In the summer of 1991, Yugoslavia broke up in a series of civil wars
that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 130,000 people.
The two men widely held to be most responsible for the bloodshed
were Serb leaders Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic.
This is the story about a young Serb lawyer who defended them in court.
He's been on the run, not seen in public for more than 10 years, but the man called the 'Butcher of Bosnia' has now been caught.
Dubbed the 'Butcher of Bosnia', Radovan Karadzic was one of the most wanted fugitives in the world.
Wolf, we all grew up saying never again and now finally this man is going to face his day of reckoning after killing and perpetrating such atrocities for so many years.
How many people do you think he was directly or indirectly responsible for killing?
How do you get that number?
That's the number of people who were killed.
Although we do not know exactly yet what the facts are, it would seem to us that the Bosnian Serbs have a great deal of responsibility
Frankly that sort of beast…it wouldn't even be satisfactory if he was taken out and hanged on a gibbet.
You said he was an alleged war criminal…
-He hasn't been convicted yet.
He hasn't been convicted yet, but once he goes to the Hague, he is not getting out again. That would be the end of that.
01:01:55 - TITLE - The Serbian Lawyer
01:02:13 CAPTION: The Hague, Holland - October 2009
Hello and welcome to the program.
The trial of former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic is about to begin at the Hague
The sixty seven year old faces a genocide charge for an alleged role in a massacre in Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.
Karadzic also faces charged of war crimes and crimes against humanity for actions allegedly committed during the breakup of Yugoslavia between 1992 and 1995.
A trained psychiatrist, Karadzic spent 13 years on the run…
01:03:04:06 04:17 01:03:08:23
Marko Sladojevic is Karadzic's legal advisor...
01:03:10:08 06:10 01:03:16:18
People say that he is an animal, a mass murderer.
How do you deal with this while working for him?
01:03:17:13 06:02 01:03:23:15
Yes, but the world is big - that is just how
he is portrayed in western media.
01:03:23:22 03:18 01:03:27:15
So how do you deal with this?
You hear these opinions too, you live here.
01:03:28:07 09:15 01:03:37:22
I have to admit that I had also been influenced by propaganda.
I didn't know what to expect when I started working for him.
01:03:38:13 04:11 01:03:42:24
But then I met him and I found him to be a regular sort of guy.
01:03:43:13 05:15 01:03:49:03
- As you are his advisor, is it important for you
to believe in his innocence?
01:03:49:14 04:20 01:03:54:09
- I like to keep it professional. It's not my
job to believe or not believe.
01:03:55:03 06:14 01:04:01:17
People don't understand the nature of our job.
That's why they think that we don't have a conscience.
01:04:05:21 03:01 01:04:08:22
So not everybody reacts positively to you working for him?
01:04:09:03 05:19 01:04:14:22
I have to say that the Dutch people are quite open-minded.
01:04:15:09 06:11 01:04:21:20
They realise that this is a very challenging
case and an important step in one's career.
01:04:22:04 03:20 01:04:25:24
- Important step for you or for Karadzic?
- For me, of course.
01:04:26:16 02:12 01:04:29:03
- Can I take it you consider him innocent?
01:04:29:11 10:00 01:04:39:11
The only thing that I can say is that, having read quite a bit of the material I have not come across a great number of incriminating documents.
International Criminal Tribunal
for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
01:04:52:16 06:04 01:04:58:20
There is no justice. Even if they punish both Karadzic and Mladic
and everybody else who is guilty...
01:04:58:23 03:00 01:05:01:23
...I will still not have 32 members of my family.
01:05:04:07 06:11 01:05:10:18
I lost 3 sons, 3 brothers, nephews,
32 members of the family.
01:05:16:02 02:14 01:05:18:16
My son is not dead for me, he is alive.
01:05:19:10 03:16 01:05:23:01
I speak to him every night.
He says: "Mother, don't cry..."
01:05:24:15 06:06 01:05:30:21
I love you and I am watching over you."
01:05:31:14 03:12 01:05:35:01
"I will watch over you forever."
01:05:53:11 03:22 01:05:57:08
While I was growing up in Belgrade, I was not
under fire like people in Bosnia...
01:05:57:17 02:20 01:06:00:12
But I was still in some kind of war
01:06:01:23 03:22 01:06:05:20
It was a war of words and ideologies.
A classic propaganda war.
