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COURTSIDE: Bosanska Krajina Trial

Witness shows irritation at end of record four-week testimony.
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Prosecution witness Adil Draganovic last week claimed he had been "deeply offended" by the cross-examination of lawyers representing defendants General Momir Talic and Radislav Brdjanin, in the Bosanska Krajina genocide trial.

Draganovic, a former judge, who was speaking at the end of his record four-week testimony, had testified about the Serb takeover of his home town of Sanski Most and his arrest and subsequent transfer to Manjaca camp.

He said the army took part in ethnic cleansing, deportations and the burning of property, and identified the offenders as members of the Sixth Krajina Brigade of the Bosnian Serb army, VRS.

But the defence cast doubt on the witness' version of events, in particular how he knew Talic was present in Sanski Most at the time and his account of the detention of Bosniaks.

The witness vented his frustration with defence suggestions in his reaction to one of their questions. When Talic's lawyer, Natasha Ivanovich Favout, mentioned "an employee of the (Bosnian) Serbian state", the witness said, "What Serbian state? You are talking rubbish".

When Favout asked if the witness claimed Republika Srpska did not exist, he responded that only Bosnia-Herzegovina existed and said again that the lawyer was "talking rubbish".

Judge Carmel Agius at first thought that these were mistakes in translation and asked the witness to repeat his answer. Draganovic obliged, making his view of defence counsel crystal clear. The case continues.

Vjera Bogati is an IWPR special correspondent at The Hague and a journalist with SENSE News Agency.

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