1 Friday, 22 March 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
6 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, good morning, Mr. President. I'd like to
8 introduce Catherine Connelly, from Australia, who is one of our legal
9 interns who will be joining us this session. Thank you.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Before we continue with
11 Mr. Spasojevic's -- I'm sorry.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE KWON: His evidence, there are three oral rulings the
14 Chamber wishes to give at the moment.
15 First matter is related to the Prosecution's request for deferral
16 of cross-examination of subpoenaed viva voce witnesses.
17 On the 19th of March, 2013, the Prosecution requested that
18 cross-examination of subpoenaed witnesses be, as a matter of principle,
19 postponed for two weeks until after examination-in-chief of the said
20 witnesses. In support, the Prosecution claims that it is not aware
21 whether these witnesses will ultimately testify and that it has not been
22 notified of the facts upon which these witnesses will testify. The
23 accused's legal advisor supported the Prosecution's request and submitted
24 that the Prosecution should be given some period of time to prepare after
25 examination-in-chief of subpoenaed viva voce witnesses.
1 The Chamber does not consider that the Prosecution's request is
2 warranted. Subpoenaed witnesses will necessarily testify viva voce and,
3 as such, there's obviously no need for Rule 92 ter material to be
4 disclosed ahead of testimony. In the case of witnesses who are persons
5 previously convicted by the Tribunal, such as Radislav Krstic and
6 Zdravko Tolimir, the Prosecution, as does the Defence, has access to a
7 plethora of material gathered over a number of years and to the entire
8 record of their respective trials. Moreover, for all subpoenaed
9 witnesses, the Prosecution will be able to refer to the relevant motions
10 in which the accused sets out the contours of what he expects the said
11 witness to testify about.
12 The Chamber is therefore of the view that in cases of subpoenaed
13 witnesses who are testifying viva voce, the Prosecution should be able to
14 start its cross-examination at the end of examination-in-chief by the
15 accused. Of course, there may be instances where good cause having been
16 shown by the Prosecution, a short delay before cross-examination is
18 Next matter is related to counsel for Milan Martic.
19 The Chamber is seized of detained witness Milan Martic's
20 complaint against the decision of the Registry denying the request to
21 assign Defence counsel filed on the 19th of March, 2013. In Martic's
22 submission, he informs the Chamber that he has requested that his
23 attorney, Predrag Milovancevic, act as counsel, both prior to and during
24 his testimony as part of the accused's Defence case. Martic notes that
25 the Registry has not granted this request, and that he and the Registry
1 have been unable to reach agreement regarding alternative arrangements
2 with other proposed counsel.
3 On the 20th of March, 2013, the Prosecution orally informed the
4 Chamber that it did not take a position on this matter but noted that,
5 pursuant to, inter alia, Rule 44(B) of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure
6 and Evidence, Martic's submission should be reviewed by the President.
7 On 20th of March, 2013, the accused filed the submission in
8 support of Milan Martic's appeal on assignment of counsel in support of
9 Martic's submission and furthermore requested that the Chamber vacate its
10 order, issued orally on the 13th of March, 2013, that Martic testify
11 during the week of 25th of March, 2013, because no proofing has yet taken
12 place. During a hearing on the 21st of March, the accused's legal
13 advisor argued that the Trial Chamber is competent to rule on the
15 The Chamber considers that matters related to the assignment of
16 counsel, pursuant to Rule 45 of the Rules, fall under the authority of
17 the President of the Tribunal and finds that there are no circumstances
18 in this case that warrant its involvement in the interests of justice.
19 The Chamber therefore dismisses Martic's complaint as not
20 properly filed before the Chamber. Furthermore, given the urgency of the
21 matter and the interest of judicial economy, the Chamber requests that
22 the relevant filings and transcripts of oral submissions be immediately
23 transmitted to the President.
24 Finally, given that proofing has not yet commenced, the Chamber
25 will vacate its oral ruling of 13th of March, 2013, that Martic be called
1 to testify during the week of 25th -- 25th of March, 2013. Once the
2 President has made his determination, the Chamber will return to the
3 issue of appropriate date for Martic's testimony.
4 Finally, the Chamber shall now issue an oral ruling in relation
5 to the accused's motion for disclosure of records pertaining to
6 Milan Babic, filed publicly on the 18th of March, 2013, in which the
7 accused requests, pursuant to Rule 54 of the Tribunal's Rules of
8 Procedure and Evidence, as well as Rule 34 of the Rules of Detention,
9 that the Chamber order the Registry to disclose to him all psychological
10 evaluations of Milan Babic.
11 He argues that this is necessary as the information sought goes
12 to the credibility of Babic whose evidence from previous cases was
13 admitted in this case pursuant to Rule 92 quater. The accused claims
14 that he was only recently informed by the upcoming witness, Milan Martic,
15 that Babic may have been diagnosed with a personality disorder while at
16 the detention unit. He also notes that these psychological evaluation
17 were made available to Judge Parker who conducted an inquiry into Babic's
18 suicide in 2006, as referred to in the report prepared by Judge Parker
19 following this inquiry.
20 The Prosecution responded to the accused's motion on the
21 20th of March, 2013, arguing that it should be denied on the basis that
22 the medical information sought is highly confidential and that the
23 accused has failed to show that confidential medical information
24 confirming the existence of a personality disorder even exists. In the
25 alternative, the Prosecution argues that the Chamber should examine the
1 medical information in-camera to determine whether it is relevant to any
2 of the issues in this case, before ordering its disclosure.
3 The Registry also responded to the motion on the 20th of March,
4 2013, arguing that it should be denied on the basis that the second-hand
5 unconfirmed rumour by Martic does not approach the threshold required for
6 the Trial Chamber to overturn the principle of medical confidentiality
7 enshrined in Rules 11 and 34(C) of the Rules of Detention.
8 Having considered the arguments made by the parties, the Chamber
9 finds that it is in the interests of justice and the good administration
10 of this trial that the psychological evaluation of Babic be first
11 disclosed to the Chamber for an in-camera inspection so that it can
12 determine whether they contain any information that may be relevant to
13 the accused's case. In coming to this conclusion, the Chamber considered
14 the fact that Babic's evidence was admitted under Rule 92 quater and
15 that, therefore, the accused was devoid of an opportunity to
16 cross-examine him. The Chamber was also not persuaded by the main crux
17 of the Prosecution's and the Registry's responses to the effect that, by
18 relying on Martic, the accused has made no genuine effort to demonstrate
19 that Babic's medical information would be relevant and necessary to his
20 case. Given the highly confidential nature of the medical documentation
21 sought, it is not clear to the Chamber how the accused could have
22 obtained more information or done more to support this motion.
23 Accordingly, the Chamber orders the Registrar, pursuant to
24 Rule 54 of the Rules, to provide the Chamber with the copies of any
25 reports or information on the psychological state of Milan Babic while at
1 the detention unit. The Chamber shall then inspect these psychological
2 evaluations in-camera before deciding whether they should be disclosed to
3 the accused.
4 Unless there are any other matters --
5 Yes, we received the go from Judge Lattanzi. French translation
6 has been just completed.
7 Yes Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER: It's nice to see the shoe on the other foot.
9 I just wanted to make one note, Mr. President. The Court has
10 been dealing with, during the course of this week, various problems
11 arising from the e-court upgrade. I wanted to note that those problems
12 persist after court. And indeed what seems to be happening and what was
13 reflected over the course of the last two nights is that e-court is not
14 available after court and then is fixed immediately before court. Now,
15 that -- so the process appears to be less troublesome than it has been in
16 court, but in effect is inaccessible to the parties at critical periods.
17 We're making efforts to bring it to the attention of the relevant
18 arms of the Tribunal so it can be addressed, but I simply wanted to note
19 that because it has a tremendous impact on the parties' ability to
20 prepare. And it hasn't delayed things yet, but with the weekend coming
21 up, I'm concerned about what kind of impact it may have.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. It is duly noted, Mr. Tieger.
23 Shall we bring in the witness.
24 MR. ROBINSON: While we have some time and we're bringing in the
25 witness, I would -- with respect to those -- those oral rulings that you
1 made today, some of them are quite important for the jurisprudence of the
2 Tribunal. I think the issue of the jurisdiction of Mr. Martic's
3 complaint as well as the inspection of the witness's psychological
4 records are issues of first impression at the Tribunal, and when you make
5 an oral ruling, it doesn't really lend itself to being available to
6 others in the jurisprudence. And I was wondering whether the Chamber
7 might consider making some -- putting some cover page and making a
8 written record of your oral decisions so that it is entered into the
9 database of the Tribunal and can be researched and located by people who
10 are studying these things.
11 Thank you.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE KWON: That seems to be the sort of idea that I'm hearing
14 for the first time. The Chamber will give it a think.
15 Good morning, Mr. Spasojevic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Ms. Gustafson.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. And good morning, Your Honours.
19 WITNESS: DUSAN SPASOJEVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson: [Continued]
22 Q. And good morning, Mr. Spasojevic.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to 65 ter 24806, please.
24 Q. And, Mr. Spasojevic, when we concluded yesterday, we were
25 discussing the multiple murder of members of the Sarajlic and other
1 families, and today I'd like to turn to another criminal event involving
2 a murder and rape against Muslim civilians in Bijeljina and this was a
3 crime that the police in Bijeljina actually did investigate at the time.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 38 in both languages of
5 this document, which is a Humanitarian Law Centre report on Serbian war
6 crimes trials in 2012.
7 Q. Now, at the bottom of the page this report refers to the 2012
8 conviction of Dragan Jovic, Zoran Djurdjevic and Alen Ristic by the
9 higher court in Belgrade. Now you testified in that trial in 2011 in
10 relation to an investigation you conducted in 1992; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we he could go to the next page in both
14 Q. At the top of the page, under "Course of Proceedings," the
15 indictment against the accused is summarised. And it explains that on --
16 the allegations were that on the 14th of June, 1992, in Bijeljina, the
17 three accused, together with two others, entered the house of Ramo Avdic,
18 seeking weapons. After a hand-over of weapons, they took money and
19 jewellery, then raped Mr. Ramo's daughter and daughter-in-law, in the
20 presence of Mr. Avdic's wife and son. Then they killed Mr. Avdic by
21 placing a gun into his mouth and pulling the trigger. They then took the
22 two women who they had already raped, paraded them naked through the
23 town, stole a car from a nearby house, drove the two women towards the
24 village of Ljeljenca, stopped the car, took the two women out of the car,
25 raped and sexually abused them again, and left them at the side of the
2 Now is that information the same or similar to the information
3 you gathered about this crime at the time?
4 A. Yes. And it is completely truthful. I would just add something,
5 if I may, and that was the check-point that you asked me about yesterday.
6 It had a very important role, because you suggested yesterday the
7 volunteers had set up the check-points. It was the police employees who
8 set up the check-points. We had five of these, and the aim was to
9 prevent such acts and also looting and thefts and so on.
10 Q. What check-point are you referring to?
11 A. That was the check-point in the direction of Brcko. That was
12 where these persons were stopped and arrested. And we had another four,
13 if I'm not mistaken, in the direction of Raca, Zvornik and Ugljevik, so I
14 think there were four or five check-points but they were all police
16 Q. Okay. And if we go down to not the immediately following
17 paragraph but the one after that, the summary says:
18 "Testifying in their own defence, the accused said they went to
19 Bosnia as volunteers, under the auspices of the Serb Radical Party, and
20 when they arrived Bosnia, the VRS supplied them with uniforms and
22 Now is that consistent with information you gathered at the time,
23 about the accused?
