1 Monday, 16 December 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Good morning, Mr. Veselinovic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE KWON: Technically, your solemn declaration that you made
10 when you appeared for the first time is still valid. But for reminder, I
11 would like you to take the solemn declaration again.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
13 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: SVETO VESELINOVIC [Re-called]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated and make yourself
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Excellencies. Good
21 morning to everybody.
22 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Veselinovic.
24 A. Good morning, President.
25 Q. Let's just make short pauses between my sentences and yours. Did
1 you provide my Defence team an additional statement, a supplemental
2 statement, that is?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to call up 1D49025. It
6 shouldn't be broadcast.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is this the supplemental statement of yours?
9 A. Yes, this is the statement.
10 Q. Thank you. Does it accurately reflect what you said to my
11 Defence team?
12 A. Yes, fully.
13 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions today here in the
14 courtroom, would your answers in essence be the same?
15 A. Yes, they would be.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, I would like to
18 tender this statement under seal, and the redacted version of the
19 statement is 1D49050.
20 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Gustafson?
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: Good morning, Your Honours. No objection.
22 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit both versions.
23 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 1D49025 receives
24 Exhibit Number D4191, under seal. 65 ter number 1D49050 receives
25 Exhibit Number D4192.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 And now I'm going to read a short summary of the supplemental
5 statement provided by Mr. Sveto Veselinovic in English.
6 [In English] Sveto Veselinovic is testifying at my trial today
7 for the second time. After the re-instatement of the genocide charge
8 contained in Count 1 of the indictment, Mr. Veselinovic has been asked to
9 comment on the evidence of Prosecution Witness KDZ051, who claimed that
10 in around September 1992, in Rogatica, he asked Mr. Veselinovic what
11 would happen to the Muslims.
12 According to the Witness KDZ051, Mr. Veselinovic responded that
13 the Muslims were going to disappear from the territory and that
14 Mr. Veselinovic had meetings with Radovan Karadzic in Pale and that it
15 had been decided that one-third of Muslims would be killed, one-third
16 would be converted to the Orthodox religion, and a third would leave on
17 their own.
18 Mr. Veselinovic states that he does not know Witness KDZ051 and
19 that he never had such a conversation with Witness KDZ051 or anyone else.
20 He further states that he had never had a conversation with Dr. Karadzic
21 in which it was stated that one-third of Muslims would be killed,
22 one-third would be converted to the Orthodox religion, and a third would
23 leave on their own.
24 Mr. Veselinovic states that he did not see or speak to
25 Dr. Karadzic between January 1992 and the autumn 1993, and that those
1 sentiments do not represent what he understood to be Dr. Karadzic's views
2 in any way, shape, or form. Mr. Veselinovic states that he never had any
3 indication, directly or indirectly, that Dr. Karadzic favoured the
4 destruction of the Bosnian Muslims in whole or in part.
5 [Interpretation] This is a short summary and at this moment I
6 have no further questions for Mr. Veselinovic.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson, I take it you requested
8 45 minutes for your cross-examination?
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, I have, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE KWON: Please carry on.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you very much.
12 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Veselinovic.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Now, when you testified back in February, I asked you about an
16 article you authored in the "Politika" publication, where you stated:
17 "We have a message for all those who are preparing dirty war
18 plans that the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina are ready and that 1941 will
19 never be repeated."
20 And you confirmed in your examination that your reference to 1941
21 was a reference to the destruction of the Serb people at that time, and
22 you explained that what you meant here was that Serbs "would not be
23 sitting in their houses waiting to be rounded up, taken to camps, and
25 That's at transcript page 33901 to 02.
1 I take it from this prior evidence that you felt that the Serbs
2 in Rogatica faced a very serious threat at the time from the Muslim side,
3 the threat of destruction and genocide; is that right?
4 A. Well, the experience from previous years could not exclude that
5 threat. Nobody knew for a fact that war would happen the way it did.
6 All of us expected that the leadership would manage to agree at the end
7 of the day. It was end of the 20th century, a period when good reasoning
8 should reign among the people. The fact that there were tensions on both
9 sides did not mean that much. We thought that it was a good negotiating
10 position for a final agreement; however, we -- were always afraid that
11 the Muslims would not agree to a compromise. They would look for a
12 maximum and that as a result of that we might be threatened. The
13 previous experience told us that, and we were aware of that. Therefore
14 we were ready, and that doesn't mean that we organised ourselves on the
15 other side to take action. That doesn't mean that we slept fully dressed
16 and we did not wait for them to come and ring our bells. That means that
17 we knew how to protect ourselves based on the information that we had.
18 That's all.
19 Q. Okay. You said that:
20 "Therefore, we were ready but it doesn't mean that we organised
21 ourselves to take action."
22 What you did do in 1991, Mr. Veselinovic, is, with Dr. Karadzic's
23 support you worked to mobilise the Serbs in Rogatica to deal with that
24 threat that you felt existed from the Muslim side; right?
25 A. We just wanted to help the legitimate authorities of the state
1 that existed until then to function better. We tried to help the JNA to
2 mobilise people and to be able to carry out all those tasks that were
3 within its purview because Muslims boycotted the JNA, they boycotted
4 mobilisation efforts; Serbs didn't. And I'm not saying and I don't think
5 that the Serbs are the culprits and that our organisation has to take the
6 blame for advising the Serbs to abide by the rules of the then-Yugoslavia
7 and the rules of the Yugoslav People's Army.
8 Q. Well, Mr. Veselinovic, I'm just going to play you an intercepted
9 conversation from September 1991 and then ask you a couple of questions
10 about it.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: And before it begins, the English is subtitled on
12 the intercept so I don't believe there's any need to translate it.
13 Sorry, this is Exhibit P3406.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Female NN: Yes, can I help you?
16 "Sveto: Tell me, may I talk to Dr. Karadzic?
17 "Female NN: What did you say your name was, Sveto, right?
18 "Sveto: Yes.
19 "Male NN: Hello Sveto.
20 "Sveto: Tell me.
21 "Male NN: Could you wait for just a moment. The doctor is on
22 the other line.
23 "Sveto: Okay.
24 "Male NN: How is it over there towards Visegrad?
25 "Sveto: Well, so-so.
1 "Male NN: Is that so?
2 "Sveto: No, I heard that Serbia is in danger. Serbia is in
3 danger and they won't stop until they reduce it to the size of the
4 Belgrade pashalik.
5 "Male NN: He's about to finish this, he'll be with you in just a
7 "Sveto: Is there anything else? Okay. Thank you. Thank you.
9 THE INTERPRETER: We can hear the background conversation but we
10 cannot understand.
11 [Voiceover] "Radovan Karadzic: Thank you. Good-bye. Hello?
12 "Sveto: Good afternoon.
13 "Radovan Karadzic: Good afternoon, Sveto.
14 "Sveto: Doctor, Risto told me to call you.
15 "Radovan Karadzic: We should be in touch all the time. What's
16 the situation up there?
17 "Sveto: Well, so, so. It's God knows what. Those from
18 Han Pijesak, our reservists have taken our positions from Rogatica to
20 "Radovan Karadzic: Aha.
21 "Sveto: In Rogatica reserve police forces are getting mobilised.
22 "Radovan Karadzic: Good.
23 "Sveto: We have sent our men to join the reserve forces as
24 well ...
25 "Radovan Karadzic: By all means.
1 "Sveto: So that they don't do something stupid to us, surprise
3 "Radovan Karadzic: Absolutely. Definitely.
4 "Sveto: We're ready. We're waiting to see what happens next.
5 "Radovan Karadzic: Can you help Visegrad?
6 "Sveto: We can.
7 "Radovan Karadzic: Do that, get in touch and let them take up
8 positions at Sjemec up there, let them prepare to help Visegrad. Because
9 if they start the war, they'll start it against the people and against
10 the army.
11 "Sveto: Yes, I've already agreed to meet with Brano at Sjemec.
12 "Radovan Karadzic: Aha. Good. It should -- and the column is
13 waiting there. 60 vehicles. Tomorrow the column is going to be
14 enormous. It will take several kilometres to pass through Visegrad
15 because the army won't yield. Are you in touch? Look, Zoran Vujovic
16 can't get through to you at all. Please call him. He said that some man
17 at the number that you had given him would not talk to him.
18 "Sveto: I know nothing about it.
19 "Radovan Karadzic: Who's that?
20 "Sveto: I don't know at all.
21 "Radovan Karadzic: I beg your pardon?
22 "Sveto: Well, I don't know anything either. Me neither ...
23 "Radovan Karadzic: The number you gave out --
24 "Sveto: He must have taken down the wrong number.
25 "Radovan Karadzic: Aha. You see he may taken the wrong number.
1 Tell me what is your situation. If it is difficult should we send from
2 somewhere else to help you?
3 "Sveto: No, no need for now, no need for right now. At Sjemec,
4 we will prepare it all for helping them if necessary. This evening Brano
5 and I will meet up here.
6 "Radovan Karadzic: Aha, yes, yes. Good. And the police should
7 help too. They'll co-operate with the police for as long as they are
8 treating the military properly. You mustn't do anything against the
9 military. No discussion. The army must pass through Visegrad.
10 "Sveto: Shall we --
11 "Radovan Karadzic: The army is not going to clean up. They'll
12 destroy Visegrad, they will not give in. So they should know that.
13 "Sveto: Will the military now turn across Sjemec? It's critical
14 down there through the tunnels.
15 "Radovan Karadzic: It's critical through the tunnels, is it.
16 "Sveto: ... eight tunnels. They can place it anywhere ... in
17 the tunnel, destroy the first transporter and block it.
18 "Radovan Karadzic: Aha, good. Call Zoran, call the garrison in
19 Uzice and suggest that they should go across Sjemec. However, they still
20 have to go through Visegrad; right?
21 "Sveto: They don't have to.
22 "Radovan Karadzic: They don't have to, instead ...
23 "Sveto: Via Rogatica, to Ustipraca and Gorazde.
24 "Radovan Karadzic: How come they can't go to Visegrad? Where
25 will they cross the river?
1 "Sveto: Well, in Ustipraca. They're bypassing Visegrad.
2 "Radovan Karadzic: Good.
3 "Sveto: They're bypassing through Medjedja.
4 "Radovan Karadzic: Aha.
5 "Sveto: The Drina canyon.
6 "Radovan Karadzic: Good. And where are they going to cross the
7 Drina River?
8 "Sveto: Across Drina, they'll cross Drina in Ustipraca. It's
9 12 kilometres between Ustipraca and Gorazde. No tunnels, no attacks.
10 "Radovan Karadzic: So it was him who was shooting from that side
11 of the river, is it?
12 "Sveto: Yes.
13 "Radovan Karadzic: In Rudo, is it? Not Rudo but --
14 "Sveto: No, no. From Visegrad go across Sjemec, across Borik to
15 Rogatica, and from Rogatica to Gorazde.
16 "Radovan Karadzic: Well, okay, but you have to go through
18 "Sveto: You don't.
19 "Radovan Karadzic: You don't?
20 "Sveto: In fact, you do, yes.
21 "Radovan Karadzic: Well, you have to go through Visegrad.
22 "Sveto: You have to go through Visegrad.
23 "Radovan Karadzic: You secure Visegrad because that's the narrow
24 point, and then the rest, let them decide to go across Sjemec.
25 "Sveto: Yes.
1 "Radovan Karadzic: Get in touch with ... you have to get in
2 touch with the garrison and with this -- and they're looking for you.
3 They cannot get through to you in any way. Is Kusic there somewhere?
4 "Sveto: Doctor, Kusic is down-town somewhere.
5 "Radovan Karadzic: Okay. And where are you?
6 "Sveto: I'm at home at the moment.
7 "Radovan Karadzic: Aha. Come on, please do that and make sure
8 that they provide duty service over there.
9 "Sveto: Everything has been provided as far as it concerns our
11 "Radovan Karadzic: And the full, full, full mobility of the
12 party. A full mobility of everything, all the forces that you have,
13 everything you have. If necessary, add the Romanija forces too.
14 "Sveto: Okay, boss.
15 "Radovan Karadzic: All right.
16 "Sveto: All right. Agreed."
17 MS. GUSTAFSON:
18 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, this person named Sveto calling Dr. Karadzic
19 from Rogatica, that's you; right?
20 A. My name is Sveto. I'm from Rogatica. Honestly, I forgot about
21 this conversation. I can't remember. Can you help me and tell me the
22 date of that conversation.
23 Q. It's from the 20th of September, 1991.
24 A. Very well. I don't remember. I've heard everything now and I
25 don't see anything in dispute here. What we did was to enable the
1 Yugoslav People's Army to do their work. They were a legitimate army in
2 the state with whose integrity it protected.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Veselinovic, just to be clear, this Sveto is clearly an
4 SDS member because at the end of the intercept Dr. Karadzic says:
5 "And a full, full, full mobility of the party. A full mobility
6 of everything, all the forces that you have, everything you have."
7 And Sveto responds:
8 "Okay, boss."
9 Now, you were the president of the SDS in Rogatica at the time.
10 This Sveto is clearly you talking to Dr. Karadzic, isn't it?
11 A. Most probably, most probably. I'm Sveto from Rogatica. I'm
12 saying I don't remember the details of this conversation; however, I
13 don't see in this conversation what you claim, that President Karadzic
14 sent me a message to kill one-third, to baptise the other third, and to
15 expel the last third --
16 JUDGE KWON: No, Mr. Veselinovic, the question is whether -- not
17 whether there's anything disputable, but whether you confirm that's you
18 that had a talk with Mr. Karadzic at the time in this intercept. So this
19 Sveto is yourself, do you agree?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me say that I agree. I'm
21 Sveto from Rogatica. I believe that the voices belong to me and
22 Mr. Karadzic, judging by the timbre of the voice and the way we speak,
24 MS. GUSTAFSON:
25 Q. Thank you. And in this conversation, you state that the reserve
1 police forces in Rogatica are getting mobilised. You state that you have
2 sent "our men" to join the reserve forces as well. And then Karadzic, as
3 I noted, orders full mobility of the party, full mobility of everything,
4 all the forces that you have, everything you have. And you say:
5 "Okay, boss."
6 Those are all references to your efforts supported by
7 Dr. Karadzic to mobilise the Serbs in Rogatica to deal with the threat
8 that you consider to be coming from the Muslim side; right?
9 A. Why are you mentioning Srebrenica? This was in 1991, when
10 Muslims boycotted the calls to come to the manoeuvres of the JNA. Last
11 time I showed you documents in which you could see that, on behalf of the
12 SDS, we invited the Serbian people to respond and come to the manoeuvres
13 of the JNA in Han Pijesak. That unit was deployed there at the end of
14 1991 and the beginning of 1992. One part of that unit was in Sjemec and
15 the other part was in the brigade. So there's nothing in dispute here.
16 We invited the Serbs to accept the boycott of the response to
17 join the JNA because when the Muslims boycotted the JNA and did not want
18 to join the manoeuvres, there was a --
19 Q. Mr. Veselinovic --
20 A. -- fear that if the Serbs responded and joined the manoeuvres,
21 the villages would remain empty.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There are a lot of problems with
23 the transcript.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON:
25 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, I'd like to move on now to 1992. The Chamber
1 has --
2 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: Sorry.
