1 Thursday, 12 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Good morning to everyone in the courtroom, and I may not forget
10 those just outside the courtroom. Without the help of them, we could not
11 have this trial.
12 First of all, I'd like to give the parties the decision of the
13 Chamber on the motion filed by the Defence, a motion which aimed at
14 excluding the evidence of Mr. Deronjic and subsidiary to postpone his
15 testimony until after Mr. Deronjic would have been sentenced. The Chamber
16 has understood that the first part of the motion has been withdrawn, that
17 the Defence did not insist on that any more, so therefore, I'll confirm
18 myself that the Chamber has confined itself to the second part of the
20 The Chamber will deliver its reasoning in writing at a later
21 stage, and it's that reasoning written down on paper that is
22 authoritative. But nevertheless, I'd like to give the parties just a
23 short insight on what moved the Chamber to take this decision.
24 The Chamber, first of all, is aware of the existence of a plea
25 agreement, has studied it, and also the factual statement attached to it.
1 The Chamber, as a matter of principle, expects any witness to take the
2 solemn declaration he gives very seriously. The Chamber has found no
3 legal impediments to hear Mr. Deronjic's testimony prior to a sentence
4 imposed upon him. The Chamber is aware -- the Chamber expects
5 Mr. Deronjic will meet his commitment as we find it in the plea agreement
6 by testifying in accordance with the truth. The Chamber is also aware
7 that the witness who has not been sentenced yet may misinterpret his
8 commitment and might be tempted to give testimony that is influenced by
9 desire to please the Prosecution in order to ameliorate his position in
10 the sentencing proceedings.
11 The Chamber has also considered that Mr. Deronjic will certainly
12 be aware of the risk that any answer given which is not in full accordance
13 with the truth potentially may have a drawback effect on those same
14 proceedings and thus this awareness forms an incitement not to deviate
15 from the truth.
16 The Chamber also considered that the situation before being
17 sentenced and after being sentenced does not create a black-and-white
18 picture. Also, after sentencing, psychological mechanisms might exist
19 that would tempt the witness to adapt his testimony in a way either
20 favourable or unfavourable to the accused.
21 In this case, the trier of fact is a professional Bench, not a
22 jury. Although a professional Bench is not infallible, its professional
23 experience might help a professional Bench to -- not to be misled by any
24 witness, if a witness would intend to mislead the Chamber.
25 The present situation certainly causes the Chamber to very
1 cautiously evaluate whatever evidence will be given. For example, the
2 Chamber will be more focussed on any corroboration by other evidence. And
3 finally, the Chamber will take its task to control the examination of this
4 witness with more than usual seriousness. This just gives a glance on the
5 position the Chamber has led to its decision.
6 The Chamber is informed that a person which, as I understand, is a
7 Defence counsel for Mr. Deronjic would like to make an application before
8 Mr. Deronjic will be called. Is that correct?
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, good morning, Your Honours. That is
10 correct. May I introduce, before we commence, Mr. Stephen Margetts, who
11 is a member of the Prosecution team. My name is Mark Harmon. Ms. Javier
12 is the case manager once again.
13 I was informed by Mr. Deronjic and his counsel that Mr. Deronjic
14 requested the presence of his counsel during the testimony, and I have
15 conveyed that message to Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I did understand that counsel for Mr. Deronjic had
19 already taken a seat in this courtroom, but the Chamber considers it
20 appropriate first to hear the application and then to decide whether or
21 not this application will be granted or denied.
22 Madam Usher, the name of counsel is?
23 MR. HARMON: Mr. Slobodan Cvijetic.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Cvijetic.
25 You may escort Mr. Cvijetic.
1 Good morning. Would you please introduce yourself.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I am
3 attorney at law, Slobodan Cvijetic, Defence counsel for Mr. Deronjic, who
4 will be heard in this trial as the witness. My presence in this hearing
5 today is the result of his right and his expressed will for me to attend
6 the hearing. My job is to intervene solely on legal issues, but not on
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Cvijetic. You say that you are here
9 because, as a consequence of the right of Mr. Deronjic. Could you please
10 indicate where that right is formulated. Where do we find this right
11 expressed in any rule or in any legal --
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for starting before you
13 finished. I think in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, it says that in
14 the event that an accused is heard as a witness, he is entitled to ask
15 that his counsel attend the hearing.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please guide me to the relevant Rule. If
17 any of the other parties could assist me.
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I don't have a copy of the Rules at
19 this moment, but -- I'm sorry. That right has never been disputed in the
20 previous cases in which he gave evidence.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cvijetic, this Chamber will hear your
22 application, and since you indicated that it's in the Rules, the Chamber
23 would like to know where to find it in the Rules.
24 Perhaps, Madam Registrar, if you would have an extra copy of the
25 Rules that you could -- do we have a B/C/S version of the Rules or do you
1 speak or understand any French or English?
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can take my bag and
3 I will try to find the relevant Rule. I have all documents of the
4 Tribunal in the B/C/S version.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You may consult your B/C/S version of the Rules. But
6 if any of the parties could guide the Chamber, that would ...
7 Yes, Mr. Cvijetic.
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have leafed the
9 Rules through quickly. In Article 1 of the Statute, and 20, there are
10 rights of the accused listed.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. Article 21 of the
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] He has the right not to give
14 self-incriminating testimony, and certain other rights, among them for his
15 counsel to be present during his evidence and to make sure that his rights
16 are not prejudiced at this hearing, among others.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Isn't it true that Rule 21 sees the position of an
18 accused when he's tried, evidence at that moment being something totally
19 different, the right to not incriminate yourself is expressed in our Rules
20 of Procedure and Evidence, where it says that an accused may not take the
21 stand, it's expressed in the Rule where the right is given to an accused,
22 not to a witness but to an accused, to make an unsworn statement on which
23 he cannot be cross-examined? Is there any legal authority you could
24 invoke to just apply the, I would say almost the complete copies of
25 Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental
1 Freedoms and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and
2 Political Rights to transplant that to the situation of a witness? Is
3 there any legal authority you could present to us?
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I derived this from
5 Article 21 by analogous interpretation. It is true that Article 21
6 formulates the right of the accused when he testifies in the capacity of a
7 witness. But even in this case when he testifies as a witness, an accused
8 may find himself in a situation where he is asked to give
9 self-incriminating answers because he is still an accused and I can
10 intervene to stop such questions.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. First of all, whether you can intervene or not
12 is for the Chamber to decide. I think that as a matter of fact, that
13 Rule 90, under (E), deals with the matter in more detail than Rule 21.
14 And I will not assume that you expected that this Chamber would not be
15 aware of the existence of this Rule, because this Rule does exist, and
16 that we would not take that seriously.
17 The issue is not whether Mr. Deronjic should answer questions that
18 might incriminate himself, but the issue is what your role would be to
19 prevent that happening, because that's how I understand that you view your
20 own role.
21 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct, Your Honour,
22 and I have already fulfilled this role of mine in his testimony to date.
23 I have attended all of the testimony before the different Trial Chambers.
24 This is the fourth time that this is happening. So the protection of his
25 rights is not in dispute here.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It is subject of the conversation we have at this
2 moment. I don't know whether any of the other chambers -- I'm not
3 informed about that -- any ever asked you questions about the existence of
4 a right you claim that exists. Has there been argument on the issue
5 before you appeared and fulfilled the role as you did?
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this was discussed,
7 and I did receive a warning that I could make interventions exclusively on
8 legal points but not on factual points and not on anything that the
9 accused would testify about. So I did receive instructions from a Trial
10 Chamber when I could intervene. This is the first time that I've been
11 asked to discuss this matter as something that is disputed. This right
12 has never been challenged before.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand that, but this Chamber has its
14 own responsibility in establishing what rights are, and I may just remind
15 you that your first answer was that the right was explicitly in the Rules,
16 and it is not in the Rules; at least, that has been established by now.
17 Then may I ask you: How do you envisage that you could intervene?
18 What would trigger your intervention? I mean, at what moment and for what
19 reasons you think you could start an intervention?
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Amongst other things, at a point in
21 time if my client was asked a question, the answer to which could
22 incriminate him for some new criminal act or for something else.
23 JUDGE ORIE: How would you know that his answer would incriminate
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm a lawyer.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that doesn't -- I can imagine that in some
2 situations, it would be clear that an answer to a question might
3 incriminate an accused. If a question would be put to Mr. Deronjic
4 whether he ever, during the events discussed, would have killed someone by
5 his own hands, it doesn't need a lot of guessing whether the answer
6 could -- I'm not saying would, but could incriminate him. On the other
7 hand, there might be a lot of other questions for which it's not that
8 clear whether the answer could incriminate the witness. So therefore, of
9 course there will be clear-cut cases, in which cases perhaps the Chamber
10 might not have great hesitations to accept that Rule 90(E) would apply,
11 but there might be other situations in which it might be totally unclear.
12 Having received instructions by other Chambers, what could you
13 advise me? I mean, could it be that you say this will incriminate you?
14 And then again, apart from the clear-cut cases, how would you know?
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would ask the Trial
16 Chamber's instructions on that. I would intervene, and I would ask the
17 Trial Chamber to decide whether such an answer could or could not
18 incriminate my client.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just -- that means you would not consult with
20 Mr. Deronjic, but at that moment you would make an application that the
21 Chamber considers whether the answer could incriminate Mr. Deronjic? Is
22 that right? That means --
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, amongst other things, it would
24 be that way, yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: If you say: "Amongst other things," what other
1 things do you have in mind?
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I also meant the clear-cut
3 situations in which I could intervene and which are obvious. So this
4 would only refer to the situation that you have mentioned just now, when
5 perhaps it would not be clear whether the answer would place my client
6 into an unfavourable situation or not, in which case then I would seek
8 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware that your intervention could be a
9 signal for Mr. Deronjic either to be more cautious in his answers? Are
10 you aware that you could in this way influence the examination of
11 Mr. Deronjic?
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would take care that
13 the desire of Mr. Deronjic to testify in this case is not affected. So I
14 would really be careful not to intervene excessively.
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, but even if you intervene not excessively, it
16 nevertheless could have this effect, if only once.
17 Before we continue -- you're standing. If you'd prefer to be
18 seated, please do so. I'd first like to hear the position --
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] No problem, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- of the parties.
21 Mr. Harmon. And may I also ask you to inform the Chamber about
22 what kind of argument has been held prior to a decision to accept
23 Mr. Cvijetic to be present during the testimony of Mr. Deronjic in other
24 cases, and what exactly the Chambers gave as guidance to Mr. Cvijetic.
25 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have not attended those other hearings
1 where Mr. Deronjic testified in other proceedings, other than his
2 sentencing hearing, in which counsel had a role as an --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Of course. That's different.
4 MR. HARMON: So I can't give you an answer to that. I can, Your
5 Honour, looking at the Statute, refer Your Honours to Article 22 of the
6 Statute, which, in the second sentence, says -- it deals with the
7 protection of witnesses: "Such protection measures shall include, but
8 shall not be limited to the conduct of in camera proceedings and the
9 protection of the witness's identity."
10 So this particular part of the Statute gives the Court broad
11 discretion in terms of what protective measures it can apply to a given
12 witness in, I would submit, that in a case where a witness is potentially
13 at risk of incriminating himself, this part of the Statute would permit
14 and allow for the presence of counsel, and I think it would complement
15 Rule 90(E) as well. So I just bring that to Your Honour's attention. I'm
16 not taking an advocacy position in this issue. It's just an aid to Your
17 Honours, bring this to your attention.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Until now in the deliberation this Chamber has
19 held, I never heard Rule 22 protective measures of witnesses being
20 explained as to protect the witness against self-incrimination, but rather
21 to protect the witness against negative responses and negative actions
22 taken upon his testimony because of telling the truth, which might not be
23 always applauded by parts of the outside world.
24 MR. HARMON: I agree with Your Honour. I've not heard it applied
25 in this way either. But I just bring it to Your Honour's attention.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- like to introduce a novelty in Rule 22. The
2 Chamber has taken note of that.
3 Mr. Stewart for the Defence.
4 MR. STEWART: Well, yes. First of all, we do submit that
5 imaginative Mr. Harmon's last intervention was, that can't possibly be
6 what 22 is dealing with.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I think my response was sufficiently clear that it
8 would need a lot of thinking in order to interpret it this way.
9 MR. STEWART: Yes. So -- but Your Honour, the Defence's position
10 is this: That we don't, in principle, object to Mr. Deronjic's lawyer
11 sitting in Court, and I've indicated that to Mr. Harmon earlier this
12 morning. We'd also suppose, Your Honour, that there is again in principle
13 no difficulty whatever for the Tribunal in giving permission to
14 Mr. Deronjic's lawyer to sit in Court. We suppose that must be part of
15 the general power of Your Honours to control and steer the conduct of
16 these proceedings. So we don't suggest there is any difficulty whatever
17 if Your Honours feel that it is the right thing to allow him to sit in
18 Court, we don't suggest there can be any conceivable obstacle to that.
19 The Tribunal must have the general power to allow any party --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just respond to that very briefly. This
21 Chamber, otherwise we wouldn't hear even any argument on it if we thought
22 we would not have the power to allow Mr. Cvijetic to be in Court, and
23 sitting in Court is one issue, but as you may have noticed, the focus of
24 my questions was mainly on what type of intervention, what role. Just
25 sitting is not the issue.
