1 Friday, 30 July 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-00-39-T, The Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Mr. Stewart.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, good morning. Your Honour, may I
12 introduce a member of our team who I think has not been in court before.
13 On my far left is Mr. Andrej Jonovic. Again, the other faces are familiar
14 to Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, thank you very much. Welcome in court. I
16 would like to repeat your name. It's not written clearly.
17 MR. STEWART: It's Andrej, A-n-d-r-e-j; Jonovic, J-o-n-o-v-i-c.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jonovic, welcome in court.
19 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed with the cross-examination of the
21 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 WITNESS: ASIM EGRLIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart: [Continued]
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Egrlic.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But not until after I've reminded you, Mr. Egrlic,
2 that you are still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the
3 beginning of your testimony. I take it that's clear. Please proceed.
4 MR. STEWART:
5 Q. Mr. Egrlic, I think possibly overnight, you have been deprived of
6 P228 which we were looking at yesterday. It's all part of the good order
7 of the courtroom.
8 MR. STEWART: I wonder if the witness could have P228 back again,
10 Q. Mr. Egrlic, we looked at points 1 to 13 yesterday. I want to ask
11 you about point number 14, which was "Request Radio Banja Luka to
12 broadcast one hour of programme time daily on the war events from
13 Croatia." Did that happen?
14 A. I know that Radio Kljuc broadcast for one hour in this manner. As
15 far as Radio Banja Luka is concerned, I know that they had already started
16 with such programming before this date, because it was possible for us to
17 listen to Radio Banja Luka in Kljuc.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Egrlic, you have been asked about these matters in this
19 exhibit, P228, previously, and you were asked in the trial of
20 Mr. Brdjanin. Do you remember that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Now, in that particular trial, you were asked, for example, about
23 item number 1 on this list: "Immediately form a command of the town and
24 set up round-the-clock duty." What you told Their Honours in this trial
25 yesterday was that that was done immediately. That's at page 69 of
1 yesterday's transcript. "That was done immediately." You think a couple
2 of days later. There was then quite a lot of questioning and answers from
3 you in which you indicated that really some of this had already happened
4 before, and then we explored what changes there had been.
5 In the trial of Mr. Brdjanin, you were asked whether that point
6 was implemented immediately after 29th of October, and you said: "I'm not
7 sure if immediately, but later on, yes, indeed." And then you were asked,
8 "Well, later on would have been 1992, wouldn't it?"
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
10 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, it would be helpful if Mr. Stewart
11 could refer us to the page number of the transcript in the Brdjanin trial.
12 MR. STEWART: Yes, I beg your pardon, of course I will do that.
13 It's 10.625. I'm afraid I can't give the date right now, but we could
14 easily get hold of that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's usually on the bottom of the page.
16 MR. STEWART: I know, Your Honour. But it isn't in this case
17 because of where we printed it out from, so if I had it, I would give it,
18 of course.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, it is 14 October 2002.
20 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you.
21 Q. Anyway, in that trial you said -- you were asked, "Well, later on
22 would have been 1992, wouldn't it?" And then you said: "I found out
23 about it in early 1992." Now, that is different, Mr. Egrlic. There's no
24 question about that. Is the position that you really don't have at all a
25 clear recollection of such matters now?
1 A. I wouldn't say that I don't remember the details, but it is quite
2 possible that as far as the dates are concerned, I might not have
3 mentioned the same dates since several years have passed since that time.
4 But I could provide you with the periods for certain events, but as far as
5 the exact dates are concerned, exact dates of very prominent incidents, I
6 would find this a little more difficult.
7 Q. If we take item 11, for example, on the list, in the Brdjanin
8 trial at page 10.629, there's a very short exchange. The point was put to
9 you as a question, number 11 was read out, and you were asked: "Do you
10 know if that was done?" And you said: "I don't know."
11 In this trial yesterday, I asked you whether such lists were
12 made --
13 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry, something is coming -- all right. It's
14 dealt with, Your Honour.
15 Q. I asked you whether such lists were made, and you said there were
16 lists in shops, and yes, such lists were made. Who made them? Made by
17 commissions from trading companies.
18 MR. STEWART: Mr. Margetts has something to say.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, the question that's asked in the
20 Brdjanin trial is a different way of asking the question to the way
21 Mr. Stewart asked it. And I just would like to say at this stage without
22 foreshadowing precisely the point I'm making, if Mr. Stewart could be sure
23 in his question to relate to the witness the entirety of his answer
24 regarding point 11, which was not only an answer to Mr. Stewart's first
1 MR. STEWART: Well, that's what I was doing although I was
2 interrupted in the course of doing it, Your Honour.
3 Q. Let's begin again.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, we have no Brdjanin transcript available
5 as a Bench. As soon as there's any dispute about whether parts of
6 questions or answers are correctly stated, then the party is invited to
7 literally quote those parts so that there can be no confusion. The
8 Chamber is not otherwise in a position to check it.
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say first of all, there is
10 absolutely no need for the Trial Chamber to check it because of course I
11 would not misrepresent the position, and you have my professional
12 assurance that will not happen. But as a matter of fact, in relation to
13 this matter I am proposing largely simply to quote verbatim from the
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
17 Q. I said to you yesterday -- I read point 11, and I said, "First of
18 all, were such lists made?" Your answer was: "There were lists in shops
19 --" this is in this trial. And yes, such lists were made. My question
20 was who made them? Your answer was they were made by commissions from
21 trading companies. Question: "Did you ever see any such list?" Answer:
22 "No, but I do know that lists were made."
23 Now, may I remind you that the quotation from - and Your Honour,
24 with respect - the quotation from the Brdjanin transcript was that
25 extremely short exchange. "Do you know if that was done?" was the
1 question in Brdjanin. And your answer was: "I don't know."
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, "Do you know whether that was done or
3 not," of course without context has no meaning whatsoever. I don't know
4 whether it relates to item 1 to item 11 to item 14 to another document to
5 whatever. And I think that's the issue Mr. Margetts made where you
6 responded in a rather irritated way. That's -- if you put a question to
7 this witness, there should be agreement between the parties what it is
8 about in order for the Chamber to understand what it is about.
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I apologise if I betrayed any
10 irritation, although I do accept that I was irritated because the position
11 is this, and I would do my very best not to betray any such feelings. The
12 position is this, Your Honour: I'm quite happy to send somebody out of
13 court to photocopy these pages of the Brdjanin transcript, but I do like,
14 if possible, Your Honour, not to engage in wasteful copying of --
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not asking for copying. I just say that if you
16 say the quotation from the Brdjanin transcript was extremely short, is "Do
17 you know if that was done?" That could relate to whatever. I think that
18 -- yes, Mr. Margetts.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, in the Brdjanin transcript, when it's
20 quoted in its full, it says as follows: The question at page 10.629, line
21 17 is: "Number 11, 'Make lists of surplus goods as well as shortages and
22 inform SDS Sarajevo, Mr. Ilic, about this.' Do you know if that was
23 done?" And at line 20, the answer is: "I don't know."
24 What I anticipated was going to be the problem with the
25 Mr. Stewart's question in fact turned out to be precisely the problem with
1 Mr. Stewart's question. And that is that there are --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any need to ask the witness to take his
3 headphones off?
4 MR. STEWART: I think it would be a good idea, Your Honour, with
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you assist the witness in taking
7 his headphones off.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, it may be more appropriate if the
9 headphones were detached from the system so hat there's no translation
10 coming through in the headphones whilst they lie on the table.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, have you taken out the -- yes.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. MARGETTS: The issue with this item 11 is there's two
14 components to it, and they were dealt with as two components yesterday by
15 Mr. Stewart. In the Brdjanin trial, they're not dealt with in two
16 components. They're compounded. The issues in number 11 are, one, were
17 lists made; two, were lists provided to Mr. Ilic? The witness clearly
18 stated yesterday in respect of lists being made that they were made; and
19 in respect of whether they were provided to Mr. Ilic, he does not know.
20 JUDGE ORIE: He doesn't know Mr. Ilic, as far as I understand.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, on the basis of this observation, would
23 it be possible for you to deal with the matter in a way which would avoid
24 whether you are -- the source of it is another question, but in such a way
25 that everyone will think that questions are crystal clear and there could
1 be no confusion whatsoever.
2 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I find it very difficult to see
3 what more I could have done than do what I could do. When I was quoting
4 the Brdjanin question, I said if we take item 11, for example, on the
5 list, in the Brdjanin trial at page 10.629, there's a very short exchange.
6 "The point was put to you as a question, number 11 was read out, and you
7 were asked, 'Do you know if that was done?' And you said, 'I don't
8 know.'" That was a hundred per cent verbatim accurate citation of what
9 was in the Brdjanin trial. I was then interrupted by an objection before
10 I had even got through quoting to the witness and putting before the Trial
11 Chamber what was said in the exchange yesterday.
12 Your Honour, I absolutely cannot accept the criticism of my first
13 question which could not have been clearer. It was a verbatim hundred per
14 cent accurate citation of the previous trial, and the objection to my
15 question is absolutely unfounded.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, the way it is presented by Mr. Stewart
17 indicates that the witness answered on the whole of the question with a
18 clear no. He doesn't know. That would include both elements.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is that correct?
21 MR. MARGETTS: The answer in the Brdjanin trial is, "I don't know
22 whether item 11 was implemented." The only issue we have with
23 Mr. Stewart's question is that when he is quoting back the witness's
24 answers from yesterday, he is only quoting the witness's answer in respect
25 of the first component of the question.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So if the witness is confronted, Mr. Stewart,
2 with any inconsistency, I do understand from Mr. Margetts that he
3 considers where there was a no on all elements of the questions in
4 Brdjanin, that in this trial yesterday he testified a partial no, that is,
5 not knowing -- knowing about the lists and not knowing about the report to
6 Mr. Ilic. Please proceed.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm entitled to say this so that we
10 know where we're going. Mr. Margetts' interjection was a comment, it was
11 not a valid objection at all. It was used to make a comment, and I do
12 invite the Trial Chamber not to allow the Prosecution to do that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'd rather continue now, so Mr. Stewart, you may
14 continue after the witness has been -- put his headphones on again.
15 MR. STEWART:
16 Q. Let's look at point number 3, Mr. Egrlic. In the Brdjanin trial
17 you were asked, after the completion of a short exchange of question and
18 answer in relation to point number 2, because counsel in that case was
19 going through the points one after the another in numerical order, that
20 was the context. Having finished with point number 2, a short exchange at
21 page 10.627, counsel Mr. Ackerman's question was: "Form units for the
22 front and designate their replacements." Question: "Do you know if that
23 was done?" Answer: "This was done when the units of the Knin Corps
24 arrived at Laniste." Question: "And when was that?" Answer: "That was
25 in March 1992." Question: "Five months after this document?" Answer:
1 "At the time of this document, there were units of volunteers who went to
2 Croatia to take part in the war there."
3 That was the conclusion of the questioning on point number 3 in
4 the Brdjanin case, Mr. Ackerman then went on to point number 4.
5 Yesterday, I asked you this at page 74: "The third item - which I
6 then quoted in exactly the same words as appear in the document and as
7 Mr. Ackerman had done - my question, "Was that done?" as opposed to
8 Mr. Ackerman's question, "Do you know if that was done?" Your answer:
9 "Yes, it was." My question: "And when was that done?" Same question,
10 very slightly differently phrased to Mr. Ackerman's question. Your
11 answer: "It was done immediately after this decision was made, and
12 earlier on, too, as I have said, this decision only reinforced this
13 matter, and it continued in this manner until May."
14 So with your extra comment in the Brdjanin case about there being
15 units of volunteers who went to Croatia to take part in the war there, in
16 the Brdjanin case you said it was done in March 1992; in this case, you
17 said it was done immediately after the decision was made. Now, which, if
18 either, of those is correct?
19 A. It is true to say that former JNA units came to the Laniste side,
20 and it's also true to say that units were formed of the local population.
21 This started in August and continued up until May. So how should I put
22 it? There were two types of units that were formed; a unit formed by the
23 population from Kljuc and from part of the units that came to Laniste. I
24 don't know which places the members of those units were from.
25 Q. Point number 4, Mr. Egrlic -- I'm not going to go through every
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 point, so nobody need, not unless the Trial Chamber directs me to cover
2 all that ground. But number 4, in the Brdjanin case, quite a short
3 exchange. Immediately after the conclusion of the questions and answers
4 I've just quoted on point number 3, question from Mr. Ackerman, number 4:
5 "All men under the age of 40 to be reassigned from civilian protection to
6 the Territorial Defence and the Territorial Defence to be resubordinated
7 to the corps as wartime units." "Did that happen?"
8 Answer: "I don't know about that, because I didn't see any
9 evidence or documents about this." And then counsel went on to point 5.
10 Yesterday, at page 75, I quoted item 4 in exactly the same terms
11 as translated in the document in front of us, P228. And I asked: "Did
12 that happen?" Which was in fact precisely the same question that
13 Mr. Ackerman had asked you. And your answer was: "Yes, it did." And I
14 asked you: "You know that, do you?" You said: "I do." I asked you,
15 "How do you know it?" You answered: "Well, I know that because in the
16 Secretariat for National Defence there was a clerk who was still working
17 there. He was a Bosniak, and he told me that as far as cards, et cetera,
18 were concerned, this should be done, and these units for fighting in the
19 battlefield in Croatia should be formed." My question was, "And when did
20 you first come to know about that?" And your answer was: "I came to know
21 about that sometime in November 1991."
22 Now, Mr. Egrlic, those are different. I can make that assertion
23 without any fear of serious contradiction. Why, on the basis of your
24 solemn declaration in the Brdjanin case, why didn't you tell the Court in
25 the Brdjanin case what you told this Trial Chamber yesterday? Why did you
1 tell the Brdjanin trial that you didn't know about this point?
2 A. Because we were talking in that context about whether I had seen
3 any documents referring to this. On the basis of that, I said I didn't
4 have this information. Yesterday, I said that I hadn't seen any
5 documents, but that I had heard about it, as I explained. And this did
7 Q. That's an absolutely misleading and untrue answer, I put to you,
8 Mr. Egrlic. You were asked the question in the Brdjanin case in exactly
9 the simplest terms in which you were asked it yesterday, and it was your
10 answer "I don't know about that," and your explanation of why you didn't
11 know about it was then because you hadn't seen any evidence or documents
12 about this. Let me make it clear, Mr. Egrlic, you did not say that you
13 knew something but not from documents, you simply said in the Brdjanin
14 case you didn't know. And yesterday, you came out with some stuff that
15 you say you did know. Which is it, Mr. Egrlic? Did you know about this
16 in 1991 or didn't you?
