Nikola Gardovic, a Serb, was the first civilian war victim to be killed in Sarajevo. He was the father of the groom in a Serbian wedding party that was attacked by Muslims in Sarajevo on March 1, 1992
Eyewitnesses identified Gardovic’s killer as Ramiz Delalic “Celo”, the commander of a notorious Muslim “Green Beret” paramilitary unit based in Sarajevo.
In spite of warrants issued for his arrest by the Bosnian Interior Ministry, Delalic was appointed by the Muslim authorities to the command of the Stari Grad police department in Sarajevo. He was also appointed to the command of the 3rd Mountain Brigade and the 9th Motorized Brigade of the Bosnian-Muslim Army
Delalic clearly had a mandate from his superiors to carry out the killing; otherwise they wouldn’t have put him in charge of their police and appointed him to command positions in their military.
One could certainly speculate that the Muslim objective in murdering Gardovic was to provoke a violent Serbian reaction that they could use as an alibi to accuse the Serbs of precipitating the fighting in Sarajevo.
Prior to it’s secession in 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of Yugoslavia. Muslim paramilitaries in Sarajevo attacked Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) soldiers in their barracks and they attacked them while they were trying to leave Sarajevo.
On May 3, 1992, Muslim Green Berets massacred a column of JNA soldiers on Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo while they were attempting to withdraw from Bosnian territory. The attack was all the more insidious because the Muslims launched the attack after they promised to let the soldiers pass peacefully
On May 28, 1992, as the JNA was attempting to pull the last of its troops out of Bosnia, Muslim paramilitaries attacked JNA soldiers based in the Jusuf Dzonlic barracks and the Marshal Tito barracks in Sarajevo.
The so-called “Siege” began as an operation to rescue JNA soldiers being held captive by Muslim paramilitaries in the Marshal Tito barracks.
Summary of the July 8, 2010 Hearing In The Radovan Karadzic Trial
The trial of Radovan Karadzic resumed on the 8th of July with the continued testimony of Momcilo Mandic. Mandic was the assistant minister of interior for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1991 until April 1992. After the outbreak of the conflict, Mr. Mandic was, for a short period, served as a deputy to Mr. Mico Stanisic for the Serbian Ministry of the Interior, before becoming the minister of justice for Republika Srpska on 12 May 1992. From December 1992 to 1994, Mr. Mandic served as the director of the Bureau of Republika Srpska in Belgrade.
Sarajevo Wedding Party Murder Condoned By Muslim Police Karadzic began his cross-examination by showing the witness minutes from a session of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina held on March 2, 1992. The presidency was discussing the murder of the father of the bridegroom at a wedding party because he was carrying a Serb flag in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Bascarsija. Karadzic also showed the witness exhibit D385, which was a police report on the crime.
Mandic told the court about the incident saying, "We, from the Crime Prevention Service that I headed, knew who the perpetrator was, Delalic, Rasim, and that he was in a house at Bistrik. However, we were not in a position to arrest him or to take any measures because the Patriotic League and the reserve police force were guarding him. The reserve police from Stari Grad Police Station, headed by Dahic, Ismet, at that point they had between 600 and 1,000 men. Of course, all of them were ethnic Muslims, and that was a major problem."Karadzic asked the witness, "Do you remember that the killer was treated as a hero and that he appeared very soon on television to explain why he had killed that member of the wedding party?" Mandic responded, "Yes, he was invited to a TV show."As a result of the killing, and subsequent protection of the killer by the Muslim police, Serbs in Sarajevo erected barricades.
Karadzic showed the witness testimony by former Bosnian interior minister, Alija Delimustafic where he says the barricades in Sarajevo were erected during the night between the 1st and 2nd of March 1992 by "people dissatisfied with the killing of the wedding party member". Karazic asked, "Did it ever cross our minds that the barricades had been set up because of the referendum, or were they set up because of that killing of the member of the wedding party?" The witness replied, "There was no doubt in anyone's mind that it was all done over the killing of the bride's father in Bascarsija."
