1 Friday, 25 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.13 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: Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you follow
10 in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Appearances for the
15 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner assisted by Denise Gustin, case
16 manager, good morning, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you.
18 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Good morning, Your Honours, David Cunningham with
20 Aleksandar Vujic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good morning to you. First of all our
22 apologies for starting a quarter of an hour a late but we were discussing
23 the latest motion by Mr. Ackerman. In fact I do not see Mr. Ackerman
24 present here. We require his presence at some point in time today. He
25 chooses the time, whether it will be just after the first break or after
1 the second break or at the end of the sitting.
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I will call him at the next break and tell him,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That's unless he withdraws the motion.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'll call him and he'll be here.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You can also tell him that we are not exactly happy
7 with it and that's why we want him present here because we don't fancy at
8 all, Mr. Cunningham, giving the public the wrong impression that there is
9 some sort of an unfair trial going on and that the Defence is being
10 deprived of the chances of providing -- of having a fair trial for the
11 client. And that's when we hit back. So Mr. Ackerman be better
12 prepared. He knows exactly where we stand and he knows exactly why we
13 stand where we stand. Secondly, there is also another thing that I want
14 to add in addition to the order that we made yesterday through the
15 Registrar relating to Mr. Brdjanin's motion of the 23rd of July for the
16 Registrar to provide certain documents. Let's go into private session for
17 a while.
18 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That preliminary matter is whether or not
14 the Defence would withdraw those objections to the Petrovac exhibits that
15 had been previously raised, and much as I told the Court yesterday, the
16 objection remains.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So Ms. Korner, you know exactly
18 now how to proceed. You will not in any way find any obstructions on our
19 side. It's unfortunate but if you can find a method which will reduce,
20 economise on time it will be appreciated.
21 MS. KORNER: Absolutely, Your Honour. I may say that it's my view
22 that counsel do owe a duty to the Court as well, not to waste unnecessary
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I know.
25 MS. KORNER: But -- however, I've taken the point.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, judge and my apologies to you
3 for keeping you waiting but we had a preliminary matter, procedural, that
4 does not concern you and which we had to discuss first in conference and
5 then here. And that kept us from starting on time as scheduled.
6 Please may I ask you to re-enter your solemn declaration, please?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: JOVICA RADOJKO [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, judge. Please take a chair and
12 Ms. Korner will --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
15 Q. Judge, good morning, can I ask one further question, please, on
16 the topic that we were dealing with yesterday which was the change of
17 street names and the like? Did there come a time when the name of the
18 municipality was changed, in other words -- can you hear?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. That -- from becoming -- from being called Bosanski
21 Petrovac, it became known as, I think, just Petrovac; is that right?
22 A. It is.
23 Q. Can you roughly tell us when that happened?
24 A. I think it happened whether the former half of 1993 or towards the
25 end of 1992, I'm not quite sure.
1 Q. All right. Thank you, that's all I want to ask. Can we move on,
2 please, then, could you have your diary back again?
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I've been asked by the Registrar if we
4 can make it 2369.1, just to sort it out from the original page that was
5 exhibited. So that's the diary as a whole.
6 Q. Can you turn in that to the 22nd of May?
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that's page 72 of the translation.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] What number do you want
10 to give it?
11 THE REGISTRAR: 2369.1.
12 MS. KORNER: The whole diary, Your Honour. The diary as a whole
13 as opposed to -- because we had one page provisionally exhibited already.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Oh, I see.
15 MS. KORNER: Doesn't matter to me, Your Honour but if it's easier
16 for the Registrar.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Of course.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry about the microphone. So it will be P2369.1.
20 All right.
21 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honours, page 72 of the
23 Q. Could you have at the same time Exhibit P1830? And 1831 as well?
24 So that we don't -- 1831, please, as well? It's the next document in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Sir, you recorded in your diary or your notebook the -- a meeting
2 of the executive board at 10.00 and then the Presidency session at 1400,
3 2.00 p.m., and if you look, please, at the minutes of that meeting, P1830,
4 we can see the actual minutes of the meeting. Looking at it, can you tell
5 us whether you wrote it or whether somebody else kept those minutes?
6 A. This part of the copy was poorly scanned, but here I can see a
7 meeting 8.25 and I see that I was the note taker.
8 Q. Sorry, pause. You're on the wrong one, sorry. If you look at the
9 other side of the page, you'll see 22nd --
10 A. On the left-hand side, the 22nd May, that is only a plan. And
11 then we come to the operative part. Now, whether it's the 25th of May, I
12 cannot really say because --
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. Because the whole diary was scanned and --
15 Q. I'm going to stop you because we have quite a lot to get through
16 today. All I want to do is confirm that on the left-hand side, you have a
17 plan that there was to be a Presidency session at 1400 and if you look,
18 please, at the document for the municipal -- for the minutes, does that
19 show that there was indeed a meeting on the 22nd of May at 1400?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. I think for the first time we see that the Crisis Staff is now
22 calling itself the Presidency although the people are the same. It was --
23 was the structure of this group of people the same whether it was called
24 Crisis Staff or War Presidency or War Staff?
25 A. Well, the structure was more or less the same, or similar. I have
1 to say that administratively speaking, there was a huge disorder because
2 all sorts of reorganisations were being undertaken and they gave different
3 names to the same services or bodies. At that time, even I wasn't quite
4 sure what was what. So what you are saying now is quite possibly true,
5 probably yes, I would say that by and large they were the same people.
6 Q. All right. If we look -- if you look at the next document you've
7 been given, which was P1831, I think we can see that they are much the
8 same body because it's headed, "The Crisis Staff of Petrovac municipality"
9 but handwritten at the top is, "War Presidency"; is that right?
10 A. It is. At some point in time, the Crisis Staff was renamed as the
11 War Presidency and this is its composition.
12 Q. All right.
13 A. Except that later on, they would also incorporate me into it,
14 because of the administrative matters that had to be dealt with.
15 Q. Now, just staying on your diary, as you were starting to tell us,
16 you recorded a meeting with the representatives of the army and as we can
17 see, also, the police; is that correct?
18 A. I don't see all the names here but I see Obrad and Jane and they
19 are undoubtedly members of the army and there is something else and then
20 it says Krajina Corps, that is the Drvar one so your conclusion is
21 correct, I guess, although I can't read anything else from this copy.
22 Q. All right. It's a bad copy. In your diary, there are a number of
23 these types of meetings. Was it important, as far as you were concerned,
24 and as far as the other members of the Crisis Staff were concerned, that
25 there should be regular meetings with representatives of the police and
1 the army?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. All right. I don't think we need trouble further with -- because
4 it's clear that there was a very lengthy discussion about this.
5 So you can give the two documents back, please, to the usher.
6 I'm sorry, there is perhaps one matter that I ought to deal with
7 on this. Hang on a moment. Yes. I'm sorry, it goes back to what I was
8 asking you further -- earlier. If you look, please, at document P1830,
9 and if you go to the conclusions, under item -- it says item 5 and then
10 conclusion, we can see that the decision that the town should bear the
11 name of Petrovac without the preceding Bosanski was adopted unanimously.
12 So it looks like -- it's my fault for not taking you straight to the
13 document but it looks like that the decision to change the name was taken
14 in 1992. Would you agree with that?
15 A. You're right, yes. You are right. But the decision to change the
16 name of the town could not be officially taken by this body so that it was
17 adopted officially but it is quite possible that it happened towards the
18 end of 1992 and I mean formally speaking from the legal point of view,
19 this could only be a proposal, that is an initiative, of the municipal
20 administration which had to be confirmed by the republican assembly.
21 Q. I see so it couldn't be decided at your -- at the municipal level,
22 it had to be decided by the republic level?
23 A. No, it couldn't. This means that this is a definite conclusion.
24 This is an initiative that had been adopted.
25 Q. Okay. All right. Can we -- now you can give the document back.
1 I want to move, then, in your diary, please, to the next day, the 23rd,
2 which is our page 76. And we see that there was a session of the Crisis
3 Staff at 1500 hours in the afternoon, and then those -- that list of the
4 members as -- in fact as we see, and then over the other side of the page,
5 on the 24th, the Crisis Staff of ARK, A-R-K, and then duty officer, and
6 then the president and a number, Brdjanin. Now, do you know why you were
7 recording the number -- first of all, are these telephone numbers?
8 A. Correct. These are telephone numbers.
9 Q. And do you know why you were recording in your notebook the number
10 of the duty officer and the number for Mr. Brdjanin?
11 A. President Novakovic had given me these numbers for contact in case
12 he was not there and if there is an emergency so that I could establish
13 contact with Crisis Staff. For the same reason the other members, all the
14 other members of the Crisis Staff had their numbers written down here,
15 that is to say the Crisis Staff of the municipality.
16 Q. All right. Now, I want to look, please, at the 24th through some
17 of the documents. It appears it was a very busy day. Could you have,
18 please, first of all --
19 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, these were the extra documents which
20 regrettably I left out before. First of all, P1807. I think everybody
21 has had them now.
22 Q. As we'll see, there were three meetings apparently that day and
23 this is the first in time because the number appears to be 13/92.
24 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, they were handed in --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. It's okay, Ms. Korner.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Is that right, we can see you were present and the meeting started
3 at 8.25 in the morning?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. It's not altogether clear -- well, first, can I remind you just if
6 there is anything which says to you that the document is not authentic or
7 the signature is not authentic, let us know but otherwise, don't bother.
8 Can I ask you to look, please, at the order that was made? It's on page 3
9 of the translation. The item number 3, the organs of the military police
10 of the police station Petrovac and the military organs of security are
11 hereby ordered to coordinate their work in order to prevent the looting of
12 military public and private property, and then it goes on to talk about
13 the return of looted property. The commander of the service of the public
14 security Petrovac, Gacesa, Captain Trivo Plemic from the base and
15 Captain Nikola Kovacevic from the Petrovac Brigade are hereby charged with
16 the implementation of this task. Upon completing the aforesaid measures
17 they are obliged to inform the Crisis Staff about the measures taken and
18 the results achieved.
19 Can you just tell us who was Captain Plemic?
20 A. I just remember him in passing. As far as I know, in terms of the
21 surname, he'd have to come from the municipality of Kljuc originally
22 because it is in that municipality that a family with that surname lives
23 and here he is the representative of the military command.
24 Q. All right. That's what I wanted to know. All right. And then
25 could you come down to the second item and the decision that was arrived
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 at on that? The executive board shall, brackets, for the third time ask
2 from the companies and organisations to provide plans of production and
3 work during wartime. And so on.
4 Could you have a look now, please, again, at the minutes -- the
5 gazettes that were issued by the regional Crisis Staff, P227? Could you
6 turn to the conclusions for the 13th of May, 1992, which is number 9 in
7 the gazettes? And we see that under conclusion number 1, production in
8 all socially or privately owned companies is to be in line with war plans
9 and we again appeal to the managers of Krajina enterprises to immediately
10 submit their war plans for analysis and approval, and then management
11 posts and enterprises must be filled absolutely by persons loyal to the
12 Serbian republic.
13 Was this decision a response to that conclusion by the autonomous
14 region Crisis Staff?
15 A. In essence, no. Although formally, yes.
16 Q. What's the difference?
17 A. The difference is in the following: In the previous state, the
18 SFRY, there was an entire set of laws that regulated this particular
19 field, and these laws were taken over later. One of the key regulations
20 in case of war was the obligation to plan and organise wartime production
21 for those companies whose products are indispensable for the survival of
22 the population, for their medical protection and war logistics. In that
23 way, it was simply continued along these lines. Here in this case of the
24 ARK Krajina. As far as this local decision is concerned they actually
25 worked according to the same pattern.
1 Q. Okay. I think if -- correct me if I'm wrong -- what you're saying
2 is this is what the law said had to happen and the conclusion of the
3 autonomous region and your own decision was merely, effectively, carrying
4 out that law? Is that what you're saying?
5 A. Correct. Although the AR Krajina was the formal transmission here
6 so to speak.
7 Q. All right. Thank you. You can leave that one now. Could you
8 have, please, P1808, which was the next meeting that same day at 1500
9 hours? There we see, I think, the reference to the problem of the cows,
10 which is under the second agenda item, and you made a long decision about
11 them. And I think -- can I just summarise this? These were really
12 valuable cows because the Court has already seen a lot of discussion about
13 cows but I think as we can see, under the decision that was made on the
14 following page, these cows were eastern Frisian breed bought in Holland
15 and so were considered very valuable; is that right?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The Dutch will be happy to hear that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm trying to curry favour with the
19 Dutch at the moment.
20 Q. I want to look please above that. Under the first -- the decision
21 under agenda item 1, the security situation in the municipality, item
22 number 4, in the area of the Petrovac municipality, the disarmament of
23 paramilitary formations and citizens who illegally possess weapons will
24 start on the 24th of May, 1992. So is that right? In Petrovac, the
25 disarming actually started later than apparently it did in other places?
