1 Tuesday, 5 November 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
6 Yes, before we begin, there's a matter about which the Registry
7 wishes to clarify.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. To clarify the
9 exhibit numbers assigned for the documents tendered yesterday through the
10 Witness Dmicic, the 65 ter number 1D9361 is Exhibit D3978 and
11 65 ter number 1D9363 is Exhibit D3979.
12 Additionally, the transcript from yesterday has to be corrected
13 at page 42914, line 7, it should state 12.54 and not 12.44. Thank you,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Registrar.
16 Yes, good morning, Mr. Harvey.
17 MR. HARVEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. May I
18 introduce Hamish Thomas, who is a graduate of Monash University in
19 Australia and graduate also of Victoria University, has far too many
20 degrees and has been extremely helpful to my team.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 I understand there is one thing on the part of the Prosecution.
24 MS. PACK: Yes, good morning, Mr. President. If we could go into
25 private session.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, the Defence request for presence of
8 counsel to Defence witnesses, i.e., Mr. Popovic, Brdjanin, and Stakic, is
9 hereby granted.
10 MR. ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE KWON: And I don't remember the exact title of the motion.
12 What was it? It was about Krajisnik's statement in the parliament.
13 Can I have the expedited response from the Prosecution, in light
14 of the fact that Krajisnik will be testifying very soon.
15 MR. TIEGER: You certainly may, Mr. President. Would you like it
16 orally or in writing or -- you can have it either way you want before the
17 end of the day.
18 JUDGE KWON: To save time, I'd like to have it in writing.
19 MR. TIEGER: Okay. Will do.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Shall we bring in the witness.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Toholj.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE KWON: Shall we continue? Yes, Ms. Pack.
25 MS. PACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 WITNESS: MIROSLAV TOHOLJ [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Cross-examination by Ms. Pack: [Continued]
4 Q. I'd like to look at an example of the journalism you published
5 during your editorship of "Javnost."
6 MS. PACK: Can we have 65 ter number 11957, please.
7 Q. You were editor, weren't you, in January 1991 when this was
8 published, yes?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. This is an article entitled: "The biggest slaughter of Serbs in
11 the territory of the NDH." It's a long article which describes in
12 detail -- and I'll just quote from the first introductory paragraph, it
13 describes genocide conducted against Serbs in the area of Bihac,
14 Cazinska Krajina, Bosanska Krupa, and Podgrmec.
15 I want to read out the second paragraph, and can you see that in
16 the B/C/S, the second paragraph which begins:
17 "A fact from the period attracts special attention ..."
18 Can you see that, just the on the left-hand side?
19 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. Before we discuss the
20 contents of this document, I just want to point out, from our
21 perspective, this is kicking the door wide open to evidence of crimes
22 against Serbs that you've been excluding. And if he's questioned about
23 the credibility of his account of crimes against Serbs, then we would
24 be -- expect to be allowed to introduce evidence of those crimes. Thank
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE KWON: Shall we continue?
3 MS. PACK: I'm not going to be asking about credibility of crimes
4 against Serbs. I'm going to be asking about the last paragraph or two of
5 this document.
6 Q. Now, we've -- I've summarised it. You report crimes against
7 Serbs during World War II. We don't need to go into any detail. What I
8 want to draw your attention to is what you highlight in the second
10 "A fact from the period attracts special attention: Already in
11 May 1941, a delegation visits Pavelic on behalf of 'the Muslims of the
12 Bosanska Krupa district' expressing its support and loyalty, and delivers
13 a resolution bearing 1500 signatures to him. Many of those who signed
14 the resolution, expressing their loyalty to the greatest butcher ever to
15 emerge from these lands, will place themselves in service of the Ustasha
16 movement and proceed to actively participate in the ensuing days in the
17 elimination of their neighbours, the Serbs. This is also the only
18 possible way of explaining the mass scale of the Ustasha crimes committed
19 in these areas. Beside those who had put on an Ustasha uniform, there
20 were even more civilian butchers, who would receive as a reward 50 dinars
21 each, 'a kilo of sheep's meat and a kilo of rakija' for an hour's worth
22 of slaughtering."
23 Do you remember that article?
24 A. Well, I would be the most powerful computer if I were able to
25 recollect all the articles published in 1991. I don't even remember the
1 article I read yesterday apart from the gist. And these facts that you
2 quoted were not written here for the first time. These are citations of
3 historical documents and books written about World War II. Or this is
4 perhaps part of a book that was possibly published during those years,
5 but in any case, these facts were published through trials of
6 perpetrators of crimes during World War II, people who had been tried by
7 the Yugoslav authorities after the war --
8 Q. Yes, we don't need to go to the detail --
9 A. And these facts emerged through trials and witness statements.
10 Q. Thank you. I'm just going to refer just to a couple of extracts.
11 I'd like you to look --
12 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Is this article authored by this
14 MS. PACK: No, but he was editor of "Javnost" at the time.
15 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I --
16 MS. PACK: It doesn't appear to have an author -- there's an
17 illegible author at the last page. Perhaps we can go to the very bottom
18 of the article, you can see there's a name.
19 Q. Can you read the name --
20 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, I'd like to object on
21 the grounds of relevance --
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Let's see the name first.
23 MS. PACK:
24 Q. Can you read the name at the bottom? Can you see in the last
25 column of the piece, the name at the bottom, Witness?
1 A. No.
2 Q. I'm going to read out the penultimate paragraph --
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
4 Your objection, Mr. Robinson?
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, on the grounds of relevance, Mr. President.
6 First of all, you've excluded so much of this kind of evidence about
7 World War II throughout our Defence case. I don't think it's relevant to
8 be used by the Prosecution. And secondly, the link between something
9 that is published in this witness's publication versus something authored
10 by him is so tenuous that it doesn't really make the credibility point
11 that the Prosecution is trying to make so its probative value is
12 extremely low even if it is relevant.
13 MS. PACK: Your Honours, I haven't --
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Pack.
15 MS. PACK: I haven't yet asked to have this article admitted, and
16 in my submission, the relevance of it or at least the passage that I'm
17 about to read out will become very clear. It's about manipulation of
18 Serbian public opinion, manipulation of the Serbian population. It's not
19 about -- the nub of it is not about crimes committed or allegedly
20 committed during World War II.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please continue, Ms. Pack.
23 MS. PACK: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. So the penultimate paragraph, if you could look at that, please.
25 MS. PACK: And, I'm sorry, in the English it's at page 6.
1 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure the witness can read this.
2 MS. PACK: Can we just highlight the -- under the heading -- we
3 can move to the top of the page in the English first, and under the
4 heading in B/C/S: "The crime did pay off," which is the column that we
5 see towards the bottom of the page. We can try our best to look at that.
6 The English reads on the preceding page the heading: "The crime did pay
7 off," and this is the text that follows.
8 Q. I will read it as best I can. I'm appreciating, of course, that
9 there is an issue with legibility.
10 "The villages where Serbs once lived have been settled by
11 Muslims. Thus, whether we admit it or not, it has been demonstrated that
12 genocide is worth one's while, as far as settling, conquering living
13 space is concerned ..."
14 I'm leaving out the extracts which are -- appear to not be
16 "Should one then be surprised that we have such an extremely
17 unfavourable ethnic structure here, which came to full prominence during
18 the latest elections for new organs of authority. We would get the true
19 statistics only if along with all the living Serbs, we were to record
20 also their graves that which the population's natural reproduction would
21 have brought over these last -- these barely fifty years that separate us
22 from the beginning of the greatest crime committed against the Serb
23 people in BiH."
24 Now, my question to you, Mr. Toholj, is: This article, this
25 paragraph which expresses the nub of the article, the heart of the
1 article, which is that genocide perpetrated by Muslim civilians in league
2 with Ustashas in World War II has been to their benefit because they
3 settled in the villages where Serbs once lived. That's the idea that is
4 promoted by this article, isn't it?
5 A. Dear lady, let me first decipher something to you. You don't
6 have the last name of the author in the English version. His name was
7 Nikola Zoric. I didn't know him personally, but I know he was a
8 correspondent of the "Javnost" newspaper from this area where these
9 crimes had happened. This point that he is making and which you are
10 twisting, giving it a different connotation and ascribing to it a nature
11 of propaganda which it doesn't have, was actually that wherever genocide
12 happens, it reflects in the future numbers of population of that area.
13 That applies to areas in Croatia, Krajina, and parts of Herzegovina. In
14 those areas, it's natural that Serbs were killed in the areas where they
15 lived. And I can tell you from my family history, if we are talking
16 about history, a lot of my family had lived in Mostar were, for instance,
17 but after 1945, there was not a single one left and they had not moved
18 either to some other place. They were victims of crimes by the
19 then-Independent State of Croatia; however, their property was left
20 behind. And what happened was that the communist regime confiscated and
21 nationalised it all. So it became nobody's property.
22 This article is making that point, guiding people to that line of
23 thinking; it's not propaganda. It's not geared at awakening the vengeful
24 spirit of the Serbian people. It's not manipulation, as you interpret
25 it. And I don't think any of the readers of "Javnost" read it the way
1 you do. Perhaps they were more skilful readers, more used to reading
2 historical articles.
3 MS. PACK: Could I ask for that to be admitted, please?
4 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure -- this is not written by the -- this
5 witness, and then is it your position that editor-in-chief is monitoring
6 or proofreading its correspondents' writing? It's allegedly
7 Nikola Zoric's report and that its editor-in-chief is in one way or
8 another related to this report?
9 MS. PACK: Responsible for content.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Mr. Robinson?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I? I should only like to ask,
13 is the Prosecution trying to say that this is false propaganda and that
14 these things did not happen in World War II? That is a different matter,
15 and if this is so, then the Defence is faced with different tasks. They
16 should just make it plain: Is this a lie or is it the truth? And if it
17 is the truth, then what is wrong with publishing it?
18 JUDGE KWON: Before we make the decision, would you like to
19 respond to that?
20 MS. PACK: I've made the position --
21 JUDGE KWON: Okay.
22 MS. PACK: -- plain. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber has doubt about its relevance, Ms. Pack.
25 Further, we note that the relevant passages have been read out in the
1 transcript, so there's no need to admit it. So the Chamber will not
2 admit it.
3 MS. PACK: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll move on.
4 Q. During the war, one of your roles as minister for information was
5 to provide misleading information about crimes against Bosnian Muslims
6 and Croats, to deny crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats;
7 isn't that right?
8 A. That was not one of my roles. The task of the minister of
9 information in every government where it exists, and in war time such
10 ministries usually exist, is to play a kind of logistics for the
11 government system that the state controls in one way or another, and even
12 over private media, which in war time was not our case very often. So my
13 role was not to falsify events, to adapt or change the facts relating to
14 current developments, but to provide logistical support from legal
15 logistics to such requirements as keeping a certain number of reporters,
16 cameramen, et cetera, in television studios and save them from being
17 mobilised. So it was more of a logistical role than a manipulative one.
18 Q. Well, you continue to manipulate, to deny the commission of
19 crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croats today, don't you? Let me just
20 refer you to paragraph 87 of your statement and the interview that you
21 talk about in there, 20th January 2006 in Svedok.
22 MS. PACK: Can we have that up. It's 1D9051. I think it's now
23 been exhibited, but I don't have the number, I'm afraid.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may ask the Trial Chamber's
25 leave to let the witness have a hard copy of his statement in front of
2 JUDGE KWON: If necessary, we'll do so but --
3 MS. PACK: He doesn't need it quite yet. We can just have the
4 article up.
5 Q. Now, you tell us in your statement and I can read it to you
6 directly, you say that this article still reflects your views; right?
7 A. Generally speaking, yes, but this interview was taken by
8 telephone, and I never received a copy for authorisation. And I know
9 that I was very unhappy when it was published because I like to authorise
10 texts of my interviews in advance for purposes of precision. It reads
11 rather different than what I would write personally, but to a great
12 extent it does reflect my views.
13 Q. Right.
14 MS. PACK: Well, we'll go, please, to the English at page 2 and
15 the B/C/S, please, at page 2.
16 Q. I'll just read you a quick passage and then we'll go over to
17 page 3. Talking about Srebrenica. You say there at the second response,
18 bottom of the paragraph about Srebrenica:
19 "The culmination of the myth of Serbian guilt and Serbian
20 criminality was Srebrenica. The story of Srebrenica begins before all
21 the stories about the war in BH and ends after all the stories about that
23 So you're talking about Srebrenica. And I want to go to the
24 following page, please, in both languages, as you elaborate. You can see
25 in the middle of the page your response:
1 "Based on what facts do you claim that there was no genocide in
3 And here are the facts that you state in your article, in your
5 "In Srebrenica there were individual cases of revenge, but there
6 was no genocide. After the Muslim 28th Division broke out from
7 Srebrenica, a parade of that unit was held in Tuzla. In this footage, we
8 were able to see many who later appeared on the lists of persons killed.
9 Not a single woman or child was killed there, which clearly shows that
10 there was no genocide. 3.000 'dead' people in Srebrenica got up to vote
11 in the elections in Tuzla. All the civilians arrived in Kladanj and
12 Tuzla. The Prosecution in The Hague is aware of this, and that is why
13 they are avoiding a discussion about Srebrenica, while they reach
14 agreements with the accused or force them to confess. The claims by the
15 Muslims that the victims are civilians because of their clothing and not
16 soldiers are also dubious. I have a copy of a document that clearly
17 shows that one of the commanders in charge of security for the Srebrenica
18 division said that it was not good that a local radio station was talking
19 about how aid sent by Indonesia in the form of sports shoes was being
20 distributed to soldiers."
21 Then your concluding sentence says:
22 "Following the liberation of Srebrenica and Zepa, 1.200 Muslim
23 combatants fled to Serbia. Although they later went to third countries
24 with the help of international humanitarian organisations, they are also
25 listed as victims from Srebrenica."
1 All lies; right?
2 A. These are all facts, Madam, that I stand behind. The document
3 which is mentioned here exists; I have it in my files. I can send it to
4 you privately or officially. And another thing, by contrast to you, I
5 know where Trnovo and Kladanj are located, I know where Srebrenica and
6 Bajina Basta are located, and you cannot say that someone who was killed
7 in Srebrenica was killed there if he was killed in Trnovo because between
8 Srebrenica and Trnovo the distance is 50 or 60 kilometres and it's very
9 difficult terrain to cross over --
10 Q. This doesn't talk about the Trnovo killings and I want to talk to
11 you about the numbers. Now, you deny here, you deny the mass execution
12 of thousands of Muslim men after the fall of Srebrenica; right?
13 A. I would ask the Chamber to ask Madam Prosecutor not to raise her
14 voice while questioning me because there is no need for that. The facts
15 speak for themselves. So I do not deny -- a little while ago I did not
16 deny anything. I just said that between Srebrenica, Trnovo and Kladanj,
17 the distances are 50 or 60 kilometres and that there are other
18 settlements in between, so there is no continuity. It's not one
19 settlement. It's not Srebrenica --
20 Q. Pause, Mr. Toholj --
21 A. -- it's, let's say, Eastern Bosnia --
22 Q. We don't need to focus on the geography, on the half truth. I'm
23 asking you about the numbers. Thousands of men were executed after the
24 fall of Srebrenica. My question to you: Do you deny that truth? Do you
25 deny those facts?
1 A. And do you assert and claim what you just said? Can you stand
2 behind it? In my public appearances on TV and in my many appearances in
3 front of large numbers of audience, I kept advocating one argument. Each
4 man had their single identification number with residence, date of birth,
5 and so on. So what I advocate is that this should be established. Each
6 man is an entity, a cosmos, a being. So you cannot put several thousand
7 people into a phrase about several thousand people who are killed. One
8 killed person, that's already a crime. Why doesn't anyone ever accept
9 this argument that the victims should be put in their place one by one,
10 establishing the date of birth, the date of death, the circumstances
11 under which the death came, and not to put all people who were killed in
12 Podrinje in Potocari whenever --
13 Q. Mr. Toholj, why aren't you answering my question? My --
14 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Let's deal with specific questions
15 one by one.
