1 Wednesday, 20 February 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Would the witness make the
7 solemn declaration, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Todorovic. Please make yourself
12 WITNESS: NOVAK TODOROVIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Excellencies.
16 Good morning to everyone.
17 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Todorovic, good morning.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. I ask everyone who testifies in our language to pause between the
21 sentences and to speak the sentences slowly so that they could be entered
22 into the transcript. If you watch the transcript and when you see a
23 translation stop, then you are free to begin.
24 Did you provide a statement to my Defence team?
25 A. Yes, I did. I provided a statement that I see in front of me
1 right now.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at 1D7233 in e-court,
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Can you see the statement on the screen in front of you, sir?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you read the statement, and did you sign it?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at the last page,
11 please, so that the witness can confirm that it's his signature.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is this your signature?
14 A. Yes. I can see it in Serbian and in English. Yes, this is my
15 signature in the Serbian version.
16 Q. Thank you. This statement, does it accurately, faithfully,
17 reflect what you said to my Defence team?
18 A. Yes. Everything is faithfully rendered in brief, succinctly.
19 This is the work of some five years of judicial work, the work in
20 Republika Srpska, what could be accepted in this concise manner, and
21 there were some documents attached that would accompany the statement,
22 some briefs, some judgements, and so on and so forth.
23 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today that were put to
24 you when you were providing the statement, would your answers in essence
25 be the same?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this bundle
3 under Rule 92 ter, please.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We're tendering 16 associated
6 exhibits, two of which we would ask for permission to add to our
7 65 ter list. I think the Registry knows which 16 they are, but if you
8 would like me to go through each one.
9 JUDGE KWON: I was informed that you're not tendering any
10 exhibits that were referred to in paragraph 22.
11 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct.
12 JUDGE KWON: Then para 22 will be redacted?
13 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: And are there any other associated exhibits that you
15 are not tendering? Shall we take a look at 1D8676 and 1D8677, which are
16 referred to in paragraph 24. I'm not sure if witness's -- witness has
17 made a specific comment about the document, and I take it that the
18 paragraph could be understood without these documents.
19 MR. ROBINSON: Well, that's certainly up to you, Mr. President,
20 if you believe that it's not an essential part of the statement. We
21 could either lead it live or dispense with it.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry to interrupt, Your Honours. Good morning,
24 Your Honours. If I could weigh in. I would prefer that -- my view is
25 that the statement is more comprehensible with those judgements, 8676 and
1 8677, because they --
2 JUDGE KWON: So you would like to leave them in.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE KWON: Very well. And in case of 65 ter 2264 referred to
5 in para 27, I take it that you are tendering only those articles referred
6 to, not in its entirety.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE KWON: And one other clarification is 65 ter 18996,
9 referred to in paras 26 and 27. Are you tendering it separately or are
10 you going to attach it to the pre-existing B/C/S version?
11 MR. ROBINSON: Yes. It's already admitted as an exhibit, 82603,
12 so we're not tendering that.
13 JUDGE KWON: So with respect to the remaining associated
14 exhibits, Mr. Nicholls, do you have any objections?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE KWON: So I take it there's understanding what exhibits are
17 actually tendered, and then that can be sorted out later on. So shall we
18 give the exhibit number for the Rule 92 ter statement of this witness.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 1D7233 will be Exhibit D2986.
20 JUDGE KWON: Then other 14 associated exhibits will be admitted
21 into evidence and be given numbers in due course.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE KWON: I should have said 16. Yes, please continue,
24 Mr. Karadzic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And that will be the Defence
1 Exhibit 3002. Thank you, Your Excellencies.
2 Now I would like to read the summary of the statement of the
3 president of the Supreme Military Court of Republika Srpska,
4 Mr. Novak Todorovic.
5 [In English] Novak Todorovic was the president of the
6 Supreme Military Court during the war. He finished the military academy
7 in Belgrade and law school in Sarajevo, where he passed his bar exam.
8 During his career, he was aspirant at Military Court in Sarajevo and in a
9 civil municipal and regional court in Sarajevo. He was an investigative
10 judge of the Military Court in Sarajevo from 1966 to 1968. After that,
11 he became Deputy Military Prosecutor. From 1982 to 1992, he had a law
12 firm in Belgrade. He was also the ambassador of the B and H in India
13 from 1998 to 2001.
14 Novak Todorovic was appointed president of the
15 Supreme Military Court in 1992. He was asked because there had been a
16 problem establishing the military justice system. A number of officers
17 who worked in the military prosecutor's office in Sarajevo left for
18 Serbia when the war started, and the military courts and prosecutor's
19 office needed to be urgently organised and there were no personnel. He
20 was persuaded to take up this position and was appointed by the
21 presidential decree.
22 Supplies and staff were required, and many of the prosecutors
23 hired were inexperienced. The military justice system also had to be
24 established, and the regulations were based upon the Belgrade basic
25 regulations. From then on, the court was slowly developed and the
1 remaining positions were filled. The judges were tasked with preparing
2 guidelines for criminal prosecution with special emphasis on the
3 treatment of prisoners of war, observing the Geneva Conventions. As the
4 war continued, the caseload increased.
5 Dr. Karadzic insisted on the independence of the justice system.
6 He agreed with Novak Todorovic that members of the prosecutor's office
7 and judges should not be members of the SDS, and also insisted that the
8 justice system had to be just and in accordance with the law and any
9 deviation would be dealt with swiftly. Neither Dr. Karadzic nor anyone
10 from the Presidency or from his office called to intervene in a case or
11 called on someone's behalf. Novak Todorovic was completely independent
12 in his work. There were no interventions or interference in his work
13 from military or civilian authorities. Dr. Karadzic further requested
14 that the judgements of the military justice system should be written or
15 spoken about to make people aware of its existence and the need to obey
16 the law.
17 The military courts were governed by a number of different laws
18 to control their work. The Republika Srpska president was responsible
19 for the appointment of military judges and prosecutors. However,
20 Novak Todorovic is not aware of the president rejecting any proposal.
21 The courts could not act on anything without a request being made by the
22 prosecutor, who was acting only on the basis of a criminal report made by
23 either the civilian or military police. Investigations could be
24 completed at the request of prosecution before an indictment is drawn up.
25 The prosecutor had the ability to discontinue the process -- proceedings
1 at any time and without requiring authority from the court.
2 In Novak Djokovic's practice -- Novak Todorovic's practice, he
3 did not encounter a single case involving Serbs accused of serious crimes
4 being released from prison or detention to return to their original
5 units, and he never spoke to anyone who may exert influence over him in
6 this respect. Each case was treated fairly, no matter of the ethnicity
7 of the victim or perpetrator. In one instance, Novak Todorovic recalls a
8 Serb's sentence being increased from 12 to 14 years on appeal, whereas in
9 another matter, the convictions against a large group of Muslims were
10 quashed as the evidence was not clear or reliable. Muslims, Croats, and
11 Serbs were all tried at the Military Court, and a number of Serbs were
12 tried for serious crimes including rape and murder. No difference were
13 made between victims of different ethnicities and witnesses of different
14 ethnicities. Novak Todorovic recalls an appeal that was dismissed as the
15 grounds were not strong enough as it relied upon the argument that the
16 witness was Muslim and therefore her testimony was not reliable.
17 All cases were documented and all matters launched during the war
18 which had not been concluded continued after the war, including those
19 against the Serbs. Novak Todorovic was aware that the Muslim side did
20 not process serious crimes committed by the member of the BH Army against
21 Serbian civilians. The Serbian judiciary gathered sufficient evidence
22 about a number of Muslim perpetrators who lived in Muslim-controlled
23 territory but were therefore inaccessible to Serbian law. Even after the
24 perpetrators appeared on television they were not charged.
25 Novak Todorovic does not consider Dr. Karadzic to have usurped
1 the judiciary by placing the military system -- judicial system and
2 prosecutor's office under his direct jurisdiction as this was a temporary
3 measure until the final acceptance and the adoption of regulations which
4 was completed in December 1993. The president was responsible for
5 disciplinary offences and a number of crimes also qualified as
6 disciplinary offences. Further, there was a rebellion of part of the VRS
7 in Banja Luka at the time and the order was passed, and therefore the
8 president would be aware that the military police were not functioning
9 either and there was a danger of a military coup. There was no intention
10 to usurp the powers of the courts demonstrated when Dr. Karadzic did not
11 oppose the decision to relocate the military prosecutor's office to
12 Zvornik and create distance between the judiciary and civilian and
13 military authorities.
14 [Interpretation] This is the brief summary of
15 Mr. Novak Todorovic's statement. We don't have questions for
16 Mr. Todorovic at this point. I apologise about Djokovic. He's number
17 one in tennis, so he's always being talked about.
18 JUDGE KWON: Well, Mr. Todorovic --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Go ahead, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes. As you have noted, we have admitted your
21 evidence in chief in the form of written statement in lieu of your oral
22 testimony. I wonder whether you had such system in your Military Court,
23 but that's our system at the moment. You'll now be cross-examined by the
24 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Julian Nicholls.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. President.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE KWON: Before we do so, could we move into private session
4 [Private session]
11 Page 34063 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you for your kind understanding,
9 Mr. Todorovic.
10 In the meantime, Mr. Nicholls, I take it that those documents we
11 discussed will be soon uploaded on e-court.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, and we'll assign them new numbers. Yes, and
13 they will be assigned new numbers, I understand, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
16 Q. Sir, sorry for that interruption. During this war, at the time
17 you were head of the VRS Military Court, do you agree with me that war
18 crimes were committed on all sides, on all three sides?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And the Military Court prosecuted Croat and Muslim soldiers for
21 crimes committed against the Serb civilian population; correct?
22 A. Well, we did not have such examples, very few. I mean, I
23 remember now and from what I can remember, 90 per cent of the cases were
24 Serbian soldiers being tried because we were dealing with robberies,
25 looting, property crimes, homicides, serious crimes, but we did not have
1 jurisdiction other than the case that Mr. Karadzic mentioned. There was
2 this group from Banja Luka which was sentenced by the first instance
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand what the
5 witness said.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So that you're not going to find --
7 we did not have access to, and we were not able to try the other side.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last sentence.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. Let me -- could you repeat your last sentence, please. The
11 interpreters didn't hear you. It's probably my fault.
12 A. We could not try military personnel, because that is in the
13 jurisdiction of the military courts for military crimes for those who
14 were in Croatia or in the territory of the federation. We were more
15 involved in trials of soldiers of Republika Srpska. I don't know --
16 Q. Let me stop you and be more precise.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For the transcript, line 24, it was
18 not recorded that the witness said, "We returned that judgement and then
19 in the end they were acquitted."
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is in the case of Kovacevic
21 and others from Banja Luka.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Yeah. I believe that was a case of armed rebellion, but let me
24 continue. What I'm talking about is prosecutions under Article 142, war
25 crimes against the civilian population. Do you remember that Article?
1 A. Of course I'm familiar with the Article.
2 Q. Okay. Let me ask you another question.
3 A. I know it -- what it refers to.
4 Q. Thank you. That was the answer. I asked you if you remembered
5 it and you said, "Of course."
6 Now, I don't want to go through them, but in the Banja Luka
7 Military Court, let's see if this refreshes your memory, in their
8 register, that's P03607, I just looked quickly through it, not the whole
9 thing, but I saw that there were records for war crimes under
10 Article 142. Entry number 9, Jozo Baric, an HVO member. Number 55,
11 Davnor Glasnovic [phoen], Croat, HVO member.
12 JUDGE KWON: By the way, if you are going to hear the witness's
13 response, why don't we show him the document?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: I -- I'm just trying to spark his memory,
15 Your Honour. I don't have that one loaded up. It's in a format that we
16 can't show in English in e-court because it's so huge. At the moment
17 we're still working on that.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's continue.
19 MR. NICHOLLS:
20 Q. Do you remember if the Banja Luka Military Court prosecuted HVO
21 members and Green Beret members for crimes under Article 142? If you
22 don't remember, that's okay.
23 A. I do not recall that. I do not. I would certainly have
24 remembered it had a case like that come before the
25 Supreme Military Court, because I was president of the Chamber in all
1 appeal cases. Perhaps there may have been some such cases which had not
2 reached the Supreme Court. Perhaps if we looked into the case file, we
3 might be able to establish that.
4 Q. Okay. So let me see if I understand your answer there. Are you
5 saying you don't know what was going on in the Banja Luka Military Court
6 unless the cases reached you on appeal? You're not aware of what the
7 situation was in the Banja Luka Military Court in 1992 and 1993?
8 A. Yes. I don't know about this case.
9 Q. Okay. Let me ask you about another case. Do you recall hearing
10 at an time about the massacre of 80 civilians in Velagici on
11 June 1st, 1992? That's Kljuc.
12 A. In Kljuc? I don't know.
13 Q. That doesn't ring a bell?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Okay. All right. Well, let's bring up a document, P03513, and
16 what I'm going to show you now, sir, and put to you is the case we're
17 going to look at, Amidzic and others, is the only time that the VRS
18 Military Court prosecuted a VRS soldier for war crimes against the
19 civilian population under Article 142. And I use the word "prosecute"
20 rather loosely.
21 Now, take a look at this, sir, if you could. Can you read the
22 screen? Is it okay for you?
23 A. It would be better if we could zoom in.
24 Q. Okay. Maybe we --
25 A. This serves a request by the military prosecutor to an
1 investigating judge to conduct an investigation.
