1 Tuesday, 1 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Mr. Harmon, are you ready to continue the examination-in-chief of
10 Mr. Kirudja?
11 MR. HARMON: I am Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Especially after three days I could have wished
13 you a good morning.
14 Could you escort Mr. Kirudja into the courtroom, Mr. Usher.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 WITNESS: CHARLES KIRUDJA [Resumed]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Kirudja. Please be seated. May I
18 remind you, just as I did last Friday, that you're still bound by the
19 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
20 Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
21 MR. HARMON: If the usher could assist me in moving the ELMO just
22 a little bit further. Thank you. Now I can see Mr. Kirudja.
23 Examined by Mr. Harmon: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Kirudja, good morning to you.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Mr. Kirudja, we left your testimony on Friday, we had examined
2 Prosecutor's Exhibit 141 and a letter from Radomir Pasic, the mayor of
3 Bosanski Novi, directed to you, informing you that there were another
4 1.233 people who wished to leave the municipality. I'd like to turn to
5 the next exhibit, Prosecutor's Exhibit 142, which is dated three days
7 Mr. Kirudja, if you would inspect that briefly. This exhibit has
8 -- is in two parts. It has a cover sheet bearing your signature and then
9 a memorandum from Paolo Raffone. Do you recognise those documents,
10 Mr. Kirudja?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Mr. Kirudja, you had been receiving information about what was
13 transpiring in Bosnia, and let me turn to the second part of this exhibit,
14 a memorandum from Mr. Raffone dated the 8th of July, 1992, the subject of
15 which is "Arriving refugees from Bosanski Novi." Let me read this exhibit
16 into the record.
17 "On 7 July 1992, a group of 18 persons arrived in Sector North
18 from Bosanski Novi asking for protection and assistance to cross the CFL
19 toward Zagreb and other foreign countries. The civil affairs officer
20 interviewed the group and arranged for the crossing on 8 July 1992.
21 "The following information is based solely on the statements of
22 these persons who have asked for anonymity for security reasons. In
23 Bosanski Novi (BH), the Muslim ethnic group, 28 per cent, continue to
24 suffer persecution, deportation, and intimidation from Serbian armed
25 groups. The beginning of this crisis is traced back to the end of April
1 1992. The persons interviewed reported that all Muslims living in the
2 town and in the neighbouring villages are ready to leave the area towards
3 Croatia or other destinations in Europe. Previously, we reported the
4 stadium in Bosanski Novi is one of the places where hundreds of persons
5 have been held for screening following which they are expelled from the
6 area toward unknown destinations."
7 And there is a reference number to a previous report.
8 "Reportedly all Muslims are forced to sign papers asking them to
9 'voluntarily leave' under the following conditions: Leave behind all
10 personal property (including cars, personal effects, et cetera), swear
11 that they were permanently leaving the area and that they will never go
12 back to their houses. Following compliance with these conditions, they
13 are issued a declaration from the local TDF commander in the milicija (or
14 the mayor) allowing them to leave their opstina of residence. They are
15 generally forced to leave in the direction of Dvor. It is reported that
16 the local authorities in Dvor does not seem surprised at the arrival of
17 the forcefully reported --" removed, I'm sorry -- "removed persons. They
18 even show a cooperative effort to facilitate their way towards
19 Croatian-controlled territories.
20 "A calculated strategy to 'cleanse' the area of Muslims appears
21 to have intensified beginning in May 1992. House burnings, deportations,
22 summary executions, shooting in the houses, et cetera, are part of the
23 present situation in the towns and villages along the north side of the BH
24 border (Bosanski Novi, Bosanski Kostajnica, and Bosanska Dubica).
25 Reportedly the milicija does not seem to intervene. Some mayors and other
1 Serbs working in the opstinas have also been reported as trying to help
2 the Muslims to leave their houses safely. In Bosanski Novi, the military
3 police is reported to have its HQ in Hotel Una. There are reports of
4 brutal torture in this hotel.
5 "The persons interviewed believe that the political leaders know
6 what is happening. Some of them attest to allegations that some
7 high-level politicians in the SDS party are known to have given orders for
8 actions against Muslims. Some of the refugees tell of a retaliatory
9 policy of 'one Serbian killed on the front line, one Muslim man will be
10 killed.' All of the men interviewed had been held for some days in the
11 stadium of Bosanski Novi before being expelled. They report that every
12 day some 30 new detainees arrive in the stadium. When the stadium is
13 full, the guards take some of them away to unknown destinations. Some
14 witnesses report that in the first 15 days of May, some 200 persons taken
15 out of the stadium were shot dead nearby. Based on these interviews, the
16 persons estimated that some 5.000 persons may try to cross the bridge
17 between Bosanski Novi and Dvor in the coming days."
18 And this letter is signed by Mr. Raffone, and it says it is
19 released by Charles Kirudja, CAC.
20 First of all, can you tell us what "released by Charles Kirudja"
21 means, very briefly?
22 A. At this point, we are still mandated to deal with the Vance Plan
23 in the UNPA, and every document that came up the reporting line has to be
24 clear as to what it is that we are reporting, whether it is within our
25 mandate or not. And when we were seized of this matter of refugees coming
1 from that area of Northern Bosnia through Dvor to the sector, the evidence
2 you have heard in the last few days has to be we are telling our
3 headquarters that this matter is becoming a destabilising -- is becoming a
4 destabilising factor inside the sector. So when these refugees, as this
5 letter comes -- shows at the beginning, come into the sector seeking to
6 cross, they are debriefed, and they are debriefed and that summary of what
7 is happening is written out and brought to me by whoever I assigned. In
8 this case, Mr. Raffone.
9 When the issue is serious enough, then I did two things: I could
10 have quite simply signed myself, because I have to decide whether it's a
11 relevant issue or not, but in matters like this, I wanted to preserve the
12 knowledge that the basic work was done by this officer and that the input
13 into this was by the officer. The content, on the other hand, it's
14 something that I worked with him to frame and to report within context,
15 and therefore I had to sign the release of it. Otherwise, he might be
16 questioned why he is spending the time outside the mandate area himself
17 and suffer career implications by the bosses.
18 Q. But did this information, Mr. Kirudja, give you additional insight
19 into the organised nature of what was happening in Bosnia to the
21 A. At this point, actually, it wasn't additional. It was now
22 conclusive. It was giving us the last bits of necessary information for
23 us to begin to make conclusions. And it has a few elements that I would
24 like to draw Your Honours' attention to.
25 As you will see, we are talking about 18 persons who are talking
1 to us. We grant them anonymity so that they can tell us honestly what it
2 is that they see, and now we start checking it out to see whether it
3 corroborates information earlier received to us. And in the fourth
4 paragraph of this memorandum, you will see that these 18 people are
5 telling us elements that on Friday we looked at in the letter addressed to
6 me by Mr. Pasic about what it is they were being asked to do.
7 As you can see, leave behind all the -- leave behind all your
8 property, swear never to return, but still being dressed up to look like
9 voluntary, which explains the quotation mark, 'voluntary,' because by now
10 it's abundantly clear there's nothing voluntary about this.
11 You can see also the pressure building up on them. They want to
12 go out of here. As the story unfolds, some of them are missing or feared
13 dead, so by this time, if you turn the page, we are now saying there is a
14 strategy to cleanse this place. So this memorandum, and my editing it, is
15 to bring out this issue, and we are becoming now the exit point in the
16 centre, in the UNPA where all these people are marshalled through.
17 Q. All right. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. If we turn to the next
18 exhibit, which is Prosecutor's Exhibit 143. We will just spend a little
19 -- a moment with this exhibit.
20 This exhibit, Mr. Kirudja, bears your name and initials at the
21 end. Do you recognise this exhibit?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. This exhibit is dated the same day as the memorandum on the
24 previous exhibit, the 9th of July. It is -- the subject is "Assistance to
25 refugees in the UNPA," and let me read the first paragraph to you, or for
1 the record: "On 8 July 1992, Mr. Nogolica, chairman of the government of
2 Croatia's office for UNPROFOR (Zagreb) conveyed to me the position of the
3 government of Croatia regarding the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 The refugees should be cared for in the place to which they have escaped
5 within the UNPA and not be forwarded to Croatian-controlled territory
6 where accommodation facilities for the refugees do not exist."
7 Now, Mr. Kirudja, on the 9th of July, Croatia's position
8 essentially was very clear: Don't send refugees from Bosnia to us. Isn't
9 that correct?
10 A. The exact position is that if they come into your area where the
11 UN is, that's where they will remain.
12 Q. Okay. Why did Croatia take that position?
13 A. By now, the Croatians were engaged in a bigger issue, how to
14 recover this area, the four sectors that are taken by the so-called local
15 Serbs back into the sovereignty of Croatia toto. That was clear that
16 was their major overarching interest and whatever we did there they wanted
17 to make sure it was consistent with that issue. Point number 1.
18 Point number two, this area itself where we were, the UNPA, had
19 been evacuated, had been evacuated of its previous residents who were
21 Their own intelligence knew that there was a continuation of
22 displacement of people. Therefore, they took this position and told us
23 clearly that we don't encourage this evacuation. If they come within the
24 area where you are, we will not allow you to let them proceed further. It
25 was clear they would rather not even have anyone coming in there, but that
1 one, of course, is not something they can say because that area is within
2 the mandate of the UN. So the most they can say what they said. They
3 have to remain where you are. Up to that point. As you will see, that
4 also changed.
5 Q. All right. If we turn to Prosecutor's Exhibit 144, the next
7 Mr. Kirudja, if you'd just cast your eye on this document. This
8 is a document dated the 12th of July, 1992, the author of which is Jens
9 Brosted. Do you recognise this document?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Now this document, in summary, describes two meetings which took
12 place; one meeting that took place on the 7th of July and another meeting
13 that took place on the 8th of July, and I'd like to start by drawing your
14 attention to paragraph 8, which describes a meeting that took place on the
15 7th of July, 1992, and I will read this into the record.
16 "On 7 July 1992, a meeting was held between the mayor,
17 vice-mayor, and chairman of the Assembly of Dvor, a member of the staff
18 for cooperation with UNPROFOR, vice-chairman of the Assembly of Bosanski
19 Novi, as well as representatives of CIVPOL and DANCON. The problem of
20 refugees from Bosanski Novi was brought up as something demanding a
21 solution now if armed clashes were to be avoided. According to the Danish
22 report on the meeting, the Bosanski Novi representative informed that the
23 municipality had established two criteria for people who want to leave.
24 One, they must sign a statement that they are leaving the area voluntarily
25 (permanently); and two, they must certify that they have sold, exchanged,
1 or donated their house and other immovable property to someone else. The
2 Bosanski Novi informed that they had processed applications from 1.300
3 families who all fulfilled the criteria. They estimated that this amounts
4 to a total of some 3 to 5.000 persons."
5 Now, again the two criteria that are described by the Danish
6 report that are required for a person to leave the municipality once again
7 are the criteria that you had learned earlier; isn't that correct?
8 A. Yes. It had now become pervasively known.
9 Q. Okay. Now, on the 8th of July, there was another meeting, and in
10 paragraph 3 of this memorandum, the participants of that meeting are
11 identified as being the deputy mayor and the chief of the milicija as well
12 as CIVPOL participants and a Major Rand from DANCON; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Now, if we turn to paragraph 11 of this memorandum, this continues
15 to relate to the meeting that took place on the 8th of July. In paragraph
16 11, let me read this: "The chief of police said that the refugee cases
17 started some eight to ten days ago, but after the large increase it became
18 a problem. Now many people already have exchanged their houses with Serbs
19 from Croatia. The deputy mayor did not want to second-guess the reasons
20 why people wanted to leave but later volunteered his own opinion. Some
21 had been displaced in the politics of Izetbegovic. Further, after the
22 fighting in the Cazin and Kladusa region and with the return of wounded
23 and killed Serbs, Muslims in the area was getting afraid of revenge from
24 relatives. As discussions got more frank, they did not contest that it
25 was very questionable whether the request to leave had been signed
2 Now, this is consistent with the conclusion that you had earlier
3 reached; isn't that correct?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, just for the sake of the transcript, I
5 think it was a slip of the tongue where you said that people were
6 displaced in the policy where it reads some had been disappointed in the
7 politics of Izetbegovic.
8 MR. HARMON: Oh, I see. Yes. Thank you for that correction.
9 That's correct.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Now, if we go to the last part of this paragraph, there's -- the
13 next sentence reads: "When I asked them to confirm that the mayors of
14 Bosanski Novi and Banja Luka had been on the news in Banja Luka TV stating
15 that Muslims and Serbs could no longer live together, they said it was not
16 the mayor but the chief of the Crisis Committee in Banja Luka,
17 Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin."
18 Now, this quotation that the Muslims and Serbs could no longer
19 live together, had you heard that before, Mr. Kirudja?
20 A. I believe on Friday I did mention that this is something we had
21 heard all too often. And in this memo you're reading, please bear in mind
22 it's Jens Brosted writing and he's hearing it too. It's not me writing
24 Q. He's hearing it on television.
25 A. He's hearing it -- from the meeting he's hearing it secondhand
2 Q. Right.
3 A. And he's hearing two things. If he was asked "What is going on
4 here" -- he asked "What is going on here?" If it's a Serb speaking to
5 him, usually he will hear, "We can't live together," and this is something
6 that I mentioned is repeated over and over again, and he's demonstrating
8 Q. What effect do you think that kind of comment had on the situation
9 in Bosnia?
10 A. I don't think it had anything, because I'm talking about a common
11 -- you mean --
12 Q. The effects, on the television. If you're able to give us that
14 A. No, we're not able.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. Because this is a reported speech about what we had just been told
17 in a room.
18 Q. All right. Then if we could turn to the next exhibit,
19 Mr. Kirudja. This is going to be Exhibit 145. We'll be very quick with
20 this exhibit.
21 We've seen in the previous exhibits today reference to more people
22 possibly coming across, wanting to come across into UNPA and transit
23 through to Croatia. This memo, your memo is dated the 13th of July, and
24 attached to it is a memo from Mr. Raffone. Do you recognise both of these
1 A. Yes, with the understanding that only my name and authority is
2 being used. This particular one became a routine since my signature
3 itself doesn't appear in front or inside. So it is a routine
4 communication under my name.
5 Q. Now, the subject of Mr. Raffone's memorandum is "20 busloads of
6 refugees from Bosanski Novi crossing the border towards
7 Croatian-controlled territory through Sector North." And I'll read this
8 very brief memorandum from Mr. Raffone, read portions of it.
9 "Today an advance group of people from Bosanski Novi arrived at
10 the gate of DANCON in Dvor and announced that on Wednesday, 15 July, at
11 1200 noon, 20 busloads of refugees will arrive in Dvor. The people have
12 been advised that UNPROFOR will not be in a position to assist them in
13 crossing and that the government of Croatia has given instructions to its
14 border police not to accept their entry into Croatian-controlled
16 Now, this again is a reflection of Croatia's policy and -- which
17 we will come across again in a few minutes, but now you have information
18 that a significant number of people may be coming your way; isn't that
20 A. It's a rehash. It's not even new. That's why it had become
21 routine where the officer would feel comfortable to report just under my
22 name. It's not new. This is 13 July. This figure of 5.000 goes back to
23 26th of May. So by now this matter had begun to be so preponderous [sic]
24 and my officers had begun to understand it very well. The -- not only the
25 policy of Croatia but all the elements of this. So by -- on this date,
1 this matter is a continuing matter and it's not new, the numbers are not
2 new, it's just a build-up.