4 JUDGE KWON: You -- does it mean that you have difficulty with
5 the transcript or there's a translation issue?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am now reconnected. Things are
7 not being recorded. A lot of things are not recorded. The Prosecutor
8 did not mention "Srebrenica," however, the witness received the word
9 "Srebrenica" in interpretation. On page 5, line 10, he said: We learned
10 from the experiences of 1941. And now page 12, line 11, it should read
11 that the Serbian villages would remain empty. There was a fear that the
12 Serbian villages would remain empty. This should be recorded on line
13 11 -- I can see that this was indeed repeated. I apologise.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, it appears in line 12 and 13 -- 13 and 14 and
15 that's when you interrupted.
16 Shall we continue?
17 MS. GUSTAFSON:
18 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, the Chamber has received evidence from numerous
19 witnesses including Mile Ujic, who was the artillery co-ordinator for the
20 Rogatica Brigade, that on the 22nd of May, 1992, the Rogatica Brigade
21 conducted a major shelling attack on Muslim-populated parts of the
22 municipality, referred to at transcript page 33460.
23 Now, you don't deny that that attack took place, do you?
24 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, objection, Mr. President.
25 Mr. President, since this witness is now testifying for the second time,
1 it's our position that the cross-examination should not be allowed to go
2 back over issues that were part of his original testimony or that were
3 within the scope of his original testimony, but should be limited to the
4 statement allegedly made by KDZ051 or any issues relating to credibility
5 as to whether or not that statement was made. But to go and rehash the
6 events in Rogatica with this witness I would suggest is not proper.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, Your Honours, I'm really focused on
8 paragraphs 6 and 7 of the witness's statement, where he makes some broad
9 assertions about his conclusions as to Dr. Karadzic's views and policies.
10 I am dealing with that through a number of steps. I will conclude by
11 addressing that directly, but I'm building up to that and I could go into
12 it further, but I'm reluctant to do so in front of the witness. I could
13 do that in more detail, if you wish, if the witness would be excused.
14 JUDGE KWON: So your submission is while you agree with
15 Mr. Robinson's observation in principle, but you are dealing with
16 paragraphs 6 and 7 --
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: That's right.
18 JUDGE KWON: -- of this revised -- new statement?
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: That's correct.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll allow you to continue. Please continue.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Veselinovic, you don't deny that the Rogatica Brigade on
24 the 22nd of May, 1992, conducted a major shelling attack on
25 Muslim-populated parts of the municipality, do you?
1 A. I stand by what I said in my last statement. As far as I
2 remember, 22nd May was the day when the Muslim forces killed a Serb,
3 Drazen Mihajlovic, and that was the day the conflict began. They did not
4 let the body of the dead man be collected, and that was the day when our
5 president of the Crisis Staff made contact with them. And they said when
6 after that man they kill another ten Serbs, only then would they allow
7 the bodies to be retrieved. An operation was launched to get that body
8 back. I don't know what Mile Ujic did, but I believe that was the day
9 when a clash occurred between the two sides and there were losses - I
10 don't know if only on one side or on both. That's when all contact
11 between the Serb and Muslim sides ceased and general chaos began. And
12 the initial reason was precisely the murder of Drazen Mihajlovic on that
13 day, 22nd of May.
14 Q. You're not really answering my question. You said that an
15 operation was launched to get that body back, referring to the body of
16 Mihajlovic. That operation involved shelling Muslim-populated parts of
17 the municipality. You must have remembered that, there was a major
18 shelling attack. You must have seen it or heard it or at least heard of
19 it; right?
20 A. I remember that. I remember that. I remember the murder of
21 Drazen Mihajlovic, which caused a massive conflict between the two sides,
22 whether it was on that day or the following day, the Serb forces did
23 retrieve the body of Mihajlovic. How? I don't know. I don't know in
24 what way they did that. I was not involved in those operations. I was
25 never involved in combat during the whole war. All I know about it is
1 what Mile Ujic told me. And I'm not a military expert to be able to
2 explain to you here whether there was shelling and how many shells were
3 fired from a 72- or 92-mortar, what weapons were artillery weapons or
4 otherwise. All I know is that that's when the fighting began.
5 Q. Okay. And the Chamber has also heard evidence that these attacks
6 on Muslim areas in Rogatica during the summer of 1992, caused Muslims
7 living in those places to flee. And I refer to KDZ607, P3289,
8 paragraphs 11 and 12; and Mile Ujic again at 33466 to 33467. Now, you
9 must have known that large numbers of Muslims were fleeing their homes
10 and villages from these attacks; right?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wonder if the question should be
12 put that way, enumerating exhibits. Why not show them to the witness?
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: No, the references are for the parties and the
14 Court. The question's fair.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What was shelled was the area where
16 the soldier Mihajlovic had been killed. Now, to what extent there were
17 Muslim villages there, there probably were some, but at that time there
18 were no Serbs left in town either. It was divided. On one side, the
19 Serb population was concentrated; on the other side were Muslims. At
20 that time, there were already refugees from the area of Gorazde --
21 MS. GUSTAFSON:
22 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, I'm going to interrupt you.
23 A. -- and in other towns chaos had reigned for some time already --
24 Q. I'm interrupting you because you're not responding to my
25 question. Are you telling me that you were unaware of the fact that
1 Muslims during the summer of 1992 were fleeing their homes and villages
2 which were being attacked by the army? You're totally unaware of that
4 A. The army did not attack Muslim villages without any reason. The
5 army was fighting Muslim military forces. I don't know what you're
6 trying to put to me. Are you trying to say that Muslims were living
7 peacefully and then some Serbs came and shelled them and opened fire at
8 them? There were Muslim forces in Muslim villages in Muslim areas and
9 Serb forces were in Serb areas. After that murder a clash started. On
10 one side Serbs whenever defeated would flee from their areas, and in the
11 town itself there were no Serbs left, although it had been a 60 per cent
12 Serb town, full of Serb houses. And after that clash, the Muslims
13 started leaving their areas. I'm not saying they didn't, and I said in
14 my previous statement that at that time I spoke to the refugees, I was
15 the first to come into town to inspect abandoned housing, and that I
16 accommodated --
17 Q. Mr. Veselinovic --
18 A. -- Serb refugees from Gorazde in those abandoned houses --
19 Q. I'm interrupting you again because you're moving away from the
20 question, and if I could ask you to please focus on my questions as
21 precisely as you can.
22 Okay. The Chamber's also received a great deal of evidence of
23 Serb soldiers capturing, detaining, and expelling Muslim civilians from
24 Rogatica. And I would refer, for example, to the evidence of Bazdar at
25 P3286, page 4; Pasic, P59, pages 860 to 875; Mr. Hurko, P3267,
1 paragraphs 14 to 22; and Mr. Isakovic, P127, pages 4 to 5. You were
2 aware that that was happening at the time?
3 A. I don't know what evidence you have before this Court, but I'm
4 telling you it's not the way you are describing it. There was a war.
5 There was fighting against the Muslim army. Muslim soldiers were being
6 captured, they were being fired at. Areas were being mopped up from
7 their army. They launched attacks, we launched counter-attacks. So it's
8 absolutely not the lop-sided way you are trying to get me to describe it.
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we have P6153, please.
10 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, this is a Drina Corps report to the
11 Eastern Bosnian Corps command, containing a list of captured persons of
12 Muslim ethnicity in the areas of Rogatica, Visegrad, Rudo, Cajnice, and
13 Foca. And you can see that the first list pertains to Rogatica, and I
14 think you would agree with me that the first 16 names on this list are
15 all Muslim women; right?
16 A. Yes, Muslim names, women's names.
17 Q. Now, a moment ago you claimed that -- when I put to you that
18 Muslim civilians were being detained, you said Muslim soldiers were being
19 captured. Now, you don't contend seriously that these Muslim women, most
20 of whom were elderly and, in fact, one of them was 101 years old at the
21 time, were Muslim soldiers, do you?
22 A. I'm not contending they were soldiers, but they probably happened
23 to be in a combat zone. They were probably -- I mean, both sides, when
24 they were fighting, they were fighting in their own villages where women
25 and children also lived. When you enter an area, it's quite natural that
1 you will find all sorts of people there, the soldiers and non-combatants,
2 and soldiers who had simply cast away their weapons and dressed as
3 civilians. And of course, you would remove the civilians to protect them
4 from further conflict.
5 I don't know what was going on here. I had no contact with the
6 corps, with the army. I don't know about the fate of these civilians or
7 why they were arrested. But the fact is there was no front line here, no
8 proper front line where there would be only army troops holding positions
9 and fighting. The war was being waged in villages where there were women
10 and children and the elderly. These women must have been evacuated from
11 a combat zone.
12 Q. Okay. You said you didn't know what was going on here, you had
13 no contact with the corps. You are probably aware that in recent years,
14 the Bosnian state court has convicted a number of members of the
15 Rogatica Brigade for killing, detaining, expelling, and mistreating
16 Muslims in Rogatica. And I refer to P6106, P6107, and D1665. Do you
17 know about that?
18 A. Yes, I know about that and all the people from Rogatica who had
19 been convicted, I know about that. I know what they had been charged
20 with, what they were convicted for. Those were individual crimes they
21 had committed and they were judged for them. Of course they should not
22 have done that, and as far as I know, they did not have orders to do that
23 from superior commands, especially not from President Karadzic.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we go to P988, please. And I'd like
25 page 68 of the English and page 87 of the B/C/S.
1 Q. And this is approximately -- if you could look approximately
2 two-thirds of the way down the page in the B/C/S and right at the bottom
3 of the page in English. Mr. Veselinovic, this is a transcript from the
4 28th of August, 1995, Assembly and it's Dr. Karadzic speaking. And
5 approximately two-thirds of the way down the page he says:
6 "To tell the truth, there are towns that we grabbed for ourselves
7 and there were only 30 per cent of us ..."
8 And if we could turn the page in the English.
9 "I can name as many of those as you want, but we cannot give up
10 the towns where we made up 70 per cent. Don't let this get around, but
11 remember how many of us there were in Bratunac, how many in Srebrenica,
12 how many in Visegrad, how many in Rogatica, how many in Vlasenica, in
13 Zvornik, et cetera. Due to strategic importance, they had to become
14 ours, and no one is practically questioning it anymore ..."
15 Now, when Dr. Karadzic says "don't let this get around but
16 remember how many of us there were in" places including Rogatica, he's
17 referring to the dramatic demographic transformation in these areas? And
18 in fact, the Serbs used to be a minority in Rogatica and these other
19 places, but that's no longer the case in August of 1995; right?
20 A. If I look at the entire municipality of Rogatica, there were
21 about 40 per cent Serbs, I think, but if we separate from Rogatica Zepa,
22 which at that time had 6- to 7.000 population and which remained all the
23 way up to 1995 an area controlled by the Muslim forces, that Zepa, when
24 we separate it from the total population, considerably increases the
25 population numbers in the municipality of Rogatica. So if we take Zepa
1 away, the ethnic composition in Rogatica would be half/half between Serbs
2 and Muslims. And Zepa is an area that belongs to Rogatica municipality,
3 but when you cross Sjemec and Borika you get to Zepa and it's in a valley
4 closer to the Drina River and before the war it didn't have even a paved
5 road. There was a macadam road that connected it --
6 Q. Mr. Veselinovic --
7 A. -- with Rogatica and with the Visegrad area. There's the
8 Drina River area separating it from Visegrad.
9 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, this speech is made on the 28th of August, 1995,
10 Zepa had fallen. There were no more Muslims left in Zepa and there were
11 certainly no -- very few Muslims left in the remainder of the
12 municipality; right?
13 A. Yes, when this Assembly session took place there were very few
14 Muslims. In fact, there were almost none in Rogatica municipality.
15 Q. And when Dr. Karadzic says:
16 "Due to strategic importance they had to become ours ..." and he
17 includes Rogatica in that list, he is connecting the demographic
18 transformation to the strategic importance of these places; in other
19 words, the demographic transformation of Rogatica ensured the Bosnian
20 Serb leadership's hold on this strategically important municipality.
21 Isn't that right?
22 A. That's a fact. The Serbian leadership remained in power in
23 Rogatica. Now, what Dr. Karadzic understood by strategically important,
24 probably cutting off that green transversal, the connection with Sandzak,
25 and separating Serb people on the one side of the Drina and the Serbs on
1 the other side of the Drina, meaning in Serbia, then Yugoslavia. But if
2 we add up all the areas, Rogatica, Visegrad, Foca, Srebrenica, the total
3 population was less than the number of Serbs in Sarajevo. And in 1995,
4 there was not a single Serb in Sarajevo. So the war had brought about
5 shifts of population, that's a fact. The territories controlled by Serbs
6 at that time were mono-ethnic and the areas controlled by the Muslims
7 were mono-ethnic Muslim and there were no Serbs in those areas.
8 Q. And, Mr. Veselinovic, that was no accident, was it? The acts of
9 the Rogatica Brigade in 1992, the killings, the expulsions, the
10 mistreatment, those acts furthered Dr. Karadzic and the Bosnian Serb
11 leadership's policy to transform the demographics of Rogatica, the
12 strategically important municipality in their eyes, didn't it?
13 A. That's what you think. I'm telling you again, there was a war
14 going on. On one side there were Serbs who wanted to preserve the
15 existing state of Yugoslavia. On the other side, the idea of the Muslims
16 was to create their own state, to secede from Yugoslavia, and such two
17 different concepts, such diverging concepts, led to the break-up of
18 Yugoslavia. The Muslims did not want to agree to anything, which is
19 proven by the fact that Izetbegovic reneged on his signature on the
20 Lisbon Agreement and the Serbs took power in that municipality. In some
21 other municipalities, the Muslims took power. I cannot accept it when
22 you say that Muslims were the only ones who tortured, killed, and
23 expulsed. No, it's not the way it happened.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Veselinovic. I have nothing further. However,
25 I'd just -- I don't know whether it was a mistake in the translation or
1 whether you misspoke. But the last line says:
2 "I cannot accept it when you say that Muslims were the only ones
3 who tortured, killed, and expelled" --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apologies, it was Serbs. Sorry.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. That clarifies that matter.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Veselinovic.
7 A. Welcome.
8 JUDGE KWON: Do you have re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very briefly, Your Excellency.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Veselinovic, on page 22 it was put to you
12 that the Serb side wanted to re-design the ethnic picture of Rogatica.
13 Can you tell us, was there any talk about establishing the Serb
14 municipality of Rogatica and the Muslim municipality of Rogatica, and
15 that Muslims were able to keep their villages and their parts of the
16 town --
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: This is leading.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll rephrase.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Were there any negotiations about creating two municipalities?
22 A. That's what I testified when I was here last time. We had
23 invested huge efforts in resolving the problems in Rogatica so as to
24 avoid conflict. Our idea was to divide the municipality into Serb and
25 Muslim parts only by administrative lines so that two municipalities
1 would operate side by side until the end of the conflict. The Muslims
2 had agreed to that. We had been working on that, and we had even shown a
3 map here depicting this division of the territory that had been verified
4 by our common Assembly, where the Muslim deputies were in the majority.
5 Great efforts had been made, but they were later annulled by the Muslim
6 leadership who had forbidden local Muslims to continue negotiating with
7 us. And then Izetbegovic, withdrawing his signature from the Lisbon
8 Agreement, put an end to our efforts on the local level to divide the
9 municipality and avoid conflict. So there were no pressures from the
10 Serb side. There was no intention to make Rogatica a purely Serb area
11 where there would be no Muslims.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us -- can you tell us about your career,
13 where did you work?
14 A. Before the war I worked in the municipal administration of social
15 revenues as a member of the Executive Board.
