1 Thursday, 14 November 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Good morning, Mr. Puhalic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE KWON: Before we continue, the Chamber will deal with the
10 admission of excerpts of prior testimony and statements of Tomislav Kovac
11 used by the Prosecution during his cross-examination. The Chamber does
12 not find it necessary to hear any further submissions from the parties on
13 this issue.
14 The Chamber has reviewed the excerpts proposed by the Prosecution
15 as well as the accused's responses to each as provided to the Chamber's
16 legal staff via e-mail on the 4th of November, 2013, and later amended by
17 the parties on the 7th of November, 2013.
18 Of the 19 excerpts of prior testimony and statements put to Kovac
19 during cross-examination, the Chamber is satisfied that 16 of them were
20 fully read out into the record, and thus the Chamber does not consider it
21 necessary to admit these excerpts into evidence. As agreed upon by the
22 parties, the Chamber considers that the remaining three excerpts were not
23 fully read into the record and therefore would be of assistance to the
24 Chamber. Therefore, the Chamber will admitted following three documents
25 into evidence: 1, 65 ter number 25514, page 39 in B/C/S, and page 52 in
1 English; number 2, 65 ter number 22146, pages 90 to 91 in B/C/S, and
2 pages 383 to 84 in English; and, number 3, 65 ter number 25350, pages 135
3 to 136 in English. The Chamber instructs the Prosecution to upload the
4 specific pages into e-court for these three documents and instructs the
5 Registry to assign exhibit numbers to them. Shall we give numbers now?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. 65 ter 25514 will be
7 Exhibit P6506; 65 ter 22146 will be Exhibit P6507; and 65 ter 25350 will
8 be Exhibit P6508.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
10 MR. TIEGER: I just want the record to be clear, Mr. President.
11 Because I did review the previous discussions about this in court and it
12 may be seen as a slight modification of the previous practice, but
13 I understand based on explicit discussions with the accused and based on
14 the Court's ruling, that this decision reflects the fact that when the
15 excerpt is read fully into the record and there is no objection by the
16 Defence, then the portion read out in court serves in lieu of the
17 document and as the equivalent of the document. That's been the
18 Defence's position on this matter, and I just wanted there to be no
19 mistake about that. Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: We considered that point as well. Shall we
22 Yes, please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Excellencies. Good
24 morning to all.
25 WITNESS: SLAVKO PUHALIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Puhalic.
4 A. Good morning to all.
5 Q. I would just like us briefly to clarify what you meant by some of
6 your answers. Yesterday, on pages 48 and 49, you were asked about
7 killings and beatings. Was this done by some of the staff who
8 administered the beatings? Who killed these people? Were these people
9 killed in the camp? Were they taken away some place? What was the
10 attitude of the staff towards that?
11 A. I know about a few of these cases. When people first arrived
12 from the outside, I mean, I cannot remember all the details, but I know
13 that there were a few cases when that's exactly what happened. People
14 were beaten up, and I think that one people -- one person had his or her
15 leg injured. It was late at night or early in the morning when these
16 people would come. I know of these few cases when some of these
17 civilians would say that somebody had been injured, and then I'd go and
18 find a doctor or a nurse or someone to help these people. As for these
19 people, as for the killings, I don't know whether it was two persons that
20 were killed. Major Kuruzovic or someone, I think it was him, I know that
21 he signed this, but I know that later on some person was held responsible
22 for these killings.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. And I think that it was in the morning when I arrived there, a
25 lady said that her husband was missing for three days already, and then
1 again somebody had come from the outside, and then the major told me to
2 try to find out what happened, so I spent four or five nights right
3 there - how do I put this? - in that house. No, it's not a house. Well,
4 in that house with that Albanian. I spent four or five nights there, and
5 I tried to see who it was that was coming from the outside. But no one
6 was hurt, and then after that that stopped and no one came again.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P6051. We don't have to have it
9 called up.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You were asked about that Croatian intercept. Who was it that
12 could have broken in? The document bears the date of the 31st of May.
13 Does this shed more light on what this might have meant, if the date was
14 the 31st of May?
15 A. Well, how should I know? As I've already told you --
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Mr. Karadzic is misstating the evidence. That
17 intercept actually says to stop a break-out, not people breaking in, but
18 to stop a break-out from the camp.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we call up the document then
20 for a moment? P6501 actually.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. While I'm waiting --
23 JUDGE KWON: Is it not 6502?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I'm sorry. 6502.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. While we are waiting, Mr. Puhalic, you were asked -- or, rather,
2 it was confirmed that the conditions were bad. Where did these people
3 live before the 30th of May?
4 A. Probably -- well, at their homes.
5 Q. Thank you. Yes, Madam Sutherland is right in terms of the
6 interpretation of the Croats, by the Croats, but can you tell us what the
7 situation was on the 31st of May in Prijedor? What was happening?
8 A. Well, let me tell you, after a few killings by the Muslims,
9 attacks against Prijedor, stopping people going through Kozarac, all
10 these things that happened, so the people who arrived in the camp there,
11 well, there were these extremists, if I can put it that way, who simply
12 took off their uniforms and came to the camp.
13 Q. Thank you. But I'm talking about the broader area of Prijedor.
14 What happened on and around the 31st of May? You mentioned this attack a
15 moment ago.
16 A. Attack against Prijedor, and before that, there were a few
17 killings in Prijedor committed by the Muslims.
18 Q. Was there any fighting?
19 A. Well, of course, if there was an attack against Prijedor, there
20 was fighting. I've already mentioned that. This was armed fighting in
21 Prijedor, all day. And then people probably tried to escape from there
22 and then they arrived in Trnopolje and, yes.
23 Q. Thank you. You said that Trnopolje, in your view, was collection
24 centre or reception centre.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter 5786. Could that document
1 please be shown to the witness.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. While we are waiting, Mr. Puhalic, you confirmed that the
4 infirmary was not particularly well equipped. Where did you resolve
5 matters that could not be resolved at the infirmary in Trnopolje?
6 A. Well, I cannot say. I did not actually deal with that but there
7 was a doctor who was an ethnic Serb, and he probably tried to take people
8 to the hospital in Prijedor, things like that.
9 Q. Thank you. This is an assessment of the security situation in
10 September 1993.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 3 of this
12 document, both versions.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. At the time -- actually, how long were you in Prijedor, until
16 A. Say September.
17 Q. Not Trnopolje, Prijedor.
18 A. Prijedor, yes.
19 Q. Were there any Muslims in Prijedor who had stayed on in town at
20 their homes?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Please let us focus on the first five lines here. It says that
23 19.000 households had been registered.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Can Mr. Karadzic put a question to the witness
25 before reading text from the document?
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was convinced that I had put a
3 question. I was convinced that I had put a question about the Muslims in
4 town who lived in town, and this document precisely says that there were
5 6.000 --
6 JUDGE KWON: I don't remember you put that question.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 3, Excellency.
8 JUDGE KWON: He answered yes. And then why do you need this
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just for him to corroborate that,
11 not only this sentence but others too.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Puhalic, please look at the penultimate paragraph. I am
14 going to read it out.
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a minute.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE KWON: For saving time, I will allow you to continue.
18 Please continue.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Since we are going to tender the document, I'm not going to shed
22 any more light on this. I'm going to read out the penultimate paragraph,
23 and then I'm going to put a question to you:
24 "As a consequence of the armed rebellion, reception centres were
25 established at Omarska and Keraterm. Prisoners of war and other persons
1 who had prepared, aided, and organised armed rebellion were placed there,
2 and the homeless and persons who had left their homes of their own free
3 will were housed in the reception centre in Trnopolje."
4 How does this fit into your own knowledge, this bit about
6 A. With regard to all of this, I would agree with it.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this document please be
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will admit the cover page and this page.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4010, Your Honours.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Then I'd just like to ask you this: You discussed the
14 possibility of people returning home with Madam Prosecutor, for these
15 people to return home. Can you tell us in relation to this statement
16 that people could not return home, can you tell us whether that was a
17 decision made by the official authorities? Was that the position of the
18 official authorities? Or was it impossible for them to return home
19 because of something else?
20 A. I believe that they could not return home for another reason, but
21 I don't think that the authorities decided on that. People left their
22 homes, although they could go back home, and as I've already said, with
23 the major's pass, they could return, which was only natural. People did
24 return because they gave up on any further travel, as far as I know.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 5 of this
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Now I would like to draw your attention to the fourth paragraph
5 and I'm going to read out this sentence:
6 "During the fighting and later on, many things happened beyond
7 the official positions that had been taken, property was looted and
8 destroyed, there was abuse, torching, private property was blown up, as
9 well as religious facilities."
10 And then the next paragraph says:
11 "Increased presence of armed personnel led to uncontrolled use of
12 firearms, and the consequence of that are a series of killings,
13 suicides," and so on.
14 Can you tell us how this fits into your own experience? In
15 English it is pages 2 and 3.
16 A. There were such cases, and that is what happened.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this page be admitted too.
19 JUDGE KWON: We will add that page.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Puhalic, I have no further questions. Thank you, and I do
23 apologise that we had to insist that you come and testify.
24 A. Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That concludes your evidence,
1 Mr. Puhalic. On behalf of the Chamber, I thank you for your coming to
2 The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Sutherland?
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, just one matter briefly in relation
7 to the two video-clips that were admitted yesterday, one from the Defence
8 and one from the Prosecution. I would just like to let the Chamber know
9 that Mr. Robinson and I are in discussions about the admission of those
10 two exhibits and we will get back to the Court on that in a short time.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 Next witness is Mr. Kupresanin?
13 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: VOJISLAV KUPRESANIN
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Kupresanin.
21 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Kupresanin, I must draw
22 your attention to a certain rule of evidence that we have here at the
23 Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you may object to
24 answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecution or even from
25 the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate you in a
1 criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying something
2 that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal offence or
3 saying something that might provide evidence that might -- that you might
4 have committed a criminal offence.
5 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you,
6 and as a consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you
7 know that the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the
8 question. But in that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your
9 testimony compelled in such circumstances would not be used in any case
10 that might be laid against you for any offence, save and except the
11 offence of giving false testimony.
12 Do you understand that, sir?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excellently.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Examination by MR. Karadzic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kupresanin.
19 A. God help us, President Karadzic.
20 Q. Let us remember to make a pause between questions and answers and
21 speak articulately and clearly so we wouldn't have to stop to correct the
22 transcript and waste time. I know you can do that.
23 Have you given a statement to the Defence team?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we call up 1D9198 in e-court,
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not very good at this. I'm
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Can you see your statement on the screen now? Can you see it?
7 A. Yes, I can see it. I can read it. I'm trying to read. Should
9 Q. Is this that statement?
10 A. I've read a part of the statement. Let me read till the end. I
11 have reached the part where it says, "Community of municipalities of
12 Bosnian Krajina." Should I go on?
13 Q. No need. Have you read and signed that statement? Did you do it
15 A. Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us show the last page so the
17 witness can identify his signature.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you have
21 told my Defence team?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Just leave a short pause before you answer, please. If I were to
24 ask you the same questions today that they had asked you, would your
25 answers be essentially the same?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I tender this
4 92 ter statement.
5 JUDGE KWON: Any objection to the admission of this statement,
6 Mr. Tieger?
7 MR. TIEGER: No, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE KWON: We will receive it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4011, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE KWON: Shall we deal with the associated exhibits? How
11 many exhibits are you tendering, Mr. Robinson?
12 MR. ROBINSON: Twenty-five, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE KWON: Not 26?
14 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, the fourth document down, 1D09274
15 has already been admitted, so --
16 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes.
17 Any objections, Mr. Tieger?
18 MR. TIEGER: No.
19 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will deal with item that the Chamber has
20 some problem with. First, 1D9275, referred to in paragraph 50, the
21 Chamber is of the view that that document is not sufficiently commented
22 upon or contextualised to make it inseparable from the witness statement.
23 So if necessary, the accused should lead live about the document.
24 Second, the document referred to in paragraph 42, i.e.
25 65 ter number 6710, is it not a duplicate of 65 ter 25344, which has been
1 admitted as Exhibit P6437?
2 And the documents referred to in paragraph 35, i.e. 65 ter 9201
3 and 65 ter 17377, and the final one, 18629, the Chamber would like the
4 accused to lead live as to these three documents. The Chamber is of the
5 view witness needs to provide more context for the documents.
6 And the 65 ter 17367, referred to in paragraph 15, so this seems
7 to be the identical document to 65 ter 17356, referred to in paragraph 8.
8 If the parties could check it.
9 As regards the 65 ter 17516, referred to in paragraph 7, I take
10 it the only three -- first three pages are being tendered. We will admit
11 those three pages.
12 And 17890, referred to in paragraph 44, the -- it has not been
13 sufficiently commented upon by the witness so it -- if the Defence wants
14 to tender that document, Mr. Karadzic should lead live.
15 And para 4, 65 ter 18630, the Chamber does not need it, will not
16 admit it.
17 And 30061, referred to in paragraph 11, which is an intercept,
18 but this seems to be a wrong intercept. This is an intercept between
19 Mr. Karadzic, Krajisnik and Jovan Tintor. But in the statement, witness
20 references a phone conversation between Mr. Karadzic and himself. So if
21 the parties could check it.
22 Finally, 65 ter 1 -- 310 -- I'm sorry, 31700, an intercept
23 referred to in paragraph 14, because the witness does not sufficiently
24 comment upon this document. If the Defence is minded to tender this
25 document, it should lead live.
1 So all the other remaining documents will be admitted into
2 evidence and be given -- assigned numbers in due course by the Registry.
3 Yes, thank you.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I shall now read out in
6 the English language a short summary of the statement of
7 Mr. Vojislav Kupresanin.
8 [In English] Vojislav Kupresanin became engaged in political work
9 on the eve of the first multi-party elections. On March the 4th, 1990,
10 he formed the Yugoslav Democratic Party, the homeland front, and on the
11 12th of July, 1992, his party became part of the SDS. After this, he was
12 a deputy in the Chamber of citizens in B and H parliament and a member of
13 the SDS Main Board. In the first half of 1992, Mr. Kupresanin was
14 elected president of the assembly of the community of municipalities of
15 Bosanska Krajina and in the second half of the same year, president of
16 the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, ARK. After the war, he
17 reactivated the work of the homeland front, and on June the 1st, 1993 --
18 2003 -- 2013, he retired.
19 The ZOBK was established primarily for economic reasons and
20 included 17 municipalities. After World War II, Banja Luka was
21 economically the second most powerful town first after Sarajevo and the
22 region had several hundred million dollars of commercial surplus, but all
23 this money went to the central bank of Sarajevo. The ZOBK assembly
24 adopted its own statute and had functioned independently of the SDS and
25 any other political party. The ZOBR, there were members of the different
1 parties and everybody worked for the same idea, keeping for the people of
2 Krajina the natural resources of the area. With a basic goal of being
3 able to follow events in the sphere of the economy, politics and culture,
4 the ZOBK assembly took certain liberties from the BH constitution.
5 On June the 28th, 1991, the ZOBK assembly adopted a declaration
6 for the unification of the two Krajinas, RSK and Bosnian Krajina.
7 Dr. Karadzic clearly expressed that he was against this unification and
8 advocated the preservation of existing borders. Dr. Karadzic maintained
9 that these decisions had never been authorised by the SDS Main Board, and
10 although the ZOBK was aware that SDS Main Board decisions were binding
11 for its own members, the local leadership was convinced that all
12 decisions of interest and importance of the two Krajinas were supposed to
13 be made at a level of the Krajinas themselves.
14 The ZOBK assembly had Muslims and Croats who were delegated by
15 municipalities in which they were deputies for the SDA and HDZ until such
16 a time that they stopped coming to the sessions at the instruction of the
17 SDA and HDZ central offices from Sarajevo.
18 Vojo Kupresanin, in his capacity of president of the ZOBK
19 assembly, expressed his wish for the ZOBK to be joined by various Muslim
20 and Croat municipalities because ZOBK goal was not to create a Serbian
21 community. Mr. Kupresanin personally contacted several times
22 Mr. Fikret Abdic, the director of Agrokomerc and a prominent Muslim
23 leader of European orientation, because he wanted this food company to be
24 supplied with the raw material from the area. Unfortunately, Mr. Abdic
25 never replied to these calls. The goal of the ZOBK was to take control
1 of the segments of society which were of significance to Krajina, and in
2 this process, they did not have any co-ordination with the republican
4 In September 1991, the statute of the ARK was adopted. In this
5 statute, all nationalities were recognised as equal and municipalities
6 with a majority of non-Serbian people were enabled to join the ARK. In
7 order to protect the Serbian people in Slavonia, in Croatia, who were
8 exposed to the most heinous crimes, the Serbs in Krajina turned to the
9 JNA for protection. After JNA General Uzelac refused to intervene to
10 defend the Serbs, the ARK decided to declare a mobilisation, which is
11 different from a state of war. Later on, ARK Crisis Staff was
12 established even though the Republika Srpska government ordered the
13 formation of the Crisis Staff per municipalities, not per regions. The
14 reason for the formation of the ARK Crisis Staff was to -- was the tense
15 and alarming situation in BH, and not the expulsion of the non-Serb
16 population from ARK.