24 A. Yes.
25 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. And if we could go to the next page in
1 both languages.
2 Q. And towards the bottom of the first full paragraph, it refers to
3 your involvement. It says -- in the trial. It says:
4 "Also questioned were witnesses Dusan Spasojevic, a police
5 inspector, and Milorad Lovre, a crime scene technician, both working at
6 the Bijeljina SUP at the time. Immediately after the injured parties
7 reported the crime, the two men performed an investigation and obtained
8 medical documentation for the injured parties, Nizama and Hajreta."
9 And again, is this an accurate description of what you told the
10 court in 2011 and what you did at the time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. And in the next paragraph about four lines down, the
13 summary says:
14 "On the basis of their own testimonies," and they're talking
15 about the testimony of accused, "and the testimonies of witnesses
16 Dusan Spasojevic," you, "and Ramo Fazic, the court established that the
17 injured parties were civilians and that the victim Ramo Avdic was no
18 Muslim extremist but a reservist at the Bijeljina SUP, a wealthy and
19 respected man actively involved in efforts towards a peaceful settlement
20 of conflicts between Serbs and Muslims in Bijeljina."
21 Now, is that -- can you confirm these facts and is that
22 consistent with what you told the court in 2011?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. If we could go to the next page in both
1 And this is towards the bottom of the first full paragraph in
2 English and near the bottom of the page in the B/C/S.
3 Q. It says:
4 "The fact that the accused took money and valuables while in the
5 house was established both on the basis of the injured parties'
6 testimonies and the testimony of witness Dusan Spasojevic, who said that
7 during the arrest, the police found money and gold jewellery on the
8 accused and returned it to the injured parties."
9 And there's a footnote after the word "arrest" and at the bottom
10 of the page it says:
11 "The defendants were arrested by the Bijeljina police department
12 following the incident and handed over to the military police who
13 released them a couple of days, after which the defendants went to an
14 area in the Zvornik municipality and joined the paramilitary formation
15 Simo's Chetniks."
16 And again, is that consistent with information you gathered at
17 the time?
18 A. As the persons were uniformed, we could keep them detained for
19 three days in detention on remand, and they were then handed over to the
20 military police who expelled them in the territory of Serbia but they
21 could have arrived in Zvornik by some other way.
22 Q. So you confirm that the military authorities didn't process this
23 crime but they, as you put it, expelled the accused?
24 A. I think that the statements were taken from them and forwarded to
25 a military court, and that 15 or 20 days later, as far as I can remember,
1 they were expelled to the territory of Serbia because there were no
2 conditions to initiate proceedings.
3 Q. Can you explain what you mean by "no conditions to initiate
5 A. Proceedings were actually initiated in terms of the documents
6 that were collected, and everything else that it was possible to collect,
7 it was collected. But I think that the military court was just being
8 established and they had no premises and so on, so I believe that that
9 was how things went and that those were the reasons.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just intervene about the
11 transcript because the witness said conditions for conducting proceedings
12 rather than initiating proceedings and these were problems with
14 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Whether it is translation issue, we'll
15 leave it.
16 But this document says "a couple of days later." But you said
17 "15 or 20 days later." Do you have any basis that this document we are
18 seeing is not correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not claim that it is not
20 correct, but Bijeljina is a small town, and I went to a cafe with the
21 policeman that I handed them over to, and he told me that they were
22 expelled to Serbia. This is it how I got this information.
23 JUDGE KWON: But how long after were they expelled? After being
24 handed over to the military police.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps they were in the police
1 prison on remand three days until statements were taken from them and the
2 other documents prepared. Because they were wearing uniforms, after
3 three days they were handed over to the military police, and I could even
4 claim that they were up to 30 days held in the military police remand
5 prison but I cannot claim that with full certainty.
6 JUDGE KWON: Back to you Ms. Gustafson.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON:
8 Q. Mr. Spasojevic, if the military court wasn't sufficiently
9 prepared to deal with this crime, why weren't they then just handed back
10 to the civilian authorities to deal with? Why instead were the
11 perpetrators of this terrible crime allowed to go free?
12 A. I cannot answer that question for you.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. I'd like to tender page -- the cover page
14 of this document and pages 38 to 42, which discuss this trial.
15 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6218, Your Honours.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON:
18 Q. And one last question on this document, Mr. Spasojevic. This
19 report indicates that the Belgrade Higher Court did indeed convict these
20 three defendants of this crime in June 2012. Can you confirm this?
21 A. Yes, I went to testify there.
22 Q. Just to clarify, you are aware that they were ultimately
23 convicted; is that right?
24 A. I was not aware of that, but ...
25 Q. But you have no reason to doubt the assertion in this report that
1 the Belgrade Higher Court entered a conviction; is that right?
2 A. I never had any suspicions regarding the court anyway.
3 Q. Okay. And after these perpetrators were released or expelled, as
4 you put it, by the military police, there was nothing done about this
5 crime for years, and it was only in 2009 that the Bijeljina prosecutor's
6 office opened an investigation into this case; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to 65 ter 24795, please.
9 This is the 2009 order from the Bijeljina prosecutor's office to
10 the SJB Bijeljina to open an investigation into this case. And if we go
11 to page 3 of the English, and page 3 of the B/C/S, at the bottom of the
12 English, the very top of the B/C/S, the document says:
13 "The order can be justified by the following circumstances and
15 And if we go to the next page in the English there is a list of
16 all the investigative steps that were taken. And we can see a number of
17 steps taken in the days immediately after this crime by the Bijeljina SJB
18 and the Bijeljina Lower Court. We see underlined in the middle of the
19 page, it's -- there's a confirmation of the SJB Bijeljina of the
20 19th of June, 1992, of the handing over of the perpetrators to the
21 military authorities.
22 Q. Is that consistent with your recollection of when these
23 perpetrators were handed over to the military police?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. And then there are -- right after that, there are a number
1 of documents referred from the 2000s. There's a 2006 notice of the War
2 Crimes Department of the prosecutor's office. It appears that one of the
3 witnesses was examined in 2004, and there was a decision of the district
4 court in Bijeljina of 2003. And everything else relates to the actions
5 of the Bijeljina police and the Bijeljina Lower Court.
6 So, again, this document confirms that there were no
7 investigative steps taken after this initial investigation until 2003 at
8 the earliest; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And just in relation to one of your earlier answers about -- you
11 thought that the military authorities had taken statements or taken some
12 other steps, there's no mention anywhere in this list of evidence that
13 the military authorities took any investigative steps whatsoever.
14 Can you explain that, in light of your earlier answer?
15 A. Well, I have no insight into the documentation of the military
16 authorities, and I could not know what they did.
17 Q. Okay.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd like to tender this document, please.
19 JUDGE KWON: But on the same page we see several interviews made
20 by SJB Bijeljina. That's correct.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour. My point was that there was an
22 investigation conducted by the SJB immediately after this event and this
23 document is consistent with that.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive this.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6219, Your Honours.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: Now if we could go -- I'm like to move on to
2 another topic, but if we could to P2919, the last page of that document.
3 Q. Just before we go to that next topic I'd like to go back briefly
4 to something we discussed yesterday.
5 Yesterday you said that you knew Redzep Sabanovic by sight, and
6 that was at page 35842.
7 So if ... if we could -- if could you have a look at that photo,
8 and if we could make it a bit larger.
9 Are you able to recognise Redzep Sabanovic in this photograph,
10 Mr. Spasojevic?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you. If we could now then move onto the next topic which
13 is -- in fact the last topic I wanted to discuss with you. And that's
14 the -- your involvement in the commission investigating events in
15 Srebrenica that you discuss at the paragraph 19 of your statement.
16 And you said at that paragraph that you, together with
17 Goran Filipic and Dejan Joksimovic were involved in the commission
18 investigating events surrounding Srebrenica during the war.
19 Now, that commission you refer to, that was the commission formed
20 by the RS government in 2003 that issued its report in June 2004. Is
21 that a correct understanding?
22 A. Yes. But I'd just like to make a correction in that explanation
23 of yours.
24 This was a commission that had been established by the government
25 of Republika Srpska, and we, as policemen, tried to establish where the
1 secondary and primary graves were. That was our foremost task in that
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to 65 ter 24799.
4 Q. Now, this is the report that that commission issued in 2004. And
5 the commission members who were listed as signing the report were
6 Milan Bogdanic, Djordje Stojakovic, Smail Cekic, Gordon Bacon,
7 Gojko Vuketic, Milorad Ivosevic, and Zeljko Vujadinovic.
8 So I take it from that that you were not a named commission
9 member but you were working for the commission collecting information; is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes. And I had a meeting with them.
12 Q. And you weren't involved in drafting this report, were you, the
13 actual writing of the report?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you were collecting information on behalf of this commission,
16 but I take it you didn't have access to all of the information that this
17 commission gathered from its various sources.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now in your statement you asserted that this report was published
20 under pressure and that it ignored what you referred to as real facts.
21 Now, what this report found was that there was -- there were some
22 combat victims on both sides due to combat between the column fleeing
23 Srebrenica and the VRS and MUP forces. But it also found that VRS and
24 MUP forces detained and executed thousands of Bosnian Muslim males from
25 Srebrenica, and I'd like to take you through some of those findings and
1 ask you some questions about them.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if, first, we could go to page 14 in the
3 English, page 15 in the B/C/S.
4 Q. And here near the top of the page in the English and in the
5 middle of the B/C/S, the report finds that Bosnian Serb MUP forces killed
6 roughly a thousand prisoners at the Kravica warehouse on 13th of July,
8 Now, is that fact, according to you, true, false, or you don't
10 A. I don't know.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. If we could go to page 15 of the English
12 and page 16 of the B/C/S. Near the top of the English, near the bottom
13 in the B/C/S, the report concludes that approximately a thousand
14 prisoners from Grbavci were taken away from Grbavci, blindfolded, and
15 executed in meadows in Orahovac, and that around 1500 to 2.000 prisoners
16 whose hands were tied behind their backs were executed at the Petkovci
17 dam, both on the 14th of July.
18 Again is this true, false, or you don't know?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. And one more finding at page 18 of the English and page 20 of the
21 B/C/S. Near the top -- at the top of the page in the English and the
22 middle of the B/C/S, the report finds that on the 16th of July, between
23 1.000 and 1200 prisoners were taken from Pilica and executed at the
24 Branjevo military farm, and around 500 prisoners were executed at the
25 Pilica cultural centre, and another 500 prisoners executed in Kozluk.
1 True, false, or you don't know?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Okay. Again, in your statement, you said that this report was
4 published under pressure and ignored real facts. Can you point to
5 anything specific in this report that you claim is false?
6 A. Well, when we had a meeting, the entire commission was there, and
7 the meeting was held with the head of the public security centre in
8 Bijeljina, in his office. The commission was so angry at us, they were
9 so rude and brazen that every person had to be found and I immediately
10 saw that all of this was political. This was political pressure from
11 them against us. Really, during that month or two, sometimes we didn't
12 even go home. We established the locations of these primary and
13 secondary graves, and all of that was handed over to them, but during
14 that work, we came to certain facts and evidence that refuted what you
15 presented to us now. That's what I can say. Especially these figures
16 that were bandied about. I'm not challenging that a crime happened but
17 what I'm challenging is that the truth was not established there. That's
18 what I'm saying, actually. As a person who worked in the police for
19 30 years, that's what I can say.