2 Q. Right. And we can see --
3 A. Can we go to the next page? We have six accused.
4 Q. And just as we're going, this is 8 March 19 --
5 A. I don't have the next page.
6 Q. There you go.
7 A. Twelve; right?
8 Q. Correct. And it's 8 March 1993.
9 A. The 1st of June, 1992.
10 Q. I'll read it out, the paragraph at the bottom --
11 A. Is there anything else, page 3, perhaps, so that I can see who
12 signed it?
13 Q. Let's stay here. All right. The bottom of page 2.
14 On 1st of June, 1992, a group of 80 civilians were brought to the
15 check-point in the village of Velagici - Kljuc - for identification, and
16 then it continues on about how these 80 civilians were killed. For time,
17 I don't want to go through all the details.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we go to page 3, please.
19 Q. And if you see at the top of the page, it was suggested that this
20 was a war -- that these VRS soldiers be prosecuted for committing a war
21 crime against the civilian population under Article 142, signed by
22 Captain Zoran Babic. Take your time to look at it.
23 A. What is the date of this request?
24 Q. The date of this request, it's on page 1, 8 March 1993, for the
25 crime that was committed on the 1st June of 1992.
1 Now, having read the request for the investigation about this
2 murder of 80 civilians by the VRS and the request for an investigation
3 under Article 142, do you remember now whether you ever heard anything
4 about this case?
5 A. Now I remember that since this is in 1993. I don't remember
6 anything from 1992. But this probably involved the exhumation of a
7 grave, where the victims were found in it. Deputy military prosecutor in
8 Banja Luka requested an investigation against these people. Perhaps
9 because an investigation could not be carried out and they were out of
10 reach, nothing was done -- nothing much was done, because not even the
11 first instance judgement was rendered, let alone hearing the case on
13 Q. Okay. Well, that was total speculation on your part, because
14 this crime was not discovered by the finding of a mass grave. This crime
15 was known about as it happened, immediately. I don't really have the
16 time to go through all of the facts of this case, but I think I can show
17 you something that will show you that your speculation there was wrong.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go to P03614.
19 Q. I didn't think I'd have to show you this, but let's look at it.
20 And while it's coming up, I'll just say for the record this is a
21 document dated 12th of June, 1992, i.e., 11 days after the war crime, and
22 it's a handwritten complaint about illegal detention from the accused in
23 this case to General Talic, who you probably remember was commander of
24 the 1st Krajina Corps.
25 So take a look at that where they ask to be released, these
1 suspects. Now, that shows you, doesn't it, that immediately or shortly
2 after the crime, in fact, the suspects were brought into custody and were
3 held in custody, because they're asking the corps commander to intervene
4 to get them released; right?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] An intervention for the transcript.
6 To release doesn't mean to set free. Release means let someone out, and
7 to set free is a -- within the judicial remit.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: It's a totally, totally, totally inappropriate
9 intervention, I would say, Your Honour. To release, set free, we are
10 talking about let them out of gaol, however you want to characterize it.
11 That's obvious.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, no, it's --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness is receiving that
14 interpretation "to set them free," because it was simply being
15 misinterpreted. It turns out as if the witness was supposed to discuss
16 their release --
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I can clear this up --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- or rather their being freed.
19 JUDGE KWON: Because the witness is able to read that letter, so
20 let's continue.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes. Yeah. [Interpretation] May I respond?
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Can I -- sorry, sorry?
24 A. [No interpretation]. [In English] I understood you.
25 Q. Yeah, thank you --
1 A. Just want to --
2 MR. NICHOLLS: One correction for the transcript, when I asked my
3 question before the accused -- before Mr. Karadzic intervened, the
4 witness said yes. That's what I heard on the transcript, he said "Da."
5 Q. So let me ask the question again and you can explain.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The suspects were brought into custody at sometime shortly after
8 the crime, and they asked the corps commander to have them released, set
9 free, however you want to call it, that they not be in prison any longer;
11 A. [Interpretation] It's like this: This is probably true and
12 accurate. Things probably developed that way. However, at that time,
13 first of all, I was not in RS territory. Second of all, the courts were
14 not up and running yet. It was at the beginning of the war still. This
15 appeal -- or, actually complaint to General Talic, because they obviously
16 asked the corps commander to be released. They were probably held in
17 military detention, because the courts were still not operational at the
18 time. I said that in my statement. I arrived in the summer of 1992, and
19 the first courts began being established in that autumn. As of 1993, we
20 were up and running.
21 This was not a court case, and that's why it was not heard before
22 the Supreme Military Court. That's why there was no trial judgement.
23 It's still the beginning of the war. They were in some sort of military
24 detention where they had been placed by their military commander, I
1 Q. All right. Well let me ask you this before we move on and --
2 A. As for the request for investigation, I see it was submitted in
3 1993 in order to have it investigated, and then nothing follows, meaning
4 that there was no judgement, no one was sentenced. I don't know what
5 happened. I presume that the prisoners were exchanged or something. I
6 don't know.
7 Q. Well, I'll -- you'll learn a little bit more about this case in
8 the next couple questions, but let me ask you this as president of the
9 Supreme Military Court: Even if the courts were not up and running, is
10 the proper legal thing to do when -- when a group of soldiers have been
11 arrested for killing 80 civilians, is the proper thing to do to just
12 release them? Is that lawful in the VRS?
13 A. No, it is not lawful.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. Absolutely not.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 65 ter 00904, please. Sorry, e-court
17 page 14 of the English and 13 of the Serbian original.
18 Q. Now, this is the 20th of July, 1993. The Military Court in
19 Banja Luka. The military courts are up and running. By your testimony
20 they have been since the previous September. And it's an order for
21 detention, same case, Goran Amidzic and others for war crimes under
22 Article 142, and you can see another provision I'm sure you remember,
23 that it's mentioned is compulsory pursuant to Article 191, paragraph 1 on
24 the Law on Criminal Procedures.
25 So this is correct, isn't it? It's -- it's an order to impose
1 detention --
2 A. This was a decision of the first instance Military Court in
3 Banja Luka on detention against two people.
4 Q. Two of the suspects.
5 A. I see that.
6 Q. Yes.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: May I admit that, please, Your Honour? Or may I
8 tender that, rather.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Examine P6143, Your Honours.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Your Honour, just for clarification, are we just
12 tendering that page? It's a 77-page --
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Just the order for detention which is two pages of
14 English, one page of Serbian.
15 JUDGE KWON: We'll do so, yes.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. All right. That's 20th of July. Let's move forward nine days,
18 P03616. This is -- while it's coming up, you remember Srboljub
19 Jovicinac, don't you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. He wasn't young and inexperienced, was he? He was a good
23 A. Well, I always had my opinion concerning Jovicinac, but it's not
24 relevant here.
25 Q. Okay. Just take a quick look at this. It's a proposal 29 July
2 A. He is addressing the Military Court asking to halt any
4 Q. Yes, exactly.
5 A. Yes, I've read it.
6 Q. So the military prosecutor is proposing to halt the
7 investigations until further notice and to release two of the accused
8 from custody, and I won't go into all the reasons now. Correct?
9 A. That's what it says.
10 Q. All right. Now, you didn't know anything about this before I
11 showed you this document; right? Is that my understanding?
12 A. No.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: That's 65 ter -- I thought this was an exhibit.
15 00904 again, please. E-court page 10 in English, 9 in Serbian.
16 Q. While it's coming up, this is --
17 A. Can we zoom in?
18 Q. Yes. This is the same day, 29 July 1993, an order terminating
19 detention for the same two suspects and ordering their immediate release,
20 signed by investigative judge Nikola Tomasevic.
21 A. Yes. The investigating judge. Since the prosecutor wanted the
22 case to be dropped, the investigating judge agreed.
23 Q. Yeah, but he didn't need to, did he? That's in paragraph 14 of
24 your statement. The judges do not need to follow the recommendation of
25 the prosecutor to release; right?
1 A. Yes, of course.
2 Q. Okay. Now, in an interview, Srboljub Jovicinac agreed that this
3 case and the release of these men and the stopping of the investigation
4 represented a massive failure of justice. You would agree with that,
5 wouldn't you, that what I've just shown you represents a massive failure
6 of justice by the Military Court you were president of?
7 A. I'm really not aware of any details. The case did not reach the
8 Supreme Court, as I've said. I simply don't know. I didn't take part in
9 the proceedings, and there were many cases. There were four courts of
10 first instance, and the Banja Luka one had a significant case load. I
11 don't know. One would need to look into the reasons first.
12 Q. Well, it definitely had a significant case load and if I have
13 time I will go through some more of those cases with you. But I'm
14 putting it to you that the case we've seen, Amidzic and others, was the
15 first, the last, the only attempt at prosecution of VRS soldiers for war
16 crimes against the civilian population under Article 142 for the entire
17 war. Can you show me one other case?
18 A. There were other cases, quite a few.
19 Q. Name one, please. Show me one.
20 A. In principle I don't remember names, but I recall a case from
22 Q. Let me -- let me stop you one second and be very clear. I'm not
23 trying to stop you from answering. I am not talking about prosecution
24 for murder under Article 36, mass murder under Article 36. I'm talking
25 about prosecutions for war crimes against the civilian population under
1 Article 142. Please continue.
2 A. I don't know. I think -- well, I told you that in 99 per cent of
3 the cases, the accused were members of the VRS, that is to say, military
4 personnel who had committed certain crimes.
5 Q. I'm sorry to stop you --
6 A. The victims were --
7 Q. I'm not asking about the proportion. I understand that, that in
8 99 per cent of the cases it was persons of Serb ethnicity who were
9 prosecuted. I'm not asking you about that.
10 A. [In English] Yes.
11 Q. I'm asking you, and then I'll move on, if you can recall any
12 other case in which the VRS Military Court during the war prosecuted Serb
13 soldiers, VRS soldiers, for crimes -- for war crimes against the civilian
14 population under Article 142. And just try to make it yes or no, if you
15 remember any others or if you don't.
16 A. [Interpretation] No. No. We didn't have that.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. May I tender that document, please,
18 although I say I did think it was an exhibit, but I don't see it.
19 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit page 10 -- or shall we add it to the
21 MR. NICHOLLS: It should be pages 10 to 11, please, Your Honour,
22 in the English.
23 JUDGE KWON: Separately. Or shall we add those pages to the
24 document we admitted today earlier on.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that makes sense. Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Shall we do that. Yes. Those pages will be added
2 to Exhibit P6143.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Now, my last question on the Velagici massacre and case. I'll
5 just put it to you that as far as we know in the OTP here, to this date
6 nobody's been prosecuted for that crime. Do you know if anybody has?
7 A. The mass crime on Serbs, against Serbs?
8 Q. No, the June 1st massacre of 80 civilians in Velagici, Goran
9 Amidzic and others, the case we've been looking at. I'm putting it to
10 you that, to this date, none of those accused who we saw write to
11 General Talic to ask to be let go has been prosecuted.
12 A. As far as I know, the case was never reopened, and it never
13 reached the Supreme Court, meaning that there was no continuation in the
14 proceedings. A court cannot try unless there is an indictment, much as
15 the cases here.
16 Q. Thank you, sir.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, can I clarify with you one thing. You
18 referred to Article 36, murder and mass murder on the same Article. Is
19 it your case that there were cases against Serb soldiers, VRS members,
20 for committing these crimes against Muslim people, the killing of
22 MR. NICHOLLS: If you're asking were there cases of Serb soldiers
23 for committing crimes of murder under Article 36 against Muslims and
24 Croats, my case is that, yes, there were cases opened, investigated, and
25 begun, but that none of them were concluded or properly prosecuted during
1 the war unless the case involved Serb victims as well as Muslim or Croat
2 victims. That's my case, that there were certainly cases brought under
3 Article 36, but my case is that this was the only attempt to try cases --
4 a failed attempt to try Serb soldiers for a war crime and that all the
5 other cases, even with multiple victims of civilians, if they started,
6 were brought under Article 36.
7 JUDGE KWON: And to be clear, we have in our evidence Article 36
8 and 142. Otherwise, I'd like to have it admitted into evidence.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I can bring up the Articles.
10 JUDGE KWON: Can you check it later?
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I can bring up the Articles now. Is that --
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: 65 ter 2264, please. Pages 69 of the English,
14 66 of the Serbian. And this is Article 142, war crimes against a
15 civilian population. This is the 1990 Criminal Code of the SFRJ that was
16 used at the time.
17 JUDGE KWON: We admitted part of this Criminal Code as an
18 associated exhibit. What Article is it then, Article 201 and 217, yes.
19 So shall we add Article 36 and Article 142?
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Article 36 is in a different document,
21 Your Honour, which I can also bring up. This one would be Article 142,
22 and I agree that it would be good to add it.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll add Article 142. Yes, let's proceed,
24 and I'd like you to tender, later on, the Article 36 you referred to.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll just -- so I don't forget, I'll do it right
1 away, Your Honour. It's -- 24617 is the 65 ter number. English page 22,
2 Serbian page 24. And I'm sorry, I should say 24617A is a revised
3 translation of Article 36. That's the one we should admit.
4 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, can I give explanation?
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, by all means, but could you
6 wait a minute.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: And you also mentioned mass murder, Mr. Nicholls.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: What I meant was -- there's not an Article of
10 that. Article 36 --
11 MR. ROBINSON: Subsection (6).
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. That's what I was looking for without
13 my glasses. Subsection (6) refers to two or more murders.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Todorovic. Did you want to say
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say that it is not
17 correct that there were no completed cases where the victims were of a
18 different ethnicity. I'm just speaking off the top of my head, but I
19 remember a case from the Bijeljina court for the rape of a Muslim woman.