16 In the article, Mr. Toholj, you said: "3.000 'dead' people in
17 Srebrenica got up to vote in the election of Tuzla." 3.000 voted in the
18 election. Where did you base this statement, "3.000 'dead' people voted
19 in Tuzla"? Do you have the statistics with you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have it here on me, but I
21 will refer you to the book of Ms. Diana Johnstone, The crazy war against
22 Yugoslavia, the crazy NATO war against Yugoslavia, where she presents the
23 evidence that a certain number of people were killed and then a number of
24 Muslims, Bosniaks, from Srebrenica turned up on the lists of missing
25 persons and then this number was multiplied twice. I don't remember
1 literally the argument, but it's presented in the book. Diana Johnstone
2 is a relevant author internationally and I was referring to that
3 source --
4 JUDGE KWON: Where did Ms. Diana Johnstone get those statistics,
5 that 3.000 allegedly dead people voted in Tuzla?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She referred to the research that
7 she did on the basis of documents of the ICRC and some other documents,
8 and as for her book, I bought the copyright for the Serbian language and
9 I published it as a publisher. I don't remember all the data. It's not
10 all fresh in my memory at the moment, so I couldn't answer more
11 specifically. Of course, the purpose of this article, or rather, this
12 interview is not to diminish the number of the people who perished in
13 Srebrenica, the Bosniaks who perished, but to refer -- or, rather, to
14 invite a detailed research of everything that happened, not only in
15 Srebrenica but in all of Bosnia-Herzegovina throughout the war --
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Toholj, could you be as brief as possible in
17 answering the question. One more point that I can't follow in your
18 statement is that The Hague -- The Hague is avoiding a discussion about
19 Srebrenica. What did you mean by that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wanted to say
21 precisely what -- similar to something that I said a while ago. It
22 avoids -- not ICTY, but the OTP avoids discussing Srebrenica in the
23 manner which I only believe to be solid and serious, and that is to take
24 each man as an object of crime or a victim of crime and then establish
25 all the circumstances, from the name, the DNA, and whatever else, the
1 address, the place of birth, the place of execution, the place of death,
2 so that the Bosniak victims from Kladanj cannot be ascribed to
3 Srebrenica. So that's already where the grain of manipulation has been
4 sowed with the myth of Srebrenica.
5 JUDGE KWON: Back to you, Ms. Pack.
6 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. I'd like to understand your manipulations. Paragraph 87 of your
8 statement you say to us -- you state that:
9 "At the Vatican, one day after the liberation of Srebrenica, I
10 saw that the Western printed media were writing that genocide had been
11 committed in Srebrenica; therefore, this was as early as 12 July 1995.
12 This was a great surprise for me. Everyone that we talked to at the
13 Vatican told us that a terrible crime had been committed in Srebrenica,
14 although the military operation had only just been completed. Therefore,
15 this media campaign that had been prepared in advance was launched
16 immediately and this is still going on today. My impression was that the
17 purpose of this campaign was to weaken the negotiating position of the
18 Serbian side in the talks that were to be held in Geneva and later in
20 Can you help me understand what exactly you are stating there,
21 Mr. Toholj? Is your claim that the Western printed media were writing
22 that genocide in Srebrenica -- were writing about genocide in Srebrenica
23 as early as 12 July and that this, therefore, proves that the media
24 campaign had been prepared in advance? Is that the point you're making?
25 A. That's the substance, but I would only correct the date. I think
1 that I had a slip of the tongue. I meant the 13th to the 14th, because
2 on the 12th I had arrived in Rome, and I brought and handed over to the
3 Defence team, the front page of "Corriere della Sera" where there is an
4 article that stated that genocide had been committed. And in all the
5 talks with cardinals and other high officials of the Catholic church, we
6 received information and accusations. There were no questions. They
7 knew undoubtedly that a horrible crime had happened there, and as
8 "Corriere della Sera" reported, the crime was one of genocide.
9 So it was a campaign - there were campaigns about rapes of
10 Bosniak women in Bosnia conducted in the same manner - when in a number
11 of media, the printed press and the TV stations and so on, simultaneously
12 one and the same topic is reported about and, of course, the perpetrator
13 is also the same for whatever is mentioned as having been committed. So
14 it did sound as a joint accusation of Serbs for something that we didn't
15 know anything about as yet, except for what I learned later on from a
16 report of the Dutch Defence Ministry, a report that was made on the basis
17 of the debriefing with all members of the DutchBat in Srebrenica; namely,
18 that the military operation in Srebrenica was conducted perfectly in the
19 military sense of the word, precisely with few troops, and that no
20 crimes --
21 Q. Wait --
22 A. -- had been committed. That was the only thing that could be
23 known by that date.
24 Q. Slip of the tongue, I think you refer to the date, 12th of July,
25 which you have in your statement here that you signed, as a slip of the
1 tongue. You, the writer, the propagandist, you mistakenly identified the
2 onset of the Western printed media campaign as 12 July in your statement;
3 is that what you're telling us?
4 A. Madam, I did not write this article. I was giving an interview
5 on the telephone. I was not even located in Belgrade --
6 Q. I'm talking about your statement --
7 A. -- please let me explain -- it wasn't me who made a mistake about
8 the date, it was -- yes, then it was a slip of the tongue. But on the
9 12th, there were already objections that something had happened in
10 Srebrenica, something awful about which I in Rome, even though I did not
11 participate in military operations ever and anywhere, should feel guilty
12 that my negotiating position -- or, rather, during our talks in Vatican,
13 whatever we discussed in the talks, our position was much weaker than it
14 should have been. And of course, the wish was to weaken the negotiating
15 position of the Serbs at a higher level, primarily that was the idea.
16 And I stand by the claim that the date is not so important, whether it's
17 the 12th or the 13th, but if it's the 12th, then it was on the 12th. I
18 made a report for our government organs, for the president of the
19 republic, the prime minister, and I stated all the details in it. It's a
20 report on the delegation's stay in Vatican.
21 Q. Well, the date is important, isn't it? And I'd like to refer you
22 to one of your more incredible lies.
23 MS. PACK: If we look at 65 ter 25460A, please.
24 Q. This is -- while we're waiting for the English, this is a speech
25 that you gave at the scientific meeting "Vojislav Seselj's concept of
1 defence at The Hague Tribunal." And it's extracted from Seselj's book,
2 the title of which I won't read out, published in 2006 -- given in 2006,
3 this speech. You remember giving a speech within this context in 2006 in
5 A. I remember I gave a number of speeches in this framework in terms
6 of this subject, but at the moment I can't see this speech of mine in the
7 Serbian language.
8 MS. PACK: Can we go, please, to the following page in B/C/S. We
9 need to go to page 2 in the B/C/S, please, and we need to go to page 2 in
10 the English.
11 Q. I'm just going to read a couple of extracts. We'll just start
12 with the bottom of this page just to put things in context. You're
13 talking about July 1995 in this speech.
14 MS. PACK: And we can go, in fact, over to the following page,
15 page 3, both in English and also in B/C/S. Bottom of the page in the
16 English and in the B/C/S about halfway down.
17 Q. It's just beginning with the -- in the paragraph beginning:
18 "Pope Satan landed not just in Sarajevo after the war, when a
19 hunting season on Serbian leaders in Bosnia opened, but also in
20 Banja Luka."
21 We've got that paragraph; right? Go about halfway down into it,
22 where it begins:
23 "In the Vatican at the time ..."
24 Perhaps if you follow, you'll see your speech there in writing.
25 This is what you say:
1 "In the Vatican at that time, one day after the liberating of
2 Srebrenica, this is the essence of what I am saying, our envoys spoke to
3 various ranking officials of the papal government, including
4 Monsignor Monterisi, the French Archbishop Charles, and a few other Swiss
5 assistants to the foreign minister. Yet all of them, what a holy
6 providence, already knew in advance what happened in an Eastern Bosnian
7 Kasaba and who liquidated who, to the number. The next day already, a
8 glorious Serbian military operation was described as a crime forever
9 overshadowing the Jasenovac crimes and all other Nazi and Fascist crimes
10 in World War II. Let me note that the Western press and television were
11 a few days behind the Vatican monsignori. These were followed and caught
12 up with by the same ones," going over the page in English, "by the same
13 ones trying to convince the people in Serbia that the last decade of the
14 20th century was marked by Serbian crimes.
15 "The climax of such Vatican forgeries came, as we all know, in
16 1999 ..." and so it continues.
17 Do you remember giving that speech?
18 A. Of course I remember, but I would like you to explain to me why
19 do you believe -- what is a lie here?
20 Q. Here you appear to be claiming - perhaps you can help us - you
21 appear to be claiming that the execution of thousands of Muslim men after
22 the fall of Srebrenica is a Vatican forgery; is that your claim? That
23 actually -- doesn't that actually summarise the lie you were seeking to
24 propagate within the paragraph I have read out?
25 A. Madam, it is your lie that I want to say that. No. I wanted to
1 say exactly what I did say, and it's my writer's impression summarised
2 into a speech which should be easy for a great mass of people, the
3 listeners who were present in this hall at the time. And the fact that I
4 said for the Pope that he was the devil, it's of equal value if someone
5 said that he were a saint. It is my personal impression that I'm
6 entitled to.
7 And as for the Vatican monsignori, the two of them are mentioned
8 here, said that a horrible crime had happened in Srebrenica and had been
9 committed by the Serbs. It was a campaign because absolutely there was
10 no -- even no reports from news agencies that would have been detailed or
11 established on facts, and they already had that. So if you take into
12 account the fact that Pope John Paul II, or Pope Wojtyla, as he is a
13 Polish man, advocated the policies during the war and how the Serbs
14 should be punished after Dayton, and the fact that he visited not only
15 Sarajevo but Banja Luka, and how he established that a man who
16 participated in crimes that you presented to me through Zoric's report,
17 turn him into a saint, it was a campaign and nothing more than that.
18 It's not a lie, it's an impression, which I still have and which I still
19 feel inside when I think about my visit to Vatican.
20 MS. PACK: I'd like to have the pages, at least the front page
21 and the page from which I've read -- pages from which I've read admitted,
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit them.
24 THE REGISTRAR: It's Exhibit Number P6488, Your Honours.
25 MS. PACK:
1 Q. This is 2006, isn't it, that you give this speech? 2006?
2 A. Yes, and I would give a similar speech or a speech like this even
3 today, and I will probably publish it in one of my books, diaries, or
4 something, the words that I spoke on this occasion.
5 JUDGE KWON: Let me be clear, Mr. Toholj. What you are saying
6 here is that you heard about genocide from Vatican as to what happened in
7 Srebrenica at the time of July 1995?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I first received information
9 verbally, not from Vatican, but from the people we met then and they were
10 the officials of the Vatican State. And then later on in the hotel, in
11 the city of Rome, I bought the newspapers and on the first pages were
12 those articles on the front page of "Corriere della Sera," although I
13 can't really read Italian, but I understand a few words via Latin,
14 genocide was mentioned. So that was the first knowledge that I ever had
15 about the happenings in Srebrenica.
16 JUDGE KWON: Do you mean to say that that article referred to the
17 killing of thousands of Muslims at the time?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, I don't think
19 that I said or claimed that. I said that the title of the article -- I
20 couldn't even have read the article. I read and understood the title.
21 And as for the thousands -- I know how you say "thousands" in Italian,
22 but I did not read the entire article, but the title itself was speaking
23 enough for me.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That's enough. You didn't read the
25 content of the article.
1 Shall we continue?
2 MS. PACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. That's not just what you say in this speech, though, is it? You
4 say, and I'll quote again:
5 "All of them -- all of them already knew in advance what happened
6 in an Eastern Bosnian Kasaba and who liquidated who, to the number,"
7 that's what you're stating there, isn't it, that when you were in the
8 Vatican, these people, these monsignori knew in advance what then took
10 A. Well, it wasn't in advance then. It was parallel with the
11 events. But no news agencies had processed that, there was no
12 information, no data, and they knew that horrible massacres had happened
13 and that the Serbs had committed them, not specific Serbs by first and
14 last names or such and such a unit or group or paramilitaries, but Serbs,
15 generally speaking, so that our ears hurt. Because for 20 years we have
16 been listening to the same sort of accusation: The Serbs did it. And
17 here at this Tribunal you claim that crime is always personalised and
18 should be seen as such and proved and sentenced. And still when anyone
19 is speaking and presenting this, you always say: The Serbs, and it was
20 so there at the time. And that reinforced the impression which I stated
21 at this scientific gathering devoted to Vojislav Seselj.
22 Q. In 2006, of course, you would have been well aware of the report
23 of the RS government commission for investigation of the events in and
24 around Srebrenica between 10th and 19th July 1995. That's the title of
25 the report that was issued in 2004; right?
1 A. I did not quite understand. What was it that was published in
3 Q. An RS government commission report.
4 MS. PACK: P06220, if we can have that up.
5 Q. I just want to read you a conclusion in this report. You can
6 look at page 32 in the English and B/C/S page 39, please. RS government
7 commission concluded, and you can see there, it's the second point in the
8 B/C/S and English on this page, concluded that it was:
9 "Established that between the 10th and 19th July 1995, several
10 thousands of Bosniaks were liquidated in a manner that represents severe
11 violation of international humanitarian law, and that the perpetrators,
12 among others, undertook measures to cover up the crime by relocating the
14 You can't dismiss this as a Vatican forgery or Western media
15 propaganda, can you?
16 A. Before I answer, I'm going to ask you kindly to show me who the
17 members of this commission were.
18 Q. We're not going to go into any detail. We're not going to look
19 at the members of the commission. You can deal with that in
20 re-examination if necessary. Deny -- you deny the accuracy of these
21 findings, that several thousands were liquidated, several thousands of
22 Bosniaks were liquidated?
23 A. Madam, may I answer your previous question? It is very important
24 who the members of the commission were because I know that one of the
25 members of this commission that collaborated this report is
1 Mr. Smail Cekic, who, in 1994, ten years before this event, published a
2 book in Sarajevo: "Genocide over the Bosniaks." So much about genocide,
3 so much for the members of the commission. And now let me respond to
4 your question.
5 This is an extorted document in a classical political way that
6 you or whoever is going to put to a Serb, in this courtroom or anywhere
7 else, as undeniable evidence of genocide. So that is to say the matter
8 is adjudicated as far as Srebrenica is concerned --
9 Q. Mr. Toholj, pause, please --
10 A. -- I actually never read this --
11 Q. We're getting to the answer to the question, I hope. Can you
12 answer my question?
13 A. My haven't read this text and I do not stand by this document.
14 Q. Mr. Toholj, we'll move on. You continued to correspond with
15 Dr. Karadzic when he was a fugitive; right?
16 A. Right.
17 Q. In March 2002, you launched with Kosta Cavoski the web site for
18 the committee for the truth about Radovan Karadzic. You were the
19 secretary of the committee; right?
20 A. Yes, we established an NGO, an association, consisting of some
21 50 or 60 people. It was of international nature. These were reputable
22 people. The exact name of this NGO, this association, was the
23 International Committee for the Truth about Radovan Karadzic. It is
24 correct that we also had our own web site and we presented to the public
25 part of the material that we had through that web site.
1 MS. PACK: Can we have P06291, please.
2 Q. This is a letter from your book: "Night post correspondence with
3 Radovan Karadzic," which you published in 2008. This is a letter from
4 Radovan Karadzic to you dated October 2001, to you, Miroslav.
5 MS. PACK: We'll go to the second page, please. Thank you. Just
6 take it up, please, the second paragraph.
7 Q. "I'm glad that the material for the web site is slowly building
8 up," that's the web site you set up; right?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And then it goes on, it talks about Srebrenica.
11 "This is really the only place where something evil happened, but
12 it can clearly be seen where it was thought up and who carried it
13 out ..." It goes on.
14 MS. PACK: Just take it up, please, at the bottom paragraph
16 "I am sending you these disks that Ljiljana gathered. On the
17 ones I'm sending you, I deleted all that I thought should not go (I saved
18 the originals) but there might be more reductions necessary. I trust
19 that you will review each report and make a decision on it yourself ..."
20 It goes on, skip a couple of sentences.
21 "I kept a couple of speeches from the Assembly (I deleted the
22 others) some of whom are a dramatic testimony about what was happening to
23 us or what those brothers did to us, or the foreigners or our soldiers.
24 Of course, I did not mention our worst disgraces, but I do think that
25 some of the things that disgrace us, up to an acceptable level, should be
1 published. I was particularly careful of not jeopardising anyone. I
2 also got rid of anything that would jeopardise," going over the next
3 page, "anyone or that would look like a non-gentlemanly stone-throwing at
4 Slobodan or his prime minister ..."
5 And then if we just skip to the last page, please, page 6 of the
6 English. And similarly, page 4 in the B/C/S, the last page. I'd like to
7 take it up, the penultimate -- I apologise, it's the fourth paragraph up.
8 "I am sending you the disks now from which, unless you deem
9 otherwise, all can be uploaded onto the site. I'll then send you the
10 'statements and appeals' ..." and so on, it goes on.
11 "What remains after that are the documents registered under
12 'mercy documents' which I will collect and sort out shortly. Those are
13 mostly abolitions, releases of POWs who were an obstruction to us anyway,
14 one-sided cease-fires, et cetera. I am not sure whether their place is
15 on the site, you will assess it yourself ..." and so on.
16 Q. This is how you, Mr. Toholj, you the propagandist, put together
17 the web site for the committee for the truth about Radovan Karadzic;
19 A. That is not entirely right because at that time I was not very
20 computer literate and I could not update a computer web site, but I did
21 edit the content of the web site at my desk. Our motto was that
22 everything, even the facts that are not in favour of Radovan Karadzic,
23 should be on the web site and should be made accessible. So our task,
24 our objective, our decision was not to hide anything because we thought
25 that nothing should be hidden, that everything should be known, that
1 everything should be accessible to the public and for history.
