1 Tuesday, 21 February 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
6 The Chamber shall now issue its ruling in relation to the
7 accused's request made orally by Mr. Robinson on the 16th of February,
8 2012, to exclude certain parts of Robert Block's evidence. The evidence
9 sought to be excluded relates to Mr. Block hearing from two different
10 sources that the accused was angry at Zoran Petrovic for releasing
11 Srebrenica-related footage into the public domain and that the accused
12 demanded that this footage be recovered or confiscated. According to
13 Block's statement, the two sources in question were Petrovic himself and
14 an unidentified driver Mr. Block had worked with at the time.
15 The accused argues that this evidence is insufficiently reliable
16 to be admitted because it is at minimum triple hearsay. In addition, he
17 notes that newspaper articles written at the time by Block and another
18 journalist who was present when Petrovic allegedly told Block that was
19 upset made no mention of the accused. Further, the accused notes that
20 the other journalist, when interviewed by the Prosecution, never
21 mentioned the accused in this context and neither did Petrovic-Pirocanac.
22 Finally, in support for his request for exclusion, the accused
23 relies on two Milutinovic decisions in which the Trial Chamber refused to
24 admit certain evidence on hearsay grounds.
25 In response, the Prosecution submits that Robert Block's evidence
1 is sufficiently probative and reliable to be admitted as he spoke
2 directly to Petrovic who then told him that the accused was upset with
3 him. The Prosecution also points to the fact that Petrovic was in direct
4 contact with the accused in 1995 and that the accused publicly expressed
5 negative attitude towards Serbs providing foreign news agencies with
6 footage or pictures related to the conflict.
7 The Chamber has carefully considered the arguments of both
8 parties and has looked at the Appeals Chamber jurisprudence on hearsay
9 evidence as well as the Milutinovic decisions relied upon by the accused.
10 In that respect, the Chamber recalls the well-established Appeals Chamber
11 jurisprudence that hearsay evidence is admissible and that its
12 reliability depends on the circumstances under which it arose, as well as
13 on its content. Having done so, the Chamber has decided to deny the
14 accused's request and allow the Prosecution to lead the evidence in
15 question. The Chamber bases this decision on the fact that this part of
16 Robert Block's evidence is based on his direct interaction with Petrovic
17 and as such is not comparable to the evidence that the Trial Chamber in
18 Milutinovic refused to admit, namely, NGO reports of alleged crimes,
19 based on interviews with identified and unidentified sources and tendered
20 in court through persons who did not conduct those interviews. The
21 Chamber also notes that the fact that Block's evidence may be triple
22 hearsay is something that will go to its weight and is also something
23 that the accused can cross-examine Block on.
24 Having said that, however, the Chamber would prefer to hear this
25 part of Block's evidence live in its entirety. Thus, the Chamber orders
1 the Prosecution to redact the last sentence of paragraph 25, as well as
2 the entire paragraph 26 of Mr. Robert Block's statement and lead the
3 evidence contained therein live.
4 The Chamber also has considered the accused's request that the
5 testimony of Milan Lesic and Ljubomir Obradovic be led live and issues
6 the following oral ruling.
7 In relation to Milan Lesic, the Chamber notes that the voluminous
8 92 ter evidence sought to be admitted through this witness contains a
9 substantial amount of information about the witness's financial
10 assistance to Republika Srpska leaders after 1995 and about his meetings
11 with the accused and Ratko Mladic in 2001. The Chamber further notes
12 that a large part of the written evidence of this witness pertains to the
13 witness's explanations of photographs and video footage. The Chamber
14 therefore considers that it is in the interests of justice to grant the
15 accused's request that Milan Lesic be led live and orders the Prosecution
16 to focus on the parts of the evidence which are relevant to the
18 The Chamber further decides that the accused's cross-examination
19 shall not exceed the time taken by the Prosecution for its direct
21 As regards Ljubomir Obradovic, the Chamber will give its ruling
22 during the course of today.
23 Unless there are any other matters, we'll bring in the witness.
24 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
25 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I just want to put on the
1 record before Mr. Block comes in that we continue to object to testimony
2 by war correspondents without the privilege being waived. I have nothing
3 more to say than that.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let's bring in the witness.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, sir.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
8 JUDGE KWON: Would you take the solemn declaration, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated] I solemnly declare that I
10 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, the microphone was not on. Could you
12 kindly repeat.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
14 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
16 WITNESS: ROBERT JEFFREY BLOCK
17 JUDGE KWON: Do you hear me well, sir?
18 THE WITNESS: I can hear you, yes.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
21 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Examination by Mr. Mitchell:
23 Q. Good morning, sir.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Can you please state your full name.
1 A. Robert Jeffrey Block.
2 Q. What is your profession?
3 A. At the moment I'm a company executive with an aerospace company.
4 Q. What were you -- what was your profession prior to becoming a
5 company executive?
6 A. For almost 30 years I was a journalist and for most of that time
7 a foreign correspondent for various news organisations.
8 Q. Can you give us a little bit more detail about who you worked for
9 during that period?
10 A. I started out as a reporter for small papers in Florida, which is
11 where I'm originally from. Am I supposed to be hearing something in the
12 mike -- in the earphones?
13 JUDGE KWON: I take it you are hearing yourself.
14 THE WITNESS: I am hearing myself.
15 JUDGE KWON: Which is a bit loud to you. Could the usher assist
16 the witness.
17 Mr. Karadzic, could you say something in B/C/S to check whether
18 the witness can hear the translation.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Karadzic, please.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Excellencies. Good
21 morning to all. Good morning to all, and I'd like to say hello to
23 THE WITNESS: Okay. I hear now. Now I hear myself as well.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: Okay. I was saying that first I worked for small
1 papers in Florida, which is where I'm originally from, and then I went on
2 to -- I moved to Mexico City where I secured a job with Reuters
3 News Agency which was based in Britain but was an international news
4 organisation. I spent about almost 10 years there. Then I took a job
5 with "The Independent" newspaper in London first as an assistant foreign
6 editor and then as their chief foreign correspondent, which basically
7 meant I got to go to places other people didn't want to. And then I had
8 a brief stay at "The Sunday Times" of London, and then I joined
9 "The Wall Street Journal" where I was a correspondent first based in
10 Africa and then I roved around again covering central Europe and the
11 Middle East. And then Mr. Murdoch bought the paper and I left and took a
12 job with "The Orlando Sentinel" back -- completing the circle back in
13 Florida covering space and thus my -- leading to my current occupation.
14 MR. MITCHELL:
15 Q. During your time as the chief foreign correspondent of
16 "The Independent," can you tell us which situations and which conflicts
17 you were covering?
18 A. I covered -- I tend to cover some of the most horrific places and
19 I would also do it for long stints of time. I would be based in London
20 but I would be sent out and I would cover the Middle East, especially if
21 something was going wrong, which there was not uncommon. The break-up of
22 the former Yugoslavia. I covered Africa often, the genocide in Rwanda.
23 Basically wherever people were being nasty to each other I would end up
24 being sent.
25 Q. Can you tell us a little bit specifically about your coverage of
1 the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. How did you first come to be
2 aware of that and start reporting on that?
3 A. Well, I believe it was after the -- after the first Gulf War. I
4 was writing a book about Palestinians and their experience in Kuwait, and
5 that book -- the publishing house never -- never saw the light of day,
6 and the war in Yugoslavia broke out, and I ended up taking -- leaving
7 book leave and going back to "The Independent" and almost instantly
8 was -- was told to go to Yugoslavia, and I was in Yugoslavia in various
9 places. I mean, I took a rather different -- with the -- with
10 "The Independent" agreeing to the approach that I took, I felt that there
11 were so many people in -- in Sarajevo, which was the focus of a lot of
12 the coverage of the war itself, and then many were in Zagreb looking at
13 the war from the point of view of the UN and humanitarian agencies, that
14 I felt that I should float around everywhere but those places and try
15 to -- to take a look at what wasn't making the headlines and try to shine
16 a light on it.
17 Q. During this time you were covering the conflict, did you go to
18 the area of Eastern Bosnia and Zvornik, Bratunac, Srebrenica?
19 A. I think, actually, the first day that I arrived in Belgrade,
20 which I think was the first place that I went there, it was 1993, I
21 believe, and the first place that I heard that there was something to be
22 seen was down along the Drina valley. We drove down past along --
23 along -- along the river, which it basically defines the border between
24 Serbia and Bosnia, and we went a little past a village at the time called
25 Ljubovija. I think it's still called Ljubovija. And we were able to sit
1 inside of Yugoslavia on the road and watch Muslim soldiers from Bosnia
2 burn a small Serbian village called Bjelovac, and I watched that with
3 people on the side of the road who were from Serbia and a woman from
4 Bjelovac, and we just actually sat there and watched the village
6 Q. Do you speak the Serbo-Croat language?
7 A. Enough to get in trouble.
8 Q. Now, you provided a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor on
9 the 4th of September, 1995; is that right?
10 A. I believe so, yes.
11 Q. And you provided a further statement to the Office of the
12 Prosecutor on the 20th of November, 2009?
13 A. Correct.
14 MR. MITCHELL: Can I please have 65 ter 90314A in e-court.
15 Q. Mr. Block, on the 14th of February, 2012, you signed an
16 amalgamated statement that was a combination of your 1995 and
17 2009 statements with some additional information that you provided to the
18 OTP; is that right?
19 A. Correct.
20 JUDGE KWON: Shall we show him the bottom part so that he can see
21 the signature, please.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, that's me.
23 MR. MITCHELL:
24 Q. Now, can you confirm that this amalgamated statement accurately
25 reflects an amalgamation of your two earlier statements and the
1 information that you recently provided?
2 A. It does.
3 Q. And if you were asked today about the same matters contained in
4 the statements, would you provide the same information to the
5 Trial Chamber?
6 A. I would.
7 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I'd like to tender the statement.
8 There's a public redacted version and an under seal version, because
9 there's a document that is quoted later in the statement at
10 paragraph 41(A) that was supplied under a condition that it not be used
11 or quoted in public.
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We will admit the two versions, and I
13 take it the redaction that was ordered by the Chamber will be done in due
14 course. Yes, we'll give the numbers.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. 65 ter number 90314 will be
16 Exhibit P4392, under seal, and 65 ter number 90314A will be
17 Exhibit P4393.
18 MR. MITCHELL: We also had ten associated exhibits with that
19 statement, and I have requested leave to add five of them to our 65 ter
20 list and then have them admitted.
21 JUDGE KWON: Are there any objections?
22 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, the addition will be granted. I have
24 two points, Mr. Mitchell. With respect to 65 ter 23615 and 23617 which
25 you were -- dealt with the paragraph you referred to, para-41.
1 MR. MITCHELL: Yes.
2 JUDGE KWON: That the witness says just -- I believe that -- I
3 can say it in public session.
4 MR. MITCHELL: Yes.
5 JUDGE KWON: "I believe that the man I referred to in my article
6 as Resid Halilovic is the same man referred to as Resid Simonovic and
7 Resid Sinanovic respectively in these two documents," but I don't see how
8 he reaches that conclusion. So I would like you to deal with that part
9 live --
10 MR. MITCHELL: Certainly.
11 JUDGE KWON: -- with respect to those documents. Otherwise, the
12 remaining eight documents will be admitted and be given a number in due
14 MR. MITCHELL: I'd now like to read a summary of Mr. Block's
16 On 15 July 1995, Mr. Block arrived in Belgrade to report on the
17 fall of Srebrenica. There, he met a colleague, Dragan Cicic, who told
18 him about a documentary that had been broadcast that day by the Belgrade
19 TV station Studio B. Mr. Cicic said that the documentary contained some
20 amazing footage shot in and around the Srebrenica area.
21 On 16 July, Mr. Block and Mr. Cicic went to Studio B and watched
22 the documentary that had aired the previous day as well as the raw
23 footage from which the documentary had been made. This footage had been
24 videotaped in the Srebrenica area on 13 and 14 July, 1995, by a Serbian
25 journalist called Zoran Petrovic-Pirocanac. Among this footage,
1 Mr. Block saw a short clip of what looked like the bodies of 20 to 25 men
2 who appeared to have been killed in an execution. He also saw images of
3 detained men being held on the balcony of a white house and men being led
4 out of the white house at gunpoint.
5 At Studio B that day, Mr. Block also saw video footage taped in
6 Bratunac on 14 July 1995 by a Bosnian Serb television station. This
7 footage showed hundreds of men on a football field forced to stand up and
8 sit down.
9 Mr. Block has never again seen the Petrovic footage of the men
10 leaving the white house under gunpoint, nor the Bosnian Serb TV station
11 footage of the Muslim men on the football field being forced to stand up
12 and sit down.
13 Based on the footage he saw that day at Studio B, Mr. Block wrote
14 an article called "Bodies pile up in horror of Srebrenica," which was
15 published in "The Independent" newspaper on 17 July 1995.
16 On 17 July 1995, Mr. Block returned to the offices of Studio B to
17 find that the footage had been confiscated. After learning that the
18 footage had been confiscated, he set out to find more information. He
19 and Dragan Cicic first tried to get a permit to go to Pale but were told
20 that they would be arrested if they tried. Instead, they drove to
21 Ljubovija. After being denied permission by the Serbian authorities to
22 cross into Bratunac, they instead parked their car next to the
23 Ljubovija-Bratunac bridge and spoke with Serbs who crossed over the
24 bridge from Bratunac. From these people, Mr. Block heard accounts of
25 thousands of Muslim men being executed by the Bosnian Serbs. He recalled
1 one particular woman saying words to the effect of, How do you not know
2 what's going on over there? Everyone knows what's going on.
3 Over the next two days Mr. Block tried to corroborate this
5 By the evening of Thursday, the 20th of July, he felt that he had
6 enough corroborating evidence to publish the story and it ran in
7 "The Independent" newspaper on Friday, the 21st of July, 1995, in an
8 article entitled "Mass slaughter in a Bosnian field knee-deep in blood."
9 By this time, Mr. Block concluded that the execution of the Muslim men
10 was no secret on either side of the Drina River in the region of Bratunac
11 and Ljubovija.
12 In the following days, Mr. Block went back to the areas of
13 Bratunac, Ljubovija, and Loznica, where he continued to hear accounts
14 about the execution of thousands of Muslim men. One of the execution
15 sites he heard about was on the bank of the Drina River. Mr. Block went
16 to this area and spoke with people who said they watched from the Serbian
17 side of the Drina River as people were pushed off the back of trucks and
18 shot. They also described seeing earth-moving equipment pushing earth
19 over the bodies.
20 This information was published in "The Independent" newspaper on
21 July 25 1995 in an article by Mr. Block entitled "River killings shed
22 light on scale of horror after the fall of Srebrenica."
23 During this period, Mr. Block also learned of a Muslim lawyer
24 from Srebrenica who was rescued from the Drina River after having been
25 shot several times, then treated at the sanitorium at Banja Koviljaca and
1 the hospital at Loznica before being returned to the RS MUP at Bijeljina.
2 Mr. Block published this information in his 25 July article entitled
3 "River killings shed light on the scale of horror after the fall of
5 Q. Mr. Block, I have some additional questions about a few different
6 topics. If I can first pick up what the President asked, and if I can
7 actually bring up a copy of your statement.
8 MR. MITCHELL: 65 ter number 90314, the under-seal version. So
9 this shouldn't be broadcast. If we can go to page 10.
10 Q. Mr. Block, if you can have a look at paragraph 41?
11 A. Mm-hmm.
12 Q. Do you recall seeing these two documents that were shown to you
13 in a proofing session --
14 A. I do.
15 Q. -- last week? Now in paragraph 41 of your statement, you say:
16 "I believe that the man referred to in my article," that's your
17 July 25 1995 article, "as Resid Halilovic is the same man who is referred
18 to in the two documents that you were shown." Can you explain what the
19 basis of your belief that this is the same man is?
20 A. Can I mention the third document, the third bit as well?
21 Q. You can explain anything --
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. -- to the Chamber.
24 A. It was very common while covering the former Yugoslavia that
25 names and numbers were always the most difficult thing to ascertain when
1 they were true or not, and it was not uncommon to hear one man referred
2 to using a nickname and another man, you know, referred to with his full
3 name and it turned out to be the same name. This was a very, very
4 specific event that was described.
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Can I interrupt you. Has the
6 65 ter 23615 has been published or uploaded? Yes, now I can see it.
