1 Tuesday, 15 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. Madam Registrar, would you
6 please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Mr. Margetts, are you ready to continue the examination in chief?
11 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's my first question. Then the usher is invited
13 to escort Mr. Djokanovic into the courtroom.
14 Mr. Harmon, has any solution been found for the beginning of next
16 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have instructed staff to contact
17 potential witnesses. We have done so. I'm going to get a report this
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I take it that the Defence will be
21 MR. HARMON: As soon as I get confirmation from the witnesses,
22 then I will inform the Defence immediately.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, while we're waiting for the witness to
24 come into court, I would just like to place on the record my gratitude to
25 Mr. Sam Lowery from the office of legal aid in the registry. He was able
1 to assist us with finding an interpreter yesterday evening at 6.00. Thank
2 you, your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that it will be highly appreciated that you
4 express your -- that you express your gratitude in this way.
5 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djokanovic, can you hear me in a language you
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated. I'd like to remind you that you
11 are still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
12 your testimony. Mr. Margetts.
13 WITNESS: DRAGAN DJOKANOVIC [Resumed]
14 [The witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Before I give Mr. Margetts the opportunity to
16 continue your examination, I'd like to ask you to slow down the speed of
17 your speech because the interpreters and whatever you say has to be
18 translated into English and into French. The interpreters really have
19 difficulties in keeping at your pace.
20 Mr. Margetts.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Examined by Mr. Margetts: [Continued]
23 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, before the court went into recess yesterday
24 afternoon, we were looking at some transcripts of conversations that you
25 had with Dr. Radovan Karadzic and I'd like to resume this morning
1 referring to those transcripts.
2 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, could the witness please be shown
3 Exhibit P548A.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's the transcript of a conversation held on
5 the 29th of December and it has the internal number CD-41-28-11/02/051.
7 MR. MARGETTS:
8 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, at the commencement of this conversation, you
9 report to Dr. Karadzic in respect of events that are taking place. In
10 particular, I'd like to refer you to the section of the conversation where
11 you say more than 40 parties. Karadzic responds, "More than 40." And you
12 say, "And Vojo reported his guerilla fighters" and Karadzic says "Who,
13 Seselj?" And you say, "uh-huh". Could you explain to the Court what it
14 is you're referring to in that passage?
15 A. This talk was between Dr. Karadzic and myself. On the eve of the
16 convention on Yugoslavia, on the 26th of December, 1991, there was a
17 meeting at the SFRY Presidency attended by parties from Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina. At that meeting, we agreed to establish a coordinating body
19 and prepare the convention on Yugoslavia in the federal Assembly which
20 would be attended by all interested parties from all the Yugoslav
21 republics. That was actually the subject of this conversation between Dr.
22 Karadzic and me as they had told us from Belgrade where the secretariat of
23 the coordinating body was that 40 parties had responded to confirm their
24 attendance at the convention for Yugoslavia and as Dr. Seselj had
25 confirmed the attendance of his party, I told Karadzic about that being
1 interested to hear his reaction to that all.
2 That is -- and he understood when I said that Vojo had reported
3 his guerilla fighters. At that time they had two wings, Seselj's party;
4 one was the political party and the other was the Chetnik movement. So I
5 asked Dr. Karadzic -- I told Dr. Karadzic about this, wanted to hear what
6 his reaction would be and he just told to me, "Who Seselj?", without any
7 further comments. He then passed on to another subject. He told me that
8 he had talked with Micunovic who was the president of the democratic party
9 at the time. Also regarding their participation in the convention on
10 Yugoslavia and we agreed that I should send an official fax to the
11 president of the democratic party, Mr. Micunovic so that the democratic
12 party would also attend that meeting.
13 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, it's now well known that Vojislav Seselj's party
14 recruited volunteers who fought in the wars in Croatia and in Bosnia, in
15 particular at the end of 1991 --
16 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I would object to evidence being given
17 via a question, Your Honour. In my submission, that's inappropriate and I
18 would object to questioning of that nature.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, at least the question is not -- I don't
20 know what the question is but if it would be about what you put to the
21 witness, then it certainly is leading and not a bit, but entirely leading.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. I will withdraw the question and
23 the reason for the comment was really that this matter does have quite a
24 deal of notoriety these days, but I will put the question in a non-leading
1 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, are you aware whether or not Vojislav Seselj
2 recruited volunteers for the purpose of them fighting in the conflicts in
3 the region toward the end of 1991?
4 MS. LOUKAS: Again, Your Honour, that's leading.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It is leading to some extent. Let me take it over.
6 Dr. Djokanovic, what could you tell us about the activities of
7 Vojislav Seselj? At that time, what were his main activities?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards the activities of Mr.
9 Seselj, I can only tell you about what I saw on television or read in the
10 papers. I do not know Mr. Seselj. It was on the 3rd of January at this
11 convention that I saw him for the first time which he attended with his
12 delegation. I know from the papers that he organised people to go and
13 fight as volunteers in the war theatres in Croatia and later in Bosnia.
14 So knowing that he was sending volunteers to Croatia, I asked Karadzic
15 about it so that we would adopt some sort of a position because he was
16 also a member of the coordinating body for the convention on Yugoslavia
17 which I was a member and I wanted to see what position we would adopt as
18 regards Seselj.
19 So when the convention was taking place in the Assembly conference
20 room, we saw that Seselj had sat with his people in the second row and
21 they asked me, Dr. Djokanovic, he has sat in the second row, what should
22 we do about it? And I said to them, he has a registered party in Serbia,
23 he has come here with his representatives of his party. He has the right
24 to sit where he pleases. We have not numbered the seats so everyone can
25 sit where they please. In a word, we did not have any special or
1 differentiated political posture in regard to Dr. Seselj or his political
2 party or the wing of the party which was questionable.
3 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you when you said in this telephone
4 conversation and for your report, "his guerilla fighters," were you
5 referring to persons recruited by Seselj?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but did you take that from the media or were you
8 informed otherwise about Seselj reporting guerilla fighters?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Solely from the media.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. MARGETTS:
13 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in the course of the answers to the previous
14 questions, you've referred to the Convention on Yugoslavia. During
15 January and February of 1992, were you active in Belgrade in convening the
16 Convention on Yugoslavia?
17 A. After this meeting was held in the Presidency of the SFRY on the
18 26th of January, 1991, this coordinating body was set up comprising the
19 presidents of parties from Bosnia and Herzegovina and I headed this
20 coordinating body.
21 We also agreed to establish an administrative secretariat and the
22 federal state offered its good offices for that purpose, namely an office,
23 a certain number of telephone numbers, and a person to mind the phones.
24 During those five or six days, I would go to Belgrade to see -- I went to
25 Belgrade to see how things were unfolding and then on the 2nd of January,
1 1992, all of us together from Bosnia and Herzegovina went to Belgrade to
2 attend the convention.
3 Q. Your Honour, there's a reference in this answer to the date
4 January 1991 at line 16. If I could just clarify that with the witness.
5 Dr. Djokanovic, what was the date of the SFRY Presidency session
6 that you're referring to?
7 A. The 2nd of January, 1992.
8 Q. During the period January and February 1992 --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, the matter has not been -- you
10 mentioned two dates, the first when the meeting was held in the Presidency
11 of the SFRY, when the coordinating body was set up comprising the
12 presidents of the parties. The second date you mentioned was the 2nd of
13 January when all of you together from Bosnia went to Belgrade.
14 Now, that first date when the meeting in the Presidency was held
15 when the coordinating body was set up, what was that date, because you
16 mentioned the 26th of January, 1991; is that correct?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the 26th of December, 1991
18 after that meeting, et cetera.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That clarifies the issue.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, could you tell the Court where you were in January
23 and February 1992, that is, during which period were you in Belgrade and
24 which period were you in Sarajevo?
25 A. After the convention was over, I returned to Sarajevo and on --
1 then I went to Belgrade on a couple of occasions to attend sessions of the
2 federal chamber, or rather, the committee that was preparing the text of
3 the convention on Yugoslavia. So after the convention, the meeting was
4 held, apart from the Bosnia and Herzegovina parties that attended the
5 meeting, on the 2nd of January, 1992, that is, there were also parties
6 from Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia. There were over 100
7 participants there. When I say 100 participants, I am talking about
8 organisations, I'm not quite sure what the number of the signatories to
9 that convention on Yugoslavia was.
10 The conclusions of the convention was that the federal Assembly
11 should adopt a comprehensive piece of legislation to address, or rather,
12 to resolve the political crisis in the SFRY.
13 One of the committees of the federal chamber was entrusted with a
14 task of preparing the text of a law to comprehensively address the
15 Yugoslav crisis. So it was for that matter that I went to Belgrade on a
16 number of occasions. I don't remember exactly how many. Then we had
17 another meeting on the 14th of February, 1992. This time the meeting was
18 attended only by those who had signed the convention text, the convention
19 from the beginning of January 1992, that is.
20 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, thank you for that explanation.
21 Now, moving to March 1992 -- Your Honour, if the witness could be
22 presented with the -- not the next two exhibits, we will skip those, but
23 we'll move to the Assembly sessions which are marked numbers 25, 26, and
24 27 in the list of exhibits and have previously been presented through the
25 witness Treanor.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Have you provided copies to the registry or ... the
2 25th might have been distributed already because I remember that you
3 already started.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, these are bulky documents and copies
5 in the normal number have not been prepared. These documents are in the
6 binders with registry and if the document could be presented on the ELMO.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, they could be, but would it not have -- have you
8 informed the registrar on what documents to find in advance of this
9 session? I mean now we start looking for them whereas I certainly know
10 that Ms. Philpott would have looked to find them.
11 I do understand that you have informed Ms. Philpott but there's
12 not a spare copy for the witness at this point so ...
13 It should be clear from the beginning whether you find them in
14 your binders and present them to the witness or whether the registry is
15 supposed to find them in order to save time in court.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could assist the case manager, if
17 we could just have a short pause while I do that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It's a kind of race to see who finds them first. The
19 registry won.
20 Can we have the English version on the ELMO.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, the pages that we would need to display on the
22 ELMO are from page 12 of the translation.
23 Your Honour, the portions of the English text that I'm referring
24 to are the speeches of Mr. Krajisnik which commences on page 12 and the
25 speech of Dr. Djokanovic which follows the speech of Mr. Krajisnik and
1 commences on page 14 and runs through to page 15.
2 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, you have before you the Assembly session from 18
3 March 1992; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, did you attend the Assembly of the Serbian People
6 on 18 March 1992?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, if you could open up the Assembly session and you
9 could refer to pages 14 where a speech of Momcilo Krajisnik commences, and
10 if you could read the text through to page 17 where Mr. Krajisnik
11 concludes and then your speech commences. And then read your speech
12 through to nearly the end of page 18. That's in the B/C/S version.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honours, could I just inquire whether or not
14 you have a copy of these pages?
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, we are reading from the -- of course there is one
16 copy in the hands of the registry but I mean that's ...
17 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm informed by the case manager that
18 we have nine copies of this.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine, we spent already three minutes on
20 getting the right material on the ELMO and I do understand now that we are
21 going to spend another three minutes on distributing nine copies
22 available. I mean let's get practical, Mr. Margetts. And if I just may
23 say in relation to that, if you have already announced that you are going
24 to pay attention to the speech delivered by Mr. Djokanovic, the next
25 question whether he was present on not sounds a bit -- of course it's all
1 within the realm of advocacy but it's not very practical advocacy.
2 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour, for that guidance. In the
3 realm of being practical, Your Honour, if I could respectively suggest
4 that it may be more convenient if the transcripts that we have here were
5 provided to you, it would be quicker, I suggest, than the ELMO.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, no one opposed against them to be
7 distributed five minutes ago, would they?
8 If I sound a bit irritated, I promise you that I'll suppress that
9 but ...
10 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, of course I'm suppressing the same
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do we start on page 14, Mr. Margetts?
13 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if you could start on page 12 and read
14 through to page 15.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, do you recall making the speech that commences on
19 page 16 of your copy?
20 A. March was a very significant month, I recall very vividly the
21 Assembly sessions and the speeches by the then most significant
23 Q. First of all, I'd like to refer you to the first paragraph of your
24 speech where you say that war or peace was discussed and common sense
25 prevailed. Could you explain to the Court what you meant when you made
1 those remarks?
2 A. I indicated something along those lines in answer to the question
3 by His Honour. Now this establishment of the Assembly of the Serbian
4 people came several days after the adoption of the memorandum on the
5 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina that had been adopted by this
6 unprincipled parliamentary majority. I say unprincipled although it was a
7 majority, but I say unprincipled because it was a coalition of the three
8 parties where two parties chucked the third party and then adopted a
9 memorandum that was against the will of the third party.
10 I said yesterday that there was a euphoria on the side of the SDA
11 and the HDZ whereas on the side of the SDS, their politicians and
12 supporters, there was rage. And at the inaugural session of the Assembly
13 of the Serbian people, there were discussions to the effect that we should
14 start waging a war because people were enraged. However, most of those
15 who took the floor were in favour of resolving the political crisis
16 peacefully, through peaceful means and that we had enough capable people,
17 human resources, to find a solution, find an exit out of this complicated
19 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, I'll now refer you to further on in your speech,
20 in fact, the second last paragraph of your speech. And in this passage,
21 you state, that you'd like to make a point here and you say, "What has
22 happened to even the highest ranking officials of the Serbs in BH, among
23 them, the president of the Assembly of the Serbian people of BH, that they
24 say publicly, that Yugoslavia does not exist anymore."
25 What were the implications of saying that Yugoslavia did not exist
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. In the second last passage, I said that I supported the efforts
3 invested by those participating in the negotiations and that success was
4 looming in this negotiation process for the Serbian people. And when I
5 say for the Serbian people, I mean that there was going to be a solution
6 that was going to be acceptable for all the three peoples which would mean
7 success for the Serbian people because we asked no more, no less than the
8 other two peoples.
9 However, during those days, some statements were published in the
10 mass media and I did turn to that when Mr. Krajisnik said that there was
11 no -- that Yugoslavia was no more, I said that none of the politicians
12 could afford to state such a thing because we had to draw our force from
13 the results of the plebescite of the Serbian people held at the end of
14 1991, where the Serbs had called on all the members of other ethnicities,
15 religions to vote for staying within this country that we loved.
16 So if anyone was to breakup Yugoslavia, that should not be the
17 Serb politicians, because their own people state that they wanted to
18 remain within Yugoslavia. Now you have a conference on Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, you should focus on the conference and seek for a righteous
20 way out of this problem. That was my message to them.