01:06:10:06 02:10 01:06:12:16
The only thing I knew was that I didn't know anything at all.
01:06:21:19 06:12 01:06:28:06
So when the war finished, I wanted to cut through all the lies,
to find out what really happened in my country.
01:06:31:16 02:21 01:06:34:12
That was one of the main reasons why I came to work here.
01:06:37:04 01:19 01:06:38:23
I wanted to find out the truth.
01:06:45- Good morning your honours. This is case number IT-95-5-18T, The Prosecutor vs Radovan Karadzic
01:06:54 - Radovan Karadzic knew that the disintegration of Yugoslavia meant that republics might seek independence and that Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia might become minorities in the new countries that were then established.
01:07:08 - Karadzic and Milosevic would work together to prevent this...
01:07:15 - first insisting that Bosnia remain in Yugoslavia, but as that prospect began to seem increasingly unlikely, Karadzic moved to the next step.
01:07:25 - Karadzic appeared at the assembly to tell the Bosnian Muslims and Croats what would happen if they adopted the memorandum and moved towards independence.
01:07:37 - Would you like to play that now.
01:07:40:06 04:15 01:07:44:21
I plead with you to take this seriously.
What you're doing here is not good
01:07:45:10 08:09 01:07:53:19
You are taking Bosnia down the same road of hell and
suffering as was taken by Slovenia and Croatia
01:07:54:11 06:18 01:08:01:04
If you go down this road, you will take Bosnia to hell and
Bosnian Muslims maybe into extinction.
01:08:01:16 03:23 01:08:05:14
Because, if there is war, Bosnian Muslims will
not be able to defend themselves.
01:08:22:19 02:16 01:08:25:10
01:08:25:16 01:22 01:08:27:13
- Can you hear me?
- I can see you.
01:08:27:21 02:00 01:08:29:21
- Do you see me?
01:08:31:06 05:02 01:08:36:08
- Are you ill?
- I am not, but I am not 100% fit either.
01:08:38:06 04:02 01:08:42:08
- Ah...having a cold, that is going to exhaust you even more.
01:08:43:06 03:17 01:08:46:23
You are not taking care of yourself
and not taking enough vitamins.
01:08:47:18 06:08 01:08:54:01
That's especially important now that you are
under all this stress and anxiety.
01:08:56:07 01:12 01:08:57:19
Oh yes! Please tell me.
01:08:58:06 04:10 01:09:02:16
Well, you know, it's not easy being a wife.
It's like you are my kid.
01:09:25:08 02:10 01:09:27:18
Do you really think that Karadzic is not guilty?
01:09:28:14 02:08 01:09:30:22
Atrocities were committed for sure.
01:09:31:21 02:14 01:09:34:10
There were a lot of atrocities.
That is beyond doubt.
01:09:35:01 04:01 01:09:39:02
But I really don't think that he was directly involved.
01:09:40:10 03:23 01:09:44:08
Everything is possible, but I have not seen such a document.
01:09:44:24 06:01 01:09:51:00
I haven't seen any order or a conversation
where he said kill, slaughter and so on.
01:09:53:01 07:02 01:10:00:03
It is true that the prosecution has used excerpts from
speeches or intercepted conversations...
01:10:00:18 09:03 01:10:09:21
For example, that famous speech where he said something like:
'If Bosnia leaves Yugoslavia, Muslims there may become extinct'
01:10:10:20 07:04 01:10:17:24
But the prosecution stops there. They are highly selective
and they don't tell the rest of the story.
01:10:18:20 06:02 01:10:24:22
He continued that speech and he said: "I am not
threatening anyone. Nobody here wants a war"
01:10:25:08 06:02 01:10:31:10
"If there is a war, there will be bloodshed, everybody
will be killing everybody else, there will be chaos."
01:10:31:22 08:01 01:10:39:23
"And in the end we will again have to sit down and talk
and negotiate a peace agreement."
01:10:40:19 04:12 01:10:45:06
And that's what really happened. We went to war, there was
bloodshed and in the end we signed an agreement
01:10:45:13 03:24 01:10:49:12
We ended up with a Bosnia that was very similar
to the one that was proposed before the war.
01:10:49:20 05:10 01:10:55:05
It was called Cutliero's agreement and it was
very similar to the one that ended the war.
01:10:55:11 02:14 01:10:58:00
The only difference is that we had a war in between.
