1 Wednesday, 28 January 2004
2 [Sentencing Hearing]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. A very good afternoon to
8 May I ask Madam Registrar, please, call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case Number
10 IT-02-61-S, the Prosecutor versus Miroslav Deronjic.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And I state for the transcript, we have the same
12 appearances as yesterday.
13 May I ask you, Mr. Deronjic, can you follow the proceedings in a
14 language you understand.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear what the accused
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please repeat. The interpreters
18 couldn't understand.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, I can follow the
20 proceedings. Absolutely.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Deronjic, let me take the opportunity,
22 because a Status Conference is due actually today, to take the opportunity
23 to ask you whether you have any health problems or any other problems in
24 the Detention Unit or anything else that concerns you want to bring to the
25 attention of this Chamber.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I have no health
2 problems. I have no problems in the Detention Unit either. Everything is
3 in the best order.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you so much.
5 Just for the record, then, our duties under the Status Conference
6 are fulfilled. And for this case, I think the parties both do agree we
7 don't need any further Status Conference. I see nodding from both
8 parties. Okay. Thank you.
9 Now, after having heard Mr. Deronjic yesterday, it's for the
10 Trial Chamber to enter a finding of guilt. The Trial Chamber is aware of
11 numerous, significant discrepancies in nearly all of Mr. Deronjic's
12 statements and his testimonies before different Chambers of this Tribunal.
13 However, when it comes to the acceptance of a guilty plea, the
14 prerequisites for a valid guilty plea are exhaustively enumerated in
15 Rule 62 bis. Having heard the guilty plea in relation to both the second
16 amended indictment and the additional factual basis, and having received
17 the necessary clarifications yesterday during Mr. Deronjic's testimony,
18 the Trial Chamber is satisfied that pursuant to Rule 62 bis the guilty
19 plea has been made voluntarily; the guilty plea is informed; the guilty
20 plea is not equivocal; and there is a sufficient factual basis for the
21 crime and the accused's participation in it; or lack of any material
22 disagreement between the parties about the facts of the case.
23 Madam Registrar, may you please notify that based merely on the
24 guilty plea, the second amended indictment, the additional factual basis,
25 Mr. Deronjic's testimony of yesterday, the 27th of January 2004, this
1 Trial Chamber hereby enters a finding of guilt in relation to the charge
2 of persecutions based on all allegations contained in the second amended
3 indictment dated 29 September 2003.
4 May we now start the sentencing hearing stricto senso, and I hope
5 we can manage it today. May I ask the Prosecution, would it be possible
6 for you to conclude within the next one hour and 20 minutes, or do you
7 need more time?
8 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. I
9 should be able to conclude within that time period.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you so much. And what the about the
11 Defence? 90 minutes would be enough for your submission?
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. And the Defence
13 would like to suggest, and Mr. Harmon agrees with that, that we do not
14 have a break that would interrupt our addresses. So there could be a
15 break between the Prosecution and the Defence address, and then have the
16 break in between. And we do have enough time, and I do not need any more
17 time than was planned. Thank you.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you so much. So we can continue according
19 to our initial schedule.
20 Mr. Harmon, the floor is yours.
21 MR. HARMON: Mr. President and Your Honours, before I make my
22 remarks, I'd like to take care of some housekeeping matters that were
23 raised yesterday. If I could have the assistance of the usher and pass up
24 to Your Honours for their perusal, for your perusal, copies of a reduced
25 image of Glogova. That was obtained with extraordinary services of our
1 mapping people, and to them a great deal of thanks is owed. If that is
2 satisfactory, then we can enter that into the record.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And please forward our kind thanks
4 for this assistance to those people having done this.
5 This document is already admitted into evidence as DS20. And the,
6 let's call it zoomed version of this should go as DS20/A. That's the
7 aerial view of Glogova before its destruction.
8 Thank you for this, Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Yes. Yesterday, Your Honours, there was some
10 confusion about a statement of Mr. Deronjic. Your Honour quoted from a
11 statement. I had a similar statement but with different numbers on it. I
12 have, with the assistance of Ms. Karlsson discovered the discrepancies and
13 the reasons for it. There are apparently two versions, unofficial
14 versions, of Mr. Deronjic's statement, one of which is DS8, and which was
15 submitted to Your Honours by the Defence. That is the version that you,
16 Judge Schomburg, were relying upon.
17 I had a separate, unofficial version of Mr. Deronjic's statement,
18 a statement by the way that was numbered differently because the version
19 that I received had omitted -- the people who prepared it had omitted
20 certain numbers from the sequential paragraph numbers. For purposes of
21 clarity in these proceedings, I believe it is appropriate that we continue
22 to use DS8 as the version. I will rely on it. Your Honours could rely on
23 it, and we will disregard the version I was using yesterday. We will
24 submit for Your Honours as one of our exhibits during these proceedings
25 the official B/C/S -- original language of Mr. Deronjic's statement.
1 Now, yesterday in respect of the English version of
2 Mr. Deronjic's statement, Your Honours wanted Mr. Deronjic to sign a copy
3 of that English version. I have had an opportunity to discuss with my
4 colleagues from the Defence the wisdom of having a signed version of an
5 unofficial translation, and I will speak on behalf of my colleagues from
6 the Defence and with their permission. Our suggestion, our mutual
7 suggestion to Your Honours, is we proceed by getting an official
8 translation, and Mr. Deronjic could sign the official
9 translation -- English translation of his statement. The Defence is in
10 agreement with that. And if Your Honours are, then we could make a later
11 submission to Your Honours.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We had discussed this question already this
13 morning, and no doubt what counts is the B/C/S version, the version
14 Mr. Deronjic understands. And we have got already the B/C/S version.
15 That's called DS8/A. You will find it on the list of exhibits.
16 Madam Registrar, if you could please add the A behind the English
17 version. Thank you.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, Your Honour. That was submitted in my
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I have the updated draft before me. And so
22 So we have an English translation, and we discussed the core
23 issues, and they were read into the transcript of yesterday. So if we
24 don't come back to this, we can proceed without any further English
25 translation. Let's not waste any additional manpower or womanpower on
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13 English transcripts.
1 this issue. So I think this matter is clarified.
2 MR. HARMON: Thank you. The next issue was the matter of the
3 legal question you asked me at the end of the proceedings. And that is to
4 delete the words "ordered and" and leave in the words "committed" and we
5 accept the proposal of Your Honours to delete the words "ordered and."
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I hear the Defence on this.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: We agree, Your Honour. No objection to that.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Chamber accepts it, and therefore the second
9 amended indictment has to be read without the words "ordered and."
10 MR. HARMON: And I believe those words are found in paragraphs 2,
11 27, and 40.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's a different issue. It's not necessarily
13 in a judicial sense.
14 MR. HARMON: All right.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So therefore, it's only for the charge.
16 MR. HARMON: All right. Lastly, Your Honours, we have filed with
17 our submissions seven victim impact statements. They have been filed
18 under seal. We wish them to remain under seal for the time being because
19 each of those witnesses was interested in having protective measures
20 applied. My suggestion to this Chamber is that I submit later public
21 redacted copies of those seven victim impact statements if the Court deems
22 it appropriate.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If it's in the interests of the protection of
24 the witnesses, we can take these documents as we usually do, with a slash.
25 This would be PS19/1 through PS19/7.
1 MR. HARMON: That's correct.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's accepted. And then when we already
3 discussed confidentiality, is it necessary that the Prosecution sentencing
4 brief remain still confidential?
5 MR. HARMON: That is not an issue I was prepared to address,
6 Your Honour. I will look at it, and I can come back to you this
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
9 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Only that we can clarify already today the list
11 of exhibits. Madam Registrar was kind enough to prepare this morning this
12 list that we can really conclude today. Thank you.
13 MR. HARMON: All right. Thank you.
14 With that, I have concluded the housekeeping matters that I wanted
15 to bring to Your Honours' attention, and I will begin my remarks.
16 Let me begin, Your Honours, by publicly acknowledging and
17 expressing my gratitude for the thorough manner in which the Trial Chamber
18 has proceeded in this case. Both the psychological report prepared by
19 Ana Najman, specialist in clinical psychology, and the report on the
20 comparative analysis of sentencing practices that was prepared by
21 Dr. Ulrich Sieber of the Max Planck Institute were of considerable
22 assistance to me in this case.
23 This is a very important case for the Tribunal, and I concede it
24 is a very difficult case. Mr. Deronjic is guilty of a terrible crime. He
25 has also provided invaluable evidence about a broad range of issues that
1 will enable the Office of the Prosecutor to fulfil its mandate to
2 prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international
3 humanitarian law. Thus, it is a case that creates a considerable tension
4 between determining the proper punishment for someone who is responsible
5 for the gravest of crimes, yet someone who has also taken significant and
6 substantial positive steps to assist the Prosecutor. Your task is to find
7 the right balance between punishing the perpetrator for the commission of
8 a serious crime, while at the same time not discouraging other persons
9 similarly situated to the defendant from cooperating with and providing
10 valuable assistance to the Prosecutor in the future.
11 For my part, I have approached this issue carefully, having
12 consulted with the Prosecutor and with my colleagues, and having
13 considered the purposes and objectives of this Tribunal. The mandate
14 given to the Office of the Prosecutor is to prosecute persons responsible
15 for serious violations of international humanitarian law. To do that, it
16 is necessary to unravel facts about events that quite often states and
17 individuals are unwilling or reluctant to yield, but without which the
18 Office of the Prosecutor cannot proceed. We have been engaged in this
19 effort for a decade. In the final analysis, the ability of my office to
20 prosecute individuals for the commission of serious crimes in the former
21 Yugoslavia depends on our ability to obtain evidence.
22 For my part, after careful consideration of all of the imperatives
23 that go into the process of investigating and prosecuting effectively the
24 complex crimes that fall within our mandate, after cogitating on what are
25 the purposes to be served by sentencing and what is an appropriate
1 punishment for someone who is guilty of a significant crime, understanding
2 that our mandate includes ascertaining the truth about the specific crime
3 being prosecuted, in this case, Glogova, as well as other crimes that are
4 being investigated and prosecuted by my office, understanding the
5 importance and the need to gain a better understanding of other crimes and
6 persons responsible for the commission of those crimes, and finally, after
7 a careful assessment of the degree of cooperation of the accused, I and
8 other members of my office came to a judgement about what sentence the
9 Office of the Prosecutor would recommend to Your Honours.
10 It was not an easy decision, and one that may frustrate and anger
11 some, but it was a decision that was made in good faith and with careful
12 attention to ensuring the ability of my Office to fulfil its broad
14 Let me begin with a review of the case history. On the 6th of
15 July 2002, Miroslav Deronjic was arrested on a sealed indictment dealing
16 with the crimes that occurred in Glogova. On the 10th of July 2002, the
17 defendant made his initial appearance on those charges. Approximately 14
18 and a half months later, on the 30th of September 2003, and well before a
19 trial date was selected, Miroslav Deronjic entered a plea of guilty to the
20 charge of persecutions contained in the second amended indictment. The
21 charge of persecutions related to the attack on the village of Glogova.
22 And it is for those acts and those acts alone that Mr. Deronjic is before
23 you today.
24 His guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement that was filed
25 with the Trial Chamber and is a matter of public record. By its terms,
1 the plea agreement identifies the maximum term that the Trial Chamber
2 could impose for his guilty plea, a term of imprisonment up to and
3 including the remainder of his life. The plea agreement states in
4 paragraph 11, subpart A, that based on Miroslav Deronjic's full and
5 substantial cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor
6 will recommend to the Trial Chamber that it impose a term of ten years'
7 imprisonment. The plea agreement further states in clear and explicit
8 terms that the Trial Chamber is not bound to accept the Prosecutor's
9 recommendation and may impose a sentence above or below the Prosecutor's
10 recommended sentence.
