1 Monday, 23 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Madam Registrar, could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 Case Number IT-99-36-T, The Prosecutor versus Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And good morning to you.
10 Mr. Brdjanin, good morning. Can you follow the proceedings in a
11 language that you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please, take a chair.
15 Appearances, Prosecution.
16 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
17 Julian Nicholls, this morning assisted by Ruth Karper, case manager.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Appearances for the Defence.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Good morning, Your Honours. David Cunningham
20 with John Ackerman. We're assisted by Aleksandar Vujic today.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. And thank you.
22 Any preliminaries? You have been informed by Mr. Roberts about
23 the tomorrow's meeting? Not yet?
24 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. I may have. I haven't read any
25 emails that I may have received over the weekend.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. Because I gave the go-ahead so you should
2 have received a communication. If you haven't, please let me know after
3 the first break.
4 MS. KORNER: It's tomorrow morning, is it?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, tomorrow morning at 11.00, if I remember well.
6 Or it could be 11.30, Mr. Ackerman. Okay? Thank you.
7 As there are no other preliminaries, could I ask the usher to
8 escort Mr. Neskovic in, please.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Neskovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome once more. We are going to proceed with
13 your testimony here, and you are testifying on the basis of the same
14 solemn declaration that you made last Friday which need not be repeated
15 today. So please take a chair, and Ms. Korner will proceed with her
16 series of questions.
17 Ms. Korner.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to say something
19 before the Prosecutor takes the floor, please.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise to the Prosecutor.
22 I wanted to say that last time in my testimony there was a mistake
23 that was made.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: By who?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said -- I did. I said on the 16th
1 of July 1992 that the detention against three individuals was revoked and
2 that the rest were transferred to Banja Luka and then to Doboj. However,
3 when I looked at my letter of the 17th of July, I saw that one individual
4 remained in Teslic in hospital there. So it wasn't 13 individuals, it was
5 a matter of 12 individuals, in actual fact. And may I add something else,
6 please, with the Court's indulgence. You asked me whether I had released
7 the detainee inside Banja Luka, and my answer was that I did not. And
8 that Jovo Rosic didn't either. When I leafed through the interview that
9 the investigating judge, Kovacevic, gave to the papers, I came across a
10 sentence there which I would like to read out. And it is interesting with
11 respect to the release from Banja Luka.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Which document are you reading from?
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he has got a newspaper article part of
14 which we've had translated. But it's an interview with the judge,
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Neskovic, please go ahead. And read
17 slowly, please, because the interpreters probably don't have a copy of
18 what you are reading from.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Kovacevic says, and I
20 quote, "The detainees in the district prison of Doboj were transferred in
21 the second half of 1993." I think this is a journalist error, this 1993
22 bit. "It is interesting to note that only certain individuals" --
23 MS. KORNER: Pause, please, sir.
24 Your Honour, he is, in fact, reading from the part we've had
25 translated so we may as well hand them out now, so that Your Honours can
1 see it.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner. Let's go through this again.
3 In the meantime, usher.
4 THE INTERPRETER: May the document be placed on the ELMO, please.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have an extra copy, Ms. Korner? If you have
7 an extra copy perhaps in English we could have it placed on the ELMO for
8 the benefit of the interpreters.
9 MS. KORNER: Yes.
10 And, Your Honour, that will become 2732.
11 THE REGISTRAR: 2732.
12 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please start all over again. Start reading the
14 part you were reading before. Could you start again, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The detainees were transferred to
16 the Doboj district prison in the second half of 1993. The interesting
17 thing is that only some people were taken to the Doboj prison then, while
18 the others were transferred only when I, as the court president, informed
19 the then-prison warden Bosko Djukic that all detainees must, according to
20 the ruling of the court, be transferred to the Doboj prison."
21 And I conclude from that that Kovacevic did have some contacts
22 with the warden, and I came to understand that the prisoners should have
23 been in Doboj. Now, this last sentence, "they must be transferred to the
24 prison in Doboj," that's what I'm referring to, that all detainees "must"
25 be transferred.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose while we are at this I might as well ask
2 you to read the whole paragraph. Could you please start from a few lines
3 up where Kovacevic starts with the words: "A very strange situation
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, very well.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you start from there.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the beginning.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Kovacevic says: "A very
10 strange situation occurs. Without the knowledge of the district judge,
11 who is the only one authorised to make decisions about the detention and
12 the treatment of the detainees, they are transferred from the Tunjice
13 district prison to the district prison of Doboj. I learnt about it
14 from ..."
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Pause, pause, pause, pause. Which district judge is
16 he referring to here?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not clear to anybody. He's
18 the judge that's supposed to decide on their fate. And I didn't
19 understand who the district judge was because the district judges were
20 not the competent people to deal with first-instance cases, but only to
21 deal with appeals. And, Your Honour, this says "pursuant to the ruling of
22 the regular court the 20th of May 1992." The basic courts were really
23 competent for the first-instance cases where all crimes are concerned.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Continue reading, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In order to establish what
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 happened, I went to the district court of Banja Luka and asked the court
2 president, Jovo Rosic, to tell me what happened. He was not able to
3 respond to my question, but he gave me a fax he received from the
4 then-Doboj high court president Goran Neskovic who demanded that these
5 people be transferred. The detainees were transferred to the district
6 prison in the second half of 1993. The interesting thing is that only
7 some people were taken to the Doboj district prison then, while the others
8 were transferred only when I, as the court president, informed the
9 then-prison warden Bosko Djukic by sending him a general letter that all
10 detainees must according to the ruling of the court be transferred to the
11 Doboj prison."
12 So I'm not at all clear that they were transferred on two
13 occasions, as I heard.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it strike you as odd or exceptional that
15 Judge Neskovic thought it was necessary for him to travel to Banja Luka
16 and query this up -- Judge Kovacevic thought it best to travel to
17 Banja Luka in those circumstances and thrash this matter out with the
18 judge -- court president Jovo Rosic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jovo Rosic wasn't the person that
20 should have been in charge of that case. And he had nothing to deliberate
21 in that regard.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What I'm saying to you, what would have
23 prompted -- what would have prompted Judge Kovacevic to take the trouble
24 to go to Banja Luka and thrash this matter out with Judge Rosic,
25 President Rosic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably he had been informed and
2 had received my fax. I assume he had received my fax. Jovo Rosic, that
3 is, and that he was informed about that fax.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Are you sure that you had informed
5 Judge Kovacevic that you had sent this fax to President Rosic?
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the evidence was that he didn't inform.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I didn't. I didn't inform
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So Judge Kovacevic could only hear about what was
10 happening from the papers, from the media?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that the media could
12 have published that if on the 17th the fax left, that was a Friday, when
13 the fax was sent out, the 18th was a Saturday. The 19th, and then the
14 20th they were transferred.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, we will come to this later. I have got some
16 further questions on exactly what happened and the big tug of war that
17 there was at the time on this matter in particular between Doboj and
18 Teslic. We'll come to that later, Mr. Neskovic.
19 Yes, Ms. Korner, do you have any further statements that you would
20 like to make?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I just wanted to add one
22 thing, the Prosecutor asked me whether it was because of the release of
23 these prisoners I became a member of the crisis staff, and so was promoted
24 in that way. I said I wasn't a member of that crisis staff. But however,
25 when I looked through my documents, that a crisis staff didn't even exist.
1 It was the war presidency that existed. The crisis staff had been
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and were you a member of the war presidency at
4 any time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. It was strictly prescribed
6 in the law who could be a member of the war presidencies, and that could
7 have been the president of the municipality or his deputy, or rather the
8 vice-president of the executive council and his deputy, and the
9 vice-president or one of the deputies, citizens' deputies, and that is a
10 decision of the 31st of May 1992, and it was published on the 8th of June.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So you're confirming that you never were a member of
12 either a crisis staff or a war presidency?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: While Jovo Rosic, who was also president of the
15 Banja Luka high court, was indeed a member of the ARK Crisis Staff?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So these rules did not seem to apply to him, or
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know in the regulations of
20 Republika Srpska. There were no regulations linked to the Autonomous
21 Region of Krajina. It was an internal district, just for Krajina, whereas
22 Doboj did not belong to the Krajina.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I anticipate Ms. Korner has a lot of
24 questions in the pipeline for you. So Ms. Korner, I'm so sorry to have
25 interrupted you.
1 MS. KORNER: It's quite all right.
2 WITNESS: GORAN NESKOVIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Questioned by Ms. Korner:
5 Q. Can I just make it clear to you that I wasn't suggesting that you
6 became a member of the crisis staff or the war presidency as a result of
7 releasing these men, but I was asking whether you had in May become a
8 member of the crisis staff, and you said that was an error by a witness.
9 I want to go back over one matter that you were asked about no
10 less than three, if not four times by the Judges last week. And you were
11 asked by Judge Agius at page 22 of the LiveNote: "who had ordered their
12 transfer to Banja Luka?" That is the Mice prisoners.
13 And your reply was: "The president said only the police from
14 Banja Luka. That was the only information I had. The police from
15 Banja Luka."
16 And then Judge Agius asked you again: "It seems that these
17 detainees were transferred. Were they transferred by the judge or were
18 they just transferred by the security services or by the police, or the
19 military to Banja Luka?"
20 Your answer, again: "I don't think the judge did that." And you
21 said on two further occasions that as you understood it, it was the police
22 of their own initiative who had transferred those people to Banja Luka.
23 Now, you know that's absolutely incorrect, don't you?
24 A. No, I can't tell you who transferred them and whether it was the
25 judge. I wasn't in Teslic. But I assume that the police conducts the
1 transfer of prisoners. Now, whether the judge gave the order for that or
2 not, I cannot say because I wasn't informed. He just said that the police
3 had transferred the prisoners to Banja Luka. And I'm referring to the
4 transfer. Now what the agreement was between Kovacevic and the police and
5 the rest of them, the prosecutors, I really don't know because I wasn't
6 present so I can't say. I can't tell you something I don't know about
7 because I wasn't there.
8 Q. Yes, the physical transfer was done by the police, but in the end
9 you accepted they could not have been transferred without an order from
10 the judge?
11 A. I agree with that, yes. The judge must issue an order determining
13 Q. And it's right, isn't it, that no one outside the investigating
14 judge who was empowered to deal with these alleged crimes could release
15 prisoners from custody, save for an appeal to your court?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Now, I want to come back to the last thing you told us on Friday
18 afternoon when we looked at those documents, a series of forms authorising
20 MS. KORNER: I've forgotten the number, I'm afraid, Your Honour,
21 but it must be 2731, I think. Perhaps the witness could have them back.
22 We'll have the translation on the ELMO, please. There's a translation
23 there, one page.
24 Q. Now, this is what you said about this. You acknowledged that
25 these were your signatures, and you said: "Last week in the archives of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the district court I took out this letter" - that's the fax - "and
2 together -- and along with it were these statements which I brought as
3 evidence that they were in prison. When they were transferred to the
4 prison, someone informed me that they were asking to take a bath. I asked
5 each of them for a guarantee that after taking a bath, they would
6 immediately return to the prison, that they should sign this. And when
7 they brought this, I signed it and put it in the archives as evidence that
8 they had reported to the prison and that if they didn't they should have
9 detention ordered."
10 Do you still stand by that answer you gave on the last thing on
11 Friday, sir?
12 A. Correct, but we didn't complete it because we interrupted it.
13 Q. All right. What else would you like to say about this?
14 A. It's like this: I didn't compile these statements. They were
15 compiled by the prison administration because if I was asking a court to
16 transfer prisoners from a prison, I also would ask for guarantees that
17 they would be transferred, that they wouldn't escape, and once they had
18 had their bath they would be back in prison because otherwise I would bear
19 the responsibility because I made the request and the case was a complex
20 one. So for that reason, I asked that each of them individually -- I
21 asked the prison administration that each of them sign a statement like
22 this when they were taken over so that I could have those statements in
23 the court because should anybody escape or not return, that a warrant
24 could be put out for his apprehension.
25 Q. First of all, you agree that between the 18th and 21st of July all
1 of these men were in custody, either in Banja Luka prison or Doboj.
2 Nobody had released them; no order had been made for their release.
3 A. I apologise, did you say the 24th?
4 Q. 21st of July when the public prosecutor agreed to the release of
5 the military people back to the military.
6 A. No, I apologise. May I be allowed to clarify. Something has not
7 been made quite clear. The investigating judge on the 21st of July made
8 the ruling, and it didn't reach the prison on the 21st of July because the
9 post wasn't working. There wasn't a courier service. The actual document
10 arrived on the 24th July, and they were released at 15.10 hours.
11 Q. I'm sorry, you misunderstood. The release of these men was
12 ordered by Judge Kovacevic on the 21st of July, and they may not have been
13 released until the 24th.
14 A. All right.
15 Q. But between the 18th of July when you sent the telex asking for
16 the transfer to Doboj prison and until the judge made the order, all of
17 those people were lawfully in custody?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. What power did you have to say that these men should be released
20 to take a bath?
