1 Tuesday, 27 January 2004
2 [Sentencing Hearing]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Very good afternoon to
6 everybody. May I ask Madam Registrar, please, call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-61-S, The Prosecutor versus Miroslav Deronjic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
10 And may I have the appearances, please. For the Prosecution.
11 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. My name
12 is Mark Harmon. I represent the Office of the Prosecutor in this
13 proceeding. Seated to my right is Ms. Lisse-Lotte Karlsson, who is the
14 case manager. Thank you.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And for the Defence, please.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President,
17 Your Honours. I am Slobodan Cvijetic, and I represent the accused
18 Miroslav Deronjic. And to my right is my co-counsel,
19 Mr. Slobodan Zecevic.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And may I --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask Mr. Deronjic, can you follow the
23 proceedings in a language you understand?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President,
25 Your Honours. Yes, I can follow the proceedings in a language I
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The parties have received, it was
3 filed in public, provisional scheduling order. Maybe there might be the
4 one or other change. And in the light of the testimony last week, it
5 might even happen - I only want to alert you; it's not wishful thinking to
6 the contrary - it might happen that we need the three days and not only
7 two days. But let's try to focus on the two days as envisaged in the
8 scheduling order.
9 I think it's necessary, and it will facilitate the proceedings, if
10 we start with some technical issues, and this is the admission into
11 evidence. It's easier to refer to documents with an exhibit number and
12 not the entire title. Therefore, may I ask the Prosecution, you have
13 tendered in your sentencing brief an Appendix A, interviews -- six
14 interviews from 16th December 1997 until 9 April 2002. Are there any
15 objections that those documents are admitted into evidence?
16 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour.
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Madam Registrar, may I please have the exhibit
19 number for those documents. They can be found in Appendix A.
20 Yes, we live in a difficult world. In fact, it's correct, these
21 interviews were tendered by the Defence, so therefore they should appear
22 as Defence exhibits.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the number will be Exhibit DS1.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then consecutive 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, that we can
25 distinguish the six interviews. Correct?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
3 Then, we have an Appendix B, interview of June and July 2003. And
4 in relation to the Document Number 2, Mr. Deronjic's witness statement of
5 26 October 2003, unfortunately we have only a document not signed by
6 anybody. Can one of the parties help us out?
7 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we have an interview with
8 Mr. Deronjic on the 26th of November 2003 that is unsigned, not October.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In our document, unfortunately it reads October,
10 but with the addition "or November." It's not quite clear. It should say
11 if you tell us it's November --
12 MR. HARMON: This is a document that is 71 pages long.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
14 MR. HARMON: There is a signed B/C/S version of that document.
15 The English version is not signed.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. So can we proceed this way, that this
17 document is admitted into evidence, and we take it that during the next
18 break also the English version will be signed? Defence, you're in
20 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, the Defence -- the defendant would
21 need to see that and have that document translated for him to -- in order
22 for him to effectively have a signature on that. I think that it would
23 take more than a break to have him sign that. I am quite confident,
24 however, that at some point during these proceedings in the next three
25 days somebody could read that to him to ensure that the English
1 translation comports with the Bosnian version of it, and he will, I am
2 quite confident, sign it.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And both parties live with this suggestion, that
4 we base this on the English translation knowing that the original in B/C/S
5 as understood by Mr. Deronjic himself is signed, and therefore those two
6 documents be admitted into evidence and the English version A, and B/C/S
8 Then the Appendix C -- please, Madam Registrar.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, there will be no
10 problems with that. We agree with your proposal.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this cooperation.
12 Madam Registrar, what would be the exhibit numbers.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the interview dated June and July
14 2003, Exhibit DS7. And the witness statement of the 26th of October 2003
15 be DS8.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then let's turn to the next page.
17 The transcript of Mr. Deronjic's testimony in Prosecutor versus
18 Momir Nikolic sentencing hearing of 28 October 2003, transcript of
19 Mr. Deronjic's testimony in Prosecutor versus Krstic Appeals Hearing of 21
20 November of 2003, and transcript of Miroslav Deronjic's testimony in
21 Prosecutor versus Milosevic trial hearing of 26 and 27 November 2003. Any
22 objections? I can see no one. So what would be the exhibit numbers?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the numbers for the sentencing
24 hearing in Nikolic, 28 October 2003, Exhibit DS9; the testimony in the
25 Krstic appeal of the 21st of November 2003, DS10; and the testimony in the
1 Milosevic trial of the 26th and 27th of November, DS11.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I would suggest that we maintain a certain order
3 that the next exhibit to be admitted into evidence are the transcripts in
4 the case of Prosecutor versus Mr. Blagojevic. That's IT-02-60-T. These
5 are the transcripts starting -- let me see. The 19th of January and
6 concluding Tuesday, 22nd of January 2004. Any objections? This is not
7 the case. Therefore, this is admitted into evidence as the next available
8 exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, shall I consider this as a
10 Prosecution exhibit, or shall I just number through? I can indicate it as
11 PS12, just to clarify that the DS were the Defence exhibits, and PS will
12 be the Prosecution exhibits. But we can continue with consecutive
13 numbers. So that will be PS12.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
15 THE REGISTRAR: For the transcripts.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Now, let us turn to Appendix D. I don't want to
17 read out all the 11 issues. It's a certificate of no prior criminal
18 record, birth certificate, and so on and so forth until the transcript and
19 videoclip of Mr. Deronjic's speech on 1 September 1990. So any
20 objections? I can't see any. So therefore, admitted into evidence these
21 11 documents. And they have the following exhibit numbers.
22 Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the Appendix D will be numbered DS13;
24 for the certificate, DS13/1; number 2, another certificate, DS13/2; up to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we received yesterday - I don't know
2 whether the Prosecution wants to attach exhibit numbers starting with a P
3 or whether it should go as a Bench exhibit - this is one document on the
4 six strategic goals of 12 of May 1992.
5 MR. HARMON: My suggestion is that that be marked as a Court
6 exhibit since it was the Court that asked specifically to receive a copy
7 of that exhibit.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then let's give it an exhibit number
9 starting with J.
10 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number then will be JS14.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
12 And then what's in addition on my to-do list, I think as it was
13 admitted into evidence in the Blagojevic not as confidential but in open
14 session, their Exhibit number D96 called "understanding of the parties."
15 Any objections? This is not the case, so please, JS.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the Exhibit D96/1 will be numbered
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
19 Then we have the expert report provided by Ms. Najman. I can see
20 no objections. And the parties have already agreed that they need not
21 cross-examine this expert witness. This would be exhibit number, as
22 ordered by the Chamber.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit Number JS16.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then the Sieber report already in writing
25 admitted into evidence, and the parties submitted that those parties don't
1 want to cross-examine the expert witness, Professor Dr. Sieber on the
2 sentencing practice. This would be exhibit number?
3 THE REGISTRAR: JS17, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. No doubt I have forgotten the one or
5 other exhibit. May I ask the Prosecution, is there anything else to be
6 tendered by the Prosecution?
7 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, during the course of my remarks to the
8 Court, I will be tendering seven separate exhibits. If you would like, I
9 can, during the next recess, give them to the Court assistant who could
10 give them sequential numbers. We will not be using those exhibits at this
11 point in time.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then let's postpone this because before
13 admitting into evidence, no doubt the Trial Chamber reserves the right to
14 have a look on it whether it is admissible or not. I think it's only fair
15 to hear also the comments by the Defence on this. So let's wait.
16 MR. HARMON: Fine. Thank you.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Anything else admitted -- to be tendered by the
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm just afraid that
20 perhaps that the witness statements - maybe we missed that - did they get
21 the number? The statements proposed by the Prosecution and the statements
22 proposed by the Defence? I think that we still haven't given those
23 witness statements a number.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That is absolutely correct. And I wonder
25 whether Madam Registrar has already a list of this. Okay. Then we can
1 proceed. I was afraid you haven't. So please, if you could be so kind,
2 Madam Registrar, and read out the statements and the attached exhibit
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I would like to indicate that the
5 lists were filed confidential, and I'm not sure if the names of the
6 witnesses can be mentioned.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I would prefer not to mention the names of the
9 THE REGISTRAR: Okay.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I see the parties nodding. So proceed.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Then I will give one common number to the Defence
12 witnesses. That will be DS18. Indicated on their confidential annex 1,
13 we would like to suggest to refer to them as DS18/1 until DS18/8 as
14 indicated on the confidential annex.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think this is correct. Thank you.
16 THE REGISTRAR: For the Prosecution witnesses, that will be PS19,
17 referred to as PS19/1 until 8 for the eight witnesses.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I think for this point in time, we
19 have covered all exhibits.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one second. I
22 would just like to state that we will have two additional documents in our
23 closing address. The document is already here, and we have arranged to
24 present it when the time comes. And this is an aerial image of the
25 village of Glogova. We would like to tender that. And we also have
1 outstanding also the video footage from the founding session of the SDA
2 party from September 1992. We would also like to tender that into
3 evidence. We just provided the transcript of the address by Mr. Deronjic,
4 and we would also now like to tender the video footage.
5 The transcript of his speech has already been entered as DS13.
6 And we would like to attach the video footage to that.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can we do it with Exhibit Number/1.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I see that there is a
9 problem with the transcript. I see that the number is DS13/11. So the
10 video clip can be /11-A or something like that.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dash A. Thank you for this assistance. It's
12 still missing, the transcript of the testimony of Professor Sieber. I
13 think it should go together with the exhibit of the Zeber report as such,
14 /1. Correct, Madam Registrar?
15 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit JS17A.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then you alerted me that there
17 are three remaining documents to be admitted.
18 THE REGISTRAR: If I'm correct, Your Honour, these are the
19 previous testimonies in the other cases as referred to by the Prosecution
20 in -- one second. If I'm correct, the Prosecutor versus Krstic,
21 Momir Nikolic, Mr. Milosevic. But I think we've already exhibited those
22 if I remember correctly.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, because it was tendered by the Defence as
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So -- but we have time enough if there should be
2 any other additional exhibit to be necessary to be admitted into evidence,
3 then we can do it later.
4 Before we start with the formal proceedings, I think some
5 clarifications are necessary. This Trial Chamber is seized only with the
6 events in Glogova the 9th of May 1992. The development to this very day,
7 starting on or about the 19th of December 1991, at a meeting convened in
8 Sarajevo presided over by Radovan Karadzic, that is referred to in
9 paragraph 10 of the factual basis, until and including the 11th of May
10 when the meeting in Pale was held, once again Mr. Karadzic being present.
11 I have to emphasise this for two reasons: The application of the
12 principle of non bis in idem, that is, you, Mr. Deronjic, will not be
13 prosecuted a second time is limited to the attack on Glogova only. That's
14 explicitly stated in paragraph 11(d) of the plea agreement. You can still
15 be indicted for all maybe following crimes you might have been involved
16 in, including Srebrenica, before this Tribunal or in other countries
17 having jurisdiction as well.
18 You should not live under the wrong impression that having pleaded
19 guilty in this Glogova case creates an obstacle for other prosecutions in
20 relation to other events. As regards the prosecution and investigation
21 before this Tribunal, this is a matter for the Prosecutor's policy only.
22 Opposed to other legal systems, a Chamber of this Tribunal has not the
23 power to order investigations or to order the Prosecution on concrete
24 other events, even there might be reason to do so, with only two
25 exceptions - this is Rule 91 - in the case of false testimony under solemn
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 declaration and Rule 77, this is contempt of the Tribunal. Therefore,
2 this hearing and the envisaged testimony of Mr. Deronjic is limited to the
3 aforementioned period of time only.
4 However, we have to discuss all relevant sentencing factors;
5 gravity of crime, aggravating and mitigating factors. In this context,
6 and I have to emphasise "in this context alone", I already in the plea
7 hearing had asked the OTP whether there are any additional commitments by
8 the Prosecution to Mr. Deronjic, especially whether there is or not any
9 commitment not to indict Mr. Deronjic for a possible involvement in the
10 Srebrenica massacre.
11 On page 46 of the transcript of this hearing, it reads the answer
12 given by Mr. Harmon: "Mr. President, Your Honours, all of the promises
13 that have been made to Mr. Deronjic are set forth in the plea agreement.
14 There are no other promises made to Mr. Deronjic, no other agreements made
15 with Mr. Deronjic or his counsel. In respect of the events in 1995 in
16 Srebrenica, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Deronjic's name may have
17 come up in the context of other trials, an indictment against Mr. Deronjic
18 for those events is not warranted."
19 May I ask the Prosecution, do you have to add anything to this
20 answer? Has anything changed since the 30th of September in the light of
21 the numerous testimonies given by Mr. Deronjic in other cases, and is
22 there any commitment not to indict or the intention to indict Mr. Deronjic
23 also on -- in relation to other events? This is limited, the question is
24 limited, for the mere purpose that we can evaluate what we can take into
25 account as mitigating factor and what not.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, my answer has not changed in respect of
2 whether or not there is -- Mr. Deronjic will be indicted for Srebrenica.
3 I said then and I will say again today, and if Your Honours wish a more
4 comprehensive explanation, I am prepared to give it to you. Do you want
5 me to proceed?
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
7 MR. HARMON: Mr. President and Your Honours, since July of 1995,
8 my office has investigated continuously the events in Srebrenica. I
9 personally was a legal officer who was assigned to that investigation in
10 July of 1995. I have reviewed the evidence in the Srebrenica case
11 extensively. As Your Honours know or may know, I was the lawyer for the
12 Office of the Prosecutor that drafted and returned the indictment against
13 Mr. Karadzic in the beginning of this Tribunal; the indictment against
14 Mr. -- General Mladic; the indictment against Drazen Erdemovic; and I was
15 the chief Prosecutor in the case of Radoslav Krstic.