Although Marko is now defending Serb politicians like Karadzic,
while he was still living in Belgrade he was adamantly against
the Serbian regime and especially its leader Slobodan Milosevic.
01:11:41:10 03:09 01:11:44:19
Last night Yugoslavia entered the last stage of its agony.
01:11:46:05 04:10 01:11:50:15
The presidency of Yugoslavia has not been
functioning for a long time now
01:11:51:00 05:05 01:11:56:05
But all illusions about its efforts to rectify
the situation have now been extinguished.
01:12:02:11 02:23 01:12:05:09
I was 15 years old when Yugoslavia broke up.
01:12:06:15 02:03 01:12:08:18
The man in charge was Milosevic.
01:12:09:05 03:22 01:12:13:02
And throughout that decade he just led us
from one disaster to another.
01:12:13:13 02:23 01:12:16:11
He took us to wars, isolation, poverty...
01:12:17:07 01:04 01:12:18:11
It was total chaos.
During the Yugoslav wars Serbia was involved in
conflicts in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
01:12:36:00 02:19 01:12:38:19
Like most of my friends I was adamantly against that regime.
01:12:40:04 06:04 01:12:46:08
We really spent a long time on the streets trying to bring
about change, but we were getting nowhere.
01:12:47:23 02:10 01:12:50:08
In the end I felt I had no choice.
01:12:50:18 02:17 01:12:53:10
I had to get out of that country.
01:12:55:22 07 CAPTION
In the summer of 1999, after 78 days of NATO
bombing of Serbia, Marko emigrated to Holland.
01:13:28:20 06:11 01:13:35:06
So I came here in year 2000 to finish my studies.
01:13:35:18 02:12 01:13:38:05
It took me a while to adjust.
01:13:38:21 08:06 01:13:47:02
I was very conflicted because this was a country that took part in the
bombing of my country and here I was looking to forge my future here.
01:13:47:20 08:02 01:13:55:22
On the other hand, the Dutch also had problems accepting me
because I came here at the worst time when Milosevic was still in power.
01:13:56:12 07:11 01:14:03:23
So people would recoil the moment I told them where I come from.
01:14:04:14 08:24 01:14:13:13
It took them a while to get to know me as a person and realise
that I am not some crazy Serb out to hurt people.
01:14:41:03 04:20 01:14:45:23
I remember when I started working on the Milosevic case.
01:14:46:18 05:00 01:14:51:18
I was on a train reading the indictment and I couldn't
resist calling my parents to tell them how happy I was.
01:14:52:01 03:13 01:14:55:14
Professionally, it was such a privilege to be
working on a case of this magnitude.
01:14:55:18 06:02 01:15:01:20
I remember telling them: “There are 100 million lawyers in the world
and it was me who got the opportunity to work on this case.”
01:15:02:12 05:08 01:15:07:20
I got the chance to learn about what happened first hand.
It was fascinating. I was really happy.
01:15:08:12 03:07 01:15:11:19
But he was the man you were protesting against for 10 years.
01:15:12:09 02:08 01:15:14:17
Human nature is very strange.
01:15:15:00 04:21 01:15:19:21
While I was living in Serbia, I was adamantly
against Milosevic. I wished him all the worst.
01:15:20:15 06:00 01:15:26:15
But when I came here, it all changed. I guess it was because
he was no longer in power, he was the small guy now.
01:15:26:24 09:03 01:15:36:02
I like helping the powerless. I like to fight against the system
when it going against the underdog, no matter who they are.
01:15:37:20 11:14 01:15:49:09
It was as if I had been supporting Milosevic all these years.
No matter who he was, I defended him and his rights with all my heart.
01:15:59:19 03:18 01:16:03:12
Marko, let's have a toast for the first wedding anniversary.
01:16:05:17 03:21 01:16:09:13
- Bravo, Bravo.
- First for my wife.
01:16:11:22 03:11 01:16:15:08
Come on in-laws...Cheers!
Cheers, to our health!
01:16:15:20 02:06 01:16:18:01
I couldn't have chosen better in-laws.
Marko's attitude towards his job was further complicated
when he met his wife Tina who is Slovenian.
In June 1991, Yugoslav army with the support of Slobodan Milosevic,
moved to stop Slovenia from breaking away from Yugoslavia.
01:17:13:13 05:10 01:17:18:23
For us it was the last straw,
when Serbia, led by Milosevic...
01:17:19:15 09:20 01:17:29:10
...took money out of the federal budget without
the permission of other republics.