2 What is written in the letter of my friend -- and you know that
3 private letters have a special kind of jargon that is close to the jargon
4 that is used in love. I believe that you expect that part of the
5 material is missing after this sentence and that this has to do with
6 something sensational that is unpleasant -- that could be unpleasant for
7 the public. No. No. This just has to do with what is being repeated
8 several times because the president told different media the same things
9 several times, so we wanted to avoid this kind of duplication, not to
10 burden the web site with all of that.
11 Q. This jargon that you describe is a process of manipulation, isn't
12 it, manipulation of the historical record; right?
13 A. No, not a historical record. Jargon of love in letters and the
14 like, if one can speak of manipulation, but I don't think it's
15 manipulation. I think it is encouragement, spurring on some positive
16 feelings, and how can you link something that is so stupid up to me after
17 my 15 books were praised very highly by critics?
18 Q. You're aware, aren't you, Mr. Toholj, that documents went missing
19 in 1997 and 1998 from the presidential archives in Pale?
20 A. I don't know because on the basis of a decision made by the high
21 representative of the international community, I can't remember what it
22 was called exactly, Mr. Carlos Westendorp, I was dismissed from work and
23 I was forbidden from doing anything, from working as such. And quite
24 simply, I was told that there was no place for me whatsoever, and it was
25 then that I moved to Belgrade straight away.
1 Q. Well, we'll look at the period after you were dismissed from
2 work. You were aware of an investigation into the missing archives in
3 2004 carried out by the RS MUP?
4 A. I don't know.
5 MS. PACK: Can we have, please, 65 ter 25234.
6 Q. See if this helps you.
7 MS. PACK: Part of this has been admitted as P6398, but I'm going
8 to look at another portion. Second page, please, in both languages.
9 This is a report into that investigation and I'm going to ask to look,
10 please, at page 14 of the English, page 11 of the B/C/S.
11 Q. This report posits a theory and I want to ask you about that, a
12 few theories. One of the theories, paragraph 5, is that, and you can see
13 that in your language --
14 MS. PACK: In fact, forgive me. It's at page 10 of the B/C/S.
15 There we go.
16 Q. One of the theories is that, we see at point 5:
17 "Part of the documentation reached the territory of the Republic
18 of Serbia and is being used by the Committee for the Defence of
19 Radovan Karadzic for writing their books and documents.
20 "There is an objective possibility that people close to
21 Radovan Karadzic had moved a part of the documentation from the offices
22 of the Presidency to the territory of Serbia."
23 And then we can just go down to the following page in the English
24 and point 2 of the following text in -- on page 11 in the B/C/S. It
25 says -- I'll just read it. Again, two versions of outcomes of the
1 investigation, two theories. Second version, point 2, is:
2 "... that in the 1996-1998 period, people close to
3 Radovan Karadzic or his security moved the documentation from the
4 official premises of the Presidency to a certain passive location, and
5 that they gave a part of the documentation to the Committee for the
6 Defence of Radovan Karadzic, headed by Kosta Cavoski, who was using the
7 documentation for writing the books and articles related to
8 Radovan Karadzic."
9 And then the following page, 16, in the English you are asked,
10 and just going down a bit the page in the B/C/S:
11 "We contacted the Republika Srpska MUP," you can see there, "for
12 a second time with the aim of securing a witness interview with the
13 writer," and so on, "Cavoski," and just take up with you, "as well as
14 with writer Miroslav Toholj, who wrote a book ..." et cetera, "which
15 lists the copies of original documents of the said archive." I'm
16 paraphrasing there.
17 Do you know anything about that? Were you contacted for an
18 interview, an interview about the missing archives?
19 A. Madam, I've never seen this document. I was not aware of its
20 existence. I see that there is a lot of speculation there as far as I'm
21 concerned. I don't know why the minister stopped at this. No one ever
22 talked to me about archives. From a friend, I received information from
23 Banja Luka to the effect that the newspapers published a piece saying
24 that carloads of material were taken away from me. That was not
25 published. I could speak about that at length. I don't know anything
1 about this, in short. You saw from the letter that President Karadzic
2 sent to me that not paper is referred to but disks.
3 MS. PACK: I'd ask for the pages to which I've referred to be
4 admitted in evidence, please.
5 JUDGE KWON: Shall we add it to the Exhibit P6398?
6 MS. PACK: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE KWON: That will be done.
8 THE ACCUSED: Transcript.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 13, Mr. Toholj said the
11 search was not carried out. Here it says "published," "objavljen,"
12 "objavljen," so it didn't say that this search was carried out on behalf
13 of the OTP.
14 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that, Mr. Toholj? Do you confirm
15 having said so?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I did not quite understand
17 what the correction was. I stated a moment ago that no one talked to me
18 about the missing documentation, no one ever talked to me about that. If
19 so, perhaps there is a record and then my denial can be refuted; then
20 afterwards, after this date, a search was conducted in my apartment, the
21 house that was being built, and then the warehouse of the publishing
22 house, et cetera. There are proper records that were printed at the end
23 of this book containing everything that was found when this search was
24 conducted. So there is no mention of this, not a single object of this
25 report was found on me, whatever this document may be.
1 JUDGE KWON: I'll leave it at that.
2 Shall we continue.
3 MS. PACK:
4 Q. In 1997/1998, you still had access, didn't you, to the archives
5 for SRT, yes?
6 A. 1997, yes.
7 Q. You were personally involved, weren't you, in 1997 and 1998, in
8 the removal and destruction of material considered unfavourable to the
9 accused; right?
10 A. No, absolutely not.
11 MS. PACK: Can we take a look at 65 ter 23489A.
12 Q. Now, this is a letter that we have only in English, and I'm going
13 to have to read it out to you and you can listen to the translation. It
14 is a letter from Milos Vukasinovic to Dr. Karadzic dated the
15 6th of February, 1998. It's about a visit that Tribunal investigators
16 made a third --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. Could the
18 witness please see the original, in the Serbian language?
19 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure if we have translation for this.
20 MS. PACK: This document hasn't been translated and it wasn't
21 made available in the Serbian language in the first instance.
22 JUDGE KWON: Very well. But I way -- but what is an SRT? Is
23 it --
24 MS. PACK: My apologies for --
25 Q. Perhaps the witness can identify SRT is Serbian Radio and
1 Television; right?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. This is the -- this is the state-owned TV company in the RS
4 during the war?
5 A. No. Radio TV network with several stations, not a station.
6 Q. Serbian Radio and Television; right?
7 A. That's right, Serbian Radio and Television.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon, may I just ask,
9 the original, did Milos Vukasinovic write this in English? Why --
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- should there be a translation
12 from this English into Serbian?
13 JUDGE KWON: We'll discuss it in -- when Ms. Pack tenders this
14 document or you can deal with it in your cross or whatever, but this is
15 not a proper time, after having heard that Ms. Pack has no B/C/S
16 translation or original.
17 MS. PACK:
18 Q. I'm going to take this up halfway down the document and I'm going
19 to read it in English. It's about the OTP, Office of the Prosecutor,
21 "They were mostly interested in the SDS documentation until
22 May of 1992 and crisis/emergency centres. They paid special attention to
23 reporting/informing of medias, particularly television. At the same time
24 these two issues represent a threat. By examining the documentation
25 which Duvnjak has, I am convinced that there are documents that present
1 danger. I suggested to Vrkes to call the SDS Presidents from certain
2 municipalities in the eastern part due to undertaking activities to
3 remove or destroy specific documents related to field work/terrain. He
4 said that he will make contact with you in regards to the above
5 stated ..."
6 It goes on a bit and then just going over the page:
7 "A certain 'Nancy' was in Zvornik and Bijeljina this week and
8 last week she told Neskovic that she is interested in that type of
9 documentation. The Tribunal representatives were in TV today and asked
10 for all your statements as well as all news for the time-period related
11 to the events in Srebrenica dated 1995. Maybe I am scared by nature,
12 however, I think that all your statements are not really favourable. I
13 will state an example. In May of 1992, you stated that there is work and
14 law in the Republic of Srpska and that everything is in normal order and
15 that the Muslim part is in a chaos. However, our defence strategy for
16 that time-period is that the chaos was there. They gave specific
17 requests to TV, and with Toholj we need to check and evaluate the
18 significance of these statements. As a matter of fact, we need to do
19 some good thinking for TV ..."
20 You were involved, weren't you in the process of reviewing these
21 archives and TV and removing anything deemed unfavourable to
22 Dr. Karadzic, weren't you?
23 A. Madam, that is indeed a major lie on your part. Your
24 investigator came to see me and you could have heard from him what
25 happened during his visit. I was asked to allow this investigator to
1 review the archives. We did not know what he was interested in, we did
2 not know what he would be looking for. He had a man assigned to help
3 him. I did that. They did not even look for written material. They
4 just looked for video material. He went to a room and he recorded
5 everything that he might have been interested in. Nothing more than
6 that. I don't remember his name. You must know his name. I don't think
7 I even knew his name at the time. He went there, he recorded all of
8 that. You can check what he found there. After all, you do know, but
9 you are taking advantage of my lack of information in order to pin this
10 on me, namely, this assertion that I took part in the destruction of
12 You know, from my point of view, to destroy a metre or a second
13 of video material that can no longer -- that cannot be restored is a
14 crime against history and I would never take part in anything like that.
15 As director-general, I kindly allowed your investigator to go to the
16 archives and to record things that he deemed necessary for your purposes.
17 I wasn't even interested in what it was that he had recorded.
18 Q. So you say you didn't help the accused's associates in giving
19 them access to the TV archives so that they could review those archives,
20 remove anything unfavourable to the accused?
21 A. Who would ever ask me? And I didn't. Such a request was never
22 made, and even if it had been made I would not have done it.
23 MS. PACK: I would like to admit this document, please. We spoke
24 about it --
25 JUDGE KWON: Just -- I will follow that up.
1 Any objections, Mr. Robinson?
2 MR. ROBINSON: Well, I know we don't have the original, but
3 you've dealt with this issue before, similar letters from the same
4 individual and admitted them. So I think the same ruling would apply and
5 the lack of original would go to the weight.
6 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure this should be -- I'll leave it at
8 Mr. Toholj, we'll adjourn -- we'll have a break and resume at
9 five past 11.00. Could you excuse yourself first.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will go into private session briefly.
12 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We'll receive it.
25 Shall we assign a number for this?
1 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives Exhibit Number P6489,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE KWON: We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at
4 five past 11.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
8 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Ms. Pack.
9 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Can we have 65 ter 21582, please.
11 Q. This, Mr. Toholj, I'm going to give you an opportunity to read.
12 It's a reply from Dr. Karadzic to Milos Vukasinovic dated
13 8th February 1998 to the letter we just saw, that I just read to you.
14 I'd like to read it to you, please.
15 "Dear Milos," and I'll just pick it up second sentence.
16 "I think you personally have done a lot. If it's just removing
17 the necessary, it's a lot. Please keep going in that direction. I don't
18 understand how they in the Ministry of Defence were not smart enough to
19 take care of everything on time."
20 Next paragraph:
21 "Please do not allow such a mistake to repeat itself with the
22 Television. You ought to personally review every segment which will be
23 offered to them and select those favourable to us and detrimental to the
24 Muslims. Nothing else exists because the archives have been moved,
25 destroyed, and so forth. If necessary, determine the associates from the
1 TV and the costs, that is, the fees, in order to have everything reviewed
2 before it's offered to them. There should be nothing else outside of
3 that which you will have reviewed."
4 Next paragraph:
5 "You are completely right when it comes to the SDS as well."
6 Skipping a sentence. "The best would be if the archives did not exist at
7 all because the party was frozen for a year." And I'll just pick it up
8 with the media again, the following sentence. "There are also some great
9 statements of mine in Javnost and other media. There is a statement that
10 was published this year, reprinted from some Belgrade newspapers, an
11 interview ..." and it goes on.
12 And then just taking it up at the bottom of the page in English:
13 "There are many statements to go to my and our advantage.
14 Everything else needs to be darkened out, it doesn't exist. You know
15 that sometimes journalists themselves would escalate and radicalise
16 statements, and the times were such that we could not tone them down or
18 "Invite Vrkes to come and see you, show him this letter, and tell
19 him about our contacts, have him do everything - in person, not through
20 telephone or letter - to have the archives in municipalities cleared out
21 so they wouldn't go to hell or some of them wouldn't be pursued for a
22 trifle or not to spoil what's being worked on centrally."
23 And I'll just pick it up where you're mentioned in the
24 next-but-one paragraph.
25 "Give my regards to Toholj and ask him on my behalf to allow you
1 to review everything that is to be offered to them, and you choose your
2 co-workers maybe from the TV and we'll pay them.
3 "I don't think we should facilitate or encourage their plotting
4 and scheming any further. They have received that which we too were
5 interested in and now we should be discretely obstructing them except on
6 TV but there too we should only give what serves our purpose."
7 And just the bottom two sentences:
8 "I think we have been very obliging. Now we should take stock
9 and obstruct. The more good documents and less bad ones they have, the
10 easier it will be for them to work in our favour. And our friends will
11 find it easier to justify their moves in our favour, if the ratio of
12 documents is far more to our advantage."
13 So you were aware, weren't you, that Dr. Karadzic was
14 communicating to Milos Vukasinovic in this vein regarding the review so
15 far as you're concerned of the TV archives to remove anything considered
16 to be unfavourable to the accused?
17 A. Well, I can't understand at all on the basis of what are you
18 claiming that I was privy to this correspondence?
19 Q. Are you claiming then that Milos Vukasinovic didn't follow-up
20 with you as instructed by Dr. Karadzic in this letter?
21 A. I am claiming that Milos Vukasinovic did not pass on to me the
22 greetings sent by Mr. Karadzic in this letter. I assert that
23 Milos Vukasinovic did not enter a single video or audio archive of the
24 Serbian Radio and Television. And I should like know if you know of all
25 the places where the archives were stored, the archives that
1 Milos Vukasinovic and even your people could access and review. Do you
2 know that?
3 Q. I don't answer questions.
4 A. All right, then --
5 MS. PACK: I'd like to have this document admitted, please.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
7 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
8 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives Exhibit Number P6490,
10 Your Honours.
11 MS. PACK:
12 Q. You would agree with me, wouldn't you, Mr. Toholj, that this
13 is -- letter indicates a process of obstructing of ICTY investigators in
14 their investigations?
15 A. Madam, that would be my pre-conclusion, but I'm here to testify
16 about facts. I will answer the question that I posed to you. The
17 archives of the Serbian Radio and Television was in all the studios
18 within the network, in Trebinje, Pale, Banja Luka, and Prijedor, and
19 Bijeljina. So physically, one person within a short period of time, even
20 three or five people, any number up to ten, could not review the entire
21 archive because you know that the television broadcasts 24 hours a day,
22 but the original programme is broadcast 10 to 12 hours per day. That's a
23 huge amount of material which was physically impossible to review, and
24 it's absolutely absurd to expect that it could be combed in some way in
25 order to be censored. And finally, there was no need because all of that
1 had already been broadcast somewhere and anybody was able to make a copy
2 on a VCR. All of that was public. Those were not secret documents.
3 MS. PACK: Your Honour, I'm aware I've got five more minutes and
4 I've got one matter which I can deal with in five minutes, and there's a
5 further matter which just arose out of a question about SRT earlier which
6 I can deal with in about six or seven minutes which would be in addition
7 to the time I have left. So my request is -- is for leave to have that
8 additional time.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please proceed.
10 MS. PACK: I'm very grateful. Thank you.
11 Q. I want to ask you about another letter from Dr. Karadzic, this
12 time to you, 65 ter 24910B. This was published in your book:
13 Correspondence, again, night post, conducted while he was a fugitive.
14 It's a letter dated the 27th of October, 1997.
15 MS. PACK: And I'd ask, please, to go to page 19 of the English
16 and in the B/C/S page 25.
17 Q. It starts -- this is a letter -- you would agree this is a letter
18 from Dr. Karadzic to you, yes?
19 MS. PACK: Oh, it's not up yet. It's 24910B. And then in the
20 B/C/S it's page 24 in e-court and in the English it's page 19.
21 Q. This is after you have been removed from your position as
22 general-manager of Serbian Radio and Television in 1997; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And second paragraph:
25 "I hope your people are well."