20 I remember a case of the killing of a Czech citizen from Grbavica. Then
21 there were robberies. All these cases had their epilogue at the
22 Supreme Court, and all the perpetrators were condemned. I remember an
23 exhumation of a mass grave also, but I don't think that that was in
24 Kljuc. It was somewhere in the Krajina where this Professor Stankovic
25 came to do the autopsies, where the Serbs were in the mass grave. This
1 was done.
2 But as for specific cases, we adhered right from my arrival to a
3 decision of the Assembly that, because there were no regulations of our
4 own, we were to implement the Criminal Codes and the Law on Criminal
5 Procedure of the SFRY, because that Yugoslav Criminal Law and Law on
6 Criminal Procedure were codified and harmonised according to
7 international law. Also, it included the provisions from the
8 Geneva Conventions. War crimes were dealt with there, respecting the
9 principle nullum crimen sine lege so we conducted our cases pursuant to
10 that law. You could not adopt a regulation and then try somebody, but
11 you had to apply the laws in effect at the time when the crime was done.
12 So it's not that these crimes were not dealt with.
13 As for war crimes, when nothing was processed, we didn't have any
14 investigations other than some charges about what the corps did at the
15 beginning of the war. There was some investigation conducted, but it
16 wasn't completed, so we couldn't do anything there because there was no
17 case that was initiated.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. The issue will be brought up later on
19 without doubt.
20 Shall we admit this Article 36 as Exhibit P6144. Yes. Please
21 continue, Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, if I could just for my planning, I
23 think I have about 20 minutes more. I wonder if I could ask for another
24 15 to 20 minutes. If not, I'll have to adjust my cross.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let's see how it evolves. Please continue.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay. Thank you.
2 Q. I want to go quickly through another part of your statement,
3 paragraph 14. You said:
4 "Persons accused of serious crimes which constitute a threat to
5 society such as murder will be remanded in custody until the end of the
6 trial. Even if the Prosecutor were to request a release from custody, in
7 such cases the Court would be under no obligation to approve it."
8 I put it to you that that is a completely false statement as it
9 applies, for instance, to the Banja Luka Military Court. Now, one way to
10 shorten this, if you'll agree with me that you have no idea whether or
11 not the Banja Luka Military Court released persons charged with murder
12 under Article 36 to go back to their units when the victims were Muslims,
13 you don't know whether that was the case or not, we can move on.
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. You don't know what the practice was there. Okay. That will
16 speed things up.
17 In paragraph 19 you say:
18 "In other words, if a Serb killed a Serb, he would have been
19 sentenced to the same or similar crime as a Serb who killed a Muslim or a
20 Croat for the same crime."
21 I'm putting to you again, that's not -- that's not a true
22 statement. That's not a correct statement as it applies to the
23 Banja Luka Military Court and other military courts. Are you seriously
24 saying that the sentences were the same for soldiers who killed other
25 Serb soldiers as they were for Serb soldiers who killed Muslim or Croat
2 A. I am saying that, absolutely, seriously, and truthfully. I
3 always abided by the principle that I was blind to ethnicity as far as a
4 criminal was concerned. I was blind to religion or anything else. A
5 crime is usually committed for some pathological reasons, out of some
6 interest or some lowly motives, and in most cases, it's a person that
7 would need to be isolated from society. So that we did not differentiate
8 there, our judgements did have -- reflect this. We had stronger,
9 stricter sentences. We would amend them or reverse them depending on the
10 circumstances so that the practice in other military courts, those of
11 first instance as well, were also shaped by our judgements. I don't know
12 if there were any individual cases like this particular case where there
13 was no investigation carried out even. That's something that I cannot
15 Q. All right. Let me just be clear. In your statement when you
16 talk about these things, you keep -- you keep sort of referring to what
17 you did and your impartiality. Let me try to be precise.
18 Do you know whether, just for an example, other courts like the
19 Banja Luka Military Court issued the same sentences for Serb soldiers who
20 killed Muslim victims as they did for Serb soldiers who killed other Serb
21 soldiers or Serb civilians? Are you asserting that those sentences were
22 the same? I'm not talking just about what you did.
23 A. I assert that they were the same, and if you like, you would need
24 to take all the cases into account. We can look at all the documents --
25 all the cases from all the military courts. We can make an analysis.
1 There were many such cases, but I'm sure that you would come to the
2 conclusion that the criteria were the same.
3 Q. Actually, the -- we come to the exact opposite conclusion, sir,
4 and I'll show you some examples. But in the rare, rare instance that a
5 Serb was actually sentenced and served a sentence during the war for
6 killing a Muslim or a Croat victim, if they even ever got to that
7 sentence stage, it was invariably lower than for a similar crime. And
8 I'm going to show you an illustration of that.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 05688A, please, 65 ter number.
10 Q. And this is a case you'll remember, because it reached your
11 court, the case of Pero Marin.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm going to need the English as well for
13 Your Honours.
14 Q. While it's coming up, this is dated 22nd of June, 1993,
15 Military Court Banja Luka, same court that at the same time was dealing
16 with the Velagici case. It's the case against Pero Marin, and to make it
17 very brief, the facts of this case, which you'll see, are that it was a
18 Serb soldier who was drunk, hitchhiking. A car didn't stop to pick him
19 up, so out of anger he shot at the car and tragically killed a little
20 Serb boy who was in the car. If you look at this judgement, you'll see
21 that this man was held in detention throughout the hearing and was
22 sentenced to 12 years in prison for one murder of a Serb boy.
23 A. May I look at the other pages --
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. -- of the judgement?
1 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could please continue to page 2 of the
3 Q. Now, what I'll put it to you ...
4 So what I'll put it to you is this shows the system working
5 pretty well. A Serb soldier kills a Serb boy while he's drunk because
6 he's angry. He's held in detention and then he's sentenced to 12 years.
7 That's the way it should work. May I -- you agree with me?
8 A. I agree with you. The maximum sentence was 15 years for such a
10 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender that document, please, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6145, Your Honours.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. Now, another case you'll recall is the Stankovic case.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 65 ter 05692, please.
16 Q. Do you remember the Stankovic case?
17 A. No. No.
18 Q. Okay. I'll show it to you. This is the same Banja Luka Military
19 Court, 21st October 1993, and the facts of this case - I'll give you a
20 chance to look at it, you can hopefully read it quickly - is that a Serb
21 soldier, drunk and angry, walks through the town, murders a woman, a
22 Muslim woman, with his machine-gun. That's on the bottom of page 1 of
23 the English and should be on page 1 of yours. Keeps walking along,
24 murders some other people with his machine-gun, and then seriously
25 injuries two others.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we go to page 2 of the English, please.
2 Q. And we see in the English, thus he took the --
3 A. Can I look at the rest of the pages, please.
4 Q. Yes. I'll just read this out where you're looking --
5 A. I just want to see the judgement.
6 Q. But in summary, he took the lives of two persons and attempted to
7 take the lives of two others. So that's Article 36(6), murder of two or
8 more persons.
9 A. May I also look at the explanation.
10 Q. Yeah. We can continue through. And what you'll see there under
11 "Sentence" is that he was sentenced to four years and six months in
12 prison. We also see there that he was in custody from August 1992 to
13 February 1993, in other words, six months and, in other words, not
14 through the entire hearing as he should have been.
15 A. May I look at the statement of reasons, the next page, please.
16 Q. Yes, of course.
17 A. And the next page, please. Because I just wanted to see what the
18 criteria were and on what basis the court made its decision.
19 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] ...
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And can I look at the next page,
21 please. I am still not getting the last page or the next page.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Just while you're reading, you want to keep in mind that both of
24 these judgements are by the same judge of the Banja Luka Military Court.
25 A. I didn't see the name of the judge.
1 Q. Judge Svetozar Davidovic.
2 A. Could we zoom in on this last page, please, enlarge it.
3 In the statement of reasons, this Judge Davidovic, I can see him
4 state here because of the health of the -- or mental state and for other
5 circumstances the sentence was reduced. We need to take into account the
6 position of the -- I cannot see. One must also take into account the
7 view expressed by the inhabitants of the village in question as members
8 of all three ethnic groups. So I see that there are no elements to call
9 for a heavier sentence. There are several mitigating circumstances - the
10 remorse expressed by the accused, his family situation, the absence of
11 previous convictions, and his good behaviour during the proceedings.
12 This notwithstanding the sentence could not be milder because of the
13 degree of public danger caused the serious consequences as well as for
14 the sake of the -- of general prevention. The court rests assured that
15 the aim of sentencing will be achieved by the sentence passed.
16 I don't know if there was any appeal lodged, if the judgement was
17 submitted to the Supreme Court, to us, for review. I don't know if the
18 sentence is strict or not. We would need to look at the case files
19 again, the findings of experts, and so on. There are no identical two
20 crimes or two identical sets of circumstances. Each case is different,
21 and it's very difficult to compare them and sentences are somewhere mild
22 in some cases and in some cases they are strict.
23 Q. Yeah -- fine. But all these documents are in evidence. I'll put
24 it to you that the principal difference in these two factors is that in
25 one case, a drunken Serb soldier killed two Muslim civilians and severely
1 wounded two others as he attempted to murder them, and in the other
2 circumstance, the victim was a Serb boy. That's the main difference.
3 And if we -- I'll try to do this without bringing it up, but we have in
4 evidence P03633. That's another judgement on this same Stankovic which
5 the Court has seen. See if you remember it. This man Stankovic didn't
6 even serve his four year, six months' sentence until, less than a year
7 later, he accidentally shot two Serb girls while carelessly handling his
8 rifle. And then after he shot two Serb children by accident, he finally
9 went to prison for eight years. Do you remember that?
10 A. I seem to remember that vaguely. I don't know.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. It's possible that there were two sentences, but in the end, it
13 was one sentence that was passed down for both of these things. I don't
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'm sorry, I think I've been fairly
16 efficient. The witness has clearly wanted to read quite a lot of the
17 documents, which is fair enough. I would ask for another 15 minutes
18 after the break.
19 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, if I could just be heard on
20 the relevance or necessity of this line of inquiry. As a Defence
21 counsel, I somehow find that this procedure to be somewhat uncomfortable
22 for a judge be having to explain acquittals. I can almost see
23 Judge Meron sitting there being questioned by some prosecutor about
24 Gotovina or other cases, and I'm not sure that it's productive to
25 continue along this way. So if Mr. Nicholls has some other lines that he
1 hasn't pursuant yet, perhaps he could tell you what they are and you
2 could decide if they're necessary. But to simply ask a judge, the
3 president of a court, to explain acquittals or lenient treatment, I think
4 is of very low probative value.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, they -- may I -- sorry, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: They have called this judge. I'm not concerned at
8 how uncomfortable he may feel. They have called this judge and had --
9 and taken a statement from him saying that -- implying that throughout
10 the system there was equal treatment, that the court was blind to
11 ethnicity, and our position is that is blatantly false. And the way to
12 expose that what is in this statement is not true is to show some
13 specific examples, and the judge has been able to show that: I don't
14 know about this, that's true.
15 I don't have time to go through actually dozens of examples I
16 have in here, but I don't think there's been anything unfair about my
17 cross-examination, and I would prefer not to mention where I'm going to
18 go next in the next 15 minutes. If you grant that to me. I can tell
19 Your Honours it will be different, part of it.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I recall that Dr. Karadzic was
21 frequently required to justify extensions of time for his
22 cross-examination by explaining the areas that hadn't been covered. I
23 think the Prosecution should have to live by those same standards.
24 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
25 JUDGE KWON: We will have a break now, Mr. Nicholls, and you will
1 have 15 minutes after the break.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue, Mr. Nicholls.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, first may I tender 05692, the last
7 document we looked at.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6146, Your Honours.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Okay. Sir, I'm not talking about the micro-level anymore,
12 individual cases. We're kind of through with that small stuff. I want
13 to try to look a little bit at the bigger picture. You say and it's
14 shown in paragraph 37 of your statement and it's in the court
15 files that -- you don't need to look it up. This is an easy one. The
16 Supreme Military Court was located in Zvornik; right?
17 A. Yes. It was in Han Pijesak and later in Zvornik.
18 Q. And after the court, as you say, was dislocated to Zvornik to put
19 more distance between the court and the Pale authorities and the
20 Main Staff, did you live in Zvornik?
21 A. Yes, during trials while the court was there.
22 Q. Okay. Now, this dislocation moved the court farther away from
23 the civilian and military authorities, but it moved it much closer, in
24 fact, created zero distance between the seat of the
25 Supreme Military Court of the VRS and the massive murder of Muslims in
1 Zvornik municipality in July 1995; right?
2 A. Well, no. No, because those mass killings did not happen when we
3 were moved to Zvornik from Han Pijesak. That happened in 1993 or 1994.
4 That did not happen, and we didn't know about these murders even when
5 they did happen.
6 Q. Okay. Let's be very clear. Are you saying that in July 1995,
7 that there were not mass murders in Zvornik municipality?
8 A. No. No, in the sense that we didn't know about any mass murders,
9 nor did we have any information or cases or indictments, nor did anybody
10 consult us. We could not have had any knowledge about it. The
11 relocation of the court was done because the premises had been too small.
