1 Wednesday, 18 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Welcome to everyone I think for the first time in
6 this courtroom during this trial.
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Momcilo Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand, Mr. Harmon, that you'd like to
13 address the Chamber before we continue the examination-in-chief of the
15 MR. HARMON: I would, Your Honour. Thank you very much. Good
16 afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon, Counsel.
17 Monday morning, Mr. Stewart proposed in part a schedule that would
18 start the testimony of Mr. Treanor following the conclusion of the direct
19 examination of Mr. Deronjic, and that was of course the first time I had
20 heard that proposal. My response to that proposal, as Your Honours are
21 aware, was that it was not possible because we were in the process of
22 organising and preparing Mr. Treanor's exhibits. Now, that position was
23 an apparent contradiction to information that the Trial Chamber had
24 received earlier as to the availability of Mr. Treanor. At the end of
25 Monday's session, Judge Orie, speaking on behalf of the Trial Chamber,
1 expressed surprise and said, and I quote: "And let me be quite clear that
2 one day being ready and the other day not being ready any more needs at
3 least some explanation the Chamber has not received yet."
4 And Judge Orie continued: "In general terms, this change of
5 position by the Prosecution perhaps should have been announced prior to
6 telling this Chamber in Court."
7 Now, I accept that, and with your permission, I would like to
8 provide that explanation to Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I can imagine that it has got something to do
10 with the difficulties we faced when looking at exhibits on our screen, so
11 that the Prosecution had to change its approach to how to present
12 documents. If that -- because I've been thinking about what could have
13 caused it, what came into my mind. If that would be it, a short
14 explanation would do, Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: Yes, that indeed is it precisely. On Monday morning,
16 we were prepared to proceed with Mr. Treanor's testimony and all of his
17 exhibits were in electronic format. However, events the previous week,
18 particularly in respect of the intercepts, caused me considerable concern
19 in trying to fashion a remedy that would best assist the Trial Chamber in
20 having the exhibits at hand and being able to analyse those exhibits
21 properly. So on Friday afternoon, late Friday afternoon, I instructed my
22 staff to prepare all exhibits that related to the intercepts that we were
23 going to be presenting in Court in a different fashion. The fashion that
24 Your Honour saw had the script moving too fast, you were unable to see the
25 full intercept itself, the text, and therefore judge and assess the
1 context and what was being said. So as I say, I instructed my staff to
2 prepare hard copies of all intercepts that were going to be presented in
4 The calculation that we had on Friday when I gave that instruction
5 was that Mr. Treanor was not going to be testifying until at the end of
6 this week, Friday or perhaps early the following week, so when I gave that
7 instruction on Friday late afternoon, that instruction I knew when I heard
8 the proposal of Mr. Stewart was not going to be implemented. It was not
9 in the process of being implemented on Monday morning when I heard that
10 proposal. And therefore, Your Honours, I made my response to Your Honour,
11 saying we were in the process of preparing and organising our exhibits.
12 So that change in circumstance is precisely why I made that
13 comment to Your Honours and why I said I would not be ready.
14 Following Monday presentation of evidence, and we went through a
15 series of problems with the documents themselves and being visible on the
16 computer monitors, and having to go through each exhibit paragraph by
17 paragraph on the ELMO. Once again, I came to the conclusion that we
18 weren't assisting the Trial Chamber in the best way we could in taking our
19 evidence and looking at our evidence and being able to analyse the
20 evidence. So on Monday, after Court, I instructed again my colleagues to
21 prepare all of Mr. Treanor's be exhibits in hard copy for each of Your
22 Honours and counsel so that they would be available. So that, Your
23 Honours, is the explanation that I offer to Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That explanation leads to better understanding,
25 Mr. Harmon. Thank you for that.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have just three additional small
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
4 MR. HARMON: If respect of Prosecutor's Exhibit 60, which is this
5 map, a small -- an enlarged map of Glogova, taken from a map of one -- of
6 a scale of 1:100.000, Your Honours asked me to inform you of what the
7 scale is of this enlarged version of it, and I can tell you now the scale
8 is one centimetre to 71.428 centimetres.
9 The next issue I can inform Your Honours about is Prosecutor's
10 Exhibit 37, an exhibit that had superfluous text at the bottom of the
11 exhibit. Your Honours asked me to provide a copy to the registrar without
12 that text and just to inform Your Honours, we have done so.
13 And the last item deals with the witness Mr. Rasid Hasanovic,
14 whose status we continue to monitor. The essence of it is this:
15 Mr. Hasanovic still needs proper travel papers to leave the United States
16 to get here. He has not received those papers. We will continue to
17 monitor the situation, and my suggestion, and I've discussed this with
18 counsel, but my suggestion would be this: If he does not have his travel
19 papers by the end of the weekend, given that Mr. Treanor's testimony will
20 carry over into next week in all likelihood, my suggestion would be that
21 we abandon for this session calling Mr. Hasanovic, because -- and unless
22 he could complete his testimony in one sitting, because otherwise it would
23 require Mr. Hasanovic coming from the United States to testify in part and
24 then have to return during the next session from the United States. I
25 think that would be an expense that could be avoided and should be
1 avoided, and I -- with the Court's permission, I would be prepared to
2 inform the Court on Monday what the final situation is as of that date, as
3 to the status of Mr. Hasanovic. We can better judge where the examination
4 of Mr. Treanor is at that point and make a better judgement then as to
5 whether Mr. Hasanovic should be brought to Court.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any explanation as to why papers for
7 travelling are not -- I mean, usually you get papers from governments. Is
8 there any --
9 MR. HARMON: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- problem?
11 MR. HARMON: I can tell Your Honour what I understand the
12 situation to be.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. HARMON: It's all as a result of post 9/11 fallout in the
15 United States. With the Homeland Security Department, Mr. Hasanovic needs
16 special papers because he doesn't have a US passport. He needs special
17 papers to be able to leave the United States, given his status in the
18 United States and he needs those papers so he can return to the United
19 States. So it's very complicated. I find it myself, like you, this
20 should be something that should be easily resolved. Unfortunately, it has
21 not been and we have pressed the issue and we continue to do so, but
22 that's what I can offer Your Honours as an explanation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that, especially since it's your
24 witness, that you emphasise, wherever you can, that it's necessary for him
25 to come. Whenever you would need the assistance of the Chamber in that
1 respect, we will hear from you, I take it.
2 MR. HARMON: Yes. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any observation to be made on the part of
4 the Defence, 71.428 perhaps.
5 MR. STEWART: No, not on that or anything else at this moment,
6 Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
8 Then, Mr. Harmon, is the Prosecution ready to continue the
9 examination-in-chief of Mr. Deronjic?
10 MR. HARMON: We are, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then may I ask the security and the usher to
12 escort Mr. Deronjic into the courtroom.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Deronjic. Good afternoon.
15 Please be seated. I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by the
16 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony, and I
17 take it that you still remember my words spoken at that occasion.
18 Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
19 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
20 WITNESS: MIROSLAV DERONJIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examined by Mr. Harmon: [Continued]
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Deronjic.
24 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Harmon.
25 Q. Mr. Deronjic, we concluded your testimony on Monday. You had
1 described attending a meeting in Pale, where you had informed various
2 people that the population from the village of Glogova had been
3 transferred, a large part of the village had been burned, and the
4 operations in the Bratunac municipality and the surrounding settlements
5 were continuing. Now, Mr. Deronjic, were you, after you gave that report,
6 or during the time you gave that report, were you criticised by
7 Mr. Karadzic for the actions that you described having taken?
8 A. No. He did not criticise me for that.
9 Q. Were you criticised by Mr. Ostojic?
10 A. No, he didn't criticise me either.
11 Q. Were you criticised by Mr. Mladic?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Now, other than Mr. Djeric, about whom we're going to be talking
14 in a minute, were you ever criticised by anyone from the SDS Main Board or
15 from the Bosnian Serb government about the actions that you had taken in
16 respect of Glogova and other Muslim settlements in the Bratunac
18 A. No, but if I may add something briefly, with your permission.
19 Q. Please.
20 A. Not until 1993 did I have opportunity to meet with these people,
21 due to the war-related events in Bratunac. In the summer of 1992, I went
22 to Pale again, but I don't remember going to the government during that
23 period. So there was no possibility for anyone to criticise me directly,
24 except from the fact that I told about these events to a representative of
25 the government who came to Bratunac to inform the War Presidency or the
1 government commission, or whatever it was called, of what was going on,
2 and it was to him that I related the events that had taken place in
3 Glogova. He made some notes, but he did not criticise me in any way.
4 Q. Can you identify that person?
5 A. It was Mr. Djokanovic, who was a deputy to the Joint Assembly. He
6 was the president of a rather small party during the pre-war era, which
7 was called the Federalist Party.
8 Q. What was his first name, if you remember?
9 A. I cannot at this point, but I will probably remember, because I
10 know the man.
11 Q. Now, after you left this particular meeting that you described to
12 us, where did you go?
13 A. After this meeting, I went to the government to see Mr. Djeric,
14 the president of the government of Republika Srpska.
15 Q. And clarify in my own mind: Was he the president or was he the
16 prime minister of the government of Republika Srpska?
17 A. He was the prime minister, or, as he's commonly referred to in our
18 language, the president of the government of Republika Srpska.
19 Q. Why did you go see him?
20 A. I wanted to inform Mr. Djeric as well of what had happened,
21 because during the previous meeting, the meeting that I had attended, was
22 focussed more on briefing. I didn't hear any serious comment on anything,
23 and I wanted to inform the prime minister of the events in Bratunac. So I
24 went to see him and I told him more or less the same version of the events
25 that I had described previously at the meeting, because I wanted to hear
1 what he thought of that.
2 Q. What specifically did you tell Mr. Djeric?
3 A. Well, I told him that we had undertaken an action in which the
4 military had also taken part, the Yugoslav People's Army, that is, the
5 Territorial Defence and the police, and that in the course of that action,
6 we forcibly removed the population of Glogova to the territory under the
7 Muslim control, specifically, to Kladanj. And I also told him that the
8 epilogue and the consequence of this event was the burning of the village,
9 which had almost completely been set on fire. At that point, I wasn't
10 aware of any killing, so I wasn't able to tell him anything about that,
11 but as for the rest of the events, I described them the way they had
13 Q. What was Mr. Djeric's reaction to that account?
14 A. I will just summarise his reaction, because I don't remember the
15 entire conversation. He was very angry. He was upset and angrily he
16 asked me: Who ordered this? Why was this done in this way? And I
17 explained to him that this had been done pursuant to my orders and that I
18 had also informed the meeting which preceded this encounter, of this.
19 Djeric made some notes of what I had told him, but, in brief, he was very
21 Q. Mr. Deronjic, how do you account for the different reactions
22 between Mr. Djeric, who was angry, and Mr. Mladic, Mr. Karadzic,
23 Mr. Ostojic and the other representatives, those representatives applauded
24 you for what you reported. How do you account for that difference?
25 A. I do have an explanation of sorts. I can give it to you. I will
1 try to be as brief as possible. In my testimonies so far, I have
2 maintained that, as far as the plans of this kind were concerned, the
3 plans which implied the participation of the volunteers, the transfer of
4 the population from certain areas, the forcible removal of the population,
5 and so on and so forth, that the entire leadership of Republika Srpska was
6 not aware of all of these plans. And I'm referring to two or three
7 individuals with whom I talked later on. I met with Mr. Djeric in the
8 summer of 1992, in Zvornik, at a meeting which was attended by regional
9 officials of the SDS and representatives of municipal authorities. And I
10 could see that Mr. Djeric was not informed of the details of the early
11 days of the war in the Eastern Herzegovina. He inquired about what had
12 happened. He made notes of what he heard, and he expressed his
13 disagreement with the events that had taken place. And I also had an
14 opportunity, two or three times, maybe, to discuss the issue with
15 President Koljevic, sometime in 1993, I believe, in Milici. Koljevic used
16 to be my professor from the university. And I knew him personally. He
17 too was surprised at the course of the events in Eastern Bosnia.
18 Later, I went to see him at Pale, and we discussed this once
19 again, and he again told me that he had not been aware of this type of
20 activities that had taken place in Eastern Bosnia. I told him my opinion,
21 that is, this had taken place according to a plan, that someone must have
22 been behind the arrival of these volunteers. And again, I believe we
23 discussed the issue once when we met in Zvornik, at home -- at the home of
24 a small entrepreneur there. He invited me specifically to discuss these
25 events, and once again, he told me that he had not been aware of them.
1 Q. So let me ask you, Mr. Deronjic: After the conclusion of this
2 meeting with Mr. Djeric, did you return to Bratunac?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where did you go?
5 A. I cannot remember at this point where I went.
6 Q. Were you informed as to the situation in respect of the Muslim
7 detainees in the Vuk Karadzic school?
8 A. Are you talking about the time when I returned from the meeting
9 that was held on the 11th, at Pale?
10 Q. Yes, that's correct.
11 A. I'm sorry. I misunderstood your question. I thought you were
12 referring to what happened after the meeting with Djeric in Zvornik.
13 After the meeting at Pale, I went back to Bratunac and I was
14 informed on the next day, because I had arrived rather late that night, so
15 the next day I was informed that the people who had been separated at the
16 stadium were detained in a facility, an abandoned facility which was some
17 kind of workshop, commonly referred to as the hangar. I have also seen
18 this word being used in various documents.
19 Q. What did you do once you received that information?
20 A. Following these events, we held several sessions, in parallel with
21 the events, actually. On the first or the second day, we tried to
22 reinforce the control because we had received information that people were
23 being taken out of this hangar, and we had information that some of them
24 had been killed on the very first day. In addition to that, apparently
25 some people had been severely beaten up inside the hangar itself. We then
1 talked to the military police. I had a meeting with the commander of the
2 military police, and we requested that the situation be dealt with as soon
3 as possible and that entry be prohibited to outsiders. We didn't see --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name.
5 A. -- on that day, although we looked for him and we received a
6 decision on his expulsion on account of several things, several criminal
7 activities that he had been engaged during that period. We then asked our
8 police to reinforce their presence there during the first couple of days,
9 because we didn't know what to do with these people.
10 When we realised that Reljic was mostly absent from Bratunac
11 during these days, that we had to take care of these people, and when we
12 realised that the killings were continuing, at a session held right after
13 these events, we adopted a decision to release these people. We made a
14 list of them, and then secretly, at about 2.00 a.m., we let them go. We
15 took them --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON: Let me stop you there for just a moment.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the interpreter said on page 12, line 6
19 that the name was not heard.
