1 Thursday, 16 June 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and just outside the
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case Number
9 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam registrar.
11 Mr. Tieger, are you ready to continue the examination-in-chief of
12 Mr. Prstojevic?
13 MR. TIEGER: Yes, I am.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then Madam Usher --
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I do have a couple of points, one very
16 quick and then one of some substance. Your Honour, the first one is may I
17 convert a contingent apology into an actual apology, Your Honour, because
18 yesterday in relation to the maps if we had made a mistake and if there is
19 confusion in relation to this map, then I heartily apologise. Your
20 Honour, there were mistakes and there was confusion, therefore my apology
21 is there on the table to Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It is accepted.
23 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. And I should say that
24 yesterday afternoon Mr. Krajisnik and I were able yesterday amicably to
25 resolve that between us without any difficulty in a short time. So
1 friends again this morning. On that, Your Honour, what -- I'm joking, of
3 Your Honour, the point of -- of real substance is that we on our
4 side, and I know the Prosecution have looked as well, Your Honour, because
5 we do talk to each other, looked again at what had been said and
6 Your Honours' ruling, a decision in relation to -- to the question of the
7 use of the interview transcripts. And, Your Honour, I have to say that in
8 the end we were unable to work out clearly where we were, and therefore,
9 Your Honour, we are seeking guidance and we are depending on what
10 Your Honours indicate, possibly an opportunity of making any necessary
11 submissions. But, Your Honour, it is -- the Defence's understanding when
12 we left court yesterday was that the interview transcripts were not in
13 evidence except to the extent to which specific passages had been put to
14 the witness which he had then confirmed, and to that degree one can then
15 of course read those into his evidence. Your Honour, that was the
16 position as we understood when we left court. When we had the opportunity
17 for practical reasons, unfortunately rather late in the day yesterday, but
18 the opportunity to look at yesterday's transcript, we began to be
19 concerned that it really wasn't as clear as that and to wonder where
20 exactly we were. We hope that is the position, Your Honour. If it isn't,
21 then we are, with respect, going to have to look a little bit more at it.
22 But may I simply ask the question first, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Before I answer that question, I will consult during
24 the next break with my colleagues to see whether we have all the same
25 answer to that question on our mind and then I'll give it to you on behalf
1 of the Chamber.
2 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we are ready.
4 Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness into the
5 courtroom. I would like to take the time at this moment to assist you
6 at -- to announce that for the contextual exhibits in relation to Zvornik
7 and to Vogosca, we have not yet set a time limit for any objections. Mr.
8 Stewart, if the Defence would like to raise any objections in respect of
9 the contextual exhibits on Zvornik and Vogosca, it should be done within
10 seven days from now on.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 MR. STEWART: Thank you for that guidance, Your Honour. Thank
14 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Prstojevic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by the
17 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony that
18 you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 WITNESS: NEDJELJKO PRSTOJEVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examined by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I'd like to begin by turning to a couple of
25 matters or a few matters that were raised yesterday. First of all, having
1 looked at the transcript, it appears that we, because of a microphone
2 problem -- we have an answer to a question that was not fully transcribed
3 and then the question appearing later, perhaps it's helpful to simply make
4 that clear on the record.
5 JUDGE ORIE: From what I understand is that it was translated in
6 B/C/S, but it was not translated in the first instance into English.
7 MR. TIEGER: Okay. If the Court is satisfied -- the Court knows
8 the question to which I'm referring and we do have an answer on the
9 record. So if that's satisfactory, I'll proceed.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. TIEGER:
12 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, that question concerned receiving Legija of
13 Arkan's group at the Crisis Staff. You also referred yesterday to the
14 visit of Mr. Seselj to Brne's group in Ilidza two or three times. Is it
15 when Seselj visited Brne's group, did you receive Mr. Seselj -- did you
16 facilitate his meeting with representatives of the VRS and did Mr. Seselj
17 visit soldiers and Brne's group with a representative of the VRS?
18 A. According to these questions and in relation to these questions, I
19 fully stick to my original statement from 2003. The arrival of Mr. Seselj
20 to Ilidza was not something that we had organised and we had not extended
21 an invitation to him. He came on his own initiative. He visited the
22 Brne's group. And on that occasion, I was not present. I was not at that
23 venue, at Brne's venue. But I did receive Mr. Seselj in my office. We
24 had certain talks, and I think we visited the Ilidza Brigade, but I also
25 know for sure that we visited a part of the front line, I think of the 3rd
1 Ilidza Battalion and the positions at an Energoinvest.
2 Q. Now, yesterday I also asked you whether the -- to whom or to which
3 body the Crisis Staff, the Serbian Crisis Staff of Ilidza was subordinate
4 to and your answer spoke generally of not a lot of hierarchy, of all
5 coordination at the time was agreed with our leadership, et cetera. But I
6 don't think the question of subordination, per se, was explicitly
8 Is it correct, Mr. Prstojevic, that the Serbian Crisis Staff of
9 Ilidza was subordinated to the president of the Serbian assembly?
10 A. The Crisis Staff at Ilidza was basically set up and operated in
11 line with the instructions that I saw here. And I've referred in the
12 interview 093, I believe, 093. It is quite clear that the responsibility
13 of the Crisis Staff had to do with the fact that they were accountable to
14 the state and political bodies that issued those instructions and asked
15 for them to be implemented. Basically, coordinating activities of the
16 Crisis Staff would be subject to consultations and agreement with the top
17 political and state leadership.
18 Q. Well, then two questions in response to that. First of all, let
19 me turn your attention and the Court's attention to page 48 of the
20 November 2003 interviews. And following some general discussion of the
21 Assembly of the Serb people and the Crisis Staff, you were asked: "So did
22 you understand that the Serbian assembly of Ilidza and the Serbian Crisis
23 Staff of Ilidza was organisationally subordinated to the president of the
25 And you responded: "Absolutely, that's why it reported to it."
1 Is that an accurate summation of the hierarchy or the -- between
2 the Crisis Staff, the Serbian Crisis Staff in Ilidza and the president of
3 the Serbian National Assembly?
4 A. That's quite correct and it can be seen on the basis of documents
5 that we submitted to the president of the assembly straight after the
6 setting up of the assembly. And it also transpires from the coordination
7 that certain people from Ilidza were involved in together with the
8 leadership from Pale. And we're talking about people such as Mr. Tomislav
9 Sipovac, who was referred to here yesterday, as well as Mr. Ranko Mandic
10 who amongst other things was in charge of the presentor -- and talks with
11 the representatives of the European Economic Community.
12 Q. Yesterday I also referred generally to a portion of your
13 interview in which you provided an assessment to 99 per cent of the
14 people you believed to be in the War Presidency at Pale and I failed
15 both to cite the page on which that was contained and to make clear what
16 your assessment was. So for the benefit of the record and the witness,
17 the question at page 183 of the sequential transcript was: "And who
18 were the persons who comprised the War Presidency of Pale?"
19 And on page 184 the answer was: "There is that document that we
20 looked, I think is the first one, document about mobilisation. I do not
21 know exactly, but I suppose for 99.9 per cent, President Karadzic, Biljana
22 Plavsic, president of the assembly, Momcilo Krajisnik, president of the
23 government, whether minister of defence or not, I do not know."
24 A. Precisely because we got no written document telling us who was in
25 the War Presidency. We knew that on the basis of what we had been told,
1 on the basis of our conversations and assumptions. So I can't tell with
2 100 per cent certainty that President Karadzic would have been there,
3 although he should have been. So I stick to my previous assessment.
4 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I'd next like to move on to a new document, and
5 that is an intercept dated -- I think the date that may appear on the list
6 is 16 June, but I believe the correct date according to the document
7 itself is 14. In any event it's 0401-3878.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That would be --
9 MR. TIEGER: Located at -- it's item 17, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Item 17.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit Number P796.
12 [Intercept played]
14 Radomir. Yes I am. Is Obren there?
15 Obren left to Bijelo Polje. He has a meeting there.
16 Is he down there? [As read].
18 And who else is here from --.
19 Dragan is here, Aco Kutlaca, too.
20 I'll speak to Dragan for a bit.
21 Okay. So, what's new, tell me.
22 Well, nothing special. But they called me from Kasindol to tell
23 me they did not get electricity. Is that right?
24 They did not get it. There is no electricity. I don't know why.
25 They did not. There are big problems there.
1 Because -- I've just read it -- did he say [as read] anything
2 about the water?
3 I mean Dragan Despotovic -- he's somewhere.
4 I mean this Dragan Despotovic.
5 I see. Dragan is working on it.
6 He will.
7 Yes, him, I meant him.
8 He's working on it. But it doesn't go so quickly.
10 No, that part of work does not go easy. But they are for [as
11 read] -- everything that simply -- Bogatici -- to provide the electricity
12 for the Muslims, but they did not want to.