16 Q. Thank you. Was the personal income of employees recorded
17 somewhere? Was there a payroll?
18 A. Yes, like in every organisation, every enterprise. There were
19 log-books of personal incomes for every employee, and every month the
20 salary of every employee would be recorded against his names, including
21 all the contributions and withdrawals.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we show the witness 1D49037
23 without broadcasting it. Thank you.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Could you please tell us what it is that we have in front of us,
1 and does this have to do with KDZ051? What's the year? What's the
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
4 Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: Sorry, I'm not sure what these -- where this line
6 of questioning is exactly heading, but I don't think it has anything to
7 do with the cross-examination. I didn't mention KDZ051 at all.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that's correct.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But, Excellencies, everything here
10 is based on the false testimony of KDZ051, and that's why we called this
11 witness because --
12 JUDGE KWON: You should have raised it in your direct
13 examination, not in your re-examination.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I got this document during the
15 cross-examination. I got it right now.
16 JUDGE KWON: I don't follow. You got it during your
17 cross-examination -- during cross-examination of Ms. Gustafson?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, the municipality sent this. I
19 got it just now.
20 JUDGE KWON: I don't follow -- I don't understand, Mr. Karadzic.
21 Municipality sent it while Ms. Gustafson was cross-examining this
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe that they sent it during
24 my examination but it arrived later on. You see, it doesn't even have an
25 ERN number. It is a completely new document, fresh. I didn't receive it
1 before the cross started.
2 JUDGE KWON: If Mr. Robinson could assist us in this regard.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, I think our case manager got
4 this document this morning before the examination started and we told him
5 to put it in e-court, and it's possible that Dr. Karadzic didn't see it
6 until the examination began. And I would agree that it doesn't arise
7 from the cross-examination and I would also point out that I'm struggling
8 to find out the relevance of the entire cross-examination when the
9 witness was brought here to testify about the statement of this witness
10 and -- of KDZ051. And there's no charge of genocide in Rogatica even in
11 the indictment. So the only relevant information should be concerning
12 whether this statement was made and it seems to me that the Prosecution
13 has not contested that in the least bit that the witness never made such
14 a statement, they never alluded to anybody who saw him at the school
15 where the witness was, they never alluded to anyone who ever heard him
16 repeat such things. And so the cross-examination doesn't contest the
17 basic elements of the statement. That being said, I don't think that
18 Dr. Karadzic needs to use this document either.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
21 Mr. Karadzic, please move on to another topic.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Just one question, Mr. Veselinovic. Do you happen to know from
24 what time and from what country this formula of three-thirds stems from,
25 one-third should be killed, one-third should be baptised, and one-third
1 should be expelled?
2 A. Well, yes, I researched this on the internet. 1882, Russia, when
3 Russians were expelling Jews and it was revived with the slogan: Serbs
4 should be hanged on willow trees in the Ustasha regime. And Mile Budak,
5 who was a minister in the Independent State of Croatia in 1941, he
6 launched that slogan. And under that slogan, only in Jasenovac over
7 600.000 Serbs were killed as well as Jews and Roma. So the slogan which
8 is shameful for the Serbs, no Serb would ever use it as their motto
9 because we know full well and we felt this on our own skin, all the
10 horrors of that slogan. If before our judiciary any witness were to
11 mention what this witness said, believe me, they would have just laughed
12 because there is no way the Serbs could have used anything that meant the
13 mass killing of Serbs during the Second World War.
14 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions, Mr. Veselinovic.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 That concludes your second testimony, Mr. Veselinovic. Thank you
17 again for your coming to The Hague to give it. Please have a safe
18 journey back home.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE KWON: There's an issue with respect to an exhibit number
23 from the Registry.
24 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 1D49025 receives Exhibit Number
25 D4193, under seal. My apologies, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kovacevic is ready?
2 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. While he's coming in, I
3 apologise to the Trial Chamber, the fact that he wasn't ready on the last
4 week was completely my fault. I had omitted him from the production
5 schedule that I had sent -- the last one that I had sent to the
6 Victims and Witnesses Section. So that's -- it wasn't their fault at all
7 that he wasn't brought, but it was mine. Thank you.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration,
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: SVETO KOVACEVIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Kovacevic. Please be seated and make
16 yourself comfortable.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Kovacevic, I
19 must draw your attention to a certain rule of evidence that we have here
20 at the International Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you
21 may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor,
22 or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
23 you in a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
24 something that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
25 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
1 have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that an
2 answer might incriminate you and, as a consequence, you refuse to answer
3 the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to
4 compel you to answer the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal
5 would ensure that your testimony compelled under such circumstances would
6 not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence,
7 save and except the offence of giving false testimony. Do you understand
8 that, Mr. Kovacevic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
11 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kovacevic.
13 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
14 Q. I have to remind myself and you to pause between our questions
15 and answers. Also, let us speak slowly so that our sentences would be
16 recorded in the transcript. Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
17 A. Yes.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
19 1D9542 in e-court.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Do you see that statement of yours on the screen?
22 A. Yes, of course.
23 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
24 A. Last page, please.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the last page please be shown
1 to the witness.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. This is my
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Does the statement faithfully reflect what you said
6 to the Defence team? Are there any inaccuracies that should be changed?
7 A. Basically it is the same.
8 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today,
9 would your answers be the same as those contained in this statement?
10 A. Yes, of course, basically they would be the same.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
13 statement according to Rule 92 ter.
14 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objection, Ms. Sutherland?
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Good morning, Your Honours. No.
16 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit Number D4194, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Now I'm going to read out in the English language a summary of
22 Mr. Sveto Kovacevic's statement.
23 [In English] Sveto Kovacevic was elected president of the
24 Celinac Municipal Assembly. He was a member of the SDS since the
25 formation of the municipal board in Celinac in June 1990 and a member of
1 the Main Board since the SDS Assembly on 12th of July, 1991.
2 The key programme goals of the SDS were the preservation of
3 Yugoslavia and the equality of the Serbian people in BH. The SDS
4 leadership was in favour of resolving political issues through agreement
5 between political representatives of all the peoples. The SDS adopted a
6 decision to freeze the work of the party from May 1992 to February 1993.
7 The work was renewed at the Jahorina plenum, when it was decided that all
8 the organs of the SDS should step up activity in order to strengthen
9 national unity and prevent any form of extremism.
10 After frequent abuse of voting system by the coalition of Muslims
11 and Croats, the culmination of the imposition of their will was the
12 decision to call a referendum for a sovereign and independent BH. On
13 April the 4th, 1992, the Rump Presidency of BH declared the mobilisation
14 of its military and paramilitary formations and formed Crisis Staffs at
15 the different levels. Later, Crisis Staffs were also formed in a number
16 of municipalities and local communes under Serbian control.
17 President Karadzic was the key man in the peace process and
18 insisted on the respect of laws. President Karadzic never uttered a
19 single word at any of the sessions which referred to crimes, nor signed
20 any decisions to commit a crime against anyone. When several Muslim
21 houses were torched in the municipality of Celinac, Dr. Karadzic
22 immediately took interest in whether the perpetrators had been brought to
24 The Municipal Assembly of Celinac was constituted on
25 19th of December, 1990. Since less than 10 per cent of the population of
1 Celinac municipality was Muslims, the SDS could have formed the municipal
2 government independently, but decided not to do so and the composition of
3 the Municipal Assembly was based on the election results. Life in the
4 municipality from 1990 to 1992 was as difficult for the majority Serbian
5 as for the other two nationalities. In order to deal with the problems
6 that most affected the population, the Crisis Staff was formed in
7 May 1992. The Crisis Staff was independent and did not receive any
8 instructions from the SDS leadership.
9 The first major incident in Celinac happened in August 1992, when
10 a group of Serbs started riots in response to the killing of a group of
11 Serbian soldiers of the Celinac Brigade at the Vlasic front. Several
12 houses were set on fire and, as a consequence, the Muslims expressed
13 their wish to leave the municipality. Mr. Kovacevic managed to calm the
14 situation and to keep them in their homes and did so by informing the
15 police and by declaring a curfew. All the participants in the torching,
16 killings, and riots were arrested and brought to trial.
17 The founding Assembly of the community of municipalities of
18 Bosnian Krajina was held on 25th of April, 1991, in Celinac.
19 Representatives of the SDS, SDA, and HDZ of Bosanska Krajina were also
20 invited as well as the opposite parties. After several months, the
21 community of municipalities was renamed the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
22 The leadership in Pale did not have any influence on the formation of the
23 ARK. President Karadzic was not in favour of the formation of the ARK.
24 He did not attend a single session in the ARK, and he did not have an
25 influence on any decisions that the ARK took.
1 The civilian authorities at the republican, regional, and
2 municipal levels did not support, plan, incite, order, or aid the
3 permanent removal of Bosnian Muslims and Croats from the territory of BH
4 which the Serbs claimed for themselves.
5 [Interpretation] I would just like to put one more question.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, did you fully take part in creating the policy of
8 the Serb Democratic Party?
9 A. Yes, of course, I took part in creating the policy of the Serb
10 Democratic Party. If you allow me a digression here, as for the founding
11 Assembly, it wasn't that people were just invited; they were invited and
12 they attended.
13 Q. You're talking about the founding Assembly?
14 A. The founding Assembly that I chaired.
15 Q. Thank you. And who carried out the policy of the Serb Democratic
16 Party in your municipality?
17 A. In my municipality, the programme of the Serb Democratic Party
18 was carried out by the municipal board of the Serb Democratic Party and I
19 as a member of the Main Board of the SDS.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, I have no further
22 questions of this witness.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 Mr. Kovacevic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in this
25 case has been admitted in most part in writing, that is -- that is,
1 through your written statement. Now you'll be cross-examined by the
2 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do you understand that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Sutherland:
6 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, I see you have a number of papers in front of you.
7 Could you please put them to one side, and if you need to refer to them,
8 can you please ask the Trial Chamber's permission to do that.
9 A. All right. I don't need it at all. I took a CD, too, just in
10 case, from the founding Assembly, but I see -- well, I understand.
11 Q. You added a paragraph to your statement which is paragraph 43,
12 and it makes reference to Exhibit P2638 and that's the decision on the
13 status of the non-Serbian population of Celinac municipality issued on
14 the 23rd of July, 1992. You make a couple of points in relation to that.
15 You say that you weren't the municipal president on that date and that
16 all of the restrictions listed in the decision related to the
17 34 individuals mentioned in Article 2. So first dealing with the
18 restrictions relating to these individuals, let's just examine the
19 document, shall we.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: If I could have Exhibit P2638 on the screen,
22 Q. Looking at Article 1, you agree that on a plain reading of this
23 article that it states that due to combat operations in Celinac
24 municipality and further afield special status is given to the
25 non-Serbian population of Celinac municipality?
1 A. Could I have the last page with the signature.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to the last page, please.
3 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, this exhibit here in the B/C/S, it is not very
4 clear, the very end of the document. And I can take you to another
5 version of the document which is much clearer and we can see the bottom
6 of it.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE KWON: But do you have your statement, Mr. Kovacevic,
9 witness statement given to Mr. Karadzic's Defence?
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: That's D04194.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand that. I have
12 my witness statement in front of me --
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, yes. She was referring to paragraph 43 of your
14 statement. So if necessary, you may take a look at your statement,
15 paragraph 43.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there is no need to do that.
17 May I explain?
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please. Please go ahead.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I'm not saying with
20 any certainty that I signed this, but I'm not avoiding it all together.
21 I hadn't handed over until that point in time.
22 Now, what is all of this about? This decision was written only
23 for the sake of security. Actually, 34 persons who are mentioned here
24 were known to the police from before. Now, what does that mean? That
25 means that these are people who were prone to different kinds of
1 excessive behaviour, incidents, and so on. We at the Crisis Staff
2 assessed that these persons should not be punished at all. I'm talking
3 about misdemeanours proceedings. Quite simply, we thought that they
4 should be placed under control in order to preserve their lives, and
5 after a brief period of time we would return them so that they could go
6 on living together with us as they had before. This decision was in
7 force for a very short period of time and it turned out to be very good
8 and very wise. After that, all the people who saw that - and I'm talking
9 about ethnic Muslims - they came to me and they said that it was very
10 wise, very smart. All of these people are alive and healthy, they are
11 living and working in Celinac, except for natural deaths that occurred in
12 the meantime --
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, may I?
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND:
16 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you haven't answered my question. I said:
17 Looking at Article 1 on page 1, you agree that a plain reading of this
18 article states that it -- special status is given to the non-Serbian
19 population of Celinac municipality. That's correct, isn't it?
20 A. Yes, but under these circumstances because we are talking
21 about --
22 Q. Mr. Kovacevic --
23 A. -- a period that was 20 years ago --
24 Q. -- you've answered --
25 A. Please go ahead.
1 Q. You've answered the question. Looking at Article 2, it lists
2 34 citizens which are given "a different status from other non-Serb
3 inhabitants." If we go over the page.
4 A. Not 36, 34. Secondly, I explained in great detail what the
5 reason was, for the sake of safety and security, because we managed to --
6 Q. Mr. Kovacevic --
7 A. -- keep all of these people alive.
8 Q. I'm sorry, I don't want you to --
9 A. -- they're alive to this day --
10 Q. I'm sorry for interrupting. I don't want you to keep repeating
11 what you've previously said. I simply wanted you to agree that Article 2
12 lists 34 citizens which are given a different status from other non-Serb
13 inhabitants; correct?
14 A. No. No.
15 Q. What does it say under the 34th name:
16 "These are persons considered who have previously acted
17 negatively and compromised themselves in various ways, thereby harming
18 the Serbian people, on account of which they are given a different status
19 from other non-Serb inhabitants."
20 That's what it states in the document, doesn't it? Does it state
21 that in the document or not, Mr. Kovacevic?
22 A. Can I read Article 2, please, word for word?
23 Q. Yes. No, excuse me, you can see it on the screen.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to page 1, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could this be zoomed in, please?
1 It says as follows --
2 JUDGE KWON: [Previous translation continues]...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- have been assessed as persons --
4 JUDGE KWON: Next page --
5 MS. SUTHERLAND:
6 Q. So this is Article 2 on page 1 of the document, it's listing the
7 names. If we can go to page -- that's right.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to page 2.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND:
11 Q. It then says because these people have been considered negatively
12 against the Serbian population, they are given a different status from
13 other non-Serb inhabitants.
14 A. It's not a status. It's protection. It depends on the choice of
15 words and what the typists typed up, but this is a classical type of
16 protection, nothing bad ever happened to them.
17 Q. Right. Looking at Article 3 - if we can have the English back on
18 the screen, please - Article 3 makes reference to citizens from
19 Article 1; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Article 4 specifically refers to the citizens from Article 1;
23 A. Article 4.
24 Q. Specifically refers to citizens from Article 1?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. This --
2 A. But only on a voluntary basis and you can read it yourself. It's
3 very clear.
4 Q. And by that you're referring to this permits citizens only to
5 leave in an organised fashion with their entire family and with necessary
6 documentation. That's what you were just referring to, weren't you?
7 A. Only those who wanted. There was no coercion at all --
8 Q. Yes, Mr. Kovacevic --
9 A. -- the authorities --
10 Q. I want to go through this document. Article 5, if we can go to
11 Article 5, once again the citizens from Article 1; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And this article is very specific about what the citizens from
14 Article 1 shall not do, which include moving around town between
15 4.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. the following morning, travelling outside their
16 village or communicating with relatives outside the municipality,
17 lingering on the streets or gathering in groups of more than three
18 people, selling or exchanging property, driving cars, hunting, fishing,
19 or swimming in the rivers. And that's specifically what the citizens
20 from Article 1 are forbidden from doing; correct?
