1 Thursday, 14 February 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Good morning, Mr. Zepinic. How are you today?
8 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
11 Your Excellencies. Good morning to all.
12 WITNESS: VITOMIR ZEPINIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Dr. Zepinic.
16 A. Good morning, Dr. Karadzic.
17 Q. I would like to keep things as short as possible so could you
18 please tell us, how long have you and I known each other? Not how long
19 we've known of each other, but how long we've known each other
21 A. Now that you're asking me, I know of you since the student
22 demonstrations of 1968 and the speech that you made at the pavilion. By
23 the way, you recited Njegus on the occasion. We've known each other
24 since you were in power. Of course we knew each other from before from
25 various gatherings. Inter alia, I think we attended an international
1 conference of psychotherapists in Dubrovnik. Once you came to power it
2 was only natural that we got to know each other better. Unfortunately,
3 the role that was given to me as the top man of the Ministry of the
4 Interior meant that through your files I found out a lot of details about
5 all of you, your mentality, your nature, your personality, if you will.
6 Since you've asked. It is only natural that I was interested in learning
7 about your personality for professional reasons. I know that you were
8 also involved in psychotherapy as I was. And I can tell you and conclude
9 on that note, in many situations - as can be seen from the telephone
10 conversations between the two of us - I did not see, or rather, I did not
11 perceive Dr. Karadzic the way I knew him personally, as a person.
12 Because in most of these cases, as you've probably seen through these
13 transcripts, you used swear words, threats, bad language. Knowing you
14 personally and having had coffee with you and having chatted with you,
15 your nature is quite different and also that would not be the nature of a
16 professional, a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist. So now that you're
17 asking me, I can tell you that I knew two personalities: Dr. Karadzic as
18 a professional, a family man, and so on; and Radovan Karadzic as
19 president of the SDS, who was a bit the opposite of the Dr. Karadzic that
20 I knew. Things were similar in relation to Alija Izetbegovic too. I
21 don't know whether this has satisfied you in terms of an answer.
22 Q. [No interpretation]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not catch
24 Mr. Karadzic's question.
25 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said thank you. And as a matter
2 of fact you forced out some of my questions.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Since we had a professional relationship, was our relationship
5 very dynamic, sometimes even very sharp; and if so, why, on the basis of
6 what, and that can be seen from the intercepts too?
7 A. Unfortunately, Dr. Karadzic, these were bad times for our country
8 and bad times for you and for me. By the very nature of things,
9 regardless of our good relations, our good personal relations, in a way
10 we were on two completely opposite sides, if I can put it that way. On
11 one side I was there with my Ministry of the Interior working for
12 coexistence in peace at all costs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and thereby
13 peace in the territory throughout Yugoslavia, in the territory of all of
14 Yugoslavia. Once the problem of Bosnia's resolved, the problem of the
15 former Yugoslavia would be resolved, or rather, the problem of the
16 Balkans. On the other hand, you were a member of the coalition force
17 that was given the mandate to set up a government, and you included me in
18 that government. This coalition had a very optimistic view and made
19 quite a few promises to Bosnia-Herzegovina --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
21 microphones please be switched off. Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] However, nothing came out of that.
23 This coalition, it's not that it never functioned as a coalition. As a
24 matter of fact, on the inside, so it's not only that you clashed with
25 those who were against the coalition, but even you as coalition partners
1 had such divergent relations that the only question was for how long you
2 stay on but you needed each other and you never raised a question of the
3 disintegration of the coalition. Formally speaking, Dr. Karadzic, you
4 remained in a coalition with the SDA and the HDZ even up to the beginning
5 of the war although you had left the Assembly on the
6 14th of October, 1991 -- or rather, the deputies of the SDS did. You and
7 I on several occasions had very frank personal discussions. Officially
8 we often had confrontations in respect of my ideas, that is, but as
9 president of the SDS you were also in a position to oppose the even more
10 extremist members of your party because this unfortunate Dr. Zepinic
11 still headed the Ministry of the Interior although he was not obeying the
12 coalition that was in power, if I can put it that way.
13 Also if you wish I can tell you very frankly. There was the
14 example of the conversation you had with the delegation that came from
15 Sokolac and the delegation that came from eastern Herzegovina, the
16 delegation from Banja Luka, and especially I know that you had terrible
17 problems with the chief of the security services centre in Doboj who
18 never agreed with me being on the top, but I did agree that he stay on as
19 chief of the CSB in Doboj because he was the candidate of the SDS.
20 Although at all sorts of meetings with you personally or at the meetings
21 of the parliament of the SDS he asked for a re-examination of my role.
22 So, as I've said, very often we were directly confronted, but also you
23 had to confront even more extremist members of your own party because I
24 headed the Ministry of the Interior.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you the following: You remember -- you
2 mentioned that sharp language of mine. Do you ever recall -- actually,
3 can you tell me why I called you and when did we have these unpleasant
5 A. Let us be perfectly clear. I never thought that these were
6 unpleasant conversations between the two of us. Again I'm saying you
7 were using language that was not appropriate and was not characteristic
8 of the Dr. Karadzic that I knew personally. I have to remind you,
9 Dr. Karadzic - and a few of your ministers in the government of
10 Republika Srpska also said that - you were surrounded by very bad people,
11 people who brought information to you, most often brought you wrong
12 information probably for the following reason: So that you would express
13 the authority of the president of the party, that is probably why you
14 used that kind of language in this aggressive approach in certain
15 characteristic situations. So I cannot say that you personally wanted to
16 offend me or attack me. Quite simply, you were not in a position to give
17 the right answer to the wrong information that had reached you, and very
18 often after this aggressive reaction you would call again and say, Why
19 did this policeman go to Kalesija? Because two men were involved in a
20 brawl. I mean, things that had nothing to do with inter-ethnic
21 relations. But the information that you received was that the policeman
22 was a Muslim, and so on and so forth. Do you understand what I'm saying?
23 Things were similar in other situations too. Zone Boban [phoen]
24 killed --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction:
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- hit another football fan at a
2 game and then five years later that man got out and said, I'm a Muslim,
3 not a Serb. So this kind of wrong information that was bandied about --
4 I'm surprised, you were an experienced man. You're a professional too.
5 Why did you not double-check that information that reached you? You made
6 such a mess in Bosnia-Herzegovina because of minister -- the minister of
7 information [Realtime transcript read in error "misinformation."
8 Velibor Ostojic, the party said that this was an attack against Serbdom
9 and then you talked about the Second World War and you talks about pits
10 and -- this was a terrible, catastrophic situation. Velibor abused that
11 and he was saying at government meetings, Why is Dr. Zepinic concealing
12 information? And I said, Velibor, it is in your interest for us not to
13 reveal the actual results of the investigation. After that neither you
14 nor anyone else from the SDS ever mentioned that again. I'm trying to
15 say that you did not deem it necessary to check the information that
16 receive -- that you received before reacting and you reacted in a way
17 that did not really correspond to the Dr. Karadzic that I knew and the
18 personality of the Dr. Karadzic that I knew.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. But were you aware of the fact that the SDA, the top
21 leadership of the SDA, was involved in --
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. The translation was not complete.
23 But yes, I'll hear from you first, Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President. I've been struggling since the
25 last few questions before we adjourned yesterday and the questions raised
1 today to identify their relationship with the cross-examination and how
2 they arose out of the cross-examination without success. And the
3 question that is posed now seems to fall squarely within the category of
4 inquiries that are not -- were not raised by the cross-examination.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
6 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I think the entire
7 cross-examination dealt with issues of Dr. Karadzic's presence at
8 meetings when guns were displayed, his gambling with Arkan, his conduct
9 in wanting to expel people, Muslims, his conduct in wanting to split the
10 MUP, and he has ever right I think at this point to ask Dr. Zepinic
11 whether his conduct and his personality was consistent with the crimes
12 that he's charged with in the indictment: The forcible expulsion of
14 MR. TIEGER: Well, I'll say two things because the latter one I
15 think deals with this comment specifically. First of all, the inquiries
16 made -- raised in cross, as the Court is aware from the specific
17 references to the paragraph -- paragraphs of the statement submitted,
18 were directly responsive to issues raised in the evidence in chief. So
19 it cannot be a circular matter of that type where the Prosecution
20 responds directly to assertions made in the examination-in-chief in a
21 focused manner, and then the redirect seeks to re-open the entire direct
22 examination on the basis that the cross-examination was responsive. So
23 that is not accurate as a broad conceptual matter.
24 But more directly, even taking Mr. Robinson's objection on its
25 face as valid, this question is -- doesn't go to those matters in any
1 event. Now we're looking at not the matter he suggests justifies the
2 inquiries, but instead some issues of broader justification or broader
3 context, all of which was raised by the direct examination and could have
4 been expanded long before the cross-examination responded directly to
5 some of the issues raised.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 JUDGE KWON: I didn't hear in full the question with respect to
8 the SDA. I'm not sure if it's relevant or if you are ready to move on to
9 another topic.
10 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, if you don't mind, just one
11 intervention from me. When I was talking about Velibor Ostojic,
12 translation is saying "the minister of the misinformation." I would --
13 he was a minister of information not misinformation. I'm sorry for this
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Dr. Zepinic. It's line 6 of page 6.
16 Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
19 [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, with all due respect,
20 yesterday lines 68, lines 22 and 23, Mr. Tieger suggested, as is his
21 right in cross, to Zepinic that I called him with regard to appointments
22 of Serbian personnel in the MUP. My question is the following: What was
23 the basis or the reasons that I called? I also wanted to ask whether
24 Dr. Zepinic recalls me ever calling him without any reason. I think he
25 said that I called due to certain pressure that was exerted. I wanted to
1 ask the following: Yesterday he confirmed that Hasan Cengic had no right
2 to be involved in the work or meddle with the work of the MUP. Did those
3 people who alarmed me from the field had any reason to be dissatisfied
4 with the influence SDA was exerting over state authorities?
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President, the Court may be interested in
7 this and I don't want to pre-empt that. However, I do feel compelled to
8 clarify and rectify an erroneous suggestion by the accused. The only
9 reference I made to the previous conversations was placing in context a
10 question that I then asked about subsequent information that the witness
11 had or didn't have about the division of the MUP, not about the nature of
12 the phone calls, what prompted the phone calls, the broad aspect of those
13 phone calls, which is all dealt with, as I recall, in paragraphs 52
14 through 72. So, this is an example of the accused using the thinnest
15 thread, that is, a -- any kind of reference whatsoever to a broad topic
16 and then attempting to use that as a hook to re-open a matter that was
17 raised in direct examination that was not explored in cross. Again, the
18 Court may be interested in this for its own reasons, and I'm not trying
19 to be obstructive in that manner, but I've noted over and over again that
20 that's a technique used by the accused and I couldn't let it pass as a
21 justification in this instance.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will allow the accused to continue, and
24 if necessary the Chamber will consider whether the Prosecution will have
25 another opportunity to cross-examine if necessary.
1 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
2 Did I say the "excuse"? I said the "accused."
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I hope you will use the
4 word "excuse" at the end of the trial.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. On page 68 there is a quote from Dr. Zepinic's interview to the
7 effect that I called him concerning certain candidates and that
8 Izetbegovic and Kljujic sometimes tried to call him but at the end
9 probably called their own representatives. With the assistance of
10 Dr. Zepinic, I wanted to shed some light on the nature of my
11 interventions. To that end, I'd like to direct your attention to an
12 intercept between -- of a conversation between myself and Dr. Zepinic and
13 it is D364.
14 What can you tell us, Dr. Zepinic, why did I call? What kind of
15 pressure was coming from the field? What kind of pressure was I under
16 that would force me to call you and ask for a clarification?
17 A. Dr. Karadzic, as you know, in the coalition partnership you had
18 agreed on a division of certain posts, not only in the
19 Ministry of the Interior but in all other ministries and state bodies and
20 organs to have a restructuring of personnel on the basis of the ethnic
21 key. Given the nature of work and the scope of work I had to deal with
22 at the helm of the Ministry of the Interior, it was our internal
23 arrangement in the ministry to influence directly the top-ranking
24 positions only, such as assistants and deputies to the minister, down to
25 perhaps chiefs of CSBs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Anything lower than that,
1 the arrangement had been that it would be done by three of my assistants
2 as part of a commission. The commission included Mr. Mandic, Ado Hebib
3 or Mr. Selimovic or Bruno Stojic. Objectively speaking you will
4 understand that I could not physically monitor whether an appointed
5 police station chief who was done appropriately. It's not only you but
6 many others who used to call me about certain work posts and positions
7 which belonged or did not belong to any particular party. To be fair, I
8 was in no position to know what every job entailed in terms of which
9 party had the right to it. That is why you as coalition partners while
10 you were in power before the outbreak of the war, you were never fully
11 able to conduct a restructuring exercise as per national party key,
12 irrespective of the fact that they had their organisational boards. It
13 was Rajko Dukic in the SDS who was tasked with it and the HDZ and the SDA
14 had their own people. I think Boban couldn't deal with it but Kljujic
15 did irrespective of the fact that Boban was the head of the party.
16 However, that task was never completed. It was often intervened, and I
17 would be told: We don't have a commander in this or that municipality.
18 And I didn't eve know whether that commander was supposed to be appointed
19 by the SDS, the SDA, or the HDZ. It was something for my assistants to
20 do and know. Unfortunately, as you could experience in our telephone
21 conversations, there were frequent misuses of position on the part of my
22 deputies, too -- my assistants, actually, and they succumbed to the
23 pressure of certain parties to appoint such people who did not meet the
24 qualifications that were necessarily or who, as people, were not the
25 right people for such jobs but they were only party candidates. If you
1 recall, the HDZ asked for me to be removed because I refused to appoint
2 the head of a police station which was marginal in Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 because he simply lacked appropriate qualifications. And then the HDZ
4 said, Well, Delimustafic was appointed the very same way. And I told
5 Kljujic, Well, this is what you agreed to. If you agreed that that kind
6 of candidate can hold that post, that's fine. But I will not accept to
7 appoint a person like that because the person is not qualified.
8 For example, there was a candidate for the Bihac station who had
9 a criminal file. He had been sentenced for having raped a student in the
10 medical high school. That person should not be a policeman let alone
11 head of station or centre.
12 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zepinic. So what was my position with regard to
13 personnel being brought to the MUP? Did I ever try to impose anyone who
14 had never been in the MUP and had a criminal file, irrespective of the
15 pressure from the field?
16 A. I cannot confirm that; however, I can say with certainty as best
17 I can remember with what little intelligence I have left, but I don't
18 remember you ever intervening in favour of someone who had a criminal
19 file for them to be employed in the Ministry of the Interior. But you
20 did, as any other leader, intervene, asking that it should be someone
21 loyal to the party. You did not insist upon and I didn't verify it
22 because it was not my job to do whether such candidates were even members
23 of the party. You were frequently put in a position that you were
24 pressured from the field by the regional or municipal boards to appoint
25 candidates without previous background checks, which created tension
1 between you and me in our telephone conversations and in our private
2 meetings when we discussed such candidates. Let me remind you,
3 Dr. Karadzic, you frequently accepted the arguments that I put to you
4 against certain candidates be appointed to a number of positions. You
5 yourself mentioned the case of Banja Luka. We spent six hours trying to
6 convince each other which would be the right candidate for the position,
7 and my suggestion was adopted in the end. It was a frequent occurrence
8 that there were pressures from the field to appoint personnel who did not
9 meet the qualifications or who had no previous background checks.
10 Q. Thank you. In line 3 it was interpreted in the past participle.
11 Dr. Zepinic, I think in the end you did and rather you said that your
12 suggestion was accepted.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: We presumed the
14 accused wanted to say it was Dr. Zepinic's suggestion that was adopted.