13 It seems it is about Bogatici. Is something expected there?
14 Yes, they will not do it from Bogatici. They will not -- from
15 there --
17 They need to hide it somewhere. In the cellars and so on.
18 Yes, okay. Would you like to speak to Dragan?
20 Here you go.
23 How are you, Nedjo?
24 Good afternoon. I'm fine. How are you?
25 Well, it's not bad. How are you?
1 Fine, but I have many worries, I can tell you.
3 I have many worries.
4 What is it Nedjo?
5 The things are not going well -- do you know about the latest news
6 that the army was defeated? Shot at? Up there at Kasindolsko Polje.
7 Yes, I do, Dobro Polje.
9 They say that the shots were very precise.
10 Well, there were no victims, but it could be said that they were
11 rather accurate.
13 But tell me, did they disconnect all the phones of the Turks in
16 Did they disconnect the phones of the Turks in Kasindol?
17 All the phones are getting disconnected.
18 They're getting disconnected?
20 Had they been disconnected before? Theirs had been disconnected
22 Yes, and --
23 Everybody's. And now the phones of our people are getting
24 disconnected because there are indications to put to use telephones for
25 them. That is the way those things are happening.
1 But tell me this, please.
3 What shall we do?
4 Would it be good if we gave it a thought and if we organised
5 people from outside to expel them all. Nobody needs to be shot or
6 killed. Everyone expelled.
7 That would be -- the might move.
8 That would be [as read] -- let's say that you make preparations.
9 I have a decision from before.
10 Well, we tried it once but then there were some 'guardians' and it
11 remained that way.
12 Well, you cannot -- no they won't -- he will -- let him come
13 make [as read] -- the people are still standing. When they arrive, they
14 will go to hell. He will go with them, too.
16 Up to Bascarsija.
18 Speak to Obren and --
19 When he comes. He went for a meeting.
20 -- to consider so we can hear from each tomorrow to sort it out.
21 -- to call you tonight or tomorrow morning, whenever you want.
22 Fine, I will be absent.
23 You will be absent?
24 Okay. Then we'll send you the information tomorrow morning,
1 I -- shall we hear from each other a bit earlier? The second
4 Do you have the Turks to load and unload the goods from.
5 Yes, we have.
6 Well, it doesn't seem to be right. People are complaining about
8 I know.
9 Why don't you sort it out?
10 Well, that too should be sorted out tonight.
11 Do something about that as well.
12 Both things will be sorted out.
13 Are they detainees?
14 No, they're not. They're allegedly loyal. I don't know,
15 something like that. They cannot find our people who would do it. This
16 and that --
17 You can send the army.
19 You task the army and if -- tie hands, compulsory work order, if
20 you want, we can issue compulsory work order.
22 Please, take both.
23 Okay. Tell me, what are the chances for electricity?
24 Not good, to tell you the truth. I would have to -- I will
25 consider certain things tomorrow but it will be late for -- and for
2 It will be late?
3 Yes, but I'll see --
4 General policy of water supply cuts is carried out in the whole
6 That is only on the level -- to be. They don't give the
7 electricity, we don't give the water.
8 We'll try to do something about it, but -- Obren arrived.
9 Would you like to speak to him, Nedjo?
10 It's okay --
11 But I told you everything and you will speak to him.
12 Do you have anything else?
13 No. Say hello to Obren, and that's it, mainly.
15 That is -- you do not have to share it with many people. Do it in
16 a narrower circle --
17 We will sort out both things in a narrower circle.
18 -- to consider and so on.
19 No problem.
20 How is Radomir? Is he helping?
21 Well, I have no idea.
22 Fine. Cheers.
23 All the best.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, who are you talking to in that conversation?
3 A. In this particular conversation, several issues were discussed,
4 both civilian and security-related issues in the area of Kasindol --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic. Mr. Prstojevic, would you please
6 carefully listen to the question. The question was not what subjects were
7 discussed. The question was: Who was the person on the other side of the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The person on the other end of the
10 line was, as far as I can assume, Radomir Kezunovic who was one of the
11 managers of one of the companies. The other person I was talking to was
12 Dragan Ljubora [phoen] who was in charge of materiel, supplies, or rather
13 the supplies of materiel and the supplies in general for the population
14 that was present in the area. He was in charge of the logistic support.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. Let me direct your attention to a portion of that conversation
17 which is reflected on page 3 of both the B/C/S and the English
18 translation. We see there that you raise the issue of what to do
19 and "whether it would be good if we gave it a thought and if we organised
20 people from outside to expel them all. Nobody needs to be shot or killed,
21 everyone expelled."
22 Who were the people from outside that you had in mind?
23 A. We were referring to the people from the western side of Ilidza.
24 Ilidza was divided into two parts. In the eastern part of Ilidza there
25 were five local communes and the population there was 80 per cent -- 85
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 per cent Serb. My house is there in that area. The seat of the
2 municipality and of the local authorities was in the western part of it,
3 where most of the population lived and that was urban population mostly.
4 These events were unfolding in the rural areas of Kasindol, which still
5 today remains poorly populated and rural.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, I wonder if I might leave Court for
7 just five minutes. I need to telephone one of our team, something that is
8 not easy to delegate. Might I do that? I shall not be far away. I'll be
9 in the building.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but would you expect Mr. Tieger to continue,
11 or ...
12 MR. STEWART: Oh, indeed, Your Honour. Yes, of course, and
13 I -- Mr. --
14 JUDGE ORIE: I take it then that certainly Mr. -- I see Mr. Josse
15 there --
16 MR. STEWART: Yes, Mr. Josse is here. He's not technically
17 counsel, Your Honour, but I hope that would be satisfactory to Your
19 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, this is exceptional, because
20 usually counsel should be -- but at least one of counsel should be
22 MR. STEWART: That's why I asked, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Under the present circumstances, I will allow you,
24 knowing that you'll be well-informed after you return by Mr. Josse.
25 MR. STEWART: That's very kind, Your Honour. Thank you. I shan't
1 not be very long anyway. And thank you, Mr. Tieger.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may be allowed to just add to
3 my statement. I wish to mention the name of a person I omitted to mention
4 which is Dragan Despotovic. He is an electrical engineer, and he was
5 involved in solving the problem of the power supply in the area. And if I
6 may continue --
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, it might be more efficient if you permitted me to
9 ask questions about the portions of the intercept that I'm interested in,
10 then the other -- then the Court or the Defence can subsequently ask you
11 questions about that rather than have you simply tell a narrative about
12 the things you believe others may have an interest in.
13 So you say that the people from outside were actually people
14 within Ilidza, and so which people specifically did you want to consider
15 organising to -- for the purpose of expelling them all?
16 A. A platoon of some 20 people from the Territorial Defence had to be
17 organised, because the platoons were crossing over from the eastern to the
18 western side to aid us when we came under attack. However, we were
19 unprepared in this particular instance. We had not had men at the ready,
20 and an investigation into this could reveal that this is true, the way I'm
21 putting it here. What's more, a good many Muslims remained in this
22 particular local commune throughout the war and still live there today.
23 Q. So you're saying that in fact not all the Muslims from that local
24 commune were expelled?
25 A. No, they were not because as you can glean from this we were under
1 artillery attack from Muslim units, and that was the area of Kasindol,
2 where my house was. So the discussion here had to do with this attack of
3 theirs. When the attack came to a stop, the situation returned to normal
4 and there are still Muslims today living in the -- in my neighbourhood,
5 for instance, who had been living there during the war as well. And in
6 the local commune where I live, there -- the Muslims there were not being
7 expelled in any organised fashion. And that's exactly the local commune
8 that is the object of discussion in this particular conversation.
9 Q. Well, if they weren't being expelled in any organised fashion,
10 then in what fashion were they being expelled?
11 A. The Muslims were not -- in Ilidza were not being expelled in an
12 organised fashion and this can be proved for the entire -- for this entire
13 area. It was in the areas that were -- combat activities were being
14 conducted that Muslims were driven out. In 1992, there were numerous
15 Muslim units in the area, and under such circumstances even thousands of
16 households would actual move out, but both on the Muslim and Serb side.
17 Throughout the war, many homes were left abandoned, those that were
18 abutting the line of contact, the line of confrontation as the people were
19 leaving the area. However, the Muslim and Croat population were allowed
20 to go wherever they wanted to go if they wanted to. Initially, they were
21 allowed to go wherever they wanted to go and then subsequently they were
22 allowed to go to those municipalities where there were no combat
23 activities under Croat control because the front line was held so strictly
24 that civilians could cross these areas only through organised exchanges.
25 Q. Now, after you raised the suggestion of organising people from
1 outside to expel them all, Dragan mentions that: "We tried it once but
2 then there were some guardians," and so apparently it didn't happen. Who
3 were those guardians? Were they internationals, that is members of
4 international organisations?
5 A. I don't know anything about these attempts. These were not
6 international guardians because at this local area there were no
7 representatives of the international community at the time. These were
8 just our people who lived peacefully with their neighbours, and they were
9 there to protect the people from those who were prone to aggressive
11 Q. And the proposed destination for these people, as in the intercept
12 we listened to before the adjournment yesterday, was again Bascarsija. Is
13 that right?
14 A. You see, Bascarsija is a commercial area known worldwide and there
15 are no residential premises there. To this day Bascarsija symbolised the
16 centre of Islam and it symbolises the Muslim part of the town. However,
17 there are no residential premises there. There are just handicraft shops
18 there and so on. Nobody -- none of those people who had been expelled
19 ended up in Bascarsija to be put up or accommodated there because there
20 was no accommodation for them there.
