1 Tuesday, 26 November 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.13 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
6 Yes, Mr. Harvey.
7 MR. HARVEY: Good morning, Your Honours. May I introduce
8 Ms. Xinyue Wang, who is from the People's Republic of China and who has
9 been assisting my team for a month. She's a master's student at the
10 University of Groningen. Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: I apologise for the delay. I didn't remember that
12 Judge Morrison couldn't be with us due to his medical appointment which
13 could not be moved. So therefore we'll be sitting pursuant to Rule
14 15 bis for today.
15 Yes, shall we go into private session briefly.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 43989-43990 redacted. Private session.
16 [Closed session]
11 Pages 43992-43994 redacted. Closed session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE KWON: I take it next witness is Mr. Kondic?
7 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE KWON: Shall we rise until 10.00?
9 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, if he hasn't -- if he's not here yet then we
10 should do that.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: All rise.
13 --- Break taken at 9.51 a.m.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 --- On resuming at 10.03 a.m.
16 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration,
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: NOVAK KONDIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Kondic. Please make yourself
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Excellencies. Good
2 morning to all.
3 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Minister. I am afraid that the
5 microphone does not register nodding, so you have to say everything that
6 you want to have recorded here.
7 A. Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Also, I kindly ask you to pause between my questions and your
9 answers so that all of them could be recorded in the transcript. Did you
10 give a statement to my Defence team?
11 A. Yes, I gave a statement to a representative of your team. I
12 think it was the beginning of this year, something around then. I don't
13 know the exact date.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D9521 in
16 e-court so that the witness could see it.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Do you see that statement on the screen in front of you?
19 A. Yes, I see the statement on the screen, but I also have a hard
20 copy and I've been allowed to use that.
21 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Just pause a bit, please.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
25 the last page so he could identify his signature.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is my signature.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you. Did this statement faithfully reflect what you said
4 to the Defence team?
5 A. I stated what I remembered.
6 Q. Thank you. And that is recorded as you had put it; right?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today
9 live, would your answers basically be the same?
10 A. I hope they would be the same. Of course one cannot phrase one's
11 sentences identically, but the answers would be the same. I spoke about
12 what I remembered and there's a time distance involved, 20 years.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
15 statement into evidence according to Rule 92 ter.
16 JUDGE KWON: And how about the associated exhibits, Mr. Robinson?
17 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. There are 16 associated
18 exhibits. The Prosecution has pointed out some problems with two of
19 them, so we won't be tendering 1D9189, which is an article from "Glas"
20 magazine for which we had the English translation but no original; and we
21 also won't be tendering 05437, which is a document that didn't contain an
22 English translation, the quote from the article that was in Serbian but
23 we don't want to take the time to lead that live. So we'll withdraw
24 those two and we persist with the other 14. Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objection to the admission of the
1 statement as well as 14 associated exhibits, Mr. File?
2 MR. FILE: Thank you. Good morning, Your Honour. I have one
3 objection regarding the statement which is to paragraph 35, which the
4 Prosecution contends is tu quoque evidence regarding the electricity
5 situation in the Krajina area.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thirty-five?
7 MR. FILE: Correct.
8 JUDGE KWON: "... Krajina area had power only two hours every
9 20 days. The situation was very difficult for all citizens."
10 And your argument is that is tu quoque?
11 MR. FILE: Correct, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE KWON: Could you expand?
13 MR. FILE: This appears to be part of the same argument which is
14 that there were difficult conditions for citizens or civilians in
15 Bosnian Serb-held territory. I would further add that the statement at
16 this paragraph refers to a Prosecution exhibit, Exhibit 3104, but I would
17 add that that document only refers to at page 6 of the English and
18 pages 5 to 6 of the B/C/S, financing an investment relating to repairing
19 and installing electricity in the Krajina region. So it doesn't seem
20 that this Prosecution exhibit relates to the comment here, which is
21 simply that the Krajina area had power for two hours every 20 days.
22 JUDGE KWON: Separate from the issue whether this may be relevant
23 or not, I'm not following how this is a tu quoque argument which --
24 regarding the power, electricity.
25 MR. FILE: The times that we've seen this argument in the past,
1 Your Honour, it has been raised in the context of evidence that the
2 Prosecution has presented showing deprivations of electricity,
3 particularly in the Sarajevo area as part of the efforts by the
4 Bosnian Serb leadership to increase or decrease tensions in the Sarajevo
5 area by using utilities as a means to that end. And we've heard through
6 various other witnesses examples of testimony relating to electricity
7 outages in other parts of the country in Bosnian Serb-held territory, and
8 that seems to be the only reason for advancing this claim. Otherwise,
9 this doesn't seem to be relevant evidence.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE KWON: Unfortunately, the Chamber is not persuaded by your
12 argument, Mr. File. The statement will be admitted in its entirety
13 together with 14 associated exhibits. Shall we give -- assign the number
14 for the statement.
15 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit D4063, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE KWON: The exhibit numbers for the associated exhibits will
19 be assigned in due course by the Registry.
20 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I would read out in
22 the English language a brief summary of Mr. Novak Kondic's statement.
23 [In English] Novak Kondic was a member of the Banja Luka
24 Crisis Staff. Also, he was in charge of the monetary politics [sic] of
25 the municipality of Banja Luka. He became a member of the SDS in 1994.
1 Before the war, Novak Kondic worked at the public auditing
2 service which kept accounts of all legal entities in Banja Luka and
3 ensured the legality of all their operations and carried out transactions
4 for the SFRY and collected and distributed cash for banks and
5 post offices. Novak Kondic considers that public opinion in BH was under
6 great pressure following the events in Croatia, and everyone was fearful
7 and this caused the mass exodus of Serbs from Croatia at the beginning of
8 the war in Croatia. The people of Banja Luka took refugees into their
9 homes to give them food and wash. There was a mix of ethnicities amongst
10 the refugees.
11 The SDS was established after the SDA and HDZ as a response to
12 the other two parties. There is no basis whatsoever to conclude that the
13 policy of the SDS party from its establishment was the permanent removal
14 of Bosnian Muslims and Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory in BH
15 through genocide, persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, and
16 inhumane acts. The SDS created organs of authority and were respected.
17 Everyone was aware of the establishment of the Assembly of the
18 Serbian People in BH and it occurred as a response to the attempts of the
19 anti-constitutional independence of BH and its secession from the SFRY.
20 As a member of the Crisis Staff, Novak Kondic was aware that
21 following the only meeting of the Crisis Staff, the aim of the
22 Crisis Staff was to ensure more or less normal life for the people of the
23 municipality with regard to the supply of water, electricity, tax,
24 funding for schools, healthcare, and everything that could be ensured.
25 Novak Kondic does not consider that the Crisis Staffs in municipalities
1 served as a vehicle for the permanent removal of the Bosnian Muslims and
2 Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory through genocide, persecution,
3 extermination, murder, deportation, and inhumane acts. There was only
4 one session of the War Presidency of Banja Luka municipality held before
5 its functions were taken over by the ARK Crisis Staff.
6 In April 1992, following armed clashes in Sarajevo, the regular
7 application of laws ceased and the municipalities discussed how to
8 organise the functioning of the economic and financial system. The
9 Autonomous Region of Krajina was created and the statute was modelled on
10 the statute of the BH public auditing service. The ARK quickly
11 established a financial system that was integrated with other regional
12 systems. All work done in relation to the payments system was entirely
13 according to the laws of the SFRY and BH.
14 In relation to financing the ARK, expenses were paid from the
15 municipal budgets as there was no regulation for them collecting funds.
16 The fund for defence of the ARK was established to finance the basic
17 needs of the army, including toiletries, clothing, and food. No
18 irregularities were noted in the fund. The healthcare, pension,
19 employment and other funds were operated at the level of the ARK and
20 funds were autonomous from the republican organs in Pale until the
21 establishment of a unified system. All employees paid a certain amount
22 of their salaries into special funds. Until the unified payment system
23 was established in 1992 and 1993, the ARK did not fund the activities of
24 the Republika Srpska.
25 Civilians in Banja Luka were allowed to take foreign currency out
1 of the ARK territory. The regulations were based on the pre-war federal
2 law. The provisions applied to everyone no matter what their ethnic
3 background. Novak Kondic considers that from September 1992 onwards the
4 ARK slowly began to be abolished.
5 From his position on the Executive Board, Novak Kondic is aware
6 that the position of the Banja Luka Executive Board were divided
7 according to the inter-party agreement. In September 1993, Novak Kondic,
8 along with other member of the Executive Board, were interrogated by the
9 armed men. He still does not understand why.
10 Novak Kondic is aware that for at least two years in Krajina area
11 had power for only two hours every 20 days. The situation was very
12 difficult for all citizens.
13 And that is a short summary, and at that moment I do not have
14 additional questions for Mr. Kondic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just suggest something?
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Kondic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the first sentence you said that
18 I was in charge of monetary policy, whereas in actual fact I was in
19 charge of the system of payments and monetary policy was within the
20 national bank of Republika Srpska, so just that, to make a distinction
21 between the two, because they're separate.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you. However, this is not evidence. This is just a
24 summary of your statement and obviously it is not very precise. Thank
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
2 As you have noted, Mr. Kondic, your evidence in chief in this
3 case has been admitted in writing, that is, through your written
4 statement in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you'll be cross-examined
5 by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
6 Yes, Mr. File.
7 MR. FILE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. File:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kondic.
10 In your statement you said that you were not a member of the SDS
11 party until 1994 and that you "don't know anything about leadership in
12 the party and other organs." Do you recall that statement?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You were never part of the SDS party leadership at any level,
15 were you?
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. And you did not participate in any meetings of the SDS party
19 A. No.
20 Q. You didn't attend any RS Assembly sessions; correct?
21 A. I attended RS Assembly sessions as director for the payment
22 system where our reports on payment transactions in the payment system
23 were discussed.
24 Q. Did you participate in any way in formulating SDS party policies?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now, in paragraph 5 of your statement you say:
2 "There is no basis whatsoever to conclude that the policy of the
3 SDS party in the period from the establishment of the party on
4 12 July 1992 onward was the permanent removal of Bosnian Muslims and
5 Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory in BH through
6 genocide, persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, and inhumane
7 acts (forcible transfer). I have never heard that there was a desire to
8 exterminate or deport anyone ..."
9 So based on what we've just discussed, this is not coming from
10 your personal experience in the SDS; this is just what you believe. Is
11 that a fair summary of your position?
12 A. I would say that at the time there was fear in every person after
13 everything that had happened in Croatia when columns of refugees were
14 coming into Banja Luka. I think as an ordinary citizen that we
15 considered the SDS to be a movement and protection from a breakout of war
16 and everything that was already going on in Croatia. So I was speaking
17 about that as an ordinary citizen in terms of how I viewed the situation
18 then because that is how all people saw it.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, you were a member of the Banja Luka
20 Crisis Staff; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In your statement you said that only one session of the
23 Banja Luka Crisis Staff was ever called, or at least you were only given
24 notice of one session. Do you recall saying that?
25 A. Yes, I recall that. Actually, I was the director of the
1 tax department of the municipality of Banja Luka and the Crisis Staff was
2 made up of persons who were in charge of particular sectors within the
3 municipality. This session was convened. As far as I can remember, what
4 was discussed there was creating conditions for the functioning of normal
5 civilian life in town. Of course after this one session, I was never
6 asked to come again - perhaps they weren't held anymore - and it was the
7 president of the municipality, Mr. Predrag Radic, that chaired the
8 Crisis Staff.
9 Q. Now, you were also a member of the Banja Luka War Presidency;
11 A. No. The Crisis Staff of the city of Banja Luka. It was no
12 War Presidency. I don't know of the existence of any War Presidency.
13 Q. Could I refer you to paragraph 33 of your statement. I'm going
14 to read what you said in that paragraph. You said:
15 "I have been shown document 1D25042. This is a decision
16 appointing me to the War Presidency of Banja Luka. Only one session of
17 this War Presidency of the Banja Luka municipality was held on
18 6 May 1992, but this function was taken over by the ARK KS" Crisis Staff
19 "immediately after this session ..."
20 So you were a member of a War Presidency that met on one
21 occasion; correct?
22 A. No, sorry, that's a mistake in the term that was used because it
23 was explained in paragraph 8, that's the Crisis Staff that I spoke of.
24 It's not the War Presidency. So I think that this was just misstated,
25 that I misspoke actually. War Presidency, I don't even know of its
1 existence and I was not a member of a War Presidency.