15 Could the speakers kindly slow down and could Mr. Karadzic kindly
16 repeat his question.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The gist of it was that I accepted Dr. Zepinic's suggestion not
19 that it was accepted.
20 Doctor, do you confirm that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was that against what the local SDS board suggested?
23 A. Yes, that's what we established yesterday. The regional board of
24 the SDS insisted on a candidate which you had also nominated as the party
25 president. I was against him, not for personal reasons because I didn't
1 know him at all, but I didn't know another candidate who had been at that
2 position prior to your and my arrival. He was in that CSB and based on
3 the information we had it was my estimate that he went about his job
4 professionally which was to be expected in the future. I knew him
5 personally and that was the reason why I insisted on it, and at the end
6 you accepted my proposal that the candidate stay in that position rather
7 than another candidate be placed there who was suggested by the SDS.
8 Q. I'm afraid this is not the document. I'm asking for the
9 18th of -- 17th of June, D270, it's an intercept where I participate
10 alongside Dr. Zepinic.
11 THE ACCUSED: To enable Dr. Zepinic to have display, monitor.
12 [Interpretation] We don't need the audio. We need the transcript in both
13 languages. That's it.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Dr. Zepinic, please look at the tenth line from the bottom where
16 I ask:
17 "Tell me first did the MUP procure anti-armour weapons?"
18 Do you recall such alarming information even from the army that
19 the MUP was being armed in that way? Do you recall that?
20 A. Yes, I looked at the minutes of the presidential session in 1991
21 and we submitted a proposal on the restructuring and reequipping of the
22 Ministry of the Interior. Among other things we had envisaged a special
23 Intervention Platoon to be established alongside another special unit
24 which had already been in existence. Both the government and the
25 Presidency approved it, thus approving the procurement of that kind of
1 weapon. The JNA also approved that transport military helicopters be
2 used to procure such anti-armour weapons that would be used by the
3 special platoon. The JNA approved it, otherwise according to the then
4 law it would not be able to procure it.
5 I don't know who it was from the top of the army who told you
6 that we were arming ourselves against the army. Can I read out the
7 conclusions of the Presidency?
8 Q. Perhaps there's no need.
9 A. At those sessions of the Presidency of the 15th October and the
10 16th of December and the 21st and 29th of December as well as at the
11 sessions of the Council for Constitutional Protection, full support was
12 leant to the work and co-operation between the MUP and the JNA in their
13 efforts to preserve peace and security in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At such
14 sessions there were two representatives from the Presidency who were SDS
15 candidates who also agreed with those decisions. We were not arming
16 ourselves against the army. We were not arming ourselves for any other
17 reasons, save, as I have mentioned yesterday, for our security
18 information which indicated that a war is going to -- was going to break
19 out in June 1991. It was being staged. We prolonged it in a way because
20 it was our assessment that in terms of personnel and materiel as well as
21 weapons we needed to be sufficiently well-equipped in order to put a stop
22 to the ensuing war.
23 Q. Thank you. In Serbian page 5, in English page 7, please. Could
24 we have that now.
25 Doctor, please, what you are saying around the middle:
1 "Tomorrow, tomorrow you will be seeing ..."
2 A. I know about that and you don't even have to put a question.
3 Q. Could you please read it out nevertheless.
4 A. "Hasan Cengic and Osman Brka are to visit me tomorrow."
5 If I may give a free assessment. Perhaps Brka was one of the
6 most extreme members of the SDA and the reason I invited them is the
7 pressure they exerted on Mr. Izetbegovic to appoint persons in the
8 Ministry of the Interior who did not meet the necessary requirements.
9 For example, the chief of the security centre services. That's why I
10 intervened with Mr. Izetbegovic because I was against that. Is it in the
11 interest of the Muslim people to employ criminals in such positions? If
12 that is the case, then let us state this publicly. That's why these two
13 persons were invited to come and see me so that they would be told that
14 they cannot interfere in such a way, to exert pressure on Izetbegovic and
15 then Izetbegovic on me since Cengic was the head of the appointments
16 commission of the SDA and he was supposed to ensure parity on ethnic
17 grounds in the security services and in the MUP.
18 Q. Thank you. On that page do you remember the thing I said after
19 that, that:
20 "We haven't appointed a single criminal and we haven't appointed
21 anyone who was never in the MUP before"?
22 A. If you allow me, I already answered that perhaps a minute or two
23 ago. I cannot recall that you personally intervened on behalf of someone
24 who had a criminal record, for such a person to be admitted into the
25 Ministry of the Interior or to be appointed to one of the top positions
2 Q. So your answer here was:
3 "No, no, no, not a single man of ours. There is nothing that
4 could be said"?
5 A. Yes, and if you look further on you asked me whether Coric had
6 been replaced. Zoran Coric was an exceptional professional and I said
7 "no." And up to the very end, if I can put it that way, we were under
8 pressure to replace Coric by someone else. Now that you're asking me,
9 believe me, I have no idea what Coric's ethnic background was and I'm not
10 interested at all. I know that he was an electric engineer, that he was
11 a professional, and that he was an adequate person to stay on in that
12 position --
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, we allowed you to continue, but we are
14 struggling to understand how this part arose from the cross-examination.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, from what Mr. Tieger dealt
17 with on page 68 yesterday, lines 20 to 23, where it was suggested that I
18 called and tried to interfere in the work of the MUP on an unacceptable
19 basis of sorts. But I'll drop the subject now.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Dr. Zepinic, regardless of these sharp words on both sides in
22 these official communications, did I show any kind of animosity towards
23 you, or rather, did we keep our mutual respect?
24 A. I think that that was the case. I don't know what your opinion
1 Q. Thank you. Did you see for yourself that I was intolerant in
2 relation to Muslims or Croats and did I display or have any kind of
3 hatred vis-a-vis them?
4 A. Dr. Karadzic, that is a question that is very hard to answer,
5 whether you personally hated someone or not, that is your own affair.
6 From the position that I held, I would not want to comment upon that
7 because that's a private matter. I have to point out here that - how do
8 I put this? - that the Serb Democratic Party behaved in a different way
9 until the parliament session was -- until the walk-out from parliament in
10 October 1991. Because after that the policy of the SDS was totally
11 against what your coalition had been based on. As you walked out of the
12 Assembly, according to the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
13 Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina ceased to exist. It was the duty of the
14 Presidency to dissolve the Assembly and to have early elections. That is
15 what the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina says. That's what the
16 elections law of Bosnia-Herzegovina says. And things went on. If we
17 accept that the European community gave you the mandate and that that was
18 on the basis of the existing laws, then everything that happened in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina until the 14th of October, 1991, was unlawful against
20 the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and all the legal provisions that
21 had been passed in earlier years. Because you, as the coalition, had not
22 changed any laws. You hadn't changed the constitution. You hadn't
23 adopted any amendments to the constitution. And then you established an
24 unlawful Assembly and you did not have the mandate to do that because you
25 were not elected to create an Assembly of the Serb people and then you
1 established some republic that was not recognised by the Presidency. In
2 all honesty, no one recognised that. This Presidency was unlawful,
3 irregular. So from the point of view of the Constitution of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the
5 14th of October, 1991, everything you did was unlawful. When I say
6 "you," I'm not saying "you" personally; I'm referring to your coalition
7 of the three national parties. And you did not break up this coalition
8 even up until the beginning of the war. It was only natural for the
9 speaker of the Assembly to say that the coalition was no longer there
10 after the walk-out of the SDS MPs and that the Assembly could no longer
11 function as a lawful Assembly. And then the Presidency was supposed to
12 call an early election. However, you did not call for an election
13 because you knew on the basis of estimates that you would have lost the
14 election. You can keep shaking your head for as long as you want,
15 Dr. Karadzic, but try to say that I'm wrong when I say that not a single
16 national party then could get 500 citizens at one of their rallies. As
17 presidents you could not even go to another village where you were not in
18 power. You sent me to resolve the question of barricades because you did
19 not dare face the people and say: Remove the barricades. You didn't
20 dare do that. Mr. Izetbegovic didn't dare do that. You were just in an
21 APC, Dr. Karadzic, you and Mr. Izetbegovic. At 3.00 at night we went to
22 the barricades in Sarajevo. Not a single one of you dared to go to the
23 barricades and face the citizens. You asked me to do that. Dr. Zepinic,
24 people respect you, and we are going to do what you -- that they are
25 going to do what you're asking them to do. You needed each other so that
1 you would remain in power. And it is for those reasons that you did not
2 call an election when the Assembly and Presidency, and thereby the
3 government, ceased to exist on a lawful basis.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The pace of speech is too
5 fast for interpretation.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Dr. Zepinic, I understand your emotions vis-a-vis Yugoslavia and
8 I believe that the late President Tito would have been very happy.
9 However, I'm asking you something else. Did you see a display of
10 intolerance on my part? Did I display hatred vis-a-vis Muslims? Now I'm
11 talking about your knowledge about me.
12 A. About you personally, Dr. Karadzic, you know that as the head of
13 the Ministry of the Interior I unfortunately knew everything about all of
14 you and I was supposed to know all of that, how you walked, how you
15 breathed, because I was supposed to protect you because I didn't want any
16 one of you to be in harm's way so that the situation in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina would become even worse than it was. You know full
18 well, Dr. Karadzic, that my ministry kept that dispatch from the
19 Ministry of Croatia that Vojo Seselj not be sent to Croatia. We --
20 Delimustafic kept that dispatch for three days and then he was -- Seselj
21 was returned to Serbia. However, since he was supposed to be on TV, our
22 assessment was that this would lead to a great deal of tension and that
23 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina would gather.
24 Q. It doesn't say that Seselj had three soldiers only in
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Once again, this is too
2 fast for interpretation of each and every word. Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: Please bear in mind that your words have to be
4 translated. Your speed is too high for them to catch up with. I'm not
5 sure you answered the question, but please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Dr. Zepinic, from the position of that knowledge could you see
9 for yourself that I was intolerant towards other ethnic communities and
10 individuals or, for example, that I hated them?
11 A. Again, I have to remind you that this is your personal affair,
12 whether you hated someone or not. I'm talking about tolerance among
13 parties. Even at the first session on the 20th
14 of October [as interpreted], 1990, during two days you could not even
15 agree on the agenda.
16 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 MR. TIEGER: Just for the benefit of the interpreters, it's very
19 obvious when Dr. Karadzic starts to speak as the interpretation from the
20 answer is still being produced, and that can only lead to the problems
21 we -- that the interpreting staff intervened on a moment ago.
22 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Zepinic, did you complete your answer to the
23 question that -- whether Mr. Karadzic was intolerant or displayed hatred
24 towards certain people?
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, Your Honour, before answering your
1 question, I would intervene. I didn't state that it was a session --
2 first session on 20th of October. It was 20th of December, 1990s. I
3 would appreciate to check this.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 JUDGE MORRISON: Well, Doctor, that's one of the problems with
6 going so fast. The interpreters have an immensely difficult job to do
7 and you will appreciate that as someone fluent in both languages. If you
8 leave a pause between the questions and answers --
9 THE WITNESS: I understand.
10 JUDGE MORRISON: That's better.
11 JUDGE KWON: Then please continue.
12 Would you like to continue your answer, Dr. Zepinic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I can confirm that at
14 sessions of the Assembly there was no agreement whatsoever within the
15 coalition. Now, whether there was any animosity or hatred or enmity on
16 the part of Dr. Karadzic, whether he did not respect Croats or Muslims,
17 that is his personal affair. But for the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 it was catastrophic that this coalition that was supposed to set up a
19 government on the basis of the mandate it had received as a coalition
20 could not even agree on the agenda. Dr. Karadzic, as you know full well,
21 this also contributed to the atmosphere at government sessions, perhaps
22 to a lesser degree, but especially among the members of the Presidency.
23 Your two members of the Presidency decided that they would freeze their
24 work in the Presidency. This institution of freezing does not exist on
25 the basis of the rules of procedure. They did not give up on any one of
1 the perks of office. We did not see any resignations during the work of
2 the coalition that could not agree on anything.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. Dr. Zepinic, I'd like us to finish now and I'd like
5 to focus on your knowledge about my behaviour, not my emotions, but the
6 manifestations. You as a -- as the minister of the interior, did you
7 provide policemen for my security detail? Did this security detail
8 include Muslims?
9 A. Yes, and in a way there were some interventions to the effect
10 that this security detail which is given to presidents of political
11 parties on the basis of a decision of the Presidency, this was a special
12 department for protecting persons and buildings. And we were not
13 interested in the ethnic backgrounds of policemen. Policemen were
14 supposed to discharge their duties. I do not recall that you were
15 against anything. I visited you once, if you remember, during a dinner.
16 In front of your building there was a Muslim policeman. You did not
17 object to that because he was carrying out his duties together with his
18 colleague because there were always at least two of them. He was doing
19 his job professionally. You also had some personal body-guards, not only
20 you but the other two leaders as well, and our information said that
21 these persons were not eligible at all. And I personally said that they
22 should not be issued with weapons. And Dr. Koljevic accused me of
23 appointing a security detail that would spy on you.
24 Q. Did you see any Croats and Muslims among my friends at the time,
25 people I was socialising with?
1 A. We all had friends and relatives from all ethnic groups in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, yourself included. I don't think that this is
3 something that this Court should be dealing with, but I can give the
4 names of persons of other ethnic backgrounds that you were friends with.
5 But it wouldn't be right for me to do that. However, in view of the
6 nature of Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was impossible to have
7 friends in a social circle of only one ethnicity. The people of
8 Sarajevo, Sarajlijas [phoen], had only one ethnicity. They were
9 Sarajlijas, they were people of Sarajevo, and they never raised any
10 ethnic questions.
11 Q. Thank you. What about my position vis-a-vis Yugoslavia and
12 Bosnia remaining in Yugoslavia?
13 A. If you're asking me from my very own position I am going to give
14 you an answer, Dr. Karadzic. There are very few people that I believed
15 loved Yugoslavia and Bosnia more than I did, very few people.
16 Q. And what was my position about Yugoslavia -- Bosnia remaining in
18 A. If we're talking privately then we were more or less on the same
19 position. If we're talking about Radovan Karadzic, the president of the
20 SDS, then this is a special atmosphere, if I may put it that way, in
21 which it is not stated precisely what that Yugoslavia would mean. What I
22 meant was Yugoslavia from Zevdjilija [phoen] to Trilav [phoen], not a
23 Yugoslavia that you were a proponent of, some kind of Rump Yugoslavia,
24 Yugoslavia with or without Serbia, greater Croatia, smaller Croatia, a
25 divided Bosnia. Please, Dr. Karadzic, why was there an influence on you
1 just like influence was exerted on the Croatian representative in Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina for Bosnia to have some kind of a subordinate position in
3 the future Yugoslavia in comparison to Serbia and Croatia. Why would
4 Bosnia not have the same equality just like any other republic?
5 Q. And do you recall, Dr. Zepinic, our historical Serbian-Muslim
6 agreement and was it provided at that time for Mr. Izetbegovic to be the
7 first president?
