1 Monday, 11 March 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Could the witness make the 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. Please be seated and make yourself
11 comfortable, Mr. Puhalac.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 WITNESS: TOMISLAV PUHALAC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
17 Your Excellencies. Good morning to everyone.
18 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] And good morning to you, Mr. Puhalac. Did you
20 hear me, Mr. Puhalac?
21 A. Yes, yes, I did. Good morning.
22 Q. Thank you. I thought you were just making a pause, and I would
23 appreciate if you actually do that, and that we speak slowly so that
24 everything makes it into the transcript.
25 Mr. Puhalac, did you give a statement to the Defence team?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please see in e-court
4 1D7898. 1D7898.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Can you now see that statement before you on the screen?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you have an opportunity to read and sign the statement?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please see the last
12 page so that the witness may verify his signature.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Is this your signature?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Please do not let this paragraph 19 confuse you. The
17 Trial Chamber found that it wasn't really necessary for these
18 proceedings, but everything else remains unchanged.
19 Does this statement reflect truthfully what you've said to the
20 Defence team?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you that were
23 put to you when the statement was taken, would your answers in essence be
24 the same?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
3 tender this statement, and I will have an additional document, but I do
4 not have any associated exhibits.
5 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Edgerton?
6 MS. EDGERTON: I just see -- I think it's a translation error in
7 paragraph 2 in the English version, third line from the bottom. The word
8 used is "Lukavac," whereas I think it should be "Lukavica," if I'm not
9 mistaken. And I'm actually not sure in the same paragraph if the witness
10 meant to say "Sokoc" or "Sokolac," but the Lukavac reference is certainly
11 a translation error.
12 JUDGE KWON: Probably you can clarify with the witness, Mr.
13 Karadzic. Otherwise, we'll admit this.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3104, Your Honours.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now read the
16 summary statement of Mr. Puhalac, Tomislav, and then we'll clarify things
17 live. Now I will read it in English.
18 [In English] Tomislav Puhalac was member of the BH State Security
19 Service from 1977 to April 1992. He later worked at the National
20 Security Agency in Sokolac. In August 1992, he was appointed deputy
21 chief of the Centre of National Security in Lukavica, Sarajevo.
22 When the national parties in BH won the elections and the SDA and
23 HDZ coalition was formed, pressure began to be exerted on the Serbian
24 people in general, affecting Serb employees of the RSUP. Means Ministry
25 of Interior of Republic of BH. When Alija Izetbegovic -- Alija
1 Delimustafic became the head of the MUP, the appointment of the Serb
2 employees was limited and actions were taken to prevent their
3 participation in the decision-making process and other important and
4 sensitive issues. Extremists were appointed into the higher positions
5 within the police and state security department.
6 Information had been obtained that Muslim forces were
7 establishing paramilitary and parastate organisations. These
8 organisations were obtaining weapons via Croatia and Islamic countries,
9 and although confiscations were made and recorded, the undertaking of
10 further legal measures was hindered.
11 During 1991, reserve police forces were mobilised by
12 Alija Delimustafic. However, only new forces loyal to the SDA were used.
13 Serb members of the police force began to abandon their jobs or move and
14 therefore a number of police stations and reserve forces became fully
16 Serbs began to fear retaliation from other colleagues. Serbs
17 began to exchange opinions on how to protect themselves, and these fears
18 were confirmed by events around Sarajevo. People convicted of serious
19 crimes were being incorporated into the reserve police forces and MUP
20 employees would be stopped, checked, searched, and intimidated by those
21 forces. Tomislav Puhalac was checked in the Bistrik settlement by men in
22 civilian clothes wearing green berets. They removed his official gun and
23 threatened to kill him in front of his family. When reported to the
24 Sarajevo SJB refused to take any action.
25 It was known that the weapons were being distributed to known
1 criminals. The Green Berets and the Patriotic League further received
2 weapons from various other sources. Further, extremists from other parts
3 of Yugoslavia were being employed in prominent positions in the MUP.
4 Discrimination continued in the MUP. Serbs were demoted or
5 reassigned and radio interception centre were moved to secret locations
6 including private houses. The MUP failed to take action against acts
7 committed by paramilitary organisations against civilians. It was well
8 known who killed a Serb wedding guest in Bascarsija. However, the MUP
9 failed to take any measure to arrest him. Only Serbs loyal and obedient
10 to the MUP in those illegal activities could survive. All others were
11 unprotected as there were no longer mechanisms to protect them.
12 As a result, Serbs began to move their families to safer areas.
13 Mr. Tomislav Puhalac moved his family in April 1992 following a shot
14 being fired at his children's bedroom window. It was difficult to leave
15 the town as Green Berets, the Patriotic League, and the mono-ethnic
16 reserve forces had erected barricades on all exit routes. It also became
17 very difficult for Tomislav Puhalac to return to work due to the
18 barricades. One day when he did manage to return to the MUP building, he
19 was told that the SB chief, state security chief Munir Alibabic had
20 ordered he be prohibited from entering the building.
21 In April 1992, the Green Berets began to block JNA barracks and
22 commands and take over police stations. Police officers were killed and
23 beaten of Serb ethnicity. There then followed a severe attack on the
24 Serbian majority part of Ilidza from the Muslim majority of the town. As
25 it was clear that a civil war had already begun, Tomislav Puhalac became
1 a member of the national security force. Serbs were expelled from
2 Sarajevo, their employment discontinued, and the apartments they owned or
3 rented were broken into, plundered and subsequently given to the Muslim
4 extremists. Many Serbs who remained in Sarajevo were tortured or killed
5 trying to leave the town.
6 And that is a short summary. I would like now to clarify what
7 learned Madam Edgerton had posed.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Puhalac, could you help us, please. In paragraph 2 we have
10 the word "Sokolac" in the third -- third grammatical case. Now is this
11 in fact -- were you trying to say here in Soko -- u Sokocu [phoen], in
12 other words, in Sokolac?
13 A. Well, yes. That's -- I just reported to the organisational units
14 that had already belonged to the Sarajevo centre, and later on it became
15 a department of the MUP of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. Thank you. Could you please give us this word "Sokocu" in the
17 first case, grammatical case. What is it, Sokolac? Correct?
18 A. Yes, it's Sokolac.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, in the third line from the bottom, this Lukavac
20 or Lukavica, what is it supposed to be?
21 A. Well, it's Lukavica. That is a settlement near Sarajevo. Today
22 it is in the eastern part of Sarajevo.
23 Q. Thank you. Could you please just slow down a bit and let's try
24 and make pauses between question and answer.
25 Now, I would also like to ask you whether you have the statement
1 in printed form before you.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Please pause. Now, please take a look at
4 paragraph 7.
5 In paragraph 7, you mention a name, and the statement that was
6 taken during an investigation involving drug -- weapons trafficking.
7 Could you tell me who the person who took the statement and who conducted
8 the investigation were?
9 A. Well, the investigation was conducted by official police forces
10 at the time, and the man in question is a man who illegally imported a
11 truckload of weapons. He -- the police stopped him, checked his ID,
12 checked the -- searched the truck, found the weapons and seized it. I
13 had occasion to see that statement. He never denied that the weapons
14 were imported for the need of the Green Berets and the Patriotic League
15 in Hrasnica. This man whose name is mentioned here is otherwise from
16 Hrasnica himself.
17 Q. Thank you. Was this statement taken by your service or, rather,
18 were you up on it, did you know what it was about?
19 A. Yes, I did. And I had occasion to see the statement. It was
20 taken by my colleagues.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Puhalac, do you hear me, Mr. Puhalac?
23 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
24 JUDGE KWON: Please wait before you start answering
25 Mr. Karadzic's question. Please put a pause for the benefit of the
2 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
3 THE WITNESS: Okay.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now have 1D52, 1D52 in
5 e-court, please. Thank you.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This is a telegraphic variant of this statement; correct?
8 Judging by the type of the font.
9 MS. EDGERTON: That's a leading question.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, yes, please continue.
12 THE ACCUSED: I realise that, but I just wanted to gain some
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Puhalac, could you please tell us what this statement is
16 about? What does it deal with? Could you just tell us in your own
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I'm just wondering about this. Is
19 Dr. Karadzic asking him to discuss the contents of the statement based on
20 a recollection that he's already given evidence about, or is Dr. Karadzic
21 asking him to read the contents of the statement into the record? If
22 this is a question based on recollection, what's the point of having the
23 statement in front of him?
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the witness mentioned in
1 paragraph 7, as a striking example, this case that was registered by the
2 police, and he was in on this investigation. Perhaps my question wasn't
3 properly put, but we have the statement in writing, the 1D55, but I just
4 wanted to ask the witness whether this was, in fact, that same statement
5 and how it was taken and whether he knew about it at the time when was
7 MS. EDGERTON: If I may, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
9 MS. EDGERTON: If Dr. Karadzic wants to establish a foundation
10 for the witness to deal with the statement, maybe that foundation could
11 be established properly based on the evidence that the witness gave at
12 page 7 talking about the circumstances of the investigation, the nature
13 of the individual's involvement, identifying the colleagues who took the
14 statement. The witness has said he had occasion to see the statement,
15 when that was. There are ways to go about this.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic should appreciate it, Ms. Edgerton.
17 Do you follow, Mr. Karadzic?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I do.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Puhalac, could you assist us in this respect and tell us who
21 it was who took the statement?
22 A. I cannot remember exactly the names of the people who took the
23 statement, but I did have occasion to see it, and it was taken certainly
24 by officials of the Ministry of the Interior. This is that statement. I
25 recall it, although I hadn't seen it since. I haven't seen it since, but
1 I do know that it existed and that's why I mentioned it in my statement.
2 I also knew in person that man, and I know all of these people,
3 and this is how things happened. It is indisputable that he was stopped
4 and his IDs, his papers, checked and that the weapons were seized, and
5 here we can see on whose orders this was done. So it is correct. The
6 statement was taken by officials of the then MUP.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see 1D855, please.
9 1D855. Could we now show the following pages, the pages that follow,
10 because there is a page in handwriting. I believe that's the
11 fourth page. Next page, please.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Did you see this version in handwriting at the time?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now just leaf through it
17 and see what it says here toward the end.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Maybe Dr. Karadzic can just ask the question
19 instead of leading the witness through the document.
20 JUDGE KWON: Let me see. Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Puhalac, did the police where you worked at the time verify
23 this statement on the ground? Did they check it? And was this
24 statement -- did it reflect truthfully the acts of this man and his
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How did this affect the atmosphere within the police? What kind
3 of ramifications did it have?
4 A. Well, this man was not held accountable for what he had done in
5 any way, and of course among many people, professionals within the MUP,
6 especially those of Serb ethnicity, this created disbelief and distrust
7 and lack of faith in the MUP, the institution where we had worked until
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please tender this one
11 into evidence, 1D855?
12 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton.
13 MS. EDGERTON: I think the evidence from the witness so far
14 actually confirms what I had suspected, that this is a statement that
15 falls specifically within the lex specialis, Your Honours, and is
16 therefore, I would say, not admissible.
17 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to add anything, Mr. Karadzic or
18 Mr. Robinson?
19 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I think this falls into the
20 same category that you've taken under submission last week. So perhaps
21 you could take this under submission and we can, based on your ruling,
22 have the good guidance as to whether these kind of statements are useful.
23 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll consider this matter together with
24 1D7846, and we'll give its ruling in due course.
25 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
1 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I might just foreshadow this now
2 because I think it's been the subject of discussion before, but it may
3 either refresh everyone's recollection about previous discussions or
4 place a marker for future purposes, but should there be any consideration
5 of admitting this, then as we've stated before, the Prosecution would
6 then be in a position to submit many, many statements that it was not
7 previously in a position to do because of its understanding about the
8 rulings of a similar nature but from different persons. And also we
9 would be submitting evidence about the nature of the interrogation
10 processes in the RS MUP and specifically with regard to coercion,
11 intimidation, and torture, which I think would be appropriate for the
12 Court to be able to evaluate such statements if they were to be admitted.
13 Again, I think these matters have been broached before, but
14 because it seems to be on the table again, I think inexplicably, I note
15 that once more.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I?
17 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just say one thing about the
19 significance of the substance here of this document --
20 JUDGE KWON: No --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- this document talks about a lot
22 of other people and documents.
23 JUDGE KWON: Not now in the presence of the witness. Please
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no more
1 questions for this witness at this point in time, Your Honours. Thank
3 JUDGE KWON: So you tendered only 1D588 -- I'm sorry, 855.
4 THE ACCUSED: 855, yeah, you are right.
5 JUDGE KWON: Not 1D52.
6 THE ACCUSED: Not necessary.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 Yes. Mr. Puhalac, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in
9 this case has been admitted in most part in writing, i.e., through your
10 witness statement, and you'll now be cross-examined by the representative
11 of the Office of the Prosecutor, Ms. Edgerton.
12 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Puhalac.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. I'm not going to take particularly long with you, Mr. Puhalac,
16 but there's still a few questions I'd like to ask you about some of your
17 experiences during the war. Before we step back in time, though, are you
18 able to -- or can you just confirm for us that in November 2012, you won
19 the elections as a member of the SDS party for the position of president
20 of Rogatica municipality?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So even -- your evidence in your statement was that you weren't
23 an SDS member during the period leading up to the war, but you are an SDS
24 member now, obviously; correct?
25 A. Correct. I have been a member since 2008. I had never been a
1 member of any political party previous to that.
2 Q. Now, just to talk very briefly about your job as a member of the
3 National Security Services for Sarajevo, your first boss in that position
4 was Dragan Kijac, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes. Dragan was in charge of that service, but there were others
6 there that were superior to him as well within the hierarchy.
7 Q. And Dragan eventually left that office to go to Pale and take a
8 higher position, and he was succeeded by Predrag Ceranic or Ceranic. I
9 apologise for my pronunciation.
10 A. No, that's not correct.
11 Q. Who succeeded Dragan Kijac?
12 A. Based on my recollection, it was Dragisa Mihic.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, you said in your statement that you left
14 Sarajevo on the 1st of April, 1992, so it's correct, then, isn't it, that
15 anything that you mention in your statement about events in the city
16 after that date are things you have no personal experience of. You only
17 heard them from someone else; right?
18 A. I remained in Sarajevo until the 1st of April. After I left, we
19 continued to monitor the situation, but prior to the 4th of April, I
20 tried each and every day to make it back in to Sarajevo and go to work,
21 but after what happened on the 4th of April at Vraca, I stopped trying to
22 go back to the BH MUP. Nonetheless, throughout everything that was going
23 on, there were quite a number of people, particularly ethnic Serbs, who
24 were leaving Sarajevo over those days, and they would talk to us and tell
25 us about what was going on. On the other hand, we also followed the
1 media coverage on everything that was going on in the city itself.
2 Q. All right. Does that mean you're answering my question with a
3 yes? Do you remember my question?
4 A. Yes, I remember it. Did I have any first-hand experience after
5 the 1st of April? In most cases you could say it was first-hand
6 experience because I was directly in touch with people who were involved
7 in those developments, and I heard their stories directly.
8 Q. You heard them from other people; right?
9 A. Yes. From colleagues who were directly involved in those
11 Q. Now, something else I wonder if you can confirm for us. Can you
12 confirm, based on what I read in your statement, can you confirm that
13 from late 1991 until the war broke out in 1992, Serb policemen, including
14 yourself, would meet to discuss the situation? Is that correct?
15 A. The meetings were spontaneous. Whenever we met, we would
16 exchange our experiences and tell each other about our anxieties and
17 concerns for our own personal safety, the safety of our families, bearing
18 in mind everything that we saw happening around us in Sarajevo in those
19 days. So if your question is about whether we started meeting in an
20 organised way, then the answer is no. It was purely spontaneous and
21 happenstance because most of us were facing similar problems.
22 Q. So now during those meetings, you must have reported some of the
23 things that concerned you. My question is: Who then would you report
24 those things to?
25 A. We didn't report that to anyone. These were spontaneous
1 meetings, for the most part, discussions about what we could do to save
2 our families and where to head in case unrest or riots broke out. In
3 case the pressure increased on us, our lives and the risk to our families
4 and our safety. Given what was happening in Sarajevo those days, it was
5 plain for all to see that there would be problems. Many of the criminals
6 who were known to us from before were now in the city and they were given
7 official MUP ID.
8 Q. Mr. Puhalac, I appreciate that these things must have been
9 important to you, but I wonder if you could focus a little bit more on
10 the questions that I'm asking. So I'll move on and I'll ask another
12 Are you also, based on your position at the time, able to confirm
13 that through the auspices of policemen of Serbian nationality arms were
14 distributed to Serb citizens in areas in and surrounding Sarajevo?
15 A. Could I have the interpretation again, please. Thank you.
16 Q. I'll repeat my question for the interpreters. Can you confirm
17 that through the auspices of policemen of Serbian nationality arms were
18 distributed to Serb citizens in areas in and around Sarajevo?
19 A. I can't confirm that. I received no weapons myself, and I think
20 the same applies to those of my colleagues from state security that I was
21 in touch with, and from public security too. They received no weapons
22 that I was aware of.
23 Q. That wasn't my question. My question was: Can you confirm that
24 through the auspices -- through the policemen of Serbian nationality,
25 arms were distributed to Serb citizens in areas in and around Sarajevo?