17 The ARK Crisis Staff did not receive instructions from the
18 leadership in Pale. Individuals in Krajina respected neither
19 Dr. Karadzic, nor SDS, neither before the war nor in the course of the
20 war. Since neither Dr. Karadzic nor Mr. Kupresanin agreed with the
21 creation of a Krajina state, Mr. Kupresanin managed to prevent the
22 separatist option from being accepted. Meanwhile, Alija Izetbegovic
23 ordered all municipalities to transfer weapons from the police station to
24 Sarajevo ostensibly for a technical inspection, which was interrupted by
25 the Serbs as an intention to leave the Serbian policemen without
1 weapons -- interpreted by the Serbs. For this reason, the regional
2 security centre was established and local Krajina authorities prevented
3 the weapons drain from the police stations. Since in April 1992, Croats
4 and Muslims attacked various Serbian municipalities, the ARK assembly
5 made a decision to form a National Defence council of the ARK and a
6 police department.
7 Dr. Karadzic charged Mr. Kupresanin with responsibility of
8 influencing the leadership in Prijedor to close down investigation
9 centres. Mr. Kupresanin asked the authorities of Omarska and Keraterm to
10 shut down and to improve the prisoners' living conditions until its
11 disbandment. After that, Mr. Kupresanin toured to Manjaca prisoner of
12 war camp, in order to check whether the Geneva Conventions were
13 implemented. Furthermore, Mr. Kupresanin negotiated an end to the
14 fighting in Kotor Varos in agreement with the commander of the VRS
15 operation group and with the chief of the Security Service Centre in
16 Banja Luka.
17 Warring parties and populations surrendered their weapons and the
18 Serbian authorities promised them the creation of conditions for their
19 normal life. The relationship between Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic
20 was always very tense because Mladic placed himself above the assembly
21 and above Supreme Commander. Dr. Karadzic did not have practical control
22 over him.
23 And that's the short summary of the statement of Mr. Kupresanin.
24 At that moment, I do not intend to tender those documents that are to be
25 led live.
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
2 Mr. Kupresanin, as you have noted, your evidence-in-chief in this
3 case has been admitted in writing, that is through your written
4 statement, instead of your oral testimony. Now you will be
5 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do
6 you understand that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
9 MR. TIEGER: Just before I commence, Mr. President, just one
10 housekeeping matter, perhaps of several that arise from the Court's
11 observations about the exhibits and the statement. So, for example,
12 paragraph 11 is a commentary on a document that we haven't seen, that
13 nobody knows anything about because it's not the document referenced in
14 the paragraph. Barring anything else, I presume that paragraph would
15 then have to come out and that may be true for other sections of the
16 statement in which documents -- well, I think -- certainly wouldn't be
17 the case as far as I can tell for documents that are insufficiently
18 commented on. That's a different matter.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will bear that in mind in reading the
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
24 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, I understand that although this is the first time
25 you've testified before this Tribunal, that in fact you were interviewed
1 by representatives of the Tribunal, specifically representatives of the
2 Prosecutor's office, on the 16th of July 2001; correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And am I correct that it's your position that at that time, you
5 attempted to be as honest and truthful with the -- in giving your answers
6 as you could be?
7 A. I tried to tell the truth. Things that I was sure were true,
8 I tried to tell them as I knew them.
9 Q. Let me turn to your statement before the Court today, the
10 statement that you gave to the Karadzic team. Many of the paragraphs in
11 that statement deal with the two successive regional bodies in the
12 Krajina, the ZOBK and then the ARK, the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
13 Now, the purpose of the region, that is the region of Krajina, was to
14 eliminate a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct? That is to destroy what
15 was sometimes referred to as Alija's state; correct?
16 A. We turned out at the elections of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
17 automatically we recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina. We chose to live in a
18 democracy and for those three peoples.
19 Q. Excuse me, let me -- let me lay out some quick ground rules for
20 you. I'd like you to tend to the question I ask, and I'd like you to
21 only answer the question I asked rather than expound in a manner that you
22 see fit. So in this case, I'm focusing on the task or purpose of the
23 Autonomous Region of Krajina.
24 A. Please repeat.
25 Q. It's correct that the purpose of the region, that is the region
1 of Krajina, was to destroy what was sometimes referred to as Alija's
3 A. That's not true. The purpose was the economic assertion,
4 self-assertion of Krajina.
5 Q. Well, you say that's not true today, but, in fact, that's
6 precisely what you told the members of the Bosnian Serb Assembly at the
7 20th session held on the 14th and 15th of September, 1992. And we have
8 that in evidence. That's D456. And what you said at English pages 70
9 and B/C/S page 76 is the following:
10 "Last year, we built up the region and made it strong with the
11 clear purpose and goal, the task of the region of Krajina was to destroy
12 Alija's state."
13 That's what you were saying in 1992, at the time, correct,
14 Mr. Kupresanin?
15 A. I don't remember that. But the region, as time went on, acquired
16 political elements when there were turmoil in the assembly of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina and when the declaration of the Muslim and Croat sides
18 was proclaimed, which practically excluded the Serbian people from the
19 assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In that context those words could have
20 been said.
21 Q. In fact, Mr. Kupresanin, ensuring that a unitary Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina ceased to exist was considered a holy mission, wasn't it?
23 A. Well, I think that Bosnia and Herzegovina should have never been
24 a unitary state, not that it should have been centralised to such an
25 extent that we Serbs were excluded from that state. The ordinary people
1 would never accept such conduct on the part of the assembly of
3 Q. And, therefore, Mr. Kupresanin, it was your position that
4 ensuring that Bosnia and Herzegovina ceased to exist was a holy mission,
5 wasn't it?
6 A. No. That's not it. I probably said that Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 could not exist as a unitary state or a state of Muslims and Croats.
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina must be a state of three constituent peoples. We were
9 equal and we were persistent about that.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't like to intervene but the
13 follow-up questions of Mr. Tieger are conditioned by the omissions in the
14 transcript. In lines 5 and 6, said that the Serbian people were being
15 excluded as or eliminated as a constituent people, excluded from the
16 republic. Not just as a people.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Do you confirm having said that,
18 Mr. Kupresanin?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember now. I don't
21 JUDGE KWON: Shall we continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Then could you please ask what he
23 said now, not what he said back then?
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it does not harm the context. We can
1 MR. TIEGER: 65 ter 32152, please. And if we could go to English
2 page 13 and B/C/S page 9 to see who is speaking first.
3 Q. This is an excerpt from the extended session held on the
4 14th of February, 1992, Mr. Kupresanin, a very large plenary, and this is
5 a recording of your comments beginning at page 13 in the English, page 9
6 of the B/C/S, and concluding at page 15 of the English and page 11 of the
7 B/C/S, where you say:
8 "I personally propose that you suggest to the president of the
9 party and to all our Serbian deputies to make sure that the Serbian
10 police are included in the Serbian constitution. The moment we establish
11 the Serbian police, Bosnia and Herzegovina will cease to exist, and that
12 is our holy mission."
13 JUDGE KWON: Are we on correct page?
14 MR. TIEGER: We are still on the first page. I asked to go to
15 page 15 which is the end. I didn't realise we hadn't made that
16 transition. Page 15 of the English, page 13 of the B/C/S -- or page 11
17 of the B/C/S, excuse me.
18 Q. So that was your position on the 14th of February, 1992,
19 Mr. Kupresanin, that ensuring that Bosnia and Herzegovina ceased to exist
20 was a holy mission; right?
21 A. The holy mission was that the Serbian people had to be equal in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There should be no outvoting of the Serbian people.
23 The Serbian people had to be a constituent people with all the elements
24 and rights which any other people in Europe has in any other democratic
25 country. Because the Serbian people was having less and less of that in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, then we began to form our political positions. One
2 of them was to constitute the assembly of Republika Srpska, and then the
3 government, the constitution, and everything else followed.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kupresanin. Please try to answer the question.
5 You answered it and then you started to tell us what followed. I'm
6 asking you not to make dissertations, just to focus on the question. In
7 fact, Mr. Kupresanin, you stated, to applause at that session, that the
8 goal was to finally live in one country and not have Serb territories
9 divided. And that's found on the previous page of both documents, both
10 the English and B/C/S documents.
11 A. Can you please repeat the question? Because I haven't
12 understood. What did I say?
13 Q. Yeah, you said at 1992 that the holy mission was destroying
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the goal was for the Serbian people to finally
15 live in one country; right?
16 A. Well, any conscious people or an individual within a people has a
17 tendency for the people to live in one country. Germany caused two world
18 wars, and in spite of 100 million victims, in 1998, the Germans were
19 allowed -- or rather in 1989, the Germans were allowed to live in one
20 country. And in both world wars we were on the side of the allies. We
21 are the only people in Europe who is forbidden to live in one state. So
22 what is bad about that? I'm thinking to this day, and I tend and wish
23 for my people to live in one Serbian country, and that is my democratic
24 right. Any tendency of an individual to such a goal is the holy mission
25 of any individual, and this is something I'm not going to deny. I still
1 want the Serbian people to have one single Serbian state in the Balkans,
2 and I think that we deserve this because we participated on the side
3 of --
4 Q. Thank you, sir [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. TIEGER: I tender the document, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE KWON: We will receive these pages.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, in this case could we receive the
9 whole document? He speaks again at the end, and I think it's better to
10 have the whole document in for context.
11 JUDGE KWON: We will admit these pages and, if necessary, deal
12 with those pages.
13 MR. TIEGER:
14 Q. Mr. Kupresanin --
15 JUDGE KWON: Shall we give the number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P6509.
17 MR. TIEGER:
18 Q. And, Mr. Kupresanin, you were aware that the Bosnian Serb
19 leadership, the republic level and particularly Mr. Karadzic, backed and
20 were behind regionalisation; correct?
21 A. In case of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, Radovan Karadzic was
22 not to be found even in traces. Whatever happened about the region had
23 to do with the MPs who were from the region and municipal deputies. I'm
24 not aware of Radovan Karadzic having participated in any way. I know
25 that the constitutive session was held in Celinac. There were several
1 people who were candidates. It never occurred to me that I might be the
2 president. Because after a heart attack I had come from a hospital, and
4 Q. We will get to all that information in a second. In fact,
5 Mr. Kupresanin, Mr. Karadzic bragged to you about his role in
6 regionalisation, didn't he, in telephone conversations with you both
7 before and after the establishment of the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
8 A. I don't remember such bragging. I don't think it happened. I
9 don't remember that at all. Before Krajina, we never discussed this
10 issue. After its establishment, I doubt that we did. I can't remember.
11 Q. Did you read the documents which are associated with your
12 statement; for example, D1084 cited in paragraph 30, or D424 cited in
13 paragraph 29? Or were those just appended to the statement by someone
15 A. I didn't read them. I don't read them here now. I don't know
16 whether I read them or not. You asked me a specific question and I gave
17 you a specific answer. Now, I don't know whether you expect something
18 further from me.
19 Q. Well, let's take a look at those two documents which are
20 specifically referenced in your statement. First of all, D1084, which is
21 an intercept, intercepted telephone conversation, between you and
22 Dr. Karadzic on the 23rd of July, 1991. The transcript says D. It's
23 P1084. Now, just to refresh your memory about that, there is a
24 discussion about the possible -- somebody raising the possibility of a
25 referendum about Krajina to which Dr. Karadzic responds, Are they fucking
1 nuts? And you say, So, what do you suggest for us to do? And the
2 conversation continues. Dr. Karadzic tells you why that wouldn't be a
3 good idea, including the fact that it would be a mistake for negotiations
4 because they have even prepared complete documentation to show
5 John Major?
6 JUDGE KWON: Are we on correct page?
7 MR. TIEGER: Sorry. That would be page 3 of P1084, in the
8 English, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: And B/C/S.
10 MR. TIGER: And B/C/S.
11 Q. They prepared documentation with all the evidence that the Serbs
12 are creating the Greater Serbia. And now you are playing right into
13 their hands as if they are paying you. Fuck, man. And then he continues
14 at the bottom of that page, and then continues on to the next page, These
15 are some fools who show up making premature steps. That will happen,
16 Vojo, but they have to be - "they" meaning the Muslims - have to be
17 responsible for that. They have to make a mistake. They will definitely
18 make a mistake. We know that. And so you ask, Shall I call you
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters into B/C/S did not find the
21 relevant passage and could not quote the original words of the witness.
22 MR. TIEGER: Okay, it's on page --
23 JUDGE KWON: With that speed interpreters
24 cannot [overlapping speakers]...
25 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Mr. President. That's page 4 of the B/C/S.
1 They have to make a mistake. They will definitely make a mistake. We
2 know that. And then Dr. Karadzic continues in the middle of the page in
3 English and a little further on in B/C/S, What the fuck else am I
4 supposed to do? Who created that fucking regionalisation? Then he goes
5 on at the bottom of the page in English to talk about how he views the
6 appropriate way to be a certain winner by not keeping your plans on your
7 forehead and playing into other people's hands.
8 Q. Now, that's what he told you in July of 1991, Mr. Kupresanin.
9 Why don't we look at what he said to you in February of 1992, after the
10 formation of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and that's D424, also
11 explicitly referenced in your statement.
12 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, it seems like the witness ought to
13 be given a chance to answer some question, otherwise Mr. Tieger is just
14 making some kind of closing argument.
15 MR. TIEGER: Well, I am responding to the witness's -- I'm
16 presenting the witness with evidence in response to his assertion that he
17 never discussed regionalisation with the accused before --
18 JUDGE KWON: Let the witness read the document and then why don't
19 you ask a question.
20 Do you follow the intercept? Did you read the parts read out to
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying, but it doesn't really
23 seem to work.
24 THE ACCUSED: Should witness be given the hard copy?
25 JUDGE KWON: I don't see any difficulty with it.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What am I supposed to read?
2 MR. TIEGER:
3 Q. I don't care what you read, Mr. Kupresanin. I recited to you
4 some of the pertinent portions of this document and certainly sufficient
5 portions to ask you the question: Isn't it true that it is -- let me put
6 it this way: It is incorrect, it is not true, that you did not discuss
7 regionalisation with Dr. Karadzic, as you just testified to?
8 A. I don't remember that Radovan Karadzic and I discussed the issue
9 of the regionalisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina at any given time. I just
10 know that all of Europe is divided into regions. It has 10.000 regions.
11 We wanted to be like Europe. We wanted to copy Europe. And all the time
12 we were saying Yugoslavia should join the Europe. Europe is being
13 regionalised. We wanted to copy that, so where is the sin there? If we
14 had regions it wouldn't mean that we wanted to topple Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 They would strengthen it economically in the first place.
16 Q. Let's stick on the topic. I'm not asking for your justifications
17 of regionalisation. I'm asking you about this: So now that you say you
18 don't remember that you and Dr. Karadzic discussed regionalisation at any
19 given time, can you explain to me how it is that your statement
20 explicitly references this conversation and incorporates it?
21 JUDGE KWON: Let's do it in this way.
22 Mr. Kupresanin, do you have your statement with you now? Your
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 23rd of July, 1991, how come that
25 it's the 23rd of July when Krajina was formed on the 24th of June? It's
1 possible that this conversation took place after the constitution of the
2 assembly of the autonomous region, because it was on the
3 24th of April, 1991, that we constituted the assembly of Krajina. So the
4 region came into being at certain point, and this conversation was
5 conducted after it came into being and not before that, as far as I can
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kupresanin, do you remember that telephone
8 conversation with Mr. Karadzic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. I don't remember at
11 JUDGE KWON: Do you have your statement with you now, witness
12 statement that Mr. Karadzic tendered? We will print out for you. We can
13 upload his statement. Paragraph 13.
14 THE ACCUSED: If I may, Excellency --
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Do you see the paragraph 13 of your
16 statement? I will read out for you, "I have been shown document" --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it, I can see it, I can
18 see it, I can see it, and I'm reading it now. Please don't help me. I'm
19 going to do it by myself. I understand this perfectly.
20 JUDGE KWON: The telephone conversation referred to in this
21 paragraph 13, i.e. P1084, is what you have now with you now. Just a
22 minute ago you said to us you don't remember that telephone conversation.
23 So how can you comment on this telephone conversation while you do not
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps the telephone conversation
1 did take place, but I cannot confirm that 100 per cent. I remember the
2 topic of this conversation. I know what it was about, and I know that
3 Mr. Karadzic, when it comes to this unification of the autonomous regions
4 of Krajina, Radovan Karadzic did not participate in this process in any
5 way whatsoever. It was the result of work of the MPs from the
6 Autonomous Regions of Krajina. Actually, he did not want to approve of
7 this activity of ours, saying that we simply had to apply in practice the
8 positions of the Main Board of the Serbian Democratic Party, and
9 sometimes we did something that was not in accordance with it, not all of
10 us, but as far as I can see from this document, the majority.
