Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Monday, 12th July, 1999

2 (Open session)

3 (The accused entered court)

4 --- Upon commencing at 5.20 p.m.

5 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. Could the

6 registrar please call out the case number?

7 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) Case

8 IT-99-36, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. The appearances

10 for the Prosecution?

11 MR. STEWART: Good afternoon, Mr. President,

12 Your Honours. For the Prosecutor, my name is James

13 Stewart, and I appear this afternoon with my colleague,

14 Anna Richterova.

15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Appearances for

16 the accused?

17 MR. GREAVES: May it please Your Honour, I

18 appear on behalf of the accused. My name is Michael

19 Greaves.

20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I have the

21 residence of Defence counsel, your residence, and the

22 bar association in which you are a member?

23 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I am a member of

24 the Bar of England and Wales, and I am temporarily

25 resident in Holland.

Page 2

1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Has all the

2 necessary documentation been given to the registry by

3 the Prosecution?

4 MR. STEWART: I believe so, Mr. President.

5 Thank you.

6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Let me now ask

7 the accused whether he can understand all present in a

8 language that is accessible to him.

9 Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow what we are

10 saying in a language which is accessible to you?

11 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Yes, I can.

12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Now, this, as you

13 know, is the initial appearance of the accused before

14 the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

15 This hearing is being held in accordance with the

16 provisions of our Statute and the Rules of Procedure

17 and Evidence of the Tribunal.

18 As you know, Rule 62 of the Rules of

19 Procedure and Evidence requires that the accused, after

20 the indictment has been confirmed by a Judge and after

21 having been arrested and surrendered to the custody of

22 the Tribunal or after having surrendered to the

23 Tribunal, must be formally charged under the procedure

24 described as the initial appearance.

25 Could the accused rise and state for the

Page 3

1 Trial Chamber his name, date and place of birth, and

2 the name of the attorney whom he has chosen to

3 represent him?

4 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Yes. I am

5 Radoslav Brdjanin. I was born in the village of

6 Popovac in the municipality of Celinac. I reside in

7 Banja Luka. I was born on the 9th of February, 1948.

8 My apologies. I would have to refresh my memory about

9 the name of my legal counsel, and I still have not

10 reached a decision who is going to represent me in this

11 case.

12 JUDGE CASSESE: Today, of course, you are

13 represented by Counsel Greaves.

14 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I have been asked

15 by the registry to represent him on a temporary basis.

16 I am, in fact, acting as counsel for another defendant

17 before this Tribunal, and I intend to see him during

18 the course of this week and give him some advice, and

19 that will, I suspect, be the end of my participation in

20 this matter.

21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit down.

22 As you know, the procedure today is governed,

23 as I said before, by the Statute and by the Rules of

24 Procedure and Evidence, and these provisions and Rules

25 of Procedure and Evidence may be summarised as follows,

Page 4

1 very briefly:

2 Article 20 of our Statute, the Statute of the

3 International Tribunal, requires inter alia that we

4 should satisfy ourselves that the rights of the accused

5 are being respected; confirm that the accused

6 understands the indictment; and call upon the accused

7 to enter a plea to the charges against him in the

8 indictment.

9 The rights of the accused are detailed in

10 Article 21 of the Statute of our International

11 Tribunal, and I am sure that you are familiar with

12 Article 21.

13 As I have already indicated, Rule 62 of the

14 Rules of Procedure and Evidence governs the initial

15 appearance. The Trial Chamber must be satisfied that

16 the right of the accused to counsel has been respected,

17 the indictment must be read to the accused in a

18 language he speaks or understands, and the Trial

19 Chamber must be satisfied that the accused understands

20 the indictment.

21 We are then required to call upon the accused

22 to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on each count.

23 If the accused fails to enter a plea, we are required

24 to enter a plea of not guilty on his behalf. In the

25 case of a not guilty plea, we will instruct the

Page 5

1 registrar to set a date for trial.

