1 Friday, 10 December 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Case number
8 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Mr. Tieger, is the Prosecution ready to resume its -- the
11 re-examination of the witness, Mr. Mandic?
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Usher, may I ask you to escort Mr. Mandic
14 into the courtroom.
15 [Witness's counsel entered court]
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Mandic.
18 Good afternoon, Mr. Tomic. Yes, I take it from your answer that
19 you do hear me in a language you understand.
20 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But before doing so, I'd like to remind you,
23 Mr. Mandic, that you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given
24 at the beginning of your testimony.
25 WITNESS: MOMCILO MANDIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Re-examined by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mandic.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Both the Court and I indicated yesterday that we would be brief
6 today, and I certainly intend to do so. There are two matters I wish to
8 The first concerns discussion about conditions in Kula, and in
9 that connection, I'd simply like to present you with a document dated 25
10 May 1992 from the -- bearing the heading of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina Ministry of Internal Affairs, signed by Milenko Tepavkovic
12 chief of the SJB Novi Grad. The ERN is ET 0345-5968.
13 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I perhaps should note that this is a
14 document that was closed to the Defence recently but is closely connected
15 with another document. I don't believe there's any concern on the part of
16 the Defence about this particular document, but I leave it to Mr. Stewart
17 is if there is. It's closely related to the May 20th document already
18 produced as an exhibit.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, Mr. Stewart.
20 MR. STEWART: I'm not really in a position to express any concern
21 or lack of concern, Your Honour, but that means I'm not expressing any
22 concern at the moment.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then it's a new exhibit --
24 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- I take it? So that would then get, Mr. Registrar,
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, P464 and it's English translation
3 gets P464.1.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Mr. Mandic, P464 was, in addition to being sent by Mr. Tepavkovic
7 was directed to the under-secretary of the SJB for the Ministry of
8 Internal Affairs and also to the Ministry of Justice, and particularly to
9 the attention of the minister. I'd simply like to ask you if this is
10 another document in which Mr. Tepavkovic identified some of the conditions
11 that were prevailing in Kula at the time.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Mandic, there was also discussion yesterday about the interest
14 in and efforts to unify the military and civilian courts and the concern
15 stemming from the functioning of those institutions. In connection with
16 that, let me ask you the following: First of all, is it correct that
17 immediately after the commencement of war operations, and then during most
18 of the pendency of 1992, that there was a great deal of abandoned non-Serb
19 property in Republika Srpska?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. And that abandoned property was the subject of concern by the
22 authorities of Republika Srpska, and is it also correct that that property
23 was supposed to be placed in government coffers, supposed to revert to the
24 government of Republika Srpska, to the authorities of Republika Srpska?
25 A. Into the war commodity reserves, yes.
1 Q. Was there concern among the authorities in Republika Srpska about
2 the looting of this abandoned property, and therefore, the taking of that
3 property to places other than the war commodity reserves?
4 A. I can give you my personal opinion, since this was within the
5 exclusive jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and the Army of
6 Republika Srpska. However, there were problems with the property
7 abandoned by the non-Serbs, and there were attempts to prevent the looting
8 by paramilitary formations and by civilians who would make forced entry
9 into such dwellings and steal the property found therein.
10 Q. And also concern, I take it, about looting by members of the army
11 or the police in addition?
12 A. I am not aware of the army, especially of the police doing any
13 looting. I believe that this had to do mostly with the paramilitary
14 formations and Serb civilians who remained in these areas struck by the
15 war. People, fearing poverty and shortages of food, would go to other
16 people's dwellings or there would be paramilitary formations present in
17 the area where property was abandoned and would commit such offences. I
18 am not aware of any cases where the army or the police had been involved
19 in the looting, especially in the cases where police would have been
20 involved in any such thing.
21 Q. Let's try to be clear about it, but as quickly as possible. We're
22 talking about property worth a tremendous amount of money; is that
23 correct, a great deal of property and a --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stewart.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I've tried to follow the request that
1 was made earlier of not objecting prematurely before one sees where the
2 questioning is going, and for a little while, I had supposed that this
3 line of questioning was in some way closely linked to the issue of
4 unification of civil and military jurisdiction. But so far, that hasn't
5 become apparent. If there is not such a link, then I do ask how this
6 arises out of cross-examination, because it doesn't appear to be
7 sufficiently closely linked to any issue that was explored in
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
10 MR. TIEGER: I think that's fair enough, Your Honour. Let me jump
11 to a question that will make that link quite evident.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then we'll hear your next question, and
13 Mr. Stewart gets an opportunity to object before the witness answers the
14 question, if he wants to, of course.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. Mr. Mandic, during 1992, did it turn out to be the case that the
17 concern over the efforts to prosecute looting were more forcefully voiced
18 by the authorities of Republika Srpska and given more attention by the
19 judicial system than the efforts to prosecute crimes against non-Serbs?
20 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, that doesn't at all make clear where
21 that link is.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Although the link is remote, it's sufficient. So you
24 may answer the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you may repeat your question,
2 MR. TIEGER: Certainly.
3 Q. Mr. Mandic, during 1992, did it turn out to be the case that the
4 concern over the efforts to prosecute looting were more forcefully voiced
5 by the authorities of Republika Srpska and given more attention by the
6 judicial system than the efforts to prosecute crimes against non-Serbs?
7 A. In the past couple of days, I've been trying to answer, or rather,
8 to present the situation in the military and civilian judiciaries in the
9 beginning of the war, before this Honourable Trial Chamber. At that time,
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina was cut off into different regions, both in terms
11 of communication links and roads, and I didn't know what was going on in
12 the other parts of Bosnia except for the Sarajevo area. For this reason,
13 I would not be able to answer your question. I was really not informed
14 about it.
15 Q. Let me give you one prominent example, if I may, and then we'll --
16 well, let me start there.
17 Are you familiar with the arrest of members of the unit -- the
18 unit known as the Yellow Wasps in Zvornik?
19 A. Yes. I heard of them.
20 Q. Are you aware that the members of the yellow wasps were released
21 after three days?
22 A. No. The problem lay in the fact that these paramilitary
23 formations from Mali Zvornik and Loznica, in Serbia, mistreated not only
24 the non-Serb population but even the Serbs. They pulled over vehicles
25 where there were ministers inside and would take away the vehicles, and
1 that's why within the MUP a decision was made to engage a unit to go and
2 arrest members of this particular unit. I don't know what happened to
3 them later on. I believe this was in late 1992. This was a group that
4 had criminal origin, that would mistreat both Serbs and non-Serbs, and I
5 don't know what their fate was, but I know that Milenko Karisik was
6 personally in charge of this particular operation that had as its mission
7 the arrest of the members of this unit.
8 Q. Were you made aware of the fact that members of the Yellow Wasps
9 during their period of detention admitted to killings of non-Serbs in
11 A. No, I was not.
12 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. Mandic.
13 Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The Judges have also some questions to you,
15 Mr. Mandic. Judge Canivell will ask his questions first.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE CANIVELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 You had said yesterday, after being asked by Mr. Tieger, that when
19 you promoted the creation of the separate Serb police in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you operated under the instructions and orders that
21 you had received. Can you tell us whose orders were you following,
23 A. If you mean the letter, the dispatch that I sent, that was
24 pursuant to an order by the minister Mico Stanisic, and on the
25 instructions of the Assembly of Republika Srpska.
1 JUDGE CANIVELL: And at this time, the accused, Mr. Krajisnik, was
2 presiding this Assembly, to your knowledge?
3 A. At that time, Mr. Krajisnik was president of the joint Assembly of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina and president of the Assembly of the Serbian
6 JUDGE CANIVELL: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions for you.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 [Interpretation] Mr. Mandic, good afternoon to you. I wish to
10 clarify two points which were noted by Defence counsel. First, the first
11 point has to do with the relationship between government and the
12 legislative power. You were questioned on this relationship, and you were
13 asked whether each decision had to be confirmed or transmitted to the
14 Assembly, and you answered "no."
15 Now, I understand quite well that there is a certain relationship
16 between the executive power and the legislative power. Therefore, my
17 question is the following: In broad lines, in general, the directing
18 lines the Assembly had or not a power, direction, power, to give
19 directions to the government [as interpreted]? Could the Assembly direct
20 the government --
21 A. May I just explain, Your Honour, who wielded the legislative and
22 the executive branches of power in a state of imminent threat of war that
23 existed in 1992. The legislative power was wielded by the Assembly and
24 the president of the Assembly, who, under the constitution, had the
25 legislative authorities of the Assembly. The executive branch was run by
1 the government, and under the constitution, it did not have to account for
2 its activities to the Assembly except when it had to submit a report on
3 its activity to the Assembly at sessions that were specifically summoned
4 to that effect.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] It followed the directions which
6 came from the Assembly, as the representation of the people?
7 A. The government worked pursuant to the constitution and the laws
8 governing the work of the different ministries. It was clearly provided
9 for what the purview of the government was. That was provided for under
10 the constitution and the law on the government. You knew precisely which
11 were the competences of the government and which of the Assembly. The
12 government was answerable for its work to the Assembly.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. Responsible to the
15 A. Yes, for the legality of their work.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Well, so there is another
17 question which is connected to this, which is to say about information,
18 about your knowledge concerning the situation in the field, in particular,
19 about the detention centres and the way the detainees were treated. You
20 said you got information from practically everywhere that the media were
21 reporting, and that there was contradictory information about this. My
22 question is quite simple: Did the Republika Srpska have its own
23 television and its own radio and newspapers?
24 A. It did have the television and radio broadcasts, not the
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Let's be clear about May. I'm
2 talking about the month of May.
3 A. At that time, there was the Serbian television and radio at Pale,
4 but Republika Srpska did not have its newspapers.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Under whose authority were the
6 television and radio?
