Dr Ceric: Well, he started to work with us as a very young doctor and we
tried to support him -- we tried to support everybody who is young. And he
talked a lot about his poetry. And we supported him on that. But during the
years we saw that his poetry is not excellent. That it's a very, very
ordinary poetry. But he believed that he is one of the best. He said
sometimes that he is the third [best] poet in the history of Serb poetry. We knew something about the history
of Serb poetry. It's absolutely unbelievable.
Q So in general was this a characteristic of Karadzic -- that he deceived
himself, he had big ideas about himself?
Dr Ceric: Sometimes it was absolutely unbelievable. We thought that he just
had a unique sense of humour, you know. He said, 'I am an excellent poet, I am
an excellent psychotherapist, I am excellent businessman in the communist
system.' At the time we thought it was his unique sense of humour. But now
we are absolutely sure--it's now clear that he believed that he is a great
poet, that he is a great psychotherapist, a great doctor and everything. Just
as he said.
Q: As a psychiatrist how do you describe people who believe these things
Dr Ceric: (Laugh) Well, as a psychiatrist, there are very broad scales of
such kind of -- not disorders but abnormalities . I believe that in this
case, it's that kind of a personality disorders you know, with a little bit
grandiosity in the personality. You know --I am the best, I am
Q: Can you describe some of his characteristics, I mean was he clever? Was
he lazy? Did he work hard? Was he a good psychiatrist?
Dr Ceric: I must say that his psychiatry was ordinary. Not bad, not bad,
but not excellent. He was ordinary. But he is not hard worker, he hasn't
patience to work a lot with the patients you know. Sometimes as a chief of
department where we work, I had problems with his patients. They said to me
that he spoke with those patient very shortly without any interest in the
patient and many times, I had to say to him -- 'take care about those
patients' or something, you know. He tried to find the easy way for
Q And did you like him as a man?
Dr Ceric: Yes I like him because everything was superficial you know. He
wasn't very hard to communicate, talk with. He tried to be sympathetic. He
really tried to be the good colleague and around the clinic, he hadn't an
enemy in the clinic.
But when he started to be the political leader and said some awful things
about the people here, about Bosnia or something you know about the war and
the people don't like him and were very angry with him.
Q How do you describe somebody who turns against his home and against his
former life and tries to destroy it? How can this step be taken?
Dr Ceric: This is a very hard to explain. I try to for six years to explain
what really happened. And he visited many times my own house on the Muslim
holidays-- my mother and my family and was the guest in the family and he
respected this kind of religious holidays. And he said that in his opinion
this is the same as other religion.
And after that he started with heavy artillery to destroy my house and try
to kill my sons who liked him a lot because he was the doctor in some football
club and my younger sons like lots of football. And one of my son very often
went with Radavan and with the other players....And when war started they had
to go to the frontline to fight against him. My sons sometimes, they accuse
me, 'why didn't you recognise that Radovan is the war criminal we know
Q: And what do you say?
Dr Ceric: Sometimes I can say nothing.
Q You told me that fantasy was something that you'd seen earlier in
him..... I mean, he had grandiose ideas about his poetry..grandiose ideas about
Dr Ceric: Mm.
Q: You knew that he had been in prison, for example.
Dr Ceric: Yes, he'd been... One time he came and said--'You work very hard
and you haven't nothing --I haven't any kind of property.' And he said, 'Well
it's time to earn some money, to change, to build the new house or something
you know.' I said, 'Radovan, it's stupid thing, this is a communist system.
It's not time and not place and not system to earn money, to be the
businessman. If you continue with such ideas you'll end up in jail.' And
after one year he really was in jail.
Q: But you allowed him to come back to the clinic.
Dr Ceric: Yes. Because the support and pressure from the association of
writers in the former Yugoslavia, association of the writers from the Bosnia,
the Communist Party, from Bosnians, pressed so hard, not only on me, but on the
General Director of Clinical Centre that after maybe eight months we had to
Q: So Radovan always had friends in high places?
Dr Ceric: Yes. It was surprising that he had so many people pressuring our
General Director of Clinical Centre and pressing me, and sending the letters
asking to help him. .
Q: It seems to me from what you're saying is that he was a friend of the
family, he was a colleague and you liked him. But you didn't really know about
half his life,--
Dr Ceric: Yes, he has many different faces, a lot of different faces He
showed to me and my other colleagues one face, and to other people in other
places another kind of face. Many, very strange faces as we know now--I didn't
know that he enjoyed gambling, I never believe that. But people from
Belgrade who came after the war said to me that he lost huge money in some
casinos in Belgrade.
Q: Do you think he really wanted to be a politician, he really wanted to be
a war lord, or was there some doubt in his mind?
Dr Ceric: I think that he wanted to be a political leader, but I don't believe
that he had the idea to be the main commander of this terrible war, with all
the groups of the paramilitary... But step by step, month by month he became
engaged and believed that he's the big leader, that he's the great
historical leader of the Serbs. And I believe that he now has the idea of
having a place in history for himself-- not as excellent poet but as a war
Q: You told me about the time he telephoned your mother in April
Dr Ceric: Yes. He liked my mother a lot and she liked him and every
holiday he came. And when he was outside Sarajevo he sent a telegram with a
message 'congratulations for the religion holidays' And when the first days
of the war came he called my mother and sent congratulations for the religion
Q: What does this tell you about him do you think?
