1 Thursday, 16 January 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
6 I wish everyone a very good -- a very happy and healthy new year.
7 The Chamber has a number of pending matters it wishes to deal
8 with orally before starting with the testimony of the witnesses scheduled
9 for today.
10 The Chamber would first note that the Tribunal shall be closed
11 for operations on the 24th and 25th of March due to the holding of the
12 Nuclear Security Summit at the World Forum. While the Chamber expects
13 the Defence case to be completed by then, in the event that it is not,
14 any hearing scheduled for these two days would have to be rescheduled.
15 Next, On the 14th of January, 2014, the Chamber was notified of
16 an e-mail of the same day sent to its legal staff by the accused's legal
17 advisor communicating a request from Predrag Banovic, a prospective
18 witness to be called by the Defence at the end of January, for the
19 assignment of counsel for the purposes of his testimony at the Tribunal.
20 The Prosecution indicated via e-mail of the same day that it did
21 not wish to respond. The Chamber has considered Article 5 of the
22 directive on the assignment of counsel, which provides for the assignment
23 of counsel to three categories of individuals: i.e., suspects, accused
24 persons, and any persons detained under the authority of the Tribunal.
25 Banovic was released in 2008 and is therefore no longer covered by
1 Article 5 of the directive. The Chamber sees no exceptional
2 circumstances warranting that the Chamber order the Registrar to assign
3 counsel to Banovic for the purpose of his testimony in these proceedings.
4 The Chamber now turns to the accused's motion for advance notice
5 of questions to be posed to Colonel Ljubisa Beara filed on the
6 23rd of December, 2013 wherein the accused requests that the Chamber
7 order the Prosecution, pursuant to Rule 54 and 73, to provide advance
8 written notice of the questions it intends to put to Ljubisa Beara during
9 its cross-examination scheduled for 22nd January of 2014.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE KWON: The accused submits that the given Bera's special
12 circumstances as an appellant in Tribunal proceedings, who is being
13 subpoenaed to testify in this case, this would serve to ensure that his
14 rights are safe-guarded. The Prosecution responded on the
15 7th of January, 2014, opposing the motion. The Prosecution contends that
16 the motion amounts to a subversion of the truth-seeking process, has no
17 basis in the Rules, and would be inconsistent with the practice applied
18 in this trial.
19 During cross-examination, Bera will be assisted by counsel who is
20 fully acquainted of the charges against Beara and his case on appeal. As
21 he did during examination-in-chief, counsel for Beara will be in a
22 position to object if it deems that a particular question put to Beara
23 may incriminate him. As it did on direct, the Chamber will consider that
24 objection and render its ruling. The Chamber, therefore, sees no reason
25 to grant the motion and request that the Prosecution submit its questions
1 in advance of testimony. The Chamber also recalls that now that Beara's
2 testimony has started and he has taken the oath, he may no longer discuss
3 the contents of his testimony with anyone. He would therefore not be in
4 position to consult his counsel on the substance of the questions
5 communicated by the Prosecution which would consequently not serve the
6 purpose put forth by the accused.
7 The motion is therefore denied.
8 The Chamber will now turn to the accused's request for order to
9 commander of the UN Detention Unit filed on the 8th of January, 2014, in
10 which the accused requests that the Chamber direct the UNDU commander to
11 provide a report on the behaviour of the accused since his arrival at the
12 UNDU at 2008. The UNDU commander has previously informed the accused
13 that he would not provide such a report unless ordered by the Chamber.
14 On the 9th of January, 2014, the Prosecution indicated via e-mail that it
15 did not wish to respond to the request. Given that the accused intends
16 to use this report for the purpose of sentencing submissions, the Chamber
17 hereby grants the request and orders that the UNDU commander provide the
18 accused with a report of his behaviour since his arrival at the UNDU in
19 2008 as soon as practicable, and in any event, by no later than
20 28th of February, 2014.
21 Finally, the Chamber would like to receive expedited responses to
22 motions related to Mladic's testimony in this case. First, both the
23 accused and the Prosecution should respond to Mladic's urgent motion for
24 reconsideration of decisions -- decision on motion for certification to
25 appeal filed on the 14th of January, 2014, before Friday, 17th January,
1 close of business.
2 And, second, the accused should respond to the urgent Prosecution
3 motion for reconsideration of decision on Mladic request for
4 certification to appeal subpoena decision filed on the
5 15th of January 2014, also no later than Friday, 17 January, close of
7 That said, unless there's anything further, we'll bring in the
8 next witness.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, while we bring in the witness, I
10 can just advise the Chamber that this morning we did file our responses
11 to those two motions concerning General Mladic.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: VINKO NIKOLIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Please be seated and make
20 yourself comfortable.
21 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Nikolic, I must draw your
22 attention to a certain Rule of evidence that we have here at the
23 international Tribunal. That is, Rule 90(E). Under this Rule, you may
24 object to answering any questions from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor, or
25 even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
1 you in a criminal offence. In this context, incriminate means saying
2 something that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
3 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
4 have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that an
5 answer might incriminate you and, as a consequence, you refuse to answer
6 the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to
7 compel you to answer the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal
8 would ensure that your testimony compelled under such circumstances would
9 not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence
10 save and except the offence of giving false testimony.
11 Do you understand that, sir?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand that.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
16 Your Excellencies. Good morning to all.
17 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Nikolic. And I would like to
19 wish everyone a happy new year, and season's greetings.
20 A. Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Nikolic, did you give a statement to my Defence team?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Please, let us pause between my questions and your answers so
24 that we would have a proper transcript.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please call up in e-court
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Please, take a look on the left-hand side of the screen. Can you
4 see that statement of yours?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the last page please be
10 displayed with Mr. Nikolic's signature.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Is that your signature?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. This statement, does it faithfully reflect what you
15 said to the Defence team, exactly as you had put it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today,
18 would your answers basically be the same as those contained in this
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this Rule --
23 this statement into evidence according to Rule 92 ter.
24 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objection, Ms. McKenna?
25 MS. McKENNA: No objection, Your Honour. Although the
1 Prosecution does note that this statement contains multiple leading
2 questions; for example, questions 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 24.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We'll receive it.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4214, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I'm going to read
7 out in the English language a brief summary of Mr. Vinko Nikolic's
9 [In English] Vinko Nikolic lived in Sanski Most when the war
10 broke out in BH. For a time he was a member of the Sanski Most
11 Crisis Staff.
12 Before the beginning of the war, the Muslims were arming
13 themselves especially in those villages where they formed a majority of
14 the population. The first incident in Sanski Most was the killing of a
15 Serb, Predrag Dobrijevic, a member of the 6th Sana Brigade. The next
16 incident was at the check-point set up by Muslim residents of the village
17 of Trnova. The Muslim extremists stopped two civilian policemen who were
18 on regular patrol and disarmed them.
19 The crisis in Sanski Most arose primarily because of the breakup
20 of the former SFRY. After the breakup of the SFRY and the secession of
21 Slovenia and Croatia, some of the young, demobilised soldiers and columns
22 of soldiers, the JNA vehicles passed through the municipality of
23 Sanski Most. They did not provoke anyone, as they passed through without
24 weapons, but these innocent soldiers were still called Chetnik murders
25 and other insulting names.
1 In order to preserve the peace and avert the conflict, the
2 representatives of the Serbian authorities offered a division of the
3 municipality of Sanski Most into two parts, two municipalities. The
4 Muslims did not accept the offer and instead opted for the conflict and
5 war. The Serbian political leadership and the leadership of the
6 Sanski Most public security station offered the all Muslim and Croatian
7 professional policemen a chance to remain in the police force. Only one
8 policeman of Croatian ethnicity accepted while all the others tried to
9 set up a Muslim police station in the Sanski Most municipality, occupying
10 the Sanski Most municipality building. Since they ignored the ultimatum
11 to leave the building and surrender their weapons, the Serbian police
12 disarmed them and liberated the building.
13 Since the Muslim side did not accept the proposal for a peaceful
14 solution to the crisis and clearly wanted complete control over
15 Sanski Most, there were major incidents that night caused by individuals
16 and groups. These people used this period of chaos for their own ends.
17 On 25th of March 1992, the Serbian municipality of Sanski Most
18 was proclaimed, but all citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, were
19 allowed to remain in their jobs if they respected the constitution of the
20 Republika Srpska BH. From 1992 to 1995, more than 8.000 Muslims
21 continued to live in Sanski Most municipality.
22 After the first incidents and as the situation deteriorated, most
23 of the Muslim population, probably on the instruction of their own
24 political party, moved out their families along before -- before
25 March 1992. Before the fighting started, some of the Muslim families
1 sent their children to places in BH which had Muslim majority, or to
2 Croatia or Slovenia.
3 When people decided voluntarily to leave, the Red Cross and the
4 Civilian Protection had an obligation to help them to do that. They
5 secured the convoys and tried to ensure that there were no incidents.
6 The Sanski Most Crisis Staff issued an order that all property was to be
7 looked after and temporarily allocated as needed to the Serbian refugees.
8 Anyone who had broken the law, possessed weapons, threatened the
9 safety of citizens and did not respect the Republika Srpska constitution
10 had no right to work in the municipality. These people had to answer for
11 their actions and their proceedings, and taking of statements was mainly
12 done by members of the civilian and military police. The investigation
13 centres were used to question them. The officials of the military and
14 civilian police forces performed their duties in the best possible
15 professional manner. No one was allowed to mistreat or beat the people
16 from whom the statements were taken. On one occasion, a policeman was
17 caught mistreating a Muslim and immediately removed from the
18 investigation duty.
19 The political leadership tried to protect all civilians of
20 Sanski Most who had not broken the constitution or the laws. The
21 civilian authorities, the civilian police and the army did not plan,
22 instigate, or order the permanent removal of the Bosnian Muslims from the
23 area, as it is shown by the large number of -- who continued to live in
24 Sanski Most right up until 1995.
25 And that is the summary of statement. And at that moment, I do
1 not have additional questions for Mr. Nikolic.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 Mr. Nikolic, as you have noted, your evidence in-chief in this
4 case has been admitted in writing. That is, through your written
5 statement. And now you'll be cross-examined by the representative of the
6 Office of the Prosecutor.
7 Do you understand that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand that.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
10 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. McKenna:
12 Q. Mr. Nikolic, in your statement, you explain that you were for a
13 time a member of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff and you were also a member
14 of the SOS, or the Serbian Defence Forces. I'd just like to clarify
15 various roles.
16 So it's true, isn't it, that you were a member of the
17 Crisis Staff from its creation on the 14th of April, 1992?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P3329.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Nikolic, while this is coming up this is the diary of
21 Nedjeljko Rasula, who you will recall was the Crisis Staff president.
22 That's correct, isn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you recall that on the 14th of April, an extended session
25 of the Municipal Board of the SDS was held in the Serbian Orthodox
2 A. No, I don't remember that.
3 Q. Just look at notes of this meeting.
4 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see page 11 of the English and page
5 10 of the B/C/S.
6 Q. This may refresh your recollection. And I'm interested in the
7 section which states:
8 "Course of action in taking over power and establishing the
9 Serbian municipality of Sanski Most?"
10 And a little further down it says:
11 "14 April 1992 a session of the Municipal Board of the
12 Serbian Democratic Party with increased attendance was held and the
13 following decided..."
14 MS. McKENNA: And if we could move to the next page in the
15 English, please.
16 Q. If we look at item 4 it states:
17 "The Crisis Staff, consisting of the following members, shall be
18 in charge of all actions?"
19 And the last name in this list of members is Zvonko Nikolic. Now
20 that should be a reference to you Vinko Nikolic; isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes, I'm Vinko Nikolic.
22 Q. This reference -- just to be clear, this reference in
23 Mr. Rasula's diary relates to you, Vinko Nikolic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, at this meeting, you were appointed as the SOS
1 representative on the Crisis Staff, weren't you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And then at a later meeting, on the 30th of May, 1992, you were
4 formally appointed a Crisis Staff member, and you were the member of the
5 Crisis Staff in charge of vehicles. That's correct, isn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then as of 18th of June, you were no longer a permanent
8 member of the Crisis Staff but, rather, you were appointed a commissioner
9 for transport. That's correct, isn't it?
10 A. No.
11 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P3666.
12 Q. And, Mr. Nikolic, you'll see that these are the conclusions from
13 the Crisis Staff meeting of 18th of June, and it states that the -- it
14 lists the permanent members of the Crisis Staff, beginning with
15 Mladen Lukic, and then it lists the commissioners of the Crisis Staff.
16 And at number 3, you'll see your name, Vinko Nikolic, commission for
18 So does that refresh your recollection? You were appointed the
19 commissioner for transport?
20 A. No. Because sometime around the 1st of June, I belonged to the
21 6th Sana Brigade, and I was on the front line that entire month, together
22 with other SOS members.
23 Q. Thank you. And we'll come back to your activities during that
25 But just as a preliminary, the SOS worked together with the
1 Sanski Most Crisis Staff. That's true, isn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And prior to its subordination to the VRS, the SOS acted on
4 Crisis Staff instructions?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Well, the SOS worked together with the Crisis Staff in the
7 implementation of republic level and ARK level instructions from the SDS.
8 That's the truth, isn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 MS. McKENNA: And could we please see P3397.
11 Q. Mr. Nikolic, this is a report on the work and the activities of
12 the SOS acting as intervention platoon within the 6th Krajina Brigade
13 between the 1st of May and the 6th of September, 1992.
14 Do you recognise this document?
15 A. No, I've not seen it before.
16 MS. McKENNA: Could we go to the signature page, please, of this
17 document. It's the last page in both versions. And if we could focus on
18 the signatures in the B/C/S, please.
19 Q. Mr. Nikolic, do you recognise these signatures?
20 A. Yes. But this document was issued by the SOS, not by the
21 6th Sana Brigade. It is not a report by the 6th Sana Brigade but,
22 rather, by the SOS.
23 Q. Thank you for that clarification. And can you -- can you read
24 out the signatures of this document?
25 A. Dusan Savic, who was the commander of the SOS, that's one
1 signature; my signature; and also Cankovic's signature.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. McKENNA: And at this stage, I'm interested in a passage at
4 page 3 of the document in both the B/C/S and the English versions.
5 And it's the third paragraph down in the English and at the very
6 bottom of the page in the B/C/S, and it states:
7 "Remember the meeting we had on the premises of the Serbian
8 Orthodox church where we particularly warned about the slow
9 implementation of the conclusions reached by the Bosnia-Herzegovina SDS
10 and the Bosnian Krajina..."
11 Q. So my question, Mr. Nikolic, is: This is an example of the SDS
12 or, excuse me, the SOS encouraging the implementation of the conclusions
13 reached by the republic level SDS and the ARK level SDS, as you've
14 previously acknowledged?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now I'd like to turn to the events of the 19th of April and their
17 aftermath. In your response to question 9, you discuss how the Serbian
18 police force and the TO liberated the Sanski Most Municipal Assembly
19 building and in your response to question 29 you state that the
20 6th Krajina Brigade was not involved until the early hours of the
22 You will agree, will you, Mr. Nikolic, that this was a
23 significant military operation involving a large show of strength between
24 or -- or by the Serb TO, the SOS, and the JNA in and around Sanski Most
1 A. No. The JNA did not participate in the action to liberate the
3 Q. However, the JNA assisted you in the immediate aftermath of
4 that -- of that operation.
5 A. Yes. The JNA arrived and took over the facility and secured it.
6 They did everything to prevent chaos that night.
7 Q. Well, you said -- and that reflects what you said in your
8 statement in your answer to your question 15 where you say that
9 General Talic visited Sanski Most to see for himself the security
10 situation and to try and prevent conflict and to save all of Sanski Most
12 Now, General Talic visited Sanski Most the day after the
13 take-over on the 20th of April, didn't he?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And he met with SDA and HDZ representatives. Were you present at
16 that meeting?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Nikolic, there's evidence before the Trial Chamber that
19 at that meeting, General Talic told the Muslims not to ask for help or
20 otherwise they would have another Kupres, Bosanski Brod or Vukovar.
21 Now, this kind of threat to the Muslims and the Croats doesn't
22 suggest a desire on General Talic's part to protect all the citizens of
23 Sanski Most, does it?
24 A. I don't know what General Talic said to the Muslims, but I know
25 that an order was issued to the effect that the situation had to be at
1 peace at all costs in order to avoid any further skirmishes or fire being
2 opened, or things like that.