20 Mr. Deronjic, you said that you -- after the meeting with the
21 commander, you requested that the situation be dealt with as soon as
22 possible and that entry be prohibited to outsiders. You then said: "We
23 didn't see," and you mentioned a name, "...that day," although you looked
24 for him. Could you please repeat the name of who you didn't see and you
25 were looking for.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned two men. This is for
2 the interpreter, so that it's clear. I spoke to the commander of the
3 military police. His name was Savo Babic. The commander of the military
4 unit, Mr. Reljic, he was the one that I couldn't find that day in
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Mr. Deronjic, what information did you receive about who was
9 killing these detainees?
10 A. I got the information from the military police and the civilian
11 police that volunteers were going inside and that -- and also some people
12 from Srebrenica. And I'm primarily thinking of Mr. Drago Zekic, the
13 father of the late Goran Zekic, who used to take people out, and he took
14 them somewhere. I was told that he was doing this in order to monitor the
15 investigation regarding the killing of his son. However, a large number
16 of people never returned, so it was assumed that they were killed.
17 I also have to say that I was told that there were some local
18 people who had joined the volunteers, and they also went into the hangar.
19 Q. Did you receive any information as to how many of the detainees
20 had been killed?
21 A. My information in that period - and I'm talking about those days -
22 I had information that a large number or many people were taken out, but
23 nobody knew exactly how many were taken out over that period and killed.
24 I was told, I think sometime on the 13th, that a group was taken to the
25 Drina and that they were killed. I personally went there to see that, and
1 I really did see several corpses in the water. I can't remember how many
2 people were killed there, but I saw three or four corpses in the
3 Drina River. And later, when these people were buried, when all the steps
4 were completed in that sense, I got a different figure for the number of
5 killed. I think the municipality must have a list of how many people were
6 identified and buried there.
7 I received different information, so I'm afraid to make a mistake,
8 but I did have information at one point that a hundred people were killed.
9 Later, I had information that the figures ranged from 50 to 60 people.
10 Q. Now, the people who were detained in the hangar were Muslim
11 civilians who had been removed from the Muslim settlements; isn't that
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Now, you mentioned that you had prepared a list.
15 MR. HARMON: And if I could have the next exhibit number and have
16 that exhibit shown to Mr. Deronjic and a copy of this exhibit handed to
17 the Judges.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P61.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. Mr. Deronjic, if you would take a moment just to inspect
21 Prosecutor's Exhibit 61 that is before you.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you recognise that exhibit, Mr. Deronjic?
24 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon. This is a list of people that we took to Pale
25 from the hangar that night and handed over to a certain Marinkovic in
2 Q. Just to orient everybody as to this exhibit: On the right-hand
3 column of that exhibit, under residents, it indicates where these people
4 were from; is that correct? And one can see --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. One can see many entries from Suha and other locations in
7 Bratunac. Now, Mr. Deronjic, after you prepared this list, what did you
9 A. In the evening, after the decision that we adopted, at 2.00 a.m.,
10 we took those people, with a military and civilian police escort, and
11 there were people who were entrusted as commanders to take care of those
12 people. We transported them to Pale, where these commanders were supposed
13 to hand them over to somebody from the civilian or military leadership of
14 Republika Srpska.
15 Q. Now, earlier you mention that had Pale was the capital of the
16 Republika Srpska, and was that the location where Mr. Karadzic and
17 Mr. Krajisnik had their offices?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In respect of the Muslim civilians from Glogova in your testimony,
20 you described they were put on various forms of transportation and moved
21 to Kladanj, which was Bosnian-Muslim-held territory. My question,
22 Mr. Deronjic, is: Why weren't these 400 detainees put on a bus and sent
23 to Kladanj? Why were they sent to Pale?
24 A. I will answer that question. I had strong personal reasons for
25 doing that. In the beginning, when the volunteers came to Bratunac, I
1 took a series of steps and measures to prevent their activities or to
2 reduce them to a reasonable degree. However, due to a series of
3 circumstances, we did not manage to do that entirely. I believed, even
4 though I ordered the action on Glogova, and even though I participated in
5 it in the way that I described, I agreed to certain things, which I did,
6 but I never agreed to that, nor did I ever order or wish that people are
7 killed. In that period or during the war, I never agreed to anything like
8 that. Of course, I'm talking about people being killed for no reason,
9 civilians. I'm not talking about people who are participating in combat.
10 Due to a series of events in Bratunac, and due to the fact that this
11 policy brought some disastrous results for Bratunac, I was angry and I
12 decided to send these people directly to Pale. I wanted to say: Here you
13 are. This is the result of what you have been doing. Here are these
14 people, and you decide what you want to do with these people. This is a
15 decision that I cannot make. So I left it up to them to deal with the
17 Q. What was the reaction, as far as you know, as to the arrival of
18 these 400 people who had been cleansed from the Bratunac municipality?
19 A. The reaction was quite strong. They didn't want to accept them at
20 first. Everybody felt that the responsibility for that should be borne by
21 somebody else, so they didn't know what to do with those people. The
22 negotiations lasted for two or three days. I spoke to the commanders and
23 I said that they were not to return those people to Bratunac under any
24 circumstances, and if there was no other solution, they should just
25 release them and let them come back to their homes.
1 Q. And when you say, "Negotiations," negotiations with whom?
2 A. The commanders were negotiating. The police and the -- the
3 military and civilian police commanders were negotiators. Mr. Josipovic
4 from the civilian police and Babic from the military police were in charge
5 of those people, so they were talking about the problem with some people
6 who were there from the police and the military. I don't know those
7 people. I didn't meet them later. I didn't meet Marinkovic either, the
8 person who signed the document once he accepted to take over those people.
9 Q. Was there any reaction on the part of the Bosnian Serb leadership
10 to the arrival of 400 Bosnian Muslim detainees who had been cleansed from
12 A. At that point, I don't know whether anybody from the leadership
13 intervened in this matter. Once, during the war, I did have occasion to
14 be reprimanded, in a way, by one of those people from the leadership, who
15 said: "Why did you send those people over?" But I didn't really respond
16 to that. I don't know exactly what I said, but this was my explanation.
17 Q. Who was it who reprimanded you?
18 A. I think that -- well, I don't think. It was Karadzic, actually,
19 during a conversation, just a regular conversation. He mentioned it.
20 Q. What happened to those 400 Muslim detainees?
21 A. As far as I know, based on information I received -- again, I say
22 I think because it's a little difficult for me to remember everything in
23 detail. I think that those people were exchanged for some people in the
24 Ilijas municipality -- or, excuse me, for some Serbs from the Ilijas
25 municipality. But I don't know exactly when this happened and how.
1 Q. In other words, they didn't return to the Bratunac municipality?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Is that correct: They did not return to the Bratunac
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Now, at some point in time, Mr. Deronjic, in respect of the people
7 who had been killed in the hangars, does a Dr. Stankovic appear in
9 A. Yes, that's correct, if you're thinking of Mr. Stankovic, the
10 military pathologist from Belgrade. He came to Bratunac, at the
11 invitation of the Crisis Staff.
12 Q. And very briefly, can you tell the Judges what he did.
13 A. After the people were transported to Pale, we took a series of
14 actions. First of all, we decided to expel all the volunteers from the
15 Bratunac municipality. Then we called somebody from the military, from
16 the Yugoslav People's Army to come and to examine the people who were
17 killed, the bodies. Mr. Stankovic came, Zoran Stankovic. I think that
18 was his name. Today he's the chief of the military medical academy in
19 Belgrade, and he's a well-known pathologist. Accompanied by one officer
20 whose name I don't know. I didn't remember it. They examined all the
21 bodies, identified them, and then we talked to him about how we would bury
22 those people. They were placed in nylon body bags. They were marked by
23 numbers. Each body was identified and they were buried next to one
24 another at a location which was set aside for that. They were buried
25 publicly. We even ordered Muslim gravestones, but we never actually
1 placed the gravestones on the graves because we were afraid of the
2 reaction of the people. So that those gravestones are still in Bratunac
4 After that, we adopted a decision to expel Mr. Reljic, and once he
5 found out about the decision, he fled; he just took a car and he took some
6 items, some things from Bratunac, and left.
7 Q. Did those bodies that had been buried remain in that location?
8 A. No. The bodies are not there any more.
9 Q. What happened to those bodies?
10 A. The bodies were removed. I don't know who did it or when this was
11 done. I know that a man came in 1994 who was interested in those bodies.
12 I explained to him the situation, that they were buried publicly, that we
13 identified them, buried them, and recorded their burial places, and that
14 there was no need to touch them. Later, those people, as far as I know,
15 those bodies, are no longer there. But I really don't know when and who
16 did that. I can maybe just tell you what my assumptions are about who
17 removed the bodies and when this was done.
18 Q. Let me ask you this, Mr. Deronjic: Who was it -- who was the man
19 who came with whom you had a conversation about bodies?
20 A. It was General Subotic.
21 Q. Did he tell you why he was in Bratunac?
22 A. Yes. He said that he was interested in the graves in Bratunac,
23 that he had a report that there were graves in Bratunac, and he asked me
24 whether this was true and what I knew about it. I told him that the only
25 grave that I knew of was this grave, that it's not a secret grave. I
1 explained everything to him. I took him to the location. I showed it to
2 him. It's near the road, near the settlement, close to that road. I told
3 him: This is where we buried them. And I explained to him how we did it.
4 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Deronjic. I have just a few more
5 questions, and I would like to clean up parts of this transcript. And
6 with your assistance, Mr. Deronjic, and unfortunately, Your Honours, I
7 don't have the official transcript. I have the LiveNote, and I can cite
8 to the LiveNote reference or later give Your Honours the transcript cites
9 on the corrected version, but I can quote the answer and ask Mr. Deronjic
10 to clarify a point so the record is clear.
11 Mr. Deronjic, on the 16th of February, you provided the following
12 answer. This is found, Your Honours, on the LiveNote at page 42 for that
13 day. What I would like to correct is found on line 24. Let me read you
14 the answer, Mr. Deronjic, and then I will ask you a question. You
15 answered, in response to a question that I put to you, my question
16 being: "Now, after the first group of volunteers was killed by the forces
17 of Naser Oric, what happened?" Your answer was: "Two things happened,
18 two things which would be of some significance for the future development
19 of the events. A JNA unit arrived in the area. I had never seen this
20 unit before, nor did I have any knowledge in that period as to the
21 identity of that unit, but it was an armoured unit, consisting of perhaps
22 20 troops, and five to six armoured vehicles. Captain Suljic --" and my
23 record shows S-u-l-j-i-c -- "...was their leader." Is that the correct
24 name for the leader of that particular group?
25 A. No. I don't know how this mistake occurred, but the correct name
1 of the commander of that group is Captain Reljic.
2 Q. Let me turn to another portion of this transcript in order to
3 correct it. This is found on page 89 of the LiveNote. The correction I
4 am going to be directing the witness's attention to is found at line 10.
5 And the answer, Mr. Deronjic, I will read part of the answer, starting at
6 line 5: "I said that the day before, the 9th of May, we carried out the
7 forcible transfer of the population of Glogova, that the village was
8 torched, most of the village was torched and that all the inhabitants of
9 the village who happened to be there when we came were evacuated in the
10 direction of Kladovo." Is that the direction that they went?
11 A. No. It's a mistake. We're talking about Kladanj. That is the
12 name of the municipality, which is the neighbouring municipality to
14 Q. Finally, Mr. Deronjic, I'd like to direct your attention to
15 answers that you gave in respect of the meeting that took place with
16 Mr. Zekic in the Hotel Fontana on the 5th of May, and referring to
17 page 60, I'm going to read part of your answer, starting at line 12 and
18 ending at line 16: "I wanted to know under whose orders they were acting,
19 and he said one sentence which I remembered to this date, that this was
20 all pursuant to an agreement and that the arrival of the military in
21 Bratunac had been based on an agreement between the leadership of Serbia
22 and the leadership of Republika Srpska."
23 Now, Mr. Deronjic, that was your answer. Later in your testimony,
24 at page 66, page 66, lines 19 through 24, you were asked a question by
25 Judge Orie. And his question was: "Is it on the basis of his words that
1 you knew what he was referring to or that you presumed what he was
2 referring to, or was it on the basis of knowledge outside, obtained
3 outside of that conversation?"
4 Your answer, as interpreted, was as follows: "He said -- I cannot
5 quote his exact words, but he said that there had been an agreement
6 between the highest organs of Republika Srpska and those in Serbia with
7 respect to the operations that were conducted in the area. So on the
8 basis of that, I was able to assume that he was referring to the highest
9 organs. Obviously, he was not referring to low-level organs. I was a
10 low-level organ myself."
11 So, Mr. Deronjic, I'd like to focus on the term "organ," because
12 it may cause some confusion. What did you mean by the term "organ" in the
13 answer I just read you?
14 A. I think that I mentioned the term "organ" several times. I'm
15 thinking of the top leadership. I'm thinking of a state organ, either the
16 Presidency or the government or a military organ. And when I said that --
17 when I mentioned a local level organ, I was thinking of the Crisis Staff.
18 At the time, it was the organ of authority at the local level.
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. HARMON: That concludes my direct examination, Your Honour.
21 Mr. Deronjic, thank you very much.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, this concludes your examination-in-chief?
23 MR. HARMON: It does, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could I please ask you one question about
25 Exhibit P61, just presented to the witness. You have provided the
1 Chamber, and I take it also the Defence, not only with P61, but also with
2 P61.1. I expect at least that it gets that number. That's the English
3 translation. Because I have some problems with it. If I look at your
4 list of exhibits, the last exhibit is this list of 401 Muslims. You give
5 as the document date, you give the 17th of May, 1992, and it seems that
6 you refer to it as document OTP reference 34031A, whereas the translation
7 seems to bear the same number, but now with "B" instead of "A." In the
8 translation, we find, on the -- not on the front page but on the first
9 page to follow, not being just a form, where it says at the
10 bottom: "Pale, 14th of May, 1992." At the same time, you indicate the
11 17th of May as the document date on the list, and I can imagine that the
12 confusion comes from the original, which gives a figure that might be read
13 perhaps both as a 7 or as a 4.
