1 Tuesday, 24 April 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Good morning, Mr. Djeric.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
12 WITNESS: BRANKO DJERIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
15 MR. KARADZIC:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Professor Djeric.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning to everyone.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I will dwell only briefly on this pre-war period. Yesterday we
21 established that on all three side -- or at least on the Serbian and the
22 Muslim side there was good faith and an intention to lay the stress on
23 economic progress and that was the reason why we had you in the
24 government. The rest of the positions were filled mainly by
25 professionals who were active in the previous regime.
1 A. Please. I'm not capable of speaking about this aspect because I
2 hadn't taken part in the political debates. That was done by you and the
3 remaining two sides. I only spoke about the segment in which I
4 participated. That is, in the drawing up of the government plan for the
5 period 1991-1995, and this programme was endorsed, if this is what you
6 are talking about, then I have no objection.
7 Q. Thank you. What I wanted to say was that the Serbian component
8 in the government consisted of Momo Pejic,
9 Ranko Nikolic [as interpreted], Tatjana Starovic, all of them were
10 professionals who were not political figures but were more people
11 recognised within their respective professions?
12 A. Let me correct you. I think that Ranko Pejic was not a member of
13 the government at the time. He joined us only later. He was not there
14 at this particular time. Momo Pejic was there, though.
15 Q. Is it possible that Ranko Pejic was working in some of the
16 government institutions such as secretariats or things?
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. It is very difficult to catch up
18 with your speed if you do not pause between the question and answer.
19 Yes, Mr. Tieger, was that your point.
20 MR. TIEGER: Precisely, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 Now, Mr. Djeric, do you see the LiveNote which is scrolling
23 upward? Now it's stopped. It means that is -- now -- you can start your
24 answering the questions. That's one of the tips. But please bear in
25 mind for the benefit of the interpreters. Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can we agree that disagreements occurred on the government
5 intentions as well only after the SDA changed its orientation from the
6 preservation of the Federation towards the course of cessation?
7 A. Well, you're trying to draw me into some political matters, and
8 I -- I can't sufficiently follow this or assess it. I know that there
9 were some rifts in the government relating to the strengthening of the
10 component of uniterisation within the government. This was particularly
11 advocated by the Bosnian and the Croat sides and I can speak about that,
12 and particularly I can speak about the issue of regionalisation.
13 Q. Thank you. We'll come to that. Now I'm going to skip the
14 subjects that have political connotations.
15 I'd like to ask you this: Do you recall that the Serbian
16 deputies from all political parties, due to the fact that a memorandum on
17 the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina was adopted by vote without the
18 required two-third majority and without the respect for our right to put
19 a veto, they decided to separate themselves to a separate assembly within
20 the same building but that they continued to work there?
21 A. Yes, I recall that.
22 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Do you recall --
24 Q. -- that the government, contrary to the will and the vote of the
25 Serbian component, on or about the 19th of December requested recognition
1 from the European community although that could have only been done by
2 the assembly in a proper constitutional way?
3 A. Yes, I remember those problems. I mean ...
4 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that our political responses,
5 including the forming of the ministerial council which was preceded by
6 the forming, or rather the proclamation of Republika Srpska, that
7 initially those were just moves that did not constitute any essential
8 moves and that were merely responses to cessationist aspirations of the
9 Muslim and the Croat side?
10 A. I can agree with you that these were merely manifestations as a
11 reaction to the moves made by the other two sides.
12 Q. Thank you. According to the same analogy, was the Serbian
13 Assembly, which took certain positions but did remain a part of the
14 Republican Assembly, is it correct that our ministerial council of the
15 Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina maintained and preserved this
16 continuity, and that it was made up by nearly all representatives of the
17 Serbian component in the joint government.
18 A. Yes. The ministerial council continued to work. It was formed,
19 but at the same time all members of the ministerial council, whether they
20 be ministers or deputies, continued to work within the joint government.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. TIEGER: The previous question may have changed intention in
23 midstream, but as propounded by the accused was pretty much
24 incomprehensible. More to the point: All the previous -- well, most of
25 the previous questions have built in numerous components. I think the
1 witness is doing his best to answer what he thinks is the general thrust
2 of the question, but they are getting increasingly complicated and need
3 to be simplified to be fair to the witness and for the Court to know
4 exactly what part of the question is really being put to the witness and
5 he is being asked to address.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the speakers please
7 slow down. Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: There's a request from the interpreters that both
9 speakers slow down.
10 Mr. Karadzic, I hope you under the pointer of Mr. Tieger.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency, I'm grateful
12 for that. Since Professor Djeric knows exactly what I'm talking about, I
13 am trying to summarise and shorten my questions in order to save time,
14 but apparently this is counter-productive. Very well.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you agree then that these manifestations of ours were always
17 prompted by something that came from the Croatian Muslim coalition
18 despite the fact that we were participating in the government as a
20 A. Well, I can agree with you, but you see, these are all political
21 matters, and you are more familiar with that. You knew more about that.
22 I cannot speak about that in a competent manner. I can only speak about
23 how we worked within the joint government and the problems that we faced.
24 Q. Thank you. Very well. Do we agree, then, that these
25 proclamations that we made of various bodies could have been abandoned
1 had the historic Serbian Muslim agreement become successful and that our
2 partners remained faithful to the Lisbon Agreement? We could have
3 formed -- changed all these formations without any detrimental effects?
4 A. In my opinion, it was possible to preserve peace had there been a
5 wish for that. The Lisbon plan was a historic chance to preserve
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina and not to proceed with starting a war. That's my
8 Q. Thank you. Can we agree that only after the 18th of March, when
9 all three parties agreed on the Lisbon Agreement on the 24th and 27th
10 March, we started a more serious process of the implementation of what
11 was offered to us through the Lisbon Agreement?
12 A. I cannot remember these exact dates. I cannot designate them as
13 some historical bench-marks, but I do know that on the basis of the
14 agreements reached and the solutions arrived at within the Cutileiro
15 Plan, we proceeded towards a kind of implementation of those instruments
16 on the ground.
17 Q. Thank you. In view of the fact that the vice prime minister of
18 the joint government was Mr. Miodrag Simovic, he was offered to become
19 the chairman of the ministerial council, although he was not a
20 belligerent person; is that correct?
21 A. I don't know to whom the party offered certain positions. This
22 is the first time that I hear of it, that he had been offered that post.
23 Q. What I wanted to say was: Did you notice that we wanted to
24 preserve the continuity of certain functions in order just to transfer
25 them from the joint government?
1 A. Yes, I would agree on that. There was this initiative, and this
2 initiative kept going in the future period. So the ministerial council
3 became a kind of personnel breeding ground for all other future
4 government authorities.
5 Q. And do you agree that the continuity of our members of the
6 Presidency was preserved and that Professors Koljevic and Plavsic
7 continued to be members of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of
9 A. Yes. They continued performing their functions. There was no
10 other solution because they were elected directly by the people.
11 Q. Thank you. Can we agree that when the government was formed you,
12 although you were not a political figure or a belligerent person, we
13 persuaded you, and you in turn persuaded other ministers to accept to
14 lead the government?
15 A. You offered me to become a prime minister designate, and I'm
16 talking about you as the party. I accepted that, albeit it unwillingly,
17 but times were such that was the context and I agree on that.
18 As for the other part of your question, whether I persuaded
19 anyone else, I didn't know do that.
20 Q. All right. But you said somewhere that people were not willing
21 to accept it but they did accept it, nevertheless.
22 A. Well, yes, you know, later on. When the conflict broke out and
23 so on, there were certain problems there. So the basis or the groundwork
24 for the future government of the Republika Srpska was the ministerial
25 council and that was a solution offered and implemented by the party.
1 This is what I found as a ready-made solution, when I arrived.
2 Q. Let me remind you of something that you said at the Assembly
3 session, 12th Assembly Session of the Serbian People in BH.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] that's 65 ter 21, 44 -- page 44 in
5 Serbian, and page 25 in English. Maybe we can call up this document for
6 Professor Djeric to be able to follow this more easily.
7 So page 44 in Serbian, page 25 in English; 65 ter 21. This is
9 Q. Yes, this is where you start speaking. You say:
10 [As read] "Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, deputies, it is
11 only proper for a person to speak at this point. You have expressed your
12 will. Your decision is as it is, and I shall not oppose it."
13 So this has to do with your appointment; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Then it says here towards the bottom:
16 [As read] "I had certain dilemmas. Each of you probably has
17 certain dilemmas and reservations regarding these times. However, there
18 is one thing about which I had no doubts..."
19 Can we have the next page in Serbian.
20 [As read] "... the question of whether the Serb people or rather
21 the Serb assembly needs a government at this point in time. I am deeply
22 convinced that the assembly must have a government and that the Serb
23 people must have a government, not for the reasons of cheap prestige or
24 for the sake of pure form but because it is a basic necessity.
25 "I would particularly like to warn you about several things which
1 I consider relevant to the assessment of whether it is necessary that a
2 government be formed.
3 "First, you can see that it's not only the economic but also the
4 national interests of the Serb people that are under threat. People are
5 defending them, often spontaneously. You have to admit that the defence
6 of the national interest must be articulated both at political and state
7 level. One cannot allow all sorts of things to happen on the ground.
8 There are also certain international as well as domestic laws, customs,"
9 et cetera.
10 Do you agree that what you said and what the assembly did was
11 after the Lisbon agreement had been agreed to; namely, the offer that had
12 been made to us that we have our own constituent unit in Bosnia?
13 A. Yes, I agree with that. And that was done on the basis of the
14 ideas presented in the Lisbon Agreement.
15 Q. So you do remember that already then we accepted to have a Bosnia
16 outside Yugoslavia, to have its external borders preserved but internal
17 decentralisation would be carried out on the basis of the provisions of
18 the Lisbon Agreement, right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Can we look at page 46 now, this same assembly
22 46. Just a moment, please.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Actually, can we scroll up. Or
24 down. The previous page, please.
25 I'd like to draw your attention to the paragraph that starts with
1 the following words:
2 [As read] "There is something else I have to say as well,
3 something that I fear. The situation of Serb politics on the ground.
4 This is a fact that even the political leadership of the Serb people find
5 disturbing. This has to be overcome. We cannot have proper authority if
6 everyone is going to establish some kind of authority according to some
7 local criteria. We can only work on the basis of overall national
9 So was it already then that you identified this chaotic
10 situation, and even our inclination towards excessive autonomy, small
11 fiefdoms, did you already forecast that this would be a major obstacle in
12 the functioning of a proper government?
13 A. Yes, I agree. This paragraph shows all of it. It is clear
14 enough. The local factor was very influential, highly influential. For
15 the most part, this is the result of the existential fear that prevailed
16 among people then, as regards these state matters. So Yugoslavia was
17 falling apart as a state or was in the process of disintegrating, so
18 people were losing their state, and on the other hand even in this new
19 state, which had already become an international subject, there was this
20 outvoting in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. Well, I'm just clarifying what I had said.
23 Q. Thank you. When you say outvoting, are you trying to say that
24 decisions are being made at the expense of one ethnic community; there is
25 no security, there's a lot of improvisation?
1 A. All important decisions then were made by outvoting. That is to
2 say, on the basis of a coalition that was not based on proper principles.
3 This was a coalition of the other two peoples, the other two ethnic
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. I apologise. It became evident that there are different views
7 with regard to how the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina should be set up
9 Q. Thank you. As far as this coalition is concerned, was the first
10 watershed whether Bosnia would remain in Yugoslavia or whether it would
11 leave Yugoslavia; and when we accepted that it could leave Yugoslavia but
12 we said that it should be reorganised, then efforts were made to keep
13 Bosnia as a highly centralised, unified state?
14 A. I agree. Problems are linked to internal organisation. One
15 side, that is to say, the Serb side, tried to give its contribution to
16 decentralising the state, whereas the other two sides at the time
17 advocated a strong, unitary centralised government.
18 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that the previous system, which granted
19 very significant powers to municipalities, they were mini-states in
20 effect, all of that contributed to misunderstandings between the central
21 organs and the municipal organs?
22 A. Well, you see, this is a question that would need to be explored,
23 you see. Depends on the extent involved. It is true that people had
24 gotten used to making their own discussions so that was a rather
25 important consideration. On the other hand, the self-management system
1 as such also gave a great deal of freedom.
2 Q. Thank you. Please go on.
3 A. Well, I was saying that there was a great hope and a major chance
4 involved. People could manage their own lives, govern their own lives
5 within their small local communities.
6 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to draw your attention to something that
7 I said when speaking on a similar topic on the 24th until the 26th of
8 July at the Assembly meeting of the SRBH.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter 28, could that please be
10 called. 28 is the 65 ter number; in Serbian it's page 14, English, it's
11 page 17.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit D92, Your Honours. And the
13 previous one, 65 ter number 21, was Exhibit P96.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. It is my understanding that
15 all assembly session transcripts have already been admitted, so we're not
16 having anything admitted now. We would just like to have these documents
18 It's towards the bottom:
19 [In English] "Essential problems we are facing."
20 [Interpretation] I'm going to read it in Serbian. It's also the
21 last paragraph on this page.
22 [As read] "One of the essential problems we are facing is the
23 poor functioning of the central authorities. The responsibility partly
24 or mostly lies with us primarily because we have not fully defined the
25 status of the SAO autonomous regions or their organs in relation to the
1 central authorities; namely, fearing that we would be overcome or
2 dominated by the Izetbegovic government, we prepared some political, not
3 exactly state mechanisms, to resist abuse coming from the centre.
4 Meaning that we inherited such mechanisms now that we have our own state.
5 Now they return to us as a negative echo. We will all know immediately
6 that this is about a Serb tendency towards autonomy, creating one's own
7 principalities ruled by small scale princes behind which there is only
8 private interest, never the interest of the people."
9 Do you remember not only this particular speech but this problem
10 that we had to deal with in the assembly? Because the establishment of
11 the SAO gave an opportunity to local princes to do whatever was in their
12 own interest.
13 A. Yes, I remember that. Every day that was being confirmed;
14 namely, that the local factor want to rule on the ground.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 16 in Serbian, please.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. And then we're going to move on to 17.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But in English, it's page 19. And
20 it's the same document.
21 I think it's around the middle of the page. It starts with the
22 following words: "However ..."
23 In English, it's page 19. 19 in e-court. And in Serbian, it's
24 page 16.
25 I'm going to read it out and then we're going to find it.
1 So, again, I continue my address to the assembly. It says:
2 [As read] "However, from an internal political point of view, we
3 have enormous problems which this Assembly will have to define; i.e., to
4 give a free hand to the Presidency and government to energetically carry
5 out necessary measures in everyone stage. Now, at this stage the
6 priority is to bring order into state mechanisms of power; that is to
7 say, state organs: Reorganising the police for peacetime; placing the
8 remaining police force within the JNA; placing all special police, which
9 are being misused by some, under a single command of the republican MUP.
10 By no means, under the command of some local lords."
11 Do you remember that before the war the Muslim side enormously
12 increased the numbers of the reserve police, 100 percent even, and more,
13 and all of a sudden we faced that, that we had an enormous number of
15 A. Yes, I remember that.
16 Q. Thank you. Then we decided that this surplus should be
17 resubordinated to the JNA, this is my old rhetoric, although the JNA had
18 already withdrawn. So they should be resubordinated to the Army of
19 Republika Srpska, and the ordinary police should just act as they usually
20 do in peacetime, right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you remember that a month before this assembly session the
23 Muslim side declared war on us and Serbia and Montenegro and that is how
24 they defined their enemy. They said Serbia Montenegro and the Serbs in
25 the SAOs, and a month after that we still wished to have a peacetime
2 A. I cannot deal with the dates. Is this April? When is this?
3 Q. This is July. And it's on the 20th of June that they declared
4 war, or rather an eminent threat of war. They declared war on Serbia
5 Montenegro and us on the 20th of June, the imminent state of war had been
6 earlier on.
7 A. I don't remember the dates. But I think it was earlier. Perhaps
8 it was earlier. Perhaps it was even the month of the April when the
9 Ministry of Interior was instructed -- I mean, when Delimustafic issued
10 this order for this attack. I mean ...
