Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11461

1 Tuesday, 5 April 2005

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.16 a.m.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.

9 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I immediately offer my apologies

10 and a not very satisfactory but I'm afraid extremely simple explanation

11 which is that my watch at the moment, Your Honour, after performing

12 admirably for three years, shows the time right now as one minute to 9.00

13 and I'm afraid that, having gone by my own watch which has chosen this

14 morning to pack up on me to that extent, I simply had no idea, Your Honour

15 that I wasn't coming to court on time in the normal way. I realise that

16 that's very inconvenient to all concerned, I apologise to everybody

17 inconvenienced. There is no more I can say, Your Honour. That's what's

18 happened. I will, of course, change my watch at the earliest opportunity

19 now.

20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and Mr. Stewart, if it doesn't happen any more

21 than once every one and a half year, then the Court is --

22 MR. STEWART: I am grateful, Your Honour. And I shall try to

23 preserve that average, or better.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The same is granted to the Prosecution.

25 Then are you ready to continue the examination of Mr. Trbojevic?

Page 11462

1 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Trbojevic

3 into the courtroom.

4 MR. STEWART: While we're waiting, Your Honour, I wonder if I

5 could just ask somebody to give me assistance. I've had this problem in

6 this court: I'm afraid I don't know where the power point is. It's not

7 in such an obvious place in this court. Down here? Thank you.

8 JUDGE ORIE: You're excused for an absence of a couple of --

9 MR. STEWART: While I go subterranean for a minute.

10 [The witness entered court]


12 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning. Please be seated, Mr. Trbojevic.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

14 MR. STEWART: I have no luck, Your Honour, I'm afraid. I'm sure

15 while we're proceeding if somebody just comes in and shows me where this

16 point is, then we'll have lift-off in a couple of seconds.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that someone will come and assist

18 you.

19 Mr. Trbojevic, I'd like to remind you that you are still bound by

20 the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony and

21 I'd also like to remind you that if any question is put to you of which

22 you think that answering would incriminate yourself, that you may object

23 to doing so, and as I said yesterday, the Court will then decide whether

24 it will compel you to answer that question, in which case the answer could

25 not be used against you.

Page 11463

1 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

2 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

3 Examined by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]

4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Trbojevic. I'd like to turn first to a meeting

5 of the Council for National Security in the government which was held on

6 April 24th, 1992 and which is found behind tab 2 in binder 1.

7 Mr. Trbojevic, while that -- while the minutes of that meeting are

8 being produced for you, I'd indicate that I'm going to draw your attention

9 to a decision that appears as the third to last before the rulings section

10 of the minutes, and that was the following: "A decision was passed

11 stating that the exchange of prisoners be handled by the Ministry of

12 Justice after the internal affairs organs finish their work."

13 Now, Mr. Trbojevic, I recognise that this preceded your entry into

14 government by approximately one month; nevertheless, I want to ask you if

15 you can tell us first what work of the internal affairs organs was

16 contemplated by that decision?

17 A. As you have said yourself, I don't know when this was passed. I

18 did not participate in formulating this document, but based on the

19 formulation itself, one can conclude that if there are some persons who

20 had been detained, that it was the police organs who were supposed to

21 interview or question them first to see whether they were of any interest

22 to the police organs before these people were exchanged.

23 Q. And thereafter, that is, upon completion of the efforts of the

24 organs of internal affairs, the Ministry of Justice would be responsible

25 for effecting the exchange; is that correct?

Page 11464

1 A. I wasn't involved in that and I didn't know that this fell under

2 the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. There was no information

3 regarding what was being done on that issue. I know that there existed a

4 Commission for Exchange; however, I did not consider it to be an organ of

5 the Ministry of Justice.

6 Q. Who did you consider to be responsible for the work of the

7 Commission of Exchange?

8 A. I believed that that was a commission which was attached to the

9 military organs. It was logical that there were some prisoners after

10 military operations, and the issue of whether these persons would be

11 detained or exchanged or released is something that logically ought to

12 fall under the jurisdiction of military organs.

13 Q. So the decision of the Council for National Security and the

14 government on April 24th that the Ministry of Justice would be responsible

15 or would handle the exchange of prisoners after the internal affairs

16 organs had finished their work comes as a surprise to you, Mr. Trbojevic?

17 A. Entirely. As far as I know, the Ministry of Justice did not have

18 the functional ability to deal with this. It did not have staff that

19 could have managed that. And based on my personal experience, I know

20 nothing about the activities of that commission.

21 Q. Do you recall whether or not the work of the commission was the

22 subject of attention in government sessions in which you were involved

23 after your arrival in Pale?

24 A. I must confess that I do not remember. It is possible that that

25 was mentioned, but as for the government taking position as to how that

Page 11465

1 was supposed to function, as to government deciding, issuing criteria as

2 to who ought to be exchanged and who oughtn't -- should not, I don't think

3 that anything was done on that score.

4 Q. Now, you mentioned during the course of an answer your conclusion

5 that it was logical that there are some prisoners after military

6 operations. Do you recall that the issue of prisoners held by Bosnian

7 Serb authorities, beginning in the period early May and extending on

8 through the rest of the year, was the subject of allegations by the

9 international community that those prisoners were the victims of forcible

10 population displacements of ethnic cleansing?

11 A. The first information I received regarding that had to do with the

12 arrival of Mr. Mazowiecki in Banja Luka. That was in the summer of 1992,

13 I'm not sure exactly when. I know that his arrival and his visit to Banja

14 Luka, Manjaca and Prijedor were given quite a lot of publicity and it was

15 then that a lot of that information same to surface. That was the first I

16 heard of that.

17 Q. Can I ask you to look next at an article contained at tab 51,

18 which I believe is the first tab in binder 2.

19 Mr. Trbojevic, tab 51 contains an article by the Reuters news

20 service from May 12th, 1992, reflecting the remarks of a special envoy for

21 the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, who said, among others things in

22 the article: "I thought I had seen everything, but what is happening in

23 Bosnia passes all imagination. What we are seeing is something like World

24 War II with population centres being destroyed and towns and villages

25 attacked not as military objects but with the sole purpose of driving the

Page 11466

1 people away."

2 He said this at a news conference and he said further, "The

3 difference from other conflicts I have seen is that, in Bosnia, the

4 creation of a legion of displaced persons is not the consequence of

5 military action but the aim of it."

6 Further on in the press conference, he identifies some numbers of

7 displaced persons and so on.

8 First of all, were you familiar with allegations -- with the

9 specific allegations by UNHCR representative or with more general

10 allegations at that time by representatives of the international community

11 or international media that population centres were being attacked and

12 civilians driven off?

13 A. On the 12th of May, I was in Sarajevo. My son was arrested in the

14 street and beaten up. I had no idea about these matters that are being

15 discussed here.

16 There's a complete analysis here about the causes and effects, and

17 it would be absurd for me to give my position regarding that. At that

18 time, I was just a citizen in Sarajevo trying to stay alive.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, would you please answer the questions,

20 because you said a lot of words --

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know nothing about this.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


24 Q. When you arrived in Pale, did you learn from Mr. Djeric or from

25 other members of the Bosnian Serb authorities that such allegations were

Page 11467

1 being made by the international community?

2 A. Nobody briefed me on the situation, if that's what you have in

3 mind.

4 Q. Well, I actually have something broader in mind. Irrespective of

5 whether you were formally briefed on this by any of those officials, were

6 you told in conversations or did you learn from other sources, once you

7 arrived in Pale, that such allegations were being made and were the

8 subject of concern by Bosnian Serb authorities?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Would you turn next to tab 52.

11 Mr. Trbojevic, as you can see, tab 52 contains a letter from Prime

12 Minister Branko Djeric sent to the United States Secretary of State James

13 Baker on May 24th, 1992. In that letter, Mr. Djeric assures Mr. Baker

14 that the Serbian side is holding no hostages, operating no concentration

15 camps, and is not killing unarmed civilians in Bosnia. Then he mentions

16 the reports alleging such crimes appearing in the U.S. press and elsewhere

17 are not based upon facts.

18 Do you know, sir, what reports from the United States and

19 elsewhere Mr. Djeric was referring to in this letter to Mr. Baker?

20 A. I don't know. I believe that he wrote this bona fide.

21 Q. And I'm afraid you'll have to explain that a little further,

22 precisely what you mean by "bona fide."

23 A. I think that he was fully convinced of what he stated in the

24 letter.

25 Q. My question actually was whether or not you can tell us what

Page 11468

1 reports he was referring to in the U.S. press and elsewhere.

2 A. I've already said that I don't know.

3 Q. In the first paragraph, Mr. Djeric refers to the most disturbing

4 news about decisions of the ministerial council suggesting the possible

5 use of force would flow against the Bosnian Serbs.

6 Were you aware of that most disturbing news emanating from the

7 ministerial conference?

8 A. No.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could I put a few questions to the

10 witness.

11 You said, Mr. Trbojevic, that you are fully convinced that what

12 Mr. Djeric stated in his letter was correct. Why -- on the basis of what

13 did you gain that conviction?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I thought that Djeric

15 wrote this, fully convinced that it was true. We did not have at our

16 disposal -- I did not know that he had at his disposal any information to

17 the effect that the Serb forces had camps in which they created unbearable

18 conditions for the inmates, that they were conducting ethnic cleansing of

19 large territories. We had no such information at all.

20 JUDGE ORIE: On the basis of the allegations he describes, to what

21 extent was it investigated at that time whether such situations did exist?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not natural for an institution

23 such as the government to know nothing about what is going on around it.

24 It was expected that the police or the military would supply some reports

25 with information.

Page 11469

1 JUDGE ORIE: That was not my question, Mr. Trbojevic. My question

2 was: On the basis of the allegations made, what investigations were made

3 in order to come to the conclusion, as you said, that Mr. Djeric could

4 write this letter fully convinced of the correctness of the answer?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that a commission was

6 established, the commission was supposed to go to Krajina and to report on

7 what was going on there. However, we did not receive the report of that

8 commission. The General Staff, in its report to the Supreme Command,

9 whether the General Staff ever informed the Supreme Command of that, I

10 really don't know about that. I did not see any police reports either.

11 JUDGE ORIE: You say the commission was established. When was

12 that commission established?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometime during the summer. The

14 information could probably be found in documents.

15 JUDGE ORIE: The letter was written on the 24th of May. You told

16 us that Mr. Djeric, while sending this letter, would be convinced of the

17 truthfulness of it. I asked you what investigations were made to find out

18 whether these allegations were true or not true, and then of course I mean

19 to say when these allegations were made, and that, in view of the letter

20 of May 24th, should have been before the 24th of May. What investigations

21 were done, not somewhere in the summer, but prior to writing this letter?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.

23 JUDGE ORIE: What makes you believe that Mr. Djeric was convinced

24 that what he wrote was correct if no investigations you are aware of?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believed him that he had no

Page 11470

1 information regarding that.