11 JUDGE KWON: Back to you, Mr. Tieger.
12 THE ACCUSED: May I give an explanation?
13 JUDGE KWON: No. You can deal with it in your re-examination.
14 THE ACCUSED: It concerns an inaccuracy of the question. It's a
15 big confusion.
16 MR. TIEGER: I'm not hearing any objection to the questions when
17 they are asked and the witness has answered, and to traverse back to the
18 colloquy seems to be counter-productive.
19 JUDGE KWON: Please discuss it or deal with it in your
20 re-examination, Mr. Karadzic. In the meantime, we'll continue.
21 MR. TIEGER:
22 Q. And when it came time for the Autonomous Region of Krajina to be
23 established in September of 1991, you mentioned that establishment in
24 paragraph 16 of your statement, it happened that despite initiatives to
25 do that earlier, those hadn't passed, and then all of a sudden it
1 happened that it was allowed to establish. It was allowed to establish
2 such a region, right, Mr. Kupresanin?
3 A. The constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina allowed us to constitute
4 the region. Article 4 of the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina allowed
5 for the regionalisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina on various bases, the
6 economic basis, the closeness of territories, and so on. The
7 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina allowed us to do that. So there was
8 no legal vacuum in that respect. We were not doing anything wrong. We
9 were doing this in accordance with the constitution.
10 Q. Well, that wasn't quite the question. Let me try it this way,
11 Mr. Kupresanin. This Trial Chamber has received that on the 6th of
12 September, Dr. Karadzic said to Slobodan Milosevic that the next day he
13 was having a big plenary "with all my officials." And that's P2544. And
14 the next day, as we know from P2530, the Pale symposium of municipal,
15 regional and republic SDS organs was held, and that resulted in decisions
16 and conclusions about regional organisation. And at that meeting, as we
17 know from the words of a Main Board member or in the words of a
18 Main Board member, which is reflected in P2545, "We passed a decision
19 yesterday...," and this was a conversation this Main Board member was
20 having on September 8, so he's referring back to September 7:
21 "We passed a decision yesterday that Bosnia can remain officially
22 but we'll split it into Serbian Bosnia, Croat Bosnia and Muslim Bosnia."
23 So those were the steps taken by the republic level authorities
24 to advance regionalisation, correct, Mr. Kupresanin?
25 A. I don't remember that at all. I just know that the constitution
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina allows for regionalisation, that it was no sin and
2 it was no conflict with the law or the constitution, that people were
3 allowed to join a region and establish it. And as for Radovan Karadzic,
4 Slobodan Milosevic, instructions, I don't remember that at all, or that
5 it happened, or that it was some kind of strategy, really, political or
6 otherwise. But according to the law, it was possible to establish
7 regions and why would we hold it against people if they wanted it and
8 could do it?
9 Q. And from your point of view, back in 2001, reflecting back on
10 what happened in 1991 and 1992, all of a sudden it happened that it was
11 allowed for the Krajina officials to establish the region; right? And
12 you said that in your interview, which is 65 ter 25608, at page 15 of the
13 English and page 20 of the B/C/S.
14 A. I don't have page 20 here. I don't see it. There is page 17 and
15 that's it.
16 MR. TIEGER: 65 ter 25608, page 15 of the English, page 20 of the
17 B/C/S, please.
18 Q. It's line 20 through 22 for your benefit, sir. And lines 36
19 through 37 in the English. That's what you explained some 12 years ago
20 when these events were fresh in your mind; right?
21 A. This is so vaguely written that I can't understand it. Nothing
22 is really said here. What was possible, what was not, what people were
23 allowed to, it was well known what people could do and what was allowed,
24 what we could do and what was allowed we did that. We did not threaten
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We did not violate the constitution. So I don't see
1 what was bad about this and this is very sloppily written.
2 Q. It may be sloppily written but it reflects your verbatim words at
3 the time, sir.
4 MR. TIEGER: I tender that portion, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you read out from line 20 to
6 22, your answer. Could you read out aloud?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "There were earlier initiatives to
8 organise a region in this area, but it was not upheld. And suddenly it
9 so happened that it was allowed to establish a region. Probably we need
10 the critical mass for such a project like that and probably --
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We will admit this page.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6510, Your Honours.
13 MR. TIEGER:
14 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, you assert in your statement at paragraphs 29,
15 33, 34, that one of the issues that you claim reflected the
16 insubordination or independence of autonomous region of Krajina figures
17 was the push for unification with the Krajina, with the Croatian Krajina,
18 Knin Krajina, and you state that you were the one who prevented that.
19 And again that's found at paragraphs -- the latter assertion is found at
20 paragraphs 33 and 34.
21 A. No. I advocated the unification of the two Krajinas. I did.
22 And the other side, the Serbian Democratic Party and Radovan Karadzic,
23 didn't. We announced the declaration on the 28th of June, 1991, which
24 said the Republic of Serbian Krajina will join the remaining part of
25 Yugoslavia. So, for the Serbs, it was somewhat acceptable that the
1 Republic of Serbian Krajina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia
2 should be in one state, a smaller state, where Serbs and Muslims would
3 live together as the two dominant ethnic groups.
4 That was our political platform, our political will, and this
5 Grahovo declaration never really took off the ground. And what happened
6 happened. Serbs have been expelled from Croatia and it turns out that
7 that was better than --
8 Q. Okay. Let's focus on the questions at hand. So do you -- do
9 I understand then that you recant the statement that you endorsed no more
10 than a half hour ago, I think, at paragraphs 33 and 34 where you say
11 you -- I managed to prevent the separatist option. That's 33 and
12 paragraph 34 at the session. I managed to prevent the option of the
13 Krajina separatists from being accepted. Because in your statement you
14 take credit for preventing the option that you now say you advocated.
15 A. Well, I did not sign this decision. I didn't sign it because the
16 majority, mostly from the Serbian Democratic Party, were against it,
17 including President Karadzic himself, because they were saying the time
18 was not yet ripe for this. And time passed, we never did it, precisely
19 at the initiative of the President of Republika Srpska and the Main Board
20 of the Serbian Democratic Party. It was our great wish to unite with the
21 Serbs from the Republic of Serbian Krajina. They remained a minority.
22 They were victims of genocide in the Second World War and they ought to
23 have been protected at any cost. I don't think that Radovan Karadzic was
24 the crucial man who dismantled the project. I think that
25 Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia actually prevented the Republic of Serbian
1 Krajina from joining the rest of Yugoslavia, and that is a big sin that
2 the majority of the Serbian people committed towards the Serbs from the
3 Republic of Serbian Krajina, because that minority of the Serbian people
4 are the remains of the Serbian people whose throats had been cut in
5 Croatia. A million and 900.000 Serbs lived in Croatia before the
6 Second World War and the Second World War ended in Croatia with 700.000
7 Serbs left.
8 Q. Please, I -- I would ask you, it's not pleasant to have to
9 interrupt you, and I don't wish to do so, but I hope you can see that
10 you're straying quite far from the precise subject at hand. Now, what
11 you just said, and I'll -- that the -- the initiative didn't happen
12 because of the intervention of the President of Republika Srpska, because
13 of Dr. Karadzic's opposition, is precisely reflected in what happened at
14 the 8th session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly on the
15 25th of February, 1992, where you spoke at the assembly and said that you
16 couldn't handle the situation. Just let me get your exact words, sir:
17 I can't bear the entire burden of that Krajina assembly on my shoulders.
18 And you urged that the president of the party and the president of the
19 assembly come to Banja Luka to make sure that nothing bad happens, and
20 you explained to the Members of Parliament, "I know...," and this is a
22 "I know that Karadzic, as the president of the SDS, is truly the
23 leading figure among the Serbian people and five of his sentences are
24 enough to change the entire course of the session."
25 So contrary to your statement where you take -- you take credit
1 for preventing the Krajina option from being realised. At the time you
2 said you couldn't do it, only Radovan Karadzic could do it, and in fact
3 he came to Banja Luka on the 29th of February and he prevented that from
4 happening. That's what happened; correct?
5 A. No. You've confused your topics and all these theses. It's not
6 the uniting of the two Krajinas. In Bosnian Krajina there was this
7 project by a number of intellectuals to create Republika Srpska. In the
8 area of Banja Luka, and Krajina and these 17 municipalities, a number of
9 intellectuals advocated that project and they were persistent in that.
10 I asked the President of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, to
11 come to Banja Luka so that we could do something about that. I myself
12 could not do anything about it. I couldn't prevent it, I couldn't
13 dispute it, and so on and so forth. So you confused these topics. It's
14 not that it's the integration of a state. This is within one region.
15 There was this idea to create a republic from Grahovo to Derventa. And
16 the Serb people would not be in an entity. There would not be a
17 territorial link. The Serb people should not be forgotten in the
19 Sir, I think that you have confused these topics, and you don't
20 seem to know of this other case -- you don't seem to be very
21 knowledgeable on this subject.
22 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, in paragraph 33, you say: I managed to prevent
23 this separatist option. And that refers to -- that refers to P938, which
24 is a discussion that took place on the 28th of February, 1992, and it's
25 about the declaration of the Republic of the Krajina; correct? And at
1 paragraph 34 you say that there was a session of the ARK assembly the
2 next day and you managed to prevent the option of the Krajina separatists
3 from being accepted. And that's all part of your thesis that
4 Dr. Karadzic wasn't involved in this whole effort; right?
5 So you're taking credit for preventing the declaration of the
6 Republic of Krajina. That's what you say in your statement.
7 Is that correct or not?
8 A. You said a moment ago, during the establishment of the
9 Autonomous Region of the Krajina that Radovan Karadzic took part in this
10 project. I said that Radovan Karadzic did not take part in this project
11 of the creation of the autonomous region in any way. Now we are moving
12 on to another problem, and that is the creation of a state within a
13 state, a state within a state. We already have Republika Srpska, and we
14 have an attempt within Republika Srpska to create yet another state which
15 is going to be called the Krajina within the territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So we have a state within a state. That is a
17 different situation. And of course I asked Radovan Karadzic for his
18 help. I asked him to help me so that we would prevent the creation of a
19 state within a state. That is that case. And it has nothing to do with
20 what you've been saying all along. And you don't seem to be
21 understanding what I have been saying and that is the truth. And
22 Radovan Karadzic came --
23 Q. You did not manage to prevent the separatist option. You didn't
24 prevent the option, as you say in both those paragraphs. It was
25 Dr. Karadzic, the man whose five sentences can change the course of an
1 entire assembly -- session as you said at the Bosnian Serb Assembly on
2 the 25th of February, 1992. And you're taking credit for that instead of
3 giving it to him because you want to remove him from any contact with the
4 operation of the Krajina; correct?
5 A. I've been talking about the state of Krajina here, within
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina that was supposed to be constituted. I wanted to have
7 that prevented. Not to split up the Serb people, not to create yet
8 another state. And that's why I called President Karadzic to help us.
9 He came and he persuaded people that this was nonsense, that this was
10 stupid, and that we should give up on that project. And I think that he
11 did well. Quite simply, Radovan's five sentences meant more than who
12 knows how many speeches of mine.
13 So there seems to be this confusion of topics here and I kindly
14 ask you to focus on this creation of the Krajina. This is in Bosnia. It
15 has nothing to do with Croatia.
16 MR. TIEGER: Time for a break, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
18 Mr. Kupresanin, we will have a break for 30 minutes and resume at
19 10 past 11.00, but there is one thing I'd like to deal with in your
20 absence. Could you excuse yourself first.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't quite understand.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE KWON: Could the Chamber move into private session briefly.
24 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will resume at ten past 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.12 a.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, I want to ask you next about Mr. Brdjanin, the
22 president of the ARK Crisis Staff. Now, this Trial Chamber has received
23 evidence that, for example, at the anniversary session of the founding of
24 the SDS, which was held on the 12th of July, 1991, that's P6243,
25 Mr. Brdjanin said, I am a man who abides by two principles. I obey and
1 respect those who are above me, all those who are under my command must
2 obey me.
3 And he went on to explain that's why he supported the central
4 Sarajevo leadership.
5 Now, that's in part also how you perceived and understood
6 Mr. Brdjanin, as a man who, among other things, tried to be as close as
7 possible to the leadership, to those above him; correct?
8 A. Well, you said that Brdjanin was president of the Crisis Staff.
9 I don't know on whose instructions the Crisis Staff was formed in the
10 Autonomous Region of Krajina. The Crisis Staff in the Autonomous Region
11 of the Krajina was not initiated by the assembly of the autonomous region
12 and --
13 Q. Okay. We may well get into that subject but I thought my
14 question was reasonably clear. It was about Mr. Brdjanin and not about
15 the establishment of the Crisis Staff of which he was the president.
16 A. I would like to ask you, if possible, to repeat that as
17 succinctly as you put it a moment ago.
18 Q. Well, let me try it a slightly different way. You understood
19 Mr. Brdjanin, based on your contacts with him, as somebody who tried to
20 be close to people -- the people above him, who wanted to push himself
21 forward in politics by doing so, who liked people in high positions, and
22 whose world was basically the people who were on the top; right?
23 A. Well, how should I know? He was devoted to this idea that the
24 Serb people should live in freedom. Now, to what extent he was a person
25 who liked power, I really don't know. When he and I worked in the
1 Krajina, he was my vice-president, although at the time he was also a
2 minister. We had little contact. What he stated is his view of the
3 world. That is what I can say.
4 Q. Well, in 2001, when these events were presumably fresher in your
5 memory, you also indicated that you didn't have extensive and regular
6 contact with him but you said that was because he was a guy whose world
7 was the people on the top. He was -- he liked and was into the people in
8 high positions. And that's your explanation for the limitations on your
9 contact with him; right? The fact that he was devoted to the people on
10 the top.
11 A. Well, I don't think so. These people were not the classical top,
12 as you would put it. We are not the same, all of us. We have different
13 affinities. I am basically interested in my people. It's not that
14 I strove to be someone in some position. I stood in the defence of my
15 homeland and I sought my own happiness in the happiness of my own people,
16 and I sought my own wealth in the wealth of my own people. Brdjanin
17 perhaps had ambitions that were greater than my own, in terms of power.
18 Q. Let me --
19 THE ACCUSED: Transcript, although witness repeated it but it
20 should be in the second line, about ambition.
21 JUDGE KWON: I don't follow, Mr. Karadzic.
22 MR. TIEGER: If I understand it, what the witness said that's
23 reflected in the last line is apparently something that he said a bit
24 earlier in the answer. Is that it? It's apparently contained in the
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
2 MR. TIEGER: All right.
3 Q. Let me ask you then to confirm what you said in 2001.
4 MR. TIEGER: First, if we could turn it's 65 ter 25608, and if we
5 could turn first to English page 15 and B/C/S page 20, lines 28 through
7 Q. At the bottom of the page in English, and as I said, on page 20
8 in the B/C/S, you're explaining the difference between you and Brdjanin
9 painting yourself as someone who prefers to be independent and retain
10 self initiative in contrast to those:
11 "Who want, who are pushing themselves in politics. They want to
12 be bigger than they are. And in order to achieve that, you know, one has
13 to be a poltroon, you know, sort of stuck up too high or people in higher
15 A. Well, it's not that I think that -- I mean, it's not that I think
16 that Mr. Karadzic liked people who were sort of people who wanted to be
17 lizards, sycophants at all costs. I admired people for their work, their
18 ideas, their efforts. I took care of the people. That was my holy
20 Q. Okay at page --
21 A. And Brdjanin --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Pardon me, could the witness please
23 be shown the top of the next page so that he would have full insight?
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. You also said at page 28 of the English, lines 8 through 11, and
1 page 39 of the B/C/S - if we could turn to those - lines 14 through 18,
2 that Brdjanin:
3 "Liked people who were in high positions, and I wasn't like that.
4 We didn't communicate at all, not even on the phone."
5 So that's another --
6 A. I did not telephone or I did not communicate with who?
7 Q. This is what you're saying about Brdjanin in 2001; correct? This
8 is a taped interview, Mr. Kupresanin.
9 A. I did not understand you. Are you saying that I did not
10 communicate with Radovan Karadzic and the political leadership or that
11 did I not communicate with Brdjanin?
12 Q. I'm reading to you verbatim from the answers you gave to the
13 representatives of the Prosecutor on July 16th, 2001, about Mr. Brdjanin
14 and you said he liked people who were in high positions and you weren't
15 like that. That's correct? That's what you said at the time; right?
16 A. Well, it's correct that I did not communicate often. That is
17 correct, that I did not communicate often. Probably there was no need
18 to, although he was president of the Crisis Staff, because I have my own
19 position regarding the Crisis Staff.
20 Q. And finally, at page 68 of the English, line 41, and page 100 of
21 the B/C/S, line 33, again referring to Mr. Brdjanin, you said:
22 "He had his own world, his people were the top, on the top."
23 A. That was probably the rule for him. He had his own ideals, his
24 own idols. I had my own. I'm not trying to say that people who were top
25 leaders were not persons of authority for me, but I thought that I was
1 supposed to work hard, work honourably, work honestly in order to get a
2 position and to be held in their regard, that I should have certain
4 Q. Okay. Thank you.
5 MR. TIEGER: And I tender those excerpts, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: Just the basis to -- of tendering them? He
7 confirmed his statement.