20 Q. Okay. Well, let me ask you this: Once of the commission's
21 apparent sources of information was Dragan Obrenovic, because there's
22 information in this report discussing Obrenovic's knowledge and actions
23 at this time and I refer to pages 16 and 17.
24 Were you aware of the fact of whether or not Dragan Obrenovic was
25 a source of information for the commission?
1 A. I don't know. We just did police work, that is to say, operative
2 work on the ground.
3 Q. So then you also didn't know that before this report was
4 published, Dragan Obrenovic had pled guilty to and admitted his own
5 involvement in the murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslims from
6 Srebrenica, and had provided a detailed statement of facts about his
7 involvement and the involvement of other VRS and MUP officials and units
8 in these events. That was in May 2003 and that's on the ICTY web site.
9 Did you know about that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Okay. And the source of information that you specifically cite
12 in your statement is policeman Meholjic from Srebrenica and what he told
13 you. Now, Mr. Hakija Meholjic was one of the Bosnian Muslim men from
14 Srebrenica who actually made it with the column to ABiH-held territory;
15 isn't that right?
16 A. Yes. He is just one of the many persons that we talked to.
17 Q. Okay. But he's the one -- he's the person, the only person you
18 mention in your statement, which is why I ask you about it.
19 So he didn't have any first-hand information about what happened
20 to the men who were detained or captured by the VRS, did he?
21 A. Since he was a policeman, and I'm a policeman too, it was easiest
22 for me to communicate with him as he talked about how this happened. He
23 didn't say anything specific to me, but he was sort of talking about what
24 had happened.
25 Also, other persons that we talked to indicated that there were
1 something illogical, things that happened and that had not been
2 investigated in accordance with the rules of police work and in
3 accordance with the provisions of the Law on Criminal Procedure.
4 Q. And this commission report that's on the screen, the one you
5 criticise and claim was published under pressure, this report was
6 accepted at the time by both the RS government and the RS president,
7 Dragan Cavic, and this was a relatively historic occasion given that it
8 was the first time the RS authorities had acknowledged VRS and MUP
9 responsibility for mass killings in relation to Srebrenica; right?
10 A. He is a politician and I'm just a policeman.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. If we could go to 65 ter 24801, please.
12 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, may this report be admitted.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: I was going to seek its admission as well.
14 JUDGE KWON: I don't see any difficulty.
15 We'll admit it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6220, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE KWON: Can I intervene just a moment?
18 Mr. Spasojevic, in answer to the question of Ms. Gustafson, you
19 said you do not challenge that the crimes were committed.
20 Do you remember having said that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE KWON: But previously, in -- in answer to the question of
23 Ms. Gustafson regarding the crimes happened at Kravica warehouse,
24 Orahovac, Petkovic, Pilica, Kozluk, et cetera, you said you don't know.
25 What do you mean by saying you do not know?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I know later, but at that
2 moment when it happened I didn't know. That's what I meant when I was
3 answering the Prosecutor's questions. So I know how it happened when we
4 were working on it so that should be in our notes, in the material that
5 is certainly there.
6 JUDGE KWON: Now you know what happened.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 Please continue, Ms. Gustafson.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Spasojevic, on the screen now are conclusions of the
12 RS government from its 99th session held on the 28th of October, 2004,
13 and you can see that under number 1, it says that the government
14 considered and accepted the report of the commission for investigation of
15 events in and around Srebrenica between 10 and 19 July 1995.
16 And if we go to page 3, in both languages, this is part of the
17 explanation attached to the government's conclusions, the document
18 extracts an address that the RS president, Dragan Cavic gave in relation
19 to this report where he stated that the report is the beginning of a
20 difficult and probably for all of us sometimes empty road of disclosing
21 of the truth, and he goes on to talk about the importance of the
22 commission's work and the importance of continuing to walk towards the
24 Now, this document reflects both the fact that the government and
25 president at the time accepted this report and the historic nature of the
1 report and the circumstances; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd like to tender this document.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6221, Your Honours.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: And I have no further questions.
7 Q. I'd like to thank you very much, Mr. Spasojevic, for answering my
8 questions so directly and concisely.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Gustafson.
10 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Good morning, Excellencies.
12 Good morning to all.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Spasojevic.
15 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
16 Q. Please, while we still have this document here before us, can you
17 tell us whether you know who Marko Arsovic is?
18 A. I don't know anyone of these gentlemen.
19 Q. And do you know what this means? Due to difficulties that were
20 pointed out in the first preliminary report, the government of
21 Republika Srpska dismissed the chairman of the commission,
22 Mr. Marko Arsovic and appointed Milan Bogdanic as new chairman.
23 Did you know that there was a change there?
24 A. We heard about that, but I wasn't that interested.
25 Q. Thank you. However, if you didn't know him personally, did you
1 know that Marko Arsovic had been a judge of the Supreme Court of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina for many, many years and later on in Republika Srpska?
3 A. I heard of that, but I never met him personally. I don't know
4 the man.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have page 30 in English. I
7 hope it's the same page in Serbian, this report.
8 JUDGE KWON: This is only four pages. You mean the previous
9 report, Exhibit P6220.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I do apologise. Thank
12 30 in English, please. I believe it's the same in Serbian too.
13 No, it's probably 28 in Serbian then.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: I believe it's page 35 in the Serbian.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for your kindness.
16 Yes, thank you.
17 And we'll also have to move onto 36.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. As for this document, as for this report, Mr. Spasojevic, would
20 you sign that?
21 A. No. No, no.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please go back to the
24 previous page in Serbian. Just a moment, please.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Please take a look at this, the second paragraph:
2 "There were cases where, in the application, a person is
3 registered as missing in the period of July 1995, but in evidence
4 materials, that date refers to the period before or after July 1995."
5 Did you know that? Is that one of the reasons why you would not
6 sign this document?
7 A. That's one of the reasons, because these documents were drafted
8 in too amateur a way.
9 Q. Look at this part, there are some persons in four cases, the
10 person represented in the application are still alive.
11 Were there such cases?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have 1D00692.
15 I'm not sure that we have a translation, since it's not there.
16 No, we don't.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You mentioned Mr. Meholjic today in answer to the Prosecutor's
19 question there. On the 22nd of April, I think it was last year, I'm not
20 sure, but it must say somewhere, the war-time commander of the Bosnian
21 police in Srebrenica, Hakija Meholjic said at the meeting of the
22 organising board for the celebration of --
23 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Before reading out, could you put
24 your question, some foundational question first.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Spasojevic, what were the objections about the establishment
3 of facts surrounding Srebrenica in 1995 that you learned from
4 Mr. Meholjic?
5 A. Well, it was more in a conversation that we referred to certain
6 defects there, that there were betrayals and crimes committed within
7 their ranks. Along those lines.
8 Q. Did he tell you that also the persons who did not perish there
9 were buried?
10 A. Yes, he did refer to several dozen individuals who weren't killed
11 there but who were buried at the memorial centre.
12 JUDGE KWON: Very leading.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Can you enumerate the irregularities that he saw as a policeman
15 of Muslim ethnicity, a fighter for an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina,
16 concerning the facts as they were established? Can you list them,
18 A. Well, it's something that I can say in generalised terms, that he
19 said that he was unhappy, that they had been sold, that they had been
20 sacrificed, that Naser Oric and all the others had fled earlier on,
21 leaving all the wretched and miserable people in the lurch.
22 Q. And as for the establishment effects itself, what were the
23 objections he had and the criticism?
24 A. As a policeman, he wasn't happy with the way the information was
25 processed, and he said that in ten years time this would come back to
1 haunt us. It was done in an amateurish way and he noted that. He
2 observed that.
3 Q. Can you look at this document now and say whether it reflects
4 what you were told?
5 A. Yes, this was the context generally in which it was said.
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: If the accused is going to use a document in
8 B/C/S, then he can't just ask a question like that, because otherwise we
9 have no idea what the document says or what's going on.
10 JUDGE KWON: Absolutely correct.
11 But you are putting the document which we can't read and with a
12 leading question. The answer so adduced has no probative value at all.
13 You are ruining the weight of your evidence, Mr. Karadzic.
14 But he has already answered the question.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Spasojevic, can I ask you to read, for instance, paragraph 4,
17 where his words are quoted.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Sorry, I think we need to back up. We don't even
19 know what this document is. And I think as an initial step, some
20 foundation has to be laid, some questions have to be asked about that.
21 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I think that Dr. Karadzic can
22 ask him to tell what this document is in general. But I also think in
23 light of the objection and the fact that we can't read it, that asking
24 him to read the pertinent portion is a very useful step.
25 JUDGE KWON: We have some foundational fact, but he failed to
1 introduce this as some -- what kind of document it is. That's the first
2 step he should have taken.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I thought that
4 we were familiar with the logo of the news agency by now.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Spasojevic, who issued this?
7 A. The Republika Srpska news agency "Srna" did.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you read for us paragraph 4, please.
9 A. It was on the blood of Srebrenica that the war in BiH was brought
10 to a close. Srebrenica was sold in order for Sarajevo to become a
11 canton. I was in a Srebrenica delegation during the war in 1993, in
12 Sarajevo, at a meeting with Alija Izetbegovic, at which point we rejected
13 his point that Srebrenica be sacrificed in exchange for Vogosca.
14 Unfortunately, this did happen in 1995, and somebody profited from our
15 sacrifices and there was quite a lot of that at the back of the tragedy.
16 Q. Can you read or can you tell us what paragraph 2 says? Can you
17 summarise it for us.
18 A. Well, they are -- they have caused us to travel to the ends of
19 the earth while those who remained there squabble over personal
21 Q. And what about the buried 75 that are mentioned there?
22 A. Those 75 persons who were buried at the memorial centre in
23 Srebrenica whilst not having been killed in Srebrenica should be reburied
24 at an adequate location close by. And as for those who were found to be
25 alive, although their names are on the wall of those that perished at the
1 memorial centre, should be stricken.
2 Q. And what else does he say?
3 A. Well, that he says that the actual truth about Srebrenica should
4 be told because we know who did what during the war and after the war.
5 What he meant was that the victims should not be the subject of
6 manipulation or offence.
7 Q. And how does this concord with what he told you when you spoke to
9 A. When we spoke, he told me the same story although in what were
10 police terms.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted and marked for
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Spasojevic -- just a second.
15 You said that this is what "Srna" issued. But is this an
16 interview or -- or a news report by a journalist, or what? What -- what
17 is it about?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time I'm seeing
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may be of assistance.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Spasojevic, can you look at paragraph 1. What is this about,
23 what sort of report and about which meeting?
24 A. Well, this is some sort of organising committee that is charged
25 with marking the 11th of July, organised by the families of the victims.
1 That's something that Hamdija Meholjic must have said on that occasion.
2 Q. In other words, it's a news report from that meeting; right?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, this is just an example. The title of
5 the document on e-court says it's Meholjic's statement and what we all
6 can see is "Srna." And we have no idea what this document is about.