1 I wasn't asking about you or your colleagues.
2 A. No. I'm not aware of anything like that.
3 Q. So you claim to have some knowledge, as you've said in your
4 statement, about Bosnian Muslim arming, but you have no knowledge of Serb
5 police involvement in arming on the other side; is that correct?
6 A. No. None at all. I'm talking about Sarajevo. Until the
7 1st of April, I had never even left Sarajevo.
8 Q. Do you know who Tihomir Glavas is?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, he's had, like you, a long-standing career in the police,
11 and in 1993, he wrote a report to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and
12 I'll show you that report.
13 MS. EDGERTON: It's P2308, and the date is September 20th. Now,
14 if you go over to page 2, paragraph 2, in both languages, please.
15 Q. In that second paragraph which begins with "At the beginning of
16 1991" and then talks about meetings organised by Tomo Kovac who was the
17 commander of the Ilidza police station, Mr. Glavas who authored this
18 document says that:
19 "Aside from the obligation that Serbs gather up and prepare for
20 war through these meetings that took place in Dobrinja, Ilidza, and
21 Blazuj, it was also agreed that intense activity should be undertaken to
22 arm citizens of Serbian nationality. Armament was transported from
23 Ravna Romanija, Pale, Sokolac, Kalinovik, the village of Nedzarici,
24 Trnovo, the village of Tosici, Hadzici, Jusuf Dzonlagic barracks,
25 Lukavica, and Nedzarici."
1 So, Mr. Puhalac, Mr. Glavas, who at this time was the head of the
2 police in Ilidza, has very detailed knowledge of Serb police involvement
3 in arming.
4 Now, my question is: As a member of the State Security Service
5 whose business it was to track these things, how is it that you have no
6 knowledge and Mr. Glavas does?
7 A. No interpretation, sorry. I didn't understand the question,
8 because I received no interpretation. I'm sorry.
9 Q. I'll repeat it. Mr. Glavas, who at this time was the head of the
10 police in Ilidza, has very detailed knowledge, as we see in this
11 document, of Serb police involvement in arming citizens of Serb
12 nationality. So as a member of the State Security Services, which you
13 were, whose business it was to track these things, as you've said, how is
14 it that you have no knowledge and Mr. Glavas does?
15 A. I met Mr. Glavas at some point well into the war. We first met
16 somewhere in Ilidza when he was one of the police chiefs. I never knew
17 him before the war.
18 State security on the one hand and public security on the other
19 are two different organisations, two different units. I had no knowledge
20 suggesting what you're talking about.
21 Q. You must remember who Tomo Kovac was. He was eventually your
22 minister of interior, wasn't he?
23 A. Yes. That was the -- just before the end of the war. I'm not
24 quite sure about the timing, but, yes, he was the interior minister of
25 Republika Srpska at some point.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Kovac gave evidence before another Chamber of this
2 Tribunal in the case against Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin, and
3 that's at T27121 and 27130 in the transcript of evidence in that case.
4 And his evidence was that on 5 March 1992 in Ilidza, his forces blocked
5 the republic staff of the Territorial Defence depot in that area, took
6 the depot and distributed the 5- to 10.000 pieces of weapons inside.
7 If you were so well informed at this time when you remained in
8 Sarajevo of events in the city, how is it that you claim to have no
9 knowledge of this significant incident?
10 A. I really had no such knowledge. I know Mr. Kovac well. We're
11 talking about Ilidza territory here. In those days, the place must have
12 been very difficult to reach. When we left our work in those days, we'd
13 normally go straight home. It was difficult to organise a meeting in
14 Ilidza in those days, and I certainly know nothing suggesting that Kovac
15 indeed ever organised anything like that.
16 Q. Well, you must know who Momcilo Mandic was.
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And what was his position within the Ministry of the Interior up
19 until the 31st of March, 1992?
20 A. I think he was assistant minister for crime.
21 Q. And what kind of contact have you had -- or did you have with
22 Momcilo Mandic at that time and over the years?
23 A. None.
24 Q. Now, Momcilo Mandic -- pardon me. So Momcilo Mandic was not
25 involved in the spontaneous meetings you've been discussing?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Who was?
3 A. For the most part those of us who worked in state security. Do
4 you want the names of the people I was working with at the time?
5 Q. Well, was Mr. Vlaski involved?
6 A. We would often meet. We used to work in the same building. We'd
7 have coffee together. So that is the kind of meeting that I was talking
8 about. You could say "yes" in answer to that.
9 Q. Mr. Planojevic?
10 A. No, not really. Planojevic was a low-ranking commander at the
11 Centar police station. He's a colleague of mine from Rogatica originally
12 and a friend of mine. We used to meet privately, for private reasons.
13 Q. Have you been following this trial at all, Mr. Puhalac?
14 A. In part.
15 Q. Momcilo Mandic came to give evidence in this trial, and
16 Momcilo Mandic is mentioned in an interview in the magazine
17 "Slobodna Bosna" that we're going to have a look at. That's P1113. And
18 he gave this interview in April 1998.
19 MS. EDGERTON: And in the B/C/S document we can go over to
20 page 4, the bottom of the left-hand corner, and in the English document
21 page 2.
22 Q. Now, under the heading in "Slobodna Bosna," under the heading
23 that reads:
24 "In what ways did you help the Serb side?"
25 Mr. Mandic says:
1 "I gave them or put at their disposal official cars, I recruited
2 and admitted to the police force those Serbs proposed by Radovan Karadzic
3 and Rajko Dukic, but I also gave them some material means and
4 communications equipment. We would even deliver weapons to Serbian
5 police stations, for example, in Pale, Sokolac, etc. We grabbed and
6 shared out as much as was needed."
7 Now even though you said you didn't have any contact with
8 Mr. Mandic, here he is talking about widespread activity of arming, and
9 we've seen that in the previous document, and talking about the delivery
10 of weapons to Serbian police stations, Sokolac, the area where you
11 worked, and you still claim to have no knowledge of Serb police
12 involvement in the arming?
13 A. I do not belong to the Sokolac police station. As I said at the
14 outset, there was a section of the State Security Service from Sarajevo
15 there. When I left Sarajevo, I reported to that section and not to the
16 police station itself. These are two different things. I am not saying
17 that the police were being armed or were not being armed. Either way,
18 I'm not saying anything. But I certainly wasn't involved in anything
19 like that, and I never noticed anything like that going on, particularly
20 not in relation to Mr. Mandic whom I would meet in Sarajevo. I knew what
21 his official capacity was, and we go way back before the war because we
22 used to go to the same school and we used to work for the same
24 I was not a member of the police, not for a single day. I left
25 the old state security. That's the way we called it. And then there was
1 the public security sector or department. When the Serbian national
2 security was set up, I became a member, but again that is a different
3 department which is separate from the police.
4 Q. Another thing, something I noticed you didn't mention in your
5 statement to Dr. Karadzic, was the barracks [sic] that were erected
6 throughout Sarajevo on the 1st and 2nd of March, 1992, but as an SDB
7 employee at the time, I would have thought you had information about the
8 situation. So perhaps you can confirm that both reserve and active
9 policemen were involved in the erection of the barricades. That's the
10 case, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And in fact --
13 JUDGE KWON: Line 21, "barracks" should have read "barricades."
14 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. And in fact, active and reserve -- that included active and
16 reserve employees of the Ministry of the Interior of Serb nationality;
18 A. I -- I can't really say for certain. I can't remember a single
19 active-duty police officer, Serb or Muslim, but there were barricades all
20 over the place. There were a lot of police milling about. I didn't know
21 each and every one of them, but I believe that police were involved in
22 setting up barricades on both sides of the conflict.
23 Q. All right.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Let's have a look at 65 ter 10778. It's a
25 document dated 13 March 1992, and it's from the undersecretary of the
1 SDB, the security forces, forwarding a list of employees of the MUP who
2 took part in the activities relating to the setting of the barricades.
3 Now, can we go over to page 2 in -- pardon me, can we go over to
4 the last page of the document in both languages.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Ms. Edgerton, it's a one-page document.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for just one second.
7 [Prosecution and Case Manager confer]
8 MS. EDGERTON: The one I've got has several pages so if you can
9 just indulge me a moment to check, and if we can't fix it quickly, I'll
10 move on.
11 Mr. Reid should be able to fix something and I'll come back to
13 Q. The other thing that you didn't mention in your statement,
14 Mr. Puhalac, is that the day before you left Sarajevo, Mr. Mandic sent a
15 dispatch announcing the establishment of a Serbian Ministry of the
16 Interior on the 31st of March, 1992, and the reference is P1116. He
17 wrote to all forces on this -- on the day this law comes into force, the
18 security services centres and public security stations of the
19 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of the Interior,
20 are abolished and cease to function, and their authority, and he
21 continues, is taken over by the organisational units of the MUP of the
22 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Now, you didn't mention that in your statement, but that's
24 actually why you left Sarajevo, isn't it, Mr. Puhalac?
25 A. There were negotiations to divide the MUP at the top of the
1 police cadres both on the Serb and Muslim side, and among others, this
2 was confirmed by Delimustafic during his trial. I could follow this
3 during -- in the media. So there were negotiations to divide the MUP for
4 the reasons that I mention in my statement and due to the events and
5 developments. I do not know specifically of this document. I left for
6 security reasons. I wanted to make sure that my family was safe, but as
7 you can see from my statement, you can see that later on I did join the
8 public security service, Serbian, later on, and I do know that there were
9 negotiations to divide up the SUP.
10 Q. You mean to say that -- well, even though you talk about
11 negotiations, you have no knowledge of the establishment of the Serbian
12 MUP on the 31st of March, 1992?
13 A. I did not take part in the negotiations myself, but I do know
14 that there was talk about it and that there were these announcements that
15 you mentioned.
16 Q. So now you are conceding that you actually were informed that the
17 Serbian MUP was established the day before you left Sarajevo; correct?
18 A. No, I was not informed, but as soon as I left Sarajevo, I learned
19 about this dispatch.
20 MS. EDGERTON: I wonder if we can go back to 65 ter number 10778,
22 Q. And this is the document dated 13 March 1992, and I showed this
23 to you because you said you couldn't remember a single active-duty police
24 officer, Serb or Muslim, involved in the barricades.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Now, if we can go over to the very last page of
1 this document.
2 Q. You see that it reads:
3 "In the Crisis Staff of the SDS, among others, the following
4 persons were engaged: Momcilo Mandic, Mico Stanisic, Dragan Kijac,
5 Dragan Devedlaka, and Cedo Kljajic."
6 And you said earlier that Dragan Kijac was actually your superior
7 for a brief period of time. So here's your superior described by the
8 vice secretary for the SDB, the vice secretary for your services, as a
9 member of the Crisis Staff of the SDS being involved in or being engaged
10 in the barricades and you didn't know anything about it?
11 A. This document was produced at the time when Dragan Kijac was not
12 my boss. Dragan Kijac became my boss only during the war.
13 Q. Five high-ranking members of the Ministry of the Interior, all
14 Serb officials, one of them eventually your boss, and you maintain that
15 you had no knowledge of Serbian police officials involved in the
17 A. I know all these men, and it is true that they were high-ranking
18 members of the MUP, but I'm telling you Dragan Kijac was not my boss at
19 this time. We were even employees of two different organisational units.
20 I was with the Sarajevo centre, whereas Dragan Kijac was with the
21 Ministry of the Interior administration and the public state security
23 Now, I'm not claiming that I didn't know what was going on in
24 Sarajevo, but I really had no -- nothing to do with the setting up of
25 barricades in Sarajevo, nor am I aware that any of these men of the five
1 men mentioned here participated in it, but I'm not challenging it. There
2 are -- I even attended some meetings where there was talk about this, but
3 I really don't know anything about it. I was not a high-ranking member
4 of the State Security Service at the time nor a high official to be able
5 to be privy to these conversations.
6 Q. In fact, you weren't privy, you weren't privy to any inside
7 information that you've discussed with us in your statement, were you,
8 Mr. Puhalac, not of activities of the Serb faction or the Muslim? If
9 we're to believe what you just said, that you were not high-ranking
10 member of the State Security Services nor a high official. This is all
11 second-hand information, isn't it?
12 A. If you mean the information that I provided in the statement, a
13 lot of that has to do with events that I took part in, that I saw myself
14 and experienced. As for the setting up of barricades, and that is what
15 your question is about, I did not take part in that, and I did not speak
16 either about the setting up of Muslim or Serb barricades. But I do know
17 that I did see people and that I had difficulties because of them, but I
18 really didn't know anything about how they were being set up, nor did I
19 talk about that in my statement.
20 MS. EDGERTON: I have nothing further, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Just -- can we collapse the English and zoom in on
22 the signature part.
23 Could you help us who wrote this?
24 Let's zoom in. The stamp. Further, further.
25 Can you read it, Mr. Puhalac?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that a question for me?
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I think it's Branko something.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe this is Branko Kvesic,
4 the undersecretary for the State Security Service. It is not quite
5 legible, but because I see that it says there "undersecretary for the
6 SDB," I know that Branko Kvesic was the undersecretary at the time.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have any
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a few questions,
10 Your Excellency.
11 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Puhalac, who is Mr. Kvesic, and when did
13 he -- when did he join this service and when did he become its head?
14 A. Branko Kvesic was a totally anonymous person within our circles
15 of the SDB in Sarajevo. Now he came to head the service after the
16 elections of 1990. He was -- he's a Croat, and all I know about him is
17 that he is from Western Herzegovina, and that at the very start of the
18 war he himself -- and I can't tell you exactly at what time -- precise
19 time period this was, but he and Croat cadres left the MUP together with
20 his colleagues from Western Herzegovina. They left the MUP of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina and went to Herzegovina.
22 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us something about his professionalism
23 and competence and his non-biased position vis-a-vis political parties?
24 A. Well, as far as I know, and we exchanged information of this
25 nature, this was a political appointee. I believe that he was not an
1 experienced state security official or operative, that he was appointed
2 via party channels and that is how he behaved.
3 Q. Thank you. Was he supposed to have a Serb -- a Serbian associate
4 in this distribution of different posts --
5 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. -- and offices?
8 A. In the distribution of the posts his deputy was supposed to be a
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Distribution of posts was not anything touched on
12 in the cross-examination.
13 JUDGE KWON: No.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But we are talking about this
15 document and the person who produced this document. Let us see whether
16 the contents of this document are in fact reliable.
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Very well. Let us see. Please
18 continue, Mr. Karadzic, but do not put the question in a leading way.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you tell us what the ethnic distribution of those posts,
21 the managing posts, was?
22 A. The deputy undersecretary for state security, in other words,
23 Branko Kvesic's deputy, was supposed to be a Serb according to this
24 distribution. However, this person was never appointed -- or, rather,
25 just before the war, briefly Nedjo Vlaski was appointed to this post, but
1 then, very soon, this post was eliminated because it was claimed that it
2 wasn't necessary. At the State Security Service --
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
4 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, Your Honours, but if it's about the
5 document, then how about a question about the document which is a list of
6 employees of the SRBH MUP who took part in the activities relating to the
7 setting up of the barricades.
8 JUDGE KWON: This document was not tendered, was it?
9 MS. EDGERTON: No.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. I will
11 leave this topic then.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I just wanted to ask you one more thing. After this report, was
14 a criminal report filed against these men?
15 A. I don't think so.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, on page 17, you were asked about how it was
17 possible that you didn't know anything about the arming and so on. Could
18 you please tell the Trial Chamber where you worked and where you were
19 appointed, in what department, before the war? How did your career
21 A. Before the war I worked in several departments of the state
22 security department. Just before the war, a few months before the war, I
23 was appointed to the bureau for drug fighting, so I was moved from the
24 SDB without any official decision or any explanation. Before that, I
25 worked in a number of departments, operative department, the operative
1 technology and so on.
2 Q. Thank you. Why were you moved to the drug fighting unit?
3 A. I assume that was because the department where I had been until
4 then knew people were being appointed, and they were simply removing the
5 earlier professional -- professionals who worked there and appointing new
6 people. In this way, we professionals were discredited, and we were
7 people who still harboured the illusion that things would remain the way
8 they had been before.
9 Q. Thank you. How did this reflect on your knowledge about what you
10 were asked, namely, the arming of Serbs?
11 A. Well, there was a lot of work -- I had a lot of work in the
12 drug-fighting department. Also, I was removed from sources and knowledge
13 that I could access at the time.
14 Q. Thank you. And the last question, Mr. Puhalac. You mentioned
15 some new people coming to the department, party-appointed people. Now,
16 did the Serbian Democratic Party appoint anyone to the high positions in
17 the MUP or the SDB, anyone who was not an experienced MUP or SDB
19 A. I don't know of one single instance, but also I did not have any
20 ties with the SDS headquarters at the time, but all the men who remained
21 on the Serb side, they were people who had worked there before and these
22 were professionals.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Puhalac. I have no
24 further questions.
25 JUDGE KWON: Very well, Mr. Karadzic.
1 Mr. Puhalac, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of the
2 Chamber, I thank you for your coming to The Hague. Now you are free to
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE KWON: We'll hear the next witness's evidence after the
6 break, but before we adjourn for a break, I'd like to deal with a couple
7 of matters.
