1 Monday, 25 March 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 General, you may be seated. For the record, I note that
8 Mr. Krstic, who has been subpoenaed by the Chamber to testify in this
9 case and his counsel, Mr. Visnjic, are present in this courtroom.
10 General Krstic, during the hearing of 21st of March, 2013, the
11 Chamber denied your request for reconsideration of its oral ruling of
12 13th of March, in which you were ultimately ordered to testify in this
13 case today. I instructed the Registry to communicate this ruling to you
14 and your counsel and I take it you have been duly notified, Mr. Krstic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have been notified.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Krstic, the Chamber is going to ask you one last
17 time whether you are willing to testify today, but before it does so I
18 wish to make sure once more that you fully understand the potential
19 consequences resulting from your refusal to comply with the Chamber's
20 order. Mr. Krstic, are you aware of such consequences and has your
21 counsel fully explained to you about them?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm aware of all the
23 consequences and also my counsel has explained fully what the
24 consequences may be.
25 JUDGE KWON: So, Mr. Krstic, I will now ask you one last time if
1 you maintain your refusal to testify?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For reasons that you are aware of,
3 I have not changed my position and I will not testify in these
4 proceedings. I simply cannot do anything that would go against my
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Krstic, the Chamber will --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, before your
8 decision may I be heard?
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just for the record and for the
12 benefit of the witness and his counsel, I would like to say that I
13 understand his position but I have three questions that I can put only to
14 this witness and nobody else: Did the two of us plan to kill the
15 prisoners? Was I informed?
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, there's no point you repeat your
17 position. It does not mean you are withdrawing your motion to subpoena
18 the witness?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
20 JUDGE KWON: So we will not entertain your submission at this
21 moment, Mr. Karadzic.
22 Mr. Krstic, the Chamber will proceed to issue an order in lieu of
23 indictment in due course and will schedule a hearing date for an initial
24 appearance at which you will be asked to enter into a plea of guilty or
25 not guilty. You may be excused, General.
1 Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE KWON: So next witness is Mr. Vucurevic?
4 MR. TIEGER: I believe that's correct, Mr. President. We'll need
5 a little time to regroup and I think Mr. Robinson has to come in so this
6 is a --
7 JUDGE KWON: Shall we break for five minutes?
8 MR. TIEGER: Maybe ten would be a little better I think.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll break for ten minutes.
10 --- Break taken at 9.10 a.m.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 --- On resuming at 9.23 a.m.
13 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration,
15 Mr. Vucurevic, do you hear me in the language you understand?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE KWON: Would you make the solemn declaration, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: BOZIDAR VUCUREVIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Vucurevic. Please be seated and make
23 yourself comfortable.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Vucurevic, I
1 must draw your attention to a certain rule of procedure and evidence that
2 we have here at the international Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E). Under
3 this rule you may object to answering any questions from Mr. Karadzic,
4 the Prosecution, or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer
5 might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this context
6 "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an admission of
7 guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might provide
8 evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence. However,
9 should you think that an answer might incriminate you and as a
10 consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
11 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question. But in
12 that situation the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled
13 under such circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid
14 against you for any offence save and except the offence of giving false
15 testimony. Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Vucurevic?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much everything.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Vucurevic.
18 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Excellencies.
20 Good morning to everybody.
21 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Vucurevic.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. I must ask you, like all the other witnesses who speak Serbian,
25 that you and I should make pauses between questions and answers, and I
1 would also like to ask you to articulate in order to make it possible for
2 the interpreters to interpret everything and for the record to be clear.
3 A. I'll do my best.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you provide a statement to my Defence team?
5 A. Yes, I did. I provided a statement to your Defence team,
6 primarily to Mr. Sladojevic, who represents you, and I had further
7 contacts with your Defence team.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. Not at all.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I believe that
11 we cannot call up the witness's statement. Although we handed it over on
12 Friday, it has not been uploaded yet because I cannot upload documents
13 from my room, whereas the Prosecutor can do that at any moment and now we
14 are facing a problem. However, I would kindly ask the Registry to
15 provide Mr. Vucurevic with his hard copy statement, and for the rest of
16 the participants I would like to bear with us while we're waiting for
17 this statement to be uploaded in the system. If it is in e-court, which
18 yes it is, it is in e-court now, it is 1D7948. Can the English version
19 also be uploaded and can the Serbian version please be zoomed in.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. TIEGER: I'm not entirely sure I understand what the accused
23 is referring to. As far as I'm aware, the intended statement is in
24 e-court and has been for some time, so I don't know if we're referring to
25 another statement or if this is a complaint about something different.
1 But the -- I printed out that -- the statement that I understand is to be
2 tendered. So if there's another statement that hasn't been uploaded, I'd
3 like to know about it.
4 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, the statement that
5 Dr. Karadzic is referring to is the final witness statement that was
6 prepared on Friday and sent by e-mail to Mr. Tieger as well as the
7 Chamber. So there was an earlier version of that statement that was also
8 in e-court, but the one that we're referring to is the one that
9 accompanies the revised Rule 92 ter package.
10 JUDGE KWON: And that is not uploaded on e-court unfortunately
12 MR. ROBINSON: I'm told that it's now been uploaded.
13 Mr. President, we addressed this a few times before and recently sent
14 another letter to the Registrar. The problem is that when we upload
15 something into e-court, it requires Registry personnel to also release it
16 before it can be shared with the participants, unlike the Prosecution who
17 is able to upload directly without the intervention of Registry
18 personnel. So we've tried to call this inequity to the relevant
19 authorities, but we haven't been able to solve that problem yet. The
20 Registry personnel don't come in on the weekends and that's why we have
21 this problem on Monday mornings.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE KWON: Very well. But, Mr. Tieger, you're confident
24 that --
25 MR. TIEGER: That explanation --
1 JUDGE KWON: -- what you have with you is now what is being
3 MR. TIEGER: Yes, that explanation suffices. Thanks to all.
4 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, can you see your statement in front of you on the
9 A. Yes. Of course it's not in my language, therefore I don't
10 understand it.
11 Q. But do you have a hard copy in front of you?
12 A. Yes, I do, and I think that will be sufficient.
13 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Mr. Vucurevic, do you not see your
14 document -- your statement in your language on the left part of your
15 monitor? Do you not see it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not in my mother tongue -- oh, I'm
17 sorry, sorry, sorry. Can you please turn the volume on a bit.
18 JUDGE KWON: Do you hear me well now, Mr. Vucurevic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I can hear you well.
20 Yes, this is in my mother tongue and I'm reading it and
21 understanding it.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you. Have you read this statement and have you signed it?
24 A. Yes, I have, and I confirm what I said.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown the
2 last page so that he can identify his signature.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Is this your signature?
5 A. Yes, this is my signature and the date.
6 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you said
7 to the Defence team?
8 A. Yes, Mr. President, completely it reflects what I said. I'm
9 talking about what you can see on the screen.
10 Q. Thank you. If I were to put today live the same questions that
11 were asked of you at that time, would your answers essentially be the
13 A. Mr. President, there is only one truth and all I can do is to
14 repeat the truth.
15 Q. Does that mean that you would provide basically exactly the same
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. You're welcome.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this statement under
21 92 ter together with the package.
22 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, there are 26 associated exhibits
23 being offered with this witness, nine of which were not on our
24 Rule 65 ter list and I would ask permission to have those added to the
25 list as we didn't have them at the time that the original interview was
1 conducted and the list was filed.
2 JUDGE KWON: Should I hear from you, Mr. Tieger?
3 MR. TIEGER: Well, a couple of matters arise. First of all, I
4 noted the -- that there was reference to two intercepted telephone
5 conversations that did not involve this witness that I think run afoul of
6 the Court's previous guidance, so those needed to be noted and I think
7 those are found at pages 15 and 16 of the statement, 1D5685 and 1D5684.
8 In addition, I believe this may have been noted in Mr. Robinson's e-mail
9 or at least alluded to, but 1D -- oppose 1D07093 contains in part a
10 previously admitted exhibit, which is found at D00471, so one way or
11 another that logistical issue needs to be addressed.
12 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, 1D --
13 MR. TIEGER: 07093.
14 JUDGE KWON: Is it being tendered at all?
15 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
16 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
17 JUDGE KWON: You do not have any objection with respect to the
18 statement itself?
19 MR. TIEGER: No, Mr. President.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE KWON: There are certain documents about which there is no
22 English translations. For example, do we have English translation for
24 MR. ROBINSON: I'm going to check my e-court, but I believe that
25 all of these have been translated but I'll check.
1 MR. TIEGER: I wasn't of sufficient assistance to the Court. I
2 had previously noted the existence of two -- at least two documents for
3 which there was no English translation. I was going to note those, but
4 first I wanted to check and see if they had been belatedly uploaded. I
5 didn't find them, but I don't have my list with me and that's why I
6 didn't allude to them when the Court asked and I apologise for that, but
7 it appears the Court is well-informed on the issue.
8 MR. ROBINSON: We do have the English translation in our e-court,
9 but apparently it hasn't made its way to the rest of you.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE KWON: Among the associated exhibits tendered, we'll not
12 admit two intercepted conversations referred to by Mr. Tieger.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I play them for the purpose of
14 authenticating the voices of the participants?
15 JUDGE KWON: I would like you to consult with Mr. Robinson how to
16 proceed on your part with respect to those intercepts. There are certain
17 documents the Chamber may raise some concerns, but for the sake of time
18 the -- all the other associated exhibits will be admitted and be given
19 numbers in due course.
20 Let's proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I'm going to read
22 brief summary of Mr. Bozidar Vucurevic's statement in English.
23 [In English] Bozidar Vucurevic was born on 14th of October, 1936,
24 in Zubci near Trebinje. In 1990 he was elected as a member of the
25 Main Board of the SDS, established in response to the formation of the
1 HDZ and SDA. In this capacity, Bozidar Vucurevic did his utmost to
2 ensure that the minority people in the region were not mistreated. His
3 action in protecting the non-Serbian population and preventing ethnic
4 clashes were praised by both Momcilo Krajisnik and Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
5 In 1992 Mr. Bozidar Vucurevic became president of the
6 Crisis Staff of the Trebinje municipality, where he previously was
7 president of the municipality, and a Crisis Staff was formed that at
8 least some kind of government would be operational once clashes broke out
9 with the exclusive purpose of protecting the civilian population. Each
10 municipality functioned as a separate unit. There were no instructions
11 from the party leaderships whatsoever. Dr. Karadzic or Mr. Krajisnik
12 could not have influenced the work of the Crisis Staff even if they had
13 wished to. The military leadership frequently ignored Dr. Karadzic's
14 directives. Herzegovina in particular, given the separation in both
15 territory and communications, operated quite independently. Dr. Karadzic
16 did ensure a clear directive that the civilian population must not be
17 maltreated and that it was necessary to abide by provisions of
18 international humanitarian law.
19 In 1991 the mobilisation of the JNA was carried out by the newly
20 formed Trebinje military department, an organ comprised of two Muslims
21 and a Croat and none of the Serbs. Following this, when Muslims asked to
22 leave the JNA or the municipality of Trebinje all together, this request
23 was granted provided they provided a certificate showing that they had
24 returned their weapons and equipment. No conditions were required for
25 civilians. There was no forcible transfer of Muslims from Trebinje.
1 Only SDA party forced individuals to leave with the aim of provoking a
2 conflict between Muslims and Serbs. Bozidar Vucurevic nonetheless gave
3 the order to secure the civilian convoy moving out of Trebinje in order
4 to help those people.
5 Dr. Karadzic and Bozidar Vucurevic were concerned that all people
6 in the area were treated equally regardless of their ethnicity.
7 Bozidar Vucurevic often had meetings with Muslim authorities in an
8 attempt to develop an atmosphere of tolerance and reconciliation.
9 Dr. Karadzic often said in private conversations between the two that
10 clashes needed to be prevented especially where Serbs were in the
11 majority so that minority population would not feel threatened. He also
12 urged that the leadership in the municipalities be composed of people who
13 were honest and levelheaded who did not contribute to the rise of
14 tensions between the people.
15 In late 1992 an armed paramilitary group took some areas of
16 Trebinje by force. Bozidar Vucurevic wrote an order to remove the group
17 by force if necessary, after which he was personally threatened. The
18 group eventually left the area in response to Bozidar Vucurevic's
19 actions. The authorities in the municipality generally used all the
20 available means to prevent crime, regardless of the perpetrators or the
21 injured parties.
22 [Interpretation] Now, this was a brief summary.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now I would like to ask Mr. Vucurevic to listen to an intercept
25 and then to identify the collocutors.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please play 1D05685 from
2 0:20 to 2 minutes 50.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that we do not have the
4 transcript of the intercept.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it seems that it would be impossible
6 for the Chamber to hear the transcript unless it was provided to the
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is a translation, so could we
9 please have it on the screens even though we are going to listen only to
10 the audio recording.