7 Whether alleged Mr. Meholjic wrote an article or statement under the
8 title of "Srna."
9 So you should introduce some foundation before you put the
10 question. Not only the content.
11 Can I hear from you, Ms. Gustafson?
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: I don't have anything to add. I think my
13 objections were all along the same lines.
14 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark it for identification.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D3143, Your Honours.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My apologies for my inartfulness.
17 I thought it was clear that this was a news report about a meeting and I
18 wanted to save time. At any rate, I kindly ask for your understanding in
19 this matter.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Spasojevic, you stated today that everything you did was
22 noted down in records that exist. And where should they be?
23 A. Well, they should be in public security centre in Bijeljina.
24 Q. Can you tell us, how can we search for it in the archives? Is
25 there a title that this collection of documents would have?
1 A. Well, it would be listed under the Srebrenica case. That's how
2 it would be called.
3 Q. You spoke about gathering information. As a policeman, in order
4 to establish facts, was it important for you to read the statements of
5 Dragan Obrenovic and others?
6 A. No.
7 Q. While working on this case, did you come across a fact that would
8 speak about my involvement in the activities following the fall of
9 Srebrenica that you described?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you. At page 14, you were asked why it was that between
12 1992 and 2003, no investigations were conducted.
13 My question for you is this: Is it necessary for the activities
14 that a certain body charged with investigation carried out
15 contemporaneously to be re-done at a later point?
16 A. No.
17 Q. At page 12, line 20, my learned friend Ms. Gustafson said that
18 they were set free. They were released.
19 Were they, indeed, released, and was this case closed?
20 A. I think that they spent some 20 days in military detention. At
21 the time, the military court was being set up, possibly there were no
22 conditions in place, and it is possible that statements were taken from
23 them and that they were expelled.
24 Q. And would the case have been closed or would it have remained
25 open and then on the basis of that case, a trial followed?
1 A. Well, it was on the basis of that case file, on the basis of --
2 that our documentation, the court in Belgrade conducted proceedings.
3 Q. The investigation material cites Dosa Todorovic as one of the
4 victims. Can you tell the Chamber who she is, if you know, and
5 specifically what her ethnicity is?
6 A. She's a disabled woman who lives on her own, and she's a Serb.
7 They took her money and jewellery, and I think they killed her. I can't
8 recall at this time.
9 Q. In other words, a Serb lady was robbed, and this was part of that
10 same crime; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Yesterday at page 97, you were asked about the investigation
13 concerning those other cases, those other families.
14 Can you tell us this: As the investigation was in course, how
15 were the perpetrators listed, as known or unknown?
16 A. Well, as unknown. We knew nothing of them.
17 This event was something that became public knowledge three days
19 Q. You mean these events --
20 A. Yes, I learnt of those events three days later.
21 Q. And when were the perpetrators finally identified?
22 A. I can't set a specific time on that. It was something that was
23 at the forefront of our minds. This case was open, it was a crime, but I
24 can't recall.
25 Q. Thank you. Going back to what I asked you earlier on, the case
1 involving Dosa Todorovic and Muslims. Was it the case that the state
2 suppressed some information or failed to do anything in that respect?
3 A. No, no, it was a case like any other.
4 Q. What sort of role could the president of the republic have played
5 in the activities carried out by investigative and judicial bodies?
6 A. None.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you know what became of this individual Malovic
8 who was mentioned as a possible perpetrator?
9 A. He was killed in Belgrade. I don't know which year that was, but
10 that was shortly after the events. Apparently he was involved in heroin
11 smuggling together with another Belgrade criminal.
12 Q. Thank you. In connection with the events in 1992, March and
13 April, you said that you yourself saw the body of one Stevanovic. Can
14 you tell us what his ethnicity was and whether he was a soldier or a
16 A. This was close to the building where I live. This civilian,
17 Stevanovic, I believe he was a Serb. I don't know. I don't know his
18 first name.
19 Q. Thank you. At page 89 - that was yesterday - you were also asked
20 about victims, and probably because of the linguistic nuances, the matter
21 remained unclear.
22 Mr. Spasojevic, do you distinguish between the term "killed," as
23 in murdered, and killed as in got killed? And if you do distinguish
24 between these terms, in what way do you do so?
25 A. Well, murdered means the person is dead, of course. But you have
1 to establish how death came about. And killed, of course, is the same
3 JUDGE KWON: [Microphone not activated] Yes, please continue. Put
4 a pause between the questions and the answers.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And how do we call the victims who lost their lives in combat and
9 how do we call the victims who lost their lives because of a criminal
10 murder? How would you call one and how would you call the other?
11 A. Well, victims are those who get killed in armed conflict. And we
12 also have victims of crime who were murdered. Someone took their life.
13 And it was an act.
14 I did not add this in my statement. Their intention was to loot
15 Ramovic, but it was unfortunate that one of them killed him because he
16 was more intoxicated than the other one. I just don't know which one it
18 Q. Excuse me, I have already moved to 1992, Stevanovic, and you said
19 that --
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. In your answer, we heard same
21 terminology of "victims." Did you distinguish in B/C/S? Victims of
22 those who get killed in armed conflict and the victims of crime?
23 We heard the same term, "victims." But did you use different
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is similar. Similar.
1 JUDGE KWON: But different?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a victim of an armed conflict
3 was someone who lost his life, and you have a criminal act when somebody
4 takes somebody's life.
5 JUDGE KWON: How do you spell a victim of an armed conflict in
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That also means that someone's life
8 was taken. But in the other case, the victim's life was also taken.
9 JUDGE KWON: The spelling is the same in -- in both cases. You
10 use the same term?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In armed conflict, you would say a
12 victim of armed conflict. And if it's a criminal act, a criminal
13 offence, then we talk about victims who were murdered.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can you tell us about the words "ubijen," killed, and "poginuo,"
19 also killed. Who are the persons that we say are "poginuli" and who are
20 the persons we say are "ubijeni"?
21 A. "Ubijeni," killed, in one sense is when he and the other side
22 also used weapons. And "poginuo" is killed -- means sporadically, by a
23 stray bullet or between two -- caught by cross-fire and so on.
24 Q. Thank you. Yesterday on page 90 you said that doctors examined
25 the bodies. Was it the so-called external examination or do you know
1 whether in those who were victims of conflict forensic analysis was done
2 or autopsies? Or were these victims considered victims of armed
3 conflicts or victims of murder in the criminal sense?
4 A. We consider them to be victims of armed conflict. And in
5 Bijeljina we do not have an autopsy expert. This is why only an external
6 examination of the bodies was conducted by the doctors.
7 Q. Thank you. And this is described somewhere; correct?
8 A. Yes. The documents exist and they should be available.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have a look at the
11 photograph, P2919. Page 28, please.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can you please look closely at the position of the arms and head.
14 And can you tell us whether these persons are alive or dead and whether
15 it is possible that they were ordered to lie down facing the pavement.
16 Please look at the arms under the head in one and the other case.
17 A. As the first one has this --
18 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: The latter part of this question, I think, just
20 calls for speculation.
21 JUDGE KWON: Well, I'd like to hear the answer.
22 Can you answer the question?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first person lying down, there
24 seems to be a pool of blood. There's some liquid there and it seems to
25 me that it's blood.
1 And as for the other two persons, at a first glance, as a layman,
2 I perhaps would think that they are alive because they have their arms
3 put in front of their heads. But it's difficult to judge only on the
4 basis of this photograph.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. Do you recognise the persons and the area? Could you
7 tell us where this was shot?
8 A. Well, I'm not familiar. It seems to be a back street.
9 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you said that Arkan arrived with 16 men.
10 Could you tell us how many Arkan's men were killed?
11 A. I really don't know that. I learned this information only
12 afterwards, after the termination of the armed conflict, that there were
13 around 15 or 16 of them, but I don't know how many lost their lives.
14 That's really interesting. Because I didn't do this. It was a colleague
15 of mine who conducted the external examination of the bodies and so on,
16 and therefore I couldn't really tell you this.
17 Q. All right. Thank you. Please tell us though, you did mention
18 something about it, but just tell us --
19 JUDGE KWON: It's now time for me to put a question to you.
20 But putting that question, I will have to ask you whether it is
21 your case that the -- these persons are alive being ordered to lie down
22 facing the pavement.
23 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, it's our case that we don't know.
24 And nor has it been proven that these people are deceased.
25 JUDGE KWON: And you challenge the evidence that the lady was the
1 one who we saw in another page.
2 MR. ROBINSON: We don't stipulate to that evidence, so we put the
3 Prosecution to their proof on all of these issues.
4 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's move on.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Spasojevic, could you tell us, as you told us that most
8 barricades were located around the police building, can you tell us where
9 there were most Muslim casualties on the 31st of March and the
10 1st of April, 1992?
11 A. I think that it was near the hospital, in the direction of
12 Zvornik. It's one -- that was the town hospital, and that was where the
13 biggest barricade was located.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasojevic. Thank you for your testimony -- thank
15 you for -- oh, excuse me.
16 Who did you do this for, all these activities that you carried
17 out and applying the law?
18 A. I've been a policeman since 1976 and I did as I was taught to do.
19 Q. Were there any obstructions or pressure from government organs or
20 any requests to turn a blind eye to something, to cover something up?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Thank you for having come here to testify and for having been a
23 good policeman.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That concludes your evidence,
25 Mr. Spasojevic. On behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your
1 coming to The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
2 We'll rise all together. We'll break for half an hour and resume
3 at 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. First I'd like to introduce
8 Nabilah Reza, from Australia, who is one of our legal interns who will be
9 joining us for this session. We've managed to get all of our interns
10 into court this week and take advantage of the absence of Mr. Sladojevic,
11 but he'll be back on Monday.
12 With respect to the next witness, Mr. President, I wanted to
13 address one issue in private session, if we can.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Could the Chamber move into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Page 35889 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, I only want to correct one small
4 matter. On the 19th of March, 2013, the -- Dr. Karadzic filed a revised
5 92 ter notification for this witness, and it's actually the first and
6 only 92 ter notification that we got. It's not a revised one.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 Shall we bring in the next witness.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR LJUBOJEVIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Ljubojevic. Please be seated and
16 make yourself comfortable.
17 Mr. Ljubojevic, I take it you hear me in the language you
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, yes.
20 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Ljubojevic, I
21 must draw your attention to a certain Rule of Procedure and Evidence that
22 we have here at the International Tribunal. That is, Rule 90(E).
23 Under this Rule, you may object to answering any question from
24 Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecution, or even from the Judges, if you believe
25 that your answer might incriminate you in a criminal offence.
1 In this context, "incriminate" means saying something that amount
2 to an admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that
3 might provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
4 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you, and, as a
5 consequence, you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
6 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question. But, in
7 that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled
8 in -- compelled under such circumstances would not be used in any case
9 that might be laid against you for any offence save and except the
10 offence of giving false testimony.
11 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Ljubojevic?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
15 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Ljubojevic.
17 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Q. I will ask you to speak slowly and so will I also have to do so
19 that everything will be recorded. We also should make pauses between
20 question and answer so that everything would be interpreted.
21 A. I will do my best.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please show up 1D7945 in
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Can you see your statement on the screen in front of you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Please just make slightly longer pauses between you -- providing
6 your answers.
7 Have you read and signed this statement?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the last page please be shown
11 to the witness so that he would identify his signature.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is this your signature?