3 Q. Okay. If we take a look at the next exhibit, OTP 146, also dated
4 the 13th of July. And this exhibit is introduced merely to supplement the
5 previous exhibit, Mr. Kirudja, which deals with the 5.000 Muslim refugees
6 from Bosanski Novi, the information that you had been receiving.
7 Do you recognise these three documents that are --
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. -- make part of OTP 146?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. These also deal with the imminent potential arrival of 5.000
12 displaced Muslims from Bosanski Novi; is that correct?
13 A. Correct. Only to send it to another destination. It's addressed
14 to ICRC. So we are trying to complete the information we are giving to --
15 the previous memo went to our headquarters, this goes to ICRC. Subject
16 bears -- it's about the same.
17 Q. Okay. Let's turn to the next exhibit, which is Prosecutor's
18 Exhibit 147.
19 MR. HARMON: Now, this document 147, Your Honour, relates to
20 paragraphs 122 to 126 in Mr. Kirudja's written evidence.
21 Q. Cast your eye, Mr. Kirudja, on 147, if you would for just a
22 moment, and then we'll deal with the contents of it. Do you recognise
23 Prosecutor's Exhibit 147, Mr. Kirudja?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Now, in these exhibits we jump ahead approximately a week;
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And let me -- and these documents represent -- one of these
4 documents is quite significant because it represents a change in the
5 policy of Croatia, and I'm referring to the letter from Franjo Greguric
6 who was the Prime Minister of Croatia. It's the last page of the exhibit.
7 Now, let me read this document into the record and I'll invite
8 your comments, Mr. Kirudja. This is a document from the government of the
9 Republic of Croatia, Franjo Greguric, Prime Minister, it is dated the 20th
10 of July, 1992, and it is addressed to Jose Maria Mendiluce, who was the
11 special envoy of the High Commissioner for UNHCR in Zagreb. I'll only
12 read a part of this exhibit.
13 "Dear Sir: We received your letter describing the present
14 situation of 'ethnic cleansing' in Bosanski Novi as reported by your group
15 of senior officials from UNHCR Zagreb mission who visited the affected
16 area. As you are aware, the Republic of Croatia did much more than our
17 capacities have allowed us in providing care for 407.500 refugees from
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina temporarily accommodated in the Republic of
19 Croatia. The Croatian government, on an emergency basis, will, as a last
20 solution, allow this group of 4.000 refugees, Muslim citizens of Bosanski
21 Novi, to enter Croatia."
22 Now, this letter from Mr. Greguric represents a reversal of
23 position of the Republic of Croatia, does it not?
24 A. Evidently a reversal but also evidently a reluctant and temporary
25 emergency one. We are not reading it as a total reversal.
1 Q. What caused the changes?
2 A. By this time, this matter had become constant and troubling of
3 everybody that was involved. As Mr. Greguric is saying to Mr. Mendiluce,
4 he had received a letter from some of Mr. Mendiluce's staff that had
5 advised him of, to my best understanding, by then the danger had increased
6 for those who were in those areas of Serb-controlled area or in football
7 field or somewhere in between trying to get out. So at this moment, he
8 seemed to have been persuaded that these people were in mortal danger,
9 enough to allow passage and a temporary reversal of the previous policy
10 that they should not transition through the UNPA.
11 Q. Now, I want to read part of your written evidence, paragraph 123.
12 A. I don't have that document in front of me, my own testimony.
13 MR. HARMON: Perhaps Mr. Kirudja could be provided with Exhibit
15 Q. I'm going to be referring to paragraph 123, Mr. Kirudja, and I
16 will quote this paragraph: "Having obtained the acquiescence of the
17 Croatian authorities to accept the Bosnian refugees, we now turn to the
18 logistical problem of evacuating and transporting these people. While I
19 remain opposed to the transfer of these persons from Bosnia, viewing it as
20 complicity in an ethnic cleansing that was surely going to recur, my views
21 became moot once the Croatian authorities accepted the movement of the
22 refugees and UNHCR agreed to organise the transit with UNPROFOR's
23 assistance. It was clear to me that if we agreed to move these Muslims
24 from Serbian-controlled areas of Bosnia, the Bosnian Serb authorities
25 would simply consider it the 'first round' and we would soon be asking
1 that we evacuate non-Serbs from the territory to the point at which it was
2 fully 'cleansed.'"
3 Why was it, Mr. Kirudja, that you believed this would encourage
4 the authorities in Bosnia to continue to ethnically cleanse?
5 A. You see, by this time the number 4.000, as you have heard the
6 testimony here beginning on 29th of May, numbers were much larger than
7 4.000. When the mayor came to see us in the -- first Mayor Pasic the
8 first time, the numbers he was talking about from Bosanski Novi alone, say
9 from the village of Blagaj, was 13.000. By the time that this information
10 begun to filter from refugees themselves, from the telephone call you
11 heard received in my office from the Mayor Kupresanin, he had already
12 telegraphed that 15.000 were on their way from the areas that he named in
13 that telephone. I'm talking about him mentioning areas from Bosanska
14 Krupa, coming all the way through Sanski Most, Prijedor, and Kljuc, and
15 saying 15.000 were coming and 15.000 more may also be on their way.
16 By now these numbers had begun to be such that to be told that
17 4.000 is being allowed, obviously to anyone looking at it, you knew that
18 is not where it's going to stop, and that's why my surmising that if you
19 allow the first 4.000, it won't be the first time, it wouldn't the last --
20 rather, it wouldn't be the last time, it would just be a beginning.
21 Q. If we can turn to Prosecutor's Exhibit 148 as the next exhibit.
22 Mr. Kirudja, these -- both of these documents that are part of the exhibit
23 are dated the 22nd of July. Do you recognise both of those documents?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. I'm going to read from your memorandum dated the 22nd of July,
1 just a portion of it, referring to -- I'm going to read portions BB and
2 CC. The subject of this memorandum is "Transit of Bosanski Novi refugees
3 through Sector North," and BB: "Sector commander given a plan involving
4 the transit of up to 4.000 persons. UNHCR has requested DanBat to provide
5 fuel for up to 55 buses and 200 cars as well as two ambulances and a
6 rescue/tow vehicle."
7 CC: "UNHCR recommends that UNPROFOR not be seen to be associated
8 with the evacuation of Muslims and other minorities through the UNPA.
9 During negotiations with local authorities which lasted four days (18/21
10 July), UNHCR has repeatedly denounced the policy of expulsion based on
11 ethnic/religious 'cleansing' and intends to continue to denounce that
13 Now, Mr. Kirudja, did the transit through Sector North of people
14 take place?
15 A. Yes, it did, and --
16 Q. Mr. Kirudja, instead of 4.000 people transiting through Sector
17 North, how many people do you estimate transited through Sector North once
18 this permission had been granted?
19 A. We came to a rough estimate of more than 9.000. This thing was an
20 all day -- more than all day. We started early in the morning, before
21 8.00. We were at the crossing point at Turanj way after 10.00 at night.
22 So our rough estimate was more than 9.000 crossed.
23 Q. And these were non-Serbs?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, you told us just a few minutes ago that you anticipated that
1 this would be the first of many requests. Let me turn to your written
2 evidence at paragraph 128 of your written evidence, which I will read into
3 the record: "On 8 August, I met with UNHCR special envoy Mr. Jose Maria
4 Mendiluce to discuss the approach to be taken toward a new wave of
5 refugees wishing to transit through Sector North. At the time, a report
6 of the UN CIVPOL in Dvor estimated that the number of persons wishing to
7 transit through the sector would amount to 8.000 refugees. Within a few
8 days, that estimate rose to 28.000. It was clear to us that the UN could
9 not repeat an evacuation similar to the one that took place earlier, let
10 alone a new one of that size. To do so would be to participate directly
11 in the reprehensible process of 'ethnic cleansing' unleashed by the Serbs
12 in Bosnia. The UNHCR took the position that it would not succumb to any
13 'blackmail'. That was a response to the Serbian authorities claim that
14 the UN had to assist in the evacuation 'or the Muslims will suffer.'"
15 Now, what is the blackmail? Can you expand on what the blackmail
16 reference is in your written evidence?
17 A. Yes. When the Croatian authorities relented and allowed the first
18 evacuation to happen, it was because these refugees or displaced people
19 were threatened with harm. We kept on hearing either indirect or overt or
20 covert threats: If you don't assist, they will suffer, or it will be your
21 responsibility, or we don't really require your assistance, we can solve
22 this problem very easily. Words to that effect. And we felt that was
23 pressure, hence blackmail, to allow a repeat. Pressure coming from those
24 who wanted them to transit through the sector so that we can assist them
25 move that many number of people, and that's what I characterised in this
1 testimony as a sort of blackmail to let it happen again.
2 Q. Now, who is making these threats? Were these people in official
4 A. By now, a number of things had become routinely understood. You
5 heard it repeated from one Crisis Committee to the other. These people
6 are "voluntarily leaving," but they must sell their property, they must --
7 this routine, "We can't live together." So whoever is speaking, whether
8 they are speaking for a small municipality or a large one, that pattern
9 was heard over and over again. That's what I'm referring to.
10 Q. Now, in your written evidence in paragraph 130, I will just
11 summarise it. It appeared later that the request to evacuate 28.000
12 refugees seemed to be dropped, but now if I turn my attention to the next
13 paragraph of your evidence, it reads as follows: "The Bosnian Serbs
14 nevertheless came back to us, asking that we evacuate another 5.000
15 non-Serbs from the area. On that same day, a meeting took place in which
16 this issue was discussed. The following persons were present: Mr. Pasic,
17 the mayor of Dvor; Mr. Deganovic, a representative of the Serbian
18 Democratic Party (SDS) in Bosanska Kostajnica; Mr. Dorin, an SDS
19 representative from Kostajnica; and Mr. Murid Saflic, a representative of
20 the Muslims of Bosanska Kostajnica. Mr. Deganovic said that they had a
21 list of over 5.000 people in the municipality of Bosanska Kostajnica that
22 wished to leave that area. He claimed that, to date, killings had not
23 taken place in the municipality but that people were afraid to move about
24 freely. He claimed that after Muslims were evacuated from Bosanski Novi,
25 the Muslims in Bosanska Kostajnica also decided to move out."
1 Now, can you comment on this particular paragraph, Mr. Kirudja, in
2 particular your views as to what was happening in this municipality of
3 Bosanska Kostajnica.
4 A. This meeting was the second time Mr. Pasic is coming to us, and if
5 there's a lead paragraph, I believe this should have been in August 19th.
6 It should have been. And he brought with him these two representatives of
7 the Muslim community, Saflic and Deganovic. Bear in mind the distant --
8 Bosanski Novi, for which he is mayor, is a ways west of Bosanska
9 Kostajnica where these representatives are coming from. I don't know if
10 you have the map in your mind.
11 Q. Mr. Kirudja, let me interrupt you, if I may.
12 A. So then --
13 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you. The statement identifies Mr.
14 Deganovic as a representative of the Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS,
15 and Mr. Dorin a representative of the SDS as well, and you referred to
16 Muslim representatives. There's Mr. Murid Saflic.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was there another Muslim --
19 A. Bosanska Kostajnica.
20 Q. Was there another Muslim representative or was there only one?
21 A. You're right. The only one that is noted there, and if I've only
22 noted one, chances are there was one. I can't always be certain sure of
23 the names of individuals. You're talking about 14 years now, so it is not
24 -- the events themselves may be clearer. The names of individuals are
1 Q. I understand that.
2 A. So at least the Muslim representative Saflic is from Bosanska
3 Kostajnica, and this one, he's talking about, in this sentence, that there
4 are 5.000 people who want to leave the municipality of Bosanska
5 Kostajnica. And it's what I was referring to, since I know the place,
6 Kostajnica is far west from Bosanski Novi in terms of relative geography.
7 And we are in Tapusko now, we are talking about the meeting in Tapusko.
8 Kostajnica, we have a presence there. This is where the DANCON meetings
9 referred earlier took place. On Friday we talked about a meeting over
10 there where the DANCON people are talking about executions in the street
11 and people being killed. Now here is a Muslim representative from that
12 general area saying killings had not taken place, but people are afraid to
13 move around. He is basically not at liberty, surrounded in the
14 environment he was, to say that what we already said ourselves to the
15 Serbs in that meeting, ourselves being UNPROFOR, where a soldier, a
16 military observer, will tell them, "We observed some execution in some of
17 the street. There are people missing." We can say that. He can't say
19 So we read that by trying to say we are under pressure to get
20 5.000 people from here too. That's what it really simply boils down to.
21 Q. Okay. Now, let me just clarify something in this statement.
22 Mr. Deganovic, who was a representative of the SDS, according to this
23 statement, it says he, Mr. Deganovic claimed that killings hadn't taken
24 place, but I take it from your evidence that the Muslim representative
25 confirmed what Mr. Deganovic had said.
1 A. With Your Honours' guidance, if I look at my diary I can
2 straighten that out because I have everybody identified in the diary who
3 said what. If you like, I can clarify that. If you don't --
4 Q. I'm satisfied. The Court may have some additional questions or
5 the Defence may have some questions to clarify that.
6 A. Right.
7 Q. If we could turn to the next exhibit, please, that's Prosecutor's
8 Exhibit 149.
9 MR. HARMON: This exhibit, Your Honour, relates to -- Your
10 Honours, relates to paragraphs 138 to 146 of Mr. Kirudja's written
12 Q. Mr. Kirudja, do you recognise the documents that make up
13 Prosecutor's Exhibit 149?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. All right. Let me refer to paragraph 138 of your written evidence
16 because this now deals with another meeting that took place. This is on
17 the 19th of August, and let me read paragraphs 138 and 139 into the
19 "Indeed on 19 August, UNHCR and civil affairs received at Tapusko
20 a delegation of nine representatives comprised of both Serbs and Muslims
21 from Sanski Most, Bosanska Krupa, and Prijedor."
22 Now, we'll just stop there. Those are all municipalities in
24 A. Yes, they are.
25 Q. I'll continue: "All those presents were from Bosnia and included
1 the following: Vlado Vrkes, SDS president in Sanski Most; Dragan Majkic,
2 police chief of Sanski Most; Mr. Besim Islamcevic, representative of
3 Muslims and Croats willing to leave Sanski Most; and Mr. Esad Hasanovic,
4 the Sanski Most based representative of Muslims and Croats willing to
5 leave Bosanska Krupa. Representatives from Prijedor were also present,
6 but I do not have their names. Also present were Hans Linshol and Lars
7 Neilson, field representatives from UNHCR."
8 Paragraph 139: "The delegation intended to convince the UN to
9 change its policy against mass evacuations associated with 'ethnic
10 cleansing' and to assist in the organisation of another convoy through
11 Sector North that would serve to evacuate up to 11.000 mostly Muslim
12 'applicants' for evacuation from Sanski Most, 8.000 from Prijedor, and
13 600 from Bosanska Krupa. I was given a printed list detailing 7.782 names
14 of those 'ready' to leave 'voluntarily.'"
15 Now, what was your reaction to this particular meeting and in
16 particular receiving a list of 70 -- 700 plus Muslims?
17 A. By now I have almost become used to the relentless nature of this
18 pursuit. I thought I had heard -- or most of the things I was hearing had
19 become routine and expected, until this time when I was handed a printed
20 list. On those days computers were printing on a spiral, and it was about
21 this big printout, computer printout from this meeting.