11 JUDGE KWON: I don't think it's possible, Mr. Karadzic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We have it translated. Is there a
13 way to see it or to have it sent to the booth?
14 JUDGE KWON: If you have a print-out there's no difficulty on the
15 part of the Registry to provide it [overlapping speakers] --
16 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Mr. President. I understand that either
17 Mr. Doraiswamy or Mr. Reid can print it out immediately if that's the
19 JUDGE KWON: Probably the Defence is going to play two intercepts
20 I take it.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Can we also have 1D05684. We
22 also wanted the witness to identify the collocutors.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE KWON: But I will leave it to the parties, in particular to
25 the Defence, to play it and to tender the document.
1 Mr. Robinson, has the Chamber ever admitted intercept when
2 witness confirms the voice of one of the interlocutors?
3 MR. ROBINSON: I believe in those cases you've always admitted --
4 marked them for identification subject to the testimony of the intercept
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Or the interlocutor?
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes. So --
8 JUDGE KWON: I don't think we have -- we admitted them in full?
9 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct. So these two we would ask you to
10 mark them for identification and we will try to bring the intercept
11 operators to include them when we have them testify.
12 JUDGE KWON: If that is the case, I take it that the Prosecution
13 would have no objection to marking them for identification, as part of
14 associated exhibit?
15 MR. TIEGER: No, Mr. President. I think that was done previously
16 and in any event I think it would make sense.
17 JUDGE KWON: Then that would resolve everything.
18 MR. ROBINSON: I think Dr. Karadzic actually wanted to play these
19 two intercepts.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well. The Chamber also would like to hear.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we start then,
23 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
24 [Intercept played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We need to find the
1 reference in the transcript.
2 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. We stop there. We play again. The
3 interpreters want to know the reference, what part of the transcript you
4 are referring to?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Towards the end of page 1, the
6 fourth intervention from the bottom in the Serbian.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We have it in English.
8 JUDGE KWON: What was offered to the interpreters is the English
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The fourth from the bottom in the
11 English version too on page 1. The first conversation of the 24th of May
12 between Radovan Karadzic and an unidentified male person.
13 [Intercept played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
15 "Unknown male person: I didn't know that it was such a meeting.
16 I was just looking ... and Saso here ...
17 "Radovan Karadzic: Who ... well ... these Muslims, they were
18 panicking so we ... them ...
19 "Unknown male person: Where were they from?
20 "Radovan Karadzic: Ah ... they were ... I don't know whether
21 they were from Ljubinje and Stolac but there were some from ... Gacko,
22 Bileca, and Trebinje.
23 "Unknown male person: Mm-hmm.
24 "Radovan Karadzic: Go on, please. Everyone needs to tell them
25 over there that the Serbs have nothing against them, that the Serbs ...
1 only attitude towards Ustashas ... go on ...
2 "Unknown male person: ... they said on the radio at four and I
3 spoke for two and a half minutes exactly about that. He asked me about
4 the political situation. I told Vatric that I was terribly sorry that
5 they once again managed to direct ... to throw a bone of contention
6 between the Serbs and the Muslims even though there is no ... even though
7 everyone can see that these are, in fact, conflict between the Serbs and
8 the Croats.
9 "Radovan Karadzic: Yes, yes.
10 "Unknown male person: They have no reason ... it's the Muslim
11 Bosniak Organisation that's pushing ...
12 "Radovan Karadzic: The MBO is pushing, huh?
13 "Unknown male person: Yes, only the MBO. There was a headline
14 in the "Oslobodjenje" today that said, 'Three more trucks' ... and such
15 ugly, stupid things. Were it not ...
16 "Radovan Karadzic: Yes.
17 "Unknown male person: They won't broadcast that. We had a
18 meeting here with their hosts and talked about trust and that is the
19 worst-case scenario. We'll rely on each other ... there's no such news
20 on the ...
21 "Radovan Karadzic: All right, all right. Please call Bozo and
22 tell him the same so that ... he can call them immediately tonight or
23 tomorrow. Nikola is going to Bileca tomorrow afternoon too ...
24 "Unknown male person: Mm-hmm.
25 "Radovan Karadzic: He should call them, sit down with them, and
1 tell them not to worry because they don't have ... just tell us who's
2 threatening you and we'll fucking sort them out ...
3 "Unknown male person: Yes, yes.
4 "Radovan Karadzic: Nobody may threaten them. They must pay a
5 fine and they must know that neighbours or neighbourly arguments will not
6 resolve the Yugoslav crisis ...
7 "Unknown male person: Mm-hmm.
8 "Radovan Karadzic: It will be resolved by political means. We
9 had discussions with Izetbegovic and Kljuic today as well. The first
10 thing we agreed on is that we don't want a civil war.
11 "Unknown male person: Mm-hmm.
12 "Radovan Karadzic: And we ... we don't want a civil war, we
13 don't want a civil war in Bosnia.
14 "Unknown male person: Yes, yes.
15 "Radovan Karadzic: And all the other options can be considered
16 and we ... we'll agree about every option, but we don't want a civil war.
17 "Unknown male person: Yes, yes ...
18 "Radovan Karadzic: And the neighbours need to know that their
19 blood will not resolve anything but just makes -- make matters worse,
20 more complicated.
21 "Unknown male person: Yes, yes, yes.
22 "Radovan Karadzic: Therefore, err ...Danilo, Danilo/talking to
23 someone in the room/I keep forgetting something. Err, therefore, please
24 make sure they feel fine...
25 "Unknown male person: Excellent ...
1 "Radovan Karadzic: It's very important, that they ...
2 "Unknown male person: ... initiate a meeting, if not tomorrow
3 then the day after with this ... again with this man here ...
4 "Radovan Karadzic: Yes, yes ...
5 "Unknown male person: I'll see that I personally ... if I can,
6 this ...
7 "Radovan Karadzic: Very well.
8 "Unknown male person: To help them and to change their mind
9 about ...
10 "Radovan Karadzic: Go on, please and ... and ...
11 "Unknown male person: ... and this on the news ... looking at
12 that guard in Zagreb.
13 "Radovan Karadzic: What happened with the guard in Zagreb?
14 "Unknown male person: It was a troop review. Tudjman was
15 reviewing the troops and TV Belgrade broadcast the whole thing, how there
16 was the 1st Brigade, 2nd, 3rd, they, they ... the war flags ..."
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, did you recognise the interlocutor, the person who
20 talked to me in this conversation?
21 A. Mr. President, I carefully listened to it, I recognised both
22 participants in the conversation. You are on one end of the line,
23 Mr. President, and on the other there is Dusan Kozic who was from
24 Ljubinje. He was a deputy in the People's Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 and later on in the People's Assembly of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. You're welcome.
3 Q. Can you tell us something about the contents of this intercept.
4 Is the topic familiar to you and how? Tell us something about the topic.
5 A. May I? Yes, I am familiar with it. That conversation was
6 reflected, such policies, such positions that could be heard from you as
7 of the moment the SDS was established and until the end of the war.
8 There was always discussion about avoiding clashes, initiating talks, and
9 if we must go our separate ways, then that it should be done in a
10 peaceful way.
11 Q. Thank you. Can we next listen to 1D05684 now from the third
12 minute to 4 minutes and 20, and I'll tell you what page that is in the
13 English transcript. Actually, we'll start with 1 minute, 40 seconds.
14 [Intercept played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have time
16 reference on the transcript.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is page 3 in the English towards
18 the bottom, Mulic -- Delalic.
19 [Intercept played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
21 "Radovan Karadzic: Tell me ...
22 "Vlado Kovacevic: Well, it's about the rally and Delalic.
23 "Radovan Karadzic: Who is Delalic?
24 "Kovacevic: Delalic is the proposed candidate for the SUP
1 "Karadzic: Oh, I see.
2 "Kovacevic: For the militia commander.
3 "Karadzic: The militia commander.
4 "Kovacevic: Yes, you know the story very well recently we
5 have ... regarding this candidate ...
6 "Karadzic: Yes.
7 "Kovacevic: ... but the tensions are higher up. It looks they
8 could rise even more and we are not sure how it would end up.
9 "Karadzic: Because of Delalic?
10 "Kovacevic: Yes.
11 "Karadzic: I've just been at the meeting with the Muslims from
12 eastern Herzegovina and Nikola Koljevic and Alija Izetbegovic. They
13 spent two hours together.
14 "Kovacevic: Yes.
15 "Karadzic: I got in for 15 to 20 minutes and talked to them.
16 They are afraid and say that you haven't given them anything in the
17 municipality there.
18 "Kovacevic: We haven't? Well, the negotiations between our
19 parties are ongoing and I don't think they have a right to say so.
20 "Karadzic: Yes, yes.
21 "Kovacevic: ... it means they got what they were supposed to get,
22 but they should also know it can't be as it used to be.
23 Karadzic: Yes, please. See it with them and call Zepinic
24 regarding that ... tell them not to be worried because Serbs will not do
25 anything. Serbs are careful only with the Ustasha. Tell them that.
1 "Kovacevic: Of course, we are doing that ...
2 " Karadzic: Please organise a meeting with the SDA tonight.
3 Tell them not to be worried and we guarantee that nothing will happen to
4 the Muslims in eastern Herzegovina. Our only concern is the Ustashas.
5 But you can tell them that we guarantee nothing will happen to them. Do
6 that tonight.
7 "Kovacevic: Okay. We planned to do that tomorrow morning.
8 "Karadzic: Okay. Anyone -- announce it tonight and meet
9 tomorrow morning and issue some kind of joint statement, that eastern
10 Herzegovina - you can mention Gacko specifically - will be peaceful, that
11 all the issues be solved democratically, and that there is no danger of a
12 conflict. This is very important to convince Muslims that we have
13 nothing against them.
14 "Kovacevic: Okay. Thanks. Would you mind talking to the mayor
15 for a second?
16 "Karadzic: No.
17 "Kovacevic: Have a nice day!
18 "Karadzic: You too."
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Starting from 4 minutes, 20 seconds
20 and onwards.
21 [Intercept played]
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
23 "Karadzic: Fine, thanks God. A lot of work but I can manage ...
24 "Mandic: Your health?
25 Karadzic: It's good. Thanks God ...
1 "Mandic: So it's okay. What's up?
2 "Karadzic: Well, I've just talked to the Muslims from eastern
3 Herzegovina. They are panicking and talking about Chetniks. I told them
4 that those Nemanjic badges are not Chetnik cockades. You should explain
5 to them that those are not Chetnik cockades and please meet them and
6 convince them that the Muslims are not endangered.
7 "Mandic: Well, we've had meetings between the parties over
9 "Karadzic: Okay. But they have been there, some people from
10 Gacko too. Tonight they complained of not getting any position in the
11 government. I told them that the Muslims in Gacko should get the same as
12 Serbs in Gorazde.
13 "Mandic: They got more than the Serbs in Gorazde.
14 "Karadzic: So tell them that. Make it clear so they wouldn't be
15 able to say that they got less.
16 "Mandic: Well, it's their policy.
17 "Karadzic: I know. But still make this clear for them somehow
18 and publicise it together. Say there is no danger for them whatsoever.
19 "Mandic: Okay, but I know ... the parties had talks with them.
20 "Karadzic: Okay, okay.
21 "Mandic: It will be on radio news now.
22 "Karadzic: Pardon?
23 "Mandic: The announcement will be on the radio too.
24 "Karadzic: Yes, yes. Meet them tonight or tomorrow and explain
25 that the Serbs in eastern Herzegovina could only be concerned for an
1 attack of the Ustasha and that regarding Muslims there will be no
3 "Mandic: I told them that already.
4 "Karadzic: Okay. But issue an announcement too."
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER: I just wanted to note that during the playing of
7 that intercept the witness was quite actively perusing a binder that's in
8 front of him. I'm guessing that that contains certain exhibits and maybe
9 he was looking for this particular document, but I think we needed to
10 know at the outset what that binder is and the witness should be
11 cautioned about referring to it without alerting the parties to the need
12 to do so.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vucurevic, you heard what Mr. Tieger has just
14 said. Could you kindly explain what you are looking at at the moment.
15 What that binder you have with you is about.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I have brought
17 some papers, i.e., some documents from Trebinje. Those are the documents
18 that I have kept from those retched war times. I've just been perusing
19 the binder to see if I've got everything and to get my bearings among all
20 those documents that I have.
21 JUDGE KWON: Shall I leave it at that or, Mr. Tieger, would you
22 like to take a look at those documents?
23 MR. TIEGER: Well, yeah, at some point I want to take a look at
24 it. I think for the moment the best thing to do would simply -- since
25 they, in fact, are not either his statement or the exhibits associated
1 with that which would have been a potentially appropriate reference tool.
