1 Friday, 3 February 2012
2 [Rule 77 Hearing]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Would the Registrar please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-95-5/18-R77.2, in the contempt case of Milan Tupajic.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Can I have the appearances.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
12 Your Honours. My name is Aleksandar Lazarevic, and I will represent
13 Mr. Tupajic in this case.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
15 Good morning, Mr. Tupajic. Are you following the proceedings in
16 the language you understand?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning. Yes, I can follow
18 the proceedings without any difficulties. Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Before we begin today, the Chamber will
20 give a summary of the case against the accused, Mr. Milan Tupajic.
21 On the 9th of September, 2011, the Prosecution filed a motion to
22 the Chamber in the Karadzic case seeking a subpoena to compel the
23 testimony of Witness Milan Tupajic. On the 23rd of September, 2011, the
24 Chamber in that case issued a subpoena ordering Mr. Tupajic to appear and
25 testify in the Karadzic case on the 3rd of October, 2011. On the
1 5th of October, 2011, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed a
2 Memorandum of Service which indicated correspondence from Mr. Tupajic
3 indicating that he was unwilling to appear and testify in the Karadzic
5 On the 3rd of November, 2011, the Chamber in the Karadzic case
6 issued a second subpoena again ordering Mr. Tupajic to testify in the
7 Karadzic case. On the 8th of November, 2011, the government of
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina filed a Memorandum of Service which indicated that
9 Mr. Tupajic refused to comply with the second subpoena.
10 As recalled earlier, Mr. Tupajic is being prosecuted for contempt
11 for having knowingly and willingly interfered with the administration of
12 justice by refusing to comply with two subpoenas ad testificandum.
13 Now, Mr. Lazarevic, you have the floor.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. In this case,
15 Mr. Tupajic after consulting his Defence decided to testify by himself in
16 his defence. We intend to admit -- well, to offer for admittance
17 20 documents which will corroborate Mr. Tupajic's testimony and that's
18 basically all that we have, and we believe that his testimony will be
19 completed today by the end of working hour.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. So please proceed, Mr. Lazarevic.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I will now call
22 Mr. Tupajic to take the floor.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes.
24 [The accused takes the stand]
25 JUDGE KWON: Would Mr. Tupajic take the solemn declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tupajic. Please be seated.
4 WITNESS: MILAN TUPAJIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE KWON: Please make yourself comfortable.
7 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, if I may just for a second use
9 Mr. Usher's assistance. For Mr. Tupajic's convenience, I made hard
10 copies of all the documents that I intend to use. I believe that it
11 would be much easier for him to deal with hard copies, and I have one
12 binder if I could hand it over to Mr. Tupajic.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. By all means, please.
14 Examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Tupajic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Before we commence with your evidence, I'd like to caution you
18 about one thing. I know that you've already testified before this
19 Tribunal. Still, since both of us speak the same language, wait for me
20 to put my question fully and wait for it to be recorded in the
21 transcript, which will be indicated by the cursor stopping on the screen,
22 and then proceed with your answer. This is to ensure that all your
23 answer -- answers are accurately recorded.
24 A. Yes. I will do my best to assist in that.
25 Q. Let us begin with some of -- information concerning your personal
1 background, starting with your full name.
2 A. My name is Milan Tupajic.
3 Q. Can you give us your date and place of birth.
4 A. I was born on the 2nd of June, 1954, in the place called Knezina
5 in the municipality of Sokolac.
6 Q. And where do you reside at present?
7 A. In Sokolac.
8 Q. Are you married?
9 A. Yes. I have -- I have been married since 1980.
10 Q. Do you have any children?
11 A. Yes, two sons.
12 Q. And what are their ages?
13 A. The older son is 30, and the younger 26.
14 Q. Do you have any grandchildren?
15 A. Not yet.
16 Q. Mr. Tupajic, do you have any employment at present? Can you tell
17 Their Honours?
18 A. No. I have not been employed since 30 -- 30th June 2004.
19 Q. So where do you earn your livelihood?
20 A. Well, from that date until the month of April of 2006, I didn't
21 have any earnings, whereas in April of 2006, a commission of the
22 Republika Srpska PIA fund declared that I should be retired, and I have
23 been retired ever since.
24 Q. It seems, therefore, that you have retired at a rather early age.
25 What was the reason for your retirement?
1 A. Well, I was retired early because in June of 2004, I had a very
2 serious heart condition which worsened over time. In April of 2006, the
3 situation exacerbated and the commission decided that I am 70 per cent
4 disabled. Since that moment, I have been retired as a disabled person.