8 First, the Chamber refers to the submission of Mr. Robinson on
9 the morning of Friday last week, where he indicated that he was not
10 tendering a number of documents through Witness Desimir Sarenac, as he
11 was intending to file a bar table motion at the end of his testimony to
12 admit these documents. When questioned by the Chamber about why he
13 didn't lead this material live with the witness during his direct
14 examination, Mr. Robinson indicated that it would have taken an
15 inordinate amount of time. The Chamber reiterates that it would be a
16 matter for the Defence what strategy it would adopt, what documents it
17 would consider significant to its case, it could present through a
19 Mr. Robinson indicated that if the documents had to be led one by
20 one, the Defence should be granted an additional four hours. When the
21 Chamber noted that the 300 hours granted to the accused was more than
22 sufficient, Mr. Robinson then indicated they would be filing a bar table
24 This is not an appropriate approach. There are some items that
25 the Chamber would like to note in that regard.
1 Number 1, the Chamber has consistently held that the most
2 appropriate method for the admission of a document is through a witness
3 who can speak to it and answer questions in relation thereto and that
4 admission from the bar table is an exceptional measure. In these
5 circumstances where the accused has the witness on the stand who can
6 comment on the content of documents and the accused does not want to
7 spend his time going through the documents, the bar table motion should
8 not be the fall-back option. This cannot be deemed a sparing or limited
9 use of the bar table mechanism.
10 Number 2, the Chamber notes that when granting 300 hours for his
11 Defence case, it expected that many of the witnesses would be partial
12 Rule 92 ter witnesses and some would be called viva voce. The Chamber
13 has now observed that most of the Defence witnesses called have been
14 virtually complete Rule 92 ter witnesses for whom the accused has used
15 almost no time on direct examination. Under these circumstances, the
16 Chamber is of the view that the 300 hours granted is actually much more
17 than the number of hours required by the accused to present his case, and
18 if the Defence believes certain documents are of significance, they
19 should ensure they are probably contextualised and put directly to a
20 witness who can comment on its contents and cannot claim that more time
21 is required for this purpose.
22 Number 3, the Chamber further notes that it instructed the
23 accused on the 21st of February, 2013, that he should "focus and tender
24 only those exhibits which are really of significance to the case against
25 him and avoid tendering peripheral documents through 92 ter statements
1 which he then ultimately decides not to tender or even use with the
2 witness." The Defence should keep this in mind in preparing future
3 92 ter statements and notifications and should avoid tendering documents
4 which clearly do not form an indispensable and inseparable part of the
5 witness's evidence and statement. The accused sought to tender
6 230 associated exhibits with Desimir Sarenac. When this Chamber said
7 this was an inappropriate use of 92 ter and ordered that he be led
8 viva voce, the accused only used two documents in his direct examination,
9 which suggests that most of the documents did not form an indispensable
10 and inseparable part of the witness's evidence. The accused then
11 declined to put these documents to the witness directly and then flagged
12 the possibility of tendering these documents from the bar table. This
13 cannot be an acceptable approach to tendering evidence in the
15 Next, the Chamber will issue two oral rulings on Prosecution's
16 motion with respect to Rule 92 ter statements of Defence witnesses.
17 First I turn to the "Prosecution Motion to Exclude in Part the
18 Evidence of Witness Radenko Gengo," filed on the 5th of March, 2013, in
19 which the Prosecution seeks the exclusion of paragraphs 5 to 8 of the
20 proposed Rule 92 ter statement for Radenko Gengo. The Prosecution argues
21 that they are irrelevant to the charges in the indictment as they pertain
22 to actions taken by Croatian forces against the JNA. The accused opposes
23 the Gengo motion, arguing that similar evidence has been admitted through
24 Prosecution witnesses.
25 Having reviewed Gengo's proposed statement as well as the
1 parties' submissions, the Chamber is of the view that paragraphs 5 to 8
2 are relevant as background information to the contents in the indictment.
3 The Chamber refers to its "Decision on Prosecution's Motion for Admission
4 of Evidence of KDZ172, or Milan Babic, Pursuant to Rule 92 quater" issued
5 on the 13th of April, 2010, in which the Chamber had identified in detail
6 which Croatia-related evidence it deemed relevant or irrelevant for the
7 purpose of this case, and in particular to paragraph 18 and footnote 31
8 therein. Accordingly, the Gengo motion is denied.
9 I now turn to the "Prosecution's Motion to Exclude in Part
10 Evidence of Witness Jovan Nikolic," filed on the 5th of March, 2013, in
11 which the Prosecution requests that paragraphs 4 in part and 6 to 15 be
12 excluded from Nikolic's proposed Rule 92 ter statement. The Prosecution
13 argues that this pre-indictment information is not relevant to the
14 charges in the indictment. The accused opposes the Nikolic motion,
15 arguing that this information is relevant to understanding the mens rea
16 of those individuals who may have committed crimes in the Bratunac area.
17 Having reviewed Nikolic's proposed statement as well as the
18 parties' submissions, the Chamber is of the view that paragraph 4 from
19 the third sentence onwards, as well as paragraphs 6 to 15, should be
20 excluded from the statement as they pertain to a time period far removed
21 from the period of the indictment and have no bearing on the crimes
22 charged against the accused. The Chamber thus grants the Nikolic motion
23 and instructs the accused to upload a redacted version of Nikolic's
24 proposed Rule 92 ter statement onto e-court prior to the start of his
1 The Chamber will take a break for half an hour and resume at
3 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
7 Mr. Avlijas, do you hear me in a language you understand?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
9 JUDGE KWON: Would you make the solemn declaration, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Avlijas. Be seated and make yourself
14 WITNESS: SLOBODAN AVLIJAS
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Avlijas, I
17 must draw your attention to a certain Rule that we have here at the
18 Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
19 Under this Rule, Mr. Avlijas, you may object to answering any question
20 from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor, or even from the Judges if you believe
21 that your answer might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this
22 context, "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an
23 admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might
24 provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
25 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you and as a
1 consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
2 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question, but in
3 that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled
4 under such circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid
5 against you for any offence save and except the offence of giving false
7 Do you understand what I have just told you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
11 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Avlijas.
13 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
14 Q. I have to ask you one thing. We have to speak slowly and make a
15 pause between my questions and your answers. You can follow on the
16 screen. When the LiveNote stops, that means we're ready to proceed.
17 First of all, I would like to thank you. You are the witness
18 number 100 in my case.
19 A. No less than I would expect.
20 Q. Did you make a statement to my Defence team, sir?
21 A. Yes. I made two statements to your team. Was it in 1997, and
22 the last one was last year. I made a statement to Mr. Marko.
23 Q. Thank you very much. I'm waiting for the interpretation. I'd
24 like you to do the same thing, please. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D7199 in e-court, please. Thank
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Do you see on the screen the statement that you made, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You're not making a pause, are you?
6 A. Yes, yes, I see it. I see the statement. I agree.
7 Q. Thank you. But what I'm saying is wait up, please.
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Did you read and sign this statement, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please go to the last page
13 of the statement so the witness can see his signature.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Is that your signature, sir?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Thank you. Is this statement a faithful reflection of what you
18 told the Defence team at the time, sir?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Thank you. Were I to ask you the same questions today that you
21 were asked at the time, would your answers in essence still be the same,
23 A. I have nothing to add or indeed to take away from my statement.
24 I could make further comments, but in essence, yes, my answers would be
25 the same.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender the
3 statement and the related documents under 92 ter, and then I will have
4 some live questioning to conduct.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We would ask that four
6 documents be admitted as associated exhibits. They're the first four in
7 our list, and we would ask that they be added to our 65 ter list as they
8 were not included in our exhibit list due to inadvertence.
9 JUDGE KWON: Any objections, Mr. Tieger?
10 MR. TIEGER: With the single caveat that we're looking into a
11 translation issue with respect to one document, but that doesn't affect
12 the issue here about associated exhibit or not, so no objection in that
14 JUDGE KWON: And you'll raise the translation issue in your
16 MR. TIEGER: Or as we get it resolved with -- in due course with
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll admit them all. Shall we give the
19 numbers for them.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. 92 ter statement 1D7199 will
21 be Exhibit D3105, and the four documents will be Exhibits D3106 through
22 to Exhibit D3109 respectively.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will read a short
25 summary of Mr. Slobodan Avlijas's statement in English.
1 [In English] Mr. Slobodan Avlijas was born on 18th of April,
2 1945, in the village of Rudnik, Ilidza municipality.
3 Slobodan Avlijas held several positions within the Ministry of
4 Justice. He officially became a member of the Commission for the
5 Exchange of Prisoners of War in November 1993, serving in an advisory
6 capacity prior to this. In November 1993, he became assistant minister
7 for justice and administration.
8 The initial establishment of the Ministry of Justice in the new
9 Government of Republika Srpska was difficult due to the lack of
10 organisation and resources. The primary task of Slobodan Avlijas and his
11 colleagues based at the Kula KP Dom was to establish a functioning
12 judicial system. All correctional institutions during this period
13 struggled because of the lack of funds and organisational and security
15 In mid-July 1992, Slobodan Avlijas travelled with his colleagues
16 to Vogosca and Ilijas, neighbouring municipalities in Sarajevo, with the
17 task of setting up a detention ward for the purposes of a lower court.
18 Slobodan Avlijas informed authorities in both areas that the treatment of
19 prisoners of war needed to be lawful and in accordance with international
20 humanitarian law, pursuant to the instructions issued to the effect -- to
21 that effect by President Karadzic. These instructions established that
22 the corps commanders were responsible for implementing these requirements
23 in every VRS corps.
24 Conditions in the Kula KP Dom were acceptable. Prisoners of war
25 were provided with food and medical services and were protected from
1 mistreatment or physical abuse. On some occasions paramilitaries in the
2 area attempted to harm prisoners, but all attempts were made to protect
4 As a member of the Commission for Exchange, Slobodan Avlijas
5 participated in negotiations with authorities of Herceg-Bosna which fell
6 through because the members of the Croatian commission were only
7 interested in exchanging five persons out of the group. Later, he was
8 sent as a liaison officer to the French embassy and their military
9 attache in connections with another proposed simultaneous exchange.
10 Slobodan Avlijas also initiated meetings with authorities in
11 Prijedor with regards the Trnopolje collection centre, who informed him
12 that contrary to the media reports at that time, the collection centre
13 had ceased operating.
14 In October 1992, in response to reports that the situation in the
15 prison -- prisons was critical, Slobodan Avlijas was assigned by the
16 government to travel personally to the relevant areas and conduct
17 interviews. In Vlasenica, Slobodan Avlijas saw directly that there were
18 no prisons or prisoners. And in Prijedor and Banja Luka, he was informed
19 that all prisoners had been transferred out of the territory of those
20 municipalities. In Zvornik, there were approximately 60 prisoners of war
21 whose names Avlijas noted. In Brcko, Mr. Avlijas requested a neutral
22 international mediator to determine the identities of individuals
23 deceased in the recent street violence. The situation in Hadzici was
24 chaotic, and Mr. Avlijas took measures to ensure prisoners of war in the
25 area were not made an object of reprisal by local Serbs whose families
1 were tortured in the neighbouring Tarcin silo camp run by Muslims. In
2 Doboj, Mr. Avlijas facilitated full access to the prison for the ICRC
4 Slobodan Avlijas was unable to visit prisons in Sanski Most and
5 Foca at this time because of the war. He had no access to Foca until
6 December 1992. Communication was still severely limited, and it was
7 clear that the War Presidency had total authority over the Foca KP Dom.
8 It was not uncommon for local Crisis Staffs and War Presidencies
9 to ignore the decisions of the Municipal Assemblies and the instructions
10 from the Presidency regarding prisoners of war. Each Crisis Staff also
11 formed their own commissions for exchange which at times operated
12 independent of the central commission. Because of the wartime situation,
13 Radovan Karadzic was objectively unable to control the activities of the
14 Crisis Staffs on the ground. President Karadzic attempted whenever
15 possible to unconditionally release civilians, ensure humane treatment
16 and investigate any allegation of abuse, always in accordance with
17 international law. The government took measures to prevent unlawful and
18 private prisoner exchanges. It actively sought to prevent criminal
19 activities committed by individuals and demanded proceedings be
20 instigated against such persons.
21 MR KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now I would like to ask you about your visit to Prijedor with
23 Mr. Beat and Cedo Aleksic. What did you tell us about Trnopolje? Who
24 set it up, and who was accommodated there?
25 A. I headed for Prijedor following instructions by
1 Mr. Momcilo Mandic. He told me that I had to submit a detailed report to
2 both him and the government on the situation in Prijedor, specifically in
3 relation to Trnopolje which had been dismantled already. We had been
4 informed about that, mainly that the collection centre had been
5 dismantled. That was at your intervention as the minister suggested,
6 because you and Mr. Kalinic were in Geneva at a meeting at the time. At
7 that meeting the president of the International Red Cross showed you
8 evidence about the existence of camps and also about Trnopolje resuming
9 operation. So I travelled to Prijedor. This was a delicate matter, and
10 I refused to travel with no ICRC representatives present. The ICRC HQ
11 was in Banja Luka and the representative, the person acting on behalf of
12 that office was Mr. Beat, if I'm not mistaken.
13 I got hold of Dr. Cedo Aleksic, who was assistant minister for
14 health, so I asked him to come with me to that meeting. This was, as I
15 said, a serious matter. We travelled to Prijedor and met with the local
16 leaders, Dr. Kovacevic, Dr. Stankic, Simo Drljaca, and the president of
17 the municipal conference of the Red Cross or whatever it was called,
18 Mr. Srdja Srdic. We were told that the reactivation of the Trnopolje
19 collection centre occurred because of some irresponsible individuals in
20 Prijedor who had made Muslims organise themselves and go back to
21 Trnopolje, upon which they would be transferred to countries in the West.
22 When I arrived there, Trnopolje was no longer operating, and
23 people had dispersed already. I remember that Mr. Beat, the
24 representative of the ICRC office in Banja Luka, told the political
25 leaders of Prijedor municipality in no uncertain terms that Trnopolje and
1 other camps had to cease to exist in Prijedor territory. This was an
2 unequivocal order from President Karadzic. I have to say that
3 Srdja Srdic, a Red Cross representative, refused to obey that. He said
4 that he was a senator in Prijedor, a deputy of the people, but his
5 opinion was not taken on board, and the conclusion was what it was.
6 The media were told about this, and I think that the media
7 actually carried the reports from the meeting in Prijedor.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D40701, please. Thank you.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Did you have any information suggesting whether the ICRC actually
12 allowed for these evacuations?
13 A. I had nothing in writing suggesting that. Nonetheless, at the
14 meeting, the working methodology was discussed. The Red Cross took in
15 people who reported to them and said they wanted to go to other countries
16 in the West, and Srdja Srdic tried to organise this for them.
17 Q. Thank you very much. This is a Red Cross document dated the
18 2nd of October, 1992. It talks about the evacuation of 1.560 persons
19 from Trnopolje. I will read to you something that it states in
20 paragraph 2. Paragraph 2:
21 "[In English] The people concerned were civilian victims of the
22 ongoing hostilities in Northern Bosnia, and had all been visited and
23 provided with assistance by ICRC delegates since the ICRC was first able
24 to enter the camp on 10th of August. Each of them was given the
25 opportunity to confirm that he or she did in fact wish to be evacuated."
1 [Interpretation] How does this tally with what you found out
2 about this?
3 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me. Excuse me.
4 JUDGE KWON: Before you answer, Mr. Avlijas. Yes, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER: We go through this with every witness, so I'm going
6 to -- I rise immediately, although if there's a redirect, I have -- I'm
7 not confident it will be heeded, but this is another example of leading a
8 witness through a document rather than asking the witness for
9 information, and we -- this is persistent, and at this point
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, as Mr. Tieger indicates, you could
12 easily put the question to the witness without having to rely on this
13 document first.
14 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, excuse me. I thought that
15 Dr. Karadzic actually had done that when he asked the question at
16 line 13:
17 "Did you have any information suggesting whether the ICRC
18 actually allowed for these evacuations?"
19 And then the witness answered that people had said that they
20 wanted to go to other countries. And then having received that answer,
21 Dr. Karadzic put the document to the witness. So it seemed to me that he
22 was proceeding in accordance with the manner in which the Chamber had
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: I will withdraw it. I think the problem has been
1 persistent, but in this case, I take Mr. Robinson's point and withdraw
2 the objection.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I agree. Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
4 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Avlijas, my question: What is the relation between the text
8 here and what you were actually told?
9 A. It's the same. It's just retold here. So information is
10 confirmed that the ICRC and the local RC made it possible for people to
11 fulfil their desired to leave for other countries in the West.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this,
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3110, Your Honours.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Avlijas, in your statement you talk about the establishment
19 of a judicial system and state organisation at my instructions. Do you
20 remember any of these specific instructions that I issued about that at
21 the time, or do you know pursuant to which documents that was done? When
22 you say "Mr. Karadzic's instructions," what exactly do you have in mind?
23 A. When the judicial system was first being set up, I was one of the
24 team of people who were busy doing that, setting up courts and the like.