2 JUDGE KWON: Shall we upload that document?
3 MR. FILE: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Now, if you look at the top of this document, we're referring to
5 1D25042, this is a document from the Banja Luka municipality
6 Executive Committee. It's dated at the top 5 September 1991, although in
7 your statement at paragraph 33 you said that the date written in the
8 document was wrong. And if you go to where it says "decision," it
9 indicates this is a decision on establishing the War Presidency of the
10 Banja Luka Municipal Assembly. And you were -- you'll see at number 2 --
11 part II, number 10, towards the bottom of the page, you'll see your name,
12 Novak Kondic, director of the AR /Autonomous Region/ of Krajina SDK
13 /Public Auditing Service/, do you see that?
14 A. Yes, I do. Actually, the wording is wrong. Wrong terms were
15 used. This decision says that was a War Presidency. Under 8 I said a
16 Crisis Staff. That was the same group of people who were appointed, but
17 I don't know what the name of the body was previously but it's one and
18 the same thing.
19 MR. FILE: Would you like to take a break at this point,
20 Your Honour?
21 JUDGE KWON: Before that, where do we see Crisis Staff under 8?
22 Could you repeat, Mr. Kondic, what you said.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that those two things were
24 the same. I said in my paragraph 8 that that was a Crisis Staff, that
25 was the terminology that was used; however, it is about its name being a
1 War Presidency.
2 JUDGE KWON: But you -- in paragraph 33 you mention
3 "War Presidency," didn't you?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that this document was
5 shown to me when I was providing my statement, which is why I used the
6 same term as in the document because it is all about this document, isn't
8 JUDGE KWON: And you stated that War Presidency was taken over by
9 the Crisis Staff. Do you remember having said that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I did say -- let me explain.
11 It is one and the same thing. I didn't see previously that according to
12 this decision the name of that body was War Presidency. I said that a
13 body was indeed set up, and when the Crisis Staff of the AR Krajina staff
14 did -- operating, I believe that those issues that pertained to the
15 purview of the War Presidency were transferred on to different body or
16 different bodies. We never met. There was that -- just that one meeting
17 to which we were called in order to be invited to help the functioning of
18 normal life in town, including water, electricity, tax collection, and
19 everything else that concerned normal conditions of life.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll have a break for 30 minutes and resume at
21 five past 11.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
24 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. File.
25 MR. FILE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Kondic, before the break we were discussing this document,
2 1D25042, the document that appointed you as a member of the Banja Luka
3 War Presidency. At page 20 of today's transcript you said that the
4 wording is wrong in that document. I want to just clarify, is it your
5 testimony that there was not a municipal Crisis Staff in Banja Luka that
6 existed before the Banja Luka War Presidency was established in
7 May of 1992?
8 A. I only remember that one body was indeed appointed and set up. I
9 don't know whether it was called War Presidency or Crisis Staff. If we
10 look at this decision, those are mostly members of the Executive Council,
11 and I was its member. This was a municipal body which was set up. I
12 attended just one meeting of that body and no other meetings after that.
13 I don't know if it continued operating at all.
14 Q. My question was whether any entity of this sort existed before
15 this date of 6 May 1992 [sic]. Was there any Crisis Staff or any
16 War Presidency before then?
17 A. Honestly, I don't know. I can't remember. I don't know.
18 MR. FILE: Can we look at 65 ter number 04 --
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
20 But is it your evidence that the date is wrong on the page we are
21 looking at now, Mr. Kondic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the date. I can see
23 that the date has been corrected on this page, but I really do not recall
24 the exact date.
25 JUDGE KWON: I beg your pardon. Did you say date has been
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can see in the document that
3 the day and month are illegible, whereas the year is quite clearly
4 legible. That's why I'm saying that I don't know, I can't remember the
5 date. I don't know when this decision was actually passed.
6 JUDGE KWON: Do you see the upper part of the document which
7 refers to the document number, strictly confidential --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE KWON: -- but it still bears the number of 1991?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and you can see clearly that
11 it was on the 5th of September, 1991; however, further down, when
12 describing that particular session and the date when it was held, that
13 part is not very clear or legible.
14 JUDGE KWON: In the parenthesis, Official Gazette of Serbian
15 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina number 3/92, does that number, 92,
16 represent the year, Mr. File? Do you have any clue?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE KWON: Well, should we continue.
19 MR. FILE: If we could turn to 65 ter number 04998, please.
20 Q. Mr. Kondic, you'll see that this is a newspaper article from
21 "Glas" from the 4th of April, 1992.
22 MR. FILE: I'd like to look at B/C/S page 2, English page 3.
23 Q. Now, you'll see the headline at the top of the page in B/C/S and
24 at approximately the middle to the bottom of the page in the English
1 "Crisis Staff session takes place.
2 "SOS demands accepted."
3 And in the first paragraph of the article it says:
4 "Banja Luka, 3 April - at a press conference today,
5 Predrag Radic, President of the Banja Luka Crisis Staff, declared that
6 all of the Serbian Defence Forces' /SOS/ demands had been agreed to,
7 true, in a slightly modified form ..."
8 One more area of this page I'm going to draw your attention to is
9 in the English page 6 and it's the box that is in the middle of that
10 article in B/C/S titled "Crisis Staff." And this contains a list of
11 individuals who were appointed to the Crisis Staff. You'll see this list
12 does not contain your name.
13 So my question to you is: Does this refresh your recollection as
14 to whether a Crisis Staff existed in the month before the establishment
15 of this War Presidency that we were discussing earlier?
16 A. I believe that it may be concluded from the document that the
17 staff did exist; however, I know that there was one body that consisted
18 mostly of the members of the Executive Council and I was one of the
19 members. That was the War Presidency that had only one session and I
20 really don't know anything else about that. Because here the -- there is
21 a reference to the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Banja Luka. I was
22 not a member, I don't know how it functioned, and I don't know how long
23 it existed for.
24 Q. But you agree that you were present in Banja Luka at the time and
25 you were aware of the existence of this staff?
1 A. I suppose that I knew at the time, but that was 20 years ago.
2 Now as I sit here, I really can't be sure. I know that there was one
3 body, I was appointed to that body, I attended just one meeting and no
4 meetings after that because, A, there were no such meetings; and B, I was
5 never called to any of them.
6 MR. FILE: Your Honour, I would tender that.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it -- yes, Mr. -- before that,
8 yes, Mr. Robinson.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, I would think just those two pages.
10 JUDGE KWON: But in B/C/S is one page.
11 Mr. File?
12 MR. FILE: That's correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 Yes, we'll receive it.
15 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6522, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MR. FILE:
18 Q. Now, in your statement what you said about the meeting of this
19 War Presidency was that it took place on the 6th of May, 1992; correct?
20 JUDGE KWON: Paragraph 33.
21 MR. FILE: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you can see that from the
23 document because the document bears that date, 6th of May, 1992.
24 MR. FILE: Could we look at 65 ter number 05443, please.
25 Q. You'll see at the top of this page, this is an excerpt from the
1 minutes of the 69th Session of the Executive Committee of Banja Luka
2 municipality, held on the 8th of May, 1992.
3 MR. FILE: If we go to English page 10 and B/C/S page 8, please.
4 Q. You'll see under item 20 it says:
5 "The Committee adopted a decision establishing a War Presidency
6 of the Banja Luka Municipal Assembly."
7 So this would seem to suggest that the Banja Luka War Presidency
8 was established on the 8th of May, 1992. Does that refresh your
9 recollection as to the date of the establishment of the War Presidency?
10 A. No, I can't remember the date at all, not after the time that has
12 Q. Do you have any reason to disagree with what is stated in the
13 minutes of this 69th Session of the Executive Committee of Banja Luka
15 A. I believe that the minutes are credible.
16 MR. FILE: Could I tender that, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 Just a second. Shall we admit it in its entirety, Mr. Robinson?
19 MR. ROBINSON: That would be fine, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Or only those pages? First and last page.
21 MR. ROBINSON: I think we'd just as soon have it admitted in its
22 entirety, but it's up to you.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yeah, we'll admit those two pages.
24 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6523, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 MR. FILE: Could we look at 65 ter number 5502, please.
2 Q. When this comes up, you'll see that these are the abridged
3 minutes of the 19th Session of the Assembly of the municipality of
4 Banja Luka, dated 23 June 1992. On page 1 of the English and page 1 of
5 the B/C/S, towards the bottom, it says in the large paragraph:
6 "The President informed Assembly members that there were no
7 changes and amendments to the agenda, except that the War Presidency had
8 in the meantime, from the sending of the materials to the holding of the
9 session, on 19 June 1992 reviewed and adopted the Decision under point 3
10 of the agenda which says: The Draft Decision on violations at a time of
11 imminent threat of war or in the event of war; I therefore propose that
12 this Decision be reviewed as part of point 2 of the agenda, like all
13 other decisions adopted by the War Presidency."
14 And if you go to English page 2, at the bottom of B/C/S page 1,
15 under item 2, it says:
16 "Verification of the decisions adopted by the War Presidency of
17 the Banja Luka Municipal Assembly within the competencies of the
18 Municipal Assembly in the period from 28 May 1992 to 23 June 1992 ..."
19 And then going on to page 2 of the B/C/S, it has a whole list of
20 decisions in areas that include the allocation of municipal apartments,
21 appointing and replacing judges, and this issue of violations at a time
22 of imminent threat of war or in the event of war. So in addition to the
23 meeting you were previously saying happened on the 6th -- on or about the
24 6th of May, 1992, this seems to suggest that there were numerous meetings
25 of the Banja Luka War Presidency between 28 May 1992 and 23 June 1992,
1 including one that is specifically mentioned as having taken place on
2 19 June 1992. So would you agree, in light of this, that your
3 recollection about the extent of these meetings could be mistaken?
4 A. It is possible, because from this I can see that the
5 War Presidency was the Executive Council of the city of Banja Luka and I
6 was its member. I suppose that decisions were passed at meetings of the
7 Executive Council, which operated as the War Presidency and they were
8 sent to the Assembly; because the Executive Council made decisions from
9 within its regular purview and sent them for review to the Assembly and
10 for adoption. I suppose that I may have forgotten the terminology. I
11 don't know whether the state of war was declared and the
12 Executive Council was renamed and became a War Presidency. I believe
13 that that would be the explanation, but I don't know. However, when we
14 looked at the article in "Glas," it says there that that was the
15 Crisis Staff of the municipality of Banja Luka and I suppose that I
16 related that activity to that -- to this one meeting of the
17 Executive Council. If you look at the composition of the War Presidency,
18 those were mostly members of the Executive Council and you can see their
19 functions; i.e., you can see what sectors they covered. And it is a
20 purely legal phrasing and a legal issue.
21 MR. FILE: Could we look at English page 5, B/C/S page 4 of this
22 document, please.
23 Q. Now, you will see at the bottom of the page in English and in
24 B/C/S, you were attending this session of the Assembly of the
25 municipality of Banja Luka because you presented introductory comments to
1 two decisions of the War Presidency relating to sales taxes. That's at
2 the bottom of those pages. Do you recall being present for this session?
3 A. Of course I did. I was a member of the Executive Council and we
4 were duty-bound to attend Assembly sessions, and you can see from the
5 minutes that my presence was recorded.
6 MR. FILE: Your Honour, I would tender this document.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit those pages.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit P6524, Your Honours.
9 MR. FILE: Could we look at document 65 ter 5520, please.
10 Q. As this comes up, you'll see that this is a letter from the
11 Banja Luka public prosecutor to the Banja Luka War Presidency dated
12 6th of July, 1992. This letter is proposing deputy public prosecutors
13 for Banja Luka to be confirmed by the War Presidency, and in particular
14 it says in the second paragraph:
15 "In view of the legal provision on the Public Prosecutor's Office
16 in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the decision on the
17 structure of organisation, the seat and areas /that concern/ the offices
18 of public prosecutors adopted by the acting president of the republic,
19 the War Presidency must give its approval for the appointment of the
20 Deputy Public Prosecutor. Please could you, therefore, approve this at
21 the next session."
22 Now, you would agree that this seems to indicate that other
23 public officials viewed the Banja Luka War Presidency as functioning in
24 July 1992 because it makes a request for approval to take place at the
25 next session; correct?