22 The names were enumerated by the computer from number 1, and I
23 just fast forward to the bottom. That's how I could be certain it was
24 7.782, because they were sequentially named. And then there were certain
25 other comments that I don't recall, because unfortunately it is the one
1 document that I never know what happened to. It was always at the shelf
2 in my -- behind my desk in my office, and for some reason I never saw it
3 again. This one disappeared, but not from anybody else, from maybe when
4 we moved out of there, closing the mission, nobody paid attention to it.
5 Q. Now, the president of the SDS from Sanski Most, Mr. Vrkes, also
6 told you something about the circumstances that permitted the Muslims to
7 leave his municipality, and I'm referring to paragraph 141 of your written
8 evidence, and I will read part of that evidence.
9 He also said, and you're quoting him: "'We offered all those
10 people a declaration for their signature.' The declaration in question
11 stated that the signatories were leaving the area voluntarily, that they
12 had no wish to come back to the area, and that they were leaving their
13 property to the authorities in the respective area from which they were
15 Now, this was quite similar to the process of ethnic cleansing
16 that you identified taking place in Bosanski Novi; isn't that correct?
17 A. Indeed, that's what I meant in that most of what I was hearing was
18 repetitive. It is the same thing. It's not just identical from Bosanski
19 Novi. There was a representative from Bosanski Novi in that meeting too.
20 So it was the same group of people repeating. Despite everything that we
21 had in exchange with them, despite that they knew our position with it,
22 they were relentless. So this time I took to just listening and taking
23 notes, that's all, listening to what they were saying. These meetings
24 were invariably very polite meetings, it's not a position. So I just
25 listened to something I have heard before. If I have told them our
1 position and they have heard it, so there is no need to repeat so you just
2 hear it over and over again.
3 Q. Now, did you believe, Mr. Kirudja, that the approximately 11.000
4 Muslim applicants who were leaving from the municipalities of Sanski Most,
5 Bosanska Krupa and Prijedor were leaving voluntarily?
6 A. Yeah. They took turns. The representative of Sanski Most who was
7 in the meeting, you can check the -- took the turn to tell me, in Sanski
8 Most, it's 11.000. In Bosanska Krupa, it's 600, or some -- everybody
9 spoke on their area, and say we have so many applicants, they have all
10 made these declarations. It's all very fine and dandy. The systematic
11 nature of this whole thing was now out of -- undoubtful. It was obvious
12 everybody was kind of presenting on their part. If they're from Prijedor,
13 they spoke on Prijedor. If they are from Sanski Most, they would speak on
14 Sanski Most. But the majority, the one to report the greatest number was
15 Sanski Most; 11.000.
16 Q. Do you believe those people were leaving voluntarily?
17 A. By now there was no question about me not believing it. I just
18 took notes. I already knew, this is a repeat. We had already exchanged,
19 had already told them that. That's not really doubt at that point.
20 Q. In paragraph 142 of your written evidence, Mr. Kirudja, it reads
21 as follows: "The UNHCR representative read them UNHCR's policy stating
22 specifically that the UNHCR would not assist with the removal of people
23 but that it would, rather, assist people in the location of their present
24 residence or abode."
25 Mr. Kirudja, what was the reaction of Mr. Vrkes to that
2 A. Equally politely they listened to the UNHCR person talk. This is
3 a meeting where they made their point, and I had invited those two
4 representatives of UNHCR so I myself would not be the one to repeat the
5 policy. I wanted the custodians of that policy to speak to them once
6 again directly and clearly. So one of those representatives spoke to them
7 and mentioned exactly what you see there. But they also, as I mentioned
8 on Friday, underlined the policy: We are not saying UNHCR will not help
9 at all, but we only help on location. If you don't move these people
10 farther, if there is no more attempt to displace these people, we will
11 come in and help. UNHCR told them that.
12 Q. What was Mr. Vrkes's reaction to that offer of assistance to help
13 the people in Bosnia?
14 A. Invariably that will be listened to and ignored.
15 Q. Okay. Now you mentioned -- we know from this meeting there were
16 two Muslims who were present, Mr. Islamcevic and Mr. Hasanovic who were
17 with this Serb delegation from these three municipalities in Bosnia. Can
18 you describe their demeanour to the Trial Chamber?
19 A. These are people we also wanted to hear from. The presence of
20 where we were is also indicative of a factor in conditioning their
21 attitude. They were in the company of their Serb counterparts in the
22 municipalities where they came from. They sat there and listened to the
23 Serbs tell us that all these numbers want to leave voluntarily and they
24 must leave. When it was their turn to speak to us, they spoke very
25 deferentially to their Serb counterpart, evidently not using any
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 provocative language, going out of their way to say we have been treated
2 correctly. The word is "correctly." I never knew what "correctly" means,
3 but at least the translators will say "We have been treated correctly."
4 And we need to get out of here before this summer or winter comes, and all
5 these people are ready, we have relatives in these parts of Europe, we are
6 ready to leave. And they will say that in a kind of resigned manner.
7 Q. Now, if we turn to the exhibit itself, which is Exhibit 149, I
8 want to just read the last sentence in paragraph 12, that reads: "At the
9 --" and this is a paragraph that deals with this particular meeting that
10 you have been testifying about.
11 "At the end of the meeting, the delegation left feeling that the
12 UN was an obstacle to what one of them called 'a humanitarian gesture by
13 the Serbs to Muslims reached through the democratic process.'"
14 Can you expand on that sentence?
15 A. Representation made to us was so to give us or convince us this is
16 something being done very systematically. We -- hence the reference to a
17 democratic process. These were not refugees, these were applicants. They
18 sought to leave voluntarily. They had the option to sell their property
19 or give it to the state or donate it. Those are words used. And we were
20 very fair with everybody according to the state law about this matter. So
21 it was presented as fairly routine, non-threatening process. But we had
22 heard it all before. We had already engaged them. We were not going --
23 we were not making this conclusion outside their earshot. We had already
24 discussed with them the counter-intuitive nature of what it was they were
25 presenting to us, and we had told them that this is now an action we
1 couldn't support. We had gone as far as sending written admonition to the
2 mayor, but they ignored all of that and started all over again.
3 And therefore, when they were told by UNHCR the only thing you can
4 count on us to do is giving you assistance in situ where you are. So once
5 they give their speech, the UNHCR gives its speech, it was clear nobody
6 was going to move, so the implication that we are uncooperative, and they
7 could see that. Hence the nature of that sentence, because by the time
8 they left the meeting, it was clear that we're not doing that. We are not
9 going to organise the transition.
10 Q. Okay. Let's go into September now with the next exhibit,
11 Prosecutor's Exhibit 150.
12 Mr. Kirudja, this is a document dated the 5th of September, 1992,
13 and it is -- bears your name and initials at the end. It is entitled
14 "Special Sitrep, Addendum to No. 5." First of all, could you tell the
15 Judges what is a sitrep and what is its purpose.
16 A. Your Honours, many of the memorandums that you have been shown are
17 titled Memorandum, directed either to the director to whom I reported to
18 or to the heads of UNHCR or to the heads of other NGOs. These are, as you
19 have seen on the evidence, subject driven and the situation driven for the
20 attention of whoever it is they are directed. We wrote that within the
21 day what we were seized of the matter.
22 We were also required routinely to write what was requested as a
23 situation report. That normally would be at the end of the week. At the
24 end of the week, we would look at all the elements that we had been
25 reporting to and do a little more concerted analytical evaluative report,
1 and that was called a situation report or, in short, sitrep. And it also
2 was important. Situation reports had wider distribution. The others are
4 So the analysis of the subject covered in a situation report are
5 less detailed but more evaluative. And on this day, on 5th September, I
6 decided a special situation report was due because a lot of things had
7 been said. A lot of discrete reports had been sent, and I wanted to
8 collect them all to give the picture as we saw it, and hence a special
10 Q. Now, on page 1 of this special sitrep, in paragraph 2 it describes
11 the border between Sector North and Bosnia and Herzegovina can be divided
12 into two sections; one -- and you've touched upon this earlier in your
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. One was that part of the border that was truly an international
16 border, and the other segment was the part that divided Bosnia, that was
17 controlled by the Bosnian Serbs, and Sector North which was described by
18 the Bosnians as Croatian Serbs which, in essence, meant that there was no
19 border; is that correct?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. Now, if we turn to paragraph 9 of this document, the all --
22 entitled "The all Serbian border segment," in this special sitrep you
23 wrote the following: "The second border segment separates two
24 territories controlled by Serbs on both sides. It is within DanBat area
25 of operation covering Dvor and Kostajnica opstinas. Behind this segment
1 of the border are the five Bosnian opstinas of Bosanski Novi, Sanski Most,
2 Prijedor, Banja Luka, and Bosanska Dubica within which the phenomenon of
3 'ethnic cleansing' has been noted."
4 Now, going on to paragraph 10, starting with the second sentence:
5 "A stream of individuals arrives daily at Dvor via Bosanski Novi from
6 Prijedor and Sanski Most seeking refuge. UN CIVPOL estimates that between
7 30 and 50 such persons arrive per day across the border into Dvor."
8 I'm sorry, I didn't read that properly. "UN CIVPOL estimates that
9 between 30 and 50 such persons per day cross the border into Dvor. The
10 trend during the last few weeks suggest an increase in the number of
11 individuals that enter the sector seeking protection and assistance."
12 Mr. Kirudja, those people who were continuing to come across the
13 border were continuing to be debriefed, were they not, by the people who
14 were operating in Sector North? Is that correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And were they reporting essentially the same sorts of elements
17 that you had been hearing earlier?
18 A. Pretty much so. We were -- if you -- if you mean -- when you say
19 30 to 50, though they were predominantly Muslim, they were not always
20 Muslims. So if we debriefed Bosnian Croats coming in, it's not quite the
21 same story.
22 Q. Were these people who, nevertheless, were non-Serbs, essentially
23 all non-Serbs who were coming out of Bosnia?
24 A. It doesn't mean that the Serbs were not coming across, but the
25 only ones who engaged us when they come across are non-Serbs. Serbs did
1 cross. They didn't need us. The border wasn't a border for them, and
2 occasionally they would come in and we would find a house that used to be
3 empty is now occupied. So it doesn't mean only the Serbs but those who
4 drew our attention.
5 Q. So into September, then, there are additional reports of ethnic
6 cleansing taking place in the municipalities that are identified in
7 paragraph 9?
8 A. Pardon?
9 Q. I say in September, you were receiving additional reports from the
10 refugees who are coming into Sector North. They were reporting to you
11 ethnic cleansing in the municipalities that you have identified in
12 paragraph 9; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Finally if we can turn to Prosecution Exhibit 151, which takes us
15 into the month of October. Mr. Kirudja, this is a document dated the 8th
16 of October, 1992. In fact, both of these documents are dated that date.
17 Do you recognise both of these documents?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. This second document in the exhibit, subject: "Civil Affairs
20 Sitrep No. 7," is there a difference between a special sitrep which we saw
21 earlier and a civil affairs sitrep?
22 A. Yes, this is the regular one. This is at the end -- at the end of
23 the week, where my weekend was, where you put out one sitrep that was
24 covering all and sundry of what it is that occupied us for that week and
25 wasn't intended to focus on any particular matter, it was intended to
1 be all-inclusive, an overall picture. The special sitrep was intended
2 about what was going on in that -- in those two segments of the border.
3 Q. Now, in this particular sitrep that's Exhibit 151, let me turn to
4 paragraph 12 and let me read paragraph 12 into record: "As noted by Lord
5 Owen and Mr. Cyrus Vance during their visit to Banja Luka, the practice of
6 'ethnic cleansing' appears to continue unabated. Towards the end of
7 July, the UNHCR announced that the UN would in no way participate or do
8 anything that would seem to encourage the practice. Specifically, the UN
9 would not participate in arranging mass relocation of refugees from their
10 houses if the cause of their displacement is the result of ethnic
11 cleansing. In the last two weeks, this position of principle appears to
12 have been degraded by.
13 (a) a stream of small groups of refugees entering the UNPA daily
14 in numbers between 30 and 50. In Respect of UNHCR's other principle of
15 non-refoulement, the numbers of refugees coming into the UNPA have slowly
16 but steadily increased."
17 First question: What is the principle of non-refoulement? What
18 does that mean?
19 A. Non-refoulement. This one you'll have to take my guess or get a
20 UNHCR person to give you authoritatively. My understanding at that time
21 was that once you receive refugees, internationally you can't push them
22 away again. In other words, refugees, simplified, should find refuge in
23 the first place they come into. You shouldn't send them somewhere else.
24 Q. Okay. And now we've come to October, we're talking -- or you are
25 talking about a process of ethnic cleansing. You have been witness to
1 events from April of 1992, when we started this testimony and your first
2 meeting with Mr. Pasic, we're now in October of 1992. You have taken us
3 through a significant number of exhibits dealing with contacts you had
4 with various representatives of the SDS and other political leaders from
5 various municipalities in Bosnia.
6 From your view, Mr. Kirudja, did it appear to you that what was
7 happening in Bosnia was organised and systematic?
8 A. By this time, and "by this time" I mean -- what's the date of this
9 memo? Pretty much by August, September, it was no doubt in my mind this
10 was systematically organised ethnic cleansing in our area affecting mostly
11 but not exclusively non-Serbs, especially Muslims. That conclusion was
12 inescapable by then for us.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have no additional questions of
15 Mr. Kirudja. I notice it's now almost 10.30. Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, this concludes your examination-in-chief,
17 Mr. Harmon.
18 Would the Defence be ready to start cross-examination after the
20 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 MR. STEWART: Sorry. Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then before we adjourn, may I first invite Mr. Usher
24 to escort Mr. Kirudja out of the courtroom.
25 Mr. Kirudja, after the break, which will be until five minutes
1 11.00, you will be cross-examined by counsel for the Defence.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE ORIE: This is -- Mr. Kirudja has just given his explanation
4 of what the principle of non-refoulement would be. There would be no need
5 to cross-examine Mr. Kirudja on that issue because it's a concept which is
6 well embedded in legal theory and in legal texts, and consultations with
7 the Chamber indicates to me that the perception and the definition of
8 Mr. Kirudja would not be the perception of what the principle exactly
9 means in the opinion of the Chamber, but since it's a legal concept,
10 there's no need to further examine the witness on that.
11 MR. STEWART: I wasn't going to anyway, Your Honour, but thank
13 JUDGE ORIE: I do not know, but it's just to make clear that.
14 MR. STEWART: So Your Honour's direction coincides with our
15 thoughts on the Defence side anyway, so there's clearly no problem.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We will then adjourn until five minutes to eleven.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
20 MR. STEWART: Thank you Your Honour.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
22 Q. Mr. Kirudja, you arrived in -- I'll just call it Yugoslavia, in
23 April 1992, and then, as you've told the Trial Chamber, it was the 19th of
24 April when you eventually found yourself in Sector North where you were to
25 work then for several months; correct?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. And you had come at least fairly recently, I think, from an
3 extended period of work in Afghanistan. That's correct, isn't it?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. When you arrived in Yugoslavia, or when you -- well, it was how
6 long before you arrived in Yugoslavia that you were notified that that was
7 going to be your next assignment?
8 A. You mean between Afghanistan and Yugoslavia? I don't
9 understand --
10 Q. When were you told, "Mr. Kirudja, your next stop is Yugoslavia.
11 Your next assignment is Yugoslavia"?
12 A. The decision was crystallized around March 1992.
13 Q. Can we take it that in common no doubt with many other people as
14 well educated as you are that your -- your knowledge of Yugoslavia, the
15 issues in Yugoslavia, the different component parts of Yugoslavia was
16 relatively basic for an educated person?
