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Kordic & Cerkez: Croat Testifies Against Croat

A political rival of Dario Kordic testifies against him, and enters as evidence newspapers critical articles for which, it is alleged, Kordic had the author beaten.

Dragutin Zvonimir Cicak was undoubtedly a one-time political rival - an opponent even - of defendant Dario Kordic. As one of the co-founders of the branch office of Bosnian Croat political party, the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) in Busovaca, and as a supporter of a unified Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cicak already in 1991 and 1992 fought against the "destructive and unreasonable" politics of Dario Kordic. He then warned against the danger of "uncontrolled arming of Croats" and "the divisions among the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

His method of struggle against Kordic and other Bosnian Croat leaders who supported the "creation of ethnically pure space for Bosnian Croats, and its annexation to Croatia," were the articles he published in 1991 and 1992 in a number of local newspapers. These were presented last week as Prosecution evidence. In March 1992, Kordic replied to one of Cicak's articles with an article of his own in which he accused Cicak of being one of those Croats "who are blinded by the ideas of Yugoslavianism and unitarism."

Shortly thereafter, Cicak was allegedly "visited" by three uniformed soldiers who robbed and beat him up -all with the comment: "This is from Dario." Cicak described the three as the basest criminals recruited into a political party," and identified one of them as Zoran Marinic, who is among those accused of crimes in the Lasva River Valley.

Articles Cicak wrote and published in 1991 and 1992 greatly correspond to the Prosecutor's description of the establishment, aims and activities of the so-called Croatian Community Herzeg-Bosnia (HZ H-B) and particularly with the Prosecutor's claims on the role of defendant Kordic in those events.

According to Cicak's testimony, Kordic was the "civilian, military and police authority all in one," and without his approval "no civilian, military or police action could be undertaken" in that part of Central Bosnia. Cicak further alleged that Kordic acted under the influence and patronage of Mate Boban, the nationalist leader of the so-called Herzeg-Bosnia. He was allegedly also under the influence of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and the then Minister of Defence Gojko Susak. With their support, Kordic allegedly "climbed the party hierarchy," and implemented the "erroneous politics of Zagreb leadership towards Bosnia and Herzegovina." According to Cicak, he also implemented "his own version of neo-fascism," and had organised and armed paramilitary formations to that end.

Kordic's Defence counsel, Stephen Sayers, objected several times on grounds that the witness was giving "political diatribes," not a statement of facts. The judges however listened to much of Cicak's testimony without comment.

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