17 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm minded that you do not have the
18 transcript before you of the Brdjanin trial, and --
19 JUDGE ORIE: I have at this moment the relevant page in front of
21 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 MR. STEWART:
23 Q. Yes, the last question, and that was where it was left because you
24 hadn't yet answered it, was did you know about this in 1991 or didn't you?
25 A. I knew -- I did know, but I had no documents. It was on the basis
1 of what this gentleman who worked in the secretariat told me.
2 Q. So do you understand? Let's get it clear, Mr. Egrlic, when you're
3 asked in the course of this trial, or any other trial for that matter,
4 when you're asked whether you know something, you understand that question
5 in some qualified way, do you, that you can only say yes if you've seen
6 some documents or seen some hard evidence? Is that your understanding of
7 the question "Do you know something"?
8 A. Well, you can find things out on the basis of documents or on the
9 basis of conversations. In the previous trial, the way the question was
10 put to me, the way I understood it and answered it, was that you can say
11 on the basis of documents that you know something. I had no documents.
12 All I had was the statement of the person who told me, and this is not in
13 dispute. People were recruited, and they did go off to the battlefield.
14 Every citizen of Kljuc knows this. I don't think anything will change if
15 you try to convince me I said one thing then and something else today.
16 Nothing will change. People did go away. They went to war. They came
17 back, and so on and so forth.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, just if I may, with respect, make it
19 clear to the Trial Chamber now, I'm not proposing, because I don't
20 consider it's necessary, in fairness to the witness or anybody else, to go
21 through point by point identifying differences between what was said in
22 the Brdjanin trial and differences in this trial because I've explored one
23 or two of them. Your Honour has seen the outcome of that recent exchange.
24 It becomes, eventually, a matter of comment and argument to place what
25 this witness said in one trial alongside what he said in the other trial,
1 and I suggest that it would be unnecessarily time consuming and not
2 necessary, in fairness, for me to go through these points one by one to
3 highlight those differences and obtain the witness's comment.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, we have heard what he said. We'll
5 assess the meaning of the issues you just raised. I mean, it's entirely
6 up to you how to use your time for cross-examination.
7 MR. STEWART: Yes. I wonder perhaps if the witness should take
8 his headphones off just briefly for the next...
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you...
10 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I undertake not to quote back to
11 you too irresponsibly Your Honour's comment that it's entirely up to me
12 how I use my time for cross-examination. But I'm grateful for that, Your
13 Honour. What I had mind was that -- I don't want it to be suggested later
14 that it was not fair to this witness and it's not fair for me later to
15 draw attention in submissions to discrepancies between the evidence in the
16 Brdjanin case, the evidence in this case on the basis I didn't go through
17 it point by point with this witness.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I do agree with that, but on the other hand you seem
19 to suggest or to speculate on what the result is of dealing with the two
20 examples out of the list, suggesting that you showed in all respects the
21 contradictions between them. I also noted that sometimes the language of
22 the witness is a bit inconsistent. For example, when you asked him
23 yesterday a question about 11, Did it happen? He said yes. And then you
24 said, Do you know? And then he started explaining an explanation which
25 clearly indicates that his previous answer was meant in a different way as
1 literally said because the question was "Did that happen" means were these
2 units formed? Whereas he later says in his explanation, he says "I heard
3 from someone that it should be done." So therefore, it is a -- certainly
4 you have pointed at differences in his testimony in the Brdjanin case and
5 in this case, but I would say there's more to be said about -- at least,
6 whether there's anything to be said about it is a different matter, but it
7 could raise -- the whole analysis of his testimony in the Brdjanin case
8 and the testimony he gave yesterday here might give rise to more questions
9 than only the ones you've put to him even in respect of these two items on
10 the list.
11 So that's what I intended to say when I said up to you, I would
12 say, whether to spend more time on this issue or on other issues.
13 MR. STEWART: I think what I'll do, Your Honour, in the
14 circumstances, then, is I will move on to another topic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I thought it was fair for at least -- just speaking
16 as one of the Judges, it's fair to make clear that what you more or less
17 suggested or expected as what would be the understanding of the Chamber of
18 the testimony given this morning in the confrontation between the two,
19 that it was perhaps even more complex than you suggested, not to say that
20 you suggested it was an easy matter, but that there were other things to
21 be noted. I just wanted to make it clear to you so that you'd be better
22 able to decide whether to further explore this matter or to go to the next
24 MR. STEWART: Well, what I was going to suggest, Your Honour, is I
25 would go to another topic, which although I shan't be an enormously long
1 time with the witness, I think the next topic will take us to the break.
2 And then I'm expecting to finish between the first and the second break
3 today with this witness, so over the first break I will consider whether
4 to pursue these particular points. That seems to be the more efficient
5 way of dealing with the matter.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
7 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
8 If Your Honour would give me a moment. Since I'm switching topics
9 I therefore need to switch notes as well.
10 Q. Mr. Egrlic, it's linked to the document that we've just been
11 looking at, but you, in your evidence on Tuesday this week, you were asked
12 about the reference in the document to a meeting of all municipal
13 presidents on the 26th of October 1991 in Banja Luka chaired by
14 Dr. Karadzic. And you were asked, this is at page 39: "Did you discuss
15 with Mr. Banjac whether or not he attended this meeting?" And your answer
16 was: "No, I didn't, but I knew that he was in contact with him since he
17 would travel to Banja Luka."
18 Can we take it, Mr. Egrlic, that since you didn't discuss with
19 Mr. Banjac whether or not he attended this meeting, you never had any sort
20 of discussion with Mr. Banjac about any of the content of that meeting?
21 A. I didn't have any sort of discussion with him about it.
22 Q. Did you ever have any discussion with anybody else about that
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. You were asked about the document -- which at the moment I've
2 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour. That I've now retrieved.
3 Q. You were asked whether you personally came to a conclusion as to
4 whether or not Mr. Karadzic -- Dr. Karadzic, as he is, knew of these 14
5 steps set out in the document. And your answer was: "It says on the
6 document that it was drafted in agreement with Mr. Karadzic, so it is
7 beyond any dispute that he knew."
8 Maybe a small point, Mr. Egrlic: Do you agree it doesn't actually
9 say on the document that it was drafted in agreement with Mr. Karadzic?
10 A. I don't have the document before me, so I can't say it with any
12 Q. Is it not the document at your left elbow, Mr. Egrlic?
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please --
15 MR. STEWART: Sorry, I thought that was --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, as a matter of fact, it might not be clear to
17 the witness that this document is about the decisions of 1991 because it
18 does not appear in the heading of it. I think there's some confusion. I
19 think it's the right document, yes. Perhaps you better introduce it.
20 MR. STEWART: I thought I had made it clear by referring to the
21 link, but apparently not.
22 Q. Mr. Egrlic, the document that you have on the table in front of
23 you is the same one that we were looking at five, ten minutes ago, and
24 it's the same one that I wish you to be looking at now. Do you
1 A. This document is in English, and I don't understand what it says.
2 Q. Well, you shouldn't be given a document in English. Is the one in
3 front of you -- you're holding in your hand now, is that in English or in
5 A. This is in B/C/S now.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. STEWART: My apology if I caused any misunderstanding there,
8 Your Honour.
9 Q. The -- we'll go back to the question then. Your answer on
10 Tuesday was, "It says on the document that it was drafted in agreement
11 with Mr. Karadzic, so it is beyond any dispute that he knew." So just on
12 the first bit of that answer you gave, just to try and be clear, do you
13 agree, it doesn't, in fact, say on the document that it was drafted in
14 agreement with Mr. Karadzic?
15 A. The document says "chaired by Dr. Karadzic" or "under the
16 leadership of Dr. Karadzic."
17 Q. So you -- do you agree, Mr. Egrlic, that it does not say that it
18 was drafted in agreement with Mr. Karadzic?
19 A. As for the document, no, it doesn't say that.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Egrlic, is the position that you know no more
21 about this question of how the points -- how this document came to be
22 drafted, who was involved in the drafting, you know no more than can be
23 gathered from the words of the document in front of you?
24 A. I don't know. I didn't attend that session, so I can't say who
25 was there. It's only on the basis of this document. And on the basis of
1 the fact that I know that Mr. Banjac and Mr. Kondic went and contacted
2 Banja Luka. This is beyond dispute. And it was quite normal that they
3 should go and contact somebody there.
4 Q. Then an answer that you gave just a very few lines later on, on
5 page 43 of Tuesday's transcript in this case, was you said, "I can see
6 from the document that the leadership of the party drafted this order and
7 forwarded it to the lower levels down to the municipal committees or
8 boards." So, Mr. Egrlic, again, what you were talking about there was
9 only what you were able to gather from the written terms of the document
10 in front of you. That's correct, isn't it?
11 A. Yes. It would be quite normal to expect if this was done under
12 the leadership of Dr. Karadzic, or rather that the meeting was chaired by
13 Dr. Karadzic, that the top party leadership should be aware of this.
14 Q. And it's this, Mr. Egrlic, that I'm putting to you: Apart from
15 the fact that you knew, you have told the Trial Chamber, you knew that
16 Mr. Banjac, you say, had been to Banja Luka, and you can see this
17 document, and you know who Dr. Karadzic was, you have no personal
18 knowledge beyond that on the basis of which you can offer the Trial
19 Chamber any more information about this document.
20 A. No, I don't.
21 Q. In your evidence, then, immediately after the answer I quoted to
22 you a moment ago, you said, "The leader of the SDS at that time was
23 Mr. Karadzic, and in his inner circle was Mrs. Plavsic, Mr. Krajisnik,
24 Mr. Koljevic, and so on and so forth." That was your precise answer.
25 First of all, when you said "and so on and so forth," did you have in mind
1 some other people in addition to Mrs. Plavsic, Mr. Krajisnik, and
2 Mr. Koljevic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And who are those other people?
5 A. It was a wide circle of people who were close to Karadzic.
6 Q. Well, Mr. Egrlic, may I just remind you, in fairness, that your
7 answer was specifically concerned with the inner circle. That was your
8 phrase, in fact; it came from you, the phrase. It wasn't in the question.
9 The question that you were asked by Mr. Margetts was, "Who did you think
10 constituted the leadership in Sarajevo?" You referred to Mr. Karadzic as
11 the leader. You then produced the phrase "inner circle." You said, "In
12 his inner circle was Mrs. Plavsic, Mr. Krajisnik, and Mr. Koljevic and so
13 on." So did you have in mind there were other people then in addition to
14 those three in Mr. Karadzic's inner circle?
15 A. Yes, I thought there were other people who belonged there.
16 Q. And who were they as you understood it at the time in 1991?
17 A. In the inner circle, there was Brdjanin. Those were the
18 best-known people as far as I was concerned. I can't recall the names of
19 the others.
20 Q. What was -- and let's try and cast your mind back to October,
21 November 1991 as best we can, Mr. Egrlic. What was your knowledge of
22 Mr. Karadzic's inner circle based upon?
23 A. On the fact that every session -- almost every session was
24 broadcast on the public media, it was reported in the press, and it was no
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. Every session of what?
2 A. The sessions of the assembly, the party sessions, and so on. You
3 could read about all that in the newspapers. You could read who was
4 there, who the people were.
5 Q. So the position, Mr. Egrlic, is that you -- your knowledge on the
6 basis of which you express views about the inner circle was the same
7 knowledge that any individual living where you lived with access to
8 newspapers and television would have had?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you had no more knowledge of the inner circle membership or
11 any other aspect of Mr. Karadzic's inner circle than any such citizen
12 living where you lived with access to newspapers and television.
13 A. For the most part, what I know comes from the public media.
14 Q. And what's the other part, then, Mr. Egrlic?
15 A. The other part refers to what I heard from Mr. Banjac when he told
16 me who he had met with, and I thought this was quite normal, that he would
17 meet those people. I didn't see anything unusual in this. I simply knew
18 that these were the leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party, the
19 representatives in the then organs of government, and I knew which people
20 constituted the narrow circle of leadership.
21 Q. And who did Mr. Banjac tell you he had met?
22 A. Usually he would meet Mr. Brdjanin in Banja Luka.
23 Q. Did he ever tell you of meeting any of the other people that you
24 mentioned in relation to Mr. Karadzic's inner circle?
25 A. Yes. He mentioned Mr. Koljevic, Ms. Plavsic, he mentioned
2 Q. You were asked about -- Mr. Banjac is dead now. That's right,
3 isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When did he die?
6 A. Well, as far as I know, he died about one year ago.
7 Q. You talked about your -- well, you gave evidence about your daily
8 meetings with Mr. Banjac in 1991. And you told this Trial Chamber - this
9 is at page 55 of Tuesday's transcript - that you noticed towards the end
10 of 1991 and beginning of 1992 there were some very important issues in the
11 territory of the municipality and that he wasn't able to deal with them on
12 his own until he had consulted with the higher authorities. Can you give
13 a specific example of such an important issue that he was not able to deal
14 with on his own?
15 A. Well, I do have an example. When it was necessary to change the
16 insignia on the uniforms, he persuaded us that he couldn't do this on his
17 own. So he arranged for a meeting in Banja Luka. I have already
18 mentioned this, and this is a specific example I can provide you with. In
19 that case, he wasn't able to resolve the issue at the municipal level
21 Q. Well, I'm not going to pursue that particular point, Mr. Egrlic,
22 for the simple reason that you've already given quite a lot of evidence on
23 that particular specific topic. Do you have any other example that you
24 can give this Trial Chamber of such an issue on which Mr. Banjac wasn't
25 able to deal with the matter on his own?
1 A. I can't remember any other particular examples apart from the one
2 that I have just mentioned.
3 Q. You talked about a conversation that you'd had with Mr. Banjac
4 outside a restaurant in Kljuc, and he had talked about an exodus. This
5 was at page 57 of Wednesday's transcript this week.
6 He said, "People would have to be moved from this territory.
7 There would have to be an exodus of people from this territory." You
8 asked him, "What kind of exodus, how do you mean moving people? How can
9 that be carried out?" And he said, "From some territories in Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, Serbs had to leave; from others, Bosniaks and Croats had to
11 leave so that their respective minority percentages would not be more than
12 5 or 6 per cent." "I told him this was plain crazy. I couldn't
13 understand anybody could have conceived that in their head and this was
14 totally undo-able. And this was how our conversation in front of the
15 restaurant ended. Then we entered the restaurant itself."
16 Well, first of all, there was clearly a very strong difference of
17 view between your view and what Mr. Banjac had been talking about. Was
18 the position, though, that as between you and Mr. Banjac, relations
19 continued to be good on a personal level?