21 A. Yes, but that was actually the protection of the entire
22 population, to prevent them from being involved in incidents. People who
23 came from front lines on furlough to visit their families, for burials,
24 were prone to causing incidents. We were afraid that somebody would get
25 killed, that some harm would happen to them. And when we analysed the
1 situation, we made the decision, the decision was in force for a very
2 short time, and eventually it proved to be very wise because it served a
3 purpose. The population was indeed protected.
4 Q. So I think you've just said that this decision related -- that
5 this decision related to the entire non-Serb population and not just the
6 34 individuals in Article 2; is that right?
7 A. If we read the entire decision, it referred to only 34 people in
8 this part and the rest was after 1600 hours. It is very clear. I don't
9 have to explain, do I?
10 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, we will continue reading the document then.
11 Article 6 is very specific about what the citizens from Article 1 are
12 obliged to do; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Article 7, it's specifically directed at the 34 people named in
15 Article 2, and that they are additionally forbidden from - if we can go
16 over to page 4 in the English - "making any contact whatsoever with
17 people in the neighbourhood or further afield or making any kind of
18 movement between 0000 hours and 2400 hours, except when called for work
20 A. I don't know what you're saying. The question is not clear at
22 Q. Your assertion that this document only applies to the 34 named
23 persons in Article 2 isn't supported by a plain reading of the document,
24 because as I've just taken you to Article 7 it says, specifically
25 directed at the 34 names in Article 2, that Article, every other article,
1 so Article 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 all refer to citizens from Article 1.
2 Article 1 defines those citizens as the non-Serbian population.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And so then Article 7 is saying, in addition to these things,
5 these 34 people which are listed are also additionally forbidden to do
6 X and Y. That's right, isn't it?
7 A. Yes, we can see that. That was the decision.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour. I note the time.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We'll have a break for half an hour and
10 resume at eight past 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.12 a.m.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Harvey.
14 MR. HARVEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. May I
15 please introduce Rafaela Steffen Goncalves da Rosa, who is from Brazil
16 and is studying for a masters at the University of Tilburg. Thank you.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
18 Yes, Ms. Sutherland. Please continue.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND:
20 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, I want to deal very quickly with the second point
21 that you make in this new paragraph, paragraph 43, that you weren't the
22 municipality president on the 23rd of July, 1992. I just have a few
23 mechanics about what goes on in Municipal Assembly meetings. Minutes are
24 taken as a regular course of business; correct?
25 A. Will you allow me to say something about the previous decision?
1 I would like to say just one sentence.
2 Q. No, I would like you to answer my question, please. Minutes, are
3 they taken as a regular course of business, the -- at the Municipal
4 Assembly meetings?
5 A. If you will allow me, I did not tell you one very important
6 sentence about this decision.
7 JUDGE KWON: Please go on, yes.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND:
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. May I?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Well, you see, with all due respect to the Prosecutor's
13 questions, I claim that those Muslims, i.e., non-Serbs, experienced any
14 persecution or sanctions. The contrary is true and this can be confirmed
15 by the people who were on the list. It was a positive decision and many
16 are still grateful for it, and it is the Muslims who will tell you that.
17 Don't just take my words for it.
18 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, now can we get back to the minutes taken at a
19 regular -- of the Municipal Assembly. They're taken, are they not, at
20 each meeting?
21 A. If you're asking me whether minutes of the meetings were taken,
22 the answer is yes.
23 Q. And at the Celinac Municipal Assembly meetings, the minute-taker
24 was Marica Vujatovic; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And she was your secretary?
2 A. Correct.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could I have 65 ter number 25778, please.
4 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, these are minutes taken by your secretary, yes?
5 A. I need to read this. It was a long time ago.
6 Q. What you're seeing on page 1 is the minutes of the 15th Session
7 of the Celinac Municipal Assembly held on the 31st of March, 1992. Do
8 you recognise your secretary's handwriting?
9 A. I suppose that it's hers. I really did not study her handwriting
10 because what I received from her was in a printed form.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to the -- page 22, please, in the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I should look at the agenda
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: And it's page 15 in the English.
16 Q. Do you see at the bottom of the page her signature? Do you see
17 there, Mr. Kovacevic?
18 A. I can't say anything before I look at the agenda. I don't know
19 what this is all about.
20 Q. These are the minutes of the meeting held on the 31st of March.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to the following page, please, in
22 the B/C/S, that's page 23.
23 Q. We see here this is the minutes of the 16th Assembly Session on
24 the 13th of May, 1992.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Now, if we can go to page 42 in the B/C/S and
1 page 29 of the English --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You did not show me the agenda.
3 Only the agenda would jog my memory.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND:
5 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, if you look at this -- this is the 28th of July,
6 1992, maybe this will jog your memory. This is the --
7 A. But I can only see the first item of the agenda, which cannot jog
8 my memory, because where it says "adopting the minutes of the former
9 session," it doesn't really mean much to me.
10 JUDGE KWON: Her question is whether you recognise the passage
11 which says the minutes were taken by Marica Vujatovic. Do you remember
12 Marica Vujatovic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I do, yes.
14 JUDGE KWON: Another question is whether you recognise her
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't recognise her handwriting
17 because I received materials in a typed form.
18 JUDGE KWON: Back to you, Ms. Sutherland.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND:
20 Q. Okay. You see there, Mr. Kovacevic, under where it says the
21 minutes were taken by Marica Vujatovic, the session was chaired by the
22 SO, and the SO -- the acronym for SO is Municipal Assembly, is it not?
23 The session was chaired by the SO President, Sveto Kovacevic, who
24 proposed the following agenda for this session. So do you --
25 JUDGE KWON: If necessary, we can show him the next page, which
1 lists the agenda.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Can we go to the following page in B/C/S,
4 Q. Do you see the agenda there, Mr. Kovacevic?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And there --
7 JUDGE KWON: Let us go back to the page -- the previous page.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND:
9 Q. Now, these minutes have you chairing the session as the
10 Municipal Assembly President on the 28th of July, 1992; correct?
11 A. I chaired every session while I was in office. There's no doubt
12 about that at all.
13 Q. Well, in paragraph 43 of your statement you say when this
14 decision that we just went through before the break on the -- which was
15 issued on the 23rd of July, 1992, you said: I was not the municipal
16 president on the date this document was issued. And I've just taken you
17 to the minutes which show you chairing this session. So you were still
18 the president at that time, yes?
19 A. If you understood me properly, let me repeat the same words in
20 that same order. I said that at that moment I didn't sign -- or, rather,
21 I cannot guarantee that I signed it, but that was indeed my period.
22 That's what I said. I did not say the way you want to put it to me.
23 JUDGE KWON: Shall we upload the document, his witness statement,
24 Exhibit D4194, paragraph 43, last page.
25 Do you have your statement, Mr. Kovacevic, witness statement?
1 Yes --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Paragraph 43.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is what it says, but you
5 asked me if I had signed this --
6 JUDGE KWON: So the question -- wait for the question. So second
7 sentence in paragraph 43 is not correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I told you here --
9 JUDGE KWON: No, no, I'm asking -- I'm asking --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- when I first arrived here -- but
11 here effectively I can't say anything else because in the documents it
12 says that I had joined Metal. I can't state anything differently because
13 I --
14 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Please hear the question. My
15 question is whether this second sentence of this paragraph is correct or
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, if we're talking
18 about the document, I have the originals of the documents testifying to
19 my transfer. The document says that I wasn't. However, I had not handed
20 over my duties, which is why I would be there from time to time and that
21 is the truth.
22 JUDGE KWON: Back to you, Ms. Sutherland.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Could we have 65 ter number 25778 back on the screen, please. If
25 we could go to page 47 of the B/C/S and page 31 of the English
2 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, this is the minutes of the 17th Session, again
3 called the 17th Session, held on the 5th of August and that's because on
4 the 28th of July, a quorum couldn't be reached, which we saw a moment
5 ago, when the document was up on the screen. So the 17th Session is
6 reconvened to the 5th of August.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to the following page in English.
8 Q. And it says there - the minutes again taken by your secretary -
9 the session was chaired by the Municipal Assembly President
10 Sveto Kovacevic. So you're still the president on the 5th of August,
11 1992; correct?
12 A. It is just like I explained a while ago. That's correct.
13 Q. And as president of the War Presidency, this decision that we
14 looked at before the break, Exhibit P02638 on restrictions for the
15 non-Serb population, it was issued under your name; correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. You say in paragraph 29 that the Muslim population remained
18 throughout the war and to this day.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could have 65 ter number 00242R, please.
20 Q. This is the 1991 census data, and it says there that Celinac
21 population of Muslims was 1.446 and there were 76 Croats. Do you see
22 that there on the right-hand side of the document?
23 A. Yes, I can see that.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Now I'd like to call up 65 ter number 25785,
1 Q. And just before the document goes off the screen we can see that
2 there's 16.554 Serbs. This document is from SNB Banja Luka, April 1993
3 figures, and it states in this document that there are 1.120 Muslims in
4 1991, but we know from the document we've just looked at that it was
5 closer to 1.450; correct?
6 A. If you read that document carefully, it also contains categories
7 "Others" and "Yugoslavs." A certain number of Muslims and a certain
8 number of Croats and a certain number of Serbs declared themselves as
9 "Yugoslavs." What I know is that in the entire municipality there were
10 about 1700 or 1750 of them. It's not an exact number but it's
11 approximately that number, to the best of my knowledge.
12 Q. And we can see here that in April 1993 there's only 770 Muslims
13 inhabitants in Celinac municipality; correct?
14 A. That's not a document, it's not for the centre of the security
15 services to say how many people there are. The valid document for this
16 kind of discussion is the first one we saw.
17 Q. This is a document compiled by the SNB Banja Luka on information
18 that they must have received, and by -- so it states there that almost
19 half the Muslim population have moved out by April 1993, doesn't it?
20 A. No. Only a part of the population of Memici and Vasici were
21 moved out. In fact, it's one part of the hamlet called Popovac that we
22 returned to them after the incidents. As far as this document is
23 concerned, which is headed the centre of security services, you have to
24 ask them, not me.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I seek to tender this document.
1 MR. ROBINSON: Objection, Mr. President. The witness hasn't
2 confirmed anything about the document and it's not -- there's no
3 sufficient foundation for its admission through this witness.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Sutherland, would you like to add anything?
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour, I'll move on.
6 Could I have Exhibit P05449, please.
7 Although, Your Honour, if I can just add on this document here,
8 65 ter 25785, it's a document that appears to be a document created by
9 the Serbian authorities.
10 JUDGE KWON: I thought you were withdrawing that document.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Sutherland, we'll not admit this document
13 through this witness. Shall we continue.
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: If I could have Exhibit P05449, please.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we have it here.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry, this is the wrong document.
17 JUDGE KWON: This is wrong. What we had was 5549.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, I need P5449, please.
19 This document is the 1995 figures comparing them against the
20 1991 figures by the RDB in Banja Luka. And if we can go to page 3 of the
21 B/C/S/ and the English.
22 Q. For Celinac we can see in 1995 that, in fact, 190 Muslims remain
23 in the municipality and 15 Croats. So your assertion that the Muslim
24 population remained throughout the war and to this day is incorrect,
25 isn't it?
1 A. Certainly correct. I don't rule out that some young people went
2 away to be schooled elsewhere, then that some other people moved out for
3 other reasons. I had a Muslim neighbour whose two children both left,
4 one for Sarajevo, one for Zenica, so it was some sort of natural
5 selection. That anybody was moved out in any other way is certainly
7 Q. A natural selection that -- where you have a 1991 figure, even
8 looking at this document of 1.440 Muslims, and in 1991 and in 1995 we're
9 down to -- for the Muslims and Croats combined to 205 people, are you
10 saying that over 1200 just went for schooling, for other reasons, that
11 they simply left their homes, their positions, their lives that they'd
12 built, just because they wanted to move away?
13 A. Your contentions are nowhere near being correct. 1995, this is
14 an evaluation from the Ministry of the Interior. They did not make a
15 census nor did they make any real evaluation, so it's not a valid
16 document. I'm telling you again with all certainty that people still
17 live there, they work. Maybe some of them left for university elsewhere
18 or for some other reasons, looking for better living conditions or other
19 reasons. To this day Serbs and Muslims are leaving for economic reasons.
20 But what you are trying to put to me, that they left for some other
21 reasons or moved out for some other reasons, that's really not true.
22 They had genuine protection --
23 Q. Mr. Kovacevic --
24 A. -- no matter what kind of population they were, they had genuine
25 protection from the authorities of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. -- in paragraph 29 you say that the population in Celinac didn't
2 have any particular problems. In June 1992, four Muslim businesses were
3 blown up, weren't they?
4 A. No, no, tell me which.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could I have 65 ter number 2 -- I'm sorry.
6 Could I have 65 ter number 257 -- I'm sorry, 65 ter number 25783.
7 Q. This is a Radio Banja Luka report about the four Muslim
8 businesses being blown up in Celinac.
9 A. No, no. This is not a document. This is from Radio Banja Luka.
10 They also wrote about me in the newspapers and said on the radio that I
11 had hidden my son from going to high school, whereas my son was actually
12 in the fifth grade of elementary school. It's certainly not true that we
13 did not prosecute perpetrators. Whatever happened, perpetrators were
14 prosecuted and punished. I'm telling you with full responsibility and
15 with great certainty --
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
17 A. -- they said about my son --
18 Q. Mr. Kovacevic --
19 A. -- that I had hidden him from doing his military service when he
20 was in the fifth grade of elementary school --
21 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you're repeating yourself.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I tender this document.
23 MR. ROBINSON: Again, Mr. President, objection. First of all,
24 the witness hasn't been able to confirm anything about the document; and
25 secondly, I just wonder about the provenance of the --
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour --
2 MR. ROBINSON: -- document, given that there are handwritten
3 alterations to it.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour --
5 JUDGE KWON: You can -- we'll give an opportunity after hearing
6 him out.
7 Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I asked the witness whether he -- I
9 put it to him that four Muslim businesses were blown up in Celinac and he
10 said: No, no. Now, I've shown him a document which -- which
11 specifically states that four Muslim businesses were blown up.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I absolutely see the point. But what is your
13 response to the point raised by Mr. Robinson, i.e., provenance and the
14 authenticity, in light of the fact that there is also handwriting
15 revision -- handwritten revision?
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, the witness has said that it's a
17 Banja Luka Radio broadcast.
18 JUDGE KWON: It -- he read the title. He didn't confirm that it
19 was broadcast or whatever. We can MFI it until we are satisfied with the
20 provenance or the authenticity of the document, if you wish.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. This document was seized
22 from [sic] the Office of the Prosecutor from the Banja Luka Radio
24 JUDGE KWON: Unless the Defence agrees, you are not giving
25 testimony, so we'll mark it for identification.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It receives MFI P6576, Your Honours.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND:
3 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, also at this time the mosque in Celinac was
4 attacked, wasn't it?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. The non-Serb population posed no threat to the security of the
7 overwhelming Serb population in Celinac municipality, did they?
8 A. Correct. We respected that and we did everything to protect that
10 Q. The non-Serb population, though, posed no threat to the security
11 of the Serbian population; correct?