21 Q. Further down on the page you refer to detainees. Where were the
22 detainees or where did you understand the detainees to be held at that
24 A. Which page is that concerning the detainees?
25 Q. I'm sorry, it was the same page we were looking at before, page 3,
1 towards the bottom. You have three-quarters of the way down the
2 page: "Do you have the Turks to load and unload the goods from 'OKO'" it
3 says here. And then there is some further exchange about that. And then
4 you ask: "Are there detainees?"
5 A. In this area before the war, there was the prison there under the
6 jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, which continued operating into
7 the war. There were convicts there who had been convicted for less
8 serious offences like traffic violations. Now, in the war if there were
9 any detainees or prisoners of war, they were put up in those prisons.
10 Even before the war, it was usual for the prison to provide prisoners
11 there for public works were whatever work obligation was required. And
12 now I'm not certain for the latest stage how it was all regulated, whether
13 this was under a work obligation or some sort of a different arrangement.
14 From this conversation, we can see that there were Muslims who were
15 unloading goods and that some of the citizens were complaining about this.
16 And for this reason, I raise the matter for further discussion.
17 Later on when the situation settled down, these people were hired
18 on under a work obligation. 85 per cent of those who were under work
19 obligation were actually Serbs, but for the rest these people were deemed
20 to be loyal, not to cause any trouble, and this is the way it functioned
21 until the end of the war.
22 Q. So when you ask about detainees, was it your understanding that
23 these were detainees at Kula prison or Kula and other places or other
24 places? That's all I wanted to know, where you thought these people
1 A. Only from the Kula prison. They could only have been from the
2 Kula prison.
3 MR. TIEGER: Unless the Court has any questions, I'm moving on to
4 another subject.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I would have one question, and that's the
6 following. You said when you referred to Bascarsija, you are referring to
7 the centre of Islam and that the Bascarsija, which I understand was a part
8 of Sarajevo, was a place where you couldn't stay. So therefore, you could
9 not have referred to that specific portion which was, as you said, a
10 commercial area. At the same time, yesterday you explained that -- or at
11 least it's part of the intercept, you said: "Take them, all of them to
12 Bascarsija on foot," and you explained to us that you did not need to
13 organise any transportation because it was so close by.
14 So now, a simple question: When you said in that intercept we
15 heard yesterday and when you said this same in the intercept we just
16 heard, were you referring to some unknown place or were you referring to
17 Bascarsija, a part of Sarajevo?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was always referring to one and
19 the same Bascarsija. However, the civilians from the yesterday's
20 intercept could not have been taken from the Kula prison to the line of
21 engagement because what -- this was the idea and that's where the Muslims
22 would take over because that was the extent of the territory that was
23 under our control --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you. You give a lot of explanations, but
25 I have a very simply question. You said: I referred to the same
1 Bascarsija in both the telephone conversations. Was that Bascarsija a
2 part of the town of Sarajevo?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. I do have one more question about this conversation,
8 Mr. Prstojevic, before we move on. After you express and after you tell
9 Dragan: "Would it be good if we organised people from outside to expel
10 them," Dragan says: "That would be the right move." You say: "Well,
11 let's say that you make preparations. I have a decision from before."
12 What was that decision?
13 A. It could have been a position that was taken as to how to deal
14 with a situation where combat activities emerge, as they did in the area
15 of Kasindol. But as I've said, following this particular conversation
16 there were no -- there was no expelling of the population from Kasindol in
17 any organised fashion.
18 Q. And with the respect to the position on how to deal with the
19 situation where combat activities emerge, was that your decision or a
20 decision taken at higher levels and passed on to you?
21 A. Simply, when combat activities emerged things took their course in
22 a chaotic matter and then simply you had to take a decision on who could
23 be present there or not. The decisions were not taken individually, but
24 rather by collective bodies, in this particular case by the Crisis Staff.
25 This was a very tumultuous period, one in which one had to take decisions
1 instantaneously, because whatever had been discussed in the morning could
2 prove to be inadequate or irrelevant for what was going on in the
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, could I again ask you to answer the
5 questions rather than tell us a lot of things that are not a response to
6 the question.
7 In the telephone conversation you said: "I have a decision from
9 You were asked what that decision was; you didn't answer that
10 question. Then you were asked whether such a decision came from what
11 level and there again there's no clear answer to that question.
12 So again, now, the first question: The decision from before, what
13 decision was that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To put it simply, I don't know which
15 decision is being referred to here.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you just told us what the subject of
17 the decision was, it was about the position. You said: "It could have
18 been a position that was taken as to how to deal with the situation."
19 That suggests that you know more about the decision, as you're
20 telling us now.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely why I was telling
22 you this. The war situation dictated the moves to be taken. If this
23 situation was critical in terms of the territory being in danger of being
24 lost to the enemy, then very energetic steps had to be taken to save one's
1 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that decisions have to be taken in
2 such a situation, but that's not a decision from before. A decision from
3 before refers to a decision that had already been taken earlier.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand what you mean and
5 that's the way things should have been. But you have to understand what
6 I'm saying. We had taken certain views and positions to enable us to --
7 to know how to react in a given situation because we would have failed
8 entirely had we not known what to do when.
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous interpretation continues] ... were those
10 views you developed earlier, views and positions? What were they?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember precisely what
12 they were. They were not in written form. It was as simple as this:
13 Wherever they were combat activities, as was the case with Kasindol, very
14 strict measures as far as possible, strict as far as possible were taken
15 to secure the area.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Would that include expelling the population,
17 including the civilian population?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would mean that the population
19 had to be moved out, if the entire area was under a threat or if it meant
20 that the entire area would be lost to the enemy, or if it meant that the
21 population would be in grave danger. This is precisely what happened in
22 Kotorac which was mentioned in the yesterday's intercept.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand that if circumstances required you to
24 do so, that you would remove the civilian population from the area?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but that meant that both the
1 Serbian and Muslim populations were moved out, and this also meant that
2 the -- and the Croats as well, and the population itself would move out on
3 their own initiative.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Right. I'd like to move on quickly to a couple of documents
7 before we listen to the next intercept. The first is a document dated
8 February 6th, 1993. It's a declaration of the agenda, the Ilidza SDS, and
9 is found on the list at number 23.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This, Your Honour, would be Exhibit P797.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. Now, Mr. Prstojevic, this document appears to be from some kind of
14 official publication. Can you tell us how this was disseminated?
15 A. In principle, I'm thinking about the fact that documents which
16 were not in the original and which don't bear my signature are not
17 something that I should comment on. But I can comment on this document,
18 even though I can't guarantee that this is a genuine document. Such a
19 document - well, I'm not sure about the contents 100 per cent - was
20 probably decided by the Municipal Board of Ilidza, probably February of
21 1993 in this specific form. It is divided into separate parts, and it has
22 been circulated to the members of the Municipal Board, the local
23 authorities, and then it was forwarded to the Presidency of the party and
24 the main --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, looking at the translation of this
1 document, is there missing a part of the translation in number 17?
2 MR. TIEGER: Perhaps we should have that read out, Your Honour.
3 You're looking at the -- the portion that appears immediately below the
4 text. Is that right?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It seems that the -- to be although not a
6 signature, at least some reference to the author of this document and it
7 does not appear in the translation, which might have some relevance, isn't
8 it, from what I can read from the -- it seems that the name of the witness
9 appears there.
10 MR. TIEGER:
11 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, do you see the document in front of you and the
12 bottom of the -- if you look to the very end of the document.
13 A. I can see the document and I can see it. I've told you what I
14 think about photocopies --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, would you please read what it says
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The president of SDS Ilidza,
18 Nedjeljko Prstojevic, economist."
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. If a question is put to you, please try
20 to answer that question, and there's no need to hear from you whether you
21 consider that you could comment on something. You should answer all
22 questions in accordance with the knowledge you have.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. And if you look, Mr. Prstojevic, at the section of the document
1 that appears immediately following the heading "the tasks of Ilidza SDS in
2 war according to the agenda," it says: "A black-winged vulture is looming
3 over our Serb land from which we have lived immemorial. It is threatening
4 to crush our Serb name, Serb culture, and Serb places of worship and to
5 reduce Serbia to the Belgrade Pasavik [phoen]," and it also goes on to
6 refer to taking arms in order to defend themselves from those
7 "dishonourable and primitive Islamic jihad and Ustasha enemy."
8 First of all, Mr. Prstojevic, is that language that appears in
9 this document familiar to you from documents produced by you in 1992?
10 A. I'm familiar with this kind of language. It's a language calling
11 for fight and strengthening the morale of the Serb nation.
12 Q. Let me quickly show you one additional document. That's a
13 document dated May 10th, 1992 --
14 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour, it occurs to me that when
15 Mr. Tieger referred a moment ago to language appearing in this document
16 familiar to you from the document produced by you in 1992, that it might
17 be convenient for the future to have that identified specifically.