1 MR. STEWART: Yes. Well, I'm coming to that, Your Honour.
2 Because presumably he's sitting here for some purpose after all. If he's
3 simply sitting in court to be an observer, he can sit outside Court and be
4 an observer. So I'm just clearing that particular point out of the way.
5 So far as -- we submit, with respect, that the right course is to
6 have clear ground rules for Mr. Deronjic's lawyer's attendance in Court
7 and we suggest the following: That, first of all, all subject to this,
8 and Your Honour asked the -- asked Mr. Deronjic's lawyer just now: Well,
9 was he aware that his interventions might constitute a signal to
10 Mr. Deronjic? We would suggest that whatever ground rules are indicated,
11 that it should all be subject to this: That if at any point it appeared
12 that Mr. Deronjic's lawyer were to abuse his position, then of course the
13 question of his exclusion would immediately arise. Now, I'm not impugning
14 my learned friend who is sitting there by suggesting that that will
15 happen, but that's the principle of the matter. That of course any
16 permission is in a sense provisional and contingent upon it not being
17 abused, and the Tribunal, of course, would have the power to say: "Well,
18 enough is enough. I'm afraid if you're going to do this, then you are
19 going to have to either keep completely quiet or leave the Court."
20 But we certainly would say that Mr. Deronjic's lawyer should have
21 the opportunity of making on Mr. Deronjic's behalf any objection which
22 arises under 90(E), an objection to a statement which might tend to
23 incriminate the witness. Of course that doesn't remove Mr. Deronjic's own
24 right to make that point at any stage in his evidence. It's not
25 superseded or overridden by that. The -- we recognise that 90(E) refers
1 to a statement which might tend to incriminate the witness which we
2 understand to be in line with normal principles and practice, which is
3 that you don't know in advance of the answer being given for sure whether
4 it is going to have that effect. So as Your Honour indicated, you get a
5 clue from the question. Some questions, and Your Honour gave a good
6 illustration, some questions are very clearly going to lead on to
7 incrimination, self-incrimination, whatever answer is given, if they're
8 answered at all. Some questions carry that clear risk.
9 One positive advantage of having Mr. Deronjic's lawyer in Court,
10 which we recognise, is that if he doesn't have his lawyer in Court, then
11 the responsibility falls on the Tribunal. And we're not suggesting that
12 the Tribunal isn't well able to discharge that responsibility, but it is
13 in principle better, we'd suggest. It's a positive reason for him being
14 in Court, subject to proper ground rules. It is actually better if
15 Mr. Deronjic's own lawyer is in a position to make those objections, then
16 the Tribunal doesn't quite have the task, then, on Mr. Deronjic's behalf.
17 Although you wouldn't abrogate that task altogether anyway because it's
18 part of the Chamber's responsibility. The Chamber would have the support
19 of Mr. Deronjic's lawyer in relation to that.
20 And it's all subject to this, then: That provided that the
21 objections were only made properly and professionally and in the light of
22 experience as Mr. Deronjic's evidence proceeds, there was no problem about
23 it, then we'd suggest the Tribunal could continue in that way. If there
24 were any question of abuse, well, we would have to, as we say, cross that
25 bridge when we come to it.
1 We'd simply like to add this, Your Honour, that we do suggest that
2 the ground rules, with respect, Your Honour, we do propose that ground
3 rules are the right approach, that it is limited to that, that when
4 there's any reference to legal submissions, we don't at the moment see any
5 basis on which Mr. Deronjic's lawyer would have any part in any legal
6 submissions or any other aspect of the case and simply the question of
7 objections on Mr. Deronjic's behalf under 90(E). Note one can never say
8 never, as far as unexpected circumstances come up as was recognised
9 yesterday. But as a starting point we should say that that should be the
10 indication, that Mr. Deronjic's lawyer's role would be limited to such
11 objections under 90(E).
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would there be any suggestion from the
13 Prosecution on what should be ground rules to be adopted by the Chamber?
14 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour. I submit that the submissions by
15 Defence counsel are entirely appropriate, and I think that is all that
16 needs to be said from the Prosecution on this.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
18 Mr. Cvijetic, would you like to add anything to what you heard the
19 parties have submitted?
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, except that I
21 still abide by the application of Article 21 of the Statute, (G), and also
22 we have the Rule of Evidence and Procedure 90(E).
23 I would also like to add that my presence perhaps can contribute
24 to the fulfilment of justice and the credibility and the truthfulness of
25 the testimony of my client when we have in mind that his testimony was
1 given in the presence of his attorney, and I also support what my
2 colleagues have said. I don't have any other arguments.
3 MR. STEWART: [Previous translation continues]... very short point
4 is this: That we also suggest -- I should have done this -- that unless
5 with the express permission of the Tribunal there should be absolutely no
6 communication between Mr. Deronjic and his lawyer until he has completely
7 finished giving his evidence in this case.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If it would accommodate you, Mr. Stewart, I discussed
9 already with the registrar before this hearing that if the Chamber would
10 allow Mr. Cvijetic to be in the courtroom, that he would be in a position
11 where even no eye contact would be possible.
12 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you. Well, that's an additional
13 protective measure in that context, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, the Chamber will take a few minutes to
15 consider the matter, and especially we'll also try to do it as quickly,
16 even although novel interpretations of not only Article 21 but Article 22
17 are suggested. But we'll try to deal with it in a couple of minutes.
18 We adjourn.
19 --- Break taken at 9.51 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.13 a.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cvijetic, the Chamber delivers a decision on your
22 application, but not after having given some consideration that could
23 guide you, because the decision is in favour of your presence. But the
24 Chamber would like to keep you a few things in mind.
25 The first is that the analysis of the situation, as we heard it
1 here in Court, is deficient. What is the situation? The situation is
2 that Mr. Deronjic has pleaded guilty and that part of the commitment of
3 the Prosecution is that they dropped additional charges, if I well
4 understand, Mr. Harmon.
5 MR. HARMON: The charges that are against Mr. Deronjic are the
6 only charges before him.
7 JUDGE ORIE: There were no other charges?
8 MR. HARMON: There were no other charges.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. But then perhaps I need a clarification. May
10 I take it that if Mr. Deronjic fulfils all his obligations under the plea
11 agreement, that no further charges will be brought against him, at least
12 charges related to -- let me just say it very roughly -- Bratunac 1991,
13 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina, joint criminal enterprise, and what happened in
14 the framework of the joint criminal enterprise? Is that a correct
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, that's correct.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore, whatever answer would be given in this
18 context, whether incriminating or not, and that's the basis of the Rule,
19 not to incriminate yourself, is that you would expose yourself to
20 prosecution, is not a real problem unless you would not trust the
21 Prosecution in its commitment.
22 The second possibility is that Mr. Deronjic might reveal details
23 about his own behaviour that might deteriorate his position in the
24 sentencing proceedings. We do understand, however, that Rule 90(E) would
25 protect him against that, because whatever fact may become known that is
1 not part of the factual statement underlying the plea agreement should be
2 proven in sentencing proceedings, and Rule 90(E) could protect him from
4 So that is clear.
5 There is another issue, and that is that Rule 90(E) and the plea
6 agreement may give some protection to Mr. Deronjic in this Tribunal, and I
7 saw that even in the plea agreement, there is a clause saying -- I just
8 have to find it. The Prosecution will inform whatever domestic authority
9 that in -- that this plea agreement and sentencing -- I haven't got it. I
10 read it yesterday.
11 MR. HARMON: Yes. Paragraph 11, sub-part (d).
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So that would at least result in an effort of
13 the Prosecution to prevent any domestic prosecutions to take place at a
14 later stage somewhere else. That's, of course, not a full guarantee. If
15 it would ever come to any detail, so that's not what one could expect in
16 the framework of the public statement of facts, because the plea agreement
17 is a public document, but if it would ever come to any other detail which
18 is outside the scope of that statement of facts, and if Mr. Deronjic would
19 fear that he would be prosecuted for that elsewhere, then he could
20 indicate so, because one of the solutions then might be to go in private
21 session or to go in closed session. I already indicate to you that
22 there's hardly any such risk to be expected from any jurisdiction in the
23 former Yugoslavia, at least if the incrimination would be covered by the
24 Statute of the Tribunal, because the Tribunal has the power to stop
25 whatever prosecutions would be started and either take over the case. So
1 therefore, but if Mr. Deronjic would incriminate himself by saying that he
2 learned to do this or that in Italy or Austria, and if this would
3 incriminate him, then of course there could be a serious need to protect
4 him against such prosecutions by hearing his testimony in private or
5 closed session.
6 So therefore, it should not be too easily invoked that
7 Mr. Deronjic is, by his self-incrimination, would expose himself to
8 prosecutions elsewhere.
9 The Chamber allows you, Mr. Cvijetic, to be present. The Chamber
10 is also aware that there would be hardly any need, presumably, to
11 intervene during the examination-in-chief, because the situations I just
12 described, where there might be a realistic risk of being prosecuted on
13 the basis of the testimony or having to face the consequences in
14 sentencing proceedings where it still has to be proven, and you also have
15 to weigh out to say 90(E) would apply here for sentencing reasons, that it
16 could not be used as evidence against Mr. Deronjic. But that would not be
17 a reason not to answer the question. Mr. Deronjic will be sufficiently
19 Another way of dealing with it would be that if the Prosecution
20 would on from the beginning say that whatever is in his testimony will not
21 be used in addition to what is in the factual statement to be used for
22 submissions in order to impose a more severe sentence to Mr. Deronjic to
23 be used against him in sentencing, then the matter would not arise at all
24 in this respect.
25 I'll ask in a minute to Mr. Harmon what his position would be to
1 that, because it would be -- it would make the examination more smooth.
2 The Chamber, on the basis of the analysis of where the real risks
3 could be, is aware that the chances that any such matter could arise might
4 be greater in cross-examination than examination-in-chief.
5 So, Mr. Cvijetic, you may be present. You may intervene, but you
6 should keep clearly in mind that an answer that could incriminate
7 Mr. Deronjic, in most situations, would have no effect, since he'll not be
8 prosecuted for any facts that are covered, I would say, by the global
9 concept of 1991, 1992, Bratunac, joint criminal enterprise,
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in that situation. So therefore, it would not be
11 necessary to intervene, and the Chamber, of course, fully accepts your
12 role on where the real risks are.
13 Then I indicated that I would ask Mr. Harmon whether he could give
14 a general commitment on the use of incriminating testimony for sentencing
16 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, in respect of the events in Glogova, we
17 will make that commitment.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So we have a limited commitment as far as
19 Glogova is concerned, which of course is not the only thing, but I can
20 imagine why Mr. Harmon gives this explanation.
21 Is your position clear? And I would add to that that you'll be --
22 you'll have to be in a position where there's no direct contact with
23 Mr. Deronjic. And as I said, also no eye contact. So I don't know. I'll
24 instruct Mr. Deronjic not to seek any eye contact with you if he will be
1 Is this -- I mean, the decision might be quite clear. Is the
2 guidance clear enough for you? And does any of the parties have any
3 questions in respect of the guidance I gave to Mr. Cvijetic?
4 MR. STEWART: Yes, we do, Your Honour, the Defence. In fact
5 it's -- well, there's one question that I -- we do have and one
6 submission. May I make the submission first.
7 Your Honour said in delivering the decision just in the last few
8 minutes that, and I'm reading from the transcript, as it stands at the
9 moment: The second possibility -- it's at 10 -- it's line 16 of the
10 previous page, and, well, the time is 10: -- What page is that? It's
11 page 16, line 16. It was at 10:13:33. Page 16, line 16: "The second
12 possibility is that Mr. Deronjic might reveal details about his own
13 behaviour." Do Your Honours see that?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. STEWART: That passage? "...might reveal details about his
16 own behaviour that might deteriorate his position in the sentencing
17 proceedings. We do understand, however, that Rule 90(E), would protect
18 him against that because whatever fact may become known that's not part of
19 the factual agreement underlying the plea agreement should be proven in
20 sentencing proceedings, and Rule 90(E) could protect him from that."