16 I would say that next to Mr. McCloskey in my office, I know the
17 evidence in the Srebrenica case very well. I have reviewed that evidence.
18 I know that evidence is not available to Your Honours. But I have
19 reviewed it, and I have consulted with Mr. McCloskey about that particular
20 event, consulted with him on numerous occasions.
21 The Prosecutor in the course of discharging her independent
22 judgement in her function as the Prosecutor has returned 13 indictments,
23 public indictments, against individuals who were responsible for the
24 killing operation in Srebrenica. The killing operation in Srebrenica was
25 a military-run operation, and the people against whom indictments have
1 been returned have been, and I will name them: Ratko Mladic, who was the
2 chief of the Bosnian Serb army Main Staff; Radovan Karadzic, who was the
3 supreme commander; General Krstic, who was the Drina Corps commander, he
4 was prosecuted and convicted and received the sentence of 46 years for his
5 involvement in the case; Momir Nikolic, who was the Drina Corps security
6 chief, he pled guilty, received a sentence of 27 years; Dragan Obrenovic,
7 who was the deputy commander of the Zvornik Brigade, he pled guilty before
8 this Tribunal and received a sentence of 17 years; Drazen Erdemovic, who
9 was a member of the 10th Sabotage Battalion and who participated in a mass
10 execution at the Branjevo Military Farm pled guilty, he was sentenced on
11 his second plea agreement to five years; Vinko Pandurevic, who was the
12 commander of the Zvornik Brigade, was indicted, he is a fugitive from
13 justice; Drago Nikolic who was the Zvornik security chief has been
14 indicted, he is a fugitive from justice; Colonel Ljubisa Beara, who was
15 the VRS Main Staff chief of security, was indicted, he is a fugitive from
16 justice; Lieutenant Colonel Vujadin Popovic, who was the Drina Corps
17 assistant commander for security, has been indicted and was and is a
18 fugitive from justice; Ljubomir Borovcanin, deputy commander of the
19 special police brigade for the RS Ministry of the Interior, was indicted
20 for his involvement in these events, he also is a fugitive; Colonel Vidoje
21 Blagojevic, the Bratunac Brigade commander, and Dragan Jokic, the chief of
22 the engineers from the Zvornik Brigade both are currently in trial in this
24 Now, I will tell Your Honours that after having consulted with
25 Mr. McCloskey, after having consulted with members of the team, my answer
1 insofar as our intentions and our assessment of the evidence in respect of
2 Mr. Deronjic's involvement has not changed and it has not changed in light
3 of the testimony, the many testimonies that he has given to this Tribunal.
4 I hope that answer is satisfactory.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. For this part, no doubt it's a
6 comprehensive answer, and it shows all the efforts of the Prosecution
7 invested in the attempt to get all these persons -- to bring all these
8 persons to justice. But I have to come back to the second part of the
9 question, and that is whether or not there is any other additional
10 commitment to Mr. Deronjic and any other promise given to him. I refer to
11 Rule 62 ter (C) where it reads that if a plea agreement has been reached
12 by the parties, the Trial Chamber shall require the disclosure of the
13 agreement in open session or, on showing of good cause, in closed session.
14 Indeed, this happened. We received a plea agreement. The only
15 question, the only open question, is is it indeed the full plea agreement,
16 or was something omitted? We admitted into -- in public into evidence the
17 understanding of the parties. And I quote the Prosecution in case
18 Prosecutor versus Blagojevic: "The understanding of the parties should
19 normally be something you have as a part of the plea agreement." So we
20 were taken by surprise when reading the submitted documents that indeed
21 there was such an understanding of the parties. And the question for us
22 is, one, a technical; and second, one that goes to the merits.
23 Do you regard this understanding as forming part of the plea
25 MR. HARMON: Absolutely not. I will explain why --
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
2 MR. HARMON: -- if Your Honour wishes. The plea agreement that
3 has been presented and presented in open court sets forth all of the
4 understandings and promises that were made by the Prosecutor, and those
5 are set forth in paragraph 11(a) through (f). Those promises, and no
6 other promises, were made to Mr. Deronjic to induce him to enter a plea.
7 The understanding of the parties, however, is a different document
8 and formed no part of the plea agreement. The understanding of the
9 parties was an understanding at a time when Mr. Deronjic was reluctant to
10 provide a full statement to the Office of the Prosecutor unless he had an
11 understanding that was written, and we set that forth with my colleagues
12 from the Defence. And they will confirm this. This document,
13 understanding, was in order to induce Mr. Deronjic to feel free to talk to
14 us without fear that those statements would be used against him in a later
15 prosecution. This understanding of the parties was executed every day
16 when we interviewed -- when I interviewed and the investigator interviewed
17 Mr. Deronjic. It was not used in any way to induce him to plead guilty,
18 and I will take responsibility for paragraph 16, because paragraph 16 is
19 not as clearly drafted as it should have been and may well have misled
20 this Court.
21 But I will assert to Your Honours and my colleagues, I will
22 confirm this to Your Honours, this understanding of the parties was not
23 part of the plea agreement. It had no part of the -- it was not part of
24 the plea agreement whatsoever. And I will defer, if Your Honours wish, to
25 my Defence colleagues who can confirm that.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the only remaining question is whether one
2 can assess paragraph 7 of the understanding of the parties that the
3 Prosecutor agrees that anything said by Mr. Deronjic during the interview
4 will not be used as evidence in legal proceedings against him before the
5 Tribunal. Isn't this a promise given to Mr. Deronjic?
6 MR. HARMON: Are you referring, Your Honour, to paragraph 10 of
7 the understanding of the parties?
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Paragraph 7.
9 MR. HARMON: That was a promise that was made to Mr. Deronjic in
10 order to ensure that he would talk to us. Absent a promise like that, he
11 would not talk to us and we would not have had the benefit of
12 Mr. Deronjic's assistance in many cases. So this was a promise that was
13 made as part of an understanding to give him the confidence to talk to us
14 at a time when he had no legal obligation to talk to us.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification. This
16 understanding of the parties is signed, was signed by you, and it's in the
17 responsibility, and of course, in the jurisdiction of the Prosecution
18 alone, it's a question of the policy of the Prosecution. And therefore,
19 if you state that does not form part of the plea agreement, then the
20 Trial Chamber understands that this Chamber is not seized at all with this
21 understanding of the parties.
22 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, please.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: The Defence would like to confirm literally
1 everything what our learned colleague from the OTP has said. And it, in
2 fact, was not and we never considered this to be a part of the plea
3 agreement. And therefore, we are -- the Defence is completely in
4 agreement with what Mr. Mark Harmon has said. Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I thank both parties for this clarification.
6 The Defence has indicated to the Chamber that they want to call
7 Mr. Deronjic as a witness in his own case. Is it still the case?
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then may Mr. Deronjic please be escorted to the
10 witness stand.
11 [The accused takes the stand]
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you, Mr. Deronjic, acting now not as
13 an accused in this case but as a witness to give a solemn declaration.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. You may be seated.
17 I have reasons to inform you and to admonish you that, in fact,
18 you have to tell us the truth and nothing but the truth. The reason why I
19 emphasise this can be found on page 6407 of the hearing in the case
20 Prosecutor versus Mr. Blagojevic, Thursday 22nd January 2004. There, you
21 stated: "I said that my earlier statements were incorrect because there
22 are several reasons, one of them I did mention. That was fear for my own
23 safety or maybe my wrong thinking about wrong political implications if
24 this truth were to come out. And ultimately, I wanted to use my right,
25 which is well known, that I'm not obliged to tell the truth if it can harm
1 me in any way at that point. So I did not give an entirely truthful
2 statement for those reasons. But I do not agree that those statements are
3 completely untrue. They are partially untrue..."
4 And then it continues with a remark to Mr. Karnavas. Maybe you
5 are under the wrong impression based on the judicial system you're living
6 in because in your system, like most other civil-law systems, an accused,
7 of course, doesn't enjoy the right not to tell the truth but he can't be
8 held criminally responsible for testimony under solemn declaration which
9 is false. This is not true in principle in common-law system, especially
10 not under the Rules of this Tribunal.
11 Under Rule 91, it is provided that false testimony under solemn
12 declaration is punishable and is punishable with a fine up to 100.000
13 euros or a term of imprisonment of seven years, or both. And the Chamber
14 may instruct the Prosecutor to start necessary investigations. So
15 therefore, it should be absolutely clear for you that you have the
16 possibility to remain silent in toto, that means that you don't give any
17 statement at all, or that you remain silent in relation to certain
18 questions. However, you have not the right, as you said in this previous
19 testimony, not to tell the truth if it can harm you in any way at that
20 point. So in case, in balancing, you come to the conclusion it is in your
21 interest and you don't want to give us an answer, then please remain
22 silent but don't give us a wrong answer. Did you understand this
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I understand it
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
2 I think it's time enough that we can start with your testimony.
3 Of course, you are the witness for the Defence, and you can and may be
4 guided by the Defence. However, as I indicated already earlier, it should
5 be limited and it has to be limited to the case before us, that is the
6 attack on Glogova, and the events from 19 December 1991 until 12 May 1992.
7 Hopefully, with all details and also in order to clarify the one or other
8 discrepancy the Chamber identified when trying to marry the indictment
9 with the factual basis. The Chamber has given a list of maybe
10 discrepancies or overlaps of your statements. And I think in preparation
11 of this hearing, you have discussed this with your counsel.
12 But it might be helpful that you start telling us in context what
13 has happened since this very 19th of December 1991, who invited for this
14 meeting, who was presiding over, who was present, and in particular what
15 were the issues that were discussed this very day until the events in
16 Glogova. I think it's preferable that you tell us in context in your own
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Judge Agius is excused for two minutes if the
20 parties do not object. And we proceed for these two minutes formally
21 under Rule 15. Yes. Maybe in order that also Judge Agius can follow your
22 testimony, especially the start of your testimony, we should wait until he
23 comes back. Therefore, let's wait a second, and we may use this time.
24 Are there any additional comments to be made by one of the parties
25 in relation to the scheduling of this case, anything not yet foreseen in
1 the scheduling order?
2 MR. HARMON: I would just like to bring to the attention of
3 Your Honours that I am due to start a trial on the 3rd of February in the
4 Krajisnik case, and I received a phone call last night asking me if I
5 could attend a 65 ter conference at 5.00 on Wednesday night. I said I was
6 unavailable because I was here. I informed the legal officer that there
7 was an optional day on the following day, Thursday, and I asked him to ask
8 Judge Orie if the 65 ter conference could be scheduled on the Thursday. I
9 would very much like to attend that 65 ter conference given that I will be
10 starting a very important trial within a matter of days.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But I take it that you will be present tomorrow
12 here, and Judge Orie has decided to postpone the 65 ter conference?
13 MR. HARMON: Well, I left that as a work in progress, Your Honour.
14 I don't know.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay.
16 MR. HARMON: I will be here tomorrow for sure, and when I heard
17 you mention possibly we might go a third day, it caused me some alarm, so
18 I am hopeful, too, that we will finish in two days.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We share your hope.
20 We waited until you come back.
21 Mr. Deronjic, you may start your testimony, please.
22 WITNESS: MIROSLAV DERONJIC
23 [Accused answered through interpreter]
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I had intended to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 start from April 1991 in order to show a connection with these events.
2 However, if Your Honours deem this unnecessary, I will skip it over. If
3 you agree, however, I would like to say a few sentences about this.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is your testimony. Therefore, we don't want
5 to limit your testimony if there is a link. So please, proceed as you
7 A. Your Honour, in my last interview that I gave to the OTP in
8 October last year, I touched upon a series of events from 1991, and this
9 was in connection with April 1991. This seems to me to be the month - I
10 am not, unfortunately, sure of the precise date of that session, but I did
11 say it was in April 1991 - this seems to be an event that heralded a
12 change in the political climate and an abandoning of the platform of the
13 Serbian Democratic Party which had up until that point been public. In
14 the political sense, this could be described as an effort to preserve
15 Yugoslavia as it had existed up to then. I explained some details that
16 occurred during that meeting, and I have nothing special to add.
17 The meeting was held in Sarajevo, and unfortunately to this day
18 I'm unable to remember whether it was in the Holiday Inn or perhaps in
19 another location, because during 1991 I attended very few meetings in
20 Sarajevo, and I remember we held all of these meetings in one of two
21 places, the Holiday Inn and the Srbijanka Villa in Ilidza, a suburb of
22 Sarajevo. My conclusion today is that this event and this meeting took
23 place in Holiday Inn, but I cannot be a hundred per cent certain about
25 At this meeting which was of a plenary nature, that is, the main
1 board extended with all the presidents of the SDS municipal boards and the
2 deputies in the assembly, the joint assembly of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina - of course, I'm referring to the Serb deputies - the top
4 leadership of the SDS, including President Karadzic who at that time was
5 only the president of the SDS. The topic of the meeting was something
6 that was usually referred to as the political security situation at any
7 given moment. In the context of the events which are well known and the
8 general political circumstances in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
9 of course, this had to do with certain decisions by the Presidency of the
10 SFRY, and certain decisions made by the leadership of Serbia.
11 I have mentioned some of these that stick in my memory as very
12 interesting events. And as I said, just before this meeting, a political
13 event had taken place in Croatia; that is, the decision of the government
14 of the previously formed Serbian Autonomous Region of the Krajina on
15 joining the Krajina to the Republic of Serbia. This was the declaratory
16 act of secession of the Serbian people in Croatia and their annexation to
17 the Republic of Serbia. As far as I know, at a subsequent session of the
18 Assembly of Serbia, this secession proposal was rejected. I'm not aware
19 of the reasons, but I do know that this event drew a lot of attention
20 among the members of the Serbian Democratic Party in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina and influenced their actions.