20 A. Yes. That's correct.
21 Q. And you said a few lines after that answer, you said, "It seemed
22 to me that he personally did not share that view, but that he would be
23 willing to implement what had been outlined by the policy." Now, were
24 there other SDS representatives or leaders in Kljuc with whom Mr. Banjac
25 might have disagreed?
1 A. I'm not aware of that. I think that he agreed with everyone.
2 Q. Well, the first question is -- all right, perhaps I better put it
3 a different way. He wasn't the only active person in the local leadership
4 of the SDS in Kljuc, was he?
5 A. That's correct. He wasn't the only person.
6 Q. But he was the one that you spoke to the most and the most often,
7 wasn't he?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. You said Mr. Banjac always consulted with the higher bodies for
10 all important decisions. You've mentioned the insignia point. But does
11 it follow from the fact that a few minutes ago you weren't able to point
12 to any other examples, specific example, of something that Mr. Banjac was
13 not able to deal with on his own, that you're also unable to point to any
14 other example where Mr. Banjac consulted with higher bodies?
15 A. He did consult with them over the phone, and I'm quite convinced
16 that he didn't take decisions on his own.
17 Q. But what I'm asking you, Mr. Egrlic, is - I'll give you another
18 opportunity, in effect - can you -- leave aside the insignia point, you've
19 given evidence about that and visit to Banja Luka, and so on. Can you
20 give this Trial Chamber any other specific example of an issue on which
21 Mr. Banjac consulted higher bodies?
22 A. Well, as far as the Municipality of Kljuc joining the Autonomous
23 Region of Krajina is concerned, this certainly wasn't the idea of the SDS
24 leadership in Kljuc. It was the idea of the leadership in Banja Luka.
25 Q. Mr. Egrlic, can you tell the Trial Chamber any specific issue on
1 which you know that Mr. Banjac consulted higher bodies?
2 A. Well, I've already given you an example. Is it necessary to
3 repeat it?
4 Q. You mean the insignia example?
5 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Egrlic, there seems to be some misunderstanding.
7 That's the following: You mentioned topics on which you think the --
8 Mr. Banjac in Kljuc would follow policy set out by higher levels rather
9 than doing what he himself would have done. Mr. Stewart is asking you not
10 whether there are any topics where you think that he did follow what
11 higher up levels would have deemed appropriate but whether you have some
12 knowledge of Mr. Banjac consulting in whatever way - by telephone, by
13 writing, by going there - on those topics. So you identified the topics,
14 and the second part of the question, implied second part of the question
15 is can you tell us what you know about any such consultations on those
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was with him at a meeting in
18 Banja Luka that concerned the change of insignia. And as far as Kljuc
19 joining the autonomous region is concerned, some documents arrived from
20 Banja Luka, the statute of the Autonomous Region of Banja Luka arrived,
21 and this is clear proof that it came from a higher level. That document
22 was present in the municipal assembly.
23 MR. STEWART:
24 Q. Mr. Egrlic, this is probably going to be the last opportunity I
25 will offer you on this point. The -- may I simply, with respect and
1 subject to the direction of the Trial Chamber, remind you that the
2 question of evidence and clear proof, et cetera, et cetera, that's what
3 this Trial Chamber is here to do, to evaluate everything and reach such
4 conclusions. You are a witness, Mr. Egrlic. You are invited to tell the
5 Trial Chamber what you know. So the opportunity I'm offering you is to
6 tell the Trial Chamber what, if anything, you know about consultation by
7 Mr. Banjac with higher bodies on important decisions, leaving aside those
8 insignia, please.
9 A. I think I have repeated this a number of times now. Perhaps we
10 don't understand each other sufficiently well. But I said that Mr. Banjac
11 often went to Banja Luka and held discussions there. And as far as the
12 insignia are concerned, I said that we went there, and I said that with
13 regard to the Autonomous Region of Krajina, documents arrived from Banja
14 Luka, and according to these documents, the Municipality of Kljuc was
15 supposed to be annexed. These, in my opinion, are very concrete examples.
16 This is concrete proof, and I have no other examples.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. May I just ask an additional question.
18 Mr. Egrlic, you're asked about consultations, and you told us that
19 since the statute of the Autonomous Region of Krajina was sent to Kljuc,
20 that this really demonstrates how things came from a higher level. I'm
21 asking you the following: Just imagine for argument's sake that it would
22 have been the sincere wish of people in Kljuc to join that autonomous
23 region - I know that that's not what you testified, but let's just assume
24 that - would you not need the statute of the autonomous region under these
25 circumstances as well? So it should then be sent to you? Do you
1 understand what I mean?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it would be necessary to have
3 the statute.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So if you refer to sending and receiving the statute
5 of the autonomous region, and in your later answer you said documents
6 arrived, which I do understand to be reference to the previous answer
7 about the statute being received from Banja Luka in Kljuc, that is not an
8 answer to consultations. Of course, it could be part of consultations.
9 Sending documents may well be a part of consultations, but what
10 Mr. Stewart specifically asked you and what the Chamber very much would
11 like to have an answer to is do you know any other circumstance, for
12 example, if Mr. Banjac would have called to Banja Luka and would have
13 said, well, I don't know what you want from me, but if you want me to do
14 this or this, then at least send me some documents so I know what your
15 wish is and what I should follow. These are concrete facts about
16 consultations. Could you provide us with any concrete facts about how and
17 when and on what subject Mr. Banjac consulted, so apart from the insignia,
18 consulted the higher up levels for instructions.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no other concrete examples
20 apart from the ones that I have already mentioned.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know anything about the frequency between,
22 well, let's say Banja Luka and Kljuc as far as telephone communications
23 are concerned between Mr. Banjac and higher up levels?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, even before, Banja Luka was a
25 regional centre for the surrounding municipalities, and one would go to
1 Banja Luka every week at least once a week, so contact was maintained in
2 this way. As to how often telephone contact was made, I couldn't say.
3 But people did go to Banja Luka very often.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Have you any specific knowledge on what they
5 did and, if there was any discussion, what they discussed when they were
6 in Banja Luka?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't have any such knowledge.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
10 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Egrlic, you were asked specifically when higher levels of the
12 SDS party visited Kljuc -- this is page 59 of Wednesday's transcript, 28th
13 of July. You said, "Some did. Mr. Nikola Koljevic, who was a member of
14 the Presidency. There was one such meeting." I believe it's clear from
15 that phrase in the English "a member of the Presidency" that the word must
16 have been "Presidency" rather than "president" because otherwise the
17 answer would make no sense. But what do you mean by "the Presidency"?
18 A. He was a member of the Presidency of the State of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina at the time. And it is in that capacity that he came to
21 Q. And what time are we talking about? What date?
22 A. In the course of 1991, perhaps in the first half of 1991.
23 Q. And then you said that Mr. Karadzic came a lot later, that you
24 can't remember when. You saw Mr. Karadzic, did you, in Kljuc?
25 A. I only saw him on one occasion when the party was being founded,
1 but I didn't see the arrival because I didn't attend that meeting.
2 Q. Would you have -- even if you didn't see him yourself or attend
3 meetings, would you have always known whether Mr. Karadzic had visited
5 A. Well, in this case, yes, because it was a public meeting. And
6 there were no secrets. Anyone who wanted to see him could see him.
7 Q. Yes. Well, what I mean, Mr. Egrlic, and was inviting you to
8 confirm, Kljuc is not New York. Can we take it that if somebody like
9 Mr. Karadzic, who was certainly a prominent figure, visited Kljuc at that
10 time, most of the people in Kljuc, and certainly you, would know that that
11 had happened. Is that right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. How often did Mr. Karadzic visit Kljuc in 1991?
14 A. I'm only aware of him visiting Kljuc on that one occasion.
15 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber how often he visited Kljuc in
16 the first four months of 1992, January to April?
17 A. I didn't hear anything about him visiting Kljuc then.
18 Q. And can you say how often Mr. Koljevic visited Kljuc in 1991?
19 A. I attended one such official meeting, and I heard that he came on
20 one other occasion afterwards in the settlement of Ribnik. But on that
21 occasion, he didn't go to the municipal building.
22 Q. And can you say how often Mr. Koljevic visited Kljuc in the first
23 four months of 1992, January to April?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. But does the same apply to Mr. Koljevic, that if he visited Kljuc,
1 you would have come to know about it, Mr. Egrlic? Is that right?
2 A. Well, yes, if it was an official visit, I would certainly have
3 known about it.
4 Q. It's just that in a statement that you gave, and it's a very short
5 passage, this, I'm not trying to keep back the statement from you in any
6 way, Mr. Egrlic, the statement you gave to representatives of this
7 Tribunal on the 22nd of May 1997, you said: "On many occasions during
8 1991, Mr. Karadzic and Nikola Koljevic visited Kljuc." It now seems that
9 "many occasions" actually is clearly an exaggeration. Do you accept that
11 A. I'm not aware of a single member of the Presidency of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. I think that if someone comes to a place twice or even just
13 once officially, I think that this means that the person has visited the
14 place frequently. In my opinion, this means that the person visited the
15 place frequently.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, this point doesn't need any --
17 MR. STEWART: I entirely agree, Your Honour. And we are a few
18 minutes over the normal run, but this might be a convenient point for Your
19 Honour to take a break.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS: Before the break, Your Honour, I just wanted to
22 foreshadow an issue, that the following witness after this one is one that
23 we have protective measures for and so there may need to be some break
24 when we do that. In addition, Your Honour, I would request, if possible
25 with the Court, if we could complete that witness today because he's been
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 here all week, lost a lot of work and we're not going to sit again until
2 the end of August.
3 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would you need for him? Because he was
4 scheduled for four hours, so I had in mind as a matter of fact that it
5 would be -- it doesn't make any sense. He has to come back anyhow for
6 cross-examination unless -- but I do know that it might cause great
7 difficulties to even continue this afternoon because of the absence of
9 MR. HANNIS: I understand, Your Honour. I wanted to raise the
10 possibility perhaps going half an hour longer, depending on how far we
12 JUDGE ORIE: I see that there's --
13 MR. HANNIS: We think maybe two hours for his direct.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, how much time would you still need for
15 the further -- perhaps I'll first ask the witness to leave the courtroom.
16 We'll have a break for 25 minutes, Mr. Egrlic. We would like to
17 see you back after that.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the position is that I probably need no
19 more than about 10 minutes for -- I expect, to helpfully answer Your
20 Honour's question, 10 minutes plus anything that I decide I might need to
21 go into in relation to those 14 points, the matter I was going to consider
22 over the break. If I do have to go through those points, then to some
23 extent it's in the witness's hands and how he answers them, that could add
24 on 20 minutes or half an hour easily. But it won't be more than that,
25 Your Honour. So I should comfortably finish, on any footing, within 45
1 minutes, and hopefully within 10 or 15 minutes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see where we come, because there's no way --
3 perhaps five minutes but not an hour. You understand that just prior to
4 the recess that schedules have been prepared.
5 We'll adjourn until 5 minutes to 11.00. Let's try, and I'm also
6 addressing the Chamber itself, to start in time.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I addressed ourselves to be here at 5 minutes to
10 11.00. The explanation is that still a decision is expected from us, and
11 that kept us busy. Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
12 MR. STEWART: Your Honour will be pleased anyway to know that,
13 having considered the matter over the break, I don't propose to go through
14 those further 14 points. But what I would wish to do, Your Honour, is to
15 tender that passage, that section of the transcript from the Brdjanin
16 case. With the apology, Your Honour, that over the break we've only been
17 able to get the pages off the internet which are not in quite as neat form
18 as the official transcript.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, the -- I think the questioning on the
20 document starts on page 10.625, the transcript of the 14th of October.
21 And it relates to what was then E22 -- it even starts already a bit
22 earlier. Let me just see.
23 MR. STEWART: I think Your Honour is absolutely right, with
24 respect --
25 JUDGE ORIE: So then we have 625, 10.626 is an empty page. Then
1 it would be 627, 628, 629, 630, and I think it ends -- 14 is on page 630,
2 and then it goes a bit further in the answer "I thought that when I said
3 most of them, I was referring to the most important of these items."
4 Would that be sufficient or would you need 631 as well?
5 MR. STEWART: Your Honour has, I think, exactly the right pages.
6 We felt that 10.631 should probably be included just for completeness so
7 it can be seen how the passage finishes. But otherwise, starting -- we've
8 started with -- well, it has a little bit of 10.624 because that's on the
9 same page, but 10.625, as Your Honour identified it, going through to 631,
10 that covers it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That, Mr. Registrar, would have what number? I would
12 rather make it as an exhibit because there's no 92 bis (d) application, so
13 Mr. Margetts, unless you would disagree, the Chamber is inclined to allow
14 this part of the transcript just as an exhibit.
15 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we agree to that part of the
16 transcript being allowed. I'm just looking through the re-examination by
17 Ms. Korner.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you do that perhaps -- we'll take a final
19 decision on it. If there would be any suggestions in that respect, we'll
20 hear from you soon.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I couldn't possibly object to any
22 linked passages from the re-examination transcript going in. Your Honour,
23 shall I hand those in? Those are the internet printouts, but frankly,
24 they are perfectly good enough for working purposes. What would Your
25 Honour like me to do about it?
1 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, are dates and numbers on it, and
2 the case? Everything's on it?
3 MR. STEWART: Yes, they are. They're in a only thinly coded form.
4 Yes, 02/10/14, it's there, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think I asked Mr. Registrar to provide us
6 with a number, yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be D25.
8 JUDGE ORIE: D25 for some pages of transcript from the Brdjanin.
9 And there could be additions to that.
10 Yes. There are dates on it, but these are the dates when you
11 printed it out.
12 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, I think -- Your Honour I think the
13 date appears --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. STEWART: I think the date appears from the numbering at the
16 bottom and at the top.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You mean that it's a code 02 is the year, 10 is the
18 month, and 14 is the -- yes.
19 MR. STEWART: It's that strange backwards way of doing it, Your
20 Honour, once we get used to doing it. That's when I meant when I said
21 thinly coded.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let's finally deal with that. Even if necessary,
23 we'll not go through the exhibits anyhow before the recess.
24 MR. STEWART: We can sort it out then, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: So they're there and whether anything will be added,
1 we'll see that at a later stage. Please proceed.
2 MR. STEWART: Thank you, that's very helpful, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Egrlic, you went, didn't you -- in the summer of 1991,
4 presidents of the executive boards were invited to a meeting with what I
5 think you described as the economic association in Banja Luka. That's
6 right, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you went accompanied with -- or rather, you met Mirzet Karabeg
9 before you went into that meeting, didn't you?