11 Now, in thinking about the nature of this crime, I reflected on
12 the background of the origin of this institution, which I think bears
13 repeating here. Following reports of serious violations of international
14 humanitarian law occurring in the former Yugoslavia, the UN commissioned
15 an impartial commission of experts to analyse the situation in the former
16 Yugoslavia. The interim report of the commission of experts was filed
17 with the UN Security Council in February of 1993. Based on the contents
18 of that report, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 808 in which it
19 expressed "its grave alarm at continuing reports of widespread violations
20 of international humanitarian law occurring within the territory of the
21 former Yugoslavia, including reports of mass killings, and the continuance
22 of the practice of ethnic cleansing."
23 The Security Council determined that this situation constituted a
24 threat to international peace and security, and on the 25th of May 1993,
25 passed Resolution 827 by which it established this Tribunal. In doing so,
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13 English transcripts.
1 the Security Council was convinced that the prosecution of persons
2 responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law would
3 contribute to the restoration and maintenance of peace. The establishment
4 of the truth by this Tribunal is a vital component to the effort to
5 restore and maintain peace in the former Yugoslavia.
6 As stated in the Erdemovic judgement, and I quote: "The discovery
7 of truth is a fundamental step on the way to reconciliation." Now, let me
8 turn to the gravity of the crime that was committed in Glogova on the 9th
9 of May 1992. Much of what I am going to say is already expressed in the
10 factual basis that's a matter of public record. The crime for which
11 Miroslav Deronjic is to be sentenced is precisely the type of crime about
12 which the Security Council expressed its grave alarm in Resolution 808.
13 The events in Glogova on the 9th of May 1992 are a classical case of
14 ethnic cleansing, and precisely the reason why the Security Council
15 established this Tribunal. The attack on Glogova was not an isolated or
16 random event, but a critical element in a larger scheme to divide Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina and create Serb-ethnic territories.
18 Vital to this scheme to create Serb-ethnic territories was the
19 separation and permanent removal of non-Serb populations from
20 municipalities designated as Serbian. The Bosnian Serb leadership
21 intended that the creation of Serbian-ethnic territories would be created
22 either by agreement or by force. Mr. Deronjic, who was the
23 highest-ranking Bosnian Serb official in the Municipality of Bratunac
24 subscribed unequivocally to the policy of creating Serb-ethnic territories
25 within Bosnia and to the policy of using force to remove Muslims from the
1 territory. To achieve this objective, military, police, and paramilitary
2 forces from within Bosnia, and from Serbia, were utilised. On the 17th of
3 April, 1992, volunteers from Serbia entered Bratunac and issued an
4 ultimatum to the Bosnian Muslims in Bratunac to surrender their weapons
5 and legal authority to the Bosnian Serbs where they would be destroyed.
6 The Bosniaks acquiesced to this demand. Thereafter, efforts to
7 ethnically cleanse the Muslims from the Bratunac Municipality were
8 undertaken. Bosnian Muslim villages were disarmed, including the village
9 of Glogova that is the subject of the indictment before you. Glogova was
10 a village in the Bratunac Municipality, and I have submitted to
11 Your Honours a copy of a map. I don't have the exhibit number yet on it,
12 but it should be the next in order. And if I could have the assistance of
13 the usher, we could put this on the ELMO.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit PS21.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
16 MR. HARMON: Now, this is -- this map shows the location of
17 Glogova, and in relation particularly to the town of Bratunac. According
18 to the 1991 census, Glogova had a population of 1.913, 1.901 of whom were
19 Bosniaks. In late April of 1992, the JNA unit arrived in Bratunac. It
20 participated in the efforts to disarm the Muslim villages. On the 5th of
21 January -- I'm sorry, on the 5th of April 1992, a decision to attack
22 Glogova was made. The participants in the attack were members of the
23 local TO, Territorial Defence; the JNA;, and "volunteers," all of whom
24 acted in unison to achieve their common goal. At a crisis staff meeting
25 on the night before the attack presided over by Miroslav Deronjic, he
1 explained that the plan to create Serbian ethnic territory could not be
2 implemented in the Bratunac Municipality without taking Glogova and
3 transferring the entire Muslim population from Bratunac. The intent to
4 attack was to transfer the entire Muslim population of Glogova to non-Serb
5 territory. In other words, the plan was to ethnically cleanse the Muslims
6 from Glogova.
7 Mr. Deronjic knew that the attack on Glogova was part of a
8 widespread or systematic attack directed against the Muslim civilian
9 population within Bosnia, and that the attack was done to further a plan
10 to create Serbian ethnic territories within Bosnia. On the 9th of May
11 1992, in the early morning hours, Glogova was attacked, and there was no
12 resistance from the Muslim residents of the village. Mr. Deronjic was
13 personally present, and his participation in this attack is described in
14 the factual basis. During the attack, a substantial number of Muslim
15 houses were burned to the ground. Mr. Deronjic authorised some of those
16 houses be burned. 65 Muslims civilians were murdered. Mr. Deronjic did
17 not kill any of them personally, but at the time he ordered the attack on
18 the village, it was foreseeable to him and he was prepared to take the
19 risk that innocent civilians would be murdered.
20 All of the Muslim residents of the village were expelled from the
21 municipality of Bratunac. The attack on Glogova was a perfectly executed
22 act of ethnic cleansing directed at a village that had been disarmed. The
23 cleansing of the village and the attacks on other Muslim settlements that
24 followed was intended to contribute to the larger plan of creating Serbian
25 ethnic territory within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 It is our submission to Your Honours that there are two factors
2 which aggravate this crime and should be considered by the Trial Chamber,
3 the superior position held by the accused and the vulnerable and helpless
4 population of Glogova, it having been disarmed well before the attack and
5 having offered no resistance during the attack. It is beyond dispute that
6 the crime for which Mr. Deronjic has been convicted is extremely grave.
7 And that is certainly the most important factor to be considered in
8 determining sentence.
9 We have included in our submissions the statements of a number of
10 victims from the tragic events from the 9th of May 1992. The unimaginable
11 horrors and the enduring consequences of this attack suffered by the
12 victims are described in our submissions. They reflect the impact this
13 crime had on the lives of the former residents of the Glogova community,
14 and they reflect, among other things, the destruction of an entire Muslim
15 community. Victims who suffered the loss of numerous family members, one
16 of the victims reports losing 14 members of her extended family; another,
17 9 members. These submissions of ours reflect the victims who suffered the
18 loss of their homes and all of their material possessions, victims who
19 lost the ability to earn a livelihood, victims who described being
20 wrenched from a peaceful prosperous life where there was no want, to a
21 life of bleakness and despair in refugee camps, victims who describe
22 traumatic long-term effects such as continual nightmares, or serious
23 traumatic effects on the child victims.
24 The nature of the crime and the indescribable suffering of the
25 victims stemming from the acts for which the accused bears responsibility
1 and to which he has admitted merits the severest of sentences. Without
2 substantial mitigation, I would have had no hesitation in asking you to
3 impose such a sentence. This is, however, an unusual case where
4 substantial mitigating factors exist. These substantial mitigating
5 factors, in my respectful submission, warrant the imposition of a sentence
6 of a lesser magnitude. Because I will be asking the Trial Chamber to
7 accept a sentence recommended in the plea agreement, a sentence of ten
8 years' imprisonment, it is my responsibility to inform you and to inform
9 the public why I am making this recommendation.
10 The first factor in mitigation is Mr. Deronjic's early plea of
11 guilty and his acceptance of responsibility for the crimes which he
12 authored. In the factual basis, Mr. Deronjic details the events leading
13 up to the commission of the crime, his role in it, as well as the role of
14 other individuals and entities; paramilitaries, the JNA, the Territorial
15 Defence. I'll describe this later in my remarks. The jurisprudence of
16 the ICTY has recognised that an early guilty plea is a mitigating factor
17 for three reasons: One, it obviates the need for victims to give evidence
18 and saves considerable time and resource of this ad hoc Tribunal; two, it
19 is important in establishing the truth about what happened; and three, it
20 is a fundamental step in contributing to reconciliation. For all of these
21 reasons, it is our respectful submission to Your Honours that Mr. Deronjic
22 should be given credit for his early plea of guilty.
23 Now, Rule 101(B)(ii), of the Tribunal's Rules of Evidence and
24 Procedure expressly provides that "the Trial Chamber shall take into
25 consideration the substantial cooperation with the Prosecutor by the
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13 English transcripts.
1 convicted person before or after conviction." According to the
2 jurisprudence of this Tribunal, substantial cooperation depends on the
3 extent and quality of the information provided by the accused, and can
4 include the prior giving of evidence on behalf of the Prosecution, the
5 provision of new information replete with identities and names of
6 perpetrators, substantiation and corroboration of existing information,
7 and future cooperation, including testifying on behalf of the Prosecution.
8 In our judgement, the cooperation provided to the Office of the Prosecutor
9 by Miroslav Deronjic has been substantial within the meaning and the
10 intent of this Rule.
11 Let me draw a comparison to a case that I'm quite familiar with,
12 the case of Drazen Erdemovic. I was involved, as I mentioned earlier, in
13 that investigation, in that indictment, in that prosecution. I was not
14 involved in the second plea of guilty by Mr. Erdemovic. Mr. Erdemovic
15 entered a guilty plea in his second plea of guilty to the charge of a
16 violation of the laws or customs of war for his participation in a mass
17 execution that occurred on the 16th of July 1995 at the Branjevo Military
18 Farm. Following a successful appeal, he entered a guilty plea for the
19 second time, and he received a sentence of five years, in part because of
20 the unique element of duress that existed in his case, and in part because
21 of his substantial cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor.
22 As I recall, Judge Mumba was the President of the Trial Chamber in
23 that case. I can say this many years after that plea that Mr. Erdemovic's
24 cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor was significant then, and
25 his continuing cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor is
1 significant now.
2 Now, what was his cooperation? In brief, I will describe it. He
3 confirmed that an execution took place at the Branjevo Military Farm on
4 July the 16th 1995 and he described his role in it. He identified the
5 location of another mass execution, a very short distance away, the Pilica
6 cultural dom, a location about which we had no information. He identified
7 perpetrators who were responsible for the executions at the
8 Branjevo Military Farm and at the Pilica cultural dom, and he testified in
9 the Rule 61 hearing against Karadzic and Mladic - I participated in that
10 myself and led his evidence - and he testified in the Krstic case; I led
11 his evidence in that case. He testified in other cases as well.
12 Mr. Erdemovic provided unique and important evidence and insight
13 into one event, the massacres at Srebrenica in 1995. The information and
14 evidence provided by Mr. Deronjic to the Office of the Prosecutor is
15 vastly broader, both in terms of the subject matter, and in terms of the
16 time covered by the events he describes, from 1991 to 1995. It is
17 precisely because of the level and the extent of Mr. Deronjic's
18 cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor that my office has made its
19 sentencing recommendations to Your Honours.
20 For your benefit and for the benefit of the public, I will outline
21 the form and substance of his cooperation with my office. Starting with
22 the information that he has provided to my office, we took an extensive
23 statement from Mr. Deronjic about a wide-ranging number of topics relating
24 to events in Bosnia from 1991 to 1995. It is very significant to note
25 that at the time Mr. Deronjic provided these statements to the Office of
1 the Prosecutor, he did so without any promises of reward or benefit. This
2 certainly warrants your consideration.
3 Now, we have filed a copy or there is filed with this Chamber, I
4 believe it is DS8, a copy of his statement that he provided to the Office
5 of the Prosecutor. I do not intend to go into great detail about all of
6 the information provided by Mr. Deronjic in this statement. It's 71 pages
7 long, and it speaks for itself. It's a matter of public record.
8 Nevertheless, I will touch upon some of the information that he provided
9 to you so that you and the public are aware of the extent of his
10 cooperation with my office.