22 The political decisions made by the politicians in the Serbian
23 Krajina and in Croatia caused us to convene this meeting, or rather the
24 party leadership to convene it. I apologise to the interpreters. I will
25 try to slow down.
1 The meeting was public. I think that the media also broadcast
2 part of that meeting. It was held in central Sarajevo. As far as I
3 recall, just President Karadzic addressed the meeting, and he explained
4 the complex political conditions in which our activities were taking place
5 at that point in time. I am talking about this meeting for a different
6 reason. For the first time at this meeting, I heard in Mr. Karadzic's
7 speech some terms and formulations or assertions which were not familiar
8 to me and were not contained in the programme documents of the Serbian
9 Democratic Party.
10 He stated a sentence I remembered on that occasion, and I
11 remembered it because I, myself, and a series of other local politicians
12 quoted that sentence also in some of our addresses. And that's how I
13 remembered it. Mr. Karadzic said, I'm not quoting, I'm just conveying the
14 sense of his sentence, If there is no longer a Federal Republic of
15 Yugoslavia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbs only have one
16 option left, and that is Greater Serbia. That is the essence of that
17 sentence. I'm not quite sure after 12 years that I can quote every single
18 word, but that is the gist of it.
19 And I heard that expression, "Greater Serbia," for the first time
20 then, because until then I didn't hear it formally or informally, and I
21 hadn't heard it as being contained in any of the programme documents of
22 the SDS. Of course, he also talked about the political climate in Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina at the time, and his address focussed on one event which I
24 remembered, and I think the majority of the participants at the time
25 remembered it. And that is that the SDA submitted in the joint, the
1 common assembly, the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a declaration on
2 the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its secession from
4 All those speeches and events and those at that meeting had to do
5 with that document which we interpreted at the time as an unconstitutional
6 attempt to -- for the breakaway of Bosnia and Herzegovina from our common
8 After that official large meeting in which numerous participants
9 took part and which was chaired by President Karadzic, I had the lucky
10 chance of finding myself near him in a smaller company. To this day, with
11 a high degree of probability, I can say that this conversation took place
12 at the National Restaurant in Sarajevo in smaller company. I recall some
13 details regarding that meeting. I remember that we opened and drank a
14 bottle of wine. I remember that. That we were there briefly. When I say
15 "briefly," I mean about an hour.
16 Besides myself, Mr. Zekic was also in the company with whom I
17 actually came into that group in the first place; I knew him at the time.
18 Then Mr. Ostojic, whom I knew from before because he came to the founding
19 ceremony of the SDS in Bratunac in 1991. There was
20 Mrs. Slobodanka Hrvacanin. Probably there were some other participants. I
21 do not want to make a mistake, but I'm sure about these people. There
22 were some three or four people there. I didn't know all of them at the
23 time. And except for Karadzic and Ostojic, I don't think any of them knew
25 Our conversation touched upon similar topics in the restaurant,
1 and at one point Karadzic also touched upon these topics, and he said that
2 it was agreed that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be divided up. That was
3 the first time that I heard of it. And this made me pay attention. Since
4 I didn't have the opportunity and I wasn't very well known in the
5 political circles, I didn't dare to ask any questions about that, but I
6 did listen carefully. Ms. Slobodanka Hrvacanin joined the conversation.
7 She was considered in the fate of the Serbs in Zenica. I recall a few
8 sentences exchanged between her and Karadzic on this topic, whether the
9 Serbs of Zenica or Zenica itself was part of this decision, and on what
10 side it would find itself. That was the essence of what they talked
11 about. But I couldn't clearly see what the plan was regarding this
13 However, at the time Mr. Karadzic used one sentence. He said one
14 thing which I remembered, and it seemed to be a kind of suggestion to us
15 who were there. He said: "If anyone was afraid to participate in this,
16 then they should not take part in that. I will understand if people fear
17 this. It's natural if somebody does not wish to take part. It's normal
18 that they should say so." Of course, this did not refer only to us. And
19 so none of those present responded to this question.
20 Why am I talking about this meeting? It seems to me that -- I'm
21 afraid that I'm repeating myself perhaps, but a kind of initiative was
22 voiced there relating to events which followed in Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 and related to something that was not contained in any of the documents
24 in -- relating to the SDS in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it was not
25 contained in any of the programmes of the SDS.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I commented to a certain degree what happened with Mr. Zekic on
2 our way back. I commented on what happened at the meeting because he was
3 more a part of all of that. But I really did get the impression that he
4 was not at all or quite well informed about the change of some strategic
5 programme, principles of the Serbian Democratic Party. In that context, I
6 don't have much new information to this very day, and I wasn't able to
7 refresh my recollection about these events.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My apologies for interrupting you that we come
9 to one point and that we don't forget it. If you already touched upon the
10 events in April 1991, in your testimony you make reference to, on page 4
11 and paragraph 8 and 9, it reads: "Karadzic boasted having personally
12 convinced Milosevic that Serbs are to arm themselves, meaning that they
13 had no confidence in the JNA. They did not believe that the JNA could
14 protect Serbs. Karadzic wanted to arm the people. Djukic has told us
15 that we need to arm ourselves, and that at the SDS level it had been
16 determined what people ought to be involved in this and in which
17 regions. At that time, he said that Goran Zekic and I were tasked with
18 Srebrenica, Bratunac, and that area."
19 Is this correct?
20 A. Yes, Your Honour, it's correct. But it's not the same meeting. I
21 apologise. This meeting relates to my meeting with Mr. Djukic. It also
22 took place in April 1991, but this meeting was held in Milici, and this is
23 a meeting that I wanted to mention right after I finish with this meeting
24 that I'm talking about now.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay.
1 A. I apologise.
2 Now, I would like to talk about events which followed this meeting
3 in Sarajevo, which I was talking about. And I will try to remember
4 everything that is important. In the month of April, certain talk about
5 the arming of the Serbs began. When I say "talks," I primarily mean my
6 conversations with Goran Zekic who was the only person from the region of
7 Birac who had some kind of high post in the SDS and the state. He was a
8 deputy in the assembly. He was a member of the main board. And he also
9 had some duties, professional duties, in the assembly itself so that he
10 was often in Sarajevo. He met the political leadership of the SDS, and he
11 did have certain information. His information was better than that of us
12 who were not really included in those circles.
13 So in some conversations, and I mention the details where these
14 conversations took place I don't want to repeat myself, he said he was
15 working on the arming of the Serbs and he was doing in in an illegal way
16 through smugglers and these methods. In April, in late April, probably in
17 late April, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting in Milici, and I
18 explained what happened at this meeting. So this is that meeting,
19 Your Honour, that you mentioned. This is a meeting with Mr. Djukic. It
20 was held in Milici in the fish restaurant, the only or the best-known
21 restaurant in that little town.
22 Just to explain briefly, even though I've explained that before,
23 Mr. Djukic, Rajko Djukic, that's who I am thinking of, is a very
24 well-known political and commercial figure in that area. He is a director
25 of many years' standing, and to this day he was a director of the bauxite
1 mines. He was a person who in the earlier political system was a
2 businessman and a politician who had a -- who played a major role. He is
3 believed to be one of the founders of the SDS and one of the first
4 financiers of the SDS. So he's a person who is connected to the political
5 leadership, the republican leadership of the SDS. And in the beginning, I
6 don't know for how long, he was the president of the Executive Board of
7 the SDS. He was a man who knew the situation in the political leadership
8 of the SDS very well.
9 And now I'm talking about something that I heard indirectly. He
10 was believed to be very highly rated in Serbia in the political circles of
11 the SPS, and JUL, a party which was founded later. So his name was also
12 connected to that party as well. So his authority in that region was
14 I don't want to give you any more details about how this meeting
15 was convened. But at this meeting, he said that the SDS political
16 leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided that Serbs in Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina should arm themselves. That is when he said that Karadzic
18 personally convinced Mr. Milosevic, the President of Serbia at the time,
19 to arm the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't know the broader
20 context, but Karadzic was probably just interested in the Serbs in Bosnia.
21 I had the opportunity at a subsequent meeting, one of the
22 subsequent meetings with Mr. Karadzic, it's very difficult for me to
23 remember exactly when this meeting took place. I don't think it was any
24 formal meeting. It was just an encounter. And I literally heard the
25 sentence from Mr. Karadzic. He confirmed to me, or not to me, but he did
1 address somebody who was present. He said that he was the one who made it
2 possible for Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina to arm themselves via
3 Milosevic, and he said that the reasons why he made such a request was his
4 disagreement in the role of the military in the resolution of the
5 political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Yugoslavia as well.
6 He was thinking of certain political disagreements about how the
7 army, as a multiethnic unit as it was in the former Yugoslavia, would
8 adapt to certain requirements and changes which were taking place from day
9 to day. That is what he probably thought of. That's how he explained it.
10 So there were certain disagreements at the time as regards the army
11 between the different leaderships. Mr. Milosevic's position on the JNA
12 was that he had full confidence in the JNA in the way it was formulated
13 during the previous period.
14 What was our position, Goran Zekic's and my position on this?
15 I've already described it; I don't want to repeat all the information, how
16 Djukic gave him the paper with the name and address of the man we were
17 supposed to contact. I will skip over those details. So in early May,
18 Goran Zekic and myself went to Belgrade. He collected me in the morning.
19 We left for Belgrade. He said he had made the contact that had been
20 agreed upon. We arrived there. I described in detail who this man was.
21 I recall every particular detail of that meeting. A large number of
23 Mr. Milosevic in his case tried to dispute this somewhat, but
24 there is no doubt that I was there, that I saw it, and that I heard what I
25 said I heard. I don't want to repeat the details.
1 So the agreement with Kertes, I talked about him, was reached in
2 Belgrade. The way in which he came forward at the time was not something
3 that appealed to me. I thought that he was very indiscreet on topics that
4 one should not be indiscreet about. What was important, what I believe
5 was very important, is Goran Zekic asked Mr. Kertes a question, and that
6 is what Serbia intended to do in the political resolution of the crisis in
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina. What was its role and intention towards the Serbs
8 in Bosnia and Herzegovina? When I heard that, Mr. Kertes said that the
9 position or the decision or -- of the political and state leadership of
10 Serbia was that 50 kilometres from the Drina, and we are precisely from
11 that area, that all of that would be Serb. This is what he said.
12 We didn't comment much about what he said. We accepted what he
13 said in the way that we accepted it. We had the opportunity later to
14 comment on that a little bit. At that meeting, the first arms delivery to
15 Bratunac was agreed upon, and that was the only one in which I
16 participated in directly. I described how this was carried out, and I
17 don't think it's necessary to go into all of the details. They have been
18 precisely described with the names of the participants, those who carried
19 it out, how the weapons were transferred to Bratunac, to the territory of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Bratunac and Srebrenica.
21 When I spoke about weapons, I provided my detailed information
22 about the weapons. I was no longer involved in that afterwards. The
23 weapons came through the Yugoslav Army at the time. I mentioned the two
24 centres from where the weapons came to Bratunac and Srebrenica, and they
25 are Tuzla and Uzice. The Uzice Corps, I mentioned the persons who were on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 key posts at the time in those military units. I did not meet any of
2 those people. I mentioned the persons who told myself and Goran Zekic
3 that the weapons were being distributed through the military. I already
4 described how in the summer of 1991, the Serbs in Bratunac and Srebrenica
5 armed themselves. These were the activities of the Territorial Defence.
6 I think I explained that very clearly.
7 I explained what the concept or the idea of the TO was and how
8 this was implemented on the ground. I don't think that there is anything
9 that needs to be added to this because it is quite clear. I did mention
10 an example, an unusual event that some party, Movement for Yugoslavia or
11 new communism or something like that - I don't remember exactly what it's
12 called - also sent an arms shipment to Bratunac. What is a relevant fact,
13 which confirms that there was a strategy involved here which was being
14 clearly implemented, is the fact that in the autumn or at the end of the
15 summer 1991, a centre was formed in Milici from which further distribution
16 of weapons was carried out. I don't know to this day the origin of the
17 weapons in those warehouses in Milici, but I did go there once and agreed
18 for a shipment for Bratunac. I went with Goran Zekic. I said that I saw
19 Mr. Djukic there, and local police and some other local people from the
20 neighbouring municipality.
21 With regard to weapons, I think I have given sufficient relevant
22 proof that all this was planned by the top leadership of the SDS in Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina, the military structures in Yugoslavia and in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, and the state structures in Serbia --
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We thank you very much for this detailed
1 discussion. However, I think it need not be repeated everything we have
2 already admitted into evidence. In conclusion, my final question would be
3 that once again, is it true, Mr. Deronjic, that in April -- already in
4 April, Mr. Djukic told you and Mr. Goran Zekic that you were tasked with
5 Srebrenica, Bratunac, and that area? Is this correct?
6 A. Your Honour, this is correct.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then we have to make -- we have
8 to have a break in about four minutes. If you could briefly touch upon
9 the events the 14th and 15th October 1991, and then after the break
10 proceed with the events in December 1991 in order to come as soon as
11 possible to the core events of this case; that's the attack on Glogova.