14 MR. HARMON: I can see the confusion, Your Honour. I can see
15 where one could take this figure on the original could be interpreted as
16 a 4 or a 7. But that's the source of the confusion.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's -- but you solved the problem at one in
18 a 7 and at another moment the interpreters, at least, solved it as being a
20 MR. HARMON: I'm not sure what I can do in respect of interpreting
21 this particular person's penmanship. It's quite confusing.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I could ask your attention for the
23 following: There where the date appears, the date which seems not to be
24 very clear, we find handwriting, and I especially draw your attention to
25 the word "Pale," as such a word, that we also find on the front page of
1 that same document, which, although I'm not an expert, seems to have a
2 striking resemblance, the handwriting seems to have a striking resemblance
3 with -- on the front page, in this first page. And to my surprise, I find
4 a figure 4 on the cover page, which differs quite a bit from the number we
5 were just discussing.
6 MR. HARMON: I certainly agree with Your Honour. What I don't see
7 in the 7 on the third page is a strike mark across the vertical part of
8 the figure itself, which I think is customary in Europe. I can't resolve
9 this, Your Honour. I don't have a way to resolve this.
10 JUDGE ORIE: It is just to make clear that this could create some
11 confusion, and how important it is, we'll find out at a later stage. If
12 you could solve the matter in one way or the other, or if the witness
13 could, we'll hear from you.
14 MR. HARMON: I can put this exhibit to the witness, Your Honour,
15 and ask him if he can --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. HARMON: -- make that distinction.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, you have given him quite some clues, and
19 it would be -- I would like to know what the basis would be for his
20 interpretation. If he knows exactly about the dates, fine, but I'm not
21 waiting for his interpretation of this same information we just discussed.
22 So if he has any knowledge, fine, but I'd rather not have his expertise on
23 the matter.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Mr. Deronjic, do you have Prosecutor's Exhibit 61 in front of you?
1 Mr. Deronjic, let me direct your attention to the third page, where
2 there's a signature at the bottom. It says, the last line, it
3 says, "Pale," and there's a date. Do you know when this particular
4 document was created? If you do, please tell us; if you don't, don't
5 answer the question.
6 A. I can say when it was created, with great certainty; however, not
7 a hundred per cent.
8 MR. HARMON: May I invite the witness to answer that question,
9 Your Honour?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but not only to give the answer to the question,
11 but also on the basis of what he comes to this conclusion.
12 MR. HARMON: Correct.
13 Q. If you can provide us with the answer, Mr. Deronjic, and then
14 please tell us the basis for your answer.
15 A. We adopted the decision to release these people in the night
16 between the 13th and the 14th. I don't think that there's any possibility
17 for these people to have arrived and to have been handed over on the 14th,
18 because there was talk about them being held up there for a day or two.
19 So I believe that the document was created on the 17th.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Deronjic.
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, again, I've concluded my examination.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
23 Mr. Stewart, is the Defence ready to cross-examine the witness?
24 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I invite you to start cross-examining the
1 witness, and keep in mind that we would like to have a break at
2 approximately a quarter to 4.00. Please proceed.
3 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
5 Q. Mr. Deronjic, earlier on in your evidence in this case, you -
6 excuse me one moment - you said that you had had an opportunity to meet
7 and discuss with SDS leaders, both on a local, municipal level, on a
8 regional level, and on the republican level, policies of both the SDS
9 party and the government, and you said that you had had that opportunity
10 from the time you joined the SDS party and assumed your first
11 responsibilities. Whether you specifically recall saying that, that --
12 you're content with that as evidence from you, are you? You're nodding.
13 It's probably better if you say something into the microphone so that the
14 tape can pick it up.
15 A. I apologise. I'm waiting for the interpreters to finish
17 Q. My apologies.
18 A. Because they still go on after you have finished. So can I please
19 ask you to tell me your name so I can address you properly. I didn't get
20 your name.
21 Q. Of course. My name is Nicholas Stewart, and I think the normal
22 form of address would simply be Mr. Stewart, if you feel comfortable with
23 that. I do if you do.
24 A. Yes. Thank you so much.
25 Mr. Stewart, I do remember saying this, and I maintain what I
1 said, that is, that I had opportunity throughout those years to meet with
2 these people.
3 Q. But isn't it correct that certainly, at least in the early years,
4 for perhaps four or five years, from 1990 onwards, you never had any
5 opportunity to discuss with Mr. Krajisnik personally any such matters?
6 A. That is correct, what you say, that I never had any opportunity to
7 contact Mr. Krajisnik personally at that period, is correct.
8 Q. And in fact, you -- where you said, just to clarify, in your
9 evidence, you were asked whether you -- whether you knew the accused,
10 Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik, and you said of course that you also know him. But
11 it's -- you knew him, of course, in the sense that from 1990, you knew who
12 he was.
13 A. Yes, that is correct. In 1990, I don't remember any encounter
14 with him, be it at meetings or personal encounters. However, in 1991, I
15 did see him at some of the meetings, but, to be precise, I did not have
16 any personal contact with Mr. Krajisnik at that time.
17 Q. Are you quite sure you're talking about 1991 in your last answer?
18 A. I saw Mr. Krajisnik in 1991, at the meetings that I spoke about,
19 namely, in April, and in the autumn of 1995, but I did not have personal
20 contact with him.
21 Q. Yes. So in 1991, you simply saw Mr. Krajisnik, did you?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. But never had any personal discussion with him at all?
24 A. No.
25 Q. No in the sense of correct, you're agreeing with what I've just
1 put to you?
2 A. The answer is: No, I did not have any personal contact with him.
3 Q. You see the slight ambiguity sometimes there is in the word "no"
4 as an answer. It's happened before, so I may sometimes follow that up.
5 The -- because you did say in your evidence earlier that except
6 through the media, you personally didn't know Mr. Krajisnik in 1991. So
7 you're adding to knowledge through the media that you at least saw him at
8 some meeting or other during that year?
9 A. Yes. I merely saw him.
10 Q. And what meeting or meetings are you talking about?
11 A. I'm talking about two meetings. In April 1991 and in December
12 1991, when a session of Republika Srpska was held, that is, when the
13 Assembly of Republika Srpska was established. I'm talking about the
14 session held on the 15th of December, 1991.
15 Q. Well, if we're talking, then, about those -- you're talking about
16 those particular meetings in April 1991 and December 1991 that you've
17 already given answers about at some length in your evidence in this case.
18 Is that right?
19 A. Yes, correct.
20 Q. Well, we'll come back to those meetings specifically. So to make
21 it clear, then: Subject to your seeing Mr. Krajisnik possibly at those
22 meetings, which we'll come to, your only occasion of seeing Mr. Krajisnik
23 otherwise would have been on television; is that right?
24 A. Yes, that is right, but I allow for the possibility of the two of
25 us having attended a larger meeting of some sort, but at this point I
1 cannot remember any such meeting except for the two that I've mentioned.
2 Q. Yes. But without being trivial or flippant about it,
3 Mr. Deronjic: If you attended a larger meeting, you would have had the
4 same contact with Mr. Krajisnik as if you had both gone to a football
5 match separately.
6 A. Well, something to that effect. The Main Board has about a
7 hundred people. If all of the officials are there, and usually they would
8 attend local meetings of that kind in such large numbers. So yes, you
9 would have a very large number of people attending those meetings.
10 Q. You said specifically in your evidence that in the course of 1992,
11 you don't think you saw Mr. Krajisnik, so you mean you didn't see him at
12 all in that year; is that correct?
13 A. As far as I can recall, I had contacts with Mr. Karadzic in 1992,
14 and I cannot remember any encounter with Mr. Krajisnik in 1992.
15 Q. In fact, you didn't have very great contact with Mr. Karadzic in
16 those early years of the 1990s, did you?
17 A. In 1990, yes, I did, mostly concerning the elections, drawing up
18 the election lists, and so on and so forth. In 1991, there may have been
19 other meetings which were perhaps not so important, mostly concerning the
20 election results. And in 1992, I remember only the meeting with
21 Mr. Karadzic which took place in the summer of 1992. So at this point, I
22 cannot remember any other meeting.
23 Q. Let's go back to Mr. Krajisnik, then. You said that in 1993, you
24 saw Mr. Krajisnik at meetings of the Personnel Commission; correct?
25 A. Yes, that is correct. In 1993, the party resumed its work. The
1 Personnel Commission resumed its work, and I saw Mr. Karadzic at those
2 meetings at that time.
3 Q. Mr. Krajisnik. You said Mr. Karadzic a moment ago. Was that a
4 slip of the tongue? We were talking about Mr. Krajisnik.
5 A. My apologies. It could have been a slip of the tongue. I was
6 referring to Mr. Krajisnik.
7 Q. In 1993, then, as you say, you saw Mr. Krajisnik at meetings of
8 the Personnel Commission, is it right that you only ever saw him at
9 meetings of that commission during that year?
10 A. I also saw him at the meetings of the Main Board. The Vance-Owen
11 Plan was discussed in 1993, and I remember that I was with the Main Board
12 when this was discussed, and Mr. Krajisnik was also present there. So I
13 did see him at the meetings of the Main Board and the meetings of the
14 Personnel Commission.
15 Q. What's the month when you joined the Main Board?
16 A. I never got this decision, but I believe that this was in early
17 summer 1993, and I think that it was in the month of February, at the
18 so-called Jahorina plenary, that the party renewed, resumed, its work.
19 Q. February 1993?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But in the summer of -- early summer of 1993, you say you became a
22 member of the Main Board; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You were -- the way you described it, I think you were on loan to
25 the Main Board. That's right, isn't it?
1 A. There may have been a mistake in interpretation. I was co-opted
2 to the Main Board. I was not elected through a regular procedure at an
3 assembly session.
4 Q. Yes. Well, I'm going -- the translation has come through as
5 co-option. I'm going to accept that as the proper equivalent of "loan."
6 You -- in effect, it was because Mr. Zekic had been killed and he had been
7 a member of the Main Board and you took his place?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you say when you first went to a meeting of the Main Board?
10 A. No, I cannot. I don't remember.
11 Q. And how many meetings of the Main Board can you remember attending
12 in 1993?
13 A. I cannot remember the number of meetings. It's quite impossible
14 for me to recall. I do recall some of them. I may have been present at
15 the meetings that I have simply forgotten about in the meantime.
16 Q. Certainly last Thursday you did apparently remember, because you
17 said that you attended two or three such meetings. Does that jog your
18 memory, or is it perhaps that that was a little bit too bold of you to try
19 and put a number on it on Thursday?
20 A. I tried, yes. You are right. I cannot be precise. I did not
21 attend all of the meetings. I know that - for various reasons. One of
22 them being the fact that it was rather complicated and unsafe to travel to
23 Pale. But once again, I'm not able to give you a precise answer, and if
24 this is what you're interested in, I'm sorry, I cannot help you.
25 Q. What I'm interested in, Mr. Deronjic, can I make it clear, so that
1 it will help everybody, I'm interested in the truth. If you're able to
2 give a precise answer truthfully, please do; if you're not, please say
3 that you can't.
4 The -- is it correct that whatever the precise number who
5 attended, that all meetings of the Main Board that you attended were
6 attended by something of the order of about a hundred people?
7 A. That is correct, but it is an approximation.
8 Q. But that was all I was inviting, Mr. Deronjic, at that point.
9 The -- what about the meetings of the Personnel Commission? How
10 many -- in 1993, you were a member of that commission, and so was
11 Mr. Krajisnik. That's correct, isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What was the total membership of that commission?
14 A. I can only give you an approximate number. Ten to 12 people,
15 maximum 12.
16 Q. And can you say how many meetings of the Personnel Commission you
17 attended in the course of 1993?
18 A. No, I cannot give you a precise number.
19 Q. Did you attend any meetings of the Personnel Commission in 1993?
20 A. Once again, I cannot be precise, but I think I did in 1993. I
21 attended a large number of meetings, until it completed its mandate, but I
22 don't know how many of those meetings took place in 1993, 1994, or 1995.
23 Q. Was 1993 to 1995 your overall period of membership of that
24 commission, you personally?
25 A. Let me just say that I don't remember when the Personnel
1 Commission was dissolved. I was its member during that period, and I also
2 know that personnel affairs were dealt with by the Presidency of the SDS
3 of Republika Srpska after that, but I don't remember the date when it
4 ceased to function as an organ of the Serbian Democratic Party.
5 Q. So as best you can remember over your entire period of membership
6 with the Personnel Commission, are you able to say approximately how many
7 meetings of that commission you attended?
8 A. Approximately ten. Ten for sure.
9 Q. So approximately ten, but you're sureness is that that approximate
10 number of meetings was attended by you personally?
11 A. Really, these events which took place ten years ago, after all,
12 escape my memory. I really cannot remember the exact number of these
14 Q. And you said in your evidence earlier that you think in a majority
15 of the cases of that Personnel Commission, Mr. Krajisnik attended;
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. So sometimes he was there and sometimes he wasn't?
19 A. That is correct as well.
20 Q. And it seems to follow from what you've been saying that sometimes
21 you were there and sometimes you weren't.
22 A. It is quite possible that I was absent from some of the meetings.
23 I didn't even attend all of the meetings of the Main Board. This is why I
24 said that it is possible that I did not attend some of those meetings.
25 Q. What -- it may seem to you, Mr. Deronjic, self-explanatory, but
1 what was the function of the Personnel Commission?
2 A. The Personnel Commission dealt with the proposals of -- for
3 appointments to state and political organs. Municipal boards submitted
4 their proposals to the Personnel Commission, and then the Personnel
5 Commission would review the relevant documents to check whether all legal
6 requirements have been met. And then the decision on the final -- that
7 is, the final decision on the proposal would be adopted by the Main Board,
8 and then their proposals were then forwarded to various relevant
9 authorities, who would then proceed with those appointments. So, in a
10 nutshell, this was the main task of this Personnel Commission
11 Q. Who chaired the commission? Well, assuming it had a chair, as I
12 suppose it must have done. Who chaired the commission when you first
13 became a member?
14 A. Mr. Karadzic chaired all of the meetings that I attended.
15 Q. Was a typical meeting to rubber stamp a large proportion of the
16 proposed appointments and debate only a very small number?
17 A. That is correct. It was impossible for us to know all of those
18 individuals, so we dealt mostly with the technical and legal aspects of
19 the cases.
20 Q. And did you personally make a contribution to debates where there
21 was an issue about appointment?