2 The defendant has 30 days, as of today, to

3 make up his mind about how he wants to plead, guilty or

4 not guilty. In the case of a guilty plea, we will

5 instruct the registrar to set a date for the

6 pre-sentencing hearing or any other appropriate dates.

7 Now I would like to ask Defence counsel

8 whether he and his client have received copies of the

9 indictment in a language which they understand and

10 whether the contents therein were understood.

11 Mr. Greaves, have you had adequate time to

12 confer with your client in preparation for this initial

13 appearance?

14 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I have received a

15 copy of the indictment, I have discussed it briefly

16 with the defendant, and I anticipate that he will plead

17 not guilty on the basis of our conversation.

18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. As you know, the

19 indictment was issued by the Prosecutor on the 14th of

20 March, 1999, and was confirmed by Judge Rodrigues on

21 the same day.

22 In principle, under our Statute and our Rules

23 of Procedure and Evidence, the entire indictment should

24 be read out in court. I wonder, however, whether the

25 accused is prepared to waive his right to a public

Page 6

1 reading of the indictment.

2 May I turn to you, Mr. Greaves, and ask you

3 whether the accused is waiving this right.

4 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, that is not a

5 matter I have discussed with him, but he is an

6 intelligent man and I am sure that it would be quite

7 proper for Your Honour to address him directly on that

8 matter.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, thank you.

10 So, Mr. Brdjanin, are you waiving your right

11 to the public reading of the indictment or do you

12 insist that the indictment should be read here in

13 court?

14 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Your Honours, I

15 have nothing against the indictment being read in full

16 out loud and then I will plead thereafter.

17 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So I will ask the

18 registrar whether she can read out the full text of the

19 indictment here in court.

20 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) Indictment.

21 The Prosecutor of the International Criminal

22 Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, pursuant to her

23 authority under Article 18 of the Statute of the

24 International Criminal Tribunal for the Former

25 Yugoslavia ("the Statute of the Tribunal"), charges:

Page 7

1 Radoslav Brdjanin

2 with a crime against humanity as set forth below:

3 Background

4 1. In November 1990, democratic elections

5 were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There were three

6 main parties, each of which was identified with one of

7 the three principal population groups in Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina. The Party of Democratic Action, the SDA,

9 was identified, in the main, as the Muslim national

10 party. The Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS, was

11 identified as the principal Serbian national party.

12 The Croatian Democratic Union, the HDZ, was primarily

13 identified as the Croatian national party. On the

14 Republic level, the SDA won the most seats in the

15 Republic Assembly, followed by the SDS and then the

16 HDZ. The remainder of the seats were split between

17 other parties, including the former communist party.

18 2. By the time of the 1990 elections, the

19 difficulties regarding the union of republics within

20 the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

21 were apparent. The election results meant that, as

22 time went on, the SDS would not have sufficient

23 political authority to keep the Republic of Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina in a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia through the

25 political process. Shortly after the elections, the

Page 8

1 SDS began to organise certain areas within Bosnia and

2 Herzegovina into formal regional structures through the

3 concept of "Associations of Municipalities" which were

4 authorised under the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution. The