12 We had expanded as a court, and that's why we were moved to Zvornik. I
13 personally commuted to Belgrade, but I lived there in a hotel --
14 Q. Which hotel?
15 A. -- while I was working. Drina Hotel.
16 Q. Okay. Now, as you sit here today in this courtroom, do you
17 contest that thousands of Muslim murders -- thousands of Muslim prisoners
18 were murdered in Zvornik municipality after July 13th, 1995?
19 A. While I was in Zvornik and while I worked there, I didn't know
20 anything about it --
21 Q. Stop, stop, stop. I'm asking today, as you sit here now, do you
22 contest my statement that --
23 A. [No interpretation].
24 Q. -- that in July 19 --
25 A. No, no, no. You didn't understand me. I didn't know. In 1996 I
1 was retired. I was removed from that post, and we didn't have any cases,
2 and we had no official information. In fact, we didn't have any
3 information about any murders. What you are asking me I learned about
4 only from the media many years later when I was no longer there, when I
5 was in Belgrade. Whether they really happened and what kind of murders,
6 I still do not know today. It's not clear to me. I know chaos reigned.
7 I know there was crimes perpetrated by all sides, but whether a genocide
8 was perpetrated, I personally don't think so. But that there were crimes
9 and killings of prisoners, I only learned later, and also from following
10 proceedings in The Hague, on the internet, on television, et cetera.
11 Q. So as a citizen, just also a person living in Zvornik, you didn't
12 know that thousands and thousands of Muslims were killed in Zvornik?
13 Please answer yes or no.
14 A. No.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: 65 ter 24618, please.
17 Q. Because I don't have of time, this is a transcript of a
18 television interview from PBS in the United States. It's dated
19 January 25th, 1996. We go to page 2. It's not in your language, sir.
20 I'll just read out your answer, see if you remember this interview.
21 Again, January 25th, 1996. So six months after the murders that
22 I say occurred. Colonel Novak Todorovic, when you were asked about
24 "About Srebrenica I don't know anything exactly because we have
25 nothing about Srebrenica in our court here, and in our courts in the
1 first level, I know that we have nothing."
2 And then you were asked:
3 "Do you think it will be a possibility?"
4 And you answered:
5 "I don't know, really. I don't know. I hear that the
6 international court in The Hague has something about that. If they give
7 us we shall consider that case and where to go and to make sentences."
8 So was -- your answer was truthful at least in the respect that
9 the Military Court six months after the fall of Srebrenica was doing
10 nothing to prosecute anybody for that crime?
11 A. What you have just put to me in the English language is true, and
12 I believe it was some American television or perhaps the BBC reporters
13 did come, and I enabled them to tour all military prisons, military
14 courts, to take interviews, and of course they visited me at this Supreme
15 Military Court, and what I said was true.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. Just as this court cannot proceed without an indictment, I'm
18 saying give me an indictment so I will do something. But we didn't have
19 any indictments. We were a court, or we were trying to be.
20 Q. I understand that. But you've also said that you personally
21 didn't know anything about the murders, correct, until you learned about
22 them from the media, right?
23 A. Yes, yes. And I said even then that I didn't know.
24 Q. Yeah. Okay.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: P04397, please.
1 Q. I just want to take a quick look at about what the entire world,
2 except for you, knew. This is not in your language, but it's a report
3 from the 17th of July, 1995, in a British newspaper, "The Independent."
4 And the title which is not subtle is "Bodies --"
5 A. Could you enlarge this a bit, please.
6 Q. Sure. It's called "Bodies Pile Up in Horror of Srebrenica." So
7 that's what people in Birmingham knew the day after the Branjevo farm
8 killings. And this refers to video that was shown in Belgrade of what we
9 now know is the Kravica warehouse victims.
10 So your testimony is that a taxi driver in Birmingham who is
11 surprised -- read "The Independent" knew more about the Srebrenica
12 killings than you; is that right?
13 A. Yes, probably.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. No further questions.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Do you have any re-examination,
16 Mr. Karadzic?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency, thank you. I
18 have several questions.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Todorovic, at that time were you reading
21 "The Independent"?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did any of our newspapers provide any convincing information on
24 the 17th of July?
25 A. No.
1 Q. From your experience, did Western media in the past pass
2 information that could or could not be believed?
3 A. Of course they did. Generally speaking, you can never trust
4 newspapers, not now and not then. Although there existed decent and fair
5 television crews, especially from the US who had their cameras also here
6 when the Tribunal was established, and I believe they reported very
7 fairly. And several BBC teams also visited. And it's not out of my
8 great love for journalists but because I wanted the work of courts to be
9 covered as widely as possible, all for the purpose of preventing crimes
10 and putting criminals behind bars. And you insisted also that there be
11 media coverage and that judgements be reported on.
12 Q. On page 37 of the LiveNote today, you were asked whether you knew
13 or whether you found out that these people had been killed in Zvornik.
14 When you learnt about it later, did you also learn that they had been
15 killed in Zvornik itself?
16 A. No. What I learned later from the media, from the press, but
17 mainly from the trials broadcast from here in The Hague, are the mass
18 graves in Srebrenica, not Zvornik. As far as I know, there were some
19 criminals and paramilitaries in Zvornik at the very beginning of the war
20 when complete chaos reigned, and it was the beginning of civil war.
21 Early on, before I even assumed my post of president of the court, we
22 insisted that all such detention centres and improvised prisons be
23 abolished. Instead, we had three remand prisons, and at my insistence
24 the wardens of these prisons who were professionals were returned to
25 their jobs in Batkovici, in Bijeljina, and Tunjice near Banja Luka, and
1 all these people knew their job so that nobody could be detained without
2 a court order.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm objecting as nonresponsive.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let's continue. The question was about
5 Srebrenica killing.
6 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. Earlier today, esteemed Prosecutor Nicholls put to
9 the Court his case, on page 24, lines 9 through 19, where he maintained
10 that there was no case where a member of the VRS of Serb ethnicity had
11 been tried for the crime of killing a Muslim unless they had also
12 committed crimes against Serbs. I would like us to look now at one case
13 that was finally judged before your Supreme Court, but let us start from
14 the beginning.
15 Prosecutor Nicholls said that these proceedings were never
16 finalised and never reached a final judgement.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see 1D1757. D1757.
18 This has already been admitted as a Defence exhibit.
19 Thank you. Could we zoom in a bit.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Todorovic, could you tell us who is indicted here. What is
22 the ethnicity of the perpetrator and the injured party?
23 A. As far as I can see, it is the Military Prosecutor's Office
24 Banja Luka. The last name is Vranjes, Miladin, son of Djuro, born in
25 Banja Luka.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we zoom in on the Serbian
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The date is 13 April 1993, when he
4 came to the house of --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we remove the English
6 version. The parties can see for themselves.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is something smudged here.
8 Right. On 13 April 1993, at 1600 hours --
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. If I may be of assistance. What is the ethnicity of this
11 Miladin Vranjes?
12 A. I don't know. Now I don't see it on the screen. There were some
13 personal details of his in the indictment. Son of Djuro and mother Dare.
14 Q. Just his ethnicity.
15 A. Ethnic Serb.
16 Q. And what is the ethnicity of the injured party, Dzemil Abdic?
17 A. Looking for his son. Just let me see who he killed. Fired two
18 bullets in the head. In the house. He came to the house of
19 Dzemil Abdic, looking for his son Aso, and then upon not finding him he
20 fired -- it is written something in -- there's something in --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the next one, D1758.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. What is the ethnicity of Camil -- Dzemil, sorry?
25 A. Dzemil or Camil, probably Muslims. But it's not written, I can't
1 see it in the indictment.
2 Q. Thank you.
11 Page 34098 redacted.
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Mr. Todorovic, if you could excuse
21 yourself for a moment again. I apologise for your inconvenience.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE KWON: Could the Chamber move into private session briefly.
25 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Todorovic.
19 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
23 JUDGE KWON: So shall we move into private -- no, just ...
24 Yes. Let's move into private session and continue, please.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 34101-34102 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE KWON: Please continue.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what decided the policy of keeping
19 people in custody or allowing them to defend themselves when released?
20 A. The legal reasons are clearly defined. As for the basis for
21 custody, if a serious crime is in question it depends on the highest
22 possible sentence. There are other things such as influencing witnesses,
23 danger to flee. If a person in question needs to be held in custody out
24 of fear of influencing witnesses and the witnesses had already been
25 interviewed, then that factor is removed, but there are a number of
1 others, all of which are prescribed by law. The ethnicity of the victim
2 had no bearing whatsoever.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection, Your Honours, and I'm sorry to
5 interrupt. I just wanted to tell Mr. Karadzic that if he wants to,
6 65 ter 24626 is Article 191, the provisions on custody. Just if he finds
7 that useful.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I wanted to ask you the following: Did anyone try to exert any
11 influence over the length of custody in any one case?
12 A. I'm not aware of any cases of your influence. I don't think you
13 could have, because it was a court matter. There was no need to either,
14 to exert any influence.
15 Q. What is missing in the question is whether I exerted any
16 influence or anyone else.
17 A. No one did, neither you nor anyone else.
18 Q. What is done in cases when the first accused or where there are
19 multiple accused who are out of reach, whereas some other accused are in
20 custody? We had some cases where we could see that some were
21 provisionally released, whereas the first accused, Amidzic, was
22 unavailable. Was it a serious breach if people are provisionally
23 released until the first accused --
24 JUDGE KWON: Just before you answer the question. Yes,
25 Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Just, Your Honour, I think the judge can answer
2 the questions without the leading. It began as a non-leading question,
3 and then started asking if this is a serious breach if such and such
4 occurs. I think he can just ask him what the procedures are without
5 leading in that manner.
6 JUDGE KWON: I think Mr. Karadzic now has understood, but please
7 go on. Please carry on, Mr. Todorovic. You understood the point.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It would be a serious breach
9 if a suspect is kept in -- held in custody even a day longer than
10 necessary. As soon as there are reasons, grounds for custody, there are
11 legal obligations on the part of the court, but custody is always
12 re-examined. As soon as there are no reasons to keep someone in custody,
13 that person should be released. If not all of the accused were
14 accessible -- well, there are different matters to be raised in terms of
15 whether they should be tried jointly or parts of the proceedings to be
16 postponed, but there were such cases wherein no trial could be held
17 because the accused were inaccessible.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. The last question: As regards the sentencing policy
20 as well as their nature, the nature of sentences, what was the role of
21 the president of the republic in that regard? Could he do anything?
22 A. As regards sentencing policy, there was nothing he could do in my
23 view. Regarding the judiciary in general and some general issues in that
24 branch, well, in that case, yes, but he couldn't interfere in any cases.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Todorovic.
1 I have no further questions, Your Excellency.
2 JUDGE KWON: I don't think I followed your last answer,
3 Mr. Todorovic, as to the question what role the president of the republic
4 had in terms of sentencing when you answered in the last sentence:
5 "Regarding the judiciary in general, and some general issues in
6 that branch, well, in that case, yes."
7 What did you mean by saying "yes"? The president of the republic
8 had what role regarding the judiciary in general and some general issues
9 in that branch?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He could provide suggestions in
11 terms of providing support to courts in terms of materiel, facilities,
12 et cetera, but he could never provide any suggestions on sentencing
13 policy. I as the president of the court could not provide any
14 suggestions to my colleagues or to lower instance courts. Every Chamber
15 had their direct access to their respective cases, and they could try
16 according to their own professional conscience. I couldn't influence
17 lower courts, for example, save through such cases which would eventually
18 reach the Supreme Court.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That concludes your evidence,
20 Mr. Todorovic. On behalf of the Chamber, I thank you for your coming to
21 The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go. Please have a safe
22 journey back home.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'd like to thank
24 you as well as your colleagues.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Then we'll bring in the next witness.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness take the solemn declaration,
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic. Please make yourself
9 WITNESS: PETAR KAURINOVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE KWON: Do you hear me in a language you understand,
12 Mr. Kaurinovic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Kaurinovic, I
15 must draw your attention to a certain Rule of evidence that we have here
16 at the Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E). Under this Rule, you may object to
17 answering any question from the accused, the Prosecutor, or even from the
18 Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate you in a
19 criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying something
20 that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal offence or
21 saying something that might provide evidence that you might have
22 committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that an answer
23 might incriminate you and as a consequence you refuse to answer the
24 question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to compel
25 you to answer the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal would
1 ensure that your testimony compelled under such circumstances would not
2 be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence save
3 and except the offence of giving false testimony.
4 Do you understand what I have just told you, sir?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic.
7 Please continue -- please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
8 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kaurinovic, good day.
10 A. Good day.
11 Q. I would like to ask you so speak slowly and to pause between what
12 I say and before you start speaking. Make pauses, because we're breaking
13 the interpreters with our overlapping.
14 Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I ask for 1D7234 in e-court,
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Do you see your statement on the screen?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you read the statement, and did you sign it?
23 A. Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at the last page,
25 please, so that the witness can identify his signature.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Is that your signature?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect the statement
5 you gave to the Defence team?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today that were put to
8 you when you gave this statement, would your answers in essence be the
10 A. Yes, they would.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender the
12 statement and the accompanying documents pursuant 92 ter.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
14 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. There's one associated
15 exhibit that we're tendering, and that's 1D06731.
16 JUDGE KWON: Do we have English translation for that?
17 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber didn't have the time to take a look at
19 it, but do you have any objection, Ms. McKenna?
20 MS. McKENNA: No objection, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE KWON: And I take it that you are not tendering two
22 documents referred to in para 14.
23 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct.