2 JUDGE ORIE: He received no information. I also understand that

3 on the allegations, you are not aware of any investigation being made to

4 see what was true about these allegations; is that correct?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.

6 JUDGE ORIE: You just told us that you are not aware of any

7 investigations, isn't it?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that I knew that a group

9 was supposed to go to Krajina to -- for a fact-finding mission and then

10 report on the situation there, but I know of no other cases.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Again, the question: When was this?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It might have been in the course of

13 June.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And as I said to you earlier, I'm interested to

15 know what was done in relation to the allegations made prior to writing a

16 letter on the 24th of May.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've stated several times that I

18 don't know.

19 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore, I'm coming back to my first question

20 now. What's the basis -- you just say, "I believed Mr. Djeric had no

21 information since no investigation took place. He must have been

22 convinced that this was the truth."

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that I believed him when

24 he said that he didn't know anything about it and I did not know of any

25 information that would prove to the contrary. That's why I believed him

Page 11471












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 11472

1 when he said that he knew nothing about it.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear.

3 Now that commission that was to be sent to Krajina, when was that

4 established? You said somewhere in June; is that a correct understanding?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly but there's a

6 document that I signed containing an order to the effect that this should

7 be looked into.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And is that commission on which you just said

9 that you never received a report?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.

11 JUDGE ORIE: What did you do when you did not receive any report?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This commission was supposed to be a

13 commission under the Ministry of Justice, and of course we believed that a

14 report would eventually be submitted. However, the events then took their

15 course and there was no more need for such a report.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Why was there no further need for such a report?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The information about the events at

18 Manjaca and at Omarska became, so to say, general knowledge to a higher or

19 lesser degree.

20 JUDGE ORIE: And there was no need to know further details for the

21 government because it had been in the press already; is that how I have to

22 understand your answer that there was no need for such a report?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no need to insist on the

24 report being submitted because the events became general knowledge.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

Page 11473


2 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, did Mr. Djeric consider these reports from the U.S.

3 and others to be simply anti-Serb propaganda?

4 A. We did not analyse these things item-by-item but it is well known

5 that there was an anti-Serb propaganda going on at the time.

6 Q. Did Mr. Djeric consider information from the UNHCR, from the

7 United States government, from the international media -- well, let me put

8 that to you again -- governmental sources to be part of that anti-Serb

9 propaganda campaign you're alluding to?

10 A. I don't know which documents he had in mind, he had within reach

11 and which were the documents on the basis of which he formed his position.

12 Q. Did you consider these reports to be part of an anti-Serb

13 propaganda campaign?

14 A. I never saw them, really.

15 Q. I turn your attention to page 59 of the May interview that you had

16 with the Office of the Prosecutor. That would be page 48 of the B/C/S.

17 If the witness could be presented with page 48 of the B/C/S.

18 Mr. Trbojevic, at that portion of the interview, the letter from

19 Mr. Djeric is being addressed, the 24 May 1992 letter. And you stated,

20 and that can be found in your second comment on page 59 of the English

21 translation: "So the alleged report about things happening in the

22 American press are not based on the facts. I don't know when did the

23 first report show up. Now I know that the most of these reports were

24 false, and you know that better than I do. It was part of the propaganda

25 which was malicious towards the Serb nation."

Page 11474

1 And again, Mr. Trbojevic, is that your view of the reports coming

2 from the United States and elsewhere that were the subject of Mr. Djeric's

3 letter to Mr. Baker?

4 A. You seem to be constructing something here, concocting something.

5 I was saying that news reports were formed to be in the function of

6 something, but I'm not referring to a government. I say that I know now

7 that many of these news reports were false, and I'm referring to newspaper

8 articles, and I adhere to that view today.

9 None of the government positions or official documents issued by

10 any organisation, I never saw any of them and I did not give my opinion in

11 relation to them.

12 Q. Well, did you come to understand that the possibility, as

13 discussed at the ministerial conference in Lisbon, that force would be

14 used against the Bosnian Serbs arose in part from reports of the type we

15 looked at a bit earlier from UNHCR?

16 A. If the peace-making process that consisted of the Cutileiro Plan

17 was taking place in Lisbon, then of course I can say that I had some

18 information originating from the people involved in that process which had

19 to do with the territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the

20 relations between the warring parties. I had some information about that

21 that I heard from the people forming the negotiating team. But as far as

22 the possibility of a bombing attack or anything of that sort, I did not

23 have any information about that or about any such -- about what these

24 threats consisted of in 1992.

25 Q. I'm simply asking whether you understood that the information

Page 11475

1 available to the members of the ministerial conference or to Mr. Baker or

2 to other governments consisted of more than newspaper articles but

3 consisted of information from various sources, including the type we

4 looked at earlier.

5 A. I did not really look into whether the information was based on

6 some sort of a document. I didn't know anything about it.

7 Q. Can we turn next to tab 109, which is found in binder 4.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you are often referring to the March and

9 May interviews and it seems that there are two copies circulating, one

10 with a paging which is quite different from the other. So it seems that

11 you are not working from the copy that you provided to the Registry. When

12 you just referred to, I think it was page 59, it seems that that is page

13 59 of a copy which is available to the Judges but is not the copy that has

14 been provided to the Registry. So I wonder whether it would not be better

15 to give the Registry the same because there might be a moment that someone

16 would like to check what was said on the basis of the transcript and then

17 it will create huge problems.

18 MR. TIEGER: I understand. I will do so, Your Honour. I

19 apologise for that. That copy rose out of an attempt to correlate the

20 English and B/C/S transcripts so I could refer immediately to them but

21 that effort was --

22 JUDGE ORIE: You solved one problem but you created another one.

23 MR. STEWART: Can I just mention, Your Honour - I'm not quite sure

24 whether this is the same problem or linked to it - but the -- there is a

25 continuous document of both interviews, numbered 1 to 100 and whatever it

Page 11476

1 is, and then there are the two interviews numbered separately. Now I -

2 and I'm not scoring a point here, Your Honour - but I and some people

3 within the Prosecution team have worked from the continuous copy.

4 Mr. Tieger and I have discussed that. We came to the conclusion the

5 simple solution was that if I simply added 50 to every number when we were

6 dealing with the second interview, that would work. Unfortunately, it

7 doesn't, so if I could inform Mr. Tieger because the discrepancy is 56

8 pages and it's not consistent either.

9 So the request is only that when referring to these pages, if

10 Mr. Tieger could just give those few extra seconds while those of us

11 working from completely different numbering can locate the passage, that

12 would solve the problem.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There should be no confusion, that's the only

14 thing the parties should take care of.

15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I mention another problem which is

16 that the -- in some ways I was slightly comforted by the fact that the

17 extremely efficient technical staff took quite a few minutes even to

18 locate a suitable power point in this court, but having located it, I

19 notice that for some reason or other it's not working, with the result

20 that my computer ...

21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, at least I see a power point, I know

22 that we are going to break our legs, but what I understand from laptops,

23 they will function for some time even without plugging them in. I see it

24 from here at least as a temporary solution, or it's too far away.

25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, no, no, that's entirely right. I was

Page 11477

1 going to say, first of all, I can use this power point. It's not entirely

2 safe, I'm just making a request that at some point the technical staff

3 could enable me to --

4 JUDGE ORIE: We could do that -- if you do that during the break,

5 then we'll miss no time.

6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, please, I do have a point, Your Honour,

7 which is this: I also need about 30 seconds because my computer has now

8 hibernated and I need to plug it in and get it up and running again, Your

9 Honour, before I can proceed, so I'm just going to need 30 seconds,

10 please, to do that.


12 MR. STEWART: Thank you.

13 It should be all right, Your Honour, but it's just got to restart

14 itself.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps during the next break, Mr. Stewart, you

16 should ask yourself why you need one minute to ask for 30 seconds.

17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I do not regard that as a fair remark

18 at all.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


21 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, tab 109 contains agreement number 2, which was

22 signed on May 23rd, 1992 in the meeting in Geneva which was held to

23 discuss the implementation of the agreement of 22 May and which included,

24 as -- among its provisions, 2A, exchange list of prisoners and take the

25 necessary steps with a view to the release of prisoners.

Page 11478

1 We can see toward the top of the page the representatives in

2 attendance at the meeting who participated in the agreement and who signed

3 the agreement, including Mr. D. Kalinic, representative of Mr. Radovan

4 Karadzic, president of the Serbian Democratic Party. First of all, is

5 that a reference to Dr. Dragan Kalinic?

6 A. I believe so, yes.

7 Q. And he was the minister of health of Republika Srpska?

8 A. That's right.

9 Q. And Mr. -- or Dr. Kalinic was a member of government; in fact, as

10 a minister of health, a high-ranking member of the Bosnian Serb

11 government, correct?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. What necessary steps to release prisoners was contemplated by this

14 agreement, according to Dr. Kalinic?

15 A. I don't know.

16 Q. Did Dr. Kalinic report back to the government or to other

17 representatives of the Bosnian Serb authorities about the agreement and

18 about the undertakings contemplated by the agreement?

19 A. I'm not sure. I believe he informed Dr. Karadzic, but I'm not

20 sure whether this applies to the whole of the government. I don't think

21 so.

22 Q. Well, this applies to the circumstances of prisoners being held by

23 the Bosnian Serb forces and authorities, at least in part; correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was the issue of the circumstances of prisoners who were held by

Page 11479

1 Bosnian Serb forces a matter of concern of the government?

2 A. As far as I know, the accurate data about the numbers of such

3 persons and the conditions under which they were detained were not in

4 government's possession, and since one could not even assume that these

5 circumstances would be so excessive as they were, one did not really --

6 was not really concerned about it in that extent.

7 Q. Did Dr. Kalinic report concerns by the ICRC that the conditions

8 under which prisoners were held were a matter of concern?

9 A. I don't know specifically whether this was done and what way it

10 was done, but I do know that there wasn't a special government session

11 that was dedicated to this issue, and I know that no conclusions were

12 adopted with a view to remedying the situation. That's why I'm inclined

13 to believe that the government was not provided with a full report.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just ask one clarification. You said that's

15 why you are inclined to believe that the government was not provided with

16 a full report. "Full report" by whom?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By Dr. Kalinic.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


20 Q. Do you know to whom Dr. Kalinic met or to whom Dr. Kalinic

21 reported or with whom he met after returning from Geneva?

22 A. It says here that he went there as a representative of Dr. Radovan

23 Karadzic. He was in touch with him very frequently. Now, whether he went

24 to see him on his return from Geneva, I can't really vouch for that

25 particular period, but I do know that he was in touch with him frequently.

Page 11480

1 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, let me ask you to look quickly at a document

2 contained behind tab 74 in binder 2.