25 The principle governing the application of the relevant laws was based on
1 the laws of the formal Bosnia-Herzegovina which did not run counter to
2 the new laws at the time. Everybody was free to make accommodations for
3 experts to be appointed to these bodies, and this was done in
4 co-operation with the districts and then judges were appointed at each of
5 the levels - the Basic Court, the District Court, and then the Higher
7 At the outset there was a very good example. In Banja Luka,
8 judges who were judges before the war belonging to other ethnic groups,
9 Bosniaks and Croats, were also appointed. I don't know what became of it
10 later on. That was in Banja Luka and Bijeljina.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to apologise to the
12 Prosecutor at this point, because there's something that we failed to
13 notify them about.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You said that my instructions were followed, and both the
16 Presidency and I were adamant that a judicial system should be set up.
17 So my question is: Did you have any particular documents in mind when
18 you talked about that? What exactly did you know about our positions on
19 those issues?
20 A. All of the positions were about obeying the law and the
21 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this was to apply throughout the
22 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia formally speaking,
23 because there were laws applying throughout the former country, such as
24 the ZKP, and all of those laws and the constitution had to be complied
25 with and obeyed.
1 Q. So what were the instructions and the guidelines you actually
2 received about criminal investigations and the way you treated prisoners
3 and potential criminals?
4 A. The instructions were to do nothing that wasn't in keeping with
5 the law, that there was some meetings with you and some people from the
6 Assembly. I remember a specific meeting in Bijeljina, and everybody was
7 adamant that we had to apply the law and that everything we did had to be
8 in compliance with the law. So the citizens could feel and could see for
9 themselves that a rule of law was enforced and that it was actually fully
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter 5990. Again, my apologies
13 to the OTP. Just to make sure what the witness really knows about the
14 substance of this document. Could we also have the English version,
15 please. Thank you.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you remember receiving guidelines of this nature? These are
18 of the 14th of July, 1992.
19 A. Well, for the most part guidelines such as these were received by
20 the minister of justice, and he was aware of them, and then later on he
21 would actually brief us, the employees of the Ministry of Justice,
22 depending on which department we were in.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have page 5 in Serbian.
25 That's chapter 6. In English that will be page 4.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Here we see it reads "Tasks in the field of jurisdiction and
3 administration." So please let's take a look at paragraph 13.
4 Do you recall whether this was something that was presented to
5 you and that you were -- that was set as a task?
6 A. Well, for the most part, judicial organs depending on the
7 functions that they performed had to establish contact with the army and
8 other individuals or persons who were charged with -- who were competent,
9 who had authority over the prisoners or prisoners of war. And everyone
10 in their own department would have to act, and this involved the
11 collection of evidence so that certain people who were prisoners of war
12 who were held captive were to be prosecuted.
13 Q. When you say "persons," and here it says "perpetrators and
14 persons," did that -- or, rather, what kind of -- how important was the
15 ethnic background in terms of the actions taken by the judicial organs?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the
17 microphone and repeat his answer.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Avlijas, could you come closer to the microphone
19 and speak a bit more slowly. Yes. Could you repeat your answer.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The task of the state organs,
21 judicial organs, and the organs of the interior was the same as it had
22 been before the war. In other words, crime fighting, crime prevention.
23 As you know, at the beginning of the war there was a lot of fighting.
24 There were murders. There were a lot of detained persons because of
25 murders they had committed. There were also robberies and so on.
1 Q. About the ethnic background of perpetrators or victims, what was
2 the position on that?
3 A. Well, the position was the same. A perpetrator of a crime,
4 whether -- so a perpetrator of a crime does not have any colour or race
5 or any ethnic background. For a really professional person, it is
6 totally irrelevant.
7 Q. Thank you. Please continue speaking slowly if you may. We would
8 appreciate that.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, can we see the next page in
10 Serbian. It should be 14, although erroneously it says 13, but in
11 English it will be on the same page. That's paragraph 14.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Would you take a look at this paragraph that relates to your
14 ministry and tell us whether -- whether the guidelines were complied
16 A. Yes. Right after these guidelines were received, a commission
17 for the investigation of war crimes that was attached to the government
18 was established, and the way it worked -- and at the very beginning there
19 was another commission, a Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners of War
20 which worked together with other state organs, and there were counts --
21 they were counselled in terms of how to treat prisoners of war. They
22 were instructed. And the very fact that I was engaged on several of the
23 cases, I was involved in the organisation of the exchange of prisoners of
24 war, and that very fact shows how involved the judiciary was with these
1 There was the case of an exchange with prisoners of war, Croats,
2 and another case where Dr. Kushner was an intermediary, and in
3 April 1993, at one point I was appointed as a member of the central
4 Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners of War. Now, I was born in 1945
5 and not in '41. It doesn't make any sense. But what this shows is that
6 the judicial organs and the judiciary and the MUP assisted in their --
7 this commission and its work, because in Banja Luka, while I worked,
8 there was a delegated member of the Ministry of the Interior who was in
9 charge of dealing with these matters.
10 Q. Thank you. I did say 1945. The problem is in the translation.
11 Now, could you tell us about this paragraph? What did it have to
12 do with your inspections that you conducted on the ground?
13 A. Well, it related to that, because whenever I went out in the
14 field pursuant to orders of the Ministry of Justice, probably the
15 information or reports that I sent back were not at somebody's -- were
16 not viewed positively by some people because I was -- I was -- I adhered
17 strictly to legal precepts, and I felt that such a report could only
18 improve the situation because there was -- there were these stories going
19 around in the media about all these things happening, and the information
20 that I provided about the situation in the camps, one was in
21 Banja Luka -- the second was in Banja Luka and the third in Herzegovina,
22 they were very well grounded. There was a lot of evidence and proof.
23 And I also submitted some proposals because I was not authorised to issue
24 an order. I could only state what the situation was and forward this to
25 the minister who would then forward it to the government. The government
1 would then adopt a position and inform you on it.
2 Q. Thank you. Why did people fear you whenever you showed up in the
4 A. Well, because I was very honest. I would always say what I
5 thought. When I saw -- when I came to some of these camps and saw what a
6 horrible situation was there and that people were held in bunkers and so
7 on, I asked these people, "What do you think? Don't you think someone
8 will be held accountable for this? Do you think this will go on for a
9 hundred years? There will be people talking and writing about you've
10 been doing here." And I sent an information to the president of the
11 court, the supreme court and the prosecutor, and we informed them of your
12 order or instructions 9 which was published in the Official Gazette
13 number 9 in 1992, where it was clearly stated how prisoners of war were
14 to be treated and who was responsible for prisoners of war and their
16 Whenever I had the opportunity and the occasion to do these
17 inspections on the ground, I would advise them of the International Law
18 of War and international regulations that had to be complied with. I
19 knew of all of these conventions. I knew how much air or how much food
20 these people who were held as prisoners of war needed according to these
21 international norms, so I would always tell them whenever I visited these
22 people on site, I would advise them thereof.
23 Now, as for your guidelines, they stated that it was important to
24 determine exactly who it was who was held as prisoner of war and that
25 these people should be categorised because this was a burden to every
1 society. You had to care for their clothing, for their food and so on,
2 and this in itself --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the last portion of
4 his answer.
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. The interpreters were not able to
6 hear the last portion of your answer, Mr. Avlijas.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Could you repeat it.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last thing I mentioned had to
10 do with one -- had to do with one of the paragraphs in your guidelines
11 where I said that they had to take care of all the prisoners of war, that
12 triage had to be conducted so that we knew exactly who belonged to what
13 category, who -- what category of imprisoned or detained persons there
14 are. And I especially pointed out that it was very bad for our image if
15 we had a lot of prisoners of war and also that it was a very sizable
16 expense that society had to incur for taking care of these people and for
17 these detention centres and keeping them as they should be.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. Now, what was the position of the central
20 authorities, the government and the Presidency, vis-a-vis your work on
21 the ground?
22 A. I can say when I prepared these reports that I was a bit fearful,
23 because I was very objective. There were even -- there were even
24 suggestions by some of my associates that I was very brave, but I have to
25 say that I have never received any complaints about my reports from
1 anyone, the government, the military authorities, or the Presidency, and
2 I'm proud of it because the information that I had, the raw materials
3 that I provided, they would actually be accepted by all these three
4 levels without any comments.
5 Q. Thank you. And the last question: Although you were not
6 authorised to issue orders, did the situation improve on the ground --
7 or, rather, what was the position of these organs in the field before --
8 even before they would receive some order from the ministry?
9 A. Well, the information certainly improved, and I have to mention
10 the case of Bileca where people really took it seriously, and persons who
11 had been isolated before that, and I wouldn't want to go into a
12 discussion about terminology, what a detained person actually means, but
13 I can give an example, a good example of how local authorities took steps
14 and they make -- made a good assessment of how to do it in order to
15 protect the unprotected Muslims.
16 There were -- there was -- there were uncontrolled elements of
17 the military and paramilitary groups that all headed in that direction.
18 The president of the municipality at that point and his aides, because in
19 the meantime the mosque had been blown up, collected all the Muslim male
20 population and put them in a student hall where they provided their
21 accommodation, enough air. They were provided with food that was brought
22 from their homes, and then the Presidency did -- made a great effort to
23 ensure that those people were moved to a secure -- to a safe place
24 because there was a huge number of these uncontrolled elements that had
25 come to that area, and it was hard to guarantee their safety.
1 Q. Could you tell us where --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not catch the name.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Montenegro.
4 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your question, Mr. Karadzic.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you tell us where Zelenika is, where these people were
7 moved for safety?
8 A. Zelenika is a small harbour between Herceg Novi and Kotor in
10 Q. Thank you. What was the effect of your inspections conducted
11 in -- of your inspections in Sarajevo municipalities?
12 A. Well, I don't want to go over what I've already said, but when I
13 was ordered to go to Vogosca on the 12th of July, 1992, the president of
14 the corps, Milenko Bjelica, the municipal prosecutor Milorad Panjevic,
15 and representatives of the Ministry of Justice talked about Vogosca.
16 Now, as I've already said, there were people who were kept detained
17 there. They were detained in Svrake and Vogosca, but they were held in
18 an open-air space near a German bunker, and --
19 Q. Could I please ask you -- what we have in the statement is not
20 really necessary to repeat, but what didn't make it into the transcript
21 is that you said that these were prisoners who had been captured during
22 fighting in Semizovac and elsewhere. But could you just tell us what the
23 repercussions were or what the effects were, and what was the situation
24 in Sonja, the Sonja restaurant?
25 A. Well, Sonja was not really a bunker. It was more a headquarters,
1 sort of offices, and I didn't find any detained persons there, but the
2 effect of my -- of our meeting was that a proper and appropriate
3 installation was found. It was a four-storey building. It was light,
4 there was enough light, and this was the building that was used or
5 selected to house these people, the detainees, and this covered the area
6 of three or four municipalities in that region.
7 Now, when I selected this building as an investigating prison,
8 then they asked me when we went and saw this, they asked me, "Is this the
9 kind of building that you would like to use?" And I said, "Yes." And
10 then that's what they did. But the same thing happened in Ilijas where
11 people had been held in some kind of warehouse, but after our
12 intervention and suggestion, these people were moved to and accommodated
13 in an appropriate -- to appropriate facilities which would meet certain
14 international rules and requirements.
15 Now, in Hadzici, there was also the case of individuals who had
16 been returned after an exchange of prisoners fell through. The exchange
17 of prisoners went on late into the night, so for security reasons they --
18 these people could not be taken back to where they had been, so they were
19 taken to a gym in Hadzici.
20 Now, I intervened upon this, saying that the conditions were not
21 appropriate there, but also there was a lot of fear that the local
22 population of Pazarici and Tarcin and Hadzici were held, detained, in the
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter requests that the witness
25 repeat his answer. He's speaking too fast.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Avlijas. Mr. Avlijas, you are speaking too
2 fast, and they were not able to catch up with you, your speed in
4 Could you repeat from the part when you referred to silo?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay. Okay. Well, I've already
6 said a group of prisoners of war of Muslim ethnicity who were held in
7 Kula and -- they were sent to Kobiljaca for an exchange. Now, this
8 exchange fell through because the Muslim side obstructed it.
9 Now, the prisoners, in terms of the locality where they were
10 supposed to be taken back, and that's about 150 kilometres away, were
11 moved to a sports hall in Hadzici where -- from where they had been taken
12 a month earlier from Kula or so. A month or two. I'm not sure.
13 Now, when I went to inspect these facilities and -- and prepare
14 the report, I found these prisoners of war who had not been exchanged,
15 although half had been, and they were housed in very poor conditions.
16 They slept on the ground, on thin mats, gym mats.
17 Now, because this municipality was divided into two parts, the
18 part under Muslim authority and the part under Serbian authority, there
19 was a camp in Tarcin where a lot of Serbs were held prisoner, and I was
20 afraid that there would be a back-lash because of these people, the
21 family members of the people who were held in that camp, the Serbs, that
22 they would retaliate against the people held at the silo. So I
23 intervened, and I effectuated, effected, these people being transferred
24 to better premises, to Kula or some place like that, where they would be
25 properly guarded and secured.
1 Q. In addition to Kula, you also mentioned Planina Kuca, but that
2 did not make it into the transcript.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
4 document, and I have no further questions for this witness at this time.
5 JUDGE KWON: When you put this document, you told us that this
6 document was 14th of July, 1992. How do we know that, Mr. Karadzic?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the Prosecutor marked it in
8 e-court as such, but in the preamble we see that all the dates precede
9 the 14th, or, rather, according to the Official Gazette where they were
10 published, the regulations that this document relies on. But the
11 Prosecutor marked it as a document of the 14th of July.
12 JUDGE KWON: So bear in mind that you are not giving evidence.
13 So date is not clear on its face on this document. If you think the date
14 is important, you need to put that to the witness. That was my point.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't see it here. We probably
16 need the cover page which was not in e-court. At least I couldn't find
17 it. But there probably was a cover page that bore this date.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. So I'll leave it at that and we'll admit
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3111, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Avlijas, as you have noted now, your evidence in
22 chief in this case has been admitted in its most -- in most part in
23 writing in lieu of your oral testimony, and now you'll be cross examined
24 by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
2 Q. Mr. Avlijas, if I could begin, please, by just clarifying one
3 thing you noted at the beginning of your testimony when Mr. Karadzic
4 asked you about statements you had given. I believe you said you'd given
5 two statements, and a date was given in 1997, and then one to Mr. Marko.
6 So I just wanted to clarify exactly how many statements you gave to the
7 Karadzic Defence team and when you gave them.
8 A. The Defence team of Dr. Radovan Karadzic, I only gave one
9 statement to them. But I was also questioned, interviewed by the
10 representatives of The Hague Tribunal at Pale in 1997. So perhaps that's
11 where the confusion is coming from.
12 Q. Thank you, sir. I think that's right, and I think now everyone
13 understands what you're referring to of all the participants who have
14 those documents. Thank you.
15 Mr. Avlijas, I want to also confirm quickly that you have
16 testified previously in different venues. You testified in the case of
17 Stanisic and Zupljanin here in 2010. You testified in the case involving
18 Mr. Mandic before the court in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2007, and you
19 testified in the case involving Mr. Lalovic in 2009. That's correct,
20 isn't it, sir?
21 A. Yes, that's correct, and I say so in my statement.
22 Q. Right.
23 A. Witness statement.
24 Q. And I presume that your position is that you gave truthful
25 testimony in all those cases; correct?
1 A. Absolutely. Maybe I commented a bit more in one or the other,
2 but in essence all my statements are the same.
3 Q. Now -- and I mention that at the outset for a couple of reasons.
4 I am likely to be referring to portions of the information you provided
5 previously, and I mention that now in the same spirit that Mr. Karadzic
6 mentioned a couple of times, that it was not necessary to repeat the
7 information you already provided to this Court in the form of your
8 written statement. So references that I may make to portions of your
9 previous testimony should not be understood as an invitation to repeat
10 that testimony, but I'm simply trying to find the fastest route to
11 getting the maximum information to the Court by pointing you to certain
12 excerpts and having you confirm them. Understood?
13 A. Absolutely.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, your statement mentions that you became a member
15 of the Commission for Exchange in April of 1993, after having been
16 initially asked in 1992 and then deferring for the reasons you describe;
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And I understood from your testimony in the Stanisic and
20 Zupljanin case that during the course of your work on the Commission for
21 Exchange, you worked with Mr. Amor Masovic. And indeed you describe a
22 story to the -- or you described a story to the Stanisic and Zupljanin
23 Chamber about Mr. Masovic risking his life in the course of an attempted
24 exchange and being assisted by a counterpart on the Serbian side, and
25 then indicated that, "According to me, Mr. Masovic is a highly
1 professional official." Correct?
2 A. I wasn't involved in that exchange at the time. This is what I
3 referred to about the exchange that fell through at Kobiljaca, because
4 neither Masovic nor the group of Muslims who had been taken prisoner
5 could be exchanged. They were taken to Hadzici, and Masovic slept at
6 Brane Mijatovic's place, who was a commander of the police, and the rest
7 were taken to the gym. As for Masovic, the co-operation between the two
8 of us during the war was at a fairly high professional level. When I was
9 a commission member after the war, I don't think it can be described as
10 such. I don't know if it's relevant, but it was not a professional
11 relationship at the time because we were unable to get -- to get our
12 executed people because of obstruction. If the Court so wishes, I can
13 say more about this aspect.
14 Q. No. No, I think that's not necessary for my purposes. I simply
15 wanted you to confirm that you had told the Stanisic-Zupljanin Chamber,
16 and that would be at page 155 -- 15652 and at page -- well, I'll wait.