12 If you could make use of the remaining minutes before the break to briefly
13 touch upon the 14th and 15th October 1991.
14 A. Thank you, Your Honour. I shall, of course, very briefly mention
15 these events. The event of the 15th October 1991 is well known, of
16 course. The joint assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a declaration
17 on the establishing of a sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this was
18 tabled by the deputies of the SDA. After this, the SDS deputies walked
19 out of the assembly, and these are well-known events, and I have no new
20 information in connection with this.
21 What is relevant for Bratunac and the implications for the local
22 area is that on the 18th -- and I haven't said this so far because I only
23 remembered it later. On the 18th of October, I was summoned to Sarajevo
24 urgently to attend a similar meeting, similar to the one of April 1991.
25 It was a plenary meeting of the main board extended with all the
1 presidents of the municipal boards in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 This was an extraordinary meeting, and I received the invitation
3 from the SDS secretariat; I think I was summoned by telephone. I went
4 there, and I attended the meeting which was chaired by the presidency of
5 the SDS, and it was mainly Mr. Karadzic who spoke at the meeting. They
6 commented on the well-known events of the assembly session of the 15th of
7 October, and we were then given a set of documents that we were duty-bound
8 to implement in our local areas.
9 I'm not sure, but I will try to recall. It was the principles of
10 organisation of the Serbian People in the newly-arisen political
11 circumstances, or something like that. The most important content of that
12 document was our obligations that we had to implement on the ground. That
13 is, to prepare for a plebiscite of the Serbian People in Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina and a decision had been reached to hold it in November. The
15 question was then told us whether the Serbs were in favour of remaining in
16 Yugoslavia. This is all well known.
17 Besides this, we were told to form crisis staffs, and this was the
18 first time that we had been given political instructions to form crisis
19 staffs in the municipalities. At the time, the name was the Crisis Staff
20 of the Serbian People. It was not just political; the recommendation was
21 that the crisis staffs should also include people who were not from the
22 party, who were not party people, but eminent people in their local
24 The second, or rather the third obligation we were given was to
25 organise public fora in our local communities to inform the population of
1 key political events, especially those of the 15th of October, and to
2 explain this to the people. And we were given very precise instructions
3 as to what we were to explain. Our positions were well known: That this
4 decision was unconstitutional, that we were deeply opposed to it, and that
5 we were now self-organising, in a manner of speaking. I did implement
6 these conclusions in Bratunac, and there are minutes to show this.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To conclude before the break, am I right in
8 believing that all this you just mentioned happened in the framework of
9 that what in your factual basis you called Radovan Karadzic,
10 Momcilo Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic, and Nikola Koljevic undertook steps to
11 establish Serbian ethnic territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is this
13 A. Yes, this is correct, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until quarter past
16 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Deronjic, please understand, our time is
19 limited. Let's try to focus on the core issues that are relevant for the
20 crime we are seized with, that's the attack on Glogova. I take it that
21 already after the 15th of October, it was decided to implement crisis
22 staffs. Could you briefly explain when exactly you became a member or
23 head of Crisis Staff for Bratunac.
24 A. Yes, Your Honour. I will reply to your question. The crisis
25 staff was first referred to as the Crisis Staff of the Serbian People
1 pursuant to the decision reached at this meeting of the 18th of October
2 that I mentioned. And a day or two after that, we did establish the
3 Crisis Staff of the Serbian People in Bratunac, and I became its
4 president. In November, or rather in December, we established a second
5 crisis staff upon instructions from the variant A and B which I will speak
6 about. And this was the SDS Crisis Staff, which is what the order said.
7 And then I became the president of this crisis staff.
8 I wish only to add a sentence in connection with the events in
9 October and the meeting in Sarajevo. Our instructions were to hold a
10 public forum, and I wish to say that I did hold it in Bratunac and
11 informed the population about the intentions of the Serbian leadership in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. The political and government leadership, I'm
13 referring to the people in the joint organs of Bosnia and Herzegovina at
14 the time. At that meeting, we were told that the policy of creating a
15 Serbian state or entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina would continue, and that
16 specific measures in this connection would be taken.
17 This was the first time I had learned that a Serbian state was
18 being established in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After this, I wish only to
19 mention a session of the Assembly of the Serbian People held in November.
20 I don't know the exact date, but I do know that several conclusions were
21 reached, and the Serbian autonomous provinces established in the summer of
22 1991 were verified.
23 I wish to mention that the Romanija and Birac area was verified,
24 and the instructions that we were to form a special Birac autonomous
25 province arrived in December. And the constituent assembly of the SAO
1 Birac was held. I know the exact date today, on the 8th of January 1992.
2 I wish to add that I was not involved in the preparations for this
3 meeting, nor was I present at it. It was held at Sekovici. If there are
4 questions, I know exactly who the leaders were, who were the elected
5 leaders at that meeting.
6 I would now like to talk about December. There was a meeting of
7 the same type on the 23rd of December as the one that had been held
8 before. The SDS main board and the presidents of the municipal boards.
9 The assembly held a session on the 23rd of December, or rather, I think
10 the 21st and 22nd of December, but we were invited earlier.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry for interrupting again. Before we touch
12 upon the 23rd of December, let's focus on the 19th of December because
13 here, in fact, we wanted you to give us some further informations not
14 included yet in the factual basis. Who invited for this meeting? Who
15 attended the meeting? Who took the floor? And who is - yeah - finally
16 responsible for the invention of the variant A and variant B? And what
17 was the final target of these variants A and variant B?
18 A. Correct, Your Honour. On the 19th of December, we were summoned
19 to a meeting of the SDS main board extended to include the presidents of
20 the municipal boards. And as this was taking place in an atmosphere of
21 preparations for the holding of the assembly, I know that at that meeting,
22 the deputies in the Serbian Assembly were present, as well as the entire
23 leadership, political - when I say political, I mean the SDS - and the
24 government, and the meeting was chaired by Mr. Karadzic.
25 I can list the members of the main board whom I knew at the time
1 and the presidents of the main boards -- municipal boards. But I'm not
2 sure they were all present. From the Birac region, I will tell you the
3 ones I knew best. I was there. Mr. Zekic, the president of the municipal
4 board in Srebrenica, Stanic, Mr. Milenko Stanic, the president of the
5 Vlasenica municipal board Mr. Rajko Djukic who was in the executive board.
6 And the president at the time, I'm not a hundred per cent sure.
7 Brano Grujic, the president of the Zvornik municipal. Mr. Vlasic, the
8 president of the Sekovici municipal board.
9 I also knew several deputies. Some of them had parallel
10 functions, like Mr. Zekic for instance. I know Dr. Novakovic from
11 Bijeljina. He also attended this meeting. They were all bound to attend,
12 but I'm not sure they were really all there because at that time I was not
13 familiar with all the presidents of the SDS municipal boards. When I
14 mentioned the political leadership, all the sessions were chaired by the
15 SDS presidency. And as the members changed frequently, all I can say with
16 any certainty is that the meeting was chaired by Mr. Karadzic.
17 I said that I am sure I also saw Mr. Krajisnik,
18 Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, Mr. Koljevic, but I cannot say to what extent they
19 were present at this meeting and involved in the work of the assembly. I
20 assume that they were present on both occasions, and I know for certain
21 that I saw them there. Mr. Karadzic spoke at the meeting and acquainted
22 us with the materials we were to take home to our municipalities. The
23 materials were marked. I'm not sure I can give you the exact titles, that
24 they were measures for the organisation of the Serbian people in Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina. I'm not certain of the official title of the document.
1 And we were told that this material, which was marked strictly
2 confidential, would be handed out to us after the meeting.
3 This material was passed by the presidency of the SDS. That's
4 what we were told. And it contained instructions for the actions of all
5 those participating in the meeting, including us, the presidents of the
6 municipal boards. I remember only some details in connection with the
7 explanation of the variants A and B because President Karadzic, after the
8 political part of the meeting, spoke with great precision about the
9 instructions in documents A and B. I remember that he warned us that we
10 should take this very seriously and that we should absolutely implement
11 this on the ground, explaining that the political crisis had reached a
12 high point, that armed conflict could break out.
13 He warned us that we had to maintain connections with people on
14 the ground in the municipalities, and that we were responsible for
15 informing people of all the steps and decisions that the leadership of the
16 Serbs decided on at any particular moment. I remember he told us that we
17 had to maintain connections with every household, even if only by courier
18 if there was no other way. He was, of course, referring exclusively to
19 the Serbs who lived on the territories.
20 After the meeting was completed, we were given the written
21 documents, the ones that Mr. Karadzic had commented on at the meeting.
22 And on my return to Bratunac, I held a session of the municipal board and
23 told the municipal board about the standpoints of the SDS, the presidency
24 of the SDS, and I opened up the floor for discussion. We consulted about
25 what we could implement in the Bratunac Municipality with respect to these
1 measures. Let me just add that the conditions in Bratunac were not such,
2 or we were not able to implement all these measures. The measures are
3 contained in two paragraphs, both variants A and B had two stages of
4 organisation. The first stage which was introduced at once, and the
5 second stage which would be introduced depending on the circumstances, and
6 we would be informed about this in time.
7 In the first stage of organisation in the field, certain measures
8 were to be taken, the first of which was to establish SDS crisis staffs.
9 According to an automatic procedure provided for in these documents,
10 minority municipalities in which Serbs held less than 50 per cent of the
11 power in the local government bodies, the president of the municipal board
12 was to be the president of the crisis staff. In majority municipalities,
13 this was to be the president of the municipality. And we followed this
14 rule. Because in Bratunac we were understaffed, as this is a very small
15 town, the same crisis staff that we had earlier established as the Crisis
16 Staff of the Serbian People was transformed into the SDS Crisis Staff.
17 And according to the instructions we were given, I became the president of
18 the SDS Crisis Staff.
19 This was specific, but all the people in the previous crisis staff
20 were either members or sympathisers of the SDS. I don't want to go into
21 all the measures envisioned by the first variant, but I would like to say
22 that they contained certain measures, disciplinary measures, in the sense
23 of convening daily meetings of crisis staffs and municipal boards. We
24 were instructed -- excuse me.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Deronjic, may I interrupt you in the
1 interests of the time that we really can focus on the open questions. You
2 already told us who, to the best of your recollection, was present at the
3 meeting. May I ask, was there anybody else present you would recall? For
4 example, Mr. Brdjanin, and who was the representative for the Prijedor
5 area? Do you recall?
6 A. Your Honour, I cannot answer that question. I don't remember
7 whether I saw any of those people. At the time, I didn't even know any of
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. And then was the variant A and variant B
10 at that point in time already established, or was it discussed during the
12 A. Variants A and B existed in a written form. President Karadzic
13 commented on those measures based on the written material that we received
14 at the end of the meeting. We received the material in sealed envelopes.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And may I put a straightforward question to you:
16 What was the final goal of this adopted strategy? We all are aware of the
17 six strategic goals adopted the 12th of May 1992. Was already at this
18 point in time a discussion on the final goals of the implementation of
19 variant A and B?
20 A. At the meeting, it was explained to us that a state would be
21 formed. I don't remember whether at the time we used the term "entity."
22 The Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And we were told that these
23 were measures of the self-organising of the Serbian People in
24 extraordinary circumstances and special circumstances. We were not told
25 at the meeting whether this had anything to do with the documents which
1 were drafted and published later.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the factual basis, one can read something
3 about - that you already mentioned - strictly confidential instructions,
4 but also use is made of the term affirmative actions, policy relating to
5 the use of force, or the objectives set forth by the Bosnian Serb
6 leadership. Could you please explain the development to this "affirmative
7 actions," factual basis, paragraph 12, or "the policy relating to the use
8 of force" in the factual basis, paragraph 13?
9 A. Yes, Your Honour. This meeting, and in variants A and B, provided
10 for measures of separation, institutional division of the organs of
11 authority in the municipalities. This was particularly problematic in
12 minority communities where the Serbs were a minority, there was no way to
13 resolve this in an institutional way, but there were suggestions that this
14 should be done unilaterally and that parallel Serb organs of authority
15 should be formed in minority municipalities.
16 In areas where the Serbs were a majority, this does not present a
17 problem. It was a problem only in Serb minority municipalities. I would
18 like to discuss this question. I believe today, I know it for sure, that
19 those measures were a continuity of the SDS's policy from the spring of
20 1991 aimed at creating Serb ethnic territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 which later, in a period, also included violent or forceful methods. I'm
22 talking now about December 1991. I did not have any information, neither
23 was I told, that these political steps and this strategy would include
24 such methods. I had the opportunity to see this later. And today, I know
25 that these methods were -- these violent methods were a part of the
1 strategy to create Serb ethnic territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please be so kind and tell us a little
3 bit more what you mean when pleading guilty to the sentence that "Miroslav
4 Deronjic" - as it is said in paragraph 12 - "took positive and concrete
5 actions, including affirmative actions, and related to the use of force to
6 remove non-Serbs from Serb-designated territories."
7 What do you mean by "use of force"?
8 A. Your Honour, on the 5th of May 1992, in a conversation with Mr.
9 Zekic, I found out that besides all of the plans which never explicitly
10 contained the use of force, that use of force was planned and that it was
11 already being implemented in neighbouring municipalities. Of course,
12 violent methods were already beginning to be used in Bratunac and
13 Srebrenica. From that point on, the 5th of May 1992, I knew that those
14 methods were a component part of the plans for creating the Serb Republic
15 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Counsel, please.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
18 Mr. Deronjic because he has a copy of that document in Serbian, so he can
19 open that document in front of him, and then he can give the comments, if
20 that is the wishes of the Trial Chamber, in order to save time, of course.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. If it could assist us in coming more
22 expeditiously to this term "use of force," what it envisaged, then please
23 do so.