21 Q. And in the context of the speech that you made, your reference to
22 the fact that is said by high officials that Yugoslavia did not exist
23 anymore, what did you think the implications of that statement were?
24 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, that question has been asked and
25 answered in relation to what the implications of saying that Yugoslavia
1 did not exist anymore.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, the question was certainly asked. It
4 was my impression that it hadn't been fully answered.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You get one opportunity to find further clarification
6 of the answer and to see whether it really answered your question.
7 MR. MARGETTS:
8 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in your view, as soon as it was accepted that
9 Yugoslavia did not exist anymore, what would follow?
10 A. If the Serb politicians were to accept that Yugoslavia was no more
11 then they did not have any basis for remaining on the political scene
12 because the future Serbian republic and its constitution relied upon the
13 vote of the Serbian people and other people who -- voting in favour of
14 staying within Yugoslavia. The turnout at this particular vote was by far
15 larger than ever before, at least as regards the Serbian people.
16 Q. When you say that the Serb politicians had no basis for remaining
17 on the political scene, what, then, were the options for the Serb
19 A. We were walking out of the Assembly, even though this
20 parliamentary majority that was formed was unprincipled, it was a majority
21 after all. The SDA and the HDZ also had some sort of a logical basis,
22 foundation for saying that they were a parliamentary majority. This was
23 just one political option that was against it. Why should a political
24 option seem to represent the entire peoples. We are walking out of the
25 Assembly, we are establishing an Assembly of the Serbian people which
1 undoubtedly enjoys the support of the Serbian people. Then we establish
2 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but that was the maximum
3 that we could do once we got separated from the Bosnian Assembly. We had
4 to walk all the way in order for us to return to normal, to functioning
5 normally once the other side, in future, realises what it had done.
6 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, at the commencement of your speech, you referred
7 at -- you referred to the war option. Was war an option for the
9 MS. LOUKAS: Again, Your Honours, in relation to that question,
10 the question of what Mr. Djokanovic meant about that particular aspect of
11 his speech has already been asked and answered.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Where do we exactly find an answer to this question,
13 Ms. Loukas?
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, that was in relation to -- right at the
15 beginning. I might just check here.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether the war was an option for
18 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, and I'm referring to the question
19 that Mr. Margetts asked of the witness to that portion of his speech and
20 the question is not merely was war an option of the politicians but it
21 actually refers to Mr. Djokanovic's speech and Mr. Djokanovic's speech,
22 Mr. Margetts has asked about in reference to that first paragraph that
23 refers to war and peace.
24 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
1 MR. MARGETTS:
2 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, was war an option for the Serbian politicians?
3 A. In grave political crisis, a war is always an option, not only in
4 the -- in this region but of course the politicians do their best to avoid
5 a war. I'm referring, again, to Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Assembly of
6 the Serbian People. Some of the deputies there were hot tempered, blew
7 their fuses easily and wanted to solve the political crisis radically, but
8 I said that most of the deputies in the parliament were for a peaceful
9 solution despite the gravity of the political situation to look for a just
10 and peaceful solution.
11 Q. On 18 March 1992, which politicians made speeches that suggested
12 they wished to solve the crisis radically?
13 A. I cannot recall at this time the names of these people. I do see
14 images of some people who were radical in their speeches in the Assembly
15 in general, but I can't really claim with certainty that they were the
16 ones who spoke that day.
17 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, just prior to you making your speech where you
18 referred to the war option, you refer to statements about Yugoslavia no
19 longer existing. Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik made a speech and this is what he
20 said. He said, "What is the problem?" He said, "I think the problem is
21 that they want Bosnia and Hercegovina to be internationally recognised at
22 any cost. They want it to be a state. In this respect, it would be good
23 if we could do one thing for strategic reasons, if we could start
24 implementing what we have agreed upon, the ethnic division on the ground,
25 that we start determining the territory, and once the territory is
1 determined, it remains to be established in additional negotiations whose
2 authorities are to function and in what way."
3 Do you recall Mr. Krajisnik making those comments on the 18th of
4 March, 1992?
5 A. That was stated by Mr. Krajisnik on the 18th of March that year.
6 Q. Did you consider that those comments were consistent with opting
7 for the war option?
8 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honours, that is classic leading and I object to
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I consider that question to not be a
12 leading question. The fact is that the witness will be able to say what
13 he considered those comments consistent with and clearly the topic that
14 we're discussing --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but, of course, you're already suggesting with
16 what the consistency would be. If you would have asked whether this would
17 be consistent with any view expressed during that day, then it would have
18 been far less leading.
19 Could you give your comment on this speech, Mr. Djokanovic, where
20 you situate this speech in the, I would say, in the spectrum of political
21 views presented during that meeting and other meetings?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I looked upon the conference on
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina in a positive light not because I was convinced
24 that all the three sides were to reach a just solution, but I was
25 reassured by the fact that the International Community got involved in the
1 resolution of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and this body was headed
2 by the Portuguese diplomat Jose Cutileiro. This was reassuring to me
3 because I saw the three sides starting -- entering into negotiations and I
4 hoped that they would come out of the negotiations.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djokanovic, that's not an answer to my question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm coming to that part now. There
7 was, of course, no need to go against the agreed principles and the
8 conference that was scheduled. Why should we talk about ethnic divisions
9 on the ground at the Assembly session in this context, because if this had
10 not been agreed at the earlier session, and it was not, then these are
11 merely speeches contributing to the war.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just see whether I understand your answer.
13 You said there was no need to go against the agreed principles and the
14 conference that was scheduled. Do I understand that to be that there was
15 no need to go against a solution by negotiations? And then you said, "Why
16 should we talk about ethnic division on the ground at the Assembly session
17 in this context, because if this had not been agreed at the earlier
18 session, and it was not, then these are merely speeches contributing to
19 the war."
20 Do I understand your answer to be that this part of the speech of
21 Mr. Krajisnik, as you said it, was contributing to war?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so, Your Honour. If --
23 but there is one sentence at the beginning which says, "We have agreed."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Where he says, "If we could start implementing
25 what we have agreed upon ..." And then you view the ethnic division was
1 not something that was agreed upon, you suggest that it was and --
2 advocates to implement that and you say that contributes to war.
3 If I'm misunderstanding you, please tell me, but ...
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the sentence needs to
5 be reread. If you will allow me, I will reread it.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In this sense, it would
8 strategically be good to do one thing, to start with what we had agreed
9 upon, ethnic divisions on the ground. If at the conference on Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, the three ruling sides had agreed to divide along the ethnic
11 lines and had this been agreed as in a position of the International
12 Community, then this would have been a totally different matter."
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that raises the question what actually was meant
14 by "we". If we could start implementing what "we" have agreed upon.
15 Do I understand your answer to be that this was at least not an
16 agreement between the three parties involved. Would you consider it a
17 possibility to understand the "we" for "we Serbs"?
18 A. Until this Assembly session, I had attended all the previous
19 Assembly sessions and not at a single one had we reached such an
20 agreement. As a matter of fact, this topic was not discussed at all, so
21 my dilemma was who are the "we" in these sides, the parties that were
22 involved in this agreement.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
25 MR. MARGETTS:
1 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, I'd now like to move to another Assembly session
2 from March 1992, and that is the 10th Assembly session that was held on
3 the 11th of March, 1992.
4 Dr. Djokanovic, were you in attendance at the session on 11 March,
6 JUDGE ORIE: Do we have another nine copies or ...
7 A. If you tell me that I delivered a speech at this Assembly session,
8 I will have to say that I was present at it.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we don't have the copies of this
10 Assembly session. For the purposes of this session, it will be adequate
11 for one of the pages to be displayed on the ELMO.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, what page should that be?
13 MR. MARGETTS: And that should be page ERN 0083-6985.
14 MS. LOUKAS: I'm just wondering what page that is in the B/C/S.
15 MR. MARGETTS: In the B/C/S, it is ERN 0081-6436 through to 6437.
16 MS. LOUKAS: I'm much obliged. Thank you.
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in answer to your question, I haven't found your
19 name in the list of attendees at this session but I think after we've
20 discussed the speech here, you may recall whether or not you were present
21 when this speech was made.
22 I refer you to the speech of Dr. Radovan Karadzic which followed
23 comments from Momcilo Krajisnik when he opened the session. And that
24 speech commences on page 0081-6436 on the version for you and continues
25 over on to page 0081-6437. And the comments I'm interested in, and I
1 invite your comment on, are the comments in the second paragraph which is
2 at the bottom of the first page and the top of the second page.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MR. MARGETTS:
5 Q. So Dr. Djokanovic, the comments that I'm referring to are the
6 following and that is, Karadzic states, "Fortunately, you realise that a
7 conference on Bosnia and Herzegovina was what was needed and that nothing
8 done against the will of one ethnic community could succeed in Bosnia,
9 that such action could lead only to uncontrolled processes and chaos, the
10 result of which would be a bloody civil war, with hundreds of thousands
11 dead and hundreds of destroyed cities, after which what we would have is
12 the same situation as we have now with three --"
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, could you mind your speed of speech.
14 MR. MARGETTS: "We have with three Bosnian and Hercegovinas, but
15 only after a war, and with much less population in cities, which would be
16 completely ethnically homogenous. For it must be assumed that the
17 forcible and bloody removal of minority peoples from one region to another
18 would be carried out on a large scale in a civil war."
19 Dr. Djokanovic, was Dr. Karadzic's characterisation of what a war
20 in Bosnia would entail your understanding of what a war in Bosnia would
22 A. Yes, it was. In fact, in the press article for Sarajevo
23 Oslobodjenje which I referred to yesterday, I said that if there was a
24 war, it would be one of the most disastrous, religious wars unprecedented
25 in the theretofore history.
1 Q. Was it your understanding, therefore, that when any politician
2 opted for the war option, they were opting for the forcible removal of
3 ethnic groups from areas?
4 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas.
6 MS. LOUKAS: Again, this question is entirely objectionable and
7 entirely leading.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, the objection is sustained. Would you
9 please rephrase your question.
10 MR. MARGETTS:
11 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, when any politician in Bosnia opted for the war
12 option, can you characterise what type of war you thought they were opting
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, a question of that nature is very
15 unlikely to be helpful to the Trial Chamber phrased as it is: "Any
16 politician." It's in my view a speculative question that would be of very
17 little assistance to the Trial Chamber.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We have heard evidence that politicians were opting
19 for war although there was a larger number which would try to find other
21 I do understand the question to be a reference to those who opted
22 for war. What kind of war, then, could be -- what type of war they were
23 opting for? Could you please answer the question?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Obviously, the war in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina can be bloody and disastrous affecting all the three ethnic
1 and three dominant religious communities. Depending on the status of the
2 politician and his realistic influence on the political life in Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina, they could carry certain clout, of course, if these words
4 were the words of politicians who did not have political force following
5 and support from the people from the grassroots behind them, that would
6 not be recorded in the media or have any specific gravity. But if this
7 was uttered by politicians in parliament, all politicians from parties in
8 power that at any rate did have a very grave political weight.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you a following question: A war, you
10 could understand war to be military domination of a territory. Was there
11 any clear view on whether it would be that or whether there would be any
12 specific consequences for the civilian population in that area?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the moment that we were talking
14 about the gravity of the political situation was discussed only in
15 official institutions and in some of the media by serious columnists who
16 were analysing the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely, we still
17 did not have the necessary critical mass that could actually go to war.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that's not an answer to my question, at
19 least not ...
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have understood, Your Honour, your
21 question but I tried to be very precise in answering about the situation
22 at that particular moment. At that particular moment, there were no
23 military forces that could be the participants of a war.
24 JUDGE ORIE: But if there is a war option, I take it that you use
25 violent means to achieve your aims. Would that aim just be military
1 domination of an area or would that have specific consequences for the
2 civilian population in that area?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If that happened, it would certainly
4 be military domination of a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina which would
5 certainly entail consequences for the overall population, whatever part of
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina that may be.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, any military domination has consequences
8 for the civilian population, but the question was whether it would have
9 any specific consequences for the civilian population more than ...
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because of the heterogeneity of the
11 population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, any war option would lead to the
12 grouping of the respective three national or religious communities with
13 their own sides. And ipso facto those who did not belong to any such
14 communities would be jeopardised in certain parts of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. So these beginnings of an ethnic division, any case leads to
16 a war would have led to a war that would have catastrophic consequences
17 for the population there. This is exactly what I talked about in my
18 article from 1991, namely, if we did not grasp the reality in the field,
19 homogenisation would be the deliverance of some and it would be reason for
20 a revolt for others and therefore, we had to invest great efforts to
21 understand this entire situation and leave it behind us as painlessly as
23 JUDGE ORIE: If you say grouping of the respective three national
24 or religious communities, grouping, that is, is that -- should I
25 understand that as relocating them in accordance with the ethnically-drawn
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, I would just like to have the witness
4 answer this question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm talking about the
6 initial stage, I'm talking about the political rallying which was actually
7 making the other population segments uneasy. So I'm talking about this
8 initial stage, the political rallying around the certain party which was
9 actually to carry out in practice what the community in question agreed.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You said war option would lead to grouping. I was
11 asking you what you understood by grouping. So we are not talking about
12 political strife anymore, but we are now talking about the war option and
13 what you meant by grouping. And I asked you whether that would include
14 moving parts of the population.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite possibly as part of these
16 political -- some of the political plans, relocating the population could
17 be and would be an alternative, but I was actually also thinking about the
18 more extreme solutions, the possible killing of the population,
19 relocation, resettlement, even though it is a very serious international
20 violation still leaves one alive, so there would be a mix of this
21 resettlement and killing of people.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That would be all the foreseeable consequences of
23 choosing the war option; is that a correct understanding of your ...
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Ms. Loukas.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Just in relation to
3 this, of course, I realise that it's in view of the hybrid system that's
4 adopted here, that objections against questions by Judges are not normally
5 made, but nevertheless, I think it's appropriate because of the system
6 that I come from where objections are made to Judges's questions, that I
7 do make a marker there in relation to the leading nature of the questions
8 on a question of such importance in relation to the case.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for putting your marker.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
11 MR. MARGETTS:
12 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, were there populations -- my apologies, I'll start
14 Dr. Djokanovic, were there politicians who were advocating the
15 separation of populations?
16 A. Frankly speaking, the entire ruling elite in that period was in
17 favour of separation of the population, some explicitly and some
18 implicitly. When I say implicitly, I'm talking about the Bosnian Muslims
19 who expected to gain something with -- as part of this ethnic division but
20 incidentally, let me mention also this: When the conference Yugoslavia
21 started on the 14th of February, 1992, and of course I know about it only
22 from the media, the three parties agreed to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 according to the territorial principle.
