1 Wednesday, 15 June 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. Madam Registrar, would you
6 please call the case?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. It's the case number
8 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Madam Registrar, we ended up yesterday in
10 a kind of a procedural debate on the use of the interviews given by
11 Mr. Prstojevic. Before the Chamber finally decides whether and to what
12 extent Mr. Tieger is allowed to confront the witness with the text of his
13 interview, the Chamber first would like to make a few more inquiries.
14 First of all, Mr. Tieger, the interviews, as we find them in the 22nd of
15 November 2003, 27th of November 2003, and finally 6th of May of this year,
16 do the transcripts fully cover all conversations that have taken place
17 with the -- with the witness, Mr. Prstojevic?
18 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. They do. Obviously apart from
19 greetings and any scheduling conversations that might have taken place but
20 all issues of substance, yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Everything of substance is recorded and is in
22 accordance with the rules and tape recordings are available?
23 MR. TIEGER: That's correct.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because you'll understand and Mr. Stewart also
25 will understand that, of course, pauses and hesitations in answers et
1 cetera cannot be read from paper but can sometimes be identified in tape
2 recordings where a witness takes more time to answer or whether he starts
3 an answer not giving it any follow-up, restart again. So there is a
4 possibility for the Defence to check on such course of events during the
6 MR. TIEGER: That's correct, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that information.
8 Then, finally, we might ask the witness himself as well,
9 Mr. Tieger, but in the 6th of May interview, the short one, there is some
10 reference to an illness which might have affected the memory of the
11 witness in 1996, which is of course well before both the 2003 interviews
12 and the 2005 interviews but have you any further information about it? Of
13 course, if not, then we'll ask the witness about it, because it might be
14 of some relevance for the issue at stake.
15 MR. TIEGER: No, I don't, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll ask the witness about that.
17 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, for the record, it just -- it
18 seems to say the 22nd of November, 27th of November and finally 6th of
19 May. I think the correct dates would be 26th, 27 and 28 November.
20 MR. STEWART: Yes, I think there is just a mistake in the
22 JUDGE ORIE: I was reading the heading. I was reading the
23 heading, so the interviews that appear under the heading, "Interview with
24 Prstojevic at Sarajevo field office, 22nd and 27th," so apart from whether
25 it covers more days or other days even.
1 Then Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness into the
2 courtroom? We will first start with a few questions to the witness in
3 relation to ...
4 MR. STEWART: Your Honour it has been terribly confusing. In fact
5 the very first interview was on the 25th of November.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes but most important is that it was November 2003
7 because that gives an idea of the time when these interviews took place.
8 MR. STEWART: Absolutely, indeed, Your Honour. It's only that in
9 Your Honour recording for the record the dates, I just wanted to say that
10 that's where we start.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's good that it's corrected for the record.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 WITNESS: NEDJELJKO PRSTOJEVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Prstojevic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Before we will continue with the examination, I would
18 have a few questions for you which are related to something you said
19 during your recent interview with the representatives of the Office of the
20 Prosecution. It is recorded that when you were asked whether you knew who
21 Avdo Hebib was, that you reminded those who interviewed you of two things
22 and the first thing was that you suffered from a disease or a sickness in
23 1996 which was hit or something in this part of the head, you said, which
24 "can medically be proven and which influenced a lot of my memory." First
25 of all I'd like to ask you what exactly happened, what was the kind of
1 disease or illness you were referring to.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, I did not go into the medical
3 side of things but in 1996, due to too much stress and tension and due to
4 the after effects of a cold I think I had a kind of stroke and on the
5 occasion of a French general from IFOR visiting when we opened a bridge
6 across the river Zeljeznica at Vojkovici, that was built by IFOR, whilst I
7 was giving a really brief speech to mark the occasion, I almost felt as if
8 something had hit me in the left side of my head, and tears came out and
9 started flowing down my face because of this incredible pain. I was taken
10 to hospital straight away and apparently my blood pressure was abnormally
11 high, 180 something, I can't remember, and I never experienced that,
12 either before or after. But since then, I sometimes tend to forget things
13 and I never suffered from that sort of forgetfulness before, and this
14 refers to both my daily life and even important occasions such as today.
15 So in case I get a cold or I go out in the rain or something and I get
16 wet, I normally have this headache especially in the left side of my head.
17 If we could have a CT-scan for my head, I suppose the diagnosis would be
18 rather easy but due to financial problems I never investigated it because
19 it costs a lot of money.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Were you recently treated for this illness or at
21 least for these symptoms?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE ORIE: My next question is you say you forget sometimes
24 things. Now, in your interview on the 6th of May of this year, you
25 pointed at something you did not know precisely because on the question
1 whether you knew who Avdo Hebib was, you said "it is known to me that he
2 was somebody amongst Muslims who was highly positioned in the BiH MUP or
3 Ministry of interior." It seems that your memory did not allow you to
4 give any further details on Mr. Avdo Hebib. It seems from your answer
5 that you were aware that your memory did not serve you to get to the
6 detailed answer to that question. My question is when you experience that
7 your memory is insufficient to answer a question, would you be aware of
8 that? I mean, when you say I forget things, are you aware of not knowing
9 any more something?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am aware of the fact that not only
11 do I forget something but lots of things but in order to cooperate
12 properly and in order to help establish the facts and the truth, I am
13 doing my best in trying to provide as complete answers as possible and to
14 remember everything I can. For example, in the 6th of May, when I was at
15 this interview, I listened to about 20 phone conversations, intercepts,
16 that is, that I was involved in. Out of those 20, well, there was only
17 one that I could remember clearly and that I could remember in every
18 detail. As to all the other conversations, I could tell I was the person
19 talking because I recognised my own voice and I recognised the voice of
20 the person I was speaking to, and I could reconstruct more or less the
21 situation, the circumstances, and I could acknowledge that it did actually
23 JUDGE ORIE: Did you always make it clear when your memory could
24 not serve you to give the accurate answers?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever have the experience that looking back at
2 a later stage, that you found that you had given answers to any questions
3 or that you filled in gaps of your memory where you were not sure about
4 whether these were correct interpretations, constructions, although you
5 actually did not remember what happened?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are about two such occasions,
7 but on both occasions we are talking about interviews -- I think it was
8 the interview that took place in November 2003, and on one occasion, it
9 was the fact that I misspoke myself basically, and I corrected that
10 mistake within the next hour, and then there was another case later on in
11 the course of the same interview, I was complementing some information,
12 and there are quite a few things that I'm trying to explain and I'm trying
13 to remember. All the various circumstances surrounding a given event and
14 then I was explaining the said event, and the same thing happened now on
15 the 6th of May with reference to the situation at Nedzarici. Initially, I
16 completely missed the point. When I first heard the intercept I gave a
17 totally wrong interpretation because I thought it was in relation to
18 something else and then I had to re-listen to it and listen very carefully
19 and then I was able to establish what it was actually about.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Would any of the parties feel any need at this moment
22 to address the issues we have tried to inquire into? That should be done
23 in the absence of the witness. Is there any need for that?
24 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, there is.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Mr. Prstojevic, Mr. Stewart, taking off the headphones, when the
2 witness said that he doesn't speak any English would that be sufficient or
3 would you rather have him --
4 MR. STEWART: No. On the footing that the witness really doesn't
5 understand English --
6 JUDGE ORIE: I take it, Mr. Tieger, that if that would be
7 different that you would certainly have noticed and therefore I take it
8 that we can rely upon the answer of the witness.
9 MR. TIEGER: I have no information to the contrary, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Prstojevic, could you please take your ear
11 phones off? Yes.
12 Mr. Stewart.
13 MR. STEWART: Yes, just very briefly, Your Honour. It was, and we
14 don't suggest it wasn't, it was entirely appropriate for Your Honour to
15 explore with the witness whether in his view he always made it clear when
16 his memory didn't serve him or whether he's had the experience of when
17 he's given answers of where he wasn't sure and so on. That was entirely
18 appropriate. With respect, however, Your Honour, I do submit that that's
19 not an end of the matter, that it is extremely important then that the --
20 that the Trial Chamber should objectively assess those answers in the
21 light of the sort of pattern that we do see in the interviews. And,
22 Your Honour, in effect my submissions made yesterday are of course
23 self-standing without regard to this issue. That's --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Of course. But this is an issue that might have some
25 relevance for the other issue, and that's the reason why would we had to
1 explore it.
2 MR. STEWART: Absolutely, Your Honour. I'm 100 per cent with
3 that, with respect. Although of course we were aware of this issue and it
4 would have come up and we are grateful to the Trial Chamber for exploring
5 it because it's in a sense much easier for the Trial Chamber to explore it
6 discreetly sometimes than for counsel. But, Your Honour, it adds to that
7 point. It increases the concern, the objective concerns, and the risks
8 inherent in the sort of process that we do see in these interviews that I
9 mentioned yesterday, that by a series of steps and no doubt we shall come
10 to some of those in cross-examination, sometimes the witness is led to a
11 very different place from where he started, and that risk is clearly far
12 greater in the case of an interviewee whose memory is subject to some
13 impairment of the type that he has indicated. So Your Honour, that's the
14 additional submission.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, any?
16 MR. TIEGER: Well, Your Honour, who can disagree with the
17 proposition that the Court should objectively assess the answers in light
18 of the questions asked, the other answers, the answers given in court, the
19 opportunity to assess the demeanour of the witness, and the totality of
20 the circumstances? And that's all we have been urging the Court to do
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it took us some additional attention to
23 start with that.
24 Perhaps I could then --
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like then to give some guidance to you,
2 Mr. Tieger. The Chamber does not disallow you to use the transcripts of
3 the interview to refresh the memory of the witness. At the same time, the
4 Chamber would not like to end up in the situation where whole pages are
5 read to him and just ask for confirmation whether that's true or not. The
6 witness has testified that he stands with his statement. The Defence has
7 an opportunity on the basis of the audio recording to see whether apart
8 from what's on paper, whether there is anything that should need further
9 attention in terms of hesitations, in terms of time taken. The Chamber is
10 also aware that even if a witness says that he was always aware if he did
11 not remember something, that that is not the final answer. It could well
12 be that a witness, although feeling that he is aware, might not always
13 have an accurate judgement on the actual situation. The Chamber therefore
14 will be very cautious and very prudent in this respect and so therefore
15 you are not disallowed to confront or at least to use the transcript in
16 order to refresh the memory of the witness. But at the same time you're
17 instructed to be as cautious in that respect and not just by reading whole
18 portions of it and say isn't it, but try again to use the statement to a
19 minimum to refresh the memory, and to see whether this triggers the memory
20 of the witness to give his testimony on portions on the same subject which
21 have not been read to him.
22 MR. TIEGER: Okay. If I can seek some slight further guidance on
23 that, Your Honour, I understand the court's admonition to mean essentially
24 that -- two things; number one it doesn't want vast passages of the
25 transcript read out, both because it doesn't want that done as a forensic
1 technique because this is not the place, and secondly, because it wants to
2 have a fuller understanding of what it is the witness actually recalls and
3 rather than an adoption of that which leaves the Court in not as good a
4 position to assess the totality of the evidence. I take it, then, that
5 references to portions of the transcript without reading out those
6 verbatim passages is more in line with what the Court seeks.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. For example, if a witness describes a certain
8 event by giving three or four or five details of that event, of course you
9 could present the five details to the witness and then say, is this what
10 happened? You could also say, do -- in your statement we see that you
11 said something about who was at the table. Do you still remember? Then
12 see whether any of the other elements of his description come out from his
13 memory at this moment. I hope that you understand the way -- so let's try
14 to make it as much as possible fresh testimony rather than confirmed
16 MR. TIEGER: I think I understand, Your Honour. I'll do my best.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And perhaps not to the surprise of the parties,
18 if the Chamber feels that a different approach might give results that
19 better assist the Chamber in making its determination, the Chamber will
20 intervene when it thinks it's really necessary.
21 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, that goes without saying.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
23 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, may I simply say, Your Honour,
24 without going into detail we would suggest that the guidance that
25 Your Honour has given, it's underneath some of the principles applied to
1 both parties but it would inevitably apply differently in practical terms
2 to the way in which the Prosecution should approach this witness with
3 evidence in chief and the way in which the Defence would approach
5 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that the -- any inconsistency in -- between
6 testimony and statement could be addressed, could I say, a bit more
7 vigorously by the Defence in cross-examination than it's done in
8 examination-in-chief. Is that what you --
9 MR. STEWART: That's along the right lines, Your Honour, if I may
10 say. At this stage, in summary, yes, of course.