2 So I think the witness should be cautioned not to refer to that unless
3 there is some very specific need that he identifies in advance and then
4 we can deal with it in the circumstances that arise at that point.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vucurevic, I take it you have understood
6 Mr. Tieger's point so that I don't need to repeat it. But if you need to
7 take a look at those documents if you could let us know in advance.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Actually, there is a
9 key document that I have brought with me. I would like to show it to you
10 later, so for a moment I was concerned about the whereabouts of that
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, did you recognise the two interlocutors from Gacko
16 as you were listening to the second intercept?
17 A. Yes. I recognised one very convincingly. On the one hand we
18 have Mr. President and on the other end of the line there was
19 Vlado Kovacevic, an MP in the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
20 later on he was an MP in the Assembly of Republika Srpska. I don't know
21 Mandic that well. I don't know what his position was at the time, but I
22 know him by sight and I think that I recognised his voice. He's from
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us something about the topic that we
25 discussed and to what extent are you familiar with the topic in view of
1 the fact that you were a prominent leader not only in east Herzegovina
2 but elsewhere as well but particularly in eastern Herzegovina?
3 A. I'm absolutely familiar with the topic because I was present and
4 I was the president of the municipality of Trebinje, and that was
5 actually the principal municipality in eastern Herzegovina settled by a
6 majority Serbian population. Our meetings were numerous. Our
7 discussions were lengthy and extensive, and so on and so forth. I can
8 confirm and I can vouch for that. I can also prove based on the evidence
9 that I have that everything was done for the minority population to leave
10 Herzegovina in peace in order to avoid interethnic conflicts, and there
11 were no such conflicts in Trebinje.
12 When the Muslims received instructions from the top echelons of
13 the SDA - and I have documents on my hands that they would be moving out
14 from Trebinje - I believe that the problem arose and the problem was the
15 fact that in the Trebinje war brigade there were 412 Muslims who are now
16 referred to as Bosniaks. When the Yugoslav People's Army left and they
17 had started the war with Croatian paramilitaries on the border between
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, then the Muslim and Croat forces
19 joined forces. We were concerned.
20 And then the Muslims who were present in the Serbian army were
21 ordered to leave the units because Alija Izetbegovic and the top echelons
22 of the SDA were not happy to see that Muslims were waging a war against
23 Muslims. At that time I decided that everybody who wanted a passport
24 should apply for it and that they would be issued with a passport so that
25 they could travel freely and leave the territory. Those who applied for
1 passes - and I have hundreds of such requests - were issued with passes
2 in the following way: Those who were civilians, they would apply for a
3 pass and they would get a letter of confirmation that they could travel.
4 I apologise. Those who were soldiers had to provide a confirmation that
5 they had returned the equipment and the uniforms that they had been
6 issued with.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vucurevic. I would wish to tender these two
8 intercepts into evidence and mark them for identification.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll do that. Do we have the number for them?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Those are the numbers that --
11 JUDGE KWON: No, I'm asking the Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: MFI is D3171 and MFI D3172 respectively.
13 Your Honours, the 92 ter statement 1D07948 will be Exhibit D3146.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
16 questions for Mr. Vucurevic at this point in time.
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
18 Mr. Robinson, para 24 -- no, wait, 25 refers to the intercept,
19 the number of which is 30233 on page 12. Is this intercept referred to
20 in the statement elsewhere?
21 MR. ROBINSON: I don't believe so, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE KWON: I think somewhere the statement refers to 65 ter
23 31953 or 30323, but at the moment I can't find -- locate them. I meant
24 to ask whether they were typos or not. If you found -- find them, please
25 come back to me.
1 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
2 MR. TIEGER: I think it was at former paragraph 24.
3 JUDGE KWON: But now they are gone?
4 MR. TIEGER: [Microphone not activated]
5 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, microphone.
6 MR. TIEGER: Sorry. Except that the structure of the statement
7 didn't vary much because a couple of the paragraphs were omitted and then
8 others included. So you would find it in that general area.
9 JUDGE KWON: Oh, probably I saw the previous document. Very
11 Mr. Vucurevic, as you have noted, your evidence in this case,
12 your evidence in chief, has been admitted in most part in writing in lieu
13 of your oral testimony, and now you will be cross-examined by the
14 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
19 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, we'll have about ten minutes before the first
20 recess, so we will be -- won't be getting too deep into the questions
21 that I have. But before I begin, let me indicate to you that the Court
22 asks us particularly during the cross-examination exchange to be as
23 efficient as possible and asked me to focus on particular issues that I
24 wish to discuss and asks the witness to respond to those questions in the
25 most concise possible way. So by way of example, if I ask you if you
1 have read a particular book, at that point I'm only asking for a yes or
2 no answer, not a description of the contents of that book or a
3 description of the author and so on. Fair enough?
4 A. Thank you.
5 Q. Your statement says on the front that you are now a pensioner and
6 were previously -- your previous occupation was official, but as you note
7 in paragraph 1 of your statement you became an official or came to the
8 role of official late in life. What was your occupation before that?
9 A. I spent most of my career in private business. I got involved in
10 politics only in 1990.
11 Q. Okay. Thanks.
12 A. You're welcome.
13 Q. And you stayed in politics and in an official role until your
14 removal from the position as vice-president of the SDS by the Office of
15 the High Representative in 2004; correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And even prior to that time you had been indicted for, among
18 other things, events in the Ravno municipality where 17 or more civilians
19 were killed, many houses destroyed, and civilians of Croatian nationality
20 removed to the Bileca concentration camp; is that right?
21 A. Yes. To a certain extent, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Vucurevic, I want to address what you said
23 in your statement about the Muslims leaving Trebinje in paragraph 19 and
24 paragraph 24 where you assert that their departure was caused by the SDA
25 headquarters and the local Trebinje SDA and then add in paragraph 24 that
1 was in order to make the negotiating position in Geneva more difficult
2 for the Serbs. So before we recess, I wanted to look a little more
3 closely at what people were saying about that departure at the time.
4 MR. TIEGER: And in that connection I'd like to call up a certain
5 document. I need the 65 ter for it.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. TIEGER: And that's 65 ter 24834.
8 Q. And as that's being called up, let me point out that's an article
9 from the independent Montenegrin newspaper, "The Monitor," dated
10 5 February, 1993.
11 JUDGE KWON: If Mr. Reid could release it, please.
12 MR. TIEGER: It is released, Mr. President. There appears to be
13 further glitches. I mean, it was released before. Mr. Reid just looked
14 at it again, so it may be another e-court problem.
15 MR. ROBINSON: We also don't have access to it.
16 MR. TIEGER: Well, given the time maybe we need to --
17 JUDGE KWON: Shall we take a break?
18 MR. TIEGER: It sounds like something we need to do and check the
19 e-court system again.
20 JUDGE KWON: We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at
21 three to 11.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, before we recessed we were attempting to look at
2 an article from "The Monitor," that is, the independent Montenegrin
3 newspaper at 24834 and I think we're able to call that up now. Now, this
4 is an article as I mentioned before that's dated the 5th of February.
5 And if you'll take a quick glance at the first two pages of the article,
6 both the cover page and the first page, I think you'll be able to see
7 quickly what the subject is about.
8 A. I don't have it in Serbian.
9 Q. You should now, sir, on the split screen. And if we could turn
10 to the -- there you see the date and if we could turn to the second page
11 of the B/C/S. Now -- and I'll ask you quickly to look at the pass that
12 is shown on that front page. That is a copy depicted in this article of
13 the kinds of passes that you referred to in your statement which you or
14 the Trebinje authorities issued to departing Muslims toward the end of
15 January or beginning of February 1993; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And I think we can agree that given the date of the article, the
18 location that's described about the people who are the subject of the
19 article, and this pass, that this is an article about the -- or
20 concerning the exodus of the Trebinje Muslims to parts of Montenegro;
22 A. No.
23 Q. You think this is about something entirely different? I'm
24 suggesting to you it's about the same events you describe at, for
25 example, in paragraph 19 of your statement, that is, the departure of the
1 Muslim community from Trebinje in late January and early December 1993.
2 That's the subject matter of this article; right?
3 A. The subject is quite a different thing from what actually
4 happened on the ground. That was the era of the JNA's dominance. Before
5 that I wasn't able to respond to what was happening in Ravno and
6 everything was in the hands in the GNA, and the civilian authorities were
7 not consulted about anything. The army had come from Montenegro just
8 like this paper comes from Montenegro as well.
9 Q. Well, Mr. Vucurevic, maybe you'll understand my question a bit
10 better if I describe for you what is being discussed in the article, and
11 in it we find excerpts from precisely what people who had left Trebinje
12 were explaining to "The Monitor." So, for example, and you should be --
13 if we scrolled down on the first page for your benefit -- and the pages
14 shown for your benefit, or actually turn to the second page, please, to
15 the next page after that. We see various accounts by people. For
16 example, Mr. Mujo Malohodzic describes the disarming of Muslims, the
17 burning of the mosque, threats by telephone, forcible entry of houses.
18 Another departing Muslim talks about being abused physically by the
19 police. One person -- same person describes speaking with you and who
20 advised him that you don't need to go but I don't guarantee for anybody's
21 life. Other people talk about the police coming and waiting to take
22 possession of their homes and so on. And one person,
23 Mr. Adjalic [phoen], addresses the issue that is raised in your statement
24 at paragraph 19, that is, the allegation that people were leaving their
25 homes because the SDA told them to?
1 And he said as you can see toward the bottom of the first column
2 on the page that is shown:
3 "All men not older than 60 years old were on the front for 18
4 months at the most. We had to shoot at Muslims and Croats."
5 That's something you -- and I stop the quote for a second.
6 That's something you alluded to earlier in terms of the participation of
7 Muslims in the Herzegovina Corps. Now I continue the quote:
8 "Now we don't have any place in Bosnia or Croatia. Maybe the
9 best would be if you kill us here. We wouldn't leave our homes and
10 riches just to come here and to sleep on floors just because of
11 Izetbegovic's politics as Bozidar Vucurevic has accused us of. The only
12 property we have now is travel bags or garbage bags."
13 Now, these contemporaneous accounts by people who had left
14 Trebinje and shown up in Montenegro describe the pressures and force to
15 which they were subjected and also deal with the allegation that people
16 would leave their homes, their riches, their entrenched lives because of
17 a political interest. That's the reality of the situation, isn't it,
18 Mr. Vucurevic, that the Muslims of Trebinje, many of whom as you said
19 served in the Herzegovina Corps, were not Islamic fanatics who would
20 abandon their lives simply because of the interest of some politician,
21 but instead were forced out by the pressures to which they were
23 A. No. Everybody can make accusations but they need to provide
24 proof. By taking over Trebinje and subjecting it to the command of the
25 1st Military District, here we have an order issued by the National
1 Defence Secretariat from Belgrade, instructing us to become subordinated
2 to the 1st Military District. General-Lieutenant
3 Aleksandar Mitkovski [phoen] was the one who installed a mobilisation
4 organ in Trebinje and --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down and repeat
6 part of the answer that we couldn't catch.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Mr. Vucurevic --
9 A. How can I say it otherwise? I can say either yes or no and I say
10 no, this is not correct.
11 Q. Fine, but --
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vucurevic, you were speaking too fast for the
13 interpreters to catch up, so --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. It's all right.
15 The mobilisation organ --
16 JUDGE KWON: No, no, just --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, please --
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vucurevic, if you could start from
19 General Lieutenant Aleksandar Mitkovski.
20 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, if I may, I understand the problem
21 with speed, but it also seems -- the witness also seems to be addressing
22 an entirely unrelated subject now.
23 JUDGE KWON: So if you take up again, then. Please put your
24 question again, then, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER:
1 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, I am focusing on what happened at the end of
2 January and beginning of February 1993 when virtually the entire or at
3 least the bulk of the Trebinje Muslim population was - as they
4 say - forced out but certainly departed for Montenegro. I am not asking
5 you about the mobilisation order at a time when the JNA was still in
6 Bosnia. So please focus on the question.
7 I read to you excerpts from "The Monitor" article. People who
8 arrived in Montenegro with garbage bags or travel bags and had left their
9 homes completely behind and what they said about why that had happened.
10 And I put it to you that that was a more accurate account of what had
11 happened than what is contained in your statement.
12 A. When the Municipal Board of the Party of Democratic Action
13 received an instruction from the top leadership of their party and the
14 instruction related to the people moving out of Trebinje, I received
15 about 500 Muslims in a municipal hall and there we discussed and agreed
16 the issue of safety and security. I told them that nobody was forcing
17 them out, but that also on the other hand nobody could guarantee them
18 safety. Why? Because 15.400 refugees arrived in Trebinje from other
19 parts and that the Serbs became a minority. There was an uncontrolled
20 arming of the people. My cousin was killed by Serbs. So I couldn't
21 guarantee his life, let alone the lives of the entire population. They
22 were told either to remain with us or to comply with the instruction
23 issued by Alija Izetbegovic, or rather, the
24 Secretary-General Hasan Cengic. They opted for the latter option. They
25 sought passes to be issued to them and they asked the army to demobilise
1 their men. Whoever asked to leave was given permission with escort and
2 complete safety. Those who remained behind did not come into harm's way
3 in any way whatsoever.