24 The Croatian side said right at the beginning that they were
25 sovereign over 17 per cent of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that they would not
1 renounce their 17 per cent. The representative of the Muslim side, Alija
2 Izetbegovic, said that the Muslims were sovereign and constituted in
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina and were the most numerous people and it was out of
4 the question for them to get less than one-third of Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 and the representative of the Serbian side said that according to the land
6 registry books, the Serbs owned over 70 per cent of Bosnia and
8 Q. Who were the --
9 A. In any case, all the three sides agreed at the very beginning
10 about the percentile division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. Who were the ruling elite in the Bosnian Serb leadership?
12 JUDGE ORIE: May I just first --
13 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in terms of "ruling elite".
14 JUDGE ORIE: May I just ask the following. The witness used the
15 words "ruling elite" on page 26 and now it disappears from my screen, but
16 I have another screen. When you said "Frankly speaking the entire ruling
17 elite in that period was in favour of separation of the population," did
18 you have in mind the ruling elite of all parties: Muslim, Croats, Serb,
19 or did you have in mind one specific part? I understood it to be -- to
20 include all.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the three players in
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, if you use exactly the same words in
24 your next question and add to it Bosnian Serb, then it could lead to
1 Does this resolve the matter, Ms. Loukas?
2 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, that certainly resolves the matter
3 to my satisfaction.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
6 MR. MARGETTS:
7 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, when you referred to the ruling elite --
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine.
9 MR. MARGETTS:
10 Q. When you referred to the ruling elite, in regards to the Bosnian
11 Serb leadership, who are you referring to?
12 A. All the three ruling elites comprise national functionaries of the
13 Assembly of the government, plus the functionaries of the ruling parties.
14 Therefore, within the party infrastructure, the president of the executive
15 Board, president of the executive board of the party, the main part
17 Q. In March 1992, who were the real decision makers in the leadership
18 of the Bosnian Serbs?
19 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honours, I object to the general nature of that
20 question. And again, terms like "real decision makers," in my submission,
21 is very unlikely to be useful to the Trial Chamber.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think the word "real" suggests already something,
23 that is, that those who formally were expected to make decisions would not
24 be the real decision makers, at least that's the suggestion implied. On
25 the other hand, the witness was in the position that he can answer the
1 question who were the decision makers and could add anything as to formal
2 positions and informal positions.
3 So who were the decision makers in the, I would say, on the
4 Bosnian Serb political scene?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer, Your Honours, in the
6 sense of who were the leaders of all the three parties, I mean the
7 decision makers and then in that context I would also respond in relation
8 to the Bosnian Serbs?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I think that's a matter of fact that you answered the
10 question in general terms, that political elite you would be consider to
11 be party officials. Well, you mentioned a couple of categories of
13 Now, the question specifically is: In view of the Bosnian Serbs
14 and perhaps later on, someone will ask you about the Bosnian Croats or the
15 Bosnian Muslims, but now specifically the Bosnian Serbs, who were the ones
16 who were decision makers?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that point in time, Dr. Radovan
18 Karadzic was the -- undoubtedly, the main decision maker. Then members of
19 the Presidency, Professor Koljevic and Professor Plavsic and the fourth
20 decision maker at that time was Mr. Krajisnik.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, fourth influence was
22 Mr. Krajisnik.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
24 MR. MARGETTS:
25 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in early 1991 --
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Excuse me, what does it mean
2 where the fourth person was it -- if you take the hierarchy, what do you
3 mean by fourth in position? You have told -- you have given us certain
4 names and behind this fourth person was there a fifth one, was the fourth
5 person the last person on a list of four people? Was this the fourth
6 people on the list of 20 people and why do you tell us that it's the
7 fourth person? I'm sorry, but I could not really understand what you mean
8 by that.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My reply was actually a reply in
10 relation to both your dilemmas, both in hierarchy as someone who signed
11 the appointments for members of the Presidency, Professor Koljevic, Ms.
12 Plavsic and as someone who had signed the nomination for Mr. Krajisnik at
13 the parliamentary elections, someone like that would be a very important
14 political figure.
15 Mr. Koljevic and Ms. Plavsic who got most votes for the
16 parliamentary elections, thanks to their education, their social standing
17 in the town and particularly because of their election results were
18 undoubtedly ranked third. I wouldn't actually distinguish between the
19 second and the third place in ranking.
20 Mr. Krajisnik, as president of the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 by his very function is distinguished from the deputies and becomes more
22 important than the deputies, but the fact that -- because he received
23 fewer votes at the elections, then Professor Koljevic and Ms. Plavsic, he
24 could not be ranked equal with him. This was something that was taken
25 into consideration to a large extent while setting up the Serbian state.
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I wanted to know if after Mr.
2 Krajisnik there was another person who was influential -- how many
3 influence people were there?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Except for the establishment of the
5 Assembly of the Serbian people, there were no significant decisions and
6 the Assembly of the Serbian People was established almost unanimously,
7 there wasn't somebody taking a vote on it, it was a joint position of all
8 the participants in this process at the time.
9 Now after Mr. Krajisnik, there were the Serbian members of the
10 government within the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina but they did not
11 carry as much clout as to be ranked at this imaginary -- on this imaginary
12 ladder of influence.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I haven't finished.
14 So the political influence was in the hands of four people; is
15 that correct?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The political influence of the
17 people who constituted the ruling nomenclature of the Serbian people was
18 wielded by these four persons whereas there were other people who carried
19 clout, political clout, locally.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
21 MR. MARGETTS:
22 Q. Was the political influence of these four persons equal?
23 A. Can you make the question more specific, please? What period do
24 you have in mind?
25 Q. In early 1992.
1 A. The greatest influence was wielded, of course, by Dr. Karadzic.
2 Next to him or after him, Professor Koljevic, Dr. Plavsic and Mr.
3 Krajisnik. I wouldn't be able to be more specific than I've been in my
4 last answer and I'm referring now to this period where we've been looking
5 at the Assembly sessions.
6 Q. In early 1991, did you have a conversation with Dr. Koljevic about
7 Momcilo Krajisnik?
8 A. You were asking me something that I indicated in -- that I've
9 already indicated in my testimony. One day, during these Assembly
10 sessions, we'd usually meet in Mr. Krajisnik's office because they seemed
11 to be most appropriate for such meetings and Dr. Koljevic and I resided in
12 the same part of the town and we usually took a walk at the close of these
13 meetings on our way home. It was on this occasion that I told Professor
14 Koljevic the following: Professor, does it seem to you that Mr. Krajisnik
15 is struggling for more power than he'd actually need as President of the
17 That was something that I had already stated in my testimony.
18 This struggle of his for a better position within the hierarchy of
19 the Bosnian Serbs did not take him much higher than I've specified in
20 terms of his ranking earlier on in May -- in March 1992.
21 Q. After the war started, did Dr. Koljevic refer to that conversation
22 you had with him and make a comment to you about that topic?
23 A. About a year after this conversation of ours in Sarajevo, Mr.
24 Koljevic said something unexpected. I must tell you first that when I
25 told Mr. Koljevic what I've already said, he replied, Well, Dragan, I'm
1 not sure about this. Where did you get this from?
2 But then as we were walking once along Pale, he unexpectedly told
3 me, Dragan, you were right when you stated that thing about Krajisnik.
4 That's exactly how he told me.
5 Q. In the answers to Judge Hanoteau's questions, you referred to the
6 deputies and the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs. Was there any one of
7 the leaders who controlled, more than others, in the leadership, the
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas.
10 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I object to that question. Firstly,
11 that implies -- there's been no foundation for that question, and it's
12 also a leading question. So in those circumstances, Your Honour, it
13 should be rephrased so that whatever evidence there is to be elicited can
14 be elicited in a less leading fashion.
15 I particularly refer to this question of control more than others
16 in the leadership. It implies, Your Honour, that there was such control.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, would you please rephrase your
19 MR. MARGETTS:
20 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in your response to Judge Hanoteau's inquiry about
21 the level of influence of persons in the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs,
22 you referred to four people. Now, those four people, you've told us were
23 the leaders of the Bosnian Serbs. Can you tell me, out of those four
24 people, whether any of them had more or less influence over the deputies?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor is very insistent so I'll have to give a wider
1 answer. When we were at the conference in Belgrade on the 2nd of January,
2 one evening Dr. Karadzic and I discussed the political situation in Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina and at one point Dr. Karadzic says that there was fierce
4 fighting going on for the second position.
5 The second position in the hierarchy in the political
6 infrastructure of the Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this second
7 in rank was supposed to belong to Mr. Krajisnik and then to Mr. -- but
8 also to Professor Koljevic and Ms. Plavsic because they had received most
9 votes for their position, whereas Mr. Krajisnik received these votes. And
10 additionally, the votes first for him as a deputy and then votes for him
11 as the President of the Assembly which gave him, following the elections
12 for the President of the Assembly, in realistic terms, a very influential
13 position in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, can I stop you there?
15 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I'd submit the witness should be
16 allowed to finish his answer. Mr. Margetts asked the question and the
17 witness should be allowed to give his answer.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djokanovic, when you said that following the
19 elections for the president of the Assembly, in realistic terms, a very
20 influential position in Bosnia and Herzegovina, could you expand on that,
21 on the position and the influence from that position?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By inertia from the communist
23 regime, we inherited a certain legacy where the President of the Assembly,
24 this function was second most important position in the state. This is
25 still true for our country which is in its in inchoate democracy stage,
1 where it is not just a representative function as it is in democracies but
2 it has great political influence even in the election of a government and
3 especially within one's own party.
4 May I continue answering the question put to me by the Prosecutor?
5 However, Mr. Karadzic enjoyed enormous support by the people,
6 those who were elected, Mr. Koljevic, Ms. Plavsic and Mr. Krajisnik knew
7 that Mr. Karadzic's position was sacrosanct in the eyes of the Serbs in
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina but also for Mr. Milosevic. This was the period
9 when the Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia looked upon Mr. Milosevic as the most
10 important politician for them and as a trustworthy person. So when we are
11 talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Karadzic is the most influential
12 person. Next in rank are members of the Presidency and President of the
13 Assembly. This is the position that I claim was such until the outbreak
14 of the war.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] When you're talking about the
16 influence, you're very often using the word "the president was
17 influential, the president of the assembly was influential." The word
18 influence, would you please explain what you mean by that word. Is that a
19 hierarchial power that they have over deputies? Is this a moral
20 influential, is it an intellectual influence? Could you please explain to
21 us what it means exactly?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I use the term influence, I
23 precisely meant influence on others because in our region, election
24 results are still abused because those participating in the elections do
25 not have specific differentiated political programs that they could
1 present to the people. And then following the elections, work on
2 implementing that program in association with the constitution and the
3 laws. We still have this struggle for power over people so that the
4 period we are discussing exactly entails this power and influence over
5 people, even over deputies, yes, and even over ministers.
6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And did that power, that
7 influence, where does it come from? Does it stem from the title that one
8 has acquired as a President of the Assembly? Is it due to the number of
9 friends one can have or the network of friends? Is it due to a
10 intellectual and moral dimension of the person? Is it because a person is
11 extremely powerful and intelligent?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the ignorance and the
13 mediocrity of those who accept that, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
15 JUDGE ORIE: One additional question to you. You said about the
16 influence of the President of the Assembly and you told us how that works
17 in your region. Would this, what you said, would that be true for Mr.
18 Krajisnik in that position or did he have the influence, as you told a
19 President of the Assembly would have?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would separate my own view -- my
21 view in terms of two stages in the activities of Mr. Krajisnik, the stage
22 when he was the president of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
23 the stage when he was the President of the Assembly of Republika Srpska
24 because the differences are substantial. As the president of the Assembly
25 of Republika Srpska, he was exceptionally, exceptionally influential.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ORIE: ... the terms as you described, including influence
2 on others, including deputies?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
5 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm mindful of the time. Would this
6 be an appropriate ...
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it certainly would.
8 We will have a break until 11.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, before I allow you to continue, I'd
12 like to announce to the parties that I signed this morning a decision by
13 this Chamber granting the request for a certificate for an appeal on the
14 decision on the second motion for adjournment.
15 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, from the start of the war until 20 April 1992,
19 were you in the Vrace police headquarters in Novo Sarajevo?
20 A. That is -- no, the house of my parents is in the immediate
21 vicinity there and I used to live there with my family and I worked in the
22 school that I referred to earlier in the infirmary, in the clinic.
23 Q. From the 20th of April, 1992 until the 10th of June, 1992, were
24 you in Belgrade?
25 A. In the stated period, I was in Belgrade, yes.
1 Q. Just prior to the 10th of June, did Professor Koljevic come to
2 Belgrade and meet with you?
3 A. Yes, he did.
4 Q. Did he make a request of you, and if so, how did you respond to
5 that request?
6 A. Professor Koljevic invited me to come to Pale and he relayed to me
7 Dr. Karadzic's position, namely one of his utterances which was that he
8 was actually wondering why I wasn't coming to Pale. So Professor Koljevic
9 and I agreed that I should go there.
10 Q. Did Professor Koljevic mention to you any specific assignment you
11 may have upon your arrival in Pale?
12 A. During that day when we met, we -- actually the day before that,
13 we discussed the situation in the field and then the next day we went to
14 the SFRY Presidency to see Mr. Kostic. We also went to the building of
15 the Serbian Presidency to see Mr. Milosevic. We also saw the patriarch,
16 Pavle, in the patriarchate and I believe he also met with McKenzie during
17 that day and later that day we flew together to Pale aboard a helicopter.
18 Q. When you went to Pale with Professor Koljevic, for what reason and
19 for what task were you going to Pale to perform?
20 A. The day before when we had more time and during the flight in the
21 helicopter, we talked about my possible involvement and how that would
22 look at Pale. So Professor Koljevic told me in what state they at Pale
23 were at that time and he told me that in force was a decision on the
24 setting up of ^cap? War Presidencies [Realtime transcript read in error:
25 "Commissions"] of the Srpska Republika, but that it wasn't being carried
1 out in practice as they desired and that they were encountering major
2 problems in the field.
3 So talking about this, we tried to actually come up with an
4 idea -- actually it was left more to me to come up with an idea of how to
5 improve that particular activity.
6 JUDGE ORIE: May I just check whether the transcription is right.
7 Did I hear war presidencies for war commissions from the translators?
8 The interpreters ...
9 THE INTERPRETER: I did say War Commissions. I should have said
10 War Presidency. I apologise.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, as a matter of fact, I thought that I heard war
12 presidencies and that it's either the translation or the transcription.