3 Now, Mr. Trbojevic, this document is a list of approximately 400

4 persons who were taken from Bratunac to Pale and ultimately on to Visoko

5 and were held in Pale from May 14th through 17th. First of all, given

6 your knowledge of the geography and layout and population of Pale in May

7 of 1992, would it have been possible for a group of that size to be

8 brought in to Pale on a secret or unknown basis or would everyone have

9 known about it?

10 A. Pale is a small town and the arrival of a group of people

11 numbering -- how many people did you say there were?

12 Q. 400, sir.

13 A. Well, of course the arrival of 400 persons would not have passed

14 unnoticed. I don't know where they were put up and for how long. I don't

15 know what had been done with them.

16 Q. You arrived in Pale within days of this event; is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did you hear anything about it from other members of the

19 government or the Bosnian Serb authorities?

20 A. No. I did not hear anything.

21 Q. Do you know whether or not these persons were transferred from

22 Bratunac and then taken to Muslim territory was pursuant to efforts by any

23 organ of the government?

24 A. I did not know anything about this operation. I have no idea who

25 issued orders or why or what was the aim of it all.

Page 11481

1 Q. Can I ask you to look at page 3 of the document, I believe that's

2 both in the B/C/S and the English versions. There we see a signature by

3 Mr. S. Markovic above the writing "Member of the Government's Commission

4 on Behalf of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior for the Exchange of

5 Prisoners of War."

6 What can you tell us about Mr. Markovic and the government's

7 Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners of War?

8 A. Nothing. I don't know when the commission was appointed. I do

9 not know Markovic. It is possible that I met him somewhere, but I don't

10 know him, nor do I know his post -- position.

11 Q. Let me show you a document that was previously introduced into

12 evidence. That's P436, and that can be found in tab 73, Your Honours.

13 That's a decision dated the 8th of May, 1992 and it's headed "Decision to

14 Form a Central Commission," and signed by Professor Djeric as Prime

15 Minister.

16 First of all, Mr. Trbojevic, do you see the name of Slobodan

17 Markovic, the representative of the Ministry of the Interior as a -- named

18 as a member of the central commission?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. First of all, does that shed any further light for you on who

21 Mr. Markovic was and what his function in the government was?

22 A. No, it is of no assistance to me. I don't know the man. I don't

23 know what he did. I can see that he was a member of the commission but

24 that doesn't trigger my memory. I don't know him.

25 Q. Item number one, it indicates that the central commission is

Page 11482












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Page 11483

1 hereby appointed and it's described as the "Central Commission for the

2 Exchange of Prisoners of War, Arrested Persons, and the Bodies of Those

3 Killed." What's the difference between prisoners of war and arrested

4 persons?

5 A. Arrested persons, as it stated here, is a term used in law to

6 denote persons detained based on a decision of an organ. Based on that

7 decision, they are deprived of their liberty. As for the prisoners of

8 war, those persons were taken prisoner in the course of military

9 operation.

10 As for the bodies of those killed, I believe that is quite clear.

11 Q. And which organ of the government had authority to arrest people

12 in Republika Srpska?

13 MR. STEWART: He didn't say organ of the government, he said

14 organ. Mr. Tieger's introduced that extra word.

15 MR. TIEGER: That's fair.

16 Q. Which organ or body in Republika Srpska had the authority to

17 arrest?

18 A. A person can be deprived of their liberty by police in the course

19 of police activities. They are convicted and sentenced by courts. And in

20 addition to that, all of these actions can be carried out by the organs of

21 the military police.

22 As for the prisoners of war, I'm no expert for the laws of war;

23 however, I think that this applies to persons who were deprived of their

24 liberty in the course of war operations.

25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, could you remind me what

Page 11484

1 your position was at the time the central commission was established,

2 please.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, I was not present in

4 Pale, not yet. When I arrived in Pale, I became Deputy Prime Minister.

5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] On the 14th of May -- let me

6 repeat my question: On the 8th of May, the beginning of the month of May,

7 what position did you hold?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 14th of May, I was still

9 living in Sarajevo and working as an attorney. On the 17th of May, I was

10 arrested. On the 20th of May, I left Sarajevo and arrived in Pale.

11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And you were deputy minister. At

12 what date were you deputy minister?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Officially, I think on the 8th of

14 June; however, Prime Minister Djeric told me that this is how it would be

15 and I was by his side starting on the 22nd or 23rd of May, observing what

16 was going on.

17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, the Chamber wondered whether it made much

19 sense to go through all the, I would say, normal powers whereas this case,

20 at least that's the provisional impression, is not about the exercise of

21 normal police powers necessarily. At least the scale on which people were

22 detained at least give a different impression.

23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour, although my question -- I'm

24 sorry that it wasn't clear -- was more directed at who was the subject of

25 the reference in the document or which body was the subject of a reference

Page 11485

1 rather than the powers under law.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that you made the distinction.

3 But then it took the course of explaining what -- who had powers to arrest

4 and further details might not be of great assistance.

5 MR. TIEGER: I agree, and I think there might have been a more

6 expeditious way of eliciting that information.

7 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, before we move on to the next document, I just want

8 to direct your attention to the first name -- first member named on the

9 commission, and are you able to make out the name of that person who was a

10 representative of the Ministry of Justice?

11 A. It says here Rajko Colovic.

12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Tieger come

13 closer to the microphone, please.


15 Q. Could we turn next to tab 19, the 24th session of the government,

16 held on the 9th of June, 1992. Tab 19 in binder 1.

17 Mr. Trbojevic, tab 19 contains the minutes of the session of the

18 government held on June 9th, 1992, the day after your formal appointment

19 as deputy minister, I believe, although the minutes indicate you were not

20 present at this particular meeting. But I'm wondering if you can direct

21 your attention to agenda item 1 that refers first to the government's

22 support for the order of the Central Committee for the Exchange of

23 Prisoners, and B, correspondence from the president of the Central

24 Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners, and then a conclusion that the

25 ministers should talk to Rajko Colovic to determine what are the motives

Page 11486

1 for requesting the change, and if the reasons are justified, do the work

2 of the committee president until a new president can be appointed.

3 Can you tell us what was happening with the Commission for the

4 Exchange of Prisoners at that time, and in particular with Mr. Colovic's

5 request for change.

6 A. I know Mr. Rajko Colovic. I knew him even before I arrived in

7 Pale. Even nowadays, he's still a colleague of mine in the justice

8 system. I didn't even know that he was a member of the commission and

9 that he asked to be relieved of his duties. We never talked about that.

10 Therefore, I don't know what ever caused him to ask to be relieved of

11 duties. It says here the government supports the order. It says that the

12 Prime Minister will talk to the president of the commission to see why

13 he's asking to be replaced. It is stated here that we ought to apply both

14 international and domestic regulations, so based on the text, I really

15 don't know what I could comment here.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, if you do not know anything about it,

17 there's no need to read the text because that's what the Chamber can do

18 itself as well.

19 Mr. Tieger, please proceed. Yes, it's 10.30 anyhow.

20 Mr. Trbojevic, you are invited to directly answer the questions,

21 and if you are not asked whether you knew Mr. Colovic or not, then refrain

22 from telling us matters that you are not asked. If you do not know

23 anything about it, then you say, "I've got no idea why he wanted to

24 resign," and if there is any additional question, Mr. Tieger will ask it.

25 We'll adjourn until five minutes to 11.00.

Page 11487

1 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

2 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Tieger, perhaps a few

4 practical matters. First of all, protective measures in respect of

5 witnesses 31 and 73, I think we are still waiting for a response by the

6 Defence. It was the -- the response was due the 25th of March.

7 If you just now write it down, Mr. Stewart, and let me know if my

8 information is wrong, and otherwise provide us with the ...

9 MR. STEWART: I certainly don't have any basis for suggesting it's

10 wrong, Your Honours, so I've written down the numbers and will inquire

11 during the next break, of course. Thank you.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then there is some supplementary information

13 provided by the OTP in view of protective measures of a 92 bis witness --

14 of the 92 bis witnesses in general and I think we do not know whether we

15 have to expect any further responses to that. If not, if you'd like to do

16 that, the Chamber would like to receive it by the end of this week.

17 MR. STEWART: I'll do exactly the same with that as I am with the

18 other points. I'll follow it up.

19 JUDGE ORIE: And there is another issue but I'd rather not deal

20 with it in the presence of the witness.

21 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

23 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, before we move on, as you were being escorted to

24 the witness box by the usher, you may have overheard Mr. Stewart and I

25 mentioning your name and coming to learn that I'm mispronouncing your

Page 11488

1 name. I apologise for that. I don't expect it to get better but I

2 recognise that I'm not pronouncing your name properly, and my apologies

3 for that.

4 Can we next turn, then, to tab 20, please, in binder 1.

5 Now, tab 20 reflects or contains the minutes of a -- of the 25th

6 government session of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina held on

7 the 10th of June, 1992. Again, Mr. Trbojevic, I note that the minutes

8 reflect that you were absent.

9 This meeting takes place the day after the session we looked at

10 just before the recess, at which the government concluded that the

11 treatment and exchange of prisoners is a responsible and complex issue.

12 At this session on the 10th of June, if you'll look at page 3 -- well,

13 it's page 3 of the English and it's immediately under agenda item 7. The

14 government concluded that the Ministry of Justice should make a report

15 about prisoners and that this report should pay special attention on

16 treatment of civilian population, prisoners of war, accommodation, food,

17 et cetera. The report would be considered by the government after which

18 it would be submitted to the Presidency of the Republic.

19 Mr. Trbojevic, can you tell us what information was available to

20 the government that prompted the conclusion that the Ministry of Justice

21 should be tasked with preparing a report about prisoners?

22 A. I don't know exactly.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know anything about it perhaps not exactly,

24 Mr. Trbojevic, in general terms?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have no information, no

Page 11489

1 knowledge.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, did you receive the minutes of the

3 government meetings, even if you were not present?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most likely the minutes were copied,

5 but as to whether they reached my hands, I couldn't tell you. I probably

6 received some minutes but didn't receive all of them.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Did you receive any preparatory documents for those

8 meetings?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


12 Q. Do you recall whether a report was prepared, Mr. Trbojevic?

13 A. I don't know. I don't know whether it was discussed at a

14 government session.

15 Q. Were members of the government or other officials among the

16 Bosnian Serb authorities at that time discussing the general issue of the

17 treatment of civilian populations and prisoners?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Let me turn next then to tab 23, the government session of June

20 15th.

21 Now, Mr. Trbojevic, the minutes reflect that you were the chair of

22 the meeting that was held on June 15th. Let me ask you to turn, please,

23 to agenda item 10. That's found on page 4 of the English translation.

