HRVATSKA RIJEC: Were you surprised by the initiated prosecution of Fikret Abdic?
DJEDOVIC: That prosecution did not surprise me or anyone else in the Democratic People's Union (DNZ), nor the people who are aware of the attempts of one faction in the SDA and the secret service AID, starting with the first multiparty elections in Bosnia. These attempts escalated with time, and their final goal was to send Fikret Abdic to the Hague. Unable to achieve their ultimate goal, they decided to opt for a lesser evil and organize a trial in Sarajevo. When even that could not be arranged, they demanded a trial in Croatia. Therefore, that is obviously a policy that has been consistently implemented for already ten years with the clear goal of elimination of Fikret Abdic from the political life and Bosnia-Hercegovina in general.
Could you tell us more about this faction in the SDA?
They are members of the radical faction in the SDA. Izetbegovic and everyone connected to the Cengic family.
Do you believe that the court in Karlovac will be unbiased? What about other courts in Croatia?
I personally, and we in the DNZ, have several times pointed out, while there were tensions regarding the trial of Abdic, that he should be tried in Croatia. The documentation should be turned over to the Croatian judiciary and they should try him. We said that because we are convinced that the Croatian judiciary will follow the letter of the law, and such a trial, we are convinced, will lead to the acquittal of Fikret Abdic on all charges.
To what extent does this trial resembles the one against you, in Sarajevo?
There are obvious similarities, I could say huge similarities. Indictments in both cases were forged and are of political nature. Unfortunately I had to spend three years in prison to prove that, and Fikret Abdic has been in jail for already three months. We shall see how all that will eventually turn out. However, we are convinced that this trial will have the same final outcome as the trial against me. The producer is the same, the editors are the same, the rules are the same and the goal is identical. I was tried as the first representative of the DNZ who summoned enough strength, or rather courage, to set foot in Sarajevo. That had to be punished at all cost. Their goal was not the elimination of me as an individual, but as the chief secretary of the DNZ and the president of the club of representatives of the DNZ in the Federation BH Parliament; of course Fikret Abdic is the president of the DNZ and the connection is more than obvious.
The Association of Camp Inmates of Bosnia-Hercegovina has announced presentation of new evidence and testimony by a new witness that are supposed to prove the responsibility of Fikret Abdic for crimes. They also claim that that evidence will present opportunity to bring new charges against you. Would you care to comment?
There's nothing to comment on. There is no question that those events took place in 1993, 1994 and 1995. There is no question that the whole AID made enormous efforts, together with structures patronized by the SDA, including the media, to prove the alleged guilt. There is no question that they strived to produce and forge evidence after the war, with only one goal, the elimination of individuals from the political life and their moral and every other discreditation and destruction. The trial against me went on for three years, I spent three years in prison. They changed the indictment seven times, they changed it, added new charges, did all they could think of. They can try to produce new evidence. I can only say that my conscience is clear. I spent time in prison and I proved my innocence. The verdict of the Supreme Court says that Ibrahim Djedovic acted and demanded from others to act highly humanely and lawfully. The fact that someone does not like that and cannot come to terms with it is not my problem. I cannot predict their ability to falsify new evidence at this point.
According to some sources, the Hague Tribunal has again shown interest in the "Abdic case". Do you believe that Abdic could in the end be tried in the Hague, instead of in Karlovac?
I doubt that, but I am not surprised by the fact that they are spending a lot of energy to prove the alleged guilt of Fikret Abdic. If they invested at least half as much energy in the improvement of daily life, economy and on the process of reconciliation in Bosnia-Hercegovina, all of us would have been much better off at this point. The Hague Tribunal, at least according to the information at my disposal, has stated its view regarding the Abdic case. Even after Abdic was taken into custody, the Tribunal stated that it hadn't evaluated the offered evidence. The axis working on that, Alija Izetbegovic-Sead Hodzic-Vasvija Vidovic, is the axis which, excluding Izetbegovic, tried Abdic in 1987, during "Agrokomerc affair". This is all based on personal animosity. Consequently, I am convinced that the Hague Tribunal will be able to recognize that.
You've announced that many senior military and political officials of the former Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina will testify for the defense in the trial against Fikret Abdic. What are their testimonies supposed to prove?
We'd rather not discuss names at this point, but according to what we know, their testimony should prove that Fikret Abdic acted totally contrary to what he is charged with in the indictment. Namely, his support for Bosnia-Hercegovina as a state of equal nations, attempts to reach a solution through negotiations, as well as his humanitarian role during that period of time, both in the Bihac region and all of Bosnia-Hercegovina.
At one point it was announced that evidence of crimes against supporters of autonomy in Bosnian Krajina was being collected. How far have you gone in that process and who will be incriminated by that evidence?
I do not know whether the public is aware of that but, for already two-three years, a local news magazine published in Una-Sana canton, Prezent, has been publishing in every issue testimonies of individuals who survived Calvary during the unfortunate clashes in Krajina. If we lived in a state with a shred of rule of law, at least 10-20 indictments would have been produced by now based on those testimonies. Unfortunately, since we live in the state where the basic role of the authorities is to exact revenge against others, and our own crimes are swept under the carpet, some time will have to pass until the Bosnian public hears about what really happened in this region. The whole top leadership of the SDA participated in the crimes against the supporters of the autonomy, including Izetbegovic, of course with honorable exceptions.
What will happen with "Agrokomerc"? Were the plans of small stock holders crushed when Abdic was taken into custody?
The arrest of Fikret Abdic does not change the plans of stockholders. On October 5 the Human Rights Court will issue the final verdict regarding the fate of small stockholders of "Agrokomerc". We are convinced that that verdict will be favorable for us and that that property will be returned to be managed by the people who created that property. Signals we have been receiving from the OSCE expert team and the expert team of the Human Rights Court confirm our expectations.
You've supported the Alliance for Changes. Are you satisfied with what this political group has done since taking power in the Federation BH?
We did support the Alliance, but only because we had to chose the lesser evil. The SDA is the only alternative to the Alliance, and we know what we went through during their rule. There was no other choice. We are not a part of the Alliance. We believe that the Alliance as a collection of different political parties, with different programs and goals, cannot function for a long time. Therefore, we are not satisfied, but in the situation when on one side we have the Alliance and on the other the SDA, we shall for very obvious reasons support the Alliance.