1 Monday, 4 November 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, good morning everyone.
6 Do we have something before we continue? Why do we not have the
8 Yes, Mr. Harvey.
9 MR. HARVEY: Your Honours, I don't know why the witness isn't
10 here, but I just want to introduce, if I may, Shubhangi Bhadada, who is
11 from Delhi, India, and a graduate of the master's programme at the
12 University of Oxford in law. Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: While we are waiting for the witness.
14 Mr. Nicholls, I was wondering whether you were not minded to
15 tender the interviews -- the part of interviews you dealt with with the
17 MR. NICHOLLS: [Microphone not activated]
18 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Is your microphone on?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honours. Good morning, Your Honours.
20 Yes, Your Honours, I think I would tender those portions.
21 JUDGE KWON: How shall we identify the parts? Do you have any
22 objection, Mr. Robinson, in general?
23 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I think it would be -- since
24 the parts were read out to the witness that he commented on, I don't
25 think there's any need under your practice to now retroactively go back
1 and add them to the record. If there was something at the time that was
2 covered, they should have been put to the witness or else -- I don't see
3 any value in repeating what's already in the record by having the
4 interview itself admitted.
5 JUDGE KWON: I don't think the interview themselves were read out
6 in full. And further, in order to understand the context of the
7 conversation referred to the witness, I think it's important to -- at
8 least those parts.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour, and I would just at add that at
10 the beginning and in some areas because of time I was summarising parts
11 of a paragraph and to show that I was summarising it accurately, that
12 part of the page it would be useful to have in.
13 JUDGE KWON: So, I would recommend the parties to communicate
14 each other what parts are to be tendered, and let's see what parts
15 Mr. Karadzic may be also dealing with with the witness, and at the end of
16 the session let's discuss the admission of the parts of those interviews.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Kovac.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Excellencies. Good
23 morning everyone.
24 WITNESS: TOMISLAV KOVAC [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Later, if we have enough time, I will ask you to clarify a few
5 things following from a difference in language and the semantics. But
6 now I would like to ask you something about the things which the OTP
7 suggested to you. It was suggested to you that more was known and I knew
8 and that I was concealing something. Can you please tell us this:
9 According to the knowledge you had, were there any unlawful killings in
10 Srebrenica before the 13th of July, 1995?
11 A. From what I knew, what I looked into and did, there had been no
12 unlawful killings up until that time.
13 Q. Thank you. Perhaps I'm rushing. And it was also suggested
14 during the cross-examination that I sent you with certain intentions to
15 Srebrenica. Was it because I issued you such a task or was it on your
16 own initiative that you went to Srebrenica in connection with any sort of
17 unlawful killings or any other unlawful activities?
18 A. I must expand this a bit. If you will allow me --
19 Q. If you can just briefly reply and then we may expand.
20 A. Well, look here, I have told the Prosecution too, answering with
21 a yes or no falsify my entire activity in Srebrenica. During the 15 days
22 of the Srebrenica action, I physically stayed in Srebrenica on duty only
23 for three hours and I had one telephone conversation with the deputy
24 centre chief. That was all of my activity during 15 days. And then to
25 make a complicated construction so as to fit everything in into a joint
1 criminal enterprise, up until the moment when they got the documents that
2 show that I never signed a single document with regard to Srebrenica, not
3 just because I didn't know and knew what I was -- what was going to
4 happen because I wasn't in the seat of the ministry at the time and I was
5 only organising the Sarajevo front at the time and I was even a suspect
6 for a while. So we should avoid this sort of false construct. With the
7 three hours of my stay during the -- a fortnight and one telephone
8 conversation, this is all of my activity in connection with Srebrenica,
9 as I've told you.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I was going to object as non-responsive, but I
12 think he's done.
13 JUDGE KWON: Shall we continue?
14 Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. All right. I will now try to simplify matters so you could
18 answer with a yes or no. It was suggested to you that I sent you there.
19 Did I send you in Srebrenica at all, and was it my or your or anyone
20 else's initiative by which you sent members of MUP to commit murders in
21 Srebrenica or do anything else unlawful?
22 A. Neither did I -- I didn't send anyone. I didn't -- I wasn't, as
23 you well know, involved in Srebrenica at any stage except for the
24 establishing of the police station in Srebrenica. That was the only
25 official duty that I received, that I was involved in, and that during my
1 three-hour stay I inspected and made sure that the police station would
2 be established. As for all other activities, I was not in charge of them
3 nor did I want to be involved, not because I knew that something could
4 happen but because I did not believe that this front was serious enough
5 at the time and the overall situation.
6 Q. Could you first tell us, would it be usual for the minister and
7 the deputy minister to be resubordinated to the army? And what did you
8 mean when you said that you did not consider this front to be serious
10 A. Well, look here, Mr. President, from the very first moment when I
11 opposed to being engaged in Srebrenica, I was aware of the much wider
12 activity on lifting the blockade of Sarajevo and I knew that Srebrenica
13 was a bad tactical move, where we would become involved in something and
14 get bogged down and that we shouldn't have done. But the decision was up
15 to other people and not up to me, and that was the reason why, from the
16 military point of view, I considered Srebrenica not to be such a threat
17 as Sarajevo, not even close. It was quite clear to serious military
18 experts, but when we look at all this from a different angle and consider
19 the consequences of the events, then the Srebrenica front gains more
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure it was your question or the
23 translation. Your question as translated reads like this:
24 "... would it be usual for the minister and the deputy minister
25 to be resubordinated to the army?"
1 Is it the minister or the deputy minister that is to be
2 resubordinated to the army? If you could assist us.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Well, when Mr. Karadzic
4 said "minister or deputy minister," he actually had in mind the same
5 function within the ministry. It's not usual that they can be
6 resubordinated to the army, only if one of them directly commands a unit
7 which as a unit is resubordinated specifically that particular unit. But
8 as an organ, as an institution, it's not usual, it's not even lawful.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
10 Please continue.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Could you please tell the Chamber what you know from official
14 documents and my activities, what was my position about the treatment of
15 prisoners of war, including this case in its entirety?
16 A. I can just say in my answer that through my operative
17 investigations, I can only tell you that in this way, through the focus
18 of my operative investigation, if I may.
19 Q. Yes, but briefly. So were you aware of my position? On the
20 basis of documents and my activities, what was my position?
21 A. I had two periods in work with you: 1992 and 1995. During 1992,
22 as one can see from the documents, I came, I saw that you directly --
23 then it was collection centres, camps which showed up that directly,
24 through your documents, orders, pleas, you requested that all conventions
25 be honoured and that everyone be treated adequately. And in 1992,
1 through a memo of the government, we adopted that all the organs had to
2 do that in that way.
3 In the analysis of Srebrenica, you returned to 1996 and it was
4 again you who requested and asked, in 1995 and 1996, that all conventions
5 be honoured, that certain tasks be carried out with regard to civilians
6 and everything else that cropped up at the front, and eventually in 1996
7 you requested an investigation. And when I saw this and I said in front
8 of the OTP investigators, I uttered a sentence that if you were once
9 again in a situation to launder them, the famous sentence, I didn't mean
10 to launder the situation; but if you were again in a situation where the
11 relevant organs, military prosecutor's offices, courts, security organs,
12 were not doing their work properly, everyone who had to do this by
13 default, by applying the law, so that the final results would be
14 presented to you and that you were the one who requested them to take
15 measures. And that was a problem of the entire situation. That was the
16 greatest problem that occurred for us in the Srebrenica area, namely,
17 that the organs who were supposed to do their work did not know how to do
18 it and did not want to do it properly. I'm sorry that I left my position
19 at the time so I couldn't complete this work as I did it in 1992 and 1993
20 and all other years.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we briefly have a look at
23 P2995, please. It's a document which the MUP sent on, it forwarded it.
24 P2995, please, in e-court.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We see it, yes.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I can read it out to you and others may check it on their screens
3 because I can't see it on my screen.
4 A. I have it.
5 Q. Aha, here it is now. Please have a look at it. Then you don't
6 have to read out aloud. Please have a look at item 4 and tell us how
7 this relates or how it fits with your experience with the treatment of
8 the prisoners of war, my position about this, and the state leadership.
9 A. I had this item in the evidence. In 1992 it was formulated, this
10 item 4, in which you ordered -- we cleared this up in 1992, how the
11 civilians and POWs and persons who committed some criminal offences were
12 to be treated. This is completely clear for anyone who wanted to
13 implement it.
14 Q. Thank you. It was suggested to you that I tried, including my
15 orders and the one dated the 1st of April, 1996, that I tried to cover up
16 these events. Did you understand then or did you understand from this
17 document that its intention was to cover something up?
18 A. May I expand on this a little bit?
19 Q. Please be as brief as possible, but you may.
20 A. A problem here is this: What I have gone through and from what I
21 have seen, there was this one position in Srebrenica where you had the
22 security organ who was supposed to implement the conventions, participate
23 directly and order to the effect to prevent the commission of crimes.
24 Then there is an organ who was supposed to collect information and send
25 them to you. It's the same organ. But there was this decadence, this
1 blockade, this subordination of a higher organ in relation to the lower
2 one in carrying out the tasks and lack of respect for higher instance and
3 the supreme commander in the chain of information leading up to you.
4 That happened to you. You were blocked by these organs, the military
5 security organs. I established that clearly. I saw it clearly. I saw
6 it clearly.
7 When you came in the position, in order to be in a position in
8 the month of April, to send this to all the addressees, the military
9 investigation organs or police organs, you tell them to take measures,
10 you tell them that you have information and that they should take
11 measures against this war crime, things had to be quite the opposite.
12 Those military organs were not doing their work properly with regard to
13 the state and with regard to you personally. So this is my view. I
14 don't think that at any moment you were laundering or covering up
15 anything there. But you were in a position, just like in early 1992,
16 where you had to request from organs to do something, to do some sort of
17 work, which they were supposed to have done already because that was in
18 accordance to the law. And here we have an even worse case where the
19 organ who was supposed to do something like that was directly responsible
20 for committing such acts.
21 So I don't think that in any way whatsoever you were covering up
22 anything, but you had opportunistic and incapable organs at that moment,
23 and I think that that's clear.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Nothing, Your Honour. Sorry.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. And to that effect it was suggested that Mladic's diary --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at P1490. The
4 typewritten version, please, Serbian, page 44; English, page 47.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you please read these first two paragraphs and could you
7 tell us what the reason was for me, on the 22nd of March, to be bringing
8 up this topic again. Was it aimed at a cover-up or what was it aimed at,
9 the first two paragraphs?
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours --
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: -- I don't think he can comment on what
13 President Karadzic's motivation and what was in mind was at the time that
14 he said this.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, certainly Mr. Karadzic could reformulate his
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, sir, this meeting, this request of mine in relation to
20 Mladic, what does it tell you? Is it counting on --
21 JUDGE KWON: Let's -- let's let him read the passage first.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You can read it out loud if you want.
24 A. "A big show was put on for Albright. She expected they would
25 find 1.200 Muslim corpses at Pilica, but they found some five corpses.
1 "We met (Koljevic, Biljana ...) and concluded that it was best
2 for a parity commission to be formed to really investigate all the deaths
3 and killings around Srebrenica during the war."
4 Q. How does that fit into your knowledge, what you knew, about the
5 treatment of crimes and covering up crimes?
6 A. It does not fit into covering up crimes. In my view, the process
7 of opening the Srebrenica problem lasted. A continuity can be seen here
8 of the Srebrenica problem. It was supposed to be investigated and
9 sanctioned at state level, so I see this as an unstoppable continuity, a
10 continuity that was unstoppable. Now, whether it should have happened
11 earlier, that's a different question. So I see it as -- I mean, we can
12 see part of the process here already, opening up this problem, and your
13 instruction comes on the basis of the continuity of the knowledge that
14 you received. That is how I see this.
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. But by this time you knew the
16 locations of crime site, didn't you, Mr. Kovac?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the autumn of 1995, I carried
18 out operative investigations and I would not focus on the locations. I
19 did not deal with the locations in principle. In global terms after this
20 investigation, I knew; but I was investigating other reasons at the time
21 when I was minister.
22 JUDGE KWON: So with hindsight on your part, read this first
23 sentence, to say that there were 1200 Muslim bodies in Pilica, it could
24 not have been a big show at all. It's true. Do you have any say to such
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot in terms of such a
2 formulation -- well, I tried to present my point of view. As for this
3 kind of formulation and answer, I cannot say what it was that people
4 specifically saw in Pilica at the time and what was in Pilica. At that
5 time, I was not in the area. Now, in the meantime, whether it had
6 remained as it had been, I cannot say anything about the time when I was
7 not minister and when I was not physically present.
8 JUDGE KWON: Let's put it more directly. You, as the minister of
9 MUP or deputy minister of MUP, you knew what happened in vague terms, and
10 you said Mladic should have been arrested immediately. And then you say
11 Mladic and Karadzic -- Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Mladic didn't know what happened
12 at all by this time?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. You see, this
14 conversation here, conveying sentences from a diary, first of all, I have
15 to tell you straight away, as far as Ratko Mladic's diary is concerned, I
16 do not accept it. I do not recognise it. I think it is a construct. I
17 do not think that these are writings of a normal person. There are quite
18 a few elements of schizophrenia here and I can see that, and I talked
19 about it to experts too. And as for these formulations, I mean, well,
20 giving an answer, but everything that is here, that is bandied about here
21 before this court concerning Ratko Mladic's diary, I think that any
22 normal person would not want to comment on anything that is contained in
23 this diary. Knowing what happened and comparing what this diary contains
24 to what I know from before and the distortions and -- I really would not
25 want to comment on anything stated in General Ratko Mladic's diary. My
1 friends who are experts clearly established that there are certain
2 elements of schizophrenia in the way in which events are viewed and
3 registered in this diary.