21 Your Honour, our submission, with respect, is that is simply
22 wrong, with the greatest respect. There is no basis on which Rule 90(E)
23 could possibly protect Mr. Deronjic, and not only that, but it would be
24 exactly contrary to precisely why Mr. Deronjic is giving evidence. He is
25 coming to -- there is -- may we say with the greatest respect, Your
1 Honour, that there's a very considerable danger in this situation that
2 everybody loses track of the fact that the person who is primarily
3 entitled to protection here is Mr. Krajisnik. Mr. Deronjic is a
4 subsidiary person, as far as -- he's an important person, of course. He's
5 a witness, and when he gives evidence he's critically important but it is
6 Mr. Krajisnik who is on trial here, and it is Mr. Krajisnik's rights to be
7 protected. And the notion that a witness can refuse to answer anything
8 and should in any way adjust his testimony because that testimony might
9 have a harmful effect on his position in the sentencing proceedings is
10 fundamentally wrong.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. -- let me just interrupt you. I had in mind
12 at that moment, and of course it needs an interpretation of Rule 90(E),
13 that if the Chamber would force the witness to answer the question, that
14 the testimony compelled in this way shall not be used as evidence and then
15 it reads: In subsequent prosecution, and the Chamber then interprets a
16 subsequent prosecution also, a subsequent stage of the pending prosecution
17 of the witness in respect of sentencing.
18 MR. STEWART: Well, that's my point. That's what we say is wrong,
19 that there is a fundamental distinction here, that the -- of course, the
20 Chamber does have the right to insist that he answers the question anyway,
21 and then the answer can't be used, but in -- the Chamber at each case has
22 a discretion to exercise. What we are submitting is that when it is not a
23 question of incrimination but a question of sentencing, that that
24 discretion doesn't even arise in the first place, that it's not -- that
25 Rule 90(E) is not triggered at all, that there is no -- there will be and
1 is no proper basis even for the objection in the first place if the matter
2 is not a question of incrimination, in other words, leading to any
3 additional conviction by any Tribunal in relation to a criminal offence,
4 but if it is simply a question of making his position worse in relation to
5 sentencing, then Rule 90(E) has no application at all, and that is -- our
6 submission is contrary to the passage which I've just cited from Your
7 Honour's decision.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. You say 90(E) does not apply under these
10 MR. STEWART: We do say that, Your Honour, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any observation to be made by the
14 Prosecution in this respect?
15 MR. HARMON: There's none, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will not give a decision in more general
17 terms on whether Rule 90(E) would ever apply or would not apply under
18 these circumstances. We'll cross that bridge when we come to that. It
19 might be that there will be no intervention at all. We do not know that
20 yet. Of course, the Chamber hopes not to have given similar, novel
21 interpretation of Rules as the third -- as a third time this morning.
22 It's your submission that Rule 90(E) does not apply in these
23 circumstances. When it comes to that, that means that whenever the
24 witness invites us, or the witness indicates that because of the
25 incriminating answer to be expected, he will not answer a question, when
1 we would decide to force him to answer that question, we have to cross the
2 bridge on whether Rule 90(E) applies, yes or no, and we'll do that.
3 MR. STEWART: Yes. That's correct, Your Honour. The -- in 20
4 seconds, if the answer might tend to lead truly to incrimination, then
5 Rule 90(E) would apply and Your Honours would then have to exercise your
6 discretion. Our submission in an absolute nutshell is that if it is not a
7 question of potential incrimination but merely making his sentencing
8 position worse, then Rule 90(E) simply has no application at all.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I do agree with you it's a matter of interpretation
10 of what incrimination or to incriminate precisely means, whether that is
11 just the -- I would say the technical legal term or whether it could be --
12 have a more extensive meaning which would also influence. So it's not to
13 start a prosecution but to be of any influence on a prosecution, apart
14 from whether he could be prosecuted for that, whether that would be in
15 this Tribunal, in the present situation, or whether the answer is such
16 that, in general terms, you could expect incrimination -- a prosecution.
17 Let me also say that, as I indicated before, we're not only
18 dealing with the Tribunal, but of course there are other jurisdictions as
19 well. So therefore, do you look at it as an abstract possibility to be
20 prosecuted for it, or do you see it as a real possibility to be prosecuted
21 in this Tribunal? Let's not make this courtroom a debating club, although
22 we highly appreciate the observations you made. The decision has been
23 given. You've made your submissions, and you said you would like to make
24 an observation as well. Or was that already included in --
25 MR. STEWART: No, it wasn't. It was a separate matter. So I
1 understand that if this bridge comes for us to cross, that, of course,
2 appropriate submissions would then be in order at that time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. On that basis then --
5 the other one was a question, and it's a point that I alluded to earlier,
6 so that there is no room for misunderstanding. It is our request that
7 Mr. Deronjic's lawyer should have, except with the express permission of
8 the Tribunal, should have no communication at all with Mr. Deronjic until
9 Mr. Deronjic has fully completed his evidence in this case.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear to you, Mr. -- we have of course I
11 have not dealt in detail with that.
12 First of all, the main reason for your presence is, I would say,
13 the possible incriminating character of any answers of Mr. Deronjic. I
14 think we dealt with that sufficiently now. You may address the Chamber,
15 and you're not supposed to communicate directly with Mr. Deronjic. I'll
16 explain that to him. And there's another issue, and that is that if there
17 would be anything else than this focus point of your presence, you would
18 have to ask leave to address the Chamber, and we might ask Mr. Deronjic to
19 leave the courtroom before you explain what you'd like to submit to the
21 If that is clear to you -- do you have any questions or issues --
22 or is the situation clear?
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first of all, I wish
24 to thank you for granting the application of the Defence of Mr. Deronjic
25 to attend this hearing. I think it is a just decision and a fair one, and
1 it will contribute to the fairness of the entire proceedings. We will not
2 open a debate now, because you have already made your decision. I only
3 want to give you my assurances and another point.
4 I am grateful for dealing with this issue at some length, but I
5 want to give you my assurances that there will be no problems arising out
6 of this rule, and I think we can start right now. All the other issues
7 that you have mentioned, including the conduct of Mr. Deronjic and my own
8 conduct during the proceedings, have the other facet, Dominus Litus, and I
9 assure you that everything will be appropriate during this hearing.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The parties asked me yesterday to give a better
11 schedule in the morning when we would have breaks or not. Yesterday I
12 adapted the schedule a bit also to the interruptions we had and the other
13 breaks. As a general rule, you could expect to start with one hour and a
14 half, then have a 20-minute break, then continue for another one hour and
15 25 minutes, then a quarter of an hour break and then the remaining I think
16 50 minutes would be the last part. That's the general schedule, but not
17 only yesterday, but also today we, for all kind of unexpected things, the
18 course of events was a bit different.
19 We'll adjourn until 5 minutes to 11.00, and I'd like then to first
20 have Mr. Deronjic to be brought in, in order to instruct him, and only
21 afterwards, Mr. Cvijetic, you'll be escorted into the courtroom.
22 We adjourn.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, you'd like to address the Chamber, and
1 I'm not going to say that you should keep it brief, because we've lost a
2 lot of time but because we spent already a lot of time this morning on
3 issues. Please proceed.
4 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I thought Your Honour might say
5 you weren't going to ask me to keep it brief because I always do anyway.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I will keep it brief, as I always do.
8 Your Honour, the first point is this: We are troubled in relation to the
9 undertaking which Your Honour mentioned, which has been given by the
10 Prosecution. It in the first place is only limited to Glogova, but we're
11 troubled for this reason, that we do seriously question whether that
12 undertaking is in fact possible to give in any effective form, for this
13 reason, and I made it to clear to Mr. Harmon, I'm net impugning
14 Mr. Harmon's professionalism, but there is the underlying question of
15 whether it can properly be given. It's at page 19, line 10. And the
16 reason why we question the matter is this: That it can only be operative
17 in practice in this way, which is that the material, the evidence given,
18 let's suppose, by Mr. Deronjic in relation to such a matter which would be
19 affected by this undertaking is then withheld from the sentencing
20 Tribunal. Because if it is not withheld from the sentencing Tribunal
21 then, as we understand to be entirely clear, any undertakings, any
22 commitments and any guidance and any recommendations by the Prosecution in
23 relation to sentencing are of course, in principle, always liable to be
24 overridden by the Tribunal in the proper exercise of its discretion and
25 its powers in relation to sentencing. We understand that to be crystal
1 clear. So that on the simplest level a recommendation by the Prosecution
2 as to the appropriate sentence can be, and in at least one case we're
3 aware of has been overridden by a heavier sentence being imposed.
4 So that the undertaking, we'd suggest that the first course, which
5 is that that evidence should be withheld from the sentencing Tribunal, is
6 in principle improper, and it's improper from the point of view of the
7 procedures of the Tribunal, and it's also improper in the broader sense,
8 because Your Honour has alluded to broader issues as opposed to technical,
9 legal issues. But it is an extraordinarily unsatisfactory result, to put
10 it mildly, if the world at large in this public trial hears Mr. Deronjic
11 give some evidence which is clearly capable of having an impact as a
12 matter of common sense on his sentencing in relation to the charges to
13 which he's pleaded guilty, and yet the world at large sees, if it's
14 looking hard enough, but the principle is that the world at large does in
15 some case look hard through the media or whatever. They see that that
16 very material, which has appeared in evidence in this case has then not
17 been put before the Tribunal which is sentencing. And in the over -- the
18 overall interests of justice and the overall aims and principles of this
19 Tribunal, we suggest that's an entirely wrong course. And once the
20 material is -- as we've indicated, once the material is put before the
21 sentencing Tribunal, it cannot possibly be ignored and it has to be given
22 its full weight regardless of any undertakings which have been given by
23 the Prosecution in this specific case. So that there is really a very
24 considerable difficulty with that approach.
25 Your Honour, may I make my second observation, then, or second
1 submission at the same time. Because they're not unrelated. And it is
2 this: That we have -- of course we knew the -- we knew the simple result,
3 if I could call it that, of our motion to defer Mr. Deronjic's evidence
4 until after sentencing. We knew that yesterday afternoon, and it was
5 certainly helpful to us to know that late yesterday afternoon. We don't
6 yet know, of course, the full reasons, but Your Honour has very helpfully
7 given everybody a summary of the essential reasons for the decision. But
8 we have, of course, in the very limited time this morning, we have
9 considered the matter, and we have considered the question of appeal. And
10 we understand that under Rule 73, and we're looking particularly at 73(B),
11 that decisions on all motions are without interlocutory appeal, which this
12 plainly would be, save with certification by the Trial Chamber, which may
13 grant such certification if the decision involves an issue that would
14 significantly affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings
15 or the outcome of the trial, and for which, in the opinion of the Trial
16 Chamber, an immediate resolution by the Appeals Chamber may materially
17 advance the proceedings. And then there's a time limit for request for
18 certification. It's seven days. But of course given what we're dealing
19 with at the moment, Your Honour, it would be quite unrealistic to suppose
20 that anybody should let seven days tick by in this case, which is why
21 we're raising it immediately.
22 Under 73(B), there are the two conditions which have to be
23 satisfied for certification to be granted. One, that it would
24 significantly affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings
25 or the outcome of the trial. That point has the familiar underlying
1 difficulty that in a sense, it relates, or if you like can pre-empt the
2 result of the appeal. It's clearly the Defence's position that it is an
3 issue that would significantly affect the fair conduct of the proceedings,
4 or is capable of affecting the outcome of the trial. And in effect to say
5 that it wouldn't is essentially to pre-empt the appeal decision.
6 Now, of course, in a case where we acknowledge this, in a case
7 where a Tribunal considers that there is absolutely no doubt whatever
8 about the matter so that an appeal is in effect an abuse or has absolutely
9 no reasonable prospect of success, then in domestic and international
10 tribunals that is exactly the situation in which a Tribunal will and
11 should refuse leave to appeal or refuse certification. But we do say in
12 relation to that matter, but I'm taking it very briefly right now, as Your
13 Honour has invited me to do and also in the light of the fact that of
14 course we have had only a very limited opportunity to consider the summary
15 of reasons that Your Honour has given us. So that's condition number one.
16 Condition number two, which in the opinion of the Trial Chamber an
17 immediate resolution by the Appeals Chamber may materially advance the
18 proceedings. Advance the proceedings, again, we're in the realm of
19 interpretation, but it can't mean, we'd suggest it can't mean advance the
20 proceedings in the simple sense of it moves everything along quicker.
21 That couldn't be right, because the essential point is what is fair and
22 what is the right decision, and it's possible to imagine all sorts of
23 decisions where inevitably having an appeal doesn't advance the
24 proceedings in the sense of immediately moving them on more quickly. It
25 must be in effect subsidiary to the essential requirement relating to the
1 fair and expeditious, we acknowledge, but fair conduct of the proceedings
2 is, after all, the underlying aim and the underlying principle.
3 Now, the reason we raise it now, Your Honour, is because clearly,
4 once we start Mr. Deronjic's evidence, the position changes, because if we
5 get at all deeply into Mr. Deronjic's evidence, the position becomes even
6 more satisfactory and in effect, then, any possible outcome of the appeal
7 is pre-empted then by the fact that that's happened because we would end
8 up with a terribly messy combination, if we were in principle otherwise
9 going to be successful on appeal. Mr. Deronjic having given some of his
10 evidence while the objection that the Defence has put forward, and Your
11 Honours have so far ruled against, that objection is a live objection that
12 the sentencing hearing is hanging over him. If the appeal were then
13 hypothetically successful, the rest of his evidence would be deferred
14 until after sentencing and that would be a most unsatisfactory position.