8 A. Dr. Karadzic, allow me to use some statistical indicators --
9 Q. No, please.
10 A. Well, there was the Belgrade declaration. There was a meeting
11 held by President Milosevic with the Assembly presidents of Serbia,
12 Macedonia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina; and according to that proposal, in
13 view of the Rump Yugoslavia as it was called or as some called it
14 Srboslavia without Croatia and Slovenia, in view of the ethnic
15 composition, it was planned that Muslims would have the prime minister
16 and then this function would rotate. Any future election then would
17 award the position of president to a different ethnic group of that
18 Rump Yugoslavia, which should have been Izetbegovic. However, I must say
19 that in the conversation that Mr. Izetbegovic had with Mr. Tudjman and
20 Mr. Milosevic on the 6th of June in Split, if I can recall, it was
21 clearly stated that the two of them had agreed on the division of Bosnia
22 and Izetbegovic warned that he was not accepting any kind of division of
23 Bosnia. If you remember on the 25th of March, 1991, Tudjman and
24 Milosevic met in Karadjordjevic and agreed that 70 per cent of the BH
25 territory would be given to Serbia and 25 per cent would belong to
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 75 per cent later.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then in early 1992 they reviewed
4 this and proposed that 65 per cent belonged to Serbia, 20 per cent to
5 Croatia, and 15 per cent to belong to Alija Izetbegovic and the Muslims,
6 that would be along the Bosna River valley.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Dr. Zepinic, neither of us was in that meeting in Karadjordjevic,
9 is that right, and you recall that they never confirmed that
11 A. I have to dissuade you, Mr. Karadzic. This is something that
12 Tudjman stated publicly, and after the signing of the peace agreement in
13 January 1992 when he said on television that the only solution would be
14 the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina between Croatia and Serbia, about
15 which he and Milosevic had already agreed. They had 48 meetings in
16 Karadjordjevo, Tikves, and Brijoni; then it was Saranic and
17 Smilja Avram [phoen] were entrusted with the drafting of the map.
18 Q. Well, all right, Dr. Zepinic. These things are something that we
19 don't know about.
20 A. I know about them. I'm not just speaking off the top of my head.
21 Q. Let's focus on what you know about me. You said today that after
22 the 15th of October, 1991, everything was different. Are you able to
23 tell the Trial Chamber at which point in time at the Assembly of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina was it that everything was different, there was no more
25 government, Assembly, and so on and so forth?
1 A. It was an Assembly session on the 10th and 11th of October, 1991,
2 and since it was a very stormy situation and the exchange between you and
3 Mr. Izetbegovic when you said that Bosnia would disappear in two days'
4 time and that 400.000 people in Sarajevo would get killed, and so on and
5 so forth, to which Mr. Izetbegovic replied that he would sacrifice peace
6 for the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unfortunately, I was
7 sitting, if you can recall, in the first row next to the prime minister
8 and I said, These two are bringing war to us. And Jure Pelivan said,
9 Vito, come on, don't say that and so on. And then you had secret
10 meetings - I'm saying "secret meetings" because this was not
11 disclosed - and my service had this information on Saturday and Sunday to
12 co-ordinate your positions and this was proposed by Mr. Krajisnik. There
13 was no harmonisation of positions among you, so then on the 15th of
14 October, 1991, you demonstratively left the Assembly of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, I mean the deputies of the SDS. And in my estimate, that
16 was the day that was the crucial day for the future of Bosnia and
18 If you permit me, I attended a meeting at the Presidency that day
19 with General Kadijevic and his generals who stated at the Presidency
20 meeting -- actually, who just adopted one conclusion, and that is that
21 the Ministry of the Interior should strengthen its co-operation with the
22 Yugoslav People's Army in order to preserve the peace in Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina. That was the only conclusion. Dr. Karadzic, by withdrawing
24 the army we had 200.000 from the JNA in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
25 65.000 -- 65 per cent of the arms of the former Yugoslavia was
1 concentrated in the former Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is something
2 that should have been controlled. This control could not be executed by
3 disbanding the Assembly and by leaving the Assembly and by having fights
4 among the coalition partners in government.
5 Q. Thank you. I would kindly like us to just deal with what you
6 know about me. What was my position in your view on the secession of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
8 A. You understood the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
9 way that Bosnia and Herzegovina could not be an independent state. It
10 had to be a component of Yugoslavia without Croatia and Slovenia, and
11 that that would be Yugoslavia without the independence of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina within it, without independence for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Q. Thank you. And did you ever see for yourself that my position
14 was that we would need to expel Muslims and Croats from these areas which
15 would be the Serbian cantons and the Serbian constituent units?
16 A. Dr. Karadzic or President Karadzic, when we're talking about the
17 party, had you in any way directly or through documents said anything
18 like that, I guarantee before this Trial Chamber that you would have been
19 arrested because this was an anti-constitutional decision and you would
20 have violated all the laws in force at the time. So had you at any point
21 mentioned as the president of the party what you have just said you may
22 be assured that you would have been criminally charged without,
23 unfortunately, I have to tell you, any request for immunity to be lifted.
24 Because as president of the party you did not enjoy any form of immunity.
25 Q. Thank you. Well, this was as far as my position was
1 professionally. As for private contacts you had with me, based on that
2 did you ever get the impression that I was in favour of anybody being
3 expelled from Serbian areas?
4 A. Well, I cannot answer that question and I repeat again, had you
5 said something like that to me - I don't know what you meant in view of
6 our profession, Dr. Karadzic, we cannot know what somebody else is
7 thinking - but had you in any way voiced publicly or in writing in a
8 document something like that, you would have been criminally liable. As
9 for you as a person, I have refused many offers to date to write an
10 article about you as a person. So if you would permit me also to do that
11 on this occasion.
12 Q. Thank you. And Cutileiro's Plan that you mentioned or the
13 proposal of the European community of the three -- about the three
14 constituent units, did that imply respect of --
15 JUDGE KWON: How does that arise from Mr. Tieger's
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was a question of the rights of
18 ethnic minorities and religious minorities. This was mentioned in the
19 cross-examination. And Dr. Zepinic had his political position, that he
20 was against the secession of the republics, and in particular he
21 disagreed with the idea of the three constituent units. However, he was
22 familiar with Cutileiro's Plan which we accepted and I wanted to ask what
23 this plan was. Did that imply the respect of minority rights?
24 JUDGE KWON: This is a topic you could have raised in your direct
25 examination. I would like you to move on.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zepinic, for coming to testify. Regardless of our
3 political differences, I'm going to answer your question and, as far as
4 I'm concerned, our mutual respect is intact.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And perhaps if my transcript is going on, did the SDS party in
8 its programme include the policy of the expulsion of Muslims and what
9 would have happened with that party, again along the lines of what you
10 said would have happened to me?
11 A. Again, I'm talking about documents before the
12 14th of October, 1991. Had the service had information of that sort at
13 its disposal, we would have definitely initiated the question of whether
14 that party could survive in view of the amendment to the constitution
15 adopted by the Presidency in March of 1990 of that year, meaning six
16 months before your elections, which clearly stated that a party that aims
17 in its programme an exclusively national character could not be
18 registered or could not function. This would include the splitting of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I have no
22 further questions.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: No, no questions, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you.
2 Dr. Zepinic, unless my colleagues have questions for you, then
3 that concludes your evidence. On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to
4 thank you -- but before that, yes, I may have a question for you.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE KWON: Your statement ends with the sentence that:
7 "We migrated to Australia in February 1993."
8 Could you tell us in a nutshell what you did since then?
9 A. From 1993. You mean since 1993 since arriving in Australia?
10 Well, you know like any immigrant who came to a country that he doesn't
11 know anything about, not knowing English, Your Honour, the first things
12 that I did was some construction work, painting roofs, painting in order
13 to provide for my family because I simply did not wish to accept social
14 assistance because I thought that that would not be a good example for my
15 children. Once I learned a little bit of English, I then applied to have
16 my qualifications recognised. I got a job in a state hospital. I had a
17 job. Then I started a private practice. I have a very successful
18 private practice, psychological clinic. We dealt specifically with PTSD.
19 I can say that I had patients of all ethnicities. I'm talking about
20 patients from the area of the former Yugoslavia. I had patients from
21 Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, from all parts of our country. And it was a
22 great pleasure to have that happen. Unfortunately, most of my patients
23 knew that many of those who had perpetrated crimes such as rape against
24 them were living in Australia. Because there was no law recognising the
25 crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia before 2003. This is something
1 that I would not want to deal with then for certain. Because of certain
2 writings in the Australian press in which I was declared as a war
3 criminal, among other things, and as being a commander of some sort of
4 special forces with Dr. Karadzic until December 1993.
5 Dr. Karadzic, you failed to pay me for that function.
6 And then already at that time I was paying taxes on the work that
7 I was doing in Australia. So this was a very uncomfortable situation
8 which made my family, in particular my children -- I mean, there were
9 threats that -- there was some bad consequences. I closed the clinic.
10 My family went to London. And then I asked the British government under
11 a programme of highly -- for highly skilled migrants, TA1, because I had
12 a doctorate and other qualifications, my mandate was extended. So I have
13 been in England for the past four years. In the meantime I worked up
14 there as a lecturer at Queen Mary University in London as a senior
15 lecturer in psychiatry. Then I worked privately a little bit. In the
16 meantime, if you're interested, I published two professional books, some
17 articles. I took part in various conferences. And if I may say so, I
18 have continued to work as one of the prominent experts in post-traumatic
19 stress disorders and this is what I'm doing. I'm not easing up in terms
20 of my activities and I intend to contribute as much as I can to the
21 profession. I don't intend or nor am I interested in any kind of
22 political activities. If you're interested, yes, it's true that for the
23 first time I visited my former country two years ago because I was
24 invited to a wedding of my best friend, Fadil Djozo, who is a Muslim.
25 And if you're interested in that as well and Dr. Karadzic knows that very
1 well, when Mico Stanisic arrested me the first thing she said was, We
2 killed Fadil. We killed your Fadil. So that would go to somebody's
3 honour, record of honour.
4 Anyway, I can also say that I know and many asked me if I was
5 afraid for my security in view of what my job was before and then am I
6 afraid for my safety in view of my still unchanged positions for the past
7 two decades. The only thing that I would regret would be if something
8 happened to my family. Unfortunately, something did happen to my mother.
9 But you know, this is something -- I'm not a hero, Your Honour, by far.
10 I did not get any recognition from anyone for what I was doing to secure
11 peace. This is probably the fate of today's time to come out of it the
12 way you come out of it. And let me just say this: I used to say that I
13 ended up in the same way that my country ended up, the country that I
14 loved very much. It had a lot of recognition in the world, everybody
15 loved it and everybody tried to destroy it; this is more or less my fate
16 too. I hope this answer satisfies you.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you very much, Doctor. That concludes your
18 evidence. Thank you again for your coming to The Hague to give it. You
19 are free to go.
20 We will rise all together. We'll have a break for half an hour
21 and resume at seven to 11.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.21 a.m.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 [The witness entered court]
25 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
1 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: TOMISLAV BATINIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Batinic. Please make yourself
8 Mr. Batinic, before you start giving evidence I would like to
9 draw your attention to a particular Rule here at the Tribunal. Under
10 this Rule, Rule 90(E), you may object to answering a question from the
11 accused, the Prosecution, or the Judges if you believe your answer will
12 incriminate you. When I say "incriminate," I mean that something you say
13 may amount to an admission of your guilt for having committed an offence
14 or could provide evidence that you have committed an offence. However,
15 even if you believe that your answer will incriminate you and you do not
16 wish to answer the question, the Tribunal has the power to compel you to
17 answer the question. But in such a case, the Tribunal will make sure
18 that your testimony compelled in such a way shall not be used in other
19 case against you for any offence other than false testimony.
20 Do you understand what I have just told you?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fully.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Batinic.
23 Mr. Karadzic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Batinic.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. I have to ask you and remind myself to speak slowly and to make
5 sufficient pause between question and answer, so as to have everything
6 interpreted. You can follow the cursor on the screen. Once it's
7 stopped, the interpretation is over.
8 Did you provide a statement to my Defence team?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have in e-court 1D7212.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you see the statement before you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Have you read it and signed it?
14 A. I have.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to the last page where
16 the signature is.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Is this your signature, Mr. Batinic?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Thank you. Does it accurately reflect what you told the Defence
22 A. Yes, it does.
23 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today
24 would your answers be basically the same as contained in the statement?
25 A. The essence would not be changed; that is certain.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this document
3 under 92 ter.
4 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, in addition we're offering two
5 associated exhibits. Two others are admitted and we would ask that they
6 be added to our 65 ter list as we hadn't interviewed in witness at that
7 time that it was submitted. Those two documents are 1D12005 and number
9 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Gustafson?
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: No. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll grant the request and admit the statement
12 as well as two associated exhibits. Shall we give the numbers.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, the statement 65 ter 1D7212
14 will be Exhibit D2930; 65 ter number 1D12005 will be Exhibit D2931; and
15 65 ter number 7452 will be Exhibit D2932.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'd like to read out a
19 summary of Mr. Tomislav Batinic's statement next in the English language.
20 [In English] Tomislav Batinic was born on
21 25th of January, 1995 [sic], in the village of Bereg, Rogatica
22 municipality. He finished primary and secondary school in Rogatica, and
23 in 1979 he graduated from the faculty of economics in Sarajevo. He did
24 his compulsory military service in Bela Crkva in the motor vehicle unit.
25 Tomislav Batinic became the vice-president of the Rogatica
1 Municipal Assembly after the multi-party elections. During the war he
2 was president of the Rogatica Municipal Assembly. He does not think that
3 there were any ethnic conflicts in Rogatica until the multi-party system
4 began. During the first half of 1990 the SDA, Muslim party, was founded
5 and the SDS was not founded until -- was not founded until the
6 3rd of September, 1990, concerning Rogatica municipality. He knew that
7 the Muslims were a majority in BH and they frequently emphasised that BH
8 was theirs.
9 Tomislav Batinic was aware that when the army was mobilised many
10 of the Muslims from Rogatica boycotted the mobilisation and this was
11 similar in other areas. It was clear that the SDA encouraged the Muslims
12 not to respond to the call-up. Those who did respond were returned home
13 a few days later through an SDA-organised operation and
14 Mr. Tomislav Batinic considers this to be the first concrete move to
15 divide the unity of the JNA. This mobilisation was unsuccessful and
16 afterwards the distancing of the Serbs and Muslims became more prominent
17 and inter-ethnic division drastically intensified.
18 The JNA then took action to requisition the conscripts' files
19 from the premises of the Secretariat of National Defence in Rogatica, to
20 gain insight into records of the personnel deployed in the 216th Brigade,
21 and they deployed men fit for service to the Muslim units. Due to these
22 actions, it was not possible to mobilise soldiers in the -- Serb soldiers
23 in the 216th Brigade as the Muslims possessed the only valid record of
24 the military conscripts.
25 With the full engagement of Ramiz Alajbegovic, the police reserve
1 force were mobilised, which included a large number of Muslims. All the
2 reserve forces were provided with weapons and these activities caused
3 apprehension among the Serbs who felt endangered.
4 Faced with these dangers, the Serbs began organising gradually.
5 Night guards were established in Serb settlements, and the
6 Territorial Defence was formed to protect the Serbian people. In an
7 attempt to overcome problems and settle daily life issues, the Serbian
8 Assembly was created with a Serbian president; however, this never
9 actually took place due to the ever-changing landscape.
10 The legislative and executive authorities functioned but with
11 great difficulties. Tomislav Batinic considers that the media
12 contributed to the situation by creating an atmosphere of fear and
13 anxiety. Muslims set up barricades in the front of buildings and
14 strictly controlled who entered and left the buildings. It was realised
15 that the best solution to avoid an armed conflict was to divide the
16 municipality into Serbian and Muslim parts. This idea was discussed at a
17 Crisis Staff session -- sessions and the Executive Committee, and the
18 police were convinced that this way -- this was the only way to preserve
19 peace. The decision was formally declared on the 2nd of May, 1992,
20 although this was postponed because the Serbian side thought that an
21 agreement could be reached. It was soon realised that the decision was a
23 Tomislav Batinic considers it unlikely that the JNA armed the
24 Serbs in Rogatica without his knowledge.
25 The Crisis Staff was formed a month before the division of the
1 municipality. The staff worked on finding ways to overcome the problems,
2 protecting the population, housing refugees, and other such tasks. The
3 Crisis Staff never adopted the position or rendered the decision on the
4 forcible removal of the Muslim population, nor did it incite the other
5 institutions to do so.