1 You've got a footnote and you're referring to the editors and
2 journalists at Srpska Radio and Television, SRT, so those are your people
3 at SRT. Just taking it up a couple of sentences down:
4 "I think you should keep your people together, let them keep
5 making the Dnevnik as if nothing has happened, one copy for history and
6 the rest for the local television stations, which should be delivered to
7 them halfway by courier. I have been informed that we could start again
8 soon, at least in one specific area, plus the local televisions. I
9 suggested to V. O.," that's Velibor Ostojic, yes? Your predecessor as
10 minister of information? Is that right?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. "I suggested to V. O. to let N. L. work with Sveti Jovan," that's
13 Mr. -- Dr. Karadzic's daughter Sonja's radio station, "and make news
14 broadcasts, short ones, to be aired every hour and leave the longer news
15 for Dnevnik-type broadcast," et cetera.
16 "The news, thus edited, could be sent by fax to every local
17 television station that wants to broadcast".
18 And then he says:
19 "Speaking about the new company," and this is the new company
20 that Velibor Ostojic had set up, isn't it, the news agency --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we turn to the next page for
22 the witness in Serbian.
23 MS. PACK: I thank you, Dr. Karadzic, for -- next page.
24 "Speaking about the new company," it says, in your footnote
25 there, the new media centre you're talking about there is the news
1 editorial office, aren't you, that was established by Velibor Ostojic in
2 this period?
3 A. Yes, this is a reference to that, but as far as I know that
4 centre remained an idea. It was never put into practice. We never
5 succeeded in breaking through the media blockade with that joint venture
6 with mixed equity, but as far as I know the idea was never translated
7 into practice.
8 Q. And it goes into some detail about what to do regarding this.
9 Just taking it up at the bottom of the page in the English:
10 "Therefore, as you will see in the letter which I have sent to
11 V. O., I thought I would make the following combination ..."
12 It goes into some detail thereafter on the following page.
14 "We could give it a neutral name and present some completely
15 unknown persons as the formal editor and director, to manage until the
16 elections and the following year ..." and so on.
17 It says:
18 "I am asking you at the end to study these reasons and meet with
19 N. L. and V. O, then you can decide what is best."
20 MS. PACK: Then just jumping to the last page in the English and
21 also the last page in the B/C/S, yes, 26 in e-court, in fact.
22 Q. It starts:
23 "Please don't let the party committee, the one that you're in,
24 sag away," that's the commission for information and propaganda that we
25 spoke about yesterday; right? Yes?
1 A. Yes, that's obviously a reference to the commission.
2 Q. "One should go to every house before the elections with at least
3 five or six leaflets. It is not enough to read them to the local and
4 municipal SDS boards, they have to enter every house, but in a way that
5 it doesn't let them punish us" --
6 JUDGE KWON: Do we have the correct page?
7 MS. PACK: I'm sorry. It seems to have skipped forward in
8 English to the next letter. It should be in the English at page 20. My
9 apologies. It's just the last paragraph of this letter.
10 Q. And it says:
11 "One should go to every house before the elections, with at least
12 five or six leaflets. It is not enough to read them to the local and
13 municipal SDS boards, they have to enter every house ..." et cetera.
14 Signed Radovan.
15 This modus operandi we see spoken about here in the last
16 paragraph, this was the means by which the SDS operated before and during
17 the war, wasn't it, to ensure contact by SDS local boards with every
18 Serbian house?
19 A. I think you again linked up two things that cannot be connected.
20 This is a reference here to the election campaign which the
21 Serbian Democratic Party entered under a great pressure from
22 international players without its leader who was forced to go into
23 hiding. It was decimated. In many municipalities, very hard-working and
24 serious people were prevented from running. So everything had been done
25 at that moment for the SDS to lose at the elections, and the quest was
1 for a Western-type democracy allegedly. And in those circumstances, we
2 were trying to inform the people as best we could. In the media
3 blockade, all the transmitters we had had been disabled by IFOR and we
4 were deprived of any possibility of presenting our views so something had
5 to be done. And as far as I know in Serbia and anywhere else where
6 elections are held, it is quite normal for flyers to be placed in
7 mailboxes everywhere, to present information about their candidates. So
8 I don't see anything in this that is different from widely accepted
9 international practice.
10 Q. Even when Dr. Karadzic was a fugitive, you and Velibor Ostojic
11 continued to communicate with him on matters related to the control of
12 the media in the RS; right?
13 A. Not control of the media because we were not in control of all
14 the media at that time. On the contrary, every party had under its
15 control a couple of radio stations, a couple of TV stations, although the
16 smaller ones were mainly concentrated in Banja Luka. Other parties had
17 their own independent newspapers which had been started up even before
18 this. There were other media outlets started and financed by political
19 parties. We had some influence on one radio station, one media centre in
20 Bijeljina which was very soon afterwards destroyed by explosives,
21 otherwise our voice was not heard.
22 And as to the part of your question which has to do with our
23 contact with Mr. Karadzic, yes, we had contact with him at that time, and
24 sometime in that period Velibor Ostojic died.
25 MS. PACK: Can I have that document admitted, please?
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit those pages together with the cover
3 MS. PACK: Yes, thank you. Just the whole of the letter of
4 the --
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 MS. PACK: -- the 27th October. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This receives the document -- the Exhibit Number
8 P6491, Your Honours.
9 MS. PACK:
10 Q. Since we've referred to correspondence with Velibor Ostojic, I
11 just want to take you very quickly to one such letter.
12 MS. PACK: And that is 65 ter 25465. I just want to have,
13 please, page 2 in the English, B/C/S page 1.
14 Q. Addressed: "Dear Velibor," it's to Velibor Ostojic. It's from
15 Dr. Karadzic. It doesn't state his name at the end. You can agree with
16 me, when you read it, that it's from Dr. Karadzic. 12th October 1997.
17 And I just want to take it up just on the second page in the English.
18 The paragraph in the B/C/S that reads about halfway down the page:
19 "The biggest reason for me writing to you is the media. I have
20 already said what should be done. Now I repeat, start with 'Javnost' as
21 soon as possible and turn 'Oslobodjenje' into a daily and shortly
22 afterwards, through additional capital, turn it into an independent
23 paper, just as the Turks did. 'Javnost' through additional capital
24 should be returned to the Party ..." et cetera.
25 And then your area:
1 "Until we get our day back at SRT or until we get a different
2 channel, we are left with local municipal radio and TV stations. I am
3 glad that you took it all onto yourself to establish a local stations'
4 news editorial office and I am writing to suggest a couple of things."
5 And then there are some suggestions. And I'm just going to take
6 it up again at the third page in English, second page in B/C/S.
7 "What is important is that the set of news for the day is formed
8 in one office, editorial office, then faxed (written on the computer in
9 bold capital letters so it is easier to read) and to make sure that the
10 news is broadcast on the local stations frequently.
11 "Miro Toholj probably has a solution for local TV station, and
12 that is sending the tapes through a courier," and so on.
13 Now, this you recognise, don't you, as a communication to
14 Velibor Ostojic, the content of which you are familiar? You're familiar
15 with the content of these communications with Mr. Ostojic at this time?
16 A. Well, judging by the style, it could be a letter by Dr. Karadzic
17 sent to Velibor Ostojic.
18 Q. Continuing to communicate with you, his former ministers of
19 information, on matters related to controlling the media; right?
20 A. When you say "he," I didn't understand whom you meant,
21 Dr. Karadzic or Velibor Ostojic?
22 Q. The letter's from Dr. Karadzic.
23 A. Dr. Karadzic, yes, but he's not sending it to me; he's sending it
24 to Velibor Ostojic, just as he sent the previous one to Vukasinovic. So
25 I did not receive written instructions directly about these things, but
1 even if I had, I don't see the problem. When you are cornered and placed
2 in the situation of an outlaw by the volition of some international
3 representative or a group of people, then you have to respond somehow, to
4 react as individuals, parties react in all such situations. A flow of
5 information has to continue, and I believe there must be international
6 conventions that not only allow it but make it incumbent on us.
7 MS. PACK: Could I ask for that document to be admitted?
8 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: This document receives Exhibit Number P6492,
11 Your Honours.
12 MS. PACK: And, Your Honour, as forecast, there is just the one
13 matter related to SRT which I wanted to deal with, if I may.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
15 MS. PACK: Can we have 65 ter number 25462.
16 Q. This is a report you wrote when you were minister of information.
17 It's a performance report for 1994. I'll read the second and third
18 paragraphs. The third paragraph identifies the TV channel to which we
19 were referring earlier.
20 "Public media's editorial policies (although never clearly
21 defined or strictly regulated), in short, rest on the basic principles of
22 the political and liberation struggle of the Serbian people in former
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the creation of Republika Srpska, and its internal
24 development through affirmation of institutions of the system, the
25 Serbian's people aspiration for final state unification, the affirmation
1 of national, historical, and other spiritual values of the Serbian people
2 as a whole.
3 "Apart from around 30 local newspapers and 35 local radio
4 stations, the basic tasks of informing the public was carried out by
5 Serbian Radio and Television Channel One," that's SRT, yes?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. "... SRNA News Agency, the Glas Srpski daily newspaper, the
8 Javnost weekly magazine, and the renewed daily Oslobodjenje."
9 And that's "Srpska Oslobodjenje"?
10 A. That's right, the Cyrillic version of the "Oslobodjenje."
11 MS. PACK: And just taking it up at the very last page of this
12 report, please. Page 9 of the English, actually, and page 5 of the
14 Q. It says at the bottom of the page in English, bottom of the page,
15 right, in B/C/S:
16 "The registered media were grouped according to their ownership
17 structure: 17 media were state owned (one television station, two radio
18 stations, 14 magazines and newspapers); two were of mixed ownership (one
19 radio, one magazine); 14 media were privately owned (four radio stations,
20 10 magazines); four media were owned by civil and legal entities ..."
21 So just to summarise from that, the one television station, SRT,
22 was the state-owned television station; right?
23 A. Yes, its founder was the National Assembly of Republika Srpska.
24 Q. This is your report, you wrote it?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. I'd like --
2 A. And I am grateful to you for reminding me of it. I have
3 forgotten these figures, but I see now how democratic we actually were
4 during the war and immediately after it so that the freedom of the media
5 was guaranteed. That was my principle from the very beginning. And I
6 will return to my claim that the ministry was, in fact, the part of the
7 government that provided the logistical support to the media, regardless
8 of whether they were privately owned or state-run or of mixed ownership
9 and so on.
10 MS. PACK: I'd like to admit this document, please, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE KWON: Page 1 and 9 in English?
12 MS. PACK: I'd like to admit the whole.
13 JUDGE KWON: Any objections?
14 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I think it would be better to
15 stick with our practice in admitting those put to the witness.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit the pages shown to the witness,
17 i.e., page 1 and 9 in English. I don't know in B/C/S, but corresponding
18 pages will be admitted as Exhibit P6493.
19 MS. PACK:
20 Q. Just finally to look at SRT briefly. Just remind ourselves, you
21 were on the board for monitoring of programme orientation and editorial
22 policy of the public media, yeah? Yes? It's a decision, I won't bring
23 it up, P01406.
24 A. I really don't understand from your question what this refers to.
25 Q. We'll bring up in that case an earlier version of -- an earlier
1 decision related to this [indiscernible].
2 MS. PACK: It's 65 ter 21539. English page 1, B/C/S page 1.
3 Q. You can see it's the decision very helpfully highlighted as 649.
4 MS. PACK: And we can look at page -- we can look at the --
5 sorry, second page -- sorry, first page of both.
6 Q. You can see it's the board for the monitoring of the programme
7 orientation and editorial policy of the public media. Do you understand
8 now what I was asking you about? Yes?
9 A. Yes, it's quite clear now.
10 Q. Yes --
11 A. All of it. I see that --
12 Q. And you were a member of that board; right?
13 A. Yes, because under Article 2 - and this is a decision of the
14 National Assembly of Republika Srpska - the five members who are
15 representatives of the government and representatives of the media,
16 cultural, and scientific work, consider at that moment I was the
17 editor-in-chief of "Javnost" and that was the logic according to which I
18 became a member of this board, though I wasn't a member of the parliament
19 or a member of the government at that moment.
20 MS. PACK: Can I admit this -- pages of this decision, please?
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 MS. PACK: Thank you. SRT --
23 THE REGISTRAR: This receives document number --
24 MS. PACK: -- finally --
25 THE REGISTRAR: -- P6494, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
2 MS. PACK:
3 Q. I'd like to look at what SRT, RS state-owned TV, was broadcasting
4 on the 14th of July, 1995, following the fall of Srebrenica. You were
5 minister of information at this time.
6 MS. PACK: That's P05236. I apologise, it's the Sanction clip
7 that needs to be played. I should have made that clear.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Enough has been said about the
10 terrorist activities of Srebrenica Muslims in the last few weeks which
11 served as the motive to liberate Srebrenica. But little is known about
12 whom or what the so-called United Nations protected area of Srebrenica
13 has been protecting and hiding. Just in the period between 20th of April
14 and 19th of December, 1992, Srebrenica Muslim terrorists --"
15 MS. PACK: So that's the start of the broadcast. If we can just
16 move on.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The sound quality is
18 terrible. Hardly anything can be heard.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The following Serbian villages were
21 torched: Loznica, Kravica, Podravanje, Hrancici, Brezani, Turija, and
22 Siljkovici. In July, the first villages to perish were Zabokrica and
23 Sandici. On the 3rd of July, Radosevici was destroyed, and Sase on the
24 4th. Naser Oric's tactics in the summer months were based on launching
25 surprise attacks on the Serbian population working in the fields" --
1 MS. PACK: That's enough of this, please. Can we just have the
2 end of the clip.
3 This is 65 ter 40246C.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Dear viewers, the crimes against
6 innocent Serbian civilians committed by Muslims in the past three years
7 in Srebrenica and surrounding areas will be addressed in more detail in a
8 special programme of the Serbian Television which airs immediately after
9 our news. And on this hot day ..."
10 MS. PACK:
11 Q. It concludes:
12 "... July 14th, the war in the former Bosnia-Herzegovina still
13 goes on with undiminished intensity," and that's from the transcript at
14 25 -- at 40246C.
15 I didn't want to play all of that footage played on the 14th July
16 on SRT, state-owned TV in Bosnia and Republika Srpska, because it's
17 highly disturbing. You would agree with me, wouldn't you, highly
18 disturbing footage?
19 A. Well, first of all, let me tell you that I hope that this is not
20 the report that was cleared from the archives -- the employees of the SRT
21 headed by myself. And secondly, on that day, if it was the 14th of July,
22 I wasn't in Pale. I was abroad, in Rome. I did not watch this. It's
23 the first time that I see the news.
24 There were many horrible instances of footage in videos, both in
25 the media in Sarajevo and in the media in Pale. That was simply the
1 reality. If you did not show what really happened, if you did not show
2 the image of a crime, then the people will not believe you when you tell
3 them anything. That was simply the habit. I myself was not the advocate
4 of such a habit. I know the rules in the West that blood and dead bodies
5 are not to be shown except in Hollywood movies. You do not depict that
6 on the screen; but that was what the editors did.
7 However, while I was the minister for information, you cannot
8 find a single word showing that I called on the editors of the state-run
9 media to some sort of briefing where I would tell them: You will work in
10 this or that way. No, I didn't do it, even though I had a legal right to
11 do that, as those were the professionals who had been quite well-known as
12 journalists even before the war, the well-known people from the joint
13 television in Sarajevo. So it was left to them, to their own conscience
14 and their professional moral and ability to make the TV programmes and
15 also the programmes of the printed press. The ministry did not meddle in
16 that and did not edit the media.
17 Q. This is what SRT broadcast on the 14th of July, to remind the
18 Serbian population why they should fear and loathe Muslims, just as
19 thousands of Muslim men were being held in schools in Zvornik and
20 executed; right?
21 A. That could not be correct because this TV show could have been
22 only be a sort of polemics of low intensity compared with what the TV in
23 Sarajevo and some other TV stations such as Zagreb which could be well
24 received in the Serbian parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say,
25 Republika Srpska, if compared to that. There is certainly here what can
1 be called an image as an answer to an image and a word as an answer for a
2 word. So to connect this, if the president did not know this, the
3 president of the country, and if people in the government didn't know,
4 how would these journalists know that something was going on there?
5 After all, they did not visit the fronts. You saw that if that was
6 Srebrenica at all, it was filmed from a distance with a special zoom
7 lens. So your question is not objective.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Two things: The transcript and a
9 clarification, if I may.
10 JUDGE KWON: Transcript first.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 17 on page 53, it hasn't
12 been recorded something that the witness said: [In English] The report
13 was cleared as you said. As you said. The record that was cleared from
14 the archives as you say. [Interpretation] Lines 18 and 19 on page 53.
15 He did not accept that it was cleared away, but he added "as you say."
16 And another matter is --
17 JUDGE KWON: I -- then for the other matter, I would like you to
18 deal with in your re-examination, which you will start right now.
19 MS. PACK: Can I just --
20 JUDGE KWON: I think you're done --
21 MS. PACK: I'm done, but can I just tender the last bit of the
22 clip which was 6 --
23 JUDGE KWON: 40246C.
24 MS. PACK: Yes, I'm grateful, yes. No more questions.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Receives the Exhibit Number P6495, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Toholj.