21 A. No power except humaneness because they hadn't taken a bath for a
22 month, and they were in detention anyway. So a bath after a month, and as
23 you could see the statements were signed in Banja Luka, so it was only
24 that day. When they came, they had a bath and were in detention. The
25 statements were signed on the 18th of July when they were in Banja Luka.
1 Q. Who told you on the 18th of July, which is when you signed these
2 documents, that these men wanted a bath?
3 A. I'm sorry, I didn't sign it on the 18th of July. The statements
4 were their signatures were brought to me, and then on the 20th I certified
5 them with my signature and archived them. As you can see, this is their
6 handwriting. Everyone filled in these statements, signed them, and dated
8 Q. Have a look, please, at the date below your signature on each of
9 those documents.
10 A. I see it.
11 Q. What is the date?
12 A. The 18th of July. In the case of Kezunovic, for Sljivic, there's
13 no date, et cetera. There's one corrected date, and so on.
14 Q. Why did you sign these release documents on the 18th of July?
15 A. I was just telling you, they signed them on the 18th of July. And
16 these statements were brought to me. And then I certified them with my
17 signature and archived them. It is no evidence if it says the 18th of
18 July that the detainees signed it because there's no date below my
19 signature. If I had put on such-and-such a date the president of the
20 court and then my signature, then we would know the exact date when I
21 signed it. I agree with you that there's no authority for me to release
22 them to have a bath because the 17th was a Friday, the 18th a Saturday,
23 the 19th a Sunday, and Monday was the 20th. So it was a weekend, there
24 was no communication with anyone, with the investigating judge of anyone.
25 So the only reason were reasons of humaneness, and I admit that. And if I
1 have to bear responsibility for this, I will. But I think for someone not
2 to have a bath for a month is also not permissible.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner. This deviation regarding the date
4 actually led to his not answering the question that you had put to him,
5 which is actually who had informed him that these men wanted a bath.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. You're right. I would
7 have been taken down the deviation as well.
8 Q. Who told you that these men wanted a bath?
9 A. Your Honour, these statements are forms, printed forms. And they
10 were taken to Banja Luka. It's not just having a bath; it is for security
11 for them that they will reach Doboj from Banja Luka. When they come to
12 Doboj, they have a bath and after that they go to prison. So his
13 statement is that from Banja Luka he will report to prison. No one is
14 escorting them. They went alone with the driver, and this is a guarantee
15 that once released in Banja Luka they would reach Doboj. That is what I
16 keep repeating, linked to the bath and to transport. Those statements
17 were signed in Banja Luka. And they were brought to me, I initialled them
18 and kept them as guarantee that they reached prison, that they hadn't
19 escaped. If they had escaped, I would have issued a warrant for their
21 Q. Just a moment. Can we go back to the question, please. Your
22 original answer was you were told by the prison that these men wanted a
23 bath. Who told you?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Who told you from the prison?
1 A. I really can't remember now. Perhaps one should ask who was the
2 organiser in the prison itself.
3 Q. Why were you having direct contact with the prison when, as you
4 told us on Friday, you had no authority to get these men transferred, you
5 had to make the request to Rosic?
6 A. That's right, I did make the request to Rosic.
7 Q. So why were you having any kind of direct contact with the prison?
8 A. I was afraid because of the fax I had sent to Rosic that once
9 those men leave Banja Luka they might escape. I took upon myself a high
10 degree of responsibility for them in doing this.
11 Q. It was a degree of responsibility which was totally outside the
12 law. That's right, isn't it, sir?
13 A. Not quite outside the law.
14 Q. Where was it within the law?
15 A. In our laws, there are certain possibilities when the accused may
16 give a statement that they will respond to a call-up from the prison or
17 the authorities, and this was done for reasons of humaneness and for
18 security reasons.
19 Q. Let's just look at the picture, shall we. You send a fax, a
20 request, because you have no power, to Jovo Rosic to transfer these men
21 from Banja Luka prison to Doboj. Is that right?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. At the same time you receive some kind of communication that these
24 men want a bath, and you draw up release forms which are beyond your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I beg your pardon. When those men went to Banja Luka, they took
2 these statements with them for security reasons. For each of them to sign
3 that they will come to Doboj from Banja Luka, that they would not escape,
4 that they could have a bath during the weekend, and that they would go to
5 prison. It's not just a link to the bath, it's the entire procedure, from
6 Banja Luka to Doboj, because I fear that they could jump off the bus and
7 escape. So that would mean that I had asked for their transfer, and then
8 they escaped. What I wanted was to provide security.
9 Q. Yes. But can you answer the question, please, sir. This form
10 should either have been signed by Rosic or by Kovacevic, but not by you.
11 A. I did so because I was afraid of the consequences as I had made
12 the request. And that is why I brought this document to show them to the
14 Q. Yes, but as you say, sir, it was a request which could have been
15 refused by Rosic.
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And it was Rosic who would be responsible for the release, not
19 A. I think I would have to be held responsible if I was the one who
20 asked them to be transferred to Doboj and the prison administration in
21 Doboj would say that I was responsible. Rosic would say I handed them
23 Q. And these people who had been arrested for killings, looting,
24 robbery were transferred in a bus without any security save a driver?
25 A. I said that that was my assumption because the police were engaged
1 on the front. That was my assumption. I wasn't with them. Nowadays,
2 that would not happen. There's security, vans, police vans, and
3 everything. These were old buses that the men would board and go with a
5 Q. So, sir, that is what you assumed would happen, that there would
6 be no police escort, but you were prepared to take that risk rather than
7 leave them in Banja Luka prison where they could be investigated by
8 Mr. Peric and Judge Kovacevic?
9 A. I think they had all been investigated, or rather interrogated.
10 Kovacevic came to Doboj to interrogate them, and all other cases. All his
11 detainees from Teslic were in Doboj as far as I know. There wasn't a
12 single case in Banja Luka from Teslic. All the other cases of persons
13 held in custody were there, were dealt with there.
14 Q. Yes. And the reason, I suggest, which was explained to you why
15 Judge Kovacevic had ordered these men to be detained in Banja Luka was
16 because of the situation that existed between the police in Doboj and the
17 police in Teslic, and he did not think that it was safe for them to be
18 kept in Doboj. He explained that to you, didn't he?
19 A. He never told me that.
20 Q. And the reason that these men were free walking the streets of
21 Doboj on the 20th of July as reported in that newspaper was entirely due
22 to your illegal granting of what I will call provisional release for them
23 to go and have a bath?
24 A. No. I don't know that there was anything in the media. I just
25 know that the investigating judge and the prosecutor visit them in
1 detention, and that they dropped in to see me while they were in
3 Q. The article was read to you on Friday where the complaint was that
4 these men were seen on the 20th of July on the streets of Doboj.
5 A. I heard and read about that.
6 Q. Yes, well, you read it yourself last Friday. Do you want to have
7 another look at it?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Right.
10 A. No, I don't need to.
11 Q. The only reason that those men were on the street seen by the
12 general public was because you had granted this order for release. That's
13 right, isn't it? Otherwise, they would have been in Doboj prison.
14 A. No, that is not correct.
15 Q. Why is that incorrect?
16 A. Because, first of all, I don't know what public you're referring
17 to when you're saying they were in Doboj. There was no public in Doboj
18 because people were in their basements every day because of the shelling.
19 Secondly, when they brought these statements to me, I hadn't seen the
20 detainees in the streets, nor in prison, nor did I have any contact with
21 them. And the investigating judge saw for himself where they were because
22 he visited them. So he could have denied that this was not true.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Neskovic, the suggestion to you is that this was
24 public knowledge, and I think -- I can also put it to you that there was
25 no one in Teslic and no one in Doboj who was not completely aware that
1 these men were out in the streets in Doboj on the 20th of July, and that
2 you are going around in circles here to avoid telling us the truth.
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to look again, please, at 1938,
5 P-1-9-3-8, the report. Turn to paragraph 10, please. On the 20th of July
6 1992, the public prosecutor and the investigating judge learned from the
7 chief of the Teslic SJB crime investigation service that all the accused
8 had been released from the Banja Luka district prison and that they were
9 free. And the only reason they were free was as a result of your order
10 which was an illegal one, wasn't it? You had no power to issue it.
11 A. This is quite contrary to the interview given by Judge Kovacevic
12 because you see, the investigating judge has learned that all the accused
13 have been released from the prison in Banja Luka and that they were free,
14 whereas in the interview he says that he went there and gave general
15 instructions for all of them to be released. So I think that this report
16 is not correct.
17 Q. Sorry, sorry, stop. This is a report sent to the government of
18 the Serbian Republic by the Office of the Public Prosecutor. Now, what he
19 says in the interview that he gave is that only some people were taken to
20 the Doboj prison. But never mind that. This is what the report says.
21 Now, do you agree if they were free on the 20th of July, it was because of
22 this order that you gave? Sir, do you agree?
23 A. I didn't quite understand. Do I agree that...?
24 Q. The only way that these men could have been on the street, and
25 I'll come on to the next bit in a moment, on the 20th of July is because
1 you had issued this order granting them release?
2 A. One might accept it if somebody saw them on the 20th of July when
3 they were going to prison. But this report is not correct because it says
4 here that they have to report on the 20th of July. As far as I know, they
5 reached Doboj on the 20th of July. They did come to Doboj.
6 Q. And then they were let out of the prison van to wander the streets
7 to go and have a bath. Correct?
8 A. To have a bath and to return to prison, correct.
9 Q. And so unless everybody in the streets of Doboj was hiding in a
10 bunker somewhere, the public could have seen them wandering the streets to
11 get a bath?
12 A. Yes, but they didn't see them on the 21st and the 22nd.
13 Q. Have a look at the end of that paragraph, please, sir.
14 A. Paragraph 10?
15 Q. Yes, the last sentence.
16 A. "It has been learned informally that the arrival was celebrated
17 outside the CSB building and that they were all released." I'm not aware
18 of this and it is not true. Nothing was celebrated of this kind.
19 Q. How do you know, sir?
20 A. I would have heard of it. I think it is not correct.
21 Q. All right. Now, I want to move to what you had to say about all
22 this --
23 A. I'm sorry. As far as I can see, this is a text taken from the
24 newspaper Glas of the 24th of July 1992.
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. So that is three or four days later obviously. So if they
2 celebrated on the 20th and were released, then it should have been
3 reported on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd. Why on the 24th? On the 24th, these
4 others were released. But I'm not aware of any of this.
5 Q. Now, I want to have a look, please, at what you yourself said when
6 you gave an interview to Nezavisne Novine on the 13th of October 1999,
8 MS. KORNER: Usher, we've got copies. Your Honour, this will
9 become a new exhibit. It's 2733.
10 Q. It's right, isn't it, that Nezavisne Novine had run a series of
11 articles on notorious war crimes during 1999. That's right, isn't it?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. The editor of the newspaper being a journalist called
14 Zeljko Kopanja?
15 A. Nezavisne Novine, yes, I think he's the owner of this newspaper.
16 Q. Owner and editor. This was dated the 13th October --
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. -- and we'll look at the lead article in the paper in a moment.
19 And on the 22nd of October, a bomb was placed under his car, wasn't it?
20 A. I heard that that was so, yes.
21 Q. And his legs were blown off?
22 A. I heard that. I'm a friend of the journalist's, and I heard about
24 Q. And nobody has ever been arrested or prosecuted for that, have
1 A. I don't know that. I'm an attorney. I wasn't working in the
3 Q. I understand that. But you are an attorney working, what? Still
4 in Doboj?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You would have heard, wouldn't you, if there had been any arrest
7 or prosecution for a crime as grave as that one?
8 A. You see, this was on the 13th of October 1999. At the time, I was
9 living in Belgrade, and it was only in the year 2000 that I returned to
10 Doboj. I had a registered office in Doboj, but I was working in Belgrade.
11 But I heard about all this, and I read about it in the media.
12 Q. All right. Now, can we look, please, at some of the things that
13 you said in answer to the journalist's questions. It was put to you that
14 you insisted that the Mice be transferred to Doboj prison of which there
15 is evidence in the form of a fax that you sent to the president of the
16 Banja Luka high court. And you gave to the journalist the same
17 explanation that you had given us and stated that the transfer of the
18 prisoners to Banja Luka prison was illegal. And you rely for that, do
19 you, illegality on some regulations which you don't have with you?
20 A. I do have them with me. I read them out. It's the
21 organisation -- it's a decision on the organisation of courts.
22 Q. We went through that last time. That says that Teslic comes under
23 the Doboj high court. It says nothing about the fact that anybody
24 arrested has to be kept in Doboj prison as opposed to anywhere else. Does
25 it, sir? We went through that yesterday -- on Friday.
1 A. All right.
2 Q. Now, could you go, please, to the end of the answer you
3 gave - this is on page 3 of the translation - to the question: "It's well
4 known that Teslic was caught in the regional dispute between Banja Luka
5 and Doboj" et cetera.
6 The last sentence of that answer, or last two sentences: "The
7 decision to release them from detention was signed by the investigating
8 judge in Teslic and it should still be in the Doboj prison archives. So
9 it wasn't me who released the Mice from detention, it couldn't have been
10 me in the first place because the proceedings were conducted by the Teslic
11 basic court, and they were the ones who decided to let them go. I only
12 asked that they be transferred to the Doboj prison, and I didn't get
13 involved in the case any further."