6 When the division -- divisions occurred, the Muslim police
7 remained where they were and the Serbian police moved out into another
8 area. After these events Serbs began leaving town en masse and found
9 accommodation with their relatives on the outskirts of the city. Chaos
10 reigned in the town and many of the organs of the Serbian municipality
11 had to relocate and Muslims were erecting barricades in the town.
12 Tomislav Batinic considers that when the Muslims killed
13 Drazenko Mihajlovic in May the 22nd, 1992, or around, the war definitely
14 started in Rogatica municipality. Those Muslims from the town who
15 surrendered their arms moved from the centre of town to the secondary
16 school building and were housed there temporarily with Serbian and
17 Croatian families.
18 At the end of July 1992 the town was liberated from Muslim
19 extremists and on their retreat they torched the transformer station,
20 meaning Rogatica didn't have electricity for five months.
21 Tomislav Batinic denies that the Crisis Staff or any other organ
22 reached the decision to turn the secondary school building in Rogatica
23 into a holding centre. Tomislav Batinic visited the secondary school
24 centre and spoke to many of the families. He also assisted with some to
25 travel and find accommodation.
1 The Executive Committee was formed after the Serbs returned to
2 the town and the Crisis Staff was disbanded. There were numerous
3 problems to deal with including inventories for abandoned apartments,
4 accommodation of refugees, and ensuring that hospital, schools, and
5 companies were functioning and serving the population. The
6 Executive Committee adopted decision to ensure that all living conditions
7 were guaranteed for all villages including Muslim villages who expressed
8 loyalty to the Serbian authorities.
9 Tomislav Batinic endeavoured to ensure peace and safety in the
10 Muslim villages who expressed loyalty to them and he visited the villages
11 in person. On the 30th of November, 1992, he travelled to Burati, Muslim
12 village, to deliver aid, but the vehicle ran over an anti-tank mine and
13 he was seriously wounded. He was aware of paramilitary organisations who
14 would lie and wait to loot houses, and on one occasion they attempted to
15 remove a Muslim from the school centre. He was not aware the reason for
16 the detention of the people in Rasadnik, but when the Executive Committee
17 asked they received the response that it was mainly Serbians who were
18 detained and the largest number of the people detained were Serbs and no
19 verbal or physical mistreatment of detainees occurred.
20 Tomislav Batinic categorically states that the Serbian
21 representatives either in the joint or in a -- the separate organs of
22 authority, never contributed anything to cause a conflict or create
23 intolerance and especially not to forcibly remove the Muslims from
24 Rogatica or other settlements in which they were in the majority and to
25 surrender authority to the Serbs in the entire territory of the
2 [Interpretation] This concludes the summary. At this point I
3 have no questions for Mr. Batinic.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 Yes, Mr. Batinic, as you have noted your evidence in chief in
6 this case has been admitted in writing. Now you will be cross-examined
7 by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor,
8 Ms. Katrina Gustafson.
9 Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
12 Q. And good morning, Mr. Batinic.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. I'd like to start with a straightforward question. This is not
15 in your statement anywhere, but if you could just confirm that you were
16 an SDS member; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At paragraph 14 of your statement you describe the formation of
19 the Serbian Municipal Assembly in Rogatica and you say that it was formed
20 at the end of 1991. And that Assembly was formed in accordance with
21 SDS Main Board instructions; is that correct?
22 A. It is correct that the Serbian municipality was established in
23 late December 1991. Unfortunately, at that time I had not received any
24 instructions of the Main Board of the SDS. I was not present at their
25 meetings because I was not a member of the Main Board of the SDS. It was
1 our belief that it comprised prominent Serb citizens who enjoyed a
2 certain degree of authority in Rogatica.
3 Q. Okay. If we could go to P3407.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 17 the witness stated that it
5 was established because of their belief that things were supposed to be
6 that way and that it was to comprise prominent citizens.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON:
8 Q. Mr. Batinic, this is a report on the activities of the Rogatica
9 municipal organs compiled by Milorad Sokolovic and dates from 1993. If
10 we could go to page 5 of the English and page 4 in the B/C/S. And under
11 Roman numeral II, halfway through the second paragraph -- or, sorry, the
12 first sentence of that paragraph refers to the creation of the
13 Serb Municipal Assembly at the end of December 1991, just as you stated
14 in your evidence. And the second sentence says:
15 "Serb Municipal Assembly included also, as per instructions of
16 the main Serb Democratic Party Board, SDS Local Board Presidents from the
17 area of the municipality ..."
18 And the Chamber has received evidence of SDS Main Board
19 instructions issued at around the same time that precisely required the
20 inclusion of SDS local board presidents for municipalities like Rogatica
21 where Serbs were a minority. And I refer to P5, instruction 4, of
22 Variant B.
23 Now, whether you were aware of it at the time or not, this
24 passage reflects the fact that the Serb Municipal Assembly in Rogatica
25 was formed pursuant to SDS Main Board instructions; right?
1 A. In any case, I read that document two or three days ago. I
2 didn't know of it before that.
3 Q. So two or three days ago you did, in fact, realise that the
4 Serb Municipal Assembly was created pursuant to SDS Main Board
5 instructions; do I understand you correctly?
6 A. For the most part.
7 Q. Okay. And also at paragraph 14 of your witness statement you
8 said that the Serbian municipality -- sorry, the Serbian
9 Municipal Assembly never started functioning and it all remained solely
10 on paper. And then at paragraph 19 you indicate that you were elected
11 president of the Serbian municipality of Rogatica only upon the division
12 of the municipality in early May. So just so I understand your position,
13 is your position that the Serb Municipal Assembly did not start
14 functioning until the municipality was formally divided on the
15 3rd of May?
16 A. Certainly. Let me explain this. As far as I recall, as of the
17 24th of December, the Serb Assembly was established in Rogatica
18 municipality comprising those representatives we mentioned before. It
19 was nominal only because the situation in the field changed from one day
20 to the next. The citizens asked for us to do so because there was a lot
21 of anxiety and fear in town. We established the Rogatica Municipal
22 Assembly, but that's what we left it at until further notice.
23 Q. Okay. So is it your position that it never held any -- that
24 there were no Serb Municipal Assembly sessions until the 3rd of May?
25 A. No. My associates and I believed that there would be an
1 agreement reached at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina and we were simply
2 trying to buy ourselves more time by making decisions like this.
3 Q. Okay. That's not quite an answer to my question. My question
4 was what your -- whether there were any Serb Municipal Assembly sessions
5 between the time it was created, in late December 1991, and the time the
6 municipality was formally divided on the 3rd of May, 1992?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Okay. I'm going to put to you that's not true and the Serb
9 Municipal Assembly began functioning immediately by holding its inaugural
10 session on the 26th of December, 1991, at which you were elected Assembly
11 president. Do you agree or disagree with that?
12 A. I don't remember, but I guess it could have been the Variant B or
13 the second level, when the Assembly sessions were organised in order to
14 have the authorities put in place, when the Executive Board was
15 established as well. That's probably it.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 8 of this document in
18 English and page 6 in the B/C/S.
19 Q. And, Mr. Batinic, you can see at the top of the English and about
20 a third of the way down in the B/C/S there is a paragraph that says:
21 "On inaugural session of the Municipal Assembly held on
22 26 December 1991 Tomislav Batinic was elected President of the
23 Municipal Assembly, while Deputy President is not yet elected."
24 Does that remind you of the fact that an inaugural session of the
25 Serb Municipal Assembly was elected almost immediately upon its formation
1 and you became its president?
2 A. Yes.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P2835, page 3 in the English
4 and also page 3 in the B/C/S.
5 Q. This is a report on the work of the Crisis Staff between April
6 and June 1992 and you are familiar with this document because it's
7 referenced in your statement. And if we go to the bottom paragraph in
8 both languages it says:
9 "When it is said that the Crisis Staff adopted 18 decisions under
10 its jurisdiction, it is necessary to remember that the Serbian
11 Municipal Assembly of Rogatica at its session on 15 April 1992 by special
12 ruling authorised the Crisis Staff to perform the duties of the
13 Executive Committee ..." et cetera, et cetera.
14 This is another reflection of the fact that the Serb
15 Municipal Assembly was in fact functioning and holding sessions prior to
16 the 3rd of May, 1992; right?
17 A. It is certain, given the fact that the Assembly was constituted
18 only, its speaker was elected, whereas the Executive Board or any of its
19 organs were not appointed nor were any executive bodies. The Assembly
20 authorised the Crisis Staff to act as the Executive Board until it is
21 being -- until it is constituted.
22 Q. Okay. But you don't deny that contrary to what you said a few
23 moments ago that the Serb Municipal Assembly was, indeed, functioning and
24 holding sessions prior to the 3rd of May, 1992?
25 A. It sat twice. For example, at the second session it tasked the
1 Crisis Staff to carry out the functions of the executive organ of the
3 Q. Okay. At paragraph 18 of your statement you said that a Serb
4 Crisis Staff was formed a month before the division of the municipality,
5 and so that would be early April 1992. You don't mention this in your
6 statement, but you were a Crisis Staff member; right?
7 A. Yes, by virtue of my other position which was the deputy speaker
8 of the Assembly. At the time I was deputy speaker of the joint Assembly
9 of Rogatica municipality.
10 Q. Right. This was a Serb Crisis Staff, right, Mr. Batinic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. Again I'm going to put to you that the Serb Crisis Staff
13 was actually formed before early April and it was only expanded in early
14 April on -- precisely on the 8th of April, but there was a Crisis Staff
15 in existence before that time; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we be more precise. Is it
18 the Crisis Staff as an organ of the authorities or of the party, so as
19 not to have any confusion.
20 JUDGE KWON: Well, that can be clarified in your re-examination.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 1 of this document in both
23 Q. Now, as the report indicates, the Crisis Staff of the Serbian
24 municipality was established at the session of the Main Board of the SDS,
25 I assume that's of Rogatica, of 8th April 1992. And then in the next
1 paragraph it says:
2 "The former Crisis Staff was extended at the session and since
3 8 April 1992 ... it consisted of ..."
4 And then it lists a number of people, including you. Now, that
5 reference to extending the Crisis Staff at the 8 April session is a
6 reflection of the fact that there was a Crisis Staff in existence before
7 the 8th of April, and on the 8th of April it was expanded and became the
8 Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And is it right that you were a member of both the earlier
11 Crisis Staff and remained a member of the expanded Crisis Staff until it
12 ceased functioning in the summer of 1992; is that correct?
13 A. Certainly. If I may just explain briefly. The previous
14 Crisis Staff faced a crisis, and after the resignation of the president
15 of the former Crisis Staff and two of us who were members, a new
16 Crisis Staff was elected on the 8th of April, 1992. I was re-elected
17 into the new Crisis Staff as well.
18 Q. Okay. So you resigned from the earlier Crisis Staff at some
19 point. When was that, do you recall?
20 A. Well, I think it may have been, say, the month of March. We
21 talked to the Crisis Staff and the work group of the Muslims in relation
22 to the division of the municipality in order to keep the population. We
23 talked and we came to the conclusion that at that point in time before
24 the situation was resolved at the level of the entire state, it would be
25 best if we passed a resolution on the division of the municipality.
1 However, then the TO was established within the Serb people, and they
2 asked us to do that quickly. We did not agree to that because the
3 division is a major process and we said that it required time. They
4 wanted us to do it as fast as possible and then we tendered our
5 resignations if somebody could do it better.
6 Q. Okay. Well, your specific concern and conflict with the Serb TO
7 in March was due to the fact that that TO, led by SDS Main Board member
8 Rajko Kusic, was ruthlessly rushing with threats to attack the town
9 unless the municipality and the police station were immediately divided;
10 is that right?
11 A. Well, of course our views differed on that because we were in
12 favour of agreement, discussions, and I think that everything led to
13 that. However, there were people who thought along different lines, you
14 see, and they thought that this could be done and over with within two
15 hours. That's not what we thought. We said at one point in time, if
16 there's somebody who can do this better, let them go ahead.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay could we go to P6105, please.
18 Q. Mr. Batinic, this is a letter that you, along with
19 Mr. Veselinovic and Mr. Ujic, signed and sent to Dr. Karadzic on the
20 25th of March, 1992. And it states that the Crisis Staff is not able to
21 carry out its decisions due to a group of armed Serbs headed by a member
22 of the Main Board, Rajko Kusic, who was ruthlessly rushing with threats
23 to attack the town in case the municipality and the public security
24 station are not unconditionally divided. You say that the Crisis Staff,
25 in compliance with your, presumably Dr. Karadzic's instructions, believes
1 that the factual division on the ground should be and is already there,
2 but you state that the official division must be accompanied by laws
3 issued by Serbian ministries as well as party agreements on the highest
5 And then you state:
6 "We believe it is dangerous to be the originator of the war
7 situation when the Serbian people are not sufficiently prepared and
9 Now, it's clear from that last sentence that one of your concerns
10 with what Rajko Kusic was doing at the time was that the Serbian people
11 were not sufficiently prepared at that point for war; is that right?
12 A. It is correct, but let me just explain this. In that period of
13 time there was mobilisation of personnel into the 216th Brigade that was
14 at Han Pijesak. All able-bodied Serbs basically responded to the call-up
15 and it was only able-bodied Muslims who stayed on in town. They
16 boycotted the mobilisation of the JNA. Since the police station had the
17 weapons that were distributed to the reserve police force, mainly
18 Bosniaks, Muslims, Serbs did not respond to the mobilisation of the
19 police station, and then there was fear, hopelessness, and a lack of
20 safety in town. The people expected the establishment of that kind of
21 Territorial Defence unit from among the able-bodied Serbs who had stayed
22 on in town. This happened in Borike and a small unit of the
23 Territorial Defence was established; it was headed by Mr. Kusic. They
24 were concerned because all the able-bodied Serbs were outside Rogatica.
25 They feared for the safety of their families and this probably affected
1 the command of the Territorial Defence, and they probably thought that
2 this division could be carried out very quickly. However, we thought
3 that a different path should be followed because we were already involved
4 in discussions with the Bosniak side. And to be quite honest, I did not
5 think that we would succeed in this division. But I thought that we
6 could buy some time, counting on certain agreements to be reached at the
7 level of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We did not want to give up on discussions,
8 agreements, accommodation of views, but that is why we tendered our
10 Q. Okay. You wrote to Dr. Karadzic personally and informed him of
11 the situation and the conflict you were having with Rajko Kusic and it's
12 common ground I think that Rajko Kusic did not, in fact, attack Rogatica
13 town until the 22nd of May, approximately two months after this. So did
14 Dr. Karadzic or somebody else on the republic level intervene to resolve
15 this conflict you were having with the Serb TO?
16 A. Well, you know what? We had very poor communication at the time
17 with the then-president, Dr. Karadzic. Perhaps I remember that once I
18 had the opportunity of being at Dr. Karadzic's and he just told me: Try
19 to endure, just negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
20 Q. Okay. But you don't -- you're not aware of the extent or nature
21 of Dr. Karadzic's contacts with Rajko Kusic, an SDS Main Board member,
22 are you?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay. And one last question on this document. You were stating
25 that you were going to resign from all your positions in the SDS and the
1 municipality and put yourselves at the disposal of the JNA. If I
2 understand correctly, you did resign from the then-existing Crisis Staff,
3 but then became a member of the Crisis Staff -- expanded Crisis Staff on
4 the 8th of April. You did not resign from your position as
5 Municipal Assembly president and you did not join the JNA. Do I
6 understand that correctly?
7 A. Yes, fully. Well, I wouldn't want you to misunderstand what I'm
8 saying, but at that point in time I was a person who enjoyed a great deal
9 of authority among the people, the citizens. I held certain political
10 positions beforehand. I held various offices as president of the youth
11 organisation in Rogatica, president of the socialist alliance of the
12 working people in Rogatica. And at that point they did not allow me to
13 retreat. Probably they trusted me as a person.