3 Q. Well, we'll come on to the skirmishes, but during this -- well,
4 you state in question 10 that after the liberation of the municipality
5 building, this period of chaos ensued in which roads were blocked and
6 telephone lines were down. Do you agree, however, that the Sanski Most
7 authorities continued to be in contact with the ARK authorities and the
8 republic level authorities?
9 A. I suppose so, probably.
10 Q. Now, you also state that in this period of chaos there was
11 looting, burning of houses, and other chaos before the authorities got
12 the situation under control. Now, we'll come back to the burning of
13 houses and the destruction of buildings. But it's true, isn't it, that
14 stealing was -- or looting, rather, was not the only stealing of goods
15 that was taking place, but there were also check-points set up by the
16 military police and the SOS confiscated goods and vehicles at these
17 check-point, didn't they?
18 A. The military police did set up check-points but the SOS could not
19 confiscate anything. We didn't have that much power.
20 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you personally were responsible for the
21 appropriation of trucks and other vehicles from a company called
22 Agrokomerc, which was headquartered in the Muslim controlled area of
23 Velika Kladusa; isn't that correct?
24 A. No. Those trucks were stopped by the Territorial Defence on the
25 highway that by-passed Sanski Most. An order from the Crisis Staff was
1 to place those trucks in a safe place which is why I received that order,
2 and we placed the trucks at the stadium of the Podumic [phoen] football
3 team, only a fence separated from the police station. That's where they
4 were safe, and that's how we prevented the stealing of the goods that
5 were on the trucks or the fuel that was in them.
6 Q. Let's look at a document relating to these trucks. That's
7 65 ter 25825.
8 You'll see that this is a letter from the Sanski Most SJB chief,
9 Mirko Vrucinic, to the president of the municipality enclosing a report
10 on the condition of the trucks seized from Agrokomerc.
11 MS. McKENNA: If we could go to page 2 in the English and the
13 Q. And the first paragraph states that a total of 29 vehicles were
14 seized as you've described. And it states that at the beginning of the
15 war, these vehicles were used for the transport of Agrokomerc vehicles to
16 Zenica, Zavidovici, and Sarajevo.
17 MS. McKENNA: Now if we could move to page 3 of the English and
18 the B/C/S. At the bottom of the page in the English, it states that:
19 "When they were seized they were parked -- all vehicles were
20 parked in the grounds of the Sip which was put in charge of guarding them
21 following an order of the Crisis Staff. Vinko Nikolic, a staff member,
22 was in charge of the vehicles on behalf of the Crisis Staff."
23 Q. So I ask you again, you personally were responsible for the use
24 and the distribution of these vehicles that were seized on behalf of the
25 Crisis Staff?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see page 4 in the English. It's
3 the same page on the B/C/S.
4 And this discusses the distribution of these vehicles. It states
5 that it was established that during that time trailer trucks were given
6 for use to the following entities and individuals. And it goes on to
7 list the 6th Brigade, a number of trucks, including two of the
8 refrigerated trailers and one with a tarpaulin, the corps command or
9 corps police, again, a truck with a refrigerated trailer, and the SOS
10 sabotage platoon, who was -- which was issued with a number of vehicles,
11 including one freight vehicle, with a semi-automatic gun mounted on top.
12 Q. So it's true, isn't it, that you distributed these vehicles to
13 the 6th Brigade, to the military police, and to the SOS?
14 A. Yes, on the order of the Crisis Staff.
15 Q. Now, the truck with the semi-automatic gun mounted on it, this
16 was used by the SOS in mop-up operations in Sanski Most; that's correct,
17 isn't it?
18 A. Only in the Vrhpolje and Hrustovo operations.
19 Q. And some of the trucks that you appropriated were also used to
20 transport Muslims out of the municipality; that's correct, isn't it?
21 A. Yes. Since there were no other vehicles, we took the vehicles
22 that were more suitable to transport people to Manjaca than the old ones
23 that we had.
24 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, I'd like to tender this document.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive it.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6554, Your Honours.
2 MS. McKENNA:
3 Q. Now moving to a different topic, Mr. Nikolic. After -- in your
4 response to question 12, you state that all citizens of Sanski Most,
5 regardless of their ethnicity, were allowed to remain in their jobs if
6 they respected the constitution of the Republika Srpska. But it's true,
7 isn't it, that even before the Serb take-over of the municipality
8 non-Serbs were being removed from their jobs. And, in fact, on the
9 28th of February, the SOS, your group, together with the SDS president
10 Vlado Vrkic, forcibly removed the Croatian director of the SDK, that's
11 the public auditing service; that's true, isn't it?
12 A. That was not forcibly. That was pursuant to an agreement with
13 that lady who was a director. She was getting on. She was married to a
14 Serb. And together with the president of the party, two or three of us
15 wanted to take the keys of the strongholds, and they were kept by the
16 three people who worked in the SDK. We went to fetch those keys and to
17 bring them to the SDK building.
18 MS. McKENNA: Could we see P3397 again. And I'm interested this
19 time in page 4 of the English and page 5 of the B/C/S.
20 Q. And if we look towards the second half of the last paragraph in
21 the English, and again it's towards the bottom of the page in the B/C/S
22 also. It states in your document that you signed:
23 "We must also mention how we resolved a previous problem of the
25 And it continues:
1 "Despite Alija's police, they weren't all Alijas but that's what
2 we now call them, so you Serbs won't hold it against me. We, fellow
3 Serbs, carried out a raid on the Sanski Most SDK, took away the keys from
4 the stubborn Croatian woman-director who refused any form of co-operation
5 or agreement, and continued according to plan."
6 So it's not true, is it, as you've just told this Court that this
7 was pursuant to the agreement of the Croatian director. According to
8 your own document, Mr. Nikolic, there was no agreement but, rather, you
9 took over the SDK by force?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Interpretation. We are having
11 problems with interpretation. The word that was used was "attack" where
12 it should have been "a forcible entry," so I'm not sure about the -- the
13 interpretation. Perhaps the word that should have been used is "raid" or
15 [In English] Original, third line from the bottom of this
16 paragraph, "upad."
17 JUDGE KWON: I take it the witness should have understood in
18 B/C/S correctly and then there should be no problem.
19 Can you answer the question?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can.
21 At that time, which was in the month of February, I believe, in
22 Sanski Most we had a joint police and joint authorities. The commander
23 of the police was a Muslim. We couldn't carry weapons without being
24 noticed by police officers of other ethnic groups and we could not stage
25 any raids without being reported. We couldn't do anything of that kind
1 by force.
2 JUDGE KWON: But before we go further, Ms. McKenna, if you could
3 ask the witness what this document was about. This titled as -- entitled
4 as report, but it sounds like a speech.
5 Mr. Nikolic, can you help us?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was a report about the work of
7 the SOS in the months of January and February, as far as I can
8 understand. And this was drafted by the SOS commander, the late
9 Dusan Savic.
10 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, if you would like us to clarify as
11 we'll be referring to this document quite a bit, if we can go to the
12 first page, it's evident that it's a report on the activities of the SOS
13 between the 1st of May and the 16th of September, 1992. And as the
14 witness has previously confirmed, it was signed by Dusan Savic himself
15 and Goran Cankovic, all three of whom were the members of the SOS.
16 Q. Can you confirm that?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE KWON: And this report starts with this:
19 "Fellow Serbs, patriots, gentlemen..."
20 It looks like an address in a public gathering.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This is a form of address.
22 This is the usual form of address for this kind of document, and it
23 refers to anybody who is going to read it.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the transcript, line 17, I'm not
25 sure whether Madam McKenna said that that pertained to May 1991. It's
1 September 1992. Either she omitted to say so or the transcript did not
2 reflect her words. This refers to a period starting with May 1991.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. From -- between May 1991 and September 1992.
4 I leave it there. Please continue, Ms. McKenna.
5 MS. McKENNA: I'm grateful, Your Honour.
6 Q. Let's turn to discuss the dismissals which took place after the
7 events of 19th of April.
8 MS. McKENNA: And could we please see P3400.
9 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, I'm sorry.
10 Take a look at the first paragraph here. I'm not sure if it's
11 legible on your part. The first paragraph, following, "Fellow Serbs,
12 patriots, gentlemen," the first paragraph says:
13 "You have chosen a bad time to argue and separate - do not look
14 for a culprit where there isn't one."
15 Who was "you" there?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I can't see ...
17 JUDGE KWON: Well, I'll leave it there again.
18 Please continue, Ms. McKenna.
19 MS. McKENNA: Thank you.
20 Q. We'll come back to this document, Mr. Nikolic, but I'd like it
21 look at another document, which is P3400.
22 And this, as you'll see are -- these are conclusions from a
23 meeting of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality of Sanski Most
24 held on the 24th of April, 1992.
25 At the bottom of the page, at number 8, it states:
1 "Mladen Lukic, Vinko, and Boro are tasked with preparing the
2 appointment of the acting director of the health centre in Sanski Most."
3 Now, this Vinko, this is a reference to you, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And this position had formerly been held by a Muslim; that's
6 correct, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you and your colleagues filled this position -- filled it
9 with a Serb within a matter of days; that's correct, isn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, let's look at another meeting, which is P3649.
12 These are conclusions of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff, the
13 meeting held on the 29th of April, 1992. And the first conclusion is
15 "Changes be made and all officials at the municipal court of the
16 Serbian municipality of Sanski Most be appointed as acting official
17 (Vrkes, Vrucinic and Nikolic are in charge of this)."
18 Again, this is a reference to you, isn't it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now there's evidence before the Trial Chamber that this resulted
21 in the replacement of all non-Serbs in the court, including
22 Judge Nedzad Muhic, Azra Ubegovic [phoen], and Adil Draganovic. That's
23 true, isn't it, they were all replaced?
24 A. We just replaced the president of the court, Mr. Draganovic. And
25 he, because he was a member of the SDA party, was a nationalist,
1 according to the evidence we had; whereas, the other judges probably left
2 after he was dismissed from the service, of their own will.
3 Q. One of these judges who you claim left of their own will,
4 Mr. Nikolic, Judge Nedzad Muhic, he was one of the victims who suffocated
5 to death en route to Manjaca camp, one of those people who you term
7 Were you aware of that?
8 A. I did not call him a suspect. I said that only about the
9 president of the court.
10 Q. Mr. Nikolic, in your statement, when you're discussing the group
11 of people who suffocated to death en route to Manjaca camp, you said that
12 they were all suspects. There's evidence before this Trial Chamber that
13 one of these people was Judge Nedzad Muhic, one of the judges that you
14 assisted in replacing with a Serb. That's the truth, isn't it?
15 A. It's true we replaced only the president of the court. And as
16 far as Nedzad is concerned, it was probably the police, because the
17 police starts investigations of people who had weapons. And they must
18 have accused him of that act.
19 Q. Now these people who suffocated to death during their transport
20 to Manjaca, you say they suffocated due to the great heat and the lack of
21 oxygen. That lack of oxygen was because they were being crammed into
22 trucks with no ventilation, wasn't it?
23 A. Yes. The trucks and the security were probably not ready for a
24 transport of that kind.
25 Q. And these were the trucks that you had distributed?
1 A. Not only those trucks. There were both buses and trucks in the
3 Q. Trucks for which you were responsible as the member of the
4 Crisis Staff responsible for vehicles; that's correct, isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE KWON: Could you tell us the paragraph number of his
7 statement wherein he stated about the suffocation.
8 MS. McKENNA: It is paragraph 23.
9 JUDGE KWON: Probably I have an old version. Please go --
10 MS. McKENNA: Perhaps it's paragraph 21 in the old version.
11 There were a number of changes to the paragraph numbers.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yeah. I -- thank you.
13 MS. McKENNA:
14 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I'd like to turn our focus to the SOS operations.
15 Now, in response to question 28, you state that the SOS were not armed
16 until April 1992.
17 If we could go back to P3397, which is your report on the SOS
19 And I'd like to see pages 2 of the English and the B/C/S of this
20 report, please.
21 And it's the last paragraph in the B/C/S, and the fourth
22 paragraph down in the English. And you're discussing in this report how
23 the SOS kept the peace from May 1991, and you continue:
24 "These young men, I'm thinking of the seven lads who tirelessly
25 brought weapons from various warehouses and points and armed the Serbian
1 people, risking that the weapons fall into the hands of Ustashas and
2 Green Berets ..."
3 So, in fact, Mr. Nikolic, the truth is that the SOS helped arm
4 the Serbian people in Sanski Most before the crisis -- before the
5 conflict broke out?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you talk -- excuse me. You talk in your statement about the
8 chaos in Sanski Most. But it's true, isn't it, that the SOS was heavily
9 involved in creating that chaos?
10 A. No.
11 Q. It's true, isn't it, Mr. Nikolic, that the SOS blew up buildings
12 owned by Muslims and Croats in order to intimidate the non-Serb
14 A. That's not true. That was done by people who had explosives.
15 And the only people who could have done that were the fighting men from
16 the 6th Sana Brigade who were coming there on leave. Members of the SOS
17 were detained by the police several times, and it was never proven that
18 they had done that.
19 Q. Let's look at the next page in the B/C/S and it's on the same
20 page in the English. And it's in the second last paragraph in the
21 English. And in the middle of the second paragraph in the B/C/S,
22 Mr. Nikolic, you state:
23 "Blowing up buildings was not in anyone's interest but we could
24 not crush the Ustasha and Green Berets any other way."
25 So it's true, isn't it, that the SOS was involved in the blowing
1 up of buildings?
2 A. That's not right in that context. It's different. Because we
3 were there to keep the peace to prevent chaos from breaking out. And
4 some individuals, taking advantage, probably did things like this.
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic, there's evidence before this Trial Chamber of SOS
6 bombings of Muslim and Croat-owned buildings in 1991 and early 1992,
7 including law offices and cafe bars.
8 So it's not true that the SOS was there to keep the peace. The
9 SOS, the pre-war role of the SOS, was to create havoc, to raise tensions,
10 and to intimidate the non-Serb population of Sanski Most. That's the
11 truth, isn't it?
12 A. I don't agree with you.
13 Q. Well, do you agree that the SOS assisted the SJB in taking
14 Muslims and Croats into custody?
15 A. That was only in the time after the Serbian take-over in
16 Sanski Most.
17 Q. All right. Well, let's discuss that time.
18 In your response to question 30, you discuss the attacks on
19 Bosnian Muslim neighbourhoods and villages in the municipality,
20 including, in Mahala Hrustovo and Vrhpolje in which the SOS participated.
21 And I'd like to direct your attention to page 5 of the English and page 5
22 of the B/C/S of this document, please.
23 It's very at the bottom of this page in the B/C/S and continues
24 on to the next page, is a discussion of these operations that you mention
25 in paragraph -- or at -- you deal with in response to question 30.
1 And the document states:
2 "After that, one combat action followed another, mopping up in
3 Trnova, Mahala, Hrustovo, Vrhpolje (twice) and Marini. We caught seven
4 extremist Ustashas, the corridor, 20 days, constant patrols around town."
5 And you continue with a list of mopping up and clearing of the
6 terrain of the last Ustasha and Green Berets?
7 Now in response to question 28 you state that all -- from
8 mid-May, all of the members of the SOS were placed under the command of
9 the VRS. It's correct, is it, that during these mopping-up operations
10 which we've just mentioned, the SOS was subordinated to the 6th Brigade?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you state that the operations were not planned in advance,
13 and that during the attack on Mahala residents were evacuated to the
14 sports hall in order to avoid civilian casualties. And that's in
15 response to question 30 and question 31.
16 In fact, Mr. Nikolic, there's evidence before the Trial Chamber
17 that these operations were part of a planned, co-ordinated effort to
18 attack those villages and neighbourhoods. And in this regard, I'd like
19 to look at P3313.
20 And this, you'll see, is the order from TO commander
21 Nedeljko Anicic, and if you focus on number 4 which is -- item number 4
22 which is on page 2 of the B/C/S and at the bottom, and page 2 of the
23 English as well. Anicic says: "I have decided ..."
24 "After artillery preparations, disarm the settlements of Mahala,
25 Otoka, Muhici, Marija Bursac, the Omladinsko neighbourhood, Aladzica
1 [phoen] neighbourhood, in co-ordination with the 6th Brigade units in
2 order to cause the enemy great human materiel and technical losses."
3 And two paragraphs down it says:
4 "Stand by for attack at 0500 on 26 May."