5 Q. Thank you. We will get back to that at some point during your
6 evidence. I just wanted Their Honours to know where you get your
7 earnings from.
8 Can you tell us what is your pension at present.
9 A. In 2006, it was 180 euros, and at present it is 290 euros.
10 Q. A couple of more questions concerning your family situation.
11 Does your spouse have an employment?
12 A. She did have until last August, August of last year.
13 Unfortunately, she was declared redundant and was dismissed. So in our
14 family of four, formally nobody is employed save for my older son who
15 occasionally does an odd job, though I must say it's on the black market,
16 whereas -- although he had graduated two and a half years ago from the
17 faculty of transport, and my younger son is still studying. So we are
18 having it pretty hard.
19 Q. Thank you. I think we now have a clear picture of your family
20 situation. Can you tell us if your wife has managed to become retired in
21 the meantime?
22 A. No. She's currently registered with the unemployment agency.
23 That's the standard procedure, and she is entitled to some 200 euros of
24 unemployment benefit in the coming four or five months, and at the end of
25 that period, we will be down to my pension. And, of course, given the
1 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, although I have a degree in economics
2 and -- although she has a degree in economics and has been working for
3 28 years in her profession, it will still be very difficult for her to
4 find a new job.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tupajic. A couple of more questions before we
6 move on. Can you tell us first if you have served your military service
7 and when.
8 A. Yes, I did. From mid-1979 to mid-1980.
9 Q. And did you get any sort of rank during your military service or
10 any sort of decoration?
11 A. No. I have a degree in mechanical engineering and my line of
12 profession is motor vehicle. It was in Vojvodina in Serbia that I served
13 my military service, and I was trained in driving, basically. And after
14 having done my compulsory training, I assisted my instructors in teaching
15 people driving. I was only given a medal for exemplary conduct, for
16 being a model soldier, and that was a credit for -- that was the credit
17 for my proper service.
18 Q. One last question on this score. Do you have any misdemeanour or
19 criminal record, and, if so, what sort?
20 A. No. This is the first time that I am appearing before a court of
21 law, whatever branch of law it may be.
22 Q. Mr. Tupajic, let us move to a different topic now. It has to do
23 with your experience with this Tribunal so far and your dealings with it.
24 Can you tell Their Honours how far back was your first contact
25 with the Tribunal? And when I say "the Tribunal," I mean any part of it,
1 including the OTP.
2 A. The first contact I had with the ICTY OTP was in December of 2002
3 in Banja Luka. The interview lasted the whole day. This was followed by
4 a number of contacts. Should I continue?
5 Q. Well, let me guide you with my questions to make sure that
6 everything is properly recorded and understood.
7 So in December of 2002, you were first approached by the
8 ICTY OTP. Can you tell us what sort of contact was it? Was it by
9 telephone or in writing?
10 A. It was a telephone call. As I said, at the time I was a deputy
11 of the National Assembly. The seat of the National Assembly was and is
12 still in Banja Luka. Since the National Assembly was in session at the
13 time, I suggested that my meeting with them take place in Banja Luka, and
14 that was how it happened. We -- I mean the Assembly was in session for
15 two or three days, and we met, the Prosecution and I, in Banja Luka at
16 what I believe to be a UN base.
17 Q. You say that this first conversation or interview you had with
18 them was that day. How long did it last?
19 A. Well, some six to seven hours in substance, and if you count in
20 the breaks, perhaps a bit longer.
21 Q. Did you give a statement for the OTP at the time in Banja Luka?
22 A. No. I have never given the standard statement to the
23 Prosecution. This was merely a conversation between me and
24 representatives of the Prosecution. The interview was recorded and there
25 is a transcript to that effect. I have never been given an opportunity
1 to sign any sort of statements either in relation to that first interview
2 or to those that followed.
3 Q. But at any rate, you have already told us that those -- that the
4 interview was taped, and let me ask you what you spoke about.
5 A. We spoke about the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but more about
6 the events in the Sokolac municipality and the wider area in 1991 until
7 the end of 1992.
8 Q. Very well. After that first interview in 2002 in Banja Luka, did
9 you ever meet with the OTP of this Tribunal again, and did you speak to
11 A. Yes. In 2003. I cannot exactly remember the date, not even the
12 month, although I had my passport on me, although it's expired now, and
13 it has all the entry stamps of my travels here. I was summoned by
14 Mr. Tieger, who explained to me that his investigators doesn't have
15 enough time to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina and asked me whether I was
16 willing to come to The Hague to continue the talks with them.