7 Yes, Mr. Block, please continue.
8 THE WITNESS: This was a very specific event that was described
9 of -- by people who were on the river that day outside of Banja Koviljaca
10 when they saw a man in the river and they went to his rescue. And they
11 brought him to Banja Koviljaca, and then at Banja Koviljaca, after being
12 just tended to lightly, was sent on to Loznica. He was a lawyer. The
13 first name, you know, was Resid. The likelihood of a coincidence
14 between -- there was another document that made -- I believe it was a
15 Bosnian Serb intelligence report talking about a wounded lawyer found in
16 the same area. It just -- it seems patently obvious to me that all three
17 of these reports, the two referred here -- a -- one referred to much
18 more -- in a much sketchier fashion than what I had learned about that
19 day, were the same. The coincidence would be just too close to call to
20 imagine it any other way.
21 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you. Can I now have 65 ter 13264 in
23 Q. Now, this is your article of 17 July called "Bodies pile up in
24 horror of Srebrenica."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I'd just like if you can briefly talk us through that experience
2 on 16 July when you were sitting in the studios at Studio B and you see
3 this footage for the first time?
4 A. We were brought into -- we were given some video tapes and
5 basically given a brief explanation in how to work the editing equipment
6 on which we were viewing them and we didn't know what order the tapes
7 were in and we saw the documentary which was cut already. And we were
8 coming through it in -- there's a very -- it's a very short sequence in
9 which you see -- obviously it's being filmed -- it appears to be filmed
10 from a car as they were driving by. So you see the camera move across
11 what looked like a -- a wall with two -- a large metal garage door or a
12 large door, and it swings by and it looks at the bottom of the wall that
13 there was clothing there, and I would have not -- I would have let it
14 slide had the voice over the tape not said there were many dead Muslim
16 So what we did was we asked them to go back and bring it frame by
17 frame to basically take a look and it slowly dawned, as you go by, that
18 we weren't looking at piles of belongings, we were looking at bodies that
19 were all piled up. And it was -- you know, the -- the -- it wasn't crisp
20 clear, the footage, but it was nonetheless shocking, and at the same time
21 it was very difficult to believe what your eye was seeing. We -- we went
22 back several times, back and forth, over the footage to make sure that
23 this wasn't an illusion or something that your brain was somehow, you
24 know, trying to convince your eyes to see. And sure enough you could see
25 easily it looked like 20 to 25 bodies. There was a man in a white
1 T-shirt in the front. There was another man, I remember, with a dark
2 shirt, and -- and it did not look like any combat scene in 20 years of
3 war corresponding that I had ever seen.
4 MR. MITCHELL: Can I have Exhibit P4269 in e-court.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mitchell, while we are waiting for that
6 document, you tendered, I take it, 65 ter 23615 and 23617.
7 MR. MITCHELL: Correct.
8 JUDGE KWON: We haven't admitted it officially yet. So we will
9 now admit it but shall we put it under seal?
10 MR. MITCHELL: Only 23615 needs to be under seal, Mr. President.
11 23617 doesn't have the same restriction.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We will give the numbers.
13 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 23615 will be Exhibit P4402, under
14 seal, and 65 ter 23617 will be Exhibit P4403.
15 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Block, do you recognise the image on the screen in front of
18 A. Yes, it's the scene from the documentary that was broadcast on
19 Studio B.
20 Q. I'd like to ask you to mark a couple of things --
21 JUDGE KWON: Do you understand this is a composite image?
22 THE WITNESS: Yes. Yes, I mean, you know, you would not have
23 been able to see it like this on the screen, that's for sure.
24 MR. MITCHELL:
25 Q. If I could ask the usher to assist you. You mention in
1 paragraph 3 of your 17 July article the fit body of a young man in the
2 foreground filled out a white T-shirt. Can you circle what it is that
3 you're referring to.
4 A. Right there.
5 Q. You also describe brown reddish blotches on the wall and dark
6 stains on the garage doors behind the bodies.
7 A. You can't see that as clearly from this as you could from the
8 footage that I had seen. And it was of the -- you saw it on the doors
9 here. And of course, you have bullet holes that I also refer to
10 throughout, and then also on the screen on the footage that I saw, which
11 was a little bit -- you could see more clearly. You could see the bullet
12 holes on the black door.
13 Q. Can you put a 1 next to the body in the white T-shirt?
14 A. Mm-hmm. [Marks]
15 Q. And then a 2 next to the mark that you put on the doors?
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And just for the record, the markings to the left and to the
18 right of that were, where Mr. Block circled, bullet holes. If you can
19 just initial and put today's date down the bottom.
20 A. Today's the 21st; correct?
21 Q. 21st, correct.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. Just one more question while we're looking at this. Was the
24 footage you saw that day, on 16 July, was it better quality than this
25 footage from which this composite or this picture was made?
1 A. Yes, it was the first generation because it was the actual
2 documentary. It was probably actually a second generation because it was
3 made from the material that it was taken from, but, yes, it was, and
4 also, I also saw the raw footage. A lot of the scenes that you see in
5 the documentary are actually shorter than the ones on the -- the raw
6 footage that was use, the rushes that were used to -- to edit the
8 Q. Now, after you saw this footage on 16 July and then found out the
9 next day that it had been confiscated, did you take any steps to find out
10 what had happened to this footage?
11 A. Well -- well, let me take one step back. The minute we saw the
12 footage and wrote about the footage, it was my suspicion, indeed
13 instinct, that it would not stay around for too long. I had made an
14 effort, indeed the night that I had written the story, which was the
15 16th, to call colleagues of mine in broadcast media, specifically I
16 remember the BBC, telling them what was on this tape and urging them
17 to -- to try to get a copy of it before it disappeared, which I was
18 convinced it would. Indeed the next day they told me that it had.
19 Now, this is a very awkward situation for a journalist to be in.
20 There are two things that foreign correspondents, and particularly people
21 covering conflicts like this where everyone thinks you're a spy or an
22 enemy, is you never want to be last on a story, and you never want to be
23 first on a story without anyone able to come behind you and corroborate
24 what you had been writing. So it was definitely in my interest to make
25 sure that other people saw this, to know that -- you know, people were
1 always accusing us, from every side, of being propagandists or anti-this
2 or anti-that or pro-this or pro-that, and so this was in some ways the
3 only eyewitness footage of what had happened in this area that I was
4 aware of, and it was very important after I saw it that it was available
5 for other people to see to validate my own reporting.
6 So, yes, we tried to figure out what had happened to the tape so
7 we could get it out so it would make my reporting stand up, and we had
8 heard that -- that the -- I think I'd written at the time that
9 Bosnian Serb authorities had had the tape confiscated, and specifically I
10 think that on various -- both occasions there were military -- Bosnian
11 Serb military officials who picked them up. But what I had heard -- now,
12 you have to understand, what happened to the tape was of less concern to
13 me at the same time, because almost immediately after writing the story
14 and trying to get -- figure out where the tape was, we went down to the
15 area and -- Ljubovija, and had heard reports that thousands had been
16 killed, which was an extraordinary number in Yugoslavia. You know, you
17 had had reports of dozens or hundreds that would draw cries of protest,
18 but thousands and the number at the time was up to 4.000, which in a very
19 short period of days was extraordinary. So most of our effort at that
20 time had gone into trying to validate if this was true or a desire to
21 create propaganda.
22 So we were not reporting specifically by this time on what had
23 happened to the tape. There was very little more that I could do than
24 report what was on the tape. It was really up to everyone else, but what
25 I had heard from a friend of mine in Pale, who was an interpreter and
1 driver with whom I had worked for for years and whom I had a close
2 personal relationship with, and what I also heard from Zoran Petrovic,
3 was that the authorities were very angry and that they had understood
4 that the President of Republika Srpska, Dr. Karadzic himself, was angry
5 over this footage. Upon hearing this it didn't seem to be out of the
6 realm of possibility, but it was not something I set about corroborating
7 myself for the story. It was tangential to the larger task of
8 determining whether indeed what we had been told that day on the
9 riverside in Ljubovija that thousands had been killed was true or not.
10 Q. You just mentioned that you heard this from Zoran Petrovic. Can
11 you tell us a little bit more about the specific circumstances under
12 which you heard that from Zoran Petrovic.
13 A. Well -- well, Dragan and I had -- Dragan and I had gone out to
14 see him to basically find out what happened to the tape, and he was
15 clearly not a happy man. He had called previously and was angry that I
16 had even written about the tape and had seen it, because he didn't feel
17 that that was somehow appropriate, and I had the distinct impression
18 during the time that I was talking to him that he was under pressure
19 himself from various people who obviously helped him get access to the
20 footage, who was -- who were not pleased.
21 Q. Do you recall when you went and saw Zoran Petrovic?
22 A. It would have been the day after -- the 15th I arrived. That was
23 Saturday. The 16th we reviewed the tape. The 17th we found out it had
24 been confiscated but took off to go to Ljubovija. And the 18th I believe
25 was a Tuesday. We had come back to try to basically determine if -- if
1 other people in Belgrade were hearing similar things and also to speak to
2 Petrovic because obviously the tape starts to take on added significance
3 when people along the river are talking about thousands of men being
5 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, if I can -- I forgot to tender that
6 marked exhibit earlier.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That will be admitted as next
8 Prosecution exhibit.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4404, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Block, who was Dragan?
11 THE WITNESS: Dragan Cicic was a --
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: -- a writer for "Nin" and who often acted as -- as
14 a reporting partner of mine and a source of -- he had a tremendous sense
15 of humour and made even the worst situations bearable.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MR. MITCHELL:
18 Q. Let's talk a little bit more now about your trip to Ljubovija on
19 the 17th of July, 1995.
20 MR. MITCHELL: If I can have 65 ter 23519 in e-court, page 10.
21 If I can blow this up and just focus on -- maybe just a little bit more.
22 Just one more click. Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: I can make it out.
24 MR. MITCHELL:
25 Q. Mr. Block, can you see the Bratunac-Ljubovija bridge on this map?
1 A. Mm-hmm.
2 Q. If I could ask the usher to assist you, I'll get you to mark that
3 or to circle it.
4 A. There it is.
5 Q. If you can put a B next to the town of Bratunac.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. And an L next to Ljubovija.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. And an X where you and Dragan Cicic parked your car that day.
10 A. We parked just south of the bridge. Just -- on the road.
11 Just -- actually I think the trunk of the car was just in the bushes, out
12 of sight of the guards from the Bosnian Serb side.
13 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more, describe to us those trips
14 that you made that day between the bridge and Ljubovija.
15 A. Well, we had -- Dragan and I -- I drove, and we -- we got a car
16 and I drove down, and we were debating whether we should try actually
17 to -- to -- to cross the bridge, but we were told by the soldiers on the
18 Yugoslav side, the -- the Serb side of Yugoslavia, that they wouldn't --
19 we wouldn't be let across. So we decided just to park the car out of
20 sight and Dragan was in the car and I sat on the hood with a radio
21 listening to -- I think it was the BBC World Service and kind of looking
22 down the bridge, trying to spot if anyone was coming across. And the
23 first people that came across were two young women. And I said to
24 Dragan, I said, Two people are coming. And I went and got in the car and
25 Dragan got out and asked them if they needed a ride to where they were
1 going and if they needed a ride, and they said, We're going to Ljubovija
2 and yes, and it was still from -- you can see from the map here it was at
3 least a kilometre or two away to the village itself, to the town itself.
4 And I drove and Dragan started up conversation with them saying,
5 Hey, you know, where are you from, and what are you doing? And one of
6 them said that their -- their husband was in the Bosnian Serb forces and
7 it was a mess over there, and we started to engage and ask them what was
8 happening and then that's when they said, Well, what do you mean what's
9 happening? How do you not know what's happening? Of course you know
10 what's happening there. We insisted we didn't and that kind of surprised
12 And then she began to talk about -- mentioned things that became
13 very common to statements that we'd heard on the next days and on the
14 next driving back and forth with other people, hangars and playgrounds
15 and schools and -- mostly playing-field, playground, and hangar, and that
16 men were being brought there and they were being killed, that most were
17 being shot, that only the worst, the known war criminals, were having
18 their throats cut, that it was obviously organised. In some cases there
19 were people who were being -- there were calls that went out to people
20 that if they wanted to take revenge on -- on men from Srebrenica that
21 they were being held. And there was -- the interesting thing was -- or
22 the most impactful thing was that these people were clearly not happy,
23 none of them, and there was an element of shock, and they really were
24 stunned that somehow this were a secret.
25 Q. You mentioned before that you don't want to be either first or
1 last with a story like this. What did you do once you heard this? How
2 much corroboration did you feel that you needed before you could go to
3 print with a story like this?
4 A. Well, we pulled off the side of the road. I think it was the
5 first time, I mean after the girls had gotten out, and we were slumped in
6 the seats and Dragan was sitting in the passenger seat next to me, and I
7 remember we just stared at each other for a long time and I think the
8 thing I said was, Holy shit. And we looked at each other and we were --
9 you know, we were talking about 4.000. Are you sure? That's 4.000. And
10 we said we had to go back and talk to more people, which we did, and then
11 when we said that we'd obviously heard enough, that there was a
12 constant -- the story seemed to be constant, we said we can't go to print
13 with this. We have to figure out if this is an exaggeration or what's
14 going on. We have to go back to Belgrade.
15 So we turned around and we went back to Belgrade, and the idea
16 was we wanted to know if other embassies were -- I mean, the
17 Dutch Embassy had soldiers there. What were they hearing? What were the
18 UN agencies hearing? Did the ICRC have anybody in? What about Serbian
19 groups? Did they have any information about this? So that's what we
20 figured we had to do.
21 Then when we went back to Belgrade, because it was clear that
22 Dragan Cicic and myself could not go over, we started contacting friends
23 whom Dragan and I had worked with previously who we trusted -- whom we
24 trusted and whom we had a relationship with, including Dragan's father
25 Nikola, and we asked them if they would go over and have a look and take
1 recorders or -- and take notes somehow on what they heard, and we told
2 them what to ask in certain circumstances. And at the same time, we were
3 told of other people who lived in that valley who either had relatives in
4 Bratunac or were from Bratunac or had recently come back from Bratunac,
5 so we decided that we would go back to the area and try to find more
6 people from the region to see, you know, what they were hearing and
7 what -- if -- what they might have seen, and that began a process at that
8 lasted for another week. The first few days to corroborate the numbers,
9 that large numbers of men were being killed, and then that eventually led
10 to stories of killings further away from Bratunac-Srebrenica, along the
11 Drina valley.
12 Q. When you finally went to print with this story for the first time
13 on the 21st of July, at that point did you still feel like you were
14 taking a risk with this story, or were you -- your information was solid
15 by that point?
16 A. I felt it was -- you know, it was very hard without having direct
17 eyes yourself on the site, and even then, direct eyes, you would only see
18 a portion of this. I mean -- but what was clear to me was that there
19 were various execution sites in various places where large numbers of men
20 were being killed. And it was clear from what people were telling us
21 that the numbers were in the thousands, that it was not a small number of
22 men. I was confident of that. However, I was still the only one out
23 there with this information. None of my colleagues, for reasons I can't
24 explain or not that I'm aware of, did they follow up and try to replicate
25 what we did down in Ljubovija. I think maybe "The Times of London" did,
1 which I think I found out about much later. But by and large, I was
2 still the only one out there with the information and I was being
3 denounced all over the place by pro-Serb groups as being a dupe and a
4 lackey and obviously anti-Serb.
5 MR. MITCHELL: Could we now go to 65 ter number 3214.
6 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to tender this marked map.
7 MR. MITCHELL: I would, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Block, if you can initial and date this image.
9 JUDGE KWON: This will be the next Prosecution exhibit.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4405, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE KWON: P43 --
12 THE REGISTRAR: P4405.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. 4405.
14 MR. MITCHELL: And, Mr. President, just for the record, this 3214
15 wasn't notified on our list but it's a better quality version of map 24
16 in our map book, which was notified on the list.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
18 MR. MITCHELL:
19 Q. If I could just focus on -- yeah, that part of the map.
20 Mr. Block, ignore all those markings on the left-hand side of the map.
21 A. Could you bring the map down a little bit, a little past
22 Banja Koviljaca. Okay. There we go. Right.
23 Q. Now, you've talked about in your statement in the days after
24 first hearing this information in Ljubovija, you go to the area of
25 Banja Koviljaca and start talking to people who hear or who have seen
1 killings over the river. Can you mark for us the specific area where you
2 went with these people.
3 A. It's on -- it should be okay. Well, first we went to Loznica
4 here, and we started talking to -- to -- to people who said that they
5 would go down, they would often fish or hang by the river, and they
6 started to see bodies floating down the river, which was the talk of the
7 town, and that some of them said that they had been hiking and that
8 people in Banja Koviljaca had actually seen people shot and that there
9 was -- someone who was shot was brought to the hospital.
10 So we went to Banja Koviljaca. If you could bring the map up
11 somehow. Can I do it with my finger?