1 A. As far as I can remember - and you can also see from the
2 document - the Executive Council of the city of Banja Luka, or rather, of
3 the municipality of Banja Luka, as it was known at the time, was renamed
4 and became War Presidency, which means that all the functions that
5 Executive Council performed up to April 1992, it continued to perform.
6 But a decision had been made to rename it so that it became a
7 War Presidency. You can see from the composition of the people who were
8 its members. It could not have been an illegal group, a random group of
9 people that made decisions that would then be sent to the Assembly. It's
10 a very legal issue and I'm a layperson, but as far as I can remember
11 that's how things were and you can see from the document that this was
12 actually the Executive Council of the city of Banja Luka.
13 Q. So now it's your testimony that the War Presidency was
14 sometimes -- on at least one occasion a Crisis Staff but other times it
15 was the Executive Council; is that what you're saying?
16 A. I'm saying that from this -- the documents, you can see that the
17 Executive Council was renamed and became a War Presidency. And as for
18 the Crisis Staff, as far as I can remember it was set up, its president
19 was Predrag Radic, the president of the Assembly. I attended its session
20 only once and never again.
21 MR. FILE: Before we get away from this document --
22 Q. You don't recall attending any War Presidency sessions in
23 July 1992; correct?
24 A. I can't remember, but I know from the documents - and you can
25 also check that with the people who were in charge of the
1 Executive Council, its president Rajko Kasagic, for example - it arises
2 from this that at the time the Executive Council was renamed and became a
3 War Presidency. This is my understanding.
4 Q. Now, I noticed another comment in your statement when you said at
5 paragraph 16:
6 "In the ARK we acted like a separate state whose supreme organ
7 was the ARK Assembly ..."
8 This letter has a local prosecutor talking about meeting the
9 requirements of republic-level legal provisions and presidential
10 decisions that establish procedures relating to municipal
11 War Presidencies. So you would agree that this letter is inconsistent
12 with your claim that the highest law of the land in Krajina came from the
13 ARK Assembly; right?
14 A. It arises from this that the ARK Assembly existed for only a few
15 months, until the moment Republika Srpska was territorially integrated.
16 ARK Assembly passed decisions that were then sent to various institutions
17 in the area for implementation. That was between April 1992 to
18 September 1999 [as interpreted]. And then the National Assembly, the
19 government, and other institutions took over and started functioning
20 normally --
21 Q. Okay --
22 A. -- and during that time the Assembly of ARK and its Presidency --
23 Q. This letter comes from 6th of July, 1992, so you're limiting your
24 claim about the ARK Assembly to before that date; is that what you're
1 A. I cannot be tied to the date because I don't remember dates after
2 all this time, but I know that at the beginning of the divisions of the
3 entire Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole concerning the area of Banja Luka
4 and other municipalities, the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of
5 Krajina was formed and it took over certain legislative and other
6 functions and functions of the Presidency and executive functions,
7 especially in the payment system.
8 MR. FILE: Your Honour, I would tender this document.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6525, Your Honours.
11 MR. FILE: Could we just look briefly at P2620, please.
12 Q. You'll see this is an ARK Crisis Staff document from
13 Radoslav Brdjanin dated 11 June 1992, and it says at the top:
14 "On the territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, the
15 municipal Crisis Staff, that is the War Presidency, shall consist of the
16 following persons ..."
17 And then it has a list. And then again it says:
18 "The War Presidency, that is the Crisis Staff ..." and it
19 explains the duties.
20 Now, this doesn't say anything about the War Presidency being an
21 Executive Committee, it refers specifically to the Crisis Staff; correct?
22 A. It is obvious from this that the Crisis Staff is, in fact, a
23 completely different organ than the Executive Committee or the
24 War Presidency which was in place during the war because people have
25 different functions here, whereas on the Executive Board of the region of
1 Banja Luka there are certain people who had been elected before 1991.
2 Q. But this document creates an equivalency between the Crisis Staff
3 and the War Presidency, not between the Executive Council and the
4 War Presidency; right?
5 A. No, no. The Executive Board was renamed, as we could see in that
6 decision, into War Presidency. And the members of the War Presidency
7 were the members of the Executive Board that had been elected to those
8 posts. So this war -- what you call it, the War Presidency, is not
9 related to this organ referred to here.
10 MR. FILE: Could we look at 65 ter number 25685, please.
11 Q. So as you can see from this document, it's a decision of the
12 Banja Luka War Presidency dated 7 July 1992. It says at the top:
13 "At a session held on 7 July 1992, the War Presidency of the
14 Banja Luka Municipal Assembly adopted the following decision:
15 "Relieving the editor-in-chief of the Banja Luka 'Glas' newspaper
16 /of his duties/ ..."
17 I'm going to show you one more document and then I'm going to ask
18 you a question.
19 MR. FILE: Could we have 65 ter number 25684, please.
20 Q. And as you can see from this, this is a decision of the
21 Banja Luka War Presidency dated 16 July 1992, and it says:
22 "At its session of 16 July 1992, the War Presidency of the
23 Banja Luka Municipal Assembly ... adopted the following decision ..."
24 So you see, there are sessions of the War Presidency, as its
25 called, taking place in July 1992, but it's your testimony that there was
1 only one session of the War Presidency; is that right?
2 A. I'm trying to explain that there existed one body headed by the
3 president of the municipality, Predrag Radic. I'm not sure whether it
4 was called the War Presidency or it was called the Crisis Staff, but we
5 see from the documents that the administrative board -- in fact, that
6 some sort of War Presidency was formed made up mainly of members of the
7 Executive Board and it's logical that such decisions were made by that
9 Q. But the very first document that we saw today was a document that
10 was nominating you to the War Presidency. You were a member of the
11 War Presidency. So you didn't attend any of these meetings; is that what
12 you're saying?
13 A. No, I'm saying that by virtue of that decision I was named member
14 of the Executive Board. Because look at the War Presidency, all of these
15 people were former members of the Executive Board that had been legally
16 elected to the Executive Board. And that body was renamed into
17 War Presidency. On the other hand, there was the Crisis Staff, to which
18 I was appointed, it held only one session and I was never again invited
19 there. So you can see clearly that these are two different bodies.
20 Q. Okay. Final area of questions. In numerous places in your
21 statement you discuss how the BiH SDK in Sarajevo cut off payment
22 transactions with the Banja Luka SDK branch office, that's at
23 paragraph 10 where you say that:
24 "Payment transactions with municipalities from the Banja Luka
25 region were cut off ..." relating to April 1992.
1 And then again in paragraph 12 you say:
2 "At one point the BH SDK cut payment transactions with the
3 Banja Luka SDK branch office, but I do not remember why ..."
4 Now, my question to you is: Are you aware that well before
5 payment transactions with the Banja Luka SDK were cut off, the SDS
6 leadership had issued instructions to take over power in SDK branches?
7 MR. FILE: And for the record, I'm referring to Exhibits P2548
8 and P958.
9 Q. The question is: Are you aware of that?
10 A. In that period there was an antagonism; in fact, there were
11 problems in the distribution of funds between the central authorities in
12 Sarajevo and the authorities in Banja Luka. The system operated in such
13 a way that those revenues that were collected in the area of the
14 municipality of Banja Luka were sent every night to the centre in
15 Sarajevo where they were to be redistributed so that part of the funds
16 went to Belgrade in the form of federal taxes, part of the revenues
17 remained in Sarajevo, and part in Banja Luka. There were certain major
18 problems in returning a portion of these funds to the local level --
19 Q. Mr. Kondic --
20 A. -- so there was a dialogue between --
21 Q. -- pardon me for interrupting, but my question was more narrow
22 and more specific than that. I was simply asking you whether you were
23 aware that before the payment transactions were cut off from Sarajevo, if
24 you were aware that the SDS leadership had issued instructions to take
25 over power in SDK branches. That's the question.
1 A. I know that certain decisions were made and that they were
2 enacted in circumstances when the payment transaction system was
3 paralyzed. Attempts were made to continue observing the regulations and
4 send funds to Sarajevo; however, there were power cuts on the local level
5 and the payments authorities were unable to process that. I know the
6 Assembly discussed it and the president of the Assembly, Mr. Pelivan,
7 certain decisions were made but I really can't remember the details.
8 Q. Okay. Do you remember any -- the existence of any instructions
9 from SDS leadership to prevent SDK branches in Serb-dominated areas from
10 releasing money from their treasuries, effectively cutting off
11 transactions with other parts of Bosnia?
12 A. I know that there was a series of decisions and debates primarily
13 before the Assembly of Banja Luka and then talks ensued with the official
14 authorities in Sarajevo, with the aim of deciding how to use the funds
15 more regularly, more appropriately.
16 May I add something?
17 MR. FILE: Actually, if we could just look at Exhibit P5, please.
18 THE WITNESS: Okay.
19 MR. FILE:
20 Q. You'll see that this is SDS Main Board instructions for the
21 organisation and operation of organs of the Serbian people in
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina in emergency conditions. This is the Variant A
23 and B document from 19 December 1991.
24 MR. FILE: If we could just look at English page 5 and B/C/S
25 page 5, please.
1 Q. You'll see under "second degree," point 4, the instruction here
2 is to:
3 "Make the SDK /Public Accounting Services/ branch and affiliated
4 offices responsible for preventing the physical outflow of cash and
5 securities from the treasuries under their jurisdiction in banks,
6 post offices, and other financial institutions ..."
7 Now, these instructions are coming in December 1991, well before
8 the electricity cutoffs that you were describing; would you agree?
9 A. [Interpretation] I see from the document that it was issued on
10 19 December 1991 by the Main Board of the SDS, but of course we did not
11 apply this because we did not apply this at that time. The unified
12 system in Bosnia-Herzegovina was still in operation if we are talking
13 about capital payments. This may have been some sort of recommendation,
14 but I did not see it nor was I in a position to act upon this. Because
15 the general director of the capital payment service was still in
16 Sarajevo --
17 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
18 A. -- that was a director for payments in Banja Luka and I was the
19 director of the tax administration in the municipality.
20 Q. So it's your testimony that you didn't see these instructions?
21 A. I can't remember. Maybe I had seen it then, but I really don't
22 remember. I cannot remember all the documents or remember them after
23 22 years.
24 MR. FILE: No further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just two or three questions,
3 Your Excellency.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kondic, could we look at 25684. It probably
6 has a P number now. 65 ter 25684.
7 Do you remember those numerous decisions? It will come up soon.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, this is something different.
9 JUDGE KWON: By the way, did you tender those two decisions by
10 War Presidency, Mr. File?
11 MR. FILE: I may not have, but I intended to. If I could please,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE KWON: Should we assign numbers.
14 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 25685 receives Exhibit P6526.
15 65 ter number 25684 receives Exhibit P6527, Your Honours.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That could be P6523. But never
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All those decisions that you saw in several documents, if there
20 had been no war, in whose jurisdiction were such decisions? If it hadn't
21 been for the war, which body would have issued those decisions?
22 A. According to the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Assembly
23 in Sarajevo was competent to legislate, to enact certain laws; and based
24 on those laws, municipalities were competent to issue some regulations,
25 such as the Assembly in Banja Luka. Some of these decisions enacted by
1 the Assembly during the war used to be enacted and issued by other bodies
2 than the Assembly after 1992. Speaking of these decisions about
3 collection of taxes and contributions, these decisions were enacted based
4 on the existing laws but received a different framework before the
5 Municipal Assemblies.
6 Q. Who by ethnicity are Edin Hergic, Kemal Arnautovic, then
7 Azra Viscevic, and Gordana Preselj? Who were these people on the
8 Executive Board by ethnicity?
9 A. It is unambiguous that these are Muslims and Croats. I remember
10 some of these names, but, for instance, the vice-president of the
11 Executive Board was Anton Rusic a Croat; Josip Cujec, Croat; and there
12 were two Bosniaks whose names elude me at the moment, Nedzad Kusmic is
13 one of them.
14 Q. Thank you. This, for instance, is the month of May, but we've
15 seen that on 23rd June and 6th July there were other documents. Did they
16 continue to work in the municipality of Banja Luka?
17 A. They continued, but, to be quite honest, I worked until
18 September 1992 when I was appointed deputy director of the payment
19 service and I left the Executive Board so I don't know how long they
20 continued on it.
21 Q. It was said here that those instructions, regardless of how we
22 treat them -- can you tell us, what was the situation with the outflow of
23 cash among the republics and when did this new situation arise in the
24 payment transactions among the republics?