14 Q. Okay. I'd like to move on to something else now. At
15 paragraph 23 of your statement you state that in May 1992 the Muslims
16 killed a Serb by the name of Drazenko Mihajlovic, and you claim that this
17 is considered the start of the war in Rogatica. The Chamber has received
18 evidence including from Defence witness Mile Ujic who was the Chief of
19 Staff of the Rogatica Brigade in 1992, that on the 22nd of May the
20 Rogatica Brigade launched a shelling and infantry attack on Rogatica town
21 and Muslim villages in the municipality. You don't deny that that attack
22 took place, do you? For the record, the transcript pages 33459 to 33460,
23 where Mr. Ujic's evidence.
24 A. Before that, certainly people were leaving town, people of both
25 ethnic backgrounds. The organs of both municipalities had relocated.
1 Quite simply, the town was no man's land. Only those who saw some
2 interest of their own remained in town. They were involved in looting,
3 they were shooting, and they were barricades all over in town and
4 outside. For security reasons we withdrew from town and I never entered
5 town until the conditions were right to enter town. It is a fact that
6 sometime in May 1992 this young man got killed, and then definitely there
7 was this close contact between both armed forces and we believed that
8 that day was a turning point in terms of the beginning of the war in the
9 territory of Rogatica.
10 Q. Okay. I take it that you do not deny that that attack took place
11 on the 22nd of May, as I described it?
12 A. Yes. I think that then about 12 persons lost their lives,
13 persons of Serb ethnicity. On that day, yes, an attack did take place,
14 an attack against Rogatica and the forces clashed.
15 Q. Okay. And the Chamber has received evidence in the form of
16 General Mladic's military notebooks that five days prior to this
17 22nd of May attack, so on the 17th of May, representatives of Rogatica
18 municipality attended a meeting in Sokolac, also attended by
19 General Mladic, Dr. Karadzic, and Mr. Krajisnik. And at that meeting
20 Dr. Karadzic said:
21 "We are looking for results from the army. That's their job."
22 And that's P1477, pages 349 to 352.
23 Were you at that meeting, Mr. Batinic; and if not, do you know
24 who from Rogatica attended that meeting?
25 A. I can say that I was not there for sure, but it must have been
1 someone who was in charge of the Territorial Defence then.
2 Q. Would it have been logical for Rajko Kusic to be in attendance at
3 that meeting?
4 A. Most probably.
5 Q. Okay. So is it fair that you don't know what was said or decided
6 at that meeting regarding the army's tasks in Rogatica?
7 A. I don't know, that's for sure. I state that with certainty.
8 Q. Okay. Mr. Batinic, the -- I'm going to put to you that the
9 killing of Drazenko Mihajlovic was, at most, an excuse for the
10 Bosnian Serbs to launch the attack on Rogatica on the 22nd of May.
11 The -- I'll also put it to you that the truth is that the Bosnian Serb
12 forces in Rogatica led by Rajko Kusic, VRS brigade commander and SDS
13 Main Board member, attacked and took over Rogatica because of Rogatica's
14 strategic importance in the eyes of the Bosnian Serb leadership. Do you
15 agree or disagree?
16 A. Well, you know, I'm not an officer and I don't know about these
17 military virtues or strategic objectives that the army and certain state
18 organs had. I certainly cannot give an answer in the affirmative because
19 I was not involved and basically I wasn't in charge either.
20 Q. Okay. The Chamber has also received evidence that at the
21 53rd Assembly Session, Republika Srpska Assembly Session, on the
22 28th of August, 1995, a time when I believe you had, in fact, become a
23 member of that Assembly, that Dr. Karadzic said - and this is at P988,
24 page 68:
25 "To tell the truth, there are towns that we grabbed for ourselves
1 and there were only 30 per cent of us. I can name as many of those as
2 you want, but we cannot give up the towns where we made up 70 per cent.
3 Don't let this get around, but remember how many of us there were in
4 Bratunac, how many in Srebrenica, how many in Visegrad, how many in
5 Rogatica, how many in Vlasenica, Zvornik, et cetera. Due to strategic
6 importance they had to become ours and no one is practically questioning
7 it anymore."
8 Were you present at the Assembly when Dr. Karadzic said this; and
9 if not, did you hear about these words?
10 A. Firstly, in that period I was not president of the municipality
11 of Rogatica after May 1995. I don't remember the date when I was
12 co-opted as an MP in the Assembly of Republika Srpska because I was on
13 the list of MPs who did not win a sufficient number of votes to become
14 members of the Assembly, but then I was co-opted because there were some
15 MPs who returned their mandate. I don't remember whether I was at the
16 Assembly at the time or co-opted, but I did not hear about this statement
17 of Mr. Karadzic's later on either, to tell you the truth.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'd like to move on now to what you said about
19 the Rogatica secondary school, which at paragraph 26 you describe as a
20 location where families from Rogatica were accommodated, and you state
21 that you told some of the families there that they were free to return to
22 their homes in the town. You don't say anything in your statement about
23 how these people came to be accommodated at the secondary school, but
24 it's true, is it not, that a great many of them had been taken there by
25 the Rogatica Brigade after they had been captured in their villages; is
1 that right?
2 A. Well, you see, Madam Prosecutor, at one point in time I said that
3 all of Rogatica was practically a war zone. We moved into the outskirts
4 of town. The town itself was basically no man's land. We don't know
5 what happened in town and in the territory of the municipality of
6 Rogatica. There was thunder all over. They were exchanging accusations
7 that the other side was shelling Rogatica, attacking it. We did not
8 enter town until it could be entered. I know and there were conflicts in
9 town, I was away on official business then in Belgrade. When I returned
10 I heard that there had been contact between the units and that civilians,
11 citizens, of military age came to the school, the secondary school.
12 That's what we heard. There were civilians, military-age men, et cetera,
13 at the secondary school. I heard that certain persons were saying that
14 all of those who are not able-bodied should move to this collection
15 centre at the secondary school in Rogatica. We did not go there then
16 because it was all risky. And when the citizens relocated to the
17 secondary school we heard that they were being secured by the military
18 police and civilian police. At any rate, the information we had was that
19 they were provided with food there, that it was safe for them there, that
20 nothing bad was happening down there and so on. Quite simply, that's
21 what we heard -- what I personally heard from persons who were in charge
22 of the brigade command.
23 Q. So it's your position that you never heard from the brigade
24 command that they were taking civilians from villages to the Rogatica
25 secondary school; is that right?
1 A. I'm sorry, could you please repeat that question?
2 Q. Did you ever hear from the brigade command that they were taking
3 civilians from villages to the Rogatica secondary school, Muslim
5 A. No, no. I never did.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we go to 65 ter 24599, please.
7 Q. And I note, for the record, that this document has actually been
8 MFI'd as D2913, but as there is no translation yet we've uploaded the
9 document both English and B/C/S here. And when I'm finished with it we
10 can certainly add the English to the existing exhibit. And this is a
11 letter that you wrote to the Rogatica Brigade command and the gist of it
12 is at the at the bottom where you say:
13 "We invite you to immediately inform us in writing about whether
14 there are prisons and collection centres on the territory of the
15 municipality of Rogatica so that we could in turn inform the Presidency
16 about it in writing."
17 And this is a letter you wrote on the 25th of November, 1992.
18 And if we could now go to Exhibit D2914. This is Rajko Kusic's response
19 to you. You can see in the subject it references your -- the previous
20 document by number and date and it says:
21 "Since the first day of combat activities, the members of
22 Rogatica Brigade have treated civilian population according to the
23 Geneva Conventions. We have separated civilian population from extreme
24 combatants we have fought against. With your approval, we have gathered
25 civilians at the secondary school, church centre, and DP 'Ergela' in
1 Rogatica. In accordance with circumstances, we were providing them with
2 the same food our soldiers on the line had three times a day.
3 "After sufficient number of civilian population was gathered, you
4 have organised their transport to Sarajevo, Bijeljina, Olovo, Zepa, which
5 was escorted by civilian police."
6 So, Mr. Batinic, contrary to what you said a few moments ago, the
7 brigade command did inform you directly that they were taking civilians
8 to the Rogatica secondary school; right?
9 A. Well, you certainly reminded me. I sent a letter like this to
10 the police station -- I don't know what day it was - to take care of
11 people, property, private property, state property. And as far as I can
12 see, we wrote to the command of the Rogatica Brigade here as well and we
13 warned them too. I certainly do not accept the allegation that we
14 organised the collection centres and that we secured them. The civilian
15 authorities, the Crisis Staff, none of us ever wrote or ordered them or
16 asked them for that. We could not do that because we were in a
17 completely different part of the municipality. And we asked them to act
18 in accordance with all of these international conventions and not to hold
19 people in areas where they shouldn't be.
20 Q. And, Mr. Batinic, the Chamber has heard a number of witnesses say
21 that, in fact, they were taken to the secondary school by soldiers,
22 imprisoned there, and then many of them were expelled to the locations
23 listed in this report from Rajko Kusic. So, for example, Elver Pasic
24 gave evidence that on the 7th of June Serb soldiers arrested him together
25 with other Muslims who were hiding in the cellar of a building in
1 Rogatica, seeking shelter from the shelling. Pasic was taken with his
2 mother and grandmother to the secondary school, where he was detained
3 until 27 June when he was taken away and eventually detained at Batkovic
4 prison in Bijeljina. Armin Bazdar testified that on the
5 4th of August, 1992, Serb soldiers took him and his family from their
6 home in Seljani village to Rogatica high school. About 90 Muslims from
7 his village were detained there along with many more Muslims who had been
8 detained there prior to his arrival. The next day military-aged men were
9 separated from the women and children. The women and children were
10 loaded into buses and trucks like cattle and then taken to Hresa where
11 they were later exchanged. The men were taken to Rasadnik and detained.
12 Sefik Hurko testified that Rajko Kusic took him, his father, his mother
13 to Rogatica secondary school where they were imprisoned with other Muslim
14 men, women and children. And Alija Isakovic gave evidence that he was
15 captured in Rogatica town and detained at the high school from
16 10 June 1992 to the 5th of August, 1992, again the women and men were
17 separated. The women were taken to Sarajevo for exchange while the men
18 were taken to Rasadnik.
19 Mr. Batinic, that is the reality of what was happening to the
20 Muslims at the Rogatica secondary school, is it not?
21 A. I can neither confirm nor deny. If the witnesses stated that
22 they were in the high school building, I do not deny it. However, it was
23 not under our authority. What happened there was within the authority of
24 the brigade command in Rogatica.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: And I would like to move on put perhaps
2 65 ter 24599, the English could be attached to Exhibit D2913 and we have
3 no objection to its full admission.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We have basis now to admit the MFI D2913 in
5 full. We'll do so.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Batinic, at paragraph 35 you state categorically that
8 the Serbian organs of authority never contributed anything to forcibly
9 remove the Muslims from Rogatica and you claim that their organs of
10 authority and the SDA reached the decisions on moving out on their own.
11 Mr. Batinic, the Muslims of Rogatica did not leave the
12 municipality because of any SDA decision to that effect. They left
13 because their homes and villages were being shelled and they were being
14 massacred and abused by the Bosnian Serb forces, principally the
15 Rogatica Brigade led by Rajko Kusic; isn't that right?
16 A. For the most part, the area of Rogatica and town itself was
17 abandoned by both Serbs and Muslims. At some point in time, Rogatica as
18 a whole was a war zone. In any case, the Serbs mainly withdrew to the
19 north and Muslims to the southern part of town towards Gorazde. I
20 believe that neither of the sides had it easy. As for what was taking
21 place in the town itself, we had no influence there because we had no
22 access to the town. We couldn't influence any activities or work of the
23 brigade and its people or of any other units such as paramilitary units,
24 be it Muslim or Serbian. The authority was in the hands of the VRS and
25 the brigade had its own system of command and the issuing of orders.
1 Q. Well, you haven't precisely answered my question. I'd like to go
2 to P1001. Now, this is a warning from General Sipcic, SRK corps
3 commander, to Rajko Kusic personally. And it says:
4 "Kusic, I strictly forbid you to take any action on your own
5 unless I personally approve, particularly any form of mopping up of
6 anybody's villages.
7 "For the last time," double underlined, "I am warning you to
8 refrain from massacre, rampaging, abusing the innocent population of any
10 And consistent with the contents of this document, the Chamber
11 has received evidence of convictions by the Bosnian state court in recent
12 years of Rogatica Brigade members for crimes against Muslims in the town
13 and villages of Rogatica. I refer to P6106, the 2007 conviction of
14 Radislav Ljubinac for forcible transfer of Muslims to and away from
15 Rogatica secondary school and beating prisoners at Rasadnik. P6107, the
16 2006 conviction of Dragoje Paunovic aka Spiro for the execution of
17 prisoners taken away from Rasadnik. Mile Ujic confirmed his position as
18 a Rogatica Brigade unit commander at transcript 33471 and D1665, that's
19 the 2009 conviction of Stojan Perkovic for murder, cruel treatment,
20 unlawful detention and rape committed against Muslims from a number of
21 different villages. And Perkovic's position as a unit commander in the
22 brigade is identified in P2832, page 4.
23 Now, Mr. Batinic, the contents of General Sipcic's warning and
24 these recent convictions reflect the terror that the Rogatica Brigade was
25 inflicting on the Muslim population of Rogatica, don't they?
1 A. This order, this document produced by Mr. Sipcic to Kusic, is
2 something I see for the first time. They had their own line of
3 reporting, command, and ordering. I have nothing to add. Probably
4 Mr. Sipcic had information we did not have in detail. Once again I
5 reiterate that we were busy with organising civilian life and the
6 functioning of companies, educational institutions, health institutions,
7 and other aspects of life in the municipality. As regards the brigade,
8 its commander had enormous authority and he wouldn't allow anyone
9 interfere with the affairs of the military.
10 Q. Okay. On that note I'd like to go to 65 ter 17452 which now has
11 a Defence exhibit number. It was an associated exhibit. I don't recall
12 it at the moment. This is the message, Mr. Batinic, that you discuss at
13 paragraph 27 of your statement that Dr. Karadzic sent to you and other
14 municipalities on the 14th of July, 1992, in which he states that:
15 Municipality presidents must bear the responsibility to ensure the
16 protection of Croats and Muslims who hand over their weapons and do not
17 intend to fight.
18 Now, you made it very clear in your answer to some of my previous
19 questions that you had no influence on the work or activities of the
20 brigade and its members and that the VRS had its own system of command
21 that you were not a part of.
22 And in relation to that system of command, the Chamber has
23 received evidence of that military chain of command rewarding and
24 commending the Rogatica Brigade and its commander Rajko Kusic. I refer
25 to P6108, that's General Galic's December 1992 congratulations to the
1 Rogatica Brigade for its successes in 1992. P5586 which is
2 Dr. Karadzic's personal promotion of Rajko Kusic to the rank of captain
3 first class. And P2832, reflecting the fact that the entire brigade
4 received the order of Nemanjic. Kusic was given the order of
5 Milos Obilic and Stojan Perkovic who was mentioned was convicted in 2009
6 for crimes against Muslims was singled out for commanding one of the best
7 units in the brigade.
8 Now, in this context, Mr. Batinic, it was a disingenuous gesture
9 for Mr. Karadzic to assert in his telegram that the municipality
10 president was responsible for protecting the non-Serb population in
11 Rogatica while he himself commanded a military structure that promoted
12 and rewarded those who were committing crimes against that population.
13 Do you agree?
14 A. I wasn't aware of these commendations. I hear of it for the
15 first time. As regards Dr. Radovan Karadzic's document, as the president
16 of Rogatica Municipal Assembly I tried to protect all those villages
17 inhabited by Muslims of which there were five or six: Satorovici, Osovo,
18 Okruglo, Tmorni Do, Burati and perhaps another one. I went there
19 personally providing them with food and health care. I frequented those
20 villages, given the fact that it was easier on those people when I
21 appeared because they believed me. That's why I visited them frequently.
