1 Monday, 4 February 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You may sit down. Thank you.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you call the case, please. Thank you.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is case number
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, everybody, and we start with the
10 usual routine. Is there anything wrong, Mr. Brdjanin?
11 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
12 Everything is fine.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I did not have a translation.
14 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
15 Everything is fine.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Is everything okay?
17 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning. Everything
18 is fine, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And you are understanding me, I presume, in a
20 language you understand?
21 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] I can hear you and I
22 understand you. Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And General Talic, can you hear me in a language you
24 can understand?
25 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Good
1 morning. I can hear you and I understand you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances. Prosecution.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours. My
4 name is Cayley. I appear on behalf of the Prosecutor. If I can introduce
5 you this morning to Nicholas Koumjian who will be leading the next
6 witness, and our case manager today is Ms. Ruth Karper.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome. Appearances for the Defence of
8 Mr. Brdjanin.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman.
10 I'm here with my co-counsel Milka Maglov and legal assistant Tania
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for General Talic.
13 MR. De ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. de Roux, I'm assisted by
14 Natasha Fauveau and Fabien Masson.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. de Roux, last week, as you already know, we
16 did not have the pleasure of your presence and that of your co-counsel
17 Mr. Pitron. It is unfortunate that this Chamber was not given an
18 explanation for your absence, something that we would have expected as a
19 matter of courtesy, apart from the fact that we all agree here that you
20 owe an explanation in any case. The same applies to Mr. Pitron, of
21 course. But what is of more concern to this Trial Chamber is that when it
22 sought the -- not exactly the consent but the advice of your client to see
23 what was his reaction to the fact that his lead counsel and co-counsel
24 were not present in the courtroom, he informed the Trial Chamber that he
25 himself had not been made aware of the reasons for your absence.
1 This Trial Chamber has no doubt that you had a very valid reason,
2 both of you, for being absent from this Chamber, but also you have
3 responsibilities under the brief that you have been trusted with by this
4 Tribunal, and I would suppose that you have some sort of explanation to
5 give to this Trial Chamber now.
6 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm going to ask the
7 Trial Chamber to accept my apologies for this incident, but I would like
8 to remind you that first of all, I personally was kept in Paris for a
9 certain number of medical check-ups, which will happen again. Mr. Pitron
10 was kept at the Court in Aix-en-Provence. He was involved in a very
11 important case which relates to something that exploded, and this had been
12 set a long time ago, and, obviously, he was not able to avoid this.
13 But I would like to say the Defence wasn't absent since
14 Ms. Fauveau was present for the Defence. Natasha Fauveau -- Ms. Natasha
15 Fauveau is well acquainted with the situation. She knows the case very
16 well, and I would say that she knows it in greatest detail, because first
17 of all, she has been working full time on it for over two years now; and
18 secondly, she sees this case not only in its translated versions but in
19 the original, in her original language, because she speaks this language
20 fluently, Serbo-Croat. It's her mother tongue. So she can read the
21 dossiers, the cases in the originals, and pay attention to all the
23 I think that Defence counsel was present and present in a very
24 efficient manner for General Talic during the hearings of last week. And
25 I don't think that the Defence counsel has failed in any way.
1 Now, I would like to remind you that I was first appointed by
2 General Talic. I defended him until July, until last July and I was
3 assigned by the Tribunal. I intend to provide the best possible defence
4 to General Talic within the limits of the budget that the Tribunal has
5 allocated to me, and I really think that Defence has not failed for
6 General Talic.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. de Roux, the abilities and capacities of your
8 colleague, Ms. Fauveau, in defending General Talic are not in dispute.
9 What is in dispute is her role as one of General Talic's official counsel
10 here. She is not on record one of his counsel. You are the lead counsel
11 that has been assigned by this Tribunal, and Mr. Pitron is your
12 co-counsel. And that is the situation.
13 General Talic may stand up at any given moment and protest to this
14 Trial Chamber that he is not represented by the counsel that have been
15 assigned to him, irrespective of how much your assistant Ms. Fauveau is
16 capable of defending him. That was not ever in question. It was made
17 very clear to General Talic during last week. And this Trial Chamber
18 commended all the efforts that were made by Ms. Fauveau in defending your
19 client. She did excellently, given the circumstances. But still this
20 Trial Chamber is making it very clear, you have responsibilities according
21 to the brief that has been given to you by this Tribunal, and it is the
22 responsibility also of this Trial Chamber to see to it that General Talic
23 is defended in accordance with what has been provided as defence
24 facilities for him by this Tribunal. And that, I suppose, brings the
25 matter to an end. I demand that in future, whatever the cause you say -
1 and I have no reason to doubt it that you had a personal medical reason
2 which kept you away from this Trial Chamber last week. The thing is it
3 could happen to everyone - but a simple note or a simple communication via
4 the Registry to this Trial Chamber would have made things easier and we
5 would have appreciated as a sign of courtesy, something I insisted upon on
6 the very first day of this trial.
7 Thank you. You may sit down now.
8 So before we start with the first witness, are there any
9 preliminaries that -- or house management procedural matters that you
10 would like to raise?
11 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cayley.
13 MR. CAYLEY: In respect of the collection of documents which is
14 called the Banja Luka collection, which is the first four binders that
15 Your Honours have, in accordance with what was stated last week, my
16 colleagues from the Defence, Mr. Ackerman, Ms. Fauveau, have provided to
17 the Prosecution a List of Documents which are in dispute, which are
18 objected to.
19 Mr. Mazhar Inayat, the police officer who if you'll recall last
20 week gave evidence in respect of the origin of documents in the Donia
21 collection is waiting outside to give evidence in respect of these
22 documents. But I've made a suggestion to Mr. Ackerman and Ms. Fauveau
23 that perhaps a more efficient way of dealing with this is if it is dealt
24 with at the Status Conference on Wednesday, because we are simply
25 addressing the question of whether these documents are admissible into
1 evidence, the first question, and the test that Your Honour laid down last
2 week, which is for -- essentially for the Prosecution to identify the
3 origin of the document. Now, we can call in Mr. Inayat to do that in
4 respect of 70 or 80 documents, but we're going to be here most of the
5 morning doing that, so we can either deal with it at the Status Conference
6 on Wednesday, in front of Mr. Von Heble, and he can report to the Trial
7 Chamber and then you can be satisfied yourselves on the origin of the
8 documents. Or we can simply provide Your Honours with a list of the
9 documents, identify on that list those that the Defence object to, you can
10 see in our explanation column where the documents come from, and then you
11 can decide whether or not there is sufficient provenance to accept that
12 they are admissible. That does not in any way affect, obviously, the
13 objections that Mr. Ackerman or Ms. Fauveau have to these documents. It
14 is simply a question of immediate admission into evidence.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, what is your reaction to Mr. Cayley's
16 practical suggestion?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, which one would you prefer to start
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I think maybe there's even an easier way. We
21 have -- I think the Trial Chamber may not have it -- I think maybe you do
22 have it -- a list of these Banja Luka documents that has on it the
23 identification of the source of the document.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I have it.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Which was the sole purpose of the testimony of
1 Mr. Inayat last week, to tell us what that source was. We now have that
2 on the documents, so there's, in my mind, no need for Mr. Inayat to sit
3 here and tell what you say the document says. We can read it ourselves
4 much quicker than he can talk about it.
5 We have objected to the authenticity of a fairly small number of
6 the documents, when looking at the total amount, of documents as we did
7 before that do not have a stamp and a signature and on occasion for some
8 other reasons we're concerned about the source of some of the documents,
9 even though there is a -- an identified source. We're not convinced that
10 that source is reliable. For instance, documents that come from those
11 sources that are adversaries to our clients, may not be totally reliable
12 sources, so we're concerned about that.
13 It seems to me that now that you have been given in writing all
14 the information that Mr. Inayat would have given you had he testified,
15 that all that's left to be done is for you to look at the documents that
16 we are suggesting should not be admitted because of their lack of
17 authenticity and make the same kind of decision that you made last week
18 with regard to them, whether or not you will allow them to come before you
19 in spite of our authenticity objections. That will save both talking
20 about them at the Status Conference and all of us sitting here listening
21 to Mr. Inayat.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It would still -- it would still require, according
23 to me, the presence of Mr. Inayat to at least confirm the correctness and
24 completeness of the document itself. In other words, that we would still
25 insist upon and -- even for the tranquility of our minds, if it is a
1 document which purports to shed information on the possible source and
2 also reliability and authenticity of documents, at least he should confirm
3 the totality and the completeness of the basic list, basic document.
4 And I would suppose you would agree to that, Mr. Cayley?
5 MR. CAYLEY: Of course, Mr. President. I mean, my understanding
6 from the previous practice is that as far as admission is concerned, all
7 Your Honours require is some offering by the Prosecution on where this
8 document actually comes from.
9 The question of authenticity, which is linked to the probative
10 value of the document, is of course a matter that you will consider
11 further in your deliberations.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: But the thing, before I give the floor to
13 Mr. de Roux, now, having put our cards on the table last week, and I did
14 what I did precisely on purpose, to show you how it would go if we chose
15 one way and once chosen that way what other possible ways were open to us,
16 which would definitely have saved us a lot of time and which would have
17 been much more practical than the one we opted for.
18 As it is, the end result of that experiment is that we now have
19 adopted a system whereby we have a list of all the documents together with
20 the description of the source, which has already prompted, at least from
21 the Defence of Mr. Brdjanin, a response indicating which documents are
22 objected to.
23 I will now ask Mr. de Roux, obviously, to see what is the reaction
24 of the Defence for General Talic. If it is more or less the same, then
25 the part open to us is very simple. With regard to the documents that are
1 not being contested, the confirmation upon a solemn declaration by
2 Mr. Inayat en bloc of all those documents would be sufficient, and he
3 doesn't have to go, as he did last week, through each and every one of
4 these documents and say this was -- he would be confirming the totality of
5 those documents en bloc.
6 As far as the others are concerned, then he would also be asked to
7 confirm what is indicated in the basic document with the basic right of
8 the Defence to put to Mr. Inayat any questions relating to that particular
9 source or relating to that particular document, directed questions that
10 are solely directed towards establishing on a prime facie basis and
11 initially whether there is a sufficient indicia of reliability on which
12 this Tribunal, this Trial Chamber, can move ahead.
13 So I think on this understanding, I can now ask Mr. de Roux for
14 his comments.
15 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I agree completely
16 with what my colleague Ackerman said, and I think -- and I understand the
17 Court's reasons. I think there are two problems concerning the
18 documents. First of all, there are documents which haven't been signed,
19 which haven't been authenticated by General Talic, which might bear his
20 name, his typewritten name, but his signature isn't there. Then there are
21 documents, the source of which could, in the Defence's view, be a priori
22 suspect. These were the documents which were provided afterwards by the
23 authorities in Sarajevo. We are perfectly well aware how in a conflict of
24 this nature information or disinformation could be disseminated. So the
25 documents that come from adverse sources are obviously documents for us
1 which are not reliable, not very reliable.
2 As far as the block of documents for which there is no discussion,
3 I totally understand the Court's reason, and I don't see any reason for
4 not admitting them en bloc.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: But still the whole point is this: that in order for
6 this exercise to have sense and provide us with at least a terrain on
7 which we can move with relative ease and smoothly and expeditiously, the
8 Prosecution and more so -- even more so this Trial Chamber would require
9 from both of you - I understand Mr. Ackerman has already done this - a
10 clear indication as to which documents are being contested. If you leave
11 it open, as you did last week, saying, "All documents which do not bear
12 the signature of my client or which are purported to be his" -- at the end
13 of the day what happened last week was that there were some of these
14 documents which a priori had been excluded by you as being obviously not
15 authentic and non-reliable and which, in the course of the pleadings and
16 in the course of the evidence, had that objection withdrawn.
17 I mean -- so what I would recommend is, first, that this matter,
18 if you are in agreement, will be brought up, dealt with in Wednesday's
19 Status Conference. That is my suggestion which I take from what
20 Mr. Cayley has himself suggested.
21 And I will stop here for a moment and ask both Defence teams if
22 you are agreeable to this.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, if I could just interrupt you for a
24 moment. In fact, the Defence counsel for General Talic have provided us
25 with a list.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You have it already.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. de Roux has been very helpful indeed on this
3 matter. So --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: My apologies if I -- I was not informed of that. So
5 whatever I said is retracted, and we can move ahead from there.
6 Would Wednesday's Status Conference be, according to you, the
7 ideal forum where this matter will be threshed. I'm using a very
8 colloquial term, but it will be discussed, debated between you, in the
9 presence of the Senior Legal Officer.
10 Mr. Ackerman?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, that would be fine. Two things. The Trial
12 Chamber should know that the counsel for General Talic and I worked
13 together through these documents so that we would have a joint document to
14 provide the Prosecutor.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: That's very good.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: The second thing is that, yes, we can handle this
17 Wednesday in the Status Conference. I'm wondering if -- the Chamber has
18 indicated, in any event, they wanted to hear some testimony from
19 Mr. Inayat. I'm wondering how you might want that to occur and when we
20 might do that. Beyond that, I'm agreeable with doing it that way.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, to put it to you very simply, we will
22 go through the list ourselves, particularly addressing our attention to
23 the documents that have been objected. Initially, I wouldn't expect us to
24 waste much time going through the other documents if they are not objected
25 to because eventually these will be the subject of our attention later on
1 in due course when it's needed.