11 Q. Yes, yes. I can agree with that. In fact, the war basically
12 started with the directives of the 12th of April -- actually, the attack
13 on the 6th of April and a few directives in April after that. However,
14 formally war was declared, if you remember, on the 20th of June.
15 A. I really cannot deal with the dates. I cannot confirm the dates.
16 Really. I do not remember. I mean, I can talk about what happened.
17 Q. Thank you. We can leave this document aside. Can we call up
18 1D5554 to remind Professor Djeric through this piece of news, to remind
19 him what was going on.
20 Most probably we don't have a translation. It probably hasn't
21 been completed yet.
22 Do you remember that the Presidency of the Serb Republic of BH,
23 when the state of war was declared by the Presidency of the former BiH on
24 the previous day, we wished to inform domestic and world public about the
25 following: A state of war was declared and this is yet another
1 confirmation that the Muslim and Croatian side is still in favour of a
2 military rather than political option.
3 Number 2, this war crime must be understood as an institutional
4 pressure against the civilian population, especially citizens of Serbia
5 ethnicity who are being forced to wage war against their brethren.
6 Further on, Biljana Plavsic, as a member of the Presidency, says
7 that she is against the fact that the state of war was declared.
8 Has this jogged your memory a bit, in view of the dates?
9 A. I remember. I remember. I remember the position taken by the
10 Presidency in relation to this state of war that had been declared.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted for
13 identification, rather.
14 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll mark it for identification.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D2244, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I don't object, but I just want to
18 note that this is one of the documents I believe about which we were not
19 informed. In addition, there were an additional approximately 20
20 documents that were notified to us this morning, so we may be a little
21 slow in catching up and may need some assistance during the process, but
22 I don't anticipate objecting to any document on that basis.
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, as to these background or the
24 historical events, for example, declaration of war from whichever side,
25 are you planning to file a motion for adjudicated facts or something like
1 that in -- during the -- or before the Defence case?
2 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE KWON: Is it not an efficient way to deal with without
4 having to deal with every witness?
5 MR. ROBINSON: Well, there already are many adjudicated facts
6 about these issues, so to that extent we don't feel it's necessary to
7 supplement them with adjudicated facts. But I noticed that during the
8 Prosecution case they led a lot of evidence about things that were
9 already subject of adjudicated facts, so I think if it's relevant we
10 ought to be able to lead evidence; although, I agree that it shouldn't be
11 a priority.
12 JUDGE KWON: Also, you also can think about the -- eliciting and
13 agreed facts between the parties as well.
14 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, that would be useful. Thank you.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I recall well, we proposed an
17 agreed facts list to the other side, but I'm afraid things got
18 complicated along the way and we weren't able to reach agreement;
19 although, I still believe we could agree on many things that are not
20 directly in dispute.
21 Can we go back to 65 ter 28. Page 20 in the English. And we
22 have the right page in the Serbian version.
23 20 in the English. In the Serbian, we should stay with page 17.
24 I'll read out so we'll try to locate it.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. It says local -- well, something was skipped. It says:
2 [As read] "I would kindly ask the Assembly to once again consider
3 the possibility that the deputies be held at the positions they are
4 accorded as they are part of the highest level of authority in the
5 republic. They cannot be suspended by any war staffs or
6 War Presidencies. The deputies which created this state draft its law --
7 its laws that are -- ought to reflect the needs of the Serb people. They
8 need to strongly support the legal authorities, especially in the
9 municipalities where there are no war circumstances, as they can go on
10 with their lives in a normal fashion. I must say that it is so under the
11 law and international law," et cetera, et cetera.
12 Do you recall that we even had to call upon the deputies to try
13 and suppress such localist tendencies of different War Presidencies and
14 war staffs. It was a problem both for the assembly and the Presidency
15 and the government whose decisions were supposed to be implemented?
16 A. What you just read out is a part of the document, and I don't
17 want to comment upon that.
18 However, I can confirm that there was always this insistence on
19 the fact that Dr. Karadzic has mentioned; that is to say, the need for
20 removing this strong local factor. I remember that the government issued
21 instructions in which it stated that Crisis Staffs do not hold power and
22 cannot hold power where regular bodies of authority can meet and work.
23 Q. Thank you. Do we agree that the Crisis Staffs were simply a way
24 of concentrating executive authority in limited, areas as well as in such
25 municipalities where the legal authorities were non-functional? The
1 staffs of that nature were temporary organs which were put in place to
2 speed things up, rather than going beyond their remit.
3 A. I agree that they could not go beyond their scope of authority or
4 to work in any different fashion than was prescribed by regulation.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that we understood quite early on that
6 people no longer controlled -- or, rather, that they could not control
7 the legislative branch and that we had to dispose of these Crisis Staffs?
8 A. We strove, both the Presidency and the government, to put the
9 Crisis Staffs in a situation where they could hold power within their
10 respective remit and in limited areas where they were necessary and not
11 to work with any prescribed limits they assigned to themselves.
12 Q. Thank you. Under the law and international law, it is stipulated
13 that any decisions made by different Crisis Staffs and Presidencies are
14 all considered to be measures decided upon in a state of war and do not
15 have the same legitimacy as when a measure is pronounced by regular
16 bodies of authority. That is why I would like to recommend to the
17 assembly to confirm what the Presidency, in its activity as the assembly,
18 to decide to appoint legitimate bodies of authority, civilian authority,
19 and that it should function not in competition with the military
20 authorities but in a complimentary relationship. Another important thing
21 is that all para state and paramilitary need to be eliminated. At this
22 moment, the para state formations are even a greater danger as they can
23 make catastrophic decisions that nobody would even recognise in
24 peacetime, ones that would only cause us great damage in the meantime.
25 Was it your position, too, that such para state formations such as
1 Crisis Staffs were ad hoc bodies which could cause great damage by virtue
2 of their decisions?
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Djeric.
4 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, this is not an appropriate form of
6 question. First of all, it's impossible to distinguish the comment from
7 what's being asked. Second, I don't know if Mr. Karadzic was reading
8 from a previous document, but if not this purported question is embedded
9 with commentary. And the objection I made earlier, to which Mr. Karadzic
10 responded he was grateful for the need for -- to be advised of the need
11 for focus, has been completely ignored, and now the questions are
12 dramatically expanded and much more commentary is introduced.
13 JUDGE KWON: Very much so.
14 Mr. Djeric, do you think you can answer the question or shall I
15 ask Mr. Karadzic to reformulate his question?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer in a simple way
17 concerning this question, or observation.
18 The local authorities, in many cases, took upon itself to have
19 the power of regular bodies of authorities, and this is where the
20 conflict arose. That is why it was constantly insisted upon such local
21 authorities to be declared null and void so as not to have any power
22 anymore. In general terms, that would be my answer to this observation
23 or comment or question by Mr. Karadzic.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. Can we have the Serb page 18 and 19, and in the
1 English, 20 and 21 so that we could see what you said at the same session
2 on this topic.
3 A. Which session?
4 Q. Between the 24th and 26th of July, 1992. In English, it's page
5 21. Perhaps can you find the paragraph I will be referring to.
6 [As read] "It is well know that the government of the Serb
7 Republic of BiH began its constitutional work under war-time conditions.
8 In addition to facing a war situation, the government began working
9 completely isolated and cut off from all sources of communication ranging
10 from available institution, services, functions, information, means of
11 equipment, technology, and staff. It began operating at the time when
12 the system that had existed in the previous 50 years ceased functioning.
13 This was at the stage when we were not economically, politically, or even
14 psychologically prepared for what happened."
15 Then further below, you say:
16 [As read] "Its negative contribution was provided by the
17 relocation of the government. Due to war-time circumstances and other
18 factors, the government was completely blocked in terms of communication,
19 contacts, and co-operation with the municipalities. The SAO Krajina and
20 SAO Herzegovina were fully cut off from the government for a certain
21 period of time and had no contact with the government."
22 Do you agree that the government being cut off in terms of means
23 of communication was a factor which only contributed to the strengthening
24 of the local factors and it made the government feel as if its hands were
1 A. Yes. Perhaps I can add that the central authorities, given that
2 the PTT network was based in Sarajevo, cut off all communications, so you
3 can just about imagine how it was for the government to work under such
5 As for the relocation of the government, I must say - although I
6 don't know who decided on that and how it came about that the government
7 ended up in Pale - I think in any case that at that point in time it was
8 a major mistake. I don't know who decided on that, though.
9 Q. Thank you. Just to inform you, we had a lot of discussion about
10 that, and we heard a witness from Ilidza here who testified that we
11 visited that location looking for a suitable place, and we concluded that
12 a single mortar shell could eliminate the whole government and that is
13 why we relocated to Pale.
14 A. Please. So, we, the government I presided over, was completely
15 cut off. There were no telecommunication means. There was no road or
16 rail communication. There was no communication in any sense. It was
17 practically impossible to work. Certain areas and regions became so
18 independent in the meantime that it was difficult to establish any kind
19 of communication with them, and that situation persisted for quite a
21 Even after I resigned and left, some regions, I think, still did
22 not fully accept the central authority.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have page 24 in the Serbian
25 and 26 in the English version.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. It is also your contribution before the assembly. You say:
3 [As read] "Dear deputies, some of your positions, decisions, and
4 conclusions, will be of special importance to the government's programme
5 tasks and to the work of the government in the coming period. Therefore,
6 the government asks the assembly to decide on the following proposals:
7 "1. Reaffirmation of the constitutional guarantees of human
8 rights and freedoms. That is, the option to accept all international
9 conventions and agreements, which form the basis for asking for
10 international recognition;
11 "2. Strengthening of central authorities [as interpreted] to the
12 extent necessary during war operations and the fight for freedom."
13 Do you recall that this was one of the preconditions that was
14 supported by the assembly?
15 A. It was way back, and I cannot recall it precisely, although I
16 have no doubt that the government asked for this. It was my position
17 then that we should honour the international conventions, agreements, and
18 that we should have respect for the rights of citizens, human rights,
19 et cetera.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to page 25 in the
22 Serbian and 27 in the English.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
24 Q. Again, your address, but item 7.
25 [As read] "The government is also asking for support to
1 immediately revoke all laws and other acts made by municipality, areas,
2 and regions, or certain state organs which are -- which run counter to
3 the constitution, laws, or other regulations of BiH Serb Republic."
4 Do you recall that such laws were popping up everywhere and that
5 you ask that they be brought in harmony with the constitution and the
7 A. Yes, I accept this as it is stated.
8 Q. Do you accept that they were popping up all over the place
9 because of the lack of communication and tendencies of autonomy?
10 A. Well, I think I've discussed that previously, so I don't think
11 you need -- I need to expand.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I see Mr. Tieger on his feet.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. At transcript page 21,
15 line 19, there is a reference to "central authorities." We heard in
16 B/C/S "central government." We're going to ask that that be listened to,
17 but I thought since we're going to be making that inquiry with CLSS, it's
18 better to note that now in case it's something the accused wanted to
19 raise again.
20 JUDGE KWON: Just to confirm with the witness, that's part of
21 your answer, Mr. Djeric, that sentence reads as follows:
22 "Even after I left, some regions still did not fully accept the
23 central authorities."
24 Did you say "central authorities" or "central government"?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was referring to the highest
1 authority in Republika Srpska. Because here we are talking about the
2 government of Republika Srpska and the Assembly of Republika Srpska.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We'll leave it at that and we'll ask the
4 court reporters to take a look at the recording of the hearing.
5 Let's proceed.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now have
7 65 ter 4214. It's D456.
8 This is an assembly session held on the 14th and 15th
9 September 1992. We need Serbian page 18 and the English page 16.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I'm going to read and hopefully we can find this portion. I am
12 addressing the assembly. You can see that.
13 It says:
14 [As read] "We need to reinforce central government and" --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Karadzic please
16 indicate exactly where he is reading from.
17 JUDGE KWON: The interpreters couldn't follow where you are
18 reading from. So could you start again, after indicating where it is.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is in the middle of the second
20 paragraph. Line 10 or 12, exactly where the cursor is now. "In order
21 for this to happen" -- now, yes, that's exactly the line I need in the
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. [As read] "As physicists would say" -- I'm talking about
25 physicists here, you can see it in the English version.
1 "As physicists would say, we must ensure feasibility of this
2 decision without any resistance in the conductors and resistors. The
3 biggest obsession of physicists is to discover a super conductor. These
4 conductors transfer all the energy they receive without any resistance.
5 We must build such mechanisms that the decision of this assembly, the
6 government, and the Presidency do not meet with any resistance, to
7 implement them and achieve an effect on the ground in the shortest time
8 possible and with the biggest effect possible..."
9 Then I go on to say:
10 "Knowing us Serbs" --
11 But let me ask you this: Can we say that still in December, the
12 lack of these transmission mechanisms from the central government, the
13 assembly, and the Presidency was still a burning problem?
14 A. Yes. That was the situation that prevailed in September as well,
15 but even over the summer the government kept pointing out this problem
16 from the very beginning, not only in September.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
18 MR. TIEGER: I didn't know if Mr. Karadzic misspoke or if it was
19 misheard, but the document we're looking at is a September document. I
20 presume the reference to the September in the predicate to the question,
21 but it was listed as December so I just was -- I was rising for that
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sure I said September.
25 Now let me go on by quoting:
1 [As read] "The impressions about the Krajina are still vivid
2 among the secret services, and there are attempts every day to bypass the
3 BH central authorities; that is, the authorities of Republika Srpska.
4 Attempts are made to pass things through -- to pass through things which
5 might encroach on our sovereignty through commanders and municipal
7 You would agree that that was another problem after we had
8 abolished SAO Krajina, that this tendency survived; is that correct?
9 A. Look, this is more your position, the position of the Presidency
10 and the president. It's a political point of view, and I cannot either
11 speak of it or put it in the right time-frame. All I can say is that
12 this problem persisted.
13 Q. Thank you. Let's move now to another subject.
14 THE ACCUSED: Can we have now 65 ter 22 -- or Prosecution
15 Exhibit P1354. We're -- shall go back to the assembly meeting held on
16 the 24th of March, 1992. Can we please have the Serbian page 5 and then
17 we'll move on on page 6, and the page in English is 5.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. You are addressing the deputies here by saying:
20 [As read] "We cannot finish our business today completely, only
21 partly. In the meantime, I conduct in consultations and I consulted the
22 presidents of SAO, and at the moment can I propose two candidates for two
23 departments, and these are: Professor Doctor Minister Buha, which was
24 followed by an applause; and the Minister of the Internal Affairs
25 Mico Stanisic, which was also followed by an applause.
1 "I am sure that you know these two candidates. These two people
2 contributed greatly to the affirmation of the Serbian national interest
3 in these difficult times.
4 "I would like to underline that both candidates surely appreciate
5 the situation in which the Serbian people are. I can't say that they
6 refused this nomination and by Friday we are going to acquire and receive
8 Can you confirm that Aleksa Buha was a prominent professor of
9 philosophy, who studied in Germany, who speaks German and French, and
10 that he was a respectable figure?
11 A. Concerning what I said here is probably correct. But what is
12 more important, though, is that -- I have to divide my answer to your
13 question in two parts.
14 Firstly, speaking about Stanisic and Buha, I proposed them and
15 nominated them at Mr. Karadzic -- Karadzic's personal proposal. I don't
16 have any doubts that the personnel commission was consulted previously
17 and that they gave their opinion in that respect. He gave me those two
18 names, and, hence, I gave these names at the assembly because I assumed
19 that the party that he led had had appropriate consultations at
20 grass-root or other levels, and I didn't go into that at all. I didn't
21 know them quite well, but I was aware of their political engagement. I
22 didn't have any reason not to respect the political power -- party. The
23 only political party that was in power, and I went along with their
25 As for the other part concerning these candidates, when I said
1 that the assembly knew them, what I was referring to was that it had been
2 agreed that members of the ministerial council of the Serbian Republic of
3 BH would be the basis, or the basic personnel pool from which the
4 government is going to be formed. And at that particular session, only
5 two ministers were appointed.
6 Q. Thank you. Obviously you had no contacts with the police because
7 Stanisic in the post-election period was the chief of police of Sarajevo
8 but he was rather inconspicuous, and do you agree that police chiefs
9 should be inconspicuous?