22 A. I don't remember. Even if I did, it would have been only for the
23 people from my area. But there were no such appointments in that period.
24 I may have participated in some of the discussions, but I don't remember
25 anything in particular about that.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, would that be a convenient point for
2 the Tribunal?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it certainly is. We'll adjourn until five
4 minutes past 4.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: May the witness be escorted into the courtroom by the
8 competent authorities.
9 Please be seated, Mr. Deronjic.
10 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
11 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Deronjic, in 1992 -- I beg your pardon. In 1991 and 1992,
13 Mr. -- and then 1993, Mr. Krajisnik had his position as Speaker of the
14 Bosnia-Herzegovinian Assembly, and of course later of the Republika Srpska
15 Assembly, and he had his membership of the Personnel Commission; correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Those -- that's the sum total of his positions, as far as you
18 recall, during that period; correct?
19 A. I remember the post of the member of the Main Board of the Serbian
20 Democratic Party.
21 Q. That really went with his position as Speaker, didn't it? In
22 practical terms, he was bound to be on the Main Board, as Speaker of the
24 A. No, I don't think that it was automatic.
25 Q. Mr. Deronjic, I don't think we need to get into that. I'll leave
1 that, whether it was technical or practical consequence, we needn't worry.
2 But so the -- his position as member of the Personnel Commission,
3 his position as Speaker of the Assembly and his membership of the Main
4 Board. That's it, that's the sum total of his positions that you were
5 aware of in the party; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And you've already said that you -- well, your -- and your own
8 personal knowledge about the policies of the SDS was fairly limited at
9 that time, wasn't it, in 1991, 1992? You weren't involved yourself in
10 formation of main policy of the SDS?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And you've said that later on, and only later on, after you were
13 appointed a vice-president in 1996, then you could provide certain views
14 on Mr. Krajisnik's influence and importance in Serbian politics.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. You expressed an opinion of Mr. Krajisnik as a man of the highest
17 trustworthiness in Serbian politics in general in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Do you remember that?
19 A. Yes, I remember.
20 Q. Is it correct that you have -- you've never heard or read anywhere
21 of Mr. Krajisnik expressing any racial or nationalistic hatred toward
22 anyone, have you?
23 A. Yes, that's correct. I never heard or read anything about racial
24 hatred or any other form of conduct which would be illegal.
25 Q. Or reprehensible in any moral sense; that's correct as well, isn't
2 A. I had the opportunity only once to -- or twice, to speak directly,
3 not tete-a-tete, but facing face to face with Mr. Krajisnik. If you wish,
4 I could tell you what we discussed, but I don't think that it's of too
5 much importance. But I did not hear Mr. Krajisnik express any view which
6 I would say was morally reprehensible.
7 Q. And you're not, for example, you're not aware of any suggestion
8 that any orders ever came from Mr. Krajisnik for destruction of mosques or
9 destruction or attacks on any religious or cultural buildings, are you?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And your not aware of Mr. Krajisnik having ever had any position
12 of command in relation to any army or army units, or police or police
14 A. No, I don't know of any information of that nature, i.e., that
15 Mr. Krajisnik had any position of command in relation to the police.
16 Q. And did you form, throughout the period in which you knew of
17 Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Krajisnik's position, did you form a view of
18 Mr. Krajisnik as a principled and positive influence on Serbian politics
19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
20 A. I formed an opinion about Mr. Krajisnik later. I believe, first
21 of all, that he had a major influence on Serbian politics at the time I
22 was a member of those higher political bodies. I believe that
23 Mr. Krajisnik was a personal friend of Mr. Karadzic. I cannot remember
24 any remarks by Mr. Krajisnik about the war, other than about the peace
25 plans that we discussed, where positions were taken with regard to the
1 peace plans that were on the agenda. The rest of the plans related to the
2 work of the Assembly, which Mr. Krajisnik talked about, and during the
3 Personnel Commission sessions, it was about candidates proposed by certain
4 municipal boards.
5 I couldn't answer in the affirmative about hearing any kind of
6 morally problematic views. This was not the topic of the discussion, or I
7 never heard any such thing being expressed.
8 Q. Is it right that your knowledge of the actual work of the Speaker
9 of the Assembly, and that would apply to both Assemblies, the
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina Assembly and later the Serbian -- Serb Assembly, your
11 knowledge of the actual work of the Speaker was really no more than an
12 informed, intelligent person who could read the newspapers and watch
13 television and engage in general discussion about political matters?
14 A. That's correct. Thank you for the intelligent person attribute.
15 Q. In -- let's just go back, then, on the topic of an intelligent
16 person's information about politics. Some basic points. We know, don't
17 we, that in -- on the 9th of November, 1990, there were elections and the
18 what are called the nationalist parties won the day, the SDA, the HDZ, and
19 the SDS?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And after those elections, Mr. Izetbegovic became the president?
22 A. The president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you mean?
23 Q. Yes, I do. Thank you for adding that for clarification.
24 Mr. Izetbegovic became the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
25 Mr. Krajisnik became the Speaker of the parliament of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina, or the Assembly, the parliament; and a Croat, Mr. Jure
2 Pelivan became the prime minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's
3 right, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, all that is correct.
5 Q. How would you, Mr. Deronjic, summarise the main SDS policies at
6 that time, after the election and when that power-sharing structure of
7 government was adopted?
8 A. I will try to be as brief as possible. This is a period of
9 cooperation amongst the national parties. I think that in 1990, the end
10 of 1990 and beginning of 1991, was marked by fair cooperation amongst the
11 national parties, which resulted in the establishment of all republican
12 organs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The SDS policy was public. It was well
13 known. There were major differences in the political concepts between the
14 SDS, the HDZ, and the SDA, primarily in relation to the question of the
15 survival, the political survival of Yugoslavia as a whole. This is about
16 as much as I can say.
17 Q. Well, that's -- that's a helpful introduction so far as the three
18 parties were concerned, then. And you said that the -- there were major
19 differences. You said the SDS policy was public and it was well known.
20 But I don't think you then went on to say, which I'm only inviting you to
21 do in summary, Mr. Deronjic, to say what that policy was, as you
22 understood it.
23 A. The main political principle of the SDS of the Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina was the preservation of a common state, the common
25 state of Yugoslavia, in its federal form, and the position was to support
1 the attempts by the Republic of Yugoslavia Presidency, the Presidency of
2 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to preserve Yugoslavia in
3 its form, as it was at the time. This is the briefest way of putting it.
4 I'm not going to talk about some secondary aspects of that programme.
5 Q. Well, Mr. Deronjic, you've done exactly what I was inviting you to
6 do. May I offer you just a similar invitation, and inviting similar
7 helpful brevity in relation to how you understood at the time that
8 power-sharing structure was put together after the November 1990
9 elections, what you understood to be the essential policy of the SDA.
10 A. During the war, I was able to meet with some leading figures from
11 the SDA, and before the war also, and some local figures as well, with
12 whom I worked each day. The SDA policy is something that I know, and in
13 the political sense, they were in favour of, or the main position of their
14 political programme was an independent, sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina,
15 which was a publicly proclaimed position. And I must say, then, that in
16 that public part of it, it also described the new country as a democratic,
17 sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina. All of this was stated in their
19 Q. And similarly, again, just in very brief summary, what was your
20 understanding, if any, at that time when the power-sharing structure was
21 formed of the main policy of the HDZ, or HDZ perhaps?
22 A. According to my understanding, the division of power was based on
23 partner relations. I didn't notice any dissatisfaction, except perhaps in
24 some details. From what I was able to gather from the newspapers and the
25 television, I didn't notice any dissatisfaction regarding this division.
1 The policy of the HDZ was along the same political lines as the SDA's
2 policy. They were also in favour of an independent, sovereign Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina. And I think that as far as the general policy plans of the
4 HDZ, it corresponded to those of the political party which was formed in
6 Q. And then do you remember that in February 1991, towards the end of
7 February, Mr. Izetbegovic, who of course was SDA and was the president of
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina, announced to parliament that he would sacrifice
9 peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, but for that peace in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, he would not sacrifice sovereignty? Do you remember
11 that particular occasion and statement?
12 A. Yes, I remember that statement, absolutely. It was a major
13 political statement, which was covered appropriately in all the media. I
14 heard that statement, and it was something that was also commented at
15 lower political levels.
16 Q. Well, the -- it's correct, isn't it, that the Serb deputies in the
17 Assembly refused to discuss a declaration of sovereignty. They took the
18 view that that was unconstitutional.
19 A. Yes. I remember some details about that, which I heard indirectly
20 over the media, and also through comments. The Serbian side considered
21 that to be an unconstitutional attempt and that this was something that
22 should be discussed by the council for interethnic relations, and only
23 after that was the Assembly supposed to state its position on that. But I
24 recall that it was considered to be an unconstitutional act. That's what
25 I remember.
1 Q. And you said that this was something that was also commented upon
2 at lower political levels. That's what you said a moment ago. That's not
3 a question, just a reminder, Mr. Deronjic. And you -- well, you very
4 fairly acknowledged your own position in the political structure. You
5 were -- is this fair: You were an important politician on the local
6 level, you were at least a second-level politician once you got on to the
7 national level?
8 A. Yes. I considered myself to be as the most important politician
9 of the Bratunac municipality, and I believed also that I had influence at
10 the regional level.
11 Q. Well, Mr. Deronjic, I'm not -- I'm not taking issue with you on
12 that. You were clearly a very important person in Bratunac politics.
13 That fed into the regional level. At the national level, of course, the
14 policies were really in other hands largely, weren't they?
15 A. I agree with what you've just said. The answer is yes.
16 Q. But did you personally take the same view that you have
17 summarised, that the proposals emanating from Mr. Izetbegovic and his
18 party were unconstitutional?
19 A. Yes. I took the same view, except that I did not know the law or
20 the constitutional articles so well. But I believed that this was not a
21 proper act by the SDA, because it was being done against the will of the
22 Serbian people. And I would just like to recall that the Serbian people
23 were a constitutive part of the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. So is this a fair summary, Mr. Deronjic, that again, as a -- well,
25 an intelligent layman, but active in politics in your particular area, you
1 had no reason to doubt your understanding of the party position on the
2 unconstitutionality of what Mr. Izetbegovic and his party were proposing?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, we know now -- I don't think anybody seriously suggests this
5 is an issue - you've mentioned it yourself - that in March 1991, there was
6 a meeting between Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic, and Mr. Tudjman,
7 that's Mr. Franjo -- Franjo -- I think he's called Franjo Tudjman, in
8 Karadjordjevo, in Northern Serbia. That's correct, isn't it?
9 A. Yes. I said that, and today I know that such a meeting was held.
10 At the time, I didn't know.
11 Q. Well, it was at least when it first took place, it was apparently,
12 wasn't it, a secret meeting?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Can you remember when you personally first came to read or hear
15 anything about that meeting?
16 A. I cannot remember when I heard it for the first time, but I had --
17 I formed an opinion and I had information about that only after the war.
18 Of course, this was talked about before, but I didn't have any proof or
19 any confirmation for that.
20 Q. But it's now well known, isn't it, Mr. Deronjic, that what
21 Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Tudjman talked about and what they came to an
22 understanding about was the division or, in English some would say a
23 carve-up, of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
24 A. Yes, that is clear to me today, based on a series of documents and
25 the testimony of people who spoke about it and who testified about it
1 before this Tribunal also.
2 Q. Now, you have talked in your evidence, Mr. Deronjic, about a
3 meeting that took place in April 1991 in Sarajevo that you attended.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When Mr. Harmon was asking you questions, he said: "Do you know
6 the meeting I'm talking about?" I'm going to ask exactly what Mr. Harmon
7 asked. There's no better model. Do you know the meeting I'm talking
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you -- you say it's a meeting of the Main Board. You can't
11 remember the exact date, but I'm not going to trouble about that. You
12 describe Mr. Karadzic having been there; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you said that -- the way you put it was: "Of course those
15 meetings were also attended by the highest state officials, including,"
16 you said, "...members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
17 Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, Mr. Koljevic, although of course I can't say --" I'm
18 quoting your evidence in this case: "Although of course I can't say with
19 a hundred per cent certainty they were there, Mr. Krajisnik and so on, as
20 far as I can remember, those were the attendees."
21 So the position is you -- as I read your evidence there,
22 Mr. Deronjic - please confirm - that naturally at that sort of meeting,
23 the highest officials would have been there or represented. But in those
24 particular cases, Mrs. Plavsic, Mr. Koljevic, Mr. Krajisnik, you can't say
25 for certain which of them were there or if any one of them was -- was
1 there; that's correct, isn't it?
2 A. It's true that I cannot say that with 100 per cent certainty.
3 Q. And you described this particular meeting as representing -- I
4 think the phrase that came across was a new thrust in the policy of the
5 SDS. And that is the way you viewed it, is it?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And the new thrust was this, wasn't it: That it was a
8 recognition, if you like, wasn't it, of the possibility that federal
9 Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, might at some point cease to
10 exist in its then-form?
11 A. Correct. I agree with you.
12 Q. And wasn't the position at that time that that was a recognition
13 of the real world, that what had been happening, and, for example, what
14 Mr. Izetbegovic was saying, and what had been happening generally,
15 suggested that that was a possibility that could no longer be ignored?
16 A. Yes. This could not be ruled out. This, at the time, was quite a
17 realistic fact.
18 Q. So there was -- is this correct: In your view, there was nothing
19 irresponsible about that suggestion being floated and discussed in some
20 way at the meeting in April 1991?
21 A. There was nothing which would indicate that it was not serious to
22 discuss this topic at this meeting. I think that there was a natural need
23 to discuss this topic at the time.
24 Q. Yes. In fact, it could be put a little bit more -- I'm not
25 disagreeing with that at all on Mr. Krajisnik's behalf, Mr. Deronjic. But
1 it goes a little bit further, doesn't it, that Mr. Karadzic and anybody
2 else supporting or associated with Mr. Karadzic would have been failing in
3 their jobs if they hadn't recognised that possibility and considered it in
4 some serious way?
5 A. I believe that every politician should understand the point at
6 which such a possibility was mentioned, and I already said that it was a
7 realistic possibility.
8 Q. And in fact, your -- the precise words that you used earlier in
9 your evidence in this case were that it was -- it was an idea that you
10 yourself used later at some meetings at the local level.