4 Q. Well, there was an investigation undertaken at the time of the
5 events that were taking place, and I want to look at that.
6 MR. TIEGER: But in order to do so, Mr. President, we'll have to
7 go into private session.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 35966-35971 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. Well, as -- this is -- this seems to implicate the book report
14 versus whether or not you read the book, guidance I provided at the
15 outset. So I'd like to know when you claim you first found out about
16 this alleged order from the SDA Sarajevo and SDA Trebinje?
17 A. In the afternoon when I was at home, I was called by a Muslim who
18 asked to see me somewhere but not in my home.
19 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, before -- I'm sorry, before you get to the entire
20 description, I want to -- I'm looking for a chronology so that's what I'm
21 trying to focus on. So we could -- have seen from the previous
22 discussion that you claim to be aware of an SDA effort to urge Muslims to
23 lead -- to leave by at least early February or late January when you
24 spoke to the persons in the document we looked at in private session.
25 I'd like to know when you claim you first came into possession of the
1 document from the SDA Sarajevo and the SDA Trebinje? When was that?
2 Early January? Late January? Early February? Late February? 1993?
3 1994? When did you get ahold of the document?
4 A. Somewhat previously I believe, although I do not recall the exact
5 date, but it's in the document and it was preserved. I received a call
6 from a Muslim -- actually, there were two. One of them told me that he
7 was a member of the Municipal Board of the SDA. He also confessed to me
8 that they had received instructions from Hasan Cengic, the general
9 secretary, and that later the local Municipal Board drafted some sort of
10 order to leave Trebinje. He had a few sheets of paper folded in his
11 jacket and he asked me to assist him to get out safely with his family as
12 well as to take his car with him. In return, he wanted to give me the
13 papers they had received and they are part of the documentation here,
14 where it is irrefutably proven that it was done under instruction of the
15 SDA with its seat in Sarajevo and it was implemented through the
16 Municipal Board in Trebinje.
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. TIEGER: Let's go into private session then, please.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 MR. TIEGER: And I'd like to call up 65 ter 24818.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 35974-35976 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 MR. TIEGER: And tender the previous document, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE KWON: In the future, probably after showing the document
22 in private session the questions could be put in open session. Think
23 about the --
24 MR. TIEGER: Will do, Mr. President, and I understand, thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive it under seal.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6224 under seal, Your Honours.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, it would help us to
3 assess the relevance of these questions, and while that we don't object
4 to the documents, to know whether the Prosecution has any dispute about
5 the authenticity of Exhibit D471, which is the instruction from the SDA
6 20th of January, 1993, for the Muslims to leave Trebinje, or whether it's
7 their position that that is authentic but the Muslims ignored that order.
8 I wonder if Mr. Tieger could tell us what the Prosecution's position is
9 on that.
10 MR. TIEGER: I'm not in a position to affirm its authenticity,
11 and frankly some of the circumstances that have been related during the
12 course of this morning would suggest otherwise, but insofar as Trebinje
13 is not an indictment municipality this is not a matter we've been in a
14 position to address in the detail we're going into it now.
15 MR. ROBINSON: Thank you.
16 Mr. President, I think that's very helpful to us to note because
17 we have, as you know, filed a motion to subpoena Hasan Cengic, the author
18 of this document. So I think that the Prosecution's position helps us
19 make that issue more clear and I appreciate Mr. Tieger addressing it
21 MR. TIEGER: I think I've also addressed in private -- as long as
22 we're talking about it, if we're in private [sic] session, some of the
23 factors that make that not the most relevant matter, but anyway we can
24 deal with that later.
25 Q. Mr. Vucurevic --
1 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
2 Yes, please proceed.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. -- I had asked you a moment ago about your characterisation of
5 the Muslims of Trebinje not as a group of professionals, family people,
6 normal, good people, but instead as religious fanatics leaving in
7 lock-step with the orders of their political leadership and happily doing
8 so, and you essentially denied that that had been the case. I wanted to
9 call up 65 ter 24820A at time code 7.44 through 9.17.
10 And this is a transcript in English of what you said in a lengthy
11 interview that was conducted about 20 months after the war began when you
12 were on a -- I think a epic poetry or book tour in Belgrade. And there
13 you said the following -- speaking about the departure of the Muslims and
14 the -- your allegation that people had left because they were invited to
15 do so by Izetbegovic. First of all, you spoke about the fact that
16 Muslims had a great deal of wealth. How, you say? Because these were
17 sons of beys, rich beys from the Ottoman era who had large properties,
18 who had properties by the river of the -- of Trebisnjica, large houses,
19 et cetera, et cetera. And then you say it is -- this -- this is on
20 e-court page 3 --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page?
22 MR. TIEGER: 3, e-court page 3.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What is the page?
24 MR. TIEGER: It's on the screen at the moment.
25 Q. "It is hard to believe," you say or you said then, "but when they
1 received the message to leave, they left singing in the buses, they had
2 left everything they had behind them carrying with them only bundles or
3 backpacks and they were singing in buses. That could not happen to my
4 people. That is an example of religious fanaticism."
5 And you continue to say a message from Allah was mentioned there,
6 that Allah had sent word, and you contrast that again with Serbs, that is
7 a kind of fanaticism, et cetera.
8 So, Mr. Vucurevic, contrary to your assertion a moment ago, you
9 did try to depict the departure of Muslims from Trebinje as being the
10 joyous implementation of an order executed by religious fanatics; right?
11 That's how you subsequently described the event?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you want to hear your own words, Mr. Vucurevic? Do you deny
14 that you said this? Because you're on tape.
15 A. Sir, esteemed sirs, all of those who wanted to prevent bloodshed
16 in Trebinje and who wanted to secure that Muslims left individually at
17 first and then in small groups and then in the large groups, they were
18 provided buses and escort and transportation. That was very joyous, as
19 contrasted against the plight of Serbs in Sarajevo and elsewhere. It was
20 all song and dance compared to other situations when people lost their
21 family, et cetera. But we also had to appease our own people. Fire was
22 opened on my own house and there is a record of on-site investigation.
23 It was probably done by my own Serbs because they thought I was
24 protecting Muslims. One was not supposed to speak positively and you had
25 to count on your own people as well. It was a skill and one needed to go
1 back and forth all in order to avoid bloodshed. That is what I actually
2 intended to say and I'm proud of it.
3 MR. TIEGER: I tender that excerpt, Mr. President. There will be
4 some more as well.
5 JUDGE KWON: You are tendering only this part of the transcript
6 or are you also tendering the clip -- is it video or the audio?
7 MR. TIEGER: Yeah, I think both would be fine.
8 JUDGE KWON: But whether you can identify them.
9 MR. TIEGER: Yeah. I mean, this transcript and I'm happy to
10 tender the -- I think it's useful to tender the excerpt as well.
11 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
12 Any objection?
13 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: It will be admitted.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6225, Your Honours.
16 MR. TIEGER:
17 Q. All right. I want to move on to another subject in the interests
18 of time, sir. Now, you've spoken about the police of Trebinje
19 particularly in 1993 a number of times, and of course it is the police
20 who were supposed to be protecting the Muslims of Trebinje; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I want to turn to 1D25798. That probably has an exhibit number
23 by now and I don't have the corresponding reference, but it was the
24 previous 65 ter number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit D3162, Your Honours.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. And I'd like to turn to page 10 of the English and that would be
3 page -- it should be the same in the B/C/S. And this is another
4 conversation you had with Mr. Karadzic. The two of you were talking and
5 he says to you:
6 "Bozo I am," this is at the bottom of page 10 in the English and
7 toward the middle of the page 10 in the B/C/S.
8 "Bozo, I am, I am. I do not know how this Borkovic works for
9 you. I don't think he is not working well?"
10 And you say:
11 "No, no, he is serious."
12 Mr. Karadzic says:
13 "Can you tell him -- I mean, things have moved on too far. We
14 will have complete control over things. Will he be loyal or will he not
16 And then you go on to describe how he lost face the other day at
17 the council, that is, which -- the National Defence Council which has
18 taken on the role of the Crisis Staff. And then the conversation
19 regarding Mr. Borkovic continues and, as we see at page 12 of the English
20 and B/C/S, Mr. Karadzic says:
21 "Does he know what time it is? Does he know this is a historical
23 And you say:
24 "Well, I believe he will have to -- he will have to get serious."
25 And Mr. Karadzic says:
1 "Let that happen soon, let that be very soon because I have
2 obtained approval for a security centre to open there. We will receive
3 support from some forces ..."
4 Now, Mr. Borkovic was chief of police at the time; is that right?
5 A. For a very brief period of time. Borkovic was with the police
6 for a very brief period of time.
7 Q. And this conversation where Mr. Karadzic says "things have moved
8 on too far. We will have complete control over things" took place on the
9 9th of January, 1992, just a few days before the extended sitting of the
10 Main and Executive Boards on 14 February 1992, which you attended and
11 which is also referenced in your statement; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. And that's -- if you recall that excerpt, that's the
14 meeting at which you spoke for some time about events in the late 1300s
15 and early 1400s in Dubrovnik where a number of dukets were exchanged or
16 not exchanged and that gave rise to your argument that Dubrovnik should
17 be disputed internationally. Do you remember that?
18 A. Well, there were many events. It's hard to remember all of them,
19 so I cannot confirm that I do.
20 Q. Well, that's contained in the -- did you not read that recently,
21 because that's contained as part of the your statement and was one of the
22 associated exhibits that were supposedly provided as part of the
23 statement that you reviewed?
24 A. Are you saying that that was in the press? In the press?
25 Q. No, Mr. Vucurevic, I'm saying that you provided a statement to
1 this Court. It references that meeting and provides as an associated
2 exhibit to that statement the remarks I just mentioned to you from the
3 session of 14 February. Could you -- [overlapping speakers].
4 JUDGE KWON: Could you let us know the para number of witness's
6 MR. TIEGER: It was previously -- I think it's still currently in
7 32. It was previously in paragraph 31, I believe, but I think it's --
8 yeah, it is 32, correct.
9 Q. So I take it you haven't seen that lately, Mr. Vucurevic; is that
11 A. [In English] No.
12 Q. All right. Well, let me ask you more broadly about that
13 session --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
15 The interpreter could not hear him nor could she interpret.
16 MR. TIEGER:
17 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, they didn't hear you. I asked you if you'd -- I
18 said you hadn't seen that lately, correct, and your answer was ... ?
19 A. [Interpretation] I said "no."
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. You're welcome.
22 Q. All right. Well, at -- you did indicate in your statement,
23 Mr. Vucurevic, that you attended that session and we have evidence of
24 what happened at that session, including the fact - and this is found at
25 P00012 - that it was at that session that Dr. Karadzic activated the
1 second level of Variant A and B, referring to it at least four separate
2 times. Do you recall that, Mr. Vucurevic, because you didn't mention
3 that in your statement?
4 A. I don't recall that. I don't recall that.
5 Q. Well, let me just give you a couple of references that
6 Dr. Karadzic made at that time. At the bottom of page 5 of P0012, that
7 is, if you remember, who keeps that in mind, or maybe not on his person,
8 a stage number two, there is -- you remember what I'm talking about, from
9 the audience we know, yes. That is, therefore, the stage number two, the
10 second stage in smaller or bigger variations, but you have to implement
11 that slowly now to have absolute control who is travelling along your
12 roads, et cetera.
13 And just one more reference at page 24, and as regards the
14 essence of which Mr. Radic spoke now:
15 "Please, that is why we called you today, to intensify, to
16 introduce the second level and to intensify the functioning of the
17 government at any cost and in every single millimetre of our territory."
18 Does that recall your recollection of Mr. Karadzic's references
19 to Variant A and B and the introduction of the second level within a very
20 short time after you had talked with him about the fact that this was a
21 historical moment and that we will have complete control over things?
22 A. If we are talking about Variants, I'm aware of only two Variants
23 which existed from the beginning of the conflict until the end of the
24 war. Mr. Karadzic was aware of them and they were implemented by the
25 Main Board down. If we cannot live together, we should split in peace.
1 And if everything else fails, we have to defend ourselves. I don't know
2 of any other variant but these two that prevailed all the time.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you --
4 JUDGE KWON: Sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Tieger. Having
5 difficulty following the witness statement again. You referred to
6 paragraph 32 where the witness said about his statement in a session.
7 Could we upload his statement para 32? What I have with me is what I
8 have -- I'm seeing at the e-court, but I'm not sure if that's the one you
9 are referring to.
