things only in Sarajevo or elsewhere?

19        A.   As far as I know and as far as I can recall after 17 years has

20     elapsed between that interview and today, and thanks to the proofing done

21     by the Defence team who reminded me of my interview to the OTP back in

22     1998 while I was doing time after the rigged trial that I mentioned a

23     couple of minutes ago, the Seve unit mostly were active within Sarajevo,

24     but some of their activities were conducted outside the city and even

25     abroad.  But because of the very short time that we had with Herenda as

Page 1388

 1     investigators, we had to focus on the most important things that we had

 2     assessed as being crucial or key for our investigation, and one of them

 3     being the murder of a French UNPROFOR member.

4        Q.   What — could you tell us what Herenda said about that, where the

 5     murder happened and under what circumstances?

 6        A.   I cannot remember the date exactly.  I think it was 1995.

 7     Herenda explained that he had been given a mission to open sniper fire at

 8     Serb positions.  This is what he would often do from the building known

 9     as the Executive Council’s building in downtown Sarajevo, from which

10     spot, in accordance with his testimony, he fired at that French UNPROFOR

11     member.

Page 1389

10     those events at the time.  I did so several years later.  What I do know,

11     though, is that certain Bosnian officials stated that the Serb side was

12     responsible for the death of that French soldier.  Whether those

13     officials knew who the real perpetrator was, this is something that I

14     can’t tell you.

Page 1390

12             “NM:  So the last time we were talking about killing of a soldier

13     from the United Nations.

14             THE INTERPRETER: “[Voiceover] EG:  Well, Herenda said he was

15     shooting, that he was ordered to do so by Ugljen so as the United Nations

16     would blame the Serbs.  He received a payment for that in the range of

17     2.000 marks.”

Page 1393

12        Q.   You mentioned another incident which was chosen to be

13     investigated because of the shortness of time, and that was an explosion

14     killing the wife of General Halilovic.  Did Herenda tell you anything

15     about that explosion which killed the wife of General Halilovic and her

16     brother, and if he did so, what did he tell you?

17        A.   Yes.  Herenda did admit that he was a co-perpetrator within the

18     Seve unit who planted that explosive device with a view of eliminating

19     General Halilovic.  It is important to know that General Halilovic was at

20     the time Supreme Commander of the Bosnian Army, and a couple of months

21     before this attempted assassination which killed his wife and her

22     brother, he’d been removed from that position because he’d publicly

Page 1395

 1     survived this assassination attempt.  However, none of these acts by the

 2     Seve unit was criminally prosecuted, brought to trial, because a large

 3     team of people worked to conceal these crimes.

11        Q.   And how was this presented to General Halilovic, and what was the

12     public told?  What was the official position on this matter?

13        A.   The public was told that this was a shell launched by the

14     Serbian Army, or the Army of Republika Srpska

Page 1398

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We investigated the other crimes by

24     the Seve such as the liquidation of captured soldiers and civilians in

25     the great big park in the centre of town, something that was committed

Page 1399

 1     personally by Nedzad Herenda.  We had scores of witnesses about this.  We

 2     also investigated other sniper actions by the Seve units throughout the

 3     Grbavica neighbourhood.  We investigated the activities of the Seve in

 4     the execution and bringing in of confidential documents and funds inside

 5     and out of Sarajevo.

Page 1401

21        A.   In his interview, Herenda mentioned a pathologist,

22     Ilijas Dobraca, who is no longer alive, but his job was to provide

23     medical certificates after certain assassinations, to cover them up in

24     other words, listing a different cause of death, natural causes or

25     something else, which would side-track the investigation.

Full transcript available here.