4 So I really wouldn't want to -- I mean, that's why it's not easy
5 for me to say something about some of the things that he establishes in
6 this diary because these constructs and these statements -- I mean,
7 they're quite schizophrenic. The best thing would be for me to say what
8 I have to say, but everything that is put in this diary -- I mean,
9 it's -- it cannot be normally -- I mean, it has to be viewed in a
10 different way, interpreted in a different way. That is my position in
11 general terms, vis-à-vis all the facts contained in Ratko Mladic's diary.
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Well, if you believe this is a
13 construct, then there would be no point on your part answering any
14 question with respect to any passage there.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think there are other
16 things. I mean, after all, as far as this diary is concerned, on my
17 part, regardless of whether there are some correct statements there, from
18 my point of view there is no point in my responding to anything that is
19 contained in Ratko Mladic's diary. My mind of a policeman and my mind in
20 general cannot accept this diary of Ratko Mladic's.
21 JUDGE KWON: Well, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now that we're on the subject, could you please look at
25 paragraph 5, what that commission is supposed to be like. I'm going to
1 read it out.
2 "If they expand the campaign, then they would form a Joint
3 Commission (one from civilian security, one from army security, and two
4 from the United Nations) to investigate the killing of every individual."
5 Does that look like an intention to cover something up and would
6 this kind of commission be fair?
7 A. This is certainly a correct attitude in terms of the heterogenous
8 composition. Certainly there could not have been a cover-up. This is
9 serious work on establishing facts, I mean as regards the graves and the
10 factual situation in terms of what happened in the area. So this is a
11 normal, solid foundation.
12 Q. Thank you. Now can I ask you --
13 JUDGE KWON: Sorry. Is it -- translation -- who are "they" here,
14 Mr. Kovac? "If they expand the campaign, then they would form a Joint
15 Commission ..." Who are "they"?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Don't ask me. This is not my
17 formulation, "they." I cannot --
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean, I've already said --
20 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here --
22 JUDGE KWON: If you do not understand this paragraph, how can you
23 answer the question put by Mr. Karadzic, whether it was a cover-up or
24 not? How did you understand this sentence?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I understood this sentence
1 and in response to a concrete question about the composition, the
2 composition of the commission that is supposed to work on that. So it's
3 quite clear, heterogenous commission, that's that. However, "they," for
4 me the word "they" is a third party, the international factor,
5 international institutions, there is no other way I can interpret this.
6 I didn't really go into that. That's probably what they meant. I think
7 they meant the international factor.
8 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I'd like to ask you, during the cross-examination you were asked
12 about this possibility that Bajagic, Deronjic and others could have
13 informed me. Did you have any information to the effect that they had
14 informed me about executions of prisoners of war?
15 A. No, I did not have such information that they informed you
16 directly, no.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you see any written report that would contain
18 this information about executions in Srebrenica that would have been sent
19 to me?
20 A. No.
21 Q. An attempt was made here to explain the wording of "he had to
22 know." This past participle in the English language, could you explain
23 that? Actually, could you explain this participle in different terms?
24 Could you --
25 JUDGE KWON: Could we be more specific? Shall we upload the
1 document if you're referring to a specific passage?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is the part that was shown by
3 the distinguished Mr. Nicholls from the interview, 2003, I believe. In
4 response to whether he knew, the answer was: He had to know or he must
5 have known --
6 JUDGE KWON: Let's -- because we are dealing with, shall we
7 upload 65 ter 25350, e-court page 43, where you said:
8 "This is crystal clear because he," being Mr. Karadzic, "he had
9 Bajagic who knew everything ..."
10 What did you mean by that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. I could not have said
12 he and Bajagic knew. No, no. I don't have the translation here. Please
13 let me see this. I need to see it clearly. I could not have put
14 Karadzic and Bajagic together, no, no, no. Give me the translation.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, do we have another translation
16 referring to that situation? This is the only one? I didn't understand
17 past participle, but let's deal with this passage first.
18 Unfortunately, we do not have the Serbo-Croat transcription, but
19 I take it we have audio-tape if necessary. And this transcript says that
20 you said:
21 "This is crystal clear because he had Bajagic 'who knew
22 everything.' He had Deronjic, he received all the information that he
23 needed from them ..."
24 And this passage was dealt with in cross-examination by
25 Mr. Nicholls, and you said: "I absolutely stand by that statement."
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's a different construction
2 for all of this. I said clearly that people came who were in charge of
3 informing him about Srebrenica, not that they informed him about crimes
4 in Srebrenica. And when I stated that it was perfectly clear who the
5 persons were who were in charge of informing Karadzic about Srebrenica,
6 he put the names there, meaning Deronjic, I did not have the obligation
7 to -- or I was not involved in the Srebrenica operation. It was
8 perfectly clear that there were people who were in charge of informing
9 Mr. Karadzic about Srebrenica. What kind of information they provided
10 and how they provided this information, that I don't know.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, back to you, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours --
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: -- sorry, just you'd asked me earlier if there
15 were any other passages that deal with this. There's a -- it's also
16 dealt with on the top of page 52 of the same interview, 65 ter 25350.
17 JUDGE KWON: Was it covered by your cross-examination?
18 MR. NICHOLLS: No, I didn't bring that one up.
19 JUDGE KWON: Then let's continue.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I'd like to ask you to read out your answer from line 22 --
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honours, another part that was covered
24 in my cross-examination was at e-court at page 50 of this same interview,
25 just to answer your question.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Then we're going to call up that
3 page too.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. But let us just read this answer of yours.
6 [In English] "If I may say, I don't see any name of any VRS
7 official. It would be logical for Tolimir or Beara," and some -- "TK
8 also said, 'or Salapura or Mladic' or people at these positions to come
9 Tomo Kovac in fact said, 'to be invited to come' and report to him, but
10 they were not there, Tomo Kovac also said, 'they probably did not want to
11 come, I don't know.'"
12 [Interpretation] Did you know that they had come? What does this
13 assumption of yours -- I mean, this assumption in terms of logic, where
14 does that come from?
15 A. What do you mean?
16 Q. I mean Tolimir, Beara, Mladic, and so on. On what do you base
17 that assumption, that it would be logical for them to provide
19 A. It would be logical in terms of their obligation on the basis of
20 the law and their function and the establishment of military command and
21 reporting from the front line. That is quite clear. That is the route
22 according to the law in Republika Srpska, and that is the way these
23 people who were supposed to inform the supreme commander about that were
24 supposed to work.
25 Q. Thank you. On page 80, you tried to say that this was not within
1 your domain, that it was the domain of investigation and reporting.
2 Whose domain was that?
3 A. You have to clarify a bit. What do you mean?
4 Q. On page 40 you were asked whether you had investigated and
5 reported. You said that was the purview or the domain and then you were
7 A. I don't know what was meant. I can answer.
8 Q. In one word. Was the conduct of military structures in the
9 purview of the police -- military police?
10 A. In a theatre of war, in a combat zone, the treatment of prisoners
11 of war is in the exclusive purview of the military security service, the
12 military prosecutor's office, and their military judiciary. So the
13 police force cannot take any action vis-à-vis the army or the military
15 Q. Thank you. You were asked about the meetings you had at the
16 Presidency during those days, and you maintained that Srebrenica was not
17 a topic, that the topics were mainly centred around Sarajevo. Can you
18 tell me, regardless of the agenda, did anyone mention the execution of
19 prisoners of war on the 13th of July, when we met one on one? Was there
20 anything to report on the 13th of July when we met?
21 A. I did not report to you about Srebrenica at that time, and you
22 know very well that I was focused at that time on the Sarajevo theatre of
23 war. You know that I expressed my doubts even concerning the Sarajevo
24 theatre and even told you that you did not realise how serious the
25 situation was and how easily it could fall, taking down with it
1 150.000 people in that area. I knew that better because I came from that
3 Q. On the 14th you saw me alone again and then on the 15th in a
4 larger group. I want to ask you about the meeting one on one on the
5 14th. Did we discuss Srebrenica and did you tell me about Kravica; and
6 if not, why not? What significance did Kravica have for you?
7 A. I did not report to you about that. I did not know about the
8 weight of Kravica except for the killing of a policeman and the wounding
9 of another policeman, and I had the report of Ljubisa Borovcanin that
10 several prisoners were killed. That incident did not give me cause to
11 report to you. On the other hand, I knew that the appropriate services
12 and Ljubisa had the legal obligation to provide you with all these
13 reports officially, covering all the steps that should have been taken
14 and the law.
15 Q. Thank you. What did we discuss? What was the hottest topic, not
16 only in Sarajevo but the entire Republika Srpska?
17 A. We had a problem with the war in Krajina. Our lines were falling
18 already at that time, and that was a topic in addition to Sarajevo, and
19 also my demands for supply of material assets. And we had reports to
20 discuss about the situation that reached you and the Assembly, although
21 the situation on the ground was something entirely different.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I show 1D71161 to the witness.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Could you please take a look. On the 14th of July, I issued this
1 order to Municipal Assemblies -- it seems we don't have a translation
2 yet. Which municipalities are concerned and what are the problems with
3 refugees? What was ordered here to the Ministry of the Interior? Just
4 give us your own account.
5 A. We see clearly that at that time --
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- there was a loss of territories
8 and there was --
9 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Since we do not have English
10 translation, first establish with the witness what this document is
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. May I ask you to tell us what is this document? When was it
15 issued? And to what municipalities is it addressed?
16 A. It was issued on the 14th of July, 1995. It was sent to
17 Municipal Assemblies of Petrovac, Kljuc, Sanski Most, and Prijedor, and
18 to the Ministry of the Interior.
19 Q. Thank you. You don't have to read it all. What does it concern?
20 A. Providing assistance to refugees, the population that had fled
21 from municipalities that had fallen under enemy control, and it says that
22 temporary accommodation should be provided to the refugees along with
23 minimal living conditions. The Ministry of the Interior is to help the
24 competent authorities in executing this order. And finally, regular
25 reporting on this assignment is required.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I tender this document?
3 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark it for identification.
4 THE REGISTRAR: The document receives MFI number D3973,
5 Your Honours.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we show 1D9767 in e-court,
7 please. It seems we only have the English version.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I will read it to you. 13th July:
10 [In English] "Military/political situation in Serb Sarajevo
12 "... at a meeting of the president of the Republika Srpska,
13 Radovan Karadzic and president of the RS National Assembly
14 Momcilo Krajisnik with representatives of Serb Sarajevo, the political
15 and military situation was assessed as satisfactory.
16 "After the meeting, the Serb Sarajevo mayor, Dr. Vojislav
17 Maksimovic said the previous positions on the division of Sarajevo into
18 Serb and Muslim parts is being supported.
19 "'We can easily say that the situation on the fronts changed
20 after the Muslim offensive on Serb Sarajevo was crushed and after the
21 fall of Srebrenica ...'"
22 [Interpretation] What did you discuss with me on that day,
23 because you were with me one on one, whereas these other people came in a
24 group? Did I need to see you before this meeting? How is this related
25 to your discussion with me?
1 A. Every minute of my discussion with you was the situation in
2 Sarajevo, apart from the situation in the Krajina theatre. The first
3 part of the offensive against Sarajevo was completed, another one was
4 expected from the axis of Mount Treskavica and Mount Igman, which many
5 people did not understand properly. And I insisted with you that all the
6 structures should take this very seriously and focus on this. That was
7 the gist of my discussion with you.
8 Q. This document and what I said to the mayor, is it a realistic
9 view, a realistic description, or was it unwarrantedly optimistic?
10 A. At that time, optimism prevailed.
11 Q. I don't think it was recorded that this optimist version was
12 intended for the -- for public use.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see 1D9768. Can this
14 document be admitted?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it as Exhibit D3974.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D9768.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This is a summarised report of the SRNA agency news for
19 13th July. What is the top story? Which theatre?
20 A. The Sarajevo theatre, obviously.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see the next page, please.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. In the first paragraph there is talk about this meeting, but I
24 would like to read out to you the last paragraph.
25 [In English] "Despite previous defeat, the Muslim leadership does
1 not give up its offensive on Serb Sarajevo. Partial leader of the
2 Bosnian Muslims, Alija Izetbegovic, visited Mount Cemer and, together
3 with the Muslim Army commander, General Rasim Delic, persuaded his
4 soldiers to again attempt to breach Serb lines in the north-west section
5 of the Sarajevo front."
6 [Interpretation] Is this a bit more realistic than those
7 optimistic statements we'd seen before, and what does this say about the
8 situation in the Sarajevo theatre?
9 A. This says clearly that all the Muslim forces were assigned to
10 attack the Serb-held western Sarajevo and those positions there, and this
11 was obvious to me from day one. It was clear to me that the beginning of
12 the Sarajevo offensive was that first attack at the command of the VRS
13 from the direction of Srebrenica; however, many people did not understand
14 where the real problem lay so they focused more on trivial combat zones,
15 trivial compared to the western theatre around Sarajevo.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted?