10 MR. TIEGER: [Microphone not activated]
11 JUDGE KWON: Shall we upload the document.
12 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Mr. President, if it helps, I definitely have
13 that in the previous version by the witness that is -- [overlapping
14 speakers] --
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vucurevic confirmed it was para 32, yes, because
16 you --
17 MR. TIEGER: Yeah, and it is. It should be --
18 JUDGE KWON: Is this it, Mr. Tieger?
19 MR. TIEGER: Yeah, and I think the exhibit is an excerpt
20 reflecting the witness's comments at that session. That's what it
21 purports to be and that's what it appears to be.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 MR. TIEGER: And -- which is why I described some of the details
24 the witness went into at that time involving the --
25 JUDGE KWON: But 1D25791 is an intercept.
1 MR. TIEGER: I read 1D25802, Mr. President. Okay, it is -- I've
2 got, in fact --
3 JUDGE KWON: 1D25 --
4 MR. TIEGER: Sorry about this. I've got three different
5 versions. The first draft, then something that was submitted as the
6 final version, and then the -- then now this third version which does
7 have the same -- the precise words of what I had been previously saying
8 was at paragraph 32 in paragraph 36:
9 "I have been shown document 1D25802."
10 And I apologise for the confusion.
11 JUDGE KWON: But I have difficulty in locating that document.
12 Where is it referred to in the statement?
13 MR. TIEGER: I -- as far as I'm aware, it's referred to at
14 page -- I mean, looking at it right here, I've got -- here's the version
15 I printed out most recently.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, but --
17 MR. TIEGER: It refers to paragraph 32, 1D25802. Here's what --
18 [Overlapping speakers].
19 JUDGE KWON: But this is the -- this -- what we are seeing on the
20 monitor is to be the most recent version.
21 MR. TIEGER: And here is what I understand is the most recent
22 version --
23 JUDGE KWON: Yeah, but --
24 MR. TIEGER: -- which has the same paragraph at paragraph 36, and
25 then if we want turn to paragraph 36 here, if it's not there, then I
1 don't know what happened in the meantime.
2 JUDGE KWON: I was a bit confused all the time.
3 MR. TIEGER: I apologise for that, Mr. President. I should not
4 have [overlapping speakers] --
5 JUDGE KWON: Ah, 36.
6 MR. TIEGER: Right.
7 JUDGE KWON: So this is the old version?
8 MR. TIEGER: No, this is now the latest version. It conforms to
9 the previous latest version and the original proposed final was -- had
10 this at paragraph 32 which is where the confusion arise -- arose.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I'm actually a little confused
12 also, because we only know of two versions, the original witness
13 statement that was disclosed early on, part of our 65 ter obligations,
14 and then the statement which was e-mailed to everyone on Friday which is
15 the same one that we're all using today. So I'm not understanding why
16 there's more than two versions that Mr. Tieger has. But anyway, you have
17 the latest version that we have on the screen.
18 MR. TIEGER: Well, and the confusion may be that one is a track
19 changes version. That may be the problem.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's continue.
21 MR. TIEGER: Sorry about that, Mr. President.
22 Q. All right. You did confirm that Mr. Borkovic was for some period
23 of time the chief of police in Trebinje and we took a look at what -- at
24 the discussion that you and Mr. Karadzic had about him in February in
25 1992. I'd like to look at -- by the way, you said that Mr. Borkovic was
1 there only for a short time. Why did he leave?
2 A. I don't know. He arrived on the eve of the war. He had fled
3 from Zenica. He was praised as a good worker. He was chief for a few
4 months. When things took off the ground, when things escalated, he fled
5 to Belgrade. He was there for a very short period of time. I don't know
6 exactly for how long.
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
8 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm confused. I don't know whether
10 Mr. Tieger gives up on the thesis that in paragraph 36 there is a
11 reference to the meeting which took place on the 14th of February, 1992.
12 A lot was recorded and I fail to see any link.
13 MR. TIEGER: I'd be happy to explain if the Court has any --
14 confusion by the Court, but I don't think there is. This witness was
15 present at the meeting on February 14th, and I confronted him with what
16 else was said at that same meeting.
17 Q. Mr. ...
18 MR. TIEGER: Okay. If I can move on, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE KWON: The witness statement itself does not make much
20 reference to this meeting. Let's move on, Mr. Karadzic -- oh, I'm sorry,
21 Mr. Tieger. My apology.
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you. Except that both documents reflect the
23 witness's presence at that meeting.
24 Q. In any event, let's see if I can refresh your memory about why
25 Mr. Borkovic left.
1 MR. TIEGER: And if we could call up 65 ter 24836.
2 Q. This is a statement given to the ICTY by Mr. Borkovic. He also
3 identifies himself as the -- at one time the chief of police in Trebinje,
4 and he describes at the top of page 4 how his departure from that
5 position took place. He notes that in early January he was ordered by
6 the authorities to ethnically cleanse the police from Muslims. They
7 wanted only Serbs as police officers and he refused to do so. And when
8 he says "authorities," he means Krsto Savic, the chief of police in
9 Nevesinje, but who had also been appointed as the chief of police of the
10 SAO Herzegovina in September/October 1991. And your statement identifies
11 you as the president of the SAO Trebinje Hercegovina, Mr. Vucurevic.
12 Mr. Borkovic indicates that he -- thereafter he attended a
13 meeting with other chiefs of police that took place in your office. The
14 other chiefs were talking about how they cleansed their forces. These
15 were chiefs from Ljubinje, Gacko, Ilica, and Nevesinje, and at that
16 meeting he was dismissed as the chief of police in Trebinje, and it was
17 decided that Krsto Savic should temporarily take over his post. On the
18 next day, Krsto Savic entered his office with several armed men and he
19 was thrown out. All the Muslim police officers were dismissed from their
20 jobs by Krsto Savic on the same day, and he goes on to describe Mr. Savic
21 as a nationalist, chauvinist, and very rough in his attitude against
22 Muslims and Croats.
23 Mr. Vucurevic, that's a more fulsome and more accurate account of
24 how Mr. Borkovic left his position as chief of police in Trebinje;
1 A. No. Gentlemen, when -- people needed to be promoted once there
2 had already been a split in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When the Serbian MUP
3 had to be promulgated, Mr. Karadzic expressly ordered the then-minister
4 of the interior - the name escapes me but now I remember
5 Mr. Stanisic - that everybody who received a new uniform could stay with
6 the police and could keep --
7 Q. Mr. Vucurevic -- Mr. Vucurevic, you're talking --
8 A. -- his position that he had previously had --
9 Q. You're talking about a later time. I'm asking you about the
10 specific circumstances. If you deny that Mr. -- the allegations made
11 here, and particularly that Mr. Borkovic was forced out because he
12 refused to ethnically cleanse the police or that Mr. Savic was someone
13 rough in his attitude against Muslims and Croats, that's your position.
14 A. If I have the right not to agree, but I absolutely do not agree.
15 Mr. Borkovic had fled from Zenica. His only son and his wife remained in
16 Zenica. They subsequently fled to Belgrade. He abandoned his position.
17 He did not have a successor. Nobody had chased him away. Nobody had
18 given him any inappropriate tasks. He simply joined his wife and son
19 without ever reporting to anybody, so there could not be any talk about
20 an order given to Borkovic to implement something that was inhumane. He
21 never reported to anybody before he left and people went on looking for
22 him for several days after he did.
23 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, the fact is that although you've been depicting
24 yourself as someone with a great deal of benevolence toward the Muslims,
25 the reality is that you were someone who was determined to see
1 separation, that you were concerned about the ethnic structure in
2 Republika Srpska being to the disadvantage of the Serbs, and in general
3 you thought that there was a -- and were concerned about the birth-rate
4 of Muslims as a result and referred to this miserable Islam and described
5 a civilisational war. All of those things are actually true about your
6 attitude rather than how you've been depicting yourself as the benevolent
7 leader of Trebinje?
8 A. If I were allowed to do so I would ask you, if Trebinje was the
9 only city in Bosnia-Herzegovina when -- where there were no inter-ethnic
10 conflicts, where not even the smallest house was burned, where no
11 property was destroyed, where the Muslims returned from Denmark
12 predominantly to spend holidays there and who thanked me, and they did it
13 in the presence of the International Red Cross - I have a document to
14 that effect where they thanked me - and if I achieved that in Trebinje as
15 it was, and now you are trying to blame me, either you or somebody else,
16 for behaving in a humane and civilisational way, then all of this is
17 nothing short of a sheer wonder to me.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Vucurevic, we've already addressed the pillar you seem
19 to be relying upon, that everything in Trebinje went so swimmingly, but
20 I'm actually focusing on the expression of your attitudes toward such
21 issues as ethnic separation, ethnic structure, birth-rates, and the
22 Muslim or Islamic civilisation generally. So let's look at a few of
23 those items.
24 MR. TIEGER: First of all 65 ter 24813. This should be an
25 article from ""Srpsko Oslobodjenje"" in October 1994.
1 Q. It begins with as you can see toward the bottom your excellent
2 relations with -- or your former excellent relations with Serbian
3 President Slobodan Milosevic and whether or not you're still in touch
4 with him. You recall providing that information to
5 ""Srpsko Oslobodjenje"" back in 1994, sir?
6 A. I apologise, I am 80 years of age and the letters are too small
7 for me to read, but I can confirm that I have read dozens of my
8 interviews that I never gave to anybody. At that time the war was waged
9 in all sorts of ways. There was a war --
10 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, let's be --
11 A. -- waged with rifles and there was a media war. So I've read a
12 number of my interviews --
13 Q. Was ""Srpsko Oslobodjenje"" conducting a media war against you?
14 That's a Serbian organ; right?
15 A. I apologise, I did not understand your question, sir.
16 Q. [Microphone not activated].
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Tieger, please.
18 JUDGE KWON: Microphone.
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. You can see your picture on the screen in front of you. This is
21 an October 1994 edition of ""Srpsko Oslobodjenje"."
22 MR. TIEGER: If we can scroll down a little bit the witness can
23 see the heading and -- further down, please.
24 Q. All right. ""Srpsko Oslobodjenje"" was a Bosnian Serb organ;
25 right? And they weren't conducting a media war against you, sir, were
2 A. Well, it all depended. From time to time they did.
3 Q. All right. Well, I -- we looked at the -- it's a big picture of
4 you. Are you accustomed to having your picture on the cover or the pages
5 of ""Srpsko Oslobodjenje"" on a daily basis or do you remember that you
6 gave such an interview to them?
7 A. I've just told you that I cannot read these small letters so I
8 cannot see what is contained in the --
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Why can't we remove the English
10 page from the screen because it is actually not a translation of the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This has obviously been doctored in
13 some way.
14 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, given the time I'm wondering if we
15 could print this out for the witness and during the lunch break he could
16 have a chance to read it over and then maybe he could answer more
18 JUDGE KWON: How much longer do you need, Mr. Tieger?
19 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, what I have left is the items I
20 indicated I'd have. I want to cover quickly three intercepts that were
21 taken out of the earlier draft so that the Court -- which were basically
22 authenticated by this witness were taken out. So I want to get those
23 introduced. And then I have one more matter related to Dubrovnik. So I
24 would say about -- assuming we get through this quickly, I would say
25 about 25 minutes. I realise that I'm at the time allotted, but it's -- I
1 think sometimes difficult to tell when the allocations are made what the
2 witness will be like or what kinds of evidence -- what kind of
3 information will be relevant to his cross-examination.
4 JUDGE KWON: Separate from the issue, would it cause much problem
5 if the Chamber is to take a lunch break for an hour and adjourn at 3.00
6 today, only for today?
7 MR. ROBINSON: No problem.
8 MR. TIEGER: No problem here, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: Then when we adjourn, I would like you to try to
10 conclude in 15 minutes, give it a try.
11 The Chamber will break for an hour and resume at 1.35.
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.38 p.m.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger, please continue.
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Two quick things. It
16 turns out that I was not responsible for the confusion of the paragraphs,
17 as Mr. Robinson graciously advised me. And as a result we had a
18 conversation about moving through the remaining portion of the
19 examination much more efficiently and I'm grateful to the Defence for
20 that discussion and the approach that we'll take -- that we'll follow.
21 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, I see you have the article in front of you now,
22 that is the "Srpsko Oslobodjenje" article. As you have been able to see,
23 that article discusses -- in the course of that interview with
24 "Srpsko Oslobodjenje" you discuss a number of things, including contacts
25 with Milosevic, the rejection of the Vance-Owen Plan, access to the sea,
1 and so on. So before I go on, I take it that having the opportunity to
2 review that refreshed your recollection about having given such an
3 interview; correct?