14 That was not true, was it, sir, as we have just seen?
15 A. I don't understand. What is it that I said in my testimony today?
16 I also said that the investigating judge took all the decisions.
17 Q. Yes, but we have just been for the last 20 minutes or so, sir,
18 going through the reason -- just listen. Going through the reasons why
19 you gave authority for these men to be released. Why didn't you tell the
20 newspaper that?
21 A. Because when I was giving this interview I had no documents with
22 me. And it was given because I was criticised in a previous issue for
23 cooperating with the international prosecutor because those people
24 believed that I had activated the case in the media, which was not true.
25 And if you check that out, you will see that I was criticised. When I was
1 giving this interview, I had no documents on me. It was only last week
2 when I came to the Tribunal that I found the documents and prepared them.
3 At the time, I was speaking on the basis of my recollections, which may
4 not be correct. And this was an interview for the public.
5 Q. All right. Now, before we go on, one of the many oddities about
6 this case, sir, is this, isn't it, that the court file has gone missing?
7 That's right, isn't it, sir? Because that's one of the things that comes
8 up in these articles.
9 A. I think that you have the file.
10 Q. No, that's what you said to the investigators, to the newspaper,
11 that you're perfectly well aware, aren't you, that since 1993 the actual
12 court file has been missing. Bits of documents are available, but not the
13 court file. You know that, sir, don't you? Because it's one of the
14 things that's raised.
15 A. I'm sorry. What year are you referring to? 1993?
16 Q. I suggest in 1993 you took over the court file.
17 A. I'm sorry. Maybe you are mistaken. Do you mean 1996? I think
18 that's an error on your part.
19 Q. You may well be right, sir. But in any event, you were the last
20 person -- that's right. I'm so sorry. You're absolutely right, sir, and
21 I take that back. 1996, the file was given to you. Wasn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What happened to that file?
24 A. If we are now talking about 1996, we are discussing my role as a
25 liaison officer, my role that I had in relations with you. If I need to
1 talk about that, then I need to have protection pursuant to Rule 79, and I
2 think that the hearing should be in closed session.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Do you want to pursue this question and answer
4 in open session?
5 MS. KORNER: You've heard the witness make the request. It's a
6 matter for Your Honours.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman or Mr. Cunningham, do you have any
8 remarks on this witness's specific request?
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: We have no objection to it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.
11 [Private session]
12 Page 24962 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 24963 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 24964 – redacted – private session.
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session now.
21 So the position as it emerges, Mr. Neskovic, at a certain point in
22 time in reply to a question put to you by Ms. Korner, at a certain point
23 in time you acknowledge having received a request from MUP to hand over
24 this file, and you effectively handed over this file, and you have in your
25 possession a receipt to that effect which you have shown us.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour. I
2 handed over that file, and I have a receipt for that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Your next question, Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. Let's backtrack a little, shall we. This was the court file from
6 the Teslic investigation which was still open four years after the event.
7 Do you agree?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. That court file was in Teslic. Why was it given to you? I'm
10 sorry, why were you asked to hand it over to the MUP?
11 A. Because I had it. It was in the Ministry of Justice in actual
12 fact. And I was the liaison officer, and I've already said that.
13 Q. All right. Why wasn't the file still in Teslic court?
14 A. Because he came to see me. Or rather, it came to me.
15 Q. At your request?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was that before or after the MUP had asked you to hand it over?
18 A. It was before. The file had reached me earlier on, two months
19 prior to that.
20 Q. And why was that? Why had you taken over the file?
21 A. I already answered that question in private session.
22 Q. All right. Why didn't you, when the police asked for the file,
23 decline to give it to them because they had no right to the court file,
24 did they?
25 A. I've already answered that, as I say, in private session.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you have answered that question, no.
2 It's still -- private session or not private session, it's still a mystery
3 why an ex-judge in particular, someone who knows exactly how the
4 separation of jurisdiction should be between the executive and the
5 judiciary, and who at a certain point in time happens to come back in
6 possession of this court file, agrees to hand a court file to the police,
7 out of all people, or to the Ministry of the Interior?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that that's what they asked
9 me to do.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Why didn't you refuse? This is the question that
11 was put to you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't dare.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I don't want to interfere much, even though he
14 is a court witness.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour --
16 Q. Why didn't you just give a copy of the file? Why didn't you
17 yourself just take a copy of the Teslic file and return it to the court so
18 that they can continue with their investigations?
19 A. Well, I thought they would give it back after conducting the
20 investigation, and I was informed that the file was at the MUP and that it
21 was sent in 2001. I have been looking for it since 1996.
22 Q. I'm sorry. When you -- for the purposes which you told us about
23 you received the court file, why didn't you simply take a photocopy and
24 then immediately, whatever purpose you received it for, return it to the
25 Teslic court because they couldn't operate, they could do nothing without
1 that file, and you knew that, didn't you, Mr. Neskovic?
2 A. I knew that, but they didn't ask for it anymore. I informed them
3 that I had given the file to the MUP, and they could have asked the MUP
4 for it at any time.
5 Q. You told us you took possession of this file for two reasons, one
6 of which you told us about in private session. When you took possession
7 of that file for the reason you told us about in private session, why
8 didn't you just photocopy it and then return it immediately?
9 A. I don't know why I didn't. I relied on the letter. What was
10 important for me was to have a receipt that they had taken it over, and I
11 didn't realise that the file would disappear. You can't have a file
12 disappear. You can reconstruct any file. And it has already been
13 reconstructed, in fact, on the basis of the evidence.
14 Q. All right. Now, I want to move on to what was said on the same
15 day in the newspaper.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm not going through the rest of this
17 interview. It's there for anyone to read.
18 Q. Because there was a leading article published. You remember that,
19 don't you?
20 MS. KORNER: I'm going to hand them out. An editorial, I should
21 say. Your Honour, can that be made, please, 2734.
22 Q. I want you to deal with some of the things that it says.
23 Now, on -- in page 2 in the translation, can you find the
24 paragraph that begins: "The reactions of certain participants in the
25 events have led the story in a completely logical direction and opened up
1 many dilemmas and issues. Naturally, one of them is who ordered the
2 disappearance of the Teslic basic court criminal file containing the key
3 evidence collected during the investigation which proves the criminal
4 activities of the group which carried out the shocking campaign of terror.
5 Explanations provided by lawyer Goran Neskovic who took the file in Teslic
6 on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and then, according to his own words,
7 handed it over to the Ministry of the Interior, constitute a poor and
8 quite naive defence for a man who works in the field of law; namely, legal
9 experts say that it is, in the best of cases, unusual for incomplete case
10 files to be delivered to the Ministry of Justice, let alone the police.
11 If, in the course of a court case, there are indications that another
12 crime had been committed, it would be logical for the prosecutor or the
13 judge to inform the police of it and request that appropriate actions be
15 Now, do you agree with the editorial that it is "unusual for
16 incomplete case files to be delivered to the Ministry of Justice, let
17 alone the police"?
18 A. Well, everything's unusual. All of it. It's unusual that I
19 worked as a liaison officer, too. Because I took all the court files, and
20 that was changed by Dayton. I completely agree with you.
21 Q. All right. Perhaps I should have asked you this earlier. Did you
22 ever ask the Ministry of the Interior, the MUP, for the return of that
24 A. I didn't have the chance of doing that. The file was handed over
25 in 1996. And after that, quite simply I did not communicate with them any
1 more about the subject. And in 1997, the changes occurred. And it was
2 only in 1999 when the article was published that I started collecting data
3 and information and searching for it.
4 Q. Now, one of the things that you told us on Friday in response --
5 A. May I just be allowed to add: Nor did anybody contact me or ask
6 me about the file. Nobody did.
7 Q. But whether they contacted you or not, sir, you were responsible
8 for the removal of a court file which was an illegal act. Didn't you try
9 and make efforts to get it returned?
10 A. I apologise, but I informed the court that the file was with the
11 MUP, so the court could contact the MUP directly. They didn't have to go
12 through me.
13 Q. But nonetheless, you were the person responsible in the same way
14 as you have explained to us that you were responsible for the prisoners'
15 move from Banja Luka to Doboj, why didn't you yourself make efforts to get
16 it back?
17 A. I considered that I had completed my job by informing the court
18 that the MUP had the file. I didn't undertake anything else.
19 Q. Theoretically, of course, you could have been prosecuted for that,
20 couldn't you, the removal of the file?
21 A. No, because I had handed it over at the request of MUP, and also
22 because there is the letter saying that I handed it over personally.
23 Then, in theory the president of the court must be held -- would have to
24 be held responsible as well, who sent it to me. And had I not had this
25 receipt, then in theory I could be held responsible for abusing my
1 position and post.
2 Q. Right. One of the things you were asked about last week, last
3 Friday by Judge Agius was this: "Do you know Mr. Brdjanin?"
4 And you said you didn't know him in 1992. "I got to know him in
5 1994 or 1995, Mr. Trbojevic introduced us."
6 And the Judge asked you to confirm this was Milan Trbojevic. And
7 he asked you: "Was he minister of justice at one time in Republika
9 "I don't think so," you said. "I think he was never the minister
10 of justice."
11 Go back, please, to this editorial.
12 A. I apologise. I meant the question was for the minister of justice
13 during the war. Mr. Trbojevic was justice minister only after the war,
14 1999 and 2000 for a brief period. I thought the question meant during the
15 war. I do apologise.
16 Q. Yes. Because we can see and you can see, can't you, from this
17 editorial, that it is absolutely clear that he is the minister of justice?
18 You can see, can't you? This article in the next paragraph says: "Today
19 the mysterious disappearance of the court file is like a stone hanging
20 around the necks of both minister Novic and the minister of justice
21 Milan Trbojevic."
22 A. Yes, that was 1999 when the papers wrote about it.
23 Q. So when you said he was never minister of justice, you just meant
24 during the war, did you?
25 A. That's right. I meant it was a case from the war. I didn't know
1 we would be discussing 1999 at all.
2 Q. Can we go finally please to the last paragraph -- not quite the
3 last, but nearly the end of this editorial. "In 1992" - do you see that
4 part? - "some 50 people were involved in these court proceedings, some as
5 suspects, some as victims. They all have the right to know the truth,
6 just as all those who were in one way or another singled out or maybe
7 suspected of having taken part have that right. When we asked the former
8 prosecutor, Branko Peric, what should now be done in this case, he told us
9 to read what he proposed in 1992 in his request for investigation. It
10 says there that Andrija Bjelosevic, chief of the Doboj CSB, his deputy
11 Milan Savic, and the Doboj zone of operations chief of security should be
12 interviewed as witnesses about the tasks of the accused Mice in Teslic and
13 their authorisation." Were you aware of that, that was the recommendation
14 that was made?
15 A. No, and I'm just reading that request now, looking through it.
16 And in the request to conduct an investigation, it says that it is
17 proposed to the investigating judge to hear Andrija Bjelosevic, chief of
18 the security service centre, and Milan Savic, deputy of the CSB, and the
19 chief of security of the Doboj zone of operations should be interviewed
20 within the frameworks of their authorisation. That's what the request
22 Q. I want to know if you were aware of that at the time that you
23 arranged for the transfer to Doboj of these imprisoned men.
24 A. No, I did not have the file at my disposal. Kovacevic had the
25 file, and I didn't know about a single document at that time.
1 Q. When you discussed matters with Judge Kovacevic, did he explain to
2 you that that was one of the proposed causes of action that was going to
3 be taken by Mr. Peric?
4 A. No. Mr. Peric didn't take steps at all. Mr. Peric just tabled a
5 request to the judge for these hearings, but the judge didn't present
6 anything. I didn't know about this, you can ask him, until I had the
7 documents. So it's an investigation conducted by the judge.
8 Q. And the problem was, wasn't it, that any proper investigation
9 might have shown that these men had been sent by the authorities,
10 Mr. Bjelosevic, together with Mr. Perisic, into Teslic to chase up the
11 disarmament programme? That was the problem, wasn't it, Mr. Neskovic?
12 The involvement of the authorities in Republika Srpska might have been
13 revealed if this had gone on. That's right, isn't it, sir? And you knew
15 A. I don't know what you're asking here. What armaments programme?
16 Q. I am asking you whether or not you at the time that you arranged
17 for these men to be released, as I suggest you did, sir, did so on
18 instructions from authorities.
19 A. No. None of the authorities contacted me, and you can talk to
20 them. It was my own initiative, and Kovacevic knows that. When I asked
21 Jovo Rosic to be transferred to Doboj, just to abide by legal procedure,
22 and you can talk to any witnesses you like. I was the only person to
23 decide that.
24 Q. All right. So you took that series of actions from the 17th of
25 July, which resulted in the transfer, the appearance on the streets of
1 these arrested criminals entirely on your own initiative. That is what
2 you are saying, isn't it, sir?
3 A. No. I just wanted to say that I had asked Mr. Rosic to stick to
4 legal procedure, and for the high court to remain the competent authority
5 for the Teslic area. And as you can see from the interview, this is
6 something Mr. Kovacevic agreed to at the end.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes, thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham, how much time do you require, and
9 you will have as much time as you need?
