1 Wednesday, 6 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours, this is case number
7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Good afternoon to everyone.
10 Ms. Loukas, I'm a bit surprised because we saw Mr. Stewart
11 yesterday during the first portion of the examination-in-chief of
12 Mr. Trbojevic and since you usually do not change when the same witness is
13 still on ...
14 MS. LOUKAS: Well, indeed, Your Honour, and it was something of a
15 surprise to me as well but Mr. Stewart needed additional time to prepare
16 for the cross-examination of Mr. Trbojevic, and so I had to suspend my
17 work out of court in relation to experts and come to court today so that
18 we could, as usual, be as ruthless as possible with balancing the
19 priorities with in-court and out-of-court work.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MS. LOUKAS: I might also indicate that I noticed from the
22 transcript yesterday that Your Honours had some queries --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MS. LOUKAS: -- in relation to an outstanding Defence response.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MS. LOUKAS: And I might indicate that response in relation to 031
2 et al., that response should be filed either sometime today or tomorrow.
3 So that work is underway as we speak.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think the deadline was already somewhere last
5 week but if you say it will be filed today or tomorrow, that's accepted.
6 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour. The other aspect is, I think
7 Your Honour had another query in relation to 92 bis, if I read the
8 transcript correctly.
9 JUDGE ORIE: The other query I had, whether we could expect any
10 response by the Defence on the additional information provided by the
11 Prosecution on the issue of protective measures of 92 bis witnesses.
12 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, now, Your Honour, I've been asked to clarify
13 this. Is Your Honour referring to the confidential annex that was
14 associated with that motion from the Prosecution to which we responded on
15 the 24th of February or is this other additional Prosecution motion?
16 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the motion you're referring to is the one we had
18 in mind, but there was an additional filing to that motion.
19 MS. LOUKAS: Well, out of court, we've been looking for that
20 additional filing. I'm just wondering if perhaps the Prosecution could
21 favour us with an additional copy and I will be able to respond to
22 Your Honour's query as soon as possible.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and otherwise even the Chamber would assist you,
24 Ms. Loukas.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I said, and even the Chamber would assist you.
2 MS. LOUKAS: That would be wonderful, Your Honour, thank you for
4 JUDGE ORIE: So we'll hear from that.
5 Then finally, Mr. Stewart yesterday asked for more time to get the
6 position of the Defence in relation to the further cross-examination of
7 Mr. Bjelobrk.
8 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, I noted that on the transcript.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That will not be granted. It is -- the Chamber is
10 not very much inclined to recall Mr. Bjelobrk. Of course, unless
11 questions to Mr. Bjelobrk are vital for the assessment of his credibility
12 and are really necessary for the Trial Chamber for the determination of
13 any central issue in this case. Therefore, if you make no further
14 submissions on the importance of the matters to be raised during further
15 cross-examination the Chamber will not of course take that into account
16 and the Chamber will wait until the first break on Friday morning but not
17 any longer.
18 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, I might indicate, as that is a
19 matter that Mr. Stewart is directly involved in, I think it's prepared
20 that I raise the matters with Mr. Stewart that Your Honour has just raised
21 and I take it that means Your Honours have not taken a final decision in
22 this -- in relation to this question but that you're awaiting further
23 submissions from Mr. Stewart. Am I incorrect in that ...
24 JUDGE ORIE: No, that's not the correct -- at the end of the
25 examination of Mr. Bjelobrk, there were a few matters outstanding and we
1 went through most of them.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And looked at whether we could find a solution in
4 terms of formulation of a statement and finally, we did not -- we did not
5 come to that solution at that very moment. The parties were invited to
6 further discuss the matters to see whether a solution could be found. The
7 parties, as far as I understood, could agree on many points, but not on
8 all of them. Then the Defence was invited to explain to the Chamber what
9 the important matters were or at least what the matters were that were
10 unresolved at that moment and I think we granted the delay now two times
11 for that response.
12 Now, it's the other way around. The Chamber on the basis of the
13 material it has available will decide and cannot take anything into
14 consideration, cannot take into account the importance of some matters as
15 perceived by the Defence unless it is made aware of it. So therefore, if
16 the Chamber will just proceed and will not take a decision before Friday
17 at the end of the first -- at the end of the first morning session.
18 MS. LOUKAS: I understand, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Until the first break.
20 MS. LOUKAS: Until the first break. I appreciate that. So
21 therefore, Mr. Stewart has the opportunity to provide additional
22 submissions between now and then, is basically the position.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if he wants to do it, he should do it by then
24 because otherwise it might be too late.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour, thank you for that
2 JUDGE ORIE: If that is clear, then Mr. Tieger, are you ready to
3 further cross-examine -- to continue the examination of your witness?
4 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then Madam Usher, could you please escort
6 Mr. Trbojevic into the courtroom.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Trbojevic. Please be seated.
9 WITNESS: MILAN TRBOJEVIC [Resumed]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, I'd like to remind you that you are
12 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
13 your testimony and I would also remind you if in answering any question
14 you would fear that you would incriminate yourself that you may address
15 the Court and we'll then rule on that whether you have to answer that
16 question or whether you will not be compelled to do so. If you are
17 compelled to answer a question under those circumstances, it -- the answer
18 could not be used against you.
19 This is just, again, for your information and I think there is no
20 need to emphasise that the Chamber has made even one official warning
21 during your testimony. The Chamber hopes that there is no need to repeat
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
24 Examined by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Trbojevic, let's begin with the document this
2 afternoon found at tab 100?
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Always give the number of the binder, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour; that would be binder 3.
6 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, while that document is being located, I'll mention
7 that this is a report that you had an opportunity to see yesterday when
8 you were looking at reports to determine whether or not one of them was
9 the Avlijas report that you recalled seeing at some time and finding ...
10 And if I recall correctly, having looked at this report, you indicated to
11 us that it was not the report that you had been previously referring to.
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. Can you tell us when you first saw this report?
14 A. You're asking me now about this report before me or about the one
15 that I was referring to as not the one that I hold now?
16 Q. I'm referring to the report in -- before you but if I -- I don't
17 know that you have the entire report before you at the moment, if you're
18 just looking at that single page. What I'm referring to in terms of tab
19 100 is the following, sir, a cover letter from Minister Momcilo Mandic to
20 the president of the Presidency, to the president of Republika Srpska, to
21 president of the Assembly, and to the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska
22 that indicates "attached herewith, please find a report," and a report to
23 the Minister of Justice in administration?
24 MS. LOUKAS: Just to indicate, I don't know if others in the
25 courtroom are in the same position that I am, but behind tab 100 all I
1 find is the covering letter; there is no report.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think yesterday it was distributed in addition
3 to what you find at this moment. So therefore -- but if you need it, we
4 perhaps --
5 MS. LOUKAS: In fact I do, Your Honour, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar has a copy -- oh, I see -- the
7 Prosecution -- now you get the help from all sides.
8 MS. LOUKAS: That's fantastic, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Was that for Ms. Loukas or for the witness?
10 Madam Registrar, if you provide the B/C/S -- has the witness the
11 B/C/S copy and has Mr. Krajisnik a B/C/S copy.
12 MS. LOUKAS: There's no problem, apparently, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, I'm going to give you a moment to look at that
16 document that was just placed in front of you. I take it you had the
17 cover letter before but not the report.
18 A. Yes. I've looked at this one yesterday.
19 Q. Correct, I think that's what I was trying to indicate in my
20 preparatory remarks before the document was placed in front of you. And
21 my question was: Can you tell us when you first saw this report?
22 A. I can't tell you that. I don't recall seeing it. I see that the
23 date is October 1992 and I don't know if I saw it; although it is
24 addressed to the Prime Minister so I can't exclude the possibility that it
25 might have passed through my hands.
1 Q. Well, if you can retain a copy of that and if you can turn your
2 attention next, before we discuss any of the contents of the report, to
3 tab 46 in binder 1, the 57th session of the government held on October
4 27th, 1992.
5 Mr. Trbojevic, the minutes reflect that this meeting was chaired
6 by Mr. -- by Dr. Djeric and that you were present at that meeting along
7 with a list of attendees indicated in the first paragraph. If I could
8 direct your attention, please, to agenda item 22.
9 A. I see it.
10 Q. Agenda item 22 reflects that Momcilo Mandic, the Minister of
11 Judiciary and Administration has informed the government on the situation
12 in Republika Srpska camps and Assembly centres the item continues, "It is
13 concluded that the existing illegal camps and assembly centres are to be
14 dissolved as soon as possible. The existing penal institutions legally
15 formed in large centres in Republika Srpska are to be used since the
16 conditions there are suitable for legal treatment of prisoners and
18 Now, looking at the description of Mr. Mandic's description of the
19 topic at hand, that is the situation in the Republika Srpska camps and
20 assembly centres and the language used in his cover letter in the title of
21 the report, can we agree that the report found at tab 100 is the basis for
22 Mr. Mandic's report to the 57th session of the government?
23 A. Yes, I think that this follows from the document here.
24 Q. And having seen the minutes of the session and the agenda item,
25 does that refresh your memory about when you first saw this report?
1 A. It could only have been between the 22nd of October and the 17th
2 of November.
3 Q. There may be -- I'm looking at a few dates on the document, sir,
4 that -- the document itself and the submission date by Mr. Mandic on the
5 cover letter is 22 October 1992, you date you mention in your response,
6 and the government session was held on 27th of October, 1992, although it
7 appears -- the minutes appear to have been transcribed on the 17th of
8 November. So were you indicating that you could only have seen this
9 document between the 22nd of October and the 27th of October?
10 A. Yes, yes. And the 27th of October.
11 Q. The conclusion reached by the government was the existing illegal
12 camps and assembly centres were to be dissolved as soon as possible. Can
13 you tell us which existing illegal camps and assembly centres Mr. Mandic
14 was referring to, or that the government was referring to in its
15 conclusion that they should be dissolved?
16 A. One could probably read it from this report, this information that
17 he provided. Legal venues of detention at the time could only have been
18 prisons, district prisons. Such existed in Doboj, Banja Luka. I can't
19 speak now from memory, but none of the titles mentioned here or rather
20 towns, Vlasenica, Zvornik, Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Teslic, Ilidza,
21 Hadzici, none of these could have been legal. As far as I know, there
22 isn't a single decision on the establishment of any centres there.
23 Q. Was there a discussion by the government about the report or any
24 aspects of the prisons or collection centres before the conclusion that
25 was reached in the agenda item we've looked at?
1 A. I assume that we must have had some discussion about it but who
2 the participants to this discussion were and how the discussion, if any,
3 was conducted, I can't say. The minutes don't reflect that sort of thing.
4 The minutes do not say that a discussion was held and that the following
5 persons participated in it, it merely says that a conclusion was adopted.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, Judge Hanoteau has one or more
7 questions for you.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, actually, I have a question
9 I would like you to clarify something. Yesterday, I understood that
10 somehow, you were blaming the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Home
11 Affairs not to present reports to the government but you were saying that
12 these two ministers had regretfully, if I remember rightly your opinion,
13 had regretfully the tenancy to directly report to Mr. Krajisnik and
14 Karadzic. This is quite in contradiction with the documents which are
15 submitted to us today because this case, the Minister of Justice makes a
16 presentation to the government on a report.