5 Association of Bosanska Krajina Municipalities, centred

6 in Banja Luka, was transformed and expanded in April

7 1991. A central part of the new Agreement of the

8 Association of Municipalities included a strong role in

9 the defence of the region, in contravention to the 1974

10 Constitution.

11 3. In the summer of 1991, after Slovenia and

12 Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia, war

13 broke out. The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) withdrew

14 from Slovenia after a very short period and it was

15 allowed to secede. In Croatia, however, the fighting

16 raged throughout the summer and into the autumn. The

17 Serbian forces, including units under the control of

18 the 5th Corps of the JNA that were comprised of both

19 military and police units, engaged in all-out warfare

20 against the armed forces of Croatia in support of the

21 creation of a separate Serbian state, the Republic of

22 Serb Krajina.

23 4. For the war in Croatia, the JNA issued

24 mobilisation orders to the male population in Bosnia

25 and Herzegovina. Those orders were opposed by the

Page 9

1 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which issued

2 instructions to the population that they did not have

3 to respond to the mobilisation orders. As a result,

4 very few Bosnian Muslims and Croats responded to the

5 call-up. On the other hand, thousands of Bosnian Serbs

6 responded, exhorted to do so by the SDS and other

7 Serbian nationalist parties.

8 5. As the war continued and it appeared

9 increasingly likely that Bosnia and Herzegovina would

10 also declare its independence, the SDS began in earnest

11 the creation of a separate Serbian territory in Bosnia

12 and Herzegovina. In September 1991, the various

13 Associations of Municipalities were transformed into

14 Serbian Autonomous Districts, including, on about 17

15 September 1991, the Association of Bosanska Krajina

16 Municipalities into the Autonomous Region of Krajina

17 (ARK). A separate Assembly of the Serbian People in

18 Bosnia and Herzegovina was established on 24 October

19 1991, dominated by the leadership of the SDS. On

20 9 January 1992, that Assembly adopted a declaration on

21 the Proclamation of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and

22 Herzegovina. The territory of that republic was

23 declared to include "the territories of the Serbian

24 Autonomous Regions and Districts and of other Serbian

25 ethnic entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including

Page 10

1 the regions in which the Serbian people remained in the

2 minority due to the genocide conducted against it in

3 World War Two", and it was declared to be a part of the

4 federal Yugoslav state. On 12 August 1992, the name of

5 the Bosnian Serb republic was changed to "Republika

6 Srpska".

7 6. As viewed by the SDS leaders, a major

8 problem in the creation and control of the designated

9 Serbian territory was the significant Bosnian Muslim

10 and Bosnian Croat population that also lived in the

11 areas being claimed. Thus, a significant aspect of the

12 plan to create a new Serbian territory was the

13 permanent removal or "ethnic cleansing" of nearly all

14 of the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population.

15 7. Throughout the fall of 1991, in response

16 to international pressure and the establishment of

17 UNPROFOR guarded areas, forces under the control of the

18 JNA began to redeploy to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In

19 the area of Prijedor, artillery units were positioned

20 on the hills surrounding the areas that were

21 predominantly inhabited by Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian

22 Croats, such as the Kozarac area. The returning

23 soldiers who were from the local area were allowed to

24 keep their weapons and ammunition. In addition, units

25 from outside the area were also repositioned on key

Page 11

1 terrain in the area.

2 8. During that same time frame in late 1991,

3 the leaders of the SDS began preparations for the

4 physical take-over of power in those municipalities of

5 Bosnia and Herzegovina where the Serbs did not have

6 clear control, and for the subsequent implementation of

7 the general plan for ethnically cleansing those areas,

8 as described above. The take-overs were executed

9 following instructions issued by Radovan Karadzic.

10 Crisis Staffs (Krizni Stab) were created at both the

11 regional and municipal level as the bodies which would

12 be responsible for the execution of the majority of the

13 operational phase of the plan and assumed authority

14 over administration of the regions and municipalities.

15 In May 1992, the ARK Crisis Staff publicly declared

16 itself as the highest organ of authority at the

17 regional level and the implementation of its directives

18 and orders were mandatory. The ARK Crisis Staff also

19 declared that the municipal Crisis Staffs were the

20 highest authorities in the municipalities, subject to

21 the authority of the regional Crisis Staff.

22 9. Beginning in April 1992, Serbian forces

23 seized physical control of those municipalities deemed

24 to be at risk to the accomplishment of the overall plan

25 to create a Serbian state. The forces involved in the

Page 12

1 take-overs were combined forces comprised of police

2 units, paramilitary groups, Territorial Defence (TO)

3 units, and units of JNA, including many of the units

4 that had taken part in the war in Croatia. Those

5 take-overs initiated a series of events, organised and

6 directed, first by the Crisis Staffs, and later by most

7 of the same individuals acting from their positions in

8 the regular municipal government structures, that, by

9 the end of 1992, would result in the death or forced

10 departure of most of the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian

11 Croat population from those areas.

12 10. In July 1992, on the order of Radovan

13 Karadzic, the regional and municipal Crisis Staffs were

14 redesignated as War Presidencies. The War Presidencies

15 maintained the same structure and virtually the same

16 authority as the Crisis Staffs, and were still commonly

17 referred to by the public as Crisis Staffs.