14 A. Yes, that is my signature.
15 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully convey what you told
16 the Defence team?
17 A. Yes, to my best recollection.
18 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions, would your answers be
19 substantially the same as those given in this statement?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this statement in
23 accordance with 92 ter.
24 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff?
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3144, Your Honours.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 I will now read the summary of Mr. Dragomir Ljubojevic's
5 statement in the English language.
6 [In English] Dragomir Ljubojevic was born on 18th of November,
7 1951, in Velika Obarska village, Bijeljina municipality, where he still
8 resides. He was the manager of the Elvako plant in Bijeljina when
9 activities of the Muslim union members of the plant began to create
10 ethnic tensions in the entire municipality. Until this point, when the
11 SDA and HDZ formed and openly strove for separatism in their political
12 programmes and activities, relations between different ethnic groups in
13 the municipality had been good.
14 The Muslim workers that went on strike in the Elvako plant did so
15 with purely political demands; they wanted the factory management to be
16 exclusively Muslim. These activities were encouraged by the SDA who
17 provided food for workers in the part of the factory under blockade.
18 These activities continued to the centre of the town, where other local
19 institutions were also blockaded. This impeded the functioning of the
20 local government, and after repeated refusal of the strikers to
21 negotiate, the MUP was forced to put down the demonstrations and lift the
22 blockade of government institutions.
23 Mr. Dragomir Ljubojevic believes that the Muslim leadership in
24 Bijeljina agitated these tensions in order to provide more fertile ground
25 for their separatist political aims. Meanwhile, Serbs and a small number
1 of Muslims carried out the obligations stipulated by law and the
2 constitution and participated in the mobilisation of the JNA units. The
3 majority of Muslims, however, avoided mobilisation, and some joined the
4 paramilitary forces in Croatia and fought against those same JNA units
5 and the Serbs in Croatia. The Serb population felt much anxiety and fear
6 at these events, particularly in the context of the atrocities committed
7 against Serbs during the Second World War.
8 Dragomir Ljubojevic responded to mobilisation and was sent to the
9 Brcko general sector on 3rd of May, 1992, where he was tasked with
10 lifting the blockade established by armed civilians and paramilitary
11 formations. He was seriously wounded there and on sick-leave until
12 June the 6th, 1993. This makes the allegation that Dragomir Ljubojevic
13 organised the alleged expulsion of Muslims in November 1992 impossible.
14 Dragomir Ljubojevic was elected president of the Bijeljina
15 Municipal Assembly. During his duties at the municipal assembly,
16 Dragomir Ljubojevic did not come across a single decision made by the
17 Crisis Staff. Any decisions made by the War Presidency were fully
18 transparent and published in the bulletin accessible to the public.
19 During this period, the local municipal leadership worked to
20 normalise life, displaced persons were returned, property returned to
21 them, mosques rebuilt, and refugees provided with accommodations.
22 President Karadzic insisted to Dragomir Ljubojevic that the local
23 government exert maximum care for displaced persons and refugees
24 regardless of their religion or nationality and to promote peaceful
25 co-existence of Muslims and Serbs.
1 Dragomir Ljubojevic was never ordered to plan or execute any
2 expulsion of the non-Serbs from Bijeljina municipality, nor did
3 Dragomir Ljubojevic give such orders to any subordinates. Those who left
4 did so voluntarily in the hope of finding a better situation elsewhere.
5 On the other hand, Dragomir Ljubojevic estimates that nearly 400.000
6 expelled and deported Serbs passed through Bijeljina in the course of the
8 By 1995, more than 50.000 Serb refugees were accommodated in
9 Bijeljina from parts of BH under the control of BH army. The
10 circumstances of the people passing through Bijeljina were very
11 desperate, as these people had by now lived through four years of war.
12 And that is a short summary. At that moment, I do not have
13 questions for Mr. Ljubojevic.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Mr. Ljubojevic, as you have noted, your evidence in-chief in this
16 case has been admitted in writing in lieu of your oral testimony. Now
17 you will be cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the
19 Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ljubojevic.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Let me first thank you again for participating in an interview
1 with the Prosecution on the 20th of March, 2013, that is, on Wednesday.
2 I just want to sum up a few statements that you made during this
4 You said that you did not know that Arkan had a training camp in
5 Badovinci and that young men were sent there for training by the SDS.
6 That's right, that's what you said; right?
7 A. No. I said that I did not know that this camp existed and that I
8 was not aware that anyone was sending young men there for training.
9 Q. Yes, that's what I actually had just said, and I just wanted you
10 to confirm that you said that. Maybe the translation was saying
11 something different.
12 A. Possibly.
13 Q. You also said that you got only aware of Arkan being present in
14 Bijeljina after the fighting broke out; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in relation to Arkan's activities, you only -- you said that
17 you would only know from stories that he had a football fan club and that
18 he had been active in Croatia during the war. That's what you said;
20 A. If you remember, you asked me whether before these things
21 happened in Bijeljina I had known Arkan. I said that before the war, I
22 had heard of him and thereby knew of him as the leader of the Red Star
23 football club fans and that before that, I had no contact with him. I
24 never encountered him, never came across him even during the Bijeljina
1 Q. And, Mr. Ljubojevic, when I asked you about the murder of the
2 Sarajlic family in summer 1992, you said that you heard about this
3 incident but you would not know who did it and why the murders -- murder
4 was committed; right?
5 A. Yes. I said that everybody in the municipality of Bijeljina
6 condemned that killing.
7 Q. And when you were told that Vojvoda Mirko Blagojevic claimed in
8 a public announcement that his family -- that this family was murdered by
9 a special police unit, you said that you would not know this, but perhaps
10 Mr. Blagojevic had more information about this than you had. That's what
11 you said; correct?
12 A. Yes, yes, I agree, that's what I said.
13 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, when I asked you whether you know that the Muslim
14 commander Halilovic, a member of the VRS, was expelled from Bijeljina,
15 you said that you had heard that but that you would not know the details;
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. And when I asked you whether you know that Vojkan Jokovic was
19 made responsible for this expulsion and that there was evidence before
20 this Court that he expelled non-Serbs unwilling to leave, you said that
21 you would not know that but you wouldn't exclude it either; is that
23 A. Yes. But you said Vojkan Jokovic and it should be Djurkovic.
24 All the rest is correct, exactly the way I had said it.
25 Q. In relation to Vojkan Djurkovic, you mentioned during the
1 interview that he came from a village near Bijeljina and he was one of
2 Arkan's men; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you know him personally?
5 A. I would see him.
6 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, you explained that you were seriously wounded on
7 the 4th of May, 1992, while involved in de-blockading the hospital in
8 Brcko and that you subsequently was treated in the Bijeljina hospital
9 until 23rd of May and then released into house care. That is correct,
11 A. Yes. Because there wasn't enough room in hospital for longer
12 recuperation because the wounded from the Tuzla column were more urgent
13 cases than I was.
14 Q. And in paragraph 8 of your statement, you state that from the
15 6th of June, 1993, until 1994, you were in the 2nd Semberija
16 Light Infantry Brigade. And in the interview on Wednesday, you said that
17 Mr. Filipovic was your superior and the commander of the brigade was
18 Blagoje Gavrilovic, who was initially the commander of a JNA
19 reconnaissance group; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. As to your deployment in the VRS, you said during the interview
22 that you were on the front line in Brcko and that, depending on the
23 front-line activities, you were able to return home at night, but, of
24 course, not all nights, and that the regular shift was seven days
25 front-line duty and then seven days rest at home. That's -- sums it up;
2 A. Yes. That's the way it usually was for combatants who fought in
3 the trenches but not for the auxiliary services. It is correct as
4 regards the rest.
5 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, during the interview on Wednesday, you said that
6 you did not have a function in the SDS. You were a member but not a
7 functionary. You were only on a list for deputies of the Bijeljina
8 Assembly and in fact became a member of --
9 A. Assemblyman.
10 Q. Yes. But you became a member of the Bijeljina Assembly only by
11 the end of 1992, beginning 1993, and that at that time the Assembly
12 didn't really function; correct?
13 A. Yes. The Presidency carried out the duties of the Assembly.
14 Q. And just to confirm, you only became president of the -- of
15 the -- of Bijeljina Assembly in 1996; right?
16 A. Yes. January 1996.
17 Q. I will concentrate in this cross-examination on the period before
18 you were wounded. And you said in paragraph 11 of your statement that
19 you do not know that there was a Crisis Staff in Bijeljina and that you
20 only know that there was a War Presidency.
21 And, in this context, I want to show you P02629.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can this be on the screen, please.
23 Q. And as it is coming up - and you will see it soon hopefully -
24 it's a note by the Bijeljina chief -- SJB chief Jesuric to the minister
25 of interior on the situation in Bijeljina in April 1992. It's a bit hard
1 to read the -- the B/C/S. Therefore, I -- I read from the first page
2 of -- of this -- of this document.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: In the English, it's the last paragraph and
4 starting there, and then turning further to the next page. And in the
5 B/C/S, if you look at the -- the page 2, B/C/S page 2 -- oh, sorry,
6 page 3. Next page. It's the paragraphs 2 and 3.
7 And Mr. Jesuric refers here to the barricades on the
8 31st of March, 1991, and then he states:
9 "During the night and the next day, the TO, the Serbian National
10 Guard and the Serbian Volunteer Guard started removing the barricades
11 under the supervision of the Bijeljina Municipal Assembly Crisis Staff."
12 We need to move to the next page in the English.
13 And in the middle of the next paragraph, there's reference to --
14 the Bijeljina Crisis Staff is again mentioned, in relation to schools.
15 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, you were not aware of this Crisis Staff that
16 Mr. Jesuric mentions here being obviously in charge of both military and
17 civilian matters?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, also most recently here in court --
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And I refer here, Your Honour, to P05587.
21 Q. -- we reviewed an interview that Ms. Plavsic gave when she
22 visited Bijeljina on the 4th of April, 1992, in a delegation. And in
23 that interview, she also makes a reference that she left that delegation
24 she came with to see -- to come to see the Crisis Staff first.
25 Mr. Ljubojevic, Ms. Plavsic is aware of a Crisis Staff in
1 Bijeljina and met it, but you, who are actually active in politics in
2 Bijeljina at the time, you were not. How can that be?
3 A. It is possible there were Crisis Staffs in some municipalities.
4 But I claim with full responsibility that in the municipality of
5 Bijeljina there was no Crisis Staff and that the Presidency functioned
6 throughout, in the municipality of Bijeljina.
7 So, as is well known, the Serbs were a majority in the
8 municipality of Bijeljina and all posts were held by Serbs, except for
9 these few, so the Territorial Defence, the Civil Protection and the
10 Presidency were the authorities in Bijeljina.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we please have D01585 on the screen.
12 Q. And as it is coming up, you will see it's a handwritten document
13 by the SDS Municipal Board to the SDS Main Board dated 3rd of April,
14 1992. Mr. Kojic, you know him and his function, right, as the president
15 of the SDS?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And Savo Kojic refers here in this short document to the decision
18 of the SAO Semberija and Majevica Crisis Staff and the Serbian National
19 Guard commander. So he also speaks about the Crisis Staff. He calls it
20 here the SAO Semberija and Majevica Crisis Staff. You're not aware of
21 that either?