17 Is there not a contradiction in all this? I'm just -- I would
18 like you to clarify things.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This report which is before us right
20 now is addressed to the Prime Minister, among others. It was on the
21 agenda, it was an agenda item at the government session and I have no
22 doubts that it was indeed delivered to the Prime Minister. However, in
23 the previous months, there were various instances of communication
24 between -- there were various instances in which the communication between
25 the Minister of Justice, Minister of the Interior and the Prime Minister
1 was disrupted, practically.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] According to you, this means the
3 Minister of Justice, the Minister of Home Affairs no longer were attending
4 government meetings, government sessions; is that what you actually mean
5 to say?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say that they never attended
7 government sessions but I could say that on a number, significant number
8 of occasions, they were absent from sessions and I think that that is
9 reflected in the minutes.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I have one additional question as well.
12 You say you do not remember exactly who spoke during this 27th of
13 October government session on the report. Was part of the discussion
14 whether or not it should be investigated and, if need be, prosecutions
15 should be instituted against those who had created or maintained those
16 illegal detention facilities?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that that was not discussed,
18 otherwise it would have been recorded.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So finally, when you got the information, no action
20 apart from at least the intention that was expressed to dismantle these
21 camps was taken; is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. One of the reasons we looked at the report yesterday was that it
1 was prepared by Mr. Avlijas and submitted by Mr. Avlijas as it indicates
2 in the last page of the text of the document before the lists that are
4 Let me ask you a couple of questions first about the contents of
5 the document. Mr. Avlijas indicates, "Inspections and conversations with
6 responsible organs in the following places," the first page he refers to
7 Vlasenica. And in Vlasenica he states that he toured the location with
8 the commander of the police, the Vlasenica police station, Mr. Stanic, and
9 was told by Mr. Stanic that "at the beginning of combat activities, a
10 number of people of Muslim nationality were isolated in that place or were
11 exchanged for people of Serbian nationality."
12 If you turn to the passage in Zvornik, in the second paragraph,
13 Mr. Avlijas refers to 64 people of -- he refers in the first paragraph to
14 64 people of Muslim nationality, and in the second paragraph points out
15 the problem of what to could with the detainees because "the other side is
16 refusing to conduct an exchange."
17 Can you explain to me, Mr. Trbojevic, why the reluctance or
18 refusal by the other side to conduct an exchange has an impact on the
19 continued detention of these 64 people?
20 A. I don't see how I would be in a position to know that. I didn't
21 know, at the time, that they had 64 detainees. I also did not offer them
22 for exchange and consequently, I cannot know why the other side did not
23 take them in through the exchange.
24 Q. Did any member of the government, having been presented with this
25 report, inquire as to whether or not -- inquire about why these people
1 were being held and why their continued detention depended upon the
2 willingness or unwillingness of the other side to conduct an exchange?
3 A. I don't know whether somebody did inquire. As for this particular
4 case, I know nothing about it. In some other cases, I know that
5 Dr. Karadzic gathered information on the treatment of persons detained in
6 such sites. About the process of exchange and so on as a Minister of
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's correction, it wasn't
9 Dr. Karadzic, it was Dr. Kalinic.
10 MR. TIEGER:
11 Q. Insofar as I can tell from this report, Mr. Trbojevic, Mr. Avlijas
12 indicates nothing about either the condition of the people who are
13 detained or the reason for their confinement. Weren't both those issues
14 matters of interest for the government?
15 A. In here, it simply states that they had been arrested in the
16 course of combat operations.
17 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you the question quite directly. The
18 report states that, "There was a problem what to do with the detainees
19 because the other side is refusing to conduct an exchange."
20 At the end of the report, it says that they are "kept without
21 legal grounds for keeping them." What, in your view, should be the answer
22 if you keep someone detained without a legal basis, if someone else is not
23 willing to exchange them, what should you do with those illegally held?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They ought to be released --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you for that answer. Please proceed,
1 Mr. Tieger.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- naturally.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. And I note that in the last section of the report referring to
5 Hadzici, again, it appears that Mr. Avlijas indicates that their continued
6 a confinement or release depends upon an exchange that may or may not take
7 place. Is that right, or did you understand that differently?
8 A. As far as I can see, based on this document, Avlijas proposed that
9 they be transferred to Butimir which was a penitentiary institution;
10 however, that was refused because they wanted to exchange them for the
11 Serbs imprisoned in Turcin and in a school in Razavic -- Pazaric, at least
12 this is what is stated here.
13 Q. What steps, if any, did the government, the president of the
14 Assembly, the Presidency of Republika Srpska or any of those to whom this
15 report was submitted take in response to that information?
16 A. As far as I am aware, they did nothing about it; however, I cannot
17 be fully certain of this.
18 Q. Now, I note in the report, among other things, that in attempt to
19 go verify a report by the ICRC that a large number of citizens of Muslim
20 nationality had been liquidated, and the figure quoted was about 2.500,
21 Mr. Avlijas met with the president of the municipality, the president of
22 the --
23 MS. LOUKAS: Just prior to Mr. Tieger continuing, if we could just
24 have a reference to where in the report Mr. Tieger's referring to
25 MR. TIEGER: I apologise. I thought I had said Brcko, which is
1 item number 3, but I see I failed to do that.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you for that.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. In any event, said he met with the president of the municipality,
5 the president of the Executive Board, and the deputy in the Assembly.
6 Mr. Trbojevic, do you have any reason to doubt that the
7 allegations by the ICRC were that people of Muslim nationality had been
8 killed by Bosnian Serb forces?
9 A. Listen, it's such a general question, what can I tell you, I have
10 no reason to doubt the ICRC report; however, I cannot confirm it either.
11 Q. At the time --
12 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to that question --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Ms. Loukas.
14 MS. LOUKAS: So sorry, my microphone. Thank you.
15 Just in relation to that question from Mr. Tieger in relation to
16 the section of the report quoted there in relation to Brcko, Mr. Tieger,
17 in his question, interpolated killed by Bosnian Serb forces and
18 Your Honour, that, of course, is not part of the section of the report
19 that Mr. Tieger refers to and if there is going to be some paraphrasing of
20 what's contained in the report, I'd ask that that there be some level of
21 accuracy in that regard.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Loukas -- yes, Mr. Tieger -- no, please.
23 MR. TIEGER: I gather the Court understands the point but I'll
24 make my point, if I may.
25 I didn't -- I wasn't paraphrasing the report. I don't think -- I
1 think it was clear I was not going doing so. I was merely asking the
2 witness -- I was referring his attention to the report by the ICRC and ask
3 if it was understood that the ICRC was making allegations that the murder
4 victims ...
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just -- your question was, Mr. Tieger:
6 "Mr. Trbojevic, do you have any reason to doubt that the allegations by
7 the ICRC were that people of Muslim nationality had been killed by Bosnian
8 Serb forces." That is a question which could be understood in different
9 ways. Whether there was any doubt that they were killed or that they were
10 killed by Bosnian forces, at least the perpetrators do not appear in this
12 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, if I can clarify and maybe this
13 distinction wasn't clear enough, but I wasn't asking him with any reason
14 to doubt the allegations themselves, I wasn't asking him to cast a
15 judgement about the accuracy of those allegations.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That was not sufficiently clear in your question,
17 yes. Please proceed and perhaps you reformulate the question.
18 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. The question is this Mr. Trbojevic, the ICRC obviously issued a
20 report that was of concern and Mr. Avlijas was responding to. That report
21 alleged that a large number of Muslims had been liquidated in the town.
22 Now, did you and the others at the time you were looking, you were
23 reviewing the report by Mr. Avlijas understand that the ICRC wasn't
24 looking at random crimes of Muslims but that the ICRC had alleged that
25 Muslims were killed during the course of ethnic cleansing by Bosnian Serb
1 forces? Was that your understanding or did you think that Mr. Avlijas was
2 looking at allegations by the ICRC of killings that occurred for some
3 other reason?
4 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that question, it
5 is, I would submit, rather awkwardly put and, of course, whilst I
6 appreciate that the witness is a man who has, of course, some prior legal
7 background, nevertheless, the way the question is posited in relation to
8 understanding of others and two alternatives, it's very awkward,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let's put it very directly to the witness.
11 In the report it says, Mr. Trbojevic, that the Red Cross had
12 issued an alarming report, that it said that a large number of citizens of
13 Muslim nationality, 2.500, had been liquidated in that town. Did you
14 understand this report to include a -- even if it was an implicit
15 suggestion as to whom could be blamed for that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on what I knew, based on my
17 information, the Serb side was the dominant one as far as the war
18 operations were concerned; therefore, if there were any victims, it was
19 believed that that was the consequence of war operations conducted by Serb
20 units. This is something that, in my view, was implicitly stated in such
21 a report.
22 Now, as for the figure of 2.500 people, I have to say that even
23 today, I believe that it is not probable that the figure is so high.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, any ground for that? You say you believe
25 that, is there any -- do you have any objective data to ...
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not. I was not in the vicinity
2 of Brcko.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any reason why you say that you -- I do
4 understand from your answer that the Serb side was dominant so if they
5 were talking about 2.500 persons liquidated, whether the number was
6 correct or not is another matter, that they were blaming, that it was
7 suggested that the Serbs were to be blamed for that. Do you have any
8 specific reason why you included in your answer that this was for war
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that it had to occur in
11 the course of war operations.
12 JUDGE ORIE: What do you understand by "war operations"? Combat
13 activities or would that include also, well, let's say destroying civilian
14 dwellings or killing civilians, that would be included in your concept of
15 war operations?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't view an attack against
17 civilian peaceful population as an aspect of a war operation, certainly
18 not. I naturally did see what Brcko looked like. I saw part of the town
19 which was demolished, destroyed, practically. However, based on the
20 information I received from the -- from a deputy, I think his name was
21 Dr. Bijelic, I'm not quite sure about his name but his nickname was Beli,
22 therefore, the information he gave me was that that part of Brcko was the
23 front line.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER:
1 Q. In view of your understanding that the allegations by the ICRC
2 were focused, at least implicitly, upon Serbs, did it concern you that
3 Mr. Avlijas had only talked to representatives of the Serb authorities?
4 A. I don't see how he would be able to talk with the representatives
5 of the Muslim authorities.
6 Q. Did that resolve the issue, as far as you were concerned, about
7 the allegations by the ICRC?
8 A. I can't say that I thought the matter to be resolved.
9 Q. Does that mean that you found Mr. Avlijas's conclusions or the
10 basis for his conclusions inadequate?
11 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to that, Your Honours, firstly,
12 we're dealing with a document that the witness, in his previous evidence,
13 clarified that he hadn't remembered seeing. Then he was taken back to the
14 session, the government session at which he was present and asked whether
15 or not he recalled a debate on the issue and said that he couldn't and it
16 wasn't -- I'm paraphrasing here, but it wasn't recorded there as having
17 taken place and he couldn't recall and what have you.