7 A. Under the government. The minister of information was in charge
8 of the radio and television in Republika Srpska.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Right. So yourself, when you saw
10 these broadcasts, personally you were not sure about the information, you
11 were not trustful of the information which appeared on the screens,
12 television in Pale?
13 A. At Pale, or rather, in Sarajevo, there was a media war being waged
14 between the warring parties. Therefore, whatever the federal television
15 from Sarajevo broadcast, it was certainly contrary to what had been
16 broadcast by the Pale television.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] -- television in Pale. You are
18 responsible to the government. You said that some media were broadcasting
19 information which were contradictory in a certain way. But as for
20 yourself, did you trust the information which emanated, which was
21 broadcast by the television and which was speaking in the name of the
22 government, of your government?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And on the screens of this
25 television, nothing was said about mishandling of the detainees, was
2 A. I don't recall. If you, Your Honour, have the month of May in
3 mind, I don't remember. We heard Ms. Plavsic discussing the problems in
4 these facilities, but the Pale television must have broadcast news about
5 this, and I had no reason to doubt whatever was broadcast by the Pale
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] My following question is: If
8 there were at least a few places where people were detained, did your
9 government ask for monies to keep these detention places going?
10 A. Those centres came under the jurisdiction of the Army of Republika
11 Srpska, which did not belong to or come under the authority of the
12 executive powers, the executive government. And so the budget of the army
13 did not have to go through the government.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You said there was, for instance,
15 in Kula, the prison was under the authority of police, and I should think
16 that it wasn't the only place which was under the authority of the police.
17 Did the police itself -- because if I understand well what was being said,
18 some detainees -- there were more detainees than it would have been
19 normal. So are you aware of the fact that the government would have
20 requested monies for the necessary expense to have these detention places
22 A. The MUP would contact the government and then the government would
23 allocate funds for the prison in Kula held by the police. So resources
24 were provided, because there was a lot of fluctuation in the civilian
25 population. There was fighting going on in the area, almost throughout
1 the whole of 1992.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But what was the magnitude or
3 what was the amount, rather, of these monies, of this budget? Would you
4 quote a figure?
5 A. Well, I really can't say, Your Honour. I don't remember.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I'll now pass to another topic.
7 You said that Mr. Zepinic had resigned -- sent his resignation to the
8 president of the Assembly, Mr. Krajisnik. In which way in -- what quality
9 did he actually send his resignation [as interpreted]?
10 A. Mr. Zepinic tabled his written resignation to the president of the
11 Assembly of the Serb people, that is to say, to Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but what was his official
13 position? Mr. Krajisnik could accept or refuse this request or
14 resignation of Mr. Zepinic?
15 A. Mr. Zepinic tabled his resignation to the post of deputy minister,
16 and he tabled it to the Assembly of the Serb People. And I think
17 Mr. Krajisnik accepted his resignation.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but normally, shouldn't a
19 member of the government send in his resignation to the prime minister?
20 A. At the time, the government hadn't been formed. There was what
21 was called a Ministerial Council that was in place.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, indeed. So you say it
23 was a tradition or it was indeed the case that everybody would address
24 oneself to the president of the Assembly, it was the president of the
25 Assembly who, if I may say, had the power to accept or refuse nomination
1 or resignation?
2 A. Well, there was disagreement between Vitomir Zepinic, on the one
3 hand, and Mico Stanisic, on the other, who was the newly nominated
4 minister of the Serbian MUP on the other side. And the rest of us, the
5 other Serb cadres in the joint MUP. And we tried to solve this problem at
6 a meeting with Mr. Krajisnik, where Mico Stanisic proposed that we go to
7 that meeting, and Mr. Krajisnik accepted to have us. And in his cabinet,
8 in his offices, after talking to us, there were 10 to 15 of us there,
9 members of the MUP, that is, Vitomir Zepinic tabled his resignation to the
10 post he held up until then, and he handed over his letter of resignation
11 to Mr. Krajisnik.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So you say that Mr. Krajisnik was
13 the competent authority?
14 A. Well, I don't know who the competent authority was, but Mr. -- the
15 letter of resignation was handed over to Mr. Krajisnik. The Serbian
16 government didn't exist at that time.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] My last question has to do with
18 the following: To your knowledge, was there any conflict, open or not,
19 overt or covert, between the civilian power, including the party,
20 political party, the SDS, and the army, was there any conflict between the
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And on what basis are you
24 affirmative when you say "yes"?
25 A. Because the army, and especially the leadership of the army,
1 behaved in an independent, autonomous way, voluntarily, and did not accept
2 any proposals made by the government or the Assembly. They only had
3 respect for the president of the Republika Srpska and communicated with
4 him about the way in which they were going to conduct the war.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So in the army, if somebody was
6 going to be promoted, who was competent to promote in the army?
7 A. I think that it was the chief of the General Staff who was in
8 charge, Mr. Ratko Mladic, at the level of general, but after that, the
9 highest level by the president of the Republic.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Alone? Was it the president of
11 the Republic alone who had this power? So General Mladic was nominated by
12 a decision made by the president of the Republic on his own, without
13 consulting anybody else, without taking the opinion of anybody else?
14 A. Your Honour, I don't know, but I think that General Mladic came to
15 Bosnia as a general. He already held the rank of general, I believe.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but then the fact that he
17 was appointed head of the army, who decided on that?
18 A. I think he was appointed by the president of the Republic, but I'm
19 not quite sure, that he was nominated as chief of the General Staff, and
20 this was endorsed by the Assembly.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] By the Assembly? By the
23 A. Your Honour, to be quite frank, I'm not sure of the provisions.
24 But as far as I can remember, Ratko Mladic was appointed chief of the
25 General Staff by the president of the Republic, that is to say,
1 Dr. Radovan Karadzic, and I'm not quite sure, but I think that was
2 endorsed by the Assembly, or rather, whether it was or wasn't, I'm not
3 sure, whether that came under its competence. But you have that in the
4 rules governing the army and the rules governing the Assembly of the
5 National Peoples Republic as well.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Well, according to you, was the
7 army politicised? Because everybody knows that under certain regimes, a
8 communist regime, for instance, the party had its own influence, had its
9 way to say for nominations or promotions in the army. So to your
10 knowledge, was the army politicised in such a way? Did the party have an
11 influence, some influence on the army?
12 A. My personal opinion, Your Honour, is that the party, or rather,
13 the civilian authorities, had very little influence on the army, and the
14 army acted independently and exerted its authority as it saw fit.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but I'm speaking of the
17 A. Well, the party was equated with the civilian authorities, because
18 all the leaders of the party were in the powers and authorities that be,
19 officially speaking, in Republika Srpska.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So if I understand your answer,
21 Dr. Karadzic was indeed the person who had civilian office, but power and
22 authority on the military, on the army.
23 A. Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few questions for you as well, Mr. Mandic.
1 You just answered to a question of Judge El Mahdi and said that the army
2 behaved in an independent and autonomous way. Could you give us some
3 examples, if possible, striking examples, of where this conflict between
4 the behaviour of the army and the position of the government and the
5 Assembly became apparent.
6 A. The first example was when General Mladic, retired
7 General Subotic, army General Subotic, and the army never came to attend a
8 government meeting. From the beginning of the war, General Ratko Mladic
9 had courteous communication with the government and president of the
10 Assembly, but after that, he didn't even do so on a courteous basis. The
11 General Staff and the army and the leaders of the army, the only
12 relationship they had was with the president of the Republic,
13 Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
14 And another example that I should like to quote, and I said this a
15 few days ago, what would happen is this: The General Staff, that is to
16 say the army, would, for example, arrest seven or eight ministers and keep
17 them incarcerated for about ten days, and they would feed them like
18 domestic animals, and nobody could say anything about it or do anything
19 about it.
20 JUDGE ORIE: But were there any open conflicts in terms of the
21 operations of the army, not approved by the government or by the Assembly?
22 A. I think that, according to the law governing the army and all laws
23 and by-laws that were enforced, the General Staff did not need to inform
24 either the government or the Assembly about its military actions. Just
25 the Presidency, or rather, the president of the Republic.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but even if they would not have to report, that
2 does not mean automatically that no one was aware of the operations,
3 perhaps not in detail, but ...
4 A. I don't know, Your Honour, but I'm quite sure that the military
5 leaders did not inform anybody within the civilian authorities about their
6 important actions, even the defence minister. If there were some more
7 important operations undertaken by the army, I'm sure they wouldn't have
8 informed them.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do I have to understand your answer to be that, for
10 example, taking over the villages or cities would be something, totally
11 unknown military operations, perhaps, that were not reported or that these
12 things could happen without anyone being aware of it on the higher levels?
13 A. It meant that the General Staff did inform the president of the
14 Republic and Presidency about such operations, but as far as their future
15 operations and actions, I don't know that anybody knew about them except
16 the president. They were -- had a high degree of autonomy and were far
17 superior to the civilian authorities.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I was not asking specifically about future
19 operations, but also operations that had taken place already and which
20 would not have approved by the Assembly or a majority in the Assembly or
21 by the government or government ministers. I mean by approval that they
22 would not agree with it, even if no formal approval would have been
24 A. Yes, that's right, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: No one would know about that? Because my question
1 was that although perhaps not reported, that these things could happen
2 without anyone being aware of it on the higher levels, well, let's say
3 Assembly members or ministers in the government. They would not be aware
4 of matters like gain of certain terrain by the army, including perhaps
5 villages? They would not be aware?
6 A. No, Your Honour. The army did not inform anybody about its
7 activities except their superiors, that is to say, the Presidency and the
8 president. Or perhaps if they considered it necessary for engaging in an
9 operation in a certain area, then part of the police, perhaps, or somebody
10 from the area. That is possible. But they had the right to decide who
11 they were going to inform and who they were not going to inform for each
12 operation, and that was their right, pursuant to the law.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Does it also mean that you were not aware of what
14 parts of the territory of the Republic was under Serbian military control?
