1 Friday, 1 November 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Mr. Harvey.
8 MR. HARVEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. May
9 I introduce Ms. Svitlana Tsukanova, who is from the Ukraine, has an LLM
10 from Radboud University, Nijmegen, in European Union law and
11 international law. Thank you.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Good morning, Mr. Harvey. You're not
13 hiding anymore from my eyesight. Sorry, I meant Mr. Tieger.
14 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, can you see Mr. Kovac without any difficulty
15 in terms of your eye sight?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellency. Thank you.
17 Mr. Lazarevic was very kind to take care of that.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Yes. Good morning, Mr. Nicholls, please
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Good morning, Your Honours.
21 WITNESS: TOMISLAV KOVAC [Resumed]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls: [Continued]
23 Q. Okay. I don't want to spend a lot of time on it because it's in
24 your statement at paragraphs 111 to 113. Actually, would you mind
25 putting your statement down or turning it over. I would like you to ask
1 me when you need to refer to it to refresh your memory.
2 In other words, could you just not use your statement unless you
3 ask me first.
4 You can refer to it now, if you want, but after that, please put
5 it down.
6 I'm talking about the 10 July order, P02992. Putting the
7 RS MUP --
8 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure Mr. Kovac understood what you said.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Yeah.
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, you don't need to rely on your statement
11 in answering Mr. Nicholls's question. When you need to -- when you would
12 to read your statement, the Chamber would allow you to do so at any time.
13 Let's continue. Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: If I may assist my learned colleague, paragraph
15 119 of Mr. Kovac's statement does not refer to this. It's something
16 completely different, so maybe this could resolve this confusion.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. I'm sorry, 111 to 113, that's what I'm talking about. But you
19 don't need to read it. I'm asking you about RS MUP order 6495. We can
20 bring it up, P02992. Now, you've talked about this in your statement,
21 I don't want to go over your explanation again. What I want to ask you
22 about is your prior testimony about this document.
23 This is from your testimony in the Medic case at page 52 in
24 English, B/C/S page 39. Asked about this document, you said, "I left
25 this area," as you say in your statement here, "but the president of the
1 republic directly called Karisik, my deputy, and Borovcanin and dictated
2 to them this order." Do you stand by that testimony you gave in the
3 state court?
4 A. I do but I wish to clarify. I don't know that I said that
5 President Karadzic had called Karisik and Borovcanin. He issued the
6 order which was in keeping with his constitutional powers. And it was
7 forwarded to the MUP institution where Karisik and Borovcanin were.
8 That's true.
9 Q. One moment. All right. Let's just bring up your testimony.
10 65 ter 25514, in your language should be page 39. I'll read out from the
11 English again.
12 "I left this area, but the president of the republic directly
13 called Karisik, my deputy, and Borovcanin and dictated to them this
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let's locate the passage.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: It should be -- if that is the correct page --
17 I can't find it in the Cyrillic, I'm sorry, but that's the correct page
18 and it's above where we see item 4 at the bottom.
19 JUDGE KWON: Do you see the passage, Mr. Kovac?
20 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Wait. Wait. Do you see the passage? Have you found the part
23 I read out? That's the question: Have you found it and read it.
24 JUDGE KWON: Of course it indicates the passage.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it.
1 MR. NICHOLLS:
2 Q. Okay. Did you say that in this trial, as recorded there?
3 A. I don't think this was recorded precisely but I will testify
4 today how it was, that the essence is the same, the order was passed on.
5 Q. Okay. I understand that. I'm just asking you, this is a
6 recording of your prior testimony, if you stand by that sworn testimony,
7 or if you have something different to say in the sworn testimony today?
8 A. I'm not saying any different today. I said at the beginning when
9 you asked me whether I stand by my statements, I do. About this
10 formulation, I don't know what you want. The essence is the same. It's
11 just the formulation. The president issued the order in writing.
12 Q. [Microphone not activated] I'm not asking you that. I know that.
13 I'm asking you if you said that under oath, what is recorded there by
14 their recording equipment.
15 A. I don't know. I'm not sure that this was recorded exactly word
16 for word, but the essence is the same. It's clear. It's clear that the
17 president issued the order to Karisik and Borovcanin at the MUP.
18 I wasn't there. I don't know what you want to draw from this.
19 Q. Okay. Let me tell you what your deputy, Karisik, testified about
20 this order and this claim of yours just a few months ago on 27 June in
21 this courtroom. I read out precise -- first of all, this is at T40605 to
22 40606, lines 15 to 20 on those pages.
23 First of all, he said that when he met with President Karadzic on
24 10 July, he didn't know or discuss the order, and I read out to him your
25 testimony that I've just read out to you precisely and asked if that
1 helped him remember that you say it was he who was involved in this
2 order. And he said, No, no, I refute Tomo Kovac's statement. I think he
3 got confused there. It's possible that the president ordered someone,
4 and goes on, and then says, I was dealing with Sarajevo. I was not
5 there. I was dealing with Sarajevo. As for the problems concerning
6 Srebrenica, it's only Mr. Kovac who can speak about that, so you can ask
7 him when he comes. I deny this.
8 So both you and your subordinate Karisik are running from any
9 involvement in the passage of this order; right?
10 A. I would not accept your assertion about evasion. In all my
11 earlier statements and interactions with you and the
12 Office of the Prosecutor, I did not act like that, but let us clarify.
13 You are not allowing me now, and you did not allow me earlier, to state
14 clearly what happened here in essence. President Karadzic issued an
15 order, passed it on to the MUP institution. At the MUP, Borovcanin
16 received the order through MUP services. As for Karisik, I don't know
17 whether he saw it the first or the second day, whether he passed it on.
18 As my deputy, he had insight into it, I cannot go into that, but that
19 order was issued in keep with the law, and it had to be followed. The
20 fact that I wasn't there and what my motivations were changes nothing to
21 the execution of this order and that's perfectly clear.
22 Q. That's not my question.
23 JUDGE KWON: Let me help you. Mr. Kovac, according to your
24 testimony in the Medic case, it's recorded you said that Mr. Karadzic
25 called Karisik directly and issued this order.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember exactly now all
2 these details, but as far as I recollect, and even this order that was
3 given, you have original documents, I don't know why you didn't provide
4 original documents.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, let me ask you again. But you said today
6 that the essence was the same. So do you agree that Mr. Karadzic issued
7 that order directly to Mr. Karisik?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He didn't have any reason to issue
9 the order directly to Karisik, he issued it to the institution, and he
10 gave this order to the MUP. Who actually received it and how they passed
11 it on is technical matter. Now, to give different explanation 20 years
12 on, I can't.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour.
15 Q. This isn't 20 years on. This is your testimony from 2006, and at
16 that point you said it was issued directly to Karisik. And I am not
17 asking you about the way orders are issued, I'm pointing out to you your
18 testimony now, if we listen to what you say today, your testimony in the
19 prior case wasn't true, was it? You don't stand by it. You just make it
20 up when you were testifying in the state court.
21 A. I do not accept that I made anything up. At that time Karisik
22 was my deputy Staff Commander and he could have accepted it. Even
23 I myself didn't know who passed the order on until I saw documents in
24 The Hague. I thought at that time it was Karisik but it was a different
25 member of the staff, as I learned later, who received the document and
1 passed it on. I saw the original document after I testified the first
2 time, and I saw it here at The Hague Tribunal.
3 Q. And it was signed by another member of the command staff; right?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. All right. Now, you'll agree with me that at least 12 members of
6 those MUP forces put into the Srebrenica theatre by the order we have
7 just been talking about have been convicted of murders at Kravica,
8 Sandici, three days later; right? Three days after this order was
10 A. Probably. I don't know what you are driving at.
11 Q. You testified in their trials. Probably? Can I have P06378.
12 A. Yes, I did, but -- yes, I did, but --
13 Q. While we are waiting for that to come up, are you aware that
14 Goran Saric has recently been indicted for murders at Kravica, Sandici
15 and Cerska for genocide? Goran Saric is Special Police commander.
16 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. That's one in a series of indictments brought by default. I
19 don't know what you want to put to me with this indictment against Saric.
20 Q. Okay. Well, then just -- just listen a minute. The reason was I
21 asked you if people who had been put into the combat zone pursuant to
22 this order had been convicted of crimes they committed three days
23 later --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are overlapping. Kindly pause
25 between questions and answer. Thank you.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: My apologies.
2 Q. At Kravica and Sandici. Just look at it quickly. You know that
3 men put into combat by this order committed crimes, have been convicted
4 of committing crimes, genocide, three days later; right?
5 A. That is completely inaccurate. You are changing everything.
6 Those people were convicted because the people who commanded them on the
7 ground did it badly. It's not true that they were indicted because of
8 this order. The order was issued in keeping with the law.
9 Q. That's not my question and I'll move on.
10 All right. I'm moving on to 12 July and some of the things you
11 start doing in relation to the Srebrenica operation. You recall -- could
12 I just quickly have P02995. And this you'll remember it, it's your
13 12 July 1995 order, type signed by you, forwarding President Karadzic's
14 order to establish the police station in Srebrenica and some other
15 points. Can we go to the second page for Mr. Kovac in the Serbian. So
16 you sent this order; right? This is your order?
17 A. Yes. Officially it's signed Tomislav Kovac, but why don't you
18 produce the original document? I didn't sign this document. I'm not
19 questioning the lawfulness of this document, but I didn't sign it. It's
20 not a copy, but it's a totally different typed document. If you find the
21 original you will see that I did not sign it, but I'm not questioning the
22 lawfulness of this. I'm not questioning anything from this order.
23 Q. Right. My only point is -- and we don't need to go through the
24 order. Is this -- I know this is not a signed copy but you forwarded
25 this order from Mr. Karadzic on the 12th of July; right?
1 A. No. I did not forward it. My services forwarded it, somebody
2 from the ministry.
3 Q. Okay. I'll try to be clear. When I say "you," I don't mean you
4 personally operating the teleprinter, I mean it is type signed by you as
5 Staff Commander. As deputy minister, rather. Okay. And --
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, please go on, Mr. Kovac.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct that it's written
8 deputy minister, but I'm saying once again that I didn't sign this, which
9 means it didn't pass through my hands. But I'm not questioning the
10 lawfulness or anything from this document. There is nothing there that
11 is contrary to the law.
12 MR. NICHOLLS:
13 Q. Okay. This is taking longer than I want. Do you agree that this
14 came from your office with your knowledge?
15 A. It went out of my office but not with my knowledge because
16 physically I wasn't there when this was forwarded.
17 Q. Okay. In your 2003 interview, which is 65 ter 22146, with the
18 Office of the Prosecutor of The Hague, at pages 83 to 84 of the English
19 and 90 to 91 of the Serbian, you said, in answer to the question:
20 "What happened on the 12th?
21 "Tomo Kovac: Okay. On the 12th, I remember there was an
22 overload of dispatches, and so on, and on that day we also received the
23 order from the president, Radovan Karadzic, on forming of the police
24 station, and I believe we have taken certain steps to -- this is the
25 order I would like to comment on."
1 The investigator says:
2 "Go ahead. The order is -- just for the record, the order is
3 KP 1407/95. That's the order we have as ERN 01134170, the same one
4 I just showed you."
5 And you say:
6 "Okay, what I want to say is what you can notice just looking at
7 the form in the way this has been composed because it's come from my
8 office with my knowledge, as opposed to the office which -- as opposed to
9 the order which was issued, you know, outside the office and without my
11 And then you go on to talk about how you can tell it's authentic.
12 So, in 2003, when you were telling us the truth you said it came
13 from your office with your knowledge, why are you giving a different
14 answer when I ask you exactly the same question today?
15 A. I'm not giving you a different answer. I said we received at my
16 office more than one of these documents, and after this, I managed to get
17 ahold of some documents where you will see again that I did not sign this
18 one because I wasn't physically there. When I said "we received,"
19 I meant the ministry. We received several documents. And I clearly
20 pointed out that this document passed through the protocol of the
21 minister's office.
22 Q. Okay. Stop.
23 A. But --
24 Q. Stop. Because I don't want to take the time to try to have to
25 impeach you on every single question I ask you, but my question to you
1 was not about the process, my question was I read out exactly the same
2 language from the interview that this came from your office with your
3 knowledge. And you said, no. Then I show you your interview where you
4 say, It came from the office with my knowledge, in response to a
5 non-leading question, and now you're telling me those answers are the
7 A. Well, I believe my answers are completely the same and all the
8 essence of all these events in my explanations in these documents changes
9 nothing to the problem of Srebrenica and the engagement of MUP forces.
10 Q. Yeah, well, I'd ask you to use -- try to be a little more precise
11 because you keep going back to these broad topics when I ask you about
12 things you've said. And you think your answers are completely the same.
13 JUDGE KWON: Do we have the correct page which says that that
14 order came from his office with his knowledge? Where is it? Yes,
15 Mr. Kovac?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's unclear to me
17 too. Since the original -- since the Tribunal has the original
18 documents, why does the Prosecutor not come up with the original
19 documents now? Because at that time --
20 JUDGE KWON: That's not important. You talked to the
21 investigator that that order came out -- was issued with your knowledge
22 and now you deny it. So I want -- the Chamber just wants to know what's
23 the truth, whether we have the original or not.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me explain why I'm asking for
25 the originals. In the originals one can see exactly who signed what, and
1 there is no dilemma there, who stands by which document.
2 MR. NICHOLLS:
3 Q. I didn't ask you one question about your signature. I've not
4 asked you one question about your signature in my cross-examination.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I'll move on, I think. Okay. Can we
6 look at P02996 quickly.
7 Q. What this is, it's from Dragomir Vasic, the Zvornik CJB chief.
8 It's a reply to the dispatch we just looked at and talked about for a
9 while about whether it went with your knowledge or not. And it says,
10 acting -- it says RE dispatch number KP/-1-407/95 of 12 July 1995, the
11 one we just looked at: Acting in accordance with your dispatch,
12 I contacted the civilian commissioner in Bratunac, Miroslav Deronjic.
13 And as you -- as you requested in Mr. Karadzic's order, and then he
14 discusses the meeting he had. So you are on 12 July forwarding
15 Karadzic's order which says to establish co-operation with Deronjic and
16 ask for reports on the situation and you're getting them the same day;
17 right? Reports from your subordinate, Vasic.
18 A. No. We were not interested in Deronjic's activity. As far as I
19 can see -- well, we didn't even write this dispatch. We say that this
20 has to do with contact with Deronjic in relation to the establishment of
21 the station, and we did not need any reports about Deronjic's activity in
22 the Ministry of the Interior.
23 Q. I don't know if there is a communication problem. I was saying
24 Vasic is reporting to you. One of the things he's reporting is that he
25 established contact with Miroslav Deronjic which was part of your order
1 that we just looked at. Vasic is reporting to you about what Vasic is
2 doing; right?
3 A. Yes. But skillfully, very skillfully, you've been moving towards
4 me, not only today but for ten years now, to have me confirm that the
5 ministry is linked to Deronjic and his activities. And you said once
6 that we were receiving reports about Deronjic's activities. I said that
7 that is not correct and that is not within our purview and we were not
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 24, that's the
11 misunderstanding, [In English] Deronjic asked for the reports.
12 [Interpretation] It turns out that the reports were sought from Deronjic.
13 And then when we receive a translation of that, it sounds even more like
14 that -- like it's Deronjic who is supposed to provide these reports.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. Well, it says "Reports from your subordinate, Vasic," on line 25.
17 So I don't think it was that unclear. And Mr. Vasic reports to you -
18 forget about Deronjic for a minute - about a meeting with Mladic and
19 Krstic. In number 4 we get to the establishment of the police station.
20 In point 5 that a meeting will begin at 10.00 in the morning.
21 JUDGE KWON: Could you check with the witness whether he can read
22 the document.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. Can you read the document, Mr. Kovac? Do you need it blown up?
25 A. [Indiscernible]
1 Q. I have a hard copy, if you want one.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that would be more convenient.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. That a meeting will begin at 10.00 with representatives of
5 UNPROFOR, that already a hundred trailer trucks have been provided for
6 transport. And number 6, joint police forces are advancing on Potocari
7 with the aim of taking UNPROFOR personnel prisoner, surrounding the
8 entire population, and clearing the terrain of enemy groups. Number 8,
9 you'll be promptly informed of all further facts and developments.
10 So my very simple question is in -- again in response to the
11 order we just saw you sending out, Mr. Karadzic's order and your order,
12 you're getting reports right away from Mr. Vasic; right?