22 As for this document, it was probably sent then and I see it now. I do
23 not deny its being sent. I can't discuss its content and who commended
24 who, but I do know for sure that we were in no position to propose or
25 commend and give awards to anyone as civilian authorities.
1 Q. Okay. You just said in your answer that you tried to protect all
2 those villages inhabited by Muslims of which there were five or six. And
3 I take it from that that at a certain point of time there were just five
4 or six villages left in the Serb-held parts of Rogatica where any Muslim
5 inhabitants remained living; is that correct? And if so, at what point
6 of time were there these five or six villages -- sorry, at what point in
7 time had all the Muslims left the other villages aside from these five or
9 A. Those were the villages one could access. They were not in the
10 war zone. All of the other Serb and Muslim villages were inside the war
11 zone. They were in a difficult position and that's where there was
12 combat. Simply, people moved away wherever they could at any given point
13 in time.
14 Q. Okay. In paragraphs 29 and 30 you refer to the existence of
15 Muslims remaining in some of these villages, you refer to as loyal
16 Muslims. And you say -- you refer specifically to Burati which -- is
17 that the same village as Burati?
18 A. Burati, B-u -r-a-t-i.
19 Q. Okay. And you say that:
20 "We kept the people in Burati alive and well throughout the
21 entire war."
22 And what about Satorovici, is it your position that they, the
23 Muslims of Satorovici, also remained there throughout the entire war in
24 their village?
25 A. Yes, Satorovici, Osovo, Tmorni Do and Okruglo.
1 Q. And you said you visited these villages. Did you know an elderly
2 woman by the name of Fatima Potorkevic from Burati?
3 A. I did visit a house then where we drank coffee and had lunch. We
4 were hosted by someone who was called Katica, I believe, and there was an
5 infirm grandfather in -- who was bedridden. I don't recall a woman,
7 Q. Okay. What about a man by the name of Sejdalija Mirvic from
9 A. Sejdalija Mirvic, I know him.
10 Q. And you know him to be from Satorovici village?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Okay. Mr. Batinic, I'm going to put it to you that it's not true
13 that the Muslims in these villages remained throughout the entire war,
14 that, in fact, the Bosnian Serb authorities expelled the last remaining
15 Muslims from Rogatica municipality in October 1994. Would you like to
16 respond to that?
17 A. Certainly, but at their request, the citizens requested it.
18 Q. Okay. I'd like to go to P4867.
19 JUDGE KWON: I take it you're coming to a close?
20 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour, I have about five minutes
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON:
24 Q. This is a prisoner exchange report compiled by the
25 Federation Exchange Commission dated the 15th of October, 1994. And if
1 we go to page 2 of the English and stay on page 1 of the B/C/S, it
2 describes what happened during this exchange and it says at the bottom of
3 the B/C/S/at the top of the English:
4 "The aggressor took advantage of the exchange to expel 87
5 Bosniaks, Muslims from the villages of Satorovici, Burati, Osovo,
6 Knezina, Kramer Selo, Kozica, Okruglo, Kovanj."
7 And if we go to page 4 in both languages, the middle of the
8 English and the top of the B/C/S it says that:
9 "... Karadzic's Serbs have taken advantage of the
10 1st October 1994 Agreement ..."
11 And the next sentence says:
12 "In that sense, prior to the exchange Karadzic's Serbs had on
13 5 October expelled the remaining Bosniak population from four Rogatica
14 villages: 66 women, children, and elderly in total. On the
15 10th of October they expelled another 21 residents of the villages of
16 Burati and Kovanj, leaving these territories purely Serb inhabited."
17 And if we could go to 65 ter 24462. Sorry, my mistake.
18 65 ter 24464. This is a "New York Times" article from the same time as
19 the report we just saw and it's in English so I'll just read the relevant
20 parts to you. It's dated the 6th of October, 1994, and it's titled:
21 "Expelled from villages, bewildered Muslims trudge to Sarajevo.
22 "The central image of the Bosnian war was repeated yet again in
23 Sarajevo today when Muslim men, women and children expelled by Serbs from
24 Eastern Bosnia trudged across a city bridge clutching their only
25 remaining possessions in a few ragged sacks.
1 "Dazed and frightened, some of them in tears, they came slowly
2 across the so-called bridge of brotherhood and unity between the
3 Serb-held Grbavica section of Sarajevo and government-held territory.
4 Then as United Nations officials looked on they were bundle onto city
5 buses and taken off to one of the many refugee centres in the Bosnian
7 Then there's a quote:
8 "'Serbian soldiers came to my house today and said I was to leave
9 at once,' said Fatima Potorkevic, aged 75 from the village of Burati near
10 Rogatica in Serb-held Eastern Bosnia. 'I have no idea where I am going.'
11 "Sejdalija Mirvic said his village of Satorovici near Rogatica
12 was entirely emptied of its remaining Muslims today. The Serbian
13 authorities came to each Muslim household and told the families to
14 prepare to leave. They were bundled onto buses to Sarajevo.
15 "'I had these apartments in my house and a small farm with
16 cattle,' Mr. Mirvic, 56, said, 'Now all I have left is in these bags.'
17 He pointed to two bundles on the floor of the bus."
18 Now, Mr. Batinic, you agreed that the Muslims in these villages
19 did in fact leave, although you said it was voluntary, and you said you
20 knew Mr. Sejdalija Mirvic from Satorovici. You don't deny that
21 Mr. Mirvic and Ms. Potorkevic were explaining the truth about what
22 happened to them in their villages, do you?
23 A. It is certain that I knew what the situation was in all of the
24 villages and that is why I tried to make the utmost to make their lives
25 easier. I did everything I could to keep them there. I knew that in
1 Burati village Mustafa Prkos came to me and asked me to do everything so
2 that they could move to Sarajevo. I wasn't happy about it, but I
3 mustered my strength and said, Well, Mustafa, if that is your wish, there
4 is no problem. But do not portray that as if we were consciously moving
5 those people out. And I also told him, All this would be for nothing if
6 we died. If we survive we can discuss it because human lives are the
7 most important. I am sorry for all of the heads of families and citizens
8 in general who had to leave their property behind or lost their lives.
9 At the moment in time and the situation we were in, I don't think more
10 could have been done.
11 Now, whether we chose the best course and whether we were
12 sufficiently prepared at the time, there were probably mistakes and
13 failures, but it is certain that I did my utmost to protect those people
14 in Rogatica municipality.
15 Q. Okay. So when Ms. Potorkevic said:
16 "'Serbian soldiers came to my house today and said I was to leave
17 at once ...'"
18 Is that something you know about, did you know that the
19 Rogatica Brigade or at that point the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade
20 was doing in those villages at this time?
21 A. I don't know. That is certain.
22 Q. Okay. And you said that people came to you and said to do
23 everything that you could -- and asked you to do everything so that they
24 could move to Sarajevo. Mr. Batinic, the situation in these --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The situation in these people's villages, the security situation,
2 must have been dire for these people to ask you to take them away from
3 their homes, their farms, their livelihoods, places they'd lived all
4 their lives. Do you agree?
5 A. I accept that those people, despite the level of protection we
6 could offer, still lived in fear daily, fearing that a stray drunken
7 soldier civilian may come in to mistreat them. Of course we couldn't
8 keep everything under control at all times and certainly those
9 individuals thought along those lines.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Batinic. I have no further questions.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 Do you have re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency.
14 JUDGE KWON: We'll hear that after the break.
15 We'll have a break for 45 minutes and resume at 15 past 1.00.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.26 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.19 p.m.
18 JUDGE KWON: Before we continue.
19 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President. This is in response to your
21 inquiry yesterday concerning the request for leave in connection with the
22 second motion for subpoena. I indicated we'd be getting back to you, and
23 as you're aware we tried to respond to the Legal Officer in advance but
24 there's no objection.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
1 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Batinic, today you were asked about your
5 resignation and some misunderstandings or differences between the
6 civilian authorities and the TO, which is something that you discuss in
7 paragraph 16 of your statement. In the second part of the paragraph you
9 "The civilian authorities in Rogatica which was hoping for a
10 political solution and believed in the negotiations ..." et cetera,
11 et cetera "is opposed to the TO."
12 Can you tell the Chamber what kind of information did the
13 civilian authorities have that they founded their hopes on and what
14 information did the TO have?
15 A. To tell you the truth, we expected that a political solution
16 would be possible and we acted in that vein. We did what we could.
17 However, I suppose that the TO received other information along other
18 lines which was against a dialogue, but rather that different means be
19 applied. It was our belief that we should engage in negotiations and
20 that it was up to us to do our utmost to avoid any unwanted situations.
21 Q. Thank you. In that paragraph you say that their assessment
22 proved to be more correct because shortly afterwards a Serb policeman was
23 killed. The Prosecution suggested to you that we - the Serbs - made use
24 of that killing as an excuse to attack Rogatica. It was also suggested
25 to you that Mr. Ujic on page 33459 said that there was some shooting and
1 the use of artillery and so on and so forth. First of all, tell us this:
2 Where did the murder take place and how far is it from the centre of
4 A. It's some 3 kilometres away towards Gorazde, to the south, where
5 Bosnian -- Bosniak forces were in the area of Laze and Pasic Kula.
6 Q. Did you say that it is not or that it is 3 kilometres away?
7 A. It is 3 kilometres away.
8 Q. Thank you. Where was the fighting and where were mortars used?
9 A. In that part when the territory was being liberated in order to
10 pull out the dead man's body.
11 Q. Thank you. In lines 21 and 22, I will read them out to you in
13 [In English] "Of course there was an exchange of fire and the war
14 was on its way."
15 [Interpretation] That is page 33459, Ujic. So what is your
16 position? Was it the Serbs who were firing unilaterally or is what Ujic
17 said true, that there was an exchange of fire?
18 A. I think there was an exchange of fire.
19 Q. Thank you. On page 51 of today's transcript you were asked, or
20 rather, what was suggested to you was that we had taken advantage of that
21 incident and the killing of the Serb policeman in order to take over
22 Rogatica. When was Rogatica liberated?
23 A. I think it was sometime towards the end of July.
24 Q. Thank you. In the meantime who was in Rogatica and who
25 controlled the centre of town, the town itself, if you will?
1 A. At first it was no one. After all, it was no man's land and
2 probably it was both that were wandering around.
3 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to ask you to look at a few documents.
4 P3265, could we have a look at that, please. Please, Mr. Batinic, focus
5 on this report of the battalion commander - it was a battalion at the
6 time - of the Municipal Assembly of Rogatica of the 23rd of May and Kusic
7 says there that they fired at an enemy stronghold, Dub, Pokrivenik, and
8 Kozica and Cadovi ... and on Pasica Kula. And further down it says that:
9 "The body of a soldier was recovered that had been in the
10 possession of enemy forces for the last two day. There were no losses in
11 the operations above Rogatica. In the rear the enemy forces killed two
12 old men."
13 So what does that mean "above Rogatica"? And does this report
14 correspond to your own knowledge about this?
15 A. Well, I don't know much about this. I just know that the
16 soldier, Mihajlovic, lost his life and that for about two days they could
17 not get ahold of his body, then there was an exchange of fire, then
18 Mihajlovic was taken out, and I don't know about these further reports
19 and I couldn't really comment on them.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what this means, enemy stronghold
21 Dub, Pokrivenik, and then further on Kopljevici, Kozica, Cadovi?
22 A. In that area, that's where Muslim forces were stationed in the
23 Muslim police. And then a family was killed there, Obradovic, three or
24 four of them were killed brutally so that area towards Ustipraca and
25 Gorazde was primarily under the control of the Bosniak forces.
1 Q. In line 2 the witness said "brutally," "zverski" but maybe it's
2 better to say "bestially."
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. The learned Ms. Gustafson asked you today what it
5 meant that you protected only villages that had expressed their loyalty.
6 What about the other villages? Could you protect the civilians in those
7 villages too that had not expressed their loyalty and what does loyalty
8 or disloyalty consist of?
9 A. Well, I would prefer to say that it was Bosniaks, Muslims, who
10 were the citizens in those villages. As for the other villages, we could
11 not access them. That was within the war operations zone. The villages
12 that we reached were accessible and they were not in the war zone.
13 Q. Thank you. Could I now please ask for 65 ter 7088. Please do
14 focus on this regular operative report of the 29th of May,
15 Commander Rajko Kusic sent it and says under number 2:
16 "In the areas of Pokrivenik and Dub there are considerable enemy
17 forces. About 3.000 to 4 -- or rather, 300 to 400 armed men are around
18 Karacici, Golubovici and Vragolovi."
19 What is that?
20 A. These are villages around the urban part of Rogatica. The
21 population is predominantly Muslim and probably other people from certain
22 villages who were there at the time.
23 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 5 it says that they went to Ferizovici,
24 and on the previous day the enemy operated against our positions in the
25 area. What does that mean? Did the attacks come from Ferizovici?
1 A. These were neighbouring villages. Ferizovici is predominantly
2 Serb populated, and Vragolovi and the rest are Muslim-populated villages.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted?
5 JUDGE KWON: [Microphone not activated]
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: [Microphone not activated]
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I think it's now activated.
8 All you asked about this document is some names of the places.
9 Ms. Gustafson.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour. The witness didn't appear to
11 confirm any of the contents of the document, just the --
12 JUDGE KWON: Nothing.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: -- locations, so I don't think the foundation is
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies,
16 Your Excellencies, I asked on the basis of the questions put during the
17 cross-examination in terms of why they did not protect civilians in
18 Muslim villages. And it turned out that these villages had been taken by
19 the Muslim army and they were actually firing from Ferizovici and this
20 document shows that there was not --
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you are not giving evidence yourself.
22 You did not ask a substantive question at all to the witness.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You were asked about these
24 villages, why you did not protect them. The content of this document, is
25 it something that you're familiar with? Is it true that the enemy army
1 was in those villages and it was firing from those villages.
2 A. I'm not familiar with this document but I know that these
3 villages are around the urban part of town and these villages were
4 primarily Muslim-populated.
5 Q. And were there any Muslim fighters in these villages, any Muslim
7 A. Probably, but I cannot confirm with 100 per cent certainty.
8 Q. Thank you. Around these villages and between those villages and
9 Serb villages, was there any fighting?
10 A. Believe me, I cannot confirm that with certainty. It is certain
11 that these villages were in a war zone at the time. There was always a
12 bit of gun-fire. Where and how I cannot say because I was not a
13 participant in this.
14 Q. If this is not sufficient for you, I am going to tender this
15 through someone else who is more familiar with the fighting. You decide.
16 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Gustafson.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, I think again the witness doesn't confirm
18 the contents in it and Dr. Karadzic's suggestion is appropriate.
19 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
20 Just a second.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, since you said so, tender it with
23 another witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. But in relation to what
25 had been asked and suggested during the cross-examination, I do have to
1 get an answer from the witness in terms of whether civilians were being
2 brought in and whether there was fighting. 65 ter 7543, could I have
3 that, please.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Batinic, did you have any information about these civilians
6 being brought in to town against their own will?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you. Was there any shelling of Muslim settlements with the
9 aim of driving the civilians out?
10 A. I cannot confirm that.
11 Q. Thank you. The second sentence now, please. If you have a
12 problem with your eyesight:
13 "Large numbers of Muslim civilians arrive in town every day,
14 mostly women and children and unarmed people. The people are finding
15 shelter in the secondary school centre.
16 "Snipers are firing from two or three places in town. The enemy
17 attacked a column ..."