2 We will have a close look, on a prima facie basis, at these
3 documents, take stock of the substance of your objection - and when I say
4 "your," it's also of General Talic's defence - see the nature of the
5 indication of the information that is forthcoming from the face of the
6 document itself and from Mr. Inayat's list.
7 If it's the case of addressing some questions to Mr. Inayat, then
8 of course this Tribunal will work in that direction. If it's not, we'll
9 leave it at that. I mean, I will ask Mr. Inayat to confirm the list en
10 bloc, and of course reserving to you, both Defence teams, the right to
11 cross-examine him on any documents that you deem necessary. I mean, this
12 option is -- not option, this is a right which will never -- you will
13 never be deprived of. So you may rest assured that Mr. Inayat would still
14 be required to come here, honour us with his presence and give some
15 evidence with the understanding that from -- I don't know what the
16 Prosecution will do, but from the Trial Chamber's point of view, there
17 will be very little questions asked, if any, but you will always have the
18 right to cross-examine Mr. Inayat on any documents that you are objecting
19 to or disputing.
20 Mr. de Roux.
21 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] That's fine, Mr. President. I think
22 that this is a matter of proceeding, which is all right. I agree with
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose it's all right with you as well,
25 Mr. Cayley.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. CAYLEY: It's perfect, Mr. President. In a sense, from what
2 you've said, I don't know whether there is any purpose in dealing with it
3 at the Status Conference, because Mr. Inayat will have to give evidence
4 for the reasons that you have already stated, so -- but I think that can
5 be done later in the week, because this next witness is not going to be --
6 my understanding he's not going to be referring to any documents which are
7 in that particular collection.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That actually was going to be my first question to
9 you this morning after I asked whether there were any preliminaries. Over
10 the weekend, I read all the statements made by this witness that had been
11 made available to me, and particularly with the most recent of these
12 statements, the ones that refer to the interviews that took place between
13 the 26th and the 29th of August, but also in previous statements. There
14 is an almost continuous reference to some basic documents. They have
15 your, I would say, ERN number or your -- I don't know. They have a
16 reference number, which for this Trial Chamber, over the weekend with the
17 basic documents being here and not in our respective residences, is very
18 difficult to follow. So perhaps you could enlighten us on this issue.
19 Which documents are these, whether they have already been admitted in
20 evidence on the legal basis explained to you earlier on this week, or
21 whether these are documents which will be exhibited by the witness himself
22 and which, therefore, will need to be admitted in evidence.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I'll let Mr. Koumjian explain with
24 precision since it's his witness, but my understanding is that these are
25 documents that the witness himself will exhibit in the proceedings, but
1 I'll let Mr. Koumjian speak to you on this.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose before I give your colleague the floor
3 that they have been disclosed.
4 MR. CAYLEY: They have been, Mr. President, yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: When?
6 MR. CAYLEY: I will find out the date for you, but they will have
7 been disclosed with the witness statements. But I will get a date on that
8 for you if you wish.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So, yes, you have the floor. Thank you. Put the
10 microphone on, please. I think it's off.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, the documents
12 I planned to use in the direct examination, which is a very small amount
13 of the documents referred to in the statements, I believe most of those
14 were documents either obtained directly from Mr. Krzic, the witness, or
15 documents which he will testify to having either written or seen or faxed
16 himself, because some of these were faxed to the Bosnian embassy in
17 Washington or the Bosnian mission at the United Nations in New York.
18 There are, though, a couple of other documents I see on the list
19 that I planned to use during the direct examination, two of those, and
20 those would be disclosure numbers -- I do have the disclosure numbers for
21 those. That's 4.1237 and 4.2139. They were part of the Banja Luka
22 collection. I believe these were taken from the -- they're reports
23 written from the security section. And the another document is a
24 newspaper article which was disclosed under document 5.25.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, are these documents -- and
1 Mr. de Roux, are these documents in your possession and readily
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, after a great deal of effort, yes, we
4 were able to find the documents. The problem was that the list given us
5 by the Prosecutor only refers to the ERN numbers.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. I mean, that's --
7 MR. ACKERMAN: And neither one of us filed the documents using
8 those numbers.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's my problem as well.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: And the disclosure numbers would have been a much
11 easier way for us to find them, but fortunately we, with a great deal of
12 effort at least at my office we were finally able to located each of them
13 and get them in a binder. So I think we have them all now.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. de Roux?
15 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] It's exactly the same problem which
16 the Defence of General Talic has to face.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And the next question that I wanted to address to
18 the Prosecution is that in this witness's statement, particularly the most
19 recent of these statements, there is a reference to his book. And he
20 refers as he goes along in his statement to various passages from this
21 book by page and also by phrases. The Chamber is not in possession of
22 this book. I wonder what your reaction to this -- to this is.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, the Prosecution did translate a
24 portion of this book --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And it is in --
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: In English.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But the book was written in Serbo-Croat. No?
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: In B/C/S, yes. And I believe 81 -- 82 pages have
4 been translated. If Your Honours would appreciate that, we can give a
5 copy of the Court.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Have the Defence been supplied with a copy of the
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. They were all part -- this document, the
9 book, was a part of disclosure 7.99, which was a disclosure on this
10 witness, I think it's called. I see it -- on my copy it's labelled
11 "Attachment 2." And the other documents -- and I apologise if - I guess
12 it's a lesson learned from me - if I didn't provide those disclosure
13 numbers to counsel. I believe all the other documents were also under
14 disclosure number 7.99. They may have attachment numbers which I didn't
15 include in the list provide to the Defence. But I've learned my lesson.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. de Roux?
17 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you have spoken the
18 words I wished to say. Curiously enough, the witness refers to his own
19 testimonies, and the documents are testimonies that refer to a book that
20 he wrote, and we haven't got the entire copy, the integral copy, which is
21 quite strange. And we would like to have the book in its totality be
22 given to us because the book itself relies on other documents which we
23 could not use the system of indirect evidence because the testimony relies
24 on the book, and we would like to have it.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, the book was published. I don't know how
2 available it is now. I don't have a copy of the entire book, but I know
3 the witness does. We could possibly get a photocopy in B/C/S.
4 This is, to my knowledge, the first time that at least I have
5 heard of the request from the Defence for the entire book. And obviously,
6 a translation of that at this moment is not going to be possible. But we
7 have translated and disclosed quite a while ago the first 82 pages.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, the Chamber is not asking you to translate the
9 book. And you have confirmed that you have translated the parts from the
10 book that the witness obviously will be make reference to.
11 The thing is this: That last week, precisely, we had a witness
12 who was -- referred to a book written by two historians or experts on the
13 situation in -- on what happened in the territory of the former
14 Yugoslavia. And he was asked on parts, specific parts, from that book.
15 The question arose then whether that book should be available. And in
16 actual fact, in the course of the re-examination by the Prosecution,
17 further parts from that book, further extracts, actually, almost an entire
18 chapter, was photocopied from that book, brought forward, and
19 re-examination was based on the rest of that book. So more or less now I
20 think you should, Mr. Koumjian you should know why I brought this up. It
21 may well be important for the Defence to go through the rest of that book,
22 just as your colleague Mr. Cayley did, in regard to the other book that we
23 used during Dr. Donia's evidence last week. So let's not make an issue
24 out of it. If it is possible to have in the course of the day someone
25 photocopy this book, please do give it.
1 The Tribunal itself does not need a copy in B/C/S, which is a
2 language that we don't understand. But at least it should be in the
3 records of this particular case. It should be there. And that would be
4 the copy that the Prosecution would have provided the Tribunal with. As
5 far as our personal needs are concerned, it's going to be of very little
6 use, except, of course, if we need to have it here and someone will be
7 translating bits and piece of it, which I don't think will be the case.
8 But I think that brings the matter to an end, and we can move from there.
9 So Mr. Cayley, shall we call your -- the witness does not enjoy or
10 has not asked for any protective measures. No?
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: That's correct.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So we can proceed by asking the Registry to bring in
13 Mr. Muharem Krzic, please.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I believe your microphone might be on
15 and we might be hearing your conference. At least I was hearing you. You
16 probably didn't mean for me to.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krzic, you're going to be asked to make a solemn
20 declaration by the registrar. Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: MUHAREM KRZIC
24 JUDGE AGIUS: You may sit down.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, Mr. Krzic, before the process of questioning
2 commences, I would like to just give you some basic information. We are
3 the three Judges composing this Trial Chamber.
4 To your right is the team of the Prosecution -- for the
5 Prosecution. And the first person, the one nearest to you will be the
6 counsel that will be directing questions to you in chief.
7 To your left, there are two rows. The first row consists of the
8 Defence team for Mr. Brdjanin. At the back, there is the Defence team for
9 General Talic.
10 The accused are --
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, a moment, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: May I ask that the Trial Chamber not identify the
14 accused, since this could become an issue with regard to the testimony.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You are right.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And here right in front of us is the team composing
18 the Registry.
19 Now, you will be asked questions first by the Prosecution and
20 afterwards by the Defence on cross-examination. I would imagine that this
21 process will last a few days. If at any given moment you feel tired or
22 you need a break, please do not hesitate to request -- request it from the
23 Trial Chamber.
24 Yes, Mr. Koumjian, please.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examined by Mr. Koumjian:
2 Q. Mr. Krzic, just to remind you -- I know that we've spoken of this
3 before, but I know that you speak enough English that you're going to
4 understand most of the questions I ask in English. I remind you to wait
5 for the translation and to pause after you've heard the entire translation
6 just a moment, a few seconds, and then to give your answer entirely in
7 your own language. Thank you.
8 Sir, during the period of this indictment, which is April the 1st
9 to December the 31st of 1992, where did you live?
10 A. I lived in Banja Luka, in the area of Hijseta [phoen]. This is
11 the part going towards Jajace, about 2 and a half kilometres from the town
12 centre. Is that enough?
13 Q. Yes, thank you. Sir, during this period of time, were you the
14 president of the political party the SDA in Banja Luka?
15 A. Yes --
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour.
17 A. Yes, I was.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I think Mr. Koumjian was probably not here when you
20 talked about leading questions. That was pretty dramatically --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: This is harmless. I mean, if the question would
22 have been do you have -- were you engaged in political activity, in what
23 capacity, and the answer would have been just the same. You know, I mean,
24 so I will admit that direct question.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand. I'm just pointing out that he wasn't
1 here when you set the ground rules regarding that and may not know --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But from his pronunciation, I understand he comes
3 from a jurisdiction where he knows very well what a direct question is and
4 how he should avoid it. But this is a direct question that could be
6 Please go ahead.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: I did read the transcript of Your Honour's advice
8 and also noted Your Honour indicated that there would be exceptions on
9 matters to expedite the trial.
10 Q. Sir, during this time period, did you work to promote a particular
11 vision for your country, a political future for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. Yes, I did. I was one of the founders of the SDA in Banja Luka.
13 I was the first secretary and the first president elected by secret ballot
14 at the end of 1991. I -- through my political activity, I tried to
15 promote political ideas and the political statutory provisions of my
16 party. But these political determinants were with the normal positions of
17 law, democratic law, from all points of view and human rights. So I'm
18 glad to say that in that respect, our political views were in compliance
19 with general human rights.
20 Q. During that period of time, did you work to support or oppose the
21 policies of the authorities in Banja Luka at that time, those being
22 members of the SDS?
23 A. In the first period, the period of democratic change following the
24 fall of communism, the informal downfall, I would say, because the
25 political parties took part in the elections, the left wing parties
1 participated in the elections, in B and H political parties were reflected
2 in three parties, the SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ, the parties that had some
3 joint aspirations. And there was no reason, given the democratic
4 aspirations, there was no reasons for them not to be supported by all.
5 I'm speaking about the early period when there was general consensus in
6 respect of the democratic options within the frameworks of B and H as a
7 republic and then as a state, an independent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. I'm sorry. I didn't make myself clear. But this question is now
9 dealing with the period of the conflict. And I will go back in a little
10 while to the pre-conflict period.
11 During the period of the conflict from April through the end of
12 1992, this period of the conflict, did you work at that time to oppose the
13 authorities in power in Banja Luka?
14 A. Could you -- well, I didn't quite understand at the beginning what
15 you were asking me, but now I understand the question. Not only in that
16 period but also in earlier periods, we were in a situation where we had to
17 oppose the generally publicised views of the SDS party. The positions of
18 that party were in collusion not only with the agreement that we had
19 signed between coalition partners, but it was also at odds with overall
20 human democratic legal principles in many of their segments. Of course we
21 had to be critical towards these views and then to oppose them. As time
22 went by, the positions in the case of the SDS party, they became
23 increasingly centred on single-minded -- the SDS single mindedness that
24 took no account of not only the coalition agreements but did not take into
25 account or consideration any other political views and options. Of course
1 I can explain this further, but I think it would be enough for the
3 Q. Sir, can you just tell the Trial Chamber now some of the methods
4 that you used during this time period to oppose the authorities in power
5 in Banja Luka.
6 A. Well, basically and principally, we opposed the views in a
7 political fashion, political action, in other words, public political
8 action, action within society, through the media, through the press, by
9 writing, action within the parliament of the municipality of Banja Luka,
10 and action within the parliament of the Assembly of B and H through our
11 representative. This was basically political resistance, very clear,
12 transparent, and based on arguments.