12 A. Correct. They posed no threat to the security of the Serbian
13 population, and we appreciated that and we did everything to protect
15 Q. Now, you note in paragraphs 17 and 25 of your statement the
16 torching of Muslim houses in Samac village and in Basici [Realtime
17 transcript read in error "Vasici"] sometime later and the intimidation of
18 Muslim population in the villages of Popovac, Basici and Memici. This
19 intimidation included killings, yes?
20 A. Allow me to explain. Memici and Basici are hamlets of Popovac
21 village, which is about 12, 13 kilometres from the centre of Celinac. In
22 those hamlets, Basici and Memici, there were mostly Muslims. And another
23 enclave that had Muslim majority was in Celinac itself. It's true that
24 there was torching in Memici and Basici. It's true that that happened
25 and there were a couple of killings too. And having found out about
1 that, the authorities of the Republika Srpska and the municipal
2 authorities did everything, perhaps not immediately but quickly, to
3 prosecute the perpetrators. I believe one of them is still serving his
4 sentence. They were imprisoned initially in the centre of the security
5 services in Banja Luka and the police station in Celinac.
6 Q. The transcript says "Vasici," but, in fact, you and I both said
7 "Basici." That's correct, isn't it?
8 A. Correct, Basici, Basici and Memici --
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 A. -- hamlets of Popovac.
11 Q. Inhabitants from the village of Bastici were also killed and
12 Muslim houses set on fire; correct? Now, Bastici is close to Mehovci and
13 Basici, but it is actually in the municipality of Banja Luka. It's a
14 very short distance over the --
15 A. No. I'll repeat: Basici and Memici belonged to Popovac village,
16 which is in Celinac municipality. And they are 12 to 14 kilometres away
17 from the centre of Celinac.
18 Q. And Bastici is in what municipality?
19 A. Celinac municipality. It's a hamlet - I'm repeating for the
20 third time - it's a hamlet of Popovac village.
21 Q. Okay. Are you -- and you agree people were killed there and
22 Muslim houses were set on fire?
23 A. You said that it was torched entirely. No. It's true there was
24 an incident, that several houses were set on fire, that several people
25 were killed, and it's true that the authorities responded. When I say
1 "the authorities," I mean the republic and municipal authorities, all
2 these structures. All these people, the perpetrators --
3 Q. Mr. Kovacevic --
4 A. -- of that unfortunate incident were found --
5 Q. -- I'm sorry to interrupt but you're repeating yourself and I
6 have very, very limited time.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could I 65 ter number 04210, please.
8 Q. This is a regular combat report from the 1st Krajina Corps and we
9 see down at the bottom number 3, the situation report, in Bastici
10 village, in the Celinac municipality, five Muslims were killed, two women
11 and three men aged between 16 and 52, Muslims houses were set on fire,
12 and there was shooting in the village of Samac. This is what you were
13 referring to a moment ago --
14 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Did you say point 3?
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour, if we can turn to the second
16 page of the B/C/S.
17 Q. This is what you were referring to a moment ago, weren't you,
18 Mr. Kovacevic?
19 A. I have to clarify one thing. The place called Samac is almost in
20 the centre of Celinac. We should not mix things up. The hamlets of
21 Basici and Memici, although some people called it Sainovici, they are
22 14 kilometres away from Celinac. And it's true that this incident really
23 happened as described here in the text, and it's true that the
24 authorities did their utmost, most energetically, to take the measures
25 and prosecute perpetrators. And in the end they were convicted and
1 sentenced to many years' imprisonment.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I tender this document.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will receive it.
4 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit Number P6577, Your Honours.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND:
6 Q. You say in paragraph 16, 17, and 28 of your statement that these
7 perpetrators were arrested immediately after the acts were committed,
8 they were brought to trial and, as far as you remember, sentenced to
9 18 years' imprisonment, and you've said it again this morning. Are you
10 referring there to the --
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Are you referring there to the Sugic brothers?
13 A. Yes, I am referring to the brothers whose name I don't want to
14 mention for several reasons. But it's true that these perpetrators were
15 immediately arrested and convicted to many years in prison as the law
16 dictates. I really have no right to interfere with the judiciary. The
17 truth is that the judiciary responded energetically and that group headed
18 by those two was arrested.
19 Q. And you're referring to the Sugic brothers, yes?
20 A. Certainly.
21 Q. Well, they may have been arrested on the 26th of August, 1992,
22 which is sometime after these incidents --
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: And, Your Honours and Mr. Karadzic, that's in
24 Exhibit D01798, page 11 of the English translation.
25 Q. But, in fact, they were released before trial, weren't they?
1 A. You have to ask the courts about that. As far as I know, it's
2 true they were arrested again and tried again. But please don't put me
3 in the awkward position of being a judge, knowing what judgement was made
4 by the courts, et cetera. Our job was to install order. That was the
5 demand of the municipal authorities, and to protect the population
6 regardless of faith of ethnicity.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could I have 65 ter number 05680, please.
8 Q. This is a ruling by the Banja Luka military court on the
9 15th of February, 1993, releasing Obrenko and Mladen Sugic, because they
10 say that there's no -- there's no need to keep them in custody any
12 A. I don't know what that has to do with me.
13 Q. Well, you just said a moment ago that they were released before
14 they went to trial, didn't you?
15 A. What I said is this: I learned or heard later that they had been
16 released and re-arrested. But I'm not sure about those details. I can
17 only talk about things that I know for sure. I know for sure that they
18 were convicted to many years in prison. Now, when they were released,
19 whether they were arrested again or not, I really don't know. And
20 there's no need for me to know what the courts did. It was not my job to
21 know that.
22 Q. Well, you're aware, are you not, that the commander of the
23 Celinac Light Infantry Brigade wrote to the military court, seeking their
24 release. And the population of the village of Popovac also sent a
25 document to the military command, asking that they be released. And the
1 and the executive committee of the Celinac Municipal Assembly also wrote
2 a letter asking that their custody be terminated. You're aware of that,
3 aren't you, that the municipal -- the Executive Board wrote to have their
4 custody terminated?
5 A. I'm really not aware that they asked for that. I can only
6 suppose that people knocked on all sorts of doors. They didn't come to
7 me, or at least I don't remember. But if they did come to me, they would
8 know my answer and my answer would be that all those who were
9 perpetrators had to answer for it.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour and Mr. Karadzic, those are
11 Exhibits P3610, 3611, and 3612.
12 Your Honour, I seek to tender this document.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Objection, Mr. President. First of all, the
14 witness hasn't been able to comment on this document --
15 JUDGE KWON: Just let me ask one question.
16 Mr. Kovacevic, you agree, although you do not know the exact
17 date, that these brothers were once released before they were arrested
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's true, but I'm saying this only
20 from memory, that I heard about it. It doesn't have to be correct. It's
21 probable that they were released, but all I know for sure is that they
22 were arrested and convicted to many years' imprisonment. I mean, it's
23 not valid if I know it just from what somebody told me. If I had read a
24 court decision, then that would be valid.
25 JUDGE KWON: So this is the court decision presented to you, so
1 you would argue this is not correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not arguing it's not
3 correct or that it's incorrect. I really have nothing to do with this.
4 I don't know why I would have to know. I was just the president of a
5 municipality, not of a court.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
7 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. That brings me to my second
9 objection -- reason for the objection, and that is that you note that the
10 judge or one of the judges who made this decision, Nikola Tomasevic is
11 written on the third line of the English, we asked for a subpoena for
12 Judge Tomasevic so he could explain exactly why this person was released
13 and what pressures, if any, were put to bear on the judiciary and you
14 denied that motion. So we think it would be unfair for the Prosecution
15 to be able to admit this document while at the same time similar or more
16 probative evidence is being excluded from the Defence. Thank you.
17 JUDGE KWON: By the way, the judge who signed this decision was
18 not Tomasevic, if you could assist --
19 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, that's correct.
20 JUDGE KWON: -- in that part?
21 MR. ROBINSON: It was signed by the president of the Chamber, but
22 the other two members of the Chamber are listed and Judge Tomasevic was
23 one of them.
24 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes, I see his name, read his name.
25 Would you like to add anything, Ms. Sutherland?
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Just a moment, Your Honour.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, in our submissions, this document
4 impeaches this witness's evidence. We seek to have it admitted. If the
5 Defence want to call this witness, then if we have a document that
6 impeaches his evidence, we -- it should be allowed to be admitted.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber, by majority, is of the view that this
9 document has nothing to do with the issue of fairness that Mr. Robinson
10 raised. The Chamber, by majority, is of the opinion that we have basis
11 to admit this document through this witness, in the sense that it
12 contradicts with the witness's evidence and as well as the foundational
13 question through which this document could be admitted through this
15 Shall we assign a number for this.
16 I didn't say by majority, with Judge Baird dissenting.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The document receives Exhibit Number P6578,
18 Your Honours.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND:
20 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, it's correct, is it not, that -- well, it is
21 correct, it's a fact that Obrenko Sugic was sentenced -- tried and
22 sentenced in 2002 by the Banja Luka District Court to
23 15 years' imprisonment for his participation in the killings of
24 ten civilians. You're aware of that?
25 A. I am aware that he took part in that incident. As for the number
1 of years he was sentenced to later on, I really don't know exactly how
2 many, but it is a well-known thing that he took part in that incident,
3 this unfortunate incident.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could have 65 ter number 25802, please.
5 And, I'm sorry, we don't have an English translation at the moment. I
6 have an English translation of a media summary that was done -- not a
7 media summary, a summary that was done by OHR in Banja Luka which I will
8 call up in one moment.
9 JUDGE KWON: Do you have much more with this witness?
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour, I have two -- I have three
11 topics that I wish to cover and I would seek to be able to do that.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE KWON: How much longer do you expect you need?
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I would hope to be able to do it in
15 15 minutes. It took a rather long time to get -- to go through the first
16 two documents with the witness, when I was simply wanting a plain reading
17 of the document, it took a lot longer than I had expected.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please continue.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND:
20 Q. You said here a moment ago that Obrenko Sugic was involved in an
21 incident. We can see here that the Banja Luka District Court verdict on
22 the 8th of May, 2002, sentences him to 15 years for murders that were
23 committed on the 7th of July, the 13th of July --
24 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber does not see the need on your part to go
2 through with these kind of documents with the witness.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Okay. I will move on, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND:
6 Q. You say in paragraph 23 of your statement that the Crisis Staff
7 was independent and didn't take any instructions. You know that
8 Branko Djeric had earlier sent instructions for the work of the Serbian
9 municipal Crisis Staffs dated the 26th of April, 1992 - and that's
10 Exhibit P03459 - and the authorities in Celinac received and implemented
11 this decision -- these instructions, didn't they?
12 A. I don't know. I didn't understand the question. Which document?
13 What is all of this about? What is the point of this question?
14 Q. If you can go to page 23 of your statement, you've got it in
15 front of you.
16 A. Yes, of course.
17 Q. What I'm putting to you is that the authorities in Celinac
18 received Mr. Djeric's instructions dated the 26th of April and they
19 actually implemented their decision -- these instructions when they --
20 when they set up the Crisis Staff.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could have 65 ter number 25780, please.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see where that is written,
23 that I was sent by Djeric and that I accepted that. I really don't see
25 MS. SUTHERLAND:
1 Q. No, Mr. Kovacevic, that's what I'm putting to you. The document
2 you see on the screen is a document that is signed by you, yes, setting
3 up the Celinac Crisis Staff?
4 A. Well, what you're saying is something different and what the
5 document says is something different. What I see is a document of the
6 Crisis Staff and there's no denying that, and I am the president of the
7 Crisis Staff, Sveto Kovacevic. And I don't see any Djeric's
8 instructions, non-instructions, I did not notice that, I don't remember
10 Q. No, but if we were to look at the decision -- Djeric's
11 instructions, which are P3459, we can see that paragraphs in those
12 instructions echo the wording in paragraphs in this decision signed by
14 A. Believe me, you will have to ask Djeric. Djeric, the then-prime
15 minister, that he sent something to me and that that was -- I don't know.
16 At least I don't remember that or it's been deleted from my memory or --
17 if this is written on the basis of the government, if you think that that
18 is it, well probably -- well, if that's what you think, in paragraph 6 --
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could have the B/C/S actually on the other
20 side of the screen where the current English translation is of P3459.
21 Q. Now, we can see there that paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the
22 Celinac Crisis Staff decision repeats the wording of paragraphs 1, 3, 6,
23 7, 8, and 14 of the Djeric instructions.
24 A. Well, if you think that these are Djeric's instructions --
25 Q. If we can go to the second --
1 A. -- just show me the last page --
2 Q. -- second page --
3 A. -- let me see that, please do refresh my memory.
4 Q. And, Mr. Kovacevic, you were following these instructions when
5 you set up your Celinac Crisis Staff, were you not?
6 A. No, no, no. No --
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you -- I mean, can I just say
9 one sentence? Throughout the world and in our part of the world, where
10 there is a crisis, a Crisis Staff is formed. That is based on the Law on
11 Self-Protection and Social Self-Protection. Even if this had not come,
12 it would have been formed.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I seek to tender this document,
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
16 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
17 MR. ROBINSON: No objection, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit Number P6579, Your Honours.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 4, page 63, what the
23 witness said was not captured, that this is based on the Law on
24 All People's Defence and Social Self-Protection, meaning ONOSZ. It would
25 be easier if we were to call it that way because actually we've already
1 admitted that law.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, thank you. We can continue.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND:
4 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you said in paragraph 10 of your statement that
5 there were no conditions to form War Presidencies. You know that
6 Mr. Karadzic issued a decision on the 31st of May, 1992, creating
7 War Presidencies. And that's Exhibit P2369. And that this, in fact, was
8 implemented in Celinac, wasn't it?
9 A. Do refresh my memory. Is there some document so that I could say
11 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you can answer my question. The Celinac
12 Crisis Staff was renamed the Celinac War Presidency, wasn't it?
13 A. Well, probably. I cannot remember now when and how, but I assume
14 that that's the way it was.
15 Q. Well, if we go back to the minutes.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: 65 ter number 25778. This is the session of the
17 28th of July Municipal Assembly. Page 42 of the B/C/S and page 30 of the
18 English, please.
19 Q. We can see agenda item 6, verification of decisions and solutions
20 adopted by the Crisis Staff or the Celinac municipality War Presidency.
21 We also see in the document that was issued on the 23rd of July, 1992,
22 War Presidency is the -- in the signature block of the decision on the
23 status of the non-Serb civilians.
24 THE ACCUSED: I think there was no translation, interpretation.
25 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your question.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND:
2 Q. Mr. Kovacevic --
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
4 Do you hear the translation now, Mr. Karadzic?
5 THE ACCUSED: Yes, now.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND:
8 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, we see here item 6, this is the minutes of the --
9 for the 28th of July, 1992, Municipal Assembly meeting, and it talks
10 about verification of decisions and solutions adopted by the Crisis Staff
11 or the Celinac municipality War Presidency.
12 A. Give me -- give me the agenda --
13 Q. Agenda --
14 A. -- on the screen I --
15 Q. Agenda item 6 --
16 THE ACCUSED: Next page in English -- in Serbian.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND:
18 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you see it there, don't you, the reference to
19 War Presidency?
20 A. I never denied that.
21 Q. When you were interviewed in Banja Luka by representatives of the
22 OTP on the 26th of February, 2003, you were trying to be helpful and
23 truthful during that interview, weren't you?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. And your memory would have been fresher ten years ago than it is
1 now, yes?