13 A. No. I mean, I'm receiving -- I mean, he's sending reports about
14 overall activities. One order was sent to him about setting up the
15 police station, which is within our purview. This other part doesn't
16 have to do with our purview. He could have informed us. We just asked
17 him to do one thing and that had to do with the establishment of the
18 police station in Srebrenica. All the rest does not fall within the
19 purview of the MUP, within the powers of the MUP.
20 Q. My question was: Vasic is reporting to you. I didn't ask you
21 again about the power or purview of the MUP, it's that Vasic is reporting
22 to you in response to your order. Part of your order was establish
23 contact with Deronjic, he's responding that he has; part of your order
24 was about the police station, he's responding; and he's explaining to
25 you, as you say, what is happening in Srebrenica on the ground; right?
1 A. No, no. The establishment of the station, yes, but this is far
2 wider reporting about the activities of Mladic, UNPROFOR, Deronjic. And
3 that doesn't have to do with our purview, our order, or --
4 Q. Stop. I think -- it's hard to believe you can't understand these
5 questions since you made it to minister of the interior when were you
6 under 40. Vasic is reporting to you on the situation on the ground.
7 A. [No interpretation]
8 Q. There is no part of my question that is about the purview of the
10 A. Please. There is no reason for you -- I mean, I've spent a lot
11 of time with you. There is no reason for you to say that I don't
12 understand about what came from the MUP. I mean, I do not have the
13 characteristics of a retard, as you've been putting it. I have this
14 attitude towards you because for ten years now you've been trying to
15 impute things to us, to the MUP, lawfully and unlawfully, to involve us
16 in this, and you're not going to be successful.
17 JUDGE KWON: I don't understand if we use-- why we waste a lot of
18 time for this. Could you make your question a bit simpler? Mr. Kovac,
19 do you agree that the MUP at the time received this Vasic's report?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the MUP received the report.
21 The MUP has to receive it. If it was sent electronically, it has to be
22 received. That is not being contested. What is being contested --
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, your answer could be either yes or no, so
24 your answer is yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
1 JUDGE KWON: Shall we continue, Mr. Nicholls.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, thank you.
3 Q. And I'm going to skip ahead, but you may recall you got
4 another -- that another report was sent to the MUP from Vasic after the
5 meeting which General Mladic and UNPROFOR --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly speak into the microphone, please.
7 Thank you.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. UNPROFOR and some of the Muslims from Potocari. And I'd like to
10 now look at P04934. This is again 12th July. It is type signed by you
11 as Staff Commander. It's from the RS MUP police force staff Pale. It's
12 an order: In order to take over urgent tasks of mopping up the terrain
13 in the Srebrenica sector, I hereby, 1, urgently dispatch all available
14 guide dogs, guides with police dogs, to Srebrenica sector; 2, upon
15 arrival, in Srebrenica contact Ljubisa Borovcanin, deputy commander, who
16 commands the police forces in Srebrenica and make arrangements on what to
17 do next. This order is sent from the MUP staff on the 12th; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It is sending additional police troops to Srebrenica; right?
20 A. Obviously that can be seen from this, yes.
21 Q. It is an order to take over urgent tasks of mopping up the
22 terrain; right?
23 A. Probably such a request was received. Now, what they did on the
24 ground is for the military and for Ljubisa Borovcanin.
25 Q. My point is, yesterday, and in your statement, you say that the
1 MUP was requested to come in just for show so that the Supreme Commander
2 could get some credit for Srebrenica. Yesterday, when I asked you about
3 your prior testimony, you also said that you testified that the MUP
4 wasn't even needed in Srebrenica because there was no resistance, it was
5 over, and they were needed so badly in Sarajevo.
6 In fact, as you just said, there was a request for more forces,
7 and those forces were urgently sent to supplement the troops that
8 President Karadzic sent in; right? That's what we can see from this
10 A. Well, again, I claim that it was not necessary for the MUP forces
11 to go to Srebrenica except for some particular police work, to protect
12 roads and to protect the population. That is clear for anyone who dealt
13 with analysing Srebrenica. It was not necessary in relation to the
14 forces that were there. The MUP forces were not needed as combat forces,
15 as police forces to protect roads, yes.
16 Q. And what's going on on the 12th? We saw Mr. Vasic's report to
17 the MUP just a minute ago, about how the joint MUP forces were going in
18 to surround UNPROFOR -- to surrender the entire civilian protection --
19 population, take UNPROFOR prisoner. This is the day that the first --
20 the day that the shipping out of the entire population of the enclave
21 starts. That's what you send the MUP in to assist with, isn't it?
22 A. No. That's not right. And in the command part we did not take
23 part and we did not carry out these activities. That's not correct.
24 Q. Well, you also just said that the police -- "... MUP forces were
25 not needed as combat forces, as police forces to protect roads, yes."
1 What you urgently send them in for is mopping up the terrain. You don't
2 urgently send them in to protect a road.
3 A. That is your assertion. In an area of 50 to 100 kilometres away
4 from Srebrenica, we had movement of armed soldiers. We had to protect
5 the Milici-Zvornik road, as far as police work is concerned. As far as
6 military work is concerned, where the police was placed under their
7 command, I did not go into the way they were being used because they were
8 under their command.
9 Q. State security is part of the MUP - right? - under Dragan Kijac?
10 A. Well, one of the entities, separate organisational unit within
11 the ministry.
12 Q. Yes. Now, we have already seen, and I don't want to talk about
13 it, but I'm sure you know, you'll agree with me that the MUP forces were
14 amongst the very first to enter Potocari; right? You know that?
15 A. I don't know that. I don't think that they were the first to
16 enter Potocari. I think this is an arbitrary assertion. I was not in
17 command there. I did not deal with that. We can talk about that
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the end of
20 the sentence.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Stop. I'm not asking you whether you're in command. I'm asking
23 you factually if you knew that the MUP were among the first into
24 Potocari, and you said you don't know. At that point you answered the
1 Can I have P04388. This is a Drina Corps document, not a MUP
2 document. It's from the security chief, Popovic, on 12 July. He
3 explains - maybe this will help you remember - MUP forces entered
4 Potocari in the morning without combat. But the part I want you to look
5 at is number 3. Last sentence: We are separating men from 17 to 60
6 years of age and we are not transporting them. We have about 70 of them
7 so far and the security organs and state security are working with them.
8 So one part of the MUP goes into Potocari in the morning, men are
9 separated, they are not transported, and state security is "working with
10 them"; right?
11 A. This activity was not conducted. I mean, none of these
12 activities that are referred to were conducted by the MUP. It was the
13 security organ, and the operation was under their control and command.
14 Now, individuals who had been resubordinated, whether they had been
15 involved in certain activities, well, that is certainly visible, but this
16 has no link to any kind of order issued by the Ministry of the Interior
17 and this was not under our control.
18 Q. Okay. Well, as you've said, and as the law shows I don't want to
19 go into it, take the time, the MUP can only be put into combat by an
20 order from the president and the minister. But you're not seriously
21 suggesting that state security was subordinated to the VRS during
22 Srebrenica operation, are you?
23 A. Well, state security, one or two men who were in that area,
24 I don't see -- I mean, I don't know of their activity, that they did
25 anything in that area. From this document I see this now, and I don't --
1 I didn't know that they did anything in Srebrenica. I was not aware of
2 their activities except for the information that we received about combat
3 movements in the broader area. I was not aware of any other activities.
4 This is minor. In this entire area, there was only one or two members of
5 state security.
6 Q. Well --
7 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure, Mr. Kovac, you answered the question.
8 You said about the resubordination, do you say these DB members were
9 resubordinated to the military at the time? DB, state security.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, they were not
11 resubordinated to the army. And I'm not aware of their activity, and
12 I think that as regards their activity, there wasn't really -- well, as
13 far as we, the ministry, are concerned, well, this is a department that
14 is separate, and we did not, I mean, receive such information. And
15 I don't think that they were directly -- I mean, except for their
16 activities in the area, regular activities, reporting, I cannot explain
17 that. I don't know about their activity at the time. I did not receive
18 any information about where they were and what they were doing.
19 JUDGE KWON: That being the case, Mr. Kovac, why did you mention
20 about resubordination at all?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Resubordination? Because there
22 were official units there that were resubordinate to the army. That was
23 the special unit and -- and the first company from the security centre of
24 Zvornik. And, according to the president's order, they were
25 resubordinated to the army, and there, in accordance with that order,
1 they were present there and they operated under the command of
2 Ljubisa Borovcanin, or rather, the command of the corps commander, the
3 commander of the Drina Corps, so they were there on the basis of that
4 order and they were active on the basis of that order.
5 JUDGE KWON: After Mr. Nicholls read out this passage, including
6 the activities, alleged activities of DB members, you talked about
7 resubordination. Was it out of your mistake?
8 A. No, no, no. What was being referred to here was not only state
9 security. Also, other units were mentioned there that were
10 resubordinated according to the order. However, the SDB in terms of how
11 it acts, it is a separate department, it is a separate entity, and their
12 activity was always under certain, I mean, supervision of the head of the
13 State Security Service. I'm not sure. I don't know that they were
14 involved in this area in this way. I do not have that kind of
16 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
17 Please continue, Mr. Nicholls.
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. Again, though, state security, Dragan Kijac, is part of the MUP,
20 it's under the minister; right?
21 A. Well, you see, they are a unit that is separate, so the
22 State Security Service formally is under the MUP, but they independently
23 carry out -- but --
24 Q. Okay, go ahead. Go ahead. They independently carry out? Do you
25 want to say anything more?
1 A. Well, there is not anything else.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. They -- I mean, their activity is well known. It is a special
4 kind of activity. Certainly they had tasks of their own, but that they
5 worked on the separation of the population, I'm not aware of that
6 information, and I don't think that this information is correct. This is
7 incorrect information of the lieutenant-colonel and --
8 Q. I didn't ask you at this point about separations. Now, you said,
9 I cannot explain that earlier, when asked by His Honour Judge Kwon about
10 information, I did not receive any information about where they were and
11 what they were doing. Is that serious assertion, Mr. Kovac? You did not
12 receive any information about what -- where state security were and what
13 they were doing? Let's confine it to July 12, 13, 14, 15.
14 A. We received information from state security, in general terms.
15 Now, where they were individually and what they did, we did not receive
16 that. Their work was secret, who was where at which point in time and
17 who was doing what. We did receive information. I mean, please don't
18 twist this. We did receive information from state security. That is
19 correct. Now, where they were in terms of groups, individuals, their
20 chief, who was where, if that's what you're asking me, I don't know, but
21 as an institution we did receive reports from them regularly.
22 Q. Okay. You are Dragan Kijac's boss in July 1995; right? You are
23 superior to him in the MUP chain?
24 A. Well, from the position of deputy minister, except in formal
25 terms, no. The deputy minister could not command the
1 State Security Service. You see from all of this that I was at the level
2 of public security. I mean, if you want me to inform you where
3 Dragan Kijac was at the time, he was on annual leave, on vacation at the
4 seaside, as far as I know.
5 Q. Okay. Where did I ask you about where Dragan Kijac was at the
6 time in my question? Why did you come up with that when I asked if you
7 were his boss?
8 A. Well, I started saying that because you've been tendentiously
9 saying that I know where his operatives were and I told you where he was
10 specifically at the time. As for commanding and controlling him and the
11 State Security Service, I could not do that.
12 Q. P04389, please. Skip ahead. So let me just ask you this before
13 we look at this document. You didn't know that Goran Radovic, head of
14 the Bijeljina state security centre, went down to Bratunac on 12,
15 13 July?
16 A. No, I didn't know. He didn't need to inform me and I didn't
18 Q. You didn't know that Mile Renovica, the Zvornik chief of state
19 security, was in Bratunac on the night of 13 July -- or, in that period,
20 12, 13 July?
21 A. I did not know. It was normal for him to be in that area because
22 that's his area, that's the area where he was working, Bratunac was our
23 territory and had been before. It's quite normal. It's his daily
24 activity to move around that area. If he did that before, why wouldn't
25 he do it during those days? But he didn't need to report to me about
1 that. He didn't need to inform me because we are not organisationally
2 linked. It was quite normal for him to be in that area.
3 Q. This is 13 July 1995.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, sorry. Your Honours, I may end up asking
5 for more time - I'm sorry - based on the lengths and type of answers.
6 Q. You say he's not organisationally linked to you? He's a state
7 security chief for Zvornik which is part of the MUP which is linked to
8 you as deputy minister of the MUP.
9 A. You should not emphasise the position which is just an
10 alternative to the deputy minister. They are linked to the minister and
11 the ministry. I just stood in for the minister in connection with this
12 area. I'm not saying they are not part of the MUP but they are a
13 separate system and, of course, the MUP is kept informed but they are a
14 separate system with separate rules of work.
15 Q. Nobody has contested that that they are a separate chain. All
16 right. This document is the one for 13 July 1995 from state security,
17 signed by Dragan Kijac. If we go to the second page, Mr. Kovac. And it
18 is headed, to deputy minister of the interior, personally. You, on
19 13 July 1995, were deputy minister of the interior personally, correct?
20 A. I was deputy.
21 Q. Thank you. And so the second person this goes to is to head of
22 public security personally. That's Kijac, right -- Karisik, right?
23 A. Not Kijac and Karisik, just Karisik.
24 Q. My mistake. All right. And this is informing you personally
25 that during the night of 12 to 13, members of the VRS and MUP managed to
1 capture a large number of Muslim soldiers in ambushes set up in the
2 general Konjevic Polje area; right?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. And it is informing you of the break-up of some of the Muslim
5 extremist groups as they move along the road. And then it says:
6 "The operation to detect and neutralise the Muslim groups is
7 continuing. Earlier information regarding their intentions and the axes
8 of movement towards Kladanj and Tuzla (Buljim, Pobudje Konjevic Polje,
9 Kaldrmica, Cerska, Snagovo, Crni Vrh) have been confirmed many times in
10 interviews with prisoners."
11 And it talks about Naser Oric. So state security -- excuse me.
12 Let me read one more. Ibgan Mustafic, a former SDA deputy and a former
13 BH assembly and a great opponent of Naser Oric, was among the prisoners
14 and can, with the necessary preparation, be used well in the media. So
15 state security is informing you that they know the movements of the
16 Muslims through many times in interviews with prisoners; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I jumped ahead to that. Let's go back to something now on the
19 12th of July, that Mr. Borovcanin testified to in this courtroom in June.
20 He was asked, excuse me, this is at -- this is 7 June, 39456, at line 5:
21 "Just looking at your after-action report is what I call it, you
22 stated there on the 12th that you received information from the state
23 security employees about the movement of the Muslim column; is that
25 "Inter alia, I received information from them, that is true.
1 "And, who, do you remember their names, these state security
3 "I think I mentioned it in my interview. There were two state
4 security operatives there. One of them was Vito Tomic, the other, last
5 name was Glogovac, I believe.
6 "Sinisa? Sinica Glogovac?
8 "And where were they when you received information from them, and
9 where were you in Potocari and what date?
10 "12 July 1995."
11 So let me just recap this a bit.
12 MUP joint MUP forces, as Vasic reported to you, entered
13 Srebrenica, entered Potocari, and take it early on the 12th without
14 resistance. State security is present in Potocari interviewing separated
15 prisoners and getting information. Borovcanin gets information of the
16 movement of the column from state security and then sets up the line to
17 ambush those men in the Muslim column. You still say MUP was not
18 necessary on 12, 13 July, for the operation against Srebrenica?
19 A. Yes. I still say that, but you are putting other things here,
20 and twisting everything and presenting the MUP as acting independently,
21 that Vasic commanded, that Ljubisa executed and that it was all connected
22 with state security. The state security was not there according to
23 establishment. It was there in the area in accordance with the
24 methodology of work. And like all secret services in the world, they did
25 their work. They were not within the same chain. There was no link with
1 Ljubisa Borovcanin. The fact that they knew each other and exchanged
2 information is their business, their work on the ground.
3 Q. Well, sorry, their business, their work on the ground, Borovcanin
4 in his report, which I do not want to bring up at the moment, says that
5 on the basis of information from state security, he learned about the
6 movements of the Muslim column which is why he went and set up his
7 positions on the road. That's what he was being questioned about in the
8 transcript reference I read you. So the link there is state security is
9 finding information from prisoners and providing that to the commander of
10 the MUP forces in Srebrenica. What do you mean there is no link?
11 A. [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: The witness's microphone is off.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no link. As for the
14 assertion that MUP created such an organisation, Ljubisa was under the
15 command of the army. Under the law, Ljubisa was supposed to get
16 information through the security organ of the army. The fact that that
17 he personally knew these people there, that the state security people got
18 information from that area, they obtained that information because they
19 knew each other. Ljubisa used to be -- to know the chief of police in
20 Bratunac. Through the establishment, he was supposed to get information
21 from the security organs of the army while working in that area, because
22 he had been detached, seconded from the MUP, and he was under the command
23 of the army. What he did was not in accordance with the law.