25 A. The problem with the distribution of revenues between local
1 communities and republic organs became very tense on the eve of the war
2 and there were many meetings between presidents of Municipal Assemblies
3 and the president of the Executive Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 Mr. Pelivan at the time. And those tensions culminated in great
5 discontent. At that time I was a member of the Presidency of the
6 League of Communists of the municipality of Banja Luka, and this
7 discontent with the overall relations between local and republic
8 authorities, the decision was made to stop paying the contributions, the
9 fees, the membership fees, to the League of Communists to Sarajevo and to
10 keep them in Banja Luka. The head of that committee was a Croat,
11 Zvonko Nikolic.
12 Q. Was that before the SDS was established?
13 A. I can't remember the date, but I believe it was before the
14 establishment of the SDS.
15 Q. Thank you. Staying on the same subject, what did it look like
16 between republics and the Federation, this same problem?
17 A. We had some information based on the tax inspections done by the
18 SDK in Belgrade, which checked the six branch offices in the republics.
19 And I know there were problems in the supply of cash because all the
20 republics used to be supplied from Belgrade, from the National Bank of
21 Yugoslavia. Then there was some problems and complaints regarding the
22 taxes payable to the Federation.
23 Q. And last, what happened to the foreign exchange -- foreign
24 currency savings of citizens of households before the war broke out?
25 A. What I know as a regular citizen is that the foreign currency
1 savings evaporated. People were unable to access their foreign currency
2 savings accounts, and to date these problems persist.
3 Q. Where, for instance, did the savings held by the Ljubljanska
4 Banka in Bosnia-Herzegovina disappear?
5 A. I don't know. It's a problem between the Bank of
6 Republika Srpska and the National Bank of Yugoslavia. That had nothing
7 to do with my job which was payment transactions.
8 Q. I have no further questions. Thank you, Mr. Kondic.
9 A. Thank you.
10 JUDGE KWON: Well, that concludes your evidence, Mr. Kondic. On
11 behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to
12 The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE KWON: Is the next witness ready, Mr. Robinson?
16 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, would the witness make the solemn declaration,
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: ANDJELKO GRAHOVAC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Grahovac. Please be seated and make
25 yourself comfortable.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Grahovac.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Thank you. We both need to mind how we speak. We need to speak
7 slowly and make a short pause between questions and answers so that
8 everything is properly recorded. Have you given a statement to my
9 Defence team?
10 A. Yes, I have given a statement to your Defence team.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we call up in e-court 1D9520,
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you see your statement on the screen?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Have you read and signed that statement?
17 A. I have seen that statement and I signed it, but concerning
18 paragraphs 40 and 41, I would like to clarify something.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please display
21 paragraphs 40 and 41. It's page 12 in B/C/S.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Tell us what needs to be clarified in paragraph 40.
24 A. Let me see. It seems to me this record is not the last one
25 looked at. It could be the next one, 41. Yes, 41. In the sentence that
1 begins with:
2 "I was also ..."
3 That sentence should be deleted and replaced with the following:
4 "I too could have been killed by such men on one of the bridges
5 across the Vrbas river, like the chief of security of Banja Luka,
6 Goran Ilic [as interpreted], was killed and he was my friend and
7 neighbour ..."
8 So that --
9 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
10 Can we see the next page, at least in English.
11 THE ACCUSED: "I too ...," second line.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 Did you say "Goran Ilic" or "Goran Bjelica"?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said "Goran Bijelic."
15 JUDGE KWON: So he was killed?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was that bridge that he was
18 JUDGE KWON: Any other corrections you would like to make?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that was in my paragraph 41,
20 but I think it is in your paragraph 42.
21 JUDGE KWON: No, it's in 41. Thank you.
22 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 42 as well, please.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. What would you change there?
1 A. The last name of the woman referred to there is not "Pavelic," it
2 is "Pajic."
3 Q. Marinka Pajic; right?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the last page please be shown
7 to the witness so he could identify his signature.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Is that your signature?
10 A. Yes, that's my signature.
11 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions today --
12 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
13 Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: I'm very sorry, Your Honours, and I wouldn't
15 normally interrupt Dr. Karadzic at this stage in the game, but since
16 we're dealing with corrections to the statement I just wanted to bring to
17 everybody's attention in relation to paragraphs 18 -- paragraph 18 of the
18 statement and 17, both of those refer to quotes from a document which is
19 already exhibited and which was referenced in the draft version of the
20 statement. But the actual reference to the document has been deleted,
21 and that's D4016. Paragraphs 17 and 18 actually quote that document
22 almost entirely. So perhaps it would help things if there was just a
23 reference to D4016 inserted somewhere in relation to those paragraphs.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, Mr. Karadzic.
25 MR. ROBINSON: We don't have any objection to that,
1 Mr. President.
2 MS. EDGERTON: It's just it might be inadvertence --
3 JUDGE KWON: If the Defence agrees to your statement, then that
4 will be fine. So paragraph 17 and paragraph 18 refer to Exhibit D4016.
5 MS. EDGERTON: That's correct.
6 JUDGE KWON: Shall we continue then.
7 THE ACCUSED: Was it 4016 or 4106?
8 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton.
9 MS. EDGERTON: I'll double-check that I have the number exactly
10 correct. Sometimes I transpose them.
11 THE ACCUSED: Thank you.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today as were the
14 questions put by members of my team, would your answers basically be the
16 A. Yes. If the members of your team were to put the same questions,
17 the answers would be the same.
18 Q. Thank you. I'd like to tender this statement according to
19 Rule 92 ter.
20 JUDGE KWON: And about the associated exhibits, Mr. Robinson?
21 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, there are nine unadmitted
22 associated exhibits listed; we're tendering eight of them. Number 00947
23 is not being tendered.
24 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Edgerton?
25 MS. EDGERTON: No. Just with respect to 1D25009, could we only
1 have page 34 because all B/C/S pages have been uploaded and I think we
2 only need the page that the witness has referenced.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit this 92 ter statement as well as
4 eight associated exhibits.
5 Shall we assign the number for the statement first.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The statement receives Exhibit D4077,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE KWON: And the other numbers for the associated exhibits
9 will be assigned in due course by the Registry.
10 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Now I'm going to read out, in the English language, a brief
13 summary of Mr. Andjelko Grahovac's statement.
14 [In English] Andjelko Grahovac was an MP in the BH parliament
15 between 1990 and 1992, and later a member of the Assembly of the
16 Serbian People. He was elected in the Banja Luka municipality.
17 In May 1990, Andjelko Grahovac's wife was threatened whilst
18 pushing a pram containing their daughter. A man approached the pram, had
19 pulled out two knives pointing them at the child's chest. He then said,
20 "This is only the beginning for you." This act was committed in an
21 attempt to make Andjelko Grahovac give up his political engagements;
22 however, he did not.
23 As a result of the multi-party elections, a coalition was
24 created. The Assembly was run in a democratic and tolerant manner with
25 compromises sought to avoid conflicts. A rift among the parties occurred
1 after the decision of the Muslims and Croats to secede from Yugoslavia.
2 The Assembly of the Serbian people was established on
3 24th of October, 1991, and Momcilo Krajisnik was elected as the first
4 president, whilst he continued to hold the office of president of the
5 Assembly of BH until the beginning of the war.
6 The plebiscite of the Serbian people was held in November 1991,
7 and over 90 per cent of the Serbian people who took part favoured
8 remaining within Yugoslavia. The Serbian people responded to the
9 mobilisation of the JNA as it was a legal duty and they believed that the
10 JNA would protect them, in the case of an attack - people joined in an
11 attempt to prevent the war occurring.
12 At this time, Muslims and Croats were preparing paramilitary
13 forces, including the Green Berets, Handzar division, and the Ustasha
14 paramilitary ZNG, Zbor Narodne Garde. Andjelko Grahovac was aware that
15 the HDZ from Bosnia and Herzegovina were sending Croatian and Muslim
16 volunteers to the battle-fields in Croatia during 1991 where Croatia
17 fought against Serbs.
18 To avoid any future problems, the Assembly of the Serbian people
19 accepted the Cutileiro Plan. The Muslims are responsible for the
20 collapse of the Cutileiro Plan. Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik never
21 promoted the hatred of other peoples; rather, their positions were much
22 more moderate than those of other deputies.
23 The Banja Luka Crisis Staff was established in May 1992.
24 Andjelko Grahovac never received any instructions or orders for the
25 persecution, murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing of other peoples from the
1 area, nor was any persecution or ethnic cleansing planned. It was
2 impossible to communicate with the republican leadership or contact them
3 as the corridor towards Serbia did not exist.
4 Local members of the SDS petitioned Predrag Radic for a long time
5 to accept the post of president of the Municipal Assembly in Banja Luka.
6 He was afraid to accept this position and in general to be a member of
7 the SDS because he did not know what would happen if the elections -- in
8 the elections and feared political retributions by the communists if they
9 were to re-take power; however, he did take the position.
10 Andjelko Grahovac was elected president of the community of
11 municipalities of the Bosnian Krajina in May 1991. The existing ZOBK
12 institution was used as it had been legally founded in the existing
13 system. The ZOBK was established to gain economic independence from
14 Sarajevo and put up political resistance to the separatist policy of the
15 SDA and the HDZ. However, funding for the ZOBK was a constant issue
16 because there was no stable source of income. The ZOBK had little power
17 as the real political and economic power was held by the presidents of
18 Municipal Assemblies.
19 Dr. Karadzic was against the unification of the two Krajinas (in
20 Croatia and in Bosnia), as he saw it as a potential pretext for war.
21 Krajina then became an independent state, gaining economic independence.
22 The SDS had a poor rating in Banja Luka and the Krajina.
23 He was also aware of the roadblocks that had been set up around
24 BH. Andjelko Grahovac visited Manjaca camp for prisoners of war. Whilst
25 visiting he established that the prisoners were safe and that the rules
1 and regulations were respected there. If it was determined there was no
2 evidence to prosecute, the prisoners would be released.
3 As director of the Univerzal company, Andjelko Grahovac only
4 dismissed employees who did not come to work five days in a row without
5 giving any reason. No one was fired for being Muslim or Croat. The
6 situation in Banja Luka during the war was difficult for Serbs as well as
7 for Muslims and Croats because Serbs experienced thefts [sic].
8 Andjelko Grahovac and his wife received threats over this period. Around
9 this area there were many dangerous people who were responsible for much
10 of the evil that was perpetrated.
11 That was the summary. At the moment, I do not have additional
12 questions for Mr. Grahovac.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 As you have noted, Mr. Grahovac, your evidence in chief in this
15 case has been admitted in writing, that is, through your written
16 statement in lieu of your oral testimony. And now you'll be
17 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Grahovac.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. Mr. Grahovac, you pointed out in your written evidence that you
25 weren't a member of the ARK Crisis Staff, and I just want to get you to
1 confirm that not only were you not a member, you didn't attend a single
2 session of their meetings; right?
3 A. That's right. When I was replaced from the position of
4 prime minister of the Autonomous Region of the Krajina in December 1991,
5 officially in the beginning of January 1992, I was not a member of the
6 Crisis Staff. And later on, I did not attend sessions of that body.
7 Q. And actually, you didn't even know who its members were until
8 sometime in 1995; right?
9 A. I knew of some members of the Crisis Staff because they were
10 members of the Crisis Staff ex officio. For example, Vojo Kupresanin,
11 the president of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Krajina; or
12 Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin, then perhaps the commander of the Krajina Corps
13 and the president of the city Assembly; but the other members, seven,
14 eight, nine, or ten of them, I didn't know them until that point in time,
15 the one that you referred to.
16 Q. And really, after your dismissal in January 1992, you really
17 distanced yourself from politics, didn't you? You really focused on
18 running your company and football because of your position with the
19 Borac football club; right?
20 A. Yes. I was a bit angry because of the dishonourable dismissal
21 from that position. I was angry at the political echelons at the time,
22 and since I was rather young at the time, this caused quite a bit of
23 stress. That is why I devoted myself to the company that I worked in, to
24 production, and also I was president of the board's football club. We
25 had a football league then in the Republic of Serbia because we were the
1 only club that had remained in the federal premier league and that's
2 basically what I did during those seven or eight months.
3 Q. And you didn't go to a single ARK Assembly session, did you?
4 A. As far as I can remember, I did not attend these sessions of the
5 Assembly because I wasn't a member of the Assembly of the
6 Autonomous Region of the Krajina and I was not a member of any other body
7 of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Krajina.
8 Q. And for a long time, you didn't even attend RS Assembly sessions,
9 did you?
10 A. Yes. For a while, precisely because of that situation that I was
11 in, I did not attend sessions of the Assembly of the RS; but at one point
12 in time, I cannot say exactly when, I did join the activities of the
13 Assembly of the RS.
14 Q. But -- and that dismissal -- actually, that completely eliminated
15 you from that circle involving Dr. Karadzic, the other RS leaders and
16 officials of the ARK, didn't it?