10 A. I didn't know him well. Had I known him well, there wouldn't be
11 any way for me agree to his nomination, but since I didn't know him well,
12 that is how these proposals were made.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have now 65 ter 5587. This
14 is an assembly session held on the 12th of August.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you recall that on that occasion we changed the name of the
17 state to Republika Srpska?
18 A. I don't know if that happened on that particular session, but it
19 is possible that it was in August 1992.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 36 in Serbian
21 and 38 in English.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
23 Q. Here, you already presenting all the ministerial positions that
24 have been filled. And you say:
25 [As read] "I suppose that you are tired. And this intervention
1 concerning the reshuffling of the government, I am going to make short as
2 possible -- as -- as short as possible."
3 So this is the first reshuffling of the government that you
4 conducted in August 1992?
5 A. First of all, we should say that by the end of April or early
6 May, the government was already complete. There were several new names
7 as compared to those who had been members of the ministerial council. So
8 you cannot establish a full coincidence between the government and the
9 ministerial council.
10 Q. Professor Djeric, do you remember that some of them returned to
11 Sarajevo? Ranko Djuric decided to remain in the Muslim part of Sarajevo
12 and so did Miodrag Simovic, so those were, among others, the reason that
13 you had to change some of the members of the ministerial council?
14 A. Yes, sir. I agree to that. But that was much earlier. That was
15 in April or May. Simovic used to leave Sarajevo and then decided to go
16 back. Tatjana, as well as many others, did the same.
17 Q. It was up to them to decide.
18 A. Yes. They were free to decide whether they would accept it or
19 not. Some of them I never even saw.
20 Q. Thank you. After that, do you recall that Mr. Simovic rejoined
21 us and was given a very significant position?
22 A. Well, now, I don't think this is exactly true. Initially he left
23 and then he went back, so you could have talked to him during that
24 interim period, but I didn't talk to them; therefore, I cannot say
25 anything about this.
1 Q. Thank you. But towards the end of war, he came to
2 Republika Srpska and he is currently the president of the constitution
3 ideal court of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Well, that happened later. It has nothing to do with me. I was
5 a part of the care taker government, and I was not following all the
6 comings and goings.
7 THE ACCUSED: Can we with have page 37 in Serbian and 38 in
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
10 Q. Item 3, you said:
11 [As read] "The minister of health, work, and social protection, I
12 propose Mr. Kalenic who has led this ministry so far."
13 Do you remember that at that time Kalenic was from the
14 independent party called Independent Democrats and previously they were
15 called the Reform Forces?
16 A. Yes, it is true that he was a member of the Reform Forces Party,
17 and if I remember correctly, you personally were in favour of having such
18 a personality as member of the government.
19 Q. Thank you. On page 38, in Serbian, item 11, you propose that
20 Professor Aleksa Buha remain as the foreign minister. That's page 39 in
22 Do you remember that another opposition leader of the party
23 called the Federal Party, and his name was Dragan Djukanovic, also became
24 a member of the parliament?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Of the government.
1 A. Yes. But that was after I had left. But it is true that he was
2 a minister. While I was in office, Kalenic was the minister. He
3 remained there. But this person came after me.
4 JUDGE KWON: I remember that you stated that you would be brief
5 as regards these background matters. I'm really struggling to understand
6 the relevance of these lines of questions, particularly regarding the
7 political appointments, et cetera.
8 I think -- it's -- it's time to come to more relevant issue,
9 Mr. Karadzic.
10 Please continue.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, this witness is
12 invaluable because he saw for himself and he participated in a very hard
13 way in those initial attempts to regulate the state, the structure, the
14 legal framework, and it has a lot to do with his amalgamated statement
15 when we speak about the relationships within the government itself. All
16 those participants could have been good individuals per se, but it was
17 impossible for them to work well together.
18 Q. Under item 13, you propose that the minister of defence and the
19 minister of the interior, Colonel Subotic and Stanisic respectively,
20 continue staying in their offices.
21 A. Yes. We tried to reshuffle the government. What you are talking
22 about is exactly that, and we wanted to focus on some serious issues. It
23 was not possible for me to agree with you about the reshuffling of the
24 government and therefore, quite simply, we had to keep some of the
25 solutions. You did [Realtime transcript read in error "did you"] not
1 accept to have Mandic and Stanisic removed from their position. And that
2 applied to other positions as well. There were some weaker positions;
3 for example, the minister of the military. You know very well that this
4 particular person was not accepted and approved by the army, and this
5 question dragged on and on. And I was helpless. I couldn't do anything
6 about it.
7 But how can it be possible for a minister not to be accepted?
8 These are complex things that I cannot go into in any detail at the
9 moment. As I said, this was one of the attempts to reshuffle the
10 government which failed and that is why some its solutions remained
12 As the president and the president of the party and the
13 Commander-in-Chief, if you had quite simply realised and agreed that I
14 was facing huge problems, the things might have taken a different course.
15 Q. Thank you. Let us see what it looked like.
16 JUDGE KWON: [Microphone not activated]
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So I was against any kind of dramatic dismissals, but --
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
20 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
21 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, just a LiveNote issue. I think it'll be
22 addressed when the transcript is cleaned up. At page 30, line 21, it
24 "Did you not accept not have Mandic and Stanisic removed."
25 I think the witness clearly said, "... and you did not accept to
1 have Mandic and Stanisic removed." I think that's -- I think everyone
2 heard that and I think it will be probably cleaned up in the final
3 version, but I needed to note that.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That will be looked into by the
5 reporters, I take it.
6 Let's continue, Mr. Karadzic. Could you repeat your question.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you agree that -- or rather do you remember that I was opposed
10 to dramatic dismissals, but I did not oppose reconstructing the
12 A. No, that was not the case. You were against having these two
13 replaced, these two who were key people in the government, the Ministry
14 of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, especially because the
15 government had its own programme from day one. So you can see in the
16 minutes of government sessions, these are proper documents, you will see
17 that the government insists on the rule of law -- honouring the rule of
18 law. The government worked on institutionalisation on a passing laws,
19 different measures, et cetera. They also wanted this authority to be
20 felt on the ground. This was at the early stage, perhaps the end of May,
21 beginning of June, that we started an appropriate procedure for
22 establishing whether war crimes had been committed and whether there were
23 any other violations of the law. All kinds of violations. Not to go
24 into all these other matters involved.
25 So this was at a very early stage. We wanted this procedure to
1 be started. You see, whenever there is a war going on, people overstep.
2 The government hears about this. There are also diplomatic letters that
3 have been coming in. You know, all of this sort of spurs you into
4 action, and I made every effort to have this done. It's not that I know.
5 I mean, it's not that I am a witness, but, anyway, I did this with good
6 intentions to start a procedure, to follow operations to see when people
7 were going beyond the bounds that are there on the basis of international
8 law. When people were overstepping, they should be punished. That's why
9 these two ministers were so --
10 Q. Thank you. Please look at page 53 now --
11 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
12 Yes, Mr. Tieger. 23 ...
13 MR. TIEGER: Yeah, I object to the witness being cut off,
14 particularly at an obvious point when -- when something significant was
15 being discussed. He had gotten to the point saying "that's why these two
16 ministers were so," and then he was cut off.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Djeric, please -- if you haven't completed,
18 please continue. We didn't hear after you said:
19 "That's why these two ministers," I take it those are Mr. Mandic
20 and Stanisic, "was so --"
21 What did you try to say?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, these are two ministries of
23 particular importance, and it is important who are the office holders
24 there in view of the tasks that these ministries have. And it has to do
25 with regular government work. And it has to do with the government
1 programme as such.
2 So the government started this at a very early stage,
3 establishing whether war crimes had been committed and punishing war
4 crimes. This was the end of May or beginning of June, perhaps. The
5 government started establishing military prosecutor's offices and
6 military courts, and people were dragging their feet there as well. I
7 don't know why, but you can see that there are obstructions.
8 Further on, very early, very early, we instructed Minister Mandic
9 and the Ministry of Justice - so it was the government that instructed
10 him - to prepare a report about -- well, these legal dimensions if you
11 will, regarding many questions that are related to war and the
12 consequences of war and so on. Inter alia, I remember this had to with
13 prisoner exchanges, you see; who is a prisoner of war, who is treated as
14 a prisoner of war, then also how the civilian population is dealt with.
15 All of these things were things that the government asked the minister to
16 deal with, but the minister was dealing with something different, you
17 see. Irresponsible, you know.
18 You can't find him. He doesn't come to attend sessions. I kept
19 saying that to the president all the time. I kept warning him. I think
20 he was then the president of the Presidency. I think Dr. Karadzic was
21 either the president or the president of the Presidency. I cannot
22 remember now. But he was president of the party at the same time and he
23 was also the commander of the army. So he was a person who did have
24 powers. All of this had been put to him.
25 So at a very early stage, practically from the beginning of
1 June onwards, there was this problem of communication that I had. I, as
2 prime minister, with -- well -- well, the president. President Karadzic,
3 right, at the time, and Krajisnik, and so on and so forth. Because they
4 were the Alpha and Omega of that government.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Djeric, I did not have the impression that I had cut you off,
7 however the interpretation had not finished because you said those two
8 ministries were important to me then. So "important" was probably
9 missing from -- from -- well, so did you feel that you had been cut off
10 or did you finish what you were saying?
11 A. Well, in a certain sense, I could have stopped at that point but
12 I also could have continued, and that is why I felt it was necessary to
13 say what I said. And now you can assess whether this ask a natural
14 continuation or whether it is something that sort of sticks out.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, would this be the
17 right time to take a break, or shall I continue?
18 JUDGE KWON: We will have a break for a half an hour and resume
19 at 11.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Could we please go back to this document again. That is to say,
25 65 ter 5587. And then in Serbian, it's page 53, and in English, it is
1 page 54, and then we're going to move on --
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
3 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, I was just going mention this before - and I
4 think Mr. Karadzic has been generally doing that - if in addition to the
5 65 ter number if we can identify the date of the document, particularly
6 if it is an assembly session, it makes it much easier to retrieve.
7 JUDGE KWON: That would be helpful. Yes, I agree, Mr. Tieger.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that's Exhibit D422.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe it's the same document.
11 The same assembly. The 12th of August. However, I will observe that.
12 It's going to be easier for us.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please take a look at this. This is your own address, and you
16 [As read] "Gentlemen, deputies, the government's cabinet is one
17 of a collective effort. In this, or in some other case, you have
18 authorised the prime minister designate or the prime minister to propose
19 he -- the persons he is going to work with."
20 And then further down it says --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can you also scroll down in
22 Serbian. I believe that in English we need the next page.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The assessment. What you are saying is the assessment is that
25 the time is not right for any radical changes, that includes me as well.
1 As regards Mr. Subotic, it is true that according to the decision we
2 reached at Mount Jahorina, which the intention of enabling the reshuffle,
3 all the ministers voluntarily signed to be on disposal. No personnel
4 changes or additions of any kind could have been made if they had not
5 done so. However, quite apart from that, I propose that Mr. Subotic,
6 regardless of the fact that he is, due to this or that reason, ready to
7 continue his work until further notice..."
8 So do you remember these words of yours, that you also agreed to
9 this, that these dramatic moves should not be made and basically
10 ministers signed up to that. They basically said that they were at your
12 A. I can start now.
13 What I said, you see, well, quite simply, there was this pending
14 issue of the government reconstruction. That problem had been there for
15 a while, basically between the Jahorina assembly that is being mentioned
16 here and this assembly meeting in August, the one that this transcript is
17 from, if I understand things correctly.
18 So the problem of reconstructing the government had been there
19 for quite a while. That is why I asked the ministers to resign.
20 However, I did not get the consent of the political echelons. That is to
21 say, Karadzic is the key person there; the Presidency.
22 So the only thing that remained was to have things end the way
23 they did. Quite simply, they did not agree to have the government
24 reconstructed. That was the reason for this address of mine. That is
25 why I spoke the way I did.
1 You know that political support is required for reconstructing a
2 government, and I did not have that at the time. Many ministers would
3 have been replaced. Many. It's not only a question of these important
4 ones. That was the priority. But, you see, that even the minister of
5 defence is being mentioned here. Also some others who had economic
6 portfolios and so on. However, I did not receive support, and that's the
8 Q. Thank you. All right. However, Professor Djeric, do you agree
9 that although they all tender their resignations, the reconstruction had
10 to be discussed at the meeting of the assembly?
11 A. Well, yes, that's what this is about.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that out of 83 deputies in the Assembly
13 of Republika Srpska, there were only 13 or 14 opposition MPs from
14 different parties. All the rest were SDS deputies.
15 A. I cannot confirm that because I was not really involved in such
16 statistics. How many MPs there were from which party.
17 Q. All right. But you can agree --
18 A. I mean, I can take your word for it here. But I don't know.
19 Q. All right. That's easy to establish. However, do you agree, for
20 instance, that among these 13 or 14, there were reformist, socialists,
21 former communists. Then in addition to Dodik there was -- there were
22 some other communists, socialists, there was one from the SPO; do you
23 remember that?
24 A. Well, I've already said.
25 Q. All right. Now --
1 A. I mean, I confirmed that when you asked me before, that in
2 parliament there were representatives of other political parties or
3 orientations too.
4 Q. All right.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now let us look at page 64 of this
6 document. And page 65 in English.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
8 Q. Please have a look at the words of the presiding officer. The
9 answer to that question should be provided by the corps commands and
10 General Gvero will be there tomorrow."
11 But that's not so important.
12 Can we discuss the cabinet composition as proposed by Mr. Djeric
13 who is in favour. It seemed to me not everybody voted who is in favour.
14 Thirty-six are in favour. This is not sufficient. Who is against? Five
15 are against. Did anyone abstain? Fourteen. So this means we haven't
16 reached a decision now.
17 I must conclude that this may be called government crisis as they
18 say in the west. What does it mean now? It means that we haven't
19 elected a government cabinet and that the government is about to resign.
20 They will keep on working until the next elections."
21 Mr. Djeric, can you tell me who were the 36 who voted for you,
22 for your proposal?
23 A. I can't. There's no way for me to know who the 36 were, who
24 voted against or for. In any case, it seems that this dispersion of
25 votes addresses what the MPs knew. In other words, everyone was aware
1 that there was a problem in the government and that certain ministers
2 cannot be replaced as there's no political will.
3 Q. So you were only short of six votes to reach the figure of 42;
4 correct? And, if by definition, the opposition usually abstains, then,
5 Professor Djeric, we need to conclude that the 36 were SDS MPs, and I
6 presided over that very same SDS, and yet they voted in favour of your
8 A. Yes, they did. But the problem was not resolved. The problem
10 Q. I agree.
11 A. There was a problem, since you did not agree to the government
12 being restructured. You did not led your political support and
13 everything was up to the government, which, in and of itself, had a big
15 Q. Thank you. We'll discuss further what my behaviour was. But do
16 you agree that I did not lend support -- or had I not lent support, these
17 36 SDS deputies would not have voted in your favour? If you think I
18 didn't fight it, I agree. But do you agree that a politician cannot
19 fight battles he may lose. In other words, he cannot stand up to the
20 parliament; do you agree?
21 A. Well, I mean, these are different matters. Party matters. And
22 the matters of the president. I won't go into that.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to page 65 in the Serbian
25 and 67 in the English version, please.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. Your words:
3 [As read] "Gentlemen, the government collapses if the assembly
4 gives a vote of no confidence and not because of the problems with some
5 candidates or similar things. That is the rule, and it is well known.
6 So it happens if the assembly gives a vote of no confidence in the
8 You completely followed the tenor of the constitution and the Law
9 on Government; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to page 68 next.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. Here we see Mr. Buha, another university professor and minister
14 of foreign affairs, address the assembly.
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you wait till we have the
16 problem English page.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 70 in the English. I
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we have it.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the Serbian, it is line 7 of his
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. [As read] "As a member of the government" -- or, actually, just
24 before, he says:
25 [As read] "It's the most normal thing to give a vote of no
1 confidence to the government. The assembly and the deputies are the ones
2 to evaluate the work of the government. As a member of the government,
3 as of this moment on, I feel like a man who has been given a vote of no
4 confidence, but I am also ready to carry out my work in the best way like
5 I had done so far until the next government is chosen. I wasn't
6 concerned with any changes of government, ministers, prime minister. On
7 the contrary, I think it is a good sign. I have a feeling that something
8 is wrong in the work of our government. I can't identify it, but it must
9 be resolved, and I don't know of a better way to resolve it than what we
10 have done this time."