15 We acknowledge that. But the effect is, therefore, that to start
16 Mr. Deronjic's evidence is in effect, in practice, without making a
17 concession on this, but it has a very strong tendency to pre-empt the
18 result of any appeal.
19 Accordingly, Your Honour, at this stage, because we do wish to
20 make that request for certification, but we would wish to have an
21 opportunity of considering a little bit more carefully with time to
22 discuss it and look at it, the reasons that Your Honour has given this
23 morning and to consider whether there are further submissions that we'd
24 want to make on this very important item at this stage. We would invite
25 Your Honours to rule that Mr. Deronjic should not begin his evidence today
1 because for the reasons we've indicated, that once he has begun his
2 evidence the position has changed then immediately in a most
3 unsatisfactory fashion.
4 So we are, Your Honour, at a quarter past 11.00 today, but we
5 would invite Your Honour to make that ruling and to give us, the Defence,
6 the opportunity of making a fully developed submission in relation to this
7 matter, unless of course Your Honour, naturally, if Your Honours were
8 inclined to grant our certification this morning, then naturally that's
9 something that we would willingly accept. But that certification would be
10 of no practical value unless Mr. Deronjic's evidence were deferred for the
11 time being while we took the necessary steps formally to lodge our appeal
12 or to file our appeal and make the necessary arrangements for an Appeal
13 Chamber to hear the matter.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear.
15 Mr. Harmon.
16 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I would like to start the testimony of
17 Mr. Deronjic today. In respect of the events in Glogova, Mr. Deronjic has
18 given an extensive statement about the events in Glogova, a copy of which
19 has been furnished to the Defence a long time ago. He has detailed some
20 of those events in a factual basis, which form the basis of his guilty
22 Thirdly, he has taken the oath and sworn about -- he has taken the
23 oath and given sworn testimony in his sentencing hearing before the
24 Chamber presided over by Judge Schomburg. Judge Schomburg I know is very
25 attentive to these matters. I have no doubt in my mind that Judge
1 Schomburg and that Chamber will be aware of what is in the public record
2 in respect of Mr. Deronjic's testimony about Glogova.
3 In respect of whether or not the application for certification to
4 appeal, our position is this: We think that the matter should be
5 rejected. We think that the matter -- Mr. Deronjic's testimony should
6 proceed today. And we have no additional submissions, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. We have two issues. The first is the
8 commitment given by Mr. Harmon on Glogova, where you doubt whether it's a
9 right course to take. This does not require a decision, but I just make
10 two observations.
11 The first is that whether or not Mr. Deronjic will testify or not.
12 And that also means whether there's at all any possibility of public
13 exposure of additional elements relevant for sentencing is in the
14 discretion of the Prosecution.
15 And the second observation I'd like to make is that part of the
16 validity of your argument also depends on the applicability of Rule 90(E),
17 which of course has as its effect that sometimes information may be known
18 to the public which could not be used for the reasons on which Rule 90(E)
19 is based to prosecute someone. And if Rule 90(E) applies, the same would
20 be true for the information to be taken into consideration by a
21 sentencing. That is perhaps not the most ideal situation, but it's a
23 Then the second issue, whether we should not start the testimony
24 of Mr. Deronjic. That's a matter I'd like to discuss with the Judges very
25 briefly. I really hope to be back in two or three minutes. It's a -- we
1 have to consider the matter.
2 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I make one single observation on
3 something Your Honour has just said. Your Honour just said that whether
4 there was any possibility of public exposure of additional elements to
5 sentencing is in the discretion of the Prosecution. Your Honour, we don't
6 fully understand that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: By calling. It's up to the Prosecution whether they
8 want to call Mr. Deronjic or not, and therefore it's a consequence of the
9 calling of Mr. Deronjic whether in a public hearing any additional
10 information about behaviour of Mr. Deronjic would come to the public, and
11 therefore, whether the public could be upset about this not to be taken
12 into consideration in later proceedings. That's what I mean.
13 MR. STEWART: Yes I thank you for that clarification, Your Honour.
14 Because once he's in the witness box then, of course, it's no longer under
15 the control of the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No, of course not.
17 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you for that clarification.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As I said it, the first is whether he will
19 testify or not, and that means -- and it's just calling him as a witness.
20 We'll adjourn for a couple of minutes.
21 --- Break taken at 11.19 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.22 a.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has considered your application,
24 Mr. Stewart, and the Chamber is aware that your submission necessarily had
25 a kind of a provisional character because you have not received our
1 decision in writing, and there was not much time to think about the
2 matter. Nevertheless, the Chamber has decided to start with the
3 examination of Mr. Deronjic. The Chamber is not convinced, or perhaps I
4 should say not convinced yet, because we're still awaiting, of course, a
5 further written submission in this respect. We're not convinced yet that
6 the second requirement, the material advance of the proceedings, would be
8 For that reason, we'll continue.
9 MR. STEWART: May I ask a clarification, Your Honour? That Your
10 Honour is in effect saying that we are able in effect to renew the
11 provisional application.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what I started with. And time has been
13 limited, so if -- I would say if there would have been a prima facie case
14 for your submission, then of course it might have been different, but
15 since we are aware that the short time you had available, the Chamber will
16 not prevent you from submitting in writing any further argument that --
17 not to start, but then to stop immediately the testimony, the examination
18 of Mr. Deronjic. But the Chamber sees no reason at this moment not to
20 MR. STEWART: Then that's clear. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like, Madam Usher, the next witness to be
22 brought into the courtroom, and the next witness you call, Mr. Harmon, it
23 might not be a surprise.
24 MR. HARMON: Yes. It isn't. Miroslav Deronjic. Yes, thank you
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, could you please. He'll be
1 brought in.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that you're Mr. Deronjic. Mr. Deronjic,
7 you can hear me in a language you understand?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I'm Miroslav
9 Deronjic, and I understand what is being said.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Deronjic, before giving testimony in this Court,
11 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make your solemn
12 declaration, and the text will be handed out to you now by the usher. May
13 I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
14 WITNESS: MIROSLAV DERONJIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Deronjic. Please be seated.
19 Mr. Deronjic, I'd like to give you a few instructions before we start your
20 examination. First of all, your counsel applied for being present and we
21 allow him to be present. But you're instructed not to communicate with
22 counsel. Your counsel knows exactly what we expect him to do and not to
23 do, and what he's supposed not to do is to consult with you but to address
24 the Chamber. This means that you're also instructed not to seek any eye
25 contact with counsel. Just concentrate on those who are examining you and
1 concentrate on the Chamber. That's point one.
2 Second point is: The Chamber is aware that you've entered into a
3 plea agreement. The Chamber is also aware that you're still awaiting to
4 be sentenced. In the plea agreement, but more important, in the solemn
5 declaration you just gave, you declared that you'll speak the truth,
6 nothing but the truth, and the whole truth. In transcripts of public
7 hearings in this Tribunal, we find - and I didn't read any other part than
8 specifically those parts - we find passages in which you testified that
9 earlier statements might, for whatever reasons, not be true. Perhaps not
10 in full, but then at least in part.
11 You then testified that, for reasons that moved you to decide not
12 to give true statements. I hope it's clear to you that no reason
13 whatsoever, also not reasons that might be favourable for you in
14 sentencing, could justify one word not being true. I want you to be aware
15 of that. I also want you to be aware that if you give false testimony in
16 this Court, which of course the Chamber does not expect you to do, that
17 you'd be liable and you could be prosecuted for giving false testimony.
18 Did you understand every single word I said to you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Cvijetic may be escorted into the
21 courtroom. I do not know for security reasons whether you have to sit at
22 that side. Would it be possible to sit in between the -- is it
23 impossible? I'm just asking. I've got no idea about security
24 regulations. No, no. Just to sit in between the counsel and the witness.
25 THE GUARD: As you wish.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It's good to have a security officer not too small
3 Yes. You may escort Mr. Cvijetic into the courtroom.
4 Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
5 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
6 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
7 Q. Mr. Deronjic, good morning.
8 A. Good morning, Mr. Harmon.
9 Q. You were born on the 6th of June, 1954, in the Bratunac
10 municipality; is that correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And you are a Serb by ethnicity?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Could you tell the Judges your educational background, please.
15 A. I completed the department of philosophy at the University of
16 Sarajevo, the department for Yugoslav literature, and by occupation, I am
17 professor of the Serbian language and literature.
18 Q. Could you tell the Judges your professional background. What did
19 you do after you graduated from university?
20 A. I will try to be brief. After graduating from the university, I
21 worked for a while in a daily newspaper, the republican daily newspaper of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, called Oslobodjenje, as revisor, and after that, for a
23 while, I worked in a high school called Igmanski Mars, in Sarajevo,
24 whereafter I found in job in Bratunac. I forgot to say that in that
25 period when I lived in Sarajevo, I continued in post-graduate studies,
1 which I did not complete. Instead I returned to Bratunac. And for a
2 short time, I worked in a high school in Srebrenica, before I went to do
3 my military service.
4 After coming back home, I again worked in the high school in
5 Srebrenica, and after that, I went to France, where I lived for two years,
6 working in a job that involved working with children of Yugoslav guest
7 workers in France.
8 After that contract expired, I again took up employment in the
9 high school in Srebrenica, where I remained until the beginning of the
10 war. In the summer of 1990, I was elected president of the SDS in
11 Bratunac, in which post I remained until the end of the war.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Deronjic, you're currently awaiting sentence before this
13 Tribunal, having entered a plea of guilty to a single count of
14 persecutions in relation to your role in events in Glogova on the 9th of
15 May, 1992; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct, Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, my first exhibit is going to be a copy
18 of the plea agreement that was entered into with the Prosecution's --
19 Prosecutor's office on the 29th of September, 2003, a copy of the second
20 amended indictment, and the factual basis that supports that guilty plea.
21 If I could have the exhibit number on that, I would appreciate it.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P33.
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. I won't ask you any additional questions in respect of that
25 particular --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. HARMON: I will not ask you any additional questions in
3 respect of Prosecutor's Exhibit P33.
4 Let me -- Mr. Deronjic, let me take you to another set of
5 exhibits. Since your testimony will principally deal with events that
6 took place in the Bratunac municipality, in order to assist the Trial
7 Chamber, I have prepared two exhibits. If I could have these two exhibits
8 marked next in order. One -- I'll give these to the usher.
9 The first exhibit is -- would be in order would be the map with
10 the Bratunac municipality highlighted, right-hand corner. What is the
11 exhibit number on that, please?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P34. And the next map will be
13 Exhibit number P35.
14 MR. HARMON: All right.
15 Q. Mr. Deronjic, on the screen in front of you is a map. Does that
16 map accurately reflect the location of the Bratunac municipality in Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina?
18 A. Yes, that is the accurate position of Bratunac municipality.
19 Q. And the Bratunac municipality borders with Serbia on what would be
20 the right-hand side of this map; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Now, if we could -- Exhibit P35. Mr. Deronjic, this is a map
23 showing not only the Bratunac municipality, but a number of municipalities
24 in Eastern Bosnia. Do you recognise this as such?
25 A. I do, Mr. Harmon. I recognise the map.
1 Q. And do you see a scale on the bottom left-hand corner of this map?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Now, I just want to give the Judges some perspective about the
4 size of this area. Could you tell the Judges, in terms of the location of
5 the Srebrenica municipality, how far away is the Srebrenica municipality
6 by car, travelling at a normal rate of speed, from the town of Bratunac?
7 A. Town to town, it's ten kilometres, which means about a ten-minute
8 ride by car.
9 Q. Now, focussing your attention on the city of Zvornik, in the
10 Zvornik municipality, again, from the town of Bratunac to the town of
11 Zvornik - Zvornik is indicated above Bratunac - how long would it take you
12 to travel between those two cities?
13 A. Half an hour. These two towns are 43 kilometres away from each
15 Q. Moving north to Bijeljina, I pose the same question to you,
16 Mr. Deronjic.
17 A. An hour's ride, because Bijeljina is exactly 100 metres away from
19 Q. All right. So I won't take you through the remaining points on
20 this particular map, Mr. Deronjic, but suffice it to say, would you agree
21 with me that the distances between the Bratunac municipality and some of
22 the major points about which your testimony will touch upon is not very
24 A. I completely agree with that statement.
25 Q. Mr. Deronjic, let me ask you: When did you join the SDS party?
1 A. I joined the SDS party in August 1990, and at that first meeting
2 which I attended, I was elected president of the initiative committee for
3 the founding of the party, and I became president formally on the 2nd
4 September, the date of the founding assembly of the SDS party in Bratunac.
5 I'm speaking of year 1990.
6 Q. Why did you join the SDS party?
7 A. There were many reasons, of course. In the period that preceded
8 that, I was not involved in politics. I was not a member of the League of
9 Communists, and in a certain sense, I was dissident, if you could call it
10 that. And I thought it logical and natural that in the period of the
11 dissolution of the League of Communists and the introduction of the
12 multi-party system, I should opt for one of the parties.