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. Okay. So let me get it straight. Your explanation is that
1 Borovcanin is in Potocari, Sinisa Glogovac is in Potocari, they recognise
2 each other from Bratunac, from before the war, and Sinisa Glogovac, who
3 has been interviewing prisoners at the white house, says, Oh, hey, here
4 is a tip, since I know you're from Bratunac, the Muslims are heading off
5 in that direction, towards Kladanj. That's the way it happened?
6 A. No, no, no, no. It's not the way you presented it. But,
7 essentially, and you know this very well, I don't need to explain this to
8 you so many times, Ljubisa Borovcanin and his units were resubordinated
9 to the Drina Corps and all his official communication and all the
10 information that he was supposed to receive was -- he was supposed to
11 receive along that chain. His acquaintances with people from the state
12 security who worked in that area enabled him to receive that information
13 directly from them. According to their rules, they were not supposed to
14 give him that information directly but through the system of reporting
15 that was used to provide information to me, and others in the ministry.
16 That's how they were supposed to work. Because these state security
17 employees were not part of the police or the army staff and they were not
18 sent there and they were not resubordinated.
19 JUDGE KWON: While Mr. Nicholls is looking at his document, one
20 legal question, Mr. Kovac. Take the example of Mr. Borovcanin. While he
21 was resubordinated to the army, was he not still duty-bound to report
22 to -- back to the MUP or police what he had been doing at the time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In keeping with the law, from the
24 moment when he was resubordinated to the army, he would be exclusively
25 under their competence and all his reports would go to the higher command
1 of the Drina Corps, the commander of the Drina Corps. From the viewpoint
2 of his activities at the moment when he's resubordinated. As soon as
3 units are resubordinated, they become part of the army, and they execute
4 solely the orders of the superior corps, or perhaps the brigade if they
5 were resubordinated to the lower level, depending on the order given and
6 the area to which they were assigned. Thereby, the state organ of the
7 Drina Corps was the one who was supposed to give them orders.
8 JUDGE KWON: Your answer could be either yes or no. So your
9 answer is no. So he was not duty-bound to report what he had been doing
10 to the police?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was not duty-bound to do that at
12 the time when he was resubordinated.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: P02987, please.
15 Q. From Ljubisa Borovcanin, 13 July 1995, when he's resubordinated,
16 from the -- to MUP Special Police Brigade, it says on the top, to Pale
17 police staff, Vogosca police staff, Special Police Brigade Janja. On
18 12 July 1995 in the course of the day, a MUP combat unit composed of the
19 second Special Police detachment, a MUP company of the Zvornik PJP, and a
20 mixed company of the Janja MUP was engaged in offensive combat operations
21 from the direction of Zuti Most toward Potocari. And then it says about
22 how at 5.30 they sealed off Zuti Most and then proceeded along the road
23 towards Potocari which, if this helps you remember, is why I asked if you
24 knew that they were amongst the first units in. In Potocari we sealed
25 off the main UN base where a throng of between 25.000 and 30.000
1 civilians had gathered, approximately 5 per cent of whom were able bodied
2 men. A part of the MUP forces was involved in the organisation of the
3 evacuation of civilians from Srebrenica to Kladanj. As we had received
4 information from state security that all able bodied Muslims from
5 Srebrenica had set out on a break-through towards Konjevic Polje and
6 further towards Tuzla, I urgently dispatched our forces with the support
7 of hardware to seal off the Kravica-Konjevic Polje road where they spent
8 the night.
9 In the night between 12 and 13 July 1995, this armed Muslim group
10 launched an attack on the direction of Konjevic Polje. In the combat
11 that lasted several hours and which continued through the day, the enemy
12 had more than 200 dead and we captured or had surrendered to us around
13 1500 Muslim soldiers. The number increases by the hour. According to
14 all indications, the number of Muslim soldiers who did not manage to
15 break through is on the rise -- who did not manage to break through, and
16 is approximately between 5.000 and 6.000 which means that we have intense
17 combat ahead of us. I hope that we will successfully carry out this task
18 also, deputy commander, the Special Police Brigade, Ljubisa Borovcanin.
19 Reporting his -- comprehensively reporting his military
20 activities in the last two days while resubordinated; right?
21 A. Well, he may report. It's up to him whether he will report or
22 not. But he doesn't have the obligation to report. He's exclusively
23 under the command of the army when he's carrying out these activities.
24 And how he carried them out, you saw during the whole trial, you got all
25 the explanations as to what he did and how he worked. The MUP got this
1 for information and they sent these reports whenever they wanted, if they
2 wanted. They didn't send these reports because it required any action
3 from the MUP. He was not under the MUP command. He provided us with
4 information. He gave us reports. But he was not under our command. He
5 did not have the obligation to send this. He could have but he didn't
6 have to.
7 Q. You don't need to say in every question I ask you the MUP was
8 not -- he was not under MUP command, okay?
9 A. I think it is necessary because you clearly want to involve MUP
10 in a commanding role in these activities, which is completely untrue. We
11 had different tasks.
12 Q. As the deputy minister of the MUP and Borovcanin's superior at
13 the time, I can see why you worry about that, but you don't need to
14 answer every single question that Borovcanin wasn't under your command at
15 the time. Are you seriously saying it's completely optional to report
16 for the MUP, when they are resubordinated, Borovcanin can just decide
17 whether or not the Ministry of the Interior should know that his MUP
18 units have 1500 prisoners and are taking more by the hour?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, objection.
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Shall I hear your objection in the
21 absence of the witness?
22 THE ACCUSED: I may say it in English if you want.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: I think I'm not convinced that Mr. Kovac does not
24 speak any English.
25 JUDGE KWON: Before -- without going into detail, could you tell
1 me just in a summary matter what it is about?
2 THE ACCUSED: It's pertaining the --
3 JUDGE KWON: You can speak in the B/C/S but just without telling
4 the detail of your -- the merit, just tell us what it is about. So I
5 will -- before we need to decide whether the witness is to be excused or
6 not, tell me what it is about.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It has to do with the number and
8 the nature of this report about the capturing of these 1500 men who
9 captured them and whom they surrendered.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I think it can be raised -- discussed in your
11 re-examination. Objection overruled.
12 Please continue, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. So you can answer the question. It's completely optional when
15 Mr. Borovcanin has captured or surrendered around 1500 Muslim soldiers
16 and the number is increasing by the hour. It's completely optional
17 whether he can -- should report that up the chain to the MUP?
18 A. Let's not confuse the subject of reporting and his action. If it
19 indeed happened that he took these people prisoner, which I doubt because
20 this information was often inaccurate and it was written just like
21 that --
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, I don't think that was part of the
23 question. The question was whether it's optional on the part of
24 Borovcanin to report or not.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was not optional to report. If
1 he had any prisoners, he had to report his superior officer at the
2 command of the Drina Corps. That's what he had to do. To report to the
3 MUP in parallel was optional. He could have done that but not -- he
4 didn't have to. It's one thing whether he had any prisoners or not and
5 it's a completely different matter what was going on in a certain area.
6 But you are linking decisions about how to treat particular prisoners and
7 the subject of reporting. One thing is information as to what to do
8 next. He had to get that from the Drina Corps. And the reporting --
9 Q. I'm stopping you now. I didn't ask you anything about treatment
10 of these prisoners. I will but I didn't. Stop building into my
11 questions questions I haven't asked you that you want to answer.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'd request a break five minutes
13 early, if it's not inconvenient, because I'm going to move on to
14 something different.
15 JUDGE KWON: No difficulty with that. We will have a break for
16 half an hour and resume at 5 to 11.00.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE KWON: Let's continue, Mr. Nicholls.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. Okay. Could you please close your statement, not look at it for
25 a moment. Thank you.
1 13 July 1995, in the afternoon, according to the president's
2 appointment book which is P02242, I'm not going to bring that up, you
3 meet with President Karadzic from 15.50 to 16.10, and you spend that time
4 just discussing ammunition problems in Sarajevo; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That's it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Nothing about Srebrenica?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. So this is the day that Borovcanin's reported that 1500
11 prisoners are being taken and the number is increasing. This is after
12 you've sent the dog unit to Srebrenica. You remember that you sent the
13 Doboj unit to Srebrenica on the 13th, you issued the order, Doboj PJP?
14 A. That is not correct. I sent the Doboj unit as assistants for
15 protecting the town of Zvornik to the centre of the security services of
16 Zvornik, not to the Srebrenica theatre of war. And they were 500 metres
17 above the town of Zvornik because it was being threatened by the groups
18 that were entering the area.
19 Q. Okay. You sent Doboj PJP to Zvornik, correct. That's P05146.
20 Now, you've been informed about 1500 prisoners, Karadzic has been
21 informed by the VRS about prisoners being taken, Vasic has reported to
22 you about the situation, and you have no words whatsoever to say about
23 what the MUP are doing in Srebrenica or what's happening in Srebrenica?
24 A. No, for two reasons: One is the law. They are resubordinated to
25 the army, and any kind of reporting of mine would not have been correct
1 or --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand the other
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The second reason was that I
5 opposed the engagement of units because of the real danger in Sarajevo,
6 whereas the theatre of war, as such, was not a problem. However, a
7 problem was made out of the way in which prisoners of war were treated.
8 This was after the operation. This was 20 years later.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. All right. P04942, please. This is from Vasic to the
11 Ministry of the Interior on 13 July. I'm not going to go through it all.
12 He's reporting: 1, we urgently need ten tonnes of petrol; 2, killing of
13 about 8.000 Muslim soldiers who we blocked in the woods near Konjevic
14 Polje. Fighting is going on. This job is being done solely by the MUP
15 units. Send the Srbinje or Doboj special detachment to Konjevic Polje.
16 You don't discuss Srebrenica because there were no problems in
17 Srebrenica, only in Sarajevo; right?
18 A. No. I've already said what I had to say about these statements
19 of yours and the terminology, liquidation, et cetera. This is not
20 correct. This is panic stricken because he had quite a few Muslim
21 soldiers who were on the move near Zvornik, Milici, and this is an
22 arbitrary statement of his. Especially the term liquidation that he
23 used. That is absolutely not doable. It was not carried out. And it is
24 terminologically incorrect. And I have already said what I had to say
25 about that, and he did not say what he had to say about that. I could
1 not suggest to him how he should report. He reported the way he
2 reported, and this is not correct.
3 Q. Okay. You just said "panic stricken." Panic stricken. The MUP
4 is reporting to you that it is panic stricken. You're meeting with the
5 Supreme Commander. That's not important enough to raise; right? Let me
6 rephrase that. Let me make it clear. You meet --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Objection.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The translation is the killing of
10 8.000 Muslims, whereas the liquidation of some group in military
11 terminology is not killing. So this is the hundredth example of the
12 translation is not good, the translation into the English language. The
13 liquidation of a group in military terms does not mean killing and it was
14 translated as killing.
15 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's go.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. You meet with Karadzic on 13th, 14th and 15th of July; correct?
18 It's in your statement; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On none of those days did you discuss Srebrenica; right?
21 A. No. I didn't want that topic, and he didn't ask me, and I did
22 not bring up the topic.
23 Q. All right. Okay. Let me read you a portion of your testimony
24 from the Jevic case. This is 65 ter 25516, English 24 to 25, B/C/S 25 to
1 Prosecutor -- well, he asks you, to make this shorter, about the
2 dispatch you just talked about, regarding the 8.000 Muslims, however we
3 want to qualify it, that Vasic -- that I just showed you. And he asks
4 you: Did any of the dispatches give you grounds to go into the field and
5 verify the situation? On the 13th, speaking of the 13th July. You: The
6 main reason for my going in the end after they finished those operations
7 was the direct order from the president of the republic, and it was my
8 obligation as a policeman to visit the terrain, set up a police station
9 in the generally chaotic situation to protect property, and introduce
10 some police order after all the military activity. So I went into the
11 field acting on orders of the president of the republic and with the
12 intention of finding out about the situation in the town and the state of
13 industrial facilities. We immediately set up a police station in order
14 to establish order. This was my motive for going to that area.
15 Do you stand by that sworn testimony?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. On the 13th of July, after meeting with Karadzic in the
18 afternoon, later on that day you were in Vlasenica; correct?
19 A. I went in the direction of Zvornik and Bijeljina and I passed
20 through Vlasenica, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. You testified about it lots of times and in many
22 statements. You met -- this is the short question: You met with
23 General Mladic in Vlasenica on 13 July.
24 A. Yes. His soldiers stopped me at the check-point in Vlasenica,
25 and he asked to see him and I found him at the headquarters in Vlasenica.
1 Q. Let me read to you some testimony from another of Mr. Karadzic's
2 Defence witnesses in this case, Duga Puska, Zvonko Bajagic, 10 July.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: This is at T41161, Your Honours, 10 July 2013.
4 I'll try to make it quick.
5 Q. Mr. Bajagic is asked: General Mladic came to your house, didn't
6 he, on 13 July?
7 Yes, he did.
8 Sat out on the terrace and had a beer; is that right?
10 And then he discusses how the chief of the Vlasenica police comes
11 by and said you were in Vlasenica, maybe at a hotel. And the witness
13 Look, you refreshed my memory somewhat now. I'm rewinding this,
14 trying to find some other details. I do remember the chief of police
15 Milenko Masjorovic [phoen] told General Mladic when he got there that
16 Tomo Kovac was in Vlasenica, either at the police station, the corps, or
17 the hotel. He added the hotel.
18 Okay. Thank you. So General Mladic asked you to go find Tomo
19 Kovac, right, and check where he was?
21 So you found him. You went and found Tomo Kovac?
23 I'll skip ahead. After you found him General Mladic and
24 Tomo Kovac had a meeting, didn't they?
25 General Mladic sent me to find him and come to my house. The
1 reason was that they should discuss something.
2 Well -- question:
3 Well, were you at this meeting weren't you, Mr. Bajagic?
4 Well, in my mind, this wasn't a meeting. It was a short
5 encounter. They discussed something. But out of courtesy, I didn't want
6 to sit at the table with them. I assumed that as two commanders,
7 commander of the Serbian army and the commander of the Serbian police,
8 had something to talk about, so I went out while the two of them had a
9 word. What they talked about, I don't know.
10 And that's exactly what happened, isn't it, Mr. Kovac? That
11 after leaving the office of the Supreme Commander, you, the commander of
12 the police, went into the field as directed by Karadzic, you met with the
13 commander of the army because you had something to discuss on
14 13 July, 1995; right?
15 A. No, that is not right. You have several statements of mine.
16 I did not meet with Mladic in Bajagic's house. At the check-point
17 outside Srebrenica I was stopped, perhaps this Duga Puska Bajagic was
18 with them, I cannot remember, and they stopped me then at the check-point
19 and informed me that Mladic was looking for me and I did not stay at the
20 hotel or the police station. So none of that is correct, none of that
21 from that statement. It is correct that I was stopped and that
22 I returned from that check-point and went to the command of the
23 Drina Corps, and that is where I found Mladic. And I've stated that to
24 you several times already, and I cannot go in this direction, Bajagic's
25 statement. For me, he is an informal person, and I am not going to
1 assess his statements and his memories, but this person never had an
2 opportunity of seeing me and talking to me.
3 Q. And while you're meeting with General Mladic that afternoon,
4 having left the president's office after 4.00 p.m., that's while the
5 Kravica warehouse executions are going on, isn't it? You know that.
6 A. At that time, I did not know that and I could not have known
7 that. This was not a meeting with Mladic. They stopped me and I went to
8 this command and you have my statement as to how I found them at that
9 command. If necessary, I can speak about that too now. I shall speak
10 about it, if you ask me to do so. Do you want me to speak about that?
11 How this evolved?
12 Q. Let me summarise it quickly and see if -- you tell me if I get it
13 right. Mladic saw you, he was drunk, he was bragging about taking
14 Srebrenica, I think in your interview with me you said you stayed there
15 and had a beer, and then you left.
16 A. No. I did not drink beer. They drank beer. Valjevsko Pivo,
17 that was the beer that they were drinking, and they were rather drunk.
18 This was bragging. And I left rather quickly because they were not
19 really asking me for anything, because, I repeat, they stopped me at the
20 check-point and this was characteristic of Mladic sometimes. This was
21 not a friendly or a collegiate gesture. I visited with them briefly.
22 I saw that they were drunk, they were bragging that they had taken
23 Srebrenica, and that was it. They wanted me to congratulate them and
24 that was the only conversation there. So there was no agreement reached.