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Believe me, I'm not going to use much time. I
11 think if we could take the break now, I probably wouldn't use more than
12 ten minutes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I would imagine so. We'll have a break
14 of 25 minutes. And we'll take it up from there.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Neskovic. You are now going to be asked a
18 series of questions by Mr. Cunningham who is co-counsel together with
19 Mr. Ackerman defending Mr. Brdjanin in this case.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham.
22 Questioned by Mr. Cunningham:
23 Q. Sir, I'd like to start off by showing you a portion of DB164.
24 There's the copy in B/C/S, here's an English copy for the ELMO. What I'd
25 like you to do when you get the B/C/S version is look at Article 28. The
1 page that I'm showing you is from the Official Gazette of the Republika
2 Srpska dated 23 March 1992. The portion that we're dealing with is the
3 law of internal affairs. So if you could look at Article 28 because what
4 I think it does is it deals with the establishment of social -- excuse me,
5 of offices of the Security Services Centre. I see you looking through
6 some of your other documents. I want to make sure you're ready to answer.
7 Let me know when you're ready.
8 If we look at the B/C/S version of Article 28 it says, does it
9 not, that there is a Security Services Centre to be established in Doboj
10 for the Serb Autonomous Region of Northern Bosnia. Am I correct?
11 A. You're quite correct. This is regulated by Article 28 of the law,
12 and there was always a similar organisation for security services centres,
13 a similar organisation applied to higher courts.
14 To explain myself, when you have a security services centre, it
15 covers certain municipalities, and the same municipalities are covered by
16 higher courts. And that was the organisation before the war, during the
17 war, and after the war. It says here is a security service centre is
18 being established in Doboj for the Serbian Autonomous Region of
19 Northern Bosnia, also in the law of the organisation of courts it is
20 stipulated that a higher court is established to the Autonomous Region of
21 Northern Bosnia. I looked through the -- some documents of mine, and I
22 found a decision on the proclamation of the Serbian Autonomous Region in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina which indicates which towns should be included in the
24 Autonomous Region of Northern Bosnia. That is Official Gazette number 1.
25 Q. And my guess is if we were to consult that Official Gazette that
1 you just referred to, we would see that the Municipality of Teslic fell
2 under the jurisdiction of the Doboj CSB and the Doboj courts. Correct?
3 A. Yes, the Serbian Autonomous Region of Northern Bosnia, based in
4 Doboj consisting of parts of municipalities with a majority Serb
5 population, Teslic, Doboj, Tesanj, Derventa, Bosanski Brod, Odzak,
6 Bosanski Samac, Modrica, Gradacac, Banovci, Zavidovici, et cetera.
7 Q. If we look at the English version, and I'm not asking you to do
8 this, but we'll see there is a translation error because that portion of
9 Article 28, talking about the establishment of a CSB in Doboj didn't get
10 translated. But you've just confirmed that that was indeed the case.
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Last Friday at page -- before we get to that, the head of the CSB
14 in Doboj was Andrija Bjelosevic. Am I correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And he was the individual that you characterised as having the
17 most power in Doboj during 1992. Correct?
18 A. I characterised him as the chief of police for the whole region.
19 Q. All right. Page 21, last Friday, you said the following: "Up to
20 the moment of the arrest" - we're talking about the Mice obviously - "as
21 far as I know Teslic was under the control of the Doboj police, the
22 Security Services Centre there. After the arrest, Teslic was controlled
23 by the Banja Luka Security Services Centre. That's how it remain
24 throughout the war. Now, again, it is under the control of the Doboj
25 Security Services Centre."
1 That document that is in front of you, the one that we referred
2 to, DB164, confirms what you told the court last week about under which
3 jurisdiction Doboj and Teslic -- under whose jurisdiction Doboj and Teslic
4 was under the CSB. Correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I told Your Honours I'd be brief. And I'm done
7 with the witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Judge Janu. We have some final questions to put to you, sir.
10 Judge Janu is going to start.
11 Further questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE JANU: I have just a few simple questions for you,
13 Mr. Neskovic. You said -- you told us that you left the judiciary in
14 1998. Can you give me the reason why you left the judiciary.
15 A. In 1998, that is, in February of 1998, well-known changes occurred
16 in the government. I was offered to remain in the ministry, but the
17 presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time officially appointed me
18 liaison officer of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the International Tribunal. I
19 held that position for a month or two. As they were unable to provide the
20 necessary conditions, no salary or accommodation or offices, I requested
21 that I be relieved of that duty and to be admitted to the bar as a lawyer.
22 JUDGE JANU: Yes, thank you. So you answered my second question
23 because I wanted to know who appointed you to the position to be a liaison
25 You said when you received the file concerning the Mice, you had
1 this file for two months. Can you tell me why you kept the file so long?
2 What you have done with the file? Maybe you needed it for something, so
3 if you can assist the Chamber and give us the explanation.
4 A. As far as I can remember, this file was handed over at the end of
5 May or maybe beginning the June. I can't be precise about that. So it
6 was there in June for the reasons I gave you in private session. And it
7 was in June that representatives of Republika Srpska came to this Tribunal
8 for the first time. So we were busy preparing documents and preparing our
9 visit here. And then August came, and the request for the file. So as
10 far as I can remember, that was the sequence of events during those summer
12 JUDGE JANU: So you haven't done anything concrete with the file?
13 It was just with you.
14 A. It was in the writing office of the ministry waiting to be
15 dispatched after I had copied it. And it was registered under a number in
16 the records. It has a number. When we look for something, then we look
17 for it in the protocol under a certain number, and it is registered in
18 that protocol. Also, when the file went to the MUP, the number remained
19 indicating that it was send out on such and such a date, and there's a
20 signature. And if Your Honour's interested, I can read out from that.
21 JUDGE JANU: No, I am not after what you are explaining. What I
22 wanted to know that you, as a judge, know very well that if the file is
23 with you nothing is done at the court on the level where there should be
24 an action. And that was the aim of my question, to know what, if there
25 was any serious reason for you to have this file for two months, as you
1 told us. You explained, thank you, that there were no such reasons.
2 Last week, you were explaining us that removal of the Mice was
3 done under certain regulation. I just wanted to know -- and you were not
4 able to identify this regulation. I just wanted to know if during the
5 weekend by chance if you don't remember what sort of regulation it was.
6 A. I thought about this. And there is a decision here on the
7 organisation and headquarters of penitentiary correctional institutions,
8 but I didn't bring that law with me. This was a decision dated the 12th
9 of May, and it says, "In departments for detainees, within the framework
10 of a penitentiary correctional institution, the provisions of Articles 201
11 to 205 of the law on criminal proceedings of the SFRY are applied."
12 I didn't have that law, so I can't remember offhand what the
13 provision of those articles indicate. Probably that detention should be
14 served in court and the detention units may be governed by a certain bylaw
15 so the minister of justice is authorised to regulate this. We have taken
16 over the regulations from the former Bosnia-Herzegovina --
17 JUDGE JANU: Okay. And my last question, as you said you are
18 now -- you work as a private lawyer, can you tell me, have you been
19 employed by this Court?
20 MS. KORNER: I'm going to raise that, Your Honours, at the end.
21 He has. It's a matter I raised last week, and I want to come back to it.
22 JUDGE JANU: Okay. So that's okay.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner. In the meantime, I suppose
24 he can answer the question.
25 MS. KORNER: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm currently working on the
2 Krajisnik case as a legal assistant.
3 JUDGE JANU: When did you start this?
4 A. I started working in that case in the year 2000.
5 JUDGE JANU: And in what position are you working?
6 A. I'm now working as legal assistant, legal advisor, consultant. So
7 I'm not the lead counsel, I'm not co-counsel, but I am the legal assistant
8 or advisor.
9 MS. KORNER: I think Your Honour, I think we may as well deal with
10 it now.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner. Do you mind, Judge Janu, if
12 Ms. Korner intervenes at this point?
13 MS. KORNER: It's on the subject. Can I hand Your Honour the
14 directive of the 30th of July 2003.
15 JUDGE JANU: And my last question is, from the evidence here, from
16 today's evidence, we could see that you were a close cooperator with
17 Mr. Milan Trbojevic when he was a minister of justice. Can you tell the
18 Chamber what, Mr. Trbojevic, if you know, what is he doing now?
19 A. I did not cooperate with Mr. Trbojevic when he was minister of
20 justice. I was a lawyer at the time, in 1999. I met Mr. Trbojevic during
21 the war in 1994 when he, too, was a lawyer. But we never cooperated
23 JUDGE JANU: All right. But you know him well, don't you?
24 A. I know him as well as any others. We're a small country. All the
25 attorneys know one another. We have our assembly meetings and other
2 JUDGE JANU: Okay. And you said, if I remember -- recall well,
3 that Mr. Trbojevic introduced you to Mr. Brdjanin, and you said you didn't
4 know him before. And just you saw him on television and on media. Do you
5 recall what Mr. Brdjanin was telling on television and media at that time?
6 A. Which year are you referring to, Your Honour?
7 JUDGE JANU: 1992.
8 A. I remember assembly meetings when Mr. Brdjanin took the floor, at
9 people's assemblies, when he spoke like all the other deputies. It was
10 difficult to follow the media because there was no electricity until
11 October in 1992. But until the war started, I followed regularly assembly
12 meetings that were telecast. Seven days ago, there was a report about the
13 trial here, and some excerpts were broadcast from Mr. Brdjanin's speeches.
14 And I think a rally was shown which he addressed on television.
15 JUDGE JANU: My interest was if you remember, if you recall
16 something that was said in 1992. I thought maybe as a judge with a deep
17 sense for justice that something might strike you, surprise you at his
18 speeches. But you don't recall obviously, so that's all my questions.
19 Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Judge Taya, do you have any questions?
21 JUDGE TAYA: No.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a few last questions for you, sir. And I
23 think I will try and refer you first to one of the incidents that you
24 testified about earlier on today before the break. And that is your
25 handing over of the Mice court file to the police, to the MUP. When did
1 this actually happen, which year?
2 A. That happened in 1996, on the 15th of August.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And on the 15th of August of 1996, what was your
4 position in the Ministry of Justice?
5 A. Deputy minister of justice and liaison officer with the Tribunal
6 on behalf of the Government of Republika Srpska.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Who were your immediate superiors in the Ministry of
9 A. The minister.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was the minister of justice in August of 1996,
11 15th of August 1996?
12 A. I think it was Mr. Branko Petric [as interpreted], or
13 Marko Arsovic was before him, and then Mr. Peric. No, I'm sorry,
14 Marko Arsovic, because he was travelled to The Hague. So I beg your
15 pardon, it was Marko Arsovic.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: After receiving the request to hand over the file by
17 MUP and before handing over the file, the court file, to MUP, did you
18 consult your superior, the minister of justice.
19 A. I think I did. That is why it was left in the protocol.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you get the go-ahead from the minister of
21 justice to hand the file to the MUP?
22 A. I think I did get the go ahead, since it was handed over and
23 signed by the MUP. So I think approval was given because one couldn't do
24 anything with the approval of the minister.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So when you previously said, upon being asked by
1 Ms. Korner and also by myself how come a previous judge agrees to hand
2 over a court file to the police without raising any questions, you told me
3 "I wouldn't dare." Why wouldn't you dare if it was actually the minister
4 who had taken the decision, who had agreed for the transfer of the file?
5 A. I told you why in private session.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You did not tell us why in private session. You
7 said a lot of things in private session, but not this. When I asked you
8 the question, you, as a judge, would have known better, you as a judge
9 shouldn't have accepted to hand over this file, a court file, to the
10 executive, to the police, your answer was not "I had instructions from
11 above to hand it over"; your answer was "I wouldn't dare." "I didn't
13 A. That's right.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Why did you tell me "I didn't dare" and not "Judge,
15 it wasn't me who decided to hand over the file but it was the minister"?
16 You could have told me that, if that was the truth. But you didn't tell
17 me that.
18 A. Maybe you think there's some kind of a protocol behind all this.
19 Somebody just -- you go to the minister and you say: "They're asking for
20 this file," and he says: "Hand it over." There's no protocol or official
21 procedure. I had more than 500 court files in my office. If there's a
22 crime committed, then it has to be copied and handed over to the Tribunal.
23 This wasn't the only court file that was in my office.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But I suggest to you that none of the other 499
25 court files dealt with something as serious as this court file on the Mice
1 group. Would you accept that?
2 A. In other cases, there were files on crimes committed against
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. When you consulted your immediate superior,
5 the minister, did you point out to him that it was absolutely irregular
6 for a court file to be handed over by the Ministry of Justice, who was in
7 temporary possession of that file, to the police, to another ministry?
8 Did you point that out to the minister of justice?
9 A. No. We all knew that it was irregular.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So this was kind of a conspiracy between you and the
11 minister of justice to do something that you knew was irregular?