6 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
7 Q. Can you confirm for me if you said this "as you say" with regard
8 to the clearing of the archives?
9 A. I wanted to refer to the recent claim of Madam Prosecutor that
10 the archives, the video archives of the TV have been cleared away, but
11 this document shows that still something has been preserved and has not
12 cleared. So actually, I refuted her claim.
13 Q. Thank you. In the question after this insert, it was suggested
14 to you, it was said that it was broadcast with the intention to cause
15 contempt against Muslims. Could you say something about this, whether
16 this piece of news included an invitation for contempt and was something
17 like that broadcast by us?
18 A. No, it wasn't an invitation to feel contempt, but we see from the
19 first to the last question, this argument of the OTP that this was
20 terrible propaganda. But the following fact is never taken into account:
21 Namely, that what was broadcast by the other side, from the other side of
22 the demarcation line or separation line, was even more awful and much
23 worse and much more explicit in terms of the contempt that was built into
24 the information and reports and images that were broadcast.
25 Another thing, it is forgotten that I was the one who asked the
1 member of the Presidency, Professor Nikola Koljevic, at one of the
2 meetings held at the airport in Sarajevo, that he should there request
3 under the auspices of the international factor that was present there, to
4 request that the quantity be reduced or that the words be omitted which
5 are insulting on all sides in the media, the phrases rather than claims
6 which would be offensive for the other side and cause anger that was then
7 apparent in the combat operations and just stirred up the war-mongering
8 atmosphere. After that, for a while, we had a sort of media truce for a
9 while so that Professor Koljevic had managed to persuade the other side
10 that they and then us too would exclude the offensive phrases which had
11 been used in the media.
12 Q. Thank you. According to your knowledge, when did this begin?
13 Did it begin in the war or earlier, this media volleys against the Serbs?
14 A. I say it in my statement, I gave examples from even 1989. Then
15 in 1990 after the founding of the SDS, the Serbs, especially the
16 leadership of the party and the intellectuals who really had high
17 academic standing, they were academicians, university professors, that
18 was the Political Council that we had, some of them were also members of
19 the party organs, they were called -- they were qualified by words which
20 are improper, that no man should use. Those words were used in the
21 Bosniak media, the media that were under their control. I received one
22 such list of offences in the "As" paper which was unfounded at all, but
23 there were all kinds of qualifications and practically everyone was the
24 target. Some people received even books that were directed against them.
25 You know the book: The death is master, from Serbia, it's a paraphrase
1 of a German writer. Let me not mention the author's name. He used to
2 live in Sarajevo, and he wrote so many heinous texts against all the
3 people he knew that when you even touch the book, you have the impulse to
4 run into the shower and take a shower, have a bath.
5 That was the media atmosphere in which we started our work,
6 focused completely on the wish and the aspiration not to allow chaos to
7 reign. And along those lines, I called on one of the most influential of
8 Izetbegovic's men such as Dzemaludin Latic, I called on him, as he had
9 been in prison with Izetbegovic, to answer the questions of two
10 journalists, one Serb and one Muslim, to publish an interview with him as
11 an editor-in-chief of the Muslim-run "Glas" and one with me as the
12 editor-in-chief of "Javnost." So these were the party publications of
13 the SDS and the SDA, and we should publish it without any redactions for
14 the public and in these two newspapers. So it's an article if anyone
15 wanted to find it - though I think that there is no such wish to
16 establish the exact and actual truth - you would see who advocated what.
17 You would see that the Serbian side speaking through my mouth, if that is
18 the Serbian side, but it is in small part, actually tended to calm down
19 the situation which was already neurotic, and where lives were being lost
20 already. Whereas the other side did not wish to back away from its hard
21 stance. Regardless of the far-reaching consequences, they would not give
22 up the sovereignty by all means, the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 regardless of the will of one of the constituent peoples in this
25 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell the Chamber what this magazine
1 "Voks" was, who was its publisher and how did it treat --
2 MS. PACK: Objection.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. -- the peoples in --
5 JUDGE KWON: How does it arise from the cross-examination?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A goodly part of the
7 cross-examination passed in suggestions being made to the effect that
8 Mr. Toholj as the editor-in-chief of "Javnost" and other authors of
9 "Javnost" manipulated the fears felt by the Serbian people, the fears
10 provoked by the events from 1941 to 1945, that they whipped up those
11 fears by manipulating --
12 JUDGE KWON: But how is that "Voks" related to that? Please move
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I wanted the
15 witness to say because --
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- it's been shown here what the
18 Serbian side is --
19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- and what was that a response
21 to --
22 JUDGE KWON: As you put it, volley is not assisting the Chamber.
23 Shall we continue? Media volley, as you put it.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My point, Your Excellency --
25 JUDGE KWON: Please, please, move on --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- is whether the Serbian side
2 fabricated this.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, actually, this is a point that I
4 tried to raise when I objected to the Prosecution about propaganda. If
5 something is propaganda or not depends on what is -- what is true and
6 what is not true. And so if Dr. Karadzic is trying to show that some of
7 the things that are labelled propaganda by the Prosecution and go to the
8 credibility of this witness were, in fact, true, and I think that they've
9 opened the door for him to do that. He's not going to spend -- he could
10 spend years on that but he's only going to do it for a few documents, but
11 he should be allowed --
12 JUDGE KWON: But I thought what Mr. Karadzic was going to deal
13 with is the propaganda on the other side. If I was mistaken, I will hear
14 the question.
15 MS. PACK: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 MS. PACK: Perhaps also I could assist. The reference was to
18 "Voks" which is a publication, as I understand it, which was a
19 Muslim-published magazine. It's addressed in the witness statement at
20 paragraph 62. I did not cross-examine about this publication. This is
21 not something I cross-examined about, the media volley. I cross-examined
22 about "Javnost" and some other matters, the witness's own denial of
23 crimes. But I didn't cross-examine about this magazine.
24 MR. ROBINSON: That's the very point, Mr. President. The
25 Prosecution opened the subject now to -- he's claiming that -- she's
1 claiming that this witness create -- stoked all of the fears of the Serb
2 community about what could happen, and Dr. Karadzic is trying to show the
3 basis for those fears including --
4 JUDGE KWON: And the witness answered that Muslim side did more.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, he did, but some of the specific information
6 that was presented to the public in this publication and perhaps one
7 other document that Dr. Karadzic wants to use, it's only fair that we be
8 allowed to show what that information was. Not only the Prosecution can
9 show that information that this witness was disseminating was designed to
10 be propaganda that promulgated this -- this motive for the Serbs to act.
11 We should show what the actual facts that were shown to the public were.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE KWON: We'll not allow the question.
14 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Then I'm going to start with the latest and then move back
18 towards the beginning.
19 Mr. Toholj, disks were mentioned here that my family sent to
20 Belgrade, to you, and to the committee for truth. Can you tell us, in
21 the briefest possible terms, what kind of material was on these disks and
22 where they ended up, what happened to them?
23 A. I think there were six disks all together. They were Word
24 documents, and it was interviews that you gave to different newspapers
25 that were typed up there. Almost all of that -- well, I cannot remember
1 exactly now whether all of it in its entirety had been published in your
2 book of interviews that Mr. Cavoski and I had edited. So they were
3 published and, therefore, made accessible; but they had been accessible
4 even before that, so we just put it all in one place. So this was a
5 typed-up version in Word in the computer, and we could use that for
7 Q. Thank you. Is this the only book that the committee published?
8 Or rather, what were all the things that the committee published?
9 A. The committee published, in the Serbian and English languages, as
10 its first book your orders that we managed to find. I think that all of
11 your orders are contained there, so as a document, as an original
12 document, as a photograph, if you will. Then we published two books:
13 Your correspondence with statesmen, that is to say, your diplomatic
14 correspondence during the war; and one volume was dedicated to your
15 orders, too, but those that had to do with acts of mercy directed at the
17 There was an order that we commented upon personally. I objected
18 to you because you allowed an aircraft to fly through, to transport
19 Ismet Bajramovic, Celo, to Italy. I asked you why would he not be
20 treated in Serb hospitals where Muslims and Croats were being treated
21 anyway so then he could be tried later on. So it was everything that the
22 members of the committee for Radovan Karadzic -- that was found was
23 published, and I hope that the OTP and the Chamber and you have copies of
24 these books.
25 Q. Thank you. Today on pages 7 through 10, what was started on
1 page 98 yesterday continued, namely, this discussion about texts that are
2 warning against dangers from Croatia. And on that page you mentioned the
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Actually, that is page 96, lines 8
5 through 24. So the participants can see this and I can also read it out.
6 So 96, page 96, lines 8 through 24, yesterday's transcript.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. This is what I wanted to ask you. Let us leave aside 1941 to
9 1945. In 1941, was it necessary to publish these texts concerning
10 current political developments?
11 A. Of course. You know that already Franjo Tudjman's book had been
12 published about the minorisation of victims of Jasenovac and other
13 Ustasha camps. This led to rage, fury, reactions among the Serb people
14 no matter where they lived, also among the Jews, too, because truth was
15 being distorted for political reasons. Then some paramilitary units
16 appeared, mainly in the territory of Croatia, and they had old names. I
17 already explained the situation concerning the pits where the remains of
18 innocent civilians were dug up from the Second World War, including
19 members of my own family, and then there were graffiti there: Get these
20 out so that we can throw in new ones.
21 This fear -- well, in military tactics, this -- this is called
22 surprise attacks. So that is the attempt that was made, say, through the
23 front page of "Voks" with your head and Professor Koljevic's head and
24 then when they're playing with my head too as they played that game and
25 so on. Then also impaling the only Nobel prize winner of Yugoslavia,
1 Ivo Andric, so he was impaled on a pen. Very soon after that, one of
2 these unfortunate Bosniaks destroyed his monument on the bridge that he
3 described in his prize-winning novel. So monuments from the
4 Second World War were being destroyed, where the names of our ancestors
5 had been inscribed and they have lost their lives and it doesn't really
6 matter under which flag.
7 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure this is assisting the Defence or the
8 Chamber at all. Where are we heading?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, there is a
10 serious accusation levelled here that texts were being published that
11 were warning Serbs of danger, but now I wanted to show what Croatian
12 ministers were doing and writing and what they were preparing. So it's
13 not only paramilitaries. It's two minutes. I wanted to take a look at
15 MS. PACK: Your Honour's --
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 MS. PACK: -- already ordered on this and the continued
18 questioning and extended answers have the effect of overruling what
19 you've already -- the decision you've made.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm looking at the question of the
21 distinguished Ms. Pack from line 8 onwards and then the answer --
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, then could you explain at what -- to
23 us what you are doing now is not a tu quoque defence, since the Croatian
24 part is doing propaganda, we are doing propaganda as well. Is that your
25 line of questioning?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Excellency, no. It was being
2 put here that it was unnecessary, superfluous, and even criminal to
3 publish words to the effect that something could happen to the Serbs.
4 I'm trying to show that it wasn't only 1941, but it's also 1991 that was
5 just like 1941. Even a great Jewish writer wrote that 1941 was coming
6 back, Slavko Goldstein. But preparations were being carried out here for
7 attacks against Serbs and killings. Now, were these fears realistic?
8 Was there actually a need to publish this? Or was in just invented for
9 the purposes of false propaganda?
10 MS. PACK: Your Honour, I make --
11 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, just a second.
12 It's not relevant, Mr. Karadzic, number one. And number two,
13 it's not a good way to use your time. I'd like to advise to move on.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Toholj, our letters were referred to here and they were
17 shown, mainly my letters addressed to you and other friends. Can you
18 remember -- actually, first of all, I wanted to ask you when was it that
19 you were no longer director of the television?
20 A. I think it was 1998, in March, something like that. I don't
21 remember exactly. In my CV you can find the date for how long I was
22 director. It was only four months.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you remember in those letters what was it that I
24 knew about what happened in Srebrenica? And what were my convictions
25 about that? Later on, up until that moment, what was it that I had found
1 out about what had happened in Srebrenica?
2 A. Of course I remember. In one letter you had received some --
3 MS. PACK: Your Honour --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- information that in
5 Srebrenica --
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Pack.
7 MS. PACK: Your Honour, the witness can't answer the question:
8 What was it that I found out about what had happened in Srebrenica? He
9 can't answer the question what Dr. Karadzic knew. I don't know if this
10 is a reference to the letter that I took the witness to, but this
11 particular question can't be answered by the witness.
12 JUDGE KWON: I take it Mr. Karadzic was asking what he came to
13 know through their communications, but probably Mr. Karadzic can
14 reformulate his question.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was hoping that I was clear, but
16 I wasn't maybe. This was my question: [In English] Do you remember in
17 those letters what was it that I knew about what happened in Srebrenica?
18 JUDGE KWON: How could he know?
19 JUDGE MORRISON: Well, that's the same question, really,
20 Dr. Karadzic. What this witness can deal with are those matters which he
21 personally told you about or was present when somebody else told you
22 about. Other than that, he'd be second-guessing what was in your mind.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I'm probably not
24 being clear. I'm asking whether the witness remembers what it was that I
25 wrote to him at that moment about what I knew. What kind of knowledge I
1 presented in my letters sent to him.
2 JUDGE MORRISON: Yes. Well, that would be encompassed in what I
3 said. That would be a communication between you two.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we take a look at 1D49022.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you remember this letter and was it published in your book?
7 A. Yes, I remember the letter. It was published in my book -- in
8 our book.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 10 in
11 e-court in Serbian.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Please do focus on this paragraph now that starts with the words:
14 "I have assurances ..."
15 What was it that I presented to you about my own knowledge at
16 that point in time?
17 A. What is written here is that you have received information that
18 some Serb mercenaries - I don't know exactly by name who this refers to,
19 I personally do not know - really killed people after the fall of
20 Srebrenica not in that location itself. They did it on orders from the
21 French and that this is reliable information. That is what you are
22 writing. It is interesting that the Muslim authorities are not
23 commenting upon this, although this was published and this is very
25 I remember that it was during the telecast of the trial of
1 Drazen Erdemovic, a Croat who had surrendered, and you heard a sentence
2 of his uttered before this Court, Erdemovic:
3 "'We received a ... strict order from higher levels of command to
4 take care of civilians and prisoners of war, but my platoon commander did
5 not respect that.' His platoon commander was this Pelemis who was
6 arrested together with the group called 'Spider,'" Pauk.
7 Q. Thank you. Did you believe that, that that is what I knew in the
8 year 2000, Mr. Toholj? Did you believe that? Did you believe that I was
9 addressing you in all sincerity? I'll rephrase. How does this fit into
10 your knowledge about my position and my knowledge?
11 A. Well, in view of the number of dilemmas regarding what happened
12 in Srebrenica and around Srebrenica, this left an impression on me that
13 you finally got some knowledge that we could hang on to in terms of what
14 had actually happened there, so that we fill this void in terms of what
15 it was that had actually happened there.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this letter be admitted and
18 these two pages, whatever you wish?
19 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Pack.
20 MS. PACK: I don't know what the rest of the letter says and how
21 long the rest of the letter is. I'd prefer to be able to see the -- the
22 entire of the letter rather than just this extract.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 JUDGE KWON: Unless you have an objection otherwise, we'll admit
25 this portion following our practice.
1 We'll give the next Defence exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit Number D3992, Your Honours.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Before I put my last question, Your Honours, paragraph 14 of my
5 indictment refers to what I wanted to clarify a moment ago regarding my
6 role in the propaganda. I don't know how to defend myself from this
7 paragraph, 14, especially item (C) in paragraph 14. I'm not allowed to
8 present my defence on that --
9 JUDGE KWON: No, no, Mr. Karadzic, that's not a fair statement.
10 The Chamber never prohibited you from defending yourself from -- against
11 the allegation in the indictment. Never.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't say you prohibited me. I
13 said I'm disabled from defending myself. My assertion was that the
14 information was not propaganda, that was not false information, but if
15 the Croatian minister of defence says that they should be called upon in
16 their homes and shot in the stomach and there were arms shipments through
17 Hungary, then it's not false information to warn of the danger.
18 JUDGE KWON: Discuss with your legal advisers how to proceed and
19 how to defend with respect to those allegations in the indictment, and
20 shall we continue now.
21 You said you have your final question?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Toholj, the Prosecution has tried to prove something that you
25 probably don't even dispute, namely, two things: One, that you hold me
1 in high esteem, which is probably mutual; and that we were close. Now I
2 want to ask you: Do you hold me in high esteem because we are close or
3 are we close because you have respect for me?