15 A. From April onwards, or rather, from April to May, the situation
16 changed, and the minister of defence informed us in the government, or at
17 the assemblies, by the military officials who would report about the
18 situation, the terrain, the deployment of forces, the distribution of the
19 area, and everything else that they considered that parliament and the
20 government should know about. So the defence minister and minister of the
21 interior would report to us on a regular basis about the situation on the
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then were there any -- were there ever any
24 operations or was there ever any result of an operation that you would not
25 agree with?
1 A. Well, I didn't give it that much thought when I went to the
2 civilian section of -- I wasn't informed of those activities. It was
3 outside my competence. I had a lot of problems in the civilian section of
4 the legislation and so on, so I didn't have much contact with the army and
5 just on occasion with the MUP.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'd like to move to another area. You told us
7 about detention facilities under the control of the army. Who had decided
8 which detention facilities were under army control and were there any
9 others not under the army's control? So who determined that?
10 A. I think the facilities taken control of by the army came under the
11 army, those taken over by the police were -- there the police was in
12 charge. So depending on the situation on the ground. Nobody determined
13 this in any special way, and divided it up among the army and the police.
14 It was ad hoc from one case to the next and the vast majority were held by
15 the army and a smaller portion was held by the police.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand your answer well that you said this
17 was just a factual matter rather than the result of any decision?
18 A. Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Were there any detention facilities still under the
20 responsibility of the minister of justice?
21 A. Well, during 1992 we tried to take over certain facilities from
22 the police and the army, and I think we succeeded in doing so for a couple
23 of facilities and a couple of prisons. But at the beginning of the war,
24 where people were incarcerated, you saw authority over them being the army
25 or the police.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And how about those persons that were incarcerated
2 already prior to the war, let's say being sentenced for ordinary crimes?
3 A. Those facilities, as far as the territory of Republika Srpska was
4 concerned, existed in Foca, and that particular facility came under army
5 control. I don't know what actually happened to those people, to the
6 prisoners, but in 1992 we tried to take over that prison. And while I was
7 minister, we were not successful in doing so. And the other prisons were
8 investigative prisons on the territory of Republika Srpska. So the prison
9 where people were serving sentences on the territory of Republika Srpska
10 only existed in Foca, and that was under army control for a long time.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were there Serbs detained there?
12 A. There were, because the prisons before the war had men and women,
13 Serbs and non-Serbs. They were mixed, a mixed population. And there were
14 prisoners who were serving prison terms of up to ten years. And Zenica
15 was the prison for the grievous crimes on the territory of the Federation.
16 There were three or four enterprises such as Ribnjak, and so on that we
17 used as detention facilities.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did Serbs detained have to serve their sentences
19 imposed before the war?
20 A. I don't know, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Were you aware whether it ever happened that Serbs
22 would not have to serve their sentences or were released in order to
23 enable them to join armed forces?
24 A. I don't know, but quite possibly the army recruited prisoners for
25 the army and amnestied them.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Who, then, amnestied them? Did the army do that?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Did ever a similar thing happen to a non-Serb in
5 A. I don't know, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then in one of the documents that was shown to you,
7 next to the issue of the unification of the military judiciary and the
8 civilian judiciary, a proposal was mentioned for the postponement of the
9 execution of punishment, and it was added that the positive and the
10 negative aspects should be considered. Do you remember that?
11 A. If that was at the Assembly in Zvornik, then yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us what the positive and the
13 negative aspects of the postponement of an execution of punishment is?
14 A. Well, for lesser crimes, when there was a food shortage for
15 prisoners, then it was considered that for lesser offences, it was better
16 to release them rather than to hold prisoners in prison when the
17 prevailing conditions were not conducive to a normal life there.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer. I have no further
19 questions for you.
20 Have the questions by the Bench raised any need to put further
21 questions to the witness?
22 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: Thank you. Your Honour, I have a document which at
25 the moment we don't have copies of. It's a very short document. It's in
1 B/C/S. And I'm told, because I wouldn't know any better, I'm told that it
2 is a copy of Mr. Zepinic's resignation. I'm sorry, Mr. Tieger wishes
3 to --
4 MR. TIEGER: No. I actually thought I recognised -- is that
6 MR. STEWART: The very same.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any reason to believe that the parties
8 would agree on a fact appearing from that document and wants to convey
9 that to the Chamber or ...
10 MR. TIEGER: I suspect -- sorry. I suspect that Mr. Stewart
11 wanted to present it to the witness in connection with Judge El Mahdi's
12 questions and just have him confirm whether or not that was the
13 resignation about which they were speaking.
14 MR. STEWART: Mr. Tieger has just scored two out of two. He was
15 right about the document and he's right about that as well, Your Honour.
16 It's his afternoon so far. So -- but that is correct, that is exactly
17 what I'm about to do.
18 JUDGE ORIE: If both parties agree that the written letter of
19 resignation was addressed to a certain person, I --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi would even accept that without putting
22 it to the witness.
23 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I think I should still put it in
24 the circumstances.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
1 MR. TIEGER: I should mention also we have an English translation.
2 I don't know if that's helpful.
3 JUDGE ORIE: If we could have the English translation perhaps on
4 the ELMO and then.
5 MR. STEWART: I was going to invite Ms. Cmeric to read it, but
6 it's such a short letter that if Ms. Cmeric or anybody else concerned more
7 directly with interpretation has no problem with -- of course the booth
8 don't have the original document. It's only a few lines, Your Honour.
9 We're just making sure that we're happy with the translation before we
11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stewart:
12 Q. Mr. Mandic, you've got the letter in your own language, and I'm
13 now reading from a translation. This appears -- well, it's agreed, as I
14 understand it, it is a copy of Mr. Zepinic's letter of resignation. It's
15 addressed to the Assembly of Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 to the attention of Mr. President; subject: resignation letter. "In
17 regard to the agreement on personnel policy, realisation that the Ministry
18 of Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I'm
19 hereby submitting irrevocable resignation from the function of deputy
20 minister of internal affairs. I'd appreciate it if you'd kindly consider
21 this request at the next Assembly session. Respectfully --" and then
22 although the signature is illegible, probably there wouldn't be any
23 serious suggestion that it wasn't Mr. Zepinic's signature that appeared on
24 that letter.
25 So it appears, would you agree, Mr. Mandic, from this letter
1 perhaps it wasn't that it was Mr. Krajisnik, either personally or as
2 president of the Assembly, whatever precisely that distinction is, it
3 wasn't Mr. Krajisnik himself who had the power to accept or reject the
4 resignation; it went before the Assembly, the request to resign?
5 A. I've tried to explain to this Honourable Trial Chamber that
6 Mr. Zepinic submitted his resignation directly to the president of the
7 Assembly, whereas ministers can only be granted their request for
8 resignation by the Assembly itself.
9 Q. For this purpose, are you counting Mr. Zepinic as a minister?
10 A. I'm not certain if you've understood this fully. Both the
11 ministers and the deputies were appointed and dismissed from their
12 function by the Assembly, but requests such as this one were submitted to
13 the president of the Assembly.
14 Q. Mr. Mandic, what it comes to is this: It was submitted to the
15 president of the Assembly. We see that. It was addressed to
16 Mr. Krajisnik. The letter itself expressly requests that Mr. Zepinic's
17 letter of resignation -- or his resignation in this letter goes before the
18 Assembly itself; that's right, isn't it?
19 A. That was exactly my point, Mr. Stewart. That's what I've been
20 trying to explain. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.
21 JUDGE ORIE: It was perfectly clear to me that you said were
22 appointed and dismissed from the functions by the Assembly, but requests
23 were submitted to the president of the Assembly, which is the -- I would
24 say the usual way of addressing a body that you send a letter to. Yes.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I've got to say that it was not, and it
1 was not clear to me, because that wouldn't be the effect of the word
2 "whereas" at line 24 -- at page 24, line 6. The effect of the "whereas"
3 in that sentence is to draw a distinction which absolutely needs
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. STEWART: But if Your Honour is satisfied --
7 JUDGE ORIE: The clearness came in line 10. I had the same
8 hesitations on line 6, and it became perfectly clear in line 10 and 11.
9 MR. STEWART: Yes. Well, Your Honour, with the utmost respect,
10 I'm very glad it's clear now, but Your Honour it's only caution on behalf
11 of counsel when two apparently contradictory answers have been given to
12 make sure which of them is the evidence and which is correct. But,
13 Your Honour, I'm -- I -- so I make no apology for pursuing it, Your
14 Honour, but I am very happy it is absolutely clear in everybody's and,
15 particularly importantly, the Trial Chamber's minds.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. STEWART:
18 Q. Mr. Mandic, you were asked a number of questions -- well, first of
19 all, you were asked about instructions in relation to the division of the
20 MUP. You were asked about instructions received from the Assembly, or
21 instructions of the Assembly. This is the position, isn't it,
22 Mr. Mandic - please confirm whether this is correct - that no instructions
23 were given by the Assembly in relation to the division of the MUP except
24 such instructions as are contained only in the form of the published
25 decisions of the Assembly as a legislative organ.
1 A. That is correct. What I had in mind were the laws precisely, the
2 constitution of Republika Srpska and the law on internal affairs that had
3 been passed by the Assembly and which you yourself presented a few days
5 Q. And so when similarly His Honour Judge El Mahdi put to you that
6 the government followed the directions which came from the Assembly as the
7 representative of the people, that again, the only sense in which the
8 government followed the directions of the Assembly was that it observed
9 such laws and decisions as were publicly made by the Assembly as the
10 legislative organ?
11 A. Therefore, the government had to put into effect all the decisions
12 taken by the Assembly and abide by the laws passed by the Assembly, which
13 had to do with the work of the government and the ministries. This way,
14 the government would adhere to the enactments passed by the Assembly, that
15 is to say, both the laws and the by-laws.