18 I'm concerned that we're now getting into quite some realm of
19 speculation, particularly when we're taking into account the witness's
20 previous answers in reels to this area, and also taking into account that
21 we're dealing with quite some precise aspects of the report from 13 years
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MS. LOUKAS: And if any of us in court were asked to recall the
25 precise details of papers that we've seen, for example, in a legal case we
1 were doing 13 years ago, there may be some trouble with that concept, Your
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, I do understand your concerns. At the
4 same time, the memory of Mr. Trbojevic has been refreshed and he's not
5 asked to speculate on matters but he is asked on how he interprets or has
6 interpreted this report, how he reads it or may have read it.
7 MS. LOUKAS: I'm happy if the questions remain at that level,
8 Your Honour, I'm just concerned that we're going to veer over into that
9 speculative and grey area.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Mr. Tieger, I think your question was: When reading the report
12 now, Mr. Trbojevic, and perhaps also as you read the report when you saw
13 it in October 1992, did you have any concern about the sources Mr. Avlijas
14 used in order to draw his conclusions, them being one sided.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say that I was concerned. I
16 did not speak to Avlijas specifically on this issue. I knew that there
17 was a commission for exchanges and that these commissions drafted lists of
18 persons to be exchanged and corpses to be exchanged. And it was
19 understood that the matter would be fully disclosed by way of these lists.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The question was whether the -- Mr. Avlijas
21 reporting exclusively on conversations he had with Serbs, whether you had
22 any concern on whether that would create a balanced picture of the
23 situation on the ground?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is stated in the report that he
25 had talked to representatives of Serb authorities. It is absolutely clear
1 that he talked only to one side and since he belongs to the same side, it
2 was assumed that he received accurate data for the report.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you also said how could he have talked with
4 representatives of the Muslims. Why could he not have done so?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, I don't know.
6 As far as I am aware, the only contacts, the only correspondence that
7 existed was between those commissions for exchanging people. I don't know
8 that the government of Republika Srpska talked with the Muslim government
9 at all. I know that there was one discussion with the government of
10 Herceg-Bosnia and I'm not aware of any other contacts.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Does it also implicitly say that there were no Muslim
12 representatives left in the territory controlled by the Republika Srpska?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Why could you not have -- you said how could he have
15 talked with representatives of the Muslims. Why not? You just go to them
16 and have a conversation with them, isn't it?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that any such thing
18 took place.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking why it was impossible. You said in your
20 earlier answer, if you would like me to find it, I'll quote to you. It's
21 just before Judge -- I'll find that -- if you would like me to quote it
22 literally, I'll find it for you, but ... One second, please. If anyone
23 could help me --
24 MS. LOUKAS: I'm also looking, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just trying to find the line.
1 MS. LOUKAS: I think it's at the top of page 19 that Your Honour
2 is referring to.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger then put the following question to
4 you, "In view of your understanding that the allegations by the ICRC were
5 focused at least implicitly upon the Serbs, did it concern you that
6 Mr. Avlijas had only talked to representatives of the Serb authorities?"
7 Then your answer was, "I don't see how he would be able to talk with the
8 representatives of the Muslim authorities."
9 You just said that you didn't know whether it happened, but your
10 testimony was that you did not see how that was possible. My question is:
11 Why was that not possible?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how to explain this to
13 you. There was a war on. How could, in such a situation, one go to the
14 opposite side without having a way of arranging it, such an encounter, in
16 JUDGE ORIE: Wasn't it true that in Brcko, at least a large part
17 of the municipality were under Serb control.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. As far as I know, there
19 was one Croat municipality. I don't recall how it was called. But yes,
20 most of the territory was held by Serbs.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Couldn't they have talked, then, to the
22 representatives of the Muslims on that Serb-held territory?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that they did talk to
24 the other side, and I don't know who it could have been on the other side
25 that they could have talked to, and I don't know whether it would have
1 been necessary at the time for them to talk to someone who was on the
2 Muslim-held territory. I don't know, really.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were there any Muslims left on Serb-held
4 territory to be represented and to be partner in a conversation?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably there were.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Why could they not have talked to them? I mean we
7 are talking about an alarming report of 2.500 people being liquidated.
8 Why not talk to those who belong to the ethnicity reportedly being
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it would have
11 definitely been better to talk to the side whose victims they were, but
12 the figures about the number of those killed or otherwise perished could
13 not have been provided by someone who could not have gone out of their
14 houses, who were enemies to the military that was in the town. It isn't
15 possible for an individual to provide information concerning the entire
16 town or an area. It says here that some of the victims were buried in a
17 savage, brutal and heinous manner and -- or rather with the special
18 religious ceremony, and I'm not really sure how Avlijas could have come by
19 that information.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you say it was of no use to talk to them
21 because they could not possibly provide any useful information.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One could hardly expect to get such
23 information from the Muslim side, merely through talking with a person or
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Brcko.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you talked to ten, or to their representatives.
3 Okay. It was none of your concern at that moment and you thought this
4 information to be a reliable basis of the report of Mr. Avlijas, is that a
5 correct understanding, although you say that it may have been better,
6 although it would have no real result if you would have talked to one or
7 two Muslims.
8 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I just indicate, in relation to that
9 there do seem to be rather a number of questions in one in the
11 JUDGE ORIE: I'm trying to summarise the witness.
12 MS. LOUKAS: I understand.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And if he does not agree with it, if he thinks that
14 it's not a fair summary, he can say in what respect it is not correct. I
15 included only matters that were --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The gist of it is the way you put
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. And just a couple of questions in connection with Mr. Avlijas.
22 Mr. Avlijas had previously been, at least for a period of time, president
23 of the Commission for Exchange; is that right?
24 A. He was on various commissions all the time, if you know what I
25 mean. I do think, however, that he was on this commission as well. After
1 the war, he was a member of the commission that was searching for those
2 who had perished or went missing.
3 Q. To save time, I'm not going to direct your attention -- pull it
4 out and direct your attention to it specifically, but behind tab 28, there
5 is the appointment of Mr. Avlijas at a government session. But for
6 purposes of this discussion, can we agree on that? But I'm more than
7 happy to show you the document.
8 A. I do not doubt that.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Tieger, before we move away
10 before these documents, I'd like to ask a question to the witness.
11 About the way the report was submitted to the government, it was
12 on the 17th of November, 1992. Do you have the minutes in front of you,
13 Witness? We read that the session was chaired by Ranko Delic [as
14 interpreted], 57th session.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's said Djeric and not Delic since that is well
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] On that first page we read [In
19 English] "a decision where Milan Trbojevic" [Interpretation] and that's
20 you. And then we read a number of other names, Markovic, who is that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Petra Markovic was a lady, Minister
22 of Finance.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What was his position.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bogdan Subotic was Defence minister.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any French translation?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't get the interpretation.
2 JUDGE ORIE: But I didn't have my microphone on.
3 On channel 5, we received French interpretation.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you. What was
5 the answer regarding Mr. Subotic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bogdan Subotic was Defence minister.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And what about Stanisic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mico Stanisic was Minister of the
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mandic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Momcilo Mandic was Minister of
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Ostojic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Velibor Ostojic was Minister of
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Kalinic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dr. Dragan Kalinic, Minister of
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Antic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bozidar Antic, Minister of Commerce.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Zukovic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ljubomir Zukovic, Minister of
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Then we see other names, four
25 lines of names. Are these people ministers? Who are these people,
1 Lakic, Peric, Nedic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lakic was the secretary
3 administrative secretary to the government. And the other one was the --
4 one of the officials in the Ministry of Health. Nedic, as for Nedic, I
5 don't know. And I see that there's another person on behalf of Pavle
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, could we say that these
8 are secretaries to ministers, people working with ministers? Okay, that's
10 During that session, it is announced that there are illegal camps,
11 places where people are gathered that are illegal, assembly centres. You
12 stated that you did not remember what happened when the existence of these
13 camps was announced; is that right?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the minutes, one can see that
15 the conclusion has been reached that they all had to be detained [as
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but during the session, do
18 you remember the atmosphere, do you remember what was said, how people
19 reacted when it was stated that there were illegal camps?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, if people had protested,
22 would you remember?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I probably would.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You do not remember that you,
25 yourself, protested?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are asking about protesting
2 against something that had been established as existing. I did not
3 protest in any way because I simply did not have anyone to express my
4 protest to.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Excuse me for insisting on that
6 point, but you're a lawyer. You are aware of the major principles related
7 to the protection of citizens and individuals. You are aware of the
8 principles pertaining to arbitrary detentions and the way they are
9 condemned and you say that you did not make any protests. Why? Why
10 didn't you say anything? There must be a reason for that.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday, I tried to explain that
12 nobody in their right mind could even start imagining what sort of camps
13 these were. It transpires from these reports that there are detainees --
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Let's be very specific. I'm not
15 talking about the living conditions in the camps, I'm not interested in
16 that at all. I'm saying the following: You hear that there are illegal
17 detention centres. I'm asking you why you did not react when you learned
18 that? My very is question clear.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The conclusion was adopted that
20 these centres had to be closed down right away and there was nobody I
21 could react in relation to because it wasn't either Mandic or Stanisic who
22 ordered for these camps to be opened and neither did the government.
23 Therefore, who would I express my protest to? This was at the point when
24 we were adopting a decision to the effect that these had to be closed
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could one be completely moved and
2 shocked when hearing the news?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were shocked and I, myself,
4 stated that publicly on one of the TV shows shortly afterwards.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. Just a minor point of clarification, if I may. I think in
8 indicating the date on which the report was submitted, Judge Hanoteau was
9 looking at the -- what may be the transcription date of November 17th. I
10 think the date of the session was October 27th. A minor matter.
11 Witness, you said that, "There was nobody I could react in
12 relation to because it wasn't either Mandic or Stanisic who ordered for
13 these camps to be opened and neither did the government."
14 Who did order the camps to be opened?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Who had the power to order the camps to be opened?
17 A. Nobody had that power.
18 Q. Somebody clearly had that power because those camps were opened,
19 sir. Then the -- within the?
20 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I object to that question, it's not a
21 proper question, it's argumentative.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. Within --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
1 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be some confusion about legal
3 authority, that's the way of understanding the word "power," and the
4 factual power someone exercises even if there's no legal ground for that.
5 Could you please avoid that confusion in your questions to the witness.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. First of all, Mr. Trbojevic, you said that Mr. Mandic and
8 Mr. Stanisic did not order the camps opened; how do you know that and on
9 what basis do you say that?
10 A. I did qualify my answer by saying "as far as I know." And I don't
11 know that they did issue such orders.
12 Q. Which, if any, of the ministers who attended the session to
13 discuss the camps were responsible for the arrest or detention or
14 confinement of persons within the territory of Republika Srpska?
15 A. It is well-known and -- that it's the police that has the
16 authority to arrest people under such circumstances. Another well-known
17 fact is that the army can carry out such arrests. It is also only natural
18 that the military should have prisoners of war during wartime, during war
19 operations, and these must have been the structures carrying out these
21 Q. And following those arrests, the people arrested were placed into
22 the camps that we've been talking about; is that right?
23 A. Today, I know that this was the case.
24 Q. And who maintained or ran those camps?
25 A. I -- I can't answer that. One can only presume that the
1 municipality at hand provided food, water, and other necessary supplies.