8 MR. TIEGER: As we indicated, he confirmed portions of those and
9 portions were sort of edged around. I think with the clarity being
10 dramatically enhanced if we simply have exactly what he said in 2001, and
11 I mean those are classical documents for admission, I think they would be
12 helpful and render the record more clear.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
14 MR. ROBINSON: This is primarily a matter for the Chamber. But
15 it implicates the very same issue that we had in the Kovac, if you feel
16 that the portion has been fully read then it's not necessary to admit it,
17 but if you feel there is something that's ambiguous about what was read
18 and what the answer was, then it can be assistance to the Chamber and it
19 can be admitted. That's my understanding.
20 MR. TIEGER: And one more point on that, Mr. President, if I may,
21 I --
22 JUDGE KWON: What's the general position as to the prior
23 consistent statement of the witness?
24 MR. ROBINSON: Well, a prior consistent statement is not
25 admissible unless it's to rebut an allegation of recent fabrication, but
1 a prior inconsistent statement is admissible either by his oral -- orally
2 indicating that that's what he said or by the record of what he said
3 being read to him.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm sorry to intervene
7 too quickly.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
9 JUDGE KWON: I'll come back to you unless it is related to this
11 THE ACCUSED: I just only would like to point out that what
12 Mr. Robinson said was allocated to your Excellency.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 MR. TIEGER: Those things do get fixed. A couple of things,
15 Mr. President. Number one, the prior consistent statement rule is a rule
16 that arises out of a classical adversarial system for reasons related to
17 the hearsay rule, which have no application here. The question is the
18 relevance and utility of any statement, not whether or not if facially
19 offends the rule against hearsay and then thus requires a separate
20 exception for its admission. So citation to that particular rule arising
21 from the jurisdiction that Mr. Robinson and I both hail from, I think, is
22 not applicable here.
23 Number two, the -- I revert back to my earlier point, the -- I --
24 the Kovac decision presumably arises as an exception. We dealt with
25 those issues before. This -- in a very similar situation, repeatedly and
1 I can cite the Court to that. It's T42198. The same issue arose. The
2 point was made by the Prosecution counsel that it's better and clearer to
3 actually have the document in, and the Trial Chamber agreed, better to
4 have them in written evidence. And I would say that that is the case for
5 a couple of reasons, because we have -- there are many occasions in which
6 we present to witnesses for impeachment purposes and recite portions of
7 evidence which we don't consider to be admissible - Court knows that -
8 written statements which fall within 92 bis. So now we're -- rather than
9 admitting the document and therefore having it clear, we now will have
10 two categories of questions, one of which is to be used in lieu of the
11 underlying document, others of which are not admissible and are only
12 questions. And unless we make that clear during the time the question is
13 posed, which is not likely to happen and hasn't been happening, we
14 introduce a potential ambiguity into the record. Far clearer, it seems
15 to me, to simply make the decision at the time. Of course this is
16 admissible. It either clarifies, contextualises, or impeaches what the
17 witness says, is of valuable to the Court for that reason, and we have it
18 in evidence and can refer to it, rather than reading the context in which
19 the question is raised to decide it's not one of those questions for
20 which evidential value is or is not to be attributed, but is, instead,
21 one of those that refers to a document that wasn't admissible.
22 In the Kovac case, in this case, we are obviously dealing with
23 documents that are admissible, prior statements. I think the Kovac
24 ruling was based on the clarity of that particular record and perhaps the
25 number of examples. But as a general rule, this Court has already taken
1 the position that it's -- it's better and clearer to have them in written
2 evidence. And I continue to think that we'll have a clearer record and
3 one much easier to work with if we do that.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger, I'm not sure the Chamber necessarily
5 agrees with your observation that the prior consistent statement rule is
6 not applicable at all. There are two matters with respect to this
7 interview, part of this interview. First, whether this is a -- this part
8 is inconsistent with this witness's evidence; and number two, whether
9 the -- there is a need to admit this part separately. The Chamber will
10 put this under advisement, to make a more informed decision and we will
11 come back to this.
12 MR. TIEGER: Okay. I appreciate that, Mr. President. That's
13 fine. Let me simply say I tried to get into it in a -- what I consider
14 to be a fair way. I asked the witness the question first. We didn't get
15 the direct answer, instead moved away, so I said, Well, fine then, didn't
16 you say this, and we still didn't get quite the adoption that I think
17 would be -- that would completely reflect the statements that were made.
18 Okay. We'll move on.
19 Q. Let me ask you next, Mr. Kupresanin, about other aspects of
20 Mr. Brdjanin. Now, you considered that he was responsible for things for
21 which he should be prosecuted; right?
22 A. Concerning Mr. Brdjanin I can say that he didn't do anything in
23 practical terms that would harm other people and other nations.
24 Mr. Brdjanin was wont to say things occasionally, but his words are one
25 thing and his acts were something different. There were verbal excesses,
1 things he said that I didn't agree with, but in practical life I never
2 noticed that he harboured any hatred towards other ethnic communities.
3 He even had a lot of friends and socialised a lot with Muslims from
4 Celinac, from other places. I don't think -- I didn't see that he had
5 any antagonism or hatred towards other ethnic communities. And he -- in
6 his discussions in the assembly, I never heard him say anything ugly.
7 That's how I see Mr. Brdjanin, except that sometimes he would say
8 something that was over the top. I don't know if I was clear enough.
9 Q. I think you're sufficiently clear about the position you're
10 taking now here in this Court in 2013, so I want to look at what you said
11 in 2001. First of all, back -- still on 65 ter 25608, at page 68 of the
12 English, page 99 of the B/C/S, English page -- lines 1 through 8 on
13 page 68, and lines 26 through 30 of the B/C/S, you said, "What I put on
14 his soul" -- excuse me. First of all, you said you consider him
15 responsible for things for which "he should be prosecuted." See at the
17 "And for those things he should be prosecuted. I think
18 Radoslav Brdjanin is responsible for certain things. What are those
19 things? And for things he should be prosecuted."
20 And then you went on to say:
21 "What I put on his soul are statements in -- to which the other
22 people of other nationalities -- nationalities had great problems and
23 probably those statements made them move partly."
24 So you said those two things; right?
25 The B/C/S goes on to the next page, lines 3 to 8.
1 A. I never said this. I never said this. I have the impression
2 that something is being foisted on me here.
3 Q. This is a transcript of a tape, Mr. Kupresanin. At page -- again
4 at page 68 of the English, again page 100 of the B/C/S, lines 21 through
5 22 of the B/C/S, you said:
6 "I think that his statements contributed to the great danger
7 that -- that Croats and Muslims were put into and probably one part of
8 them moved out because of those things."
9 You said that as well about Mr. Brdjanin in 2001.
10 A. I don't think I've said this. I said a moment ago what I said,
11 that he was wont to make verbal excesses, to say things that were over
12 the top. So maybe -- maybe there were some problems because of that.
13 I still stand behind my belief that whatever -- whoever did anything
14 against other peoples should be held responsible. If somebody incited
15 expulsions --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kupresanin, could you repeat your answer? And
18 speak very slowly, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't remember this.
20 I said what I've said, and what I've noticed about Brdjanin. It's
21 possible that I said this but I doubt it.
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. You heard from Muslims -- excuse me, you heard from Serbs that
24 Brdjanin had said that only a thousand Muslims would remain in
25 Banja Luka, and that's found at page 43 of the English and page 64 of the
1 B/C/S. These are at lines 15 through 18 in the B/C/S. That's correct
2 also, isn't it?
3 A. No, no. I never heard Brdjanin say that just a thousand Muslims
4 would live in Banja Luka, only a thousand. A normal person would never
5 say that. I've never heard him say that.
6 Q. But that's what you said in 2001.
7 A. I never said that Brdjanin had said that only -- it's not true,
8 Mr. Prosecutor, that I said that he had said --
9 Q. Mr. -- Mr. Kupresanin, you said -- as I said before, you said in
10 2001 that Serbs told you that Brdjanin said that -- and that's what you
11 heard from Serbs, that only a thousand Muslims would remain in
12 Banja Luka.
13 A. Sir, it is such nonsense. I've never said that. It would never
14 occur to me. Nobody told me anything of the kind, nor did I hear
15 Brdjanin ever say that.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown that
17 precise line so that he can read for himself what he had stated at the
19 JUDGE KWON: Or you could read out the entire context. I'm not
20 sure that we have a correct page on B/C/S. I will read out the portion.
21 Did you find it?
22 THE ACCUSED: I think so. I think we have --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under which number?
24 JUDGE KWON: "Have you heard him on TV saying that only a
25 thousand Muslims would stay in Banja Luka?
1 "I didn't hear that myself but I heard that he had said that."
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, that's all right. That's
3 all right. No, no. I heard, when Brdjanin addressed a number of
4 journalists from the BH television in response to their question how many
5 Muslims should come back, and he then mentioned a percentage. I don't
6 remember which percentage, but it sounded odd to me and it was an
7 unpleasant surprise.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. You also heard from Muslims that they were afraid of him;
10 correct? And you said that in 2001 at page 64 of the Serbian, lines 6
11 through 8, and page 43 of the English, line 39.
12 A. I heard that Brdjanin said at some point that he mentioned
13 cabbage, saying that cabbage should not be pickled. That's what Muslims
14 told me about what he said on that subject, that they should not expect
15 to eat pickled cabbage, and that's what I heard from the Sarajevo
16 journalists, and this other thing regarding the pickling of cabbage.
17 I took this out of context - maybe he said something in greater detail -
18 and what people told me later, that it's no use pickling cabbage because
19 there would be no time to eat it.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript. Line 20, there is
21 something missing. The witness said: The Muslims told me that. I did
22 not hear it from Brdjanin.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not hear it.
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic --
25 Mr. Tieger.
1 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. And you also stated that Brdjanin was someone who wanted to
3 impose radical nationalist solutions for the benefit of one national
4 group against the rights of other national groups; is that correct? And
5 I can turn you to the passage that reflects that, if you like.
6 A. I would like to see it. I don't remember saying something like
8 MR. TIEGER: Page 56, English, please, and page 82, B/C/S.
9 Q. You were asked, Would you say that the persons who were the
10 most -- whether Brdjanin was among persons who were the most radical in
11 Krajina at the time. You said, I don't know what the term radical means,
12 sometimes the term radical it's negative, sometimes it represents
13 fascism, et cetera, sometimes it's positive. Then it was explained --
14 then you asked, You elaborate. What do you mean by radical? And the --
15 your interlocutor stated, When I say radical, I mean radical nationalist,
16 someone who wants to impose solutions, radical nationalist solutions for
17 the benefit of one national group against the rights of other national
18 groups. And your answer was, I understood. Well, judging by his
19 appearances and/or his attitude, what he said, Brdjanin had all those
20 elements and more than that.
21 That was your position in 2001, correct, Mr. Kupresanin?
22 A. Well, all right. Brdjanin had a national bias. Whether he was
23 nationally aware, I don't know. I did not see any extremism or
24 chauvinism in his public appearances. It was more verbal on his part, a
25 populist rather than putting it into practice on the ground. He was more
1 into public appearances when he said such things in the assembly. He did
2 not speak like that. I don't believe he was in the -- on the board. I
3 know he socialised with Muslims. He had very close friends among
4 Muslims. His entire family and his wife, they even participated in
5 some --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what they
7 participated in.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I don't think he hated other
9 ethnicities. But if he thought that would give him a political
10 advantage, then on such occasions that's possible.
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you. I'd tender those excerpts, too,
12 Mr. President. And just to be clear, I'm certainly not urging that where
13 there is a clear-cut, straightforward and unequivocal adoption of a prior
14 statement, that that needs to be admitted in -- in -- in that sense, and
15 we've acknowledged that before. So if that's what Mr. Robinson meant by
16 previous prior consistent statement, I -- I don't want to argue that we
17 need to have those admitted. We have take that position clearly before.
18 But in these cases I think we continue to have ambiguity and the record
19 is rendered much clearer by the admission of these excerpts.
20 JUDGE KWON: What are those pages you refer to? What pages?
21 MR. TIEGER: Page -- at the English, page 68. Page 64 --
22 JUDGE KWON: I don't think 64 was shown to the witness at all.
23 Please continue.
24 MR. TIEGER: And page 56 of the English and 82 of the B/C/S.
25 JUDGE KWON: Sixty-eight, 56, and 64. I would like you to deal
1 with -- whenever you -- immediately after you dealt with the document,
2 I'd like to deal with their admission.
3 MR. TIEGER: Each -- each -- each separate is okay, even if it's
4 the same topic. We'll do, Mr. President. Okay.
5 JUDGE KWON: We will deal with it all together later on.
6 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
7 Q. Now, you -- you mentioned in your previous answer something about
8 thinking about gaining political advantage. And, in fact, you stated in
9 2001, that he probably served a purpose to someone in -- with these
10 extreme positions; correct? So we turn to page 43 of the English and
11 page 63 of the B/C/S. And in 63, lines 30 through 31, you said he was
12 forcing himself to be the leader of the Serbs in the Krajina region and
13 he probably served his purpose to someone as being an extreme person,
14 correct, that's what you said in 2001?
15 A. I see that I've said that and I probably did, but I'll be more
16 precise now. I believe Mr. Brdjanin was in communication with the army
17 on this subject. That's my opinion. And I believe that he did not
18 communicate on that subject at all with Mr. Karadzic. He adored officers
19 and generals. I was sometimes in conflict with them but his relationship
20 with them was ideal.
21 Q. Let me turn to something else you said, and that's at page 68 --
22 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, okay, I think that --
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I will -- I will add that page to consider.
24 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
25 Q. You also said the following, if you turn to transcript page 68 in
1 the English and 102 through -- 102 in the B/C/S, moving on to 103 as we
2 continue towards the bottom of the B/C/S at page 102.
3 So starting at line 40 you said, We didn't socialise. He had his
4 own world -- again, we are speaking about Mr. Brdjanin. He had his own
5 world. His people were the top, on the top. Let me just say something.
6 All his speeches and all those statements and actions could have been cut
7 off by somebody and somebody could have shortened his horns. I wonder
8 why people who were able to do that didn't do it, because such statements
9 and such accents -- actions of his only damaged or created damage for the
10 Serb people. So the president of the country could have done it, the
11 president of the assembly could have, parliament -- I'm sorry, the
12 parliament -- president of the parliament, president of the government,
13 or the prime minister. Why did they tolerate it? Maybe they agreed with
14 him, I don't know. That's what you said in 2001, correct,
15 Mr. Kupresanin?
16 A. What I know regarding Radovan [as interpreted] Brdjanin and the
17 president of Republika Srpska is this: I believe they were in constant
18 conflict over Brdjanin's behaviour. If Brdjanin thought that something
19 he had done was good, then the president would tell him in so many words
20 that it was idiotic, that he had shot himself in the foot with such
21 behaviour, and it very often happened that Radovan criticised him every
22 now and then saying, Why did you do this and why did you do that? He
23 simply sought explanations from some of his actions. That's what I know
24 from some people who were there. Now, what you are saying, perhaps
25 Radovan could have or Momo could have, I don't think he was close in any
1 way with either Momo or Radovan. Maybe he had some ambitions of becoming
2 a minister, but he often made serious slips, blunders, and Radovan could
3 not understand his actions, he just couldn't understand it.
4 Q. It's not what I'm saying, Mr. Kupresanin, it's what you said in
6 MR. TIEGER: I tender this excerpt as well, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, it's noted.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Now, the statements Mr. Brdjanin made that you said in 2001
10 provoked fear among the Muslims and caused a portion of them to leave
11 were not the only statements by Krajina leaders reflecting issues about
12 the number of Muslims who remained in the ARK region. For example,
13 Mr. Kupresanin, you were also concerned about the number of Muslims in
14 the territory comprised or anticipated to comprise Republika Srpska;
16 A. Well, I was concerned about Muslims and Croats because of the
17 situation they found themselves in. They found themselves in a very
18 difficult situation because they had the obligation to serve in our army
19 under the law and wage war against their own, and they tried in every
20 possible way to avoid that obligation, and in that I understood them.
21 Second, we didn't have factories during the war. In fact, we had
22 factories but they were not operating and people were very hard up.
23 I talked several times with the president of the republic, saying that
24 conditions should be created to enable them to make a living. Serbs
25 mainly came from villages into towns, but they still had their home farms
1 from which they could draw sustenance; whereas Muslims were mostly urban
2 population, and workplaces and factories were for them the only source of
4 Q. That's an adequate answer for this purpose. Your position that
5 the only expression or the only time you gave expression to concerns
6 about the number of Muslims in Republika Srpska was for their benefit is
7 contradicted by any number of things that you said in 1992 through 1995.