11 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time, although as a general principle, I
12 would support that, at the same time, Mr. Stewart, given all the
13 circumstances, even there, some caution would be needed.
14 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I hope I don't always lack caution in
15 these areas and I will do my very best to --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps special caution in view of the circumstances.
17 MR. STEWART: Special caution, Your Honour. There was -- there
18 was something else I was going to say but I'm just suffering a memory
19 lapse. Oh, I know what it was. Your Honour, this question of the
20 listening to the B/C/S audio, Your Honour, the most that realistically we
21 are going to be able to achieve is that specific passages which do come
22 up, for example, today, it may then be possible for Mr. Krajisnik who we
23 think has the disc at the moment to look at those passages if they are
24 important today. Similarly depending where we are tomorrow and so on.
25 But, of course, Your Honours will appreciate that any further extensive
1 listening to the audio version is out of the question over the immediate
2 future when this witness is here this week.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. First of all I think that especially since
4 these will be B/C/S recordings -- I take it you have them, Mr. Tieger?
5 MR. TIEGER: There are recordings of the interview Your Honour
6 that took place with translation.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So everything is in there for whoever speaks whatever
9 MR. STEWART: Absolutely, Your Honour, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore, Mr. Krajisnik of course is fully aware of
11 the issue. I mean, I pointed at some matters that could draw specific
12 attention. So therefore -- and it's not to be said that if -- even if at
13 a later stage such an issue would be brought to the attention of the
14 court, it would be still useful to do it, even if not everything would
15 have been dealt with during the week.
16 MR. STEWART: Absolutely, Your Honour. Just to put a marker down
17 for that obvious practical limitation.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It will take sometime, yes. Then I think we could
19 ask the witness to put his -- to put on his earphones again and Mr.
20 Tieger, you may proceed.
21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Examined by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Prstojevic.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Before we adjourned yesterday, we were discussing or you were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 discussing a meeting of a military security nature held before the 1st of
2 April during which there had been, as -- there had been threatening
3 rhetoric about what would happen if there was no agreement. And before we
4 adjourned, I had asked you about the agreement, what was the subject of
5 the proposed agreement, what was the -- what was it that had to be agreed
6 on or something would happen, and I won't repeat what was said in court
7 yesterday. And my simple question to you now is: Was that about the --
8 about whether and how to divide -- to ethnically divide Bosnia and
10 A. I think that it was an agreement that our top political and state
11 leadership was working on with the representatives of the Muslim and the
12 Croat people, and attempts were being made to reach a peaceful and agreed
13 solution for the state structure and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I
14 think one example of that is the so-called Lisbon Agreement and within
15 that context, we should also look at this matter, unless such an agreement
16 and such a peaceful solution were to come about, and in case an actual
17 conflict, armed conflict, were to break out, certain political leadership
18 and part of the people involved in the military side of things - and what
19 I mean in the first place here is the then Territorial Defence - the idea
20 was that we should be in a position to successfully withstand stand any
21 kind of aggression, any kind of armed attack on our ethnic area.
22 Q. Well, I understand the distinction between a peaceful solution and
23 the use of force, but again, my question was addressed to the issue of the
24 agreement and what was the subject of that agreement, and perhaps it may
25 be helpful if I could just refer you back to your interview in November
1 2003 during which you had an opportunity to discuss the meeting at which
2 threatening rhetoric was used, and you were asked about your understanding
3 of what --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could you always refer to the page?
5 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, it's page 107, Your Honour --
6 JUDGE ORIE: We have two.
7 MR. TIEGER: -- of the sequential transcript.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but we have the two to start both, one being one
9 out of 207, the other one out of 111.
10 MR. TIEGER: It's the -- I'm sorry, by sequential transcript, I
11 mean the full range up to 207.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. TIEGER:
14 Q. At that time, you said, in essence, it's division by hook or crook
15 or in a peaceful manner or by force. So I wanted to ask you whether the
16 agreement that may or may not have been reached was about division and
17 that the subject of the discussion was whether division would take place
18 by agreement or if not agreement then it would take place by force.
19 A. In that interview, from the month of November 2003, in spite of
20 the fact that I did actually use the term division, this is probably not
21 the right choice of words because the talks that were held and that our
22 state political leadership was involved in about an agreed structure for
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina, well, it was about whether Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 would remain within Yugoslavia and if it did not, what kind of structure
25 we would have, what kind of territorial organisation and distribution we
1 would have, and I believe that at Lisbon, they almost reached an agreement
2 that the Muslim leadership in the end they backed away, but this, in the
3 last analysis, would have been acceptable to Serbs. But I didn't at any
4 point have the idea that the Serb leadership was planning any sort of
5 armed activity in terms of achieving the division of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, and I think that we did not do that, in fact.
7 Our activities and the activities of our leadership were basically
8 aimed at maintaining a situation in which we could protect the population
9 from killings and massacres, and in this conversation, 093, that we looked
10 at yesterday as well, we keep referring to special measures in order to
11 ensure the safety of the population. Measures were being implemented in
12 order to protect the population, and we had no previously planned
13 activities which implied that we would initiate armed conflict in order to
14 carve up Bosnia and Herzegovina in a way that would be inconvenient to us.
15 I think that it is fully clear how the war broke out in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, and that the Muslim officers and other dignitaries in their
17 own books actually wrote and made a public admission basically that the
18 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina started when they decided that it should
19 start, according to their forward planning, as it were, and that we did
20 not initiate it and that we simply defended ourselves and our homes and
21 especially in those areas in which we were a majority -- in the majority.
22 Q. Well, we will be addressing some of those issues further on in our
23 questioning. At the moment I'd like to move on to ask you some questions
24 about the authorities and the military or police structures that existed
25 in Ilidza in April and May of 1992. And in that connection, could I first
1 have you presented with an exhibit which I believe is previously been used
2 in court? It's the 16 April 1992 order by Bogdan Subotic. I think that
3 actually needs a new exhibit number, Your Honour?
4 JUDGE ORIE: It's a new exhibit. Madam Registrar?
5 THE REGISTRAR: P791, Your Honour.
6 MR. TIEGER: And for Mr. Stewart's benefit I think that's item
7 number 3 in the pile of documents you're reviewing.
8 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, P791 is a document dated 16 April 1992 and it's a
9 decision addressing a couple of matters. The first is the Territorial
10 Defence of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then there is a
11 decision on other components of the armed forces and a decision that a
12 state of -- "an imminent threat of war is hereby declared with general
13 public mobilisation of the TO and the entire territory of the Serbian
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina ordered."
15 Can you tell us if you know what the effect of this decision was
16 and -- in Ilidza and elsewhere?
17 A. I can only speak about the territory of the Serbian Municipality
18 of Ilidza and in a way the Serbian part of Sarajevo, the Sarajevo Romanija
19 region. That is what I'm well informed about. We received this decision
20 in the municipality of Serb Ilidza. However, from the view point of the
21 defence of the Serb people of Ilidza, this decision came late. It was
22 adopted too late. Why? Because the Muslim leadership had proclaimed
23 general mobilisation much earlier, and since, in my testimony here was
24 something that I didn't spend even a minute preparing for because I'm very
25 tied up back home, I maybe didn't mention that the process of preparations
1 on the Muslim side had started much earlier, and we would have probably
2 been killed with our throats slit and expelled if we hadn't done anything.
3 So the Muslim leadership took their decision on general mobilisation and
4 the commander --
5 Q. Sorry to interrupt but my question is a little more focused than
6 that and I apologise if I didn't assist you in the way it was asked.
7 By this decision, were Territorial Defence units in the areas
8 controlled by Serbs put under the command of the Territorial Defence? And
9 did they thereby become units of the Territorial Defence of the Serbian
10 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. In Ilidza, the units of the Territorial Defence had been mobilised
12 earlier because the formal official in charge of Ilidza before the war was
13 in his proper position and everything functioned well, and the decision
14 that came only sort of approved and formalised the -- what we had already
15 implemented on the ground and approved that our steps to prepare the
16 Defence of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina were correct.
17 Q. What was the chain of command for the units of the Serbian
18 Territorial Defence in Ilidza? And that means from Ilidza up to the top
19 levels of command.
20 A. First of all, I would like to explain one thing here, namely the
21 status and the field of activity of Territorial Defence generally
22 speaking, in terms of the doctrine of the Territorial Defence and civilian
23 defence in the former Yugoslavia, according to that doctrine, all
24 enterprises, all companies, all institutions, all municipalities, had, in
25 addition to the Yugoslav People's Army, whose units were supposed to repel
1 the first attack against Yugoslavia --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, I'm going to interrupt you. The
3 Chamber would like you first to answer the questions and only then, if any
4 further explanation is needed, we'll ask for it or if at the end you say
5 I'd like to give a further explanation, we will consider that. But the
6 question was: What was the chain of command for the units of the Serbian
7 Territorial Defence in Ilidza, meaning from Ilidza up to the top level of
8 command. We would first like you to answer that question.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up to the 11th of April 1992, the
10 chain of command did not exist. What existed were only advisory meetings
11 and briefings. Did I say 11th of April 1992? Yes. From the 11th April
12 on, when General Subotic was appointed minister of defence, consultations
13 with the Ministry of Defence and the minister himself began, and from that
14 point on, the hierarchy was established.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. And what was that hierarchy?
17 A. Well, it's perfectly clear. When the minister of national defence
18 was appointed for the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and certain
19 people in the Territorial Defence were designated, our commander of TO
20 staff in Ilidza was immediately linked through this hierarchy with them,
21 and he had all the necessary consultations and instructions from the
22 people from that ministry. However, if you allow me one more thing, from
23 that date, the 16th of April until the 19th May, when the army of
24 Republika Srpska was created, for the most part, in the area of Ilidza
25 municipality, our staff of Territorial Defence organised our defence on
1 its own initiative, with the verbal support and minimal, almost symbolic
2 logistical support from the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska.
3 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you one question, Mr. Prstojevic? And I
4 would also like you to focus very much on the questions and to first
5 answer them. In an earlier answer, referring to this decision, you said
6 that Territorial Defence -- units of the Territorial Defence had been
7 mobilised earlier, and the decision that came only sort of approved and
8 formalised what we had already implemented on the ground and approved that
9 our steps to prepare the defence were correct.
10 Now, the decision reads among others, command and control of
11 Territorial Defence will be exercised municipal, district, and regional
12 staffs and republican staff of the SBiH Territorial Defence. Was that
13 what you had implemented already on the ground? That is, that the
14 Municipal TO was subordinate to the District TO and the regional staffs
15 and finally under the Republican Staff of the SBiH Territorial Defence?
16 Is that what you had put in place already and which was formalised?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said then I repeated now
18 here, maybe in different words because I did not -- because I don't
19 remember what exactly I said then, but it's the same thing. Our
20 Territorial Defence Staff was only linked with the Republican Staff of
21 Territorial Defence because we did not have the regional or any other
22 level in terms of TO staffs. And the Trial Chamber needs to understand
23 that the situation at the time down there was chaotic and confused. We
24 had actually done everything prior to the decision, and the decision only
25 formalised the steps already taken.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to be as concrete as possible. I do
2 understand your answer to be that your municipal TO was hierarchically
3 subordinated to the republican TO, where the intermediate levels were
4 missing. I see you nodding yes. That's now on the record.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. There were no other levels.
7 However, the staff of the Territorial Defence of Ilidza was headed before
8 the war by the Serb -- by a Serb, and it only continued to work in the new
9 circumstances of war, the same way it functioned for many years before the
10 war. Therefore, we didn't have time to make any special preparations or
11 prepare the units or any --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, again, please focus on the questions,
13 whether it was any different, if we would like to know that, whether it
14 was different from before the war, we'll ask you. Please concentrate on
15 the question, answer them, and then wait for the next question to be put
16 to you.
17 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
18 MR. TIEGER:
19 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, you mentioned the commander of the TO staff, the
20 minister of defence. Was the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina part of that chain of command and, if so, at what
23 A. Well, it's perfectly clear that the Presidency of Serbian
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina was at the very top, above everything.