13 Q. You indicated that part of your methods were contact with
14 outsiders, including the media. Was that limited to media within your
15 country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or did you also meet with foreigners?
16 A. Of course, our predominant contact were with the domestic media,
17 the media from the former Yugoslavia, because their representatives were
18 present in Banja Luka. But as the political and security situation
19 exacerbated, there was never greater presence of foreign correspondents,
20 representatives of the foreign media. And the whole relationship,
21 attitude towards the foreign media was natural. We were very present in
22 this campaign. And the domestic mass media were under the influence of
23 the SDS. So we were unable to openly state our views without being
25 I forgot to say through this, in our political activities and
1 through our opposition and resistance, a very important activity of ours
2 was geared to foreign representatives, representatives of the European
3 Community who were present in Banja Luka for a period of time. These were
4 contacts also with foreign diplomats and representatives of foreign
5 states, American senators, for instance, and representatives of different
6 embassies. Through these contacts, I must also mention the co-presidents
7 of the Security Council, Mr. Owen and Mr. Vance.
8 And as regards the position in Banja Luka, and more broadly
9 speaking, which I will explain later on, were aimed at informing the world
10 of the situation that prevailed in that area and with our positions in
11 regard to that situation. In other words, we were to some extent forced
12 to have our information reach the world, the democratic world, and in that
13 sense we established all sorts of contacts, in writing also, with the
14 outside world, representatives of the UN, and of different foreign
16 Q. Thank you. In addition to informing the world about what was
17 going on, you mentioned the word "resistance." Did your resistance
18 efforts also include clandestinely providing information that would be of
19 assistance to your government about events in Banja Luka area?
20 A. As regards what I've told you about the contacts that we had with
21 foreign media and foreign representatives constituted also another form of
22 process, a normal process which came into existence with the overall
23 democratisation process in the former Yugoslavia, including Banja Luka and
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So throughout that period of time before and after
25 the elections, there was no specific need to hide such contacts or talks
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 or to try and represent them in any other way to the foreign media. But
2 we did begin at one in -- point in time to hide information. And the
3 reason for that was the security situation in Banja Luka.
4 At one point in time, that is on the 4th of April, 1992, Banja
5 Luka was occupied and any resistance towards the regime was life
6 threatening and very dangerous, especially for prominent members of
7 political parties. Therefore, we were forced to find appropriate ways to
8 present the information about what was going on and what we were doing
9 about it and to have this information reach foreign media and foreign
10 representatives, because at the same time there was a very strong
11 propaganda by the SDS party which endeavoured to hide and conceal the
12 terror that was going on at the time or to misinterpret it, misrepresent
13 it, and explain it through some other means and to ignore other political
14 parties, including their views and positions, because at the time, those
15 positions were actually reflected by us who were representatives of our
17 As for the ways we tried to present various types of information,
18 I can speak about that at length if you're interested in details.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you proceed. It's a very useful
20 piece of advice that this Trial Chamber is duty-bound to give you as a
21 witness, is that in the course of the examination-in-chief and also in the
22 course of any cross-examination, should you be asked any questions which
23 would entail, if you give a proper answer to them, would entail that you
24 might be exposing yourself to criminal proceedings either in your own
25 country or elsewhere, you are at liberty to ask the Trial Chamber not to
1 answer those questions. In other words, in the course of your evidence,
2 you cannot be forced in any way to make statements that may expose you to
3 any criminal proceedings. So please go ahead.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN:
5 Q. Mr. Krzic, in 1996 --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN:
8 Q. Mr. Krzic, in 1996 did you publish a book entitled "Crimes Against
9 the Banja Luka Krajina, 1992 to 1994"?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Sir, can you tell us the year and the place of your birth?
12 A. I was born on the 19th of December, 1940, in Maglaj, Central
14 Q. What is your religion?
15 A. Islam is my religion.
16 Q. Can you briefly tell the Trial Chamber what your education was?
17 A. Let me start with high school, which I completed in Banja Luka. I
18 obtained a degree from -- in Zagreb from the University of Zagreb. I am a
19 veterinarian by profession. I also did my master's degree in Sarajevo,
20 and I underwent a couple of specialisations, one of them, for example, in
21 Denmark. So -- and that would be my educational background in a
23 Q. Sorry to regress for a moment, but you indicated that you were
24 born in Central Bosnia. When did your family move to Banja Luka?
25 A. My family lived in Banja Luka for a while during the Second World
1 War, and at one point in time, we moved to Maglaj and Zavidovici. And I
2 think it was in 1952 that we went back to Banja Luka. And I began my
3 studies in 1959 in Zagreb.
4 Q. After completing your education, can you briefly tell the Court
5 what your professional experience was?
6 A. I spent several years as veterinarian practitioner. I started
7 working in Maglaj after I completed my military service. And then in
8 Banja Luka, I was an associate at the so-called reproduction centre. And
9 then I moved to the veterinarian station in Banja Luka where, in 1975, I
10 believe, I became the director, the chief of the centre, and I was in
11 charge of several departments of that centre. And I was involved -- I
12 also -- I was a lecturer at the University of Banja Luka. I had a course
13 entitled "By Chemistry of Meat."
14 For a couple of years I worked for the pharmacological institute
15 in Zagreb, Pliva, and it was while I was working there that the aggression
17 And then in January 1994, I started working for the Ministry of
18 Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, first as a Charges D'Affaires
19 at the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in London. In October 1994, I
20 became the head of the consulate of our mission in Oslo, and since October
21 2000, I have been working as an advisor at the Bosnian embassy in
22 Washington until present.
23 Q. So you're currently employed as a diplomat at the Bosnian embassy
24 in Washington, DC, in the United States; is that correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Please remind me of the year, but I believe there was an
2 earthquake sometime in the 1980s in Banja Luka. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes. In 1969 and once again in 1970. There were two earthquakes
4 in Banja Luka.
5 Q. Following one of these earthquakes, did you perform some volunteer
7 A. Yes. I really worked as a volunteer because the work had actually
8 nothing to do with my profession. In those very difficult days following
9 this disaster, I did my best to help people, to provide as much assistance
10 as I could in my local neighbourhood and then also beyond with another
11 group of young men. I was young at the time.
12 And the following day, that is, after the earthquake, for example,
13 I went to the former JNA cultural centre where there was a warehouse full
14 of equipment such as ground sheets, blankets, and so on and so forth.
15 Although there were still lots of aftershocks going on, we took this
16 equipment, took this material and distributed it to those in need. And we
17 helped the wounded reach the tents where some makeshift hospitals were
19 I think it was recognised and appreciated by local authorities who
20 contacted me after the disaster.
21 There was another thing that was helpful and that was the fact
22 that I owned a vehicle, a very small vehicle, which I used to transport
23 this equipment but also to try and transport people to safe places such as
24 yards and some other outdoor localities where it was safe.
25 Q. You mentioned that some authorities -- I believe you said local
1 authorities noticed your volunteer work. Were those members -- at that
2 time would they have been members of the Communist Party?
3 A. Yes. Speaking of local authorities, local organisations and
4 personalities, everything was under the control of the Communist Party,
5 but not only in a negative way, because in those days the Communist Party
6 sought to find and organise people who meant something within the local
8 The group who came to contact me actually consisted of war
9 veterans from the Second World War. And after several contacts, they
10 asked me to join the Communist Party, but at that time I did not yet
11 become a member. However, they wanted my involvement in a number of
12 social activities, which was quite an honour for me at the time being a
13 young man. But I didn't in any way believe that such an involvement would
14 be contrary to any humanistic principles, anything that I believed in.
15 And that's indeed what happened.
16 So these people came to my house. Actually, we were living in a
17 tent in those days. So amidst this destruction, which to a certain extent
18 resembled consequences of a war, it was quite an honour to be noticed
19 by -- by someone like that.
20 So shortly after that, they nominated me for the local deputy, the
21 deputy in the local government. I think I was the youngest deputy at that
22 time. I was elected through a secret ballot. There were two candidates.
23 But it was only in the next round, in the second round, that I got the
24 sufficient number of votes to become -- to become a deputy.
25 Q. Did you join then the Communist Party, and if so, for what period
1 of time were you a member?
2 A. Frankly, I cannot remember when that was. Probably several months
3 after those events. But at any rate, while I was doing my military
4 service, I was not yet a member of the Communist Party. I stayed with the
5 Communist Party until 1978, 1980, I believe. When I left the party, it
6 was not out of protest. I simply stopped attending its meetings.
7 However, that did not affect my activity within the society. I
8 was a very active member of the Red Cross in Banja Luka, and for a while I
9 was also the head of the Banja Luka department of the Red Cross, the
10 Centar 2 department. I was also the secretary of the municipal
11 organisation of the Socialist Party, that is, the Communist Party, the
12 Communist League.
13 And I left the party at one point in time, and I had my reasons
14 for that. If you're interested to -- in hearing them, I can tell you
15 about them also.
16 Q. Tell us, briefly, your reasons for leaving the Communist Party.
17 A. You see, I come originally from a partisan family, and our idea of
18 the Communist Party was that of an equitable, honest organisation,
19 respectful of various ethnicities and religions. However, many of these
20 things did not actually exist within the party. But on the other hand,
21 those mistakes, those errors, were not so prominent as to affect in a
22 major way the future of the society.
23 But when Marsal Tito got old and when this generation who fought
24 the Nazis during the Second World War got old, this cosmopolitan spirit
25 within the Communist League weakened, and in my opinion, the prevailing
1 spirit became that of Greater Yugoslav spirit. When I say that, I refer
2 mainly to the ideas of the so-called Greater Serbia.
3 This became very apparent in late 1970s, between 1970s and 1980s.
4 I don't know whether the case of Banja Luka was more prominent in that
5 respect or not. However, the overall atmosphere became rather disgusting,
6 if I may put it that way. We started feeling this greater Serbian
7 influence, and we were disappointed with this fact. We simply did not
8 believe that such a thing could happen. And that was mainly the reason
9 why I felt that I should leave the party.
10 Q. Did you remain inactive in politics, inactive, during the 1980s?
11 A. Yes, I did. I was inactive until the first multiparty elections
12 took place. But even then, I would have perhaps remained inactive had it
13 not been for the circumstances that made me become interested once again
14 in the political reality. I realised that I was in a position to make my
15 contribution to the democratic process in the former Yugoslavia, including
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a peaceful way. That was my motive, my wish.
17 But my fellow citizens of Banja Luka also expressed their wish to have me
18 become active once again, and that prompted me to become involved in
19 politics once again.
20 Q. Going back to the 1980s, or remaining there for a moment, you
21 indicated that you did some work for the Red Cross in Banja Luka. Was the
22 Red Cross a multi-ethnic organisation? In other words, did all
23 nationalities participate in it, and was the aid -- the people there that
24 helped, did they consist of all nationalities?
25 A. The Red Cross was an organisation at the level of the former
1 Yugoslavia which had its local departments, or rather, branch offices.
2 And by virtue of circumstances, I became a volunteer in the Centar 2 Red
3 Cross organisation. That was the local branch of the Red Cross in Banja
4 Luka. I participated in a number of volunteer activities, such as
5 fund-raising during holidays or giving lectures about the Red Cross, the
6 kind of work which is typical of the Red Cross organisation everywhere
7 else in the world.
8 I was awarded a golden medal at one point in time. This kind of
9 award was given at the level of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 So I was given this gold medal for my work for the local Red Cross
12 It was a multi-ethnic organisation, I must say. Quite a few of
13 its members were also members of the Communist League, but many of them
14 were not. The Red Cross also counted among its members a number of
15 religious people, and it was a very -- it was a very flexible organisation
16 in that respect. However, when I started working at Pliva, my activities
17 somewhat decreased, because I had to travel a lot throughout Bosnia and
19 Q. Can you explain to us the circumstances under which you became the
20 President of the SDA in Banja Luka.
21 A. The whole thing started rather spontaneously. Several prominent
22 personalities came to visit Banja Luka, including people such as Muhamed
23 Filipovic, Adil Zulfirkarpasic, who were quite famous figures, together
24 with several others, who were viewed as very democratic persons who cared
25 about the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a specific entity, which was
1 recognised as such within the former Yugoslavia. So those were the first
2 encounters which led us to believe that soon Bosnia and Herzegovina would
3 see formation of a number of political parties, democratic political
4 parties. But we also realised as early as then that it would be quite
5 difficult to organise a political party which would have a similar profile
6 as the former Communist League, and people apprehended that -- that to a
7 certain extent.
8 Such meetings, such encounters - and I'm talking about those first
9 encounters - were rather intellectual in their spirit. And they consisted
10 of a number of very fruitful discussions as to what should be done, what
11 needs to be done. And I have described them in great detail in my book.
12 This group of people consisted of a number of different persons
13 with different views, but no one thought that we should be divided along
14 national or other ethnic lines in Bosnia and Herzegovina. No one ever
15 mentioned any ethnic division in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those
16 discussions were conducted amongst various ethnic groups in Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina. But at the same time, we also realised that people started
18 gathering along ethnic lines. When those parties were established, they
19 were initially advocating these multi-ethnic ideas.
20 So I happened to find myself in these events, but there were a lot
21 of people who were not mature enough, politically speaking, and some
22 people in general thought that I had enough experience and that I should
23 become active politically. So that was the reason why I decided to help.