8 For example, at the third session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly,
9 D84, at English pages 26 through 27 and B/C/S 41 through 42, you told the
10 assembly members that in your view, our, that is Bosnian Serb living
11 space, and the territory in which they live was endangered, and that
12 danger has to be averted, and then you talked about shutting off the
13 250- to 300.000 Muslims in Cazin Krajina into a ring. That was one
14 expression of your concern about the number of Muslims who might be in
15 territories sought by or intended to comprise Republika Srpska, wasn't
16 it, Mr. Kupresanin?
17 A. I don't know that Muslims from the Cazin Krajina made up or were
18 comprised in Republika Srpska. They were a separate region. I don't
19 remember who their main boss was. And before the war, I had a lot of
20 communication with them about integration and co-operation. During the
21 war, we had great problems with the Cazin Krajina. We had to keep a lot
22 of personnel occupied to defend ourselves from them. But I was talking
23 about the autonomous region of Republika Srpska, not the Cazin Krajina.
24 At that time we were at war. Why would I be thinking about them? And of
25 course, we had to narrow down the front line during the war. We were in
1 jeopardy, physically, and in economically, and it was --
2 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, I asked you about something that you said before
3 the war, at the third session of the Bosnian assembly in 1991, when you
4 told the delegates that your view was this was a battle for -- this was a
5 threat to Serbian living space.
6 A. I probably meant they were a threat as a military power, as an
7 armed force.
8 Q. It was your position, Mr. Kupresanin, that Bosnian Serb forces
9 should conquer territories on which the Bosnian Serbs were a minority but
10 on which they were a minority because of the genocide committed in
11 World War II; right? And you said that in September of 1992.
12 A. What did I believe? I believed that we were the left-overs of
13 peoples who -- whose throats were cut during World War II and we would
14 not allow that genocide over the Serbian people to be repeated. What the
15 Jews in Germany had lived through is the same thing that we lived through
16 in Croatia, in Bosnia, and other parts of Yugoslavia.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow down and repeat this
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you repeat.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I repeat that I said that the
21 Serbian people in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina after the world war,
22 were the remains of a people whose throats had been cut, and we had to
23 mobilise ourselves to the maximum to prevent further crimes against the
24 Serbian people. And through our activity in the party, we did prevent
25 it, at least temporarily. And raising the awareness among the people
1 for -- in my eyes was an obligation. I repeat to you: In Croatia before
2 the Second World War, there was a 1.900.000 Serbs. When the
3 Second World War was over, there were 700.000 Serbs in Croatia.
4 Communists came into power and they were not interested in that story.
5 Nobody investigated it. A list of a highly-ranking German officer's -- a
6 letter from -- high German officer said the Croats had cut the throats of
7 300.000 Serbs --
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Mr. Kupresanin. Mr. Kupresanin, I'm not asking you for
10 dissertation on what happened in World War II, please. You --
11 MR. TIEGER: And by -- for the Court's benefit and for the
12 benefit of the parties, that was a reference -- the previous question was
13 a reference to D456, pages 24 through 25 in the English and B/C/S, 27
14 through 28.
15 JUDGE KWON: Just one comment, Mr. Tieger, about the exhibits.
16 In your cross, first part of your cross-examination, we admitted
17 65 ter 32152, some part of pages -- some pages into Exhibit P6509, but
18 I take it that exhibit is part of the associated exhibits which were
19 admitted in its entirety as Defence exhibits.
20 MR. TIEGER: I believe -- I understand the Court's question.
21 JUDGE KWON: We will vacate that number.
22 MR. TIEGER: I was going to say I -- I believe that that --
23 the -- the recording of that session it was comprised of a number of
24 different, separate recordings and P -- I can't remember the exact number
25 for the earlier referenced one may not comprise this particular excerpt
1 I've referred to. I can double check on that, of course, but I suspect
2 that's why I -- I just can't recall specifically. That's why it was
3 separately referenced.
4 JUDGE KWON: Is this the document about which Mr. Robinson rose
5 to state, to admit in its entirety?
6 MR. ROBINSON: I believe so, yes.
7 MR. TIEGER: I certainly have no objection if the -- in keeping
8 with our previous practice with regard to similar sessions, if we
9 aggregated the entirety of the transcripts referring to that particular
10 session and introduced them just as we have introduced whole sessions of
11 assembly sessions. That would seem consistent to me, so I couldn't
12 object to that.
13 JUDGE KWON: Given that this is only 20-page document, we will
14 admit it in its entirety. And, therefore, as such, we will vacate the
15 exhibit number of P6509.
16 Please continue.
17 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
18 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, you also stated in 1994 that you personally think
19 that Bosnia has always been a Serbian land and in that state there could
20 not be three masters; correct?
21 A. I always stated that Serbs, Orthodox Serbs, Muslim Serbs and
22 Croatian Serbs lived in Bosnia. That's the way I see it, and that's the
23 way it is. So if all of them are Serbs of various religious, according
24 to this logic Bosnia is also a Serbian land. The synonym for a people is
25 not the religion but the language that they speak. They all speak the
1 Serbian language. And that's not what I said 150 or 200 years ago,
2 Vuk Karadzic said it. The Muslim Serbs, the Catholic Serbs and the
3 Orthodox Serbs all speak the Serbian language and the Stokavian dialect.
4 The other dialects Kajkavian and Chakavian is the Slovenians who speak.
5 Some Serbs also lived --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat this.
7 MR. TIEGER: I think we have strayed away from the question. So
8 your explanation is: You said that and now you've explained that what
9 you meant was that the -- the Muslims are Muslim Serbs and so there can't
10 be three masters --
11 A. Yes, I know.
12 Q. -- that the Serbs must be the masters. Okay.
13 You also stated in January of 1993 --
14 A. I didn't say Serbs. They could be Muslims as Serbs, they are
15 Serbs for me, all other facts do not support that. Everything else is a
16 lie. Everything else is a communist division. There is no fact
17 testifying that the Muslims are not Serbs. A million facts testify to it
18 that Muslims are Serbs. Everything else is a lie, if we take facts as
19 facts. Ninety per cent of the Croats are Serbs, Serbs who were converted
20 to Catholicism, and those who were converted said: We are not Serbs, we
21 are Croats now. As Slavs it's logical that we were converted to
22 Christianity from the Byzantium and most of the Bosnian Muslims were
23 converted to Islam from the Turks. So the majority of the Serbs were
24 converted to Catholicism. They accepted it, especially during
25 Maria Theresa, the queen. And now we are discussing who is who in these
1 areas. The scientific elite in Europe knows who is who, and so does the
2 Serbian scientific elite that is not communist.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please slow down. He's way too
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, you're purporting now that you don't make any
7 distinction between Muslims, Croats and Serbs for purposes of this
8 discussion because to you they are all the same. But in January of 1993,
9 after an immense amount of displacement, forcible displacement, killing
10 and ethnic cleansing took place, you said the following, you said at 24th
11 assembly session on the 8th of January, 1993:
12 "We say that the war was not necessary in Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina," referring to what some other people had said.
14 And you said:
15 "The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was necessary. Right now, if
16 we were to count the population right now, there would be over a million
17 Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnian-Herzegovina would be
18 predominantly a Serb republic."
19 And then to make the point completely clear, you said:
20 "Is war necessary in Serbia? It's a horrible thing to say that
21 the war would be necessary in Serbia. If Serbia does not go into the war
22 now, then in three to five years, the Albanians and Muslims will legally
23 overtake the power in Belgrade along with the Serb opposition. This war
24 was necessary for the Serb people."
25 So there you're making a clear distinction between Muslims and
1 Serbs and you're asserting that without this war, there be too many
2 Muslims who would soon be in a demographic position to legally overtake
3 power; correct? That was your position in 1993.
4 A. I know that I said at rallies always that the Muslims are the
5 Serbs. What I told the international representative, Stoltenberg, from
6 Norway only confirmed my opinion. I'm saying that Albanians -- all
7 Albanians are Albanians regardless of their religion because they speak
8 the Albanian language which means that you have Orthodox Albanians,
9 Catholic and Muslim Albanians. Likewise, there are Serbs of various
10 religious. Only that here, there is this confusion of positions
11 depending on what suits the international community.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please slow down.
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kupresanin, could you speak very slowly, please?
14 The interpreters have difficulty following you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. All right, thank you.
16 MR. TIEGER: All right.
17 Q. Let's move on to another portion of your statement,
18 Mr. Kupresanin. At several points in your statement, you attempt to
19 emphasise alleged ARK power and independence. At paragraph 40 you said
20 they were independent; at paragraph 42, you said -- that's vis-a-vis the
21 municipalities, by the way. And let me put that another way so that I --
22 I -- so we don't have any confusion.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please see the
24 statement or, rather, be given the statement in hard copy so that he
25 could follow and check what he has been asked?
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. Okay, paragraph 40 you said the municipal Crisis Staffs were
3 independent from the Krajina Crisis Staff. At paragraph -- that's right
4 in the middle of that page. And at paragraph 42, you suggested that the
5 ARK Crisis Staff was more of a Banja Luka-specific Crisis Staff. So
6 that's what you say now about the powers of the ARK Crisis Staff
7 vis-a-vis the municipalities or the role of the Crisis Staff vis-a-vis
8 the municipalities. But back in 2001, you said that that was a big
9 mystery to you, and let me turn your attention to page 33 of the English
10 and page 46 of the B/C/S. This is --
11 A. Yes, yes. I can see it.
12 Q. Did Brdjanin give orders to presidents of municipalities about
13 what he wanted carried out? And you said, Well, you see, I -- I ask
14 myself that question. Certain things happened in Krajina. I'm
15 interested to what extent was the ARK Crisis Staff connected to the
16 peripheral -- question: Municipal Crisis Staffs. And your answer, Yes,
17 yes, that is a great mystery for me.
18 And yet now, a dozen years later, after meeting with the Karadzic
19 Defence, you suddenly claim that that mystery is no mystery at all and
20 you can state that there -- to the contrary, that -- that it had no role
21 with the municipal Crisis Staffs; right? You changed your position
22 completely, haven't you, sir?
23 A. Do you expect me to answer?
24 Q. I don't actually.
25 MR. TIEGER: And I tender that portion.
1 MR. ROBINSON: Objection.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to say something.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of a single
5 institution in Republika Srpska which ordered that Crisis Staffs be
6 formed by regions. That Crisis Staff which was established in the region
7 was not established at the order of the government of Republika Srpska,
8 so I believed it to be unlawful. The government of Republika Srpska
9 ordered the establishment of Crisis Staffs by municipalities. Banja Luka
10 is a municipality, did not establish a Crisis Staff at the time, nor did
11 it have one.
12 The Crisis Staff of Krajina had no members from Krajina. All the
13 people in the Krajina Crisis Staff hailed from Banja Luka. So that for
14 me, the Krajina Crisis Staff was a -- rather a Crisis Staff of
15 Banja Luka. I also assert that in the communication between the
16 Crisis Staff of Krajina in Banja Luka and the municipality in
17 the Autonomous Region of Krajina, there practically was no communication,
18 as the Crisis Staff had no subordination either vertical or horizontal.
19 The Crisis Staff cannot punish, didn't have its account, and it all means
20 that the Crisis Staff is some sort of a body or institution of a
21 preventive character in a situation when people feel that there could be
22 some kind of danger from a natural disaster to war. The Crisis Staff has
23 the task to promote and establish a rule of law, if that is possible, in
24 the area where it is situated, so that I can note that each
25 municipality --
1 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, that's -- this is not -- okay, I need to
2 interrupt you. This is not a platform for you to make dissertations on
3 these subject.
4 JUDGE KWON: We will add this page to P6510.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Well, although you said it was a big mystery to you in 2001, the
7 fact is that contemporaneous documents from the municipalities completely
8 contradict your assertion here now that there was no level of hierarchy
9 between the ARK Crisis Staff and the municipalities. For example -- and
10 let me ask you about Bosanski Novi. P2632. This Court has received
11 evidence that the Bosanski Novi Crisis Staff, in reporting on its work,
12 referred to implementing the ARK decision on disarmament, also referred
13 to the ARK decision on general public mobilisation, and stated:
14 "After familiarising themselves with such a decision of the ARK
15 government, the Crisis Staff initiated concrete actions and tasked organs
16 in charge with implementing the decision."
17 So do you claim you're unfamiliar with Novi's position on their
18 relationship to the ARK Crisis Staff?
19 A. I didn't know anything. I didn't know anything about these
20 relations and co-ordinations, nor could the Crisis Staff of the ARK
21 Krajina influence the way that the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Novi would
22 act. It did not have such force. It did not have such powers. There
23 was no possibility for the Crisis Staff to do something, nor could it do
24 anything according to the law and nobody was due to obey it. I'm not
25 aware of this kind of communication.
1 THE ACCUSED: If we ask witness to put off headphones or not to
2 be translated.
3 JUDGE KWON: Are you going to make some objection?
4 THE ACCUSED: I would like to make objections that can't wait for
5 the redirect. All things that are cited are selective and wrongly posed
6 questions that do not fit with the material that is cited. For example,
7 on page 53, line 33 --
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Mr. Kupresanin --
10 THE ACCUSED: -- and 34 --
11 JUDGE KWON: No. I think we can continue. Yes. If could you
12 take off your headphone for the moment, please. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I don't hear anything then.
14 JUDGE KWON: That's -- yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a procedural issue so it's
16 better for you not to hear it.
17 [In English] On 33, line 33:
18 "I'm telling you that the Crisis Staffs in municipalities were
19 Gods, they were a state within a state, and they acted differently in
20 each municipality."
21 And on 26, page 26, line 50, 51, and 52:
22 "Well, I didn't say or I didn't mention something that is very
23 important in all of this, all the most important things of all this. The
24 Crisis Staffs in the municipalities were states and presidents of
25 municipalities and presidents of the Executive Councils were the leaders,
1 all communication between civilian and military authorities were through
2 these people."
3 So I think that there would be no witness who wouldn't be
4 confused by this kind of cross-examination.
5 JUDGE KWON: I don't follow your objections. Mr. Tieger this
6 time clearly showed -- cited some part of the prior record.
7 Where is it from, Mr. Tieger?
8 MR. TIEGER: P2632, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: Although it was not shown to the witness, I think it
10 was fair enough to cite that part and put to the witness about his
12 Let us continue, Mr. Tieger.
13 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kupresanin -- thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: Excellencies, I object also that Mr. Tieger
16 testifies and is not interested in response from the witness.
17 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will monitor, but so far we can
18 continue. But I -- in the future, we would be more benefited if you
19 showed the document to the witness and then ask a comment on that. Shall
20 we continue.
21 MR. TIEGER: Let's call up 3497, please. P3497, English page 1,
22 B/C/S page 2. Public announcement of the Crisis Staff of the
23 municipality of Kljuc on the 8th of May, 1992, stating among other
25 "All decisions shall be made and tasks performed in compliance
1 with the regulations and decisions of the organs of the
2 Autonomous Region of Krajina and the Serbian Republic of BiH."
3 Q. I take it you were unfamiliar with that position of the
4 Kljuc Crisis Staff as well?
5 And the portion I read out is in the second paragraph in B/C/S,
7 A. This Crisis Staff in Krajina, I think that they simply usurped
8 power. That's my opinion. There is a time for a Crisis Staff to exist,
9 and when the war breaks out, then the War Presidencies should take over
10 the authority, then the Ministry of the Defence, the Ministry of the
11 Interior, they should do their work. I'm not sure according to what
12 logic the Crisis Staff was doing that after the breakout of the war. It
13 should do its duties in peacetime, when there is a premonition that war
14 might be coming or if there is a natural disaster.
15 So, for me, this is pure usurpation. But probably this kind of
16 communication did exist, though I don't see any stamp here. The
17 Crisis Staff of the Kljuc municipality did not have a stamp. It doesn't
18 have a stamp, which means that no Crisis Staff had a stamp or a giro
19 account. It wasn't a legal entity, and it's decisions were not to be
20 taken into account. Someone who is in war and needs to communicate with
21 the municipalities is the ministry of arm -- of the army or the command
22 of the army. This is somebody who is infiltrating an empty space and
23 doing some business. And what I say in the end is that that means
24 usurping power.
25 Q. And according to you, irrespective of the communication between
1 the ARK Crisis Staff and the municipal Crisis Staffs, that there was
2 nevertheless a chain of command running from the municipalities clear up
3 to Dr. Karadzic, and that's what you said back in 2001; right?
4 A. Well, I don't know. I would exclude the Crisis Staff from any
5 real operation if the rule of law existed. There was no Crisis Staff at
6 the level of Republika Srpska, as far as I know. That was why a
7 Crisis Staff is unusual. It has no subordination or co-ordination from
8 top to bottom or from bottom to top either. So someone infiltrates
9 himself. During wartime, subordination and co-ordination are different.
10 Q. Let's set the Crisis Staff aside for the moment. Your position
11 in 2001 was that there was a chain of command conducted through the
12 presidents of the municipalities through to the president of the state.