17 A. Well, after the dismissal that's the way it was until I joined in
18 the work of the Assembly of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and later
19 on the Assembly of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. But in 1992 from -- actually, from your dismissal all the way
21 through 1992, you were really out of the political sphere, weren't you?
22 A. Well, you cannot say that a person is totally out of the
23 political sphere -- well, as for influence, no, I didn't really have much
24 influence then. But in the context of what was happening in Banja Luka
25 and Republika Srpska at the time, a person had to be in this whirlpool,
1 whether one liked to or not.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Grahovac, you've actually met with the
3 Office of the Prosecutor's representatives a couple of times in the past,
4 in 2001 and again in 2010. And --
5 A. Yes. I met with these representatives of the
6 Office of the Prosecutor two or three times.
7 Q. All right. And in 2001 you told my former colleagues that you
8 knew -- because, nevertheless, you were living in Banja Luka in 1991 and
9 1992, you knew that hundreds of small businesses belonging to non-Serbs
10 were blown up at night in Banja Luka. That's what you told them; right?
11 A. Yes, that's what I said, just as I spoke about all the other
12 things that I knew because I lived in the centre of town.
13 Q. And you also told them you didn't agree with that; correct?
14 A. Of course I didn't agree.
15 Q. And you also told my former colleagues that you were aware that
16 thousands of Muslims and Croats were evicted from their apartments,
17 sometimes by creating fear in them and sometimes by people breaking into
18 their apartments and throwing them out of their apartments in Banja Luka.
19 That's what you said; right?
20 A. Yes, that's what I said, I did not agree with that because I
21 thought that we Serbs were supposed to fight to defend ourselves from the
22 spectre of the Ustasha ideology among the Croats and Muslims rather than
23 fight for the property of others. However, the situation was such that
24 people did actually do that. But one has to put oneself into the context
25 of that time. I don't think that these were orders coming from a higher
1 level. Quite simply, it was like an epidemic that was rampant among the
3 Q. And during this same interview in 2001, you were asked by my
4 former colleague, Mr. Inayat, that -- you were asked:
5 "If the Crisis Staff had really wanted, couldn't they have
6 instructed the army and the police to ensure that such things don't
7 happen in Banja Luka?"
8 And you said:
9 "Sure, they could have ..."
10 That's what you said at the time; right?
11 A. Yes, I said that. I also said that for a while, while
12 General Vukovic was the commander of the 1st Corps or the
13 1st Krajina Corps, order was established and the situation was much
14 better than the situation in the previous period.
15 Q. And in fact, talking about the Crisis Staff, you also told my
16 colleagues they tolerated these criminal activities, didn't you?
17 A. Well, I don't know whether they actually tolerated that or could
18 not resolve that problem. I would like to point out that -- well, it's
19 not that I'm defending them or justifying what they did. I just wish to
20 explain to this Court, and I'm offering an explanation in the context of
21 those times, wishes were one thing and the reality on the ground and the
22 possibilities that one had were different.
23 Q. And do you remember, Mr. Grahovac, that my colleagues asked you
24 some questions, some specific questions, about Radoslav Brdjanin. And in
25 that interview they asked you whether he talked about a percentage of
1 Muslims and Croats who would be allowed to stay in the Bosanska Krajina
2 and the rest would leave. And your answer was that you heard from one of
3 your Muslim neighbours that he talked about such percentages. That's
4 what you said; right?
5 A. Yes, that's what I said then, although I had not heard that
6 directly from Mr. Brdjanin. So I actually received this information from
7 the colleague who worked with me and who was still in Banja Luka in 1991,
8 1992, 1993 was involved in the JNA.
9 Q. And Mr. Inayat asked you what percentage he talked about, and
10 your answer to him was:
11 "I don't know really, but probably a minimum percentage in order
12 to show how Serb he is ..."
13 And you also said that he said those things because of Karadzic
14 and Krajisnik and to show how he is a big nationalist or Serb or patriot.
15 That's what you said about Mr. Brdjanin during your audio-recorded
16 interview with the OTP in 2001; right?
17 A. Well, first of all, I would like to say that Mr. Karadzic and
18 Mr. Krajisnik in their statements never said anything about percentages
19 or the expulsion of other peoples. I said this in the context of
20 Mr. Brdjanin's nature and his mind-set. Quite simply, he liked to figure
21 prominently, he liked to talk too much, sometimes a bit carelessly too.
22 He did more damage to himself by what he said than by something that he
23 possibly did. Quite simply, he wanted to prove himself before our
24 leadership. It's not that Mr. Karadzic had anything to do with it. He
25 wanted to show that he was the best and the strongest Serb among all of
1 us. That's what I said.
2 Q. Right. So you're confirming that these were your words at the
3 time in 2001; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 MS. EDGERTON: If I could have just five more minutes before we
6 break, Your Honours?
7 JUDGE KWON: By all means.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
9 JUDGE KWON: We'll be sitting until 3.00 today.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 MS. EDGERTON:
13 Q. Just one more brief area before we break for lunch, Mr. Grahovac,
14 and it's about your visit to Manjaca, and you discuss that at
15 paragraph 39 of your statement and that was in the context of your friend
16 Adnan Dzonlic. Do you remember that?
17 A. Yes, I remember.
18 Q. Now, you said in your statement that all prisoners in Manjaca
19 were considered prisoners of war, but your friend Mr. Dzonlic was a
20 civilian, wasn't he?
21 A. In that statement I explained what I had heard about Mr. Dzonlic
22 and how he had arrived in Manjaca. According to what I heard, he had
23 been arrested in a combat area because he wanted to leave
24 Republika Srpska across Slavonia which was a combat area to go to Okucani
25 and then to Croatia. He was going to do that through his own means. You
1 know that everybody who was caught in a war-struck area is considered a
2 prisoner of war if they're caught there, and then they are interviewed.
3 And if the investigators establish that they were not guilty, they either
4 proceed with the interrogation or let him go.
5 Q. Right. I'll re-tell -- I'll quote to you exactly what you said
6 in the interview in 2001 about Mr. Dzonlic. You said:
7 "He wanted to leave Banja Luka and he chose a pretty incredible
8 way to do it. He wanted -- or I think his intention was to leave
9 Banja Luka by escorting a very sick person, very ill person, an invalid
10 or someone like that. He wanted to go," as you've just explained, "he
11 wanted to go through Okucani, through Western Slavonia, to Zagreb. He
12 was found in the war zone and I think because of that -- because of where
13 they found him, they captured him and detained him. As far as I know, he
14 was never, you know, in any of that."
15 And my colleague said:
16 "Never in any?"
17 And then you responded:
18 "Never in any of the fighting, no. His problem was because they
19 found him in the fighting area, the war zone, and you know what that
21 So what you were telling my colleagues in 2001 was that
22 Mr. Dzonlic was a civilian; right? He was never in any of the fighting
23 as far as you knew?
24 A. As far as I know, Mr. Dzonlic had not participated in any kind of
25 fighting. I only know that he was a reserve officer of the
1 Yugoslav People's Army. I believe that he was a tank man. He was not
2 really actively involved in the JNA, but he also wasn't involved with the
3 enemy forces. I had known him from childhood. We went to the same
4 school, to the same university. It was my duty to help him. I emphasise
5 that. I believe that he was indeed a civilian but that he was found in a
6 war zone. You have to put all that in the context of war developments.
7 It is not a comfortable situation. People get killed in such an area for
8 a trifle thing, so nobody really found it easy to believe that he had
9 arrived there as a civilian. That's why he was interrogated and later on
10 he was exchanged. In my explanation, I said that I had tried to get him
11 released. I appealed to Mr. Goran Bijelic, who died about that time, and
12 Mr. Stevilovic, the security chief of the 1st Krajina Corps. In --
13 strangely enough, during those couple weeks he also got killed en route
14 from -- to Teslic.
15 THE ACCUSED: I am having trouble with the LiveNote.
16 JUDGE KWON: I didn't hear you, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: Okay. I reconnected. I had disabled LiveNote.
18 JUDGE KWON: In any event, we'll take a break so that could be
19 solved during the break.
20 We'll have a break for 45 minutes and resume at 22 past 1.00.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.27 p.m.
23 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
25 Q. Mr. Grahovac, I'd just like to stay with the subject of this
1 Manjaca visit for a few short minutes more and get you to have a look at
2 a document before I ask you the next question. It's 65 ter number 25680.
3 And it's a list of prisoners visited at Manjaca that we recovered from
4 the ministry -- from the Kozara barracks, actually, in Banja Luka. If we
5 go over to page 5 of this document, please, and scroll down to number 235
6 on the list. There's Mr. Dzonlic's name, Mr. Grahovac, do you see that
7 at 235?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. So it says that Mr. Dzonlic -- pardon me for the
10 mispronunciation. That Mr. Dzonlic arrived there on 20 May 1992 and he
11 was released or, as you said, exchanged on 14 October 1992. So whatever
12 you may or may not have been able to accomplish, he was there for five
13 months. So what I'd like to put to you, Mr. Grahovac, is actually you
14 don't know for a fact that he was interrogated and, Mr. Grahovac, what
15 I'd like to put to you is that he was never interrogated, he was never
16 investigated because they knew right away there was no reason to
17 interrogate him. Mr. Dzonlic, along with many other men on this list,
18 were held exclusively to be exchanged, weren't they?
19 A. I really wouldn't be able to tell you anything about the reasons
20 why he was kept. All I can tell you is that I tried to get him out of
21 the camp as quickly as possible at the Manjaca camp. There were a lot of
22 people there. As you know, everybody had to be interrogated and after
23 the interrogations, they did what they did with them. But I think that
24 it is good that at the end of the day he was exchanged and that the story
25 ended well.
1 Q. Happily so, but, Mr. Grahovac, you've already said in 1992 you
2 were out of it. So you don't know that people were interrogated at all,
3 do you?
4 A. As I've told you and as I stated in my statement, I was in
5 communication with the camp warden at Manjaca, Colonel Popovic, who was
6 my in-laws' neighbour. He told me that procedure would be followed to
7 the letter and that the detainees in that camp were in safe hands because
8 they were guarded by the Yugoslav People's Army. All that was left for
9 me to do was to trust him. That's all I could do.
10 Q. Thank you. I'll move on to another area and that's about the
11 unit you discussed at paragraphs 31 and 32 of your statement, and you
12 referred to them as Milankovic's men. That's the same unit, actually,
13 that you used to take over the Kozara transmitter in August 1991, isn't
15 A. Yes, that was the same man and the same unit.
16 Q. And that unit was allowed to eventually join the army, first, the
17 JNA and later they served as a VRS unit, didn't they?
18 A. First of all, I would like to say that that unit organised
19 itself. It was self-organised, as it were. According to what we
20 believed, it actually wanted to defend the Serbian people from
21 [indiscernible] aggression. I emphasise I would like to explain things
22 to you, and for you to understand things we have to go back --
23 Q. Well --
24 A. -- along the history line and we have to talk about the
25 Second World War and the relationship between --
1 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
2 A. -- Croats and Muslims and Serbs --
3 Q. Mr. Grahovac, if Dr. Karadzic wants to ask you about that, he
4 can. All I want to ask you about is whether you can confirm that this
5 unit was allowed to eventually join the army?
6 A. I wish to explain the essence and the origin of that unit and how
7 it got incorporated in the military, and I can't do it in just one or two
8 sentences. Allow me to continue.
9 Q. Well, Mr. Grahovac, do you want to answer my question or do you
10 not want to answer my question? It's a simple question. Was it
11 incorporated into the army or not?
12 A. Yes, that unit was eventually incorporated into the regular army.
13 Q. And in fact, they were considered an elite unit of the
14 Bosnian Serb army, weren't they?
15 A. This is what I wanted to explain. I wanted to tell you what kind
16 of unit they were and how they were organised. I wish to do that, with
17 your permission. Of course it was not the most elite unit of the VRS or
18 of the JNA; however, its members were patriots and they were ready to die
19 for the cause, and the cause was the defence of the Serbian people.