24 I don't know whether you intend to bring this up later on, but I
25 have to say that as far as the SDA is concerned, at the beginning it even
1 counted a dozen or so Serbs or Croats as its members.
2 Q. Can you tell us when you were elected the President of the SDA for
3 Banja Luka.
4 A. Frankly speaking, the exact date escapes me at the moment, but I
5 know that it was towards the end of 1991. It may have been in October.
6 But I'm really sorry, I'm unable to tell you the exact date at this
8 Q. So from approximately October of 1991 until what date? How long
9 did you remain the President of the SDA for Banja Luka?
10 A. Officially and legally speaking, had it not been for the
11 aggression and the subsequent events, I was the president of the party
12 until the next assembly was convened. I don't know exactly when that
13 happened, but I believe that it was sometime in 1994. I don't remember
14 the exact date. It was until that time that I was the President of the
16 Several members of the Executive Council of the SDA in Banja Luka
17 and some of the deputies of the SDA of Banja Luka convened a meeting in
18 Sarajevo. And during that meeting, the leadership of the party was
19 entrusted with a different person. Whereas in Banja Luka, after I was
20 expelled from Banja Luka, it was Smail Djuzef who became the president of
21 the party. And formally speaking, he remained in Banja Luka to lead the
22 Banja Luka branch of the SDA, formally speaking.
23 Q. Perhaps just one more question before the break. Mr. Krzic, you
24 mentioned leaving Banja Luka. When was it that you left Banja Luka, and
25 where did you go?
1 A. I left Banja Luka sometime in November 1993, some 20 days after my
2 release from prison. And it was through the auspices of the UNHCR that I
3 was able to leave Banja Luka. At that time I was injured, and I requested
4 the permission to leave Banja Luka. However, without the assistance of
5 the UNHCR, it would have been impossible for me to leave town. There were
6 a lot of games surrounding my permission which would be given to me at one
7 point in time but then revoked the week -- the following week. But
8 finally, the vehicle that took me out was driven by Mr. Luigi Gentile, who
9 was the officer in charge of the UNHCR in Banja Luka at the time, and he
10 actually transported me to Zagreb in November 1993.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We will break for 20 minutes, resuming the
12 sitting at ten to 11.00. In the meantime, the witness will remain, of
13 course, in the same position.
14 We will continue -- we will continue your evidence after the
15 hearing is resumed. I thank you.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Please be seated. Bring the witness in again,
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, while the witness is on his way in, I
21 would just like to inform the Court that I was informed by the always
22 efficient Ms. Richterova, one of our trial counsels, that the book of
23 Dr. Krzic was disclosed to the Defence in its entirety in B/C/S on the
24 20th of April of last year, and we also provided counsel with another copy
1 MR. ACKERMAN: We never contended it wasn't supplied in B/C/S.
2 It's the English translation that hasn't been supplied. And as a
3 statement of the witness, the Rules tend to require that, I think.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just to clarify --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, I mean, let's be sensible. If we were
6 to expect that every book that a witness will be referring to which is in
7 Serbo-Croat or B/C/S needs to be translated, even if there is one page
8 that is going to be referred to during a testimony, I mean, you will not
9 have the Trial Chamber behind you in that, definitely not.
10 So where is the witness?
11 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I certainly was not requesting,
13 suggesting that any book that he refers to needs to be completely
14 translated. I was only talking about his own writings. That's what I was
15 referring to.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll come that when it's the case.
17 Mr. Krzic, you're going to continue giving evidence upon the same
18 solemn declaration that you entered at the beginning of this morning's
20 Yes, Mr. Koumjian, please.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN:
22 Q. Mr. Krzic, we talked about Banja Luka, and I'd like you to briefly
23 provide the Judges of this Trial Chamber a little background about that
24 municipality. When you say you're President of Banja Luka, do you mean
25 the city or municipality? President of the SDA.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Of course I mean the municipality. Would you like me to give you
2 a description, provide more information? I haven't understood you well.
3 Q. Banja Luka is the name of both the municipality and a city --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Sorry.
6 Q. Banja Luka is the name of both a municipality and a city; is that
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Were you the President of the SDA for the municipality of Banja
11 A. I was. The municipality of Banja Luka, yes.
12 Q. And can you describe for the Judges what the municipality of Banja
13 Luka consisted of? Were there many cities? Were there villages? Just a
14 brief description of that municipality.
15 A. Apart from the urban centre itself in Banja Luka, which
16 represented a compact part of the town, it had within its municipality
17 tens of villages. And it should be pointed out that the Banja Luka
18 municipality was one of the most extensive territorial municipalities in
19 the former Yugoslavia. There were about ten villages there. I don't know
20 the exact number, but perhaps it exceeded 50. It also had -- if we are
21 talking about villages, it exceeded 50, but it also had local communes,
22 village local communes, and these local communes are smaller municipal
23 units of self-management, if I am expressing myself correctly, which
24 was -- which were also territorial units which encompassed -- encompassed
25 or could encompass one or several villages depending on the size.
1 The local commune Ivanjska, Brozani Majdan were particularly
2 prominent in this sense. Misin Han, Karanovic, and others. But the local
3 communes also existed within the city, the town itself. We spoke about
4 parts of the town, but these parts, these areas, also had their social and
5 political communities, as they're called. So the municipality is at a
6 higher level of these associations. Local communes are a lower
7 organisational unit.
8 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how the various nationalities were
9 mixed within the municipality were mixed and if there was a difference
10 between mixing of nationalities within the city and outlying villages?
11 A. Banja Luka is -- the municipality of Banja Luka is a multinational
12 one; it always has been. But the internal distribution of the population
13 underwent greater or lesser modifications. The greatest changes occurred
14 from turmoje [phoen]. How do you say that in English? Such as wars --
15 turmoils, such as wars.
16 Banja Luka underwent certain national changes, especially when we
17 are speaking about the city, the town, which had always had a majority
18 Bosnian population, Bosniak population. This majority gradually waned
19 through wars and also because of the weather and because of earthquakes;
20 in 1969, for example. Furthermore, the distribution of the population,
21 the structure in the town was also influenced by the formation of a
22 military base in Banja Luka, which I think was the biggest or one of the
23 biggest ones in the former Yugoslavia, because with this military base --
24 many officers came because of this military base. There were several
25 thousand men with their families, and we knew that the composition of this
1 Banja Luka corps was -- it was composed of a single nationality.
2 Banja Luka is multinational. The city is multinational. But we
3 must say that certain areas were predominantly populated by one or another
4 nation, by one or another people. It is characteristic of Banja Luka that
5 the village population tended to be Serb; they were members of the Serbian
6 population. There were fewer Croats. And there were very few Bosniaks in
7 the village areas; we are talking about four or five villages at the
9 However -- I'm thinking about the communist regime. The relation
10 between the people -- the peoples was not that marked in society. It was
11 not that visible. Conflicts between the peoples up until a certain time,
12 until the influence of the old communist sector waned, these conflicts
13 were not noticeable. Any violation of relations between people were
14 punished, quite severely. The activity of our political parties and of
15 the SDA, we functioned in such an environment. Banja Luka had about --
16 the municipality of Banja Luka, about 180, 190,000 people. I believe that
17 you are aware of the census of 1991. And if you would like to see what
18 the relation was prior to that date, then the census will support what I
19 have just been saying.
20 It's true there were certain -- it was noticed that when great
21 changes took place, caused in this case by an earthquake, in such events,
22 there was a -- there were slight national modifications, disturbances.
23 People would come to Banja Luka. They were attracted to the city by the
24 financial conditions there, the finances for the reconstruction of the
25 city. This also -- this does not only involve reconstruction but also the
1 extension of the city and the establishment of industry. So the arrival
2 of people into an urban surroundings entailed certain changes, which took
3 place among the population of Banja Luka.
4 Q. Thank you. If I could ask you -- I appreciate all of the
5 information you provide, but if you can try to limit your answers to the
6 shortest answer possible to give a complete answer to the question, and
7 then if we need additional information, we will ask you for additional
9 Can you tell us, sir, whether Banja Luka had any importance in the
10 region as an industrial or educational centre.
11 A. Of course. By the nature of things, Banja Luka has always had its
12 importance, historical and economic, political importance, within the new
13 communist Yugoslavia. It was very strong in economic terms. And it
14 was -- it had a very strong educational influence. Though it was a
15 university centre, it had about ten departments, some of which were very
16 important, such as the medical faculty. In addition, Banja Luka had very
17 strong industry and very varied industry which was developing, and it
18 created many new jobs. So as a result, it became a centre which attracted
19 the work force or the intellectuals.
20 Students in Banja Luka who studied there, they had greater --
21 better possibilities of finding employment. So some people from other
22 republics, not just Bosnia-Herzegovina, tried to find employment in Banja
23 Luka, and they succeeded in doing this. As a result, Banja Luka really
24 became a fluctuating -- a changing economic and political and cultural
25 centre in that part of Bosanska Krajina. Bosanska Krajina was often mixed
1 in a narrow and in a -- in a more -- in a larger sense. I'm talking about
2 this larger sense. So it was a natural economic centre, Banja Luka.
3 Q. In 1990, did you have an illness that forced you to leave Banja
4 Luka for a period of time?
5 A. Just before the elections, I had to have an operation, to leave
6 for an operation. I went to Belgrade, and I was absent for almost a
7 month, I think, so that I wasn't a candidate for the representative post,
8 for the post of deputies, at no level whatsoever. I returned from this
9 hospitalisation when the elections had actually started, so I was able to
10 observe these elections and participate in the control of the elections.
11 Q. Following the elections, can you give us a brief list of the
12 positions that you held within the SDA party in Banja Luka.
13 A. I was the first secretary of the party, elected at the first
14 elections -- in the first elections. I was then elected as one of the
15 deputy presidents. The elections were held within the -- one of the main
16 committees of the party because it was necessary to replace the first
17 leader, Hamza Mujagic -- Dr. Hamza Mujagic who led the party at a
18 certain -- when there was a certain political conflict between the MBO
19 party and the SDA. He moved -- he transferred to the MBO party. And in
20 that vacuum, we had to find a replacement very rapidly. And when these
21 changes were taking place, I was one of the deputy presidents of the party
22 until 1991 -- the end of 1991, when I was elected as president of the
24 I was also a member of the regional committee of the SDA party for
25 the Bosanska Krajina region. I was a member -- I was also a member of the
1 Main Committee of the SDA, of the SDA central branch, so to speak.
2 Q. You mentioned the MBO party. Was that the party founded by
3 Mr. Muhamed Filipovic, who you had mentioned earlier was involved in early
4 discussions of the political life in Banja Luka?
5 A. That's right. Mr. Filipovic was one of the founders, and I think
6 that Zulfikarpasic was, too. I mentioned both of them earlier on.
7 Q. What were the results of the elections in 1990 in the Banja Luka
9 A. Around 90 -- 48 per cent went to the Serbian Democratic Party.
10 The Party of Democratic Action -- these are approximate figures, so please
11 forgive me if they're not precise. You probably have the right figures.
12 The Party of Democratic Action about 12 per cent, 30 per cent for the
13 HDZ. I think it was about 20 per cent for the parties on the left or
14 perhaps a little more. I include the Reformist Party as one of the
15 leftist parties and the Socialist Party, and I include the Liberal Party
17 So the municipality of Banja Luka had about 133 deputies in
18 total. So the SDS party did not have a majority, did not have more
19 deputies, more than half of the deputies. In fact, the number of votes
20 for the SDS was more or less -- was close to the number, according to
21 the -- reflected the census of 1991 in the municipality of Banja Luka.
22 Q. Do you recall the number of seats that the SDS party held in the
23 municipality following the election? You indicated that there were 133
24 seats in the Municipal Assembly. Do you recall how many of those seats
25 were held by SDS candidates?
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just for the record, Your Honour --
2 Q. Let me stop you for a moment, sir, because I see you've pulled
3 out, I believe, a copy of your book, and we haven't talked about that.
4 If you need to refer to anything during your testimony to refresh
5 your recollection, I'm not sure of the Court's procedures, and I'm just
6 going to go -- I'll ask the Court what the Court's procedures are, but I
7 believe first you have to indicate that you need to do that and then we
8 would ask the Court's permission to do so.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You've put it exactly as I was about to put it, not
10 knowing exactly what the witness had in front of him because I can only
11 see up to his tie and a book I couldn't catch a glimpse of.
12 Yes. But, Mr. Krzic, before you make reference to a document,
13 you're supposed to make that request, and you also should make available
14 that document for anyone to see it so requesting.
15 So will you tell us what that document you have in your hand is,
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for this
18 omission, for not following your procedure. Earlier on, I told the
19 Prosecutor that because of the extensive nature of the material or the
20 information that you have to use when examining, and in particular when a
21 cross-examination is taking place, I have to use documents. In this case,
22 I have chosen my book which I wrote and for which I had full information
23 on the truth.
24 It's impossible to have all this information in one's head, and I
25 would appreciate it if you could allow me to occasionally make use of the
1 book for the sake of this information. And I'm also taking this
2 opportunity to ask you whether I could keep my personal information with
3 me, if I can put it here. It's just three pages from a notebook of mine.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, Mr. Krzic. You don't need to apologise,
5 because this has not been taken by the Trial Chamber as something out of
6 disrespect or anything like that. I understand that you're not a legal
7 man and, therefore, this has got nothing to do with courtesy or whatever.