17 A. Not a lot, I would say. Depending, of course, what is by "well
18 educated," but I don't think I had a lot of knowledge of the former
19 Yugoslavia beyond what the UN was engaged in in terms of the Resolution,
20 enabling Resolution, preparations. Yes, that's I was familiar with, not
21 far beyond that.
22 Q. Did you, for example, before you were notified of your assignment
23 in Yugoslavia, could you summarise what would have been your
24 understanding, say, of the situation in relation to Bosnia and
1 A. There wouldn't -- it wouldn't have been that specific. The
2 situation as understood by us when we were preparing to go into the
3 mission was pretty much what the Vance Plan and its background indicated.
4 There had been a conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the specified areas
5 that I testified earlier where we were going to be deployed, and this was
6 essentially a conflict inside of Yugoslavia.
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina, as I testified, the assumption was that
8 all was okay. We were going to place our headquarters in Sarajevo and be
9 seen to be neutral between the two capitals, Zagreb and Belgrade. Not
10 specific information about Bosnia and Herzegovina beyond the fact that it
11 is no more.
12 Q. Take a specific example. When you -- as far as you can remember,
13 when you were first notified that you were being assigned or sent to
14 Yugoslavia, would you have ever heard of or registered that there was an
15 entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina called Republika Srpska or Serb Republic
16 of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
17 A. All that would have been something obscure, not known to me at
19 Q. So it was, as no doubt it often is when you get sent to a new
20 place, it would have been inevitably a rather steep learning curve for you
21 to get into the situation when you arrived?
22 A. That's a very good way of explaining it. It was a voyage of
24 Q. The -- you say in your statement that at the time that you arrived
25 in -- well, I suppose it's fair to say you arrived in Croatia, because I
1 take it that your actual personal base when you were out there was in
2 Croatia at all times, was it?
3 A. No. The testimony, the long one, begins with my arrival on April
4 6 in Belgrade.
5 Q. I beg your pardon. But once you got into Sector North --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- for practical purposes your personal base was in Croatia.
8 A. No. My personal base was right inside that sector. See the
9 headquarter is Tapusko. That is inside Croatia. Is that what you meant
10 in the --
11 Q. That's all, Mr. Kirudja.
12 A. That's what you meant.
13 Q. Yes, it was.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So when you arrived in Croatia, in that sense, you said in your
16 statement, and of course I'm lifting it out of context for the purposes of
17 this question, there was no apparent problem anywhere in Bosnia. That's a
18 slightly sweeping statement, and I don't think anybody would disagree that
19 in its simple terms it wasn't true, but the -- when you say there was no
20 apparent problem anywhere in Bosnia, can you please explain why from your
21 point of view there wasn't an apparent problem.
22 A. In a very graphic way comparing where we were, the point you just
23 located, meaning Tapusko, physically it had all the earmarks of recent
24 fighting; blown-out houses, burned shell, blockages at every few
25 kilometres while you travel. Not so with Bosnia. As a matter of fact,
1 when I arrived in Sector North, the easiest road wasn't even in Croatia,
2 the other side. No. We just went down into Bosnia and then entered the
3 sector from Bosnia because it was the most smooth, the easiest drive, no
4 checkpoints, no houses blown up, nothing. The normalcy of the area was
5 self-evident. Again, compared with what I just said with all the recent
6 evidence of fighting in where we were located.
7 Q. So in a nutshell, the part of Croatia you were in was -- looked
8 and felt like a war-ravaged country; correct?
9 A. Yes. Right.
10 Q. The part of Bosnia that you're referring to looked and felt like a
11 normal, stable country in which people were going about their lives?
12 A. Thank you for that. That's how I -- what I meant.
13 Q. And then you record in your statement that by early April 1992,
14 the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been recognised by many
15 countries, including the European Union - and just to remind ourselves,
16 that recognition by both the European Union and the United States came on
17 the 6th of April, 1992, so that's just before you wound up in Sector
18 North. And then you said "This precipitated the deterioration we began to
19 witness in Bosnia, and it also impacted heavily on our work within Sector
21 Now, my first question is this: Did you --
22 MR. HARMON: Excuse me. Mr. Stewart and Mr. President, if counsel
23 could refer to the paragraph number when quoting Mr. Kirudja, it would be
24 helpful to me, and it might also be helpful to Mr. Kirudja in referring to
25 the particular being quoted.
1 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry. That is a simple piece of help to give.
2 This is paragraph 14, 1-4.
3 Q. Did you become aware in April 1992 of the enormous strength of
4 feeling among Serbs about the recognition of the independence of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina?
6 A. No. The effect of that strong feeling began to be evident much
7 later, probably 1993. By then, we didn't connect that strength of feeling
8 with the event itself.
9 Q. But do you now know, with the benefit of hindsight and your
10 greater experience of this region, that that strength of feeling certainly
11 existed in April 1992?
12 A. I agree. By 1993, I knew its importance.
13 Q. The -- and then in the next paragraph, which is numbered paragraph
14 15 of your statement, you say in the second sentence, it begins on the
15 third line: "It later became apparent that the Serbs inside the UN
16 protected areas aspired to be part of what became popularly known as a
17 plan for a Greater Serbia, apparently inspired from or coordinated in
19 Now, the first question is this: What you say "what became
20 popularly known as a plan for a Greater Serbia," who are -- in your
21 reference there, who are the populace or the population that you're
22 talking about there among whom it became popularly known as a plan for a
23 Greater Serbia?
24 A. I was referring to -- we were a community, obviously. When we
25 were part of the UN, there was us, the international community, deployed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 in the midst of a war zone in the sector, and we were listening to what
2 the residents or citizens or whatever you call them who lived there were
3 telling us, and we heard things like, "We would like to live in our own
4 country," as I recall one of the testimony, and I gave -- I'm puzzled when
5 they tell me in the sector a mayor, a civilian, local civilian says to me,
6 "We would want our -- to live in our own Serbian country." And I'm
7 puzzled at that. I said, "You mean this sector?" "No, but our own
8 country." It began to trickle from that point.
9 Q. Trickle in the sense of -- sorry.
10 A. Of explanation, of expansion of the meaning. Right.
11 Q. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. And you came to see, I say gradually, I'm not
12 suggesting too slowly or anything, but you came to see what was meant by
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then -- so after you began to see what was meant by that, how
16 would you summarise or describe that popularly known plan for a Greater
18 A. As in paragraph 15.
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. That's how I would describe it.
21 Q. Well, your paragraph 15 -- you have that in front of you, don't
22 you? I think -- you've got your statement in front of you?
23 A. Yes. That's why I'm saying there is a sentence there describing
24 how I began to see it.
25 Q. So you're talking about where you go on to -- to the attitude
1 towards the borders.
2 A. Indeed.
3 Q. That's what you're talking about.
4 A. Indeed.
5 Q. Now, it wouldn't have been all that surprising at the time, do you
6 agree, Mr. Kirudja, if the international border was regarded as quite
7 porous, because after all, until extremely recently these had all been one
8 country, hadn't they?
9 A. It was very well demonstrated. When I arrived it didn't matter
10 where I started driving into Bihac. For the reasons I didn't go into, I
11 had to frequently go into Bihac. There in the testimony the part of the
12 -- this part of the testimony why we had to go to Bihac so frequently.
13 The point I'm making is in response to you: There was no hindrance on
14 19th of May, the first few weeks of May, to drive into Bihac, into Velika
15 Kladusa. The crossing points there were not manned. There were no
16 soldiers. Indeed what you say, it was an easy border, yes. But within
17 weeks, it separated into part of it, and here's the border, second part of
18 it, not so.
19 Q. So did you get the feeling that the people that actually lived
20 there and had lived there all their lives perhaps didn't immediately
21 adjust and adapt and change their way of thinking and acting to fit the
22 new international borders?
23 A. I'm sorry, Counsellor, I don't understand the question. When you
24 mean the people exactly, please be --
25 Q. Well, you're talking about the border being -- the international
1 border being quite porous. That's what you say.
2 A. For us. For us.
3 Q. For you?
4 A. No, for us crossing that border, at the beginning, we could go in
5 and out with no restrictions.
6 Q. Well, that's one point.
7 A. Right.
8 Q. But I suggest to you it's clear that in the last sentence of
9 paragraph 15 when you talk about the international border was quite porous
10 and the Croatian authorities realised quite early that this was being used
11 by the Croatian Serbs to re-populate the UNPAs with Serbs, you're clearly
12 talking beyond --
13 A. Yes, correct.
14 Q. -- your colleagues.
15 A. Indeed.
16 Q. Yes. So the international border was porous in the sense that it
17 was porous as far as people were concerned.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That's the point, isn't it?
20 A. Yes, but I also specified very soon, within weeks, part of it
21 wasn't porous for non-Serbs.
22 Q. And when you talk about -- so the plan for a Greater Serbia, now,
23 from the slightly more local perspective that you were adopting where you
24 were, thinking of course of your area of responsibility, Sector North and
25 the adjoining area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that's one aspect. Did you
1 have in your mind as you came to appreciate what the situation was that --
2 that this popularly known plan for a Greater Serbia had a more -- had a
3 wider ambit?
4 A. Yes. I -- in retrospect and much later, yes. And I got to see
5 even the bigger dimensions we haven't spoken here about that.
6 Q. So that was -- that bigger dimension, that was something, the way
7 you're describing it, that perhaps quite naturally a dimension that you
8 gathered over the longer period as you were working out in this region and
9 began to piece things together in your own mind.
10 A. Right.
11 Q. Yes. Mr. Kirudja, I'm asked to ask you -- I'm always being asked
12 to slow down myself, and I occasionally remember to do that. I'm asked to
13 ask you, please, if you could just pause at the end of my question before
14 you begin your answer, because that gives an opportunity to the
15 interpreters to do their job.
16 A. Thank you, Counsellor. I am always reminded of that, and I shall
17 endeavour to do so. I realise I haven't quite done it immediately.
18 Q. Mr. Kirudja, you and I are members of the same club. We're each
19 being reminded of these things and we're each struggling to remember. So
20 we will agree to do our best, the two of us, on that. But you've
21 implemented the instruction immediately, I note.
22 The -- Mr. Kirudja, the -- you -- you talk about -- you use the
23 phrase about this popular -- popularly known plan for a Greater Serbia,
24 you say apparently inspired from or coordinated in Belgrade.
25 Now, was that something that was -- the fact that it was inspired
1 from or coordinated in Belgrade, was that something that was apparent to
2 you in as early as the second half of April 1992?
3 A. No. In fact, the intent of that paragraph was kind of
4 chronologically implying by that stage when the testimony was being taken
5 from me, we were already in May. It was apparent but it wasn't certain.
6 We were seeing reasons to think so, but we were beginning to learn what it
7 was and how far. At the stage the paragraph is written, the date is
8 around May. So apparently referred also to that time, to what we were
9 seeing, and recognising we weren't concern of how much that coordination
10 or inspiration there was. We were on a learning stage of that. Signs
11 were there, though.
12 Q. Yes. And I'm not attacking your phraseology here, Mr. Kirudja,
13 just trying to get it clear. So it would be a fair summary, would it, to
14 say that around this time in May you and your colleagues were really
15 saying to yourselves, Well, I wonder exactly what's going on here and who
16 is driving this and where all this is coming from?
17 A. We were wondering what the signs we were seeing meant, and they
18 would point at there must be some coordination because, example: Various
19 local authorities that we were dealing with when we arrived, somewhere in
20 this testimony it's mentioned, tended to disappear from time to time, and
21 the next thing we know is that they're in Belgrade, the local Serbs,
22 officials. We also could see life had changed a lot, like currency,
23 money. The local currency had disappeared, the dinar. But there was
24 somebody paying the bills of the official activities, and the -- the
25 bigger interaction we had at this moment by nature was military. I spent
1 an awful amount of time dealing with the military, the Yugoslav National
2 Army command. And the signs were there, especially in the military, of
3 connection all the way there. What they meant, the extent to which we
4 could say yes, it was being run or -- that's what I'm talking about. The
5 signs were there.
6 Q. Anything else, then, that you can recall specifically at the time
7 which pointed to Belgrade?
8 A. As I said, it began mostly with the military part, then with the
9 civil authorities. And it wasn't unnatural, by the way. It was something
10 also we needed to do. We had a liaison office in Belgrade because the
11 signatories to the nation's authority were both Belgrade and Zagreb. So
12 it wasn't actually unnatural. That was expected.
13 Q. And in the -- the next paragraph of your statement, that's
14 paragraph 16, 1-6 -- well, before we go specifically to that question,
15 just following up what you've just said.
16 You've described to the Trial Chamber very clearly what your
17 responsibilities were, you personally and the group - I call it that - of
18 which you were a member. Would it be correct to say that although it was
19 a very interesting question and one that you would have no doubt explored
20 frequently in discussion with your colleagues, that actually working out
21 where the inspiration or coordination was coming from was not actually
22 part of your official functions or responsibilities?
23 A. In some respects, it was. If we were going to achieve the first
24 priority of demilitarising, demobilising and disarming the military units,
25 then it's part of our mandate, and the JNA was a previous official
1 structure, therefore, coordination would be natural from the headquarters.
2 However, if you notice that instead of going in the direction towards the
3 mandate you are seeing a transformation of these military units in a
4 direction contrary to what the mission says, then you don't want to imply
5 there is an inspiration from the headquarters who signed the mission
7 So your question ends up having a yes component and a no
9 Q. So moving on, then, to paragraph 16, as I said I was about to,
10 1-6, a sentence -- and I think I should give you the context. About five
11 lines down in your paragraph 16, you say that you reviewed the documents
12 related to your work in Sector North. That's for the purpose of your
13 evidence, your statement. And then you say: "My remarks follow the
14 presentation and review of this documentation, deal with the following
15 subjects," and then "Establishment of the UNPAs, JNA withdrawal from
16 Croatia, UNPROFOR's relations with Republika Srpska Krajina, officials in
17 Sector North, and to a lesser extent in Knin." And then you talk about
18 RSK and Bosnian Serb collusion in the ethnic cleansing of Muslims and
19 other non-Serbs in Northern Bosnia, which of course has been a central
20 feature of your evidence in this case so far.
21 "Bosnian Serb," it's -- of course it's a specific term in the
22 sense of is a person from Bosnia and are they a Serb. That's the easy
23 bit, if you like. But as a term, "Bosnian Serb," I wonder if you could be
24 more precise to help the Trial Chamber as to who you are referring to when
25 you talk about "RSK and Bosnian Serb collusion."
1 A. Your Honour, this testimony was being done in 1999, and the
2 substance of what it covers was happening as far back as 1992. So there
3 is a process of summarising it as well as recollecting. So that paragraph
4 summarises for the people who were interviewing me the main elements of
5 what I was going to talk to them about. So the language, counsel is
6 correct, is broader and slightly brought to date in terms of time.
7 When we were on the ground, when we started, RSK didn't exist, was
8 not supposed to exist. It stands for Republic of Serbian Krajina. That's
9 what eventually it became, because they used that term to describe -- to
10 describe themselves by the end of the year or so. At the beginning, we
11 were calling them what I testified earlier as either "local Serbs" or
12 "Croatian Serbs" for the RSK abbreviated in this paragraph.
13 On the Bosnian side, we had no even terminology at the very
14 beginning refer to them other than residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 until I myself, in a meeting with Mr. Pasic, was given a term, and that
16 was in May when I asked "Who are 'we,'" because you are in Dvor, part of
17 Croatian Serbs, and you are talking to me about a cross-jurisdictional
18 matter into Bosanski Novi, across an international border, and he gave me
19 the term which he prefaced with "new reality" called Serbian -- Serbian
20 Republic of BiH.
21 So those terminologies were fluid and evolving, and my main
22 testimony here was to try to capture them first and then go into details
23 as the testimony opened up.