5 And if we could just skip to page 3 of the English and page 5 of
6 the B/C/S. At the top of the page in B/C/S and under heading 15 in the
7 English at the bottom, it states:
8 "Upon completion of the task, take the prisoners to the sports
9 hall of the secondary school centre, and hand over the war booty to the
10 Sanski Most Serbian TO staff."
11 So, in fact, this operation was a planned, co-ordinated TO and
12 6th Brigade attack, the aim of which was to cause great human, materiel,
13 and technical losses. And the plan was not to evacuate civilians to the
14 sports hall for their own safety, but rather to take the prisoners to the
15 sports hall.
16 That's the truth, isn't it?
17 A. No. Since the Muslim part of Sanski Most was armed and since the
18 Green Berets had been observed in that part of Sanski Most, most probably
19 the decision was taken to address to them an ultimatum and appeal to them
20 to surrender their weapons. I believe that within 24 hours an appeal was
21 made to surrender weapons and for these people who had been training
22 those units to surrender themselves. However, when weapons were being
23 turned over, most of the civilians of their own will left that area and
24 we put them up at the gym, and some crossed the river Sana and found
25 shelter with their families.
1 Q. Let's look at another document relating to this operation.
2 That's P3928.
3 I'd like you to look at the third paragraph down, and it states:
4 "On 25th May, 1992, this 'disarming' was followed by a military
5 action (attack) against the downtown neighbourhood of Mahala, which
6 resulted in the capture of 2.000 civilians, but no significant amount of
7 weapons have been found because they had been concealed earlier."
8 So in the attack on Mahala, contrary to what you've just stated,
9 no significant amount of weapons were found, and yet, despite this fact,
10 2.000 civilians were taken into custody.
11 So, again, contrary to your contention, these citizens or
12 civilians were not evacuated in order to avoid casualty. They were,
13 according to this document, captured.
14 A. I'm not saying that all the civilians came out in time to the gym
15 and the right bank of the river. It's a settlement with a population of
16 several thousands.
17 As for the weapons, the extreme men escaped to Vrhpolje village,
18 taking their weapons with them. But we found out about that later, when
19 the operation Vrhpolje and Hrustovo began.
20 Q. Let's be clear about what happened in the operation at Mahala,
21 Mr. Nikolic. There's evidence before this Trial Chamber that there was
22 no organised resistance in Mahala, that Serb soldiers forced Mahala
23 residents to gather in a field, Mahala was then shelled, and civilians,
24 including those who were too weak or infirm to move, were wounded and
25 were killed, and then following that shelling, houses were looted and
1 burnt down.
2 That's the truth of what happened in Mahala, isn't it?
3 A. No. As far as I know, there couldn't have been any use of large
4 calibres because this was the centre of the town. Hand-held launchers
5 and other infantry weapons were used.
6 Q. In your statement, you contend that there was no killing of
7 civilians in the villages. That's in response to question 32. I'd like
8 to look at P3635 --
9 JUDGE KWON: Before we move away from this document, does this
10 document itself refers to 2.000 civilians captured?
11 MS. McKENNA: Yes, Your Honour. It's in the third paragraph.
12 JUDGE KWON: Oh yes, yes, yes. Thank you.
13 Please continue.
14 MS. McKENNA: Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Nikolic, this is a diary of another fellow Crisis Staff
16 member, Nenad Davidovic. I'd like to look at page 29 of the English and
17 the B/C/S, which is, as you will see in a moment, a record of the
18 Crisis Staff meeting of the 30th of May.
19 Now, on the 30th of May, you were still -- that was the day you
20 were formally appointed to the Crisis Staff, so you would have attended
21 this Crisis Staff meeting; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And let's see what Mr. Davidovic noted. He -- under 2, it
25 "Speeding up restoration in that Mahala, Otoka, and Muhici."
1 A few bullet points down it states:
2 "Collect all bodies in a single place. Exclude those who talk
3 too much?"
4 I'd like to turn to the next page, which is continued notes of
5 this meeting.
6 It states:
7 "They will come for the bodies at 0900.
8 "The Betonirka for identification.
9 "Discusses measures of pest control.
10 "Nylon cover on the ground."
11 And then it states:
12 "There is a possibility of dressing them in our uniforms."
13 Now, this, Mr. Nikolic, was the Crisis Staff's attempt to cover
14 up the killing of unarmed civilians by making them look like military
15 personnel; that's correct, isn't it.
16 A. No.
17 Q. Well, staying with the topic of killing of unarmed civilians,
18 you've discussed how the SOS was involved in mopping-up operations in
19 Hrustovo and Vrhpolje while it was subordinated to the 6th Brigade.
20 There is evidence before the Trial Chamber that in Hrustovo, on
21 the 31st of May -- 1st of May, in a co-ordinated attack by the
22 6th Brigade and local paramilitary formations, multiple civilians were
23 killed, including unarmed women and children who were taking shelter in a
24 garage. And in Vrhpolje, around that same time in another 6th Brigade
25 attack, soldiers were rounded up -- excuse me, soldiers rounded up the
1 inhabitants of Begici village, took them in to Vrhpolje bridge, forced
2 them to jump off and opened fire on them, again killing multiple unarmed
3 individuals in this operation.
4 These were the kind of mopping-up operations that you and your
5 unit and the 6th Brigade were involved in, weren't they?
6 A. I wouldn't agree with that description. The operation at
7 Hrustovo also began with the surrendering of weapons by Muslim
8 extremists. However, the first day, three soldiers from the
9 6th Sana Brigade were killed and then orders came from the brigade
10 commander to begin with artillery attack at Hrustovo and Vrhpolje, which
11 are two villages outside of Sanski Most. And it's probably during this
12 artillery action that some civilians were killed.
13 Q. Let's look at the operations specifically of the SDS -- or,
14 excuse me, the SOS during that period.
15 MS. McKENNA: So could we please see D1681.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I?
17 I have a remark to make. Could the Prosecutor tell us who
18 created the first page of this diary and described Mr. Davidovic as a
19 member of the Crisis Staff of the SDS? There is no such qualification in
20 the manuscript.
21 MS. McKENNA: I would refer Mr. Karadzic to P2614, which is the
22 conclusions in which the Crisis Staff members were appointed.
23 Mr. Davidovic is named as number 9 in that document, as the member in
24 charge of municipal medical services.
25 I'll continue. Could we please see D1681.
1 JUDGE KWON: This was -- just a second. This was admitted
2 earlier on.
3 But in that -- what's the answer to the first part of the
4 question? Who -- as, i.e., who produced the first page of this
5 typewritten page?
6 MS. McKENNA: Your Honours, I'll have to check that matter.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 MS. McKENNA: And perhaps -- I note the time. Perhaps it's
9 better if -- before I move on to the next document.
10 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Should we take a break?
11 Before that, yes, Mr. Karadzic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It remains unclear. Was it the
13 Crisis Staff the SDS or the municipal Crisis Staff? Where does the SDS
14 come from?
15 JUDGE KWON: We'll see as -- first see who created this first
17 Shall we take a break for half an hour and resume at three
18 minutes to 11.00.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Ms. McKenna.
24 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 And just with regard to the diary that we were discussing prior
1 to the break, it was seized by the OTP in December 1996 in that format
2 from the AID, Sanski Most, and it was confirmed by the -- the excerpts
3 were confirmed by the witness, through him - it was tendered in this
4 case - a protected witness.
5 JUDGE KWON: But no information as to who wrote the first page?
6 MS. McKENNA: No specific information as to who wrote the first
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 MS. McKENNA:
10 Q. Mr. Nikolic, before we come to the activities of the SOS, your
11 own group, you make various assertions regarding the investigation
12 centres and their professionalism of the officials who were taking
13 statements of those centres.
14 Now, there's -- and you state that no one was allowed to mistreat
15 or beat the people from whom statements were taken. That's at -- in your
16 response to question 22.
17 There is a wealth of evidence before this Trial Chamber of such
18 mistreatment and beatings. That includes Witness Mirsad Karabeg, who
19 described being beaten at the SJB by prison guards on his head, his
20 shoulders, back, the soles of his feet and his legs, and using their
21 fists, feet, electric cable, wooden poles, and being given to civilians
22 in order for the civilians to beat him as well. We also have evidence of
23 witnesses who were subjected to the same kind of beatings at the
24 Betonirka facility, including beatings with police batons, wooden chairs,
25 and with sticks.
1 So this is the reality of what was going on in Sanski Most,
2 wasn't it? There were systematic beatings taking place at the detention
3 centres and no one was being punished or prosecuted for them?
4 A. As far as I know, the Crisis Staff order the police not to resort
5 to coercive measures. Now I know, I believe that there were certain
6 situations, and I remember that a policeman was dismissed because he beat
7 a detained person.
8 Q. Let's turn to the activities of your own group, the SOS.
9 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see D1681.
10 Q. This, as you'll see, Mr. Nikolic, is a 5th of August, 1992 report
11 from the SJB Sanski Most to the SJB Banja Luka. We're going to look at
12 the first three paragraphs in some detail.
13 The first paragraph states that:
14 "In the last two months in Sanski Most municipality, there has
15 been a great deal of activity by certain paramilitary groups that have
16 broken free from the command of the army and conduct their own private
17 operations that can be seen in the planting of explosives, the torching
18 of houses, killings, lootings, and other types of crime against the
19 Muslim and Croatian population, all aimed at acquiring material profit
20 and putting pressure on them to move out."
21 It continues:
22 "In the last two months, 45 explosions have been set off at
23 Muslim houses and business premises, two mosques have been destroyed,
24 five buildings have been torched and four killings have been carried
1 And the next paragraph states:
2 "It is mostly small groups involved, primarily soldiers, and they
3 operate outside the knowledge of their commands. To date, we have
4 registered four such groups, among which there is the so-called SOS
5 group, a former paramilitary group with a strength of around 30 men,
6 which was formally placed under the command of the local military unit as
7 a sabotage platoon but it is not under full control."
8 Now, this is the group that you were a leading member of, a group
9 known to be committing systematic crimes against non-Serbs, including the
10 destruction of buildings, plunder, and killings in order to pressurise
11 them to leave the municipality.
12 This is your group, isn't it?
13 A. Can I just say this: This document is from the month of August.
14 Our group, SOS, at the beginning of the month of June, went to the
15 corridor, went into combat, so we were not in Sanski Most for a month.
16 So some groups that introduced themselves as SOS at that time and did
17 these things in town are people I don't know. We were far away from
18 Sanski Most. We could not have done this.
19 Q. Mr. Nikolic, your own document that you signed talks about the
20 destruction of buildings in order to crush the Ustasha and the
21 Green Beret. This contemporaneous document discusses the activities that
22 your group was involved in while it was working under the subordination
23 of the 6th Brigade. The reality is that while you talk about the fact
24 that individuals who committed crimes being taken off the streets, no
25 members of the SOS were prosecuted for these crimes that they were
1 committing against non-Serbs.
2 That's the reality, isn't it?
3 A. I am telling you that we were far away at the front line. And
4 this report speaks about the months of August and June and July that
5 year, probably. We were not in town then at all. As SOS, we formally
6 ceased to exist when we went to the corridor, and we were soldiers of the
7 Army of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Well, let's look at what the Major Brajic, the 6th Brigade
9 Chief of Staff said at that time, and that's, again, in your document.
10 That's P3397.
11 And could we please see page 5 of the English and page 6 of the
12 B/C/S. This is the passage after you've described the operations in
13 which you were involved, the various mopping-up operations.
14 And it states:
15 "After we had completed the operation, we were called by
16 Major Brajic who thanked us for our co-operation as though we were
17 mercenaries or at worst a paramilitary formation."
18 So this is the truth, isn't it, Mr. Nikolic, that your SOS group,
19 which was known to be committing systematic and persecutory crimes
20 against the non-Serb population of Sanski Most worked hand in hand with
21 the Crisis Staff and was valued by the military authorities?
22 That's the truth, isn't it?
23 A. I don't remember when this happened, after which operation.
24 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you say that in response to question 12 you say that
25 more than 8.000 Muslims continued to live in the Sanski Most
2 Now, according to the 1991 census in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 there are over 28.000 Muslims in Sanski Most municipality.
4 MS. McKENNA: And for the parties' reference that's P6548,
5 English page 6, and B/C/S page 7.
6 Q. By February 1995, the Banja Luka State Security Department
7 reported that 3.350 Muslims remained. And that's P5449. So it's not
8 true, is it, that more than 8.000 Muslims remained? In fact, of a
9 population of over 28.000, only 3.350 were left in 1995. That's the
10 truth, isn't it?
11 A. Possibly. I was speaking about -- towards the end of the war,
12 that maybe 8.000 inhabitants of Muslim ethnicity could still be living in
13 Sanski Most.
14 Q. Mr. Nikolic, repeatedly in your statement you talk about the
15 voluntary nature of the departure of Sanski Most's non-Serbs. You say
16 that the Muslim chose to leave, that -- in response to question 14, you
17 say that people decided to voluntarily leave and the authorities had an
18 obligation to help them. And in answer to question 24, you say that the
19 civilian authorities, police and army, did not plan, instigate, or order
20 the permanent removal of Bosnian Muslims from Sanski Most.
21 MS. McKENNA: I'd like to briefly go back to the diary of
22 Mr. Davidovic. That's P3635. And I'm interested in pages 42 of the
23 English and the B/C/S.
24 Q. And these are Mr. Davidovic's notes of a Crisis Staff meeting of
25 the 8th of June, 1992, and if you could focus on conclusion number 4, it
2 "Move the Muslims and Croats to the extent which would provide
3 for a steady control of power."
4 So this plan that was set out in early June, it clearly doesn't
5 relate to a voluntary transfer, does it?
6 A. No. Most Muslims came to ask for transportation and for an
7 escort in order to be able to get to Bihac or Jajce or across the
8 Croatian border. That's why the Crisis Staff made such a decision, that
9 the Muslims should move out but escorted by our army and police.
10 Q. Well, let's look at meeting notes from two days later. And
11 that's at English page 49 and B/C/S page 48.
12 And these are the meeting notes of -- or notes of a meeting of
13 10th of June, and they state:
14 "The job of deportation of a part of the Muslim population
15 failed. Lot of mistakes.
16 "Proposal: ... appoint a person for the deportation of part of
17 the population ..."
18 So, again, I put it to you that this deportation was clearly not
19 voluntary. Whether or not the Muslims agree with it, Sanski Most
20 Crisis Staff was requiring that these Muslims leave.
21 A. I would not agree.
22 Q. You continue to assert, Mr. Nikolic, that the voluntary -- that
23 the departure of non-Serbs from Sanski Most was entirely voluntary.
24 Today, we've discussed the destruction of Muslim villages in Sanski Most
25 municipality by Serb forces, including the VRS, the TO, and your own
1 group, the SOS, from late May.
2 We've discussed how these villages were attacked, buildings were
3 destroyed, and civilians were killed.
4 We've seen evidence of the mass detention of civilians, we've
5 talked about people being crammed into trucks and suffocating to death
6 en route to their detention in Manjaca camp, and we have seen evidence of
7 the systematic crimes that your own group, the SOS, committed against
8 non-Serbs in order to pressurise them to leave the municipality, both
9 before and during the war.
10 So in the face of this evidence of persecuting and systematic
11 abuse that non-Serbs living in these circumstances were subjected, there
12 is no way in which their departure could be considered voluntary, is
14 A. Well, probably under these circumstances and in fear for their
15 lives, most of them decided to ask us to secure their journey so that
16 they could go to their own territory, Muslim-held territory, that is.
17 Q. Thank you Mr. Nikolic.
18 MS. McKENNA: Your Honours, I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. McKenna.
20 Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellency. Thank you.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, let us start with the latest.
24 In line 3, it was stated that Muslim villages in Sanski Most were
25 destroyed. Can you tell us roughly how many Muslim villages there are in
1 Sanski Most?
2 A. Well, I think about 15 or so. Over 15. I don't know the exact
3 number. But there are quite a few of them.
4 Q. If you allow me, I'll try to put the question this way: Brdari,
5 is that a predominantly Muslim village, or perhaps the number is equal,
6 Serbs and Muslims?
7 A. Yes, yes, the number is equal.
8 Q. Was Brdari destroyed?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Caplje, is that a predominantly Muslim village?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. Was Caplje destroyed?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. Demisevci, is that an almost purely Muslim village?
15 A. It is the purest of them all.
16 Q. Was it destroyed?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Now, Dzevar, is that a predominantly Muslim village?