Karadzic noted that, "Prosecution witnesses here have contended that the barricades were erected as our response to the referendum, although this was an all-Bosnia referendum, and this was not the case. There were no barricades elsewhere; only in Sarajevo."(Bosnian Independence Referendum Unlawful) Karadzic asked the witness, "Do you remember that the people's decision at the referendum was never verified at the session of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as required under the Constitution?" The witness replied, "Under the Constitution, to change the social order of the republic, two-thirds of the population should have voted in favor of that. That is 66 point something per cent. "According to the results published by the two sides, the turn-out at the referendum had been 64 per cent of the population, so that that legal provision was not met and the referendum could, therefore, not have been constitutionally legal."
He said that the results of the referendum, "had not been tabled on the agenda of the Assembly for verification" and he agreed with Karadzic's suggestion that "the results of the referendum should have been verified at the Assembly session by the Assembly and proclaimed by also a two-thirds majority of all the MPs."
Izetbegovic Regime Declared War On The Yugoslav People's Army Karadzic showed the witness a document of the BH Presidency (exhibit D392) dated April 4, 1992. The document stated: "The Presidency of the SR BH, at its session held today on the 4th of April, 1992, bearing in mind the complexity of the political and security situation in the republic, concluded:
"1. That in keeping with the decision of the SR BH Presidency of the 3rd of April, 1992, and its own assessment, a mobilisation be carried out of the territorial defence units of all the municipalities and the city of Sarajevo in the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including communications units.
"2. That it will demand from the responsible organs of the Yugoslav People's Army that the weapons, military equipment and other materiel and technical equipment that were entrusted to them for safekeeping be returned to territorial defence units - municipal and district BH TO staffs.
"3. That a mobilisation be carried out of the entire reserve force of the SR BH police, in keeping with the earlier decisions of the Presidency and Government of the SR BH."Karadzic asked the witness, "Do you remember that the Serbian part of the Presidency disputed this mobilisation?" And the witness confirmed that "the Serbian members of the Presidency did not participate in these conclusions." Karadzic asked, "Was this a frightening decision for the entire Serbian people?" And Mandic replied, "It was obvious that Bosnia and Herzegovina was collapsing as a result of all these events, and there was no understanding to be found between members of the government and the Presidency. And under partisan pressure and by importing people from other countries, they tore up the MUP. And I mean the Party of Democratic Action did it."
Mandic confirmed Karadzic's suggestion that "before this mobilisation, an unlawful increase was made to the reserve police force by taking over the unassigned military conscripts, Croats and Muslims, who had not responded to JNA mobilisation call."Mandic also told the court that, "Sefer Halilovic, an active-duty JNA officer, in the summer of 1991 began to establish and established paramilitary formations called the Patriotic League."Karadzic asked the witness who the target of the forces being amassed by the Muslims was, and Mandic replied, "The Serbs, Mr. President."
Karadzic showed the witness a document (exhibit D393) from the Bosnian Presidency, four days after they ordered the mobilization, in which they fired the joint chiefs of the Territorial Defense staff: Drago Vukosavljevic, a Serb, and Fikret Jahic, a Muslim, and replaced them with Colonel Hasan Efendic, a Muslim. Mandic told the court that "Hasan Efendic proclaimed the JNA to be an enemy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He issued an order to mount obstacles on the roads, to seize JNA weapons, and all the rest that followed."Karadzic showed the witness a document (exhibit D399) and after examining the document the witness said, "This is an order by the commander of the Territorial Defence Staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which he asks that all the barracks of the Yugoslav People's Army be blocked and that no materiel or personnel can leave; also, that all roads leading to Serbia or other territories should be blocked and in order to prevent the pullout of the army from the barracks and from specific places. Under 4, combat activities should be launched, attacks on members of the Yugoslav People's Army. In other words, a war should be started."