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives number D3975,
20 Your Honours.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. In P2242, which is the agenda of my secretaries, the entry for
23 that day, we see that on the 15th, General, you called on me, together
24 with Mr. Krajisnik and Maksim Stanisic. Do you know which position
25 Maksim Stanisic held at that time?
1 A. I believe he was president of the Executive Board for the city of
3 Q. Trivko Radic and Tomo Kovac. That should be page 92. Did you or
4 any other participant of that meeting mention Srebrenica on the
5 15th of July?
6 A. No way, certainly not. We were talking about Sarajevo, the
7 functioning of the local authorities, the police, the defence lines, and
8 the provision of material assets and supplies.
9 Q. Do you know what Trivko Radic's position was?
10 A. He was president of the Vogosca municipality or president of the
11 Executive Board or perhaps mayor of Vogosca. I don't remember exactly.
12 Q. On the 18th of July, you visited again at noon, Maksim Stanic,
13 Krajisnik, Tomo Kovac. Can you tell me, if you remember, what was the
14 reason for this visit? Who was Ninkovic?
15 A. Ninkovic was defence minister and Stanisic was the president of
16 the city government. And the discussion at the meeting was about
17 providing material and supplies to the Sarajevo theatre of war.
18 Q. We need to clarify a few things that remained unclear before. In
19 cross-examination, Ibran Mustafic was mentioned. Did he survive --
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Do we see that item you referred to
21 on the 18th?
22 MR. ROBINSON: It should be on the next page, 93.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I see the 18th. And in line
24 that says "12.00," it's the fourth line for the 18th of July, both in the
25 handwritten and the printed version --
1 JUDGE KWON: But Mr. Kovac was not there -- oh, there, I see.
2 Yes, thank you. Please continue.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. It's -- it was mentioned on page 24 of the cross-examination that
6 the DB was collecting information and, inter alia, questioned
7 Ibran Mustafic. Did Ibran Mustafic survive this interaction with the
8 state security?
9 A. I cannot exactly -- I think he did, but I cannot -- I cannot say
10 or I cannot exactly tell you at this moment what the state security was
11 doing then and I wouldn't like to speculate.
12 Q. Thank you. Let's finish with the question of reporting. Did you
13 ever intend to report to me that you remained in the position of the
14 minister and at what moment would the conditions be created for you to
15 report to me about this? What would it be so that it would be necessary
16 for you to report to me?
17 A. Do you mean Srebrenica?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Well, I was in the initial stages of collecting information. I
20 had clear assessments that those who committed the said acts in
21 Srebrenica, specifically Beara and his team, the team from the state
22 security, one whole chain of people, were very dangerous people at that
23 moment, and that the preparation and collection of information for them
24 and everything else that might follow would have to be a very serious and
25 difficult action and that would certainly be carried out upon completion
1 of the war operations. At the moment when I prepared -- when I had
2 prepared everything, just like I used to do in the previous years, with
3 all groups, you would then have it on your desk sent from me with a clear
4 request that together with other institutions, as we had no powers --
5 that with other institutions, the judiciary and everyone else, such an
6 action should be rounded off. So with the end of war and demobilisation
7 of the army after Dayton, that is to say, what would certainly have
8 followed -- it would certainly follow but -- please, I have this sound in
9 my earphones, interpreters or someone, I don't know who it is. I'm
10 having this scrambling noise in my earphones.
11 It's certain that at the end of the war and after
12 demilitarisation of the army, my activity would follow and a certain -- a
13 serious briefing, but it's not a matter of briefing. When a relevant
14 state organ briefs someone else, they have to have well-prepared evidence
15 and also measures that are to be taken that are already prepared, rather
16 than leave it to the president to prepare the measures because it's a
17 burden for him.
18 So it was a difficult situation and knowing what sort of people
19 these were, what combination of people, because I had had a -- quite a
20 long experience with Beara. He had -- he was a criminal mind. He had a
21 problem at the Dubrovnik front earlier in the war. So considering all
22 that, on the one hand you had the police, on the other you had military
23 security administration, so much greater preparation was needed. It was
24 impossible during the war because a civil war would have broken out. I
25 waited for the war to end and, of course, I wanted to collect all the
1 evidence to round it off.
2 Q. Thank you. First we have to see in lines 16 and 17 on page 26,
3 you said specifically Beara and his team, the state security team. Did
4 you mean the state security or the military security?
5 A. No, no, no. I meant the nomenclature from the military security,
6 not the state security. Even if I said it, it was a slip of the tongue.
7 Military security.
8 Q. Thank you --
9 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. I'm not sure whether I understood
10 your answer. The question was this:
11 "Did you ever intend to report to me ... and at what moment would
12 the condition be created for you to report to me about this?"
13 What was your answer in short -- in brief terms? Did you ever
14 intend to report to the president, Mr. Karadzic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I hadn't, I wouldn't have
16 said that. As soon as I would get close to the stage where I had more
17 collected evidence, it would have been in December when the war should
18 end and demilitarisation begin, then we would begin the serious -- these
19 were just the stages of operative collection of intelligence. At the
20 moment when the investigative activities would begin and when we
21 requested for other organs to be involved, that would be the moment when
22 the president would be informed about it, that is to say, the end. That
23 was about a month, that was according to my plan, it should have been the
24 month of December.
25 JUDGE KWON: When you had that secret operative investigation and
1 got the result, you did not want to report that to Mr. Karadzic? You
2 said that last week. Do you remember that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, there are stages when all
4 services and all police services in the world work secretly on collection
5 of information, and there is a stage when they report other levels. The
6 president of the republic is not an issue of Radovan Karadzic but the
7 institution of the president of the republic. Once the information is
8 collected and verified and you reach the point when there are grounds to
9 suspect that certain groups of people committed such crimes, then
10 reporting comes into play.
11 But my manner of reporting throughout the war, from 1992 and
12 onwards, towards the president, the reporting system was not to say
13 something, nor did Karadzic accept this, nor did I have such a relation
14 with him that we would speak tete-a-tete, something that would be
15 discussed only between Tomo Kovac and Radovan Karadzic. No. I should
16 have the evidence and the information and be ready for a new situation
17 that would arise.
18 I knew quite well, considering the situation, the state of minds
19 among the soldiers on the front lines. There was a moment when we would
20 have to begin this catharsis, when we would have to inform everyone and
21 take measures. That could only be done after the end of the war, not at
22 all during the war, because considering the situation that we had at the
23 time, a civil war would have broke out amongst us.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Could we now show to the witness 1D71120.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. From January 1994, in which you request additional information in
5 order to be able to report to the Presidency. Do explain to us a little
6 bit. You told us recently that throughout the war you waited to have
7 complete information.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So 1D71120, please.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I will read it so we don't ...
11 "Reports were submitted only by the CSB Sarajevo and Banja Luka,
12 so we are not in the situation to report to the highest government
14 "The CSB that did not submit are obliged to submit the reports no
15 later than the 19th of January, 1994, at 10.00 a.m.," then you list which
16 CSBs you mean, "and Sarajevo, they only submitted statistical data and
17 not a description of important events, which is also their obligation."
18 How does this document fit into what you just said, that
19 throughout the war you could only report when you had complete
21 A. It's clear that the Ministry of the Interior, for all information
22 that it would forward to the government and especially the president of
23 republic in war time, would have to have them under certain categories,
24 for the simple reason that it would be clearly separated what sort of
25 events they are. Was it the commission of crimes or war operations? If
1 it's crimes, what category of crimes? This is part of the methodology of
2 our work and it's our legal obligation. It's also the methodology that
3 we were applying at the time so as not to mix up the qualifications once
4 such reports reach the presidents and the governments so that they
5 wouldn't have to try and clear it up and interpret the law. So in the
6 items in the reports, these issues have to be identified and legally
7 defined and clearly treated. So that's the substance here when we
8 criticise certain centres and organs and call upon them to provide
9 top-quality information.
10 Q. Thank you. And a bit lower down, just before the last paragraph
11 you say:
12 "You should provide answers only for crimes for which criminal
13 reports were filed or which were committed in a specific time-period, the
14 time, that is to say, the year, when a specific crime was committed."
15 So only for what was reported as a criminal report, not just
17 A. Well, essentially the ministry can only register and report about
18 something that has been qualified as a crime or criminal events. That's
19 the specific role of the ministry. Whether these are misdemeanours or
20 whatever it is, it has to be qualified as such, so it cannot be
21 arbitrary. Notes from diaries, what someone may think about something
22 and so on, this is what I don't agree with. Any kinds of diaries,
23 journals, something that is discovered and later assessments, there are
24 no later assessments, just the registration and qualification of
25 phenomena and situations. That was the assessment that was requested
1 from the Ministry of the Interior.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this please be MFI'd?
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And if we can also show who signed
6 this document. What's its provenance? Can we please scroll down so as
7 to show the bottom of the page.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's one of my memos, yes,
9 Tomo Kovac.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can it be admitted, please?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll mark it for identification.
14 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives number MFI D3976,
15 Your Honours.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. And the last question, just something about language issues,
19 which are great issues for us. I'm not going to go into the passive
20 form. They had to report and so on, something else. The Prosecution
21 asked you how it was possible that someone of your subordinates would be
22 sent to a meeting and that someone like that was present at a meeting,
23 met someone and did not report that to you.
24 Can you please tell the Chamber, do you make a difference, a
25 distinction, between a meeting and then encounter, and what was it that
1 your subordinate had to inform you about and what he didn't have to
2 inform you about?
3 A. To distinguish the military terms and military relations
4 vis-à-vis the Ministry of the Interior, here specifically Dragomir Vasic
5 is whom I had in mind. He was the chief of the Zvornik security centre.
6 Certain legal issues from the purview of public security, such as
7 securing persons and facilities in the area, are not carried out on the
8 basis of orders. It's his original legal duty, so he's obliged to act in
9 accordance with the law at any given moment. Depending on the situation,
10 he has to react properly. On the other hand, it's also his right in his
11 own territory to take part in all agreements and discussions that have to
12 do with security and safety of civilians, whether civilians have to be
13 transported or secured in a certain area. It's his original legal
14 obligation. He doesn't need an order of Tomo Kovac or the minister or
15 anyone else. It's his obligation to be involved.
16 The manner in which he needs to report -- he doesn't need to
17 report to me. He has to make lawful and legal agreements and go through
18 procedures at the lower level, the police stations, their obligations
19 which again have to be in accordance with their original legal
21 The competences and relations of the work of the police and the
22 way the army is commanded and controlled are mixed up here all the time.
23 The army has strict rules; their duties are quite different. They have
24 direct reporting and direct orders. However, the Ministry of the
25 Interior is an organ of administration, an organ which directly
1 implements the laws, directly provides qualifications, acts in a
2 preventive manner, pre-emptively, it provides guide-lines, and has a
3 repressive element also when it needs to secure and take other lawful
4 measures, all other lawful measures.
5 It was clear here, I never had the need to issue a document for
6 Vasic, and as far as I know, you also did not appoint him by any act as
7 someone who would be involved in the Srebrenica activities in connection
8 with securing the movement of civilians and so on. But it was his legal
9 obligation to show up there, to have information, and to be able to guide
10 and direct the police along the whole axis and also to monitor the
11 civilians and their movement in terms of their security and everything
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please be asked to slow down a
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just a second. Mr. Kovac, I think
16 you were speaking too fast for the interpreters to catch up. Before I
17 ask you to repeat your answer.
18 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: This has nothing to do with the question. He's
20 going into a defence of Vasic's actions along the road and what Vasic 's
21 duties were.
22 JUDGE KWON: I tend to agree with that.
23 Yes, I'll leave it to you, Mr. Karadzic.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I just want to ask you this: If he encounters someone and it's
1 not a meeting which is beyond his competences, does he have to ask you
2 about this encounter or report to you about it? If it's just an
3 encounter. I'm talking about your subordinates.
4 A. I'm trying to express this again, precisely because of the
5 gentleman from the OTP, because they do not understand this part
6 regarding the police. It's his legal obligation and he's also entitled
7 to participate in meetings that come under the purview of his activities,
8 but it's not envisaged at all that he has to have some contact with the
9 minister. Imagine if so many policemen, who were directly doing things,
10 requested powers and authorisation from the minister of the interior to
11 do anything. It's their obligation to act and work in accordance with
12 the law.
13 Q. Thank you, General.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
15 Your Excellencies.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, I have one question about the secret
18 operative investigation you conducted in sometime late September 1995.
19 Do you remember you said that?
20 Further Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE KWON: Could you tell us what was it like? What did you do
22 in concrete terms and how did you conduct that investigation? You
23 appointed somebody, in concrete terms, and he did what? I hope you
24 understood my question.
25 A. Clearly because I directly participated. In view of the
1 complexity and the possibility of having people's lives threatened, the
2 people who were working on this, so this was done secretly, I mean with
3 exactly four tasks that were supposed to be dealt with. So whether there
4 were any forces of Serbia in the Srebrenica operation, whether any of
5 their forces participated in the commission of the crimes, who issued the
6 order to attack Srebrenica, and who issued the order to execute the
7 prisoners. Nothing else, not further in depth, not further in breadth,
8 just these four questions.