2 A. Correct, correct.
3 Q. I just want to confirm something you said in that interview and
4 that was that all the municipality presidents would convene on Mondays
5 for meetings in the municipal building in Banja Luka; correct? And the
6 time-period I'm talking about is May, June, and July 1992. This is what
7 you said when you were interviewed, didn't you?
8 A. Correct. I said that that was the idea, this plan. Now, whether
9 they met, I'm not sure. That there was a plan, yes, but I think that
10 they did not meet. Now, whether they did meet, I really don't know
11 because I was carrying out other duties.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could have 65 ter number 25771, please.
13 This is on page 31 of the English.
14 Q. And you were asked at line 7:
15 "Did you ever meet the presidents of the other Crisis Staffs?"
16 And you said:
17 "Presidents of other Crisis Staffs?
18 "For example, Rasula from Sanski Most?
19 "Yes, probably, yes, that was normal.
20 "Were there meetings of all the Presidents of Municipalities of
21 the Crisis Staffs of other municipalities ?"
22 And you said:
23 "On Mondays, all the public -- all the Presidents of
24 Municipalities would convene, some people would come, some wouldn't, on
25 Mondays. But we have to differentiate. My ... municipality didn't have
1 the same problems as Sanski Most had ..."
2 So that's what you said. And then further down the page you say
3 that presidents of municipalities -- you were asked --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have the relevant page in
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: I don't have that reference just at the moment,
7 Your Honour, I'm sorry. It's the only reference in my whole examination
8 I don't have.
9 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you -- it was then put to you, you say the
10 presidents of municipalities --
11 JUDGE KWON: Let's wait. Let's locate the page. It's impossible
12 at all? Take a look at this page.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, perfect. Thank you very much.
14 Q. Now, you see there, Mr. Kovacevic, you stated that:
15 "On Mondays, all the public -- all the Presidents of
16 Municipalities would convene, some ... would come, some wouldn't ..."
17 You see that there?
18 A. I see that, I do.
19 Q. And then down the bottom of the page you're asked:
20 "You say the Presidents of Municipalities would -- of the
21 Crisis Staffs would meet on Mondays?
23 "And where would those meetings take place?
24 "At the municipality."
25 And you're asked:
1 "Which municipality?"
2 And then you say:
3 "Banja Luka."
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I suggest that we ask the
5 witness to read out something from the previous page so that we see how
6 these interpreters are going to interpret this. The translation here is
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I'm not dealing with the
9 previous page.
10 JUDGE KWON: No, that -- probably he was referring to the page
11 you read out.
12 THE ACCUSED: Exactly.
13 JUDGE KWON: But witness must have heard Ms. Sutherland's
14 question. So let us see whether he can answer the question.
15 What is your question, Ms. Sutherland?
16 MS. SUTHERLAND:
17 Q. That this is what you said, that the presidents of the
18 municipalities -- the presidents of the Crisis Staffs were meeting weekly
19 in Banja Luka. That's right, isn't it, that's what you said?
20 A. Well, you see, I'm not denying that I said or that I did not say.
21 But if there was a meeting and if we did meet, that was the reason --
22 that was actually a conversation, an exchange of views. Now, whether
23 there was something missing, whether we could help each other, whether
24 there's some new information in terms of the economy, logistics, and
25 other troubles that befell us.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I don't think there's a need for me
2 to tender this page.
3 JUDGE KWON: Two pages.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: But perhaps we should.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
6 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, we would ask that it be MFI'd
7 subject to the verification of the translation.
8 JUDGE KWON: If there's an issue, I would like the accused to
9 file it in writing. We do not do this, following our practice, where
10 there's a translation.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Very well, we'll make a request to the translation
12 section to look at this document again.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. First I would like the Defence to check the
14 transcript -- the translation first and raise it afterwards. We are not
15 sure whether there is a problem or not.
16 We'll assign a number for this.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit Number P6580, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But do we need to call the witness
20 again, then, if he's supposed to confirm what it was that he was asked
21 and what he answered and whether he asked -- whether he answered a
22 question that had been asked on the basis of a wrong translation?
23 JUDGE KWON: Well, let's see whether it's necessary, then we'll
24 do so. But I take it you have time to review whether there's a
25 translation issue and raise it during his -- your re-examination if
2 You're done, Ms. Sutherland?
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour, I have this last topic that I
4 wish to deal with.
5 JUDGE KWON: We'll have a break for 45 minutes.
6 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 1.20 p.m.
8 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Ms. Sutherland.
9 MS. SUTHERLAND:
10 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you're indicating in paragraphs 6, 7, 9, 12, 15,
11 and 37 that you're a member of the Main Board, SDS Main Board. And as
12 such, you're familiar with the workings of the SDS and the positions
13 taken and decisions issued by the Main Board and the party. I want to
14 examine what you told the OTP in 2003 when you were interviewed about
15 your role in and knowledge of the SDS Main Board, and I want to take you
16 as quickly as possible through five excerpts.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: And if we can go, please, to B/C/S pages 8 and 9
18 but starting on page 8, and the English page 10. That is
19 65 ter number 25771, please.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Kovacevic, you were asked here of the meetings --
21 talking about the Main Board meetings that you did attend, do you
22 remember the topics that were discussed, the SDS Main Board meetings?
23 And you say:
24 "I don't really know. I don't remember anything specific. I
25 don't remember anything. The SDS didn't have its own formations, so I
1 don't remember anything specific that I could stress right now ..."
2 And it's correct, isn't it, that you couldn't remember any topic
3 that was discussed at Main Board meetings; right?
4 A. That's not correct. It is just the opposite. I said then that I
5 didn't remember all of the details, but that I agreed with the programme
6 and the statute. I suppose I said that. I don't know whether that was
7 recorded or not, but that was true then and it is still true now. And I
8 apologise, I need to finish the thought. People were afraid, there was a
9 feeling of terror. I was also afraid. And later on when I read
10 everything, when I examined the situation, when I realised that some
11 documents were missing, you have to appreciate the kind of situation that
12 reigned at the time.
13 Q. Are you talking about in 2003, when you were interviewed by
14 members of the Office of the Prosecutor?
15 A. Yes, of course. In 2003 I did not have any documents. I had not
16 been prepared and my memory had not been jogged. I joined the different
17 company and economic entity to work there. You can ask me anything. I'm
18 not avoiding anything. Now that my memory has been jogged, I can tell
19 you everything. At that time I didn't have the necessary documents.
20 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you were asked a simple question about what topics
21 were discussed at Main Board meetings.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could move to transcript page 11, B/C/S
23 pages 9 and 10.
24 Q. And you're asked here, starting in the English it's at line 6:
25 "Now, there must have been a reason for the SDS as a party having
1 a Main Board. What was the reason?"
2 And you said:
3 "Every party has a Main Board."
4 And you were asked:
5 "Right. And what is a function of a Main Board in a party?"
6 And you said:
7 "You need to look at the Statute and read it to see what the
8 activities of the party are and what the activities of the Main Board
9 would be."
10 So you weren't even able to state what the functions of a
11 Main Board were within the party; correct?
12 A. Of course, if you looked at the matter more attentively, you
13 could have seen that every party had a Main Board and that if you wanted
14 to know something you should refer to the Statute. I can now explain why
15 I said that and I repeat that every party has a Main Board and it is the
16 most important body in every party, including the Serbian Democratic
17 Party. What I said then was for you to look at the Statute, but there is
18 nothing odd about that and there is no reason for me to state anything
19 differently to what I stated at the time.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I would seek to tender the two
21 pages that I've just taken the witness to.
22 JUDGE KWON: Is that your last question?
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour -- not my last question, but
24 apparently it's the practice to tender the pages as we go.
25 JUDGE KWON: So you have more questions?
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE KWON: How much more?
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: I have three more excerpts that I wish to take
4 the witness to.
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE KWON: We'll add those two pages, Ms. Sutherland, but
8 please conclude your cross-examination in five minutes.
9 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 If we can go to B/C/S page 6 and --
11 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. This is the interview we -- part of
12 which we admitted already or is it a different interview?
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: This is the same.
14 JUDGE KWON: So P6576 -- no, I'm sorry.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: 6580, I think if my memory serves me.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll add those pages.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND:
19 Q. In paragraph 7 of your statement you discuss the plenum held on
20 the 16th of February, 1993, at Jahorina, as if you attended the meeting,
21 but you didn't, did you?
22 A. What made you conclude that I wasn't there?
23 Q. Well, if we go to your OTP interview, 2003, page 6 in the English
24 and page 6 in the B/C/S, you say:
25 "I was a member of the Main Board for a while."
1 And you were asked:
2 "For what period were you a member of the Main Board?"
3 You say:
4 "Let's say from 1991 and when I moved to Metal company, I didn't
5 go anywhere."
6 Now, it's right that you moved to the Metal company in Banja Luka
7 in June 1992, isn't it?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And if I --
10 A. But I didn't stop being a member of the Main Board. I said that
11 it is possible that I attended fewer meetings, but I did attend them and
12 I remained a member of the Main Board until 1995 or 1996.
13 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, if I can take you to B/C/S page 6 again, so on
14 that same page, and the English transcript page 7, you're asked:
15 "Did you attend any meetings of the SDS Main Board?"
16 You said:
17 "I was, I would, I went occasionally and when I moved to the
18 Metal company, I stopped going all together and I didn't -- I would go
19 rarely actually, only if something was going on in Banja Luka."
20 And then a couple of questions later you say:
21 "I stopped going because I had other obligations, other duties,
22 so yes, afterwards rarely, almost never."
23 And I can take you to one more excerpt, which is English page 11
24 and B/C/S page 10, you say -- you were asked:
25 "How long were you a member of this party, Mr. Kovacevic?"
1 You say:
2 "As I told you already, I was a member of a Municipal Board and I
3 only went a few times because I was president of the municipality. After
4 that I was also a member of, also a member of the Main Board, but once I
5 moved to the Metal company, I don't think I went a single time."
6 So you're saying that you stopped going all together basically
7 and only attended if the meeting was in Banja Luka; correct?
8 A. No, it's not correct. You have two different kinds of
9 impression. First of all you said that I didn't attend meetings after
10 joining the metal company and then you said at first I did attend and
11 later I didn't. It is true that later I didn't. What does it mean
12 "later"? In 1994, 1995, or perhaps even earlier than that because I had
13 other commitments. However, at first and when you implied that "later"
14 means 2002 and 2003, that's not correct. But if you implied that "later"
15 is later, then it's correct.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I seek to tender these pages.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll add them.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND:
19 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you're trying to tell this Court through your
20 statement and testimony that you're familiar with the SDS. You tell the
21 OTP --
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. -- that you never attended meetings and you don't know how the
24 SDS Main Board functions. So you say one thing to one entity, i.e.,
25 Mr. Karadzic, for use in this court, and you tell another one to the OTP,
1 completely contradictory?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that's not correct. May I be
4 allowed to explain? You are trying to permutate my statements. It is
5 true that I was a member of the Main Board, and at the moment when I
6 provided a statement my memory had not been jogged. But if you're
7 implying that during the later part of my office I attended fewer
8 meetings, that's correct. However, if you're saying that at first I
9 didn't, then we're talking about a totally different thing. It is true
10 what I said then when my memory had not been jogged; however, once my
11 memory was jogged, then I realised that what I was saying was true and
12 that's why I continue claiming the same thing.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: One moment, Your Honour.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellencies. I'll try to
19 reduce the number of those questions to a minimum.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacevic, could you please tell us this:
22 When it comes to the Main Board, while the work of the party was frozen
23 between the month of March until February 1993, did the Main Board meet
24 at least once?
25 A. During that period when the work of the party was frozen, the
1 Main Board was never convened to meet.
2 Q. Thank you. It was suggested to you that you don't know what the
3 function of the Main Board are, and we can see here that you are
4 referring the Prosecutor to the Statute. Is it true that you didn't know
5 what the functions of the Main Board were?
6 A. I don't know whether I phrased my answer properly or not, but I
7 know what the functions of the Main Board were, what its tasks were. I
8 know it very well. I know what the Main Board was, how decisions were
9 made in a democratic way. Obviously my memory was eventually refreshed.
10 For a number of years I was part of the corporate world. I had never
11 been involved in politics before then.
12 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber which body adopts the party
13 platform or programme and when does that happen?
14 A. It happens at the Assembly meeting, and the Main Board is the
15 body that implements the Assembly's decision. The Main Board runs the
16 party between two Assembly meetings. The president of the party only
17 co-ordinates the work of the party, as I have already stated. It is the
18 Main Board that makes the decisions and so on and so forth and so on and
19 so forth, but this is all in the Statute.
20 Q. Thank you. Can the Main Board discuss the party programme at
21 every meeting and can it alter it before the Assembly session? Who is
22 allowed to change the programme of the party or the platform of the
24 A. Only the Assembly can do that.
25 Q. Thank you. Therefore, did you participate in the work of the
1 Assembly sessions that issued the programme?
2 A. Of course I did. I was also elected by the Assembly, and from
3 the very first moment I agreed with the programme of the Serbian
4 Democratic Party, which is why I accepted to take part in the elections.
5 Q. When were you appointed the CO of Metal?
6 A. When you look at the documents, you will see that it was on the
7 1st of June, 1992; however, I was still in charge of the municipality
8 because new president had not been elected. That's how things are
9 according to our statute, but if -- so if you look at the documents, it
10 would be on the 1st of June, but I was still in the position of the
11 president of the municipality.
12 Q. How often did the sessions of the Municipal Assembly take place?
13 A. I don't know exactly. I assume -- not only do I assume, I know
14 that it was once a month or twice in exceptional situations. I believe
15 that it was once a month. I'm not sure. I would say that those sessions
16 or those meetings took place once a month throughout that period of
17 four years.
18 Q. Thank you. While the War Presidency existed, how often did that
19 body meet?
20 A. It met more often because its work implied taking certain
21 actions, to deal with certain everyday problems. And for that reason its
22 meetings took place more often.
23 Q. Did you attend every meeting of the War Presidency once you moved
24 to Banja Luka?
25 A. Before I handed over my duties, I did.
1 Q. You were also asked about the document describing the special
2 status of the 34 people. Can you tell us, out of 1800 why only 34? What
3 drew everybody's attention to them?
4 A. If the Trial Chamber wants to understand me, I would like to say
5 that those 34 men had been previously known to the police. We didn't
6 want to take any action against them for misdemeanours to which they may
7 have reacted. We decided instead to place them under control. Believe
8 me - and I am sure that the Trial Chamber understands - that that
9 decision was very good, that its main purpose was to protect everybody,
10 and that every Muslim to the last is ready to confirm that.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now can we look at P2638. I
12 believe that's the number of the document that I would like to show to
13 the witness.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Who did the threat come from? You mentioned burials, the passage
16 of the troops, and so on and so forth.
17 A. It was our estimate, based on the information from various
18 services, that it was not from the authorities but from renegade soldiers
19 or people returning from the front lines of various people who were prone
20 to causing incidents. I don't know how to call these people before this
21 Trial Chamber. But in any case, the threat didn't come from the
22 authorities, either republic or municipal authorities, but from those
23 vagabonds that we were all afraid from, and we were afraid that they
24 might provoke an incident and that as a result of that somebody might get
1 Q. Can you tell us who the person under number 18 is?
2 A. Salih Nezirovic, father's name Kasim.
3 Q. It says here that somebody threw -- an explosion happened in
4 Cafe Charlie [phoen] whose owner was Salih Nezirovic, son of Kasim. Was
5 it justified for that person to be monitored or protected because he was
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, just a second.