10 A. No. We met in Banja Luka because he, too, came to attend that
12 Q. Actually, Mr. Egrlic, I'm sorry, I should have made that clear. I
13 said you didn't meet in Banja Luka. So you met in Banja Luka, as you say,
14 but you met before the meeting?
15 A. Before the meeting in Banja Luka.
16 Q. And you went into the meeting together?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But at some point, you came to the conclusion you were just in the
19 wrong meeting and you left within a very short time. That's correct,
20 isn't it?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And you didn't stay and listen to any speeches?
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 Q. Right. Thank you.
25 Yes, that's to say neither of you stayed and listened to speeches;
1 neither you nor Mr. Karabeg.
2 A. No. We didn't.
3 Q. Mr. Egrlic, it's right, is it, of course you see Mr. Krajisnik in
4 this courtroom, but you have never met Mr. Krajisnik in your life, have
6 A. No. No.
7 Q. And in 1991, 1992, and into 1993, you had -- is it correct you'd
8 never seen Mr. Krajisnik in your life at that point in person, as opposed
9 to on television?
10 A. No, only on television.
11 Q. And Mr. Krajisnik never came to Kljuc. In 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,
12 he never once came to Kljuc, did he?
13 A. I don't know that he came.
14 Q. And just to make it complete, you're not aware of him ever coming
15 to Kljuc before 1990, are you?
16 A. Not to my knowledge, no.
17 MR. STEWART: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, is there any need to put further
19 questions to the witness?
20 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, just two very short matters.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Margetts:
23 Q. Mr. Egrlic --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. MARGETTS: Apologies, Your Honours.
1 Q. Mr. Egrlic, you were just referred to a meeting which you attended
2 in Banja Luka. How did you come to attend that meeting?
3 A. I received an invitation as the president of the executive board
4 to attend the meeting, and I went as did Mr. Mirzet Karabeg from Sanski
6 Q. When you arrived at the meeting, what did you observe?
7 A. I observed that colleagues from neighbouring municipalities were
8 absent, those who were Bosniaks. We expected this to be a broad-based,
9 mixed meeting of all representatives of municipalities regardless of their
10 nationality or ethnicity, and we thought that people we knew from
11 neighbouring municipalities such as Prijedor would be there.
12 Q. When did this meeting occur?
13 A. This meeting was in 1991, maybe in the first half of that year.
14 Q. Were there only Serbs present at the meeting?
15 A. As far as I was able to conclude, yes, that's correct.
16 Q. Were you able to identify any of the individuals at the meeting?
17 A. On arrival at the meeting, Mr. Mirzet Karabeg and I sat down, and
18 not far from where we were sitting we saw Mr. Brdjanin with some other
19 people sitting there. He was three or four seats away from me.
20 Q. Did Mr. Brdjanin say anything?
21 A. He was having a vehement discussion with the people around him and
22 I heard him say, "We Serbs would achieve a lot if we were to achieve our
23 political goal of getting Republika Srpska. That would mean a lot to us."
24 Q. Did he say anything in addition to that?
25 A. I can't recall every detail, but we both heard that. And seeing
1 that we were out of place at that meeting, we got up and left.
2 Q. Is it possible that after you left the meeting, Mr. Karabeg
3 returned to the meeting?
4 A. No, it's not possible because he went off in the direction of
5 Sanski Most.
6 Q. What was your conclusion as to whether or not you should have
7 received the invitation to that meeting?
8 A. Well, the conclusion was that we were not welcome there because
9 there was no one else there from the other municipalities and because we
10 heard this statement that Mr. Brdjanin made, and we saw that there would
11 be a discussion on political topics rather than economic ones, which was
12 what the invitation said, and we were not authorised to speak about
13 political issues. Therefore, we decided that we were out of place there
14 and we left.
15 Q. Could you describe the invitation to the Court.
16 A. I can't remember the details, but like every invitation, it
17 contained the agenda and the preamble, and it said "Serbian Autonomous
18 Province of Bosnian Krajina," and I don't recall who signed it.
19 Q. But you do recall, as you just said, that it referred to economic
20 issues; yet, in fact, the meeting dealt with political issues.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Egrlic, you were asked a number of questions in respect of
23 matters that Mr. Banjac could or could not deal with on his own. I would
24 just like to ask you some very brief questions on that issue. You had a
25 very close relationship with Mr. Banjac, and you did come to know the type
1 of issues that he could deal with on his own and the issues he did not
2 have much influence over. I'm just going to name a few issues and ask you
3 to tell me whether or not he could deal with these matters on his own.
4 MR. STEWART: No, Your Honour. This is dangerously into a leading
5 area. I asked this witness and gave him several opportunities, and Your
6 Honour also, with questions, gave the witness the fairest opportunity to
7 answer this question. If there is a genuine re-examination question,
8 that's another matter, but re-examination cannot properly be used to put
9 leading questions to try to extract answers when the witness has answered
10 non-leading questions already in relation to that matter.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts -- could you please take your earphones
12 off for a second.
13 Mr. Margetts, the witness has clearly answered questions about
14 consultations and factual knowledge on how Mr. Banjac would have acted on
15 instructions, et cetera. That did not result in a lot of information.
16 Now you're referring to his general good relationship with him. And I
17 take it that you're going to feed him some bits and pieces of where you
18 would expect that -- this is about facts and not about saying wouldn't you
19 think that on the basis of your good relationship that on this and this
20 issue that he might not have been in a position to deal with the matter
21 himself and how did you get that impression? If there are specific fields
22 you think there's a good reason to ask him such questions because you have
23 an idea that he would know some facts, then please tell us now in advance
24 so that we know why we would allow you to put such questions to the
25 witness against the objection.
1 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. I'll be guided by the Court on
2 this matter. The issue we have here is that we have a witness who is in a
3 very unique position to assist the Court in that he had a long-standing
4 personal relationship with a leading SDS figure, and he had a
5 long-standing professional relationship, both in politics and prior to
6 that outside politics. Not only that, we have a witness who was one of
7 the leading figures in the municipality --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. MARGETTS: -- as the president of the executive committee and
10 would have been intimately involved, as he has related in his evidence, in
11 relation to each and every issue that the municipal assembly itself had or
12 did not have authority over. Accordingly, this is a witness who the
13 Prosecution submits is in a position, a unique position, to assist the
14 Court on ascertaining the nature of the jurisdictional powers of
15 municipal, regional, and republic-level party organs, and specifically
16 because of his relationship with SDS figures in Kljuc, which was unique
17 with --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, may I stop you. I see that you find
19 Mr. Egrlic a unique witness. But apart from all the things you said, this
20 is also the witness who until now on questions "What were the specific
21 fields where Mr. Banjac would have received instructions or been guided
22 by," he said "I do not know any others." Then we asked questions about
23 what he knew about. So therefore, his unique position did not materialise
24 yet in answers of fact.
25 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, the only reason for the proposed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 re-examination - I'll be guided by the Court's recollection of the nature
2 of the questions in the cross-examination - is that it appeared to the
3 Prosecution that in many of the questions, the witness was not entirely
4 clear specifically what was being referred to and was attempting to the
5 best of his ability to respond to the questions. The issue of confusion
6 appeared to be arising, in the Prosecution's submission, because there was
7 a reference to visits to Banja Luka, visits to Sarajevo. Did he meet with
8 leading figures? Did he know that Banjac met with these figures? And he
9 appeared to be merely basing his answers in respect of this rather crucial
10 and important issue on whether or not he had actually obtained knowledge
11 of meetings and the substance of those meetings.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, but now you're entering in the area of facts
13 again. I think the objection by Mr. Stewart was that where the witness
14 until now answered on all questions "I've got no further details on
15 consultations, I've no further details on areas in which guidance was
16 received," that you would suggest a few areas where he would have
17 received, or at least you would like to verify that, where he couldn't
18 come up with it even after three, four, five questions.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, could I just say this: This is
20 something that Your Honour's in the position to assess, whether or not
21 these questions and the answers provided are of value to you. And
22 ultimately, it's a question of weight that may be given to any answers,
23 taking into account the nature of the cross-examination and the natures of
24 the answers to that and the answers to the questions that I intend to
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me ask you then quite clearly: If you would like
2 to put areas to him, what would you have in mind?
3 MR. MARGETTS: I just have three areas: The first area is
4 Mobilisation, the second area is the joinder of the autonomous region, and
5 the third area is ethnic cleansing.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will not allow you to put any additional
8 questions in this respect, Mr. Margetts.
9 Is there any other -- you said you had two very brief issues. The
10 first one you dealt with, the second one was the last --
11 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour, that's all the questions we
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Egrlic, Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions
14 for you.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a few minor
18 questions I would like to put to you in order to clarify some of your
19 testimony. My first question is one that has to do with an answer you
20 gave to Defence counsel's questions. Defence counsel asked you whether
21 Bosniaks in Croatia had been mobilised, and if so, did they take part in
22 military operations. Your answer was that it was quite possible that this
23 had been done. And you were then asked whether it was something that was
24 possible or whether something that you were aware of. You said that it
25 was just a possibility. So a possibility, this is just a hypothesis.
1 Have I understood you correctly?
2 What made you draw the conclusion that this was a possibility?
3 A. Well, I said that because from the territory of the Municipality
4 of Kljuc, quite a lot of Bosniaks worked in the Republic of Croatia. They
5 had been working there for a number of years. Some of them had even
6 obtained pensions there. It is possible that they became citizens of the
7 Republic of Croatia in this way, and as a result, the authorities in
8 Croatia may have mobilised them. And this is perhaps how they took part
9 in the war.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] They were mobilised by force?
11 A. I don't know anything about that. I'm just talking about this in
12 a speculative manner because I'm not aware of any concrete example.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] If we ask you the same question
14 about the Bosniaks in Bosnia, do you completely exclude the hypothesis
15 that they took part in the action at the side of the Serbs? Would your
16 conclusions be the same? Would you say that the same possibility existed?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll now move on to
19 another question.
20 You said that in your opinion, the war in Croatia was an
21 illegitimate war. And for this reason -- you said it was the reason for
22 which the Bosniaks failed to respond to the mobilisation call-up. Is this
23 your personal opinion? Is this the opinion of a given party? Or is this
24 the position of what one might call the Bosniak community?
25 A. This was the SDA's position. The Bosniaks shouldn't have been
1 fighting in Croatia since the SDA believed that the different way in which
2 the republics were organised within the former Yugoslavia, they were of
3 the opinion that the differences could be solved through agreement and not
4 by getting involved in a war. And they thought that it wasn't necessary
5 for the Bosniaks to take part in that war.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So in a certain sense, you were
7 following the orders of a party.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Did this party have any presence
10 in Croatia?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Don't you find that the position
13 taken by the party with regard to its adherence in Bosnia might not have
14 the same position with regard to the follows in Croatia? Or are you
15 saying that the same directives were issued by the party in Bosnia and in
16 Croatia with regard to the follows of the same party, namely, the SDA?
17 A. I wouldn't be able to answer that. I know that as far as the
18 party's position is concerned, it related to the territory of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina. As to whether these directives should have been implemented
20 in the territory of another state, I'm not aware of that.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Who did you receive orders or
22 directives from?
23 A. There were directives issued from the Presidency of the party, the
24 president of the party, the late Alija Izetbegovic made this publicly
25 known over the television. And he encouraged the Bosniaks not to take
1 part in that war and he provided certain reasons which were accepted by
2 the Bosniaks, and they did not respond to the call-up.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And it is because of this
4 announcement that you took a certain position according to which the war
5 in Croatia was illegitimate; and for this reason, you believed that you
6 should not respond to the mobilisation call-up?
7 A. Well, yes. One could say that it was because of the announcement
8 because it wasn't just anyone who made the announcement but it was the
9 president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina who made it. And on
10 the other hand, in the Municipality of Kljuc, our opinion was identical to
11 the opinion according to which our citizens shouldn't go to war in Croatia
12 and die for the interests of others that we were not aware of. At the
13 time, we didn't even know what the objectives were. And at no time could
14 one have said that it was justified to send people to die there.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] What was the position of the
16 Croats in Bosnia?
17 A. Well, I'm not aware of their positions, positions of the Croats in
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You didn't have any contact, you
20 weren't aware of any contact between the parties, between the SDA and
21 other parties with regard to the war in Croatia?
22 A. I personally wasn't aware of this. There was a small number of
23 Croats living in Kljuc, about 700 of them, as far as I can remember. And
24 I know that they did not organise themselves in a political way and there
25 were no discussions about that subject. I am also aware of the fact that
1 they didn't take part in the war in Croatia.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But there was a Croatian party in
3 Bosnia, wasn't there?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But you are saying that the
6 individuals living in your community, in your village, weren't under that
7 party, none of them were under that party?
8 A. I said that they had not organised themselves. As to whether they
9 were followers or adherents of that party, that's quite possible. But
10 there was no HDZ party in Kljuc.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness. I will now
12 move on to another subject. You said that Mr. Banjac did not personally
13 agree with the orders that he received. That's your personal impression,
14 isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And what led you to this
18 A. Well, I came to that conclusion because Mr. Banjac was a colleague
19 of mine. He had been a colleague of mine for about ten years. And I
20 think that I knew him.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but did he tell you, for
22 example, that he was obliged to act in a certain way, that he had been
23 threatened; did he say that he was not free to act as he saw fit?
24 A. When I showed the telex we have discussed, then he said that the
25 person who had issued that order was crazy. He said Brdjo is crazy, so I
1 drew the conclusion that he did not believe that these were sound
2 decisions. And I drew the conclusion that he did not support these ideas,
3 that he didn't accept them. And later, on a number of occasions in the
4 course of conversations, I noticed that there were certain things that he
5 would not have implemented but pressure was exerted on him in the
6 environment he was living on. This pressure came from higher levels. And
7 when I mentioned his opinion of having people moved out of the territory,
8 I also realised that this was not something that he wished. Sometimes you
9 can notice these things even if a person doesn't state them explicitly.
10 It was possible to see that this was not his wish but that he found
11 himself in such circumstances and there was no way out for him.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In an answer that you provided,
13 you stated that he was probably following orders from above. If I have
14 understood you correctly, this had to do with displacing persons. Is
15 that, in fact, your testimony? Is that, in fact, your position?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Do you know who he was referring
18 to? Do you know who the "hierarchy" was?
19 A. Well, not exactly, but there were a number of levels; the regional
20 level and the central part of the party.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But this is an assumption you are
22 making. You don't really have an answer; you have no information about
23 the subject.