24 JUDGE KWON: So I would like you to delete that part of
25 paragraph 14, the last part from -- from "To this day" until the end of
1 the paragraph.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I will do that once I read
3 the summary. Now I would like to read the summary of the statement, of
4 Mr. Kaurinovic's statement in English.
5 JUDGE KWON: Then we'll admit the statement as well as the
6 associated exhibit. Shall we give the numbers.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The statement is Exhibit
8 D3003, and 1D6731 will be Exhibit D3004.
9 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [In English] Petar Kaurinovic was a police officer in the SJB in
12 Brcko municipality until 1993.
13 Petar Kaurinovic considers that inter-ethnic relations between
14 Serbs and Muslims had been upset since World War II. The unity lasted
15 until the first multi-party elections in BH as the nationalist parties
16 began their separatist political activities which caused fear and anxiety
17 among all the Serbs.
18 The HDZ party and SDA Muslim party were the chief protagonists of
19 wanting B and H to secede from Yugoslavia. At rallies, the two parties
20 expressed their union symbolically by intertwining their party flags.
21 Petar Kaurinovic considered that these activities were directed towards
22 the Serbs and many worried for their personal safety and safety of their
24 The civil war that took place in Slovenia and Croatia had a great
25 impact on -- upon the Serbian population as they lived close to the
1 border -- borders with these countries and many were aware of the
2 suffering inflicted on the Serbs by the Croatian paramilitaries. Reports
3 were also being received of Croatian and Muslim paramilitaries --
4 paramilitary formations who were murdering Serbs in surrounding
6 Petar Kaurinovic considers that the Muslims and Croats conducted
7 the referendum without the participation of the Serbs and clearly
8 demonstrated that their goal was to create a unitary independent B and H.
9 The Serbs clearly stated their position through their plebiscite, and
10 Petar Kaurinovic considers that these two differing objectives brought
11 about the civil war.
12 He thinks that the inter-ethnic and inter-personal relationships
13 in Brcko Public Security Station were correct and remained until the
14 first multi-party elections in BH. Muslim appointments were made without
15 regard for the rules and the guidelines. Relationships at the police
16 station deteriorated to the extent that a separation into two factions
17 occurred. A new chief of police was appointed, and it was apparent to
18 Petar Kaurinovic that the SDA Muslim party had appointed Tanic to create
19 this rift and facilitate the take-over of Brcko Public Security Station
20 by the Muslims and Croats.
21 Petar Kaurinovic was aware that a number of Muslims who had been
22 given positions had criminal records. Petar Kaurinovic recalls that the
23 chief of the Brcko SUP, Stjepan Filipovic, a member of the HDZ, who had
24 never worked at the MUP but who had excellent personal links with the
25 political structures with the Croats. Petar Kaurinovic thinks that
1 Stjepan Filipovic obstructed an investigation of four Croatian
2 paramilitaries who had been stopped at the check-point and found to be
3 carrying a large amount of explosives. During interview, the men
4 explained that they had been tasked to infiltrate Brcko and sabotage the
5 operation at the railway station where the JNA equipment was stored.
6 Mr. Kaurinovic considers that this clearly demonstrated that there was a
7 connection between Filipovic and them. In 1992, the Croatian
8 paramilitary units pulled down the bridge over the River Sava. The
9 damage was such that only pedestrians could cross over it.
10 Mr. Kaurinovic feared for the safety of his daughter and
11 evacuated her in Bijeljina. However, he realised that the journey back
12 to his home was risky as the car was repeatedly stopped and searched at
13 newly established check-points. And it was clear that the Muslim
14 paramilitary formations had already been well armed and organised,
15 suggesting that they had planned for war. The Serbs were not aware of
16 this. He noted that at the check-points, the guards had automatic
17 weapons and also antitank mines. He and his wife suffered verbal
18 abuses -- abuse in relation to their ethnicity. After he returned home,
19 the Muslim and Croat forces carried out an attack on the village of
20 Bukvik, capturing all residents and killing 63.
21 Due to the blockades by Muslims and Croatian military forces,
22 Petar Kaurinovic was unable to return to work for three days. On
23 3rd of May, 1992, Mr. Kaurinovic, then Boro Kaurinovic, and
24 Milivoje Nedic travelled a different route to Brcko, giving a false story
25 at the check-points to allow them to pass. When they arrived in Brcko,
1 they were not able to get to the police station, and they therefore had
2 to attend the nearby garrison command. When Petar Kaurinovic attempted
3 to access the health centre and the hospital as the car he was travelling
4 in was pelted with heavy infantry fire by Muslims and Croatian
5 paramilitary formations.
6 Petar Kaurinovic saw that the Brcko Public Security Station
7 windows had been smashed. The offices had been broken into and looted.
8 Much furniture had been destroyed, and the SJB vehicles had been driven
9 away. He later learnt that the Muslims and Croat colleagues had left,
10 driving off in fleet car -- cars and taking all the weapons kept at the
11 Brcko police station.
12 In 1996, Petar Kaurinovic took a statement from Zvonimir Dzordic.
13 From this interview he learnt that a decision had been made for Muslims
14 and Croats not to pay taxes to weaken the state, that the Croats were
15 completely armed by Christmas 1991, and the Crisis Staff inventoried
16 property and vehicles belonging to fellow men who fled the area. He also
17 learnt that in May 1991, 200 armed HOS combatants stayed in Brcko to
18 create unrest and provoke terrorist attacks. Foreign mercenaries were
19 included as soldiers in the military formations, and plans were made to
20 attack the Serbian population living in part of the village of Bijela.
21 Zvonimir Dzordic also informed Petar Kaurinovic that Serbian prisoners
22 were digging trenches for Croats.
23 In the first few days of the fighting, there was a lot of
24 confusion and lawlessness leading to much crime with paramilitaries
25 beginning to rule the town. Many people took advantage of this
1 situation. The police chief was replaced by a man originally from
2 Croatia, and the paramilitary formations threatened the police, blockaded
3 the security station, arrested and physically maltreated the officers.
4 This state of lawlessness lasted until the end of May, when the local
5 authorities -- authority was constituted and requested assistance.
6 Soldiers from the RS were sent and a curfew was imposed.
7 In early May 1992, Petar Kaurinovic was informed that a number of
8 Muslims and Croats had been detained at the port. The officers were
9 asked to identify those that had nothing to do with the armed rebellion
10 and release as many of them as possible, issuing them with permits to
11 move freely. It was during this questioning that Petar Kaurinovic became
12 aware that some people were impersonating police officers.
13 Petar Kaurinovic is aware that during the war, the town centre
14 and surrounding settlements -- settlements where civilians lived were
15 indiscriminately shelled almost daily by the Croatian Army from the
16 direction of Croatia and by the BH Army. Many civilian buildings in the
17 town were destroyed during artillery operations, and a large number of
18 civilians and residents of the town were wounded or killed.
19 When the authorities were consolidated in Brcko, especially after
20 the arrival of Mico Davidovic and his men, a known criminal Jelisic
21 disappeared from the area of Brcko. Had he not run away from Brcko,
22 Mr. Kaurinovic is convinced that Mico Davidovic would have arrested
23 Jelisic as he arrested others.
24 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I am not going to
1 insist on the documents. It's a book and some video footage relating to
2 the suffering of the Serbs. I don't know how we could have that as an
3 exhibit, and there is no translation, so I'm not going to stick with
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I will put a question to you, Mr. Kaurinovic, however. In early
7 May 1992, were you given any kind of task by the chief of the Public
8 Security Station, Veselic, regarding the identification of some dead
9 persons; and if yes, could you please tell us what it's about?
10 A. Yes. I received information from Mr. Veselic that a certain
11 number of people were killed, that this was committed by the paramilitary
12 formation, and in view of my long years of experience of working in the
13 police, he told me that I should go to identify those people who were
14 killed. Together with a colleague of mine, we were given this
15 assignment, and before we left, Mr. Veselic told us that the
16 identification work should be done as professionally as possible, that we
17 would need to document everything in our notebooks so that the
18 perpetrators of these acts could be criminally processed and so that
19 there would be no chance of any cover-up.
20 Q. Thank you. Who were the people that you identified, and how were
21 they dressed?
22 A. Mostly the bodies had civilian clothing. We began the
23 identification work by looking for their IDs so that we could be sure who
24 was who, but the civilian clothing that the people wore -- well, it was
25 the very beginning the war. Many people joined the forces without a
1 uniform. Many did not have uniforms. Only later on did uniforms become
2 available and was it possible to tell civilians and soldiers apart. So
3 I'm not able to say that they were not soldiers just because they wore
4 civilian uniforms. As I said in the beginning, almost everybody wore
5 civilian clothing except for a certain number of those who were in
7 Q. Thank you. And what was the ethnicity of those that you
8 identified predominantly?
9 A. These were Bosniaks, Bosniak Muslims.
10 Q. Thank you. How many of them were there?
11 A. As far as I can remember, my colleague and I identified
12 approximately 60 bodies.
13 Q. Thank you. As an experienced policeman, did you establish what
14 the role was of the government in their death?
15 A. Well, the government and us, a small number of us from the
16 police, were shocked by all of those things that were happening. I am
17 just going to mention that during the identification, I also identified a
18 school friend of mine whom I attended secondary school with. And please
19 believe me when I say that that was the most difficult day in my life. I
20 was so shocked that I wasn't up to anything. I couldn't sleep for
21 nights. Even now I'm feeling very, very uneasy because of that.
22 Q. Thank you. And who was in power? Who ran Brcko when these
23 people died?
24 A. At the time, the authority -- it was mostly the paramilitary
25 formations that were in power or ruling Brcko. They created total chaos
1 in town at that time.
2 Q. Thank you. And did you arrest them? Did you -- were you able to
3 arrest them? Did you have enough forces to arrest them, and how did that
5 A. At the police station, since there were just a small number of
6 us, we were absolutely unable to stand up to these paramilitary
7 formations, and right until Mr. Mico Davidovic arrived, who came to Brcko
8 with a unit pursuant to orders of the leadership of Republika Srpska, and
9 that was when Mr. Mico Davidovic and his men re-introduced order in the
10 town. He introduced a curfew. He arrested a certain number of
11 paramilitary forces members. And from that day, from the point in time
12 that he came, we were more or less able to function quite normally,
13 especially because at that time, probably pursuant to orders of the
14 leadership of Republika Srpska, we were given a certain number of
15 colleagues from Bijeljina to help us out.
16 Q. Thank you. Was Dragan Andan among those men who were sent to you
17 to assist and to appraise the situation in Brcko?
18 A. I did not know Mr. Andan. I saw him only once at the police
19 station, and somebody told me that it was Mr. Andan, but I don't know
20 what his position was.
21 Q. When I asked Mr. Davidovic whether he [as interpreted] had such
22 an able unit capable of arresting them, he answered no. What do you say
23 to that?
24 A. He was quite right. We did not have any units that would be able
25 to confront the paramilitary formations.
1 Q. The question was whether we had such a unit, not he.
2 A. I understood. We at the police station did not have a unit
3 capable of adequately confronting those paramilitary units.
4 Q. Thank you. My only correction is to the transcript, line 3,
5 whether we had such a unit.
6 Do you know that in the United States I referred -- after the
7 allegations to events in Brcko and Banja Luka, I invited American
8 investigators, and one American investigator was in Brcko very early on.
9 A. I can't remember.
10 Q. All right. Then I will discuss these documents with somebody
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Mr. Kaurinovic, as you have noted now, your evidence in chief in
16 this case has been admitted in most part in writing in lieu of your oral
17 testimony, and now you'll be cross-examined by the representative of the
18 Office of the Prosecutor, Ms. McKenna.
19 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examination by Ms. McKenna:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kaurinovic.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. First, I'd just like you to confirm that you were interviewed by
24 OTP investigators on the 12th of September, 2002, in Brcko. Is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And as a career police officer, you have conducted many
3 interviews yourself, and you're well aware of the importance of giving
4 accurate information in a criminal investigation; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, you explain in your statement that you left
7 Brcko town on the 30th of April, 1992, and that you arrived back into the
8 town on the 3rd of May. Now, when you left Brcko on the 30th of April,
9 Mustafa Ramic was the president of the municipality. Isn't that correct?
10 A. If I remember well, yes.
11 Q. And then on your return to Brcko, you learned that
12 Djordje Ristanic was the president of the municipality; correct?
13 A. Upon return from Bukvik to Brcko. I did not learn it that day.
14 I learned perhaps later that Mr. Ristanic was president of the
15 municipality, but I didn't know -- know. When I left from Brcko to
16 Bukvik, Mr. Ramic was president of the Assembly. And when I returned, I
17 didn't give it any thought whether he was still president of the
18 Assembly. I only learned later that Mr. Ristanic held now that position.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic. I'm going to ask you to listen
20 carefully to my questions and answer them as precisely and as concisely
21 as possible, please.
22 The issue of who was in authority, you talked about this this
23 morning briefly, when you say that when -- on your return to Brcko, the
24 paramilitaries were in authority. Now, you discussed this issue in your
25 statement to the OTP in September 2002, and you stated at that time that
1 from early May 1992, the Crisis Staff was the authority in the town of
2 Brcko. Do you stand by that statement?
3 A. As far as I know, the Crisis Staff was established. It's quite
4 natural to form a Crisis Staff in view of the situation prevailing in
5 Brcko. However, the way I see it and based on what I've found in town
6 and my conversation with my superior commander, Mr. Veselic, the
7 Crisis Staff had absolutely no power. The power was instead taken over
8 by those paramilitaries.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MS. McKENNA: If we could -- excuse me. Could we please have
11 65 ter 24632, please.