16 Q. So to get it clear: Apart from laws passed, decisions publicly
17 taken by the Assembly that have legal force from the legislative body,
18 apart from that, there was no mechanism or instructions to be given by
19 either the Assembly or the president of the Assembly to the government as
20 to what it should do?
21 A. You are fully right, Mr. Stewart.
22 MR. STEWART: Would Your Honour give me a moment? I just need to
23 find a page reference.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If you would have a keyword, Mr. Stewart, I might be
25 able to assist you, if it is about today.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I think I'm pretty much -- pretty much
2 there. Thank you. I appreciate the offer of help.
3 Q. Mr. Mandic, you said, and this was at page 15, line 11, you
4 said: "My personal opinion, Your Honour," and this was in answer to
5 questions from His Honour Judge El Mahdi, "is that the party, or rather,
6 the civilian authorities had very little influence on the army, and the
7 army acted independently and exerted its authority as it saw fit."
8 So when you were talking about the civilian authorities that, in
9 your opinion, had very little influence on the army, do you include in
10 "civilian authorities" all the civilian authorities, including the
11 president of Republika Srpska, Dr. Karadzic?
12 MR. TIEGER: I object, Your Honour. That was asked and answered
13 and made quite clear, in fact. That distinction was made, was drawn
14 repeatedly by the witness.
15 MR. STEWART: But it's not asked and answered, Your Honour. It's
16 precisely because the questions and answers might be argued to leave the
17 matter unclear that I'm asking the question.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could you give us the exact line where
19 the answer was given to this question.
20 MR. TIEGER: I'll have to take a moment and scroll back.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be allowed to
23 repeat my answer, it might be helpful to both sides in the proceedings.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. An objection against this question, because it
25 would have been answered already. So Mr. Tieger should be able to find a
1 place where you gave the answer and we have the literal text, then, in
2 front of us.
3 Perhaps I'll ask for a clarification of a question I put to the
4 witness myself.
5 Mr. Mandic, upon a question I put to you about conflicts between
6 the government and the Assembly, on the one side, and the army, on the
7 other side, you gave us your first example that they even would not pay a
8 courtesy visit any more to the government. But you said the only
9 relationship there was, was with Dr. Karadzic. What did you mean exactly
10 when you said that.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'd be obliged. Could we have the
12 reference, please. It would help us to follow this apparently not
13 absolutely easy area.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Page 16, line 10, 11. I'll read it to you,
15 Mr. Mandic. You talked about the first example, General Mladic, and then
16 you said: "General Ratko Mladic had courteous communication with the
17 government and president of the Assembly, but after that, he didn't even
18 do so on a courteous basis." I said visits, but that's not correct. "Of
19 the General Staff and the army and the leaders of the army, the only
20 relationship they had was with the president of the Republic, Dr. Radovan
22 So my question was: What exactly did you mean by this
23 relationship? And more specifically, would they listen to him, or was
24 there a conflict as well, or who was in the lead?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is very difficult, Your Honour,
1 to describe such nuances, but the fact is that the army cooperated solely
2 with the president of the Republic and had respect for him, both as
3 president of the Republic and as commander-in-chief. And if I may help
4 Mr. Stewart: Except for the president of the Republic, the army did not
5 cooperate with the civilian authorities. And when I say "civilian
6 authorities," I mean both the government and the parliament, and
7 especially the government. That was an executive branch of government.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Not Mr. Karadzic, as far as I understand? Yes. You
9 said "except for the president of the Republic." Yes. Your answer is
10 clear. I should have listened better to you.
11 Well, whether or not the question was answered before, at least
12 it's answered now. Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
13 MR. STEWART: Yes. Would Your Honour forgive me. I'm just
14 reading, if I may, please, for a moment, something on the transcript.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. STEWART:
17 Q. So I'm just following on from the answer which I had been quoting
18 to you, Mr. Mandic, before we had these exchanges and then His Honour
19 Judge Orie's question, you had said: "My personal opinion is that the
20 party, or rather, the civilian authorities had very little influence on
21 the army, and the army acted independently and exerted its authority as it
22 saw fit."
23 And then specifically, in answer to His Honour's questions, you
24 said: "The fact is that the army cooperated solely with the president of
25 the Republic," and that's Dr. Karadzic, "and had respect for him, both as
1 president of the Republic and as commander-in-chief."
2 My first question then, Mr. Mandic, is: How much were you in a
3 position to assess the degree of cooperation between the army and the
4 president of the Republic, Dr. Karadzic, from April 1992 over the next
5 four or five months?
6 A. Well, as much as a minister in a government could, of course, also
7 based on my knowledge of Mr. Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, and thanks
8 to the fact that I stayed at Pale.
9 Q. Yes. That doesn't quite indicate the degree of your ability to
10 assess the degree of cooperation. What was it -- were you able closely to
11 follow what degree of cooperation there was between the army and
12 Dr. Karadzic, or moderately, or not very much? I'm just inviting you to
13 see if you can give the Trial Chamber an idea of how much you were able to
14 assess yourself of what you're talking about, which is the degree of
16 A. I could not assess the degree to which I was informed about the
17 relationship between the president of the Republic and the army, but the
18 fact remains that I was there. I was a member of the government. I knew
19 the people. And I've presented my position and views with regard to the
20 relationship between the army and the civilian authorities, and between
21 the army, on the one hand, and the president of the Republic, on the
22 other. And it will be up to the Honourable Trial Chamber to assess the
23 relevance and weight of my testimony.
24 Q. And you said, and the reference here is page 18, line 6 --
25 Judge Orie asked him - asked you, I'm sorry, Mr. Mandic - Judge Orie asked
1 you --
2 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour. It's -- because Your Honour put
3 a statement and then a question, I'm trying to find a point at which I can
4 present it in a way that is fairly understood by the witness.
5 Q. His Honour said: "My question was although perhaps not reported,
6 these things," which seems to be military operations, "these things could
7 happen without anyone being aware of it on the higher levels, well, let's
8 say Assembly members or ministers in the government they would not be
9 aware of matters like gain of certain terrain by the army including,
10 perhaps, villages, they would not be aware ..." And your answer was:
11 "No, Your Honour. The army did not inform anybody about its activities
12 except their superiors, that is to say, the Presidency and the president
13 or perhaps if they considered it necessary engaging in an operation in a
14 certain area, then part of the police or somebody from the area."
15 So the part where you say "the army did not inform anybody about
16 its activities except their superiors, that is to say, the Presidency and
17 the president," when you refer to their superiors there as "the Presidency
18 and the president," could you make it clear who it is you're talking
20 A. I was talking solely about the president, Dr. Radovan Karadzic,
21 and members of the Presidency, Dr. Biljana Plavsic and
22 Dr. Nikola Koljevic.
23 Q. And I want to leave aside, Mr. Mandic, if you like, legal and
24 definition issues. Is it that from your own observations and knowledge at
25 the time, you knew that the people to whom the army was giving information
1 were Dr. Karadzic, Dr. Plavsic, Dr. Koljevic, and only those three?
2 A. From my own observations, I can say that they informed only
3 Dr. Karadzic, and their cooperation was a very close one, whereas I think
4 that the army did not really regard the other two members of the
5 Presidency, Dr. Biljana Plavsic and Dr. Nikola Koljevic, too seriously.
6 They were people who were in charge of other spheres of public life and
7 activity in Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Were you able, from what you saw yourself, to form an assessment
9 of the degree to which army activities, and I'm talking about the Serb
10 army, army activities in Republika Srpska that were conducted by the
11 military without any reference to any civilian authority, including
12 Dr. Karadzic?
13 A. I cannot answer this question. You see, the army was stationed at
14 its own positions and did not communicate much with the civilian
15 authorities. I was not really familiar with the specifics of where they
16 were based or what activities they were pursuing. I really can't say.
17 Q. A different topic, Mr. Mandic. His Honour Judge El Mahdi asked
18 you whether you trusted the information from television, and this was
19 His Honour's phrase, "speaking in the name of the government." Did any of
20 the television channels in those early months of the war purport to speak
21 actually in the name of the government?
22 A. There was only one television, with one channel, and three
23 journalists. We had one minister in charge of information and had one car
24 that was used for the official purposes that we received from Belgrade.
25 The television was a public company, and our channel of communication with
1 the television went through the minister for information.
2 Q. Perhaps I should clarify my question, Mr. Mandic. I'm not
3 proposing to ask you about perhaps that rather broader, more difficult
4 area of any suggestion of control and so on. It's a simple question:
5 Whether the television channel, in its presentation of its material,
6 whether it presented itself as speaking in the name of the government.
7 A. No, never. They were an autonomous public company, and these were
8 mostly people who had used to work for the joint television in Sarajevo.
9 They were very experienced journalists and professionalists.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I'm looking at the clock.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm delighted to tell Your Honour that
12 was my last question. So the clock and I are in happy harmony.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I have a couple of questions, and I
15 agree with the break.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll then have a break until a quarter past 4.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to ask Mr. Registrar to
20 assign a number to the resignation letter of Dr. Zepinic.
21 MR. STEWART: Yes. I'm obliged, Your Honour. I mentioned that to
22 Mr. Tieger a moment ago. So that's absolutely right. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That would be number D?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be D33, and D33.1
25 for the English translation.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 Mr. Tieger.
3 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Further examination by Mr. Tieger:
5 Q. Mr. Mandic, in response to a question asked by the Court, you
6 referred to an incident during which you said seven to eight ministers
7 were arrested by the police -- by the army, excuse me. When do you say
8 that happened?
9 A. I don't remember the date, but I do know that the incident took
10 place when I was speaking about the relationship between the civilian and
11 military authorities and how much the will of the army depended very
12 little on the civilian authorities. Now, when this actually happened, I
13 really can't remember, but I do know that it was sometime during the war,
14 without specifying a date. And I do know that it was in the Han Pijesak
15 area, or the Romanija area, Mount Romanija.