1 A. I believe that it is so. First of all, I forgot to tell you one
2 thing. The document I looked at a while ago is an authentic document
3 indeed and the remark that the 17th session of the Crisis Staff is also
4 under way is a true one. This is the 18th session. A separate session of
5 the Crisis Staff without the presence of members of military commands. It
6 is possible that later on, in the municipality of Petrovac, this did
7 start, simply for the following reasons because it was done differently in
8 other municipalities. There were armed conflicts there between Serbs and
9 Muslims. There was no such thing in our area. And basically, this
10 disarmament was not disarmament it was arms collection as I explained
11 yesterday. Basically there was no resistance involved.
12 Q. All right. And so you needn't tell us if you agree it's
13 authentic. It's only if you're not sure it's authentic you need to tell
14 the Court. All right. Now, you can put that away. Could you have P1809,
15 which is the third meeting that day. The 19th session, held I think that
16 must be 1900 hours, 7.00 in the evening. And --
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. If we go, please, to the decision under agenda item 2, well, if we
19 look at agenda item 2, the president of the Crisis Staff stated that there
20 are certain functional omissions in his work and the functional
21 organisation of the staff itself should be improved in order to reach and
22 implement the necessary decisions with the highest level of efficiency.
23 If you then go to the decision on the functional improvement, item number
24 3, "Premises within the building of the public security station Petrovac
25 will be prepared for detaining perpetrators of criminal acts." Then it
1 describes what that means and it includes criminal acts that jeopardise
2 the defensive ability of the Serb people will be detained in a prison
3 until a trial. Prisoners in custody can be utilised for work of a public
4 interest as well as on jobs related to defensive preparations, building of
5 shelters, et cetera. Now, first, what was meant by criminal acts that
6 jeopardised the defensive ability of the Serb people?
7 A. Basically, this is a propaganda slogan. All three meetings were
8 held because abruptly, there was no longer any control over the security
9 and safety of citizens and the safety of their property. To give an
10 example, these cows were not important from the point of view of property
11 or the economy as such. The point was that people looted them. They
12 grabbed them. Seized them. So this was a message sent out in very strong
13 terms that this should be stopped, because the looting that started then
14 and also in areas that at that time -- I mean in Muslim villages in the
15 area of Bihac, by the members of our army, this also meant that there was
16 a collapse of the security and safety system for the citizens as such.
17 This ultimately led to the decline of the defensive abilities of the Serb
18 people because people who loot and plunder are not soldiers who are
19 capable of waging a war. That's the point.
20 Q. So you're saying that criminal acts that jeopardise the defensive
21 ability referred to looting?
22 A. Precisely. Because this became a widespread thing. These people
23 as soldiers plundered and then they went to their homes, they fled to
24 their homes, and this weakened the actual military units.
25 Q. Thank you. Then the prisoners in custody can be used for work of
1 public interest and defence preparation. Was that a normal thing that
2 people who had been arrested could be sent out to work on defence,
3 defensive preparations?
4 A. At that time, it was customary practice. However, I do remember
5 that if somebody would explicitly refuse to take part in this, there was
6 no way of coercing such a person to do that. I think that's what the
7 chief of police said. However, I must say that a negligible number of
8 people were arrested and only some went through disciplinary proceedings
9 before military organs and they were simply sent to other units that were
10 far away from our area, but this was a very small number.
11 Q. So if -- sorry, picking up on that, so if people were brought
12 before military courts for acts such as looting, you're saying what would
13 happen to them is they would just be sent to units away from the area?
14 A. The military court did not function at all. This was a
15 disciplinary decision of their commander or commanding officer.
16 Q. All right.
17 A. And it was not carried through to the extent that was necessary.
18 Q. All right. Finally on this document, then we can leave it, at
19 number 8 under the conclusions, there is a decision that the Crisis Staff
20 will analyse implementation of its own decisions in order to determine the
21 responsibility, et cetera, and improve its efficiency. Thank you. You
22 can put that document away now.
23 Can you look now, please, at your diary again, on the 27th of
24 May? And I think there we can see that there is either to be a Crisis
25 Staff meeting at 1400 or there is one, which is to analyse the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 implementation of the decisions by the Crisis Staff, and if you look,
2 please, at P1865, we can see that indeed there was a Crisis Staff meeting
3 on the 27th of May at 1400 hours, and --
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. You were present, although in fact your name doesn't appear as
6 attending, I don't think, but we can see under item 2 that you gave a
8 A. These minutes were taken by the technical secretary. I did not
9 take these notes because as a rule when I would keep the minutes, I would
10 make sure that ultimately when the minutes were completed, they should be
11 signed by the president and this is an omission that is usual when this is
12 being copied. It is true I was present and I see that I also reported on
14 Q. Yes, exactly. All right. Can we deal, please, with two of the
15 items that were discussed? Mr. Milanovic informed the meeting on the
16 results of the talks with the representative of the SDA citizens forum.
17 And stated that the representatives, Mr. Hidic and Mr. Ferizovic, spread
18 alarming rumours by saying that the Muslim citizens want to emigrate
19 collectively. And then Mr. Ivanic said that the citizens forum said that
20 the Muslims were loyal citizens and accused Safet Hidic and Mustafa
21 Ferizovic of illegal arming. Can we put it this way. Not to spend too
22 long on it. Does it appear there was a split between the SDA, between
23 those who wanted to -- wanted everybody to emigrate and those who said
24 they should remain in Petrovac and support the government?
25 A. I cannot say that there was a split, as far as the SDA is
1 concerned. However, in that period, the Muslims as a community were in a
2 precarious position because of all these circumstances that have been
3 documented. There was a forum of citizens as a more or less non-political
4 body, which included prominent figures from the authorities and from
5 political echelons in general. They mediated in order to reduce tensions,
6 and in order to have the Muslims protected, and in order to have their
7 interests protected as much as possible. It is true that this was
8 discussed in such a way. However, I wish to point out the following:
9 Ivanic also presented the convictions of some citizens that he had
10 contacted and of course he had contact only with a few people, and since
11 he was a Serb, probably they were telling him what he wanted to hear. You
12 know how people act when they are worried about the safety of their
13 property and things like that. That's the position that they are in
14 then. At any rate everybody was saying what they were convinced of.
15 Q. All right. Yes, thank you. And then you, as you noted in your
16 own diary, informed the Crisis Staff on the implementation of the
17 decisions in respect of the previous session of the Crisis Staff. Now,
18 finally could you turn to the conclusion? The last one, a memorandum is
19 to be sent to the Krnjeusa local commune informing them that the Crisis
20 Staff they have formed is illegal. Could you have a look again, please,
21 at the gazettes of the regional Crisis Staff, Exhibit P227? And could you
22 go to the conclusions for the 9th of May, number 6? We see there that
23 decisions adopted by the war staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina are
24 to be strictly respected and item number 3 no Crisis Staff can be formed
25 in any enterprise. Now, was that anything to do with the decision that
1 there was an illegal Crisis Staff in Krnjeusa?
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. In Krnjeusa the Crisis Staff was illegal because they tried to
5 establish a Crisis Staff and to make it impossible to seize looted
6 property. Armoured vehicles were used to take it away. They were very
7 persistent in safeguarding their right to looting.
8 Q. Right. Who -- was this a Serb-inhabited commune?
9 A. It was.
10 Q. All right. All right. Thank you. You can put that document
11 away, then. If we move very quickly then through the end of May in your
12 diary, on the 28th of the 5th, you noted that there was -- you had to
13 organise a meeting between the Crisis Staff and the brigade command staff
14 but that you would not be there.
15 A. No. It's not that I couldn't attend. It was a note that I was to
16 give the president, after consultations with the brigade command, it is
17 they who said they could not attend but in point of fact they simply did
18 not want to attend the meeting.
19 Q. And why was that?
20 A. At that time, the Crisis Staff kept telling them that they were
21 responsible for the large-scale plunder and disorder and all the rest, and
22 their representatives did not like that at all.
23 Q. All right. Sorry, just a -- all right. Can we move, then, please
24 to now the 1st of June in your diary? And that's at our page 82. You do
25 a list of the presidents of the local communes and then if you go to the
1 part where you list the 23rd session of the Crisis Staff at 1615, that's
2 our page 84, Your Honour. Again you're analysing the implementation of
3 the Crisis Staff decisions from the previous session and then a decision
4 to send a report to an authorised command in the territory of the
5 municipality regarding the municipal request to coordinate the security
6 activities, provided that all factors are involved in the plan, TO, police
7 and army, and then was it you who was to do the memorandum?
8 A. As a rule, I wrote those. I can't remember this concrete one but
9 yes, as a rule, the president asked me to do that.
10 Q. All right. Why was there to be a report sent to the authorised
11 command? What was the problem? I mean, why were you having a request to
12 coordinate all the security activities?
13 A. I've already told you the reason, because mostly the disorder and
14 the disarray, were mostly caused by their members, yes, you're right but
15 there were also other problems. There would be shots fired in the town,
16 there was violence, and those men wore uniforms and the civilian police
17 couldn't even arrest them. The civilian police could only perhaps take
18 down their names but then would have to let them go.
19 Q. All right. Thank you, now I'm afraid I did miss one more document
20 from the end of May. Could you have a look at Exhibit P211? This is a --
21 apparently a telegram, this one in particular, I think, comes from Sanski
22 Most. I mean this particular copy. Dated the 28th of May, sent by the
23 Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff and some conclusions, and could
24 you look at item number 7? That states if Muslims and Croats or members
25 of the SDA Party of Democratic Action wish to leave or move out of the
1 Autonomous Region of Krajina they must enable the endangered Serbian
2 people against whom unprecedented genocide is being conducted to move
3 collectively into their places, i.e. they must facilitate an exchange
4 based on reciprocity. And that, in fact, we can see if we look at the
5 meeting, the gazette, for the 28th, for the 29th of May, in fact, which is
6 number 23 in the gazette, something that had been decided and I think
7 there is an earlier one as well but I lost my note on that. Yeah.
8 Now, if you just look at that and then could you have, please,
10 JUDGE AGIUS: While the witness has -- looks at the document,
11 Ms. Korner, if perhaps at some point in time before this witness goes
12 home, if you could provide us with a list of which of the documents that
13 he has been referred to and acknowledged directly or indirectly as
14 authentic, come from AID?
15 MS. KORNER: Yes, I will, certainly, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Do you see there that Mr. Latinovic under the agenda -- first of
19 all the agenda, 1, discussing the conclusions of the autonomous region
20 Krajina Crisis Staff in Banja Luka, Mr. Latinovic reads the conclusion of
21 the AR Crisis Staff in Banja Luka reached at the session on the 29th of
22 May, 1992. Now, pausing there, would that mean that the person who had
23 been to the meeting of the Crisis Staff would read the conclusion?
24 A. It would, yes, unless it has arrived in a written form.
25 Q. Right. This is what I wanted -- because we'll see that the first
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 thing that you adopted was that all Muslims and Croats who so wish be
2 enable to evacuate from the territory of the ARK, et cetera which is
3 almost identical wording to what we see in this telegram. Now, I know
4 it's difficult. Can you remember whether this particular instruction
5 which you followed came by telegram or whether somebody had personally
6 attended the meeting?
7 A. I don't remember how these conclusions reached us. Possibly they
8 were faxed but I'd say it was most likely that it was to the signals unit
9 that they reached but perhaps there was a messenger who brought them. I
10 don't remember it, because of all the security measures around the Banja
11 Luka airport, which looked rather curious to me so that -- but be that as
12 it may, these decisions were adopted and they are as they are. And the
13 principle of reciprocity in such a law after the war was established and
14 it was only the high commissioner who vacated that law and it was a law on
15 the manner of using the abandoned property but I mean, no, the law was
16 unenforceable any way.
17 Q. You've said a number of things. First of all, you said the high
18 commissioner reversed it. In other words, people were entitled to have
19 back their property in the areas which they had left, is that what you're
20 talking about?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. But this in fact -- well, the effect was, wasn't it, to create or
23 to try and create an ethnically pure area?
24 A. I cannot talk about somebody's intentions but, yes, what happened
25 would allow such a conclusion.