8 We will certainly, at this point in time, allow you to make
9 reference to your book, because as you said, people who are walking
10 encyclopedias are very rare nowadays, particularly in regard to events
11 that happened in a time of turmoil like in this case.
12 As regards the other document, if you are going to make reference
13 to your own personal notes, then you may be requested to let us have a
14 copy of them as you go along and prior to your being questioned
15 thereupon. But if you're going to make reference to personal papers that
16 you have, please make them available to both the Prosecution and the
17 Defence. Otherwise, you have full permission from the Trial Chamber to
18 make reference to whatever documents you require to refresh your memory or
19 to make, put you in a position where you can give a better answer to the
20 questions put to you or better, give us better information.
21 Is that clear to both Prosecution and Defence?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I will only say that when -- when I
23 was asking Mr. Donia about passages from a book, I provided the Prosecutor
24 with copies of all those passages that I was going to ask him to refer to
25 to enable them to follow it and to enable Dr. Donia to follow it.
1 I'll say again, we do not -- we only have the B/C/S version and a
2 partial English translation, and I don't know how I can cross-examine him
3 about a book that I can't look at, and that's the problem. But I have no
4 objection to his referring to his book as long as there will come a time
5 when, for purposes of cross-examination, I will have it in English
6 translation so I can cross-examine him in a fair and just manner.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman. There are two points that have
8 been made. One is the book, and a book, I take it from declaration and
9 affirmation made earlier by the Prosecution, that this book in its
10 entirety was disclosed to you in April of last year. So as far as I am
11 concerned, the book was available to you. It was a book written by one of
12 the witnesses that had been indicated to you, and as far as the Trial
13 Chamber is concerned, more or less that represents a closed episode.
14 With regard to the other personal papers that the witness came
15 prepared with, then obviously the Trial Chamber was not aware of that, of
16 this, you were not aware of that, and I suppose that none of us is in a
17 position to know what those documents contain, these personal papers. So
18 the position there is definitely different. In other words, if the
19 witness is going to ask permission to refresh his memory or to aid himself
20 in providing us with proper answers to the questions put to him by
21 referring to his own personal notes, then the Trial Chamber will give him
22 the opportunity to do so provided he makes those notes available to all of
23 us, because obviously you have a right to have a look at all those notes,
24 Prosecution has to right to look at all those notes, and although, as I
25 put it, none of us three knows B/C/S, we would still require to have a
1 copy of those personal notes entered into the records. So that is the
3 But as far as the book is concerned, I would imagine that
4 Mr. Krzic is going to take days in giving evidence. You have this book.
5 I'm sorry, I'm not going to open any further chapters there. Disclosure
6 is there to make -- to put you in a position to be able to conduct the
7 examination or cross-examination as it may be required, but I can't
8 tolerate that you come here April -- so that's seven, eight -- eight
9 months after that this document has been disclosed telling me, "I have not
10 read it because it's in B/C/S." It was disclosed in a language,
11 definitely, which your client understands, and you have your Serbo-Croat
12 members of your team as well. And I would definitely not go beyond what I
13 have already stated. We have to go ahead, Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I must make a proper record. If it is
15 the position of Your Honour that I should have translated that book
16 myself, I must advise you that the Registry will not pay for anybody to
17 translate a book of that nature for me. They will tell me that I must
18 submit it to CLSS.
19 In addition, the Rules of this Tribunal require that any statement
20 by a witness, any prior statement by a witness that the Prosecution -- a
21 witness whom the Prosecution intends to call, the Prosecution has an
22 obligation under the Rules to provide a translation of any statement in a
23 working language of this Tribunal. That has not been done with regard to
24 this book.
25 Now, I won't know, I won't have any idea until sometime later in
1 the next day or two what pages of this book this witness is going to refer
2 to. I won't know whether those pages have been translated or not. We
3 have, I think they told me this morning, 82 pages of the book that have
4 been translated, which leaves a certain number of -- a significant number
5 of pages that have not. And until I know which pages he's referring to, I
6 cannot possibly know to prepare for cross-examination with regard to those
7 pages. And once I know, if I don't have them in translation, I won't be
8 able to read them. The Rules are violated by the Prosecution not giving
9 us a translation of that document. Now, I understand that that is because
10 everything is backed up in the translation section of this Tribunal. And
11 I sympathise with that. And I'm not saying the Prosecutor should have
12 gotten it to us any quicker. I know there's a problem with translation.
13 I'm just telling you that it's impossible for me to properly cross-examine
14 a witness on a book that I can't read. And so I've made my record. And I
15 know what your ruling is. And we can go forward.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Ackerman, Prosecution earlier on declared
17 that the relevant parts referred to in Mr. Krzic's previous statements and
18 to which Mr. Krzic will be referring from in his book during at the time
19 the present testimony had been translated and made available.
20 Am I correct?
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour, that's correct.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
23 And telling the Trial Chamber that you don't know which pages from
24 his book he will be referring to or has referred to in prior statements is
25 not correct. I have the statements that has been made by the witness as a
1 result -- or during the interviews of the 10th and 14th of December, 2000
2 and then 10th, and 12th, and 14th, and 15th of February, 2001. In this
3 document, he goes through the book not exactly page by page, but he makes
4 specific reference and specific references not only to the page number but
5 also to the specific paragraphs that he was being asked to comment upon.
6 That's page 18, page 21, page 24. The moment you are in a position to
7 confirm to me that these pages have not been translated into English and
8 not made available to you, then I will entertain further objections from
9 you but not until then.
10 Yes, Mr. de Roux.
11 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I fully agree with
12 this Honourable Chamber's position. However, I wish to note that when the
13 witness wants to refresh his memory, opens his notebook on relevant
14 portions or pages which have not been translated or disclosed by the
15 Prosecution, we never know exactly which page is being used for this
16 purpose. Personally, I don't see any bad faith in this; however, from the
17 procedural point of view, I think that we are somewhat beyond the scope of
18 the relevant provisions.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Koumjian.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. In answer to Mr. de Roux's point, I
21 believe it would be fair that the witness cites the page that he is
22 referring to when he does need to refresh his recollection.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Definitely.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Briefly, the Prosecution's position on Mr.
25 Ackerman's points are that we do not believe that every book or article or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 every writing of a witness constitutes a statement according to the
2 Rules. The book in B/C/S was provided nine months ago. And to my
3 knowledge - I could be incorrect - this is the first time we have heard a
4 complaint that the entire book should have been translated. I don't know
5 if the Defence could have -- I believe they could have submitted it to
6 CLSS for translation. And I would just like to point out that unlike both
7 Defence counsel who have both B/C/S speakers next to them, I have the
8 tremendous disadvantage of having Mr. Cayley sitting next to me who can't
9 help me at all.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Imagine if you had Ms. Korner too. That would have
11 made confusion more confused. Anyway, we'll come to that.
12 Mr. de Roux, if at any given point the witness will refer to a
13 page from the book that I have reason to believe has not been translated
14 and disclosed to you, then obviously the position might change according
15 to the importance of the question and the information being sought. But
16 we'll play it by the ear as we go along.
17 But the position definitely at the present moment is that please
18 don't talk to the Trial Chamber any more about having the entire book
19 translated at this point in time and made available before any one of you
20 feels confident in going ahead with the cross-examination. Let's be
21 reasonable and sensible, and everyone will have his or her piece of cake.
22 Yes. Mr. Koumjian, please proceed with your examination.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN:
24 Q. Mr. Krzic, just to remind you of the question, which we may have
25 all forgotten, the question was: If you recall, first, or have you
1 refreshed your recollection through your book as to the number of seats in
2 the municipality which were held by the SDS following the elections in
4 A. As far as I can remember, there were 65 deputies from the SDS, 14
5 from the HDZ, 13 from the SDA, 13 SDP, 22 SRS - this was another left wing
6 party - and 2 from the Liberal party. I can say, perhaps, that my memory
7 is not 100 per cent fresh, but you have official information from the
8 electoral bodies of Banja Luka or of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 But if you allow me, Mr. Prosecutor - I don't know if this is
10 allowed - I would like to turn your attention to some information. These
11 are not -- this is not special information. There are -- it is a
12 three-page document of decisions reflecting information from documents
13 which I tried to summarise and which I can submit to the Defence. It is a
14 book and refers to the book that they have received, not information
15 outside the frameworks of the book. And not to have to turn all the pages
16 of the books, I wanted to have this all -- all this information in one
18 Q. Thank you for your answer to the question. I think we need to
19 clarify perhaps the additional information you provided. Normally I'd ask
20 you to just limit your answer to the question, but I will digress for a
21 moment. Are you talking about notes that you prepared over the weekend to
22 refresh your recollection and prepare for your testimony?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And would you have any problem with providing both the Defence and
25 the Prosecution a copy of those notes, allowing us to photocopy those?
1 A. No problems at all. But I apologise. It is handwritten, very
2 small writing, but I think it is legible.
3 I think the main point of these notes is to know which page in the
4 book we are referring to for a certain quotation, for a certain document,
5 so that I can open it straight away and read it out.
6 Q. It's very understandable, and we appreciate you organising
7 yourself in preparation for the testimony. I would just ask you in
8 relation to your last question -- to the last answer that you gave
9 regarding the number of seats in the municipality assembly, did you refer
10 to your book and, if so, which page did you refer to?
11 A. I have the book before me, but I'm not referring to it. I have in
12 fact -- I would like to mention that in the book the figures are somewhat
13 different. I'm speaking from memory. The figures are different in regard
14 to the overall number of deputies. In the book, it is perhaps less, one
15 or two deputies less. So I'm speaking from memory. I think my memory is
16 more accurate than that which has been written in the book because there
17 may have been some typing mistakes, printing errors.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. Just for the record, which page of the book do
19 those numbers appear on?
20 A. Page 25. Page 25 of the book.
21 Q. Thank you. I'd ask you --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Has there only been one edition of that
24 MR. KOUMJIAN:
25 Q. Mr. Krzic, His Honour's question is: Was there more than one
1 edition published?
2 A. Only one edition exists.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Prosecution, please speak into the microphone,
6 MR. KOUMJIAN:
7 Q. Following the election, did you follow the events in the municipal
8 assembly and the debates on various political issues that took place in
9 the assembly?
10 A. Occasionally -- yes, at the beginning, more frequently. And as
11 time went on, less so.
12 Q. Were you present ever when a debate took place regarding changing
13 the municipal statute, as far as the number of votes that would be
14 necessary to make changes in the statute?
15 A. Yes, I was present. I remember that session very clearly.
16 Q. Had there been some debate about having Banja Luka join a group of
17 municipalities in the Bosnian Krajina, forming an association? I believe
18 it was called the association of Bosnia Krajina or the acronym ZOBK.
19 A. I can't answer that question. Do I -- can I refer to my
20 three-page document of notes, or do I have to wait for it to be
21 photocopied first before referring to it?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, before this Chamber gives a decision
23 on what has just been requested by the witness, would you request to have
24 the photocopy of this document in your hand before he starts?
25 Mr. de Roux?
1 Mr. Koumjian, then you can go ahead, but when we have a break in
2 about three-quarters of an hour's time, please make sure that this is
3 photocopied and made available to all parties and the Trial Chamber. In
4 the meantime, you can go ahead. Thank you.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN:
6 Q. You may refer to those notes to answer the question if it would
7 refresh your recollection to do so, but I would ask you also to close your
8 book for now, and if you need to look at the book later, just let us
9 know. But if you need to refer to the notes now, you may take them out,
10 if you have them with you, and refer to the notes.
11 A. As regards your question, I don't think I need accuracy in terms
12 of the dates. I don't have to use my notes. I will speak from memory.
13 What the atmosphere was like, I would like to describe the
14 atmosphere at the assembly of the session. First, the rules of procedure
15 were at discussion --
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this is not responsive to the
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I was going to bring up that point myself,
20 Mr. Krzic, you have been asked a very specific question, namely,
21 whether from your recollection the municipality of Banja Luka had been
22 asked or whether a decision was taken to have the municipality join the
23 association of municipalities of Bosnia Krajina, Bosanska Krajina,
24 referred to by the acronym ZOBK. That was the question.
25 If you know the answer, please give us the answer. And if you
1 want to give an explanation, we will consider what you have to say, but
2 please first try to answer that question before we go ahead with a
3 description of the atmosphere and the circumstances surrounding at the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The municipality of Banja Luka
6 adopted that decision in an illegal fashion.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN:
8 Q. Can you explain the process that took place regarding that
10 A. It was necessary, first of all, to respect the statute of the
11 municipality of Banja Luka. I'm not a legal expert. I don't have the
12 statute before me. I'm speaking from memory. For every important
13 decision of an interest, of a broader interest to the municipality, it was
14 necessary to be adopted on the basis of a two-third majority vote.
15 The second thing which was important at the time decisions were
16 made that the decisions of a concern, of a broader concern for the
17 municipality, needed to have the agreement of the coalition partners. In
18 this case, there had to be an agreement between the HDZ, the SDA, and the
19 peoples, in other words, that they represented.
20 Q. That was according to the agreement between the three parties, the
21 HDZ, the SDA, and SDS prior to 1990 elections; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If the statute required a two-thirds vote to make a decision such
24 as joining an association of municipalities, was there some effort made to
25 change that statute, and if so, can you explain to us what happened?
