1 Monday, 25 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. Madam Registrar, would you
6 please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Mr. Hannis, is there any -- Ms. Loukas, you are on your feet.
11 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, just in relation to Mr. Krajisnik's
12 laptop, there appears to be some technical difficulty that the AV
13 representative is attempting to fix and I just want to ensure that -- is
14 there anything else that needs to be done? No, there's still a problem,
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is the problem such that we could not proceed
17 at this moment or is it something that could be fixed while we are ...
18 MS. LOUKAS: There's apparently something wrong with the mouse,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mouse.
21 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. So I really can't offer an opinion in relation
22 to its sustainability.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, there were a couple of procedural
24 matters that I wanted to address before the witness came in. I don't know
25 if it would be all right to do that while the --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I take it we could start dealing with some procedural
3 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, certainly, Your Honour, I don't have a problem
4 with that because I think the audio is obviously working; it's a problem
5 with the laptop. So Mr. Krajisnik can follow the proceedings.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. The first matter I wanted to
8 bring to the Court's attention relates to the physical health condition of
9 this witness. He has a number of ailments and he -- to my observation,
10 during proofing, is in -- often times in a great deal of pain. I
11 indicated to him that he should let Your Honours or me know if at any time
12 he needed to take a break earlier than the normally scheduled one.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll repeat that to him.
14 MR. HANNIS: Second, with regard to the witness's ICTY statement
15 which we propose to offer through Rule 89(F), Ms. Loukas had advised me in
16 the e-mail yesterday afternoon after I had left that there was one
17 sentence she would like to have removed and I have no objection. I agree
18 with that. I unfortunately had made copies and given those to the Court
19 and everyone else before now, but for the record, I would indicate it is
20 in paragraph 6 on page 2 of the English version of the statement. It's
21 the next to the last sentence which reads, "It was obvious that they
22 escaped in a helicopter." We agree that it is appropriate to remove that
23 sentence and if we can strike it in the copy that's an exhibit or we'll
24 make a substitute page, whichever works for the registrar.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and then the interpreters are alarmed by the --
1 that there be a light change on that part of the statement.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Finally with regard to this
3 witness, in the proofing yesterday, I learned that he apparently has
4 testified in Bosnia in two state prosecutions in Bosnia related to the
5 war, once about five or six years ago and once last year, apparently
6 regarding Batkovic camp where he was detained. This was a first that
7 we -- that I became aware of it. We don't have those testimonies. I
8 have advised Ms. Loukas of that. We will make the arrangements to try and
9 track down whatever statement or testimony he might have given in
10 connection with those cases, provide them to the Defence, and if it arises
11 that there's something that should require him to return at a later date
12 or if the parties can reach some kind of stipulation, if there's something
13 that goes to credibility or what he testifies here, we would address it
14 later but we would like to proceed with him today since he's here.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, I can indicate that Mr. Hannis
17 e-mailed we yesterday in relation to this particular issue suggesting that
18 particular course, and I think basically, in view of his -- whilst the
19 normal procedure would be that it would be important to have all the
20 relevant information here and now, I think in view of the fact that the
21 witness is here, his apparent health issues, the Defence agrees with the
22 course suggested by Mr. Hannis and we are content to proceed with the
23 witness today and should an issue subsequently when this material comes up
24 then we can come to some sort of an arrangement.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber will then follow the course.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you counsel and Your Honour.
2 The last matter I wanted to address, Your Honour, regarded
3 scheduling. I anticipate that I will finish my direct of this witness
4 in -- hopefully by the first break, the normally scheduled break at 10.30.
5 And so I anticipate that we will be finished with him before the end of
6 the day and ready to start with the second witness; however, I've spoken
7 with Mr. Margetts who will be leading the next witness, KRAJ 671 Izmet
8 Mehinagic who will testify openly without protective measures and there --
9 I know there are some matters regarding the documents related to him.
10 There is a diary which apparently we only have a summary translation and
11 Ms. Loukas has requested -- would like to have the full translation.
12 Because those matters are still pending, if the Court is agreeable, we
13 would like to propose that when we finish with this witness today, if it's
14 early, we finish early and start with Mr. Mehinagic first thing in the
15 morning. As Your Honours know, this is a week we only have two witnesses.
16 We have had problems scheduling witnesses for this week.
17 JUDGE ORIE: We are aware of that. The Chamber is aware of that.
18 I see that -- Mr. Krajisnik, is it true that the mouse problems have been
19 solved or not? I do understand that someone tries to find a new mouse for
21 You don't have a touch pad on that computer which would
22 temporarily help you out? Because on my laptop I can choose but ...
23 I don't know whether it's the touch pad or whether it's the mouse
24 that's not functioning but.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Neither the touch pad nor the
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then I wonder whether a new mouse would help you
3 out. Mr. Krajisnik, could we start and then just temporarily you make
4 some written notes and then we hope that the problem will be resolved soon
5 or ...
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope so. I hope that it will be
7 solved soon because I wouldn't like to disrupt the proceedings. I believe
8 that the Trial Chamber should proceed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
10 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into the
12 [The witness entered court]
13 WITNESS: MIRSAD KURALIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I might briefly indicate while the
16 witness is settling himself in that further technical assistance is
17 required in relation to actually obtaining another computer.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I -- Ms. Loukas, we might need specific approval
19 because not every computer is the same in terms of security regulations.
20 MS. LOUKAS: I see, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuralic, first of all, good morning and apologies
22 that we are discussing other matters when you came in.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuralic, before you give evidence in this court,
25 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn
1 declaration that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
2 but the truth. The text is now handed out to you by the usher. May I
3 invite you to make that solemn declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly swear that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much.
7 Please be seated, Mr. Kuralic. Mr. Kuralic, the Chamber has been
8 informed about your health problems. Please do not hesitate to address
9 the Chamber if you feel that it's difficult for you to continue. We'll
10 then take a break and adapt our schedule to your abilities in terms of
12 Mr. Hannis, please proceed.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examined by Mr. Hannis:
15 Q. Good morning, sir.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Mr. Kuralic, what I would like to do is show you a copy of your
18 ICTY statement.
19 MR. HANNIS: May this be given a number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Prosecution Exhibit P642.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Kuralic, that's your ICTY statement dated the 27th of June,
23 1996. Before coming to court today, did you have a chance to review that
25 A. Today or ...
1 Q. Before today?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. And in the course of reviewing that, did you note a few
4 corrections that we discussed together?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Next, I want to show you a document, Mr. Kuralic, which lists some
7 of the corrections and modifications that you agreed that should be made
8 to your statement. You haven't seen this document yet, we were typing it
9 up when we were proofing with you yesterday. If you can just take a
10 moment to read that and let us know if we've listed the corrections that
11 you suggested we make.
12 A. [No audible response]
13 Q. I'm sorry I couldn't hear your answer from the translators. Does
14 that contain the suggestions that you agreed we made to your statement
15 after reviewing it?
16 A. Yes, yes, it does.
17 Q. Thank you. And attached to that supplemental information form is
18 what appears to be a newspaper article. Can you tell us where that comes
19 from, that article?
20 A. This article was published by Kalesija municipality.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, before we continue, could first
22 Madam Registrar give a number to the supplemental information sheet and
23 the attached -- would you like to have that two separate numbers or.
24 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, just one.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So then the supplemental information sheet ...
1 THE REGISTRAR: Will be Prosecution Exhibit P643.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the newspaper article is attached to it.
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Kuralic, that's the newspaper in the municipality where you
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you remember approximately -- I'm sorry. Do you recall
8 approximately when that was published, when that story was put in the
10 A. After my release from the camp in 1993, I was released on the 10th
11 of April and this article might have then been published in May or June.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, with those changes that we've listed in the
13 supplemental information sheet, can you confirm to the Judges that your
14 ICTY statement from 1996 as modified by that supplemental information and
15 the newspaper article, is that a truthful and accurate account of your
16 experiences during the war in 1992 and 1993?