20 Q. All right. I'd like to show you quickly another document, it's
21 P2855, please.
22 Right. The document, Mr. Grahovac, that you see in front of you
23 is dated 28 July 1995 [sic], and for your information it's signed by
24 General Tolimir, and it's a report on paramilitary formations on the
25 territory of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 So my first question is: In paragraph 1 of this document, that's
2 the top paragraph on the page, you see that among the groups mentioned is
3 a group called Vukovi, that's the same group as that which was led by
4 Milankovic, isn't it?
5 A. Yes, they were known by that name, Vukovi, Wolves.
6 Q. All right. Now, if we could go over to page 5 in your language
7 and page 4, I think, of the English translation. So the first full
8 paragraph at the top of the page in your language and the, I think,
9 seventh full paragraph in English says that:
10 "The detachment of Veljko Milankovic from Prnjavor has about 150
11 men and is as of recently formally under the command of the 1 KK and
12 members of this detachment are involved in extensive looting and recently
13 attacked the Tactical Group 3 command post, arresting one army colonel in
14 the process."
15 So that's the same group, isn't it?
16 A. I suppose that it was the same group. I would like to emphasise
17 that there were very frequent conflicts between junior officers and the
18 officers of the JNA because JNA officers were old and hardened communists
19 and certain problems were bound to occur between the two groups. I
20 wouldn't agree that the whole unit was problematic and that they all
21 plundered. We can only talk about individuals and certainly not about
22 the whole unit. I would like to stress that we did not have a choice.
23 We had to stand up against the ZNGs from Zagreb or the Green Berets. We
24 could not use teachers or professors from the university. We had to find
25 a good match for those people. Put everything in the context of war,
1 this is the worst condition that can strike humanity, and I'm emphasising
2 that members of that unit were patriots, they were not all criminals. I
3 would agree with Mr. Karadzic, and I said that in my statement, that
4 those who had been involved in looting should have been brought to
5 trial --
6 Q. Stop. You don't need to repeat your statement. Thank you. My
7 question to you is: This document shows that even as members of the VRS,
8 members of this unit committed crimes; right?
9 A. Could you please point me to the paragraph, to the part of the
10 document that you're referring to, because I can't see it.
11 Q. Sure. In your language go to the first full paragraph at the top
12 of the page, where it says just after it mentions the name of the
13 detachment of Veljko Milankovic from Prnjavor, it says:
14 "... members of this detachment are involved in extensive
15 looting ..."
16 That's a crime; right?
17 A. These were not crimes. Let me emphasise once again. There were
18 conflicts between the officers of the JNA who were pro-communist and
19 those new reserve officers. There was jealousy among people. People
20 competed for the position of the best commander, the best officer. It's
21 a sphere of military philosophy that is hard to understand. Because of
22 conflicts and jealousy, they spread all sorts of rumours. I can't deny
23 and say that there were no lootings or individual thefts, but in general
24 all of our units that were attached to the VRS, their conduct followed
25 all of our rules.
1 Q. So your answer to my question is yes; correct? Or do you even
2 remember the question?
3 A. I do remember the question, and I would like to reiterate that
4 you cannot label everything as looting and especially you cannot link
5 that to the whole unit.
6 Q. That's fine, but you said that through 1992 you were out of it.
7 That's why I just asked you a question about what the document says on
8 its face. So on its face this document reports members of that unit
9 being involved in criminal activity, doesn't it?
10 A. If that's on the face of the document, that's the document. The
11 only question is who the author of the document is and what his
12 intentions were. I tried to explain to you what the situation was at
13 that time in the units of the VRS.
14 Q. Thank you. We'll move on. I'd like you to look at a short film
15 clip now. It's P3001. And I think it's been synchronised, actually.
16 MS. EDGERTON: All right, Your Honours, I wonder if my colleagues
17 in the AV booth can do something about turning up the sound, because as I
18 know from following the proceedings this is about the third time we've
19 been unable to play things in Sanction with sound. And if it can't be
20 solved immediately, we'll have to move on.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 MS. EDGERTON: If I may just pause for a couple of seconds,
23 Your Honour, because I come very close to the end of my
24 cross-examination, to see if this can be fixed very quickly, with your
1 Now, rather than interrupt the flow of proceedings anymore,
2 Your Honour, I'd just like to move on to the next area, if I may.
3 Q. In paragraph -- oh.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 MS. EDGERTON: Wonderful. If we could just go ahead with this
6 video-clip which is P3001, please. And thank you to my colleagues, this
7 is clearly resolving a problem that has been of some long standing.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Journalist: Fifth anniversary of
10 'Vukovi sa Vucijaka." Momcilo Krajisnik, the speaker of the Assembly and
11 the SDS candidate for the Presidency, addressed the audience.
12 "Momcilo Krajisnik: You from 'Vukovi' from Vucijak who are
13 present here today in civilian clothes rather than in uniforms, you
14 belong to this area as much as you belong to people of Dalmatian, Lika,
15 Western Slavonia, Posavina. Your war path is difficult but glorious.
16 Since 1991 when you burned the candle of freedom defending the people of
17 the Serbian Krajina, you went through all the theatres of war and
18 participated in many combats in Republika Srpska and the
19 Republic of Serbian Krajina. Both your friends and enemies will remember
20 you for your heroism. You and your legendary commander Veljko Milankovic
21 are history's favourites. I have no doubt ... I have no doubt that
22 children in schools, and especially military school cadets, will ask
23 themselves when studying about our combat - which formation did 'Wolves
24 of Vucijak belong to. The response will be: It was the unit every army
25 in the world would be proud of. Your deeds are immortal because each of
1 you is worth two men. In other words, we can say that you belonged to
2 the entire Serbian people."
3 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Krajisnik here in this video-clip is talking about the
5 same group that General Tolimir was talking about in the paragraph that I
6 read to you from P2855 and that's the same group you used in the
7 take-over of the Kozara transmitter in August 1991; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. And I have one last question, in paragraph 22 of your
10 statement, your written evidence, you said that Dr. Karadzic was
11 vehemently opposed to the establishment of a Krajina state. And,
12 Mr. Grahovac, the fact that Dr. Karadzic was opposed was determinative,
13 wasn't it, the fact of his opposition determined the issue; right?
14 A. I don't understand your question. First of all, does it relate
15 to the Republic of Serbian Krajina or does it refer to our own Krajina,
16 to the former Bosnian Krajina?
17 Q. Well, I formulated my question based on what you wrote in your
18 statement, and you wrote that Dr. Karadzic was vehemently opposed to the
19 establishment of a Krajina state. It never happened, did it? A Krajina
20 state never happened; right?
21 A. You're right, but only if you have in mind the state of Krajina
22 that would have consisted of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and the
23 association of municipalities of Krajina. It never took off the ground
24 because we actually opted for the integration of all of our Krajinas.
25 Q. It never took off the ground because of Dr. Karadzic's
1 intervention; right?
2 A. No, not only of Dr. Karadzic's intervention, but also some people
3 in Krajina who did not want that and I suppose of the entire leadership
4 at a higher level. They had more information and they were able to reach
5 a decision that was in the interest of the entire Serbian people.
6 Q. I just, before we close, want to show you a document. It's
7 P5452. All right. These are the minutes of the 14th ARK Assembly from
8 29th February 1992, and at this Assembly, 168 -- out of a total of 168
9 Assemblymen, 151 showed up and also attending were Dr. Karadzic,
10 Mr. Krajisnik, Professor Koljevic, and Mr. Ostojic. And if you see that,
11 then I'd like to go over to page 2 in both languages, please. There's
12 only two items on the agenda and the second one is the statute of the ARK
13 in the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now, in respect to
14 item 2, you see in your language in the middle of the page and at the
15 bottom of page 2, Dr. Karadzic stressing that:
16 "It would be a crime against the Krajina if it were declared a
17 republic. Those who advocate such childish ideas are exposing the
18 Serbian people to trouble. The Bosnian Krajina doesn't need, he said,
19 any National Councils, since it has legally elected organs and the
20 republican Serbian authorities are fully functioning ..."
21 And after debate, if you go over to page 3 in English but stay at
22 the bottom of B/C/S.
23 After debate, the Krajina deputies accepted the constitution of
24 the Republic of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
25 concluded that the status of the ARK would be incorporated into the
1 constitution of the Republic of Serbian People with 141 deputy -- 148
2 deputies actually in agreement and no opposition whatsoever. So this is
3 Dr. Karadzic coming to a meeting of the Krajina Assembly determining the
4 issue. It was put to bed here once and for all, wasn't it?
5 A. To be honest, I see this document for the first time because
6 obviously this was done in a period when I was not really very active in
7 politics. I would agree here with Mr. Karadzic, that these were really
8 infantile ideas on the part of some people. Because we needed more
9 integration, we needed more unity rather than be divided into small
10 parochial communes. I think the arguments advanced by Mr. Karadzic and
11 his associates - although I emphasise that I wasn't present at this
12 session - were powerful and it's probable that the deputies of the
13 session voted for.
14 Q. That's Dr. Karadzic determining the issue, isn't it?
15 A. You can't put it that way. In the Assembly of Republika Srpska,
16 later when I attended the sessions, there was always a democratic debate
17 on all issues. It's a different matter that in some situations
18 Mr. Karadzic's arguments were strong enough to prevail. We have to
19 remember that he was the greatest authority for us and he had the best
20 ideas and the best solutions for all issues crucial to the Serbian people
21 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 MS. EDGERTON: I have no further questions, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just two or three questions,
1 Your Excellency.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Grahovac, while we have this document before
4 us and while we are discussing the suggestion that I determined the
5 outcome of this session, could you tell us, did I have any instruments,
6 any tools to push through my political will? Did I punish or expel
7 people or did I just win them over by the strength of my arguments?
8 A. I think I can be very objective on this issue. You know that
9 sometimes we saw things differently on certain political issues, but it
10 is true that the strongest political arguments won the day in the end.
11 You did not have any instruments of power to make people, to force
12 people, to accept your views.
13 Q. You began to talk about the reasons for self-organisation, that's
14 on page 58, and you recalled the barbaric behaviour of the Muslims and
15 the Ustashas during the Second World War. Could you complete that
16 thought? And you were talking about how it came about that the Wolves
17 organised themselves?
18 A. Yes, I had indeed started to talk about that. The barbaric acts
19 of the Muslims and Ustashas, especially in the Second World War, brought
20 out the worst in the masses and I'll give you a few examples beginning
21 with my own personal example and later citing some general ones. From my
22 earliest childhood, I heard from my parents, my grandmother, I heard
23 horrible stories about the sufferings of our ancestors. My grandmother,
24 Ljuba, lost her two sons to Ustasha hands, Veljko and Rada. My uncle who
25 lived in Novi Grad municipality was found left for dead by the Ustashas
1 and my grandmother took him in and raised him as her own son --
2 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- there are many things concerning
4 the concentration camps --
5 JUDGE KWON: Are you going to tell us you joined the Wolves
6 because of those facts? I'm not following where are we going?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try to explain if you let
8 me. The thing is that people were aware what had happened in the
9 Second World War and they didn't dare to and didn't want to allow that
10 situation to be repeated, wherein a hundred Serbs would be taken to be
11 slaughtered by one Ustasha. To this day there is a cemetery in Mirogoj
12 with the graves of 842 children, children who were killed in the only
13 concentration camp for children that ever existed in the world. That was
14 the Jastrebarsko camp.
15 JUDGE KWON: I think we heard enough about this.
16 If you could -- would like to add anything specifically with
17 respect to the Wolves, but otherwise please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Just tell us, why did people not rely on the federal state and
20 the JNA to protect them and why did they self-organise instead into the
21 Wolves and other groups?
22 A. We had thought that the JNA would take our Serbian side, but in
23 fact it didn't happen that way. In practice, there were a lot of
24 communists among the top JNA cadre, including General Uzelac, who was too
25 busy doing less-important things, so that the people had to organise
1 themselves, had to take things into their own hands, and had to defend
2 themselves from another genocide. That was the reason for all these
3 units that had organised themselves.
4 Q. His Excellency, the Presiding Judge, asked you if that was the
5 reason why you joined the Wolves. Were you a member of the Wolves or did
6 you just defend them inasmuch as they were not criminals?
7 A. I was not a member of the Wolves. I was a man who was
8 politically active and of course I supported all the patriotic forces
9 that participated in the defence of the Serbian people, and of course I
10 was in favour of punishing all those who were responsible for looting and
11 other crimes. Certainly I was not a member of the Wolves from Vucijak
12 and I don't deserve to be given such an honour.
13 Q. On page 61 it was put to you that there had been buildings blown
14 up, break-ins, looting, et cetera. How did the authorities view that?
15 How did they react? And did the Muslims and Croats report these things
16 to the authorities? How did the authorities treat these crimes?