22 A. Well, I think that this document is not right because the
23 SAO Semberija did not have any functions, organs, and could not have had
24 a Crisis Staff. I don't know what the motive was of Mr. Kojic, and I
25 don't know whether this is really his letter. I cannot comment upon
2 Q. And in this letter, there's also the reference to the Serbian
3 National Guard commanders. The Serbian National Guard commander, that
4 was Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer; right?
5 A. No. In April, he certainly wasn't commander of the Guard that
6 was not there, this unit that was commanded by Mr. Savic. In April, on
7 the 3rd of April, there certainly was no Guard that was commanded by
8 Mr. Savic.
9 Q. What is, to your recollection, the date when there was this Guard
10 commanded by Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer? Where would you put it?
11 A. It is the beginning of May. I think the Guard was established on
12 the 2nd of May.
13 Q. And Mauzer's Guard was a sort of SDS -- sorry. And Mauzer's
14 Guard was sort of SDS army, was it not?
15 A. No. It was a unit of the Army of Republika Srpska. And it was
16 never a party army. It consisted of persons that came from all areas,
17 from different areas and the area of Bijeljina itself, the local
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we please have P02855 on the screen.
20 Q. It's a military document, Mr. Ljubojevic. It's a report of the
21 1st Krajina Corps Command to the VRS Main Staff dated the 28th of July,
22 1992, about paramilitary formations.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And -- and we need page 5 in both languages.
24 Q. And when you look in the middle, in the middle of the document,
25 there is a description of the Serbian National Guard in Bijeljina, and it
1 says here:
2 "The Serbian National Guard in Bijeljina has formally joined the
3 so-called special brigade. The Serbian National Guard was formed by the
4 Bijeljina SDS, and the Presidency of the Bijeljina Municipality Assembly
5 decided that this would be the army of Bijeljina which would defend
6 Bijeljina should it be attacked, and appointed self-styled
7 Major Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer, as the [sic] commander."
8 Mr. Ljubojevic, that would be a correct description by
9 Colonel Tolimir?
10 A. I think that there are many mistakes there and that
11 Colonel Tolimir was misinformed.
12 The unit had not been established by the SDS. That is the first
13 mistake. This was a unit that had been established by the staff of the
14 Territorial Defence. And that it was the municipality of Bijeljina that
15 stood behind this, that is correct. And it is correct that Ljubisa Savic
16 was the first commander, yes, that is correct.
17 Q. During the interview with me, you said that Mauzer was integrated
18 in the VRS, Mauzer and the Guards were integrated in the VRS and a
19 commander of an elite unit --
20 A. Immediately upon its establishment.
21 Q. Yes. And you said that it was an elite unit that took part in
22 offensive operations on the front line; correct? That's --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you also said that Mr. Savic and his men functioned as an
25 escort to Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik when they visited Bijeljina.
1 That's what you said; correct?
2 A. No, that's not what I said and that was not discussed. Who
3 escorted Mr. Karadzic when he came, I really don't know.
4 If they were, then that pertained to the knowledge of superior
5 commands. This was certainly done -- not done in an arbitrary fashion.
6 Q. Yesterday here in court - and, Your Honours, I refer here to
7 T35808 - a witness stated that the Presidency of the municipality of
8 Bijeljina appointed Blagoje Gavrilovic, Zivan Filipovic and
9 Vasilije Andric as the corps of the command of the TO of Bijeljina in the
10 early days; correct?
11 A. If someone who is competent and who has valid documents said
12 that, then I agree. I am not aware of that detail about the appointment
13 and who was appointed to which particular position, but I do know that
14 the Presidency performed its function and that it was able to appoint the
15 mentioned gentlemen to some of these positions of responsibilities.
16 Q. And the Presidency at the time, which persons were that?
17 A. I don't know the names exactly, but I do know that it is the
18 president of the Assembly that presides and the chief of the Territorial
19 Defence, and there are other functions that were important for the normal
20 functioning of the municipality and all institutions, both in the
21 municipality and on the ground.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I? Transcript. The witness
23 said "ex officio" and that was not recorded.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So the president of the Assembly,
25 the president of the municipal government called the president of the
1 Executive Board at the time, and the other members.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
3 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, in paragraph 8, you describe that you went to
4 Brcko on the 3rd of May, 1992, as a member of the TO. And you -- during
5 the interview, you also described that you were present on the square in
6 Bijeljina when Mauzer addressed those present with a megaphone, and that
7 you were in that convoy of buses moving to Brcko and that among the
8 soldiers were Mauzer's Guard, Gavrilo's men and Vojvoda Blagojevic with
9 his men; correct?
10 A. They were all there and the units of the Territorial Defence,
11 they were all under the command of the Territorial Defence.
12 Q. Are you aware that the Brcko Crisis Staff had actually asked the
13 Bijeljina authorities for help?
14 A. I'm not aware of that.
15 Q. I will move now onto another topic.
16 In paragraph 12 of your statement, you describe how Bijeljina was
17 a refuge for many Serbian refugees and you go into a great many details
18 of the arrival of huge numbers of Serbs from the -- throughout the period
19 1991 through 1995.
20 There had to be housing and means for this huge amount of
21 homeless Serbs, right, and --
22 A. Yes. Displaced persons had to be put up. Since Bijeljina is a
23 municipality on the border, it had the ability to provide enough food
24 because we are an agricultural area and that motivated people to come to
25 Bijeljina. When they were in Bijeljina, we had no choice because these
1 unfortunate persons had to leave their homes and we had to take care of
2 them up until that moment when they would find a better solution, to go
3 to Serbia or to go abroad. Many stayed in Bijeljina, and we had a
4 situation whereby there would even be more than 50.000 persons in
5 Bijeljina along with 60.000 local inhabitants, Serbs, and 10.000 Bosniaks
6 who lived in the municipality of Bijeljina throughout.
7 Q. And room was made in homes and other means be provided by
8 expelling Muslims. Isn't that how it was?
9 A. No. Surplus housing was taken from everyone, Serbs and Bosniaks.
10 For example, in town and in the villages that are primarily Serb
11 populated, an enormous amount of displaced persons were put up in Serb
12 homes. So it's not correct that displaced persons were only put up in
13 Bosniak houses. All of Semberija provided refuge to these unfortunate
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I would like to have document P05483 be
16 brought up on the screen.
17 Q. And as it is coming up, it is a press communication -- and we
18 only have it in English, Mr. Ljubojevic. It's a press communication of
19 the Red Cross about the expulsion of 432 Muslims in the night of the
20 28th of August, 1994, from Bijeljina, that were forced by the Bosnian
21 Serb authorities to cross the front line into Bosnian government-held
22 territory near Tuzla, and they state here in this communication that it
23 is the eighth transport of that kind. Most of them, women, children, the
24 elderly, and the sick.
25 "They were forcibly taken from their homes and stripped of their
1 belongings, and, in addition, they had to pay a large amount of money for
2 their transport."
3 Mr. Ljubojevic, you must be aware of this. It's not a single
4 incident. It's a pattern, is it not?
5 A. I think that that report is not correct. And I'm not aware of
6 that having happened, so I have to put a self-defeating fact to you that
7 some representatives of the international community who were in certain
8 areas, to the best of my knowledge, wrote dramatic reports in order to
9 keep their own positions, the positions that they acquired by being
10 accredited somewhere. They were partial and they were not
12 Q. This pattern of expulsion that the ICRC describe here, we heard
13 from witnesses - and I want to refer here to Mr. Davidovic, Your Honours,
14 it's P02848, paragraph 70 - that this was widely known in Bijeljina that
15 this was happening, and he was a man living there. So how could you not
16 have heard it?
17 A. Mr. Davidovic was a policeman. If he knew that, then it was a
18 fault of his that he failed to prevent this. He was not an ordinary
19 citizen. If he knew and failed to prevent it, then this is a sin that
20 should be apportioned to him.
21 Q. Let's go briefly also back again to this -- to this
23 There is also a mention in this communication, a reference to
24 military-aged men being arrested and many of them forced to join work
25 units often deployed near the front line.
1 Mr. Ljubojevic, such men were detained in Batkovic camp, were
2 they not?
3 A. I'm not aware of these details.
4 Q. And while you were on the front line, were such detainees not
5 also used at your section of the front line for deployment?
6 A. To the best of my knowledge, we had no need of that. Our members
7 were mostly farmers and workers, and they didn't find it difficult to
8 make their lines, to maintain their defence lines, and to man them.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we please have P0 --
10 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Sorry to intervene
11 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
12 By Mr. Davidovic you meant Milorad Davidovic.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. He described this praxis
14 in his written evidence at paragraph 70.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ljubojevic, could you expand again to me what
16 his fault was with respect to what Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff referred to?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I presume that
18 Mr. Davidovic, being a policeman, had ways and means to learn certain
19 events and to -- to prevent them. Or to inform someone that something of
20 the sort was going on and who were those who were conducting themselves
22 JUDGE KWON: Where was he living at the time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that he was in Bijeljina.
24 He is a native of Bijeljina, and I assume - I don't know - because if he
25 said that he was aware of it, then he must have been present in
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
3 Back to you Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Just to clarify one matter.
5 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, Mr. Davidovic was in the federal SUP in Belgrade
6 deployed and not as a police officer in Bijeljina. So the police
7 officers in Bijeljina should have stopped what was going on, should they
9 A. Up until the 15th of May, or through to the end of May, the
10 powers of federal organs extended to Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don't know
11 what the date was when these federal powers ceased, but I do know that
12 the police respected what the federal organs had to say, and this was
13 true for the other organs as well.
14 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, by that time, Yugoslavia, the former Yugoslavia,
15 didn't exist anymore. There was only Serbia and Montenegro in Yugoslavia
16 at that time, so how could they possibly intervene in Bijeljina?
17 A. I said that he could find ways and means of officially informing
18 someone about the information he had. It is a pity, really, that we
19 don't have a document which would say when this happened and who these
20 people were. Then we could give comments of a more pertinent nature.
21 Q. Mr. Ljubojevic, we just have here this ICRC communication, and
22 it's the 28th of August and they speak about obviously August 1994.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we please have P02932 on the screen.
24 Q. And you will see, when it comes up, it is another press
25 communication of the Red Cross about ethnic cleansing in Bijeljina, and
1 it's now September 1994. And they refer -- the ICRC refers here to more
2 than 2.500 Muslims being cleansed from Bijeljina.
3 So that's a huge amount of people, and so how can you not have
4 been aware this? And the local police.
5 A. Please. The movements that occurred of the population oftentimes
6 happened with -- in keeping with the wishes of the Muslims. We must bear
7 in mind that in Bijeljina at that time there were 50.000 people who had
8 been forced to leave their homes. The situation was complex and very
9 sensitive. In confined space, we had also people who had lost their
10 nearest and dearest. We had the wounded. Bijeljina was an area where
11 life was hard. Even those who were locals had a hard time living in
12 Bijeljina at the time. You have to bear in mind the fact that this was a
13 humane resettlement of people. People wanted to move to an area where
14 they felt that they would have a better life. Many of those people went
15 to Western countries where they remain today -- to date. Their
16 properties remained behind. They are still owners of the property, and
17 they can enjoy their property today.
18 It cannot be qualified the way you just did. At that time, it
19 may have appeared this way, but today we certainly have much more
20 information that would portray to us what the events were.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript recorded only poorly
23 what the witness said.