18 MR. TIEGER: I'm doing that right now.
19 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry. I thought it was a different document we
20 were coming to. I beg your pardon.
21 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, I did say "additional." That was probably
22 confusing --
23 MR. STEWART: All right, thank you.
24 MR. TIEGER: It's ET0227-9812, item number 8.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P798.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. If you would hang on to both documents for just a moment.
3 Mr. Prstojevic, would have a look at Exhibit 798 that was just
4 presented to you. Now, that is a document which bears your signature, is
5 that correct, and I presume, therefore, was produced by you?
6 A. I never drafted a single document single-handedly. It was a whole
7 team that would be drafting it and then the Municipal Board would approve
8 it as a declaration on the work under war conditions, and there were quite
9 a few members of that board, or else it would be up to the Crisis Staff.
10 So the same goes for this document, appeal for the Serb officer who thinks
11 of his homeland. It was approved by the Crisis Staff, and I was a
12 signatory, as I was the first man of the Crisis Staff.
13 Q. And if we look at the first two paragraph of that document, that
14 is of P798, it appears to contain essentially the same language found in
15 P797 that we discussed earlier. Is that right?
16 A. That's correct. Of course if the people drafting it are the same
17 and if they're doing it at more or less the same time, of course they
18 would be using this romantic language which would be calling for people to
19 go and fight and sacrifice themselves, because quite a few people were
20 killed in Ilidza in excess of 900 and 3.001 were wounded.
21 Q. And looking back quickly at P797, it also refers in a couple of
22 places to the tasks and goals of the Ilidza SDS including, in the third
23 paragraph of the agenda, the task of victory over the enemy and the
24 liberation of Serb land. Is that right?
25 A. I don't know where the reference to that is, but it is possible
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that there is one and this is something that had to be said, should have
2 been said at that time.
3 Q. And looking at the portion of the document under the declaration
4 of the agenda of the Ilidza SDS, that's the portion at the beginning of
5 the -- 797. In the third paragraph it begins -- well, the third indented
6 paragraph it begins: "On 4 April, 1992, the Serb people of Ilidza led by
7 the SDS rose up to defend their centuries' long ancestral homes," and it
8 continues about the formation of strong TO units and the MUP and the
9 liberating and strengthening control over all Serb territories and giving
10 significant help to Serbs on territories of other municipalities.
11 Anything about that paragraph with which you disagree?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Can we move on to the next intercept then. That's ET02279812.
14 It's a conversation between Mr. Prstojevic and Mr. Mandic and is dated the
15 2nd of June, 1992.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit Number P799.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's -- 799A would then be the transcript and
19 799A.1 would be the translation.
20 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour -- excuse me, that's item 15 I believe.
21 Yes, 15 on the list. I apologise. I confused the registrar by providing
22 an erroneous ERN. Sorry.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I believe this is -- in fact, it is a document
1 that I believe you've had a chance to review before. So perhaps in light
2 of the technical difficulties in playing the intercept, we can distribute
3 the transcript, both to the witness and to the Court and the parties, and
4 proceed from there.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the witness be provided with the
6 transcript, B/C/S pages.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, since normally we have an opportunity to listen to
9 the transcript, I want to give you an opportunity to look at that
10 transcript. So take a moment to look it over and let me know when you've
11 reviewed it again sufficiently.
12 A. I've read this.
13 Q. All right. And is it also correct you had an opportunity to
14 listen to that intercept in your -- during the course of your interviews
15 and recognise the voices of those of your own and Mr. Momcilo Mandic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, I'd like to refer you to page 3 of the transcript, that's
18 both in the B/C/S and the English translation. Mr. Mandic indicates to
19 you that it has come to -- he says: "Our attention and that of the
20 government that you are issuing ultimatums to some Turks, evicting people
21 from certain settlements and people respond badly to it, they are abusing
22 this, those Muslims and the media, and so on."
23 Did you understand during that conversation that Mr. Mandic was
24 calling you to tell you that he and others were concerned about the bad
25 publicity that was resulting from evicting people from certain
2 A. I did not understand it that way. Quite the contrary, I denied it
3 to the minister straight away; I said it wasn't true. I took it as an
4 introduction to tell me that employ this judge who came along later.
5 Q. And when you've referred to the judge, you're referring to Fadil
6 Musanovic who Mr. Mandic mentioning on page 4 of the intercept transcript?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And Mr. Mandic wants to have Mr. Musanovic take a position of some
9 sort so that "we," he says here, "will be able to say that we employ
10 Muslims, Croats, and Serbs." And he asks you then to place two or three
11 Muslims somewhere.
12 So you understood that Mr. Mandic was calling because he wanted
13 Mr. Musanovic to be put in a position so that it could be publicised. Is
14 that right?
15 A. That's the way I understood it, and the rest is just conjecture on
16 the part of Mr. Mandic. He obviously had a great deal of time to tell
18 Q. Well, Mr. Mandic seemed to understand, although you denied it, as
19 you say, that you were evicting people from certain settlements. And then
20 he expressed concern about the publicity that was bringing. That part's
21 right, isn't it?
22 A. I really don't think Mr. Mandic was concerned about this one bit,
23 because quite simply it did not apply to Ilidza. Because not a single
24 operation except for Kotorac, which was initiated by the JNA, actually
25 took place there in the form of an offensive prior to that conversation.
1 We were simply defending ourselves.
2 Q. So you think Mr. Mandic -- or you say that Mr. Mandic was wrong in
3 saying to you that you were evicting people from certain settlements?
4 A. I told him, you've seen it. I told him -- I mean, I was just a
5 mayor. I was of a lower rank and I nevertheless contradicted the minister
6 twice in this transcript.
7 Q. Well, let's look at what you actually say to Mr. Mandic after he
8 expresses concern that evicting people from certain settlements is very
9 bad publicity for us.
10 You then tell him: "We didn't say it, not in public." And then
11 again you say: "Well, we didn't say it in public, nor did we write it."
12 So you're assuring Mr. Mandic, are you not, that there shouldn't
13 be any bad publicity because there's nothing public about it?
14 A. It says in my translation, and I'm sure that that's what it said,
15 I said: "Please." Where did I ever say such a thing. I don't know, but
16 we never said that publicly anywhere; this is not our policy. And that
17 makes it quite clear that evictions were not part of our policy, and I
18 even have documents which prove that I allowed the non-Serb population to
19 stay at Ilidza in order to protect them, and they held out until 1995, the
20 very people that I issued those papers to and then they had to leave
21 anyway. And somewhat clumsily I said, there is no document or proof or
22 war propaganda or press or anything to that effect.
23 Q. Correct. You assured Mr. Mandic that there's no proof to that
25 Now, after Mr. Mandic tells you what information has come to his
1 attention and that of the government, he asks you: "Please, do not do
2 anything like that. Consult with Djeric first and those people up there
3 because this is bad publicity."
4 So did you understand Mr. Mandic to be saying, before you do
5 something like this, talk to us first because there's an issue of the
6 publicity it generates?
7 A. Obviously that's the way I understood it, but this entire
8 conversation is just propaganda for a man who has nothing better to do,
9 and he's simply criticising something that both he himself and his people
10 were involved in and he was trying to get me dragged into it and criticise
11 me whilst I was simply fighting for survival at Ilidza. And -- I mean, he
12 was in the free territory on another location. He was an idle man.
13 Q. Well, he was at Kula, wasn't he?
14 A. Yes, but it had been liberated from the point of view of the
15 centre of Ilidza, where we had been totally surrounded.
16 Q. And in fact, wasn't he at Kula from the very beginning of the war
17 and there ...
18 A. Well, yes, he was at Kula for the most part since the beginning of
19 the war. He was located at a position where all of the events concerning
20 Kotorac and the interview took place. He did not have to leave the area.
21 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I know we're --
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness, I would like you to
23 take a look at page number 2, and more specifically your -- the second
24 term that you speak on page number 2. And in English, [In English] "not
25 in public, that is not our policy."
1 MR. TIEGER: That's page number 4 of the English translation.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I'm very sorry. You're
4 Have you found this passage, sir? Page number 4, the second time
5 that you speak, and then the third time that you speak on this page?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I have.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So this is what you're saying --
8 [In English] "We did not say that, not in public" -- "we did not
9 say that, not in public."
10 [Interpretation] So it seems that what you are saying is that you
11 said it but not in public, and in fact in the next sentence this is what
12 you say -- [In English] "We did not say that in public."
13 [Interpretation] So it seems that what you're telling us is that
14 you did say that in private but you didn't say that in public. And in
15 fact, you didn't write it. I think that during this telephone
16 conversation the reply that you're giving is ambiguous, so I would like to
17 get some further explanation about this. You could have said: I've never
18 said that. But you said: "I did not say that, not in public."
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I could refer back to the same
20 page but a different section where Mr. Mandic tells me: "Ah-ha, I have
21 two questions for you."