2 One can assume that the army might have taken upon itself the
3 responsibility to provide part of these supplies.
4 Q. What efforts did the government or any other organ of the Bosnian
5 Serb political authorities make to determine who was running and
6 maintaining the camps?
7 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I think that question needs some
8 focussing in terms of what time period Mr. Tieger is asking about.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I understand the questions to be related to the
10 summer of 1992, not later than to the report of Mr. Avlijas in October
11 1992; is that a correct understanding?
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
13 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour, as long as that's made clear.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Beyond the reports that we discussed
15 here, I don't know of any other activities.
16 JUDGE ORIE: May I put one of these questions again quite directly
17 to you. In the summer of 1992, you described reports from the media,
18 barbed wire, well, you know exactly what it is, you've talked about
19 Omarska. At almost every session of the government - of course not, I'm
20 exaggerating - but at many sessions of the government, sometimes at a
21 moment which seems to coincide very much with media reports, the question
22 of prisons, prison camps, exchanges are discussed again and again and
23 again. Are you telling us that never anyone said, "Who is responsible for
24 these camps? Who should take responsibility for these camps?"
25 Did that never happen or was that not necessary because it was
1 clear who had the responsibility or was it not any government minister
2 that was responsible and that was clear? Tell us what happened at that
4 But it's difficult to believe. It's difficult to believe that
5 this frequency of discussing the matter of people being sent to make a
6 tour, exchange commissions, that no one ever thought, "Who is responsible
7 for this?"
8 Could you tell us what the feeling was?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Beyond that which we have seen in
10 these reports here, I don't know that there were any other government
11 activities. Based on these reports, one can see that the government did
12 not have the accurate -- an accurate picture of what was going on on the
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that was not my question. My question
15 was -- and it related not only to these reports, but also to the sessions,
16 the creation of exchange commissions, the instructions given to report on
17 detention facilities. No one ever asked, "Who is responsible?"
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, nobody did.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Was it that you were convinced that no one within
20 your circle, that is the government, the ministers of the government, were
21 responsible, that the responsibility was somewhere outside?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how to explain this.
23 It was not a result of an analysis carried out by us. These were simply
24 the events that took us by surprise. Once we learned, to some extent,
25 about what was going on, we concluded that those sites had to be shut
2 JUDGE ORIE: And whose responsibility was that to do that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Today, as we analyse this, it is
4 clear that it was the responsibility of all of us who were members of the
6 JUDGE ORIE: And at that time, was it one specific minister, was
7 it the Prime Minister, was it none of the ministers, was it the
8 collectivity of the government?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Prime Minister, myself, as Deputy
10 Prime Minister for internal policy, Minister of Police, Minister of
11 Justice, Minister of Defence and Minister of Health. Each of us had
12 within scope of their authorities also an aspect that linked it to this
14 JUDGE ORIE: Did it then happen? Were the camps closed?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, yes, they were
17 JUDGE ORIE: At what -- in what period of time, approximately?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I think that some of
19 them had been shut down even before we adopted this conclusion.
20 JUDGE ORIE: How did you know that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Within the past 10 years, this
22 matter was reported widely in the papers and various documents.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you didn't know at that time, it's only
24 later on that you learned that some of these camps were closed?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so. I think that one week
1 after this session, or perhaps several weeks after this session, the
2 government was dismissed.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
4 I look at the clock and I'm aware that quite some time has taken
5 from you by the Bench at this moment. We will adjourn until a quarter
6 past 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just before we proceed, there's just one
12 matter I think that needs to be clarified. It's just on page 27 of the
13 LiveNote transcript and it's in relation to the questions from His Honour
14 Judge Hanoteau and it's at line 21.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Choose the one on the right or choose the one on the
17 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed. Perhaps I should bring them together. It's
18 at page 27, line 20 and 21 on that page, in response to a question from
19 His Honour Judge Hanoteau, the witness indicated "From the minutes one can
20 see that the conclusion has been reached that they all had to be
21 detained." It seems to me that that may in fact be a misinterpretation
22 because when one looks at the minutes, it doesn't actually say that so I'm
23 just wondering whether that could be clarified before we proceed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's in my memory that it was that the
25 witness said different, that it's --
1 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour, yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And since he only referred to the minutes, I think
3 it's clear that he meant that the --
4 MS. LOUKAS: Dissolved.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: There could hardly be any doubt on that.
8 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, yesterday, during the course of discussion about
13 the government session of 15 June, and the reasons why the working group
14 mentioned at that session did not undertake action, you said the
15 following, and that's found at page 11503: "At that time, there were
16 exchange commissions within each corps. In each region, exchanges were
17 carried out so we believed that the system was functioning."
18 Now, first of all, Mr. Trbojevic, when you were referring to
19 exchange commissions within each corps, were you referring to a geographic
20 core or corps referring to in military terms?
21 A. I had in mind military units when I said "within each corps." And
22 as far as I know, exchange commissions also had their lower units and I
23 don't know when each of them was formed; however, later on, we learned
24 that there were various exchange commissions that were in operation and
25 that more or less, commanders of military units arranged meetings with the
1 opposite side and exchanged various lists and so on.
2 Q. As I mentioned the time this -- that that -- those comments were
3 made was in the context of the discussion about the June 15th minutes and
4 the working group that was tasked at that session and your feelings about
5 the failure of the working group to fulfill that task. So you said and
6 explained in part, as I mentioned, "At that time were there were exchange
7 commissions ..." et cetera. Did you and the other members of the working
8 group formed on June 15th know about the work of the exchange commissions
9 within each corps that you mentioned in the course of your answer?
10 A. I've explained that. I did not have in mind corps alone. I
11 personally had no knowledge about the work of the exchange commissions.
12 Later on, I learned some things from colleagues that had been members of
13 such commissions. Now, as to whether the others might have had some
14 insight into the operations of these commissions, I don't know about that.
15 Q. I wasn't asking you for all the details about how the commissions
16 worked, but you said yesterday that those commissions, in general, existed
17 in each region, exchanges were carried out and you said, "So we believe
18 the system was functioning."
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Let me ask you to take a look, please, at an order found behind
21 tab 120 in binder 4. Tab 120 is an addition that has been provided to the
22 Registry along with a number -- or will be provided to the Registry at
23 this point, along with a number of other additions.
24 Mr. Trbojevic, tab 120 contains an order signed by Commander Major
25 Svetozar Andric of the Birac Brigade dated 28 May 1992 and the order is
1 enumerated in seven parts. If I can direct your attention to item number
2 six which states, "The moving out of the Muslim population must be
3 organised and coordinated with the municipalities through which the moving
4 is carried out. Only women and children can move out while men fit for
5 military service are to be placed in camps for exchange."
6 Focussing on the second sentence of that enumerated item, was it
7 consistent with your understanding of how the exchange system was to work,
8 that women and children would be able to move out while military-age men
9 were to be placed in camps for exchange?
10 A. I said nothing of the kind, nothing even resembling that. This is
11 a commander of a brigade who is writing to the staff. I neither know who
12 Svetozar Andric is, nor do I know where the staff of the Zvornik Brigade
13 was or anything about this letter.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, could you just tell me what the
15 question is you were answering?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question was formulated in such
17 a way as though I had stated that the women and children were to be
18 exchanged whereas men fit for military service had to do something else.
19 I said nothing of the kind.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You were asked, and please listen carefully to the
21 questions put to you, whether what you see in this letter, whether that
22 was consistent with how you understood how the exchange system was to
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is being implied here that I
25 understood something that was going on. My understanding was that all
1 prisoners had to be exchanged for all other prisoners. That was my
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So this does not -- this is not consistent with
4 your understanding of the exchange system and I take it that the next
5 question by Mr. Tieger would have been what, then, would have been your
6 understanding of the exchange system. You said, "All prisoners had to be
7 exchanged for other prisoners."
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Naturally. Here I had in mind
9 prisoners of war, not persons who had been arrested on the basis of legal
10 grounds or convicted or sentenced.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Was it your view that the exchange of prisoners
12 were -- was strictly confined to prisoners of war?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that the prisoners of war
14 are precisely the category that is created in war times and who need to be
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not asking you whether you were of the opinion
17 that prisoners of war should be exchanged. My question was whether you --
18 whether it was your understanding that the exchange of prisoners was
19 limited to prisoners of war.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
22 MS. LOUKAS: Just before Mr. Tieger proceeds, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation, and at this point I'm just putting
25 a marker down, and that is that this sort of evidence, in my submission,
1 should be -- can be elicited and should be elicited on the basis of open
2 questions from Mr. Tieger rather than with confusing references to
3 documents that the witness has not seen. So in essence the questions and
4 in fact the substance of what Mr. Tieger's questions were directed to, and
5 as a consequence what Your Honour's questions were directed to --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MS. LOUKAS: -- were questions that did not need the interpolation
8 of this document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MS. LOUKAS: I place that there as a marker.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand what you say, Ms. Loukas, it at voids
12 at least five or ten minutes debate and disguise of questioning on whether
13 this was anything realistic even to think about. So therefore I do not
14 oppose that much against this way of putting the questions. It's just
15 giving an example and asking whether that example fitted into the
16 understanding of the witness. But in general, I would agree with you but
17 under these specific circumstances, you only put a marker, you made no
18 objection, I carefully notice that.
19 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Your Honour, can the witness be shown the document behind tab 75
23 which is located in binder 2.
24 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, the document found at tab 75 is dated June 6th,
25 1992. It's an order signed by the Chairman of the Commission for Exchange
1 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr. Rajko Colovic who
2 was mentioned earlier in evidence. The last page indicates the bodies to
3 which the order was delivered including the government of the Serbian
4 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Justice, the MUP, et
6 Does this document, Mr. Trbojevic, reflect an order related to the
7 system of exchanges?
8 A. It seems to have been adopted by the president of the Central
9 Commission for Exchanges.
10 Q. Can I direct your attention to a portion of the document found on
11 page 3 of the English translation. It appears after the single-sentence
12 paragraph: "The implementation of this order shall be monitored by an
13 authorised the employee of the Ministry of Justice or the president of the
14 higher or basic court," that might orient you. And then it states all
15 women not arrested during combat activities and whose detention is not
16 related to combat activities, all children and minors up to the age of 16,
17 all the elderly, infirm, and ill shall immediately be released and allowed
18 freedom of movement in accordance with their wishes without conditions and
20 Have you found that paragraph, sir, and have you had an
21 opportunity to look at it?
22 A. Yes, I have.
23 Q. Can you tell us, if you know, what was to happen to the men over
24 the age of 16 and who were not elderly, inform, or ill, who were not
25 arrested during combat activities and whose detention is not related to
1 combat activities?
2 A. It is not stated here. Or rather, further below, it is stated
3 that the exchanges are to be conducted in accordance with the principle
4 all for all on the so-called no-man's land. Therefore, based on this
5 document, it seems that the others were to be exchanged.
6 Q. And when you said yesterday, "So we believed that the system was
7 functioning," is this the manner in which you believe the system to be
8 functioning on or around June 15th, 1992?
9 A. Listen, this document here contains instructions, some central
10 commission here is issuing instructions to be implemented in the field.