12 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
13 MR. MITCHELL: Just one moment.
14 JUDGE KWON: Then we need to mark the -- do the marking again.
15 We'll do that again.
16 THE WITNESS: Okay. Okay. That's good enough. That's a little
17 bit -- higher. So, Loznica is where we went --
18 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
19 THE WITNESS: Too much.
20 JUDGE KWON: Before marking you need to push the button, but
21 please wait to be assisted by our usher.
22 THE WITNESS: Okay. That's perfect.
23 We first went to Loznica and then we went to Banja Koviljaca and
24 we went with a group of people who had been out hiking that day, an
25 elderly man and a couple, and they brought us -- as you can see from the
1 map, it's topographical, that there are hills on this side. They brought
2 us somewhere around here, just, you know, a little bit outside of
3 Banja Koviljaca, and, you know, we asked them what they had seen. And
4 they said that they saw people being pushed off of trucks and -- and
5 people killed, and we said, well, where did you see it, and they were
6 able to point directly across the river to -- to what they had seen.
7 MR. MITCHELL:
8 Q. If I can just stop you there. For the record, you've put an X on
9 the place where you went with these people.
10 A. More or less, yeah.
11 Q. Can you put an A on the spot where they were pointing to.
12 A. Well, they were pointing across the river into this area more or
13 less. That they were -- that they saw. It was very dramatic because it
14 was -- it was definite. They knew exactly where they were pointing.
15 Q. Now, around this time, you also heard the story of the wounded
16 Muslim lawyer.
17 A. Right, we had heard that -- we had gone back to Banja Koviljaca
18 and we had heard from people who said that there were stories of -- now,
19 we'd originally heard this, that someone had been wounded and -- and we
20 started to ask about, and they said, you know, Yes. Yes. Someone was in
21 the river. He was crying out for help and people went in to take them.
22 And we said, well, where did they take them, and he said to the
23 sanitorium. So we turned around and went to the sanitorium and they
24 showed us the -- the register of -- that they had been here but that the
25 man was not there. His wounds were too severe and he had to go to the
1 hospital in Loznica. So we decided to then go to Loznica.
2 Q. And I know you've talked about this in your statement, but if you
3 can briefly tell us again about what happened when you got to Loznica and
4 spoke to the people at the hospital?
5 A. It was clear that we were the last people on the planet that they
6 wanted to see. They were not happy we were there. They were not happy
7 we were asking questions. At first they denied that anyone had been
8 brought there, but we grabbed the register and we saw that someone indeed
9 was there and that there was a doctor's name. And we asked to see the
10 doctor, and there was some consternation on their part that they couldn't
11 find him, and, finally, they put some doctors together, and we sat down
12 and we asked them about what had happened, and they said nothing had
13 happened. And we challenged them with what we had -- with what we knew
14 from the registries, what we heard from people who had actually put the
15 man in their car and -- and all of a sudden their memory's, Oh, yes, yes,
16 that man, yes, yes. I believe he was a lawyer, yes. But it wasn't very
17 serious wounds, just scratches and surface injuries, but we really can't
18 speak because we didn't treat him. The man who actually sewed him up is
19 not here, but yes, I have a vague recollection, as they were twisting in
20 their seats. And then, of course, they then said that after he was
21 patched up that he was sent to Bijeljina and under guard was handed back
22 to the Bosnian Serb authorities. And that's where the trail ended and
23 that was where the story ended.
24 The only other thing that I recall was that while on one hand the
25 doctors at the Loznica hospital were very quick to dismiss their
1 knowledge or any significance to this, they did seem to also justify that
2 whatever happened to him, he -- he deserved.
3 Q. Can I get you to initial and date this map.
4 A. [Marks]
5 MR. MITCHELL: I'd like to tender that, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That will be admitted.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4406, Your Honours.
8 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Block. I have no further
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE KWON: Shall we go into private session briefly.
12 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Block, as you noticed, your evidence-in-chief
1 was admitted in writing mostly, in lieu of your oral testimony, and now
2 you will be further asked by Mr. Karadzic in his cross-examination.
3 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. Good
5 morning to you.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Block. This is not a mere
9 First of all, I'd like to thank you for being so kind as to meet
10 the Defence, in other words, with me and Mr. Robinson. I hope it will
11 assist us in dealing with this testimony expeditiously and efficiently.
12 Tell us this, please: You said that you heard some things from a
13 driver. You either don't know his name or do not wish to disclose it;
15 A. That's correct. I've not talked to him, so I don't want to put
16 his name out there without at least his knowledge, but I know him very
18 Q. Thank you. Did he tell you who he had heard that from about me
19 being upset?
20 A. I don't recall asking him. He was in Pale. Pale's a small town.
21 When he told me that he'd heard that you were upset and that the
22 general -- the Serb authorities were, you know, unpleased, I assumed that
23 this was just common knowledge in -- in Pale.
24 Q. So you believe that everyone at Pale could know what I thought or
25 could hear me speak. If I didn't say that in a public address, then it
1 must have been said somewhere in the street, in your interpretation. How
2 did people know how -- what I thought? Did you do any research on how he
3 was familiar with this alleged position of mine?
4 A. No -- no, I did not. As I said previously, the -- who -- who may
5 have ordered the confiscation of the video at the time was not a prime
6 concern of mine, and, you know, it's not uncommon, you know, in Pale, as
7 well as in Belgrade, that, you know, many people were privy to
8 conversations that people had in private. So I didn't think too much of
9 it. I didn't give it -- I didn't think it was wrong. At the same time
10 it was -- like I said, it was not something that I thought that I needed
11 to focus on. It was just background information, and clearly, I think it
12 was Zoran's intention to use the video to show the occupation and
13 subjugation of Srebrenica in a positive light, and what was clear the
14 footage did -- was actually much more damning, and I think that that was
15 clear to anyone who saw it. So it was not out of the realm of
16 possibility that someone would see this in the Serbian authorities of
17 Bosnian -- Republika Srpska authorities and be upset that this had
18 managed to make the airwaves and get international attention.
19 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that due to my position, I was the
20 object of journalistic attention and I could not even leave my office or
21 express my opinion publicly without being taken note of by journalists?
22 A. Yes, but you were not always, at this -- at this moment from,
23 what I recall, you were not necessarily easy to reach. You know, there
24 were lots of people that were -- you had to -- you know, a journalist, a
25 foreign journalist, would have to go through to get to you, but, yes, you
1 were -- you were obviously on the hot seat in that time.
2 Q. Thank you. You also said, and this thesis is somewhat
3 corroborated by -- but let me go first back to what you said today and in
4 our interview. Apparently for you it wasn't of great importance to
5 establish whether it was indeed true that I reacted in that way. It
6 seems that it wasn't as important to you then as it has now proven itself
7 to be.
8 A. It was just something that -- that I had heard. What was clear
9 was that the video-tape was no longer there. What was clear was that
10 there were instructions obviously from someone higher in the chain of
11 command to bother to get this from Belgrade as well as, I understand,
12 similar tapes from Republika Srpska TV. That was sufficient for me to
13 understand that the tape was no longer freely available, and that's all
14 that -- that mattered. Exactly who gave the order at the time was not
15 important, and I think its importance now is only, you know, because of
16 the current circumstances.
17 Q. Thank you. Did this remark or objection have to do with the fact
18 which TV station edited and broadcast that? Was that a remark at the
19 expense of Studio B, and did you know that they were our political
20 opponent at the time as they are nowadays?
21 A. I'm not sure I understand your -- your question about the
22 objection, but what is clear is, yes, I mean, Studio B was something of a
23 chameleon. It was not pro-Milosevic. It was pro-Serb. It was a little
24 surprising to me that -- I was told that when the documentary aired that
25 it had aired on Studio B, but one was always prepared for surprises in
1 the former Yugoslavia.
2 And again, I think that the intention of Zoran Petrovic in
3 putting together the documentary was to portray something positive about
4 the recapture of Srebrenica and I -- I don't think that his intentions or
5 the intentions of Studio B were any other than this. I don't think they
6 actually realised what they had, and I was -- from what I understood, the
7 documentary was cut and put together very quickly. So again, the
8 impression was that I think that they put together something that they
9 thought was -- while was not propaganda was pro-Serb and didn't realise
10 the potential damage that it -- it had.
11 Q. Thank you. I was trying to see whether you heard someone
12 remarking about a reporter being let inside Srebrenica with the approval
13 of the RS authorities, and then his footage was shown on TV and broadcast
14 by a TV station which was not our ally. Actually, it has always been our
15 opponent. Was this element contained in the general remarks you could
16 hear at the time about the airing?
17 A. Nothing that I recall to this -- you know, to this effect. I do
18 remember Dragan and I basically going, This was shown on Studio B? And
19 we found it a bit strange, but beyond that, when we went in to see the
20 footage, we were -- it was a Sunday. It was the -- the station was not
21 very well staffed. They just gave us the tapes and we were able to look
22 at them ourselves, and when we had trouble with equipment, they helped us
23 out. I mean, no one said anything to the effect to basically give me the
24 impression that the intention in airing this -- this documentary was
25 meant to be damaging.
1 And also the other thing to remember here is journalists had
2 relationships with various editors and producers, and it was just my
3 guess that whoever the producer was of this show had some relationship
4 with Petrovic and that's why Petrovic was able to sell the -- the footage
5 to him. I'm sure if he had a relationship somewhere else or with another
6 station that had a kind of documentary slot, he would have sent it there.
7 So I -- you know, initially, like I said, it was surprising, but I
8 didn't -- I didn't -- I didn't think too much about it.
9 Like I said, Serbian B [sic] was not pro-Republika Srpska, but it
10 was very pro the larger Serbian cause.
11 Q. Thank you. I don't think they would agree with that, but in any
12 case, you corroborated that by an alleged statement given to you by
13 Mr. Pirocanac. Did he tell you that there were objections to his
14 presence there or that there were objections to Studio B airing it to
15 their own benefit or for their own end?
16 A. All I remember from that time period was that Zoran was very
17 agitated. He clearly was under pressure. I think that the pressure --
18 it was my impression that the pressure had caught him off guard, the
19 criticism had caught him off guard, and as we discussed, I think that he
20 was in a very frustrating position because he had scored this tremendous
21 journalistic coup of having access to this area, having footage that was
22 very valuable, and at the same time was being seen as something of a
23 traitor, and I think this is what was on his mind at the time. He was
24 very upset that we had access to the footage, that we had used it
25 without -- without his permission, that we didn't discuss it with him,
1 and that -- and that his patrons in the -- in the Yugoslav and Bosnian
2 Serb military were very angry with him, and that was the -- the main
3 focus, that you don't realise how much trouble I had put him in.
4 Q. Who were these people supporting him? It's the first time that I
5 hear of some patrons or bosses of his. I thought he was completely
6 independent, and I still do. In other words, who could pressure him?
7 Who was his employer?
8 A. A journalist is subject not only to pressures of their employer
9 but also to sources and the people whose assurances they give. Sometimes
10 someone will give you access to something in exchange for, you know,
11 Don't get me into trouble over this. And you go, No, no, no, I would
12 never get you into trouble. And I think that's -- I think he was in
13 trouble from the people who trusted him and helped him get access to the
14 area. I don't think it was bosses that he was in trouble from. In some
15 ways, journalists can always deal with problems from their bosses.
16 Sources on whom we depend sometimes are much more important for
17 us to try to keep happy or at least to keep them on our good side,
18 because this is how we were able to do business, by gaining people's
19 trust and confidence. And if we're good at our job, we -- we -- we -- we
20 are able to protect them and use the information or access that they gave
21 us without ever implicating them or getting them in trouble, and I think
22 he had -- he had managed to cross that line, and I think that's where he
23 was feeling the pressure from.
24 Q. Let's see this. Is it possible that he wasn't allowed to use the
25 footage he authored? Was it understanding or understandable to you that
1 he was upset with you working on that material without the approval of
2 the author himself or was that unusual too?
3 A. He certainly -- he certainly felt that that was what had been --
4 happened, what had been done, but the documentary surely was at this time
5 inside the public realm. So whether I had access to this from Studio B
6 or whether I had seen it on television that night, there's nothing that
7 could be done to -- to -- you know, his arguments that I had no right to
8 see this were ludicrous. The fact that Studio B had given us the rushes
9 or some raw footage to view as well, that argument was between him and
10 Studio B, not with me.
11 And the final point was and I think we argued was that I didn't
12 need his commentary because the camera to some degree spoke for itself,
13 and, you know, what -- I didn't see why he -- I needed his permission to
14 see something that had already aired, but he felt otherwise. He felt
15 that this was his intellectual property and we had no right to access to
16 it, and again, it was my impression that he was venting at Dragan and me
17 because my story had gotten him in trouble because, you know, what was
18 clear to me when viewing the footage is that it put the Bosnian Serb
19 authorities in -- in a very tight spot because it showed men who were
20 clearly visible and, therefore, in theory identifiable, in -- in Bosnian
21 Serb authority hands alive, and therefore if they turned out to not be
22 alive later, someone would have to explain what happened. So I thought
23 that it was very naive of him to believe that -- that that footage was
24 not explosive, but he did not see it that way.
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, if it is convenient, shall we take a
1 break? Half an hour.
2 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
3 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I wanted to be heard very briefly on
4 a procedural matter concerning the Court's indication that it would be
5 ruling on Mr. Robinson's request concerning the Obradovic testimony.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very shortly.
7 MR. TIEGER: Yes. I'll be quick on this. I just wanted to
8 remind the Court that Mr. Robinson sent two e-mails indicating that he
9 would -- he intended to make a request concerning those matters. The
10 Court issued its ruling on the first matter with respect to Mr. Lesic
11 without being heard by the Prosecution. We're not revisiting that or
12 disputing the Court's decision in that regard. However, before the Court
13 makes a decision on this matter, we would like to be heard on
14 Mr. Robinson's request. And as a general matter in future, we would
15 anticipate that when Mr. Robinson signals his intention to make an oral
16 motion in court, that he would be obliged to do so before ruling so that
17 the Prosecution could respond. Thank you, Mr. President.
18 And Ms. Edgerton, who will be calling Mr. Obradovic, will be here
19 at the commencement of the next session if the Court wishes to hear
20 argument on this issue from us.
21 JUDGE KWON: Did we not hear from you? Everything is so fuzzy.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: If it is okay, can we hear from you now,
24 Ms. Edgerton. We can hear it in the presence of Mr. Block. I don't see
25 any problem.
1 MR. TIEGER: I agree.
2 MS. EDGERTON: I would be, of course, happy to do that,
3 Your Honours, but given the time, and this would take a few minutes, I
4 wouldn't want to postpone the break or interfere with the schedule of
6 JUDGE KWON: We are not encroaching on the break time. If it is
7 not that lengthy, I think I would like you to proceed.
8 JUDGE BAIRD: How long do you think, Ms. Edgerton?
9 MS. EDGERTON: I think it would probably take me somewhere
10 between seven and ten minutes, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE KWON: We will then hear from you after the break. We'll
12 resume at 11.00.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
16 JUDGE KWON: We'll begin, Mr. Mitchell.
17 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, if I could just jump in briefly
18 with getting back to you on the notification for Mr. Block.
19 Having read the restrictions on that document, it shouldn't be
20 publicly quoted, used in public session, or disclosed to other
21 institutions, but simply referring to its title in the notification
22 should be okay. So I think that can remain public.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 Yes, Ms. Edgerton -- yes, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Mr. President, just so we don't get this
1 process inverted, Mr. Robinson mentioned to me that he wanted to actually
2 put his request on the record before Ms. Edgerton argued. I don't know
3 if he still has that in mind, but I didn't want to pre-empt that if that
4 remained his intention.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I appreciate very much the
8 Chamber being so efficient on my request and it's always my intention to
9 notify the Chamber of issues that we intend to raise in advance so that
10 it doesn't take you by surprise and doesn't ambush the Prosecution. But
11 we -- if it doesn't -- if you don't mind, I'll just take a minute to put
12 on the record our reasons for objecting to the 92 ter package for
13 Mr. Obradovic.
14 First of all, we think that the Prosecution, when they're
15 benefiting from Rule 92 ter, ought to at the minimum make it as easy as
16 possible for the other parties, including the Chamber and the Defence,
17 and we'll do the same when it's our turn. And we think that dumping a
18 290-page transcript on us, which took me almost four hours to read, and
19 containing many, many things that are not really targeted towards this
20 case, such as the Main Staff's chain of command and hierarchy and things
21 that were relevant to Mr. Tolimir, as well as the -- and information
22 about Zepa and the prejudicial information about the proposed use of
23 chemical weapons by General Tolimir there. So we believe that the
24 Prosecution should have put together a statement of this witness that's
25 more targeted to the Karadzic case, and because so much of the material,
1 which I consider even more than half of it, is extraneous and in some
2 ways prejudicial, we believe that the witness's testimony should be led
3 live. Thank you.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Ms. Edgerton. Good morning to you.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Good morning, Your Honours, and I apologise for
6 you having to turn your heads should you wish to look in my direction.