4 A. I believe it is the latter. You are older than I am, one
5 generation ahead of me, especially as an author, but from the moment I
6 met you we were friends because I first had great respect for you as a
7 poet and an author and later as a politician. While I worked at the
8 secretary of the association of writers, you will remember that your
9 ideas were welcomed there. You were against the politicisation of such
10 an organisation, you were a physician specialising in a very delicate
11 branch of medicine, and you were held in great respect even in barrooms,
12 in every company. I have always held you in high esteem as a person and
13 as an author, as all these other things you are. I don't believe in the
14 allegations that are in your indictment. We were not always physically
15 close. We were sometimes at very great distances, but I don't believe in
16 all these allegations in the indictment that want to portray us as the
17 guilty party, but I will leave it to the Chamber to make its own
19 Q. Can you tell me if you remember whether ethnic nationalist themes
20 were frequent in our discussions and what did I think about your ethnic
21 affiliation after we got to know each other better and started to respect
22 each other?
23 A. I found out from a friend that, at some point long after we got
24 to know each other, you initially thought, judging by my name, that I am
25 of a different ethnicity, a Croat or Catholic or something, but you
1 didn't mind because I know you have many friends in Catholic monasteries
2 in Presevo and in Fojnica. I know that because when I needed some
3 spiritual shelter, I would briefly go to those monasteries to take a rest
4 and had many friends there. Before the SDS party you established another
5 party which was the Greens in Sarajevo. So you didn't have that problem
6 with peoples of other races, ethnicities, nations. And it's obvious from
7 the books that I published, although some people say those books should
8 never have been published, I believed it was a step towards liberating
9 the truth, a struggle which was very rarely successful in our parts.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 16, what is missing is that
11 I formed the Greens party together with a Muslim woman, a Bosniak woman.
12 That bit is missing from the record.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Since I heard that everything about a personality matters before
15 a Tribunal such as this, I wanted to also ask you about the literary
16 awards I received, et cetera, but I won't go into that. Thank you very
17 much for your collaboration and for your friendship, but I'm glad to say
18 that respect comes before friendship still. Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: Unless my colleagues have a question for you, that
20 concludes your evidence, Mr. Toholj. Thank you for your coming to
21 The Hague to give it. You're free to go.
22 We'll rise all together. We'll have a break for 45 minutes. And
23 next witness is, I take it, Mr. Popovic?
24 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE KWON: We'll resume at quarter past 1.00.
1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- On resuming at 1.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: VUJADIN POPOVIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Popovic. Please be seated and make
11 yourself comfortable.
12 Could the counsel assisting Mr. Popovic introduce himself for the
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. My name is
15 Zoran Zivanovic. I am counsel for Mr. Vujadin Popovic. Thank you.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
17 Mr. Popovic, do you need anything? Do you have a problem with --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was receiving interpretation into
19 another language but it's all right now.
20 JUDGE KWON: So you understand the proceeding in the language you
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Correct.
23 JUDGE KWON: I take it you are well aware of this, but before you
24 commence your evidence I must draw your attention to a certain rule of
25 evidence that we have here at this International Tribunal, that is,
1 Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you may object to answering any question
2 from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecution, or even from the Judges if you
3 believe that your answer might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In
4 this context, "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to
5 an admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that
6 provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
7 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you and, as a
8 consequence, you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
9 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question. But in
10 that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled
11 under such circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid
12 against you for any offence, save and except the offence of giving false
13 testimony. Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Popovic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood, Your Honour, but I
15 believe that will not occur.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Popovic.
17 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel.
21 A. Good afternoon.
22 Q. This was very quick. We need to make a short pause between
23 question and answer.
24 A. All right.
25 Q. Colonel, can you tell us whether you have given a statement to my
1 Defence team?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we call up in e-court
5 1D09190. Thank you.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Can you see that statement on the screen, the front page?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Have you read and signed the statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we show the last page,
12 please, for the witness to identify his signature.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Is this your signature?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you have
17 stated to the Defence team?
18 A. Generally speaking, that's it, with perhaps minor clarifications
19 that I will need to add probably during examination viva voce.
20 Q. Is anything incorrect or inaccurate in this statement, anything
22 A. I don't think so.
23 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions today, would your answers
24 be essentially the same, not verbatim but essentially the same?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this 92 ter statement.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Objection at this point, Your Honour. I think the
5 witness is trying to leave some wiggle room, speaking about perhaps minor
6 clarifications, I don't think so, if there is anything incorrect. I'd
7 like the -- it to be put to the witness: Is the statement correct or
8 not. And if he's got any clarifications to make them now.
9 JUDGE KWON: I think that's fair enough. If you could deal with
10 it, Mr. Karadzic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Colonel, is this statement accurate and is there any need for you
14 to make any corrections or changes?
15 A. The statement is accurate and there is no need for me to change
16 or correct it. That is not what I meant earlier.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The document receives Exhibit Number D3993,
20 Your Honours.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 I will now read out in English a short summary of Colonel
23 Vujadin Popovic's statement.
24 [In English] Vujadin Popovic was chief of security of the
25 Drina Corps during July 1995. At that time he held the rank of
2 At that time, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic arrived in Srebrenica on
3 July the 11th, 1995, after the Bosnian Serb Army had entered the town.
4 On the morning of 12th of July, 1995, he was at the Hotel Fontana in
5 Bratunac for a meeting convened by General Mladic. He knew of no plan to
6 execute men from Srebrenica at that time and emphatically denies the
7 claim by Prosecution Witness Momir Nikolic that he stated that the men
8 were to be killed during a conversation on the morning of 12th of July
9 outside the Hotel Fontana.
10 On 13th of July, 1995, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic travelled along
11 the road from Bratunac to Nova Kasaba. He saw between 100 and
12 200 prisoners standing or sitting by the road near Sandici. He did not
13 see anyone being killed or mistreated. Later, in the afternoon, he saw
14 about 800 prisoners on the football-pitch in Nova Kasaba and observed a
15 soldier making a list of the prisoners. When he passed the warehouse in
16 Kravica that evening, he saw bodies on the ground. When he inquired what
17 had happened, the policemen at the warehouse told him that there had been
18 an incident and refused to be more specific.
19 In the morning of 14th of July, 1995, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic
20 participated in the transport of a convoy of vehicles carrying prisoners
21 from Bratunac to Zvornik. He understood that the prisoners were to be
22 housed temporarily in school buildings in the Zvornik area. During
23 14th of July, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic observed prisoners being held at
24 schools in Orahovac and Rocevic. During his stay in Orahovac and
25 Rocevic, he did not see any killing of prisoners of war. At that time,
1 he was not aware that there was any plan for the prisoners to be
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic learned on 15th of July that prisoners
4 had been executed at Orahovac, Petkovci, and Rocevic the day before. On
5 16th of July, while in Pilica, he learned that other prisoners had been
6 executed at the cultural centre there. He told his commander,
7 General Krstic, about these killings when he saw him in person on
8 18th of July, 1995.
9 On 23rd of July, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic was in the Bisina
10 area where he saw the bodies of about 30 prisoners who appeared to have
11 been executed by soldiers. He was shaken by what he saw and ordered the
12 men to bury the bodies.
13 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic never informed President Karadzic
14 about the execution of prisoners from Srebrenica. He is not aware of the
15 existence of any written reports which contained information about the
16 executions. He never heard anyone suggest that President Karadzic was
17 informed about the execution of prisoners or that he had approved it.
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic was convicted of his role in the
19 Srebrenica events by this Tribunal and sentenced to life imprisonment in
20 the first degree. His case is currently on appeal.
21 And that would be a short summary. Now I would like to present
22 to Colonel Popovic two of his own documents from this time and pose some
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Just to note, line 19, page 76, line 19-20, the
1 statement does not say where he saw the bodies of about 30 prisoners who
2 appear to have been executed by soldiers. It says he saw 30 bodies
3 there. There is nothing about appearing to have been executed.
4 JUDGE KWON: That may be inquired of the witness by Mr. Karadzic.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, we'll leave that for
7 JUDGE KWON: I would like Mr. Karadzic to clarify because he said
8 that they appeared to have been executed.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: And it -- sorry, if I could just respond, if he
10 says something is in the statement when it's not in the statement, that's
11 not a matter for my cross-examination; that's a matter for reading a
12 correct summary.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. It's possible,
15 Your Excellencies, and Mr. Nicholls, that as the summary is not evidence,
16 I was perhaps a bit too flexible when re-telling the statement. It's not
17 evidence; it's my interpretation.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Colonel, sir, from your official position, could you observe what
20 was going on in Srebrenica at the beginning of this combat action of
21 separating the enclaves?
22 A. At the beginning of the combat action of separating the enclaves,
23 I was in Vlasenica at my command post.
24 Q. And could you notice -- were you in the field on the 7th or did
25 you receive a report from the field or did you have your men in the field
1 who would report to you about what was going on?
2 A. In accordance with the principle of organisation of security
3 service in the Army of Republika Srpska, each unit of the size of brigade
4 had a security organ or intelligence and security organ within its
5 composition, depending on the title of the unit. So I did have such men
6 who sent such reports.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please call up in e-court
9 65 ter 02074.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. While we are waiting for this to appear on the screen, Colonel,
12 could you tell us what an organ denotes when we say "an organ," and is
13 there also something else apart from an organ?
14 A. In accordance with the organisation, as I said, the security
15 organ is lower than, for example, a security department.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you remember this document which you forwarded
17 after your organ reported this to you, and could you tell us, what did
18 you think of this line that the civilians from Srebrenica are moving --
19 are being moved towards Zepa as early as the 7th of July?
20 A. Just, please, let me read all of it and then I will give you my
22 I simply have nothing to say here, no comment is needed. The
23 issue was that the civilian population was slowly moving out from these
24 border areas where combat operations were ongoing and they were moving
25 inside. So the preparation of the population for evacuation had been
1 carried out earlier.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted,
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: It receives the Exhibit Number D3994,
7 Your Honours.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Just, just -- just to clarify, what -- first of
10 all, I'm a bit behind because there was no proofing note about these two
11 documents which were added. I'm not objecting to them on that basis, but
12 I asked Mr. Robinson about this before court and he didn't know, but they
13 had been discussed in proofing but we received nothing. Which enclave
14 are we talking about? Because it says here:
15 "The observed activities indicate that the enemy is evacuating
16 small groups of civilians from the Zepa enclave ..."
17 That's what we're talking about, not Srebrenica?
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, we can ask the witness.
20 Something is wrong about the translation. I just -- I was just
21 informed about this.
22 "According to the report of the organ towards Srebrenica" and
23 it's translated "from, towards Zepa" instead of "from Zepa."
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Colonel, can you please read out for us this sentence so that it
1 can be translated.
2 A. "The observed activities indicate that the enemy is evacuating
3 small groups of civilians towards the Zepa enclave along the
4 Petrovica Brdo-Caurka-Pribojevici-Grebici village axis in front of the
5 forward lines in the brigade's area of defence."
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope it's been clarified now. I
8 think the problem is in the translation.
9 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Were you aware, were you informed about where our army was, where
13 the UNPROFOR units were, that is to say, their check-points, and how did
14 you obtain such information? Or, more specifically, was UNPROFOR always
15 at the location that was agreed on so that you would know judging by a
16 map where they were located?
17 A. We had in maps and that was also the part of the agreement drawn
18 locations where UNPROFOR was supposed to be. However, that did not
19 correspond to the actual situation on the ground. They moved their
20 check-points because of their own needs, sometimes because they needed to
21 organise communications and sometimes because at certain points in time
22 the Muslim forces -- or rather, in certain places, locations, they would
23 take control of those locations. So they had to move their check-points
24 into the depth of our territory. Of course we knew where the
25 check-points were. This is rather something that has to do with the area
1 towards Zepa. I think it's coming from Mr. Kaldesic who was the security
2 organ in the Milici Brigade.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please have a look at
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. While we are waiting, could you please tell us whether for our
8 forces it was important to know whether they had moved or not? Why was
9 it important to know where they were --
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Objection, leading --
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. -- if not in the location where --
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Objection, leading, "why was it important for us
15 to know"?
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I will rephrase it.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Was it important that the Army of Republika Srpska should exactly
20 know where they were and why?
21 A. Of course it was important, the exact locations where they were,
22 where the observation post was, where they patrolled, because it would
23 happen, as you know, that someone would pass through their lines and fire
24 at our side and our units returned fire. At that moment, they could be
25 the target of the fire if they were not in the agreed location. It was
1 also because of the agreement to separate the enclaves.
2 Q. Thank you. Can you please present this document to us. It is on
3 the following day with regard to the previous one. Who is writing this
4 and what is requested here? And to whom is it addressed?
5 A. It's clear from this telegram what is requested. The information
6 is requested - it is to be sent to the Drina Corps command - as to
7 whether the check-point in Biljeg is still under our control and which of
8 the other UNPROFOR check-points are under our control and whether they
9 are threatened by our units. It's very clear.
10 Q. Thank you. I believe, I'm not sure, that the translation is
11 wrong, that is to say, "threatened by our units," I would say or "are in
12 jeopardy from our units," but I'm not sure. I'm not sure about this
13 translation, whether they are really threatened by our units or -- it's
14 better for you to read it. Under our control. You can read it and we
15 can ask the interpreters to literally interpret it. Which from here and
16 which others.
17 A. It says clearly here:
18 "Inform us urgently whether the UNPROFOR check-point in Biljeg is
19 still under our control there, which other UNPROFOR check-points are
20 under our control or if they are threatened by our units, or if they are
21 threatened by our units.
22 "And likewise, urgently tell us what lines were reached along the
23 axis of our unit's attack."
24 That's what it says.
25 Q. Thank you. You are requesting this from Kosoric; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Why did you request this?
3 A. Probably there were objections from UNPROFOR lodged with
4 commander of our unit and he requested immediately for the information,
5 to check whether this was true or not and what this was all about.
6 Q. Thank you. And for what purpose? To what end?
7 A. In order to avoid that the UNPROFOR units be targeted by the fire
8 coming from our units, so that's the only thing that can follow from this
9 telegram, nothing else.
10 Q. Thank you. I stick to my objection that "threatened" is wrong
11 and that it should be that they are in jeopardy because a threat --
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Objection --
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. -- is a wilful activity --
16 JUDGE KWON: Do not waste your time. If you have some problem
17 with the translation, please -- there are ways to do it.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
19 Can this document be admitted, please? And at this moment I have
20 no more questions for Colonel Popovic.
21 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit Number D3994 -- 95,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, are you satisfied with Mr. Karadzic's
25 clarification as to the bodies in Bisina?
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, he said he was editorialising, if I
2 understood him, and that was his view.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours, and good afternoon,
5 Your Honours.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
7 Q. You're serving a life sentence, right, right now?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. Highest sentence that can be passed by this Tribunal; right?
10 A. That's also true.
11 Q. Yeah. And this honourable Court here in this Tribunal, in this
12 building, actually many times in this room, sat through 425 trial days
13 before they found you guilty beyond reasonable doubt; right?
14 A. Yes, I was pronounced guilty beyond reasonable doubt, but I
15 appealed against it because I have some objections to that --
16 Q. You've answered the question --
17 A. -- and I think that --
18 Q. You've answered the question.
19 JUDGE KWON: Just one clarification. Not this room. Courtroom
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Courtroom III, yes, Your Honour. Sometimes in
22 here, but you're right.
23 Q. Found guilty of persecutions, correct, for murder and inhumane
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Found guilty of murder; right?
2 A. That's what the judgement says or how it reads, but I have
3 objections to that.
4 Q. Yeah, I didn't ask you if you had objections. Right now I'm just
5 confirming with you that you know what you've been convicted of and to
6 make it clear to everybody who is with us today.
7 You've been found guilty of extermination, mass murder; right?
8 A. But just with regard to your previous sentence let me say that
9 this should mean in advance that something is wrong, about the fact that
10 I've been sentenced or convicted for this. And then it's listed there
11 under specific items. You know quite well because you participated in
12 our proceedings, you know what I have been convicted for and that's it.
13 Q. Yeah, I realise that you've appealed. That's beside the point at
14 the moment.
15 You were also found guilty of genocide; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the Trial Chamber, in finding you guilty of these crimes, in
18 paragraph 1179 of the judgement, found that you were not a marginal
19 participant in the JCE to murder. "The evidence shows that he," you,
20 "was entrenched in several aspects of the operation and that he
21 participated with resolve."
22 And then in the next paragraph they stated:
23 "... the scale of the atrocities committed to his knowledge, his
24 vigorous participation in several aspects of the massive killing
25 operation, in particular his direct participation in the organisation of
1 large-scale murders at Grbavci School (where between 800 and 2500 Bosnian
2 Muslims were killed), Rocevic School (where approximately 1.000 Bosnian
3 Muslims were killed), and Pilica (where between 1.000 and 2.000 Bosnian
4 Muslims were killed)."
5 That's what -- the way the Trial Chamber characterised your
6 participation; you know that, right, that you vigorously participated in
7 this massive killing operation?
8 A. Yes, but I hope that through this testimony we'll get a clearer
9 picture of all this.