25 There was no discussion. It was impossible to discuss anything.
1 Q. Right. It's impossible to discuss anything at the Drina Corps
2 command with General Mladic. You -- he called you up there, then, for no
3 reason; right? Nothing? Just to brag.
4 A. Well, that's right. That's the condition that they were in.
5 There were several officers there. Krstic was there too. He was visibly
6 in a good mood and drunk, and --
7 Q. You answered the question. You said, well, that's right. That
8 answered the question.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, I don't think that's
10 fair. If he wants to elaborate he should be allowed to.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, he -- he --
12 JUDGE KWON: Let's go on. He answered the question.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P05376, please.
14 Q. Sir, this is an intercept from 19.45 on 13 July. It's somebody
15 called X calling from General Krstic. I'm looking for Ljubisa who has
16 gone Bratunac. Because I don't have much time I'm not going to go
17 through it all. But X says, is that right? Y says, Yes. Those from
18 Janja are here. X says, Okay. Y says, And the ones from Doboj, are they
19 supposed to arrive? X says, Yes. Y, And, now, what shall I do with
20 them? Well, you have to check about that with -- Y, because I've left it
21 to -- in fact, to Ljubisa to plan it. And so whenever I need to I can
22 send it off in that direction. Okay. That's it. Have Ljubisa call me
23 at General Krstic's. Okay. You know where it is. I know.
24 So doesn't that look to you like there is somebody at Krstic's
25 working on the MUP coming from Doboj and Bijeljina, the Doboj units you
1 ordered into the field? Was that -- was that you on this intercept
2 saying have Ljubisa call me at Krstic's, since you were at Krstic's that
3 day around that time?
4 A. No, no, it wasn't me.
5 Q. All right. And then, after you leave Vlasenica, you say in your
6 statement that you went to Bijeljina, and I won't argue about that, but
7 we agree you spent the night of the 13th at the Vidikovac hotel in Divic,
8 in Zvornik?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the Vidikovac wasn't just a hotel, the MUP used it as a
11 check-point; right?
12 A. No. Not as a check-point. It was used for some other work that
13 had to do with organisation of the procurement of ammunition, fuel, food
14 and other supplies. It was impossible to use it as a check-point because
15 it is separate. I was interested in those days for things that were
16 needed for Sarajevo, and that's why I was there, that's why I spent the
17 night there.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. It is on the Drina, on the border, and --
20 Q. We all know where it is. The -- so the MUP for whatever purpose,
21 and you've said this before, have offices there or have worked out of
22 there, the Vidikovac?
23 A. There were people there who worked in the department for material
24 and technical resources. That's where they were staying. It was
25 specifically these people who were there at that point.
1 Q. Now, after this night, after you've been at Vlasenica with
2 General Mladic, you know that there was a meeting, Vasic tells you about
3 it later, a meeting between Vasic, Beara and Deronjic in Deronjic's
4 office; right?
5 A. No. I did not see Vasic that night. I saw him only on the
6 following day in Bratunac.
7 Q. I'm not asking you if you saw Vasic. Maybe it's a
8 miscommunication. You know that late at night on the 13th of July, Vasic
9 was in Deronjic's office with Beara and Deronjic at some point; right?
10 A. No, no, no. I was not informed about that, no.
11 Q. Okay. You're learning that from me today for the first time? Is
12 that what you're saying?
13 A. Don't -- don't -- let us not confuse things. One thing is what
14 we all found out later, after what happened in Srebrenica, and it's a
15 different thing what I knew between the 13th and the 14th. Between the
16 13th, 14th, I didn't know anything about that, and as for what we found
17 out later on, both you and I can -- well, I mean I know over these 20
18 years I found out what happened, and --
19 Q. Stop. You need to listen to my questions more carefully.
20 I said -- well, let's see if we -- you know I meant now -- you know there
21 was meeting, right, so we can stop this. We agree. You know now as you
22 sit there today that Vasic, Deronjic, and Beara met in Deronjic's office
23 on the night of the 13th; right? You know that now.
24 A. I know now that you presented that to me precisely. At that time
25 I was not interested in that activity and I didn't know about it.
1 I mean, I -- no, I mean, what -- what is it that you want from this?
2 That night I did not have any contact with Vasic, and I don't know what
3 they agreed --
4 Q. Okay. Deronjic is Karadzic's direct subordinate. Mladic is
5 Beara's superior. Vasic is your subordinate. They all meet in
6 Deronjic's SDS office that night, 13 July, to discuss what to do with all
7 the prisoners in Bratunac. You're saying you didn't -- when did you find
8 out about that meeting? First time.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. Objection.
10 JUDGE KWON: Probably this -- could you put your question again?
11 MR. NICHOLLS:
12 Q. Karadzic's newly appointed civilian commissioner for Srebrenica
13 is meeting with Beara and meeting with Vasic in Deronjic's office. When
14 did you find out about that meeting? You said you know about it now.
15 JUDGE KWON: You still have an objection?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This form of question, yes, but to
17 imply that they met up to discuss the fate of the prisoners, that is
18 unfair because we don't have any proof --
19 JUDGE KWON: No, no, no.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: There is clear evidence in the record about what
21 happened at that meeting and that's our case.
22 Q. When did you find out about that meeting?
23 A. I was not informed about that meeting officially or unofficially,
24 ever, from Vasic. So I was not informed about these meetings.
25 JUDGE KWON: No, Mr. Kovac. It's very disappointing that you do
1 not answer the question. The question was not whether you were informed
2 at the time. When did you come to know that there was such a meeting,
3 yesterday or ten years ago, two years ago? Or only now?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, I had not been
5 informed about that meeting. I can be informed by reading documents as
6 I prepare and say today and --
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. Stop. I'm sorry, stop. This is a very simple question. You're
9 a lawyer. When did you first hear about this meeting?
10 A. Until now -- well, I may have read about it in some documents but
11 as for this meeting, especially not in this form that it was held --
12 I mean, I was not following meetings of Deronjic, Beara, Vasic. I did
13 not receive this information. Let's be clear. I did not receive that
14 information. In the form that you're putting the question, this is the
15 first time I hear of it.
16 Q. All right.
17 A. You have -- may I?
18 Q. No. Let me put it in this form. You've already told us you did
19 hear about this meeting before today. This is very simple: When did you
20 hear that Beara, Deronjic and Vasic met on the night of the 13th of July?
21 A. I cannot say. I did not receive this information earlier on.
22 I may have read it somewhere in the documents, but I cannot say.
23 I didn't focus on that. I did not have information about that meeting,
24 especially not in the form that you've been referring to it, as it had
1 Q. I'm going to move on.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let us move on.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Now, very briefly, I think this is easy. On the way to Zvornik,
5 at Konjevic Polje, you saw Muslim prisoners on buses; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And around 8.00 that night, 13 July, we are still on, is when the
8 first prisoners go from Bratunac to Zvornik; right?
9 A. Yes, according to this knowledge, yes.
10 Q. Right. So it's a pure coincidence that you go from the
11 president's office to Mladic to Zvornik, and the prisoners go from
12 Bratunac to Zvornik on the same night?
13 A. This is no coincidence. This is the sequence of events as they
14 evolved. Communication was normal for me on that route. The taking of
15 prisoners in these operations and their transportation by buses to
16 Zvornik, for me that was a legal situation, and that was not developing
17 only at that moment. It was going on for a few days, as far as I know.
18 Q. Right. So you knew -- so let's be clear. You knew that
19 prisoners were being taken to Zvornik, not to Batkovic, to Zvornik?
20 A. Of course, yes, to Zvornik. It was a military barracks.
21 Q. Including the 1500 prisoners taken by the MUP that Borovcanin
22 talked about that you knew about; right?
23 A. I wouldn't go into the precise figures, how many the MUP had
24 taken prisoners. According to the law, the MUP had to hand over all the
25 prisoners to the army, and those who were imprisoned next to the road in
1 Konjevic Polje, they were all handed over to the army, they were boarded
2 on buses and transported to the barracks in accordance with the request
3 of the army.
4 Q. And I misspoke, I'm sorry, 1500 prisoners taken by the MUP going
5 to Zvornik, that's not right, probably a lot of those ended up being
6 murdered in Kravica that same day while you were with Mladic; right?
7 A. I don't know. At the time, I wasn't aware of that at all, that
8 incident in Kravica. And what I saw, I saw the lawful handing over of
9 prisoners from the MUP who had been taken prisoner next to -- along the
10 road in Konjevic Polje. They were handed over to the army.
11 Q. Let's go through 14 July now. You wake up, you're in the
12 Vidikovac; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That day, you travel to Bratunac; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And from there you go to Srebrenica; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you go all the way down to Zeleni Jadar; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And from Bratunac to Srebrenica, you go with Vasic and
21 Borovcanin; right?
22 A. No. From Bratunac to Srebrenica, yes, yes.
23 Q. Also to Zeleni Jadar?
24 A. Yes. We went straight -- actually, we passed by Srebrenica, went
25 to Zeleni Jadar, and then we returned to Srebrenica after that.
1 Q. Okay. I asked you in -- I didn't ask you, sorry. In your 2010
2 interview, you were asked what time of day did you go to Bratunac and
3 Srebrenica from Zvornik, and you said: I think it was around 10.00 or
4 11.00. That's 25350, e-court 135 to 136. Is that right, about 10.00 or
5 11.00, you head off for Bratunac?
6 A. I set out at around that time because in the morning I had a
7 meeting at Vidikovac, I remember that quite well, and at some point I set
8 out. I think it was close to 11.00 when I set out from Vidikovac in the
9 direction of Bratunac, yes.
10 Q. Thank you. And that means you make the turn at Konjevic Polje
11 and then head to Bratunac down the Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road; right?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. So on the 14 July, you drive right past the Kravica warehouse,
14 sometime around noon; right?
15 A. Around noon, yes.
16 Q. And you don't see anything; right?
17 A. No, not at that time, no.
18 Q. Here is what Karadzic's other witnesses he's called in this trial
19 say about what was going on when you drove past -- or what was going on
20 at the morning of the Kravica warehouse. Jovan Nikolic, at T25493, said
21 that he went to Kravica around 9.30 or 10.00 in the morning and witnessed
22 an execution of ten Muslims in front of the warehouse. Did you know
23 that, there had been an execution right before you drove by?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Aleksandar Tesic spoke about this at T35324 to 35326. He said he
1 left Bratunac going to Zvornik, opposite of you, he also leaves between
2 10.00 and 12.00, he says, maybe about 11.00, and outside the Kravica
3 warehouse, he said he didn't witness an execution. Jovan Nikolic
4 apparently there a little bit earlier. Here is what he said he saw, same
5 day, same approximate time that you're driving by:
6 "When I happened upon that spot, I realised there was quite a
7 crowd, many soldiers milling about and the bus was moving at a very slow
8 pace, halting along the way. There is the perimeter wall of the co-op
9 building and there were very many bodies lying there. When I think back,
10 I realise it was a huge shock to me and particularly to those young men
11 who were with me, aged no more than 18. I figure there must have been at
12 least between 200 and 300 bodies lying there about a metre and a metre
13 and a half high. At first I thought it was firewood stacked against a
14 wall when I first cast a glance in that direction, and then I realised
15 what it was. So it really left a horrible impression on us.
16 "Q. Yeah. And there were a lot of soldiers there too, you said.
17 You said there were so many that it was hard to drive through.
19 So how do you miss the hundreds of bodies piled up in front of
20 the warehouse that Karadzic's other truthful witness told us about?
21 A. I think that I don't know about the time when he passed, but at
22 the moment when I came along, around noon, I don't think that that was
23 there any longer. I'm telling you that from my present perspective.
24 I think that's the reason why I didn't come across that. I think that
25 around 12.00 that was not there any longer. I didn't pay any attention,
1 nor did I notice it. But if it had been so marked I would have seen it.
2 Judging by what I learned later, I think that by noon, this -- those
3 bodies were removed from that place.
4 Q. From what you learned later, okay, that means that you would have
5 been going past Glogova where those bodies were bulldozed into a hole at
6 the time. How long do you think it takes to clean up hundreds and
7 hundreds of bodies and bury them a few kilometres away? Because Glogova
8 is closer to Bratunac. You passed that, too, on the way to Bratunac on
9 the morning of the 14th. Did you see anybody being buried there?
10 A. No. I didn't pay any attention, but I didn't register that, no.
11 At that moment, we can talk about what I learned later on, but at that
12 time, around 12.00, as I was passing along, I never noticed that.
13 I mean, it was really crowded that whole area, movements of tanks and the
14 army, withdrawing from Srebrenica, moving along the road, but I -- there
15 was a big crowd but I didn't notice this.
16 Q. Okay. Same day, 14 July, let me read out to you -- well, let
17 me -- let me -- let me do it this way, I want to ask you a question.
18 This is something I read to you in the interview, okay? I read
19 you when we met what Vasic had testified to in the Perisic case, which
20 was that on the 14th, at 7.00 in the morning, he arrived at the Bratunac
21 station because he'd received information that minister of internal
22 affairs, Mr. Tomislav Kovac, was going to visit Bratunac and Srebrenica
23 that day. I had the intention to prepare for this visit.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honours, this is 25303 in e-court.
25 Q. Because of the time I'm going to have to move very quickly.
1 He is asked:
2 "What did Colonel Beara tell you?
3 "A. He repeated that on the next -- that the order of General
4 Mladic to him was to kill the prisoners. And he asked if I could set
5 aside a few trusty or trusted policemen who would be placed under his
6 command in order to carry out this task. I said that I was not going to
7 give any police officers policemen for that. As far as I understood the
8 order was not such and that I did not wish to participate in something
9 like that. He turned away angrily and left."
10 And then he says -- he's asked:
11 "Later on when you met Minister Kovac, did you relate your
12 conversation with Beara, and we know that Minister Kovac came to Bratunac
13 that morning; is that right?"
14 And Vasic answers under oath in Perisic:
15 "Immediately after the minister's arrival, Minister Kovac's
16 arrival, I informed him about my meeting and the content of the
17 conversation and the content, actually, of what I heard from Beara.
18 "Q. Did he react at all?
19 "A. The minister said that the military prisoners were under the
20 jurisdiction of the army and that was not our job and that he shouldn't
21 interfere with these matters."
22 And then he's asked later -- I won't read it out again, but
23 I read it to you in the interview that whether he repeated all of the
24 details and all of that verbatim to you, and he said he did.
25 In your 2010 interview, this is 65 ter 25350, e-court page 34,
1 I asked you this question:
2 "Q. Okay. Just to be absolutely clear, we talked about your
3 conversation with Vasic and whether he spoke to you in person or a
4 message. Did he or did he not tell you expressly that Beara had
5 requested men for the MUP to be used for executions and that you had
6 explicitly said no?"
7 Your answer was:
8 "I -- I don't think -- I cannot be sure whether Vasic told me
9 this or was it Mane Djuric who told me this first. I cannot really
10 remember now who was the first."
11 We only have English:
12 "Q. One second. But to be clear, you did know that Beara was
13 looking for or was requesting MUP people for executions, is it correct?
14 "A. At one moment, I did learn that Beara was looking for men
15 from the MUP and that he would abuse -- in killing of these prisoners and
16 I think Mane told me this."
17 Do you stand by that?
18 A. Now, you talk about a sequence of events. You said that
19 I mentioned Mane -- Vasic and Mane and the meeting with Beara, so all of
20 this what you listed now does not really correspond with the actual
21 situation, and what was going on. In Bratunac, when I -- we can't --
22 this is not --
23 JUDGE KWON: [Microphone not activated]
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Bratunac, Vasic did not report
25 to me about this possibility in this way. On arrival to Bratunac, it was
1 requested for me to meet the Crisis Staff and Deronjic. I didn't want to
2 meet any of them.
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
4 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise for interrupting, but maybe we are
6 entering into a very delicate situation right here. And of course I
7 cannot predict what question would follow this, and of course I might try
8 to predict what Mr. Kovac's answer would be to this, but I cannot be sure
9 about that. Maybe it would be wise just to go to private session because
10 maybe I will be in a position to advise Mr. Kovac to use his right to --
11 for privilege against not to incriminate himself.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: May I be heard?
13 JUDGE KWON: I don't think I followed Mr. Lazarevic's
15 MR. NICHOLLS: If I understood --
16 JUDGE KWON: I gave him the advice about his right.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: ] Maybe I can clarify.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour clearly advised Mr. Kovac about his
20 right when testified before this Tribunal, and of course about his right
21 not to incriminate himself with certain answers. If need be, with this
22 line of question, we might be in a position that Mr. Kovac, through some
23 answer, might have said something which could be used against him. This
24 is why I was intervening right this moment in order to make sure that in
25 such a situation, Your Honour closed the session.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, in paragraph 124 of his statement,
3 which he adopted today after being warned and swore to and said his
4 answers would be the same - so it is, in fact, his testimony - he says:
5 I was informed that prisoners from Srebrenica had been taken to Zvornik.
6 One day, perhaps 14 July, Mane Djuric told me that Colonel Beara had
7 requested a police unit - I'm sorry, I'm going too fast - and that
8 Chief Vasic and Djuric worried that the unit might be used for illegal
9 activities including liquidation of prisoners. When I heard this,
10 I ordered the police to cease communications with the military security
11 organ and not to be invoked in any way in their -- involved - Freudian
12 slip - in any way in their activities.