24 Q. Yes. So -- well, we could go on, then, perhaps at later points in
25 your evidence. I think what you're saying is correct, that really you're
1 just trying to give the chapter headings --
2 A. Yes, more or less.
3 Q. -- in paragraph 16.
4 Overall -- I want to ask you about General Nikovic. Overall, at
5 the conclusion of your dealings with him, what was your assessment of him?
6 A. Very positive one. As an officer of -- a military officer,
7 General Spiro Nikovic impressed me as a person of integrity and a person
8 basically doing their best to achieve the results his orders required. He
9 was that kind of person.
10 Q. Now, just looking at paragraph 27 of your statement, please. It's
11 at the top of page 7. You report a specific exchange with General
12 Nikovic, between you and him when you're asking about a number of people
13 in Karlovac possibly being provided safe passage into Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 and General Nikovic replied, "Never. They say they're Muslims, but
15 they're not. They're trained in Austria and Germany. We will prepare a
16 concert for them if they try to come across."
17 How would that particular -- how would you fit that particular
18 exchange into the overall positive assessment of General Nikovic which you
19 have just described?
20 A. In fact, it's part of the reason I had a positive assessment. He
21 didn't speak to me in code, he didn't speak to me -- he spoke very direct
22 in a matter, and in this case he was kind of half jovial, half
23 threatening, but he left it no doubt that this group of people gathered in
24 the football field - now, this is a different football field, Your
25 Honour. It's in Karlovac --
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. -- not in Bosnia. It's in Karlovac. And there are people in
3 ordinary cars who want to come back into Bosnia through the sector.
4 Almost a reverse. They are not refugees, and they want to come in. And
5 he looks at me and, "Go tell them we're going to prepare a good concert
6 for them." And of course I said, "You're not going to play music." And
7 he said, "No, they'll understand what I meant." So he was the kind of
8 person who spoke directly. He left no doubt what he meant.
9 Q. And then you contrast, if we go on to paragraph 30 and 31 of your
10 statement, you contrast, first of all, what General Nikovic, you describe
11 his attitude. You say about six or seven lines down in paragraph 30, do
12 you see the sentence beginning "Specifically..."? It's about four lines
13 from the bottom of paragraph 30.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Yes. "Specifically, he --" and that's General Nikovic -- "seemed
16 well-disposed to seeing that the UN mandate was implemented fairly and in
17 full. And therefore, what UNPROFOR agrees with Belgrade will apply to
18 Serbian Krajina."
19 And then in paragraph 31, the very next sentence of your
20 statement, you say: "As it turned out, however, the local Serbs had a
21 different agenda. It later became clear to us that the local Serbs
22 intended to consolidate their hold on the contested territory of Croatia."
23 Can we take it that in both those sentences, both those references
24 to local Serbs there mean the Croatian Serbs?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And they were the ones who, in your view, were appearing to seize
2 on an apparent loophole in the Vance Plan?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Then you go on to describe some of the -- this is still in
5 paragraph 31. You go on to describe some of the broadly military aspects.
6 You say about five lines down: "Thus the local Serbs..." so same local
7 Serbs again, isn't it?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. "Thus the local Serbs proceeded to set up their Territorial
10 Defence forces right at the heels of the JNA's withdrawal, to transform
11 their milicija into a heavily armed police force," and then you describe
12 repainting of military vehicles, change of uniform to blue uniforms. And
13 then you say, top of page 8: "In addition to the blue uniformed milicija
14 (police) a parallel force still sporting the camouflage green colours of
15 the former JNA also existed." And then you describe some of that parallel
16 force and talk again about the local Serbs justifying the maintenance of
17 these armed forces.
18 At the time, first, did you know or have any good idea under whose
19 control that parallel force was operating?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And what was your knowledge or belief?
22 A. The answer I'm going to summarise, Your Honour, will be found
23 later as you go on in this -- in summary, more or less, 34 and 35 where it
24 is also detailed the names of the units. So I'm going to summarise
25 counsellor's question.
1 The sector where we were deployed -- actually, both Sector North
2 and Sector South were part of the command structure before we arrived in
3 the previous system that was known as the 10th Corps, the command
4 headquarters in Bihac where General Spiro Nikovic had his headquarters,
5 where we spent enormous time trying to get his plans to demobilise all
6 these units. So those units, now limiting myself to Sector North, had
7 three command structures. One was known as Kordun and was commanded by a
8 colonel called Cedo Bulat. The second -- and Kordun covered a number of
9 opstinas. I won't go into all the details.
10 The second command structure was known as Banija, and it also
11 covered a number of opstinas inclusive of Dvor, inclusive of Dvor and
12 Kostajnica, and that was commanded by initially a general from Montenegro
13 who didn't last for more than a few weeks, but later on for the longest
14 period came under the command of a colonel known as Colonel Tarbuk.
15 And toward the south of the sector, in the opstina of Slunj and
16 Plaski, it was under a command known as Lika command, and that Lika
17 command went down, had a headquarters in two places, some of it held at
18 Korenica and some of it -- a remnant of it, because of the boundaries, was
19 not covered by Korenica.
20 So yes, I knew who the commanders were.
21 Q. And then you -- you say that you were informed by -- this is
22 reference to paragraph 33 of your statement -- that you were informed by
23 General Nikovic that the date for JNA withdrawal from the UNPAs had been
24 set as the 25th of May, 1992. Did you know by whom that date had been
1 A. Yes. Once we were ready to put in place that major element in the
2 Vance Plan that required demobilisation, demilitarisation, and handing
3 over of the weapons for storage, that couldn't be done sector by sector,
4 it became obvious as we went into this. We would make our own
5 negotiations for demobilisation and demilitarisation within the sector and
6 send the sector commander, the military commander would send those plans
7 up the chain all the way to General Satish Nambiar, the force commander.
8 But so would other Serb commanders in Sector South, Sector West, and
9 Sector East. And they were coordinated in the force commander's office,
10 and the force commander's office had to coordinate it with the two
11 capitals, Belgrade and Zagreb, and the date for simultaneous
12 demilitarisation was set for May 25th, all sectors.
13 Q. Now, I want to ask you about an incident that you describe at the
14 end of April in paragraph 38 of your statement. You say: "I also note
15 that the 30th of April was the first time we encountered people who had
16 left Bosnia under duress," and then this is one family that you describe.
17 And I just want to clarify with you. You say there was the father with a
18 Turkish passport, the mother, a Yugoslav born in Splitska in Bosanski
19 Novi, and a daughter. Can we take it the daughter was quite a small
20 child, was she?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you say all were residents in Switzerland. So can you just
23 explain that? Where was -- do you remember, where was their base and
24 where were they ultimately trying to get to and from?
25 A. Counsellor, this -- this was -- this would have been a totally
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 normal, non-interesting event in the course of a human day. This is a man
2 who used to have a job in Neuchatel in Switzerland. His wife was back in
3 Splitska, and they had driven their car -- by car for whatever reason,
4 unknown to us, into Bosanski Novi, and they were trying to come out with
5 their child and getting frightened and getting fearful for their security
6 or indeed their lives. And that was what caught our attention in terms of
7 abnormality, because when they came into the sector, the Serbs in the
8 sector continued that treatment that made them fearful for their life. It
9 was almost middle of the night, the chief -- the UN civil police called
10 me, and because they were so scared we went to a Vojnica hotel and put a
11 guard of UN police around what is a normal family, and then we began to
12 talk to them and ask ourselves what's so difficult letting them pass
13 through, and that's what's implied in that paragraph. That first sent our
14 feelers up to try to understand something unusual is going on.
15 Q. I'm just trying to get it clear first of all. They were heading
16 back to Switzerland, were they? That was the idea.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So the father had perhaps come home from his work, had he, from
19 Switzerland; is that right?
20 A. It may appear so. I'm not quite sure exactly, but they were
21 trying to come out from Bosanski Novi to go back to Neuchatel where he was
22 based or had work to do.
23 Q. But the way you've described it so far, their problems arose when
24 they'd got into Sector North.
25 A. More or less continued, not arose. They seemed to have sensed
1 danger as we talked to them. When they got into the sector, rather than
2 face less danger, they seem to have felt more of the same, almost without
3 quite understanding, us or the family, why it was so.
4 Q. You say that they'd left Bosnia under duress. Now, just to
5 clarify, Mr. Kirudja, that -- this isn't a question, it's really just a
6 supplement. It's a supplement to the question. Left Bosnia under duress
7 clearly means that the duress had occurred in Bosnia before they got into
8 Croatia, doesn't it?
9 A. We got that distinct impression from them.
10 Q. Yes. But you -- you've said that they -- they were wanting -- in
11 this case, they clearly were wanting to go back to Switzerland because
12 that's where the father worked; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So where -- just describe to the Trial Chamber where was the
15 duress given that apparently they wanted to go back to Switzerland and
16 they had been able to leave Bosnia. Where was the duress in -- that
17 they'd experienced in Bosnia?
18 A. When they arrived in the sector, Counsellor, it was clear they
19 couldn't leave that sector. The Serbs were trying to arrest them. I'm
20 talking about the Serbs in the sector. In Vojnic, where they were in a
21 hotel, they would have been put in gaol except for our intervention in
22 that hotel by putting our own security people outside their door 24 hours,
23 and me trying to ask them why can't she leave? The first thing they told
24 me is that she and the husband can leave if they leave the car behind.
25 And I said they need the car. They have travelled so far. And they would
1 tell us, this has been occurring all the way. We've been trying to get to
2 the next part, trying to nice the next official who wants to put us in
3 gaol. And that was happening in Vojnic where they, too, wanted to arrest
5 Q. Vojnic is in Sector North; correct?
6 A. Correct. And all they wanted was to transition out with their
7 belongings in the car and the car itself.
8 Q. So it's the -- it's -- when you say it was evident that the Serb
9 authorities not only didn't -- did not tolerate their presence but would
10 also not guarantee the security, leaving aside the question of who exactly
11 the Serb authorities were for the moment, those were the Serb authorities
12 in that bit of Croatia, i.e., Sector North?
13 A. Certainly for Sector North.
14 Q. And when you talk about the Serb authorities, were you
15 sufficiently closely involved with this particular matter yourself to be
16 able to be more specific as to who or which Serb authorities were --
17 you're talking about?
18 A. This particular, yes. I met this couple personally, and I did get
19 involved because from the very beginning to try to understand how -- I was
20 the only one who could request the police to provide the security. They
21 were our police, I mean civil police, to do what they did to keep them
22 safe. I was also the only person who could go into Vojnic police station
23 and demand to know why this couple couldn't leave and get out. So yes, I
24 was directly involved in their problem.
25 Q. Then you talk a little bit later on in your statement, it's really
1 starting around paragraphs 41, 42, a passage of your evidence relating
2 particularly to General Nikovic. He gets an extra letter in his name
3 quite often, but it's -- in the statement it's the same person.
4 In paragraph 43 of your statement, you describe -- I wouldn't go
5 all through the previous paragraphs because that's your evidence. You say
6 in paragraph 43: "The JNA has problems because some local units do not
7 want to give up their weapons." And then you say you understood that to
8 mean that there was resistance by local Krajina Serbs to his plans for
9 eventual demobilisation and demilitarisation. And at this time we're just
10 three weeks from the date that's been set, aren't we, for the JNA
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And then you say, "The general went on to recount with some
14 unmistakable relish the last battle between his JNA forces," and so on.
15 And then you went on to say there were eight Croatian army brigades in
16 Western Herzegovina and around Bosanski Brod and Derventa. "This
17 statement was implicit explanation of why he and other local Serbs
18 justified the needs for weapons that the JNA planned to leave behind."
19 Now, I don't want to be too nit-picky, but when you talk about General
20 Nikovic and local Serbs, are you putting General Nikovic in the category
21 of a local Serb?
22 A. Up to that point yes, because he commanded them. Remember I
23 mentioned to you that the entire sector was his command.
24 Q. But again here it looks as if when you talk about local Serbs as a
25 category you are still here talking about the Croatian Serbs.
1 A. Yes, inside. And Counsellor, I don't know the exact paragraph
2 since you are picking them in the order of your interest --
3 Q. I'm sorry, I meant to say 43.
4 A. No, no. I meant the evidence that he himself was later on counted
5 a non-Serb and left the sector is in the direction I think you're going.
6 He left himself and he said here that he was counted among those who were
7 not local Serbs and was relieved of his command.
8 Q. Yes. Well, as it happens, Mr. Kirudja, you are completely right
9 about the direction in which I'm going. The -- so -- well, next page is
10 the direction, Mr. Kirudja.
11 A. Yes. Thanks.
12 Q. Yes. We go on to the question of General Nikovic's removal, his
13 abrupt removal, as you describe it. It's the last few lines of paragraph
14 44. As commander of the withdrawing 10th Corps, and you interpreted it as
15 manifestation of a policy revision somewhere in the hierarchy of Serbian
16 military command.
17 Now, first question is this: You talk about somewhere in the
18 hierarchy of Serbian military command. Was it your clear impression that
19 this decision abruptly to remove General Nikovic was taken somewhere
20 within the military?
21 A. Actually, Counsellor, it is part of the earlier question you asked
22 me when I spoke about inspiration and coordination from Belgrade, the
23 extent of which I was trying to find out, and my response to you earlier
24 was the biggest indicator was in the military first. And it was expected
25 because of the situation that existed before. So here was a commander who
1 was charged only weeks before with obtaining the demilitarisation and
2 demobilisation of former JNA units according to a UN mandate. And he goes
3 about it and gives a complete plan due to be implemented in two, three
4 weeks' time. Then he is abruptly removed.
5 That is a reference to if it was all normal, again common sense
6 would say he'll go on until he completes his job, demobilises, when he's
7 finished, he goes home. But three weeks before it's done he's abruptly
8 removed. That's the reference. The only guess we could have answered is
9 something has changed.
10 And in this case, when you say was it all in the military command,
11 it may or may not, because this is a lieutenant general. He only needed
12 one more star to be at the top of the range. So once you are there, the
13 distinction between all military and political is hard to do at that
15 Q. And how did you -- perhaps you can't add anything to what you
16 already said, but can you add to how you read General Nikovic's removal,
17 what it was about, what it was for?
18 A. Yes. In fact, not only was he removed abruptly, but one part of
19 his previous command served me notice, and I recount that in brief here,
20 go tell -- they said to me, "Go tell the General Nikovic if he ever sets
21 foot here, we're going to arrest him." You can see the bizarre of that.
22 If he's a three-star general and there is a colonel now, who is below him
23 telling me not only has he been removed he's a persona non grata in this
24 area. And I didn't take that lightly. I remember it was at night, and I
25 decided to -- and I asked him, Do you want me to pass that message? He
1 said, Yes, we know you talk to him. We want you to pass that message to
3 So I drove about 8.00 at night into Bihac to try to tell him, if
4 you come across this side, they're threatening they'll arrest you. So
5 again it adds to my feeling that a lot has changed abruptly.
6 Q. The impression being conveyed, is this correct, Mr. Kirudja, is
7 that you've indicated that you had a high regard for General Nikovic. Is
8 it correct the impression that you're giving is that you actually had
9 quite a warm personal regard for him as well?