24 Agenda item 10, Mr. Trbojevic, reflects the following: "The

25 government has considered the proposed report. It has been concluded that

Page 11490

1 the issue of prisoners exchange is extremely important, complex, and

2 delicate and that if sufficient attention is not paid to it, it can cause

3 a number of negative consequences for the whole republic. It has been

4 agreed that working group consisting of professor Branko Djeric, Milan

5 Trbojevic, Dr. Dragan Kalinic, Mico Stanisic, Bogdan Subotic and Momcilo

6 Mandic should consider all the aspects of the prisoner exchange problem

7 and that they should propose systematic and other solutions, taking into

8 account our and international regulations. It is obvious that solving

9 this problem is urgent and that the regulations and concrete measures for

10 solving of this issue should be proposed as soon as possible."

11 First of all, Mr. Trbojevic, is the proposed report which was

12 considered by the government on June 15th the report that was referred to

13 in the minutes we looked at earlier, that is, the report that the Ministry

14 of Justice was tasked to produce about prisoners on the 10th of June?

15 A. I can't say with any certainty. It is possible, but I don't know

16 for sure.

17 Q. Are you aware of any other proposed report on the issue of

18 prisoners other than the one that the government tasked justice to produce

19 and that was reflected in the June 10th minutes?

20 A. I don't know.

21 Q. Based on the report, the government concluded that the issue of

22 prisoners was, among other things, "... complex and delicate and can cause

23 a number of negative consequences for the whole republic."

24 What information was contained in that report that indicated the

25 complex, delicate and potentially adverse impact of the issue of prisoners

Page 11491

1 exchanged?

2 A. I'm not familiar with the text of that report. I don't know what

3 it said. I assume that the report can be found among other documents but

4 I couldn't quote any of its portions now or give my interpretation.

5 Q. I wouldn't ask you to actually quote from the report after this

6 length of time, but this was the first session of the government that you

7 chaired, wasn't it, Mr. Trbojevic, or at least among the first sessions

8 that you chaired?

9 A. Most likely.

10 Q. Sorry, I think you were actually the chair of the meeting at June

11 13th as well.

12 At this meeting, the government considered an issue that was

13 extremely important, by its own conclusions, and that could lead to a

14 number of negative consequences for the whole republic. So as a general

15 matter, what information was discussed at that meeting that was so

16 important and so potentially adverse?

17 A. I don't know. I couldn't tell you.

18 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber finds reason to warn you that you are

19 under a duty to tell the truth. As the solemn declaration said, the

20 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And I'm putting to you

21 the consequences that may result from a failure to do so. If you do not

22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, the maximum

23 penalty for false testimony under solemn declaration is a fine of 100.000

24 euros or a term of imprisonment of 7 years or both.

25 This is a formal warning under Rule 91 of the Rules of Procedure

Page 11492

1 and Evidence.

2 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


4 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, I'm seeking from you any information you have about

5 the nature of the discussion that took place on June 15th at this

6 government session concerning an issue that was regarded by the government

7 and members of the government itself as extremely important and that was

8 considered to have potentially adverse consequences to the republic. What

9 can you tell me about that?

10 A. I'm fully conscious of the oath that I took. It is just that I do

11 not recall. There is no trace in my memory of the text submitted by

12 somebody and the problems that the text pointed out to. Naturally, I can

13 interpret some things, because over the years a certain amount of

14 information was collected; however, from that period of time, May/June

15 1992, I really couldn't tell you anything more about that. I saw the

16 report signed by Momcilo Mandic, Stanisic, and the report stated that

17 there were many prisoners of war, many arrested and so on, but I couldn't

18 confirm that because there's no trace of that text left in my memory.

19 Naturally, this is an issue that had to be regulated.

20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, you said, "I saw the report signed by

21 Momcilo Mandic and Stanisic and the report stated that there were many

22 prisoners of war, many arrested and so on ..."

23 Did the report confine itself to establishing that there were many

24 prisoners of war and arrested persons or did it say more?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've said that I am

Page 11493












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13 English transcripts.













Page 11494

1 unable to state that I laid my eyes on such a report. It says here that

2 somebody submitted a report. I don't know who it was who submitted it.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, I'm not asking who submitted it. I

4 was just reading the transcript of your testimony. And if you say that

5 that's not what you said, then we'll check that on the basis of the

6 original tape in Bosnian Croatian Serbian. You said, "I saw the report

7 signed by Momcilo Mandic, Stanisic." Is that correct? If you didn't say

8 that, then we'll have that checked.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

10 JUDGE ORIE: What did you then say?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that I cannot say that I

12 did see the report submitted by either the president of the Commission for

13 the Exchange or by Momcilo Mandic or by Mico Stanisic.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand that you were chairing a meeting in

15 which, as a chairperson, at least you were involved in a conversation

16 saying that the government has considered the proposed report and has

17 drawn conclusions about the importance. What do you know about the

18 report? Do you know that it existed, first of all?

19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I observe that -- while I'm fully

20 endorsing, with respect, Your Honour's proposal that the B/C/S tape should

21 be checked, might I respectfully suggest that that should be done straight

22 away before we proceed further so that -- there was -- when one looks at

23 the whole answer, it does cry out for some checking, as Your Honour

24 suggests.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm afraid that we could ask Madam Registrar to

Page 11495

1 -- I take it that we have to wait until the end of this -- we can't copy

2 anything from the tape unless the tape is finished. Is that correct,

3 Madam Registrar?

4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

5 JUDGE ORIE: We'll change the tapes and have a look at what has

6 been said at what appears on my computer as 11.14 and then especially the

7 line reading "I saw the report signed by Momcilo Mandic, Stanisic," which

8 is at 11.14.19 -- no, 11.14.25, and including the next line 11.14.30, and

9 the next line 11.14.41.

10 We all have to stop speaking until we get the information that a

11 new tape is put in place.

12 Mr. Tieger, we can proceed at this moment with the examination,

13 although cueing up the tape that has been removed now will take a couple

14 of more minutes, so we'll return to that ...

15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I mention that I have -- and it's

16 nothing to do with my watch, Your Honour, but I have 11.17.46 for that

17 reference whereas Your Honour apparently had 11.14.25. I have no idea why

18 there should be such a discrepancy.

19 JUDGE ORIE: What do you have as the time on your computer?

20 MR. STEWART: Where it says, "I saw the report --"

21 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm asking you on the very bottom of the -- in

22 the right down corner, what time do you have there?

23 MR. STEWART: Oh, yes, Your Honour, I see. I have 11.28.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Your computer has a bit of a different time

25 from mine.

Page 11496

1 MR. STEWART: I should say Your Honour, I'm not talking about my

2 computer here, I'm talking about the court-provided computer.

3 JUDGE ORIE: The computer you are using.

4 MR. STEWART: The one I'm using, Your Honour, yes, just to clarify

5 because my computer has had its issues this morning.


7 Mr. Tieger, we could ...

8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could that be fixed? This is obviously

9 potentially very inconvenient. Not right now, but sometimes

10 synchronisation is important here because certain -- if we get these

11 discrepancies they are --

12 JUDGE ORIE: You can always adapt the clock time of your computer

13 if you want to, Mr. Stewart. That's basics in --

14 MR. STEWART: I can with my own, Your Honour, yes, of course I

15 can. I know how to do that.

16 JUDGE ORIE: This is just the laptop. Yes, Mr. Tieger?

17 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. I understand the court has asked

18 me to continue, although I wasn't the one who asked for --

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes, I'm aware of that, but what I would say is

20 that we could not immediately at this moment take up the issue we got

21 stuck in, so if there's anything else, otherwise we have to wait for a

22 couple of minutes.

23 MR. TIEGER: I would suggest that we wait because I think it would

24 pointless to sort of move around that issue which is now --

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps Judge Hanoteau has one question.

Page 11497

1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to take advantage of

2 this brief suspension to ask a question to the witness. When the witness

3 was appointed as a minister, what position did he take? What was his

4 role? I think that this was not clearly defined.

5 You said that you were not given a specific position, a specific

6 mandate because you were Deputy Prime Minister. What was your role, what

7 was your task? You were talking to the Prime Minister but I would like to

8 know what task you were performing.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Formally, there were several Deputy

10 Prime Ministers. I was supposed to exercise the position of the Deputy

11 Prime Minister for the Interior. There was one for the economy, another

12 one for finances, and I was supposed to deal with internal affairs, home

13 affairs.

14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could you please elaborate on

15 your role. "Home affairs," what do you mean by this? What did it consist

16 of? What was your task, what was your relation with the home minister,

17 what meetings did you attend, et cetera?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying to make my answers as

19 concise as possible but if you're asking me to explain, then the -- this

20 is the substance of it: The Prime Minister for internal policies, to say,

21 was someone who was supposed to be the immediate superior to the minister

22 of the interior and the minister of justice, dealing with the organisation

23 of state administration and the functioning of justice administration.

24 This is something that was supposed to be dealt with by the relevant

25 ministers.

Page 11498

1 I have given a detailed explanation of this in my earlier

2 statements. From the very beginning this government started to operate

3 some conflicts arose where the ministers of justice and internal affairs

4 felt that they were under an investigation launched by the Prime Minister

5 and myself over abuses. So that there was this relationship of friction

6 which was characterised by an almost absolute absence of communication

7 between, on the one hand, the minister of the interior and the minister of

8 justice, and on the other, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What do you mean by "abuses"?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some warehouses of certain companies

11 were being mentioned which, at the beginning of war operations, fell on

12 the Serb-controlled side and it was suspected that the goods contained in

13 these warehouses had been stolen with the assistance of some police

14 officers under the auspices of these two ministers.

15 This investigation was never carried out fully and the suspicions

16 were not confirmed but this caused them -- these two ministers to be

17 indignant over this issue.

18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What about the minister of the

19 interior and the minister of justice? Did you have to -- did you ask them

20 to provide you with some reports?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We set up a commission and we called

22 them for some interviews, asking them to give their statement about the

23 matter, which they naturally declined. Next, Branko Djeric tried to

24 eliminate them from the government through a reshuffling process, and

25 since this did not work out, this sort of situation prevailed until the

Page 11499

1 month of October, when Djeric resigned.

2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, would you please carefully listen to

4 the part of your testimony of this morning we'll play to you at this very

5 moment. And could I invite the interpreters to pay specific attention to

6 the words spoken, and Interpreter, if there is any word unclear or if it

7 could be not well understood, I'd like to be informed.

8 Could the technical booth please play the relevant portion of the

9 B/C/S tape.

10 [Audiotape played]

11 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "This problem was raised. I cannot

12 now interpret the situation because a lot of time has elapsed since the

13 information were -- was being collected, but from the period in May and

14 June I cannot tell you that I saw the report that had been signed by

15 either the president of the commission for the exchange or by Momcilo

16 Mandic as the minister of justice or by Mico Stanisic. This -- and say

17 this report says that there are many prisoners, many people detained. I

18 cannot tell you this because I do not have this text in my mind, to be

19 frank. That it was necessary to regulate this issue that ..."