8 Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
9 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I don't know what
10 document Mr. Karadzic is referring to when he's talking about the
11 explosion in the cafe. Could he inform us, please.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. This was a piece of
13 news aired on Radio Banja Luka. At least two names are mentioned,
14 Ismet Behonjic --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Beharic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ismet Beharic, somebody threw a
17 grenade on his house and at Charlie cafe whose owner was Salih Nezirovic,
18 where a grenade was also thrown resulting in an explosion.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, I told you about the
20 various newspapers and various pieces of news that were not correct.
21 About me, they said that I hid my son so he wouldn't join the army and he
22 was 9 or 10 at the time.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. How many times and on what occasions was a curfew
1 A. Mr. President, curfew was imposed only in times of unrest. And
2 when one group of Serb fighters got killed on the Vlasic front line, we
3 were afraid of incidents in town so we imposed a curfew to protect the
4 entire population, the Serbs and Muslims alike, to prevent a robbery and
5 murders and such, for everyone, the Serbs, the Muslims, and the few
6 Croats that we had.
7 Q. Thank you. And who was subject to the curfew when these men were
9 A. The entire population was subject to the curfew. Even policemen
10 and fighting men, the entire population of the municipality, regardless
11 of whether they were Muslim, Serb, or Croat.
12 Q. Thank you. In your statement, paragraph 30 --
13 JUDGE KWON: Let me ask you just simply, Mr. Witness,
14 Mr. Kovacevic, if your protection was to protect these individuals, you
15 could simply have said that these individuals are protected and it is
16 prohibited that the public attack these individuals.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how to explain this to
18 you. Of course some people were afraid. My next-door neighbour was a
19 Muslim, the headmaster of the school. Of course I communicated with
20 them. Of course we made arrangements and had understandings with each
21 other. I respected his opinion a great deal. He didn't move out
22 throughout the war. Of course we talked to the people among the Muslims
23 who had the greatest authority, and we were trying to deal with things to
24 see how to resolve it.
25 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now look at
2 25771, Serbian page 31, which was not translated well. I'll give you the
3 English page in a second. I cannot find the corresponding page in
4 English. Sorry, the English page is 31 and the Serbian page is 29.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Would you please read beginning with line 22 through line 28 so
7 that it can be interpreted properly.
8 JUDGE KWON: So I would like the interpreters to interpret
9 from -- directly from Mr. Kovacevic's testimony, not from the document.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let them ignore the
11 English version.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Please, aloud, and slowly.
14 A. "You see, we from -- we -- all the presidents of municipalities
15 were called on Mondays. Some came, some didn't, on Mondays. But we have
16 to distinguish, my municipality did not have the same problems like, for
17 instance, Sanski Most. My municipality to maintain peace and then" --
18 Q. Please, do not insert new sentences. Just read the passage as it
20 A. "My municipality to maintain peace. And over there, there are
21 other problems. I have no inter-ethnic problems. My neighbours, can I
22 just say this? My neighbours have been in the war" --
23 JUDGE KWON: Just read out the passage you were asked. We can't
25 MR. ROBINSON: He did read, but --
1 JUDGE KWON: He omitted then --
2 MR. ROBINSON: No, he read: "Can I just say this?"
3 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Please, start over, without inserting any new sentences, slowly,
6 beginning with line 22.
7 A. "You see, we from -- we all presidents of municipalities were
8 called on Mondays. Some came, some didn't, on Mondays. But we have to
9 distinguish. My municipality did not have the same problems like, for
10 instance, Sanski Most. My municipality to maintain peace, and over there
11 there are other problems. I have no inter-ethnic problems.
12 "My neighbours, can I just say this? My neighbours have been in
13 the war. I'll enumerate them. And stayed throughout the war. Some
14 people, individuals, would come and ask: What is this? We have to go.
15 They had great trust in me."
16 Q. Thank you. I think that's now interpreted properly if I followed
17 well. So you said you had no inter-ethnic problems in your municipality
18 and that the Muslims came to you asking: What's going on? Do we have to
19 go? And what would you tell them?
20 A. I would tell them that the Serb authorities of Republika Srpska
21 and I as a part of these authorities on the municipal level will do
22 everything to prevent any excesses, forced migration, moving out of
23 people, transfer, et cetera.
24 Q. In one paragraph of your statement you mention that some Muslims
25 came to you and made some statements. When was that and why did they
1 come to you?
2 A. You see, my next-door neighbour was Irfan Tataric. In the last
3 few months, he was organising a wedding for his son Muamer. He called me
4 to ask where to send the invitation. I said: I'm here in Celinac. I'll
5 come by and pick up my invitation. I took the invitation. I sat down
6 with him and had coffee with him. The entire discussion was precisely
7 about the same things that we are discussing today. We talked about the
8 forcible eviction of people that some terrorists had tried to effect; and
9 he said: Thank you, Mr. Kovacevic. We know that the Serb authorities of
10 Republika Srpska had done everything to protect us and you in your
11 position. I later attended the wedding and he thanked me and he made
12 that statement that I brought here.
13 Q. Did you say you -- he offered a statement?
14 A. He offered me that statement.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now show 1D09544.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: I object to the use of this statement with the
20 JUDGE KWON: Statement? What he's going to upload is a statement
21 of others?
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, before uploading this document, why could you
24 not ask the witness your question first?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I asked, Your Excellency, on
1 what occasion -- for what reason that Muslim offered him a statement, and
2 I referred to one statement on which the witness gave evidence orally,
3 evidence that was disputed by the Prosecution. I am not offering the
4 statement. I'm just trying to show how the authorities treated --
5 JUDGE KWON: So the document you are going to show the witness
6 was the statement this witness allegedly received from the individual he
7 referred to?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's a statement that is
9 signed and speaks to matters that the Prosecution disputed.
10 JUDGE KWON: Who shall I hear from first? Can I hear from you
11 first, Ms. Sutherland, on the point of objection.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, these are third party -- this one
13 in particular he -- is a third-party statement prepared for the purposes,
14 I would say, of these current proceedings. And under the Trial Chamber's
15 practice, these sorts of statements don't come in.
16 JUDGE KWON: That's the admissibility issue. So what's the point
17 of objecting to putting to the -- to the putting of this document to the
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, the witness has asked -- has been
20 asked the question about what the witness discussed with him. He's
21 answered it.
22 JUDGE KWON: So there is no need to refresh his memory.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: So the --
24 JUDGE KWON: Is that your point?
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, the statement shouldn't be allowed to be
1 used to bolster this witness's evidence.
2 JUDGE KWON: Bolstering, he confirmed already.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: But it's a third-party statement of another
4 witness that we can't cross-examine. Your ruling is that third-party
5 statements not prepared for the purposes of a current criminal proceeding
6 can be admitted.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we do not admit them.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: But this is a -- this is a --
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I'm not -- the accused didn't say that he was
10 tendering that document. He was going to put that document to the
11 witness, so asking questions about the statement, alleged statement. I
12 thought your objection was --
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Was --
14 JUDGE KWON: -- something like that in the circumstances the
15 witness confirmed everything, there is no need to refresh his memory, but
16 you are saying that if something is not admissible it's prohibited from
17 showing the document to the witness itself?
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, I'm saying that he's asked the witness the
19 questions about what the witness -- the third-party person is purported
20 to have said. The witness has answered that. He shouldn't be allowed to
21 use this third-party statement with the witness.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 Can you assist us, Mr. Robinson?
24 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, we discussed this, myself and
25 Dr. Karadzic, and I told him that my understanding of the Chamber's
1 practice was that third-party statements are admissible if they are --
2 but not those that are prepared for -- as for testimony because
3 Rule 92 bis would probably be lex specialis to that. And so he said that
4 he would, instead of trying to get the document -- have the document
5 admitted, simply elicit oral testimony from the witness about this -- the
6 fact that what he has been saying in court through his cross-examination
7 is supported by other information that he would like to bring to the
8 attention of the Court. So that's what Dr. Karadzic is trying to do, and
9 it's up to you whether you think that that violates the spirit of your
10 decision that would not admit the statement itself.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I will consult my colleagues.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE KWON: So I take it that's the statement of Tataric, Irfan
14 Tataric; correct?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellencies, yes. And
16 there's also one statement from Ismet Topic, but I'll deal with them in
17 just one -- with one or two sentences to see if it's -- if it's
18 consistent with the witness's experience.
19 JUDGE KWON: So he talked about -- the witness himself talked
20 about the event regarding Irfan Tataric at length from transcript page 83
21 to 84, and he confirmed that he offered the statement to the witness
22 himself. I don't see the need for you to put that document when it is
23 apparent that the Chamber is not going to admit it.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Then I'll ask the
25 question this way.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Were there some Toplic houses attacked and one Fikret Toplic was
4 A. Yes, that one man Fikret Toplic was killed.
5 Q. Thank you. I'll read to you now what Ismet Toplic told you, that
6 this was done by a group --
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: [Previous translation continues]...
8 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Overlapping speakers] --
10 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: Again, now Mr. Karadzic is going to another
13 exhibit -- another document that he put on his Rule 92 ter notification
14 to be used as an additional exhibit, and it's the same thing, it's a
15 third-party statement.
16 JUDGE KWON: Could you put your question first without referring
17 to document or evidence or statement? If you are putting something that
18 is written in other document, that's a leading question.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can you tell us whether this Fikret Toplic is related to
22 Ismet Toplic; and what did Ismet Toplic say to you or write about this
24 A. Of course they are related. I don't know exactly how or how
25 closely. All the Toplic family lives in one street. But almost all the
1 Muslims, including the Toplic family, still come up to me regularly to
2 this day, thanking me for the fact that the authorities had protected the
3 Muslims and they did not fare like some others did. And especially this
4 Toplic is a person I meet very often because he is a carpenter, I think,
5 and I see him rather often.
6 Q. And what did Bajro Jusic say about who was responsible, and what
7 was the attitude of the authorities and your personal attitude to these
9 A. It was a group of hooligans, homeless hooligans who were
10 responsible. They wanted to tarnish the entire municipality with its
11 authorities and all the Serbian people. Everybody knows that. This
12 Jusic, this Bajro Jusic has his own car repair shop where he works there
13 with his son, and when I take my car there we often reminisce and
14 remember these events. And he is among many others who thank me for the
15 fact that the republic authorities and the municipal authorities
16 suppressed these incidents.
17 Q. You mentioned that I intervened in the case of the
18 Bastezi village.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we show D102, please.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Do you see this document before you? Is that what you meant?
22 A. Of course. A lot of such documents came to the MUP, not only to
23 the MUP but to other offices too. Of course I meant this document and
24 there were many other similar ones. I know that you constantly wrote and
25 warned that we must protect the population, prevent looting, and it was
1 discussed at the Main Board. And all the people at the head of
2 municipalities implemented this and there were much fewer incidents in
3 those places.
4 Q. This is dated 19 August. You said that the prosecution
5 authorities conducted an on-site investigation immediately?
6 A. Yes, they did. The man was prosecuted and tried.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now show D1798.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. When did this happen, do you remember, this killing?
10 A. I cannot remember the date, but it was at the time of those
11 unfortunate incidents in the municipality. It was either before or
12 after, but it is that period, the summer.
13 Q. These names from this -- from this folder, do you know these
14 names? Do they ring a bell?
15 A. Yes, Sugic.
16 Q. Against --
17 A. I didn't understand, President.
18 Q. The injured party. Who's that?
19 A. The injured party is the Muslims and the perpetrator is a Serb.
20 We talked about them a moment ago. Of course they were sentenced to many
21 years in prison. For how long -- I mean, really. I see that the centre
22 of public security has all that information and, indeed, that's the way
23 it was.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Could you please say what the name of the investigating judge is?
3 And who is this person, number 3, ethnicity, this doctor, or rather, this
4 pathologist? Actually, who was the investigating judge?
5 A. Jefto Jankovic. It so happens that I know him personally, he's
6 a Serb. And number 3 is Nijaz Julum, he's a Muslim from -- well, I think
7 he's a Muslim.
8 Q. Sorry, please, the first three numbers, the on-site investigation
9 is attended by?
10 A. Vesna Mijovic [phoen], Oljaca --
11 Q. Srdjan?
12 A. Yes, Srdjan. Granulic Nijaz?
13 Q. Crnalic Halid?
14 A. Yes, Halid Crnalic. Yes, the letters are small, President, so --
15 yeah, cannot see.
16 Q. This pathologist, Halid, what is his ethnicity?
17 A. He's an expert of Muslim ethnicity.
18 Q. This exhibit has 44 pages and this is the only thing that I
19 wanted to deal with -- well, yes, all right. This is the 13th of August;
21 A. 13th of August, yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kovacevic, thank you for having come to testify.
23 I have no further questions.
24 A. Thank you too, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That concludes your evidence,
1 Mr. Kovacevic. On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for
2 your coming to The Hague to give it. You are free to go now.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE KWON: While -- before we hear the evidence of the next
5 witness, I'd like to deal with this matter now.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE KWON: It's about the Defence filing of today,
8 precautionary Rule 94 bis notice, Marko Sladojevic. The Chamber is
9 simply puzzled by this filing. So could you tell us what the Defence is
10 seeking through this submission?
11 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We're seeking to avoid any
12 objection at the time of Mr. Sladojevic's testimony on the basis of he's
13 offering expert testimony and that Rule 94 bis --
14 JUDGE KWON: Do you refer to his evidence as expert testimony?
15 MR. ROBINSON: No, we don't believe it is expert testimony.
16 JUDGE KWON: Aha, yes. I'm sorry, yes.
17 MR. ROBINSON: That's why it's called precautionary notice. We
18 did this once before with the testimony of Steven Joudry who was a
19 ballistics person talking about one incident in Sarajevo, but also gave
20 information beyond that of the facts that he observed. And we were
21 concerned that perhaps if Mr. Sladojevic's evidence is objected to on the
22 grounds that it's more properly considered expert evidence, then we
23 wanted to make sure that we had covered the base of having filed such a
24 notice. That's the purpose of doing so.
25 JUDGE KWON: I don't follow. What about the dead-line for 94 bis
1 application at all?
2 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, well, that applied to our first set of
3 witnesses, was the 27th of August. But Mr. Sladojevic was not
4 contemplated to be called as a witness until the new set of witnesses for
5 Count 1 --
6 JUDGE KWON: 27 August 2012.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Right. So Mr. Sladojevic was not on that list.
8 However, when you gave us the 25 additional hours, then we submitted a
9 new list pursuant to your instructions and Mr. Sladojevic was on the new
10 list. And therefore, that's when his expert notice came up.
11 JUDGE KWON: But you agree that he is not an expert witness?
12 MR. ROBINSON: That's our position, yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: Then what is he going to testify as a fact witness
14 or as a -- yes, what's the content of his testimony?
15 MR. ROBINSON: He's going to testify to the compilation of
16 statements made by Dr. Karadzic on different topics at different times
17 during the course of the time-period covered by the indictment. You'll
18 see in the notice that we analogised his testimony to that of
19 Jean-Rene Ruez or Dean Manning who amalgamated essentially bits and
20 pieces of information that had been admitted or not admitted during the
21 trial and presented the Chamber with a coherent picture of those events
22 and that's what Mr. Sladojevic has proposed to do for the Defence.