17 A. To be frank, I don't know how the local authorities in these
18 places where it happened acted, but from the few examples that I know, I
19 believe that many prominent people, people who hold high offices in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina now should be here instead of you and they were
21 pursuing their own interests. That's the reason why our just cause was
22 tarnished, because many people put their own personal interests before
23 the interests of the people.
24 Q. Thank you. Is it the case that Muslims and Croats remained to
25 live during the war in Banja Luka normally; and if so, how many?
1 A. I think Banja Luka can actually be proud that the greatest
2 percentage of Muslims and Croats remained there. Those who joined our
3 army were respected members of the community, and I remember there was a
4 man, a Croat, Tonce [phoen] Ruzic, who worked as the deputy of our
5 municipality. In my company there were at least 10, 15 Muslims and
6 Croats and there -- in my unit, my infantry unit, there were also about
7 10 and 15 Muslims and Croats who fought together with us.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you.
10 Thank you, Mr. Grahovac. On behalf of the Chamber, I would like
11 to thank you for your coming to The Hague to give it. Now you are free
12 to go.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE KWON: And you didn't tender the list of prisoners visited
15 at Manjaca?
16 MS. EDGERTON: No, there was no need, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE KWON: Okay. Very well.
18 Mr. Tieger and Mr. Robinson, it's about the scheduling next year
19 after the winter recess. We'll resume on the 16th, Thursday.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration,
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: NIKOLA ERCEG
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Erceg. Please be seated and make
4 yourself comfortable.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Erceg, before you commence your evidence, I must
7 draw your attention to a certain rule of evidence that we have here at
8 the international Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you may
9 object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor, or
10 even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
11 you in a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
12 something that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
13 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
14 have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that an
15 answer might incriminate you and, as a consequence, you refuse to answer
16 the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to
17 compel you to answer the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal
18 would ensure that your testimony compelled under such circumstances would
19 not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence,
20 save and except the offence of giving false testimony.
21 Do you understand that, sir?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
24 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Erceg.
1 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
2 Q. Please let us speak slowly, both of us, and between questions and
3 answers we need to make a short pause. If you look at the transcript,
4 pay attention to the cursor, that means the interpretation is finished.
5 Have you given a statement to my Defence team?
6 A. Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 1D9530.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you see that statement before you on the screen?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Have you read it and signed it?
12 A. Yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown the last
14 page so that he can identify his signature.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is this your signature?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you have stated to
19 the Defence team?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. If I were to put to you the same questions today, would your
22 answers be substantially the same?
23 A. Essentially, they would be the same, but not verbatim because of
24 the passage of time.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this 92 ter statement,
2 Your Excellencies.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, if you could explain us about the
4 associated exhibits you are tendering.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We're tendering 41 associated
6 exhibits. One of them is not on our 65 ter list and we would ask that it
7 be added. It was left off due to oversight and that's 05453. Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: I take it there are several documents that have been
9 already admitted?
10 MR. ROBINSON: There are, although I believe that the 41 that I
11 referred to are the ones that are not admitted.
12 JUDGE KWON: 1D9856 referred to in para 27, I take it that has
13 been admitted as Exhibit D3970; and 1D9859 referred to in para 40 was
14 admitted as Exhibit D4036; and 1D9882 referred to in para 82 was admitted
15 as D4057; and 1D9886 referred to in para 96 was admitted as
16 Exhibit D4044; and 1D9887 referred to in para 97 was admitted as
17 Exhibit D4050; and 65 ter 5453 referred to in para 39 was admitted as
18 Exhibit D4035; and 65 ter 5831 referred to in para 24 was admitted
19 Exhibit D4015; and finally, 65 ter number 17188 referred to in para 45
20 was admitted as Exhibit D4037. And I'm not sure whether the English
21 translation was 65 ter 15075 referred to in para 90 was English
22 translation of 65 ter 1575 referred to in para 90 was uploaded. There
23 seems to be some duplication in 1D9874 referred to in para 64, I'm
24 referring to the English translations. So if the Defence could check it
25 later on.
1 Otherwise, do you have any objection, Mr. Tieger?
2 MR. TIEGER: No, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE KWON: So -- except for those that have been already
4 admitted, the Rule 92 ter statement as well as the associated exhibits
5 will be admitted into evidence.
6 Shall we assign the number for the statement.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The statement receives Exhibit D4086,
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 The other numbers will be assigned in due course by the Registry.
11 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. I will
13 now read out a short summary of Mr. Erceg's statement in English.
14 [In English] At the municipal and regional level,
15 Mr. Nikola Erceg held the following positions: Member of the
16 Municipal Board of the Serbian Democratic Party; a deputy in the
17 Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka; in March 1992, president of the
18 Executive Committee of the Autonomous Region of Krajina; in May 1992,
19 member of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina; member of
20 the Crisis Staff of Banja Luka municipality; member of the Banja Luka
21 commission for the collection of food for the Army of Republika Srpska.
22 Towards the end of July 1995, Nikola Erceg was appointed as a member of
23 the War Presidency of the municipality of Banja Luka.
24 Furthermore, on the republican and federal level, Nikola Erceg
25 performed the duties of a deputy in the Assembly of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and in the Assembly of the
2 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade after the first
3 multi-party elections in 1990; then a deputy in the Assembly of the
4 Serbian People in Bosnia and Herzegovina after its establishment in
5 October 1991; in the second half of 1992, Mr. Erceg was a minister for
6 industry and energy in the Government of Republika Srpska; in
7 September 1992, deputy chairman of the legislative commission of the
8 Assembly of the Republika Srpska; in April 1993, a member of the
9 legislative committee of the Assembly of Republika Srpska; in May 1993, a
10 member of the board of the National Bank of Republika Srpska.
11 Nikola Erceg worked also as a director of the electricity supply company
12 of Republika Srpska.
13 Nikola Erceg never became familiar with Variants A and B plans
14 and their content. In those times, the Serbs' main intention was to
15 remain in a joint state of Yugoslavia.
16 The ARK Assembly adopted a decision to form an ARK Crisis Staff,
17 headed by Brdjanin. The Crisis Staff became the main body of ARK.
18 The ARK Crisis Staff had no jurisdiction over the police, nor
19 could it issue orders to the army, which had its own chain of command.
20 After the ARK Crisis Staff was established, the Executive Committee
21 continued with its regular sessions, but no longer on a daily basis.
22 Nikola Erceg was not aware of the reason why the Crisis Staff of
23 the Autonomous Region of Krajina was renamed to War Staff, nor if there
24 were any instructions issued from Pale regarding the members of the
25 Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff or any rules of procedure
2 There was a rift between the Sarajevo option and the Krajina
3 option because the Banja Luka intellectuals were in favour of
4 establishing a state that would comprise the two Krajinas (Bosnian and
5 Croatian), which was opposed by the Sarajevo option led by Karadzic.
6 With the outbreak of war, Pale was unable to exert control over
7 Serbian communities, which prompted the establishment of a regional
8 government, for example, in Banja Luka, because it was impossible to
9 communicate with Pale due to the simple fact that all communication lines
10 were severed and no regular contacts could be maintained.
11 Mr. Nikola Erceg was not content with the co-operation between
12 certain municipal organs and his office. Some municipalities
13 demonstrated a high degree of independence because they were economically
14 strong. The ARK was unable to control municipalities like Prijedor. It
15 was up to the municipalities to accept or reject the decisions of the ARK
16 in spite of the ARK Crisis Staff decisions that all ARK Crisis Staff
17 decisions were binding for the municipal organs in the ARK.
18 Nikola Erceg was present at the ARK Crisis Staff meetings when
19 the existence of Omarska and Keraterm was mentioned, but all they
20 discussed with the municipal representatives was logistical support and
21 the financing of those centres. Manjaca was discussed at the ARK
22 Crisis Staff meetings in the same context. The ARK policy was not aimed
23 at a violent or any other form of expulsion or persecution of the
24 non-Serb population, and so the ARK Crisis Staff adopted few decisions
25 and conclusions in that respect.
1 The Banja Luka municipality Assembly, SO, which had Muslims --
2 Muslim and Croatian representatives, paid attention to the ownership of
3 property, and so properties belonging to those who had left Banja Luka
4 were given for temporary use and an inventory was made of all belongings
5 and their condition so that they could be returned intact to their
6 rightful owners.
7 While working as a director of the Electricity Supply Company of
8 Republika Srpska, Nikola Erceg witnessed problems concerning power cuts
9 on a daily basis in households in Banja Luka. However, that did not
10 attract as much attention as Sarajevo. He himself did not have
11 electricity in the centre of Banja Luka for 40 days at a time.
12 And at the moment, I do not have additional questions for
13 Mr. Erceg.
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Erceg, as you have noted, your evidence in chief
15 in this case has been admitted in writing, that is, through your witness
16 statement in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you will be cross-examined
17 by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
21 Q. Mr. Erceg, although I understand this is your first time
22 testifying here it the Tribunal, you gave statements, that is,
23 interviews, that were taped in 2001 and 2002 to representatives of the
24 Tribunal; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And indeed, portions of those interviews comprise parts of your
2 current statement before this Court?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. I therefore presume that your position is that you were telling
5 the truth during those interviews; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In paragraph 74 of the statement that you saw a few moments ago
8 on the screen - and, Mr. Erceg, if at any time you need a hard copy of
9 that statement, I think it can be provided for you or we can call it up
10 on the screen - but at paragraph 74 you state:
11 "It is clear that everyone had the right to their property even
12 after moving out."
13 Now, in fact, Mr. Erceg, you don't really know much about this at
14 all and you don't know, really, whether people had the right to their
15 property or not. And you even acknowledged that in your own statement at
16 a later portion. That's the case, isn't it? You don't know much about
17 this issue and you admitted it in your statement at paragraph 85?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Okay. Now, in paragraph 39 of your statement, you state that the
20 ARK Crisis Staff was established on the 5th of May, 1992, and you also
21 state that this was "in accordance with the instructions from Pale ..."
22 But then you go on to explain that characterisation in accordance
23 by saying that you meant that it was possible that somebody misconstrued
24 those instructions from Pale. Previously, however, during your 2001
25 interview you stated instead that the -- for example, the position which
1 was asserted by the ARK Crisis Staff in a conclusion of 26 May 1992,
2 where it was stated by the ARK Crisis Staff that the decisions of the
3 staff are binding for all Crisis Staffs in the municipalities, was "the
4 consequence of the document issued by the president of the RS government,
5 Mr. Djeric ..."
6 That's found at 1D9896 at e-court page 36. That's your 2001
7 interview. You're welcome to see it, but if you can -- you may be able
8 to confirm in any event that that was the position you took when you were
9 asked about this issue in 2001.
10 THE ACCUSED: May I just ask honourable Mr. Tieger, what -- what
11 statement he is using?
12 JUDGE KWON: He referred to 39 -- but it should be 38 of his
13 statement, Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: That may be that you're right. We'll get to the
15 reason I'm misnumbering that in a moment.
16 JUDGE KWON: Okay.
17 MR. TIEGER: And I apologise for that, and I'll try to watch the
18 particular numbers, maybe have my colleague double-check as I recite
19 them. So thank you for that, Mr. Karadzic.
20 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Erceg. I think the substance was clear enough,
21 but I'll try to be precisely accurate about the numbers of the
23 So my -- my question was with regard to the portion of your
24 statement where you said that the establishment of the ARK Crisis Staff
25 on the 5th of May, 1992, was in accordance with the instructions from
1 Pale, but your further comment in this current statement that it was --
2 you said that because it was possible that someone misconstrued the
3 instructions for Pale. I'm now confronting you with what you said in
4 2001, where you noted that, for example, that the conclusion of the ARK
5 Crisis Staff on the 26th of May that its decisions were binding, was in
6 your words "the consequence of the document issued by the president of
7 the RS government, Mr. Djeric ..."
8 And I was simply asking you, if you were able to do so, to
9 confirm that that is indeed the position you took in 2001 when you were
10 interviewed by representatives of the Tribunal?
11 A. I cannot confirm whether I was correctly interpreted; however, I
12 know that at the time there was a great deal of confusion about that. I
13 personally thought that the Crisis Staff should not have been established
14 at the level of the ARK Krajina, since that had to do with each and every
15 municipality. As for this fact whether or not there were requests from
16 Pale for them to be established, this is what the confusion was all
17 about. At first, we did not have any written instructions from
18 Prime Minister Djeric. Roughly, it turned out on the basis of stories
19 that this was supposed to be done, there were instructions coming from
20 Sarajevo -- no, from Pale to have that done. I think that after a while
21 this instruction from Djeric did arrive, and on the basis of that I
22 understood that I was right; namely, that the Krajina should not have
23 been established -- I mean, not the Krajina, the Crisis Staff of the
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. TIEGER: Well, in that case I would tender page 36 of 1D9896,
2 Mr. President.
3 Q. I'd like to turn also --
4 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, let the ...