7 To respond to Mr. Robinson's e-mail and his request today, I see
8 there's two main areas I want to just talk about, the first being the
9 size of the proposed 92 ter package of the witness, which is --
10 Mr. Robinson described in his original e-mail as burdensome. That's
11 three days of testimony in the Tolimir case, which not only do I think is
12 quite manageable for a witness of this nature, but should never be the
13 only reason, Your Honours, for determining the admission of a
14 92 ter statement. The size of the package in and of itself isn't
15 necessarily an obstacle for its admission, but actually the -- the
16 assertions by Mr. Robinson that there's a large number of irrelevant
17 topics in this witness's Tolimir evidence is something that we very much
18 take issue with, and I was actually surprised to read this initially last
20 Frankly, I think it's almost absurd to suggest that the inner
21 workings of the VRS Main Staff are irrelevant to this case. They're
22 integral. Dr. Karadzic was the supreme commander of the Bosnian Serb
23 Army. The army was subordinated to him in law and in practice. The
24 Bosnian Serb Army is alleged to have implemented the policies and goals
25 of Dr. Karadzic and the other Bosnian Serb leaders in furtherance of the
1 common criminal purpose.
2 The evidence of the structure, the effective function, the
3 operation, the command principles, the drafting processes, the reporting
4 and communications of this army offered by this witness, I would submit
5 goes to the crux of the case against Dr. Karadzic. And just to make the
6 point abundantly clear, I could refer Your Honours to our pre-trial brief
7 on this, paragraphs 70, 119, and 125. And to just pull one example from
8 there by way of synopsis, the Prosecution asserted that Dr. Karadzic and
9 the Main Staff and civilian leadership were provided with accurate and
10 timely information about events on the ground and asserted that reports
11 from the corps level to the Main Staff were made orally and in writing
12 and special reports which included information on enemy forces, the state
13 of combat readiness of units of the corps, the situation on the ground
14 and so forth. And just with that one example we can see that the
15 evidence of General Obradovic underpins any number of these assertions
16 and is directly relevant to these proceedings.
17 And calling the events in Zepa irrelevant is, I'd submit, just
18 another version of an argument Mr. Robinson's previously made in both
19 oral and written submissions, and Your Honours have previously ruled on,
20 and those with respect to events in Gorazde and Cerska, which are other
21 areas of the eastern enclave.
22 Dr. Karadzic isn't charged with events in Zepa in 1995.
23 Nevertheless, those -- the evidence about those events as referred to and
24 discussed during this witness's testimony in the Tolimir case is relevant
25 for a number of reasons. It's clearly relevant to the overarching joint
1 criminal enterprise to remove non-Serbs from Bosnian Serb-claimed
2 territory from 1991 to 1995. It's relevant as pattern evidence. So even
3 though outside the indictment per se, evidence of the policies of the
4 Bosnian Serb leadership of blockade, convoy restrictions and attack
5 against the Zepa enclave is relevant because the same pattern was
6 supplied to Srebrenica and other locations in the enclaves. That pattern
7 is evidence of the continued military operations to implement the third
8 strategic objective.
9 The evidence in Zepa are relevant as evidence that goes to
10 Dr. Karadzic's command over the Bosnian Serb Army. It's relevant to
11 support the assertion that the Bosnian Serb Army acted under
12 Dr. Karadzic's direction. It's relevant to show effective communications
13 and reporting within the Bosnian Serb Army, and it's actually also
14 relevant, Your Honours, as evidence which goes to the crimes committed in
15 Srebrenica in 1995. It confirms and corroborates the evidence of
16 David Harland in his statement at P820, paragraphs 225 to 228, and there
17 he discusses his involvement in complex prisoner exchange negotiations
18 that lasted over ten days in the period of time surrounding the fall of
20 He talks about the Serbs initially insisting on a surrender but
21 later pushing on an all-for-all prisoner exchange and notes with
22 hindsight that it would appear, and I quote:
23 "It would appear that this was because Mladic realised that once
24 the Bosnians knew what had happened in Srebrenica, he had no chance of
25 getting his prisoners back."
1 The evidence related to Zepa corroborates, as I said, and
2 confirms exactly what Mr. Harland describes, Serbs forces pushing to move
3 quickly for an all-for-all exchange because once the full story of
4 Srebrenica broke or came to light, they would have no chance of getting
5 prisoners back. And we see this happening in the evidence and documents
6 discussed by this witness in the Tolimir case. So if you consider
7 evidence like this out of context, as Mr. Robinson would you have do,
8 saying Zepa is irrelevant, its significance to this case is lost. It is
9 clearly relevant.
10 And just finally on what Mr. Robinson described as the proposed
11 use of chemical weapons. Just one remark. After examination and
12 cross-examination on this subject, it's quite obvious that the parties in
13 the Tolimir case understood the document from which this initial point
14 relating to chemical weapons arose meant to refer to chemical means or
15 assets, in particular tear gas grenades. And the evidence in the
16 proposed 92 ter package on this point shows -- is relevant because it
17 shows that those assets were in the array of the Bosnian Serb Army, that
18 they were delivered to the Drina Corps and the 65th Protection Regiment,
19 and it goes then to corroborate the evidence -- the recent evidence of
20 Mr. Nikolic who confirmed that members of this regiment were at
21 Potocari -- pardon me, that they were attached to the VRS Main Staff and
22 they were at Potocari separating people. And also this evidence goes to
23 confirm the evidence that's come before this Chamber from KDZ045, a
24 witness who was a survivor of the killings at Srebrenica who said that
25 grenades with a poisonous gas were thrown by Bosnian Serb forces at
1 Muslim men who had broken off from the column escaping towards Tuzla.
2 So that covers all the points relating to relevance I wanted to
3 address Your Honours on, and end with the submission that I think this
4 witness's evidence is perfectly admissible under or pursuant to
5 Rule 92 ter and clearly directly relevant and should be considered in
6 context. And I don't think I have anything else to say.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, if I could just briefly
8 reply. I think the argument that Ms. Edgerton made shows that this issue
9 has taken on a larger significance than simply admitting something under
10 92 ter live because it now deals with how far you want to open the whole
11 story of Zepa. General Tolimir was tried for Zepa events. It's in his
12 indictment, and so the testimony that you -- from this witness was very
13 broad and no objection was made. I think that that's an even better
14 reason why you have to be careful to hear the witness's testimony live so
15 we can determine what aspects, if any, of the evidence relating to Zepa
16 should be admitted in this trial. Thank you.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you, Ms. Edgerton and
18 Mr. Robinson. The Chamber will consider the submissions and give its
19 ruling after the next break.
20 Shall we bring in the witness.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So now it's a bit clearer to me. Mr. Pirocanac was exposed to
1 pressures not only because his report was carried but because of your
2 interpretation of that report; right?
3 A. That's what I assume, or -- or at least that the -- that
4 something -- that it became damaging, damaging to his -- to the people
5 who had given him access and damaging something -- to something that I
6 think was important to him. I don't know. I mean, you know, it's hard
7 for me to say, but I think to -- to a larger Serb cause, and I don't
8 think that he was happy with having that put on his head.
9 Q. You said today on page 36, line 14: "My story was what got him
10 into trouble." Right? We can go back to that page, if you will. So it
11 was published. The material was published. It was edited. And it was
12 broadcast by a station that did not really like us, but all of that did
13 not bring Mr. Pirocanac under pressure. He was subjected to pressure
14 after you published your story, your interpretation of his report. Is
15 that the essence of what you said on page 36?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that you would not have allowed someone
18 to analyse your notes on the basis of which a text of yours was written?
19 You publish a text and that's it, but your notes should not be analysed
20 in public because that is not something that you had agreed upon.
21 A. Yes, but I wouldn't go leaving my notes around for other people
22 to -- to use them or to look at them.
23 Q. But he left that at Studio B TV, not for the purpose of using it
24 as public material. It was part of his work, but it wasn't supposed to
25 be made public; right?
1 A. I think that would be correct. It was not part of the
2 documentary which aired, but it was not my concern. I went in to see
3 Studio B and asked them and they gave me the tapes. And I said, What is
4 this? And they said, Here. It was the raw footage and the documentary.
5 So I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
6 Q. Thank you. By the way, now that we've mentioned notes, during
7 the interview you said to us that at your home in America, you may have
8 some notes from that period of time. Could we count on your kindness, if
9 you manage to dig them up, to provide us with your journalistic notes
10 from that time? We will observe any restriction on publishing names, for
11 instance, if that is what you ask for.
12 A. I would be happy to go back and look for my notes, but I do not
13 think that I would be prepared to hand them over for a variety of
14 reasons, not least of which would be the -- the jeopardy that it would be
15 able to put sources in. I also think that it's not -- it's not
16 appropriate in the sense that -- for the same reason that you were
17 suggesting with -- with Mr. Pirocanac, that notes are themselves
18 appropriate. We make the decisions on what is important when we -- when
19 we write the stories.
20 The other thing is, I'm not sure you'd be able to read my
22 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. I wonder if I could
23 intervene here and try to be just a little bit more specific with
24 Mr. Block. And that is that we were wondering whether or not he would be
25 willing to look through his notes of his meeting with
1 Mr. Petrovic-Pirocanac on the 18th of July, 1995, and if there are any
2 notes that exist of that conversation, to make a photocopy of them and
3 send them to the Trial Chamber so that we could determine whether or not
4 there was any reference made during -- to Dr. Karadzic in that
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE KWON: Fair enough. Can you answer the question,
8 Mr. Block?
9 THE WITNESS: I don't believe that I'm prepared to go that far,
10 and I'll explain why. There are many in the journalist community who are
11 opposed to assisting a body like this in the belief that somehow this
12 exposes them to great ever danger, that somehow by testifying in a trial
13 of this nature that somehow whatever veneer, thin veneer of objectivity
14 and partiality we have, that somehow it's stripped of that. And I don't
15 share that assessment fully. I believe that we are here in some ways in
16 service of our journalism and that what we publish is what we deem to be
17 important in how we weigh the information. It goes through a complicated
18 process that is often rooted in time and by experience, and I think that
19 being able to here to -- come here to be able to help give context and
20 background to my reporting is one thing, but to hand over raw notes I
21 think crosses a line that I'm not prepared to do.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 MR. ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. President, would it be possible to be
24 heard on an issue that arises from this, whether it be now to excuse the
25 witness or at later time, but I think this would affect the admissibility
1 of that aspect of his testimony and I'd like to be heard on that at some
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE KWON: You'll be heard later on, Mr. Robinson.
5 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you take notes when you spoke to ordinary people that you
9 refer to -- or, rather, you refer to the content of your conversations
10 with them in your texts.
11 A. I'm not sure I understand the question. I was trying to think
12 when you just asked me if I took notes when I spoke to Pirocanac. I
13 mean, to be quite honest, I'm not sure I did because I think it was a
14 conversation. There were some cases in which notes would be taken
15 immediately, when you would sit in front of someone and you'd be taking
16 notes. At other times you would have a conversation and you would record
17 the gist of those conversations or you would jot down what was said in
18 your memory, which is also reasons sometimes why we'll have recorders or
19 when you report with another journalist so that you both agree to -- that
20 you understand what was said.
21 It's a question of what makes people nervous or what would make
22 people comfortable. If someone becomes very nervous that you're sitting
23 there taking down every word that they're saying, then it becomes
24 counter-productive to being able to figure out -- to obtain information
25 or to figure out what had happened.
1 In a country like the former Yugoslavia which had a Socialist
2 past, often standing in front of someone with a notepad was
3 counter-productive to people explaining what happened. It gave them --
4 it seemed that they were being interviewed in a police-like situation.
5 So yes, in some cases I had notes when I was sitting down
6 directly in front of -- talking to people. And other times, the notes
7 were constructed after they had -- after they had, for example, left --
8 left you or -- so I'm not sure again I understand the question, but, yes,
9 when I talked to ordinary people I would take notes. Other times I just
10 formed part of a general background that I was already aware of.
11 Q. Thank you. Now I'll try to put questions to you that you'll find
12 easy to answer by saying yes or no. I'm afraid we won't have time to
13 cover everything in the time that has been allocated to me.
14 Do you agree that in July 1995, we did not have a relationship
15 with Serbia and President Milosevic? There was a quarrel between us, and
16 the embargo on the border was still in force?
17 A. Not something that I can completely answer with a yes or no
18 question [sic]. Yes, the official relations were strained, but there was
19 still a tremendous amount of support that took place and a lot of --
20 there was a lot of smuggling that the authorities turned a blind eye to,
21 and there was also a large amount of evidence to suggest that despite
22 fact that Mr. Milosevic was not fond of you, that when it came to
23 providing support to make sure that the Republika Srpska project did not
24 collapse, he would swallow his pride and make sure you had what you
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
2 MR. MITCHELL: Well, Mr. President, I was going to object to the
3 vagueness of the question, just the reference to a relationship, but I
4 think the witness handled it sufficiently.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. But this much you knew about our conditions. You agree that
10 Serbia requested that we accept the Contact Group plan and only
11 humanitarian items went through, and the political leadership had no
12 contact. The political leadership of the two sides had no contact at the
14 A. Again, yes, it is true that Milosevic supported the Contact Group
15 plan on the surface, but I do think that both sides had various ways to
16 pass messages when the time came.
17 An example of this was that I would often be able to be in
18 Belgrade and know exactly what was happening in Pale and in other areas
19 of Republika Srpska, and I heard this information often through political
20 channels close to President Milosevic, and the information that I would
21 receive would -- would -- would be validated. So when -- yes, I do not
22 think that you were -- it is my impression that the -- while you may not
23 have been talking, that you were able to exchange messages when you
24 needed to.
25 Q. Did you exclude the work of the secret services? Do you accept
1 that the Serbian Secret Service was operational in Republika Srpska
2 without me being aware of the fact?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. On page 18, line 20, today you said that you not only
5 heard that the Serbian leadership was very angry, you also heard that the
6 government of the Bosnian Serbs had confiscated this tape. Do you
7 believe that under such conditions in which we had a quarrel with
8 official Belgrade, do you believe that under such conditions we could
9 have confiscated some tape from some television channel that wasn't
10 favourably disposed towards us?
11 A. Well --
12 JUDGE KWON: Just a second before you answer.
13 Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
14 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I think that's starting to get --
15 call for a very speculative answer from the witness. What means were
16 available to the RS government to get a tape cannot be something within
17 this witness's knowledge.
18 JUDGE KWON: If he knows -- can he not answer as far as he knows?
19 Yes, please proceed, Mr. Block.
20 THE WITNESS: What I can say is that Republika Srpska clearly had
21 government organs in Belgrade, including a press office and places where,
22 you know, the officials of the intelligence services would have access to
23 each other. I don't think it was beyond the purview or reach of the
24 Republika Srpska to make a request and be allowed to confiscate the
25 tapes. At the same time, I'm under no illusion that the tapes did no
1 favour to the Belgrade government of Mr. Milosevic. So I think it was in
2 everyone's interest to make these tapes go away. And again, if what
3 Dr. Karadzic is asking me is if the tapes could have been confiscated
4 from a Belgrade TV station without Mr. Milosevic's permission or without
5 the Yugoslav intelligence community's permission, I think he's right.
6 There would have been very little chance of that. But I think in this
7 particular case you would not have any argument between the two that
8 these were best to -- to disappear.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I'm not sure this is a translation
10 issue. In your question you said Mr. Block said, page 18, line 20, the
11 government of Bosnian Serbs had confiscated this tape, but I don't think
12 this is what Mr. Block said. He said Bosnian Serb authorities
13 confiscated, and then it was military leadership, to that effect.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Perhaps I misspoke, but the
15 authorities, not the government but the authorities of the government in
16 any case.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Block, I don't dispute the fact that you heard something. I
19 bring into question the source that said it was possible for this to
20 happen in the middle of Belgrade in Studio B that wasn't favourable to us
21 and they would publish that. If Milosevic had intervened at all, they
22 would have broadcast everything. They would have made it known. Do you
24 A. As I said previously, Studio B was a bit of a chameleon. They
25 were critical when they wanted to be critical and were cheerleaders when
1 they wanted to be cheerleaders. Trying to guess what area, what mood
2 they were in at the time was not very important to me. We were told by
3 Studio B that there were Bosnian Serb authorities that came by to collect
4 the tape, and I had no doubt that -- that they knew the difference
5 between Yugoslav authorities and people who were coming in from --
6 representing an outside authority, and I took them at their word.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that Mr. Pirocanac was there with the
8 approval of the authorities and a high-ranking police official?