13 I'm not blaming anyone but I'm glad that the matter that is been resolved.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. MARGETTS:
16 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in light of Judge Orie's observance of the
17 difference between War Presidencies and War Commissions, can you explain
18 whether there was a difference between those two bodies?
19 A. When I arrived at Pale, there had only been in existence the
20 decision on the establishment of a War Presidency which wasn't being
21 carried out in practice so then I drafted the text on the creation on War
22 Commissions and the idea was to establish communication between the
23 municipalities and the Presidency at Pale all with a view to restoring
24 their operation, the civilian organs of their authority so the Republika
25 Srpska could actually be -- live as such in the field, through such
1 municipal authorities.
2 Q. When you arrived --
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I apologise. Could we have right
4 now an explanation as to what exactly these War Presidencies are, what
5 their role was, who constituted them, whether these were some kind of
6 administration or could it be one single person, et cetera? I would like
7 a detailed explanation of these War Presidencies and their particular
9 At the same time, I'm sure the Prosecutor is about to ask you
10 about what those War Presidencies were, as to their role, et cetera. I
11 would like a detailed explanation on this point. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So when I arrived at Pale, the
13 decision I had found there a decision had been published in the official
14 gazette on the setting up of War Presidencies. I cannot recall the exact
15 text of the decision but essentially what it was was that the previous
16 Crisis Staffs were to be redubbed War Presidencies, I don't know whether
17 comprising all the members or a reduced number. I cannot recall the exact
18 decision because it was being carried out in practice. It didn't seem
19 interesting enough for me to remember it. So knowing of such a situation
20 in the field, aware of the situation in the field, I tried to draft a new
21 text so that we could actually arrive at our ultimate objective. The
22 ultimate objective being for the civilian organs of authority to become
23 operational again and I'm talking about the deputies who were elected at
24 the democratic elections in 1990. They were supposed to assume all
25 responsibility for the situation in the field and of course do their job
1 until the next elections.
2 So that was the set objective. I drafted this decision on the
3 establishment of War Commissions, no longer presidencies but commissions
4 of trustworthy people to be designated by the republican commissioner
5 together with the people in the field and to be verified by a
6 corresponding member from the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Thereby we established direct liaison between the
8 republican commissioner and the Presidency. And the commissioner would of
9 course be operative in the field.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Was that what you expected to do?
11 Was that your role, how [as interpreted] to be fulfilled when you were
12 requested to work within the War Presidency?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Actually I was the one who gave the
14 idea about the War Commission and drafted the text and I submitted it to
15 Dr. Karadzic who only revised parts of the text. My proposal was for the
16 republican commissioner to appoint municipal commissioners so that this
17 new body which thus emerged in the territory of the municipality would
18 then convene a session of the municipal assembly calling the deputies
19 elected in 1990 so that these deputies, after that constituent session,
20 would actually elect the organs of authority and the new president of the
21 municipal assembly.
22 Karadzic did not accept this suggestion of mine, but actually
23 thought that the municipal commission should comprise the president of the
24 board of the SDS, deputy, a people's deputy, renowned citizen and the
25 renowned businessman. I accepted it but I didn't think at the time, nor
1 do I think now that it was a good move. I think that my suggestion was
2 better than having the republican authorities formed -- that it was better
3 to follow my suggestion to have the republican authorities formed with
4 people who were not involved in the previous work on the Crisis Staffs.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask one additional question.
7 You said the final aim was to make the civilian organs of
8 authority to become operational again and you were talking about the
9 organs as democratically elected in 1990. Was that a realistic option?
10 This Chamber has heard quite some evidence on large numbers of either
11 minority or majority populations leaving the territories of the
12 municipality sometimes after having signed that they would give up all
13 their property, sometimes with instructions published that if they would
14 not report within a short period of time, they lost the right of
15 residence. Therefore, it could be that large numbers of especially
16 non-Serb members of the population were not present anymore on the
18 What was the -- to what extent was it realistic to restore on the
19 basis of the democratic elections in 1990, the authority of the civilian
20 organs and them becoming operational again?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the municipalities in which I
22 was, it was only in Banja Luka that we had a similar situation as prior to
23 the war. With the municipal Assemblies still multi-ethnic. In these
24 other municipalities, these were mostly Serbian deputies, not for the most
25 part, only, only Serbian deputies were comprising these assemblies.
1 Although very flawed, still it was a much better variant than the
2 chaotic situation that we had before that, at least in my opinion.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I do not -- you said in other municipalities, these
4 were mostly Serbian deputies. We were heard evidence on quite a number of
5 municipalities where these Serbian deputies, municipal deputies were
6 either a majority or a minority or almost equal. Did you consider it
7 possible to restore these -- I would say these 1990 situation,
8 democratically-elected Assemblies where the population had been -- well,
9 was not in the same place anymore as it was before? Not, perhaps, the
10 whole of the population, but at least we heard some evidence about parts
11 of the population being moved. I'm not saying which part of the
12 population but at least not living in the same place anymore as they did
13 before. How did you imagine this to happen?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I hadn't expected that the
15 entire municipal parliament would be able to become operational again. As
16 I said, in Banja Luka -- actually applauded the efforts of the Banja Luka
17 authorities and the Banja Luka politicians for their municipal parliament
18 to be multi-ethnic. They invited me to Banja Luka although I was not
19 directly entrusted by the Presidency to form the municipal orders of
20 authority in Banja Luka but knowing of their desire to restore the 1990
21 elected organs of authority to operation, I did come to that assembly and
22 I applauded their decision on behalf of the Presidency of the Serbian
23 republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In these municipalities where I was as
24 the republican commissioner, these were uninational assemblies comprising
25 deputies in 1990.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Were they uninational assemblies in 1990 or was the
2 remainder of the Assembly uninational comprising those who had been from
3 that nationality that had been elected in 1990?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the 1990 election, in the
5 majority of municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were no
6 mono-national assemblies. I don't know if that was the case anywhere, but
7 -- because in most parts they were heterogeneous assemblies with a mixed
8 composition with Serbian deputies in the majority in some parts, and
9 Muslim deputies in others, and of course Croat deputies in parts where the
10 population was Croatian in the majority.
11 So with the exception of some municipalities in western
12 Herzegovina where the population was mostly Croatian, this was the case,
13 generally speaking.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was there any -- apart from Banja Luka, you --
15 Banja Luka was an exception for the Republika Srpska territory? Yes. And
16 any of the other -- in any of the other municipalities, was there real
17 effort to restore assemblies as they were before the war started or was it
18 just further developing the civilian authority of the Assembly as it was
19 constituted after the war had started, which is mono-national or
20 uninational, as you said?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of there having been
22 any efforts in other parts to constitute a multi-ethnic municipal Assembly
23 and I'm speaking of the territory of Republika Srpska. Perhaps there may
24 have been some efforts, but then I was not aware of them except for this
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for your answers.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could introduce now, Exhibit P527
4 which is the book of maps. It's not on the exhibit list and we could have
5 one of the pages, and that's the page that Ms. Philpott has opened, placed
6 on the ELMO which is page 20364-6506.
7 Now, if the map could be moved over on the ELMO so that the
8 eastern side of the map of Bosnia is shown. That's perfect.
9 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, on around the 12th of June, did you leave Pale and
10 did you travel to the municipalities in which you had been appointed a War
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Could you first, for the Court, outline which municipalities, as
14 at 12 June, you were responsible for by indicating on the map with the
15 pointer which municipalities they were and where they are situated in
17 JUDGE ORIE: Pointing is best done on the ELMO, Mr. Djokanovic.
18 MR. MARGETTS:
19 Q. If we could start with the municipality of Zvornik.
20 A. I'm pointing at Vlasenica, then Sekovici, Zvornik, Bratunac, and
21 Skelani. The Serbian municipality of Skelani, that's a part of the
22 pre-war municipality of Srebrenica.
23 In the summer of 1992, in August, I was also a commissioner for
24 the municipality of Novo Sarajevo.
25 Q. Possibly if we could then turn to the map of the Sarajevo area
1 which is on page 25.
2 Dr. Djokanovic, if you could just again indicate with the pointer
3 the municipality of Novo Sarajevo.
4 A. This is the municipality of Novo Sarajevo.
5 Q. Thank you, Dr. Djokanovic.
6 We won't be needing the maps any further.
7 Dr. Djokanovic, could you just describe to the Court the trip that
8 you made to this area and who you met with, what you discussed with them,
9 and what you observed as you travelled around this territory?
10 A. Of the municipalities enumerated here, as the first municipality
11 that I entered, starting out from Pale was Vlasenica. I dropped by at the
12 building of the municipal assembly of Vlasenica but having found no one
13 there, I went over to the municipal police building where I found the duty
14 officer, Mr. Djeric. I didn't know him from before but he knew me so he
15 knew who had showed up at the door. I told him what my purpose of the
16 visit in Vlasenica was and he helped me get in touch with some of the
17 people, members of the municipal authorities whom I met an hour or two
18 later and I informed them of the purpose of my visit to Vlasenica.
19 I showed them three documents that I had on me. One of them was a
20 political platform concerning this activity. The second document was my
21 appointment as commissioner of Republika Srpska and the third document was
22 a decision establishing War Commissions. Because we didn't have much
23 time, we didn't wait for the decision to be published in the official
24 gazette. I, rather, went out in the field and we agreed that once I had
25 toured the municipalities and I told them which municipalities I was going
1 to go to, that they were to prepare a list of four people who were to man
2 the municipal commission, whereas I was to be the fifth member of the
3 commission. I told them that we were going to finish the process very
4 quickly because they had all the papers telling them what they were
5 supposed to do.
6 After Vlasenica, I went to Sekovici where I had worked early on so
7 I decided to spend the night there.
8 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, if I could just stop you there, was it the 12th of
9 June that you were in Vlasenica?
10 A. It was either the 11th or the 12th of June.
11 Q. Can you please describe to the Trial Chamber what you observed
12 when you were in the city of Vlasenica in terms of the people you observed
13 and anything that was notable about that city or different from how that
14 city had been on the previous time you had visited?
15 A. Vlasenica is a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina with mixed
16 population, and prior to the war, people were milling about the town, it
17 was squirming with people because there was a bus station in the centre of
18 the town. Now when I came to Vlasenica in wartime, Vlasenica was
20 There's a road coming down from Mount Romanija right into the main
21 street of Vlasenica which leads to the municipal building which is on the
22 left side of the road. As I was taking this main street through the
23 centre of Vlasenica, I saw a couple of uniformed people and there was none
24 of the usual hustle and bustle in the town. It was quite empty as an
25 inhabited area.
1 Q. Did you observe any civilians in the city of Vlasenica?
2 A. I don't recall seeing any civilians.
3 Q. Did you have any conversation with Mane Djeric or Milenko Stanic
4 as to what had happened to the civilian population?
5 A. No, we did not discuss this issue at all. We only talked about
6 the issues surrounding the establishment of War Commissions and the
7 consequential objectives. I spent very little time in Vlasenica.
8 Q. Have you ever heard of the Susica camp that was located in
10 A. At that time, I didn't. Later on, of course, I heard about it.
11 Q. When did you first hear of the Susica camp?
12 A. I heard of the name Susica when I was following the trial of the
13 commander Janke Nikolic but I remember that in the end of 1992, the
14 president of Republika Srpska, Dr. Karadzic asked me to go to Vlasenica
15 and tell the local people there that this camp, he called it, Logor, was
16 supposed to be disbanded and he said it in a tone implying, Are they in
17 their right mind? What sort of a camp are they holding there at the end
18 of the 20th century. I went there because it was not far away from Pale
19 and I conveyed this message to them. And I know that it was later on
20 disbanded but I don't know the circumstances surrounding it.
21 Q. So after you visited Vlasenica, you mentioned that you moved on to
22 Sekovici and am I correct that following Sekovici, you moved to Zvornik?
23 A. Yes, after Sekovici, I went to Zvornik. On my way to Zvornik --
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Excuse me for interrupting you,
25 Mr. Margetts. I have a couple of questions before we look into Vlasenica.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Did you go thereupon instructions? Did you receive any orders to go there
2 or did you go there spontaneously?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When Karadzic had signed the
4 decision on the establishment of War Commissions, it was up to me to
5 decide when I was going to set out on my journey. There was no concrete
6 specific conversation between us on this issue. I made my own decision as
7 to when to head on my journey and we had the documents which told us what
8 we were supposed to do. We had the document establishing War Commissions.
9 We had the document where I was appointed the republican commissioner so
10 that in addition to the drafting of the text, there was no special
11 communication about that matter.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] After you went to Vlasenica or on
13 any other trip, were you supposed to report, I use the word "report", were
14 you supposed to report on what you had done during your visit and any
15 other visit you have might have done afterwards?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My intention was to tour several
17 municipalities. Upon my return to Pale, I submitted a verbal report. I
18 was not required to submit a written report.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] One last point. To come back to
20 your visit to Vlasenica, you said this was a city in which there were not
21 many people left, or at least there was no hustle and bustle, no people
22 dressed in very different ways, different attire. And you said, well, I
23 didn't ask any questions. Does that mean you were totally indifferent?
24 You didn't notice much or if you did, that you ask any questions and just
25 went about to carry on with your work? Can you give us -- can you
1 enlighten us on this particular point?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the period prior to my arrival in
3 Pale, I spent a month and a half in Belgrade. My wife's parents lived at
4 Zvornik in this period when the war broke out and we all got reunited
5 because my wife and our children left Sarajevo and went to Belgrade where
6 we all met and we -- I conveyed them my impressions about Zvornik and we
7 had heard from the media that many people had left Zvornik and they
8 themselves told me as they were leaving Zvornik, it was basically empty.
9 That's how I saw Vlasenica as well, I simply thought that everybody had
10 left and I did not specifically discuss this with the municipal
11 authorities. I had to leave very soon and I expected that there was to go
12 to be an opportunity at some of the later municipal meetings to discuss
13 it. I did not really have occasion to discuss this matter with anyone
14 during my stay in Vlasenica.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So what were your conclusions?
16 What kind of interpretation of the facts did you give? I mean, the people
17 hadn't just disappeared into thin air, had they?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very hard for me to remember
19 what I was thinking about as I was driving from Vlasenica to Sekovici. On
20 this particular issue you would like to hear my opinion about -- I really
21 did not give it much thought. I only started thinking about it after
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 MR. MARGETTS:
25 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in Vlasenica, did the Serbian Crisis Staff -- had
1 they established authority over the Vlasenica territory?