12 A. I don't understand the problem, if the file is handed over and the
13 court was informed about it. This happened in other cases, too. Then the
14 file is returned. It is common knowledge that the MUP had files, and they
15 did do some operational work and checks through those files. In addition
16 to this file, there was another file in Teslic. It is a criminal report
17 of the opposite side submitted by Doboj against Banja Luka security centre
18 and against the police in Teslic, also for killings. And that file was
19 also used by the MUP.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Did it disappear?
21 A. I don't know. I haven't been informed about that file.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But the Mice court file did disappear, didn't it?
23 A. I was informed that it was handed over to the OTP in 2001. I
24 searched for it, and in the office for relations with the Tribunal I was
25 told that the file had been found and handed over to the Tribunal.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's change to something different.
2 You will recall that last Friday I read you from the part -- an extract
3 from the minutes of the Teslic Municipal Assembly held on the 20th of
4 August of 1992, and particularly the part which reports the speech made by
5 Dusan Kuzmanovic. Do you remember that?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to make sure that you will understand my next
8 question, I'm going to read out again that part. It's a few lines.
9 Mr. Kuzmanovic said: "Mr. Jokic's statement that the Mices were in Teslic
10 as some sort of paramilitary formation is not accurate. That group had
11 official authorisation from the higher military command to conduct
12 mobilisation and set up civilian authority in the municipality. Everyone
13 in the authority was made aware of it. The activities of the Teslic SJB
14 were under the patronage of the crisis staff. The crisis staff was aware
15 of the operational group activities while the police only had the role of
16 guides in these activities. The conflict with the operational group from
17 Doboj ensued when there was mention of crimes in which the political and
18 economic leadership of Teslic allegedly participated."
19 Now, my question to you is this: If Mr. Kuzmanovic is right, if
20 the arrival of the Mice in Teslic had nothing to do with paramilitary
21 formations but was, indeed, an execution of decision which was taken at
22 the highest political levels and with the patronage of the crisis staff,
23 how would you account for the decision to arrest the members of this Mice
24 group? What happened? What made the authorities arrest the Mice group
1 A. I think because they had committed these crimes and executions.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you aware that the entire population of Teslic
3 were clamouring for the arrest and summary trials of these Mice group
4 members? And when I say "the entire population," I mean Serbs and
6 A. I heard that they were in conflict with the entire population of
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you hear that there was a lot of pressure on the
9 president of the municipality, amongst others, to ensure that the members
10 of the Mice group were brought to justice? Were stopped and brought to
12 A. I didn't hear about that because I wasn't in Teslic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you aware that a meeting took place between the
14 president of the Teslic Municipality and the authorities in Banja Luka,
15 particularly the SJB and also the military in Banja Luka, to organise the
16 arrest of the Mice group?
17 A. I wasn't informed of that, no. Did you say in Banja Luka, that
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, the meeting took place in Banja Luka, yes.
20 A. I don't know about that.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you aware of any other meeting taking place
22 anywhere else in which it was decided -- the arrest of the Mice group was
24 A. I thought it had all been decided in Teslic. I know that the
25 chief of the centre in Doboj went to the Teslic when the conflicts broke
1 out. I know that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Who arrested the Mice group?
3 A. The police, the local police from Teslic and Banja Luka.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And you do confirm today that with the exception of
5 one, all the members of the Mice group were from Doboj?
6 A. I think there was one other person who wasn't from Doboj, upon
7 reading it a second time. I think he was number four, the person under
8 number four. Yes, I found that when I analysed this later, number four.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, I put it to you that this whole affair, the
10 Mice group, gave rise to great discord and arm-wrestling between Doboj and
11 Teslic at the time, great confrontation, great discord, and a show of
12 strength between Doboj and Teslic?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. That is correct, yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And did the confrontation become more acute when it
15 became known in Teslic that the members of the Mice group had been brought
16 over from Banja Luka and were released?
17 A. I don't know about that. What I do know is that we had good
18 cooperation in the court, and the court functioned.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. But that was not --
20 A. I mean, the Teslic and Doboj courts, that there was no
21 confrontation there between us judges in that respect. And I assume that
22 the confrontation was great between the police.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I am going to read out to you an extract from a
24 report. Could the witness be shown Exhibit P388, please. An extract from
25 a report drawn up by the war staff of Teslic Municipality and addressed to
1 the Assembly and government of the Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina,
2 the command of the 1st Krajina Corps, and the Banja Luka Security Services
3 Centre. And this is dated the 4th of July 1992.
4 On the -- I would imagine it's either the end of the first page or
5 the beginning of the second page, there is a paragraph which starts
6 "unfortunately, sympathisers of those arrested..." Have you found it?
7 It's eight paragraphs from the end.
8 A. Yes, I've found it. "Unfortunately," it says, "sympathisers," et
9 cetera, et cetera. Is that it?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. "Unfortunately sympathisers of those arrested
11 located mostly on Mount Ozren reacted to the arrests by threatening to
12 fire Howitzers at Teslic from Ozren and retaliating against the people who
13 organised their arrests. Relations between these two Serbian towns of
14 Teslic and Doboj became so strained that it could have all turned into a
15 conflict between them. Warnings were issued that the corridor for Serbia
16 was not valid for Teslic as well as a series of other accusations."
17 And again, I take you to the very end of this document before
18 the -- it says: "We thank you in advance for your understanding." There's
19 another paragraph that says: "Because of the specific nature of this
20 situation, particularly the relations between Teslic and Doboj, we are
21 sending a copy of this report to the highest state organs of the Serbian
22 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
23 How bad was this confrontation and this discord between Doboj and
24 Teslic at the time?
25 A. I don't think this is correct. I don't believe that there was any
1 major conflict or confrontation. And it seems to me to be ridiculous that
2 somebody would target anybody some 40 kilometres away with some Howitzers.
3 What's that got to do with anything? I can see all the addressees, who it
4 was sent to, but nobody contacted me with respect to this at all.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: But my question was --
6 A. Actually, I'm not quite clear.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You're not answering my question. I read out these
8 excerpts from this report because I want to hear from your own mouth your
9 personal assessment of how bad the situation was when it came to relations
10 between Doboj and Teslic at the time.
11 A. I think that this is -- how shall I put that? This was rather
12 inflated and exaggerated, that that's not actually how things were,
13 because this is how it was in Teslic and Doboj and Mount Ozren: You had
14 one army, it was the 1st Krajina Corps with one commander. And one
15 commander can replace a commander in Doboj and Teslic. That comes under
16 his competency. That is why I don't think the situation was the kind of
17 having a large confrontation. A confrontation can be created by the army
18 and the police. They're the only ones with weapons that can make a
19 confrontation, so I don't think this was actually how things stood. Yes,
20 the relations were strained. I heard about that. But the balance of
21 power was that the Doboj people didn't go to Teslic, and Teslic people
22 didn't go to Doboj. But I don't think it was as tense as this for a
23 confrontation to have arisen. I'm not quite sure that it reflects the
24 actual situation.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And after the release of the Mice group members in
1 July, towards the end of July of 1992, did the situation improve between
2 Doboj and Teslic, or did it get worse?
3 A. I couldn't say. Those relations lasted until the autumn. That is
4 to say, relations deteriorated until the autumn. Actually, it wasn't a
5 deterioration of relations in that respect. What is was was that some
6 people had lost their lives there, from Doboj and Teslic in the conflicts,
7 young policemen, young police officers. And the chief of the centre from
8 Doboj, the police chief went to a meeting, and there was a fight. He was
9 beaten up and had to be taken to hospital. So I think the conflict and
10 confrontation was in that respect, between the police. That was where the
11 tension lay, rather than a confrontation between the army and perhaps the
12 political authorities. I can't say.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P1945, please.
14 Are you aware that the situation deteriorated to such an extent
15 that General Mladic, Ratko Mladic himself, had to intervene to try and put
16 some order where it belonged? Are you aware of that?
17 A. Is this in English?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, if it's in English, please let him have it in
19 B/C/S. The backside of it is in B/C/S. Please read it out.
20 A. You want me to read it out loud, all of it.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes, please.
22 A. The centre of the Security Services Centre, the sector of the
23 station for public security, Banja Luka, the operative workers, Radulovic,
24 Stjepanovic, Sainovic, the date is the 30th of October 1992, strictly
25 confidential, just for internal use, for internal use only. It is an
1 official note. "In the course of today's day, in the area of Teslic,
2 General Mladic spent the day with respect to solving the problem between
3 political structures in Teslic and Doboj. On the occasion he gave full
4 support to the political structures in Teslic and especially to the
5 present leadership of the public security station of Teslic, emphasising
6 that he would personally see to it that the previously replaced officers
7 who had been appointed to posts of leadership again by Minister Stanisic
8 be banned from entering the public security station.
9 "He offered the chief of the public security station physical
10 security if he wasn't able to provide security for the police station
11 itself. He also said that he would support the deputies in the municipal
12 assembly of Teslic at the Assembly of Republika Srpska, and that he would
13 strive in favour of having the decision by the municipal decision to join
14 up the Banja Luka region be verified. Finally, however, in addition to
15 that the centre of services in Doboj sent a telegram today asking for the
16 urgent handover between the present leadership of the public security
17 station and the newly appointed leadership, or rather the previously
18 replaced individuals.
19 "We feel that this untactical move creates even greater revolt
20 towards the public security station of Doboj and the overall Doboj region,
21 the situation in Teslic is very complex, and there is the danger of an
22 armed conflict breaking between the sympathisers of the previously
23 replaced and present leadership of the public security station of Teslic
24 which enjoys the support of the majority. According to our information,
25 this insistence on the Doboj service is designed to mask the large number
1 of crimes that have been perpetrated by members of the active and reserve
2 formation of the centre of security services, three or four months ago.
3 And this has been sent to the chief of the public security station," et
4 cetera, et cetera.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So if I take you to three to four months before
6 October, where does that get us? And when the last paragraph refers to
7 members of the active and reserve force of the Doboj CSB, would that refer
8 to --
9 A. That's right.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Would that refer to part or some of the members of
11 the Mice group?
12 A. I assume so because I think -- I see a conflict between the
13 replaced leadership and the new leadership, so that refers to them, I
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So basically this strictly confidential Security
16 Services Centre document attributes to the Doboj CSB this -- these
17 attempts to hide, to conceal the various crimes that some of its members
18 had committed?
19 A. That's right. And I see that this was compiled by the CSB service
20 of Banja Luka, and I can also see from this note that it is a conflict
21 between the former leadership of the public security station of Teslic,
22 and the new leadership, and the conflict with the CSB centre of Doboj.
23 That's what I said earlier on, that most probably, the conflict continued
24 between the police themselves mostly.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you agree that way back in July of 1992 when
1 the Mice members were arrested, the Doboj CSB would have also been
2 insistent to procure their release in order to be able to conceal the
3 crimes that they had committed? Would you agree with that? This
4 insistence did not arise in October, but it was also there way back in
6 A. I read out the letter that the Security Services Centre of Doboj
7 sent on the 17th of July requesting that they be released and that the
8 court should continue with its proceedings.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And is your position that subsequent to the arrest
10 of the Mice group and until their release you were not the subject of this
11 insistence on the part of the CSB? No pressure was brought to bear on you
12 to ensure the release of these members of the Mice group? Is that your
14 A. No, no. And Judge Kovacevic is aware of that. Nobody exerted any
15 pressure on me ever, and you could -- can question all the witnesses to
16 bear that out.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Was there any insistence at all that you are aware
18 of in Doboj at the time by the population or by any other quarters from
19 the population of Doboj insisting on the arrest or rearrest of the Mice
21 A. In Doboj, no. I didn't hear about that ever.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you aware that Judge Kovacevic had a great
23 amount of pressure brought to bear on him by the military and also by the
24 security services in favour of the Mice group from the very moment they
25 came under his jurisdiction?
1 A. I saw that the police and army did contact Judge Kovacevic and
2 that when they were released, he agreed to the request made by the
3 military command. Now, whether there was any oral pressure he didn't
4 convey that to me at all.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you since then been made aware that there was a
6 tremendous amount of pressure on Judge Kovacevic at the time to -- not to
7 proceed with the investigations and to have the Mice group released
8 immediately? Have you ever come across any documents? Have you ever been
9 made aware of this pressure, at least the allegation of this pressure?
10 A. No.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Could the witness be shown again please Exhibit
12 1938, which he saw last Friday.
13 And Mr. Neskovic, could you go, please, to paragraph numbered 6.
14 It would be on the second or the third page, I suppose.
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record --
17 A. I've found it.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: -- this is the same document we showed you last
19 Friday, and it is a report on initiating criminal proceedings against
20 members of the military police and the Security Services Centre in Doboj
21 and problems relating to the actions of judicial organ submitted by the
22 Office of the Prosecutor in Teslic dated 28 of July and transmitted to the
23 Government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry
24 of Justice, to the Ministry of the Interior, and to the Ministry of
25 National Defence.
1 In paragraph 6, it is reported here that after the investigating
2 judge heard the accused and ordered that they be remanded in custody, the
3 defence attorneys of the accused, military organs, and relatives of the
4 accused began exerting pressure on the court. Defence counsel objected to
5 the detention order stressing that the space in which the accused were put
6 was not a prison, that conditions for keeping them in custody as
7 prescribed by law were not met, and that there were beaten and sick
8 detainees whose life was at risk in such circumstances.