11 I will start with the information that he provided to us about the
12 organisation of the Bosnian Serb leadership in 1991 and 1992. In his
13 extensive statement, Mr. Deronjic describes the political philosophy that
14 animated the Bosnian Serb leadership following the Bosnian Assembly
15 decision in October of 1991 to support the creation of a sovereign Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina. A central principle of the Bosnian Serb leaders was the
17 creation of Serbian ethnic territories and the division of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina. This included the separation and permanent removal of ethnic
19 populations from municipalities designated as Serbian, either by agreement
20 or by force. In respect of the indictment that is before you, this
21 political agenda culminated in 1992 in the Bratunac Municipality with the
22 ethnic cleansing of Glogova and adjacent villages.
23 Turning my attention to a second piece of information that
24 Mr. Deronjic has expounded on, the variant A and variant B document. One
25 significant step in the prewar efforts of the Bosnian Serbs to establish
1 control in selected municipalities is reflected in this document that was
2 disseminated to the Bosnian Serbs by Radovan Karadzic on the 19th of
3 December 1991. The document we have referred to in the course of our
4 hearing yesterday was known as the variant A and variant B document,
5 Mr. Deronjic provided testimony to you yesterday and answered your
6 questions about this particular document, its creation, who was present at
7 the meeting, and the like. My next exhibit - we don't have to put it on
8 the ELMO but I do need a number for it - is a copy of the variant A and
9 variant B document. If we can get that number, then I can identify it
10 move on.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The Exhibit will be PS22.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we have an A and B as usual because we have
13 it in English and B/C/S.
14 MR. HARMON: We have variant A and variant B, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you would, please. A the English or the
17 THE REGISTRAR: I would give the English PS22/A, and keep PS22 for
18 the original B/C/S.
19 MR. HARMON: That's fine.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. There's no question? Admitted into
22 MR. HARMON: Now, Your Honours, there's no need to repeat to what
23 Mr. Deronjic said about variant A and variant B. It's in his testimony
24 and it is in his statement. I do know that the authenticity and the
25 admissibility of this particular document was vigorously disputed in two
1 trials before this Tribunal, the Prosecutor versus Simic et al, and the
2 Prosecutor versus Brdjanin. It is my submission that had his testimony
3 been available both in Simic and Brdjanin cases, it would have been of
4 considerable assistance to the Trial Chambers that heard those cases.
5 I can say unequivocally to Your Honours that his testimony on this
6 subject will be of assistance to the Prosecutor in future trials, and in
7 particular, the Krajisnik trial that is coming up, due to start on the 3rd
8 of February.
9 Now, Mr. Deronjic also has provided us with information, and
10 considerable information, about another prewar element in the takeover of
11 the Bratunac Municipality and the adjacent municipalities, the arming of
12 the Bosnian Serbs. He provided unique information about his trip to
13 Belgrade with the late Goran Zekic and his contact with Mihajlo Kertes,
14 the assistant SFRY minister of the interior about the supply of arms to
15 Bosnia. In that context, and in respect of Bosnia, he quotes Kertes as
16 saying: "In the area of 50 kilometres from the Drina River, everything
17 would be fully Serbian." This statement was made well before the
18 strategic objectives that Your Honours have before you, well before those
19 objectives were promulgated by the Bosnian Serb Assembly on the 12th of
20 May 1992.
21 He also provided information to the Office of the Prosecutor how
22 arms were provided by the Bosnian Serbs in the Podrinje region, how they
23 were provided by the SFRY, where these arms came from, how they were
24 delivered to Bosnia, to whom they were delivered, where they were stored.
25 In addition, he informed us about other channels by which the Bosnian
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Serbs in the region were provided with arms. In other prosecutions that
2 are pending before this Tribunal, this evidence will be quite important,
3 and his evidence has been of considerable assistance to us.
4 Let me focus on another topic about which Mr. Deronjic gave us
5 information, and that is the takeover of Bratunac Municipality on the 17th
6 of April 1992. The information that he provided to us was both unique and
7 corroborative of information already in the possession of my office.
8 Central to the takeover of Bratunac on this date was the role of the
9 volunteers. Mr. Deronjic provided us with unique insight into who those
10 volunteers were, where they came from, and what role they had in the
11 takeover itself. The events that occurred in Bratunac are an element
12 and an important element in an indictment that is pending against
13 Mr. Krajisnik, whose trial will start next week.
14 Mr. Deronjic also gave us insight into and described a pattern of
15 conduct in Bosnian Serb takeovers in various municipalities. He described
16 that pattern to us. He described how volunteers and the JNA worked in
17 conjunction with local Serbs to take over power in other municipalities in
18 order to create Serb-ethnic territories. This is very important evidence
19 to the Office of the Prosecutor. In respect of the takeover of Bratunac,
20 he provided a detailed account on the arrival of the JNA unit to the
21 Bratunac Municipality, identifying that unit and its commander, and
22 describing the significant role that that JNA unit had in the disarming of
23 Bosnian Muslims and in ethnically cleansing the municipality of those
24 people. Much of the information that Mr. Deronjic provided to us is
25 unique and will be significant in other prosecutions.
1 Turning to the takeover of Glogova itself, in the factual basis
2 and his testimony before you yesterday, he described the events leading up
3 to the takeover of the village. Those are set forth as well in the
4 factual basis, in paragraphs 14 through 37. Mr. Deronjic's description of
5 the events leading up to the attack and his insights and reasons for the
6 attack and how the attack fit into the overall plan to create Serb-ethnic
7 territories have been invaluable to the Office of the Prosecutor and will
8 be invaluable to others who must make judgements both legal and historical
9 about the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Mr. Deronjic provided details about the actual attack on Glogova.
11 Those are set forth in paragraphs 38 through 43 of the factual basis, and
12 he related additional details yesterday in his testimony before you.
13 I can say that the information that he has provided to us is both
14 unique and corroborative. He has provided information as to the
15 identities of perpetrators, and he has provided information to us that is
16 corroborative of those events that we already knew.
17 Finally, in respect of the attack on Glogova, Mr. Deronjic
18 described both in paragraphs 45 through 47 of the factual basis and in his
19 testimony yesterday an important meeting that he attended in Pale
20 immediately after the attack where he reported to Ratko Mladic,
21 Radovan Karadzic, and Velibor Ostojic, and to the heads of other
22 municipalities about the events in Glogova. He informed us how he was
23 applauded for that report and how Velibor Ostojic said: "Now we can
24 colour Bratunac blue." This is significant and important information to
25 the Office of the Prosecutor.
1 Mr. Deronjic also provided information about the forcible removal
2 and transfer of Bosnian Muslims from the Bratunac Municipality in April
3 and May of 1992. While the manner in which this ethnic cleansing took
4 place was already known to the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Deronjic's
5 accounts were valuable because they corroborated our earlier evidence.
6 His detailed evidence regarding the events leading up to the
7 attack, the purpose of the attack, and his ability to put it into context,
8 into a greater plan, will be important evidence in a number of future
10 Let me turn to another topic about which Mr. Deronjic has provided
11 the Office of the Prosecutor valuable information, and that is the
12 presence of Red Berets in Bratunac between 1992 and 1993. Mr. Deronjic
13 described for us the presence of Red Beret training camps in the Bratunac
14 Municipality and in adjacent municipalities. I am informed and can report
15 to Your Honours that other prosecutors in other cases find this evidence
16 unique, valuable, and will be presenting it in other matters, in other
17 cases pending before this institution.
18 One of the important issues to this Tribunal and to historians is
19 whether the Yugoslav Army participated in combat activities within Bosnia
20 after the JNA moved out of Bosnia. That has been a matter of debate and
21 contention as long as I have been in this institution. In April of 1993,
22 a Serb counteroffensive against Bosnian Muslim forces occurred in the
23 Bratunac area. At this point in time, the Yugoslav Army was supposed to
24 be out of Bosnia. They were not. Mr. Deronjic personally observed and
25 identified units of the JNA that were present in the Bratunac area engaged
1 in combat. He testified about this and other matters in the Milosevic
2 case. The assessment of his evidence in the Milosevic case by
3 Mr. Geoffrey Nice who was the lead Prosecutor in that case was that his
4 evidence was helpful.
5 Mr. Deronjic provided us information about Srebrenica in 1995. He
6 provided us information about the mass killings that occurred, and his
7 information was both unique and corroborative. It included the following:
8 Information about his meetings and contacts with Radovan Karadzic before,
9 during, and after the tragic events of Srebrenica. The information that
10 he provided to us was clearly helpful to a future prosecution; it was
11 unique; and in many respects, it has been corroborated. He provided
12 unique information about the role of Colonel Ljubisa Beara in the mass
13 executions. Colonel Beara was a central figure in this murderous scheme,
14 and he has been indicted by this Tribunal for his role in the mass
15 killings. He is currently a fugitive. Mr. Deronjic's testimony in that
16 case will be quite important.
17 Mr. Deronjic has acknowledged that mass executions in Srebrenica
18 occurred. This is important. I was involved, as I mentioned yesterday,
19 in the Srebrenica case since the OTP commenced its investigations in July
20 of 1995. I travelled to the various execution sites personally. I've
21 travelled to Glogova where there was a mass grave. I've had -- I
22 witnessed first-hand the reluctance of people in the Republika Srpska to
23 talk about these events, let alone acknowledge them. I summoned and spoke
24 to countless Republika Srpska military officers and personnel, all of whom
25 refused to acknowledge that any massacres occurred. I prosecuted
1 General Krstic for 15 months for his responsibility in those events. It
2 was clear to me then and it is clear to me now that acknowledging these
3 massacres occurred remains very difficult for many people in the
4 Republika Srpska and remains a significant impediment to reconciliation.
5 This stubborn insistence that nothing illegal happened in
6 Srebrenica in the face of overwhelming and irrefutable evidence to the
7 contrary is truly amazing. Slowly, however, this is changing,
8 particularly as a result of the efforts of this institution. I refer to
9 the Krstic case where detailed forensic evidence and witness accounts
10 exposed the truth, and to the ongoing trial of Blagojevic and Jokic. I
11 also refer to the guilty pleas of Dragan Obrenovic and Momir Nikolic where
12 they acknowledge their roles in the killings. Their public
13 acknowledgments that the massacres occurred has contributed to the process
14 of reconciliation by acknowledging the truth about those events. Surely,
15 Mr. Deronjic's public acknowledgment and information that he provided to
16 the Office of the Prosecutor about those same events can only contribute
17 to the process of establishing the truth and advancing reconciliation.
18 Why do I raise this? I say this because in the Republika Srpska,
19 there is still a considerable effort to deny these events at Srebrenica.
20 The revisionists are still hard at work. My next exhibit I will use, if I
21 could have a number for it, is a report. If I could have a number for
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before we attach a number, may I please hear the
24 Defence on this and the relevance of this document for this particular
1 MR. ZECEVIC: We do not object, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you to provide some additional
3 information because as you correctly stated beforehand, this Trial Chamber
4 is seized, and we emphasised this already yesterday, is seized only with
5 the events the 9th of May 1992 in Glogova. We acknowledge that the
6 Prosecution by tendering this document and the now-following documents
7 related to Srebrenica want to show how important it is for the people in
8 the area to know that not the propaganda in the area is the truth, but
9 participants themselves here contributed in finding the truth. And for
10 this reason, it might not be necessary to tender this into evidence. This
11 might confuse the assessment in public of what is our case. And therefore
12 if you really believe it's necessary to tender, could you please elaborate
13 on the relevance, the added relevance of these documents for the case.