16 Q. Is it possible that could have taken place in 1994?
17 A. It is very possible, Mr. Tieger, yes.
18 Q. Just in connection with the information provided to the president,
19 or the Presidency, by the military: Yesterday we spoke briefly about the
20 minutes of the sessions of the Presidency, and I believe you indicated you
21 hadn't had any opportunity to see such minutes or to be aware of what the
22 minutes reflected about who the members of the Presidency were or how
23 regularly they attended the Presidency meetings.
24 A. I think I said, Mr. Tieger, that I was not informed about those
25 minutes and who attended all those meetings. So yes.
1 Q. So I take it it would also be true that you would not be aware of
2 whether the minutes of such meetings reflected whether military figures,
3 including members of the Main Staff, briefed the Presidency members on
5 A. You're quite right, Mr. Tieger.
6 Q. Or which members of the Presidency were present when that took
8 A. No, I wasn't informed of that.
9 Q. Were military documents directed to your attention in 1992 and
10 1993, operational reports, combat readiness reports, SIT reports,
11 generalised reporting on events?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So would it be true, then, that you would not be aware of the
14 extent to which such documents reflected that the objectives of planned
15 operations were brought to the attention of the highest leadership of
16 Republika Srpska?
17 A. You're quite right, Mr. Tieger.
18 Q. Or the extent to which such documents advised the highest
19 leadership of the outcome of such operations?
20 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, this really seems to be just a series
21 of the same question, when the witness has already said that these
22 documents were not directed to his attention.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, your questions were very much related to
24 what one could read from those documents that were never addressed to the
25 witness, so I take it that whatever was in those documents, that it would
1 be on TV.
2 MR. TIEGER: I think that's fair, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. TIEGER:
5 Q. Finally, Mr. Mandic, Judge El Mahdi directed some questions to you
6 concerning Serbian TV, and the -- your familiarity with what was on
7 Serbian TV and the nature of that programming. And in that connection,
8 I'd like to play one additional intercept and have it marked next in
9 order. That would be intercept dated 18 June 1992 between Mr. Mandic and
10 Mr. Ninkovic, ERN ET03282496.
11 Mr. Mandic, before we begin that intercept, perhaps you can tell
12 us who Mr. Rade Ninkovic was.
13 A. Radomir Ninkovic was an employee of the television station. He
14 was an editor of the information programming, in actual fact. And before
15 that he worked in the MUP. If that's the same man.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, is this a new intercept?
17 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour, it is.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Remarks registrar, I take it that the
19 CD-ROM gets number P465, that the transcript in B/C/S gets number 465A,
20 and the English translation, 465A.1.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, with respect, although, well, the
22 person, with respect, who can perhaps best answer this would be His Honour
23 Judge El Mahdi. But we had understood Judge El Mahdi's questions not to
24 be directed towards Serbian television, in the sense of television
25 emanating from Serbia.
1 JUDGE ORIE: What -- perhaps we clarify what is Serbian at this
3 MR. STEWART: That's really what -- that's the thrust of my --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I did understand that -- but perhaps Judge
5 El Mahdi clarifies himself that it was --
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Mr. President. My
7 question was about not necessarily --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter apologises, but can't hear.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [No interpretation].
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises, but the question was
11 not heard and not interpreted. Interpreter apologises.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will repeat my
13 question - the microphone is working here - for the interpreters.
14 My question was simply to ask the witness his opinion about the
15 credibility of the information received from several media, in particular,
16 those media which came from the territory of the Republika Srpska, and I
17 remember very well that he mentioned the fact that there was a television
18 which was broadcasting from Pale. And therefore, my question was directed
19 specifically to the question of the credibility, what he felt about the
20 credibility of this television, and whether he knew whether this
21 television was directed, and directed by whom, controlled by whom. And I
22 think Mr. Mandic answered my questions.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could I say that the question was about Republika
24 Srpska television. So if that is Serbian now, I think it's related.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I beg your pardon?
1 JUDGE ORIE: I said -- the question was about at least Republika
2 Srpska television, so if the intercept to be played relates to that
3 subject, whether we call it Serbian or Republika Srpska, but ...
4 MR. STEWART: There's a distinction, Your Honour, and it seems
5 quite clear that they do not -- this intercept does not appear to relate
6 to Republika Srpska television at all.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I've got no idea yet. I haven't seen it.
8 MR. STEWART: I have that advantage, Your Honour, and I'm just
9 saying I -- it seems Mr. Tieger -- to register that in advance, having
10 had a glance at it rather than read through it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger was invited to express whether this is
12 about an intercepted conversation in which Republika Srpska television is
13 involved. Because we're not talking about Croatian or Serbian or
14 Montenegrin. The question raised by Judge El Mahdi was about, well, let's
15 say Serb television within Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's ...
16 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I understood Judge El Mahdi's question
17 before, and the answer which he received, and with that amplification I
18 continued to understand it generally to be about the information that was
19 available from -- emanating from the two sides generally. I didn't
20 understand that -- and the relative credibility, the relative involvement
21 of the persons involved. So first of all, I believe the intercept is
22 indeed about Republika Srpska television, and even if it were not, I think
23 it's useful to bear in mind that the question was slightly broader than
24 that limited issue about Republika Srpska TV, but more about the kind of
25 information coming from the two sides.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. STEWART: Your Honour --
3 JUDGE ORIE: I'll leave this in the hands of Judge El Mahdi.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President. [Interpretation]
5 Mr. Prosecutor, I think I was perfectly clear. I tried to have the
6 opinion of the witness on the information which was broadcast from
7 Republika Srpska. Therefore, in this context, I will admit that it was in
8 the context when we were speaking of several media broadcasting several
9 information. But my question in this wider domain was centred, was
10 focussed specifically on the broadcasting made by television and radio and
11 the newspapers on the territory of Republika Srpska.
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. I apologise. This intercept is
13 directed to precisely that.
14 MR. STEWART: Which particular point, Your Honour, may we inquire?
15 Just in very general terms? To the reliability point or what. A simple
16 label as to what point rather than flag up to the witness or anybody
17 else. The content would be entirely sufficient.
18 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, it goes directly to the question of the
19 reliability of such information, the credibility accorded such information
20 by this witness in responding to the Court's questions, and indeed the
21 very content of such indications.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] The credibility of this
23 information given by the television? Which television are we talking
25 MR. TIEGER: Republika Srpska.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Republika Srpska. That is at the
2 heart of the subject, it's the core of the matter.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mandic, when you said that Mr. Ninkovic was
4 employed by the television station, which television station you had in
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serbian television at Pale. The
7 television of Republika Srpska at Pale.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
9 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. If we could then proceed to
10 play the intercept. It will be in Sanction.
11 [Intercept played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
13 Sladjana: Hello?
14 Radmila: One moment. Hello. Good afternoon.
15 Sladjana: Hello. Can I help you?
16 Radmila: Hello. Good afternoon. Is this Serbian television?
17 Sladjana: Yes. Can I help you?
18 Radmila: This is the Serbian Ministry of Justice.
19 Sladjana: Yes.
20 Radmila: One moment. Who is on the line please.
21 Sladjana: Sladjana speaking.
22 Radmila: One moment please.
23 Sladjana: Yes.
24 Radmila: Could I speak with one of the editors if they're there.
25 Sladjana: Who?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Radmila: For Minister Mandic.
2 Sladjana: Oh, I can hardly hear you.
3 Radmila: One of the editors. Which of the editors are there.
4 Sladjana: The colleague is on the other line.
5 Radmila: Hello.
6 Sladjana: Yes.
7 Radmila: Is Mr. Bozanic there.
8 Sladjana: One moment.
9 Radmila: I cannot hear anything. Shouting on the phone. She
10 cannot hear anything.
11 Unidentified female: Yes.
12 Radmila: Hello.
13 Unidentified female: Yes.
14 Radmila: Good afternoon. Can you hear me?
15 Unidentified female: Stop talking for a while. I cannot hear
17 Radmila: Please do not hang up. I hardly got through.
18 Unidentified female: Who do you need?
19 Radmila: Are any of the editors there.
20 Unidentified female: Editors?
21 Radmila: Yes.
22 Unidentified female: Just a moment. Which editor you need?
23 Radmila: Well, Mr. Bozanic or someone. Are they there?
24 Unidentified female: Just a moment.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that this is just background
2 Radmila: Hello. Serbian Ministry of Justice. Is that Ninkovic?
3 Ninkovic: One moment I cannot hear you.
4 Radmila: Ninkovic. Ninkovic, yes.
5 Radmila: Hi, it's Radmila.
6 Ninkovic: Oh, hello.
7 Radmila: Can you hear me now?
8 Ninkovic: I can hear you.
9 Radmila: Here is minister Mandic.
10 Ninkovic: Pass him on.
11 Momcilo MANDIC: Hello.
12 Ninkovic: Hello.
13 Momcilo MANDIC: Why the hell are you screwing me every day.
14 Ninkovic ...
15 Momcilo MANDIC: A?
16 Ninkovic: Well. Momo it is not clear who is screwing whom.
17 Momcilo MANDIC: Well, what are you doing on television there?
18 Ninkovic: What do you mean, what are we doing?
19 Momcilo MANDIC: Well, are you doing anything?
20 Ninkovic: Of course we're doing things, fuck.
21 Momcilo MANDIC: Listen, please.
22 Ninkovic: Tell me.
23 Momcilo MANDIC: Ninkovic, we arrested among others a few women
25 Ninkovic: Yes.
1 Momcilo MANDIC: Who wants to give ... they would be willing and
2 we will set it up here to give a statement against Alija Izetbegovic.
3 Ninkovic: Uh-huh.
4 Momcilo MANDIC: How is he putting them -- how he's pushing them
5 towards death. This and that. So send a team a crew over here to KPD
6 penal correctional facility Butmir.