13 That is Dr. Karadzic; right?
14 A. I don't know to what extent the president of the municipality is
15 in communication with the president of the country. There is some
16 different kind of communication during the war, when war is at issue. If
17 it's the president of the municipality, he probably tried to co-operate
18 with the political leadership of the republic which is logical, but
19 whether that was the rule, that depends on the situation.
20 Q. Well, this is what you said in 2001.
21 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn to page 27 of the English, lines 9
22 through 15, and page 38 of the Serbian, lines 1 through 7:
23 "They -- then the other kind of communication was then conducted
24 from the --
25 JUDGE KWON: Could you wait until we have the page?
1 MR. TIEGER: Sorry. I'm sorry. Did I fail to --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Actually, here there was a
3 double command in existence. The civilian authorities were directed at
4 the President of Republika Srpska and the military authorities were
5 focused on the commander, General Mladic. There was no co-ordination and
6 subordination, but, rather, double authorities, just like a double stake
7 is not put into earth. So that Radovan Karadzic had control. He had the
8 state, but he did not have the power; and the army had the power but
9 didn't have the state. So the army used us purely for logistics, but we
10 didn't have much influence. And if crimes happened in certain areas,
11 then civilians were not killing civilians. It was some army or
12 paramilitary formations that were doing that. In Republika Srpska we had
13 military courts and military prosecutor's offices.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. Let's stick to the subject. So what you were confirming there
16 was your, quote: "They -- then the other kind of communication was then
17 conducted from the presidents of the municipalities, through the chain of
18 command, to the president of the state of the country. And then military
19 people, they have their own chain of command, which also ended, went to
20 the top, to the Supreme Commander, General Mladic."
21 That's what you said in 2001; right?
22 A. Yes. I said that it was double command. The hierarchy in a
23 state is well known. What if the American president ordered a ship of
24 the sixth US fleet to fire at a town, and if they refused to obey the
25 order, you know what would happen. In our country, such orders could not
1 be issued. There was very often obstruction --
2 Q. The question was a simple one. And in connection with -- before
3 we break -- with that, one more thing. When were you asked about
4 Brdjanin's authority and whether he could order the police or the
5 military to do certain tasks, you responded in the following way and
6 let's turn to page 43 of the --
7 JUDGE KWON: You're tendering page 27.
8 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
9 JUDGE KWON: That will be added to P6510.
10 MR. TIEGER: And page 43 of the English,
11 lines [overlapping speakers].
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say something? May I say
13 what you said, just to confirm or to reject it? Mr. Brdjanin could not
14 order anything to anyone. He could only make suggestions but not to
16 JUDGE KWON: A question will be asked after taking a look at the
17 document first.
18 MR. TIEGER: Page 43 --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just -- may I just clarify? Who is
20 AC who formulates the question in lines 2 to 5 in the Serbian language?
21 JUDGE KWON: You can see at the bottom of the page usually. Let
22 us see whether we have it. Yes, you should have it.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I have nothing. I don't have
24 any AC. Those are the initials.
25 JUDGE KWON: I see it under the AC.
1 MR. TIEGER: There are -- I -- if we could -- okay. There are
2 four people listed: Mr. Kupresanin, two people from the Office of the
3 Prosecutor, and an interpreter.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Back to what --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not there in the English
8 version. In the English version there is only three, and I have the
9 English version in front of me.
10 MR. TIEGER: I think it's safe to say that this was conducted
11 through an interpreter. And the fact that it's contained in the Serbian
12 version should be adequate, and this is [overlapping speakers]
13 JUDGE KWON: On this English page there is no AC. That's why.
14 Shall we continue.
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
16 Q. Again page 43 of the English and page 63 of the Serbian, lines 11
17 through 12 in the Serbian, and 11 through 16 in the English, you were
18 asked as -- and you just mentioned something about Brdjanin's authority
19 to order the police or the military to do certain tasks. Question was:
20 "What was the authority? Would he order? Could he order the
21 police or the military to do certain tasks?"
22 You said:
23 "He could have ordered naive policemen and naive army or
24 military. They were all listening to Radovan's orders."
25 And that's what you said in 2001 about who had the authority over
1 the military and police and who could order them to conduct tasks;
3 A. Even a layman would know that it was the Ministry of Police that
4 gave orders to the police and that the Ministry of Defence, through the
5 Supreme Commander and military commanders, issued orders. Brdjanin, the
6 Crisis Staff, could not issue any orders to anyone. So it's logical that
7 people should know that the Supreme Commander and the commander of that
8 army could issue orders and exclude the Crisis Staff from the sphere of
9 power, some power. I said naive. Yes, he could issue orders only to the
10 naive, the Crisis Staff -- many did not obey the Crisis Staff at all.
11 MR. TIEGER: Okay, I tender that excerpt, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will issue -- we will consider this
13 together with the other pages.
14 MR. TIEGER: And I see it's time for the break. And again I just
15 emphasise in circumstances where there is a straightforward adoption of
16 the prior statement, I have no problem with that, of course. And in the
17 sense in which that's a prior consistent statement, we are perfectly in
18 agreement with Mr. Robinson, but where there is equivocation I think
19 these -- the prior statement is -- should -- should be admitted.
20 JUDGE KWON: We will have a break for 45 minutes and resume at
22 MR ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. If I could put something
23 on the record with respect to our associated exhibits at the request of
24 the Registrar. And that is that our document 70, 65 ter 17367 is, in
25 fact, subsumed in 65 ter 17356 and need not be admitted, and then the
1 intercept which is 30061 which had the wrong participants is not being
2 tendered and being withdrawn. Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Just a second. We will come back to
4 this issue about the associated exhibits. We will resume at 1.20.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.24 p.m.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger, during the break the Chamber has
8 reviewed all the pages shown to the witness, and the Chamber is of the
9 view that all those pages were not entirely consistent with the witness's
10 evidence and on that ground we will admit them all. Those pages will be
11 added to the Exhibit P6510.
12 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, I wanted to turn next to paragraph 22 of your
14 statement. That deals with a -- the minutes of a session of the ARK
15 assembly in November 1991, and reflects your comments that you insisted
16 on the replacement of directors of companies and institutions and the
17 appointment of SDS staff in their stead but Dr. Karadzic was for harmony
18 and unity and insisted that the old staffs remain in their positions.
19 Now, first of all, as a general matter, it is correct to say that
20 in the ARK, a great many dismissals took place and that task was carried
21 out by the Executive Council of Krajina; correct?
22 A. Are you asking me to answer?
23 Q. Yes, sir.
24 A. The Serb Democratic Party won the elections in Banja Luka that
25 year, and it is to be expected -- and it's to be expected that people
1 from the Serbian Democratic Party would take key positions in companies,
2 especially state-owned companies, or, rather, public companies. That is
3 logical. That is to be expected. Why else did the SDS take part in the
4 elections? We took part in the elections because we thought that we were
5 better than those who were there beforehand, and I don't think there was
6 anything bad in that.
7 Q. Thanks. And I wasn't trying to make --
8 A. I have to finish. Do allow me to finish. It is correct that
9 Mr. Karadzic insisted that we do not dismiss the directors. He insisted
10 on that many times in order to create some kind of peace, harmony
11 et cetera and I said these are communist directors and they should go,
12 that's it.
13 Q. Please follow the question. The first question was not asking
14 you to make a value judgement either way about dismissals or to tell me
15 who instigated those dismissals. It was just to confirm the fact that it
16 was the case that in the Krajina, a great many dismissals ultimately took
17 place and that the Executive Council of Krajina carried out that task.
18 And do you confirm that?
19 A. Well, there was a replacement of communist cadres, in part to a
20 large degree. I'm not saying totally.
21 Q. Now, let me -- and more specifically, you -- with respect to the
22 ARK Crisis Staff and Mr. Brdjanin, Mr. Brdjanin pushed very hard to have
23 people who were not Serbs dismissed from important positions, in fact,
24 all positions at any higher level in companies, and that, in fact, many
25 -- there were great changes in response to that, and it was the Executive
1 Council of Krajina that carried out that task?
2 A. Well, I don't know that there was this purge, if you will, of
3 these other peoples in the Krajina. There were probably replacements
4 because the SDS won the election and then their people took key
5 positions. I keep repeating that. Like in Sarajevo, where the SDA won
6 and then the key positions were held by SDA people. So who prevented
7 Serbs from being members of the SDA? They would have then gotten key
8 positions in Sarajevo just like here. If the Muslims were in the SDS
9 then they -- had they joined it, then they could have been in the same
10 position because the statute of the SDS says that the SDS is the party of
11 the Serb people and other peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
13 be asked to speak slower, thank you.
14 MR. TIEGER: Let's turn to 65 ter 25608 once again, English
15 page 58, and B/C/S 85.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kupresanin, you are advised to speak slow.
17 Please bear that in mind.
18 MR. TIEGER:
19 Q. And in July of 2001 you were asked, Brdjanin also pushed very
20 hard to have people who were not Serbs dismissed from important
21 positions, in fact all positions at any higher level in companies; is
22 that correct? And you said, There were great changes carried out at that
23 time. I can't say that there were not many great changes. The
24 Executive Council of Krajina carried out this task. You have signatures
25 of people who were dismissed. And then it was said, Yes. Brdjanin's
1 signature. And you said, Very well, everything is clear.
2 That's what you said in 2001, correct, Mr. Kupresanin?
3 A. Possibly.
4 MR. TIEGER: In that case I think it's best to tender the
5 excerpt, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That will be added.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Now I'd like to take a closer look at the document you cite in
9 paragraph 22, that's P551 -- 5551, let's call that up, please. That's an
10 extract from the minutes of the 9th session of the Assembly of the
11 Autonomous Region of Krajina which was held on the 6th of November, 1991.
12 Looking at item 1, it states that it was established that the presidents
13 of municipalities had failed to fully carry out the conclusions we
14 adopted together at the last session.
15 And it goes on to point out that in some places it was impossible
16 to implement those conclusions because they could only be carried out
17 within the party and notes that Brdjanin should inform Dr. Karadzic about
18 this level of implementation. Now, the agenda also refers to the
19 implementation -- at the beginning refers to the implementation of
20 conclusions adopted at the session held on the 26th of October 1991. So
21 those conclusions that had not been fully carried out that were just
22 discussed related back to the 26th of October, 1991.
23 Now, we know from that date that that was the day of the Sarajevo
24 SDS order. Let's look at 2548, please. All right. So this is the
25 document which reflects the order which was brought to light at the
1 meeting of the presidents of municipalities held on the
2 26th of October, 1991, in Banja Luka, and which was chaired by
3 Dr. Karadzic and at which the conclusion were fully accepted by the
4 Autonomous Region of Krajina. And if you look down the list, it
5 includes, in part, to take over power in public firms, post office,
6 account keeping institution, administration of justice, and especially in
7 mass communication media.
8 So, Mr. Kupresanin, in contrast to the suggestion you make in
9 paragraph 22 about the significance of the document P5551, at that time,
10 Dr. Karadzic, in fact, was urging, indeed ordering, the replacement of
11 the cadres deemed unacceptable to the SDS in particular position -- in
12 important positions in public firms and other important institutions;
14 A. Well, of course, the SDS should have its own people in public
15 companies. That is quite logical. If other people who are suspicious
16 stay on, they could create great problems. There were some Croats and
17 Muslims in key positions and then the transportation of weapons took
18 place all the time, to Croatia where there was a war between the Serbs
19 and Croats; that is to say, these were not trustworthy people. We were
20 very sensitive because we knew what was happening and we knew what would
21 happen. We expected problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is quite logical
22 for us to appoints our own people. What's so sinful about that? I think
23 it's a good thing that that was done, to put one's own cadres not those
24 of other parties.
25 Q. Let's look at another reflection of the emphasis on replacing
1 personnel in important positions in the Bosnian institutions and
2 especially in mass communication media, and if we could turn to
3 65 ter 32823, please, this is an intercepted telephone conversation
4 between Dr. Karadzic and Dr. Vukic around the same time, that is around
5 the fall of 1991. This is September 27th, 1991. And if we turn to the
6 second page of the document, please, in both languages, and it will
7 continue in the Serbian. Dr. Karadzic and Dr. Vukic are talking, and
8 Dr. Karadzic says, In whose hands is radio Banja Luka? And Vukic says,
9 I beg your pardon? Karadzic, In whose hands is radio Banja Luka? Vukic:
10 A Muslim is a director. Karadzic: What the fuck? Vukic: Shall
11 I replace him straight away, let him go to fucking hell? Karadzic: Come
12 on replace him immediately. Appoint a man of yours. These are war
13 times. Appoint -- if he is not listening to you, appoint a man of
14 yours -- not listening. If he is not listening to you and is sabotaging,
15 appoint a man of yours. Then he goes on to ask who the main editor is
16 and is pointed out that her ethnicity is Serbian and she is a woman.
17 Now, that's another reflection, is it not, Mr. Kupresanin, of the
18 effort by Dr. Karadzic, contrary to your suggestion in paragraph 22, to
19 ensure the replacement of personnel deemed inappropriate with personnel
20 acceptable to the SDS?
21 A. May I start answering? The director of radio Banja Luka that
22 belonged to the television of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the director was a
23 Muslim. The director was not a Muslim it was Rajko Vasic. I remember
24 that very well. There was this Svetlana who was the editor. But it is
25 true that there was a man who was a Muslim, and this television -- I
1 cannot remember his last name now, maybe I will remember. We replaced
2 Rajko Vasic. Not this man who was there, who was of the Muslim faith.
3 We did not have any problems with him. We did not attack him at all. It
4 was this Rajko Vasic, who was our problem, a Serb. We did not touch the
5 Muslim at all. And this Muslim testified here in The Hague, as far as I
6 can remember, in relation to what happened during the war and the
7 Krajina. So what's bad about that? It is bad that we replaced people
8 who were working in television? In Bosnia-Herzegovina, we had these
9 televisions that were all anti-Serbs, Yutel, TV Zagreb, and I personally
10 do not mind having people dismissed or replaced. I was replaced, too, on
11 television, proposal of the SDS, President Karadzic.
12 MR. TIEGER: I tender that and obviously be -- I shouldn't say
13 obviously, but I assume it would be MFI'd unless there is agreement to
14 the contrary by the Defence.
15 JUDGE KWON: We will mark it for identification.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI P6509, Your Honours.
17 MR. TIEGER:
18 Q. Let me turn your attention, Mr. Kupresanin, to the crimes that
19 took place in the Krajina and particularly during 1992. Now, there was
20 no mystery about that, was there? I mean, there were many, many crimes
21 which took place and you were aware of them at the time or shortly after
22 they happened; right?
23 A. Well, it's been a very long time, for me to find out about a
24 crime. I mean, the crime committed at Koricanske Stijene, first of all,
25 people started whispering about that and then that went on for months,
1 and then I finally found out the truth. So television was probably
2 concealing that. Sometimes these media companies who were supposed to
3 provide information for some reason provided misinformation. So as for
4 many crimes, I did not find out about them quickly and no one sent me
5 information like that. To be quite frank, I heard about Prijedor too
7 Q. Well, Mr. Kupresanin, back in 2001, you explained that many bad
8 things happened in Krajina and you would find out about those things
9 about 15 or 20 days after something had happened. And, indeed, you'd
10 find out from regular people, from Muslims and Croats, and specifically
11 you found out about Omarska about 15 days afterwards, that is after it
12 was formed. That's all true, right, that's what you said in 2001?
13 A. No, no. I found out about Omarska when President Karadzic called
14 me and he asked me to ask people in Prijedor to disband that reception
15 centre. For me that was a reception centre, not a camp, and that's what
16 I did. That was the time when I found out about that. How many days had
17 elapsed, I don't know.
18 Q. Well, let's look at what you knew or claimed to know in 2001. If
19 we could turn back to 25608, to English page 22, and B/C/S page 31. And
20 at lines 32 or 31 you begin to say, As far as I know, many bad things
21 happened in Krajina but I never knew anything about it. I would find out
22 about it only 15 or 20 days after something happened. And I would find
23 out about those things from Muslims and Croats and regular people,
24 ordinary people.
25 And then toward the bottom of that -- toward the end of that
1 answer you say at lines 39 through 41 in the English, For example, there
2 is camp in Omarska, and 15 days I didn't know what -- for 15 days I
3 didn't know about it. I was informed about it by relatives of Muslims or
4 Croats. That's what you said in 2001, isn't it, Mr. Kupresanin?
5 A. For example, if something happened in the territory of Krajina,
6 well, specifically concerning Croats, let's say, Bishop Komarica would
7 immediately come to my office and ask me to participate in inquiring into
8 that. And every time he asked, I went to inquire on the spot. That's
9 one type of information. Or, for instance, Emir Pusatlic [phoen], a
10 dentist, when an incident happened, when there was a problem, he would
11 come to my office. It would be some serious Muslim connection. He would
12 let me know and see if we could intervene. So that was this non-Serb
13 connection. And the Serb connection would be a request from
14 Radovan Karadzic for me to go to Omarska and do that job. So that would
15 be it.