4 A. Yes, but this conversation never happened. Please. The war
5 started and then it was left up to one municipality, Trebinje, to finish
6 it off. We were very angry with the state of Yugoslavia for initiating
7 all this. Since I am a poet and a writer, it contains some pejorative
8 comments, and then you have a title "We are not Going to Attack Serbia
9 With Stones," especially that someone took great care to put this
10 frightening picture of me which obviously makes it something that has
11 been apparently doctored.
12 Q. Well, difficult to tell precisely what you're referring to, sir,
13 but let me take you to a particular -- let me ask you, and before I do
14 that, let me ask you if you were aware of the fact that
15 "Srpsko Oslobodjenje" was an -- a publication enterprise that was created
16 by a decision of the Republika Srpska government in April of 1994?
17 A. Yes, I am aware of that, yes.
18 Q. And it was praised by people such as Momcilo Krajisnik --
19 A. But this cannot be a guarantee that they would do something
20 well-intentionally at every point and in every place.
21 Q. All right. Well, let me just go to the portion of the article
22 toward -- on the last page of that article, where you are quoted as
23 saying the following, after discussing negotiations with Croatia and,
24 more specifically, with Mate Boban and you say:
25 "They will part ways very soon and this is a good thing too,"
1 meaning the Croats and the Muslims.
2 That was your position at the time, wasn't it?
3 A. I met with Mate Boban, a Croatian leader, because we were two
4 neighbouring peoples in eastern Herzegovina. Now, what was the purpose
5 of that meeting? It was --
6 Q. No, no, no, Mr. Vucurevic, let's focus on one thing at a time.
7 It was your position at the time that this "Srpsko Oslobodjenje" article
8 that the Muslims and the Croats would part ways very soon and you
9 considered that a good thing, right? Just yes or no.
10 A. No.
11 Q. So you thought it would be a good thing if the Muslims and the
12 stayed together, you thought that would be a good thing?
13 A. Everything was in the function of stopping war escalation between
14 the Serbs and Croats that were quite fierce.
15 Q. And here is what you're quoted as saying in the article with
16 reference to parting -- those parting of the ways.
17 "That should suit us so that we can also sort out the Muslims
18 once and for all. You see, to have anything to do with the Muslims is
19 like dealing with the devil himself. Let me tell you, this war with
20 them, it is no longer only a religious, ethnic, and civil war or whatever
21 they call it. This is a civilisational war. This miserable Islam, this
22 civilisation of theirs is about to explode. The way they breed, you
23 cannot even count them. Their birth-rate, God help us all, and they have
24 no land or country of their own. That is why the Croats are afraid of
25 being with them."
1 Now, Mr. Vucurevic, that was the expression of your views in
2 1994; isn't that right?
3 A. No --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The interpretation is completely
5 worthless. First of all, the English translation read by Mr. Tieger.
6 Therefore, I would kindly ask that this paragraph be put to the witness
7 regardless of whether he said it in a pub or in an interview. The fact
8 remains that it was mistranslated.
9 MR. TIEGER: I'm happy to get it retranslated, but I understood
10 the witness was -- okay, fair enough if the witness was hearing other
11 words, but let's make sure we're talking about the same portion of the
12 article. Please call up -- I think we have that last page there and --
13 JUDGE KWON: Shall we collapse the English.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. I think you can see the portion we're talking about, sir, which
16 is the second column and the last -- the bottom paragraph that is not in
17 italics. Now, that's the portion of the interview to which I was drawing
18 your attention.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This was not translated to the
21 MR. TIEGER: Well, the witness is reading it now. He can tell us
22 whether this portion first of all --
23 JUDGE KWON: Should we identify the portion?
24 MR. TIEGER: Because it's in Cyrillic I'm not going to be able to
25 phonetically read it, but the cursor -- if you move the cursor slightly
1 to the right, it's that portion and up. It's that portion of the
2 article, right.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vucurevic, could you read the portion which you
4 see in front of you? If you could read aloud.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can openly tell you that I
6 was able to reach an agreement with Mato Boban about many things despite
7 the war. Listen, they do not like the Muslims. What are you talking
8 about? It is the pressure that the Americans and the Germans are
9 exerting on them and causing them enormous troubles, but they will part
10 their -- they will go their separate ways very soon. Well, let them do
11 it. This will be beneficial to us as well so that we separate from
12 Muslims for once and for all because -- I told you, all of this was an
14 MR. TIEGER: If you're wondering, Mr. President, the witness
15 stopped before completing the rest of the paragraph which contains the --
16 JUDGE KWON: Could -- could you read out the paragraph,
17 Mr. Vucurevic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can read it.
19 Because, if you are in a league with the Muslims it is just like
20 being in a league with the devil, but I want to tell you this war with
21 them is no longer only a religious and a national or a civil war as
22 somebody would like to call it. This is the war of civilisations. This
23 retched Islam and this civilisation is on the brink of being exploded and
24 they are breeding. You cannot count them. They have an enormous
25 birth-rate and not all the countries have enough space and that is why
1 the Croats are afraid of being in league with them. I read this
2 paragraph but I have nothing to do with it.
3 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. And I would tender that
4 and I'd move on to some taped comments by the witness.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
6 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We don't object to this being
7 admitted, although the issue of weight is important since the witness
8 hasn't confirmed that it was his -- that he said those things.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll admit it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6226, Your Honours.
11 MR. TIEGER:
12 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, I --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I still believe that we have a
14 translation issue of the attributes used with regard of Islam. The word
15 was not "miserable" but rather "unfortunate" or something of that sort.
16 MR. TIEGER: It was -- I think "miserable" was in the original
17 translation, "retched" was in the translation we heard a moment ago. The
18 difference is not particularly significant in this context.
19 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, I wanted to ask you about a certain number of
20 things you said during that taped interview we discussed earlier. The
21 first one, and that is 65 ter -- or it's now P6225, and so I'll be asking
22 to append these additional portions to that exhibit. I'll run through
23 them as quickly as I can, Mr. Vucurevic, for your benefit and for the
24 benefit of the Court.
25 First at excerpt 00:15:35 through 17:42 you stated the following:
1 "I mean, it is true when they say that Serbs are to blame for the
2 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- actually, they are because they started it
3 between themselves, both Croats and Muslims were Serbs in the past, you
4 know. They are Catholicised Serbs, Islamised Serbs and such. So why did
5 this happen? I think there is nothing worse than estranging oneself from
6 ones genus. You see, the wolf and the dog are of the same species yet
7 they bite at each other terribly."
8 Then you also noted at 39:47 through 42:33 the following:
9 "Mr. Izetbegovic, that tragic figure in the Muslim nation, has
10 been refusing to give up the sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina for a long
11 time, something we shall never agree to for as long as we live because in
12 it we see no happiness, no perspective for our people. We have to put
13 our boots on. We want to build a Serbian state and we will not take
14 those boots off until we have made it."
15 And then:
16 "We have no right to the price. We have no right to count the
17 dead either. With all due respect to our fallen soldiers and those who
18 are yet to fall, we shall not take the boots off. We shall make the
19 Serbian state at any cost. There is no doubt about that."
20 And then finally with respect to the Serbian state you say at
21 00:20 through 00:1:05:
22 "Yes, this time they will definitely not stop us. We will
23 persevere at all costs and we will make the Serbian state. We will make
24 Republika Srpska a state, and we will, of course, seek annexation to
25 other states. Actually, I think it would be better to call it united
1 Serbian lands and not states."
2 Mr. Vucurevic, those are reflections of comments you made during
3 the -- not reflections, those are the comments you made during the course
4 of your taped interview that we referred to earlier at 6225, that is, the
5 interview that took place in the latter -- the interview taken place in
6 the 20 months after the war began and was part of your book promotion in
7 Belgrade? Can you confirm that?
8 A. For five centuries we were enslaved by the Turks and lots of
9 Serbs converted to Islam. So one can indeed say this was a war between
10 the Catholicised Serbs, the Islamised Serbs, and those who remained
11 Orthodox. That was one nation and it was such a big misfortune that they
12 fought war against each other and that was our misfortune.
13 MR. TIEGER: I tender those excerpts, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Shall we add those parts to the previous exhibit?
15 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
16 Q. Very quickly, you referred to negotiations with Mate Boban, a
17 discussion about those negotiations are found at 65 ter 24818 -- 815,
18 excuse me.
19 A. Mr. Mate Boban as the leader of the Croatian people in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the president of the HDZ invited me to come to
21 Grude in the war zone were populated by the Croats. I took a risk and I
22 went to see him so that the two of us can do something and stop the war
23 and the bloodshed. And we were almost on the brink of reaching an
24 agreement, but regrettably we failed.
25 Q. And we see on the front page of this article a photograph of the
1 two of you that reflects those discussions; is that right?
2 A. This is not Mate Boban.
3 Q. My apologies. This was the journalist you were talking to at the
4 time. If you could look quickly at the bolded portion, for example, just
5 to confirm that this was a discussion about those -- about that meeting
6 with Mate Boban.
7 A. I don't know what secret negotiations are being discussed here.
8 If you are making a statement to the press, then it's not secret at all.
9 Q. Fair enough. Now, during the course of those discussions with
10 Mate Boban, the issue of borders, not surprisingly, came up. And Boban
11 asked you your view of where the border should go, and you proposed what
12 you considered the most natural one, that is, the Neretva river; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you said to Boban, so it would be Croats to the west and
15 Serbs to the east of the Neretva, and then Boban asked -- or then, as did
16 the reporter, asked you: Well, is there a place for the Muslims there?
17 And your response to Boban was that the place for the Muslims, that is,
18 this semi-nation, is in between, that is, in the Neretva.
19 A. Ah, no, definitely not. No way. On the other side the majority
20 were Croats and the Serbs were on the opposite side, and I told him if we
21 cannot do it together let us stop the war. Let us be good neighbours and
22 co-operate. Now, as for this comment about the Muslims, this is a
23 fabrication. Somebody made that up. Anyway, there were only a few of
24 them living there.
25 Q. So -- and the -- so you're saying the journalist made up the fact
1 that you said in the Neretva both Boban and I laughed at my response,
2 et cetera, and that's found in the last column, sir. Can we blow that up
3 and go to the last column, please.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Would Mr. Tieger kindly not -- yes, thank you.
5 MR. TIEGER: The top part of that column, please. The second
6 response, if we could blow that up.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see that, but I do not accept
8 that. I wouldn't say that in a dream. What journalists are making up,
9 it's their problem, I mean this comment about the Muslims being in
11 MR. TIEGER:
12 Q. Fine. Thank you.
13 MR. TIEGER: I tender that.
14 MR. ROBINSON: No objection, Mr. President. Again, with respect
15 to the issue of what he said, it would be a matter of weight.
16 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6227, Your Honours.
18 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, there were three intercepts that were
19 part of the original package of the amalgamated statement and that were
20 associated exhibits and that were obviously during the course of that
21 process authenticated by the witness since they involve him. And I
22 would, with the agreement of the Defence as mentioned before, I would
23 tender those, that's 65 ter 30183, 1D25793, and 1D25794.
24 JUDGE KWON: Have they been commented on in his statement?
25 MR. TIEGER: Yeah, they all arose out of paragraph 24,
1 Mr. President, where he gave an explanation of general events in Trebinje
2 and issues that arose and then those intercepts were to -- were examples
3 of the information that he provided. That's how they were originally
4 packaged in the statement.
5 JUDGE KWON: If this witness has authenticated the intercept, it
6 may be a subject of bar table motion. If you are not leading those
7 intercepts with the witness now.
8 MR. TIEGER: If the Court gives me some time to go ahead and do
9 that, I'm happy to do so. I just thought this was a more efficient way
10 in light of the fact that there had been general comments about him and
11 the circumstances in which they originally arose. It seems -- I don't
12 mean to make this a particular practice, but in this case it seemed a
13 quite efficient and appropriate way to proceed.
14 JUDGE KWON: But how do we analyse whether it is relevant in what
15 context to the case? I'll consult my colleagues.
16 MR. TIEGER: Well, these did -- let me -- I'm sorry,
17 Mr. President, if it helps, these are all conversations between the
18 witness and Mr. Karadzic in -- and the earlier comments were about
19 personnel matters, interaction between the witness and the accused in
20 connection with some of those matters. So I think we know the context
21 now in which they arise from the statement. I think paragraph 24
22 continued to remain in the statement, but these particular intercepts
23 were omitted. I mean, if I had more time I would actually pursue the
24 issue of why they had been omitted and some of the specifics, but I don't
25 think that that undercuts their relevance in any way.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. Speaking from our side, we
3 would also like to have these admitted. They were dropped from the
4 statement because I instructed our person who was working with this
5 witness to reduce the amount of associated exhibits to make it more
6 manageable for the Chamber and he did that by eliminating some of these
7 intercepts, but we think they're relevant. We think they're admissible
8 because the witness is one of the participants so that they wouldn't need
9 to be marked for identification or further authenticated.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive them.