9 A. Yes. That's -- that's, I believe, what -- what he said.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know, and I informed you about this in the
11 course of the interview, I asked whether you could check, that I agreed
12 that Peter Arnett, a well-known journalist, should follow the events in
13 Zepa and that he should be able film them with a camera. And this is
14 what he, in fact, did.
15 A. Yes. I checked and that was indeed the case.
16 Q. Thank you. What did Pirocanac himself tell you in relation to
18 A. I just recall that he said that he understood or that he had
19 heard that you were -- you were angry at the broadcast of his
21 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the Prosecution published an
22 interview with Mr. Pirocanac and went through those tapes second by
23 second, so to speak, in the year 2006?
24 A. I -- I know that they had -- that investigators had talked to
25 Mr. Pirocanac about -- about some missing sections in the tape. I don't
1 have any insight into what exactly they discussed or what they did.
2 Q. Did you find out that the investigator here testified that
3 perhaps 20 seconds were missing that were accidentally deleted in the
4 course of the conversation and Pirocanac commented on the whole tape with
5 them? And we have this here. We have the material that was broadcast
6 on -- by Studio B here?
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
8 MR. MITCHELL: I just want a cite for the investigator who
9 testified that 20 seconds were missing.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Blaszczyk testified and said
12 that he saw the button being accidentally pressed that deleted 20 seconds
13 at the most and he testified to this effect recently. Mr. Blaszczyk is
14 the name.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mitchell, are you satisfied with this
17 MR. MITCHELL: I would like a specific cite, if possible.
18 JUDGE KWON: You are contending the amount of time that was
20 MR. MITCHELL: That would be the starting point. I don't think
21 Mr. Blaszczyk could have seen the deletion of the footage that is at
22 issue here. So I want to look at what section of the transcript he's
23 citing to, to see exactly what Mr. Blaszczyk was talking about.
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let us continue in the meantime. What
25 is your question, Mr. Karadzic?
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. My question was as follows -- I'll move ahead and wait until we
3 find the relevant page in the transcript, but my question -- the question
4 I wanted to ask was as follows: I wanted to show what Mr. Pirocanac said
5 in relation to myself.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see 65 ter 454761 [as
7 interpreted], this interview between Mr. Blaszczyk and Nicholls with
8 Zoran Petrovic-Pirocanac, who obtained his Ph.D. in the meantime and is
9 now involved in research, scientific research.
10 It's the first page. Could we see page 112 in the English
11 version, please. Perhaps we don't need the Serbian version, unless it's
12 for the benefit of the public.
13 From line 23. Could we have a look at the part that starts at
14 line 23.
15 This doesn't look like the same page that I have. Perhaps
16 something isn't quite in order. Could we see the part where it says
17 "Krajisnik." The page where it says "Krajisnik." I see. We need to
18 move ahead three pages. That's the page we need. It's page 115.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Have a look here and see what Mr. Pirocanac's answer is. Have a
21 look at the part that starts at line 16, for example. And then line 20,
22 it says:
23 [As read] "The leadership of Bosnian Serbs, Krajisnik, and others
24 asked [In English] Studio B and me to send them a copy the same as the
25 next day it was aired, and I remember and I know the guy. His name is
1 Zoran. He is now on "Politika." He could confirm that we sent by bus a
2 copy to them, to Pale. They were still together. I don't know if
3 Karadzic saw it, but most of them saw it. And if there they -- if you
4 ask Krajisnik now if he remembers that, that it was very well done. This
5 is -- my conclusion is that this was the moment they were -- and they
6 heard about what's going on and they could stop to the completely --" and
7 so on.
8 [Interpretation] Briefly, Pirocanac had information according to
9 which the Serbian side requested a copy and not the original. The copy
10 was sent, and the Serbian leadership thought that this had been done very
11 well, that the report he made was a good one.
12 A. If that was the -- if that were the case, then I do not
13 understand the reason for his agitated state when I saw him two days
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can see Mr. Nicholls [as
16 interpreted] is up, but I'd like to have a look at the part that starts
17 three pages later. Should I put my question to the witness or --
18 JUDGE KWON: No. Just -- yes, Mr. Mitchell.
19 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I just wanted to go back to this --
20 Dr. Karadzic's question on page 53, line 17, where he put to the witness
21 that Mr. Blaszczyk testified and said that he saw the button being
22 accidentally pressed and deleting 20 seconds at the most, and he
23 testified to this recently. And I think what Mr. Karadzic is referring
24 to is at transcript page 23609. Mr. Blaszczyk was testifying
25 specifically about the Kravica warehouse footage, about the length of
1 that particular piece, and he didn't say anything about seeing the button
2 pressed and being accidentally deleted. So I'm not sure if it was a
3 translation error or misunderstanding, but I think basically everything
4 in that question was a misrepresentation.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Mitchell.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we see the part
7 that starts three pages later?
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. While we're waiting for that part, Mr. Block, when material is
10 provided, sold, or being bought, do colleagues get involved in bargaining
11 of some kind or certain policies are pursued? Is the price increased and
12 so on and so forth?
13 A. Yes. Someone in the broadcast world, when you have unique
14 footage, then, yes, it is up for grabs, so to speak, and often available
15 to the highest bidder. Sometimes a broadcast journalist can -- can sell
16 initial access to a buyer with the understanding that he will then later
17 release the footage to others at a less expensive price. So the various
18 networks or TV stations will fight to have the right to the footage
19 first. And it also varies from market to market. Sometimes, you know,
20 you get the highest price for the first airing of it. In -- in, for
21 example, the United States because it is a rich country and it has a
22 large market you would ask one price, but you would demand a smaller
23 price in a country like the Netherlands. But if they wanted to be the
24 first one to broadcast some unique footage that you had, chances are you
25 would ask them for a high price.
1 Q. Thank you. And did Mr. Pirocanac, if we bear all that in mind,
2 increase the value of his work by saying how much it cost him and by
3 referring to the pressure he was under? Can you find an explanation for
4 this, because you can see what he says here.
5 A. Okay. You're asking me a little bit -- I don't know because I'm
6 not in the -- I was not in the broadcast world, although I do understand
7 how it works.
8 I had the impression in part that one of the reasons that he was
9 irritated with me was because he felt that we had in a sense broadcast
10 his tape, although it was done in writing, without any kind of
11 compensation or permission, and that was part of the issue.
12 When you talk about the missing sections, and I don't know if you
13 asked me a question about that earlier, if I was aware of the missing
14 sections, but I was aware of the missing section almost immediately,
15 because very soon after the tape went missing, copies -- Zoran was -- was
16 making deals with television stations for footage, and the footage that
17 he was selling them did have these gaps in it, which seemed to be rather
18 convenient because they happened to be over the -- the parts that were
19 the ones that I had seen and reported on and seemed to be the most
20 problematic for -- for -- for him or for his sources.
21 I never saw the footage that I saw that original day in Belgrade
22 until years later when I think a Dutch television station had managed to
23 unearth a copy and asked me if this was what I had originally seen.
24 So, yes, I believe, and this is also what I understand from
25 friends that Zoran and I have in common, was that he was sitting on a
1 journalistic gold mine of sorts. He had footage that everybody wanted.
2 He also had footage that seemed to put him crossways with his sources and
3 benefactors inside the Bosnian Serb and Yugoslav military establishment,
4 so he had to find a way in which he felt that he was able to benefit
5 journalistically and financially from what he had.
6 And what I believe what the result was, was the footage that has
7 become familiar to many of us now, which is the tape with gaps in it, and
8 I think that in this way he felt that -- obviously he sold these pieces
9 so he knew that -- what he was doing, and I can only speculate as to why
10 the gaps and how those gaps occurred, but I think that in his mind, that
11 without those sections, it was less problematic for him with his -- with
12 his sources.
13 Q. Thank you. Could we have a look at the previous page. The pages
14 are a little muddled because of the printing.
15 Have a look at the part that starts at line 18. It says:
16 [As read] "[In English] So I don't remember who, but they were,
17 for sure, contacted and they sent a copy. And the -- the return of this
18 was -- I was told by somebody that it was very well done, very honestly,
19 journalistically and objectively. It's interesting now when you see all
20 the people there and who was in what -- what this meant exactly, you
21 know. So maybe it's useful for you to -- for you for somebody [sic]
22 else." Probably to ask somebody else.
23 [Interpretation] Did you know that I was still on good terms with
24 Mr. Pirocanac, and afterwards, after that event, I gave him a lengthy
25 interview, and that was also the case in the course of the war prior to
1 that event?
2 A. I did not know this until you informed me about it the other
4 Q. Thank you. Now you just mentioned the civilian authorities, but
5 you also mentioned the military. Do you agree that we had our
6 conversation in this building and not in the Detention Unit?
7 A. Yes. We met here, not far away, last week.
8 Q. Do you know why we met here and not in the Detention Unit?
9 A. I assume it's because you had finished the day's hearings and
10 that it was just more convenient to meet here.
11 Q. But that wasn't the case. It's because the Detention Unit
12 administration won't allow journalists in.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, what's the relevance?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness mentioned
15 the army. If the Detention Unit will not accept journalists, how would
16 the army at the front line accept journalists? I wanted to ask him
17 whether someone else like Pirocanac could have been present at the front
18 line. The army has its position about such matters. The civilian
19 authorities had a different position.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So do you agree that given that Pirocanac had police
22 authorisation and Peter Arnett had my authorisation, the civilian
23 authorities didn't impose any restrictions under such conditions, but
24 when we're dealing with the army, well, that's a different matter?
25 A. I think what you're asking me is did I -- do I realise that the
1 military put restrictions on journalists. Absolutely. And did civilian
2 authorities -- were they able to overcome those -- those restrictions?
3 Is that what you're asking me?
4 Yes. The military did put restrictions on journalists, and often
5 from my experience was if you had permission from civilian authorities,
6 they did not always trump military orders in the field. And this would
7 not necessarily come from even high up. You could have low-level
8 officers or non-commissioned officers basically refusing to honour a
9 piece of paper or a delegate who had been sent to accompany you. Often
10 this was done, from my experience, because they were not informed, they
11 did not hear the order directly from their superior, and they did not
12 want to make a mistake. I -- to be quite honest, it was -- you could get
13 in trouble for allowing a journalist entry to an area. You could never
14 get in trouble for not allowing a journalist into an area.
15 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Block, now, you mentioned that -- the
16 now-familiar footage with the gaps.
17 THE WITNESS: Mm-hmm.
18 JUDGE BAIRD: Are you in a position to tell us what is the -- how
19 long the period were of those gaps at all?
20 THE WITNESS: I never timed them myself, but there was one in
21 which I remember the commentary over them. They were -- there was one
22 short gap in which I believe someone was playing with children or talking
23 to children and you hear children's voices, and then in another section
24 you heard Zoran apparently -- or someone talking about a shell on the
25 ground, and that was of longer duration.
1 All I remember was what seemed to me to be that was most
2 glaringly excised from what was made available to journalists were the
3 scenes in front of the warehouse at Kravica and scenes in front of the
4 white house where they were pictures on -- of Serbian -- of Bosnian men
5 from Srebrenica being detained.
6 There were a lot of -- there was a lot of footage that I had seen
7 that was from the raw footage that I've never seen duplicated anywhere,
8 but clearly from that tape that I remember that he made available, those
9 seemed to be the two missing sections.
10 In terms of the length, I don't recall.
11 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you very much.
12 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was waiting for the interpreters,
14 Your Excellency.
15 Can we have a look at the transcript, page 23575, lines 9 through
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Blaszczyk says:
19 "[In English] Yes, that's correct. This footage is not -- not on
20 the raw material handed over to us, and if we compare the time-code from
21 the raw material, we see that originally there is missing about
22 11 seconds of recording."
23 [Interpretation] So the whole gap lasts for only 11 seconds as
24 established by the investigators. And that's the only difference between
25 that and the raw material they received. Do you take the investigator's
1 word for it?
2 JUDGE KWON: That's with respect to specific footage.
3 Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
4 MR. MITCHELL: That was going to be my observation,
5 Mr. President. There's a number sections that are missing, and again
6 this is a reference to a specific section, not a combination of the times
7 of all of the missing sections. So Mr. Karadzic needs to be very clear
8 when he's putting these times to Mr. Block what the significance is.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you Mr. Mitchell.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. On the next page there is a reference to 24 seconds missing.
12 That seems to be the time I noted. No, not the next page but page 23609.
13 [As read] "[In English] Definitely it was the part these
14 24 seconds recorded over in the raw footage where we see the ratio
15 package and the blank portion."
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. There is something that I am interested in a lot. Were you in a
20 situation to verify what you could hear from your sources? Were you in a
21 position to verify it, and did you invest an effort to check the accuracy
22 of what you were told?
23 A. In -- in reference to the numbers of people killed?
24 Q. First and foremost concerning me being angry and that the Bosnian
25 Serb authorities confiscated the tape. Well, to tell the truth, you did
1 say today that it wasn't important to you, but were you otherwise in a
2 situation to verify the accuracy of what you heard from someone else,
3 which is second- or third-level hearsay, something you weren't able to
4 observe yourself?
5 A. Okay. In the case about the rumours of you, as I said, no, I
6 never made any attempt to corroborate them. They were not a subject
7 of -- of reporting.
8 In terms of validating whether the tapes were confiscated under
9 the orders of the Bosnian Serb authorities, yes, I validated that. And I
10 find it very interesting to look at the section of Mr. Petrovic's
11 statement when he talks about that copies were requested.
12 Language was a very interesting issue in the former Yugoslavia,
13 and one man's request is often another man's order for confiscation. So
14 I don't think that there is necessarily a problem. What ends up
15 happening is that tapes were sent to Pale, as I understood, at the
16 request or orders, depending on how you want to term them, from the
17 Bosnian Serb authorities and indeed that's where they went, and the tapes
18 were never seen again as far as I am aware. And I did validate the fact
19 that the orders came from the Bosnian Serb authorities. Again, when it
20 came to the fact that I had heard that you were mad, no, I did not put
21 any reporting energy into validating that.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the army, too, had a camera on site
23 and that on that military footage we can see Pirocanac's camera? In
24 other words, did you know that the army, too, were taping some of the
25 events in Srebrenica?
1 A. Yes. I -- I had understood that there were -- not only that the
2 army was taping it, that some units had their own video cameras, and that
3 also that Republika Srpska TV had a journalist who had managed to make it
4 to the Bratunac area and was also doing some filming.
5 Q. Thank you. Could we now focus on some other topics. You
6 published an article, and I will ask for it to be shown in e-court. It
7 was on the 14th of July.
8 Can you tell us how an article is created and sent?
9 A. There's not a single answer to that. Effectively, articles can
10 be ordered by editors, in some case even publishers. More often than
11 not, however, if a reporter has a particular beat or area of expertise,
12 he is expected to -- he or she are expected to cover that area as best
13 they can and to provide a regular flow of stories and information.
14 I was very familiar with the eastern area of Bosnia along the
15 Drina River. Actually, I had -- was in Yugoslavia, the former
16 Yugoslavia, just before the Srebrenica attack had occurred. I had flown
17 there and had been working on getting an interview with
18 General Ratko Mladic, and once I had secured the interview and published
19 it, I decided to go back home and see my family, only to find out a few
20 days later that there was a military build-up, which actually I think it
21 was just beginning as I left, in the eastern area.
22 The attack commences a few days after I'm back, I believe, and at
23 that time when Srebrenica fell, I was asked by my editors to see if I
24 could call sources and the authorities and the press centres in Belgrade
25 and in Pale and speak to humanitarian agencies through the numbers that I
1 had that were in Zagreb and Tuzla, as well as in Belgrade, and try to get
2 a little bit more information behind what was coming across on the wire
3 agencies which most newspapers and radio stations and TV stations rely on
4 when they don't have their own people in the area.
5 And so I had read the reports that were coming across the
6 agencies, the wires, as we call them, and then made a few phone calls
7 into the area to say this is what Reuters is saying, or this is what the
8 AP is saying, this is what "The New York Times" is carrying. Is this
9 accurate? Is this so? What are you hearing? And, you know, like
10 everything else, you weigh the information based on who is reliable to
11 you in the past and how much detail they have, and a story is put
13 Once a story is put together, it then needs to be able to fit in
14 a space that it's allotted in the newspaper or even on air, and that
15 often involves editing. Sometimes your editor will come back to you and
16 demand that you have an allegation or assertion in a story that does not
17 appear to be backed up by the information that follows, and you may be
18 asked to go back and to get more information or a decision may be to cut
19 it out.
20 Often the worst fights that happen between editors and reporters
21 is over how much space they're given to tell their story, and then what
22 kind of cuts are made to the story.