01:17:36:23 05:05 01:17:42:03
Serbia, and Milosevic, offered a way for the constitutional
crisis to be solved through parliament.
01:17:42:12 03:20 01:17:46:07
He wanted to pass a law which would regulate
the breakup, because under the constitution...
01:17:46:10 04:01 01:17:50:11
...no republic had a right to secede, without
agreement from all the other republics.
01:17:50:19 06:10 01:17:57:04
But that law was never passed, so your secession
was illegal both under Yugoslav law and international law
01:17:57:09 03:22 01:18:01:06
All your decisions should have been made within
the framework of the Yugoslav constitution.
01:18:09:07 06:16 01:18:15:23
Milosevic had a very dominant
personality, he was like Tito.
01:18:16:07 08:08 01:18:24:15
He had such a strong personality. He could have been another Tito,
but he only cared about the interests of one nation.
01:18:25:14 06:08 01:18:31:22
We got scared because he was too powerful and
because he put Serbia before anybody else.
01:18:32:15 06:02 01:18:38:17
I agree with that. I agree that you the Slovenians
and the Croats were afraid of Serbia being too strong.
01:18:39:05 05:06 01:18:44:11
That is why Tito changed the constitution in '74 to
split Serbia between Serbia proper and Kosovo and Vojvodina
01:18:44:17 02:02 01:18:46:19
And all three had a seat on the presidency.
Marko and Tina met while they both worked on
the defence team of Slobodan Milosevic
01:18:54:09 06:19 01:19:01:03
I always brag about the fact that I have a son-in-law from Serbia
68 01:19:01:22 07:21 01:19:09:18
I always joke that every time I call him, I am told
that he is either in prison or in court.
69 01:19:10:01 03:19 01:19:13:20
Everybody looks at me in a strange way wondering
what kind of son-in-law I have?
70 01:19:14:19 06:19 01:19:21:13
To my eyes, what you and the Tribunal are
doing, but especially you...
71 01:19:22:02 08:02 01:19:30:04
...is making sure that everybody has a right to a fair trial.
72 01:19:31:20 10:07 01:19:42:02
Exactly! We are very proud of that. You two met on
the Milosevic case and we were very proud...
73 01:19:42:19 08:22 01:19:51:16
But you have to admit that when we discussed their work
with our friends, we usually cut the discussion short.
74 01:19:52:07 06:08 01:19:58:15
That's because you did not really understand
what we actually do at the Tribunal.
75 01:20:00:21 06:03 01:20:06:24
A friend of mine was perplexed, she was asking me
how can he defend Karadzic? ...
76 01:20:07:02 01:23 01:20:09:00
So what did you say?
77 01:20:09:18 03:07 01:20:13:00
I said... I look at it another way...
78 01:20:13:12 06:19 01:20:20:06
Look, I absolutely do not approve of what happened.
To solve problems by killing people is terrible.
79 01:20:20:18 05:00 01:20:25:18
But these things happen in war. It wasn't so bad
here, but it was much worse elsewhere.
80 01:20:25:24 02:24 01:20:28:23
You have to deal with it.
81 01:20:31:00 12:01 01:20:43:01
Most people don't understand that this is our job, especially
for Tina, she was not there to defend any national interests
82 01:20:43:22 06:13 01:20:50:10
She was there to represent the interests
of her clients because that is her profession.
83 01:20:50:19 03:07 01:20:54:01
But most people then identify you with the client.
84 01:20:54:24 05:03 01:21:00:02
It's not just about defending the rights of an individual.
85 01:21:00:15 05:19 01:21:06:09
You should be guided by the wish to contribute
to the establishing of the truth.
86 01:21:06:18 05:19 01:21:12:12
You help reconstruct the truth, not construe or falsify events.
87 01:21:12:22 05:19 01:21:18:16
You illuminate events and facts in a mosaic that eventually
becomes a clear picture of what really happened
88 01:21:19:09 08:05 01:21:27:14
You can't just let the prosecution emphasize only
certain points. You must help present the whole picture.
89 01:21:28:08 04:10 01:21:32:18
- That is the main thing.
- Yes, that's what you are like.
90 01:21:33:03 06:19 01:21:39:22
And, guided by that principle, I could defend almost anyone.
91 01:21:42:03 05:18 01:21:47:21
- Tomorrow I am going to Sarajevo, so wish me good luck.