19 A. Yes. Muslims and Serbs and Croats live there.
20 Q. Thank you. Was Dzevar destroyed?
21 A. As far as I know, no.
22 Q. What about Fajtovci, is that a predominantly Muslim village?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was it destroyed?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Gorice, is that a predominantly Muslim village?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was it destroyed?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now, there is Gornji Kamengrad and Donji Kamengrad. Are most --
6 are both of them predominantly Muslim?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was there any fighting in either one of the Kamengrads?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Was any one of them destroyed?
11 A. No.
12 Q. What about Hrustinovci? That is -- Hrustinovci is mixed, and
13 Hrustovo is Muslim; right?
14 A. Hrustovo is Muslim, predominantly Muslim.
15 Q. Thank you. Krkojevci, is that predominantly Muslim?
16 A. All three ethnicities, all three religions are there.
17 Q. Was it destroyed?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Is Modra predominantly Muslim?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was it destroyed?
22 A. No.
23 Q. What about Okrec?
24 A. It is predominantly Muslim, a predominantly Muslim village.
25 Q. Was it destroyed?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Podbrijezje?
3 A. That's a neighbourhood, a suburb of Sanski Most --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the end of the
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Similar to Mahala?
8 A. A bit further away from the centre, but it's similar.
9 Q. We'll have to pause. Please do pause.
10 So you say it's similar to Mahala but a bit further away. Was
11 Podbrijezje destroyed?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, then, Podvidaca. What's that like?
14 A. Part of it is Serb. And just before you enter Podvidaca, there's
15 a Muslim hamlet.
16 Q. Thank you. Skucani Vakuf, what about that?
17 A. Predominantly Muslim.
18 Q. Stari Majdan?
19 A. Predominantly Muslim, but there were Serbs and Croats there too.
20 Q. The ones that I mentioned, Skucani Vakuf, Stari Majdan, were they
22 A. No.
23 Q. Sehovci?
24 A. Sehovci, well, a few houses were torched, as far as I heard, but
25 it wasn't that there was any combat there or destruction.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber now what the
2 difference is between these that were not destroyed and where there was
3 no fighting and Hrustovo, Vrhpolje, Trnova, and these other ones, and
5 A. Well, to the best of our knowledge, Mahala, Vrhpolje, and
6 Hrustovo had about 900 persons of Muslim ethnicity who were armed. And
7 the Green Berets came for training there. They came from Bihac and
8 Sarajevo. And that is probably why there was fighting there. And that's
9 why these Muslim forces there were disarmed.
10 Q. Thank you. From when did these armed formations exist? When did
11 you find out about that? And when did you find out that they were armed?
12 A. Already at the end of 1991, around September 1991, the army, the
13 then-army of the SFRY and the 6th Sana Brigade, went into combat in
14 Croatia. Since there were Muslims and Croats and Serbs there at the
15 time, the next day, all the Muslims and Croats left the brigade and
16 returned to Sanski Most with their weapons. And probably, from that time
17 onwards, they started arming themselves intensively.
18 Q. [No interpretation]
19 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
21 D5 which is a Defence exhibit.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Why were the Serbian Defence Forces set up?
24 A. The entire 6th Sana Brigade was on the front line and all the
25 combatants were of Serb ethnicity. Several people of Serb ethnicity from
1 Sanski Most went to the brigade and only old and infirm Serbs remained in
2 town. That's why a decision was reached to set up the SOS to protect the
3 remaining population.
4 Q. Thank you. Please look at the document which was drafted in
5 March 1992. On the 7th of March, 1992, was the MUP still united, and was
6 the state security still one?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Please look at the text in the Serbian on the left-hand side to
9 see what the state security learned. You don't have to read it aloud,
10 but please look at the names. It says that they are very impertinent and
11 aggressive. People who are mentioned are Arif and Izet Huranovic from
12 Vrhpolje, about 500 armed civilians and about 3.000 Muslims who own long
13 barrels. Could you please read the names of those who were involved in
14 the activities as the main players?
15 A. The mainly responsible for the SDA were Ismet Sarcevic, a lawyer.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
17 MS. McKENNA: Objection. Putting the document in this way and
18 asking him to read from it is clearly a leading way of conducting
19 Mr. Karadzic's cross-examination.
20 JUDGE KWON: Further, I don't see the point. Just ...
21 Could you not put your question first, Mr. Karadzic, without
22 asking the witness to read out the document?
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Did you know the names of the prominent extremists in
25 Sanski Most? You were already asked about that during the
2 A. Yes. I learned that from the state security and the crime
3 prevention police in Sanski Most.
4 Q. Thank you. What about their conduct? Was it very public and
6 A. Yes. They requested money from other Muslims to buy weapons from
7 their -- for their units. There were a lot of examples of Muslims who
8 wanted our protection because they were threatened and they didn't want
9 to give them money, and they didn't want to participate in those
10 organised activities.
11 Q. Were there prominent Muslims who were different and who are not
12 on this list?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Could you please read the names of those who were recognised in
15 March as the key players in the exercise to arm the 3.000 Muslim
17 A. Ismet Sarcevic, a lawyer; Suad Sabic, a lawyer; Adil Draganovic,
18 president of the court; Revzid Kurbegovic, president of the SDA board;
19 Mirzet Karabeg, chairman of the Sanski Most Executive Committee; and
20 Enver Burnic, commander of the Sanski Most police station.
21 Q. Thank you. And when it comes to his Excellency's question about
22 the purpose, I would like to remind you that some of the people on this
23 list came to testify against me as OTP witnesses. They testified as if
24 they were neutral witnesses. Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: That's a useless comment.
1 In asking -- he just read out this document. So how does it help
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I -- my question is still pending.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. The fact that the state security which was still a joint
6 institution, how did it tally with your experiences on the eve of the
8 A. We knew all that because the state security monitored the
9 situation closely and they knew who it was that armed the Muslims, who
10 organised the purchase of the weapons, and obviously since I knew a lot
11 of people and I was friends with many of them, they told me about that,
12 and that's how we learned that they were preparing themselves for a
13 showdown with the Serbs, as it were.
14 Q. Thank you. Just a while ago, you accepted the possibility that
15 there were individual cases of ill-treatment, although Madam McKenna
16 suggested that that ill-treatment was systematic.
17 According to what you know, what was the attitude of the
18 authorities towards the abuse of power during interrogation?
19 A. As far as I know, at all the meetings, it was demanded from the
20 police to comply with the law when interrogating Muslim extremists. As
21 far as I know, that's how they, indeed, behaved.
22 Q. Thank you. And what was the attitude of the authorities towards
23 the perpetrators of such crimes?
24 A. I remember a situation when a policeman was removed from his job
25 and transferred to another job once it was learned that he had ill
1 treated a prisoner.
2 Q. And what was the position or attitude towards expulsion and
3 intimidation. A little while ago, we saw in the diary that the
4 deportation failed. What was the position of the authorities towards the
5 intimidation and expulsion of the non-Serb population?
6 A. At the meetings that I attended at the Crisis Staff, the emphasis
7 was always placed on protecting all the civilians, irrespective of their
8 ethnic affiliation. It was also emphasised that houses should not be
9 burned or destroyed and that Muslims should not be killed.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Will you agree with me that these are minutes? Please look at
14 the document. We now have the translation as well.
15 So this is the Executive Committee, which means that the
16 Crisis Staff no longer existed at that time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can we now look at page 3 in Serbian or, rather, page 4 in
19 Serbian and page 3 in English.
20 Please pay attention to the second paragraph in the Serbian.
21 Kalacun says:
22 "I would like to ask the chairman of the Executive Committee to
23 inform us of the general position of the AR Krajina government on the
24 exodus from the Serbian state."
25 Kalacun -- can we see it in English as well? Yes, we can. It is
1 the fourth paragraph from the top of the page. And now can you see
2 Rasula's response? First of all, is it the position of the government at
3 Pale that is requested or the position of the government of the
4 autonomous region? What is Kalacun requesting here? Please look at the
5 second paragraph.
6 MS. McKENNA: Objection. Once again, Mr. Karadzic is just
7 getting the witness to read from the document.
8 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, yes.
9 Do you follow the point raised by Ms. McKenna, Mr. Karadzic?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And now I would like you to read - you don't have to do it
13 aloud - what Mr. Rasula said in respond both, Rasula and Lukic, as a
14 matter of fact. And could you please tell us how this tally with your
15 experience and what you knew about the position of the government.
16 A. This is precisely what we in the Crisis Staff wanted to protect
17 the Muslim civilians and to prevent further exodus. We wanted the
18 Muslims to remain living in the Serbian state, and I believe that the
19 same thing is said here in this document.
20 The position of the Crisis Staff was always that as few Muslims
21 should move out and for a majority of them to remain living in
22 Sanski Most.
23 Q. And how does this tally what you know? It says here that the
24 authorities don't have the money for the fuel.
25 A. Well, it's only normal. There was no fuel. There was a war
1 going on. There was no forceable removal of the population. If somebody
2 wanted to forcibly remove them, conditions would have been put in place
3 for that.
4 Q. In paragraph 10 of your statement, you say that the phone lines
5 were down, that the roads were blocked, and so on and so forth. When it
6 comes to those meetings, either of the Crisis Staff or the SOS, did you
7 receive an instruction from either Pale or the government or the
9 A. No. On the day or during the night when the municipality was
10 liberated, all the communications were down. The commander of the
11 1st Krajina Corps, General Talic, arrived with his subordinates into
12 town, and that's the only thing that happened.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now I'd like to call up page 5
15 in English and page 7 in Serbian, in the same document.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. At the top, it says that you and the public security station are
18 tasked with something. What is it?
19 A. At that time, I was a member of the 6th Sana Brigade.
20 Mladen Lukic was the president of the executive board at the time, and he
21 tasked us with establishing the number of Agrokomerc trucks that had been
22 on loan and participated in the activities to transport goods. He wanted
23 us to take stock of all the trucks that were missing and their
25 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber what Agrokomerc is, where
1 it was based, and whether we were at war with the entity at the time?
2 A. Agrokomerc was based in Velika Kladusa, in the Cazin region, with
3 a majority Muslim population, Bihac was its centre, and all the arming
4 and all the Green Berets started from there in the direction of
5 Sanski Most and other Serbian villages.
6 Q. Could you please speak up. Could you please speak more slowly.
7 And I would like to remind both myself and you that we should pause
8 between my questions and your answers. Thank you.
9 So how were the movable assets belonging to Agrokomerc treated?
10 Were they treated as private, as war booty, or what?
11 A. It was considered war booty.
12 Q. When it comes to war booty, was it regulated by the law?
13 A. Yes, it was.
14 Q. And now could you please look at the second paragraph -- or,
15 rather, the second half of paragraph 3. The resettlement for any persons
16 who express wish and have the necessary documents or telex message in
17 which they are guaranteed accommodation should be made possible.
18 Could you please tell us -- or interpret this paragraph for us,
20 A. I can give you my opinion. At that time, I was deployed on the
21 front line. I suppose the idea was to know where those Muslims are
22 headed and what their destination was.
23 Q. This is from the month of August. I believe that you already
24 returned by then.
25 A. I was probably on furlough.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now could we bring up
2 65 ter 1569 in e-court.
3 JUDGE KWON: But before we move on, could you expand on -- on
4 your understanding of this paragraph, which says:
5 "For any person who expresses the wish and has the necessary
6 documents ... voluntary resettlement will be made possible."
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you please ask the witness to
8 read the document? Because the interpretation is, again, not good -- or,
9 rather, the translation is not good, because the English translation is,
10 again, not good, and I would like the interpreters not to refer to it.
11 JUDGE KWON: But could we go back to page 3.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In Serbian, I believe it's 4.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, correct.
14 Do you see the words of Mr. Stojinovic after Lukic's
16 Could you read out aloud?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "To enable the people who wish to
18 leave our republic, and the competent authority should continue working
19 on the issuance of loyalty."
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's go to the last page.
21 Yes. If you could read aloud the paragraph we discussed earlier
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Enabling voluntary moving out for
24 all persons who expressed their desire to do so and are in possession of
25 the necessary documentation, i.e., have a telex guaranteeing their
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes. And now you could tell us how you understood
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a reference to voluntary
5 moving out, not forced evacuation. It says:
6 "Those who expressed the desire to leave town."
7 JUDGE KWON: Very well. I'll leave it at that.
8 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you just tell us, one of the requirements is for people to
11 show that they have some accommodation guaranteed for them somewhere.
12 A. They were supposed to show that somebody in the Muslim-held area
13 will provide them with accommodation.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted? Oh,
15 it has been admitted. So I asked for 55 -- 65 ter 5169.
16 5169 is the one I wanted. I don't think this is it.
17 JUDGE KWON: Is it 1D number?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, 5169.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, now we have the English
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. We have to wait for the Serbian version, but I'll read to you ...
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So the Registry is obviously facing
25 constraints of the same kind that I do all the time.
1 Now we have the Serbian version without the English. Okay.
2 They're both here now.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can you tell us what is this document? What is it about and
5 what's the date?
6 Let me help you. At the top we read: The Co-ordinating
7 Committee of the Sanski Most --
8 A. Municipal Assembly, 4 November 1992.
9 Q. Look at item 2.
10 MS. McKENNA: Objection.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 MS. McKENNA: Before Mr. Karadzic begins to potentially lead the
13 witness with this document, it would be good if he could lay a foundation
14 for the use of the document. I don't believe he has done so yet.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I agree.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe I did when I asked the
17 witness what the attitude was towards intimidation, persecution of
18 non-Serbs. That was the basis for my questions on several documents on
19 this topic.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let us see how it goes.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Could you please look at item 2:
24 "Report on the measures taken in the course of the investigation
25 linked with a murder of Croatian civilians in Kruhari and Skrljevita."
1 Are these Croatian villages, Kruhari?
2 A. Kruhari was mixed Serb/Croat. And Skrljevita is a Croat village.
3 Q. Item 5 related to what?
4 JUDGE KWON: But you should ask the witness whether he himself
5 attended this meeting or not.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Could you look at the passage after point 5, the participants.
8 Do you know them? I don't see your names here.
9 A. The Executive Board had been already established by that time,
10 and these people were capable of dealing with things under those
11 circumstances: Nedeljko Rasula, as president of the municipality;
12 Vlado Vrkes was president of the party; Mirko Vrucinic was chief of the
13 police station; Boro Tadic was in the Territorial Defence, I believe;
14 Milenko Delic was the public prosecutor; Rajko Stanic was president of
15 the court. These are the names.
16 Q. Thank you. So in item 2, do you see towards the bottom, they
17 discuss the events in Skrljevita and Kruhari.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page in
20 JUDGE KWON: Just what -- could you not put your question first
21 to the witness about this murder of Kruhari and Skrljevita before showing
22 the document to the witness. That was your point, Ms. McKenna, I take
24 MS. McKENNA: It was, Your Honour. The witness wasn't confirmed
25 that he was at this meeting, and so showing him document is simply
1 leading him.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I really disagree. The witness has
3 already testified about efforts made by the authorities to prosecute and
4 arrest people for murders of non-Serbs so he said that that was their
5 policy. Now Dr. Karadzic is entitled to show him documents --
6 JUDGE KWON: He could have asked about the murders of these
7 individuals, in particular, whether the witness knew or not. And then
8 depending upon the answers, he made proceed to put this document to the
9 witness instead of just feeding him with this document.
10 MR. ROBINSON: But even if the witness didn't know anything about
11 those particular murders, he is entitled to put a document to the witness
12 and ask him whether this -- how this tallies with his belief of the
13 attitude towards to authorities whether he was present at the meeting or
14 not. I agree that those things are relevant to the weight, but the way
15 he is going about doing it, there's nothing leading about it, just to
16 simply show a document to a witness and ask him to comment on it.
17 JUDGE KWON: But the way Mr. Karadzic put his question was a bit
18 different from the way you suggested so far.
19 Please continue, bearing in mind what we just discussed now.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you know the participants of this meeting whose names you
23 read out a moment ago?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What was their attitude as representatives of the authorities
1 towards crimes and intimidation?
2 A. They worked for reducing the incidents of intimidation and
3 murders in Sanski Most. I know that because I knew personally the
4 president of the court and the public prosecutor.
5 Q. Did you hear about that killing of civilians in Kruhari,
7 A. Yes, it so happens that I was on sick-leave that month because I
8 had been wounded, and I heard about some killing involving several
9 victims in these villages which were several kilometres away from the
10 town. The police searched and I think they found the perpetrators.
11 Q. Do you know any of the names of those who were arrested?
12 A. I knew this man Kajtez is his last name. I knew him.
13 Q. Before we finish with this, you were asked on page 24 -- no, 25,
14 or something like that, about how the police treated a certain group that
15 held themselves out to be the SOS.