20 JUDGE ORIE: I think a sufficient part has been played.

21 Mr. Trbojevic ...

22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I think it should be placed on record,

23 the witness was correct in what he said about that. The -- what's being

24 played back does confirm what he subsequently said, because it's

25 significantly different from what appeared on the transcript.

Page 11500

1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's clear to me. I was looking at it, I didn't

2 listen to the English translation, but I take it that finally we could

3 establish with the support of the interpreters that the witness said that

4 he cannot tell us that he saw the report that had been signed by either

5 the president of the commission for the exchange or by Momcilo Mandic as

6 the minister of justice or by Mico Stanisic.

7 Mr. Trbojevic, you are perfectly right that the transcript gave a

8 wrong impression of what you said and that was -- explains perhaps why I

9 was so insistent. And thanks to the technical facilities, we can clarify

10 these issues.

11 If you have felt uncomfortable with it, I apologise for it to

12 happen.

13 I would have, however, a few more questions on it, and that's the

14 following: So a report, even if you have not seen it, was there.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If this is what the document here

16 says, then there's no reason to doubt it.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Was this report, because you earlier said that a

18 report on detention facilities was asked for but it was never received, do

19 you remember that part of your testimony?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Was that report that was never received, was that

22 another report? Because this report, as I understand, seems to have been

23 received even though not read by you. I'm just seeking clarification of

24 your earlier answer where you said that a report was asked for but never

25 received.

Page 11501

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that there was one report

2 which was submitted by Mr. Slobodan Avlijas, and I know that this report

3 never reached the government but I learned about all of this many years

4 later.


6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's why I cannot really be

7 precise in determining which report is the one we have before us here.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You earlier talked about a commission to be

9 sent to Krajina. Who was heading that commission?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know at this time. I

11 believe that the Prosecutor showed me a decision that I signed saying that

12 a commission was supposed to go to Krajina and I believe the names of the

13 persons are mentioned therein and you can find it out there, or perhaps it

14 said that the Ministry of Justice was to designate who was to go there.

15 JUDGE ORIE: So that was at a different occasion, was not the

16 report or committee or whatever discussed at this meeting of the 15th of

17 June; is that correct?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably so, yes.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the 15th of June minutes tell us that you

20 were -- that it was agreed that you would be among the members of a

21 working group on the issue.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This working group here never met,

23 in part because of the hostility that existed between Stanisic and Mandic

24 on the one hand, and Djeric and me on the other, and in part, also,

25 because the minister of defence thought it fell under his jurisdiction to

Page 11502

1 deal with prisoners and orders related to them as well as about the

2 matters concerning their treatment. That's why I believe he was dealing

3 with these issues. This commission, however, did not meet at all.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Was there ever a report saying that the commission or

5 the working group could not function or could not do what it had to do?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think so.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Did you regret that this commission or this working

8 group could not do what it was tasked with?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no -- there was no

10 information available that would indicate that the situation was terrible,

11 horrible, and that something had to be done about it.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please answer to my question. My question

13 was not whether there were any reasons to investigate but whether you did

14 regret that the task given to this working group was not fulfilled by it.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying to explain to you that at

16 the time none of us were aware of the need for such a task to be carried

17 out let alone of the significance of it.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Now --

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At a later stage, of course,

20 everyone regretted it, but when we're talking about that specific period,

21 there was no need to regret something that we were not aware of.

22 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not asking you whether you regretted what

23 happened in these detention facilities, I'm asking you whether you

24 regretted that finally the work this working group was tasked with was not

25 done; that is, to consider all the aspects of prisoner exchange problems,

Page 11503

1 to propose systematic and other solutions.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that we did not regret

3 that fact, and I've tried to explain why we felt that way about it.

4 JUDGE ORIE: What you are telling us is that the government

5 considered this to be an urgent problem that should be dealt with without

6 any further delay, and if I ask you about your feelings about this task

7 not being fulfilled, you say, "Well, as a matter of fact, there was no

8 urgent problem, there was nothing to consider at all," which is totally

9 inconsistent with the decision taken by the government.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, there were exchange

11 commissions within each core. In each region, exchanges were carried out.

12 So we believed that the system was functioning. Yes, there were problems,

13 there were many people detained. We had to provide all the necessary

14 conditions for them - the food, the sanitary needs and so on - however, we

15 believed that things were developing and that the problem would be solved

16 through exchanges. It occurred to no one that this would turn into a

17 crime.

18 JUDGE ORIE: You said, "We had to provide all the necessary

19 conditions for them - the food, the sanitary needs ..." Who do you mean

20 by "we"?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, listen, those who kept people

22 in detention had to feed them and provide water for them.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but was that any of your business at the

24 government level?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The government most likely had

Page 11504












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13 English transcripts.













Page 11505

1 contacts with the Ministry of Commerce, and the Bureau for Commodities

2 most likely provided some supplies.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Looking back, on the basis of the information you

4 have now, would you consider the condition in detention facilities in

5 terms of food and sanitary needs satisfactory?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had we been able to have any hints

7 about the actual situation, I'm sure that the following government session

8 would have been scheduled to be held in Omarska in order to go to the site

9 and to see right there what could be done.

10 JUDGE ORIE: If the working group had done what it had been tasked

11 with, if the matter would have been further investigated, would you agree

12 with me that there would have been a fair chance that the conditions had

13 become known to the government?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree. I have said that I

15 didn't know what this information was about. As for the other report that

16 I had opportunity to see several times later, I came to the conclusion

17 that even this report did not inform about the actual situation.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, again the question: Having established that you

19 had -- that there would have been a fair chance had the conditions become

20 known to the government, do you regret that the committee for -- or the

21 working group did not do what it was tasked with?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do regret.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand your testimony well that if the work

24 had been done the government considered at that moment urgent and

25 important, that the chance that the conditions in the detention facilities

Page 11506

1 would be known in due time to the government was a fair chance?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Do you consider it a failure that finally the

4 government, at least as far as your knowledge goes, was not informed about

5 the conditions in the camps, in the detention facilities?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do consider that.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] There's a question I'd like to

9 ask. You stated that you had learned later on that a report had been

10 submitted by Slobodan Avlijas; is that right?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Who was Slobodan Avlijas?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was an inspector for penitentiary

14 institutions under the Ministry of Justice.

15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And you read this report

16 afterwards or did you -- were you informed of -- about this report

17 afterwards? What was in that report?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a description of a camp

19 where certain people were held who had satisfactory food supplies, who had

20 medical assistance, sanitary conditions were provided for them as well,

21 and this site did not resemble a criminal institution.

22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And you said, sir, that this

23 report, once it was drafted, was not handed over to the government; is

24 that correct?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.

Page 11507

1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Who was this report given to?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I learned about that much, much

3 later. And based on what I learned, it was submitted to the minister of

4 justice who, in turn, transmitted it, allegedly, to Mr. Karadzic. This is

5 the information I received from Avlijas.

6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And this should have been handed

7 over to the head of government, don't you think?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Naturally. Naturally.

9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And this was not the case; it was

10 handed over directly to Mr. Karadzic.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what I was told.

12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Tieger, you have to be even more patient.

14 Judge Canivell has a question too.

15 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to know

16 whether you could -- which camp was mentioned in the report which was not

17 handed over at a latter stage?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean the information mentioned

19 in the minutes of the government session or do you mean the report

20 prepared by Slobodan Avlijas?

21 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] No, neither of the two. At one

22 stage, you stated that this report was drafted by an inspector - I don't

23 remember the name of this inspector - and this referred to a camp where a

24 number of people had been well treated, well fed, well looked after.

25 Which camp is this; do you remember?

Page 11508

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think you're referring to this bit

2 that pertained to the report of Slobodan Avlijas, and this report dealt

3 with the Omarska camp.

4 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.

6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

7 It occurs to me that in light of the Court's questions, rather

8 than ask the questions that I was immediately -- that were immediately

9 going to follow, I thought I'd distribute the tab 100, which -- in tab 100

10 of your binders, there is a cover page but the document is not contained.

11 This is the document. It's the report that's been referred to, or at

12 least we'll check with the witness that that is the case.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Tab 100 is in binder 3?

14 MR. TIEGER: Yes.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Whoever would miss tab 102, I've got them double, so

16 if there's anyone -- I know that we are talking about 100, but I see that

17 I've got two times 102.

18 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

19 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. And at the same time, Your

20 Honour, it might be best if I also directed the Court's attention to tab

21 92, which contains a report dated August 22, 1992, by Mr. Avlijas and

22 Mr. Saric.

23 Q. Now, Mr. Trbojevic, I'm directing your attention to both reports,

24 both the report of August 22, 1992 by Mr. Avlijas and Mr. Saric and the

25 report of October 22nd, 1992. And if you could look those two reports

Page 11509

1 over and tell us first whether or not either one of those is a report you

2 were referring to in responding to the questions of Judge Canivell and

3 Judge Hanoteau.

4 A. I think I don't have the August one.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Have you got two reports now in front of you,

6 Mr. Trbojevic?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I received the other one.


9 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, you referred earlier to a report that you read and

10 that you concluded did not contain the accurate or necessary information,

11 and that report was written by Mr. Avlijas, and I believe you recalled it

12 as directing its attention at least in part to Omarska. Were either of

13 these reports the report that you were referring to?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Have you seen these reports before, or did you see these reports

16 in 1992?

17 A. I did not.

18 Q. Did you know that representatives -- a representative of the

19 Ministry of Justice, or that Mr. Avlijas in particular, had prepared or

20 submitted reports concerning detention facilities, prisons, or collection

21 centres?

22 A. Not at the time.

23 Q. So are you saying that at the time, you weren't -- well, what

24 about the other Avlijas report to which you alluded, the one that you

25 thought was inadequate and that concerned Omarska; did you see that in

Page 11510

1 1992?

2 A. I said that I saw that report several years later. And based on

3 the text, I can see that it's not this report because this report says

4 under Prijedor "No camp here," whereas I remember that the other report

5 reflected that he had been to Omarska and described the appearance of

6 latrines and so on.

7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, can the witness be presented with the

8 document contained behind tab 89, the report dated 17 August 1992 by Vojin

9 Lale and Mirko Erkic.

10 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, I will certainly give you more time to look at this

11 if you need to, but I note at page 3 of the English translation, in the

12 second section of the report, it addresses Omarska near Prijedor and,

13 among other things, it reports that prisoners are accommodated in a hall

14 with military beds and clean toilet facilities.

15 As I mentioned, feel free to look the report over if you need to,

16 but my question is whether or not this is the report that you were

17 referring to, although you recall it as being by Mr. Avlijas.

18 A. No, it's not this one. I remember for a fact that it was

19 Avlijas's report.

20 Q. And can you tell us when you first saw this report?

21 A. Just now.

22 Q. If you turn to the first page of this report, it begins by noting

23 that according to the decision number 0620 of the government of the Serb

24 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina of August 9th, 1992, that the

25 commission for inspecting detention centres and other facilities was

Page 11511

1 established.