17 I must admit it was not so easy for me to come, because that was
18 the first time I ever came here, especially on my own, but I did respond
19 to all three invitations, which means that in April 2003, I was in
20 The Hague three times and spoke to OTP representatives for a couple of
21 days in a row each time.
22 Q. In that period, and I mean 2002/2003, did you ever refuse to meet
23 OTP representatives and talk to them?
24 A. Never during these almost ten years did I refuse any initiative
25 from the ICTY until that subpoena, unfortunately, which came in. And it
1 wasn't easy for me to bear, because that was the first time I have ever
2 failed to respond to an official summons of an official institution, but
3 I will later try to explain how that happened, and I'll try to convince
4 this Trial Chamber that I had valid reasons for doing so.
5 Q. All right. Yes, we'll get there yet, but while we're dealing
6 with this topic, tell us whether you have already testified before this
8 A. I testified in late June 2005 in the Krajisnik trial. I was an
9 OTP witness.
10 Q. I don't want to go into the details of your testimony. What
11 matters to me is that you tell us to what extent you testified.
12 As far as you remember, how much time -- how long before the
13 testimony did you come to The Hague?
14 A. As far as I remember, I arrived some three or four days in
15 advance. There is a period for proofing and preparing witnesses, as far
16 as I know, and that stage of preparation for the testimony may have taken
17 as much time, but I'm sure there are records about that. I think I may
18 have been three days -- or may have arrived three days prior to my
20 Q. Your testimony itself, how long did that take from the moment you
21 made the solemn declaration till the moment when you were released?
22 A. I think that it went on for some two and a half days. I think
23 that on the last day we began in the morning and we finished around noon.
24 That's what I remember.
25 Q. And that was a full examination, that is, an examination-in-chief
1 followed possibly by a cross-examination and maybe a re-examination.
2 That is, you underwent all the stages of a witness examination.
3 A. Yes. It was the procedure that I had been able to observe
4 following the trials here on TV and otherwise. There was nothing special
5 about the procedure. It was all standard procedure when you examine
6 witnesses here.
7 Q. Did you testify in public session or possibly private or closed
9 A. I testified in open session, although Mr. Tieger asked me if I
10 wanted or preferred to testify in closed session or under protective
11 measures, but I declined that, because never in my life have I done
12 anything secretly. Whatever I did, I did openly and transparently. And
13 I still stand by everything I said during that testimony, and I also
14 stand by the approximately 70 hours of interviews that were taped before
15 that. I saw it as my duty to try to give a contribution to establishing
16 the truth about the events in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I
17 thought that would be the end of my duties towards this Tribunal, because
18 I had said what was most important and everything that I was asked to
20 Q. Thank you for this rather detailed answer. There are some
21 details, though, I would like to ask you about as they may prove
22 important for your subsequent examination.
23 Are you familiar with the full scope of protective measures this
24 Tribunal can offer to witnesses who have such needs?
25 A. Yes, I am fully familiar with that, and I must point out that
1 Mr. Tieger and his co-workers were very fair in all their contacts with
3 Q. I only have a couple more questions about your relations with the
5 Did you have a political function in the RS?
6 A. Yes, I did, but before that I would like to explain how that came
7 about. As I have already said, I'm a mechanical engineer by training.
8 After graduating from university, I worked at the Fabrika Motora in
9 Sarajevo [Realtime transcript read in error "Srebrenica"]. Once a ball
10 bearing factory was built in my hometown of Sokolac by a Swedish firm,
11 the local leadership contacted me and asked me if I could help in the
12 implementation of that project, and I worked there until June 1991, when
13 unfortunately that factory ceased to operate.
14 Then I was contacted by some people from the party that was in
15 power then, because the position of president of municipality had been
16 vacated, and I became president of the municipality from 20 -- from
17 1 August 1991 until 7 November 1997.
18 At the first elections after the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 in late 1996, I was also elected a deputy, and I remained deputy until
20 29 June 2004, when I was removed from office pursuant to the decision of
21 the High Representative, Mr. Ashdown.
22 Q. Thank you very much, but please wait for a moment for the sake of
23 the record, because I --
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, if I may correct the transcript,
25 it's on page 11, row 7, it says here "Srebrenica." Instead of that it
1 should read "Sokolac."