17 A. I haven't understood, I'm afraid. If you could repeat your
18 question, please.
19 Q. Certainly, I'm sorry. Is that ICTY statement you gave when read
20 together with the supplemental information, the corrections, and your
21 newspaper article, when all those are read together, is that a truth and
22 accurate account of what happened to you in 1992 and 1993?
23 A. Of course it is accurate, but it is only a portion of what
24 happened because a person cannot possibly relate everything that happened
25 in the course of 325 days. It does take a lot more time than I was given.
1 Q. I understand.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we would like to tender those two
3 exhibits, 642 and 643, pursuant to 89(F), and I would like to read in a
4 summary at this time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: In view of the portion it seems you agreed to take
6 out, would that have any consequence for the corresponding line in the
7 statement? I do understand that it might relate at least from what I
8 heard, that it might relate to -- or is it from the summary or from the
10 MR. HANNIS: It's from the statement, Your Honour and it's not
11 mentioned in the summary.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you very much.
13 MR. HANNIS: If I may then Your Honour, I'd like to --
14 Mr. Kuralic Mr. Kuralic, I'm going to read a summary of what's in
15 your statement now and then I will have some questions for you.
16 Mirsad Kuralic is a Bosnian Muslim metal worker from Kalesija
17 municipality. In April 1992, he helped provide food and shelter to some
18 of the 1.200 Muslim refugees fleeing from Zvornik municipality. He was
19 drafted into the Bosnian army and from mid-April was at the front line
20 around Kalesija.
21 On 30 May 1992, while on an armed reconnaissance, the witness and
22 three comrades encountered a larger group of Serb fighters. In the
23 ensuing skirmish, a Serb officer and two of the witness's comrades were
24 killed. The witness was captured. He was taken to the Serb command post
25 in Memici where he was beaten, stabbed, cut on his face and leg, and
1 burned with cigarettes. He was further brutalised during his subsequent
2 transport to Vlasenica where he was interrogated.
3 After his interrogation, he was left alone for three days in a
4 small room with his hands handcuffed behind his back. He received no
5 food, water, or medical attention. He was then placed in the sports hall
6 with other POWs for about four days after which he was in a group of about
7 400 that were taken to Susica camp. After a brief stay there where he
8 encountered camp manager Dragan Nikolic, he was taken to the prison in
9 Vlasenica on about 15 May -- or 15 June 1992. He remained detained there
10 until 13 August 1992. During the first month there, he was severely
11 abused and beaten daily until one of the guards promised to help. After
12 that intervention, he was not beaten at the Vlasenica prison.
13 On 13 August 1992, the witness was taken to Batkovic camp in
14 Bijeljina municipality. The security commander of the camp, Velibor
15 Stojanovic, gave him the nickname Beretka 2. He was placed in a warehouse
16 with about 1.800 prisoners. From his second day there until 11 September
17 1992, he was one of a group of ten prisoners who were selected out for
18 particularly cruel treatment. They were beaten at least three times a
19 day. On occasions, they were forced to beat one another or engage in
20 sexual intercourse. Most often these beatings and humiliations took place
21 in front of all the other prisoners.
22 In late August 1992, the ICRC, Red Cross, came to Batkovic to
23 register the prisoners. The witness's special group of ten and some of
24 the very youngest and very oldest prisoners were taken out of the camp and
25 hidden in the forest or nearby sheds when this visit occurred. The
1 special group was also removed from camp when journalists came to visit.
2 On 11 September, the witness and his nine comrades were taken to
3 court in Bijeljina. He was ordered detained and then was taken to Doboj
4 where he was imprisoned in a hangar or warehouse. Serb prisoners, common
5 criminals and those who had refused to go to the front line, were allowed
6 access to the hangar where the witness and non-Serbs were kept. These
7 Serbs would come in any time day, night, and beat the non-Serb prisoners.
8 Only after the prisoner manager was changed in late December 1992 did this
9 situation change. While at Doboj, the witness and other prisoners had to
10 engage in forced labour, sometimes digging trenches under fire at the
11 front line.
12 On 27 January 1993 while on detail to dig trenches at the front
13 line, the witness was shot and wounded and hospitalised. He was
14 eventually released as part of a prisoner exchange on 21 April 1993.
15 The witness suffered numerous physical injuries and psychological
16 trauma during his detention for which he has continued to receive
17 treatment. The physical injuries included, among others, skull fracture,
18 stab wounds, cigarette burn scars on hands and body, fracture of right
19 arm, fractures to nose and jaw, broken ribs, damaged kidneys, and damage
20 to the nervous system.
21 Finally, the witness lists by name and position a number of the
22 Serb personnel at Susica and Batkovic camps.
23 That concludes my reading of the summary, Your Honours.
24 Q. Mr. Kuralic, your witness statement is in evidence and will be
25 considered by the Judges so we don't need to talk about everything that's
1 in there but I do want to clarify a few matters with you. First of all,
2 your municipality of Kalesija, can you tell the Court where that was
3 located. We know for example about Zvornik municipality. Can you tell us
4 where Kalesija was in relation to Zvornik?
5 A. Kalesija municipality is between Tuzla and Zvornik municipalities,
6 somewhere halfway between or, rather, Kalesija municipality is 10
7 kilometres away from Tuzla and 30 kilometres away from Zvornik.
8 Q. Now, in paragraph 7 of your statement, you talk about when
9 refugees from Zvornik from coming to your municipality. What was the
10 ethnicity of those refugees from Zvornik?
11 A. They were Muslims.
12 Q. I want to skip ahead to paragraph 16 in your statement,
13 Mr. Kuralic, this is after you were captured on the 30th of May, 1992, and
14 you indicated you were taken to the command post in Memici village and you
15 described some of the Chetniks who were there. Could you tell the Court,
16 were they wearing any kind of uniforms and, if so, what did those uniforms
17 look like?
18 A. They wore camouflage uniforms, green camouflage uniforms.
19 Q. And were there -- were they military or police or do you know?
20 A. The uniforms were military. They wore military uniforms.
21 Q. Did you know any of these men you saw there at the command post in
23 A. Initially, when I was captured, I didn't know anyone. When I was
24 taken to Memici, I met Radoslav Stupar, nicknamed Raci, who used to work
25 at the SUP in Kalesija and his brother, Slavoljub, who was my school mate.
1 Q. Now, before you were taken away from there, did you overhear any
2 discussion about what they were going to do with you?
3 A. Some of them were saying, "He ought to be used as a mine worker in
4 Serbia." Others said that I was good for forced labour.
5 Q. When you were taken away from there, who took you? Was it a
6 military person or a police person or a civilian?
7 A. Could you please repeat the question.
8 Q. When you were taken away from Memici to Vlasenica, who took you
9 away, was it a military man, a policeman, or civilian?
10 A. It was a lieutenant belonging to the unit that was positioned at
11 Memici. They were relieved, the fresh forces were -- arrived at Memici,
12 and that's when they took me to Vlasenica.
13 Q. Thank you. I want to go forward then to when you were taken to
14 Vlasenica. In paragraph 22 of your statement you talk about being taken
15 briefly to Han Pijesak and then to Vlasenica where you saw what you
16 describe as 350 POWs. What was the ethnicity of those 350 that you saw
18 A. I apologise. As far as I know, these people hailed from my
19 municipality. Most of them or perhaps all of them were Muslims.
20 Q. And how many -- approximately how many of those 350 did you know,
21 if they were from your municipality?