23 JUDGE KWON: I don't think it's appropriate to compare him to
24 Dean Manning or Jean-Rene Ruez. But separate from that, why do we need
25 to rely on Mr. Sladojevic to have compilation of Mr. Karadzic's speech or
1 et cetera?
2 MR. ROBINSON: Well, because this presents the speeches to the
3 Chamber in a way in which they could be more readily understood in their
4 context by both topic and chronologically. So you have bits and pieces
5 of his utterances in all kinds of forms, intercepted conversations,
6 Assembly sessions, documents admitted from the bar table, documents
7 admitted through witnesses, but it's a central part of our case,
8 especially with respect to Count 1, as to what Dr. Karadzic's mens rea
9 was and this is collecting in a coherent way for the Chamber all of those
10 things and presenting it so -- in a way that you could understand it and
11 apply it when you have to decide Count 1 and the other counts as to his
12 mens rea.
13 JUDGE KWON: Why not bar table motion, Mr. Robinson, for those
14 which are not in evidence? This study is nothing -- nothing more than a
15 bar table motion.
16 MR. ROBINSON: Well, getting the documents admitted into evidence
17 is another matter, but we think that the utility of the testimony and his
18 report is the way in which the materials are collected so that you could
19 see, for example, what did Dr. Karadzic say about allegations that there
20 was unlawful shellings in Sarajevo. And these are all over the record.
21 We have 9.000 exhibits in the case, but Mr. Sladojevic puts in maybe 2 or
22 3 pages what Dr. Karadzic said on that topic. It seems to me that's
23 useful for the Chamber.
24 JUDGE KWON: So he's going to make closing argument on behalf of
25 the Defence?
1 MR. ROBINSON: No much more so than Mr. Ruez or Mr. Manning made
2 their closing arguments on behalf of the Prosecutor by compiling
3 information that was largely already in evidence, but in a way which made
4 it understandable to the Chamber.
5 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to make any observation, Mr. Tieger?
6 MR. TIEGER: I think the Court seems well seized of this matter.
7 First of all, with or without the precautionary notice, we would never
8 have mistaken Mr. Sladojevic for an expert on this subject. Number two,
9 then I guess the next step is for me to call myself in rebuttal as a
10 witness in response to Mr. Sladojevic's submissions as a purported
11 witness. It's very clear, as the Court noted, that this is in the guise
12 of -- this is something painted as witness -- appropriate witness
13 testimony, which is obviously provided for in the form of a final brief
14 or closing submissions. That's precisely the purpose those mechanisms of
15 the trial process are to serve, and we should move forward toward those
16 as expeditiously as possible without the intervention of invented witness
18 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to add anything, Mr. Robinson?
19 MR. ROBINSON: Only, Mr. President, that I have still yet to hear
20 any distinction between what the Prosecution itself did in their case
21 and -- with Manning, with Jean-Rene Ruez, even Dorothea Hanson who
22 compiled all the Crisis Staff documents and put it into one document or
23 Christian Nielsen who compiled all of these other documents. So the
24 Prosecution was the one who presented a so-called closing argument
25 through their witnesses by compiling dispersed materials and having a
1 witness summarise them. So we would like to, at least with one witness,
2 do the same.
3 JUDGE KWON: Before hearing from the Prosecution, those were
4 recognised in their quality as expert witnesses, weren't they?
5 MR. ROBINSON: Not Mr. Ruez or Mr. Manning, no.
6 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes. I'm talking about Dorothea Hanson and
7 Christian Nielsen.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, although their expertise came through their
9 experience working for the Office of the Prosecutor. Mr. Sladojevic has
10 now been four, almost five years working for Dr. Karadzic's Defence team.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
12 MR. TIEGER: Well, I would -- I was going to say, Mr. President,
13 that that submission, with respect, is both simultaneously disingenuous
14 and rude. First of all, the Court itself already made the distinction
15 and indicated to Mr. Robinson that that was a specious decision.
16 Notwithstanding that, Mr. Robinson says to the Court: Well, I haven't
17 heard enough from you even though you've just expressed your position on
18 the subject.
19 As the Court has made clear, the expertise of Ms. Hanson,
20 Mr. Nielsen, and the other Prosecution witnesses was tested, was
21 announced, tested in full and over a long period of time. The backdrop
22 to the efforts of Mr. Ruez and Mr. Manning are well-known to the Court
23 and are markedly and visibly distinct from that of Mr. Sladojevic.
24 The -- I mean, we can begin with the fact that Mr. Sladojevic's role in
25 this proceeding, as I understand it, is in the matter of an advocate. So
1 the first question he'd have to -- I mean, he is not even in a position
2 to offer opinions about Mr. Karadzic contrary to the obligations he
3 assumes as the advocate. So he is, by virtue of his very position,
4 precluded from the very role that Mr. Robinson wants him to assume.
5 These are such markedly distinct categories that it's almost difficult to
6 discuss it, but I return to my initial observation which is that the
7 Court dismissed that purported distinction at the outset and yet
8 Mr. Robinson pretended not to hear and simply overrode the Court's
9 determination made at the very outset of this discussion. That's not
10 appropriate. It's, I might add, a reflection of a kind of persistence
11 that we've seen before that keeps matters before the Court when they
12 really have been disposed of. This matter should be disposed of quickly
13 because it is completely unfounded.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will give a ruling in due course,
16 probably tomorrow. But before we go on, at the end of that filing you
17 stated that Mr. Sladojevic is expected to testify at the end of February
18 or beginning of March. Did you mean to say Mr. Sladojevic is the last
19 witness for the Defence?
20 MR. ROBINSON: Before Dr. Karadzic, yes.
21 JUDGE KWON: But we -- the Chamber has informed of its
22 calculation that Defence case may close at the end of February.
23 MR. ROBINSON: Well, that's one of the reasons why we've put "end
24 of February" in that filing, but our own calculations - which may be
25 unduly optimistic in terms of the efficiency of Dr. Karadzic in
1 conducting his examination-in-chief and re-examination - but our own
2 calculations still holding out some hope that there will be some
3 witnesses in March.
4 JUDGE KWON: You said -- just Mr. Karadzic is going conduct his
5 examination-in-chief and re-examination. Could you be more specific.
6 MR. ROBINSON: I'm meaning that in between now and the end of our
7 case, we are urging Dr. Karadzic to be as brief as possible with these
8 witnesses so that we can conserve as much time and we can have as many
9 witnesses as possible. And if he does that, our calculations are that we
10 might be into March before we reach the testimony of Mr. Sladojevic and
11 Dr. Karadzic, who would be the last two witnesses.
12 JUDGE KWON: I wondered whether you were referring to the mode of
13 examination-in-chief with respect to Mr. Karadzic's testimony.
14 MR. ROBINSON: Actually, that is going to be -- was going to be
15 the subject of a filing we were going to make later in the week, but the
16 mode of examination-in-chief of Dr. Karadzic's testimony would be the
17 narrative mode as far as we're proposing. I might indicate, we had
18 originally planned on 32 hours of examination for Dr. Karadzic, which we
19 were going to ask the Chamber for permission for me to ask him questions.
20 And as the case progressed and we saw that the number of hours we had
21 didn't seem to be adequate, we looked for ways in which we could reduce
22 that and decided that we could cut it in half by having him testify in
23 the narrative form. And so we were going to ask the Chamber or propose
24 that he testify in the narrative form, and therefore we have now
25 allocated 16 hours to his testimony.
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll leave it at that.
2 Shall we bring in the next witness.
3 We'll start Mr. Stakic's evidence, but tomorrow we'll begin with
4 Mr. Beara.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: That's the arrangement.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, that is the arrangement we've made. Thank
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours, and all
12 those who are present.
13 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
14 and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: MILOMIR STAKIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Stakic. Please be seated. And make
18 yourself comfortable.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE KWON: Could the counsel assisting Mr. Stakic introduce
21 himself for the record.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. My
23 name is John Ostojic. I'm here on behalf of Mr. Milomir Stakic.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
25 Mr. Stakic, although I take it you know this very well, but
1 before you commence your evidence I must draw your attention to a certain
2 rule of evidence that we have here at the international Tribunal, that
3 is, Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you may object to answering any
4 question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor, or even from the Judges if
5 you believe that your answer incriminates you in a criminal offence. In
6 this context, "incriminate" means saying something that would amount to
7 an admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that
8 might provide evidence that might indicate that you have committed a
9 criminal offence. However, should you think that an answer might
10 incriminate you and, as a consequence, you refuse to answer the question,
11 I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to compel you to
12 answer the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal would ensure
13 that your testimony compelled under such circumstances would not be used
14 in any case that might be laid against you for any offence, save and
15 except the offence of giving false testimony.
16 Do you understand that, Mr. Stakic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Dr. Stakic.
23 A. Good day, Dr. Karadzic.
24 Q. Please, let us pause, both you and I, and let us speak slowly so
25 that everything would be recorded in the transcript.
1 Did you give my Defence team a statement?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have in e-court
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. On the screen before you, do you see the first page of that
9 A. Yes, I see it.
10 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed that statement?
11 A. Yes. I read it and I signed it.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see the last page so that
14 Dr. Stakic could identify his signature.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is this your signature?
17 A. Yes, that is my signature.
18 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully convey what you stated
19 to the Defence team?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today, the
22 same as those that were put to you by my team, would your answers
23 basically be the same as those contained in this statement?
24 A. Just one small remark in relation to 24 and 32, those two
25 paragraphs. My lawyer drew my attention to that. I agree with what is
1 written in the Serbian language; however, my lawyer, who speaks English,
2 drew my attention to two things in these two paragraphs. In his view,
3 the translation not very good.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could paragraph 24 please be
6 displayed both in English and in Serbian.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you help us, Dr. Stakic, this paragraph, 24 --
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, we haven't got it in
10 English. Could we have paragraph 24 in English? Yes, now we have it.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Could you please help us with this. What is correct in Serbian
13 and incorrect in English?
14 A. The third sentence in the third line:
15 "Simo Drljaca did that and that is the only thing I know with
16 regard to Omarska."
17 And in English it says only "intelligence." My lawyer told me
18 that that would better be translated by using a different word because
19 this is my information. It's not that I had some kind of service through
20 which I got some kind of special information. Do you see what I'm
22 Q. So "my knowledge" or "my information" would be better?
23 A. I'm sorry. I think that -- well, could the professional
24 interpreters here please say what they've got to say because I don't
25 really understand English. It is quite possible that it's that word, but
1 I cannot say.
2 Q. [In English] I know -- [Interpretation] I know, that's what they
3 said. [In English] "Simo Drljaca did that and that is the only thing I
4 know with regard to Omarska ..."
5 [Interpretation] Are you satisfied with that now, the only thing
6 that you knew?
7 A. Yes, that I had information about. Also, the same thing is
8 repeated two sentences further down. This resounded in Prijedor and then
9 my sentence says:
10 "According to what I know or according to my knowledge ..." and
11 again the word "intelligence" is used here, "according to my
12 intelligence ..."
13 Q. Yes, could this please be taken into account, could it be
14 corrected. So what else did you say, paragraph 32?
15 A. 32, yes, very briefly. In the first sentence. I'm sorry. Could
16 you please have both the English version and this version of paragraph 32
18 "I first met Dr. Karadzic in mid-1991 when we had certain
19 problems in our party in Prijedor ..."
20 Whereas here it says --
21 Q. "Our station."
22 A. "Station," yes, that's what my lawyer told me and my lawyer said
23 that this is not a good translation. Again, I would like to ask the
24 interpreters here to ...
25 Q. So it would be in "our party"?
1 A. In our political party, the local one in Prijedor.
2 Q. Thank you. Bearing all of that in mind, is the statement correct
3 now and will your answers to my questions, the same questions, be the
4 same as those contained in the statement?
5 A. Yes, provided that these corrections are made. I repeat, they
6 would be the same, yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, I would like to
9 tender this statement according to Rule 92 bis.
10 JUDGE KWON: And about the associated exhibits, Mr. Robinson?
11 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We're offering ten associated
12 exhibits. One of them on our list has already been admitted and that is
13 number 14663, which is P3535.
14 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Gustafson?
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honours, I note 65 ter 17930, referenced at
16 paragraph 20, that is also in evidence. It's the first few pages of
17 Exhibit P3536. And with regard to 1D09763, referenced at paragraph 28,
18 this is a 405-page document and as of the first thing this morning there
19 was no translation uploaded. In the last few hours we've had a partial
20 translation uploaded. There are 12 English pages now which appear to
21 correspond to pages 1 through 9 and page 399 of this exhibit. So we now
22 have translated a total of ten pages of this 400-plus-page document
23 and --
24 JUDGE KWON: I thought it was translation of the format, but it
25 is not the case?
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: No, the -- it's a complete translation of the
2 contents of the document, but only ten pages of it. So the translation
3 is incomplete, whereas the -- but the witness's comments on the document,
4 it's clear he was shown the entire document, his comments appear to
5 relate to the entire document. So in our submission, if Dr. Karadzic
6 wishes to rely on this he should lead it live and it should be MFI'd in
7 accordance with the normal procedure. Thank you. And apart from that,
8 no other objections.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, with respect to that document
10 1D9763, unfortunately we had some problems. The first one was that the
11 translation section refused to translate the entire document, and so we
12 don't have any objections to your MFI-ing it and directing them to
13 translate the rest of it. The other --
14 JUDGE KWON: By the way, we have already admitted part of it as
15 MFI P6501. I'm not sure why it is P exhibit. First -- I think first
16 page and page 62 have been admitted, marked for identification. But why
17 do we need entire document?
18 MR. ROBINSON: Well, as you can see from the statement, the point
19 is to show that there were Muslims being treated throughout the period in
20 the hospital. So the document can speak to that, but if you would like
21 us to select other pages from that document we can do that. But it
22 doesn't seem like there's any harm to having the entire document admitted
23 since his evidence refers to the document as a whole.
24 JUDGE KWON: And with respect to 1D9765 and 6 referred to in
25 para 28, I'd like to draw the attention of the parties to para -- the
1 languages used in para 28, the last sentence. I would like to note that
2 the fact they were relieved of duties does not mean that their employment
3 was terminated. Besides, these two documents show that those two persons
4 were dismissed from duty in August 1992. So I'm not clear whether this
5 witness is qualifying the meaning of these documents in his statement, so
6 I'd like the accused to lead live with this -- with respect to these
7 documents -- two documents.
8 And so otherwise, we'll admit all the exhibits -- associated
9 exhibits, and in particular with respect to 1D9763, we'll mark it --
10 we'll -- shall we add it to the Prosecution exhibit or shall we admit it
11 as a separate exhibit?
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: I think probably as a separate exhibit. My
13 recollection from the previous use that it was just a reference to one
14 particular page for a particular person. And so this -- since it's
15 the -- the whole document is now going in for a different purpose, I
16 think -- through a Defence witness, it should be given a new number.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll mark it for identification as a separate
18 Defence exhibit. The exhibit numbers will be assigned in due course by
19 the Registrar.
20 Apologies for the parties, but the Chamber should rise
22 So, Mr. Stakic, we'll continue tomorrow sometime in the morning
23 after we will have finished Mr. Beara's evidence. I take it that has
24 been conveyed to the witness and his counsel?
25 Yes, Mr. Ostojic will stay on --
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 The hearing is adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.46 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 17th day of
6 December, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.