1 Q. All right. Anyhow, can you just tell us, while we are on this
2 topic, who would normally attend the meetings of the regional Crisis
4 A. It was President Novakovic who was supposed to attend those
5 meetings ex officio. If he was prevented then I think it was Dragan
6 Milanovic, who was a member of parliament, perhaps he was also to go there
7 ex officio, but I didn't communicate with him much because we did not
8 particularly like each other, I have to say. So that Mr. Bogdan
9 Latinovic, who was the president of the executive board, would be there
10 instead of him, so that when President Novakovic couldn't Latinovic went,
11 but it was usually one of those front men --
12 Q. All right.
13 A. -- who went to those meetings.
14 Q. Thank you. You can put that document away now. I'm sorry, trying
15 to keep track of so many different documents. I need you to go back in
16 your diary just one moment to the 26th of May, our page 78. You wrote
17 down at the bottom of that entry for the 26th of May, three names. Can
18 you just very briefly tell us who these people were?
19 A. These are individuals who were plundering the Muslim population as
20 an organised group and were involved also in other violent acts, as was
21 established by the police, and there was somebody else I can't remember
22 his name because I didn't know it at the time, I was to brief the public
23 Prosecutor about this so that he could prepare the indictment and so that
24 everything could be prepared for their arrest.
25 Q. Right. You said apart from plundering, they were involved in
1 other violent acts. What were they?
2 A. From what I heard, they were involved in so-called racketeering.
3 That is they went to some households, that they thought there could be
4 some money and would threaten that they would kill a member of the family
5 unless all the money was given to them. And I know that once they
6 abducted a minor, I think it was a 14 or 15 year old girl I'm not quite
7 sure but I saw her father crying. It was a Muslim ethnicity. I mean both
8 father and the daughter were Muslim, and I know that the police organised
9 a pursuit to find the abducted girl.
10 Q. Thank you. Yes. Thank you. I'm sorry I had to go back there.
11 I'd like to go on moving, please, through June. Could you look, please,
12 at your entry for the 2nd of June in your diary? You've got an entry,
13 check the situation about the payments of pensions in the territory of the
14 Autonomous Region of Krajina. Very briefly, whose pensions?
15 A. Pensioners. When AR Krajina was proclaimed it was to adopt all
16 the duties of a government. I mean to adopt all the duties of the
17 republic, and the government of Krajina was to assume all the roles, all
18 the duties, of a republican government, that is payments, then different
19 funds and how they are to be funded, how they are to be replenished and
20 that includes the pensions fund so I was asked to see whether this was in
21 working order because I suppose there were some delays in payments.
22 Q. Right. And then that same day, if you go to the next part, page,
23 of your diary, this is our page 87, there is reference to the meeting
24 about the incident in Biscani. What had happened in Biscani that required
25 a meeting?
1 A. Well, I suppose there was some violent act which had to do with
2 the security of the Muslim population because Biscani is largely inhabited
3 by Muslims.
4 Q. Can you remember now --
5 A. Possibly -- possibly it was the -- this incident that I mentioned
6 when the girl was abducted. I cannot really pinpoint it, but I can't
7 think of anything else. I can't think what else could it have been.
8 Q. All right. Now, I just want to show you, please, one short new
9 document which you saw in the interview. That's disclosure 2.233 which
10 will become P2451. It's actually dated the 27th of May. And it asks the
11 military post to issue two automatic rifles and two hand grenades to arm
12 the driver of the municipal Crisis Staff and the cryptographic data
13 protection operator. Can you just tell us why it was necessary to arm
14 these two people like that?
15 A. The driver of the municipal -- of the official vehicle of the
16 municipal hall often took the president through areas where there was
17 combat going on. The president really took risks and that is how he got
18 killed eventually and that is why it was thought necessary to issue the
19 driver with an automatic rifle. As for the signals centre and the -- they
20 had a so-called crypto room and the only person who was involved with
21 codes was admitted into that room. During the war, they were all armed --
22 before that, before that, they had pistols but when the war started, this
23 was stepped up and they were issued with automatic rifles. Because that
24 kind of work was considered very important and very confidential.
25 Q. Right. Okay. Thank you. Now can we move, please, on again to
1 further in your diary, no. In fact, I think you need to look, please, now
2 at P1870, which is the 4th of June. First of all, the first agenda item,
3 the president, Mr. Novakovic informed those in attendance about the talks
4 that he had with Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic. That goes back, does
5 it, to what you told us yesterday, that Mr. Novakovic had access to the
6 two leaders?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. All right. And were you present when he met with them?
9 A. Well, no, not then. He went to those meetings alone, and there
10 was no need for me to go with him.
11 Q. All right. Now, the second item is the incident in Biscani, so
12 that's come up again and if you look at agenda item 2 --
13 A. Yes. I've had a look, and it all came back to me. I think I
14 really know what this is about. It's that -- at that time a whole Muslim
15 family was slain, was killed. I cannot remember their last name because I
16 was a newcomer there, but I know that the first name of the man was Sevko,
17 and in one night, he, his wife, a daughter and a son, who were quite
18 young, in their late teens or maybe 20 year old, were all killed, and the
19 police investigated the case, there were different ideas, various guesses
20 and hypotheses were made as to who could have been the perpetrators but
21 that is what this is about, the killing of that family.
22 Q. All right. Thank you very much. You can put that document away
23 now. And can we move, please, in your diary to the 7th of June? That's
24 page 92. Now, there you record, it's headed meeting in Palanka. Is that
25 a meeting that you attended?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. This is a meeting which I should have attended and perhaps I did,
2 because on a couple of occasions I did go to meetings in Palanka, once it
3 was in winter time and once it was in summertime. So this could have been
4 that meeting that took place that summer.
5 Q. All right. I'd now like to you have a look, please, at P229.
6 This is a document headed, "Sanski Most, 7th of June, 1992. Conclusions
7 adopted at a subregional meeting of the political representatives of the
8 municipalities of" and it includes Bosanski Petrovac. It was sent to the
9 Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Banja Luka and the leadership and
10 the 1st Krajina Corps. Conclusion number 1: It is necessary to declare a
11 state of war in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and -- because
12 of the situation in the municipalities, and it goes on, Ustasha troops are
13 preparing to immediately attack the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
14 If you look, please, at your notebook, the problem of refugees and
15 prisoners, and then you say state of war to be proclaimed.
16 Now, does that seem to suggest that it was this meeting that you
17 were attending?
18 A. It does.
19 Q. And Palanka -- Lusci Palanka is in the municipality of Sanski
20 Most, is it not?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. All right. I'm not -- I don't think you've had a chance to read
23 through this.
24 MS. KORNER: So Your Honour, it may be appropriate because it's a
25 lengthy document if we break now and the witness has a chance to take the
1 document with him and just read it over the break.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have a 25 minute break now. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, before Ms. Korner starts may I
6 address the Court about Mr. Ackerman?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Do you want to wait for your client?
8 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I will.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise we'll have a speech. Yes.
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, I spoke with Mr. Ackerman over the
11 break and with the Court's leave he would be here at 1.30. I think that
12 would be the best but of course if you disagree he'll be here sooner.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. It's okay with me. It's okay with me.
14 Thank you.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go ahead.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Judge, you've had a look at that, I think, document now, over the
19 break, does that remind you about the meeting?
20 A. Yes. I do recall the meeting now.
21 Q. Can I ask first of all, do you remember the names of the people
22 who attended from the other municipalities? We see in your notebook that
23 Stakic is written down there. Was he the person who attended from
25 A. I believe that he was, and I probably wrote his number down in
1 order to keep it up to date because numbers changed very often so I used
2 this opportunity to have the exact telephone number because I needed exact
3 telephone numbers in order to be able to contact people.
4 Q. All right. Sanski Most, did you know Rasula?
5 A. I did.
6 Q. Do you remember if he was there?
7 A. I don't remember exactly who the persons present were but as a
8 rule the presidents were present and perhaps if they were unable to
9 attend, then they would send a representative and that is the capacity in
10 which I went.
11 Q. Did you know Mr. Pasic from Bosanski Novi?
12 A. I didn't know him.
13 Q. Okay. We see that you made a note that in your diary of Basara
14 and he apparently -- the note you put then is the RSK assets to be put at
15 the disposal of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Does that mean that he
16 was at this meeting as well?
17 A. Possibly he was, or he made this proposal, or this has to do with
18 some material resources or weapons, I don't know exactly. These are
19 resources from the Republika Srpska Krajina that were given to the
20 Autonomous Region of Krajina for their use. At this meeting I probably
21 did not take part in the debate. I was there only to collect information
22 and to convey information and that is why I did not take a lot of notes.
23 Q. All right. If we just briefly summarise what was being said
24 there, they wanted -- the first conclusion to declare a state of war so
25 that war tribunals could start functioning. The second dealing with the
1 corridor. Then the third dealing with the reorganisation of the former
2 JNA, which was by then the VRS. Four, a demand that General Talic purge
3 the 1st Krajina Corps of Muslims and Croats. Five, that the borders of
4 the Autonomous Region of Krajina were defined. And then six, all seven
5 municipalities in our subregion agree that Muslims and Croats should move
6 out of our municipalities until a level is reached where Serbian authority
7 can be maintained, request the Crisis Staff of the autonomous region
8 provide a corridor. And if the leadership fails to solve this issue, our
9 seven municipalities will take all Muslims and Croats under military
10 escort from our municipalities.
11 Now, I want to know, sir, you were really, as you say, taking
12 notes so you could brief your own municipality. Was Mr. Novakovic there
13 with you?
14 A. No, no. I wouldn't have been present had he been there. I
15 believe that he sent me there purely out of courtesy towards the others,
16 since they had invited him. I believe that he thought that this meeting
17 was not all that important and that's why he sent me as an envoy. Had it
18 been important, I would have taken a lot of notes, and I probably would
19 have had a great deal of the content involved in my notes. As a matter of
20 fact, I don't even remember that such conclusions were reached. I think
21 that they actually wrote it this way subsequently and in an arbitrary
23 Q. All right. Can I ask you this? It says all seven municipalities
24 agreed to these conclusions. Were you in a position to agree that on
25 behalf of your president?
1 A. I did not have any authority in this regard and that is upon which
2 I base my assertion that this was written off the cuff and later. Muslims
3 were not an impediment to the organisation of government in our
4 municipality so we certainly would not have voted in favour of such a
5 conclusion because it would have been pointless. Secondly, there are
6 differing decisions involved here and also there are certain conditions
7 that are put forth that are wrong, that are inexpedient and so on. Last
8 but not least, may I note that the actual language, the lexicon of this
9 text, is troublesome.
10 Q. And what do you mean by that?
11 A. I mean that it is legally unfounded. Quite simply, it is
12 illiterate from an administrative point of view. There is a lot of
13 contradictory elements involved.
14 Q. All right. The threat to take all Muslims and Croats under
15 military escort from our municipalities to the centre of Banja Luka, do
16 you recall something like that being said at the meeting?
17 A. No. This meeting -- since I do not remember it -- was some kind
18 of informal chat, and it certainly was not binding in any way, because had
19 such important decisions actually been taken, I would have recorded them
20 verbatim in my notebook.
21 Q. Whatever conclusions were adopted by these political
22 representatives, as it's stated, in your view, was that going to be
23 binding on any one of the seven?
24 A. This could not have been binding. I think that this was done in
25 one of the municipalities. At the end of the meeting it was probably
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 agreed informally that somebody should draft this document and send it to
2 the relevant authorities. So basically, whoever wrote this did this on
3 his own. I don't know who did it exactly. I see with fraternal greetings
4 written here but there is not a full copy of the page so I can't see who
5 signed it. Basically this was sent on behalf of the party.
6 Q. All right. In fact the only -- as you say, the only conclusion
7 that you seem to have noted down is that a state of war should be
8 proclaimed, which was in the first conclusion. However, I want you to
9 look now, please, if you would, at -- just a moment, so I get my note
10 right --
11 A. May I?
12 Q. Yes. Is there something else you want to say about this?
13 A. There was a discussion on the proclamation of a state of war and
14 also the problem of population resettlement because it says here the
15 problem of refugees. That's what it says in my notebook so all of this
16 was discussed but conclusions were not formally adopted. Somebody wrote
17 them subsequently, later. Had they been adopted at the actual meeting,
18 they would not have been worded as they are now.
19 Q. Well, I think you need to look, before you go on, at document
20 P1873, which was the 28th session of the Crisis Staff on the 9th of June
21 and if you go, please, to the conclusion and under item 2, you will see
22 Mr. Latinovic informed the participants about the conclusions adopted at
23 the meeting, that was held at Lusci Palanka with the representatives of
24 the seven municipalities. Now, did you inform Mr. Latinovic or do you
25 think that Mr. Latinovic may have been there, or alternatively did he get
1 the conclusions or can't you say?
2 A. It is possible that Mr. Latinovic was at the meeting then but it
3 was not our meeting. I meant the municipal level. So that's why I did
4 not take a lot of notes. Possibly I accompanied Mr. Latinovic or perhaps
5 I only noted the meeting in Palanka in view of the questions that should
6 be discussed and perhaps Latinovic was at the meeting then. I cannot say
7 exactly. It's been a long time now.