17 We need to get there for the e-court page.
18 That you volunteered during the course of that testimony when you
19 mentioned his name as the president of the commission. The question was
20 he became rather famous, and you said:
21 "And so we co-operated. I was a member of the Republika Srpska
22 Commission for Co-operation, and according to me, Mr. Masovic is a highly
23 professional official."
24 That's at 15652, e-court page 94. Do you need to see that, or
25 can you just confirm that for me that that was your testimony in the
1 Stanisic-Zupljanin case?
2 A. I stand by that statement when I refer to the period from 1992
3 until 1999, or actually during the war, but since his behaviour after
4 1996 is not relevant here, I won't go into that.
5 He was highly professional and co-operated with us well. We
6 exchanged information, and I really cannot say anything that is false
8 Q. Thank you. At paragraph 18 of your statement, Mr. Avlijas, you
9 provide the following information about Mr. Skiljevic. So that's after
10 the discussion about coming to Kula in your professional capacity and
11 talking about circumstances at Kula, and you say:
12 "I remember that on one occasion a member of a tank crew," and
13 then you describe what Mr. Skiljevic did.
14 So I wanted to clarify, Mr. Avlijas, a number of things, but
15 beginning with this paragraph, that -- in fact, this is not something,
16 despite the preceding paragraphs, which indicate your presence at Kula,
17 that you saw yourself. This is you repeating an anecdote or story that
18 you had heard; correct?
19 A. No. No, that is not correct. I stated that at the trial of
20 Skiljevic and Lalovic too. I wanted to corroborate or show the
21 conditions under the -- which the penitentiary facility functioned,
22 because before the war --
23 Q. Mr. Avlijas, sorry. I'm not asking you for your motives in
24 making the statement or testifying about it at the Lalovic case. Let's
25 just take all this one step at a time. So now that you mentioned the
1 Lalovic case, let me take you to your testimony in that case.
2 MR. TIEGER: And that's found at 65 ter 24743. At English
3 page 28, and B/C/S page 40.
4 Q. And there you said, Mr. Avlijas:
5 "I remember an anecdote regarding Soniboj. Reportedly, a tank
6 driver directed its tank almost directly towards -- then whether somebody
7 got killed or what happened, allegedly Soniboj stood in front of the tank
8 and said, 'You'll have to kill me,'" and then go on.
9 So in the Lalovic case, Mr. Avlijas, you referred to an anecdote.
10 You described it as allegedly and reportedly. That reflects something
11 that you heard from other people, correct? And that's what you testified
12 to in the Lalovic case?
13 A. Let me correct myself. Somebody misinterpreted that. We can't
14 speak of an anecdote here. It's a tragedy, rather, because that tank
15 crew member had somebody killed on at that day. And I'll only try to
16 show what things were like in the penitentiary facility. The tank driver
17 started his tank, and then this man stood in front of the tank and said,
18 "You first have to kill me."
19 And those persons at Kula were not separated from us. Their
20 building was next to ours. Where we ate, they ate. And I think it was a
21 translation error. In my statement I wanted to show the professional
22 attitude of the warden of the penitentiary facility toward the inmates.
23 Q. Okay. We have your answer, sir. Let me turn to another part of
24 your statement, and that would be a number of paragraphs dealing with
25 access or communication with or contact with Foca. So at -- that's
1 paragraphs 33, 35, and 60 of your statement, where you say, for example,
2 in paragraph 35:
3 "Previously no one from the" -- referring to December 1992.
4 "Previously," that is prior to December 1992, "no one from the central
5 government could get in touch with the warden of Foca."
6 You say at paragraph 33:
7 "The first time we were able to go to Foca was in December 1992,"
8 and you say something to similar effect in paragraph 60.
9 Now, let me ask you first about things you may not be familiar
10 with. Were you aware of the extent to which the Assembly of
11 Republika Srpska was receiving information about the situation in Foca,
12 either from members of the Bosnian Serb leadership such as Dr. Karadzic
13 at the 16th Assembly session or from the representatives of Foca such as
14 Mr. Maksimovic and Mr. Cancar during the course of 1992? Did you know
15 that was happening, that they were reporting to the Assembly what was
16 happening in -- various aspects of what was happening in Foca?
17 A. I was not in such a position as to be informed about these
18 things. I was a mere coordinator, so I can't answer your question. I
19 really didn't know whether information was submitted or what kind of
21 Q. Well, let me turn to something a little closer to home, then.
22 MR. TIEGER: Can I have 65 ter 17213.
23 Q. This is a request from the president of the government,
24 Dr. Djeric, to the Crisis Staff of Foca on the 23rd of May, 1992, asking
25 for Veljko Kostovic to came to Pale regarding the editing of the
1 Official Gazette. So do you claim that you were not aware of contacts
2 between the government and Foca during this period?
3 A. I reiterate, sir, that I had nothing to do with the government.
4 I know Veljko Kostovic and Branko Djeric. I know what they did. If this
5 document is in existence, then things must have had -- must have been
6 happening this way.
7 MR. TIEGER: I tender this, Mr. President.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Objection, Mr. President. The witness hasn't said
9 anything to this document, and it can't be something the witness could
10 be -- could have been expected to know about such that it would be
11 admitted as being contradictory.
12 MR. TIEGER: That's -- that's not --
13 JUDGE KWON: Contradictory to what, Mr. Tieger? Is it
14 communication --
15 MR. TIEGER: To the claim -- to the lack of communication claim.
16 And this is -- this is related to the government which includes the
17 Ministry of Justice for which this witness was a high-ranking official.
18 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, he said in line 24, page 61, that
19 he didn't know. He hasn't said that there was no co-operation. He said
20 he didn't know. So in order to contradict that, the Prosecution would
21 have to show some document that would make it likely that he did know.
22 MR. TIEGER: First of all, Mr. President --
23 JUDGE KWON: Just -- pause. Pause.
24 MR. TIEGER: First of all, Mr. President -- oh.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
1 MR. TIEGER: Yeah. The witness cannot insulate himself from
2 impeachment by hiding behind a general denial and claim therefore that
3 documents that show the contrary of what he's asserted in his statement
4 should not be admitted. This witness went to great pains and the Defence
5 took great pains to include in the statement his assertions about the
6 lack of communication and contact with Foca. This document proves the
8 JUDGE KWON: Was this document communicated to Foca?
9 MR. TIEGER: I would say at a minimum, Mr. President, this
10 document certainly reflects an expectation on the part of the government
11 that they are in contact with Foca, and it's a routine -- it's a document
12 sent routinely with the expectation that it will be received and acted
14 JUDGE KWON: We do not know how this was delivered,
15 hand-delivered, by telex or whatever. Did the witness say that total
16 communication was cut off?
17 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, this can obviously go to weight and
18 that's going to be one of a number of pieces dealing with this subject.
19 But a routine request in May on a fairly simple matter certainly reflects
20 a state of affairs that is incompatible with what the witness suggested
21 in his statement.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may comment --
1 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. We'll receive this.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean this situation.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P6194, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat the number please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6194.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Avlijas, would you like to add anything?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to comment on the
8 whole situation irrespective of the document. In the month of May, but I
9 don't remember so very clearly, how communication went. You could send a
10 document by courier or to cover the work obligation of Veljko Kostovic in
11 Foca, but we cannot say from this perspective that we had an organised
12 state. There wasn't even mail delivery --
13 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me, Mr. President.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- that was organised, let alone
15 anything else.
16 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Witness --
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger, I let him continue.
18 That's sufficient, Mr. Avlijas.
19 Please continue, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Avlijas, do you claim you were unaware of the fact that on
22 the 4th of July, 1992, the government adopted a decision on the founding
23 of KP Dom Foca? That's P1098.
24 A. It would be less than serious if I said I didn't know. Yes. I
25 even made a draft but the problem is --
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Avlijas. That's -- I asked you about -- I gave
2 you the -- I suggested to you earlier how I intended to proceed, and I
3 would also add it's not an invitation for you to argue your position.
4 You've stated the facts as you claim they were in your statement and
5 previous testimonies.
6 Do you claim you were unaware that on the 3rd of June, 1992, at a
7 government session, the government received a report on the official
8 visit to, among other places, Foca? And that's D415.
9 A. On the 3rd of July, maybe.
10 Q. That would be 3 June, I believe. D14 -- 415, rather.
11 A. I don't know who could have been there. I had only been
12 appointed on the 28th of May. It was in late May that I came from Ilidza
13 where I had lived and only started working on the 28th of May, so I
14 cannot have any knowledge about that. I really couldn't even physically
15 be there.
16 Q. Well, let me ask you about something about a little bit closer to
17 home then. In the Stanisic-Zupljanin case at page 15576, you spoke about
18 a visit to Trebinje in late June 1992 that you made as part of a justice
19 ministry working group with three other persons, and those persons
20 included Mr. Nikolic, Mr. Branka -- Ms. Branka Mandic, and
21 Igor Velasevic?
22 A. Velasevic.
23 Q. And there you testified that Mr. Nikolic and you visited
24 Herzegovina and Trebinje, "whereas the other two went down to Foca";
25 correct? And that's in June of 1992.
1 A. Correct. Correct.
2 Q. And they produced the following report.
3 MR. TIEGER: If I could have 65 ter 16255, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Okay. We go to the -- all right. That report refers to the
7 activities related to organising judiciary institutions. It says the
8 working group of the Ministry of Justice visited Foca on 24 and
9 25 June 1992, talks about those with whom they held a meeting including
10 the president of the Executive Board, the president of the various courts
11 and judges, the warden of Foca correctional institution, and the
12 representatives of the Ministry of the Interior in Foca.
13 And if we turn the page so you can see the signators and
14 signatures. It indicates Branka Mandic and Igor Velasevic. That's the
15 report that was produced in late June 1992, as a result of the trip by
16 the working group by the -- by the justice ministry group to Foca;
18 A. That's correct. I have no objections. The report was submitted.
19 They went to Foca by way of Niksic and we went to Trebinje.
20 Q. Now, you also make some similar -- some strong claims about --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I would tender the
23 document, please.
24 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6195, Your Honours.
2 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
3 Q. Mr. Avlijas, you also make various claims about Crisis Staffs in
4 the course of your statement. Now, reports from Crisis Staffs to
5 Mr. Karadzic or other members of the Bosnian Serb leadership were not
6 intended to go through you, were they?
7 A. I think that there's a misunderstanding. When I went out to the
8 field, I had nobody to communicate with other than the president of the
9 Crisis Staff, the chief of police, or some other --
10 Q. Sorry, Mr. Avlijas, you may misunderstand my question.
11 A. -- responsible person.
12 Q. I understand on the occasions that you went to the field which
13 you indicated in your statement that you had certain reporting
14 responsibilities and that information from Crisis Staff members could be
15 communicated to the leadership through you, but I'm asking you as a more
16 general matter. You were not part of the communication chain from all
17 the Crisis Staffs in all the municipalities to the Bosnian Serb
18 leadership; correct?
19 A. No. No.
20 Q. And with respect to those Crisis Staffs that you did not visit,
21 you were not familiar with the composition of its membership; correct?
22 You didn't know who all were on there? That's correct, isn't it?
23 A. No. I think there's been a misinterpretation of my statement. I
24 had nothing to do with Crisis Staffs. I didn't know who was on the
25 Crisis Staff. But when I arrived in the field, I would ask who the
1 president of the Executive Board was and who the president of
2 Crisis Staff was, and I applied for a meeting with them and said that I
3 had been sent by the Ministry of Justice to make a snapshot of the
4 situation in Brcko, for example. There was Vojan Belok [phoen] and
5 Djordjic as the president of the Crisis Staff. "Gentlemen, I have
6 horrible information. Tell me what's going on in the field." And this
7 is all the communication I had. I had no contact with the Crisis Staff,
8 because due to the position I was in, I couldn't have had. And this is
9 where the misunderstanding arose.
10 Depending on the situation, who I was able to find as a
11 counterpart to talk to in the field. For example, in Zvornik there was
12 Mr. Lokancevic who was the chief of police, a great professional, and he
13 said that he had 50 prisoners and that they had to be saved, and I sent
14 the list to the government and we were able to save them. But it was
15 different everywhere.
16 Q. Thank you. Well, let's talk about some of your contacts, then,
17 in places where Muslims and Croats were being held, and let me begin with
18 Vogosca and Ilijas, which you've -- which appear in your statement and
19 which you've referenced today as well.
20 Now, let me ask you about the genesis of that visit. First of
21 all, as you testified in the Stanisic-Zupljanin case, "There were all
22 sorts of stories in the media." That's found at 15585. Can you
23 confirm -- and you said that those were "bad stories," at 15586. Can you
24 confirm that that was your testimony, sir?
25 A. Absolutely. That was one of the conditions because of those
1 rumours, and in order to implement the orders received, we had to go
2 there and check what was situation was like in Vogosca in general.
3 Q. And more specifically, you testified --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript does not contain
5 anything of the witness's statement that it should contain. The witness
6 said that the rumours about the non-implementation of the instructions of
7 the Ministry of Defence and the president were the reason to go to the
8 field to Vogosca.
9 JUDGE KWON: I don't think witness is talking about his
10 statement. He confirmed what Mr. Tieger referred to. Why don't we
12 MR. TIEGER: Very well, Mr. President. Thank you.
13 Q. And I'm simply focusing now on what you said before about what
14 triggered your trip. So you said in Stanisic-Zupljanin that the
15 information in the media was that "a large number of people have been
16 captured, that there were no conditions to hold them, and ... mass
17 liquidations." That's at 15586. And you said further, basically
18 everybody knew about those allegations or stories. And that's found at
19 the same page. These true. That's the testimony you had in
20 Stanisic-Zupljanin; correct?
21 A. I think we must distinguish they didn't know what was happening,
22 but everybody had heard the rumours that there were camps in Vogosca and
23 that people were being tortured there, because the media of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina insisted on that, that there were killings and so on.
25 And then a commission was appointed consisting of three members to go out
1 there and see what things were like, and I can confirm today that the
2 prisoners were held in unsuitable conditions.
3 Q. We'll talk about that in just a moment. And as a result there
4 was pressure, as you testified in the Mandic case, pressure "from the
5 International Red Cross and the public"; correct?
6 A. Well, the International Red Cross constantly visited camps and
7 penitentiary facilities. They informed the state organs, and the state
8 organs then passed on information to the line ministries and assigned
10 Q. Mr. Avlijas, I'm asking you what you testified to in the Mandic
11 case was that there was pressure from the International Red Cross and the
12 public. That's what you testified to; right?
13 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Okay. All right. Now, when you went to Sonja's in Vogosca, you
15 went to meet with the leaders of the Crisis Staff; right?
16 A. Yes. If necessary, I can name all those present and the date.
17 There was Rajko Koprivica, the president of the Assembly. Then the
18 president of the Executive Board, Svetozar Stanic, also known as Sesa.
19 There was a representative of public security by the name of Blagovcanin,
20 I think, and the pre-war petty offence judge Mr. Lokota [phoen] and some
21 other people. The meeting was opened by the president of the Assembly,
22 and the introduction on behalf of the working group was given by
23 Milenko Bjelica.
24 Q. The transcript didn't catch of the name of the representative
25 from the MUP, the representative from the SJB, and that was Branko Vlaco;
2 A. No, no. Branko Vlaco represented the camp. I forgot to say
3 that. And the representative of public security was Blagovcanin, because
4 Branko Vlaco was in charge of the camp that was there.
5 Q. He was also from the -- he's also a member of the MUP; correct?
6 A. Yes. I don't know who he was employed by. I can't say for sure
7 whether he was working for MUP or for somebody else. Only the relevant
8 authorities that he was being employed by can tell you that or perhaps it
9 was a so-called work obligation too.
10 MR. TIEGER: Okay. It's 12.30 now, the customary time for our
11 break, Mr. Avlijas. I'll leave it to the Court, however.
12 JUDGE KWON: You were not heard, Mr. Karadzic, because of
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 25 reads as if it were a
15 question whereas actually it's part of the answer. So the Q should be
17 JUDGE KWON: It will be corrected in due course. Thank you.
18 We'll take a break for 45 minutes and resume at quarter past
20 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.17 p.m.
22 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Mr. Avlijas, we're still discussing what you observed in Vogosca.
25 I know you've alluded to the conditions at the bunker, but I want you,
1 for more specificity, to confirm what you've testified to in previous
2 cases, and in particular the Mandic case where you stated it was "truly
3 horrific," and said that even talking about it 15 years later, "I am
4 still horrified," and said further, "the situation was disastrous. As a
5 normal human being, when I saw the horror there, what else could I say?"
6 Those references are found at pages 7 and page 32 of the English.
7 Can you confirm that was your testimony in the Mandic case, sir?
8 A. Yes. I stand by that statement which I repeated in the Stanisic
9 case, the Zupljanin case, and whenever anyone cared to ask I said that
10 this was inhumane behaviour which left me feeling horror.
11 Q. And the location of the bunker in relation to where you and the
12 leaders of the Crisis Staff, including Koprivica and Stanic and others,
13 was, as you explained in the Stanisic-Zupljanin case, about the same
14 distance as from the witness chair to the door in the courtroom; correct?