24 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, may I also make another suggestion to
25 the Court. If Mr. Deronjic does not have before him a copy of a factual
1 basis, Your Honour refers to specific paragraphs, it might be of benefit
2 to Mr. Deronjic if he had a copy of the paragraphs in front of him so he
3 can read them and put them in the proper context.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Absolutely. I refer to paragraph 13 of the
5 factual basis. And by the way, whilst Mr. Deronjic is reading, may I take
6 it that when marrying the indictment with the factual basis, the
7 fundamentum of our case is the indictment. And Mr. Deronjic has pleaded
8 guilty to the indictment in its entirety without any reservation. So
9 therefore, I take it that, for example, in number 2 -- number 1 and number
10 2, when we have additional factual basis for the purposes of the
11 judgement, we can take this additional factual bases also as accepted and
12 included, and we need not go into details of these questions.
13 So that we regard, for example, paragraphs 10 through 13 only as
14 additional factual bases for the purposes of the judgement. Is this
15 acceptable for the parties? Then we would only need to have some
16 clarification where the indictment in itself might have a discrepancy or
17 if there is a real discrepancy between indictment and factual basis. Can
18 we proceed this way in order to proceed as expeditious as possible?
19 MR. HARMON: Certainly it is the indictment itself that is
20 controlling in this case. The factual basis provides facts that support
21 the plea of guilty, but it is the indictment itself that is controlling in
22 our view.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yeah. Right.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: We agree, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Thank you for this clarification. This
1 facilitates our work. And then we are still with paragraph 12 and 13 of
2 the factual basis for our better understanding of the terms, the
3 relatively vague terms used there "affirmative actions" and "the use of
4 force to remove non-Serbs." What would this include, "the use of force"?
5 Apparently it's based on the aforementioned strictly confidential
6 instructions - correct? - given to you on or about the 19th of December
7 1991. Is this correct?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour. In paragraph 12 that I took specific and
9 decisive actions in order to support the steps from variants A and B, this
10 includes certain steps undertaken in this sense in the municipality of
11 Bratunac. Here, what is meant is that the measure of the division of the
12 police in Bratunac, I implemented it in the local, common joint assembly
13 in Bratunac together with the representatives of the SDA, and that we have
14 a record of that, minutes of that, and a document which was drafted after
15 that assembly session. I also undertook some other actions, but because
16 of the specific nature of the situation in Bratunac, some of those
17 instructions from variants A and B could not be implemented. And by that,
18 I mean, the formation of special courts of Serbs as an institution; also,
19 separate police stations in certain areas; the separation of all the
20 possible organs of power and the institutions of power in general.
21 As far as paragraph 13 is concerned, it states "and later, to the
22 use of force." I understand that to mean what is contained in the factual
23 basis, or in my interview, that on the 5th of May I unequivocally found
24 out that the use of force is also one of the methods in order to implement
25 these objectives, and that is how I acted regarding the events in Glogova.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what were these means of use of force?
2 Could you elaborate a little bit more on this because there's a huge range
3 how you can use -- make use of force, with making use of weapons
4 including -- or whatever. I don't want to anticipate your answer. So
5 please, if you could tell us a little bit more what the term "use of
6 force" includes.
7 A. Q The term "use of force" includes violent transfer of
8 population -- of the population from those territories and includes
9 conduct -- the conduct of the volunteer units which are already arrived in
10 the area, and the conduct of the Yugoslav People's Army in those events,
11 and the conduct of the crisis staffs and individuals on the Serb side
12 during that period. So the term "use of force" in my opinion is used in
13 this sense and in this context.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it includes the conduct of the volunteer
15 units which are already -- had arrived in the area, and the JNA. Correct?
16 A. Correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would it include the use of arms, the use of a
19 A. Correct, Your Honour, yes.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would it include the killing of people?
21 A. Yes, Your Honour. That's correct. Members of the Muslim ethnic
22 group were killed in that period.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And this formed part of the plan. And may I
24 ask, was it already envisaged in these documents called strictly
25 confidential instructions to make use of this force even amounting to
1 killing of people? Was it already envisaged in the plans in December?
2 A. Your Honour, this was not explicitly stated, nor implied, and we
3 were not given such instruments out in the field relating to the use of
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So who finally decided about the use of force
6 and the degree of use of force? We are now already in the middle of the
7 events leading to the 9th of May. And what actually was your concrete
9 A. Your Honour, I found out about the use of force before this event,
10 earlier, and prior to my conversation with Mr. Zekic. I could clearly see
11 and follow the events in Bijeljina, the events in Zvornik, which are
12 municipalities that are very close to us in the territorial sense.
13 Zvornik borders on the Bratunac Municipality. The events began on the 1st
14 of April and continued throughout April. These events are well known, so
15 I do not want to take your time regarding these events.
16 During that time, I drew certain conclusions about the use of
17 force in Bijeljina and Zvornik, and in some other municipalities about
18 which I found out through the media. I found out about the use of force
19 through the media in those municipalities. My main conclusion was that
20 those paramilitary units were units known as Arkan's Guard, White Eagles,
21 or other volunteers from Serbia. These units were sent to these regions
22 from Serbia and they used force against the Muslim population in that
23 area, and that the final or ultimate objective of such conduct was to
24 expel the non-Serb population from those municipalities.
25 So I did have the opportunity to monitor these the events in
1 Eastern Bosnia and Podrinje, which are municipalities close to us and with
2 a similar population makeup as us. So my conclusion was that the
3 operative part - and when I say the operative part or the operational
4 part, I mean the actual implementation of the use of force - I concluded
5 that this was directed from Belgrade. And my final conclusion from a
6 conversation with Mr. Zekic on the 5th of May, I found out that this was a
7 part of the plan and that the Bosnian Serb leadership was also behind
8 this, and that also includes President Karadzic and all the other
9 political representatives of Bosnian Serbs. This was something that was
10 agreed upon with the Serbian leadership, and that the implementation of
11 these methods out in the field was underway.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's go back to Glogova. You mentioned already
13 as paramilitary units, Arkan's Guard. And just for the record of this
14 case, who is the person behind the White Eagles? Would you know?
15 A. Yes, I found out later, people are mentioning Mr. Jovic, Mr.
16 Jovic. I can't remember his first name now. He was the organiser of the
17 units known as the White Eagles, and this was a small opposition party in
18 Serbia. And when I say "opposition," this should be understood as being
19 said in quotation marks.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let us now turn to the next slight discrepancy.
21 In the indictment, paragraph 20, I take it that you have already also the
22 indictment before you in B/C/S? Is it correct? Paragraph 20.
23 A. Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. In the indictment, it reads that
25 "The municipality was taken over by Bosnian Serb forces on the 17th of
1 April 1992." In the factual basis, it reads, "On the 17th of April 1992,
2 volunteers from the SFRY entered Bratunac, and at the Hotel Fontana their
3 commander met with and issued an ultimatum to the leaders of Srebrenica
4 and Bratunac Muslim communities to surrender weapons and legal authority
5 to Bosnian Serbs or suffer destruction at the hands of thousands of Serb
6 soldiers," and so on.
7 So was it a joint action of Bosnian Serb forces together with the
8 volunteers, or how shall we understand it? You know best what happened at
9 that time and who was responsible for this taking over.
10 A. Your Honour, I will reply to your question. Mr. Zekic brought the
11 volunteers to Bratunac. I was not involved in their arrival in Bratunac
12 in any way. I attended the meeting at Fontana because I had been invited
13 to come there. And I wish to enter a minor correction. We're talking
14 about the meeting that had already started in the Fontana Hotel on the
15 17th of April 1992. And when I arrived, only the representatives of the
16 Muslims from Srebrenica were there. The members of the volunteer units
17 and the political leadership, or rather the leadership of the SDS from
18 Srebrenica --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch all the names.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I found Mr. Simic there at the
21 meeting, and he was at that time president of the Serbian Assembly in
22 Bratunac. And he left the meeting very soon. I wish to say that there
23 were no representatives of the Muslims from Bratunac there. But I was
24 told at the meeting that they were to be given an ultimatum about
25 abandoning power in Bratunac. The takeover of power referred to the
1 public security station in Bratunac, and this was carried out by the
2 volunteers after the Muslim representatives and the chief of the security
3 station and a large number of policemen, after my conversation with them,
4 left the public security station in Bratunac and set off in the direction
5 of Tuzla.
6 No unit or individual from Bratunac participated in this,
7 Your Honour. I know this for certain. I was there, and I remember all
8 the images. I remember a man. I think he was a policeman, an ethnic
9 Muslim, who was just sitting on the stairs when they entered the public
10 security station. They stayed there for about half an hour. They
11 collected documents, stamps. They took the vehicles that the public
12 security station had. And after that, together with Goran Zekic and the
13 other members of that group, they went off to Srebrenica. This is what I
14 feel is a brief report about this event. If, of course, you have any
15 questions, I'm ready to answer them.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What was the role you played in this meeting in
17 your own capacity? Did you act on the same footing together with your
18 colleague, Mr. Zekic, or were there any other persons leading the
19 takeover? Who is finally responsible? And I recall, and I have to give
20 you the hint that you already pleaded guilty to this point. But we have
21 to clarify what was your relationship to the volunteers. You accepted the
22 arrival of the volunteers and their involvement in the use of force, as
23 you just a few minutes ago told us. Is it correct?
24 A. Yes, Your Honour. I attended this meeting. I was summoned to
25 that meeting. I stayed there for a very brief time because I had been
1 invited by the Muslim representatives who asked me to come to the public
2 security station, and they said they wanted to talk to me. I have stated
3 exactly what they asked me; that is, the representatives of the Bosnian
4 Muslims. They asked me for guarantees that these volunteers would not do
5 anything to them. I responded that I had never seen them before, I didn't
6 know them, and I was unable to provide any guarantees to the Muslim
7 representatives. They asked me if they could leave Bratunac, and they
8 asked me to help them leave safely. I said I would do everything to help
9 them leave safely, and I have already quoted the questions they asked me
10 and my replies.
11 I participated in that meeting only briefly because the central
12 topic at that meeting were relations in Srebrenica. Why representatives
13 of the Muslims from Bratunac were not present who had been given an
14 ultimatum is something I can only guess at. I can only assume that these
15 people were afraid to attend the meeting. I went to the station and
16 talked to them, and they expressed the wish to leave Bratunac. I did not
17 oppose this in any way, nor did I have any instruments to guarantee their
18 security at that moment.
19 At that time, I had no executive function in the Bratunac
20 Municipality except that I was the president of the SDS Bratunac Crisis
21 Staff. These are the facts that I have set out and that I know.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let me ask you directly. Did you order the
23 disarmament of Glogova by the end of April, beginning of May 1992?
24 A. No, Your Honour. The decision on the disarming of the Muslims in
25 the villages of Bratunac was made by the JNA, by Mr. Reljic after the JNA
1 arrived in Bratunac. I think this was sometime after the 20th of April.
2 The meeting at which he made this decision was held in a company in
3 Bratunac called Vihor Bratunac. He made this decision there, and it's a
4 well-known fact that at that time Mr. Reljic introduced a military
5 government in Bratunac, and he informed the population of this by putting
6 up posters in Bratunac saying that he was the commander of Bratunac and he
7 was taking responsibility for events in Bratunac.
8 At a later date, and let me mention that the disarming of the
9 Muslim population in Bratunac started on the day his decision was made;
10 that is, the 23rd or the 24th of April probably, because in Glogova there
11 was already disarming on the 27th. And at his orders, there had been
12 disarming of the village of Pocus [phoen], and I had participated in this
13 as a soldier since I had been mobilised by the Territorial Defence. At
14 one of the crisis staff meetings in this period, Mr. Reljic, the captain
15 of this unit, brought a decision to the crisis staff on the disarming of
16 Muslims, and he asked us to confirm it, which we did. However, the
17 decision on disarming itself is something I was not able to tell him
18 about, nor did he ask me about it. He did this when he arrived in
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So when do you believe one can call Glogova a
21 disarmed and undefended town? From which point in time?
22 A. I would say with great certainty that this would be the 27th of
23 April because all the witness testimonies speak about this. This is when
24 the largest amount of weapons was collected, and I think the disarming
25 action lasted two or three days, since Glogova is a large village. This
1 was done by JNA units, units of the Territorial Defence, and the police,
2 and I knew about these activities. As I said, it was in this period or a
3 day or two later that we approved what they were doing, and one might say
4 that in early May, Glogova had already been disarmed completely.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's now turn to the actual attack on Glogova.
6 And here we can read in the indictment, paragraph 8(e), that - and you
7 pleaded guilty to this already - that "Miroslav Deronjic in his capacity
8 as the president of the Crisis Staff of the Municipality of Bratunac, a
9 position which gave him de facto and de jure control over the TO, and de
10 facto control over the police in the Municipality of Bratunac gave an
11 order to attack the village of Glogova, burn part of it down, and forcibly
12 displace its Bosnian Muslim residents." Correct? You stick to that what
13 you have pleaded guilty to already?
14 A. Yes, Your Honour. All this is completely correct. I stand by
15 this, and I have no comment to make on this.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To whom did you give the order to attack?