12 Q. Mr. Kaurinovic, this is a transcript of your previous interview,
13 and I'd like to remind you of what you said on this topic. And I'd just
14 look at two brief excerpts from this interview.
15 MS. McKENNA: If we could have page 15 in e-court, please.
16 Q. And at line 26, you're asked -- and I should say this is in the
17 context of a discussion of what happened upon the 3rd and 4th of May, on
18 your return to Brcko, and you were asked:
19 "... who was in charge of the town at that stage, do you know?"
20 And you said:
21 "The Crisis Staff, the so-called Crisis Staff."
22 And I'd also like -- if you'd just bear with me, I'll show you
23 one more except from your interview, and that's page 73. And I'd like to
24 look from line 10 of that page.
25 Now, Mr. Kaurinovic, just to explain, this is in the context of a
1 discussion of whether the Crisis Staff knew what was going on at Luka
2 camp. We'll come back to the issue of Luka camp, but right now I'd just
3 like to focus you on the issue of who was in authority of the town and --
4 in the town, and you say -- or, sorry, you were asked:
5 "It isn't possible that the Crisis Staff would have -- would have
6 not been aware of the sort of things that were happening at the camp."
7 Your response was:
8 "I don't think so."
9 The interviewer said:
10 "It would have been very difficult for them to have not known
11 what was happening."
12 And your response was:
13 "I can only assume that they were the one who should have known
14 what was happening in this town, because they were the one who were the
15 authority in town."
16 Now, do you accept this as -- statement as accurate?
17 A. I don't know which question to answer now. Your previous
18 question was upon my return to Brcko, as I had stated earlier, the
19 Crisis Staff was in power, was in charge and ruled Brcko. Upon my
20 arrival in Brcko, that's indeed what I thought. However, when I realised
21 what the situation in town really is and what was going on, I came to the
22 conclusion that the Crisis Staff was apparently able to do nothing about
23 it. I came to the police station, for instance, and found all offices
24 broken into, the safe boxes we had in our offices were burgled. All the
25 valuables were gone, and we had seized some valuables from criminals we
1 had worked on. And that's when I finally realised that the Crisis Staff,
2 if it had any power, would never have allowed that.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic. We're going to --
4 A. I remember when I was giving this statement --
5 Q. We're going to come back to the issue of what happened on your
6 arrival to Brcko police station. Again I'm going to ask you after the
7 break to listen carefully and focus your questions on -- or your answers
8 on the questions that are being asked.
9 MS. McKENNA: But, Your Honours, I note the time.
10 JUDGE KWON: I think you asked some compound questions. You put
11 two things in one go, but we'll continue after the break.
12 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE KWON: We'll take a break for half an hour and resume at
14 1.00 -- or, I'm sorry, 1.15.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.18 p.m.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue, Ms. McKenna.
18 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Kaurinovic, just before the break we were talking about
20 your -- well, actually let's focus on your arrival, the date that you
21 arrived back to Brcko. That's on the 3rd of May. When you arrived back,
22 you heard a call over the radio requesting that police officers of Serb
23 origin report to work. Isn't that correct?
24 A. No. As for the request that police officers report to their
25 workplaces, I heard it when I was in Bukvik. That's why I set off
1 towards Brcko to report to work. They didn't mention Serb or any other
2 ethnicity. They simply stated that policemen should report to their
4 Q. Thank you. I'd like to remind you of your statement on this
5 point to the Office of the Prosecutor.
6 MS. McKENNA: If we could have 65 ter 24632 once again, please.
7 And I'd like to see page 14.
8 Q. And at line 8, Mr. Kaurinovic, you state:
9 "I came to Brcko on the 3rd of May in the afternoon, early
10 evening hours. And since I was listening to the radio, I heard a call
11 over the radio, which said that the police officers of Serb ethnic origin
12 were called to report to their ... work. And I came to the police
14 Does this -- do you accept that you heard a call that police
15 officers of Serb origin were called to report?
16 A. What I said was that I was unable to listen to radio en route to
17 Brcko. I arrived from Bijeljina to Brcko hitchhiking, and the person who
18 picked me up did not turn on the radio. I heard it over local radio --
19 Q. May I interrupt you. Can we just focus on whether -- whether --
20 when you heard. We accept that you heard a call for police officers to
21 report to work. Do you accept that it was a call for Serb police
22 officers to report to work?
23 A. What I heard on the radio in Bukvik was that the police officers
24 of the police station in Brcko should report to their workstations as
25 soon as possible. I wasn't interested in anything else. I focused only
1 on arriving in Brcko. I really don't remember whether it was expressly
2 stated that only Serb policemen should report. I was completely unaware
3 of the situation in Brcko at the time.
4 Q. Thank you. And I'll just direct you to your next testimony on
5 this point, which is you say when you came to the police building:
6 "And concretely, for your question, at that moment I saw very
7 many people in police uniforms whom I did not ever see in my life, whom
8 I'd never seen in my life."
9 Do you accept, Mr. Kaurinovic, that on your arrival in the police
10 station there were in fact lots of police officers there?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, may I tender this page?
13 MR. ROBINSON: Well, is it necessary, Mr. President, if she's
14 confronted him with it orally?
15 MS. McKENNA: The --
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
17 MS. McKENNA: Thank you. The witness hasn't accepted -- doesn't
18 recall his evidence that he heard a call that only police officers of
19 Serb origin report to work. It's for that reason that I'm tendering it.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well. What pages are you tendering?
21 MS. McKENNA: Thank you. It's page 14.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit it.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6147, Your Honours.
24 MS. McKENNA:
25 Q. Now, when you arrived, one of the police officers directed you to
1 report to Mr. Veselic, the new chief of the Brcko SJB; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And Mr. Veselic hadn't been a police officer before the war, had
5 A. He hadn't.
6 Q. Now, this morning you discussed one of the first tasks that
7 Mr. Veselic gave you, and that was to identify bodies at a mass grave
8 site. Is it correct that the -- you testified this morning that it
9 was -- you identified up to 60 bodies of Bosnian Muslim people. They
10 were aged between 20 and 30 years of age. Isn't that correct?
11 A. I couldn't establish their age, but -- well, I couldn't establish
13 Q. Mr. Kaurinovic, I apologise. I misspoke. Your previous
14 testimony was that they were -- they were aged between the ages of 20 and
15 60. Is that consistent with your testimony today?
16 A. To tell you the truth, I'm no longer certain whether there were
17 any of them who were around 60. It was very difficult to guess, to guess
18 their age of those who had been killed.
19 Q. But it was evident, was it not, Mr. Kaurinovic, that they had
20 clearly been executed, having been shot at close range to the head?
21 A. It is correct that they had been executed. It's a very difficult
22 situation, and I didn't pay much attention to whether they had been shot
23 at close range or some other range. I really didn't pay much attention
24 to that. It's a difficult situation. I was interested in identifying
1 As for looking around in detail in order to produce a conclusion
2 whether it was at close range or not, well, I was not in a situation to
3 work that way and to assess.
4 Q. Let me remind you, then, of your statement to the Office of the
5 Prosecutor in 2002 on this and the issue of whether you -- whether they
6 were civilians or soldiers.
7 MS. McKENNA: If we could have page 34, please.
8 Q. At line 14, you were asked:
9 "And from your observations, how were they killed?"
10 And your response was:
11 "At close range to the head, mostly."
12 Do you accept, Mr. Kaurinovic, that your statement on this in
13 2 --
14 A. It's possible, but I don't recall it.
15 Q. Well, moving on to the issue of the -- who the bodies were, you
16 say -- you were asked at line 21:
17 "What sort of clothing were they wearing?"
18 And you explained that they were wearing civilian clothes. And
19 then at line 25 you were asked:
20 "They were obviously -- they obviously weren't soldiers."
21 And you responded:
22 "No, none of them."
23 So, Mr. Kaurinovic, when you were asked in 2002, you were very
24 sure that they were civilians. Is it your testimony here today that
25 you're less sure of that fact?
1 A. I claim that they were in civilian clothes. However, I can't say
2 whether they were engaged militarily or not. As I have said previously,
3 at the beginning of the war, many people did not have uniforms. They
4 went to the front lines in civilian clothes. I can't say that
5 100 per cent of them were civilian and that they had not been engaged in
6 any military activities. I really don't know that.
7 Q. Well, Mr. Kaurinovic, in the same interview, you said that some
8 of the people who you identified you had previously seen on the 4th or
9 5th of May being assembled and detained outside the police station in
10 Brcko. Do you recall that?
11 A. I assert that the people at the location where I carried out
12 identifications, I didn't see them before the station. How could it have
13 come about? How could I have said that people who had been brought in
14 before the police station were the same ones I identified? That's
16 MS. McKENNA: Could we see page 46 of the OTP interview, please.
17 Q. At line 4 of this interview you were asked:
18 "Okay. Just so we're crystal clear on this, you are able to say
19 that some of the men or the civilians that you saw assembled, detained
20 and assembled outside of the police station, were ... the next time you
21 saw them they were corpses at the mass grave site?"
22 And your response was:
23 "That's right."
24 Mr. Kaurinovic, do you accept this previous statement as
1 A. I recognised a few of them in front of the station as well as at
2 the site of identification, but I can't say that for all of them.
3 Q. Thank you. And this morning you explained that you were
4 recording the details so that the perpetrators could be criminally
5 processed. Now, in your statement to the OTP in 2002, you said that you
6 told your chief, Mr. Veselic, about the fact that these people had been
7 executed and that somebody should be held responsible; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And Mr. Veselic gave you no response; is that correct?
10 A. When Mr. Veselic tasked me with identifying them, he told me that
11 the job need to be done as professionally as possible and to keep records
12 of those identified so that there would be no impression that things were
13 being pushed under the carpet. And so that the crime could be
14 appropriately prosecuted at some future time. He provided me with some
15 guidelines and instructions on how to go about it.
16 MS. McKENNA: Could I have page 37 of Mr. Kaurinovic's OTP
18 Q. I'd just like to focus on Mr. Veselic's response and his attitude
19 to these killings. At page -- at line 1 you say:
20 "We did tell him that," and this is about the killings, "We told
21 them that they were killed ..."
22 And you said, "Well, someone should be held responsible for it."
23 You were asked:
24 "What did he say?"
25 And you responded:
1 "Nothing, he just look at us. I can't remember if he commented
2 on it."
3 And then at line 18, you were asked:
4 "Was there any reaction by him of surprise when you told him
5 about these killings?"
6 And your response was:
7 "I cannot remember. I really cannot remember if there was any
8 change of expression at the face or anything, but I just know that he did
9 not give many comments on that."
10 Now, Mr. Veselic was, in fact, unresponsive to the complaints
11 that you made about these killings, wasn't he?
12 A. I previously told you what his instructions were. In answer to
13 the question about his reaction, well, when I looked at him, everything
14 was clear to me based on his reaction. He seemed to be shocked by it.
15 Now, whether he said anything at the time is something I can't remember,
16 but observing his reactions, it was clear that he was worried, and to me,
17 it was the same as if he had said something.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Kaurinovic, as at 2002, no investigations had been
19 undertaken into these deaths, had they?
20 A. As far as I recall, there was no investigation concerning the
21 killings. I didn't work in the police then in 2002. I had been retired
22 in 1998. Now, what was done about it subsequently is something I don't
23 know. I can't say that nothing was done or that nothing will be done.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic. I'd like to turn to the issue of who
25 was working with you in the Brcko police. Can you please confirm that
1 Dragan Zivkovic was an active police officer before the war?
2 A. Yes, he was.
3 Q. And Branko Pudic was also an active police officer before the
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in terms of reserve police officers before the war, they
7 included Pero Zaric?
8 A. Zaric with a Z.
9 Q. Thank you for the pronunciation correction. Can you please
10 confirm for the record that he was a reserve police officer?
11 A. No. I don't know. It wasn't within my remit to know who came
12 from the reserve police force. I can't say he wasn't there either,
13 although I don't think so as far as I recall. I don't remember him being
14 with their reserve police force.
15 Q. Perhaps your recollection was clearer in 2002. If we could have
16 page 28 of your statement. And at line 15 you're asked whether Zaric,
17 the commander of the Intervention Platoon, was a reserve police officer,
18 and you confirm at line 16 that he had been a reserve police officer.
19 Does this refresh your recollection?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the entire response be read
21 out to the witness, line 16.
22 MS. McKENNA: Certainly.
23 Q. On the previous page at line 13, you had explained -- or you had
24 agreed that Petar Zaric was the commander of the Intervention Unit, and
25 then at line 16 of page 28, you were asked whether he was a police
1 officer before the war, and you -- you said:
2 "Reserve police officer. Never worked in police."
3 Now, just to clarify, you meant he never worked in the police
4 before the war; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. Zaric had never worked for the police before the war.
6 Q. But during the war he worked with the police; correct?
7 A. I used to see him in police uniform. Most likely he was placed
8 in the reserve police force.
9 Q. And in -- another officer who worked with your police force was
10 Mihajlo Pejic. Isn't that correct?
11 A. The name couldn't ring a bell.
12 Q. Does the name Ranko Cesic ring a bell?
13 A. I knew Ranko Cesic since before the war. He lived in Brcko. He
14 was a local petty criminal, but we had never had any contact before the
15 war. I do know that he was prone to violence and that the general police
16 department did know of him and includes [as interpreted] him in some of
17 their activities. In the crime department, however, we did not deal with
18 petty offenders like that.