22 A. I apologise. Could the question please be repeated again? I am a
23 bit hard of hearing on my left ear.
24 Q. We'll see if we can turn up the speaker for you. Of the 350 whom
25 I think you said most were from your municipality --
1 A. I can't hear.
2 Q. I'm sorry, can you hear me now?
3 A. Yes, it's fine now.
4 Q. Of the 350 of whom you say many or most were from your
5 municipality, how many of those did you know, would you say you knew, all,
6 most, a few?
7 A. I knew most of these people. If I may correct myself, 350 to 400
8 people who were in that particular room mostly hailed from my
9 municipality, that is Kalesija and the neighbouring villages, so I knew
10 pretty well most of the people there.
11 Q. Can you tell us what the gender of those people were, was it men,
12 women, children, a mixture?
13 A. A mixture of them.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, gender and children is mixing up age and
15 gender and since children are only under one side of the --
16 MR. HANNIS: I understand, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- of the spectrum, could you please explore the
18 whole ...
19 MR. HANNIS: I will.
20 Q. Can you give us an estimate of how many of each, how many men, how
21 many women, and then with regard to children, if you can tell us if there
22 was any breakdown on the children between boys and girls?
23 A. I did not have the opportunity to assess the situation in order to
24 give you an estimate now. There were women, children, and elderly among
25 them. But I am not able to give you the percentages because I was unable
1 to count them and to arrive myself at a percentage.
2 Q. Based on that description, men, women, children, and elderly, were
3 any of them soldiers?
4 A. Among them were those who I knew were members of the police
5 reserve force. I also recognised among them people who were not members
6 of any army, but there were members of Territorial Defence, members of the
7 police reserve force.
8 Q. Do you recall approximately how many reserve police and TO
9 soldiers would have been in that group?
10 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you precisely how many there were.
11 There might have been up to ten of those younger men there.
12 Q. At the sports hall, who were the guards, were they civilians,
13 military, or police?
14 A. Police. Police.
15 Q. And what was the --
16 A. Military police.
17 Q. And what was the ethnicity of those military police?
18 A. They were Serbs.
19 Q. Thank you. I want to go into paragraph 27 where you talk about
20 arriving at Susica camp where there were already 300 people in the camp
21 where you were taken. Can you tell the Judges who those 300 people were?
22 First of all, do you know where they were from? Did you find that out?
23 A. I found out that they were from Vlasenica and the neighbouring
25 Q. And did you find out what their ethnicity was?
1 A. The ones I met, the ones I had the opportunity to talk to were
2 Muslims and I'm not aware of whether there were any other people there of
3 any other ethnicity.
4 Q. Were you able to find out whether they were soldiers or civilians
5 or a mixture?
6 A. In my opinion, they were mostly civilians, civilians who had been
7 taken from their homes and taken to these camps.
8 Q. Were they all men?
9 A. No, there were women and children as well.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm going forward to paragraph 29 of your
11 statement where you mention a man, Veljko Basic, who you describe as the
12 manager for all the camps in the area. Was this the first time you'd met
13 this person?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And can you tell the Judges how you found out about his name and
16 his position as manager of the camps in the area?
17 A. Upon leaving this camp, I received this information from somebody
18 from Vlasenica who knew him and who was there when I was taken and that
19 person provided me with his name and surname afterwards.
20 Q. This person had actually seen you taken away by this man; is that
22 A. Yes. He handcuffed me and put me in a car and drove me away to
24 Q. And in your statement, you say that was in Vlasenica. Do you know
25 where that prison in Vlasenica was? Was there any building nearby that it
1 was close to that you're aware of, any landmark you can tell us about?
2 A. I did not leave that prison at all, I did not go out. But
3 according to my assessment, it was not far from the town hall, the police
5 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 30, while you were at Vlasenica prison, who
6 were the guards there, were they civilians, police, or military?
7 A. Police.
8 Q. Did you ever see any Serb military or army personnel in the prison
9 while you were there?
10 A. You mean in the prison at Vlasenica?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Soldiers would come occasionally. Especially when they found out
13 I was there in that prison, they kept coming ever more often to torture
14 me, beat me up and generally take their frustrations out on me in
15 different ways. And on one occasion, one person took a knife out, pointed
16 it at me and said what eye I was using for targeting when I was shooting,
17 and then he threatened to destroy my eye or cut off my sex organs and then
18 one of his superiors came in and told him to go away.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would like to put a clarifying
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm sorry, I do apologise
23 for interrupting you but I would just like some information on -- I would
24 like to know exactly when you talk about police, you talk to us about
25 military police and now you're talking about police. Are you making a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 distinction between the two? How can you say that it was police and what
2 sort of police is it? Could you perhaps reply to that question?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. When I was taken to that
4 prison in Vlasenica, there were guards there from MUP, from the Ministry
5 of the Interior, so it was the civilian police and when I was at this
6 other place, there was the military police there so that's the difference.
7 MR. HANNIS: If I may, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. HANNIS:
10 Q. Can you describe for us --
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
12 MR. HANNIS:
13 Q. Can you describe for us is there any difference in the uniforms
14 between the regular policemen, the civilian police and military police?
15 A. The civilian police also had these camouflage uniforms but in
16 blue, whereas the military police had the same uniforms in green.
17 Q. With regard to the military police in camouflage, how were you
18 able to tell a military policeman in a green camouflage as a regular
19 military soldier in green camouflage, was there any difference in those
21 A. There was a difference. They had white belts and I could tell on
22 the basis of that.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, the Serb soldiers that you talked about coming
24 into the gaol, do you know how they were able to get in to see you?
25 A. I don't know. I don't know whether they were let in by the guards
1 just like that or whether they would force their way in. I don't know.
2 But at any rate, they would unlock the doors and come in. How they
3 happened to come in, I don't know.
4 Q. And do you know why they were seeking you out particularly?
5 A. Since on that occasion, the lieutenant or I can't remember what
6 his rank was, but when I was arrested, he was killed and when they found
7 out that I was there in that prison, they sought revenge and they wanted
8 to take their wrath out on me.
9 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 31, you talk about being taken from
10 Vlasenica to Batkovic. Who were the men who took you from Vlasenica to
11 Batkovic, were they civilians, police, military?
12 A. Military, I believe.
13 Q. In paragraph 33, you talk about arriving there and meeting Veljko
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I would indicate in the English there
16 is one typographical error in the fourth line at page 8, in the quote in
17 says, "You see, you sill look even worse." It should be "You will look
18 even worse" and I'm told that the B/C/S is correct.
19 Q. When you got to Batkovic, you mentioned 1.800 people in the
20 hangar. Again, can you tell us first of all, did you find out where these
21 people were from?
22 A. I found out obviously that there were people there from Brezevo
23 Polje, Brcko, Bijeljina, and of course Vlasenica, and up there around,
24 Kalesija, Zvornik. I don't know, maybe I forgot some.
25 Q. What was the ethnicity?
1 A. Muslim and Croat.
2 Q. And in the hangar where you were with the 1.800, was that all men?
3 A. Yes. There were women in the other hangar as well as the elderly
4 and the children.
5 Q. And the men that you were in the hangar with, do you know whether
6 they were soldiers or civilians?
7 A. What I know is that there were those four people who were members
8 of the armed forces and I don't know about any others. They had the same
9 treatment I had.
10 Q. Yes. You mentioned being part of a group of ten that seemed to be
11 selected out for special treatment. When you said there were four people
12 who were members of the armed forces, you mean four in addition to
14 A. Yes, I -- no, I myself plus three. I do apologise.
15 Q. And I don't know, do you have your statement in front of you? In
16 paragraph 36, you list the other nine men that were in your special group
17 of ten. Can you tell us which three of those were soldiers as well as
19 A. Nedim Mustarcevic, Beretka 1; Fadil Alihodzic, Praga; and Sabin
20 Mustafic, Vodenicar.
21 Q. Do you know why you ten were chosen for this especially harsh
23 A. Us four and afterwards, the others, were added as well because
24 initially there were not ten of news this group so after several days,
25 other people were added to the group. But they called us Alija's
1 fighters, as soldiers who were fighting against Republika Srpska.