17 A. On the 8th in the evening at the session of the crisis staff, I
18 gave the order to attack to the Bratunac Territorial Defence, including
19 the police forces in Bratunac. I was unable to command the JNA units. I
20 only asked them whether they would participate in this. And Mr. Reljic,
21 the commander of this unit, told me they would participate in this action.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what about the volunteers and their
23 participation in the attack?
24 A. Your Honour, I wish to say that at that time, we had certain
25 clashes with the volunteers. I personally had several clashes with the
1 volunteers, and there were certain decisions about their expulsion.
2 Unfortunately, the population disagreed with this, and the army took
3 control of this with their arrival in Bratunac. None of these volunteers
4 attended the crisis staff meeting, and my decision stands in relation to
5 them. I don't know to what extent. I do know that they did participate
6 in this action in Glogova, and that is something I could talk about with
7 greater detail.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could be so kind and elaborate a little
9 bit more on this, especially in relation to paragraph 35 of the factual
10 basis where you plead guilty to already that you yourself urged
11 Captain Reljic to fire a tank shell into a house at the initial stage of
12 the attack in order to sow panic amongst the residents of Glogova. If you
13 could, in context, elaborate a little bit more on the development and what
14 actually occurred at this point in time, the evening of the 8th of May
16 A. Yes, Your Honour. All this is completely true. At this meeting,
17 I asked Mr. Reljic to take decisive action in this attack. I will try to
18 explain my reasons for this. Before this, I had had talks with Mr. Zekic,
19 and he told me that violent methods had been agreed upon and that they
20 were already being used in a number of municipalities. The decision to
21 attack Glogova was a result of this information. The decision was
22 confirmed by the other side, and by this I mean Serbia.
23 In Bratunac at the time there was a member of the Serbian State
24 Security whose name was Predrag Spasojevic. He turned up in Bratunac in
25 mid-April. I asked him what his service thought of my intention, as it
1 was then, to forcibly remove the population of Glogova and the centre of
2 Bratunac, including two suburbs. He said that he had contacted his
3 service and that he thought that this decision was correct and that I had
4 confirmation that my way of thinking was acceptable.
5 It was not clear what the role of the JNA was to be in this,
6 although on the 7th of May I had a meeting with Mr. Reljic. At his
7 invitation, we went to look down from a certain vantage point, that is my
8 native village, to see what all of Glogova looked like. On that occasion,
9 we agreed that the attack was to be launched over the next few days in
10 Bratunac. But during these meetings, he always said that I was not
11 competent to give orders to his unit and that he would contact his command
12 and consult them.
13 His command was in Sekovici as far as I knew, which was where the
14 entire mechanised brigade was, and I never went there, nor did I know the
15 people there. I thought that what he said was reasonable. At the meeting
16 of the crisis staff, I asked whether they would participate. He answered
17 yes, but he left this open by saying that he would consult his command
18 about this. I asked him if he did participate in the attack in the first
19 stage because I didn't know what we would run into in Glogova. Glogova is
20 a really enormous village. So I asked that the army take an active role
21 rather than simply observing.
22 At the meeting, I proposed to him that in the first stage when we
23 get to Glogova, he should fire a shell at a building in Glogova. The
24 reason was to let the Muslims know that the JNA's directly on our side.
25 This would give us an advantage in the attack and sow fear and panic among
1 the Muslim population, and also break down any ambitions they might have
2 had to resist us in this attack.
3 As far as I know, Your Honour --
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just interrupt you. When ordering this
5 tank shell on a house, you accepted and you took into account that this
6 house might be -- that there might be persons living in this house, and
7 shelling a house would cause the risk that people living in this house be
8 killed. Correct?
9 A. Your Honour, I have to give a small clarification. Yes, I did not
10 issue an order. I made a recommendation. I don't want to justify myself
11 when I say that. I suggested this to an officer of the Yugoslav People's
12 Army who trained his whole life for his job. I believe that he also had
13 to take care about the manner in which he would use that shell. In my
14 interview to the Prosecution, I didn't really discuss this topic very
15 much, but I am sure that we all understood, and I provided an explanation,
16 to the extent that there was firing at a facility which need not
17 necessarily be a house. He could have fired the shell at a stable or a
18 barn or some kind of auxiliary building. So I perhaps even said that.
19 I clarified this when we discussed it. I also felt that he was
20 responsible for not using the shell in the wrong way and in order not to
21 jeopardise human lives. Luckily, he did not accept this proposal. This
22 grenade shell was not fired. I think that he acted in a soldierly manner,
23 and in my opinion, this was quite right.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Deronjic, in the hearing the 30th of
1 September, you accepted without any reservation that, I quote: "Miroslav
2 Deronjic urged Captain Reljic to fire a tank shell into a house at the
3 initial stage of the attack in order to sow panic amongst the Muslims
4 residents of Glogova."
5 Do you want to withdraw this, or do you stand by that what you
6 have pleaded guilty to?
7 A. I am not withdrawing a single word from this quote, but I did
8 provide a certain clarification. And if Your Honours -- you may or may
9 not consider the explanation as relevant, but I do stand by what I said at
10 the crisis staff meeting in Bratunac.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that you urged Captain Reljic?
12 Let's do it step by step.
13 A. I could say that I reiterated this several times to see whether he
14 was prepared to actively participate in that operation and whether he
15 would take an active part in the operation, because there was a dilemma
16 about that. I will tell you something that I did not tell the Prosecution
17 as additional information. There was also one of his deputies who was
18 present there who said at a certain point, "Yes, the army will
19 participate, Mr. Deronjic," and he addressed the members of the crisis
20 staff. "The army will take part in this," and this is when we finished
21 the discussion on this topic, after he gave an answer to this question of
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So you stand by your guilty plea that you urged
24 Captain Reljic. And this is the same Mr. Reljic, and now I come to
25 another document, the interview either of October or, as Mr. Harmon said,
1 November - unfortunately we can't find any date on this document - page
2 30, paragraph 101. And there it, reads, I quote: "At one of the sessions
3 of the crisis staff, Mr. Reljic told us that he made a decision to disarm
4 Muslim villages. He called this campaign a campaign to disarm extremists,
5 but we knew that it pertained to Muslim villages. This campaign was
6 conducted in the following manner: First, the TO would be mobilised. And
7 then very early in the morning before dawn, they would surround the
8 village but make a broad circle, not get too close to the houses in the
9 village, and then he would give the signal and perhaps one or two bullets
10 would be fired by each soldier."
11 This is correct?
12 A. Correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So let's, then, continue.
14 Mr. Reljic and you were aware - this is my conclusion; correct me,
15 please, if I am wrong - that you had in front of you a disarmed and
16 undefended village. However, you urged Captain Reljic, quote again, "to
17 fire a tank shell into a house at the initial stage of the attack"? When
18 shelling a house, whatever house it may be, isn't it true that you, in
19 ordering this, you accept that a foreseeable consequence might be that a
20 person is inside this house and would be killed by this shelling?
22 A. Yes, Your Honour.
23 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm referring to the
24 transcript of this session, and at 17:18:14, you referred to this quote,
25 this passage, you read as being in paragraph 101, page 30.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
2 MR. HARMON: The paragraph, copy of the statement that I have in
3 English, has that quote in paragraph 102. So I'm not sure what --
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher to present this document we
5 have -- no, I have my copy here.
6 MR. HARMON: It appears to be an identical paragraph, numbered
7 differently. So we will have to regulate that later. Thank you.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Please, the correct document will be
9 signed later.
10 So okay. We reached this step. And could you then, please,
11 continue. What about your own - please, and in your own words - what
12 actually did you do on the evening of the 8th of May until the 9th of May?
13 A. If I understood you correctly, Your Honour, are you thinking about
14 what I did after the meeting was finished?
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
16 A. After the meeting concluded, the meeting of the SDS Crisis Staff
17 at which we made the decision to attack the village of Glogova, I went
18 home very quickly to change. I think I'm almost sure of that, and I
19 joined a unit of the Territorial Defence which was lined up in front of
20 the municipal building. The unit was commanded by Mr. Miloje Bozic. He
21 was unfortunately killed. I joined that unit because that was a TO unit
22 to which I am assigned to. Anyway, the unit's assignment was to enter the
23 village of Glogova at night -- in the area of Srebrenica. This area is
24 the area of Srebrenica, and Potocari is exclusively inhabited by Muslims.
25 Our objective was to look out and try to prevent any attempt of escape
1 from the village of Glogova and to prevent anybody from Srebrenica coming
2 and trying to enter Glogova and trying to surprise our forces in any way.
3 If I'm not mistaken, I went with that unit at about 1000 hours. I
4 know the road that we took. We took a village road. This is not really a
5 proper road. These are just small village paths. We went behind the
6 village of Glogova on the south side and set up groups of soldiers at
7 certain elevations around there, including myself. Mr. Miloje Bozic
8 assigned who would be in what group and where the group would be
9 positioned. I was instructed to remain at one post. I obeyed that order
10 and I stayed there. We remained there until dawn on the 9th of May.
11 Nothing happened during the night. We were at a safe distance
12 from the village of Glogova. But it was possible to have a good view of
13 the whole of Glogova from that elevation. In the morning, at about 6.00
14 in the morning, we noticed, and this was in accordance with what we had
15 agreed, that Serb forces were starting to go into Glogova. The best place
16 or the best thing that we could see was the road from Bratunac. We could
17 see that at a safe distance, they were stopping vehicles, trucks, and
18 buses. There were -- it was prearranged for them to be there so that they
19 could transport the population towards Kladanj. We saw that the attack or
20 the entrance of our forces to Glogova was taking part from all directions
21 as agreed. And in that -- at that stage, I noticed that our forces were
22 entering Glogova first from the north, and some buildings were already
23 torched there.
24 Our conduct, the conduct of the soldiers who were with me at the
25 time and who were around me, was such -- it was in accordance with the
1 orders that we had, and that was to stand still and not to do anything,
2 not to make any moves. Miloje Bozic was touring the lines. At one point
3 I asked him to give me the hand-held radio that he had - it's a
4 walkie-talkie; I don't know exactly what the name is - so that I could get
5 in touch with somebody to see what was going on in Glogova.
6 I noticed that the houses were being torched in a much larger
7 number than was agreed at a meeting of the crisis staff. I contacted the
8 other side with -- over the prearranged channel. Mr. Bozic turned the
9 hand-held radio on for me. I spoke to Mr. Predrag Spasojevic. I asked
10 him, "What is happening in Glogova, are things proceeding the way we
11 agreed?" We could hear shooting. We were about 2 kilometres from the
12 village, or maybe a little less. Perhaps we were a kilometre, 1 kilometre
13 from the village.
14 He said that everything was going well, that there were no
15 problems because he was in contact with those who were leading the units.
16 I did not comment on the excessive torching, and that is how I ended my
17 conversation with him.
18 In the centre of Glogova itself, besides this person, the
19 commander of the TO was there, Captain Reljic as well, and I saw that the
20 tanks were in the centre of Glogova, or to be precise, it was one tank and
21 three armoured transporter vehicles. I could see that they were in the
22 centre of Glogova. The entry of the forces into the village was not
23 visible because that is the terrain. It's not possible to see it. But
24 the torching was something that was visible, and I already said that I did
25 not make any comments about that.
1 At 9.00, as far as I recall, I think that it was at 9.00, we
2 received the order that our task there is finished, that our units had
3 entered Glogova, and that they were forcibly bringing the population to
4 the centre of the village. I could see that our transport vehicles
5 intended to bring them over to Kladanj had arrived in the centre of
6 Glogova. The order for us was that we should go to a crossroads, taking
7 an old macadam road which would not take us to Glogova. So we did that
8 from the south side, and then we would go back to Bratunac.
9 So we set off on this old macadam road which leads from Bratunac
10 to Kravica, which is behind Glogova. Kravica is a Serbian village. We
11 went down this macadam road, and we reached the area of Avdagina Njiva, so
12 we came on to the asphalt road which passes straight through the village
13 of Glogova. This is also an area which is not actually physically part of
14 the village of Glogova. This is where I encountered a unit from Kravica.
15 Across this road, I noticed that none of those people who were
16 there had entered the village of Glogova. We talked a little bit about
17 the operation. I knew some people well from Kravica, Raso Milosevic who
18 was the commander of the unit, and Jovan Nikolic who was a member of the
19 municipal board of the SDS. I spoke with them. They were not satisfied
20 over the burning of the village, and allegedly that was the reason why
21 they did not go into the village. Later, I found out that a part of their
22 unit did get into the village of Glogova from the area of Halilovici.
23 I did not say that during this move -- I apologise to the
24 interpreters. I skipped saying that while we were moving from the place
25 where we were when we came down to this macadam road which was directly
1 below us, there were several Muslim houses there. The soldiers who were
2 around me entered those houses in order to check if anyone was inside. At
3 that point, one of the houses was torched. The other soldiers asked me
4 what should they do with the rest of the houses? There were about three
5 or four houses there. And I said that I approved that they should burn
6 them. I agreed that they should burn them.
7 We continued down this field, and I met a group of people there.
8 I knew one of the people there. He was commanding a platoon. His name is
9 Nedjo. I can't remember his last name. His nickname is Djedura. He was
10 deep in the rear in a wood, and he was well known for some extreme
11 incidents in the prewar period. So I was a little bit provocative about
12 those things. And I think he was here, he was pretending to be very
13 brave. And I ordered him to torch several houses that were there in the
14 area. And I wanted to check if he would do that, and he did do that.