25 Q. Was the commander of the Ilidza TO a member of the Serbian Crisis
1 Staff of Ilidza?
2 A. Yes, and he was in charge of TO units.
3 Q. Now, was a Serbian police force that was -- that is Serbian MUP,
4 formed in Ilidza in April of 1992?
5 A. I don't remember exactly whether the Serbian MUP and the Serb
6 police were formed in the end of March or beginning of April, but it was
7 formed and the hierarchy went from the government of Republika Srpska down
8 to the MUP because MUP was not subject to the influence of local
10 Q. And when you say the government, again let me ask you whether the
11 Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was part of that
12 chain of command and, if so, at what level?
13 A. Well, it is always implied that the highest body of government in
14 the Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina was the Presidency, and only then, at lower
15 levels, come other bodies.
16 Q. So is this the case, as you understood it, it was the Presidency
17 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; beneath the Presidency in
18 the chain of command was the minister of interior and then down through
19 the levels to the police officials in Serbian Ilidza?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, at this point I'd like to play an
22 intercepted telephone conversation dated 20 April 1992.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so. Transcripts have been provided to the
24 booth, I take it? Mr. Tieger, is there a problem?
25 Madam Registrar, the transcript would be? I do see it's already
1 in evidence, Mr. Tieger; is that correct? On the list it appears as --
2 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, you have it listed as item
3 number? At least on my list, it doesn't show as already being in
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just see.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see. It's number 5, 20th of April. Madam
8 Registrar that would be number?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. It will be Exhibit P792.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's for the transcript, and we'll have P792(A),
11 and the translation will have P792(A).1.
12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour we seem to be having some technical
13 difficulties. I will have to move on and play that at a later point.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then we leave the number as it is and --
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. Just one last question about the Territorial Defence, and you may
17 have alluded to that earlier, Mr. Prstojevic. When the VRS began to
18 function, were the TO units merged or converted into VRS units?
19 A. Well, that goes without saying.
20 Q. Now, let me ask you about some other forces that -- well, let me
21 ask you about some other forces with regard to Ilidza.
22 Did various paramilitary units come to Ilidza in April and May and
23 June of 1992?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you name some of those groups for the Court, please? Tell us
1 as many of those groups that came to Ilidza that you recall.
2 A. Well, I don't know. I don't know why this is important at this
3 moment, but if I remember correctly, I stated that in my interview. One
4 of those groups is mentioned at the beginning of this telephone intercept.
5 It's Brne's group. Some others like Bokan came to Ilidza for a short
6 while, as well as some Chetniks from Zvornik, from Republika Srpska, and
7 there were also some groups that simply went in and out of Ilidza, even
8 Arkan's group spent two or three days in Ilidza. But we were not
9 enthralled with their presence and they left Ilidza very quickly. I
10 cannot tell you the exact date now but I believe that I have told you at
11 some point around what time it was.
12 Q. When these groups - and we'll discuss them in somewhat more detail
13 in a moment - came to Ilidza, were they obliged to subordinate themselves
14 to the army or to the MUP? That is, to the VRS or to the -- whatever form
15 of Serbian army existed at the time, or to the Serbian MUP?
16 A. For the most part, the men from this group that is mentioned at
17 the beginning of this conversation, from Brne's group, they were
18 resubordinated to the MUP. From the 19th of May all had to be
19 resubordinated to the army of Republika Srpska. However, nothing
20 functioned very well if they were involved, and they were usually let go
21 with a word of thanks and sent away because essentially they were only
22 keen on looting.
23 Q. And in the few moments before the break, let me ask you just a
24 couple of questions about the group you just mentioned and that's Brne's
25 group. Was Brne, Brne Gavrilovic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And was he associated with the radical party in Ilidza? Was he
3 one of the leading people of the radical party in Ilidza?
4 A. When the radical party was established, I believe he was at the
5 helm for a short while until a new leadership was elected, but I think he
6 was always part of the Radical Party throughout the war. He is originally
7 from Pale.
8 Q. And what was his connection or the group's connection with
9 Vojislav Seselj?
10 A. Well, the Radical Party was in a way joined with the Radical Party
11 of Yugoslavia, and I think there must have been some coordination between
12 them. In one of my earlier interviews, I believe I said that Mr. Seselj
13 even visited Brne's group in Ilidza two or three times which shows to what
14 extent they were connected.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I see that you're looking at the clock.
16 MR. TIEGER: Trying to be attentive to the Court schedule,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll adjourn until five minutes to 11 and I
19 would like to restore again the Chamber being perhaps one of the major
20 wrongdoers to establish more discipline in time.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
24 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, you mentioned Arkan's group coming to Ilidza. Who
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was the leader of the group of Arkan's men who came to Ilidza?
2 A. The leader of that group was somebody I did not know but his name
3 was Legija, and within that group there were less than 10 people.
4 Q. [Microphone not activated] ... staff?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, your question does not clearly appear on
7 the transcript since your microphone was not activated. Could you please
8 repeat your question?
9 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I have to repeat the question because I didn't
11 have my microphone on, and the question was: Did you receive Legija at
12 the Crisis Staff?
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I just inquire how the witness
14 got the witness if it doesn't come through Mr. Tieger's microphone?
15 JUDGE ORIE: There is a possibility that -- I noticed that the
16 microphone was switched on halfway so I could hear at least some of the
17 question. So therefore, some people might have heard more from that very
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour sees the point of my question.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand.
21 MR. STEWART: Did the interpreter's booth get it even though the
22 microphone was not activated. Because if they didn't, then [Microphone
23 not activated] ... get the question is my question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask the B/C/S booth and I'll now switch to
25 channel 6, I think I have to do, could the B/C/S booth -- the B/C/S booth
1 informs me that they heard all of it. So there might be another
2 mistake -- the microphone was not on but perhaps some switch was on.
3 MR. STEWART: That's quite satisfactory for my purposes,
4 Your Honour. You see why the question.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour if I could ask to have an
7 intercept dated May 14, 1992, between Mr. Prstojevic and Mr. Gagovic
8 played -- or Colonel Gagovic, excuse me. That's ET 04013862.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to ask a question,
10 if possible.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile.
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to ask a question
14 before this conversation is heard. Coming back to what has been said by
15 the witness a moment ago, talking about these paramilitary groups. They
16 all had to be [French interpretation on English channel]. What does it
17 mean, Witness? Did they mean that had all to be resubordinated? Who gave
18 them the order to be resubordinated or to subordinate themselves to the
19 Republika Srpska's army?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The armed forces of the Republika
21 Srpska was set up on the 19th of May 1992. Some groups, such as Brne and
22 Arkan's men, arrived earlier than the armed forces of the Republika
23 Srpska. As a rule, those were paramilitaries who had to be
24 resubordinated. Not because they wanted to, they wanted to act
25 independently, to do what they liked, and mostly those were not very noble
1 tasks. But the armed forces asked them to be resubordinated to them or to
2 MUP. So this was imposed on them at Ilidza. As soon as they got to
3 Ilidza they had to report to MUP or the brigade command and then the
4 decision would be made as to whom they would be resubordinated, where they
5 would be housed and in what way they would operate.
6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] But who took this decision in
7 Ilidza? Who imposed to these paramilitaries to resubordinate to the army
8 of RS?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that there was no need for
10 any special decision, in fact. According to the preexistent rules and
11 regulations before the war with regard to mobilisation, and that referred
12 to all of the population, everybody had to be either encompassed by the
13 military units or within MUP or they would be under the so-called work
14 obligation. Combat units just could not exist outside the scope of MUP
15 and the armed forces, and if whatever group wanted to act as a combat
16 unit, they had to be within the framework of one of these two structures.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness. Thank you,
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, before we play the intercept just a quick
21 follow-up to His Honour's question. Did all those groups, those
22 paramilitary groups, who came and were subordinated to the military units
23 or to the MUP participate in both defensive operations and offensive
24 operations to liberate territory?
25 A. These paramilitary units mostly participated in defence
1 operations, considering that at Ilidza we engaged in no offensives excepts
2 for one case of active defence in the area of Otis.
3 Q. Well, apart from mostly, did they also participate in offensive
4 combat tasks liberating part of the territory?
5 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, he's answered the question. Mr. Tieger
6 is picking out the first half of his answer. His complete answer makes
7 the position clear.
8 MR. TIEGER: I disagree, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: The witness answered the question by saying that
10 mostly participated in defence with one exception, referring to Otis.
11 MR. TIEGER: And his answer indicated, as I read the transcript,
12 offensive except one case of active defence. So I will ask --
13 JUDGE ORIE: If you want to put a question about Otis, that's
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. Was the one operation of which you spoke, Mr. Prstojevic, and
17 which you characterised as active defence, an effort -- an offensive
18 effort to liberate territory?
19 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, this is really getting quite --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's not -- Mr. Tieger, if you would express
21 yourself in terms of gaining territory, whether it's then offensive or
22 defensive, it's -- and whether these are euphemisms or they are real
23 characterisations of what it's all about, the Chamber will have to decide
24 about that at a later stage but I take it you are thinking of gaining or
25 regaining territory.
1 MR. TIEGER: If I may ask the question in a different way,
2 Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please. Let's hope in such a way that
4 Mr. Stewart does not object.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I want to refer you to a portion of your earlier
7 interviews. That is reflected in the interview of May 2005 at page 6 of
8 the second sequential version of the transcripts. I believe they go first
9 1 through 37 and then another portion that goes 1 through approximately
10 22. And that's page 6 of that second portion. On that occasion,
11 Mr. Prstojevic, you were again discussing the paramilitary units and were
12 asked what type of operational duties they performed, and you said that
13 all those who came had to be subordinated to the para -- military units
14 and to take part in the combat tasks, defensive or if we were liberating
15 part of territory in offensive combat tasks.
16 Can you tell the Court what you were referring to when you said
18 A. When I said "offensive," what I meant was active defence of Otis
19 where fighting lasted between the 1st and the 6th of December 1992, and
20 two Ilidza brigades participated, the Ilidza and the Igman Brigade and
21 within the framework of the Ilidza Brigade, there was a group of Chetniks
22 from Zvornik, from the Republika Srpska, and there were less than ten men
23 within that group. So what I meant was the participation of those men in
24 that particular combat operation.
25 As to fighting at Otis, there are clear facts indicated that this
1 was active defence, considering the data, indicating what the plans of the
2 Muslim forces were. They had their elite forces there and also
3 indications as to what extent they were basically penetrating the area of
4 Ilidza and how many civilians were killed, in the fields and also in the
5 urban centres of Ilidza.
6 MR. TIEGER: And if we could play the intercept now, please? And
7 again, this is ERN number ET 04013862, conversation of 14 May 1992.
8 [Intercept played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Straight away. Hello.
12 It is Prstojevic.
13 How are you?
14 Thank God I'm fine. If it weren't for this one mistake, I could
15 be singing at the top of my voice.
16 Well, fuck, mistakes, you should not have made mistakes.
17 I know. We did not but the men made mistakes. They were not
18 ordered to do what they did.
19 Well --
20 Our movement is now a bit -- we cannot move with complete -- with
21 that staff.
23 Complete hardware is practically immovable right now.
24 Well, it is not my fault.
25 That means that it is practically crossed out.
1 It is not --
2 Please, I have manpower but I do not have hardware now.
3 There is no -- he has manpower but he does not have hardware.
4 That hardware should not have been wasted, that is.
6 Where is that commander?
7 Commander Popadic is there on the terrain, on the spot. At least
8 two vehicles, two armoured personnel carriers should be replaced at this
10 Fuck it.
11 No crew, I do not need crew. I have the crew, I have everything.
12 I have surplus manpower, that means --
13 Are APCs that arrived yesterday all right?
14 Yes, the ones that arrived yesterday.
15 Is there a tank that is in working order? You should pull out
16 those APCs. You should not let them fall into enemy's hands.
17 I do not know for sure if anything is in working order here. Two
18 tanks, three APCs, and so on. I'm not sure for this checkpoint.
20 And those two from yesterday are with Arkan's men.
21 Where are they?
22 They are, probably, there's no ammunition for one of them
23 probably --
24 Well, fuck everything. And where's that commander? I want to
25 speak to him.
1 Okay. I will call him to get in touch with you, just let me find
3 Have him call me.
5 Okay. Bye."
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. First, Mr. Prstojevic, can you tell the Court who the participants
8 in this conversation are?