8 Q. I appreciate that but he was actually informing them about the
9 conclusions. I should ask you this: Had you ever seen those written
10 conclusions before you looked at them today?
11 A. I do not remember having seen them earlier, but their content is
12 such that it does correspond to what was going on at that time.
13 Q. Do you know whether or not Mr. Latinovic held the views that the
14 Muslims and Croats should be removed from the municipality of Petrovac?
15 A. He did not hold such a view. I know that because at one point in
16 time, after the civic forum which we already mentioned gave a proposal on
17 the part of the Muslims that they should join the army too, but that they
18 should not go to those front lines where Serbs and Muslims clashed
19 directly, but also they asked that the commander of that unit should be a
20 Serb. So that possible responsibility for losing a position would not
21 fall on them. I mean so that no one would suspect them of having done
22 anything. Mr. Latinovic himself agreed to become commander of that unit.
23 He was a reserve officer of the former JNA so he had the professional
24 skills involved and he asked me whether I wanted to be assistant for
25 information in that unit. So that is how I know that he was against this.
1 Q. All right. And then we see above, before we get to conclusion,
2 there is a long discussion about the Petrovac medical centre and we see
3 that it's stated that the government of the Serbian region Krajina Banja
4 Luka is the organisational organ and it will certainly determine in its
5 decisions what will be financed by funds. Was this in relation to funds
6 required for the purchase of essential medical supplies, as we can see?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Thank you. You can put that away. And could you have a look now,
9 please, at P236, which is the next meeting of the Crisis Staff for that
10 same day -- I'm sorry, it's the following day, I beg your pardon. And
11 there we see that the agenda proposed by Mr. Novakovic as the president
12 was first that conclusions adopted by the Autonomous Region of Krajina
13 Crisis Staff. Under item 1 the president of the Crisis Staff briefed
14 those present on the conclusions adopted by the AR Krajina Crisis Staff in
15 Banja Luka and then this: Subregions of the municipalities forwarded
16 certain proposals to the AR Krajina government for a prompt organisation
17 of the army and regulations of essential services in order to facilitate
18 government functions and relations between the Krajina government and the
19 municipalities on its territory.
20 Now, we don't see anything further was said about that. Do you
21 recall that discussion? Because you were apparently there.
22 A. I was there. The technical secretary took notes. I cannot
23 remember individually what various participants in the discussions said
24 but the topics discussed at this meeting, on the 10th of June, were
25 brought up on a variety of occasions later as well, so what is obvious is
1 that it was discussed at this meeting and not only at this meeting.
2 Q. Yes. All that I want to know is whether you're able to tell us
3 whether this bit about the subregions forwarding certain proposals relates
4 back to those conclusions of the 7th of June? If you can't remember, say
5 so straight away.
6 A. I think that this conclusion was aimed at that, to ask the AR
7 Krajina to function in the way in which it had been proclaimed, that is to
8 say to establish functional organs of authority and government, because
9 definitely they had proclaimed themselves as such but they barely
10 functioned if at all in certain areas.
11 Q. All right. And which areas were those?
12 A. The area of the economy. They hardly functioned there at all. In
13 the area of health care, not the basic prerequisites were there, in terms
14 of financing health care and so on. Also, in the area of schooling.
15 Pension and health funds were not being replenished properly. Salaries
16 were hardly ever paid. Quite simply there was a societal collapse. The
17 state of war had already started and such things considered of -- were
18 considered to be of vital jeopardy in terms of everything that was going
19 on. When you ask me about those conclusions, the answer is no, because we
20 can see from these minutes that for us, population resettlement was not an
21 issue at all. It was not topical at all. Because of the actual numbers
22 involved, and the actual relations involved, we never thought that we were
23 jeopardised in any way by the Muslims. At least not those from the area
24 of our municipality.
25 Q. All right. On that topic, this is something you talked about in
1 the interview at page 74, by the 9th of June, were people, Muslims,
2 non-Serbs, wanting to leave the municipality?
3 A. I've already said that they wanted this but because of everything
4 that happened, and it's my understanding that safety was under control so
5 to speak or had safety been under control and if there weren't such
6 incidents like the one in Biscani and some others, they would not have
7 asked to be resettled.
8 Q. All right.
9 A. I think they asked for it only because they felt threatened.
10 Q. Could you have a look, I think you refer to this in your own
11 diary, if you look at page -- our page 93, for the 9th of June, your
12 entry, it's on the opposite side where you talk about vacations. At the
13 bottom of the page, that page, you talk about departure of citizens from
14 Petrovac, under -- sorry, questions to be raised with the Crisis Staff,
15 departure of citizens from Petrovac. So was this becoming a problem?
16 A. This is the 9th of June?
17 Q. M'hm.
18 A. Yes, yes. This could have been or rather it most probably had to
19 do with the departure of Muslims from Petrovac.
20 Q. Yes. All right, so it was starting, at the very least?
21 A. I think so. Perhaps even earlier, people who had the opportunity
22 to leave Petrovac did leave it earlier, on an individual basis.
23 Q. All right. And then can we look, please, at the conclusions --
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour we will come to that. I don't know why
25 you're being handed it at this stage.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I agree, Ms. Korner. It misled me completely.
2 MS. KORNER: I think if the Registry waits until we get to it and
3 then we will hand it in.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thanks.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. Conclusions, please, under item 2, this is -- sorry, the
7 conclusions under item 3, the military command must apply to the civilian
8 authorities for any mobilisation of people, material goods or equipment.
9 In other words -- does that mean if they wanted to -- if the military
10 command wanted more people, goods or equipment, they had to apply to the
11 Crisis Staff or the assembly if it was sitting?
12 A. This is on my page number 2.
13 Q. Yes. It's under item 3, I'm sorry, in -- I'm sorry, this is back
14 to the -- I'm so sorry, the minutes of the meeting I want to go back to,
15 not your diary, under Exhibit P236, under the item 3, where the --
16 Mr. Brankovic?
17 A. I found it.
18 Q. Yeah.
19 A. I have found it, yes.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. Your conclusion is correct. Formally, the military command was
22 supposed to address the National Defence department, that is a civilian
23 authority. However, they carried out arbitrary mobilisation of personnel,
24 notably material resources. For example, they would mobilise all the cars
25 that they liked. They just get the driver out, take his papers for the
1 car from him, and they would just take the car. This was not real
2 mobilisation. It was basically theft. Later on, according to the law,
3 the state was supposed to pay for these vehicles if they were damaged or
4 lost. That is why there was a conflict between the civilian authorities
5 and the military command. That is one of the reasons for these clashes.
6 Q. All right. And then, under 2, I want to ask you about, the
7 Petrovac municipal staff remains in its full composition but it will be
8 resubordinated to the military command until a written decision or decree
9 regulating its status is issued by the government of the Autonomous Region
10 of Krajina. What was that about?
11 A. This was about the Territorial Defence staff. Its status was not
12 regulated legally in that transition period. That is the staff that was
13 headed by Mr. Vrzina.
14 Q. Right. I think that's all we need, thank you very much, on that
16 Now, can we just move through -- yes. Could we move, please, to
17 the 13th of June, in your diary, please? Page -- I'm sorry, Your Honours,
18 page 100. And at the same time, could you be handed, please, P1876? Now,
19 you record the meeting of the 33rd session of the Crisis Staff and we can
20 see that, although I think there is an error, maybe it's in our
21 translation. Yes, it is, Your Honour. It's been -- in the translation,
22 it's clear from the original it's the 13th of June, under minutes as well
23 although it's been translated as 16th of June. I don't think that
25 Now, the agenda, again, this time I think it's clear you were
1 actually taking the notes as well?
2 A. I was the note taker and I think that this is the 13th of June.
3 Q. Right. When you were taking the notes, was that notes that you
4 kept in your diary which you then expanded on or were you taking, which
5 you then typed up, or did you actually write them out by hand at the
7 A. When I was note taker, then I would as a rule write things down in
8 my own notebook or perhaps sometimes on a piece of paper. That is where I
9 would actually write the draft, to act as a reminder later, and then as
10 soon as the meeting would end, then I would dictate the minutes to a
11 typist and then I would take it to the president for him to take a look,
12 and if everything was all right, then he would sign the minutes. That is
13 why as a rule all of my minutes were signed because they had been verified
14 and at the following meeting, whenever I would be the -- whenever I was
15 the note taker at the previous meeting and this is not included in the
16 minutes then it would be submitted to the Crisis Staff for verification.
17 Q. Right. Okay. If we move fairly quickly through this, the agenda
18 item number 1 a decision on how to accommodate the -- I think it's a
19 military post, isn't it?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And then under that, we see if we look to the decision, you will
22 see that after that -- I'm sorry, item number 2 was a report on the
23 security situation. In the discussion that followed, it was stated that
24 there was some negligence which however did not seriously affect the
25 security station. Disarmament of the paramilitary formations and citizens
1 who are in illegal possession of arms is to be continued and brought to a
2 close. And I think you've already explained who was being disarmed. But
3 then this. After that, they unanimously reached the following: The
4 bodies in charge are to finalise activities regarding the disarmament of
5 paramilitary formations and citizens who illegally possess weapons,
6 appropriate repressive measures are to be taken against individuals who
7 took part in the illegal armament of the paramilitary organisation and
8 citizens. What was that referring to? Or who? Who were the people who
9 had been illegally arming what you've already told us effectively was the
10 Muslim population?
11 A. Well, in essence, I myself never had any knowledge in terms of who
12 it could have been. There were rumours that they were their leaders, as
13 Mr. Ivanic mentioned on that day, or somebody else perhaps, I can't
14 remember exactly. However, there were rumours that this was done by some
15 Serbs who had smuggled weapons. This other rumour is something I know a
16 bit more about, namely once a security colonel came to see the president
17 and he warned about that, that some Serbs were bringing in weapons and
18 selling them to Muslims but I never found out, nor did anybody else ever
19 find out officially or could have anybody found out, about who had done
20 this. Especially as far as the Muslims are concerned. In my presence,
21 not a single name was mentioned.
22 Q. All right. Then can we move, please, to the next decision under
23 5, where we see that the representatives requested a postal service,
24 that's the representatives, I think, of the military post, to make it
25 impossible for the enemy to wire tap conversations. They also requested
1 the connection of the Petrovac post office to the Banja Luka postal
2 service and to implement the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff
3 decisions concerning the removal of the executive staff of non-Serb
4 ethnicity. Before we look at those decisions, are you saying -- was this
5 the military saying you, the Crisis Staff, should carry out the
6 instructions of the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff?
7 A. That's right, yes. It was the army which requested it. Well,
8 they -- the army had lots of requests and demands put to us. They kept
9 bringing pressure on us to have the director of the post office removed,
10 dismissed, because he was a Muslim. But he did his work well so there was
11 no reason.
12 Q. Yes. In fact it looks like this was -- it doesn't actually make
13 that clear -- okay, if we very quickly, the decisions that dealt with
14 that, we can see, perhaps Your Honour we needn't look at them again. They
15 were on the 11th of May, the 13th of May, and the 26th of May. Were you
16 aware of those decisions by the regional Crisis Staff? Don't worry
17 about -- well, first of all, were you aware of these?
18 A. The Crisis Staff decision concerning what? The autonomous
19 region? I'm sorry I didn't understand.
20 Q. I'm trying to do this too quickly. Could you have the gazettes
21 again, please? 227. Can you look at the conclusions for the 11th of May,
22 which are number 7 in the gazette? Management posts in the Krajina
23 enterprises must be filled by persons who are absolutely loyal to the
24 Serbian republic. You see that? That's under number 5.
25 A. I can't see it but I did see it somewhere today.
1 Q. I'm sorry. If you look at -- I'm sorry, it's a bit of a mess, I
3 A. I think we got the pages and the documents mixed up. Yes. The
4 pages are not in the right order. But yes, I was familiar with the
5 contents of that decision, that there was such a decision and I suppose
6 that the army command is requesting it in this relation. We resisted it
7 for a very long time but eventually this man was dismissed and I met him
8 after that and he was very cut up about the whole thing.
9 Q. In fact, dismissals of non-Serbs were taking place, weren't they,
10 in Petrovac? Whatever you personally felt about it.
11 A. Yes. They were taking place.
12 Q. All right. And I don't think we need anything else on that
13 meeting. Thank you very much. Can we look, please, then, at the meeting
14 for the next day, the 14th of June, which is Exhibit P245?
15 MS. KORNER: 245, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Previously, Ms. Korner, I mean just to make sure
17 that I am not mistaken but previously you had referred to the -- the
18 witness to the meetings of the 11th May, the 13th of May and the 26th of
20 MS. KORNER: Yes, I didn't take him through them but Your Honours
21 can see them in the gazettes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So now we are moving to a different topic?