1 A. At the assembly, as part of the agenda, a point of the agenda was
2 a change of the statute. I think this was in May, in the month of May in
3 1991. And as part of the agenda, the first item was a change of the
4 statute, because -- so as to be able to vote in favour of the proposal
5 which was also on the agenda. However, in order to change this statute,
6 what was lacking were the formal pre-conditions. For the changes in the
7 statute to be carried out, a public discussion was necessary at the
8 municipal level. That is, all the local communes had to be -- take part
9 in this. And once a positive reply was obtained from the local centres,
10 it was possible to formally and legally discuss changes of the statute at
11 the level of the Banja Luka municipality.
12 I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I know, in addition to this, the
13 Republic Assembly, or the government through the Republic Assembly, also
14 was duty-bound, on the basis of the then-constitution of B and H, to give
15 its consent for every demand for a territorial change either of a
16 municipality or of several municipalities in that sense. The very process
17 of changing the Constitution, of attempting to change the Constitution in
18 the municipality of Banja Luka, was carried out with a very, very loud
19 support by the SDS representatives in the assembly.
20 The hall of the assembly of the municipality was crowded with
21 people who did not represent the elected deputies. There were
22 representatives of different institutions present. And in that general
23 confusion that entailed, it was not possible to control the voting
24 procedure. And moreover, in this very atmosphere of coercion, voting for
25 the statute was in fact denied by the SDA and the HDZ representatives.
1 They left the assembly and the two left-wing parties, the SDP and the SRS
2 remained so as to try to take off from the agenda the question of joining
3 this ZOBK. And when they were not successful in this, they also abandoned
4 the assembly.
5 All that remained was a number of deputies from of the left-wing
6 parties who were of Serb ethnicity, and according our information, along
7 with other members of the SDS party voted in favour of a change of the
8 statute. So that the changes of the statute, if at all they were legal,
9 because according to our information there was no -- not even in that case
10 even a two-thirds majority vote in favour, was in fact forced.
11 We noted, at the time when voting took place regarding the agenda,
12 that in -- that even those who were not representatives of the municipal
13 assembly took part in the voting, and I think that some of the deputies
14 will remember names and spoke these names, pointing to the people who
15 raised their hands and who were not a part of the representative bodies in
16 the assembly. So voting took place under pressure, no account taken of
17 the protests and the objections of the official representatives of the
18 other parties.
19 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you to try to keep your answers a bit
20 shorter. It just makes it easier for these proceedings to go forward.
21 To summarise the information that you gave, to make sure we
22 understand, would it be correct to say that the SDS did not have the
23 two-thirds vote necessary to change the statute in order to join the
25 A. That is true.
1 Q. But a vote took place to change the statue. You feel it was done
2 through improper means. And after that, the SDA and other political
3 parties walked out of the assembly and did not participate in the
4 municipal assembly; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. I explained the reasons for this.
6 Q. I want to move on to the period of 1991 and the war that was
7 taking place in Croatia, and I hope you can provide the Trial Chamber with
8 some information about how these events affected life in Banja Luka.
9 Can you tell us what effects the war in Croatia had upon everyday
10 life and the political situation in Banja Luka?
11 A. At the beginning of the conflict in Croatia, which at the time did
12 not have the characteristics of a war, I was -- had the opportunity to
13 travel through Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I can personally
14 describe how events evolved, even from that particular angle.
15 As the situation escalated in Croatia, in the military sense and
16 in the political sense in respect of the conflict, in all areas in the --
17 the tensions in the municipality of Banja Luka were raised, being raised
18 in an artificial way. That conflict, in fact, was a conflict between
19 Yugoslavia and the separatists, and that atmosphere --
20 Q. I'll just ask you not to go into the events in Croatia, but again
21 I'm concentrating on the effect in Banja Luka. Thank you.
22 A. In Banja Luka, it became increasingly noticeable that the
23 situation was worsening. As the situation escalated, the conflict
24 escalated in Croatia. This could be seen in the streets with the presence
25 of an increasing number of uniformed persons, of semi-uniformed persons.
1 There were weapons of all kinds that moved through the streets. And their
2 behaviour was worse every day. When I say "worse," I basically -- I'm
3 referring to the endangerment of non-Serbs. One began singing Chetnik --
4 so-called Chetnik songs, and such songs were sung in front of the post
5 office building in the city centre.
6 Can I quote some of these songs?
7 Q. Briefly.
8 A. "If it is necessary, from here wolves are howling. Move away,
9 Turks, from here to Tehran. There won't be any Muslims left."
10 In the streets, members of the Bosniak ethnicity, especially
11 people from the villages who wore clothing, national clothing, were no
12 longer allowed to wear this. This also referred -- this was also the case
13 of the Catholics. And then people began wearing the clothes that Serbs
14 usually wore. There were only slight differences in apparel, especially
15 in the villages.
16 On the radio, you could no longer hear Bosnian songs. A Catholic
17 song or a Bosniak song or even songs from the Serbian milieu that were
18 sung in Bosnia, songs glorifying the beauty of Bosnia. What we heard,
19 that this was forbidden to be broadcast on the radio. There were
20 different plays on the radio where one of the -- all three nations were
21 mentioned together. It was also prohibited.
22 In the press, one could increasingly read that the Bosniaks and
23 the Croats represented a danger for the Serbs, not quoting what sort of
24 danger it was, very often speaking of what had happened in World War II
25 but describing this in a different manner.
1 Once again the monument to the fallen soldiers in the village of
2 Drakulici was destroyed. It is there where retaliation took place in the
3 Second World War and about 200 people were killed. But this was
4 inaugurated once again with representatives of the municipality,
5 representatives of the church. Many people were present only of the Serb
6 nationality. So the monument was in fact re-inaugurated.
7 But in any case, there were threats of death. And then also
8 non-Serb workers were being dismissed from factories, saying that this was
9 a case of redundancy. Also, directors, managers, non-Serbs were being
10 dismissed, foremen in factories in significant enterprises but also in
11 enterprises of a military nature. And enterprises which rated with the
12 other republics, with Slovenia and Croatia. They were prevented from
13 working outside of Banja Luka. Their produce was looted. Their offices
14 were seized. In the schools, gradually teachers were instructed to speak
15 the Ekavica way of speaking and use the Cyrillic script. This was --
16 became an official order. And when conflict broke out in Croatia,
17 refugees would come and tensions were rising. And it was also stated that
18 in the educational system, teachers had to be -- that when being employed,
19 the Serbs had priority from Serbs coming from Croatia, and Bosnians who
20 refused to write in the Cyrillic script were dismissed.
21 Q. Was a state of emergency declared in the city of Banja Luka by the
23 A. Yes. Attempts were being made to declare a state of emergency in
24 Banja Luka; however, we publicly opposed such attempts. Our president was
25 Mesud Islamovic at that time, the president of the SDA, and he publicly
1 condemned the proclamation of the state of emergency, which was contrary
2 to the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, a state of emergency
3 can be declared only at the level of the republic. So we opposed those
5 In media, Islamovic waged serious battle against such attempts.
6 We were afraid of this state of emergency because we were perfectly aware
7 of the consequences thereof. The explanation was not the increased
8 tension in the city, the tension that I have spoken about, but the fact
9 that Croatia was likely to attack Bosnia and Herzegovina. And the same
10 request was made in respect of eight other municipalities apart from Banja
11 Luka, and we believed that there was no reason for such measures.
12 May I be allowed to put my notes on the desk, please, because I
13 would then be able to provide you with specific dates in relation to what
14 you're just asking me about.
15 Q. You can --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, permission granted.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN:
18 Q. But I would say, Mr. Krzic, at this point I don't need any
19 specific dates, so I'll move on to the next question. If you need for the
20 next question to refer to the notes, then you may do so.
21 Were there orders for the mobilisation of soldiers in the area at
22 this time during the war in Croatia, mobilisation for the then-JNA, the
23 Yugoslav army?
24 A. Yes. The mobilisation was publicly proclaimed on several
25 occasions, maybe five or six. First it was declared in respect of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Territorial Defence, despite the fact that the Republic of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina did not issue an official approval for mobilisation, which
3 again, we opposed publicly in the media.
4 Q. Did many Muslim and Croats refuse to -- the orders for
6 A. Perhaps a better way of putting it would be that they avoided
7 receipt of such call-up papers they were hiding, because if you refuse
8 orders for mobilisation, there are some legal consequences for that.
9 However, several units publicly refused call-up papers. In particular,
10 I'm referring to a unit which was composed mainly of Croat nationals.
11 This unit was immediately officially charged by the military prosecutor
12 for having done that.
13 Q. Can you tell us, what were the reasons that Muslims and Croats in
14 Banja Luka avoided the mobilisation?
15 A. The main reason was the fact that we all knew that such an act was
16 illegal and was in contravention of the decisions of the Republic of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Second, no one was particularly eager to fight Croats. Up until
19 that time, we all considered ourselves as brothers, and we simply couldn't
20 understand the reasons why blood should be shed amongst us, in particular
21 in view of what Bosnia-Herzegovina experienced during the Second World
23 Q. Were any measures taken against those who avoided mobilisation or
24 against the families of those who avoided mobilisation?
25 A. I have mentioned one of such measures, but there were others as
1 well, one of them being, for example, public opposition in the media,
2 public resistance in the media, and then, for example, various types of
3 activities undertaken within public companies.
4 If search papers were refused, call-up papers were refused,
5 employees would be sacked within five days. Then there were people who
6 were living abroad, who did not respond to the call-up papers simply by
7 not coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This overall refusal of
8 mobilisation brought us into a rather awkward situation because we did not
9 have adequate papers which would have enabled us freedom of movement
10 around the town. Without such papers, you and your family would be
11 brought in the situation of being second-rate citizens.
12 There were other measures as well, which perhaps are not worth
13 mentioning at this point.
14 Q. Was there any retaliation against family members of those that
15 avoided mobilisation?
16 A. Retaliation followed very soon. Such families were the first ones
17 to be exposed to what followed and to what preceded the so-called ethnic
18 cleansing. It was those families that were first forced to abandon their
19 property, to relinquish their property to Serbs. If a member of such a
20 family should lose an official identification paper, they were denied a
21 new one. And you know what it means to be without adequate identification
22 papers in those times. If such individuals were found in the street, they
23 would be immediately arrested and taken to the front lines, in particular,
24 the front lines around the area of Orasje and Brcko to dig trenches
25 there. Some of them never returned.
1 As regards the police, when they were asked to sign a loyalty
2 pledge, those who had refused mobilisation were dismissed. And there were
3 many such cases within the Banja Luka SUP.
4 Q. [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN:
7 Q. At the end of February in 1992, a referendum was organised
8 throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina on independence for the
9 republic. Can you tell us about the vote in -- within Banja Luka
10 municipality and whether or not many individuals participated in voting on
11 that referendum.
12 A. I was authorised to conduct the referendum in Banja Luka, as far
13 as its organisation was concerned. The authorisation had been confirmed
14 at a meeting of all political parties except for the SDS. The SDS issued
15 a ban on the Serb population to take part on the referendum on
16 independence for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And one of the
17 commanding officers of the Banja Luka barracks or maybe the staff - I'm
18 not sure - sent a request to the media containing specific instructions as
19 to how the ballot should read, what should be the wording of the
20 question. In view of such circumstances, it was very difficult for the
21 entire population to take part in the referendum. Technically speaking,
22 and as far as the organisation is concerned, it was not particularly
23 difficult to organise the referendum in Banja Luka. It is true that we
24 did not have all the equipment we needed, but there were no obstructions
25 whatsoever to count the votes. However, there was constant propaganda
1 against referendum going on in the media.
2 The referendum itself was conducted in all relevant areas, except
3 in the areas which were predominantly Serb, because that was not -- we
4 were not allowed to put boxes in the areas where Serbs constituted
5 majority. However, in the town of Banja Luka itself, quite a few Serbs
6 took part in the referendum. We even knew personally some of the families
7 that participated in the referendum. But when we speak of participation
8 in the referendum -- but mere participation in the referendum on the part
9 of the Serb community was considered to be a hostile act, as far as Serb
10 nationalists are concerned. The voting itself was absolutely secret. And
11 on the level of the municipality, the total -- the turnout was
12 approximately 45 per cent, and the total number of positive responses,
13 that is, responses in favour of an independent Republic of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina was 98 or 99 per cent. I'm not sure about the accurate -- the
15 exact number. Which means that almost all those who turned out voted in
16 favour of an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 The referendum was observed by the representatives of the European
18 Community. They took part in the controlling process in almost every
19 constituency. I don't know whether I have answered your question.
20 Q. Yes, you have. You indicated that certain nationalists opposed
21 the participation of anyone in this referendum. Can you give some
22 examples of that?
23 A. As I said, both the media and over the radio in those days
24 broadcast opposition of the SDS and its members to the referendum. I can
25 mention, for example, Mr. Vukic, Mr. Kupresanin, Mr. Brdjanin.
1 I remember Mr. Vukic saying something threatening, something to
2 the effect that should the result be in favour of independence that they
3 would not accept it, that any independence can be discussed only at the
4 level of Yugoslavia and that all disputable areas, including those which
5 were not predominantly Serb, would not accept those results. They were
6 also discussing about Serbs being victims, the greatest victims in the
7 Second World War. The statements of the opposite camp were, of course,
9 Yes, that would be more or less what happened.
10 Q. Had the SDS organised its own referendum the previous year, in
11 November 1991, regarding the political future of Bosnia?
12 A. Yes. Yes, it had. But they referred to it as "plebiscite," as
13 far as I recall.