16 Did the SOS expel anyone for a certain type of conduct?
17 A. Yes, of course. There were members of the SOS and others who
18 didn't want to go to war and did everything to avoid it. And the brigade
19 command, of course, expelled such people, took their weapons away, and
20 they remained in Sanski Most. And such groups called themselves SOS
21 because that made it easier for them to do certain things around town.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now show page 3 in both
23 Serbian and English.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Look at items 11 and 12, and tell us if you know anything about
2 How does this fit in with your knowledge and your experience
3 concerning the way the authorities treated such things?
4 A. Some people were using Muslim cafes and businesses that had been
5 abandoned, and that caused a lot of problems among citizens and the army
6 and incidents of shooting, so the municipality authorities decided to
7 deal with it in this way, by prohibiting the leasing of such businesses
8 to minimise the incidents of such situations in Sanski Most.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the next page be shown in
10 both versions.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Look at paragraph 6. What is paragraph 6 about? And is it
13 consistent with your knowledge about the way the authorities treated such
15 JUDGE KWON: Before you [Microphone not activated]
16 MS. McKENNA: One second --
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
18 Let's collapse the document for the moment.
19 Yes, Ms. McKenna.
20 MS. McKENNA: Once again, in asking the witness to read the
21 paragraph and then comment on it, Mr. Karadzic is leading the witness.
22 He is feeding the answers to him.
23 JUDGE KWON: However, are we not on the same topic still? It's
25 I think it's okay.
1 Shall we continue?
2 Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Again, look at paragraph 6, the first part, and tell me is it
5 consistent with what you know and what was the attitude of the
6 authorities towards incidents of looting, et cetera?
7 A. I said already talking about the session of the Crisis Staff
8 there were constant efforts to protect Muslim property from arson and
9 from looting. And you see in this paragraph that this work continued,
10 when the municipal authorities had been established and started to
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted?
14 JUDGE KWON: Ms. McKenna.
15 MS. McKENNA: No objection, Your Honour.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4215, Your Honours.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The last document on this topic, the treatment of non-Serbs,
21 65 ter 5180. The last document on this subject.
22 So this is dated 9 December 1992. Look at paragraph 2 of item 2,
23 where it is noted that in the territory of our municipality, problems are
24 starting to be dealt with and the rule of law has been established.
25 When did this happen?
1 A. All that the Executive Board did in October and November was
2 towards imposing the rule of law and avoiding nationalist excess on both
3 sides, and these people whom I know to be honest, these members of the
4 Executive Board, have probably contributed to this.
5 Q. How does it tally with your experience that these families who
6 wished to leave may do so and the return of those who wished to return is
7 also allowed?
8 A. The decision was clear, that they may return on the condition
9 that they observe the laws of our republic. Those who wished to return,
10 may return, and their property would be protected.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Look at paragraph -- or, rather, item 4 to broadcast this
14 decision at Radio Sanski Most. Look at items (a) and (b); to protect
15 non-Serb settlements, and the public security station is made responsible
16 to develop a protection plan to organise village guards and patrols.
17 Mr. Mile Dobrijevic testified here that every Muslim village,
18 each one of these, was assigned a policeman --
19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, what is the point of referring to the
20 other witness's evidence here at this moment? Reading out this sentence
21 and referring to other witness's evidence, where are you heading?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just wanted to see whether the
23 witness knew about that and whether that is in line with this document,
24 whether this was well known as a stand, and whether it was implemented.
25 I thought that perhaps it wasn't phrased properly.
1 JUDGE KWON: What is your question to the witness?
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. What is your knowledge about the protection of villages, Muslim
4 and Croat villages, in Sanski Most?
5 A. As I said, I was in Sanski Most at the time, and I knew about a
6 great many things, and I knew that the police did everything to protect
7 villages that had a predominantly Croat or Muslim population. They
8 organised patrols, they brought them things that they were lacking for
9 personnel hygiene and flour, and they protected them, and the
10 municipality said that they should be assisted in every possible way.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted.
13 JUDGE KWON: Could we go back to the first page of this document.
14 If you could read out -- read aloud the first sentence in
15 paragraph 1, item number 1. It ...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can barely see this.
17 JUDGE KWON: Can -- can you read now?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 "It is allowed for the population to move out in an organised way
20 from the areas of Trnovo, since they do not have conditions for
21 continuing to live in this settlement, as well as families of extremists
22 in this war. Other citizens who wish to leave the municipality may" --
23 JUDGE KWON: That's sufficient. It says that there are no
24 conditions for further life in that settlement, i.e., Trnovo.
25 So one can say they are forced to leave.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Trnovo is a smallish local
2 commune that was poor even before the war, and probably -- I mean, people
3 did not have the bare necessities, and they asked to move out.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 Do you have any objection, Ms. McKenna?
6 MS. McKENNA: No objections, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4216, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Did the authorities make life poor in Trnovo or did they make it
13 more difficult in any way?
14 A. No. As far as I know, the village was a poor one before the war,
15 and the authorities helped as much as they could during those months of
16 war operations, and probably these inhabitants did not have enough or
17 they were afraid of something; so, quite simply, they had to move out.
18 Q. Thank you. It was suggested on page 24 of today's transcript
19 that the SOS participated in explosions and that explosions happened at
20 facilities owned by the non-Serb population.
21 What is your knowledge? Where did explosions take place? When
22 did they start?
23 A. As far as I can remember, there were explosions in Serb, Muslim,
24 and Croat properties. I think that this started in October and
25 November 1991.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D3906. Could that please be shown
3 to the witness in e-court.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you please take a look at this. This is the
7 6th of December, 1991. The public security station. 1991; right?
8 A. 1991.
9 Q. "Request to publish a statement on explosions in the Sanski Most
11 Can you tell us about this? For instance, the first one. On the
12 3rd of November, 1991, a rifle grenade from some distance on the Laro
13 catering establishment owned by Nenad Majkic. What is his ethnic
14 background, Majkic's?
15 A. He is a Serb.
16 Q. The next one is owned by Marko Beljic. What is his ethnicity?
17 A. It's not Bejlic, it's Reljic. And this is also a Serb who had a
18 restaurant, an exclusive restaurant at that.
19 Q. Line 15 should not be Q, it should be A.
20 What about the next one, Kaurinovic, Marko?
21 A. Kaurinovic, he's a Croat.
22 Q. And for Veljic, it didn't say Nenad Majkic, Serb. Now, Reljic?
24 A. Reljic, Marko.
25 Q. You said?
1 A. That he's a Serb.
2 Q. So from -- chronologically, we first have a Serb then another
3 Serb and then a Croat?
4 A. Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page now.
6 JUDGE KWON: Again, could you not put your question first instead
7 of showing the content of this document?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I think that I've
9 already put my question. When did this start and whose shops exploded
10 and now see a document, an authentic document that first it was the
11 Christians, the shops owned by Christians, two Serbs and a Croat. You
12 can see that chronologically. So obviously the police --
13 JUDGE KWON: What you asked ahead of this document to the witness
14 was about the participation of SOS in explosions and explosions that
15 happened at facilities owned by non-Serb population.
16 So you could have asked the witness whether he knew any incident
17 which happened in the facilities owned by Serbs, et cetera. You're just
18 feeding the witness with this document, which is very leading and of low
19 probative value, if at all.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Your Excellencies, I am
21 leading this. I'm saying in whose shops. And the witness said those
22 owned by Serbs, Croats and Muslims. And now I'm trying to see whether
23 the police said that the SOS were the perpetrators. But I cannot deal
24 with that until we've had a look at all of this.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Or, actually, I will ask you. Did the police accuse the SOS for
2 these explosions?
3 A. No, they were interviewed, but there was no proof --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the end of the
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you. Please repeat your answer but loudly and slowly.
8 A. The police brought in for questioning two of three of us from the
9 SOS and told us that there had been explosions. However, we did not take
10 part in that. They had no proof against us, and we were released.
11 Q. Thank you. Were any of the perpetrators identified?
12 A. Well, as far as I heard, a few were arrested because a bomb or
13 grenade was thrown in front of the shops, and these were drunken
14 soldiers, former soldiers who came there.
15 Q. Thank you. Now that we're on the subject I'd like to ask you
16 about a document which was shown to you. It is P3397.
17 Was the value of the SOS being challenged? Were there any
18 arguments provided? Or, rather, were there any arguments in the sense of
19 quarrels about that?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this please be called up for
21 the witness, P3397.
22 MS. McKENNA: I think the witness can answer the question without
23 reference to document.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I didn't follow the question itself.
25 Could you put your question again.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will, yes.
2 Q. Were there any challenges concerning the value of the SOS? Did
3 anyone bring it into question before it became the intervention platoon,
4 or after that? Did that kind of thing happen? Were you in a position to
5 defend the reputation of the SOS?
6 A. No. The authorities did not challenge us in any way because what
7 we did was aimed at protecting the population. I already said that the
8 6th Sana Brigade was at the front line. They weren't in Sanski Most.
9 Q. Page 4 now, please. I'm actually trying to follow up what
10 His Excellency Judge Kwon said. So please take a look at this page, the
11 bottom of the page, where it says, "Dear brothers, do not allow,"
12 et cetera, et cetera, so --
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Yes, Ms. McKenna.
14 MS. McKENNA: It's the same objection. If Mr. Karadzic is
15 seeking to elicit evidence from the witness, he should elicit it rather
16 than --
17 JUDGE KWON: He -- Mr. Karadzic says he was going to deal with
18 the point I raised. Let us see what it is.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. "Dear brothers," that's what it says here. If you cannot see it,
21 I'm going to read it out for you.
22 A. You cannot really see this.
23 Q. Up here it says: I underline this once again, this is a
24 confidential report and please bear that in mind. "Dear brothers, this
25 is the beginning of the war and the bullet is still the judge, so do not
1 permit" --
2 JUDGE KWON: Where is it?
3 THE ACCUSED: "Brothers." Yeah, at the beginning of -- fifth,
4 sixth line in the top.
5 JUDGE KWON: In B/C/S? All right.
6 THE ACCUSED: Low.
7 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. "So do not permit active-duty officers to go around the streets,
10 and I don't know what state, offering war to whom? A Serb. It's unheard
12 Now can you tell us what this is? What this is a reference to,
13 that some officers are offering something that is improper?
14 A. There was some active-duty officers who offered weapons, even
15 sold weapons. They did a lot of things that are improper for a Serb
16 officer. And we wrote that in that context. Whoever uses such
17 situations for their own material benefit will not be welcome there.
18 Q. Thank you. You were asked about dismissals from work. Was it
19 possible for Muslims and Croats to work in the Serb municipality of
20 Sanski Most -- or, rather, did they have to transfer to the Muslim
21 municipality and why were some of them dismissed?
22 A. Well, most of the dismissals took place because people found out
23 that Muslim extremists took part in arming and the reselling of weapons
24 and that's probably why they were dismissed, and they were brought in for
25 questioning to the public security station.
1 Also, quite a few professors, teachers, judges then -- in a state
2 organisations. Of course, Muslims just stayed on and worked there.
3 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that policemen could stay on at the
4 station. What about those who did not stay on? Did they have an
5 alternative? Was the Muslim municipality supposed to have the same
6 organs like the Serb municipality?
7 A. Yes, there were negotiations, and an offer was made to the Muslim
8 SDA to create a Muslim municipality in the offices of Sipad, Sanski Most,
9 on the left bank of the Sana river. However, they did not agree to that.
10 Afterwards, they took their weapons from the public security station and
11 they went to the municipality building of Sanski Most. They barricaded
12 themselves there, and they stayed on there for a while.
13 Q. Thank you. In April, on the 22nd of April, 1992, were you a
14 member of the Crisis Staff?
15 A. I think I was.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 D16789. Actually D. D, it's D. D176 -- no. 1D1679. It's D.
18 [In English] D1678. Sorry, sorry, 9. 1679.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Please, do take a look at this. Paragraph 7. Do you remember
21 this? Were you at this meeting on the 22nd of April? And what is your
22 position? What did know about this position vis-a-vis the Muslims and
23 Croats and their rights?
24 A. Well, yes, I was present at that meeting. And Boro and Vlado -
25 Vlado Vrkes as president of the party; and Boro Savanovic, I think that
1 was his last name, he was on the executive board - they were in charge of
2 talks with the Muslim delegation. And they offered them all the rights
3 that they were supposed to have at the workplace and in town in the
4 municipality and the police. However, they did not agree to that.
5 Q. Thank you. What was the outcome of those talks? Who were the
6 Muslims that they could talk to?
7 A. Obviously they could talk to these, but there was another wing
8 that did not want to take part in those talks.
9 Q. [In English] Obviously they could not talk to these, but there
10 was moderate group.
11 [Interpretation] You said "moderate," did you not?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now could the witness please be
14 shown P3306.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. Please speak up and speak slowly.
17 So P3306. Do you remember whether you attended this meeting of
18 the Crisis Staff on the 30th of April?
19 A. I don't think so.
20 Q. Look at the first paragraph where it says that the talks were
21 interrupted with extremists and that talks will continue with honest
23 How does this tally with what you --
24 MS. McKENNA: Objection.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 MS. McKENNA: The witness has just said he didn't attend the
2 meeting. So now Mr. Karadzic is just telling him what happened at the
3 meeting and leading him in his questions.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I'm asking the witness whether
5 he knew anything about that. He did not have to attend the meeting.
6 What was the position of the authorities vis-a-vis. He just said a while
7 ago that they couldn't talk to the extremists but that they could talk to
8 those who were moderate. And he said that without being prompted by
9 either my question or the document.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And what about the end of the first paragraph?
12 MS. McKENNA: I'm not sure that the witness is -- that the
13 transcript is clear as to what the witness said in relation to who he
14 could talk to. It says -- the witness says: Obviously they could not
15 talk to these, but there was a moderate group that did not want to take
16 part in these talks.
17 Perhaps the witness could clarify.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The problems lies in the
20 transcript --
21 JUDGE KWON: I didn't hear the accused's intervention while
22 conferring with my colleagues.
23 The Chamber saw no problem with the accused's way of proceeding,
24 in this case. But I'm about to read what Mr. Karadzic said.
25 Probably you could repeat your question, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, on page 66, we had a
2 problem with the transcript. And I understand and I see where
3 Ms. McKenna is coming from.
4 On line 4, it was misrecorded. The witness said that they could
5 not talk to those people but there was a moderate wing, and that was not
6 recorded. The moderate wing was not recorded and it was also not
7 recorded that those people could not be talked to. That's why I wanted
8 to correct the transcript at the time.
9 And now I have just asked the witness --
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Or, rather, do you confirm that this is correct? Who were the
12 people who were ready to talk with the Serbs and who weren't?
13 A. I confirmed that the leadership of the SDA could not be talked to
14 about peace but there was another group of people who were more moderate
15 and it was possible to talk to them, but their decision would not have
16 meant anything to the rest of the Muslims.
17 Q. Thank you. And now just to finish this paragraph off, what about
18 the talks with the Catholic parish priest, the effendi, and the Serbian
19 Orthodox priest?
20 A. Those were the talks involving all the three religious groups in
21 order to try and calm the situation down, to calm down the population in
22 order to avoid murders, killings, and chaos in general terms.
23 Q. The word "effendi" was not recorded, but you did say all the
24 three religious groups?
25 A. Yes, I did, all the three religious groups.
1 Q. Now the last question with regard to something Ms. McKenna asked
2 you about: Mahala.
3 Could you please tell us what was the position of the
4 authorities, the police, and the armed forces vis-a-vis the population,
5 including the enemy, the wounded, and the prisoners of war? Were there
6 any --
7 JUDGE KWON: But before that -- before that, Mr. Karadzic --
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. -- attempts to cover things up?
10 JUDGE KWON: What was your question with respect to this
11 document, Exhibit P3306?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The question was and the witness
13 answered. I just wanted to show whether the contents of the document
14 confirm what the witness said, that the talks with the extremists were
15 abandoned and that the authorities opted for talks with others, including
16 religious leaders. And he answered to that effect even before I
17 displayed the documents. I just wanted to corroborate his words with the
18 document and the document has already been admitted.
19 JUDGE KWON: Let's continue.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one more document. And before
21 that, a question.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Were things covered up, the abuses of power covered up, or
24 perhaps crimes or breaches of discipline that happened during the
25 operations against Mahala?