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now move on to
1 another subject. It has to do with you being wounded. If I have
2 understood you correctly, you were wounded in the foot by a bullet. And
3 you then got into a car, you were stopped at a checkpoint, and that is
4 where you were detained. If I have understood this correctly, this was
5 not the only wound inflicted on you. You were also wounded in other parts
6 of your body. Have I understood your testimony correctly or not?
7 A. Well, you have understood my testimony correctly to a certain
8 extent. I was wounded in one foot. This was a gunshot wound. And as to
9 the other wounds, after I'd been taken to the MUP, the police station, as
10 a result of the beatings, I was wounded. And I still have the scars on my
11 body and on my face to this very day.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] When you were taken to the police
13 station, were you questioned? Were you accused of having done anything?
14 A. No, I was only beaten. They then took me to the hospital in Kljuc
15 as I was covered in blood.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. And were your wounds
17 treated in the hospital?
18 A. Yes. My wounds -- the wound to my foot was bandaged, but apart
19 from the treatment, I was beaten again because there were Serbian troops
20 at the entrance to the hospital and in the hospital.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Were you under surveillance in
22 the hospital?
23 A. Yes, I was guarded by Serbian troops.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] How much time did you spend in
25 the hospital?
1 A. Well, about an hour.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So the wound was just a
3 superficial wound, it was a slight wound?
4 A. It was an entry and exit wound through the foot.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But there was no hemorrhaging?
6 A. How could there not be any hemorrhaging if a bullet passes through
7 someone's foot and through someone's bone?
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But the bleeding stopped before
9 you left the hospital.
10 A. It stopped after the wound had been bandaged.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. And once you had
12 left, were you questioned again at the police station?
13 A. I wasn't discharged from the hospital but I was escorted by the
14 Serbian police to the MUP, to the police station. I wasn't questioned
15 there, but --
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Questioned about what exactly?
17 A. I wasn't questioned on that day.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Were you interrogated on
19 subsequent dates; and if so, about what? What were you accused of?
20 A. Later on, when they took me to the Stara Gradiska prison, after a
21 few days they interrogated me about the Territorial Defence, about weapons
22 possessed, et cetera.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And at the time of your arrest,
24 did you have your pistol on you? Was it a pistol or a revolver?
25 A. I didn't have anything on me.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. But one suspects that
2 -- one suspected that you had been wounded by a bullet.
3 A. Yes, it's true that I had been wounded. But the pistol remained
4 at the site where I had been wounded.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will move on to my
6 last question now. It has to do with the mass graves. The President of
7 the Chamber asked you whether there were the bodies of children and women
8 in these graves as well, and your answer was yes.
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Is this information that you
11 obtained yourself because you were present at the site or is this hearsay
13 A. I was there when the mass graves were being exhumed.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Who identified the bodies?
15 A. There were professional teams there that usually identify such
16 bodies. And the families of those who had been missing until then also
17 identified some of the bodies on the basis of the clothing that they had
18 or on the basis of the items that they had. Some of them even had papers
19 on them. They had their identity cards or social security card or
20 something like that. So the vast majority of the victims were identified.
21 Some are still listed as not having been identified, but they're now using
22 the latest methods to identify them since the blood of their parents has
23 been taken and they're now waiting to analyse these samples.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Did you follow the entire process
25 of identifying these bodies?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And my very last question now:
3 Were you quite convinced that all the bodies were the bodies of Bosniaks?
4 A. Yes, I'm quite convinced of this, and there are documents to
5 support this.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Egrlic, since I have no further questions to you,
8 I would like to thank you -- unless there's any -- yes. On the other
9 hand, I'd like to ask the parties. We need 10 minutes for the next
10 witness to prepare. So we would then have one hour and 45 minutes. If we
11 say we don't even start, fine, but I'd like to ask the parties after we
12 finish this witness to see whether it's of any use to start, because it
13 would mean approximately that for examination-in-chief it would be just a
14 little bit over one hour, and for cross-examination approximately 40
15 minutes. I do not exclude, in view of earlier discussions between the
16 parties specifically on this municipality, that it could be done, but --
17 so Mr. Stewart, we know that we are at a point that we really have to
18 consider whether it's -- how to use our time.
19 Please proceed. Yes.
20 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll use it for one
21 question, Your Honour, if I may.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 Further cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
24 Q. Mr. Egrlic, it's in fact the case that when you went to hospital
25 with your wound, you remained in the hospital for several days, didn't
2 A. That's not the case.
3 Q. And you were visited by at least a couple of people that you knew
4 from your own locality?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So how long were you in hospital then?
7 A. For about an hour. I was then taken to the Kljuc MUP or police
8 station, and then I was taken to Bosanska Gradiska in a trailer with other
9 prominent citizens of Kljuc. And around midnight we were placed in the
10 prison in Gradska.
11 Q. Perhaps -- I hope my questions didn't confuse. When I asked, "And
12 you were visited by at least a couple of people that you knew from your
13 own locality," you said yes. Perhaps I should make it clear: You were
14 visited at the hospital by at least a couple of people that you knew from
15 your own locality, weren't you?
16 A. Yes. I was visited by a number of persons because everyone in the
17 hospital knew me.
18 Q. Is your evidence that in the course of one hour at the hospital,
19 you received visits by a number of persons?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. STEWART: I have no further questions Your Honour. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No further questions, Mr. Margetts?
24 MR. MARGETTS: No further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Egrlic, I would like to thank you for having come
1 to The Hague and for having answered the questions of both parties and the
2 Bench, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
3 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness out of the
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to invite the parties, if it takes us 10
7 minutes to prepare this courtroom for the face and voice distortion, it
8 has been prepared already but it has to be put in place now, then we would
9 have, at the most, approximately 1 hour and 45, 50 minutes. That would
10 mean 1 hour and 10 minutes for the Prosecution and 40 minutes for the
11 Defence if we would finish by today. The parties may be aware that it's
12 always -- it's not a preferred situation that you have to send a witness
13 who has been waiting for quite some time here. I would like to invite the
14 parties whether they think they could examine the witness in this time,
15 and then we'll give it a try. But it needs the utmost discipline. It
16 also needs the utmost discipline of the Chamber. Therefore, we'll
17 immediately now have a break of 10 minutes so that the preparations can be
19 --- Break taken at 11.57 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.08 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I was informed that the parties thought they could
22 finish the examination of the next witness, so it makes sense to start.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. I was just indicating
24 that I might ask to be excused at this stage.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Then you're going to take this witness?
2 MR. RESCH: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then the witness could be escorted into the courtroom
4 as soon as the curtains are down. Yes, you could already, Madam Usher.
5 The next witness is a witness who will testify under pseudonym
6 188, face and voice distortion will be effective. Yes, thank you.
7 Yes, Madam Usher, you've heard his feet are not to be hidden from
8 the public, I think.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 188, because that's how we're going to call
11 you, before giving evidence in this Court, the Rules of Procedure and
12 Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the
13 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Could I invite you to
14 make that solemn declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much. Please be seated. Your face
18 will not be shown on the screen for the outside world. Your voice will be
19 distorted so that you could not be recognised by your voice. And we'll
20 call you Witness 188 in order to avoid the public to know your name and
21 your identity.
22 Mr. Resch, please proceed.
23 MR. RESCH: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You'll first be examined by counsel for the
1 MR. RESCH: Could the witness first be shown the pseudonym sheet,
3 WITNESS: WITNESS KRAJ 188
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examined by Mr. Resch:
6 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Could you please look at the document in
7 front of you --
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. -- and confirm that that has your correct name and date of birth.
10 A. Yes, everything is correct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, that would have number?
12 THE REGISTRAR: P253.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Under seal.
14 MR. RESCH:
15 Q. I'd like to briefly cover some background information, sir, so if
16 you could just listen to some of these questions and confirm that all the
17 information I've stated is accurate. You were born and raised in the
18 Biljani village in Kljuc Municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. In 1992, you lived in Biljani with your mother, your father, and
21 your grandmother?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Resch, would you put out your microphone as soon
24 as the witness answers the question.
25 MR. RESCH: Yes, Your Honour. I will do that.
1 Q. And your family was your mother and father, and they had eight
2 children; five boys and three girls?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If we could now look at the map of the Biljani area, please. I
5 believe it will show up on the Sanction monitor for the outside world.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And it would be P254. Mr. Resch, I take it
7 that you'll be cautious not to indicate to anyplace that could reveal the
8 identity of the witness.
9 MR. RESCH: Yes, Your Honour, I will.
10 Q. Sir, on this map, we see a small portion of Kljuc Municipality
11 containing the Biljani village and some of the surrounding smaller
12 hamlets. Is it correct that in 1992, the Biljani area contained
13 approximately 2.000 inhabitants, and of those 80 per cent were Muslim, the
14 other 20 per cent or so of the Serb ethnicity?
15 A. That's correct, yes.
16 Q. In the neighbouring village area of Sanica in 1992 contained
17 approximately 8.000 inhabitants, again with the roughly similar break-down
18 of 80 per cent Muslim, 20 per cent Serb?
19 A. Yes, 25/75, yes, that's correct.
20 Q. At some point in early 1992, did you notice a change in the
21 atmosphere among the different ethnic groups in the Biljani and Sanica
22 area of the Kljuc Municipality?
23 A. Yes, I did. In early 1992. In 1991 as well, but the results were
24 more evident in 1992.
25 Q. Could you explain, please, what this change in atmosphere was
2 A. Well, as I said, in 1991 towards the end of the year and in 1992,
3 in view of the fact that I was engaged in my own private business, when I
4 went out in the evening in Sanica, I noticed that people of one
5 nationality went to one cafe and people of the other nationality went to
6 another cafe. I happened to enter a cafe where ethnic Serbs gathered and
7 the owner was a Muslim. I didn't know this. I went into the cafe with a
8 friend. I ordered a drink. I was approached by a Serb who said, "What
9 are you doing here?" And I said, "Well, I've come to have a drink." And
10 he said, "This is no place for you. Go to the other cafe or you'll have
11 problems." I just looked at the waiter. I drank some of my drink, and
12 then I went out. And I said, "What's going on?" And the waiter said,
13 "Well, people are dividing into Serbs and Muslims now."
14 Q. And approximately what time period did this event at the bar take
16 A. I'm not sure exactly when, but I do know it was winter, so it
17 might have been in January of 1992.
18 Q. At some point in 1992, were there checkpoints that went up in and
19 around the Biljani and Sanica area, and accordingly restrictions on the
20 movement of the population?
21 A. Checkpoints were set up in March 1992, I think. And the
22 checkpoints, well, it was only on the 25th of May, actually, that the
23 checkpoints were set up between Sanica and Biljani at the bridge. A
24 checkpoint was established at the bridge, and at the exit of Biljani in
25 the area of Velagici so that movement was already restricted in the
1 directions of Kljuc and Sanica.
2 Q. Do you know which personnel of which ethnic background the people
3 manning these checkpoints were? And specifically, the checkpoints on the
4 25th of May.
5 A. On the 25th of May, it was the reserve police force. Up to the
6 25th of May, there were Muslims employed in the police, but on the 25th of
7 May, they disarmed the Muslims and sent them home and only policemen of
8 Serb ethnicity were left there. And a checkpoint was set up. On that
9 day, they were sent back from work. There was a sawmill in Sanica where
10 my brother was employed and also my sister-in-law, and they were sent back
11 home from work. They were told that they had no business in Sanica any
12 more, that they should go home and wait to see what would happen to them
14 Q. Were you aware during 1991 and the early part of 1992 of efforts
15 to provide arms, weapons, to the Serb population in Kljuc Municipality?
16 A. Well, around the middle of 1991, there was a cafe in the Bravsko
17 settlement on the Kljuc/Petrovic Road where I was working, and working on
18 that cafe, one day, 25 to 30 men came. They said they were volunteers.
19 They were armed. And they were getting ready to go to the war in Croatia.
20 As I was working at the cafe, the owner said, "Finish your work. There's
21 wood, and go and set up some targets for them for target practice." So
22 that I observed in 1991 that they volunteered to go to the war theatre in
23 Croatia and they voluntarily took up weapons, and as it happened, I
24 constructed the targets for them to practice on. And in 1992 in March, I
25 think it was early spring, as soon as the checkpoints were set up -- well
1 no, I don't mean checkpoints, I mean observation posts and some sort of
2 guards. On two occasions in April or March, I'm not sure exactly whether
3 it was April or May, on two occasions I saw helicopters landing in the
4 Gologlava area and also from time to time in Sanica. And in Sanica I
5 heard from some relatives of mine that they came here and distributed
7 Q. To be clear, you saw this helicopter land, but you only heard that
8 there had been weapons distributed from the helicopter. Is that correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. The next topic I'd like to cover is efforts to disarm the civilian
11 population in Kljuc. In late May 1992, do you recall anyone coming into
12 the village of Biljani and calling for weapons to be turned in?
13 A. Yes, I think it was on the 27th of May when the police station in
14 Sanica was taken over. This was between the 25th and 27th of May. And
15 they arrived that day in a van, and they had a loudspeaker on the van
16 through which they announced that the Muslim people should hand in their
17 weapons and take them to the railway station in Sanica. And this was
19 And then again, I think on the 28th of May, there was someone who
20 hadn't handed in his hunting weapon, and they came to the village with the
21 van. It was Bosko Maric and Redzo Ajkic who came. One of them was a
22 representative of the Muslims from Sanica, and they demanded that weapons
23 be handed in and if this was not done the village would be shelled and
24 someone would be killed. And the weapon was handed over, all the weapons
25 were then handed over.
1 Q. You mentioned two names. Do you know which, if any, political
2 party Bosko Maric was a member of?
3 A. Yes, I think he belonged to the SDS party, and Redzo Ajkic was a
4 representative of the SDA political party. At least, that's what I know
5 because Maric for a time was a teacher in the primary school, and I know
6 him personally.
7 Q. Sir, did you ever join a political party in 1992 or before?
8 A. No, no, never.
9 Q. In 1992, were you familiar with the SDS political leaders in
10 Kljuc, the municipal level political leaders?
11 A. I didn't know them well at the municipal level because for the
12 most part I looked to my business, to my work, and I was 13 kilometres
13 away from Kljuc. So I'm not all that familiar with Kljuc. I just know
14 what I heard. But I didn't know anyone personally, so I don't really
16 Q. I'd next like to ask you about the 30th of May. On that date, do
17 you recall some soldiers coming to the Biljani village area?