11 Then further below, he says:
12 [As read] "I am in favour of putting a stop to this discussion
13 and to accept the results of the vote and conclude that the government
14 hasn't received a vote of confidence by the parliament and that it is
15 obliged to continue working until the next session of the assembly when a
16 new or the old prime minister will be offered a mandate and when the new
17 government will be formed. Maybe it is going to be the same government
18 and yet it may be a completely different one. Maybe some people from
19 this government will remain, but it remains to be seen."
20 Do you recall this contribution by Professor Buha?
21 A. It's been a while, but I have no reason to doubt that it was said
22 the way it is in the document.
23 Q. Well, yes, this is an audio-recording that was transcribed.
24 Can we go to page 74 in the Serbian and 76 in the English.
25 Let's see what one of the ministers had to say as his position
1 was discussed as well.
2 Mr. Mandic says towards the bottom of the page:
3 [As read] "If there was a vote of no confidence, then, gentlemen,
4 it means that until the next assembly session, the Presidency of the
5 Assembly ought to elect a new or old prime minister designate who will
6 then propose his new cabinet. I think our colleagues need to explain
7 that. The present crisis of the government -- well, the new cabinet and
8 prime minister were not accepted. The mere fact that none of the
9 candidates were accepted into the cabinet means that the entire cabinet
10 falls as well as the prime minister. The old government is going to work
11 until a new government is elected," et cetera.
12 So it seems that everyone in the government was on the same page,
13 including the prime minister and the ministers. In other words that
14 unless there was a vote of confidence, the government ought to fall as it
15 had not received assembly support; correct?
16 A. Yes. But then particular responsibility is on the president, who
17 needs to ensure that the constitutional order is functioning. Also the
18 Speaker of the assembly and party president. In other words, it created
19 an opportunity for you to show -- or, rather, to secure the functioning
20 of the constitutional order.
21 Q. Thank you. But do you agree that this was fully legitimate and
22 that many SDS deputies voted in your favour?
23 A. Well, that is not in dispute. We've just confirmed that.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to 65 ter 2 -- no. 4214,
1 which is D456 dated the 14th and 15th of September, 1992. In the
2 Serbian, page 11; in the English, page 10.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
4 Q. Let's look at what Minister Subotic said. It's towards the
5 bottom in the Serbian. We have the right page in the English.
6 Subotic says:
7 "Honourable deputies, Mr. President, I attended two or three
8 military and political consultations which were attended by the
9 presidents of municipalities from all regions, unit commanders, commander
10 of the Main Staff, with us on behalf of the government, as government
11 representatives, several of us ministers, and the president of the
12 republic. The explicit conclusion at all those consultations was that
13 our authorities were not functioning.
14 "You will remember a few days ago in Bijeljina you adopted the
15 same conclusion and I expected some of you to at least say something
16 about it and make a proposal to the assembly. I think that you adopted
17 this conclusion, Mr. Kupresanin, as far as I recall.
18 "Therefore, I propose broaden item 71 so as to include the
19 functioning of authorities in the Serbian republic and the restructuring
20 of the government. I also propose to set forth problems regarding the
21 functioning of the authorities from the municipalities to the government
22 and the highest organs in the Republic.
23 "We should discuss these matters as part of this item and decide
24 on what to do in future."
25 So we still have the government crisis, and between the 12th of
1 August and the 14th of September, no new prime minister designate was
3 A. Yes, I can confirm it.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that I was in no rush to appoint a
5 new designate, expecting that you might withdraw your resignation,
6 whereas you stated later on that you did not wish to do so?
7 JUDGE KWON: Probably interpreters didn't hear you answer because
8 it overlapped with the question.
9 Did you answer the question, Mr. Djeric?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was waiting for the
11 transcript --
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- so that I can then start
14 answering, given your caution of before.
15 I cannot agree with you, as you make a connection between your
16 stalling or dragging your feet when restructuring the government with
17 awaiting for my resignation. The assembly did not offer a vote of
18 confidence and there was no need for you to wait for my resignation. You
19 kept dragging your feet endlessly, and then the Prijedor Assembly session
20 arrived and I had to finally cut the knot, so I offered my resignation in
21 writing. I didn't even have to do that as the government had already
22 received a vote of no confidence. I couldn't work but everything was
23 being dragged on endlessly, and we were constantly in a legal limbo.
24 Therefore, I even had to make this last move and say I won't keep up with
25 it any longer. I offered my resignation in writing. I said that I would
1 no longer be a prime minister of a government which is not functioning.
2 There was this situation of stalling, and I refused to bear with it any
3 longer, to put up with it.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you recall that not only in this case of the government but
6 only in many other instances I was very much against any sudden moves,
7 and you agreed with me that dramatic moves should not be made?
8 A. Well, you see, the responsibility was upon your shoulders, the
9 political responsibility. The fact that you were not in favour of
10 dramatic changes at that point in is a matter of your political
11 assessment and the assessment of the political leadership. I won't go
12 into that. That was your right. But I'm simply trying to say that it
13 had a negative consequence on the work of the government and the legal
14 situation as a whole. Of course, the one bearing all responsibility is
15 the one making the political assessment, in terms of whether a new
16 government needs to be constructed or not.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 17 next in the same document.
19 In English, it's page 15.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. I will start reading and probably we'll find it.
22 Karadzic says the following -- we can see that on the previous
23 page. Well, we can go to the previous page to see who the speaker is.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the Serbian, it's page 17, I
25 believe. I don't know if it's the same page in e-court though.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Let's go back until we see whose contribution it is. Is this the
3 right one? It's in the Cyrillic script, but can you see well that it is
4 my name; correct?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to page 17 in the Serbian
6 then. Page 15 in the English. The bottom half.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I say:
9 [As read] "We'll have to be emphatic as members of the
10 government. We will have to be forceful as members of the government and
11 the Presidency. We must visit municipalities and restore order, even at
12 the risk of introducing extraordinary measures, making replacements,
13 arrest, appointments, and naming others who, with the help of deputies,
14 will be able to pull the municipality out of a crisis. I think that
15 tomorrow we will devote a lot of time to the restructuring of the
16 government, how it should function and how to implement adopted
17 decisions. I am certain that the government has done a lot already. If
18 we look at all the legislation that has been adopted, it may be concluded
19 that a lot of work has been done, but the question now is to ensure the
20 implementation of those decisions."
21 Do you remember that the government, indeed, proposed many laws
22 and other decisions to the assembly that the assembly needed to approve,
23 and the government, in and of itself, issued a number of regulations and
24 made a number of decisions within its purview?
25 A. Yes, it was their job.
1 Q. Thank you. I hope that by the end of your testimony we shall be
2 able to see the Official Gazette which shows that during your term of
3 office as the prime minister, on the average, five to seven enactments a
4 day, including Saturdays and Sundays, were adopted by the assembly. So
5 it was a 24/7 operation, wasn't it?
6 But the problem was how to effect the implementation. I said on
7 many occasions that the bigger problem is how to implement all of this on
8 the ground, rather than that there was a problem with the government
10 A. I might agree with you that, indeed, the government at that time
11 worked on a daily basis. One can say that they were in permanent
12 session. There was not a single day that we didn't work on the
13 institutionalisation of the system. As I said earlier, we had this
14 problem of implementation that we faced on the ground.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now move to page 141 of this
17 same document; and 130 in English. Can you please enlarge this for
18 Professor Djeric, this portion where he speaks.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And you say here:
21 [As read] "We stayed long into the night last night until 5.00
22 and discussed problems involving the work of the government and the
23 conditions it was working in. We agreed that the location where the
24 government was working was disputable, that it wasn't the best solution,
25 but it decided that should remain there for a while as long as weather
1 permits and we'll discuss the matter then."
2 So, at that point you spoke about weather conditions. That is
3 the time when the government was sitting in Jahorina where, during winter
4 time, there is a lot of snowfall - is that right? - and you decided that,
5 weather permitting, you would remain at Jahorina but that a solution
6 would be sought for; is that correct?
7 A. Well, I think that the government was at Jahorina at that time.
8 However, I don't know which session is this.
9 Q. 14th to 17th September, 1992.
10 A. So we are talking about the assembly, aren't we?
11 So, please, I don't consider this to be a particularly important
12 issue. It is true that the government was sitting in Jahorina in
13 difficult conditions, and this is not an important issue that had an
14 impact on the lack of the functionality and the impossibility to
15 implement the decisions.
16 Q. But, Mr. Djeric, it is important for the Chamber to know that you
17 were sitting on top of a high mountain, that you didn't have any means of
18 communication, and that it was difficult for you to reach Pale through
19 heavy snowfall?
20 A. Yes, that is correct. The elevation is over 2.000 metres. It is
21 good for skiing. But that was the only place because there were hotels
22 there, and that was the only place where the government could sit. There
23 was no better place in this whole area than the one on this summit which
24 was more than 2.000 metres.
25 As I said a minute ago when I spoke about the relocation of the
1 government to Pale, I didn't mean that at that time I didn't think it was
2 a good solution, but it was simply the consequence of the whole situation
3 that this was done. But I don't see this as the crucial problem that
4 caused the bad functioning of the government. I thought that ministers
5 were more important in that context than this particular issue.
6 Q. Then you go on to say:
7 [As read] "Concerning the reconstruction, we conclude that this
8 was not the time for an overall government reconstruction. It was now
9 more important to fill up the vacancies in the government. Under the
10 constitution and the law, the prime minister has the right to nominate a
11 member or members who should be dismissed.
12 "In a nutshell, I propose that we appoint
13 Minister Aleksa Milojevic as the minister of reconstruction and
15 Then you went on to nominate Milojevic and Erceg -- Vidojevic and
16 Erceg, and Dr. Dragan Djokanovic, the minister for issues concerning
17 veterans or victims of war. And we did agree, didn't we, that he was
18 from an opposition party. And now you went on to say that Ministers
19 Antic and Mandic be relieved of their duties so that they can prepare for
20 their new duties and to keep them as ministers without portfolios. Then
21 you go on to make another proposal to the effect that Ministers Ostojic
22 and Kalenic be temporarily assigned to the Ministry of Refugees and
23 Humanitarian Aid until we appoint a person to this point, and so on and
24 so forth. Do you remember these proposals of yours?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
2 A. No, no, I mean for the benefit of the transcript: Yes, I do
3 remember this proposal, but I have an objection to the manner you are
4 phrasing your question.
5 You said here that there was a no vote of confidence for the
6 government, but now you're taking me back to the period that preceded
7 this vote. Therefore, I can say that I did not win your support or the
8 support of the political leadership, and you personally, and I believe
9 that Krajisnik played a major role in the whole process, but let's not go
10 back to that. Anyway, I didn't receive any support to reconstruct the
11 government, and, quite simply, you accepted that, for the time being, we
12 fill in the vacant positions and -- is this the August assembly --
13 Q. No, it's the September assembly.
14 A. We did not get support for the reconstruction. We only got
15 support to fill in certain positions, and, therefore, these proposals
16 were made in order just to make the government operational.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
18 questions and answers.
19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers]
21 JUDGE KWON: No, no. Interpreters didn't hear the question
22 itself. And when you read out a document, you need to slow down,
23 Mr. Karadzic.
24 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: Yeah, I was just going to rise for that point noting
1 that the court reporter as well has requested some relief from the pace.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So, Professor Djeric, I am following a chronological order. This
6 was the 12th of August when the government was not accepted. You are
7 right, I was trying to postpone the nomination of a new prime minister,
8 but in this transcript you see that I commended the government for doing
9 a good job but that the problem was the impossibility of the
10 implementation; is that correct?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the answer due to
13 JUDGE KWON: The interpreters were not able to hear your answer,
14 Mr. Djeric. Could you repeat it.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was told to look at the screen
16 and to react when I see the question -- the letter Q.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. No. You should react to the letter A.
19 A. But I'm still waiting for the A to appear.
20 Can you please repeat the question because I lost it a bit.
21 Q. That was the assembly of the 12th of August, when, by six votes
22 only, your proposals with a not accepted. 36 were in favour. Then, as
23 you put it, I was stalling, and this is your opinion; whereas, I think
24 that I wanted to give time to heal up these things. And then in
25 September, in the previous paragraph, we heard that I was highly
1 appreciative of the business and job done by the government but that the
2 actual problem was in the impossibility of the implementation of its
4 A. Yeah. You were entitled to have your assessments and your views,
5 including a view that time is the perfect healer. But I didn't share
6 that view because I always had in mind the responsibility that lies on
7 the government. I was aware of the responsibility of the government and
8 you cannot not leave it to time to heal everything.
9 As I said earlier, there were some serious problems in the lack
10 of functionality of the authorities that was imposed from the local
11 level, but I also said that there were some internal problems within the
12 government itself, specifically the performance of certain ministries and
13 key ministers, and I insisted on that throughout the whole of that summer
14 because some of the solutions were rather unfortunate, they were not
15 good, and it was not easy to resolve them as you can see for yourself.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 142; and
18 132 in English.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. It's towards the bottom of the page, where we have your
21 contribution and you say:
22 [As read] "Honourable deputies, you do have the right to ask
23 questions and, in the previous procedure, to propose candidates as
24 ministers. I say that you have a constitutional right because the prime
25 minister or the prime minister designate, who is the prime minister in
1 this case, proposes the dismissal of government members or appointment of
2 candidates for vacancies in his cabinet. However, it is not standard
3 practice to contest proposals made by the prime minister for a simple
4 reason" --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now move to the page in
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 [As read] "... that he has the right to form his own cabinet and
9 to be responsible for its work. If we pursue this practice, it would
10 considerably diminish the responsibility of the prime minister and the
11 government as a whole. I think it would be much better to adopt the
12 prime minister's proposals and to have the assembly control the work of
13 the government on the basis of the constitution and the law."
14 Do you remember this statement of yours?
15 A. Yes. It's a general statement and a statement given in principle
16 that stems from the constitution.
17 Q. Yes. But, however, do you remember also that in the Law on the
18 Government, the assembly is responsible for individual ministries and
19 that the ministers are obliged to submit reported to the government, and
20 then the government has to passes on these reports to the assembly for
21 each particular department and then the assembly would give its own
22 opinion on that; is that correct?
23 A. I don't know. You are invoking the constitution. As far as I
24 know, it is the government who reports to the assembly.
25 Q. No, no, I'm not referring to the constitution but, rather, the
1 Law on the Government, which stipulates that the ministries are also
2 responsible to the assembly, whereas ministers are independent in their
4 A. Well, at the moment I cannot remember what specific provisions
5 were at the time and who maybe amended them, but if the government has
6 the responsibility towards the assembly, I don't see any reason for the
7 ministries to be parallelly responsible to the assembly.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now can we look at page 146 in
9 Serbian and 135 in English.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. Here, we have the speech by the Speaker or the president of the
12 assembly. The third paragraph.
13 [As read] "Now we have to relieve Momcilo Mandic from his duties
14 as minister of justice. First we have it relieve him and then appoint
15 him as minister without portfolio.
16 "Are there any questions?
18 "Who is in favour of relieving Momcilo Mandic of the post of
19 minister of justice?
20 "We must vote. Who is in favour?
21 "I would like to take a count. Thirty-one votes in favour?
22 "Anyone against?
23 "One against.
24 "You did not all vote. Two voted against. Any abstentions? Ten
25 abstentions. The proposal to relieve Momcilo Mandic from the post of
1 minister of justice has not been accepted. Now we can't appoint him as a
2 minister without a portfolio."
3 Do you agree, Professor Djeric, that the 31 deputies by
4 definition, even if those ten absentees were not opposition, we would
5 still have 21 deputies from the SDS who gave you their support.
6 A. Who is the president here? Is this the assembly?
7 Q. Yes, Krajisnik is the president.
8 A. Well, why are you asking me about this vote? What does it have
9 to do with me? Do you understand? So a proposal was made for Mandic to
10 be replaced and the deputies did not vote in favour of that so he
11 retained his position. That's a fact.