2 Q. Do you know any of these other nine men before you got to
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now, the --
6 MS. LOUKAS: Just before Mr. Hannis proceeds, and I don't know
7 whether or not I'm in a better position to see the witness than
8 Mr. Hannis, but perhaps an inquiry might be made as to his physical
9 comfort at this point.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. Sir, would you like to take a break now? Are you okay to go on
12 for a little while? Whatever you prefer.
13 A. I'd like to have a short break, if possible. I need to stretch my
14 legs a little bit.
15 MR. HANNIS: Certainly, if that's fine with the Court.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's fine. Mr. Hannis, could you give us an
17 indication as far as how quickly you proceed so that we can try to make
18 some ...
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have half a page here to go so 15, 20
20 minutes perhaps. 15 to 20 minutes, I believe, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then we'll have a break of ten minutes now which
22 is a short break, and after that Mr. Hannis will try to finish the
23 examination. And then we'll have a bit of a longer break which takes
24 approximately half an hour so ten minutes now then another perhaps 20
25 minutes to go, and then a longer break of half an hour.
1 Would that suit your needs?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until a quarter past 10.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.04 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.18 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, please proceed.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Kuralic, when we broke, I was asking you about the ten of you
9 in the special group. You mentioned that four of you were soldiers. Do
10 you know what the other six men did or were that might have caused them to
11 be put in this special group of Alija's fighters?
12 A. I'll start in the right order. Alija Gusalic, who was riding a
13 horse in Bijeljina and then he threw a bomb in a Serb-owned cafe and
14 that's why he had been declared as one of Alija's fighters. ...
15 And then Ejub Smajic was a butcher, one of the famous people,
16 well-known people in Bijeljina. He had a fairly good life. He was well
17 off, but he had a considerable amount of -- considerable capital and
18 that's why he was beaten up and that's why he was put in this group.
19 Amer Berbic, I don't know who it was by -- on the Serb side but
20 they said that he was gouging Serbs' eyes and that's why he was given the
21 nickname of "the Serb cutter," and Kamberi and another one tried to run
22 away from the camp and after a short time, they were captured again and of
23 course they were put in this group as runaways. That's why they were
24 called runaways.
25 Alijaz Okanovic, they found a list of people on him. He might
1 have been writing down the names of some people in the camp in order to, I
2 don't know, maybe get in touch with someone else to tell them they were
3 alive, or -- and I don't know what and he was found with that list and
4 that's why he was placed in the same group with us and he was tortured in
5 the same way.
6 Q. I want to go back in your statement, you talked about the ten
7 specials being taken out and hidden when the Red Cross came to register
8 prisoners. Were you ten the only ones that were hidden when that
10 A. We were taken to special places, but I also found out that elderly
11 people ages 60 and upwards and minors as well were also hidden away in
12 other places when the Red Cross people or journalists came along.
13 Q. You mentioned that that happened with your group as well when
14 journalists came to the camp. Do you know -- do you remember how many
15 times this happened between the Red Cross visiting and journalists coming
16 to the camp where your group was taken out and hidden?
17 A. That month, the period of time that I spent at Batkovic, perhaps
18 it happened some four, five, or six times I was taken out of the camp.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, could I ask, unless you'd still have
20 further questions on this issue of hiding prisoners.
21 MR. HANNIS: I do have --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay, then I'll wait.
23 MR. HANNIS: -- if I may
24 Q. You mentioned in paragraph 35 about the Serbs putting in names of
25 Serbs to fool the Red Cross, and in your supplemental information, you
1 expanded on that a little bit and said that Serbs actually substituted as
2 prisoners. Can you tell the Court about that, how did you find out about
3 that, and what were they doing exactly to hide the fact that you existed?
4 A. Well, they would bring other people in to take our places, most
5 probably those people were of Serb nationality, in order to cover up for
6 our absence from the camp in order to make sure that there was the same
7 number of people present. And of course another person would introduce
8 themselves as myself, they would say that -- my name and my data, et
9 cetera, and the Red Cross would take the data on that occasion and I would
10 be recorded as present but I wasn't there, it was another person posing as
12 Q. Do you know why they wouldn't want the Red Cross to see the real
13 Mirsad Kuralic?
14 A. Well, it's clear. Obviously, they had to hide me, not just myself
15 but the other nine people who were with me in order to hide us from the
16 public opinion because they could not show us, the state we were in.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Judge Orie, that was the last question I had on that topic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have one question. In your statement, you
21 said, "The way they managed to get around not registering us was to put
22 the names of some Serbs instead." Now, you explained to us that not the
23 names of some Serbs were registered instead of your names, but that your
24 names were registered and that they posed as if they were you. That's not
25 exactly the same. But before we further try to understand, I'd like to
1 ask you, how do you know exactly what they did in the paperwork?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to whether I know exactly, I
3 don't know whether there was a mistake when it was recorded, but when we
4 were taken out of the camp, other ten people were brought in. I don't
5 know whether they were Serbs or who they were. I do not know. But they
6 were brought in and these people were introduced to the Red Cross under
7 our names, and that's how we were recorded because upon my return to the
8 camp, I got this card, the Red Cross card.
9 I do apologise, I don't know how this misunderstanding came about
10 when my statement was recorded but what I've just said is the truth.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Other persons --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So it was not Serb names, there were
13 people who were brought in to pose as us and they could make the numbers
14 in that way.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I now better understand. Thank you for your
17 Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Kuralic, I want to go next to paragraph 38 in your statement
20 where you talked about being taken on the 11th of September to the court
21 building in Bijeljina. Did you get any documents or paperwork in addition
22 to the letter sending you to court? Did you get any documents or
23 paperwork in connection with court proceedings?
24 A. I got an invitation for a hearing on the 11th of September and
25 since, in the morning of the 11th of September, they came and called the
1 names of all ten of us and they put us in an armoured van and they -- and
2 then we were taken to the court building at Bijeljina and we got out of
3 the van and were taken for this hearing, and I got a kind of written paper
4 sentencing me to spend one month in prison until the final sentence was
5 passed. And then I went to the court once again and we were taken to
6 Doboj in a van.
7 Q. In addition to that paper, in paragraph 41 - I'm skipping ahead in
8 time a bit - after you were shot and hospitalised, you mentioned that on
9 the 1st of March you were taken back to court and the judge issued another
10 paper. Do you still have any of those papers from your court appearances?
11 A. Unfortunately, I have nothing. I don't even have a letter of
12 discharge from when I was in hospital. On that day, for example, when the
13 day for the exchange of prisoners came, I was asked to relinquish all
14 those documents and they were taken away from me.
15 Q. You're talking about the 21st of April, 1993 when you were
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And who took the papers from you?
19 A. Before we set off, I was driven to the courthouse in Bijeljina,
20 and on that occasion I was asked to relinquish all the other documents
21 except for the International Red Cross card. But everything have having
22 to do with the court or the hospital documents, all that was taken away.
23 Q. By whom? Who were the people that you had to give them to?
24 A. Well, a person who went with us, it was a person who also took me
25 over as it were, and drove us to this exchange, and there was this deputy
1 of this KP centre at Bijeljina and he took the documents from me but I
2 don't know who he gave them to. He ordered me to empty my pockets and
3 give him everything.
4 Q. Thank you. Next I want to go to paragraph 43 through 45.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Judge Hanoteau would have a question.