11 It was to be expected that they would act in accordance with this
13 Q. And again, Mr. Trbojevic, I ask you, when you said, "So we
14 believed that the system was functioning," is this the way in which you
15 understood the system to be functioning in mid-June 1992?
16 A. I did not read every word so I can't claim that this is exactly
17 how things were unfolding; however, based on the bits that I did read, and
18 based on what you just quoted, I assumed that and that the others were to
19 be exchanged as soon as possible in accordance with the principle all for
20 all. Those ought to have been the rules that applied to this.
21 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, yesterday, we spoke about 400 Muslims from Bratunac
22 who were held in Pale on the 14th through the 17th of May, 1992, and then
23 transferred to Visoko -- sorry, I believe they were transferred on the
24 16th of May. And I asked you about the arrival of a group of that number
25 and you provided us some information about what would be known or not
1 known about such a group in a location the size of Pale.
2 Let me ask you to look next at three documents, the first of which
3 is found at tab 122. Tab 122 contains an order which bears the typed name
4 of Dr. Branko Djeric which is not signed dated May 15th, 1992 which
5 states, "The Sokolac Crisis Staff is obligated to provide 3 trucks
6 (including tarpaulins) that are to be used for the transport of prisoners
7 from Pale to Visoko via Ilijas."
8 Paragraph 2, "The order is effective immediately."
9 If the witness can be provided with 123 and 124 as well.
10 Tab 123 is also an order dated 15 May 1992. It also bears the
11 typed name of Professor Branko Djeric above the title "President of the
12 government," and it states at the top, according to the -- item 20,
13 paragraph 5 of the law regarding government - I'm making the order - one,
14 Crisis Staffs: "Sokolac has the obligation to provide three trailer
15 trucks (with canvass cover) and put them in disposition of the Crisis
16 Staff Pale on the 16th of May at 0800 hours. Tow trucks will be returned
17 the same day."
18 Number 2: "The order is effective immediately."
19 And tab 124 contains a document dated 15 May 1992 for the Crisis
20 Staff Ilijas, "Please approve and provide the passage through your
21 territory for the group of prisoners who are presently at Pale and
22 travelling to Visoko. Transport and escort for those prisoners will be
23 provided by the Crisis Staff Pale. Please destroy that approval the
24 moment when the prisoners leave Ilijas municipality."
25 It bears the name of government secretary Nedjeljko Lakic [phoen],
1 stamped and signed.
2 Now, is this process of exchange that took place in mid-May 1992,
3 Mr. Trbojevic, consistent with your understanding of how the exchange
4 process was to be conducted?
5 MS. LOUKAS: Well, just in relation to that, those -- the
6 documents themselves don't appear ...
7 JUDGE ORIE: If you would not mind, Ms. Loukas, I think I can
8 imagine, but perhaps without explaining to the witness already at this
9 time what the problem might be.
10 What specific aspect we are talking about, transportation of
11 persons. Is it that you would like to know whether it was the usual -- it
12 was within the understanding of the witness that transport would be
13 organized by Crisis Staffs or would it be that they start at 8.00 in the
14 morning or whatever?
15 Yes, could you please put your question in such a way that -- I
16 take it, Ms. Loukas, since the Chamber received at least some evidence on
17 the -- well, let's say on the composition of the convoy that -- which of
18 course is not clear, Mr. Tieger.
19 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MS. LOUKAS: I think that Your Honour's clarification certainly
22 meets the basis of my objection.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER:
1 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, was it your understanding that the exchange of
2 prisoners would sometimes entail coordination between municipalities over
3 which those prisoners would have to travel?
4 A. I suppose that the municipality across the territory of which they
5 pass should know of that. Now, I'm -- it is not up to me to say whether
6 this was the proper way of approaching this or not because I do not know
7 who the other party with whom this had been arranged with was, or in which
8 way it had been arranged. Specifically speaking about this case, I didn't
9 know anything about it because at that point in time, I was not in Pale
11 Q. I believe that yesterday you looked at tab 74 in connection with
12 the exchange of these particular Muslim prisoners, and in particular you
13 looked at page 3 of the list that was provided which indicated the
14 signature of Mr. Markovic, a member of the government's commission on
15 behalf of the Serbian MUP for the exchange of prisoners of war. Slobodan
16 Markovic. Do you recall that, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Based on your view of the list and, in particular, Mr. Markovic's
19 position and signature, and based on the documents you've seen this
20 afternoon, is there anything about the process reflected in those
21 documents that is not consistent with your general understanding of how
22 the exchange of prisoners was to -- how the system of exchange was to be
24 A. You are asking me to talk about things that I did not take part
25 in. The instructions set down by the president of the central commission
1 said that conditions had to be put in place in order for prisoners to go
2 wherever they wished to go. Others had to be exchanged in cooperation
3 with the commission on the other side. Whether there was any agreement or
4 approval for such exchanges, I don't know. We saw the list of people who
5 were exchanged but there is -- I can't tell you anything more specifically
6 than I did.
7 Q. I understand that, Mr. Trbojevic, you can't tell us anything about
8 this particular exchange that you don't know about. I'm simply asking
9 you, in light of what you've had an opportunity to see, and in light of
10 your explanation to us that you understood, at least in mid-June, the
11 system to be functioning, if there's anything about what you see here
12 which is inconsistent with or incompatible with your understanding of how
13 the system was to function?
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that, I think the
15 question as posed is somewhat amorphous, particularly the reference to
16 what you see here. If the witness is required to answer on the basis of
17 certain documents, I think the documents should be specified so that -- in
18 all fairness to the witness.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Mr. Trbojevic, you said that the working group on the exchange of
21 prisoners, I think you said they never met, and there was no problem
22 because everything seemed to be fine. What Mr. Tieger is trying to find
23 out is what you knew about the exchange of prisoners on the basis of
24 documents he's presenting to you. He's confronting you with a transport
25 of 400 people travelling through different municipalities.
1 What did you actually know, not about how things should have gone,
2 but how they actually went? And just to inform you, this Chamber has
3 received a considerable amount of evidence on detained peoples who
4 certainly were not prisoners of war. This Chamber has received quite a
5 bit of evidence on exchange of detained persons which hardly could be
6 considered prisoners of war.
7 So what we'd like to know and what Mr. Tieger would like to know
8 is what did you actually know about the practice of exchange of prisoners?
9 And if you say, "I didn't know anything about it," then please tell us.
10 If you knew anything about it, tell us also. And Mr. Tieger is mainly
11 interested to know whether you were aware, especially that not all men of
12 military age that were detained were, perhaps -- that some of them might
13 have been civilians and nevertheless be there for exchange, whether any
14 women were under the detained people, whether they really were released or
15 not, whether there were any minors, any children. What do you know about
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing concrete, Your Honour. I
18 was not involved in these matters.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you concluded yesterday that there was
20 hardly any need to pay any further attention to the exchange because
21 everything, just to say it in simple words, went fine, without any
22 concrete knowledge on what happened on the ground. Is that a correct
23 understanding of your testimony?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you've understood me well. I
25 said that according to our knowledge to what we knew about it, there was
1 no need for us to interfere with these matters.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And now I do understand you had no concrete knowledge
3 but on the basis of the absence of any concrete knowledge, you were
4 satisfied that there was no need to do anything.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You were not satisfied? I have some difficulties in
7 assessing your answer. I asked you, I said to you that I did understand
8 that you had no concrete knowledge, but on the basis of the absence of any
9 concrete knowledge, you were satisfied that there was no need to do
11 Then your answer was, "I didn't." Did you want to say that you
12 didn't do anything or did you want to say that you were not satisfied?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not think that any
14 intervention to that effect was warranted and I did not intervene in any
16 JUDGE ORIE: Even though you had no concrete knowledge of what
17 actually happened on the ground in relation to the exchange of detained
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we had occasion to look
20 at the reports that were before us here. We did not possess any other
21 information. We were on top of Jahorina practically cut off from the rest
22 of the world, practically without electricity in the facility where we
23 were, and so on.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is it true that you saw these pictures on television,
25 you referred to it, I think, yourself, about barbed wire, and I think you
1 located that in Trnopolje.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated that later on I was able to
3 see that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: What do you mean by "later on"?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time of this specific
6 exchange, I was not in Pale. So when I say "later on," I mean in the
7 course of the summer in 1992.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, during the summer of 1992.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
10 MR. TIEGER:
11 Q. Mr. Djeric was also named as a member of the working group that
12 was formed; do you recall that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you accept that Mr. Djeric had at least, on the basis of
15 this incident, some concrete knowledge of how exchanges worked?
16 MS. LOUKAS: Again, the formulation of the question, Your Honour.
17 If Mr. Tieger wants to inquire as to Mr. -- as to the witness's knowledge
18 of Mr. Djeric's knowledge, that's one thing, but whether or not the
19 witness accepts, on the basis of this document, a question of knowledge is
20 really not a matter to be questioned in this way.
21 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is sustained.
22 Mr. Tieger, if a document is addressed to a certain person, then
23 under normal circumstances, you can at least assume that the person is
24 aware of what the document says, whether the person actually was, whether
25 the witness knows that, should ask him that directly.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. I think you told us yesterday that Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Mandic
3 were uncooperative at that time and that was one of the reasons why the
4 task force did not undertake any meaningful efforts. Did you speak to
5 Mr. Djeric about how the system of exchanges was functioning after the
6 task force was formed on June 15th, 1992?
7 A. I didn't.
8 Q. Do you have any idea from previous conversations with Mr. Djeric
9 about how the system of exchanges was functioning?
10 A. I believe I've stated several times already that I didn't know
11 this. Djeric did not inform me about it and I was not in a position to
12 know whether Mr. Djeric had more information about this matter, if any.
13 Q. Let me return to the establishment of the working group on June
14 15th for just a moment. That working group was formed because of the
15 report that indicated how important, delicate, complex the problem was and
16 what adverse consequences it could have for the republic if it wasn't
17 urgently addressed. You recall that; right?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Did you make any effort at all to find out from Mr. Djeric whether
20 or not he perceived problems with the way the exchange system was
21 functioning or whether or not he understood it like you, as you told us
22 yesterday, to be functioning successfully?
23 A. I didn't talk to him and I can't tell you how he conceived of the
24 whole matter.
25 Q. The task force, as I understand it, did nothing, didn't meet,
1 didn't produce any work. Did Mr. Djeric ever indicate to you that he was
2 dissatisfied in any way with the way the system of exchange was
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did any member of the Bosnian Serb leadership indicate to you that
6 he or she was concerned with the way the system of exchange was
8 A. No.
9 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, can I ask that the witness next be
10 presented with the document found behind tab 21 in binder 1 and if he
11 could retain the document found behind tab 20, the order of May 28th. The
12 two documents you should have are the one behind tab 21 and behind tab
13 120, not 20.
14 Your Honour, either I misspoke or I wasn't heard correctly but
15 it's -- we're looking for the minutes of the session of July 4th, which is
16 behind tab 29.
17 MS. LOUKAS: So just to ensure that we're all on the same page, as
18 it were, we're looking at tab 29 and tab 120.