14 MR. HARMON: I will be glad to, Mr. President and Your Honours.
15 This document, what we're talking about is the contribution of
16 Mr. Deronjic to the Office of the Prosecutor and the ramifications of that
17 cooperation. Mr. Deronjic has given us a significant statement in which
18 he has provided details about Srebrenica and about persons' roles in it,
19 about the fact that massacres occurred, about a document that he prepared,
20 which I will get to, I hope to, in a few minutes, all of which tends to
21 fuel the revisionists' ability to distort what happened. And if there is
22 credit due to Mr. Deronjic and others who acknowledge that crimes took
23 place, it is for the purpose of, one, establishing the truth; and two,
24 undercutting the ability of future revisionists to distort historically
25 what happened. As long as the revisionists are able to continue with
1 these wild distortions, and they don't hear from people like Mr. Deronjic
2 or Mr. Obrenovic or Mr. Nikolic, then they will have the field to
3 themselves, and they will contribute significantly. If those voices are
4 muted, there will be significant license for the revisionists to continue
5 to block reconciliation.
6 So the reason I am raising this document is to give you a concrete
7 illustration of revisionist -- revisionism at its worst. This document
8 was prepared in 2002. So that is the purpose of my raising this, because
9 I think it's an appropriate consideration for Your Honours.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you, the Trial Chamber will convene.
11 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The document called "Report on case Srebrenica,
13 the first part," is hereby admitted into evidence. May we hear the
14 exhibit number, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be numbered Exhibit PS23.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 This document, PS23 which I will not put on the ELMO, but I will
19 put a portion on the ELMO, was prepared -- is entitled "documentation" --
20 I'm sorry -- was prepared by the documentation centre of the Republika
21 Srpska Bureau of Government of RS for Relation with ICTY. It was prepared
22 in September of 2002. The avowed purpose of this report is as follows,
23 and I quote from the introduction: "The goal of this report is to present
24 the whole truth about crimes committed in Srebrenica region regardless of
25 the nationality of perpetrators of crimes and time when they were
2 Now, on the ELMO at page 34 of this report, and throughout this
3 report it refers to the "alleged Srebrenica massacres," it concludes on
4 page 34, and in the top paragraph that "the number of Muslim soldiers who
5 were executed by Bosnian Serb forces for personal revenge or for simple
6 ignorance of international law would probably stand less than 100."
7 This document is obscene, and it is historical revisionism at its
8 worst. Mr. Deronjic's acknowledgment that the massacres occurred and his
9 information that he provided us about the roles of individuals in those
10 massacres will contribute to the vile distortions of the truth that
11 continue to circulate in the Republika Srpska.
12 Now, while I'm speaking about this report, another canard that is
13 found within this report is the suggestion that Bosnian women, children,
14 and the elderly were humanely transferred from the enclave. The contrary
15 of that has been demonstrated time and time again through the testimonies
16 of many witnesses who have appeared before this Tribunal in both the
17 Krstic case, and in the Blagojevic and Jokic trials. Information provided
18 by Mr. Deronjic confirms that what occurred was a forceful -- forcible
19 displacement of the Muslim population. And let me turn to the next
20 exhibit, if I can, and if I could have a number for that, it is a
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit PS24.
23 MR. HARMON: Thank you. If we could --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence.
25 MR. HARMON: If we could put that on the ELMO as well. This is a
1 document with which I am quite familiar. It was an exhibit in the Krstic
2 case. I'm certain that it's an exhibit in the Jokic and Blagojevic cases.
3 It is a document that has helped fuel the idea that the Bosnian Muslims
4 from Srebrenica were humanely transferred from Srebrenica. This is a
5 document that was signed by Mr. Deronjic, by Mr. Nesib Mandzic, who was a
6 Muslim representative of the population in Potocari at the time, and by
7 Major Franken, who was a Dutch battalion deputy commander at the time.
8 And what this document says, in the operative phrases, is that the
9 Muslims in Srebrenica had a choice of remaining in the enclave or being
10 evacuated. If they wanted to be evacuated, they had a choice as to the
11 direction they would be evacuated, that the evacuated would be carried out
12 by the Bosnian Serb Army and police, supervised and escorted by UNPROFOR.
13 And finally, that the Serbs carried out the evacuation in accordance with
14 international humanitarian law.
15 Now, this document has been central in the efforts to continue
16 with that fictitious story. And I have four exhibits, if we could have
17 those numbered next, I will run through them very quickly and in
19 THE REGISTRAR: The first exhibit, on the top region east Europe.
20 Is that correct?
21 MR. HARMON: There should be numbers on the upper right-hand
22 corner that will assist you in identifying them. 114/1.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. That will be Exhibit PS25 for the B/C/S
24 original and 25A for the translation. The next exhibit, 114/2, PS25/1.
25 Next exhibit, OTP Exhibit 113/3 in the upper right corner is PS25/2. And
1 last exhibit numbered OTP Exhibit 114/4 in the upper right corner will be
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Maybe we have to come back to this
4 because at least in my collection, we sometimes have only the B/C/S or the
5 English version, but not both of them. But we accept this and admit these
6 documents into evidence in both languages.
7 MR. HARMON: These documents, Your Honour, are reflections of the
8 proposition that nothing happened in Srebrenica, and they are exhibits
9 that show that this deception started as early as the 17th of July 1995.
10 If we could have the first of those exhibits put on. What is the number
11 in the upper right-hand corner of that exhibit?
12 This is -- I'm used to it as 114/1. It's PS25, I believe. And in
13 this document, which is a summary, it discusses how Mr. Zametica, who was
14 the spokesperson for Mr. Karadzic, says that the description of what
15 happened in Srebrenica by the international media is violent propaganda
16 unrealistically reporting on the events relating to the situation in
18 If we turn to the next exhibit, which is 114/2 on the upper
19 right-hand corner, this is also a report, 17th of July 1995, talking about
20 a -- from Mr. Zametica. And it says: "Talk of the Muslims being expelled
21 is totally false, as confirmed by the fact that the evacuation was
22 prearranged with representatives of Muslims civil authorities."
23 If we turn to the next exhibit, which is -- it was previously
24 Exhibit 114/3, Mr. Zametica continued with his denials, and indeed he says
25 that "the evacuations were conducted in accordance with the provisions of
1 the Geneva Conventions," as reflected in the previous document that I
2 showed you, the document that was prepared by Mr. Deronjic, Mr. Franken,
3 and Mr. Mandzic, and Mr. Deronjic is indeed even mentioned in this news
4 summary of the 18th of July.
5 And finally, if we turn to the last of these four exhibits, we
6 will see Mr. Karadzic on the 5th of November 1995 saying that nothing
7 happened in Srebrenica. I only point this out to show Your Honours that
8 this fearsome effort to distort the truth continues in the
9 Republika Srpska. It started while the killings were taking place, and it
10 continues through official reports emanating from the Republika Srpska in
12 This particular exhibit that I previously put on, the document
13 that was signed by the three individuals, is a document that is important
14 in both cases that are pending before this institution and historically.
15 Now, what did Mr. Deronjic have to say about that document? He was the
16 man who conceived of the document. He was the man who with the
17 encouragement of Radovan Karadzic prepared it and had it executed. He
18 said, and this is important, he said, "there is no true intention for the
19 Muslims to stay in Srebrenica." He said it was prepared for propaganda
20 reasons, and that its contents did not correspond with the truth. He said
21 that the purpose for obtaining that document was to mislead the
22 international community.
23 Now, the information that he provided to us, debunking the
24 contents of that document, is important for two reasons: It's important
25 to diffuse any suggestion in trials that are ongoing or will be coming up
1 in the future about Srebrenica that the Bosnian Muslims left the enclave
2 because of their own free will. And two, it's important to negate the
3 arguments of future revisionists that might use this document for the
4 proposition that the forcible displacement of the Bosniaks from Srebrenica
5 was a mere humanitarian evacuation conducted in accordance with the
6 principles of international law.
7 Such insinuations, I am quite sure, will continue to be made, and
8 the only way to combat them is through the truth. And Mr. Deronjic has
9 made a contribution to the truth in respect of that element of Srebrenica.
10 Now, Your Honours, let me turn to a different area in which
11 Mr. Deronjic has contributed to the Office of the Prosecutor. He has
12 testified in four cases to date. The Prosecutor versus Krstic, was a
13 Court witness in the appeals. The Prosecutor versus Momir Nikolic as a
14 Court witness. The Prosecutor versus Milosevic as a Prosecution witness,
15 and I have already related to Your Honours the opinion of Mr. Nice and his
16 assessment of Mr. Deronjic's testimony. And the Prosecutor versus
17 Blagojevic and Jokic as a Prosecution witness. He has also testified a
18 fifth time before Your Honours yesterday and answered your questions about
19 events leading up to and including the events at Glogova. Mr. Deronjic
20 has been identified as a Prosecution witness in the case of the Prosecutor
21 versus Krajisnik. It is my intention, with the Court's permission, to
22 file with this Trial Chamber a transcript of his testimony in those
23 proceedings as well as an assessment.
24 Mr. Deronjic has also agreed to testify in other cases pending
25 before this Tribunal as well as cases where persons who are not yet
1 physically before the Tribunal, who are fugitives and who I am confident
2 will someday arrive here, Mr. Deronjic has agreed to testify in certain of
3 those cases. Those cases I have identified for Your Honours in a
4 confidential memo previously filed with Your Honours. Mr. Deronjic has
5 agreed to be interviewed and cooperate with OTP investigators in respect
6 of other matters that are under investigation.
7 Now, let me turn to another form of assistance from Mr. Deronjic,
8 Mr. Deronjic has provided the Office of the Prosecutor with important
9 original documentation in the form of minutes of meetings that took place
10 in Bratunac in the SDS from 1990 to 1995. And these documents, these
11 volumes here, are important documents for among other reasons, they
12 provide us with insight into the manner in which the crisis staff and the
13 SDS in Bratunac implemented, for example, the variant A and variant B
14 instructions, the manner in which the crisis staff operated in general.
15 Now, in addition to these two volumes, Mr. Deronjic has provided us with
16 four original documents. These documents relate to war commissions and
17 the creation of war commissions. Some are signed by Radovan Karadzic.
18 These are documents that will be used in evidence in other cases.
19 Turning to another topic, Mr. Deronjic has provided the Office of
20 the Prosecutor with specifics about a crime that was committed in Bratunac
21 in 1992; specifically, the arrest of Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica in
22 Montenegro. He has identified people associated with that.
23 Turning to another topic, Mr. Deronjic has provided us with the
24 identities of perpetrators who were unknown to us. I won't go further on
1 Now, as I said, Your Honours, at the beginning of my remarks, the
2 case for which Mr. Deronjic has admitted his guilt is an extremely serious
3 and grave crime for I would not hesitate to ask for the severest of
4 sentences as I have done in the past in cases that I have prosecuted
5 before this Tribunal. I've endeavoured to inform you and to inform the
6 public of the reasons why I'm not making such a request in this case.
7 Mr. Deronjic's early plea of guilt and principally, his very substantial
8 and important cooperation with the Tribunal that I have detailed have led
9 me and have led members of my Office to the conclusion that a different
10 sentence is merited in this case.
11 Therefore, Mr. President and Your Honours, for the reasons that I
12 have stated today, I respectfully recommend that the Trial Chamber impose
13 a sentence of ten years' imprisonment in this case. Thank you,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We thank you. The trial stays adjourned until
16 10 minutes past 4.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.41 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just one clarification. We conferred briefly on
20 this issue, Mark Harmon, you made the point asking for leave to file
21 additionally a statement and transcript in an upcoming hearing. The Trial
22 Chamber believes that you have already provided sufficient material for
23 the assessment of the contribution -- of the Prosecution that there is
24 substantial contribution, and we should refer only to cases of the past
25 and not in the future. And therefore, we regard it as not necessary to
1 file this.
2 MR. HARMON: I will be guided accordingly, Your Honour. Thank
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I thank you.