6 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, Judge.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You've mentioned that in the
8 beginning of September, you appeared before that tribunal. I would just
9 like to know whether there were any judges there, prosecutor, before whom
10 did you appear in the course of that preliminary hearing?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know whether
12 the person there was a prosecutor or someone else. I appeared before the
13 court. There was a judge there, but I wasn't familiar with the panel of
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And was it a civilian court or a
16 military court or could you give us any indication about that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that following
18 this hearing, I was put away at the KP Dom in Bijeljina. Apparently this
19 must have been a court of justice because that was place where criminals
20 were sent, those who had committed criminal offences, rape, murder, and so
21 on. So in my opinion, those were however members of the military units so
22 that's why I believe it was a military court.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Was the judge hearing a military
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What was he dressed like?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can't remember.
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And you've mentioned earlier that
4 you were in a pitiful state and one can imagine that, considering the
5 treatment that was being dispensed to you by those wardens. Had there
6 been no reaction in court on the part of the judge, for example?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not sure that I understand your
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You mentioned that you were in a
10 very bad physical state, you had received lots of blows and your physical
11 appearance was pretty bad. And the judge before whom you appeared, didn't
12 he look surprised or did he ask for any explanation or did he say nothing
13 at all?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he didn't say anything at all.
15 I was simply served a sentence for a one-month pre-trial detention and
16 that's where I was to stay until the final decision.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And this procedure was about the
18 death of an official, or what were you being accused of?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was charged with having acted in
20 violation of the laws of Republika Srpska and waging a war against
21 Republika Srpska; however, I'm not aware of the details that they put in
22 the charge.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. We will have another witness,
25 Your Honour, later on who talks about the court in Bijeljina and that may
1 address some of the questions you've raised.
2 Q. Mr. Kuralic, I want to ask you about your injuries that you talk
3 about in paragraphs 43 through 45. Related to that, you say that you were
4 shot on the 27th of January, 1993 and you were hospitalised at that time.
5 But apart from that he time when you went to the hospital, between the
6 30th of May when you were captured and the 27th of January, 1993, after
7 all those tortures and stabbings, cuttings and burnings and beatings, did
8 you receive any medical treatment from your Serb captors in Vlasenica,
9 Batkovic or Doboj?
10 A. It was only on my arrival in Doboj the warden of the penitentiary
11 institution there would not receive us unless we underwent a medical
12 examination. Up until that point, I had received no medical treatments
13 whatsoever. I had to do my best. I was left to my devices, use salt
14 or -- I used my clothes that I would wet and then put bandages on my
15 wounds. But even at that point that I was telling you about, I was only
16 medically examined and I wasn't given any medical care. One could
17 therefore say that until the 27th of January when I was taken to the
18 hospital, I had not been given any medical treatment.
19 Q. Are you still suffering any effects, physical or psychological as
20 a result of what happened to you during your detention?
21 A. Of course I am. I'm suffering from the consequences of what had
22 happened to me, and every day I am faced with new medical problems.
23 Q. I understand from your medical condition -- are you also suffering
24 from PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder?
25 A. Of course I am. I suffer from lack of sleep, and then when I do
1 fall asleep, I suffer from the nightmares taking me back to what I had
2 gone through.
3 Q. In addition to the injuries you listed in your statement, have
4 you, since your release, been diagnosed with some kind of back problem
5 that you relate to what happened to you during your detentions?
6 A. I think that this can be found in my documentation. On my return
7 from the camp, I went -- I underwent a detailed medical examination and
8 that's when I was diagnosed also with a back problem.
9 Q. What's the nature of that problem?
10 A. Three vertebra are cracked and now I am supposed to undergo a
11 spine operation. My left leg and arm go numb and I am supposed to operate
12 them, I am supposed to operate my spine, my left ear was operated back in
13 1995, but I will have to undergo another operation. That also applies to
14 my nose.
15 Q. In connection with your injuries, do you take any pain medication?
16 A. Of course I do. I have them here with me, the drugs. Do I need
17 to show them to you?
18 Q. No, that's not necessary. I want to ask you in connection with
19 the PTSD and your medication, have you found those to ever cause you
20 problems with your memory?
21 A. I do have difficulties remembering things; however, as far as the
22 events at these camps are concerned, they cannot be erased from my memory.
23 It is concerning other matters that I forget things, I tend to forget
24 things very often. I have been doing some tests examining my head as
25 well, and I don't know what the findings will be.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Mr. Kuralic. Those are all the questions
2 I have for you at this time. The Defence counsel may want to ask you some
3 questions or we may take a break now.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, I suggest that we'll start
5 cross-examination after the long break. But before we move to that, I
6 would have one very small question, Mr. Kuralic.
7 I find in your statement that you said that prior to the war,
8 your village was an ethnically mixed village consisting of all
9 nationalities with about 30 per cent of them being Serbs.
10 Could you tell us what the approximate percentage of Muslims,
11 Croats, others were?
12 MR. HANNIS: And I should note in relation to that, Your Honour,
13 that was one of the corrections we made in the supplemental page when it
14 was referring to the municipality as opposed to the village.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But even if it is about a municipality, yes, I
16 did not pay sufficient care to that. I received it only this morning, of
18 Could you tell us in your municipality where you said
19 approximately 30 per cent of them being Serbs, could you tell us what the
20 percentage of the other nationalities or ethnicities was?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I used to know the exact percentages
22 before, how many Muslims there were, how many Croats there were, how many
23 Roma there were, how many Serbs there were. There was about 50 per cent
24 of Muslims, then a certain percentage of Croats, a certain percentage of
25 the Roma people, and then about 20 per cent were those categorised
1 as "others."
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, may I just ask for a clarification, you said
3 about 30 per cent Serbs, about 50 per cent Muslims which makes 80 per
4 cent, then you say there were Croats and Romas, and then there were some
5 20 per cent others, that brings us above 100 per cent.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I must have been
7 misunderstood. It is under the 20 per cent that I factored Croats, Roma
8 and others in. I apologise.
9 JUDGE ORIE: It's perfectly clear now and that's the most
10 important thing.
11 We will have a break, I would suggest, for half an hour. We'll
12 adjourn until a quarter past 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.21 a.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuralic, you will now be cross-examined by
16 Ms. Loukas who is counsel for the Defence.
17 Ms. Loukas, you may proceed.
18 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. I can indicate that
19 during the break I had a discussion with Mr. Hannis in relation to some
20 medical material and it's proposed jointly that that material be placed
21 before the Trial Chamber.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If that is a joint conclusion by the parties.
23 MR. HANNIS: I have no objection to that being presented to the
24 Trial Chamber, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then ...
1 MS. LOUKAS: And I can indicate, Your Honour, that I have the
2 relevant B/C/S copies of the -- of the material --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Loukas, before we continue, would it not be
4 proper that -- if it's just put to us then we have it in front of us, but
5 if all kind of further medical details would be discussed in this
6 courtroom, I would be a bit concerned about the privacy of this witness.
7 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour. I can indicate that I propose
8 to put these documents forward and merely to get the witness to confirm
9 that these are his medical records.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Ms. Loukas, since you are going to ask
11 questions to the witness about them, I take it that you'd like to have
12 them assigned an exhibit number.
13 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour, yes. And I can indicate that
14 what we have currently is the B/C/S copies so that the witness can confirm
15 in relation to the B/C/S copies and the English copies will also be coming
16 shortly, as I understand it.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The translation to arrive soon. Yes, Madam
19 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Defence Exhibit D43 under seal.
20 Cross-examined by Ms. Loukas:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Kuralic, you have a copy of certain of your medical
22 records there. Can you confirm for the Trial Chamber that they are indeed
23 your medical records and if that takes a little bit more time to leaf
24 through them, you may continue to do that.