9 A. I've already commented on this conversation on the 6th of May this
10 year. And let me stress once again that I don't recall this conversation.
11 However, listening to my own voice and listening to Gagovic's voice and
12 trying to place all this within the context of the military situation at
13 the time, which is quite clear to me, well, of course I can admit to
14 having participated in this conversation. So obviously I was at Ilidza
15 and Lieutenant Gagovic from the corps command at Lukavica.
16 Q. And do you know Gagovic's rank and where he stood in the hierarchy
17 of the corps command?
18 A. I did not hear the translation of your question. I can't hear the
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps you first repeat the question and
21 see whether it goes any better now.
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. Can you tell us Gagovic's rank and where he stood in the hierarchy
24 of the corps command?
25 A. Gagovic, as far as I can remember, was a Colonel, and he was one
1 of the operatives within the Sarajevo army region. He was the second or
2 the third in command in Sarajevo.
3 Q. Now, the APCs referred to in the conversation that had arrived
4 yesterday and that you indicated were with Arkan's men, can you tell us
5 how Arkan's men received those APCs?
6 A. Look, Arkan's men got to Ilidza, I don't know by what route, on
7 the 12th, in the evening. Late at night, in fact. As it was getting
8 dark, I saw the commander of that group, Legija. He found me at Blazoj
9 [phoen]. The following day, after they had spent the night there, they
10 were walking around Ilidza, they took an interest in the structure of our
11 territorial units, of MUP units, and they were housed at the Tama [phoen]
12 Hotel that they chose themselves, and that was their independent post, as
13 it were, as a unit, and as far as I know, they came by one of those
14 vehicles. I think it was three-barrel one. And as to vehicles being
15 referred to as being in their possession here, they were basically already
16 situated in the area of the local community Kasindolska, where on that
17 morning we actually suffered a terrible initial attack and those vehicles
18 were not actually allocated to them as such, but Arkan's men basically
19 took over the leading role over the territorial units in that particular
20 locality. And they were particularly important in defending the area and
21 pushing back the enemy units from that area. If the Trial Chamber allows
22 it, I could perhaps explain a bit better. This was a horrible attack on
23 the entire Serb area.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, I'd like you to answer the questions.
25 The last question put to you, how did they receive the APCs, could have
1 been answered relatively shortly by saying that they took over these or
2 took control of these APCs during an attack launched at Kasindol. Whether
3 there would be any need for further details is in the hands of Mr. Tieger,
4 who will put additional questions if he would like to know more. Could
5 you please very much concentrate on the questions and leave out any
6 details you're not asked for, unless really of great importance.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. As the Court will recall we
9 had some technical difficulties with the 20 April, 1992 intercept which is
10 03290528 and we could play that now.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please do so.
12 [Intercept played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "100 is here and another hundred is
14 to arrive. This Brne is a hell of a guy, really. Brne. There is ...
18 Is Tomo there, Cedo speaking.
19 One moment. Cedo who?
21 Who is Cedo?
22 An old ex-comrade of yours.
23 Who is it?
24 Is Tomo around?
25 Who is Cedo? Who needs to speak to him?
1 Is Tomo there, comrade?
2 Yes, please.
5 Cedo speaking. How are you?
6 Ah, Cedo.
7 Listen, brother.
9 A new piece of information has come in.
11 All MUP executives --
13 -- went to the presidency with a single request, to be allowed to
14 storm all barricades on the access roads to Sarajevo.
16 So now they want a blessing and you should count on that solution
17 that they will try during the afternoon or night hours.
18 I see.
19 So all those talks are now off.
20 Pardon me?
21 All those talks we had previously had do not count any more.
23 Well, those people, they are trying to consolidate their
24 positions. They will try a breakthrough, we don't know in which
25 direction. It is most likely to expect them to try first through Ilidza.
1 Yes, yes.
2 They went to the Presidency with such a request, so that you know
3 about it, man.
4 Yes, I see.
5 So the only request is to be allowed to make a breakthrough at all
7 I see.
9 I see.
10 So that you keep that in mind, for your orientation and further
12 I see.
13 Well, I can't get through to Prstojevic. I haven't spoken with
14 him. So if you talk to him, convey this message to him.
15 Yes, yes, sure.
16 Well, man.
17 All right.
18 Have a nice day.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, first could you tell the Court if you know who the
22 participants in this conversation are?
23 A. I can recognise the voice of Tomo Kovac, and I do recognise the
24 name of Cedo Kljajic who was one of the leading figures within MUP at
25 Vrace, but I don't know him in person. I don't remember ever having met
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 him in person. The conversation is in line with the events at the time
2 because after that conversation at dawn on the 22nd there was a horrendous
3 attack on Ilidza.
4 Q. Mr. Kljajic, as he is dialing the number appears to be, among
5 other things, praising Brne. Do you know what had happened around that
6 time that would prompt such a remark?
7 A. According to my information, Brne, who was born near Pale and his
8 paramilitary unit were situated at Vrace where Mr. Kljajic was, and in a
9 part of Grbavica. This reference to 100 plus another hundred is
10 incorrect. This is sheer propaganda and this is incorrect. However, at a
11 later stage, through MUP, and I can't remember at what time, Brne came
12 from Grbavica to the area of Ilidza through the Ilidza MUP. But this was
13 after the 19th of May 1992. And upon request of the police commander from
14 Ilidza, he was allocated accommodation in a motel in the area of Rakovica
15 [phoen], where, according to my knowledge, he had between 20 or 30 people
16 following him. The unit engaged in all sorts of things, pushing drugs and
17 so on and they even killed one another.
18 Q. Did Mr. Kovac convey the message relayed to him by Mr. Kljajic to
19 you. That is, that the MUP executives went to the Presidency to be
20 allowed to storm all the barricades on the access roads to Sarajevo?
21 A. Mr. Tomo Kovac was a member of the Crisis Staff which met every
22 evening and every morning, and I can't remember whether he conveyed that
23 information or not, but it would have been normal standard practice for
24 him to inform the Crisis Staff at every session of what was going on.
25 However, there is one point which is incorrect here, that is to say that
1 they went to request that. They were invited to carry out a task which
2 had been determined as early as the 14th of April. That is to say, to
3 carry out an attack on certain facilities, amongst other things the ethnic
4 settlement in Ilidza, and the Chief of Staff of that army, BH, made that
6 Q. So just to understand this, are you saying that it was not the
7 case that the MUP executives went to the Presidency to be -- to seek
8 permission to do so but that, in fact, they were tasked to do so from
10 A. Precisely. I did provide proof for that in the course of the
11 interview. Later on in 1996, they actually wrote about this.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could you clarify who the witness is
13 pointing at if he says "they"?
14 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
15 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, the Court would like -- when you said they were
16 invited to carry out a task that had been determined as early as the 14th,
17 who was to carry out that task? Who were you referring to as "they"?
18 A. I'm referring to the members of the Muslim MUP, the MUP
19 territorial units, the Green Berets and the Patriotic League, and to a
20 certain extent the HOS units, and the European economic community monitors
21 who were at the Serbia hotel in Ilidza at the time were informed about
23 Q. Now, you mentioned that Mr. Kovac was a member of the Serbian
24 Crisis Staff of Ilidza.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who was the Serbian Crisis Staff of Ilidza subordinate to?
2 A. The Crisis Staffs did not have a whole lot of hierarchy. I mean,
3 there was no Crisis Staff for Serbs in the city of Sarajevo. It fell
4 apart before it even started operating basically. And all coordination at
5 the time was agreed with our leadership at the time. It was all
6 coordinated with people who had been given certain jobs within the
7 government of the Republika Srpska and the units of the JNA.
8 Q. Well, there has been some reference to the leadership just now and
9 I think previously. Can you tell the Court who the top leaders of the
10 Bosnian Serbs were in 1991 and 1992? Who are you referring to when you
11 refer to the leadership?
12 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm just wondering that's not
13 exactly the same question.
14 MR. TIEGER: That's fair. I understand the problem so let me
15 re-ask it.
16 MR. STEWART: Okay.
17 Q. Let me ask the question I asked initially. That is, who were the
18 top leaders of the Bosnian Serbs in 1991 and 1992?
19 A. Well, I think this Trial Chamber knows that very well. It was the
20 people occupying the highest state positions in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991
21 and the highest political positions in the Serbian Democratic Party,
22 considering that there was no other party protecting Serb national
24 Q. Were there any -- was there any single person or any one, two,
25 three or four people who were the most important and most powerful leaders
1 in Republika Srpska in 1992?
2 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, the trouble with these questions
3 is that even the reference phrases like "the most important" and "most
4 powerful" is just words. It gets all tangled up again.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, in your previous answer, where you
6 said that the Chamber would know quite well who the leadership was, could
7 you tell us by names who you considered to be among, as you said, the
8 people occupying the highest state positions in 1991 and the highest
9 political positions in the Serbian Democratic Party? Could you list them
10 from top going further down?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, at the elections in
12 1990, the Serbian member, the elected Serbian members in the Presidency of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina were Nikola Koljevic and Biljana Plavsic. They
14 were our representatives on the Presidency. Mr. Momcilo Mandic was
15 elected -- sorry, Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik was elected president of the
16 assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was our representative.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me interrupt you there. Could you please first
18 concentrate on 1992, when the institutions of the -- of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 did not function well anymore and where the Serbian assembly and the later
20 the Republika Srpska was established. Who did you consider to be the
21 leadership of that new entity, and of the SDS? Please, from the top going
22 further down. Whether they were elected or not, that's another matter.
23 Just name them from the top down.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is perfectly clear.
25 Dr. Radovan Karadzic, Mr. Momo Krajisnik, Prime Minister Djeric, ministers
1 of internal affairs and ministers -- the minister of justice.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the names of the
3 last two ministers?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the names of the last two
5 ministers you mentioned? That was the minister of internal affairs ...
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mico Stanisic.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The minister of justice.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Momo Mandic. Later, Bogdan Subotic
9 appeared as minister of defence. And as the government appointed new and
10 new ministers, cooperation with them began in sequence.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The question was twofold. First, state leadership
12 authorities, and party. Would this list be valid for the party as well,
13 or would that be a different list?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Radovan Karadzic was also
15 president of the party, and later, the assembly also elected him president
16 of the Serb Republic, or rather the Republic of the Serbian people of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He had both hats, the political and the head of
19 JUDGE ORIE: And under him, or next to him in the party, were?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Later on, an executive board was set
21 up within the party, but at this time, there was an executive board that
22 did not function, headed by Ratko Bozic. So for this period other people
23 in the party did not matter. Those who mattered were people who occupied
24 state positions.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand your testimony well if you say that
1 where the main board did not function, that next to or under Mr. Karadzic,
2 the same persons mattered that were in the state positions you have just
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. That is the case for March,
5 April, May, June. There was a period from the beginning of the war until
6 the end of 1992 when the party practically froze its operations until the
7 Jahorina Plenary Session.
8 JUDGE ORIE: One additional question. In the top state officials,
9 you did not mention Mrs. Plavsic, neither Mr. Koljevic. Do you consider
10 them not to be among the top state officials?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were indeed among the top state
12 officials because they were elected at state elections in 1990. However,
13 Professor Koljevic and Biljana Plavsic were less important and less
14 influential as far as we were concerned, less important and less
15 influential than other people, for the Sarajevo area because of the duties
16 they performed, although Professor Koljevic spent some time in Ilidza in
17 Hotel Serbia in 1992. We were more oriented towards President Karadzic
18 and President Krajisnik, in terms of cooperation, for the area of
20 JUDGE ORIE: Proceed, Mr. Tieger.
21 MR. TIEGER:
22 Q. And between President Karadzic and President Krajisnik, did one or
23 the other have more influence or authority over the Sarajevo region? And
24 if so, can you tell us why?
25 A. If we take everything into account for the region of Sarajevo,
1 Mr. Krajisnik was more important to us because we thought of him as a man
2 who was born in Sarajevo and lived there and was much better acquainted
3 with the situation, and would therefore understand us much better. Also,
4 we thought that as Mr. Karadzic was very busy, Mr. Krajisnik would be more
5 concerned about us. In simple terms, Mr. Krajisnik was closer to us.