18 Et cetera, et cetera. These civilians, were they brought
19 forcibly or did they flee from the fighting and did they come
21 A. There was certainly fighting in town and it is certain that
22 civilians were trying to save themselves. I don't know what was going on
23 there, but if somebody told them to go to the secondary school and that
24 that was a safe place, then they probably went to the secondary school.
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Batinic, how do you explain this, that the Muslim
1 civilians are seeking shelter from fighting in the Serb-held area of
2 Rogatica? What kind of confidence is that?
3 A. It is certainly true that I would have welcomed that and I would
4 want civilians and helpless people to be given shelter during all that
5 fighting, and also I would want them to have appropriate accommodation.
6 I believe that people -- a large number of people cannot stay in such
7 facilities for a long time.
8 Q. Thank you. Look at the one-but-last:
9 "The following were used in operations in town: 350 x 7.62 mm
10 bullets for the automatic rifle and semi-automatic rifle, 430 x 7.9 mm
11 bullets and 520 bullets for the M84 light machine-gun. No shells were
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not catch the
14 question or the answer either.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Batinic, the interpreters could not hear you
16 because you were overlapping with the interpretation. Could you repeat
17 your answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To be honest, I'm not very
19 knowledgeable about weapons and I don't know whether that is a lot or a
20 great deal.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. My question wasn't recorded either. I asked whether this was a
23 large amount of ammunition that was used in urban warfare without shells?
24 A. I think it's not.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted?
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: Again, the witness has basically speculated on
3 the questions that have been put to him. He's made it clear he wasn't in
4 the town at this time and wasn't even there until the operation -- until
5 he says it was safe to go to the town at the end of July. He wasn't
6 involved in any of these operations.
7 JUDGE KWON: But it -- you touched upon this issue, i.e., the
8 situation in which the Muslim civilians were arriving and maybe ending up
9 in the secondary school.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour, I did. Firstly, the document I
11 put to the witness was a document addressed to him, it was also dated
12 November 1992 after the witness had visited the secondary school. I'm
13 not objecting to the questions; I'm objecting to the admission of this
14 document because the witness wasn't in the town at this time, he wasn't
15 involved in the operations in the town, and he hasn't been able to
16 confirm the contents of the document.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. -- just a second.
18 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
19 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. At the end of page 74 the
20 witness said there was certainly fighting in the town. If you look at
21 the fourth paragraph -- the fifth paragraph of the document it talks
22 about their operations in the town. So he's confirmed that -- he's
23 confirmed part of the document and I think that that's enough for the
24 standard that you've been applying for and the arguments as to what he
25 knew and how he knew it all go to weight.
1 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will receive this document.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2933, Your Honours.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us just note that this report
4 is dated the 11th of June, and now let us call up 65 ter 7272.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You were asked, Mr. Batinic, whether there had been fighting,
7 whether we had attacked, whether we had attacked with the objective of
8 expelling the Muslim population, and now I would like to ask you to take
9 a look at this report of the 12th of June. The first sentence says:
10 "In the area of the municipality the enemy became obvious in
11 several places by infiltrating sabotage groups whose probable objective
12 was creating a space for penetration and for linking forces in the
13 interior with the forces in Zepa."
14 We haven't got a translation yet. This was also written by
15 Rajko Kusic and he sent it to the command of the
16 Army of Republika Srpska.
17 Further down it says:
18 "A larger concentration of Muslim population has been noticed in
19 town and they are staying in the secondary school centre. Among the
20 population there are primarily women and children and there are also
21 unarmed men. In town sniper shooters were also noticed and they were
22 firing at town as the column was passing towards town, or rather, towards
24 You were asked about civilians, about bringing in civilians.
25 This report, is it correct according to what you know about the fighting
1 and the way in which the civilians came into town?
2 A. There were certainly groups that were armed on both sides and
3 certainly there were wounded and dead persons in town. But, as this
4 report says - and believe me, I cannot fully understand it. I was not
5 authorised then. This is the first time that I see it. It is a fact
6 that there was fighting in town, people were getting killed, and people
7 were basically fleeing to places that were supposed to be safer for them.
8 Q. Thank you. In relation to the actual occurrence rather than the
9 document, does this correspond to your own knowledge about the way in
10 which civilians came to town and about the fighting -- actually, the
11 level of conflict, or rather, presence of conflict, not level of
13 A. Yes, there was certainly fighting for at least two months until
14 late July when one could enter town finally, when we found those
15 civilians in the high school building.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
18 JUDGE KWON: I don't think there's any basis to admit it now.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Then I will skip a few
20 other documents in that regard.
21 Could we next have -- I will not tender it. Let's look at
22 65 ter 7951. It is an analysis of combat-readiness until the
23 31st of December, 1992. 65 ter 7951. Page 3, please. There is a
24 translation, apologies, that is why I didn't want to tender it. It has
25 been translated. I wasn't aware of it. The last sentence --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could we have page 3 as
2 well in the English.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. "In the village of Trnovo" the bottom of that page, in the
5 Serbian the bottom of page 3. "Family" -- well, the next page, please.
6 Obradovic, the Obradovic family, is that the family mentioned?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let us look at the line below "at the time," which is some ten
9 lines from the bottom. The encircled Ustasha in the town --
10 JUDGE KWON: Let's find the passage in the English as well.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: I think it's on the bottom half of page 4.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: At that time ..." [Interpretation] The tenth line
14 from the bottom in the [In English] "... encircled Ustashas ..."
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. "At that time, the encircled Ustashas started strategy Serb
17 property and liquidating Serbs in town. In order to prevent this, the
18 brigade had to intervene promptly in protecting the undamaged property
19 and rescuing and saving those Serbs who were still alive."
20 Is this the period in late July when Rogatica was liberated?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I'm interested in the truthfulness of the following paragraph.
23 "Part of the enemy forces withdrew towards Kukavice ..."
24 What is it?
25 A. It's a large Muslim-populated village in the direction of
2 Q. "Part of enemy forces withdrew towards Kukavice leaving their
3 families who have been taken care of and transferred to Sarajevo upon
4 their wish."
5 Is it correct that Muslim fighters left their families behind to
6 the Serbs and that you took care of them and transported them to Sarajevo
7 as they wished?
8 A. The families were in the high school building in Rogatica and if
9 they were armed, the men probably didn't dare to surrender and were
10 probably planning to go to Lukavica and Gorazde.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
13 JUDGE KWON: I think this has been already admitted as P2830,
14 according to the e-court.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we briefly go into closed
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well, yes. Private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Page 33709 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honours.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Batinic, do you know of any investigation which established
17 that Mr. Kusic had committed a crime?
18 A. No, I don't.
19 Q. Thank you. How did you come to suffer on the 30th of November?
20 A. That day I was visiting Burati village trying to arrange a
21 delivery of food that they needed. I was there that day, and on the way
22 back I came upon an anti-armour -- anti-tank mine. I was seriously
23 injured and my work ability was seriously impaired at the time. After a
24 lengthy recovery I engaged in the work that I was later busy with.
25 Q. Whose mine was it, Mr. Batinic?
1 A. I don't know. I think some did not like the fact that I was
2 visiting the area. I call it an enemy mine.
3 Q. Did you receive any information from Mustafa or from anyone else
4 you knew in the villages that were under your protection, protection of
5 the Serbian authorities, about the presence of their enemy soldiers and
6 about your position concerning the peaceful villages?
7 A. Well, these people were quite good and honourable. We visited
8 them frequently. The police went there often as well. They were in a
9 state of fear, though. Even if they were visited by them, they didn't
10 dare discuss it.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you know General Asim Hodzic in person? For the
12 participants, he was Muslim and a retired JNA general.
13 A. I knew him personally and I visited him frequently and provided
14 food for him. When he fell ill we transferred him to the military
15 medical academy in Belgrade.
16 Q. When did you see him last?
17 A. I think in 1993, early 1993, when he became ill.
18 Q. Thank you. Another question, Mr. Batinic, did you and the people
19 as a whole follow conferences about Bosnia and Herzegovina? In
20 particular did they follow the publication of maps and what was the
21 position of the inhabitants regarding the fate of their settlements?
22 A. Well, towards the end we definitely did. Irrespective of what
23 opinion we had in Rogatica municipality, there was some reformist forces
24 there as well from the movement for Yugoslavia. We rejoiced over any
25 solution in order to further the goals of those conferences, starting
1 with the Vance-Owen Plan in -- and the final discussion at Pale about the
2 Vance-Owen Plan. To tell you the truth, I expected that your signature
3 you placed in Athens would be acknowledged and confirmed but it was not.
4 Q. Thank you. I want to ask you this: If a village realised that
5 it fell in one or other entity during a conference, would that have an
6 impact or did it have an impact on the sentiment of inhabitants?
7 A. Yes, certainly. But it was up to the authorities to do their job
8 so that everyone could feel comfortable wherever they were.
9 Q. Thank you. It was suggested to you that I promoted Mr. Kusic
10 because he had committed crimes and ethnically cleansed the population.
11 Did you know what my position was regarding civilian population,
12 especially minority population?
13 A. I think on one occasion I received a letter from you where you
14 asked us and suggested to us that we should treat the rest of the
15 population as we treat the Serbian population. I see no reason why you
16 would reward someone for committing crimes. It would be irrational.
17 Q. Thank you. I would like to draw your attention to D95 and D96
18 because it was mentioned by Mr. Batinic.
19 The last question, Mr. Batinic, regarding the Crisis Staff.
20 Before the municipal Crisis Staff was formed did the party have its own
21 and why would it have been expanded in April?
22 A. The party had its Crisis Staff comprising some ten people.
23 Perhaps at the time they couldn't get their bearings right, but despite
24 the pressure they were under, especially in Rogatica when there was no
25 communication or links with the Main Board of the SDS and the Presidency
1 of Republika Srpska, we still tried to come up with a solution in order
2 to get out of this new situation.
3 Q. Thank you. While the Crisis Staff was still party staff, did it
4 have the authority as if it had executive remit?
5 A. No.
6 Q. It was suggested to you that still the Serbian Municipal Assembly
7 in Rogatica worked from the start, it was operational. It was shown that
8 there was one session when it was set up and another one on the
9 15th of April. Did the Serbian Assembly of Rogatica municipality carry
10 out its authority, irrespective of the fact how often it met?
11 A. No, not until the Assembly session when the members of the
12 Executive Board were elected.
13 Q. And when was it?
14 A. I don't recall it exactly when the Executive Board was elected,
15 but there must be a document somewhere.
16 Q. Was it before May or on the 2nd of May, as you said?
17 A. Possible. I can't recall.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Batinic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I have no further
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 Mr. Batinic, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of this
23 Chamber I'd like to --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
25 JUDGE KWON: -- thank you for your coming to The Hague. Now
1 you're free to go. Have a safe journey back home.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE KWON: Before we continue there are a few matters I'd like
5 to deal with.
6 First, Mr. Robinson, with respect to the Defence request for
7 state representative to be present in courtroom regarding
8 Ambassador Jose Cutileiro's evidence, the Chamber would like to inquire
9 with you whether the request for the two Portuguese representatives to be
10 present in the courtroom during that testimony came from the Portuguese
11 government or from Ambassador Cutileiro himself?
12 MR. ROBINSON: It came from Ambassador Cutileiro himself. It
13 originated from him, yes.
14 JUDGE KWON: But could you clarify with the Portuguese embassy.
15 It is their request or --
16 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, I -- we also received a request from them.
17 The first suggestion was made by Ambassador Cutileiro in a form that he
18 filled out, and then they communicated to us that they would like to be
19 present. So I -- unless you would like me to clarify further, I think
20 that they would like to be present and it's at his request.
21 JUDGE KWON: So in accordance with the consistent practice of
22 this Chamber, the Chamber would like you to file all correspond relating
23 to this request.
24 MR. ROBINSON: Very well. I'll do that.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 Then the Chamber will now issue an oral ruling.
2 On the 31st of January, 2013, during the direct examination of
3 Witness Srdjan Sehovac, the accused presented Sehovac with a collection
4 of four transcripts of intercepted conversations bearing 65 ter number
5 1D6136. Sehovac testified that as head of the SNB Ilidza department,
6 "all documents had to pass through my hands." He described the process
7 of interception by the operatives under his oversight and further
8 commented on the meaning and content of the intercepts. The
9 Office of the Prosecutor objected on the ground that admission of the
10 intercept on such a showing would dilute the Chamber's standards for
11 authenticating intercepts and that Sehovac's statements were less
12 comprehensive than those of Witness KDZ145, who was not personally
13 involved in intercepting conversation but provided lengthy description of
14 SDB intercept operations and thus authenticated intercepts during the
15 Prosecution case. The Chamber marked the intercepts for identification
16 as MFI D2853. At the conclusion of Sehovac's testimony, upon further
17 inquiry from the Chamber, Sehovac described in more detailed the process
18 of intercepting conversations, including the location of the relevant
19 tapes and the fact that he listened to most of the conversations himself.
20 The Chamber reiterates its consistent approach to authentication
21 of intercepts and recalls that one method of doing so is through the
22 testimony of an intercept operator. The Chamber considers that Sehovac's
23 testimony about his direct involvement in the interception and its
24 reporting process, including the fact that he listened to many personally
25 is sufficient for the purpose of authenticating this intercept in this
1 manner. The Chamber thus will admit MFI D2853 into evidence.
2 And finally, having reviewed the Rule 92 ter notification and
3 statement for Tomislav Savkic, the Chamber finds that the last sentence
4 of paragraph 62 and the document referred to therein and the last
5 sentence of paragraph 81 contain excessive detail about specific crimes
6 committed against Bosnian Serbs which is not relevant to the charges
7 against the accused in the indictment and orders that they be redacted.
8 Unless there's any other matter -- yes, Mr. Tieger.
9 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President, we will need a
10 longer-than-customary break between -- in order to set up for the next
11 witness. As the Trial Chamber may be aware, Ms. Sutherland is here
12 despite a recent disability and that creates a couple of logistical
13 issues to take care of that require a brief recess.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: Sorry, Your Honour, and just one administrative
16 matter that arose in the last few moments of the witness's evidence.
17 Mr. -- Dr. Karadzic mentioned Exhibit D95 which I then looked up and I
18 noted that it is the same document as the associated exhibit which was --
19 which was admitted as D2932 through the witness. And I was wondering if
20 D2932 should be vacated given that it's already in evidence as D95.
21 JUDGE KWON: What was the 65 ter number?
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: That was 65 ter 17452, referenced at
23 paragraph 27.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, do you confirm that?
25 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I think we can vacate that.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll do so.
2 Ten minutes would be sufficient?
3 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President, I believe so.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll rise for ten minutes.
5 --- Break taken at 2.11 p.m.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 --- On resuming at 2.26 p.m.
8 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration,
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: TOMISLAV SAVKIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Savkic. Do you hear me in the
15 language you understand?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
18 Before you start giving evidence, Mr. Savkic, I'd like to draw your
19 attention to a particular Rule here at the Tribunal. Under this Rule,
20 Rule 90(E), you may object to answering a question from the accused, the
21 Prosecution, or the Judges if you believe that your answer will
22 incriminate you. When I say "incriminate," I mean something you say may
23 amount to an admission of your guilt for a criminal offence or could
24 provide that you have committed an offence. However, even if you think
25 your answer will incriminate you and you do not wish to answer the
1 question, the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer that
2 question. But in such a case, the Tribunal will make sure that your
3 testimony which was compelled in such a way shall not be used as evidence
4 in other case against you for any offence other than false testimony. Do
5 you understand what I have just told you, sir?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Savkic.
8 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you [In English],
10 Your Excellency, for your pronunciation of our impossible names.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please proceed.
12 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Savkic.
14 A. God be with you.
15 Q. First of all, I have to ask you that we both pause and that
16 annunciate our sentences slowly so they could all be recorded in the
17 transcript. Did you give a statement to the Defence team?