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. That will be corrected.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Tupajic, let me now go back to the part of your evidence
5 where you said that you were a deputy in the Assembly of the
6 Republika Srpska. I would like the Trial Chamber to get a complete
7 picture of that. Please tell us which party delegated you.
8 A. I was a deputy of the Serbian Democratic Party, and from 1998 to
9 2004, I was also chairman of the caucus of the SDS and the
10 National Assembly of Republika Srpska.
11 Q. While you were both deputy and chairman of the SDS caucus in the
12 National Assembly of Republika Srpska, was the topic of co-operation with
13 the ICTY on the agenda of the Assembly?
14 A. Yes. As far as I remember, in 2000 the National Assembly of
15 Republika Srpska adopted a law on the co-operation with the ICTY, but
16 there were problems, and there was obstruction in the process of passing
17 that law, not only among the deputies from my party but also other
18 parties. Then and much earlier, too, not to mention the present time, I
19 was aware of the fact that such a law must be passed, because it's -- it
20 doesn't only serve the interests of the ICTY but also the interests of
21 the RS.
22 I believe that my authority may have been decisive in the
23 adoption of that law. As we were the majority in parliament then, it
24 wouldn't have been possible to adopt that law without our support. There
25 were some deputies who were against that, and they voted against that
1 law. That's when I became aware that these matters need to be taken care
3 By the way, all my life I had been a legalist, and I've always
4 tried to -- I've always striven to -- for my activities to be in the
5 framework of the law. And if I may add that my interventions must have
6 been recorded in the transcripts from the National Assembly sessions.
7 The minister of justice was Biljana Maric then, and the prime minister
8 was Mr. Ivanic in 2000.
9 Q. Let us now take a look at a document that has to be -- has to do
10 with what you have just spoken about. That's document D20. In the
11 binder you have in front of you, that's the last document. It's at the
12 W tab.
13 As we see in the upper right-hand corner of this document, it is
14 addressed to the Office of the High Representative for
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Let me first ask you if this is your handwriting.
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. What were the circumstances of the drafting of this letter? When
18 was it sent and why? What does it contain? After that, I will point out
19 certain sections of the letter to you.
20 A. At that time, Mr. Schwarz-Schilling was the High Representative
21 for Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was from the Federal Republic of Germany, but
22 that doesn't matter much. He invited all of us who had been removed from
23 office pursuant to the decisions of previous high representatives to
24 contact his office for those decisions to be reconsidered and the
25 sanctions possibly abolished.
1 Perhaps my style in this letter was not appropriate and possibly
2 that was why it was never read out to him, but I took that opportunity to
3 tell Mr. Schwarz-Schilling, in brief, that there was not a single reason
4 for that decision of Mr. Ashdown back in 2004 removing me and other
5 colleagues from office, because that happened without establishing the
6 facts prior to that decision. The reason was also because I and some
7 others went about our jobs in the positions to which we were appointed.
8 And finally I said whatever his decision, I would respect it the same way
9 I respected the decision of Mr. Ashdown, although it was totally unjust
10 and unfounded on facts.
11 No investigation was ever launched against us, nor was there a --
12 a judicial procedure. Only in August of last year, pursuant to a
13 decision by Mr. Intzko, all persons who were suspended with me in 2004
14 were rehabilitated. However, in the meantime, many things happened that
15 ruined the health and careers of many of us.
16 Q. I would just like you to look at the second page of this letter
17 sometime -- some place in the middle. In the English version this is at
18 the end of page 1, where it talks about the SDS deputies.
19 I read this letter very carefully, and I can see that you've
20 already testified to this before this Tribunal. All of these facts that
21 you have stated here before this Trial Chamber you also wrote about to
22 the High Representatives as your -- your -- in your role as the president
23 of the Deputies' Club and responsible for liaison with The Hague
24 Tribunal, so we don't really need to state those things again.
25 A. Well, again, I said that the decision was made without actual
1 consideration of all the work we did in our co-operation with the
2 Tribunal. When the decision on our replacement was announced, it was
3 said that it was due to our failure to co-operate with The Hague
4 Tribunal, but by that time I had already been to The Hague three times,
5 and I had already referred to the conversation I had with the
7 This was also a topic of discussions before the National
8 Assembly. Simply, this decision was not founded on any facts, simply the
9 High Representative decided to make that decision because we were
10 carrying out certain functions at that time, and I think that there was
11 no other reason.