2 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honours, just in relation to that question, I do
3 object. If Mr. Margetts wants to elicit evidence of this sort then he can
4 ask an open question as opposed to a leading one.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any dispute about who established authority
6 at that time in Vlasenica, Ms. Loukas?
7 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I'm not happy with the evidence
8 being elicited in this fashion.
9 JUDGE ORIE: But I did put a question to you, whether it's in
11 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, there's no time frame on this
12 question. It's too broad and general a question and any answer to that
13 question would necessarily be unhelpful to the Trial Chamber.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As far as the time frame is concerned, I did
15 understand the question to be about the time of your visit to Vlasenica.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, that was not clear from the question.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It was clear from the context, Ms. Loukas.
18 Could you tell us who was having the authority, if any, at
19 Vlasenica when you arrived?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Without any doubt, Vlasenica was run
21 by the Serb authority.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And Serb authority was who, a municipal assembly,
23 party organs from whatever party, Crisis Staff? What did you consider to
24 be the Serb authority at that moment?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I entered the municipal
1 building, it was empty. When I entered the police building, the chief of
2 police was there in the main office who was a Serb. When I met with the
3 municipal officials, when we entered the municipal assembly building,
4 these officials were Serbs. I did not know these people from before and
5 didn't know what their functions were prior to the war, whether they were
6 functionaries of the municipal assembly; however, I know for a fact that
7 all those who spoke to me that afternoon were Serbs. Perhaps -- I suppose
8 they were officials of the SDS although I'm not sure about that either
9 because I never asked them about it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Trial Chamber has heard some evidence about the
11 creation and existence of Crisis Staffs, was there any Crisis Staff in
12 Vlasenica at that time? You're nodding yes or ...
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, they told me that there
14 was a Crisis Staff in Vlasenica. Djeric and Stanic told me at that
15 meeting. I told them that Crisis Staffs were ceasing operation and that
16 we had to form a War Commission.
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... members of the
18 Crisis Staff?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, all those
20 people were members of the Crisis Staff.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
22 MR. MARGETTS:
23 Q. Did you arrive in Zvornik on the 13th of June, 1992?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Who did you meet when you arrived in Zvornik?
1 A. Zvornik is a municipality in which I used to work before and I am
2 quite familiar with it so that already at the exit of Sekovici
3 municipality, at a crossroads, Sekovici/Tuzla/Zvornik, I could already see
4 demolished and burnt-down houses and this is the first time that I saw
5 such burnt-down houses.
6 When I arrived in Zvornik, I could see on the other side of the
7 bridge old people crossing over to old Zvornik, Stari Zvornik. These were
8 predominantly old people and elderly women in the typical Muslim
9 pantaloons, dimije. So then I walked over to the municipal building on
10 the other side, entered it. I do not remember who was at the gate, but
11 they told me that the Crisis Staff was in session in the municipal
12 building and I actually barged in at this meeting in the -- of the Crisis
13 Staff in the municipal building of Zvornik municipality.
14 Q. You say you barged in can you describe to the Court how you
15 entered and what you said, if anything?
16 A. Well, as I said, at the entry gate, they told me that the session
17 of the Crisis Staff was going on and that if I wanted to talk to anyone, I
18 would have to go to that office where the meeting was. So when I opened
19 the door, they were having this session, most of the people there knew me
20 by sight as a doctor from the time before the war. Some of the people
21 there, I, myself, knew, and I didn't know others and then I introduced
22 myself and I stated my business.
23 They adjourned the meeting of the Crisis Staff and there I had
24 some consultations of the type I had in Vlasenica. I told them that it
25 was my obligation to also tour some other municipalities, Bratunac and
1 Skelani, for example, and they were to prepare a list of names of people
2 to enter the War Commission and that we would talk in more detail on my
3 way back because Vlasenica, Sekovici, and Zvornik were en route to my
4 final destination which was Skelani.
5 So on my way back from Skelani, I would be taking the same route
6 to Pale and I could devote more time to all the details in the Zvornik,
7 Sekovici, Vlasenica municipalities. Then I went to Bratunac, finished my
8 business there regarding the commission, and on my way back, I talked at
9 some length to the people in Zvornik.
10 Q. On that first meeting in Zvornik, who was present in that Crisis
11 Staff meeting; can you name the people?
12 A. I remember seeing Brana Grujic, Jovo Mijatovic, the people's
13 deputy, the president of the executive board of the SDS who we mentioned
14 yesterday, Jovo Ivanovic. I also saw the then secretary of the
15 municipality Stevo Radic. I also remember seeing a businessman from this
16 community, Slavo Tomasovic and a couple of other people that I cannot
17 recall but I can remember the faces.
18 Q. You informed the Court that you discussed the reason for your
19 visit there and the setting up of the War Commissions, did you discuss
20 anything else with any of those people at that time?
21 A. At that time on that day, I did not discuss any other issues. We
22 talked about these things when I returned from Skelani, when I returned to
23 Zvornik going back from Skelani.
24 Q. On what date was that?
25 A. It was either the 15th or the 16th of June or possibly it could
1 have been both the 15th and the 16th of June because I did stay the night
2 in Zvornik so probably I saw these people on both the 15th and 16th of
4 Q. Accepting that it was the 15th of June, on that occasion, who did
5 you meet with?
6 A. I talked to Jovo Mijatovic, Jovo Ivanovic, Branko Peric, and I
7 also talked with Brano Grujic but not on the 15th. After all, it was on
8 that afternoon of the 12th of June, prior to my departure for Bratunac,
9 and I'm concentrating hard here.
10 Q. When you discussed -- when you had the conversation with Brano
11 Grujic on the 12th or possibly the 13th of June, taking into account your
12 earlier dating of your first appearance in Zvornik, what did you discuss
13 with Brano Grujic?
14 A. On arrival at this office where the Crisis Staff was, I realised
15 that actually Brano Grujic was in full control of the situation. I stated
16 my business to all of them, and then I said to Brano Grujic, whom I knew
17 from before, because in 1991, I was once a guest at the Assembly of the
18 Serbian Democratic Party to which he had invited me so we knew each other
19 from then. And I asked him, Brano, why are all these elderly people
20 leaving across the bridge from Zvornik to Novi Zvornik? Are you aware men
21 of this -- what this looks like? And you can imagine if it looks like
22 that way to me, how it looks like to the foreign press and what they can
23 write about what is happening in Zvornik because elderly people never
24 leave their residences. Do not let yourselves be accused of war crimes
25 one day after the war is finished.
1 But this remained a subject for future conversation, this
2 impression of mine about how elderly people were leaving Zvornik across
3 the old bridge to Mali Zvornik, so this was an impression which remained
4 for future discussion.
5 Q. Was Brano Grujic the head of the Zvornik Crisis Staff?
6 MS. LOUKAS: Again, I object to leading, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us who the head of the Zvornik Crisis
8 Staff was?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated in my reply that it was my
10 impression that Brano Grujic was actually in full control of the
11 situation. Who was formerly the president of the Crisis Staff was
12 something that I didn't know. It was only later that I realised that
13 Brano Grujic had been -- was, in fact, the President of the Crisis Staff.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
15 MR. MARGETTS:
16 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, you've described these elderly women dressed in
17 Muslim clothing leaving the municipality across the bridge. What else did
18 you observe in respect of the population of Zvornik?
19 A. This was on my return when I arrived in Zvornik again when I met
20 some people and stayed for some time in Zvornik. I could see that it was
21 no longer the city in which I used to work and live once -- that it was
22 more or less deserted, that there were a couple -- a handful of Serb
23 returnees there, a handful of elderly Muslims in the city. They told me,
24 I think, that there was still some Muslims in Divic which is a suburb of
25 Zvornik and that there was some Muslims downstream the Drina River in
1 Kozluk. So I talked to my acquaintances, people that I knew from before
2 and this is what they told me.
3 It was -- I was given quite a few bits of information by these
4 people and armed with that information, I came to my renewed talk with the
5 leaders of the Zvornik municipality.
6 Q. When you say they told you there was some Muslims in Divic and
7 there was some Muslims in Kozluk, when you were a doctor in Zvornik, were
8 there Muslims in other areas of Zvornik as well as those other cities?
9 A. As far as I can remember, I think that the Zvornik municipality
10 area had 80.000 inhabitants in all of which 50.000 were Muslims. I
11 believe that the town proper had about 17.000 people with all the suburbs
12 that is. I believe that the majority there were also Muslims.
13 Q. Apart from the Muslims in Divic and Kozluk, where were the other
15 A. These elderly people were mostly in the towns -- in -- sorry,
16 houses in the periphery in the outskirts of the Zvornik town. I don't
17 know about the situation in either the surrounding Muslim or Serbian
18 villages, I -- I'm just talking about the town proper.
19 Q. In the town proper, did you meet with any Muslims?
20 A. I did not meet with any Muslims. In fact, I did meet one woman
21 Muslim, Mila Puskarevic. Her husband was a refugee in Belgrade and she
22 was also supposed to leave for Belgrade those days and be reunited with
23 her family. She worked with handicapped children so she stayed on for a
24 while to work with such children there. So I inquired after some people,
25 talking to her, I asked about her brother Mustafic who was a physical
1 education teacher, a good friend of mine, who had, in fact, called me to
2 come and work in Zvornik and it was on his account that I had come to work
3 in Zvornik. He was a very enthusiastic athlete and had a very good sports
4 chapter in Zvornik. So I also ask about some other people whom I had
5 known and she had told me that they had left and departed Zvornik.
6 Also I talked with an elderly person from Zvornik, a good friend
7 of mine, Slavko Dragutinovic, an old man who was very familiar with the
8 circumstances and people in Zvornik. At a certain point in time, he told
9 me, Doctor, help us, we cannot go out in the street. Not only have they
10 driven away the Muslims, but now they are threatening us as well. There
11 are groups of armed people going up and down the streets and you never
12 know whose house they will barge into.
13 I also heard about my friend -- an old friend of mine Muhamed
14 Jelikic, that he had been let go, but I believe that he had paid for it,
15 either in money or that he had given his house for being let go. And I
16 also heard that Dr. Jelikic cried before Marko Pavlovic for this guy to
17 let him go and be reunited with his family. Dr. Jelikic otherwise has two
18 daughters, one of whom is in Serbia. Sorry, married to is Serb, is
19 married to a Serb, correction.
20 So I was really emotionally charged and when I saw all these
21 people again in this municipality, they were not -- it was not really a
22 nice experience for them to talk to me because I told them -- I asked them
23 whether they were at all aware that this war would end one day. All wars
24 in history ended so that one would have to end one day. I asked them
25 whether they were aware that there was some documents accompanying this
1 war, documents which the International Community adopted after the Second
2 World War in relation to Nazi Germany and they were still in force.
3 Perhaps they were a bit frightened at that moment, and they told me that
4 they, too, were intimidated by these paramilitary units that were there.
5 Then I asked them, What kind of government are you? You have a
6 full hotel of the police, you have mobilised the entire reserve police
7 force, what do you think they are doing? What do you think you are doing?
8 So they remained speechless, in a word, to what I had said to
9 them. In fact, I don't think they liked my story at all, although at that
10 moment, it was only meant to warn them but it was very well meant. It was
11 only well meant. I did not actually categorise them as people who would
12 be able to inflict any harm on anyone, rather, I thought that they were
13 people who were not up to the task of actually responding to the gravity
14 of the moment. They were all amateur politicians without any previous
15 political experience who failed to comprehend the fact that political
16 office also entailed the responsibility, not only privileges. And it was
17 in a bad mood that I left Zvornik and passed through Sekovici and took
18 this paper in Sekovici -- also in Vlasenica, I talked for a while with
19 Professor Lukic, an elderly man ...
20 Q. You referred to the conversation you had in Zvornik after you had
21 been informed by an acquaintance, among other things, that the Muslims had
22 been driven away and you referred to "them," as the people you were
23 talking to. Can you name the people that you were talking to?
24 A. I mentioned Milan Puskarevic, Slavko Dragutinovic. I was also in
25 the health centre with the colleagues that I used to work for before. It
1 is hard for me to remember the names of the people and to say exactly who
2 it was that I talked to.
3 Q. I meant when you spoke to the Serbian representatives in Zvornik,
4 who were you speaking to at that time?
5 A. When I returned from Bratunac and Skelani I talked to Jovo
6 Mijatovic and Jovo Ivanovic and Branko Peric.
7 Q. Did you also meet with the leadership of Zvornik on the 30th of
8 June and the 1st of July?
9 A. In that period, we had a meeting between the leaderships of
10 Skelani, Zvornik, Bratunac, Vlasenica, and Sekovici in the Zvornik
11 municipal assembly building. It was Dr. Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and I who
12 came to this meeting from Pale and it was the first official political
13 delegation that went out into the field, at least it was as recorded as
14 such by a newspaper published by the news agency Srna.
15 Q. Did you also meet with the leadership of Zvornik on the 19th of
16 August, 1992?
17 A. On the 19th of August, a constituent session of the Zvornik
18 municipality was held and I attended that session. I was -- I found
19 myself in a highly unpleasant situation. Someone had prepared a fierce
20 campaign, even a smear campaign that had started ever since the session
21 was opened. There was the introductory speech by Mr. Grujic, the people
22 who were cooperative, Jovo Ivanovic and Jovo Mijatovic with who one could
23 really communicate and talk to. That Branko Grujic, or rather, his
24 father-in-law had gone to the lobby with the deputies who were on the
25 battlefield to be elected president of the Zvornik municipality, Municipal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Assembly and who was slinging mud at me.
2 I endured this or deal and I even tried to ignore or at least
3 leave an impression of ignoring these statements of theirs and then I took
4 the floor and I told them what I really thought of what they had been
5 doing in Zvornik. I told them that I was a representative of the Serbian
6 Republic, that I was a commissioner of the Presidency, that I was a
7 commissioner of their government, their Assembly, and that finally, I was
8 a commissioner there on behalf of the constitution of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina -- of the Serbian republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 I familiarised them with the results of the plebescite, told them
11 that the Serbs had chosen to stay in Yugoslavia but the Serbian people did
12 not say that they wanted to remain alone in Yugoslavia, that nobody had
13 the right to do something that might harm the Serbian people in the future
14 and that the Serbian people were never genocidal or criminal in their
15 history and that all those who had committed crimes would be brought to
16 justice one day.
17 There were various unpleasant comments levelled at me from the
18 conference hall. But I remained in the conference hall throughout the
19 session where the Zvornik Municipal Assembly was elected. Brano Grujic
20 was elected the president of the Assembly and upon my return to Pale, I
21 briefed them about it, I told them that the Assembly was constituted and
22 that everyone was doing in accordance with the decision on the appointment
23 of commissioners but I told Professor Koljevic and Dr. Karadzic all about
24 the ordeal that I was exposed to during my stay in Zvornik.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you a
1 question, Witness.