22 And I say: "Yes."
23 I was saying: "Yes, yes," because I was listening. That meant
24 that I was listening and that I understood what he was telling me. And
25 there you have me saying "yes" again, because this meant I've
1 understood -- yes, I've understood. And this is something that you can
2 see recurring in my conversations. That's why I say here: "Yes," but
3 where did I say this? The key point is that this was not our policy, and
4 I still claim so today. With the exception of Kotorac, we did not have a
5 policy of expelling civilians in any of the areas except where the
6 circumstances required the population to leave the area because of the
7 combat activities or where the population wanted to leave on their own
9 As for the part where I say that we did not say it in public, had
10 this been written or said in public, this would have been disseminated by
11 the media and it would have disturbed the general public. In actual fact,
12 we did not say such a thing, write such a thing, or have anything of the
13 sort as our policy. In the conversations I had with Mr. Mandic and some
14 other conversations, I noticed that we were -- they were discussing things
15 that had nothing to do with reality. Sometimes he seems to be saying
16 things as if he's trying to make a joke or pull someone's leg.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please point at where you flatly deny that
19 evictions took place in this telephone conversation. Where did you
20 say, "Such evictions never occurred or happened"?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the very same page, after this
22 one long intervention where I say: "Well, yes," but please tell me
23 wherever did I say this?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say that in response to a remark made by
25 Mr. Mandic, who said the following: "What did you say? You are not
1 responsible for their safety or something like that."
2 And then you respond: "Well, yes, but where did I say this?"
3 So you there, according to a logical interpretation, but please
4 come up with something else, if there is, you are denying that you said
5 that you're not responsible for their safety or something like that. It's
6 not - looking at the core of the conversation - a denial of any
7 conversation occurring. If you'd like to comment on that, you'll have an
8 opportunity to do so.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, in my conversation with the
10 minister, I focussed on him saying that we had issued an ultimatum to the
11 Muslims in a settlement, that they were to move out within 24 hours. And
12 that's what I was focussed on, and I was denying that.
13 Secondly, as for the issue of the safety for the Muslims in
14 Ilidza, the situation at the time was so difficult. There were cases of
15 murders committed against Serbs by Serbs, or the Serbs themselves opening
16 fire on a part of the municipality that was inhabited by the Serbs.
17 Whenever you try to protect someone, you're exposed to fire. And I wasn't
18 omnipotent there.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
20 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
21 We'll have a break, Mr. Prstojevic.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we've spent quite some time on the
25 interpretation of telephone conversation with Mr. Prstojevic. If the
1 language of a telephone conversation is clear and if questions put to the
2 witness result in explanations of which the Chamber has difficulties to
3 link those explanation to the language used, it's not necessary to go on
4 forever and seek such explanations for the whole of the conversation.
5 We'll adjourn until 5 minutes past 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.42 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.13 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, the Chamber hopes that it has understood
9 well your question for clarification as far as the position of the
10 transcript of interviews is concerned. I take it that if from the answer
11 of the Chamber you would feel that we have not properly understood your
12 question, we'll hear from you.
13 The transcripts of the interviews, that is the November 2003 and
14 the recent interviews, are not tendered nor admitted into evidence. That
15 means that to the extent that the witness is confronted with it by reading
16 parts of it, that's of course part of the record now and to that extent
17 it's part of the evidence and of course the responses of the witness. But
18 the transcript, as such, are not in evidence.
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, that's -- that's very helpful indeed.
20 We're extremely grateful for that on the Defence side. The only residual
21 issue there would be for complete clarification when Your Honour says that
22 when the witness is confronted by reading parts of the transcript, that's
23 of course part of the record now. Well, of course that's clear. And
24 Your Honour says "and to that extent it's part of the evidence and of
25 course the responses of the witness."
1 Your Honour, we would suggest one further step is needed for that
2 to happen, that that can only be -- it's part of the record; of course, it
3 can only become part of the evidence if the witness does say here in
4 court, Yes, I confirm that, yes, I adopt that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: What you're now triggering is a different matter, and
6 that is if there's any inconsistency between what the witness said in his
7 interview -- and again, if it's not on the record, it's certainly not in
8 evidence. The Chamber will have to consider whether -- if a witness says,
9 This is what the -- this is what the transcript of the interview says, but
10 I deny that that's the truth, then of course we are confronted with a
11 question which is not an easy one, whether it would be exclusively the
12 answer given during his testimony, which is inconsistent with the
13 transcript of the interview, whether that would exclusively be in
14 evidence. I noticed that where there's any inconsistency between -- well,
15 let me call it "prior inconsistent statements," that in the common-law
16 world, as far as I understand, the answer to whether the testimony would
17 be the final word or not is answered in different ways from what I
18 understand under English law, more strictly saying that evidence is only
19 the testimony given in court, whereas under US law there seems to be
20 circumstances under which a Chamber might also take into consideration
21 what a witness said during an interview.
22 We'll have to check whether any such inconsistencies, substantive
23 inconsistencies do appear in this respect.
24 MR. STEWART: Indeed, Your Honour. We do with English law, what
25 was the law last week is not necessarily the law this week at the moment.
1 It's some weeks since I've been to England, so they haven't kept me --
2 JUDGE ORIE: So you would say they are now more flexible in
3 England in using the transcripts of previous inconsistent statements?
4 MR. STEWART: I would say this whole area is in a state of flux,
5 Your Honour, that's what I'm saying.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. STEWART: But, Your Honour, could I --
8 JUDGE ORIE: I took a position which might not be unfavourable for
9 the Defence as far as English law is concerned.
10 MR. STEWART: That's understood. With respect, I would endorse
11 that as -- with respect to the English --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Having reminded us, we'll check what happened over
13 the last couple of weeks.
14 MR. STEWART: Yes. Can I just say this -- try to clarify my own
15 mind rather than anything else, Your Honour. Of course, when a passage is
16 put to the witness and it's on the record, of course, it is also in a
17 sense, it is -- if you like, it's in evidence before the Tribunal that he
18 did previously say that, so conceptually that's -- and then we move on to
19 these next questions --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then we see whether there is any substantive
21 inconsistency as far as the content is concerned.
22 MR. STEWART: Yes, indeed, Your Honour. I can leave it there for
23 any -- for --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I take it as a matter of fact that it would not
25 be in dispute since there are audio recordings that -- well, this is what
1 the witness -- of course, apart from mistakes in the transcripts, et
2 cetera, but I didn't hear any dispute as to whether the witness was
3 interviewed and whether these transcripts reflect the -- what he said
4 during these interviews.
5 MR. STEWART: Well, yes, it appears they did, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: This is not the time and place for an extended
8 discussion. I would simply note that I -- based on my understanding of
9 the state of the law and the modern trend, there the Court is in a
10 position to resolve any such inconsistency in favour of either the
11 previous statement or the testimony given. And the modern trend in both
12 the US and in Britain as I understand it is to dispense with that
13 distinction and instead permit the Court to make its best judgement on the
14 basis of all the information available.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, to be quite honest, I knew that this was
16 the position on US law but I did not follow up all the modern trends in
17 English law. And apart from, I've not even talked about Canadian,
18 Australian, whatever is there.
19 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into the
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
24 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, in the intercept we just listened to, Mr. Mandic
1 urges you to consult with "Djeric first and those people up there."
2 Yesterday you told the Court of the hierarchy of the Bosnian Serb
3 leadership in 1992 from the top down. You explained it was Dr. Karadzic,
4 Mr. Krajisnik, Prime Minister Djeric, and so on down the line.
5 Was Mr. -- so with Mr. Karadzic and Mr. -- Dr. Karadzic and
6 Mr. Krajisnik at the top, was Dr. Karadzic or Mr. Krajisnik the highest
7 authority in Sarajevo?
8 A. That's a difficult question to answer. I did say that
9 Mr. Krajisnik was the most important person to ask, given that
10 Mr. Karadzic was very busy and that Mr. Krajisnik was in many aspects much
11 closer to us.
12 Q. Well, you seem to be explaining that now as a function of who's
13 busy and who's not, but let me refer you then to what you said in one of
14 your interviews, the interview conducted in May --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, has the matter not been dealt with
16 yesterday or am I wrong? I'm just trying to find it. I'm just trying to
17 find what was said about -- well, at least the witness said that they were
18 more oriented to Mr. Krajisnik as far as -- in terms of cooperation for
19 the area of Sarajevo. He clearly said that.
20 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, something very close to what has
21 just been said in evidence appears then at the top of the very next page,
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You asked, Mr. Tieger: "And between President
24 Karadzic and President Krajisnik, did on -- one or the other have more
25 influence or authority over the Sarajevo region? And if so can you tell
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 us why."
2 And then the answer was: "If we take everything into account for
3 the region of Sarajevo, Mr. Krajisnik was more important to us because we
4 thought of him as one."
5 So there clearly in response to a question of who was more
6 authoritative in the Sarajevo area, the witness has expressed some
7 preference for Mr. Krajisnik rather than Mr. Karadzic. So I wonder what
8 this would add.
9 MR. TIEGER: I want to make sure that all the factors are
10 elicited, Your Honour, and the extent of that authority is made clear, as
11 the witness has done on a previous occasion.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you do not spend too much time on it, you may
13 confront him -- you took him to what page?