18 11. The Crisis Staffs were to be

19 de-activated in each municipality when it was

20 determined that the "threat" to the Serbian people had

21 diminished. The regular municipal organs, the

22 Municipal Assembly and Executive Board, then resumed

23 operation, generally under the direction of the same

24 SDS leaders. Those municipal organs would then approve

25 or validate the orders and actions of the Crisis Staff.

Page 13

1 The Accused

2 12. Radoslav Brdjanin was born on 9 February

3 1948 in the village of Popovac, Celinac Municipality,

4 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is a civil engineer by

5 profession and worked in the construction industry

6 prior to 1990. He was elected in 1990 as an SDS deputy

7 from Celinac prior to 1990. He was elected in 1990 as

8 an SDS deputy from Celinac to the Council of

9 Municipalities of the Assembly of Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina. He was a member of the Assembly of the

11 Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was

12 selected as the Vice-President of the ARK Assembly and

13 then as the President of the ARK Crisis Staff. He was

14 later appointed as Vice-President of the Government of

15 Republika Srpska and Minister for Construction, Traffic

16 and Utilities.

17 Individual Criminal Responsibility and

18 Superior Authority

19 13. Radoslav Brdjanin served as a member of

20 the ARK Crisis Staff and its successor the War

21 Presidency during the time period relevant to this

22 indictment. The Crisis Staff was modelled on an entity

23 that had existed as part of the defence plan in the

24 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), and

25 was designed to take over the functioning of the

Page 14

1 municipal or republic government during times of war or

2 a state of emergency when the Assembly, normally the

3 highest authority of government, could not meet. The

4 Crisis Staff was to cease functioning as soon as the

5 relevant Assembly was able to re-assume its role. When

6 activated, the Crisis Staff had complete executive and

7 legislative authority and acted as a collective body,

8 with participation by representatives from the critical

9 areas of the government.

10 14. The core members of the ARK Crisis Staff

11 included the leaders of the ARK and Banja Luka

12 Municipal Assemblies, the head of the SDS Municipal

13 Board, the SDS-appointed Commander of the Regional

14 Security Centre, and the Commander of the 5th Corps/1st

15 Krajina Corps. These essential members, including

16 Radoslav Brdjanin, acted in concert in planning,

17 instigating, ordering, committing or otherwise aiding

18 and abetting the complete range of operations related

19 to the conduct of the hostilities and the destruction

20 of the Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb

21 communities in the Autonomous Region of the Krajina.

22 The individual members then carried out their

23 particular responsibilities under the plan, according

24 to their position. Radoslav Brdjanin carried out the

25 particular responsibilities of his position as the

Page 15

1 President of the ARK Crisis Staff in support of the

2 overall plan. Throughout its existence, the Crisis

3 Staff worked as a collective body to coordinate and

4 implement the overall plan to seize control of and

5 "ethnically cleanse" the area of the ARK.