18 A. Yes. On the 30th of May in the morning, it might have been 9.00
19 or 10.00, and I was about a hundred metres away from the main road, I
20 could hear a large vehicle arriving. And when I looked there, I saw two
21 APCs. They were olive grey. They were military vehicles. And there were
22 30 or 50 soldiers accompanying them. In front of the APCs, I noticed 20
23 or 30 men. And when they arrived at the entrance to the village, they
24 stopped, and they sent these men into the village to tell us to go out on
25 the main road. We were ordered to give a sign of loyalty or surrender,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 and this consisted in hanging out white sheets from the houses. And all
2 adults between 18 and 60 were to go out onto the crossroads, and this was
4 Q. All right. Let's break that up into a few small parts. The
5 -- by "APC," do you mean a military armoured personnel carrier?
6 A. Yes, yes. That is a military armoured vehicle. There were two
7 such vehicles, yes.
8 Q. The soldiers who were accompanying this APC, could you recognise
9 any of these soldiers or were they -- were there any insignias or patches
10 they were wearing which identified them?
11 A. Yes. All the soldiers, on their right shoulder, I think, had a
12 piece of cloth of a certain colour. It was like a bow tied on one
13 shoulder. And then on the sleeves, they had epaulets. And it said "The
14 Army of Republika Srpska," I think, and some had White Eagle insignia or
15 something like that. And many of them also had insignia on their caps,
16 saying "SDS" and insignia of the white-headed eagle.
17 Q. You said there were 20 or 30 men walking in front of the APCs.
18 Were these -- who were these men and where were they from?
19 A. These men came from the hamlet of Cehici, and when we arrived at
20 the crossroads with them, they told those men that they could go home.
21 And then they said, "Half of the men in your hamlet can go home, the
22 elderly ones, and the rest of you will walk in front of us, and we will go
23 in the direction of Jabukovac Polje, and don't let anything happen, don't
24 let anyone shoot, because if there are any problems these men going in
25 front will be killed first and they will be able to return home when we
1 arrive at the villages of Jabukovac and Polje." When we arrived at the
2 hamlet of Jabukovac, we were ordered to enter the village, and the
3 soldiers stayed there, and we were ordered to go and tell the people to
4 hang out white sheets and that all the men aged 18 to 60 should come out.
5 When we did this, we were told that we could go home, and we did.
6 When we got home, I learned from my mother, and I saw in my house,
7 that when people came to the crossroads, the soldiers from the APCs
8 entered the village and searched the houses looking for weapons. And they
9 didn't find any weapons.
10 Q. So to recap, the 20 or 30 men that were forced to walk in front of
11 the APCs as human shields were Muslims, and they were guarded or escorted
12 by Serb soldiers from one village to the next in the process of searching
13 these villages, these Muslim villages for weapons. Is that all correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. During this period of late May, say from the 25th of May through
16 until June, was the -- your freedom of movement, was that restricted in
17 the Sanica and Biljani area?
18 A. Well, yes, it was restricted by the checkpoint in Sanica, so we
19 weren't able to get to Kljuc or go to Sanica (redacted)
21 say that was up to May. It was the second or third day in May. And I
22 couldn't go to the road. I couldn't get to the road for a number of
23 months from my hamlet.
24 Q. Was there an occasion in early June when you tried to ride a bike
25 to the hamlet of Jabukovac?
1 A. That's correct. It's something I have already mentioned. I went
2 to see how my sister was. And on my way to the hamlet, I thought that I
3 would get there by bike very quickly since on the whole the road was used
4 by vehicles travelling from Sanica. But these were Serbian vehicles, and
5 at one point when I was returning from my sister's and as I was leaving
6 Jabukovac, as I arrived, as I'd got to the road, I saw a lorry coming from
7 the direction of Sanica. They opened fire from the lorry. I was afraid,
8 and I hurried to hide behind the house. I managed to hide with my bicycle
9 behind the house. I even fell off the bike. And then I noted they were
10 shooting from behind since there were army reservists behind. They were
11 probably coming from the battlefield because as they were passing down the
12 road, they were going to the battlefields in Jajce or in Bihac, and they
13 would then often open fire on the houses along the main road, so that they
14 also opened fire on me. And once I had calmed down a bit, I returned
15 home. But that was the last time I went to the main road.
16 Q. On that occasion when these soldiers fired at you, were you
17 wearing a military uniform or carrying a weapon?
18 A. No. On the contrary, I was wearing a training suit and a T-shirt.
19 Those are the clothes I would wear every day since it was summertime and I
20 was on my bike, too.
21 Q. In late June 1992, around the 27th, do you recall an occasion when
22 some soldiers came to your village from Palanka?
23 A. Yes. This was again in the early morning hours. They came. We
24 didn't know about what was happening. We didn't go out at all. One
25 morning, they came from the upper part of the village -- young men came
1 from the upper part of the village and said there were soldiers by the
2 lake. They said they have surrounded the entire village, you can have a
3 look. And in fact, when I had a look, about 70 or 80 metres from the
4 house I could see there were soldiers. We were told to go to the lake,
5 which is what we did. (redacted)
6 (redacted) Everyone between 18 and 60 or 65 years
7 of age went out, whereas the women and children remained at home.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Resch, would you please instruct the witness not
9 to mention the name of what seems to be a very small hamlet where he lived
10 because no redactions were made until now, and I would rather prevent that
11 others should be made as well.
12 MR. RESCH:
13 Q. Sir, I think you understood the Presiding Judge's instruction.
14 A. Thank you.
15 Q. These soldiers that arrived on the 27th of June, were they led by
16 an officer?
17 A. Yes. There was an officer. He even introduced himself. And he
18 said that they had come from Palanka, that they had been ordered to come
19 there. He said that they had a certain list of people, and that these
20 people would be questioned. And he also said that the houses would be
21 searched. He said that whoever was innocent and whoever wasn't on the
22 list would come to no harm and would return safely home.
23 MR. RESCH: Your Honour, if we could just turn briefly into
24 private session for a few questions.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We'll turn into private session.
1 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's confirmed on my screen.
17 MR. RESCH:
18 Q. The soldiers on this occasion, could you identify them, again by
19 their uniforms or any insignia, as to where they were, what unit or army
20 they were members of?
21 A. The commander introduced himself and said they had come from
22 Palanka. They were wearing the uniforms of the then Yugoslav People's
23 Army. On the whole, they had SDS insignia on them, and like their
24 predecessors, they had these bands on their right shoulder of the same
25 colour, and some individuals had the white-headed eagle sign and the SDS
1 sign on their caps, et cetera.
2 Q. The people that were taken away that day, were they eventually
3 returned to the village?
4 A. Yes, they were returned, and it was only in the evening hours that
5 this happened since the person who was responsible to take them with him -
6 this is what my brother told me - when they were supposed to return in two
7 buses, this person asked what he should do with these people. The
8 commander then said, "Take them behind the house, get rid of them. I'm
9 not interested in it." And this person said, "Well, I can't do that. The
10 people are innocent. We searched the houses and didn't find any weapons."
11 He said, "If you don't want to do that, take them home with you." And he
12 then put them in the bus, and several hundred metres later, when they
13 stopped, he asked the commander again. And they said, okay, well let them
14 go home if they're innocent. So the three of them were released.
15 Q. Next, sir, I'd like to ask you about some events -- the events of
16 the 10th of July 1992.
17 MR. RESCH: For Your Honours' information, this refers to Schedule
18 A, incident 9.3.
19 Q. Sir, on the 10th of July, do you recall, starting from the
20 earliest part of that day, at what time you woke up and what was happening
21 when you woke up in your village.
22 A. Yes. I do remember what happened on the 10th of July. Very early
23 in the morning, at 6.00, I heard the sound of shooting, and I realised
24 that something was wrong. And when I went out of the house, a few of us
25 gathered and we thought we would be doing some sort of work. But 15
1 minutes later, from the upper part of the town, the young men arrived and
2 said that we should all gather at the place called Jezerina. Everyone
3 between 18 and 60 years of age should gather. And the order was that only
4 women and children should remain at home. And this is what happened.
5 I was dressed in my training suit and T-shirt, and my father
6 remained at home. And that's how I set off. I set off with my brother
7 and the others. We went to a field in front of the village itself. And
8 when I had a look around at the village, I noticed 20 or 30 soldiers on
9 each elevation. So the village was completely surrounded and cut off. So
10 when we got to Jezerina, they lined us up. Marko Samardzija was waiting
11 for us there. He was there with Mladjo Tesic and about another ten
12 soldiers. They were all neighbours. They said, "Don't be afraid.
13 Nothing will happen to you. We have come here. We have a list with us.
14 Whoever is not -- whoever is on the list will be questioned and taken
15 away. If people aren't on the list, they will be sent back."
16 As they knew -- as we knew that we didn't have any weapons and we
17 weren't on a list of any kind, I was hoping that we would be sent back
18 home, as they had promised. We remained there for about one hour. Once
19 they had lined us up and approached us -- well, in the meantime they
20 searched the village to make sure that no one had remained there. And
21 then they used the radio, and we were told that we should go to the
22 primary school in Biljani. We went there two by two in a column. And we
23 went as far as the centre in Biljani. On the way there, since the school
24 is about a kilometre away, it was possible to notice that there were quite
25 a lot of soldiers from the Republika Srpska. There were quite a lot of
2 And when we arrived at the school, there were two trees in front
3 of the school, and there was a van under the first tree, and about ten
4 special policemen. They had these white belts on them. And under the
5 other tree, there was the police commander Tomic. I knew him myself, I
6 knew him personally. Mihic was there, and the director of a certain
7 factory was there, I can't remember his name, and there were several other
8 persons. Marko Samardzija approached, greeted them, shook hands. We were
9 then told to enter the school.
10 Q. Could I stop you there and ask first, you mentioned Marko
11 Samardzija. Do you know if Marko Samardzija was an officer? And if so,
12 what rank he held?
13 A. Marko Samardzija was part of the reserve forces. And he was a
14 captain. I know him personally because he was my teacher in primary
15 school in Biljani.
16 Q. You also mentioned a police commander, Mile Tomic. From where was
17 Mile Tomic a commander, a police commander?
18 A. I know he's from Kljuc since he's not from Sanica, but he was the
19 police commander in Sanica. But I don't really know which village he is
21 Q. Approximately how many Muslim men from your village, from your
22 hamlet, were taken prisoner and marched to the elementary school in
24 A. About 60 people from our hamlet. We were all taken into one
25 classroom. We had previously been searched. We had to empty our pockets
1 and leave everything and leave our documents in the corridor and enter the
2 classroom in this state.
3 Q. You mentioned Mile Tomic, this police commander from Sanica. Were
4 there any other police officers accompanying Tomic?
5 A. Since Tomic was under the other tree, well, there was Mihic there,
6 his deputy. I also know him personally because he worked as a television
7 repairman. And under the other tree, there were special policemen from
8 Kljuc. They weren't together. They were about 5 or 7 metres away from
9 the other group.
10 Q. In addition to the police, how many soldiers were guarding or
11 escorting you and the other men from your hamlet?
12 A. There were between 50 to 70 people from our hamlet. So from my
13 hamlet, when we arrived in front of the school, there were hundreds of
14 soldiers around the school. There were about 10 soldiers in front of the
15 shop where they had already brought women and children from another
16 hamlet. They were guarding them there. And as I said, they were arriving
17 from all directions.
18 Since our village consists of seven to eight hamlets, these
19 soldiers came from each of the hamlets and they brought people with them.
20 MR. RESCH: Could the witness be shown the one-page -- the first
21 exhibit, the one-page police document from the 10th of July 1992 and that
22 be given an exhibit number. I believe it will also show up on the
23 monitors; the English on Sanction, and perhaps we could put the original
24 on the ELMO for the witness.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps it's even better to put the original to
1 the witness right away so that he can better read it.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The number would be, Mr. Registrar?
4 THE REGISTRAR: The number will be P255 and P255.1 for the English
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
7 MR. RESCH: Your Honours, this is an official note dated 10 July
8 1992, signed at the bottom by the commander of the Sanica SRM.
9 Q. Sir, I'd like to read to you the second full paragraph in the
10 document, which reads: "On the evening of 9 July 1992, I was informed by
11 the commander of the battalion quartered in Sanica that on 10 July his
12 units would undertake a mopping-up operation of the terrain, meaning the
13 area of the villages Gornji Biljani and Donji Biljani. Therefore, it was
14 necessary that the police workers of the SRM join in the action as well."
15 Sir, is that consistent that police officers were in Biljani, is
16 that consistent with what you saw on the 10th of July 1992?
17 A. Well, yes, that's correct. When we entered the classroom, the
18 deputy commander of the police, Mihic Petar, came together with his
19 colleague Lazo, who was also from Biljani. Since they were in the Sanica
20 police station, it was their duty in our classroom where there were over a
21 hundred of us, it was their duty to write down our names and include them
22 in a list.
23 MR. RESCH: Could we now have the next short document shown to the
24 witness - this is also -- this is actually a document dated 9 July 1992 -
25 and given an exhibit number.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 JUDGE ORIE: That would be P256 for the original in B/C/S and
2 P256.1 for the English translation.
3 MR. RESCH:
4 Q. Sir, the document in front of you is an order dated 9 July 1992
5 from Kljuc military post 2207, signed by Commander Lieutenant Colonel I
6 believe it's Drago Samardzija. It's easier to read on the original.
7 On the first page, under item 1, it states: "Readiness for
8 operation 0500 hours on 10 July 1992." Is that consistent -- let me
9 actually read what's under item number 2 as well. Under 2 (a),
10 assignments for units, the document reads: "The 2nd Battalion of the 17th
11 Light Infantry Brigade, reinforced with a reconnaissance platoon, a
12 military police squad, and a police platoon is to block, search, and
13 mop-up the Donji Biljani, Domazeti, Botonjici, Jabukovac, Osmanovici, and
14 Brkici sectors." Is that information consistent with what you saw in your
15 hamlet and eventually at the school in Biljani on the 10th of July 1992?
16 A. Yes. This is what happened. That's correct, since the
17 inhabitants of Gologlava and the Loncari hamlets brought us in, and from
18 the direction of Sanica there was the reserve force there involved in
19 mopping-up Jabukovac Polje. And from the Botonjici hamlet, there was
20 another company involved there, engaged there. And then there was the
21 hamlet of Kolici [phoen] and Pistanica and Domazeti, and it was probably
22 their task to deal with the Samardzija hamlet and Osljak and so on. So I
23 fully agree with this.
24 Q. Sir, do you know if there was any relationship between Drago
25 Samardzija, who signed this order, and Marko Samardzija, the captain you
1 saw on the 10th of July 1992? Any family relationship?
2 A. No, I don't know. Since I didn't know Drago Samardzija, and I
3 don't think he's from the Biljani area since Marko Samardzija was born in
4 Biljani and he was a teacher of mine. But I don't know Drago Samardzija.
5 Q. All right. Before I showed you the documents, you mentioned when
6 all the prisoners were brought to the school, you were placed inside and
7 the police commander Mihic came in, told everyone to calm down and started
8 making a list. At some point, did someone return with the list and call
9 people's names out?