24 Can the witness speak more slowly. The witness said that they
25 reported to be taken elsewhere, and this wasn't recorded in the
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Okay.
3 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's continue.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: My last document, just one more document,
5 and it is P03862. And it's, again, a -- a document only in the English
6 language. It is a code cable from Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan from
7 15 September 1994.
8 Can -- can we have the second page, please.
9 Q. When you look at the reference number 7, reference is made to the
10 expulsion in Bijeljina. It's now the UN. And there is also a reference
11 that Mr. Karadzic has stated that an investigation was initiated in the
12 role of Major Vojkan Djurkovic in this. You -- you see that. There is a
13 reference to Vojkan Djurkovic and that Mr. Karadzic had stated that an
14 investigation was initiated.
15 Do you know about this investigations again -- against Djurkovic?
16 A. Specifically, no. When I took up my duties in January of 1996,
17 there was talk that a proceedings had been initiated against
18 Mr. Djurkovic in order to establish the facts of the matter.
19 Q. Was he ever convicted, to your knowledge?
20 A. I don't know that.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, my time is up. No further
22 questions. Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
24 Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Briefly, Your Excellency, just a
1 number of questions.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Today, at page 56, it was suggested, it was read
4 out from a text or a suggestion was made in the question to the effect
5 that 420 Muslims had been driven out of Bijeljina in 1994 by the
7 Can you tell us, what part did the authorities play in the moving
8 out of the population, and what was their position with regard to the
9 activities of this one Vojkan?
10 A. The authorities in Bijeljina tried throughout that time to create
11 conditions so that people in Bijeljina could live normally.
12 As for Mr. Djurkovic's actions, the authorities did not view them
13 favourably and did not approve of this way of proceeding.
14 Q. Thank you. To the best of your knowledge, at the time you were
15 an assemblyman and not the president of the municipality, this view that
16 the authorities had driven these people out, would that, in your mind, be
18 A. No. That is absolutely not correct.
19 Q. Thank you. Did Mr. -- was Mr. Davidovic ever a policeman in
21 A. Mr. Davidovic intervened in 1990 when the workers of the Elvako
22 company went on strike. But he was a policeman in Bijeljina for a while
23 before that.
24 Q. When Mr. Davidovic went to work for the federal SUP, did he
25 appear in Bijeljina, Brcko and Zvornik, and, if so, in what capacity?
1 A. I didn't have an occasion to meet Mr. Davidovic in that period of
2 time. However, according to the information I received, his intervention
3 in the municipality of Zvornik was well known. At that point, he
4 intervened against a paramilitary unit or something along those lines.
5 Q. Thank you. At page 57, an allegation was made that the Muslims
6 had some sort of compulsory work service that they had to do. Were the
7 Muslims under a military duty of conscription and were they forced to
8 join the ranks of the army?
9 A. They were not forced. But there was a number of Muslims who
10 voluntarily joined the ranks of -- of the Republika Srpska army. I know
11 for a fact that in the 3rd Semberija Brigade, there was a battalion of
13 Q. Thank you. This compulsory work service, did it apply only to
14 the Muslims?
15 A. No. All those who were not fit for military service or had to
16 remain at their workplace because of the nature of the work they
17 discharged were under compulsory work service.
18 Q. Thank you. The Serbs or Muslims or altogether all of them who
19 were under compulsory work service, were they put up in some quarters at
20 the end of their workday?
21 A. Well, they had the possibility of returning home after a day's
22 work, unless there were any other problems.
23 Q. Thank you. At page 50, you were shown that there was a -- a
24 Crisis Staff of SAO Semberija and Majevica. Previously you were asked
25 whether the municipality, as such, had its Crisis Staff. Did you, at any
1 point, before assuming your position, come across a single document of
2 the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Bijeljina?
3 A. No. Even the document that was shown to me just now was one that
4 I have seen for the first time here.
5 Q. Thank you. At page 47, you said that you were released for --
6 to -- for medical treatment at home because there was no room in the
7 hospital because of the Tuzla column.
8 What did you mean?
9 A. I was wounded on the 4th of May, I was seriously wounded. And
10 then on the 15th of May, following the massacre which was committed in
11 Brcanska Malta at Tuzla, a number of these seriously wounded individuals
12 were transported to Bijeljina. They were put up elsewhere, as well.
13 However, a large number of those who were transported to Bijeljina were
14 hospitalised there. They were given medical treatment. Some underwent
15 surgeries. Others were forwarded to hospitals in Belgrade. There were a
16 great many seriously wounded people.
17 Q. Thank you. And, lastly, at page 47, you were asked about the
18 departure of Mr. Halilovic who was not willing to leave.
19 Can you tell us what Mr. Halilovic was doing in Bijeljina during
20 the war?
21 A. Mr. Halilovic was the commander of a unit that was manned by
22 Muslims, that consisted of Muslims. He was otherwise employed in the
23 Duhan or the tobacco company in Bijeljina.
24 Q. Thank you. The authorities and the high officials, deputies,
25 party members, how did they react to this forcible departure of
1 Mr. Halilovic?
2 A. There was utter astonishment and disapproval of this act, and
3 ways were sought to assist the man.
4 Q. Do you know whether some of those who were included in these
5 transfers were ever allowed to come back at their request?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Would you have anything else to say about your knowledge of my
8 position vis-a-vis the war and humanitarian issues, specifically the ones
9 we've been discussing?
10 A. Mr. President, Your Honour, distinguished Prosecution, I have to
11 say that, thanks to the fact that he headed the Serbian people, and I
12 mean President Karadzic, as an honourable man, humanist, legalist, many
13 misfortunes were averted. It is truly a pity that, at that time, in
14 Bosnia, there wasn't another such patriot and statesman who would have
15 been his interlocutor and partner in the resolution of these complex
16 issues. Certainly had that been the case, Bosnia would have been a much
17 more happier and prosperous state in the Balkans.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at 65 ter 01293. Also
20 the telegrams of the United Nations dated September 1994. I will read
21 out a few in English. I mean, read out a few passages.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Let's see how Mr. Akashi communicated with me on this issue. The
24 first paragraph reads:
25 "[In English] As outlined in my Z-1279 of 20th of August, 1994, I
1 raised with Dr. Karadzic at our last meeting in Pale the ongoing abuses
2 of human rights around Bijeljina. At that time, Dr. Karadzic attributed
3 the problem to criminals and undertook to replace the chief of police due
4 to what he acknowledged was a very unsatisfactory situation in the area
5 with respect to security and crime.
6 "I have subsequently learned that the chief of police has been
7 indeed replaced."
8 [Interpretation] And so on.
9 How does this tally with your knowledge of the fact that the
10 authorities were aware of the fact that this was done by criminals and
11 that the chief of police was replaced? Not because he had done anything
12 but because he was unable to contain them or prevent them from doing what
13 they were doing.
14 A. What was well known, for sure, was that you, as the president,
15 and the government, complete with municipal structures, always tried to
16 create a climate that would allow people to live normally. And this was
17 an environment that was very difficult to reckon with, in terms of
18 security and politically, to find a solution for all the people in
19 Bijeljina and beyond to leave peacefully.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, your question should have stopped with
22 question mark. The latter part is very much leading or feeding.
23 Please continue.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise for my lack
25 of skill, and, trust me, it is not deliberate.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. It says here that he received information that it was -- and let
3 me read it to you from the fourth paragraph:
4 "[In English] Many of those who have been expelled have reported
5 the systematic practice of forced labour in the areas from which they
6 have arrived, as well as other severe human rights violations, including
7 torture" --
8 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Do we have it --
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- "rape and sexual assaults" --
10 JUDGE KWON: Probably next page.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I asked for the next page to
12 be shown.
13 Fourth paragraph, please. This is a statement for the press
14 mentioned on the previous page by His Excellency Mr. Akashi. And he
16 "[In English] Many of those who have been expelled have reported
17 the systematic practice of forced labour in the areas from which they
18 have arrived, as well as other severe human rights violations, including
19 torture, rape and sexual assault, arbitrary arrest and detention, and
20 arbitrary deprivation of property."
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Is this what those who crossed over to the Muslim side told and
23 reported correct? Was it correct? Let me start with the last.
24 Was property seized from anyone and the ownership changed?
25 A. No. There was a commission which made lists of property. They
1 listed the property, and the property was assigned for use to some of the
2 displaced persons; but after the war, it was returned to previous owners
3 as it is only proper.
4 I have to say that the property-related issues and the
5 property-related problems were best resolved in Bijeljina in all of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And what is not true about this is that it's a fact
7 that there were instances of abuse. In addition to all these problems
8 and a huge number of domestic population and displaced persons, Bijeljina
9 was certainly the safest town in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Thank you. Were there any instances of torture, rape, and --
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, let's move onto another topic. I
12 doubt that this is arising from the line of cross-examination. But
13 because in the document, I just let the first question be asked.
14 Let's move on.
15 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, but I would argue that
16 the cross-examination raised the issue of reports that had been received
17 by the international community concerning events in Bijeljina, and if
18 those reports can be shown to have been untrue or exaggerated, it seems
19 to be within the scope of the cross.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I see no problem with it. But the content,
21 subject matter, Mr. Karadzic just dealt with was related to a totally
22 separate matter.
23 Let's continue, Mr. Karadzic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Could we have the next page, please, from the same document.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. This is a letter which the High Commissioner for Refugees wrote
3 to me on the 5th of September. And he says the following, that:
4 "1300 members of minority communities in Bijeljina and Janja area
5 have been forced to leave their homes by your authorities and expelled
6 towards Tuzla."
7 He says further on that the situation is similar in Banja Luka.
8 And he continues:
9 "[In English] [As read] The expulsions from the Bijeljina area
10 are combined with the exaction of significant sums of money reportedly by
11 a man known as Vojkan and take place in circumstances that create great
12 hardship for, and sometimes" --
13 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
16 Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
17 Private session?
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: That's what I was wondering. It is starting
19 as an UN document but now there is something else. Mr. Reid is just
21 MR. ROBINSON: I think this has been admitted separately as a
22 public exhibit. But Mr. Reid would be better placed ...
23 JUDGE KWON: Let me check the -- what's the exhibit number?
24 MR. ROBINSON: I don't know the exhibit number, but I think -- if
25 we can check, I think it may have been admitted.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour, we just found out it's
3 JUDGE KWON: Okay. Very well. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] With all due respect, this is a UN
5 document, because it's the commission, that is to say, an agency of the
6 United Nations.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So when it is said about the Bijeljina authorities that in this
9 month, that is to say, in September, 1300 Muslims were expelled from
10 Bijeljina and Janja and Vojkan is mentioned in relation with that, can
11 you tell us what is true of everything that these people were told? Was
12 that the number of people who were expelled? Were they expelled or not?