6 15. Between 1 April 1992 and 31 December

7 1992, the members of the Crisis Staff had authority and

8 control over: the attacks on non-Serb villages and

9 areas in the ARK; the seizure and detention of the

10 Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb

11 populations; the establishment and operation of the

12 detention camps; the killing and physical maltreatment

13 of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats; and, the

14 deportation or forced transfer of the Bosnian Muslim,

15 Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb population from the

16 ARK. It also had the authority to direct the Regional

17 Centre for Public Security (CSB) and the Public

18 Prosecutor to investigate, arrest and prosecute any

19 persons believed to have committed crimes within the

20 ARK, whether in the camps or elsewhere.

21 16. Between 1 April 1992 and 31 December

22 1992, Radoslav Brdjanin participated in the complete

23 range of operations related to the conduct of the

24 hostilities and the destruction of the Bosnian Muslim,

25 Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb communities in the

Page 16

1 ARK. As the President of the ARK Crisis Staff, he

2 planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or otherwise

3 aided and abetted the physical take-over of

4 municipalities in the ARK, the violent attacks on

5 Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat villages and areas,

6 the forcible removal of non-Serbs from those areas, the

7 killing and physical maltreatment of Bosnian Muslims

8 and Bosnian Croats, the detention of non-Serbs in camps

9 and other detention facilities, and the forced transfer

10 or deportation of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats

11 from the area of the ARK. As President of the ARK

12 Crisis Staff, he held the most important position of

13 executive authority in the ARK. He was responsible

14 for: managing the work of the Crisis Staff, the

15 implementation and coordination of Crisis Staff

16 decisions and conclusions, reporting its activities,

17 and for signing its decisions and orders. He also

18 convened, chaired and controlled the agenda of its

19 sessions. In addition, he played a significant role in

20 the propagation of the propaganda campaign that was an

21 essential element in the success of the plan to create

22 a Serbian state.

23 General Allegations

24 17. At all times relevant to this

25 indictment, a state of armed conflict and partial

Page 17

1 occupation existed in the Republic of Bosnia and

2 Herzegovina in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

3 18. All of the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian

4 Croats located in the ARK referred to in this

5 indictment were persons protected by the Geneva

6 Conventions of 1949.

7 19. All of the accused were required to

8 abide by the laws and customs governing the conduct of

9 armed conflicts, including the Geneva Conventions of

10 1949.

11 20. In each paragraph charging crimes

12 against humanity, crimes recognised by Article 5 of the

13 Statute of the Tribunal, the alleged acts or omissions

14 were part of a widespread or systematic attack directed

15 against a civilian population.

16 Charge

17 Count 1 (Persecutions)

18 21. The Prosecutor re-alleges and

19 reincorporates by reference paragraphs 1-20 above in

20 Count 1.

21 22. Beginning in the Spring of 1992, the ARK

22 Crisis Staff, including Radoslav Brdjanin, ordered,

23 implemented, supported and assisted a plan designed to

24 expel the Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other

25 non-Serb populations from the municipalities designated

Page 18

1 as part of the ARK and the other areas of Bosnia and

2 Herzegovina that had been proclaimed as part of the

3 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina under such

4 conditions as to ensure they would not want to return.

5 The goal was to create a Serbian state that would be

6 part of what remained of the SFRY. To achieve this

7 goal, the Bosnian Serb authorities, including Radoslav

8 Brdjanin, initiated a three-part plan: (1) to create

9 impossible conditions, involving pressure and terror

10 tactics, that would have the effect of encouraging the

11 non-Serbs to leave the area; (2) to deport and banish

12 those who were reluctant to leave; and, (3) to

13 liquidate those non-Serbs who remained and who did not

14 fit into the concept of the Serbian State. It was

15 declared by the President of the ARK Crisis Staff that

16 3% was the acceptable limit of non-Serbs in the Serbian

17 state.

18 23. The execution of that plan included,

19 among other aspects:

20 (1) the denial of fundamental rights to

21 Bosnian Muslims and Croats, including the right to

22 employment and freedom of movement;

23 (2) the wanton destruction of Bosnian Muslim

24 and Bosnian Croat villages and areas, including the

25 destruction of religious and cultural buildings in the

Page 19

1 areas attacked;

2 (3) the killing of Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian

3 Croats and other non-Serbs;

4 (4) causing serious bodily or mental harm to

5 Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs;

6 (5) detaining Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian

7 Croats under conditions of life calculated to bring

8 about the physical destruction of a part of those

9 populations; and,

10 (6) the forced transfer or deportation of

11 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from areas of Bosnia

12 and Herzegovina that had been proclaimed as part of the

13 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

14 24. To effect this plan, the ARK Crisis

15 Staff controlled the main media sources through which

16 they promoted and disseminated propaganda that

17 portrayed the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats as

18 fanatics intending to commit genocide on the Serbian

19 people to gain control of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The