10 A. Yes. It took about 45 minutes to make the list, and once it had
11 been done, they said that everything would be dealt with quickly, that
12 they just wanted to check the list. And then after 10 or 15 minutes, he
13 returned with the list and read out the names of ten persons from the
14 list. He only said that he wanted to check whether they were there. I
15 think that of the ten of them whose names he read out, nine of them were
16 in my classroom, and they all said that they were present. He then left
17 and didn't come back for 10 to 15 minutes.
18 Q. When he came back, did he ask these men whose names he had called
19 to leave the school?
20 A. Yes. He read out their names one by one. They didn't all leave
21 at the same time. First they left one after another -- five minutes after
22 each other, and then every few minutes you could hear a burst of fire. I
23 remember very well that when one of them was leaving the classroom, a
24 relative of mine, a policeman told him, when he said that he had forgotten
25 his jacket, a policeman told him that he could leave it there because he
1 wouldn't need it any more. And then after he had left, a few minutes
2 later there was a burst of fire we could hear. The policeman who was
3 guarding us in the classroom said, "Don't be afraid. It's the Green
4 Berets who are attacking. We will calm them down and drive them away now.
5 We will deal with that very quickly, there are quite a few of us here."
6 When they had read out the names of these ten people, after they had left,
7 there was another 5- to 10-minute break.
8 Q. After that break, were you called out and asked to leave the
10 A. No, they didn't read out any more names. Instead, they said that
11 five by five men should stand in front of the door and go out. We should
12 go out in groups of five. And when the next group of five went out, the
13 same things happened as before. When the first five went out, the
14 shooting outside intensified, as did the screams of men. At one point,
15 because I was sitting next to the window on a bench, I looked out. When
16 we were coming to the school, we saw two buses parked near the school.
17 When we looked out, we saw that people were passing through the line and
18 were being beaten, and some were falling down. And I also saw some people
19 being taken away to the road below. And then when some 20 or 30 men had
20 left the classroom, panic arose in the classroom because one of the men
21 there said, "They're going to kill us all. Let's hurry up and get on the
22 buses." I was near the door then of the schoolroom, and then confusion
23 ensued. A soldier came in and told us to calm down. He said we would all
24 be going.
25 Before this, in fact, before he said we would all be going, he
1 said that the elderly men should go to one side of the classroom because
2 only the younger men would be travelling. It was our turn next, and we
3 went out into the corridor. In the corridor, they stopped us again, and
4 they started letting us out one by one. I was the last in that group of
5 five. And when the third man went out, I was able to see outside and I
6 saw some 20 or 30 soldiers lined up, and there was another soldier
7 standing on the steps. And when this man started going down, they would
8 follow him and beat him. At the door, he asked me very briefly, "Where
9 are your weapons? What have you done here?" And things like that. And
10 then he told me to get out. When I got out, the man before me who had
11 been standing on the steps went with a neighbour beating him and saying,
12 "You thought you'd escape me." This neighbour was a well-known person,
13 and he beat him until he got onto the bus. And that's how I managed to
14 get down the steps without being beaten.
15 Dragan Cvijic was standing at the bottom of the steps. I knew him
16 personally. He was a special-purpose policeman. I recognised him as soon
17 as we arrived at the school. I knew him because I used to work in cafes,
18 and he worked in one of the cafes where I worked. And as he had a good
19 look at me and turned away, I thought, well, finally he recognised
20 me and now he'll save me. As I was passing by him, he just turned to me
21 and kicked me in the stomach. And then he punched me. This was when I
22 realised I had to hurry and get on the bus, so I passed quickly by the
23 next ten men in order to get onto the bus as soon as possible.
24 As I was entering the bus, a soldier bent me over his leg because
25 there were several steps, and he said to me, "Do you want to sit down?" I
1 didn't know what to reply because whatever I said I knew it would be the
2 wrong answer. And then I felt them hitting me with batons, with sticks,
3 and with chains.
4 When the next men arrived, he let me get on the bus. He pushed me
5 so that I went all the way to the back door because all the seats were
6 already full. He pushed me all the way back and made me sit on the floor
7 next the back door of the bus.
8 Q. Approximately how many men were packed into this school bus?
9 A. At that point -- there were about 50 seats in the bus. At that
10 point, there weren't more than 50. I was the second or third person who
11 had to sit on the floor near the back door. This went on for another 15
12 or 20 minutes, not longer, until that bus was packed. All the time I was
13 on the bus, I heard people being beaten as they were brought to the bus.
14 And if one of them fell down, they would say, "Take him away. This man is
15 good for nothing. Kill him."
16 I remember very well when another man came along who worked in the
17 Kljuc Municipality, and he said, "Give this one to me. This one is not
18 getting on the bus." And then when the bus was already full, there was a
19 pause, and then they said, "What shall we do with the rest of them?" And
20 one of the chief men was sitting near the tree, and he said, "We don't
21 need the rest of them. Kill them all. One bus is enough." And then you
22 could hear chaos. The bursts of fire didn't stop. Whenever somebody fell
23 or was beaten, they would all yell with pleasure. And when they said the
24 bus could go to Kljuc, the driver complained that his tyres had been
25 deflated. He drove for about 10 metres, and he stopped when we got onto
1 the asphalt road. And he said, "I can't go to Kljuc like this. The bus
2 is too heavy."
3 A soldier came in and said, "Give me four men. I'll rid you of
4 four of them." At that point, he was choosing four strong men, so I
5 thought he needed them to do a loading job or something or to move
6 corpses. He selected a relative of mine and three other men and took them
7 away. The bus stood there for only a few minutes, not longer, and then
8 set out again. But 50 metres on, it stopped between two houses and they
9 said, "You will now be moved onto another bus." Three or four soldiers,
10 or rather special-purpose military policemen with white belts wearing
11 camouflage uniforms, came in and said, "I don't want the men in front.
12 Give me five from the back." I was near the door, and there were other
13 neighbours sitting near where I was sitting, and we moved toward the other
14 bus. The other bus was only five metres away. I was already running
15 towards the bus, hoping to find a seat inside.
16 However, as I was boarding the bus, there were five or six
17 soldiers with white belts already inside. They said, "No, this is no
18 place for you, you go in through the back door." So I was the last in
19 line when I got to the back door of the bus. And as soon as we got to the
20 back of the bus, I realised we weren't being taken to that bus, that we
21 would probably be killed. They took us a few metres, near a house, and
22 the first man in the line stopped and said, "What's this?" I was standing
23 behind the man in front of me. I had my hands on my head, and there was a
24 gun in my back. And when I had to cross a small ditch, I saw my relative
25 lying in the ditch, and three other men. They had been killed. At that
1 moment, I knew -- I was sure we would be killed.
2 The first man probably started running off to the right. My
3 neighbour and I started running off to the left. A second or two later,
4 we heard them yelling, "Stop." They called us balijas. And then we heard
5 a burst of fire. I didn't feel anything. I just saw my neighbour falling
6 down in front of me with two or three huge holes in his back. And quite
7 mechanically, not even knowing what was going on, completely
8 unconsciously, I fell to the ground next to him. I heard them changing
9 their clips, and there was another burst of fire. And I had a little time
10 to think while they were changing their clips. And I thought, well, if
11 they wound me, I'll clench my teeth because I had heard previously that in
12 Velagici, a few men survived the execution. They were wounded, and they
13 survived the execution. So I thought if this happens to me, I'll try.
14 However, I remained not wounded even during the second burst of fire. I
15 was very close to my relative, and I was wearing a purple T-shirt, and I
16 was probably stained with his blood. They stopped for a while, and I
17 heard them looking to see if we were alive. Somebody yelled, "The one to
18 the right in the multicoloured T-shirt, he's still alive. Finish him
19 off." And then this other one fired another burst of fire at the man in
20 the multicoloured T-shirt.
21 And then you could hear from the bus people yelling, "Hurry up,
22 you down there, we're off to Kljuc." And they fired a fourth burst of
23 fire. They were waiting for us to stop breathing. When they killed this
24 man Rufad, and when I heard this burst of fire, I sensed them running back
25 to the bus. The engines of the buses were switched on and they set off
1 towards Kljuc. You could hear bursts of fire throughout the whole
2 village. I didn't know what was going on. I remained lying there quite
3 still. And some 10 minutes later you could hear soldiers all around.
4 There was a cafe in that house, and a certain number of people were there
5 in front of the cafe. And I could hear their conversations. I heard
6 everything they were saying. I was still lying there quite still without
8 Q. Can I stop you there for a moment, sir.
9 MR. RESCH: And ask, Your Honour, that we turn to private session
10 for the next exhibit.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
12 [Private session]
12 Page 4979 redacted, private session
12 Page 4980 redacted, private session
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
12 Page 4982 redacted, private session
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE ORIE: We are in open session, please proceed.
18 MR. RESCH: With the leave of the Court, I would just like to be
19 fairly direct with a final few questions to finish off the examination.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. On the other hand, have you any idea how much
21 time you would need for cross-examination? Because as I said, we have no
22 margins. Mr. Stewart, how much time?
23 MR. STEWART: I don't think it's going to be a problem this
24 afternoon, Your Honour. I assume that these few questions where Mr. Resch
25 is going to lead the witness, he's talking about relatively harmless --
1 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would you need?
2 MR. STEWART: If Mr. Resch finishes in the next five minutes,
3 we'll finish within the normal time, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then, please...
5 MR. RESCH: Agreed, Your Honour.
6 Q. On the 10th of July at Biljani, was Fikret Balagic one of the men
7 called out from the school?
8 A. No, no, his name wasn't called out. He left the classroom
9 together with me and we went to the bus together. Or rather, he was in
10 front of me in the line-up for execution.
11 Q. And what about Hamdija Domazet? Was he there on the 10th of July
13 A. Yes, he was. He was there.
14 Q. After the events of the 10th of July, is it correct that you made
15 it to Kljuc town and managed to hide either in the town or in and around
16 that town until sometime in September 1992?
17 A. First, I hid in my hamlet until September. And in September, I
18 moved to Kljuc, and I think on the 10th of September this was. And on the
19 19th or 20th of September, I went to Travnik.
20 Q. And you went to Travnik in a convoy that went over -- passed
21 Skender Vakuf, over Mount Vlasic, and eventually you made it to Travnik.
22 Is that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. By the time you left the Biljani area in 1992, of the
25 approximately 1600 Muslim inhabitants, how many remained in the Biljani
2 A. When I left, about half remained. At the end of September, the
3 remaining half left out. And after September, I think only 10 or 15
4 inhabitants were left in Biljani.
5 Q. Was that approximately the same number of Muslim inhabitants who
6 remained in the Sanica village area by late September 1992?
7 A. Yes. About 10 more, I think.
8 MR. RESCH: Thank you, Your Honour. That's the end of my
9 examination. Thank you, sir.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Resch.
11 Mr. Stewart, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
12 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You'll now be examined by Mr. Stewart, who is counsel
14 for the Defence.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
16 Q. Witness, in your evidence today, you referred to some men who had
17 what you described as SDS insignia on their clothing. Well, first of all,
18 is that what you meant to say, an SDS insignia?
19 A. Well, on their sleeves, they had four Ss, the letter S appeared
20 four times. There is the cross and the letter S which occurs four times.
21 I apologise, perhaps I said the SDS, but the sign I had in mind was the
22 sign of the four Ss. I think that that is what I wanted to say.
23 Q. So you would accept, would you, that that's not an SDS insignia at
25 A. Yes. For me, they are only Serbs. Every soldier had those signs.
1 Many of them had the Ss, and they had the white-headed eagle on them. But
2 a lot of time has passed, so each soldier had a badge on the left sleeve,
3 and the letter S appeared four times on their sleeves.
4 Q. You gave an answer which is a few lines on the transcript. Your
5 answer started with "Yes" in answer to my question, "You would accept,
6 would you, that that's not an SDS insignia at all." Can I take it that
7 the answer to my question is yes, you would accept that that's not an SDS
9 A. Well, it's the same thing for me.
10 Q. What is the same thing?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to cut it short. You described insignia,
12 four Ss on it. Has this insignia got anything to do specifically with the
13 SDS being a political party?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. Because
15 when I said that there were four Ss, well, it's not really the same thing.
16 But at that time, I said the SDS because I had forgotten about the four
17 Ss. But I was thinking of the four Ss because that was the sign that
18 appeared on their sleeves. I apologise if I expressed myself incorrectly.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The only thing Mr. Stewart does at this moment is to
20 seek confirmation that the four Ss insignia are not linked specifically to
21 the political party SDS. That, as far as I understand you, is a more
22 general --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But many of the them had SDS
24 insignia on them, too.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll give it over to you.
1 MR. STEWART: That takes us back to the beginning, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. STEWART:
4 Q. I'm inviting you -- it's an invitation; you're giving evidence,
5 Witness. I'm inviting you to confirm that whatever insignia you saw with
6 those Ss had nothing with the SDS as a political party.
7 A. I don't know about that.
8 Q. This started with your evidence that it was SDS.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Resch.
10 MR. RESCH: Your Honour, we'll stipulate that there was no link
11 between the four Ss and the SDS party.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And it's not part of the Prosecutor's case that there
13 was an SDS insignia on the shoulders apart from the four Ss.
14 MR. RESCH: That's the Prosecution case, Your Honour.
15 MR. STEWART: I do love a good stipulation, Your Honour. Thank
16 you, Mr. Resch.
17 Witness, could you be shown, please, Exhibit P251.
18 Q. Witness, can you find, please -- I seem to remember from some time
19 ago it's on page 8 of the document, you've got a heading, it's number VI,
20 "The course of armed operations." Can you find that heading. It's a VI,
21 then "The course of armed operations." Let His Honour know when you've
22 found that.
23 A. I've found it.
24 Q. Thank you. Crljeni, as I think it is, is how far from -- roughly
25 within 5 kilometres will do, from where you live?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel repeat the name of the place.
2 MR. STEWART: I'll have one go, and then I'll ask Ms. Cmeric.
3 Crljeni, C-R-L-J-E-N-I.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's at a distance of 20 kilometres.
5 MR. STEWART:
6 Q. Could you look at item 6 under that heading VI, "Capture of seven
7 Serbian BH soldiers." Do you see that?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. It's only about three or four lines. So if you could just read
10 that item and then tell the Trial Chamber whether you know anything at all
11 about that incident as reported there.
12 A. As I said, Crljeni was 20 kilometres from Kljuc. I only heard
13 about this later on, when I went to Travnik. But initially, I didn't hear
14 about the incident in Crljeni.