11 A. Yes. I used them once or twice, I believe, at a public gathering,
12 when I said that should a federal Yugoslavia disappear, then Serbs would
13 ask for a partition of Bosnia. I believe I elaborated to this a bit
14 further and said what it was that we would be requesting in that case.
15 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, my colleague from the Defence quotes
16 the testimony, or asserts to quote the testimony of Mr. Karadzic, but
17 fails to discuss --
18 MR. STEWART: Deronjic, I think, Your Honour.
19 MR. HARMON: Mr. Deronjic. But fails to -- in his summaries of
20 Mr. Deronjic's testimony, fails to include critical elements in it. I
21 refer Your Honours to the page 72, in which the statements made by
22 Mr. Karadzic weren't the recognition of the division but was the option to
23 create a Greater Serbia. That's what the testimony of Mr. Deronjic was.
24 It can be found on page 72, at lines 16 through 18. So if Mr. Stewart is
25 going to quote, or purport to quote, the testimony of Mr. Deronjic, it is
1 our position that he should quote it accurately and in its entirety.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart.
3 MR. STEWART: I don't have the slightest problem with that, Your
4 Honour, because in the time that Mr. Harmon has been making his comments,
5 I was moving on to that anyway. I don't have any intention of failing to
6 grasp it, and no doubt if there's anything else that needs to be cleared
7 up, re-examination will provide that opportunity.
8 Q. Mr. Deronjic, you -- I think you said a moment ago that you
9 elaborated a bit further what it was that we would be requesting in the
10 case of federal Yugoslavia disappearing. And I take it that when you say
11 you elaborated a bit further, you mean in your discussions back in your
12 own locality. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. With your permission, I can explain what I
14 meant, if it's necessary for your purpose.
15 Q. Well, yes, please. Please do, Mr. Deronjic.
16 A. Well, I wanted to say that I spoke about the partition of Bosnia
17 because after this meeting in Sarajevo, I had the opportunity of being
18 with Karadzic in a small company, and he said that Bosnia would be divided
19 or partitioned. So I used the same words. And not only that; I said that
20 we would ask for a partition to take place. I didn't exactly say that an
21 agreement had been reached to partition Bosnia, but that we would ask for
22 the partition of Bosnia.
23 Q. Now, in your evidence already given in this case, in describing
24 what it was Mr. Karadzic said at the meeting, you said something which you
25 then said was not a quotation but was the sense of what Mr. Karadzic said.
1 And what you said before telling the Tribunal it wasn't a quotation but it
2 was the sense of what he said, was that he said -- Mr. Karadzic said
3 publicly that the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Yugoslavia
4 was such that if the federal Yugoslavia no longer existed, and it
5 obviously didn't, then the only option open to the Serbs in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina is the creation of Greater Serbia.
7 Do you remember giving that evidence?
8 A. Of course I do, yes.
9 Q. Now, the first question -- you said this is not a quotation but is
10 the sense of what he said. I just want to be clear whether you remember
11 that, as part of what can be quoted, whether the phrase or the
12 words "Greater Serbia" were included in what Mr. Karadzic said or whether
13 that's a description of the sense.
14 A. The words "Greater Serbia" were used, and I can say with certainty
15 that I probably quoted these words, perhaps not the whole sentence, but
16 the words "Greater Serbia" definitely.
17 Q. Now, what did -- at the meeting, then, when you heard what
18 Mr. Karadzic said, including that phrase, what was your understanding of
19 what Mr. Karadzic was proposing, what he had in mind, so far as what he
20 said, told you what was in his mind?
21 A. At that point, I thought that this was a sentence which contains a
22 kind of pressure and threat to the opposing political sides and that it
23 was meant to be some sort of warning to the opposing sides. That is how I
24 understood it at that moment. Because I was aware of the fact that
25 politicians sometimes have the habit of exaggerating a little bit, so that
1 they can elicit what they want to elicit from the other side. This is how
2 I understood it and this is how I remember this.
3 However, later, at a more private meeting that followed, I
4 realised that this was a rather serious concept.
5 Q. Can I just pause, or just interrupt you for a moment,
6 Mr. Deronjic. You have described the larger meeting and then the smaller,
7 more private meeting already in your evidence. It's quite clear, isn't
8 it, that as far as the smaller, private meeting is concerned,
9 Mr. Krajisnik wasn't at that meeting, was he?
10 A. No, not at all.
11 Q. It's correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Right. And you were going on to say, then, that at the private
14 meeting, you realised that this was a rather serious concept. Now, just
15 what I want to ask you first is: What you understood the concept to be,
16 what you -- you talked about a new thrust in SDS policy. What did you
17 understand, overall, what Mr. Krajisnik was proposing -- I'm sorry, Mr. -
18 slip of the tongue - what Mr. Karadzic was proposing, what did you
19 understand that to entail?
20 A. The way I understood was that the survival of the common state of
21 Yugoslavia, in particular, in its federal state, had been seriously
22 brought into question. I had been following the events, and I myself was
23 more or less of the same conviction. I was aware of what other
24 participants in the discussion were saying and thinking. The attitude
25 seemed to be non-reconcilable. It was a very serious political issue.
1 And I understood that the will or the attitudes of the two other peoples
2 of Bosnia and Herzegovina had already been clearly spelled out, that there
3 should be an independent and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was
4 contrary to the positions expressed by the SDS, in terms of preservation
5 of a common state of Yugoslavia.
6 When the sovereignty and independence of Bosnia was about to be
7 declared at the Assembly of the parliament, it was clear to me that the
8 SDS policy was moving in a different direction, and I understood the
9 President to mean that this was a new, a different political option for
10 us, a new, a different political position as well.
11 Q. Now, so far, Mr. Deronjic, you've described, if you like, the
12 changed context, the changed situation, that the -- the possibility of
13 breakup of Yugoslavia, with detachment of Bosnia and Herzegovina by way of
14 becoming an independent, sovereign state, was -- had become a real
15 possibility. That's where we -- that's where we got to, really, in the
16 course of your evidence this afternoon.
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. What I'm -- what I'm asking you about now, then, is that step one,
19 if you like, is the recognition by the SDS and by Mr. Karadzic of that
20 changed situation, that changed context, but then what did you understand
21 to be the shift of policy of the SDS in response to that changed
23 A. I believe I have already answered, but let me repeat. My
24 understanding was that from then on, the policy of the SDS was the
25 partition of Bosnia and not the preservation of a unified Bosnia within a
1 federal Yugoslavia. Of course, I have to say that my position was my own
2 personal view, which I had formed. I did not take the floor at that
3 meeting. I had simply formed this opinion. And once in Bratunac, I
4 analysed the situation with my associates. We were trying to understand
5 what this would imply. However, the events took place -- things happened
6 very fast and I didn't have opportunity to verify what it really meant in
7 terms of detail.
8 Q. Was any development of what it would actually mean or how it could
9 be done - and I'm talking about partition now - the subject of discussion,
10 first of all at the larger meeting of the two meetings that you've
12 A. No, there was no discussion about the details as to how it should
13 be implemented. I said that in my view it was the first indication of the
14 departure of the SDS from the initial policy, although at that moment we
15 did not know exactly in which direction this was going to move, in
16 particular when it comes to details.
17 Q. And was there any such discussion of what partition might involve
18 as a practical matter and how it might be done at the smaller of the two
19 meetings that you've described?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You heard the phrase "Greater Serbia." Then did you have an
22 understanding on that day of what that meant?
23 A. To be frank, to this day I am not sure as to the exact meaning of
24 the phrase "Greater Serbia." If it refers to the extension of the borders
25 of the existing Republic of Serbia, then yes, I understood it to mean
1 Greater Serbia, that is, something greater, larger, than that which
2 existed at that moment.
3 Q. And in your evidence earlier in this case, you described
4 Mr. Karadzic as having said, at the smaller of the meetings, having made,
5 you said, an additional comment to the effect that those who were afraid
6 to take part in that - and he was talking about the division of Bosnia -
7 should not take part in that. Afraid of what, did you understand
8 Mr. Karadzic to be saying?
9 A. Yes, I will answer your question. But allow me to expand on this
10 term "Greater Serbia," because I believe my answer was a little ambiguous
11 a moment ago, so with your permission I should like to elaborate further.
12 Q. Yes, please do.
13 A. When I said that to this date I was not aware of the exact meaning
14 of "Greater Serbia," I was not referring to the political meaning of the
15 term. I was referring to the word "greater." Historically speaking,
16 Serbia had had different borders, depending on the epoch. At one point it
17 extended as far as Greece. So I'm not sure as to which historical period
18 they had in mind. Politically speaking, Greater Serbia is familiar to me
19 from certain programmes, primarily of the Radical Party, when they spoke
20 about the change of borders, Croatia, and the neighbours. But
21 historically speaking, once again, I'm not sure as to what exactly they
22 meant when they said "Greater Serbia," and I apologise for this
23 digression. And let me now go back to your last question.
24 My understanding was that any partition of Bosnia, be it an agreed
25 one - and I was sure that it had not been agreed with either Muslims or
1 Croats - maybe with Croats one could assume that such an agreement could
2 be reached; however, it would be difficult to expect that. It was
3 possible [as interpreted] to agree the partition of Bosnia with Muslims.
4 So I thought that it would imply major political upheavals, including
5 clashes and conflicts, so I thought that the position of Mr. Karadzic was
6 a realistic attitude, a realistic view of the potential consequences of
7 the policy that he had announced.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, may I ask your attention for the
9 transcript, especially page 53, line 6. I'm not quite sure whether
10 there's not missing the word: "It was not possible to agree."
11 MR. STEWART: Well, I think Your Honour is certainly right because
12 after all it was only a couple of minutes ago and I distinctly remember
13 that as Your Honour does. So I'm quite sure that the Court --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please verify that.
15 MR. STEWART: The Tribunal's observation is correct.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Deronjic, I did understand that it was still --
17 you could assume that a partition of Bosnia could be agreed upon between,
18 well, let's say, Serbs and Croats, but you would not think it to be
19 possible to agree with the Muslims on the partition of Bosnia. Is that a
20 correct understanding of your testimony?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This is my
23 JUDGE ORIE: And the word "not" is missing, and I have it in my
24 ears, but I didn't see it with my eyes.
25 MR. STEWART: It comes to exactly the same thing. Ms. Cmeric
1 remembers that the word was "impossible" rather "possible," which is
2 exactly the same thing.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course. Please proceed.
4 MR. STEWART:
5 Q. Just following that up, then, Mr. Deronjic: You said that maybe
6 with the Croats one could assume that such an agreement could be reached.
7 Perhaps you could just explain very briefly why you made the assumption
8 that it would be, well at least apparently easier to reach an agreement
9 with the Croats?
10 A. I will give you my personal opinion. I never tried to check that,
11 but at various meetings we discussed this possibility as well, both at
12 the -- including at the local municipal level. We believed that the
13 interest of Croats with the respect of -- with regard to the partition of
14 Bosnia could be identified with that of the Serbs, because they both have
15 their mother states as well. And we thought that they could share the
16 wish to join their territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina with their mother
17 countries. As for the Muslims, it was obvious that they would not be
18 prepared to accept such an option.
19 Q. And so far as you were concerned, as a -- somebody coming from
20 Bratunac to this -- these particular meetings, as far as you were
21 concerned, was there anything irresponsible about the discussion and the
22 ideas that were being floated at those meetings in April 1991?
23 A. I didn't think that there was anything irresponsible in that.
24 Apart from an opinion that I've formed later on, which can be found in the
25 transcript of the meetings of the municipal board of the SDS, in late 1991
1 I made a protest because we didn't know what directions this policy would,
2 practically speaking, take. We knew it was all about the partition of
3 Bosnia, but we didn't know in practical terms in what way this policy
4 would be implemented. You can find this in the transcripts of those
5 meetings. Because I didn't want to participate in something that was not
6 clear to me, that was a big unknown for me. But this was, as I indicated,
7 in late 1991 or beginning of 1992, and you can find it in the minutes, in
8 the transcripts of those meetings.
9 Q. Now, we considered in the course of your evidence this afternoon
10 the run-up to April 1991. We've had those views of Mr. Izetbegovic
11 expressed publicly, and we had, though not known at -- immediately at the
12 time the meeting between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Tudjman. It then -- do you
13 recall it remained official SDS policy right through to the autumn of 1991
14 that Bosnia and Herzegovina should remain undivided and should remain part
15 of Yugoslavia, the federal Yugoslavia?
16 A. I cannot recall such a view in specific terms that I read it or
17 saw it somewhere. Maybe it did exist. If you could remind me of a
18 particular statement, that might refresh my memory, but at this point, I
19 really cannot recall any such statement.
20 Q. I'm just asking you for your memory, Mr. Deronjic, so I won't go
21 refreshing it on that issue. The --
22 A. Excuse me. Just a small addition which might be of assistance to
23 you. In the autumn of 1991, Bratunac saw a large number of conflicts.
24 The town was visited by high-level delegations of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Those were very dramatic events, and this is the reason maybe why I missed
1 a statement of that kind. Maybe I was not closely following the public
2 pronunciations of such policies, including the policy of the SDS and other
3 parties at that time.
4 Q. There may have been some small misunderstanding with the language
5 interpretation about what I was saying. That may not be so, but just in
6 case: What you said in your evidence on, I think it was last Thursday,
7 was that the SDS stood for the policy of preservation in Yugoslavia in the
8 form it existed in, as a federal community of republics and officially
9 that concept was valid until the fall or the autumn of 1991, when
10 Republika Srpska was formed. That's what you said in your evidence. And
11 that's what you remember as official policy?
12 A. Yes, that is correct. Officially, not a single SDS organ ever
13 changed the basic political instrument, that is, the programme of the SDS.
14 Q. And then you said in your evidence earlier in this case, you were
15 asked by Mr. Harmon: "And following these particular meetings in April of
16 1991." You were asked whether you received instructions to prepare maps
17 in respect of the ethnic composition of your municipality. And having
18 been asked the question by Mr. Harmon in that form, you said: "Yes."
19 Then you said: "In a certain period in 1991, we received orders from the
20 party to prepare maps of our municipalities with as precise as possible
21 representation of the ethnic structure in the territory of the
23 Can you help on when you received such orders or instructions?
24 A. I'm afraid I cannot be precise. My approximation would be the
25 summer of 1991.
