1 Thursday, 10 October 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, good morning to you. Would you
6 call the case, please?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning to you. This is case number,
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can
10 you hear me in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
12 I can hear you and understand you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: You may sit down.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution?
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Joanna Korner assisted by Denise Gustin,
16 case manager good morning, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
18 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm still John Ackerman with my
20 colleagues, Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And good morning to you.
22 Any preliminaries?
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes. First of all, can I deal with the
24 witness. Yesterday, I realised when I was going through the documents
25 that it is almost impossible for this man to give evidence in open session
1 even with a pseudonym and voice distortion and for him not to be
2 identified because everything he says identifies him, as to who he is. I
3 spoke to him this morning and as I understand it, he is prepared now to
4 testify in open session. The only alternative would have been complete
5 closed session, I think, because we would have been in and out the whole
6 time of closed or private session.
7 The only thing -- because I only appreciated this yesterday
8 afternoon, I spoke to him briefly this morning but I think it may be as
9 well if we start in private session while Your Honour just confirms with
10 him that he is content.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I was going to suggest.
12 MS. KORNER: I think that must be the right --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not that I don't take your word. Don't
14 misunderstand me. It's just to make sure he knows exactly what the
15 position is.
16 MS. KORNER: Exactly Your Honour, and regrettably when I arranged
17 to see him this morning at 8.30 I forgot to organise an interpreter so
18 we had to wait so it was a bit rushed. Your Honour, but can I deal with
19 some other matters first of all.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
21 MS. KORNER: The first is this: Your Honours, in respect of the
22 progress or shortening of the case, we have taken a decision that we will
23 not be leading evidence now in respect of three municipalities. That is
24 to say, Bosanska Dubica, Bosanska Gradiska, and Bihac/Ripac. In addition,
25 we will almost certainly be reducing the evidence on some of the smaller
1 municipalities, although we will be calling some evidence. We told Your
2 Honours sometime ago that in relation to some municipalities, we would be
3 reducing the witness to one and I think in others as well but that's still
4 not finalised.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And regarding Prijedor? Yesterday I inquired, you
6 were not here at the time, but I inquired to Mr. Ackerman who said he was
7 preparing a draft joint memo.
8 MS. KORNER: Yes he was. It was given to me yesterday after
9 court. Your Honours, I have not had a chance to consider it carefully. I
10 think probably it will be an agreed document. It's just a question of I
11 just want to make sure that I understand exactly what is being suggested.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate that. Okay. When that is --
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I just say this? Subject to things
14 not going wrong and us being out on our timing, we estimate we will be
15 starting Prijedor next Monday, Monday week, it may well be that we will in
16 fact have a free day on Friday.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Monday, 21st, you mean.
18 MS. KORNER: Sorry, we will be starting Prijedor on Monday the
19 21st. We will finish with Kljuc next week. There is a problem that has
20 arisen over the Rule 92 witnesses, which I want to bring to Your Honour's
21 attention now. The -- our estimate is that we will finish Prijedor by
22 Christmas, on the basis that there will be very few witnesses who will be
23 giving evidence in full. In other words, going through the whole saga.
24 One of the problems with that is of course this: There are a
25 large number of relevant documents that relate to Prijedor. I think Your
1 Honours have been given the binders. Yes. In advance. And many of the
2 witnesses dealt with those documents in their previous evidence. I think
3 I will at some stage be asking Your Honours to perhaps take a day just to
4 read through the documents that are in there because we won't be able
5 to --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman will love that.
7 MS. KORNER: No, no, not in court. I've given that one up. But
8 there really are a huge number of relevant -- when if Your Honours are
9 going to read the transcripts in advance you're going to need to look at
10 the --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We take them -- we do read them as we go along
13 MS. KORNER: Absolutely. All right. Your Honour, I think that
14 deals with the question of as it were timing. The best guess that we can
15 give at the moment is that the Prosecution case will finish before the
16 Easter break. That is certainly the target we are aiming for.
17 Your Honour, in respect of Prijedor, there is one other matter.
18 In the Stakic case, Judge Schomburg - I'm sorry - the Trial Chamber, the
19 Judges of their own volition, called a witness from Prijedor, a man named
20 Baltic. He was the secretary to the Prijedor Crisis Staff. He's not on
21 the witness list because in a sense, he's not -- he wasn't a Prosecution
22 witness at all. And therefore he didn't come under as it were Prosecution
23 witnesses. But it may well be that we will be calling him in this trial
24 again. We are going to hand over the transcripts of what he said. The
25 only reason I put it at this stage with a query is nobody has actually
1 spoken to him as to his willingness to return.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Stakic, he is not a witness of the Prosecution, no?
3 MS. KORNER: No he was called by the Judges.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You intend to make him become one in this one.
5 MS. KORNER: In one sense, Your Honour, yes, in the sense that he
6 would be put in to give evidence again with -- as it were, as part of the
7 Prosecution case.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Right.
9 MS. KORNER: But as I say, one of the difficulties is he wasn't a
10 Prosecution witness and he's never been contacted by the Prosecution. So
11 that's why we have to make certain inquiries.
12 Your Honour, can I come now then to the Rule 92 aspect?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, in --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: May I ask the usher, please, to go to the witness
16 and explain to him that we are dealing with procedural matters?
17 MS. KORNER: I told him that in advance Your Honour. I said he
18 wouldn't be likely to get on before 9.30.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
20 MS. KORNER: Because I knew I had these matters to raise. Your
21 Honours gave a ruling on the Rule 92 on the 3rd of September of this year.
22 And one of the witnesses -- can I just find it? Witness 7.192, was not
23 opposed on behalf of Mr. Brdjanin but was the Defence for Talic at that
24 stage required his attendance. And Your Honours then ruled that he should
25 attend and cross-examination by counsel for Talic would be limited to half
1 an hour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I remember.
3 MS. KORNER: Yeah. Your Honour, this witness was seen yesterday
4 in the area in which he lives, because he in fact is ill, not ill but has
5 a heart condition, which makes it impossible for him to travel to The
6 Hague. Your Honour, the medical certificate is being faxed through this
7 morning and I can produce it tomorrow. But in respect of that witness, as
8 it was that Mr. Brdjanin didn't wish to cross-examine him in any event, we
9 are going to be asking that in the light of his health, the statement
10 should go in without cross-examination.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there were a lot of matters raised and
13 I guess I'll start with the last one since it's --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: As I told Your Honours on more than one occasion,
16 up until the severance, there was a lot of joint Defence going on between
17 us and the Talic Defence and for instance with regard to this 92 bis
18 issue, I knew that the Talic Defence was going to request the witness be
19 brought here for cross-examination and it would have been surplusage and a
20 waste of time for me to make the same motion and that's why I didn't.
21 That doesn't mean that I didn't want him brought here for
22 cross-examination at the initial instance just because I didn't ask for it
23 doesn't mean that I wasn't interested in it. And it didn't make much
24 difference to me whether it was the Talic Defence team that cross-examined
25 him or me. I don't know if his condition is any different now than it was
1 in September when the matter was first brought here but I doubt it. I
2 presume that he was in the same condition then. It was not -- I don't
3 know whether it was raised at that time or how it was dealt with. But I
4 want to take advantage in every case where it was -- we had a joint
5 situation with the Talic Defence team, where they made objections or
6 requests that I agreed with, that I not lose the benefit of those just
7 because there has been a severance. Therefore, I maintain the position
8 that I said in my communication to Ms. Korner of a few days ago, that this
9 person should be brought here for cross-examination. And part of that,
10 Your Honour, is based on the proposition that I have requested earlier in
11 this case for some guidance and clarification regarding the application of
12 92 bis which the Court was -- the Chamber was reluctant to extend. And
13 therefore, I still do not have any guidance as to how the Chamber will
14 treat Rule 92 bis statements. And so I must assume they will be treated
15 in the way -- in a way that is not particularly helpful to my client.
16 With regard to the Stakic case, or the Prijedor part of this case,
17 I learned late yesterday that it was the intention of the Prosecution to
18 try to start the Prijedor phase of this case a week from Monday. We were
19 handed the witness list and the exhibit list yesterday morning. There
20 are, I don't know, 500 exhibits maybe on the list. We haven't even had a
21 chance to count them. I was also told that the first witness they want to
22 bring is probably the most complicated in terms of the amount of
23 transcript material that has to be dealt with, with regard to that
24 witness. I cannot imagine how we can in any way be prepared to deal with
25 that much material, that complicated a situation, become familiar with all
1 of these exhibits, to make our objections regarding these exhibits, to be
2 prepared to start the Prijedor phase of this case until what we were
3 originally told it would be, and that would be around the end of the
4 month. So my humble request Your Honour is that we not start the Prijedor
5 phase of this case until the 28th of this month, Monday, the 28th, because
6 I can't possibly be ready before that then. I just don't know how I can.
7 You have not probably seen the universe of material that I have to deal
8 with Your Honour but it's just staggering. And I can't do that over a
9 weekend. I can't do it in a day or two. It takes several days to get
10 even close to being ready for that. So that's my request.
11 The -- one of the effects of the severance is we have clearly
12 speeded this case up a rather dramatic amount. The Prosecutor just told
13 you that she thinks we could finish as early as the Easter break next year
14 which is I think substantially ahead of where we thought we were going to
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Not much.
17 MS. KORNER: In any event, I really would be terribly handicapped
18 if we had to go forward with the Prijedor case a week from Monday.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner?
20 MS. KORNER: Well, I think I'll deal with that first Your Honour
21 and then go back to Rule 92 because I hadn't finished before Mr. Ackerman
22 got up. There is another problem.
23 Your Honour, there are a number of issues relating to this. I
24 understand of course that the complication of Prijedor is the amount of
25 previous material for some of the witnesses. But the fact is those
1 witnesses will be called very shortly, so it's not a question of there
2 having to be a lengthy examination-in-chief now. If we don't start until
3 the 28th, then it will not finish before Christmas. Today, after -- at
4 some stage during the day, Mr. Ackerman is going to be given the documents
5 relating to a witness who has had a witness summons served on him, who
6 relates to Kljuc, and that's going to interrupt the Prijedor flow in
7 any event. I raise it now because of Mr. Ackerman's request. If we start
8 on the 28th only, we are going to lose the week of November the 4th, very
9 largely I would think, to this witness. In addition to that, we have a
10 further usual complication that at the moment the Defence case is going
11 to start in Stakic on the 18th of November. I understand a new Judge has
12 been found. I have -- we will be making a request to delay that start in
13 any event but we are going to have the very unhappy situation of
14 Prosecution witnesses and Defence witnesses in the Prijedor case being in
15 this building together, apart from anything else they may be staying in
16 the same places. So I'm very anxious to get Prijedor started on the
18 Mr. Ackerman, I understand the problems, but Mr. Ackerman does
19 have a co-counsel. I've heard what he says he doesn't want the co-counsel
20 to take over but there is a co-counsel here to assist in the preparation
21 for witnesses, and a legal assistant. Therefore, I would suggest that
22 there is sufficient time between now and then to prepare for the witnesses
23 that will come that week.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Could we use the week profitably doing something
1 MS. KORNER: No. There isn't anything else we can do.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: There is no -- Mr. Ackerman?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, Mr. Trbojevic is a highly capable
4 lawyer but he cannot read those transcripts and there are no transcripts
5 in B/C/S, and therefore, his assistance in that regard getting that
6 material together is just not possible.
7 Please understand that just because we are not sitting in this
8 Court doesn't mean that we are not making progress and if we didn't start
9 Prijedor until the 28th, then that among other things would probably keep
10 me from standing up and saying to you, "I can't be prepared for tomorrow,
11 let's take a day off tomorrow." One of the things that is going to happen
12 because of what I think is going to be our agreement regarding Prijedor is
13 where there might have been four days of direct examination, there might
14 be a half of a day or a day, which means that the witnesses will move --
15 I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sorry, Mr. Ackerman. I'm thinking of a
19 possible solution.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: With the way that we are probably going to handle
21 Prijedor by using the transcripts, it means the witnesses will move
22 through the process much more rapidly than they otherwise would have,
23 which has among other things, the effect of reducing the amount of time
24 that would be available to me for preparation of their cross-examination.
25 And that's an additional problem and the preparation time is going to have
1 to be found, whether we do it during the week of the 21st or do it
2 sporadically as we go along working like three days a week instead of
3 five, that it's just going to have to happen that way. I can't imagine,
4 Your Honour, that there is any excuse for the Prosecutor having waited
5 until yesterday to give us the exhibit lists and the witness list. I just
6 can't imagine there is any excuse for that, and I can only think it was
7 deliberately done to make it more difficult for us to be prepared because
8 they had to have known for weeks the exhibits they were going to use in
9 Prijedor and the witnesses they were going to use in Prijedor and it was
10 only when I sent an e-mail saying, you have not given us this, we can't
11 possibly get prepared without it, that I got it the next day, and if it's
12 the Prosecutor's wish that we move efficiently in this case, then she
13 ought not to wait until the very last minute to give us materials like
15 MS. KORNER: I really don't know why it's necessary each time for
16 Mr. Ackerman to insinuate that the Prosecution is behaving dishonourably,
17 deliberately. The reason for the delay was twofold: First, we went back
18 through the exhibits after General Talic disappeared from this case, to
19 see if we could reduce the number. That was one of the reasons Your
20 Honour gave us a week off. As regards the witnesses, the Stakic case only
21 finished something over a week ago and we had to assess at the end of the
22 day which witnesses we were going to call and that is the reason. I am a
23 touch troubled that Mr. Ackerman in the light of the way we've conducted
24 the case so far, thinks that we are deliberately trying to make life more
25 difficult for the Defence.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: May I just off the cuff make a suggestion? I know
2 that I ought actually to first discuss it with my colleagues but before I
3 do so, perhaps I could get a feedback from you. The week of the 21st to
4 the 25th of October, already contains two days in which we are not
5 working. That's Thursday, the 24th of October, which is an United Nations
6 holiday, and Friday, the 25th of October, which is a court maintenance.
7 Yes, yes. Definitely. So we are talking of three days during that week.
8 21st and 22nd we are working in the morning, we are sitting in the
9 morning, 23rd we are sitting in the afternoon. 24th, 25th, we are not
10 sitting. In November, we had scheduled a break of which you are all
11 aware, basically starting from the 19th -- from the 13th, restarting then
12 on the 25th. May I suggest, and then we discuss it obviously because I am
13 saying this off the cuff, and I don't know what the position of the other
14 two Judges is, that we eliminate the last three days of that break, that
15 is the 20th, 21st and 22nd, and work those three days? We would resume
16 instead of on the 25th, in other words we would resume on the 20th, 23rd
17 and 24th are Saturday and Sunday but again this is subject of course to
18 Judge Taya and Judge Janu being able to do that. I mean, I will be going
19 to Malta and will be returning on the 19th so I can actually resume on the
20 20th, straight away. So in other words, we eliminate three days in
21 October and we gain three days in November. If that is -- I think that
22 should try to -- I'm trying to meet you halfway and sort of --
23 MS. KORNER: I tell you what effect that will have. And that is
24 that the order of witnesses will have to be reorganised again because we
25 are trying to have the same persons calling the witnesses as called them
1 in Stakic. And the first witness was the one I dealt with. I will not be
2 here at all the week of the 28th. I have professional commitments in
4 JUDGE AGIUS: 28th of October?
5 MS. KORNER: Of October. So in that event I think it's a matter
6 for Your Honours to decide upon. It would be preferable in my view not to
7 be crossing over Stakic with this case again but I've made the point. But
8 then, if Your Honours go for that, then the order of witnesses will not be
9 the same. So we will have to have another look at it. I'm just saying
10 that so Mr. Ackerman doesn't think we are deliberately trying to throw the
11 Defence out.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Beside, apart from that, because I wouldn't even try
13 to get --
14 MS. KORNER: I'm just saying Your Honour that's the consequence
15 that will have.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: May I suggest to you that you take advantage of the
17 first break that we will have to further discuss it amongst yourselves.
18 MS. KORNER: I don't actually think that -- my application is that
19 we stick to the old schedule. Mr. Ackerman is that we don't. And I think
20 it's as simple as that and it's a matter for Your Honours to decide.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Having put us in that position, we will have to
22 decide. We would have preferred if you could have sat down and come to an
23 agreement between you, amongst you.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour I mean, Mr. Ackerman doesn't want to sit
25 the 21st, we do.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but exactly. When I say I suggest you sit
2 down, each party has to depart from a position of rigidity and assume that
3 there can be some flexibility and some sort of adjustment. Perhaps I
4 understand what your problem is. Mr. Ackerman is keeping silent. But
5 this is why I'm saying that perhaps you could take five minutes during the
6 first break and see if you can come to some sort of agreement.
7 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, we can but at the moment we are
8 poles apart and the only agreement -- I don't see Mr. Ackerman saying I'll
9 sit on the 21st. And we are saying, fine, we prefer to sit on the 21st
10 but Your Honours can rule.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I also heard Mr. Ackerman complain that -- not
12 complain but mention that the fact as to who is going to be the first
13 witness worries him a little bit by way of having to prepare, finalise his
15 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Or be prepared so perhaps if you could -- this is
17 why I'm saying do meet, take five minutes, because the moment you leave --
18 you ought to negotiate, doors start opening and then you see whether it's
19 feasible or not. But if you don't want to, I mean we will take a
20 decision. But then it will be a decision which probably none of you will
22 MS. KORNER: Well, somebody is going to like it Your Honour.
23 But -- may I say all the early witnesses would virtually be the same.
24 They have all got because they are the witnesses that cover the political
25 background in Prijedor.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I could in fact be back to resume
2 sitting on the 21st but I'll only say this about that. It's not totally
3 helpful to give me three days preparation time and then take three days
4 preparation time away from me later which I had planned to use for the
5 very purpose of doing Prijedor matter. But it may -- it might make sense
6 to do what you suggest and just see where we are when we get to that
7 point. We can certainly, by using the three days that you've offered next
8 week, get to the point by the 28th where we will be ready to go with at
9 least the initial phases of the Prijedor case. And if that goes along
10 smoothly and we can come back on the 21st without any problem and keep
11 going, then so be it, we've solved the problem and we may -- that may
12 very well work and it may not, but I'm certainly willing to try that and I
13 think it makes sense.
14 MS. KORNER: I didn't think Your Honour was offering three days
15 next week. Your Honour said the three days of the 21st should be off, not
16 next week.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No, not next week, no. Next week we are working the
18 whole week.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, I meant the following week.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. That's how I understood you anyway.
21 MS. KORNER: As it transpires, I think in any event that there
22 will be spare time next week. I don't think we will certainly be using
23 the Friday and probably not Thursday because what I was going to say, was
24 that Witness 7.117, who was a witness -- a Rule 92 witness that Your
25 Honour said should attend for cross-examination by both counsel won't
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No subpoena?
3 MS. KORNER: No.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will have one witness less?
5 MS. KORNER: Yes. So Your Honour next week, subject to the next
6 witness finishing on Monday, on Tuesday, we have -- and maybe starting on
7 Monday, I can't remember the numbers but he's a witness who Mr. Ackerman
8 has already prepared for in fact because he was supposed to come sometime
9 ago when General Talic felt ill. Then we have one witness from Sanski
10 Most and two of the witnesses -- the Rule 92 witnesses that were asked
11 for. So it should only be half an hour each on Your Honour's --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I ask you, Ms. Korner to get either Ms. Gustin
13 or someone prepare us a tentative time schedule for the witnesses that
14 will -- the evidence that we will be hearing next week?
15 MS. KORNER: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So that I can perhaps do something, work on that,
17 and either -- just prepare that and then we'll discuss it because I think
18 it can give us an opportunity to offer something else as well. So -- all
19 right. If you could let us have that.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: By the end of today sitting.
22 MS. KORNER: We will do that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: How much you anticipate, in other words, because
24 then I can turn it on Mr. Ackerman and more or less I can also get an
25 indication of how much they intend to dedicate to each of these witnesses,
1 and perhaps we can have a day or two off next week.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, as far as I can see, Friday will
3 certainly be off, and possibly part of Thursday.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's -- okay. I just appeal to you to
5 be it as practical as possible and please do approach each other in a
6 positive way rather than making allegations or assertions of this and of
7 that. I mean, it's -- we are ourselves taking the approach that we
8 consider both of you to be cooperative and if possible, we would like to
9 avoid having to fix time limits for the Prosecution or time limits for the
10 Defence. We prefer to adopt a system whereby you yourself realise what's
11 necessary for your case and you will have ample space or the space
12 necessary to conduct your case as you feel you should be conducting it.
13 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour I did raise that I think sometime
14 ago because as I said, and I've said more than once in this case, if
15 there's any question that an arbitrary time limit will be set, then I need
16 to know that well in advance.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But the idea, Ms. Korner, I mean we are being very
18 plain and very straightforward with you because this is something that we
19 have been discussing. We do not believe that you have bee abusing the
20 process. It's true that some examination -- direct examination could have
21 been shorter. It's true that some questions could have been avoided. But
22 in reality, I think you've been extremely considerate in what you have
23 brought forward. And I have no reason to doubt that the same approach
24 will be forthcoming from the Defence. So the attitude we try to adopt
25 is not to foreclose on you. Because otherwise, it's a system which I
1 personally don't like.
2 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour, but nobody can fail to be unaware of
3 the public sentiments that have been expressed by President Jorda as to
4 the length of time trials are lasting and therefore that's why my anxiety
5 is to make sure that if I am to be given an arbitrary deadline I know well
6 in advance.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But this is a difficult case. It's one of the
8 perhaps most voluminous cases and one of the most difficult cases that one
9 can imagine. It was anticipated in the very beginning it would last at
10 least a year and a half in any case, so I don't think any one can say that
11 we are unduly protracting this case or -- I think we have gone ahead
12 pretty much efficiently and when I have been asked, this is what I have
13 stated. But I have no reason to complain as to the way, until now at
14 least, the Prosecution has conducted its case and I have no reason to
15 believe that the Defence will provide or opt for obstacles or a
16 negative -- so shall we bring the witness in.
17 MS. KORNER: Yes we should go into private session.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We will go into private session for a while,
20 MS. KORNER: Actually better be closed.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: How easy it is to go into closed session in this
22 courtroom because.
23 THE REGISTRAR: It's the same.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the same?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think we better go into closed session for a
2 while. I'll explain to the witness what the situation is.
3 [Closed session]
13 Page 10517 – redacted – closed session
13 Page 10518 – redacted – closed session
13 Page 10519 – redacted – closed session
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Usher, please go next to the witness. May I ask
15 you to stand up, please? So good morning to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You are here to give evidence in this case against
18 Radoslav Brdjanin and according to the rules before you proceed with your
19 testimony, you are required to enter, to make a solemn declaration before
20 this Tribunal that in the course of your testimony, you will be telling us
21 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It's the equivalent
22 of an oath. The text of the solemn declaration is contained in a document
23 which will be handed to you now by the usher, and my request to you is to
24 kindly read it out aloud. That will be your solemn undertaking to us that
25 you will be speaking the truth and the whole truth.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: ASIM EGRLIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. I know that you
6 were informed earlier on this morning that although you were being brought
7 here before 9.00 we would not be summoning you into the courtroom
8 immediately, but that there will be a delay. I apologise to you on behalf
9 of the Tribunal. The reason is that we had several procedural matters to
10 attend to before your testimony could commence, procedural matters that
11 have absolutely nothing to do with you, they have to do with the proper
12 running of the case, but as a result of them, we couldn't bring you in to
13 start with your evidence at 9.00 as we would have liked to.
14 Next thing I wanted to tell you is who we are. I am the Presiding
15 Judge and I am flanked by Judge Janu to my right and Judge Taya to my
16 left. Judge Janu comes from the Czech Republic, Judge Taya from Japan and
17 I come from the tiny island of Malta. To your right is the team for the
18 Prosecution headed by Ms. Joanna Korner with whom you are familiar.
19 You're right is over there, sir. Don't do like me. And to your left, the
20 front row, there is the Defence team for Radoslav Brdjanin headed by lead
21 counsel, John Ackerman.
22 Procedure that will be followed is a very simple one. You will be
23 first asked a series of questions by the Prosecution. And when that is
24 over, then the accused, through his counsel, has got a right to
25 cross-examine you. That is to put questions to you.
1 Your position with regard to the parties, that is Prosecution and
2 Defence, as far as questions are concerned, must be a neutral one. You
3 have just promised us to tell us the truth it and therefore, you have a
4 duty to answer all questions that are put it to you, irrespective of
5 whether they are coming from the Prosecution or the Defence. You have to
6 right to distinguish between the Prosecution and the Defence saying that
7 the Prosecution are my friend, the Defence are not my friends or anything
8 like that. You have a duty to answer all questions, unless we tell you
9 not to answer a particular question.
10 I also want to put your mind at rest that we are always on the
11 lookout to make sure that the questions that are put to you are questions
12 that are allowed by the law which is contained in our -- in other words,
13 there will be no questions allowed which the rules protect you against.
14 All right? With that, I give the floor to Ms. Korner who can proceed with
15 the first question.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm advised to say that
17 Ms. Korner comes from a medium-sized island.
18 Examined by Ms. Korner:
19 Q. Mr. Egrlic, is your name Asim Egrlic?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Were you born on the 27th of July of 1952?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. And are you, by nationality, and ethnicity, a Bosniak, a Muslim?
24 A. Yes, I am.
25 Q. I'm going to ask you, Mr. Egrlic, a number of questions as you
1 know about the events of 1991 and 1992, in Kljuc, but first of all I just
2 want to go through the various statements or documents that you've signed
3 during the course of these events. I think it's right that you made your
4 first statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in 1997.
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And did you make a further statement in March of 2001?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. In addition to that, before you were seen by the Office of the
9 Prosecutor, were you interviewed and made statements to the authorities in
10 the -- in Bosnia, in 1994, 1995, and 1996?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And finally, on the question of documents, were you interviewed
13 after your detention by the Serb authorities in Kljuc in the police
14 station and later when you were sent to Manjaca?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. I'm going to come to the circumstances of your interviews -- those
17 interviews when we deal with it. Now, can I go back, please, to 1990?
18 Did you join the, as it were, new party, the SDA, before the multi-party
20 A. I joined just before the elections.
21 Q. And in the 1990 elections in Kljuc, is this right, that the Serb
22 party, the Serb nationalist party, the SDS, won more seats than the SDA?
23 A. Yes, it's correct.
24 Q. What was your position in the SDA in Kljuc?
25 A. I was president of the executive board of the SDA for Kljuc.
1 Q. And who was the leader of the SDA in Kljuc?
2 A. I was the leader.
3 Q. I see. I'm sorry so you as the president of the executive board
4 were also the leader?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Was there also another Muslim party in the Kljuc
7 municipality namely the MBO?
8 A. There was, the Muslim Bosniak Organisation.
9 Q. All right. And was that headed by Omer Filipovic?
10 A. Yes, it was.
11 Q. After the elections, when I think the SDA were the -- was the
12 second party, did the SDS assume the positions of first of all president
13 of the municipal assembly?
14 A. Yes, it did.
15 Q. And was the gentleman who was president, Jovo Banjac?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. And did you become the president of the executive board of the
18 municipal assembly?
19 A. I did.
20 Q. And did Mr. Omer Filipovic become the vice-president of the Kljuc
21 Municipal Assembly?
22 A. Yes, he did.
23 Q. Now, up until the war started in Croatia in 1991, what were
24 relationships like between the ethnicities in Kljuc?
25 A. They were satisfactory.
1 Q. What difference did the outbreak of war in Croatia make?
2 A. The security situation changed in the territory of the
4 Q. In what way?
5 A. Volunteers from the Croatian war front were returning and
6 disturbing the citizens.
7 Q. And when you say "disturbing," what were they actually doing?
8 A. They were armed, and out of control, with a lot of ammunition.
9 They would open fire on settlements and they started looting.
10 Q. When mobilisation was ordered for the war in Croatia, did the
11 Muslims in Kljuc respond to that mobilisation order?
12 A. They did not respond.
13 Q. And what effect did that failure to respond have on relations
14 between the ethnicities in Kljuc?
15 A. This divided and upset relationships that used to exist among the
16 political parties in Kljuc.
17 Q. Let's now look at the political parties. Up until that time, in
18 1991, what was the relationship between the SDS and the SDA?
19 A. They were quite good. We cooperated in the work of the assembly,
20 and we did our normal duties, in a normal atmosphere.
21 Q. Were you personally acquainted with, first of all, Mr. Banjac?
22 A. I knew him personally, because before, we used to work together
23 for about ten years in a construction company called Sana-Kljuc.
24 Q. I want to ask you about some other people in the SDS. Veljko
1 A. I knew him.
2 Q. What position did he hold during this period, that is 1991?
3 A. He was first the secretary of the municipal assembly and after
4 that, he was chief of the police station in Kljuc.
5 Q. And what about Vinko Kondic?
6 A. Veljko Kondic, was president of the SDS in Kljuc.
7 Q. That's what I thought. I think there is -- it's probably my
8 pronunciation, Mr. Egrlic. The first person I asked you was in fact
9 Veljko Kondic.
10 A. Yes, I knew him. And he was the President of the SDS for Kljuc.
11 Q. All right. And had you worked with him before the creation of the
12 political parties?
13 A. I had.
14 Q. Did you have a good relationship with Mr. Veljko Kondic?
15 A. We had a good relationship and we cooperated well.
16 Q. And now, finally, it's Vinko Kondic, was he the one who was chief
17 of the police station?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And had you known him before --
20 A. I had, I had.
21 Q. Of those three men, who held the, if you like, the most
22 nationalist views?
23 A. I think Vinko Kondic.
24 Q. And how did he express those views?
25 A. It was very hard to come to any agreement with him on many issues
1 that were of common interest, because he advocated only the positions of
2 the Serbian Democratic Party and the Serbian people.
3 Q. I want to ask now about the SDS and -- in Kljuc and any links it
4 may have had with other areas. Did you hear of Radoslav Brdjanin?
5 A. I had heard of him.
6 Q. When did you first become aware of Radoslav Brdjanin as a person?
7 A. He was a well-known figure in the media because he frequently
8 appeared on television as a deputy in the assembly of the Republic of
10 Q. Did you become aware of any other political position that he
11 held? And I'm dealing now entirely with 1991, in 1991.
12 A. Later on, he held the position of president of the autonomous
13 region of Bosanska Krajina.
14 Q. When did you first hear of the autonomous region of Bosanska
16 A. I heard of it for the first time in the second half of 1991, when
17 the proposal was presented at the municipal assembly that we should take a
18 vote in favour of Kljuc municipality joining that region.
19 Q. Who proposed that Kljuc should join the region?
20 A. The president of the assembly, Jovo Banjac, proposed it.
21 Q. And what was the view of your party towards joining the autonomous
23 A. Our party did not accept that.
24 Q. And why was that?
25 A. Because that meant establishing an autonomy and bodies of
1 authority within Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was an internationally
2 recognised state.
3 Q. What was the result of that proposal to join the autonomous
5 A. The result was that the municipal assembly stopped functioning.
6 Q. And why was that?
7 A. Because we, from the SDA, did not agree with such a decision, and
8 under those conditions, we could not continue working in the municipal
10 Q. Over what period of time did the discussions about joining the
11 autonomous region go on?
12 A. The discussions went on from the second half of 1991, and the
13 final decision was taken in April, 1992.
14 Q. Now, you've told us that you were aware of Mr. Brdjanin on
15 television because he was prominent because of his position as a deputy in
16 the assembly, and later, as president of the Autonomous Region of
17 Krajina. At what stage did you become aware that, as you say, he was
18 president of the autonomous region?
19 A. I learnt that in the course of 1992.
20 Q. Now, did you become aware of any connection between Mr. Brdjanin
21 and the SDS in Kljuc?
22 A. I did.
23 Q. And how did you become aware of that connection?
24 A. There was cooperation between the Kljuc SDS and higher bodies
25 within the SDS organisation at the level of the state.
1 Q. And how did you find out about that?
2 A. I found out on the basis of certain decisions taken by the SDS and
3 which were in accordance with the decisions of higher levels of authority
4 of the SDS in the country.
5 Q. And was there anything in particular that made you aware of that?
6 A. Yes. There was a telex which I happened to receive among the mail
7 that I received regularly as president of the executive board of the
9 Q. When you received that telex, did you keep it?
10 A. I showed it to Mr. Jovo Banjac as the president of the assembly
11 and as my work colleague.
12 Q. I want you to have a look, please, at a document marked P22. Now,
13 this is a telex dated the 29th of October, 1991, and it says, "Please
14 deliver this telex to the president of the municipal assembly. Thank
15 you. Order of the SDS in Sarajevo, which was made public at the meeting
16 of all the municipal presidents on the 26th of November, 1991, at 1500
17 hours in Banja Luka, chaired by Dr. Karadzic and which was fully accepted
18 at the session of the Presidency of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and
19 the government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina"?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Ms. Korner said 26 November, 1991. The document I
22 have says 26 October, 1991.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right I was going to correct you on
24 that, in fact.
25 MS. KORNER: Fine. I think we can see it on the screen, if I
1 mispronounced it, so be it, but the document is there.
2 And then there is a list of instructions, one through to 14, and
3 finally it says at the bottom, "Celinac, 29th of October, 1991," and
4 signed, or the subscription is coordinator for implementing decisions,
5 Radoslav Brdjanin, vice-president of the assembly of the autonomous
7 Now, is this the telex that you received whilst you were in the
8 municipal building and about which you spoke to Mr. Banjac?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Did you in fact yourself keep a copy of it?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. And what happened to the copy that you kept?
13 A. At the beginning of the war, my house was set on fire and all the
14 documents I had burnt, including that copy.
15 Q. You said that you spoke to Mr. Banjac about this. What did you
17 to him or what was the conversation about this document?
18 A. I asked him what it was about, what kind of a document this was.
19 Q. And what was his reply?
20 A. He said, "Never mind that. Brdjo is crazy."
21 Q. Did he say anything more about that?
22 A. He didn't say anything more.
23 Q. There are in there a set of instructions. Were those instructions
24 actually put into effect?
25 A. They were.
1 Q. All of them or just some of them, if you can remember?
2 A. Most of them were implemented, from 1991 right up until May, 1992,
3 that is as far as I know.
4 Q. Okay. You can put that document away. Thank you, Mr. Egrlic.
5 Now, you said that Mr. Banjac talked about this document by saying
6 that Brdjo was mad. Did you have any other conversations with any of the
7 leadership of the SDS about Mr. Brdjanin?
8 A. I didn't. I didn't have occasion to discuss this issue.
9 Q. No. Leaving aside the particular telex, about Mr. Brdjanin in
10 other contexts?
11 A. Not directly, but I heard from SDS representatives that Brdjanin
12 was highly respected in the SDS, and that he was deeply appreciated.
13 Q. Now, the positions that the SDS was taking in Kljuc on various
14 matters, did you understand they were making these decisions themselves or
15 from taking instructions from higher levels of authority?
16 A. Well, at the beginning of work of the joint bodies of the
17 municipal assemblies, most decisions were coordinated with us and the
18 decisions were taken jointly. However, especially at the beginning of
19 1992, they worked following specific instructions mostly.
20 Q. And how were you able to understand that? How did you know that?
21 A. On a number of occasions, and especially when they wanted to
22 change the inscriptions on institutions, the flags and the insignia worn
23 on police uniforms, I had occasion to see this.
24 Q. Yes. I understand that, but how did you know that was as a result
25 of instructions from higher levels than the Kljuc municipality itself?
1 A. We discussed this at length and we tried to avoid this happening,
2 since the country as such had its own emblems at the level of the country,
3 defined by constitution. However, they wanted to change them and they
4 didn't have any firm arguments in favour, and finally, they said that this
5 was a decision taken by higher levels of authority within the SDS.
6 Q. Yes. Thank you.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, if there is going to be a break, this
8 would be a convenient time.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break, resuming at 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Mr. Egrlic, I want to deal now with some of the events from the
15 middle of 1991 until the end, through some of the documents that you
16 personally have knowledge of. Could you be shown, please, Exhibit P853?
17 Now, Mr. Egrlic, this is a document dated the 9th of June, 1991, and it
18 appears to be an official statement number 3 for both the Muslim Bosniak
19 organisation, the MBO, and the SDA, and it talks about effectively it's to
20 do with Martic, Milan Martic. "We are stunned by the impertinence of
21 Martic's military units but even more surprised by the conduct of the
22 legal authorities in Bosansko Grahovo and Titov Drvar and it goes on to
23 say that -- to deplore the behaviour of the Serbs in Titov Drvar and then
24 goes on, "We are prepared to apply the same methods that Martic and his
25 boss, Bajic [phoen], using Knin against the legal authorities of Croatia
1 to welcome those self-proclaimed people's representatives. The guests
2 will be welcomed to the Kljuc commune with barricades and roadblocks
3 because for us, Bosnia and Hercegovina is still the only official homeland
4 and we shall not allow anyone to humiliate it. We call on all patriots to
5 unite in the struggle to preserve the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina
6 regardless of their ethnic, religious, or political affiliation." And
7 I think it's signed -- it's not signed, in fact, but it has your typed
8 signature and that of Mr. Filipovic. Very briefly, Mr. Egrlic, what was
9 this announcement in connection with? What were the events that led to
11 A. This announcement is a reaction to the events which took place
12 because Martic and others visited Titov Drvar and Bosansko Grahovo
13 and we felt that we should react to that by an announcement and that is
14 what we did. And according -- and this announcement was broadcast over
15 Radio Kljuc.
16 Q. All right. And Martic and others were doing what in Titov Drvar
17 and Bosansko Grahovo?
18 A. They went on a visit to Titov Drvar and Bosansko Grahovo, which
19 was covered quite a lot by the media. They were welcomed there and
20 gratitude was expressed for everything that they were doing in the
21 Republic of Croatia in the Knin Krajina.
22 Q. And what made you feel that this threatened the sovereignty of
24 A. We felt so because similar attempts were made in relation to
25 joining Kljuc to the Bosanska Krajina region and we felt that this could
1 happen in the region in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 Q. Now, next --
3 MS. KORNER: And Your Honours I'm sorry I missed this on my list
4 but I don't think that it matters much. I think it can go on to the
5 ELMO. It's Exhibit P858. Because I can deal with it briefly. It deals
6 with a topic that the witness has already covered.
7 Q. This is another joint announcement in September, 1991 if -- could
8 we just it turn over the page, usher, so that we can see the bottom of it,
9 we can see the date at the bottom? Yeah. 21st of September, 1991. And
10 if we go back to the front page, please? You and the MBO, or your the SDA
11 and the MBO announcing that "The Muslim residents of Kljuc shall stand
12 under no obligation to serve in units of the reserve strength of the
13 Yugoslav army when called up by its organs until a full constitutional
14 order is established in the country. And the Yugoslav army is placed
15 under the command of the socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and
16 not before this war of republics which has been forced upon Croatia ends,
17 we Bosnian Muslims do not wish and shall take no part in this war because
18 we do not consider the war or the Serbian-Croatian conflict our own."
19 And then just if we just turn over again, "We call upon all
20 military conscripts serving on the reserve forces of the police and the
21 Territorial Defence to respond to the mobilisation and report to the
22 above-mentioned forces but only in the area of the Kljuc commune. It is a
23 duty and a honourable obligation for Muslims and people of other ethnic
24 backgrounds to defend our own homes and the homes of our neighbours," et
25 cetera, and it's signed, I think, by you. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So do we understand you said that the Muslims didn't respond to
3 mobilisation but you were advising people here to respond to mobilisation
4 but only if it was to serve in Kljuc?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to ask you at this stage, a little bit
7 about the military aspect of things in Kljuc. Did you have, stationed in
8 Kljuc, any units of what was then the 5th Krajina Corps?
9 A. In 1991, groups of volunteers were in Kljuc at first, those were
10 the people who went and came back from the front in Croatia.
11 Q. Were there any regular units of the JNA stationed in Kljuc?
12 A. Then parts of the Knin Corps came and stationed themselves at
13 Laniste, about 15 kilometres away from the settlement of Kljuc.
14 Q. And can you remember roughly when that was?
15 A. This was probably in March, 1992.
16 Q. All right. So up until then, there were no units stationed
17 anywhere near Kljuc?
18 A. There were no units, but calls were issued for mobilisation.
19 Q. All right. Can we look, please, then, next at P860?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm confused. He was asked about 5th
22 Corps and then spoke about the Knin Corps. I think those are not the same
23 organisations. I think those are separate organisations, are they not?
24 MS. KORNER: I'll ask the witness, Your Honour but I was going to
25 deal with it because he said that was March.
1 Q. The Knin Corps being what, Mr. Egrlic?
2 A. Parts of units who had left Knin and were stationed at the -- in
3 the area of Laniste so these were parts of the units of the former JNA.
4 Q. All right. Do you know -- and if you do not, say so -- did they
5 come within the 5th Krajina Corps or were they separate?
6 A. I'm not able to say that exactly.
7 Q. But Your Honour I'm prepared to make that admission?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That's okay. Is it clear enough for you,
9 Mr. Ackerman? Thank you.
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. Now, can you look, please, at P860?
12 Is this an announcement -- a public statement made by the SDA on
13 the 24th of September, which in summary says that you, the SDA, invite all
14 political forces active in Kljuc to use your political activity to
15 contribute to keeping this area safe from the storms of war? You invite
16 the Kljuc public security station to direct its activities solely to
17 protecting and keeping safe citizens, persons and properties. Armed
18 groups or paramilitary formations of which there seem to be more and more
19 in our town will be considered undesirable. And three -- item 3, the
20 public security station should recruit necessary staff bearing in mind
21 that the ethnic composition of the police force should correspond to the
22 overall ethnic composition in the commune. Mr. Egrlic what prompted that
23 part of the statement? Item number 3.
24 A. The general situation prompted us. The general security situation
25 which was jeopardised in the area of the municipality.
1 Q. Yes, but in particular, you're asking or you're stating that the
2 police stations should recruit on the basis of the balance of the
3 ethnicities. Was that not happening?
4 A. Up until that point, the situation wasn't -- the situation wasn't
5 such that it would indicate that divisions, complete divisions, would
7 Q. But was the ethnic composition --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, please.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, this may not be the appropriate time but
10 before Ms. Korner goes on to some other place I need to raise this. I'm
11 wondering with regard to this particular exhibit, Your Honour, if the
12 underlining that we see in the B/C/S version, which has been also put in
13 the translation, if that is on the original. We had this come up before
14 and the Prosecution said they were going to look at the originals that are
15 in some secret vault here to make sure that this wasn't underlining that
16 was done by the Prosecutor's Office but was actually part of the
17 original. I don't know if that's happened with this. I assume it has and
18 I assume the Prosecutor knows the answer to that question but I don't.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
20 MS. KORNER: Mr. Ackerman says that but he knows full well that it
21 hasn't been checked and I don't know the answer for sure. I don't think
22 so. I rather feel this was the original but we will check that we will
23 get the original from the evidence unit.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please do. Come back to us on it.
25 MS. KORNER: All right.
1 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Egrlic, just this, at this stage in September,
2 1991, did the police force have a composition that was the equivalent of
3 the ethnic balance in Kljuc?
4 A. No, not entirely.
5 Q. In which ethnicity was it slanting, was it in favour?
6 A. The Serb ethnic group was in a better position.
7 Q. All right. And then can we look at item 4? "We resolutely reject
8 the proclamation of the so-called Autonomous Region of Krajina" although
9 it's been translated as district "with its headquarters in Banja Luka as a
10 successor to the Banja Luka community of municipalities and judge the act
11 of its proclamation to be completely unconstitutional and unacceptable to
12 any of the peoples living in the area."
13 And then it goes on to say, "We would like to remind the public
14 that neither the regionalisation issue nor the question of the joining of
15 this commune to the Banja Luka community of municipalities has never been
16 on the agenda of the Kljuc Municipal Assembly, just as the assembly has
17 never adopted any decision which could be interpreted as its consent to
18 the act of joining the autonomous district of Krajina." And then it goes
19 on to say that people in the assembly who declared the autonomy are not
20 the legitimate representatives of Kljuc.
21 Were you aware that people from Kljuc had attended this founding
23 A. First of all, the decision about joining the municipality of Kljuc
24 to the autonomous region was made amongst the SDS circles and was not
25 discussed by the municipal assembly of Kljuc at this time.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 10539 to 10543.
1 Q. I understand that. What I'm asking is, did SDS members from the
2 Kljuc assembly attend the founding assembly of the autonomous region, to
3 your knowledge?
4 A. As far as I know, yes.
5 Q. And then it goes on to say that this, as you told us before,
6 threatened the sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
7 in -- goes on finally, at the end of paragraph 4, "In the event that such
8 an illegal decision is implemented by the Autonomous Region of Krajina,
9 Banja Luka, and in the event that they continue with the formation of
10 parastate organs and with putting Muslims in a subordinate position, we
11 shall have to organise a referendum on splitting off to form a separate
12 Muslim commune."
13 Now, at this stage, Mr. Egrlic, had you and the MBO considered
14 setting up a separate Muslim, as it were, municipality in Kljuc?
15 A. Yes, we did, and we pointed out that in this announcement.
16 Q. And why did you feel it was necessary to make this clear?
17 A. We wanted to state clearly to the public that we were not in
18 favour of the municipality of Kljuc being joined to the Autonomous Region
19 of Krajina Banja Luka, and that we were committed to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. What effect did -- was that going to have in your opinion, if
21 there was this joinder to the autonomous region on the Bosniaks in Kljuc?
22 A. The question is not quite clear to me.
23 Q. All right. You were saying you would have to set up a separate
24 Muslim commune, as it was called. Why did you feel that was necessary in
25 the event that the Kljuc municipality was taken into the autonomous
1 region? What effect did you think that would have on Muslims?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he already answered that question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The effect would be that that
4 municipality, which was within the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, would
5 have all of its rights, would enjoy all the rights which are guaranteed to
6 it by the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes. I know he's answered that, Your Honour. He has
8 said that before but what I'm trying to get --
9 Q. You as a Muslim in a municipality that was taken into this new
10 separatist commune, how was that, did you think, going to affect you
11 personally as a Muslim, if at all?
12 A. Since a referendum of the Serbian people was held and that they
13 came out in favour of staying within Yugoslavia, this new parastate did
14 not guarantee that the Muslims would enjoy all of their rights as citizens
15 and for that reason we did not want to accept to remain part of the
16 autonomous region, and that is why we pointed out that the -- we wished to
17 form a separate municipality and that we were citizens of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina and that we wanted to be part of that state.
19 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
20 Yes, you can put that document away now. Thank you.
21 Now, you spoke a moment ago about the referendum of the Serbs that
22 took place, which in fact took place after you issued this document, and I
23 don't think there is any dispute it took place in November, 1991. After
24 the referendum had been held, how did that affect the events in the
25 municipality of Kljuc?
1 A. As far as the referendum is concerned, most of the Serbs came out
2 in favour of joining Yugoslavia or in favour of remaining in the former
3 Yugoslavia, and then from that day on, our relationships in the political
4 life of the municipality of Kljuc were disrupted.
5 Q. And how were they disrupted in particular?
6 A. They were disrupted in such a way that the municipal assembly
7 didn't work the way it did before, and it was difficult to reach certain
9 Q. All right. Now, I want to look, please, at two further documents
10 connected with the matters that you've dealt with a moment ago. Please,
11 P863. This is a document issued on the 7th of October, 1991, by Banja
12 Luka -- or addressed, I'm sorry it's issued by Kljuc and addressed to the
13 Banja Luka CSB and deals with the ethnicity of the police force, which
14 shows that there was Serbs formed 75 per cent, Muslims 24 per cent and
15 Croats 1 per cent. And goes on to say, "The ethnic composition of members
16 of the police reserve force has been expressed according to the total
17 number of police reservists, despite the fact that the ethnic composition
18 of the police reserve force approximately corresponds to the ethnic
19 composition in the areas in which police stations have been established."
20 And goes on to say that they try and ensure that the composition
21 correspond as closely as possible to the ethnic composition of the
22 population, and it's signed for the chief, Vinko Kondic.
23 By October of 1991, did -- do those figures express what you
24 believe to be the ethnic composition of the police?
25 A. I cannot say that with 100 per cent accuracy but most probably
1 they do, because on several occasions, we stated that this balance has
2 been disrupted and that it should be made to reflect the ethnic
3 composition in the municipality.
4 Q. All right. Yes. Thank you. And then could you look at the next
5 document, please, which has actually got two numbers, P90 or 864? We've
6 already been through this, I think, with Mr. Filipovic so I'm just going
7 to ask you to identify it. On the 31st of October, did you issue a joint
8 statement with the MBO, which related to effectively the fax that you've
9 already described to us that you received?
10 A. Yes, we did. We addressed the public because that was the only
11 way for us to familiarise public opinion with what was going on.
12 Q. Yes. Thank you. Now, there came a stage in January of 1992 where
13 I think you, the Muslims, did set up what you called the Municipality of
14 Bosnian Kljuc. Would you look just briefly at -- I'm sorry, I just
15 realise I think I made a -- yes. Could you look, please, at P871, first
16 of all?
17 Now, this is a document showing a decision to suspend all
18 activities of the Kljuc Municipal Assembly in the Banja Luka intercommunal
19 regional community, and it's signed by the President of the Kljuc
20 Municipal Assembly, Jovo Banjac. It says it suspends its membership of
21 the intercommunal regional community and says that it will be reinstated
22 as and when the proper decision is taken. Now, do you remember this?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. Do you remember how this came about?
25 A. In view of the fact that the first decision was taken without the
1 municipal assembly meeting, and we reacted to this with a public
2 announcement, under pressure of the public, Mr. Banjac took this decision
3 annulling the initially taken decision, until it could be officially taken
4 at an assembly meeting. A municipal assembly meeting.
5 Q. Now, and then on the back of that, if you turn over, we see there
6 was a statement by professor Filipovic which relates to an action that you
7 and the MBO took together.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Asking for a debate in the assembly, in order to avoid our
10 abstaining from participating in the assembly's work. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. All right. And then -- thank you very much. If we look at what
13 did happen, please, P872. On the 31st of January, I think there was an
14 announcement on Radio Kljuc which effectively stated that there was a
15 newly formed Bosanski Kljuc; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And I'm not going to go through it but it gives at some length the
18 reasons for why you and the MBO decided to take this action.
19 Now, did the assembly that -- as described of Bosanski Kljuc, ever
21 A. We just announced that we would form it. We were supposed to hold
22 a referendum of citizens. However, we never managed to do that, in view
23 of the situation, and this municipality of Bosanski Kljuc did not operate,
24 did not function.
25 Q. Okay. Now, can we move, then, into the events before May of
1 1992? What happened in respect of the police force in Kljuc?
2 A. As regards the police, the request was made by the SDS and the
3 chief of police that the police should change its insignia, those they
4 wore up until then, that is those of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 and that they should wear new insignia with the national symbol of the
6 Serb people.
7 Q. And what was the reaction of the SDA and the MBO to that?
8 A. We tried to have that decision not implemented regarding the
9 change of insignia, on the grounds that we wanted peace and security to be
10 maintained within the territory of the municipality.
11 Q. And why did you feel that changing the insignia would threaten the
12 peace and security?
13 A. We felt it would because policemen who were in the reserve force
14 did not accept wearing such insignia, and one could assume that the police
15 would consist of representatives of one ethnic group only, that is the
17 Q. And did you speak to the local leaders of the SDS about that?
18 That is Banjac or Kondic, Veljko?
19 A. Of course we did, for several days prior to those changes, we had
20 discussions and sought to avoid this happening. However, ultimately they
21 said it was not up to them, that the order had come from a higher level.
22 Q. And did they say who it had come from?
23 A. They said that the order could be changed only by Stojan
24 Zupljanin, the chief of the centre of the security services in Banja Luka.
25 Q. So what did you decide to do?
1 A. They offered that we go jointly, that is a delegation, a joint
2 delegation, go to see Stojan Zupljanin and try to dissuade him, not to
3 make those changes.
4 Q. And did you go on that delegation?
5 A. I was in it and Mr. Omer Filipovic, as well as Jovo Banjac, Vinko
6 Kondic, and Veljko Kondic.
7 Q. What was Zupljanin's reaction to your visit?
8 A. He received us nicely and he explained that nothing could be done,
9 that it couldn't be changed, and he gave us two berets with the Serbian
10 national symbols as insignia. They said how nice they looked, and after
11 that, we left Banja Luka.
12 Q. Did he say why it couldn't be changed?
13 A. He didn't elaborate much. This was a very brief meeting, and we
14 found ourselves in an embarrassing situation when he gave us these berets.
15 We realised that there was no way out.
16 Q. All right. And so was this, the insignia, then changed of the
17 police force?
18 A. The insignia were changed on the police force and on all public
19 institutions, flags were hoisted with the Serb emblems.
20 Q. Now, as far as at that stage -- I'm sorry, I should have asked
21 you, roughly, can you remember when that was, roughly?
22 A. It was exactly on the 7th of May, 1992. I remember that because
23 there was a show of force, because virtually all the features were taken
24 control of and all the main crossroads in town, by the armed forces of the
25 Serbian army.
1 Q. All right. Then I want to just go back a couple of months or so
2 to deal with some other events. Firstly, you mentioned that the Knin
3 Corps came to Laniste in March or thereabouts.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was there any discussion between yourselves, the SDA, and the SDS,
6 about the arrival of the Knin Corps?
7 A. We did have a discussion at a meeting of the national defence
8 council, which in those days was still functioning.
9 Q. And what was said at that meeting and by whom?
10 A. We were of the opinion that the army should not be positioned
11 there, that there was no need for that, and we asked for an explanation
12 why. We were not given any convincing answers, explaining the need for
13 this, but in view of the members of that body, a vote was taken in favour
14 of positioning the Knin Corps units at Laniste.
15 Q. And what was the composition of that vote? Who voted in favour?
16 Which party?
17 A. All members of the SDS at the meeting voted in favour.
18 Q. How did that make you, the Bosniaks, feel? The arrival of the
19 army at Laniste?
20 A. We felt unsafe, as earlier we had seen groups arriving, groups of
21 volunteers, from the front in Croatia, who were not under anybody's
22 control, and we had the feeling that the situation would be further
24 Q. Once they arrived, in Laniste, were any restrictions placed on the
25 freedom of movement within the Kljuc Municipality?
1 A. The more important restrictions were introduced in May, in those
2 days restrictions had not been imposed in the sense of a prohibition of
3 freedom of movement.
4 Q. All right. So before May, there were no restrictions on the
5 freedom of movement?
6 A. There were no restrictions, but there was heightened control, ever
7 since the beginning of the second half of 1991. That is control by the
8 police on the roads.
9 Q. Communications within Kljuc, were you still able, before May, to
10 receive broadcasts from Sarajevo?
11 A. As far as broadcasts are concerned, sometime in April, we were no
12 longer able to receive Sarajevo, as far as the media were concerned.
13 Q. And how was that prevented?
14 A. This was prevented in such a way that the relay station at Kozara
15 was redirected towards Belgrade, so only programmes from Belgrade and
16 Banja Luka could be viewed.
17 Q. Now, again, before the 7th of May, did you ever see any weaponry
18 in the area of Kljuc town?
19 A. As regards weaponry, the town of Kljuc was full of weapons, with
20 respect to the groups I mentioned, those that were going as volunteers to
21 the front. And then also when the Knin Corps appeared at Laniste.
22 Q. Did you ever see artillery at all, as opposed to personal
24 A. I did see some at Laniste, when we made a joint visit there.
25 Q. And what struck you about the artillery you saw at Laniste?
1 A. I saw guns turned towards Kljuc.
2 Q. Now, before the 7th of May, had there been any dismissals of
3 Bosniaks from their jobs?
4 A. There were dismissals. The first started in the neighbouring
5 municipality of Drvar. I know this because a group of employees came to
6 the municipality, people who had worked at the Sipad plant in Drvar and
7 they had been dismissed in April.
8 Q. And what was the reason given for their dismissal?
9 A. They told us that they were dismissed merely because they were
11 Q. Other than that, in that group in Sipad, the Sipad plant, sorry,
12 were there any dismissals that had taken place of Bosniaks within Kljuc?
13 A. Already in April and the beginning of May, the executive -- people
14 were dismissed from executive positions so that the first to be dismissed
15 was the editor-in-chief of the radio.
16 Q. Now, before the 7th of May, had you, the Muslim population in
17 Kljuc, done anything to try and arm yourselves?
18 A. Before the 7th of May, I think there were attempts by individuals
19 to procure weapons because of the security situation, which was in
21 Q. Did you yourself possess a weapon?
22 A. I personally had a pistol, with a licence, a legal licence.
23 Q. And when you say that there were attempts by individuals to
24 procure weapons, what do you mean by that?
25 A. The very closeness of the front in Croatia and the opening of a
1 front at Kupres and especially the return of combatants from those fronts
2 instilled fear and jeopardised the security, and people fearing this,
3 armed themselves by purchasing weapons from certain people who came to the
5 Q. Was there any attempt, first, by yourself personally, to buy
6 weapons on a large scale?
7 A. In those days, one could not even think of it, since there was
8 complete control over all the roads.
9 Q. So -- I'm sorry, is the answer to my question, then, no, as far as
10 you're concerned?
11 A. Yes, that's my answer.
12 Q. But the second question is, appreciating your answer but were you
13 aware of anyone else attempting to buy weapons on a large scale?
14 A. I was not aware of it.
15 Q. All right. Now, you've told us that on the 7th of May, there was
16 this, as it were, takeover. You say Serbian flags appeared and the police
17 force's insignia changed. Were there other signs of things happening?
18 A. As far as the composition of the police force was concerned, it
19 was virtually of one ethnicity and the same applied to the bodies of Kljuc
20 municipality, in which only Serbs were employed.
21 Q. Now, you've told us that there weren't proper or there weren't
22 many restrictions before the 7th of May on the freedom of movement. What
23 happened after the 7th of May?
24 A. On the 7th of May, checkpoints were set up with barbed wire and
25 there was control of every vehicle at each of those checkpoints.
1 Q. Did you become aware, first of all, of the establishment of a
2 Crisis Staff in Kljuc?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. When did you first hear about a Crisis Staff?
5 A. I heard of it for the first time at the end of 1991 or the
6 beginning of 1992.
7 Q. And who did you hear -- from whom did you hear about it?
8 A. This was no secret in Kljuc. I heard it from many people,
9 including Mr. Banjac.
10 Q. Did Mr. Banjac or other people explain to you why there was a
11 Crisis Staff?
12 A. I didn't discuss it.
13 Q. Did you, the Bosniaks, form any kind of a Crisis Staff?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At what stage?
16 A. There was an attempt to form such a staff in mid-May.
17 Q. And who was the head of the staff?
18 A. In the -- at first, it should have been Mr. Filipovic.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Which one? Which one of
20 the Filipovics?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Just a clarification, Your Honour, he says there
24 was an attempt to form a Crisis Staff in mid-May. Of what year is he
25 referring to?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's have the two questions. So mid-May of
2 which year, 1991 or 1992?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And you said that when -- to the question as
5 to who was the head of this Crisis Staff, that the Bosniaks set up, you
6 said at first it should have been Mr. Filipovic. My question to you is:
7 Which one of the Filipovics because we have heard at least about three of
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Muhamed Filipovic.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Muhamed Filipovic the professor or Muhamed
11 Filipovic, Omer's brother, son of Suljo.
12 THE WITNESS: The brother, Omer's brother.
13 MS. KORNER: Actually four Filipovics.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes, thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Egrlic, you say there was an attempt to form the Crisis
17 Staff. Why wasn't it successful, it was only an attempt?
18 A. It was an attempt because from the 7th of May, movement was
19 already restricted and we were not able to meet. We didn't have any
20 conditions to be able to work.
21 Q. What about a TO staff? Was there an attempt to set up a TO
23 A. The Territorial Defence was formed after the appointment of the
24 commander of the TO staff by the commander of the TO staff of Bosnia and
1 Q. And firstly, who was appointed the commander?
2 A. Mr. Omer Filipovic was appointed the commander.
3 Q. And that, you say, was by the commander of the TO staff of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina. Once it had been formed, were you able to organise
6 A. We couldn't organise them because we were already in such a
7 situation that it was impossible to move around on the ground, since
8 checkpoints were already set up and the staff was considered to be
9 illegal, even though it was the legal staff of the Territorial Defence for
10 the municipality of Kljuc, within the TO staff of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. Now, the third Crisis Staff I want to ask you about is this: Did
12 you hear about a Crisis Staff in Banja Luka?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. And when did you first hear of that Crisis Staff?
15 A. I heard about it for the first time sometime in April, 1992.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, just another clarification, I think
17 the evidence so far has established that there were three Crisis Staffs in
18 Banja Luka and I just like to know which one the witness is referring to.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But the question was in Banja Luka.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: There were three.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I was -- the question was Crisis Staff in Banja
22 Luka. So let's leave it at that for the time being and if there are any
23 further questions on it, I mean, the witness was being asked specifically
24 now on which Crisis Staff he had come to know about in April. I know what
25 you mean and actually it was in my mind but I think I would rather not
1 interfere at this point in time.
2 MS. KORNER: I'm going to ask some further questions, had
3 Mr. Ackerman weighted.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I would have expected you to, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. Now, you've heard about a Crisis Staff in Banja Luka sometime in
7 April. Do you know who the head of that Crisis Staff was?
8 A. I heard that it was Mr. Brdjanin.
9 Q. Were you aware of any connections before your arrest at the end of
10 May, between that Crisis Staff in Banja Luka, headed by Mr. Brdjanin, and
11 the Crisis Staff in Kljuc, the SDS Crisis Staff?
12 A. I didn't hear anything in particular. From the document which I
13 received by accident -- except from the document which I received by
15 Q. Sorry, yes. There was a translation problem there. All right.
16 Now, after the takeover in -- on the 7th of May, were there any
17 further -- were there any dismissals that you became aware of?
18 A. All the Bosniak executive officials were dismissed.
19 Q. And by that, the executive officials on the executive council of
20 the municipality? Or do you mean executive positions elsewhere?
21 A. All posts in the municipality held by Bosniaks, especially those
22 from companies, first of all the management was dismissed and then the
24 Q. Now, you told us that you owned a pistol with a licence for it.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you remember hearing any announcement on the radio or on
2 television or elsewhere about weapons having to be surrendered?
3 A. I heard this announcement on Radio Kljuc.
4 Q. And who was being ordered to surrender their weapons?
5 A. The announcement applied to Bosniaks.
6 Q. Did you surrender your weapon?
7 A. No, I didn't surrender it right away.
8 Q. And why not?
9 A. Just like the majority of the citizens, I didn't do it because I
10 was concerned about my safety.
11 Q. What was -- when they -- when the surrender was made on the radio,
12 was anything said about what would happen if weapons weren't surrendered?
13 A. A deadline was set, as far as I can recall, the deadline was the
14 15th of May, until midnight. If weapons were not handed over, the
15 strictest measures would be applied against those who still possessed
17 Q. Did there come a time when you did hand over your weapon?
18 A. I handed over my weapon on the 27th of May.
19 Q. Now, I want to come, then, please, to your arrest. I think it's
20 right that you were arrested on the 28th of May of 1992?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Before your arrest, had you become aware of other events?
23 A. I found out that some citizens had been arrested before me.
24 Q. Were you aware of any fighting that had started?
25 A. On the 27th, I heard that there was an incident in the area of
1 Pudin Han in Busija.
2 Q. And what had you heard had happened?
3 A. I heard that after the a announcement to hand over weapons was
4 made, the police and the army went to disarm Bosniaks in the
5 neighbourhoods where they lived.
6 Q. Did you yourself try and go to any of these areas?
7 A. I personally did not, because I was in a wood with my family,
8 since the entire population had already left their homes because of the
10 Q. All right. Can you tell us, then, please, how were you arrested?
11 A. On the 28th of May, I wounded myself from the pistol that I owned
12 and then I went to the hospital. At the first checkpoint, I was arrested
13 and taken to the Stara Gradiska prison.
14 Q. Now, can I just -- sorry. Was this another pistol from the one
15 you'd surrendered? Or are we still talking about the same pistol?
16 A. With my own pistol, after this happened, this pistol stayed in the
17 place where this happened, so that the people who were there handed it
19 MS. KORNER: I'm a bit confused now.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
21 MS. KORNER:
22 Q. You had your pistol for which you had a licence.
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. And I think you told us you handed over your weapon on the 27th of
25 May. So the day before your arrest.
1 A. No. On the 28th, after I injured myself.
2 Q. All right. So you only -- did you ever have more than the one
4 A. Yes. Only one.
5 Q. Just the one. All right. You say you wounded yourself in the
6 foot. You then went to hospital or tried to go to hospital but you were
7 stopped at the checkpoint?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And it's at that stage that the pistol was taken from you?
10 A. No. Not then. Because I didn't have the pistol with me. I left
11 the pistol in the house where I was sleeping, at the place where I had
12 inflicted the wound on myself.
13 Q. All right. So was it you personally who handed over the pistol to
14 the authorities or did somebody else do it on your behalf?
15 A. No, I didn't do it personally. Omer Filipovic handed it over.
16 Q. All right. Now, when you got to the checkpoint, you say you were
17 arrested. Did -- firstly, who was at the checkpoint, military or police?
18 A. It was the reserves of the Serbian police, they manned the
20 Q. The people who or the person who arrested you, did you know him?
21 A. I knew some of them, just by sight.
22 Q. Were you told why you were being arrested?
23 A. They didn't say anything. They just escorted me to the police
25 Q. All right. Now, what happened to you at the police station?
1 A. At the police station, they said that I should wait for a while
2 and after that, they put me into an ambulance and took me to the Stara
3 Gradiska prison.
4 Q. Did anything happen to you before you got to Stara Gradiska
6 A. They beat me in Kljuc. That was the first thing. And then in
7 Banja Luka, at the place where the Mali Logor barracks is, they beat me
8 again, with another 20 men who were in trailer-truck, who were also being
9 sent to the Stara Gradiska prison.
10 Q. Can we take this, please in stages? You say you were beaten in
11 Kljuc. Was that immediately when you got to the police station or later
13 A. Immediately when I got to the police station.
14 Q. Had you had the injury to your foot treated before then?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Who beat you? Did you know the people or the person who beat you?
17 A. I know one of them. His name is Boro Ceko.
18 Q. And how many of them were involved in this beating?
19 A. About four or five persons.
20 Q. And where did the beating take place?
21 A. On the steps at the very entrance to the police station.
22 Q. What were they using to beat you?
23 A. They used batons, rifle butts, their feet.
24 Q. Did they say anything whilst they were carrying out this beating?
25 A. Yes. But I don't remember what they said because I was
2 Q. I don't remember the -- I'm sorry, I don't expect you to remember
3 the exact words but can you give us a general idea of the sort of things
4 that were being said before you became semi-conscious?
5 A. Mostly they cursed me, they used curses.
6 Q. Did they know who you were?
7 A. Yes, they did.
8 Q. What injuries did you suffer as a result of that first beating?
9 A. My lower jaw was broken and some of my ribs.
10 Q. That was outside the police station. Were there any beatings
11 inside the police station before you were transferred?
12 A. Not at the police station, because I wasn't there for a very long
13 time. They said I was going back, and then on the way out of the police
14 station, the same people who were on the steps beat me again.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think 59 line 20, where it says,
17 "lower jaw," I believe what he said was his lower lip, not his lower jaw.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Was it -- but was it your lower lip or your lower
19 jaw, the jaw is this, the lip is this.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This whole part, around my lips, it
21 was all cut and I still have the scars.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But did you have a fracture of the bone of the jaw,
23 of this bone here?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not the bone.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you happy with that, Mr. Ackerman? Thank you.
1 Yes, Ms. Korner.
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. All right. They beat you again when you came out of the police
4 station. Was it at that stage that you were put into the ambulance?
5 A. Yes, when they beat me, then I was taken to the hospital in a
7 Q. And which hospital were you taken to?
8 A. There is one hospital in Kljuc, and they took me to that hospital.
9 Q. Did you receive treatment, first of all, for the injury to your
11 A. Yes. They dressed my wound and I received anti-poisoning serum.
12 Q. What about the injuries to your face that you described, or your
13 ribs? Were those dealt with?
14 A. They didn't really treat that, and on top of everything, I was
15 beaten some more by the guards in front of the hospital.
16 Q. Was that before you went in for the treatment to your foot or
18 A. Before my foot was dressed.
19 Q. Once your foot had been dressed, where were you taken then?
20 A. Then they took me back in the ambulance to the police station.
21 Q. Did you remain at the police station for any length of time?
22 A. No. I waited there for a while, and then the ambulance started to
23 follow a trailer-truck, which was covered by tarpaulin, in the direction
24 of Banja Luka.
25 Q. And once in Banja Luka, were you taken directly to Mali Logor, the
1 military barracks?
2 A. We arrived at Banja Luka in the evening, and we were in front of
3 the barracks, we were not taken inside the barracks.
4 Q. You've said that you were beaten at Mali Logor. Was that inside
5 the barracks or outside?
6 A. In front of the barracks on the road leading to Bosanska Gradiska.
7 Q. And who carried out the beating on this occasion?
8 A. The driver and the police officer, they went into the barracks
9 and then four policemen came out who beat me.
10 Q. So the beatings were all carried out by policemen, were they?
11 A. I'm not completely sure. They all wore uniforms. They were all
12 uniformed persons, so I don't know whether they were from the army or the
14 Q. So you couldn't distinguish the army uniforms from the police
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It's 12.30, Ms. Korner.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I was just going to finish this topic.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
20 MS. KORNER:
21 Q. Again, when these -- the second, or this beating took place, were
22 weapons used or was it just hands and feet?
23 A. They used their fists, batons, they kicked me.
24 Q. And did you suffer any further injuries as a result of that
1 A. I received injuries to my head. I had bleeding from my head, from
2 my mouth and from my nose.
3 Q. From there, were you taken direct to Stara Gradiska?
4 A. That's where I saw for the first time that the trailer-truck which
5 was driving in front of us also had people inside, and these people were
6 also beaten. After they were put into the trailer-truck again, we went to
7 the Stara Gradiska prison.
8 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honour, that will be a convenient
9 moment. Your Honour we've got the original of that document Mr. Ackerman
10 queried about and all the underlining was on the original.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Ms. Korner. 20 minutes? Would it
12 be okay, 20 minutes? Okay. 20 minutes. Thank you.
13 MS. KORNER: Sorry, before Your Honours leave we better discuss
14 the timing at the end of today's session, I think we are all now in
15 complete confusion about what's happening.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I wasn't be able to complete in time --
19 I think Your Honour has just seen the medical certificate. My examination
20 of Mr. Egrlic today, although the bulk of it. So I wonder if we could
21 stop at 1.30 just so we can try and sort out once and for all what's
22 happening. 1.30 for Mr. Egrlic, that is.
23 Q. Mr. Egrlic, you told us that you were then taken to Stara
24 Gradiska. How long did you remain in Stara Gradiska?
25 A. I stayed there about 15 days.
1 Q. And from there, were you transferred to Manjaca?
2 A. I was.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When you arrived at Manjaca, were your injuries any worse than
6 they were when you arrived at Stara Gradiska?
7 A. As far as my wound is concerned, it was treated up to a point, and
8 the other injuries were recovering of their own.
9 Q. All right. Now, at any stage before your arrival at Manjaca, were
10 you interrogated -- were you interrogated? Questioned?
11 A. I was.
12 Q. And where were you questioned?
13 A. They started questioning me in Stara Gradiska and then they
14 continued at Manjaca.
15 Q. All right. And the questioning was done by whom at Stara
17 A. In Stara Gradiska, and in Manjaca, by a captain. I just know his
18 nickname, Cila [as interpreted].
19 Q. Sorry, could you say the nickname again? The interpreter didn't
20 catch it.
21 A. Zenga was his nickname.
22 Q. Was that a police captain or a military captain?
23 A. Military, a captain in the army.
24 Q. Now, I want to deal, then, please, with Manjaca. Were you
25 arrived -- sorry, when you arrived, was the camp already set up and
2 A. It was.
3 Q. And were there already prisoners?
4 A. There were, men from Grapska. I think it was the Doboj
6 Q. And when you were taken there, were you on your own or with a
7 number of other people?
8 A. I was in a large group of people.
9 Q. Were they all from Kljuc or were they were other areas as well?
10 A. That group was mostly from Kljuc.
11 Q. When you got to Manjaca, were you placed into one of the stables?
12 A. Yes, I was.
13 Q. And were the men with whom you arrived place into the same
14 stables -- stable?
15 A. Yes, they were.
16 Q. And were there already people in that stable?
17 A. There were people.
18 Q. I want to deal first of all then with the interrogations. This
19 man, this Captain Zenga, what was he asking you about?
20 A. This captain asked me, in particular, about the events that took
21 place in Kljuc.
22 Q. In Manjaca, when you were being interrogated by him, was anything
23 happening to you during those interrogations?
24 A. Before each interrogation and after the interrogation, they would
25 beat me.
1 Q. And who would beat you?
2 A. The police who were guarding the camp.
3 Q. The man interrogating you was military. Were there other military
4 in the room with you or was it police?
5 A. The policemen would usually be in front of the door and he would
6 be inside with me.
7 Q. When you were interrogated, how did you feel?
8 A. I felt terrible. He threatened me. It was a question of my life
9 being on the line.
10 Q. Did you see any notes being taken at the time of the questioning?
11 A. Yes. Notes were taken.
12 Q. I want to you look first of all, please, at a document that is
13 headed "Official note." It's dated the 17th of June.
14 MS. KORNER: Now, Your Honour, I'm not sure whether Your Honours
15 have got this. Can I hand to Your Honours a bundle of documents? There
16 is one for the registry. I think if Your Honours go to the second
17 document in there, with the number 0 -- which is the translation. Yes.
18 03039888. It's headed "Official note" dated the 17th of June.
19 Q. Now, I want you -- I think you've had a chance to look at this
20 before, but before you were shown this, did you ever see this at the
22 A. No.
23 Q. I think we need to go through, then, what it is alleged you said.
24 It's an official note compiled on the 17th of June, 1992, about an
25 interview with you and it gives your background or rather your jobs, and
1 it says, "Regarding the armed revolt and the circumstances surrounding the
2 organisation of an ambush on the police and attack on a military convoy."
3 Let's deal with this sentence by sentence, please. He stated that "the
4 formation of the municipal staff of the so-called Bosanski Kljuc TO came
5 through the republican BH TO staff. And the same facts appointed
6 Omer Filipovic commander of the Bosanski Kljuc TO." Can we stop there?
7 Was that something you told this Captain Zenga?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And was that true?
10 A. Yes. It was true.
11 Q. Then you stated that "the President of the Kljuc assembly was also
12 aware of the formation of the Bosanski Kljuc TO." And that "the Bosanski
13 Kljuc TO was formed because they expected that the Kljuc municipality
14 would be divided on the territorial principle into Bosanski Kljuc and
15 Kljuc municipality if there were political discussions." Did you say that
16 to the captain?
17 A. Something to that effect.
18 Q. And was that true?
19 A. Yes, it was.
20 Q. Then "the talks, discussions, and meetings were held in the party
21 offices in the Kljuc cultural centre and in the small meeting hall of
22 Kljuc Municipal Assembly" -- of the Kljuc assembly, rather, I should say.
23 Was that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. "The condition of authorised officials of the Kljuc SJB, having to
1 sign a declaration of loyalty contributed to the speed with which the TO
2 of the so-called Bosanski Kljuc was formed."
3 Did you say that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. "Those employed in the Kljuc TO and those from the Kljuc SJB who
6 did not sign the declaration of loyalty to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina were supposed it to join the staff command."
8 Did you say that to the captain?
9 A. No, I didn't say that.
10 Q. Next to -- well, I'm sorry, you didn't say it. Was that true?
11 Was that actually what happened?
12 A. No. This didn't happen.
13 Q. Then it goes on to say you emphasised that you personally "did not
14 talk to these people but assumed that they would probably have consented
15 in order to secure the subsistence of their families since they had no
17 Did you say something like that to the interrogator?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And again, I have to ask you, was it true?
20 A. No, it's not true.
21 Q. Then it goes on, "When asked who replaced Suad Mesic as the person
22 responsible for medical matters in the Bosanski Kljuc TO staff, you
23 replied that it was most likely to be Dr. Emir Kapetanovic." Were you
24 asked questions about the doctor?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So did you say this?
2 A. No, I did not.
3 Q. Then it goes on, "after reporting to the republican BH TO Staff on
4 the 28th of April, 1992, that the municipal TO staff of Kljuc municipality
5 had not declared its loyalty to the republican staff, they
6 started to form the Bosanski Kljuc staff." It's very unclear who is
7 supposed to be -- whether this is the interrogate -- the report, or you.
8 Was there any questions about this type of subject matter?
9 A. They are always talking about Bosanski Kljuc. It wasn't the
10 Bosanski Kljuc staff that was being formed here but the TO staff of Kljuc.
11 Q. All right. Perhaps we can go on to the next sentence. "We found
12 the grounds for the --" yes, I think this must be the interrogator. "The
13 founding of the Bosanski Kljuc TO staff in a decision adopted in the Kljuc
14 assembly which provided for the mounting of a village guard in all local
15 communes in Kljuc municipality."
16 Is that correct?
17 A. It wasn't in our jurisdiction to seek a base. The staff was
18 formed on the basis of a decision from the TO staff of Bosnia and
20 Q. Yes. I understand that but can you tell us, what it's talking
21 about here is that a village guard was mounted in local communes. First
22 of all, did that happen?
23 A. Yes. There were village guards and all of those who worked in the
24 common bodies of the municipality knew about them.
25 Q. And did you -- were you asked about this by your interrogator,
1 Captain Zenga?
2 A. I don't remember, no.
3 Q. And then it goes on to list the people who were members of the
4 Crisis Staff. First, is that an accurate list?
5 A. I've already stated this -- as far as the Crisis Staff is
6 concerned, it never started functioning because we formed or tried to
7 form, at the time, when it was already difficult to move around, there
8 were restrictions on movement, so this staff wasn't able to meet.
9 Q. No. I understand that but when it was decided to form it, were
10 those including yourself, those people, supposed to be members?
11 A. No. The Crisis Staff was supposed to comprise the legally elected
12 bodies of the Bosniaks who participated in the joint bodies of the
13 municipality of Kljuc.
14 Q. But would that have included you?
15 A. Yes, because I was the president of the executive board. That was
16 my function.
17 Q. Then it goes on to talk, it at the bottom, to say this, "Since the
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina Territorial Defence required that the commander of the
19 Bosanski Kljuc Territorial Defence have a university education, the
20 following were appointed commanders of Bosanski Kljuc Territorial
21 Defence," Filipovic, Amir Abdic, Nevzad Djeric, and yourself. Now, is
22 that right, were you yourself appointed a commander by directive from the
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina Territorial Defence?
24 A. It's not true. Only Mr. Omer Filipovic was appointed commander.
25 Q. And it goes on to say about you, "We have established through
1 operative information that he was also responsible for arming." Was that
2 true? Were you made responsible for collecting arms?
3 A. That is not true. I was in charge of policy and of carrying out
4 political activities.
5 Q. The next sentence relates to you and says that you told them, your
6 interrogators, that the village guards grew into platoons and companies.
7 Did you say that to your interrogators?
8 A. No. I didn't say that. This -- they stayed at the level of
10 Q. And then they said you were asked how soldiers in the Kljuc -- the
11 Bosanski Kljuc TO were armed and you said that this was achieved through
12 individual purchases of weapons. First, did you say that to the captain?
13 A. That's true. It's possible that I said that.
14 Q. Then it goes on, "However, there was also help from abroad, mostly
15 they relied on people from our area employed in Switzerland who, under the
16 pretense of collecting humanitarian aid, in fact collected money for
17 weapons and ammunition." Did you say that to the interrogators?
18 A. I said that as far as the diaspora is concerned, the money was
19 collected mostly for humanitarian purposes. This is something that was
20 added on.
21 Q. And then it says that you and another man named Bilic had gone to
22 Zagreb for a meeting with the people from Switzerland and that you
23 collected 18.000 Swiss francs and returned home and for sometime the money
24 was in your house until you took it to Sarajevo. First of all, did you in
25 fact collect 18.000 Swiss francs?
1 A. It's true that we went to Zagreb and that we were given funds to
2 provide humanitarian aid.
3 Q. And did you in fact take it, to Sarajevo, to the SDA offices?
4 A. No, I didn't.
5 Q. And that later on, weapons were driven to Kljuc in a white Golf
6 with Sarajevo registration plates. Did that happen?
7 A. I'm not aware of that.
8 Q. Did you yourself say anything like this, Mr. Egrlic, to the
9 interrogators, on the basis that by that stage you'd been beaten?.
10 A. I said that weapons were procured through contacts with people
11 within the broader area of the municipality, but that there was no
12 organised procurement of weapons in large quantities.
13 Q. So all of this part that suggests that you had bought and later,
14 as we can see, lists of weapons you're alleged to have had, is any of that
16 A. No. There is no truth in it, because people got weapons
18 Q. It suggests that you actually acquired a Slovenian submachine-gun,
19 which you left behind after you'd been wounded, and buried. Did you own a
20 Slovenian submachine-gun?
21 A. I only owned a pistol legally.
22 Q. And it suggests that you gave a Croatian submachine-gun, a Zagi,
23 to Omer Filipovic and your brother and Ibrahim Egrlic. Did you give them
24 these weapons?
25 A. I did not.
1 Q. And then according to them, you were asked?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Please, what's the problem.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I just wanted to call the attention of the
4 transcript folks to page 72, line 3. It's clearly something wrong there.
5 MS. KORNER: I appreciate -- I think when it's serious but this
6 will be picked up Your Honour, quite honestly, something like that, when
7 we go through. There is a difference between a mistake in the translation
8 and what's typed up.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move ahead.
10 MS. KORNER: So, please, no interruptions unless absolutely
12 Q. Now that I've lost my place, yes, at the bottom -- you why asked?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: That was the whole idea.
14 MS. KORNER: It was indeed, Your Honour. That's why I'm
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, it was not the whole idea. Usually
17 there is a little caret when they say they are going to make a correction.
18 I'm not satisfied that they would pick that up and it's incorrect and I
19 wasn't trying to interrupt Ms. Korner.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman, for clearing
21 that up.
22 MS. KORNER:
23 Q. You were asked, according to this note, where you were,
24 Mr. Egrlic, prior to the shooting, prior to the incident, clearly, in
25 Pudin Han or wherever and you said on the 26th of May you attended a
1 meeting at the cultural centre in Pudin Han. First of all, were you asked
2 where you'd been?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And did you tell them, as is recorded here, that you attended a
5 meeting in Pudin Han?
6 A. I did.
7 Q. And apparently you said that the meeting was attended by company
8 and platoon commanders. Did you say something like that?
9 A. No. These people who are mentioned here were present and they are
10 members of the executive board of the party.
11 Q. And what was the meeting about?
12 A. The meeting was about the problems that arose with respect to the
13 security situation in the territory of the municipality.
14 Q. And then it talks about the convoy being attacked at Krasulje,
15 that you spent the night in Pudin Han, and describes how you received your
16 injury with the pistol. Did you tell the interrogators about this? I
17 mean is this correct?
18 A. I told them that I spent the night at Pudin Han because my family
19 had moved out, as had the entire area I lived in, because of the shooting
20 there was there so that I spent the night at Pudin Han in a house.
21 Q. All right. But then describes -- it apparently states how you
22 received the injury. Is that an accurate description of how you received
23 your injury to the foot?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. And it then states that after going to hospital in Kljuc, you were
1 taken by ambulance to the Banja Luka health centre. Did you ever go to
2 the Banja Luka Health Centre?
3 A. No, I didn't. I was taken to the prison in Stara Gradiska.
4 Q. Did you ever say to your interrogators that you had been taken to
5 the Banja Luka Health Centre?
6 A. No, I didn't.
7 Q. And then there is something about a fax machine in Pudin Han
8 cultural centre. Did you ever speak to the interrogators about a fax
10 A. Yes. A telefax was to have been connected that day and that is
11 why I was there, for the connection of the telefax and roughly what is
12 stated here is what I said.
13 Q. Now, I think you've said you hadn't seen this document before you
14 were shown it by us, but were you shown any sort of note that had been
15 made by the interrogators at the time?
16 A. As regards the note on the interrogation, some notes were done in
17 such a way that the official person wrote them and others I personally
18 wrote because I was forced to do that.
19 Q. All right. I'm going to show you -- and I think now -- not
20 tomorrow, Monday, the one that you wrote yourself personally. Your
21 Honour, regrettably I forgot to put in the list. It's one of the ones I
22 noticed this morning. I was doing it at such a speed yesterday but I will
23 have copies available for Your Honours tomorrow -- Monday.
24 Your Honour could that document that he's just read through become
25 Prosecutor's Exhibit 1113? 1113?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's all for today.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour because I want to try and finally
3 sort out the question of --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Egrlic, we have to stop here for today
5 because we have got other matters to discuss. You will be brought back to
6 this courtroom on Monday and we will take it up from there. Thank you.
7 You will now be escorted by the usher. If during the weekend, between now
8 and Monday, you need anything, I suppose you have been give and contact
9 point and I'm sure you will be attended to as necessary.
10 Incidentally, give him back the ear phones, please. Because I
11 don't know, are there any other witnesses here in The Hague? I suppose
12 so. May I also remind you that between now and Monday, you're not to
13 discuss any of the matters you are giving evidence upon with anyone?
14 That's very important. I have your word? Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So Ms. Korner.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour can I just -- Ms. Gustin has kindly
18 reminded me that in fact you probably have this already. Can I just
19 confirm that because you were given a bundle of all the statements that
20 he'd made. This is one headed "Military secret" and it's 03039891. It's
21 not in the bundle you got this morning but at an earlier stage. And it's
22 Manjaca prisoner of war camp.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's there, yes.
24 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honour, can I then try -- Mr.
25 Ackerman and I did talk in the break about this and I'm not sure -- I
1 think we have all been at slightly cross-purposes. But can I first of all
2 say to Your Honour that I will be about another hour on Monday morning
3 with Mr. Egrlic, more or less completed just a few documents that are in
4 that. I don't know how long Mr. Ackerman is going to be in
5 cross-examination with him but the next witness, 7.196, we estimate will
6 be in chief at the moment, unfortunately the lawyer who is calling him is
7 not available but --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm just drawing the attention of my assistant
9 because that's -- because I'm mentioning this very, very simply because
10 the other witness that we discussed this morning, the one to whom the
11 certificate refers to is actually a follow-up or --
12 MS. KORNER: It was a Rule 92 witness, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes exactly but it's being put -- this witness has
14 been described as having evidence which is cumulative to that given by
15 7.196 and I was going to draw your attention that 7.196 hasn't been
16 brought forward as yet.
17 MS. KORNER: He's coming on Monday. He's the one that kept being
18 put back when we had all the trouble with Talic.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
20 MS. KORNER: That's estimated to last - although I think it may be
21 less from my conversation was Mr. Nicholls but five hours but it may be
22 less. Because a lot of, I think, a lot of what he would have covered has
23 been covered by Mr. Filipovic already.
24 7.119, two hours. And the last two are, that is 7.101 and 7.191,
25 they are both 30 minutes cross-examination.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 30 minutes cross-examination?
2 MS. KORNER: They are both -- Your Honours ordered that they were
3 to come, the Rule 92 witnesses and they were to have 30 minutes
5 So, Your Honour, that, by my guess, means we wrap it up on
6 Wednesday, give or take, depending on obviously how long Mr. Egrlic is
7 going to last and how long 7.196.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I have no reason to quarrel with those
10 estimates. That's -- it may be a little longer than Ms. Korner thinks but
11 that's probably pretty close.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I will probably try to make an exception to the rule
13 and I'll try to intervene and try and restrict it further if necessary.
14 So I will make sure that I will read thoroughly their statements before
15 they give evidence, to make sure then to restrict the evidence to what is
16 basically really necessary. And I will be asking for your cooperation
17 of course.
18 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, in fact I won't be calling any of
19 these witnesses but as I say 7.196 I seem to recall Mr. Nicholls telling
20 me before he left because a lot of it had been covered by Filipovic, he
21 thought it would be reduced.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It will it be even better.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, so that's that. Your Honour, my
24 application will be that in the light of Mr. -- the witness's medical
25 history, and the fact that he's cumulative to 7.196, that his statement be
1 entered notwithstanding the Defence objections.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know what -- whether Mr. Ackerman has had
3 time to go through the details. I haven't. I've asked the legal officer
4 to feed me on that, because as it is, I don't remember, and you don't
5 expect me to remember.
6 MS. KORNER: No.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: On what basis General Talic had asked for
9 MS. KORNER: I can remind you of that, Your Honour I've got the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I have not got a clue and I don't remember the
12 contents of the statement of the witness, so.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he deals -- let me just find the right.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm just wondering if we can't deal with this on
15 Monday so we will all have a chance to be aware of the situation.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I was about to say, that's going to be
17 my application.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And there is also because, as I see it,
19 this medical certificate, there are some words that I don't understand.
20 MS. KORNER: I think it's been translated, hasn't it?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't think it has been completely translated
22 for example the last line it's subdicom [phoen] in the original language,
23 with my limited knowledge of the subject, I don't know what it means. And
24 the same as far as kemicom [phoen] I mean --
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I say, and we have had a discussion
1 with him and I can call the investigator if necessary.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see that is that says, "Ischaemic heart." All
3 right. Okay.
4 MS. KORNER: He's got heart trouble and he can't travel. That's
5 the effects of it.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The certificate doesn't say so. Normally I would
7 require a certificate not only to tell us what he's suffering from but
8 also whether he's in a condition to travel.
9 MS. KORNER: I'm afraid Your Honour we had a sort of last
10 minute -- but as I say if necessary I can call evidence.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. What I suggest in any case is this.
12 MS. KORNER: I should add he's 67 and a half.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 MS. KORNER: Anyhow, Your Honour, that's our application. Your
15 Honour can deal with it on Monday.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime I would have had a chance to read
17 the relevant part of his statement.
18 MS. KORNER: I need to confirm, Mr. Ackerman is absolutely right,
19 this heart condition was entered on to records. It was just missed
20 when -- so it's not something we suddenly discovered yesterday.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Ms. Korner. Mr. Ackerman.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm just hoping Ms. Korner is not suggesting 67 and
23 a half makes you too old to travel.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope not. It gets you near to the age when the
25 insurance will not cover you any more but.
1 MS. KORNER: It was the combination of age and medical condition,
2 Your Honour, I was trying to refer to. Your Honour, can we now finally
3 try to sort out when we are sitting? Mr. Ackerman -- we tried to sort out
4 all this confusion. Mr. Ackerman's view is that if he has the next three
5 days, that the three days, the 21st off, then he doesn't object to having
6 the extra three days replaced at the end of November. So we are in the
7 position now, as I understand it, whereby if you agree to it, we would be
8 sitting the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of November.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: The idea would be precisely that. Originally it was
10 planned not to sit on those days.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: My suggestion was -- I mean --
13 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour can I just say, if Mr. Ackerman --
14 Can I understand this? If Mr. Ackerman is given, let us say the best part
15 of all of -- from Wednesday of next week unexpectedly, then I'm not sure
16 whether or not that would satisfy his need before we start on the 21st.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: If we stop on Wednesday, the 16th, then there is
18 Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
19 MS. KORNER: And then as you say we would only be sitting three
20 days that week.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we would be sitting only three days and then
22 you would have four days the week after. Perhaps you would be -- you
23 would do what I personally at least plan to do, and that -- take it not
24 all in one bulk but to take it -- I know that you as Defence counsel have
25 got different roles than we have, because you have to prepare
1 cross-examination and ask questions based supposedly on the totality of
2 the evidence or of the documentation. Problem that there is obviously is
3 a logistical one apart from what Mr. Ackerman has rightly pointed out, and
4 that is we can't leave it until the -- until it is too late in the day
5 for the Prosecution to know whether they ought to bring forward a witness
6 or not. I mean also because of the problems that there is -- that there
7 are of bringing forward witnesses and also the desire not to -- the desire
8 to economise on the resources of the Tribunal in any case. So I don't
9 know, I mean, we are quite open. Do you think that if we stop on
10 Wednesday, and we all make a true and full effort to finish next week's
11 work by the end of Wednesday evening, then perhaps if you have those four
12 days, 17, 18, 19, and 20th, we could at least try and start on the 21st?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I had a conversation with Ms. Korner
14 near the end of the session or maybe at the end of the session yesterday
15 and was informed that she thought she would be finished on Wednesday or
16 Thursday, so I already knew that. And I had that in mind when I made my
17 application to you today that I would have those days, plus. So that's
18 not something we just discovered after I had made my remarks to you this
19 morning. The -- part of the problem is that I absolutely must leave the
20 country to interview a witness which I was planning to do this weekend.
21 That seems to have fallen through. That means I'll probably have to do it
22 at the ends of next week which does free me up to work on some things but
23 I've got to work on what's coming up next week. So I just don't know how
24 to find the time. I am perfectly willing to make every effort that I can
25 to accommodate this Trial Chamber. I really am.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm convinced of that, Mr. Ackerman, otherwise I
2 would not even be addressing you. Would it be too late for you,
3 Ms. Korner, if we take a decision on Monday.
4 MS. KORNER: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: It would be too late.
6 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, I'm afraid it would because the VWS
7 require to know on Monday who we are bringing up on Friday, if not this
8 Friday, and we've already told Mr. Sejmenovic that he will be required
9 for Monday, the 21st. He's in a position where he finds this all quite
10 nerve-wracking, so if we are not going to call him, he needs to be
11 informed straight away.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: He can always be informed on Monday, if we come to
13 the conclusion that we are not starting -- sitting on the 21st. The
14 office, victims and witnesses, can be informed that the intention of the
15 Tribunal is to sit on the 21st but then if are -- we decide otherwise on
16 the 14th, they will just be informed, as they have been informed in the
17 past, that the witness will not be forthcoming.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour it really would assist for a number of
19 reasons, we also have to -- as I said we have to reorganise, if Your
20 Honour is going to give the 21st off, we have to reorganise the order. So
21 I think a decision, if Your Honours don't mind, must be taken today, if
22 you notify us verbally later today or through your staff.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Things being what they have been described to us and
25 there being no reason to doubt in the least that the amount of documents
1 that have been -- that have to be looked into by the Defence in
2 preparation for its work, particularly in cross-examining the first of
3 these witnesses. How long do you intend to examine in chief, Sejmenovic?
4 Because I would understand that there will be a statement already, no?
5 MS. KORNER: There is -- he's testified once, twice, Tadic,
6 Keraterm, three times before, plus the statement that was taken
7 specifically to deal with his knowledge of Mr. Brdjanin about which he
8 hasn't testified yet. But I mean, Your Honours you will see that on the
9 last time that he went -- Stakic he went through a very large number of
10 documents. He will not be doing that this time because, as I say, I'll be
11 relying on Your Honours to read the transcript together with the
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And we also need time to read these documents
14 because I personally haven't even started looking at them. And that's --
15 that's the absolute truth. I mean my intention -- the advantage I have
16 over Mr. Ackerman is that I don't need to prepare a cross-examination. So
17 I can read them keeping pace with --
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, effectively he's repeated the same thing
19 over and over again. Your Honour really only needs to read, Mr. Ackerman
20 may want to pick him up on some odd inconsistencies but the Stakic
21 testimony covers everything that he ever dealt with and all he does in --
22 he repeats in Keraterm he was only brought for cross-examination in
23 Keraterm, he just repeats effectively the Tadic. Mr. Ackerman I
24 perfectly understand has to go through it because if he wants to
25 cross-examine inconsistencies but for Your Honours purposes I don't
1 think --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: For our purposes exactly, I mean, our purposes -- if
3 I were Defence counsel I would go through every single line and every
4 single word there is in all of those documents to see whether I could take
5 advantage of any of them but as a Judge, I can make my selection. I mean
6 that's -- because after all --
7 MS. KORNER: Well --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: When I --
9 MS. KORNER: Okay, I mean --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And I can read it.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour can I put it this way? I am trying to
12 move this case along.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. I am too.
14 MS. KORNER: One of the reasons we are trying to move this case
15 along is Mr. Brdjanin has been in custody for a long time. If Your
16 Honours -- if Mr. Ackerman on behalf of Mr. Brdjanin wants to put this
17 case back because he says that he has difficulties, I would suggest one of
18 the ways of alleviating those difficulties is for example his legal
19 assistants does I know read English, and may be able it to do some of the
20 work. His co-counsel doesn't, which is a drawback. We will be providing
21 in any event the tapes of the -- but if Your Honours want this gap then
22 I've said everything I need to say.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It takes time. Even listening to tapes if you're
24 going to provide tapes, it takes time. My preference is to start on the
25 21st. That's definitely my preference. If Mr. Ackerman confirms again
1 that he feels he will not be in a position to do his -- fulfil his
2 responsibilities towards his client, adequately, if we did that, we
3 started on the 21st, I have no option but to take it into consideration
4 because I don't -- see -- in what he's stated so far, any capricious or
5 any light-hearted reason for his submission.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I'll just tell you and my colleagues here
7 will confirm it if I need, when I learned from Ms. Korner yesterday that
8 she planned to finish what I think was early with Kljuc, because she told
9 us earlier this week that by the end of the month she would be finished
10 with it. I went into panic. I mean, I was in a complete panic mode. I
11 was running around, screaming, and throwing things because I just knew I
12 couldn't possibly get ready for the 21st to start the Prijedor phase and
13 I laid awake last night worrying about it, Judge.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, so let's settle it now. We will not be
15 sitting on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of October. And a new scheduling
16 order will be issued. But we'll be sitting on November 20, 21, and 22,
17 with this understanding. On the 22nd, on my -- if we retain salle
18 d'audience numero III, number III, there is court maintenance so please
19 try to find another courtroom for the day. Maybe court maintenance will
20 be ready in the morning and we can sit in the afternoon. They take a
21 whole day for court maintenance?
22 THE REGISTRAR: We have to contract with the external contractors
23 to come in and do this maintenance.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know about it.
25 MS. KORNER: I've asked how many times about this sitting or not
1 sitting all day.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Stakic will start again on when?
3 MS. KORNER: Scheduling order at the moment is for the 18th of
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Scheduling order.
6 MS. KORNER: Dependant on a new Judge being able to read her way
7 through 80 days of evidence.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. But just make a note that I would
9 like to sit, to find a courtroom. Maybe they don't start on the 18th, in
10 which case we will take their place. All right? And there is an appeals
11 hearing in the afternoon of November 22nd as well. So we keep an eye on
12 that. Any way, we will try and do our best but.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, of course the other -- I know that your
14 two colleagues are involved in another case where there is a judgement
15 expected in the not-too-distant future. I don't know whether there is a
16 date for that as yet.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Not that I know of. I haven't been informed any
18 way. Okay. We'll meet again on Monday. Have a nice weekend. Thank
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 1.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
22 the 14th day of October, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.