12 THE ACCUSED: As D, please. It should be admitted as D exhibit.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, it doesn't matter.
14 MR. ROBINSON: Well, it -- as far as I'm concerned it doesn't
15 really matter.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit them as P exhibits.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibits P6227 [sic] through to Exhibits P6230
18 respectively, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Maybe that's a better solution.
21 Then we shall refer to Prosecution exhibits.
22 JUDGE KWON: It's from Exhibit P6228.
23 THE REGISTRAR: P6228 through P6230.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. And one last topic.
1 JUDGE KWON: Oh, you have further topics?
2 MR. TIEGER: Just -- sorry, Mr. President, just very quickly, and
3 it just involves -- this will be very short I hope.
4 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, if you can confirm that in fact you are -- among
5 the things you're known for in the region was being -- was saying with
6 respect to the -- to Dubrovnik and the controversy surrounding the
7 shelling of Dubrovnik that we will build a more beautiful and older
8 Dubrovnik. That's the topic you were asked about by the interviewer
9 during the course of your -- the interview we've spoken of before?
10 A. As far as the shelling of Dubrovnik is concerned, the civilian
11 authorities have nothing to do with it. As for the statement itself
12 mentioned here, gentlemen, the Croats demolished the old bridge on the
13 Neretva river, a renowned historical monument. When they asked them why
14 they did it, they said that they would build a new bridge on the Neretva
15 river. When I was surprised to have heard them saying that, if they
16 claim that they would be able to build an older bridge, I repeated the
17 same with regard to Dubrovnik. But I think that was not a serious
18 matter. That was said jokingly and therefore I don't take it seriously.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When the bridge was mentioned first
20 it should say "a new and older bridge" because that was the paradox
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. Well, what you also said about Dubrovnik is captured at 22:33
24 through 26:30, and in particular the latter portion of that of 6225 when
25 you said as follows in connection with the shelling of Dubrovnik. First,
1 as you described earlier in the day, you referred generically to the
2 principle of tit for tat and you talked about Trebinje being shelled and
3 so Dubrovnik being shelled as a result. And then at the end of that you
4 said, when asked where exactly did you shoot, you said:
5 "Please, we shot whatever could be shot at and with as much
6 frequency in Dubrovnik. I mean, yes. And we regret it. We regret every
7 time a missile hits off the target or is fired in vain, but this" --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have it shown in the Serbian
9 as well so that the witness could see it himself, otherwise we just have
10 a jumble of words.
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger, is it necessary or relevant to lead with
12 this about Dubrovnik?
13 MR. TIEGER: Well, the -- I would say the relevance appears -- I
14 was going to move very quickly after introducing this to the accused's
15 awareness of that and his invocation of that as reflected in another
16 article of "Srpsko Oslobodjenje" in January of 1995, where he spoke about
17 the ability of the Bosnian Serbs to target Dubrovnik and used it as
18 leverage against the Croats in negotiations. So for that reason I
19 thought it was relevant.
20 JUDGE KWON: Does it have anything to do with the current
22 MR. TIEGER: Well, it's not a geographic focus of the indictment,
23 but I would say the practice reflected in the two examples I was focusing
24 on and attempting to introduce is certainly a matter that we see over and
25 over again during the course of this evidence. But if the Court thinks
1 it's geographic -- that the fact that it's not specifically
2 geographically mentioned in the indictment is an issue, I will say no, of
3 course Dubrovnik is not part of this current indictment.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. If you could kindly move on or conclude.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But time-wise it's also not
6 defined, then perhaps we should refer to 1941 rather than 1991.
7 JUDGE KWON: Inappropriate, Mr. Karadzic.
8 MR. TIEGER: Right. If I could conclude with just getting an
9 affirmation by the witness about that portion of the taped transcript
10 that will be adequate.
11 Q. So if I could just continue, you said:
12 "This time when they repeated the shelling after five and a half
13 months we returned twice as hard. Next time it happens, we'll fire four
14 times more missiles on Dubrovnik than they fire on Trebinje."
15 Okay. If you can --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If we keep going and insisting on
17 this, despite your decision not to do so, can we have this page displayed
18 so that we can all see it.
19 MR. TIEGER: E-court page 7.
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger, let's conclude without seeing that
24 MR. TIEGER: Very well, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
2 Q. And thank you, Witness, for answering the questions.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have re-examination?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency. I have to
5 shed light on a few things.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell the Chamber what is this newspaper,
8 "Nacional"? Where was it published and what was its position vis-a-vis
9 the Serbs, especially in 1997 which is the date of the article? Did you
10 hear me, Mr. Vucurevic?
11 A. Excuse me?
12 Q. Did you hear my question?
13 A. I didn't know who the question was intended for. What did you
14 ask me?
15 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what is this "Nacional," where is it
16 published, and what was its position concerning the Serbs?
17 A. To tell you the truth, I've read quite a lot of press, but I've
18 never read "Nacional." I don't know whose publication it is.
19 Q. Thank you. This refers to both the "Nacional" and "Oslobodjenje"
20 articles. Did you indeed give the interviews and were they sent back to
21 you to be authorised and checked?
22 A. Never.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. You're welcome.
25 Q. Can you remember when the first preliminary agreement was reached
1 to have three Bosnia and Herzegovinas in one?
2 A. I don't know whether I'll be right on the date, but I know the
3 sequence of events. But I'm afraid I can't be precise in terms of the
5 Q. Thank you. But today some words were quoted to you from the
6 plenary session of the SDS of the 14th of February, 1992. Do you recall
7 that -- or perhaps we should have the document displayed. Do you
8 remember me saying at the time something about what was achieved and that
9 you should keep it so that there would be no exodus from our parts?
10 A. I remember it. I was present, Mr. President. I know that it was
11 all aimed in the direction of achieving an agreement by peaceful means if
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. You're welcome.
15 Q. You've already answered this. The permits to leave, you said
16 that they contained such words that they designated one's right to
17 return. Can you explain that?
18 A. Mr. President, as per oral agreement with 5- or 600 Muslims in
19 the hall of our Assembly, it was agreed that they would send a delegation
20 to my office where we discussed things as civilised men so that they
21 would choose what to do. We had reached an agreement with the corps
22 command that there would be no soldiers forced to serve. If there were
23 Muslims mobilised in the Serb army, either before or after that date, if
24 such a person did not wish to remain in the ranks, they would be left
25 having first returned their weapons and equipment. Then they would need
1 to submit an application on a form to issue them with a passport, and
2 when we ran out of forms they were issued passes. On the passes it was
3 stated that they could leave Republika Srpska and return freely. I have
4 over 700 samples of such passes which I had issued. They all state the
5 phrase "they are free to return," and those who wished to leave
6 temporarily, that's what we put down. If somebody wanted to take their
7 car with them, we would note the registration plate on the form and could
8 leave; however, that is something that the Serb people in the rest of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina could not do, at least they were not treated the way
10 we treated the Muslims.
11 Q. Thank you. During examination-in-chief there were some
12 allegations of sorts about your position concerning Muslims. Were there
13 significant examples of Serb and Muslim friendship in Trebinje? Did we
14 have some kind of arrangements with certain Muslim parties?
15 A. When the armed conflict or near armed conflict broke out, we
16 tried to calm down the situation in Herzegovina and not Herzegovina alone
17 so that the war would not escalate. At the time the president of the
18 Muslim Bosniak organisation, Mr. Adil -- perhaps you can assist
19 me - Zulfikarpasic or something, we agreed on something. We organised a
20 march of friendship which was a column of vehicles, toured the rest of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and returned to the soccer pitch in Trebinje. 15.000
22 people gathered there. Mr. Zulfikarpasic spoke there as well as
23 Mr. Karadzic, Nikola Koljevic, and myself. We all invited the people to
24 be unified so that we could be saved from being pushed into the war. It
25 seemed we had achieved something, but Mr. Izetbegovic took care to bury
1 it and the conflict broke out.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
3 be asked not to speak directly into the microphone.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Is there some footage from the rally at the Leotar soccer pitch?
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, just a second, Mr. Vucurevic, yes,
7 Mr. Vucurevic, please put a pause before you start answering the
8 question, and then you are speaking too closely to the microphone. Thank
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: So could you repeat your answer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll repeat from the start. In
13 order to calm the situation down so that there would be no interethnic
14 conflict --
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You've answered that part. How about the part whether there was
17 any footage of the rally with the 15.000 people? And you can sit back
18 and speak slowly.
19 A. I will. I'm not sure if there's any footage. I can try to check
20 with the voice of Trebinje or Radio Trebinje; however, every speech of
21 every person who spoke there, including Zulfikarpasic, Karadzic,
22 Koljevic, and myself, is there. We all invited all the three peoples to
23 be tolerant and peaceful so that we wouldn't have another bloody war for
24 the third time in the 20th century.
25 Q. Thank you. Today you were asked about a document that was not
1 admitted but it's in the transcript. There is quite some mention of your
2 position concerning Dubrovnik. Did you support the shelling of Dubrovnik
3 or not?
4 A. Mr. President -- yes, I need to wait. Mr. President --
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
6 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: Well, I mean, normally I would invite -- enjoy that
8 question because it opens the door to precisely the portion of the
9 interview that I wasn't able to get in, so out of fairness I'm alerting
10 the Chamber and the Defence to precisely that.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, move on to another topic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just wanted to show P5749 where
13 it is clearly stated he was against any shelling, and it is an intercept
14 which is on the Prosecution list. They could have offered it in their
15 cross-examination, but let's move on.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. On page 36, line 10, when you discussed the destruction of
18 mosques and churches, you said that the army destroyed it. Did you have
19 in mind a specific unit and whether it was ordered -- well, I know what
20 you had in mind but do tell us what you had in mind when you said the
21 army destroyed it.
22 A. A unit arrived in Trebinje gradually, not as a single group, but
23 they took up their headquarters in the Leotar hotel, causing much trouble
24 for us. I sent to you my order to have them removed so that they
25 wouldn't intimidate the Croats and the Muslims, then they were moved out
1 of the settlement. Still they continued doing things that were wrong.
2 Then another order of mine was issued that Defence have in their
3 possession, it's an original, for them to be driven out of Herzegovina.
4 I risked my own head because we had them removed.
5 As for the destruction of the mosques, well things were being
6 destroyed all over. It was based on the principle of: If you destroy
7 mine, I'll destroy something of yours, but it was not organised. No
8 command had anything to do with it. It was simply that one morning a
9 religious building would show -- would be destroyed. The Catholic
10 cathedral in the centre of Trebinje next to the market-place was left
11 untouched when the Dayton Accords were put in place. Why? Because the
12 Orthodox church in Dubrovnik had not been destroyed. If it had been, no
13 God would have saved the cathedral in Trebinje.
14 Q. Thank you. Today you were shown part of your interview from
15 "Free Europe" or something which is P6625 [as interpreted], page 3.
16 There there is some reference to a message of Allah, and you said that
17 Allah told them to leave Trebinje, and you told Mr. Tieger that it was a
18 fabrication and that it cannot be found in the SDA documents. Can we
19 actually find it in their documents?
20 A. Yes, definitely, Mr. President. I am no man of lies. Whatever I
21 say is something I stand by. I not only say things but I can prove
22 things with documents, persuasive documents.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. You're welcome.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 1D7093, the first two
1 pages of this document were admitted as D something, but we have to offer
2 this number. It was shown by the Prosecution. In the first version the
3 third page was not admitted, so can we first go to the first page and
4 then to the third page. 1D7093.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You were shown this document today, were you not. Actually, this
7 order or this instruction was quoted to you, instructions for moving out
8 of Trebinje by Mr. Hasan Cengic; correct? The 20th of January, 1993, is
9 that it?
10 A. [No interpretation]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The answer was inaudible.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to the fourth page,
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Page 3.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And now would you please look at page 3, the Municipal Board of
17 the SDA in Trebinje where it says:
18 "Acting on the instructions of the headquarters ..." and so on
19 and so forth, "I'm inviting you to do the following."
20 It says here the universal principles of the Islamic faith, the
21 Serbo-Chetnik armada, that will be us I suppose, and then somewhere in
22 the middle of the page it says:
23 "We appeal to you to quietly and cautiously and bravely and in an
24 organised manner begin leaving temporarily our beloved Trebinje which
25 will always be a Muslim Bosnian Trebinje to which we will return in
1 triumph with the help of Allah and the forces of our state of Bosnia and
3 How did you interpret this? Who was it who put pressure on
4 people by quoting Allah? Who was it who was trying to persuade Muslims
5 to leave?