13 Was it done by the authorities? And was Vojkan an exponent of the
15 A. As I said in the very beginning, the authorities in Bijeljina
16 were never involved with this issue in such a way that they would strip
17 someone of his right to reside there, have property, or work. What was a
18 major problem in Bijeljina was a lack of living space, and in such a
19 situation, many people decided to leave Bijeljina. And a number of
20 Bosniaks left Bijeljina, but I have to say that certainly several
21 thousand local people left Bijeljina too, whole families or parts of
22 families. So this cannot only refer to the Bosniaks. It can be checked
23 in various records that whole families of Serbs, that is to say, the
24 domestic population, left throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and also
25 throughout Europe.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If the first two documents can be
3 considered one and the same, 01293, the first two pages, if it's has not
4 been admitted, then I would tender it.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will receive it.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. The first two pages will be
7 Exhibit D3145, and the third page is Exhibit P2087.
8 JUDGE KWON: D3145. And the next --
9 THE REGISTRAR: And the third page is actually Exhibit P2087.
10 JUDGE KWON: And both of them were admitted publicly.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, Your Honour. On the 14th of
12 January, 2011.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. The last question, Mr. Ljubojevic.
16 According to your knowledge, what was the accuracy of media
17 reports as well as the reports of the people who crossed over to the
18 other side? Did you establish, and did you have any knowledge about the
19 degree of trust one could put in that?
20 A. Reports were sensationalist --
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I think that's now very
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I forgot to --
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. That's very general.
1 But -- could you reformulate your question, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will try.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Having seen these allegations, the statement of Ambassador Akashi
5 refers to what people who crossed there said. Based on that, what can
6 you tell us about the degree of accuracy? How reliable was the
7 information that those who crossed to the other side would divulge there,
8 and how, in what way, did you assess media reports concerning events that
9 were aware of? How were they represented in the media?
10 JUDGE KWON: No, no, no --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything was dramatised --
12 JUDGE KWON: I don't see any improvement.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I don't see that that's a leading
15 JUDGE KWON: Very complex.
16 MR. ROBINSON: It could have been better if he would have stopped
17 after the first question mark. But it's the same point basically made --
18 maybe being made two times. But it's not leading. He is not suggesting
19 an answer, and I think the witness is capable of answering it.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I would agree with your observation. He could
21 or should have stopped with the first question mark. The next part is
22 sort of leading to a certain extent.
23 So could you put your question again, Mr. Karadzic.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you tell us, with regard to the events that you were familiar
1 with, what was the accuracy of the reports given by people who crossed to
2 the other side and also reports of the media? How were the events
3 represented in the media?
4 A. The media dramatised all events. People who came, people who
5 left, certainly told fantastical stories in order to reinforce their
6 position there. This is well known. And what is most important, the
7 story provided by representatives of international organisations always
8 favoured the stories about the trials and tribulations of the Muslims,
9 and as for those who arrived to Bijeljina, no one reported about their
10 problems. We could not see that in the reports that we could see. But
11 everything was dramatised more than was realistic.
12 Q. Can you tell us about what did you mean about those who were
13 arriving in Bijeljina?
14 A. Well, you see, in Bijeljina, all buildings and property have been
15 preserved. We have a situation that some figures and some dates are
16 mentioned here when people from around Tuzla came to Bijeljina from
17 places which had been razed to the ground and their property torched.
18 That did not happen in Bijeljina. The problem in Bijeljina throughout
19 the war was that all of the property was saved by contrast to Smoluca and
20 other places.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the names of
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Especially those in Central Bosnia
24 that people came from where their property had been completely destroyed.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the names of
1 the places.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ljubojevic, you seem to speak a bit too fast.
3 It is very difficult to -- for the interpreters to catch up with your
5 Could you kindly repeat all the names of municipalities or
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. I
8 always get carried away when I talk about these events and issues.
9 In the vicinity of Tuzla, from which, in a period, the number of
10 displaced persons coming was the greatest, the following populated
11 places, Pozarnica, Sinin Han, Smoluca, Potpec, were torched and other
12 places too, especially in Central Bosnia, from which many expellees
13 arrived in Bijeljina. And what is particularly important and what
14 discredits these reports to a degree as well is that they only discuss
15 the problems that the Muslims were facing, and they could have obtained
16 information about the state of property of those who had arrived in
17 Bijeljina and whether they had had any problems when they were leaving
18 the places in which they had resided before the war.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. Could you just tell us how would the Muslim battalion
21 react, or how did it react, when these things happened in Bijeljina where
22 their families were living, or if such things happened?
23 A. They would surely have complained and would not have continued to
24 participate in the Army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Thank you for your testimony, Mr. Ljubojevic, and thank you for
1 your devoted work in the interests of the people in Bijeljina and in
3 A. Thank you, Mr. President, for everything you have done for the
4 Serbian people in Republika Srpska.
5 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That concludes your evidence,
6 Mr. Ljubojevic. On behalf of the Chamber, I thank you for your coming to
7 The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank you all, and I wish you
9 happy and successful work.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE KWON: Are there any matters to be raised?
12 MR. TIEGER: One at the behest of the Registry which is simply
13 there was an issue about P6211 and whether the English transcript was the
14 correct one, that was the transcript of ten pages, and Mr. Robinson and I
15 confirmed to the Registry that it is the correct transcript.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. There are some scheduling issues.
17 Having just received the Mr. Karadzic Scheduling Order from the Appeals
18 Chamber probably we need to vacate the sitting on the 17th of April.
19 And one further issue is the -- in the week of 27th of May,
20 the -- it is scheduled that the Chamber sit from Monday to Thursday,
21 i.e., from 27th to 30th of May. I'm wondering whether it would cause any
22 problem to the parties if the Chamber sits from Tuesday, i.e., 28th of
23 May, to Friday, 31st of May.
24 MR. ROBINSON: That will be no problem at our end.
25 JUDGE KWON: If could you --
1 MR. TIEGER: We have no reason to think so. But I suppose out of
2 an abundance of caution, we can check the schedule -- the anticipated
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And, finally, yesterday the Chamber
5 received a courtesy copy of a letter from Mr. Krstic which has been filed
6 confidentially today. In this letter, Mr. Krstic reiterates that he
7 refuses to testify in this case. Notwithstanding the position explained
8 in his letter, the Chamber orders Mr. Krstic to appear before the Chamber
9 at 9.00 a.m. on Monday, 25th of March, 2013, in line with the Chamber's
10 oral ruling of 13th of March, 2013.
11 The Registry is therefore instructed to advise Mr. Krstic and his
12 counsel accordingly and to inform all relevant units in order to
13 facilitate the transfer of Mr. Krstic to the Tribunal on Monday morning.
14 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
15 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, with respect, it occurs to me this
16 may -- this type of specific information may be an additional factor that
17 bears on the request the Prosecution made earlier with respect to such
18 witnesses and that the Chamber ruled on this morning. The fact is now
19 that Mr. Nicholls in particular will otherwise be here all weekend
20 preparing extensively for cross-examination preparation for a witness who
21 it appears will not be testifying.
22 Under those circumstances, we would ask for some dispensation so
23 that such a lavish expenditure of time does not take place and that we
24 have some latitude with the beginning of cross.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger, I don't think I understood you in full.
5 Could you expand your last sentence:
6 "... some dispensation so that expenditure of time does not take
7 place and that we have some latitude with the beginning of cross."
8 Cross of who?
9 MR. TIEGER: Of Mr. Krstic in this case. What I'm indicating and
10 what I have indicated before is, as the Court pointed out, the situation
11 with such witnesses it that there is indeed a plethora of information.
12 That means there is no end to the preparation which is required for such
13 witnesses especially if there no indication what the witness will be
14 testifying about and what the cross-examining counsel must focus on. And
15 in cases where it appears that the witness will not testify at all, we
16 have lawyers who are expending lavish time preparing for something that
17 looks like won't happen.
18 Now, in this instance, I'm trying to balance the efficiency of
19 the courtroom with the efficiency of the expenditure of our resources. I
20 would think that some level of preparation could be required so that
21 Mr. Nicholls wouldn't be starting from scratch, but if he -- if he
22 believes that he has to start immediately on the conclusion of direct
23 examination no matter what subjects were covered, then he will be working
24 around the clock to prepare for it. If there is some latitude given, and
25 we understand that, if circumstances require, we can ask for a deferral
1 which will be -- which we will receive, I think that's a much more fair
2 approach to -- to take with respect to the use of our limited resources
3 and our time at a point when -- when, really, many -- I think all the
4 parties are working extremely hard and extremely long hours.
5 JUDGE KWON: It sounds to me - I don't want to be very
6 argumentative - but it sounds to me like this: Since there is a
7 possibility that Mr. Krstic will not testify, you do not see the
8 necessity or point of preparing at this moment.
9 So if he, indeed, testifies, then the Prosecution would request
10 for some deferral for the purpose of its preparation.
11 Am I reading correctly?
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes. With some clarifications on that.
13 I understood the Court's ruling this morning and I'm not trying
14 to ignore it by any means, that is, in its entirety. I'm trying to
15 balance it in some way. So I'm not suggesting, for example, that based
16 on what appears to be the realistic possibility that a particular witness
17 won't testify, that nothing be done whatsoever. That would seem to be --
18 to fly directly in the face of the Court's ruling. I'm trying to
19 accommodate the Court's concerns about time but in a fair way.
20 On the other hand, I think in situation like this, given what
21 appears to be the likelihood, it seems unfair to invest the amount of
22 time that one would if that was a more realistic and -- and conventional
23 probability. So I'm trying to balance that by noting that, of course,
24 some preparation will take place, but if -- if it goes forward and
25 involves issues that the Prosecution needs more time to address
1 because -- because, for example, Mr. Nicholls wasn't here basically
2 around the clock, that the Court would accept that the circumstances were
3 such that that's a fair request, and -- and provide some latitude.
4 JUDGE KWON: But would the position of the Defence be different
5 from the Prosecution's? They should prepare as well.
6 MR. ROBINSON: Well, in this instance, Mr. President, we are
7 prepared and will be ready to go forward with General Krstic. And we
8 hope he changes his mind, and the reason is that we expect to ask him
9 very few questions that can be very easily prepared. On the other hand,
10 an attack on his credibility would understandably be more involved.
11 If we were told that on Monday, you know, we were going to have
12 no court and so you -- or else maybe there would be a 5 per cent chance
13 that we would have court, wouldn't it be just human to say, okay, in the
14 5 per cent -- instead of working on this 5 per cent chance, let's just
15 cancel it and we don't have to spend all of our time preparing for
16 something that is very unlikely to occur.
17 So that is what Mr. Tieger is basically saying. I don't
18 understand why the Chamber has difficulty with that. It is just a normal
19 request that ought to be accommodated.
20 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber made it clear that there may be
21 instances where, good cause having been shown, a delay is warranted.
22 MR. ROBINSON: And given the expression by Mr. Krstic, which is
23 very unequivocal at this point, this is a good example of good cause, I
24 would think.
25 JUDGE KWON: This may become all moot. But let me consult my
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE MORRISON: In a spirit of what I suspect is a mixture of
4 comprise and playing poker rather than playing chess, if I was
5 Mr. Nicholls, I would not spent too much of my time this weekend engaging
6 on cross-examination. And having heard that hint, if I were
7 Mr. Nicholls, and things turned out differently, he could expect and
8 should be able to expect a reasonably sympathetic hearing.
9 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honours. May I just -- Ms.
10 Uertz-Retzlaff reminded me, of course, that we wouldn't have enough
11 information about the end of May to -- to assess the change in schedule
12 against that. So we -- then we -- like Mr. Robinson, we have no
13 objection to the Court's shift in the schedule.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. The schedule will be changed
16 Hearing is adjourned.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.47 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 25th day of March,
19 2013, at 9.00 a.m.