19 Q. But you agree, Mr. Kaurinovic, that Ranko Cesic worked for the
20 Brcko SJB during the war; correct?
21 A. I know that he, too, was in a police uniform. Now, as for his
22 task and who appointed him and who brought him is something I don't know.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 20 in the transcript. The
24 witness said that the police dealt with these petty criminals and not
25 that it co-operated with them, whereas in the transcript we have in
1 line 21, it reads only that the crime department didn't deal with such
2 petty offenders. It was only the general police department that did. In
3 line 20, it seems that the police included them some -- in some of their
4 activities, whereas the meaning actually should be that they did not deal
5 with such offenders, whereas they did deal with such offenders, whereas
6 the crime department did not.
7 MS. McKENNA: Perhaps I can clarify this issue with the witness
8 with reference to a document.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 MS. McKENNA: If we could see P3004, please.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Kaurinovic, this is a certificate dated the
12 28th of October, 1992, from the RS MUP, SJB Brcko, certifying that
13 Ranko Cesic was in the Police Reserve Corps Unit of the war station of
14 the Brcko police during the period from 15th of May, 1992, until the
15 22nd of June, 1992.
16 Do you accept that Mr. Cesic was part of the police forces during
17 that period?
18 A. I cannot accept that, because I didn't have any contact with him.
19 This is a certificate issued to him, but I don't know who signed it, who
20 issued the certificate to him. All I can state is that before the war he
21 was never in the police. As to whether he was engaged in the reserve
22 police force is something that I really don't know.
23 Q. Okay. Well, let's focus on people who were engaged in the police
24 force during the war.
25 MS. McKENNA: If we could have P3005, please.
1 Q. You'll see, Mr. Kaurinovic, that this is a list of employees of
2 the Brcko Public Security Station for salary for the month of
3 September 1992, and you'll see your name at number 7 on page 1. And your
4 colleague Mr. Tesic at number 8.
5 MS. McKENNA: I'd like to us to turn to page 5 of both English
6 and the B/C/S.
7 Q. And if we could focus on entry number 252.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You'll see the name of Konstantin Simonovic. So on the basis of
10 this document and contrary to the assertion at paragraph 32 of your
11 statement, Kosta Simonovic, or Kole, was in fact an employee of the MUP,
12 wasn't he?
13 A. Konstantin Simonovic was never a MUP employee before the war,
14 never. Who put him on this list I don't know, but I am saying that
15 before the war he was never a police employee. I didn't draft the list.
16 I'm seeing it for the first time. I don't know who put him on that list.
17 Q. Thank you. But let's just focus on the issue of whether he was a
18 police employee during the war. Do you agree that Mr. Simonovic was a
19 police employee during the war?
20 A. Mr. Simonovic wore a police uniform during the war, and I see on
21 this list that he was on the payroll, that he was receiving a salary. I
22 don't know about that, and it's not clear to me how he appears on this
24 Q. Now, the police officers who we have just been discussing, were
25 placed by Witness Gasi at Luka camp. Were you aware that these police
1 officers were at the camp?
2 A. We're talking about policeman Simonovic. It says here policeman,
3 but he was not a policeman. I cannot remember now what other policemen
4 you are thinking of. I saw Mr. Simonovic in Luka. I saw him in Luka.
5 Q. Let's --
6 A. In --
7 Q. -- focus on those officers that Witness -- or some of those
8 officers who Witness Gasi testified about and their involvement in the
9 mistreatment and killings at Luka camp. For example, Witness Gasi
10 testified that Branko Pudic, who you've accepted was a police officer
11 before the war, hit him on the head with a pistol on his arrival at Luka
12 camp. And that's for the parties' reference at T-16614. And he also
13 testified that he witnessed Ranko Cesic taking four non-Serb men from the
14 hangar at Luka and shooting them in the back. And that's again for the
15 parties' reference at P3002, page 74.
16 So my question for you, Mr. Kaurinovic, is, in fact, rather than
17 keeping out of the way of the paramilitaries at Luka as you suggested in
18 your statement, many of your police colleagues were actively involved
19 with them, weren't they?
20 A. Of the active policemen that you mentioned, all I can say is that
21 Branko Pudic was an active policeman. Knowing Pudic, I doubt that he did
22 what the witness is charging him with. Perhaps he did, I don't know. I
23 wasn't there, and I don't know. All I'm saying is that Branko Pudic was
24 an active policeman before the war.
25 Q. Mr. Kaurinovic, in your statement you discuss the arrival of
1 Davidovic and his men who restored law and order. Now, Mr. Davidovic's
2 evidence before this Court was that the Crisis Staff had invited the
3 paramilitaries in and that the reason they wanted to get rid -- the
4 Crisis Staff wanted to get rid of the paramilitaries was because they had
5 lost control of them by that stage. Were you aware of the fact that the
6 Crisis Staff had invited paramilitaries to Brcko?
7 A. I was not aware that the Crisis Staff invited them, but I
8 heard -- I don't know who told me this, but I think it was my boss,
9 Dragan Veselic, that the leadership of Republika Srpska invited
10 Mr. Davidovic to come to Brcko with his unit. I don't know if the
11 Republika Srpska leadership did that through the Crisis Staff or
12 directly. I don't know that. But I know for sure that this is what he
13 told me, that in order to restore a normal state of affairs in Brcko, so
14 that the police could carry out their daily duties as much as possible,
15 the leadership of Republika Srpska invited Mr. Davidovic to impose order
16 in Brcko, which is what he did.
17 Q. Okay. I'd like to turn to the issue of Luka camp and you being
18 sent there. You explained in your statement that when Mr. Veselic, and
19 this is at paragraph 25, when you spoke to Mr. Veselic, you pleaded with
20 him not to send you. Now, the reason that you pleaded him not to send
21 you was because you knew of the mistreatment and killings that were going
22 on at the camp, wasn't it?
23 A. No, that is not correct. I -- when Mr. Veselic told me that I
24 should go to Luka, I asked him if he could assign me to another post so
25 that I wouldn't go there. And the reason why I said that was that I told
1 him I'm afraid, and I assume that something bad could happen in Luka.
2 And because of my feeling about this, I asked him not to send me there
3 since many people knew me and I was thinking at the time that if anything
4 did happen, when I complete the work and return to the station, then the
5 people who were in custody would ascribe that to me. That's the only
6 reason why I told Mr. Veselic that I didn't want to go. I didn't tell
7 him this and this is being done in Luka. I didn't tell him that. I
8 didn't even know what was going on there.
9 Q. No -- thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic. To clarify, when you were being
10 sent, Mr. Veselic told you of the crimes that were being committed there,
11 didn't he?
12 A. I don't remember that. I don't remember him telling me that any
13 crimes were committed there. Really, I don't remember.
14 Q. We'll come back to that. But when you arrived in Luka, you soon
15 became aware that crimes were being committed there, didn't you?
16 A. The day that I went to Luka, no crimes occurred as far as I know.
17 Second day or the third day - I already mentioned this before - a man
18 told us that an incident, a crime took place. Then we left, went to see
19 Mr. Veselic to inform him about what happened according to the story that
20 that man told us.
21 Q. But you -- when you left to inform Mr. Veselic -- well, let me
22 step back. You were -- it's your testimony that you were only aware of
23 one incident of mistreatment at Luka camp; is that correct?
24 A. I spent three afternoons in Luka, three or four. Not three or
25 four days but three or four afternoons. During the time that I was
1 there, that was the only incident that I heard about.
2 Q. But you were aware, were you -- or weren't you, that crimes were
3 taking place when you left the camp in the evening?
4 A. That evening when I left the Luka facility, this incident took
5 place, as I already said. I didn't see it, but this man said that such
6 and such a thing happened, and I conveyed this to Mr. Veselic. There
7 were no other crimes on that day that this incident that this man told me
8 about happened.
9 Q. You've described at this stage raising with Mr. Veselic concerns
10 about crimes happening outside Luka and inside Luka. Isn't it the case,
11 Mr. Kaurinovic, that in fact very little or no effort was being made by
12 Veselic or the other authorities to guard the detainees of the camps
13 against the crimes that were being committed against them?
14 A. Even if it were so, had he put in a bit of effort -- I mean, it's
15 not that he didn't want to do it. These paramilitary formations had
16 absolute power at the time, and they could do whatever they wanted. They
17 had the upper hand. So when I told Mr. Veselic that this happened, he
18 told us, "We will do everything to prevent this and to impose some sort
19 of order in Luka."
20 Q. But, Mr. Kaurinovic, the fact that Mr. Veselic was sending you
21 and another inspector to the camp and giving you the authority to release
22 detainees from the camp suggests that he had some degree of command or
23 authority over what was happening in the camp, didn't it?
24 A. It's possible, but I assume that this was not a direct decision
25 of his made on his own. It was probably done in co-ordination with
1 somebody from the authorities that he told us to go and do that job. I
2 don't know if he decided by himself or not. He didn't tell me. He just
3 issued instructions to me about what I was supposed to do and I accepted
4 that and I went.
5 Q. And when you refer to "the authorities," do you mean the Crisis
7 A. I don't know what I meant at the time. Did I mean the Crisis
8 Staff? Perhaps I did. I cannot remember that now. But the Crisis Staff
9 also, I'm telling you, just like the few of us who were in the police who
10 were full of fear and in this general chaos, I assumed that the Crisis
11 Staff was in the same situation.
12 Q. But on the topic of the Crisis Staff, I'd like to remind you of
13 an incident that you discussed in your OTP interview where you explained
14 that after a few days at the camp, you were instructed by Veselic to
15 immediately report to the Crisis Staff. Do you recall this incident?
16 A. This wasn't an incident. He told me to go to the Crisis Staff,
17 that some people were supposed to come there. He didn't tell me why, for
18 what reason, and I went there.
19 Q. And so when you reported to Djordje Ristanic at the Crisis Staff,
20 he was angry because you had released too many prisoners. Isn't that
22 A. He was concerned. Why, I don't know. He was angry probably. We
23 didn't begin communicating right away. I don't know if he was angry
24 because we released a larger number of Bosniaks or not. I don't know why
25 he was concerned.
1 Q. Well, in your 2002 statement, you say that Ristanic said that by
2 releasing the prisoners you had created a fifth column in the town. Do
3 you recall?
4 A. I do remember, but let me try to explain. When I went to see
5 Mr. Ristanic, there were some three or four men there. I knew one of
6 them. The other two I didn't know. I cannot be certain about this now,
7 but somebody in a conversation with Ristanic said something like, "You
8 created a fifth column." I cannot be sure, even though it said in the
9 previous statement, I cannot assert that Ristanic said that to me.
10 Somebody, one of those people who were present there, said, "You created
11 a fifth column."
12 Q. Thank you. And Mr. Ristanic ordered you to keep those prisoners
13 remaining in Luka for the purpose of exchange, didn't he?
14 A. Correct. Mr. Ristanic said that the people that remained in Luka
15 would probably be provided with security to make sure that they were safe
16 and that they would probably be exchanged. This is what he said.
17 Q. But just to clarify, in your statement in 2002, you said:
18 "Yes," and for the parties' reference this is at page 62 of the
19 interview. You said his instructions were "that none of them were to be
20 released because, allegedly, they were needed to be kept for exchange."
21 Do you agree that you were ordered to keep prisoners in Luka for
22 the purpose of exchange?
23 A. Mr. Ristanic told me, and I mentioned this earlier, and then we
24 finished our business with him and went to the police station. Veselic
25 told me the same thing, that these people would be protected in every way
1 so that eventually they could be exchanged for captured Serbs and so on
2 and so forth.
3 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, I'd like to tender page 62 of
4 Mr. Kaurinovic's interview transcript.
5 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll add that to Exhibit P6147.
7 MS. McKENNA:
8 Q. Finally, Mr. Kaurinovic, on this topic, while Veselic was your
9 immediate superior, you considered the order of Ristanic, Veselic's
10 superior, to have greater weight, didn't you?
11 A. That's not what I thought. My immediate superior was
12 Mr. Dragan Veselic, and I received orders from him.
13 Q. Well, on this issue in your interview you said in -- with
14 reference to Mr. -- excuse me, Mr. Ristanic's order:
15 "The weight of that order was greater because he, according to
16 the hierarchy of the authority at the time, was -- he, Veselic, was my
17 immediate superior, but then, according to authority, that order had much
18 more weight."
19 A. Mr. Ristanic told me but it wasn't in the form of an order,
20 because he was probably in contact with Mr. Veselic and he conveyed to
21 him what had to be done, and then he in turn conveyed it to me.
22 Mr. Ristanic did not issue direct orders to me or tell me what to do. It
23 was just Mr. Veselic who did that.
24 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, if I may tender page 64 of the
1 JUDGE KWON: That will also be added, and you are coming to a
3 MS. McKENNA: I am, Your Honour. Thank you for your indulgence.
4 Q. Mr. Kaurinovic, the Trial Chamber has heard evidence that you
5 interviewed Witness Gasi at Luka camp and that you assured him that he
6 and his family were all right, and that you told him that you would see
7 what you could do so that he wasn't detained too long there. Do you
8 recall this interview?
9 A. No, I don't recall that conversation. I don't recall it. I do
10 remember the Gasi family, the father and a brother -- actually I knew the
11 father, and I know that my colleagues and I released them. And it's not
12 correct that I had any kind of conversation with Gasi.