2 Were you familiar with that decision?

3 A. I signed one such decision, perhaps this one.

4 Q. Can I direct your attention to tab 38 which contain the minutes of

5 the 47th session of the government.

6 Sorry, before we actually go into that, perhaps it's helpful to

7 show you the contents of tab 86 and ask you whether or not that was the

8 decision that you referred to a moment ago.

9 For the record, tab 89 [sic] contains a decision issued at the

10 session of the government held on 9 August 1992, entitled "Decision on the

11 Establishment of Commissions for the Inspection of Collection Centres and

12 Other Facilities for Prisoners in the Serbian Republic of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina."

14 Did you sign that document for Mr. Djeric?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. If we can look at the minutes of the government session, the 47th

17 session of --

18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I see that you're referring to 86 and

19 then suddenly 89 appears where --

20 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, thank you for that

21 clarification.

22 JUDGE ORIE: So it should be 86 then.

23 MR. TIEGER: That's correct.


25 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, the next document, the 47th

Page 11512

1 session, is contained behind tab 38. I believe that's in front of the

2 witness now. The English translation -- the translation and I believe

3 even the original indicate that that session was held on August 9th. I

4 think we've already -- if you look up and see above, these would have been

5 transcribed on the 20th, and I think we'll see another document indicating

6 the correct date of that session, which I believe to be the 19th.

7 In addition, it refers to the minutes of the 46th session, which

8 was held on the 19th.

9 Q. Now this is a session at which you were present, Mr. Trbojevic,

10 and can I ask you to look at agenda item 7. Agenda item 7, contained at

11 page 3 of the English translation, states that, "The government agreed on

12 holding a special closed government session in which to discuss a report

13 on touring of concentration centres and other detention facilities in

14 Krajina Autonomous Region."

15 Now, is that a reference to the report by -- that was ordered on

16 August 9th and that was prepared by Mr. Lale and Mr. ...

17 A. This is probably one of those reports.

18 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me, Your Honour.

19 [Prosecution counsel confer]


21 Q. Well, in fact, the report that bears the date of 17 August 1992,

22 submitted by Mr. Lale and Mr. Erkic, is dated a Report of the Commission

23 for Inspecting Detention Centres and Other Facilities for Prisoners in the

24 Autonomous Region of Krajina, so is there any reason to think this isn't

25 the report in question?

Page 11513

1 A. This is probably the one because I see that, among others, Vojin

2 Lale was also in attendance at this session.

3 Q. And this is clearly the report prepared in response to the order

4 you signed on August 9th because it states in its first sentence,

5 "According to the decision number 06-20." Correct?

6 A. That's what it says.

7 Q. Now, if we could turn to the closed session of this -- held at the

8 same session, the 47th session, found at tab 91.

9 Tab 91 contains the minutes of a closed session of the government

10 of the Serbian Republic held on 19 August 1992 which, according to the

11 minutes, was held upon the conclusion of a regular 47th government

12 session, the minutes for which we looked at a moment ago. That session

13 was attended by the ministers who attended the 47th government session,

14 and that would include you, correct, Mr. Trbojevic?

15 A. I presume so.

16 Q. And it states in item number 2: "The government discussed and

17 adopted the commission report on the visits for collection centres and

18 other buildings used for captives in the Autonomous Region of Krajina and

19 assessed that the report realistically described the situation in these

20 buildings."

21 So my first question, Mr. Trbojevic, is: How is it that you told

22 us that you saw this report for the first time here in court when it was

23 discussed and adopted on the 19th of August, 1992 in your presence?

24 A. Believe me when I tell you that I don't know. I have -- I

25 evidently saw it and discussed it on two occasions but why it was not

Page 11514

1 impressed in my memory, I don't know, but according to the minutes, I did

2 see it.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, I would like to remind you again that

4 if there's any fear on your behalf that you would incriminate yourself by

5 giving the truthful answer to a question, just address us.

6 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not the case, Your Honour.


9 Q. Now, enumerated item 2 states, "The government discussed and

10 adopted the report on collection centres and other buildings used for

11 captives in the Autonomous Region of Krajina."

12 What people were encompassed by the word "captives" as used in the

13 first sentence of enumerated item 2?

14 A. It probably refers to those about whom the report that we have

15 before us talks about.

16 Q. Do you still have the report in front of you, sir?

17 A. No.

18 MR. TIEGER: Sorry.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Could it be provided to the witness. Madam Usher,

20 could you assist? We're now talking about the report, Mr. Tieger.

21 MR. TIEGER: I believe it was tab 86, Your Honour.

22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, I'm sorry to

23 interrupt, I just wanted further information about something.

24 When would meetings be held in closed session? When would the

25 government hold its meeting in closed session; in other words, when would

Page 11515












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13 English transcripts.













Page 11516

1 this take place, Witness, please?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were no special circumstances,

3 it was an ordinary session, it was just held in the absence of the

4 technical staff that usually was there at the session, but it did not mean

5 that the public was excluded.

6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And when a meeting is held in

7 closed session, it's usually because some information is not leaked out,

8 perhaps some employees or the public is not informed. There's a measure

9 of precaution that is taken here. Why?

10 You were the Deputy Prime Minister -- no, you were the deputy

11 minister, Djeric was Prime Minister at the time. You must know why the

12 decision was taken to hold a closed session meeting.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assure you I don't know. There

14 was more information in the public domain than in our reports about all

15 these matters.

16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm sorry to belabour the point,

17 but you held quite a high position, you are a lawyer, an intelligent man;

18 decisions like these are not taken without valid reason. This formal

19 decision is taken after a decision has been taken. A decision to hold a

20 meeting in closed session is something where a number of people or the

21 public is not informed about a number of things. Could you tell me,

22 please, why this meeting was held in closed session.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell you because I do not

24 remember the specific reason behind it. I suppose that in view of the

25 fact that some of the reports contained accurate information that we would

Page 11517

1 have to discuss it; however, these reports only said what the situation

2 was like and that we should work to improve it. I don't know.

3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So allow me, but I would like to

4 ask my question again. This report talked about true facts and these had

5 to be discussed in closed session. If this reflected what was actually

6 happening, why did this meeting have to be held in closed session? [In

7 English] "This report talked about true facts and these had to be

8 discussed in closed session." [Interpretation] I don't understand what

9 connection there can be between real facts and a closed session.

10 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, I'm not making an objection, I'm just

11 wondering whether through Judge Hanoteau, with respect, something could be

12 cleared up which might complement Judge Hanoteau's questions. The witness

13 indicated that a closed session was held in the absence of technical

14 staff, but it did not mean that the public was excluded.

15 Your Honours, I wonder whether, as a foundation and as a

16 complement to Judge Hanoteau's questions, the witness could be invited to

17 make very specifically clear what happened in a normal government session

18 that was not closed; who would be there and who wouldn't? Because the

19 public attending a government session does strike one as a rather unusual

20 position, and then what the difference was between a public -- an ordinary

21 session, I'm sorry, an ordinary session and a closed session so that we

22 can understand what was happening as the foundation for these questions.

23 I hope that's a helpful intervention, Your Honour.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Government sessions were mostly held

25 at Pale and less often elsewhere. On this occasion, I believe it was in

Page 11518

1 Banja Luka. It was customary for the government session to be attended by

2 the ministers, their immediate associates, or some of those who had to

3 present their working materials, like Mr. Lale here, because he was one of

4 the persons involved in the drafting of the report.

5 Closed session was quite uncustomary, we did not often resort to

6 that form of convening, and it meant that the auxiliary staff, ministers

7 excluded, was not supposed to be there. On this particular occasion,

8 there was no special need for that because the material had been copied

9 for the earlier session and was therefore there to be seen by everyone,

10 and I simply thought that the report was going to be complemented by some

11 information that it did not contain at this particular closed session.

12 But I cannot tell you why it was that we turned to closed session there.

13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.

14 JUDGE ORIE: May I put it in a different way to you,

15 Mr. Trbojevic.

16 Would you agree that a closed session, whether you exclude

17 technical staff or anyone else who would ordinarily be present, that a

18 closed session serves to keep those who are excluded away from the

19 conversations, positions, information discussed at such a closed session?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us any specific reason why it would

22 have been different in respect of this meeting?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have said that the only reason

24 that I could conceive of would lie in the fact that the report in the form

25 in which it had been presented could have been complemented in that --

Page 11519

1 during that session with some information that it did not previously

2 contain. However, based on what I can read here, I don't see that

3 anything of the sort was done. And I do not recall anyone giving any

4 arguments or information at this session that were previously unknown to

5 us. Because as I've said, you could find much more information in the

6 press and on the television at that time.

7 JUDGE ORIE: What information would you find in the press at that

8 moment?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Photographs of people standing

10 behind barbed wire were published. They were there, emaciated. I believe

11 this was Trnopolje. A TV crew, either of the BBC or of some other

12 broadcasting house, had already been there. Mr. Owen was there at Manjaca

13 and I believe all of this happened before this session. I believe so, at

14 least.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Do you agree with me that having an open session, in

16 view of what you said about the content of the report, would have been, by

17 far, to be preferred in order to take away this -- what you at that time

18 thought to be a totally wrong impression of what in these detention

19 facilities happened?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're quite right.


22 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.


24 Q. Just to clarify, Mr. Trbojevic, the closed session was called to

25 discuss --

Page 11520

1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I lost -- out of sight that we are

2 already at 20 minutes to 1.00. If it would not be -- if you have one

3 question, of course you could put it and then we have to break, but if

4 there is more to ask to the witness, then we'd like to have a break now.

5 MR. TIEGER: I think breaking now is appropriate, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll adjourn until five minutes past 1.00.

7 --- Recess taken at 12.43 p.m.

8 --- On resuming at 1.07 p.m.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.

10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

11 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, if I can follow up just a bit on a couple of

12 questions asked by Judge Hanoteau, and I'm directing your attention to the

13 report contained at tab 89, Permission for Inspecting Detention Centres

14 and Other Facilities for Prisoners in the Autonomous Region of Krajina.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Could we perhaps, Mr. Tieger, it was one of the

16 questions: Could we check the translation in relation to concentration

17 centres because often we -- the term is used "concentration camps,"

18 sometimes "collection centres." Could we first try to see that the

19 language used here is properly translated from the original.

20 MR. TIEGER: That's an excellent suggestion, Your Honour, and I

21 would note ...

22 JUDGE ORIE: It was Judge Hanoteau's suggestion.

23 MR. TIEGER: I think we see that distinction in the two documents

24 as well.