13 The SDS was not my first choice at the beginning. For a while, in
14 the beginning, I tried to set up the Serbian renewal movement, together
15 with some friends and colleagues, the intellectuals in Bratunac, but we
16 soon realised that it would be a marginal party and there is no real
17 reason to found it. Whereas the SDS had already been established as a
18 major party in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I decided, in agreement with
19 all the people who had been trying earlier to set up a Serbian renewal
20 movement, to join the SDS. And as I said, at the first meeting, I was
21 elected president of the initiative committee.
22 Q. Okay. I'm going to come to that right now, Mr. Deronjic. Could
23 you describe to the Judges what positions you held in the SDS.
24 A. Yes, I will describe all the positions I held. I was president of
25 the SDS in Bratunac until spring 1996, when I resigned. On the republican
1 level, I was member of the Main Board, starting with 1993, when the SDS
2 resumed its work, because it is a well-known fact that the work of all
3 political parties had been suspended during the war in 1992, under a
4 decision of the then-government of Republika Srpska, and the party
5 therefore resumed its work in the beginning of 1993.
6 I came on to the Main Board to replace Goran Zekic, who was a
7 colleague of mine and who was president of the SDS in Srebrenica. And
8 before me was the main representative on the Main Board for that area. I was
9 co-opted to the Main Board, not elected because there had been no elections.
10 After that, from 1996 to 1997, I was vice-president of the Serb
11 Democratic Party, when the party reformed itself, and instead of an Executive
12 Board, it had a Presidency, consisting of seven vice-presidents. I was one
13 of those elected to the Presidency of the Serbian Democratic Party.
14 In the autumn of 1997, I was elected into the committee for
15 personnel affairs and continued in that position until the committee was
16 abolished, and the competencies of that committee were taken over by the
17 presidency of the Serbian Democratic Party.THE INTERPRETER:Interpreter's
18 correction.The year is 1991, not 7. Answer.I might just add that, as a member
19 of that commission, I do not remember a single meeting of that commission in
20 1991. In 1992,the party did not work and there were no meetings.I think I
21 started to attend the first of those meetings in 1993 when the party resumed
22 its work. I omitted to say maybe that in the period from April--actually, end
23 April to mid-June 1992, I was president of the Crisis Staff in Bratunac
24 municipality.It was a municipal crisis staff.It is also a well-known fact
25 that in autumn 1991,the SDS organised crisis staffs across all the
1 municipalities, and I was president of the Crisis Staff of the Bratunac
2 municipality in that period.
3 MR. HARMON:Q. Could you tell the Judges what your duties and responsibilities
4 were when you were the president of the Bratunac municipal board of the
6 A. Well, I had many duties. It is well known that immediately after
7 the establishment of all these parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
8 multi-party elections were held. They were the first multi-party
9 elections in our republic. So that we spent the autumn of 1990 mainly
10 preparing for the elections. That involves a lot of work, preparing
11 nominations at municipal and republican level. We had to hold a lot of
12 sessions, rallies, public debates, and those were the activities that
13 occupied our time in 1990. In 1991, we mainly carried out the decisions of
14 republican party organs and Goran Zekic was our link with the republican
15 organs, who became later representative in the Republican Assembly for our
16 area. We also received written instructions on how to conduct our activities
17 in our areas. Later, we were also in charge of implementing election results
18 and dividing positions and competencies in keeping with the election results.
19 We held a series of meetings with the SDA party, which was the majority party
20 in Bratunac. The ratio was 70:30, if my memory serves me well.The SDA won
21 about 70 per cent of the votes. The SDS won slightly more than 30. And there
22 was another party that won seats in the Assembly. That was the SDP, the party
23 that gathered former Communists in that period. Those were mainly the jobs we
24 carried out in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, in the spring, the conflict broke out
25 in Bosnia and in late April I was elected president of the Crisis Staff.
1 Q. I'm going to interrupt you, Mr. Deronjic, because I'd like to take
2 you and ask you what were your duties and responsibilities when you were
3 president of the Bratunac Crisis Staff? And you said you were in that
4 capacity from I think April of 1992. Is that correct?
5 A. Correct. That's correct. In the month of April, the SDS crisis staffs
6 that we had formed in the autumn of 1991 were transformed into municipal
7 Crisis Staffs due to the hostilities, and my job was to coordinate activities
8 related to the conflicts, the clashes that were taking place in that time.
9 Q. Did your responsibilities include implementing policies of the
11 A. Yes, certainly. We implemented the decisions of the government of
12 Republika Srpska, because in the meantime, in autumn 1991,
13 Republika Srpska began to be established, and that was completed in
14 January 1992, when Republika Srpska was formally established.
15 At our level, we implemented decisions of separate agencies,
16 mainly ministries, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice and other
18 MR. HARMON: If I could have the exhibit marked. I will show this
19 to you as well, Mr. Deronjic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, I do understand that your case manager
21 and the registrar have agreed that the whole bundle of today would get one
22 exhibit number. So perhaps -- I don't know where that bundle starts,
23 whether the -- I don't take that the -- would the indictment and the plea
24 agreement be part of the bundle as well?
25 MR. HARMON: It was my understanding, Your Honour, that the
1 indictment, the plea agreement, and the factual basis would be one
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. HARMON: But these other exhibits would receive separate
5 numbers. But I wasn't privy to those --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not spend too much time on it. Madam
7 Registrar, is it -- is the problem to make the first three documents P33,
8 as we assigned to them, and then continue numbering? Okay. Then we have
9 two maps on P34 and P35, and we are now at P36.
10 MR. HARMON:
11 Q. This document, Mr. Deronjic, can be put on the screen. It should
12 be in front of you. You mentioned in your testimony that you had been
13 appointed to the commission on personnel and organisational issues in
14 1991; correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. And have you seen the document that is before you prior to coming
17 into Court?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon --
19 A. Unfortunately --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we now have it on our screen as well. Please
22 MR. HARMON: I'm not quite sure on the coordination of this
23 technology, Your Honour. It appears on my screen, and I assume it's on
24 your screen, but if it's not, just please let me know.
25 Q. Mr. Deronjic, you'll see that the name "Deronjic" appears in
1 number 12, with the first name of "Mirodrag." Is that an error and should
2 that be your name?
3 A. That is my name, and there is a mistake. My actual name is
5 Q. This appointment is dated the 9th of September, 1991, and is
6 signed by Mr. Rajko Dukic, who is the president of the SDS Executive
7 Board; is that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Now, you said, Mr. Deronjic, that you didn't start your work on
10 this committee until 1993. Can you explain that, please.
11 A. Well, I want to be completely clear and precise. I do not recall
12 any meeting from 1991. I can't say with absolute certainty. Maybe there
13 were meetings in 1991 that I forgot. But the reasons are very clear. In
14 1991, Bratunac entered a very dramatic phase in the autumn of that year.
15 It was a stage of open conflicts in the town itself, open war. The town
16 was full of barricades. And I was busy dealing with those problems.
17 And in the meantime, at the state level of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
18 there were also very dramatic events that resulted in a series of
19 decisions taken by the SDS and that I was in charge of implementing. That
20 occupied most of my time. That is why I don't think I attended a single
21 meeting of this commission for personnel issues, although I repeat: I
22 cannot say with absolute certainty after all these years. If that is
23 relevant to ...
24 Q. Mr. Deronjic, you also said you were a member of the Main Board of
25 the SDS, having become a member in the summer of 1993. Can you tell the
1 Judges your duties and responsibilities in that capacity.
2 A. I named this period to the best of my recollection. I want to say
3 again that I didn't have the opportunity to see the document by which I
4 was appointed. I know that it was in the spring of 1993 that the party
5 resumed its work, and I was loaned to its Main Board. I don't know the
6 exact date.
7 My duties were to be the political representative of the
8 municipality and the whole region or subregion, as you wish, of Bratunac
9 and Srebrenica, because Goran Zekic, who was my predecessor, got killed on
10 the 8th of May, 1993 -- 1992. The duties of the members of the Main Board
11 are prescribed by the statute of the party, and I believe they are common
12 to all political parties. We were able to take part in the creation, in
13 the charting of SDS policies at these sessions, to take certain decisions
14 and to familiarise with them our membership in the field, in order for
15 these decisions to be implemented.
16 Q. And finally, you said in 1996 you became a vice-president of the
17 SDS party. Could you explain to the Judges your duties and
18 responsibilities in that capacity.
19 A. The presidency of the SDS at that time was the highest body of the
20 party. It consisted -- it had seven vice-presidents, as I mentioned
21 before. And the duties of the presidency were to chart the policies and
22 to propose certain decisions to the Main Board for consideration, after
23 which they would be rejected or adopted, depending on the discretion of
24 the Main Board. And then these decisions would be forwarded to state
25 agencies that would implement them.
1 Q. Now, during the time that you were a member of the SDS party, and
2 from the time you took your initial position in that party --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, may I interrupt you? Have you finished
4 with the documents?
5 MR. HARMON: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: These documents.
7 MR. HARMON: Yes, I have.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you to show to us the second page of the
9 translation. Because this is only partly a translation of the document.
10 Yes. We see at the bottom of the translation, of the second page, the
11 ERN 3587 that follows is another copy of the very same document. I
12 noticed that you presented both 3586 and 3587, which seems to be the same
13 document, and I wonder what would be the reason for providing us twice, I
14 would say, approximately the same document, because there's some
15 handwriting on 3586, that is, the number 7 on top which does not appear on
16 the other one, whereas number 14 is -- is there any specific reason for --
17 MR. HARMON: None that I'm aware of, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we then -- perhaps could you then tender
19 one of the documents and a translation, without any reference to another
20 similar document. That's not of great assistance.
21 MR. HARMON: Yes. I'm glad to do that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. Mr. Deronjic, during the time that -- from the time you --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Harmon.
1 MR. HARMON:
2 Q. Mr. Deronjic, from the time you joined the SDS party and assumed
3 your first responsibilities in it until the time you left the party
4 positions, the highest positions which you held, did you have an
5 opportunity to meet and discuss with SDS leaders, both on a local,
6 municipal level, on a regional level, and on the republican level, those
7 policies of both the SDS party and the government?
8 A. Yes. In all issues, or on all questions, the response is
9 affirmative. I did have the opportunity in various periods, from 1990 to
10 1997, when I left the SDS, when I resigned my position there, to contact
11 numerous people from the party leadership and from people at the municipal
12 level - this is understood - also at the regional level, we met frequently
13 and discussed all the policy matters of the party. I would also like to
14 tell the Trial Chamber that in the formal sense, in the statutory sense,
15 regional boards did not exist; however, we met as people who, in a certain
16 region, had common interests and discussed certain problems related to the
17 organisation of the party elections, all the other matters that pertained
18 to the work and life of a party. I had the opportunity, throughout
19 various periods, to also meet the top leaders of the Serbian Democratic
21 Q. And did your discussions about party policy take place both in
22 private conversations with representatives of the SDS party from those
23 various levels, as well as in formal sessions and meetings of the SDS?
24 A. I wouldn't say that I had some kind of informal, private meetings,
25 unless you count conversations which are usually conducted over breaks
1 during the meetings of the Main Board or if we're meeting -- waiting for a
2 meeting to begin in a restaurant or the different places where these
3 meetings were held or, for example, the personnel commission, while we
4 were preparing or waiting for everybody to assemble, then we would talk,
5 discuss certain problems. But I never had the opportunity to visit
6 privately at home any of the high party officials. I did not communicate
7 with anyone in that particular manner. You could say that formally,
8 during those meetings, I would meet people and I would acquaint them with
9 the positions of the Serbian Democratic Party.
10 Q. Now, in your capacity in the municipality of Bratunac, did you
11 receive SDS party instructions, directives, decisions, did you analyse
12 them and later implement them?
13 A. Yes. There are numerous examples of this. We convened meetings
14 mostly in reference to different directives which we received. There were
15 also some local needs. So then we would convene local meetings as well.
16 There are also numerous examples when we received materials which charted
17 the main directions of the activity of the political organs in the
18 terrain. We would analyse them and hold meetings about them. The
19 Prosecution is familiar with this, since they have the original minutes
20 from those meetings, and you could see that all of this was applied,
21 analysed, discussed, and so on.
22 Q. Now, did you later become a friend and associate of Dr. Radovan
24 A. This is a question to which I have already replied. It's
25 difficult to define what it means, friendship. There was mutual respect
1 between Mr. President, Mr. Karadzic, and myself, especially at the point
2 in time when I joined the party presidency. I also wish to say that
3 personal contacts or family contacts of that kind were not something that
4 I cultivated with Mr. Karadzic, nor did I have the opportunity to meet
5 with him in any particular environment, except at such meetings.
6 It is true that sometimes I had the opportunity, while waiting for
7 others to appear at certain meetings, to spend some time tete-a-tete with
8 Mr. Karadzic or perhaps somebody else would be present as well, when we
9 would just informally discuss certain problems. Friendship, it seems to
10 me, is something more than that, but I allow for the possibility that my
11 relationship with Mr. Karadzic could be interpreted as a closely knit one.