9 JUDGE KWON: I'll deal with it one by one. You talked about four
10 tasks. At the end you said: Who issued the order to execute the
11 prisoners. So before -- in order to reach that, you have to establish
12 there's -- there was a massacre at the -- does it mean that you already
13 knew at that time there was a massacre, execution of prisoners?
14 A. We, at the request, that is to say, at the request of our
15 colleagues, the man who was preparing Dayton, we got these clear
16 questions. So that means that we got these clear questions that I've
17 already mentioned. I got them from the man who took part in preparing
18 Dayton, in the preparations for Dayton. That was the end of
19 September/October, so it was just before Dayton. That was the last part
20 before the Dayton Agreement. So these were the questions. Also there
21 can be this question whether Stanisic had already known that -- I mean
22 certain -- well, that certain crimes had been committed, that is.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And we now have the four tasks you were
24 asked about, and then you told us that it was done very secretly and it
25 was very dangerous. Please tell us in more detail what you did. How did
1 you conduct your investigation?
2 A. Well, simply, through talks with people who held the highest
3 positions in the service of the military security -- well, not to go
4 further --
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac, please tell us in concrete terms. You
6 asked some -- whose -- somebody to have a word with somebody in the
7 military. Could you tell us who they were?
8 A. Well, no. I mean, among other things, I directly spoke to these
9 people from the military, but I would not say now who they were. I can
10 tell you what kind of things I learned --
11 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. No. If necessary, we may go into
12 private session to protect the privacy or identity of the person who
13 talked to you, but I'd like to know the real names who you talked to.
14 A. That we talked to about that situation; is that it?
15 JUDGE KWON: Who did you talk to, to know the situation, in the
16 military? You said you investigated, probably you need some -- you must
17 have needed an interview or talk, whatever, in whatever form. So who did
18 you talk to at the time when you conducted that secret operative
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If -- if you wish to have closed
21 session, say so.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the best thing would be to
23 move into closed session then, and then we will ...
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I see no problem. We'll go into private
25 session briefly.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 42875-42877 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 I see the time. We'll try to finish in five minutes.
5 Yes, could you repeat what you said about Mr. Mladic's state at
6 the time, in brief terms.
7 A. Well, the statement was, with regard to the mentioned persons,
8 that from the death of his daughter onwards, Mladic was in a state that
9 seemed schizophrenic at certain moments. He was a man who had these mood
10 swings and his capacity was diminished then in his attitude towards
11 events and people. Ljubomir Beara knew that and how, and he very
12 skillfully manipulated in these events, manipulated Mladic. And at the
13 moment of one of these states of his and when he was not at certain
14 places, then he gave statements that Mladic had ordered him -- I mean,
15 this is a reference to executions. He manipulated quickly and issued
16 orders on Mladic's behalf, although I did not find any concrete direct
17 orders issued by Mladic to him.
18 So this entire process of organisation and speed -- because all
19 of this happened within the course of a day. I must say that I was
20 surprised at the speed. The bus left -- I mean, it's not that I knew it
21 at the moment, but I investigated this later on. The buses went in one
22 direction towards the barracks and then they were redirected to another
23 direction and they came to a place where the pits had already been dug.
24 I must say that I was surprised. I was surprised as far as that is
1 But the co-ordination of Beara, I mean parallel co-ordination of
2 preparation and execution, this decision was made during the day and he
3 co-ordinated the commission of that crime. Beara was a man who had very
4 strong authority from the previous -- from the previous position he held,
5 everything that he did.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Now I come to my final question.
7 Upon the request of Jovica Stanisic from -- in Serbia, you
8 initiated a secret operative investigation and you talked to certain
9 individuals and you found out what happened. So this is my question: So
10 as a -- if you could establish what happened in the capacity of minister
11 of interior MUP, Mr. Karadzic, on the part of Mr. Karadzic, it must have
12 been much easier for him to find out what happened? If minister could
13 have found out what happened, Karadzic -- Mr. President should have done
14 it much easier. That's my question.
15 A. No. The president cannot do without us. The president cannot do
16 without us, the organs of investigation. We are his eyes and ears. He
17 cannot find out without us knowing. Without the organs of the military
18 security and the civilian security, he cannot find out. The ones from
19 the military security, of course they were the perpetrators and they
20 closed the circle. We from the Ministry of the Interior were not in
21 charge. We moved slowly with the gathering of information, and if you
22 analyse everything I did during the war, I certainly --
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovac --
24 A. -- would have completed that --
25 JUDGE KWON: -- he could have asked you to find out what
2 A. Well, it's not that he could have asked. It was my duty to do
3 that and -- well, you know, not to report to him -- there are these
4 references to reporting here all the time. The most important things,
5 revealing, discovering the causes, the facts, everything, everything that
6 has to do with what happened, full discovery of what had happened, that
7 was my aim, and he certainly would have received all of that from me, in
8 a serious form and already prepared. I mean, the organ of the police,
9 the -- would have been prepared to react to that newly created situation.
10 I knew specifically during the war what it meant when such things are put
11 on the table before the state organs, what one had to be prepared for.
12 Again, I repeat that demilitarisation was very important for us.
13 And you keep mentioning Stanisic. Maybe I should explain this to
14 you, the preparation of Dayton. Stanisic was the man who was in charge
15 of preparing Dayton. I worked with Stanisic for international
16 institutions for releasing the members of UNPROFOR. On the other hand,
17 people already knew that it wasn't Karadzic that was going to Dayton but
18 that Milosevic was going, heading the delegation. So Milosevic headed
19 the Serb delegation for the preparation of Dayton, so certainly he needed
20 information. At that moment, the problem of Srebrenica cropped up. Now,
21 whether there was an organised criminal enterprise, where the order came
22 from, who the perpetrators were, how grave this was, and to what extent
23 was all of Serbia involved, that is to say, the country, the government,
24 that is why that was very important.
25 I went into this investigation, to find out, to clarify, who the
1 exact perpetrators were, not to have the entire Serbian people charged
2 with this. So that was one of the requests put forth to me for this
3 operative investigation, and no one could have done that at the time
4 except for me or have contact with these persons except -- I mean, the
5 persons I mentioned a moment ago. And to have that kind of relationship
6 so that these persons could and would talk to me that way. I think that
7 the situation is clear to you now with regard to this entire event and
8 this entire investigation.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: May I -- would dare, [Interpretation] would dare
11 talk, that is not reflected in the transcript, would dare talk to.
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well. I think that concludes your evidence,
13 Mr. Kovac. On behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your
14 coming to The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go, but we'll rise
15 all together.
16 We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at 20 past.
17 I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic, for your assistance.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.49 a.m.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 [The witness entered court]
21 --- On resuming at 11.26 a.m.
22 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: MILE DMICIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Dmicic. Please be seated and make
3 yourself comfortable.
4 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Professor.
8 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
9 Q. A reminder to both of us, we should make a short pause between
10 questions and answers so that everything is recorded properly.
11 Could you tell us, did you give a statement to my Defence team?
12 A. Yes, Mr. President. I have given a statement and, if I may --
13 Q. We'll come to that.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we call up in e-court
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you see that statement before you, is that the one?
18 A. Yes, Mr. President.
19 Q. Thank you. Just make a longer pause, please. Have you read the
20 statement and signed it?
21 A. I've read and signed it.
22 Q. Is there anything that was not recorded correctly that you would
23 like to change?
24 A. In paragraph 9, it has to do with the terminology and the word
25 "killing." Here it says "killings," and we were actually talking about
1 two murders. We were talking about the events in Srebrenica. So, if
2 possible, I should like these two words to be replaced by the word
4 Q. I believe the problem is in the Serbian version?
5 A. Yes, the Serbian version.
6 Q. In English I can't see it. I will read to you the English
7 version so that our official interpreters interpret it.
8 [In English] "I recall two of my meetings with President Karadzic
9 during the period of July 1995, as reflected in President Karadzic's
10 appointment book. On 10th of July, together with General Subotic,
11 between 13.45 and 14.20, and on 17th of July, between 8.30 and 8.55
12 [sic], when I spoke with him privately."
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps we received -- could we
14 look at -- in the English version it's missing and in the Serbian version
15 "killings" are mentioned. We should see another version, 1D49000.
16 That's the signed Serbian version.
17 [In English] English should say the same, but ...
18 [Interpretation] Could we take a look at the last page to see if
19 this is the signed version and then we'll come back to --
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. This version is different from what
21 you -- we saw earlier on; correct? So this is the most recent one?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Obviously the old version
23 containing errors had been uploaded and this is the latest version. We
24 just need to see the last page.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I was just wondering whether I have an
1 old version. Very well. It -- let's continue.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Is this your signature, Professor?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go back to page 2 now to see
7 paragraph 9 and how it reads in this signed version.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In this version, too, the Serbian version differs from the
10 English one. What would you like to change here in paragraph 9?
11 A. The topic of discussion were the events or the developments in
12 Srebrenica. The rest of the text is consistent with this word.
13 Q. Could you now dictate this --
14 JUDGE KWON: No, just -- I'm not sure. Mr. Karadzic, could you
15 ask -- deal with this matter with the witness live. I don't know what he
16 is talking about. So could you lead live in -- with respect to this part
17 later on.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Apart from this paragraph, Professor Dmicic, does the statement
21 faithfully reflect what you have stated to the Defence team?
22 A. It does.
23 Q. Thank you. If I were to ask you now the same questions, would
24 your answers be the same as in this statement?
25 A. My answers would be identical to the same questions.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this statement be admitted
3 with the exception of paragraph 9 which we will deal with live?
4 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. But paragraph 9 is related to the --
5 all paragraphs following it. So I would like you to deal with the
6 witness live what was discussed at those two meetings.
7 Do you follow, Mr. Karadzic?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE KWON: Let's continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 So what is admitted as the 92 ter statement?
12 JUDGE KWON: Could you ask the witness first before you introduce
13 the remainder of his testimony in the form of summary? Why don't you
14 just start asking the question.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Could we remove this statement from the screens.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Professor, could you tell us how many meetings we had in
19 July 1995 and what we discussed? First of all, explain how these
20 meetings were possible? Where were your headquarters and how often did
21 we meet, on what occasions?
22 A. As head of your office, chef de cabinet - and I noted in my
23 statement that the office consisted of two parts, the civilian and the
24 military one - my encounters with the president took place as required by
25 me or by him in my capacity as chief of office. My meetings with the
1 president related to affairs which were in the purview of the office.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you remember when we met around mid-June 1995,
3 what was the reason for these meetings and what was discussed there?
4 A. Two meetings took place on the 10th and on the 17th --
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, just a second.
6 Mr. Karadzic asked about meetings in mid-June. Is it mid-July?
7 THE ACCUSED: July, July.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 Then please continue, Mr. Dmicic.
10 THE ACCUSED: Pronunciation in our language, "Jun," "Jul," is
11 very similar.
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Yes, Professor, please continue.
15 A. Both times the issues had to do with activities regarding reports
16 about events in Srebrenica and the preparation or, more precisely, my
17 participation in the legal and technical drafting of documents that
18 needed to be drafted at the president's office during those days.
19 Q. At those meetings, did we have at our disposal any information
20 about crimes and did we discuss crimes, the two of us, or anyone else in
21 our presence?
22 A. At that time, we did not have in our possession any written
23 reports about the events in Srebrenica, nor did we discuss issues that
24 revolved around the military events in Srebrenica. I must emphasise that
25 I headed the civilian part of the office, and my purview had to do only
1 with civilian affairs, that is, the functioning of the executive
2 authorities, the judiciary, and the legislative powers as opposed to the
3 military part of the cabinet. The military side of events happened in
4 line with what the president always insisted on. He wanted a strict
5 observance of the law and the rule of law and such.
6 Q. How did you come to serve in my office? What were the
7 requirements for that job? Why did we invite you for an interview? What
8 was your previous experience?
9 A. Before joining the office of President Karadzic, I spent almost
10 ten years doing various jobs at the Presidency of the then-Socialist
11 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I served as advisor, chief of office of
12 the then-president, deputy general-secretary, and for a while I was
13 acting general-secretary. At that time, I followed closely the
14 developments in our political life. I was very familiar with the
15 personality and the work of the president as an intellectual, a literary
16 man, a physician, a very committed man in those difficult times for the
17 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I held in special esteem everything that
18 in his work spoke to his commitment, his fairness, his commitment to
19 justice and law, his communicative and constructive approach, his
20 visionary approach to the solution of the Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis.
21 I'll mention just a few events from those years. We were on a
22 quest for a new legal and constitutional model for Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 because it was already clear that the Yugoslav Federation was going to
24 break up. He maintained a very constructive dialogue with members and
25 representatives of other republics and parties. A quest was going on for
1 a solution to the issue of referendum because the referendum was the
2 trigger for the tragedies that occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
3 finally, he was in dialogue with representatives of international
4 organisations and institutions.