7 Ninkovic: To KPD?
8 Momcilo MANDIC: To film them, you know.
9 Ninkovic: All right.
10 Momcilo MANDIC: You know, because they say Alija did this to us.
11 This and that, and so on. We should film that. It would be interesting
12 to show tonight.
13 Ninkovic: Let me tell you: Is that the -- our domestic.
14 Momcilo MANDIC: Yes Muslim women.
15 Ninkovic: Uh-huh.
16 Momcilo MANDIC: Women Turks.
17 Ninkovic: Statement against, is it?
18 Momcilo MANDIC: Well, yes.
19 Ninkovic: Tell me, what's the situation like down there in
20 Dobrinja since you're on the line.
21 Momcilo MANDIC: We're cleaning up.
22 Ninkovic: Well, is it successful?
23 Momcilo MANDIC: What do you mean, successful?
24 Ninkovic: Is it?
25 Momcilo MANDIC: What do you mean? How come... How can you ask
1 me such a question. Do you really ... I don't know, Ninkovic, since you
2 became a reporter and was ... Surrounded yourselves with those pussies,
3 you've lost the sense of all reality.
4 Ninkovic: Is that so.
5 Momcilo MANDIC: I swear. How can you say that, you motherfucker.
6 Ninkovic: Tell me, whom will I report to down there.
7 Momcilo MANDIC: We'll be ... Let someone come by. 3.00. Get
8 them to leave immediately. See Radmila here at KPD and she will find me.
9 Ninkovic: All right.
10 Momcilo MANDIC: And we will come up with something, you know.
11 Ninkovic: It's a deal.
12 Momcilo MANDIC: Tell me: What's new up there.
13 Ninkovic: Nothing much. We're in a bit of a mess right now on
14 all sides. On free territory, everyone is asking ... Everyone is asking
15 to be filmed.
16 Momcilo MANDIC: The Serbs are liberating and you're not managing
17 to film it.
18 Ninkovic: I can hardly hear you, Momo.
19 Momcilo MANDIC: The Serbs are liberating and you're hardly
20 managing to film it.
21 Ninkovic: Well, fuck it.
22 Momcilo MANDIC: I don't know. You can't be doing much then.
23 Ninkovic: Like hell we're not.
24 Momcilo MANDIC: Well, you're not.
25 Ninkovic: We are working. Don't mess with us. Don't mess with
2 Momcilo MANDIC: Send a team then.
3 Ninkovic: All right mate.
4 Momcilo MANDIC: Talk to you later.
5 Ninkovic: All right.
6 Momcilo MANDIC: Goodbye.
7 Ninkovic: Bye.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Mr. Mandic, did Mr. Ninkovic send a team to film those imprisoned
11 A. I don't remember. But if he did, then it was on television the
12 next day.
13 Q. Did you have subsequent contact with Mr. Ninkovic for similar
15 A. Mr. Ninkovic is otherwise from Sarajevo, and I've known him for
16 many years. And since during those days there was an information battle
17 between Serbian and Muslim television, these two television stations, one
18 of the ways of engaging in it, because from -- the other side brought in
19 ethnic Serbs to say things contrary to what they wanted to hear on the
20 Serb side. So I wanted to put the ball back in their court and pay them
21 back, pay Muslim television back. And I asked that these two or three
22 women should talk about what was happening, that they should say that it
23 was not a good thing that was happening and that Alija wanted his own
24 state and he wanted a war. So that was it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You spend a lot of lines on not answering the
1 question. The question was whether you had similar contacts later, or
2 other contacts. I have to check that. But you were explaining why you
3 had this contact.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. And the question was whether you had similar contacts or
7 subsequent contacts with Mr. Ninkovic for similar purposes.
8 A. I don't remember.
9 MR. TIEGER: That's all, Your Honour. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
11 Mr. Mandic, this concludes your testimony in this court. I'd like
12 to thank you for -- not only for coming, but even for coming twice and
13 answering all the questions of the parties and the questions of the Bench.
14 And I wish you a safe trip home again.
15 Mr. Tomic, well, it may have been hard, intellectual work, but at
16 the same time, I think that this hard work did not cause you to become
17 very active, which doesn't say anything about the importance of your task.
18 Mr. Usher, could you please escort Mr. Mandic and Mr. Tomic out of
19 the courtroom.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I be allowed to
21 say something brief?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course it depends a bit. As long as it does
23 not interfere with these proceedings, then you may say something.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only wish to thank you, the OTP,
25 and the Defence for the fair treatment, for your patience, and I hope that
1 my testimony has contributed to the establishment of truth, that is, of
2 what was really happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time. Thank
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much for your words.
5 Mr. Usher.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 [Witness's counsel withdrew]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then I suggest that we first go through the exhibits
9 introduced through this witness. The parties have been provided with a
10 list containing the exhibits, a list starting at P412 and ending at P463.
11 It contains a description of the exhibits tendered until today. Is there
12 any comment in respect of those exhibits?
13 MR. TIEGER: No, Your Honour, except the Court should be aware
14 there's one additional exhibit.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll deal with whatever additional exhibits,
16 because they have not got yet a description. Is there any submissions to
17 be made in --
18 MR. STEWART: There are some -- well, I say relatively minor.
19 They're minor in the sense they don't take a moment to mention,
20 Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. STEWART: P427, the first four pages of what we see in English
23 do not at the moment have an equivalent B/C/S. So in effect we're missing
24 the first four pages in B/C/S. 428 --
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. STEWART: There's a translation issue outstanding in relation
2 to P428 that was communicated to the Office of the Prosecution on the 24th
3 of November. So that's outstanding. And similarly, in relation to 429A.
4 That's a transcript of an intercept. There's a translation issue
5 outstanding. The points were communicated to the Prosecution on the 30th
6 of November.
7 So those -- I think that's all, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. STEWART: Those are just matters to be resolved still.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And I have on my list that P458 --
11 MR. STEWART: It seems they may be in hand anyway, some of them.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Any comments from the Prosecution in relation to
13 these exhibits?
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, with respect to 428, I don't think --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
16 MR. TIEGER: With respect to the first two items discussed, I'm
17 not aware of any difficulty. I think the -- especially in 428, the
18 translation issue concerned a mistranslation of the headline, which seemed
19 pretty simple. We just need to get that logistically changed and that's
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. TIEGER: I can't speak to 429A. I have a -- some recollection
23 of what that was. I think it didn't involve a hotly contested issue, but
24 I'd need to discuss that with Mr. Stewart. In any event, it's
25 outstanding. I haven't -- I don't think there's been -- or there have
1 been particular difficulties in resolve translation problems. I don't
2 anticipate one. And we would direct our --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. STEWART: I agree.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We will hear from the parties, then, in respect of
6 those outstanding translation issues.
7 MR. STEWART: Could I just say, Your Honour, that Mr. Tieger can
8 choose to discuss the matter with me or he can discuss it with somebody
9 who knows about it. He's got a choice there.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. P419, it says need B/C/S copy from the OTP.
11 Has that been meanwhile provided?
12 MR. STEWART: We've got it, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'm also wondering whether the registry has received
16 it. As far as we can see, we only have an English version, so that is
17 still ...
18 Then the exhibits. P412, up till and including P426, are admitted
19 in evidence. One observation, that P419 still has to be provided to the
20 registry in B/C/S. P427, P428, and P429A and A.1, the Chamber will
21 decide on admission of those once the parties have reported to the
23 P429, which is a CD, is admitted into evidence, under the
24 condition that the issue relating to P429A, results in a position of
1 Then P430 up to and including P463, including all translations,
2 are admitted into evidence.
3 I now come to the new exhibits, that is --
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's first of all P464, which is a document
6 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Internal
7 Affairs SJB Novi Grad, Ilidza SM Kula, number 1092, dated 25th of May,
8 1992, and 464.1, translation. Then we have document P465, which is an
9 intercept dated the 18th of June, 1992, between Dr. Mandic and
10 Mr. Ninkovic, CD still to be provided, as far as I understand. P465A,
11 B/C/S transcript, P465A.1, English translation.
12 And D32, the resignation letter of Mr. Zepinic, dated the 4th of
13 April, 1992, and translation, D33.1.
14 They are admitted into evidence.
15 Mr. Tieger.
16 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, P466, then, would be a document which
17 the parties agree should be admitted. It's an intercept authentication
18 document relating to a number of intercepts.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did we already receive that document? And I do
20 understand that the parties do agree, so therefore, the 466 is then
21 admitted into evidence as well.
22 Having dealt with the exhibits, I'd like to move on with a
23 decision on 92 bis witnesses. It's an oral decision, although it will
24 take some time to read it out.
25 This is a decision on two lots of 92 bis witnesses. I briefly
1 recall that the Chamber is seized of two Prosecution motions for the
2 admission of 92 bis evidence. The first was filed on the 6th of June,
3 2003. That's the so-called 7th motion. And the second was filed on the
4 9th of January, 2004. That's the 8th motion.
5 The Chamber described the procedural history of the Prosecution's
6 Rule 92 bis applications in its decision of the 7th of April of 2004.
7 There is no reason to repeat it here. I would only add that on the 28th
8 of September, 2004, the parties met with the Chamber's legal officer and
9 agreed to a timetable to deal with the remaining 61 crime base witnesses,
10 in four lots. This decision concerns the first two lots.
11 I would like to emphasise that the Chamber has considered only the
12 material identified by the Prosecution in the annexes to the 7th and the
13 8th motions and in the list of 92 bis witnesses filed on the 24th of
14 March, 2003. The Chamber has applied the legal standards set out in the
15 decision of the 7th of April, 2004.