12 Q. And in your contacts with Dr. Karadzic, did you have an
13 opportunity to discuss with him SDS policies and governmental policies?
14 A. Yes. There are numerous examples for that. I think that it is
15 not necessary to mention them all, but we did have the opportunity to
16 discuss certain questions, military questions, personnel questions,
17 government policy issues, SDS policy. We did have the opportunity
18 sometimes, just the two of us or in the company of just a few people, to
19 discuss these matters.
20 Q. And do you know the accused, Momcilo Krajisnik?
21 A. Yes, I also know Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik.
22 Q. Did you have an opportunity to observe his level of influence with
23 other members of the SDS party in the government while you were acting in
24 your various capacities in the SDS?
25 A. Yes. That's -- the answer is affirmative. I did have the
1 opportunity for that. I would just like to say that in 1991, I think
2 that, except through the media, I did not personally know Mr. Krajisnik.
3 Perhaps some meetings which I attended as the president of the municipal
4 board of the SDS, I had the opportunity to meet him, but I don't remember
5 having any closer contacts with him. In the course of 1992, I don't think
6 I saw him, because my work was not linked to the work of the
7 Assembly, and the SDS was not working. In 1993, I saw Mr. Krajisnik at
8 meetings of the personnel commission, and I think that in a majority of
9 those cases he attended those meetings as a member of this personnel
10 commission. Later, as vice-president, I had the opportunity to get to
11 know Mr. Krajisnik better, and from that period, in particular, I can
12 provide certain views on his influence and importance in Serbian politics.
13 Q. Let me take you, Mr. Deronjic, to the time when you worked in
14 these various capacities, both on a local level and on a republican level,
15 in the SDS. You had considerable contact, I take it, with other members
16 of the SDS party; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct, yes.
18 Q. And were you able to determine the views of your colleagues in the
19 SDS and in the government as to how they perceived Mr. Krajisnik, his
20 role, and his influence in the party and in the government?
21 A. Yes. I say yes, although I cannot claim the right that my opinion
22 and the opinion of my colleagues is correct. But there was an opinion
23 that Mr. Krajisnik was a man of the highest trustworthiness in Serbian
24 politics in general in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if I may give a
25 conclusion --
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it is important at this point that the
2 questions are very specific as to the time being referred to, because
3 we've had a certain amount of evidence about Mr. Deronjic's positions in
4 1991, 1992, and 1993, but this particular line of questioning has become
5 rather non-specific as far as time is concerned, and that ought to be made
6 clear in the questions put to this witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, to start with, the last question. Would
8 you please indicate at what time you refer to when you asked --
9 MR. HARMON: I will break down the questions.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Mr. Deronjic, you've told us that you didn't have contact with
13 Mr. Krajisnik in the early part of your involvement in the SDS.
14 Nevertheless, was Mr. Krajisnik a leading figure in the SDS in 1991 and
16 A. Yes. The answer is yes.
17 Q. How did other --
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the appropriate way, we'd suggest, to
19 ask a question of that type is to ask: What was, so far as the witness
20 can properly give the evidence, what was Mr. Krajisnik's position in the
21 SDS? What sort of a figure he was in the SDS? And not to ask it in terms
22 of was Mr. Krajisnik is leading figure in the SDS, which is after all
23 precisely what the Prosecution are attempting to establish. That's about
24 as leading as can be.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would say leading figure, leading question,
1 as a matter of fact.
2 MR. STEWART: Indeed, Your Honour.
3 MR. HARMON: I can rephrase the question.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. HARMON: I'd be glad to do so.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. What was the perception of Mr. Krajisnik in terms of his role in
9 the SDS party in 1991 and 1992?
10 A. I will first give a --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stewart.
12 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm sorry to keep objecting, but what
13 was the perception of --
14 JUDGE ORIE: I understood the question to be what was your
15 perception of -- is that correct? So it seems to be a misunderstanding.
16 Mr. Deronjic, the question was translated into English to us, but
17 perhaps not in -- no. It was said by Mr. Harmon himself. But he -- I
18 think he misformulated the question. The question was: What was your
19 perception of Mr. Krajisnik in terms of his role in the SDS party in 1991
20 and then, next question, 1992. Please proceed. Please answer the
22 A. In 1991, I knew Mr. Krajisnik only through the media. His role in
23 heading the Joint Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina was covered a lot in
24 the media, so that people watched carefully broadcasts of these assembly
25 sessions, and all the events which were reflected through the activities
1 of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I understood Mr. Krajisnik to
2 be one of the leading figures in the political life of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina and one of the leading figures in the political life of Serbs
4 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Perhaps it is not quite the place to speak of
5 this, but I believe that he did enjoy a certain popularity amongst the
6 Serbian population in that period. I cannot strictly respond to the
7 question about the policies of the SDS, because I was not familiar with
8 his activities in the party itself, in the SDS itself, in that period. As
9 I said, I saw him at some meetings. These were usually meetings of the
10 Main Board, at which the presidents of the municipal boards also
11 participated. I attended two or three such meetings, and I did not notice
12 anything particular during that period relating to the activities in the
13 party. That is my answer.
14 MR. HARMON:
15 Q. During that same period of time, are you in a position to comment
16 about how Mr. Krajisnik was perceived by other SDS figures?
17 A. I can say that -- excuse me. I thought that we were going to have
18 an objection. But I can say that --
19 MR. STEWART: Well, as a matter of fact, yes. You are going to
20 have an objection. We're just -- whoever it was thought they might have
21 an objection. The witness can properly give evidence about what he saw of
22 Mr. Krajisnik's activities and Mr. Krajisnik's position in the SDS, and
23 the witness can properly give evidence of any facts from which he draws
24 that, but what he can't give is simply evidence of other people's
25 perception of Mr. Krajisnik, unless it actually leads to his knowledge of
1 Mr. Krajisnik's position. We're getting very secondhand and thirdhand
2 here in relation to Mr. Krajisnik's position.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
4 MR. HARMON: I think it's a perfectly appropriate question. I
5 think this witness was in a position to associate with people in the SDS
6 party in that time frame. He was in a position to hear what others said
7 about Mr. Krajisnik and he was in a position to form an opinion as to what
8 he -- how he thought Mr. Krajisnik was viewed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Harmon, asking questions about
10 Mr. Deronjic's perception of how others perceived Mr. Krajisnik might
11 easily lead to speculation. On the other hand, you are allowed to ask
12 questions about what Mr. Deronjic observed as an expression of the
13 perception of others. So I would rather not ask him to look in the mind
14 of other people, but to tell us what he observed as the behaviour, also if
15 these were spoken words of other people. Please proceed.
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. Mr. Deronjic, were you in a position to hear what other people
18 said about Mr. Krajisnik? And I'm talking about the period of time
19 between 1991 and 1992.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you inform the Trial Chamber what you heard in that regard.
22 A. First of all, I've already partially responded to that question.
23 I heard from many people that Mr. Krajisnik was a true representative of
24 the SDS policy. Of course, I'm not quoting anybody in this sense. He was
25 a very popular figure in that period, while he was chairing the -- or
1 presiding over the Assembly. He was the president the Assembly of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I heard from many people that he was an authority,
3 without question, in the SDS, and that he was a close friend of
4 Mr. Karadzic and that the two of them were the creators of the SDS policy,
5 and that, in a certain sense, they were a tandem with the most influence
6 in politics at the time, and in this policy. That was the prevailing
7 opinion amongst the people who were around me at the time.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the witness slowly moves again in the
9 area which I would accept that it's rather speculation than personal
10 knowledge. I mean, if he says, well, they applauded him or they said he
11 is a good team leader or whatever direct observations conveyed to
12 Mr. Deronjic, I think that's proper to ask, but finally we gain that the
13 perception was that it was a team with Mr. Karadzic and in tandem with the
14 most influence. This is too vague, so if you want to explore that part,
15 then it should be dealt with in a more factual way. Please proceed.
16 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have one question. I'm not sure how
17 long we're going to proceed before we break, because we started at --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a break in a couple of minutes, I
19 would say. The second break is usually a bit shorter, so you have another
20 three to five minutes to go, and then we'll resume at a quarter to 1.00.
21 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Deronjic, in the time period when you were working on the
23 republican level, now, did you observe Mr. Krajisnik and were you able to,
24 based on those observations, come to any conclusions as to Mr. Krajisnik's
25 power and authority within the SDS party and within the government? If
1 you'd address each of those: Within the SDS party first, and then within
2 the government?
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I wonder if that question could be made
4 more specific as to time, rather than give him the time period by indirect
5 reference to his working on the republican level. It would seem more
6 appropriate that the specific time period is given.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Harmon, would you be able to --
8 MR. HARMON:
9 Q. When did you, Mr. Deronjic, start working on the republican level
10 in the SDS party?
11 A. In 1993, when I was elected to the Main Board.
12 Q. Can you now answer my question?
13 A. Yes, I can answer. I had the opportunity in that period to get
14 better acquainted with Mr. Krajisnik and his activities. I believe that
15 he was one of the very powerful people in Republika Srpska, which was
16 formed in the meantime, at the state level. We considered him to be one
17 of the key people in conducting state policy. As far as the SDS is
18 concerned, he took part in all meetings of the Main Board. I'm not saying
19 literally all of them. Perhaps he did have some other duties too. He did
20 not sit at the SDS presidency, but he would sit in the first row,
21 allocated for guests. He would participate in the debates, usually
22 amongst the last speakers to do so. He was very suggestive in his
23 addresses, and the Main Board would usually adopt and apply most of his
25 Mr. Krajisnik at the time was considered to be a person who, in
1 the operative sense, in the sense of conducting affairs of the state, he
2 was the main person, the number-one person, and this is the opinion shared
3 by most of the people that I knew at the time.
4 Q. Now, what was his position within the party? You've just defined
5 his position within the state. Can you make a distinction between the
6 party and the state? And if so, can you tell us what his position was in
7 the party.
8 A. He was, as far as I know, a member of the same bodies of the party
9 that I was a member of. So that was the Main Board and the personnel
10 commission, in whose work he participated also. These are his formal
11 posts within the party bodies. As far as his general influence on SDS
12 policy, I believe that it extended much more broadly than that, and I
13 believe that his influence in the SDS, his position, if I could rank it,
14 in an informal way, was quite high, and I think that the general opinion
15 was that he ranked right after President Karadzic by importance.
16 MR. HARMON: Am I, at this point, Your Honour, out of time?
17 JUDGE ORIE: You're not out of time. But before we adjourn, I
18 would like to ask the usher to escort the witness out of the courtroom.
19 We'll adjourn, Mr. Deronjic, for almost 20 minutes.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cvijetic will be escorted out of the courtroom by
22 Madam Usher.
23 Mr. Harmon, we had some questions put to the witness also in
24 relation to what happened from 1993 and onwards. The Chamber wondered
25 whether what exactly was the relevance for the indictment period?
1 MR. HARMON: The relevance is this, Your Honour: This witness is
2 in a position to give his opinion as to the influence of Mr. Krajisnik.
3 He can say, based on my conclusions in 1993, in 1994, 1995, I confirmed
4 myself - and I haven't asked him this question yet - I confirmed what I
5 viewed to be his position in authority and his power and authority. It's
6 relevant only to that. It gives -- and it can be -- it should be taken
7 only for that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although the basis of his knowledge was quite
9 different in 1993 and would allow for a -- I would say a differently based
10 assessment compared to what his sources were in the earlier period of
11 time. I hope that you keep that in mind when putting any further
12 questions to the witness in this respect. And you know, retrial activity
13 in criminal law has always been a problem.
14 Mr. Stewart.
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, well, I can say what I have to say if
16 Your Honour had further matters to address to Mr. Harmon.
17 JUDGE ORIE: No. Not at this moment.
18 MR. STEWART: Yes. Your Honour, just two observations, simply
19 to -- following the observation Your Honour has just made, we have not so
20 far taken the position or made objections on the basis that nothing in
21 1993 could be relevant in the sense that time finished on the 30th or 31st
22 of December, 1992. That would be unrealistic. But of course it is
23 important that anything brought out in relation to a later period is
24 brought out because it is said by the Prosecution to be directly relevant
25 to establishing the position in the relevant time period of the
1 indictment. But I think that was implicit in what Your Honour just said.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, what I say -- I think it's good not to
3 respond to every question which is outside June 1991 until December 1992.
4 On the other hand, we should take care that we are not dwelling around too
5 much in the adjacent periods rather than in the indictment periods,
6 although it could certainly have some relevance. But I just wanted to ask
7 specifically the attention of Mr. Harmon on this issue.