23 MS. KORNER: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I just wanted to make sure.
25 MS. KORNER: You're absolutely right. We are now back to the
1 Petrovac meetings, not the regional meetings.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
3 MS. KORNER: This is all on the same topic.
4 Q. Again, I think you took the minutes for this one, didn't you,
5 Mr. Radojko, judge?
6 A. I did, yes.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, this is an AID document, in passing.
8 Q. Item number 1, Mr. Novakovic opens the discussion and pointed out
9 that it was necessary to adopt positions at the level of the Autonomous
10 Region of Krajina on how to deal with inhabitants who are not loyal to the
11 Serbian republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This meeting was quite a late
12 meeting. It looks like 20 past 10.00 in the evening. That day, there was
13 another meeting of these municipalities, and this time in Korcanica, I
14 think, on the 14th of June. Do you know if Mr. Novakovic had attended a
15 meeting that day?
16 A. I don't. He perhaps told us, but because of the sequence of those
17 meetings, it's quite possible that he went to Korcanica and therefore
18 conveyed these meeting for a later time, for a later hour so that he could
19 come back.
20 Q. All right. Just to look at -- I don't think this time you did
21 attend the meeting. Yes, I'm sorry, the meeting in Korcanica. Okay.
22 Now, then, we see that Mr. Vrzina reported on the situation in the
23 municipality and conveyed the brigade command's request that Muslims be
24 excluded from the work of the municipal assembly administrative organs and
25 that arrested persons suspected on reasonable grounds of participating in
1 undermining the Serbian republic defence or preparing an attack on its
2 institutions and citizens should not be released from detention before
3 trial. And then requested that Muslim inhabitants who had pledged loyalty
4 to the Serbian republic be included in defence preparations.
5 So again, the military was reinforcing what it had said the
6 previous day, about Muslims effectively being excluded and indeed -- well,
7 excluded. Is that right?
8 A. Yes. It is right. The army never stopped putting pressure. They
9 had learned that there was an intention to form a unit made of Muslims and
10 incorporated in the defence and they opposed it. And also when he talks
11 about these detainees, Mr. Gacesa, who was the chief of police said and I
12 don't think you can find it in the minutes, told the president that the
13 police practically had no evidence against the majority of those detainees
14 and that they would have to release them, and of course, the members of
15 the military command learned about that and they spread this information
16 around the units on the front and therefore the pressure not to release
17 them, so this conclusion is not based on law but it is a factual
19 Q. All right. You can put that away and I'm going to just ask you to
20 look at the record of the meeting of the, as it's now called Sansko-Unska
21 area which is P247, just to ask you about one aspect of what was said. I
22 think it's a proposal, if we look at the page in our copy it begins
23 00471394, joint positions, I think it must be to be taken, at the 15th of
24 June session in Banja Luka. Because the date of this document is the
25 12th -- the 14th of June at 1200 hours. We think the work of the Crisis
1 Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina under wartime circumstances
2 should be much more serious, that its politicians and experts should pay
3 much more attention to the problems in all constituent municipalities of
4 the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Very much, sir, what you've expressed
5 to us today, that you didn't think it was working properly. Is that
7 A. It is, yes. You're quite right.
8 Q. And then there is a next suggestion, we propose that Vojo
9 Kupresanin be appointed president of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous
10 Region of Krajina given the position he currently occupies as president of
11 the assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Now, Mr. Brdjanin, were
12 you aware, had been the vice-president of the assembly? Did you know from
13 anything that was said to you by Mr. Novakovic why Mr. Brdjanin had become
14 the president of the Crisis Staff?
15 A. Well, Mr. Novakovic never talked about it, so one knew or didn't
16 know such things, and I knew about Mr. Kupresanin more than about
17 Mr. Brdjanin from the media rather, Brdjanin would turn up as a signatory
18 or something but believe me, I never even looked what office he indicated
19 on whose behalf he was signing it. But when decisions are made you just
20 don't look up those things.
21 Q. What was the view that was held by Mr. Novakovic or you yourself,
22 perhaps we ought to split this. It's a double question. Do you know what
23 views Mr. Novakovic held about Mr. Brdjanin at all?
24 A. Well, Mr. Novakovic and as far as the officials are concerned,
25 Brdjanin, Kupresanin, others, my opinions were usually based on the
1 opinions of Mr. Novakovic, Mr. Milanovic, who was a MP, and other people
2 who communicated with them. My impression was that they didn't think
3 particularly favourably of Mr. Brdjanin, that is they did not think he was
4 up to the task and they mostly recounted various anecdotes and jokes about
5 him. Mr. Novakovic was a true leader and on various occasions I heard him
6 talk with Mr. Karadzic and other people from the top-most ranks of the
7 Serb leadership so that he did not depend on Mr. Brdjanin. He was not
8 subordinated to him in any way or anybody else in Banja Luka. But it was
9 thought generally that the Banja Luka SDS leadership was not good and they
10 were frequently changed and a couple of those SDS presidents in Banja Luka
11 were prone to alcohol so -- and these are commonly known facts.
12 Q. Right. Now you say that he wasn't -- Mr. Novakovic wasn't
13 personally subordinated to him in any way or anyone else in Banja Luka.
14 But as we have been going through all these decisions of the Crisis Staff
15 in Petrovac, the decisions made by the regional Crisis Staff, what sort of
16 impact were they having? I mean you refer to them quite a lot.
17 A. I just mentioned what kind of personal relations there were. But
18 I did not -- they did not affect decisively the functioning of the
19 administration and Mr. Novakovic personally urged everybody to respect the
20 decisions regardless of the persons behind them, whether it has to do with
21 the military or the Krajina, that is AR Krajina or the Serb Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is if one thought that the decisions were
23 purposeful they were put through. Only the decisions which made no sense,
24 which served no purpose, and did not have anything to do with our area,
25 they were not implemented or could not be, especially those which were
1 quite illegal and could therefore entail very grave consequences at a
2 later stage.
3 Q. So you say decisions which made no sense, served no purpose. In
4 other words they weren't applicable to the conditions in your area?
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Excuse me, Judge I am going object to the leading
7 MS. KORNER: I thought we had made that clear but I will rephrase
8 the question.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Please rephrase the question because you are
10 suggesting to the witness as well.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes, I thought we had already been through it.
12 Q. What do you mean by decisions which made no sense and served no
13 purpose and did not have anything to do with our area?
14 A. I personally warned Mr. Novakovic against a number of such
15 decisions, decisions which were unenforceable, one of such was to carry
16 out complete mobilisation, and the mobilisation had been done and over
17 with a long time ago and it came from a source which was simply not
18 acceptable. Decisions which will not mean any movement forward or do not
19 serve any purpose. It is illegal to dismiss persons who are allegedly
20 disloyal. First, you cannot arbitrarily decide who is loyal and who
21 isn't. I remember, for instance, an event when we were expected to
22 dismiss our clerks, our personnel, and I told President Novakovic, I
23 believe that Latinovic was present, that that would be a very dangerous
24 decision because at the end of the war, when it was all over, and when
25 the -- an end was put to the chaos, the municipality will need ten times
1 its normal budget to pay compensation to all these people. That will have
2 to recognise them, that will have to compensate for all the pain and
3 everything that they had suffered through it all so that in relation to
4 this decision, we told people to just wait, that is we froze their jobs,
5 we did not dismiss them, and that was the suggestion that we gave to other
6 companies to act on their own discretion, their own discretion, we simply
7 did not want to assume the responsibility for anything like it.
8 Q. But you did in fact, I thought we had already dealt with this, you
9 did in fact dismiss people, didn't you?
10 A. Well, formally, they were not dismissed, but actually they did
11 stop working, but we provided the basis, we provided the grounds so that
12 after it was all over, they could get their jobs back again and so that
13 seniority, years of service, could again be included, could be added,
14 because these people were qualified people and we cared about the
15 services, about the service that they could render.
16 Q. All right. So you didn't approve of the decision, you thought in
17 your view that it was illegal, and you tried to get round it but did you
18 actually implement it?
19 A. Well, I told you, it was implemented.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. In fact.
22 Q. That's a long way around.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a long way around but basically my mind is
24 still working on this. What would have been the consequences or
25 consequence or consequences had the Crisis Staff of Bosanski Petrovac not
1 implemented that decision, had they kept all those employees in their
2 employment? What would you have expected to happen? Or what was the
3 feeling at the time if those decisions were not implemented?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there is no doubt that we
5 would have been removed from the places which we held. There were two
6 mechanisms that they used to bring pressure. One was informal, through
7 people, through the population, and they would simply -- they would apply
8 various methods to start hounding us, to start protesting against what we
9 did, on various occasions armed men broke into our offices and there was
10 also a different pressure constantly brought through the army, and you can
11 see it from the evidence.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. It's okay.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And we just tried to weigh the two
14 and see which evil would be a lesser evil.
15 MS. KORNER: All right.
16 Q. Now, can we please --
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour -- I'm sorry, I'll start again.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, Ms. Korner. I interrupted you.
19 MS. KORNER: No, no, no. It's quite all right. I was going to
20 move on anyhow. If Mr. Cunningham doesn't object I would like to lead
21 because it's the quickest way of doing it about these different signatures
22 on these documents that we looked at on the 16th of June. It's in the
23 interview at page 76 is there any real dispute about this.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I don't have any problems leading on this topic.
25 MS. KORNER: Right. Thank you very much.
1 Q. All right. Could you have, please -- you can take that document
2 back again, and you need to have now, please, P183 -- no, I'm sorry, yes,
3 1833, and then 1877.1 and 1877.2? Before we look at the contents, you
4 looked at these I think in the interview, judge, and you were able to
5 explain why they had different signatures.
6 A. You want me to explain that?
7 Q. I'm just going to put it to you, if you -- as briefly as I can,
8 and if you can just tell me if you still adhere to your answer: That the
9 technical service would produce various copies of the minutes that on this
10 occasion were taken, and would then seek the signatures of the people who
11 attended the meeting, but if she couldn't reach them all at the same time
12 before copies were sent away, each would sign the available copy. Is that
14 A. It is.
15 Q. And I think you took the view when you looked at them that
16 probably the original version is the one that we have as our Exhibit
17 P1833. Which has got written in the top, "Crisis Staff, 57/92." And the
18 word in the original.
19 A. Correct. But basically, they are all originals except that the
20 signatures are not, but in terms of the contents, they are all that.
21 Q. All right. And I think you also told us that after the meetings,
22 the notes would be transformed into the typed set of minutes, some would
23 be filed in the archives, and others would be used, as you put it, for
24 operational matters, in other words were they sent to the people who
25 needed them?
1 A. Well, in principle, somebody would come to the municipal hall,
2 they would be given it personally and that is why you don't have
3 signatures everywhere.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. And those which were accessible to a clerk, they would immediately
6 sign it, so you can see that Novakovic signed here so it means that he was
7 simply available.
8 Q. Right. If you just hold on, then, to P1833, the original ones,
9 and give the other ones back and I want to ask you about the contents. I
10 think you recorded this meeting in your own notes, if you look at your
11 diary for the 16th of June and it's our page 106.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. All right. If we look at the agenda, discussion on the situation,
14 the problem of the Muslims and the army, the military pressure is still
15 carrying on, and then Mr. Gacesa talked about a list of some 40 people or
16 so considered to be organised as a separate group or to have acted from
17 fundamentalist Islamic positions. The operation to disarm Muslim
18 paramilitary units and citizens is continued so at that stage it was made
19 absolutely clear, was it, in the Crisis Staff meeting that paramilitary
20 units and citizens were Muslims? Is that right?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Most of the persons included in the above-mentioned list
23 have been found to possess illegal weapons. There are two possible
24 options, one that a certain number of persons who could be a potential
25 threat be isolated but not on the premises of the SJB, and the other that
1 extremists be isolated outside Petrovac. The discussion continued and the
2 view prevailed that the isolation of extremists outside Petrovac would be
3 dangerous to themselves and that it was best to isolate them in a well
4 guarded facility on the outskirts of town and then decision: All
5 individuals who possess illegal weapons or have been registered as Muslim
6 extremists thus posing a potential threat shall be detained and held in
8 Now, what was this register of Muslim extremists?
9 A. Officially, such a register could not be established. To the best
10 of my knowledge this was done on the basis of initial operative knowledge
11 obtained by the police themselves. Some people did indeed have weapons
12 that were found, as far as I know, and other people were put on this list
13 according to their own arbitrary assessments. You see, when they say here
14 the 13 are inaccessible, these are people who had already left the
15 territory of the municipality.