5 Simply, he had a passion for the truth, a passion for the search
6 for solutions, with a very strong awareness that an error in a serious
7 matter could sometimes be worse than a crime. His openness and his
8 multi-lateral view of all issues led to high-quality solutions, and what
9 I felt at the time, as a lawyer and an activist with long experience and
10 a long-serving employee of the state authorities and state agencies, gave
11 me a guarantee that his was the right road for preserving the identity
12 and the autochthonous nature of not only the Serbian but all the other
13 peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And taking a synthetic view, a solution
14 that would enable Bosnia-Herzegovina to remain a part of Yugoslavia,
15 while allowing the Serb people and all the others who accepted the Serb
16 people to live together in Republika Srpska or, alternatively, that the
17 Serbian people take a separate way out. Those were the challenges that
18 we were facing at the beginning --
19 JUDGE KWON: We can fairly stop here. The question was how come
20 you served Mr. Karadzic?
21 For saving time, could we go back to the statement? Can we
22 upload them, both versions, in B/C/S and in English? Para 9.
23 We want to check the veracity of English translation in this
24 statement. So could you kindly read out slowly paragraph 9 of your
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "As for the killings of people from
2 Srebrenica, I can confirm that I remember two of my meetings with
3 President Karadzic from this period. The killings of people in
4 Srebrenica, namely: On the 10th of July, 1995, together with
5 General Subotic from 13.45 hours until 14.20 hours, as well as on the
6 17th of July, 1995, from 18.30 hours until 18.55 hours, when I talked to
7 him privately."
8 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Pack, with the witness's explanation about the
9 correction and the evidence led live so far, we can safely admit his
10 statement pursuant to Rule 92 ter? Do you have any objections?
11 MS. PACK: No, I don't, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objection with respect to any
13 associated exhibits? One item, 1D9362, which was referred to in
14 paragraph 9 -- 18, does not form an inseparable and indispensable part in
15 the view of the Chamber. Do you have any objection to the remaining two?
16 MS. PACK: No, I don't, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE KWON: So we'll receive the statement as well as two
18 associated exhibits.
19 Shall we assign the numbers now?
20 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 1D49000 get the Exhibit Number
21 D3977; the 65 ter number 1D09360 receives the Exhibit Number D3978; and
22 the 65 ter number 1D09362 receives the Exhibit Number D3979. Thank you,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE KWON: I said 1D9362 will not be admitted, so what we are
25 admitting is 61 and 63. So that will be corrected accordingly.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Professor, just to complete this answer to a limited question,
5 does that mean that you were a chef de cabinet and the general-secretary
6 and the deputy of the general-secretary in the Presidency of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina even before the multi-party elections?
8 A. That is correct, Mr. President. I had been that for several
9 years, between 1984 up until 1992.
10 Q. Thank you. After the elections --
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. -- did the SDS --
14 JUDGE KWON: You can first introduce the summary of his evidence
15 for the benefit of the public, because we admitted his statement pursuant
16 to Rule 92 ter.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. I will
18 now read the statement, or rather, the summary of Professor Dmicic's
19 statement. I will read it in English.
20 [In English] Mile Dmicic served as chef de cabinet to the
21 president of Republika Srpska from the end of 1993 until after the
22 Dayton Agreement. He also served as the secretary-general to the
23 president of the Republika Srpska from 1994. He is presently a
24 constitutional law professor at the University of Banja Luka.
25 During July 1995 he was working in President Karadzic's cabinet.
1 He recalls that on 10th of July, 1995, he met President Karadzic together
2 with General Subotic. During this meeting, President Karadzic informed
3 them that the combat operations around Srebrenica continued with a view
4 to completely demilitarising Srebrenica and ordered them to prepare a
5 decision proclaiming a state of war in the municipality of
6 Srebrenica-Skelani, which they did.
7 He had another meeting with President Karadzic on
8 17th of July, 1995. During this meeting, they discussed a declaration
9 signed by Miroslav Deronjic and the representative of the Muslim civilian
10 authorities of the Srebrenica that indicated that the evacuation of the
11 population had been carried out properly.
12 Professor Dmicic also saw President Karadzic on numerous other
13 times during July 1995 and could see him without having an appointment.
14 He never heard any discussion about the execution of prisoners from
15 Srebrenica in July 1995. He never heard President Karadzic saying
16 anything that would indicate that he was informed about the execution of
17 prisoners. He never saw anything in any document received by the
18 president in July 1995 that would point to the execution of prisoners
19 from Srebrenica.
20 Mr. Dmicic worked closely with President Karadzic for more than
21 two years. He knows that President Karadzic would never have been in
22 favour of executing prisoners under any circumstances. He regarded
23 President Karadzic as a very humane person and someone who cared for
24 people of all religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. If I can, I would just like to complete by asking whether after
2 the multi-party elections the SDS requested that someone else be in your
3 position or was it requested from you to become a member of the SDS?
4 A. Mr. President, you selected your associates, including myself, in
5 accordance with the principle of quality and experience - that was your
6 choice - also loyalty to general interest, I would say. You never
7 requested me, even though someone may have exerted pressure on you, to
8 become a member of either the Serbian Democratic Party or to sign any
9 sort of special personal declarations. That by itself confirms that the
10 attitude, to you, and the general interest was based on a belief which I
11 shared with you as a lawyer.
12 Q. Thank you, Professor.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Dmicic, as you have noted, the most part of
15 your evidence was admitted in writing, that is, through your written
16 statement, in lieu of your oral testimony. And now you'll be
17 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do
18 you understand that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Pack.
21 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Pack:
23 Q. Mr. Dmicic, I want to clarify another position which you held
24 prior to serving as head of office for Dr. Karadzic. You were appointed
25 to the SDS regionalisation staff in September 1991; is that right?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. Just, if I may provide a short commentary. This organisational,
4 or rather, actional form was tasked with gaining certain insights into
5 the organisation and life, the social standing, certain processes, not
6 only among the Serbian population but in those parts of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the local communities, in which the Serbian
8 population was predominant. Considering that for several previous years
9 before the period that you are talking about, some negative processes had
10 begun in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So the issue was to contribute to a good,
11 high-quality, and legalistic resolution of the situation in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina because those forms of the local organisation of
13 population were not established by the constitution. It was a pro-active
14 approach, care for the people and the law, regardless of the political,
15 religious, or any other affiliations. It was all done in a completely
16 peaceful atmosphere.
17 Q. Fine. We'll just deal with this quickly.
18 MS. PACK: Can we have 65 ter 25531, please. Can we go to
19 page 2, please, in both the English and B/C/S.
20 Q. Just so we're all clear, this is the decision on the appointment
21 of the regionalisation staff, and I'll just read under the heading 1:
22 "The Staff for monitoring the implementation of the Decision on
23 the proclamation of autonomous regions as inseparable parts of the
24 federal state of federative Yugoslavia and constituent parts of the
25 federal unit of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as on the removal of
1 populated places from one municipality and their inclusion in the
2 formation of another municipality, is hereby appointed ..."
3 And then you're listed as one of the members; is that right?
4 A. Yes, it's --
5 Q. Thank you --
6 A. -- true that I was a member, but --
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MS. PACK: Can we admit that, please?
9 JUDGE KWON: But what, Mr. Dmicic?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say that this was just
11 a form of response or reaction to the processes that had been initiated
12 by teams coming from the other two ethnicities. All the members of these
13 boards were employees of the republican organs, that is to say, the state
14 administration organs, government organs. None of them went out into the
15 field, none of them directly met, none of them produced any documents,
16 none of them established any organisational or other forms. This
17 actually lasted but briefly. As far as I remember, it was very brief.
18 This is actually a reflection of the processes which had been going on
19 since the beginning of the 1990s in the Yugoslav Federation, and then
20 also a reflection of the processes in Bosnia-Herzegovina. One really
21 needs to be well-versed in the history of the state of
23 Let me just say this: Not in the last 500 years since the
24 disappearance of the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina which existed in the
25 Middle Ages, these three ethnicities did not have the same position,
1 either historically or ethnically or regionally or culturally. They did
2 not have unity in any of these aspects, a unity on which they could
3 firmly rely in order to preserve Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s. So
4 therefore, our -- we strove towards preserving Bosnia-Herzegovina. That
5 was the primary task, to preserve it and to have it remain in the
6 Yugoslav state. And in the Yugoslav state there were two --
7 MS. PACK:
8 Q. That's -- that's enough, thank you.
9 A. -- ethnicities that were dominant, the Serbs and the Bosniaks,
10 judging by the figures from that period --
11 JUDGE KWON: Please be brief in answering questions as much as
12 possible in the future.
13 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
14 MS. PACK: Could I have that document admitted?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives Exhibit Number P6484,
17 Your Honours.
18 MS. PACK:
19 Q. We'll go to July 1995, please. Now you refer in your statement
20 to a statement signed on the 17th of July by Deronjic, Nesib Mandzic and
21 Franken, an UNPROFOR representative. You're aware, aren't you, that a
22 supposed agreement articulated in this statement wasn't genuine, was it?
23 It in no way reflected, did it, the reality, the reality for the Muslim
24 civilian population in Potocari, which had no alternative but to leave;
1 A. Madam Prosecutor, I don't know about this nor did I have any
3 Q. Well, this is what the UNPROFOR representative who signed the
4 statement, Franken, this is what he said about it. I'm just going to
5 read it rather than ask for it to be shown. He said this:
6 "The part of the document stating that the population can remain
7 in the enclave or evacuate is nonsense because they did not have a
8 realistic opportunity to stay or to move in any direction. These people
9 didn't have a choice. Staying in a small area with no means to survive
10 controlled by the Serbs, being afraid and lethargic as they were, that is
11 not a choice. It was ordered that they should go to the Kladanj area.
12 It was not a decision by the representatives but an order of Mladic to go
13 to the area of Kladanj."
14 That's in his statement, P04175, at paragraph 105.
15 Now, this declaration --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we just clarify with the
17 witness whether this was written in the document, did Franken write this
18 in the document --
19 JUDGE KWON: No, no, Mr. Karadzic, do not intervene in such a
20 way. Ms. Pack made it clear that this is part of his testimony.
21 MS. PACK: Thank you.
22 Q. This declaration signed on the 17th of July was created to
23 disseminate the lie that the Muslim population had left the enclave
24 voluntarily, wasn't it?
25 A. That's what you say. I as a lawyer believe a signed and a
1 certified document to be a public document. So anyone, including myself
2 who had the occasion to see the document, I couldn't doubt its validity.
3 The statements given after the signing and the announcement, public
4 announcement of this document, can be the subject of a different sort of
5 inspection but not of -- a subject of a question directed at me.
6 Q. You agree, don't you, Mr. Dmicic, that the civilian population in
7 Potocari had no alternative but to leave, they had no food, no shelter,
8 they were scared. You agree that that was the reality, don't you?
9 A. I cannot answer this question because I had no information about
10 that aspect of life in Republika Srpska and Bosnia-Herzegovina. I dealt
11 with completely different issues.
12 Q. No information? You are aware that by the 17th of July
13 international news media were reporting, weren't they, that thousands of
14 terrified people had been deported from Srebrenica and that men of
15 fighting age had been taken away for screening by 17th July; you're aware
16 of those reports?
17 A. Everyone who was watching or listening to the media could notice
18 that that was not just reporting an information, but in terms of the
19 Serbian people in Republika Srpska it was propaganda. And I suppose,
20 though I cannot claim, I did not do any research about this, the
21 propaganda has quite a different purpose. It was difficult for everyone
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina; however, life was not so stark, as you put it.
23 Q. I'm not talking about supposed Muslim propaganda; I'm talking
24 about international news reporting. You're aware of press reports in the
25 British newspaper, "The Independent," by a journalist called Robert
1 Block, on the 14th through the 17th of July and a number of days
2 thereafter, you're aware of that reporting?
3 A. No, I'm not aware of these reports, but looking at the wider
4 picture we could not hear good news or, to be more specific, objective,
5 truthful, and proper information that would relate to the people I
6 belonged to, practically throughout the tragic conflict that existed in
7 the region.
8 Q. Robert Block wrote a report on the 14th of July, just prior -- in
9 the days prior to this declaration that you've referred to in your
10 statement, and I'll quote what he says. It's P04396. He says:
11 "International resolve over Bosnia came under renewed pressure
12 yesterday with reports of new atrocities against Muslim refugees as the
13 Bosnian Serbs deported thousands of terrified people from the Srebrenica
14 enclave in the biggest ethnic cleansing operation of the war," he wrote.
15 And then he said later:
16 "Men of fighting age had been taken away by the Bosnian Serbs for
17 what they said was screening." This is on the 14th of July. You didn't
18 hear any of these sorts of reports?
19 A. No, I didn't hear. Part of the cabinet staff was also an advisor
20 for public relations or relations with the media. I did not hear about
22 Q. Well, let's look at your role as head of office and
23 secretary-general. You told us this morning that you were concerned with
24 civilian as opposed to military affairs. Your role as head of office
25 included, did it, organising meetings for the president, receiving
1 visitors, reviewing the mail, preparing responses to mail; is that right?
2 A. Yes, it had to do with issues from the civilian life of
3 Republika Srpska, and I was primarily focused on the constitutional
4 organs of Republika Srpska.
5 But just for a moment I will go back to supplement what I said in
6 one of my previous answers. The enclave and the demilitarisation of
7 Srebrenica was supposed to be carried out in two days. The enclave had
8 existed for practically two years and several months. It was the
9 obligation of the international community to carry out the
10 demilitarisation. In view of the duties that I was charged with, there
11 was no need for me to remember and I cannot remember the wider context
12 that you are directing my attention to.