15 They burnt a few homes -- houses that were there.
16 After I left for Avdagina Njiva, Your Honour, I stayed for a short
17 while with the people I mentioned. And then I went off to Bratunac. My
18 intention was to arrive at the funeral of Mr. Zekic who had been killed on
19 the 8th of May. I passed through the village of Glogova. And I can say
20 now with some certainty that I was given a list in a private car, that
21 arrived in the Fontana Hotel.
22 On the way through the village of Glogova, I noticed a large
23 number of people gathered in the centre of Glogova. I observed our buses
24 there. I observed the presence of the army, the police; that is, the
25 Bratunac police. I can't tell you exactly whom I saw, but they were there
1 in the centre of the village. I did not notice anything that would
2 indicate that things were happening beyond what we had agreed at the
3 crisis staff meeting, which was that all the residents of Glogova without
4 exception should be collected together and taken off in the direction of
6 I went to the Fontana Hotel. Before that, I think I stopped at
7 the morgue in the health centre in Bratunac and that I was present when
8 Mr. Zekic's body was being prepared for burial. Then I went back to
9 Fontana because we had agreed that a ceremony for Mr. Zekic should be held
10 there because his family had decided that he was to be buried in Serbia,
11 in a place called Ljubovija. This is the neighbouring municipality in
12 Serbia. His father, his wife, and his children had decided that.
13 In front of the Fontana Hotel, we were to say good-bye to the
14 corpse of Mr. Zekic, and it was agreed that I, as the president of the
15 crisis staff, should hold an obituary speech. I didn't do that. I asked,
16 I think, Mr. Tesic, to do it because I said that I was in a very emotional
17 state, as Mr. Zekic had been a close friend, and that I was unable to give
18 the obituary.
19 After that, the procession set out. I can't be very precise, but
20 I think it was in the afternoon of that day. And we set out in the
21 direction of Ljubovija. In this procession, we attended the church
22 ceremony and the burial --
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the interests of time, may I interrupt you
24 here because this is not part of our case. You already went one step
25 further touching upon the events of the 9th of May. And we should really
1 focus on that crimes that were committed this very day.
2 A very direct question: Was it already in advance when you
3 planned the meeting held beforehand? Was it already planned to burn and
4 destroy the mosque?
5 A. No, Your Honour. Categorically, nobody mentioned the mosque.
6 This was not even discussed. When I passed through Glogova, it was not
7 destroyed. My information indicates that it was destroyed on the 9th of
8 May in the evening.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: By whom? Who did destroy the mosque?
10 A. My information, and I'm really not absolutely certain, is that it
11 was blown up, that it was dynamited by volunteers.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you regard this as a foreseeable consequence
13 of the attack against Glogova?
14 A. Your Honour, really, I must say that in the context of everything
15 that happened, I should have foreseen such a possibility.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the aforementioned document of in all
17 likelihood November 2003, on page 31, in my copy, it's paragraph 106, you
18 stated, I quote: "As a result of the attack on the village of Glogova on
19 the 9th of May 1992, 65 Bosnian Muslims, residents of the village, were
20 murdered; the entire Bosnian Muslim population of the village was forcibly
21 displaced; and a substantial number of Bosnian Muslim residences in
22 Glogova were razed to the ground."
23 This is absolutely in line with both the indictment and the
24 factual basis you pleaded guilty to. However, may I also, with respect to
25 these 65 killings, and you will recall that we heard the names of these 65
1 dead persons, that this murder of 65 Bosnian Muslims was a foreseeable
2 result of the attack, and you took into account and accepted that this
3 might happen?
4 A. Yes, Your Honour. I state that that is so and that the way that
5 is put is correct.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
7 Please understand that for legal reasons, I have to come back to
8 the one or other point. Until now, we discussed more or less the
9 objective part of all the acts, but now we have to discuss those parts in
10 the indictment and the factual basis where your state of mind at that
11 point in time was discussed. And I wonder what the meaning in paragraph 8
12 of the indictment and paragraph 18 of the factual basis is that -- here it
13 reads: "Miroslav Deronjic, exercising de facto and de jure control of the
14 president of the Bratunac Crisis Staff over the TO and the de facto
15 control of the Bratunac police forces, authorised the TO and Bratunac
16 police forces to disarm the Bosnian Muslim population in Glogova."
17 And in the factual basis, it also reads that you authorised the TO
18 to disarm the Bosnian Muslim population. You will understand the question
19 in the light of your previous answer that in fact, the disarmament was
20 ordered by others. And you mentioned concrete names. So how shall we
21 understand that you authorised the disarmament?
22 A. Your Honour, I understood the charges in the indictment as a fact
23 that is derived from a decision with which we agreed. When I say "we,"
24 I'm thinking of the crisis staff in a period when Mr. Reljic brought this
25 decision and asked us to declare ourselves affirmatively on the decision.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in other words, you joined this mission to
2 disarm the population of Glogova. You not only accepted it, but also
3 endorsed it in your capacity, in all your capacities you had at this point
4 in time in Glogova. Is this a correct assessment?
5 A. Your Honour, I think that the decision to approve this operation
6 was reached later when the disarming of the Glogova village was completed.
7 If you're thinking of my personal position at that point in time, I was
8 there nearby when the operation was being carried out. I took part in it
9 personally, and I did not oppose the action.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's time for a break now. Maybe it's a good
11 opportunity for you to discuss with your counsel this question. I have to
12 come back to this because it still remains unclear what the term
13 "authorised the disarmament" means in this context. So I will come back
14 to this question immediately after the break.
15 The trial stays adjourned until a quarter past 6.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
19 I come back directly to paragraph 8 of the indictment and 18 of
20 the factual basis. Could you please explain what does it mean when you
21 said "authorised to disarm."
22 A. Your Honour, I will give an explanation. I said that at a meeting
23 of the crisis staff we authorised the decision on the disarmament of
24 Muslims in Bratunac. In that way, we agreed with that operation, accepted
25 it as our own, accepted it as justified for the period when it was
1 implemented. In that way, I, as the president of the crisis staff, and
2 the crisis staff accepted the decision as our own. And in that sense do I
3 mean that we authorised it and that I authorised in that way
4 Captain Reljic to carry out his action.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification. May we now
6 turn to paragraph 8(d) and paragraph 19 of the factual basis. It's only a
7 slight question. This the indictment, it reads, and you pleaded guilty to
8 this: "Milosevic added that he was speaking on behalf of
9 Miroslav Deronjic," whereas in the factual basis you can only read that
10 Milutin Milosevic told the villagers of Glogova they would not be attacked
11 because they had turned over their weapons. Did Milosevic speak as it
12 reads in the indictment on your behalf?
13 A. Your Honour, I was not present in Glogova. I accepted the facts
14 as cited by the Prosecution, that he said that on my behalf. But I cannot
15 say exactly what happened there. I accept that statement, and I believe
16 that it is possible, and I accepted it in this sense. I never discussed
17 this with him, but I accept that he may have said that.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So you were absolutely in agreement what
19 Milosevic has said. Correct?
20 A. I've already answered that question. I accepted all of those
21 actions, and I agreed with them.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And also, in relation to your state of mind,
23 coming back to the question of the volunteers, we already, I think, have
24 found an acceptable conclusion on this. It reads in paragraph 36 of the
25 factual basis that you coordinated and monitored the attack on Glogova.
1 Do you stand by your plea?
2 A. Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I think as for the next paragraphs
4 in this document, we need not go into further details because you have
5 already testified on this.
6 Could you, then, please, in conclusion tell us what happened
7 immediately after you had been in Glogova. By the way, did you see
8 persons in Glogova that had been killed during the attack when you came to
9 the town?
10 A. Your Honour, I state that I did not see nor did I knew at that
11 point in time anything about that, and that is really true.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please, then, proceed. What happened
13 this 9th of -- later, this 9th of May, the 10th, and 11th of May 1992.
14 A. Your Honour, in order not to repeat what I did in the afternoon
15 and in the evening of that day, I would like to conclude, after
16 Goran Zekic's funeral, we met because the majority of the crisis staff
17 members attended the funeral. We met at an unofficial meeting. We didn't
18 even take the minutes of it, but we did discuss the situation in Glogova,
19 about what happened in Glogova. The central topic and what we knew at
20 that time was that Glogova was torched to an extent that was not planned
21 or meant. We discussed the killings [as interpreted]. To this very day,
22 I would like to say that we, or I personally, did not have any information
23 about these killings. During this meeting, this conversation, it was
24 agreed that I should inform Mr. Reljic that in the future actions, any
25 kind of torching of houses should be banned.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: There is a misinterpretation in the transcript.
2 69:7. It says "we discussed the killings" and I believe our client said
3 "we did not discuss the killings."
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. This is correct. May it be please
5 corrected page 69, line 7. "We discussed not the killings." The "not"
6 has to be included.
7 So then the 10th of May. Do you recall any special events on the
8 10th of May in Bratunac?
9 A. Yes, Your Honour. The operation, as was agreed at the crisis
10 staff meeting on the 9th of May, continued by inviting the Muslim
11 population, which remained in Bratunac at the time, to come to designated
12 places, and that the police and the military would transport them in the
13 direction of Kladanj. This was the agreement of the 9th of May reached at
14 the same meeting of the crisis staff that we mentioned. At one point at
15 the stadium, which was one of the locations where the people were supposed
16 to come, I was informed that there was separations of men and women in the
17 group of Muslims who had come to the stadium. Together with the president
18 of the executive board who informed me about this, Rodoljub Djukanovic, I
19 went to the stadium to check what this was all about. This was my first
20 indication of such acts. I came to the stadium. I didn't meet anybody
21 from the army there. I saw a large group of volunteers, and
22 Mr. Predrag Cubrilo, who was their commander.
23 I saw a group of Muslims who were separated, men, they were
24 standing along the wall of the stadium. I asked him what this was all
25 about. Then there was an argument. I insisted that he should explain to
1 me why this was being done, and he said this was an order of the army and
2 these people would be exchanged for some Serbs. I went, after that
3 conversation which was quite heated, to the police station. I asked the
4 police commander -- the police station commander to see what he could do
5 about this. I met Luka Bogdanovic who at the time was the duty of the
6 commander of the police station in Bratunac, and he told me there are no
7 police officers in Bratunac, that they were all out in the field, that
8 they are inviting people to come to these certain places as we had agreed.
9 I returned to the crisis staff, to the municipal building, and I
10 was summoned to Pale. I don't remember how I got this information.
11 Somebody told me that I was being summoned to go to Pale in relation to
12 some meeting --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt, but let's stay for a moment
14 in Bratunac. I think you would -- you will agree that the word "that they
15 had invited the Muslims to come to certain points, especially the
16 stadium," is a diplomatic description of ordering these people to come to
17 the stadium and other locations. Correct? And are you aware and is it
18 correct that some of those people, in fact, were killed?
19 A. Your Honour, you're absolutely right. I used that term in a
20 technical sense. Summoned or invited via police loudspeakers, but it was
21 actually an order for them to come, and this was actually a forcible
22 transportation of people from Bratunac and the surrounding suburbs. I am
23 aware that those people were separated to the stadium during the night,
24 and then they were taken to a hangar close to the -- near the Vuk Karadzic
25 school. When I came back during the day, I found out that there was a
1 large number of people there, about 500 people there, who had been placed
2 in this hangar. If you think that it is necessary to discuss this topic
3 further, I will continue. But what I wanted to say was on the 10th, I
4 went to Pale, and I wanted to give you a chronological explanation of what
5 happened. But I will do it in whatever way you see fit.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could, please, first explain what is your
7 knowledge about the killing of some of those people ordered to come to the
8 stadium and other locations.
9 A. Your Honour, when I returned from Pale, the next day I was
10 informed that these people who were separated at the hangar were abused,
11 that volunteers were going there, as well as some local citizens. I said
12 in my interview that I found out that the father of Goran Zekic went
13 there, Drago Zekic, and that he was conducting investigations about his
14 son. I was told that people were taken out of the hangar, taken in an
15 unknown direction, and that they never came back.
16 In the course of that day, we took a series of measures to prevent
17 this from happening. And I will mention a few things which I've already
18 said during my talks with the investigators. I said that I spoke with the
19 commander of the paramilitary unit, that he told me that he was not quite
20 informed about the situation - of course, he wasn't telling the
21 truth - and that he would try to prevent his units from entering there. I
22 went to see the military police which was formed -- which was formed by
23 Mr. Reljic. I did not see him in Bratunac to that day, and to this day I
24 cannot actually tell you what this is all about and where he was on that
1 We also asked for the help of one of our local units, that it
2 should also try to prevent the things that were going on at the hangar.
3 We received a promise that some of them would try to prevent this. I
4 spoke also with the commander of the military police, Mr. Savo Babic, and
5 he said that he would do everything to prevent what was going on there and
6 that he would step up the security around the hangar.
7 The next day, this is already on the 12th, these actions
8 continued. I received information that somebody saw some killed people in
9 the Drina River, that they had been thrown into the river. I asked to go
10 and see this for myself. I went to that location just underneath, below
11 the bridge, and I did see several bodies in the river. I returned to the
12 crisis staff, and we continued to discuss what we could do. On the 12th
13 in the evening, between the 12th and the 13th, we held a meeting of the
14 crisis staff, and that evening we agreed on some measures which we could
15 implement at the time. We decided to release all the people who had
16 remained alive from the hangar and to transport them to Pale, to the
17 municipality where our Serbian leadership was at the time.