16 Q. Well, I'd like you to have a look, please, at P1840. It's jumping
17 forward a little bit in time. Lists for persons for whom Bosanski
18 Petrovac public security station has ordered isolation and I think you saw
19 this during the interview. All Muslims; is that right?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And then they say that 29 people were taken to do labour at Kozila
22 but we'll come on to Kozila in a moment, on the 1st of July, did you know
23 any of them personally?
24 A. I knew a man here.
25 Q. Which one is that?
1 A. I'm looking at the rest of the names to see whether I knew anybody
2 else. I knew one for sure, or actually I knew two. One was Midhat Druzic
3 nicknamed Midho. I knew him by sight. I know him when I read the
4 nickname too. But I knew Fuad Ferizovic better the one nicknamed Beli,
5 because he's a lawyer too. So we had professional contacts as well.
6 Q. Would you have described him as a Muslim extremist? First of all
7 him, first of all, number 9, Midhat Druzic, would you have described him
8 as a Muslim extremist?
9 A. Well, I don't know, I did not really contact him. I just heard
10 about him. I heard that he was expressing some extremist views. In
11 essence this was a man with hardly any education and in my assessment a
12 person with a modest IQ. At one point, apparently he said that after the
13 SDA won the elections, he would -- or rather, the Serbs when they marry
14 would bring their wives to spend their wedding nights with Muslims. Many
15 people were bitter because of there statement and that's why they
16 considered him to be that.
17 Q. What about Fuad Ferizovic?
18 A. I know Fuad Ferizovic better. We did not agree about certain
19 legal positions and things like that but I think that he was considered to
20 be an extremist because he presented some kind of radical claims, perhaps
21 in a political sense, this did not correspond to what people really liked
22 to hear but I personally had discussions with him without any problems
23 whatsoever. I don't have anything special to say in terms of my own
24 appraisal of him. As for him being an extremist, I don't know about any
25 such thing and we would really have to look at what a Muslim extremist
1 really is. If somebody just says something a bit sharply, I don't think
2 that he should be called an extremist. I know that he was in detention,
3 though, his father told me that once.
4 Q. Do you know what happened to these people when they were locked
6 A. I don't know about the rest but as far as Ferizovic is concerned,
7 I heard from his father that a policeman beat him up in prison. Ferizovic
8 is a person who has a bit of a big mouth, if I can put it that way, and
9 possibly that is why it happened. At any rate, his father complained that
10 a policeman had beaten him up and this man had been a refugee from Bihac.
11 At least that's what he told me. As for others, I asked around after this
12 detention centre was disbanded. I did not hear of anyone else having been
13 beaten. However, all of these people are alive and they all know what had
14 actually happened.
15 Q. As far as the Crisis Staff was concerned, going back to that
16 meeting of the 16th of June, they agreed to order those persons who were
17 registered as extremists to be detained as well as those apparently
18 possessing illegal weapons?
19 A. Well, yes. That's the decision that was reached by the Crisis
21 Q. All right. And then under the same decision, if you go back to
22 that, there is the Bosnaplast being set up as a detention facility, and
23 the SJB will remove all Muslim owners of weekend cottages from the Ostrelj
24 weekend settlement. Why was that?
25 A. According to these minutes, and this is simply jogging my memory,
1 this was supposed to be in a big family home near Bosnaplast. I don't
2 know why it was transferred to Kozila. As for Ostrelj, I believe that
3 this was done because the command of the 2nd Krajina Corps, their
4 officers, clashed with the municipal authorities in Drvar and the
5 municipal authorities and the people of Drvar explicitly asked for the
6 military to be sent out of their town. The military therefore asked for
7 all weekend cottages to be emptied in Ostrelj. So Serb houses were
8 emptied as well and handed over to the military for their use. As for the
9 Muslims, this was probably for security reasons so that they wouldn't sort
10 of spy on the army.
11 Q. All right. Thank you. You can hand that back now. And could
12 have you a look, please, at P1834? Now, this is addressed to the Petrovac
13 radio station. The position of the Crisis Staff is that radio stations
14 should serve solely the needs of the present situation, i.e. state of war,
15 the goal of raising the morale of the Serbian people, news, battlefield.
16 All unverified information and unclear news which might result in the
17 spread of misinformation removed. You should broadcast as many programmes
18 as possible with text, music et cetera, et cetera. At this stage, did the
19 radio Petrovac contain any non-Serb employees?
20 A. Not before and not then. At that time, there certainly wasn't
21 anyone there who was not a Serb.
22 Q. And as far as you were concerned, did the Crisis Staff -- as far
23 as the Crisis Staff was concerned, not you personally, was what the media
24 put out important?
25 A. Well, it was considered to be relatively important because this
1 radio station's programmes could be heard only within the town itself. It
2 was a weak radio station. I personally was entrusted with the task of
3 finding a stronger transmitter for it. You remember the case of
4 Ciganovic, but it was considered to be important so that some news would
5 not be broadcast that would cause any kind of unrest.
6 Q. All right. It says the purpose of such programmes would be to
7 persuade the Serbs in these difficult times when the war is being waged by
8 forces wishing to annihilate the Serbian nation, that the people is the
9 army and the army is the people. All programmes must be made in such a
10 way that the Serbs understand they must fight for their salvation, freedom
11 and territory.
12 Was it your view that war was being waged by forces wishing to
13 annihilate the entire Serbian nation?
14 A. That is what was believed.
15 Q. And to persuade the Serbian nation that the people is the army and
16 the army is the people; was that important?
17 A. It was important because this caused rifts between the military
18 command and the civilian authorities, and the members of the command
19 through the members of the military who went home often spread some kind
20 of misinformation, along the following lines: That the municipal
21 leadership was disloyal, not interested in the outcome of the war and so
22 on and so forth. Therefore, the president, by way of the radio, tried to
23 deal with these negative rumours and refute them, at least up to a degree.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. You can give that document back again.
25 And now can we move, please, finally, on this topic of disloyal Serbs, I'd
1 like you to have a look, please, at Exhibit P1837. Which is a minutes of
2 the executive committee dated the 29th of June, and do you recognise --
3 it's a bad copy. Do you recognise the signature there?
4 A. Yes. The signature is of the president of the executive board,
5 Mr. Bogdan Latinovic.
6 Q. And there we see that pursuant to the law, and the Autonomous
7 Region of Krajina Banja Luka Crisis Staff decision number 03531/92, the
8 executive committee adopts the following: Worker Senada Medin [phoen],
9 accounting department manager, is granted leave without pay from the 29th
10 of June until further notice.
11 Is this what you're talking about, about not actually dismissing
12 people but granting them leave without pay?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Because if you look at the statement of reasons, we see, which is
15 further on, the Crisis Staff decision establishes the obligation to remove
16 from positions specified in item 1 of the decision all workers, et cetera,
17 et cetera. Also for reasons of personal security, in accordance with the
18 said regulations. Now, can you have a look, please, at Exhibit P688, and
19 just confirm that that is the decision that's referred to? I think all we
20 need to note is that it's got the same number that you referred to,
21 Mr. Latinovic referred to in the executive committee, and it's dated the
22 22nd of June, and this document is dated some five days later. And then
23 finally on this topic, could you look, please, at P1879? That's a letter
24 addressed to the Crisis Staff with the subject of the implementation of
25 the steps and decisions -- I'm sorry, haven't got it yet.
1 Now, it appears to be Mr. Novakovic's -- it's his typed document
2 but who did actually sign that?
3 A. According to what I can see, it was signed by Mr. Novakovic.
4 Q. All right. Okay. And that's a letter telling the Crisis Staff
5 what you've done and you say or I'm sorry, Mr. Novakovic says the steps
6 have been implemented in all public enterprises and in socially owned
7 enterprises, all members of the police of Muslim nationality have been
8 sacked from their jobs, employees of Muslim nationality were sacked
9 earlier from their jobs in the municipal assembly administration organs.
10 So judge, from what you say, are you saying that Mr. Novakovic was saying
11 they had been dismissed when actually all that had happened is that they
12 had been sent on leave without pay?
13 A. That's right. You can see from this document that it has to do
14 with a few workers who are ethnic Serbs as well. That's the criterion of
15 responding to military call-ups.
16 Q. Right. And then the steps set by the Krajina ARK -- AR autonomous
17 region Crisis Staff are in the stage of being implemented in the Serb
18 Republic army units in our territory. Taking into account that not all
19 staff could have been sacked from their jobs until they completed the
20 necessary handover. All right, thank you.
21 Now, that same day, and could have you a look, please, now at
22 P1880? Did Mr. Novakovic also send a request for a special purpose police
23 detachment to Stojan Zupljanin at the CSB in Banja Luka, although it's
24 actually called the MUP here but --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We have witnessed drastic violations of public order and piece as
2 well as growing crime, curfews are still -- during police curfews a still
3 unidentified group has been shooting, demolishing and looting taverns,
4 shops and kiosks owned by citizens of Muslim nationality. But since
5 recently also those owned by citizens of Serbian nationality. Mass theft
6 where combat or cleansing operations are taking place or have already
7 taken place, due to insufficient training or excessive tolerance, blah --
8 and so on and so forth, we are therefore asking you immediately to send
9 one special purpose police detachment to Petrovac to bring peace and
10 prevent the decreasing morale amongst part of our population. Was that an
11 accurate description in your view of what was happening in Petrovac around
12 the 25th of June?
13 A. This is a good, accurate description. That's exactly what was
14 happening, except that I personally do not know of any attacks against
15 Serb property, especially not any meaningful ones because I would have
16 remembered that, this was simply added in order to have a political
17 balance but basically it was Muslim property that was imperilled. That is
18 why they asked for outside help because there could be no local
19 intervention because of local friendships and various family ties and so
20 on and so forth. They thought that if somebody came from the outside,
21 they could even resort to force when attacking looters and plunderers. As
22 for the rest, it is all the way it's been written here.
23 Q. All right. And again, just so there is no doubt about this, do
24 you recognise the signature of Mr. Novakovic?
25 A. I recognise the signature, but also in terms of its content, the
1 document is an authentic one.
2 Q. All right. Thank you.
3 Can you then go, please, to your diary for the same date? Page
4 113, Your Honours.
5 And I just want to ask you about this: You say 15th extraordinary
6 session of the executive board today, implementation of the Krajina
7 autonomous region decision. Are we referring back again to the -- about
8 the decision in respect of dismissal of persons not loyal?
9 A. The 25th of June notes? Is that what you're referring to?
10 Q. Yes. It starts Slobodan Tadic at the top.
11 A. That's right. Yes. In these notes, under item 4, I wrote down a
12 particular remark, that solutions -- or rather decisions should be drafted
13 as of the 29th of June onwards, in terms of unpaid leave of absence,
14 that's the document that we looked at a while ago because this name,
15 Senada, this has to do with the name of the person who was given this
16 leave of absence. Dinka and Omer are also Muslims, Dinka worked in the
17 financial sector and Omer worked in the land survey department. That is
18 as far as I can remember. I was not their immediate superior but as far
19 as I can remember, that's the way it was, and yes, it does have to do with
20 what we were discussing a while ago.
21 Q. All right. And during the course --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you finishing?
23 MS. KORNER: Just one last question, Your Honour.
24 Q. I think you've already explained it but in relation to that
25 decision of the Crisis Staff, as -- you gave the answer in interview, this
1 is at page 82, that the letter that you got from the Crisis Staff or the
2 decision didn't have the form of an order but it was obligatory, it was
3 mandatory. Do you still adhere to that answer?
4 A. I still adhere to that answer. That's the way it is. You can see
5 for yourselves here, from these documents, that that's exactly the way it
6 was. I've already said that a personal relationships vis-a-vis certain
7 office holders were one thing whereas the observance of rules in terms of
8 what had been established is a completely different thing because it would
9 be very dangerous, for example, for the president or for the entire Crisis
10 Staff if they had not accepted and observed the decisions that were
11 formally binding on them.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes. Thank you, sir.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will have a 25-minute break starting from
14 now. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, very quickly, I will have lost half an
18 hour today. Can I have an extra half hour on Monday?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham?
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I believe I'll need the full three hours or the
21 full day for cross.
22 MS. KORNER: If necessary, Your Honour, the witness that follows
23 we can complete even losing part to Mr. Cunningham but I hope Your Honours
24 think that this evidence is important enough to take it in full.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: For us, every evidence is important. Let's take it
1 up from there. This witness definitely, I mean, is an important witness.
2 There is no question about it.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't like to put any restrictions on you and
5 on Mr. Cunningham.
6 MS. KORNER: I'm grateful. We will just sort it out ourselves
7 with the following witnesses.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
9 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
10 Q. Sir, there was one more document I needed you to look at and I
11 knew I was missing something.
12 MS. KORNER: It's a new document, Your Honours. It's got
13 disclosure 7.61 on it. I think the ERN number is 02933096.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't have it.