5 Now, it's for the Defence, your concluding remarks, please.
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Your Honours, you have before you the accused, Miroslav Deronjic,
8 who was arrested in front of his house in Bratunac on the 6th of July 2002
9 based on an indictment issued just three days prior to that, on the 3rd of
10 July 2002, to be more precise. During his initial appearance before the
11 International Tribunal on the 10th of July 2002, Mr. Deronjic pleaded not
12 guilty to all events -- counts of the indictment. On the day between the
13 29th and the 30th of September 2003, the Prosecutor and Mr. Deronjic
14 entered into a plea agreement according to which he agreed to plead guilty
15 to one count of persecution, a crime against humanity, punishable under
16 Article 5(H), and 7(1), of the Statute of the Tribunal as described in the
17 second amended indictment --
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, sorry. I'm awfully sorry. I don't want
19 to normally to interrupt counsel, but for a better understanding, could
20 you please explain what we have before us on the screen. I can read 1
21 September 1990 --
22 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have already
23 indicated that this is something that we will tender, and I will explain
24 what it is when we get to that point. This is the address of
25 Miroslav Deronjic at a rally of the SDA. We talk about this yesterday.
1 So when the time comes, we would like to play that clip.
2 May I continue. Thank you.
3 So in accordance to the agreement on -- the plea agreement,
4 Mr. Deronjic understands that the Trial Chamber can bring a maximum
5 sentence, a life sentence, in view of Miroslav Deronjic's full,
6 substantial cooperation, the Prosecutor has recommended to the
7 Trial Chamber the sentence of ten year imprisonment. No other promises or
8 representations except those listed in the plea agreement were made by the
9 Prosecutor in order to induce Mr. Deronjic to enter into a plea agreement.
10 Based on factors and considerations described in Rule 101(B), the
11 Defence has recommended to the Trial Chamber a sentence of not more than
12 six years' imprisonment. On the 30th of September 2003, Mr. Deronjic
13 entered a plea of guilty to the persecution charge in the second amended
14 indictment. Having satisfied itself that the plea conformed with Rule 62
15 bis, the Trial Chamber accepted the plea of guilty.
16 I would like to say something about the life of Mr. Deronjic.
17 Miroslav Deronjic was born on the 6th of June in 1954 in the village of
18 Magasici, the Municipality of Bratunac in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
19 village of Magasici before the war was inhabited mostly by Muslim
20 citizens. Miroslav Deronjic's parents were a well-known and respected
21 family. His father, Milovan, was a worker by profession, and his mother,
22 Jelika, was a housewife. Mr. Deronjic has three sisters, Ljubica, Danica,
23 and Dragica. Mr. Deronjic completed elementary school in Bratunac and
24 secondary school in Srebrenica. Between 1973 and 1977, he attended the
25 university of philosophy in Sarajevo majoring in history of literature of
1 the Yugoslav peoples and the Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian language. He
2 majored in both above-mentioned sections with straight A grades, and
3 graduated with honours with a bachelor of science degree in 1977.
4 In the same year, he got a job with the Sarajevo daily newspaper
5 Oslobodjenje. He also worked at Radio Sarajevo and for half a year as a
6 teacher in the high school Igmanski Mars in Sarajevo. In 1979,
7 Mr. Deronjic started working as a high school teacher in the high school
8 in Srebrenica.
9 In the period between 1983 to 1985, Mr. Deronjic worked in France
10 as a teacher to children of Yugoslav workers employed abroad. When
11 Mr. Deronjic returned from France, Mr. Deronjic became a language teacher
12 in the Srebrenica high school where he worked until 1990. In 1984,
13 Mr. Deronjic married Ranka Stevanovic from Bratunac. They have two sons,
14 Neven, born in 1984, and Stefan, born in 1986. His wife tragically died
15 in 1992, after which he married Danica Stevic in 1996.
16 His second marriage produced two children, son Vuk born in 1996,
17 and daughter Lola, born in 2001. Mr. Deronjic is father to four children,
18 three of whom are minors.
19 Your Honours, and now something about his political career.
20 Mr. Deronjic joined the Serbian Democratic Party in 1990. Until that
21 time, Mr. Deronjic had never been involved in politics and played no part
22 in the creation of the SDS in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Deronjic's
23 political views were and remain anti-communist and democratic. And
24 initially, he supported the Serbian Renewal Movement, the SPO, an
25 opposition party in Serbia which vigorously opposed the regime of
1 Slobodan Milosevic.
2 Mr. Deronjic subsequently became the president of the Serbian
3 Democratic Party in Bratunac in 1991, to be exact, and held that position
4 until 1995. In 1993, he became a member of the main board of the SDS.
5 After the signing of the Dayton Accords in 1996, Miroslav Deronjic became
6 the vice-president of the Serbian Democratic Party. In April 1992,
7 Miroslav Deronjic was elected president of the crisis staff of Bratunac
8 and held that position until June 1992 when he withdrew from all functions
9 within the community, political and civilian functions. Following after
10 the tragic death of his wife, he temporarily withdrew from political life
11 and devoted himself to his children. He withdrew from politics altogether
12 in 1997. And from 1997 until the time of his arrest, he was unemployed.
13 And now about his character, Your Honours. In the community in
14 which he lived and worked amongst his colleagues, teachers, amongst
15 pupils, in intellectual circles and in his private life, he was considered
16 to be a clever, communicative person, tolerant in all respects, deeply
17 committed to the subject that he taught to his students, and very much
18 appreciating books, he was at the head of the library, and he transferred
19 this love of books to all generations.
20 Without any fee, as an extracurricular activity, he lectured his
21 students in the history of art, transferring to them his affinity for art.
22 The society in which he moved was a multiethnic one starting from his best
23 man and maid of honour from his first marriage to his most intimate,
24 closest friends. No one, could ever notice any aggression, hatred, or
25 discrimination from Miroslav Deronjic on any grounds. Quite the contrary,
1 he was graced with very positive human characteristics.
2 Your Honours, with our final submissions, we submitted evidence of
3 the personality and character of the accused from his friends, students,
4 other intellectuals. And you can see that we are talking about
5 representatives from all ethnic groups, Muslims, Croats, and Serbs who
6 have given their contributions. The personality and character of the
7 accused is also augmented upon by the expert psychologist Ana Najman in
8 her written report and findings, describing Miroslav Deronjic as a person
9 of above-average intellectual abilities from a group of those superior,
10 and she did not notice any character traits such as discrimination,
11 aggressiveness, or hatred with him.
12 I would also like to say something about his struggle for
13 democracy and his anti-communist feelings. At the time of one-party
14 political order in the socialist society, Miroslav Deronjic was
15 apolitical. All those who know him agree in one thing, that he had paid a
16 very high price for his exceptionally anti-communist stance. With the
17 beginnings of a multiparty political order, he began to get interested in
18 politics because at the time he saw an opportunity to promote his
19 anti-communist and democratic views. In that sense, he welcomed any
20 political organising that had the same or similar goals. At the founding
21 convention of the Party for Democratic Action which gathered and
22 politically organised the Muslim population, Miroslav Deronjic also
23 addressed those present on September 1st, 1990, at the stadium in Bratunac
24 on behalf of the initiating committee for forming the Serbian Democratic
25 Party, which had not been formed at that time. After some local Muslims
1 leaders warmed up the atmosphere with nationalistically toned speeches,
2 Miroslav Deronjic addressed also those present.
3 He was welcomed with loud boos. However, after he welcomed the
4 political rally of the Muslim population, and after he linked that with
5 the anti-communist struggle and the spread of democracy, his address was
6 followed by applause. Your Honours, with our final submissions, the
7 Defence has attached the speech of Miroslav Deronjic of September 1st,
8 1990, at the founding assembly of the SDA in Bratunac. And with this
9 submission now, we would like to also submit the video footage from that
10 rally, and that is Document DS13/11. And the videoclip will also receive
11 a marking A.
12 I would like the technicians to play this video.
13 [Videotape played]
14 "Speaker: Thank you very much. I would now like to invite
15 Mr. Miroslav Deronjic on behalf of the initiative board of the SDS.
16 "Miroslav Deronjic: Respected people, distinguished guests, it is
17 my honour to greet you. It is my honour to greet you on behalf of the
18 Serb people of the Bratunac municipality, on behalf of the initiative
19 board of the Serb Democratic Party of Bratunac, and on my personal behalf.
20 Allow me to greet you with an old people's greeting: Peace, unity, and
21 love amongst us brothers.
22 "Being convinced that these words will dominate not only during
23 today's gathering but in all other gatherings that we and you will
24 organise in the future, as an expression of goodwill of both peoples in
25 these times of political transformation, let reason and human dignity
1 prevail. I am convinced that democracy is the only destiny of the Serbian
2 people, as well as I'm convinced that democracy is the destiny of your
3 people and all other people. Hatred, savagery, and primitivism have no
4 chance in the world. Everyone who builds his policies on those principles
5 is taking a huge responsibility for the destiny of their people. Who will
6 be pushed to the margins of history, civilisation, and progress? Our
7 joint fight must be aimed at opening up new spaces, spaces of culture,
8 human relation, tolerance, and understanding, or as Mr. Crnjanski [phoen]
9 said, that space of cheeriness in each heart and each mind. The one who
10 succeeds in those endeavours will sooner bring his people into the family
11 of happy European people.
12 "Being convinced that our and your intentions are noble and being
13 strongly convinced that you will persevere in them, allow me to welcome
14 you again with yet another greeting. Let the party you are going to get
15 today be happy, and long-lasting."
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] That was the clip, Your Honour. We
17 have submitted two CDs in evidence which contain the entire footage of
18 that rally with speeches of the Muslim leaders in order to corroborate our
19 claim that in a very heated atmosphere created by them, Miroslav Deronjic
20 gave a very tolerant, cultured speech to the Muslim population after
21 which, as you saw, he was awarded with applause.
22 The second reason why we wanted to tender this exhibit is that
23 just like at that meeting, in no sentence did he invite or incite
24 discrimination or hatred. Miroslav Deronjic in the same way in any of his
25 public speeches, no matter whom he was addressing, Muslims or Serbs, at no
1 meeting of the Serbian Democratic Party or earlier in his life as a
2 teacher, as an intellectual, as a private person amongst his closest
3 friends, he never referred to hatred and he never exhibited any
4 discriminatory intent. And I have already submitted exhibits to
5 corroborate this.
6 I would like to say something about the war. From Croatia, the
7 war spread to Bosnia and Herzegovina, aggravating interethnic relations.
8 Miroslav Deronjic, in cooperation with Muslim representatives in the local
9 authorities, attempted to find solutions so that ethnic tensions should
10 not escalate into open conflict. An attempt to divide local power was
11 carried out legally at a meeting of the municipal assembly in Bratunac and
12 was implemented only as far as the division of the police is concerned.
13 Miroslav Deronjic explained his reasons why this was not possible in the
14 other spheres.
15 For comparison's sake, that meeting of the municipal assembly was
16 held on the 4th of April 1992 when war began in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Mr. Deronjic yesterday mentioned Zvornik and Bijeljina which were in
18 immediately -- in the immediate vicinity. Perhaps it was possible to
19 avoid open conflict had paramilitary volunteer units not appeared in the
20 streets of Bratunac on the 17th of April 1992. From the very beginning,
21 Miroslav Deronjic was the target of attacks by extremist members of these
22 units because he did not welcome their arrival, and he publicly condemned
23 their conduct. For them, Miroslav Deronjic was not a Serb, or he was
24 "soft" as a Serb. And as far as the Muslim population was concerned and
25 the membership of the SDS, he was an extremist Serb. It was not easy for
1 him to find a formula of behaviour which would satisfy both sides. Fear,
2 panic, collective frustrations, first killings, the eruption of open war
3 in Srebrenica additionally aggravated the situation in Bratunac.
4 And something now about Glogova. The village of Glogova is the
5 largest village in the Municipality of Bratunac. And before the war, it
6 was mostly populated by ethnic Muslims. It is on the main road between
7 the town of Bratunac and Konjevic Polje. The village of Glogova separates
8 Bratunac from the enclave of the Serbian village of Kravica. And the road
9 which was the only link between Bratunac with the rest of the
10 Republika Srpska passes through Glogova.
11 During the war, all attempts by Muslim forces from Srebrenica to
12 take Bratunac were made precisely through the village of Glogova by
13 cutting Bratunac off from the territory under the control of Serbs.