14 MR. TIEGER: That would be page -- it was the May inter view, the
15 May 2005 interview, the second set, and it's on page 17 of that second
16 set. And Mr. Prstojevic had been saying -- had been talking about
17 military operations and said: "In he sense it was the decision of the top
18 leadership that during the offensive or defensive operations every single
19 potential is used for the assistance of the army or MUP."
20 And then he was asked: "When you say 'the top leadership,' who
21 are you referring to?"
22 Mr. Prstojevic said: "I always mean two people, which is
23 President Karadzic and President Krajisnik. Having said that, President
24 Krajisnik has more influence and authority over the Sarajevo region
25 because he is a man from here and he controlled political policy in the
1 area of Srpska Sarajevo because he is just -- he is a person from here."
2 JUDGE ORIE: Although there might not be much new in it, what has
3 just been read to you, Mr. Prstojevic, is that consistent and what you
4 wanted to say when you gave your testimony yesterday about the position of
5 Mr. Krajisnik in the Sarajevo area?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, it's consistent.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's consistent.
9 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, can we next look at item number
10 0297-064 -- 0064. And I believe that's a document dated 20 September,
11 1993, and it's item number 25.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, that's in evidence, Nielsen, tab 4.
15 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, that's correct.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Although the P number from Nielsen isn't there, but
17 the Chamber understands where to find it.
18 MR. TIEGER: Right.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Prstojevic, the document dated September 20th, 1993, is a
20 document issued by the Republika Srpska Ministry of Internal Affairs, the
21 Serbian public security station in Ilidza. And before I turn you to a
22 particular portion of that document, I'd like to ask you a question first,
23 and that is: Apart from the issue of expulsions that we have -- we
24 discussed earlier in your testimony, were there other measures taken
25 against Muslims in Ilidza to get them to leave?
1 A. We did not expel any Muslims in an organised fashion from Ilidza,
2 and we did not undertake anything else against the Muslim population.
3 Q. Isn't it the case that repressive measures were taken against
4 Muslims which resulted in them increasingly fleeing from the territory?
5 A. I don't know if any repressive measures have been taken, but
6 whoever was in a minority in a given area would not have been safe. And
7 the population moved en masse. No matter what population, if they were
8 not in a majority, they would tend to move to those areas where they were.
9 Q. Let me direct your attention, then, if I can to the second -- the
10 last paragraph of page 2 of the English translation. I'm trying to find
11 it for you in the B/C/S. That paragraph begins: "All detained Muslims,"
12 and it's on page 3 of your translation, again the second-to-last
13 paragraph. It states that: "All detained Muslims were thoroughly
14 interrogated in order to extract useful information regarding their
15 intentions. Repressive measures undertaken against them for various
16 reasons resulted in them increasingly fleeing and moving out of this
18 Does that refresh your recollection about repressive measures
19 taken, and can you tell us, if so, what those measures were?
20 A. This is a document from the Ministry of the Interior of the
21 Republic of Srpska, and this is the first time I've seen it. And it seems
22 to be harking back to the past quite considerably. This is a passage
23 based on the previous two passages on the first -- on the same page, and
24 it refers to past activities prior to the 1st of April, 1992, or at the
25 very least, at some point in the beginning of April. And I'm not aware of
1 any repression of any sort, whether MUP might have done something that we
2 were not aware of. But basically, organise the repressive measures just
3 did not exist. As to whether anyone took it upon themselves to do
4 something, I mean paramilitary units at a later stage, but here we're
5 talking about a period of time before the war broke out; that's my
6 understanding. So this is prior to the 4th of April. You can see that on
7 the basis of para 4. This was before the war.
8 Q. You're not suggesting that things got better for the Muslims in
9 Ilidza after the war began, are you?
10 A. Not really, but it is not really clear to me what it says, that
11 there were expulsions of Muslims in that period and there were not. I
12 mean, chief of police in Ilidza at that time was Edin Mlivic and he was
13 there in Ilidza until, roughly speaking, the 15th of April.
14 Q. Well, the document also clearly refers to the activities that
15 followed the creation of the Serbian police station, as you'll note from
16 an earlier paragraph.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me ask you two very simple questions,
18 Mr. Prstojevic. First, in one of the telephone conversations we heard,
19 you are informed that -- where you are asked: "But tell me, did they
20 disconnect all the phones of the Turks in Kasindol," I take it you were
21 referring to Muslim inhabitants of Kasindol. Is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's correct. The question was
23 asked, but I was the first person whose phone was disconnected at Kasindol
24 for security reasons.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, when I want to know when your
1 telephone was disconnected, I will ask you. Isn't it true in this
2 telephone conversation you were informed about the fact that the
3 telephones of the Muslims in Kasindol were disconnected before? And do
4 you consider this to be a -- an oppressive measure?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct that the phones were
6 being disconnected, but I really don't think it's a repressive measure
7 because starting from the 19th of June the entire area of Ilidza was
9 JUDGE ORIE: Isn't it true that the Muslims were first
10 disconnected and that only for reasons given in this telephone
11 conversation, only later the whole of the telephone connections were
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct, but it was for
14 security reasons.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The one doesn't exclude the other. Are you
16 aware you're speaking of the telephone conversations about exchange of --
17 you were even thinking in terms of 5.000 Muslims to Serbs. Were these
18 5.000 people waiting voluntarily until you had made up your mind to
19 exchange them or were they kept in a situation where they would not be
20 free to move anymore but they had to wait for any exchange arrangement?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did mention this symbolic number
22 because in the central part of Ilidza that was the approximate number of
23 Muslims living there. But it was a fact that Muslims did want -- not
24 allow Serbs from the other side to come out and we did allow them to go
25 where they wished to go.
1 JUDGE ORIE: What's then the meaning of exchange, whether it would
2 be 5.000, 3.000, 2.000? You said they were free, so there was no exchange
3 because the Muslims are free to go wherever they wanted. Isn't that your
4 testimony? And, Mr. Prstojevic, perhaps I should inform you that this
5 Chamber has heard evidence before on matters in relation to Ilidza.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm pleased to hear that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm just telling you that we heard evidence. I'm
8 not going to give it to you. My question was whether exchange would not
9 imply that people were not free to go wherever they wanted, but they had
10 to wait until someone had arranged for an exchange. So they're not free
11 to go.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On our side, they were free to go
13 when they wanted to go.
14 JUDGE ORIE: How could you then exchange them?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I used this term by way of
16 comparison. If people wanted this, we would do what we could.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Your answers are not well understandable for this
18 Chamber, Mr. Prstojevic.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, let's next take a look at some remarks you made in
22 July of 1992, which can be found reflected in the record of the 17th
23 session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly.
24 MR. TIEGER: That's previously in evidence, Your Honour, and we'll
25 be distributing the relevant pages of that transcript. It's P65 of the
1 Treanor documents, tab 182, binder 13. It's also P529, the Hanson
2 materials, tab 392, binder 11.
3 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, the document in front of you is a record of the
4 17th Bosnian Serb assembly session held, to the best of my recollection,
5 on the 24th or the 26th of July, 1992. The record reflects that you
6 attended and that indeed you spoke and addressed the assembly, saying in
7 part, and I'll begin at the beginning: "Mr. President, honourable MPs, I
8 have decided to say a few words and ask a few questions and I'm being
9 asked by the citizens of Sarajevo. Namely, when the Serbs started the
10 uprising in Sarajevo and when they seized control over certain
11 territories, there was no government, or at least it was not known where
12 it was then. Moreover, we even did not know if Mr. Karadzic was alive
13 during the first couple of days. When we learned that he was alive and
14 when he visited us in Ilidza and encouraged us, the Serbs from Sarajevo
15 retained control over the territory and even extended their territory in
16 some areas, driving the Muslims out of the territories where they had
17 actually been majority."
18 Now, first of all, Mr. Prstojevic, can you tell us about the visit
19 following the starting of the uprising in Sarajevo by the Serbs during
20 which you and the others in Ilidza were encouraged?
21 A. I've already said a few things about that, namely on the 17th of
22 April I think the Crisis Staff at Ilidza held a somewhat shorter meeting
23 of the government of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it was
24 attended by Presidents Krajisnik and Karadzic. At any rate, the session
25 itself was very encouraging for us and I can only say one sentence that I
1 remember very well that was uttered at that session. Dr. Karadzic said
2 that no citizen of Ilidza should be harmed in any way, and to a certain
3 extent he criticised us. But our defence lines were not safe enough and
4 then they said, Yeah, you have these defence lines which are not safe and
5 you want the government to be based to Ilidza.
6 Q. Now, in part, at that meeting there was a discussion about the
7 security situation, the military situation in Ilidza. Is that right?
8 A. Yes, but the staff commander of the Territorial Defence, Dragan
9 Markovic, reported on the security situation in our area and on the basis
10 of that the president got the impression that we were unsafe and that
11 Ilidza could fall.
12 Q. Was there also a discussion about where the seat or the
13 headquarters of the political authorities would be?
14 A. By all means because we wanted the seat to be in Ilidza or perhaps
15 another part of Serb Sarajevo which was under our control.
16 Q. And did Mr. Karadzic or Mr. Krajisnik tell you at that meeting
17 where the seat of the political authorities would be, or did they tell you
18 they would let you know later?