12 Q. Thank you. But what I'm interested in and what the Chamber is
13 interested in is how I conducted myself.
14 Look on -- out of the 43 deputies, 31 of my deputies supported
15 you, two were against, and ten were absentees.
16 A. Well, they were not supporting you. They were supporting the
17 idea of keeping Mandic in his place.
18 Q. But can you deduce that they did that according to my
19 instruction? Because they did not support Mandic, they actually
20 supported you.
21 A. This is not about me. This is about Mandic. But why the
22 deputies decided to keep him where he was and I, on the other hand,
23 persisted of having him replaced, that's another matter. We have to see
24 who and in what way made that possible and why the deputies voted the way
25 they voted. It -- I really cannot give you an answer to that. You're
1 asking me something that I don't know anything about.
2 Q. But this is it quite simple, this position, Professor Djeric. So
3 it's not that they supported him. Rather, there weren't enough votes for
4 him to be dismissed, right?
5 A. Well, the said person had influence. Now who ensured that
6 influence for him and in which way, that I don't know. However, it is a
7 fact that he performed poorly, that he was not working well, and we
8 couldn't get rid of them. So he had some kind of connections, and I
9 cannot establish who, or what.
10 Q. Yet again, please let us look at the results of the vote. It the
11 is it only two that voted in favour of him. Ten abstained. And over 30
12 supported the proposal to have him dismissed but that was not sufficient
13 out of the total number of deputies.
14 A. Well, it wasn't, and that's quite clear. Now, put a question.
15 How could the chairman, how could the parliament ignore the constant
16 requests made by the prime minister to make certain changes?
17 Q. Mr. Djeric, do you see that 15 to 1 were in favour of the
18 resignation or dismissal but that was not sufficient?
19 So no one really wanted the deputies to protect him. On the
20 contrary, only two protected him. But it wasn't sufficient to have a
21 reconstruction of that kind. I wonder whether you had any information to
22 that effect, that somebody was supporting him, when you see that you are
23 the person who enjoys the support of the Serb Democratic Party.
24 A. What matters here is that what was requested was to have
25 Mr. Mandic replaced. Do you understand that? So appropriate support was
1 not received.
2 You see, these are problems of parliament now. The problem of
3 pursuing a particular strategic policy in parliament. That's a different
4 matter altogether. What matters is that he stayed on.
5 Q. Well, we'll see until when he stayed on.
6 A. Well, he stayed on until I resigned.
7 Q. Do you remember that the new government did not include either
8 Stanisic or Mandic?
9 A. Please. Let us try to cut things short, all these questions and
10 so on and so forth.
11 What matters here is that I stopped this torment. I signed this
12 resignation in October at the Prijedor Assembly in order to bring all of
13 this to an end because I didn't go into the functioning of the Presidency
14 any longer, or of the assembly, or of the party, or of the top political
15 echelons. Quite simply, I asked to leave. I didn't even want to have
16 technical mandates any longer. What I always bore in mind was the
17 assembly vote from the month of August, when the government did not
18 receive a vote of confidence.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. Please. Let me finish. I resigned. I submitted my resignation
21 in writing. That resignation was supposed to be received at that very
22 same moment, at that assembly. And look at what happened afterwards?
23 The resignation was not accepted. It was simply glossed over although it
24 was submitted in writing, although there was nothing unclear about it.
25 Then came the next assembly in Zvornik. That was the month of
1 November. Now, at that assembly everything was well-known. I had
2 submitted my resignation, so the gentlemen were supposed to prepare a
3 prime minister designate. There was nothing unclear about that. Again,
4 the same situation occurred at that assembly. My resignation was
5 received but a new prime minister was not designated. So they kept
6 dragging this on and I remained in the same position from August onwards.
7 So then, by way of a demonstration, I simply asked to have
8 nothing to do with it any longer. And the gentlemen took over the
9 government from that point. These remains of the government. They found
10 a deputy prime minister designate and they went on until the next
11 assembly, whenever it was that that was confirmed.
12 So let me try to cut all of this short. Obviously the Speaker of
13 the assembly and the assembly had to be at a higher level, had to have a
14 greater sense of responsibility, because when such matters are involved,
15 one has to act in accordance with the law.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. If the government did not get a vote of confidence, then a new
18 procedure has to be embarked upon. There are no political or any other
19 efforts to be made there. I mean, like with these resignations, with the
20 ministers or deputies or preparing the deputies. I mean, I cannot go
21 into the reasons now why certain deputies did not vote or did vote or why
22 they abstained or whatever. I'm not going into any of that.
23 Q. Thank you. Well, for reasons of principle, the opposition always
24 abstains. They hardly ever support the government. That's the way it is
25 everywhere, and that's the way it is today as well; right?
1 Thank you --
2 A. Well, that is a matter that the theory of politics should deal
3 with. But I don't think that this would be the right opportunity for me
4 to say what the opposition was supposed to do or what the opposition
5 actually did. It's not for me to say that. It wasn't really my job.
6 And I don't think that I am here in that role now, as an expert for
7 political systems.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 65 ter 6328 now. That
10 is the assembly session held on the 31st of October and 1st of November.
11 And that is Exhibit P1468.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. While we're waiting for that, Professor Mr. Djeric, do you
14 understand that I was not pleased to have the prime minister changed and
15 that I was stalling as far as the appointment of a new prime minister was
17 A. I mean -- well, for me to say something about this I mean, I
18 really don't know what I would say. I mean, this is some feeling that a
19 leader has at a given political moment. Now how he feels, was it easy
20 for him, was it not easy for him. I mean, really. I cannot provide any
21 comment on that.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have page 7 in Serbian
24 and page 8 in English.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
1 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, if I could just make clear for the
2 benefit of the Chamber and perhaps the witness, unlike previous sessions
3 this is not a stenographic record or a transcript of a tape-recording of
4 the record. We only have the minutes of this session and not the full
5 transcription of the discussions that took place. Just so that that's
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Could you please take a look at (g). Is that part of the debate?
10 It has to do with the functioning of the government, the Presidency, and
11 the party. Many objections were raised in view of the work of the
12 Presidency, the government, and the SDS. Particularly it was the local
13 government that was criticised because they were obstructing principles
14 that were supposed to be carried out in practice. What was suggested was
15 to ensure proper exercise of government at all levels in the republic.
16 And then a bit further down, it says:
17 [As read] "During the session, a group of MPs submitted a
18 proposal in writing to have a vote of confidence in the government. At
19 the same time, the prime minister resigned verbally. The proposal on the
20 confidence vote and the resignation of the prime minister were not
21 discussed by the assembly at this session. Since it was necessary to
22 observe the required procedure, it was concluded that the assembly --
23 that at the next assembly session should be scheduled as soon as possible
24 and that decisions will be made and the resignation of the prime minister
25 should be discussed first in relation to the vote of confidence for the
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
3 question because there was a sight translation going on of the document
4 that was read out fast.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, the interpreters didn't hear your
6 question because it overlapped with your reading of the transcript -- the
7 reading -- reading of the minute.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Now, I'm going to say, end of quotation.
11 The quotation was recorded properly but my question was: Does
12 Professor Djeric remember that on the basis of the Law on the Government
13 or some other piece of legislation, it was not possible to vote about the
14 government at the same session where MPs would submit proposals of their
15 own, or could one acknowledge the resignation of the prime minister at
16 that particular session? It had to be the next session of parliament
17 that had to be awaited.
18 A. I'm not aware of that legal basis. I mean, I do not remember
19 that. However, what I do know and what I claim is that it wasn't that I
20 only submitted this resignation verbally as is stated here. What was
21 requested was that I sign this. And I did sign it. It was a resignation
22 in writing.
23 There is TV footage of that and there are other recordings, too,
24 so all of this can be confirmed or corroborated. So I said that and I
25 signed it. So it was submitted in writing. All the conditions were
1 there at that point in time to have the resignation received. Why that
2 was not the case, well, maybe it was due to this opinion that was just
3 voiced now, that the assembly did not have the right to do it at that
5 However, I know my it was imperative from a legal point of view
6 not to drag things out any further. The prime minister's resignation
7 should have been received. It was done only at the next session, but a
8 prime minister designate was not appointed. No preparations were carried
9 out from that point of view, although everything had been clear. That
10 assembly session could not have been scheduled without having the name of
11 the new prime minister designate.
12 Q. Thank you. I think that you're right, only in part. It is true
13 that you submitted your resignation in writing in November but that was
14 the 1st of November. It was the next session at the -- on the 23rd and
15 24th of November.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So could we please call up P1362
17 now. Page 23 in Serbian, please; and page 12 in English.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Could we please take a look at this now. It's the third
20 paragraph in Serbian.
21 [As read] "A long time ago I" -- so on and so forth. These are
22 Premier Djeric's words.
23 [As read] "A long time ago, five months ago, in May, in late May,
24 I raised the issue of the work of the Ministry of the Interior and the
25 Ministry of Justice."
1 It's around the middle, the third paragraph.
2 [As read] "A long time ago, five months ago, in May, in late May,
3 I raised the issue of the work of the Ministry of the Interior and the
4 Ministry of Justice. We've been having problems ever since. Since then
5 the government has not been functioning and since then a sword has been
6 hanging above the government's head. Since then, all work has been
7 impossible," so on and so forth.
8 Do you remember that you had verbalized that at this session?
9 A. Well, I cannot remember -- well, each and every individual word.
10 But I do allow for this, that this is what I said, because this is the
11 essence of those problems, isn't it?
12 Q. Thank you. However, I'm a bit confused, because you say that it
13 was late in May that you brought up the question of the Ministry of
14 Interior and the Ministry of Justice but that you, nevertheless,
15 suggested that the minister start working. 5587, that's the 65 ter
16 number that we looked at a moment ago.
17 So it's not that you were quite resolute as far as the
18 Ministry of Interior was concerned at the end of May; right?
19 A. Well, look, since then, I had intensively been giving these
20 ministers certain instructions, to make sure that there is rule of law,
21 to make sure that they observe the law, because, as ministers, they are
22 directly in charge of that, you see?
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. They are going to different consultations.
25 JUDGE KWON: There is no French. Yes, there was something wrong
1 with the French microphone. But we can continue.
2 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I focussed on them and the
4 government focussed on them because of the intensive media campaign. I
5 mean, world journalists were writing about the situation there, you know.
6 Many things were being written, and I cannot check anything. I can get
7 information through ministers and certain ministries along with all the
8 other problems that are there. Every now and then you read something in
9 the world press. Certain political interventions by diplomats,
10 secretaries of state, and so on and so forth. So it is only natural that
11 you have to react on the basis of all of that; that is to say, you focus
12 your attention on that and you take all of this very seriously.
13 Everything that is being written. You see? Very seriously. And you try
14 to ensure legality. You try to make sure that international conventions
15 are not being violated, that there is no unlawful conduct towards the
16 civilian population, prisoners of war, et cetera, because that was our
17 obligation to observe international regulations.
18 At a very early stage, the government wrote up instructions on
19 the treatment of prisoners of war, the status of the civilian population,
20 and so on. As a matter of fact, the government had this translated into
21 the English language and this was sent to international organisations so
22 that they could supervise this. This was done institutionally, but
23 certain ministries were asked to ensure that this happened.
24 However, what was noticed at that point in time was that, in
25 particular, these two minister, the minister of justice and the minister
1 of the interior, who are key ministers, and also the ministry of the
2 military that has more contact with the commander of the army, I mean,
3 they were the ones that were particularly supposed to work on this. I'm
4 saying, quite simply, that from the very outset I had to deal with these
5 ministries and look at what happened? They just leave. And then I'd
6 hear this talk, that they were taking care of their own profits, running
7 their own businesses, you see? And so on and so forth. And all of this
8 had a negative effect on other ministers, on the work of the government
9 as a whole.
10 So from the very outset, in a certain way, as soon as these
11 questions were raised, as soon as ministries were asked to work on these
12 matters, they started, you know, they started behaving in an
13 opportunistic way. A bit. That's what the problem was.
14 Then they went to seek protection. They went to consult and
15 asked how they were supposed to work. They consulted someone else. They
16 did not consult the prime minister. They did not consult the government
17 that was giving them their tasks. Most often they went to see the
18 political leadership and the leadership of the assembly, you know. They
19 thought that that is where they were supposed to be told, how they are
20 supposed to work.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you. We need to leave this document briefly.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to see the transcript of
24 Professor Djeric's testimony in Krajisnik. It is 65 ter 22479, page
25 27146. 65 ter 22479; page 27146.
1 This is 5. Could we have page 6, the next one.
2 [In English] Next page, please. [Interpretation] 270, and we need 27146
3 instead. The whole page, 101. This is 56 and we need 46 instead. Thank
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Judge Orie asks you if you ever received answers to your
7 questions, and your answer was -- just one moment. 27146. Please bear
8 with me. It should be line 9.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm afraid this is not the same
11 Lines 3 to 9.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So you say -- the Judge asked you if you received written reports
14 from Stanisic concerning the issues of property and personal safety for
16 [As read] [In English] "At the time that I was in office I kept
17 requesting from the -- from the time in June when the government was
18 formed, from June to October, I asked information on several occasions
19 from that department, information on various issues.
20 "Judge Orie: And did you ever receive a written report on it?
21 "A. Sometimes I did; sometimes it took a while. Sometimes they
22 would be detailed. Sometimes they would be quite brief."
23 [Interpretation] So you did receive reports, but sometimes it
24 took a while. On other occasions, they were detailed, and some were
1 Do we agree, Professor Djeric, that the main purpose of work of
2 that ministry is to suppress or prevent crimes, and in case there are
3 crimes that have not been prevented, reports need to be submitted,
4 criminal reports, to the prosecutor's offices?
5 A. I agree. It is standard procedure that the ministry should work,
6 study cases, and forward them to the prosecutors to bring charges.
7 But some important information that the ministry was supposed to
8 provide is something I did not receive. I did not. Experts could study
9 that in order to establish what kind of information the Ministry of
10 Interior sent to the government and what kind of information they sent to
11 the president. The information discussed here was routine information.
12 But as for important information, in my opinion, only the man number one
13 received them -- received it.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Can we go back to the old document. 65 ter 34, or P1362. We saw
16 it a moment ago.
17 While we are waiting, Professor Djeric, since there were reports
18 from the Ministry of Interior sent to the government which arrived late,
19 that still had nothing to do with the kind of information they sent to
20 the prosecution. These are two separate matter: Keeping the prime
21 minister informed and submitting criminal reports to prosecution offices.
22 That's -- these are two separate things.
23 A. They are two different processes. That is normal. I am not
24 disputing that. What is important here was that the ministry needed to
25 inform the government regularly, not the prime minister, but the
1 government, and we didn't have that. If I didn't receive any reports,
2 there was nothing for me to discuss at a -- government sessions.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have page 25 in the Serbian
4 and 13 in the English.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Which is your contribution.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The date is the 23rd and 24th of
8 October -- of November 1992.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Here, you say the following: "The prime minister" -- well, let
11 me find that.
12 I'll read it out and I hope we'll find it.
13 [As read] "The prime minister is to be -- is told of having done
14 many things such as fighting for power. But the prime minister was also
15 inputted as fighting against the president of the republic. And I hope
16 it is clear to the republican president, the prime minister is trying --
17 is doing his utmost to strengthen the position of the head of state
18 through the institutions of the system in favour of rule of law. It is
19 it wrong to think that a head of state can be strengthened by any other
20 means or that the prime minister has different political views or an
21 agenda of his own. Everything comes from the same centre. Everyone
22 saying that should know that things come from a centre. The PM has no
23 other agenda unless some people think that the prime minister was against
24 the departure of planes, as I, indeed, was."
25 Do you recall that in Geneva I was put under pressure and had to
1 agree to our aviation being dislocated to the Federal Republic of
2 Yugoslavia and that it wasn't only the prime minister but the government
3 and the people refused it? That is the reference to the planes in this
5 A. I have to study this a bit more carefully. The planes reference
6 is not clear to me.
7 Q. Look at the middle of the middle of the middle paragraph.
8 "The prime minister" -- yes. "The prime minister ..."
9 The end of the second paragraph. "It is wrong to think,"
10 et cetera, et cetera. And the paragraph ends with: "... against the
11 departure of planes." I was, indeed, against that.