15 Q. But what you've heard now, or heard since, rather, indicates that
16 it did happen in the terms described there, does it?
17 A. I heard about it. And I know the soldiers were released and that
18 nothing happened. I know that nothing, in fact, happened in Crljeni.
19 That's what I heard.
20 Q. Are you saying that what you have heard indicates that this didn't
21 happen as described in this document?
22 A. I wouldn't comment on that. I don't know anything about Crljeni.
23 Q. I'm sorry, Witness. I'm going to have to press you to comment.
24 I'm simply asking whether what you have heard indicates to you that this
25 did happen as reported here or didn't happen as reported here.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, may I ask you, draw your attention to
2 the answer of the question which is, "I heard about it. And I know the
3 soldiers were released and that nothing happened." That's how it appears
4 in the transcript. "I know that nothing, in fact, in Crljeni happened."
5 That's what I heard. Read in the context, I think the part of the answer
6 which reads, "and that nothing happened" would need further clarification
7 since it seems not to be a total denial of anything happening in Crljeni.
8 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I acknowledge we've got a
9 slightly untidy position as far as the evidence so far is concerned.
10 Q. Let's take it in little bits. It won't take long, Witness. What
11 you have heard indicates that, yes, on the 25th of May 1992, seven
12 soldiers were captured in that village. Is that right? That you have
13 heard that?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And did you hear that they were deployed on reconnoitering the
16 terrain in a unit on Dobrinja?
17 A. I didn't hear anything about that. I said I was about 20
18 kilometres away and I didn't receive any kind of information.
19 Q. I want to save time. We won't worry about item 1. But there are
20 four fairly short items above item 6 there, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Would you
21 just read those and say whether you know anything about those incidents
22 from anything you knew at the time, what you've since heard, whether you
23 know anything about them.
24 A. As I said, we were 13 kilometres from Kljuc in Biljani, and from
25 this place about 12 kilometres away. The first week we didn't hear
1 anything, but we did receive information and I'll tell you exactly what
2 sort of information we received. We received information that some troops
3 returned, that they were waited for in Busija, that these soldiers were
4 recruits. We heard that there was an incident, and I know nothing else.
5 Q. Do I take it you have been able quickly to read 2, 3, 4, and 5, or
6 you haven't read them as I invited you to do?
7 A. No, I haven't read them, but I know what I heard and I know what
8 it relates to.
9 Q. Without having read them, you can -- 2, 3, 4, and 5 -- maybe so,
10 I'm just asking you to confirm; you've had a sufficient chance to look at
11 2, 3, 4, and 5 to know the four incidents that they are referring to, do
13 A. At the time I wasn't aware of four incidents, I was only aware of
14 one incident. That's the only thing I had knowledge about.
15 Q. The one incident, is that one of 2, 3, 4, and 5, or is that the
16 number 6 we were looking at?
17 A. It was in the area of Busija between 1400 and 1430 hours. That's
18 all I'm aware of. I'm aware of the fact that soldiers were returning,
19 there was an ambush, there was an incident. We also heard that there were
20 wounded, but I didn't hear anything else.
21 Q. So that was an ambush by Muslim -- I'll use "soldiers" in the
22 broadest --
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I have no further questions for this
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart. I see from the body language
2 of Mr. Resch that there are no further questions to be put to the witness
3 by the Prosecution.
4 And since the Bench has no questions to the witness either,
5 Mr. 188, I'd like to thank you very much for having come to The Hague and
6 to testify in this Court having answered all the questions of both
7 parties, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps it's more practical if the witness remains
10 seated. Otherwise, we have to pull down the curtains.
11 What we also could do is -- what I'm about to do is to deliver the
12 decision on the motion, and I don't know to what extent that would be
13 disturbed by curtains going up and down.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, also before we broke until August 30th,
15 we wanted to request that the exhibits shown to this witness and the
16 previous witness be admitted.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll give a decision with the full list. We
18 have Sanski Most still there, and this witness, and the previous witness,
19 we'll make a full list, we'll wait until -- because it would take too much
20 time at this very moment. So therefore, it's all registered, all the
21 numbers are there. We know exactly which exhibits are under some
22 pressure, to say it, like the diary, for example, but we'll finally deal
23 with it after the recess.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber prefers that the witness is in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 ordinary way escorted out of the courtroom. That means curtains down and
2 up again because of the protective measures. And then we'll -- and then
3 I'll continue to read the oral decision.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber delivers its oral decision on the Defence
6 motion for the translation of documents into B/C/S. This is the decision
7 on the Defence motions of the 23rd of July 2004 calling upon the Chamber
8 to order that all transcripts of proceedings in the present case be
9 provided to the accused in hard-copy translation.
10 The Defence also requests that the same be ordered in relation to
11 all transcripts of prior proceedings of this Tribunal which are admitted
12 into evidence pursuant to Rules 89(f) and 92 bis.
13 The Defence proposes a different regime for four other categories
14 of documents; namely, Rule 92 bis documents in general, Rule 94 bis (c)
15 statements, Rule 66(b) material, and Rule 68 material.
16 Concerning documents in these categories, the Defence proposes to
17 certify on a case-by-case basis that a translation of a certain document
18 is necessary for the proper conduct of the accused's Defence. If the
19 Prosecution were to disagree with this assessment of the Defence, the
20 matter would be brought before the Trial Chamber for a ruling. The
21 reasons behind the Defence motion and the arguments in support of it are
22 explained in the written motion and need not to be repeated here.
23 The Prosecution has indicated that it opposes the Defence motion,
24 although mainly in view of the practical consequences rather than the
25 fundamental opposition against it.
1 As the situation stands now, the accused has access to B/C/S audio
2 recordings of the present proceedings. He also has access, or at least
3 should have access, so if he has not, the Chamber would like to be
4 informed, to B/C/S audio recordings of any relevant past proceedings, and
5 in particular, to B/C/S recordings corresponding to the transcripts of
6 past proceedings admitted into evidence here pursuant to Rules 89(f) and
7 92 bis.
8 The accused receives, as a rule, translations of non-B/C/S
9 exhibits and expert reports in evidence. Other items are read into the
10 record and thereby receive interpretation. The Defence team includes one
11 or more members who speak the language of the accused.
12 The question is whether the situation as it stands derogates from
13 the accused's right to have adequate time and facilities to prepare his
14 Defence in accordance with Article 21 of the Statute and the practice of
15 this Tribunal.
16 In 1996, the Delalic Trial Chamber stated as follows: "The Trial
17 Chamber ... finds that all material accompanying the indictment that the
18 Prosecution is required to make available for the Defence pursuant to Rule
19 66(a) must be in the language of the accused, irrespective of whether it
20 will be offered at trial." And the Delalic Trial Chamber continued in
21 paragraph 8: "The Trial Chamber finds that neither Rule 3 nor Article 21
22 entitles the Defence to receive all discovery from the Prosecution in the
23 language of the accused. The guarantees of Article 21(4) do not extend to
24 all material but only to evidence which forms the basis of the
25 determination by the Trial Chamber of the charges against the accused. ...
1 The rights of the accused are fully protected by ensuring that all
2 evidence submitted at trial is provided in his language. The Trial
3 Chamber finds that discovery provided by the parties to each other shall
4 be in the original language of the document, if that is the language of
5 the accused, or in one of the working languages of the International
6 Tribunal. If the original language of the document is one other than the
7 language of the accused or one of the working languages, discovery shall
8 be in one of the working languages."
9 Both quotes, one from paragraph 6 and the other from paragraph 8,
10 there are a few irrelevant parts left out, so they are not complete quotes
11 of the part I read.
12 Thus, the Delalic Trial Chamber understood the right of the
13 accused to receive documents beyond the supporting materials, so to
14 receive documents in his own language, to be limited to those documents
15 which are submitted at trial as evidence. This would immediately dispense
16 with the Defence request that it be given the right to more or less decide
17 which Rule 66(b) material and which Rule 68 material it should have
18 translated at the Tribunal's expense.
19 The Delalic Trial Chamber made this additional determination in
20 paragraph 12: "During all of its proceedings the International Tribunal
21 has interpreters whose responsibility it is to provide simultaneous
22 interpretation of the proceedings into the language of the accused. This
23 system satisfies the requirement of Article 21(4)(f) and ensures the right
24 of the accused to understand the nature and cause of the charge against
25 him under Article 21(4)(a)."
1 The present Chamber is aware that this last quote did not directly
2 address Article 21(4)(b), and in particular on the part adequate time and
3 facilities. However, the Delalic assessment in the last quote does have a
4 bearing on the present issue. This is because Delalic went on to find,
5 and I now quote from paragraph 14: "As with motions and other similar
6 documents [which do not fit within the parameters of the evidence upon
7 which a Trial Chamber bases its determination of the charges against the
8 accused] the Defence is not entitled to have transcripts translated into
9 the language of the accused."
10 And this requires a note of explanation. Transcripts of the
11 present proceedings are a particular kind of record of the evidence
12 presented in the course of the present proceedings. They are not
13 themselves the evidence. The oral evidence is interpreted for the
14 accused. Although the interpretation is not transcribed, it is, however,
15 recorded. This B/C/S record, the audio recording, is available to the
17 So the position of the Trial Chamber in Delalic implies that an
18 accused does have a right to have the evidence provided to him in his own
19 language, but this right does not include a translation of the hard-copy
20 record of the proceedings.
21 In the Naletelic case, in a decision of the 18th of October 2001,
22 the Trial Chamber followed the Delalic decision closely, saying: "The
23 guarantees provided in Article 21(4) of the Statute do not extend to all
24 documents but only to evidence which forms the basis of the determination
25 by the Chamber of the charges against the accused; and ... this right is
1 ensured, inter alia, by the fact that all evidence admitted at trial is
2 provided in a language the accused understands." This entitlement was
3 later -- at a later stage was narrowed further by an oral decision
4 acknowledged by the Defence in the paragraphs 21 and 22 of its motion.
5 In another case, the accused Zigic was exceptionally allowed to
6 receive in a language which he understands all documents directly relating
7 to his appeal, but that was because he was at that point without legal
8 representation. Decision of the 3rd of October 2002. And the same
9 pre-Appeal Judge emphasised in a later decision that he had not meant that
10 Zigic would receive in translation at the Tribunal expense material that
11 was only peripheral to his appeal. That decision was taken the 27th of
12 November of that same year.
13 Of Tribunal cases, the Chamber would finally mention one where,
14 again for exceptional circumstances, an accused - I say "an accused"
15 because it was a decision given in closed session - was allowed to receive
16 I would say only some lines in translation at the Tribunal's expense.
17 I now refer to the European Court cases cited by the Defence.
18 Only the Luedicke case - that's Luedicke, Belkacem and Koc versus Germany
19 - is at all relevant. The main question in that case was whether the
20 defendants could be made to foot the bill for the interpretation costs of
21 the proceedings, which of course not at this moment is an issue here. The
22 Court said: "The right to a fair trial guaranteed by Article 6 paragraph
23 3(e) signifies that an accused who cannot understand or speak the language
24 used in court has the right to the free assistance of an interpreter for
25 the translation or interpretation of all those documents or statements in
1 the proceedings instituted against him which it is necessary for him to
2 understand in order to have the benefit of a fair trial." This is not
3 different from the position taken by the Delalic Trial Chamber.
4 The Kamasinski case before the European Court of Human Rights,
5 dealing extensively with matters of interpretation and translation, also
6 does not support the Defence position.
7 It follows from the above that an accused does not have a general
8 right to the translation of documents in the categories indicated by the
9 Defence, whether automatically or according to the self-regulating regime
10 proposed by the Defence except insofar as the document in question is a
11 proposed item of evidence which is admitted into evidence. The Chamber
12 notes that transcripts of evidence of past proceedings have come to be
13 treated as items of evidence in their own right. For example, Rule 92 bis
14 transcripts are now assigned exhibit numbers. Nevertheless, as with
15 transcripts of the present proceedings, the Chamber regards the
16 transcripts of past proceedings as mere records of evidence not requiring
17 translation because a corresponding B/C/S audio recording is available to
18 the accused.
19 The Defence has also not convinced the Chamber that the accused
20 has any special right arising out of the particular features of this case.
21 The Defence has not indicated any circumstances which the Chamber would
22 consider exceptional. The Chamber is not convinced by the Defence
23 submissions in paragraph 29 of the motion that the use of audio recordings
24 is burdensome and oppressive for Mr. Krajisnik. The transcription of an
25 audio recording would of course be easier to use, but that does not
1 necessarily render all potential methods of working with the audio
2 recording unacceptably inefficient. The Defence has certainly not shown
3 that any inefficiency related to the use of audio recordings by the
4 accused has compromised his right to a fair trial.
5 Nothing I've said so far excludes the possibility that the Chamber
6 will authorise translation of certain documents or certain classes of
7 documents in exceptional circumstances. In conclusion, the Trial Chamber
8 dismisses the motion in its entirety. That's the decision on the motion.
9 Then I'd like to make two very brief remarks: The first one is
10 that the Chamber is aware of ongoing negotiations between the Association
11 of Defence Counsel and the Registry on the policy of issues of translation
12 and interpretation. I take it since Ms. Loukas is on the board of the ADC
13 that she is certainly aware of that.
14 The second issue I'd just like to mention, and nothing more, is
15 that, Mr. Krajisnik, the Chamber inquired into problems related to laptop
16 computers used in court and the Detention Unit. It seems to be a rather
17 complex matter, but we try to get full oversight of it and I'll then at a
18 later stage come back to that.
19 The tape is running out. I think from now on in one minute, if
20 there's any very urgent issue that should be raised before the recess, I'd
21 like to hear it now.
22 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. We have continually been assured
23 that we would receive the regular reports which we requested in relation
24 to a previous protected witness.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. STEWART: We have never receive anything.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I am aware of that. We'll deal with that as
3 soon as possible. We'll now adjourn. We could not decide on the issue
4 before the recess. If there's anything else, we would have to stop anyhow
5 because the tape is over, and apart from that, we would have to sit under
6 Rule 15 bis for urgent reasons with two Judges only. I would like to hear
7 -- so we adjourn now either until the 30th of August, or, if there
8 would be any need to sit later this day, we have to arrange for a court
9 room and we would have to sit with two judges. I will hear from the
10 parties if that's necessary.
11 MR. STEWART: It's not necessary as far as the Defence are
12 concerned, Your Honour, no.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Same for the Prosecution. We stand adjourned until
14 the 30th of August.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.09 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Monday, the 30th day of August,
17 2004 at 2.15 p.m.