10 A. Yes, I did, in the sense that up to that moment, he was doing
11 correctly and forthrightly what we wanted -- what we were there to do. We
12 asked for a demobilisation plan, he gives one. He gives the date. He
13 gives all of that. What is there not to like? That's my job there.
14 Q. By contrast, Mr. Lazarevic was not your favourite person, as
15 things emerged, was he?
16 A. Only -- only years -- I'm learning what probably was for me at
17 that time I only began to feel he was an impediment. He was a
18 destabilising factor, but I didn't know the full length. Only now, years
19 later, I'm learning.
20 Q. Then you -- in the next -- well, and then you say General Nikovic
21 appreciated the warning that you gave him. Can you say what happened to
22 him then? First of all, immediately. Do you know what happened to
23 General Nikovic?
24 A. It only took a couple of days for him to hang up his boots, to use
25 a military expression, meaning to take off your uniform and go home. And
1 for a while he disappeared from my radar until in 1994 -- late in 1994,
2 when I was in Belgrade in a different capacity, he showed up for a
3 courtesy call in my office with a bottle of wine, and then he explained me
4 he had returned to Montenegro.
5 Q. And then you -- you go on in your statement, at paragraph 46, to
6 describe an occasion on which you -- well, the particular problem you had
7 with a Muslim interpreter, Indira Kulenovic. You describe that. And then
8 you say, about six lines down in paragraph 46: "I went to the Vrgin Most
9 police station --" I wondered whether Richard Branson had gotten into the
10 territory, he's everywhere, that man, "... the police station and was
11 presented with a list of charges against her, which included the
12 following," and then you enter into Krajina with valid papers, being
13 employed and so on, and then being a foreigner. You describe that,
14 Mr. Kirudja. Just the question: Was it really as simple as that, the
15 charges against her included being a foreigner?
16 A. Actually, Counsellor, it was the first hint to me -- what is the
17 best way you can say. The non-sequiturial nature of the charge.
18 Ms. Kulenovic is a resident of Tapusko. She is of Muslim descent but she
19 was a resident of Tapusko and we had hired her as an ordinary, local
20 interpreter. She now gets arrested by the chief of Vrgin Most, that is
21 the police chief, and when I arrived later and towards the end of the day
22 I go straight into the police station to be given the charge sheet, and in
23 there there was the word "foreigner." You see, that attracted my
24 attention because, coupled with a previous demand by Lazarevic conveyed to
25 me by Mr. Lazarevic and others that we need to get permission from the
1 Republic of Serbian Krajina before we can hire their citizens, and an
2 attendant demand that we want also to check the passport of all your
3 international people who are here in our Republic of Serbia Krajina. The
4 term "foreigner" was therefore not a simple matter. It was part of the
5 core charge, the result of which was, as explained here, when I gathered
6 enough to know that she might not be so safe, it was easier for me to
7 arrange for her transfer to Bihac where actually she was born and put her
8 in our liaison office over there.
9 Q. And then you, particularly arising out of this incident involving
10 Ms. Kulenovic, you say in paragraph 47 that it was apparent to you that
11 the local RSK officials were increasingly acting in unison. Is it fair to
12 say to start with that you -- up to a point you would have wanted them to
13 act in unison in the sense of having a unified approach in their dealings
14 with your organisation?
15 A. No, Counsellor. No. That was the problem. According to the
16 mandate, the only authority recognised in each of the -- of the locations
17 we were is the opstina, the municipality, and that meant the mayor and the
18 chief of police. So the only person with authority in Vrgin Most was the
19 mayor, Obradovic, and the chief of police, Djuro Skaljac. So the Republic
20 of Serbian Krajina was an alien introduction into the picture. I did not
21 require or expect to deal with unison Republic of Serbian Krajina in
22 anything. If I wanted to make a discussion or discuss the issue of
23 deployment in Vrgin Most, I go to the mayor and the chief of police.
24 That's how I thought we would operate at the beginning or go to Vojnic,
25 which is another municipality, or any other municipality. Now in this
1 paragraph I'm told they raise a Republic of Serbian Krajina, it's a
2 government, and its headquarters in Knin. That's a problem.
3 Q. What -- did you -- in your dealings, because you clearly were put
4 in the position of having dealings with them, did you in any sense refuse
5 to recognise the RSK officials in any formal sense?
6 A. Counsellor, let me put it this way: I wouldn't say refused. They
7 were our clients. These are our counterparts in dealing with them.
8 Without offending them, I went out of my way to deal with them the only
9 way I was instructed to deal with them. If they insisted their Republic
10 of Krajina at certain point, as you can see the language filtered here, it
11 was a de facto. So if it was a de facto situation, without offending
12 anyone, we would deal with them that way, but we wouldn't be in a rush to
13 accord them that designation, that of statehood that they sought.
14 Q. When you first came across Mr. Slobodan Lazarevic on -- it was
15 pretty much immediately on your arrival in Sector North in April, wasn't
17 A. Indeed. He had been, by his own telling me, he was switching from
18 having worked for the EMM to us. EMM, the European Monitoring Mission,
19 had already been deployed there before we arrived. According to him, he
20 was working with them first.
21 Q. And you'd said -- the reference is paragraph 21 of your statement
22 -- you described him at that time as being a liaison officer for the
23 local Serb authorities with the UN. Now, first at that time you didn't
24 know of the existence of RSK or of the -- well, government, without any
25 admission on your part, that government in Knin?
1 A. Indeed, but almost a few weeks -- when I met him, he was not even
2 liaison for RSK. He worked himself into liaison of RSK within weeks.
3 Q. Did he continue to be, to some extent, also liaison for other
4 local Serb officials from the -- well, if I say opstinas, my case manager
5 is deeply offended by the pluralisation of opstina but I'm going to use
6 it, we know what we're talking about.
7 A. He worked himself from a civilian interpreter and somebody with
8 normal flashy clothes to full camouflage uniform by the middle of June,
9 and he was the right-hand man of the commander Cedo Bulat for Kordun, and
10 that meant he had at least almost undisputed influence or authority in
11 Kordun, which made up all those opstinas that your colleague might be
12 whispering in your ears, from Vrgin Most to Vojnic to Slunj.
13 Q. Now, you refer, and this is paragraph 48 of your statement, you
14 refer to Mr. Lazarevic, as you do frequently, and talk about what you've
15 just talked about, his graduation to camouflage uniform. You say that he
16 would frequently make incendiary radio broadcasts -- this is paragraph 48,
17 did I say that? - apparently to the delight of his mentors. So who were
18 his mentors in that context?
19 A. Your Honour, first of all I was always the recipient of which side
20 was taking offence to what. The characterisation of incendiary was from
21 the Croat side which was monitoring the radio broadcast from Petrova Gora,
22 direction Zagreb. And if you stand on Petrova Gora you can see the entire
23 city of Zagreb. So Mr. Lazarevic would get on the radio about 4.00, 5.00
24 and make some broadcast about the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which was a
25 read matter, and that broadcast would be received in Zagreb, and lo and
1 behold, I'm on the carpet on the other side, "What are these local Serbs
2 doing," and they're making this incendiary broadcast.
3 Delight -- he actually went into that radio -- I went into that
4 radio tower when he was doing it, and you can see all the mirth and all
5 the delight when they were talking about whatever they were talking about.
6 Q. And then you say Mr. Lazarevic methodically developed a close
7 relationship with Colonel Bulat, the commander of RSK forces in the Kordun
8 region. What was the extent of your contacts and dealings with Colonel
10 A. Extensive. The first few months of our presence there when my
11 colleagues, like the report you have seen here from civil affairs and
12 others, are helping me on the civil UN police side, I was always in the
13 meetings with this general who commanded the sector with each of the
14 parties that were required in order to demobilise along the confrontation
15 line and inside the sector. So I met -- in order to demobilise Kordun
16 area, we had numerous meetings with Colonel Bulat at his own headquarters.
17 But that is the military headquarters. There were brigade commands all
18 around. So meeting with him became almost routine, two or three times a
19 week in the first few months.
20 Q. And you describe - this is paragraph 49 of your statement - you
21 describe efforts of the RSK officials with Lazarevic acting as a
22 facilitator to corrupt or compromise the first sector commander. My first
23 question is: Was Colonel Bulat one of the people who was associated with
24 that -- those attempts to corrupt or compromise the first sector
1 A. Whenever we met, and we met in different places, in different
2 houses, their own houses, Colonel Bulat is soldier. Like most soldiers,
3 when they are talking to each other, they are mostly economic with their
4 words. There is not too much said, and there is very little bravado
5 around. So he left all the talking, when you're talking extraordinary and
6 everything, to Lazarevic. So most of the work, if you thought -- if you
7 like, most of the elaboration and all of that, he left that to his friend
9 Q. I think an army lawyer would fit into that description that you've
10 just given.
11 Your reference to attempt to corrupt or compromise the first
12 sector commander, that was Brigadier General Bamaiyi; correct?
13 A. What do you mean by -- well, I assume that they were attempts in
14 they were not successful. That's -- you'd confirm that, would you,
15 Mr. Kirudja?
16 A. Yes, I would, yes.
17 Q. What were they? How -- how were they attempting to corrupt or
18 compromise Brigadier General Bamaiyi?
19 A. Lazarevic went out of his way to make the general comfortable,
20 make -- be helpful, be on call of duty. But the general, knowing his job
21 like any other, he would come down like 16 tonnes about what he wants. So
22 he would come over there, and he used to call him in his booming voice,
23 Lazarevic, where is the demobilisation that I wanted like yesterday? So
24 in order to stall, in order to stall his attempt to get what he wanted
25 done, that's what I'm referring to. He would usually scuttle things or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 attempt to scuttle things, to stall. He didn't succeed. The sector was
3 Q. Now, can we move on to paragraph 64 of your statement, please.
4 Now, I think everybody would acknowledge this is a fairly key item in the
5 evidence you've been giving. This is your meeting on the 26th of May,
6 1992, with Mr. Borojevic, the mayor of Dvor, and the chief -- the police
7 chief in Dvor, and so on. And, first of all, you were being informed,
8 weren't you, and now, you found this strange, didn't you, that you were
9 being informed by the mayor of Dvor that the mayor of Bosanski Novi was
10 requesting passage through Krajina for Muslims?
11 A. Yes, I found it strange.
12 Q. The -- the starting point is that the mayor of Dvor was from a
13 place which was within your sector, your area of responsibility.
14 A. Yes indeed.
15 Q. The mayor of Bosanski Novi wasn't.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Just on that particular point, why was it so strange that that
18 request would be passed on to you through an official who was from within
19 the -- your area of responsibility?
20 A. Counsellor, we were there for a different agenda, which he knew.
21 His agenda had to do with the UN presence in his Dvor area. He sets all
22 that aside, and he's talking about across the border where we had no
23 presence, and kind of not even what you would call an aside on
24 parenthesis. No. That became the main agenda. It told me that there is
25 more than casual interest like I got a request by a colleague mayor and
1 I'm just passing to you, something you would do in a meeting
2 parenthetically. "I got this request, you can talk to the meeting if you
3 have the time. Now can we get on with the agenda?" No. It was the
5 Q. And the mayor of Bosanski Novi, of course, is Mr. Pasic. At this
6 point, had you -- I'm afraid if it's there in black and white then I
7 simply forget it, but at this point had you ever met Mr. Pasic?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Then you -- you declined what was suggested to you because you
10 expressed, as you've described in your evidence, this goes on into
11 paragraph 67 of your statement, you -- it seems that you made very clear
12 your view of how unsatisfactory this approach was and how unsatisfactory
13 it was that this request should be being channeled through the mayor of
14 Dvor. That's fair, isn't it?
15 A. No, Counsellor. What I made clear was not the dissatisfaction,
16 not even the channel. What I made clear was it doesn't sound believable.
17 At that point I knew nothing, I'm there for something else. And he's
18 telling me this, and when I query him, he wouldn't have all the ready
19 answers, and he sensed I'm not believing what he is saying. And as I
20 recount the story at that stage, sensing that disbelief, he walks across
21 from where we were meeting in a conference room, which was next to his own
22 office, picks up the phone and dials mayor or what he called Mayor Pasic
23 and says would you like, if you don't believe me, talk to him.
24 Q. Now, your -- one of your unhappinesses about all this at that time
25 was that it was -- you were being told something which you regarded as
1 third-hand, weren't you?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. You were being told by the mayor of Dvor what the mayor of
4 Bosanski Novi was saying the Muslim were saying?
5 A. Were saying. Correct.
6 Q. You were given the opportunity then of at least speaking with the
7 mayor of Bosanski Novi, so you -- to reduce, if you like, third-hand to
8 secondhand; correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. You didn't take that opportunity to at least cut it down from
11 third-hand to secondhand.
12 A. No. I didn't think I -- I was ready to take it at that time.
13 Besides, as I believe, to the point of Your Honour telling the other
14 learned counsel that he understood the internal workings of the UN, I had
15 to -- I had these constraints that tells me your area of responsibility is
16 this one. Don't get out. So that was also weighed in my mind.
17 Q. And then you say -- this is paragraph 68 of your statement. You
18 say that after that meeting -- well, you say at the end of paragraph 67
19 that you never called Pasic but you met soon thereafter. And then in
20 paragraph 68, you say: "After this meeting I concluded that mayors of
21 Dvor and Bosanski Novi were acting in concert." Just goes up -- you're
22 talking about after the meeting on the 26th of May. You're not talking
23 about after having met Pasic, are you?
24 A. No. I concluded that the mayor of Dvor has more than a casual
25 interest in this.
1 Q. Yes. Now -- excuse me one moment, Your Honour. I'll just get the
2 piece of paper.
3 You -- so after your meeting with the mayor of Dvor and the others
4 who accompanied him but not including Mr. Pasic, you say you concluded -
5 this is paragraph 68 - that those two mayors were acting in concert to
6 engineer a massive evacuation under the guise of humanitarian assistance
7 beginning with some 5.000 Muslim residents.
8 Your report of this meeting appears, or your note following this
9 meeting is Exhibit P125. I think you'll probably need to be handed that
10 again, Mr. Kirudja.
11 Now, I don't want to read the whole thing into the record again.
12 I'm quite sure it's already there. But if you just want to please refresh
13 your mind. It's your writing, but if you could just read the first page
14 and then I want to go over to the second page. It's all -- this is your
15 note of 26 May 1992. I'm sure that the contents are already read into the
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kirudja, I think you're invited to read it for
18 yourself, the first page.
19 THE WITNESS: I will do it quietly. I am reading it but, Your
20 Honour, I'm guided by you; is it loudly or quietly?
21 MR. STEWART: No, just if the witness would read it to himself,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: I'm there.
25 MR. STEWART:
1 Q. Just picking up the last three lines on that first page then,
2 "Would appreciate if UNHCR could assist in obtaining accurate and
3 first-hand information," because you referred to the third-hand nature of
4 the information. "... first-hand information on the story, UNPROFOR would
5 also be grateful for advice and cooperation with UNHCR on handling the
6 issue. We have indications that this story may have other political
8 Now, I'm just contrasting that with the conclusion that you
9 express in paragraph 68 of your statement where you say conclusion that
10 they were engineering a massive evacuation under the guise of humanitarian
11 assistance. You appear to have downplayed that rather in your written
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And the reason for downplaying it was?
15 A. Internal. Internal. This is the first time -- I got the clear
16 details from Mayor Borojevic, not just about the 5.000 but the demand that
17 we film it, and guarantee -- I got the whole works from him. Notice none
18 of that is here. I just distilled it to 5.000 Muslims who have been
19 promised by Serbs that they could be guaranteed a safe passage through the
20 UNPA to destinations in Germany and Austria. Headquarters internally
21 don't take fast-breaking news massively. You tend to send them distilled
22 and build on it because headquarters -- I mean UN. You want them to get
23 the gist first.