12 A. I didn't go into such matters at all. A lot of things can be
13 found in this paragraph. I really can't recall it all. But I didn't go
14 into that, the issue of the planes, et cetera. It was a matter of high
15 politics that Mr. Karadzic decided on, and I had nothing to do with that.
16 Nothing. And the government did not state any position in that regard.
17 This seems to be a mishmash. Maybe I thought that rumours were being
18 spread against the prime minister, et cetera.
19 Some areas in particular were upset about the planes leaving the
20 air force. So it created an avalanche of resistance against the
21 government as a whole. But I had nothing against that. I did not state
22 my position. I did not participate in such talks. In terms of such
23 issues, I had no purview. It was a matter much international agreements
24 and their implementation.
25 Q. So you enumerate --
1 A. I simply enumerate the things that were said against me. It
2 seems that there was an attempt to shift the burden of responsibility on
3 my back, and I had nothing to do with it, and I was still reading the
4 paragraph you read out.
5 It was in the spirit of my wish to have a -- a rule of law and a
6 legal state. I believe then, as I do now, that any government or body of
7 authority makes sense only if the state is functioning at the basis of
8 rule of law. If there is no rule of law, it is not for public good. It
9 is for public evil. That was the tone of my remarks.
10 You said I was against the president, or that I had -- had a
11 difference of opinion. That is true. There was a divergence of opinion
12 between me and Mr. Krajisnik and Karadzic on many things. But when it
13 came to fighting for certain elementary rights of the people there were
14 no differences, as was the case in many other things.
15 It also had to do with their understanding of rights and
16 obligations. They were there people who said, Let's leave it now for the
17 time being. This is not the right time. We'll deal with it tomorrow and
18 so on and so forth. Usually such people do not really have any kind of
19 feeling for legal logic or the thrust of time [as interpreted]. Time is
20 irreversible. Once it's gone, it's gone. There were many people in our
21 authorities that mixed irresponsibility with dilettantism. There weren't
22 just one or two but more. However, such people could not be accorded
23 influence over important matters.
24 Q. An intervention for the transcript. The witness said "the arrow
25 of time" and not "thrust of time."
1 A. I was trying to illustrate that the lapsing of time, past,
2 present, future.
3 Q. Professor Djeric, was I not acting in accordance with better safe
4 than sorry? I was overly cautious in many regards.
5 A. Well, I can't discuss that now. It is your position. You can
6 put your own position to this Court. It is possible that you thought
7 along those lines, but I kept warning you of the need to have a
8 functioning authority, effective authority. That is why I kept insisting
9 on the two ministries and the two ministers, not to shelter them, that
10 they do not enjoy the political backing.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, may I ask for
13 additional time, as this is the most important witness from the top
14 echelons of leadership in the first couple of years of war in the
15 Republika Srpska than Professor Djeric. I believe everyone will benefit
16 from his clarifications of events. Please bear that in mind. We do have
17 his amalgamated statement as his testimony in other cases, but I will
18 mostly rely on my and his words from back then.
19 JUDGE KWON: You'll still have an hour, about an hour. But do
20 you need more?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Excellency.
22 Luckily neither Mr. Djeric, nor Mr. Mandic, nor anyone else were charged
23 before this Tribunal. I was. And the Prosecution know very well what
24 conclusions they want to draw from Professor Djeric's testimony, and they
25 acted quite unfairly in amalgamating his statement, citing only
1 Mr. Djeric's dissatisfaction, which I shared, by the way, I was
2 dissatisfied with the conditions, but through such selection of material,
3 it is suggested that I was an autocrat in favour of crimes, et cetera.
4 This is a key testimony, and I would kindly ask for more time.
5 I proposed that all transcripts of Professor Djeric's testimony
6 be admitted where he discussed a number of different things. It was not
7 approved and that is why I have to go through all these topics.
8 JUDGE KWON: That was why the Chamber allowed you four hours. I
9 will consult my colleagues.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A correction for the transcript. I
12 said that they selected such material from Professor Djeric's statements,
13 picturing his dissatisfaction and conditions which I shared. I shared my
14 dissatisfaction with the government, and as things stand in the
15 transcript now, it seems I was the only one who was dissatisfied.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you have the remainder of today and
17 half an hour tomorrow morning. That means you have an additional hour.
18 But from now on, I would like you to be focussed on the relevant
19 issues to your indictment.
20 We'll take a break now for an hour and resume at 1.30.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.32 p.m.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Professor Djeric, without going into who is right or who is
2 wrong, let us now try and be consistent with the old Latin proverb
3 "audiatur et altera pars." Now, can we have a look in this document at
4 page 27 in Serbian. And page 14 in English.
5 Let us see what one of the ministers that was being criticised is
6 saying, and I am referring to Mr. Mandic. He says:
7 [As read] "Mr. President, deputies, it was not my intention to
8 speak immediately, but I would like to say to the people what is going on
9 in the government and how the prime minister leads the ministers and the
10 government. However, I would only like to mention that the conclusion
11 from the last session of the assembly was that all the ministers and the
12 prime minister should submit in writing their activity reports. These
13 will be circulated to this esteemed gathering so that you can give your
14 own assessment of the work of the prime minister and other ministers.
15 "I am asking you now if you are in possession of these documents.
16 No, are you not. I would now like to inform you that all the ministers
17 did submit these to the prime minister ten days ago. In my view, the
18 prime minister found it more important to take part in an election
19 campaign than to circulate these documents to you so that we can evaluate
20 the work of every minister and ministry at the government meeting.
21 "Deputies, I assure you that we have never done this in the last
22 seven months. Not a single meeting of the government discussed the work
23 of the Ministry of Justice and administration or, say, that of the
24 Ministry of Interior, both of which have been referred to here. What we
25 are faced here with is there is apparently discord how policies are
1 pursued, both policies of the state and policies in general."
2 Do you remember Mandic saying this at the assembly session?
3 A. Which session?
4 Q. The same one on the 23rd and 24th November, 1992, when you
6 A. You mean when my resignation was accepted. Well, look, it is
7 well known how a government operates and how it reports to the assembly.
8 Everybody knows how this mechanism worked. From time to time, the
9 government submits a report to the assembly who oversees its work.
10 That's as far as this is concerned, and this is what we did at every
11 session of the assembly. Every time I took to the floor in the assembly
12 were, in a way, a method of reporting on the work of the government.
13 Now as for specific ministries, it was very difficult to work
14 with the gentleman mentioned herein because it was said then that he
15 cannot look for any kind of excuses. His job was to take care and to
16 lead the ministry, not to do all other kinds of things, and it was also
17 his duty to report to the government. However, the -- these minutes
18 reflect that this gentleman was often absent and there was always someone
19 who appeared as his substitute. What he was doing in actual fact, I
20 don't know. So who can he blame? Because it's obvious that he has some
21 kind of invisible support from some quarters. The only one he can blame
22 is the prime minister, so it's quite clear.
23 And this story about the air force that we heard earlier all were
24 also part of the game that was aimed against the prime minister. When
25 you have a people at war, particularly if you have a majority involved,
1 and when you have an international decision to ground all the planes and
2 move them to Serbia, he feels an existential fear in such circumstances.
3 And when you want to destroy someone in a political manner, you resort to
4 such games.
5 To put it simply, this gentleman is wrong. This is his version
6 of events. He always sought excuses in some technicalities, whereas his
7 ministry and he, himself, as the minister as always being on the agenda
8 as the one who were criticised all the time.
9 Now, speaking of all these issues, this is the key problem, and
10 the problem is that these gentlemen enjoyed political support from
11 somewhere, and that is what kept them in power. That is, Mr. Karadzic,
12 why I left.
13 After that, Mico Stanisic was reinstated as the minister of the
14 interior in December 1993. That cannot be done without someone's
15 support. I let this other person be appointed to some diplomatic post,
16 et cetera. So as I said, they had political support from the political
17 leadership and that is why they behaved in the way they did. This is
18 where I think lies the key reason.
19 JUDGE KWON: And the question was whether you remember Mandic
20 saying the part that Mr. Karadzic had read out.
21 Do you remember Mr. Mandic said this?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I do remember.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No -- no doubt about it. This is
25 the last session that I attended when my resignation was accepted. And I
1 think that was the one held in Zvornik.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Either in the Prijedor or in Zvornik, but this one was on the
4 23rd of November.
5 A. I think it was on the 31st of October, in Prijedor, or maybe it
6 was the 1st November, actually, when I resigned.
7 Q. Now two more questions unrelated to this document.
8 You said that there were always some substitutes who attended in
9 their place. Did you draw up any schedule as to who can stand in for a
10 minister if he is prevented from attending?
11 A. Well, there were deputies who would act as substitutes but that
12 could only happen in exceptional circumstances. That cannot become a
13 regular practice. I would also like to make reference to the vice prime
14 minister for internal policies, who directly co-ordinated the minister of
15 judiciary, and the minister of the interior, and so on. But he simply
16 complained all the time that he cannot get hold of these gentlemen at
18 Q. A while ago, you said that this gentleman and his ministry was
19 constantly being criticised. Can I find this somewhere in the minutes of
20 the meeting of the government, specifically on the session when his
21 ministry was discussed?
22 A. Yes, you can. You can review the minutes of the meeting of the
23 government. You can see what the agenda was, which items were discussed
24 and debated pertaining to which ministers, and you can see who the
25 attendees were.
1 So often, very often, someone else attended instead of him.
2 Q. Thank you. You met very frequently, almost every day; is that
4 A. Initially, yes. Later on, not so often.
5 Q. Thank you. Since all the minutes from the assembly, the
6 government, and the Presidency have been admitted into evidence, we are
7 not going to waste any time more today.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have page 27 in Serbian
9 and 14 in English of this same document.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Here, in the middle, it says:
12 [As read] "I have to inform you, since I have been put on the
13 spot, that Mr. Stanisic and I - you all probably know everything about
14 us - how useful is each one of us, how committed to our work we are, how
15 much effort we have put into it, and how much has been done in the last
16 seven months. I will only inform you briefly that at our last five or
17 six sessions, out of 100 agenda items, 90 concerned the judiciary and
18 administration. The dozen or so of us from the Ministry of Justice and
19 administration did as much as we could, respected you, the
20 representatives of the local authorities, in our endeavour to set up from
21 scratch the judicial organs, administration, correctional facilities, and
22 misdemeanour courts. To what extent we succeeded and whether someone
23 else could do a better job, it is up to you to judge on the basis of our
24 activity reports and other documents.
25 "I assure you, however, that the work of individual ministries is
1 not being questioned here, but the leadership relationship of the prime
2 minister who criticised the work of the assembly, i.e., you, the
3 president of the state, who does not agree with the work of Mandic and
4 Stanisic because we are not his private ministers. You know that under
5 the constitution judges are appointed by the assembly and that during an
6 imminent threat of war they are appointed by the state Presidency.
7 "The prime minister and his deputy insisted that this be debated
8 by the government and that we discuss individual judges. I did not agree
9 with this because this is a matter for the grass roots and the assembly.
10 The executive authority cannot decide on the appointment of officials to
11 the -- in the judiciary. I objected to that. At one of the meetings
12 that I did not attend, but the minutes are available, the government
13 adopted a decision and elected several judges. Can you believe it? The
14 government actually elected several judges. This is on record.
15 "Naturally, I explained it to the prime minister that this is not
16 how it works. That the prime minister and the government cannot decide
17 on matters like. This disagreements ensued. I will explain to you
18 later, as this is only a reply, that an agreement occurred at the
19 personal level but -- because it is neither up to the government nor me
20 to judge the work of the president of the state or the assembly
21 president. My job is to stick to it and to implement your policies."
22 So as they say, "audiatur et altera pars," let's hear the other
23 said. This is what Mandic says about this issue. You listened to this
24 and I would like to hear what you say to this. Did the government
25 appoint judges?
1 A. Concerning all the questions that you raised here, I'm going to
2 respond by referring to several points.
3 First of all, I didn't have any personal disagreement with the
4 ministers. I said a minute ago that I didn't have any disagreement with
5 the president, the Speaker of the parliament, or any other officials from
6 the political authorities.
7 Gentlemen, I told you a minute ago that this is what I said, and
8 this was recorded in the transcript from this assembly. I said on that
9 occasion that the president and I shared the same view when it came to
10 the fight of the people for their rights. I would have been the happiest
11 man on the planet had it been possible for this to be accomplished
12 without a war. However, at that time, I was in favour of that, but what
13 I think is extremely important is that I never perceived the rights of my
14 people to be something to be exercised at the expense of other peoples in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was always in favour of equality. Therefore, I
16 assume -- or, actually, not assume. I know for sure that Mr. Karadzic
17 was on the same wavelength at that time. Therefore, there couldn't have
18 been any disagreements regarding this matter, including with the
20 So this gentleman was simply offended for being picked on all the
21 time, and he is trying to disqualify and derogate the prime minister.
22 Now, the background of all this is that Mr. Mandic never complied
23 with the decision of the government to submit a report on the prisoners,
24 on how the civilian population was treated, et cetera, because that was
25 one of his tasks. And also on war crimes. So he was supposed to submit
1 a report to the government, and the ministry received this conclusion
2 from the government at the beginning of June, and that was their task.
3 But the problem is that I didn't receive it. Therefore, this is the
4 context that I, as the prime minister, had to exert some pressure on them
5 as ministers.
6 Q. He says --
7 A. Yes, yes, yes. About the judges. Listen, it's not up to the
8 government. The government may have debated this but only on the basis
9 of a proposal from the ministry. In other words, if this really
10 happened, it was his ministry that had prepared it for the government.
11 His ministry. Nobody made that up. I couldn't have put that on the
12 agenda. It could have been done by his ministry alone. But, as usual,
13 he was absent.
14 Q. Now we're listening to the other side as well. So it seems to me
15 that Mr. Mandic is trying to say that they worked properly but that your
16 objection in terms of his not respecting the work of the prime minister
17 or collective -- well, is it correct that the work of the parliament was
18 based on submissions by the Ministry of Justice, 95 per cent; is that
20 A. Well, depends how you measure it. When a government comes into
21 being, and when you have to have some kind of institutionalisation, then
22 you have to have proper legislation and you have to have a Ministry of
23 Justice and a public administration that function properly. Now what
24 percentage that was? I mean -- well, I'm not denying that his desk
25 officers, his bureaucrats at the ministry prepared all of that, so that
1 was coming in, but the minister was not there to state his views in terms
2 of the main work of the government; and that is the report, the report to
3 prepare a report, about everything that was happening on the ground to
4 the -- the extent to which there was rule of law and the extent to which
5 this was highlighted. After all, there are minutes, and there are jobs
6 involved. I think that these gentlemen and -- went out there and
7 consulted with the political leadership, and they were dragging their
8 feet a bit.
9 In the president, they found a man who thought that time heals
10 everything, but you know what? I think that that is this not the case.
11 Not this kind of thing.
12 Q. Thank you. Can we --
13 A. Sorry, please let me finish.
14 I think that you did not assess the political situation. Had you
15 punished what was supposed to be punished from day one, later on, things
16 would not have happened. Worse things. So I left, and the problems
17 remained, Mr. Karadzic.
18 So I left. I tried to persuade you. I told you about all of
19 this, but all the problems remained. And what happened, happened. I am
20 not going to go into all of that now.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have English page 15 and
23 Serbian page 29.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. Mr. Mandic, again, is speaking here, but I tried to abridge it.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is this page 29?
2 Yes, it could be there. Yes, yes.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Now -- just a moment, please. So it is the first third.
5 [As read] "I'm not a sycophant. I struggle and I work as best I
6 can. And that's the way I'm going to be. If this assembly says that I
7 am not the right person for the judiciary and the administration, which
8 was not the case last time, Radovan Karadzic and Momo Krajisnik did not
9 stop me from leaving the position of minister. It was you. You voted.
10 You did not want me to be a minister without portfolio. If you remember,
11 I think that was in Bijeljina. There are not any personal reasons
12 involved. It was your decision, and you thought that I was supposed to
13 finish what I started, which is what I've tried to do, with all possible
15 And so on and so forth. So now there's a lot of hearsay
16 involved, a lot of intrigue.