1 Q. So do you say it was definitely after those meetings in April
3 A. Yes. We drew the maps after that. I don't know. Maybe we
4 created one such map at the very beginning of our political activities.
5 I'm not sure. For instance, in my office at the SDS, I had a public map
6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina which was marked with different colours and
7 contained indications as to the composition of the population. So it was
8 a public document at the time. I don't know whether at that period we
9 also drew a map of that kind. I'm not sure. But definitely after the
10 meetings, yes, we drew a number of maps, and I think we also added the
11 information regarding the ownership of the land of Serbs in our
12 municipality. You could find the percentages concerning the property, the
13 ownership of land and forest, of the local population. I cannot remember
14 precisely what else was there, but this would be it.
15 Q. And you accepted and implemented those instructions in your own
16 locality, didn't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you saw nothing wrong with those instructions?
19 A. To be perfectly frank, there were two streams, two currents.
20 There was a lot of discussion about the formal ownership of Bosnia, in
21 terms of landownership, and I remember discussions which involved our
22 politicians, who spoke about the topic and who stated that, in terms of
23 percentages, most of the land was in the hands of the Serbs. As for the
24 drawing of those maps, I linked that event with the formation of the
25 Association of Municipalities, which at one point came to be known as Serb
1 autonomous regions.
2 Q. And those Serb autonomous regions, they started to be formed
3 sometime in the summer of 1991; is that correct?
4 A. I think that that's the period of July and August 1991. Yes,
5 that's correct.
6 Q. And there were five formed all together; is that correct?
7 A. Correct, except just four were formed in that period. The
8 Autonomous Region of Birac, where I was, was formed in January or --
9 January of 1992.
10 Q. Yes. Five all together, but Birac, which was yours, in fact,
11 wasn't it? That's your region?
12 A. Six. Yes.
13 Q. Six all together?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I'd like to ask for a clarification on
16 an answer I have some difficulties in understanding.
17 You told us about drawing maps, maps based on ethnicity of the
18 population, but also on landownership. You said about two streams, and
19 formal ownership of Bosnia in terms of landownership, and that it --
20 discussions were taking place in which politicians were involved. Was
21 that on the local level or was that on the state level, that is, the state
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, the talks about the
24 ownership of land in Bosnia and Herzegovina referred to talks conducted by
25 top representatives of the political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 I've heard such arguments in numerous televised debates, discussions, and
2 so on.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And was it an issue at a local level, or less?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Landownership is something that I
5 don't recall discussing. I'm not saying that perhaps we didn't discuss it
6 at the local level, but I'm not sure. It's possible.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And talking about land ownership and that the
8 majority of the land was owned by Serbs, is the meaning of the political
9 argument that if there is not a majority in population, as far as number
10 of inhabitants is concerned, that this could be compensated or that it
11 would be also important, not only to know how many people of a certain
12 ethnicity lived in the area but what part of that area was owned by
13 persons of a specific ethnicity? Was that the meaning of this discussion?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that was the meaning of this
15 discussion. I just want to assist, but I'm afraid of making things more
16 complicated. The SDA emphasised the demographic factor, the population
17 figures, as an argument in debates about this perhaps weird question of
18 who Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to. The Serbs emphasised the
19 historical arguments and land ownership. Croats had their own arguments,
20 mostly historical arguments, about who was the ruler or who the rulers
21 were at certain historical periods.
22 So these were the main arguments of the opposing sides. I heard
23 numerous arguments. Now it might seem a little strange that all these
24 things were discussed, but they were.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
1 MR. STEWART:
2 Q. Mr. Deronjic, just to make it clear, then: What -- you did
3 prepare some maps, then, in your locality, did you, in response to the
4 instructions you've mentioned?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what was the nature of the maps that you prepared?
7 A. It was a map of the Bratunac municipality, with approximate
8 markings in different colours of the ethnic composition of the
9 municipality, in the territorial sense. The territorial distribution of
10 Muslims, Serbs. It was quite a free estimate, because in mixed
11 settlements, such as the Bratunac municipality and villages, it's
12 difficult to say whether the territory belongs to one side or the other.
13 Houses were all mixed together. There was no clear-cut division in this
15 Q. How did -- just to be clear: How did you start, then? Did the --
16 was the -- well, I suppose the question I should ask first of all,
17 Mr. Deronjic, is whether you were personally involved in the making up of
18 any such map.
19 A. No, I didn't make up any such map. This was done by a special
20 service. It was usually the party secretary who dealt with this issue.
21 Q. You personally -- was there -- do you know: Was there one map or
22 more than one map prepared in response to those instructions for your
24 A. I know and recall one. I'm not saying that there were no others,
25 but I don't remember if that was so.
1 Q. And although you've given your answer about your own
2 non-involvement in the preparation of that map, did you see that map when
3 it had been prepared?
4 A. I saw it, certainly. I can't remember all the details, but I was
5 familiar with it. This was something that we did openly in the office,
6 and sometimes I was present while this was being done.
7 Q. Did it -- did the map take existing -- was it done this way: Did
8 it take existing boundaries of units within the larger locality and then,
9 in relation to each of those existing units, attempt to determine the
10 ethnic composition?
11 A. I really cannot remember. I think that it was the -- a map of
12 Bratunac. I don't know whether it was just done in freehand or if it was
13 copied from somewhere in order to have the precise dimensions. I really
14 cannot remember.
15 Q. Can you remember the time scale for preparation of the map, from
16 receiving the instructions to -- and you've already given evidence that it
17 was sent to the Republican Party leadership. Can you remember how long
18 that period was between the instructions and the sending off of the map to
19 the leadership?
20 A. I cannot remember without maybe making a mistake. I don't know
21 why this is so relevant. I'm not avoiding it, but I really cannot
22 remember what the time limit was. Perhaps it was done very quickly, but
23 sent with a delay, or the other way around. I really cannot remember.
24 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge of whether, in 1991, any Muslim
25 and/or Croat bodies or organisations or groups were engaged in any
1 preparation of similar maps?
2 A. Yes. I do have personal knowledge. At the local level, I knew
3 many members of the SDS municipal board from Bratunac. We would visit one
4 another. We would go to each other's offices. They would look at our
5 maps. I personally didn't see their maps, but I heard from their leaders
6 that they were making similar maps depicting the ethnic composition of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I have some difficulties in
9 understanding this answer.
10 MR. STEWART: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps you have the same. Could you please clarify.
12 MR. STEWART: Yes.
13 Q. You've referred -- it shows you say: "At the local level I
14 knew --" it's come across in the transcript as: "Many members of the SDS
15 municipal board from Bratunac." Do you mean SDS or do you mean -- well,
16 do you mean SDS?
17 A. I'm not aware -- there are two mistakes here. Maybe it's because
18 of the interpretation or because I'm getting tired. It's not the Main
19 Board of the SDS but the municipal board of the SDA. We were on friendly
20 terms with some people from there. I knew them, of course. They were my
21 neighbours, my colleagues. We lived in the same town. So they were
22 members of the municipal board of the SDA.
23 MR. STEWART: Yes, I think that clarifies the point, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It does. Mr. Stewart, we are close to 5.30. Would
25 this be a suitable moment for a break?
1 MR. STEWART: Well, I think so, Your Honour. The witness said he
2 was feeling a bit tired, so perhaps that really would be a good point.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll then adjourn until 10 minutes to 6.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 5.52 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
7 Mr. Stewart.
8 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I just wanted to mention where we
9 were in relation to the question of the certification under Rule 73.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. STEWART: Which has rather been left open at the moment. The
12 position now, Your Honour, is that taking what we think is a rather
13 realistic view, we're not now going to continue to press for certification
14 under that Rule, because, after all, the certification, is, as we read it,
15 that is to allow us to proceed then with an interlocutory appeal as
16 opposed to an appeal, and in the real world, it seems that this is not
17 really the time to be pressing for that certification. So it remains,
18 whatever that means, it remains an appeal point, but we no longer press
19 for interlocutory appeal.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You don't press for, that means that you
21 withdraw the --
22 MR. STEWART: The request for certification, Your Honour, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then please proceed with the cross-examination
24 of Mr. Deronjic.
25 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Deronjic, the -- we were just talking about maps before the
2 break. The maps were, you've already told the Court, in this case sent
3 off to the republican leadership. You didn't personally send them, did
5 A. I cannot remember. Perhaps I did that personally, but usually
6 this is done by the party secretary.
7 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour. I forgot to put my headphones
8 on, so I didn't ...
9 Q. Yes. Well, it's an administrative -- it's an administrative
10 secretarial matter simply to send them off to party headquarters, isn't
11 it, or wasn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I said [Previous translation continues]... I said "them." I
14 should say that, of course, it follows from the evidence, we don't
15 actually know whether it's it or them, one map or more. I wasn't
16 making -- or shouldn't have made any assumption there.
17 The -- could we look at -- Your Honour, I'm not quite sure how
18 this works mechanically for the witness. I want us to look, please,
19 at P38.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It will be presented to the witness and then put on
21 the ELMO, I take it.
22 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I'm obliged, Your Honour. I take
23 it that the witness and Mr. Krajisnik will obviously be looking at it in
24 B/C/S, at the -- at that version, and the rest of us -- well, Ms. Cmeric
25 can choose. The rest of us in the translation.
1 Q. Do you have that in front of you, Mr. Deronjic? That's the --
2 JUDGE ORIE: The registrar is finding it.
3 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have the document in front
5 of me, Mr. Stewart.
6 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Mr. Deronjic.
7 Q. So this is a document dated 15th of August, 1991, addressed to all
8 municipal boards, which of course included Bratunac. We've looked at it
9 before, but just to remind ourselves: The idea of it was -- the English
10 translation is actually probably not the best that the translators have
11 ever achieved, but the idea is that it's easy for members of the party to
12 get out of touch with ordinary people who are not politically, actively
13 involved. That's the particular point, isn't it, Mr. Deronjic? Is
14 something going wrong with the mechanics? It seems the witness isn't
16 JUDGE ORIE: Are you not receiving any translation, Mr. Deronjic?
17 From your nodding, I do understand that you do not receive any
19 Madam Usher, would it be possible to find another earphone,
20 headphone, so that we at least know whether it's caused by the headphone
21 or by any other ...
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am getting a
23 translation in these headphones, but I can also follow it to a certain
24 extent in English. The translation does not contain the entire question
25 put to me by Mr. Stewart. I don't believe it's an intentional mistake by
1 the interpreters, but I believe that perhaps they didn't have time to
2 interpret the entire question. So could you please repeat your question
3 so that it could be translated completely to me. It refers to that part
4 where you are talking about the separation of politics from the people,
5 and she translated your question incorrectly.
6 JUDGE ORIE: May I first emphasise that mainly mistakes in
7 translation are caused by the speed of speech. I would like to emphasise
8 that. We earlier might have had a problem in transcribing as well. I
9 will not hesitate to express my admiration for those who are transcribing
10 and for those who are translating. If we slow down a bit, the risk of
11 having any mistranslation, and it's of course human activity, subject to
12 failure, as all our activities are, at least we minimise them. Please
14 MR. STEWART: Could I make a comment, Your Honour, because it
15 occurs to me in all that slight confusion with the difficulties with
16 the -- Mr. Deronjic's headphones, there may have been a misunderstanding.
17 I did say, and I do say, that the translation of the particular
18 document, P38, I said was not the best ever. In fact, frankly, it's a
19 very poor translation. But that's got nothing whatever to do with the
20 interpretation we're getting in Court today, which is another matter
22 JUDGE ORIE: No. I didn't understand it as any criticism on the
23 interpreting services in this courtroom.
24 MR. STEWART: I was just afraid it might be taken that way with
25 all the different points that were discussed. And I'll have in mind Your
1 Honour's injunction not to go too fast.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
3 MR. STEWART:
4 Q. Mr. Deronjic, I'm going to start again on this question. I
5 also -- please, I -- of course, I can't stop you, Mr. Deronjic, if you
6 understand English and you understand my question, then I can't possibly
7 obstruct you from that understanding, but it may be better if you leave
8 deficiencies in the interpretation, as far as possible, to others to worry
9 about, and concentrate simply on what you're getting through your
11 But all I was going to say by way of introduction was that, do you
12 agree, this is -- this document in the first place is directed towards a
13 familiar problem, that those actively involved in politics can get out of
14 touch with those people who are, understandably and admirably perhaps,
15 just getting on with their lives and are not politically active?
16 A. Yes. Now I fully understand the question. When you have an
17 opportunity to have a look at the transcript, you will see that the
18 interpretation I received a moment ago was erroneous.
19 Now it is quite clear that this document concerns the danger of
20 bureaucratisation of the party, or rather, the party being estranged from
21 the people.
22 Q. So we're -- basically we're agreed, Mr. Deronjic, that the
23 suggestion I put to you accords with your own view?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And then it's -- there are specific -- there's a sort of system
1 suggested then under the numbered points, and the particularly 4 and 5,
2 that each member of a local board has a responsibility of keeping contact
3 with 10 to 20 households and to report. Mr. Deronjic, is it fair to say
4 that this was one of those very good ideas in theory, which was in fact
5 extremely difficult to implement reliably in practice?
6 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour. I think the question should
7 be focussed on the municipality where this witness knows about this
8 document and not so broad. I think it's too broad and too general.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I understood the question to be about the
10 personal experience of Mr. Deronjic in that municipality, but if I'm
11 wrong, please reformulate the question. If I'm right, then perhaps the
12 witness could answer the question.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour is right.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Then you may answer the question.
16 A. [No interpretation].
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now we get -- we have a translation problem.
18 MR. STEWART: Yes. So do we, Your Honour. A non-translation
19 problem, actually, is what we have.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Deronjic, could you please repeat your answer,
21 because we did not get any translation.
22 A. Yes, I will repeat my answer. I said that I spoke about the issue
23 of the implementation of all of the measures that had been given to us in
24 forms of guidelines from the Main Board, and I said that it was impossible
25 to implement some of those guidelines. Now, as to what is contained in
1 item 4, this, for instance, was almost impossible to implement.
2 MR. STEWART:
3 Q. We can put that on one side, then, thank you, P38.
4 Now, just going back to the slightly broader picture, then,
5 Mr. Deronjic: Do you recall that in July 1991, which as it happens is
6 just about a month before that particular document, but in July 1991,
7 there was an agreement at the time regarded as historic, an agreement
8 between Serbs and Muslims at a national level in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina would remain part of Yugoslavia?