13 So he was warned. He left this in his statement and swore to it.
14 He has waived on this entire issue of what Vasic and Djuric told him
15 about Beara. He can't go halfway into the conversation. And this is a
16 well established principle. I don't want to argue all the law now. But
17 when you talk about fact X, and fact Y is directly linked to it, if you
18 didn't raise a privilege as to fact X, you've waved to fact Y.
19 JUDGE KWON: I think now the witness, Mr. Kovac, has understood
20 the situation. It is for him to provoke his privilege against
21 self-incrimination, and he -- when he -- when he invokes that privilege
22 we will consider the matter later on. Shall we continue.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Maybe if I ask the question again, put us back
24 where we were quickly.
25 JUDGE KWON: If necessary, the Chamber is minded to extend your
1 time so do not be pushed by time.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: Take your time.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. I think there is a
6 separate issue here and which is what was being raised by Mr. Lazarevic,
7 and that is whether evidence should be heard in private session because
8 this Chamber can make an order under Rule 90(E) about protection of a
10 JUDGE KWON: When the witness refuses to answer the question on
11 the ground of danger of self-incrimination, we will consider that issue
12 when requested.
13 MR. ROBINSON: All right.
14 JUDGE KWON: So far, the witness has testified voluntarily on the
15 advice given by the Chamber.
16 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct. But if the witness is willing to
17 answer a question but believes that it would be necessary to protect his
18 rights by having an answer in private session, he should be able to do
19 that also. It's not necessary to invoke --
20 JUDGE KWON: That's all premature. We haven't heard anything
21 from the witness. And I think -- yes. Shall we stop here and continue.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. I read out an interview where you said about Beara requesting men
24 for the MUP to be used for executions that you said, I can't be sure
25 whether Vasic told me this, or was it Mane Djuric who told me this first.
1 I can't remember now who was the first. And your other answer that, At
2 one moment I did learn that Beara was looking for men from the MUP, and
3 he would abuse in killing of these prisoners, and I think Mane told me
5 And my question is: Do you stand by that, that's true, that Mane
6 or Vasic told you that Beara was looking for MUP to help execute
8 A. Firstly, you have asked me ten questions in the meantime, and
9 given answers to them too. My stay in Bratunac, Vasic's briefing to me
10 in Bratunac, about his meeting with Vasic, I don't know what I have to
11 state my mind about, because you've brought me to five different points.
12 JUDGE KWON: Let him continue. I'll give you ample time.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE KWON: Let him continue. Yes.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, the whole problem in the
16 testimony, it's not the problem of truth. The problem is the attitude of
17 the OTP to me, for ten years now. Because it's not in their interest
18 that I as someone who can give a valid testimony about the situation --
19 they simply didn't give me an opportunity and didn't allow me to because
20 they kept side tracking me. The substance is this: During my stay in
21 Bratunac, I did not want to meet with, nor did I meet Deronjic or Beara
22 or anyone from those Crisis Staffs. I didn't even want to enter the
23 police station in Bratunac, because that was my official attitude. I did
24 not want to meddle with their activities and I made Vasic clearly aware
25 of that. I only picked up Borovcanin and Vasic and we went to Srebrenica
1 to establish the police station there, and I visited the main facilities,
2 and that was all the information I had on that day.
3 As for the report on the meeting between Vasic and Beara about
4 what Vasic reported to anyone, these meetings, I didn't allow him to
5 because his stay work with them in the area covered by the centre is one
6 thing, but linking up with Beara in any way, especially in view of my
7 relations with that man and his service, and let me tell you also that
8 during the war I never met Beara, he was the chief of the military
9 security and I was the chief of the public security throughout the war,
10 the two of us never met, and there are reasons why we didn't.
11 And if you ask me whether at any moment I had, and if you want to
12 connect this you will have a clear story, if at any moment, but not on
13 that day, but perhaps two days later I was informed by the deputy chief
14 of the centre, among other things, Mane, that Beara had been looking for
15 a certain number of men, requesting them from the centre of MUP and that
16 there was a possibility that he could abuse these men. My answer at the
17 time was fully, as I have already said, clearly, negative. You must not
18 co-operate at any cost because it's unlawful. You must not co-operate
19 with Beara and resubordinate men to him because it's not in accordance
20 with the law. The law defines clearly how men can be resubordinated.
21 At the moment, seeing that, and knowing Beara, and knowing from
22 experience with that man what sort of a character he was, independently
23 from any assessment about what could happen or not, I told them then
24 because it's -- one could not exclude the possibility that this man could
25 abuse men, not only prisoners of war but anyone, because he was that sort
1 of personality, I prohibited them expressly to communicate with him in
2 any way whatsoever and have any sort of agreements with them. And
3 I prohibited them from co-operating with him and his service.
4 I prohibited them to co-operate with him. That was explicit on that day,
5 but it wasn't on that day when I visited but a day or two later when they
6 called me. There is an intercept between Beara and Krstic where they
7 state clearly that someone is not allowing them to do something. The
8 person who didn't allow them to do something because of the possibility
9 that they may abuse it was myself.
10 And even though there was no need for me to close it off, up
11 until that time, but it's a matter of what happened first, what happened
12 later, and the point of view of the OTP for ten years now because you
13 feel this need to connect it all into some sort of joint criminal
14 enterprise, and something that you could not believe up until this day,
15 but there is the Chamber as well, it's in my interest too, up until this
16 moment and now as well to say it clearly. This is precisely this
17 relation that I and the military security service had, between myself and
18 the Supreme Command, or rather, the staff of the
19 Army of Republika Srpska. A joint criminal enterprise could never have
20 happened. We could have made mistakes but this was not possible.
21 And it's true that I gave such orders. And if this act that
22 I ordered them that the police should not be used for such things at any
23 cost, at the very thought that they could be used if that would be
24 incriminating for me, I am willing to accept that, in the way as I have
25 told you about it now.
1 JUDGE KWON: Do you have your statement with you, Mr. Kovac?
2 Paragraph 124. Here in your statement, which you confirmed, you said:
3 "One day, perhaps on 14th July, Mane Djuric told me that Beara
4 had requested a police unit."
5 And now you're saying it was one or two days later. Are you
6 changing your statement?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I'm not changing it. It's
8 just that my stay on the 14th there is one thing. I'm not changing it.
9 I'm just telling you that on the 14th, Mane Djuric was at the seat of the
10 centre. He was not in Bratunac. When I stayed in Bratunac and
11 Srebrenica I did not have this piece of information. I learned that
12 later on in a telephone conversation with Mane Djuric so that was
13 afterwards. Whether that was in the night between the 14th and the 15th,
14 around that period, we could find it by analysing the intercept between
15 Beara and Krstic, when exactly that took place. You have that and it can
16 be checked and then it can be specified. It could have been in the night
17 between the 14th and the 15th. That was the time frame. But I don't
18 think it was -- it wasn't on the 14th at noon. Mane Djuric was at the
19 centre seat. He wasn't in Bratunac or in Srebrenica. He was in the seat
20 of the centre in Zvornik.
21 JUDGE KWON: Back to you, Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Okay. You meet Vasic in Bratunac when you arrive there on the
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. He has learned from Beara, according to himself and other
2 evidence, that Beara intends to kill the prisoners held in Bratunac. Do
3 you expect the chief of the Zvornik CJB, upon learning of a plan by the
4 army to commit mass murder and requesting MUP units to help, would inform
5 the deputy minister when he meets him that same day?
6 A. I don't have -- he never reported to me that he had information
7 that Beara intended to execute prisoners of war in an organised manner.
8 Even on that day Vasic did not talk to me about that. On that day, he
9 didn't talk to me about this in Bratunac. Regardless of whether Vasic
10 stated something different from that about that day and conversation with
11 me, but he did not report to me about this.
12 Q. All right. While you're in Bratunac on the 14th, you meet
13 Borovcanin in a restaurant; right?
14 A. Yes. As I did not want to enter the police station or the
15 municipality on that day.
16 Q. And he tells you that prisoners were liquidated, murdered, in
17 Kravica the day before; right?
18 A. He reported to me that one of his specials had been killed and
19 that the unit commander had been wounded. He also reported to me that an
20 incident occurred in which the prisoners had attacked the policemen who
21 were securing them and that in this incident it happened that one
22 policeman was wounded and one was killed and that a number of -- though
23 he did not specify the number, he just said that those who had launched
24 the attack, that the special policemen liquidated them. Several --
25 several men in principle, he said there were several people, and that was
1 what he reported to me.
2 Q. Right. So you knew the Special Police had murdered prisoners
3 when you were in Bratunac on the 14th. Forget the number. You knew that
4 there had been a terrible war crime committed by the MUP?
5 A. No. No. At that time, I was aware of the incident that
6 happened; namely, that prisoners had attacked MUP members who were
7 guarding them. That's what I was told, that an incident had occurred.
8 One policeman was killed, one policeman was wounded, the guards had been
9 attacked, that's the information I was given.
10 Q. Well, when I asked you about the Kravica warehouse executions in
11 2010, not I -- but you were asked - 65 ter 25350 - in connection with the
12 Petrovic Pirocanac video taken, you said -- this is e-court pages 143 to
13 144. And let me say one more thing, I was neither furious nor was I mad
14 that this footage had been taken. I did not like the fact that people
15 were killed and I was mad that this happened to a MUP unit, although it
16 was under the command of the army, and we could never wash ourselves from
17 this. This is my attitude, and I think it's correct.
18 So you agree that the MUP can never wash itself from the killings
19 at Kravica, even though it was resubordinated?
20 A. I absolutely agree with that.
21 Q. And just to go back to the 14th, when I read out to you how Vasic
22 had explained and testified how he immediately informed you of the plan
23 to -- Beara's plan to kill prisoners, when you arrived on the 14th, and
24 you said you weren't sure whether it was Vasic or Mane, why don't you
25 tell me it was the night of the 14th or the 15th? And why isn't that in
1 your statement for the Defence?
2 A. I don't see anything important in the sequence of events, but
3 it's sure that Vasic did not inform me that day in Bratunac. And I'm
4 sure, as I'm testifying here, that I spoke to Mane Djuric on the phone
5 about the fact that Beara had requested a certain number of people who
6 were to be engaged, and their suspicions that these men could be put to
7 wrongful use. That was a telephone conversation with Mane Djuric. He
8 got my answer, and after that you have the intercept between Beara and
9 Krstic where they clearly say that the chief of police is not giving them
10 these men. And that is the situation that is very easy to understand.
11 It's very easy to connect the dots. You have all the evidence led in
12 this trial and other trials. I am here to clear that situation up.
13 Q. That night, at 22.45 to 23.10, after your trip to the field
14 ordered by Karadzic, you meet with him in his office - that's P02242,
15 page 91, right? - the night of the 14th, 10.45 p.m.?
16 A. Just let's get one thing clear. I didn't go into any field
17 missions on Karadzic's order at that time. It was not part of my work
18 style to do that. I was not occupying the position of a commissioner or
19 something, to go into the field. I had to set up a police station, but
20 I could have sent somebody else to do that. The order didn't state
21 anywhere that I had to go personally, but I decided myself to go to
22 Srebrenica to set up that police station. It was my decision. It was
23 not that Karadzic sent me.
24 Q. You were with him at 22.45 to 23.10. That was the question,
25 right? You were with him that night?
1 A. Yes. Probably. I believe that I was there almost every day
2 between those hours. Yes, yes, I was there.
3 Q. Because your previous statement -- I'm going to read you back
4 again your testimony in the Jevic case; 25516, is the 65 ter number,
5 English 24 to 25, B/C/S 25 to 26:
6 "So I went into the field acting on orders of the president of
7 the republic and with the intention of finding out about the situation in
8 the town and about the state of industrial facilities."
9 A. The way I see it, the president issued this order. In fact, it
10 can't be an order. It's a legal provision that a police station should
11 be set up. That was the instruction I received from the president, and
12 that was back on the 12th, so I issued instructions myself to set up and
13 organise a police station, and I myself went out to set up that police
14 station. So there is no doubt that on the 14th I was in the area of
15 Srebrenica and Zeleni Jadar. I was there officially because that was
16 part of my responsibility. I didn't go to Bratunac, and I didn't have
17 any official talks there. That was not my job. You know that.
18 Q. And -- well, I don't know that, but never mind.
19 A. Now you know.
20 Q. The second day in a row, day two of the murder operation,
21 14 July, the day after your meeting with General Mladic, same day you met
22 with Vasic and Borovcanin, when you know and Karadzic knows that the MUP
23 has been taking a huge amount of prisoners, when you know and he knows
24 that they have been sent to Zvornik, you meet with him after coming back
25 from Srebrenica and talk about ammunition problems in Sarajevo; right?
1 A. Not only the ammunition problem in Sarajevo. There was also a
2 broader problem. It was not just ammunition. It was a problem with the
3 entire theatre of war. It's very hard to explain now in response to your
4 question how Srebrenica was connected with Sarajevo. Tactically, the
5 attack of Muslims on Sarajevo and Srebrenica were connected, and my
6 responsibility was Sarajevo; whereas the other people who were there
7 clearly had some responsibility for Srebrenica and others simply assumed
8 that responsibility of their own initiative.
9 Q. How many other days in the war can you tell me or point to
10 reports of the Special Police taking, you know, over a thousand
11 prisoners, with the number increasing?
12 A. Do you have the reports of the special unit? Because I don't
13 have them, except that one which you showed which they drafted by chance.
14 And even concerning that report, I was not able to recollect it. A
15 special brigade did not send reports throughout. You have that one. Do
16 you have any others? Because I don't know. If you have them, help me
18 Q. How about answering the question? How many other days of war can
19 you tell me or point me to -- let's just say you're learning
20 Special Police are taking numbers of prisoners, of a thousand, with the
21 number increasing.
22 A. Well, I wouldn't agree with this statement that the
23 Special Police unit took prisoners. They didn't take any prisoners. It
24 was a joint operation, a military operation, in which they participated.
25 I cannot accept that the special unit took prisoners. So I cannot point
1 out to any other -- any other days in the war. Do you mean Srebrenica?
2 Do you mean other theatres of war? What am I supposed to compare it to?
3 Q. You as deputy minister who was in the field, who was with
4 Borovcanin, who received that report, as you sit here today in 2013, you
5 can't agree that the Special Police took prisoners on 13 July?
6 A. The special unit and the people who were resubordinated to the
7 army took prisoners, as did others who were resubordinated. They took
8 prisoners and turned them over to the security organ. What happened
9 later, we all know. Nobody is disputing that.
10 Q. Nobody is disputing, let's go to that. Nobody is disputing. We
11 all know that the VRS carried out mass executions of prisoners following
12 the fall of Srebrenica; right?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Now, 14 July, night of the 14th into the 15th, you spent the
15 night -- this isn't in your statement. You don't go into 14th and 15th
16 night -- morning of the 15th. You're back at the Vidikovac; right? You
17 said that in your interviews. You got the rash in Srebrenica? Do you
18 want me to refresh your memory?
19 A. If the rash is important, yes, it's probably so. I was making
20 way through Zeleni Jadar and many destroyed farms and the police station.
21 Q. The rash isn't important. It's just to help you remember.
22 Because you said in your 2003 interview, ten years ago -- this is
23 65 ter 22146, at English pages 120 to 121, and B/C/S page 136. In this
25 "Okay, what happened next on the 14 July?"
1 Answer from you:
2 "I went back to Vidikovac motel, and I remember clearly that my
3 hands were somehow covered with some kind of rash or something, because
4 I was taking some documents from the police station to Srebrenica and
5 they were so dirty, and I guess I had some kind of infection or something
6 so I had a shower."
7 And then later on in that same interview you talk about being
8 there and on the 15th. S on the -- does that help you remember that on
9 the 14th you spent the night at the Vidikovac again?
10 A. I don't know. Maybe I was there briefly. At that time, I was
11 moving intensively around the area every day, Vidikovac, Pale, perhaps
12 I spent a few hours there. I probably was there, but I think I spent the
13 night between the 13th and the 14th at the Vidikovac. That's the night
14 I spent there. As for the other days, how much time I spent there, I
15 don't know if I stated when my memory was more fresh that I was there at
16 that time, it's probably true. I don't know what you want to ask. Is
17 there a particular situation you have in mind?