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit this page.
6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: Shall we assign a number for this.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It's P6528, Your Honours.
9 MR. TIEGER:
10 Q. And similarly, I'd like to turn to what you said in 2002 to the
11 representatives of the Tribunal, this time at pages 45 through 48.
12 MR. TIEGER: That's 1D09895.
13 Q. Now, the context here again, Mr. Erceg, and I can go back several
14 pages to show you the specific reference to the May 5th, 1992, date on
15 which -- which you referred to previously and which is reflected in your
16 statement for the founding of the Crisis Staff. But in 2002 this issue
17 was raised with you and you said the following. First of all, at page --
18 start on page 45, please --
19 JUDGE KWON: You have ERN number?
20 MR. TIEGER: It should start -- should start toward the bottom of
21 that page, Mr. President.
22 Q. You say -- you were asked:
23 "Can you name the people who were appointed to the Crisis Staff?"
24 And then the answer is not heard.
25 The question is:
1 "You told us that you issued this decision as a result of orders
2 from Pale."
3 And then the clarification:
4 "That a Crisis Staff be formed ..."
5 That's your remarks to the interpreter, the question is asked:
6 "Who picked the people who were to be on this Crisis Staff?"
7 And then it continues and there's some inaudibles:
8 "Q. Did someone else tell him to choose the people we see in the
9 next page?"
10 And then we see in the middle of the page:
11 "I think it might have been Brdjanin."
12 The question was asked:
13 "Who gave you the names to put into this decision?
14 "A. I think it might have been Brdjanin, I don't know. Someone
15 gave it to me, I know that I didn't comprise these names by myself.
16 "Q. So the orders came from Pale that there was to be a
17 Crisis Staff formed and Brdjanin gave you the names of the people."
18 You say:
19 "I believe it was Brdjanin ... and the contents of this document
20 is purely in format, it is prepared according to that which was issued
21 from Pale.
22 "And how did you receive the orders from Pale, do you remember?"
23 You were asked.
24 And you say:
25 "I don't know, usually let's say it would come via Brdjanin
1 himself, I asked him on paper and he says yes, on paper.
2 "Q. Again, so the orders that came from Pale would come via
4 And you said:
5 "I'm talking just about this specifically."
6 And "this specifically" as we saw was the instruction from Pale
7 describing the Crisis Staff.
8 So contrary to what you now say in paragraph 37 about receiving
9 no instructions regarding the membership of the Crisis Staff and contrary
10 to the position you take in paragraph 39 that the establishment of the
11 Crisis Staff in accordance with instructions for Pale only meant that
12 somebody misconstrued the Djeric instructions, the fact is that when you
13 first discussed this issue more than ten years ago, much closer to the
14 events in question, you stated that these -- that the establishment of
15 the Crisis Staff, as reflected on the May 5th document, was pursuant to
16 instructions from Pale; correct?
17 A. That's the way it should be, but I'm not sure because at first
18 there were no instructions sort of and then this instruction appeared.
19 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, I didn't want to
20 interrupt before the witness answered. I give him a lot of credit for
21 answering that question directly, but to me that question is extremely
22 hard to follow. It practically takes up a page of transcript, and I
23 think it would be better in the future if Mr. Tieger could break up his
24 questions so it's easier for the witness.
25 JUDGE KWON: Well, yes -- but, Mr. Tieger --
1 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE KWON: -- from his 2002 interview, did you find a passage
3 where the witness said the orders came from Pale? I read Madam Korner's
4 questions, but I'm not sure whether I read the answer confirming the
6 MR. TIEGER: Well, here's one. A question was:
7 "So the orders came from Pale that there was to be a" -- this is
8 page --
9 JUDGE KWON: We start from 46.
10 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
11 JUDGE KWON: Bottom.
12 "So the orders that came from Pale would come via Brdjanin ..."
13 Yes, start from there, yes. That's --
14 MR. TIEGER: Okay. Right.
15 "I believe it was Brdjanin and the contents of this document is
16 purely in format, it is prepared according to that which was issued from
18 Then he's asked:
19 "How did you receive the orders ... ?"
20 He says:
21 "I don't know, usually let's say it would come via Brdjanin
22 himself, I asked him on paper and he said yes on paper.
23 "So the orders that came from Pale would come via Brdjanin?"
24 And he said:
25 "I'm talking just about this specifically."
1 So he reduced the discussion to this [Overlapping speakers] --
2 JUDGE KWON: All we heard is that he referred to Brdjanin: "I
3 believe it was Brdjanin ..."
4 MR. TIEGER: I'm not following your question, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE KWON: So the order came from Pale --
6 MR. TIEGER: "So the orders that came from Pale," which is the
7 subject of this discussion. Did you get orders from Pale? And he said
8 previous it was prepared according to that which was issued from Pale,
9 that is the membership [overlapping speakers] --
10 JUDGE KWON: That was the question and his answer was:
11 "I believe it was Brdjanin ..."
12 MR. TIEGER: So the question was:
13 "The orders came from Pale that there was to be a Crisis Staff
14 formed and Brdjanin gave you the names of the people."
15 JUDGE KWON: That's the question.
16 MR. TIEGER: Right.
17 "A. I believe it was Brdjanin ... and the contents of this
18 document," meaning the May 5th document, "is purely in format. It is
19 prepared according to that which was issued from Pale."
20 And then the question was:
21 "And how did you receive the orders from Pale ..."
22 And he said:
23 "I don't know, usually ... let's say it would come via Brdjanin
24 himself ..."
25 And then the question was:
1 "So the orders that came from Pale would come via Brdjanin?"
2 And the answer was:
3 "Well, I'm talking just about this specifically."
4 So this focused on the subject matter at hand which was the
5 relationship between the 5 May 1992 document that he prepared and the
6 instructions from Pale.
7 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you.
8 Please continue.
9 MR. TIEGER: So I would tender those pages, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit them as Exhibit P6529.
11 MR. TIEGER:
12 Q. Now, that particular permutation of the Crisis Staff that was
13 reflected in the May 5 document that was recorded there by you -- well,
14 Mr. Erceg, you were aware that an ARK Crisis Staff or regional
15 Crisis Staff has been in existence since at least February 1992; correct?
16 I believe you were asked about that as well in your previous interview.
17 A. No, I don't know that. I don't know whether it was before the
18 month of May. In Sarajevo, Izetbegovic, they did form a Crisis Staff at
19 the Presidency.
20 Q. All right. If we can turn to 1D9896, your 2001 interview and
21 turn to page 42, toward the bottom, please. Were you asked:
22 "Who established the ARK Crisis Staff? Who was it established
24 You said:
25 "All the -- all the instructions, decisions that managed to find
1 their way to the ARK, they needed to be formalised. They needed to
2 have -- because of their own accord they couldn't become legally binding
3 in any way but."
4 The question was asked:
5 "So you're saying that you formalised, what was the informal
6 arrangement for the first four months of 1992 or for the first five
7 months of 1992 in that document dated 5 May 1992?"
8 Your answer was:
9 "Well, it did not really function in the early months but this,
10 this was made formal, this formalised the whole. Maybe it did function
11 as far as the individual actions by many of the people involved, yes.
12 But the actual formal decision of establishing the Crisis Staff was this
13 one, this is when it was made formal."
14 So, first of all, those were your -- that was your position in
15 2001 when you were asked about the Crisis Staff that was reflected in the
16 May 5th document and about the existence of a Crisis Staff that preceded
17 it; correct?
18 A. May I say something, please?
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, yes.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I?
21 I don't understand this at all. Nothing had to be formalised.
22 And in the meantime, I believe that it was in March, the
23 Executive Council of the ARK was set up in order to do whatever it was
24 supposed to do. It was only in May, on the 5th of May, that the
25 Crisis Staff was set up. Everything that was done up to then was
1 formalised through the work of the Executive Council of the ARK. At the
2 moment when the Crisis Staff was set up, the Crisis Staff gradually took
3 over all the things and authorities that were supposed to be continued
4 through the Executive Council. The Executive Council gradually faded out
5 and the Crisis Staff was gradually more and more activated in various
6 spheres of life. Now, whether that had to be formalised with some kind
7 of a decision, I --
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Mr. Erceg, no, I think you're focusing on something quite
10 different. I had asked you about the Crisis Staff referred to in the
11 5 May document and about the existence of a Crisis Staff before and asked
12 you to confirm or dispute the position you took in 2001. So I'd like to
13 now tender those pages, pages 42 and 43, and show you one additional
14 document related to that issue.
15 JUDGE KWON: Very well, we'll add those two pages to
16 Exhibit P6528.
17 MR. TIEGER: And can I call up 65 ter 05415, please.
18 Q. What you'll see coming up on the screen, Mr. Erceg, is a decision
19 of the 24th of February, 1992, from the SDS Executive Committee signed by
20 Mr. Dukic, appointing Mr. Vukic as co-ordinator for SAO Krajina, and
21 listing his duties which include, as you can see in the third entry under
22 number 2:
23 "To take part in the work of the SAO Krajina Crisis Staff ..."
24 Now, that, sir, is a reflection of the existence of an SAO
25 Krajina Crisis Staff as of that date, a Crisis Staff which you referred
1 to when you were interviewed in 2001?
2 A. So why was the decision on the setting up of the Crisis Staff
3 issued on the 5th of May if this thing was in effect at the same time? I
4 believe that this was at the republican level, I assume, but I'm not
5 sure. And if this was the basis for the work of the Crisis Staff, why
6 did we formalise the Crisis Staff of the ARK only three months later with
7 a decision of the Executive Council? It doesn't make sense.
8 MR. TIEGER: I'd tender this document, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: P6530, Your Honours.
11 MR. TIEGER:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Erceg, at paragraph 22 of your current statement you say
13 that the Autonomous Region of Krajina was formed at the outbreak of the
14 war because it was impossible to communicate with Pale due to the fact
15 that all communication lines were severed and no regular contact could be
16 made. Similarly at paragraph 34 you state that the lack of communication
17 with Pale was the reason for forming ARK institutions.
18 Now, first of all, Mr. Erceg, the plain reality is that the
19 ARK -- the ARK, the Autonomous Region of Krajina, was established months
20 before the outbreak of the conflict and any alleged communication
21 difficulties; correct? In fact, it was established on the
22 16th of December, 1991.
23 A. No.
24 MR. TIEGER: Let's call up P3421, please.
25 Q. This is a decision on the proclamation of the Autonomous Region
1 of Krajina as an inseparable part of the federal state of federative
2 Yugoslavia. It describes what is intended to be some of the territory --
3 what is and is intended to be some of the territory. It states in
4 Article 5 that:
5 "The Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina will reach a
6 temporary decision on the government ... and the organisation ...,"
7 et cetera.
8 And if we look to the end of the document, we'll see the date of
9 its issuance in Banja Luka as 16 September 1991. And it's signed by
10 Mr. Kupresanin.
11 This was the transformation, the transition, from the ZOBK into
12 the Autonomous Region of Krajina, wasn't it?
13 A. This document, while the federal state of Yugoslavia was still
14 alive, and I don't mean that it lived as a state, it was in the stage of
15 disintegration and this was produced in order to calm down the situation,
16 to regenerate the state, and to provide conditions conducive to political
17 activities. So this is not the same ARK which was established due to war
18 activities on the ground and as a result of the fact that life had to be
19 organised on the ground. These are two totally different terms.
20 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I'm moving into a slightly different
21 topic which certainly can't be covered in the few minutes left. It may
22 be better to break now.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, if I could return to one
25 associated exhibit issue, it's number 15075, and this was one that the
1 translation wasn't available to the Chamber. But in fact we had asked
2 the OTP to upload the translation and by mistake they hadn't done it.
3 But they've done it now. So I would ask the Chamber if it would look at
4 that document and if it believes that it's an inseparable part of the
5 statement to also admit it as an associated exhibit.
6 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will take a look.
7 We shall adjourn for today and continue tomorrow morning.
8 Mr. Erceg, I would like to advise you not to discuss with anybody else
9 about your testimony while you are giving evidence at The Hague. Do you
10 understand that, sir?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.57 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
15 November, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.