14 Precisely because of its importance, the village of Glogova during the war
15 was often the target of operations and counteroperations of Muslim and
16 Serbian military units. The way the village looked ultimately, completely
17 torched and demolished, is actually the outcome of all of those actions
18 and not only of the action carried out on the 9th of May 1992.
19 In the afternoon of the 8th of May 1992, Goran Zekic, a well-known
20 and popular political figure in Bratunac, who was a member of the Bosnian
21 Serb Republic Assembly from the adjacent Municipality of Srebrenica, was
22 killed near Srebrenica. And his body was brought to Bratunac. Srebrenica
23 was from that day on under the control of Muslim forces. And in the
24 course of that day and night, all Serbs left Srebrenica and fled either to
25 Bratunac or to Serbia. Later the same day, at 2200 hours, the Bratunac
1 Crisis Staff met, principally relating to the events surrounding the death
2 of Goran Zekic and with the operation to attack Glogova.
3 Miroslav Deronjic presided over this meeting. That meeting of the
4 crisis staff -- at that meeting of the crisis staff, Miroslav Deronjic
5 explained the strategic significance of the takeover of Glogova. He said
6 that if the village did not put up any resistance, it is necessary that
7 all Muslim citizens of Glogova be brought to the centre of the village and
8 be transported in buses and trucks outside of the Bratunac Municipality,
9 to Kladanj. He stated that the action of the permanent removal of Bosnian
10 Muslims, if the operation in Glogova should proceed well, should be
11 continued over the coming days in the town of Bratunac itself and the
12 local communities of Voljavica and Suha. Miroslav Deronjic also said that
13 although it was not possible to foresee the events in Glogova, some houses
14 should be torched as a warning to the Muslims.
15 Miroslav Deronjic took part in the military operation against the
16 village of Glogova as a member of the Territorial Defence, occupying with
17 the unit to which he belonged an elevation above Glogova. In the morning
18 hours, Miroslav Deronjic passed through Glogova intending to go to the
19 funeral of Goran Zekic, who was killed. The funeral was to take part on
20 that day. Yesterday, in the capacity of witness he said that while he was
21 passing through there, he did not see any killed persons, and the mosque
22 was not demolished. However, the Bosnian Muslim residents of the village
23 put up no resistance. During the attack on the village, members of the
24 attacking forces murdered 65 unarmed residents of the village.
25 Miroslav Deronjic was not present during any of the killings, nor did he
1 know about them on that day. After this action, actions with the same
2 objective were carried out in the local communes of Suha and Voljavica,
3 without the use of weapons and without burning of houses.
4 The inhabitants of the hamlet of Mocilo, belonging to the village
5 of Magasici, the closest neighbours of Miroslav Deronjic,
6 Miroslav Deronjic, after that action, personally helped them to evacuate
7 together with the Muslim population. Explaining his reasons for this, the
8 witness, whose statement the Defence has tendered as an exhibit, says,
9 paraphrasing the words of Miroslav Deronjic, "that was because an
10 unfamiliar army arrived in Bratunac over which Miroslav Deronjic had no
11 control. So out of fear for something bad to happen, he suggested that we
12 temporarily leave the place and move either to Tuzla or Srebrenica. He
13 then promised buses and an escort if the people opted to go to Tuzla.
14 However, the people crossed over to the territory of Srebrenica in an
15 organised manner. As that witness said, "Over those few days, no army
16 members came to our village." People were not brought in. There were no
17 abuses, nor killings, and no houses were burned. This happened between
18 the 12th and the 13th of May 1992, so after the attack on Glogova.
19 After the action against Glogova, Miroslav Deronjic at a meeting
20 of the crisis staff proposed that a decision be adopted on the expulsion
21 of the volunteers, which prompted some heated reactions amongst the part
22 of the population which, in demonstrations the following day, also
23 physically attacked Miroslav Deronjic and some members of the crisis
24 staff. Representatives of the volunteer paramilitary formations beat up
25 Miroslav Deronjic, and they also took him to the River Drina in order to
1 execute him. In the warehouses called the hangar following this action,
2 the volunteers held several hundred Muslim civilians. There was abuse
3 there that was taking place as well as individual killings.
4 Miroslav Deronjic initiated the adoption of a decision by the crisis staff
5 to urgently during the night evacuate the civilians to Pale from where
6 they were later exchanged.
7 Yesterday, as a witness, Miroslav Deronjic talked about this
8 exchange. This decision was another one in a series of clashes of
9 Miroslav Deronjic with extremist forces which kept Bratunac under control.
10 I would now like to say something about the criminal
11 responsibility of Miroslav Deronjic in general. Yes, Miroslav Deronjic is
12 guilty. He is responsible because he knew that the attack on Glogova and
13 the forcible displacement of the Bosnian Muslim population from that
14 village constitutes a part of a widespread and systematic attack directed
15 against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population in parts of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina which were declared as Republika Srpska. The decision to
17 attack Glogova and to permanently displace its Muslim population was
18 adopted with the objective of carrying out a plan for the creation of Serb
19 ethnic territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Miroslav Deronjic accepted
20 the concept of the creation of Republika Srpska, which was publicly
21 promoted. But later, he also accepted a part of the plan for the creation
22 of Republika Srpska which implied violent methods also in the form of the
23 forcible expulsion of the Muslim population.
24 Miroslav Deronjic is guilty because at the time when he ordered
25 the attack on Glogova to be carried out, in view of the objective and
1 purpose of the attack, the existing political climate, those units which
2 would take part in the attack he could have foreseen and was prepared for
3 that risk, that innocent Muslim citizens of Glogova could be killed, since
4 this was a natural and foreseeable consequence. Miroslav Deronjic is
5 aware of his part in this incident and his responsibility, and he
6 sincerely admits his guilt, as well as expressing remorse and sympathy for
7 the victims.
8 With these broader submissions, the Defence wishes to indicate the
9 reduced gravity of the act which the accused committed, and the reduced
10 degree of his criminal responsibility in view of the temporal and
11 territorial limitations of the acts of the accused, his prior conduct, his
12 conduct following the critical events, as well as the circumstances in his
13 immediate environment which had an unfavourable effect on the events in
14 Bratunac. As far as the legal component of his responsibility, the
15 Defence would like to present its views on that a little later.
16 And now, Your Honours, I would like to say something about the
17 applicable law on sentencing and the relevant practice of the courts in
18 the former Yugoslavia. But I believe that some other points from our
19 address are more important.
20 Articles 24(1) and Rule 101(B) provide that inter alia, the Trial
21 Chamber, while determining a sentence, will take into account the
22 sentencing practice of the courts in the former Yugoslavia in their
23 deliberations. The Trial Chamber is not obliged to stick to the practice
24 of the courts in the former Yugoslavia while determining a sentence.
25 However, it is obliged to take into account this practice as a source and
1 as a form of assistance while determining the proper sentence.
2 Article 41(1) of the criminal law of the Socialist Federal
3 Republic of Yugoslavia provides for the following: All circumstances
4 which influence the length of the sentence would be taken into account,
5 such as mitigating and aggravating circumstances; and particularly, the
6 degree of criminal responsibility; the motives for which the crime was
7 committed; prior conduct of the perpetrator; his personal circumstances;
8 and conduct following the commission of the criminal act; as well as other
9 circumstances relating to the personality of the perpetrator.
10 Article 42(2) of the criminal law of the Socialist Federal
11 Republic Of Yugoslavia provides that the Judge may determine whether
12 mitigating circumstances exist which are of such a nature that they
13 indicate that the object of the verdict or the punishment can be equally
14 met with a milder sentence. These provisions of the criminal law of the
15 SFRY are similar to articles on sentencing policy provided in
16 Article 24(2) of the Statute which instruct a Trial Chamber to take into
17 account the gravity of the crime, as well as the personal circumstances of
18 the convicted person. And Rule 101(B) which instruct the Trial Chamber to
19 take into account all the aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
20 According to Rule 101(A), a person pronounced guilty may be
21 sentenced to a life sentence, or to a prison sentence including a life
22 sentence. However, in view of the sentence that we are -- as Defence are
23 suggesting to the Trial Chamber, the Defence believes that considering
24 maximum sentences which could be pronounced for this crime or could be
25 pronounced for similar crimes in the former Yugoslavia would not be
1 appropriate at this time, and it would not be appropriate for the Defence
2 to go into that.
3 We will now speak about factors to be considered in sentencing and
4 the objective of punishment. In the jurisprudence of this Tribunal, the
5 objective of punishment has three purposes: Retribution, interpreted as
6 punishment of an offender for his specific criminal conduct; general
7 deterrence, the prevention of future crimes; and rehabilitation. There
8 are numerous judgements of this Tribunal which speak of these factors. In
9 order to achieve the objective of the sentence, when determining a
10 sentence, the following factors should be taken into account: The general
11 practice regarding prison sentences in the courts of the former
12 Yugoslavia, the gravity of the crime, and the form and degree of the
13 participation of the accused in the commission of the crime, any
14 aggravating circumstances, and any mitigating circumstances. Aggravating
15 circumstances must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Mitigating
16 circumstances need only be proved on the balance of probabilities. They
17 need not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
18 In the jurisprudence of this Tribunal, the following factors have
19 been considered and accepted as mitigating factors: Admission of guilt;
20 cooperation with the Prosecutor; remorse; voluntary surrender; good
21 character; behaviour in the Detention Unit; and personal and family
22 circumstances. In the Defence sentencing brief of the 18th of December
23 2003, we have referred to the jurisprudence of this Tribunal with respect
24 to the factors that influence sentencing. I'm primarily referring to
25 Celebici, Banovic, and Aleksovski.
1 In the view of the Defence, the greatest wisdom is to determine
2 the appropriate sentence in order to meet all the three component factors
3 constituting the objective of the sentence. The penalty must be
4 individualised and must result from consideration of all the facts and
5 factors to be taken into account when determining the sentence. There is
6 no doubt, and this is the practice adopted and a practice that the Defence
7 accepts, the gravity of the crime and the form and degree of the
8 participation of the perpetrator in the commission of the crime are
9 fundamental in determining the sentence.
10 And it is this I wish to say something about now; that is, the
11 gravity of the crime and Miroslav Deronjic's form and degree of
12 participation. The crime of persecutions from Article 5 of the Statute is
13 in itself an extremely serious crime because it includes discriminatory
14 intent, and it may be perpetrated in various ways and with various degrees
15 of gravity, and also with varying forms and degrees of participation of
16 the accused. The Defence is familiar with the standpoint that the act of
17 persecutions may be committed only with intent as a form of culpability.
18 For example, this standpoint is seen in the Stakic case and elsewhere.
19 However, this form of culpability also has a more and less grave
20 form. There is dolus directus and there is also dolus eventualis. The
21 form and degree of the participation of the accused Miroslav Deronjic in
22 the commission of the crime indicates that the milder form, dolus
23 eventualis should be considered here. As described in the second amended
24 indictment and the factual basis for the guilty plea, the accused
25 committed the crime with the less grave form of intent; that is, dolus
1 eventualis. The Defence wishes to observe that the degree of intent of
2 the accused in relation to the most serious consequence which is reflected
3 in the death of 65 civilians is closer to conscious negligence; that is,
4 that in our view, it is at the lower end of the scale of dolus eventualis.
5 I now wish to say something about aggravating circumstances. The
6 Defence finds no aggravating circumstances in the case of the accused
7 Miroslav Deronjic. All the aggravating circumstances of this crime, as
8 well as those indicated in the Prosecutor's brief, are already subsumed in
9 the offence of persecutions, and a part of the factual basis of the crime
10 specifically committed by the accused. Or, according to the Tribunal's
11 jurisprudence, they cannot be seen as separate aggravating circumstances
12 unless they have been acquired in a specific criminal act and form part of
13 the description of that act.