23 Usually on stories like this where I am not on site, I would be
24 given much less space to tell a story than if I were actually there at
25 the time. But that's -- that's a quick snapshot of the process.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have P4396. It was
3 admitted today.
4 JUDGE KWON: We have it now.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I wanted to ask you this: Were you able to observe that the
7 opposing sides were trying to smear each other and that they were
8 one-sided? In other words, they were not objective concerning each
9 other's activities. Were you able to see that yourself?
10 A. Absolutely. If -- there seemed to be a -- a tendency, indeed an
11 obsession in the former Yugoslavia for everyone to make a mad dash
12 towards victimhood, and anything that ever happened was immediately
13 announced and exaggerated, and often massacres would be inflated and
14 atrocities would be exaggerated. This was very common, and it made our
15 job harder because it sometimes could take months to untangle the
16 stories. But it was -- you know, this was not a secret to any of us in
17 the foreign press corps, to any of us covering the former Yugoslavia
18 that -- that everyone was there trying to present their cause in the best
19 light and to -- to, as I say, make a mad dash towards presenting
20 themselves as the true victims. Victimhood seemed to be the
21 justification that every side used to -- to inflict revenge and to kill
22 the other side. So it seemed to me that everybody wanted to -- to have
23 their victims and to display them in the most sometimes macabre fashion.
24 Q. Thank you. In that regard, do you agree with me that in the
25 first paragraph you adopt from someone the term that they were deported,
1 and in the next paragraph, apparently 40.000 people were trucked away.
2 Were you able to get information about the meetings of
3 General Mladic and Muslim representatives who were asking to leave, and
4 did you have information that it was the UN who asked that the civilians
5 in Srebrenica be allowed to leave, which was something that was going on
6 around the time of this article. Actually, before it, because the
7 meetings in question took place on the 11th and the 12th.
8 A. This was an initial report from the -- from the front lines. It
9 was in response to agency reports and what had been coming out of -- from
10 information that had been coming out from the UNHCR in Tuzla. The
11 process behind it all was not at this time clear, I think, to anybody.
12 Q. Thank you. The article was probably written on the 13th if it
13 was published on the 14th; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Thank you. In line [as interpreted] four -- well, you did put it
16 in quotation marks, but apparently there were alarming news about two
17 girls who were separated by the Bosnian Serb Army. Did you attempt to
18 verify whether it indeed happened? It is in paragraph four of the text.
19 A. No. I was just reporting what had been told to me by UNHCR
20 officials from what they had heard. Again, these were very initial
21 reports coming out, and at the time I believe I was in London, so it
22 would have been very difficult for me to have done more than quick
23 interviews. As I said in response to your question earlier, you will
24 notice that this story is not very long and precisely it's because it
25 wasn't any kind of enterprise journalism. It was a response to the
1 events that we had heard, and it was our attempt to verify very quickly
2 and just give a very quick overview of what information was coming out of
3 the area. As a matter of fact, it was -- immediately after I wrote this
4 story, I was sent home to pack my bags and to get ready to fly to
5 Budapest where I would be picked up and given a ride into Belgrade. So I
6 wrote this story, and I ran home and went to Yugoslavia to try to provide
7 greater understanding and context to the initial stories that were coming
9 Q. Thank you. So one needs to take into account that such initial
10 texts had to be shorter and incomplete; correct?
11 A. I don't know if I would say "incomplete," but you -- the scope of
12 your information was much more limited by virtue of the fact that you
13 were speaking on phone lines to -- which were sometimes very unreliable
14 and you couldn't always get ahold of what you -- you know, who you wanted
15 to, and so there's no substitute to being there or being as close as you
16 can. And under the circumstances, I think this was the best and most
17 complete job that we could have done at the time and recognising that is
18 why I think my bosses and I agreed that I should immediately go back
19 to -- to Belgrade and to try to get to the area to -- to figure out what
20 was rumour and what was fact.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have 65 ter 21961. It
23 may well be a P exhibit by now. P4398.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you have the name of the person, the woman, you talked to
1 concerning this information?
2 A. There were -- there are two, and, yes, we got their names at the
4 Q. Thank you. Could we have the names, please, so that we can check
5 the information they had then?
6 A. If I wanted their names known, I would have published them at the
8 Q. Today you mentioned exaggerations. Were you able to confirm
9 through later research the information contained in paragraph 3 about a
10 field in Bratunac knee-deep in blood?
11 Today it was page 11, line 20, in the transcript.
12 Is this an exaggeration, or are you able to confirm that there
13 were killings in that field knee-deep in blood? Were there any killings
14 at all?
15 A. Let me go down a little further into the article, if I may, and
16 see if I can find something that I think is very important. The next --
17 the next page, I believe, it's on. Is there a second page of the
18 article? Okay.
19 First off, if you read on the article, you'll also see very
20 carefully that I question -- I give myself some leeway, because, you
21 know, numbers are very difficult to validate in these kinds of
22 circumstances. There was enough information to indicate that, as I said,
23 large numbers, and I was reporting what I was told and I [indiscernible]
24 say if the numbers are accurate. But what I want to do is in the next
25 two paragraphs, we talk about how until now:
1 "News of Bosnian Serb atrocities against Muslims who tried to
2 flee the fallen 'safe areas' has been emerging from the testimony of
3 refugees from Srebrenica for over a week, and the Bosnian authorities
4 estimate 10.000 people are still unaccounted for.
5 "But the horrors ... now surfacing come from Serbs, not Muslims,
6 and refer specifically to men who surrendered or men who have been taken
7 prisoner. It will be difficult for the Bosnian Serb authorities to
8 dismiss their accounts as enemy propaganda."
9 Now, the reason I put these paragraphs in there was precisely --
10 goes back to the very reason that Dragan and I were in the car and had
11 this holy shit moment, when we turned to each other trying to digest what
12 we had just been told about how the killings were taking place and the
13 sheer numbers, and that is, usually the exaggerations and the
14 overemphasis on killings was always done by each side. It seemed that
15 Croats were always happy to talk about the number of Croats killed in a
16 particular incident and to exaggerate the numbers, and Muslims did the
17 same and Serbs did exactly the same.
18 What was very unusual about this case were that these were not
19 the victims talking about themselves. These were, in fact, the Serbs
20 talking about the people that they were supposedly killing, about the
21 number of people -- and this was extraordinary, because I had never come
22 across that before. And this is why it was so shocking and this is why
23 we ran back to Belgrade, because we figured if -- if this news had been
24 crossing in to Serbia proper and it was as well known as these people
25 claimed it was, then obviously this news had to be known by people with
1 greater visibility into the area than I had, which is why we bent back.
2 So the answer was, first off, that the exaggeration did not apply
3 in this case to the same degree because it did not make sense that
4 Bosnian Serbs would want to exaggerate why they were killing so many
5 people. It didn't -- if any case, the usual practice were to basically
6 downplay the number of people you killed to justify, you know -- to
7 counter the enemy propaganda of how many people they claimed were killed.
8 So that was the first thing.
9 To answer your question, what we were able to validate was, as I
10 said in my earlier testimony, was that the playground and the hangar were
11 themes that had constantly come up in conversations with people who had
12 been in that area, and the expression "krv do kolena," "blood to your
13 knee," was something that I had heard for the first time, the expression,
14 in this area and I had heard it repeatedly. So whether it was a figure
15 of speech or not, it certainly was something that was in common currency
16 and was an allegation that was surfacing continuously, again, from Serbs
17 from Serbia who had access to the region either for family reasons or
18 they wanted to see what was happening and from the Bosnian Serbs
19 themselves who either had fled the area or had gone back to the area
20 because they fled the area earlier and wanted to see what was happening.
21 So this was not something that I was told only once but actually had been
22 told repeatedly.
23 Q. Thank you. It would be very good if we had more time so that
24 your answers could be that lengthy, but I have to ask you for answers
25 that are as short as possible because of our lack of time.
1 In the next paragraph you say:
2 "[In English] The reasons suggested for the reported brutality go
3 back to the first year of the war when Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica
4 managed to break the siege of the town and razed several nearby Serb
5 villages, killing many Serb civilians in the process.
6 "Now that the Srebrenica enclave has been overrun, the Bosnian
7 Serbs want revenge."
8 [Interpretation] You wrote about Bjelovac [Realtime transcript
9 read in error "Bijeljina"], the torching of Bjelovac. We'll take a look
10 at that later.
11 Do you agree that Serbs around Srebrenica were angry at Oric and
12 the Serbs, say, around Trebinje were angry at someone else? Did you see
13 for yourself that these animosities were the result of mutual killings,
14 that they were localised and aimed against specific persons in specific
16 It's not Bijeljina, it was Bjelovac. The transcript -- for the
18 A. Yes. The Serbian population around Srebrenica was extremely
19 hostile to the inhabitants of Srebrenica and to their military, towards
20 their military commanders, and in particular Naser Oric who commanded
21 them. It was no secret, and I think that the anger and the hatred was
22 perhaps more intense in this area precisely because Oric was particularly
23 successful, perhaps more successful than any other area of -- of Bosnia,
24 in fending off Bosnian Serb attacks and indeed being able to strike
25 seemingly at will in attacking Serb villages in the area.
1 So I think to most Serbs, particularly Bosnian Serbs from the
2 region, but I think much -- in a much wider area, Srebrenica represented
3 a red flag. It was an open sore that was rather infuriating to them. So
4 I think, yes, there was a lot of prejudice and a lot of hatred on a local
5 level on a lot of areas. It was just more so in the Srebrenica area.
6 Q. Thank you. If you don't want to tell us the name of this woman,
7 can you tell us whether she was a person in authority or was she an
8 ordinary person, the woman who told you about the numbers?
9 A. She was the wife of a Bosnian Serb officer, or she described
10 herself as the wife of a Bosnian Serb officer.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, you tell me when the
13 time is right. For the break, that is.
14 JUDGE KWON: We will take a break, if it is convenient, for an
15 hour. And we'll resume at 1.35.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.38 p.m.
18 JUDGE KWON: Before we continue, the Chamber will now issue an
19 oral ruling on the accused's request that Ljubomir Obradovic be heard
21 The Chamber notes that in his 290-page transcript from the
22 Tolimir case which is sought for admission under Rule 92 ter, the witness
23 gives detailed evidence about the structure and functioning of the
24 Main Staff. The Chamber considers that, contrary to the accused's
25 argument, this evidence is relevant to the charges in the indictment.
1 The Chamber further notes that the witness provides ample
2 evidence about events in Zepa after July 1995, which are not charged in
3 the indictment. The Chamber does not consider that the evidence with
4 respect to Zepa is irrelevant in that it maybe useful to better
5 understood the aftermath of the Srebrenica alleged events of July 1995
6 and the alleged overarching joint criminal enterprise. However, if the
7 entire transcript in the Tolimir case is to be admitted, it may be
8 difficult for the accused to understand how much the Prosecution is
9 relying on the evidence relating to Zepa and how much he should
10 cross-examine such evidence.
11 In conclusion, the Chamber sees no reason to order that this
12 witness be led live and therefore considers that the evidence of this
13 witness may be received under Rule 92 ter, but orders that Prosecution
14 redact from the transcript the evidence related to Zepa and present this
15 evidence live to the extent it deems it necessary in the context of these
17 That given, let's continue.
18 Mr. Karadzic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Could you now please take a look at this text by your colleague,
22 1D5113. You certainly know that Mr. Cicic wrote texts as well?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could it please be zoomed in a bit
1 for the witness.
2 So this is his text or his article. He worked for AIM from
3 Belgrade. Can we now scroll down a bit. Thank you.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you see that paragraph where it says "UN representatives"?
6 Mr. Cicic is speaking about celebrating victory and that not all shots
7 are proper gunfire. There is "senluk" which is a Turkish word for
8 celebratory gunfire. Did you see that for yourself, that there was quite
9 a bit of shooting apart from battle, when something was being celebrated,
10 that is?
11 A. Yes. And I think in the text of my other article I had someone
12 who'd send someone in who'd heard some shooting and was told the same
13 thing, that this was celebratory gunfire.
14 Q. Thank you. In this paragraph we also see a confirmation of what
15 you said to us today, namely, that revenge played a very important role.
16 And Mr. Cicic says that there were killings without execution squads and
17 that people who had someone to avenge were actually called in. Some
18 people accepted that and others did not. Is that your experience as
20 A. That is -- that's what we heard. I believe I came to a slightly
21 different conclusion than Dragan, though, that it was a little bit more
22 methodical than how he portrays it here.
23 Q. Thank you. Yes. It refers to the stadium down here as a
24 location that was a possible defence centre.
25 "[In English] A few journalists who did get permits to go to Pale
1 after the Serbs had conquered Srebrenica were explicitly told that they
2 could take the road via Visegrad only, and it is quite impossible to get
3 to the region of Srebrenica and Bratunac by this road."
4 [Interpretation] Was it also your experience that the fighting in
5 the woods went on a lot longer and that roads were not safe?
6 A. We were told, and I think it was General Mladic who made a
7 statement saying that there were people trying to break out of the area
8 and that there was fighting and people being killed. It was not clear
9 immediately to us where -- where the fighting was and how intense it was,
10 but we were aware that -- that there was some fighting going on and that
11 some men had been captured in -- in the activity of -- of -- of fighting,
12 and they had either surrendered or been captured.
13 Q. Thank you. Take a look at the last paragraph, please:
14 "[In English] A Pale television crew managed to make a shot of
15 the prisoners at the stadium, but the film was confiscated by military
16 authorities. No violence against the confined men could be seen on the
18 [Interpretation] Is that what you also heard or learned, that the
19 Serb television from Republika Srpska had their film taken away from them
20 by our army?
21 A. Yes. I had heard the same, and I believe that what Dragan is
22 referring to is the same footage that we saw on a -- on the football
23 field at the stadium where prisoners were being made to stand up and sit
24 down and stand up and sit down. So there was no violence, but the men
25 were on the field, and they were clearly being ordered to do things.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page of this
3 text. The last paragraph, please.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Are you familiar with this text? Do you believe me if I say that
6 there is no mention of my asking for something to be kept from the
7 media -- or, actually, should I let you read the whole text?
8 A. I'm not sure. Which is the last paragraph you're referring to,
9 "The destiny of wounded Muslim soldiers?"
10 Q. "[In English] The leadership from Pale agreed to enable their
11 evacuation to the hospital in Tuzla by mediation of the International
12 Red Cross."
13 [Interpretation] It's a reference to the wounded but I'm asking
14 you about the entire text. Would you like to read all it or are you
15 going to trust me that, apart from this confiscation that was carried out
16 by the army vis-a-vis our own television, he does not mention at all any
17 kind of interference on my part. Do you trust me on that or would you
18 like to read all of it?
19 A. No, I've read the text after you presented me with it last week,
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted, this text?
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2084, Your Honours.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5116 [Realtime transcript read in
1 error "1D5516"]. Could we have that, please.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. My legal advisor Mr. Robinson e-mailed Mr. Cicic and now I'd like
4 to show you this. The letter of Mr. Robinson is at the bottom of the
5 page, as usual, and on the top of the page you see Mr. Cicic's answer.
6 Mr. Robinson is asking about the meeting with Pirocanac, and he's
7 asking whether he spoke about any anger on my part and so on. The
8 questions are less important, but here are the answers:
9 "[In English] Dear Mr. Robinson, in response to your query, I do
10 remember that Mr. Petrovic-Pirocanac said that he got in trouble with the
11 authorities of Republika Srpska because of his footage. I do not recall
12 whether he specifically mentioned Dr. Karadzic by name, though I did
13 assume at that time that his reference included all the people in the
14 leadership of Republika Srpska.
15 "I hope this is answer to [sic] your question.
16 "Sincerely, Dragan Cicic."
17 [Interpretation] So do you agree that as far as Mr. Cicic is
18 concerned that it was not noteworthy, otherwise he would have remembered
19 that? Don't you think?
20 A. As I said in my earlier responses to some of these questions, I
21 don't think it was really at the time in any way relevant. It was clear
22 that the authorities of Republika Srpska had ordered it. We had some
23 validation of this information, and I left it at that. I remember
24 Pirocanac saying that you were mad; Dragan doesn't. But again, it's not
25 something that we went out to devalidate. It wasn't something that was
1 of any particular significance at that time other than the fact that the
2 authorities had said, you know, We need that tape. That tape was
3 surrendered and it was not seen again.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 22, 1D05116. That would be
5 the right number. Thank you.
6 Now I'd like to show your article from 1994. Let us please --
7 actually, can this document be admitted, I mean the e-mail, the
9 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure whether it's necessary given that you
10 read out all the -- all the text. Let's follow our practice. We will
11 not admit this.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. 1D05117. Could we have
13 that, please. Thank you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Do you remember this text about arms smuggling into Bosnia at the
16 time, and is this text correct?