19 MR. TIEGER: That's correct.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Trbojevic, earlier we looked at the document contained
21 behind tab 120, the order of Major Andric which indicated, in part, "the
22 moving out of the Muslim population must be organised and coordinated with
23 the municipalities through which the moving is carried out."
24 Tab 129 contains the minutes of the 36th session of the government
25 at which you were present and over which Mr. Djeric presided, and if I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 could direct your attention, please, to agenda item 8.
2 Agenda item 8 states, "The question has been raised whether there
3 are agreed criteria regarding the moving out of the Muslim population from
4 the territory of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been
5 concluded that the government has not, until now, had a point of view on
6 this matter. The Ministry of the Interior is entrusted with preparing
7 information on this issue, that the government would consider and take the
8 appropriate standpoint."
9 What issue was raised regarding -- let me ask you this first: Who
10 raised the question of whether there are agreed criteria regarding the
11 moving out of the Muslims population?
12 A. I don't remember. I don't recall this.
13 Q. Do you recall anything, Mr. Trbojevic, about the discussion of
14 whether there were agreed criteria regarding the moving out of the
15 Muslims' population from the territory of the Serb Republic?
16 A. No, I don't remember anything and it does state here that the
17 government has not taken any views on this matter before.
18 Q. Can you tell us why the question, therefore, of whether there were
19 agreed criteria was raised at that time?
20 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I hesitate to be constantly
21 objecting but twice the witness has been asked if he recalls this
22 particular agenda item. He has said "I don't remember," "I don't recall
23 this," "No, I don't remember anything." And it does state here that the
24 government has not taken any views on this matter before." I would
25 submit, Your Honour, that on this issue, it's certainly been asked and
1 answered, I would submit.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would agree with that. But I would have an
3 additional question.
4 Mr. Trbojevic, do you think you need any criteria for moving out
5 of the Muslim population? My question is: What's the issue?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Today, I'm aware of certain
7 information that can explain this particular situation which is that in
8 some areas, people, as a group of citizens, approached -- applied to some
9 local authorities to be allowed to leave the area. We did not know about
10 this at the time. It states here that the Ministry of the Interior is
11 tasked with preparing a report. I suppose ...
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Trbojevic, my question was whether at all you
13 need reports, criteria, whatever else on moving out of the Muslim
14 population. What is the issue?
15 If I would ask you to formulate criteria for breathing air,
16 wouldn't immediately your response be that you do not need criteria for
17 that? It's no -- unless you have anything specific in mind such as
18 patients who have difficulties or whether there's an environmental problem
19 which would prevent people were breathing.
20 What was the issue? Why didn't you stand up at that moment and
21 say, "Why do we need criteria for?" I mean, I'm trying to find out what
22 the issue was.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said that I don't know who
24 raised this issue.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't ask you who raised it. I'm asking you
1 what's the issue of --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to explain this to you and it
3 will take more than one sentence.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I do not mind if it comes down to an answer to my
5 question. An explanation, apart from my question, is not appreciated.
6 But please go ahead.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Today, I know that in several places
8 there was such a situation where the citizens, as a group, applied to the
9 authorities asking that they be allowed to the territory held by the Serb
10 forces if this involved Serbs or to the territory held by Muslim forces if
11 this was a Muslim group. And I assumed that that was the background to
12 this discussion.
13 It is a fact that the government did not discuss the need for some
14 moving out or resettlement to occur and that the government did not take a
15 position regarding this. I agree entirely with you that there was no need
16 to take a position or anything else regarding this and I think that this
17 is precisely why it was stated here that the Ministry of the Interior
18 ought to prepare a report about where such demands had been lodged and for
19 what reasons.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So if I do understand you well, then it was an issue
21 with this background. Without the background, it was no issue.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, naturally.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore, at that time, you had no idea what the
24 issue was.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You were there sitting as a minister, an important
2 matter which comes back again and again and again on the agenda and you
3 had no idea and you just accepted that report had to be written, whereas
4 you now say you know of the background, of course there was an issue. Is
5 that how I have to understand your testimony?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. And in light of that background, why, in particular, was the MUP
10 the appropriate organ to prepare information on that issue? What was
11 their expertise on that particular issue in light of the background you
13 A. Well, the MUP had public security stations in all towns and MUP
14 has the closest contacts with the citizens. Who else could be in a better
15 position to acquire information?
16 Q. Now, at this time, large -- that is, in July, early July of 1992,
17 were large numbers of Muslims leaving the territory of Republika Srpska?
18 A. I didn't know that at the time.
19 Q. You knew the system of exchange was functioning. Did you have any
20 idea how many Muslims were moving through that system of exchange?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you recall looking at a document the other day from the
23 National Security Council and government session of April 24th, 1992, that
24 indicated that after the Ministry of Interior had completed its work with
25 prisoners, that the Ministry of Justice was to take over the process for
1 exchange. Do you recall that?
2 A. We read that here.
3 Q. And that was -- at least -- that reflected at least one aspect of
4 the exchange process in which the MUP was involved.
5 A. MUP had to be involved in all aspects.
6 Q. Did the work that the MUP was to undertake before the Ministry of
7 Justice took over involve the investigation or classification or
8 categorisation of the prisoners?
9 A. The police work everywhere in the world entails the same kind of
10 work, establishing who is suspected of having committed a crime or
11 something else, and triage of those against whom some suspicions exist and
12 against those where that is not the case.
13 Q. And I don't know if you recall, if you recall seeing the first
14 page of the June 6th order you just looked at a few minutes ago - from
15 Mr. Colovic - which indicated that "All public security services whose
16 employees are securing facilities, housing prisoners of war, that is,
17 persons in custody, shall keep records of all individuals in detention,"
18 and then it goes on to explain some of the details of the records that
19 should be kept.
20 Did you know whether or not the results of the MUP investigation
21 had any impact on how quickly prisoners would be exchanged or any impact
22 on the exchange process?
23 A. I don't know what impact it had on the exchange process; however,
24 I think that later on, I learned that it seems that no criminal case
25 resulted or came as a result of these police investigations.
1 Q. And does that mean that all of the persons in custody were sent
2 for exchange, those against whom -- irrespective of the category or
3 classification found by the Ministry of Interior?
4 A. It should have been that way, yes.
5 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, I don't know exactly what the
6 Court's timing is but I'm certainly prepared to move on to the next
8 JUDGE ORIE: The timing is that we'll have a 20-minute break
9 anywhere between now and 6.00 so if you want to continue for ten minutes,
10 fine, but if you find a suitable moment for a break of 20 minutes, then
11 we'll follow you and then we'll continue until 7.00.
12 MR. TIEGER: Then I'd prefer to break at this time, I think.
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then we adjourn until a quarter to 6.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.26 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, in the absence of the witness, I'd like
18 to ask you how much more time we are going to spend on hearing from the
19 witness what he doesn't know or doesn't remember or -- there seem to be
20 certain areas where his recollection is rather weak. I don't know what
21 you had in mind but how we are going to proceed?
22 MR. TIEGER: Well, Your Honour, of course with respect to some of
23 the documents, I'm -- have no reason to be familiar with the witness's
24 recollection one way or another. With respect to other documents, it may
25 be useful to the Court to know one way or another whether the witness
1 professes to have any recollection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but let's then establish that rather quickly and
3 then -- I mean we have -- we have heard all of explanations on the whys
4 and if we are in the same field, we might have some understanding even if
5 not explicitly expressed by the witness why some matters did not have his
6 full attention at that time and why they are not in his memory at this
8 So you understand the Chamber would rather not spend hours and
9 hours on the whys and let's establish what the situation is.
10 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Trbojevic into the
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
14 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Your Honour, can the witness be presented with the document behind
16 tab 119.
17 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, the document behind tab 119 is a public
18 announcement from the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 government dated August 7th, 1992 stamped and signed by
20 Prime Minister Djeric in connection with the CNN broadcast on August 6th,
21 1992, regarding the status of the prisoners in Omarska. I'll give you
22 just a moment to look that over.
23 First of all, Mr. Trbojevic, are you familiar with this particular
24 announcement by Dr. Djeric in the wake of the international media focus on
25 Omarska and the broadcast in connection with that?
1 A. I can't say that I took part in formulating this release;
2 therefore, I was not informed about the drafting and the release of this
4 Q. Do you recall in general the response of the political organs of
5 the -- of Republika Srpska after the broadcast about Omarska?
6 A. I think that I have already answered the question several times,
7 namely that over the course of time, we started learning information about
8 what the status was in the camps and so on. Here in this press release,
9 you can see that Djeric does not accept what the TV had broadcast and is
10 convinced that that was not true.
11 Q. On the second page of the English translation, Mr. Djeric
12 says, "The organs in charge will present to the public the information and
13 the proof from which it will be clear that the imprisoned persons located
14 in Omarska had part in the armed combats against the army of the Serbian
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was Mr. Djeric's representation to the public that all of those
18 imprisoned persons located in Omarska consistent with your understanding
19 at the time of the position that was being taken by the political organs
20 of Republika Srpska?
21 A. Djeric most likely had information to the effect that these were
22 prisoners of war who had taken part in armed operations. I don't know
23 what else could I have heard.
24 JUDGE ORIE: The question was a different one, Mr. Trbojevic.
25 The question was whether Mr. Djeric's representation to the
1 public, whether that was consistent with what you understood to be the
2 position taken by political organs in the Republika Srpska. So whether
3 this more or less reflects the general position taken by the political
4 organs. That's what the question was.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. At that time, did you have any information suggesting the contrary
8 or did you obtain any such information within a short time afterward,
9 let's say during the month of August?
10 A. I truly can't be more specific about the exact time when I heard a
11 certain piece of information and so on.
12 Q. Do you remember hearing information that indicated that
13 Mr. Djeric's representations to the public regarding the imprisoned
14 persons in Omarska were inaccurate?
15 A. No, I didn't hear.
16 Q. Mr. Djeric also says that -- in the last line of that
17 paragraph, "However, we are forced to use them, among other things
18 also ..." and he's referring to facilities such as Omarska, "... due to
19 the lack of interest of the other side to exchange prisoners."
20 Was that your understanding of the position of the government and
21 the rest of the authorities in Republika Srpska regarding the continued
22 detention of the persons in Omarska and that is that they weren't
23 exchanged because of lack of interest of the other side and therefore they
24 continued to be detained?
25 A. I was not aware that people were being kept only because the other
1 side refused to take them over.
2 Q. What was your understanding about why they were being kept?
3 A. I thought that they were being kept as prisoners of war awaiting
4 the exchange.
5 MR. TIEGER: Can the witness be presented next with the document
6 behind tab 83. It reflects a session of the Presidency of the Republika
8 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, as you can see, tab 83 contains the minutes of the
9 24th session of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina on 6 August, 1992?
11 A. It states here the "session of the Presidency of the Serbian
13 Q. I believe that's -- I think that's correct and I think that's what
14 I indicated the document reflected.
15 Now, Mr. Djerab -- pardon me. Sorry. Mr. Trbojevic, again, in
16 the interest of time, I'm going to see if we can agree on a document
17 rather than taking time to present it. Tab 60 contains a newspaper
18 article from The Times, August 9th, which lays out the chronology of the
19 discovery of Omarska camp and indicates that the -- that members of the
20 international media gained access to Omarska on August 5th.