2 To go back to this visit that took place, you said on the 15th or
3 on the 16th of June, am I mistaken? It took place on the 15th and on the
4 16th of June?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It must have been on the 16th of
6 June that I was in Zvornik. The municipalities of Bratunac and Skelani
7 are very near to each other and I believe that I returned from Bratunac to
8 Zvornik to spend the night there and then from Bratunac to Skelani and
9 then on the 16th, I returned to Zvornik so that I'm certain, 100 per cent,
10 that I spent both the 15th and the 16th in Zvornik.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to make sure that I
12 understood you correctly. Is it the first time that you were able to
13 notice physically the effects of a policy you talked about, burnt houses,
14 destroyed houses. You talked about a population of elderly people who
15 were leaving towards Serbia. Was it the first time that physically you
16 were noticing the effects of it all?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I experienced the beginning of the
18 war in Sarajevo. In the part where I lived at Vrace, there were no such
19 things to be seen. Next, I went to Belgrade to work as the president of
20 the coordinating body and I received invitations from many embassies of
21 many countries that wanted, after the convention of Yugoslavia, and after
22 the letter that I had sent to all the accredited diplomats in Belgrade
23 asking them to use their offices with their governments to make sure that
24 Yugoslavia is preserved and that one day the citizens of Yugoslavia would
25 be grateful to them for it.
1 However, this -- in this period, many ambassadors were revoked
2 from Belgrade so that I was not able to visit all those that I had wanted
3 to visit. However, I was very much occupied and busy with all -- with
4 this business and my wife and children were in Belgrade as well, but we
5 did not have a TV set at home so I was unable to follow what was going on
6 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in that part specifically. So I was unaware
7 of the goings on on the ground.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] When was it the first time that
9 you were able to notice there on the field that things were happening.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was at Pale, Pale functioned
11 as a multi-ethnic community, Muslims lived there without any problems
12 until a tragedy occurred in Zepa. So we who lived in Pale did not see
13 much of what was going on in the field. I understand, Your Honour, what
14 your question is, but I keep telling you what I -- I keep telling you what
15 I actually saw. I cannot tell you that I heard something different
16 because I was unable to follow the mass media, when I was in Belgrade and
17 when I was at Pale.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm terribly sorry for being so
19 stubborn, but my question is the following: On the 15th of June, when you
20 arrived in Zvornik, is it the first time that you noticed, yourself, that
21 you saw with your own eyes, burnt houses, destroyed houses, and people who
22 seemed fleeing.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I see. So could you please tell
25 us what was your reaction personally? How did you feel?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that in my earlier answer,
2 I tried to describe vividly how I felt and what mood I was in when I left
3 Zvornik. There is nothing I could add to my previous answer.
4 In my case, I felt defeated in -- to tell you, specifically, when
5 I was heading out of Zvornik. It was a town that I had worked in, where I
6 had organised the meeting with Karadzic and Zulfikarpasic. In order to
7 make this town an example of a town where people decided to live together,
8 especially because it borders with Serbia, and besides, I had some
9 emotional links with the town.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] How did you feel when you saw
11 people leaving, what was your personal inner feeling at the time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was in June 1992 and now it's
13 2005 and I still have an image of the old bridge before my eyes. Can you
14 picture an old lady hardly walking and she's fleeing. Why is she fleeing?
15 I don't think she really feels like living very much anyway. Why would
16 she be crossing the bridge?
17 There's nothing more that I could tell you on this issue.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, you told us, therefore, that
19 you were very emotional?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That same energy brought me here to
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So, precisely, I was wondering,
23 on that day of the 15th of June, you went and you met members of the
24 Crisis Staff, Jovo Mijatovic and Jovo Ivanovic, you saw them. What did
25 you tell them? Did you tell them, as I understood earlier, "Be careful,
1 the reporters are here. You might be convicted." Is that all you told
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps the best thing would be to
4 present a document here. When I was attacked by the Serbian Assembly in
5 1993, to look at a reaction by one of the deputies and I'd kindly ask the
6 Prosecutor if they could see to that.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Answer my question, sir. You
8 were facing these two members of the Crisis Staff, what exactly did you
9 tell them? You were standing there in front of them.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours asked me any more
11 questions on that matter further -- how I had experienced this and how I
12 reacted at a politician [Simultaneous English and French interpretation].
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I'm listening now to the French and the B/C/S and I'm
15 waiting for a confirmation that the French translation functions again.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, it's working.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness repeat his
18 answer, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said Your Honours, please do not
20 ask me to describe further that which I had already tried to describe with
22 As a politician, I had already spoken on this matter and was the
23 only one in the region to have spoken on that matter despite the risks
24 and since that moment, my life has changed completely. Ever since, I had
25 no peace any longer. I did not have any permanent place of residence. I
1 did not have a secure job, a steady job. My reaction at the time was such
2 that at one of the regional meetings in Bijeljina, Brano Grujic
3 stated, "The Muslim president and a Serbian functionary accused me of
4 being a war criminal. When in 1993 I warned Dr. Karadzic about the
5 turning point in the Serb policy at the Assembly meeting there, I then
6 went through something that a person of my physique probably would be
7 unable to endure.
8 Once again, I urge the Prosecutor to present here a comment by the
9 national deputy, the then president of the executive board of the SDS,
10 Jovo Mijatovic at the Assembly session in 1993. By your leave, Your
11 Honours, I believe that this would help to round off this issue.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And one more question, Witness.
13 The people from the Crisis Staff, do you think that they could have
14 stopped what took place?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they could have at least
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] How could they have done that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm just talking now about these old
19 people whom I saw and about that particular issue. They could have
20 visited them every day and if they could have entrusted some younger
21 people in the municipality, if we accept, as a hypothesis, that people
22 left Zvornik, had left Zvornik fearing the war, the Crisis Staff people
23 could have charged some of the municipal servants with visiting these old
24 people every day. This is what I told them: "Take them some medicaments
25 every day. Take them some bread every day. You could then tell the
1 foreign journalists, the people have fled, the population has fled. But
2 look, we are looking after those who remained. You have old people
3 fleeing their houses and fleeing to Serbia even though they don't like
4 Serbia, but they are fleeing to Serbia because they feel safer there. Any
5 day on the morrow you may be accused of genocide."
6 So sentence of mine was later abused, politically abused. Or when
7 you say you may be accused or the other variant is "they may accuse." In
8 our language that can mean either "they may accuse you" or "I may accuse
9 you." So it depends on the actual emphasis or the stress that you place
10 on the word. It can mean either.
11 So I really couldn't do anything but what I actually did given the
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Since you've spent a day and a
14 half in Zvornik, were you able to find out who were the authors of these
15 destroyed houses, who had caused all those damages?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The houses that I referred to on the
17 outskirts of Zvornik municipality, I really don't know who burned those.
18 But as for the town proper, it wasn't really damaged. There were no ruins
19 inside the city. As for who did these other things, they told me at that
20 moment, that this was done by these paramilitary groups that were on a
21 rampage in Zvornik and that no one could actually hold in check. That is
22 why I asked them, "Well, what are you doing with your police? You have
23 the Zvornik police, the Zvornik brigade. You have your army."
24 Apart from that warning, I also wanted to bring the leaders of the
25 Serbian republic to Zvornik, Dr. Karadzic and Mladic. And they
1 responded. They were at this meeting in Zvornik attended by the
2 representatives of all these municipalities. So I brought to that meeting
3 these leading people, the meeting of the leading municipal people. I
4 brought to them the top civilian man and the top army man to attend their
5 meeting to discuss all the different various topics. When I arrived at
6 Pale, I did tell them about everything that was going on in the field.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And I have but one last question
8 for you, sir.
9 You said in your statement when you were talking about the Crisis
10 Staff, you used the word "amateurs," could you elaborate on that? Could
11 you tell us why did you call these people amateurs?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A professional politician, you see,
13 especially one elected by the people, would abide by what he had offered
14 to the people. The parties that want power in Bosnia and Herzegovina had
15 offered their programmes to the people. Those were quite acceptable
16 political programmes. And all those who remember well 1990 know that I
17 supported the existence of national parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 because their programmes did not actually indicate that what later
19 happened would happen. Their programmes spoke about democracy, the
20 protection of human rights, personal security, the security of property.
21 The professional politician who wins the elections will remember why he
22 won the elections. But these were frauds. These were cheats. In no
23 programme of any political party starting from Slovenia to Macedonia in
24 1990 will you find anything -- will you not find the sentence that they
25 were advocating the preservation of Yugoslavia. In all of them, they say
1 that they will respect international governments and charters on human
2 rights and all the Geneva Conventions. Every programme will say that they
3 will guarantee personal security. Not in a single programme you will see
4 that they are not guaranteeing the safety of property.
5 But if this is in the programmes and you deviate from all of that,
6 then you are no longer a professional, you are an amateur and you are a
7 bad man. Those are bad people. What were their motives to engage in
8 politics in the first place? Why did they want to be in power at all?
9 What did they want to do with power if they didn't -- if they wanted ...
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
11 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues] ... War.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, we are close to the break. I don't
13 know if you have any further questions on the issue you started more than
14 20 minutes ago.
15 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour, we do have some further
16 questions on that matter so we're happy to break now.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Not necessarily at this moment. If you say -- if you
18 think you could deal with them in the next three minutes then fine; if
19 not, then we could either have an early break or I could put an additional
20 question to the witness.
21 MR. MARGETTS: If you'd like to, Your Honour, please proceed.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'm trying to fully understand your position at that
23 time. You did not tell these people you committed war crimes and you will
24 be held responsible for that. You said, "Please beware that the one who
25 commit war crimes can be held responsible for it." Is that a correct
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: What you had observed, did that give you the
4 impression that war crimes had been committed?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It gave me the impression that war
6 crimes had indeed been committed there in that area. I could not have
7 been more direct. In fact, knowing my own self, this was not -- it was
8 not by chance that I said this sentence which I told them, "You may be
9 accused of war crimes." However, I did not have reliable information. I
10 did not have any substantive proof of individuals having participated in
11 such dealings to be able to say that at Pale. And people, in fact,
12 avoided talking about the subject.
13 In the next period, the prime minister of the Serbian Republic,
14 the first prime minister, Djeric, several days after I had returned to
15 Pale, at Jahorina, in fact, in this building called Kikinda where I was
16 with Koljevic and Plavsic and where in fact the government was, so we were
17 walking in front of this building with Djeric and he told me, "You have
18 regards from Zvornik. They are sending their greetings, these people from
19 Zvornik. They like you."
20 Not knowing who he was referring to, I said, "Yes, of course, I
21 worked there previously. I know lots of people there." And then I
22 noticed that he meant one thing and I was saying another.
23 Then several days after that when we saw each other at Pale, when
24 he talked to me about my involvement in the government --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you because you give quite a wide answer
1 and I might be interested perhaps in other details as come to your mind.
2 So you said that what you observed gave you the impression that
3 war crimes, indeed, had been committed. You were hesitant to directly
4 confront the persons you were speaking with about responsibility since you
5 had insufficient information that they were the ones responsible; is that
6 a correct understanding?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't hesitant, I was very
8 explicit talking at Pale about the situation that I had found in the
9 field. I could not speak on an individual basis, because I didn't know
10 who the people were who could have done that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you don't mind, there might be some confusion.
12 You did not say directly to those you spoke with in Zvornik, "You are
13 responsible for the war crimes I see that have been committed here,"
14 because you had insufficient information to accuse your partners in this
15 conversation; is that correct? You couldn't say, "You, Mr. X, with whom
16 I'm speaking at this moment, you're responsible for these war crimes." Is
17 that a correct understanding?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, maybe with hindsight, with all
19 the knowledge that I have now, I would have been more direct then because
20 after all, I'm a medical person by profession. So reading the charters of
21 the World Health Organisation and other charters and international
22 documents, I knew these things and would have warned those people. But I
23 did perhaps say more than I actually knew about. I said to Brano Grujic,
24 "Who is going to return to Zvornik? What kind of a Zvornik are you
25 talking about? Look at yourselves. Look at your city. What kind of
1 return of people are you talking about? The elderly are leaving. Who is
2 going to come to that kind of a town, to that kind of a Zvornik?"
3 I couldn't say specifically about anyone getting killed or by any
4 specific person.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that you saw war crimes that had
6 been committed, you couldn't say to the one you spoke with, "You are
7 responsible for this killing or you are responsible for that destruction."
8 And therefore you, gave it a more general form saying that, "If you commit
9 war crimes, you may be held responsible at later stages." Is that -- do I
10 understand it correct, that you gave it that form?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I told them, "You are the
12 government. You are responsible. Your names will stay on paper. War
13 crimes do not fall under the statute of limitations. One day you will be
14 held accountable. I don't know who the main culprit is but as they do not
15 lapse, one day someone will be held accountable." And this is what I said
16 at the Assembly.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes but I'm at this moment, I'm interested in what
18 you told the people in Zvornik during this meeting.
19 Let's go to the -- you told me that you -- from your observations,
20 you concluded that war crimes had been committed by whomever and you
21 warned that this could lead to being held responsible for that. Did you
22 report to Pale, later on, that on the basis of your observations, that you
23 concluded that war crimes had been committed.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. There was nothing
25 unclear there.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ORIE: To whom did you report that exactly, apart from ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 16th in the afternoon on my
3 return, all the members of the Presidency were there. First, I met
4 Biljana Plavsic at the entrance to the building, and I told her
5 immediately about everything that had transpired in the field, and later
6 also to Professor Koljevic, and Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So you don't report ...
8 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreter hasn't finished.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I'm also not sure whether I
10 also told Djeric that evening when he returned from the field.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So you reported on the basis of what you had seen,
12 the conclusion should be that war crimes had been committed. Did you
13 specify what type of war crimes or did you give them -- I mean war crimes
14 is a very general qualification, isn't it. There could be many varieties
15 of it. Did you specify in whatever way on the basis of your observations?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told them that people in the field
17 were telling me that many ugly things had happened, that many crimes had
18 happened in the field. I don't think that even now I'm able to give you a
19 legal differentiation in terms of how this should be characterised under
20 international law, but as a human being, I can tell you that people were
21 killed, they were driven away from their houses, and that this happened on
22 a massive scale and this is what I found out from talking to people.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And that's what you told the members of the
24 Presidency upon your return to Pale, that people were killed and driven
25 out on a mass scale and that was the information you got; is that a
1 correct understanding?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you have understood me
4 JUDGE ORIE: Were your own observations either supportive or
5 non-supportive of what people had told you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I saw was a confirmation. I
7 never doubted for a moment that the stories that the people were telling
8 me in Zvornik were untrue because these are serious people and people whom
9 I trusted.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And are you certain about the presence of the
11 members of the Presidency? You expressed some doubt about the presence of
12 Mr. Djeric, but do you have any doubt as to whether you told Ms. Plavsic,
13 as you said, Mr. Karadzic, professor, what's his name again, Koljevic, and
14 Mr. Krajisnik, do you have any doubt as ... I see you're nodding no. For
15 the transcript, that doesn't appear but I understand your answer to be in
16 the negative.