- Have a good trip. Say hello to Bosnia.
01:24:34:20 05:17 01:24:40:12
So the direction of fire at Markale was not
the one suggested by the prosecution?
01:24:41:03 04:01 01:24:45:04
No, it was off by 20 degrees.
01:24:45:24 09:12 01:24:55:11
- So they claim that this victim was killed by mortar fire?
- Yes, they say that he was killed by a mortar shell in the 'Markale 2' incident.
01:24:56:13 07:00 01:25:03:13
Unfortunately, in this case, the investigation was very unprofessional.
01:25:03:24 05:10 01:25:09:09
- The investigation by the Bosnian police?
- Yes, but also...
01:25:09:21 05:10 01:25:15:06
- But the prosecution have accepted their findings?
- Unfortunately, that's the case.
01:25:15:24 05:10 01:25:21:09
They have done so despite clear inconsistencies.
in the material evidence on the ground.
01:25:23:07 06:13 01:25:29:20
- You can see that this victim is missing a huge chunk of their body
- And that wasn't caused by...?
01:25:30:00 05:17 01:25:35:17
That wound could not have been caused by
the shrapnel fragments from a mortar shell.
01:25:36:10 11:04 01:25:47:14
That wound could only been caused by the displacement
of a large object like a stone due to an explosion
01:25:48:15 06:07 01:25:54:22
But his wounds were clearly not inflicted here, because
there is almost no blood beneath the body
The Hague, Holland
01:26:26 - I arrived in the Bosnian capital for the first time in July 1993.
01:26:31 - The siege was in its 15th month and the city was under constant sniper and mortar fire.
01:26:37 - Tall building have become skeletons. There was no running water, no electricity , not heating and very little food.
01:26:46 - Many streets carried the same name: 'sniper's alley' and one had to learn how to walk through the city under siege.
01:26:59:16 04:13 01:27:04:04
Today we are interviewing a Russian Colonel from the UN, Demurenko.
01:27:05:11 09:01 01:27:14:12
He is a very important witness because he was a member
of the UN forces in Sarajevo during the war.
01:27:14:22 05:06 01:27:20:03
And he is going to tell a story which is very different
from the one created by the Western media.
01:27:21:05 09:04 01:27:30:09
They have that general story...thousands of shells were falling.
And then I ask them: when, where? Give me specifics.
01:27:30:22 05:00 01:27:35:22
I can't defend a general story.
01:27:36:16 04:11 01:27:41:02
I need concrete examples and then we can establish the facts
01:27:41:24 06:17 01:27:48:16
So the prosecution selected 15-16 sniper incidents
and 19 shelling incidents as a sample.
01:27:49:03 10:18 01:27:59:21
And after we analyse each incident and when our experts
study them in detail, then a different picture begins to emerge.
01:28:00:18 07:03 01:28:07:21
These sample incidents are the biggest problem for the prosecution.
Like Markale which is one of the most important incidents.
01:28:08:04 04:03 01:28:12:07
They have big trouble proving that the Serbs were to blame.
01:28:13:03 05:14 01:28:18:17
But that general story, the shells were falling
every day, I didn't have anything to eat...
01:28:19:01 02:05 01:28:21:06
...how does one defend that?
01:28:26:23 02:24 01:28:29:22
Every war is the same...
01:28:30:08 08:16 01:28:38:24
Like in Yugoslavia...people can live together for years and then somebody
stirs them up and suddenly they start killing each other.
01:28:41 - Colonel, if you'd like to sit in this chair, maybe it's better for you than that chair.
01:28:45 - No problem.
01:28:48 - Colonel is always satisfied, never complicates things…a real soldier still.
01:28:55 - Bravo
01:28-56 - I like it. Friendly atmosphere.
01:29:01 - OK, so if you don't mind let us continue because we have…
01:29:08 - yes, a big list of documents and comments
01:29:15 - OK, the next one is 11th of March and you can see that the total number of serb firings is 12 thousand so much and Bosnian Muslims so much and again this is unknown.
01:29:30 - So there were times when the Bosnian army fired more weapons than the Serbs?
01:29:40 - They fired approximately half and hall, approximately the same.
01:29:42 - Because as I said, usually there was some firing and then answer immediately.
01:29:51 - But you know there were also many reports of the sector Sarajevo which you signed off…
01:29:56 - …which state that the Serbs fired much more, but when you look at it closer it&a