18 Q. You answered that you think you were probably there, because on
19 the 14th of July, in Zvornik, in Vidikovac, where you are again after
20 coming back from Zeleni Jadar and Srebrenica, that's the big execution
21 day at Orahovac, where over a thousand prisoners who were bought to the
22 Vidikovac hotel that you stay at, are sent from there to the school in
23 Orahovac and executed.
24 A. That is not true. When I stayed at the Vidikovac motel -- no,
25 that's not true. At the Vidikovac motel, there was nobody except for a
1 couple of employees. So technically, it was not possible. It was a very
2 small area that somebody came to Vidikovac when I was there.
3 Q. Let me tell you what our case is. You've already confirmed that
4 you spent the night of the 13th to 14th in the Vidikovac, right, 13th, to
5 14th; right?
6 A. Yes, that is right.
7 Q. On the 14th in the morning, Vasic is in Bratunac when the huge
8 convoy of prisoners from Bratunac is brought to Zvornik, Mane Djuric has
9 testified -- I didn't expect to do this so I don't have the cite. He's
10 testified that he was at the Vidikovac hotel when this group of prisoners
11 arrived. So my point is you've got MUP at one end, MUP at the other end,
12 and you are at Vidikovac on the 14th in the morning, and at some other
13 point on the day that the prisoners arrive. Are you telling me you
14 didn't know the prisoners arrived at the Vidikovac hotel on the
15 14th of July, 1995, from Bratunac?
16 A. It's impossible that they came to Vidikovac hotel. Vidikovac
17 hotel has a surface of just a couple of hundred square metres and several
18 rooms. They could have passed by the hotel on their way to the barracks
19 in Zvornik. I believe that is completely untrue.
20 Q. Let me be clear. They didn't come and check in. They didn't
21 stay the night. They were on buses and trucks parked there because there
22 is a big, broad parking lot in front of the Vidikovac hotel and they
23 stayed along the road. My point is that was the end point for the
24 convoy, not that they got off the buses and trucks and went into the
25 hotel. Do you not know that, that the convoy went to the Vidikovac?
1 A. No. No. And it couldn't have been their end point. The end
2 point could have been only the barracks of Zvornik. There is a
3 thoroughfare outside the Vidikovac hotel. What you're putting to me has
4 absolutely nothing to do with reality. You keep trying to connect these
6 Q. Let me be clear. I don't mean it's the end point or the end of
7 their journey. The end of their journey are the various execution sites
8 they are murdered at. What I mean is they come from Bratunac to Zvornik,
9 that's where the convoy stops at the Vidikovac hotel, and from there,
10 they are shipped out in buses and trucks to Orahovac, Kozluk, Pilica,
11 places like that. You didn't know that?
12 A. That is not true. At that place, Vidikovac hotel, that from that
13 place they were shipped out -- no, no, they were at the barracks, and at
14 that parking lot, that was not doable. Vidikovac motel is at the entry
15 to the town of Zvornik. Whether somebody stopped these buses before they
16 were allowed to go into town, what the army did, I don't know. But this
17 connection that you are trying to make with the shipping out of people
18 from these buses and the very few men from MUP who were there, that
19 connection is not possible. That is not true. People from MUP were at
20 Vidikovac, not people from the army. And those MUP men were dealing with
21 completely different things. You cannot connect this facility with any
22 of that business. It's pure insinuation, innuendo on your part.
23 Q. Let me ask you something that's not pure insinuation or innuendo
24 on my part, which is the evidence in this case, that when the prisoners
25 on buses arrived at the school in Orahovac, where they stayed briefly
1 before being murdered 700 metres away, there were escorts on those buses
2 that were civilian MUP police, some of whom were from Zvornik.
3 A. I don't know about that. I don't know that policemen were the
4 escorts. I have no reports to that effect. That they were brought to be
5 executed and escorted by policemen, I don't know that. That could not
6 have happened, that policemen should have done that, that they had
7 participated in this. That's impossible. That they guarded the buses up
8 to the town of Zvornik or whatever point they were turned over to the
9 army where the triage of prisoners was effected, that's quite possible.
10 It was quite normal for police escorts to be provided during transport
11 but that policemen were involved in taking prisoners to execution sites,
12 that could not have happened.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, may I just make a cite to what I was
14 referring to. That's P00379. T6446, 6449, 6475 to 6476 of the
15 transcript pages of that exhibit.
16 Q. Well:
17 "That they guarded the buses up to the town of Zvornik or
18 whatever point they were turned over to the army where the triage of
19 prisoners was effected, that's quite possible. It was quite normal ..."
20 Is it quite possible and quite normal that the police escort, the
21 buses to Zvornik, when the chief of the Zvornik centre, Vasic, is in
22 Bratunac, and he's just spoken with Beara and he's just spoken with
23 Deronjic and he knows that they are all being sent to Zvornik to be
24 murdered, is it still okay to escort them?
25 A. I don't know whether Vasic knew at that time that they were all
1 going to be murdered. I don't believe that's true. And I don't think
2 the police would have ever guarded any convoy in which some people were
3 intended for killing. We are talking about Zvornik here. They had clear
4 instructions from the army, and the army was organising and doing
5 everything, that the prisoners -- in fact the buses who were coming to
6 pick them up, would go exclusively to the barracks in Zvornik.
7 I explicitly asked them about that. And it's quite normal for prisoners
8 to be directed to a military installation, the barracks in Zvornik. And
9 that is the information that was available.
10 Q. Okay, very quickly before the break, 15 July, 16.15 to sometime
11 17.40 something, this is P02242, page 92, you meet with Karadzic again.
12 That's in his diary and we've already discussed that you met him on those
13 days. Now, by your own testimony just a little while ago, today, you
14 said, moving it later, that it was, you think, the night between 14th and
15 the 15th that you heard from Mane Djuric about Beara's requesting MUP to
16 participate in executions.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
18 JUDGE KWON: What objection is it, Mr. Karadzic?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Esteemed Mr. Nicholls is really
20 making great efforts, and I appreciate them because he's doing even more
21 than necessary, but it was really not said that Mane Djuric had been
22 informed that these men would be participating in executions. It was
23 just said that Beara requested them, and execution is not the only
24 possible misuse in this context.
25 JUDGE KWON: I don't think that's a proper intervention. I don't
1 know what the intervention was. Please carry on.
2 MR. NICHOLLS:
3 Q. You've already said that the 15 July -- never mind. You meet
4 with Karadzic on the 14th or 15th. You've been informed, according to
5 your own statement to the Defence and to what you testified here to
6 today, about this request from Beara to use MUP for executions or -- and
7 you don't raise that with the president, with the Supreme Commander. You
8 don't say as the highest law enforcement official in the country, I think
9 I ought to tell you that the army is planning to liquidate prisoners.
10 A. I was not aware of the plan, and I don't believe the plan existed
11 for the army to liquidate prisoners. That information that one small
12 unit of the police could be put to wrongful use did not give me a basis
13 to suggest or suppose that they could be involved in mass executions.
14 When I ordered the security centre and all the command structures
15 not to co-operate with Beara, I considered the problem solved. What
16 I expected from him is low-level misuse, and I thought that he was
17 prepared to misuse the police, not only against the Muslims and -- but
18 also against Serbs and others, because that's the kind of man he was.
19 That's the kind of man I knew him to be. I had no reason to believe that
20 they were planning mass executions and killings.
21 Q. Okay. So you protested in the beginning to the MUP being engaged
22 at all, according to you, when you meet with Karadzic on 9 July and the
23 MUP are engaged, and then you get a report from the deputy in Zvornik
24 that he thinks Beara, taking it most charitably in your statement, was
25 worried that the unit might be used for illegal activities including
1 liquidations of prisoners. That's what it says in paragraph 124 of your
2 statement. You don't think it's important for you as the highest acting
3 law enforcement officer to tell the president that you've just heard the
4 Main Staff wants -- may use the MUP to execute prisoners and that you
5 ordered them not to take part?
6 A. You see, I would appreciate it very much if you would refrain
7 from making these constructions, if you want an answer from me. I did
8 not understand it as a request from the Main Staff. It was conveyed to
9 me that way, and that's the way I understood it. I saw Beara as a petty
10 manipulator in view of what he had done before, a man bent on crime, who
11 was involved in crimes against the Serbs in the past. I had no idea that
12 he was capable of such great evil. Whereas you have a different
13 perspective. You are looking at it with 18 years' hindsight. You know
14 how things happened. I, at the time, was involved in operations around
15 Sarajevo and I had only as much information as reached me at the time.
16 I was unable physically and legally to deal with army things, and I must
17 say also in their defence that up to that time, our army had never acted
18 in contravention of all the international conventions and the law. I had
19 no reason to believe that they would begin then.
20 JUDGE KWON: Shall we take a break? Will we need the next
21 witness for today?
22 MR. ROBINSON: It would be nice if we could reach him but can we
23 find out how much longer you're going to allow the Prosecution to --
24 JUDGE KWON: It also may depend on how much time Mr. Karadzic is
25 going to use.
1 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, if we can have some indication from how much
2 the Prosecution will use, we can calculate that.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: It's very hard to say, but I think approximately
4 45 minutes.
5 JUDGE KWON: We will release the next witness. We will have a
6 break for 45 minutes and resume at quarter past 1.00.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.20 p.m.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours. Just briefly at page 64,
14 line 21 today, I referred to a part of Mane Djuric's testimony and said
15 I didn't have the cite at the time because I wasn't expecting to use it.
16 That was 7 March 2013, at T35041 to 35043, that I was thinking of.
17 Q. Okay. I want to now ask you again, talking about your meetings
18 with President Karadzic on 14, 15, July, okay? That's what I'm talking
19 about. Understand? That's what my next question will be about.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, we asked you, you were asked in 2010 in your interview,
22 65 ter 25350, at e-court page 43, in the context of why you did not
23 discuss murders and Beara's request with Karadzic during your meetings,
24 and you were asked this question:
25 "So let me get this straight. Is the reason you are saying that
1 you did not discuss or protest to the president what was happening with
2 the army killing people was because you thought he already knew from all
3 these other sources?"
4 And your answer was:
5 "This is crystal clear, because he had Bajagic, who knew
6 everything. He had Deronjic. He received all the information that he
7 needed from them. He had the entire nomenclature there, people who knew
8 everything and controlled everything."
9 Do you stand by that statement?
10 A. I absolutely stand by that statement, that they could have
11 informed him about Srebrenica itself, because Deronjic and other
12 structures of military security, in particular, were directly involved in
13 the processes that were evolving in the area. I meant in official terms;
14 that is to say the Main Staff, the service, Deronjic. They were
15 duty-bound to inform him about everything that was going on there.
16 Q. Let me ask you a question, this is about your testimony under
17 oath in the Mitrovic case, 65 ter 25515, e-court page 43 of the English,
18 B/C/S 52. This is speaking about your trip to Bratunac on the 14th:
19 "Defence counsel Jaksic: You said that you did not meet with the
20 civilian leadership. Did you meet with Mr. Deronjic who had been
21 appointed civilian commissioner for Srebrenica municipality? Perhaps
22 I might make a slight mistake in the name of this appointment. Did you
23 have an opportunity to meet Mr. Deronjic?
24 "Witness Kovac: I did not meet with him, nor did I wish to meet
25 with him.
1 Defence counsel Jaksic: Why didn't you wish to meet with him?"
2 Witness Kovac, your answer:
3 "Well I had fought for years against these para-Crisis Staffs,
4 these para-commissioners, and para-authorities, para-police forces, and
5 I simply saw that these days he greatly intensified his contacts with the
6 president, intensively providing him information, from security
7 information to all other kinds. And I always knew what that was leading
9 And I'll stop reading there. Do you stand by that testimony you
11 A. I absolutely stand by that being my attitude, but I was not
12 officially in charge of meeting with him. I did not have an official
13 task to meet with him or an official duty. But my attitude towards local
14 structures, towards people, that is to say these ad hoc functions, well,
15 I don't know whether it's right or not, but that was the attitude I had
16 throughout the war, and that's why I could never be appointed minister
17 formally through the assembly.
18 Q. Okay. And you also agree with the part where you say about
19 Mr. Deronjic: And I simply saw in these days he greatly intensified his
20 contacts with the president, intensively providing him with information.
21 Were you telling the truth when you testified there to that?
22 A. I saw that he came. Now, what kind of talks he had with the
23 president, I don't know. I don't know -- I don't know about the content
24 of his talks with the president. But I did see him come because in
25 certain time intervals, he appeared in the president's office, when
1 I came.
2 Q. Okay. My point is you stand by that prior testimony you gave
3 under oath - yes or no? - with the explanations you've given?
4 A. I stand by him having come to the president, but I don't know
5 about the content of the information that he gave. I can assume that he
6 informed him about the situation, he certainly informed him about the
7 situation in Srebrenica, but I am not aware of the content.
8 Q. All right. In September 1995, you allegedly carry out your own
9 investigation into Srebrenica events as requested by Jovica Stanisic;
11 A. Well, did you have an opportunity of hearing Jovica on that?
12 I would not say allegedly. I did not carry out an investigation on the
13 basis of the law because I was not in a position to do so, but I did
14 collect information about that event.
15 Q. And you found out then and confirmed that Mladic and Beara had
16 had prisoners killed. You knew that in September 1995?
17 A. At the time, at that time, I had unverified information; That is
18 to say from certain people in certain structures, that first of all
19 Beara, Beara, Beara was the operative, and I think that the main
20 ideologue too, of the execution of the prisoners and this entire
21 situation that happened in the Srebrenica action.
22 Q. Okay. This is your 2010 interview, 65 ter 25350, e-court
23 pages 75 to 76, you were asked about this September 1995 investigation.
24 And you answer a question saying you were asked to investigate whether
25 any Serb forces took part in the fall of Srebrenica. That's not what my
1 question was about, whether any Serb forces took part. You were asked:
2 "Okay, when was this conveyed to you?"
3 Your answer:
4 "Somewhere in September 1995."
6 "And that's when everybody knew that thousands of prisoners had
7 been executed?"
8 And your answer was:
9 "Probably, probably everyone knew. I did."
10 You were telling the truth; right?
11 A. Well, I said that I knew, and my statement probably could be that
12 I do not have any confirmation as to who knew and to what extent. Let me
13 be precise, at the end of September and October up until mid-November,
14 all the time I carried out operative investigations as to the causes,
15 where the orders had come from for the overall operation, whether there
16 were any forces from Serbia present there. So these were the basic
17 global elements that Mr. Stanisic was interested in because he said to me
18 that he was preparing for the Dayton conference.
19 Q. You're going well beyond the answer. Thank you.
20 And you were also asked this in the same interview at page 81.
21 During this investigation, you sent people to do this investigation. Did
22 you send them also to the field to check possible execution sites? Here
23 was your answer:
24 "No, there was no need for that. I asked my operatives to
25 conduct investigation. There was no need for them to go to the possible
1 execution sites because I needed answers to the questions who issued an
2 order to kill these people and how this did -- how did this order come
3 about, and also how did the order to attack Srebrenica come about."
7 "This is the part I'm interested in. This is the only question.
8 Of course, the locations, the site of the executions were known at the
9 time. And that is why there was no need to conduct an investigation to
10 this extent."
11 Do you stand by that answer where you said you didn't send
12 anybody to check execution sites because they were already known?
13 A. Well, no, no, because already in the stage of operative gathering
14 of information, it was secret. To identify the execution sites
15 specifically would open entirely new dimensions and would go beyond my
16 powers, and in that stage I was not dealing with that. You know, that
17 was the first stage. You know that in every stage, first of all, you
18 collect operative information, and only then you carry out further
19 preparations for official reporting and official proposals as to which
20 organs are supposed to be involved. And then this operative activity of
21 mine stopped.
22 Q. Stop. This is what you said, talking about September 1995. Of
23 course, the locations, the sites of the executions were known at the
24 time. And that is why there was no need to conduct an investigation to
25 this extent. You said yesterday you clearly told the truth in your
1 interviews. Were you telling the truth or lying when you said here that
2 the execution sites were known at the time, September 1995?
3 A. I just tell the truth, but you put questions that no matter what
4 I say by way of a response, it turns out that I'm not telling the truth.
5 Now, this is one thing. If I collected information for me, then this
6 information was collected for me. And at that moment, in that initial
7 stage, because I myself personally dealt with this collecting of
8 information, so partly this was known and other things that I was
9 supposed to gather, well, we were supposed to conduct interviews with
10 important protagonists and secretly at that because this would have been
11 a threat to their lives and --
12 Q. Stop. Again, of course, the locations, the sites of the
13 executions, were known at the time and that -- and that is why there was
14 no need to conduct an investigation to this extent. That was an answer
15 to a question whether you sent anybody to look at the execution sites.