10 A. Yes, I recall these events, though I cannot recall the exact date.
11 But in Zvornik, for instance, I know that a meeting was held. If that is
12 the meeting you have in mind, no, I did not personally attend it, although
13 the venue was somewhere in the vicinity. But I was not informed of the
14 meeting. The attempt to create a historical agreement between Serbs and
15 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina - that is how it was called - actually
16 took place, and it resulted in a sort of agreement with a rather small
17 party representing interests of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
18 so-called MBO party. And it was with their leader that Karadzic [as
19 interpreted] held a meeting in Zvornik. It was actually a public rally,
20 and it constituted an attempt to reach this historical agreement.
21 Of course, this small party was not representative of the overall
22 interests of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but obviously Karadzic [as
23 interpreted] did not agree to that.
24 Q. But it -- but it had the -- this agreement had -- either had or
25 apparently had the support of Mr. Izetbegovic, didn't it?
1 A. No. So far as I can remember, he did not have that support. But
2 I may be wrong.
3 Q. It could be actually that there has been an error, because you
4 said: "This small party was not representative of the overall interest of
5 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but obviously Karadzic did not agree to
6 that." It seems that you probably said Izetbegovic in that answer.
7 A. Izetbegovic. I'm almost certain that I said Izetbegovic. And I
8 was referring to Izetbegovic, that he was the one who did not agree to the
10 JUDGE ORIE: I think there seems to be some confusion. Where the
11 name "Karadzic" appears, if that was the issue --
12 MR. STEWART: Yes, that was --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then it was -- the transcript says that: "And it was
14 with their leader," I understood this to be the leader of the small Muslim
15 party, that Karadzic held a meeting in Zvornik, and that Karadzic did not
16 agree that the party, the small party, MBO, was not representative for the
17 Muslim people. So I think, as a matter of fact, that it sounds quite
18 logical to me -- I'm not expressing any other view on it. And later on, I
19 do not think that the witness mentioned the name of Mr. Karadzic.
20 MR. STEWART: No, he did, Your Honour, at -- is it line --
21 page 70, line 2. I think that's what caused the confusion, because when
22 the witness said Mr. Karadzic did not agree to that, I had assumed he was
23 referring to the non-agreement earlier about the non-representative nature
24 of the party. In fact, it seems that that was simply an error and that he
25 did actually refer to Mr. Izetbegovic in that second answer. And it
1 got -- it came across in the transcript then as Karadzic, instead of
2 Izetbegovic. I hope that's crystal clear, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I have no problems in understanding, and I do
4 understand that Mr. Karadzic did not agree with the fact that it was not
5 representative, so that he considered this small party to be
6 representative for the Muslim population. That's how I understood.
7 MR. STEWART: That's correct, Your Honour. And then the witness
8 was going on to make it clear and he's clarified that then that his
9 evidence is that Mr. Izetbegovic did not agree with the agreement at all.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
11 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you will allow me, Your Honours,
13 I would like to explain this particular sentence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If Mr. Stewart needs any further explanation
15 he'll ask you for it. If not, I have no difficulties at this moment to
16 understand what your testimony until now was.
17 MR. STEWART: Yes, I think, Your Honour, I would -- we've been
18 having this debate over the last couple of minutes but it is Mr. Deronjic
19 who is the witness. I believe I would prefer him to have the opportunity
20 of explaining.
21 Q. Please do, Mr. Deronjic.
22 A. It was a slip. I said Karadzic did not agree with that. So it
23 must have been a slip of the tongue. Karadzic endeavoured to obtain an
24 agreement, and this agreement was interpreted in Bosnia and Herzegovina as
25 a historical agreement. I wanted to say that this was not representative
1 of the will of the Muslim people because of the very small size of this
2 particular party, and the view of Mr. Izetbegovic of this agreement was,
3 in my opinion, negative. And if you will allow me one more sentence.
4 I've been having this feeling that you want me to be totally
5 consistent when it comes to details. It's very hard for me. This
6 pressure will only make me -- make more mistakes. It's very difficult
7 to -- for me to be mindful of every single word. I have so far provided
8 testimony and given statements containing hundreds of pages, and it is
9 very easy to make mistakes and slips of this kind.
10 Q. Yes. Mr. Deronjic, I'm sure that His Honour would support me in
11 this: The translation or interpretation element makes life more difficult
12 for everybody, so it's perfectly natural that slips get made from time to
13 time. Everybody understands that. That isn't a problem at all. We have
14 to sort it out from time to time when it happens. That's number one.
15 Number two is: I only want you to give the Tribunal detail when
16 you are able to and when you actually do truthfully and genuinely
17 remember. Because what the Tribunal wants, I feel confident, and what we
18 want, is that when you can't remember detail, you say you can't remember
19 detail. When you do remember detail reliably, you say so. That, I
20 believe, is all that is required.
21 MR. STEWART: I hope, Your Honour, that's a fair summary of what
22 we're all looking for.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Deronjic, don't get nervous. Everyone is
24 aware that there are a lot of details, and just try to concentrate and
25 answer to the best of your ability the questions, and there will be no
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. STEWART:
4 Q. And then moving forward, then, to 14th, 15th October, 1991, even
5 if you don't remember the exact date, Mr. Deronjic, but do you remember at
6 that time that there was a very significant event, which was that in the
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly, the Muslim and Croat deputies voted for a
8 declaration of independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Serb
9 deputies had walked out of the session?
10 A. Yes. I clearly remember this event. I remember when the session
11 was held. I remember watching it on TV in direct, together with my
13 Q. Yes. And I think the reason I say 14, 15th October I think is
14 because -- not because anybody doesn't know the date, but it started on
15 the 14th and it went on very late at night into the 15th. That's what
16 happened, didn't it?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Were you watching it on television?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in fact, Mr. -- now, Mr. Krajisnik was involved, naturally,
21 wasn't he, because he was the Speaker, Mr. Krajisnik, remained for a very
22 short time simply to close the -- formally, as far as he was concerned,
23 formally close the session?
24 A. Correct. After the walkout, Mr. Krajisnik stayed there for a
25 while, trying to conclude formally the session.
1 Q. But then he left, but the Muslim and Croat deputies continued the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Continued in at least the practical sense, that they carried on
5 debating and passing a resolution?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And that was -- that proceeding was that -- after Mr. Krajisnik
8 had closed the session and left, that was regarded by the Serb deputies
9 and the -- in fact, the wider Serb community as unconstitutional, wasn't
11 A. Yes. We believed it to be unconstitutional.
12 Q. Or invalid in the sense that it wasn't a proper session of the
13 Assembly once Mr. Krajisnik had purported to close it and had left. That
14 was the view, wasn't it, the Serb view?
15 A. Yes. That is correct, if we are talking about the entire Serb
16 population. I'm not sure that everybody is aware of the legal
17 regulations. But we believed at least that it was an unjust decision,
18 because it had been adopted in the absence of the Serb deputies in the
20 Q. Well, Mr. Deronjic, I wasn't going so far as to suggest that every
21 single Serb -- you're quite right, that every single Serb in the country
22 had a view about the constitutionality. It's after all possible to find
23 people around here who don't have a decided view on the social charter of
24 the European Union.
25 Mr. Deronjic, could we move forward, please, to December 1991.
1 Mr. Harmon asked you about a meeting on the 19th of December, 1991, but I
2 think it has been clear throughout previous evidence that you have given
3 and in your view that you're not absolutely sure of the date of the
4 meeting, and I think you know the meeting we're talking about, where
5 you've given evidence about variants A and B. You're not a hundred per
6 cent sure of the date, are you?
7 A. No, I was not sure about the date of this meeting. But what
8 assisted me to a certain extent was the fact that after the interview, I
9 was able to see the minutes of the municipal boards once again. So I
10 think that I am now in a better position to say that the meeting took
11 place on the 19th, because the consequence was a meeting held in Bratunac
12 right after that. I was not sure whether it was before the session, and I
13 know that the session was held either on the 20th or the 21st, or after
14 the session. But I remember seeing all of the participants of the session
15 attending this meeting. So I am sorry if I was not able to be precise,
16 but I was not sure if it was before or after the session.
17 Q. Well, that's the evidence you've already given in this case. And
18 in your earlier evidence, on Friday - I think that must have been - yes,
19 Friday the 13th, you made two points. First of all, you said that at that
20 meeting you saw, as far as you could remember, the top officials of the
21 SDS, including the party Presidency, including Mr. Krajisnik, who was
22 preparing the Assembly session. Your reference to preparing the Assembly
23 session rather implies that the meeting must have taken place before the
24 Assembly session. Does that sound right to you?
25 A. Yes, it sounds quite probable.
1 Q. And then you say, of course, all the members of the Main Board
2 were present. But then you also said in your evidence, to make it
3 brief -- I'm not trying to catch you out here, Mr. Deronjic. I'm just
4 trying to get things clear. You said: "To make it brief, it was a
5 well-known event attended by all the top party officials and people who to
6 date had participated in a joint authority, Mr. Koljevic, Mrs. Plavsic."
7 You say: "I'm not sure whether I saw all of them. But I did see some of
9 So although you were suggesting that in general terms all the top
10 leadership were present, it seemed that in any individual case, you
11 weren't a hundred per cent sure. Is it the position that you can't be
12 sure in the case of Mr. Koljevic, Mrs. Plavsic, or Mr. Krajisnik in any
13 specific case, you can't be a hundred per cent sure whether they were
14 there or not?
15 A. I suppose I could agree with your position. Yes, that was -- that
16 is the answer, with a caveat, however. As regards Mr. Krajisnik, I
17 indicated that I was not sure that he had attended this meeting when the
18 Variant A and B was discussed, but I am sure that I saw him there on those
19 days, because at that time there was also a session that was held there.
20 So my memory is linking the session, which I know took place at that time,
21 and seeing him. I think, I believe, I saw him on that occasion, and I
22 apologise if there is any contradiction in what I'm saying.
23 Q. Mr. Deronjic, just -- you've just appeared to be clarifying what
24 you've said. So if Mr. Krajisnik -- if Mr. Krajisnik's position is, which
25 in fact it is, that he wasn't at the meeting where you described Variants
1 A and B and having been handed out, then your position is you wouldn't
2 dispute that; is that correct?
3 A. I don't know the position of Mr. Krajisnik, but I have no reason
4 to doubt that --
5 Q. I beg your pardon, Mr. Deronjic. No. I was trying to help by
6 telling you what Mr. Krajisnik's position is. Mr. Krajisnik's position is
7 that he was not at that meeting. So I'm saying that being his position,
8 you would be willing to accept that, would you?
9 A. For reasons of my being unable to claim that he was present with
10 certainty, yes, I will accept that.
11 Q. Could you describe exactly when in the course of that meeting, and
12 whether at the beginning, during the meeting, at the end, as people were
13 leaving, but whenever in that timescale these documents, or this document
14 containing Variant A and B, was received by you.
15 A. Excuse me. I have to give you a brief introduction. When I
16 thought about this issue, about this question, because I had already
17 received it from the Prosecutor, I was unable to remember this particular
18 session. I said that it was a matter of practice for us to receive these
19 documents, including guidelines and instructions, after the session, in an
20 envelope mostly, except in cases where the documents were work documents
21 which needed to be discussed at the meeting or at the session. So it is
22 possible that we received this particular document before, but maybe it
23 was after. I don't know. I cannot tell you exactly when it was that I
24 personally received the document during that meeting.
25 Q. And just to clarify: The document -- well, perhaps you can see
2 MR. STEWART: It's P43, Your Honour. I'm not sure it will matter,
3 but apparently the interpretation came across as P44. But I suppose the
4 witness will get P43 anyway, so it won't matter.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Stewart, if during a break you would have
6 an idea on what documents you want to show to the witness in
7 cross-examination, could you perhaps give a brief note to the registrar so
8 that she can prepare already for the documents to --
9 MR. STEWART: Yes, I understand that, Your Honour. We shall do
10 that. In fact, I think this is going to be the last one this afternoon.
11 But I take the point.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We've still got quite a ways to go.
13 MR. STEWART: I have taken the point, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 Q. First of all, it's -- the -- this number 100, that is actually --
15 that's actually the one that you received, is it? Do you see, top
16 right-hand corner on the first page, where the number 100 is written?
17 That's actually the one that you received, is it?
18 A. I cannot say with precision whether this is the document that I
19 received, whether this particular document is the one. I never gave it to
20 anyone. I really cannot say that this is the document.
21 Q. The -- what exactly do you say you were told about this document,
22 then, orally in the course of the meeting?
23 A. The only thing I can say with certainty and precision is that I
24 remember Karadzic's explanations concerning some of the positions
25 explained in these variants, in the first and the second stage of their
1 implementation. I remember - and this is what I remember best - was -- I
2 remember the explanation as to how the people on the ground should be kept
3 in contact with local boards, and also with municipal boards [as
4 interpreted]. This is something that I remember. And yes, more or less I
5 do remember the discussion of these items, but I couldn't add anything
6 specific to these -- to the explanation given.
7 Q. When you -- you talk about the discussion of keeping in touch,
8 people on the ground should be in contact with local boards and with
9 municipal boards, when you say: "People on the ground should keep in
10 touch with local boards and municipal boards," I'm trying not to be
11 nit-picking about it, Mr. Deronjic. It's the other way round. It's the
12 local boards and the municipal boards keeping in touch with the people on
13 the ground, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. That's what I said.
15 Q. And when you gave evidence on Friday about this meeting, you said
16 you were only -- you said very frankly, you were only able to quote one
17 sentence spoken by Mr. Karadzic, that you, the local representatives
18 there, were duty-bound to ensure contacts with every man - they were
19 thinking of Serbs in the municipality, and if possible, to ensure physical
20 contacts. And then it was suggested the municipal boards should
21 distribute amongst the officials in the local boards the number of
22 families that they would be in charge of.
23 Now, that sounds, Mr. Deronjic, very like the document that we
24 looked at a few minutes ago, P38 was the reference, the August 15th
25 document, that you had said was so very difficult, practically impossible,
1 to implement in practice. That's right, isn't it?