18 A. Yes.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have 1D7213 in
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Do you see the statement on the screen in front of you? Is that
23 your statement?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Have you read it and signed it?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the last page, please.
3 So can we identify the signature.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Is that your signature?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Did this statement faithfully reflect what you said
8 to the Defence team?
9 A. Well, yes. Here and there there may be a thing or two that is
10 different from the way I talk, but the essence is there.
11 Q. Would you want to change something? Are you talking about the
12 choice of words?
13 A. Well, some things haven't been explained. Look at 99. I don't
14 see how I missed that, 99, paragraph 99, the first line, the second line,
15 the third line -- actually, it's the second line. It says:
16 "The instances of one side exacting revenge from the other are
17 well-known to have taken place in Zaklopaca, Zutica, Kravica, Glogova, or
18 destruction of the Vlasenica mosque after Serb civilians of the Kljestani
19 and Sadici villages had been burned and massacred."
20 And now there's a part that's missing. On the very next day
21 family members or friends or whoever destroyed it. That part is missing.
22 As for the rest, basically it will do.
23 Q. Can I suggest the following wording then or, for example, the
24 destruction of the mosque in Vlasenica?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. That was destroyed by members of the family or friends?
2 A. Yes, of the persons who were killed in Kljestani and Sadici.
3 Q. What about Bjelovac, does it remain there because it does say
4 Bjelovac and other places?
5 A. Yes, yes, that's all right. Well, Bjelovac is particularly
7 Q. Thank you. Is there anything else that should be changed?
8 A. Well, for the most part, no. Terminologically, well, in one
9 place, for instance -- now, I cannot -- well, it should be in the plural.
10 It should say buses went to get the Muslims in Zalazje and it just says
11 "bus" here, but let's say that this is a question of grammar -- well,
12 it's not the same thing, is it, if one bus goes or if several buses go
13 because one bus can take some 50 military conscripts and then in two
14 buses there's over a hundred, so the number drastically changes, the
15 number of persons who were transported from Zaljonica [phoen] Vlasenica.
16 Q. Thank you. Would that be the first line of paragraph 14?
17 Under the pressure exerted by these people the president of the
18 Municipal Assembly Milenko Stanic provided them with the bus which took
19 them, et cetera ..."
20 A. Bravo, yes, that's it. As far as I know there were two buses
21 from Rogatica and two from Vlasenica, so there were four as far as I
23 Q. Thank you. In addition to these two corrections, if I were to
24 put the same questions to you today would your answers basically be the
25 same as those provided in this statement?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, I would like to
4 tender this package according to Rule 92 ter.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, we're offering nine associated
6 exhibits, the last six of which that are on our list are not on our
7 Rule 65 ter list and we would ask that they be added as they were not
8 available to us until we interviewed this witness.
9 JUDGE KWON: Before I hear from the Prosecution whether it has
10 any objection, I have several matters with respect to some of the
11 associated exhibits. First, with respect to magazines, possibly the
12 interview of Oric, 1D13045 and 1D13046 referred to in paras 77 and 78,
13 it's a bit difficult from the paragraph themselves in what context the
14 witness is confirming or commenting the content of the magazine. So I
15 would like the accused to lead live. And with respect to 1D13049 which
16 is being referred to in para 82, I note the title of the document
17 referred to in the notification, Rule 92 ter notification, does not
18 mention the underlying document, so if you could check it. Otherwise, do
19 you have any objection, Ms. Sutherland?
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: We would object to 1D04075 which is referred to
23 in paragraph 52 as not being relevant.
24 JUDGE KWON: That document is dealing with what is contained in
25 para 52?
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE KWON: So -- but you are not asking for the redaction of
3 the paragraph but not to admit that document?
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: From the word "document number 1D4075" --
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: -- to the end of the paragraph I would seek to
7 have redacted.
8 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
9 Yes, Mr. Robinson --
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: I would --
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I will hear out Ms. Sutherland first.
12 Yes, please continue.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: I also seek redaction of three additional --
14 some text in three additional paragraphs and that is paragraphs 18, 53,
15 and 62, making reference to documents that were previously listed on the
16 initial Rule 92 ter notification which was filed which have now been
17 dropped from the revised notification. So if I can take Your Honours to
18 paragraph 18.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: I would seek to have the words from the second
21 line "and this is evident from the statements of ..." down to the end of
22 that sentence with "document number 1D4059" because it's now no longer an
23 associated exhibit.
24 JUDGE KWON: So two lines?
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
1 JUDGE KWON: Part of two lines.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: And in paragraph 53 the second -- third sentence
5 starting with "document number 1D4068" to the end of the paragraph should
6 be redacted because that document is no longer an associated exhibit.
7 JUDGE KWON: And 62?
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. You have already ruled on
9 that just a moment ago when you said from document number 1D13041 to the
10 end of the paragraph that's been redacted so that's been dealt with.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
12 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We don't have any objection
13 to those proposed redactions for 18 and 53. We do persist and believe
14 that the document 1D4075 is admissible and relevant. This is a different
15 situation than tu quoque evidence. When we -- these events around
16 Srebrenica going back to 1992 we can't have a sanitised version of the
17 facts that only Serbs were involved in military operations in that area
18 and redact everything that shows that the Muslims were doing the same.
19 So we maintain that that's considered -- still relevant. And with
20 respect to 13049, I see that you're completely right and the document is
21 misdescribed. In e-court it's accurately described but misdescribed on
22 our 92 ter notification.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Is it not sufficient to admit
24 paragraph 52 without admitting the criminal report? Is it really
1 MR. ROBINSON: Well, if you applied that same standard to any
2 other documents offered by the Prosecution, there would be a lot fewer
3 exhibits in the case. So it's not absolutely necessary, but I also don't
4 see any reason why we would change the procedure at this stage.
5 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to add anything, Ms. Sutherland?
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour. I will leave it with you.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: In relation to that paragraph.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive 1D4075 and leave the sentence there.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour --
12 JUDGE KWON: Otherwise, we agree with the -- with Ms. Sutherland
13 as admitted by the Defence, those passages referred to my Ms. Sutherland
14 should be redacted.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, we also had an issue with 1D --
17 1D4153, which has a lot of handwriting on it, but it was established in
18 the break just a moment ago that the handwriting on that exhibit is, in
19 fact, made by the witness. So I wanted to note that for the record and
20 also there's some underlining and handwriting on 1D13047 and 1D13048.
21 And I -- and that is also the witness 's handwriting.
22 JUDGE KWON: Witness's handwriting has been translated?
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: It's the handwriting in the margin.
1 JUDGE KWON: So you are happy with commenting that on record?
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 Shall we admit one by one? Shall we give the number for the
5 statement first?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour that's Exhibit D2932.
7 JUDGE KWON: And we'll admit 1D4075.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2934.
9 JUDGE KWON: 1D4 -- yes --
10 THE REGISTRAR: 1D4085 as Exhibit D2935. 1D4153 as
11 Exhibit D2936. 1D3045 as Exhibit D --
12 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit it later on. And we'll admit 1D13047.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2937, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE KWON: 1D13048.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2938.
16 JUDGE KWON: 1D13049.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2939.
18 JUDGE KWON: And finally 1D13051.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2940.
20 JUDGE KWON: Let me check how long it will be to read out the
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE KWON: With the indulgence of the interpreters and
24 court reporter, we'll hear the summary today and continue tomorrow.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm going to read the
1 summary out in the English language.
2 [In English] Tomislav Savkic was born in Dubnica on
3 January the 1st, 1956, Milici municipality. He completed his primary
4 school in Milici and the secondary grammar school in Vlasenica, and then
5 he went on to graduate from the electrical engineering faculty in Tuzla.
6 He got his first job in 1980 at the secondary school centre in
7 Vlasenica where he worked as a teacher. After serving in the army he
8 started working at the Boksit coal mine in Milici in 1984. He worked in
9 this company until the outbreak of the war in 1992. In early 1992 he was
10 appointed commander of the defence of the Boksit mine and after that he
11 worked as an engineer. On November the 1st, 1992, he was appointed
12 commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion in Milici. He remained in this
13 post until November the 1st, 1993, when he became president of the
14 Milici Municipal Assembly. From then on until the end of the war he did
15 not have any military duties.
16 Tomislav Savkic noticed that inter-ethnic problems began mounting
17 when the breakup of Yugoslavia began, particularly when the nationalist
18 parties were established. The SDA were particularly active in glorifying
19 its own ethnic group and the founding Assemblies of the SDA served as
20 platforms for the outpours of hatred towards Serbs and instances of Serbs
21 being threatened. Many Muslims displayed their national emblems and
22 there were a number of instances where the SDS flag was burnt in a
23 Serbian village by the Muslim extremists. During the foundation Assembly
24 of the SDS Serbs travelling to the meeting were pelted with stones.
25 As the result of the multi-party elections, the SDS and SDA
1 divided the government in Vlasenica evenly; however, problems arose from
2 the beginning as the Muslims and the SDA did not have professionally
3 trained staff and their nominees did not have the required
4 qualifications. However, these appointments were granted.
5 In June 1991 the Muslims, on orders from the leaders of the SDA,
6 attempted to break up the JNA. They were ordered not to send their
7 recruits for compulsory military service or respond to the mobilisations.
8 In one instance members of the SDA pressured the president of the
9 Municipal Assembly to provide buses to take them to where the territorial
10 units had been mobilised as they wished to return the Muslim men home.
11 During this period that the Muslims began to procure weapons with
12 urgency, the Serbian people began to worry. And although the SJB, police
13 station, attempted to do something about this arming, they were
14 unsuccessful in stopping it. At the same the Muslims were forming
15 paramilitary units. Many were sent to Croatia for training and policemen
16 were also sent to create a further fighting force. The Muslims in the
17 paramilitary units began openly carrying automatic weapons.
18 In September 1991 at a rally, Muslims -- the Muslims publicly
19 declared by that they already had 250 soldiers ready for war. In the
20 same month, Muslim paramilitary formations started setting up ambushes on
21 the main road between Milici and Skelani, stopping buses transporting
22 employees to the Boksit mine to work. The Muslims would hold on to the
23 bus and force the workers to continue the rest of the route on foot.
24 Muslim paramilitaries would enter Serbian villages and terrorise
25 the population. The security situation was beginning to slip out of
1 control so night sentries were established to ensure the population's
2 safety. Further, over this period the municipal authorities were losing
3 power as they were not able to agree to many topics with the Muslims and
4 many civilians began leaving the municipality.
5 Towards the end of 1991 a proclamation from the Muslim
6 National Council of BH which declared their intentions to create a Muslim
7 state, Muslim armed forces, education, and administrative organs. To try
8 to stop a war, the Serbian people suggested the formation of the
9 Autonomous District of Birac, which would be a part of BH. This was
10 passed on 26th of December, 1991. The Serbs in the authorities tried in
11 many peaceful ways to agree with the Muslims on all the problems in the
12 attempt to avoid the war.
13 Mr. Tomislav Savkic is not aware of any instructions allegedly
14 issued by Radovan Karadzic to the representatives of municipalities at a
15 meeting held in the Holiday Inn Hotel on 20th of December, 1991, neither
16 is he aware of Variants of Plan A and B.
17 The municipality of Milici was established on
18 31st of March, 1992. A working group was proposed to draw up an
19 agreement on the division of the municipality. Although an agreement was
20 drawn up the Muslims were ordered to drag their feet with completing to
21 allow as many Muslims to leave Srebrenica [sic] as possible.
22 On 24th of April, 1992, as the situation grew more complicated
23 with the Muslim deputies because less agreements were reached, a
24 Crisis Staff for Vlasenica was established. The task of this
25 Crisis Staff was to monitor closely the newly arisen situation and to
1 issue quickly and efficiently decisions aimed at addressing it.
2 The correct circumstances existed to create the Crisis Staff.
3 The authorities received information that the Muslims were preparing to
4 mount an all-out attack on Vlasenica and therefore Territorial Defence
5 units were sent in to dispel this. Following this, the remaining Muslim
6 population then left the area. A number gathered outside the municipal
7 building and the police station asking to be provided with organised
8 transport. At the same time a large number of Serbian refugees started
9 arriving as they had been expelled from other areas by Muslims. These
10 refugees needed to be housed and the authorities decided that the Serbian
11 refugees should be given temporary accommodation in a T -- in a
12 Territorial Defence building until accommodation could be sorted for them
13 in abandoned houses and flats.
14 This issue was resolved in a few days; however, more Muslims
15 gathered awaiting public transport and therefore a decision was made to
16 house them in the Territorial Defence buildings too. Many Muslims
17 returned to the Territorial Defence building at night as they felt safer
18 there, while during the day they were being in city. When Muslim
19 civilians made requests to be housed or have transport provided, the
20 authorities completed their requests as fully as possible.
21 Muslim paramilitary formations continued to carry out ambushes
22 during May 1992, capturing both drivers and vehicles, killing civilians
23 including women and children. Further, the Muslim forces damaged all
24 electricity power lines, leaving the Milici and Vlasenica without
25 electrical power and also mined bridges and tunnels cutting off Milici
1 and Vlasenica from Drina River and Serbia and the rest of the world. In
2 late 1991 and early 1992, Tomislav Savkic was aware that Muslim
3 extremists repeatedly fired automatic weapons at buses carrying secondary
4 school pupils.
5 The only road that could be used for travel had become unsafe due
6 to the Muslim forces ambushing travellers. These attacks continued into
7 September 1992 killing and wounding civilians and many vehicles were
8 torched. To avoid any further losses and to allow the safe passage for
9 the wounded and the civilians and the military authorities decided that a
10 corridor had to be created.
11 At the same time, the Muslim leadership in Sarajevo launched
12 propaganda claiming that the Republika Srpska army was attacking the town
13 of Cerska and slaughtering civilians. A representative of international
14 forces visited Cerska and saw that this was not the case. Srebrenica and
15 Zepa were declared safe areas to be demilitarised.
16 An attempt was made to demilitarise the area; however, the
17 Muslims had orders to only hand-over their old and faulty weapons. Soon
18 soldiers began carrying weapons publicly and carrying out military
19 training and the UN did not react to ammunition being received by Muslim
20 forces. Soldiers were active even after Srebrenica had been declared a
21 safe area, murdering civilians, ambushing, and looting Serbian property.
22 He was aware that the commanders of the BH Army were preparing to mount
23 fresh combat operations from the safe area of Srebrenica in October 1994.
24 Tomislav Savkic considers that the war the Muslims waged on BH was not
25 defensive but an offensive one.
1 Tomislav Savkic never heard Radovan Karadzic or any other
2 political leader from Pale order the killing or the persecution of
3 Muslims, their detention in a camp or the destruction of their property.
4 He was aware that in the beginning Radovan Karadzic was saying that the
5 Serbs had to try and avoid war in every way and, if it did come to war,
6 great care had to be taken to protect Muslim and Croatian civilians and
7 prisoners of war had to be treated extremely humanely.
8 [Interpretation] I would like to leave my questions for tomorrow,
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Briefly two matters before we adjourn today.
11 While we appreciate your objections, Ms. Sutherland, Mr. Tieger and
12 Ms. Sutherland, in the future I would prefer to hear the objections as
13 soon as possible instead of just prior to the witness's evidence. So
14 either orally or in writing. If urgent, you can e-mail -- you can give
15 notice through e-mail and then we can discuss during the courtroom.
16 Second, in the week of 18th of March the Chamber is minded to sit
17 from Tuesday to Friday instead of Monday to Thursday, due to some
18 internal matters. So if the parties could inform the Chamber staff
19 through e-mail whether it has any problem.
20 I thank again for the -- thank the staff for their indulgence.
21 And, Mr. Savkic, we'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. The
22 hearing is adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.00 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 15th day of
25 February, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.