20 purpose of this propaganda was to create support for

21 the SDS program among the Serbian people, and to create

22 among Serb individuals and groups the willingness to

23 commit horrendous crimes against their neighbours under

24 the banner of defending the Serbian people. Beginning

25 in April 1992, the ARK Crisis Staff planned,

Page 20

1 instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and

2 abetted the physical take-over of municipalities in the

3 area that had significant non-Serb populations,

4 including Sanski Most and Prijedor. They also ordered

5 the removal of non-Serbs and any Serbs who were not

6 recognised as loyal to the SDS from all important

7 positions. This directive was implemented by the ARK

8 Crisis Staff and by the municipal Crisis Staffs

9 throughout the ARK.

10 25. Throughout the ARK restrictions on

11 movement were imposed that had the effect of confining

12 Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs to

13 the villages and areas where they lived. The physical

14 restrictions imposed by the municipalities acting on

15 the directions of the ARK Crisis Staff included

16 roadblocks which were set up particularly around

17 predominantly non-Serb villages. Within the main

18 towns, such as Prijedor, checkpoints were even set up

19 in large apartment building complexes to check the

20 identity of people entering and leaving buildings. The

21 roadblocks and checkpoints were used to prevent

22 non-Serbs from leaving the vicinity of their homes or

23 villages.

24 26. The ARK Crisis Staff then planned,

25 instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and

Page 21

1 abetted violent attacks on non-Serb villages and areas,

2 including those in Sanski Most and Prijedor by combined

3 forces of the 5th Corps/1st Krajina Corps, paramilitary

4 forces organised by the SDS and other nationalistic

5 Serb parties, and police units, including units from

6 the CSB in Banja Luka.

7 27. Beginning in April 1992, the attacks on

8 the Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb

9 villages and areas usually began with artillery

10 bombardments by units under the command or control of

11 the 5th Corps/1st Krajina Corps that targeted civilian

12 homes and businesses, killing many. Those artillery

13 bombardments required significant advance planning and

14 preparation. Following the bombardments, the Bosnian

15 Serb and Serb forces moved in to round-up the

16 survivors. Those forces, coordinated or controlled by

17 the 5th Corps/1st Krajina Corps, were a combination of

18 police units, paramilitary units organised and equipped

19 by the SDS and other extreme Serb nationalist parties,

20 and regular military units from the municipal area, the

21 regional area, and some from Serbia. The attacks on

22 villages and other areas of the ARK where Bosnian

23 Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs lived

24 continued through-out June and July 1992. The

25 organising, equipping, training and direction of those

Page 22

1 diverse units required significant planning and

2 cooperation between the political, police, and military

3 members of the ARK Crisis Staff.

4 28. During and, in particular, after the

5 attacks on non-Serb areas in the ARK, the Serb forces

6 under the control of the ARK Crisis Staff,

7 systematically looted and destroyed Bosnian Muslim and

8 Bosnian Croat villages and property, including homes,

9 businesses, mosques and churches. The destruction was

10 so extensive that nothing but portions of buildings and

11 rubble are all that remains in many of the Bosnian

12 Muslim and Bosnian Croat villages of the area. In

13 particular, the religious and cultural buildings of the

14 non-Serb population were targeted. As the Serb forces

15 went through the villages, they executed many Bosnian

16 Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs, while

17 others were rounded-up and marched to assembly points

18 for transfer to camps or detention centres. During the

19 process of moving to assembly points or at those

20 assembly points men who were considered of military age

21 or had served as policemen were often pulled out of the

22 groups and beaten or executed.