9 It goes on as follows: "The command of the Doboj operations group
10 sent a letter to this office" - that's to the office of the
11 Prosecutor - "and the lower court on the 11th of July 1992 requesting that
12 the accused Slavuljica be immediately handed over to the military security
13 services of this group. The letter was personally brought by Security
14 Officer Maksimovic. Dario Slavuljica is the son of reserve Captain First
15 Class Mirko Slavuljica from Doboj. The letter underlined that 'no one has
16 the right to play with the fate of a Serbian soldier,' 'we cannot allow
17 him to be treated in this way.' As proof of the lack of principle on the
18 part of the command, we wish to note that in that letter the command
19 showed not interest at all in the other soldiers."
20 And then it goes on as follows: "Several times the defence
21 attorneys stressed to the investigating judge that 'this will not end
22 well,' that 'the attack on Teslic from Mount Ozren was prepared by the
23 military' and that we were also on a list. The brother of the first
24 defendant Miroslav Pijunovic issued a similar open threat to the
25 investigating judge.
1 "On the 17th of July 1992, the operations group command submitted
2 to the investigating judge a letter requesting that all the servicemen
3 listed therein be released so that they could join in the fight in the
4 Doboj, Teslic, and Tesanj areas. On the same day, the Doboj Security
5 Services Centre requested that the rest of the men, allegedly its
6 employees, be released for the same reason."
7 And the Office of the Prosecutor in Teslic concludes this part of
8 the report by saying: "We deem this kind of behaviour of the Doboj
9 operations group command and the Doboj Security Services Centre towards
10 the work of judicial organs in Teslic an inappropriate form of pressure
11 which gives the criminal case additional political weight. The military
12 command does not even want to know with which crimes its members are
13 charged and is not showing a readiness to assist the court in shedding
14 light on the whole case. The same can be applied to the security services
15 centre in Doboj."
16 Would you agree with what is contained in that report, in this
17 part of the report?
18 A. I am informed of this letter of the 17th of July. I know about
19 it. I have the letter. And the security centre Doboj, yes, but I don't
20 know any of this. It's not known to me. Probably the possibility for
21 that exists, but Peric didn't inform me this. Neither did the
22 investigating judge, Mr. Kovacevic. And as I've already said, I told you
23 last time, that this piece of information is dated the 28th of July 1992,
24 and on the 21st, the prosecutor proposed that eight persons be released.
25 So that means that he succumbed to the pressure most probably.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I put to you that when it was obvious that
2 Judge Kovacevic was doing his best not to succumb to the pressure that was
3 forthcoming from Doboj, and took steps to ensure the detention of the
4 detainees in Banja Luka, you brought your weight in and put your own kind
5 of pressure in support of the other authorities from Doboj to ensure that
6 more pressure will be brought to bear on Judge Kovacevic. Do you accept
8 A. No. You can talk to Judge Kovacevic. Had I brought any pressure
9 to bear on him, I should certainly have put it down in the information,
10 prosecutor. I never said a word to Kovacevic to release or not to
11 release. I always let him make the decisions. I didn't meddle in that.
12 You can call Mr. Kovacevic, Your Honour, talk to him freely. But I
13 exerted no pressure on the judge myself.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I put it to you that Judge Kovacevic made sure or
15 tried to avoid all this pressure by making sure that the detainees were
16 kept in Banja Luka and that he was the person who decided to have them
17 transferred to Banja Luka. Would you accept that?
18 A. Well, I've said that I don't know how they were transferred or
19 transported to Banja Luka. Why did he inform me that they had been
20 transferred to Banja Luka? Did he want to distance himself from that,
21 dissociate himself? Why did the judge let that happen? He could have
22 come to Banja Luka, say: "I'm the investigating judge and I'm not going
23 to allow the prisoners to go to Doboj." And I say in the interview, I say
24 that I never discussed this with him at all.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Did the Witness still have P1938 in front of him,
1 usher? Could you go to paragraph 9, please, paragraph 9.
2 This is again the prosecutor in Teslic reporting to higher
3 authorities. "Since its start, the course of criminal proceedings has
4 been accompanied with the problem of inadequate accommodation of the
5 detainees about which the defence counsel raised justified objections.
6 The detainees were accommodated in the same room in the Kardijal Hotel,
7 although they had to be separated in order to prevent their collusion
8 given that they were co-perpetrators. For this reason, in consultation
9 with the chief of the SJB, the investigating judge" - that's
10 Judge Kovacevic - "ordered on the 16th of July 1992 that the detainees be
11 placed in the district prison in Banja Luka. All the detainees were
12 transferred to the district prison in Banja Luka on the 17th of July
14 I put it to you that Judge Kovacevic had no intention at all to
15 see these people free and running in the streets; it was only you who made
16 sure they were free three days after.
17 A. I apologise, Your Honour. Why did he release three of them, then,
18 on the 16th? And secondly, it wasn't for three days. They were released
19 on the 24th. I'm claiming that it was on the 24th.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you have -- you are --
21 A. I was informed by the judge, yes, on the 17th of July. That's
22 what I said.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You're very capable of running at a tangent in your
24 attempts not to answer the question. I'm not referring to those three or
25 to the other one who was hospitalised. I'm referring to the others. They
1 were sent to Banja Luka not because Judge Kovacevic wanted their release;
2 they were sent to Banja Luka for other purposes. But you stepped in to
3 ensure that they did not remain in Banja Luka, and you stepped in again to
4 ensure that once they were out of Banja Luka they were free men running in
5 the streets barely three days after their transfer to Banja Luka.
6 A. That is not true, Your Honour. If I knew that Kovacevic would
7 release them later on, I would never have requested their movement from
8 Banja Luka, even if that was contrary to the law. You can talk to
9 Kovacevic and ask him. I never used my influence to have them freed. If
10 Kovacevic had not taken the decision on the 21st, they would never have
11 been released.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it right --
13 A. I apologise, Your Honour. But this report is written by the
14 public prosecutor. I must say again that on the 21st, the public
15 prosecutor proposed to the investigating judge their release. So the
16 motive must be sought for the prosecutor. I have no contact with the
17 prosecutor. The prosecutor is an independent organ, and he should be
18 asked by he did this.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Was there a change in the prosecutor? Was the
20 prosecutor changed at some point in July?
21 A. When, which month?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: In Teslic, was the prosecutor changed in July?
23 A. I don't think so. I think it was the same prosecutor throughout
24 the war. He was in his position throughout the war, and so was Kovacevic.
25 I am not aware of any change of prosecutor ever.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: This is a schizophrenic prosecutor who does one
2 thing and writes another? Why would you think a prosecutor is writing
3 what he is writing in this report?
4 A. I think he compiled this report correctly. I just think he added
5 a little more than he should have, and he's probably covering up for
6 himself because he proposed that they be released on the 21st.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I put it to you that -- again, I'm going to repeat
8 the question. Would Judge, Kovacevic perhaps in a last-ditch attempt try
9 to leave undone, that is, by retaining a part -- some members of the Mice
10 group still in detention after releasing the rest, what he left undone,
11 your court ensured that it would be done. That is correct, too, isn't it?
12 A. No. The prosecutor made the proposal for their release here, too.
13 When this was being decided I wasn't even in Doboj. I found this 15 days
14 ago in the archives of the higher prosecutor's office. If the judge
15 should have retained anyone in detention, then it was these men who are
16 mentioned in the decision on the investigation. And the judge says, "very
17 well, five persons have admitted that they participated in the executions
18 following orders of a superior military commander. The other persons did
19 not confess, and they did not participate." So this last group that
20 stayed behind are not one of the five. Those five were released on the
21 proposal of the prosecutor on the 21st.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, you were shown some documents that in actual
23 fact you brought with you earlier on today relating to the undertaking
24 signed by some of the detainees --
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I make this absolutely clear. He may
1 have brought them with them, but we had them.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You had them.
3 MS. KORNER: We didn't take them from him, but we had them
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
6 About the request to be released to have a bath, and the
7 undertaking to show up in court on the 20th. Now, this contact was made
8 on the 18th of July, I take it, from the Banja Luka prison directly with
10 A. No.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Who made the contact -- who made the contact and
12 with whom?
13 A. I think it was by the prison authorities of Doboj who contacted
14 the prison authorities in Banja Luka. I had no contact with the prison or
15 anyone else. They went to Banja Luka, the prison authorities.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Who referred to you the desire or the request of
17 these detainees to be released in order to go and have a bath?
18 A. The workers employed in the prison.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Which prison?
20 A. They passed on to me -- from the Doboj prison. The conversation
21 was as follows: That they were going to Banja Luka to see whether they
22 would be handed over those prisoners. And then I said I'm asking that you
23 provide guarantees that they will come to prison, and they said if that is
24 all right, can we let them have a bath. And I said yes, but I have to be
25 certain that they will come back because I asked for those prisoners to be
1 taken over from Jovo. And then each one of them filled in these forms.
2 The following week, they brought those forms to me. I certified them with
3 my signature and put them in the archives of the court where they are at
4 present. And that is why I brought them with me.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We are approaching the end.
6 I want to know exactly when you ceased being prosecutor and became
7 acting president of the high court in Doboj.
8 A. I'm unable to give you an exact date, Your Honour, because they
9 don't have a record of this up there. You see, I was in the records of
10 the prosecutor's office up until the 31st of July. And I have a
11 certificate to that event. It means that that is where I received my
12 personal income. And I was elected president of the district court on the
13 20th of July, or at least that is the date of the decision. So I think I
14 was already acting president in the first half of July. Before me, there
15 was another acting president. He was also in an acting capacity.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you were formally approved on the 20th of
17 July, how long had you been acting? Would you agree that you had been
18 acting, say, the previous 20 days, from the 1st of July?
19 A. Around then, in the first half. But I don't have the date in my
20 working booklet, nor in the court is there a date recorded. So I think
21 from the beginning of July, maybe the 10th. Between the 10th and the
22 15th. Anyway, in the first half of July. And before me there was also
23 another person who was also the acting president.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So you were formally appointed president on the 20th
25 of July 1992. Is that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the day you were celebrating, the same day
3 the Mice group returnees from Doboj were celebrating. Is that correct?
4 A. That's a strange coincidence, Your Honour, because Jovo Rosic was
5 elected judge in Banja Luka. I have the Official Gazette. It so happens
6 all judges were elected on the 20th of July. You can check this, election
7 of judges in Banja Luka. They were also elected on the 20th of July. All
8 this was published in the Official Gazette. We didn't even know because
9 there were no communications, so all these things reached us 10 or 15 days
10 later. This is the Official Gazette. Election of judges in Banja Luka,
11 Jovo Rosic on the 20th of July. Then election of judges in Doboj, again,
12 on the 20th. So it's a pure coincidence.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: But, Mr. Neskovic, in this whole tragedy, you appear
14 on the stage three times.
15 A. Correct.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The first time is 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th of
17 July 1992. The beginning, you're still acting president. At the end, you
18 are president of the high court. In between, you are the person who
19 procured the release of these criminals. That's the first time you appear
20 on stage.
21 The second time you appear on stage is when your colleague,
22 Mr. Kovacevic, sends these detainees to Banja Luka. And you, on the basis
23 of your jurisdictional claims, as you put it, procure their return to
24 Doboj. And at the same time, give your blessing to the -- what Ms. Korner
25 put it to you, provisional release.
1 The third time you appear on stage is when the MUP ask for this
2 file, the court file, and instead of keeping the file and giving them a
3 copy you give them the original file and, guess what? Just vanishes,
4 disappears into thin air. How clean do you come out of this affair,
5 Mr. Neskovic?
6 A. Your Honour, I couldn't know in 1992 that in 1996 I would be a
7 deputy minister and a liaison officer. This is just mere coincidence.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That's your answer?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And I think with that answer we can send you back --
11 MS. KORNER: No, not quite, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You have something else, Ms. Korner?
13 MS. KORNER: I do. Your Honour will recall that on Friday,
14 Mr. Neskovic was producing from his folder a number of documents. And he
15 announced - this is page 17 - that the prosecutor had the document, the
16 decision to conduct an investigation on the 11th of July. And you asked:
17 "How come you know or you tell us that you know which documents the
18 Prosecution already has?"
19 Answer: "I apologise. I know because this decision on conducting
20 an investigation which I have has the markings of the Prosecution. I
21 borrowed this from another case because I was involved in another case."
22 Your Honour, Mr. Neskovic was assigned as co-counsel in the
23 Krajisnik case as of sometime in -- yes, January 2003.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: 16th of January.
25 MS. KORNER: 16th of January. Come the debacle that took place,
1 as Your Honours will recall, last summer, Mr. Brashich was removed in May,
2 but kept on so that he could hand it -- gather the papers and hand it
3 over. Mr. Neskovic stated on the 13th of May, he gave a description of
4 his role, and it was decided that he had insufficient experience in
5 criminal law as a result of which the assignment was withdrawn on the 30th
6 of July. And Your Honour will see that the last order from the Registrar
7 was: "In accordance with the decision of the Registrar dated the 2nd of
8 May 2003, and the letter, Mr. Brashich shall prepare a complete dossier of
9 the status of the case, complete the transfer of documents and materials
10 to Mr. Stewart, the new counsel and advise him of any pending issues."