24 The second element: At this moment I was still working on having
25 a proper staffing inclusive of an UNHCR representative with me in the
1 office. So this was designed, therefore, to achieve that, as also the
2 basis for which I wanted to expedite the presence of deployment of UNHCR
3 person into the centre.
4 So it's not downplaying it, it's distilling it to the essence that
5 I wanted to be paid attention up the line.
6 Q. When you talk about UN headquarters, are you talking about your
7 headquarters in Zagreb for your purposes or are you talking --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Yes, I see. You're not talking back to New York or anywhere,
10 Geneva or anywhere like that.
11 The -- at paragraph 74 of your statement, you're having a meeting
12 with Mr. Pasic. I think it's on the 27th of May if we look back in your
13 statement. So we take it that it was the 27th of May. And you've got a
14 Serb delegation, including Mr. Pasic. So you've got somebody, of course,
15 from Bosnia-Herzegovina there, and you asked what had changed in Bosanski
16 Novi. Why couldn't Serbs and Muslims live together, and so on. And then
17 Mr. Pasic replies to you -- well, I'm sorry, I should perhaps read the
18 whole thing.
19 "The former police officers" -- "Pasic replied the former police
20 officers who were Muslims refused to sign loyalty oaths to the new
21 government. I asked when this new government had been formed and when
22 oaths of loyalty to this new government became a requirement. And
23 Mr. Pasic replied, I cannot say when the new Serbian government was formed
24 but it was before the international recognition of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina." And you say, "I understood this to mean that the mayor did
1 not know the exact date of the formation of the new Serbian Republic of
3 Is it -- I'm not quite clear here, Mr. Kirudja, but is it that the
4 existence of this new government was news to you at this point at that --
5 at this meeting?
6 A. Indeed. This was news to me.
7 Q. And you -- although you maybe don't remember the exact date,
8 Mr. Kirudja, I take it that at some point you came to know that the --
9 just a slightly different name as you give it there, Serbian Republic of
10 BiH, in it's own language, of course, actually it was established on the
11 9th of January, 1992?
12 A. I didn't know that, Counsellor. And you might also want to
13 connect that with an earlier testimony in the earlier pages. There was
14 talk of new reality in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the first person to bring
15 that to our attention was General Spiro Nikovic when he was telling us why
16 -- what will replace what he was leaving behind. And when I asked what's
17 going on, he said, "We have a --" used a language close to what Mayor
18 Pasic used, "new reality." But he proceeded to name -- said the former
19 Yugoslavia would be replaced by six countries, and proceeded to name them.
20 There is a paragraph in the testimony --
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. -- naming them. If you look at that paragraph, he did not
23 deconstruct BH. He left it. He named it BiH. He was not deconstructing
24 it. He added a new element to the six countries; you can see on the list
25 there is RSK.
1 Q. Paragraph 28 is the paragraph in your statement.
2 A. I don't -- I can't work from memory.
3 Q. You're accurately reflecting what's in your own paragraph.
4 A. Right. When this mayor now came to talk to us and said "new
5 reality," I had that in mind, so I'm trying to ask him what is the new
6 reality, and that's when he introduced the deconstruction of BiH by naming
7 Serbian Republic of BiH, and in that sense it was news to me at that
9 Q. And you -- of course the recognition -- the international
10 recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as we said earlier, was 6th of April,
11 1992. So the formation before the international recognition was actually
12 three months before, but you -- you had not heard of Republika Srpska as
13 an entity at this point.
14 A. Correct.
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I wonder whether, talking about at this
16 point, I wonder whether that would be a suitable point.
17 JUDGE ORIE: At this time that would be a suitable point. Yes.
18 We will adjourn until ten minutes to one, but I have one very specific
19 question to you, Mr. Stewart: Does the Defence intend to tender any
21 MR. STEWART: We do have -- we do have one, Your Honour, yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. STEWART: It's a single sheet, actually. It's --
24 JUDGE ORIE: If possible, could you provide that to the registrar
25 already during the break, not necessarily with us.
1 MR. STEWART: Yes, certainly, Your Honour. I hadn't -- in fact,
2 earlier I hadn't expect to get to it today, but I think I may now, so we
3 will do that during this break.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. We adjourn until ten minutes to one.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Kirudja, could we go on and look at paragraph 81 of your
10 statement, please. That's at page 21. You say: "During these kinds of
11 meetings," and you just talked about a meeting with sector commander and
12 others and so on, "meetings with Croatian and Serbian military
13 representatives, both sides often claimed that terrorists were
14 infiltrating across the confrontation line. We heard this claim
15 repeatedly from the Serb side."
16 In fact, did you hear the claim from both sides?
17 A. Both sides met on the Bosnian international border where the
18 Muslims -- Bihac pocket.
19 Q. Beg your pardon. You say that in the first sentence. But you're
20 saying you heard it repeatedly from the Serb side, but is it right to say
21 that you actually heard it pretty frequently from the Croatian side as
23 A. Not frequently, but now and then.
24 Q. Okay. And then eventually -- you go on to say: "Eventually it
25 became evident that, true or not, they advanced this claim mostly to
1 justify their continued refusal to disarm totally as required by the Vance
3 Now, you're not suggesting that claims of infiltration were not,
4 in fact, in many instances true on both sides, are you?
5 A. I'm allowing for certain incidents to be seen in context. There
6 were times when we were told infiltrators are -- have come through the
7 border, and for days or weeks thereafter we would see no evidence. But
8 there were occasions where there were people arrested as a result of
9 having crossed the border. A massive incident occurred in August, or
10 September, August, where within two, three days there were 600 Muslims in
11 the prison at Glina having attempted to cross from Bihac pocket into --
12 into Slunj side of that.
13 So there were times when we had evidence, and there were times
14 that we were told there are terrorists, and we do our best to find the
15 evidence, and that's why I'm saying true or not in that sense.
16 Q. I'm wondering if you could be given Exhibit P133, which is your
17 own memorandum of the 16th of June. So that was actually about 11 days
18 after the particular meeting you're referring to in paragraph 80. I want
19 to make it clear, Mr. Kirudja, I'm not going to be exploring with you some
20 sort of ghoulish balance sheet with who did what matched against who did
21 what. That's not what I'm engaged on, but if we look at paragraph 1 of
22 your memorandum attached to the front sheet, 16th of June, 1992, you are
23 writing: "The humanitarian situation in Bihac is rapidly deteriorating.
24 The meeting held on 1 June 1992 in Bihac at the request of the military --
25 UN military observers and the mayor of Bihac was an attempt to alert the
1 international community to a humanitarian disaster in the making. Armed
2 elements in the area terrorised the population on both sides of the
3 border. A stream of vindictive killings, forced mass movement of persons,
4 and other horrible reprisals have been reported to UNPROFOR."
5 So it's not -- you're not giving numbers and all that sort of
6 thing, but that's -- that was an accurate reflection of the position in
7 mid-June 1992?
8 A. Indeed.
9 Q. May we go on then, please, to paragraph 87 of your statement. On
10 the 16th of June, and that is actually exactly the document we've just
11 been looking at. "On the 16th of June, I reported to our Zagreb
12 headquarters," and you wanted to highlight as clearly as you could the
13 urgent need for humanitarian operation, and so on, and that's that
14 document. And you said: "In my opinion, Serb stories of atrocities
15 committed by Muslims, such as axing to death 40 Serbs in a two-day period,
16 were part of a concerted effort by Serbian leaders on both sides of the
17 border to paint their Muslims in the area as dangerous."
18 Mr. Kirudja, a story such as the axing to death of 40 Serbs in a
19 two-day period, it could have been true, couldn't it?
20 A. Exactly my earlier comment. When we were told that, we'd do our
21 best to try to gather evidence. In this particular case, we were, despite
22 our pleas, to say once you get an information that 40 people have been
23 axed to death within where you have been deployed, never mind whether they
24 are Serbs or Muslims, we want to know and get at it. So we didn't get to
25 that. But it isn't a complaint I'm making, it's an observation I'm making
1 that there was a tendency to flash the atrocities on the Serb side and a
2 failure to follow up with us and bring us face-to-face with the reality.
3 That was repeated more often.
4 On the paragraph you read, when we're -- where non-Serbs are
5 involved, we are brought face-to-face with that reality not on the Serb
6 side but on the receiving side, the side that receives that kind of
7 treatment. They bring that to our attention in an attempt to get either
8 protection or redress.
9 Those 40 Serbs that you're referring to, Counsellor, I'm not sure
10 that you looked at the document that I referred to at the bottom of
11 that document to be sure that there were not a number of 40 Serbs. I
12 heard repeatedly in the area of Dvor on that side of the border where the
13 Serbs controlled both sides. That's the difficulties I'm referring to.
14 They would tell me something happened, "But we took care of it," they
15 would tell me. That's the difference.
16 Q. And then if we go on to -- it's convenient to do it by reference
17 to your statement at paragraph 98 of your statement. It's actually a
18 citation from your -- or quotation from your report, which is P139, but
19 it's more convenient simply to use the statement.
20 It's the report in which you say: "We believe the football field
21 detainees are only the tip of the iceberg involving the concerted action
22 of local Serbian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina trying to establish
23 a Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina free of Muslims. In that
24 process, the mayors, the milicija, and the TDF of Bosanski Novi were
25 acting in unison with their counterparts," and so on.
1 Is it correct, Mr. Kirudja that you at that time had no knowledge
2 whatever of any involvement or direction of any of these events from
3 Sarajevo or Pale by SDS leadership?
4 A. It's correct that I had no direct connection between Pale and
5 these events coming to me.
6 Q. When I say Sarajevo or Pale, just to make it clear, the -- the SDS
7 leadership moved from Sarajevo to Pale in early April. I think it was the
8 10th of April, 1992. I don't know whether you're aware of that now.
9 A. Later on. That's why my answer to you earlier was in reference to
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Right.
13 Q. The -- in your evidence yesterday afternoon, you were asked by His
14 Honour Judge Orie -- not yesterday afternoon. I hope you were enjoying
15 the holiday yesterday, Mr. Kirudja. On Friday afternoon, you were asked
16 about Exhibit P140. I wonder if you might be given that. A report from
17 Mr. Paolo Raffone, of whom we've heard quite a number of times in
18 evidence, released by you. And the particular point was the penultimate
19 paragraph of the report or the memorandum, where he says that the
20 president of the Executive Council and deputy president of the Crisis
21 Committee in Dubica, that's Bosanska Dubica, announced a recent decision
22 of the Crisis Committee approved by the parliament of the Serbian Republic
23 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or it would be Republika Srpska by this time,
24 regarding the necessity to disband the structure of the SDA and put all
25 its members under control.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The first question is: Do you have any personal knowledge of this
2 item at all or is the limit of what you know simply what Mr. Raffone is
3 reporting to you here?
4 A. The latter. The limit is what Mr. Raffone is reporting.
5 Counsellor, with the understanding that when he's at that meeting,
6 he's just listening to a speaker through interpretation and taking note of
7 what he heard, and that's it. What he heard from the speaker and
8 reporting what he heard directly from these representatives which he has
9 named in the memo.
10 Q. Are you aware of any procedures which existed in the parliament --
11 in Republika Srpska Assembly or parliament, as we might call it, at that
12 time for approval or endorsement or ratification of such decisions of
13 Crisis Committees?
14 A. I'm not aware.
15 Q. Are you aware of any such approval ever having been sought by any
16 local organ in -- within Republika Srpska?
17 A. No, I'm not aware.
18 Q. I want to show you, please, just one document.
19 MR. STEWART: And, Your Honour, this is the one I mentioned
20 immediately before the break. We provided copies to Ms. Philpott just
21 before the break, Your Honour. May I explain that it's a single sheet of
22 paper. It's in Serbian, or B/C/S as it's called. We have an informal
23 translation but we haven't, in the time available to us, we haven't been
24 able to have it translated. It's been or is being submitted to the
25 translation. Yes. It -- Ms. Cmeric will submit it to the Translation
1 Unit immediately at the close of business today.
2 Your Honour, what I was suggesting -- was proposing to the Trial
3 Chamber is it's a single sheet of paper, it's not a long document. I
4 think when I wasn't here in court last week on one occasion the procedure
5 was adopted that Ms. Cmeric, who reads Serbian considerably better than I
6 do, to say the least, that perhaps if Ms. Cmeric were to read it and then
7 it would be interpreted.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. STEWART: Interpreters have a copy of the --
10 JUDGE ORIE: They have a copy.
11 MR. STEWART: They have the original.
12 JUDGE ORIE: They have the original in B/C/S.
13 MR. STEWART: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Especially if Ms. Ceric would read slowly, and then
15 we could read the English and see whether there are any divergencies
16 between what we hear and what we read. Please proceed.
17 MR. HARMON: Excuse me. Is there an exhibit number on this, Your
19 JUDGE ORIE: I take it we only get the number for the first one
20 since the translation is not yet official, and that would be Defence --?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit number D15.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could we, Mr. Harmon, if you also could read
23 carefully when we hear the translation and then afterwards we could see
24 whether the unofficial translation would do for the purposes we have here
25 and -- I mean, if there's hardly any difference, then of course, we could
1 try to give it D15, that one.
2 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm quite happy to give
3 Mr. Harmon my translation right now for this purpose.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon did not receive the translation. Oh, yes.
5 Well, if -- if we would even put it on the ELMO so we could all read it.
6 MR. STEWART: The translation goes on to two pages but the
7 original is one page. I'm sorry, I didn't turn on the microphone, Your
8 Honour. The translation goes on to two pages but the original document is
9 a single page.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Just see whether it becomes any -- yes. And,
11 Mr. Usher, could you please keep a close eye on the reading so if you
12 would follow it in English that you immediately move from page 1 to page 2
13 once we're there.
14 Ms. Cmeric, please proceed.
15 MS. CMERIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 [Interpretation] Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Novi. Number: 01/1- and then in
18 handwriting, 023-120/92. Date: 18 June 1992.
19 The text of the document is as follows: "Pursuant to Article 186,
20 paragraph 52 of the municipal statute of Bosanski Novi ('Official Gazette
21 of the municipality of Bosanski Novi', number 21/90), the Municipal
22 Assembly of Bosanski Novi at its Assembly held on the 16th of June, 1992,
23 has adopted the following conclusion:
24 "I. 1. The report on the work of the Crisis Staff of the
25 municipality of Bosanski Novi is hereby adopted, and the conclusions,
1 orders, and other decisions it reached are hereby confirmed.
2 "2. With respect to the Muslim population on the territory of the
3 municipality of Bosanski Novi, the positions of the Municipal Board of the
4 SDS are hereby adopted:
5 "- that citizens of Muslim nationalities may move out from the
6 territory of the municipality of Bosanski Novi voluntarily in an organised
7 and civilised manner.
8 "- to strictly prohibit any activities that might be directed at
9 forcible relocation of the population.
10 "- that persons in the collection centre of the Mlakve stadium
11 should be treated humanely and in compliance with the regulations
12 referring to persons deprived of their liberty and prisoners.
13 "3. The municipal Territorial Defence Staff is required to
14 urgently undertake all necessary measures and activities to establish a
15 brigade of the battalion type - of the army of the Serbian Republic of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 "4. The public security station of Bosanski Novi and the command
18 of the military police are hereby ordered to on the territory of the
19 municipality of Bosanski Novi establish public law and order and security
20 for citizens.