12 Q. Thank you very much. To finish this topic, just tell me this,
13 please: Again at one point in time you were summoned by The Hague
14 Tribunal to testify, only this time it was a summons to testify in the
15 case against Radovan Karadzic. Are you able to tell me when this was?
16 A. The first contact concerning this case was made in late July by
17 telephone. I think that maybe Mr. Tieger got in touch with me at that
18 time, or one of his associates, I'm not sure, but that's not that
19 important right now. Anyway, he asked me if I was prepared, since
20 two investigators were coming to Sarajevo in late July, whether I was
21 prepared to see them. I said, "No problem at all, Mr. Tieger. We just
22 need to set the place for our meeting." And he also told me the topic
23 that they wanted to discuss with me.
24 The meeting took place in Pale in late July 2009. Knowing,
25 because Mr. Tieger told me what it was all about, I wrote a letter to
1 Mr. Tieger personally, and in the letter I stated some facts that he was
2 probably not aware of, some things that had happened in the meantime, and
3 I told him then about my position that had to do with what was being
4 asked of me.
5 Q. All right. Well, now that you've mentioned that, I would like
6 now in the e-court system to actually show this document but not to
7 broadcast it publicly. That's document D16.
8 Mr. Tupajic, in your binder this is in the -- behind the yellow
9 divider marked with the letter R. Do you see that in front of you? Are
10 you able to see it?
11 Is this your handwriting, can you tell us, and is this the letter
12 that you sent to the OTP of this Tribunal?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, if we can move into private
15 session, please, because now we will discuss certain topics which are not
16 to be discussed in public.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, very well.
18 Could the Chamber move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 33-44 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll have a break for half an hour and resume
18 at 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic. By the way, Mr. Lazarevic, at
22 the outset you said that Mr. Tupajic's testimony would be completed today
23 by the end of working hour. Do you mean that his testimony will last
24 till 3.00?
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, no, no. By no means. I believe that we can
1 finish in one hour, maybe an hour and a half. That's a fair estimation,
2 I mean, according to my questions that I drafted, I've already put
3 two-thirds of the questions to Mr. Tupajic.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please proceed, Mr. Lazarevic. But I
5 wanted to let you know we are still -- we are in open session.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. I was just about to ask for a private
7 session for one brief moment just in order to finish this topic with
8 Mr. Tupajic.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Could the Chamber move into private session.
10 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tupajic. We'll be in open session for a while to
16 speak about some other facts concerning this case.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Lazarevic, could you think whether the last
18 answer should remain in private session or a confidential part of
19 transcript or whether that's something that can be discussed in public as
20 well, some part? Shall we go back to -- shall we go back to private
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, maybe.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Tupajic, I wanted to discuss this topic with you anyway, but
15 the Trial Chamber is interested too. Let us go back to the first
16 contacts with the OTP when you were informed that you were to testify
17 before this Tribunal in the Karadzic case. When did that happen?
18 A. As I said, the first contact was in July 2009, and I spoke about
19 that interview with the OTP representatives at Pale in July. In
20 September, Mr. Tieger called me up and asked me if I was opposed to
21 meeting him in Sarajevo as he would be there briefly at the UN base. Of
22 course, I accepted to meet him, and I met him in the afternoon hours when
23 we spoke for about three hours.
24 Q. Tell me, please, did that conversation take place before you sent
25 the letter to Mr. Tieger?
1 A. No. It was after that. In late July 2009, I sent the letter to
2 Mr. Tieger through his co-workers. That was -- that's a letter we have
3 already seen here.
4 Q. So after that letter you met again, and what did you speak about?
5 A. Mr. Tieger, probably not accepting the reasons I stated in my
6 letter, tried to convince me to come and testify in this case anyway. On
7 that occasion, I tried to convince Mr. Tieger that I had valid reasons
8 for my decision, but I had already stated that in my letter.
9 Q. Were there other calls or other meetings with OTP representatives
10 after that?
11 A. No. Until July 2011, there were no more contacts. I believe
12 that it was Mr. Tieger who contacted me then, and basically I got a
13 number of instructions from them. I went to Nedzarici, the UN base, to
14 receive the transcripts from my testimony in Krajisnik, and then later
15 they informed me that I didn't have a passport, which was true, because I
16 never needed one in the previous years, and I immediately filed an
17 application for a new passport. And I didn't know how things would
18 develop. I followed all instructions received from the OTP, and I
19 responded to each of their calls.