16 The Chamber has decided to deliver the present decision orally for
17 reasons of expeditiousness. The parties should be assured that the
18 Chamber considered their submissions in every detail. The Chamber has, as
19 always, checked all the material proposed for admission, even when the
20 Defence did not raise any objection to it.
21 On several occasions, the Prosecution's attention has been drawn
22 to the fact that the information before the Chamber on the protective
23 measures required for its 92 bis witnesses is not complete, and for this
24 witness I shall refer here to witnesses by their "KRAJ" code.
25 I would now ask you, Mr. Registrar, to hand out to the parties a
1 list showing the names of some of the 92 bis witnesses I shall refer to in
2 this decision. The list also shows the witnesses' "KRAJ" code.
3 I draw your attention to the fact that the list you now see
4 contains a blank column for the exhibit number to be assigned to each
5 witness. This shall be done at another time. The Chamber has listed the
6 documentary items that go with each witness. What we propose is that
7 these items be produced by the Prosecutor, in one final version, including
8 the redactions, as we find them in the list, and to be delivered to the
9 registrar in this case. And then, these items then produced will be
10 assigned exhibit or tab identifiers by the registrar at the next
11 housekeeping session.
12 I shall first deal with the witnesses in relation to whom the
13 Defence stated that their evidence may be admitted without
14 cross-examination. These witnesses are: KRAJ 318, KRAJ 026, KRAJ 612,
15 KRAJ 335, KRAJ 562, KRAJ 034, KRAJ 057, KRAJ 051, KRAJ 015, KRAJ 281, KRAJ
16 133, KRAJ 003, KRAJ 139, KRAJ 141, KRAJ 469, KRAJ 321, KRAJ 148.
17 The evidence of these witnesses, as shown in the hand-out,
18 including the redaction also shown in the hand-out, meets the 92 bis
19 admissibility requirements, and is therefore admitted. The Chamber does
20 not require the appearance of any of these witnesses.
21 In respect of witness KRAJ 051, the Chamber draws the attention of
22 the parties to the fact that it has not followed the Defence's suggestion
23 in relation to one redaction. This proposed redaction, which is shown in
24 the hand-out, was also opposed by the Prosecution. The Chamber has
25 considered whether leaving in this sentence would necessitate calling the
1 witness for cross-examination. The Chamber's conclusion is that there is
2 no need for the witness to appear.
3 I now turn to the witnesses whom the Chamber has decided to call
4 for cross-examination. There are three such witnesses in the two lots we
5 are considering here. Their names and associated materials are not shown
6 in the hand-out. The documents relating to these three witnesses shall be
7 assigned exhibit or tab identifiers and shall be admitted into evidence,
8 subject to any further objections, at the time they are heard in
10 The three witnesses to be called, and I again refer to the "KRAJ"
11 code, for the reasons given before, are:
12 KRAJ 458. The Chamber finds that the proposed evidence of this
13 witness meets the 92 bis admissibility requirements. The Chamber
14 considers that the references to the accused contained in this material
15 cannot be interpreted as relating, in the relevant sense, to the acts or
16 conduct of the accused. The witness's evidence relates to events preceding
17 the alleged takeover of the municipality of Banja Luka; to the operations
18 of the Banja Luka Public Security Station and Security Services Centre
19 (including their reporting procedures to the Ministry of the Interior);
20 and to the activities of the SDS leadership in Banja Luka. In the
21 Chamber's view, the accused should have the opportunity to cross-examine
22 Witness 458 on these issues.
23 KRAJ 063. The Chamber understands that the Prosecution is
24 presently seeking the admission of the transcripts from the Stakic case
25 only. The Chamber finds that the proposed evidence of this witness meets
1 the 92 bis admissibility requirements. The Chamber considers that the
2 references to the accused contained in this material cannot be interpreted
3 as relating, in the relevant sense, to the acts or conduct of the accused.
4 The Chamber sees no reason to admit into evidence any portion of the
5 Stakic transcripts not already highlighted by the Prosecution but may
6 reconsider this position on specific portions of the transcript, once they
7 are identified and explained by the Defence. The Chamber has decided that
8 had it would be appropriate to allow the cross-examination of Witness 063
9 on a small range of specific topics not related to the witness's crime
10 base evidence. The Defence is invited to inform the Chamber of the
11 specific topics on which it wishes to cross-examine the witness, and the
12 Defence is invited to do so by the 24th of January, 2005. The Prosecution
13 is to await the Chamber's instructions on this point.
14 KRAJ 428. The Chamber admits the statement into evidence, since
15 it meets the requirements of Rule 92 bis. The Chamber allows
16 cross-examination, unless the Prosecution agrees to redact that portion of
17 the statement which situates the accused in a textile factory. The
18 Chamber notes that this portion is hearsay evidence, it is relatively
19 vague, and would need corroboration and further specification to fit it
20 in, in a meaningful way, with the Prosecution's evidence as it has been
21 presented until now. The Prosecution is invited to inform the Chamber of
22 its position on this matter by the 24th of January, 2005.
23 Finally, the parties will recall that the evidence of another
24 witness from the first lot of witnesses, the witness with KRAJ 629, 629
25 code, was admitted subject to cross-examination by the Chamber's oral
1 decision of the 3rd of November, 2004. The relevant transcript pages
2 being 8032 and 8033.
3 I now turn to the witnesses whose evidence is to be admitted
4 without cross-examination, despite the Defence argument to the contrary.
5 You'll find the names on the list handed out to you by the registrar, and
6 these witnesses are: KRAJ 032, KRAJ 087, KRAJ 652, KRAJ 552, KRAJ 336,
7 KRAJ 341, KRAJ 019, KRAJ 124, KRAJ 029.
8 The Chamber finds that the Defence has failed to establish a
9 sufficient basis to justify cross-examination of these witnesses. Where
10 the proposed material includes transcripts, the Chamber finds that the
11 witnesses were adequately cross-examined in previous proceedings in
12 relation to the subjects mentioned by the Defence. Where the Defence
13 complains of vagueness, imprecision, or hearsay, the Chamber takes the
14 position that, in these specific instances, these purported weaknesses may
15 affect the weight to be given to the evidence but not its admissibility.
16 The Chamber, therefore, conscious of the flaws in the evidence in some
17 respects, admits the evidence of the above-mentioned witnesses, without
18 requiring them to appear for cross-examination.
19 I conclude by noting that the Prosecution recently removed Witness
20 545, 545, from the viva voce witness list and added him to the 92 bis
21 witness list for Banja Luka. As the Chamber has not received a 92 bis
22 request in relation to this witness, it will not address the parties'
23 submissions until such time as the Prosecution files its request. As for
24 witness with "KRAJ" code 079 from Gacko municipality, the Chamber
25 understands that the Prosecution is still considering what material to
1 propose for admission pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
2 That is the decision on the first two lots of 92 bis witnesses.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: For the next procedural issue, I invite
5 Judge El Mahdi to address the parties.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for
7 giving me the floor. I would like to make a statement. This is addressed
8 to the parties. This is the statement I wish to make:
9 After having given notice to the Chamber, I wish personally to
10 inform the parties of my decision to withdraw from the present case, a
11 decision which takes effect as from the 14th of January, 2005. I consider
12 that the parties have a right to know the reasons which have brought me to
13 make this decision, and I have to own up, was not easy, but was the only
14 decision which was indispensable to guarantee the best possible way the
15 proceedings -- continuation of the proceedings.
16 As you know, my term of office as a permanent Judge with the
17 International Tribunal is finishing at the end of November 2005. Beyond
18 that date, I do not consider that I'm qualified or mandated by the Statute
19 to continue to sit in the Tribunal. Therefore, taking into account the
20 procedure in which we presently find ourselves, I think it is highly
21 improbable that this case will be finished and the judgement rendered
22 before mid-November. This is the reason why I have taken the decision to
23 withdraw from this case.
24 Aware of the fact that I have to leave the Tribunal before the end
25 of this trial, I have decided, for personal reasons, of professional
1 ethics, and in the interests of justice, to do so now and not to wait at
2 the end of my term of office. This decision is, according to me, the only
3 decision which would allow to be sure that the proceedings will continue
4 in a satisfactory way and that the fundamental rights of Mr. Krajisnik
5 would be respected in a trial so that he can have a fair trial, as
6 guaranteed by the Statute.
7 Before I give back the floor to the President of the Chamber, I
8 wish to express my deep gratitude to the representatives of the parties,
9 to their assistants, teams, as well as to the registrar, the interpreters,
10 and all the staff which has assisted the Chamber. I also wish to convey
11 to all of them, as well as to Mr. Krajisnik, my most sincere wishes for
12 the new year.
13 Thank you very much, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Judge El Mahdi.
15 I would adjourn for a couple of minutes only, and then, upon
16 return, I'd like to address the parties, as the Presiding Judge of this
17 Chamber, under Rule 15 bis. We adjourn for five minutes.
18 --- Break taken at 5.17 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.25 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: As I said before the break, I would like to address
21 the parties in my capacity as Presiding Judge under Rule 15 bis (C). The
22 Presiding Judge who has to report to the President of the Tribunal.
23 I asked Judge Canivell to accompany me at this very moment, since
24 we may, and I emphasise we may, end up in a situation where we, as two
25 Judges, would have to consider to take a decision under Rule 15 bis (D), a
1 decision to continue the proceedings before this Trial Chamber with a
2 substitute Judge. Therefore, I found it important that Judge Canivell
3 would not miss one single word spoken in relation to the present
5 The Chamber, and I myself, have given some thought on the
6 interpretation of Rule 15 bis (C), and more specifically, on the words "by
7 reason of non-re-election," or as it says a bit further on "for any
8 reason." The question was whether this phrase would include a situation
9 where it is foreseeable that the non-re-election would make the Judge
10 unable to continue sitting in the case until the judgement would be
11 delivered. There is no realistic expectation that a judgement, after both
12 parties have presented their case, will be delivered by the end of the
13 mandate of Judge El Mahdi. It would make no sense, it would not be in the
14 spirit of Rule 15 bis, and would even, in the opinion of the Chamber, go
15 against the interests of the accused and against the interests of justice,
16 if Judge El Mahdi would continue to sit on this case, knowing that it is
17 likely that he would finally not be able to take part in the delivery of
18 the judgement in this case.
