Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 21:38 UK

Karadzic 'called for Muslim homes to be attacked'

Radovan Karadzic (13 April 2010)
Mr Karadzic accused the first witness of fabricating his testimony

The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has heard evidence he called for Muslim homes in the town of Pale to be attacked.

A prosecution witness, Sulejman Crncalo, testified that Mr Karadzic had told a crowd it was "the way to defend Serb houses" in a speech in June 1992.

"Those were terrible words to our ears," Mr Crncalo told the UN court.

Mr Karadzic denies 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

On Tuesday, the first prosecution witness said his elderly father-in-law had been burned alive by Serb forces near Sanski Most in 1992.

Ahmet Zulic also said he had witnessed the June 1992 massacre of some 20 Muslim men who were forced to dig their own graves and then were shot or had their throats cut by a Serb butcher.

On Wednesday, Mr Karadzic accused Mr Zulic of fabricating his testimony, saying the butcher was prepared to sue him for libel.

Mr Zulic responded by pointing to a scar on his throat he said the butcher left when he started to cut him. He said Serbs also smashed his teeth when they jammed the barrel of a gun into his mouth.

'Blood all over'

Mr Crncalo, the second prosecution witness, lived in Pale, south-east of Sarajevo, until he was expelled by Serb forces in 1992.

He told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that the town's Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) had been prosecuted as the war intensified.

When I came to my wife, there was a woman lying next to my wife and her arm was thrown across my wife's body, I just cried
Sulejman Crncalo

In June that year, he found himself standing in a crowd about 20m away from Mr Karadzic, when the former Bosnian Serb leader made a speech, he said.

"He was saying to those present that every Muslim house had to be attacked because that's the way to defend Serb houses."

Mr Crncalo told the court that he and his family had been forced to leave Pale a month later, and spent the next three and a half years living under siege in Sarajevo.

He then began to weep as he recounted how his wife had been among 43 people killed when the city's Markale marketplace was shelled in August 1995.

"There was blood al over the place, flowing in the streets, bits of human flesh scattered around, bits of clothing torn and scattered all over," he said.

Eleven counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities
Charged over shelling of Sarajevo during the city's siege, in which some 12,000 civilians died
Allegedly organised the massacre of up to 8,000 Bosniak men and youths in Srebrenica
Targeted Bosniak and Croat political leaders, intellectuals and professionals
Unlawfully deported and transferred civilians because of national or religious identity
Destroyed homes, businesses and sacred sites

Under cross-examination from Mr Karadzic, Mr Crncalo described how he went to the mortuary to look for his wife's body.

"There were about nine bodies and they were all lying on their backs. When I came to my wife, there was a woman lying next to my wife and her arm was thrown across my wife's body, I just cried," he said.

Mr Karadzic expressed his condolences to Mr Crncalo, but told the witness that he would show "who you can blame for it".

Mr Karadzic faces two charges of genocide, as well as nine other counts including murder, extermination, persecution and forced deportation.

Prosecutors say he orchestrated a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against Muslims and Croats in eastern Bosnia to create an ethnically pure Serbian state.

Mr Karadzic was arrested in 2008 after nearly 13 years on the run.

During his time in power, he was president of the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic and commander of its army during the Bosnian conflict which left more than 100,000 people dead.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific