1 Thursday, 13 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, can you hear me in a
10 language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning to all. Yes, I can and
12 I do understand everything.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. Appearances for the
15 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner, Timothy
16 Resch and Denise Gustin case manager. Your Honour, may I put in a plea?
17 We have gone from one extreme to another, it's from freezing to excessive
18 heat and I don't want the temperature of Mr. Ackerman's cross-examination
19 to be raised. Alternatively nor do I wish to go to sleep because of the
20 heat. I wonder if there is anything we can do to get this turned down.
21 It's unbearable.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you Ms. Korner, I was going to ask --
23 MS. KORNER: Yeah.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Because you could feel it the moment you walk in.
25 Thank you, Ms. Korner and good morning to you all. Appearances for
1 Radoslav Brdjanin.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours I'm John Ackerman. I'm
3 with Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you all. Let's bring the witness
5 in. In the meantime or by the time he comes in, any filings, Mr.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour with regard to the Rule 92 bis, I've
8 explained to the Prosecutor that I can't do anything with them until they
9 give me the witness list which they still have not done. I have to know
10 who the witnesses are before I can determine whether there is duplication
11 and things of that nature. I cannot respond until I get those. I think
12 I'll get them today.
13 MS. KORNER: I don't understand how Mr. Ackerman can say that as
14 not a minute ago, he and Ms. Jevtovic had a discussion putting it politely
15 about the witnesses that were coming so -- but we need to know about Donji
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I don't have the witness list. They
19 haven't been given to me. I have a schedule of the witnesses that will be
20 appearing the week of the 24th but I don't have the witness lists for
21 Donji Vakuf and Prnjavor. I have not been given them. I asked for them
22 yesterday. I still don't have them although I'm told that they have been
23 printed and they will be given to me today. That's where it stands and if
24 I was just given them this morning I have not had time this morning yet to
25 do the filing.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You deal with it during the first break, please.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Kirudja.
4 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back. Could we go through the same routine
6 again, please? We ask you to repeat your solemn undertaking.
7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
8 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: CHARLES KIRUDJA [Resumed]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please be seated. And
11 Mr. Ackerman will proceed with his cross-examination. Thank you. Yes.
12 Mr. Ackerman.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kirudja.
16 A. Good morning, Mr. Ackerman.
17 Q. Are you okay today?
18 A. Yes, thank you.
19 Q. Good. Me too.
20 I just want to deal with a couple of little things and then go
21 back to where we left off yesterday. I want to just ask you this question
22 sort of globally about your entire experience in former Yugoslavia, 1992,
23 1993, 1994, 1995, through that period. You made the observation at one
24 point that from that experience, that one of the things you learned that
25 frequently the person that you needed to deal with, who actually had the
1 power and authority to respond to some of your needs was not necessarily
2 the person who had the title. Do you recall that?
3 A. With due respect, I am not sure I recall anything to that
4 language. Maybe you can be specific.
5 Q. Let me, during the break I'll see if I can find the exact
6 language. I can't find it for you right at this moment but I'll try to
7 find it during the break and be more specific with you, thank you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. We talked a bit yesterday about -- at the very beginning of your
10 testimony, about the conditions in Bosnia in 1992. And it's page 73, line
11 4 of your testimony yesterday. You said this, you were talking about
12 speaking to mayors and other people located in your sector. You spoke
13 of -- let me see if I can get the -- you were talking about the military
14 situation and how you believe that there were signs that Banja Luka was
15 exercising a balance of military power over Knin and you explained what
16 caused you to arrive at that, and you went on in more questions were asked
17 about that and finally, the question was: You say they had a tendency to
18 retreat to Banja Luka to do what or to Belgrade and then you gave this
19 answer: You have to think again I was speaking about mayors and other
20 people located in the sector, they were surrounded on the confrontation
21 line by the Croats in the direction of Karlovac, Sisak and Zagreb.
22 Another way of putting it too, they were also blockaded themselves. We
23 didn't mention that. The Serbs were blockaded in that sense.
24 Economically they can't go out, they couldn't get their fuel out, and then
25 there is some word that I can't read, S-P-O-E-S-H-G-S whatever that is,
1 they couldn't get most normal things because of the war, the electricity
2 was not working because things had been broken up, broken down, and with
3 the political, the grid, electrical grid, normal things weren't working,
4 like water, because there were no pumps so in a way there was a situation
5 of shortages even for the Serbs. So for them to redress that they had to
6 get out somehow and that's the corridor that took them to Banja Luka or
7 Belgrade for the purpose of redressing shortages in normal every day
8 economic life.
9 That was the case, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, I want to go back to DB134 and DB135, please. I'll ask you
12 be handed both of those documents. Now, let me see if I can make it
13 easier for you and I to communicate about these documents because I think
14 we had some difficulty yesterday. What I'm interested in with regard to
15 these documents is first of all that they were documents that were in
16 existence prior to your arrival in former Yugoslavia, that you had access
17 to. The two questions I have are this: Do you recall ever reading the
18 documents? And whether or not do you recall having been privy to the
19 information contained in these documents at some time around the time that
20 you arrived in former Yugoslavia? We are down to about halfway through
21 that situation on the ground paragraph 8 paragraph that we were discussing
22 yesterday. The next sentence, and I think it's fair, first of all, to
23 just confirm with you that this paragraph is talking about the current
24 situation in regard to Yugoslavia, that being the entire former Yugoslavia
25 at that point?
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour he said he was going to ask two questions
2 and then went on. I think the answer to the two questions ought to come
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't know that I really asked any.
5 MS. KORNER: First, had he ever read them and whether or not he
6 would be privy to the information.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going to do that. No, I'm going to do that.
8 I'm just telling him up front how I'm going to proceed. That wasn't a
9 question. That was just direction as to how I'm going to proceed with all
10 of these documents.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I understood you the same way Ms. Korner did.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm glad I went through that effort to try to make
13 things clearer so everybody could understand what I was trying to do. It
14 was really successful. I guess I'll have to try again.
15 Q. I'm going to ask you a number of questions about these documents,
16 sir. And in each instance, all I'm referring to is documents that were
17 available to you before April of 1992, when you went there, and whether or
18 not you either became aware of what was in the document in some other way
19 or whether you actually read the information that was in the document.
20 And I will deal with that with each issue that I discuss with you. And
21 I'm now about halfway through paragraph 8, A, situation on the ground.
22 The next sentence is: Ports and military facilities have been blockaded,
23 air space has been closed, communications severely disrupted. Now,
24 bearing in mind what I just explained, one, had you read this before you
25 went there, two, were you aware of it at about the time you did get there?
1 A. Your Honours, I have a general comment to make. Just as he
2 prepared his own questions, I'm going to prepare my own answers. The
3 context. Your Honour, I drew your attention to these reports' date. The
4 date, 25th of October, 1991. Nothing in the testimony I've given to you,
5 this Court, covers any of that period. The testimony I've given to this
6 Court covers April, 1992 and, if Ms. Korner can check, probably up to
7 August, 1992. Nothing, I repeat, nothing in the testimony I've given
8 covers anything else except that period. Second point, reports of the
9 Secretary-General are many and are prepared by a lot of people and one of
10 the things you should know delegates in the UN complain is the
11 multitude of those documents. They are plenty. Therefore, for counsellor
12 to ask me whether I was aware of reports of the Secretary-General or read
13 any specific one, in general my answer will be, whether I read them or
14 didn't read them, I have no information to add about the content of that
15 report having not participated in it.
16 Q. Well, now having given that explanation, I'd like you to answer my
17 question. Do you recall reading this report? If not, were you aware of
18 the information contained within the sentence that I read to you at or
19 about the time you arrived in former Yugoslavia?
20 A. The answer to your question is already given to you in my earlier
21 statement. I did not have any direct involvement in this report. Or
22 having read it, I can read it now and tell you yes, I'm aware now.
23 Q. Sir, with all due respect you're not answering my question. Let
24 me put it in a different way. Ports and military facilities have been
25 blockaded, air space has been closed and communications severely
1 disrupted. Were you aware at or about April of 1992, that that was the
2 situation in Yugoslavia?
3 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. The question is -- well actually what
5 Mr. Ackerman is trying to find out from the witness is how much
6 information related to the substance of that report, irrespective of
7 whether he had read it or not, was in Mr. Kirudja's possession at the time
8 of his arrival.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour that's right, but I think the question --
10 it's not clear, I don't think, and maybe not to the witness, was he aware
11 that in 1991 this was the situation.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: But let him answer it.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: That's not my question.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: What happened in 1991.
15 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: What happened in 1991 need not have been continuing
17 in 1992.
18 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry I don't want to waste time and I appreciate
19 Mr. Ackerman wants to finish but the question actually reads, ports and
20 military facilities have been blockaded, air space has been closed and
21 communications severely disrupted. That was in October, 1991.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Pre-October, 1991.
23 MS. KORNER: October -- exactly. The question then was were you
24 aware of this? When was he aware this is what the situation was in 1991
25 or is it suggested the same situation pertained in April, 1992? That I
1 think is the problem.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: The question Your Honour is just simple. Were you
3 aware at or about April 1992 that that was the situation in Yugoslavia?
4 I'm not talking about 1991. I'm talking about April, 1992, when he got
5 there. Did that situation persist when he arrived there? Was he aware of
7 THE WITNESS: That is easy to answer.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: And I keep getting interrupted by Ms. Korner and
9 everybody else. I think the questions are clear.
10 THE WITNESS: Your Honour the last question is easy for me to
11 answer. In April, 1992, I was travelling through Belgrade and I wasn't
12 aware of the ports or the situation of the ports in Yugoslavia. I was on
13 travel status.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And the rest?
15 THE WITNESS: Oh, did the situation persist?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Air space was closed communications severely
18 THE WITNESS: I wasn't aware of that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Military facilities blockaded.
20 THE WITNESS: Wasn't aware of that. The airport was open. We
21 landed in Belgrade and everything seemed normal.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay. Let's go to the next one.
23 Q. There have moreover been forced evacuations of large and growing
24 numbers of civilians from their homes, suggesting the existence of a
25 desire in some quarters to alter the demographic composition of certain
1 areas with a view to holding territorial advantage later on. The civilian
2 population in effected areas has by the same token suffered and continues
3 to suffer a tragically high rate of casualties despite numerous declared
5 When you arrived in the area in 1992, were you aware of that
6 situation persisting at that time?
7 A. I was aware of the situation. I could see in the areas I passed
8 through in April. I passed through parts of Yugoslavia through Belgrade
9 into Sector East. I was aware of the war that had ravaged those areas. I
10 could see it. And I could see the difficulties in each of the areas I
11 passed through.
12 Q. Look now at the -- at page 458 of this document, under heading, B,
13 humanitarian situation, paragraph 15 reads as follows: "The unabated
14 fighting, especially in eastern Croatia and on the Dalmatian coast has
15 gravely disrupted the living conditions of the civilian population in
16 these areas. The most serious humanitarian problem caused by the
17 fighting, aside from direct casualties and the destruction of housing, and
18 various --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down?
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
21 Q. Is the alarming growth in the number of displaced persons within
22 Yugoslavia. Present indications are that the total number of internally
23 displaced persons is approximately 300.000. While according to the most
24 recent estimates of ICRC that number is capable of increasing to at least
25 400.000 towards the end of 1991. Observers on the ground expect that in
1 the coming weeks, the number of forcibly displaced persons primarily those
2 moving from the Dalmatian coast -- east coast towards the north and from
3 the crisis areas in eastern Croatia will increase significantly if a
4 lasting cease-fire does not take effect.
5 Were you aware, at any time, after your arrival, or before, in
6 former Yugoslavia, of this -- these large numbers of displaced persons
7 resulting from the war in Croatia?
8 A. The evidence of displaced persons became hard not to see as one
9 got into the areas where the mission was deployed, where we were supposed
10 to be deployed. It was plainly evident in parts of Croatia where the
11 mission was to be deployed, there were displacements of people. The
12 destruction of houses, and generally the tell tales of the ravages of war
13 just completed or for which the cease-fire had been obtained prior to our
14 arrival. That was evident.
15 Q. Paragraph 17, thank you. As regards refugees who have fled
16 Yugoslavia to other countries, the growing number leaving the battle
17 areas, in particular the Slavonia region in eastern Croatia is a matter of
18 particular concern. At the request of the government of Hungary, the
19 office of the United Nations high commissioner for refugees is already in
20 the process of bringing assistance to refugees who have been arriving in
21 Hungary from Yugoslavia and who at present number some 35.000 persons.
22 Italy has granted temporary asylum status to 5.000 Yugoslavs. Austria has
23 reported that it has granted temporary asylum to 6.000 to 8.000 persons
24 from Slovenia.
25 Were you aware of these rough numbers of persons who had become
1 refugees in other countries in the area?
2 A. Not directly about refugees in those localities or in the numbers
3 you cited. I was aware of the areas that many displaced people had come
4 from. That I could see.
5 Q. Were you aware that large numbers of these displaced persons and
6 refugees were Serbs being expelled from areas of Croatia?
7 A. Later on, it was easy for me to piece together particularly in the
8 sector where I was deployed, the kind of ethnicities of the people who
9 were displaced. It was easy to -- later -- on location, to look at the
10 displaced areas and talking to the people inside, I was aware of what kind
11 of people had been displaced from any of those places where we were
12 deployed -- deployed.
13 Q. And the answer is?
14 A. The answer is, it differed. For example in Sector North,
15 municipality by municipality, there were both Croats and Serbs displaced,
16 but in different directions. If, for example, to give you an example, if
17 you look at the area we discussed yesterday, bordering Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina, the displaced people were Serbs inside my sector coming from
19 different parts across the border. In certain opstinas, the displaced
20 people were Croats who used to be in those areas and who were displaced
21 across the confrontation line in the -- to the areas where the Croat
22 authorities had -- where the Croat government had authority as opposed to
23 the area where we were deployed where they didn't. Therefore, it was
24 always specific and in directions. There were Serbs, there were Croats,
25 there were Muslims, displaced.
1 THE INTERPRETER: May we remind the speakers to pause between
2 question and answer? Thank you.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
4 Q. The next paragraph I want to refer you to is paragraph 19, talking
5 about economic aspects. Yugoslavia's economy had already been
6 experiencing considerable difficulty prior to the outbreak of hostilities,
7 owing to demands of an ambitious stabilisation programme being pursued in
8 the context of an evaporating federal consensus. The growing hostilities
9 have exacerbated the problems and the economy is, as a result, now in a
10 rapid downward spiral. Production in all sectors has fallen off
11 dramatically. Fiscal policy has collapsed. Inflation has accelerated
12 greatly. The financial system has split apart. The infrastructure of
13 communications has been severely disrupted and trade and remittances from
14 overseas have declined precipitously.
15 Were you personally able to observe any of those economic problems
16 that were existing in Yugoslavia at or about that time?
17 A. Yes, in the areas where we were deployed, we not only were aware
18 of it but we also set out to address some of those infrastructural
19 deficiencies, a point I alluded to when I asked what were part of my
20 responsibilities. We were aware and we saw the need to help a lot of --
21 to help with the situation we found in the areas where we were deployed.
22 Q. Okay. Let's go now to the next document. That would be DB135.
23 And I think we can deal with this very briefly. I'm only interested in
24 page 475, paragraph 15 of that document. Now, this document is a later
25 report dated 11 December, 1991. Paragraph 15 is dealing with the
1 humanitarian aspects of what was going on in Yugoslavia at that time. And
2 again this is a Secretary-General's report. He says, "The humanitarian
3 dimensions of the Yugoslavia problem on which I dwelt at some length in my
4 report of 25 October, 1991, have continued to grow. The number of persons
5 displaced by the conflict now exceeds 500.000 and is increasing still.
6 Two-thirds of the displaced persons are women and children. Indigenous
7 resources for assistance to this population are rapidly being depleted,
8 and the local hospitality which today has permitted the placement of well
9 over half of the displaced persons with host families is eroding. The
10 ever-more difficult economic situation, shortages, the high cost of
11 certain basic household items and of fuel, as well as rising unemployment
12 and the onset of winter are likely to compel even more displaced persons
13 to seek shelter in collective facilities. Although most of the displaced
14 remain within the frontiers of Yugoslavia's six republics, a growing
15 number have sought refuge in other countries, in particular in Hungary
16 which now hosts over 40.000 persons.
17 That, sir, is just kind of an update on what we had read
18 previously about that, and to your knowledge, that's -- that's what was
19 happening, correct?
20 A. That's what the report states.
21 Q. Now, considering the kind of situation in Yugoslavia that these
22 reports from as early as late 1991, describe, it wouldn't be unusual for
23 one caught up in the middle of that situation, who has relatives or
24 friends in Austria or Germany, inviting them to come there, voluntarily
25 being willing to leave this rather horrid situation in Yugoslavia and go
1 to the relative safety and economic security of some Western country would
3 A. As a general question?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. No, it wouldn't be.
6 Q. And this situation that the Secretary-General describes with
7 regard to the displacement of people, the growing refugee problem and the
8 severe economic problems, does not sound like a situation one would
9 describe as people living in the comfort of their homes, does it?
10 A. Once again, Mr. Ackerman, that reference of people living in your
11 home is a specific reference to a time and place. What you read, and I
12 answered, is general. That's a truism. It doesn't follow.
13 Q. Well, yes. I understand you want to restrict that to a specific
14 time and place, and I understand you want to keep not talking about the
15 word "comfort" because it's your word but actually what you talked about
16 was people leaving the comfort of their homes, and the specific time and
17 place was in early 1992, in Bosanski Novi, which was in Yugoslavia, in
18 this place where all these economic problems were occurring throughout the
19 country, and in this place where war was going on and in this --
20 MS. KORNER: Sorry can I stop this speech now, please? What's
21 the actual question.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm asking the question.
23 MS. KORNER: Well, it sounds like a speech to me. Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him finish. I can see the question actually.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: That was an effective interruption, Your Honour.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I've lost my train.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Maybe you can start it
3 again. I can read it out for you.
4 MS. KORNER: Is Your Honour ruling that that is a proper question
5 as opposed to a speech.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: He is confronting the witness with all these facts,
9 as running counter to the whole concept of comfort of one's home. You
10 can't, in other words, enjoy the comforts of your own home in the
11 circumstances that he has quoted the report depicts. This is the
12 question. I mean it's -- it's true that he's making a speech but the
13 question is there.
14 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN:
16 Q. Sir, at this specific time and place that you want to refer to in
17 Bosanski Novi in 1992, Bosanski Novi was located within this Yugoslavia
18 that was experiencing all of these economic difficulties and all of these
19 displacements of persons, and do you still want to maintain that people
20 were living in Bosanski Novi in these horrid situations in the comfort of
21 their homes?
22 A. Mr. Ackerman, let me remind you what I said. You are now saying
23 it was a statement that people were living in the comfort of their home.
24 If you look at the record, it was a question asked of me to the mayor.
25 It's not a statement.
1 Q. Well, what it was, sir, was this: You said that you could not
2 accept that these people wanted to leave there voluntarily because they
3 were living in the comfort of their homes and people living in the comfort
4 of their homes do not want to leave a place voluntarily. Now, that was
5 your conclusion based upon what you were told about whether or not they
6 were leaving voluntarily. You drew the conclusion that that was a sham.
7 And all I'm suggesting to you is it's perfectly natural that people in the
8 situation that existed in former Yugoslavia at that time, given the
9 opportunity, would go somewhere else where they were safe and comfortable,
10 that there was no comfort in their homes at that time. Now that's what
11 I'm suggesting to you.
12 A. You can suggest that. It does not change my testimony. You can
13 suggest, you can rationalise it. If you look at the testimony, the
14 sequence was this: I get a mayor. He comes to my office and he says to
15 me, "We got a report, I've been told by my colleague third hand".
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to stop you. You've made your point quite
17 clear. You don't need to repeat it, Mr. Kirudja. Let's move forward,
18 Mr. Ackerman.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going forward, Your Honour, to that first
20 contact Mr. Kirudja, that you had with -- I believe it was the mayor of
22 A. No, no.
23 Q. The mayor of Dvor?
24 A. Right.
25 Q. Talking about these 5.000 people wanting to have safe conduct
1 across Sector North, and there were two -- two things that were really
2 requested, safe conduct and as we mentioned yesterday that you would
3 provide an international television crew to cover that process?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. With an international television crew there, wouldn't that really
6 make for a golden opportunity for these 5.000 refugees, if they were being
7 banished rather than leaving voluntarily, to go on international
8 television and make that clear to the world?
9 A. At that point, I put that aside temporarily. At that point, my
10 testimony indicates I wanted to hear from them themselves, that I
11 ascertain this wish directly from them. So at that meeting, I put that
12 request aside.
13 Q. But isn't it the case that the willingness of the people in
14 Bosanski Novi, the authorities in Bosanski Novi, apparently, to have this
15 whole process photographed by international television, would have been an
16 opportunity for those people, if they were not leaving voluntarily, to
17 make that clear?
18 A. If they were telling me themselves that, it would.
19 Q. I want to ask you about this person, Paolo Raffone. Is that how
20 you say his name?
21 A. Correctly, very good.
22 Q. Not too bad, huh?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was he a reliable person would you say during the time he worked
25 for you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you find his reports to be basically accurate?
3 A. The ones I cleared as you can see are released under my signature,
4 I did find them accurate enough for me to release them. And when I say
5 that, there may be figures here where he didn't get right the number of
6 refugees there. If you mean by accurate, did he count and tally, there
7 are -- there are even in my own testimony times where the numbers don't
8 tally. If he is reporting to me on issues that I check out, he was
9 generally correct.
10 Q. I think, sir that sometimes you're anticipating where I might be
11 going and thereby answering a question in much more detail than necessary.
12 Let's try not to do that so we can finish today?
13 A. Sir, I will be until of course when you asked me was he being
14 accurate that's a blanket statement. I have to tell you in what sense I
15 think --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You answer him generally and in a blanket statement
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Look at P1661, please.
20 Now, P1661, sir, is a memorandum written by Mr. Raffone, and then
21 released by you with your signature, correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what is reported in that memorandum is that Mr. Raffone said
24 that on 1 June, 1992, he got a call from Mr. Kupresanin, the mayor of
25 Banja Luka, correct?
1 A. That's what the paragraph on the top says, yes.
2 Q. Did you ever question whether it was the case that Mr. Kupresanin
3 was the mayor of Banja Luka?
4 A. What was -- he wasn't meeting him directly so I didn't question
5 him. I questioned him how he got that information, the information was on
6 the telephone, through an interpreter. The interpreter interpreted him as
7 saying, "I am the mayor." That's what it was.
8 Q. Now the question I asked you I think was quite simple: Did you
9 ever question whether it was the case that Mr. Kupresanin was the mayor of
10 Banja Luka?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Let's try to do that. Let's try to answer them that way unless
13 you absolutely need to explain something.
14 Did you ever learn differently, other than what's reported here,
15 that Mr. Kupresanin was the mayor of Banja Luka?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How long afterward did you learn that?
18 A. I don't recall how long but after -- after speaking with him, said
19 no, the name Kupresanin is itself indicative of the names that we wanted
20 to clarify so we were already -- we were always changing titles of people.
21 Q. Would you say that from reading the report, from this reliable
22 person, Mr. Raffone, that one thing that's certain is that he did have a
23 conversation with Mr. Kupresanin on 1 June, 1992?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And would you also say that at the time he had that conversation,
1 he believed that Mr. Kupresanin was the mayor of Banja Luka?
2 A. After the presentation he was given to understand.
3 Q. In your testimony yesterday, page 19, line 9, you were asked about
4 Banja Luka in connection with this July memo found in document P1671. So
5 I'll ask that you look at that, please.
6 At page 19 of yesterday's testimony, you were asked by Ms. Korner
7 this question. Now, I'm referring to this document 1671, which if you'll
8 notice in the second paragraph contains the name Banja Luka. You were
9 asked how that came into it and you said that Banja Luka found its way
10 into that memorandum, and this is your answer, this you will recall there
11 was a telephone call received by Mr. Paolo Raffone where Mr. Kupresanin
12 had also alluded to the same towns and warning from his own count 15.000
13 people had left the area of Banja Luka and warning that 15.000 more would
14 follow, and then saying to us, please, the international organisation, we
15 need the assistance of the humanitarian agencies in this crisis. Sir that
16 was the answer you gave us yesterday, was it not?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. And you know that that's not a true answer, don't you?
19 A. I don't understand.
20 Q. You know that it's not true?
21 A. What is not true.
22 Q. Do you not? I'm telling you. You know that it's not true, don't
23 you, that Mr. Kupresanin said that 15.000 people had left the area of
24 Banja Luka and 15.000 more would follow?
25 A. We reported what -- I don't understand what is not true.
1 Q. You said in your testimony yesterday that Mr. Kupresanin had said
2 that 15.000 people had left the area of Banja Luka and 15.000 more were
4 A. Yes, that is testimony to that effect.
5 Q. What I'm saying to you, you know that that's not true, don't you?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But who was supposed to -- Mr. Ackerman, who is
7 supposed to have said that untruth? Mr. Kupresanin or the person who is
8 drafting this report?
9 MS. KORNER: I think he's suggesting that Mr. Kirudja is telling
10 an untruth.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
12 MS. KORNER: I would like to know what that's based on too.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm coming to that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Kirudja actually was referring to what is
15 written in the report. He couldn't have been saying an untruth himself,
16 if there is an untruth in that statement, the untruth is contained in the
17 report, but --
18 MS. KORNER: Mr. Ackerman at the moment it's my understanding and
19 he's just confirmed it is suggesting that Mr. Kirudja is deliberately
20 lying when he says that is what he was referring to.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: No.
22 MS. KORNER: Then perhaps you'd like to make it clear.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: What I'm suggesting is that what Mr. Kirudja said
24 about that yesterday in answer to this question that 15.000 people left
25 the area of Banja Luka and 15.000 more would follow was a misstatement,
1 and probably an unintentional one, of the actual facts.
2 Q. And now I will ask you, sir, about the actual facts and see if you
3 agree with me. If you look at P1661, again, please, this is the document
4 that talks about the phone call from Mr. Kupresanin. The end of that
5 first paragraph says the mayor's information can be summarised as follows.
6 A. I don't have the report you're quoting.
7 Q. I'm sorry, you just had it a moment ago. What happened to it?
8 A. I don't know. I don't see that. What is the reference of P what.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: P1661, Mr. Kirudja, first part.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: 6 June, 1992.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Under A, phone call from the mayor of Banja Luka.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Go right to the end of that part, first part, A, and
14 it's the penultimate paragraph. The mayor estimates that some 15.000
15 persons have already left the normal place of residence moving towards
16 Dvor and some more 15.000 might follow in a short time.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Actually I want to take you up to the end of the first paragraph
19 under A, the last sentence says the mayor's information can be summarised
20 as followings. Do you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then you see the mayors of Bosanski Novi, Prijedor, Kljuc,
23 Dubica, Sanski Most, and the one in Banja Luka had contacts about the
24 situation of the Muslim population in the area?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. In other words, they had apparently spoken to each other?
2 A. Right.
3 Q. And based upon that conversation, based upon that information,
4 Mr. Kupresanin then reported that 15.000 persons have already left their
5 normal place of residence moving towards Dvor and 15.000 more might
7 A. I see that.
8 Q. What he's saying, according to this report, is that includes
9 refugees from Bosanski Novi, Prijedor, Kljuc, Dubica, Sanski Most and
10 perhaps Banja Luka.
11 A. Now, can you go to my paragraph, the one you quoted me, and see
12 why that is not true? And tell me why it isn't true?
13 Q. Well, it would be true if the area of Banja Luka included all of
14 these places. Is that what you meant?
15 A. Please read it aloud again. I'll tell you what I meant.
16 Q. Mr. Kupresanin alluded to the same towns and warning from him --
17 A. Stop there a minute, sir.
18 Q. M'hm?
19 A. Alluded to the same towns, that's the reference to the towns you
20 read on paragraph 2.
21 Q. And warning from his own count, 15.000 people had left the area of
22 Banja Luka and warning that 15.000 more would follow.
23 A. That's the reference to the paragraph at the bottom. Now, sir, I
24 ask you: What was not true? And you said I knew wasn't true?
25 Q. If you include all of these towns were in the area of Banja Luka,
1 then I will accept that you were telling the truth.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Mr. Ackerman and Mr. Kirudja,
3 you're creating a little bit of a problem to the French interpreters.
4 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, and apology to the
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Please slow down and allow a pause between question
7 and answer. Thank you.
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. If you include all these other municipalities in that phrase, area
10 of Banja Luka, then I accept that your statement was accurate. Do you?
11 A. Could you also accept that you didn't understand my statement?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, Mr. Kirudja, you are not being treated as a
13 hostile witness. No one considers you as a hostile witness.
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You belong to the Court. You are a witness of this
16 Court. Please don't treat Mr. Ackerman as if he is in confrontation with
17 you. He's doing his duty here. He's asking you questions. Try to answer
18 those questions concisely, to the point, so let's get over and done with.
19 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Because otherwise, I see that you are very keen,
21 both of you, in --
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, with the greatest of respect,
23 Mr. Ackerman, much as he tries to, is suggesting that this witness has
24 deliberately misled the Court but the witness is entitled to deal with
1 JUDGE AGIUS: But in a courteous manner which does not sound
2 confrontational. It was something that he could answer without -- without
3 being confrontational. The thing is that you can feel the confrontation
4 building up and it started yesterday, and I want to avoid it.
5 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Sir, let's see if you can answer my question?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I mean what I have just said to Mr. Kirudja I
9 say to you because you could easily, easily fronted the witness without
10 alleging that he was telling an untruth, that he was not being accurate,
11 because that would have reflected the position, the situation much, much
12 better. And avoided the confrontation that has been building up.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. If you accept, sir, that when you said 15.000 people left the area
15 of Banja Luka, that that includes all these other towns, then I accept
16 that your statement was accurate. Do you accept that?
17 A. No, because my reading of this communication that we have talked
18 about, where Mr. Kupresanin is talking about his estimates of 15.000
19 persons -- their normal place plus the other, this is what he is telling
20 us and I'm reporting it without changing what or rather our report is
21 reflecting without changing Mr. Kupresanin's estimates. We have testified
22 in other information that would not tally with the conclusion you're
24 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I mean I don't want to pursue this
25 either but I would like Mr. Ackerman to point out to the Court why those
1 15.000 people definitely refer back to Novi, Prijedor, Kljuc, Dubica,
2 Sanski Most. That's what he's asserting. I would like to know the basis
3 from this document of that assertion.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that's next. I'm doing my best here.
5 I'm getting a lot of interruptions. That's next.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead but please take the points made by
7 Ms. Korner.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm in the middle of this, not the end of it.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought you would be. Please go ahead.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Frankly I think these interruptions are intentional
11 to break up my cross-examination and I'm getting tired of them.
12 Q. Sir, you testified on 3 February, 2003, in the Milosevic case. Do
13 you recall that?
14 A. Yes, I did testify in that case, yes.
15 Q. I'm going to read to you some questions and answers you gave
16 there. Page 15434.
17 Question: Mr. Kirudja I want to draw your attention now to some
18 other areas, different than Bosanski Novi and ask you some specific
19 questions about them and the areas I want to draw your attention to now
20 are Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, Kljuc, Dubica, Sanski Most and Banja Luka.
21 On the 1st of June, 1992, did Mr. Kupresanin the mayor of Banja Luka, make
22 a report or have a conversation with your office regarding the situation
23 of Muslims in those municipalities?
24 Answer: Yes. It was a telephone call received by Mr. Raffone.
25 Question: Please describe what occurred.
1 Answer: This was a telephone call that Raffone took and made note
2 of what he was being told by the mayor of Banja Luka. And the mayor of
3 Banja Luka, the gist of what he told him, was to the effect that there
4 were already 15.000 refugees, already leaving the area in the towns that
5 you have mentioned, namely Bosanski Novi, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Kljuc and
6 Bosanska Dubica, and that there would be 15.000 more to follow, and that
7 he pleaded that United Nations, the UNHCR, these people needed assistance
8 from them. That was the gist of his call.
9 Now, that was your testimony in Milosevic, wasn't it, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I'd like you to look now at document P1666. And while that's
12 coming, you'd agree with me, don't you, that you have no specific
13 knowledge of any refugees coming into your area coming out of Banja Luka,
14 do you?
15 A. The last testimony that we discussed yesterday was a group of
16 refugees coming into our sector. In the cable that was difficult for Your
17 Honours to read. It did refer to a group coming from Trnopolje and if
18 I'm -- if I can get the reference to that, maybe there was a mention of
19 Banja Luka, but in general, most of the refugees came from the towns
20 nearer to the border.
21 Q. Yes. Okay. This document that you have in front of you now, this
22 document P166, you see it?
23 A. Yes, I -- this is the document with the report of the gentleman
24 from UNHCR.
25 Q. There is a note dated 9 June, 1992, has your name on it but
1 someone else signed it for you.
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. You see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know who that is that signed it there? Is that Paolo
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You authorised him to sign this particular document for you, did
9 you not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And of course you wouldn't consider yourself responsible for such
12 a document absent your having authorised him to sign it for you, would
14 A. There is a system we follow, when the reports have to be filed by
15 a certain time, and you're not in the office for other reasons, this is
16 the system followed so that he can clear, either by radio or by talking to
17 me and then he would clear, I would say go ahead and put it out.
18 Q. And my question is you wouldn't be responsible for such a document
19 absent you having authorised someone to sign it, would you?
20 A. Are you saying my authorising it is not responsible or what?
21 Q. No, no, no. You misunderstood me. Consider the situation where
22 someone had done this without your authorisation?
23 A. Oh, yes, it wouldn't be right.
24 Q. And you wouldn't be responsible for that document in that
1 A. No. I would have course, if he is my subordinate take issue with
3 Q. Okay. Sir, please find, if you will, your diary entry for 13
5 A. 1992?
6 Q. Yes, sir.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. There was a meeting went on that day, was there not?
9 A. Yes, in Dvor.
10 Q. And who was in that meeting?
11 A. Deputy mayor of Dvor.
12 Q. And you?
13 A. And myself.
14 Q. Anyone else?
15 A. I didn't note my diary did not go further than that to specify in
16 this particular meeting but typically there would have been a civil
17 police -- we have civil police located there, military. There were other
18 people who normally would come into that meeting.
19 Q. Tell the Judges, if you will, what was discussed at that meeting.
20 A. This -- the mayor -- the deputy mayor went straight to the
21 killings of 7 TDF people by Muslims in the area of Dvor. He started by
22 announcing to us there had been seven killings by Muslims. Characterised
23 the situation as provocations by the Muslims.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. He went on to discuss about UNHCR, he said he was glad to have
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 UNPROFOR to hear his claim about these provocations. Several pages of it,
2 about three pages. Do you want me to go through that?
3 Q. Yes, I want to know what happened in that meeting. You can do it
4 in a very summary fashion but I would just like to know the basic ...
5 A. As I said I have three pages of different matters on my notes.
6 Q. Okay?
7 A. All right? He wanted to speed up UNPROFOR deployment in Dvor,
8 expects the conflict to escalate, began to collect weapons in the area,
9 equipment of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, talked about conditions of
10 the opening of the new front that had been fulfilled, this is -- and he
11 went on to say this is a classical aggression of one member of the UN,
12 Muslims have crossed into the RSK and are present. They estimate two
13 battalions of well-armed Muslims. Border is 40 kilometres long. The
14 flash points were in Cazin, Velika Kladusa, Bosanska Krupa, all inhabited
15 by Muslims.
16 Q. Let me interrupt you a minute. These two battalions of Muslims
17 he was talking about where was it he was saying that these were located?
18 A. No. He said the border is 40 kilometres long and there were flash
20 Q. Before that you talked about two battalions of Muslims?
21 A. There is no specific locations.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: He said they are expected.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. Go ahead.
25 A. Allowed a number of Muslims to come into the territories. There
1 was a massacre of seven people which took place in Cokovac. They went to
2 Ljubljana and villages in Dvor. At present there are shootings on the
3 border from Letici, Sircic and down to Kekic Klanac. All along the
4 opstina border with Velika Kladusa and Bosanska Krupa. Opstinas in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He allowed Muslims who wanted to -- rather he charged
6 that Muslims who wanted to escape were allowed. They are here now in
7 Dvor. Many others were transported through Krajina into villages in
8 Bosanska Krupa, by cars, from Bosanski Novi. About 30.000 people, able to
9 bear arms and fight, many of them are illiterate and fundamentalist
10 Muslims. One battalion came into the territory in -- intending to attack
11 this opstina. The purpose was to interrupt the UN.
12 Present -- okay. I noted now there was Milan Junic who was the
13 deputy mayor, and present at the committee -- president of the committee
14 of the cooperation with UNPROFOR. There was also Milan Vucjak [phoen]
15 president of the government of Dvor. We went on to discuss the structure
16 of the local government. He told me that there were 270 deputies in the
17 parliament of the RSK.
18 Q. Sir, you can skip the structure of the local government.
19 A. Then he spoke to me about the UNHCR and said -- no, the UNHCR
20 are -- made their own presentation about displaced persons. I think they
21 made him aware about 500.000 displaced in Croatia and 400.000 in new
22 Yugoslavia. These were figures that UNHCR was talking to the mayor
24 And he went on to inform me that local officials have 4.900
25 refugees, including 1.700 refugees from Zagreb, Sisak and elsewhere in
1 Croatia. They are accommodated by other people and they are -- but they
2 are accommodated by other people and the Red Cross, but they are -- but
3 they came in with nothing.
4 He wanted to inform me about the opstina.
5 Q. These refugees - excuse me - these refugees you're talking about
6 there -- that he's talking about there would be --
7 A. Serb.
8 Q. Serb refugees coming out of Croatia into Bosnia or into Novi at
10 A. No.
11 Q. Into Dvor?
12 A. Into Dvor.
13 Q. Yes, all right. Go ahead.
14 A. The opstina size, 505 -- 5.505 square kilometres with 15.000
15 inhabitants before the war. That is Dvor. Add the refugees who came in,
16 4.900, into Dvor, these are again would be Serb. At one moment up to
17 6.000 displaced persons. A lot have now returned to towns in the UNPA,
18 meaning Petrinja, Glina and Kostajnica. Then the mayor started to --
19 went -- resumed from there and began to talk again about the Muslims, have
20 Muslims here that we take care of. Can take -- we can take you to see the
21 families in Dvor. There are also Croats in Dvor. You may speak to them
22 without our presence.
23 Q. Did you accept that invitation and go to speak to the Muslim and
24 Croat families in Dvor?
25 A. Remember I'm the head of the UN in that area and I tasked our own
1 civil police to go into the areas where they are, they would go and look.
2 Q. So the answer is no, you did not?
3 A. The answer is someone in my team would. This is internal to the
4 sector and they did go. Their job was to routinely do that.
5 Q. Go ahead.
6 A. We are preparing to allow the return -- to allow returnees back to
7 have their villages here. Representatives of ICRC visited Dvor in
8 November. He mentioned someone from ICRC, I don't know whether Your
9 Honour you want me to mention people from.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: No.
11 THE WITNESS: Was later killed in Sarajevo. This ICRC
12 representative. International money was promised for assistance to
13 Serbian Krajina. Money probably went to banks in Belgrade, which he
14 believes would be danger to send the food or something like -- of that
15 kind. He began to speak about the complications of -- due to the
16 embargo. We can live ten years with measures -- he went on to tell us we
17 can live for ten years with these sanctions, the Serb area, that the
18 embargo wouldn't change their views.
19 When UNPROFOR has taken over, we will be entitled to exports and
20 imports. He spoke about the harvest and the need for farm equipment
21 because of shortages of fuel. We are ready to go manual in farming if
22 necessary and we will survive.
23 If UNPROFOR brings fuel, they could monitor to see the fuel is
24 used only for agricultural purposes. They will pay for the fuel with
25 their goods, meaning the Serbs, if we give them the fuel, they will pay
1 with their goods. It is a -- it's a critical problem in these areas,
3 The last UNHCR assistant to the area of Dvor was in mid-February.
4 I've got a lot if you want to go into all this.
5 Q. I think that's enough. Thank you?
6 A. All right.
7 Q. I want you to look at and I'll tell the Registrar I'll be using
8 first P1668, then P1665, then P1671. Let's go first with P1668.
9 THE INTERPRETER: May we remind the speakers once again to read
10 slowly the documents and to pause between question and answer? Thank
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
13 Q. Do you have P1668 before you, sir?
14 A. Is this the memorandum 16th of June, 1992?
15 Q. Yes, sir.
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. In paragraph 4, about halfway through, and I think this refers to
18 what you were just telling us about this meeting you had in Dvor, in the
19 last few days, local authorities in the UNPA have brought to the attention
20 of UNPROFOR sensational killings of 7 TDF members in Dvor and 4 TDF
21 members in Siljkovaca near Velika Kladusa. The latter were part of a
22 convoy reportedly escorting 12 children, 11 women and 37 elderly people,
23 all Serbs, into the UNPA. In Cazin, the local TDF authorities claim
24 Muslims --
25 A. Don't have the second page.
1 Q. You don't have the second page?
2 A. Sorry, sorry. It's in the wrong place. I have it. That
3 continues TDF authorities claim Muslims --
4 Q. Axed 40 Serbians to death in the last two days, correct?
5 A. Right.
6 Q. And then it says this. And this is a report written by you. And
7 it says this: None of these stories have been verified by independent
8 sources, correct?
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. That's what you wrote?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. Now, go down, if you will, then, to paragraph 7. And about
13 halfway through that paragraph, you say this: The SDS president, Mr.
14 Beslas -- and I assume we are still talking about Bihac here, the SDS
15 president Mr. Beslas reportedly prepared a document in consultation with
16 the Serbian authorities in Banja Luka to be forwarded to the Muslim
17 authorities in Bihac.
18 Do you see that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, do you know whether or not that was independently verified?
21 A. The word "reportedly" underscores it wasn't.
22 Q. Okay. So any time we see the word "reportedly" or something of
23 that nature, then it has not been independently verified?
24 A. Indeed. This is something I consciously instructed even my
25 colleagues to allege or report if you can't verify, and if you see that
1 word, it signifies that.
2 Q. So if you go back up to paragraph 4, about halfway through,
3 speaking about these children and women, it says the latter were part of a
4 convoy reportedly escorting 12 children, 11 women, 37 elderly, same use
5 there, reportedly?
6 A. Same, yes.
7 Q. Why did you feel it necessary to then add none of these stories
8 have been verified by independent sources?
9 A. To underscore the point.
10 Q. Sorry?
11 A. It merely underscores the word "reportedly."
12 Q. Would it be the case that it underscores what had become a
13 tendency on your part to disbelieve Serb reports and believe Muslim
15 A. No, it won't.
16 Q. Paragraph 8 of this document, on 14 June, 1992, the TDF commander
17 Kordun informed the sector commander and the CAC and an ultimatum was
18 received from Muslim leaders in the villages of Rojnica and -- is that
19 Bugar, both in Cazin. That's in Bosnia. Telling all Muslims living in
20 Kordun to pick up their stuff and return to Bosnia.
21 A. Right.
22 Q. Now, apparently that is a verified situation because there is no
23 "reportedly" or anything like that there?
24 A. Correct. CAC is me.
25 Q. And do you have any idea why a -- why Muslim leaders in the Cazin
1 area would be sending an ultimatum to Muslims in Kordun to pick up their
2 stuff and return to Bosnia? Do you have any idea why they would be doing
4 A. This is a very condensed story in that paragraph, Mr. Ackerman,
5 and in this case, if the Court permits, we can tell you the background,
6 because it's not in the direction you may be thinking. These are Muslims
7 inside Kordun, in the sector.
8 Q. Before we go any further, let's do this. Look at P1645, will
9 you? We will put it on the ELMO.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: 1665 or 1645?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: 45, it's that large map, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
13 MR. ACKERMAN:
14 Q. We'll put this on the ELMO, sir and just show the Judges this area
15 that you're referring to when you speak of Kordun.
16 A. This map is not sufficient, but only approximate. The middle,
17 this is the international border we have spoken so many times about. The
18 Kordun area would be somewhere roughly from here, this whole area.
19 Q. Sir if you look there between Karlovac and the border you'll
20 actually see the word "Kordun" written there?
21 A. No, you wouldn't --
22 Q. Yes, you will.
23 A. You'll see a big one -- Kordun.
24 Q. There you go?
25 A. Not a town, a region.
1 Q. So Kordun was a region, not a town?
2 A. Not a town.
3 Q. Okay. So when you speak of Muslims living in Kordun, you're
4 speaking of Muslims living in that --
5 A. Living insides this area, somewhere very close to this border, and
6 they one day, the commanders come and tell me, "We have received an
7 ultimatum that they should leave, like they were being reclaimed back in
8 the bigger area of the Muslim.
9 Q. You mentioned at some point that Muslims were living quietly in
10 the Kordun area.
11 A. That particular village, those towns, there were quietly meaning
12 peacefully. It's another way of saying without any harassment.
13 Q. Now, go ahead and tell us your understanding of the purpose of
14 this ultimatum.
15 A. Eventually, the -- it prepared the ground for us to have these
16 people transferred from Kordun into the Bihac pocket, eventually.
17 Q. Why would the -- why would the Muslim authorities be issuing an
18 ultimatum to these people to drop everything and come back?
19 A. Now you are speaking like me now talking to Kordun. That's the
20 kind of question I would have asked -- I asked them, if we were to go into
21 the details, similar to the question I was asking the mayor of Bosanski
23 Q. What kind of an answer did you get?
24 A. I don't recall the full details of what the answer. And back
25 again it also carried now, normally in the fact that I was frequently on
1 the other side of Bihac pocket in Velika Kladusa and Bihac. The Muslims,
2 as you have seen in other reports, had no trouble talking to me directly,
3 and in this case, the matter is being relayed to me through the TDF
4 commander. So it carried the reason for me to make the same questions
5 you're asking.
6 Q. So the answer is you don't know?
7 A. The answer is that in the end, we knew that trouble was coming and
8 in the end those Muslims were moved across.
9 Q. Were these people who were refugees in the Kordun area or is that
10 their home?
11 A. No. That was their home.
12 Q. All right. Okay. Let's go to -- now, to -- we can stop with the
13 map. We can go to P1671. And sir, this is the document that you talked
14 about at length yesterday that I think you said became a rather
15 controversial document.
16 A. Yes, it did.
17 Q. The first thing that this document reveals, of course, is that at
18 least by 3 July, 1992, you had some information about the existence of
19 camps in Keraterm, Trnopolje, Omarska and Manjaca, correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you have any -- any ability, as you sit here today, to tell us
22 how long before that date of 3 July you became aware of these places?
23 A. No. I can't give you the exact date but you have phrased it
24 quite accurately, by this date, that we had that awareness.
25 Q. I notice up in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of
1 this document, the words "restricted." Could you tell the Judges what
2 that means in UN language? What does "restricted" mean?
3 A. A very good point. The reports of this nature were to be
4 distinguished from a sit-rep or others, but in the system you did have to
5 indicate to who this report was addressed, and the facts that you didn't
6 intend it to be a public document. That would be distributed to
7 everybody. We have 38.000 members of the force. It wouldn't be that kind
8 of document. So restricted meant to the persons addressed and to the
9 person it was copied to.
10 Q. So in this case, it would have gone to Ms. Auger?
11 A. And to Mr. Magnusson.
12 Q. And to Mr. Magnusson?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. How would it have gotten then if you restricted it to those two,
15 did they have that authority to distribute it further if they wanted to?
16 A. Often, since I addressed to a person who will track me it stands
17 to reason he could change his mind or her mind and -- yeah.
18 Q. Okay. So by putting restricted on there, it was your intention
19 that this information not be public but basically kept secret at this
21 A. Kept internal.
22 Q. Yes. And what was it that made you decide that this should be --
23 this information should be restricted?
24 A. If you look at the other documents, if they are of this kind, they
25 all carried that.
1 Q. That's not my question. My question is: Was what was it that
2 made you decide that this information, this specific information, should
3 be kept secret?
4 A. I'm answering your question again. It isn't based on specific
5 information like the naming of towns. It was a kind of report that I
6 wanted only those people addressed to see.
7 Q. My question is why?
8 A. Because at this stage, it wasn't ready to be part -- we have a
9 hierarchical reporting system which ends up being all the way that content
10 ends up finding its the way -- all the way to the Security Council. The
11 intention is that certain report is not ready for prime time.
12 Q. This was a period of time, was it not, sir, when you were becoming
13 increasingly frustrated?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. With your reports basically being ignored about what was going on
16 in that border area that you were watching?
17 A. Ignored by the people they addressed to.
18 Q. Yes. And that was a source of frustration, in fact at one point I
19 think you said that you were seething with anger about that?
20 A. Right, yes.
21 Q. Do you think there had been a better chance of these frustrations
22 of yours being answered and relieved if this information which you
23 restricted, you had simply revealed to the public?
24 A. No. Because we have a certain reporting responsibilities in an
25 organisation like the UN. You started your testimony here reading a
1 document of the Secretary-General. That is a system followed to inform
2 until the information is vetted and then it goes to the next level.
3 That's the system followed. So if I have information of this kind, I
4 couldn't make it public, nor did I wish it to become public.
5 Q. You mean you were restricted, you were -- you were prohibited,
6 your job description wouldn't permit you, to make this information public?
7 A. No. I have discretion at my level, and working in the UN, to
8 decide which piece of information I would restrict to the person named. I
9 have that discretion.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I think we will continue this a little bit after we
11 have a break, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We will have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You have the list now, Mr. Ackerman?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour. I was handed it right before the
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So before we continue, again I have another
19 appeal to make on behalf of the interpreters.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I've been severely chastised already by the
21 interpreters, by our Registrar representative. I've got lots of grief
22 during this break, Your Honour. If you want to add to it, please go
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought you looked quite down after the break.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour at least on this occasion, the Defence
1 and Prosecution get entirely the same treatment.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Please be considerate with the interpreters, as much
3 as you can. I know that I commit -- I make the same mistake myself and I
4 know it's not easy because one gets carried away as one goes along. So I
5 will try, if perhaps you could draw my attention, either on the monitor or
6 some other way when it gets out of hand and I will try to control the
7 situation as much as I can. Thanks. Mr. Kirudja and Mr. Ackerman, you've
8 heard me, please go ahead, Mr. Ackerman.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Sir, before the break we were discussing your memorandum of 3
11 July, P1671. There came a time after 3 July when that memo was somehow
12 leaked and I take it you have no idea how that happened?
13 A. You can take it quite correctly. I have no idea.
14 Q. Was it leaked in your area or was it leaked in New York? Do you
15 know where?
16 A. I just said no idea.
17 Q. Okay. Can you tell us about when that information was leaked?
18 A. Yes. If we can check the note, there is a meeting where
19 this -- subsequent to this memorandum being leaked, where I got a visit
20 from all my bosses, from New York, from Zagreb, all in Topusko, around
21 that date which I don't have, they came to discuss it, subject.
22 Q. Would that be somewhere in your diaries?
23 A. We can find that out later but you can say it's about a month or
24 so after this memo was written.
25 Q. Would it have been before all of the press descended on your door
2 A. Actually, the press and the leaking are part of the same -- that
3 issue of the press descending being on my office was triggered by this
5 Q. Do you know that the press got involved in the issue of the camps,
6 made demands to be allowed to go there and visit them, which were allowed,
7 and that by the end of July, both Keraterm and Omarska had been closed.
8 Were you aware of that?
9 MS. KORNER: No, they hadn't been closed by the end of July.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Sorry, I got the wrong month.
11 Q. By the end of August; is that right?
12 A. I had also very little access to the press other than their
13 presence in my sector. Yeah.
14 Q. I want to you look, then at the last -- the last paragraph of that
15 letter, of that memorandum. We have requested a minibus with driver to
16 help in transporting the escapees to safety and we are talking about these
17 refugees coming across the river basically into your section.
18 Transporting the escapees to safety, since UN vehicles are not to be used
19 for humanitarian purposes. What is that all about?
20 A. You asked me a little earlier about the frustration in handling
21 this matter internally. You're now getting deeper into it. That is I
22 have vehicles, military pattern vehicles, deployed around this UNPA, and
23 you have a lot of people in need. The soldiers have certain rules about
24 the vehicles they have. That doesn't include transportation of refugees
25 around. And I was running straight about that and the difficulties, you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 have vehicles parked here, you have refugees in need and you have a
2 bureaucracy to deal with.
3 Q. Is this an UN restriction that vehicles under control of UN can't
4 be used for humanitarian purposes?
5 A. No, no, no. Sorry again to the interpreters, I interrupted.
6 There are vehicles designated as military pattern vehicles available to
7 peacekeeping forces. We have a situation where peace wasn't being kept
8 and you can see and draw conclusion as to what happened.
9 Q. Okay. So I think what you're telling me, correct me if I'm wrong,
10 is that if they have been designated military vehicles, regardless of
11 whether they are minibuses that carry 20 people or not, if they have been
12 designated military vehicles then they can't be used for humanitarian
14 A. They are not available.
15 Q. Wow. Tell me, in your mind, in your own definition, what the
16 difference is between a concentration camp and a detention centre?
17 A. In all candour, until General Nambiar called me about that, I had
18 not thought about it, but if you ask me now, as opposed to then, I am no
19 better even today in distinguishing the two.
20 Q. They are both places where people are kept in a concentrated area,
21 detained in a concentrated area, I take it. That's kind of --
22 A. Your Honour you have to get somebody else to be definitive about
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We will, Mr. Kirudja.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. I'll leave it alone. July 18th, 1992. I'm continuing with this
2 frustration we are talking about here. On July 18th, 1992, your superiors
3 in Zagreb specifically directed you to not be involved with what was going
4 on in Bosnia, didn't they?
5 A. Exactly.
6 Q. You'd been sending, as you've said many times, reports alerting
7 them to what you saw as a deteriorating situation in Bosnia and along that
8 border, and you were simply directed by them to ignore that situation. Do
9 you know why?
10 A. Yes, and I have explained in the testimony earlier. They thought
11 we were basically crossing the border, I mean the UN assets deployed in
12 the area, and getting involved, as the testimony shows, since they ignored
13 the reports, they missed the point that they were coming into the centre,
14 into the UNPA. I sought to dispel that misunderstanding.
15 Q. But did you get the impression that they sort of wanted to --
16 really didn't want it know what was going on in Bosnia?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Would that have been maybe some fear that if they knew what was
19 happening they might have to do something about it?
20 A. That's what I was trying to get them to do. I have also testified
21 here, we had a withdrawal of the two agencies most responsible for this
22 kind of thing, namely the UNHCR and ICRC. The testimony here shows they
23 had withdrawn. But that wouldn't stop these people in need from coming,
24 and my purpose is to say something needs to be done in the interests,
25 humanitarian interests of these people, all of them.
1 Q. Yes. All of them. And you mean that, don't you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. On July 21st, Croatia had agreed to accept 4.000 refugees
4 from Bosanski Novi, correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you look at P1672 now, please?
7 In the document I'm referring to is the second document in that
8 bundle. It's the 6 July, 1992 letter from Radomir Pasic.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And let me just clear up one thing before we go much further.
11 Throughout your reports and your testimony and everything else, you
12 referred to people like Mr. Pasic as mayors. The actual title of these
13 people were presidents of municipalities?
14 A. I'm fully aware of that, Mr. Ackerman.
15 Q. Mayor is just a sort of convenient way for those of us who speak
16 English to refer to those municipality presidents that -- it's just a
17 translation issue?
18 A. Quite right.
19 Q. Yes. The -- this letter from Mr. Pasic speaks about a group of
20 people who want to leave and who have been issued permits allowing them to
21 leave, and he requests that you provide safe passage. Right?
22 A. Right.
23 Q. And this in fact happened, and this is the group that grew from an
24 estimated 4.000 up to around 9.000, wasn't it?
25 A. When it was all done.
1 Q. When it was all done. And you know, don't you, that many of these
2 people travelled in their own private cars?
3 A. When we helped them to cross?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. We haven't given the details of that testimony. If you like, I
6 can tell you. There were some who -- but a small group -- had their own
7 private cars. The bulk were transported by buses from Bosanski Novi.
8 Q. Yes?
9 A. And this letter does --
10 Q. I think the documents indicate that there were around 200 private
11 cars involved in the convoy.
12 A. I couldn't tell you that there were 200 because we also had to
13 supply UNHCR trucks as well as supplementary vehicles so while I said I
14 saw private cars that's true, how many there were, I don't know. 200
15 right now sounds too much.
16 Q. And the trucks were for carrying their personal belongings, was
18 A. The trucks were because we started with 4.000 and then people came
19 in all shapes, and some were just being transported with the trucks, with
20 a bed, only with a mattress on it, truck bed, I mean, with mattresses, and
21 I remember even old people sitting in these truck beds.
22 Q. These people took with them, did they not, whatever it was they
23 wanted take that they could, you know, physically transport?
24 A. Basically, if they were in the car, that wouldn't apply because I
25 wouldn't check, I had no time to check what was in the car. If they were
1 in buses and those trucks, the majority had very bare essentials around.
2 Q. Just going to ask you some things here and you just tell me if you
3 agree, disagree or don't know. These people were not searched for
4 harassed by the Serbian authorities in any way?
5 A. No, no.
6 Q. You agree with that?
7 A. I agree. I was there.
8 Q. And with many of these people, no papers of any kind were required
9 by the Serbian authorities?
10 A. No, not by -- within the transit area, nobody searched them. I
11 can't testify at when they were held at the entry point coming into the
12 sector. Can't testify whether there were papers or what they were doing
13 at the entry point. At the end of the journey, they were received by the
14 Croats. There, they were -- there was an attempt to go through a formal
15 procedure that went on until about 11.00 or 12.00 midnight.
16 Q. And would it surprise you if one of the Muslim residents of
17 Bosanski Novi had said that they would even have been permitted to take
18 their houses if they could have somehow put them on wheels and taken them
20 A. If somebody said that, it wouldn't surprise me if you say that
21 someone said that.
22 Q. Now, you were basically opposed to accepting these refugees out of
23 Bosnia, weren't you?
24 A. I have testified to that effect in the process of discussing with
25 the Bosanski mayors and Dvor, once they considered to me and the record
1 shows these were not voluntary. At that point, I wasn't in agreement.
2 Q. In fact you actually tried to persuade UNHCR and ICRC to join your
3 position in that regard, to oppose --
4 A. Actually, they joined that opposition, they joined that position.
5 Q. Maybe I'm confused. Let me see. In the Milosevic case, your
6 testimony there on 3 February, and this is the source of the question I
7 just asked you, sir. Page 15432. You were asked the following question
8 and gave the following answer:
9 Question: What was your position regarding future similar
10 excavations -- evacuations related to what you believed was ethnic
11 cleansing? Did you support the idea?
12 Answer: No. As a matter of fact, as soon as this -- this matter
13 was clearly understood, both by my headquarters, UNHCR and ICRC, and
14 following that transit by 9.000, we sought to make it clearer to them that
15 this is the beginning. If you allow it, it is going to be a flood and
16 therefore we continuously tried to give them to understand what we knew,
17 and I'm glad to report they did turn around and joined -- I mean they
18 meaning UNHCR, ICRC, they did turn around to our position that this is an
19 affair we couldn't be involved in, correct?
20 A. It's a correct testimony.
21 Q. Right. What logic, sir, told you that from a humanitarian
22 perspective, the greater good would be to leave these people in a war zone
23 where they were in grave danger rather than allow them to be transported
24 to safety from which they might one day return? What was the logic in
1 A. There is a time line in your question, and also implied in the
2 testimony you read from the other case. Not only that we opposed that
3 from happening early in July, but it still happened that instead of 4.000,
4 9.000 crossed. We had various discussions leading up to the time the
5 first lot left, and during those discussions, this idea that if you do it,
6 you will just open the flood gate was constantly discussed and eventually
7 subscribed to by the humanitarian agencies themselves. But at a certain
8 point during those discussions, a decision was made that is contained in a
9 letter entered in testimony from Prime Minister Greguric, where the Croats
10 who up to a point also agreed with that policy changed their mind and
11 allowed the 4.000. During all that process, the logic was as follows: We
12 are trying to get de-escalation of tensions and fighting. Something the
13 United Nations were called upon to do, basically in the area where we are
14 deployed. These events were happening outside that area, where the United
15 Nations had not read as a war zone in May, at least in May, 1992, and
16 April, when we deployed.
17 So the logic was: Do not -- discourage as much as you can the
18 solution to a conflict that results in displacement of people. That logic
19 is not only local for that time. It's a logic that permits all UN
20 endeavours to stop conflicts and have a local solution than displace
21 people. That logic permits the whole raison d'etre of peacekeeping.
22 Q. Well, that's the point, isn't it, when you're saying to people
23 stay in a place where the UN is not deployed, where we can't protect you
24 instead of coming to a place where we are deployed where we can. My
25 question is how does that make sense?
1 A. That statement you just said, people deployed -- where the UN is
2 not deployed contains a problem. The reason it's not deployed is because
3 it's not a war zone.
4 Q. So it's your --
5 A. The UN is not deployed -- sorry to interrupt, the interpreter,
6 again, so if you -- if you prefix that question to an area where it's a
7 recognised war zone and we are deployed there, I can see what you're
8 getting at. If it isn't an area where the UN is not deployed, it also
9 means there is no reason to be evacuated from it.
10 Q. So it's -- it was then your position and that of the UN, that at
11 least up until -- see what you said in Milosevic -- that this 9.000 and
12 this 9.000 we are talking about was the 9.000 that came out in July?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: 23rd of July.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Sorry?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: 23rd of July.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Came out around the 23rd of July?
19 A. Right.
20 Q. So when you're speaking in Milosevic about this transit by 9.000,
21 that at that point you sought to make it clearer to them, UNHCR, ICRC,
22 that this was a mistake and that they should join you in opposition to
23 these, so at least by this time, this date of 23 July, your position and
24 that of the UN was that there was no armed conflict going on in Bosnia?
25 A. Actually by the beginning of April-May, that's when we realised
1 that -- May, somewhere May, the request came much earlier, the culmination
2 was in July, so what we saw in April and May would lead us to believe in
3 everything that was visible, this is a normal situation.
4 Q. In July, 23 July, when these 9.000 are being transported, you are
5 saying to UNHCR, ICRC, please join us in opposing any further transfers.
6 A. No. Correction. The text you read is encapsulated in a time
7 period. I was answering a question covering from July to 19th of August,
8 when a second round was being attempted. So my comment covered the entire
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Now, if you're going to break it down to a certain point, then
12 your comment would need to be more specific.
13 Q. I'm not trying to break it down. I'm just trying to put an end
14 date on when you were talking about this. When you say in Milosevic that
15 you were talking with UNHCR and ICRC after this 9.000?
16 A. Right.
17 Q. That they should join you, and in context of what you just told
18 the Judges a moment ago, I take it that it's your position that at least
19 up to that point, sometime around the end of July, it's your position that
20 there was no armed conflict occurring in Bosnia?
21 A. No. It wouldn't be correct, because Bosnia is broader than
22 Bosanski Novi. There was armed conflicts in Sarajevo by then. There were
23 armed conflicts elsewhere. So when you say there was no armed -- is it my
24 position in Bosnia, it wouldn't be correct. There were armed conflicts in
25 different parts of Bosnia.
1 Q. But sir, we are talking about, and we have been talking about, all
2 morning, when we are talking, for instance, about the phone call from
3 Kupresanin, we are talking about people not coming from Bosanski Novi but
4 just through Bosanski Novi, from Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc, all these
5 other locations?
6 A. Counsellor, the people in every one of those discussions, they are
7 localised as to where they are coming from. The 4.000 are not coming from
8 all those places you have named. The 4.000 are coming from Bosanski Novi
9 specifically from Blagaj. So it's not a generalised thing.
10 Q. But, you know, we are maybe having some difficulty here. When you
11 talk in Milosevic case, you're talking about those to come after this
13 A. Exactly. And I mentioned to you earlier, do you want me to
14 distinguish that?
15 Q. And those to come after this 9.000. I mean there is some point
16 where Bosanski Novi runs out of Muslims and we are talking about refugees
17 coming out of these other places that Kupresanin talked about in his phone
19 A. Counsellor there is not as much confusion as you would seem to
20 want to see. There is statement to the effect we are taking 4.000 from a
21 specific location, that 4.000 turns to 9.000. We continue to discuss
22 after that, after July 23rd, we want more people to come out from the
23 places that you have named, after. The discussions are talking about
24 people coming from Sanski Most. We told you 11.000. After. This is an
25 attempt after the 9.000. From Prijedor, 8.000. After July 23rd. From
1 Dubica -- from Kostajnica, 500. This testimony is specific and in time
2 and in place. Occasionally, I hear you talking about Bosnia in one breath
3 and specifically, no, I'm -- the testimony I have given is specific to --
4 as to time, as to place.
5 Q. Okay. Maybe I have misunderstood the very basic proposition. You
6 were not opposed to refugees coming from Prijedor and Sanski Most and
7 these other places? You were not opposed to having them transit through
8 Sector North?
9 A. The testimony is contrary to that.
10 Q. Okay. We are back where I thought we were. You said that the
11 reason that you would oppose these transfers had to do with the fact that
12 those people were not living in a war zone, and my only point in the
13 question I was trying to ask you was then it's your position that during
14 that period of time, whatever period of time it is, we are talking about
15 these people coming from Prijedor and places like that, it was your
16 position that there was no armed conflict occurring in those places at the
18 A. I have testified that in the process of finding out who was coming
19 from where, we learned there was a conflict that started at a specific
20 time for the reasons given between the Serbs and Muslims, specifically
21 about not signing allegiance. We have testified there was that kind of
23 Q. But that's not a battle, that's not an armed conflict of people
24 shooting at each other?
25 A. You're correct.
1 Q. Okay. I think we've exhausted this point, sir. I don't think we
2 can probably take it much further.
3 I'd like you to look at your diary for 12 August, 1992, if you
5 A. I beg your pardon, counsellor, date?
6 Q. 12 August, 1992.
7 A. 12 August, 1992. Yes?
8 Q. You recorded in your diary -- you were speaking on that date with
9 the mayor -- the municipal president of Bosanski Novi again?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And you recorded in your diary a quote from him, and I think it
12 was this: The Serbian side is not respected, there could be massive
13 deaths on both sides. If we are left to resolve the matter by ourselves,
14 we resolve the platter very quickly. For example, there are 7.000 Serb
15 refugees from Croatia in Bosanski Novi. The world did not condemn their
16 plight. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know why there were 7.000 Serb refugees from Croatia in
19 Bosanski Novi?
20 A. There was evidence that a lot of movement had taken place prior to
21 our arrival, as a result of the conflict between Croats and Serbs.
22 Q. Would you agree that they were forced out of areas where they had
23 been living for a very long time, by the Croats?
24 A. There I face a dilemma. The dilemma being, the area we are
25 deployed on, the United Nations Protected Area, is under total control by
1 Serb authorities. I also testified there was no duress, there was no
2 stress for any Serb crossing that segment of the border where the Serbs
3 were in control of both sides. If they had been displaced from Croatia,
4 this area or their houses, the dilemma for me is to figure out are they
5 Serbs that are choosing to move from other areas or this area where there
6 was a war? If it is this area where there was a war, it also didn't add
7 up to why they would have to run away from an area controlled by Serb
8 forces. That was a dilemma to try to figure out about those 7.000.
9 Q. Do you know if any of the Serb refugees who went into Bosnia were
10 assisted in any way by ICRC, UNHCR, the UN, in their efforts to cross into
12 A. At what period? If they left before we arrived, obviously I
13 wouldn't know.
14 Q. Okay. And during the time you were there, were you aware of any
15 such efforts?
16 A. Yes. Not all of which is in testimony because I mentioned -- and
17 this is a point in the other trial, Mr. Milosevic and I engaged with each
18 other for sometime. It's not evident when we helped the Serbs because
19 there was no issue around it. The trucks arrived routinely, humanitarian
20 trucks, loaded with medicine, or other things, in the Serb area, and
21 because the Serbs controlled it, there were no flash points so you don't
22 hear about it.
23 Q. Okay. The statement that this municipal president made to the
24 effect that if we are left to resolve the matter by ourselves, we will
25 resolve the matter very quickly, you have no real idea what he meant by
1 that, do you?
2 A. Yes, because at this moment is the point your questioning me
3 about. He did see that we had trouble buying the voluntary removal of
4 Muslims as he proposed, and he was warning us at times saying if you
5 prevent this from happening, if you force this, we will act on our own.
6 That's what he is telling us.
7 Q. Were you aware that there were basically two routes, one was to
8 come through your sector into Croatia, and from there elsewhere, the other
9 was to go into central Bosnia over mount Vlasic to Travnik, that
10 direction? Were you aware of those two routes?
11 A. The route for what groups?
12 Q. For the Muslim people?
13 A. Yes, I was because I was made aware right at the beginning and in
14 the context of asking what's going on and Mayor Pasic said they could have
15 gone through that central Bosnia to Zenica he said but they chose not to.
16 Q. And you know that those Muslim people were demanding that they be
17 able to go through Croatia rather than go into central Bosnia primarily
18 because they didn't want to be conscripted into the Bosnian military?
19 A. I have to deconstruct your statement. The part where you say they
20 were demanding that they be able to go through Croatia, not correct. I
21 hadn't met them to make that demand. Serbs were demanding that we let
22 them pass through.
23 Q. But they were telling you that the Muslim?
24 A. Second point.
25 Q. Just a minute. The Serbs were telling you that that's what the
1 Muslims were requesting that they wanted to go that direction rather than
2 the other one?
3 A. Correction. They were telling me actually their words were we
4 have decided, we Serbs, in our generosity to make it easy for them to pass
5 through this safely and you film them passing safely.
6 Q. And one way to resolve the matter very quickly would be for this
7 municipal president to tell those Muslim people who were wanting to leave
8 that they were now down to one choice, and that was to go into central
9 Bosnia, right?
10 A. Sounds to me like you're drawing a conclusion.
11 Q. I'm asking you if you agree with it.
12 A. No.
13 Q. It is the case, is it not, that there were several Serb refugees
14 in Sector North who had fled from Bosnia under the pressure and terror
15 inflicted on them by Muslim forces?
16 A. It is true that there were Serbs in Sector North who had come from
18 Q. You don't agree that they had fled under pressure and terror
19 inflicted on them by Muslim forces?
20 A. I wouldn't know any family that was in the sector that came to us
21 and said this is the reason we left. They had no reason -- by the way I
22 don't imply that anything else. I imply that there was no issue about it.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour I should say this is something we've
24 discussed before. As Your Honours know tu quoque is not a Defence and
25 we've never disputed that there may well have been atrocities against
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Serbs in central Bosnia so Your Honour from that point of view I do ask
2 why this is relevant.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
4 MR. ACKERMAN: You want an answer, Your Honour?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour I think it's relevant just to show that
7 the whole issue of what was going on in Northern Bosnia, the area just
8 across the border, was fairly complex and not just a simple expulsion of
9 Muslim people.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I think that's not in dispute. I mean no one
11 ever imagined for a moment, since we've started this trial, that the
12 situation was not complex in any of the regions or any of the parts that
13 we have been dealing with.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. I think that's fine.
15 Q. We have talked about your position regarding your concern about
16 permitting these refugees to come out of Bosnia and go through Croatia,
17 either to remain there or go on to Western Europe or somewhere else. And
18 about your awareness that there were Serb refugees coming from Bosnia into
19 Croatia. But you said that you were not greatly concerned about them
20 because they seemed to be being accommodated, they seemed to be being
21 taken care of, and they did not basically create a refugee problem,
23 A. They didn't become a crisis. They were still refugees, even if
24 they were there, for -- in recognition of which we organised supplies to
25 come into the sector.
1 Q. I just don't see anywhere in any of your documents sir, where you
2 expressed your opposition to Serbs coming across the border, Serbs being
3 displaced from Bosnia, and coming across the border and becoming refugees
4 in Croatia and perhaps going on elsewhere?
5 A. You're correct.
6 Q. I don't see that concern in any of your documents. You have that
7 concern about Muslims but I don't see it about Serbs. Am I there? Am I
9 A. You're right, you don't see it. It isn't true what you're
10 implying by it. The testimony I have given constantly is that the UN was
11 not being asked in a crisis situation by the Serbs other than help us we
12 are settled here. This testimony you are referring to is taken by the
13 Prosecution, me answering the questions they are asking me. I don't
14 volunteer them what to ask me. I don't ask them ask me now about the
15 Serbs. If they do, the answer would be there.
16 Q. Well, okay. So are there then in existence reports that are just
17 not included, not attached to your statement, where you were expressing
18 the same kind of concern to the authorities in Zagreb about the movement
19 of Serb people from Bosnia into Croatia?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. There are?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. Sorry, correction, not into Croatia. The Croatia is the term you
25 use in this -- with very careful. Croatia is the bigger nation.
1 Q. I agree with you. I know what you're saying.
2 A. So secondly, when I said there are the Serb refugees that we dealt
3 with in almost a crisis, they weren't going to Croatia. They were going
4 into a pocket of Bosnia where the Muslims were.
5 Q. You talked -- you've talked in your materials and in your
6 statements and in your testimony about numerous interviews that were
7 conducted of Muslims coming out of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did you also
8 conduct the same kind of interviews, similar numbers, with Serb refugees
9 coming out of Bosnia?
10 A. Same question you asked earlier. There were already in the houses
11 and quietly -- didn't arise. The issue didn't arise.
12 Q. Okay. So the interest was not so much whether they were in a
13 refugee status or how they got there, it was whether they were making
14 demands on the UN or not?
15 A. No. The issue was you have a person far away from where they
16 live, they are in a hostile area and they are asking for A, protection,
17 and for support. That typical UNHCR issue.
18 Q. I guess the difference in your mind between the Serb and Muslim
19 refugees was the Serbs were not a burden and the Muslims were?
20 A. No. It's a mischaracterisation, a complete one.
21 Q. This first group of Muslims, as a matter of fact, from Bosanski
22 Novi, the group of 5.000, they were really not asking much of anything
23 from the UN other than safe conduct across Sector North. They asked for
24 no food, no clothing, no nothing, just to get across there, right?
25 A. I just finished testifying, when it actually happened, we had to
1 have trucks there, UNHCR, food there, everything.
2 Q. No, no, no. You're talking about that 9.000?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I'm talking about that first group of 5.000, the early group that
5 wanted the television cameras and everything else.
6 A. I didn't meet them. I met Serbs talking about them.
7 Q. But what they were requesting -- we are not communicating again.
8 What they requested from the UN was only two things: Safe conduct and a
9 television crew.
10 A. Once again, you don't hear me. It wasn't the Muslims that were
11 requesting. It was the Serbs who were requesting.
12 Q. I understand. All that was being requested, no matter by whom,
13 was safe conduct and a television crew?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And when you say it was the Serbs that were requesting and
16 not the Muslims, what you're saying is the Serbs were reporting to you
17 that the Muslims voluntarily wanted to leave and they wanted safe conduct
18 and the Serbs wanted it filmed by a television crew?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Okay. Look at P1669, if you will, please.
21 The second document there sir is a letter of 20 June, 1992 that we
22 talked about yesterday that was written to Mr. Pasic and we won't discuss
23 the author. In this letter concern is expressed about the welfare of
24 Muslims in President Pasic's community, and he's advised in that letter
25 about the international law regarding population transfers as was
1 understood by you or the author of the letter at that time. The question
2 I have is this: Do you know of any kind of a similar letter expressing
3 the same kind of concern, containing similar language, that was ever sent
4 to the municipality president of Bihac or any of the other Muslim
5 communities in Bosnia regarding the Serb people living in those
6 municipalities and your concern about them?
7 A. Within our mission or in the entire UN operation? When you say
8 any kind of letter.
9 Q. Within your mission. This was within your mission?
10 A. Yes, within Sector North.
11 Q. This letter --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was there a similar letter that came out of Sector North written
14 by the same person or you or any other person?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Keeping in mind, Mr. Ackerman, because we have to be
16 fair with the witness, that this is not a letter that came from his
17 mission or his office but -- he discussed it with the person who at the
18 end of the day affixed his signature, but this letter did not come from
19 his office. So I think you ought to address the question twofold. His
20 office and if he is aware from any other office.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I wasn't wanting to be that specific, Your
22 Honour. This is a letter that he testified yesterday that he had a great
23 deal to do with the contents of.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: In many ways he drafted it himself and it just went
1 out over the signature of this other person.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Because it --
3 MR. ACKERMAN: On so --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Because that's how it could be for reasons that he
5 explained yesterday. He was being accused practically of --
6 MR. ACKERMAN: All I'm wanting to know, was there a similar letter
7 that he's aware of written by anyone to the Muslim municipalities,
8 expressing the same kind of concern about the Serb people and Serb
10 A. I'll answer your question. No, there was no letter. Two, there
11 was no similar circumstances that we knew of in the areas you have
13 MR. ACKERMAN:
14 Q. Did you at the time have a position or do you have a position
15 about what the legal ramifications are about forcing people to remain in a
16 place which they are desperately trying to depart? Would that also have
17 been improper and perhaps illegal?
18 A. I'll defer to matters of legalities to Their Excellencies, the
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Kirudja.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. Did you ever consider, sir, what the affect might be of forcing
23 people to stay in a place that they wanted to depart?
24 A. Yes. And indeed, this -- you asked me earlier why the
25 frustration. We had to deal with all of those. Usually long restless
1 nights. If we had any information that people were being hurt, we were
2 duty-bound to evacuate them from where they were. We wouldn't countenance
3 for a minute keeping people where they were being hurt.
4 Q. This time period we are talking about, basically early 1992, you
5 of course took a definite position about these Muslim refugees that were
6 coming out of Bosnia, that you were -- you disbelieved that they were
7 coming voluntarily, and you were basing your position at that time on the
8 proposition that the Serbs and even some Muslims who you talked to were
9 not being truthful about the desire of Muslims to voluntarily leave the
10 area, weren't you?
11 A. Your question has several parts. I'll take them one by one. My
12 position that they were coming out of Bosnia, you're wording, disbelieved,
13 my testimony is more than disbelief. I questioned the speaker to the
14 point of admission they were not. They confirmed that. It's not a matter
15 of belief. This is a matter on record them saying, yes, we admit they are
16 being forced.
17 Two, is it that Muslims who were -- you talked to were not being
18 truthful about the desire of Muslims to voluntarily leave the area? The
19 testimony was they were very careful in our presence -- in our presence
20 not to cross or say hard things about their Serbian colleagues. That is
21 the wording. Where we read issues of safety for them before and after the
22 meeting were paramount.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he explained this yesterday, Mr. Ackerman,
24 he drew a distinction yesterday between the reaction of the Muslims under
25 different circumstances when they were faced with this.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I know, Your Honour, that was basically a
2 preliminary question. I'm now going to where I'm trying to go.
3 Q. Sir I want to talk to you about the meeting you had on 19 August
4 with Vlado Vrkes from Sanski Most. You might find your note on that to
5 maybe assist you in your answers.
6 A. 19th of August?
7 Q. Yes, sir.
8 A. Right.
9 Q. Present at that meeting there was an individual named Besim
10 Islamcevic, who was a Muslim, wasn't there?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us everything you recorded in your notes that
13 Mr. Islamcevic said at that meeting?
14 A. I did. I told you everything.
15 Q. You already did?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. He indicated did he not, that he was a representative of the
18 Muslims and Croats willing to leave Sanski Most?
19 A. Correct. That was his representation to us.
20 Q. Do you know how it happened that that group came to meet with you
21 in the first place?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Say how it happened.
24 A. They know where I was. We had already met earlier and they knew
25 my address.
1 Q. Would it surprise you to learn that it was Mr. Islamcevic who
2 requested Mr. Vrkes to set up this meeting with you?
3 A. I don't know that. If you say so, I guess it's because you have
4 evidence to that effect.
5 Q. Would it surprise to you learn that he asked Mr. Vrkes to set up
6 that meeting because a large group from Sanski Most wanted to leave the
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you don't need to --
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour it may or may not surprise Mr. Kirudja,
10 it doesn't matter. It's not a proper question.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Look at the answer to the first question that you
12 got, Mr. Ackerman.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You can't follow up with the second question, it's
15 so obvious.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Did you learn from Mr. Islamcevic at that time that there had been
18 a previous meeting with 28 representatives from the non-Serb community in
19 Sanski Most, in the office of Mr. Vrkes, to express their desires about
20 what it was that was being requested of you in that meeting? Did you know
22 A. No.
23 Q. Sergio De Mello was present at that meeting, wasn't he?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Was he not?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you recall any question of Mr. Islamcevic as to what would
3 happen if they were not permitted to transit through Sector North?
4 A. Summary of what he said to me doesn't include that.
5 Q. And you have no independent recollection of that?
6 A. Counsel, it's more than ten years, almost ten years.
7 Q. I understand. I'm not giving you a hard time about not
8 remembering. I just want to make sure you don't?
9 A. Yes, okay.
10 Q. I don't remember much ten years ago either?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. Do you recall Mr. Islamcevic warning you that their other
13 departure route was very unsafe, via Skender Vakuf and the Vlasic plateau
14 and --
15 A. That I noted.
16 Q. Is uncertain whether or not they reached -- what did you know,
17 tell us?
18 A. What I noted was something to the effect that all other routes to
19 us are unknown. I remember saying to that you that this man spoke very
20 cautious. He wouldn't have said they were unsafer because I would ask
21 answer from who, so the language he just said was all other routes are
22 unknown. That is in my notes.
23 Q. All right. Yesterday, during cross-examination about war zones,
24 it was early in my cross-examination of you, page 87, line 13, you said
25 this: The war zone was on the side which was Croatian territory occupied
1 by Serbs. Because I think you thought I was suggesting that the war zone
2 was on both sides of the border and you were trying to clarify that in
3 your view, the war zone was only on the Croatian side?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. And you referred to the Croatian territory occupied by Serbs.
6 Those are your words. You didn't mean to suggest, did you, that that
7 area, Sector North, had been conquered and then occupied by Serbs during
8 the war with Croatia, did you?
9 A. Counsellor, the terminology used in the records you have in front
10 of you would contain no wording to saying occupied. All the documents you
11 have. We are now talking about ten years later. We were not preparing
12 these reports for a court. This Court even as a concept didn't exist.
13 Q. Sir you're misunderstanding me. You're answering a question I
14 didn't ask. Let's see if we can start over?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. Page 87, your answer was this: Precisely, I want something to
17 tell you the war zone was on the side which was Croatian territory
18 occupied by the Serbs. My only question is this: You did not mean to
19 suggest when you used the words "occupied by Serbs" that that had been
20 conquered by Serbs in the Croatian war and then occupied by them. That's
21 wasn't what you meant to suggest, was it?
22 A. No. I meant the ordinary meaning that they were there in place
23 and running that place.
24 Q. In fact, that is a part of Croatia that was traditionally a very
25 heavily Serb area, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes. And it carried a specific name.
2 Q. In transcript from yesterday, page 32, line 8, Ms. Korner asked
3 you if you ever crossed the bridge into Bosanski Novi, and you replied
4 that you were very careful not to do that because you had been accused of
5 extending UN concerns into Bosnia. Do you remember that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And of course, Bosanski Novi was a Serb majority municipality,
9 A. I'm not sure I remember the numbers, what the proportions were.
10 I'm sure we looked at them at sometime. You can remind me what the
11 proportions are, if you wish to.
12 Q. Well, I don't. My only question is: How many times did you
13 actually cross that border and go into Bosnia?
14 A. The specific question Ms. Korner was with regard to Bosanski Novi.
15 Q. I understand that. I'm asking you about the whole area. How many
16 times did you actually cross the border?
17 A. Oh, countless, countless.
18 Q. You actually had meetings in Bihac, didn't you?
19 A. Bihac, Velika Kladusa, and some were inside Blinjski Kut, Bosanski
20 Bojna, all that area, that pocket.
21 Q. At some point you learned about the creation of the Serbian
22 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and learned that it later became Republika
23 Srpska, didn't you?
24 A. I specified the date I learned about Serbian Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I can't place a date when I -- when it turned into
1 Republika Srpska.
2 Q. I'm not really asking you for the date. Just that you were aware
3 of that it happened at some point?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You knew, did you not, that the seat of government of this Serbian
6 entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina was in Srpska Sarajevo or Pale?
7 A. Not or, it was in Pale.
8 Q. I'd like you to look at P1669, please. And you'll find a document
9 dated 20 June, authored by Paolo Raffone.
10 A. Yes, I have a copy.
11 Q. This refers to a meeting that took place in Velika Kladusa with
12 the representative of 850 displaced persons from Sanski Most, correct?
13 A. That's what the report states.
14 Q. And a representative of this group of displaced persons appeared
15 there, asked that his name be kept anonymous, and then there is a report
16 which follows which Mr. Raffone says is based solely on his statements.
17 A. I see that.
18 Q. Is that another one of the ways that you would say this
19 information is not verified?
20 A. Exactly -- well, no, no, no. That is different. That is
21 different. That -- it says what you just read.
22 Q. Okay. I just want to ask you some questions about halfway through
23 that, the third paragraph, he's talking about a -- the sports hall in
24 Sanski Most where people were kept. And he says the guards to this place
25 were under the direction of a man who is the commander of the Serbian
1 crisis committee of Banja Luka, Mr. Davidovic. Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, I see that.
3 Q. Did you ever make any effort to verify that information?
4 A. There was no reason for me to do this.
5 Q. Did you -- did you ever learn whether that was a true statement or
6 not, that the commander of the Serbian crisis committee in Banja Luka was
7 Mr. Davidovic?
8 A. There was no reason for me to do that.
9 Q. Another thing that this person told you at that time was that with
10 regard to the camp in Manjaca, that it was a camp, it was a place where
11 only dangerous war prisoners, extremists were held, plus some doctors and
12 some members of SDA. True?
13 A. This is reported speech. My duty was to make sure that we heard
14 what he said and reflected it.
15 Q. And there was not a report from a Serb but from a Muslim --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Representative from Sanski Most?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. And that information was then passed on, was it not, to higher
20 authorities, to Zagreb and other places?
21 A. Yes, it was.
22 Q. And the letter was actually released by you over your signature?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. Could you look now at P1671?
25 A. Date?
1 Q. I'll get there. 8 July.
2 A. I beg your pardon?
3 Q. I may have the date wrong. No. This is not the report I'm
4 interested in. I've got the number wrong. 1672, I'm sorry.
5 This is 8 July of 1992, and this issue of refugees trying to cross
6 from Bosanski Novi has been going on now for quite sometime, more than a
7 month at least, yes?
8 A. More or less, yes.
9 Q. And this report discusses 18 persons who arrived from Bosanski
10 Novi, asking for protection and assistance, to cross Sector North towards
11 Zagreb and other foreign countries, correct?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. And they told stories about persecution, intimidation and
14 deportation going on in Bosanski Novi?
15 A. Question for me?
16 Q. Yeah. It's in the second paragraph. They made statements, they
17 told stories, about what they were experiencing in Bosanski Novi?
18 A. Second paragraph, yeah. I see it, the contents of second
20 Q. Muslims continue to suffer persecution, deportation, intimidation,
21 from Serbian armed groups?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. That's what they said?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Let me ask you if you have, outside of your sojourn there in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 former Yugoslavia, in your mission there, do you have any experience with,
2 generally, asylum seekers and what asylum seekers are up to?
3 A. Personally?
4 Q. Yes, personally.
5 A. No. I have worked all my life with the UN and we don't receive
7 Q. Do you know just from being a man of the world, that people
8 frequently show up in various countries, usually western countries,
9 seeking asylum?
10 A. Oh, yeah, I know that.
11 Q. And you know that to obtain asylum, they have to have a pretty
12 good story about what's happening to them in the place they came from, why
13 they can't go back?
14 A. Stands to reason.
15 Q. Yes. And you know that frequently when those stories are checked
16 out, they turn out to be untrue and they are not granted asylum?
17 A. I can't -- I don't know any story that can verify yes or no to
19 Q. Right. You did know, and you do know, from what you've read and
20 your experience there, that the economy of Yugoslavia had been
21 deteriorating significantly?
22 A. That's true.
23 Q. Both before the war and during the war, that there were major
24 economic problems, that inflation was horrible, that life was not what it
25 had been, and that immigration to some western country would have been a
1 desirable matter for anybody living there, correct?
2 A. Generally speaking, I would say that stands to reason.
3 Q. And because of that particular situation, in early 1992, that was
4 going on, the situation made it easy for people to make up stories about
5 persecution, become a refugee and gain asylum in some western country,
6 didn't it?
7 A. I focus particularly in your statement, situation made it easy for
8 people to make up stories. Counsellor it's a tall statement. If you see
9 people in dire needs, far away in the conditions I saw them, it would be
10 callous for me to say they were making up stories.
11 Q. Well, people could, you know, who are not in that kind of dire
12 situation, and just want to emigrate to some western country, could say,
13 oh, me too, I'm also one of those?
14 A. That's a truism. I will allow that. But as a truism people can
15 make up stories.
16 Q. You know or do you know that there are tens of thousands of former
17 Yugoslav citizens now living in western countries who left during the war
18 with absolutely no intention of going back there?
19 A. I know some, in New York.
20 Q. If you look at -- a little further down through this statement,
21 through this memorandum by Paolo Raffone, the next to the last paragraph,
22 the persons interviewed believe, very last part of that says they are
23 talking about the stadium in Bosanski Novi, when the stadium is full, the
24 guards take some of them away to unknown destinations, some witnesses
25 report that in the first 15 days of May, some 200 persons taken out of the
1 stadium were shot dead nearby.
2 Did you make any effort to confirm that?
3 A. That they were -- some people taken shot, nearby and shot?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I had no resources of course to do that.
6 Q. To your knowledge, has there ever been any confirmation of that
8 A. Again, no resources that I could put to use. Had this been
9 claimed as happening within the centre, I can tell you I had enough
10 resources to investigate.
11 Q. And it doesn't say there right after that, there is no independent
12 confirmation of this report, does it?
13 A. This again counsellor, it says this is a report based on a person,
14 and other than putting quotes all over his reported speech.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours and Ms. Korner, I now want to refer
16 the witness to what was attachment number 5 to his statement.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you confused me there. It's 16 --
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I could not determine if it had ever become an
19 exhibit. I think it might be 165 --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes. No, no, no. It has become an
22 MR. ACKERMAN: 1658, then?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, definitely it has. That is the document that
24 was added upon, no? We had two pages only and you had --
25 MR. ACKERMAN: That's it. Okay.
1 Q. Sir --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So we have 1658 and 1658.1.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I think 1658 is the part that I want --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
5 Q. The 20 May note is what I'm interested in.
6 MS. KORNER: 26th of May note?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: There is one dated 20 May.
8 MS. KORNER: All right.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: It begins with geographic and ethnic outlook.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour that was the bit that was added.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: That is 1658.1.
12 MS. KORNER: Yeah.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: 1658.1. I don't see it in the usher's hands.
14 Doesn't look like mine. Anyway, let's give it to the witness.
15 MR. ACKERMAN:
16 Q. All right, sir, you should have a department dated 20 May, 1992,
17 subject note on the situation in Bihac area.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you find that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Who authored that document?
22 A. Mr. Raffone.
23 Q. Under political analysis, it says this: The representatives of
24 Bihac community explained that their major commercial partner was the
25 Republic of Croatia, nowadays they feel that Croats and Muslims can fight
1 together against the common enemy, the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 A. It says so.
4 Q. And so by at least by 20 May, that was the position being taken by
5 these representatives from Bihac, they felt they could join together with
6 the Croats and fight against their common enemy, the Serbs, correct?
7 A. Some expressed that view point. I want you to correlate this
8 information of 20th May to testimony elsewhere. We were engaged
9 extensively with demilitarisation and the Serb command was also people we
10 engaged. So you're only looking at one isolated report. The Serb side as
11 commanded by General Spiro Ninkovic.
12 Q. Sir, let me interrupt you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. The only thing I asked you was representatives of the Bihac
15 community said this. I wasn't going beyond this?
16 A. Yes, but I'm also trying to tell you, you used representatives.
17 This was one representative. I'm serving you notice --
18 Q. Just a minute, I didn't use representatives. The report uses
19 representatives. Look at the report. The representatives, it uses the
20 plural, not me.
21 A. At this point, he is talking about the people he met that day, who
22 were civil people, civilians. I was referring to the military side which
23 was met, simultaneous, around this time.
24 Q. Different subject now. I'm through with that.
25 During the time you spent in Sector North, and referring only to
1 Bosnia, from Bosnia, who were the municipality presidents that you met
2 with and dealt with?
3 A. I met in Bosnia with representatives of Bihac municipality and
4 Velika Kladusa most often.
5 Q. You met at some point with the municipal president from Bosanski
6 Novi didn't you?
7 A. I was going to say most often from those of Bihac and Velika
8 Kladusa. And as reported in detailed testimony with those who came from
9 Bosanska Krupa, Bosanski Novi, Sanski Most.
10 Q. Those with municipal presidents from all three of those places?
11 A. That's where the testimony in detail comes from. The intention of
12 speaking to you this way, you don't have any details about my meetings in
13 Bihac or Velika Kladusa.
14 Q. Yes. You spoke of the -- the significant parallel between the
15 positions of the municipal president from Dvor and the one from Bosanski
16 Novi. You spoke of that yesterday. Do you recall speaking of that? I
17 think you used the words it was like they were reading from a script?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, I think it's important for you to explain to the Judges that
20 this Bosanski Dvor area is basically one city divided by a river and a
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Kind of like Minneapolis-St. Paul or some of the --
24 A. Correct. Correct.
25 Q. And until just very recent times and I'm saying recent times in
1 the context of your being there in 1992 --
2 A. Right.
3 Q. That river did not form an international border but just a border
4 between Bosnia and Croatia as republics of Yugoslavia?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And so those two people, those two people who were at that point
7 serving as presidents of those municipalities, were very likely people who
8 had had interactions for many years prior to 1992?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. May I? Because I don't want to leave that, if you --
12 Q. I got another question and maybe this will give you a chance to
13 make your speech?
14 A. Okay. Not a speech, clarify.
15 Q. By what you said, you don't propose to make some broad
16 generalisation --
17 A. No.
18 Q. About what was happening in Bosnia from observing two municipal
19 presidents who were operating within rock-throwing distance?
20 A. Precisely why I wanted to clarify. The same analogy which you so
21 eloquently explain between Dvor, applies in Velika Kladusa, Maljevac, and
22 all others, the only difference being while they were on the border,
23 almost Minneapolis-St. Paul analogy, they were not Serb on the other side.
24 So they knew each other and we have testified it was a different picture.
25 Where they were facing, non-Serbs.
1 Q. Sir, I'm finished with my questions of you. Thank you very much
2 for bearing with me through this and I hope you have a safe trip home?
3 A. Counsellor I thank you and to the Judges I thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] We aren't over with you.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone Your Honour, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You might change your mind. Ms. Korner is there
8 MS. KORNER: There is, Your Honour but I wonder if we could have
9 the break and then do it because I want to check something over the break.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, we will have a 25 minute break. I should like
11 to draw the attention of whoever is responsible that there is a
12 discrepancy as to the time that is shown in the transcript, on the monitor
13 and on the LiveNote, and on the laptop. This shows that we are now 12.23
14 and this shows that we are 12.17. So that might create some problems if
15 one refers to one rather than the other. But I'm drawing the attention of
16 whoever is responsible that there is a discrepancy as to the clock. Okay?
17 25-minute break. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
21 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
22 Q. Mr. Kirudja, you were asked some questions yesterday and the topic
23 was returned to today, in respect of the refugees from Bosanski Novi, that
24 effectively they wanted to leave because of the lack of electricity, the
25 lack of medical care, and the like, and that they were perfectly entitled
1 to want to leave as it was put, voluntarily. I would like you to have a
2 look, please, although you've referred to, at one of the documents in
3 P1669. And if the usher gives it to me, I'll find the relevant document.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's the document. It's the document
5 the 8th of June, headed "memorandum" and it comes after the UNPROFOR
6 document. And the subject is the investigative report on the displaced
7 people observed in Bosanski Novi.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MS. KORNER:
10 Q. At the bottom of the page, Mr. Kirudja, you dealt with that
11 meeting on the 27th of May, when the mayor of Bosanski Novi came to see
12 you, and if you turn to the next page, he admitted that the Muslims were
13 not really leaving voluntarily but were under duress?
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour this is not proper redirect. This was
15 raised on direct, it was presented on direct. It's not proper redirect at
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You put -- you put a specific question to the
18 witness on it.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, but he testified about this very statement in
20 his direct examination.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but let her finish her question and we will be
22 in a position to establish whether it's a proper question on
23 re-examination or not. Had you not brought it up, yes, I would have
24 stopped her immediately, but you put a question and he gave an answer and
25 let's hear your question any way.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Mr. Kirudja, in this document, you record the mayor admitted that
3 this was not a voluntary departure by people for -- let's call it
4 globally, economic reasons. Is that your recollection of what he said to
5 you recorded at the time?
6 A. It is.
7 Q. In all the massive refugees that were coming through your area
8 from Prijedor, Sanski Most, Bosanska Krupa, did you get any impression
9 from any of them that these people were leaving voluntarily in the proper
10 sense of the word, to escape the economic circumstances or the fact that
11 fighting was going on?
12 A. No. We got the distinct feeling that they were taking a lot of
13 risk both in the route they were taking and where they were going.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you have answered Ms. Korner's
15 question, Mr. Kirudja. The question was in all the massive refugees that
16 were coming through your area from Prijedor, Sanski Most, Bosanska Krupa
17 did you get any impression from any of them that they were leaving
18 voluntarily in the proper sense of the word to escape the economic
19 circumstances or the fact that fighting was going on.
20 THE WITNESS: The fact that fighting was going on.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: They gave you the impression that they were leaving
22 voluntarily because there was fighting going on.
23 THE WITNESS: The closest to that statement of choice between
24 economic circumstances or fighting was going on that I'm looking at the
25 monitor, you got the distinct that there were being forced to leave those
1 areas because of conflict.
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. I want to come on to the sort of conflict we are talking about,
4 but was this in your view, because Mr. Ackerman asked you a number of
5 questions about asylum seekers, the sort of people who decide there is a
6 better life elsewhere in the sense I can earn more money and the
7 electricity is on the whole time, and that's why I want to leave and
8 become a refugee and try and get into Croatia?
9 A. I wouldn't characterise them in that sense like the asylum seekers
10 you see in modern day today in different countries, looking for asylum in
11 that sense, in the sense the counsellor was asking me in that exchange I
12 wouldn't characterise them like that.
13 Q. If you leave a place because your village has been attacked, you
14 have been dismissed from your job, your family has been split up, and
15 members of your family have been taken to, let's call them detention
16 centres, is that in your understanding of the word a voluntary departure?
17 A. No, that's what I said -- I said to understand and I came to the
18 conclusion, as my testimony shows, it wasn't voluntary.
19 Q. All right. Now, did you notice, for example, let us take
20 Prijedor, a huge number of Serbs coming through your area from the
21 Prijedor region, leaving because of economic circumstances or the like?
22 A. Counsellor, for Prijedor, we only got notification, in the period
23 following the first departure, that 8.000 would be coming. I underscore
24 they never actually -- that number didn't come from Prijedor. We were
25 just notified by the authorities, you can expect this number from there.
1 Q. And did you understand of what ethnicity or nationality those
2 8.000 that might be leaving from Prijedor were?
3 A. Collectively we only were given to understand they are non-Serbs,
4 not wishing to sign allegiance to a Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. What about in relation to Sanski Most? Was that the same?
6 A. All of these were all characterised as non-Serbs.
7 Q. All right. Now, you were asked then at one point about whether
8 you had sent a similar letter like the one that was sent by UNHCR to
9 Mr. Pasic explaining that forced transfer or mass transfer of population
10 could be characterised as a crime, and you were asked whether that had
11 been sent, for example, to the mayor of Bihac. I want to ask you a little
12 bit about your knowledge of the events in Bihac. Were you aware that
13 before your arrival in December of 1991, that the SDS had established a
14 separate municipality of Bihac?
15 A. No, I wasn't.
16 Q. Were you aware that it was effectively divided into two parts, one
17 called Ripac and the other Bihac?
18 A. No, I wasn't specifically focused on that division at the
19 beginning. Later on, there was a reason for the division of Bihac but not
20 at that time.
21 Q. Were you aware that in fact the Serbian population of what was
22 then the whole of Bihac had moved over to Ripac so that Bihac was
23 surrounded, as you put it, I think, earlier, by Serbs?
24 A. I wasn't aware that there were in Ripac, as you put it, in that
25 part. But I did -- I knew because at the time we started going to Bihac
1 was a perfectly normal town, not a window broken, everything was okay, and
2 as we moved everywhere, it was clear that there were Serbs and non-Serbs
3 in Bihac.
4 Q. All right. Final question on that, because this is after your
5 arrival. Were you aware in May that all the Muslims who lived on that
6 part of the -- who lived in that part of the area of Bihac which is known
7 generally as Ripac were told to move out and go into the actual Bihac area
9 A. No. I wasn't specifically aware of that.
10 Q. In that case, I'll leave it. Thank you.
11 Now, it was put to you that the UN organisations, yourself, UNHCR
12 and also the International Red Cross were in some way behaving badly by
13 not allowing these people to -- the people who voluntarily in inverted
14 commas wanted to leave, to go through into your areas and not giving
15 assistance. I want you to have a look please again at one of the
16 documents, one of your sit-rep reports, please, which is -- it was
17 document 41, which is Exhibit 1684, I'm told.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. That's correct.
19 MS. KORNER: The report of the 8th of October.
20 Q. Could you turn into that to paragraph 12? We read part of the
21 paragraph when you looked at it originally.
22 A. Yes. I see the paragraph.
23 Q. We dealt with Lord Owen and Mr. Vance in the visit to Banja Luka.
24 The practice of ethnic cleansing appears to continued unabated. Towards
25 the end of July, the UNHCR announced that the UN would in no way
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 participate or do anything that would seem to encourage the practice.
2 Specifically, the UN would not participate in arranging mass relocation of
3 refugees from their houses if the cause of their displacement is the
4 result of ethnic cleansing. And in the last two weeks, this opposition
5 principle appears to have been degraded by -- now, what was it -- well,
6 first of all what is defined by you and the other UN organisations as
7 ethnic cleansing?
8 A. Well, by this time, as you correctly point out, we had begun to
9 concede that this is indeed what was happening and we used that term
10 guardedly, and I believe it's in quotes, isn't it?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it is in quotes.
12 A. To signal we were using it very guardedly. This was where people
13 were moving from their homes by reason of what locally was called
14 nationalities, would you call that ethnicity, and there were always the
15 three groups of Serb, Croat and Muslims. So there was no other reason why
16 this group was being -- was moving except that they were quote non-Serb,
17 not that -- not anything else, at least at that time that was represented
18 to us or told otherwise. The only reason is they are non-Serbs, not
19 wanting to serve allegiance, and that's what we meant.
20 Q. In your view, can that be equated with a situation where there is
21 all-out, pitched battles going on, if you like, in which the civilian
22 population is caught in the middle?
23 A. No, it cannot. Bullets and artilleries don't distinguish
24 ethnicities, once the artillery begins to fall in a town, everybody there
25 whether they are one nationality or another are at risk.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Sorry, you may misunderstand the question. What you were asked
3 about was effectively conflict all over Bosnia where there was fighting
4 going on and refugees leaving because of, effectively, fighting going on
5 between two sides. In your view is this what you were describing by use
6 of the term ethnic cleansing?
7 A. We were describing that systematic identification of a group and
8 then as a result of being identified as non-belonging then you're given
9 terms that force you to leave. That's what we mean.
10 Q. Right. Now, why was it that you or UNHCR announced that you would
11 not assist in any thing that would encourage the practice?
12 A. As you look into all the testimony, in all those meetings where
13 Pasic and others were there, UNHCR was present with me, and they were
14 assessing the situation directly as well as in conjunction with me.
15 Q. Yes. I'm sorry, again, Mr. Kirudja, it's me I'm afraid. What I
16 want to know, is what is the principle that led you and UNHCR to say we
17 are not, as it is written here, going to participate or do anything that
18 would seem to encourage the practice?
19 A. It was like turning on its side -- upside down what refugees are
20 and what UNHCR does. Refugees by definition are people you meet without
21 being involved, displaced from their normal location where they normally
22 live and you need to assist them and offer them protection and shelter.
23 In this situation, this is their home. This is where they live. And you
24 are now being asked as UNHCR to help them move en masse, not individually,
25 en masse, from that.
1 Q. And what did you feel was wrong with helping people move en masse
2 from their homes like that?
3 A. No one should be singled for reasons of who they are to be moved.
4 People can be target for things they do, not for things they are.
5 Q. Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Kirudja. That's all I ask.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
7 There are some questions from the bench, Mr. Kirudja, Judge Janu
8 from the Czech Republic will be putting some questions to you. Thank
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE JANU: Mr. Kirudja, on -- at your statement, page 23, but
12 you don't need it, I will bring you to the situation -- you gave us the
13 information that when you were negotiating with the officials, they were
14 quite frequently replaced, and you also said that quite often you had to
15 start all your efforts all over again. Can you clarify for the Chamber,
16 if you recall -- I carry on -- my question is: Were those officials, to
17 your estimation, capable professionals? That's one part of my question.
18 Were those who were replaced moderate or were they radical? I'm asking
19 this question in the connection what you testified or said in your
20 statement in connection with destiny of Mr. Obradovic.
21 A. Thank you, Judge Janu. In that connection was a sequence of
22 events that occurred when we arrived we found mayors in each of the
23 opstinas that had been part or made to be part of the UN Protection Area.
24 In that connection, the testimony was the only recognised authority in the
25 area was to be -- was to be the mayor, the chief of police, armed
1 lightly. Everybody else, armed forces, had to be demilitarised. And in
2 that connection, we noticed that in the case of Vrginmost, and this mayor
3 understood exactly what the terms were and set about independently to run
4 his opstina. He was quiet and he was basically what you would call a
5 moderate in your terminology, in the sense that he was just the mayor of
6 the town and dealt with the affairs of the Vrginmost opstina. Conversely,
7 there were other mayors, like in Dvor, Petrinja and Vojnic, who gave a lot
8 of speeches specifically of the kind in my testimony I alluded to: We
9 have fought here before you arrived, you, the UN, we the Serbs can no
10 longer live with anybody non-Serb. As long as you don't understand that,
11 we will not have peace here. Those who gave that kind of speeches lasted
12 much longer than those who were not giving and in the specific case you
13 mentioned, Obradovic was killed, assassinated, early in July, in the
14 testimony you can see, just between the headquarters of the UN and where
15 he was coming from.
16 Now, to complete the answer to your question, when those -- when
17 he was killed, there was a chill. A number of mayors were replaced, and
18 all of them began therefore to speak the same language I referred to
19 earlier, complete deference to the headquarters in Knin, which was in
20 itself not allowed under the Vance plan because Vance plan would not have
21 admitted of any over-arching authority over each opstina. So in a way,
22 they all lined up, the mayors, and they began to speak a certain language.
23 JUDGE JANU: My second question goes to Exhibit P1669, from 20th
24 of June, 1992. There was your request of the request which was done by
25 somebody else but it was -- you were informed or you gave the impulse for
1 this letter and you asked the mayor of Bosanski Novi, Mr. Pasic, to
2 organise the meeting with the representatives of the refugees which were
3 stationed at that time in Blagaj Japra, and the name of this -- of this
4 representatives were Sifet Barjaktarevic and Fikret Hamzagic. I'm
5 interested in the first, especially in the first one, first
6 representative, Sifet. And my question is: Did you meet those persons or
7 somebody from -- or someone else, meet with them? Was this meeting
8 organised? Or -- and the second part of the question, did you learn later
9 on that this representative, Sifet Barjaktarevic, was killed later on?
10 A. Madam Janu, I didn't learn, I just learned from you he was killed
11 later. Didn't learn other time. Yes, we -- as soon as I was told by
12 mayor -- the mayor of Dvor that this group wanted to pass through and that
13 it was a matter that was being handled by Mr. Pasic, I requested that we
14 be able to deal directly, to hear firsthand from the groups'
15 representative and these two people did show up to do that.
16 JUDGE JANU: Thank you.
17 MS. KORNER: Before we move on, I'm so sorry, just for the purpose
18 of the transcript, the places that Judge Janu were asking about were of
19 course in the Knin side of the border, the RSK. Your Honour I just wanted
20 to make sure the transcript reflected that.
21 JUDGE JANU: We had it with another witness.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes. Judge Taya would also like to put
23 some questions to you.
24 JUDGE TAYA: Mr. Kirudja, I have several questions. On page 4 of
25 your statement, 1999, you said it later became apparent that the Serbs
1 inside the UNPAs aspire to be part of what became popularly known as the
2 plan for the Greater Serbia. Apparently inspired from or coordinated in
3 Belgrade. Thus, the only real border they recognised was at the
4 confrontation line with Croatia and once destabilising events in Bosnia
5 began, Serbs dislocated within Bosnia easily relocated into the UNPAs.
6 Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes, Madam, I do remember.
8 JUDGE TAYA: And Exhibit P1674, para 6 states about the relocation
9 of Serbs from Bihac and even from Belgrade to UNPAs. My questions are as
10 follows: First one: Approximately how many Serbs relocated from
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina or Serbia to UNPAs during 1992?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The entire 1992 or?
13 JUDGE TAYA: From April.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Until August?
15 JUDGE TAYA: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest, Mr. Kirudja, that you restrict it
17 to the period April-August.
18 A. The period of my testimony?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
20 A. Madam, for the reasons outlined earlier, the numbers were never
21 tallied from the Serb side. I took sometime to explain why that was so.
22 So we didn't have the numbers inside for that period. We just knew they
23 were there. We could see some of them. But we didn't make an effort to
24 tally them all up.
25 JUDGE TAYA: Did any Serb authority have to do with this
2 A. Evidently, because once you come into the sector, they vetted you,
3 so to speak, who you are, and once you are authenticated to be the person
4 they would allow to be in that sector -- UNPA, they let you be there.
5 JUDGE TAYA: UNPROFOR's mandate were, according to you, firstly,
6 demobilisation, secondly, the restoration of law and order and thirdly
7 helping the return of displaced people, is that right?
8 A. Yes, Madam with the exception of the second one which I like to
9 clarify. The UNPROFOR itself didn't have the mandate for law and order.
10 UNPROFOR was to monitor law and order, being exercised by the authorities
11 of -- I described, like mayors and chiefs of police.
12 JUDGE TAYA: But to maintain status quo was also UNPROFOR's
13 mandate; is that right?
14 A. Correct, a very important one. It was maintain the status quo
15 while the political issues that led to the fighting were being negotiated
16 and presumably settled elsewhere, specifically international conference on
17 the former Yugoslavia headed by Stoltenberg on the UN side and Lord Owen
18 on the European side.
19 JUDGE TAYA: So UNPROFOR, according to your statement, I
20 understood that UNPROFOR made every effort to stop expelling Muslims and
21 Croats from UNPAs is that right?
22 A. That was a requirement, a mandate, that whoever was there had to
23 remain there.
24 JUDGE TAYA: Then what was the UNPROFOR's stance against the
25 problem of relocation of Serbs?
1 A. Problem of UNPROFOR about that?
2 JUDGE TAYA: The relocation of Serbs?
3 A. There was not a problem that I pointed out other than noting that
4 there were Serbs who were native to the UNPA meaning that they always
5 were there, before, during and after the war, and there were other Serbs
6 who had come from elsewhere inside the sector, relatively without a
8 JUDGE TAYA: But relocation of Serbs did not infringe upon the
9 status quo?
10 A. Indeed, and again, something we didn't get into. Our job was much
11 more than what the testimony I have given over these three days was. That
12 was my task with the Croatian side. The Croatian side made it repeatedly
13 that it was our duty to prevent these Serbs from coming inside the sector
14 and the Croatian authorities repeatedly mentioned that this non-Serbs who
15 were in the sector needed protection and they made allegations that they
16 were being harassed and so forth. So on the Croatian side, I faced that
17 problem that you are referring to.
18 JUDGE TAYA: Do you know whether or not most of those relocated
19 Serbs were expelled from the territory of Croatia when Croatia had
20 regained the area of UNPAs?
21 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, I was at that time posted in Belgrade,
22 when the last military action was taken by the Croatian authorities, and I
23 was witness to the long convoy of Serbs arriving through the highway into
24 Belgrade and beyond.
25 JUDGE TAYA: Another series of questions is concerning on page 6
1 of your statement, 2002. On page 6 of that statement, you said, in
2 mid-1993, there were a number of meetings that I attended to facilitate
3 the negotiations with the Croats regarding autonomy for the Serbs in the
4 Krajina. While Martic was clearly involved in these meetings, behind the
5 scenes the Croats would not negotiate with anyone who was a government
6 official in the Krajina. I therefore met frequently with those who were
7 nominated to do the negotiating in these pre-negotiation meetings. It is
8 my understanding that these negotiations broke down a number of times
9 because Martic would sabotage them to avoid reaching an agreement with the
10 Croats, which did not advance his vision of a Republic of Serbian Krajina
11 unified with Serbia.
12 My question is as follows: Did you have any impression that not
13 only Martic but also Tudjman was sabotaging negotiations to avoid reaching
14 an agreement on the subject of autonomy of Serbs in the Krajina?
15 A. Indeed, this concept of autonomy for the area you referred to as
16 Krajina was a contentious issue, but at certain point, the Croatians
17 were -- didn't want to participate in a manner that would lead to further
18 independence for the area. So you are right, the government of Tudjman
19 wasn't always ready and willing but they did come around and -- under the
20 terms of that negotiation that there would be an autonomy. That in
21 principle they had accepted. What was at issue is the extent of that
22 autonomy and the terms of that autonomy in the context of other UN
23 resolutions. That was what was being negotiated. On the Martic side you
24 referred to the fact that they -- we would come to a point of an agreement
25 and suddenly, everything will break down, and that too happened a number
1 of times.
2 JUDGE TAYA: Didn't you think that Tudjman was opposing autonomy
3 because he predicted that Croatia would be able to regain the area of
4 UNPAs while the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina will be escalating?
5 A. I cannot rule out that at some point he reached that conclusion.
6 I don't know when he reached that conclusion but I can't rule out that
8 JUDGE TAYA: But according to you, what were there behind
9 Tudjman's attitude?
10 A. Not in a position, Madam, to give you any details on that.
11 JUDGE TAYA: Thank you. Thank you so much.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I have one, maybe two questions depending on your
13 answer to the first question.
14 How long or until when did your assignment in the territory of
15 ex-Yugoslavia last?
16 A. The entire period?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 A. From April, 1992, just about June, 1995.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So I do have a second question to you, and my second
20 question is: Did the events that happened after August, 1992, in any of
21 the areas that you were responsible for, and that is until your departure
22 from the territory of ex-Yugoslavia enable you to in any way look with
23 hindsight at the events that took place between April and August, 1992?
24 And if so, which would be these events? That's the first part of the
1 A. Your Honour, I do have -- like when you are out of a situation, of
2 course, the luxury of hindsight about a number of things. I don't know
3 all the ones that come to mind or in any specific order but because of the
4 testimony I had given earlier one event didn't come up because of -- in
5 the course of that, and I looked at it in hindsight. And that was if the
6 United Nations had successfully implemented the Vance plan, there were
7 opportunities for stopping the cascade of events that led to war extending
8 also in Bosnia-Herzegovina, something I said at the earlier testimony, the
9 UN had assumed that Bosnia-Herzegovina will remain peaceful to the extent
10 of planning to locate our headquarters there. The specific point I had in
11 mind was we had gone as far as the Vance plan requested to convincing the
12 Serbs to put their weapons, decommission them, if you like, into the
13 so-called double key, and let the status quo hold. It lasted oh, I'm not
14 sure of the dates exactly but later than August. By January, 1993, the
15 Croatian side took the first of many measures that later would culminate
16 with the last military action Judge Taya -- the lady on the right side.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Taya.
18 A. Judge Taya. That resulted in that last event. And that was the
19 attack on the bridge called Maslenica that joins the north and south
20 Dalmatia. As a result of that action, the Serbs overran all the depots
21 containing all the weapons and took them all out and they never went back
22 again into storage, nor did they permit the UN to so to speak repair that
23 bridge because in a peacekeeping mission, if you have seen it not only in
24 former Yugoslavia, elsewhere, the name of the game is very often to have
25 one side or the other violate the terms of the cease-fire and for the UN
1 to work to restore that breach.
2 We never got the chance to repair that breach. And then later on,
3 more action took place culminating to the other one. Had that happened,
4 had the Serbs not also taken these weapons, claiming that they needed them
5 for self defence, a point we discussed a lot in the other meeting, in the
6 other testimony, had they said to the UN now hold the other party
7 responsible for violating this and the return, in retrospect, maybe I'm
8 overly optimistic, in retrospect we might have gone into the system of
9 holding until a political solution was found.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In these -- in the course of these last few
11 days, Mr. Kirudja, you've been presented with a series of documents, some
12 signed by you, some signed by others but released by you, and others
13 prepared, drafted and signed by others with which -- with or with whom you
14 had absolutely nothing to do.
15 They more or less present a variety, a number of events and
16 situations which you stand -- which you stood by in the course of your
17 testimony. Do you think, or do you believe, that the events that took
18 place after August, 1992, would strengthen your assessment or the
19 assessment made by others in those documents or would you leave room for a
20 reassessment of the events and the situations that they describe and refer
22 A. Sometimes one doesn't even take pride to be proven right. In many
23 of the things what we were afraid would happen did happen, in the sense
24 that the events that followed after that went certain direction. My --
25 many of my situation reports which dared project, ended up unfortunately
1 being right in the sense that what we were afraid of would happen,
2 happened. You also mentioned there were other reports by other people.
3 There were two kinds in this testimony, at least that I have seen. Those
4 which were people -- by people who reported to me, for which I can speak a
5 lot more confidently and there were a few others, at least in yesterday's
6 testimony that I had seen for the first time. What I concluded from this
7 last category of reports it was a pleasant surprise that they corroborated
8 what we were seeing rather than made it look like we were totally in the
9 dark about what we thought.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Kirudja, and that brings us
11 to the end of your testimony here. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, Judge
12 Janu and Judge Taya, the lady on the right as you put it, I should like to
13 thank you for having accepted to come over one second time, one more time,
14 to this Tribunal here in The Hague to give evidence. And I join
15 Mr. Ackerman in wishing you a safe journey back home.
16 The usher will accompany you and you will receive all the
17 assistance you require to -- for the purposes of your return. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours. Thank to you the
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner, there is a slight problem which may
23 not be slight after all, that I -- my attention has been drawn to. And it
24 relates to the list that you circulated earlier on today, and which
25 Mr. Ackerman was very anxious -- you could see it in his face --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 awaiting -- waiting for. I noticed that in the first part of the
2 document --
3 MS. KORNER: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: There is a name and a witness which I am informed
5 comes from or belongs to the Banja Luka chapter.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour I wonder if we could go into private
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. Let's go into private session.
9 [Private session]
12 Pages 14680 to 14683 – redacted – private session.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
22 1.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
23 the 24th day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.