Page 11521

1 MR. TIEGER: There are a couple of ways of doing that, Your

2 Honour. We could ask the witness to read the heading in the two

3 documents.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you can invite him to do so, then of course

5 the focus, and I inform the translators, the interpreters that the focus

6 is very much on the specific term used and if later on -- let's first see

7 what the term is and then see whether there are any additional questions

8 in relation to that.


10 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, could you read, please, the title of the April 17th

11 report, and if you could read that slowly, please.

12 A. "Report of the Commission Upon Visiting Collection Centres and

13 Other Facilities for Prisoners in the Autonomous Region of Krajina."

14 Q. And are the minutes of the 47th session, that is the document

15 found at tab 38, still in front of the witness?

16 A. The document I have is from the closed session.

17 Q. And Mr. Trbojevic, do you have the minutes of the open session?

18 A. I do not have that.

19 Q. Read the entry at agenda item 7.

20 A. "A Report Upon Visiting Collection Centres and Other Facilities

21 for Prisoner --" it's a mistake, it should be "Prisoners in the Autonomous

22 Region of Krajina."

23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.

24 JUDGE ORIE: It turns out, Mr. Tieger, that at least that

25 translation on paper is not a correct one, where I did understand that it

Page 11522

1 was collection centres and not concentration centres.

2 MR. TIEGER: Right, and I think the same can be said in -- of the

3 title of the report. I understood it to be -- to the extent that

4 distinction is one we need to correct, I recall it as being identified as

5 collection centres, again in the title of the report, and it's translated

6 as detention centres.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and then the third source would be the -- where

8 agenda item 7 is further elaborated upon on page 3 in the English and on

9 page 4, first item, in the B/C/S. I don't know whether the same words are

10 used there or not, but ...

11 MR. TIEGER: At this point, perhaps the most expeditious thing

12 would be to check and see whether the words in B/C/S are precisely the

13 same. If they're not, we can bring it to the Court's attention, but

14 otherwise we will change the translation to conform to the interpretation

15 in court.



18 Q. Now, Mr. Trbojevic, returning to the report and the questions that

19 Judge Hanoteau asked you about both the report and the opened and closed

20 session, I just want to clarify a couple of issues.

21 Did I understand you to indicate that you saw no reason to go into

22 closed session because the report had already been distributed, and unless

23 additional items beyond the contents of the report were discussed in

24 closed session, there wouldn't be any need for that, there didn't seem to

25 be any need for that?

Page 11523

1 A. That's what I said.

2 Q. Well, agenda item 7, if I recall it correctly, said, "That the

3 government agreed to hold a special closed session to discuss the report."

4 Does that indicate that the report was not discussed in the open

5 session but that the discussion about the report took place in the closed

6 session?

7 A. I couldn't say that now. That was 12 or 13 years ago, after all.

8 Q. The report itself is a -- bears the heading "top classified."

9 What kind of documents were issued the designation "top classified" at

10 that time?

11 A. There were regulations, mostly in the domain of the military

12 administration, which specified what and under what circumstances can be

13 considered a confidential document or confidential action. Now, who it

14 was who decided to put this strictly confidential designation on this

15 document and why that was done, I couldn't tell you that now.

16 The contents of the minutes from that session does not justify the

17 treatment this document received as a strictly confidential one.

18 JUDGE ORIE: May I again interrupt for one second, Mr. Tieger.

19 Mr. Trbojevic, before the break, you explained to us that you

20 couldn't understand why such a session would be a closed session because

21 the report was distributed beforehand and what you heard during this

22 closed session where you expected, perhaps, to have some addition to the

23 report, that you didn't hear anything new.

24 Now after the break, you're telling us that you did not know

25 whether the report was discussed in closed session or whether it was

Page 11524

1 discussed in open session. Because that was the question put to you by

2 Mr. Tieger: "Does that indicate that the report was not discussed in the

3 open session but that the discussion about the report took place in the

4 closed session?" After the answers you have given before the break, is

5 your answer that you couldn't say because it was 12 or 13 years ago is a

6 correct one?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I said that if the

8 minutes reflected that the report was discussed, then it is obvious that

9 we did discuss it, that we held it in our hands. As for the extent to

10 which it was discussed, I really don't know.

11 Now, whether, in the closed session, we continued this debate,

12 whether we tried to expand it, I really don't know. The definite fact is

13 that it was a topic on -- in both instances, but to what extent we

14 discussed it on the first occasion and on the second occasion, this is

15 something that I couldn't tell you with any certainty.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

18 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, I asked you earlier about an entry in the minutes

19 of the closed session that indicates the government discussed and adopted

20 the report on the visit to collection centres and other buildings used for

21 captives in the autonomous region. I asked you what was embraced by the

22 term "captives," and I believe that you said -- you believed it to be

23 those persons who were the subject of the report.

24 Can I ask you to turn then to page 6 of the English translation,

25 and it's item 5 of the conclusions of the report. It states, "There are

Page 11525

1 no regulations regarding the way civilian refugees are treated, and this

2 problem was especially emphasised in Trnopolje." It's actually written

3 apparently as something else but it's seen by the interpreter as possibly

4 Trnopolje.

5 First of all, perhaps you can clarify that for us. Does that item

6 refer to Trnopolje in particular? Is that the word used there?

7 A. If you are referring to item 5, in my version it's on page 6 --

8 THE INTERPRETER: The witness gave the ERN number.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and it says here, "Lack of

10 appropriate regulations on how to treat civilian population who had become

11 refugees, which is particularly evident --" it says here "in Tromolje,"

12 but in most likelihood it should be Trnopolje.

13 Is that what you asked me about?


15 Q. Yes, thank you. And what did you understand to be the impact of

16 the absence of regulations on the civilians who were held in -- or who

17 were gathered in or who were contained in collection centres or other

18 buildings, as referred to in item 2 of the minutes?

19 A. This report under item 1 has a heading Trnopolje near Prijedor,

20 and in there, it says that this centre is of an open nature, meaning that

21 anybody can enter it or leave to go to the place they desire to go to,

22 that certain documentation needs to be provided and so on. Therefore, the

23 information circulated was that the collection centre was the place where

24 people sought shelter, people fleeing from war operations. It was also

25 said that allegedly people in charge of their security were protecting

Page 11526












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 11527

1 them there.

2 This was the information received and used, and this is partially

3 what is reflected here in the report. I know that the government passed a

4 decree on ensuring proper treatment for refugees. I know that there was a

5 bill on refugees that was worked on, but I don't know what the final

6 solution was.

7 Q. Were you aware, at that time, of allegations, either in the

8 international media, by NGOs, by government representatives, that persons

9 gathered in Trnopolje camp had been forcibly driven from their homes, many

10 of which had been destroyed by Serb forces?

11 A. Some of that naturally was contained in the information we

12 received. Now, as to when those facts reached us, I couldn't really tell

13 you. And even today, it is difficult to assess the authenticity of that

14 information, or the accuracy of that information. However, it is a fact

15 that after significant military operations in certain areas, after the

16 troops had passed, in their wake, there were villages and towns that were

17 destroyed and that there were many citizens who needed to be taken care

18 of. Some of them were taken care of in Trnopolje, according to the

19 information that we received.

20 Q. And how did you determine when -- what information did you receive

21 to verify the fact that after significant military operations, villages

22 and towns were destroyed and many people were rendered homeless?

23 A. We spoke about these reports and that was the first, the initial

24 information. Afterwards, in the media, much more was reported, and then

25 later, a lot more surfaced. Now, as to the chronology of the events,

Page 11528

1 exactly when I heard what, I don't think that I could be able to tell you

2 that now.

3 Q. I'm not looking for specific dates, but let me ask you this: Are

4 you saying that this report represents the first occasion on which you

5 learned that military operations had resulted in the displacement of large

6 numbers of people, and specifically Muslims, from their homes?

7 A. I don't know how to answer that question, truly.

8 Q. Why is that?

9 A. I was not kept abreast of the military operations. I didn't know

10 what took place in which theatre of war.

11 Q. Did you --

12 A. Later on, it emerged that parts of villages, settlements were

13 destroyed, burned down, the same applied for roads, that the population

14 was gone. Therefore, I don't know how to answer your question.

15 Q. Did you know before receiving this report that Bosnian Serb forces

16 were -- viewed themselves as being in control of 65 to 70 per cent of the

17 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

18 A. This piece of information was used in conducting the political

19 campaign. The percentages were circulated and used. Now, as to how much

20 of that was accurate, I don't think that anybody would be able to tell you

21 that.

22 Q. Well, did you hear that from the leadership of Republika Srpska?

23 That is, did you hear that from either Dr. Karadzic or Mr. Krajisnik or

24 both?

25 A. I think Karadzic mentioned these percentages several times, these

Page 11529

1 ownership percentages before the war and then the percentages of the

2 territory controlled by the respective parties. I believed I heard it

3 from him on several occasions. But this could also be found in the press,

4 I believe.

5 Q. Did you understand that to encompass municipalities in the areas

6 in which Muslims had been a majority before the outbreak of the conflict?

7 A. Later on, during peace negotiations, it became quite clear that

8 any peace-making process entailed that some of the territories held by

9 certain sides should be given over to the control of the other side,

10 including the settlements in these areas. This was a matter of a debate

11 that was largely in the public domain.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, that was not the question. The

13 question was: Did you understand that -- and that is the territory

14 expressed in percentages controlled by Bosnian Serb forces, did you

15 understand that to encompass municipalities in the areas in which Muslims

16 had been a majority before the outbreak of the conflict?

17 So whether control also included territories where there was

18 majority Muslim population before the outbreak of the conflict. That was

19 the question, not how you negotiated later on and whether matters should

20 be changed. That's what you were asked by Mr. Tieger.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've quite understood and there's no

22 doubt about it but I did not understand it from these reports from the

23 government sessions held on the 17th of August and the 18th of August, and

24 that's what we are discussing it now.


Page 11530

1 Q. But you understood it, didn't you, from your discussions with

2 other officials in the Bosnian Serb authorities, from your attendance at

3 Assembly sessions, from your general contact with people at a high level

4 of politics within Republika Srpska.

5 A. Every Assembly session was opened with the report on the political

6 situation and on the situation in the theatres of war, and this report was

7 often submitted by President Karadzic and often times by General Mladic

8 whenever he was attending the session, and then you could hear the state

9 of affairs with regard to the peace negotiating process and with regard to

10 the military situation, actions on Igman, at Gorazde, and so on and so

11 forth.

12 This information was something that you were unable to follow

13 closely unless you had a map in front of you to be able to follow the

14 movements of the respective units. But you are given the information and

15 you take notice of it, and that's it. You're not able to respond to that

16 in terms of saying to a general that they -- that he made a wrong decision

17 at some point. This was beyond our power. We were unable to tell

18 Karadzic, for instance, why he advocated a certain position at this and

19 this negotiating meeting.