20 Q. Very well. If we honour the chronology, the next thing that we
21 should mention would be the reception of the subpoena.
22 Did you get the subpoena? What were the circumstances? Where
23 were you? What was happening? What did you do?
24 A. The first subpoena came in rather late because it was issued on
25 the 23rd of December --
1 THE INTERPRETER: No, September, interpreter's correction.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and I only received it on the
3 5th of October. I immediately went to the police station where it was
4 handed it me. They make an official note of that fact. I never got a
5 copy though. I then collected medical documentation and sent it to the
6 Trial Chamber asking it to accept the reasons I stated for not being able
7 to respond to the subpoena.
8 Q. And after that there was another subpoena. Tell us when you got
9 it, how, and so on.
10 A. The exact date is stated here. It came in much sooner. At the
11 police station I stated medical reasons, like the first time around, and
12 some other reasons into which I want to go later, I could not act
13 pursuant to the subpoena.
14 Q. When you received the first and second subpoenas, did you read
16 A. Yes, I did. There was nothing unclear neither in the first or
17 the second subpoena. I was fully aware of all possible consequences.
18 But I also knew that even that would be easier for me to bear than
19 reliving everything I went through after my testimony in 2005.
20 Q. After two subpoenas you said you got and understood, the decision
21 was issued to apprehend you and take you to The Hague. How did you get
22 that order?
23 A. Well, that was expected. I actually expected that to happen much
24 earlier. The period from the first subpoena to the arrest warrant was a
25 very stressful period for me. I didn't know all the procedures in force
1 here. For two months or so I was in suspense, but I expected the arrest,
2 and I was aware of what would follow.
3 Q. When that came in, did you try to avoid your arrest in any way?
4 A. No. Quite to the contrary. The BH authorities know that. I
5 never did anything to indicate that I would oppose my arrest.
6 When they came to arrest me, I told them that I had been waiting
7 for them for quite a while. So I didn't resist my arrest.
8 Q. Mr. Tupajic, I must ask you this question: You have already
9 testified before the Tribunal in the Krajisnik case. Your state of
10 health at the time was what it was. I don't want to go into the details
11 of it now because we're in open session. You are testifying even now at
12 this moment before this Honourable Trial Chamber. Tell me, what's the
13 difference? How come you can testify today defending yourself but cannot
14 testify in the Karadzic case?
15 A. I would just like to speak about this in a little more detail
16 now, please, but in view of what I'm going to say, I would kindly ask for
17 that to be done in closed session if that's possible.
18 Q. Well, if you're asking for that, I think that would be a
19 cautionary measure.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] And I would like ask the
21 Trial Chamber to grant the witness's request.
22 JUDGE KWON: Is it because it is related to your health
23 condition, Mr. Tupajic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. What I would like to talk
25 about now has nothing to do with my health condition, but it has to do
1 with the events that ensued after my testimony in the Krajisnik case and
2 on my return to my place of residence.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE KWON: Out of an abundance of caution, we'll grant it.
5 We'll back to private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 53-69 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, we are now in open session.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Tupajic, for my question and your answer to be given in open
7 session, we must repeat them. I apologise.
8 My last question was, Mr. Tupajic, whether you believe that you
9 failed to respond to the subpoena of this Tribunal without a valid
11 A. When I made that decision it was a decision that is contrary to
12 my personal codex or to the attitude I embrace in life in general,
13 because I was aware of not acting pursuant to a binding instruction by a
14 Tribunal. But with regard to my state of health and its deterioration in
15 recent times, and given all the unpleasant experiences after my testimony
16 in 2005, as well as my commitments to my family which is in a rather
17 precarious situation, I think that my reasons should be sufficient.
18 Of course, if the Trial Chamber does not accept that, then I'm
19 guilty and I have to accept that. I'm aware of the possibility that
20 my -- the reasons stated will be assessed as insufficient, in which case,
21 I'm willing and ready to accept all consequences.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Tupajic. I have
23 no more questions of you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 Questioned by the Court:
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Lazarevic, was this evidence given in private
5 session? Do you recollect? I think it was.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, it was, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BAIRD: Well, can we go in private session then? Can we?
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 72-73 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Lazarevic, shall we deal with the documents you
9 showed during your examination of the accused. You showed 20 documents,
10 starting from D1 to D20.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: From D1 to D20.
12 JUDGE KWON: And among them, if my memory's correct, D16, D20,
13 were discussed in open session, but the others were discussed in private
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: All the others should be under seal.