19 A. They said precisely that they would be telling us about that at a
20 later stage, and that's how the meeting ended. But if I may, at that
21 stage I would like to point out that there is an inconsistency here in the
22 translation. It says "chased away" or "expelled Muslims," whereas I
23 said "pushed back," which is a different thing all together. So instead
24 of "expelled" it should be "pushed back."
25 JUDGE ORIE: Is it a translation issue or a transcript issue?
1 Could you please verify that, Mr. Tieger?
2 MR. TIEGER:
3 Q. Can you identify the portion of the transcript you're looking at
4 that contains the passage or the words you just spoke about?
5 A. Are you asking me?
6 Q. That's correct.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please identify that portion where
8 you say that it does not reflect properly your words.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is the tenth line on the first
10 page, and "in some parts extended their territory and pushed them back
11 from the territory where they had the majority." It's not "expelled" but
12 "pushed back," and it is about the local community where an attack was
13 launched against us, but the Serbs and Croats were in the majority there.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Pushing back, what's that different from expelling?
15 Could you explain to us how you push someone back.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To say "expel" is a rather nasty way
17 of chasing away non-fighting population. Pushing back, on the other hand,
18 as in this case where the Muslims first launched the armed activities,
19 combat activities, at Rakovica and we lost a part of our territory and
20 then we engaged in this combat, we pushed them back. We then took over
21 the entire local area and placed it under our control --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Is that to say that finally only combatants were not
23 present anymore or did the civilian population stay in that area?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but the majority of the
25 civilian population left with the combatants, and the rest of them left
1 afterwards gradually because that was the free territory, Kiseljak, where
2 people could walk freely at any time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could they not walk freely where they were at that
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, yes, because it was a
6 Croat municipality, Kiseljak, which was not engaged in war against Ilidza,
7 and the Croats and Muslims were not at war amongst themselves at the time.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now -- but they -- from the place where they were
9 pushed back, were they not free to move in that area where, as you said,
10 they were pushed back from?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had an immediate link to the
12 Muslim territory because it is in the direction of Central Bosnia. It is
13 not an urban area; it is a peripheral part. It is a rural area with about
14 a thousand to 1.140 inhabitants. So I gave a list investigators from the
15 pre-war municipality of Ilidza according to each and every local
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, you're not answering my question. My
18 question was whether from the area where you said they formed a majority
19 and from where they were pushed back, were they free in their movements in
20 that area?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand what you mean.
22 Do you mean in the area which was under our control or Muslim control
23 which was bordering our territory?
24 JUDGE ORIE: From the area where you said you pushed them back
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was where the front line was to
2 be set up. The ones that remained within Serb territory -- were free, to
3 move freely. And if they had gone over to the Muslim territory, they
4 would have had even greater freedom.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. Isn't it true, Mr. Prstojevic, that your reference to the
8 territories where Muslims had actually been in the majority was a
9 reference to Kotorac and Dobrinja?
10 A. No. What I meant was Ratkovica only and Kotorac, apart from that
11 one part, that one-third that had always been kept under Muslim control.
12 I mean that part remained Muslim throughout the war.
13 Q. Well, during your interview in November of 2003, there was a
14 discussion about this speech at the National Assembly. And you were asked
15 at page 80 which territories you were referring to when you were talking
16 about the majority of Muslims in particular areas. And you said: "At that
17 time that could only be referred to Kotorac and parts of Stup 2. Nothing
19 Then you were asked: "Could it refer to other places such as
20 parts of Dobrinja or possibly north of the Ahatovici."
21 And your answer was: "Sorry, I forgot here about Dobrinja."
22 Does that refresh your recollection, Mr. Prstojevic, about the
23 territories to which you're referring in your remarks at the 17th
25 A. What I said is true. Dobrinja has about 48.000 inhabitants. This
1 speech at the assembly took place after the operations at Dobrinja and we
2 had control over about 2.000 homes there, nothing more than that, which,
3 roughly speaking, would mean 8.000 inhabitants. So this can't be a
4 correct answer, and Dobrinja could not have been meant there even though I
5 was not prepared to properly answer that question. So that's what I must
6 have said.
7 Also, Kasindol that we've been talking about, a good part of that
8 area remained under Muslim control throughout the war, perhaps 40 per
10 Q. And when you say "2.000 homes" under your control, meaning 8.000
11 inhabitants, those are homes in which Muslims had previously lived and
12 in -- and which were now available for Serbian refugees. Is that right?
13 A. I must say it's incorrect. We're talking about homes,
14 accommodation units. This is an urban part of Dobrinja where Serbs and
15 Muslims lived together and there were about 24 Croats in all in all of
16 Sarajevo. So that makes it easy for you to calculate how many of them
17 could have been in that particular urban area.
18 Q. The 2.000 homes that you were mentioning in your earlier answer
19 were homes in which people no longer lived and were now available for
20 other people to live in. Correct?
21 A. These were not houses, family houses. These were apartment
22 buildings. And since they were in the -- along the line of engagement, we
23 were not able to accommodate anyone there throughout the war.
24 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I don't want to dwell on this point longer than we
25 need to, but those were homes -- those were homes or apartments or flats
1 or housing units in which people had previously lived and which they were
2 no longer living which now became available. And those are the 2.000
3 homes you're referring to, right?
4 A. Yes, but flats.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to ask a question.
6 I refer to the document which -- last document you've shown us.
7 [French on English channel]
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] In this same page, on this same
10 Mr. Prstojevic, you say -- [In English] "Ilidza and encouraged us,
11 the Serbs from Sarajevo retained control over the territory and even
12 extended the territory in some areas, driving the Muslims out of the
13 territories where they had actually been majority."
14 [Interpretation] So if I have properly understood, there is a
15 question about the translation on a sentence. I would like you to read
16 the next sentence, Witness. You say -- [In English] "Brought the
17 government of Sarajevo to the Serbs in Sarajevo, namely we -- namely we,"
18 one word illegible, "that we had to slow down our war operations because
19 we were virtually deserted by the ex-JNA. The JNA did not give us the
20 materiel or the approval for certain operations."
21 [Interpretation] So what was this approval for certain operations?
22 [In English] -- "or they did not give you the approval for certain
24 [Interpretation] Therefore, the military of the JNA did not
25 approve you, did not give you the approval you needed for certain
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 operations. What do you mean by that? In fact, you seem to be
2 complaining about something. You seem to regret something. You wonder
3 and ponder what the politicians, leaders in Sarajevo, Serbs in Sarajevo,
4 have done and you are complaining for the fact that you have not received
5 certain approvals for certain operations. I would like your comments on
6 this, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Basically, we were quite
8 disorganised in the Sarajevo area. We were surprised by the war. And
9 then when, thanks to the lucky circumstances, we managed to retain a large
10 part of our territory. On the 4th and 5th of April, the people and the
11 units asked that we should have control also over the areas where the
12 Muslims and Croats were in the majority.
13 Even at that point in time, on several occasions a cease-fire was
14 agreed upon and this was brought about by Mr. Koljevic, among others. The
15 cease-fire would be arranged, for instance, because of the evacuation of
16 barracks and for that purpose not a single gun shot was to be fired in
17 Ilidza. And we had to honour that.
18 The second point is that we were not happy with the JNA; quite the
19 contrary. The Muslims in Ilidza were initially better armed than we were.
20 For this reason, we were lagging behind in equipment, and that's -- it was
21 by pure chance that we managed that maintain control over the area, but
22 this of course had its toll where you would have a dozen TO members killed
23 and 50 others wounded in a day.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to insist on -- I
25 would like to have a comment on the words of the approval of certain
2 [In English] "JNA did not give us the materiel or the approval for
3 certain operations."
4 [Interpretation] So what is it about?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This meant that at that time we were
6 faced by requests to seize control over some parts of the area which was
7 pretty easy, did not require and did not cause many victims. However, we
8 enjoyed no support whatsoever from the JNA. What's more, we were even
9 told to hold back our operations and were required to observe such
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And which were the reasons for
12 this advice which was given to you? According to you, what were the
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the most part, JNA staff
15 included people who simply sought a secure position and a satisfactory
16 remuneration. Some of them were pro-communist and believed that
17 Yugoslavia was going to survive one way or the other. There was the
18 movement for the preservation of Yugoslavia. And they must have accorded
19 the same treatment to the Muslims and the Serbs. In the morning, they
20 would give some weaponry to the Serbs, in the afternoon to the Muslims.
21 And this would be done by one and the same commander, for instance. At
22 the same time, they would give advice to either side to stay put in terms
23 of any operations.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
25 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, before I proceed just for the record, I
1 wasn't clear on whether the witness was reading that portion or
2 paraphrasing that portion of the transcript. The booth, I'm told, has a
3 copy of the B/C/S transcript, and if they do I'd just like to have them
4 read the sentence that begins at line 6, after the opening remarks, line 6
5 of the first full photograph beginning [B/C/S spoken], and ends at line
7 JUDGE ORIE: If the booth has the text of these minutes and the
8 tape-recording of the 17th session, and I am referring to ERN page number
9 0214-9561. If it could be slowly read and translated.