14 Q. Was there also, similar to the political pressure that you talked
15 about regarding participation in the referendum in February 1992, was
16 political pressure applied by SDS leaders for individuals to vote
17 according to the SDS platform in the plebiscite in November 1991?
18 A. Yes, absolutely. Do you wish me to explain in more detail?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. There were explicit statements made by the SDS politicians to the
21 fact that all Serbs should turn out for the plebiscite. There was no talk
22 about voting but only about participating in the plebiscite, with the
23 threat that those who did not show up would suffer consequences. In
24 particular, leading members of the Serb community.
25 I remember a statement by Mr. Brdjanin to that effect very well.
1 He said that several days after the voting it would be very easy for them
2 to discover names of managers of various companies who had not turned out
3 for the referendum and that they would be dismissed. And not only in
4 Bosnian Krajina but throughout the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, at this time I would like to show the
6 witness and have distributed to counsel and the Trial Chamber a document,
7 and this is my first attempt to do so, but I have several copies. I have
8 four copies of the document. It's disclosure 5.25, and the ERN number is
10 Would Your Honours like to me to mark that in a particular
11 manner? It's marked. Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cayley, my understanding was that any such
13 documents you would come forward already with an exhibit number.
14 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, it's marked.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
16 MR. CAYLEY: It's marked with the next number after the Banja Luka
17 collection, 448A and B. There are copies for Your Honours, for the
18 Court. Not for Defence on the understanding that they already have the
19 document. And again, this is not being difficult. It's simply to avoid
20 copying things over and over and over again.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: May I also have -- may I also have the document
22 given in the B/C/S to the witness, and that's 448B.
23 Q. I'd ask you, Mr. Krzic, to just take a moment to read this, the
24 article that's entitled "After the Plebiscite: You Better Give Yourselves
1 A. Yes, I have the article.
2 Q. Mr. Krzic, do you recall seeing either this article or similar
3 articles about press conferences by Mr. Brdjanin following the plebiscite
4 in November 1991?
5 A. Not only do I recall, but I also remember responding to such
6 articles in various interviews. And I also remember putting this article
7 aside, putting it in the file of our party, in the files of our party.
8 I think that in the -- in the magazine called Glas it was given
9 greater coverage, but I'm not sure.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Koumjian, perhaps you could ask him this extract
11 here from which newspaper. It has been photocopied.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN:
13 Q. Mr. Krzic, do you recognise this newspaper as being Oslobodjenje?
14 A. Yes, that is at least my impression. The Glas magazine has a
15 different layout.
16 Q. Mr. Krzic, is Oslobodjenje, was that a newspaper published in
18 A. Yes. It was published in Sarajevo but distributed throughout
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the former Yugoslavia as well.
20 Q. And if you are aware -- I don't know whether you know the answer
21 to this. Do you know what the ethnic composition of the staff of
22 Oslobodjenje was throughout the conflict?
23 A. I am sure that the composition of the staff was multi-ethnic, and
24 I also think that it reflected, not through any particular directive but
25 rather spontaneously, the census, the last census in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Also, it was printed in two scripts, as you can see here. This article is
2 written in the Cyrillic script.
3 Q. Okay. A couple of quick matters that I'm sure Your Honours are
4 familiar with but perhaps just for the record.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And up to the break.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
7 Q. I'm sure Your Honours and everyone is aware of this, but can you
8 explain the difference between the Cyrillic script and the Latin script
9 that is used in Bosnia?
10 A. They use different symbols. But since both scripts were used in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same manner, that is, they reflected the
12 same variant of the language, the Ekavian variant of the language, the
13 difference was only in symbols, in actual letters.
14 Q. Historically was the Cyrillic script associated with the eastern
15 areas and the Latin script with western areas, in other words, the
16 Constantinople-Rome split?
17 A. As for the eastern and western areas, the notions are relative
18 because there were eastern areas that used Latin script as well.
19 Montenegro, I think, and Kosovo as well. So once again it is a relative
20 concept. But the fact remains that the Cyrillic script was most widely
21 used by the members of the Serb community, of Serb ethnic background
22 because of their tradition.
23 However, I must admit that the issue was not problematic in the
24 former Yugoslavia. One could use any script he or she wanted to use.
25 Q. One more quick question before the break and a change of topics.
1 You also mentioned Glas, a -- you called it a magazine.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe Your Honours will be hearing more about
3 that during this trial.
4 Q. Could you explain briefly, Mr. Krzic, Glas, was that a newspaper
5 published in Banja Luka?
6 A. Yes. Glas was published in Banja Luka, but it was also
7 distributed in areas, in particular areas of Bosanska Krajina, of the
8 Bosnian Krajina. So one could argue that it was a regional paper, a local
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So I thank you, Mr. Krzic. We are going to have a
11 break of 20, 25 minutes. Now we will resume at five to one, and you will
12 continue your evidence then. I thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Please be seated.
16 The witness, please.
17 A question: Have the notes been photocopied and circulated?
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour, they have not. We didn't
19 obtain them from the witness yet.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But that was the agreement. The whole agreement was
21 as soon as he finishes, he hands in the papers, they are photocopied and
22 made available.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Sorry. I thought it would be at the break today.
24 But he's not going to finish his direct today. But I didn't realise it
25 was at this break. We could have easily have done it. But my mistake.
1 If Your Honour wants, I could actually have them sent out of the
2 courtroom now and photocopied.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it okay with the two Defence teams that we go
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour. It's okay. I was hoping we
6 could have them before we leave today.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So did I. No. We will make sure that you have them
8 before you leave here today. In other words, at some point in time when
9 the witness finishes his testimony for this morning or for this afternoon,
10 then we will -- we will stop if necessary five minutes earlier, and we
11 will have them photocopied.
12 How many pages are we talking about?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would just like to say that I
14 won't be using these notes today, so that I suggest that you photocopy
15 them tomorrow. And as far as the book is concerned, we have agreed -- we
16 are agreed.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Koumjian, please.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN:
19 Q. Mr. Krzic, I'm directing your attention in the following questions
20 to the period of the indictment in this case, which is from April through
21 December of 1992. And you have indicated that you lived in Banja Luka
22 during that time. And I want to ask you about how various aspects of life
23 were affected -- aspects of life for the non-Serb population within Banja
25 Sir, were there any restrictions upon the movements of those who
1 were not of Serb nationality in Banja Luka during this time period?
2 A. You are talking about a fairly extensive time period. So some of
3 the things that I will be mentioning here relate to the beginning and some
4 will relate to the end of this period. There were significant changes.
5 Significant changes occurred in the attitude toward the non-Serbian
6 population. Above all, there were psychological changes which were very
7 significant. All of a sudden the non-Serbian population felt like
8 second-class citizens, and very soon a feeling developed that we were
9 slaves or detainees in a concentration camp.
10 So this attitude worsened, this attitude towards the non-Serbian
11 population. The reason for this, severalfold. First of all, the reasons
12 we can cite amount to the terror that was carried out throughout the term,
13 the mass terror that was spread in the town of Banja Luka and which was
14 carried out by official institutions and, of course, by non-official or
15 paramilitary groups. That's the first reason.
16 So some of us whose children had left because the circumstances
17 were such -- they had gone to Sarajevo back in 1991. They went there to
18 study -- because of the psychological pressure, we were very happy they
19 were in Sarajevo, where the risk of mass wounding was far greater -- mass
20 wounding and of being killed was far greater.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the question was: Were there
22 restrictions on the movements of non-Serbs during this period of time?
23 This answer has nothing to do with that question. And I think the witness
24 should be restricted to the questions that are being asked him, rather
25 than making these long narrative statements of anything he feels like
1 talking about.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection sustained.
3 Witness, please -- Mr. Krzic, please, you have heard the objection
4 and the terms of that objection with which the Trial Chamber fully
5 agrees. Please restrain yourself to answering the question and nothing
6 but the question. Otherwise, we will go into dialogues, if not
7 monologues, and this could be counter-productive, and it could also
8 disrupt the pattern of questions that the Prosecutor may have prepared for
9 you, as I am sure will be appreciated.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I have to
12 admit that this reply came to me. I'll try and answer the question as
13 precisely as I can. Believe me, this was my fault.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN:
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Krzic. Before we move on, perhaps you could now
16 hand over the notes that you referred to earlier so that I can have
17 someone actually photocopying and have them prepared for counsel before
18 the end of the day. Do you have those notes with you?
19 A. Yes, I do. As I said, I apologise again. These notes really
20 weren't intended for public distribution. I was thinking of copying them
21 out again this evening to make them more legible. I wouldn't want such
22 notes to be handed out because they were written rapidly and the
23 handwriting is not very legible. I wouldn't like to make them public for
24 this reason alone. I have certain professional duties. I'd like to
25 prepare them a bit if I can.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Well, the Court will correct me if I'm wrong, but these are not to
2 be distributed publicly, but counsel for the Defence is entitled to
3 inspect notes that you refer to, and they will respect your privacy. They
4 will use them only for purposes of preparing their cross-examination.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: The position as explained by Mr. Koumjian is
6 precisely the one which will be followed, Mr. Krzic. The thing is that
7 this is a procedural matter that has to be strictly adhered to, especially
8 as things have developed now. I don't think there is an option. These
9 are the documents that you mentioned earlier and to which some reference
10 has, as I understand it, has already been made, and, therefore, I kindly
11 request you to make them available. And all -- I'm sure you're dealing
12 with lawyers here who have a full sense of responsibility, and they will
13 certainly not resort to any abus de confiance.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe the witness is indicating, if I
15 understood his hand gestures, that the very first page that is clipped
16 together is not part of his notes.
17 Q. But all the remaining pages that within the clip are part of your
18 notes that you prepared for this; is that correct?
19 A. Yes. I clipped them together.
20 Q. Going back then to my question, and I'll try to make it more
21 precise for you, regarding the period of the indictment, which is April
22 through December 1992, I understand that that is a long period and for
23 some of the questions you will have to explain changes that took place
24 during this period. I want to go through various aspects of life that
25 were affected for the non-Serb population.
1 The first area of life I'm talking about, I'd like you to respond
2 to, regards restrictions on movements of non-Serbs. Were non-Serbs
3 allowed, permitted to drive their cars, to go about their business in the
4 normal way that they had prior to the conflict after April of 1992?
5 A. Yes. Yes. My specific answer is naturally no. There were
6 various restrictions on movement. First of all, it was not possible to
7 leave the town, except in certain extraordinary circumstances, because the
8 risks of leaving town was increasing. And movement within town was also
9 restricted. Checkpoints were set up, or barricades, as we would say.
10 Very often people were maltreated at these checkpoints. Particular points
11 in the town were isolated by using these checkpoints. These parts of
12 towns were ones in which the majority of the population was Croat and
14 And very soon cars were taken, seized by force. This took place
15 under various pretexts and in various situations in the street. They then
16 started requisitioning cars on a far greater scale, although cars were not
17 requisitioned in all cases. Sometimes it was sufficient to have paid some
18 protector, a Serbian protector, of course, and then you would keep your
19 privileges, but you did not have the right to drive your car through town
20 whenever you wanted to. You could keep it in the garage, and that would
21 later give you the opportunity of travelling to Croatia with your personal
23 Circulation was restricted in particular in the evening. Soon a
24 curfew was imposed by the authorities, the Crisis Staff in particular and
25 the SDS party too. These restrictions were very clear.
1 In certain cases, the movement of the population was -- the
2 population was almost under house arrest. I could mention a few cases in
3 the cell Abastasi and Malhovljani, and in some occasions in Brozani and
4 Majdan when they didn't have -- before they had to move out. This same
5 situation occurred in other villages.
6 Travelling to other towns was impossible because on frequent
7 occasions people were taken off the buses when they were travelling out of
8 town. They were sent back. They were harassed, beaten, and such
9 passengers were often killed too. Of course the local bus network, coach
10 network provided you with the opportunity of travelling all the time, but
11 you risked being recognised as a Bosniak or a Croat and suffering very
12 awkward experiences as a result.
13 These restrictions became more and more severe as time went by.
14 Q. Did you yourself own an automobile during this period of time?
15 A. I had two cars at the time. I wasn't able to drive either one of
16 them. When I did so for the first time, they came to requisition it
18 Q. How did you travel around Banja Luka during this period of time?
19 A. I used a bike, a bicycle most often while that was possible, while
20 people were not paying too much attentions to bicyclists, to cyclists.
21 And in very exceptional circumstances - you could count these, the number
22 on your -- on the fingers of your hand - I used a car until the time when
23 they came to confiscate my car for the last time and then I wasn't able to
24 use it any more.
25 I often walked, of course, very often, and sometimes at night. If
1 you asked me where and when, I could specify that too.
2 Q. I want to move on to another area. You mentioned that even in the
3 pre-conflict period the dismissals of jobs once the conflict began in
4 Croatia. During the period of indictment, from April through December
5 1992, did the non-Serb population in the municipality of Banja Luka suffer
6 from job dismissals?
7 A. I think that I have even mentioned that there were successive
8 dismissals. The first people who were dismissed were dismissed, they were
9 made redundant. They were said to be superfluous. But the people who
10 were made redundant for economic reasons were also Croats and Bosnians
11 from various companies. And then they would dismiss you for the simple
12 reason what you are a Bosniak or a Croat. Or maybe that was the third
13 reason. I'm not sure. It doesn't matter. And then the third pretext was
14 that your close family members who were -- close male family members
15 hadn't responded to the call-up.