15 That's found at page 15590.
16 A. The meeting was held in that room and that was the distance. As
17 for the Crisis Staff, it should have been in Vogosca but the meeting that
18 we had was held at the Sonja cafe which was right next to the bunker.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, you have also testified previously about who
20 ordered the detentions of these people in the bunker, and as you said
21 repeatedly in the Stanisic-Zupljanin case, and I'll ask you to confirm
22 that, you said at page 1 -- pages 15595 through 96:
23 "The Crisis Staff did," and then went on to explain, "I suppose
24 they did it most likely together with the army because they couldn't do
25 it on their own."
1 Asked again to clarify the question about -- the question was who
2 made the decision to take people prisoner and to put them there. You
4 "The Crisis Staff did, and the army command most likely."
5 And then again, just a few lines later, you said:
6 "Most likely it was the Crisis Staff and the Tactical Group
7 command that were in charge of that issue."
8 And can you confirm that that was your testimony, sir?
9 A. Yes, that was my testimony. One thing I'd like to add, the
10 commander of the Tactical Group in terms of his position was also a
11 member of the Crisis Staff, but I can't be certain. It's merely an
12 assumption on my part.
13 Q. Thank you. Now you were also asked whether the people in the
14 bunker, the prisoners, were civilians or combatants, and you said in the
15 Stanisic-Zupljanin case that the leaders of the Crisis Staff told you:
16 "They told us that those were people who had been taken prisoner
17 in areas where there were armed conflicts."
18 And then you said further:
19 "They told us that those people had been taken prisoner during
20 combat." And that's at 15597.
21 And then you went on to say:
22 "That's what they told us. We didn't check whether those people
23 were really combatants or not, but it was the corps commander who was in
24 charge of making that decision." And that's at 15597.
25 Again, sir, can you confirm that was your testimony in the
1 Stanisic-Zupljanin case?
2 A. Yes. I stand by that. When I mentioned the corps commander, I
3 meant the instructions issued by the military minister. The corps
4 commander would be responsible for any treatment of POWs in his area, in
5 the area under his command, and then by -- by virtue of the same
6 principle also his subordinates.
7 Q. And when asked whether you considered it part of your
8 responsibility to determine whether people in the bunker were being held
9 illegally, that is, whether they were civilians or combatants, you said:
10 "No. Our task was to see whether there were any prisoners and
11 where they were kept. Now, as for the procedure, our -- the legality and
12 lawfulness of that issue, this is something that came under the
13 jurisdiction of the army."
14 That is what you testified to in the Stanisic-Zupljanin case,
15 sir; correct? You told -- you said essentially it was not your job.
16 A. No objections. No objections. That wasn't our task nor, indeed,
17 were we able to categorise. This is a purely military issue.
18 Q. Okay. And not your job as you saw it; right?
19 A. No, not our job. It wasn't for us to do. Our task was only to
20 make sure international standards were being complied with in terms of
21 POW treatment under the relevant international conventions and law.
22 Q. Now, subsequently, as you alluded to in your testimony, a remand
23 prison was established at Planina Kuca or Planjo's house, and the inmates
24 at the bunker were transferred there; right?
25 A. There is one thing that we need to clarify here, if I may. We
1 had three tasks to carry out in Vogosca. One was to see what the
2 situation was of the POWs and whether the instructions and orders of the
3 president and the military minister were being applied. The other thing
4 was to find a suitable facility to set up a remand unit for the regular
5 court which had nothing to do with the prisoners. So you need to
6 distinguish these two things, the prisoners on the one hand and the
7 people being prosecuted according to regular procedure.
8 All right. Once we had found a good building to set up a remand
9 prison in which had very good access, it was fully functional and so on
10 and so forth, then they asked us about our criticisms in terms of where
11 they were keeping people. What do you think?
12 Q. Mr. Avlijas, please --
13 A. Should we also transfer all of the other prisoners to that
14 building over there --
15 Q. Okay. I have limited time. That's in your statement and you
16 also explained it during your examination-in-chief, so --
17 A. All right. Thank you.
18 Q. All right. It was the Ministry of Justice that took over control
19 of Planjo's house sometime in July. You testified to that in
20 Stanisic-Zupljanin; correct?
21 Mr. Avlijas, I don't want the whole story. I am going through
22 this step-by-step through this thing so you'll see where I'm going. If
23 you can confirm that, please do; if you can't, I'll direct you to the
24 page where you address that issue.
25 A. Mm-hmm.
1 Q. The Ministry of Justice took control or became responsible for
2 Planjo's house sometime in July; right?
3 A. Yes, about the security of people being investigated and the
4 prisoners who received their food there. Everything else was under the
5 military, the exchanges of people being taken to work and everything
7 Q. And Brano Vlaco, the man who is responsible for the bunker, the
8 truly horrific place that you testified about, was appointed as the
9 warden of the detention department of the penal and correctional facility
10 Butmir, Ilidza; correct? And that's what you testified to in the
11 Stanisic-Zupljanin case at 15607.
12 A. No. It wasn't Butmir. It was the remand prison covered by the
13 Ilidza Basic Court, and it was at Planjina's tower in Semizovac where the
14 other people were also being kept, the prisoners. So it was both in the
15 same place, the remand prison and the prisoners, and Vlaco was put in
16 charge of that facility and the business there.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you for the clarification. And in the
18 Stanisic-Zupljanin case you were asked to explain why, as it was put
19 there, why this appalling -- whether or not you had told Mr. Mandic
20 before the appointment that the bunker had been under the control of
21 Vlaco and your answer was:
22 "He was probably better known than myself. Everybody knew who
23 Vlaco was."
24 That's at transcript page 15608. Correct?
25 A. Yes, I stand by that statement.
1 Q. And then you were asked to explain or you went on to explain --
2 you just went on yourself to explain everybody knew who Vlaco was. Then
3 you started to talk about personnel policy that resulted in his
4 appointment. And you said:
5 "Personnel policy in the field was in the hands of the
6 Crisis Staff and the Serb Democratic Party."
7 And then the question was:
9 And then you said again:
10 "It's a well-known fact."
11 That's what you testified to in Stanisic-Zupljanin?
12 A. No objections.
13 Q. Now, you also went to Ilijas during that same visit, in fact
14 during that same day, and you mentioned already that you found prisoners
15 there who were in a warehouse of sorts, and I'm just going to clarify
16 based on your previous testimony what conditions were like in that
17 facility. You testified that the warehouse was packed and, further, that
18 everybody was in civilian clothes. Both of those things are correct;
20 A. Correct. What I could see through a window. The warehouse was
22 Q. And you also testified that a number of the people there
23 recognised you because of your pre-war position and that the meeting --
24 or that the encounter with them was "really emotional." That's what you
25 said in the Mandic trial. And you said further:
1 "They recognised me and they turned to me for help. They said,
2 'Slobo, how are you?'"
3 And then you testified further:
4 "It's an awful situation to have people begging you for help
5 because they felt there was no hope for them."
6 That's what you testified to in the Mandic case about your
7 encounter at the warehouse in Ilijas; correct?
8 A. It's true but my statement was not complete. I said there was an
9 assumption, an agreement, that there would be an all-for-all exchange
10 sometime soon. That was in order to give them hope. And indeed there
11 was a lot of activity going on in order to organise an all-for-all
12 exchange at the time. I told them that I'd spoken to people from the
13 Ilijas authorities to make sure that appropriate accommodation could be
14 found that would constitute an improvement over what they had at the
16 Q. And as you testified to in the Mandic case, you went to Ilijas,
17 you met first with the president of the Crisis Staff Ratko Adzic who had
18 basically brought his entire group with him; right?
19 A. What do you mean? A group of associates, people who worked with
20 him; right? Yes. Yes, yes.
21 Q. All right. And again you referred to the hope for exchange and
22 that you mentioned to those people and the way you put it in the Mandic
23 case was that in order to comfort these people, you told them about the
24 possibility of an all-for-all exchange in which case "You could get out
25 of this hell." Right?
1 A. Yes. When you talked about comforting those people, I wanted to
2 relieve them of the burden of the hell they were suffering at the time,
3 but if you look up existing documents on both sides, you could tell that
4 there was a lot of activity being organised in terms of an all-for-all
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreter did not
7 understand the last part of the witness's answer.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. There's some portion of your answer that the interpreters did not
10 get, Mr. Avlijas, although it -- I can't figure out what might be missing
11 because the answer does look coherent.
12 A. I wanted to say that the word that I used at the time in terms of
13 comforting them, giving them hope, telling them what I knew, but talks
14 were underway, large-scale important talks about an all-for-all exchange
15 on both sides, prisoner exchange, all for all.
16 Q. The transcript did catch that. And once again, as it had been
17 the case in Vogosca, you didn't know whether these people were civilians
18 or not. In this case in Ilijas, you were told -- you learned that the
19 population -- here's what you said. Apparently that population was
20 captured during combat. That's what you said in the Stanisic-Zupljanin
21 case based on what you were told by the Crisis Staff; correct? And
22 that --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Yeah. And that you didn't know whether that was true or not?
25 A. I didn't know whether that was true or not but I knew there was
1 fighting going on in Ljesevo, Podlugovi and Luka, Muslim-populated
2 villages. I made that assumption and I also knew some people who were
3 from the area.
4 Q. I'm going to move on to the next visit to the field which is
5 reflected in your statement, and that was the trip to Herzegovina on the
6 18th or -- through the 20th of August which is referred to at
7 paragraph 57 of your statement, and I understand from your statement that
8 that was the first time that someone from the central government visited
9 the collection centres. It says:
10 "This is the first time that someone from the central government
11 visited the collection centres and at the intervention of the president
12 of the republic."
13 Now, I asked you before about the impetus for your visit to
14 Vogosca and Ilijas. In this case, you refer to this as being part of the
15 activity that is reflected in paragraphs 54 through 57 in the --
16 beginning in the early part of August 1992; correct?
17 So you refer in paragraphs 54 through 57 to the Presidency and
18 government meetings concerning categorising prisoners and then you go on
19 to talk about your tasking in Herzegovina. And all of that, Mr. Avlijas,
20 was the result, was it not, of the international outcry that followed the
21 media entry into Omarska and Keraterm and the publicising of stories and
23 A. I can't say really whether that was due to any pressure from the
24 international community. I was not a high-ranking political leader in
25 Republika Srpska. I know that I carried out tasks given to me by my
1 minister who in turn was given these tasks by the government or the
2 Presidency. I had a job to do and we were also told there was pressure
3 being exerted on the leaders of Republika Srpska and all sorts of things
4 happening all over the place. Among other things, in my testimony I
5 talked about a specific example, pressure being exerted in Geneva on
6 President Karadzic and Dragan Kalinic. Pressure because there were
7 stories circulating that there were camps around that were being set up
8 again and still operating. And then after that, there was this
9 government initiative to set up groups that would be sent to the field to
10 investigate the matter.
11 Q. Your statement, Mr. Avlijas, also suggests that not only was that
12 the first time that someone from the central government went out to the
13 camps, but that until then, you said:
14 "We did not have any information about the events that took place
15 the length and breadth of Republika Srpska."
16 Now, this Court has received evidence, Mr. Avlijas, from a number
17 of sources, among other things, a letter that deputy or assistant
18 minister of the MUP Tomo Kovac wrote to the president and the
19 prime minister on August 8th noting that people were not being properly
20 categorised, including civilians, and proposing that the status of these
21 people be changed to comply with international law. Were you -- that
22 was -- were you aware of that letter by Mr. Kovac and that position?
23 And that's by the way P1100.
24 A. The first I hear of Mr. Kovac's letter, but on that same subject,
25 if I may, I could perhaps provide a comment. There was a meeting in
1 Banja Luka in August 1992. The vice-president of the government,
2 Milan Trbojevic, myself and Mr. Zupljanin were adamant at that meeting
3 that one should check the camps to see who was a prisoner, who was not a
4 prisoner, who was responsible, who was to be prosecuted, and who wasn't,
5 that there should be a triage. So that was one of the conclusions
6 reached at the Banja Luka meeting. As for Mr. Kovac's letter, I can't
7 say I ever heard of it.
8 Q. And your minister, Mr. Mandic, was shown this letter during the
9 course of his testimony before this Court and stated that he considered
10 it hypocritical because Mr. Kovac was well aware of this -- was well
11 aware before this of the situation he described. And Mr. Mandic went on
12 to explain that such information was received on a daily basis.
13 So were you -- do you claim that you were not privy to the
14 regular information about the problem with civilians in camps and
15 categorisation that Mr. Mandic testified about?
16 A. I was not privy to that. It wasn't the nature of my work. This
17 wasn't one of my daily dealings. It was only occasionally whenever a
18 problem cropped up because of the nature of my work, because of my
19 natural eloquence and my knowledge of the subject, the minister would
20 appoint me as a member of the commission who would be sent out into the
21 field, not because I had anything to do with the prisoners.
22 Q. In any event you did go to Herzegovina as you indicated in your
23 statement and alluded to during your examination-in-chief. Now --
24 A. Just to answer that question, I went to Herzegovina because that
25 was decided by the Government of Republika Srpska. They appointed a
1 commission that was sent out to investigate the matter.
2 Q. Earlier in your -- is this -- this document which was previously
3 65 ter 11044 and was -- is an associated exhibit, this is headed "To the
4 Government of Serb Republic, report," and starts:
5 "According to the decision of the Government of the Serb
6 Republic, Slobodan Avlijas and Goran Saric were appointed to visit places
7 in SAO Herzegovina," and we see your signature and Mr. Saric's signature
8 on the back.
9 But this -- this is -- this is the report; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. And there's no other report about what was happening in
12 Herzegovina about the camps, this was it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. No.
16 Q. Before I move on from there, I just wanted to ask you one
17 question about one part of this report because you referred to it earlier
18 and that's your visit to Bileca, and you stated that you were told by
19 authorities there that all the male Muslims had been gathered up and were
20 being -- for their safety; is that right?
21 A. Yes. That's right.
22 Q. And yet, Mr. Avlijas, these -- I'm going to suggest to you, as
23 the Prosecutor in the Stanisic-Zupljanin case did, that that is not
24 compatible with two things. First of all, you recommended, as it says
25 here in the report, that the people over the age of 60 should be
1 released. And as the Prosecutor in Stanisic-Zupljanin asked you, if they
2 were being -- if they were there for their safety, why would you
3 recommend that the most vulnerable among them be sent out and exposed to
5 A. There was probably a misinterpretation of the reports, because
6 in -- when I visited these places I also introduced the conventions. I
7 told them about the conventions and the provisions of the conventions
8 that elderly and women and children are not to be detained, because
9 that's probably where this arises from, this misunderstanding, because
10 wherever I went I always said, "Gentlemen, you just must know one thing.
11 You are not allowed to detain people over 60 years of age, women or
13 Q. Not much room for misunder --
14 A. And if I may just add one thing. Perhaps the best commentary on
15 the situation in Bileca is something that the people who were detained
16 there could provide.
17 Q. And also with respect to the safety issue, as you testified in
18 the Lalovic case, the wives of those men in the -- who were being -- it
19 says here accommodated at the SJB -- who were there at the SJB were still
20 out in -- in the communities, completely exposed to the danger that
21 these -- that all the men who had been rounded up were supposedly being
22 protected from; right?
23 A. Well, that is your assessment. Few people would target women.
24 What they -- they were looking for men. Paramilitaries when they
25 recruited they looked for men, but there was also -- it was much easier
1 to protect women than men, because I remained there and talked with those
2 people. I spent an hour and a half there to talk to the people, ask them
3 about their problems, to put them in touch with their families. I asked
4 them whether they had ever been mistreated, whether they had enough food,
5 and no one complained, not one of them.
6 Q. Let's move on to your next visit to the field and that was the
7 trip that you took to various places culminating in the report of the
8 22nd of October, 1992. Now, again I want to ask you about the impetus
9 for that meeting and, as you testified in Stanisic-Zupljanin, there was
10 pressure after a meeting in Geneva from the -- in this case the ICRC;
11 right? Well, you think the ICRC but you mentioned specifically
12 Madam Ogata; correct?
13 A. Yes, I did mention that because that's how it was presented to me
14 and the minister, my minister, mentioned the places that I was supposed
15 to visit because they were critical because the information about Brcko
16 was that it was horrible, about Zvornik, Vlasenica, Prijedor. So
17 according to those instructions I started with Hadzici, Ilidza,
18 Vlasenica, Brcko, and Prijedor. These were the locations that I was
19 supposed to visit.
20 Q. And this report is P1607. The report is P1607. I just wanted to
21 ask you a few questions about that report. First of all, the first
22 section refers to Vlasenica and discusses a camp in a place called Luke.
23 I just want you to confirm as you did in the Stanisic-Zupljanin case that
24 that was a reference to Susica camp; correct?
25 A. Susica.
1 Q. Yeah. Thank you for the improved pronunciation. The answer is
2 yes; correct? Thank you.
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Now, there's also item 4 a discussion about Prijedor, and as I
5 understand it, the information contained there was obtained during a
6 meeting involving a number of officials from Prijedor including
7 Milomir Stakic, Dr. Kovacevic, Simo Drljaca, and Srdjo Srdic.
8 A. Yes, and Srdja Srdic, yes.
9 Q. Now, with -- you also address Sanski Most in that report. And
10 there you say the information that there is a camp in Sanski Most is not
11 correct. In that area only four people were taken prisoner and
12 transferred to the Manjaca camp during combat activities.