15 MS. KORNER: It was added in that little pile, the extra little
16 pile that we gave you but we'll have it put on the ELMO.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But my -- anyway, let's see.
18 MS. KORNER: It's on the ELMO, Your Honours.
19 Q. This is a letter addressed to the timber processing company and
20 again we are going back to the status of the persons of Muslim
21 nationality. It's a later date -- document, the 21st of August. It comes
22 under the signature block of Mr. Latinovic. Who actually signed that?
23 A. I signed it on behalf of Mr. Latinovic, and I also wrote the text
24 following his instructions --
25 Q. All right.
1 A. -- after a meeting.
2 Q. And you enclose, I don't think we need to go through that but you
3 enclose a copy of that decision we already looked at.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be made Exhibit P2452?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
6 MS. KORNER: All right.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Has the air conditioning gone off in this courtroom?
8 THE REGISTRAR: I've already asked them to lower it.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Because it's becoming smelly -- it's warm and it's
10 also, you can feel the staleness of the air. Anyway, let's continue, and
11 in the meantime, Madam Registrar, please, could you chase whoever.
12 THE REGISTRAR: I asked them to turn down the temperature to 16
13 but it's not working.
14 MS. KORNER: I'm afraid, Your Honours, I have to go back to the
15 1st of June because I missed one document.
16 Q. Could you have please Exhibit P1867?
17 Again, sir, these are a Crisis Staff meetings, the minutes, at --
18 held on the 29th of May, and I'll just check whether you had a note of
19 this in your diary. I don't think you do. But, sir, again, can you just
20 identify this? Is the signature on this occasion of the note taker on
22 A. I think this is technical secretary's signature. I wasn't present
23 at the meeting, that is what my notes say. I don't recall it at all.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. I was at a meeting that took place after that and again I saw it
1 from the notes, attended by the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps and
2 other army representatives but that one was the 23rd session and this
3 seems to be the 22nd. Another reason why I think I wasn't present is that
4 a decision was adopted which fell -- which did not fall under the
5 municipal jurisdiction. That was the proclamation of the state of war. I
6 don't think that one could ever proclaim the state of war at the -- at a
7 local level.
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. And you can't do it now.
10 Q. Sorry. And then you -- yes, because it goes on to say the
11 military command and the Crisis Staff must reach a complete coordination
12 with an aim to establishing control in the territory of the Petrovac
13 municipality. And then item 2, the Crisis Staff has also discussed the
14 situation regarding the emigration of some SDA representatives and has
15 concluded the best solution is the said representatives stay in Petrovac.
16 You weren't present, you say. Were you told about the conclusions of this
17 meeting, though?
18 A. No. But I know what this is about from other things that
19 happened. The SDA representatives who were councilmen and the MP asked
20 that they be enabled to move to Bihac. I do not know if they asked for it
21 personally on this occasion or somebody else but I know that the most
22 prominent Bosnian Muslim representatives were transferred by Mr. Dragan
23 Milanovic, and Dragan Ivanic and they did it surreptitiously. I learned
24 it from another source but I think that is an accurate information, that
25 is they were transferred by eminent Serbs, they helped them get out
1 because there was a major risk of their being killed during all that
3 Q. Why did the Crisis Staff, however, decide that -- make a decision
4 that on the face of it saying they weren't going to be allowed to move
6 A. Correct. Yes, that's true. That was the decision of the Crisis
7 Staff here and formally it was in force but this was done without
8 informing the public about it. The public learnt about it only later.
9 And I think that most of the ordinary people there do not know how they
10 got to Bihac to this day.
11 Q. Sorry, you misunderstand. What was the reason that the Crisis
12 Staff felt it had to say publicly that these people would not be allowed
13 to move?
14 A. I've already said it. The public pressure and especially the
15 pressure brought by members of military units who came from Petrovac, who
16 did it either through their commands or directly by way of some informal
18 Q. So public pressure wanted to ensure that the -- these particular
19 people should stay within Petrovac?
20 A. The public thought that they should be kept there, especially the
21 representative of the military command, Mr. Vrzina opposed it all the
22 time, and he always told us that that was what the army thought, but we
23 didn't trust his interpretations because we could hardly accept that he
24 went around and polled various soldiers on the front line, but they didn't
25 want the eminent Muslims be allowed to leave. What they were saying was
1 to keep able-bodied men and to let women and children go but we thought
2 that that would mean that they would be staying there as hostages and that
3 would be unacceptable for them and they told us explicitly that they
4 wouldn't do that, they didn't want to do it, and we ourselves also knew
5 that it wasn't possible. But since the formal Muslim representatives
6 since they were representatives of the Muslim authorities or parties,
7 there was a real danger that they might be killed because you saw that
8 that whole Muslim family and those people were neither extremists nor
9 disloyal and nevertheless the whole family was liquidated. From what
10 I learned, the reason behind that was simply blunder but in so far as
11 these other people were concerned, yes, their lives were in peril.
12 Q. Thank you very much, you can hand that document back. Can we go
13 back to where we were and could you look, please at P1838 which is the
14 minutes of the meeting of the 30th of June? You were present at that
15 meeting, I think, and as this is an AID-objected to document, can you
16 confirm that this is an authentic record?
17 A. Just a moment, please. Looking at the contents of the document,
18 I'd say that it is an authentic document, even if it is not signed.
19 Q. Thank you. Very briefly, the political and security situation was
20 discussed, and again, we are back to requests from soldiers for a more
21 radical attitude towards the Muslims of Petrovac, that's in the second
22 paragraph. And then the Muslims of Petrovac are behaving as if they were
23 wounded and showing great fear. More of them should be arrested and
24 isolated as a precaution, after which they should be given work
25 obligations because there will be a lot of harvesting to do.
1 Mr. Novakovic was saying that more should be arrested and isolated. Do
2 you know why he was saying that?
3 A. Because of the pressures that came from the army command,
4 Mr. Novakovic went directly because I think that -- I think the commander
5 was somewhere in the area of the village of Radic, towards Bihac, and I
6 think he went there.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. Or perhaps he went to Vrtoce -- no, no, no but the command post
9 was in Radic, yes, so yes, he went there and he is conveying the positions
10 of that command to arrest them and put them to work, but when a work unit
11 which was a proper work unit formally speaking to perform some jobs in
12 that same area then those self same soldiers threatened those men with
13 weapons and told them they would kill them all off. So the commander of
14 the work unit simply brought those people immediately back to Petrovac and
15 after that they didn't go out to work again. So on the one hand they
16 requested a work unit they wanted people to perform certain jobs and when
17 they go there to work then they are being attacked. So that in principle,
18 these are pressures calculated to produce an excessive situation, that
19 is if they do not meet their requests it's not good and when you do meet
20 them then it's again not good.
21 Q. Under conclusions until the prison in Kozila is made operational a
22 plan should be made to arrest and bring in under custody all Muslims fit
23 for military service who are thought to be capable of causing any harm to
24 the Serbs and then the persons responsible. So this conclusion was
25 anybody fit for any military age Muslim should be brought in, is that --
1 is that what happened?
2 A. Why, no, but able-bodied, those who could perhaps end up do
3 something wrong, that is some people perhaps at whose places weapons -- on
4 whom weapons or at whose places weapons were found and another group
5 perhaps just were arbitrarily pin-pointed by the police or those army
6 people. I do not know how they did that but I think it was done on the
7 basis of whatever condition -- convictions that they may have been
8 upholding at the time rather than on the basis of some reliable facts.
9 Q. All right. Can we now, please, move to deal effectively with the
10 movement out of the population? Could you have a look, please, first of
11 all, at P1841? That's the 2nd of July of 1992 or rather it's a report of
12 the previous day's meeting, you're present as an expert consultant, it
13 states there. I think we have seen that earlier. What was your
14 expertise, the legal expertise?
15 A. What is meant is legal knowledge. We've already seen how some of
16 the decisions, especially when I was absent from the meetings, how quite a
17 number of those decisions are very questionable and quite a number of them
18 unenforceable. My colleague, Mr. Sikman, is also a law graduate but at
19 those meetings, he was quite inactive and he simply never said anything
20 when people spoke lacking any legal grounds, he simply never commented on
21 that. So that a decision would be made that would not be legal or lawful.
22 Q. Right. And in fact, you also recorded notes in your own diary.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this is page 117 but I don't think we
24 need to trouble to go to it.
25 Q. In -- under item 1 the security situation, the -- it's assessed as
1 a popular feeling of discontent especially directed towards Muslims after
2 the recent events on the front line and stress that the best and sure
3 solution for the protection of the Muslims would be to move the
4 population. He emphasised the territory of the municipality was large and
5 did not easily lend itself to safeguarding control. And then I think the
6 rest of the meeting was concerned, as it's recorded really in your
7 notebook as well, in connection with the medical centre and Dr. Vidovic,
8 who talked about illegal profiteering and the like. So the suggestion
9 there again coming through the army side is that there should be a mass or
10 rather to move the population of the Muslims. Now, can you have a look,
11 please, at 8 -- P843? 1843, sorry. Thanks.
12 This is apparently an undated document. Could you look at it? Do
13 you recognise the signature?
14 A. I think it is indeed Mr. Vrzina's signature.
15 Q. All right. Now, this is pursuant to a decision of the War
16 Presidency dated the 31st of July, Muslims may move away voluntarily on
17 the following conditions, they sign a contract on the exchange of
18 immovable property and sign a statement giving their immovable property to
19 the state, and it then goes on to talk about that.
20 Do you know where the idea --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- came from, that they had to sign a statement giving their
23 immovable property to the state?
24 A. Basically, I don't know what the underlying idea was but from the
25 very outset we knew that this decision was not legally valid. However, it
1 was allowed to happen, in order to give legitimacy to the municipality,
2 you will see in the concrete decisions in the statements of citizens of
3 Muslim ethnicity that that's the way it was. Specifically, they left
4 their property to the municipality. In this way, the municipality would
5 get the legitimacy to protect this property from plunderers because we
6 actually knew that there was a state of emergency on the situation was not
7 regular, the people were threatened, that they were leaving the area. As
8 for property, I myself told the president that it was the municipality
9 that was responsible, that the municipality as a legal entity was
10 responsible for the property of those citizens and that at any given point
11 in time once the war is over, they or their legal heirs are going to raise
12 that question and that they are going to set claims either for property
13 that was destroyed or damaged. And as they would leave, our clerks would
14 seal the houses and list all their valuables, regrettably even this did
15 not prevent future lootings. Otherwise I think that Mr. Vrzina drafted
16 this on his own because in a certain period of time while I was mobilised
17 in a unit, they put me into this commission as a member, as a lawyer, and
18 until I talked to your investigators, I had no idea that I had been a
19 member of that commission. That does not mean that this did not happen.
20 This is the way it was done.
21 Q. All right. You see because it says at the bottom of this
22 document, the commission for moving out together with the Petrovac Brigade
23 command shall distribute immovable property given to the municipality. Do
24 you know whether that happened? In other words that property that Muslims
25 had to sign over to the state was given to other people?
1 A. This property was given to people for temporary use, temporary
2 use. By way of a separate decision. As for the command of the Petrovac
3 Brigade, this proves the continued pressure that was exerted by military
4 representatives, and indeed, their soldiers who they appointed I think
5 there were five or three of them on the commission, I know that it was an
6 odd number, they basically said this person should be given some property,
7 this person should not be given property, and then on the basis of that,
8 the municipal commission would reach appropriate decisions. Mr. Sepa was
9 in charge of this particular job but I know that I saw these soldiers on
10 that particular business at the municipality all the time and here it also
11 says that the revision of these contracts will be carried out. This is
12 proof that people knew that these contracts regarding exchanges as a rule
13 would not be legally valid. Because it had to do with one half or
14 one-third, less here, enormous [as interpreted]. And I personally
15 cautioned the president against that. They were cautioned, that
16 inadequate property cannot be substituted for by a vast property. There
17 has to be a balance. One has to strike a balance. So people realised
18 this was just done proforma in order to make it possible for people to
20 Q. All right. I want you to very quickly, please, just to look at
21 P1844, 3rd of August minutes, which is continuing with the same topic.
22 Just to identify, please, if you can, the signature at the end of the
24 A. It's a bit illegible but according to this last letter, the one
25 that's been crossed out, I think that this is the signature of the
1 technical secretary, Milka Jevic.
2 MS. KORNER: I'm not going to bother to go through them. Your
3 Honour, I'm just dealing with identification of authentic documents.
4 Q. Could you have P1845, please? Which isn't on the list but I think
5 it's important that we see the follow-through of all of this. Can you
6 again just the signature, judge, it's apparently signed by Mr. Gacesa. Do
7 you recognise his signature?