2 A. Yes. It sounds like the item from the earlier instructions on the
3 conduct of the party. But I would like to say that these explanations and
4 Mr. Karadzic's speeches are something that I recall from this meeting, in
6 Q. Mr. Deronjic, I'm not -- I'm not in a position to challenge your
7 recollection of that at this meeting. The suggestion I was putting to you
8 was that that particular bit of what Mr. Karadzic was saying to you sounds
9 like an exhortation and a reinforcement of what was in the August 15th
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Do you know yourself who prepared the document that you're now
13 looking at, P43, the instructions, the Variant A and B instructions for
14 organisation and so on?
15 A. I personally don't know, except that I could have read that this
16 was material of the Main Board. And I can say that I focussed my
17 attention in more detail on this when I found myself here in the
18 courtroom, or in detention, and when I saw that document, for a time, I
19 even thought that perhaps this was even an Assembly conclusion, which
20 turned out to be quite an incorrect view.
21 Q. I'm just trying to get clear, Mr. Deronjic, that -- is the
22 position that -- you can read on this document, of course, left-hand top
23 corner of the cover sheet, "Serbian Democratic Party, Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, Main Committee." You see that, don't you, in the top
25 left-hand corner?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And with respect, we can all read that in either B/C/S or English.
3 The question --
4 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. HARMON: The upper left-hand corner in the P43 should read:
7 "Main Board," not "Main Committee."
8 MR. STEWART: That's absolutely right. I've got -- the one I had
9 got said, "Main Committee," and the one I've just been handed says, "Main
10 Board." I accept that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The one in evidence says, "Main Board."
12 MR. STEWART: The one in evidence says, "Main Board." For some
13 reason, I had another one. My apologies. With a bit of luck, it will
14 have got translated into B/C/S exactly the same way anyway.
15 Q. But to avoid any possible confusion: Top left-hand corner, cover
16 sheet, it says: "Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina," and
17 then in English translation: "Main Board." Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I see it in the English version, and also in the translation
19 it says: "Main Board."
20 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Mr. Deronjic, you can manage
21 the English version as well without difficulty. But is this the
22 position: That you actually yourself from your personal knowledge, you
23 don't know more than anybody else here beyond those words printed on the
24 page as to who actually prepared this document originally?
25 A. No. I don't know anything about it directly, except that we
1 implemented the various stages of this document in Bratunac, in
2 consultation with the party Presidency and in consultation with Mr. Zekic,
3 who was a member of the Main Board and who informed us about the various
4 stages of the implementation of this document. And I thought that this
5 was quite sufficient. I personally received it at the Main Board, so I
6 had no doubt that this was an authentic document of the SDS Main Board.
7 Q. Do you in fact know if it was ever formally approved or adopted by
8 the SDS Main Board?
9 A. No. I don't know and I didn't check it.
10 Q. Is it correct: It wasn't actually presented at that meeting as
11 official SDS -- an official SDS policy document, was it?
12 A. I didn't understand completely the sense of the question. Which
13 meeting are you thinking of, and what is the gist of the question? Could
14 you please repeat it.
15 Q. I beg your pardon. The meeting I'm talking about -- yes, I
16 understand. We moved on to the locality. The meeting I'm talking about
17 is the one in Sarajevo on the 19th, as you seem to feel it probably was
18 now, at which Mr. Karadzic spoke. So that's the meeting I'm talking
19 about. And the -- what I was putting to you was that at that meeting,
20 this document was not in fact presented as official SDS policy.
21 A. I don't remember it being adopted, so, according to my
22 recollection, it was not. I don't remember anyone saying that this is a
23 document adopted by the Main Board. This is something that I do not
25 Q. Mr. Deronjic, did you, having, as you've given evidence, then,
1 taken this document away from the meeting on the 19th of December, did
2 you -- not necessarily that night or that day, but did you immediately, or
3 soon after that meeting, personally study it in detail?
4 A. Yes, I did study it, and I implemented it at a meeting in
5 Bratunac, or, actually, interpreted it at the SDS board meeting in
7 Q. And of course it was Variant B which was applicable to Bratunac,
8 wasn't it?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Were there -- and I'll put the question this way: Did you have
11 any doubts or misgivings about the Variant B content of this document
12 either as a matter of principle, whether it ought to be aiming to achieve
13 and instruct what it was aiming at and instructing, or, secondly, as a
14 matter of practice, in terms of whether what it aimed to achieve could
15 actually be done? Just -- before we go any further into that: Did you
16 have misgivings in either of those areas, one and two?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, may I invite you to instruct the usher
18 exactly to at what page. Because we're now not talking about the cover
19 page any more, but about Variants A and B, what page to be put on the
21 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. It's page 5 in both
22 English and in B/C/S, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could page 5 be put on the ELMO. And, Mr. Stewart, I
24 just remind you, that whatever discussions you have with the team, if you
25 leave the microphone open, we will be able to follow. If that's your
1 intention, fine. If you'd rather not everything to be overheard, please
2 switch off your microphone.
3 MR. STEWART: That's a helpful and timely reminder. I don't think
4 any great disaster occurred with that particular exchange, Your Honour,
5 but thank you for the warning.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That's why I say it now and not --
7 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you.
8 Q. Yes, Mr. Deronjic. You see Variant B beginning at page 5. And
9 I'll put the question again. It was rather a long question, so I'll break
10 it into -- it turned out much longer than I had hoped. I'll break it into
12 First of all, did you yourself have any misgivings about the
13 Variant B proposals here, in principle, in the sense of whether these were
14 proper aims for the party to be, as you understood it, to be instructing?
15 A. There is two parts to the answer. The one referring to the
16 Variant B is as follows: I said at the municipal board that the first
17 stage of Variant B was something that I didn't have any principle dilemmas
18 about, and I said that we were duty-bound to implement that as part of the
19 state policy and instructions issued to us by the top leadership of our
20 party. And this is stated in the minutes from that meeting. However,
21 when Goran Zekic informed the Bratunac municipal board and myself
22 personally that the second stage of Variant B was being introduced, doubts
23 appeared whether this was possible, and I also had some personal dilemmas
24 about the propriety of this policy. There are minutes from those
25 meetings, in which it can be seen that I even submitted my resignation,
1 not wishing to embark on the implementation of these objectives. I felt
2 that this would lead to war, and this is what I said, and that sentence of
3 mine is written down in the minutes of that meeting.
4 Q. So this is the second stage that provoked those concerns on your
5 part; that's right, is it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You didn't have -- you didn't personally have any problem, as a
8 matter of principle, with the first stage?
9 A. No.
10 Q. If we look at -- well, it's the foot of page 5 in the English
11 version. It may be around the foot of page 5 or the top of page 6 in the
12 B/C/S version. There's a sentence that says: "The commander shall
13 appoint a member of the Crisis Staff to coordinate relations with the
14 municipal leaderships of the SDA and HDZ." Do you see that? Well, you
15 can cross-check the English, I think, Mr. Deronjic, as well.
16 A. I cannot find it. Could you please help me, tell me which
17 paragraph it is.
18 Q. It's the very end of item 3. First stage, number 3. Well, it's
19 immediately before you get to point numbered 4. It's a couple of lines.
20 So Variant B first stage, very last bit of item 3.
21 A. Yes. I've found it and I've read it.
22 Q. "The commander shall appoint," and so on. So you've read it. And
23 that happened, did it, in Bratunac?
24 A. No. I coordinated those relations with the SDA and the HDZ. Well,
25 actually, there was no HDZ in Bratunac.
1 Q. So --
2 A. I'm sorry.
3 Q. Yes. I beg your pardon. So -- and you were, in the terminology
4 here in English, you were the commander, weren't you?
5 A. Commander of the Crisis Staff.
6 Q. Yes. Well, you were the person, it's translated into English here
7 as the commander. Yes. So in effect -- well, it seems we're not
8 really -- don't really have an issue here. It says the commander shall
9 appoint a member of the Crisis Staff. In effect, you appointed yourself.
10 That's not a criticism, Mr. Deronjic; it's just a suggestion. That's in
11 effect what happened; correct?
12 A. Even if we had appointed somebody - I really don't remember
13 whether we did or not - I was the one who maintained contacts with the SDA
15 Q. All right. And then when we -- so when we get to the second
16 stage, then, and that's over on page 7 of the English version, it begins,
17 I think, at the very foot of page 7 of the B/C/S version as well. What
18 were the -- it's divided up into seven points, and then we've got four
19 points at the end, which are I think general, in fact, as far as this
20 document is concerned. Can you tell Their Honours which of those points
21 under second stage were the ones that did cause you the personal dilemma,
22 I think was the way you put it?
23 A. Yes. Second stage of the organising of the Serbian people and its
24 institutions implied the creation of parallel organs entirely. The first
25 stage provided for the preparation for the possible establishment of those
1 organs, and second stage meant the actual establishment of such organs.
2 And the complete withdrawal from joint bodies of authority, which we
3 shared with the SDA. That stage called for a unilateral break in
4 relations, and practically meant the destruction of the municipal
5 institutions by the Serbs. Because we did participate in the governance
6 to date and we had key functions. The president of the Executive Board
7 was a Serb. If we withdrew him and the Executive Board member and the
8 Main Board member, we then practically destroyed or dismantled that
9 institution. I was not ready for such a radical act, and this prompted
10 certain dilemmas on my part.
11 If I am absolutely precise, my main objection was over the fact
12 that we did not sufficiently explain. We were ordered or instructed to do
13 something, but the specificity of certain regions was a key, and the most
14 important factor there. If I carried this out in Bratunac, I could cause
15 the outbreak of war, and I did not want to be the cause for war breaking
16 out in the municipality of Bratunac. So this was the reason for my
17 dissatisfaction, the fact that nobody fully considered the effect of such
18 steps, what the consequences would be of the implementation of such
20 Q. Are you saying that -- well, in your own locality, for example, in
21 Bratunac, was your view within the active SDS organs, was your view a
22 minority view?
23 A. My view at the board was a minority one in the beginning, and that
24 is why I submitted my resignation. As the meeting continued, we discussed
25 this within the municipal board Presidency, and I received certain
1 promises, to the effect that I could adapt those orders to local
2 conditions in the Bratunac municipality. So that was the condition under
3 which I withdrew my resignation, and then we discussed at the municipal
4 board how we would implement this in Bratunac.
5 What I am trying to say is that I felt responsible for the
6 implementation of decisions of my organs, but on the other hand I felt
7 fear because of that. So due to my inability to resolve that, I submitted
8 my resignation. But when I received assurances that locally we could do
9 this in a calmer way, I withdrew my resignation.
10 Q. So is this the position, then, Mr. Deronjic: You were initially
11 in a minority view, in the sense that you were far gloomier and more
12 pessimistic about the consequences of implementing these measures than
13 your -- the majority of your colleagues?
14 A. Correct. I was outvoted on that position. The majority of the
15 municipal board members believed that we should implement these points
17 Q. And they were less -- they were less pessimistic than you, then,
18 as to where this might lead and your view that it would lead on to war?
19 A. Yes, you could put it that way. Despite a little explanation
20 here. Despite the fact that the party had enough time to make proper
21 boards to assemble intellectuals from those communities, unfortunately, we
22 did not manage to put together in the intellectual sense proper
23 committees. In my board there were five or six of us who, conditionally
24 speaking, were intellectuals. The rest of the members who people who, I
25 would say, did not even have a developed political position and were not
1 up to coordinating their positions along the lines of the current
2 political situation.
3 Q. So you, you've described, you later received some, well, if you
4 like, assurance or permission to adapt the second stage in a way that made
5 you less gloomy and pessimistic yourself about where it would all lead.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when -- can you remember: When do you say that you were
8 directed to implement the second stage?
9 A. I will talk about the second stage, and I will touch upon several
10 points. In January, we already spoke with Goran Zekic about the
11 implementation of the second stage. We also discussed, and I remember
12 such a meeting about rounding off the concept of the Birac region. A
13 definite, final position to implement this was reached in February 1992.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask for a clarification, Mr. Deronjic? You
15 spoke a few times about your wish to resign and that you finally withdrew
16 your resignation. Could you tell us exactly in time - I might have missed
17 it - exactly in time when this was, when you first discussed the whole of
18 the document or the instructions, or at the beginning of the second stage?
19 When exactly did you offer to resign?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at the beginning of the
21 discussion on the implementation of the second stage, we actually held a
22 meeting in Kravica. That is the Serbian region in Bratunac. I have those
23 minutes. If we need to, we can find it, so that I don't misstate what's
24 in it. This is January, or possibly February. And then we seriously
25 discussed the Variant A and B second stage. That was the meeting when I
1 submitted my resignation, and not on the one immediately following the
2 19th of December, when a meeting was held in Bratunac and when the Crisis
3 Staff was formed, when we issued the instructions for a Serb Assembly to
4 be formed, and so on.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I can see the clock very easily from
7 the way I face the witness. I wonder, may I ask now just one more
8 question, may I, and then --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but not after I -- and is one of the parties
10 intending to tender into evidence this -- these minutes of the meeting
11 where Mr. Deronjic offered his resignation?
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, we'll have to check that
14 overnight. I thought they might -- I had understood they were in one of
15 the exhibits, a big chunk of material that was tendered by the
16 Prosecution. But if not --
17 JUDGE ORIE: I've missed it, Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: We will check it overnight as well, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So that we know that if it's not in, the
20 Chamber could consider to have this evidence to be called by itself.
21 MR. STEWART: May I ask a single question, Your Honour?
22 Q. It's simply: If you could go up, please, in the same document, to
23 first stage, Variant B, first stage, item 6, please, Mr. Deronjic. It
24 refers to setting up secret storage places and depots in local
25 communities. Do you see -- it won't take you long, I think, Mr. Deronjic,
1 to see that paragraph. My question is simply whether -- whether that did
2 happen in Bratunac.
3 A. No. We just discussed this at the municipal board meeting. We
4 concluded that we should try to gather financial funds so that we could
5 purchase some of these things. But I don't know whether we actually
6 implemented any of this.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm not sure whether I've stolen about
8 nine seconds or more, but that's -- I have no more questions this evening.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Deronjic, we'll continue to hear your
10 evidence tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00 in this same courtroom. I see,
11 Madam Registrar, you are not contradicting. So in this same courtroom.
12 May I again instruct you not to speak with anyone, whoever it is,
13 about the evidence you gave in this courtroom and the evidence that you
14 may expect still to be given in this courtroom.
15 Yes, please. Mr. Deronjic may be escorted out of the courtroom.
16 If there's nothing else to be raised at this moment, we'll adjourn for the
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of
20 February 2004, at 2.15 p.m.