21 Do you have any reason to dispute that particular date, sir? I'm
22 simply trying to place this Presidency session in the context of the
23 initial access into Omarska by the international media.
24 A. I have no reason to dispute it.
25 Q. If I could turn your attention to the last entry on the -- in the
1 session prior to the conclusion -- well, there are a number of
2 conclusions, so the second to last paragraph of the minutes, sir, which
3 indicates that the Presidency discussed the treatment of prisoners of war
4 detained in prisons in Serbian territory. And it states, "The prisoners
5 should be divided into three categories: Those captured on the front,
6 those who took part in arming and operations of the TO, and those who
7 assisted and financed Alija's army." It goes on to discuss the need to
8 abide by international conventions, it advises humane treatment of
9 prisoners of war, et cetera.
10 First of all, Mr. Trbojevic, were you made aware, as Deputy Prime
11 Minister for Home Affairs, of the interest of the Presidency in ensuring
12 that the prisoners were divided into categories? And I mean specifically
13 at this time in the aftermath of this particular session.
14 A. I am not aware of the Presidency having been informed about this
15 need and indeed about the practice of dividing prisoners into three --
16 into the three categories, but I believe that we encountered these
17 categorisations in some other documents earlier on.
18 Q. Do you know whether the prisoners in Omarska had been categorised
19 by the time the 24th session of the Presidency was held?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Based on your experience in government, do you know whether or not
22 the conclusion of the Presidency at this session applied to the prisoners
23 in Omarska?
24 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I'm not quite sure that I understand
25 that question, let alone the witness. It seems to me that it might be
1 phrased in a more focused way.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I did understand the question to be whether the
3 conclusion of the -- distinguishing the three groups, whether there was
4 applied to prisoners in Omarska and the beginning of the question, I
5 think, is at least that's how I understood it, that the witness is asked
6 about what he learned at that time rather than what he learned at any
7 later stage.
8 MS. LOUKAS: I see, so the question is whether or not it was
9 applied, not the question of application.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's how I understood, whether this was put
11 into practice.
12 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour. It just seemed to come across a
13 little differently to me in terms of a broader question of application but
14 if the question is asked on that basis, I withdraw my ...
15 JUDGE ORIE: The disadvantage of being a native speaker.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, it's always a disadvantage, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The question, Witness, was whether you learned at
18 that time that -- I think you answered the question -- let me just -- you
19 said that you did not know whether the prisoners from Omarska had been
20 categorised by the time the 24th session was held. Did you have the
21 experience after this meeting that such categorisation was put into effect
22 in Omarska.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER:
1 Q. The Presidency session decided that the categories should include,
2 as you see, those captured on the front, those who took part in arming and
3 operations of the TO, and those who assisted and financed Alija's army.
4 Do you know how persons who assisted and financed, or who were accused and
5 considered to have assisted and financed the army were brought into
6 custody, under what circumstances?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Do you know the difference between the category of persons who
9 were captured on the front and the category of persons who took part in
10 operations of the TO?
11 A. I conceded these two to fall under one and the same category.
12 Q. Did Mr. Djeric, who attended that session, ever speak to you about
13 what he understood to be the distinction between those two categories?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And did any other member of the Presidency ever tell you or did
16 you learn from any other source what the distinction between those two
17 categories was meant to be?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Now, in the public announcement by Mr. Djeric, he also says on the
20 second page, "A mistake has been made in not allowing the cameramen to do
21 the complete necessary filming, but that will be easily remedied by
22 allowing every objective reporter to get insight into the complete
24 Was it your understanding at the time that the members of the
25 international press had not been permitted access to all the prisoners or
1 the entire camp?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you have any reason to doubt Mr. Djeric's representations in
4 this portion of the announcement that there was incomplete access to the
5 camp for the international media?
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. Do you know how many -- did you know at the time approximately how
8 many Muslims or other non-Serbs were held in Omarska on August 5th, that
9 is the time the international media gained access?
10 A. No, I didn't.
11 Q. Did you learn of any massive transfer of Omarska prisoners at or
12 around the time that the international media gained access to Omarska?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you know -- do you know what efforts were made to determine
15 the status of the persons who were confined in Omarska at the time the
16 international media was attempting to gain access or the status of the --
17 of those persons who were transferred, that is, were they combatants, were
18 they civilians, were they men, were they women?
19 A. I don't know.
20 MR. TIEGER: May the witness be presented with the document at tab
21 58, please.
22 Sorry, Your Honour, tab 58 is in binder 2, my apologies for not
23 indicating that.
24 Q. Tab 58, Mr. Trbojevic, is a strictly confidential document from
25 the 1st Krajina Corps Command Department for Intelligence and Security
1 Affairs regarding the selection of prisoners in the Manjaca prisoner of
2 war camp. It's signed by chief Colonel Stevan Bogojevic. It was dated
3 August 6th, 1992.
4 First of all, do you recall from your review of the reports of
5 Mr. Lale and Mr. Erkic or Mr. Avlijas that prisoners from Omarska were
6 transferred -- at least a portion of prisoners from Omarska were
7 transferred to Manjaca camp?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Colonel Bogojevic is writing the Prijedor national security sector
10 chief and indicating the following on August 6th, "By processing the war
11 prisoners in the Manjaca prisoner of war camp, we realise that a certain
12 (quite large) number of them according to incrimination. They did not
13 deserve to be treated as prisoners of war (they did not have weapons, they
14 did not participate in combat, they were not in uniform, et cetera.)" And
15 he urges in the last paragraph, "In light of the recent" -- what he calls
16 the recent attack by the European and world media in connection with the
17 existence of "concentration camps," that a prisoner selection be carried
19 Did information about the presence of quite a large number of
20 civilians who had not participated in combat, did not have weapons, et
21 cetera, in Manjaca camp reach you in the early part of August 1992?
22 A. Not me.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to put a question to the
24 witness, if you don't mind.
25 Witness, could you please tell us what is the National Security
1 Sector? Who -- in other words, the organ, this report was sent to, what
2 is it within the administrative organisation. Can you give us an
3 explanation about that, please?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The police was divided into public
5 security and the sector of state or national security so that probably
6 these prisoners were processed by the National Security Service and the
7 colonel who signed this was the chief of military security.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] In other words, he writes a
9 report to the -- those who are in charge of the civilian national security
10 sector, it's a civilian organ.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] This National Security Sector
13 from Prijedor, where do we find it within the organisation of the state?
14 Does it report directly to the Ministry of the Interior?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This organisation changed as time
16 passed by. At this point in time, I believe it was within the Security
17 Services Centre in Banja Luka.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And above the Security Services
19 Centre in Banja Luka, what do we find? I'd like to understand how this
20 pyramid, this chain of command of responsibilities was organised. So we
21 have Prijedor, Banja Luka, and above. What do we find?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Above that is the Ministry of the
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And did the National Security
25 Sectors have to send these reports to Banja Luka or to the higher echelon
1 of the Ministry of the Interior?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that they had to report to
3 their immediate superiors which, in this case, was the Security Services
4 Centre in Banja Luka.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] According to you, was the Banja
6 Luka centre -- considering the importance of this report, was this Banja
7 Luka centre supposed to immediately report the matter to the Ministry of
8 the Interior, report that there was indeed a very major problem at the
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And then what was the role of the
12 Minister of the Interior, what was he supposed to do?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The minister should either have
14 insisted on his own that this classification be conducted in order for the
15 people who were held there for no reason, no legal grounds, to be released
16 forthwith, which should have been the best way of approaching it, or to
17 inform the government or the president of the republic thereof, because,
18 after all, he was linked to the president of the republic.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] At the time, were things
20 happening that way; in other words, was -- did the Minister of the
21 Interior fully inform the government he was a part of? I'm talking about
22 the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister that you were? Was he
23 fulfilling his role?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know of any other reports
25 existing, I mean other than those that we had occasion to look at here.
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, my question is the
2 following: Considering the position you occupied find at the time,
3 were -- should you have been informed of the matter? Is it normal for you
4 to be able to tell us that you are not familiar with this document?
5 Should you have been informed? Should you have been kept abreast of what
6 was going on?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I should have, definitely.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] That was not the case.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Excuse me for insisting. Why?
11 Why were you not kept aware of the situation? What do you find -- what
12 sort of explanation do you find was -- what was happening? Was something
13 trying to hide something from you? Was it reported to other people? You
14 must have thought about this.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, myself, believe that the general
16 objective was for this information not to go public. These practices were
17 of the kind that were condemned by the entire International Community as
18 soon as the community found out about them.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, did you learn about the imprisonment or detention
22 of non-Serb civilians from any other source in the early part of August
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 MR. TIEGER: Can the witness be presented with the document found
1 at tab 84, please.
2 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, tab 84 contains a document dated August 8th, 1992
3 from the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of the Interior in
4 Sarajevo to the Serb Republic of BiH president, and Serb Republic of BiH
5 Prime Minister. And it's signed by Deputy Minister for Police Affairs and
6 tasks, Tomo Kovac. Take a moment to look that over.
7 The document begins by stating, "With the aim to resolve problems
8 arising from the detention of other peoples, nations in certain facilities
9 and collection centres in the zones of war activities, apart from the
10 measures already taken by the government and its authorised ministries, I
11 propose the following: That the status of these people be legally changed
12 in compliance with international conventions on refugees, prisoners of
13 war, et cetera."
14 Now, at the top of the page, Mr. Trbojevic, there's handwritten
15 notations that say, "Combined team of the police and judicare are to
16 inspect" enumerated items 1, 2, 3, categorization, jurisdiction of
17 organs," and 3, it says "sanctions," and perhaps you can read the rest.
18 It also says T-12 at the top. And in that connection, if I could
19 have the witness presented with the document found behind tab 37. That's
20 binder 1, Your Honours.
21 Mr. Trbojevic, I think we've previously looked at documents
22 bearing the heading of agenda items which -- they are relevant at the
23 government sessions. First of all, let me indicate for the record that
24 tab 37 contains the minutes of the 46th session of the government held on
25 August 9th, 1992, and it indicates that you chaired that session and among
1 the persons who were present was Tomislav Kovac.
2 If we turn to item 12 or agenda item 12, you see that it reflects
3 the following entry that the government formed two commissions consisting
4 of representatives from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of
5 Judiciary and Administration. The commission's task is to gain knowledge
6 through responsible state organs of the status of people in concentration
7 centres and other sheltering facilities to speed up the procedure of
8 categorising these people and establishing responsibility and sanctions."
9 Does T-12 contain, in handwriting, on the August 8th document
10 prepared by Mr. Kovac a reference to agenda item 12 in the minutes of the
11 government session held the next day?
12 A. I don't know but I think that it doesn't. I was shown this
13 document by the investigator and at the time when we talked, there was no
14 T-12 mark on it. And at that time, I told him that I didn't remember this
15 being discussed at the government session.
16 Q. Do you know whose handwriting that is on the document,
17 Mr. Trbojevic?
18 A. I have no idea.
19 Q. Would you read out loud the entry at -- the third entry in
20 handwriting on the document?