17 A. Yes. I think that history has shown this text is correct.
18 Q. Thank you. Can we see the bottom of the page as well, although
19 I'm sure that you're familiar with the entire text. All right.
20 And now could we have the next page, please.
21 "[In English] This strongly contrasted with the US reaction in
22 September 1992, when a similar Iranian plane landed in Zagreb loaded with
23 machine-guns, munitions and military personnel. Then the Americans not
24 only blew the whistle on the plane but forced a reluctant Croatian
25 government, which at that time was allied to the Bosnian Muslims, to
1 intercept the plane and turn it back."
2 [Interpretation] So as the war went on, more and more leeway was
3 given to the Muslims to bring in more and more weapons; right?
4 A. Yes, and as well as fighters from outside the area came in as
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Can this be
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2085, Your Honours.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. 1D05118, could we have
11 that, please.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Even before that text you were aware of the background of the war
14 and of the arming; right? Do you remember this text that you co-authored
15 with Leonard Doyle?
16 A. Yes, Leonard was "The Independent's" UN correspondent at the time
17 in New York.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the text please be displayed
19 for the witness to see.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Tell us when you'd like to see the next page, please.
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. Has time confirmed this knowledge concerning the Albanian mafia
24 that is now playing the lead role in the smuggling of heroin in Europe?
25 A. At the time, my understanding was that it seemed clear that that
1 was the case. What I don't know is -- I mean, this was -- I think our
2 evidence was being based on what police inspectors were suspecting. I
3 wondered many years later when the Kosovo conflict broke open with
4 Yugoslavia whether the arms were being stockpiled for their own use, but
5 that was just my own question. But there is no doubt about it that the
6 Albanian mafia was very involved in heroin, weapons, and cigarette
8 Q. Thank you. Bosnia, as we can see in the first paragraph, was
9 also involved in these illegal armings; right?
10 A. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Bosnians were -- were looking
11 for sources of weapons for wherever they could get it, absolutely.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2086, Your Honours.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. 1D05112. Could we have
16 that called up, please.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Do you remember this text? It's 1995, just before the end of the
20 A. Very well.
21 Q. Thank you. Can we scroll down a bit.
22 Was there a bit of excessive enthusiasm in this text? Do you
23 think that you overdid it a bit?
24 A. Overdid it in what sense, that I focused too much on
25 General Mladic or that the reaction of the crowd was overstated?
1 Q. Well, first of all, I mean the psychiatric diagnosis. You're not
2 a psychiatrist yourself, are you?
3 A. Well, we don't write headlines. We're just humble reporters.
4 The editors have the privilege of excess in headlines. But, no, I'm not
5 a psychiatrist.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this document be
7 admitted? Can we have a look at page 9.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. That is where you mention me as well. In the context of
10 disagreements with the military.
11 Do you remember these elements from this page?
12 A. Yes, very well.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this document be
15 JUDGE KWON: Exhibit D2087.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. In the amalgamated statement, you mentioned that Sonja, my
19 daughter who was in charge of the press centre, mentioned that you'd be
20 in danger if you were to come to Republika Srpska; is that right?
21 A. Well, that we would be arrested was the message.
22 Q. Thank you. During the interview, you confirmed that you knew
23 that she is not the one who arrests people, and you confirmed that you
24 understood that when applying for accreditation at the press centre, she
25 had to ask the security services, the State Security Service, and the
1 military security service; right?
2 A. Correct, but I also took from her statement that she was
3 certainly not going to argue our case, and she had no desire to see us
4 there either. Dragan and I were not very popular, especially after
5 the -- the story about the Petrocanac [sic] video, and I think even
6 before that.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D05111. Can we have a look at
8 that, please. Thank you.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So I think that this was a friendly warning, and perhaps you
11 don't think that. Let us see on the basis of what Sonja said to you that
12 you should not come.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is a translation of this
14 document, so could it please be called up. We've been waiting for almost
15 one hour to have it uploaded, and if that's not possible, could it please
16 be placed on the ELMO, the translation. We do have the translation here.
17 JUDGE KWON: Let us do that.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So this is the State Security Service, and they caught sight of
20 you already in January. And they are reporting that they noticed that
21 you visited trouble spots and that they did not understand all of your
22 activities as journalism, but as you said a moment ago, journalists were
23 often considered to be spies. So could you please take a look at this
25 A. Could you make it clearer somehow? It's hard to -- there we go.
1 Q. I am not accusing you. I am just indicating what it was that my
2 daughter relied on when she denied access. It didn't -- it wasn't made
3 up by herself.
4 A. Cool.
5 Q. Well, someone might praise you for your work, but our
6 State Security Service was quite alarmed, saying that your activities
7 should be followed as they may have an impact on the ability of the
8 country to defend itself.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit this.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2088, Your Honours.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have 1D5122. 05122. The
13 translation has not arrived yet. I just wanted to present the document
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. It also comes from the state security sector, from Banja Luka,
17 whereas the previous document was authored by the chief of state
18 security. From the Krajina, they seem to be reporting that Robert Block,
19 a journalist working for "The Independent," as well as Frank Westerman
20 and Adrian Brown of the BBC, have crossed the border near Gradiska,
21 entering the Republika Srpska in order to visit a 1st Corps press centre.
22 According to our sources, the aforementioned journalists, after visiting
23 the press centre and on his recommendation, contacted the municipal
24 president in Banja Luka and Louis Gentille, UNHCR mission head, and so on
25 and so forth.
1 Can we go on to the next page.
2 Did you indeed cross the border between Croatia and Republika
3 Srpska near Gradiska on the 23rd of January?
4 A. Oh, yeah. I used every trick in the book to cross wherever I
6 Q. Thank you. Gentille apparently said that pressure was being put
7 on the UNHCR delegation and that, in that context, a private shop, a
8 kiosk, was demolished.
9 Next, there is mention of you visiting a collection centre of
10 Serbs who had fled from the former BiH in Kosovo. Is that correct?
11 A. Yeah, it's possible. I don't -- I don't recall I -- I'd be more
12 comfortable seeing the translation, but from what I gather, yeah, it
13 sounds about right.
14 Q. Thank you. The last page, please. I'll read it out.
15 The chief of the CSB centre in Banja Luka says as follows, I
17 "The problem of entry of foreign journalists in Republika Srpska
18 along the described lines has been going on for a while and we have
19 informed you about that on a number of occasions but have not received
20 any information from you. We again stress and believe that due to a
21 timely approach to this problem, these categories of aliens should be
22 addressed by the ministries involved in terms of a position that needs to
23 be taken."
24 Do you agree that it seems there was quite some correspondence
25 about your presence there and that the state service deemed you to be
1 overly active, especially in military issues and that it was not the
2 assessment of the press centre?
3 A. There was a war. Of course I was very active in military issues.
4 It was what I was covering. And, yeah, I -- I like to think that I was
5 overly active, and I tended over the years to get under the skin of
6 intelligence agencies of several governments for my reporting. I wear it
7 as badge of honour.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. May it be admitted and
9 marked for identification pending translation?
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll mark it for identification as D2089, but
11 in the meantime, Mr. Karadzic, it's about time for you to conclude.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to show just one last
13 document, which is 1D05123, relating to the same topic. It is dated the
14 10th of February, 1994.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. So it seems you were watched and your movements observed daily,
17 basically from one hour to the next; correct?
18 A. I would think your security services were not doing their job if
19 they were not doing that.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to the last page where it
22 says -- this need not be broadcast. I need to protect the source.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Reference is made to your encounter with Lieutenant-Colonel
25 Milutinovic who complained to the fact that journalists are being granted
1 access to Republika Srpska without any prior screening or selection and
2 then sent to him to be interviewed. He complained that the behaviour of
3 certain representatives of this institution involved was unfair and he
4 asked of them and of the RS government that the status -- their status be
5 resolved in view of their rights. He also complained that there were
6 annual secret reports published by that institution and that you and
7 Frank Westerman gained insight into it.
8 Do you agree that indeed you were in contact with the institution
9 whose abbreviation you can see in the third paragraph?
10 The fourth paragraph, the second line, you see the abbreviation.
11 A. I don't know who that organisation is. I mean, if the
12 implication is that I was in contact with foreign intelligence forces and
13 was acting on their behalf, it's complete nonsense.
14 Q. No --
15 JUDGE KWON: Finish -- could the Chamber move into private
16 session? Without translation, it's very difficult to follow.
17 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We are now in open session.
8 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So you were familiar with the work of the UNHCR and the
11 objections the VRS had, in particular by Lieutenant-Colonel Milutinovic
12 about journalists and the UNHCR being one-sided. Were you able to hear
13 such objections?
14 A. Oh, all the time. It was the daily -- daily accusations were
15 made against foreign journalists by and large, particularly from America
16 and Britain, and some from other countries, as well as the HCR, is that
17 we were anti-Serb or pro-Muslim or pro-Croatian. You know, it's
18 something that -- it just became the background noise of the conflict. I
19 ignored it and did my job and figured as long as I was getting things
20 accurate and trying to, you know, turn the same level of attention on
21 every side, then I -- I was doing my job.
22 Q. Thank you. The last topic, Mr. Block. You were able to observe
23 that in Bijeljina, in RS, there was Janja and then there was
24 Bosanski Kobas and Dubocac, many Muslim villages that remained untouched
25 in Republika Srpska. Do you agree?
1 A. There were times that it was always unusual to see that there
2 were villages that for a while were -- some were allowed to exist for a
3 certain period of time and were later be -- would later be emptied or a
4 mosque would later be removed and that would cause people to want to
5 leave, but, yeah, there were areas in which Muslims -- Muslims lived.
6 They were there. They were nervous. It was -- you know, you can
7 understand why, but yes.
8 Q. Do you know that there were dozens of villages which remained
9 untouched and lived in peace until the end of the war? And on the other
10 hand, have you heard of a single Serb village in the federation which
11 managed to remain untouched until September 1995?
12 A. I -- I don't know the answer. Yes, I knew there were many
13 villages where Muslims were -- I don't know what their pre-war population
14 was and what it was by the end of the war. And in terms of Serb villages
15 on the Muslim side, there were -- there were Serbs in cities that were
16 under Bosnian control. Again, they weren't very happy or comfortable,
17 just like they were -- just like the Muslims in the other villages.
18 I don't know. I mean, certainly in the area around Srebrenica,
19 the Serbian villages were -- were cleansed, but again, you know, it was
20 a -- a messy situation, and it was not always easy to determine how
21 things unfolded and at what time. There were times that we were shown
22 villages, and often in the process of being shown villages it has a --
23 has an atmosphere of being a propaganda stunt. But, yes, there were --
24 there were exceptions to the rule on all sides, as far as I'm aware.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Block. I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark the last document as D2090.
2 Mr. Mitchell, do you have any re-examination?
3 MR. MITCHELL: I do, Mr. President, just briefly.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Mitchell:
5 Q. Mr. Block, earlier today, at page 52, Mr. Karadzic asked you
6 about his approval for Peter Arnett to go into Zepa and follow events
7 there. And then at page 60 he asked you further questions about military
8 restrictions on journalists and civilian restrictions on journalists and
9 whether the civilian authorities were able to overcome that, and I
10 just -- I have a couple of questions on this topic of restrictions of the
11 movement of journalists and who was in control of that.
12 MR. MITCHELL: And the first document I want to look at is
13 65 ter number 1905.
14 Q. This is an order by the VRS Main Staff on 13 July 1995, signed by
15 General Ratko Mladic, and I want to focus you in particular on
16 paragraphs 4 and 5, which says:
17 "In the area of combat operations in the wider areas of
18 Srebrenica and Zepa, prevent the entry of all local and foreign
19 journalists, except for the journalists of the VRS Main Staff
20 Press Centre."
21 And then paragraph 5:
22 "Ban and prevent the giving of information, the making of
23 announcements and statements to the media regarding the course, situation
24 and results of combat operations in this area and the overall activities
25 in this area, particularly on prisoners of war, evacuated civilians,
1 escapees and similar."
2 And my question regarding this document is very simple. Were you
3 aware in July 1995 that General Mladic had specifically ordered that
4 foreign journalists not be allowed into the area of Srebrenica?
5 A. No, I was not aware, but it was clear that there were no foreign
6 journalists there. So one could only assume that it would have been by
7 a -- by a -- someone senior in the authorities.
8 Q. Today at page 25 -- page 75 of the transcript, Mr. Karadzic read
9 to you part of Dragan Cicic's article in which he said:
10 "Few journalists who did get permits to go to Pale after the
11 Serbs had conquered Srebrenica were explicitly told that they could take
12 the road via Visegrad only, and it was quite impossible to get to the
13 region of Srebrenica and Bratunac by this road."
14 Now, I want to show you one more document related to the
15 movements of journalists to Pale on 16 July.
16 JUDGE KWON: Did you mean to tender that document, Mr. Mitchell,
17 the previous one?
18 MR. MITCHELL: I would like to tender that, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. The witness didn't confirm
21 anything about the document, so we object.
22 JUDGE KWON: Did he not confirm to a certain extent? He
23 confirmed that there were no foreign journalists, and then was it not
24 relevant to -- to his context?
25 MR. ROBINSON: Well, it's relevant. There's no question about
1 that, but whether there was an order from the VRS that prevented foreign
2 journalists from coming to that area is something that he himself didn't
3 know, so I don't think it should be admitted by way of a document like
4 this. But it's definitely relevant.
5 JUDGE KWON: And you do not challenge the authenticity.
6 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct.
7 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to respond, Mr. Mitchell?
8 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I think there's sufficient
9 foundation for admitting it through this witness. He's confirmed even
10 though he wasn't specifically aware that there was a ban in place, he can
11 certainly testify about the effect of that ban and has done so, so I
12 think that gives sufficient basis for its admission.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we agree with you, Mr. Mitchell. This will be
15 admitted as the next Prosecution Exhibit.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4407, Your Honours.
17 MR. MITCHELL:
18 Q. Now, Mr. Block, with that statement of Dragan Cicic in mind, that
19 a few journalists were allowed in but explicitly told that they could
20 take the road via Visegrad only, I want to show you one more document,
21 which is 65 ter 7981.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Apologies. Could Mr. Mitchell also
23 show us paragraph 2 where the route is mentioned, and it was the army who
24 came up with that route to go through Visegrad.
25 JUDGE KWON: What document are we talking about?
1 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, we're just about to get to who --
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
3 MR. MITCHELL: JUDGE KWON: -- authorised the route of that
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 MR. MITCHELL:
7 Q. You can see here this is another document of the VRS Main Staff
8 dated 16 July. And it says that it's sent to the command of the
9 1st Podrinje and the 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade and the
10 Drina Corps.
11 Before I ask you a question, Mr. Block, do you know where Dobrun
13 A. Mm-hmm.
14 Q. Can you tell us where that is?
15 A. I need to see on a map. I'm not sure what you're getting at. It
16 was in the middle of --
17 Q. Well, I'm asking is that the -- the same route that Dragan Cicic
18 was talking about, the Pale-Dobrun route? We can bring up a map if that
19 would assist?
20 A. Yeah, that would.
21 MR. MITCHELL: If we could go to, perhaps, 65 ter 23519.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is misinterpretation. It is
23 not the same route. This was the shortest route to Pale and not to
25 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, perhaps I can avoid the map if
1 Mr. Karadzic agrees that the route via Dobrun is the crossing at
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellencies, but that
4 was the shortest way from Serbia to Pale and had nothing to do with
5 Srebrenica or with the order for that matter. I simply allowed CNN to go
6 to Pale.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mitchell.
8 MR. MITCHELL: I'll carry on, Mr. President.
9 Q. You can see in the first paragraph here, Mr. Block, it says:
10 "We hereby inform you that pursuant to an oral order by the
11 president of the RS, the VRS has approved movement of a team [sic] of
12 journalists from the following television stations: CNN (nine members)
13 and David Paradine television (7 members), on the route Dobrun-Pale on,"
14 and that's a translation error. It should be 17 July 1995.
15 You can see further down it says that:
16 "Stopping, the filming of military facilities, and taking
17 statements from members of the army is not permitted while travelling on
18 this route -- travelling by this route."
19 My question for you on this document, Mr. Block, is: In your
20 experience going to Bosnia during the war, was it usual for Mr. Karadzic
21 to get personally involved in approving the movement of journalists and
22 what route they would travel on?