11 From the moment Mr. Neskovic's assignment was withdrawn, the
12 Krajisnik case has the same measures in this case that we do, namely that
13 all documents in his possession must be handed to legal counsel, and in
14 this case lead counsel had to hand them over to Mr. Stewart. I invite
15 Your Honours to find out what he is doing with a copy of a Prosecution
16 document at this stage and whether he still retains any other Prosecution
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Neskovic, do you have a statement in this
19 regard? Because you have been telling us that you are legal assistant in
20 the Krajisnik -- he said consultant, legal assistant, legal advisor. He
21 used three different terms. While it seems that his only position was
22 that as co-counsel, and that has been withdrawn. So what's the position
23 with regard to your status in the Krajisnik case, if at all; and secondly,
24 with regard to the documents? Because if you --
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: -- The Krajisnik case officially --
2 A. I agree.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
4 A. Yes. When I received instructions from you to testify, you said
5 in the interests of truth. I understood it to mean that I had to mention
6 every document, every note that I saw. And I saw this decision in another
7 case, and that is why I wanted to inform you about it. But I didn't
8 mention it in my testimony at all. When Mr. Stewart was appointed on
9 August the 1st, I am working for him. I can't be precise as regards the
10 term, whether it was a legal consultant, a legal advisor. I'm still in
11 the team. I have five investigators. 90 per cent of the documents from
12 the Prosecution are in the possession of the investigators because we are
13 preparing the Defence case, and we have the documents.
14 These are just documents that the previous lawyer had to return to
15 Stewart, that was in the States. The rest of the documents, the copies of
16 the documents are with us. I'm still a member of the team. If I'm not,
17 this is the first I hear of it. I was working until the end of last week
18 as now it is the Prosecution case that is being produced in court.
19 It would be disrespect towards the Court if I said if I had a
20 document in my hands and didn't inform you about it. I wanted to tell you
21 that I read a document and I had an important sentence -- I found an
22 important sentence in it, and I didn't dare read it until I received
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Who is retaining you? Who is paying you?
25 A. The International Tribunal, as a legal assistant for the work I'm
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you ever received any communication from the
3 Tribunal subsequent or following the 30th of July 2003 stating
4 "Mr. Neskovic, you know that your assignment as co-counsel has been
5 withdrawn. You are being approved as legal assistant or anything of the
6 sort"? Have you received any communication from the --
7 A. No, I haven't. But I have been informed by the lead counsel what
8 my position is. He talked to me in September when he came here, and he
9 gave me assignments for me to do. I have five investigators working for
10 me. I'm working on this every day.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
12 MS. KORNER: I invite Your Honours to remit the matter for
13 investigation by the Registrar. But my one concern is that documents
14 which have strict measures being applied to them for the use to which they
15 may be made are clearly not -- in this case, Mr. Neskovic is using it for
16 a completely different purpose. It may be if Your Honour wishes to remit
17 this to the Krajisnik Trial Chamber for dealing with it, I think.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, in the meantime, can I ask you, Ms. Korner, to
19 tender this as an exhibit, the letter -- Registrar's letter to the witness
20 in the Momcilo Krajisnik case.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I wasn't intending to because it doesn't
22 really arise out of his evidence here. It's arises how he's in possession
23 of a document.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me make a proces verbale.
25 I'm going to make an order that in the course of last Friday's, as
1 well as today's testimony by Mr. Goran Neskovic, it emerged that he is
2 claiming -- that the witness is claiming that he is assigned as legal
3 assistant in the Krajisnik case. In particular, in today's testimony, he
4 confirmed that in September, Mr. Nicholas Stewart --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. September or the
6 beginning of October.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Or the beginning of October, Mr. Stewart, Nicholas,
8 who replaced him as co-counsel --
9 MS. KORNER:, Your Honour, he was replaced. The Registry replaced
10 him before Mr. Stewart took over, or at the time, and the decision was
11 made by the Registry.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right, Ms. Korner. Particularly in
13 today's testimony, he confirmed that either in late September or the
14 beginning of October, he was appointed by Mr. Stewart to render services
15 as legal assistant -- legal assistant, that he has a team of five persons
16 working under him carrying out investigations, that in this context, he
17 and his team are in possession of the necessary documentation in the
18 Krajisnik team, and that above all he is being paid for his services by
19 this Tribunal.
20 The Trial Chamber has been asked by Ms. Korner, lead counsel for
21 the Prosecution in this case, to refer this matter to the Registrar for
22 any further investigations that might be necessary; and in particular, in
23 view of the fact that the witness has made use in this case of a document
24 which he came in possession of in the Krajisnik case and of which he
25 should not be still in possession if he no longer has a locus tandi in the
1 Krajisnik case. This would also be the case should he be, in addition, in
2 possession of other documents. For this purpose, the Trial Chamber
3 instructs the Deputy Registrar to identify the parts of the transcript
4 from today's sitting and that of last Friday and have them forwarded to
5 the Registrar of this Tribunal, together with this order for any further
6 investigations that the Registrar might deem fit.
7 As you realise, in my country, I dictate, so I was trying to keep
8 the pace that I would keep in my country when you have stenographers
9 taking down the...
10 So Mr. Neskovic, the Trial Chamber does not require your presence
11 any further. On behalf of the Trial Chamber and on behalf of the
12 Tribunal, on behalf of Judge Janu and Judge Taya, I should like to thank
13 you for having come over and give your testimony following the issue of a
14 summons to that effect by the Trial Chamber and as a witness of the
15 Trial Chamber. On behalf of everyone present also, I should like to wish
16 you a safe journey back home. You will receive all the assistance that
17 you require to facilitate your return to ex-Yugoslavia. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Anything else before we rise?
21 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, yes. I was wondering whether
22 Your Honour wanted to deal today with the --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: With the documents.
24 MS. KORNER: -- Defence exhibits, plus for ages and ages, I have
25 been wanting to put in Dzafic's redacted statement that shows the
1 acronyms, so I'd like to do that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman, I don't know if you were present
3 last week when we discussed the matter of the documents, your proposed
4 exhibits. So are you in a position to discuss that today?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I probably don't have
6 anything -- I mean, Ms. Korner wants to tell you orally her objections
7 rather than in writing. I probably won't have any response, because I
8 expect you'll treat --
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Mr. Ackerman has been aware since the
10 11th of this month.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Why is she interrupting me? Can you ask her that.
12 MS. KORNER: I apologise.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It's still Monday morning, so you may have to be
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Maybe that's what it is. What I was getting ready
16 to say is I probably won't have any response because I expect you will
17 treat my exhibits the same way you treated the Prosecutor's exhibits, and
18 that is you'll admit them all in decide in the course of your what weight
19 you're going to give them, if any. And if that's not the case, if you're
20 going to change that rule, then I will have some things to say, but I
21 doubt that you will.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there's no change of rule.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go straight away to argument.
24 MS. KORNER: I think you'll have to rise, Your Honour. We've had
25 over an hour and a half.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, how long will this debate last?
2 MS. KORNER: Don't know. Your Honour, I have some quite major
3 objections to these things, including General Talic's so-called statement,
4 which I don't know if Your Honours have read.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I have read it. Let's have a break of 25
6 minutes, and then we try to conclude on this matter within -- by quarter
7 to 2.00. All right? Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I start by handing in, please,
11 finally the Dzafic list of acronyms. It's a redacted statement, as
12 Your Honours ordered. Mr. Ackerman's had a copy. There are three copies,
13 four, five. And could that be made Exhibit 2734. 2-7-3-4 -- 3-5? What's
14 4? 5, thank you. It's redacted so it just shows the list of acronyms.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection, Mr. Ackerman?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: None, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I turn now to the exhibits --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MS. KORNER: -- that Mr. Ackerman proposes to tender in bulk. I
21 have very few objections, but I would like to put them before
22 Your Honours, or objections to a few exhibits. Your Honour, I did object
23 to DB77, but as I understand it, Mr. Ackerman withdrew that document, and
24 DB90 to 92 also withdrawn. Your Honour, can I turn next then to DB229 to
25 239 and 241 to 251. This is not an objection as such. It is a request,
1 before Your Honours admit it, that we be told where these documents come
2 from. Your Honour, there's nothing to indicate on the schedule. There
3 are an extraordinary set of documents. They seem to be something to do
4 with Trnopolje. What they're supposed to be or where they come from, no
5 indication is given.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stop there for the moment. Mr. Ackerman, are
7 you in a position to respond to this?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, they came from a person whose name I
9 do not know, but I can find out, who has custody of all the documents from
10 Trnopolje, or at least the documents that are in front of you. We were
11 wishing to bring that person as a witness and that person refused to come.
12 And the documents are a little confusing without some testimony to explain
13 to you what they are. But they have to do with the daily workings of
15 Whether Your Honours would find them of any value without the
16 testimony accompanying them, I don't know. They are a little bit vague
17 without it. But that's the best I can do with regard to those. I can
18 find that name if that becomes important. I can get that within 24 hours,
19 I think, because one of my investigators knows the name.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Especially if he was intended to be a witness.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's the difficulty. I don't know how
22 we're supposed to treat all this or how Your Honours -- if Mr. Ackerman
23 admits that they are confusing. Well, Your Honour, perhaps if
24 Mr. Ackerman by tomorrow can supply us with the name of the person and we
25 can make some investigations ourselves.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, with all due respect, I totally
2 sympathise with Ms. Korner's concern about these documents, and the name
3 is not going to make them any clearer. I really think without the
4 testimony, they're of no value, and I think for that reason I'll withdraw
5 them all.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So these have been withdrawn.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's 229 to 239 and 241 to 251.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Inclusive.
9 MS. KORNER: Inclusive.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can we then move then please next to 288
12 and 289. Again, Your Honour, these are -- it's the same problem. It's
13 part of a newspaper article, it appears, looking at the original. It
14 appears (Redacted). Your Honour, can
15 I go into private session for one moment.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner. Let's go into private session for
17 a while.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 25014 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 25015 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 25016 – redacted – private session.
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. So we're dealing with DB335
18 and also 343. The Trial Chamber's position, having heard you, in
19 particular, Mr. Ackerman, and with background of submissions made earlier
20 throughout these two years with regard to AID, I think our position is
21 that these two documents do not help us in any way to improve our
22 assessment. So it's up to you to decide whether you would like to retain
23 them or not, particularly since you did not pursue the matter of the AID
24 further than you actually did.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I think I'm being invited to withdraw them,
1 Your Honour. And if they are of no use to you, then I'll do that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, as far as db344 was concerned, that was
6 one I had notified my objection, and you entered it as an exhibit with
7 BT-94, who was asked about it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mm-hmm.
9 MS. KORNER: Except, Your Honour, as I pointed it out, this was
10 purportedly a -- an account given by a man called Sendic, and that if they
11 wanted this evidence in, if it wasn't being tendered for the truth of the
12 contents, if they wanted the evidence in, Mr. Sendic could be called.
13 Your Honours let it go in, and BT-94 was then asked about it, part of it,
14 and he said, "I don't know anything about it at all."
15 So Your Honour, I am repeating my objection. It has no admissible
16 value in that nobody could speak about one of the things that Mr. Sendic
17 said, and if it's being purportedly put in for the truth of the contents
18 of what Mr. Sendic says, then it's inadmissible. So Your Honour, I repeat
19 my objection to that. Your Honours let it in. BT-94 was asked about part
20 of that article, and he said, "I don't know the first thing about that."
21 So what's the value to Your Honours of this particular document?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I think -- we really do seem to be changing
24 the rules. The value is the same as newspaper articles the Prosecution
25 has put in that we don't even know what publication they're from. You've
1 let all that in. I've objected in detail to Prosecution exhibits, and on
2 every occasion you said we note your objections and admit all the
3 exhibits. Now I'm being asked to reply to all of these objections as if
4 Defence exhibits come in on a different rule than Prosecution exhibits,
5 and I don't think it's fair. I don't know what 344 is for sure, because
6 it's not on the list that Ms. Korner sent me of exhibits she was going to
7 object to in any event. So I'm a little bit at a handicap.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the --
9 MS. KORNER: But, Your Honour, can I just -- not right, I sent a
10 second email including that on my list on the 12th of the 2nd. In any
11 event, we had a discussion about this when BT-94 was here.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the person who was one of the cofounders of
13 the SDS who then felt he couldn't agree any more with the policy and
14 politics of the SDS. He tried to speak, and he was -- made a speech. He
15 was not allowed. He was actually ostracised.
16 MS. KORNER: No, I'm sorry, Your Honour. It isn't. This is the
17 man who was a paramilitary who then became some kind of a minister --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay. I'm mixing --
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's different. And the simple,
20 simple thing is that this is evidence that Mr. Ackerman is tendering only
21 to bolster up his own case. As far as we know, this man is alive and
22 well. The article was written in 2002. And this was a man who could have
23 been called as a witness. He wasn't. If the only reason this article is
24 being put in is for the truth of what this man asserts, our application
25 would be it doesn't go in. If Mr. Ackerman wants it, his case is still
1 open. We want that witness called so we can cross-examine him.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I think she was talking about the Patriot article.