21 A. I can't read out this first word and then it says, "Procedure of
22 the -- of those who are responsible, sanctions."
23 I can't read the first word under item 3. I can't read the first
24 word under item 3 and then after this, it says, "procedure," and then
25 perhaps responsibility or -- yes, responsibility, sanctions. It is
1 obvious that item 12 in the minutes corresponds to this other document.
2 Q. Thank you for that. I was just going to ask you that. So the
3 items clearly correspond. Mr. Kovac is present at the session and the
4 document bears the same --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- agenda item as the session that contains the corresponding
7 items. And do you still maintain, Mr. Trbojevic, that this document was
8 not presented to the -- or at the 46th session of the government on August
9 9th, 1992?
10 A. I can't claim that because the date is one day before the other
11 one and item 12 pertains to the establishment of the commission which is
12 supposed to go and visit this. So I cannot firmly maintain that, no.
13 Q. Well, let's try to break down the chronology quickly, because
14 we're running out of time today.
15 Mr. Kovac prepared -- wrote the letter on August 8th, 1992. On
16 August 9th, the next day, he showed up at the government session. The
17 document itself bears the designation T-12. Number 12 turns out to be an
18 item that corresponds to the handwriting, the handwritten notations
19 enumerated on the document.
20 That doesn't indicate to you, sir, that this document was
21 presented at the session of August 9th?
22 A. No.
23 Q. What was the information, in your view, then, that prompted the
24 formation of two commissions consisting of representatives from the
25 Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice on August 9th?
1 A. It is quite possible that Tomo Kovac reported or briefed us on
2 that need. The formulation of the conclusion adopted at the government
3 session is not consistent with his letter, does not -- is not in sync with
5 Q. If Mr. Kovac had reported -- well, first of all, did Mr. Kovac on
6 August 9th, report that he hoped to resolve problems arising from the
7 detention of other peoples by proposing that the status of people be
8 legally changed in compliance with international conventions?
9 A. Here, he proposes the adoption of regulations on categorisation of
10 persons deprived of liberty. He proposes that persons of other ethnic
11 background could only be given the status of refugees. And based on what
12 is stated in these minutes, although these minutes do not reflect the
13 discussion or anything else more specific, it can be seen that the
14 government has decided to establish commissions which would go and
15 investigate the situation and propose regulations on categorization.
16 Now what kind of categorisation, I can't tell you based on this
17 document, because what Kovac proposes here is not identical or does not
18 correspond to what was listed as possible categories in the other
20 Q. Well, some moments ago, Judge Hanoteau asked you some questions
21 about the responsibility of persons in particular positions once they came
22 into possession of information. What would be the responsibility of any
23 government official upon receipt of information that persons such as this,
24 as contained in Mr. Kovac's letter, that there were civilians who were
25 being held in custody in violation of international conventions?
1 A. Kovac writes here that, "We have cases where members of the
2 Ministry of the Interior accept and in some cases participate in the
3 arrest of persons arrested in the zone of war operations." He doesn't
4 mention the arrest of civilians whereas on the other page, it is stated
5 that civilian population, regardless of their ethnic community to which
6 they belong, can only be granted the status of refugees. And that there
7 ought to be a stepped up control and that the charitable associations can
8 take care of the accommodation. Therefore, he gives certain proposals and
9 lists various categories and somebody else was supposed to take decision
10 regarding this.
11 Q. Well, Mr. Kovac in his letter mentions civilians twice. First
12 time when he says, "A second, much more important problem in the field, is
13 that people are not properly categorised in the facilities or collection
14 centres. We mean civilians." And then he mentions another category.
15 The second time is at the beginning of the first paragraph on the
16 second page of the English translation, "The civilian population,
17 regardless of whether they belong to an ethnic group, extremist members of
18 which are at war with the Serb Republic of BH may only have refugee
20 Let me ask you one more question about this document. Mr. Kovac
21 indicates that in the last two paragraphs, that he's putting forward this
22 problem in this manner because the international institutions will not
23 recognise any other attitude towards members of other ethnic groups. And
24 he indicates that if you agree, that is the persons to whom the letter is
25 sent, with this viewpoint on people under certain treatment by the Serb
1 Republic of BH, he suggests certain measures.
2 When Mr. Kovac -- did you understand Mr. -- let me ask that
3 question in a different way.
4 Was the concern of the government, in forming the two commissions
5 on August 9th, 1992, the day after Mr. Kovac's letter, the result of
6 concern that the International Community and international institutions
7 would not accept any other attitude?
8 A. I believe that it was.
9 Q. And one more question, Your Honour --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Is it still about the same document?
11 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then perhaps I make one observation and I don't think
13 there's any need to have it replaced but since T-12 takes such a prominent
14 role, it does not appear on the English translation but I think it's clear
15 enough for everyone.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
18 Q. Just to recap quickly for you, it will be the last question of the
19 day, sir, I asked you was the concern of the government if forming the
20 commission was the result the concern of the International Community and
21 international institutions would not accept any other attitude. You
22 indicated that you believed it was. And was that attitude the result of
23 the international outcry?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. TIEGER: I think it's time, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you're looking at the clock but I remind
2 you that we turn until 7.00, it's only in the afternoon that we stop at a
3 quarter to.
4 MR. TIEGER:
5 Q. Was that concern about which we just talked, Mr. Trbojevic, shared
6 by officials within the political organs of Republika Srpska, the need to
7 respond to the international outcry?
8 A. I did not speak to them, but I believe that that was the case.
9 MR. TIEGER: Let's look, if we can, at a couple of documents that
10 preceded Mr. Kovac's letter. Can we turn next to tab 77.
11 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, tab 77 contains a report on some aspects of the
12 work to be done and the tasks ahead, dated July 17th, 1992. This strictly
13 confidential document is to the president of the Presidency and the Prime
14 Minister from the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of
15 the Interior.
16 I'd ask you to turn to page 3 of the document, first paragraph of
17 the English translation. That states that"the army, Crisis Staffs And War
18 Presidencies requested that the army round up or capture as many Muslim
19 civilians as possible, we leave such undefined camps to internal affairs
20 organs. The condition in some of these camps are poor. There's no food.
21 Individuals sometimes do not observe international norms," et cetera.
22 First of all, Mr. Trbojevic, was this document presented to you or
23 were the contents of this document made known to you in 1992?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Were you familiar with the allegations of the International
1 Community about which we spoke a few moments ago -- strike that.
2 Let me just direct your attention to another part of the document,
3 that's page 6 of the English translation. That's the paragraph that
4 begins "With a view to resolving existing problems and outstanding issues
5 with the justice minister it is also necessary to hold a joint meeting in
6 order to address the problems of cooperation between the MUP and judicial
7 organs in preventing crime, the shortage of judges for criminal cases, et
8 cetera, and to reach an agreement on initiating proceedings for changing
9 the duration of pre-trial detention. The Presidency should uphold the
10 provision according to which detention can last up to 31 days." Then it
12 The last sentence of that paragraph reads, "Special emphasis
13 should be placed on the issue of relocating certain citizens, villages, et
14 cetera, as this does not fall within the competence of the MUP although
15 efforts are being made to link it to the MUP."
16 Do you know whether a meeting between justice and the MUP was held
17 at some point after July 17th, 1992 to address these issues?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Do you know whether or not the information available to the MUP
20 and to the Minister of Interior as reflected in this document was
21 discussed at any meetings with justice or the justice minister?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Yesterday, you talked about the commission or the work group that
24 was established on June 15th, 1992 which was formed to address the
25 important and delicate issue of prisoners and included Mr. Mandic,
1 Mr. Stanisic, and Mr. Subotic and you provided the Court with some answers
2 about what impact the working group might have had, had it moved forward.
3 At any point in 1992, Mr. Trbojevic, did you come to believe that
4 the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice had information about
5 prisoners, camps that was not being shared with you?
6 A. I was convinced that they had more information than the rest of
7 us; however, I could not have presumed that they knew everything that
8 later turned out that they knew.
9 Q. That was certainly one of the reasons why -- or I presume that was
10 one of the reasons why they were nominated for participation in that
11 important working group; is that right?
12 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, that's not really a question, that's --
13 it's not particularly well formulated and I don't know that the answer
14 would be of any assistance to the Trial Chamber whatsoever.
15 MR. TIEGER: I withdraw it, Your Honour, I'm going to move forward
16 on this.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 MR. TIEGER:
19 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, yesterday you told us when you and Mr. Djeric spoke
20 to Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik about your efforts, desire to remove
21 Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Mandic from justice, you talked to them about -- you
22 spoke to them in part, at least, about the issue of the warehouses and the
23 possibility of some criminal activity in connection with that; is that
25 MS. LOUKAS: I think for the benefit of all, it would be
1 appropriate to have a reference to the page and line number of the
2 evidence that Mr. Tieger is referring to.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could you give it?
4 MR. TIEGER: I'm having trouble locating it, Your Honour. I
5 apologise for that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I'm looking at the clock. It's 7.00
8 Mr. Tieger, unless this would be your final question, then I would
9 grant you another couple of minutes, but otherwise, we have to adjourn
10 until tomorrow.
11 MR. TIEGER: I understand, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could I first ask Madam Usher to escort the witness
13 out of the courtroom after I have instructed you, Mr. Trbojevic, that you
14 should not speak with anyone about your testimony given until now or still
15 to be given during the days to come.
16 Madam Usher, would you escort Mr. Trbojevic out of the courtroom.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could you give us any impression on how
19 much time you would still need?
20 MR. TIEGER: I'm anticipating, Your Honour -- my best guess is
21 using up the first session of tomorrow.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, until now, it was 8 hours and 34 minutes which
23 is, I think -- does not include the questions of the Judges. Let me
24 just ...
25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar informs me that if there were a
2 substantive series of questions by the Judges, it has already been deduced
3 and I think the witness was scheduled for 8 hours, if I'm -- 10 hours.
4 Then you are still within the limits and then it's the Chamber that's --
5 so you hope to finish by the first break tomorrow.
6 Ms. Loukas, I take it that it will not be you what is going to
7 cross-examine Mr. Trbojevic or will it be a joint effort?
8 MS. LOUKAS: We always attempt to make our efforts joint efforts,
9 Your Honour, but I can indicate that Mr. Stewart will be cross-examining
10 the witness.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any idea, perhaps in terms of
12 percentages, how much -- how much time it would take you? Do you have any
13 impression whether you think it's a relatively lengthy or ...
14 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I can indicate that we are looking
15 at around about the 60 per cent guideline.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That would mean 6 hours.
17 MS. LOUKAS: It's probably going to be less than that, I would
18 imagine, Your Honour, but I certainly don't want to make any guarantees on
19 behalf of Mr. Stewart in that regard.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just wondering whether we could finish with the
21 witness this week. From what I hear now, that might be possible,
22 especially also perhaps dependent on the behaviour of the Bench.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to see if we can at least achieve that.
25 We'll adjourn until tomorrow afternoon, same courtroom, and I failed to
1 ask inform the witness at what he was expected to return. So
2 Madam Registrar would you take care that the witness is properly informed
3 about the time he is expected to appear tomorrow. We'll adjourn until
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.
6 To be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of April,
7 2005, at 2.15 p.m.