23 A. I certainly had to experience of it and I was unaware. However,
24 everybody in a position of power had their favourite journalists and they
25 were -- they did things for them when they felt it necessary for whatever
1 particular interest they had to do that, but by and large, in this
2 particular time, I mean, it was -- I had no knowledge of this and I don't
3 recall a precedent myself.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Block. I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE KWON: Did you withdraw your question whether this
6 Dobrun-Pale route was what Mr. Cicic was talking about?
7 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I believe Mr. Karadzic agreed that
8 this was the same route when I said if I can avoid -- one second. I said
9 I can avoid the map if Mr. Karadzic agrees that the route via Dobrun is
10 the crossing at Visegrad. And he said yes --
11 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure whether he agreed with what you
12 suggested, i.e., that's the route what Mr. Cicic was talking about.
13 MR. MITCHELL: Perhaps I misunderstood. That's what I
14 understood, Mr. President, that the crossing at Dobrun is at Visegrad.
15 And we can bring up a map to confirm that, if it would assist, or unless
16 Mr. Karadzic agrees.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can say that I agree it was the
18 shortest route between Serbia and Pale, but it had nothing to do with
19 Srebrenica and Bratunac. There were other border crossings there at
20 Skelani, Ljubovija, and Zvornik. If one were to go to Pale, they would
21 go through Visegrad, which had nothing to do with Srebrenica. That's all
22 I have to say.
23 JUDGE KWON: Shall we leave it at that?
24 MR. MITCHELL: Yes. Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Then that concludes your evidence,
1 unless my colleagues have questions for you.
2 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I would like to return to the
4 issue of his notes, and I wonder if you would hear me outside of his
5 presence on that before he's excused, or if you would prefer to deal with
6 it in writing and make some order later, we can do that, but it might be
7 useful to resolve it while he's still here.
8 JUDGE KWON: Do we need to ask him to stay?
9 MR. ROBINSON: I think it would be a good idea because I'm going
10 to ask you to order him to turn over those notes, so it would be easier
11 if he was still here if you were inclined to make that order.
12 JUDGE KWON: Did he confirm that he made notes at the time?
13 MR. ROBINSON: No, he didn't.
14 THE WITNESS: Are we referring to the Pirocanac interview? I'm
15 not being inconvenient here, but I really do not believe I made notes
16 because it wasn't an interview.
17 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, well, my request would be then
18 if Mr. Block would look through his notebooks for that time period, and
19 if he discovers the -- any notes concerning his contact on the
20 18th of July with Mr. Pirocanac, that he notify the Trial Chamber, and if
21 that's the case -- or if he's -- if he says that they don't exist, if he
22 could notify us of that and we can deal with it at that time if that's
23 what he prefers.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any observation, Mr. Mitchell, on this?
1 MR. MITCHELL: I do, Mr. President, just very briefly. I don't
2 think that the issue of notes in any way changes your decision to admit
3 Mr. Block's evidence on this specific conversation with Zoran Petrovic.
4 Obviously Mr. Karadzic is looking to establish that his name doesn't
5 appear in these notes, if there are any such notes, but even if that were
6 the case, I would submit that that doesn't in any way undermine the
7 veracity of his recollection of what Mr. Pirocanac says. So even if
8 there are notes and even if they show what Dr. Karadzic wants them to
9 show, that doesn't undermine or affect the admissibility of Mr. Block's
10 oral testimony. So in these circumstances, I suggest it cannot be in the
11 interests of justice to use the coercive power of the Chamber to turn
12 over notes about a meeting and a conversation which Mr. Block has
13 testified about from his recollection and which won't be undermined even
14 if there is such notes and the absence of any reference in those notes.
15 The last point I'd like to make is at best, even if Mr. Block
16 found the notes, there's no reference to Mr. Karadzic, that would be a
17 matter that went to the weight of his oral testimony in a very minor way,
18 but at least fundamentally isn't an issue of the admissibility of his
19 oral testimony as Mr. Robinson suggested earlier.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, may I briefly reply. First of all,
21 I'm just asking -- I'm not speaking about admissibility now. I'm just
22 asking you to order him to look for the notes, but this particular issue,
23 we have to be at the absolute height of vigilance. This goes directly to
24 Dr. Karadzic's own mens rea and responsibility for this crime. If -- if
25 this is in fact -- if what this witness says is relied on by the Chamber,
1 it can have serious implications for your findings and your judgement in
2 this case. And we hear very, very little evidence about Dr. Karadzic's
3 personal involvement to do with anything to do with Srebrenica, and when
4 we hear that evidence, we need to put you in a position where whatever
5 decision you can make can be absolutely safe and absolutely correct.
6 This is a very controversial piece of evidence. Triple hearsay to begin
7 with. Now we're asking you to try to verify, to do everything you can to
8 try to verify whether or not this is the kind of evidence you should rely
9 on in your judgement.
10 And maybe it's inconvenient to have Mr. Block go through his
11 notebooks and look and see if he has a record of that conversation, but
12 that's the very least that he can do in pursuit of justice and the very
13 least that you can order if it's necessary. Thank you.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE KWON: Before we continue, Mr. Block, can I ask you whether
16 you are minded to voluntarily co-operate with the Defence so as to look
17 into whether such notes exist?
18 THE WITNESS: From the point of view of a journalist and someone
19 in my profession, it's a slippery slope what you're asking for. It's --
20 just as we believe that when you go into naming sources, this is
21 something that we can't do, to some degree I believe this same precedence
22 extends to a journalist's notes which are notes for him or herself either
23 as a mnemonic or to create observations that may have relevance at the
24 time. But it is the actual article itself that is put together that is
25 what stands and what ultimately is where we -- I am here to do in some
1 ways, is to be in service of the articles that I presented.
2 Insofar as it comes to my recollection of the conversations
3 with -- with Zoran Petrovic in those days, number one, I do not believe I
4 took notes on those days because there was really nothing to take notes
5 about. We wanted to know what happened to the film and if copies existed
6 and what he did. And as I said in my testimony, this was not something I
7 put any journalistic resources towards.
8 I don't know what the definition of contempt of court in this
9 particular venue is, but I would find it very, very difficult to do. I
10 would have no problems in looking into my notes as mnemonic to try to
11 remember things before testimony, but being compelled to look into my
12 notes for something that is really in many ways outside of the purview of
13 my reporting, and as such and as we discussed in the -- in my interview
14 with the Defence, this was in many ways at the level of hearsay, and I
15 would not disagree with that.
16 So I do not see the point of it, and I really think that asking
17 me to do so does put in danger what I am trying to do today, which is
18 basically find a way in which foreign correspondents, particularly
19 American foreign correspondents, can feel comfortable in co-operating
20 with a body like this court.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. The Chamber will consider the issue at
22 later stage.
23 I thank you again -- and for your coming to The Hague to give it.
24 We appreciate it very much. Please have a safe journey back home.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. Before the next witness is
4 brought in if I could just raise one other issue that Dr. Karadzic has
5 asked me to mention to the Trial Chamber and that is of concern to him
6 and to his Defence team. And that is that one of the witnesses who
7 testified for the Prosecution a few weeks ago, Mira Mihajlovic, who works
8 in Sarajevo, has been the subject of news media articles in which the
9 news media in Sarajevo has been calling for her removal in her current
10 position because she gave testimony favourable to Dr. Karadzic concerning
11 his character. And Dr. Karadzic is concerned, given the fact that we
12 want to call a number of witnesses in our case during the Defence case,
13 that this kind of issue can have a chilling effect on the willingness of
14 people to testify on his behalf.
15 So I'm not asking the Chamber to do anything at this point, I
16 just want to bring it to your attention, and in the future if it appears
17 to be something that's more of a problem, we will maybe ask the Chamber
18 to take some action. But Dr. Karadzic asked me to bring this to your
19 attention and I'm doing that now. Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
21 Good afternoon, Ms. West. Your next witness is Mr. Lesic.
22 MS. WEST: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. Yes, it
24 JUDGE KWON: I take it he is on his way.
25 MS. WEST: I believe so.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, sir.
3 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE KWON: Would you take the solemn declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
6 whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated.
8 Yes, Ms. West.
9 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 WITNESS: MILAN LESIC
11 Examination by Ms. West:
12 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. What is your name?
15 A. Milan Lesic.
16 Q. Where were your born?
17 A. Cazin, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Q. Where do you live now?
19 A. Canada.
20 Q. When did you move to Canada?
21 A. 1958.
22 Q. And why did you move to Canada?
23 A. I escaped from former Yugoslavia and went to Austria. From
24 Austria I emigrate to Canada.
25 Q. And was there a reason that you left?
1 A. It was. I was young and I didn't like the Communist regime.
2 Q. Sir, what do you do for a living?
3 A. I'm self-employed. I'm a developer.
4 Q. And in 1993, were you a founding member of a Canadian charitable
5 organisation called the Serbian Humanitarian Public Organisation?
6 A. Yes, I was.
7 Q. And what prompted you to organise it?
8 A. Well, the war start over there in 1991, 1992, beginning 1992, so
9 we got together in Hamilton and Toronto and --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly be asked to get closer
11 to the microphone, please. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: Sorry. 1992, we got together, and a bunch of us,
13 we talked about what was going on in our old country. Then we got
14 together again and organised, fill some applications, and we got
15 registered as a humanitarian -- humanitarian Srpska Republika
17 Q. And were part of your activities to raise funds?
18 A. Yes, we raised the funds to help the needy, like delivered some
19 stuff to the Red Cross and to other people what is needed.
20 Q. And besides the Red Cross, who were the intended recipients of
21 your aid?
22 A. Whatever our committee delegate in Canada, they give us a letter,
23 and myself I went many times and we took some -- took some samples in
24 suitcases and we took some money and we helped -- helped the people that
25 is needed. And then when we got over there, suggestion was made where
1 should we give that help. So we split two way hospitals and three ways
2 in some cases.
3 Q. So let's back up for a moment. The recipients of your aid, what
4 was their ethnicity?
5 A. Ethnicity what that word -- needy? Or ethnicity, what does that
6 word mean? Sorry.
7 Q. Were they -- I'll give you an example. Were they Muslim,
8 Croatian, were they Serbian? Were they --
9 A. Oh, they were Serbians, all the Serbians. Everybody help their
10 own. The Serbians help Serbians and other people help themselves --
11 their own.
12 Q. And are you Serbian, sir?
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. As part of your involvement in the organisation, did you -- there
15 you go. Did you go to the area several times starting in 1992?
16 A. Yes, I did. I went approximately ten times over there from 1992
17 to 1995.
18 Q. And before your first trip in 1992, had you made any prior
19 arrangements to meet anybody in regard to the aid that you wanted to
21 A. No, we didn't. We just went there and got to Belgrade and got to
22 Bosnian house and we talked over there. We meet some people and bishop,
23 and they transport us over with helicopter to the Pale.
24 Q. Okay. So let's back up. Was your first trip in December of
1 A. Yes, it was first trip.
2 Q. And to where did you fly?
3 A. We flew from Toronto to Sofia, I believe, and from Sofia we were
4 picked up by cars to Belgrade.
5 Q. And with whom did you go?
6 A. I went with Ned Krajisnik.
7 Q. And when you got to Belgrade, where was the first place you went?
8 A. We went to that called Bosnian house, therefore Bosanska Vila,
9 what they say. And there we met bishop from Chicago which we know, so we
10 travelled with bishop to the Pale.
11 Q. And how did you get from Belgrade to Pale?
12 A. By helicopter, army helicopter.
13 Q. Do you know who arranged that?
14 A. I presume was Peter Salapura.
15 Q. And why do you presume that?
16 A. Well, I was told later somebody had to arrange for us, also the
17 bishop went with us.
18 Q. Now you mentioned that you went over approximately ten times?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When you went over, did you take with you a camera and a video
21 camera as well?
22 A. Yes, I did take my Sony camera to take some pictures and the
23 movies when we were giving -- giving aids from our humanitarian
24 organisation from Toronto so that I can come back and show the group that
25 money went in proper place and got the proper -- it went to proper hands.
1 Q. So were you using the video footage and the cameras to show that
2 you actually gave the money?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Now, you were interviewed by the Office of the Prosecutor
5 in August of 2009. Do you remember that?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And during that interview, did you give four video-tapes and
8 several photos to the Office of the Prosecution?
9 A. I was ordered by the court in Canada to bring all the tapes, all
10 the pictures, all my passports and everything, to give it to them
11 everything that I had since 1992 to -- to present, to 1999 -- to 2009.
12 Q. And you did that, correct?
13 A. And I did.
14 Q. All right. And that included four video-tapes?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. So let's go back to December of 1992 when you got in
17 the helicopter and you went to Pale. When you arrived in Pale, where did
18 you go?
19 A. We went to -- it was Assembly held there and we were sitting and
20 waiting and we had some -- I don't know what we had, some coffee or
21 entertainment. And then we waited for Assembly so the bishop introduce
22 us and we gave our money that we brought for the government, for the
24 Q. Okay.
25 MS. WEST: Mr. Registrar, may I have P01364.
1 Q. Now you said you were waiting for the Assembly. Did you actually
2 attend an Assembly session?
3 A. Yes, we attend. I was in the back, sitting in the back, Ned and
4 I myself.
5 Q. All right. We're going to show you some minutes from an Assembly
6 session. This is dated 17 December 1992.
7 MS. WEST: May have page 77 of the English and which is
8 corresponding to page 71 of the B/C/S. Thank you.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Lesic, this is something I showed you the other day so I
10 know you're familiar with it.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At the middle paragraph towards the end, this is Ned Krajisnik
13 speaking. Can you tell us who Ned is?
14 A. Ned Krajisnik is -- that I know since 1972. He lives in
15 Kitchener, and I live in other city, in Guelph.
16 Q. Okay. And is he somebody who helped you put together this
18 A. Well, he was a member with us. He was the president of the
19 committee and was another president, Ranko Rakanovic. And I was
20 assistant treasurer from beginning, and after I was a treasurer.
21 Q. Okay. So here we see that Mr. Krajisnik is addressing the
22 Assembly, and we won't read the whole paragraph, but he's talking about
23 your organisation and how you put it together. And in this middle
24 paragraph he actually says:
25 "My colleague here, Milan Lesic, as the Most Reverend
1 Metropolitan said, is, thank God, a quite rich man. He is rich because
2 he worked hard and took good care of his money."
3 And then the next paragraph, which started with "we decided," he
5 "We decided to come here, to help as much as we can.
6 Mr. Milan Lesic delivered $15.000 here for the media and propaganda, for
7 I think that we have lost the war the most in that area. And our enemies
8 have been the most successful on that account."
9 Sir, you were present for this speech, right?
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. And when Mr. -- when your friend Ned mentions media and
12 propaganda, can you tell us about the concern that existed regarding the
14 A. Yes. All of us Serbians in Canada, we -- we seen that we are
15 lacking in a media publicity and all that. The media was quite biased,
16 it was all other side and wasn't with us so we thought we need some help
17 and get some support, and that's what we did, to get media to be at least
18 in the middle ground.
19 Q. And your concern in regard to media, is that something that you
20 discussed with the people that you met in Pale?
21 A. Yes. I -- I discussed with them and they agreed with me at that
22 time and we also have a same agreement.
23 Q. Okay. So that concern you had was shared by the people you met
24 in Pale?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was -- was the concern that the media was anti-Serb?
2 A. That's how we felt. It was -- everything went against the
3 Serb -- Serbs.
4 Q. And did you have any discussions on this date or any dates
5 thereafter with General Mladic or Mr. Karadzic regarding this issue?
6 A. Well, after we handed our help that we brought, we went to the
7 some room and we had drinks and talked. We talked about the media, how
8 can we help and all that. We had some media person at that time, and
9 President Karadzic says yes, media is -- is we are -- we need to improve
10 on it. So did General Mladic. And we agreed with them and
11 Biljana Plavsic as well.
12 Q. Sir, in Canada, what was the source of your information coming
13 out of the region?
14 A. When we watched CNN, we always sees the lady by name Amanpour
15 always against Serbs and against Serbs, Serbs did this, Serbs did that,
16 Serbs did everything, and I couldn't believe it that we were so painted
17 that way. So we went over and talked to the officials, like our people
18 there, General Mladic and Dr. Karadzic and Krajisnik, Momcilo Krajisnik,
19 and all of us, what's going on. So they say is all the lies and that's
20 how it is.
21 Q. And as I understand it, then part of the source of your
22 information from the media was from CNN. Did you also get media reports
23 from stations in the region?
24 A. Yes, we did but very short, but we did -- what I did personally,
25 at my house we installed a dish 1992, before war began, and then that
1 dish would bring all the news from over there immediately and that helped
2 us knowing what was going on in -- in the region.
3 Q. Thank you, sir.
4 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I'm going to move to a different
5 subject. Might this be a good time to break?
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll call it a day.
7 We'll continue tomorrow, Mr. Lesic, at 9.00. In the meantime,
8 you might have heard about this, but you are not to discuss about your
9 testimony with anybody else.
10 THE WITNESS: Okay, sir.
11 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.01 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 22nd day
14 of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.