21 "II. These conclusions shall be published in 'The Official Gazette
22 of the municipality Bosanski Novi.' President of the Municipal Assembly
23 Radomir Pasic, signed and stamped."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. The --
25 MS. CMERIC: Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Where there are changes, I would say to the extent of
2 any significance at all, it's the word "accepted" is translated by our
3 translators -- by "adopted" rather than by "accepted," "verified" is
4 translated as "confirmed," and the reception centre in the provisional
5 translation became a collection centre, and in the first bullet under 2,
6 it reads in the unofficial translation that the citizens of the Muslim
7 nationality can move out, where it was translated by our interpreters as
8 may move out. Apart from smaller and less significant divergences.
9 MR. STEWART: Yes. I think the only -- the only fairly -- I
10 wouldn't say trivial, tiny rather than trivial, is that it's "humanely"
11 rather than "humanly" but that's obvious, but otherwise --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps there are two issues, rather, of reading, and
13 that is first of all the first line it says it's 011/ and then I'm not
14 quite sure what is 023 could under no circumstances be 823, but I'm not
15 familiar with how handwriting is taught at school.
16 And then the second --
17 MR. STEWART: I can't remember, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That's locally different. And the second issue is
19 the date here is translated as the 16th of June, and Judge El Mahdi has at
20 least some doubts as to whether it's really 16 or whether the second
21 number would be anything else than a 6.
22 MR. STEWART: It looks like an 8 to me, Your Honour. If Judge El
23 Mahdi is thinking it could be an 8, then I would, with respect, share his
24 view that it could easily be.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's really a matter of reading than of
2 MR. STEWART: I don't know what the best copy we've got is but,
3 Your Honour, it would seem more likely that the 023 is 023 because it
4 looks as if it's going number 23 to 120. So it would start as a 023
5 rather than as an 823, but we can, so far as it matters, Your Honour, no
6 doubt check that, but --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on at this moment and let's try to get an
8 official and final translation, but we can work on the basis of this
9 provisional translation.
10 MR. STEWART: I'd only like to say, Your Honour, that it looked
11 like a pretty good unofficial translation.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know who made it, but it deserves full --
13 MR. STEWART: I do; Ms. Cmeric.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I just wanted to give already the -- express the
15 appreciation without even knowing that it was Ms. Cmeric who deserves it.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Kirudja -- after that, we may not take very long, it depends.
19 Mr. Kirudja, have you ever seen this document before?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you have any recollection or knowledge of this document?
22 A. No. It only reminds me in content, only part of it, to a document
23 we looked at on Friday, the one from the same Radomir Pasic addressed to
24 civil affairs coordinator in Sector North. Could I ask kindly that
25 document -- I also want to know the date of that document, the one that
1 was shown on Friday. It is stamped and signed by him as president of
2 Crisis Committee, and it is addressed to me -- to the headquarters sector,
3 and it is partly translated in English, and you are shown both a badly
4 translated copy and a Serbian copy.
5 MR. HARMON: Yes, I have that copy. I can assist the Chamber and
6 the witness. It's Prosecutor's Exhibit 141. The date appears on that
7 document to be 6 July 1992.
8 THE WITNESS: 6 July 1992. And as I listened to your exchange,
9 the one you have just read in translation is either the 18th or the 16th,
10 whichever date you settle with.
11 MR. STEWART:
12 Q. Of June.
13 A. Of June.
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. The contents in those two documents strike me as interesting in
16 the sense that they have some similarities and some significant
18 Q. Yes. And you -- well, do you wish to --
19 A. Yes, I would like to comment on that departure and similarity,
20 because it strikes me as important.
21 Q. Uh-huh.
22 A. If I can have both of them.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I wonder if I might have back from
24 somebody the unofficial English translation --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. STEWART: -- of the document that we looked at just now, the
2 new one. Or if it can be brought up on the ELMO. I don't mind which, but
3 I need one or the other, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 Q. Would you like similarities first, Mr. Kirudja, or which?
5 A. Yes. The similarity I note is on paragraph 2 of the translation,
6 bullet number 1, that citizens of the Muslim nationality can move out of
7 the Bosanski Novi municipality voluntarily, in an organised and civilised
8 manner. The similarity with the previous document dated July 6th, it's a
9 month later, is that issue of voluntarily, to move voluntarily. It's in
10 the paragraph that reads: "People -- permit -- permit for voluntary
11 abandon of municipality territory in direction of inhabited places in the
12 Republic of Croatia." That striked me as somewhat similar in terms of the
13 claim that such a movement was voluntary. In an organised and civilised
14 manner is a difference, because in this letter of July, he is precisely
15 asking for an organisation of the movement. In June, in your translation,
16 the movement hadn't happened, obviously. It says that it was going to
17 happen. It was going to be organised and civilised. That is a slight
19 Thirdly, in this memo of July 6th, P141.1, there is that paragraph
20 that talks about - and I'm reading the badly translated paragraph -
21 "Status of immovable property is salved --" I think it is sold but it is
22 written there "salved," "-- on the basis of exchange with citizens of
23 Serbian nationality, refugees to Bosanski Novi municipality from Republic
24 of Croatia and Republic of Slovenia for their property left in mentioned
25 countries less number of citizens of Muslims and other nationalities
1 sailed or gave --" meaning sold, I translate that -- "or give like gift
2 their property about what they have all official documentation. Citizens
3 of Muslim and other nationalities are taking their movable property with
4 them after making of official specification."
5 Can you move this ELMO a little up, please, for this, a little
6 bit. This item 2 of the document that you read dated 18th has the
7 sentence that: "Any activities that would aim at forcible moving out of
8 population be strictly forbidden." That's a significant difference.
9 There is no reference a month later to prohibition of forcible moving of
11 Third, that individuals at the reception centre of Mlakve stadium
12 shall be treated humanely. I assume that is the understanding of that
13 translation, and in accordance with the regulation relating to individuals
14 deprived of freedom and prisoners. None of these two elements appear a
15 month later in the letter given to us. On the contrary. The emphasis on
16 sale, exchange of property and all of that is reiterated. So those are
17 the similarities and differences that I see. And I also mentioned on
18 Friday that this letter of July 6th follows our letter to Mr. Pasic dated
19 20th of June. 20th of June. That is personally telling him what he is
20 planning to do is unacceptable to us. That was on 20th of June. Thank
21 you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. I just now would like to refer you to
23 something else, which is that you -- excuse me one moment, Your Honour.
24 You gave evidence previously -- well, I think you've given
25 evidence in two previous cases before this Tribunal. That's right, isn't
2 A. Yes, I did, Counsellor.
3 Q. In the Milosevic case and the Brdjanin case?
4 A. Correct, Counsellor.
5 Q. Correct.
6 MR. STEWART: In the Brdjanin case -- what I wish to do, and Your
7 Honour, I hope this will be convenient, there's a passage of about four
8 pages of Mr. Kirudja's evidence in the Brdjanin case. What I would
9 propose to do, with Your Honour's permission, is read as quickly as is
10 consistent with helping the interpreters do their job --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just ask you, Mr. Stewart, I take it that
12 we'll not finish today, certainly not after you have to read four pages.
13 MR. STEWART: We will. We will.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because otherwise I would have invited you to
15 give us the four pages. But if you say by reading it, even if we have got
16 no copies, slowly, we will finish within 30 minutes, then please proceed.
17 MR. STEWART: We will, Your Honour. It's actually because I'm
18 going to finish today that I haven't got the copies, because I'd expected
19 to get to this tomorrow.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. STEWART: I'll get the right glasses back.
22 Q. In your evidence-in-chief, it was, in the Brdjanin case -- and the
23 page reference for everybody who has these in their pockets is 14545 in
24 the Brdjanin case. It was Wednesday, the 12th of February, 2003, and you
25 were being examined by Ms. Korner, and she says at -- she's asking a
1 question: "As we have stated --"
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I have neither the monitor nor the
3 document he is talking about. The monitor is blank, and I don't have the
4 document he is talking about.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I think there are no copies of the document, but I
6 think we have to push the transcript button and --
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If you'd like to just make a few notes and have
9 certain passages repeated --
10 MR. STEWART: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We also have monitors where we can scroll back, so we
12 could then it repeat it, because once it left your screen, it's gone.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Now that I have a monitor, it's helpful.
14 MR. STEWART:
15 Q. The monitor is going to give you the transcript today so that you
16 can check back. The case reference, which may be required by somebody, I
17 don't know, is IT-99-36-T, because it was in trial, the Brdjanin case.
18 Ms. Korner referred you to paragraph 11 of some document or other:
19 "As we have stated in the preceding sitreps a nominal
20 international border divides the Serb controlled opstinas of Dvor and
21 Kostajnica in Krajina from the Serb controlled opstinas of Novi and Dubica
22 across the River Una."
23 I think this is a document we have seen in this case as well
24 anyway, so it's all -- should be fairly familiar territory for you.
25 "Beyond these two or three other opstinas, Prijedor, Sanski Most,
1 and Banja Luka in Northern Bosnia, which fall under the so-called Republic
2 of Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina, the two Serbian republics economically
3 depend on a corridor linking them with Serbia and Montenegro. There is
4 also a growing evidence of a common military strategy or alliance in this
5 regard, and observing the military structure on the ground, there are
6 signs that Banja Luka may be exercising a balance of military power over
7 Knin in a way analogous to the power exercised by Belgrade prior to the
8 proclamation of a new federal Yugoslavia. The present supreme military
9 commander in Knin is --"
10 And then Judge Agius interjected: "Reportedly."
11 Ms. Korner continued: "Reportedly from Banja Luka while the
12 previous one is said to be shuttling between the two capitals. Further,
13 we have noticed the tendency of certain local authorities here to
14 periodically retreat to Banja Luka or Belgrade at critical times. Now,
15 can we deal -- split that. The military signs that there was control
16 being exercised or -- I'm sorry, the balance of military power from Banja
17 Luka, where were you getting that information from?"
18 So that was Ms. Korner's question. And your answer was: "This
19 sentence following that actually contains the answer to your question. We
20 were tracing who was commanding, where they were going and that,
22 Ms. Korner, question: "All right. Now as to the tendency of
23 certain local authorities here to periodically retreat to Banja Luka or
24 Belgrade at critical times, in your dealings with the political
25 authorities, the local ones, did you get any impression that they were --
1 as to what their powers were to take decisions?"
2 Your answer: "I can speak directly with regard to the sector
3 because I was in daily arm's-length relationship with them. Every opstina
4 that was part of that sector had two interweaved power structure; the
5 military side and the civil side. The military side we have spoken at
6 length. On the civil side, there were mayors, the so-called mayors of
7 opstina A, B, or C who also had the police, the chief of police, the
8 opstina A, B, or C. This group had the least influence in a way. They
9 were, on the other hand, the most heard about political issues, like we
10 won't live together with the Serbs with the other non-Serbs. They were
11 the most expressive when it comes to what was going on, even militarily,
12 explaining it out. The military side normally didn't give -- were not
13 given to giving speeches. So much of the political drive, most of the
14 explanation was coming from the civil side of the structure. Most of the
15 action, on the other hand, was taking place on the military side."
16 Question from Ms. Korner. "You say they had a tendency to retreat
17 to Banja Luka. To do what? Or Belgrade."
18 Your answer: "You have to think of -- again I was speaking about
19 mayors and other people located in the sector. They were surrounded on
20 the confrontation line by the Croats, in the direction of Karlovac, Sisak
21 and Zagreb. Another way of putting it, too, they were also blockaded
22 themselves. They didn't mention that, the Serbs, were blockaded in that
23 sense. Economically they can't go out and they couldn't get their fuel,
24 for example. They couldn't get most normal things, because of the war,
25 the electricity was not working, because things had been broken up --
1 broken down, and without the political -- the grid, electrical grid,
2 normal things weren't working, like water, because they were all pumped.
3 So in a way, there was a situation of shortages even for the Serbs. So
4 for them to redress that, they had to get out somehow, and that's the
5 corridor that took them to Banja Luka or Belgrade for the purposes of
6 redressing shortages in normal, everyday economic life."
7 Question: "In dealing with the mayors of these local areas such
8 as Novi, Kostajnica or Dvor, did they ever say to you or did you ever get
9 the impression that they had to take instructions from their superiors?"
10 Answer: "The fact that they all seemed to replicate each other in
11 the same language was a very good indication that if you think of it like
12 a choir, they were all singing from a sheet that was passed around."
13 Question: "Right. Sorry, can you just --"
14 Answer: "And there was very little situations where they would
15 deviate from that, from that -- whatever was politically correct, and we
16 can go into details of that. You could hardly find anybody who would
17 deviate from that."
18 Question: "Right. And that led you to believe what? I'm sorry
19 to ask you this." That must have meant "I'm sorry to have to ask you
20 this, but we need to have it stated clearly for the terms of the
22 Answer: "If there were the Serbs inside the sector, that script,
23 that choreography pointed at Knin as a centre of coordination of
25 "Right." "Right" was the question, in effect, from Ms. Korner.
1 Answer from you: "If you are in the Bihac areas we mentioned,
2 outside the Bihac pocket, then I mentioned point us to Banja Luka but
3 mostly Belgrade."
4 "Thank you. All right."
5 And then -- well, I'll stop there.
6 Mr. Kirudja, is there anything in that evidence which you gave to
7 the Trial Chamber in the Brdjanin case that you would not be entirely
8 content to have constitute part of your evidence in this case before this
9 Tribunal in that whole passage that I read out?
10 A. Counsellor, I will answer that question in two parts. With
11 respect to fact, I am quite comfortable with what is said in that. The
12 accuracy of what I said I will stand by.
13 On the second part, whether it is useful in this trial, Your
14 Honour, I leave it to you as lawyers and Judges what is useful in one
15 trial or the other, not being a lawyer, I would consider that something
16 outside my ability to respond to.
17 Q. Well, I think the Trial Chamber would probably, with respect,
18 endorse that view, Mr. Kirudja.
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I have no further questions of
20 Mr. Kirudja.
21 Thank you very much, Mr. Kirudja.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Before we decide on whether we'll ask you to come
23 back tomorrow, Mr. Kirudja, but if we would do so, it would be only for a
24 very short time. I'd like to know whether there's any need for
25 re-examination, Mr. Harmon.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, with the Court's indulgence, I would
2 like to review the testimony he has given and just consider it this
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. HARMON: Specifically, I'd like to refer to the transcripts
6 that have been referred to that I don't have at my disposal in the
8 JUDGE ORIE: So you'd rather use the next break, although a very
9 long one, to --
10 MR. HARMON: Yes.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kirudja, I hope that you have not made any travel
13 arrangements yet for this afternoon and that you could still be with us
14 tomorrow morning, although presumably not for a very long time. The
15 Judges might have some questions for you, counsel for the Prosecution
16 might have some questions for you. Perhaps if there's any need to ask
17 further questions by the Defence on the basis of any questions put to you
18 by the Bench or by the Prosecution. But there's hardly any doubt in my
19 mind, to just to use my words as cautious as you seem to use your words,
20 that it will not -- that tomorrow, perhaps after one, not more than one
21 and a half hours, you would be excused. So if you want to make any travel
22 arrangements or if they have to be made for you, I think we could safely
23 say that tomorrow in the afternoon you will certainly be able to freely
24 move wherever you'd like to go.
25 May I again instruct you not to speak with anyone about your
1 testimony given in this court and still to be given.
2 We will then adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00, in Courtroom I,
3 a different courtroom from than this one.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 2nd day of June,
7 2004, at 9.00 a.m.