During the last six months the Hague investigators have questioned in Sarajevo tens of individuals for whom they believed that in one way or another they could assist the resolution of the crimes committed in this city. During the spring, in front of their offices in Marindvor, there was as much commotion as in front of an embassy of any western country in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Almost all the individuals who could have information about the events in Sarajevo during the war filed by the investigators, including the Army commander, police officials, judges, prosecutors... Some of them, a rumor has it, before leaving for a questioning said farewell to their families and took along the necessary toiletries and clothing, not expecting to return home very soon. Some of them were questioned for days (prisoner from Zenica, Edin Garaplija was questioned for more than 60 hours!) However, all of them, that is those who dared later admit that they had been questioned by the Hague investigators, were shocked by the amount of information at their disposal in connection with the war-time events and crimes in Sarajevo. In early spring, the city was overcome with the general atmosphere of suspicion and distrust, and even a sort of auctioning regarding who so precisely and thoroughly informed the Hague investigators about the events for which many thought to be under strict domain of a small group of elite politicians, state, military and party officials.
During the first steps taken by the Hague investigators in Sarajevo four years ago, it was believed that they would concentrate only on the crimes committed by Serb murderers during the three-and-a-half-years long siege of the city. Later, it leaked that they were also "drawn" to disgusting murders of civilians (mostly non-Bosniaks in Kazani). But, as time went by, it became increasingly clear that the investigation was following many leads, was very wide ranging and, simply said, was trying to encompass all the crimes and all aspects of those crimes. Murders of Yugoslav People's Army soldiers in the Veliki park, crimes inside private prisons of "rebel" commanders, crimes within medical institutions, political murders carried out by secret police groups directed from the highest state and party institutions - all of that has been during the last several years very precisely, patiently, and professionally observed by the Hague investigators in Sarajevo. No one can hide from that investigation. No one can be peaceful or receive clemency in advance because of his cooperative stance during or after the war. And exactly that can explain increased tension, nervousness, and dejected manner of many individuals in Sarajevo during every investigation cycle of the Hague investigators in Sarajevo.
However, the information that has recently leaked from a source close to the Hague Tribunal will be a true shock for the state authorities as well as for the public; Nedzad Herenda, a member (and most likely the leader) of the secret parapolice unit "Seve", in charge of "internal executions", has not, as it has been claimed for more than two years, secretly and under fake identity left Bosnia-Hercegovina for Australia! He, claim serious sources close to the Tribunal, left Sarajevo under the organization of the Tribunal and is living in one of Western European countries with his family in the status of a protected prosecution witness!? Regardless of how unlikely it was that Australia would offer hospitality to Herenda and his family (even if the fake identity provided by his mentors from Sarajevo was very convincing), now it has been confirmed that the Hague prosecutor's office is very interested in Herenda as a witness in a case against criminals from Sarajevo. It cannot be denied that Herenda (based on his own confession) is one of them, perhaps even the most cruel of them, but it is even less doubtful that Drazen Erdemovic confessed a murder of more than 70 Bosniaks from Srebrenica and that three years after that confession he is now free. Let us remind our readers that Erdemovic was an important witness in the case against General Krstic. As our paper has demonstrated by publishing the interview of the Hague investigators with General Krstic, it is possible that Krstic will be rewarded for his cooperative attitude and be punished by a much shorter prison sentence than for example the one received by General Tihomir Blaskic. Of course, in that case he would have to become the main prosecution witness in the case against Ratko Mladic.
When during the summer of 1996 first information about the abduction of Nedzad Herenda was leaked, including the content of his confession of his crimes, and the arrest of the people who tried to execute him after the questioning, the complete state, party and (secret) police leadership of the state was in session for months, putting together plans to try to get out of the hellish situation in which they found themselves. They did manage to get out of it (or at least that's what they would like to think) by sending those to whom Nedzad Herenda told about the criminal nature of the authorities for which he had worked to spend many years in jail. Therefore, they condemned Garaplija and his companions and thought that the whole affair was over. Then, after a few months Nedzad Ugljen was executed and the plan of all the state officials was to pin the whole blame for the crimes committed by "Seva" on him.
Also, it is not a big secret that the order for a retrial in the case against Edin Garaplija by the Human Rights Court was issued under strong pressure by the chief Hague Tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. All together this constitutes a unique logical and judicial mosaic in which very little is missing. Especially since Herenda after the next testimony about the crimes in Sarajevo knows that he will not end up on his own in a manhole, but perhaps finally safe in Australia!