Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
Wartime Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic has asked judges in The Hague to issue a subpoena compelling former Bosniak rebel leader Fikret Abdic to testify in his defence case.
When war broke out in Bosnia in the early 1990s, Fikret Abdic broke with the central government in Sarajevo. He later established the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia, which was allied with the Bosnian Serbs.
Abdic imprisoned and abused Bosniaks loyal to the government in Sarajevo. In 2002, he was convicted of war crimes by a court in Croatia. He was released in March 2012 after serving ten years of a 15-year sentence.
Karadzic requested the subpoena because Abdic has so far refused to appear as a witness in his defence case on a voluntary basis.
The accused claims that Abdic’s testimony is necessary to his case, as it will show that Karadzic and members of his leadership “were willing to and did work with Muslims and their representatives who did not aspire to create an Islamic state in Europe and were ready to respect the rights of all ethnic groups”.
“[Abdic’s] testimony will further refute the prosecution’s allegations that Dr Karadzic and the Bosnian Serbs wanted the war so they could expel Muslims from areas where Serbs were a majority,” Karadzic stated in his February 6 request.
He asked for Abdic to appear to give evidence in court on May 29.
Rachel Irwin is IWPR’s Senior Reporter in The Hague.
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