6 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, did Mr. Krajisnik's influence and authority in
7 Sarajevo have anything to do with the people who were appointed to
8 positions in that area?
9 A. Certainly, because he had influence over people holding state and
10 public positions in the MUP, in the justice system, in the municipal
11 bodies of Sarajevo, and other public institutions.
12 Q. And among those people, were some known in particular for their
13 relationship to and for their close relationship to Mr. Krajisnik?
14 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to tell you much about it, but he
15 certainly had closer relations with somebody who was his neighbour, who
16 was born next door, than with people who lived a hundred kilometres away
17 or more.
18 Q. Well, let me ask you first about both the power to appoint people
19 and the power to terminate people. For appointment to positions in
20 Sarajevo, did both Mr. Karadzic and Krajisnik have to give approval or one
21 or the other or neither?
22 A. At this point, we should distinguish between various levels of
23 authority, of government. Neither President Karadzic nor
24 President Krajisnik interfered or got involved in the election of
25 officials into the municipal board of the SDS or municipal assemblies.
1 However, that was in the period of 1991. But in the Ministry of Internal
2 Affairs, and in other ministries, local municipal authorities had no say,
3 so that commanders of police stations and chiefs of police were people we
4 received without having any say in their appointment. When the assembly
5 of the Serbian city of Sarajevo was formed, along with the executive
6 board, then certainly the greatest influence on the election of civil
7 servants was exerted by Mr. Krajisnik, and he had prior consultations and
8 agreements with us concerning appointments of people like the mayor and
9 members of the municipal government.
10 There were certain bodies that I saw references to in your
11 documents, such as war commissioners offices and War Presidencies, and
12 even before them, war commissioners. These were appointed without any say
13 on our part. Later on, in certain cases, we did get to have some say, not
14 much, concerning the war commissioners' office, and later still, we lost
15 all influence over the election of War Presidencies and war commissioners'
17 Q. For what sorts of positions, if any, was the approval of
18 Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Karadzic required?
19 A. I think I was quite clear about that. For instance, when
20 municipal government was elected, the mayor of the Serb city of Sarajevo,
21 and the prime minister of the Serb city of Sarajevo, there were talks and
22 meetings attended by Mr. Krajisnik. There was no need for written
23 communication. Views were harmonised at meetings. Certain key names were
24 agreed. And that was implemented.
25 Q. I asked earlier about terminations, although I didn't ask you
1 specifically about that. Did Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik have the
2 power to --
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I didn't object the previous question
4 but I am going to object now to the constant lumping together in the
5 questions of Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic. Dr. Karadzic is not on trial
6 in this courtroom and the last I heard he wasn't even in The Hague.
7 Your Honour, Mr. Tieger did ask a question two or three minutes ago to
8 invite the witness to draw some distinction between the positions of
9 Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Karadzic and some distinction was drawn. But
10 Your Honour, really, to ask in relation to both Mr. Krajisnik and
11 Dr. Karadzic is really two questions, every time, and it should not be put
12 as a single question.
13 JUDGE ORIE: It is one question.
14 MR. STEWART: It contains two, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: But it could be, if you're asked for what positions
16 the approval of Mr. A and Mr. B were required, then you would expect an
17 answer where both A and B would have to approve for that, and it would not
18 give an answer to the question whether the approval of one of them was
19 sufficient. So therefore, although I do not fully agree with your
20 analysis of the question, it certainly assists the Chamber better if you
21 split them up, Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. STEWART: I fully agree with Your Honour's analysis of the
23 logic. Of course, that's 100 per cent right --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger is invited to proceed in the way I
25 suggested to him.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. Let me direct this question, Mr. Prstojevic, to you in particular.
3 Did Dr. Karadzic or Mr. Krajisnik or both or neither have the power to
4 remove you whenever they wanted?
5 A. It is crystal clear. Had he wanted to, had Mr. Karadzic wanted to
6 remove somebody from a position of local authority, he would consult
7 Mr. Krajisnik and they could do that sort of thing at any time, although I
8 don't know of a single case regarding local authorities such as
9 municipalities. During the war, up to 1996, where certain officials were
10 removed. In 1996, after the Dayton Accords, something like that happened
11 concerning the mayor of the Ilijas municipality.
12 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, you referred earlier --
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, you said a while ago,
14 when you talked about Mr. Krajisnik, I shall quote you, "he was better
15 able to understand us because he was closer to us." So could you expand
16 on that, please, and explain these two sentences to us, please?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I have already explained.
18 Mr. Krajisnik lived in Sarajevo for ages. He knew everything there is to
19 know about Sarajevo and the people who lived there. As a native of
20 Sarajevo, he had special concern for the Serbs of Sarajevo and we could go
21 to Mr. Krajisnik at any time. His door was open to us. We could be
22 received for an interview. We could call him on the telephone. We could
23 ask for help. We could ask for his advice. And the president was able to
24 either praise or criticise our work.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could you tell us why? In other
1 words, could you give us examples, or cases, when you yourself have been
2 in contact with Mr. Krajisnik where he supported you and welcomed you in a
3 friendly way?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I believe that all presidents
5 of Sarajevo municipalities could give you any number of examples of that.
6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] No. But I'm turning to you and
7 I'm asking you the question.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Specifically, as far as we are
9 concerned, we had meetings and briefings with Mr. Krajisnik occasionally,
10 and President Karadzic often attended them. Those meetings discussed the
11 political and security situation. I think it suffices to say that we had
12 regular meetings as required, sometimes even several times a month. And
13 as soon as I would come back to my municipality from such a meeting, I
14 could call up Mr. Krajisnik on the phone and ask additional questions and
15 consult him if something remained unclear.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I will put my question to you
17 again. Could you give us one or two or three examples which made such an
18 impression on you that you were fully convinced that Krajisnik fully
19 supported you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know which example -- what
21 kind of example would satisfy you. Well, let's take this. I remember one
22 meeting which was attended by Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, General Mladic,
23 too, plus some other representatives of the Main Staff of the Sarajevo
24 Romanija Corps. This meeting discussed the security and political
25 situation in the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
1 It also discussed cooperation among various bodies such as the army,
2 civilian authorities, the MUP, and at this meeting, Mr. Karadzic happened
3 to criticise me. At another meeting yet, Mr. Krajisnik praised Ilidza as
4 a municipality that regularly submitted reports from various war
5 commissioners' offices, et cetera, while others were not so diligent. I
6 also remember some other meetings. For instance, when we were trying to
7 reach an agreement about establishing the assembly of the Serbian city of
8 Sarajevo, when we were trying to reach an agreement about the president of
9 the executive board, Mr. Krajisnik held the view that the president of the
10 executive board should be Mr. Maksim Stanisic. We from Ilidza, and I had
11 headed that delegation, were angry with that man and we thought that in
12 some critical times he had deserted Ilidza. He had simply fled. And we
13 didn't want him. However, in the talks that followed, once or twice maybe
14 in a period of 20 days, we accepted nevertheless the appointment of Maksim
15 Stanisic to the post of president of the executive board.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: One additional question in this respect.
18 You said, Mr. Prstojevic, that you remember one meeting,
19 Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, and General Mladic being present, and some
20 other representatives of the Main Staff of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
21 You say the meeting discussed the security and the political situation in
22 the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps security. What
23 do I have to understand? Were any military operations discussed, or what
24 do I have to understand as far as security is concerned?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I know that it is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 extremely hard for you to understand because what was being told and what
2 was being said to the public opinion was that Sarajevo Serbs had
3 surrounded Sarajevo, and that they had kept it under siege. But the point
4 is that about 200.000 of Sarajevo Serbs were housed and had to live in
5 provincial parts of Sarajevo, at the outskirts of Sarajevo, and they were
6 the majority there. And under war circumstances, in those areas in which
7 the Serbs had the majority, they took those areas and that was by virtue
8 of the fact that in some areas they had a 100 per cent majority, and for
9 the most part, they engaged in defensive operations, they set up military
10 defence lines along the borders of those areas. And we were constantly
11 worried about whether we would manage to defend ourselves, because there
12 were attacks from the city of Sarajevo, but we also had attacks from
13 elsewhere. So we were surrounded twice basically. And it can be seen
14 very easily if you look at the military map of Sarajevo. And everything
15 we did was simply aimed at being able to survive and maintain and keep
16 control of the territory that we had.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. I do understand that you give
18 now a description of the situation you felt you were in at that time. My
19 question was: When you say "security issues were discussed at that
20 meeting," I just would like to know what you discussed. Did you discuss
21 tactical, strategic military matters, deployment of military equipment,
22 deployment of troops? I mean, what were you discussing and then
23 specifically in security terms with, for example, General Mladic, who was
24 present at that meeting, or the representatives of the Sarajevo Romanija
25 Corps? I would just like to get an impression of what you discussed.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At such meetings, there were no
2 discussions or there was no planning of military operations or military
3 activity of any description. For the most part, we would report back from
4 our own positions as to whether we found that our defence was stable,
5 whether we had good cooperation with military commanders, whether the
6 commanders and MUP were doing their job properly. But they, too, would
7 talk about us. That is to say, they would report on whether the civilian
8 authorities were providing them with the right logistical support. At
9 such meetings there could have been, I don't know, requests for
10 assistance, logistical assistance, or assistance in terms of providing
11 food, clothes, arms, or in case we did not have an adequate army
12 commander, we could ask for somebody to be appointed. In other words,
13 whatever we expected the government to do by way of helping us, by way of
14 helping our own local brigades, could be discussed there, and we could
15 also discuss the way in which the hospital worked, for example.
16 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I was not objecting at all to Your
17 Honour's questions, although Your Honour knows that I sometimes do. But
18 this is not one of the occasions. But, Your Honour, two observations.
19 One is that Your Honour's question was about a specific meeting. The
20 witness's answer then referred to meetings generally.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll try to clarify it.
22 MR. STEWART: May I make one other practical suggestion,
23 Your Honour? Since Your Honour's question is directed to a specific
24 meeting it might -- rather than leave it till later, be helpful to the
25 Trial Chamber and everybody if we could invite the witness to possibly
1 date the meeting as best he can.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, first of all I asked about the meeting
3 and the witness started his answer by saying "at such meetings." I'll ask
4 for some clarification, then.
5 Mr. Prstojevic, you mentioned a specific meeting Mr. Krajisnik,
6 General Mladic, representatives of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps being
7 present. In your answer you referred to such meetings. Can we understand
8 that more meetings of that kind took place or were you referring to that
9 one meeting only?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, there were more such meetings
11 because the war went on for four years. There was a whole range of
12 meetings like that. But on the occasion of that meeting in particular, at
13 Pale, at the Famos premises, I can remember, if this is helpful, that the
14 finance minister, a lady called Petra, was present there. And I know that
15 Mr. Karadzic criticised Ilidza on some points, and I remember that I
16 myself criticised the Finance Ministry with regard to their inspections
17 and the fact that they set up the work of those inspectors, which is
18 contrary to the way in which things worked during the war. So these were
19 commercial affairs that we are talking about, commercial inspections, and
20 it was the fact that these people were not accountable to anyone because
21 their bosses were apparently at the central level and they could perhaps
22 even not go to work or do anything at all for a month and nobody would say
23 a word.