6 A. Is this a question for me?
7 Q. Every question is for you, sir.
8 A. Mr. President, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I spoke
9 to a Muslim before their exodus started in groups. There had been
10 smaller groups, Muslims, who were moving out, but at the same time 6.000
11 Serbs fled Trebinje trying to escape war, trying to save their lives.
12 That person invited me to come and talk to him not in his house but in
13 the wood. He told me that he was a member of the Municipal Board of the
14 SDA and he said: You told us in the municipality that it was the black
15 devil who was chasing us away from Cetin [phoen]. He took out some
16 papers and told me: I'm going to give you these but I need you to give
17 me guarantees for a safe life in Trebinje. I couldn't do that. I myself
18 was shot at, my cousin was killed by the Serbian army, so I told him
19 there are no guarantees. A lot of refugees came, a lot of bereaved
20 people, there's no control, people are armed, the state is in a state of
21 disrepair, who could control all that? The second solution was for me to
22 get papers for me and my son to move abroad and for my family to move to
23 Serbia. He received all the necessary papers and the Muslim who was a
24 member of the Municipal Board gave me these two papers, one from
25 Hasan Cengic and their president and there are no forgeries there at all.
1 Q. Thank you. Can we scroll up a little and can we see page 2 in
2 English where it says:
3 "We assure you that this is not a road to uncertainty and a road
4 to peril. What is waiting for us there are reception centres," and so on
5 and so forth. "We will be distributed."
6 What was the purpose of this order for people to leave Trebinje
7 en masse? What was the goal of the SDA?
8 A. I don't think that there was just one goal. First of all, the
9 Croatian flag and the Muslim flag were tied together. The Yugoslav
10 People's Army had left and they were purported to be the guarantor of
11 peace, and all of a sudden there was a conflict between the Army of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO on the one side with us on the other side,
13 and in our unit we had 12 Muslims. Obviously Alija Izetbegovic was
14 bothered by that. The fact that their own men were fighting against
15 Muslims, and it was not just Alija who was bothered by that. That's one
17 The second thing is that of course our international negotiations
18 were being undermined, the negotiations in Geneva, that is, and that was
19 one of the main objectives because as you know Mr. Izetbegovic said: "I
20 will sacrifice peace in order to gain a sovereign Bosnia." Why is that?
21 Muslims did not want to stay in Yugoslavia because they would have been a
22 minority there, and we could not accept to remain living in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a minority. So that made a conflict inevitable.
24 Q. Thank you. How did you understand the investigation of the
25 international organisation which toured reception centres in Montenegro?
1 What came out of that?
2 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
4 MR. TIEGER: Just a caution -- well, let's monitor the response
5 in light of how we approached this matter earlier.
6 JUDGE KWON: I wonder if Mr. Karadzic follows. If Mr. Robinson
7 could advise the accused.
8 [Defence counsel confer].
9 THE ACCUSED: Yeah, I didn't -- Excellency, I didn't mention the
11 MR. TIEGER: I was -- I wasn't --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Overlapping speakers] --
13 MR. TIEGER: Of course. I wasn't and I wasn't suggesting that
14 Mr. Karadzic had breached any kind of confidentiality. But simply now
15 that we're moving into this, there's very -- it's very ripe for the
16 possibility of the witness doing so inadvertently.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I will leave that. If
19 you do not know anything for a fact I'll leave it.
20 Can we go back to the previous page. On line 10 on the previous
21 page you said that you had 12 Muslims in the Trebinje brigade. How many
22 Muslims were there?
23 A. 412, Mr. President. I suppose that they didn't hear me well.
24 412 Muslims in just one war brigade in Trebinje.
25 Q. Thank you. Can we now go back to page 1 in this document, the
1 first -- the very first page. Let us look at this page, paragraph 2,
2 where it says:
3 "Sell some of the movable and immovable property or, if possible,
4 leave it in the custody of reliable Serbs..."
5 Did this really materialise?
6 A. To a large extent, yes. Those Muslims who had close friends
7 among the Serbs entrusted them with their houses and that's how Trebinje
8 was preserved. Not a single house was destroyed and there is a document
9 issued by the international commissariat for refugees. When they arrived
10 I got a letter of commendation for having been able to preserve all the
11 Muslim property. Nothing was torched, nothing was destroyed.
12 Q. And now we will ask you to send us that and we will bar table it.
13 Why did this Muslim ask you to meet in a wood, not in a house or in an
15 A. First of all, I thought that he was just provoking me. He called
16 me during the night and we agreed that he -- that he would arrive at my
17 office the following day at 7.00 in the morning but he didn't. And then
18 he again called me the following night and I told him you are a Muslim
19 and you're probably provoking me. The answer was no. He said I came
20 close to the municipality. I was afraid if my people saw me entering
21 your office that wouldn't be good. We met very close to the city. There
22 was another person with him. I did him a favour like I did to all the
23 others and that's when he handed me over the papers.
24 Q. Can you now look at paragraph 3 where it says:
25 "Do not refrain from putting pressure or even force against those
1 Muslims who do not act according to this order."
2 Who would it have been to put pressure and what has this
3 paragraph got to do with his request to meet in the wood?
4 A. First of all, he did -- would not -- didn't want to hand this
5 over to me so that they could learn. I'm -- still don't want to say his
6 name. I don't know what pressures would have taken place, what were the
7 modalities that were designed. I don't know. In any case, they
8 threatened their own people by force in order to make them leave
9 Trebinje. Where it says here that it was on the 12th of December and
10 then on the 30th of December, only six days later I spent the entire day
11 writing those passes. Entire families came so we issued passes to the
12 families and then to the individuals if the individuals came, and then if
13 possible I would like to tell the following thing to this Trial Chamber:
14 When they asked for buses, I ordered that two Trebinje companies prepared
15 their buses, to have a police escorts, and before that the canyon of the
16 river Trebisnjica had to be secured in order to prevent any crimes from
17 happening, gentlemen. And then they left en masse. They did not need
18 any passes. They were escorted by the police all the way to Montenegro,
19 to their destination there. And there were no interviews of the kind
20 that we heard about the interviews that were purportedly published in
21 newspapers. This is all fabrication, the things that we heard from the
22 Prosecutor. There were no interviews given on the way.
23 Q. I'm afraid that the dates are wrong. Instead of 12th December it
24 should be 20 January.
25 A. Yes, the 30th.
1 Q. So instead of December it has to be 20 December and -- 20 January
2 and 30 January?
3 A. Yes. I spent the entire day writing those passes --
4 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Too fast, too fast.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We have to make pauses.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how far is Montenegro from you?
8 Which is a majority population there, and who was the president of
9 Montenegro at the time?
10 A. The border of Montenegro is near Trebinje. When it comes to the
11 border between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is between the
12 municipalities of Niksic and Trebinje. From the centre of Trebinje to
13 Montenegro there is about 20 kilometres. The president of Montenegro at
14 the time was Mr. Momir Bulatovic and the president of the government or
15 prime minister was Milo Djukanovic. The majority population there are
16 Serbs, but they travelled in the direction of Osinja [phoen] where there
17 are municipalities with predominantly Muslim population. They spent very
18 little time. Everything had been organised. Most of them went to
19 Denmark. Some of them went to Turkey. Very few of them went elsewhere.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. You're welcome.
22 Q. And now tell me at that time was Montenegro independent? What
23 state was that at the time?
24 A. The abbreviation, or rather, it was a Rump Yugoslavia,
25 Mr. President. It was a state of Montenegro and Serbia.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Tieger mentioned that you had been charged with
2 the events in Ravno. Can you tell the Trial Chamber when did the
3 fighting around Ravno take place? Who was in charge? Were you ever
4 convicted for that?
5 A. Mr. President, just recently the second OG arrived. A lot of
6 troops and a lot of equipment arrived over night. They were not billeted
7 in the barracks which were in a good state of repairs and rather empty.
8 They were billeted in a modern pensioners' home. It was still not in use
9 but it was very well equipped. On the following morning when the
10 director of that retirement home which was still not in use came to me to
11 complain about the arrival of the troops, I drafted a request to them to
12 move to the barracks. You received that request together with the rest
13 of the material. Two high-ranked officers came to see me. They enjoyed
14 all the privileges in the former state and they asked me who wrote this.
15 I said I did, and I told them read this and don't risk being arrested
16 during the day. And I was reading, again the document is with your team.
17 It says here:
18 "Mr. Vucurevic, we are very sorry that you do not understand that
19 the Yugoslav People's Army has been de-politicised and that you do not
20 have to interfere with these matters. You should read the order of the
21 federal secretary for national defence, the army General Veljko
22 Kadijevic, and then you will understand everything."
23 Under paragraph 3 it says that:
24 "There is a ban on any sort of politicisation, that civilians
25 must not come to the command post, that they must not mingle with the
1 troops, and if any such thing would happen they should urgently be
2 arrested and handed over to military courts."
3 I'm sure that you have the original of that order because I gave
4 it to you, so I really could not go there, let alone try and turn their
5 barrels in the direction I wanted to. For them we were a transitional
6 measure from one day to the next. They did not trust us. They were
7 communist. Yugoslav People's Army conflicted with the Croatian
8 paramilitaries on the 1st of October, 1991. That was at Ivanica in the
9 municipality of Trebinje which was my municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 and Republika Srpska and when the Croatian paramilitaries killed 11
11 soldiers while they were having their breakfast, and then on the
12 following day they killed another seven, a total of 18. That was not a
13 Serbo-Chetnik army.
14 Gentlemen, there was one Croat, one Muslim, four Albanians among
15 those who were killed among the troops. What I'm saying here is that
16 they were members of the army from the then four republics and four
17 peoples of the former Yugoslavia, and then the army decided to retaliate.
18 The municipality of Ravno suffered a lot, but that was all far from us.
19 We did not interfere in any way. Even if we had wanted to intervene we
20 couldn't. We didn't dare do anything. So any interference with the
21 matters of the command and the matters of the army when it came to the
22 civilian personnel, that was not allowed.
23 Q. Thank you. On page 27 it is stated that in 2004 you were removed
24 from the position as the vice-president of the Serbian Democratic Party
25 by the international commissioner. Can you tell us whether you were the
1 only one to whom that happened? Were you removed because of something
2 that had happened during the war or was there allegations against you
3 about things that were happening at the time?
4 A. It was neither nor. At that time the Serbian Democratic Party
5 suffered blows from outside and from the inside, and then the high
6 commissioner inappropriately removed from the Main Board a total of 58 of
7 us all by issuing one document. I apologise for counting myself among
8 those most respectable members of the Serbian Democratic Party which
9 suffered greatly as a result of that. That was a huge blow against the
10 party, not against Bozidar Vucurevic or any other individual.
11 Q. Can you tell us what were the main objections against those
12 members of the Serbian Democratic Party? Did it have anything to do with
14 A. Well, it was written there that the implementation of the Dayton
15 Peace Accord, and there were lots of stories to that effect.
16 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, did the two of us meet after 1996 when his
17 holiness Vasilije came? Did we ever meet again?
18 A. Yes, thank God, since the day before yesterday.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vucurevic, for everything, for your testimony, for
20 your co-operation, and for protecting your Muslim neighbours. We are
21 proud of you.
22 A. If you allow me to say this. Ever since the JNA had left and
23 since we were unprepared and laid our hopes in this unfortunate army, on
24 the 18th of May, 1992, we had our border towards Croatia opened.
25 Overnight the regular Croatian army, because in the meantime Croatia was
1 recognised, occupied 78 villages in my municipality and burned 788
2 houses --
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vucurevic, that's not necessary.
4 Mr. Vucurevic --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please allow me -- all right.
6 JUDGE KWON: No, it's unnecessary, Mr. Vucurevic. It's for
7 the -- Mr. Karadzic to put questions if necessary.
8 With respect to the last document, Mr. Karadzic, you referred to
9 earlier to Exhibit D471. In the meantime I compared that with this one,
10 1D7093, and found that the current one has three pages. The previous one
11 does not have the third page which is titled -- entitled as "Appeal." So
12 would you like to tender this document separately or would you like to
13 replace it?
14 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
15 MR. ROBINSON: If we could just tender the third page of 1D7093
16 as a separate document.
17 JUDGE KWON: But I need confirmation whether the two documents
18 are identical, first two pages, because English translation looked a bit
19 different each other.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Well, maybe we should admit the whole three pages
22 JUDGE KWON: Shall we do that?
23 MR. TIEGER: I think that keeps -- may even keep the record a
24 little bit straighter given the fact that they were -- these were
25 admitted on two separate occasions, so...
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit the last document as next D
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3173, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE KWON: Very well, Mr. Vucurevic. That concludes your
5 evidence. On behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency.
7 JUDGE KWON: Given the time, the Chamber is minded to adjourn for
8 the day and we'll resume tomorrow at 9.00. Please have a safe journey
9 back home.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I didn't understand
11 well. Do you need me tomorrow?
12 JUDGE KWON: No. Please have a safe journey back home.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.53 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
17 March, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.