25 A. I can confirm that these are my medical records. If need be, I
1 have other records here with me, for instance, the documentation relating
2 to some medical problems that arose at a later stage.
3 Q. Yes, thank you for that, Mr. Kuralic, and I take it you've
4 discussed these medical records with Mr. Hannis for the -- these further
5 medical records with Mr. Hannis for the Prosecution.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, just in relation to the statement that's an exhibit before
8 the Court, and that is Prosecution Exhibit P642, if that statement could
9 be placed before you. Now, just in relation to paragraph 45 in your
10 statement, Mr. Kuralic, you refer to ongoing treatment for psychological
11 trauma. If you were to be asked through the Trial Chamber to produce any
12 further records in relation to this psychological aspect, I take it they
13 could be produced to the Court; correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Now, also just in relation to your statement at paragraph 29 --
16 sorry, that's paragraph 22, you refer there to POWs, that is prisoners of
17 war, and you gave some evidence in relation to that earlier today. Can
18 you just indicate to the Trial Chamber what you understand by the term
19 "prisoners of war."
20 A. I apologise, I've received an English version of the statement.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph 22 we are at.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat your
24 MS. LOUKAS:
25 Q. Yes. My question was -- here it is. In relation to paragraph 22,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you refer there to POWs, that is prisoners of war and you gave some
2 evidence in relation to that earlier today. Can you just indicate to the
3 Trial Chamber what you understand by the term "prisoner of war."
4 A. Would you please be more specific.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuralic, I'll try to put the question to you.
6 Ms. Loukas would like to know if the statement says prisoners of war, what
7 are prisoners of war in your view?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my opinion, one can distinguish
9 between prisoners of war who were members of a military and civilian
10 victims that were taken prisoner. Generally speaking, all of these are
11 prisoners of war regardless of whether they were captured in their homes
12 or elsewhere because the entire territory was affected by war and that's
13 why I merely found it more -- I found it easier to use the term "prisoners
14 of war."
15 JUDGE ORIE: Do I then understand that you consider prisoners of
16 war all those who were taken prisoner during and -- the war and in the
17 territory where the war took place?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, please proceed.
20 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. No further questions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuralic, I first have to ask Mr. Hannis whether
22 there are any further questions.
23 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuralic, you are aware that your written
25 statement is in evidence so the fact that you've testified in this court
1 for approximately one hour does not mean that that's all the information
2 you've given to us because we have your statement and we'll look carefully
3 to its content as well. You further have answered questions by the
4 Prosecution, you've answered a few questions by the Defence, and a few
5 questions put to you by the Bench.
6 I'd like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague because
7 this Chamber is aware that because of your state of health, that it might
8 not have been easy for you and you also testified that not only your
9 physical health is affected by the events now more than 10 years ago, as
10 you described them, but also that you're still suffering psychologically
11 from it.
12 Therefore, we'd like to thank you thoroughly for coming to The
13 Hague and we wish you first of all, to the extent possible, that your
14 treatment will improve your health and that you will have a safe trip home
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you for having
17 invited me to testify before this Tribunal.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Madam Usher, would you please escort Mr. Kuralic out of the
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, I did understand that Mr. Margetts will
23 take the next witness; is that a correct understanding?
24 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour. I was waiting to hear
25 from the Bench whether you wanted us to resume immediately with the next
1 witness or if we could start with him tomorrow morning.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I think we start with the exhibits -- no, I think we
3 dealt with all the exhibits, Madam Registrar, because there were only very
4 limited number, so we have dealt already with the -- apart from that, we
5 have not yet heard from the Defence whether there were any objections.
6 They have just been assigned numbers and the same is true for D43 which
7 has been assigned a number, but I do understand at least that for D43,
8 there is no objection.
9 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honour, and there's no objection
10 to the Prosecution Exhibits.
11 Just in relation to the scheduling, of course, if I might
12 interpose in relation to that question at this point, Mr. Hannis of
13 course, inquired this morning in relation to a request by Mr. Margetts to
14 commence the evidence in chief tomorrow. I can indicate that I have no
15 opposition to that in view of the fact that there is only the two
16 witnesses scheduled this week and on my part, I'd also like to put in a
17 request, I'm not entirely certain as to how long the evidence in chief
18 would take, but Your Honour, if it might proceed by way of evidence in
19 chief in relation to the next witness or Tuesday, and my cross-examination
20 on the Wednesday, Your Honour.
21 I can indicate in relation to one of the documents in particular,
22 the translation is not complete. As I understand and it's a fairly
23 significant document. That's one aspect, but in terms of the sort of
24 scheduling in terms of the -- both the Prosecution and the Defence dealing
25 with this week, it would be of great assistance to be able to deal with
1 the next witness in that way.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I can imagine. On the other hand, there is
3 still a lot of work to be done also by the Judges apart from this case,
4 and therefore, of course, in looking at all the messages we received, at
5 least the Judges were scheduling more extensive meetings for Thursday
6 morning and we'd not very much would like to give that up. I mean if
7 there is any chance that the next witness would not be finished by next
8 Wednesday, both chief and cross --
9 MS. LOUKAS: There's no question, Your Honour -- sorry, if I might
10 interpose at that point. If it were to be broken up in that way, the
11 Tuesday and the Wednesday, I could guarantee that Your Honour that we
12 would have no problem about going into Thursday.
13 JUDGE ORIE: That's not the problem. We want to start now, so
14 that we have Thursday available for other matters unless the parties could
15 guarantee that we would finish by Wednesday and then of course we could
16 delay the start of the next witness.
17 Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, when I had asked Mr. Margetts for his
19 estimate on time in direct, he indicated to me it was between 3 and 5
20 hours, depending partly on what resolution he and Ms. Loukas were able to
21 reach using the 89(F) procedure, and I'm not sure what status that is.
22 What I understand Ms. Loukas to say is that she believes if we started
23 direct tomorrow and Mr. Margetts finished all his direct by the end of the
24 day tomorrow, that we would be done with that witness by the end of the
25 day on Wednesday.
1 Perhaps I could call and ask Mr. Margetts, he's on extension ...
2 JUDGE ORIE: I mean the Chamber would be willing to take the risk
3 because there are some procedural matters pending as well.
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts is on his way. Perhaps I better wait.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, while we're waiting, may I ask another
7 question regarding a prior witness, Mr. Bjelobrk. There was an
8 outstanding question on whether he would be required to return. I don't
9 know if Your Honours have had a chance to reach a final decision on that
10 matter, but we're trying to figure out whether we need to try and schedule
12 JUDGE ORIE: It's -- I can tell you it's constantly on our mind.
13 It's one of the procedural issues we'd like to deal with. We'd like to
14 find time for this week perhaps we could provide the parties with a list
15 of what to expect.
16 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
17 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Margetts.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Good morning.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning. We are discussing at this moment the
21 scheduling for this week. We could start with the next witness now,
22 although I do understand that you'd prefer to start tomorrow; is that
24 MR. MARGETTS: We would prefer to start tomorrow. There is a
25 small amount of material that we'd like to show to the witness this
1 afternoon, it's not absolutely essential that we show that material to him
2 this afternoon before commencing. The outstanding issue is whether or not
3 it will be substantially 89(F) or alternatively most of the evidence will
4 be viva voce, and we need to resolve that with the Defence. If we were to
5 start, I think we'd need probably an hour to resolve that issue and
6 prepare the appropriate material.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I also did understand that your estimate on how much
8 time you'd need was anything between two and five hours.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
10 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to that, Your Honour, I can indicate
11 that as I've indicated previously, and I've already communicated this to
12 Mr. Margetts, I certainly have no objection to Mr. Margetts commencing
13 tomorrow and my further application is that I commence on the -- the
14 Wednesday. In relation, of course, to the issue of the usage of 89(F) and
15 the extent of the usage, obviously that's a question that I would need
16 some time to sit down with Mr. Margetts and sort through -- and it is
17 rather voluminous material, I should indicate, Your Honour, that we both
18 need to go through and specifically clarify what can proceed under 89(F)
19 and to what the Defence would have an objection to proceeding by way of
20 89(F). So there is those clarifying matters to be dealt with.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand.