23 29. Between 1 April 1992 and 31 December

24 1992, thousands of the Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats

25 and other non-Serbs who were seized by the Serb forces

Page 23

1 were transferred to camps and detention facilities

2 established and operated under the direct control of

3 the municipal Crisis Staff, including: the Omarska,

4 Keraterm and Trnopolje camps in Prijedor municipality;

5 the SJB building, Krings camp, Betonirka camp in Sanski

6 Most; and, the sawmill and medical centre in Kotor

7 Varos. In those camps and detention facilities,

8 prisoners were killed, tortured and continually

9 subjected to physical and psychological maltreatment

10 and other inhumane treatment. The Serb forces in the

11 camps - all of whom were subject to the authority and

12 control of the ARK Crisis Staff - targeted the Bosnian

13 Muslim and Bosnian Croat intellectuals, professional

14 and political leaders, and military aged males for

15 especially severe treatment. At a minimum, during the

16 period from the end of May 1992 to early August, 1992,

17 hundreds of prisoners, whose identities are known and

18 unknown, died. During the same period, thousands of

19 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats who were not sent to

20 detention centres or camps were forcibly transferred or

21 deported.

22 30. The Bosnian Serb military and police

23 personnel in charge of these camps, their staff, and

24 others who were given unfettered access to the

25 camps - all of whom were subject to the authority and

Page 24

1 control of the ARK Crisis Staff - also caused serious

2 bodily and mental harm to the Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian

3 Croat and other non-Serb detainees by subjecting them

4 to sexual assaults, torture, beatings and robbery, as

5 well as other forms of mental and physical abuse. In

6 the Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps in Prijedor

7 municipality; the SJB building, Krings camp, Betonirka

8 camp in Sanski Most; and, the sawmill and medical

9 centre in Kotor Varos, among others, severe beatings

10 and torture of prisoners were commonplace. The camp

11 guards and others, including members of the Bosnian

12 Serb forces under the control of the 1st Krajina Corps,

13 who came to the camps and physically abused the

14 detainees, used all manner of weapons during these

15 beatings, including wooden batons, metal rods and

16 tools, lengths of thick industrial cable, rifle butts

17 and knives.

18 31. The Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje

19 camps in Prijedor municipality, the SJB building,

20 Krings camp, Betonirka camp in Sanski Most; and, the

21 sawmill and medical centre in Kotor Varos were operated

22 in a manner designed to inflict upon the detainees

23 conditions intended to bring about their physical

24 destruction. The conditions were abject and brutal.

25 Daily food rations, when provided to detainees,

Page 25

1 amounted to starvation rations. Medical care for the

2 detainees was insufficient or nonexistent and the

3 general hygienic conditions were grossly inadequate.

4 In all camps, detainees were continuously subjected to

5 or forced to witness inhumane acts, including murder,

6 rape and sexual assaults, torture, beatings and

7 robbery, as well as other forms of mental and physical

8 abuse.

9 32. In some of the camps, notably the

10 Trnopolje camp in Prijedor and the sawmill in Kotor

11 Varos, female prisoners were frequently sexually

12 assaulted, raped, and tortured by camp personnel, who

13 were both police and military personnel, and by members

14 of other military units from the area who came to the

15 camps for that purpose. In many instances, women and

16 girls were taken from the camps and were raped,

17 tortured, or sexually abused at other locations.

18 33. In none of the camps were the detainees

19 afforded proper judicial process. They were detained

20 and subjected to abuse and maltreatment primarily

21 because of their religious, political or racial

22 identity. After the existence of the Omarska and

23 Trnopolje camps in Prijedor became known to the outside

24 world in early August 1992, the Omarska and Keraterm

25 camps were closed on the order of Radovan Karadzic and

Page 26

1 the survivors were transferred to the Trnopolje camp in

2 Prijedor Municipality and to the Manjaca camp in Banja

3 Luka Municipality. Prisoners from Sanski Most, Kljuc,

4 and Kotor Varos were also sent to the Manjaca camp,

5 which was run by the 1st Krajina Corps. Thereafter,

6 the final mass deportation and forced transfer of

7 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats began.