8 MR. STEWART: Our second observation, Your Honour, is a brief one.
9 When there's reference to this witness opining, giving his opinion, this
10 witness is not an expert witness. This witness is a witness of fact. In
11 accordance with normal principles, when a witness gives an opinion which
12 is in effect a convenient way of summarising what he knows factually, what
13 he observed factually, what he can give evidence about factually, there is
14 no objection. But if there is any question of straying into the area of
15 opinion, as opposed to a method of conveying factual evidence, then that
16 is outside the proper ambit of this witness's evidence.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do agree. It's not always easy to draw a
18 line between the two if you would say that it's generally accepted that
19 Zidane is a good football player, I would have hardly any reason to deny
20 that, although, to be quite honest, I hardly ever investigated into the
21 matter whether he really is a good football player. But the line is
22 sometimes difficult to draw, and I think it's good that specific attention
23 will be given to it by Mr. Harmon.
24 We'll adjourn for -- until 10 minutes to 1.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, you may escort the counsel of the
3 witness into the courtroom.
4 Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Mr. Deronjic, we were talking about Mr. Krajisnik, and let me
7 refocus your attention back to the period of 1991 to 1993. Do I
8 understand your testimony to be that you only knew of Mr. Krajisnik in
9 that time frame from the media?
10 A. No. That's not how I meant it. I said that on two or three
11 occasions, I had occasion to attend the same meetings as Mr. Krajisnik.
12 And most of what I knew about Mr. Krajisnik was from the media. That's
14 Q. In addition to what you knew from the media, did you form
15 impressions about Mr. Krajisnik's position within the SDS party as a
16 result of your attendance of SDS meetings?
17 A. Yes. I was able to form a certain opinion, but those were rare
18 occasions where I could see and hear him firsthand. It was no more than
19 three or four times when we were together at SDS meetings. I already
20 mentioned that he took the floor at those meetings, although I can't
21 remember any details of his discussion or his conduct, and I can't
22 remember any particular detail of those meetings except that he would sit
23 in the first row, and sometimes participate in the discussion. I have no
24 particular opinion of his role in the party except based on what I knew
25 from the media and what I heard from my colleagues in the party, such
1 Mr. Goran Zekic, who was our representative, and we talked about
2 Mr. Krajisnik, and his opinion was that Mr. Krajisnik was one of the
3 undisputed authorities in the SDS and in the policies carried out by that
5 Q. Mr. Zekic, Goran Zekic, was a political figure from Srebrenica,
6 the municipality that was adjacent to Bratunac; isn't that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And Mr. Zekic was on the Main Board of the SDS; correct?
9 A. Correct. I believe from the foundation of the SDS, he was member
10 of the Main Board.
11 Q. He was also a member of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, wasn't he?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Was he in frequent contact with the leadership at the republican
14 level, based on those positions that he held? If you know.
15 A. Yes, I know. He was in frequent contact with the leadership
16 because he held the greatest number of positions representing our region
17 in the topmost republican and other authorities.
18 Q. And did you and Mr. Zekic have frequent contact and conversations
19 during the period of time of 1991 and 1992?
20 A. Yes. We talked very often, even privately, because we were
21 friends, and formally, at meetings, because he would often bring
22 materials from the sessions of the Main Board, and he took it
23 upon himself to forward these materials to our board, our council in
24 Bratunac. And he often participated in the work of our board in Bratunac,
25 and he would convey to us the instructions and decisions of the Main
1 Board, and interpreted them for us.
2 Q. And would he also discuss with you, in a way that you understood
3 to be less formal, his observations about what was happening at the higher
4 levels in the SDS party and in the government?
5 A. Mr. Zekic and I were friends. We had numerous occasions to
6 discuss informally the policies of the Serbian Democratic Party, that is,
7 to say my answer is affirmative.
8 Q. And did he discuss with you the various personalities, including
9 Mr. Krajisnik, during that period of time?
10 A. Certainly. We talked about all the prominent personalities
11 featuring in SDS politics. I don't remember the places and times when we
12 discussed particular individuals, but it was normal for us to discuss the
13 leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party.
14 Q. Did Mr. Zekic express to you his view of Mr. Krajisnik?
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stewart.
17 MR. STEWART: The area that was discussed before the break, the
18 question of opinion, this is an even more extreme case of something which
19 is potentially highly objectionable. Mr. Zekic won't be giving his
20 opinion because he's no longer alive. But given that if we're talking
21 about opinion, crossing that line -- we acknowledge a slightly difficult
22 line, but if we're talking about opinion crossing that line, even if
23 Mr. Zekic himself were here giving his evidence, his simple opinion,
24 except as a way of conveying observations, would not be admissible
25 evidence. So even more strongly it follows that this witness's report of
1 what Mr. Zekic might have expressed to him as an opinion is clearly
2 objectionable. So this is an advance of the answer, but the question
3 seems at the moment to lead on to a very clear danger, of the answer
4 crossing that illegitimate line.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: Again, Your Honour, I think it is a fair question to
7 ask. I think the Court can give the answer whatever way it deems
8 appropriate. It's -- for example, Your Honour, I think it's fairly common
9 in discussing, in organisational terms, views about who has -- who is, for
10 example, the leader or the most powerful person or give characterisations
11 as to positions. It happens every day. And that's what I'm asking this
12 witness, and Your Honours can take the answer and give it whatever weight
13 you deem appropriate.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied. Mr. Harmon, you may ask
16 what the witness heard from Mr. Zekic, and you should keep full control
17 over whenever we deviate from what someone could observe and when it comes
18 to speculation and opinion, in the true sense of the word. Not every
19 assessment is necessarily opinion. Please proceed.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. What did you hear from Mr. Zekic in respect of Mr. Krajisnik's
23 A. I'll be brief in my answer. I can't remember any relevant opinion
24 expressed by Mr. Zekic about Mr. Krajisnik. I only said that it was the
25 general opinion that Mr. Krajisnik was a very powerful man. I cannot
1 recall a single particular description or reference by Mr. Zekic in
2 respect of Mr. Krajisnik, and I agree that I would go into speculation if
3 I attempted to quote something like that. And I think that would be
5 Q. Let me turn your attention, Mr. Deronjic, to July of 1991. You
6 have informed us that you attended some meetings during that period of
7 time, some SDS meetings, and I'd like to direct your attention to a
8 meeting that was held on the 12th of July, in Sarajevo, a session of the
9 SDS Assembly.
10 MR. HARMON: And if I could have that next exhibit marked and
11 shown to the witness.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P37.
13 MR. HARMON: And if we could -- yes, please. If you could show
14 the B/C/S version to Mr. Deronjic.
15 Q. Mr. Deronjic, have you seen that document prior to coming into the
16 courtroom today to testify?
17 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon, I have had occasion to see this document. It was
18 a couple of days ago, when I was preparing to testify.
19 Q. And did you attend this particular session of the SDS Assembly on
20 the 12th of July, 1991, in Sarajevo?
21 A. Yes. One can see from this document that I attended this session.
22 Q. And in that session of the Assembly, Mr. Krajisnik was indeed
23 lauded as being one of the eminent political figures from the ranks of the
24 Bosnian Serb people. Do you recall Mr. Karadzic lauding him that way?
25 And I can direct your attention to page 14. Sorry. We are trying to
1 coordinate the technical aspects of this. Does the English version of
2 this appear?
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. STEWART: Yes. If the Prosecution are attempting to elicit
6 evidence that Mr. Krajisnik was lauded as an influential figure at a
7 particular meeting, to bring up a minute which shows it recorded that that
8 happened and then to ask him whether that happened is absolutely not the
9 right way of doing it. What the Prosecution must, with respect, we
10 submit, do in those circumstances is ask the witness whether he was at
11 that meeting; ask the witness whether he recalls Mr. Krajisnik being at
12 that meeting, or they can do those questions the other way round; and then
13 in a non-leading way, see whether the witness gives that evidence, but not
14 point him to the record of exactly what it is that they're attempting to
15 elicit from the witness.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON: I was trying to direct the witness's attention to
18 this particular element. Mr. Deronjic has said he attended this meeting.
19 He has had an opportunity to review this transcript. I can ask him six
20 questions to get to this point. My time is limited with this witness.
21 This is merely illustrative for purposes of Mr. Deronjic's prior
22 testimony. If the Court wants, I can take this examination --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could we find a way in between? I would say to some
24 extent I agree that to say was he lauded and then present a piece of paper
25 in which it says he was lauded is then perhaps -- as has happened also,
1 and that of course could be a consequence, just ask him is this a report
2 of this meeting and then have that report in evidence which, of course,
3 would not -- of course you could cross-examine him on it. That would save
4 a lot of time, perhaps one or two questions, although coming to the point
5 quickly, and if the answer could be then confirmed if you find at least
6 the answer in accordance with what we find in this paper, to have that
7 confirmed, that might be the appropriate way of doing it. But putting the
8 text in front of him and say: Isn't is true that this is what happened?
9 Might be a bit too time-saving, Mr. Harmon.
10 MR. HARMON: I'm happy to withdraw the question. This will be an
11 exhibit in evidence, and we can -- it will stand on its own. I will
12 withdraw the question and I will proceed.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. HARMON:
15 Q. Mr. Deronjic, at this meeting was there an election for the SDS
16 Main Board?
17 A. Yes. This meeting elected the Main Board of the SDS.
18 Q. Prior to July the 12th, 1991, was there already a main -- an SDS
19 Main Board in existence?
20 A. I really don't know. I can't remember. I wasn't a member then,
21 and I wouldn't go into guesswork. I suppose there was. I can't say for
23 Q. All right. Well, we'll -- were you a candidate for the SDS Main
24 Board on this particular occasion?
25 A. Yes, on that particular occasion, yes.
1 Q. Were you a candidate from the region -- the Birac region?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Do you recall how many votes you received?
4 A. A few. I don't remember the exact number. I believe it was
5 something like eight. I don't remember the number. I knew I didn't pass,
6 but I saw here in one of the documents that it was eight votes.
7 Q. Who was elected from the SDS Birac region to the Main Board?
8 A. If you want me to tell you from my memory, I could only remember
9 Mr. Zekic, Mr. Dukic, and I don't think I remember anyone else, save
10 perhaps for Mr. Mijatovic, from Zvornik. But here in this file there is a
11 document where we could see that. I'm not sure who was elected as
12 representative from Birac. I know that Zekic and Dukic were certainly
13 members of the Main Board, and Mijatovic, if my memory serves me right.
14 MR. HARMON: I will direct the Court's attention to page 88 of
15 this document.
16 Q. Mr. Deronjic, do you have in front of you, toward the end of that
17 document, the results from the Birac region? If not, there's no reason to
18 look through it now.
19 A. I have it on my monitor.
20 Q. All right. Well --
21 A. I have the results on the monitor.
22 Q. Can you confirm those were the results that took place at this
23 session? If not, we'll move on to another area, Mr. Deronjic.
24 A. Yes, that's correct. Mr. Dukic and Mr. Zekic were elected members
25 of the Main Board.
1 Q. Do you recall whether Mr. Krajisnik was also elected to the Main
2 Board on that occasion?
3 A. Yes, I remember that Mr. Krajisnik was elected to the Main Board
4 at that session.
5 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, if I can direct Your Honours' attention
6 to pages 92 and 93 in the English version, first showing apparently 92 in
7 the highlighted section, indicates that the number of people who were
8 elected to the Main Board. And if we could go to the next page, the
9 identities of the people who were elected are listed.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Harmon. As I indicated at the
11 beginning of this session, the Chamber would exercise its supervision or
12 control of the examination perhaps more profoundly than usual.
13 May I ask you one question: You said you didn't know whether
14 there was any Main Board before you were elected. Is that correct?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this moment, Your Excellency, I
16 can't remember with absolute certainty, and I would hate to give a wrong
17 answer. I think there was, but I'm not absolutely sure.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Didn't you tell us just a couple of minutes ago that
19 Mr. Zekic was member of the Main Board on from the SDS to be founded?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that. Maybe I
21 misspoke. He could not have been a member of the Main Board of a party
22 that was only to be established. After its establishment, yes, I think he
23 was a member of its Main Board. In other words, I think he was a member
24 of the Main Board since -- from the day when the Main Board came into
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you were a member of the Main Board?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a member of the Main Board
3 from 1993.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I just wondered whether there was any
5 contradiction between it.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
7 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, while this list of the 45 people who
8 were elected to the Main Board on this occasion are before you, we will be
9 hearing testimony about a number of personalities in the upcoming
10 testimony, and if I can direct Your Honours' attention to some of those
11 names so you can familiarise yourself with these names before the
12 testimony. Obviously, number 1, number 35, number 36, number 31, and
13 numbers 8 and 9. Those are names that you will be hearing in the
14 testimony of Mr. Deronjic. You may hear some of the other names as well,
15 but I wanted to direct your attention to those particular names.
16 Q. Now, I'd like to go backwards in time, Mr. Deronjic. I would like
17 to go backwards in time to a meeting in approximately April of 1991, in
18 Sarajevo, that you attended. Do you know the meeting I'm talking about?
19 A. Yes. In my interview, I referred to that meeting that took place
20 in the spring. I suppose it was April 1991. Do you want me to continue?