1 A. No. The police did as best as they could at the time. They
2 wanted to protect the population and their property, their apartments and
3 houses, in that part of the town. That's how it was. All the police
4 could do was enter that part of the town and protect the facilities. The
5 civilian population could only return a few days later because there were
6 the corpses of dead animals that had been killed or died, so the
7 sanitisation had to be taken first.
8 Q. What happened to those who were killed or wounded from the enemy
10 A. I know that few were killed and that they were buried according
11 to their religious rites in attendance of their families.
12 Q. Thank you. Were any of the incidents or crimes covered up?
13 A. No.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. This is a report issued by the municipal civilian protection
18 staff on the 1st of May about the field inspection in Mahala and it says
19 here that those who were wounded were attended by medical personnel, that
20 a male corpse was found and identified as Dr. Alagic and buried, under
22 How does that tally with what you know?
23 A. Everything was done to end the situation in the best possible way
24 and to avoid any controversial situations.
25 Q. Thank you for your testimony, Mr. Nikolic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for
2 this witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not at all.
4 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, I have one very brief point, to
5 clarify an issue that you raised yourself in --
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 Further cross-examination by Ms. McKenna:
8 Q. And it's on the issue of the documentation for departure,
9 Mr. Nikolic.
10 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P3307.
11 Q. Now, in your re-examination, you stated that documentation was
12 required in order to show that departing Muslims had somebody to stay
13 with or somebody in the Muslim-held area that would provide them with
14 accommodation and that was the documentation that was required.
15 I'd just like to show you -- you see that this is a decision on
16 the criteria for the possibility of departure from the municipality dated
17 the 2nd of July, 1992. And the first paragraph it states that voluntary
18 departure from Sanski Most municipality shall be allowed to families and
19 persons who give a statement, that they are permanently leaving the
20 municipality and that they are leaving their real property to Sanski Most
22 And if you turn your attention to article 4, it states that:
23 "The municipal Secretariat for People's Defence shall give such
24 peoples -- persons, the necessary permit to leave Sanski Most
25 municipality on the basis of a statement or contract, if there are no
1 legal obstacles."
2 So this is the documentation that was being discussed in that
3 meeting of the Crisis Staff, wasn't it, the documentation that was given
4 when people who were leaving their municipality signed over their
5 properties to the Sanski Most Serb municipality?
6 A. No. This is a document which was issued by the Crisis Staff, and
7 it predates the other document by three or four months. And that
8 document was issued by the Executive Board of the
9 Municipal Assembly of Sanski Most, and we're talking about two completely
10 different bodies here.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to seek clarification.
12 When it comes to handing over property in this way, was it
13 actually ceding ownership of that property?
14 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Why don't you leave it here.
15 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That concludes your evidence,
17 Mr. Nikolic. On behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your
18 coming to The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
19 Since we're going to have a lunch break, we'll rise all together.
20 We'll resume at 22 past 1.00.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.38 p.m.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 --- On resuming at 1.26 p.m.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, would the witness make the solemn declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
3 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: PRVOSLAV DAVINIC
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Davinic.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: Please be seated and make yourself comfortable.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Dr. Davinic.
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 Q. If you're going to answer my questions in Serbian, I would kindly
15 ask you to make a pause after my question to give the interpreters enough
16 time to interpret our words.
17 Did you provide a statement to my Defence team?
18 A. [No interpretation]
19 Q. Again, please make a pause. You understand Serbian and you
20 answer in English.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, as you can note from the transcript, which is
24 in front of you, since you gave your answer while Mr. Karadzic's question
25 was being translated, your answer was not noted. So please bear that in
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, I have given
3 statement to your Defence team.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you see that statement in front of you on the screen?
10 A. Yes, this is my statement. I see it in both languages, in the
11 Serbian language and also translated into English.
12 Q. Thank you. Did you read the statement and did you sign it?
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be reminded to pause
15 after Mr. Karadzic's question.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 the last page.
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, that is correct.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Is this your signature?
21 A. I signed only the Serbian version, not the English, but I presume
22 since Serbian is my native language that is the one that has correct
23 importance to the Court.
24 Q. Thank you. We're still too fast, both of us, and I again remind
25 you to pause after my question.
1 Dr. Davinic, does this statement accurately reflect what you said
2 to my Defence team?
3 A. Yes, it does.
4 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today as
5 were put to you when your statement was given, would your answer be the
7 A. Yes, very much so.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
10 statement pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
11 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Edgerton?
12 MS. EDGERTON: No.
13 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive this.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4217, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 And now I would like to read in English a short summary of
18 Dr. Prvoslav Davinic's statement.
19 [In English] Dr. Prvoslav Davinic was a United Nations official
20 responsible for disarmament and security issues from 1976 till 1999.
21 During the period 1992 to 1995, Dr. Davinic headed the
22 United Nations Centre for Disarmament. He later served as minister of
23 Defence for Serbia and Montenegro during the years, 2004 and 2005. He is
24 now retired.
25 Mr. Davinic learned of the 28th of August, 1995, shelling of the
1 Markale marketplace during a morning briefing at the United Nations
2 headquarters in New York head by Under-Secretary General for
3 Political Affairs, Marrack Goulding. From that briefing, a subsequent
4 report and a conversation with an UN colleague, Dr. Davinic believed that
5 for political reasons, the United Nations wanted to ensure that the
6 investigation concluded that the attack came from the Serb side.
7 Mr. Davinic first met President Karadzic in March 1993 and met
8 him for a second time in the first half of 1996 in Pale. In that 1996
9 meeting, President Karadzic was adamant that the Serbs had not fired the
10 shell which landed on the Markale marketplace on 28th of August, 1995,
11 and said that General Mladic had assured him that the UN and the Serb
12 side had not fired -- assured him and the UN that Serb side did not fire
13 that shell.
14 And that is a short matter. At that moment, I do not have
15 additional questions for Dr. Davinic.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Mr. Davinic --
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE KWON: As you have noted, sir, your evidence in chief in
19 this case has been admitted in writing, that is through your written
20 statement. And now you'll be cross-examined by the representative of the
21 Office of the Prosecutor.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, I understand, thank you.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Davinic.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. I just want to confirm that my understanding from your statement
4 is that over the last 20 years, you've only met Dr. Karadzic twice -
5 right? - the first time for about half an hour, and the second time after
6 he was actually indicted for the crimes that he is now in custody on;
8 A. I had an opportunity to meet him a few more times in the interim.
9 But at that time he was a fugitive, and I did not publicise the -- the
10 fact that I had an opportunity to meet him during that period of time.
11 Q. So even though you didn't say it in your statement, you've
12 actually met Dr. Karadzic far more than just two times, just the two
13 times that you disclosed in your statement?
14 A. That is correct. But it was not relevant to my testimony which I
15 am about to give today. Therefore, I didn't think it was relevant and
16 this was the reason why I didn't mention it.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for a moment, Your Honour.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MS. EDGERTON:
20 Q. Well, since we have this new information, actually, I -- I'd like
21 to give you an opportunity to tell us about these meetings with
22 Dr. Karadzic at the time he was a fugitive.
23 So tell us when your first meeting with Dr. Karadzic was after he
24 was indicted?
25 A. The first meeting was actually in June 1996 in Pale, and I think
1 that I referred to this in my written statement, and I confirm it now to
2 you, and I met him in his home. There was no particular problem in
3 accessing him. It was at his invitation through a mutual friend who knew
4 him, and that friend knew, of course, me, and Dr. Karadzic expressed an
5 interest in meeting me because he wanted to follow up on our meeting
6 which took place in -- in the UN at the time when he was attending a
7 peace conference there.
8 Q. All right.
9 A. And I referred to this in my statement. He visited my office.
10 We spent one hour discussing various issues of relevance to what was
11 happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. Now this meeting in 1996 --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- took place at a period of time where you were actually still
15 serving as head of DDA; correct?
16 A. That is correct, but this meeting with Dr. Karadzic had nothing
17 to it with my official function at that time. I was actually en route to
18 Sarajevo for total different purpose and I passed through Pale, and it
19 was then possible to see him in accordance with a prior arrangement
20 through this friend of ours.
21 Q. And who was that mutual friend?
22 A. It was Dr. Predrag Stevanovic, medical doctor.
23 Q. All right. And when was the next time you met Dr. Karadzic while
24 he was a fugitive from justice?
25 A. I think it was later that year, I believe, September or
1 October of that year. I was, again, going to a meeting in -- in
2 Sarajevo, and on the way to Sarajevo, I again made a stop-over and I saw
3 him briefly.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
5 approach the microphone, please.
6 THE WITNESS: Okay. Do you want me to repeat what I said, or you
8 JUDGE KWON: I don't think so. Let's continue. Thank you,
9 Mr. Davinic.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
11 Q. And at that time, you met him at his home?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. And what did you discuss during that second meeting with
14 Dr. Karadzic?
15 A. This was a relatively short meeting and we did not really discuss
16 much at that time because I was in a hurry to reach my destination. He
17 was already in the situation in which he was, and we simply greeted each
18 other, I wished him well, and I went off to my final destination.
19 Q. And when was the next time? So that would be the third time you
20 met with Dr. Karadzic.
21 A. But that's about it.
22 Q. So you've only met him, then --
23 A. Three times.
24 Q. Three times all together --
25 A. I would say so, yes.
1 Q. -- while he was a fugitive from justice?
2 A. No, once I met him in New York and twice as he was fugitive.
3 Q. And knowing that Dr. Karadzic was a fugitive from justice,
4 knowing and keeping in mind that you were at that time a senior-level UN
5 official, knowing that Dr. Karadzic's surrender to this Tribunal would
6 have the potential for great economic and other effects in the region,
7 you must have advocated to Dr. Karadzic that he surrender himself,
8 wouldn't you?
9 A. That's correct.
10 MR. ROBINSON: The question was quite misleading. Because at the
11 time, 1996, there were not these economic benefits to the region that
12 were being talked about. So there were elements to that question that
13 were not really very correct. But since he has answered it, we can leave
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Shall we continue.
16 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
17 Q. And what was Mr. Karadzic's response?
18 A. His response was that he was considering all options.
19 I might add, ma'am, if you would allow me, Your Honour, that, at
20 that time, the fact that he was fugitive was not widely known. To my
21 mind, I -- if I recall correctly, he was indicted shortly before the
22 Dayton peace process started, but this indictment was made public much
24 I also would like to point out that although I met him in my
25 private capacity, I informed high-level officials in the UN of this
1 meeting with Dr. Karadzic.
2 Q. Where is your report on the meeting?
3 A. No, it was oral report because it was private meeting and did not
4 require usual procedure of writing down such kind of reports.
5 Q. Thank you. I might come back to that.
6 But while we're on the subject of meetings with Dr. Karadzic, in
7 terms of the two meetings that you described in your statement and even,
8 in fact, the one you've just told us about, you really just -- your
9 written evidence, the evidence you've just given, really just repeats
10 what he told you at that time, nothing further; right?
11 A. In one part it does; in another part, it brings in slightly
12 additional information. But -- but, say, new information or different
13 from what Dr. Karadzic and I discussed.
14 Q. You would know, I suppose, because of your very senior position
15 at the UN that Ambassador Yasushi Akashi served as the SRSG for the UN
16 mission in the former Yugoslavia in 1994 and 1995. You know that?
17 A. I should know because I replaced Mr. Akashi as the head of the
18 Centre for Disarmament Affairs. And I was for many years his special
20 Q. Absolutely. And, so, you would have been aware that as the SRSG,
21 Ambassador Akashi was frequently engaged in discussions and meetings and
22 negotiations with the leadership of the warring factions?
23 A. That was outside the purview of my responsibilities in the UN. I
24 didn't really follow it closely. I follow it only to the extent I got
25 information from media and it concerned my country, and that was of
1 importance to me to know how the peace process was going on. But I was
2 not following it directly or in discussions with Mr. Akashi.
3 Q. Do you know -- maybe I wasn't clear. But you would agree with me
4 that his job was to sit and negotiate with the leaders of the warring
5 factions; right?
6 A. I presume that was his job.
7 Q. Well, you said you were his special assistant for many years?
8 A. Yeah. But not at the time when he was in charge of civil
9 mission, peace-keeping mission in former Yugoslavia.
10 Q. Thank you. Now I suppose then, though, you don't know that when
11 Ambassador Akashi came here to testify in this trial to give evidence for
12 Dr. Karadzic he confirmed that his experience with Dr. Karadzic was that
13 in negotiations Dr. Karadzic had a tendency to twist the truth rather
15 A. No, I don't know about that and I'm not interested in his
16 description of Mr. Karadzic and his behaviour. I had my own impression
17 which I tried to describe in this statement which you have not come to it
19 Q. Oh, I'm happy to come to it.
20 A. I hope you will.
21 Q. I want to come to my March 1993 and your meeting with
22 Dr. Karadzic.
23 You mentioned that that was in the context of what was happening
24 in Bosnia.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I just want to talk about the context for a minute, and I'd
2 like to establish it by having a look at what the Security Council
3 understood was happening at that time, in March 1993, all right?
4 A. Yes, please do.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look at 65 ter number 01207.
6 THE ACCUSED: And I would -- and I would like to see the
7 reference about the quotation of Ambassador Akashi. I do not remember
8 that he said something like that.
9 MS. EDGERTON: That can be found at Defence Exhibit 3489. That's
10 in page 80 of the actual book itself. And we only tendered a number of
11 pages but the whole book has been uploaded for some reason, so that's why
12 I cite to page 80 of the actual book, but D349, and also transcript
13 pages 37757 to 37759 that was discussed.
14 Q. But now to get to the matter at hand. Dr. Davinic, just at the
15 bottom of this page that you see, there's a heading that refers to a
16 statement by the president of the Security Council. And if we -- on
17 25 February 1993. And if we go over to the next page, please, you see at
18 the top of that -- and if you have trouble seeing it, please say and I
19 can [overlapping speakers]
20 A. No, I see it. It's okay.
21 Q. Thank you. You see at the top of that page the Security Council
22 issuing a statement of deep concern that in spite of its repeated
23 demands, relief efforts continue to be impeded by Serb paramilitary
24 units, especially in the eastern part of the country and the enclaves of
25 Srebrenica and Cerska and Gorazde.
1 And if we can go -- just move down to the bottom of this page.
2 On the 3rd of March, 1993, the president of the Security Council issued
3 another statement and we see that, that the Security Council indicate --
4 indicates that it was condemning continuing unacceptable military attacks
5 in Eastern Bosnia, condemning the resulting deterioration in the
6 humanitarian situation in the region, and that it was appalled that even
7 as peace talks are continuing, attacks by Serb paramilitary units,
8 including, reportedly, the killings of innocent civilians were continuing
9 in Eastern Bosnia.
10 So, Mr. Davinic, that's the public picture of what was happening
11 in Bosnia at that time - right? - from the words of the Security Council.
13 A. Yes, that's what it says in this report.
14 Q. And -- and -- and you would have known about that, because you're
15 a very senior-level diplomat?
16 A. That's your presumption.
17 Q. Well, I'm asking you. Security and disarmament was at the core
18 of your function in peacekeeping. That's what -- you gave a statement to
19 that effect?
20 A. Absolutely. But then I would have to educate you the difference
21 between what was happening in -- in that part of the world, in any other
22 parts of the world, and my responsibilities. My responsibilities pertain
23 to international security and disarmament as they relate to international
24 agreements, such as on prohibition of nuclear weapons, on chemical
25 weapons, on ban of conventional armaments, and so on. And thus my
1 responsibilities did not deal with issues pertaining to actual conflicts
2 in any part of the world. Therefore, I had nothing to do with the
3 procedures of the Security Council that pertained to my responsibility as
4 the head of the office for disarmament fairs or the
5 Centre for Disarmament Affairs. And therefore, if I knew anything about
6 what was going on in the Security Council, I knew it as an individual as
7 any other but not in my official capacity. I did not attend the meetings
8 of the Security Council, I did not receive the documents of the
9 Security Council, and it was up to me to get these documents just for the
10 sake of knowing what was happening in the country to which I belonged and
11 where I wanted to go back to after my service in the United Nations.
12 I hope that you understand what I'm saying and that it's clear.
13 Q. It does. Did you know about it? Did you know that this was the
14 situation, these were the reports of what was going on in Eastern Bosnia
15 at that time in whatever capacity, Dr. Davinic?
16 A. I -- if you wish me, I will repeat it once again. It was not
17 part of my responsibilities and therefore I did not follow it officially.