13 Now, Mr. Avlijas, although on its face it would suggest that you
14 were saying that only four people had ever been taken prisoner in
15 Sanski Most, you clarified in the Stanisic-Zupljanin case that you were
16 only talking about how many Muslim prisoners remained after the others,
17 well over a thousand, had been transferred to Manjaca; right?
18 A. At the time of my report they were all in Manjaca. I was
19 interested in Sanski Most, but I was unable to get there because of the
20 fighting. The information about the four men I received from the
21 security officer, so it wasn't direct knowledge of mine. It was
22 something that I learned indirectly, and I believe I said so in my
23 Zupljanin-Stanisic testimony. So this wasn't direct first-hand
24 information, but because I was supposed to go from Prijedor to
25 Sanski Most and was unable to, so I contacted the responsible persons who
1 were privy to the information and that's the information that I received
2 from them.
3 Q. Right. I think as you testified in Stanisic-Zupljanin, you -- at
4 15268, you spoke to a security officer from the Krajina Corps and then
6 "There was no reason for me to disbelieve him," and "I had no
7 time ..."
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. Now, in this same report you refer to visits to Ilidza and
10 Hadzici and I wanted to ask you some questions about those. The Hadzici
11 section, which is found at the back of the report, item 10, states that
12 90 prisoners of war are accommodated in the Hadzici sports centre. Now,
13 those 90 prisoners were people who had been taken prisoner back in
14 May 1992 by the army, right? You testified to that at 15629 of the
15 Stanisic-Zupljanin case.
16 A. Well, who else could have arrested them if not the army, military
17 formations or the police? Well, some of those. Some -- I don't know who
18 arrested them, but someone from the armed forces arrested them, and they
19 were in Kula when they were arrested. Now, as for the group of 90 -- may
20 I continue? Well, the group of 90 men that I found in the sports hall in
21 Hadzici was a group that had been brought from Koviljaca in Ilidza
22 municipality. That's on the border with Herceg-Bosna and Kiseljak where
23 an exchange had fell through and they were there at night and they
24 couldn't be returned to their original place. Now you can see -- you can
25 look at the date. By that time, half of the men had already been
2 Q. Yeah. Let me stop you because I wanted to move through it
3 slightly more chronologically and get --
4 A. Very well.
5 Q. -- to that point. Now, after having been taken prisoner in
6 May 1992, they were first in the sports centre, then transferred to Kula
7 where they stayed until September, October when this failed exchange that
8 you just referred to took place; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And before their transfer to Kula, these people had been
11 "viciously mistreated," those were your words, in Hadzici. As you put it
12 in another part of your testimony in Stanisic-Zupljanin:
13 "They had gone through horrific torture by paramilitaries in
15 A. I'm a man who lived for 17 years in Hadzici. When the Hadzici
16 people were brought to Kula, to the camp, I had a moral obligation as a
17 citizen, as a person living in that town, because there were a lot of
18 friends among them, my son's best friend. So I had a moral obligation to
19 visit those people, because they saw their chance when they heard that I
20 was there. I know -- I asked the authorities, the guards who secured
21 them, and we weren't the ones who did that. The police did. I asked
22 them to let me get inside, and then I talked to those men and they told
23 me about the difficulties and the problems they had with these people but
24 not at the hands of the locals but from these members from various
25 paramilitary groups that kept coming to Hadzici. So that was why I
1 intervened. I intervened that those people be removed from Hadzici as
2 soon as possible and so that they could be helped.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not get the last portion.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may intervene in the
5 transcript. There are several comments.
6 JUDGE KWON: Probably, Mr. Avlijas, you are speaking too fast,
7 way too fast. The interpreter did not get the last portion of your
8 answer. Could you repeat it.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies. I will do my best.
10 JUDGE KWON: Did you say anything after having said:
11 "I intervened that those people be removed from Hadzici as soon
12 as possible and so that they could be helped"?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said this in the context of my
14 earlier story. These were people I knew. I lived there, and I knew the
15 difficulties they had and the things they suffered at the hands of the
16 paramilitaries before they were moved to Kula. Now, this was a group of
17 prisoners who had been returned to the same place from which they had
18 been taken to Kula after two or three months because of this failed
19 exchange, so I begged these people be removed from there for their own
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First, in his answer on page 86,
23 the word "arrested" is used repeatedly, but the witness did not say
24 "arrested." He said "taken prisoner." And also on page 87, the witness
25 said the people who suffered not at the hands of the locals and the army
1 but at the hands of the paramilitaries. And one more thing, he said that
2 he exchanged kisses and embraced those people who were detained there.
3 So not at the hands of the local authorities or the army but at the hands
4 of the paramilitaries. We can ask the witness to confirm this.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Shall we continue, Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President.
8 Q. Now, you referred more that once to these people as friends, you
9 talked about exchanging kisses and embraces with them, and you said the
10 same thing in Stanisic-Zupljanin:
11 "I had a lot of friends there who found themselves in this
12 misfortunate situation."
13 That's at 15631.
14 Now, can -- can I assume based on the fact that you were friends
15 with them, Mr. Avlijas, that these were not a group of Islamic
16 fundamentalists or Muslim extremists?
17 A. I did not see them in that light. Either I did not -- that's not
18 how I perceived them. How could I perceive them as a fundamentalist or
19 extremist when they were friends that I had socialised with for years,
20 for 30 years or so? They were true friends. These were -- these were
21 friends that I had socialised with for many years and I helped them not
22 as --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the name of the
24 person that the witness is referring to.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I could not see him in that
1 light. The best part of my life is when I lived there and I will never
2 forget the citizens of Hadzici. When my two parents died the entire town
3 came to see them.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The name Nermin did not make it
5 into the transcript.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. I think I remember that name Nermin, Mr. Avlijas. He was
8 somebody who --
9 A. Nermin and Alem.
10 Q. Am I correct that he was someone who was actually crying when --
11 when he met you and --
12 A. We were both crying. We both cried when we met. And the most
13 moving scene was when I found the best friend of my son's. Of course we
14 cried. He said, "Uncle Slobo, can you help me?" And I said, "Well, son,
15 this -- it's wartime and of course I will find a way to help you. You
16 cannot expect me to take you by the hand and just take you out with all
17 these extremists being present there." And I even had to help my own
18 people on several occasions because the times were such. These
19 paramilitaries, they were dangerous 24 hours a day. There wouldn't be
20 any time when they would put away their rifle.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Extremists on all three sides.
22 That's something that did not -- that was not recorded in the transcript.
23 And I would really appreciate the witness to speak a bit slower because
24 important things are omitted from the transcript.
25 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's continue.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. And again you were told that these were people who had been
3 captured in areas where combat was taking place or something to that
4 effect; right?
5 A. Well, you see, if you're referring to this group of people, there
6 was fighting in the entire area of Hadzici municipality, both in the town
7 itself and outside. These were attacking, the others were defending
8 themselves, so there was shelling all the time and combat all the time.
9 Now whether these people were in fact prisoners of war, military
10 prisoners or not, I really can't answer that question.
11 Q. Right. And you didn't make any effort at the time to determine
12 whether their confinement was illegal and whether they should be
13 immediately released, notwithstanding the fact that they were crying and
14 begging for help.
15 A. Look, I was just a simple man who came to do my job on the
16 28th of May. They came in mid-June. I -- I didn't have an office or
17 anything. I did not belong to any political option. I was left without
18 any work in 1992. I was a man who was in hiding until May because I was
19 afraid, and I also had to hide my son. So I was not in any position nor
20 did I have any function so that I could intervene and tell anyone to do
21 anything. You know, at that time whoever said anything, they did not
22 fare well. You needed to be very wise to keep your skin.
23 I was just a lawyer and I was in charge of penal and correctional
24 facilities. So at that time it was bizarre, the position that I was in.
25 People tried to use my previous reputation when I was the president of
1 the court and when I was a municipal legal officer, so that's how people
2 saw me, what I was before the war. And knowing me and what kind of
3 person I was, they thought that I could help them too, and as a human
4 being I did my best to help them, not as a person who was in any
5 possession in the judicial system to help them.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the last portion
7 of the answer.
8 JUDGE KWON: Again your last part wasn't heard.
9 MR. TIEGER: I don't know there's anyway to retrieve it,
10 Mr. President. We can play the tape back but I just fear if we ask
11 again, we'll get a --
12 JUDGE KWON: I think we should --
13 MR. TIEGER: -- repetition of the entire answer.
14 JUDGE KWON: We heard sufficient answer. Let's proceed.
15 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
16 Q. I wanted to ask you a few questions, then, about Kula,
17 Mr. Avlijas. Now your statement indicates that you were there. It's
18 also correct that Mr. Mandic had an office there, right? And that's what
19 you testified to in the Lalovic case. Sorry. I know you're nodding your
20 head affirmatively, but if you can just say yes orally instead -- okay.
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. And Kula was secured by the police, by the MUP; correct? You
23 also testified to that in Lalovic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, just a couple of questions about who was confined in Kula.
1 You already mentioned the presence of people from Hadzici, and you
2 clarified in the Mandic trial that it wasn't the entire population of
3 Hadzici that was imprisoned at Kula, but "the group was fairly large
4 group." And that's at Mandic, page 39; right?
5 A. I agree.
6 Q. And in addition among the people who were in Kula during the time
7 you were there were people who were "collected" from Dobrinja, from
8 Grbavica, and those residents were taken to Kula. I think your quote
10 "You know that after the attacks then, when they collected people
11 from Dobrinja, from Grbavica, and these residents were taken to Kula."
12 And that was at -- that's what you testified to in the Lalovic
13 case, right, about some of the people who were present in Kula?
14 A. I stand by what I said.
15 Q. Now, as I understand it again from your Lalovic testimony, for
16 the most part you could not approach these people and speak to them about
17 their situation, how they got there, how they were doing, and so on?
18 A. I didn't quite understand your question. How the prisoners of
19 war got there or ...
20 Q. I understood from your Lalovic testimony at English page 24 that
21 you couldn't approach the prisoners and speak about their situation;
22 right? That's what you testified to at that page.
23 A. Correct. Correct.
24 Q. And you really didn't know about the conditions, for example, you
25 didn't know how many meals per day the prisoners got.
1 A. Up until the 1st of August, 1992, the detained persons were
2 guarded by the officials of the internal affairs which was proved in this
3 case. We could only access them with the approval of the chief of the
4 centre. And when I went the to visit the Hadzici people, I asked -- I
5 appealed with the minister to allow me, to enable me to get in there.
6 There was no other way I could get there.
7 Now, as soon as you detain a person, it's not a pleasant
8 condition, but the conditions were, relatively speaking, satisfactory.
9 The food, I know that we had breakfast at 8.00, and then as we were
10 leaving that cafeteria, they were coming in. So the food that we were
11 served was the food they were served. It was the same. But we ourselves
12 didn't have much food. We lived there off of a farm that was -- there
13 was a pig farm and a chicken farm and some vegetables available there and
14 that's what we used as food. Later on, the Red Cross came and they
15 assisted us with foodstuffs. So there was --
16 Q. I just want to clarify one thing and I know in your statement you
17 indicated that there was a sort of a common cauldron, but you were asked
18 about that in the Mandic case too and you clarified there at page 29 that
19 you simply were not in a position "because it wasn't my area of
20 jurisdiction" to know how many meals per day, "two or three, believe me,
21 I don't know, because it wasn't my area of" -- okay.
22 A. No. I wasn't there. It wasn't part of my job and I couldn't
23 know that.
24 Q. And as we discussed with previous situations where you
25 encountered persons being held, you assert that you could not say
1 precisely what their status was, civilian or combatant. And in that
2 regard, you were shown a document during the course of the
3 Stanisic-Zupljanin case reflecting that 114 persons in Kula were moved to
4 the Vrbanja Bridge area and sent into the city down Sokolovic Street,
5 persons who had been in Kula since the 12th of May. And that's P1151.
6 And in answering questions about that, first you -- about that
7 particular document, first you explained the general geography of the
8 area where the Vrbanja Bridge was, where Sokolovic Street was, and then
9 you said:
10 "There must have been an assessment to the effect that they no
11 longer needed to be kept in custody throughout the war. All exchanges
12 took place along separate lines, and the bridge on Vrbanja was a central
13 location where forces, people moved from Republika Srpska into the
14 federation and back. This is where civilians were usually released and
16 And that's at transcript 15581 through 82.
17 Can you confirm that was your testimony in the Stanisic-Zupljanin
18 case, sir?
19 A. Well, there is no reason not to confirm it. Perhaps I need to
20 explain something. During the fighting in Dobrinja I, II, III, and IV,
21 there were mass escapes. People fled to the -- to the KPD in order to
22 find shelter there, but then there was a separation. The people were
23 separated and taken, those 200 or so that you mentioned, they were taken
24 to the Vrbanja Bridge, because even if someone wanted to keep them there,
25 it would not be possible. These were just regular citizens. There were
1 people, men, women, elderly people.
2 Q. All right. In paragraph 37 of your statement, you discuss the
3 Koricanske Stijene event, and you talk about a meeting you attended in
4 Banja Luka where a discussion was held about what you describe as an
5 incident that took place there, and you explain that the president of the
6 Municipal Assembly Radic and the military insisted that perpetrators of
7 the crime be arrested and processed. You indicate your recollection that
8 the meeting determined that the crime was committed by a breakaway group
9 of policemen on their own volition, and "Simo Drljaca informed us that
10 these policemen were on the run." You recall an investigation was
11 ongoing. Zupljanin said he had formed a team and a criminal report was
12 filed, and that Drljaca said he tried to arrest the perpetrators but they
13 were on the run and subject to a search warrant. And the statement goes
14 on to talk about Trnopolje as part of a further discussion at that
16 So I wanted to talk to you then about where this statement stops
17 and what other information you've provided to this Court or other courts
18 in other cases.
19 First of all, let me identify the persons who were present at
20 that meeting and you've previously testified that among the persons
21 present beyond Mr. Radic were Milan Trbojevic, the vice minister of the
22 government; Dragan Kalinic, the minister of health; and Bogdan Subotic,
23 the minister of defence; correct?
24 A. Yes. I think that Bogdan Subotic was there well.
25 Q. You mentioned that Stojan Zupljanin and Simo Drljaca were there,
1 also Mr. Radic and also some basic and district prosecutors. Right?
2 A. The presidents of the county courts were there, then the
3 municipal prosecutor, the representative of Banja Luka, and a person from
4 the Banja Luka Corps. It was a meeting attended by the most senior
5 persons from the Banja Luka region.
6 Q. Okay. The existence or the fact that this crime and the fact
7 that it had been committed by members of the SJB Prijedor commanded by
8 Simo Drljaca was no secret; right? And that's what you testified to in
9 the Stanisic-Zupljanin case. Let's -- quote:
10 "... let's not reinvent the wheel here. The entire RS knows that
11 it was done by members of the SJB in Prijedor, commanded by
12 Simo Drljaca."
13 A. Yes. Literally we say "hot water."
14 Q. Okay. And that's at T15659. And then you said further about how
15 well it was known.
16 "It is no secret at all, and it was known on that day of the
17 meeting. The entire Krajina and all of the RS knew that the police
18 station, or SJB, I'm not sure of the exact name at the time, was in
19 charge of escorting a civilian convoy, a convoy of civilian population, I
20 think predominantly of Muslim ethnicity ..."
21 A. Prijedor.
22 Q. Okay. In fact you said the only thing that wasn't known is
23 whether it was active-duty officers or reserve police officers who had
24 done it. There was no -- quote:
25 "There was no doubt about whether or not the crime had been
1 committed or not. Everything was known."
3 A. Yes. Yes. I have nothing to add.
4 Q. Then you went on to say in Stanisic-Zupljanin, if it had been --
5 this is a quote.
6 "... if it had been a well-functioning state, Simo Drljaca should
7 have been locked up. If there is command responsibility in a
8 well-functioning state, then there can be no discussion about it."
10 A. Yes, but I said one more thing that probably was not recorded.
11 The chance of arresting Simo Drljaca at that point in time was very poor
12 given the security situation in the RS. Simo Drljaca had built an image
13 of a warlord in the Krajina at the time. So tactics what was required.
14 But very soon after that, Simo Drljaca was no longer the chief of the
15 Prijedor police administration.
16 Q. He was actually somebody who went to the exchange commission
17 along with you and also an assistant minister of police, of the MUP;
19 A. I don't know if he was assistant minister. He may have been for
20 a very short while until he was replaced, but he was a member of the
21 exchange commission, one who never attended a meeting. And I think, but
22 I cannot be fully sure, that he very soon left the RS and spent most of
23 his time at Zlatibor. Anyway, that -- those were the stories that I
25 Q. In the course of the Stanisic-Zupljanin case where you also made
1 the point as you have -- as you did a moment ago about Mr. Drljaca as
2 image of warlord or something to that effect in the Stanisic-Zupljanin
3 case, you were confronted with the fact that Prijedor was in the vicinity
4 of the 1st Krajina Corps and all of its troops. You were confronted with
5 the fact that the MUP had very well armed, well trained and well equipped
6 special units. And essentially you were confronted with the fact that it
7 was certainly physically possible to arrest Mr. Drljaca had there been
8 any will to do so; right?