Karadzic also showed the witness a couple of documents (exhibits D401 and D402) showing the illegal importation of weapons from Arab countries by the Bosnian-Muslim authorities during April of 1992.The witness agreed with Karadzic's suggestion that "All of these orders and these actions, primarily of Hasan Efendic, naturally resulted in what happened on the 2nd and 3rd of May in Sarajevo, when the army was slaughtered?"Mandic told the court, "The order to use all available fire-arms against the convoy that was moving down Dobrovoljacka Street was issued by Ejub Ganic. I heard it myself. That is when about 20 young men, age 19 to 21, were killed. They were military conscripts, doing their regular military service. They worked at the command and the communications centre there, and they were going home unarmed. "
The attack happened after their evacuation had been negotiated and agreed upon with Alija Izetbegovic and General MacKenzie, the UNPROFOR commander for Sarajevo.Karadzic then turned his attention to a recording (exhibit D403) of a Bosnian Presidency session dated May 6, 1992. Bosnian Interior Minister Alija Delimustafic is speaking and he says, "Both we and his ministry made mistakes, like what Bakir did or like (assistant interior minister) Avdo Hebib, what he did, when he ordered the war to start, people to open fire, occupy barracks. He sent an order to all centres without my knowledge. He declared war. I told him to make a statement in order to observe proper form. He never came to see me again. He doesn't speak to me anymore."
Alija Izetbegovic asks, "What did he do?"Delimustafic responds, "He declared war on the army. Four points. Signed the dispatch." At this point Stjepan Kljujic interjects saying, "We have finished the recording. Don't record this." But it got recorded anyway.
A complete transcript of this hearing is available at:
The Bosnian Serbs wanted to maintain peace with an equal compromise. Here is a statement that Morillon made upon his arrival in Bosnia (1992) as the UN commander; “Mr. Milosevic, according to what I remember, from the very first days we met the parliament of Bosnia, and there was a speech by General Nambiar who said, ‘We are here to calm your fears. I am an Indian general, I am here with my head of the cabinet, a Pakistani, then there’s also a French general and a German diplomat. We are here to show you reconciliation is always possible.’ And this was a moving moment, because in response to this speech, a Serb got up, and he said, ‘I am a Serb, and next to me I have a Muslim. He’s my brother. And I don’t see how one day we could be confronted against one another.’”
In other words, there was no need for the Bosnian civil war.
On April 8, 1992, spurred on by the US government, there was a declaration of war by the Bosnian Muslim faction. The civil war in Bosnia then started.
Milosevic asked Morillon: “Did the Serbs kill anyone in that period? Do you have a single example that you could mention?” Morillon said that he did not know. There were “rumours” at the time that he heard about. Morillon conceded, however, that the civil war started in Bosnia with attacks against the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) by the Bosnian Muslim faction.
When did the real siege of Sarajevo start? Morillon replied: “I believe this was on the 2nd of May, 1992, after the command and recruits of the JNA were surrounded in the Marshal Tito barracks and the JNA attempted to pull out.” First the JNA was placed under siege and “then the siege of Sarajevo was actually in response to that.”
Milsoevic queried Morillon: “Is that right, General?” Morillon: “Initially, yes…” The siege of Sarajevo was a “provoked reaction.”
The first attack in Sarajevo occurred when Bosnian Muslim troops killed Yugoslav National Army (JNA) soldiers who were withdrawing from the city following an agreement to do so. The Bosnian Muslim forces attacked a JNA military column in Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo as it was withdrawing. Several JNA soldiers were brutally murdered and their bodies burned and mutilated in these attacks. Their blackened, disfigured, and charred bodies lined the streets.
They had been ambushed and murdered for no other reason than because they were ethnic Serbs and Orthodox Christians. There had been an agreement for the withdrawal of the troops, which agreement the Muslim faction violated. This was a cold-blooded, premeditated massacre or provocative murder of JNA solders who were withdrawing to Yugoslavia.
It was a criminal act, it was murder. But the US government and media never condemned this Muslim crime, this Muslim massacre of Serbs. The so-called Western media did not even cover it. Milosevic asked Morillon: “Do you remember that?” Morillon replied: “Yes…there was a massacre.”