16 Your answer was:
17 "Of course the locations, the sites of the executions, were known
18 at the time."
19 So my question is: Were you telling the truth at that time in
20 September 1995, you knew where the execution sites were?
21 A. Well, you see, you are changing theses now. What -- there is
22 this one operative gathering information for me and this secret operative
23 gathering information. Now you're changing positions as if there were
24 some public investigation going on, and --
25 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure you understood. This is what you told
1 to the investigator during your interview. I'll read it to you. Just
2 hear. This is your answer:
3 "Of course the locations, the sites of the executions, were known
4 at the time."
5 Do you confirm having said that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The way -- I mean what I meant. So
7 if there is secret operative gathering of information, that was done for
8 me and a third person, that is secret. And now this is as if something
9 was known publicly so it wasn't operatives that went in the direction of
10 checking that, because this part of the information is something
11 I already had; that is to say, I had this through direct contacts so this
12 operation of operative gathering was carried out by me and a few other
13 operatives. That's what I meant.
14 JUDGE KWON: Whether it was a secret operative or not, you knew
15 the locations of execution sites?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I worked on the direct
17 gathering of information, at the time I received information from certain
18 persons concerning a few of these important sites, so I had this
19 information within this gathering of information. That's why the
20 operatives did not go into that direction. It's not that something was
21 publicly known about these locations:
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Stop talking about the public. I'm asking if you knew as you
24 stated here -- and you stated before that you told the truth in the
25 interviews. Did you know about the locations of the execution sites,
1 you, Tomo Kovac, in September 1995?
2 A. At the end of September, I personally received information and
3 I then knew what the execution sites were. And that is why I did not
4 send operatives and I did not expose these people to security risks, to
5 work on that. I think that this matter is clear.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I be of assistance? Known.
7 That means in public. That's it.
8 JUDGE KWON: Now it's clear. So the question was whether the
9 witness knew and he confirmed.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. You were minister at that point, not deputy minister, right, in
12 September 1995. You'd been promoted.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The same interview, page 64, you were asked why you did not tell
15 Karadzic about this investigation you were carrying out. And you said:
16 I cannot explain why I didn't tell him. And then you go on. And what
17 I want to know is why, as minister of the interior of Republika Srpska,
18 in September 1995, you did not, according to you, discuss the locations
19 of the execution sites with the Supreme Commander, President Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I ask to have the original in
21 Serbian shown to the witness? There is no reason for him to look at the
22 English version. I need the original too.
23 JUDGE KWON: I think the interview is transcribed only in
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Correct, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Probably there may exist the audio tape if they want
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
4 Q. In any event, forget the transcript. Forget what I read out to
5 you. Let's keep it really simple. You've already said why in
6 September 1995, as the highest law enforcement official in the Republika
7 Srpska, did you not discuss, tell, the President of Republika Srpska
8 about the locations of execution sites?
9 A. Well, let me -- if you allow me to say -- this operative
10 investigation started at the end of 1995, or, rather, the end of
11 September 1995. I did not complete it. My activity on that stopped on
12 21 November 1995, after the accident I had with the military vehicle in
13 Vlasenica, when I had a concussion and when my escort was killed. If you
14 know everything, you must have that report from the hospital too. My
15 operative investigation stopped then and soon after that I was replaced.
16 So I'm looking at September and October. And we are talking about this
17 secret investigation. We are not talking about any kind of official
18 investigation. We are talking about a delicate investigation, and all
19 the people who took part in this had their lives in danger at the time.
20 So, please, do not put things that way to me, that I'm doing
21 that. It is certain that had I stayed on there and further on in some
22 other stages after that, this would have reached the president of the
23 republic too, but I already told you how I conducted and ended my work at
24 the ministry.
25 Q. Okay. So let's just make it clear. This is the kind of
1 policeman you are, this is the kind of career policeman you are, this is
2 the kind of minister of the interior of Republika Srpska, that you know
3 about execution sites and you don't even, according to you, tell the
4 president of your own state.
5 A. At the time I was collecting information. The execution sites
6 were the end of the story, but what really mattered was the beginning,
7 that is to say investigating what happened. There were war operations
8 going on beforehand, but until I entered these operative investigations,
9 I did not know the essence, the essence of what was going on in
10 Srebrenica itself. That was the reason for my operative investigation.
11 And if you are getting at that, if you are talking about my professional
12 career, let me tell you that it is professional for some things to be
13 investigated secretly and that you should not put people in such a
14 position that they would lose their lives on account of that. I did that
15 for a month and you've been working at this for almost 20 years and we
16 are moving point by point to see what it is that really happened. On the
17 other hand, this was --
18 Q. I think you've answered. Here is something you said -- well,
19 never mind, never mind.
20 Could I have P00164.
21 JUDGE KWON: I think it appeared in this transcript of interview
22 briefly but I think it's important to put on record in this hearing as
23 well why the witness didn't tell Mr. Karadzic at the time as to the
24 initiation of his secret investigation. Could you tell us why?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it would not be a serious --
1 well, first of all, I did not think -- actually, at first, when
2 collecting certain information, especially in this kind of situation,
3 I did not think --
4 JUDGE KWON: Let me put you a question more directly. You said
5 that that -- secret operative investigation was triggered upon the
6 request of Stanisic, who is the secret chief of Republic of Serbia,
7 different country. If I were in your position, I would immediately
8 inform your president that such request was forwarded, requested, by
9 Stanisic, before you start the secret investigation. Why did you not
10 tell Mr. Karadzic at the time?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stanisic asked first and foremost
12 to have the following clarified: Whether there were any forces of Serbia
13 that had taken part in this, whether there were any police or military
14 force that is had taken part in this action. That was the main thing
15 that he was after. That was the main thing that he was after.
16 On the other hand, he also wanted to know who had issued the
17 order. Of course, as I worked on this, I extended it to the overall
18 activity involved. Stanisic had a special role. He needed this for --
19 for the peace, for Dayton, because he was in charge of preparing the
20 Dayton agreement. If you can recall, the Dayton agreement, during the
21 preparations for the Dayton agreement, Serbia was officially involved -
22 and how? - and its organs, including Stanisic, who was officially in
23 charge of the preparation itself. That is one reason.
24 The second reason is that I, in some other stage, I would have
25 certainly informed Karadzic not as a secret report. It would be -- it
1 would have been an official report. However, I did not have the time to
2 do that because I was dismissed in the meantime.
3 JUDGE KWON: So was it a kind of treason on your part against
4 Mr. Karadzic, who was your superior?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think it was treason.
6 Quite simply I thought that this was the first stage in the methodology
7 of our work. I never betrayed him throughout the war so I wouldn't have
8 betrayed him then either.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A small omission in the transcript
13 leads to a misunderstanding. The witness said I did not have the time to
14 finish that. That is to say he didn't have time to finish the
15 investigation, and he was dismissed in the meantime, and that's why he
16 didn't report. However, in the transcript that is missing in line 16.
17 He didn't have the time to finish that.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, do you confirm having said so?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It can also be listened to.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 Yes, back to you, Mr. Nicholls.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. All right. This is President Karadzic's April 1996 order to
25 conduct -- April 1996 order to conduct an investigation to be carried out
1 at the locations where the victims -- where victims of the armed conflict
2 in and around Srebrenica are to be found.
3 Now, you were asked if you ever started -- in your 2003
4 interview, you were asked -- I would like to ask you -- this is at
5 e-court pages 133 to 134, B/C/S 151 to 153. 133 should be at the moment,
6 151. We don't necessarily need to bring it up. I would like ask you if
7 you remember that such an order has been sent by the president on the 1st
8 of April, 1996, the president of the republic, answer: That later what
9 was done was laundering or justifying. Why had not such an order been
10 sent in July or August of 1995?
11 Then you were shown this document. Investigator says: I'll show
12 you ERN 00442407. That's the document that's in front of you. Do you
13 have any comments about this order? And you said: I do. What I can say
14 is, as you see I don't have many documents with me, I never tried to put
15 aside some documents. And you go on. And then you say: But so all of
16 these post event documents that were created were just some kind of a
17 cover-up document or, again, laundering documents. If I had been
18 president of the republic I would have known what to do it, and all of
19 these things that happened afterwards are just a big shame and damage to
20 my own people. And it's just a shame, a damage to everything that we
21 were fighting for. And if there is any responsibility that needs to be,
22 there needs to be the individual one. Instead of this order that he
23 issued, he should have issued an order to arrest Mladic, to lock him up.
24 Do you stand by that statement?
25 A. Just to clarify, when the president of the republic is forced --
1 what did I mean by laundering? When the president of the republic is
2 forced only in April to issue an order, and before that, the government
3 organs, the military organs, and other government organs did not
4 officially start, though they were obliged by law to begin prosecution
5 and establishing this. This is what I experienced in 1992, also, that
6 they were doing the same things to the president, and there were some
7 other things that I issued. If I had been a minister he wouldn't have
8 had any need for such an order. But that would have been done
9 officially, officially prosecuted and done. And the president
10 substantially was the last instance who issued an order to them to do
11 some things. In fact, he was trying to launder these organs and
12 encourage them to do their work which they had failed to do. That was my
13 view, both in 1992, and then and now.
14 Q. And that's why you called it a cover-up document?
15 A. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, not covering up. I think
16 that it was wrong. You cannot cover up something for which you issue a
17 public order. But what's the point here and about my position towards
18 the judiciary organs? They are responsible because they had enough time.
19 April was too late. They should have reacted earlier. The military
20 security, the military judiciary, the military prosecutor's office and
21 civilian organs also, whoever could collect any information, they should
22 have also taken some official legal action, from bottom up towards the
23 president, rather than the other way around, from the president towards
24 them. So this is how I view this as a professional. Now, I don't know
25 whether what you -- this is already 1996. I wasn't there then, but I did
1 state my judgement about everything and I also said what I would have
3 Q. Yeah.
4 JUDGE KWON: 65 ter number for the 2003 interview, Mr. Nicholls?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: 22146. Again page 133 of the English, and, if I'm
6 right, it starts on 151 of the Serbian.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please continue.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. So that's what you mean by instead of this order that he issued,
10 which you earlier called a cover-up, he should have issued the order to
11 arrest Mladic to lock him up, by that you meant to convey to the
12 investigator -- this is just like 1992. The organs below the president
13 aren't doing their work. That's what that sentence was meant to convey?
14 That's your testimony?
15 A. Correct. All the organs which are listed here as addressees from
16 the president who were obliged by law to do all this and who are ordered
17 now by him to do that, they should have done their work before that and
18 they should have sent reports to the president upon completion of their
19 work. Here we have the opposite situation, and the fall of the
20 government or the state, because, once again, this returns him back to
21 1992, with this sort of attitude, because this order was not issued just
22 like that but precisely because these organs did not function. And
23 through this order, in fact, he turned out that he was covering up their
24 failure to work. I would have acted differently. I would have asked for
25 a different kind of responsibility. But, certainly, the president is a
1 politician and I'm looking at this as a lawyer and as a policeman, how
2 I would have dealt with this.
3 Q. Okay. We agree, as you sit -- well, strike that.
4 Are you aware of any investigation by the RS MUP -- well, let me
5 strike that.
6 You know there was no investigation by the RS MUP, official
7 investigation, into Srebrenica events in July, August, September,
8 October, November, 1995; right?
9 A. No. There wasn't, not an official one. We could not do that.
10 There was no possibility because of the war, and we did not have the
11 powers, but regardless of the powers or authority, I started this in
12 1995. And you know --
13 Q. Stop. You answered. There wasn't any. I want to show you one.
14 Could I have P06426. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, but
15 this is an interview with you. David Rhode was prosecuted in
16 Republika Srpska, investigated by state security, Goran Radovic, who you
17 know, and others, arrested, charged and eventually pardoned by the
18 president. And in this press conference in November, you were asked
19 about David Rhode, and I'll let you read it. I'm not going to read it
20 all out, but you said:
21 "David Rhode has been arrested primarily due to false --
22 primarily due to false documents and unauthorised entry into Republika
23 Srpska. And, please, that does not mean we are against journalists
24 visiting our territories, but we are against the spies having
25 journalists' passage."
1 I'll skip a sentence:
2 "Your colleague was performing the most difficult form of
3 espionage for which the sentence from 3 to 15 years of prison is foreseen
4 in Republika Srpska in peacetime. So consider it yourselves."
5 I'll skip a sentence:
6 "We will not and we cannot accept people who are working outside
7 of their journalist etiquette and openly against my people and this
9 And then you said David Rhode was lucky. So this is when you're
10 minister of the interior, this is when you know about the mass
11 executions, and your MUP, the only Prosecution it's done for Srebrenica,
12 is of a journalist who took photos of the Pilica dam execution site and
13 tried to find out what had happened; right?
14 A. No. Not in the way it's formulated in your question.
15 Q. Okay. Well, he takes pictures -- and I'm not going to go through
16 the whole court file. Some of it is in evidence. He takes pictures of
17 the dam and of the area around Orahovac and he's arrested. And for
18 trying to show where execution sites are, you say he openly -- working
19 openly against your people and the state.
20 A. The services -- I cannot remember much about this event and I'm
21 not sure that journalists or newspapers, especially "Oslobodjenje"
22 reported in an adequate manner my views. For me, at the time, this was
23 just a short information and an unimportant event. So that the only
24 thing that this could have happened was the legal action against him,
25 against this journalist, so I did not get especially involved in this.
1 It was a matter for the State Security Service. I didn't issue an order
2 for his arrest or his release or anything. It just followed its normal
3 course. So I cannot say anything particular about this, that I was
4 involved in such cases in that period. This was the legal procedure.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I misspoke, I'm sorry, at line 20
6 page 86, I said "Pilica dam," I meant "Petkovci dam." Nothing further at
7 the moment.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE KWON: Before I ask Mr. Karadzic to re-examine you, I have
10 a couple of questions. Shall we show him the 2010 interview, page 43,
11 25350. There may be no point because it's in English. It's a
12 conversation why you did not tell Mr. Karadzic about the protest or
13 the -- about the Beara's request to use some MUP forces for illegal
14 activities including liquidation, et cetera, and so why you didn't tell
15 Mr. Karadzic when you met him on 13th, 14th, 15th. Do you remember
16 having discussed that? So I'll read out --
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE KWON: I'll read out the passage:
19 "So let me get this straight, is the reason you are saying that
20 you did not discuss or protest to the president what was happening with
21 the army killing people because you thought he already knew from all
22 these other sources?"
23 Other sources you discussed Bajagic or other people, Deronjic,
24 and this is your answer as recorded, and you confirmed that, I quote:
25 "This is crystal clear because he had Bajagic who knew
1 everything. He had Deronjic. He received all the information that he
2 needed from them. Also, he had the entire nomenclature there, people who
3 knew everything and controlled everything."
4 So you testified today that you stood by that statement. You
5 remember that, Mr. Kovac?
6 A. I remember. But just to make myself clear, my statement that he
7 had those who could have informed him, not that I know that they did
8 inform him. They could have reported to him about all events that they
9 had information about. And the reason -- another reason why I did not
10 believe about Beara's act was that at that moment I didn't -- because
11 I prevented the police from getting involved, I did not have any
12 information that he did do it. I had the information that they could
13 have been abused. That was the reason in that short interval why I had
14 no reported to President Karadzic about this.
15 JUDGE KWON: I'll read out again to you what was said, the
16 question by the investigator:
17 "Because you thought he already knew from all these other
19 And your answer:
20 "This is crystal clear."
21 A. Once again, to make myself clear, it's completely clear that he
22 had sources to obtain information from, and whether specifically he knew
23 that Beara, that I believed that someone had reported to him that Beara
24 had requested police in order to commit the execution of prisoners, not
25 that. So it's crystal clear that he had sources of information which
1 were supposed to inform him about everything. But I didn't -- I don't
2 know how this was interpreted nor did I think that he did receive this
3 specific information, that Beara shot prisoners.
4 JUDGE KWON: Very well. My second question is about your
5 statement in your witness statement tendered today by Mr. Karadzic, but I
6 will allow you to read that statement later on, if necessary, and that
7 means you do not need to consult that statement at the moment. At
8 certain point -- part of your statement, you referred to your meeting
9 with Mr. Karadzic in the spring of 1996, where you discussed the -- about
10 what happened or the crimes following the fall of Srebrenica, and
11 Mr. Karadzic expressed his disappointment. Do you remember having said
12 that? It's --
13 A. Yes, yes, yes, yes. That was in spring, I think in April, March
14 or April, thereabouts. I mean, that was an unofficial conversation.