18 During the night, after midnight, with the help of the local
19 police, the local civilian police and the military police, we released all
20 of those people. We boarded them on trucks with tarpaulins. We made a
21 list of all the survivors who happened to be in the hangar at the time,
22 and we took them to Pale and handed them over. The order was that their
23 handover should be confirmed in writing when they were handed over to
24 Pale. And I do have that document.
25 The second decision that we made or adopted on the 13th of May
1 1992 related to the volunteers whom we blamed for the majority of the
2 killings that happened at the hangar. We decided to expel all the
3 volunteers from Bratunac, and also a decision to expel Reljic, whom we
4 blamed for the separation of people in the first place and for them having
5 been placed in this area, which made it possible for all of these killings
6 to take place. These decisions were implemented partially, not in whole,
7 because the next day already a vast mass of people gathered led by the
8 local extremists, and these events are well known in Bratunac, when they
9 physically broke into the municipal building and physically attacked the
10 members of the crisis staff.
11 In reference to those whom we found who had been killed in the
12 hangar, I instructed for the military medical services to be called. I
13 got in touch with Stankovic from Belgrade. I asked him to bring a team of
14 experts so we could identify those bodies and to help us to bury those
15 people in the proper way. And the next day or in the course of that same
16 day, he did come. He examined all the bodies, established their identity.
17 They were marked, and they were placed in these nylon bodybags as
18 regulations require. They were given ID numbers, and they were buried in
19 a mass grave publicly in the middle of the day.
20 We had even ordered some Muslim tombstones for them according to
21 the Muslim tradition, but it was then thought that this could possibly
22 have been interpreted as a provocative action by the extremists. So as
23 far as I know when I was arrested, those tombstones were still in the
24 public utilities warehouse, so they were never used. So I did give a
25 broad explanation of all of these events in a previous interview. And if
1 you have questions, Your Honours, I would be happy to respond.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What is your estimate, now reviewing these
3 events, how many people were killed in your municipality between the 8th
4 and the 12th of May 1992?
5 A. Your Honour, you said between the 8th? Does this include Glogova,
6 excuse me?
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
8 A. Your Honour, I accepted the facts put forward by the Office of the
9 Prosecutor as to the number of people killed in Glogova. I wish to say
10 that neither today nor at the time did I have any precise information
11 about the number of people who had been killed. I have no reason to doubt
12 that the figure of 65 mentioned by the Office of the Prosecutor is
13 correct, and I accept this fact. As for the people killed in the hangar,
14 I wish to say that at one point in my interview, without checking this
15 previously, I mentioned a number which is not correct. I truly hope it is
16 not correct. I said about 200 people had been killed. But on my return
17 to Bratunac, I asked a person who could give me precise information and
18 who had done the postmortems and burials of these people, a person called
19 Aleksandar Tesic from the military, and he told me that this number was
20 incorrect and that he had information about this and that it was around 50
21 people who were killed in that hangar, as he said. If we accept these
22 facts, then we can speak of over a hundred people killed in that period.
23 I am not saying, Your Honour, because I didn't see the report,
24 that what he told me is a hundred per cent correct.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From my side, one concluding question: Could
1 you please discuss what you already intended, the meeting in Pale the 10th
2 of May and the 12th of May, and especially in relation to the 12th of May
3 in detail. Did you go there proprio motu or on invitation? Who
4 participated in the meeting? And yes, I don't want once again to
5 anticipate your answer. Therefore, could you please answer in context
6 about these two meetings in Pale.
7 A. Your Honour, I'm afraid there may be a misinterpretation in the
8 transcript, because I spoke of only one meeting, and that was the meeting
9 which I said could have taken place on either the 10th or possibly the
10 11th of May.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In your testimony, page 21 of November 2003 in
12 paragraph 67, you mentioned the following, I quote: "The contact of
13 states, military, and political leadership was evident during the meeting
14 held on 12th May in Pale when I explained the events in Glogova." And
15 just a few minutes ago, you tried to start to explain a meeting held the
16 10th of May. So was there only one meeting, or were there two meetings?
17 Is that what is reflected in paragraph 67 of your testimony of November;
19 A. Your Honour, I didn't notice this. I had no intention of
20 confusing the issue. Only one meeting was held, and I'm sure it was on
21 the 10th. But I cannot make any connection with the 12th of May. This
22 must have escaped my notice. And therefore, please take into account that
23 in fact in Pale, in Sarajevo, I was there on the 10th, or possibly the
24 11th of May.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I take it that there was only one meeting,
1 and you were taken by mistake when quoting the 12th of May as the date.
2 But then, please explain. Did you go there spontaneously or had you been
3 invited to come there? And some details of this meeting in Pale, whenever
4 it happened, be it now the 10th or the 11th or the 12th of May. In any
5 event, after the events in Glogova and Bratunac.
6 A. Yes, Your Honour. I started talking about the way in which I went
7 to that meeting. I think I received an invitation and that somebody told
8 me to go to Pale. They said there was a meeting and that I was required
9 to attend it. I went to Pale together with --
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please attach names, not refer to
11 "somebody." I think this is such an important event that, no doubt, you
12 will recall who invited you.
13 A. Your Honour, in the municipality, I learned about this, but I
14 really can't remember the name. The best I can do is to say that it could
15 have been the municipal secretary through whom the invitation arrived, or
16 perhaps the SDS office. The secretary in the SDS office was called
17 Ms. Mirjana Nikolic.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Please proceed, then. What happened in
19 Pale? In which building was the meeting held and who were the
20 participants in this meeting?
21 A. I arrived at the meeting in Pale, which was already underway. I
22 cannot recall the building with any precision. I assume it was in the
23 Panorama Hotel in Pale. This was my first encounter with Pale because
24 previously when our leadership moved to Pale from Sarajevo, I had not had
25 an opportunity of going up there.
1 The meeting was of the following type: The presidents of the
2 crisis staffs from a large number of municipalities were there. I think
3 there were about 50 participants, presidents of crisis staffs from various
4 municipalities. I had seen most of these people in uniform. It was the
5 practice then for presidents of crisis staffs to wear uniforms. I,
6 however, arrived in civilian clothes. The meeting was chaired, or rather
7 Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Karadzic, and Mr. Mladic chaired it. When I went in, I
8 concluded that the aim of the meeting was for the presidents of the crisis
9 staffs from various municipalities to report about the security and
10 military situation on the ground.
11 I listened to one or two speakers reporting on their
12 municipalities, and then I asked to be given the floor because I wanted to
13 visit the prime minister and acquaint him with events in Bratunac, and
14 then to return to Bratunac in good time because the journey was quite
15 risky and unsafe since there were many Muslim villages along the road.
16 They accepted my explanation and gave me the floor. I went out in front
17 of a long table behind which there was a map of Bosnia and Herzegovina on
18 the wall. On that map, the municipalities were coloured in different
19 colours. Parts of municipalities or entire municipalities - I don't
20 remember now - and the practice was for our areas in various
21 municipalities to be marked in blue.
22 I was to show on that match where my municipality was and say what
23 was happening in the municipality as regards military and security issues.
24 I gave my report. I said that we had attacked the village of Glogova. I
25 said that the village had been largely burnt down. I said that I had
1 ordered the attack. Mr. Ratko Mladic listened to me. And of course,
2 Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Ostojic did as well. They didn't ask me any
3 questions, but asked me to show exactly where Glogova was. I indicated on
4 the map the location of Glogova and the direction from which we had
5 attacked this village.
6 I don't remember every detail, but this was the first time in my
7 life I had seen Mr. Mladic, and I didn't know what his precise role in all
8 this was, probably because I missed the beginning of the meeting. I know
9 that on the 15th of May, Mr. Mladic was appointed commander of the armed
10 forces of the Republic -- the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
11 and probably this was his first introduction to the people on the ground
12 and the current situation on the ground.
13 I finished my report. And as I said, there was applause in the
14 room after I had given my report. This was a fact which can be confirmed
15 by my driver, whose name is Vidoje Radovic, a policeman from Bratunac who
16 was at the meeting with me. I remember Mr. Ostojic's comment. He said:
17 "Now we can colour Bratunac blue." I explained what this meant. This
18 meant we had taken control of Bratunac and that the Serbs were the force
19 controlling Bratunac. I assumed this also meant that Bratunac had, in
20 fact, acquired the possibility of forming part of the Serbian Republic of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 After this meeting, I asked to be excused, and I was given
23 permission to leave. I went to see Mr. Dzeric in the government. And for
24 the sake of the truth, I have to say that unlike those who had applauded
25 me, he was very angry. He asked me who had ordered the attack. I said I
1 had, and he was very angry because I had done this. I tried to explain,
2 and I left the government building very worried. And then I went back to
4 This is what I can say about this meeting. If there are any other
5 questions, I am prepared to answer them.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: There are no more questions from the side of the
8 Are there any questions from the side of the Defence?
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence has no
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Prosecution?
12 MR. HARMON: Yes, I have just two brief questions to clarify
13 points that were made by Mr. Deronjic.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
15 Questioned by Mr. Harmon:
16 Q. Mr. Deronjic, let me just take you back to the meeting, the first
17 meeting about which you testified where President Karadzic mentioned the
18 only option left is a Greater Serbia. And you said that was the first
19 time you heard that term. And thereafter you attended a meeting with
20 Zekic, Ostojic, and Mrs. Slobodanka Hrvacanin. Let me ask you, what is
21 the first name of the man named Ostojic?
22 A. Velibor Ostojic. At that time, he was the deputy president of the
24 Q. And at the conclusion of your testimony, this meeting that took
25 place in Pale on the 10th or the 11th of May, you mentioned that a
1 Mr. Ostojic said "now we can colour Bratunac blue." Is that the same
2 Ostojic who you mentioned attended the meeting at the beginning?
3 A. Yes, that's correct, Mr. Harmon. It's the same person.
4 MR. HARMON: Thank you. I have no additional questions.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
6 This concludes your testimony. And may the witness now please be
7 escorted to his place as accused. Please.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's make use of the remaining time.
10 Let's make use of the five remaining minutes in order to clarify
11 two small, relatively unimportant legal issues. I take it that paragraph
12 14 of the indictment where it reads "widespread and systematic attack,"
13 this paragraph of the indictment supersedes paragraph 5(b) of the plea
14 agreement where it reads "widespread or systematic attack". Correct?
15 MR. HARMON: That is correct.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: That is correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And finally, as you know, it's highly disputed
18 and not yet resolved in the jurisprudence of this Tribunal whether a
19 person can at the same time order and commit a crime. I think it has no
20 impact on the outcome and on the result. Therefore, I would ask the
21 Prosecution, do you see a possibility to withdraw the words "ordered and"
22 and leave it with "committed"? This is just to avoid a lengthy legal
23 debate on the relationship between ordering and committing. I think
24 it's -- this is not the place to discuss this question.
25 MR. HARMON: I will give you my answer, if it's appropriate,
1 tomorrow morning or the next time we meet, tomorrow afternoon.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you so much.
3 Any more technical problems to be discussed today?
4 MR. HARMON: Yes. I have a number of matters. One is that we
5 have a number of submissions that we will make -- I will tender during the
6 course of my closing remarks in this case. They have been provided to the
7 Registrar, and I assume -- and there is no objection to receipt of these
8 into evidence by the Defence. I understand Your Honour wanted to examine
9 those before concluding whether they are admissible or will be admissible.
10 But I bring that to Your Honours' attention. Then there will be the
11 matter tomorrow, if I am to start first thing with my remarks --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Fair enough. And I thank you for this that we
13 can check it already now. It saves time.
14 MR. HARMON: And then I will need tomorrow morning quite
15 obviously, the numbering of those exhibits, assuming they are all accepted
16 into evidence.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
18 MR. HARMON: Tomorrow as well we should clarify the disparity of
19 the numbering of the statement in November that you have. We seem to be
20 off by one point. I think we have discovered the source of that problem.
21 We can clarify that tomorrow morning.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I take it we all get the correct English version
23 signed by Mr. Deronjic no later than tomorrow in the evening.
24 MR. HARMON: I will leave that to my colleagues from the Defence
25 to deal with. Thank you.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, is in this collection already
2 included a map on the area?
3 MR. HARMON: The map of the area is included as one of our
4 exhibits. It should be the first exhibit.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And you will provide and tender an
6 aerial view of Glogova. Correct?
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honour. Yes.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You may do it immediately.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have one minute to go.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Okay.
12 Your Honour, this is the map, if the usher may... Unfortunately,
13 this is a format which we couldn't -- which we couldn't downsize -- we
14 couldn't downsize that in The Hague. And as you know, we were in rather a
15 rush to get in possession of that document. And we would like to tender
16 it as it is.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. May I ask the Prosecution, are you
18 prepared to present this document? Of course, first we have to see it and
19 you have to see it, in a way that it can be printed? I know about the
20 technical skills of the staff members of the Prosecution, so I have no
21 reasonable doubt that you can manage this.
22 MR. HARMON: I thank you, Your Honour, for your confidence in our
23 ability to deal with these technical matters. I will certainly explore it
24 with my staff and do everything I can to get it in the right size. By the
25 way, I have seen it, and I have no objection to its admission.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So then it's -- can we just, Madam Registrar,
2 can we just see it.
3 And this stems from which period of time? Before the attack on
5 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this image was made in
6 the 1990s, before the attack. This is what the village looked like before
7 the attack.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you so much for your assistance. And I
9 hope, with the assistance of the Prosecution, we will get a printable
10 document. Thank you so much to everybody, especially also to the
11 interpreters and everybody who has accompanied us until 7.00. Let's call
12 it a day. And we'll resume tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00 in this same
14 --- Whereupon the Sentencing Hearing adjourned
15 at 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday, the
16 28th day of January, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.