24 JUDGE ORIE: The meeting you just referred to as being held at the
25 Famos premises in Pale, was that the meeting where Mr. Krajisnik was
1 present as well?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And the other meetings -- you said quite a series of
4 these meetings took place. Was Mr. Krajisnik sometimes, usually, always,
5 or never present? Could you tell us about his presence?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, the meetings of the
7 presidents of Sarajevo municipalities were held for the most part in the
8 presence of President Krajisnik, as the man from Sarajevo. And I believe
9 that he was absent extremely rarely. He was either there the whole time
10 or for at least part of the meeting and I can't recall a single meeting
11 where these matters were discussed that was not attended by Mr. Krajisnik.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you situate those meetings, first of all the
13 meeting you refer to as the meeting held at the Famos premises at Pale,
14 could you tell us when that was? Month, year?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, there was a whole range of
16 meetings and I can't exactly tell you what month, but the meeting was in
17 1992. And I can indicate certain events surrounding that meeting, so on
18 the basis of that, you could perhaps pinpoint the month.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you would briefly mention them.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay. Maybe I should have my head
21 examined actually because I have it all in my head. But even if I were
22 totally healthy, I must say that it is not easy to pinpoint each
23 individual meeting because we had dozens of them, maybe 50 or something,
24 and all I can do is on the basis of these events.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You said to me that you know for sure that it was
1 1992 and that certain events surrounding the meeting could assist us in
2 further identifying the month. Could you please briefly tell what events
3 you had in mind that could assist us? Just by mentioning them, without
4 giving all details and further explanations.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, if I could look at my
6 papers, I could have course refer to each individual meeting, because I've
7 got all my diaries, but I do know that a late Danilo Veselinovic at the
8 time was importing peppers for Muslims in Sarajevo. It was like a
9 humanitarian effort but it was also being sold and there was a great deal
10 of uproar at Ilidza about these imports because it was suspicious because
11 the population was unhappy, the armed forces as well, and the MUP, but we
12 had to allow him to drive through and to drive peppers into Sarajevo on
13 those lorries.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's a clear event you described. Do you know of
15 any other such event?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It might be much better if I were to
17 check my diaries and be able to tell you what's what.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then my next question would be, could you give us a
19 rough estimate on how many of those meetings took place approximately in
20 1992? I'm not asking for any precise number but please tell us it were
21 three or ten or 25, approximately.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were two more significant
23 meetings attended by the representatives of the armed forces. One was
24 held at Jahorina and the other at Famos. At Jahorina, all brigade
25 commanders in the area of Serb Sarajevo were present as well. As to other
1 meetings of different nature or of a lesser scope, I think there must have
2 been somewhere between seven and ten.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And this is 1992? Is that a correct understanding?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I can only be really
5 precise and specific if I can check my papers, and I did say before and
6 I'm going to remind you again, that at Ilidza, I believe on the 17th of
7 April, there was a meeting of a part of the government at the Crisis Staff
8 and the meeting was about analysing the security and political situation
9 and the possibility of having the government of the Serb -- of the Serb
10 part of Sarajevo there, and the representatives of the government headed
11 by Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik were there, and all the Ilidza
12 representatives headed by myself were there as well.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're referring now two times to your diaries.
14 These diaries are in your possession?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They are. But I did say that
16 I did not even have a single second to prepare for this testimony because
17 I've got so much to do on my farm, and I have a very busy day. I work
18 non-stop between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I really appreciate that. Have you ever given access
20 to your diary to representatives of the Office of the Prosecution?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. And I was not inclined to do so
22 either, but I must say that they didn't even ask because I would have had
23 to take some time to make sure I know what I'm giving them, because I did
24 not enter information there in order to have some kind of account for
25 later but it was mostly about day to day work during the war and the tasks
1 that had to be carried out. And some things are written in a really nice
2 and legible handwriting and others are just jotted down, and at any rate,
3 I would like to keep that for myself, for family reasons, and to uphold
4 family traditions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the Chamber would invite you to give access
6 to these diaries and if the Chamber would supervise that no personal
7 family matters would become available to the parties but only those
8 matters that are not family-related and not directly related to your
9 personal life, would you agree to provide them?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, when I mentioned family
11 matters, there is nothing about my family in there. I would just like for
12 my children to have my original papers when I go because I've got three
13 children, and as the Trial Chamber -- and if the Trial Chamber, that is,
14 asks for it, and if it is an obligation, we can make sure it is done, but
15 I would need some time to go through all those papers and for them to be
16 photocopied, and then I could make them available to the Trial Chamber.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, of course, the Chamber could take care of
18 photocopying it and returning the original to you so that it would be
19 available for your family members. We will consider the matter and I
20 listen to your answers in this respect.
21 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to ask another question
23 based on your current testimony. You mentioned that [In English] "at such
24 meetings there could have been, I don't know, requests for assistance,
25 logistical assistance, or assistance in terms of providing food, clothing,
1 arms, or in case we did not have an adequate army commander, we could ask
2 for somebody to be appointed. In other words, whatever we expected the
3 government to do by way of helping us, by way of helping our own local
4 brigades, could be discussed there."
5 [Interpretation] You said that Mr. Krajisnik, when he attended
6 these meetings, listened to you very carefully. Does this mean that when
7 you expected help and support, does this mean that Mr. Krajisnik had any
8 impact on the decisions that were eventually taken? In other words, when
9 did Mr. Krajisnik have a real decision-making power at these meetings?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, it is only normal under such
11 war circumstances would be for everything to be listened to very
12 carefully. Mr. Krajisnik had the possibility to intervene directly with
13 some ministers, to ask them to do this or that, which was in line with our
14 requests, in case our requests were deemed to be justified, and in case
15 they were deemed realistic and feasible.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I have a second question to put
17 to you, Witness.
18 You said a while ago that Mr. Krajisnik attended these meetings,
19 that he played a part, and that in these instances you could meet him, see
20 him, and talk to him. But you also said that Mr. Krajisnik vis-a-vis
21 people in Sarajevo and vis-a-vis you and people in Ilidza, you said that
22 he was a very accessible man and in your testimony you said you could seek
23 advice from him and you even mentioned the fact that you could phone him
24 up personally to ask him for advice. Could you explain to us in what
25 cases you had to seek such advice from him? When you ask for advice it's
1 usually because you have a difficult question, it's usually because you
2 hesitate over something. Do you remember any particular instance where
3 you turned to Mr. Krajisnik to ask for advice from him, either personally
4 or in his office, or over the phone?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember certain talks about one
6 matter or another. An area that was discussed very often where assistance
7 was sought very often, was the supply of electricity for the area of Serb
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, sir. I'm not talking
10 about material or financial support. You used the word "advice." You
11 said you talked to him because you asked him for advice.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, of course we could consult on
13 a number of issues. As to whether it was about the economy, the
14 infrastructures, and how we should solve things. I wanted to quote one
15 example when we asked for a special electricity supply line between Pale
16 Vogosca and Srpska Ilidza so that the population that had no electricity
17 since August 1992 would get this electricity in 1993, and that, for
18 example, had been done. And I do remember some more significant events as
19 well. I mean, if there were some minor hitches, I can't really recall
20 that at the moment.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] A while ago you mentioned these
22 paramilitary groups that were doing bad things. Did you discuss this with
23 Mr. Krajisnik, and when you asked advice, did you ask him what the role
24 played by these paramilitaries might be?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to paramilitary units, we never
1 discussed those with Mr. Krajisnik, although I can't rule out the
2 possibility that on the occasion of one of those meetings, since there
3 were quite a few meetings, such groups were mentioned, because
4 paramilitary groups would come within the area of competence of MUP, the
5 police chief or the armed forces and a part of the Serb national state
6 security. So that it went without saying that our state and political
7 leadership had information on those groups, and since we were not
8 favourably impressed by such organisations or rather such groups and the
9 way in which they were organised because they would come and go rather
10 swiftly, except for the Brne's group, they were locals and they stayed a
11 bit longer. But we chased them away as well in the end.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] They were -- they were sent away
13 and they then went elsewhere. In other words, they were probably then
14 involved in their activities in other municipalities.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly what happened
16 but in the case of Brne, as I said, he was in the municipality of Novo
17 Sarajevo. He then came to Ilidza and I think that in 1993, he -- well, at
18 some point in the middle of that year, I think he was chased away from
19 there and I don't know what -- where he ended up.
20 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, looking at the clock, I promise you that
22 you'll be the one who puts questions to the witness after the break.
23 We will adjourn until ten minutes to 1.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed, Mr. Tieger.
2 MR. TIEGER: At the moment I'm getting French on the English
3 channel. I don't know if that's a problem for anybody else.
4 JUDGE ORIE: It's no problem for the Chamber but perhaps it's
5 better to have English on the English channel but I, on 4, receive English
7 MR. STEWART: Me too, Your Honour. I'd love to hear Mr. Tieger in
8 French but I'm not getting that at the moment.
9 MR. TIEGER: We'll move forward. I'm sure it will be fine.
10 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, during the course of discussing the
11 military-security meetings you mentioned that one of the issues that had
12 been raised was whether commanders and MUP were doing their jobs properly.
13 I'd like to next play an intercept dated 21 April 1992, ET 04014024.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, that would be number?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, it will be P794. We forgot to
16 assign a number for the last intercept.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And could you then assign a number to the last
19 intercept, which was the.
20 THE REGISTRAR: 14th of May of 1992.
21 JUDGE ORIE: 14th of May, Prstojevic and Gagovic. Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P793.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
24 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I should indicate that the English
25 version contains a date January 21st 1992, but the B/C/S contains the date
1 April 21st, 1992, which I believe to be the correct date.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, if there is any difference between the
3 dates in B/C/S and English, what makes you choose the B/C/S date as a
4 better one? Is it the context?
5 MR. TIEGER: Context, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, context. So we will then see whether we could
7 follow your suggestion.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Apology of the interpreters, we cannot find this
9 particular transcript. Could we maybe --
10 MR. TIEGER: It's number 2 on their list, I believe.
11 JUDGE ORIE: It's number 2 on the list, Mr. Tieger says.
12 MR. STEWART: It's January 1992, on the list, of course.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Have you found it meanwhile? Have the interpreters
14 found it?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Not yet, Your Honour, I'm sorry. It's a
16 conversation between who and whom?
17 MR. TIEGER: Conversation between --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Prstojevic and it starts with an unknown male voice
19 and later on -- no, it's all unknown male person.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you very much, we have it now.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's proceed.
22 [Intercept played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Prstojevic: Hello.
24 Unknown Male Voice: Yes.
25 Prstojevic: Hi. Prstojevic speaking.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Unknown Male Voice: Yes, go ahead.
2 Prstojevic: Is Garic there?
3 Unknown Male Voice: Garic went to Pale.
4 Prstojevic: All right. Who am I talking to?
5 Unknown Male Voice: I'm one of his associates.
6 Prstojevic: All right. This is Prstojevic speaking, commander of
7 Crisis Staff Ilidza.
8 Unknown Male Voice: Is that so?
9 Prstojevic: Yes.
10 Unknown Male Voice: So, Prstojevic, what's up over there?
11 Prstojevic: Well, it's good. I sent them the help in manpower
12 over there.
13 Unknown Male Voice: We didn't -- oh, that's from Kasindol, right?
14 Prstojevic: Yes.
15 Unknown Male Voice: Yes, yes. We got that.
16 Prstojevic: Where are they, tell me.
17 Unknown Male Voice: But they are kind of scattered around. This
18 guy told me that for the part that he received that some of them stayed
19 and that there is about ten or his own men and the rest of them returned.
20 Prstojevic: Tell me, are the fights still going on down there?
21 Unknown Male Voice: Well, yes, but that's not very organised.
22 The police doesn't want to come out and do their job. One part of the
23 territory is already taken but the police doesn't want to come out so the
24 people -- I don't know what to tell you. We have problems there.
25 Prstojevic: Tell me how far will they go? Did you come to the
1 left bank of the river Miljacka?
2 Unknown Male Voice: Yes, this part is taken almost to the
3 Miljacka river, but the upper part, even Krdelj street, that's still not
5 Prstojevic: And did you cut through Vrbanja?
6 Unknown Male Voice: Yes.
7 Prstojevic: And you in control there?
8 Unknown Male Voice: Well, we are for the moment, but the police
9 still didn't come out, so the civilians are holding that. Screw it.
10 Prstojevic: Territorial Defence members?
11 Unknown Male Voice: Well, yes.
12 Prstojevic: All right, but the police should come out.
13 Unknown Male Voice: Of course it should, but it's not coming ant
14 [sic] that's the problem. So Krajisnik called him and he went up there so
15 they can agree on them doing their job and if they don't want, screw it,
16 they are not doing anything for the last 20 days.
17 Prstojevic: They aren't doing anything apart from scratching
18 their balls.
19 Unknown Male Voice: Yes, man.
20 Prstojevic: Well, they are slowing us down big time. Some
21 pressure should be exercised on them.
22 Unknown Male Voice: Yes, but how?
23 Prstojevic: Well, let --
24 Unknown Male Voice: The only person who can do that is their
25 minister and I don't think he's in favour of that.
1 Prstojevic: Yes.
2 Unknown Male Voice: It seems like that.
3 Prstojevic: And is the minister up there on that number of
5 Unknown Male Voice: I guess the minister is up there, yes. Up
6 there with them.