16 JUDGE KWON: So is it your opinion that all the others should
17 remain under seal? I'm particular interested in knowing the status of
18 D17, 18, 19. Those are Mr. Tupajic's letter to MUP, two letters, and one
19 is a stenographical record of the Municipal Assembly.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Published on the internet.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, as for D19, it can be found on the
22 internet, so there is absolutely no reason for this one to be under seal.
23 However, as for D17 and D18, it's a private letter of Mr. Tupajic, and
24 during his testimony he somehow expressed his disagreement when these
25 letters were sent to the newspapers or made public because they were
1 intended to be sent to just the Ministry of Interior. So maybe out of
2 cautiousness, maybe these two letters should remain under seal.
3 JUDGE KWON: Very well. How about D7, Mr. Lazarevic? It's the
4 High Representative's decision.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: That one -- that one can be public, I think.
6 JUDGE KWON: So we will admit D7, D16, and D20 publicly, and
7 others will remain admitted under seal.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE KWON: And I take it you closed your case. There's no
10 further evidence you want to tender.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. There is no -- any further
12 evidence. Our case is finished.
13 JUDGE KWON: And you are going to make a final closing argument,
14 and also, I take it Mr. Tupajic is going to make his statement.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. That's -- that's the situation. I am ready
16 to give my closing. Although maybe it would be better if we take a break
17 five minutes earlier to prepare myself for the closing. It won't take
18 more than 15 to 20 minutes for my side and approximately something like
19 that amount of time for Mr. Tupajic.
20 JUDGE KWON: Would it be okay to have a break for half an hour
21 instead of an hour?
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Of course. Of course, Your Honour. That would
23 be more than sufficient.
24 JUDGE KWON: Okay. We'll take a break about half an hour, and we
25 will resume at 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. President, a
5 respected colleague of mine while defending before this Tribunal in
6 another contempt case said that there are no minor or small cases, and I
7 completely agree with him. The case in which Mr. Tupajic has been
8 charged for contempt of court did not take long, just one trial day, but
9 nevertheless, it is not a minor or a small case. In volume, it's not a
10 large case. However, it opens some legal and ethical questions on which,
11 of course, this esteemed Trial Chamber will give their opinion in their
12 ruling and the significance of which far exceeds the actual case itself.
13 Mr. Tupajic has been charged after receiving on the
14 5th of October, 2011, and the 8th of November, 2011, about the content of
15 two subpoenas dated the 23rd of September and the 3rd of November, as
16 well as after being informed of his duty to appear before the Chamber or
17 to state valid reasons due to which he was not able to respond to
18 two subpoenas, has been charged of knowingly and wilfully obstructing the
19 administration of justice because he refused to act upon those subpoenas.
20 Let us now look at the facts of this case. Mr. Tupajic did
21 receive the first and the second subpoena. He was informed about their
22 content and, therefore, was aware of his duty to act pursuant to those
23 subpoenas. This is not in dispute.
24 As for whether Mr. Tupajic wilfully obstructed the administration
25 of justice when he refused to act upon those subpoenas, that is what is
1 at issue here. In my desire to stay as long as possible in open session
2 for my closing arguments, I'm now only going to talk about the fact
3 whether Mr. Tupajic made his decision wilfully. While looking at that,
4 whether he did that wilfully or not, this Trial Chamber needs to keep in
5 mind the following fact: Reaching a wilful decision implies that the
6 person who is making that decision has free will, rather, that there are
7 no reasons which would in any way significantly restrict that
8 individual's free will.
9 I'm going to come back to this topic at some later stage of my
10 closing arguments.
11 Linked to this, of course, is the question of the validity of the
12 reasons Mr. Tupajic cited in his answers relating to the subpoena. The
13 Trial Chamber is familiar with these reasons. They were reviewed in
14 detail in the course of the proceedings, and according to Mr. Tupajic's
15 understanding, these reasons are justified.
16 Before I analyse them in my closing statement, I would kindly ask
17 the Trial Chamber not to look at these reasons one by one, separately,
18 but to view them as a group of circumstances in the case of Mr. Tupajic,
19 because it is not possible to separate each one of them.
20 When we speak about the reasons which led Mr. Tupajic not to act
21 upon the orders of this Trial Chamber, the Trial Chamber would need to
22 ask itself the following questions: Would someone who already testified
23 in a case before this Tribunal refuse to testify again without having a
24 valid reason for doing so? Because the situation of Mr. Tupajic is a
25 specific one. He already testified in the Krajisnik case in 2005. And
1 opposed to somebody who is testifying for the first time, he has
2 first-hand experience about what that means, what it means to testify and
3 what all the aspects of that are.