16 Q. All right.
17 MR. TIEGER: I tender this excerpt.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, this will be added too.
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. Now, you mentioned Bishop Komarica and other people. Let me --
21 let me ask you about a specific example of crimes that you found out
22 about. You found out about the mass killing in the village of Bresevo,
23 where the Bosnian Serb army entered the village and killed, according to
24 what you learned, 68 people in July; correct?
25 A. I heard about it from Bishop Komarica. I didn't hear it from a
1 different source. He asked me to go to the scene and find out how much
2 of it is true. So we went. There were two military men with us. They
3 drove us. And we entered Brisevo village. It's not Bresevo, it's
4 Brisevo. We came to a different village which had a little Catholic
5 church. And when we came, there were some women there. Komarica held a
6 mass service. These women were moaning and asking us to enable them, if
7 we possibly can, to leave that village. We tried to tell them
8 different -- suggested different options, but they wouldn't listen. Now,
9 how many people were killed, I don't know. I don't know your figure is
10 correct. In one variant is 88, another variant is 63, and there are
11 different figures.
12 I was very willing to help, together with Bishop Komarica, and
13 Mr. Karadzic never held it against me that I made these efforts and he
14 always encouraged me, on the contrary, and told me that I need to look
15 after other ethnic communities. Usually, the president of the SDS,
16 Krzic, came; president of the HDZ, Gabelic; Catholic priests; hodzas;
17 Muslim intellectuals, came to my office, came to speak to me as if there
18 were no war going on. And I tried to help them all, and I did all
19 I could with the encouragement and approval of President Karadzic.
20 Q. When you learned about this terrible crime in Brisevo? Did you
21 keep it to yourself or did you tell someone in the republic-level
23 A. I found out from Mr. Komarica the first time. Now, whether
24 I informed anyone, we had two military persons who kept a record and of
25 course they were supposed to submit a report to the military authorities
1 because the perpetrator was the army. I know that I discussed this with
2 several people and I'm sure that I discussed it with a member of the
3 Presidency, Biljana Plavsic. I was much closer to her than to other
4 people. Ideologically we were close. The others looked to me a bit like
5 communists, left of centre, or leftist.
6 Q. You also told Mr. Karadzic and you also told --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The witness also
8 said whereas the two of us were monarchists.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure I said Krajisnik.
10 I discussed it in detail with Biljana Plavsic, as a member of the
11 Presidency, not Karadzic. That's the one thing that I'm sure about. I'm
12 not sure about the rest.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
14 JUDGE KWON: Line 6 should say "Krajisnik" instead of "Karadzic."
15 MR. TIEGER: I believe that's right. That's certainly -- yeah,
16 that's correct, Mr. President.
17 Q. Let's turn back to what you said in 2001 when these events were
18 fresher in your mind. And if we could turn to page 62 of 65 ter 25608,
19 and page 92 of the B/C/S. Question, this begins at page -- line 39 of
20 the English:
21 "Okay, Mr. Kupresanin, my question is: When people informed you
22 about the crimes that were committed on them, what was your response to
23 those crimes, the killings and the destruction of their property?"
24 You said:
25 "Well, what I heard there I told the others. It didn't stay with
1 me or --
2 "Q. Who did you inform, who did you inform?"
3 And you said:
4 "For example, Momo Krajisnik, maybe a certain number of
5 ministers, all deputies from here."
6 Then it continues on to the next page in English, and same page
7 in Serbian, and you discuss how quickly according to the victims this
8 occurred, which brigade may have been involved, and then later we see you
9 say, No, I informed -- you didn't inform General Talic but no, I informed
10 ministers, minister of the army. It was Nikolic, I don't know, or it was
12 And the question was:
13 "So you're saying whoever was the minister of defence at that
14 time, the RS minister for defence, you brought this information to his
16 And the answer is, That was the schedule. That was how you do
18 So, in fact, that's who you recalled were among the people to
19 whom you reported this crime after you learned about it?
20 A. Well, okay, I was informed and I probably informed some other
21 people. I don't remember. I don't think that was within my competence.
22 I think it was within the competence of military courts and military
23 prosecutor's offices that were in operation at the time in Republika
24 Srpska. I had only two military men around me and on all my travels and
25 contacts with other ethnic communities and priests and hodzas, those
1 militaries were present, for the most part, and it was logical for them
2 to inform their commands, Talic and the others. That was not my job.
3 But because the crime had happened, I told people. That I know
4 100 per cent that I had spoken to Biljana Plavsic. About the others, I'm
5 not sure. It's possible that I spoke to the minister of the army as
7 Q. You also said - and that's found at page 63 of the English, again
8 same page in Serbian - many people, even if they heard that, they didn't
9 want to hear about it. That was your experience in attempting to report
10 these things, wasn't it, Mr. Kupresanin?
11 A. Well, there were many situations when specifically the government
12 was not willing to do its job and they were not interested. I had
13 problems, and when I informed them they don't want to get involved. They
14 don't want to share in it. We know exactly who was in charge. Who
15 perpetrated the murders. We know exactly who perpetrated the crime.
16 It's quite sure that within one hour all the perpetrators could have been
17 identified, and later prosecuted and held responsible. I was a deputy.
18 It was not my job. But it is human to react as much as I could within my
20 Q. And despite those efforts, those people who were known were not
21 arrested and prosecuted at that time; right?
22 A. I know that it's not fair.
23 Q. And --
24 A. They didn't do their job.
25 Q. I wanted to turn next to paragraph 60, in which you assert that
1 there were no organised expulsions. So that's the position that you take
2 in your statement. But back in 2001, your position was a bit different.
3 Then, you were asked about ways of making the Muslims and Croats leave
4 the area, and you indicated that you knew the municipalities did that and
5 said it was on their own initiative but then went on to say, Well, maybe
6 that's not the case. Maybe there was someone who co-ordinated it. Does
7 that refresh your recollection about the occurrence of organised efforts
8 to expel Muslims and the fact that you were not prepared to say at that
9 time -- first of all, you thought the municipality -- you were -- you
10 knew that the municipalities did it and you considered that maybe there
11 was someone who co-ordinated it?
12 A. Well, I was a deputy in the assembly of Republika Srpska. There
13 was never any activity in that direction or was such a project of
14 expulsion ever advocated. I was a member of the board and never was
15 there any activity in that direction. But I have to be frank and honest,
16 municipalities in Republika Srpska were states unto themselves and there
17 was no co-ordination whatsoever. For instance I was in Krajina. I
18 didn't know what was going on in Prijedor. I -- I didn't know what was
19 going on in Brisevo. I didn't know what was going on in
20 Koricanske Stijene.
21 I cannot say I ever encountered an incident wherein people would
22 be expelled at gunpoint. I know that people left so as to avoid military
23 service and because of poverty and deprivation. Nobody prohibited it,
24 and there is a Geneva Convention on the freedom of movement and it allows
25 people to move out and go wherever they like. There was Sarajevo where
1 people could not leave. So all of them lived in a ghetto, just to prove
2 the democracy of Alija Izetbegovic, and we all know how they fared.
3 Q. Let's go back to paragraph 60. So if I understand you correctly
4 you are not in a position to assert -- that you cannot assert that it is
5 not true that there was an active and systematic repression and expulsion
6 of Muslims. You can only say at this point that you don't know
7 everything that was going on, that's the most you can say, you're willing
8 to say now. But, in fact, in 2001 you said you knew that the
9 municipalities were doing that.
10 A. Well, I can say about the municipalities where I physically moved
11 around, I am from the Banja Luka municipality and I know that nobody was
12 expelled there, from Laktasi either. I was in Prnjavor, in some Muslim
13 villages in 1995. And in that municipality, in those villages,
14 specifically Muslim villages, I worked as a teacher and I went there to
15 visit my Muslim friends. I found them, they had never moved anywhere,
16 and they told me, The Serb authorities are treating us quite well. So in
17 1995, in August, I was there. In August 1995, the Muslims were there.
18 And there were charges against --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear against whom.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the expulsions of Muslims from
21 Prijedor. In other municipalities, I was not physically present, and I
22 could not make anyone send me daily reports. So I maintain that the
23 political leadership was not doing that. It was not the political
24 position of the top leadership or the assembly. But it's possible that
25 some municipalities did it. And it's very viable. It can be checked.
1 It's not a problem.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 2, page 85, the interpreters
5 didn't hear properly. The witness said I was deputy to the Main Board of
6 the party, and at the beginning of page 85, the witness enumerated
7 municipalities, Srbac, where he comes from, Laktasi, Banja Luka, Prnjavor
8 and Gradiska. These are municipalities where he knows nobody was
9 expelled from. Maybe there are some more municipalities that he
10 mentioned, but these did not find their way into the transcript.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have noticed the buses, the
12 people being expelled, the police. I didn't see that. I only saw buses
13 carrying prisoners from Manjaca. There was an organised convoy of buses
14 headed by police cars and I saw that they were escorting someone. And
15 I asked who and they told me prisoners from Manjaca. But in those
16 municipalities where I was able to move around and visit, nobody was
18 MR. TIEGER:
19 Q. Let's just as a final -- focus on this topic, let's turn to
20 page 36 of your 2001 interview, in the English, and page 52 at the bottom
21 and 53 at the very top of the Serbian. And at the bottom of the page in
22 English, beginning at line 41, you're asked, Did the Crisis Staff, again
23 referring to the ARK Crisis Staff, discuss ways of making the Muslims and
24 Croats leave this area of the Krajina? Your answer, I don't think so. I
25 know that municipalities did that on their own initiative but maybe
1 it's -- maybe that's not the case. Maybe there was someone who
2 co-ordinated it. That's what you said in 2001; right, Mr. Kupresanin?
3 A. I said "maybe, maybe" everywhere. I told you roughly the truth
4 about the areas where I moved around. I told you that the top leadership
5 of Republika Srpska, the political leadership, never pursued that, never
6 pursued any activity wherein people would be physically expelled and we
7 would remain alone in these areas. As to what happened in
8 municipalities, I don't know what happened in some other municipalities
9 such as Novi. I know that Pasic had certain problems. I know that much.
10 I know they had problems. But who else? I don't know. I know about
11 Kotor Varos. There were problems. I participated in Kotor Varos on
12 another project.
13 MR. TIEGER: I tender that excerpt, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be added.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. You mentioned Kotor Varos. Very quickly, what you said when you
17 went there was -- you were told the presidents of the local communes that
18 the Serb army has tanks and guns, and that you don't have the right to
19 sacrifice your children. So let's try to find some solution; right?
20 A. Right. I received on a daily basis information from the ground,
21 from the municipality of Kotor Varos, where heinous crimes occurred.
22 People were impaled, they were murdered, some people were even roasted on
23 a spit, if you can imagine that. I don't know in whose minds this idea
24 was born, but this was done by the Muslims and the Serbs were killed in
25 various ways. And then Bishop Komarica came to see me, I told him
1 horrible things are happening in Kotor Varos, let's do something about
2 it, and he said, Vojo, I'm at your disposal. Then I contacted two
3 Catholic priests in Kotor Varos and one hodza.
4 Q. I'm not so much interested at the moment in the details of your
5 activities in Kotor Varos at that time. I wanted to focus on your
6 position regarding the relative military weaponry available and your
7 comment that it was the Serb army that had tanks and guns. So I wanted
8 to ask you if it was not the case that you were always adamant, from the
9 beginning of the war to the end, that the Serbs were vastly superior
10 militarily to the Muslims and, in particular, in 1992?
11 A. Well, it was true, we had weapons. It was true we were able to
12 commit crimes. Now, combatting the Muslim and Croat army was not a
13 crime. However, there were hundreds of children there who were innocent.
14 I made an appeal. I told them, You don't have the right to kill your
15 children. I am at your disposal. I offered this, this, this and this.
16 But it's true they were -- they had tanks, they had webers, they he had
17 howitzers, they were able to do the job, and a lot of Muslims and Serbs
18 eventually were killed in that operation. But the purpose was to save
19 lives, but primarily the children. So we -- we carried out that project,
20 Mr. Komarica and I. Sometimes policy is stronger than all the howitzers
21 in the world.
22 Q. I have limited amount of time left so I wanted to turn to
23 paragraph 46 of your statement, Mr. Kupresanin, where you state that the
24 local -- you discuss among other things Omarska and Keraterm and you
25 state that the authorities, local authorities in Prijedor, acted on their
1 own initiative there. Now, that's not consistent with what you said back
2 in 2001.
3 In 2001, you said, in fact, you were interested to know who
4 ordered the establishing of the camp in Omarska. If you turn to page 37
5 of the English of the 2001 interview and page 53 of the B/C/S, and then
6 in a related excerpt at page 62 -- page 42 of the English and page 62 of
7 the B/C/S, there you're referring to, at the beginning, your effort to
8 get Mevludin Sejmenovic out of Omarska, which you say you did on your own
9 initiative, but then you say: I want to say that Radovan Karadzic told
10 me personally that he had nothing to do with that, but my feeling is -
11 what I have is - that the order about the camp, about the camps to be
12 established, didn't come from Brdjanin but somewhere, someone on the top,
13 but I don't know who from.
14 So back in 2001, Mr. Kupresanin, it was your position that you
15 thought that the Omarska camp, that you didn't -- first of all, you said
16 you didn't -- you were interested to know who ordered it, and that you
17 thought the order had come from somewhere on the top but you didn't know.
18 So your statement in -- in paragraph 46 that it was a local initiative is
19 belied by what you said in 2001 when these events were fresher in your
20 memory; right?
21 A. I can say, at the time when you were interviewing me, I did not
22 have the real picture. Now, after all this time that has passed, I gave
23 it a lot of thought. What actually happened in Prijedor? Two or three
24 days before the conflict in Prijedor, people from Prijedor and people
25 from Omarska came. They asked the president of the Executive Board, that
1 is to say the prime minister of Krajina, to enable them and find a way --
2 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, just -- okay. First of all, just so we get a --
3 are you relating now what you knew at the time or what you've learned
5 A. I'm telling you the real truth and please hear me out. So two or
6 three days before this clash in Prijedor, people came from Omarska and
7 from Prijedor. Omarska is a place in the Prijedor municipality. The
8 delegation from Omarska asked that the municipality be divided into two
9 municipalities, Prijedor and Omarska. Why? Because of the Ljubija mine.
10 Ljubija is a mine that yielded huge money. And people from Omarska were
11 thinking that Prijedor is stealing from them, so they came to see the
12 president of the Executive Board to talk to him about how to go about it,
13 and he invited me to assist, to attend the meeting. So they asked me,
14 too, What should we do to achieve this division? I didn't know the
15 answer. Nikola didn't know the answer.
16 So the conclusion is, two or three days before the conflict in
17 Prijedor, the political leadership didn't know it would happen. That's
18 my opinion. I believe the army knew but the political leadership of
19 Republika Srpska did not know. And, again, I maintain that sometimes
20 municipalities acted on their own. And in this case, the political
21 leadership of Prijedor did not organise any conflicts or any clashes, and
22 in the end it was the Muslims who attacked the municipality of Prijedor,
23 not the political leadership of the municipality.
24 I exclude the political leadership of the municipality and the
25 republic but the army knew. The municipality was attacked. Some
1 villages were attacked but it was all done by Muslim forces. They were
2 the first to attack. So many people got killed in Prijedor.
3 Q. You -- we have to finish up pretty quick. Do you know how many
4 Muslims and Croats were in Omarska or Keraterm by the time of the attack
5 on Prijedor town on the 31st of May, 1992? Do you know how many Muslims
6 and Croats had already been rounded up from their homes and placed in one
7 or either of these camps?
8 A. I don't know about Keraterm. I visited Omarska and I saw
9 hundreds of people. A huge number of people were there. All these
10 people were leaning against the fence or were sitting down on the
11 asphalt. That was what I saw. I stood by these people, I spoke a few
12 words with them, because I know that I got the task to have the camp
13 disbanded and I came to do that. How many people were there? There were
14 many, perhaps 1.000 or 800. I don't know. I think people kept arriving
15 even after that.
16 Q. Well, there were --
17 A. There were many people there. I don't know anything about
19 Q. All right. Two more quick points about Omarska: First of all,
20 you say, and you repeated it here a few minutes ago, that Dr. Karadzic
21 called you and suggested you use your authority and ask the local
22 authorities to close down Omarska. In fact, in 2001 you explained that
23 Dr. Karadzic called you to visit the municipal authorities and tell them
24 to dismiss the camp that day, and that day meant immediately after it had
25 been discovered by the international community and been highly
1 publicised. That's correct, isn't it?
2 A. No, that's not correct at all. I didn't say immediately. I said
3 that President Karadzic said that it should be dismissed and that on the
4 second day, when it was disbanded and when I went to Manjaca I entered
5 the buildings and I gave to speech to these people. I told them that
6 they would come to no harm and that only those who were guilty would be
7 held to account. And I saw the facilities, and the facilities could not
8 be put in order and adjusted for the needs. At least a month was
9 necessary. These were huge buildings, so probably the camp had been
10 prepared for 20 days or a month in order to be functional so that it
11 could be used. That was my estimate. And no one ever said a single word
12 that it had to be on the following day.