16 If it wasn't clear that you were loyal to the Serbian authorities,
17 you didn't even dare go to work once the situation had escalated. So it
18 was dangerous to go to work. It depended, naturally, on the profession,
19 on the jobs that you had, but what is interesting that the most important
20 professions for the survival of a population - and this relates to health
21 workers - they were the first to be dismissed.
22 University professors were then dismissed. It was their turn to
23 be dismissed. At first international experts were demoted. They were no
24 longer university lecturers or scientific experts, academic experts. They
25 were assigned posts in the medical centre. Very soon they were not able
1 to do that work either. Doctors were dismissed en masse, up to 25 could
2 be dismissed in one day. I don't have the exact information or the
3 dates. But in one period, over a thousand health workers were dismissed.
4 Not just doctors, but health workers in general. This was the -- this was
5 one of the worst blows to the situation of the population.
6 Then professors at other universities who had other professions
7 were also dismissed. Other doctors from other areas would then replace
8 them. But they were of course of Serbian nationality. And some of them
9 would come to work carrying arms. And you can well imagine whether it was
10 possible for patients to visit a doctor who had a gun on his desk.
11 These dismissals also affected the lowest classes and the highest
12 classes, directors, for example. But they didn't stop just at dismissing
13 people. These people were also forced to do the most menial and the most
14 difficult jobs in the town, and it was publicly made known that the
15 company was being -- was being shut down in Banja Luka because Bosniaks
16 and Croats would be engaged to do this for free. So you could be a
17 director of the greatest company in Banja Luka, and you would end up
18 cleaning the streets.
19 These dismissals started in the police too very soon. First of
20 all, it affected the shifts. And especially in the state security
21 service, replacements took place very quick. People -- the staff were
22 replaced by Serbs. All those who were involved in monitoring foreign
23 services were replaced by Serbs. And the ordinary policemen or
24 technicians who refused to sign a pledge of loyalty, which included going
25 to the front, being sent to the front, these people were replaced
1 immediately. They lost their jobs. So the police too underwent an en
2 masse replacement.
3 We were informed that the situation in the army was similar, and
4 we met many people who were from the army. I'm thinking of officers who
5 had been dismissed because of their ethnic membership. I think that
6 happened in the months of summer. Some were in danger because of this.
7 As I said, I think dismissals first started because some of the teachers
8 wouldn't accept to write in Cyrillic, in the Cyrillic script, and then
9 this affected everyone. Only in exceptional circumstances was it possible
10 for people to retain their jobs. For example, if they had -- if they were
11 in mixed marriages, and the Serbian side was very much present, very
12 strong, in such cases they might not be dismissed. But many of them had
13 to change their names in order to keep their jobs. They had to be
15 It was most difficult when we're talking about this -- and this is
16 also a form of dismissal -- when people from villages who lived from their
17 own produce, when they were unable to bring their produce to the Banja
18 Luka market, which used to be very well supplied -- I mention this because
19 it's a different system of supply. So these people would individually
20 place their products on the market in Banja Luka, not in an organised way,
21 and this was now made impossible for them because of the numerous
22 checkpoints surrounding the -- around the city. If a peasant turned up --
23 often they were women, because they were offering dairy products and
24 vegetables. And they were prevented from going to the market and they had
25 to find Serbian friends or to place their product or to sell it for
1 nothing. So they were prevented from doing their work.
2 Timbermen were also prevented from working. It was dangerous to
3 do their work. And except in extraordinary circumstances, when they were
4 allowed to get through because they knew people at the checkpoints, they
5 were prevented from bringing the timber to the market, because we would
6 buy the timber from these woodcutters at the market. At the time, it was
7 used for heating the town. Most of the people in Banja Luka had their own
8 heating systems. So you were unable to go and buy coal, which would be
9 brought in by train. As a Bosniak or Croat, it was impossible to buy
10 coal, so you had to buy wood or timber from individual producers, and you
11 would have to pay Serbian mediators the price that they would ask for.
12 Let's keep to dismissals. But this is also a means of denying
13 people's right to work.
14 Q. Was the judiciary affected by the policy of discriminating on the
15 basis of ethnicity?
16 A. By all means. But I forgot to mention something. There were many
17 veterinarians who were dismissed, regardless of the fact there were not
18 enough Serb veterinarians. One of the local professors was dismissed --
19 was actually forced to resign under pressure exerted over him by his Serb
20 colleagues. I am talking about Dr. Hodzic from the veterinarian institute
21 in Banja Luka.
22 As for the judges, they were all subject to numerous dismissals,
23 and one can say that the Banja Luka municipal court and public
24 prosecutor's office were soon rid of Croats and Bosniaks, except for some
25 very isolated cases. But practically speaking, there were many -- there
1 were very few Bosniaks or Croats left.
2 The same applied to the TV, the radio, and the media in general.
3 Very soon there were no Croat or Serb journalists left, except, once
4 again, for some isolated cases, mostly thanks to mixed marriages or the
5 fact that they were more loyal than it was required. Some of them were
6 given very difficult assignments and sent to the front line. Those were
7 able to keep their jobs to a certain extent. But those were very, very
8 few cases.
9 Q. I just want to clarify one part of your last answer. The
10 transcript as I read it of your answer is you said "Very soon there were
11 no Croat or Serb journalists left." Is that what you intended to say,
12 that Croat and Serbs were dismissed from the media?
13 A. I was referring to Croats and Bosniaks. However, any Serb who
14 attempted to write in a different fashion would also be dismissed. I
15 believe that one or two journalists share the same fate.
16 Q. Let me digress for a moment, because you've raised an issue about
17 Serbs who opposed these policies. Did you, in your activities as the SDA
18 president and as a person who opposed the authorities in power during this
19 time, did you find allies among some members of the Serb population?
20 A. Yes, especially in 1991 and early 1992 when the situation was not
21 so exacerbated that any contact with Serbs was dangerous.
22 When I said a moment ago that some of the Serbs were also
23 dismissed, I was referring to once again mixed marriages. But there were
24 also some, so to speak, silent messages from the Serb community. One
25 could feel that they were opposed to this new type of fascism that was
1 going on but that they felt unable to do anything. Not only in respect of
2 myself but other citizens of Banja Luka. They had the same impression.
3 Some of the Serbs, and I know their names, were aware of the
4 situation and were intelligent enough to realise that it would be
5 dangerous even for them to continue living in this environment and left
6 the town of Banja Luka on time and went abroad where some of them still
8 Some other Serbs offered their fellow citizens some form of
9 protection, including myself, the kind of protection which would have
10 exposed not only myself but them to danger as well. They offered to hide
11 me in their apartments, which was something I couldn't accept because I
12 wanted to remain active and public about my activities. So that was an
13 offer I could not accept.
14 But we received some signals, some messages from the Serb
15 population which one could qualify as being of military or security
17 Let me mention an example from my family. We had a very
18 long-standing, friendly relationship with a rather prominent Serb family
19 that lived in the centre of the town, and one of their members, a person
20 the same age as me, met me one day in the street, and when he saw me, he
21 started to cry. He was terribly upset with the situation that his people
22 and the Bosniak people now found themselves in.
23 Q. Going back to another area of life that was affected for the
24 non-Serb population during the conflict. Was the non-Serb population, did
25 their access to medical care, was that affected during the period of
1 indictment, from April through December 1992?
2 A. Yes, but only to a limited extent, to a limited number and in
3 exceptional circumstances. When they were able to reach the hospital, it
4 was through the good offices of some friends or acquaintances, and they
5 were usually requested to conceal their real name. Access to hospital was
6 no longer allowed to Croats and Bosniaks suffering from even most severe
7 illnesses. They no longer enjoyed that right. And even if anyone should
8 have allowed them to be admitted to hospital, they were very concerned
9 because the hospital was a dangerous place because of a number of wounded
10 soldiers that were regularly being admitted to local hospitals.
11 It was the population in general that was seriously affected with
12 these events. And generally speaking, one can say that they had no right
13 to medical protection. And please don't forget that we are talking about
14 public institutions. There were no privately owned medical institutions
15 at the time.
16 Q. Were you aware of a Dr. Vukic?
17 A. Yes, I was.
18 Q. Was Dr. Vukic a prominent member of the SDS in Banja Luka?
19 A. Yes, he was. I think that he was the president for a while.
20 Q. Are you aware of some public statements by Dr. -- excuse me.
21 First, was Dr. Vukic -- is he a medical doctor?
22 A. He was a physician. So not a doctor by virtue of a Ph.D. He was
23 a medical doctor, a specialist, but I'm not sure what kind. Maybe
24 internal medicine, but again, I'm not sure.
25 Q. Are you aware of any statement, public statement, by Dr. Vukic
1 regarding births in hospitals in Banja Luka?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me. Your Honour, with regard to this
3 witness talking about whether or not he's aware of public statements, I
4 object to that kind of a question being asked without some kind of prior
5 foundation being laid, and that is: How is he aware of a public
6 statement? Did he hear it himself, or did he hear it from someone else
7 who heard it, or did he hear it from someone else who claimed to have
8 heard it from someone else who claimed to have heard it from someone
10 This Chamber must have some basis upon which to judge the
11 reliability of what this witness claims to have heard and whether it came
12 from a source that the Trial Chamber might be able to decide is reliable
13 or unreliable. But I think for him to just start talking about things he
14 heard, you're going to be subjected to a lot of rumour and innuendo and
15 things of that nature.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose you have heard the question. The question
17 was whether he is aware of any speech that may have been made by Dr. Vukic
18 on a particular subject. Before we can go on all the other matters that
19 you mentioned, he has to answer that question first. Because if he is not
20 aware, obviously all the rest doesn't come into play. If he is aware,
21 then obviously we are going to ask him, or the Prosecution has taken the
22 hint and will ask the witness to say how he's become aware of this
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, judging by the way he's answered questions
25 so far, he's going to go way beyond "yes." He's going to start into one
1 of these dialogues.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, let me conduct the proceedings,
3 because after 25 years as a Judge, I have learned to distinguish between
4 one witness and another, witnesses that are worth stopping, lawyers that
5 are worth interrupting. So let -- I can assure you that we will finish
6 earlier if we continue going this way.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Judge.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Koumjian, please. Well, I don't think you
9 need to repeat the question. Mr. Krzic has heard it.
10 Could you please go ahead and give us your answer?
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, perhaps the record should reflect that
12 during the dialogue between Your Honour and Defence counsel, Mr. Krzic
13 appears to have referred to his book and to be searching through his book.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that correct, Mr. Krzic? You have every right to
15 do that. I mean, no one is criticising you. It's just for record
16 purposes and because you have a Prosecutor who is definitely searching to
17 be loyal to his counterparts on the Defence and also with the Trial
18 Chamber, something which is appreciated.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I realise that my
20 testimony here is of a rather comprehensive nature and that trying to
21 respond to questions such as this, I simply have to consult my book.
22 One other thing, I do understand English, and I have followed the
23 counsel for Defence, and I have in the meantime prepared my answer in
24 light of that. And that is the reason I wanted to check this piece of
25 information in my book, because I understood the objection.
1 Second, I should like my notes to be given back to me, because
2 it's very difficult for me to work without them. However, I am prepared
3 to provide a response to the question that has just been asked.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So please go ahead and give us your answer, please.
5 Yes. As the president of the SDS or permanent member of the Executive
6 Council thereof, Dr. Vukic made some public statements which encroached
7 upon -- or rather, which were tainted with anti-semetic and international
8 aspects. I am going to tell you only three examples, because I haven't
9 had enough time to consult my notes.
10 Dr. Vukic had an interview on the radio, Sarajevo-aired radio,
11 together with Mr. Hadzialijagic. The reason I wanted to refer to my notes
12 is because I think the time frame is rather important. He spoke in a very
13 rude manner, disrespective manner, about Bosniak -- rather, Muslim women.
14 He insulted publicly their honour and made some very explicit threats
15 which were addressed to Turks in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now, when I say
16 "Turks," I'm talking about a very derogatory term for the Muslim
17 community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a derogatory term which has nothing
18 to do with the reality of their background. However, it is a very
19 offensive term for Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the fact that
20 he said that publicly on TV as the president of the SDS party can only be
21 interpreted as a direct physical threat to that segment of the
23 We replied to this statement. We quoted his words, and I believe
24 that I also wrote an article which was published in the media.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Koumjian, I have to draw your attention
1 that we have already overstepped the time allotted --
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: -- to this Trial Chamber. So if it is convenient
4 for you to stop your direct examination now, we will do it. If you have
5 not more than one, two short questions, then we can proceed. But I can't
6 guarantee a short answer to those, so I would suggest with your indulgence
7 to stop here, and we'll resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.
8 It's understood the witness will remain in the same condition he
9 is now, which is as a witness and with all that it entails, and that
10 tomorrow morning he's expected to be here present so that you can proceed
11 with your examination-in-chief.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: And Your Honour, we do have copies of the --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: I want to check with the witness, because I see
15 that the first page is copied with what appears to be a phone number. And
16 if I can just show that to him. I don't believe he wanted this page to be
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Check it with him.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: We can do that after the Court adjourns.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So the Court raises now, and we will resume
21 our work tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of
24 February, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.