Dr Ceric: (Sigh) This is absolutely unbelievable. He doesn't live in
reality. At the time there was a joke among our colleagues and our nurses
that one day in the future, it's possible that Radovan would come to the
clinic early in the morning and say, 'Okay I'm back and I'm not guilty of
nothing-- for everything, everyone else is guilty..the Americans or
something..... so how about some tea or coffee.'
Q: Do you think it's possible?
Dr Ceric: Yeah. People believe that that is possible. He hasn't a feeling of
guilt. This is a kind of projection-- that some other people are guilty.
He's not guilty. He had good ideas, the good everything.
Q: So he may just come walking back one day?
Dr. Ceric: That's what people here say.
Q Do think that he is sincere in what he believes?
Dr Ceric: Yes. But he very often changes his ideas, beliefs and sometimes he
forgets what he said one month before about the same thing. And when we say,
'okay you said one month ago this....' he says, 'okay, but everything is
changing, the world is changing. I am an intelligent man because I change my
Q Before you lost contact with him, did you ever talk to him about what he
was saying about Muslims and about the people that he used to live amongst? Did
you ever say-- what are you doing?
Dr Ceric: When he started to become a very hard nationalist he tried to
discuss this with me and I tried to keep a distance with him. But he came in
my room and said, 'okay, have you a little bit of time to discuss and he said,
you know, I'm in position that I must fight for the political goals of my
party, of my people' and I said, 'I'm so surprised and I don't believe that
it's a good for your people and for everybody here and this is a way to
And I asked him, 'what is your political ideology, your program?' He said,
'Well, you know we believe that Isetbegovic wants to establish here an Islamic
country.' And I said, 'Maybe the president wants to do something, but the
people don't. And he said 'Okay, I believe that when the Muslims have the
majority, this will become Islamic country and we can't live in Islamic
country or something like that.'
And after that I insisted, 'What is your political ideology, what is the
political program?' Every party, every political movement has a kind of
ideology. He never said anything to me except that. And that was the reason
for the war, the reason for destroying the country, that was the reason for
200,000 killed.. This is the reason for the poverty here, not only in the
territory of the federation, but in the whole territory in Bosnia and
Herzegovenia, especially the Serb side. And I said to him in the end,
everything will be on your neck. And he smiled. He didn't believe that. He
believed that he was untouchable.
Q: Is he an honest man?
Dr Ceric: No. He has a thousand different faces. It' s not characteristic of
an honest man (laugh).
Q: Is he a brave man?
Dr Ceric: No, it's a good question. I remember an incident. He was very tall
and strong, and in psychiatry there are sometimes problems with aggressive
patients. And once one of our psychopathic patient came with a knife on the
ward. And Radovan went into his room and closed the door. And this guy
destroyed the glass. And Radovan stayed in the room, and one very young nurse
went in the hall and said to this guy, 'Please, come here and give me the
knife' and after that I said, 'Don't talk to me now about the brave history
of Montenegro and everything, I must be careful with you--because Delvira,
(this is the name of the nurse) is not present at every dangerous moment.'
Q: Is he capable of cruelty?
Dr Ceric: I don't know that. I don't believe that. He had many times some
psychosomatic problems and he suffers a lot -- you know, he has some kind of
pain and he was so unhappy and depressive because of that. He looks like a
strong man, but really he has a lot of psychosomatic problems, neurotic
symptoms and he's changing from season to season. From the springtime and
in the autumn he was depressive with this... and during the summer and winter
he was stable and little bit , sometimes euphoric.
Q So he had a sort of personality disorder?
Dr Ceric: I believe that.
Dr Ceric: No. Personality disorders are not treatable. We can help in some way
but it is not a disorder, it's a kind of abnormality you know. What does it
mean this traumatic abnormality? Well, there are some people who are tall,
some short, some fat, have big foot --you can't change that.
Q Nobody recognised what he would become?
Dr Ceric: Yes, nobody. And we must remember to be careful with the so-called
normal people --sympathetic and normal people --who sometimes say some strange
things. Be careful with those people.
Q Can you forgive him for what he did?
Dr Ceric: Definitely no. He destroyed not only this country, he destroyed my
life. I lost the best part of my life. I lost my property, he destroyed my car
in front of the clinic. I lost my money and money of my wife. And my sons
spent four years in the trenches. Why?
Q: Do you feel in any sense a sense of revenge?
Dr Ceric: No. I don't believe in revenge. I believe in the international
criminal tribunal in The Hague, not revenge. Why kill him? We must stop such
kind of revenge, they must all go to the Hague and stand in front of other
people, to see what really happened.
Q And if he did go to the Hague and was put on trial, would that have a big
psychological impact do you think in the country?
Dr Ceric: Yes, I believe the process of reconciliation is very important
process after the war. Without an honest real trial under international
accords, we can't start with this process.
Q: And would it be something special for Karadzic to be on trial?
Dr Ceric: Yes, it's important for people to see that you can't do something
without punishment. He believed that with the money he earned during the
war--as I have read in the newspaper--that he can live the rest of his life on
Caribbean islands or in some nice place in Africa. That is impossible. For
everybody it is impossible and for Radovan too, he must go and be punished
for what he did.