4 And again , Your Honours, there are numerous articles in this case from
5 the Prosecution, where people are making statements that the Prosecution
6 is relying on, including this fellow -- there's not even newspaper
7 articles, this fellow Milos. They're relying on all kinds of statements
8 from Milos. They could have called him had they wanted to, they found out
9 what his name was. They didn't. So are we going throw out all the Milos
10 statements? I mean, are we going to have a new rule or not? If we're not
11 going to have a new rule, we ought to just stop this and you should let in
12 these exhibits, except the ones I have agreed are not going in. This
13 argument just strikes me as being contrary to everything we've done in
14 this case so far.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, now I'm aware which document we're
16 talking about. I was mixing it up with something else.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, before we go on further, it's not the
18 same thing. The Milos documents, yes, we do now know who Milos is. We
19 didn't at the time, we do now know. The Milos documents, the objection
20 was because they were unsigned. And indeed, Mr. Ackerman, much to my
21 amazement, given his objection to this, has put in a number of further
22 documents as part of his exhibits from Milos. Your Honour, this is
23 something that have written after the time. These are not documents that
24 came into existence at the time, and the only reason, as I repeat, that
25 Mr. Ackerman is trying to put this in is because he's going to use that
1 evidence as truth of what this man said. And I am simply saying he's
2 alive, he wrote this in 2002, if Mr. Ackerman wants that put in, he can
3 call him.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
5 Next document. Yes, Mr. Ackerman -- I beg your pardon. I
6 apologise to you.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this document is important. It's a
8 memoir written by somebody who was there at the time. It's not the sole
9 source of information. There's huge information in this case showing that
10 Mr. Brdjanin was opposed to paramilitaries and opposed to all the things
11 that this guy says he was opposed to. So it's just confirmatory of what
12 has been made, I think, abundantly clear in this case already. But I
13 think it's an important confirmation because it comes from somebody who
14 was very much on the inside.
15 MS. KORNER: Mr. Ackerman has just made my point for me. This is
16 a point of strong dispute in the case. He says it's important, and it's
17 confirmatory. I don't accept there's any real evidence that Mr. Brdjanin
18 was opposed to Serbian paramilitaries. But if this is being put in as
19 confirmatory, then I wish to be able to cross-examine. Your Honour,
20 that's -- you've heard the objections on that. And I'll move to the next.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, next document.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, 345, Your Honour -- actually my words to
23 Mr. Ackerman, I take it this is a joke. This is the so-called statement
24 signed by Momir Talic.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: Apart from the fact that it may be that Your Honours
2 can see how much value it has, I take the objection in principle.
3 Your Honour, we know absolutely nothing about the circumstances in which
4 he came to sign it. It was dated December. If it was proposed in
5 December 1992, that in some form or another the Defence would wish his
6 evidence in, despite his condition, then that should have been made known
7 to the Court and to the Prosecution well in advance, and certainly before
8 his death took place in, whenever it was, in March. There are all sorts
9 of rules relating to this which Mr. Ackerman hasn't troubled to address.
10 At the moment, I object.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman, what's your position?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'll be quite brief. Very early in
13 the case, even before the trial started, Mr. Talic expressed his wish to
14 testify to the effect of what is contained that statement. As you know,
15 then became terminally ill. We were hoping that his condition would
16 improve enough that we could have him as a witness. We weren't able to.
17 Just as a matter of cautionary -- a cautionary matter, we had this
18 statement taken from him at a time when he was -- knew he was facing
20 And so we think it is -- may be admissible as a dying declaration,
21 although it doesn't fit every requirement of a dying declaration, and I'm
22 not going to argue that it does. But that would be the basis under which
23 it would be admitted and the only basis under which it could be admitted.
24 And I hope you're hearing that I am not arguing very strongly for it, but
25 I do think that it comes close to fitting the requirements for a dying
1 declaration. And in the interests of justice, probably should be
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you ever read Judge Patricia Wald's article on
4 this kind of evidence by any chance, Mr. Ackerman?
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there has been a ruling from a
6 Trial Chamber on the reading of statements of dead witnesses. It's one of
7 the reasons I didn't make the application in respect of someone else.
8 Mr. Ackerman candidly admits it doesn't fulfil the requirements of a dying
9 declaration. At no stage were we notified that there was going to be any
10 application to try and enter such a statement into evidence. It was held
11 back until the time he had died. It's of -- Your Honour, apart from that,
12 in any event, it's clearly untrue. Nonetheless, as a matter of principle,
13 as I say, we object. Your Honour, and I think you've heard the...
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, clearly untrue is the Prosecutor's
15 submission, Your Honour, and nothing more. The decision that she refers
16 to, she tells you there has been a decision of this Court on the matter.
17 That's not true. There hasn't been a decision of this Tribunal on the
18 matter. That decision had to do with someone who gave testimony at this
19 Tribunal and later died, not someone who gave a statement with the
20 knowledge their death was imminent. And so that doesn't even get close.
21 This one at least gets close.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we'll decide on this later.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: My apologies. Next document, Ms. Korner.
2 MS. KORNER: It's the final group, it's 361 to 373, these are
3 effectively part of the NIWD report that was attempted to be put in
4 through Shoup. Your Honour, first of all, DB364, 365, 367, 368, 370, I
5 think that must be, and 372 were not shown to Shoup at all. They are
6 concerned with, many of them, what happened in Srebrenica, one of them,
7 you'll remember, when I was raising an objection to them is Srebrenica
8 under Tito. Your Honour, it's the same objection, if it is being tendered
9 for the truth of what is in these articles, then, Your Honour, the proper
10 way of getting them into evidence, was to call the writer, and not
11 call Shoup and try and get them in through him. As I say, in any event,
12 as far as 364, 365, 367-8, 370, and 372, they've never been shown to
13 anyone, and we say they're inadmissable on that grounds. On the others,
14 we say it's the evidence of Shoup that counts, if this is to be put in,
15 again, for the truth of what's asserted, this is a -- it's not a memoir.
16 It's a part of a book. Then, Your Honour, the writer should be called.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, there are two points to answer. One
18 is the allegation or statement made by Ms. Korner that 374, 375, 377, 378,
19 370, 372 were never put to your expert witness in the course of his
20 testimony. And secondly, then the other issue, 361 to 373, if you are
21 tendering these documents as proof of their content without bringing the
22 author, making him available to be cross-examination, Ms. Korner is
23 objecting. So what's your position on the first and the second of these
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I have, consequently, two points to make.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose so.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: The first is this: Your Honour will recall that
3 one of the first things I did when I started talking to Dr. Shoup about
4 these documents from NIWD was ask him his opinion of the work that was
5 done by NIWD and whether he felt that it was responsible and proper and
6 reliable and all of that. And he said that it was, based on his
7 experience, and it was material that was professionally done and could be
8 relied upon. So it is a secondary source upon which he placed some great
9 reliance for the things he told you and he talked about those secondary
11 It has not been a rule yet in this trial that a document becomes
12 inadmissible because it's not shown to a witness. You'll also recall that
13 during the direct testimony of Professor Shoup, at one point, and I don't
14 have the exact quote from the transcript, but at one point I said
15 "Your Honours, in the interests of saving time, I am not going to show
16 every one of these documents to Mr. Shoup and read part of it to him and
17 ask him to agree that that's what it says because that would simply be
18 wasting time. They are all sections of the NIWD report that he relied
19 upon in arriving at his conclusions. So I think they are extraordinarily
20 helpful to this Chamber in looking at his conclusions and seeing if it's
21 supported by the documents that were tendered as exhibits to support it."
22 And if you find that those documents do support his testimony, I
23 think that adds weight to his testimony. But that's what they are.
24 That's what they are here for. And I think they are entirely and
25 completely admissible for that point. We're back to the position where
1 you get to decide at the end of this case how much weight you give a
2 document, whether you give it any weight at all. But to say that it's not
3 admissible because it was not shown to a witness is just not, I don't
4 think, a proper ruling. You'd have to throw out hundreds of the
5 Prosecution's exhibits on that basis because many of their exhibits were
6 never shown to a witness. Some were just read to you by Ms. Korner in
7 Court without being shown to a witness. And I don't think that gives them
8 any more admissibility just because she reads them to you. And I think
9 that's what I have to say about them. I think they're absolutely
10 admissible. I understand that they hurt Ms. Korner's case, and she would
11 prefer that they are not here. But that's also not a reason for keeping
12 them out.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
14 MS. KORNER: I I'll leave that particular red rag aside.
15 Your Honour, the difference is this: What you're getting here is not
16 original documents. None of the documents that are even relied upon are
17 available to us. What you're getting is somebody's ideas on an area that
18 has nothing to do with this case at all --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Ultimately -- sorry to interrupt you like this. But
20 ultimately, if you're correct, and probably you are very correct in this
21 submission, what's the end result? The bottom line is what? If they
22 remain in the records?
23 MS. KORNER: It's the -- Your Honour, I personally don't mind at
24 all. I think it's important that we follow the Rules of Evidence such as
25 they are. And this is not in the category of an original document which
1 can be looked at and about which evidence can be called. We can't see the
2 original documents. We're looking at a writer -- I don't even know who
3 this one is, in fact. But how can Srebrenica in Tito's time -- it has to
4 be some relevance to the case, rather than, just, I want to throw
5 everything in. But Mr. Ackerman obviously wants to rely on what I'm not
6 sure. And if I don't object to them, Your Honours can rule them in, but
7 effectively then the hands of the Court are tied in other cases as well.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
9 So next document.
10 MS. KORNER: That's it, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Just to very quickly respond, I don't have it with
13 me, but there is a section of Mr. Donia's report where he has talked at
14 length about what was going on in Slovenia and Croatia and Serbia and
15 other places in 1899, 1999, 1990, 1991. He says that the Court cannot
16 understand what happened in Bosnia without understanding what happened in
17 these other republics. And I also submit you can't understand what
18 happened in the Krajina without understanding what happened in other parts
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So it's very relevant.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And you expect us to be satisfied in addition
21 with just reading those documents and say "this is true," because
22 Professor Shoup believes that the report of NIWD is completely reliable,
23 so take his word, and that's it? This is proof of its contents.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I think you treat it the same way as you treat
25 Dr. Donia's report and other things like that, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: You're professional Judges, so you treat it the way
3 you decide to.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the message I tried to send when I addressed
5 Ms. Korner.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: It's at page 31 of Dr. Donia's report where he does
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One other thing, Ms. Korner, I may be completely
9 wrong, and I apologise to you if I am wrong, but I also have a
10 recollection that at some point in time you had also objected to DB358.
11 If you could check that. Maybe I'm wrong.
12 MS. KORNER: 358.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, that's --
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'll check that. Unfortunately, perhaps
15 if -- 358, Your Honour, was the video that was played to Professor Shoup.
16 "The Avoidable War." No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't.
18 MS. KORNER: I don't.
19 Your Honour, can I just mention this. I have been sent a message
20 saying that a situation of not a defendant, an accused, of a witness being
21 in imminent death was actually dealt with in another case, the Halilovic
22 case, Your Honour, where a presiding officer was appointed to be present
23 when the statement was taken. And that's what I mean. Even if none of
24 the safeguards for these types of statements were being followed in that
25 case, but it would have been possible. And that's part of my objection,
1 had the Defence desired to get this in, to the Court to appoint an a
2 presiding officer and given us to ask questions as well. But Your Honour,
3 those are the only Defence exhibits I take objection to.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: When we're finished with that, I have a couple of
6 other matters.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are finished with that. Before you get to
8 the other matters, Madam Registrar, can you report back to me about
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 [Prosecution and Defence counsel confer]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You have the floor, Mr. Ackerman.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thanks, Your Honour. Sorry for the interruption.
14 We're trying to find a pseudonym and we were not able to find it. There
15 was a witness -- let's just go into private session very briefly just to
16 be careful.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 25030 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 25031 – redacted – private session.
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, having tendered all of the Defence
21 exhibits except for those which I have agreed to withdraw, having made
22 every objection I could think of, the Defence rests.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: And you are correct that 259 -- wait a minute. You
25 say 259.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I have several actually. 259. Perhaps you can
2 come back to us tomorrow. 259, 260, 253 and 254 and 256 and 259. 259 we
3 covered it already. And then 290.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: None of those are on my list of withdrawn exhibits,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And 277 and 278. Again, I want to verify and make
7 sure whether these are still in the records or whether they have been
9 MR. ACKERMAN: They have not been withdrawn.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I tell you 290, 277 and 278 because there is also a
11 Prosecution corresponding number for them.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think that's a problem, to have a
13 corresponding number. They have got two Prosecution numbers for many
14 exhibits. I just don't think that's a problem.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: If you could check on what I told you, please, and
16 come back to us tomorrow morning just in case the information that I have
17 is wrong.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: We've not withdrawn any of them, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. Thank you.
20 All right. Shall we reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00. I am not
21 in a position to tell you which courtroom, but I'm sure you will check,
22 and we should finish tomorrow then. Thank you.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of
25 February, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.