13 Q. Well, you've told us your responsibilities, civilian affairs as
14 opposed to Subotic's area, which was military affairs, and you've agreed
15 with me, haven't you, that you opened mail, reviewed mail, prepared
16 responses for the president; right?
17 A. Yes, but that is mail within the life of the republic, within the
18 civilian activity of the organs and institutions of Republika Srpska, not
19 the military mail. If you meant reports, that was not within my purview,
20 within the duties I had on the basis of instructions issued by the
21 president of the republic. I repeat once again, the office also had
22 advisors for certain activities and I confirm that for the activities
23 that you have just asked me about.
24 Q. Yes, well, I want to ask you about mail, not military mail. You
25 would have been aware, wouldn't you, of the letter sent to Dr. Karadzic
1 by Mazowiecki, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights,
2 on the 24th of July, 1995.
3 MS. PACK: And can we have it up? It's P06396.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not know about that.
5 That question can be addressed directly to the advisor for international
6 relations, for public opinion and so on, and you already had an
7 opportunity of speaking to him in this very place.
8 MS. PACK: Could we have page 3, please, of this document.
9 Q. Now, you were head of the office, right, so you would have opened
10 mail, reviewed it, when it came into the office?
11 A. I agree with you that in peace time it would look that way. We
12 worked 24 hours, people say even more than 24 hours. For almost three
13 years I could not be on duty and awake for 24 hours a day. Nature did
14 not bestow that gift upon me, so I have nothing to say in relation to
15 that letter.
16 Q. You haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Perhaps familiarise
17 yourself with it and see if you remember it. 24th of July, 1995. It's
18 in English, I'm afraid. Can you understand English?
19 A. No.
20 Q. I'll read it to you.
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. I'll read it to you if you're unable to read it. It says:
23 "Dear Sir,
24 "I would like to express my deepest concern regarding the recent
25 events in the Srebrenica area which resulted in the forced displacement
1 of some 40.000 individuals. It has been reported that as a result of
2 these events, several thousand individuals are unaccounted for, and there
3 is fear that many of these have other been killed or detained."
4 And then it goes on in the last paragraph:
5 "I would therefore appreciate your co-operation in allowing the
6 field staff of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights to assess the
7 human rights situation ..." et cetera.
8 And then it says:
9 "... in particular by granting access to those who have been
10 detained during the recent events."
11 Signed by the special rapporteur. You were aware, weren't you,
12 of July 1995, 24th July 1995, of this letter, this letter to Dr. Karadzic
13 stating that thousands had been forcibly displaced, several thousand or
14 unaccounted for, feared dead?
15 A. Looking at the text of the letter, I can just conclude that this
16 letter was addressed personally to the president of the republic.
17 Letters addressed this way on envelopes went to the president of the
18 republic directly, perhaps not all of them, depending on the situation.
19 As I've already said, that was not peace time. Life was a lot more
20 dynamic, a lot more difficult, and a lot more tempestuous than is
21 normally the case. I really cannot remember even the appearance, let
22 alone anything else.
23 Q. So your evidence is then that this wouldn't have gone through you
24 to the president; it would have gone directly to him?
25 A. I can just make an assumption, but I cannot give an answer to
1 that who gave this.
2 Q. You don't deny, do you, the truth of the international reports,
3 reporting as early as July 1995 that mass executions of Muslim men took
4 place after the fall of Srebrenica? You don't deny the truth of those
5 reports, do you?
6 A. I would like you to tell me even more specifically what your
7 question directed to me actually is.
8 Q. You don't deny, sitting here today, do you, Mr. Dmicic, that many
9 thousands of Muslim men were executed following the fall of Srebrenica by
10 Bosnian Serb armed forces? You don't deny that?
11 A. I have no knowledge about that. At that time I had no knowledge
12 about that, especially at that time.
13 Q. Gordan Milinic and other of the --
14 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. The question was: Sitting here
15 today whether you know or not. You said at that time you had no
16 knowledge. And now do you deny that many thousands of Muslims were
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even today I don't have any
19 knowledge about that, that I would - as a valid document - take into
20 account as my conviction in terms of what had happened at the time.
21 Independently who -- even if this is the rapporteur of the
22 United Nations, everyone submits reports to those who had actually given
23 instructions to them.
24 MS. PACK:
25 Q. I'm not asking about then. I'm now asking you about now, today,
1 and whether today you accept the truth of the matter, the truth that
2 thousands of Muslim men were executed following the fall of Srebrenica?
3 A. I don't have any knowledge and I cannot accept that.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We have a lot of trouble
5 hearing the witness. Could he please be asked to come closer to the
6 microphone and could all other microphones please be switched off. Thank
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Dmicic, could you come closer to the microphone
9 so that the interpreters can hear you better.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MS. PACK:
12 Q. Another of Dr. Karadzic's advisors testified here a few months
13 ago and said that the Srebrenica graveyard was a farce, the whole thing
14 was a set-up. Is that your position too?
15 A. To a considerable part, yes. Certainly it is hard to speak about
16 the tragedy of that area at the time with feelings, especially the
17 history of memory in the Balkans is very tragic and dismal. In recent
18 history, likewise.
19 Q. I want to ask --
20 A. But --
21 JUDGE KWON: [Overlapping speakers] -- yes, please continue.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one is investigating or
23 recording who is being buried in those areas or some other areas. It is
24 hard to have insight into that, but of course, we have compassion for the
25 tragedy of each and every individual, not only members of a particular
1 ethnic or religious group in Bosnia-Herzegovina or elsewhere.
2 MS. PACK: I'd like to ask about one more document, and that is
3 P02288. It's a letter from Mr. Akashi to Dr. Karadzic, dated the
4 14th of August, 1995. And it's the second page in English and the
5 third page in B/C/S. There's a B/C/S version.
6 JUDGE KWON: Before you put that question.
7 A minute ago you said, when asked about the execution of Muslim
8 men, you said you didn't have any knowledge. "I don't have any knowledge
9 and I cannot accept that." And then you said you felt compassion and
10 then you said about tragedy. Not knowing what happened, how can you say
11 it was a tragedy? Can you assist us?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I need to clarify myself, it
13 would be sufficient to see anyone's grave or any graveyard in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina that came into being during these tragic conflicts and
15 to have, therefore, an identical attitude like the one I referred to in
16 my statement.
17 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Ms. Pack.
18 MS. PACK:
19 Q. Well, if you're asking for graveyards, you're aware of this
20 letter to Karadzic dated the 12th of August, 1995. First paragraph I'm
21 referring to where it says this -- refers to the UN Security Council
22 Resolution of the 10th of August, 1995, and it says:
23 Deep concern, and I'm paraphrasing, at the fact that many of the
24 former inhabitants of Srebrenica are not accounted for, "I'm equally
25 concerned at these reports, especially at the allegation of the existence
1 of a mass grave identified by the Government of the United States ..."
2 This is a letter which would have come across your desk of which
3 you would have been aware, you would have been aware of its contents,
4 right, August 1995?
5 A. No. Such letters were never on my desk. There was an advisor
6 for this field. An expression of deep concern is the initial sentence in
7 most of the communications coming from the international community. Mass
8 graves in such a small area like the enclave of Srebrenica would cover
9 practically the entire urban area or the area of the enclave. You should
10 take into account the size of the enclave in these conditions; that is to
11 say, mass graves could only be -- experiencing all of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 and Republika Srpska where graves and graveyards are scattered about but
13 of members of all the ethnic communities. I have no information about
14 the letter that you are referring to.
15 Q. Well, you're well aware, aren't you, that the Republika Srpska
16 government wrote its own report, set up a commission which carried out
17 its own investigation into the events in Srebrenica in 2004 which
18 concluded, didn't it, that between the 10th and 19th July 1995, several
19 thousands of Bosniaks were liquidated and that the perpetrators among the
20 others -- among others undertook measures to cover-up the crime by
21 relocating the bodies. I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that's what it
22 concluded. You know about that report, don't you?
23 MR. ROBINSON: May we have the reference for that, please?
24 MS. PACK: Yes. P06220. It's not notified but I hadn't planned
25 to bring it up.
1 Q. You're aware of those conclusions, aren't you, RS commission?
2 A. I know about the work of that commission from the media. I did
3 not have an opportunity, and in 2004 I was not in that position to have
4 that document be made available to me. I cannot speak about a positive
5 or a negative attitude, particularly not to say anything about the number
6 of victims. But, however, you have to follow in continuity what happened
7 in the discussions about that report after 2004. I am not going to
8 assert anything, but I'm going to present my point of view. The truth
9 about the validity of this document cannot be considered a historical
11 MS. PACK: I've no further questions.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
13 THE ACCUSED: Very few, Excellency.
14 JUDGE KWON: Please go on.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Professor, can we start with the most recent
17 matter, this document, the discussions that took place later. Can you
18 tell us whether this report is uncontested and in which conditions the
19 government signed it?
20 A. We are talking about knowledge coming from the media. In the
21 public opinion it is believed that this was done under pressure. That is
22 why I'm saying, though not claiming full capacity for my statement, that
23 this is still a document that, if I could say, from a procedural point of
24 view, is yet to be proven. We have read a great many facts, heard many
25 facts, and commented upon many facts.
1 Q. Thank you. What kind of pressure is this under which this report
2 was made?
3 A. The pressure was identified in the public as having come from
4 some international organisations and associations, but, I repeat, this
5 number has not -- is not something that I heard from any source in any
6 structure in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the government included. In actual
7 fact, it would be less than the number referred to in that book.
8 Q. Thank you. These pressures at the time -- well, what kind of
9 danger were those who admitted this document exposed to? Were there any
10 sanctions at the time?
11 A. Sorry, Mr. President. Precisely in the spirit of what you said,
12 threats of the then-president of the republic and further on. In the
13 public it was believed that a certain report had to be arrived at. I
14 don't have much information about that, but I accept your assessment as
15 earmarking the situation concerning that document.
16 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the president of the republic. Was any
17 president of the republic dismissed in some way?
18 MS. PACK: That's a leading question --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One was on the 7th of March --
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just a second.
21 Yes, Ms. Pack.
22 MS. PACK: These are leading questions, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes --
24 MS. PACK: Another one.
25 JUDGE KWON: Leading and -- he's just saying he heard from the
1 public. I'm not sure whether it has any probative value at all.
2 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. A moment ago, on page 68, Akashi's letter was shown, the letter
6 he sent me, and you said that it had not been on your desk. Can you
7 remember where you were and where I was at the time when this letter
8 arrived? Do you have any recollection of that? So from the
9 10th of August onwards.
10 A. I cannot remember, but my absence could have taken place in
11 Banja Luka only. That is to say, although I first spoke about myself, I
12 can assume that that was the time of this joint stay in Banja Luka and in
13 that area.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have P4424 -- or 42, and
15 then the 8th of August, that entry. I'll tell you in a handwritten part
16 it is --
17 MR. ROBINSON: 2242, P2242.
18 THE ACCUSED: I was convinced that I said the correct number.
19 [Interpretation] Yes, just a moment, please. Could we please
20 have the entry for the 8th of August.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Can you tell us what this means, that at Sokolac, at 2.00,
23 gynaecology operation, technical means, you have both pages. We can move
24 on to the 10th of August. So the 8th and 9th, Sokolac and Srbinje.
25 A. [No interpretation].
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page now, the
4 10th of August.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what it says for the 10th and
7 11th of August?
8 A. I cannot see anything.
9 Q. You see where the cursor is. Where are we?
10 A. Ah, Krajina, yes. That's the Krajina period. That is Banja Luka
11 and that part of Republika Srpska.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, could we leaf through up
13 until the 18th or 19th of August.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. What does this mean, this empty space for the 16th and 17th?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have the next page now.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That means your absence from the
18 seat of the Presidency in Pale.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. When did we first appear at the office?
21 A. It's only a few days later.
22 Q. The 19th?
23 A. It is the 19th, yes. The 18th is empty. It's the calendar
24 that's empty, and then the 19th.
25 Q. Thank you. Today, on page 60-something, it was suggested to you
1 that civilians from Srebrenica were forced to leave and Mazowiecki was
2 quoted there. Do you know what kind of reputation Mr. Mazowiecki enjoyed
3 among our people, to what extent he could be trusted? If you don't know,
4 then we'll just move on.
5 A. He was not really trusted in terms of facts.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now look at D3401. D3401.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. This is a telegram from Ambassador Akashi to Mr. Annan, who was
9 then under-secretary, not yet Secretary-General. I'll read out
10 paragraph 2 in English:
11 [In English] "Paragraph 5 should take account of the fact that,
12 according to UNHCR, a great majority of the residents of Srebrenica do
13 not wish to remain there. They are already displaced persons from
14 elsewhere and will wish to move on."
15 [Interpretation] According to your peripheral view of these
16 things, is this comment by Akashi more consistent with the real situation
17 as opposed to Mazowiecki's assertion that these people had been forced
19 A. Mr. Akashi's words reflect the situation more realistically, but
20 speaking of this term, an overwhelming majority or great majority, we
21 have to bear in mind the total population of that enclave. That number
22 was not as large as it was presented. That's at least what I think. I
23 cannot claim anything for certain and I don't know the exact number.
24 Q. On page 61, you mentioned that the president had an advisor for
25 the media, a media advisor. Can you tell us his name?