4 Also, would somebody who in their political endeavours urged the
5 establishment of the co-operation with Republika Srpska with this
6 Tribunal and who actively took part in the adoption of appropriate laws
7 within his jurisdiction without a valid reason refuse to testify before
8 that same Tribunal?
9 Mr. Tupajic testified as to those reasons in his defence, and he
10 was completely sincere before this Trial Chamber. At his explicit
11 request, the Defence did not present any witnesses, and it relied
12 exclusively on written documents considering that they speak for
13 themselves and that the sincere testimony of Mr. Tupajic before this
14 Trial Chamber constitutes his very best defence.
15 If we may now, Your Honours, I would like to move into private
16 session, because now I'm going to be dealing with certain matters that
17 were dealt with previously in private session.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 79-81 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] At the end of my closing
7 arguments, I would like to say this: Mr. Tupajic would plead that this
8 Trial Chamber acquit him in this case since the reasons that led him not
9 to act pursuant to orders of this Trial Chamber are valid pursuant to
10 paragraph [as interpreted] 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
11 Should this Trial Chamber make a different decision, all the
12 circumstances that were discussed today could be viewed solely as
13 mitigating factors for Mr. Tupajic.
14 The Defence would particularly like to emphasise that Mr. Tupajic
15 is a regular, modest, family man, a man who already testified before this
16 Tribunal and thus gave an important contribution to the work and role of
17 this Tribunal. On the other hand, we believe that there are no
18 aggravating circumstances which could in this case influence the
19 situation of Mr. Tupajic.
20 At the end, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank
21 Mr. Tupajic for the confidence he expressed by allowing me to represent
22 him in his defence. I would also like to thank all the participants in
23 these proceedings who helped to run the whole thing smoothly, and in
24 particular to the interpreters who, as always, have done an exceptionally
25 good job. And I would also like to say that it was my exceptional
1 privilege and pleasure to appear again before this esteemed
2 Trial Chamber. Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
4 Mr. Lazarevic, does your client wish to make a statement.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, after I had a brief discussion with
6 Mr. Tupajic upon his arrival in the courtroom, he told me that he
7 would -- would like to say just a few words, because he's not really
8 feeling good today, and it was very exhausting for him, and instead of
9 reading what he wrote, he will just like to address the Trial Chamber in
10 just a few words.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tupajic, you have the floor.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Honourable Chamber, I am quite
13 tired already with the proceedings we've had today, and I will not repeat
14 the issues I've already stated.
15 In my evidence, I have tried to paint a picture of what I have
16 gone through in the past seven or eight years. I don't know how
17 successful I was in doing that. Being a person of technical vocation, I
18 am not given to judging matters relating to words.
19 Let me just emphasise that everything I have stated today is the
20 truth and nothing but the truth. I would like to go back again to the
21 period following my testimony in 2005 to make just one point.
22 I think that I would have endured that period of my life far
23 easier had I been at the UNDU here in The Hague rather than in my place
24 which is Sokolac, and that because of the gravity of what I had to live
1 I think that my co-operation with the Prosecution and the
2 Tribunal as a whole did give some sort of contribution to shedding the
3 light and establishing the truth of the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
4 have always believed that truth will out, and no small role is played in
5 that by the people who give their contribution to that. My contribution
6 to that would have been even greater but for the reasons detailed today
7 by my Defence counsel and myself.
8 I would like to thank both the relevant organs in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as the organs here in the Tribunal and the
10 UNDU for what was on their part very decent and correct treatment of me.
11 I trust that Their Honours will thoroughly consider the points I made and
12 that they will render a fair ruling, and whatever the ruling that they
13 may render shall be, I will respect it. Thank you.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please be seated. Thank you, Mr. Tupajic.
15 Very well. The Chamber will consider all the evidence and
16 submissions and deliver the judgement in due course.
17 JUDGE MORRISON: Mr. Lazarevic, I'm not commenting on the merits
18 of the case that we have to determine at all. I simply want to thank you
19 for the very professional and clear way that you conducted this case. It
20 was a pleasure to have that sort of advocacy, which we don't always have.
21 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Lazarevic, let me endorse the views of my
22 brother Judge and colleague Judge Morrison.
23 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
25 at 1.28 p.m. sine die