17 [As read] "Did any of you ever see any reports from us stating
18 whose mistake this was? Momo Mandic's or Branko Djeric's?"
19 And now a bit further down, Mr. Djeric says -- it's this last
20 paragraph. Mr. Djeric says that he advocates the rule of law --
21 JUDGE KWON: Just wait. Next page for the English.
22 Yes. [Overlapping speakers]
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. [As read] "Mr. Djeric says that he is in favour of rule of law
25 and the constitution. Several times at government meetings, I made some
1 critical remarks stating that the government cannot take over the powers
2 of the Presidency and the assembly. Several times we adopted
3 governments -- decisions made by the government establishing public
4 institutions. All of that is done by the assembly, and you know that
5 full well. Certain officials were appointed by the government which is
6 supposed to be done by the assembly. Now, who is interfering in whose
7 work, the government in the assembly's work or the assembly in the
8 government's work? I kept saying that this is not right. Therefore, I
9 was no good and I could not be part of Djeric's government."
10 So he says that these are doctrinary and professional differences
11 in terms of what the powers involved were and that there were some
12 appointments that he complained about at government sessions and that
13 this led to some personal animosities between you?
14 A. Well, quite simply, this is ridiculous, you know? This is just
15 empty talk. He's making excuses. He's trying to move onto a different
16 track altogether. This is not correct. How can the government take over
17 the powers of the assembly when the -- when the assembly is there all the
18 time, when the president of the assembly is there all the time? Had
19 Mr. Krajisnik protested who was in charge of the assembly then, well,
20 then, that would have been a different story because it was for him to
21 say what the assembly was doing and what the government was doing. The
22 government wasn't doing no such thing. The government could have
23 prepared certain documents for the assembly, but for the government to
24 perform the functions of the assembly, that did not happen. That is not
25 true. Quite simply, he is making excuses here. Excuses for himself.
1 The main thing is here is, and I underline that, the government
2 from the beginning of the June was supposed to do that, namely, the
3 ministry was supposed to submit a report to the government about people
4 being taken prisoner, about the treatment of the civilian population, and
5 so on and so forth.
6 They had to submit a report because the government had already
7 worked out all the necessary regulations and they started operating. We
8 never received that, all the way up until the month of October. It was
9 only in October that the report arrived from the Ministry of Justice, and
10 the government acted on the basis of that report. There was some
11 unlawful detention facilities that were then disbanded and so on.
12 So from the beginning of June, until this period of time, this
13 kept going on and on.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. Well, I can just add one thing here, that, often, these two
16 ministers, and this one, Mandic, often went to see the leadership, the
17 leadership that consisted, first of all, of Karadzic, Krajisnik and
18 Koljevic. Biljana and I -- Biljana Plavsic and I were sort of opposition
19 there. That's why these gentlemen didn't like me or Plavsic, and they
20 kept -- they kept trying to find a way out with the top political
22 I said this once somewhere, that Mr. Karadzic was not against
23 punishing crimes, but he kept postponing that for later. Do you
24 understand that? And I asked for punishment to be meted out straight
25 away. So that is the actual conflict with this minister and the other
1 one, and that is the core of the matter. No wonder the problem escalated
2 in this period of time.
3 Q. Thank you. We'll get to that. We have documents. We have your
4 documents and my documents, but now I wanted us to look at page 31. So
5 let us hear the third other side, so there's not only just one other side
6 that is there. There's the prime minister, the premier and then also --
7 well, look at this, page 31.
8 [As read] "I would like," it's the last paragraph. This is
9 Mr. Stanisic who is speaking there. If necessary, we can go back so you
10 can see -- we can see in the English version that it's Mr. Stanisic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In English it should be page 17.
12 Page 17.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the English page
14 please be returned.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Yes, for the benefit of the interpreters it's
16 better to have both English version and B/C/S version on the monitor.
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Interpretation] Microphone, please.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. "I would appreciate ..."
20 So Mr. Stanisic says at this very same assembly session:
21 [As read] "I would appreciate it if some of the gentlemen here
22 were to say I insisted, first of all, as the minister of the interior ...
23 there is no rule of law without laws on the basis of which the Ministry
24 of the Interior can work. The Ministry of Interior cannot work on the
25 basis of emotions. We will then turn into a mob committing acts of
1 violence against its own people. I don't want to do that. I reject
2 that. That has nothing to do with the rule of law. The -- when there is
3 rule of law, the police force works and it's role is in the rule of law.
4 Actually, that of the Ministry of the Interior is a preventative one: To
5 report crimes and not to arrest and beat people. It is not for the
6 police to do other work. There are other organs responsible for that
7 when there is rule of law. I am in favour of rule of law and I insist
8 that the police act in such a way or otherwise I will not accept this
10 Do you remember that that was the position; and do you remember
11 that there was a certain lack of understanding there, that, perhaps, the
12 police was wrong, according to the prime minister, but if they submit
13 reports to the Office of the Prosecutor, then they have actually carried
14 out their basic function; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at page 83.
17 I smiled a bit when I read your characterisation of Mr. Ostojic
18 in the amalgamated statement. Do you know, Mr. Djeric, that even in
19 western parliaments there's a man who is called the whip and that is the
20 man from a particular political party who is following the way in which
21 MPs vote. That even exists in the British parliament and that is exactly
22 the way you portrayed Mr. Ostojic. May he rest in peace. He is deceased
24 A. Well, I did not have in mind the parliament or the position of a
25 party leader in mind. I was actually thinking of Attila and he actually
1 wanted to portray himself in that way.
2 Q. Oh, a zealous man from the party?
3 A. Well, yes, zealous, and he liked power.
4 Q. Thank you. Please let me find this now. But he is insisting on
5 the following now. If this is page 83, it says up here
6 "Velibor Ostojic." It says: [As read] "But therefore he insists on the
8 Can we have the bottom of the page.
9 JUDGE KWON: English page?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. In English, it
11 is 44.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. It's the middle of the penultimate paragraph, where it says
15 [As read] "Therefore I insist on the following. Gentlemen,
16 deputies, in Prijedor you can concluded that you should ask the
17 government for a report and to have the ministries' report included in
18 this report. That was your decision. I observe that decision and submit
19 a report to the prime minister because I want people to know how much I
20 did, how much of it is my responsibility, and how much I may be
21 criticised and how much I may be awarded. This decision was not
23 "I therefore ask the following question: Whose minister am I?
24 I do not accept that I am the prime minister's minister. I am a minister
25 in the government of Republika Srpska, and I am a minister of this state,
1 and I am a minister who is accountable to this parliament, just as you
2 are accountable to the people. That is the system of responsibility in
3 place. As part of that, I protest because the government's report and
4 the ministries's report were not presented, based on the decision you
5 adopted in Prijedor."
6 So he claims that he submitted the report too. Do you remember
7 that they certainty you these reports and perhaps because of your
8 resignation or something else, you did not forward them to the assembly?
9 A. From time to time, the government looks at the work of each and
10 every ministry. They are asking for reports to be submitted and then
11 they discuss these reports. It is not customary for the assembly or
12 anyone else to discuss a ministry. They discuss the entire government.
13 They ask the entire government for a report. The assembly could not have
14 a debate without a report, you see? What ask is focussed here is
15 bureaucracy, red tape. We are not looking at bureaucracy here now.
16 That's not the main point. What I discussed is what really mattered.
17 As for Velibor Ostojic's statement, this is a typical statement
18 from party positions so that he could support these other ministers in
19 this way or that.
20 I hope that you have understood the core of the problem here.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have page 117 in the Serbian
23 and 61 of the English in the same document.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. These are Karadzic's words. Towards the bottom, he says:
1 [As read] "I intentionally did not wish to speak until now. You
2 heard my opinions at the deputies' club meeting yesterday. Now that this
3 is so, I can tell you that there is no conflict between the Presidency
4 and the prime minister. The -- I hold the prime minister in high regard
5 and we kindly asked him for the third time to accept the mandate, and we
6 even used our common friends. When we nominated him, we were very
7 satisfied with the previous work of the government. However, it was our
8 belief that we need to change something under the burden of
9 responsibility. We simply need to start working in a different manner.
10 Even if things were at their best, some changes still need to be made in
11 order to accelerate things.
12 "On this occasion, I'd like to congratulate first and foremost
13 Mr. Djeric for what he had done this far. When we are doing something --
14 well, if someone has anything to say in terms of their hostility, that
15 would be unforgivable in terms of someone sitting in the Presidency or
16 lack of principle, as far as I can say, our relationship with Mr. Djeric
17 is at the highest possible level. However, there's disbelief that things
18 need to be changed to a certain extent.
19 "We did discuss matters, but we did not consult about the issue
20 of the new prime minister designate. We did not know the outcome of it
21 all and did not want to rush ahead. When we thought about it, we wanted
22 the Presidency to do something. I have a number of ideas. Conditions
23 needs to be secured as well as personnel, and they all need to be talked
24 to to see what their ideas are. Some of them will remain part of the
25 government if they so wish, and, if possible, to do it within the next
2 Do you remember that my position concerning you was always as
3 stated here and I stated it publicly?
4 A. You did say so, was your opinion about me, and that is not in
5 dispute, your opinion of me as a person. But this touches upon other
6 issues that I wanted to resolve as the prime minister, and they were not
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 121 in the Serbian and
10 63 in the English version to see what you said.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Mr. Djeric, the paragraph beginning with, [As read] "At the same
13 time..." It is from the session of 23rd/24th October.
14 [As read] "At the same time, I want to thank you for your
15 co-operation. I think this co-operation was ample and within the limits
16 of possible co-operation. After all, there is no need to prolong it very
17 much. We have to find a designate, form a new government, and let it
19 "In offering my resignation I wanted certain changes and that we
20 make certain turnarounds on behalf of the people and for the people.
21 And, at this moment, although I could have withdrawn my resignation and
22 further complicated things, I do not wish to do so, for the very reason
23 that we must do everything for our people, despite what my dignity would
24 allow me or not. Thank you."
25 So you could observe that I delayed the consultations and
1 election of the new prime minister designate, expecting that tensions
2 would ease at this particular session and that you would withdraw your
4 A. Well, I cannot go into what you expected or thought would happen
5 and what was realistic or not, particularly in view of the fact that I
6 resigned in writing. People did try to convince me to withdraw the
7 resignation and maybe some people counted on it but I refused. As you
8 can see, my position was resolute and I said that it was out of the
9 question. There was nothing to wait any further. A new prime minister
10 designate had to be appointed, and things should have moved ahead.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you believe that someone would try to talk you
12 into withdrawing your resignation without prior consultation with me,
13 once they have acquired my approval?
14 A. I don't know. I cannot speculate about that. But, yes, there
15 were people who suggested it to me, presenting it as the only way out, as
16 the only solution. But I did not accept it.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we next have 65 ter 125,
19 which is D440.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. This is the 15th Session of the Presidency of the Serb Republic
22 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the circumstances of an immediate threat of war
23 held on the 16th of July, 1992.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 6th of July.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Agenda item 1, the question of Dr. Nikola Koljevic's
2 participation in the work of the Presidency.
3 Apparently he was dissatisfied with his perform and that he could
4 no longer endure physically or psychologically and stressed that he was
5 having family problems.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at page 2 to see what
7 Professor Djeric said. The second paragraph from the top.
8 [As read] "Professor Djeric pointed out that the results of the
9 work are significant, irrespective of the self-criticism by Professor
10 Koljevic. No further improvisations should be tolerated in the course of
11 work. The Presidency should -- the Presidency has no division of labour
12 and we need to establish connections with the different ministries.
13 Working bodies of the Presidency should be set up," and he disagreed that
14 little was done by the Presidency.
15 And it says:
16 [As read] "Dr. Branko Djeric pointed out that the dominant policy
17 of the Presidency was one of not upsetting people. He pointed out that
18 the accommodation of the government and the Presidency was also a
20 So you, Professor Djeric, suggested that the different government
21 departments establish closer ties with the Presidency, and probably you
22 had in mind the Ministry of Interior and Defence rather than the Ministry
23 of Economic Affairs or Forestry, for example.
24 A. That's not what I meant. I simply had in mind ties between
25 people. That there are departments that should be asked for opinions and
1 that there should be consultations. Members of the Presidency cannot
2 hold the posts of ministers, and often people saw their role in exactly
3 that way. That is why I discussed ties, as there should be in any
4 system. There is such -- there are such things as co-ordination and
5 communication. That was the thrust of my argument.
6 I was prompted to say that because things -- such serious matters
7 should not be improvised, and of course there will be upset people along
8 the away. There are always private interests or interests of other kinds
10 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that following your contribution and
11 after the meeting, we talked vice-president Koljevic into staying in the
12 Presidency and we assigned him the mandate of the minister of foreign
13 affairs, and on behalf of the government, Mr. Buha acted in that
15 A. I remember that he was dissatisfied with something although I
16 don't know what it was. In any case, he was a member of the Presidency
17 who expressed his dissatisfaction, and you should know more about that,
18 and probably that is why you offered him another position involving
19 foreign relations. There was a ministry of foreign affairs, so I can't
20 say that I agreed to his new position. We had a minister of foreign
21 affairs, but you did find a position for him within foreign relations and
22 you calmed him down.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that he was dissatisfied with his own
24 contribution and that any institution would have departments in charge of
25 foreign relations? There are committees for foreign relations in
1 parliaments. There are similar parts in the government. And if we have
2 a Presidency, then it's the president who is in charge of foreign
3 relations or there is a person who is designated that role.
4 A. That is not in dispute, but I can only say that I don't know what
5 it was that he objected to. Apparently he was dissatisfied, but you know
6 better what it was.
7 Q. Thank you. Can we have a look at 65 ter 1118. It seems to be
9 Professor Djeric, did you order the Ministry of Justice, either
10 orally or in writing, to submit a report about the situation with
12 A. It was an official conclusion of the government early on.
13 Perhaps in June or late May. We asked for a report. We could see media
14 reporting, and there was a lot of pressure on the Serb side. Foreign
15 diplomats made statements, as well as secretaries of state.
16 As far as I remember, the government even issued a decision to
17 address the ministers of foreign affairs of some important countries, in
18 particular, the five permanent members of the Security Council and as
19 well as the organisation of European Co-operation and Development. That
20 is what prompted the government to ask for a report from the ministry so
21 that we would know what the situation was.
22 Q. Thank you. So the government did not receive certain reports it
23 wanted and reacted to something that was made public internationally; is
24 that correct?
25 A. Yes, something in that regard. The competent ministry had to
1 prepare a report and it was one of the main preoccupations or duties of
2 the government to monitor such matters in the field.
3 Q. Thank you. Have a look at this letter of mine sent to you on the
4 7th of August.
5 [As read] "Dear Mr. Prime minister, I hereby deliver to you
6 copies of the reports on the situation in Manjaca and Bileca prisons that
7 I just received. In regard to these reports, I have sent a letter to
8 Mr. Cornelio Sommaruga, president of the ICRC, and to General Ratko
10 "Based on these reports, I expect the government to take prompt
11 action through the ministries of justice and the interior to improve the
12 living conditions in the prisons in our territory housing -- run by
13 civilian authorities."
14 Do you recall this letter?
15 A. I can't put this in any context. I don't remember it but I have
16 no reason to doubt that this was so.
17 The government had already been working on it, and you sent this
18 letter quite late on the 7th of August.
19 Q. Yes, because it had to do with the report received from
20 Mr. Sommaruga.
21 A. Yes. You were in charge of such affairs in the Presidency,
22 perhaps alone or in co-operation with Kalenic, but you were in charge of
23 it. Foreign relations were in your hands, the hands of the Presidency,
24 in a way.
25 I don't want to go back to it, but the ministers also saw you
2 Q. Thank you. Please bear with me.
3 Were you able to observe that in the international community
4 reports and diplomatic statements there were inaccurate statements or
5 information supplanted by the other side?
6 A. Well, I can only say anything about that once I have received a
7 report from our side. It is only then that I could discuss what was
8 correct or not. That is why that was the crux of the problem. You, in
9 other words, intervened as the president on the 7th of August, whereas
10 the government reacted as early as, say, the 7th of June.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that Professor Koljevic, in terms of
12 your criticism of Stanisic and Mandic, sided with you, more or less?