9 And what you said at that time was: "What I'm --" I'll just tell
10 you what you said and you can expand on it if you want.
11 "What I'm saying is had the state been functioning properly, he
12 should have been arrested. Why wasn't he arrested? I don't know. I'm
13 answering you in such a way ... what I would have done had I been in
14 power, for instance."
15 Can you confirm that's what you said?
16 A. I confirm that I said that, and I've been trying all the time to
17 say that from this distance in time, we cannot look upon the RS as a
18 state who had come to high positions and who were nobodies before. They
19 had no experience with running a state. A state, a real state, which
20 executes all its remit, in such a state there is no doubt that
21 Simo Drljaca would have been arrested immediately after the crime at
22 Koricanske Stijene, because he tarnished the honour of the Serbian
23 soldier and there can be no justification for that.
24 Q. And during the course of your testimony in the Stanisic-Zupljanin
25 case, when asked about this very issue and describing something similar
1 to what you're saying now, you said that the problem was -- or laid the
2 problem at the doorstep of the SDS. So when you were talking about the
3 difference in a well -- what would happen in a well-functioning state but
4 what happened in this case, then you -- you added:
5 "And I can say openly ... that I told the investigators when they
6 asked me about staffing and dealing with personnel issues, it was the SDS
7 that was consulted about everything, and I asked whether -- or, rather, I
8 was asked whether a minister could appoint anyone, and I answered that he
9 could when he got approval to do so."
10 That's what you said in Stanisic-Zupljanin at page 15665; right?
11 A. I stand by that statement.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And then you also said one page later, it had to be carefully
15 considered what to do when replacing people, and:
16 "... I believe it was the SDS's fault that they didn't allow the
17 professionals to do their work."
18 Correct? You stated that as well.
19 A. Those are my thoughts. I may have been wrong, but it is my
20 conviction that they remained fully professional, but unfortunately the
21 RS at the outset didn't have any kind of organisation, but both
22 Crisis Staffs and municipalities and everything else was built as we were
23 going along. If professionals had been in positions of responsibility,
24 such things would never have happened. Wherever there were professionals
25 in such positions, in the federation with the Bosniaks or on our side,
1 the likelihood of such things occurring would have been minimal.
2 Q. And perhaps last question, let me just check one thing very
3 quickly, sir.
4 And last question. Were you aware that on the 26th of November,
5 1993, Dr. Karadzic awarded the Petar Mrkonjic medal to the police station
6 in Prijedor and the Karadjordjeva medal to the former head and now
7 assistant in the Ministry of Interior, Simo Drljaca. Did you know that,
9 A. I didn't. No, I don't know that.
10 MR. TIEGER: And that's P4261. And I have no further questions.
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, do you have re-examination?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please proceed.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic;
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Avlijas, let us start with the last thing
17 the Prosecutor dealt with. You speak about it in paragraph 37 also. And
18 you mentioned that Drljaca, in your opinion, should have been held
19 responsible on the basis of command responsibility. Did you learn about
20 any information that he actively participated in that crime? Not only
21 that the perpetrators were under his command, that he actually commanded
22 the crime.
23 A. No. At the meeting he said that it was a group of breakaway
24 policemen who committed that crime. So there was no order to commit it.
25 When the centre chief, Stojan Zupljanin, informed those present that he
1 had filed criminal charges against unknown perpetrators -- and last time
2 I said that it was a matter to -- a matter for Mr. Puaca, the district
3 prosecutor for Banja Luka, to deal with.
4 Q. Now, the witness said "breakaway police officer." Did you say
5 "breakaway" or "regular"?
6 A. Breakaway, renegade, because this term "breakaway" or "renegade"
7 police officers was used all the time.
8 Q. Thank you. At that meeting, you stated that legal steps were
9 taken. Did you know that anything had been done to cover up that crime?
10 A. No, at no point in time. All those present were -- were
11 appalled, and they said that we won't let a group of criminals to tarnish
12 the whole Krajina. It was very emotional.
13 Q. Thank you. On page 98 of today's transcript, you said that -- it
14 was not recorded that there was no functioning system in place. This was
15 not recorded. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether the leaders of the
16 RS favoured that situation for this -- the dysfunctionment of the system,
17 and what was the attitude of both me and the Presidency in that respect?
18 A. Based on a number of guidelines, orders, instructions, and other
19 regulations, it can clearly be seen that the president and the government
20 made efforts for the state to function in order with our rules and
21 regulations. However, how that was implemented on the ground, I cannot
23 Q. Thank you. When you were saying that state institutions were
24 being built from scratch, do explain to the Trial Chamber what we were
25 able to keep once Bosnia-Herzegovina had fallen apart and why we had to
1 start from scratch.
2 A. Well, the whole infrastructure was in Sarajevo. We didn't even
3 have desks or chairs, let alone rules and regulations and everything
4 else. So we had to start by drafting laws, and everything we were able
5 to keep was left intact. And then we went to Montenegro because they had
6 the same rules and regulations as Bosnia-Herzegovina had had. And then
7 we went law by law, regulation by regulation, and so on, and that's how
8 we worked from the very outset.
9 Q. Please make a pause between question and answer, and do enunciate
10 the way I do so that everything can be recorded.
11 On page 95, you were asked about civilians who were -- who found
12 refuge in the KPD. Were those civilians evicted to Sarajevo against
13 their will?
14 A. No. There was widespread horror at the beginning of the war. We
15 didn't -- people didn't know where the border was, where the fighting
16 was. People were fleeing in order to preserve their lives. If you cut
17 off somebody's way of retreat, for example, the Muslims to flee to town,
18 it is normal for people to escape to where some infrastructure was to
19 save themselves. Many people were left behind and they wanted to join
20 their families, and the place to meet the families was the
21 Vrbanja Bridge. Many Serbs -- Serbs were leaving Sarajevo and the others
22 were moving in the opposite direction.
23 Q. Thank you. It was said that those people were civilians from
24 Dobrinja and Grbavica. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how far the war
25 zone was from Dobrinja or Grbavica?
1 A. In Dobrinja there was a -- Dobrinja was in fact a war zone, and
2 Grbavica was along the Miljacka River. So we're talking about streets, a
3 distance measured in streets.
4 Q. Concerning these departures upon request, were the Presidency or
5 the government in a position to forbid that, and how would that have
6 looked with regard to the rules and regulations?
7 A. Well, everybody would interpret it the way that suited them. We
8 respected the will of the people to join their families, and I think it's
9 normal for people to go where they feel safer. Once bullets fly around
10 you, you want to be safe. Others saw that as ethnic cleansing. In such
11 situations, it is very difficult to be realistic in assessing people's
13 Q. Thank you. Did you ever establish that either the government or
14 the Presidency or I personally supported ethnic cleansing?
15 A. No. That cannot be found in any one document. And if -- nobody
16 has ever ordered me anything of that kind, nor did my ministry deal with
17 anything of the sort. I never heard in the news that somebody -- or that
18 anybody ordered for some village to be cleansed or people to be evicted.
19 Q. Thank you. On page 81, the question was asked why you were sent
20 to the field, wherever. After the first visits, the first audit, it was
21 established that you were very strict. Is that why you were removed from
22 your position or were you criticised from anybody from the government or
23 from the Presidency or myself for being so strict?
24 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. No.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The question was not interpreted
2 JUDGE KWON: What is your question, Mr. Karadzic?
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. My question is: Was he criticised by me, by anyone from the
5 government, or the ministry for being strict, and was he removed from his
6 position, or was he sent to conduct further audits?
7 A. I continued to do that work, and nobody ever had any objections
8 to my reports. They were submitted to the minister, and I was -- but I
9 was never criticised by the government. I was always very frank and very
10 strict. On the contrary, my minister Jovo Rosic and Minister Kalinic
11 insisted that I be appointed as a member of the commission in April 1993.
12 In November 1993, the 3rd of November, I was appointed assistant
14 Q. Was that a promotion?
15 A. Well, probably somebody valued my work and thought that I was the
16 one who could engage in the work of implementing criminal sanctions
17 because I was a responsible person in my job. Although I must
18 immediately add that I did not belong to any political party.
19 Q. That's what I was going to ask you, but what was your question
20 whether that was -- what is your answer to the question whether that was
21 a promotion?
22 A. Well, yes, of course. I was a coordinator, but in November 1993,
23 I became assistant minister.
24 Q. Did you need a recommendation or the support of the SDS?
25 A. I didn't need any recommendation at the time. The only
1 recommendation was my work and the minister's opinion that nobody was
2 better suited for the job, and the government accepted that.
3 Q. You began to speak about the ways information was received from
4 foreigners and what happens to it later, and then there was talk of
5 pressure. Tell us first whether the information received from
6 international representatives and from the media, especially Muslim
7 media, was true, whether they depicted the situation realistically, or
8 whether they depicted it as being better or worse than in reality.
9 A. We received some information about Vogosca but we immediately
10 refused that. I think it was you, but I'm not sure, or the government
11 gave precise instructions as to which towns should be visited and I went
12 from one to the other, and there was information that there were still
13 camps in Vlasenica, Zvornik and Trnopolje. This stress was on that. In
14 Vlasenica I found nothing. I must be honest, however, and it's mentioned
15 in the statement, too, that there was a collection centre, some facility,
16 warehouse in Susica, and I was informed that everybody had been
17 exchanged. In Zvornik, I told you what I found, and in Brcko there was
18 no one prisoner. I was able to come by a list of everybody who was
19 killed in Brcko. There were about 50 people. And I made a proposal to
20 the government that an identification be carried out by an international
22 Q. Thank you. Did you notice or did you learn that I reacted and
23 demanded the government and the ministry to do something only due to this
24 pressure, or did I also react to other information?
25 A. It can be seen in the archives that -- or, rather, how many
1 instructions you gave out.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the last sentence.
3 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your last sentence.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can tell from the archives that
5 there is -- there were zillions of guidelines, instructions, orders, and
6 other relevant documents showing that President Karadzic took interest in
7 what was going on and that he also issued instructions as to how they --
8 how these prisoners should be treated.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Was that merely a reaction to pressure? And you were going to
11 say it but then you were interrupted.
12 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. When Karadzic is informed, what would he do afterwards with the
16 JUDGE KWON: Before you answer. Yes, Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Well, the first part of the question surely seems to
18 be inviting speculation, and the second part, I haven't seen a basis in
19 this witness's testimony to think he's in a position to answer that.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right. I'll rephrase. The pressure occurred in August. Did
22 you see any of my documents before this pressure in August about the need
23 to comply with the law?
24 A. It was the Official Gazette 992 reflecting your order,
25 paragraph 3, saying exactly what steps must be taken in terms of POW
1 treatment. And then Minister Subotic also said in one of his final
2 provisions who was responsible for the treatment of prisoners, the exact
3 list of commanders and all their subordinates.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Can you perhaps remember the exact date and
6 A. May 1992.
7 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us about Planjina's tower? Where was it
8 located physically in relation to the bunker?
9 A. That may have been an oversight on our part but nobody asked.
10 When I looked for that facility to put people up, I tried to keep it as
11 far away as I could from the front line. That was something that needed
12 taking into account because, as a matter of fact, they were practically
13 near Zuca itself. Then I wanted something, a building, in the general
14 direction of Semizovac, something that would be further removed from the
15 front lines that would also be fit to hold a remand prison as well as the
16 prisoners there. So we moved them some 10 or 12 kilometres deep, and at
17 this point they ended up being at least 15 kilometres from the actual
18 front lines.
19 Q. Thank you very much. What about Mr. Vlaco, could he do anything
20 without your intercession? Was he in charge of Semizovac, or was it that
21 he had something available to him but it was his intention to not put
22 them up some place better, as simple as that?
23 A. He acted of his own accord and he answered to the Crisis Staff.
24 Therefore I can't say. He probably sought out and found a location for
25 that first accommodation they were given. The rest was done as per
1 instructions, and the Crisis Staff determined that that should be the
2 building used for that purpose. They also asked me whether that was the
3 condition imposed and to be complied with based on the UN conventions on
4 the treatment of prisoners of war.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Can you tell us if the overall Muslim
6 population was placed on remand or imprisoned, and what was the basis for
7 their detention?
8 A. You can't imprison a whole group of people like that, a whole
9 nation. The basis was some people took part in combat and some other
10 people were assisting the BH Territorial Defence in some way. Money,
11 equipment, that kind of thing. And there were some combatants who were
12 actually taken prisoner but who were not at the front line. But they
13 were members of the TO.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Page 66 --
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. -- about that visit to Herzegovina.
18 JUDGE KWON: -- shall we continue tomorrow?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I need no more than five minutes,
20 Your Honour.
21 MR. TIEGER: And I will ask for leave for just one, just very
22 discrete area with two questions.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, let's continue.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. Page 66 you were asked about the visit to
1 Herzegovina. You said that you travelled via Niksic. We know where
2 Niksic is but the Chamber doesn't. Could you please explain, why did you
3 take that route and where is Niksic?
4 A. When you travel from Sarajevo to Trebinje the distance is about
5 120 kilometres. For me to reach Trebinje, the circumstances being what
6 they were, I had to take the road from Sarajevo to Zvornik, from Zvornik
7 on to Zlatibor, from Zlatibor to Pljevlja, and then on to Podgorica, and
8 from Podgorica to Niksic. All in all about 1.000 kilometres as opposed
9 to the original 120 in order to reach Bileca, so that was the
11 Q. What about Niksic, Podgorica, Zlatibor, where are all these
13 A. Niksic and Podgorica are in Montenegro, and Zlatibor is in
14 Serbia. I had to cross two republics in order to reach my eventual
15 destination, Bileca and Trebinje.
16 Q. Thank you. One more question. You said that the prisoners of
17 war were under the army's jurisdiction. Who had the authority to make
18 decisions concerning civilian prisoners, and who had the power to make
19 decisions about military prisoners? And were there any military judicial
20 bodies at the time when you were on your way to Vogosca?
21 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: I just want to see how -- I don't know where -- if
24 this is a reference to the cross-examination, I can't recall a comment or
25 question that was framed in that precise manner, so I just fear that
1 Mr. Karadzic is carving out in his question some distinctions that he
2 hopes to lead the witness to. But I don't -- unless he directs me to it,
3 I don't take that as a fair assessment of the --
4 JUDGE KWON: I think the issue arose during your cross whether
5 certain power fell on the civilian authority including the witness or to
6 the military.
7 MR. TIEGER: I'll say my recollection is that the witness said
8 repeatedly he didn't know the status of those people and then -- but he
9 did talk about who had ordered their confinement.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you go back to pages 73 and 74,
11 it wasn't just about taking prisoners. It's also about the fate of those
12 people and who could change or influence the position that they were in.
13 He said it wasn't him, it was the judiciary. That he said about the
14 civilian prisoners. Now, I'm asking him about the POWs.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. What section of the army was in a position to affect their
18 A. Perhaps you should explain the difference between people being on
19 remand and being prisoners. So remand is one thing and we needn't go
20 into that. That's for the civilian judiciary to deal with. It's the
21 civilian courts that should be dealing with that and deciding on the fate
22 of the persons on remand, awaiting trial. Prisoners are a totally
23 different thing. This has nothing to do with the Law on Criminal
24 Procedure. These persons were under the army's jurisdiction and nobody
25 else's but theirs. For a while at Kula our only task was to make sure
1 they were safe, keep them from being mistreated and to make sure they had
2 enough food to eat. Any exchanges that were conducted and anything else,
3 none of that could be done without the army's presence or assent.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, let's conclude.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just my very last question.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What about crimes under the military law? Under whose
8 jurisdiction was that?
9 A. Under the jurisdiction of the Military Court once it was
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Avlijas,
12 for your testimony, and thank you very much for having been intransigent
13 while carry out your tasks of state control back then.
14 JUDGE KWON: Very briefly, Mr. Tieger.
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. This arises out of the
16 question about strictness and even now comments about intransigence.
17 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
18 Q. Mr. Avlijas, can you confirm your evidence in the Lalovic case
19 that you were aware in 1992 that persons confined in Kula were being
20 taken away for the needs of the army but you didn't know, and I'll give
21 you the quote:
22 "I don't know what they were taken for the needs the army but I
23 don't know what these needs of the army were, probably digging trenches
24 and the rest. What else could they do? What else could they do for the
1 Can you confirm that was your testimony in Lalovic?
2 MR. ROBINSON: Objection, Mr. President. This could have been
3 asked in -- covered in the cross-examination. I don't see where it
4 really arises from the re-examination.
5 MR. TIEGER: Well, that -- that --
6 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to add to that --
7 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President. It could have been covered in
8 but I tried to be as strict as possible, and now we've got a lot of
9 emphasis on this witness's strictness and I'll follow it up with a last
11 JUDGE KWON: Why don't you leave it to the Chamber.
12 MR. TIEGER: Okay. I'm sorry -- well, I'd just like some
13 confirmation of at least that part of the testimony since I asked the
14 question, Mr. President.
15 MR. ROBINSON: But it opens up a whole other area of forced
16 labour, Mr. President, that I don't think would be correct given the
17 limited nature of what he's trying to accomplish.
18 JUDGE KWON: I see the time. Let's leave it there, Mr. Tieger.
19 Thank you, Mr. Avlijas. That concludes your evidence. Thank you
20 for your coming to The Hague to give it. Have a safe journey back home.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.55 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day
25 of March, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.