14 Your Honour, I will now speak about the mitigating circumstances.
15 The Defence finds that in the case of the accused, Miroslav Deronjic, all
16 the mitigating circumstances are found which have been taken into account
17 in the jurisprudence of this Tribunal in sentencing. Not a single
18 mitigating factor is lacking. In the view of the Defence, these are
19 mitigating circumstances which indicate that the objective of punishment
20 can be equally well achieved by a milder sentence.
21 Let us begin with the admission of guilt. An admission of guilt
22 demonstrates honesty and is important for the Tribunal in order to
23 encourage people to tell the truth. An admission of guilt contributes to
24 the fundamental mission of the Tribunal in establishing the truth with
25 regard to the crimes falling within its jurisdiction. An admission of
1 guilt is a unique and undisputed fact-finding tool which contributes to a
2 large extent to peace-building and reconciliation among the warring
3 communities. Individual responsibility, which leads to a restoration of
4 the rule of law, reconciliation, and the restoration of peace on the
5 territory of the former Yugoslavia is an integral part of the mission of
6 this Tribunal. An admission of guilt contributes to the common good of
7 the work of the International Tribunal by saving significant resources for
8 the costs of investigations, fees for Defence counsel, and other costs of
9 trials. An admission of guilt spares the victims and witnesses the stress
10 of testifying. An accused who admits his guilt before the start of trial
11 will usually be given full credit for his admission. Your Honour, these
12 were just quotes from the various judgements of the International Tribunal
13 which see the admission of guilt as a mitigating circumstance.
14 In this specific case, Mr. Deronjic's admission of guilt
15 demonstrates his sincerity and acceptance of responsibility for the
16 criminal offences committed in Glogova on the 9th of May 1992. His
17 acceptance of responsibility for these crimes and his personal
18 responsibility will contribute to rendering justice for the victims, to
19 deterring others from committing similar crimes, and will provide the
20 basis for reconciliation in a very sensitive area of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. His admission of guilt, at least a year before the start of
22 trial, is a significant contribution to the public significance of the
23 International Tribunal.
24 Your Honours, during its preparations and after the admission of
25 guilt by the accused, interviewed how this act of his has influenced the
1 victims. We have contacted victims from the areas of Bratunac and
2 Srebrenica, some of whom know Miroslav Deronjic personally. We have
3 contacted persons who in this war which is fortunately behind us have lost
4 their nearest and dearest, their fathers, brothers, sisters. There are
5 some who have lost dozens of members of their extended families. However,
6 some of them are already thinking in the following way: One of them says
7 "I will not go into Miroslav Deronjic's guilt because I know nothing
8 about it. I know that he has admitted guilt before The Hague Tribunal.
9 To me personally, as a victim of the past war, this admission means a
11 There is another victim who also suffered grievously and who said:
12 "In spite of everything, I think that all the peoples in Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina have to turn a new leaf and turn to the future. It is only in
14 this way there can be interethnic reconciliation. A contribution to this
15 reconciliation can be made by the accuseds in The Hague regardless of what
16 ethnic group they belong to by sincere remorse and admission of guilt."
17 Your Honour, the Defence could have taken more similar statements;
18 however, we have not tendered into evidence any of them, as you will have
19 already observed. We felt that the position of the victims of the war is
20 far more authentic when it is expressed through various organisations,
21 associations, NGOs, and so on. The Defence notes that similar standpoints
22 have been put forward by victims from the ranks of all three ethnic groups
23 organised in associations such as the following: Women War Victims; Women
24 of Srebrenica; Association of Former Camp Inmates, these are Croats;
25 Association of Former Camp Inmates of Republika Srpska; and the
1 Association Of Former Camp Inmates of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the
2 Association of Victims of Bosnian Ethnicity.
3 At a conference on admission of guilt before The Hague Tribunal
4 and the influence of an admission of guilt on the victims which was held
5 in Sarajevo on the 5th and 6th of December 2003, and which was organised
6 by the Sarajevo Human Rights Centre and the outreach programme of the
7 Registry of the Hague Tribunal, the common standpoint of all the
8 participants, which was the dominant viewpoint, may be summed up as
9 follows: What is most important is to prove that a crime was committed,
10 and therefore to unmask the policy on any of the three sides which led to
11 this crime.
12 In this sense, a sentence is a relative category because,
13 Your Honours, there is no sentence that can give the victims full
14 satisfaction for their losses.
15 More detailed standpoints from the victims from this conference
16 can be found in the Registry of this Tribunal.
17 Therefore, what the victims of the war wish is something that
18 Miroslav Deronjic has contributed to by his sincere and timely admission
19 of guilt as an accused, and not only as an accused but also as a war
20 victim. In the past war, and in connection with the war, Mr. Deronjic
21 lost two brothers-in-law, his sister's husband and his first cousin's
22 husband; he lost his wife; and 20 members of his immediate and extended
23 family. His native village of Magasici was burned down twice. His family
24 house burned down. The graveyard where his family was buried was
25 destroyed, including his mother's grave and tombstone. Since 1992, two of
1 his sisters have been refugees. There have been three attempts on his
2 life by Serbs. He has been framed for murder. And the Belgrade press
3 has accused him of treason.
4 Your Honours, I now wish to say something about remorse as a
5 mitigating circumstance. Remorse is a mitigating circumstance if the
6 Trial Chamber is satisfied with the sincerity demonstrated. In the
7 Banovic case the Trial Chamber took the position: "The Trial Chamber is,
8 therefore, satisfied that the statements of the accused, both during the
9 interview with the Prosecutor and at the sentencing hearing, are an
10 expression of sincere remorse." In the course of years, Mr. Deronjic was
11 interviewed countless times by the Prosecution. During these interviews,
12 among other things, he expressed his deepest remorse. The Defence has
13 provided the quotations from these interviews in its sentencing brief.
14 We shall add that in the view of the Defence, remorse must be a
15 real act. If remorse is only stated, declared, this cannot be a
16 mitigating circumstance. Therefore, the very act of admission of guilt is
17 the result of sincere remorse. Cooperation with the Prosecution and the
18 endeavour to discover crimes and perpetrators is also a real indication of
19 remorse. The accused will make use of the opportunity to express his
20 remorse in public before Your Honours. As his Defence counsel, bearing in
21 mind what I have said, I wish to say that this will only be the finale of
22 years-long behaviour by the accused.
23 Let me say a few words about voluntary surrender as a mitigating
24 circumstance. The Trial Chamber in its judgement of Momir Nikolic found,
25 I quote: "The Trial Chamber recognising the fact that Momir Nikolic did
1 not evade the investigators cannot make the finding that had he known of
2 his impending arrest, Nikolic would have surrendered voluntarily. In
3 order to do so, the Trial Chamber would have to engage in speculation."
4 Without going into the correctness of this standpoint, in the
5 specific case of Miroslav Deronjic, this Trial Chamber need not speculate.
6 During his meetings with the investigators, Mr. Deronjic explicitly stated
7 his intention to surrender voluntarily, and this has been recorded in the
8 transcripts of his interviews and the audiotapes. The indictment against
9 Miroslav Deronjic was issued on the 3rd of July 2002. It was confirmed on
10 the 4th of July 2002; and as soon as the 6th of July 2002, due to unusual
11 expeditiousness on the part of the forces that arrested him, he was
12 deprived of the opportunity to surrender voluntarily since at that time he
13 did not know he had been indicted. In the Obrenovic case, the
14 Trial Chamber found, I quote again: "The Trial Chamber finds his offer to
15 voluntarily surrender, as reflected in the record of an interview held
16 with the Prosecution, to be a factor in mitigation of the sentence."
17 This standpoint is more than appropriate in the case of
18 Miroslav Deronjic, and in the view of the Defence this circumstance in his
19 case should also be taken as a mitigating circumstance.
20 Now, I will say something about Miroslav Deronjic's substantial
21 cooperation with the Prosecutor. Substantial cooperation is a mitigating
22 circumstances in sentencing. Substantial cooperation with the Prosecutor
23 is the only mitigating circumstances that is expressly mentioned in the
24 Rules. An accused's substantial cooperation with the Prosecutor is the
25 only mitigating circumstances which a Trial Chamber is obliged by the
1 Rules to consider. In its sentencing brief, the Defence has quoted
2 several judgements confirming these statements. The Defence has also
3 tendered transcripts from the interviews given over many years of
4 cooperation. Acting on orders from the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution has
5 submitted a confidential submission setting out the details of this
6 cooperation. And today, we have heard about this cooperation in the
7 exhaustive and extremely correct presentation by Mr. Harmon.
8 Let me add only this: In his cooperation with the Prosecution,
9 the accused has passed through all the stages of this process. He started
10 as a potential witness, then he was a suspect, and finally an accused.
11 After his arrival in The Hague, the accused continued his cooperation, and
12 this resulted in an extensive interview and public testimony in very
13 important trials which are underway, and he has also undertaken to testify
14 in a number of trials which have not yet begun.
15 In his wish to tell the truth, the accused invests all of himself
16 and gives his all. He's sacrificing much. First of all, his family,
17 which because of this had to enter a special protection programme. The
18 Defence submits that the extent, quality, and sincerity of the accused's
19 cooperation, it transcends anything yet seen before the Tribunal. The
20 details, the number of facts, and the qualities of the evidence provided
21 by Mr. Deronjic can also be seen from the Prosecution's written
22 submission, the transcripts of his interviews, and his testimonies so far.
23 The time period stretching from the prewar years to the end of the war,
24 which are covered in his statements, the number of new facts, and the
25 evidence previously unknown to the Prosecution that the accused has
1 disclosed give this cooperation the highest value, even in the view of the
2 Prosecution. The Statute, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and the
3 jurisprudence of this Tribunal are not familiar with the institution of a
4 crown witness. Comparative law is aware of this category from some legal
5 systems and gives it great significance. Practically Miroslav Deronjic is
6 a crown witness.
7 In the view of the Defence, the Trial Chamber must view this
8 cooperation as an especially mitigating circumstance. Your Honours, to
9 conclude, I will say something about the personal and family circumstances
10 of the accused as mitigating circumstances. In its introduction, the
11 Defence has already said something about the personal and family
12 circumstances of the accused. Until the time of the offence, Mr. Deronjic
13 led an honest and honourable, respectable, private, professional and
14 family social life. He had a distinguished career as a teacher of
15 language and literature. He had no prior criminal behaviour or
16 discriminatory behaviour, or criminal record of any kind, nor was he ever
17 under any kind of investigation. He entered politics with the positive
18 motives of anti-communist, democracy, and tolerance. He's a family man.
19 His mother, Jelika, died in 1983. And his father, Milovan, who is now 80
20 years old, lives alone. After the tragic death of Mr. Deronjic's first
21 wife Ranka in 1992, he was left alone with two sons, Neven, who was then
22 aged 8, and Stefan, who was aged 6. He devoted himself entirely to his
23 sons. He remarried in 1996 and has two children, Vuk and Lola, from the
24 second marriage. Mr. Deronjic, therefore has four children, three of whom
25 are minors. His wife and four children are in a witness protection
1 programme as a direct consequence of his cooperation and guilty plea.
2 The comportment of the convicted person while in detention and his
3 general cooperation with the Trial Chamber and Prosecutor during the
4 proceedings against him is also a mitigating factor. From the moment of
5 Mr. Deronjic's arrest, he has always shown cooperation and respect for the
6 Trial Chamber and the Prosecutor. While at the UN Detention Unit,
7 Mr. Deronjic has fully complied with the terms and conditions imposed upon
9 Let me now say something about the possibility of his
10 rehabilitation. The process of rehabilitation of Mr. Deronjic began as
11 early as 1997, when he had his first contacts with the Prosecution. This
12 process is underway, and the time spent so far in the Detention Unit is
13 producing results. If additional conditions are provided as suggested by
14 the expert psychologist, Ms. Ana Najman, this process will be speeded up.