13 A. Nikola could switch sides easily. That's the kind of person he
14 was. And, ultimately, that was the reason of his dissatisfaction and why
15 you tried to calm him down, to appease him, with the positions you
16 created for him.
17 I did not see Professor Koljevic as a stable statesman. He
18 struck me more as a university drama professor. That's how I saw him.
19 Q. Yes, literature, Shakespearology?
20 A. Well, I won't speak ill of the dead, but when it comes to
21 statehood affairs, things have to be done properly and quickly because
22 time is irreversible and things have to be taken more seriously.
23 Q. Can I please have now 1D04195, which is D1672.
24 Do you remember that I set up a commission to investigate the
25 allegations concerning Mr. Mandic, Mr. Stanisic, and Mr. Tomo Kovac and
1 their involvement in illegal activities, and I appointed Mr. Koljevic the
2 chairman of that commission? Do you remember that?
3 A. When was that?
4 Q. That was on the 23rd of October, 1993. We're going to look at it
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 1D04195, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If that was in 1993, I'm not a
8 competent person to speak about it because I left in 1992.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. But given that some allegations persisted afterwards, the person
11 who criticised Mandic, and he was a highly placed official, I asked you
12 to investigate all these allegations, and believe me, after a long
13 investigation, Professor Koljevic submitted a report that these
14 allegations were baseless in actual fact.
15 A. I don't know. I cannot speak about this. Except that I can say
16 that at first glance I can only establish a link between this and the
17 subsequent reappointment of Mico Stanisic as minister of the interior,
18 which happened towards the end of 1993. Probably the late
19 Professor Koljevic had some reasons why he acted in the way he did.
20 The fact is that Mico Stanisic was appointed minister of the
21 interior for the second term of office in late 1993, and you don't need
22 any special scientific measures. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to
23 perceive that there is a connection between this and the future events.
24 Q. Thank you. Do we agree that after the fall of your government,
25 the new prime minister designate did not take either Mandic or Stanisic
1 to become members of the government, whereas Stanisic was reinstated only
2 after the report submitted by Professor Koljevic?
3 A. Yes, that's a fact. As far as I can remember, that's how things
4 happened. They had no place in the government after I had left.
5 Q. Thank you. Let us now deal a little bit about -- with the
6 relationship between our authorities and citizens of Republika Srpska of
7 other ethnicities.
8 And for that purpose, can we please look at D90, or 65 ter 20.
9 This is the assembly session of 28th [as interpreted] March, 1992, a few
10 hours after the acceptance of the Lisbon Agreement, if you remember.
11 A. I do. Now, as for the dates, I can only take your word for it,
12 and I -- I -- I agree that if you say so, it was several hours after the
13 Lisbon Agreement was accepted.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
15 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Karadzic may have been about to correct the
16 transcript on that, but it's not the 28th March. It's 18 March as we can
17 see on the stenograph before us.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe I did say the 18th, but I
19 concede that.
20 Can we have page 22 in Serbian and 16 in English. 22 in Serbian
21 and 16 in English. But it could be 22 in the actual document and not
22 necessarily in e-court.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let's find the portion that begins: [As read] "We are going
25 now," or "We shall." We have it in English. It's the penultimate
1 paragraph, which begins with: "We shall ..."
2 I'm going to read it. Just a moment, please. Here we have it.
3 Thank you very much to the Registry.
4 [As read] "We shall now have to establish a full structure of
5 government on the ground, because this is our duty to the people who live
6 there, Serbs, Muslims, or Croats, so that we can secure peace. Then,
7 through negotiations, we shall try to achieve the maximum requirements.
8 It is not clear whether this will be the situation of the 1974
9 constitution or not, but, at this stage, our strategy is to start
10 dividing jurisdictions."
11 Do you agree, Professor Djeric, that all of us in the leadership,
12 including yourself, shared the same opinion that each constituent unit
13 will have a certain percentage of Serbs, Croats, and Muslims living
15 A. Yes, I agree with that. This was taken into account and we
16 strived towards preserving the equality of people who remained in their
17 original places of residence.
18 Q. Do you remember that an idea was to provide reciprocal protection
19 of collective rights, whereas individual lives of Serbs, Croats, and
20 Muslims would be totally equal?
21 A. Yes, I agree, and that would constitute a basis on which the
22 government operated. In that context I have to say a few things that
23 were adopted as such at the very beginning.
24 For example, the government suspended the privatisation processes
25 that had been initiated until such time when everything became normal and
1 in which everybody would be able to participate. That was a very serious
3 Secondly, the government issued a ban on the possession of vacant
4 flats because these flats should remain the possession of their original
5 owners even though they were empty and that it can only be occupied on a
6 temporary basis with the accompanying cataloguing of the belongings that
7 are found in such flats.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 66 of this
10 same document. And it's page 45 in English.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Third paragraph in Serbian.
13 [As read] "I think that the council of ministers will have to
14 work around the clock to be able to prepare some additional laws to
15 establish the SDK and so forth. We shall announce our withdrawal from
16 the MUP, not to mention that we have already obtained the badges. Our
17 police will have to act in accordance with the law. No one must be
18 harmed, regardless of their religion or nation. Everyone must feel
19 absolutely safe."
20 Was that a unanimous position taken by all the relevant factors
21 in the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs, irrespective of whether they were
22 partisan people or not?
23 A. Yes. It is true that this attitude and these words reflected our
24 commitment to have all the civil, human, and all other rights be
25 respected and that there could be no exception.
1 Q. The next paragraph speaks about the maps and I say the following:
2 [As read] "As far as the maps are concerned, the Muslims have
3 agreed with them. It is a different matter altogether. The maps will
4 have to be corrected. The working group would not exist if this was the
5 final map."
6 Do you remember that, for example, the question whether certain
7 villages would be included or not included was a very sensitive issue and
8 that for that purpose these working groups were established to draw these
9 micro boundaries?
10 A. Yes, there were commissions that were involved in these matters.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. As well as in other forms of analysis or examinations regarding
13 economy and everything else contained in the Cutileiro Plan.
14 Q. The next paragraph reads:
15 [As read] "That is why I ask you to do whatever is necessary to
16 establish on the ground the de facto situation based on justice and the
17 law, to have good and complete control of our destinies and areas, with
18 full respect for citizens of other nationalities. That is what people
19 will be judged by."
20 "There will be various relocations, but nothing must be done
21 under duress. We see that the Serbs from Livno are moving out and so
22 forth, which is all natural a part of such a dangerous process of an
23 intense process of reorganising a state."
24 Do you agree that this question of the factual situation
25 prevailing on the 18th March did not refer to a war situation because at
1 that time we had hoped that the war was avoided on the basis of the
2 Lisbon Agreement?
3 A. Yes, I do agree, because at that time nobody thought about war at
4 all. Recently, I have learned how the parties had been arming themselves
5 the whole year before the Cutileiro Plan, and I have only recently
6 learned how people earned their pension on that basis. And this is
7 something that I learned only lately. I never knew that before.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that in March there was a huge
9 movement of Serbs from Livno once they realised that Livno would not part
10 of the Serbian constituent unit and that they relocated themselves to the
11 Serb-controlled areas, and this is what I mentioned in my address to the
13 A. Well, I cannot remember particularly the situation with Livno at
14 the moment, but I do remember that at the time people were afraid and
15 ready to migrate. But as specifically concerning Livno, I cannot
16 remember anything about it.
17 Q. Thank you. Was that prevalent within all the three constituent
18 groups, that they slowly started moving towards their respective
20 A. Well, I cannot make any judgement on that matter, nor can I make
21 any assertions to that effect. However, generally speaking, all three
22 sides were afraid, and there was a tendency, individual tendencies, to
23 join their respective ethnic communities.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 65 ter 28, which
1 is D92.
2 Can we have page 18 in Serbian and 21 in English. This is the
3 assembly session, 24 to 26 July 1992.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. This is your address. But let us look at the top of the page,
6 where we have the words of Radovan Karadzic. This is my speech, and you
7 can see that on the previous page. And I say that:
8 [As read] "Regrettably I have to say that in Podrinje the Muslims
9 are not in favour of peace, except in Bijeljina and Pale where there are
10 20 per cent of them, because nobody is touching them, nor does anyone
11 consider them second-rate citizens. Quite the contrary. Our state
12 officials communicate with them with a view to convincing them that they
13 have no reason to be afraid. Therefore, in the Serb BiH, the Serbs have
14 accomplished their state, their freedom, and a state big enough for all.
15 I hope that we reach in this assembly session some conclusions and
16 decisions to further entrench this state."
17 Do you agree that guarantees were provided for -- to the Muslims
18 of Pale that they would not get in harm's way?
19 A. Well, yes, one can understand to mean exactly that. Everybody
20 knows that the Muslims living in Pale were respected, and I think that
21 their will was taken into account by the local authorities at all times.
22 So the presence of the government there was an additional guarantee to
23 the Muslim population living there.
24 Q. Do you agree that they remained living there for as long as they
25 wished and that they left only when the coffins with the killed Serbian
1 soldiers started to arrive, which they felt embarrassed about and they
2 wanted to leave?
3 A. Well, I was not closely connected with these affairs, and I
4 cannot make any comment on this. I'm -- suppose that you had more
5 information from the local level.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 87 in Serbian
7 and 86 in English. It's the same session. Let me find the relevant
8 passage. Give me a moment, please. I needed 87 in Serbian and 86 in
10 Here it is. It's towards the bottom. Here it is. Yes, where
11 the cursor is. Thank you. Someone -- someone's Serbian is very good.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. [As read] "At first we are certainly going to have that many
14 Serbs, but I think that they will all leave their state. The Muslim
15 state and the Croat state. In that state that we are building we have to
16 ensure all rights for them, all the rights that we have, if they are not
17 hostile towards us and they should lay down their weapons. In Romanija
18 some villages are surrendering their weapons like those who live in
19 Bijeljina and other villages. The main precondition is for them to
20 surrender all weapons so that they can enjoy all rights."
21 So was this not only my position but the position of all
22 responsible people. Whoever is not shooting will enjoy rights equal to
23 those enjoyed by any other citizen. Do you know that almost until the
24 end of the war some villages in the Romanija area lived in peace in our
1 A. This position, with or without weapons, was often pointed out. I
2 can confirm that.
3 Q. The precondition is that they have no weapons, that they do not
4 fight; right?
5 A. The precondition is for them to live in peace, not to use
6 weapons, you know. Weapons are weapons.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 5587 is the 65 ter number. Could I
9 please have that document. It is D422.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Today you mentioned that the government, through the ministry or
12 the ministry through the government, proposed judges when the assembly
13 could not meet and, therefore, in accordance with the constitution, the
14 president appointed judges until the next assembly session.
15 A. That is on the basis of the constitution: Until the assembly
16 meets again.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I have page 18 now in Serbian
19 and in English. I beg your pardon. I said 18.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So you sent this to me, and I nominated some 18 or 20 judges,
22 Croats and Muslims; however, when the assembly started working, I and you
23 and all the rest - remember? - had to fight for this, for the assembly to
24 continue appointing Muslims and Croats to institutions of the judiciary.
25 Look at what I said about that in August:
1 [As read] "I think that not only with regard to this proposal but
2 in principle, I would say, look, as we said yesterday, we have to see if
3 that person is appropriate. But, as far as other ethnicities are
4 concerned, we have to have a percentage, a proportion participating in
5 the municipal authorities. We have to be responsible. We are creating a
6 state. You are the organ creating it. The state must be created swiftly
7 and in the best way. The state must have all its elements in order to
8 survive and to remain as a state. I cannot elaborate on this longer but
9 I know what I'm saying.
10 "Believe me, Alija is paying a fortune to any Serb willing to
11 stay and work in his territory. He is begging the metropolitan bishop
12 there and sending his people to convince him. I think that the Serb
13 people are building a state and they know how to make a state, and
14 because we know how to make a state we need to make it with all the
16 Do you agree that this pertains to all ethnicities in the
17 Republika Srpska?
18 A. That is the spirit of your speech. So it is within this subject
19 too. You see that the government prepared that for you. The proposal
20 included judges of all ethnic backgrounds.
21 Q. And I nominated them and that is in the Official Gazette.
22 A. Yes, these are facts that cannot be refuted.
23 Q. Thank you. Now the chairman is explaining the opposition voiced
24 by MPs. He says:
25 [As read] "Radovan, let me explain: Nobody rejects them because
1 they are not good or because they are Muslims or Croats. Simply, we have
2 decided to declare ourselves now because we are in a civil of war. So
3 they will lose this number of judges, and when the war is over they will
4 be re-elected."
5 So you see, it was easier when I could sign your decisions rather
6 than when they were sent to 83 MPs.
7 A. Yes. And this is at the same time a reply to Mandic's letter.
8 You know about the appointment of ministers. Now you see, don't you,
9 that according to the constitutional law the government prepared this
10 material for the Presidency when the assembly could not meet.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D02064. Can we please see that.
13 And then page 16 in Serbian. I'm afraid we don't have the translation
14 yet but it is quite clear.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. This is a decree of yours. While we're waiting.
17 JUDGE KWON: Slow down, Mr. Karadzic. Slow down.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 16 in Serbian.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So here it is, the 2nd of May, 1992. As prime minister, you
21 adopted a government decree and I'm going to read it out now.
22 [As read] "On the basis of article such and such, there's a
23 temporary ban on selling and buying apartments that are socially owned in
24 the territory of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina" --
25 JUDGE KWON: Please slow down.
1 What is your question?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. It's short. I don't
3 even have to read all of this out because we're going to tender this.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Already on the 2nd of May you passed a decree prohibiting the
6 buying and selling of apartments because the situation is not regular;
8 A. The situation is not regular. And this would give way to illegal
9 trade in apartments that belonged to others.
10 Q. And temporarily abandoned apartments could change their owners;
12 A. I spoke about that a moment ago. That was the essence. As far
13 as I can remember, I know that at a very early stage the government
14 passed these documents so that no citizens who lived there would be
15 harmed. What we took in mind -- what -- what we took into account was
16 that their rights should not be infringed upon in any way.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this be MFI'd. And before we
18 are done for the day, could I just show you two more documents. They're
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: MFI D2245.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 D111. Can we have a look at that.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Let us see to which extent we agreed on basic questions
1 pertaining to the protection of human rights.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this please be zoomed in.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you agree that on the 23rd of August --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Actually, could you zoom in the
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
8 Q. I gave instructions based on what the government had done
9 previously, so these are instructions. And it says up here in the
11 [As read] "There's a widespread phenomenon that local people move
12 into empty apartments instead of refugees and they retain the right to
13 have several apartments. Abandoned apartments are a phenomenon of war,
14 just like refugees are. That means that both of these things are
15 temporary. Could the following instructions please be adhered to
17 And, then, it says:
18 [As read] "Temporarily abandoned apartments can be given for
19 provisional use to refugees only and not to local persons."
20 Can you please take a look at this? This is a document which has
21 already been admitted. Do you agree that the Presidency and government
22 are working hand in hand here on protecting the rights of citizens of
23 Muslim ethnicity, primarily?
24 A. Well, I approve of this, but I don't understand why you had to do
25 this if there was a government decree in place already. That is what I
1 find interesting.
2 Q. Probably until August, I got some information to the effect that
3 there were certain abuses, so I did not issue a decree. I issued
4 instructions that they abide by this. Does that seem reasonable to you?
5 Because somebody probably told me that this was a widespread phenomenon?
6 A. Possibly. If you wanted to be double sure, then, yes. But if
7 the authorities function properly, then there were sufficient legal
8 grounds previously in government decrees.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do we really have to stop now? Do
11 we have to stop now for the day?
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That was the last question for the day.
13 You will have exactly -- up to half an hour tomorrow morning,
14 Mr. Karadzic.
15 Mr. Tieger, did you have any other point?
16 MR. TIEGER: No, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE KWON: When will we hear from you about the -- about your
18 observation on the commencement of Defence case, Mr. Tieger?
19 MR. TIEGER: It will be filed tomorrow, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yeah. Tomorrow is the deadline, I think. Thank
22 Yes, thank you.
23 The hearing is now adjourned. We will continue tomorrow morning
24 at 9.00.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.03 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day of
2 April, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.