18 If I follow it privately, maybe I followed, maybe I did not.
19 Q. Well, did you or didn't you? Did you know that there was a
20 humanitarian tragedy that was unfolding in Srebrenica in March of 1993?
21 A. No, I did not. The way you ask me, I had to answer, no, I did
22 not, because you're not really listening to what I am saying. And if I
23 may say, you're twisting my words.
24 JUDGE KWON: No, I do not agree Ms. Edgerton ever twisted your
1 Her question was whether you knew or not whether such
2 circumstances as referred to in this report existed at that time.
3 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, if you allow me, if you please. I may
4 answer once again.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 THE WITNESS: In my official capacity, I did not know anything
7 about this, I did not receive documents, I was not aware of that, and it
8 was not part of my responsibilities. In my private capacity as an
9 individual, who was concerned about the future of my country which turned
10 out not to be anymore my country in that size, I may have known or I may
11 have not known. It was long time ago, and over the period of time there
12 were a lot of reports about crimes, about terrible things happening in
13 that part of the world committed by both side, by all sides, as a matter
14 of fact, in this conflict, and I cannot pin-point, and I say that in all
15 honesty with the intention to help this Court, that I cannot confirm with
16 certainty that at that particular point when Mr. Karadzic came to my
17 office I was fully aware of everything that was going on in the
18 Security Council.
19 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
20 MS. EDGERTON:
21 Q. So when Dr. Karadzic dropped in at your office in March of 1993,
22 whenever he dropped in, you didn't discuss the situation in
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina with him?
24 A. He had actually a meeting with the Secretary-General on the
25 38th floor. My office was on the 36th floor of the building, the UN
1 building. And as I indicated in my statement he had heard from someone
2 from the mission or at that time it was not -- it was actually a mission
3 of Yugoslavia, but suspended from the membership, that there was someone
4 from Belgrade serving in that high position and he expressed a desire to
5 drop by and say hello. So he came to my office with his associates, and
6 as I said I think in my statement I took the initiative of telling him in
7 my private capacity of why the implications in the world of what was
8 going on in the country based on my attendance of various international
9 meetings in which security issues were discussed in general, and some
10 preferences were made to the situation in Bosnia. And my talk with him
11 focussed on the consequences that might actually occur after the end of
12 the war for -- related to alleged war crimes and other crimes committed
13 by warring sides in that conflict, not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but
14 also in Croatia. And I believe in my statement I said that he listen
15 with great attention, and I was quite surprised that he did not challenge
16 what I was telling him. He listened very carefully. One of his
17 associates - I don't remember his name - I think I mentioned was not
18 particularly interested in listening to what I was saying, but he was.
19 And his comment was basically that this was so because the
20 international community was not properly and fully informed of what's
21 going on and that the international media misled the public opinion
22 throughout the world by presenting the one-sided picture of -- of
23 gruesome crimes and other things which were happening, and he said that
24 that is exactly what he was trying to explain to the Secretary-General,
25 and with these words that he hoped that the situation, that the public
1 opinion would, as a matter of fact, change its view of Serbian action.
2 He departed, and he said that he would like to meet me whenever I had
3 opportunity to visit him and that he would appreciate my views on what --
4 what was going on with regard to Bosnia and peace efforts that he was
5 involved in. And that was the gist of -- of the meeting which lasted,
6 and I would like to point out once again, to emphasise, that actually I
7 did most of the talking about international ramifications of what was
8 going on and that the way things looked to me -- and they didn't bode
9 well for the leadership of Republika Srpska and that something had to be
10 done, either in terms of reaching peace agreement or changing the
11 perception that the world had about Serbian action there.
12 Q. Well, looking at what I have just told you about the context and
13 the perception that the world had of Serbian action in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I would take Dr. Karadzic's assertion that the world
15 didn't have the a truthful picture of what was happening to mean that he
16 was saying the Security Council's concerns were inaccurate?
17 A. I believe that this sounds like your -- your conclusion. Because
18 at that time, as I said, and I will repeat once again, I was not aware of
19 what the Security Council had adopted. And, therefore, his remarks -- I
20 could not challenge his remarks because I didn't have basis to challenge
21 him. He simply said what he said and I didn't have any reason to doubt
22 the sincerity of what he was saying. But I would like to emphasise once
23 again, maybe I did not explain myself clearly, I told him that there was
24 a worldwide perception of gruesome things happening in -- in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina and most of those things were attributed to the Serb side.
1 And I told him that -- I say it once again that either he should bring
2 the truth to the fore, if he could, or that something should be done to
3 stop these things from happening because there might be a very serious
4 consequences for those who would be charged later on with committing
5 these kind of crimes.
6 Q. All right. We'll move on. I'd like to show you a document that
7 dates from the 12th of March, 1993, and it's in relation to what you
8 mentioned in paragraph 4. You talked about Serbian authorities there.
9 And I'd like to show you P6161. It's some excerpts from the stenographic
10 notes of the minutes of the Supreme Defence Council from 12 March, 1993.
11 And I think if we go to the page 2 in your language, Dr. Davinic,
12 and just stay at the bottom of page 1 in English for the moment. I'd
13 just like to direct you to a reference where Mr. Bulatovic says to the
15 "We are obliged to understand that we can hardly co-operate with
16 someone who, like the prime minister of the Republika Srpska, advises us
17 to ethnically cleanse Sandzak and kill the Muslims there."
18 And then President Milosevic says:
20 And if you flip over to the next page in English, Mr. Bulatovic
21 explains that it's the prime minister of the Republika Srpska, Mr. Lukic,
22 who advises the SDC to do this as soon as possible because Muslims
23 weren't to be trusted.
24 Now you talked about concerns about what was going on in Bosnia.
25 It's clear from this, Dr. Davinic, that in March of 1993 the Serbian
1 authorities actually had serious concerns about the extremist views of
2 some Bosnian Serb leaders supporting ethnic cleansing; right?
3 A. If you say so, because I don't know how you relate this to me. I
4 mean, I was UN official. I had nothing to do with the meetings of
5 Supreme Defence Council or whatever it was called in Milosevic's areas,
6 and I had no contacts with them to be informed, so ...
7 Q. Well, at paragraph 4 of your statement in the English version
8 that we have, you talked about the concerns of Serbian authorities about
9 the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.
10 A. If you would allow me just to remind myself. I have to read it.
11 I think that if I may, Your Honour, the sentence is very clear.
12 I was referring to discussions in that conference in Japan at which the
13 situation -- the security situation was discussed worldwide with special
14 references to what was going on in the Balkans, and I said that the
15 perception that it created worldwide - let me see once again - were
16 giving rise to concerns both to the authorities in Serbia and also in
17 Republika Srpska. It is my conclusion based on what I heard, and, as I
18 tried to explain, my impression was that -- concern was so great that
19 eventually the consequences will be followed at one particular point in
20 time when all this is over. My reference to concerns of the authorities
21 is not based on my knowledge that they were concerned. I was suggesting
22 that they should be concerned in view of what was happening and it was
23 widely perceived by the international community and also in the UN that
24 Serbia at that time was helping war efforts in Croatia and
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that based on concerns expressed by the
1 international community, that this was contributing to the war efforts
2 going on in -- in those two former republics of Yugoslavia that they --
3 the question would be asked and that therefore it was time to consider
4 how to rectify this situation. This is what I was telling Dr. Karadzic.
5 Q. Thank you. That makes -- that amplifies what you said in your
6 statement and actually makes it much clearer, and it allows us to move on
7 to what you said at paragraph 5, 6, and 7, and 8 of your statement.
8 A. Mm-hm.
9 Q. In relation to Markale II, there you were talking about some
10 comments from two colleagues, and one of whose name you couldn't
11 remember, and -- your comments related to the integrity of the Markale II
13 Now, in the summary of your evidence, Dr. Karadzic said you
14 believed that for political reasons, the UN wanted to ensure that the
15 investigation would conclude that the attack came from the Serbs. But
16 that's actually not expressed in your statement at all.
17 So was Dr. Karadzic's summary of your evidence correct? Is that
18 what you believe?
19 A. Do you want me to say what I believed in, or do you want me to
20 explain the factual situation? Because I can tell you what I believed
21 in, but it is irrelevant.
22 Q. I'd like you to -- there seems to be a discrepancies between what
23 Dr. Karadzic understood your evidence to be and read out into the public
24 record and what you said in your statement.
25 So I'd like to clarify what your position was.
1 Is your position simply that you heard from two colleagues in
2 New York some observations about the integrity of the investigation, or
3 is your position that the investigation was specifically targeted against
4 the Serbs?
5 A. In order to respond to your question, if Your Honour would allow
6 me, I have to give you a more detailed explanation as to what actually
7 happened, and then we can draw the conclusion as to what my position is
8 or was at that time, if you would allow me.
9 Q. Just to understand, I'm asking you this because of the
10 discrepancy --
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. -- between what Dr. Karadzic said and what you've written in your
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. I'm not asking you to repeat your statement because we've
16 received that evidence --
17 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we see what he wrote in his statement
18 first. Let's find out whether there's a discrepancy at all.
19 Probably paragraph 6.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Paragraphs 6, 7, and 8. So that would be pages 2
21 and 3, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE KWON: And if you could repeat Mr. Karadzic's summary.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Dr. Karadzic said that Dr. Davinic believed that
24 for political reasons the United Nations wanted to ensure that the
25 investigation concluded that the attack came from the Serb side.
1 And that's at temporary transcript page 75.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, the crux of the question was, since we -- we
3 could not find the exact passage Mr. Karadzic referred to in your
4 statement, whether it is a consistent summary of your evidence or not.
5 Can you answer the question now?
6 THE WITNESS: My answer could be found in paragraph 8 of my
7 written statement, which is, I believe, quite clear.
8 JUDGE KWON: Back to you, Ms. Edgerton.
9 MS. EDGERTON:
10 Q. Paragraph 8 of your written statement recounts what you heard
11 from a Greek colleague, who you don't identify, who said that the
12 political reasons had outweighed in the investigation on the ground,
13 which had been given the task of proving the attack came from the Serb
15 So that's your position, not the position of your Greek
17 A. This is the position which I described as the information which I
18 had received from my colleague, who was working, actually, in the
19 Department for Peacekeeping Operations, and, as such, was knowledgeable
20 of what was going on.
21 Q. Now, we've heard -- the Tribunal has heard, actually, in several
22 proceedings a lot about the investigation of that incident. It's
23 received evidence of showing an extremely broad UN investigation into the
24 shelling, and there wasn't just one but three technical analyses from --
25 that involved a range of military people from different nations, and that
1 included people with experience in crater analysis and people who were on
2 the scene at the time, and they've heard evidence about their
3 impartiality and their professionalism. And in those -- that
4 investigation included crater analysis, ballistics analysis, acoustics
5 analysis, measurements, photos.
6 So your colleague, whose name you can't remember, is asserting
7 that these people who performed this wide investigation were all in
8 collusion. That's not your position at all, is it, Dr. Davinic?
9 A. I have no position on this issue because I was not involved in
10 investigations in -- in that place where this incident had taken place.
11 I did not have access to reports, technical reports of the UN
12 investigating teams or all other teams.
13 What I'm saying here is that a colleague of mine who was very
14 much involved in the work of peacekeeping operations in -- in the
15 Balkans, upon meeting me in passing, did mention this as something that
16 was much on his mind and that he felt that he should tell me this.
17 However, if you would permit me, Your Honour, I think that
18 this -- what I'm saying here must be seen in conjunction with previous
19 paragraphs in which I explain what preceded this statement of colleague
20 of mine that you mention I can't remember his name, because this, as a
21 matter of fact, would make some sense. For some, this would confirm this
22 allegation that the instruction was to give -- to put emphasis on the
23 Serbian side, the responsibility; or some would consider that it was
24 conjunctional kind of statement, private statement, and therefore it has
25 no relevance.
1 If you allow me, Your Honour, and if you don't mind, I will refer
2 back to few paragraphs earlier than paragraph 8, in which I explained
3 that that morning and we met --
4 Q. I'm sorry, with respect, Mr. Davinic, I don't need you to repeat
5 your testimony in your written evidence.
6 A. Mm-hm.
7 Q. I just want to confirm, then, you've never seen any part of the
8 technical reports into these investigations that I've just alluded to
9 parts of. You've never seen it. I just want you to confirm that.
10 A. Yes, I can confirm that I have not seen for the very simple
11 reason that it was not within the purview of my responsibility.
12 However, what you're trying to prevent me from saying is that I
13 was privy to political discussions which had the relevance to precisely
14 what you are trying to indicate as casual remark of no relevance to what
15 we are doing here.
16 So you draw your own conclusion, but I'm not happy that you are
17 preventing me from putting things together. Because I can talk only
18 about political aspects of this case. I'm not technical expert. I was
19 minister of disarmament -- of defence but actually not technical expert
20 in weaponry and other things. I'm expert in political issues.
21 Q. You weren't privy to anything that was going on, on the ground?
22 A. In technical terms, no; in political terms, I was.
23 Q. So you actually -- you don't know that on that day, on the
24 28th of August, 1995, there wasn't just one shell that fell on the centre
25 of Sarajevo. There were five, 120-millimetre mortars that were launched
1 and impacted on the centre of the city between 10.50 in the morning and
2 11.15 that morning. You don't know that, do you?
3 A. I know.
4 Q. Oh, you do know now?
5 A. Not now. You never asked me if I knew or I didn't know. You
6 asked me if I was privy to technical reports. I was not privy to
7 technical reports, but I had information how many shells were fired and
8 which exploded, which did not explode, and I think that one that exploded
9 exploded at 11.05 and not 11.15. But it is immaterial; it exploded, one.
10 Q. So if you know this, that five shells impacted, do you know then
11 that the primary charges on each of those mortars, that sort of core
12 element of those mortars, bore the marks of having been manufactured in
13 Krusik Valjevo in Serbia. Do you know that?
14 A. No, I don't. And it is not relevant to political discussion
15 which took place I was privy to.
16 Q. Do you know that that same marking which -- which showed -- which
17 showed that the primary charge was manufactured in Krusik Valjevo in
18 Serbia was also found on a mortar that exploded on the
19 18th of June, 1995, in Dobrinja in Sarajevo on a water-line. Did you
20 know that?
21 A. I think it is totally irrelevant to what I am witness to in these
22 proceedings. I can give you some examples where, for instance,
23 American-made shells were used in various conflicted in the world by
24 terrorist organisations, Al-Qaeda, and so on and so forth. So --
25 Q. Dr. Davinic, that doesn't answer my question --
1 A. No, it does.
2 Q. -- did you know it or not?
3 A. No, I --
4 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, I think that is quite
5 responsive to the question. He should be allowed to complete his answer.
6 THE WITNESS: You're asking me questions which, in my opinion,
7 are irrelevant to my testimony here. You're asking me technical details
8 and I know what is the purpose of this. I -- I'm -- Your Honour, I'm
9 ready to oblige and ready to clarify, but if the Prosecution is asking me
10 irrelevant questions that we know for sure --
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Davinic, whether it is relevant or irrelevant
12 will be monitored and ruled by us.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE KWON: But if you could answer the question in a simpler
15 manner. Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: I did not know the designations of the production
17 or manufacturer of these particular shells or weapons that were used,
18 allegedly used -- or, not allegedly, it appears that according to you
19 that they were indeed used.
20 MS. EDGERTON:
21 Q. Thank you. I just want to go on to one other area and it's about
22 your meeting with Dr. Karadzic, the first meeting, in 1996.
23 A. Mm-hm.
24 Q. Because in your statement, you -- you note that Dr. Karadzic told
25 you at the time of the shelling the entire Bosnian Serb army refused to
1 obey his orders.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Right?
4 A. He told me so.
5 Q. Now, on the eve of the air-strikes, actually it was on the
6 4th of September, 1995, Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic and Mr. Krajisnik
7 were in telephone contact, and General Mladic recorded those
8 conversations on dictaphone cassettes, and I want to show you a section
9 from a transcript of one of those, all right?
10 MS. EDGERTON: It's 65 ter number 35038 at page 12.
11 And page 12 is the English language reference, please.
12 Q. All right. Now, so these three men were in conversation and they
13 were discussing ways to avoid shelling that night. And at the very
14 bottom of this page in English, General Mladic says to Dr. Karadzic:
15 "You see, let me tell you, I cannot but act in keeping with your
16 decisions, your [sic] directives, and in line with my legal authority."
17 So despite what Dr. Karadzic said to you in 1996, at the time
18 General Mladic was telling Karadzic he was subservient.
19 It doesn't look -- this looks like a functioning chain of
20 command, doesn't it?