7 Prstojevic: All right. Have a nice day, man.
8 Unknown Male Voice: You too.
9 Prstojevic: Bye."
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, just perhaps my knowledge of the English
11 language is not sufficient. On page 2 first line, I see the word "ant,"
12 which I only know as a small animal but not as anything else. Is there --
13 is it a mistake or is it -- has it some special meaning? But it's
14 not "ant" that --
15 MR. TIEGER: No, Your Honour, I think you're right. I think that
16 is a mistake and we can be happy to have that portion ...
17 JUDGE ORIE: Translated perhaps by the interpreters.
18 MR. STEWART: It could be "and." I'm not doing an interpretation
19 but it could certainly be "and," as a matter of English.
20 MR. TIEGER: But we can also read the B/C/S transcript.
21 MR. STEWART: Yes, of course. I'm not solving the problem I'm
22 just saying it could easily be "and." It makes perfect sense.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If someone could read the 7th box from the bottom of
24 page 2 of the B/C/S, Mr. Karganovic has gone so he couldn't take over
25 the -- perhaps he could -- do the interpreters have the B/C/S version?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Not -- yes, we do.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could perhaps one of the B/C/S interpreters
3 read aloud in the original language the 7th box from the bottom, which
4 starts with ["B/C/S spoken] so that it will be translated into English?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, it seems to be a simple typo. It
6 should be "and." Of course it should, but it's not, and that's the
8 JUDGE ORIE: If that's the -- then it should be a D instead of a
9 T. Yes.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, did you first of all -- do you recognise the
13 unknown male voice on the -- or the voice that's listed as unknown on that
15 A. I wasn't focusing on identifying the unknown voice. According to
16 the location from which this man was speaking, from one end of the town to
17 another, I cannot identify the man. I don't remember this exchange. But
18 I can identify my own voice. I know although superficially who Momo Garic
19 is and I remember the events, as well as the assistance we lent to the
20 territorial units over there.
21 Q. That person indicated to you that Mr. Krajisnik called and he went
22 up there so that he could agree on them doing their job. After he related
23 to you issues about the police, do you recall whether that problem was
24 resolved after the telephone -- after the conversation you had with this
1 A. I don't remember how the problem was resolved. I only remember
2 that we were supposed to lend assistance to territorial units locally. I
3 remember we did that, and it was for that purpose that I had this
4 exchange. A snag in this situation was the fact that members of the MUP
5 were not performing their activities as they had to.
6 Q. And apparently you both expressed concern about that, and did
7 that -- did [inaudible] saw as a problem improve after your discussion
8 with the unknown male person?
9 A. Well, you see, it was a problem on the territory of another
10 municipality, on the other end of town, and I had my hands full dealing
11 with my own problems at the time. I wasn't going home at all, and I slept
12 in my boots. And the very next day, there was the attack on Ilidza. It's
13 very likely that after this one conversation, I didn't receive any more
14 information apart from talking to people who were present in that area.
15 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, earlier you mentioned the war commission. In that
16 connection I'd like to show you a document which is ERN number 03014405,
17 which is item 22 on the list.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, that would be?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Exhibit P795.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, P795 is an order on the establishment of a War
22 Presidency pursuant to the decision of the National Assembly of Republika
23 Srpska on 17 December 1992, on the cessation of validity of the decision
24 on the appointment of wartime commissioners, et cetera. And it bears your
25 signature on the bottom, or at -- so I take it that this then was an order
1 that you made pursuant to the decision of the national -- of the Bosnian
2 Serb Assembly? Is that correct, sir? Is that an order that you issued
3 pursuant to the decision of the Serbian assembly?
4 A. That is completely correct, and we can see that from the preamble.
5 Until that moment, the 16th of January 1993, there was in operation a war
6 commissioner for the area of the Serb Municipality of Ilidza. When the
7 circumstances changed and when the national assembly of Republika Srpska
8 adopted a different decision, then we were duty-bound to set up War
9 Presidency -- War Presidencies, rather, because the municipality was split
10 in three parts. We had to establish these War Presidencies according to
11 the decision.
12 Q. Who was the war commissioner in Ilidza?
13 A. Before that, the war commissioner in Ilidza was Miroslav
14 Radovanovic, and I think he was replaced by Jovo Mijatovic, national
15 deputy, deputy to the national assembly, a man from Zvornik, if I'm not
17 Q. Who tasked Mr. Radovanovic to be the war commissioner for Ilidza?
18 A. Our state and political leadership at Pale, Radovanovic was
19 commissioner for Ilidza and Rajlovac, those two municipalities.
20 Q. And at the time he was tasked, was that by the War Presidency in
22 A. I think so, but I cannot recall now who appointed him and by which
24 Q. And who comprised the War Presidency in Pale, as you understood
1 A. I simply don't know, precisely. But war commissioners' offices
2 and War Presidencies were bodies that were supposed to be headed by people
3 occupying the highest posts at a certain level. You can see that on the
4 example of this War Presidency. People were not appointed by name but by
5 their posts.
6 Q. In your interview, you provided an assessment to 99.9 per cent of
7 the people you believed to be on the War Presidency. What information --
8 do you recall that and, if so, what information was that based on? Was
9 that based on their positions? Was it based on your knowledge of who
10 comprised the leadership? What factors?
11 A. Based on the functions discharged by those people. I don't know
12 what I knew about that at the time. I cannot remember anymore.
13 Q. And who did you assess as 99.9 per cent sure were on the War
14 Presidency? I'm talking about --
15 A. Do you mean --
16 Q. I mean the War Presidency in Pale.
17 A. Well, at any rate, the president of the republic should be there,
18 president of the national assembly, possibly some vice-presidents, maybe
19 Nikola Koljevic, the minister of defence should have been there. I can't
20 name any more.
21 Q. Now, what did you understand the -- or why did you understand that
22 the -- that Mr. Radovanovic had been sent to Ilidza? For what purpose?
23 A. Well, I never quite understood why the municipalities in the area
24 of Serbian Sarajevo were given commissioners when they had
25 well-established local governments, municipal governments, and other
1 bodies, but those people simply came, told us that they had been
2 appointed, that they were superior to us, that they were going to follow
3 the work of local government in the municipalities, the work of the MUP,
4 the police and the army, the entire structure functioning in the area of a
5 municipality. And I think -- in fact, I don't think, I know, that the
6 last commissioner for us told us loud and clear that he would inform the
7 leadership in Pale that the executive board and the local authorities were
8 operating properly and that there was no need for his presence there. I
9 can't remember the name of the man now. And that's what happened. He
10 informed Pale and then he left. And later followed the decision of
11 Republika Srpska voiding the decision to establish war commissioners.
12 Q. Did the war commission of Ilidza submit records to the leadership?
13 A. I know that they informed the leadership. I don't know all the
14 ways in which they kept them informed. I couldn't tell you that.
15 Q. What was Mr. Radovanovic's political background and affiliation?
16 A. Mr. Radovanovic and Mr. Nikola Poplasen who was commissioner for
17 Vogosca and Ilijas municipalities, upon coming to this area, started
18 following the work of authorities. I don't know to what extent they
19 belonged to the Serbian democratic party, but I know that they implemented
20 the activities required for the establishment of the Serbian Radical
21 Party. We did not interfere with that, nor could we. And I think that
22 the first time a Serbian Radical Party was registered in our territory was
23 in Ilidza, in the municipal court of Lukavica, and I know for a fact that
24 their first communique concerning coalition parliamentary work was made
25 over the radio, Ilidza Radio.
1 Q. Was Mr. Radovanovic close to or associated with any of the top
2 Bosnian Serb leaders in Pale?
3 A. I don't know that. They were imposed on us by the leadership in
4 Pale, so they must have enjoyed the trust of our leadership in Pale
5 because they had been prepared as people who were trusted, people who were
6 knowledgeable and superior to us.
7 Q. Were there some people who were appointed to positions in the
8 Sarajevo area who were known to be closer to Mr. Karadzic, for example, or
9 Mr. Krajisnik, or any other Bosnian Serb leader?
10 A. That happened later, and such people arrived to occupy various
11 functions when the executive board was established for the Serbian city of
12 Sarajevo and when the mayor was to be appointed, when the local government
13 for the Serbian Sarajevo was established. There were other, high-ranking
14 officials appointed back at Pale who enjoyed their trust but they were
15 appointed to republican authorities.
16 Q. Who was Jovan Tintor?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger before you proceed, if you look at the
18 question and the answer it's totally unclear what the testimony of the
19 witness means. You asked whether people were appointed to positions who
20 were known to be closer to Mr. Karadzic or Mr. Krajisnik or any other
21 Bosnian Serb leaders. So that could be anything. And then the witness
22 said that that happened later. So it later happened, as far as I
23 understand, that people were appointed who were closer to whomever Bosnian
24 Serb leader. That doesn't assist the Chamber much.
25 MR. TIEGER: All right. Mr. --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could be SDS and the other party. It's -- so could
2 you please further explore that? I take it that you are trying to find
3 out whether some people were appointed who were close to some specific
4 Serbian leader.
5 MR. TIEGER: Certainly be happy to do that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. In 1992, Mr. Prstojevic, some people appointed to positions in the
9 Sarajevo area who were known to be closer to Mr. Krajisnik than to other
10 Bosnian Serb leaders?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Can you name some of those people, please?
13 A. Names? Well, for instance, Jovan Tintor, Maksim Stanisic, Ljubisa
14 Vladosic. Then Vojo Maksimovic, too. For the most part, it was
15 Mr. Krajisnik who handled personnel issues for the Serbian Sarajevo. He
16 charted the personnel policy as the person who was the most knowledgeable
17 about the situation on the ground.
18 Q. And was Mr. Radovanovic known to be someone who was more closely
19 associated with Mr. Krajisnik than, for example, with Mr. Karadzic?
20 A. I don't know that.
21 Q. I'm going to ask you about a portion of your first interview shown
22 at -- or found at page 32 of the November 2003 interviews, and just ask
23 you to clarify that, if you can, please. You had first been discussing a
24 man named Tomislav Sipovac, who came and introduced himself that Karadzic
25 sent him for information jobs and coordinate with the top, and then you
1 indicated that he was supposed to be the person through whom you would --
2 could communicate with Karadzic, but very soon, Mr. Radovanovic showed up
3 and this person, Sipovac, was leaning more towards Karadzic as in contrast
4 to Mr. Radovanovic who was leaning more towards Krajisnik. And I wondered
5 if you could explain that.
6 A. If I said it at the time, I probably remembered better. It must
7 be the case and I must have known why I said it. As to the previous list
8 of names, there are other names as well at the local level such as Rajko
9 Koprivica, who was the mayor of Vogoska and Bozic was the mayor of
10 Rajlovac, et cetera. Tomislav Sipovac was sent to us in the way I
11 described, but it is a man who I thought for a while was on the main board
12 as well. But he was a writer, and I don't know how and why he never
13 managed to strengthen his position, to consolidate his authority or
14 whatever. I mean, he did what I said he did, and in the end, he was
15 appointed as a director of one publicly owned company. I think it was
16 called [B/C/S spoken], enlightenment, and I think it was to do with
18 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, can we turn next to an intercept which
19 is dated May 14th, 1992, the ERN number is 04013853.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It's on your exhibit list under number?
21 MR. TIEGER: Number 10, I believe, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ten. Madam Registrar that would then have number?
23 THE REGISTRAR: It has already an exhibit number.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I have not looked at the list. I apologise.
25 [Intercept played]
1 MR. STEWART: I'm not getting any English, Your Honour.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us now?
3 MR. STEWART: Yes, I can.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We can hear your voice now. Let's restart and see
5 whether we ...
6 [Intercept played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Hello?
8 Yes, good evening. God be with you.
9 How are you?
10 It will be better.
11 Tell me --.
12 Prstojevic speaking. I'd like to talk to Mrki.
13 Mrki is not here. Mrki 2 is.
14 Okay Mrki 2, then.
15 Just a second.
17 Hello, hello.
19 Good evening.
20 Good evening.
21 How are you?
22 Prstojevic speaking.
23 I'm Mika's deputy.
24 Yes, and your name is?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
3 Why did Mika phone me?
4 He phoned me [as interpreted] to check with you. These people in
5 Kotorac --
7 What should we do with them?
8 Did you arrest them? What did you do?
9 People are down there -- oh, just a second, one second, (Milenko
10 is telling the people in the room to be quiet). Yes.