10 Q. Right. You hope to help your appeal by testifying here today;
11 that's why you're coming to testify before your appeal is heard. Is that
12 right? Is that what you just said?
13 A. That's not correct. In my appeal, I presented everything where I
14 believe I was damaged and where I believe that the Trial Chamber did not
15 pay enough attention to Defence witnesses and other testimonies, but
16 rather than that a priori the Prosecution witnesses who were not quite
17 telling the truth were those who were taken into account and --
18 Q. Okay --
19 A. -- that mostly made me --
20 Q. Okay. I understand -- I understand.
21 Now, it's not just you who's been convicted in the security
22 branch for these murders, these mass murders in July 1995. Your superior
23 in the professional chain, Beara, Beara, also convicted of genocide in
24 the same trial as you; right?
25 A. That's correct, but what does it have to do with -- I mean, Beara
1 and me?
2 Q. Excuse me for laughing. The security officer below you in the
3 Zvornik Brigade, Drago Nikolic, also convicted aiding and abetting
4 genocide; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tolimir, above Beara, also convicted of genocide; right?
7 A. I did not follow Tolimir's trial. I don't know what was dealt
8 with there, but I know that he has been convicted.
9 Q. And do you know that Trbic, Drago Nikolic's subordinate was
10 convicted of genocide in the State Court? So from Main Staff down to
11 brigade. Do you know that Trbic was convicted?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And of course, your commander, Krstic, was convicted of genocide
14 and then aiding and abetting genocide; right?
15 A. You're right.
16 Q. Okay. 12 July, we'll go through some of these places. I read
17 out a paragraph to you about the Trial Chamber talking about your
18 vigorous participation at Grbavci school, Orahovac, Rocevic, and Pilica,
19 where your statement says you were at different times. But first let's
20 go to Potocari, 12 July. And in your statement it's clear you were in
21 Potocari on 12 July and you're on video there; right?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Yeah, and you went there with General Mladic after the
24 Hotel Fontana meeting that day; right?
25 A. That's not right.
1 Q. When did you go?
2 A. After the meeting ended, the one at the Fontana Hotel, I set off
3 for the Bratunac Brigade. In front of the Bratunac Brigade,
4 General Mladic met me and ordered me - it was just like this - to take
5 this truck with bread and a tank truck and drive it up there, distribute
6 it up there to the men -- --
7 Q. Okay --
8 A. -- to the people who gathered --
9 Q. Okay, sorry. Sorry, I'm not trying to cut you off, but that's
10 not my point. My point is that - and I see what you're saying - after
11 the Hotel Fontana meeting at the Bratunac Brigade, General Mladic ordered
12 you to go to Potocari and then you went to Potocari; right? I'm just
13 trying to get the time and sequence?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And while you were there, you were there, this is your
16 statement at paragraph 24, you were there for about two hours; right?
17 That's what you say?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you got some documents from the police station and then went
20 back to the brigade; right?
21 A. That was on the 11th when I took the documents from the
22 Srebrenica MUP and brought that to the brigade. When we were in
23 Srebrenica, and that's also recorded. I'm passing by and Mladic --
24 Q. Okay --
25 A. -- tells me: Take this computer, and only the keyboard and the
1 monitor were actually left.
2 Q. Okay. So then you returned to the Bratunac Brigade and then you
3 start going through and examining those documents you got from
4 Srebrenica; right?
5 A. What date was it?
6 Q. 12th, 12th.
7 A. So on the 12th after the -- after an unpleasant scene with
8 General Mladic when, because of juice or beer, whatever it was to be
9 distributed, when he tried to kick me, I was a bit ashamed in front of
10 all these people who were there --
11 Q. I'm going to object as non-responsive --
12 A. I just went away and left.
13 Q. Okay. Let me read your statement to you, you can look at yours,
14 paragraph 24 and 25.
15 "I estimate that I spent one or two hours in Potocari that day,"
16 this is after Mladic kicks you. "While I was there, Muslim men were not
17 segregated out nor did I see any crime."
18 Paragraph 25:
19 "I returned to the Bratunac Brigade command, went to the office
20 allocated to me, and began to sort and examine documents I'd collected at
21 the Srebrenica MUP."
22 That's correct; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you don't go back to Potocari that day, on the 12th, after
25 you get back to the brigade?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You don't go anywhere? You just finish working on your documents
3 until 6.00 when you go out to dinner?
4 A. I think that I got there around -- after 2.00, and then I threw
5 everything onto the floor from these two sacks and began sorting it out
6 in accordance with my opinion what was more urgent to review because it
7 was dusty and everything, so I wanted to arrange everything. It lasted
8 for perhaps an hour and a half. After that, I went outside and I met my
9 classmate Savo Cvetinovic, who I hadn't seen since my time in Drvar -- or
10 rather, Bihac, I apologise. That was the last time we saw each other so
11 we said: Okay, let's go to my place. Someone was there, whether it was
12 my sister or someone, and we went to his place to have dinner together.
13 Q. Okay. And your statement says at about 1800 hours Savo
14 Cvjetinovic came by the brigade and then that's when you go out to have
15 dinner; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, could I have P04388, please.
18 Q. This is your report from 12 July, your activities that day. It's
19 at 1730 hours from the DK forward command post Bratunac, strictly
20 confidential number 08-446-6 [sic], to the Main Staff, sector for
21 intelligence and security, and also to the security command at the
22 Drina Corps. I know you're very familiar with this document.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Paragraph 3, so we need to go over in the English.
24 Q. "A refugee group of about 30- to 35.000 women and children,
25 elderly ..." et cetera, you're discussing the situation there with the
1 women and children, old people and sick. Then you say:
2 "About 5.000 women and children were evacuated so far. We are
3 separating men from 17 - 60 years of age and we are not transporting
4 them. We have about 70 of them so far and the security organs and the DB
5 /state security/ are working with them."
6 And let's go back to the first paragraph.
7 "In the course of the day, our forces and MUP forces did not have
8 any heavy exchange of fire with balijas ..."
9 This is you reporting on your report separating men, people you
10 refer to as balijas, and not transporting them; right?
11 A. Well, how can I report on something that I did not do? Take a
12 look at the document. I have to explain this document. Look. I mean,
13 your statement, your claim, is wrong. The document is typical for the
14 reporting of subordinate organs to superior organs. The enemy, our
15 forces, UNPROFOR, et cetera.
16 Secondly, look at the number in the heading. It is not my number
17 at all. My number was 17 as far as I know.
18 Thirdly, why am I sending a document to myself? I'm sending
19 myself a document, I mean there is no point. Until this document was
20 shown to me after our trial, I did not know of the existence of this
21 document and that's why we asked to have it admitted. I'm expressing a
22 serious doubt that I personally wrote that. After all, your witness said
23 that to you, I did not take part in the separation or any activity that
24 has to do with this in Potocari. And all of that has been proven.
25 Q. It's -- your guilt has been proven. Now --
1 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, I would ask that
2 Mr. Nicholls not make any comments. Dr. Karadzic was criticised for that
3 by Mr. Nicholls and others, and so they shouldn't now be allowed to do
4 something they know is not correct.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: It's not a comment. It's a question to the
6 witness. He's now saying that our witnesses showed he had nothing to do
7 with Potocari; that is not correct. That is not the truth of the
8 evidence in his trial.
9 JUDGE KWON: Let's continue.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Okay. Are you done or do you have more on this document?
12 A. Well, I would like to make a digression in relation to your
13 assertion. I remember how many witnesses went through our trial. Not a
14 single witness mentioned that Popovic did anything in Potocari, did not
15 separate, did not do anything. And now you are stating to me: "Your
16 guilt has been proven." What does that have -- what does this relate to?
17 This or something else?
18 Q. Okay. You just testified here under oath that you didn't see
19 this document until after your trial, and I think you just might have
20 messed up in your story. Look at paragraph 27 of your statement, look at
21 paragraph 27 of your statement --
22 JUDGE KWON: Do you have your statement, Mr. Popovic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I beg your pardon. I have
24 it, yes. I spoke in haste. Actually --
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 Q. Wait, wait, wait, wait -- no --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- I saw him --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the
5 MR. NICHOLLS:
6 Q. Wait for my question. I haven't asked a question yet.
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't want this turn into a
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes -- yes, Mr. Robinson.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, there was a question pending
12 and Mr. Nicholls is obligated to let the witness answer the question
13 before he puts his next question.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: There wasn't a question pending other than --
15 JUDGE KWON: Just -- because of the -- due to the lack of
16 interpretation, we didn't hear the witness's answer.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE KWON: So after you said: "Actually," we didn't hear
19 anything, could you repeat what you said, Mr. Popovic.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: But --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what that relates
22 to --
23 JUDGE KWON: Okay.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- maybe --
25 JUDGE KWON: Then I will ask Mr. Nicholls to continue.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I'll just make the question very
3 Q. All I'd asked you to do was to look at paragraph 27 of your
4 statement. You just testified you never saw this document until after
5 your trial. In paragraph 27, the last sentence, which is all about this
6 document, says:
7 "I read this telegram at the Drina Corps command the next day,
8 13 July 1995."
9 So when you wrote your statement you thought that was the best
10 option to deal with this document. Where you're sitting here today, you
11 forgot you said that and thought it was better to say you hadn't seen it
12 until after trial; right?
13 A. No, no, Mr. Nicholls. No, not at all. Quite simply, I said --
14 sorry, I got carried away because you irritated me with this question
15 before that and I got a bit lost. So it is correct, the next day,
16 because I told this one -- I mean, why would I be sending myself a
17 document? It is correct the next day when I came up there I read this
18 document. Once again, I apologise. Quite simply, I got lost.
19 Q. Now, you also just told me and established that you were at the
20 Bratunac Brigade command after you got back to Potocari and that you
21 stayed there sorting through documents until you left to have dinner with
22 your old friend Savo at 1800, 6.00 p.m. This document, by your own
23 testimony, goes out at 5.30 when you're at the Bratunac Brigade and it
24 goes out from Bratunac. So is your testimony that while you were at the
25 Bratunac Brigade, without talking to you, somebody else, without your
1 knowledge, sends out a report from the Drina Corps security officer's
2 name while he's in the building without telling him?
3 A. Mr. Nicholls, that building is not one room where everybody is
4 sitting. There are certain offices there. I was in an office. When I
5 arrived, Momir Nikolic gave me the keys to that office because I guess
6 that man was absent. I moved into that office. I closed the door. I
7 got this material out and started sorting it. I don't know who was at
8 the command at that moment, whether somebody was there, whether somebody
9 was walking around. I wasn't interested at all. I was doing my work
10 which I thought was urgent, to see what all of this was about, these
11 documents that I had seized and brought from Srebrenica from the MUP
13 Q. Right. Again, so your story --
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We could not hear the
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. I apologise. I thought you were done. Do you have anything else
19 to add?
20 A. I'm done.
21 Q. Okay. So that means your story is you're sitting in an office,
22 with papers spread out all around you on the floor, doing your security
23 tasks, and somebody in the building - in your statement you say you think
24 it's Momir Nikolic - without your knowledge sends out a report under your
25 name without telling you. They're trying to frame you, thinking there
1 might be a trial in 2008?
2 A. Very pretentious. That's not what I meant. That's not what I
3 thought. Quite simply, I was working on the job that I thought should
4 have been done, and who got there probably thought that I was there and
5 signed for me. But I would like to see the original, to see whose
6 signature is there, because only the name and surname remain once it is
7 sent for encoding. However, without a signature it cannot be sent out
8 for encryption. Do you understand what I'm saying?
9 Q. Okay. I don't think we need to go over it much, but when -- in
10 the VRS when somebody signs for, "za," a commander or an assistant
11 commander for security, like yourself, that means they've approved it;
12 right? It means the person whose name is on it has approved it?
13 A. Well, not necessarily approved. Perhaps the person is simply not
14 there at that moment and this other person just signs this "za" and sends
15 it on. I know that from experience when I worked at the command. If the
16 commander is not there for the moment, then the Chief of Staff signs for
17 him and the document is sent with the commander's signature, and the
18 commander himself may be absent.
19 Q. But what you've just testified to under oath is that you were
20 there, so it wouldn't -- you weren't absent, so it wouldn't have gone out
21 under your name without your consent, without your approval?
22 A. Mr. Nicholls, this is the fifth time I'm saying this -- I don't
23 know which time. I was not consulted about that. I was in the office
24 where the door was closed, and whether somebody knew I was there or
25 not -- maybe they thought I was not in the building. How would they know
1 that Popovic was there? It's not that Popovic stuck a badge there as he
2 entered saying: Popovic is in such and such an office. You know, I
3 don't know whether he knew that I was there.
4 Q. Okay. Testimony in this case, your honest, truthful testimony is
5 that you can be in the Bratunac Brigade without Momir Nikolic, the
6 Bratunac Brigade security officer, knowing that his Drina Corps superior
7 is there when you're working there for hours?
8 A. Absolutely. Absolutely. Momir Nikolic was doing certain things
9 in Potocari and he himself says in his statement that we did not meet up
10 there, so how could he know where I was moving about? And why would I
11 have to tell him: Listen, Momir, I'm going here and there? It is he who
12 is supposed to report to me, not I that am supposed to report to him.
13 That is how things work in the military.
14 Q. Now, this document -- our position is that you wrote it and it
15 came from you and it described what you were doing. That's our position.
16 Describes the Muslims, uses the term "balijas," and that's a term you
17 used for Muslims, isn't it? That's found in paragraph 1193 of your trial
19 A. Please show me another document where this is.
20 Q. All right. We'll take a moment. We'll get to that.
21 Okay, so are you denying you used the term "balijas"? You never
22 used the term "balijas," is that what you're saying?
23 A. Well, I cannot say before I see this other document too --
24 Q. Now, just a second --
25 A. -- I mean as far as I can remember, as far as I can remember, to
1 the best of my recollection, it's been a long time after all. I cannot
2 be sure.
3 Q. So until you see a document that proves it, you can't be sure
4 whether you used the term "balijas," is that what you're saying?
5 A. How can I after all these years, this kind of expression? I
6 don't know whether you can assume what that means.
7 Q. Okay. Let's move on.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I have P04390, please. I'm sorry that's not
9 clearer. If we could blow up the top corner.
10 Q. This is from -- this is a document that goes out on the
11 18th of July from Momir Nikolic. It's got an 08 number on the top, which
12 is the reason why you said with the document that goes out under your
13 name you thought it was from Momir Nikolic, that's in your statement.
14 And this goes out under Momir Nikolic's name if we look at the bottom.
15 Don't worry about the content.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Now could we go to the next page in the Serbian
17 and the English. Next page in Serbian, additional page, please.
18 Q. Okay. Now, the handwritten version there - and this has been
19 explained in this trial - I'll make it very short terms -- very short,
20 was written by Colonel Jankovic. That's the handwritten document,
21 report. And Mr. Nikolic explained in his testimony here on
22 14 of February, 2012, at T 24682 to 24683, the way this document was
23 created, which was that he was working with Colonel Jankovic in the
24 Bratunac Brigade. Colonel Jankovic wrote out this document for him, put
25 his initials on the bottom - if you go to the bottom of the handwritten
1 version -- or we have to go to the next page, I guess, again - and then
2 Momir Nikolic took it to be transmitted. And after it was transmitted,
3 both versions came back. So when Momir Nikolic sends something out under
4 somebody else's name, because they've told him to do it and he's at his
5 brigade, it just goes out under his name, which is why your order that
6 you sent went out under your name; right?
7 A. Well, no. These are two different documents, two different
8 things. Probably Momir Nikolic was present while this man was writing
9 this. I mean, you cannot just compare things that way.
10 Q. Okay. And your document - we don't need to bring it back
11 up - you kept saying: Why would I send it to myself? Why would I send
12 it to myself? Well, first of all, it's sent to the Main Staff; right?
13 A. It was sent to the Main Staff and the Drina Corps and the
14 security organ. To myself, I should not be sending things to myself. I
15 had the version -- I should have a version that is supposed to be
16 encoded. Why would I be sending this to myself? I mean, then I could
17 just send it to the Main Staff, nothing else.
18 Q. Because you send it to the Main Staff and because you're at the
19 Bratunac Brigade, you send it to yourself so that at the Drina Corps
20 you'd have a record right there at the Drina Corps in the security branch
21 of what was sent that day about you separating balijas.
22 A. Well, I'm saying to you yet again, I get the document back from
23 the encryption people, that is to say, once they type it up, they return
24 the document to me. And I don't need a new document over there. I take
25 that document. And when I go up there, I put it in my archives. And
1 secondly, I repeat yet again, I did not send it. You keep insisting that
2 I sent it. I did not send it.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: 65 ter 04398, please. This wasn't on my list;
4 it's just come up, the relevance.
5 Q. I'll try to make this very quick. Drina Corps -- this is, as
6 it's coming up, a Drina Corps command security department, 29 April 1995,
7 from you.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: If we go to the next page of the English, it's
9 page 2 of the English, please. The Serbian's fine where we have it.