17 We'll adjourn until 1.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.39 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If the parties will have one second, please, for me.
21 MS. LOUKAS: Certainly, Your Honour, there's just a matter I need
22 to place on the record at some point prior to the witness recommencing.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One second, Ms. Loukas.
24 I was informed that -- the interpreters informed me that on page
25 30, close to line -- in line 11, after the word "hierarchy" that the name
1 was mentioned by the witness, the name Karadzic, and that although that
2 appears from the rest of his answer, it is something that should be put on
3 the record.
4 There's another matter I would like to address and it's mainly for
5 you, Mr. Margetts. The Chamber is aware that we took over questioning of
6 the witness for almost half an hour in totality. It is not the intention
7 of the Chamber to interfere at such a scale with the examination by the
8 parties. At the same time, perhaps you may have noticed that the Chamber,
9 and this relates also to what I said yesterday, that apart from exploring
10 all the other political options that would have existed or would have been
11 in the mind of whoever -- so apart from exploring that in much detail,
12 that the Chamber very much is inclined to find -- to find the information
13 which sometimes seems to disappear in a lot of words which not always have
14 the clarity one would wish if one is seeking to establish what actually
16 That's what I'd like to say.
17 I have another very technical matter which is not related to this
18 witness, but Ms. Loukas, I'll first like to give you an opportunity to
19 make the submission you'd like to make.
20 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Your Honour will recall that earlier this morning, I placed a
22 marker down in relation to questions from Your Honour. I will place a
23 similar marker down in relation to the series of questions from Your
24 Honour just prior to the break. Of course these are in circumstances
25 where we are in a hybrid system and judges do ask questions and it's not
1 the done thing here other than in exceptional circumstances to object,
2 although, of course, coming from a common law background, it's somewhat
3 different in my system.
4 But leaving that aside, Your Honour, I would submit that the
5 series of questions Your Honour asked just prior to the break do
6 constitute such an exceptional circumstance and I do make this submission
7 in the interest of justice and that is this: Leading questions in
8 evidence in chief are of course particularly for matters that go to the
9 core of the case are always objectionable, Your Honour. And the basic
10 philosophy behind it, of course, is that the evidence must come from the
11 witness, not from the questions of the questioner.
12 But in my submission here, the situation is much more serious, a
13 fortiori, Your Honour, when the questions come from the Bench, when such
14 leading questions emerge from a Judge, the temptation for a person in the
15 witness' position to agree is too great a danger and is not in the
16 interests of justice. And in my respectful submission, Your Honours,
17 evidence of that nature that goes to the core of the case should not be
18 elicited by a judge in a leading form, and I place that on the record,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Ms. Loukas. I will consider since,
21 of course, you address not only the Chamber but me as -- not only as
22 Presiding Judge but also as the Judge who has put some questions to the
23 witness, I will consider whether I ask any further specification as to the
24 lines, et cetera, because one thing should be certain, that is, that I
25 want to take every observation by any party with the seriousness it
2 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour, I much appreciate that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then I move to the other issue, that is I have to
4 raise it now. Mr. Djokanovic, it will not take much time. I ask for your
6 On the 11th of March, Mr. Harmon, a motion for protective measures
7 for three witnesses were filed, witnesses to appear soon, according at
8 least to the schedule and I know that the schedule is not certain anymore,
9 but there are two questions in relation to those witnesses.
10 First, according to the second revised list of witnesses which was
11 filed on the 4th of December, 2003, these three witnesses appear to have a
12 pseudonym already assigned to them in another case. The motion does not
13 mention this fact and therefore, our interpretation of the table of the
14 4th of December might be a wrong one. We'd like you to clarify this by
15 tomorrow whether, at least, protective measures were already assigned to
16 these witnesses in other cases.
17 Second, the motion was filed on the 11th of March. Looking at the
18 Rule 126 bis, the Defence has 14 days for a response. That would have
19 been, because the last day to respond would be a holiday, then finally, it
20 would be the 29th of March which would be the last day for filing a
21 response. But the witnesses, of course, were apparently already due to
22 testify next week and therefore, I'd like to hear from the Defence whether
23 there's any problem in responding to the motion by next Monday, that's the
24 21st of March, even if it will be orally.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I'll look into that when the Court
1 finishes today.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MS. LOUKAS: I'm fairly sanguine that we can meet that timetable.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Loukas, for that cooperative attitude.
5 Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in addressing the members of the Crisis Staff of
8 Zvornik, you stated to them that any day they may be accused of genocide.
9 Why did you utilise the word "genocide"?
10 A. Look at the population in Zvornik. If the oldest of residence
11 leave Zvornik, if things occurred for which one knows with certainty are
12 crimes today, even the President of the Crisis Staff stated that a little
13 genocide, as he put it, had been committed in Zvornik.
14 Q. In your discussions with the President of the Crisis Staff, Brano
15 Grujic, did he use those words that you have just used, that is, that "a
16 little genocide occurred in Zvornik"?
17 A. No, no, no, he did not use these words in his conversation with
18 me. This was later written about in the papers. But he never publicly
19 denied having said that.
20 Q. What is your understanding of the term "genocide"?
21 A. Are you asking of me to give you a definition of this term or do
22 you want me to speak of Zvornik? Because if you're asking me to give you
23 a legal definition, then I must tell you that I'm not a law student.
24 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in terms of your use of the word, when you used
25 it, what did you mean?
1 A. I use the term only as a person involved in politics. If an area
2 is cleansed of members of another ethnicity, of another religious
3 community not to leave any trace that, then this would be a definition of
4 genocide, as far as my legal knowledge goes, and as far as my political
5 convictions go.
6 Q. And was it that -- was it your understanding that's what had
7 occurred in Zvornik?
8 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, it's always better to ask, what was your
9 understanding or what was your specific knowledge of what had occurred in
10 Zvornik as opposed to, was it your understanding that that's what had
11 occurred in Zvornik.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts. Would you adopt this as a better
13 phrasing in a more open question.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Not in this instance, Your Honour. The use of the
15 word Zvornik was in reference to the events -- the use of the word
16 "genocide" was in reference to the events in Zvornik and so it seems to me
17 that this question flows from the evidence that's been given.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just reread.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if you allow me. In other words, what
20 I'm saying is, you have now provided a more specific and detailed
21 explanation to the Court as to what you meant when you used the word
22 "genocide" with reference to Zvornik. Does that specific explanation
23 apply to what you observed in Zvornik?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, if phrased this way.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If phrased this way, would your objection still
3 MS. LOUKAS: If Mr. Margetts is rephrasing the question, yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: As he did. He's more or less giving -- so perhaps,
5 Mr. Margetts, put the question in the words you last used, that is: Mr.
6 Djokanovic, you have provided a more specific and detailed explanation to
7 us as to what you meant when you used the word "genocide" with reference
8 to Zvornik. Is that specific explanation, does that apply to what you
9 observed in Zvornik?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The only remaining resident of
11 Zvornik from before the war who was a Muslim and who changed his name
12 subsequently was a guard at the cinema. He had two sons and his children
13 played with my children for the period when we lived in Zvornik. One of
14 the children's names is Milos. When I asked him, son, what's your name,
15 he replied Osman Bravo.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's not directly an answer to the question put to
17 you first in rephrasing by Mr. Margetts and now by me.
18 That explanation that you gave about the word "genocide," is that
19 specific explanation -- does that apply to what you observed in Zvornik?
20 I didn't hear your answer and perhaps the interpreters didn't hear either.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it does.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
23 MR. MARGETTS:
24 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, you mentioned that Brano Grujic said that a little
25 genocide had occurred. Can you tell the Court precisely what Brano Grujic
1 said in regard to this little genocide and that is the context of his
3 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that, the evidence
4 given by the witness was not that Brano Grujic had said this to the
5 witness, but that it was in the newspapers. That was the evidence that
6 was given.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, as far as the -- to the extent you reflect the
8 evidence, could you do it with the highest precision, Mr. Margetts.
9 MR. MARGETTS:
10 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, you've heard the interjection of my learned
11 friend. Insofar as you either read in the newspaper or otherwise heard
12 that Brano Grujic had said that a little genocide had occurred, can you
13 please tell us exactly what Brano Grujic said?
14 A. In principle, I've already said what Brano Grujic said as far as I
15 remember. In addition to the conversation we had during the war, I can
16 only mention him in one, another example when I came to the office in
17 Zvornik. This was something in relation to the humanitarian relations and
18 there was a person present there and he approached me and said that he
19 apologised for all the accusations that he levelled at me at the beginning
20 of the war.
21 And I can't tell you more than that.
22 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, I'd now like to leave Zvornik and your work as a
23 War Commissioner and take you back to Pale.
24 When you arrived in Pale on the 10th of June, which building did
25 you go to?
1 A. As I was leaving Pale in the direction of Jahorina, there's a
2 building on the right-hand side owned by a company from Kikinda Vojvodina
3 prior to the war, so they called it the Kikinda building. That's where
4 the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was
5 housed. We were there, the Presidency was there until it was moved to the
6 new premises near the Panorama Hotel at Pale.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: At the Panorama Hotel
8 in Pale.
9 MR. MARGETTS:
10 Q. When you arrived in Pale, who constituted the Presidency?
11 A. The Presidency included Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Koljevic, Ms. Plavsic,
12 Mr. Krajisnik, and the Prime Minister Djeric.
13 Q. From the date that you arrived on the 10th of June, how many
14 Presidency sessions did you attend?
15 A. Except for the period when I was in the field in late June, I was
16 present at the Kikinda building daily. We would start working early in
17 the morning and then finish working late in the night, depending on the
18 matters worked on. We would work more intensely in the afternoon hours
19 but would start usually working at around 10.00 in the morning. That's
20 when we would meet.
21 Q. So apart from the period from the 12th of June to the 16th of
22 June, during June of 1992, you were meeting with the Presidency each day?
23 A. Except for the periods when I was in the field. But when I was at
24 Pale, I was normally at the Kikinda building.
25 Q. Can you describe to the Court how these meetings were conducted,
1 that is, how the Presidency functioned?
2 A. As I've said, we would start working at 9.00, 10.00 a.m. and then
3 continue working until late in the evening. The working hours were not
4 formalised, that is, the beginning and the end of the sessions were not
5 formalised. There was a relaxed atmosphere but we worked throughout the
7 As far as I can remember, Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik had their
8 diaries where they took note of what was discussed. I believe the same
9 was done by Professor Koljevic.
10 Q. In which offices in Kikinda did you meet?
11 A. As you enter the building on the ground floor, there is a
12 restaurant with a conference room. And then as you go on the first floor,
13 you had the bedrooms where we slept and on the right-hand side, you had
14 offices. To the left, also, there were two offices where the secretaries
15 were and the office of Mr. Krajisnik, President of the Assembly. And the
16 last room to the left was a room where we used to work, sometimes we'd
17 have lunch or dinner there.
18 Just ahead of this particular room, there were the office of
19 Biljana Plavsic and Mr. Koljevic and there was also a room where I worked.
20 Q. In which room did you meet with the Presidency members?
21 A. For the most part, in the room behind the rooms where the
22 secretaries were, where Mr. Krajisnik worked.
23 Q. Do you mean Mr. Krajisnik's office?
24 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, that, of course, is leading and I object
25 to it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
2 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, it's a point of clarification only in
3 the room where Mr. Krajisnik worked.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. MARGETTS: To me, I think it invites the next question for
6 purposes of clarification.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, what's the difference between a room you
8 work in and your office? Usually -- I'm not saying that I'm never working
9 out of my office, but what's the difference?
10 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, how about just in whose office did you
12 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon?
13 MS. LOUKAS: "In whose office did you meet?"
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the previous answer was:
15 "In room did you meet?
16 "For the most part in the room behind the rooms where the
17 secretaries were, where Mr. Krajisnik worked."
18 MS. LOUKAS: Whose office was that?
19 JUDGE ORIE: In the room. Behind the room. So it's the room
20 where Mr. Krajisnik worked. That's not his office?
21 MS. LOUKAS: Whose room was that, Your Honour?
22 JUDGE ORIE: What do you mean by whose room was that? Let me
23 just then read carefully through. "Which room?" was the question at
24 84: 7. "For the most part in the room behind the rooms where the
25 secretaries were, where Mr. Krajisnik worked. I understand this to be in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the room where Mr. Krajisnik worked.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed Your Honour, but all I'm saying is the next
3 question could be in whose room was that, as opposed to the question that
4 Mr. Margetts asked. Mr. Margetts has a constant habit of leading, and
5 Your Honour, it's not acceptable in relation to --
6 JUDGE ORIE: And Ms. Loukas also you could say the next question
7 should be Was that room specifically used by one or more persons.
8 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Or you could have done -- and then of course, we
10 reach a point where the objection against this kind of leading is not
11 making much sense anymore.
12 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I maintain my objection.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Your objection is denied.
14 At the same time, Mr. Margetts, to the extent possible, it would
15 have taken you just as much words. And knowing how sensitive the issue is
16 for the Defence, I advise you to phrase your questions in such a way that
17 there's no need to object and there's no need to give a ruling on the
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. MARGETTS:
21 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in which room did Momcilo Krajisnik work?
22 A. Krajisnik was sitting in exactly this room which I referred to
23 earlier. There were no markings on it, on the door.
24 Q. Did you describe that room as being anyone's office or did you
1 A. It was the office in which Mr. Krajisnik usually sat, but there
2 was nothing written on the door. It was an office with a working desk, a
3 chair behind the desk, and a couple of chairs in front of the desk for
4 whoever was talking to the person sitting behind the working desk, and
5 that was Mr. Krajisnik.
6 Q. When the Presidency met, who chaired the meetings?
7 A. I do not recall a single session that was so formal as to have
8 been chaired over by anyone and minutes kept. Usually, Mr. Krajisnik
9 would be sitting behind his desk and we would be sitting at desks in front
10 of that desk but we could also meet in this room which was to the right in
11 the corridor where you didn't have a main, a head desk, as it were, but
12 just a couple of chairs lining the walls. But if we talk in a formal way
13 about the sessions, the sessions would be open by Karadzic.