21 A. It doesn't to me. Since I had experience or have had experience
22 and as minister of defence I know what is the relationship between the
23 minister and chief of general staff and members of General Staff. I
24 am -- would not interpret it that way, but I'm not saying this in order
25 to defend Mr. Karadzic, I'm simply responding to your question which was
1 very explicit, asking me whether this was someone subordinate who the
2 president of -- of -- of -- of the authority or not. To me, it doesn't
3 sound like that, but that's my personal view. You asked for my personal
4 view, not official interpretation of what transpired. Because he also
5 refers here to his legal authority. When my generals referred to their
6 legal authority, that meant don't interfere in what we are doing. And
7 this is not perhaps the time or the place, but I can tell you what
8 problems I had with my generals when we were hunting General Ratko Mladic
9 and I was in charge of these operations when we used foreign aircrafts to
10 chase him in -- in various parts of Serbia, how they responded, and how I
11 had to overrule them by going to even higher top authorities of the
12 country at that time.
13 So, therefore, based on my experience, this legal responsibility
14 of the chief -- of the general -- commander, chief of general staff, gave
15 him a great deal of responsibility. But, please, I'm responding only to
16 your questions. I am not taking sides as to who was responsible, who was
17 not responsible. I'm giving interpretation because you asked me to give
18 you interpretation whether or not this was actually something that is in
19 line with your interpretation.
20 Q. So you completely discount General Mladic's statement to
21 Dr. Karadzic that he "cannot but act in keeping with your decisions and
22 directives." You completely discount that.
23 A. No, I don't. You ask me whether I -- you asked me for my
24 interpretation. I said that his reference to his legal authority to me
25 means that he has a great deal of freedom to act on his own within that
1 legal authority and nothing beyond this. My interpretation doesn't go
2 beyond this.
3 Q. I'm just going to leave that and ask you one further question,
4 just to follow up on something you've alluded to in your hunt for
5 General Mladic.
6 A. Yeah.
7 Q. Now, you said repeatedly in 2004, particularly, that
8 General Mladic -- you said in statements to the press, you said:
9 General Mladic was not on the territory of this country.
10 You said that.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And -- and that was the time you were defence minister for
13 Serbia and Montenegro?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. At that time, we all now know that General Mladic was being moved
16 between different rented apartments in Belgrade. And, Mr. Davinic, he
17 was being moved in military vehicles.
18 A. The question is?
19 Q. When you said to the public in September 2004 that General Mladic
20 was not on the territory of this country, that General Mladic wasn't
21 being protected by the army, that was untrue, wasn't it?
22 A. Well, that's your interpretation. And I take offence in your
23 words that it is not true. In other words you're saying I'm lying. I am
24 not. And I will, with your permission, Your Honour, explain why you're
25 wrong and I'm right.
1 You see, General Mladic, according to publicly available
2 documents, was in public view until year 2002. When we adopted
3 Law on Co-operation with the Tribunal, he disappeared. And he
4 disappeared from military facility and it was not known where he was
5 hiding subsequently. Well, later on, we discovered a lot of things but
6 that was at the time when I was no longer defence minister. However,
7 just to prove that I'm right in what I am saying or what I was saying at
8 the time, I will then describe, with your permission, how we hunted
9 General Mladic in September 2004.
10 By the way, I had a meeting with Carla Del Ponte at that time,
11 here in this building, a few days after unsuccessful attempt to apprehend
12 him to discuss further steps. But that's beyond I believe your interest.
13 The interest at that time was that --
14 Q. Mr. Davinic, it's correct, isn't it, that he was being moved from
15 place to place in VJ military vehicles?
16 A. After 2002, I presume it is not. But you interrupted me at very
17 important point which -- which proves that you are wrong. Because, you
18 see, at the time when in 2004, Carla Del Ponte informed American
19 authorities that General Mladic would from Bosnia -- or, rather,
20 Republika Srpska cross into Serbia and meet his family in one of the
21 monasteries on the border with Republika Srpska. And the authorities
22 from Washington through their embassy in Belgrade requested us to permit
23 at her request that their reconnaissance plane --
24 Q. Mr. Davinic --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- I just asked you about the movement of General Mladic from
2 place to place in VJ military vehicles. And you said -- you said that
3 you presumed that that was untrue.
4 A. No. I didn't say that. Again, we have problem in communication,
5 so, therefore, I will be very slow in responding.
6 I said that until 2002 it was publicly known that he was in
7 Belgrade, attending football matches, attending concerts, going to
8 wedding parties, and so on, and then after the adoption of the
9 Law on Co-operation with The Hague Tribunal, he disappeared.
10 What happened after that was not known to me while I was minister
11 of defence. However --
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you. I think then you finally came to the
13 answer of the question.
14 A. No. I would ask the Court to add one sentence.
15 JUDGE KWON: Could you make it -- so what is your question? What
16 is your answer to the question of Ms. Edgerton, whether Mr. Mladic was
17 being moved in Belgrade on VJ vehicles?
18 THE WITNESS: That I don't know. I know, however, that --
19 JUDGE KWON: No, you didn't know at that time. Do you now know
20 that it was the truth?
21 THE WITNESS: No, I did not follow this after his arrest.
22 However, I know that he was supposed to come from Bosnia to
23 Serbia in September 2004. That I know for sure because that was
24 discussed with Carla Del Ponte. And it was unsuccessful attempt to
25 apprehend him, although we did everything possible, together with
1 American reconnaissance plane, and special forces which were borrowed
2 from UNPROFOR.
3 So, my point is that, at that time in September 2004, he was
4 supposed to come from Bosnia to Serbia.
5 I'm not defending, Your Honour, Mladic. Or I'm not actually
6 speaking on his behalf. I, in all honesty, don't know what is the
7 purpose of questioning me on General Mladic because I'm here as witness
8 to say what I discussed with Dr. Karadzic.
9 Nevertheless, I'm very pleased to be able to explain my -- my
10 knowledge of what was going on with regard to General Mladic.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: I'm done, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
16 Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps two or three questions.
18 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Davinic, on page 79, there was some
20 insistence on the question concerning your meeting with me while you knew
21 I -- that I was a fugitive in the first half or the second half of 1996.
22 Did you have any knowledge about any kind of agreement that I may
23 have had that I would not be tried?
24 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, Your Honours, no. Absolutely not as
25 a result of anything to do with the cross-examination. I normally don't
1 interrupt Dr. Karadzic, but the witness is speaking rather quickly, and I
2 just wanted this to be very clear.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I don't think this arises from the line of
4 cross-examination. You should have dealt with it in your direct
5 examination, Mr. Karadzic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I believe there
7 was a dose of reprimand in the cross-examination in that question
8 concerning Mr. Davinic meeting with me while knowing that I was a
10 JUDGE KWON: No, I don't see there was a reprimand there. So
11 please move onto another topic.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Dr. Davinic, you were shown on page 83 an UN document, describing
15 the conduct of Serbian paramilitaries.
16 Did you understand what my attitude was towards paramilitaries
17 and was it made known to the UN?
18 A. No, I didn't know your -- your attitude towards paramilitary
19 forces. My impression is that you had nothing to do with that and that
20 is paramilitary forces were under direct guidance, control of different
21 authorities. It was widely believed that some of them were controlled by
22 Serbia, and by Milosevic, and that some of them were just rogue sections
23 of the military that were involved in robbery and crimes and other things
24 on their own, and I didn't hear anyone at that time or later attributing
25 or connecting you with this. I say this based on my knowledge. I'm not
1 saying that it was true or not true. Simply, I didn't have any knowledge
2 of your connection with these paramilitary forces.
3 JUDGE KWON: What, Mr. Davinic, did you have in mind when you
4 said a group controlled by Milosevic?
5 THE WITNESS: It was not my knowledge. It was widely perceived
6 by the international community, and you could read in all sort of media
7 reports that some of those forces were directed and financed by Milosevic
8 and his State Security Service. So this is -- this is public knowledge
9 which is not -- I was not privy to any secret documents or any
10 discussions with anyone that might have disclosed to me something that
11 was not known publicly.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes --
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I see that the minutes here do not
14 reflect exactly what I actually said here. It says 35, 45, whatever it
15 is, I do not have a normal of your connection with this -- I did not have
16 any information of your connection -- or knowledge. I would say I said I
17 did not have any knowledge of your connection with these paramilitary
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you for your correction.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I just want to show you one letter, D1933 in e-court, please.
24 Dr. Davinic, this is a letter addressed to the UN
25 Secretary-General. Does it define my --
1 JUDGE KWON: [Previous translation continues] ... Ms. Edgerton.
2 MS. EDGERTON: No. Again -- and I sat through the last session
3 where Dr. Karadzic did the same thing. This is re-direct examination.
4 He can ask the question without showing the witness the document first.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 102, line 11. I did cite a
6 foundation. A document of the UN was shown dealing with the activities
7 of the paramilitaries that were certainly connected in me. It was just
8 shown to Dr. Davinic to ask him whether these paramilitaries that are
9 said to be somehow involved with me were doing such and such things. And
10 I'm asking Dr. Davinic how that would be viewed by the United Nations, if
11 they had received this letter.
12 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated]
13 JUDGE KWON: Given that witness already answered he didn't know
14 about your position towards paramilitaries, would there be any further
15 point asking further questions in relation to paramilitaries?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Maybe I've grown rusty in my legal
17 skills over the break, but I'll get the hang of it soon.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All right. Dr. Davinic, if the Chamber will not allow it -- but
20 with their leave, I would like you to answer on these letters.
21 Was it an isolated opinion of that friend of yours from the
22 United Nations concerning the political wishes to assign blame for
23 Markale 1995?
24 A. No, it was not, actually. It was a widespread belief. And many
25 people in the corridors and in the delegates' lounge were talking about
1 that, especially a few months later when NATO bombing started and when
2 Serbian forces were actually pushed back from the siege of Sarajevo and
3 when the peace process actually got under way. Many people were
4 saying -- but, again, I'm just conveying what I heard in the corridors
5 that that was a very fortunate occurrence in the Markale place which led
6 then to decisive actions by -- by the NATO forces to stop actually the
7 fighting and then to initiate the peace process, which resulted in the
8 Dayton and Paris Peace Accords.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown P150
11 briefly. P150.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. This is a report by Lieutenant-Colonel Konings.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see the next page. We
15 need just the English. Oh, there is a translation. Next page, please.
16 Could we zoom in on number 3.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Dr. Davinic, I believe you'll be able to make out this
19 handwriting, or I will try, if you wish:
20 [In English] "The investigating team tried very hard to prove
21 that the attack came from the Serb side due to the normal use of heavy
22 mortars that is likely, but there is a hard -- no hard proof on this
23 fact," or something like that.
24 [Interpretation] Is this consistent with what you heard at the
25 headquarters of the United Nations?
1 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Before there is an answer on this, I just want to
5 make the point that Dr. Karadzic is being a bit disingenuous with this
7 There is evidence, the evidence is from the author of this
8 document who's testified here that the reference to the investigation
9 team does not refer to the UN investigation team. The evidence -- and
10 it's Lieutenant-Colonel Konings, and I will be able to find the reference
11 in his evidence very briefly. But the evidence from
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Konings is that this reference to the investigation
13 team refers to the local team on the ground, not his team which conducted
14 their work impartially and with integrity.
15 So if Dr. Karadzic is going to ask the question, I think it's
16 appropriate for him not to be disingenuous and say what the document
17 really is and take the surrounding evidence into context.
18 JUDGE KWON: I will check.
19 THE WITNESS: May I respond, Your Honour, or --
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
21 Did Mr. Karadzic refer to this as being the UN investigating
23 MS. EDGERTON: No, he has not specifically, Your Honour. He says
24 this is a report by Lieutenant-Colonel Konings. And then he referred
25 immediately to point number 3 without explaining what that remark
1 referred to. Hence my point that Dr. Karadzic is being somewhat
3 JUDGE KWON: Having heard the intervention, I believe that
4 witness is now able to answer the question.
5 Yes, Mr. Davinic.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 I cannot comment on whether or not this referred to the UN report
8 or any investigation carried out by somebody else. I can only comment
9 that that morning at the meeting with the under-secretary general for
10 political affairs, we got information that an attack had occurred earlier
11 this morning and that the problem with this was two-fold.
12 It created shock at the UN for two reasons. One was humanitarian
13 because a large number of casualties occurred. Over 40 dead and twice as
14 many injured. And that was a civilian target and that created lot of
16 The other concern expressed at that meeting related to a
17 political aspect of this because the report - and maybe this, what I will
18 say, has some -- maybe it has some reference to what Dr. Karadzic
19 referred to now - did not indicate prima facie that one side could be --
20 that -- that -- that this shelling could be attributed to one side, the
21 Serbian side.
22 The first report was inconclusive in terms of who could have
23 committed this crime. And, therefore, it could be one or the other side.
24 And then serious concerns were expressed as to who could have done it
25 because there was already rather well-established worldwide opinion that
1 most of these things were done by the Serbian side, and if this could be
2 proven with further investigation in the field, this would fit into the
3 general perception.
4 However, since this first report did not -- was not able to
5 establish beyond shadow of a doubt that one side was clearly responsible
6 and that it allowed that either side could have committed this particular
7 attack, the instruction was issued to carry out investigation to the
8 fullest possible extent and as -- as neutrally as possible because if --
9 and this is the part which is rather important. Because if the
10 investigation were to prove that the other side may have done this, it
11 would have serious political ramifications throughout the world because
12 this other side was perceived for years as the victim in this war.
13 Therefore, the instruction from the UN came, very strict
14 instruction, that every effort must be done to establish the truth beyond
15 shadow of a doubt.
16 Then the second report -- or the report that came both oral and
17 later written -- I'm not privy to the written directly. I only heard.
18 That this reporting indicated possibility of the shell coming from either
19 side, but in view of everything else and maybe the evidence that the
20 Prosecution pointed to, that it is more likely that it came from the
21 Serbian side.
22 And it is in this context that my Greek colleague - that the
23 Prosecution referred to as unknown; I could not remember the name - told
24 me in passing that political considerations prevailed in giving credence
25 more to the possibility that it was perpetrated by the Serbian side.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just explain something. I
5 just asked whether what Dr. Davinic heard from this Greek was just this
6 one sole occasion or whether there were more things said to that effect.
7 Let's see what General Janvier wrote about that. P906, please,
8 could we take a look at that.
9 JUDGE KWON: I just wanted to let you know the Chamber must rise
10 five to 3.00.
11 THE ACCUSED: We are done, Excellency.
12 Page 3, please.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. A moment ago, you said, Dr. Davinic, that you hadn't seen the
15 report but that you did here what was being said that.
16 Now I'm going read this sentence to you. Line 7 or 8:
17 "[In English] The definition of firing positions for mortar
18 rounds is very difficult as it is impossible to determine the level of
19 charged -- charge used to fire the projectile."
20 [Interpretation] Does this correspond to what you had heard about
21 the reports of the UN? Do you know who General Janvier was?
22 A. Yes, I -- I know, certainly, who the general was.
23 And, once again, let me make it absolutely clear. This was talk
24 of the day. Everybody was talking in the UN corridors and in the
25 conference hall and in the delegates' lounge about this, so it was kind
1 of a public secret.
2 I'm saying "public secret." Let me define what I mean. That the
3 issue in the opinion of those -- and I'm just conveying what I had heard.
4 This is not my opinion. I'm just saying what I had heard. That this
5 whole incident, tragic incident, was not investigated to the fullest.
6 And that it -- the -- the -- the conclusion that it is most likely -- or
7 more likely that the Serbian side perpetrated this crime came in rather
8 handy for the political process that took place subsequent to this
9 particular incident.
10 And that's what people were talking in the corridors. I did not
11 discuss with them officially. I didn't ask them for their opinion. I
12 simply overheard them talking in the cafeteria, in delegates' lounge
13 having cup of coffee, or in some other informal circumstances.
14 Thank you.
15 Q. Thank you for having testified, Dr. Davinic.
16 THE WITNESS: I wish to thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution,
17 and Mr. Karadzic --
18 JUDGE KWON: Unless my colleagues have a question for you, that
19 concludes your evidence. Yes --
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE KWON: Indeed, on behalf of the Chamber, the Chamber would
22 like to thank you for coming to The Hague to give it.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE KWON: You are free to go.
25 THE WITNESS: It was pleasure. Thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: Hearing is adjourned. We'll continue tomorrow
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.53 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Friday, the 17th day of
6 January, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.