13 Q. Well, one final question, Mr. Kaurinovic. At paragraph 29 of
14 your statement, you give an opinion as to why your fellow residents left
15 the city. Now, you've just described a situation where there is a
16 detention camp where non-Serbs are being held. This camp is being run by
17 the -- or, rather, there are police operational at the camp, and it's run
18 by the Serb authorities, and you've also described the mistreatments and
19 killings of non-Serbs in Brcko. Now, surely this is a key reason why
20 non-Serbs left Brcko.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we get the date, please.
22 When was this? What does it refer to?
23 MS. McKENNA: It refers to the witness's testimony today.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But what was the time period that
25 the witness had in mind?
1 JUDGE KWON: Let us take a look at para 29. What paragraph did
2 you refer to, Ms. McKenna?
3 MS. McKENNA: Paragraph 29, but I note it's nonspecific as to
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Having read the 29, the first few lines, can
6 you answer the question?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Does the witness have the
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. It's on the monitor.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can see, in
11 paragraph 29 what it says is:
12 "This continual criminal indiscriminate shelling of Brcko in
13 which the Serbian, Muslim and Croatian residents were killed in equal
14 measure, in my opinion is the key reason why a huge number of my fellow
15 town residents fled the city. In certain situations, usually after heavy
16 artillery strikes, the town was eerily empty and deserted. It is a crime
17 that the artillery units of the Croatian Army" --
18 MS. McKENNA:
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic. I apologise -- I apologise for
20 interrupting you. My question was simply this. In your statement you
21 gave an opinion as to the reason why residents left the city. My
22 question for you is: Given the situation of mistreatment and killing of
23 non-Serbs in Brcko, is that not a key reason why non-Serbs left the city
24 of Brcko?
25 A. Well, probably these paramilitaries who did what they did were
1 one of the reasons why people fled the town, because they were not
2 feeling safe.
3 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Mr. Kaurinovic.
4 Your Honours, I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. McKenna.
6 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency.
8 JUDGE KWON: How long do you expect?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will complete before the end of
10 this session, perhaps earlier.
11 JUDGE KWON: Then the Chamber will rise for five minutes.
12 --- Break taken at 2.16 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 2.21 p.m.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kaurinovic, I will begin with the freshest
18 points in our memory. You were asked why -- in fact whether Ristanic
19 told you to keep them in Luka for exchange. First of all, let's clear up
20 one thing. Did he tell you to guard them in Luka or to keep them in Luka
21 or to keep them for an exchange?
22 A. To the best of my recollection, Mr. Ristanic told me and my
23 colleague that these people should be kept for a future exchange. He did
24 not order me in so many words to accept what he was saying. He said he
25 was going to agree with Mr. Veselic that these people stay there for a
1 future exchange.
2 Q. Why in your opinion did he say that?
3 A. Well, the situation was then linked to Bukvik, which was in
4 complete encirclement. I suppose he might have meant that or some other
5 places that I didn't know about.
6 Q. What was Ristanic's relationship with the paramilitaries? What
7 was his position towards them, his attitude and his relations with them?
8 A. Through my contacts with Mr. Ristanic, I came to believe that he
9 was appalled by what was going on and that his relationship with the
10 paramilitaries is completely inconsistent.
11 Q. Ms. McKenna suggested on page 82 that Ristanic perhaps had the
12 possibility to command over Luka. Did Ristanic order Jelisic, and if he
13 didn't, why did he send you? Was he able to order Jelisic to release
14 those people?
15 A. I don't believe Mr. Ristanic was able to do that.
16 Q. Thank you. You released a certain number of people with whom you
17 had previously had a formal interview to establish whether there were any
18 grounds such as criminal allegations to keep them there.
19 A. Yes, that's true.
20 Q. What happened to some of them?
21 A. In the Luka camp there was also one man, a lawyer by profession,
22 and he was disabled. His leg had been amputated. We released him.
23 However, two or three days after he returned home, he was found dead in
24 his home.
25 Q. Thank you. Did Ristanic know that? Was he concerned for their
1 safety? Into what kind of situation did you release them before
3 A. Release meant uncertainty. Even the people whom we released were
4 not safe, precisely because of the paramilitary formations on a rampage
5 in town, and that's precisely why that man came to a bad end after we
6 released him.
7 Q. How much personnel did you have at the Public Security Station of
8 Brcko before the war and during the war?
9 A. Before the war we had about 170 uniformed police officers. In
10 the criminal investigations department we had 17 staff members plus
11 administrative workers, and then we also had various sections for IDs,
12 driving licenses, et cetera.
13 Q. What about during the war?
14 A. At the beginning of the war, there were only two of us in the
15 criminal investigation department, Mr. Dragisa Tesic and myself. We were
16 later joined by Mr. Cvetko Ilic. That was the entire CID.
17 Q. And the total of personnel during the war?
18 A. From those old policemen whom I knew, there were 10, 15, or
19 perhaps 20. I can't be sure.
20 Q. P3005 was shown to you, and in item 52 a particular person was
21 shown to you, and the whole list has 348 policemen -- or, rather,
22 employees of the Public Security Station in September. What does that
23 number really mean?
24 A. That is totally unclear to me. I can only speak about
25 active-duty policemen whom I knew. It must be that the police station
1 was replenished from the reserve police force.
2 Q. On page 74, you were asked what did Veselic say when you informed
3 him of the group of people killed? Was that news to him or did he know
4 about it even before you returned?
5 A. I'm not quite clear. You mean the people whom we identified?
6 Q. Yes, after he sent you on that assignment.
7 A. When he sent us on that assignment, he did not tell us the number
8 of victims. He just said that the town needs to be sanitised, and we had
9 to go on a particular location to identify victims.
10 Q. So this sanitisation or burial of people, was it possible before
11 you identify them.
12 A. We have to identify them first.
13 Q. On page 66 there was talk about authorities in Brcko. Who was in
14 power de facto and who was in power de jure in Brcko before Davidovic's
16 A. Before Mr. Davidovic came to Brcko, I maintain with full
17 responsibility that all the power was in the hands of paramilitary units.
18 Q. De jure or de facto? Factually or legally speaking?
19 A. Factually.
20 Q. On page 64, esteemed Ms. McKenna suggested that you left on the
21 30th and left Ramic as president of the municipality and then returned on
22 the 3rd of May only to find that Ristanic had become president of the
23 municipality. Could you tell us what area, what surface of the Brcko
24 municipality was controlled by the Serb side, by the Muslim side, and the
25 Croat side respectively?
1 A. In my estimate, the Serbs controlled the inner centre, the core
2 of the town, including one of the largest local communes in Brcko,
3 whereas the other side controlled other parts of town. So it was about
5 Q. Was -- did Mr. Ristanic have any authority in the other half of
7 A. It is my personal conviction that Ristanic had absolutely no
8 power, no way to exert authority before Davidovic came.
9 Q. Who was the president of the municipality in the Muslim part of
11 A. I believe it was Mustafa Ramic.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now look at D41 -- no.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You confirmed today that you had heard Mr. Dragan Andan had been
17 in Brcko to appraise the situation. Now I should like to show you his
18 report of 17 June. I will go briefly through it. It says in paragraph 2
19 that when he arrived on the 29th of May, there was absolutely no work in
20 the Public Security Station of Brcko except for duty service; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It says the station had no station commander, and the section of
24 IDs and that kind of work was done directly through the chief of the
25 station, and then it says:
1 "Through the direct involvement of inspectors from the Serbian
2 Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as direct
3 assistance by the chief, we succeeded in establishing or restoring the
5 Do you remember this?
6 A. I remember that nothing worked at that time. Now, how much he
7 managed to do and with whose assistance, I can't say, but I suppose that
8 this is correct.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see the next page.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Is it the case really that part of the police officers were
12 assigned to combat duty?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It says at the top of this page that withdrawing police officers
15 from the front lines, we have divided the territory into patrol districts
16 and sectors.
17 Could we now see the last page, please.
18 It says:
19 "Paramilitary units, those of Captain Dragan and Chetnik units
20 and units led by a certain Goran Jelisic and independent units from
21 Ugljevik, are exerting pressure on the police station, and on two
22 occasion" - could we see the next page - "they even attempted armed
23 attacks on the Public Security Station."
24 Is this correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Then it says it is all linked with their robberies and the terror
2 they inflicted upon the population.
3 JUDGE KWON: First, we are not seeing the passage. Number two,
4 it's leading. What's the point of reading out the documents to the
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I only want to see if this report
7 is accurate and whether it's consistent with what the witness knew. The
8 suggestion was put to him that Jelisic was a member of the MUP, whereas
9 this MUP official refers to a certain Jelisic who attacks the police
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you are not --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is on the previous page.
13 JUDGE KWON: You are not cross-examining. You are not allowed to
14 put leading questions, as you know well by now.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I can ask this first.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. How did the policemen treat those paramilitaries, Jelisic and
19 A. The same as mine. They were afraid of him. They gave him a wide
20 berth, avoided him in all ways.
21 Q. Now, now in first paragraph, towards the bottom it says:
22 "For instance, one Goran Jelisic perpetrated crimes of rape and
23 murder against innocent Muslims. He bragged around Brcko and Bijeljina
24 about his evil doings. The employees of the police in direct contact
25 with him are in fear of him, thinking that he might pull a weapon against
1 them at any time, because he is, they say, unpredictable, and it is
2 enough for a policeman to look at him the wrong way for a conflict to
3 break out."
4 What can you say about this?
5 A. We were all really in fear of him, and we did everything to avoid
6 him or come anywhere near him.
7 Q. This report, this appraisal of the situation, was made on the
8 17th of June. Let us now see what was said about the same thing on the
9 17th of July. 18th July.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see P1581.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. It was put to you that there were some people from the reserve
13 police force on this list, people whom you did not recognise and you did
14 not consider as policemen.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm afraid this is not the right
16 document. I was asking for P1581. It's D, D1581, a Defence exhibit.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Under which security services centre was Brcko?
19 A. Bijeljina.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you see the second paragraph here? It says part
21 of the reserve force of the police was taken off the roster and made
22 available to the Army of Republika Srpska. From the Public Security
23 Station of Brcko, 170 policemen are involved in combat. What can you
24 tell us about this?
25 A. I cannot make out this text very well, but I believe that's
2 MS. McKENNA: Once again --
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
4 MS. McKENNA: Once again, Mr. Karadzic appears to be leading via
5 the medium of this document.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm only asking if it is true that
7 they were taken off the roster through the intervention of Andan, whether
8 these reserve policemen were removed, because that is indeed one of the
9 questions asked of this witness.
10 JUDGE KWON: You could have put that question before putting the
11 document to the witness. That's the way in which you should ask
13 Now, do you have more, Mr. Karadzic?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have two documents to show, but I
15 will conclude very quickly. I'll call perhaps only one.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Let me ask you first what transpired after the arrival of the
18 special unit from Serbia headed by Davidovic?
19 A. When they arrived, order was restored in town. We also received
20 reinforcements from Bijeljina in order to be able to function more or
21 less normally, and thanks to the arrival of Mr. Davidovic and his unit,
22 we succeeded.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now see D1412.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. This is dated 8th August. By what time was this action to remove
1 the paramilitaries over?
2 A. I believe it lasted for a month, perhaps, so that they were
3 actively involved in restoring order in town. It could have been more
4 than a month.
5 Q. I should like to ask you now whether this particular passage is
6 correct. It says due to accumulated problems, they were invited. The
7 MUP of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina asked the federal
8 secretary of the interior, et cetera, et cetera, and then it lists their
9 tasks, to restore order, stabilise the security situation, establish the
10 legality of work and normal functioning of the organs of internal affairs
11 and ensuring the legitimacy of the organs of authority. What does this
12 last thing mean?
13 A. It means to ensure that the Crisis Staff's work is legitimate and
14 that it is able to work normally.
15 Q. Did the MUP of Republika Srpska act jointly and in a co-ordinated
16 manner with Mr. Davidovic's unit, and what was the role of you from the
17 police station of Brcko?
18 A. When he arrived, we consolidated to the best of our ability, and
19 we felt much safer and stronger in going about our daily tasks.
20 Q. One of the last questions put to you was the fleeing of people
21 due to lawlessness. What period does that relate to, before or after
23 A. Before Davidovic's arrival.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kaurinovic, there is an unclear part in your
2 answer to the question from Mr. Karadzic in his re-examination. I'll
3 read out the passage. It's transcript page 89, lines from 1 to 5.
4 "Q. What is Ristanic's relationship with the paramilitaries?
5 What was his position towards them, his attitude and his relations with
7 And your answer:
8 "Through my contacts with Mr. Ristanic, I came to believe that he
9 was appalled by what was going on and that his relationship with the
10 paramilitaries is completely inconsistent."
11 What did you mean by his relationship being completely
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, once when I met with him, I
14 came to the conclusion that the man was afraid. In our brief exchange,
15 he told me that it's impossible to do anything because of those
16 paramilitary units. It's impossible to do anything for the normal
17 authorities to work, but he was too terrorised by the paramilitary units
18 and what they were doing.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you allow me, if we listen to
20 the tapes, you will see that the word "inconsistent" was not used. He
21 said he had no agreement.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no agreement, no consent.
23 THE ACCUSED: Or "accord," better -- not "agreement," "accord" or
25 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That concludes your evidence,
1 Mr. Kaurinovic. On behalf of the Chamber, I thank you for your coming to
2 The Hague to give it. You are free to go.
3 We will rise all together. The hearing is adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.49 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 21st day
6 of February, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.