1 A. It's Mr. Jovan Zametica, who, in addition to dealing with
2 international co-operation and relations, talks and receptions, also
3 covered the media because he is a connoisseur of that area.
4 Q. And the last topic: You are a professor of constitutional law.
5 Could you tell the Chamber, from the legal point of view, were there any
6 constitutional possibilities for the creation of new municipalities, for
7 moving one local commune from one municipality to another, and what was
8 allowed or not at the time when regionalisation plans were being made by
9 all three ethnic groups?
10 MS. PACK: Objection. This doesn't arise from my cross and I
11 don't see why the legal opinion of this witness is relevant.
12 JUDGE KWON: Agreed.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I'm just laying
14 the groundwork for showing a document from the international community
15 from that time. If I don't need to do this, then could we place on the
16 ELMO because I don't believe it's in e-court, I didn't know it would come
17 up, could we put this document on the ELMO.
18 Could we see the top of the page first. It's a monitoring
19 activity of the European Community Monitoring Mission. [In English] The
20 very top. [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Could we see the passage in the box now.
22 MS. PACK: Your Honour, just before Dr. Karadzic proceeds to
23 question on this section of the document which I can just -- I've just
24 skimmed, I really don't see how it's relevant to the issues with which
25 this witness dealt either in cross or in direct, but certainly it doesn't
1 arise out of any of my cross-examination. Just looking at what -- the
2 portion which has been marked.
3 JUDGE KWON: Is it not relevant to the content of P6484,
4 regionalisation staff? I'm -- not knowing the document, I have no clue.
5 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I shall respond, Your Excellencies.
7 You are right because the Prosecution suggested that Professor Dmicic had
8 been caught-out in some party activity, otherwise why would I have put
9 that document forth --
10 MS. PACK: Can I just ask that -- something to be dealt with in
11 private session --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- those are people who worked on
13 behalf of political parties --
14 JUDGE KWON: Please, please don't overlap.
15 Yes, Ms. Pack.
16 MS. PACK: It's a private session matter, if I might just quickly
17 ask to go into private session.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 MS. PACK: Could we --
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 42913 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 --- On resuming at 1.48 p.m.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, before we continue, our Registrar has something
12 to announce for the record.
13 THE REGISTRAR: For the transcript record, I would like to note
14 that we were in open session at the moment when we took the break at
15 12.44 [sic]. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Could we show the redacted version of this document,
19 65 ter 25592.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. While we're waiting, Professor, were there any constitutional
22 possibilities for internal reorganisation of municipalities or the
23 formation even of associations of municipalities and the movement of
24 local communes to whatever ethnic community they belonged?
25 A. In the constitutional system as established in 1974, that is to
1 say, the last Yugoslav constitution, municipalities were able to
2 associate themselves along the lines of self-management or to form
3 associations. The first type was voluntary and the second one was
4 firmer. They would form associations for economic reasons and interests
5 and to develop certain industries, et cetera.
6 Later on, in the period when regional communities were formed,
7 precisely that model was used because in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were
8 22 such regional associations of municipalities and they were established
9 on the basis of so-called self-management agreements and socio-economic
10 agreements based on joint interests. However, when we in the republic
11 realised that it was not necessary because the system of operation of
12 these communities has reached such a level of development, that system of
13 regional organising was abolished because it was no longer necessary.
14 Because its first purpose was to provide us mutual assistance and
15 protection, all those things that were destroyed with the dissolution of
16 Yugoslavia. And to repeat, that was a legitimate way of solving some
17 common issues on smaller territories through organisation and association
18 within the regional system.
19 Q. Thank you. I will now read the part in the box in this document
20 of 17 December 1991.
21 [In English] "The team today visited the village of Dobretic,
22 4.800 Croatian inhabitants, within the Serbian-dominated municipality of
23 Skender Vakuf.
24 "... the President of HDZ and the president of the local
25 community expressed the wish to leave the municipality of Skender Vakuf
1 and join either the municipalities of Jajce or Travnik, or be an
2 independent municipality.
3 "The Mayor and Assembly of Skender Vakuf have no objections
4 against this plan.
5 "The necessary procedures will be started up in the next months."
6 [Interpretation] Is this action, this expression of Dobretic's
7 will to change its status legitimate and was it legitimate on the part of
8 Skender Vakuf to give its consent?
9 MS. PACK: Objection.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, how does it arise from the line of
11 cross-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Your Excellencies, in my
13 understanding, the Prosecution has tried to suggest that
14 Professor Dmicic, who at that time served as the deputy general-secretary
15 of our common state --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker slow down, please.
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you repeat.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In its cross-examination, the
19 Prosecution showed a list of experts and civil servants nominated by the
20 SDS, suggesting that they worked on the regionalisation and they
21 suggested that Professor was engaged in party work, and we see from the
22 indictment that the work on the territorial reorganisation of Bosnia is
23 held against me. This document shows that even before the war it was
24 both allowed and widely accepted that local communes changed their
25 affiliation to municipalities. This group of experts, although nominated
1 by the SDS, was not necessarily a party organisation of the SDS. It
2 consisted of people who occupied positions of authority throughout
4 And here, Your Excellencies, I want to show that this could be
5 done and was done in peace time without any mention of war.
6 MS. PACK: Your Honours, I still don't see why the legal
7 opinion --
8 JUDGE KWON: The content of the appointment decision contains the
9 passage like removal of populated places from one municipalities and
10 their inclusion and et cetera. We'll allow the question to -- and this
11 is your last question.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, it is, Your Honours.
13 That is precisely the case, one local commune from a Serbian
14 municipality wants to move to another municipality and the Serbian
15 municipality does not oppose it.
16 JUDGE KWON: Just put your question.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Professor, according to all you know about our constitutional
19 system, was this activity lawful and legitimate before the war and
20 without any war?
21 A. Transfers of local communes from one municipality to another was
22 completely lawful and legitimate. Under those circumstances, all that
23 was sought were not only possibilities for the system to function, but
24 also to better meet local interests. It was done throughout
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and it is still being done today. But we have to note
1 that decision-making about reorganisation in one municipality was up to
2 the local population. They made these decisions, and at the level of the
3 municipality the decision was up to the local Assembly.
4 Q. Thank you, Professor, for coming here to testify and thank you
5 for your co-operation at that time.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
8 JUDGE KWON: Shall we go into private session briefly.
9 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit this as the next Defence exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives the Exhibit Number D3980,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
3 That concludes your evidence, Mr. Dmicic. Thank you for your
4 coming to The Hague to give it. You are free to go.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE KWON: So next witness is Mr. Toholj?
8 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: MIROSLAV TOHOLJ
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Toholj. Please be seated and make
16 yourself comfortable.
17 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Toholj, I must draw your
18 attention to a certain rule of procedure and evidence that we have here
19 at this Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you may object
20 to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecution, or even
21 from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate you in
22 a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
23 something that would -- that might amount to an admission of guilt for a
24 criminal offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you
25 might have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that
1 answer -- an answer might incriminate you and, as a consequence, you
2 refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has
3 the power to compel you to answer the question. But in that situation,
4 the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled under such
5 circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid against
6 you for any offence, save and except the offence of giving false
8 Do you understand that what I have just told you, Mr. Toholj?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Toholj.
15 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
16 Q. I have to ask you to leave a short pause between questions and
17 answers so that the interpreters have enough time. Have you given a
18 statement to my Defence team?
19 A. Yes, I have.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I ask to call up in e-court
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Can you see this statement you've given on the screen?
25 A. Yes, I can.
1 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed the statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We are still going a bit too fast. Leave a pause between
4 question and answer.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please show the last page
6 so the witness can identify his signature.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is this your signature?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 Does this statement faithfully reflect what you have stated to my
12 Defence team?
13 A. Yes, it does.
14 Q. If I were to put to you the same questions here today, would your
15 answers be essentially the same as recorded in this statement?
16 A. They would be essentially the same.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this 92 ter statement.
19 JUDGE KWON: Any objections?
20 MS. PACK: No objection, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE KWON: 1D10303, is it being tendered, Mr. Robinson?
22 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE KWON: Where is it referred to? It says paragraph 72, but
24 I can't find the passage.
25 MR. ROBINSON: I also don't see it in paragraph 72.
1 THE ACCUSED: I see one -- which one? Ah -- no, I see 1D26037.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that document was separately requested and
4 MR. ROBINSON: You don't need to admit it, Mr. President. If I
5 find it, we'll lead it live.
6 JUDGE KWON: Just bear with me a moment.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Until then, if I may inform the witness that several paragraphs,
9 in accordance with the rules of the Chamber, have been redacted because
10 they were not necessary, just so that you're not confused by this.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is acceptable for the Defence
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE KWON: And with respect to 65 ter 11104, you're tendering
15 in its entirety, para -- referred to 65, paragraph 65?
16 And the Prosecution has no objection?
17 MS. PACK: I've no objection, but it seems that the document to
18 which the witness is referring is at pages 3 to 5 of that uploaded
19 document. But I have no objection to the other decision.
20 JUDGE KWON: Where do you find 3 to 5?
21 MS. PACK: Well, it's just in the upload, the document to which
22 the witness is referring is at pages 3 to 5 of e-court, that's simply my
23 observation, this is in reference to the decree 11104.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 MS. PACK: I have no objection to that document being admitted --
1 JUDGE KWON: Just -- shall we upload that document?
2 Ms. Pack, could you repeat what you said? The witness was
3 referring to only certain page numbers?
4 MS. PACK: Well, he hasn't referred to page numbers but -- in his
5 statement, of course. But in e-court, the document, the decree to which
6 he's referring appears in e-court at pages 3 to 5 of the English and --
7 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
8 MS. PACK: So that was my only observation in relation to that.
9 I do have observations in relation to others of the documents which will
10 be tendered.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, looking at the 68 pages uploaded in
12 e-court, I think the pages 3 through 5 is all that's necessary and we can
13 remove the other pages.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you for that clarification.
15 Yes, Ms. Pack.
16 MS. PACK: In relation to the other documents, I would object to
17 the admission of ID 10302 and 10301 and 10300, and the reason why -- the
18 first one is concerned, 02, it's irrelevant and there's insufficient
19 foundation laid in the relevant paragraph, 27, of the statement, in my
20 submission. Similarly, 10301, there's no translation yet available. The
21 document itself appearing on e-court is illegible, and I would also add
22 that the article itself doesn't need to be admitted. There is
23 insufficient foundation laid in paragraph 25 of the statement. The same
24 applies for 10300. There is a translation. It is legible, but I would
25 oppose its admission for the same reasons I opposed the admission of the
1 prior document. And as Your Honour as stated, 10303 isn't referred to in
2 the statement at all. Those are my observations.
3 JUDGE KWON: Let's not spend more time here. If the Defence is
4 minded to tender those documents, I would like Mr. Karadzic to deal with
5 them live. Otherwise, all the other associated exhibits will be admitted
6 into evidence and assigned exhibit numbers in due course by the
8 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 I shall now read in English a short summary of
11 Mr. Miroslav Toholj's statement.
12 [In English] Miroslav Toholj was the editor of "Javnost," the
13 weekly journal of the SDS. On July the 12th, 1991, he was elected to the
14 Main Board and then to the Executive Board of the SDS, and in
15 August 1990, he became vice-president of the Council for Inter-Party
16 Co-operation at the SDS. In mid-June 1992, he was appointed director of
17 the centre for investigating war crimes against the Serbs. In February
18 1993, he became minister of information in the Republika Srpska
19 government and, in October 1996, he was elected deputy at the RS National
21 In 1990, after the introduction of multi-party elections in
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the SDA party was established by the Muslim
23 intellectuals gathered around Alija Izetbegovic; then-philosophy
24 Professor Muhamed Filipovic; Omer Behmen; Fikret Abdic; and
25 Adil Zulfikarpasic. Dr. Zulfikarpasic and Dr. Filipovic soon distanced
1 themselves from the party. In the meantime, the HDZ was formed.
2 After the first multi-party elections and the convincing victory
3 of national parties, Islamisation of society became a constant strategic
4 goal for the SDA. The situation in the media became disastrous, and the
5 Serbian people suffered the greatest damage as a result of the unbalanced
6 editorial policy --
7 MS. PACK: Your Honour, I do hesitate to interrupt when
8 Dr. Karadzic is reading the summary, but I make the observation that the
9 summary appears to be of the previously unredact -- the unredacted
10 version of the statement. That's my only observation. It's -- as I was
11 listening to it, I heard reference to some of the portions of the
12 statement that are not in evidence.
13 THE ACCUSED: Maybe we have missed to follow the redaction -- to
14 implement it on the summary, and I appreciate this warning and I would
15 accept any warning.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Pack.
17 Please continue.
18 THE ACCUSED: As a reaction to Muslim propaganda, the newspaper
19 "Javnost" was launched and eminent Serbian intellectuals initiated the
20 revival of the Serbian cultural and educational society.
21 Realising the danger from the growing distance between the Serbs
22 and the Muslims, the SDS proposed that the institution of the Chamber of
23 People be established before the elections, so that all the crucial
24 matters in BH would be resolved by consensus, which was rejected by the
25 Muslims. This institution was later introduced in a certain sense by the
1 Dayton Peace Agreement, which shows that the Serbian request was deeply
2 justified. In July 1991, the Serbian political leadership made political
3 contact with Dr. Zulfikarpasic for the establishment of a broad
4 coalition. Unfortunately, the Serbian-Muslim historic agreement was soon
5 rejected by Mr. Izetbegovic.