19 I said it makes no sense. I said it would be against the spirit
20 of the Rule and go against the interests, and that would be irrespective
21 of whether the Chamber would continue to hear the case with a substitute
22 Judge or whether the case would be reheard entirely.
23 In case of continuing this partly heard case with a substitute
24 Judge, it is of great importance that the new Judge would hear as much of
25 the case as possible, by direct hearing and seeing the evidence that will
1 be presented. Substitution of Judge El Mahdi should therefore, in that
2 scenario, take place at shortest notice. If the case would be reheard on
3 from its beginning, there's no reason to further wait and hear evidence
4 that could never serve the Judges in reaching their decisions.
5 I have discussed the situation as it is now with Judge El Mahdi,
6 and I'm aware of his opinion, his decision, firmly anchored in his
7 conscience and in professional ethics, that due to his non-re-election, he
8 is unable to continue sitting in the Krajisnik case after his present
9 mandate expires, which will be in mid-November 2005.
10 As a consequence, I determined that I am, as a Presiding Judge,
11 now confronted with a situation where a Judge is unable, for reasons of
12 non-re-election, in combination with the "any reasons" clause of Rule 15
13 bis (C), to continue sitting in this part-heard case for a period which is
14 likely to be longer than of a short duration. Rule 15 bis (C) instructs
15 me to report this situation to the President.
16 Since the presentation of evidence has begun in this case, the
17 President cannot order the continuation of the proceedings with the newly
18 assigned Judge unless the accused has given his consent. I would like to
19 include in my report to the President whether or not the accused gives his
20 consent to continue, and I would like to have a response to that question
21 not later than by next Tuesday.
22 For the parties, I would like to draw your attention to Article 15
23 bis (D), and perhaps the easiest way of doing that is just to read it
24 out: "If, in the circumstances mentioned in the last sentence of
25 paragraph (C), the accused withholds his consent, the remaining Judges may
1 nonetheless decide to continue the proceedings before a Trial Chamber with
2 a substitute Judge if, taking all the circumstances into account, they
3 determine unanimously that doing so would serve the interests of justice.
4 This decision is subject to appeal directly to a full bench of the Appeals
5 Chamber by either party. If no appeal is taken or the Appeals Chamber
6 affirms the decision of the Trial Chamber, the President shall assign to
7 the existing Bench a Judge who, however, can join the Bench only after he
8 or she has certified that he or she has familiarised himself or herself
9 with the record of the proceedings. Only one substitution under this
10 paragraph may be made."
11 The Chamber has decided that it will not hear any further evidence
12 in this case until all necessary decisions under Rule 15 bis have been
13 taken. In practical terms, this means the following: If the case would
14 be reheard on from the beginning, the case would be scheduled to restart
15 shortly after the effective date of the withdrawal of Judge El Mahdi,
16 which is the 14th of January; therefore, most likely, then, the restart of
17 the case would be either later in week 3 or in week 4 of 2005, starting
18 respectively the 17th and the 24th of January, 2005.
19 If the Chamber would continue to hear the case, whether with or
20 without the consent of the accused, in which latter case the Appeals
21 Chamber might finally have to decide the matter, the newly assigned Judge
22 will have to certify that he or she has familiarised him or herself with
23 the record of the proceedings. I do not expect that such certification
24 may be issued any earlier than in week 6 of 2005, if not later. Only at
25 that point in time, the case may be then continued.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 If either party would want to make any submissions at this time in
2 relation to what I just said, they're invited to do so. If not, I would
3 like to hear from -- I should say the accused, because the Rules doesn't
4 say -- the Rules do not say the Defence, but I take it, Mr. Krajisnik,
5 that in the present situation you would consult counsel, because counsel
6 are the ones best able to inform you about all consequences of the present
7 situation. But I'd like to know whether we could receive a written
8 response or whether you and counsel would prefer to give the response to
9 the question I just raised in a court hearing, which would then be
10 scheduled for later next Tuesday.
11 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I do, as Mr. Krajisnik's counsel,
12 I do, as Your Honour has indicated, I represent him and speak for him in
13 relation to this matter. And we have, of course, had a brief discussion.
14 But, Your Honour, may I just be permitted to say before that, and I'm
15 sorry, but I understand entirely why it's in the absence of
16 Judge El Mahdi, but Judge El Mahdi will, I hope -- well, I'm sure he will
17 at least read this transcript and have conveyed to him anyway our regret,
18 as the Defence team, that a Judge who has treated us with such enormous
19 professional courtesy and respect throughout the case is retiring, but is
20 retiring from this case. But we recognise that it's entirely consistent
21 with the enormous professional integrity and courtesy of Judge El Mahdi
22 that he is taking this step, and we fully respect and understand the
23 reasons. But we would very much like Judge El Mahdi to know that from the
24 Defence, and also to receive, and I think it is one of those rare
25 occasions, Your Honour, where we are entitled to express our personal
1 views. May we convey our personal good wishes to Judge El Mahdi in this
2 particular respect.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I'll personally take care that all of
4 your words are not only delivered in Judge El Mahdi's chambers but that
5 his attention is specifically drawn to those words.
6 MR. STEWART: Yes. And Your Honour, I can also say that I know
7 that our views as to the great courtesy and respect shown by
8 Judge El Mahdi are positively shared by Mr. Krajisnik. I can also say
10 But, Your Honour, then moving on from that, may I say that as far
11 as the -- moving immediately, Your Honour, to more absolutely practical
12 matters: Tuesday is not a problem for us, Your Honour, provided that we
13 are, because it's too late to fix it today, provided that we are able to
14 arrange sufficient time to see Mr. Krajisnik. It's unusual for there to
15 be a difficulty about that. Just occasionally recently there has been.
16 It may be, Your Honour, that, in view of the importance of the matter,
17 that if there is any such difficulty, perhaps we may appeal to anybody who
18 is able to help us cut our way through any such difficulty. We've had a
19 brief discussion with Mr. Krajisnik. Of course it's a matter, the
20 complexities of the Rule and the various permutations are a matter that we
21 would want to sit down and talk to Mr. Krajisnik more fully, as
22 Your Honour will of course -- Your Honours will appreciate. But,
23 Your Honour, I say no more than that. So far as we -- except that I --
24 it's probably, whatever step is taken, for the record, it's probably a
25 good idea if we submit it in writing. But, Your Honour, may we, with
1 respect, suggest that whether a court hearing is required in relation to
2 such matter is perhaps a bridge that might be crossed at some point over
3 the next few days.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'll then leave it to you, Mr. Stewart, to inform the
5 Chamber on whether there would be any need of a hearing. Of course, the
6 most important matter is whether consent is given or not.
7 MR. STEWART: Understood, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So I then can report that to the President. It needs
9 no reasons to be given for that. It's entirely up for the accused to make
10 up his mind and to decide that. If for any other reason you would
11 consider it necessary to listen to any other submissions in relation to
12 this issue, I'm quite willing to schedule a hearing for that. But then
13 I'll wait until you've indicated that you would like to have an oral
14 hearing rather than to send a written answer to the question I put.
15 MR. STEWART: Very much obliged, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 Mr. Krajisnik, let me first -- I'll give you an opportunity to say
18 something. Is there any need -- would the Prosecution like to make any
19 submission at this moment?
20 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour. There is nothing.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
22 Mr. Krajisnik, did I -- when looking somewhere else, did I
23 understand that you would like to address me, as Presiding Judge,
24 accompanied by Judge Canivell, at this moment? Yes, please proceed.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thought that Judge El Mahdi would
1 be present with us here, that he would return to the courtroom. But as I
2 understand that he will not return, then I should like to say a few words.
3 I should like to ask you to convey to Judge El Mahdi my gratitude for his
4 having followed this trial as closely as he has. This is not just by way
5 of courtesy. My gratitude by way of courtesy. I had the pleasure of
6 listening to his questions and how much attention he paid to listening to
7 the trial and his endeavour to arrive at the truth. As he is no longer a
8 judge, I wish him all the best and good health for his future.
9 Now, I have something unusual to ask you at this point. I am a
10 conservative man and I find it very difficult when people leave, people
11 whom I have -- if I can say so, been associating for some time, to see
12 them leave. Is it customary, or rather, can I send Judge El Mahdi a small
13 gift as a courtesy? Because he was always very attentive to the trial.
14 But if that is not in order, then I apologise for having brought it up.
15 Now, as far as the proposal made by Mr. Stewart, I share his
16 opinions and we shall, of course, confer and provide you with an answer in
17 due course. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Krajisnik. You asked me whether it
19 was customary to give a gift. I can answer that question with a clear
20 "no." I even would say that it's not only not customary, but there are
21 several reasons one could think of why it should not be done. I invite
22 you to discuss the matter with counsel and then to finally make up your
23 mind. What I heard between the lines you've spoken, however, and I think
24 that's also expressed in your question to me whether a gift would be
25 customary or not, is the sincerity of what you expressed, your gratitude,
1 your appreciation for how Judge El Mahdi served and will continue to serve
2 until the 14th of January in this case. And apart from that, the words in
3 writing will reach him. I'll not only, as I promised to Mr. Stewart,
4 personally look at it that he doesn't only receive them but that his
5 attention will also be drawn to that, and I'll add to that, as my personal
6 impression, that this impression was that you spoke those words with great
7 sincerity, from your heart.
8 Then I think we have dealt with the procedural issue, although it
9 is perhaps a bit poor to just call it a procedural issue.
10 We'll adjourn, either until next Tuesday, at a time and a
11 courtroom to be announced later, or until somewhere in January; I cannot
12 tell the parties when exactly.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.46 p.m.,
14 sine die.