13 And where are those people? Have they been arrested?
15 What then?
16 Down there on the road, all of them. Men are separated from
19 Just a second, just a second.
20 Up there, right?
21 He says men -- I've just received the word; men are in the Kula
22 prison and women went in the direction of Butmir.
23 Put Tepavcevic on.
24 Here -- here is Novakovic. He will talk to you. It's
25 Prstojevic. Stop fooling around.
3 Hi Nedja.
5 How are you.
6 I'm fine.
7 Have you been cleaning Kotorac today.
8 They have. I don't know the exact details because I was engaged
11 Well, if you want we will call you later. Well, while.
12 That's okay, but tell me please, I beg of you, why did you take
13 women to Butmir?
14 They said women were not in Butmir but --
16 Well, in Butmir, yes. Not to KP Dom but to Butmir. That's where
17 they're going.
18 They cannot go to Butmir. We'll mop Butmir in time as well.
20 Butmir will be mopped up. Sokolovic will be mopped up. Hrasnica
21 will be mopped up.
22 Well, I don't know where to take them?
23 They will all -- there is Bascarsija. Please, take them all to
24 Bascarsija on foot.
25 Aha. Aha.
2 Okay now I'll --
3 And men to prison.
4 Okay I'll check with them now and then I'll let you know.
5 Yes. Tell them those who convert to the Orthodox religion on the
6 spot, they can stay, women and children.
7 Aha. Okay, okay. Now I'll --
8 Do it, please, but don't make mistakes. You've done an excellent
9 job but it means that Butmir will be mopped up in time. Tell that to the
10 people there.
11 Yes, yes, okay.
12 There you go. Cheers.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, is that you speaking in that telephone
16 conversation and to whom are you speaking, if so?
17 A. Yes. In this telephone conversation, I tried to reconstruct the
18 events of 2003, and I can say one thing now, and I stick to what I said
19 before. What is of essence here is that this was a conversation which did
20 not take place on the 14th of May 1992, because this event did not happen
21 on that day.
22 Q. And on what date do you believe this conversation took place?
23 A. In my opinion, the conversation took place on the 12th of May,
24 late at night.
25 Q. To whom are you speaking in this conversation?
1 A. What you can tell on the basis of the conversation is that I don't
2 know who I'm speaking to. I asked to speak to one of the TO commanders
3 who introduced himself as such. I think it was somebody called Mika
4 Tusevljak, but then I asked to speak to the police chief at Kula straight
5 away or rather, yes, the chief of police at Kula. I don't really know
6 what his role was exactly. He was Miljenko Tepancevic.
7 Q. Why did you want to speak to Mr. Tepavcevic?
8 A. Well, look, it is the eastern part of Ilidza. From there, I was
9 basically between 12 and 15 kilometres away from there, but in the course
10 of that day, I had been further out. I was maybe 20 kilometres away at
11 the far end of this municipality, in a local community there. And when I
12 got there, somebody must have told me that certain activities had been
13 decided there. As far as I know, the JNA, with the support of the TO
14 units and MUP units, were involved. Basically, that part of that local
15 community was a threat to the Lukavica barracks, and JNA, in order to
16 protect themselves, and this can be seen here and without knowledge of the
17 Crisis Staff, engaged in certain military activity and in the last
18 analysis, they were entitled to do so. And I obtained information about
19 that, and I was told that the civilians were sent down a road which is
20 about 700 metres away, to a Muslim settlement, and there was another road
21 going in the direction of Bascarsija, 300 metres away. The Dobrinja one,
22 the centre of town Bascarsija, and that's why this was mentioned as the
23 final destination, in order to determine the actual direction of that
24 movement. I would just like to stress that the date is very questionable
25 here, and it just could not have happened on the 14th of May because on
1 the 14th of May we experienced the terrible attack on the entire western
2 part of Ilidza and we incurred losses, 48 people were wounded and eight
3 were killed.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to put an additional question to the
6 Mr. Prstojevic, why could the women and children not stay on the
7 territory of Ilidza?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, it's not the territory we are
9 talking about. It's the fourth part or, let's say, a quarter of the local
10 community and 100 or more, perhaps a thousand and a hundred inhabitants.
11 If the JNA together with MUP and the Territorial Defence took it upon
12 themselves to disarm the male Muslim population, the people who had
13 already started to engage in some sort of activity, well, in that case, it
14 would not have been usual for the women and children to be left behind,
15 and they did not want to stay anyway, and they would have been very unsafe
16 there because 300 metres away from that settlement was the urban territory
17 of Dobrinja which was controlled by the Muslim forces and those people
18 basically wanted to go there to join their relatives and so on, and also,
19 perhaps, I should say that most -- that only very few Muslims came back to
20 that settlement. Quite the contrary, they actually sold off their houses,
21 et cetera, because most people want to live in cities these days.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Would it be different if they would have converted
23 into Orthodox religion? Would they then have been safe or would they then
24 have changed their mind or --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We did not do that. This last
1 bit is war propaganda, and it is a quote from a song, and it refers to
2 something that took place in 1804, when Serbia was engaged in a war of
3 liberation from Turkey, from the Ottoman empire. Apart from that, if you
4 talk about the Orthodox Church, any conversion of other faiths, of -- from
5 other religions into the Orthodox religion, is banned. But there is this
6 phrase in an old song from 1804 and this has just been put into context
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, your remarks in this telephone
9 conversation do not leave much margin open that you would consider the
10 wishes of those who were on their way to Butmir and where you said they
11 could not go to Butmir, seems not to be a lot of consultation with the
12 persons, the women and children, involved.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, I don't know. The only thing
14 I do know is that this conversation took place after the job was done, and
15 the conversation took place upon the completion of that task. Everything
16 that had to happen happened before this conversation.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Novakovic says, "Well, I don't know where to take
18 them, which is not language as if he had already delivered these women and
19 children somewhere." And you answer to his question, "They will all --
20 there is Bascarsija. Please take all of them to Bascarsija on foot."
21 That doesn't sound very much as if they had been taken to Bascarsija
22 already, is it?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I mean, whether they
24 had gone or not but it was about 300 metres on foot. You can ascertain
25 that even today. However, they did go -- I mean, I can't find it at the
1 moment in this text but it is somewhere in the text. They had already
2 gone, following the men who were being interviewed.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can see this on page 2, where
5 Miljenko Tepavcevic who had a high-ranking position within MUP, he says,
6 "I've just received the information now, the men are at Kula in prison
7 and the women had gone to Butmir," in the direction of Butmir. And they
8 went from the cross roads, they took a longer route, which is twice as
9 long as the route I was referring to here.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps -- Mr. Novakovic says -- they said "women
11 were not in Butmir but," and then you said, "But." "Well, in Butmir,
12 yes. Not to KP Dom but to Butmir. That's where they are going." Then
13 you say, "They cannot go to Butmir." And then Mr. Novakovic a while later
14 says, "Well, I don't know where to take them," and then you say, "Take
15 them to Bascarsija." That doesn't sound very much as if the whole road on
16 foot has already been completed.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So there is a certain lack of
18 clarity here as well, and the people talking to me don't actually know
19 what's what but basically, all this population was within the area of
20 responsibility of MUP, and the MUP people would know what they did there,
21 and I can state that any use of means of transport for a distance of 300
22 or even 700 metres at that time could not have been organised because, I
23 mean, you walk a kilometre on foot in seven minutes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Prstojevic, the issue is not the means of
25 transportation. The issue is who decides where people will go.
1 Judge Hanoteau has one question for you as well.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to you pick up on
5 this sentence, [In English] "Orthodox religion on the spot, they can stay
6 women and children." [Interpretation] What did you mean when you said
7 this? You talked about a song. I assume you weren't singing over the
8 phone. I didn't quite understand what you meant here.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where were these people going to go?
10 The MUP, from the police station at Kula, where this was all situated.
11 Secondly, in the songs from the first Serb uprising in the periods of 1804
12 and 1813, in one of the songs, there is a reference to Karadjordje sending
13 Turks back to Turkey, and there is a poetic licence there and there was
14 reference to the fact in that poem actually, not a song, that whoever
15 decided to embrace the Orthodox religion could have stayed. So there was
16 no actual need to use this phrase here. It was a kind of romantic
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, you are talking to someone
19 and you are giving instructions to this person. Take them to Bascarsija
20 on foot. And then you say, "For those who convert to the Orthodox faith,
21 those can stay, those can stay, and if they are women and children."
22 That's not what it was about. This was not an instruction you were giving
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, it was at night, in the
25 evening. And everything that's being said in this propaganda, this is
1 romantic language, and basically we have the population that left Butmir,
2 and they can confirm what the relationship was and what treatment they
3 received on that day. And I'm claiming that on that day, they left and
4 they went where they wanted to go without any hassle, especially when we
5 talk about the women and children.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we have to stop for the day.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour I have something I must raise for a
8 minute, two minutes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In the absence of the witness, I take it?
10 MR. STEWART: Yes in the absence --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Another Chamber needs this courtroom so it really has
12 to be --
13 MR. STEWART: It will be quick, Your Honour, but in the absence of
14 the witness.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Prstojevic
16 out of the courtroom, but Mr. Prstojevic I'd like to instruct you that you
17 should not speak with anyone about the testimony you've given and which is
18 about to be given. We would like to see you back tomorrow morning at
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart?
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it's in a sense a really stupid and
23 trivial issue, but raising an important point. And I want to make it
24 clear it's not some sort of childish squabble between Mr. Krajisnik and
25 myself but it's this: I've handed to Mr. Krajisnik in the course of the
1 morning that book of maps that we use for the case. Mr. Krajisnik doesn't
2 want to give it back because he says that it's his case and so on. The
3 fact is, Your Honour, if I -- I am not slighted, I'm not humiliated by
4 having the conduct of the case taken out of my hands to the degree it has
5 been, but I am exasperated, fed up, and really truly frustrated by it,
6 Your Honour. And this is an illustration of the small things.
7 Mr. Krajisnik wishes to prepare his cross-examination. I've got to
8 prepare my cross-examination. I'm just going to make a friendly request
9 to the Prosecution straight away if we can have additional copies of that
10 book but, Your Honour, this is going to happen time and time and time
11 again. If we've got two people conducting the case then two people are
12 going to have to be equipped to conduct the case. Your Honour, it's
13 getting absolutely ridiculous but, Your Honour, if I can not conduct the
14 case as counsel and if I can not retain my own practical equipment to
15 conduct the case as counsel and continue in this way, Your Honour, I will
16 not continue to conduct the case until I am supplied with the tools to do
17 it and allowed to do my job.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, did you receiver from Mr. Stewart a
19 copy of the book of maps?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, each and every one of
21 us got this book. This is my book. I brought it along this morning.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, did you receive a copy of the book of
23 maps from Mr. Stewart?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I gave mine to him this morning
25 to photocopy it. I brought it from the prison. This is a mistake. Each
1 and every one of us got a copy of these maps.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, is there any possibility that
3 Mr. Krajisnik in the past received a copy of this book of which you he
4 would like to keep his own personal copy?
5 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'll sort this out. I physically
6 handed it to Mr. Krajisnik. I have asked and instructed that the --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's let one thing --
8 MR. STEWART: Is brought to court all the time. If it's not here
9 I apologise for sorting it out. My exasperation remains, Your Honour, at
10 the situation. But if we have made a mistake and there is confusion in
11 relation to this map, then I heartily apologise. I've got a zillion things
12 to do including all thee negotiations and these financial matters and so
13 on, Your Honour. The last thing I want to do is to be troubled with
14 whether I can lay my hands on my book of maps.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I think one thing will be perfectly clear. If you
16 provide a copy of the book of maps to Mr. Krajisnik, who does not have
17 one, and if Mr. Krajisnik would like to have one or some of these maps
18 available to him in preparing for the next court hearing, then, under
19 those circumstances, the solution would not be not to return it to you but
20 to see that a copy is made and if the Chamber can be of assistance, under
21 those circumstances, I'm not saying that these are the circumstances but
22 if that would be the circumstances, I would be happy to personally make
23 the photocopy involved.
24 We will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
25 MR. STEWART: Thank you for that help, Your Honour.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m., to
2 be reconvened Thursday, the 16th of June, 2005, at
3 9.00 a.m.