Defence in Tadic Trial
‘You're prepared to make up things to incriminate Dusko Tadic because you want some sort of revenge against him or the Serbian people.’
—Cross-examinaton of defence attorney Steven Kay
By Andrew Kelly
THE HAGUE, July 26 (Reuters) - Defence lawyers suggested on Friday that prosecution witnesses had invented evidence about their client's involvement in Bosnian war crimes out of a desire for revenge.
British barrister Steven Kay, cross-examining a Muslim survivor of the Serb-run Omarska prison camp, accused him of fabricating evidence against the defendant, Bosnian Serb Dusan Tadic. "Isn't it the case here that after all that has happened to you, you're prepared to make up things to incriminate Dusko Tadic because you want some sort of revenge against him or the Serbian people?" he asked former camp inmate Armin Mujcic.
U.N. prosecutors have accused Tadic, 40, of murdering, torturing and raping Muslims during a Serb campaign of "ethnic cleansing" in northwest Bosnia in 1992. The former bar-owner, karate teacher and father of two girls denies the charges and says he was never in the Omarska camp. His trial at the U.N. tribunal for former Yugoslavia began on May 7 and is expected to run for several more months.
Kay cast doubt on Mujic's ability to recognise Tadic at Omarska from a brief glimpse just before a notorious incident in which the prosecution alleges that Tadic and other Serbs forced a Muslim prisoner to bite off another inmate's testicles. But Mujic was adamant that he had correctly identified Tadic, who came from the same town of Kozarac.
Mujic said he had seen Tadic fleetingly among a group known as "the coloured ones" because of their camouflage uniforms who occasionally came to the camp to torture and kill prisoners. Previous witnesses have said that even the guards at Omarska feared this group to which Tadic allegedly belonged.
In his interrogation of some 50 witnesses to date, Kay has repeatedly suggested that Omarska inmates have persuaded each other that Tadic was at Omarska and committed atrocities there. Dutch defence lawyer Michail Wladimiroff told the tribunal in May that the camp inmates had thus developed a composite account of events in which Tadic was cast as the villain. "Rumour becomes truth. People convince themselves with ease that they have seen and heard things which they did not, and could not, have seen and heard," he said.
Many witnesses to date have said they saw Tadic only briefly and only a handful claim to have seen him committing crimes. Many of them appear to have trouble recalling details of traumatic events which occurred four years ago and the defence has pounced on apparent inconsistencies in their evidence.
Tadic is one of seven indicted war crimes suspects held at the tribunal's detention centre. So far the tribunal has indicted 75 suspects -- 54 Serbs, 18 Croats and three Muslims. Most of them remain at large including the two most prominent suspects: deposed Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander General Ratko Mladic.
THE DUSAN TADIC TRIAL
Berserkistan, July 24 · Sex Torture of Muslims at Omarska Told at Tadic Trial
Berserkistan, July 23 · Father Tells Tribunal of Delivering Son to Tadic for Fatal Beating
Berserkistan, July 19 · Witness Tells Tadic Trial of Horrors Imposed on Women at Omarska
Berserkistan, July 18 · Former Omarska Prisoner Says He was Beaten by Dusan Tadic
Berserkistan, July 17 · Defence Accuses Muslims of Lying in Tadic Trial
Berserkistan, June 21 · Tribunal Heads of Horrors at Trnopolje Prison Camp
Berserkistan, June 18 · Eyewitness Places Dusan Tadic at Omarska Prison Camp
Berserkistan, June 14 · Friend Watched as Tadic Slit Muslim Police Throats
Berserkistan, June 11 · First Eyewitness Testifies Against Dusan Tadic
Berserkistan, June 7 · Tadic Defense Won’t Challenge Serb-Yugoslavia Caused War
Berserkistan, May 9 · Historian Disclaims Civil War Defense in Tadic Trial
Berserkistan, May 8 · Historian Sets Context for Atrocities in Day 2 of Tadic Trial
Berserkistan, May 8 · Muslims in Sarajevo React to Start of Tadic Trial
Berserkistan, May 7 · Defense: Tadic Had No Role in Murder, Torture
Berserkistan, May 7 · On Trial's Eve, Tadic Claims Innocence
Berserkistan, May 7 · Childhood Friend Says Tadic was Cruel, Artistic
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