6 The inter-ethnic gap was becoming deeper and deeper, and the
7 out-voting of the Serbian deputies in the parliament and some
8 municipalities was regular practice. In such circumstances, in late
9 October 1991, the SDS deputies and the other Serbian deputies left the
10 common parliament and established the Assembly of the Serbian people in
11 BH, which nevertheless insisted on the multi-ethnic principle. The
12 inter-ethnic split culminated on October the 14th, 1991, when the
13 Croatian and the Muslim deputies, disregarding the will of the Serbian
14 deputies, adopted a decision proclaiming the sovereignty of BH. In
15 response, the Assembly of the Serbian People in BH decided to conduct a
16 national plebiscite, at which the majority of the voters rejected the
17 constitutional change of the republic.
18 The very establishment of the SDS was an expression of the
19 exciting fear -- existing fear from -- among people that what happened
20 from -- in Second World War might happen again. Before the establishment
21 of the VRS in May 1992, Serbian towns and villages surrounded by
22 non-Serbian population started forming Crisis Staffs of the kind that
23 both Croats and Muslims had been establishing prior to that.
24 Dr. Karadzic never tried to influence Mr. Toholj's work as the
25 editor of the "Javnost" or as the minister of information. The
1 Republika Srpska government was taken aback by the news that Srebrenica
2 had been freed. At that time, Miroslav Toholj was at the Vatican where,
3 even before the completion of the military operation, everyone was
4 already talking about the horrible crimes committed in Srebrenica. This
5 media campaign had clearly been prepared in advance. In July 1995,
6 Mr. Toholj had contacts with Dr. Karadzic and he did not have the
7 impression that Dr. Karadzic was aware of any violation of the customs of
8 war and humanitarian law happening in and around Srebrenica.
9 And that is a short summary. I don't have questions for
10 Mr. Toholj at that moment. I will skip to deal with documents that are
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Toholj, as you understood, your evidence in
13 chief was admitted in writing, that is, through your written statement,
14 in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you will be cross-examined by the
15 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor, Ms. Pack.
16 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE KWON: By the way, did we give the exhibit number for the
18 statement? Let's do that now, only the statement.
19 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 1D9756 receives
20 Exhibit Number D3981, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 Yes, Ms. Pack, please continue.
23 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Cross-examination by Ms. Pack:
25 Q. Mr. Toholj, as a result of the various positions you held during
1 the war and prior, you were closely involved with the Bosnian Serb
2 leadership in disseminating propaganda and controlling the RS media; is
3 that correct?
4 A. It is correct that I was closely involved with part of the
5 Bosnian Serb leadership and the leadership of the Serbs in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but I was not involved in disseminating propaganda,
7 but rather in informing.
8 Q. Well, let's break it down. On the 13th of September, 1990, you
9 were appointed by Dr. Karadzic as editor-in-chief of "Javnost"; right?
10 A. No. In September 1990, a group of people who were later to
11 become members of the advisory council, the inter-party advisory council,
12 embittered by the conduct of the state-run media or what they had been up
13 until that point, initiated the printing of a daily newspaper which would
14 be published in the Cyrillic script for the first time since the
15 Second World War in Bosnia-Herzegovina and which would also reflect the
16 Serbian positions. This group of people proposed me as the
18 MS. PACK: Can we have 65 ter 15087, please.
19 Q. Now, this is a decision of the SDS BH Main Board, and if you --
20 MS. PACK: Can we have the English and the B/C/S up, please.
21 MR. ROBINSON: There isn't an English in e-court that we can see.
22 MS. PACK: My apologies. Let me just consult with a colleague.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MS. PACK:
25 Q. Perhaps just look at page 2 of the B/C/S and you can see the
1 signature of Dr. Karadzic and the stamp. You can confirm that? Yes.
2 MS. PACK: We'll go back to page 1 in the B/C/S and I am
3 expecting the English to be uploaded.
4 Q. And perhaps while we're waiting for the translation, you've
5 obviously got the B/C/S in front of you, so you can see and confirm that
6 this is a decision to launch "Javnost," yes? And it's dated the
7 13th of September, 1990?
8 A. I can see that, but I see that this is the decision of the
9 Main Board and the Main Board had around 40 or 50 members, and the
10 decision is signed by the president of the party, Dr. Karadzic.
11 Q. Yes --
12 A. This is the decision of the Main Board and those who initiated
13 the founding of this newspaper were sitting in the Main Board.
14 MS. PACK: I understand it's been uploaded now, the translation.
15 Apologies for that.
16 Q. There we see in the plain words of the text "decision to launch
17 Javnost," and we see signed at the bottom and just to draw your attention
18 to the second paragraph:
19 "The SDS BH ... shall be the founder and publisher of Javnost,"
20 you can see that.
21 "Funds for the publication of Javnost shall be ensured from the
22 party's special-purpose fund, donations, marketing, and sales of the
23 paper ..." et cetera.
24 This is the decision by which the newspaper was launched; right?
25 A. Yes, that's correct, because each newspaper has its founder.
1 Here the founder of the weekly "Javnost" is the Main Board of the
2 Serbian Democratic Party.
3 Q. Thank you. And your bottom paragraph identified:
4 "The editor-in-chief of Javnost shall be the writer
5 Miroslav Toholj ..."
6 THE ACCUSED: Next page in Serbian.
7 MS. PACK: My apologies and thank you to Dr. Karadzic. It's the
8 following page in Serbian.
9 Q. You can see the last paragraph, penultimate paragraph, yes?
10 A. I can see that.
11 MS. PACK: I'd ask for this document to be admitted, please.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The 65 ter number 15087 is -- receives the
14 Exhibit Number P06485. Thank you, Your Honours.
15 MS. PACK:
16 Q. You were also appointed as president of the SDS Commission for
17 Information and Propaganda, weren't you, on 9th of September, 1991?
18 MS. PACK: Can we have 65 ter 25553 up, please.
19 Q. Can you answer my question, do you agree with that?
20 A. Yes, just please let me have a look at this document. No, that's
21 not a document that I have in Serbian.
22 MS. PACK: Page 2, please, in the English and can we have in the
23 B/C/S also page 2.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it.
25 MS. PACK:
1 Q. Thank you. And here is the decision on the appointment of the
2 Commission for Information and Propaganda, and you can see there under
3 the list of names, you're on the commission and then it says:
4 "We appoint herewith Miroslav Toholj the President of the
5 Commission for Information and Propaganda," and then we see signed by
6 Dukic, who is the SDS president of the Executive Board. Does that all
7 accord with your recollection?
8 A. Yes, it corresponds with my statement too, not only my
10 Q. And you were again, weren't you --
11 MS. PACK: Could I have that admitted, please, just that page?
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives Exhibit Number 6486,
14 Your Honours.
15 MS. PACK:
16 Q. In 1993, as a member of the SDS Executive Committee, you were
17 again placed in charge of information and propaganda, weren't you?
18 A. In 1992, at the beginning of the war, the work of the
19 Serbian Democratic Party was frozen, and when it started operating again,
20 people who had been in the Main Board and in the commissions earlier were
21 mostly, in most cases if they had survived the first year of the war,
22 were once again in charge of their duties so that I was once again
23 reappointed to this commission.
24 Q. For information and propaganda?
25 A. For information and propaganda.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, the propaganda aims of the Bosnian Serb
2 leadership included the dissemination of information, designed to provoke
3 fear and hatred amongst the Bosnian Serb population of Bosnian Croats and
4 Muslims; isn't that right?
5 A. No, but I would like you to show me some information that would
6 fit into that kind of characterisation.
7 Q. Well, one of the means by which you did this was to invoke
8 alleged crimes, crimes committed against Serbs during World War II; isn't
9 that correct?
10 A. It wasn't intended for that purpose. Simply, you would have to,
11 if you know the history of that part of the Balkans, you would have to
12 know that it was only around 50 years after the Second World War that
13 some facts from that war and the perishing of some peoples during the war
14 were brought to light. I had had two victims in my family in the
15 Second World War and that was my own grandfather whose bones were placed
16 in our family tomb only then. So when you characterised the information
17 of what was happening at the time as propaganda, that was the first and
18 last time that we buried my grandfather. And in the same year they
19 had -- he had been killed by the Croatian Ustashas. And the same year we
20 also buried an uncle by whom I got my name. He didn't have a grave and
21 none of our family members were allowed to visit his grave, otherwise we
22 would have been imprisoned by communists in one of the communist prisons.
23 He has been short by the Partizans.
24 So after a long period of silence which was ideologically caused,
25 it was a period when finally some facts began to surface once again. And
1 of course we did inform the public about events at various execution
2 sites where such things did happen during World War II.
3 Q. I'm going to show you an example of the sort of public
4 announcement that the SDS Executive Board issued.
5 MS. PACK: 65 ter 15085, please.
6 Q. You can see on your screen a document that is generated by the
7 SDS Executive Board stamped similarly -- in similar manner to the
8 document we saw previously, appointing you as president of the commission
9 of propaganda. You can see that; right?
10 A. Yes, I can see it, but I don't see some of the lines, they are
11 not legible. And another thing, I don't know who signed this, who wrote
12 it, who issued it. It was not issued by the Commission for Information
13 and Propaganda --
14 Q. It's issued by, as I said to you in introducing this document,
15 you can see it's stamped and signed "BiH SDS Executive Board." It's the
16 same stamp we saw in the previous document by which the commission for
17 propaganda was appointed. Now, I'm going to read to you the first two
18 paragraphs. You can see what they say. This is a public announcement to
19 the Serb people.
20 "Those who want to destroy Yugoslavia are attacking the Serb
21 people at all points and are endangering its existence and territorial
23 "Genocidal hordes attack Serb villages and cities, Serb homes and
24 Serb babies. They now want to win the already lost Second World War and
25 to reduce the Serb state to its borders from 1914."
1 This public announcement by the SDS Executive Board, this was
2 designed, wasn't it, to communicate to the Bosnian Serb population that
3 they were in jeopardy of genocide at the hands of Bosnian Muslims and
4 Croats, genocidal hordes; isn't that right?
5 A. Well, first of all, I don't know who wrote this document. I've
6 never seen it or read it before, and I see that there is a stamp here.
7 We had a spokesperson within the party who acted independently, we can
8 put it that way, on behalf of the Executive Board, maybe it was him.
9 This document, although it was verified, it was never made public. I
10 mean, I do not remember that it was published in the paper that I edited
11 as the editor-in-chief. Secondly, the Serb people didn't have to be
12 reminded in this way, or rather, no suggestions had to be made to them in
13 terms of generating fear because the fear was already there among the
14 people. This could have been taken as a sign that the party that was an
15 expression of the will of the Serb people also understood that full well,
16 that fear, that is.
17 Q. But it is this document, you would agree with me, wouldn't you,
18 Mr. Toholj, it's invoking the crimes of World War II as a means of
19 engendering fear and hatred of the Muslim and Croat population in the
20 present; isn't that right?
21 A. Well, I cannot accept that, that thesis of yours, never. Because
22 the Second World War was still very vivid in the memories of the
23 families. I've already said that somewhere. In Bosnia-Herzegovina it so
24 happened that in the same families there were the same victims like the
25 Second World War and this war, the perpetrators were the same,
1 executioners as we put it in Serbian. So you cannot remove this major
2 historical event as the Second World War was from the consciousness of
3 the people. That would have been a miracle had someone succeeded in
4 doing that.
5 Even the First World War when, again, some unfortunate things
6 happened in Sarajevo, after the assassination of Sarajevo and so on. So
7 these are very important historical events that cannot be forgotten
8 within a single generation. The next generation cannot be in a position
9 not to have any awareness of that and, therefore, not fear. And
10 especially when things happen when -- that remind them of the
11 Second World War. You know when the chequer-board flag was chosen as the
12 official flag of Croatia, the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 were indeed reminded of the crimes that were committed in the days of the
14 quisling Independent State of Croatia, and the crimes that were committed
15 then were abominable.
16 Q. Well, even if it's as you say, the crimes of the Second World War
17 were very vivid still in the memories of families, you understand, don't
18 you, Mr. Toholj, you understood at the time, how powerful, how powerful
19 the invocation of those crimes in documentation such as this, in
20 announcements such as this, how powerful an effect -- what a powerful
21 effect that implication had in generating fear and hatred in the civilian
22 population, the Serbian population, of the Bosnian Croats and Muslims?
23 A. Madam, I have to ask you why and on the basis of what you are
24 ascribing this to me personally or some influence of mine over the person
25 or people who wrote this. This is not my language. I never intoned any
1 of my writings with this type of vocabulary and in this way, and I really
2 do not see how you link this up with me.
3 MS. PACK: I'd like to admit that document, please.
4 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, we don't have any objection to
5 the admission, although the witness didn't identify it, but I think it's
6 relevant to -- for the Chamber to have it so that it can understand the
7 context of some of the comments.
8 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: The document number 15085 receives the
10 Exhibit Number P6487, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 Shall we continue tomorrow?
13 MS. PACK: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Toholj, we'll adjourn for today and we'll
15 continue tomorrow morning. I will advise you not to talk with anybody
16 else about your testimony. Do you understand that, sir?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
18 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.46 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of
21 November, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.