13 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I didn't tender the previous excerpts
14 referred to which were pages 62 and 63 of the English and 92 and 93 of
15 the B/C/S.
16 JUDGE KWON: English page numbers again?
17 MR. TIEGER: Sixty-two and 63.
18 JUDGE KWON: And not this one? Oh.
19 MR. TIEGER: I haven't put that to -- I asked a general question.
20 I haven't -- with respect to the answer the witness just gave, there is
21 not a --
22 JUDGE KWON: Very well, they will be added as well.
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. If we could turn quickly to page 37 in the English, page 54 in
25 the B/C/S, and the lines -- relevant lines are 27 through 29 in the
1 English, 8 through 10 in the B/C/S, where you relate to -- you see that
2 there, Mr. Kupresanin? The line begins, I asked -- I asked one day
3 Radovan Karadzic, and then it continues, And he asked me as a deputy to
4 visit the Municipal Assembly in Prijedor and to tell them to dismiss the
5 camp during that day. And you've also said that you and Dr. Karadzic got
6 into a big argument about the camp on the phone. You see that excerpt,
7 sir? B/C/S is 8 through -- look at line 8 through 10 toward the top of
8 the page. That's what you said in 2001, that Dr. Karadzic asked you --
9 A. All right. I know that Dr. Karadzic asked me to do this but he
10 did not impose any deadlines. He didn't say I had to do it immediately.
11 First of all, it's impossible to do it at once. He said see what the
12 situation is like there and, please, as this was a camp through which
13 inmates kept moving, ask the army to create the conditions so that people
14 could live normally in the camp. But I don't remember that he said
15 I should do it immediately. I came to Prijedor and found a great number
16 of journalists there from various international agencies, such as
17 Reuters, the BBC, and so on, and I believe that they were at the camp.
18 They visited it at that day, and also visited the president of the
19 municipality. There were so many journalists there. I found them in the
20 municipal building.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. TIEGER: I tender that excerpt, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE KWON: I think we saw that page before as well. We will
24 add that page.
25 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
1 Q. And finally, Mr. Kupresanin, I simply want you to confirm that
2 while you were at Omarska, you spoke to Dr. Karadzic on the phone and
3 that was in the presence of Mr. Sejmenovic, who you took out of the camp.
4 A. What have I heard? What am I supposed to say? What do you
5 expect from me? I hear you real well.
6 Q. I notice in discussing what happened in Omarska your statement
7 doesn't mention anything about Mr. Sejmenovic, anything about a telephone
8 call to Dr. Karadzic in the presence of Mr. Sejmenovic, which was
9 something that [overlapping speakers] --
10 A. [Overlapping speakers]
11 Q. Dr. Karadzic told Mr. Sejmenovic didn't happen. In fact, it did
12 happen. You did speak to Dr. Karadzic on the phone from Omarska in the
13 general presence of Sejmenovic and then you took him out of the camp;
15 A. No. That's not correct. I did not call anyone on the phone from
16 Omarska. I came from Omarska, then I informed Radovan, and Sejmenovic
17 was in my office at the time. Mr. Sejmenovic. I ordered half a litre of
18 coffee as the Muslims drink a lot of coffee and I gave him two boxes of
19 cigarettes. And I told Radovan, Mr. President, what is going on there?
20 And he told me, Vojo, those fools and idiots, no one obeys me. It was to
21 that effect. And it turned out that he had some idea about that, so
22 perhaps I did not put this nicely, and perhaps he was even more rude when
23 he said -- he said, Those guys there, those idiots, that was -- he said,
24 which means my conclusion from the conversation with him was that Radovan
25 had nothing do with it. But my conclusion was also that the political
1 leadership of the Prijedor municipality also had nothing to do with it.
2 My final conclusion was that the army oversaw all this.
3 How would the political leadership of one municipality allow the
4 Muslims to enter and kill so many Serbs, if they had been preparing
5 anything, the Serbs were killed first and then all the other things
6 developed as they did.
7 Q. So there was no problem with the telephone lines and the man you
8 spoke to from your office, from -- was Dr. Karadzic; right?
9 A. Yes, that's correct. I informed him what I had done. And
10 throughout this time, Mevludin Sejmenovic sat next to me and he listened
11 to what I was talking about. Only that this Mevludin, whom I treated as
12 my own brother, was here at a trial in 1994 for the first time and he
13 said the absolute truth about everything that he had seen, and it was
14 absolute truth, and then he corrected his positions. He kept changing
15 them, probably because he was persuaded by the political party that he's
16 a member of, so that I am somewhat angry or rather quite angry at him
17 because he was not fair and he was not correct.
18 MR. TIEGER: Nothing further, Mr. President. Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. So the Muslim you talked about is
20 Mevludin Sejmenovic who testified in this case?
21 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Sejmenovic, S-e-j-m-e-n-o-v-i-c.
23 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] First of all, a general question,
2 Mr. Kupresanin. Do you remember whether you read the transcript of this
3 interview dating from 2001? Did you read it then? Was it given to you
4 to read it over and did you sign it?
5 A. I don't understand you. Please, can you explain. What
6 transcript, whose transcript? With regard to whom and what?
7 Q. The interview which Mr. Tieger showed and cited many pages. When
8 this interview was conducted, did you receive it for inspection and for
9 reading it?
10 A. No. He took the statute of the autonomous region from me,
11 I signed each page, and whatever I had with regard to your abolitions of
12 Muslims and Croats. Any documents I had they seized it from me. I had
13 no copies so I was left without it and without the statute of Krajina.
14 I delivered everything over to ICTY.
15 Q. Thank you. But the interview itself was audio-taped. Did you
16 receive it later on to read it and to sign it?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Thank you. Could you now please show page 39? You said a little
19 while ago that you called me from your office and Mr. Tieger suggested
20 that it was from Omarska. Let's see what you said about that in 2001.
21 A. I think I said that I called you from my office.
22 Q. Here, please, have a look at 39 in English and I'm not sure which
23 page of the Serbian version. The page in English is 39. I'm going to
24 read it out.
25 A. Please read out.
1 Q. From line 4, question:
2 [In English] "When you were in the Omarska camp did you talk to
3 Karadzic from the camp by telephone?"
4 A. No, no.
5 Q. Serbian 55, [Interpretation] 56 in Serbian. Let me just read it
6 out. I will read out your answer and you will get it on the screen as
7 well. But this is your answer in English:
8 [In English] "When I returned to the office, that's when I had
9 this verbal conflict with him, and during that verbal argument, this
10 deputy was present and he heard everything. I forget that I was -- there
11 were -- there were other people around. I mean there were somebody else
12 with me."
13 [Interpretation] So, did you also say in 2001 that the
14 conversation was held from your office?
15 A. Yes, because I think that there was no phone anywhere else except
16 at the office. That was where I talked to you from. I wondered somewhat
17 and I had a heated discussion with you to a certain degree. I asked you
18 what was going on and you told me something to the effect that, Those
19 idiots used to do that, Vojo, without my knowledge. That was that, and
20 it was a heated conversation. And it's true that I called you from the
21 office because I never saw another telephone on that day. I could have
22 called you from Prijedor as well also, but that wouldn't even have
23 occurred to me; because I thought that they had done all this by your
24 instructions, and then you said it had nothing to do with you and that
25 those were the idiots who had done all that, to that effect. Perhaps you
1 had in mind Stakic, or whether you had in mind the army. From this point
2 in time I think that it was the army, but all right. The Muslims had
3 attacked Prijedor. It wasn't the Serbs who launched the attack. Is
4 there anything that I haven't said?
5 Q. No. It's fine, thank you. I just wanted to ask you this, now
6 that you said attacked, you listed a number of municipalities in which
7 Muslims lived but had no problems: Are you aware of a municipality in
8 Krajina in which the Patriotic League and the Green Berets did not begin
9 the fighting and the Serbian army and police attacked and killed
11 A. No. They were -- I have the feeling that this part of the Muslim
12 people were very impatient, so to speak. I think they -- they openly
13 paraded with uniforms and weapons, and so on, in all municipalities, most
14 often the municipalities where the Muslims were the relative majority or
15 the Serb were the relative majority. I'm not aware of the Serbian army
16 attacking first anywhere. In Kljuc and in Sanski Most, it was the
17 Muslims who attacked first. In Prijedor, it was the Muslims who attacked
18 first. Actually, we in Krajina didn't have any war. What happened in
19 May and June, that was that. And after that there was no fighting, no
20 conflicts or combat. Those who wanted to leave did so. I was in a room
21 in Banja Luka somewhere close to the bridge, I got there on business and
22 I saw a number of men and women, and I asked, What are these people doing
23 here? And they told me, They are going abroad. What are they doing
24 here? They said, They are getting some documents issued. And then
25 I thought they are going abroad, well, that's not bad, better to go
1 abroad than to be in the war. And why couldn't the Serbs from Sarajevo
2 leave and go abroad? That was what I thought privately.
3 Q. Thank you. I have to rush and it will be interesting to read
4 your experiences that have been written down. Today, you were asked as
5 for the relations between Brdjanin and the leadership in Pale, and you
6 were suggested that he was in close contact with the leadership, that he
7 maintained such contacts. You said that he had a wish to maintain close
8 contacts. And did you have any direct knowledge as to whether Brdjanin
9 visited Pale in the leadership at the time and how frequently?
10 A. Very rarely. That's my opinion. He became a minister of town
11 planning, if I'm not mistaken, and he was satisfied with that. I think
12 he paid few visits and I know that on many occasions you attacked him
13 because of his conduct and his irregularities. And very often it was
14 asked, Why are you doing this, giving a goal to yourself, Brdjo?
15 I didn't see or hear that but people reported it to me.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please add this page 3956 in
17 Serbian and call up page 16 in English and 21 in Serbian?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the speakers please
19 slow down a little?
20 JUDGE KWON: If you both could slow down.
21 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. TIEGER: Just remind the accused that the use of prior
23 statements as we learned, perhaps at painful length today, is about --
24 arises in the impeachment process. So I think it's not unacceptable, of
25 course, to use these things in redirect or direct, but they shouldn't be
1 a first port of call for any aspects of the examination. But if
2 Dr. Karadzic is proposing to go through various parts of the prior
3 statement, he will have to -- I don't think that's a matter of leading
4 and he'll have to ask questions that give rise to the appropriate method
5 of doing so.
6 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objection to the adding to -- adding
7 of this page, page 39?
8 MR. TIEGER: No.
9 JUDGE KWON: Bear that in mind, Mr. Karadzic. We will add that
10 page, 39.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Now I'm a bit confused. I just want to note that this document
14 was used selectively by the OTP. Isn't it that it isn't as one may gain
15 the impression. Here, from line 4 onwards, you were asked about that,
16 whether you were aware of these visits, and you said that you really
17 didn't know. Do you remember that you said so and do you stand by that?
18 A. What? Under which number? Four, was it? Are you aware --
19 Q. It has to do with Brdjanin. Do you know this?
20 A. I don't know how frequently he went there but I don't think that
21 you were on a close terms with Brdjanin. I don't think that he was
22 somebody who had much in common with the political leadership, some other
23 people did but not him.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would ask for this page to be
1 added and to be admitted as well.
2 JUDGE KWON: Is it not a bit tenuous? He already confirmed that
3 he rarely knows. But in any event, Mr. Tieger, do you have any
5 MR. TIEGER: Well, on this one, I agree with the Court. I mean
6 he asked him if he knew, he said he didn't. He asked him again if he
7 didn't know, and then he pointed out -- it's reflected here. I -- you
8 know, I -- I don't think that's an appropriate use of the document under
9 these circumstances. I accept that there are uses to which it can be
10 made in redirect, and I have no problem with that, but this doesn't seem
11 like one.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We may give up on it.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Shall we then proceed?
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. During the cross-examination, it was also suggested to you that
16 the municipalities, without your maybe, had a direct contact with the
17 president of the republic. Did the municipalities from Krajina during
18 1992 depend in their work on the leadership at Pale or were they
19 independent from it? And what was the physical link up until the end of
20 July or August, when the corridor was established?
21 A. I think that there was no connection with Pale; that is to say
22 the municipalities had no contacts with Pale. I stand by that. It was
23 physically impossible for them to establish links with Pale because the
24 territory was cut off in Posavina and we were surrounded.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you have any direct knowledge of any example of
1 municipal leaderships during the existence of the AR Krajina that it sent
2 reports to or received instruction from the president of the republic?
3 A. No, I'm not aware of any such instances.
4 JUDGE KWON: Back to the relation of the president of
5 municipalities, Mr. Karadzic. What did you mean by saying that by chain
6 of command? You said there was a chain of command running from the
7 municipalities to Karadzic. What did you mean by that chain of command?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in 1992, the year of war and
9 war conflict, it was impossible physically to establish any sort of
10 contact with the president of the republic or any other institutions at
11 the republic level. We were surrounded, so how could it have been
12 possible to do something like that? We were left to our own devices.
13 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. It was suggested to you today that the telephone lines were in
16 operation, nevertheless. Can you tell us whether they worked all the
17 time and was it always easy for us to communicate on the telephone?
18 A. No. They were not always functional. Sometimes they did,
19 sometimes not. The power was down for months and the phone lines were
20 down for months. That is my opinion.
21 Q. Thank you. Did I ask you to go to some municipalities to do
22 something? You did mention that and you spoke about that. Were you
23 acting as a representative of the state, of the government, apart from
24 the fact that you had your own goodwill, personally?
25 A. Yes, I did. I was doing that sort of work as if I was a kind of
2 Q. Thank you. When the authorities were unable to help the Muslim
3 and Croatian civilians, did you then address international organisations
4 so that they would help the Muslim civilians who had set out?
5 A. Very frequently. For example, Mr. Schweizer was the president of
6 the ICRC, and in all sorts of situations he would try to help us with
7 regard to the Muslims and the Croats. With regard to the Croats, Caritas
8 existed. It helped both to the Croats and the Serbs and the Muslims.
9 And then there was a humanitarian association among the Muslims, what was
10 it called, renewal or something like that, but they did not give a lot
11 when Caritas did, and they had helped both the Muslims and the Croats.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please show for a moment
14 P3820. This has been admitted already. Can we please show the
15 6th of June, 1992. No, we need the next page, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see this well, if you can
17 please read it out or something.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Yes, yes. I will read it out to you, and could we please show
20 the English version. You are slightly promoted here. If you have a
21 look, it says on the 1st of June, 1992, the mayor of Banja Luka,
22 Mr. Kupresanin, called a civil affairs office in Sector North. He
23 conveyed some information concerning the Muslim refugees' flow that might
24 originate from his area towards Croatia, passing through the crossing
25 points in Dvor and Karlovac, and so on. The mayor's information can be
1 summarised as follows. And now you say that you are in contact with the
2 presidents of municipalities in order to resolve the situation in which
3 the Muslim population is, that this population is in fear, there is a
4 shortage of food and medicine, that there is a lack of trust on part of
5 the Muslim civilians with regard to the local authorities, that they had
6 tried to go to Travnik which is under Croatian control, and so on.
7 Do you remember and how often did you request from international
8 humanitarian organisations to help you with your fellow citizens of a
9 different religion?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please restart with his answer?
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kupresanin, could you restart your answer?
12 Could you repeat it from the beginning?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said very often, especially the
14 International Red Cross. In the case of Kotor Varos, there were two
15 jeeps involved. We followed the column, the people, women, children.
16 They always wanted to help is.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I see the time.
18 Excellencies, shall we continue tomorrow?
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 Mr. Kupresanin, we will adjourn for today and continue tomorrow
21 morning at 9.00. I'd like to advise you not to discuss --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE KWON: -- not to discuss with anybody else about your
24 testimony while you are giving testimony here.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, thank you, thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: There is one matter I'd like to adjourn -- I'd like
2 to raise before we adjourn. It's related to the associated exhibits.
3 The Chamber often -- as today, the Chamber often identifies the document
4 being tendered as associated exhibits which are not indispensable and
5 inseparable with the underlying statement, and invites the accused to
6 lead these documents live, if he seeks to have them admitted, to provide
7 more context. The accused -- the accused often decides not to seek to
8 tender these documents, which suggests that those documents are not of
9 such significance to the Defence case. The Chamber invites the accused,
10 in consultation with Mr. Robinson and his team, to be more carefully --
11 in only tendering associated exhibits which form an indispensable and
12 inseparable part of the witness's statement and which are of significance
13 to his case.
14 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, we will do that, but I also
15 would just like to indicate that we discussed this very point
16 specifically after you have given us 25 hours of the 100 that we asked
17 for in additional hours. And we decided for the remainder of this case
18 we are going to give up on most of the associated exhibits that you don't
19 admit, simply because we don't have enough time, even though we do think
20 often that they are important. But we will try to do a better job of
21 incorporating them into the statement, but you can expect in the future
22 we will often not have enough time to lead live documents that are
23 attempted to be associated exhibits.
24 JUDGE KWON: Please be more vigilant and take more robust care in
25 tendering the exhibits.
1 The hearing is adjourned.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.48 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Friday, the 15th day of
5 November, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.