20 JUDGE ORIE: Again, Mr. Trbojevic, the only question put to you is

21 from -- how you learned that areas under the control of the Bosnian Serb

22 forces also included areas where there was a majority Muslim population

23 before the conflict. You are telling us a lot. You're not answering the

24 question. Because the last time Mr. Tieger put it to you, you said --

25 when you said that you did not understand it from these reports, then

Page 11531

1 Mr. Tieger asked you, "You understood it, didn't you, from your discussion

2 with other officials, from your attendance at Assembly sessions, from your

3 general contact with people at a high level of politics within Republika

4 Srpska."

5 The only thing Mr. Tieger is asking you, how did you learn that?

6 And not whether you could comment on it, whether you could criticise it;

7 that's how did you learn that there was military control by Bosnian Serb

8 forces over areas which had a majority Muslim population before the

9 conflict broke out.

10 You told us that you were in --

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have just answered that question.

12 The report on both the political situation and the war operations was

13 submitted to the Assembly session and one could hear a lot of information

14 from these reports.

15 JUDGE ORIE: So on the basis of that, you would know where there

16 was military control over a territory. Yes? In general terms.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Did you know who was the majority population through

19 these discussions or did you know that by any other means, or was it

20 common knowledge?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was more or less common

22 knowledge.

23 JUDGE ORIE: You got the military reports, you had knowledge about

24 what was the majority population, and that's the basis of your knowledge.

25 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

Page 11532

1 MR. TIEGER: I'm hesitant to leave this subject but there's one

2 thing I want to cover before we break, if I may.

3 Can the report contained at tab 92 be presented to the witness,

4 please.

5 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, this is a report we looked at earlier when we were

6 trying to -- when I was asking you to determine whether or not it was the

7 Avlijas report that you had referred to, and I believe you indicated it

8 was not.

9 This report deals with Trebinje, Gacko, and Bileca with SAO

10 Herzegovina, and as you note, at the bottom it is signed by Slobodan

11 Avlijas and Goran Saric. Can you tell us when you first saw this report,

12 Mr. Trbojevic.

13 A. I don't know. I really don't know.

14 MR. TIEGER: Can I ask the usher to provide the witness with the

15 governments -- the minutes of the government session of September 7th,

16 1992 contained at tab 39.

17 Q. This is another session at which you were present, Mr. Trbojevic.

18 And can I ask you to turn your attention to agenda item 15.

19 A. Very well.

20 Q. That indicates that, "A government commissioned report on a tour

21 of camps --" here it says, "concentration centres." That may well be

22 "collection centres," we'll have that checked -- "in SAO Herzegovina was

23 adopted."

24 Is that a reference to the report of Mr. Avlijas and Mr. Saric

25 found at tab 92?

Page 11533

1 A. Evidently.

2 Q. And if you look at the top of the report itself, it contains in

3 handwriting DD 15, or presumed to be agenda 15. And then it says,

4 "Received August 22nd, 1992," and it bears a number.

5 A. I don't know what it means, but it does say that it was received

6 on the 22nd of August.

7 Q. Well, doesn't it mean that this is the report referred to, in

8 fact, in agenda item 15, and isn't it clear that this particular copy of

9 the report was used in that session, or intended for that session?

10 A. It is quite possible.

11 Q. Well, Mr. Trbojevic, with respect, of course I know it's possible

12 but I'm asking you if there's any reason to dispute the conclusion I've

13 just reached that this report, this copy of the report that bears the

14 designation number 15 that corresponds to agenda item 15 in the minutes of

15 the 49th session of September 7th, correspond. If so, please tell me.

16 A. There's no reason to.

17 Q. It appears that Mr. Avlijas and Mr. Saric reported back on their

18 findings in Trebinje, Gacko, and Bileca, finding that in Trebinje there is

19 no camp; that Bileca there are two detention centres, one of which had no

20 prisoners because all the prisoners had been exchanged the day before;

21 that there were 140 Muslims in another facility in Bileca; and that there

22 were no prisoners in Gacko.

23 Can you tell us about any discussion you remember at the

24 government session on September 7th about the -- about this report and

25 about its relative accuracy or thoroughness or anything else about the

Page 11534

1 report that you remember?

2 A. I cannot.

3 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I can address one more report but we've

4 gone over the last time, and perhaps I ...

5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, we'll continue tomorrow but in the

6 afternoon in this same courtroom, at a quarter past 2.00. I again would

7 like to instruct you not to speak with anyone about your testimony you

8 have been giving. We'd like to hear from you tomorrow morning whether

9 there was anything wrong in the transcript of the interview that was

10 presented to you, whether there's anything we should check on the basis of

11 the tapes.

12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if the witness received that yesterday,

13 if it's possible to check with him today, maybe we could undertake a ...

14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, did you have an opportunity to review

15 the transcript pages that were given to you?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Was there anything which was not correct which we

18 have to check on the basis of the audio recording?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no need for that. I believe

20 it's been transcribed quite accurately. We were talking about a decision

21 that in my opinion derogated the constitution, and then when we came to

22 the decision whereby the War Presidency was expanded, then it suddenly

23 turns out as if I had said that this decision was the most important one.

24 Well, I said yes, it was, because it shows the gravest form of violation

25 of the constitution.

Page 11535

1 JUDGE ORIE: We heard your evidence on it. If there are any

2 further questions to be put to you in relation to that pages, they will be

3 put to you either by the Prosecution or Defence. The main reason why we

4 gave you the transcript was in order to give you an opportunity to verify

5 whether the transcript was a correct one.

6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, has the witness had the whole

7 transcript or just selected pages? I'm unclear about that at the moment.

8 JUDGE ORIE: I think we discussed that yesterday, that Mr. Tieger

9 was hesitant to give him only a couple of pages. The Chamber then decided

10 that if any the parties --

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's been quite sufficient.

12 JUDGE ORIE: -- if any of the parties would like to give him more,

13 fine, but most important for the Chamber at that moment was that an

14 opportunity would be given to the witness where he specifically commented

15 on the correctness of the transcript to at least give him the smaller

16 context. But if anyone would like to give him more, that's ...

17 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour, for reminding me about that.

18 Yes, the Defence would request -- it's 130 pages overall, but it is, after

19 all, an interview with -- was an interview with him. We'd request that he

20 has the whole thing, because for cross-examination, I can't know which

21 pages I might decide are useful for one reason or another to put to him.

22 JUDGE ORIE: This is a suggestion. If it needs any discussion at

23 this moment, I'd rather do it in the absence of the witness. And Madam

24 Usher, could you please escort Mr. Trbojevic out of the courtroom.

25 [The witness stands down]

Page 11536

1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, the suggestion by the Defence is that the

2 whole of the interviews would be given to the witness.

3 MR. TIEGER: And I disagree with that, Your Honour. This is a

4 taped interview. We've discussed it at length with the witness and in the

5 course of his testimony, with respect to one small issue a question arose

6 about the accuracy of the transcription. He had a chance to review it

7 now. He said that it was accurate. If such a circumstance arises again,

8 and based on our -- based upon the experience thus far in using a

9 transcript, I don't think that's likely to happen. We can address it at

10 that time. But I see no reason otherwise to depart from the customary

11 practice.

12 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it's hard to see, in the Defence's

13 submission, why the Prosecution is so resistant to this. The -- first of

14 all, the transcript itself indicates in a number of -- at a number of

15 points that it's perhaps not 100 per cent reliable. That's apparent on

16 its face. Why the witness should not -- should not have that simple

17 opportunity of reviewing the whole of his own statement and alerting or

18 being prepared to alert the Trial Chamber quickly and efficiently as to

19 any difficulties is hard to understand.

20 What is it that the Prosecution is so concerned about in allowing

21 this witness simply to read a statement -- a transcript of his own

22 interview, which presumably he was supplied with a long time ago anyway?

23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.

24 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, in my submission, the witness has said

25 nothing that indicates his interest in doing so, desire to do so, or need

Page 11537

1 to do so. This is Mr. Stewart's submission, not the submission of the

2 witness and the witness seemed to have no difficult proceeding the way

3 we've been proceeding.

4 MR. STEWART: There's no indication the witness has refused to do

5 it. He would do it if requested, we feel quite confident.

6 [Trial Chamber confers]

7 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber denies the request of the Defence. The

8 Chamber has observed -- [B/C/S on English channel] I received the B/C/S,

9 but I'm back on English again. The Chamber has observed that the witness

10 seems to be not without difficulties in knowing exactly what his

11 recollection is and it could not be excluded that apart from relying on

12 what he still remembers, that he is also selective in what he remembers.

13 Providing him with the statement he gave as a suspect might contribute to

14 the difficulties the witness may face as I just explained. Therefore, the

15 application is denied.

16 One thing I would like to raise in the absence of the witness,

17 because although it has got nothing to do with him, is as far as recalling

18 Mr. Bjelobrk as a witness for cross-examination, I do understand that no

19 final agreement has been reached in every respect by the Prosecution and

20 Defence and it's -- we are still waiting for the Defence to give its final

21 position on what subjects they would insist on recalling Mr. Bjelobrk for

22 further cross-examination.

23 MR. STEWART: Understood, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we know that by not later than by the end

25 of this week.

Page 11538

1 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I wonder if -- Your Honour, the

2 position is, frankly, I'm overwhelmed with things to do, including

3 preparation of two witnesses this week, Your Honour. The end of this week

4 is, I'm afraid yet again, despite the fact that time has run on, the end

5 of this week is a very tall order. It's I who have to do this, Your

6 Honour, it's not something I can delegate any further, and Your Honour, we

7 are simply under enormous pressure, so may I request a little more time

8 than that?

9 JUDGE ORIE: How much more time would you need?

10 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, we have Mr. Kljuic coming up on

11 Monday and Tuesday and he's a witness that I can't avoid doing because I

12 was the one who examined him before, so Your Honour, I wonder if I might

13 ask for the end of next week.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, the matter has been thoroughly discussed

15 between the parties so I have some difficulties in understanding why the

16 Defence at this moment could not identify those specific issues on which

17 it would like to cross-examine -- further cross-examine Mr. Bjelobrk, but

18 we'll consider it, but I'm not promising that --

19 MR. STEWART: Can I say, Your Honour, the matter has been

20 discussed but it was discussed a long time ago, and refreshment -- I made

21 my position plain a long time ago, but refreshment of one's mind and

22 reference to files is important, and I informed Your Honour that

23 Ms. Cmeric also needed to look at quite a lot of material that came from

24 Mr. Krajisnik, so that isn't something which I had dealt with before, and

25 that is the sort of thing that I have to revisit in order to make

Page 11539

1 decisions and make submissions in relation to this matter.

2 It's considerably more time consuming and onerous than perhaps

3 Your Honour might have appreciated.


5 The Chamber will consider your request for more time and we'll let

6 you know not later than by tomorrow.

7 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll adjourn until tomorrow at 2.00.

9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.

10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of

11 April, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.