21 Q. Can you tell us what type of meeting it was, what the subject
22 matter was and who attended.
23 A. It was a meeting of the Main Board, in its enlarged composition,
24 including presidents of municipal boards, and it was attended by the
25 highest party leadership in that period. I wasn't able to remember the
1 exact date of that meeting when I gave the interview, and I'm still unable
2 to remember it. Nor can I remember the exact venue. What I do remember
3 is that those meetings that we held in Sarajevo, some of which I attended,
4 took place in the Holiday Inn Hotel on several occasions, plus some in the
5 Villa Srbijanka, in the Ilidza neighbour of Sarajevo. The meeting
6 discussed the usual topics that were common to the political life of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as the topical events in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina and in Yugoslavia, and their repercussions on Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. Mr. Karadzic would give an introductory contribution, which
10 I don't remember in its entirety, but I quoted certain parts in my
11 interview. I don't remember anyone else who spoke at that meeting. But I
12 remember that meeting because I heard then for the first time one sentence
13 that marked a new thrust in the policy of the SDS; namely, on that
14 occasion, Mr. Karadzic said publicly that the situation in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina and in Yugoslavia is such that if the federal Yugoslavia no
16 longer exists, and it obviously doesn't, then the only option open to the
17 Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the creation of Greater Serbia. This
18 is not a quotation, but it is the sense of what he said.
19 I remember that sentence that he uttered, and I remembered it as
20 an idea that I myself used later at some meetings at the local level.
21 At that particular moment, however, it didn't mean anything much
22 to me, because it is well-known that, in practice, politicians sometimes
23 make some strong statement that is intended either to instil fear in or
24 surprise political enemies. However,when I thought about that meeting later,I
25 came to the conclusion that the spring of 1991 marked a new chapter in the
1 life of the SDS party and an abandonment of its previous principles,
2 whereas the basic principle at the time of the foundation of the SDS was
3 the preservation of the federal Yugoslavia.
4 After that meeting, I had occasion to --
5 Q. Let me interrupt you there, Mr. Deronjic. I want to ask you some
6 questions about this. First of all, you said that there were presidents
7 of SDS municipal boards and deputies of the Joint Assembly. Can you
8 identify those people by name that you recall as being present at this
10 A. I know that those sessions were always attended by all those who
11 were invited, with few exceptions of people who were for some reason
12 unable to attend. I enumerated people whom I knew to have been presidents
13 of municipal boards at the time, like myself, Mr. Zekic, Mr. Brano Grujic,
14 Mr. Dukic. Those were men from the neighbouring municipalities whom I
15 knew personally. I presume that they were at that meeting. What I know for
16 sure is that I saw there certain persons who later attended an
17 informal conversation, Mrs. Hrvacanin, Mr. Zekic, and some others. I was
18 at that meeting myself. That's why I remember it. And of course, those
19 meetings were also attended by the highest state officials, including
20 members of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Biljana Plavsic,
21 Mr. Koljevic, although of course I can't say with 100 per cent certainty
22 that they were there. I donít really remember all these details. Mr.
23 Krajisnik, and so on. As far as I can remember, those were the attendees.
24 Q. Can you expand on the shift in the policy and what you perceive
25 the importance of that shift to be?
1 A. I have already said before this Honourable Court that my thoughts
2 about the importance of that moment only came later, when I focussed in a
3 more serious way on all that happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in light
4 of my own fate, of course. As I see things today, that meeting was a
5 consequence of various developments in the former Yugoslavia, and most
6 importantly, it was a consequence in the shift of policy of Serbia and
7 Croatia towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because at that time a meeting
8 was held, of which I know only today, that is, the secret meeting between
9 Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Tudjman in the spring of 1991, and as far as I know
10 today, that was when the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina was agreed
11 between them.
12 I view this meeting in this context. However, it also had other political
13 contexts.First and foremost, the conduct of the SDA and the Muslim leadership
14 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.I wish to remind you that in the spring of 1991,SDA
15 came forward with a concept of an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina and
16 proposed it to the Republican Assembly in the form of a declaration. Then
17 we have the well-known events in Croatia. That is the time when those
18 well-known decisions were made by the Serbian people in Croatia. The
19 Serbian Krajina, for instance, took the decision to annex their area to
21 So these are the events that I know of today, and I know that
22 discussions took place in that context, and I believe it was the period
23 when a certain shift occurred in the policy of the SDS. And I link that
24 to another event as well.
25 In the spring of 1991, there was this famous rally in Belgrade, a
1 rally of opposition parties against Slobodan Milosevic, and we know the
2 epilogue of that event.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I'll stop you. This seems more comments on political
4 events rather than testimony on facts. I wouldn't say that it's totally
5 irrelevant, but it is a bit too much.
6 MR. HARMON: Your Honours will see that it's important to put the
7 context in to understand the later events, and that's why I was giving
8 Mr. Deronjic some liberty in terms of his answer. I will proceed,
9 however, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Mr. Deronjic, following this meeting where Mr. Karadzic gave
13 the -- made these certain remarks, did you have the opportunity to attend
14 a smaller meeting? And if so, can you tell us who attended that meeting
15 and where it took place.
16 A. Yes. I attended a minor meeting. This was -- the term "meeting"
17 is used in a formal sense, but the meeting was actually held in a
18 restaurant. And I said that as far as I could recall, it was held at the
19 Nacional restaurant in Sarajevo. I remember that we were sitting
20 there. Mr. Zekic, myself, Mr. Karadzic, Ostojic, Mrs. Hrvacanin. So this
21 was the company present. I remember that Mr. Karadzic continued --
22 Q. Let me just interrupt again because it's important that the Judges
23 understand who these people are. When you say Mr. Ostojic, you mean
24 Velibor Ostojic?
25 A. Yes, that is correct. I'm thinking of Mr. Velibor Ostojic. In
1 that period, as far as I know, he was the vice-president of the party.
2 Q. And what other positions did he hold thereafter? If you know.
3 A. For a while after that, he was the president of the SDS Executive
4 Board, and afterwards, for a certain period, he was the minister of
5 information in the government of Republika Srpska, and the deputy prime
7 Q. You said Goran Zekic. Can you outline briefly for the Judges the
8 positions that he held.
9 A. I think that we mentioned it. He was the president of the SDS
10 municipal board, deputy in the common -- the Joint Assembly, and later in
11 the Assembly of Republika Srpska, member of the Main Board of the SDS. I
12 think that he also had some kind of function in the legislative
13 commission, the legislative committee of the Assembly. I think he was
14 perhaps the president of the legislative commission, but I think this is
15 something that he told me. I never saw any document indicating this.
16 Q. And the final participant you mentioned was Slobodanka Hrvacanin.
17 What position did she hold, to your knowledge?
18 A. She was a member of the Main Board and she was the president of
19 the municipal board in Zenica, of the SDS municipal board in Zenica. I
20 know little about her, because I didn't really see her that much in the
21 ranks of the SDS later on, but she was somebody who was well known during
22 the initial activities of the SDS.
23 Q. Can you tell the Judges, then, what took place at that restaurant
25 A. Mr. Karadzic briefly talked about the political developments.
1 Then he said something during the discussion, which to me seemed
2 important - I remembered it - that it was agreed that Bosnia would be
3 divided. That was the essence of that one sentence of his. He also made
4 an additional comment to the effect that those who were afraid to take
5 part in that should not take part in that. That was the comment. I know
6 that he discussed some details with Mrs. Hrvacanin relating to the
7 position of Serbs in Zenica. I don't recall all the particulars. This
8 was a long time ago, and these things that I do remember, I am saying that
9 they're true.
10 Q. And in your mind, Mr. Deronjic, were those comments significant?
11 JUDGE ORIE: May I just interrupt you? I see that the Defence is
12 a bit at unrest for a reason they can't see at a distance. Is that true?
13 MR. STEWART: Yes. Your Honour, yes. We were actually just
14 asking ourselves, but then, as a preliminary to asking very directly
15 through the Tribunal: What it is that the witness has in front of him?
16 Because he has a written file and written papers in front of him and we
17 would ask what it is.
18 MR. HARMON: I can tell you it's the previous exhibit. It's the
19 minutes from the session of the Serb Assembly.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I can't see anything because the screen is just in
21 front of it. I take it that who was the better eyes is another question.
22 Perhaps in order to avoid whatever confusion, could you please close
23 whatever is in front of you. If it is an exhibit that still should be
24 returned to the registrar, that could be done now.
25 MR. STEWART: I'm grateful, Your Honour. It appears there's
1 nothing sinister, as it turns out, but it is important for us to check.
2 We would ask, and I think that's implicit in what Your Honour has just
3 said, we would ask, because the witness did bring some sort of file with
4 him which appears to be closed, but we would ask that he only ever has in
5 front of him, unless it's specifically drawn to the attention of the
6 Tribunal, the specific document which he's being asked by counsel or the
7 Tribunal to look at at that particular moment.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that the parties will keep an eye on
9 it, because I can't see it. But you're instructed not to have any paper
10 in front of you. Of course, I follow the eyes of the witness and I did
11 not see him consult anything in front of him. Please proceed.
12 MR. HARMON: Could the record reflect, just so it's perfectly
13 clear that what was in front of Mr. Deronjic was the previous exhibit.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that it was then taken by the usher and
15 given to the registrar, and I can see with my own eyes that it was the
16 previous exhibit.
17 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Deronjic, again, my question to you is: What was the
19 significance of Mr. Karadzic's remarks in that small restaurant meeting?
20 A. I can state with certainty today that this was a period in which
21 the party had a different position. At that time, of course, there were
22 comments about the situation, but I understood that this remark about the
23 division of Bosnia was stated by Mr. Karadzic in a confidential manner,
24 and I did not really comment much on that at the local level. This was
25 just a remark that I made that this was something new in the political
1 practice of the SDS. But my true information about those events actually
2 dates back from a later period when I analysed it a little bit more and
3 reached certain conclusions about it.
4 Q. Was the division -- was the proposition that Bosnia would be
5 divided included in the SDS party programme at that point in time?
6 A. No. The SDS stood for the policy of the preservation of
7 Yugoslavia in the form it existed in, as a federal community of republics.
8 Officially, that concept was valid until the fall of 1991, when
9 Republika Srpska was formed, openly, which at least formally, meant the
10 abandonment of the SDS programme on the integrity or unity of Bosnia, and
11 the unity of Yugoslavia as a joint state.
12 Q. Mr. Deronjic, following these particular meetings in April of
13 1991, did you receive instructions to prepare maps in respect of the
14 ethnic composition of your municipality?
15 A. Yes. In a certain period in 1991, we received orders from the
16 party, from the party leadership, to prepare maps of our municipalities
17 with an as precise as possible representation of the ethnic structure in
18 the territory of the municipality.
19 Q. When you say: "Ethnic structure within the municipality," what
20 does that mean?
21 A. It was necessary, according to the instructions, to indicate by
22 colour settlements and their ethnic composition. Villages and towns which
23 were populated by Serbs were marked by the colour blue, and those
24 inhabited by Muslims were marked in green, while Croats in Bratunac only
25 numbered about five or six, so we did not take those figures into account.
1 Q. Did you prepare those maps?
2 A. Yes, we did make such a map of the Bratunac municipality, and we
3 passed it on to the republican party leadership.
4 Q. And do you recall to whom that map was sent? When you say: "The
5 republican leadership," what do you mean by that?
6 A. This had to be given to the president or the presidency of the
7 party. I really don't know how the party leadership functioned at that
8 time, but there were technical teams within the party which carried out
9 such tasks. In the technical sense, they would send us instructions and
10 then what we did would send that back to the technical department of the
11 party, and then they would make sure that that was given to the SDS.
12 Q. Do you know why --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, may I ask you to have a look at the
14 clock. It's one minute off from a quarter to 2.00.
15 MR. HARMON: Yes. I have one question.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please put your question.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Do you know why, Mr. Deronjic, those maps were prepared?
19 A. I concluded, and this conclusion was formed later, and it has to
20 do with the founding of Serbian Autonomous regions in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. Because in the coming period, one of the main activities of
22 the SDS was to form Serbian autonomous regions. In order to form those
23 regions, I don't know exactly, but they probably used these maps. They
24 also used legal and constitutional options in Bosnia and Herzegovina in
25 the form of association of municipalities for some kind of common purpose.
1 Later, these municipalities were verified as constitutive parts. Those
2 regions were identified as constitutive parts of the territory of
3 Republika Srpska. This was done at an Assembly session in October. And
4 then later, it became clear that they were actually formed with that
6 MR. HARMON: I've concluded, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
8 Mr. Deronjic, it's time for us to stop. I'll ask the security to
9 escort you out of the courtroom.
10 We'll start again tomorrow morning at 9.00, for your information,
11 same courtroom.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00 for your
14 information. Same courtroom. I take it that there's nothing urgent to be
15 discussed at this very moment. I see only nodding no. Therefore, we
16 adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00, same courtroom.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day of February
19 2004, at 9.00 a.m.