22 If Mr. Margetts were to start tomorrow, and if you would need
23 nevertheless five hours, then he would not finish by tomorrow because we
24 only have four effective hours a day. That would bring us quite well into
25 next Wednesday. Therefore, it's still to be seen whether the
1 cross-examination could be concluded on that same Wednesday and we also
2 still have a we have a number of procedural issues to deal with. If today
3 we would have another -- well, let's say, one and a half hours, close to
4 two hours, tomorrow would have four hours, the day after tomorrow would
5 have four hours, that makes a total of nine and a half. If, by the
6 manoeuvreing of the parties, we finally would end up in a situation where
7 we would have to sit on Thursday, where the examination-in-chief at its
8 maximum is assessed at -- estimated at 5 hours, then we would then we
9 would cut the hearings in small bits and pieces which the Chamber is not
10 quite happy with since we want to know if only two witnesses then we have,
11 in our view, at least, nine and a half hours from now on, we would have
12 our Thursday available to schedule other matters.
13 Therefore, if we would not start at this moment, I would like to
14 have a clear commitment of the parties on what the scheduling would look
15 like, whether we would finish by Wednesday; if not, the Chamber would
16 prefer to start right away.
17 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: As an immediate solution, what we also could do is to
19 have a break now for one hour and see if the parties could come to such an
20 agreement on how to proceed that we'll finish by Wednesday. We'd then
21 start tomorrow. If you do not agree then after one hour from now on or
22 after 45 minutes, we just restart.
23 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, I think that speaking from the
24 Prosecution's point of view, we could resume in 45 minutes and we'd be
25 able to give that indication then.
1 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, well, two matters. Your Honour
2 asked firstly for a clear commitment from the Defence perspective, I think
3 we're in a position to give that clear commitment firstly, but secondly,
4 the approach that Your Honour suggests in relation to Mr. Margetts and I
5 spending the next 45 minutes trying to sort out what can and cannot be
6 dealt with in 89(F) may be productive and I'm happy to undertake that
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So let's then -- we'll then now adjourn until
9 12.30, then we'll hear from the parties whether there is a joint proposal
10 for the next witness concluding not later than Wednesday, preferably one
11 hour before the Wednesday hearing ends so that we would have some time for
12 procedural matters so we could not have to reconvene on Thursday just for
13 the procedural matters. So we'll hear from your proposals. If there's no
14 proposal which would meet the requirements of the Chamber then we would
15 start at 12.30 with the next witness.
16 MS. LOUKAS: If Your Honour please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll adjourn until 12.30.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.47 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.36 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is it the Prosecution or the Defence that will take
21 the floor first?
22 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, since our submissions are likely to be
23 the same, I'm willing to take the floor. We've reached substantial
24 agreement in respect of the 89(F) material and it's expected that the
25 Prosecution will be able to complete its examination-in-chief by the
1 second break tomorrow.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And Ms. Loukas, 89(F) sometimes asks for more
3 time for cross-examination than the 60 per cent guidance.
4 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour, yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Would that -- in this case, how much time do you
6 expect it will take you.
7 MS. LOUKAS: As Mr. Margetts indicated, our discussions were
8 fruitful and we were able to come to some considerable agreement in
9 relation to certain matters and a substantial agreement in relation to
10 89(F). On this question of an assessment of time, it's my assessment,
11 Your Honour, that if Mr. Margetts finishes within the first two sessions
12 tomorrow, I would come well within the first two sessions on Wednesday --
13 and leaving sufficient time for the housekeeping matters.
14 There's one matter that I would raise in relation to a specific
15 portion of the statement, there's a matter to which I object to in its
16 entirety and, Your Honour, that's a matter that obviously would have to be
17 argued before Your Honours. In those circumstances, I'm happy to make
18 that argument now or leave that for tomorrow morning but I wanted to place
19 before Your Honours that there was this question of a specific portion
20 that I objected to in its entirety.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, any problem to have this dealt with at
22 this very moment?
23 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, no problem.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then Ms. Loukas, you may proceed. I'm just trying to
25 find the material for the next witness.
1 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour, I will wait until Your Honour
2 has the statement before you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I've got it in front of me.
4 MS. LOUKAS: Now, Your Honour, in relation -- Your Honours, in
5 relation to the statement itself.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the statement of the 24th, 25th of April, 2003.
7 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, that's the statement of the 24th of
8 April, 2003, and the 25th of April, 2003.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MS. LOUKAS: Now, if Your Honour turn to page 2 of the statement
11 and carrying over to the top of page 3, there's -- what's contained in the
12 statement is from this particular witness in relation to what his
13 perception of the role of the speaker of the Assembly was, that's
14 contained in the last paragraph of page 2 and continues there.
15 Additionally, if one goes to the following paragraph, the first full
16 paragraph on the top of page 3, there's this question of the highest
17 ranking or what have you, toward the middle of the paragraph there.
18 Now, Your Honour, just in relation to -- and more specifically in
19 relation to those matters contained in the bottom paragraph of page 2 and
20 the top paragraph of page 3, I would object to opinion evidence coming
21 from this witness in relation to the position of Mr. Krajisnik and his
22 roles and responsibilities as speaker of the Assembly. It's quite clear
23 from the statement that the discussions that this witness had with
24 Mr. Krajisnik in relation to the construction of a road, Your Honour, this
25 witness is not in the position of being some sort of expert on the role
1 and responsibilities of the speaker of the parliament or the president of
2 the Assembly and, Your Honour, this sort of evidence, Your Honour, does
3 not come into a category that would be of assistance to the Trial Chamber.
4 The sort of evidence in relation to the roles and responsibility
5 and the hierarchy in relation to those roles and responsibilities is, of
6 course, evidence that may come from an expert witness in relation to the
7 political structure and what have you, firstly; and secondly, factual
8 witnesses who actually have an insight into the inside workings, as it
9 were, of the processes.
10 So in my submission, Your Honours, evidence from somebody
11 discussing a -- a road construction project and then a group of
12 dignitaries attending, as it were, a function of the construction of a
13 tunnel and, bearing in mind the political relation of the situation, I
14 would submit that that's not the sort of evidence that's going to assist
15 the Trial Chamber in assessing the questions that are very much in the
16 forefront the Trial Chamber's considerations. And in view of the fact
17 that this is witness that cannot give expert evidence in relation to this
18 very important question and cannot give the necessary sort of factual
19 detail in relation to the questions that are being considered by the Trial
20 Chamber, but rather gives impressionistic opinions and the generalised
21 view of a -- of a layperson on the questions and not somebody with any
22 particular insight into the processes that Your Honours need evidence
23 upon. To give evidence of this general, speculative, impressionistic
24 nature, Your Honour, is evidence that the Defence would object to most
25 strenuously and we seek its deletion and seek that it not be introduced by
1 the Prosecution.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we don't present this witness as a
4 witness in the first category that Ms. Loukas referred to, that being an
5 expert in political matters. What we present him as is a factual witness
6 who does have an insight into the inside working of the governmental
7 processes and that's the second category that Ms. Loukas acknowledged
8 would be a relevant -- in that second category, witnesses of that nature
9 would be able to give relevant evidence. Why we say that is the
10 following: He was a member of the communist party from 1968. From 1991,
11 he was a member of the SDP. Between 1986 and 1992, he was the general
12 manager of the public construction company for railway tracks from Tuzla
13 to Zvornik which, I don't know relatively what scale that project was, but
14 it was certainly one of the major projects that was ongoing in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war and he was the general manager of that
17 He's also someone that took a leading -- that had a leading role
18 in the Zvornik community. He states -- in the statement it refers to the
19 fact that this project that he was managing required him to regularly
20 report to the Prime Minister Jure Pelivan and the minister of finance so
21 in that role which we can only see the details of it from the statement
22 here, he was intimately involved at a very high level in the workings of
23 the Bosnia-Herzegovinian state, and in that capacity, he had occasion to
24 invite dignitaries and participate with dignitaries in early 1991 in the
25 meeting that is described in his statement. Effectively he was
1 responsible for inviting people because he understood who it was that were
2 the decision makers in the Bosnia and Herzegovinian state.