15 And all this bearing in mind the positive character features of the
16 accused. According to Rule 101(C), credit shall be given to the convicted
17 person for the period, if any, during which the convicted person was
18 detained in custody pending surrender to the Tribunal or pending trial or
19 appeal. Mr. Deronjic was arrested on the 6th of July 2002, and
20 transferred to the UN Detention Unit on the 8th of July 2002. He has
21 remained at the Detention Unit from that date until today.
22 And now, something about the sentence. The Defence has already
23 pointed to the reduced gravity of the crime committed by the accused and
24 the number of mitigating circumstances. Taking into account all this as
25 well as his personality and character, in our view, retribution as one of
1 the three purposes or components of the objective of punishment should not
2 be given dominant -- a dominant role by the Trial Chamber. We submit that
3 the objective of sentencing in the case of Mr. Deronjic will be achieved
4 with a considerably milder sentence. Therefore, the Defence submits that
5 a sentence of not more than six years would be appropriate for
6 Mr. Deronjic, and that he should be given credit for time served in the
7 Detention Unit.
8 Your Honours, this is all I had to say, but I now ask Your Honours
9 to give Mr. Miroslav Deronjic leave to address you personally. Thank you.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But we have to wait because as the term as such
11 indicates, it will be the final word. And the accused is entitled to have
12 the final word. But beforehand, I have to ask the Prosecution, do you
13 want to respond?
14 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour, I do not. Thank you.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Are there any questions from the Bench? This is
16 not the case.
17 However, we can't omit to do some technical exercises, especially
18 related to the exhibit list, that we can conclude this already today. I'm
19 grateful that both Madam Registrar and the usher provided us with copies
20 of the updated list of exhibits. I think the easiest way is that I'll ask
21 both parties which of those exhibits they regard to be necessarily under
23 Prosecution first, please.
24 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, I am turning to page 3, to the second
25 item, PS12. This is the testimony of Mr. Deronjic in the Prosecutor
1 versus Blagojevic et al. Portions of that testimony are under seal. They
2 are in confidential session, private session. We have tendered as an
3 exhibit a redacted copy. We have removed the closed session portions or
4 the private session portions from that testimony. So if that is the
5 exhibit that is accepted, we have no objection to that going into
6 evidence. We are prepared to submit to Your Honours the complete
7 transcript with the private and confidential sessions if Your Honours
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think initially, already based on the order of
10 this Chamber, the Prosecution submitted this transcript in its entirety,
11 and we have to take into account that some parts are, in fact, under seal
12 because the testimony or some issues were mentioned in closed or private
13 session and, no doubt, this is also relevant and important for this. But
14 I think it's not necessary, you tendered this in the volume yesterday,
15 that we have the same submission twice. So preferably, to have an entire
16 overview would be to have the entire transcript, and of course we will
17 take into account what was in private session and what was in open
19 MR. HARMON: That's fine, Your Honour. Obviously we have to
20 honour the conditions of the other Trial Chamber.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Of course. Of course.
22 MR. HARMON: Then, Your Honour, turning to pages 5 and 6, starting
23 at the third item from the bottom, PS19/1 and going over to the next page
24 ending on the fourth item, which is PS19/7, we have filed those statements
25 under seal. I mentioned earlier at the beginning of my remarks, in my
1 remarks dealing with the housekeeping matters.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But you will see that already now PS18 and
3 continuing until 19/7 is marked under seal.
4 MR. HARMON: That's correct. Now, my question to Your Honours is
5 do you want me to redact the identifying information from these witnesses
6 and submit a second version so it can be a matter of public record,
7 redacted copies of those statements?
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We don't think it's necessary. We have those
9 parts, and we are aware that the document in its entirety is under seal.
10 And no doubt, we will take care that no name will be disclosed. We are
11 all under the same obligation.
12 MR. HARMON: Well, then, thank you very much, Your Honour. I have
13 no further comments on the list that you have provided to me. Thank you.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. In fact, it was a list provided by
15 the Registry.
16 MR. HARMON: Then thank you to the Registry.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Defence.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you. I would like to thank the Registry as
20 Your Honours, the Defence is ready to lift the seal on a couple of
21 witness statements. However, we are under the obligation of protecting
22 the protective measures for some of the witnesses.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Therefore, if I may go through the list, and then I
25 will refer to each and every one in particular.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: So DS18, of course, it's a witness list, and it has
3 to stay under seal because the names of the witnesses are mentioned there.
4 DS18/1, also under seal. DS18/2, we will move to remove the seal.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Accepted.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: DS18/3 should be left under seal as it is. DS18/4,
7 we will move the Trial Chamber to lift the seal.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Accepted.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: DS18/5, we will move the Trial Chamber to remove the
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Accepted.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: DS18/6, to be under seal as it is. DS18/7, to
13 be -- we will move the Trial Chamber to remove the seal.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Understandable. Accepted.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. And DS18/8, also we will move the
16 Trial Chamber to remove the seal.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Accepted.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. That is our submission.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's complete.
20 So then time has come that we can hear the final word. Of course,
21 it's only optional. Only Mr. Deronjic, in case you want to address the
22 Trial Chamber, you will have now the right for a brief statement. And I
23 think in the interests of all participants, we proceed for this about ten
24 minutes instead of having a break.
25 So if you could please be seated there. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was born in a small
2 place in Eastern Bosnia called Bratunac. I spent most of my life in that
3 town. I grew up there, made my friends, and worked at the job that I was
4 trained for. I established my family. I started my family. My life was
5 no different from the life of the majority of the people I knew. In our
6 neighbourhood, only about 10 kilometres away, there is a similar town
7 called Srebrenica. We were connected by numerous connections which life
8 itself weaved, business connection, family connections, neighbourly
9 connections, kum connections. We lived our ordinary lives. Altogether,
10 we were a little bit poor, a little bit forgotten by everyone.
11 In the early 1990s, our common state began to break apart. The
12 state was called Yugoslavia. Soon afterwards, war began. In the
13 beginning, we hoped that perhaps it will not reach us. But connections
14 amongst the people had began to break apart. Instead of our lives, the
15 only true value that we had, we began to make up and accept some other
16 values. Instead of ordinary words that we knew, we began to speak some
17 great words: State, nation, religion. Those who taught us those words
18 did not even know us, and we believed that they were doing that precisely
19 for us. Soon, we understood that we began to be endless lines of dead in
20 the chronicles of the dead, the missing, the bereaved. The war, which did
21 not pass us by for some inexplicable reasons, expressed its anti-humane
22 and anti-civilisational nature precisely there, all of its brutality,
23 precisely in that area, its bloodiest and most terrible events were acted
25 There is nothing that it did not touch. People, their property,
1 everything that had been built up over decades, even the gifts of nature
2 about which we were so proud, although we were poor, forests, places where
3 we went for holidays. There is no way to explain and describe all of
4 these things or express this entirely in words.
5 When everything was over and it seemed as if it lasted for an
6 eternity, those of us who survived, instead of the paradise that everybody
7 promised, found ourselves in hell. Thousands of dead remained around us.
8 Tens of thousands of destroyed homes. Deserted properties without people.
9 Destroyed religious facilities. Bridges. Schools. Sadness and
10 devastation remained inside us and all around us. Deep wounds which will
11 continue to burn us for decades.
12 Today, the town that I am speaking about, the town called
13 Bratunac, is situated between two graveyards. One is on the northern
14 side, and the other is on the southern side. One contains the bodies of
15 one group, and the other contains the bodies of another group, divided
16 even in death. Both graveyards came to be during and after the war. When
17 you count all of those who are buried in those graveyards, there are twice
18 as many of those than those who today inhabit that town. That is the
19 result of war, the result of the terrible events we went through. That is
20 the result of mindless political concepts to which we agreed and in which
21 we participated.
22 The town of Srebrenica does not exist any more. Whom does it
23 belong to today? The Serbs? The Muslims? It is a town of the dead.
24 Those who committed this killed a town. It doesn't have its present; it
25 doesn't have its future. All that remains is its past which can be
1 measured in centuries. Is there a greater condemnation for those who did
2 that, no matter who they are and what their names are? They are hiding
3 today, and they once spoke -- described themselves as heroes. They said
4 that they were the faithful. How is it possible, then, that they're
5 afraid of earthly justice and what are we to do with the justice that is
6 expecting all of us quite soon?
7 It is difficult to live with the memories of everything that
8 happened, with the feeling of shame and embarrassment. In the years that
9 are behind me, during many sleepless nights, I kept asking myself the same
10 questions: How is it possible that we did this to each other? How is it
11 possible at all that we agreed to something like this? If we are the way
12 we are, is there anything salvation for all of us together?
13 A lot of time has passed since then, and I haven't found the
14 answers to those questions. But I know one thing: If the truth cannot
15 save us, then really nothing can save us. And that is why, Your Honour, I
16 spoke the truth. I'm not claiming that it is the only truth or the
17 complete truth; the only thing that I am asserting is that I said
18 everything that I knew, and that it is all correct. The truth may not be
19 liked by everybody, but is it also necessary to say that I myself don't
20 like it either?
21 In numerous interviews to the Prosecution, which can be measured
22 in thousands of pages, the four times that I testified before this
23 Tribunal in different cases, I said everything that I had to say,
24 including the truth about myself. From the very first day when I entered
25 politics as far back as 1990 until the day I definitely left it, I did not
1 conceal anything. I am what I am, no matter what that means.
2 I cannot defend myself from myself. I accepted responsibility for
3 Glogova, and I did not accuse anyone of the things that I am guilty of. I
4 did not understand my guilt only in the legal sense, but in a broader,
5 human sense. Even the things that I did not understand in the best way at
6 the time or the things that I did not know, I was obliged to know and
7 understand. Because I know, Your Honours, that I am capable of it.
8 That is why my guilt is greater and more profound. I am aware of
9 it completely, and that is why I admitted it. When I realised what really
10 happened in Glogova, and I understood that for the first time completely
11 when I was here listening to certain testimonies of survivors in other
12 cases, I decided without much thinking to admit my guilt because what is
13 my life in relation to the lives of those innocent victims? What is its
14 value? And what can we measure it by? I did not calculate in any sense,
15 particularly not in relation to a sentence which may be passed down. I
16 did not think at that time, nor am I thinking about the sentence today. I
17 have too many years and too much guilt to permit myself to think about
19 I will accept my punishment in the same way that I accepted my
20 guilt, aware that it cannot in any way be greater than the one I passed on
21 myself, having permitted myself to be in the position that I am in and of
22 which I am ashamed, aware that no punishment can pay my debts to
23 the -- settle my debts to the living and the dead. I loved those towns in
24 Eastern Bosnia. Today, they don't love me. They have renounced me, and
25 that is my punishment. There is no greater punishment.
1 Your Honours, I bow to the spirit of innocent victims in Glogova.
2 Everything that I did in this Tribunal, for whatever it's worth, I
3 dedicate to them in the hope that it will at least somewhat alleviate the
4 pain of their dear ones. I am familiar with that pain because I also
5 carry that pain. I regret the expulsion that I committed, and I express
6 my remorse about all the victims of this war, no matter in which
7 graveyards they lie. I apologise to all those whom -- to whom I caused
8 sorrow and whom I let down.
9 The last sentence that I wish to state before this Trial Chamber,
10 I address exclusively, solely to my family, to my children: Never in this
11 war did I wish, order, nor commit a single murder.
12 Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you, Mr. Deronjic. You may be seated.
14 Finally, I have to announce that the judgement in this case will
15 be handed down after careful preparation in due course. We envisaged the
16 30th of March, Tuesday, the 30th of March, as the day for handing down the
17 judgement, if the parties, please, can be prepared for this date that we
18 can have the final hearing in this case.
19 Any other additional remarks? I can see none.
20 So therefore, the trial stays adjourned until further notice.
21 --- Whereupon the Sentencing Hearing adjourned
22 at 5.58 p.m.