15 I wasn't still working in the ministry, or, rather, not working but
16 I wasn't in a position, so this was an unofficial visit to the president.
17 JUDGE KWON: Could you tell us in concrete terms what you
18 discussed with Mr. Karadzic? What did he say and what did you say?
19 Please let us know the conversation, in concrete terms.
20 A. Well, I was on an informal visit. After a while, I appeared for
21 the first time again, and in addition to a series of other questions in
22 an informal conversation, I believe that at some point I touched on the
23 army and Beara and their conduct. That was a brief reaction on the part
24 of the president. He was dissatisfied. He said that they had
25 jeopardised the state, and that was all that we exchanged, to the best of
1 my recollection of the time. It wasn't any kind of official
2 conversation. It was unofficial.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I know it's an unofficial conversation after
4 your dismissal. You said you touched on the army and Beara and their
5 conduct. Could you be more specific as to what you said to Mr. Karadzic,
6 in real -- in concrete terms? Please be as specific as possible, as far
7 as you remember.
8 A. Well, it was concrete about their -- their attitude at that time
9 and the previous time, their attitude to the president and his orders,
10 and at one point I touched on -- I touched on his -- in fact, his conduct
11 in the Srebrenica area and what he did with the prisoners of war.
12 I could see from the conversation that the President Karadzic was already
13 aware of that because that was the end of March or April 1996. I didn't
14 tell him anything new at the time. I just remember his reaction that he
15 reacted to them by saying that they were negating the state by such an
16 attitude, and that was all the conversation we had about this topic.
17 JUDGE KWON: Who was "he," when you said his conduct, his orders,
18 and his conduct in the Srebrenica area, what he did with the prisoners.
19 Who was he? Mladic?
20 A. No, I had primarily Beara in mind. He was in the focus of my
21 attention, but, of course, in all this, in everything that was going on,
22 certainly Mladic's responsibility was great, as the commander, that he
23 allowed all this.
24 JUDGE KWON: So by this time, you already knew the locations of
25 execution sites because you came to know as a result of your secret
1 operative investigation in the previous year? So I take it you must have
2 discussed it with Mr. Karadzic.
3 A. With my replacement, there was no need for me or wish for me to
4 do anything any longer officially. I was just telling you about this
5 informal conversation, and we did not discuss the execution sites. We
6 just briefly touched on the army but we did not discuss the execution
7 site and I realised that this process was ongoing and that the president
8 was informed at the point. It was March or April. So I had the
9 impression that he was aware about this process of clearing up everything
10 about Srebrenica. But as I say, I was there only for a short while, on
11 an informal visit, and after that, once again, I left Republika Srpska
12 and I went to Belgrade where I had already been living.
13 JUDGE KWON: And you said in your statement that Mr. Karadzic
14 expressed disappointment. Why was he disappointed? For what?
15 A. Well, this subject, the army and the command structure, is
16 something that I touched on and he was disappointed by the entire
17 structure. He was disappointed by the structure and by their overall
18 conduct, their conduct, their attitude in general, and jeopardising the
19 state. It was -- as I say, it was an informal conversation, and so this
20 disappointment was not only formal but also something human expressed by
21 a man who was disappointed by a group of people. He was not disappointed
22 in the institution but it was this group of people that disappointed him.
23 JUDGE KWON: It was in paragraph 133 of your statement, could you
24 take a look at it? You have your statement with you, 133. It reads like
25 this: After a while, I discussed with President Karadzic the allegations
1 about crimes following the fall of Srebrenica. By the time -- by that
2 time, you already knew that there were crimes, crimes were committed, but
3 why did you put the allegations about crimes? Why did you put
4 allegations? Do you deny that there were crimes?
5 A. No. I don't deny. Perhaps the word, the formulation, was
6 imprecise. I don't deny, no. I did not have in mind everything that was
7 correct, but the knowledge and the terms, "allegations," I imply
8 everything that has already been proved through investigation, so perhaps
9 the term was not well applied. Perhaps the word was not a good choice.
10 Something that wasn't proved already. But only information, information
11 about crimes, that would have been a better word, perhaps, than
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Kovac. I take it you have some
14 re-examination, Mr. Karadzic? By the way, but do you think you can
15 finish your re-examination today?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellencies, I hope so.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'm sorry. I would ask for a couple
20 of follow-up questions based on Your Honour's questions on these two
21 topics, wouldn't take long.
22 JUDGE KWON: Before the re-examination, for the benefit of the
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, if I may.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll allow it.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
2 Further cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
3 Q. Okay. You just answered in quite detail, in quite a lot of
4 detail, His Honour Judge Kwon's questions about para 133 of your
5 statement, and the last sentence there is: We did not have other talks
6 about Srebrenica, other than this one in the spring of 1996. I want to
7 go over what you said on this very topic in your 2010 interview,
8 65 ter 25350, e-court page 146, and we should maybe bring that up, even
9 though it's only in English:
10 Question: Did you ever discuss what happened with
11 President Karadzic? Tomo Kovac: About Srebrenica? Question: Yes. No,
12 is the answer. Okay. Tomo Kovac: Because I was not going to fall into
13 the trap. I had some short informal conversations with him, although the
14 army should have come under the same way, duh, duh, duh. Same interview,
15 same 65 ter number, pages 149 to 150. Question: Okay, you said a moment
16 ago just before we showed you the Borovcanin promotion that you never
17 spoke with Karadzic about Srebrenica, you didn't want to fall into that
18 trap because it was all under military jurisdiction. Then you said,
19 quote, "Well I had several short conversations," quote. So did you talk
20 to Karadzic about Srebrenica or not later on? Question: Officially or
21 unofficially is the next question to you. Answer: It was always
22 unofficially -- unofficially and it was always about Beara. Question:
23 Okay. When? Next page, please. Maybe in September 1995 in Banja Luka
24 when I was talking about Beara when Beara presented a threat. I touched
25 upon his stupidities. We had no other conversation than this about
1 Srebrenica. And what did Karadzic say? Nothing. He just made a gesture
2 with his hand, and as if he didn't want to listen about it. That's about
4 That's what you said in 2010. You started off your testimony by
5 saying you were truthful in your statements, in those interviews. You
6 have just given a completely different account to the Presiding Judge.
7 A. That's not true. I talked about Beara in September because I had
8 the information that he was preparing a coup in Banja Luka, and it was
9 about those circumstances of his conduct. And while he was security
10 element in Montenegro, and he was preparing for a civil war to break out
11 among the Serbs, so that was what I was telling him about briefly, judged
12 on the operative intelligence, not that I discussed this aspect of his
13 activities and his crimes in Srebrenica, just to make myself clear.
14 Q. [Microphone not activated] okay. Let's see how clear it is.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. So when I asked you: So did you talk to Karadzic about
18 Srebrenica or not, later on, and you said, maybe in September, September
19 1995 in Banja Luka, we had no other conversation than this about
20 Srebrenica, you were talking about a civil war that Beara was trying to
21 start? Is that serious?
22 A. I don't understand what that mean.
23 Q. I asked you if you talked about President Karadzic -- with
24 President Karadzic about Srebrenica, you said in September 1995, you
25 started bringing up Beara, and the president waved his hand like he
1 didn't want to talking about it. Were you lying to me or were you not
2 telling the truth in court right now? And both times you said you only
3 talked about Srebrenica once.
4 A. I never said to you that I had discussed with Karadzic the crimes
5 in Srebrenica. I discussed Beara. And it's not all right for you to put
6 two questions that I'm supposed to be -- let us deal with facts and be
7 clear. One thing is the talk about Beara; the other thing is the talk
8 about Srebrenica. In the whole of Republika Srpska was under --
9 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this: Your answer was: Maybe -- to the
10 question of whether you ever talked to about -- with Karadzic about
11 Srebrenica. Your answer was: Maybe in September of 1995 in Banja Luka,
12 and then you go on about Beara and being a threat. And you say: We had
13 no other conversations than this about Srebrenica. That meaning is
14 clear, isn't it? You were telling me you spoke to Karadzic once about
15 Srebrenica and that was in September 1995.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Objection. None of
17 this is true. None of this is correct. The paragraph does not read like
18 that, not in English and not in Serbian. And it was interpreted by Mr.
19 Nicholls differently:
20 [In English] "Maybe in 1995 in Banja Luka when I was talking
21 about Beara, when Beara presented a threat. I touched upon his
22 stupidities. We had no other conversations than this about Srebrenica."
23 [Interpretation] The witness says maybe I touched upon Srebrenica
24 when I was talking about Beara in general; whereas Mr. Nicholls says you
25 confirm that you discussed him then. And he said instead: I may have
1 touched upon it. We should look at the Serbian version. That would be
2 the best.
3 JUDGE KWON: If you wish, you can hear the audio tape. And you
4 can deal with it in your re-examination.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm going to move on.
6 Q. And let me ask you: When you spoke to me about when you -- when
7 you spoke to the OTP about when you talked to President Karadzic about
8 Srebrenica, it was maybe September 1995 when this coup was being planned,
9 when the civil war was going to break out. That's September, not April
10 of the next year. When you meet with the Defence and they take a
11 statement from you, the time of this conversation is moved back to April,
12 exactly when President Karadzic's first and only investigative request
13 comes out. Did the Defence suggest to you this might have been April, in
15 A. That's not correct, and you are twisting, distorting, everything,
16 as you did when you examined me before. You put a different stress on
17 every word. I told you I may have touched upon Srebrenica. I didn't
18 mean crimes in Srebrenica. I touched upon Beara's inclination to misuse
19 and abuse, but it was not discussion about Srebrenica. It was discussion
20 about Beara as a threat. Srebrenica was certainly not a topic. Those
21 are two different events which cannot be linked, and the Defence could
22 not have suggested anything to me. I am not susceptible to suggestion.
23 I'm not that type of person. I'm not even susceptible to your
24 suggestions, although you have been trying for ten years now.
25 Q. Page 88, His Honour Judge Kwon asked you about the portion where
1 you discussed Karadzic's sources and how things were crystal clear. And
2 Judge Kwon asked -- said to you, His Honour Judge Kwon. I'll read out
3 again to you what was said, the question by the investigator, because you
4 thought he already knew from all these sources and your answer this is
5 crystal clear. This is your answer now today in court: Once again, to
6 make myself clear, it's completely clear that he had sources to obtain
7 information from, and whether specifically he knew that Beara -- that
8 I believed that someone had reported to him that Beara had requested
9 police in order to commit the execution of prisoners, not that. So it's
10 crystal clear that he had sources of information which were supposed to
11 inform him about everything, but I didn't -- I don't know how this was
12 interpreted, nor did I think that he did receive the specific information
13 that Beara shot prisoners.
14 Could we have page 50 of this 2010 interview. Talking about the
15 same topic, this is your meeting with President Karadzic on the 14th,
16 15th: Okay, this is the question, top of the page, from investigator,
17 Did you tell president about Beara's request during this meeting?
18 Answer: I cannot remember whether I told him. But I just know that he
19 was aware of my constant criticisms of Beara, but I cannot remember, but
20 he must have known. He must have known. It was -- it must have been
21 known what Beara's behaviour on the war front was. Each of us had at
22 least ten lines of informing. So we all knew what was going on. I knew
23 about Kravica, other people knew about Kravica, and there is no way he
24 could not have known about Beara's behaviour.
25 So you have once again, for the hundredth time today, changed
1 your story.
2 A. I don't think that's true, and even a minute ago, when you were
3 stating what my evidence of today, you misrepresent it. You play with
4 words. I have been saying the same thing all over and over again, and
5 I'm telling the truth so I see no reason for you to suggest something
6 like this. Do you have any more questions? You have been just
7 characterising my evidence today and my evidence given before. What do
8 you want me to do, to confirm that I'm lying?
9 Q. Stop commenting, please, and answer the question I just asked
10 you. I will read out what you just said in this session to Judge Kwon
11 about Beara and whether President Karadzic would have known from his
12 sources about Beara and the executions: So it's crystal clear that he,
13 the president, had sources of information which were supposed to inform
14 him about everything, but I didn't -- I don't know how this was
15 interpreted, nor did I think that he did receive this specific
16 information, that Beara shot prisoners.
17 And here, you're asked whether you're told about Beara's request
18 and about his request to execute prisoners, and you say he must have
19 known, it was -- it must have been known what Beara's behaviour on the
20 war front was. Each of us had at least ten lines of informing, so we all
21 knew what was going on. I knew about Kravica, other people knew about
22 Kravica, and there was no way he could not have known about Beara's
24 A. If I said that legally speaking he should have known, and if we
25 later established, both you and I, that the military system was shut,
1 closed, even up to the Main Staff level, it's clear that he didn't
2 receive this information from them. If they had worked in accordance
3 with the law, he should have received it; but since they were not acting
4 in accordance with the law, since they had isolated the whole system, he
5 did not receive it or may have not received it. Mr. Karadzic himself can
6 tell us whether he got that report from them or not. I was just saying
7 in my evidence that if things had been done lawfully, he should have had
8 that information, whereas you are misstating my evidence, quoting me, or,
9 rather, misquoting me as saying that he had received it. I could not
10 confirm that years ago and I cannot confirm today the things that I don't
11 know. And one of the things I don't know is what kind of information he
12 received. I think that's clear.
13 Q. Last question. One, I'm not misquoting you or mis-citing. I'm
14 reading back what you said in interviews and what you said in this
15 courtroom. Two, what you're telling me is that when were you asked about
16 whether you spoke about what Beara was doing and requesting help from the
17 MUP to execute prisoners, when you say, But he must have known. He must
18 have known, it must have known what Beara's behaviour on the war front
19 was, each of us had ten lines of informing, so we all knew what was going
20 on. I knew about Kravica, other people knew Kravica. There was no way
21 he could have known about Beara's behaviour, what you were trying to say
22 truthfully was no way he could not have known about Beara's behaviour,
23 what you were trying to truthfully say was I don't think he could have
24 possibly gotten that information? That's what you just kind of put to
1 A. Formulate your sentences clearly. Give me two questions or two
2 answers. If that is a problem, I'll tell you clearly.
3 Q. Sure, okay.
4 A. We are using police talk. Maybe others will not understand us.
5 Q. No. This is pretty simple. I'll break it down further. When
6 you gave this answer about did you tell the president about Beara's
7 request during your meeting, and you said each of us had ten lines of
8 informing, so we all knew what was going on, let me put it this way --
9 strike that.
10 When you say about the president there was no way he could not
11 have known about Beara's behaviour, what does that mean? What were you
12 trying to say?
13 A. I wanted to say this: If the military security and the
14 Main Staff of the VRS had acted lawfully, he should have had that
15 information. At that moment, I was not aware of the extent of the
16 conspiracy designed by Beara and those around him, which completely
17 prevented this system from functioning. Later on, through my operative
18 investigations and through this and other trials, I realised that they
19 had completely isolated themselves within their system. They closed it
20 off. It did not act in accordance with the law. But under the law, if
21 they had respected it, they had to inform him.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you for that explanation of what you meant when you
23 said there was no way he could not have known about Beara's behaviour.
24 JUDGE KWON: You're through, Mr. Nicholls?
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Let's plan. How long do you need, Mr. Karadzic, for
2 your re-examination?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now I doubt that I would finish it
4 today. If I did have 35 minutes, I could have done it, but now ...
5 JUDGE KWON: I take it, Mr. Lazarevic, you have to fly to Serbia
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. You are right about -- well,
8 if need be, I mean, I'll --
9 JUDGE KWON: No, no, I'm thinking about extending the sitting for
10 today, if everybody is in agreement.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: That would be very convenient if it's for like 20
12 minutes or something that I think that I will be able to catch my flight.
13 JUDGE KWON: Oh, shall we try to finish by 3.00, then?
14 Mr. Karadzic said 45 minutes or 35 now.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE KWON: If you inform me of the option.
17 MR. ROBINSON: I asked him if he could be here on Monday and he
18 said he basically could, once he got the authorisation from the Tribunal.
19 So I think instead of rushing Dr. Karadzic, it's better to just continue
20 on Monday with the redirect examination, or if you want to use some time
21 today, but not to force Dr. Karadzic to complete it.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, do you have any problem with staying over
23 the weekend at The Hague?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE KWON: So I take it that Mr. Karadzic prefers to start his
1 re-examination on Monday.
2 MR. KARADZIC: Yes, Excellency, thank you. Not to be rushed.
3 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We will do so.
4 So, again, my advice is still valid not to discuss with anybody
5 else about your testimony. The hearing is adjourned.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.40 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 4th day of
9 November, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.