8 34. The forced transfers and deportations

9 were organised by the police, military, and other

10 municipal organs operating at the direction of the ARK

11 Crisis Staff. In order to be allowed to leave the

12 area, many Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats were

13 forced to sign documents stating that they were turning

14 over all of their property to the self-declared Bosnian

15 Serb republic. The forced transfers and deportations

16 continued through December 1992 and resulted in the

17 expulsion of more than 100,000 Bosnian Muslims and

18 Bosnian Croats.

19 35. Between 1 April 1992 and 31 December

20 1992, Radoslav Brdjanin, in concert with others,

21 planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise

22 aided and abetted the acts described in paragraphs 22

23 through 34 above in order to achieve the expulsion of

24 the Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb

25 populations from the Autonomous Region of the Krajina.

Page 27

1 All of those acts, as described above, were committed

2 against members of the Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat

3 and other non-Serb populations because of their

4 political, racial and religious identity.

5 36. Further, between 1 April 1992 and 31

6 December 1992, Radoslav Brdjanin knew or had reason to

7 know that Bosnian Serb and Serb forces under the

8 control of the ARK Crisis Staff were committing the

9 acts described in paragraphs 22 through 34 above

10 against members of the Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat

11 and other non-Serb populations because of their

12 political, racial and religious identity or had done

13 so, and he failed to take necessary and reasonable

14 measures to prevent such acts or to punish the

15 perpetrators thereof.

16 By his participation in these acts and

17 omissions, Radoslav Brdjanin committed:

18 Count 1: persecutions on political, racial,

19 or religious grounds, a crime against humanity,

20 punishable under Articles 5(H) and 7(1) and 7(3) of the

21 Statute of the Tribunal.

22 Louise Arbour, Prosecutor.

23 Dated this 12th day of March, 1999, at The

24 Hague, The Netherlands.

25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I shall now turn

Page 28

1 to the accused.

2 Mr. Brdjanin, I shall ask you two questions:

3 First of all, were you handed the indictment in a

4 language you understand?


6 JUDGE CASSESE: Second question: Do you want

7 to plead now or within the period provided for in

8 Rule 62(3) of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence,

9 namely, 30 days?

10 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Now.

11 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. I am now going to

12 recall the count against you. It is Count 1:

13 persecutions on political, racial, or religious

14 grounds, a crime against humanity, punishable under

15 Articles 5(H) and 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the

16 International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

17 Could you please tell the Court whether you

18 plead guilty or not guilty. The formal words we wish

19 you to use are either "I plead guilty" or "I plead not

20 guilty." Have you understood this?

21 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Yes, I

22 understand, and not guilty.

23 JUDGE CASSESE: So you plead not guilty. All

24 right. We will duly record your plea --

25 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Yes.

Page 29

1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you,

2 Mr. Brdjanin.

3 I will now instruct the registrar to set a

4 date for trial subject to further order of the Trial

5 Chamber.

6 Is there any matter either the Prosecution or

7 Defence would like to discuss before we adjourn?

8 MR. STEWART: Mr. President, with your

9 permission, there is a very small matter.

10 I believe that we may have misspelled the

11 first name of the accused in the indictment. It should

12 be Radoslav with an "o" instead of an "i" in the

13 middle. I believe Mr. Greaves has no objection to me

14 raising this small matter, and I would ask that the

15 indictment be amended, and I think the accused is

16 indicating that this is correct. His name is Radoslav.

17 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I confirm that I

18 have discussed that small matter with my client and

19 with the Prosecutor. We have no objection to that

20 amendment being made.

21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much,

22 Mr. Greaves. So it will then be amended accordingly

23 "Radoslav" throughout the indictment.

24 MR. STEWART: Thank you. I might also inform

25 the Chamber that we are in a position to make the

Page 30

1 necessary disclosure of supporting materials right

2 away, and we will do so.

3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much.

4 Mr. Greaves, any matter you would like to

5 raise?

6 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, there is nothing

7 else that that I would like to raise at this stage.

8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much. We will

9 adjourn sine die.

10 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

11 6.04 p.m. sine die