14 Q. Who did you consider were the ultimate decision makers in the
16 A. Undoubtedly these were Dr. Karadzic -- Mr. Krajisnik and
17 Dr. Karadzic.
18 Q. From the moment that you arrived in Pale, what was your impression
19 as to the relative level of authority of Karadzic and Krajisnik?
20 A. Well, something happened in this period when I was in Belgrade
21 after the month of March, that is, and the last Assembly when we had
22 practically walked out of the building, when they had told us that there
23 had been crimes committed in Sijekovac which is a place near Bosanski Brod
24 where 10 or 13 Serbs had been killed. So when we received that bit of
25 information, we abruptly left the conference hall, the Assembly room, and
1 all of the Serbian leadership was at Pale in June. So some things had
2 happened in that period.
3 That is why I said that I divided Mr. Krajisnik's influence in two
4 stages. The first stage being when he was the president of the Assembly
5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the second when he was the President of the
6 Assembly of Republika Srpska.
7 He was really -- he really wielded a lot of authority and it was
8 my impression that his clout equalled that of Dr. Karadzic, provided
9 however that I could notice; but mind you, I do not know well either one
10 of them that Mr. Krajisnik was always loyal to Mr. Karadzic.
11 Q. As the year 1992 progressed, what was your assessment of the
12 authority that Krajisnik had over the deputies?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, in relation to a question of this
15 nature, I would submit that a general question of this nature is not of
16 assistance to the Trial Chamber. If the witness is able to provide
17 specific evidence about what he saw, heard, observed, that's one thing,
18 but to ask a general impressionistic question of this nature, in my
19 submission, is of no or negligible assistance to the Trial Chamber.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, the assessment and the impressions the
21 witness gained might not be without relevance but, at the same time, if we
22 do not know on what those impressions are based or on what basis those
23 impressions are made, it loses almost all if not everything of its weight.
24 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, it's our position on this that this
25 was an individual that had access to both Karadzic and Krajisnik over a
1 long period of time.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. MARGETTS: For certain purposes.
4 MS. LOUKAS: If I might interrupt at this point, it's probably not
5 appropriate for the witness to have his headphones on during the
7 JUDGE ORIE: I do not know whether -- Witness, do you understand
8 any English?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not really.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, if you would please take your earphones
11 off for a second. I do understand -- you don't have to leave.
12 I do understand, Mr. Margetts, that if you, during a long period
13 of time observe the behaviour of certain persons, that it means that the
14 assessment -- well, at least could have some value and some weight. At
15 the same time, if it's not supported by any other evidence to be given by
16 the witness, then of course it's just a personal opinion and of course
17 witnesses are not here to express their personal opinions.
18 If an opinion is part of the answer of the witness, then it should
19 at least be clear that the opinion has some solid factual basis.
20 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, the factual basis that we've sought to
21 establish is that association and that could be an explanation as to why
22 there was a lengthy examination into the early parts of this gentleman's
23 association with the leadership. Part of that examination included the
24 evidence that when he was present in the vicinity, he was -- he attended
25 each of the assembly sessions and that as someone that did attend all of
1 those assembly sessions during 1992 --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Margetts, but isn't it true that if you put
3 two people in the same situation for a longer period of time and if you
4 asked their opinion about what happened, that there might come up with
5 totally different opinions and that the most important thing then is to
6 find out on what exactly they've based their opinions and assessments. So
7 the mere fact that you have been there for a longer period of time is
8 certainly not sufficient to enable the Chamber to assess whether this
9 opinion or whether this impression is a logically-understandable opinion
10 or assessment based on what the witness has observed.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if the witness could have his
13 headphones replaced.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course.
15 MR. MARGETTS:
16 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, you've given evidence before this Chamber that you
17 attended most of the Assembly sessions of 1992 and, in fact, we've
18 produced notes from those Assembly sessions where you are the speaker
19 following Mr. Krajisnik and, in fact, during the Assembly sessions, it's
20 Mr. Krajisnik that's chairing those sessions.
21 During the course of 1992, from your experience in the Assembly,
22 did you gain any -- did you form any opinion as to which person in the
23 Assembly had the most authority over the deputies?
24 A. Undoubtedly the most authority in the Assembly was that of Mr.
1 Q. Did you refer to this authority that Mr. Krajisnik had by any
2 particular phrase?
3 A. That summer, I talked to some people at Pale, especially after the
4 conversation with Dr. Koljevic, who said, and we referred to that today,
5 "Dragan, you were right about Mr. Krajisnik." So there was some people
6 and I talked to them and I said that in principle, there had been
7 established in parliament an unregistered political party that was being
8 headed by Mr. Krajisnik.
9 Q. In your function as a War Commissioner, who did you report to?
10 A. In respect of municipalities, in principle, all the appointments
11 of municipal commissioners would be signed by Dr. Karadzic as the
12 President of the Presidency provided, however, that the direct tasks by
13 the -- in the Presidency as regards the commissioners, that changed. It
14 would be Karadzic and then it would be Krajisnik -- and then it would be
15 Koljevic and then it could be also Krajisnik.
16 Q. Did those three individuals have authority over the commissioners
17 at different times or did they have authority together during the entire
18 period from the formation of the commissions?
19 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I would object to that question, just in
20 relation to giving a witness two alternatives does not detract from the
21 leading nature of that question and I would object to it on that basis.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Your objection is sustained.
23 Mr. Margetts.
24 MR. MARGETTS:
25 Q. Dr. Djokanovic, in June of 1992, who were the War Commissioners
1 subordinate to?
2 A. That being an initial stage in the work of the commissioners, Dr.
3 Karadzic was the one who -- Dr. Karadzic having been the one who had
4 signed the decision drafted by me and as I was, in principle, the first
5 commissioner in this republican commission, I was the one who mainly
6 cooperated with him regarding certain details. I think that later,
7 Professor Koljevic was in charge of some municipalities and then later in
8 the second half of July, I think, this particular task working with the
9 municipal commissions within the Presidency was the task of Mr. Krajisnik.
10 Q. In your role as the Novo Sarajevo commissioner, who did you report
12 A. Novo Sarajevo is my municipality and the delegation from Sarajevo
13 was led by Branko Radan who was one of the municipal officials in that
14 period. In fact I also spoke on television about the work of the
15 municipal commission so that my activities were known as they had great
16 problems to constitute the Municipal Assembly they came to me for me to
17 come to Novo Sarajevo to help them transact that business. I said no
18 problem, but Mr. Krajisnik is in charge of these activities, so if you
19 agree with him, there is no problem. As far as I'm concerned, I will
21 Mr. Krajisnik had no objections. He accepted this. So I went to
22 Sarajevo as the commissioner but with a decision to that effect signed by
23 Mr. Karadzic anyway, because the commissioners were subordinate to the
24 Presidency, but with the individual members having certain tasks in
25 certain periods and Mr. Krajisnik was in charge of the work of the
1 commissioners then.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, I look at the clock. It's a quarter to
3 2.00. I take it that you have not finished yet your examination in chief
4 or ...
5 MR. MARGETTS: No, Your Honour, right on the bell, that concludes
6 my questions.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's -- being aware that at least for
8 considerable time, the Judges have put questions to the witness, let's now
9 see how we proceed. I do understand that you have no further witnesses
10 for this week. That means, Ms. Loukas, that -- how much time would you
11 need for cross-examination of the witness? Not to prepare, but first of
12 all, let's establish on how much time approximately you would need.
13 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
14 As I indicated at the beginning of the week, there's quite some
15 material I need to --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MS. LOUKAS: -- go through with Mr. Krajisnik. I have another
18 conference with Mr. Krajisnik this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let me put it very short. I apologise for
20 interrupting. There are no further witnesses scheduled for this week. If
21 you say I need two days, then you would have to start on Thursday because
22 the Chamber, as you may have noticed earlier, is not very much inclined to
23 meet demands of further preparation although the events now give you an
24 opportunity to further prepare.
25 If you say, "I would need six hours or five hours," then I'm
1 inclined to allow you -- to give those hours but to schedule the beginning
2 of the cross-examination accordingly so that we would finish by next
4 MS. LOUKAS: I understand Your Honour's query in that sense. Of
5 course I am not, today, in a position to say, "My cross-examination will
6 be exactly four hours or I will need more than Friday for my
7 cross-examination." Perhaps, Your Honour, I will be -- I would be hopeful
8 that I could go from the beginning to the end of my cross-examination in
9 one day, that being Friday.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MS. LOUKAS: If I form a view that I may need a little bit more
12 additional time, then perhaps if I could inform Your Honours tomorrow that
13 a session on Thursday may be necessary as well.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MS. LOUKAS: That's as much guidance as I can give at this moment
16 because I'm still midway through my conferences with Mr. Krajisnik.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That's a very practical solution although your
18 assessment at this moment is that you would need Friday only. I hardly
19 dare to say that whether there would be any time left for questions by the
20 Judges but -- and perhaps re-examination, so even if you say, I would
21 finish in one day, we might have to start anyhow on Thursday, because we
22 have to take all that into consideration. But you'll inform us in a bit
23 more detail tomorrow, and then not in court, I take it, because we will
24 then not schedule a hearing.
25 Mr. Harmon.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, our preference is that there be
2 sufficient time allotted for the possibility of redirect examination. I
3 don't want to find this butting up to the end of the day on Friday with
4 absolutely no opportunity to have redirect examination and therefore
5 inconveniencing Dr. Djokanovic to stay over the weekend. I think that --
6 JUDGE ORIE: We'll do the following.
7 Tomorrow we'll hear from Ms. Loukas or later today, we'll hear
8 from Ms. Loukas how much time she would need. We'll keep on the safe
9 side. We would include -- well let's say one hour for re-examination,
10 according to the experience, that should be enough, and then perhaps add
11 perhaps some time for the Judges as well. So that if you would say four
12 hours, we would reserve six hours. If you would say three hours, we might
13 reserve four and a half. So just to adapt more or less to the time that
14 you would need.
15 Ms. Loukas.
16 MS. LOUKAS: I'm much obliged. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Is that a practical solution of the matter?
18 MR. HARMON: Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I see that Mr. Krajisnik would like to say something.
20 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, before Mr. Krajisnik stands and
21 addresses the Chamber, perhaps it would be good to excuse the witness.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It depends on whether there's anything to be said in
23 the presence of the witness. I don't think so, Mr. Krajisnik. Usually
24 it's better to address these kinds of issues in the absence of the
1 Mr. Djokanovic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I agree, it's in Your Honour's
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djokanovic, if you may have observed from the
5 discussion we just had, it's a little bit uncertain when we would restart.
6 You will be informed about it and you should make yourself available to
7 the Victims and Witness Section, whether it would be Thursday and at what
8 time on Thursday. It's unlikely, as far as I see it now, that we would
9 restart tomorrow. Most likely it would start in the morning hours. So if
10 you would -- if you could live with this uncertainty, I'd like you to
11 instruct you not to speak with anyone about the testimony you had given
12 until now and you're still about to give during the rest of the week.
13 You may have also noticed that this Chamber would prefer to finish
14 your examination this week so that you can return home.
15 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Djokanovic out of the
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the Honourable
20 Trial Chamber to allow me, if necessary, to put some questions to this
21 witness. I promise that I will do my best, together with my counsel, Ms.
22 Loukas, to make an arrangement for her to put all the questions to the
23 witness. However, if there are several important questions that need to
24 be put by me that I be allowed to put questions to him because of the
25 evidence that can be given by this witness in view of the reasons that I
1 had already set out to this Honourable Chamber earlier on.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think the Chamber gave once a ruling that
3 although, as a rule, questions should be put to the witness by counsel,
4 that not under all circumstances, the Chamber would disallow the accused
5 to put some additional questions to the witness and always on the
6 understanding that counsel would be consulted. Therefore, I take it that
7 whether it finally comes to a request to put any questions to the witness,
8 it first have to wait until you have discussed the matter with counsel, we
9 first have to wait what questions will be put by counsel. As you already
10 indicated, you try to give all your questions to counsel and if we would
11 then finally end up in a situation where you would say one or two
12 questions would still be needed in addition to that, we'll give counsel an
13 opportunity to express whether there's any objection or to further consult
14 with you at that very moment. But that was the ruling and I think that
15 has not changed even though, finally, it never came to the point where you
16 have put questions to the witness.
17 We have not, under all circumstances, disallowed you to do it.
18 Ms. Loukas. Do you remember the ruling, otherwise I could give
19 you the --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may be allowed to say one other
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, although I have to ask you, we are quite late as
23 a matter of fact. Mr. Krajisnik, please.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] By all means. You had occasion to
25 see what the previous two witnesses -- that they were very important but
1 my counsel prepared my defence well and I did not want to push the
3 Ms. Loukas has been prepared well for the previous witnesses and
4 whenever it's not necessary, I will not draw upon this privilege that you
5 have given me but for a question for two. However, an issue might arise
6 after the cross-examination conducted by my counsel, but since I'm unable
7 to consult with my counsel, I simply cannot allow for the witness to leave
8 before I put these questions to him. But you have to understand that
9 witnesses are appearing before this Trial Chamber that can be of great
10 help to the Chamber.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand your point.
12 Ms. Loukas, perhaps the Chamber should pay a little bit more
13 attention to possibilities for communication between counsel and the
14 accused, even during the hearing so -- or during the very short break.
15 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. It's clearly an issue that that
16 question of communication and the question of interpretation during that
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Any further submissions?
19 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. I note the time. There's just one
20 aspect. It seems to me that if the Trial Chamber does wish to ensure that
21 there is enough time to complete this witness by Friday afternoon, and
22 taking into account time for questions from Your Honours, time for
23 re-examination, perhaps the most sensible option might be to commence on
24 say Thursday afternoon.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Afternoon might be -- we have the courtroom in the
1 morning. That would mean that we have to start somewhere halfway in the
2 morning. I do understand on the basis of your assessment, that you would
3 take four hours if we take two hours in addition to that that would take
4 six hours, and counting back from Friday, that would bring us somewhere at
5 Thursday, well, let's say, at 10.30 or something like that.
6 MS. LOUKAS: And of course my four hours is a very provisional
7 assessment at this point.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Therefore, we'll adjourn until next Thursday at
9 a time to be determined at a later stage once we have received information
10 from Ms. Loukas on the time she would need for cross-examination.
11 MS. LOUKAS: If Your Honours please.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Although at an unknown time, the courtroom will be
13 the same.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 17th day of March,
16 2005, at 9.00 a.m.