8 A. Well, I didn't see his signature often but I believe that this is
9 an authentic signature, if it was copied from the original document. The
10 letterhead and the general appearance seems right. It looks like the
11 documents that they drafted.
12 Q. If you see there is a stamp -- I know it's a bad photocopy, this,
13 but there is a stamp on it. Is that -- what sorts of a stamp is that, at
14 the top of it, I'm sorry, not at the bottom, not the municipality stamp.
15 A. Yes. This is the municipal stamp that confirms that it was
16 received. That is one of the elements that I had in mind when I said that
17 I believe that this is an authentic document. There are other elements
18 that all point in that same direction but let's not waste any time over
19 that. So it all seems to be right.
20 Q. All right. And this document very briefly we can see that
21 Mr. Gacesa is saying because the Muslims are leaving property to the
22 municipality, they should find accommodation for these particular workers,
23 the employees of the SJB. Is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. And finally, please, could you look at 846? There are
1 a number of documents there. Sorry, 1846. These are certificates
2 apparently that were issued in respect of these people who wanted to move
3 out. Did you see such certificates?
4 A. Until I gave a statement to the investigators, I had not seen any
5 such certificates but they are authentic because I know that forms were
6 actually made for such certificates and that this was something that was
7 being done.
8 Q. Yes, thank you very much, sir.
9 MS. KORNER: We will leave it at that, I think.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge, we are going to stop here today. We will
11 continue on Monday.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Have a nice weekend.
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Greetings, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: May I ask you in the first place whether you have
21 thought about withdrawing this motion?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I have not, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You haven't thought or you're not withdrawing it?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I am not withdrawing it. I think it's an
25 appropriate motion.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We think it is very inappropriate actually. I think
2 that it's a last-ditch attempt again to disrupt the programme that this
3 Trial Chamber emphasised must be adhered to.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the last thing in the world that I
5 want to do is disrupt --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You're definitely trying to disrupt --
7 MR. ACKERMAN: -- this Trial Chamber.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: What I made very clear, that we need enough time to
9 be able to not only prepare the rule 90 -- decision on the Rule 98 bis
10 motion but more importantly that we have ample time and sufficient time,
11 considering what happened in other cases, to prepare the final judgement.
12 What you are suggesting is to take us back three weeks, which is not
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I think I tried -- I tried,
15 maybe I failed, I tried to make it clear in the motion that it is my very
16 strong belief that by being granted the additional preparation time, we
17 would be able to finish at the same time we are currently scheduled to
18 finish. I'm not asking to stretch everything out.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: When according to you are we scheduled to finish.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: My recollection, Your Honour, is that we were given
21 14 weeks and I can't remember.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You were given more than 14 weeks, I gave you 16
23 weeks, Mr. Ackerman.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: 16, yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, if you are prepared to cut it down to 14 weeks,
1 I am prepared to give you an extra week. And I am prepared to give you an
2 extra week because we would gain one week ourselves.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Maybe I misunderstand. Are you saying that if I
4 give you two weeks, you'll give me one?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Don't expect me to treat you any differently
6 than how I treated Ms. Korner.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I can give you up to tomorrow morning to think about
10 MR. ACKERMAN: No, Your Honour, what I said and I really feel very
11 strongly about this, what I said was that if we are given adequate time to
12 prepare the Defence case, I believe we would finish the Defence case in
13 the time that has been allotted. Whatever the concluding date that you
14 have, for the Defence case --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not what I have. It's the concluding date that
16 I have arrived at giving you -- allowing to you, irrespective of what may
17 have been decided during the pre-trial stage because I don't really at
18 this point in time, I prefer not to look back at the pre-trial stage and
19 what may have been the opinion of my predecessor at that point in time,
20 certainly living this case for more than a year and a half, has convinced
21 me that while previously you said three months would probably be enough
22 for your defence, now you're saying four months. I quite agree with you
23 that perhaps you need four months and I'm prepared not to cut one single
24 day on those four months. The thing is this: That those four months must
25 finish at a date or on a date which would allow us what I have earmarked
1 as the bare minimum, barest minimum, needed for us to elaborate, discuss,
2 elaborate, draft, agree, disagree, and then come to the final judgement.
3 And believe me, from what I have learned here in the past year and a half,
4 I am risking a lot by earmarking what I have earmarked. I should insist
5 on more.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me tell you what I'm struggling with, Your
7 Honour. I think we are not on the same wavelength right now. I don't
8 know what date 16 weeks down the road gets us to. That's what I don't
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I can tell you, the idea was for the Prosecution to
11 finish by the 1st of August.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then we agreed that you would have from
14 the 2nd of August until the 22nd of August, time to prepare your Defence
15 and file your Rule 98 bis motion.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: That's true, yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Then as you yourself maintain and rightly in your
18 motion, you have got then -- there is from the 23rd of August to the 5th
19 of September for the Prosecution to file its response. Then we agreed
20 that since there will be a witness testifying late August, just one
21 witness, testifying late August, I opened up to you and I said you will
22 have an opportunity to file an additional note, et cetera. We have not
23 established a date on that. We are easy. I mean we are definitely not
24 going to quarrel or quibble on that. We were hoping and we -- I still
25 hope that we would be able to hand down an oral decision on the rule 98
1 bis motion on the 3rd of October. Which basically means that on the 6th
2 of October, you are scheduled to start with your Defence case, which is
3 exactly six weeks after the presentation of, filing of the Rule 98 bis
4 motion. I had earmarked up to the 30th of January for you to finish with
5 your Defence case, and that's the full 16 weeks. Then rebuttal,
6 rejoinder, if you want to give me the days, I can give you the days but I
7 was working on those assumptions and basically it means that closing
8 arguments on your part, final, would be 19th of March. This is the plan
9 that I have in my mind and as I have jotted it down.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's the only thing I was standing here not
11 knowing. What I tried to say and I apparently did not say it well, in
12 paragraph 14, was that if we have that time that I'm asking for for
13 preparation of the Defence case, we will finish the Defence case on the
14 date that you just mentioned, that being January 30th or whatever. In
15 other words I'm not asking to extend the back end of the Defence case by
16 three weeks, I'm only asking to have time to prepare it better so that I
17 can produce it more efficiently and get -- I can do it in less time, do it
18 better, everything, but the time I'm given to put it together, the more I
19 look at it the more I realise it's just not sufficient and we are going to
20 have a just -- a comedy of stops and starts.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No Appeals Chamber is going to like what you have
22 just said, Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm not talking to the Appeals Chamber, I'm talking
24 to the Trial Chamber.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But I'm talking about the Appeals Chamber because if
1 you force our hands we will have to hand down a decision. What I'm trying
2 to avoid is having to say what I wouldn't like to say. This is what I'm
3 hinting to you. I mean, I understand that you may have problems. I
4 understand that these last weeks may have convinced you to take this
5 stand, but as I explained to you, I have responsibilities towards the
6 Chamber and towards the Tribunal.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't know. Maybe I wasn't heard. What I said
8 was if I have this additional three preparation weeks, I still expect to
9 finish on I think you said January 30th. I don't ask that that be changed
10 in any way.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. But you -- what you have not understood or
12 forgotten is what I have been repeating throughout to you and to
13 Ms. Korner, that when I say according to what I plan in my mind, we finish
14 on the 16th of March, of 2004, and then 19th of March, 2004 and then we
15 start our labours, I am not happy with that. I told you already I am
16 not -- I know that I am running a risk, a big risk.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] This is the position. I
19 mean --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry. Giving you an extra week would not create
22 problems for me if I gain something out of it. If I don't gain something
23 out of it, I don't think I should. And the reason is that if -- the
24 earlier we start, the earlier there is a chance that we finish. The later
25 we start, the less chance there is that we will finish before the 30th,
1 30th of January.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, what I'm obviously not saying well is I think
3 that's not the case. I think and I say it in the motion, that if I have
4 an opportunity to be properly prepared, I can move much more rapidly than
5 if I am just --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that, Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Bouncing from pillar to post.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But -- I wish I could speak more openly. Don't tie
9 our hands because I would rather prefer that we sort this out now or
10 tomorrow morning, not tomorrow morning, sorry, I'm definitely not coming
11 here again tomorrow morning, neither Judge Janu nor Judge Taya. What I
12 suggest to you is to consider about having an extra week but then giving
13 us something in return. Because I mean, you are bringing up in your
14 motion several matters, like as if you are expecting us to agree that the
15 fact that this case started a year and a half ago doesn't mean anything,
16 sort of -- that's irrelevant for preparing the Defence, that's not
17 important. It's this -- from now until the next two months that is
18 important, and it's your health that is important, which we acknowledge
19 and we've tried to be as helpful as we could. If you tie our hands, we
20 will have to speak in no unclear terms. I have already put down points
21 now which I would like to sleep upon to tell you the truth because I don't
22 want to be rash.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Judge, I don't know what to say. I think that -- I
24 think that in view of the way other cases have been dealt with, in view of
25 the complexity of this case, in view of the huge obligation I have to
1 Mr. Brdjanin, if I didn't ask for time to be adequately prepared, I could
2 be severely criticised for not providing adequate assistance to my client.
3 This is the most difficult case that's ever been tried in this Tribunal.
4 Other cases of much lesser note, as I've pointed out in my motion, have
5 been given significantly more time.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But I'm not --
7 MR. ACKERMAN: To prepare the Defence case.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not impressed there and I can quote other cases
9 where they were given much less time even with regard to the Rule 98 bis
10 motion. I can quote instances where the Defence was given just seven days
11 and the Prosecution seven days too. And it was by no means a simple case
12 or more than one case. The logic of it all, Mr. Ackerman, and I'm going
13 to close the discussion here, is this: You said if you give me the three
14 weeks that I am asking, I will be better prepared and I can basically cut
15 down my Defence case by three weeks because I would still finish on the
16 30th of January. Do you mean to tell me that if I give you one week, you
17 will not be able to finish one week earlier?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: May be able to.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So go back to your apartment or to your house, think
20 about it, and come back Monday with some kind of response.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I want to -- I just want to show, Your Honours --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't want to be difficult with you,
23 Mr. Ackerman.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But --
1 MR. ACKERMAN: This is our average daily disclosure.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you think you're alone?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I know I'm not alone but you understand it takes
4 hours and hours to get through this. This is a sound recording of some
5 kind, I'm sure, it's probably -- it could be as long as two hours, might
6 be more, I don't know, it may be another copy of one they've given me,
7 before, I don't know. But I have hours of these just to sit and listen
8 to, I'm trying to put together a Defence case at the same time. I'm aware
9 of the Court's problems with regard to the timing of this case. I'm not
10 unsympathetic about that at all.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure you aren't.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: But I do want to fulfil my obligations to my client
13 in the best way I can. That's all I'm trying to do. I don't want to
14 disrupt this trial for one minute. I want this trial to finish properly.
15 I don't want to have problems with this case. I want to do it in the best
16 way I can. I want to be the best lawyer I can be for my client and the
17 best advocate I can be for this Chamber.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And you sure are. And I hope --
19 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all I'm asking for.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope this is also not meant to sort of proclaim in
21 public, look my client is not receiving a fair trial because I would
22 really hit back there. I'm promising you. What I suggest is that we
23 sleep on it for the time being, and you come back Monday with my
24 suggestion. May I also make something clear? And may I have the
25 indulgence of the interpreters for a couple of more minutes and then we
1 stop. When I say -- when I say start on the 6th of October, what we
2 could do, we could start the week after, on the 13th, and in the week
3 between the 6th and the 13th, you bring over those witnesses that are
4 remaining that we had agreed will come forward before --
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's what we intend to do. I was
6 going to say we are going to start with cross-examination of Mr. Brown and
7 Mr. Treanor. That's what was agreed. Not -- so in fact it's not really
8 the Defence case as such.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, I understand that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So --
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I just mention one more thing for
13 Your Honours to factor into all of this. To let us know when you intend
14 to hold a Pre-Trial Defence conference which is the norm?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MS. KORNER: And also to -- when you're going to require the list
17 of witnesses, the witness summaries, and the Pre-Trial Defence brief?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Actually I have a meeting with my senior legal
19 officer on Monday on precisely on these matters but his deputy is on leave
20 yesterday and today, so -- and he is the one who will tie up on this.
21 Mr. Ackerman, I suggest you think about it and we'll take it up again very
22 shortly, sometime on Monday.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, can we maybe take it up Tuesday? I
24 have some obligations on Monday.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It's not something that has necessarily
1 to be decided on Monday.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Can we do a two minute private session.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session for two minutes.
4 In fact, I wanted to tell you something in private session too.
5 [Private session]
12 Pages 20175 to 20176 – redacted – private session.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 1.57 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
22 the 28th day of July, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.