3 It won't be the first time that the Court has heard evidence of
4 nature to which the way in which the state was organised and in fact the
5 way in which the state has functioned. This witness is able to give the
6 Court factual information as to how, in fact, the accused exercised his
7 role in the Bosnia and Herzegovinian parliament during a period which is
8 relevant for our indictment and substantial matters were attended to,
9 substantial events took place at the time that the accused was the speaker
10 of the Bosnia-Herzegovinian parliament and this witness is able to
11 indicate to the Court the power that was in the hands of the accused at
12 that time. And on that basis, we say this is relevant evidence and this
13 is a matter that we should be able to proceed on tomorrow.
14 We say what weight that the Court will assign this evidence
15 ultimately will depend obviously on many different factors that we need
16 not go into. One of which, of course, will be whether or not this
17 evidence is corroborated by other witnesses that have come before the
18 Court, and we say it is. And we say it's the exercise of power by the
19 accused during this period is a critical issue for the Court and
20 accordingly, we apply to ask questions about this topic viva voce
22 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honours, if I might brief respond to the points
23 made by Mr. Margetts.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may briefly do so.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Firstly, the basis that Mr. Margetts puts forward for the
2 admission of this sort of evidence is that -- well, he began with the
3 witness was a member of the communist party. I don't think that in any
4 way assists the Trial Chamber. The second point was that he was the
5 general manager of a public construction company. Again, I don't know
6 that that, in any way, assists the Trial Chamber in making the
7 determination that I've sought from Your Honours.
8 Mr. Margetts also raises the point that this particular witness
9 was reporting to the then-Prime Minister and also to the Minister for
10 Finance and, importantly, certainly not reporting to Mr. Krajisnik, that's
11 clear from his statement.
12 Additionally, Mr. Margetts makes the point that the witness was in
13 a position of inviting dignitaries on the basis of their being decision
14 makers in the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Being in a position to invite
15 dignitaries in relation to what's perceived to be potential decision
16 makers is simply not enough for the Trial Chamber to receive this as
17 probative evidence in relation to questions that are before the Trial
19 Then Mr. Margetts goes on to indicate that the -- this witness
20 would be able to produce factual information as to the role played by the
21 president of the Assembly but this witness can give Your Honours no more
22 than what Your Honours are already aware of: Mr. Krajisnik was the
23 president of the Assembly. In addition --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, you follow the approach taken by
25 Mr. Margetts that you are at this moment, you are very much expressing
1 yourself on the weight to be given to the evidence. As far as the
2 admissibility issue is concerned, I understood you well that Mr. Margetts,
3 before he entered into a lot of details, said that this was a witness who
4 could testify about relevant facts and your position was that he was a
5 witness that could give us irrelevant opinions which you either
6 characterised as impressionistic, I mean that's the issue. And now to say
7 if you really have in mind that this Chamber would consider the fact that
8 someone is a general manager of construction companies who invites
9 dignitaries being as such relevant for hearing his testimony, I would have
10 at least some 500 candidates who all -- of course it should all be seen in
11 the context and what you both started doing is to create the context and
12 to tell the Court that the weight to be given to all these facts was such
13 that we should admit the matters -- the -- this statement in evidence.
14 I think you're mixing up the admissibility test and what to do
15 with it.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, with respect, the point that I
17 seek to make in relation to evidence of this nature is that I think
18 Your Honour quite rightly characterises the fact that there are questions
19 to be determined.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, you tell us that the could bring us
21 nothing more than Mr. Krajisnik was the speaker of the Assembly. Of
22 course that's still to be seen. It's not -- it's not that, I would say,
24 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, if I might just briefly --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Briefly, yes.
1 MS. LOUKAS: Add to that point that Your Honour has made. The
2 point is this: Whilst this can be categorised as merely a discussion on
3 the question of weight. It is more than that, because my submissions,
4 Your Honour, are directed to the fact that there is no weight that Your
5 Honours could possibly bring to these matters that are contained within
6 the statement. It is on that basis that I ask Your Honours to not allow
7 this evidence. Whilst it could be categorised as merely a discussion
8 about weight, when one considers the factors to be considered,
9 Your Honours, my submission is you would not allow this into evidence
10 because there is no weight that can be attached to the evidence sought to
11 be put forward by the Prosecution through this witness.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Loukas, and that would start exactly where,
13 where the weight is missing, is that starting with "My perception of the
14 role of the speaker."
15 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And that would go until where, exactly so we know
17 where, upon what part to concentrate.
18 MS. LOUKAS: Well it goes from "My perception ..."
19 until "President of the Presidency, the speaker, and the Prime Minister."
20 Then that sentence --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see where -- you're still -- "It is my
22 perception that," then three lines later you say it's the speaker and the
23 Prime Minister. That's where it stops. Then it gains a bit of weight
24 again after that or "my discussion with Krajisnik was strictly business
25 related and involved," seems rather factual.
1 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I have no problem with factual evidence,
2 it's this opinion-based evidence that I object to.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's just the first four lines or is there
4 another portion? Yes.
5 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. I'll just check the next
6 paragraph, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, and just in relation to that,
9 there is there's just a sentence in the middle of the very next
10 paragraph, "Momcilo Krajisnik was the highest ranked of our visitors."
11 Again, that's this ranking concept is in my view purely, at this point,
12 baseless opinion.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Impressionistic --
14 MS. LOUKAS: But the main -- impressionistic and what have you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. That was the other line,
16 Ms. Loukas?
17 MS. LOUKAS: It's basically those lines that I've identified on
18 page 2 and the line I've identified on page 3.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Mr. Margetts, I hardly can imagine that you would still like to
21 add something.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm just looking for the line on page
23 3, "Momcilo Krajisnik was the highest ranking" ...
24 JUDGE ORIE: We're not going to discuss now whether someone could
25 be -- the Chamber will of course look at whether a civilian is in a
1 position to say who is a high-ranking, a higher-ranking, the
2 highest-ranking, the top-ranking, the upper-top-ranking, and then finally
3 also the Chamber will consider whether it makes that much difference on
4 whether you say high or higher or highest and what conclusions could be
5 drawn from that.
6 Is there any other matter at this moment?
7 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. That is basically the portion of
8 the statement that I object to and I have made my arguments clear in
9 relation to what I consider to be the lack of weight of that particular
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you're starting to repeat it again. Yes, you
12 made yourself clear.
13 Then the parties should keep themselves available tomorrow if we
14 might have a few decisions to be delivered. If you are finishing before
15 the second break we might use that time then that would certainly not be
16 more than five up to 12 or 13 minutes to deliver one or more decisions.
17 MS. LOUKAS: If Your Honour pleases.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00 same
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.58 p.m.
21 To be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of April,
22 2005, at 9.00 a.m.