10 Q. The last sentence from you:
11 "All VRS members are to be informed through appropriate command
12 organs about the information that balijas are liquidating Serbs in
13 Switzerland," whatever that means.
14 So you use the term "balijas" in this document; does that refresh
15 your recollection?
16 A. Let me just read the entire document, please.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Actually, I missed one. Sorry. Go to page 1 in
18 the English.
19 Q. You can keep reading in your version. You use it twice here.
20 It's in the first sentence under 2:
21 "Security organs of the Drina Corps received an information that
22 a balija, by the name of" so and so. So you use the word "balija" twice
23 in this document.
24 A. It is correct that the word "balija" was used twice. But what is
25 interesting to me is the first line, where it says the security organs of
1 the Drina Corps received information, that is to say that I received that
2 information. And probably -- well, maybe, maybe, that's what it said in
3 those documents, balija Omerovic, and then it was just copied that way.
4 But I should warn you about what this word means. I mean, the word
5 "Chetnik" was used here --
6 Q. If -- if -- if --
7 A. It's a derogatory term too.
8 Q. I know that. If I want your explanation of what the word means,
9 I'll ask you to explain it. Okay? I'm just asking if you used it
10 because supposedly you couldn't remember.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: 65 ter 04397, please.
12 Q. This is from 20 September 1995. The first one was before
13 Srebrenica and this one is after.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Go to the second page so Mr. Popovic can see who
15 sent this. Of the Serbian, please. Okay. This one is signed -- can we
16 go back to the first page.
17 Q. I really want to make this quick, Mr. Popovic. I'm just trying
18 to confirm that you used these terms since you've contested it or can't
19 remember. In the English, in the first full paragraph, and this isn't
20 forwarding information it doesn't look like:
21 "Lately in pre-trial proceedings against balijas captured in the
22 former Zepa enclave ..." there is a danger here about documenting crimes
24 And paragraph 4, if we could go to that in the English, next
25 page, and you can see it in your version.
1 "A special problem so far has been the case when a captured
2 balija (from whichever unit of the ABiH) after being registered by the
3 Red Cross or any other international humanitarian organisation, escapes
4 or is killed while attempting escape ..."
5 So the only question I'm asking you is: Do you recall now that
6 you used the term "balijas," same term we see in that 12 July report?
7 A. Well, it is evident, it seems, that sometimes - very rarely - I
8 used it, but that doesn't mean that I used it on the 12th of July.
9 That's it.
10 Q. Okay. In the afternoon of 13 July now, okay, moving ahead to
11 13 July -- could you please close your statement. You know, if you need
12 to look at it, just ask and we'll let you look at it, but just close it
13 for now. Okay? Thanks. That way we can tell what you're remembering as
14 opposed to what you're reading.
15 In the afternoon at Nova Kasaba -- in the afternoon of 13 July at
16 some point you were in Nova Kasaba and you see a field with about
17 800 prisoners on it; right?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Do you remember running into Zvonko Bajagic, Duga Puska there?
20 A. That -- I think they called him Duga Puska, but I don't remember
21 that, but I know that I was there, that I stopped the car, parked near
22 the end of the football-pitch. I talked to Malinic -- actually, I saw
23 Malinic --
24 Q. Okay, okay --
25 A. -- I don't remember seeing Zvonko. It's probably this void in my
1 memory, but I just don't remember it.
2 Q. Well, maybe this will help you remember. He testified in this
3 case that he was there and that he met you. That's at T 41149 in this
4 trial, 10 July this year. And his testimony is that you prevented
5 pictures being taken of those captured Muslims and that one way or
6 another you took the camera and exposed the film to the light because one
7 of the people with Zvonko Bajagic was taking pictures of these Muslims
8 and you stopped that, you destroyed the film. Do you remember that?
9 Another void?
10 A. Well, do I remember it? I don't, but if I did that and if he
11 says that I did that, then maybe it is the truth. But I don't remember
13 Q. Okay. Well --
14 A. I don't know at what time. Give me some guide-line. I was there
15 in the morning -- actually, in all fairness there weren't any prisoners
16 there then. I left the APC there and then went to Vlasenica and then
17 perhaps in the afternoon/early evening when I was going back from
18 Vlasenica --
19 Q. You say, it's in your -- you say it's when you saw Zoran Malinic
20 there with 800 prisoners, Zvonko Bajagic says it's in the afternoon. I'm
21 not concerned about the exact time, I don't see what that has to do with
22 it, it's when you're there when you see the field full of prisoners.
23 Now, why would you destroy that film? You said "maybe I did."
24 A. Well, I think that already then Mladic had ordered that
25 prisoners -- I mean that prisoners be moved from those places or Gvero's
1 order to provide security for them better and then that no filming be
2 allowed. Perhaps that would be the only explanation. I don't remember
3 that particular act at all. Talking to the soldiers there, I remember
4 that. I remember Mladic coming. This I really don't remember.
5 Q. Okay. Well, let me suggest another explanation. You said that
6 was the only possible explanation. Think about this possible
7 explanation: That you knew all those men were going to be killed and you
8 didn't want photos of them floating around, so you destroyed the evidence
9 that any of those men who happened to be photographed were alive at that
11 A. On the basis of what would I know that at that moment? How can
12 you take things so out of context, you knew at that point in time?
13 You're following my movement on the 12th, you're following my movement on
14 the 13th. How could I know that at that point in time?
15 Q. Well, you've been found to have known that. I'm surprised you
16 don't have any clue of how you could know that. I'll tell you how you
17 could know that because you were part of the murder operation on that
18 day, and what you were doing on that day was working to make sure that
19 every captured Muslim male was murdered; that's how you would know it.
20 A. On that day there were no killings, that's one. And two, how was
21 I participating in killings when I came there by APC and then went to
22 Vlasenica? Where did I participate on that day?
23 Q. Is your truthful testimony here that on 13 July 1995, after the
24 fall of Srebrenica, there were no killing of prisoners? Is that what you
25 just said? And do you mean that?
1 A. Not that I know, not that I know of. I'm saying this
2 emphatically under oath, not that I know of. As far as I know, that day
3 there were none, no killings that I know of.
4 Q. All right. Well, we're going to move on, on that day. And that
5 same day, 13 July, going back to Bratunac, this is paragraph 36 of your
6 statement, you don't need to read it unless you need to remember. I'm
7 just telling the Trial Chamber where to find it. You stopped by the
8 Kravica warehouse where you see several dozen bodies on the ground in
9 front of the hangar. That's another execution site that you happened to
10 be at during this time, right, in addition to Pilica and the other ones
11 we'll get to?
12 A. I was not there at the time of the killing. I was returning that
13 evening, stopped by and saw those people executed. I asked what
14 happened. They told me there was an incident. Those were not executions
15 that I was present at. Please don't put to me things that are not true.
16 Q. My point is you just said at page 105, speaking about the 13th:
17 "As far as I know, that day there were none, no killings that I
18 know of."
19 Now, same day, 13 July, according to your own statement, you were
20 at Kravica warehouse with a bunch of bodies, dead bodies, out front. Are
21 you now claiming those bodies were not victims of killings?
22 That's the only way your story is even halfway coherent.
23 A. I'm not claiming those were not the bodies of victims. Those
24 were the men that were killed in that incident and I saw them when I was
25 passing by, but I thought you were saying that at the pitch, when I was
1 passing by near Kasaba, I knew that executions had taken place. That's
2 what I thought you meant.
3 Q. Right. But what -- understand my point is you said after that to
4 the best of your knowledge there were no executions on the 13th, and
5 that's not true. There were executions on the 13th, right, at Kravica?
6 Forget about Sandici and Jadar. At Kravica you know there were
7 executions on the 13th?
8 A. I repeat, as I was passing by, I saw the bodies, I stopped,
9 asked: What happened? They told me: There has been an incident.
10 That's all I knew at that time. In my earlier answer I meant the other
11 thing by the football field and that's why this came out. Mistakes
12 happen because you put things out of context --
13 Q. Okay --
14 A. -- I mean, you're practically asking me to make a mistake.
15 Q. Okay. Let's just go over this Kravica situation which we did not
16 have during your trial. A witness who was just here, Tomo Kovac, spent
17 about 50 per cent of his time answering questions saying that the MUP in
18 this area were resubordinated to the army. You are the Drina Corps chief
19 of security. You're at the warehouse. You ask the policemen there what
20 happened, resubordinated policemen. They wave their hands at you: No,
21 we don't want to talk about it, and you accept that. There's nothing the
22 chief of security of the Drina Corps can do to find out what happened
23 when he's standing in front of a warehouse with bodies lying all around
25 A. What is your question?
1 Q. My question is: Why do you accept, if we believe your story,
2 that these policemen waved their hands at you and that's why you don't
3 find out anything about this "incident"? Why didn't you say: Hey, I'm
4 commander -- assistant commander for security of the Drina Corps, tell me
5 what happened here to those soldiers?
6 A. I will answer this question now. First of all, you said a moment
7 ago that I was at the warehouse. I was not at the warehouse; I was on
8 the road, on the road, standing by my car. Second, every soldier of the
9 police who was resubordinated does not have to know or be able to
10 recognise Colonel Popovic because he still receives assignments from his
11 own commander and he executes these assignments. I asked what had
12 happened. He didn't want to answer. What was I supposed to do? Press
13 him? And then I also forgot this: That unit that came had its own
14 security organ because I didn't know those people. How could I
15 investigate? That was supposed to be done by the security organ of that
16 unit. I tried to find out what had happened. The man didn't want to
17 tell me. And that was it. I went on my way.
18 Q. Okay. Well, a witness Dr. Karadzic just called, Tomo Kovac,
19 explained that all these crimes were strictly in your purview, that it
20 was the security organ of the VRS who is meant to investigate them
21 because they were -- the police units, the special police brigade under
22 Borovcanin had been resubordinated. You're now telling us that the
23 security organ of the VRS is not supposed to investigate crimes by the
24 MUP because Tomo Kovac is supposed to do it; is that right?
25 A. Not Tomo Kovac. Why Tomo Kovac? That unit has its own
1 commander. In terms of structure, it was established, was set up like
2 any other VRS unit. It has its own commander, it has its own battalions
3 and companies, company commanders, its assistant commander for security,
4 and he is the one who knows the people. How could I intervene when I
5 don't know the men? Every unit has its --
6 Q. All right. Well, you're --
7 A. -- own commanders. They're all set up in the same way.
8 Q. Okay. You explained that. So you as the security chief for the
9 Drina Corps, when you stumble across a pile of bodies and a unit that is
10 resubordinated to the Drina Corps, are unable to gather any information;
11 that's what you're telling us?
12 A. That's not right. I said I had asked what had happened. The man
13 didn't want to share information with me because he didn't know me. To
14 him, I was a stranger. He knows his own men, his own company commander,
15 his security commander. Who is Popovic to him?
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. I can produce my ID to him a hundred times; it still won't mean
18 anything to him.
19 Q. So as a law-abiding, Geneva-Convention-abiding VRS officer who
20 doesn't approve of mass murder, you would have immediately then called up
21 Ljubisa Borovcanin and said: What the hell's going on, your men are
22 standing around a bunch of dead bodies in front of a warehouse. You need
23 to go and investigate this now. Right?
24 A. Well, if everybody is monitoring their own unit and he is
25 duty-bound to do so, then he must take responsibility for his own unit.
1 I tried to find out what had happened; I didn't get an answer. I went on
2 my way and then made inquiries at the command about what had happened.
3 However, the staff of the command, the senior staff, was not there.
4 There was only auxiliary personnel, but I did try to do something.
5 Q. Okay. Well, did you try to do this, because there's nothing in
6 your statement: What did you to check on whether there were any
7 survivors? What did you do to check whether any of these men lying on
8 the ground or in the warehouse might still have been alive and in great
9 pain? When you got to Bratunac did you say: I think we should send some
10 ambulances to Kravica, there's a whole people lying on the ground who
11 have been shot and there might be some who are alive?
12 A. I'm telling you I was watching from the road, and what I saw I
13 described to you. When I came to the command, I tried to find out what
14 had happened. Nobody was able to tell me more than I already knew, and I
15 didn't take the steps that you suggest. I didn't take steps because I
16 thought after all it was the responsibility of the person in command of
17 that unit. I cannot interfere in the command and the operation of
18 another unit. Everybody has their own security organ. I cannot -- I
19 mean, I can send instructions to them along my own chain of command as to
20 how they should work, but nothing else.
21 Q. Okay. The road is very close to the Kravica warehouse and the
22 Trial Chamber's been there. You keep saying you were on the road. It's
23 right there, it's right off the road; right?
24 A. On the road itself, if I remember correctly, there was a green
25 belt between the road and the wire fence, and then another green belt,
1 then a paved area outside the warehouse and then the warehouse itself.
2 It was a minimum of 20-plus, 20 to 30 metres, as far as I'm able to
3 estimate now from memory.
4 Q. Okay. And just before we finish today, when you came across
5 those bodies and you saw that scene, were you emotionally shaken? Did
6 you start to cry like you did at the Bisina execution site?
7 A. Mr. Nicholls, it's never a normal thing to see dead bodies in a
8 heap, although they were not in a heap, they were just lying outside the
9 hangar. I was in a section of the road that was a bit wider and I was
10 looking diagonally towards the hangar, and of course when you see
11 something like that, when you come across ...
12 Q. Yeah, the evidence in this case - and I think we're about to stop
13 so I'll just put this to you - the evidence in this case from the very
14 few people who survived those executions that day is that in that
15 warehouse there were people moaning and dying all night long. People, if
16 we believe any part of your story, you could have saved.
17 A. Mr. Nicholls, at that moment when I was passing by, I was
18 standing by my car, I didn't hear a thing. The engine was running. I
19 called out to the man who was 10, 15 metres away from me and asked him:
20 What's happened? He said: An incident, and waved me off. I didn't hear
21 any cries.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On page 109, lines 21 and 22 do not
25 reflect exactly what the witness says. [In English] I can send the
1 instructions to them along my chain of command as to how they should
2 work, but nothing else. [Interpretation] The witness actually said [In
3 English] But to nobody else. [Interpretation] He didn't say "nothing
4 else," but he said he can only send instructions down his own chain of
5 command but not send instructions to anyone else.
6 And that is also not quite correctly interpreted. Only along our
7 chain to my own subordinates. In our language the two can be confused
8 easily. There's only one sound distinguishing the two words, but he
9 actually said "to no one else."
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. There's not much difference as far as I
11 understand it.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I --
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I ask one more questions before we break
15 based on that?
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Well, okay, then you're at the Bratunac Brigade after seeing
19 these bodies and recall there was a Bratunac Brigade soldier who was
20 wounded at this site, at this execution site on the 13th. You could have
21 gone to your subordinate chain right then and said: Get out to Kravica
22 and find out what happened. There's a whole bunch of dead bodies lying
23 at the warehouse. I saw them from the road. But you didn't.
24 A. Mr. Nicholls, at that moment, I did not know at that moment that
25 a soldier, any soldier, had been hurt. All I knew, all I heard, was that
1 an incident had happened. When I came to the command, I made inquiries
2 at the command if anybody knew what had happened back there. However, I
3 didn't find any senior officers who would be able to tell me anything.
4 Maybe even they didn't know anything about it at the moment. I don't
5 know whether I would have or should have done otherwise if I had learned
6 more, but I was simply unable to find anyone who would give me more
7 information. All I was told was that something had happened, which means
8 that the information didn't reach anyone on time.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could Mr. Nicholls kindly make it
10 clear whether he means the policemen or the soldier because the
11 interpretation we got was "soldier."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I also received interpretation
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Soldier, VRS soldier. Thank you.
15 JUDGE KWON: Whether it was a soldier who was wounded at that
16 site, that was the question?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, soldier, VRS soldier, Bratunac Brigade
19 JUDGE KWON: A Bratunac soldier was wounded in the Kravica
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
22 JUDGE KWON: I think that's the challenge -- question from --
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I'm confirming.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: It was not an error, soldier, not policeman.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 Would you like to answer -- would you like to comment on that,
3 Mr. Popovic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I didn't know a soldier
5 was hurt. I thought as I was passing by that a policeman had been
6 injured. As for a soldier ...
7 JUDGE KWON: Shall we adjourn or would you like to continue?
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I think we can -- if I'm right, we're past the
9 time. We can continue tomorrow.
10 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
11 Mr. Popovic, I'd like to advise you not to discuss about your
12 testimony with anybody else. I take it you understand that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, sorry, sorry, just to make it clear,
15 does that include his attorney because you made the similar ruling
16 with --
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: -- Mr. Kovac that he could speak to his lawyer but
19 not about the case, not about his testimony.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, absolutely.
21 Mr. Zivanovic, you understand.
22 The hearing is adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.50 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of
25 November, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.