10 THE INTERPRETER: "When we found out that he was alive and when he
11 came down to Ilidza among us and gave us some encouragement, the Serbs in
12 Sarajevo who were in the area maintained -- retained certain territories
13 under their control and even expanded control over the territory in some
14 parts and chased the Muslims away from the territories where they were
15 practically a majority."
16 MR. STEWART: That's different, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It's different.
18 MR. STEWART: It's different in quite a few material respects.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So I could not follow what the witness said
20 before, whether he actually read or paraphrased that portion of the --
21 that portion of the minutes of this meeting.
22 Could I ask the interpreters whether there could be any confusion
23 as to the terminology in translating the original B/C/S where we earlier
24 heard "pushing back" and where we now hear "chasing away," whereas on
25 paper we have "driving out."
1 THE INTERPRETER: I believe, Your Honours, that the closest
2 translation of the term "potjerali" in B/C/S is "to chase away."
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Mr. Stewart, you followed the explanation by the interpreters?
5 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I was double-checking with my
6 case manager as well, and, yes, I do see that. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 This having been clarified.
9 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
10 MR. TIEGER:
11 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, when you were speaking about that portion of your
12 remarks earlier, you provided the Chamber with a word that was not
13 reflected in the transcript but that -- and that suggested a kind of
14 military operation. I don't want to repeat the correct translation to
15 you -- the correct translation of the word that appears in the transcript
16 to you because it will -- it may -- let me do that because you'll get that
17 word back clearly. The word that appears in the transcript is "chasing
19 Now, why did you substitute a different word with a different
21 A. In the translation I have here I can read the word "potjerali,"
22 but I would never use this term because it's not germane to the context
23 because potjerali means something else. The last time I thought I saw the
24 word "potisnuli," [phoen] which is the adequate term to be used, given the
25 context at the time. I wish to inform the Trial Chamber that I did not
1 receive the translations of the interviews that I had; therefore, I have
2 no idea what I said in 2003.
3 Q. Well, in 2003, Mr. Prstojevic, if we look at pages 73 and 74, you
4 also challenged the word that actually appears in the transcript, only on
5 that occasion you said that what you had actually said was not "pushing"
6 but "inspiring" those Muslims away. Do you recall saying that?
7 A. No, I don't, but this confirms that my position remains the same
8 today, compared to what it was then because that's what this event was
10 Q. So in your view, is inspiring the word you used or the right
11 characterisation of what happened?
12 A. No. By defeating the Muslim army, the territory was freed from
13 the Muslims who were in the area. The fact is that prior to this period
14 there were combat operations in Dobrinja and in the airport settlement.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart.
16 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I comment. I'm having discussions
17 here about the linguistic aspects. It does get terribly confused,
18 Your Honour, because it appears that what is happening -- when the witness
19 a few minutes ago said, "well, it wasn't this word, it was that word,"
20 that's because the witness is now getting then the B/C/S translation of a
21 word used by Your Honour in Your Honour's English question. He's now
22 getting back a B/C/S translation of English words and we don't know for
23 sure whether those B/C/S words are matching what he originally said in the
24 interview, which was translated into English and is now being translated
25 back again. It's absolute linguistic chaos, Your Honour, if I may use
1 that word.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, I invited you at a certain moment to
3 identify the portion where you said it did not reflect properly your
4 words. You then said: "It's the tenth line on the first page," and then
5 you said: "And in some parts extended their territory," and then you went
7 When you gave this answer, were you reading what the minutes say
8 or were you replacing what you considered to be an incorrect reflection of
9 your words?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was reading the part in the
11 minutes where it says "potjerali," to chase away, it doesn't say
12 "protjerali," to expel. Obviously it doesn't read here, and that's what
13 the linguists would know. And I'm telling you these things because I know
14 what the situation was like.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Mr. Tieger, I checked in the original and where there seems to be
17 a difference between "potjerali" and "protjerali," where the witness said
18 he read that part as "potjerali", it seems that the version without
19 the "r" after the "p" is the one that appears in the original.
20 But the matter has been sufficiently clarified at this moment.
21 Whichever party would further like to consult the audiotapes and what the
22 witness read is free to do so and to address the Chamber in this respect.
23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would wish to hear the audiotape,
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm told that one of the words used --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, the parties were invited to check the
3 audiotape of this hearing, if they would have any need to do so.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour I'd like to turn next to
6 document ET02237180.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And that's number what in your list, Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER: Item 24, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: 24.
10 Madam Registrar, that would be number --
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P800.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, Exhibit 800 is a document that bears the heading
14 of the Republika Srpska, Ilidza war commission, and you are indicated as
15 the signatory of the document, the issuer of the document. This document
16 is a decision following a session of the war commission on April 2nd,
17 1993, considering the problem of the return of Croats and Muslims and the
18 decision is that the return of Muslims and Croats to the territory of
19 Ilidza Serb municipality is forbidden.
20 First of all, Mr. Prstojevic, on a number of occasions you've told
21 us how much the Muslims of Ilidza wanted to leave and how much they didn't
22 want to come back. If that's the case, why was it necessary to issue a
23 decision to forbid them to come back?
24 A. I've told you that I cannot comment on the documents that are
25 photocopies rather than originals because I do not consider them reliable.
1 But I have already commented on this so I will do so again. I believe the
2 document was issued at the time when the Muslims and Croats started
3 fighting each other. As a result, from the area of Kiseljak which was 12
4 kilometres into the free territory, there were no combat activities there,
5 the population started entering the area without any control from either
6 the Muslims or the Croats, and the Croats in Kiseljak were not happy with
7 the situation. We were on good terms with them.
8 At the same time, it posed a security threat for us and we were
9 hardly able to guarantee safety for ourselves, let alone for anybody else.
10 The document states that the necessary conditions had not been met. The
11 document, however, allows for certain exceptions according to an
12 established procedure.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Just to avoid whatever confusion, Mr. Prstojevic, was
14 this decision taken?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, myself, do not remember the
16 decision; however, having read the text I believe it was indeed taken
17 under those circumstances. But it simply states that a Muslim was going
18 to be safer in Ilidza than in Kiseljak. But this was definitely at the
19 time when the Muslims and Croats were fighting each other.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I've some difficulties in seeing that this document
21 states that Muslims were safer in Ilidza than they were in Kiseljak, in
22 fact it says that they were permitted to return to Ilidza, isn't it.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct; however, they were
24 fleeing the area towards us. Over 30.000 Serbs had crossed our territory
25 at the time and there were also Croats and Croatian units that were
1 fleeing from Central Bosnia. And this passage of the Croats across our
2 territory was going to be regulated at the higher level.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The decision simply says that: "Muslims and Croats
4 are forbidden to return," and return means that they once were there and
5 they could not come back, isn't it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This applied to that specific period
7 because the necessary safety precautions had not been taken.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you say it's limited to a certain period,
9 when was this prohibition lifted?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that decision at
11 all, but I know that even today sometimes people can't go back to some
12 places because it's not safe for them to do so.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, that concludes my examination-in-chief.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 We'll have a break.
17 Mr. Stewart, you're ready to start to cross-examine the witness
18 after the break?
19 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'd first like to ask the witness to be escorted out
21 of the courtroom.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, would you have any idea of how much time
24 you would need for cross-examination of this witness?
25 MR. STEWART: It is pretty difficult, Your Honour, but I -- I
1 realise Your Honour realises it's difficult. The best estimate I could
2 give now would be something like about three hours, but --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. STEWART: -- Your Honour, that really is only that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just asking for --
6 MR. STEWART: No, it's a friendly inquiry. I take it that way,
7 Your Honour, and my friendly answer, Your Honour, is that the best answer
8 is the best I can do is -- is three hours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps it could guide you. The Chamber has
10 interfered with the examination-in-chief on a more frequent basis than
11 usually done, although Mr. Tieger might disagree that we did not have the
12 same frequency before. And I take it, Mr. Stewart, that you are well in a
13 position to assess what kinds of questions the Chamber has put to the
14 witness which may already indicate that part of his testimony needed to be
15 further explored and that the Chamber is aware that there was a need. At
16 the same time, if you are aware that the Chamber is aware that further
17 exploration is sometimes further needed, this could help you understand
18 what's still necessary in cross-examination and what might not be
20 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I always try to read the entrails, and
21 I will continue to do so.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 We'll adjourn until 5 minutes to 11.00 -- to 1.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please -- Mr. Tieger, is there
3 MR. TIEGER: Just very quickly, Your Honour, I don't want to
4 either dwell on this issue or expand it unduly, but if this is a helpful
5 intervention at all then it seemed to me the time to do it was now. I had
6 an opportunity to speak with the booth. I know at the end of the
7 discussion the Court drew a distinction between "potjerali," which is
8 "chase away" or "drive away," and "protjerali," "expel." The word
9 originally used by the witness when he was discussing the remarks was
10 "potjisili," "push back."
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, when he read, when he had drawn our attention to
12 line 10, et cetera, and then he used a different word from the word that
13 appears in the minutes, the written minutes of that meeting?
14 MR. TIEGER: That's correct, Your Honour, and that word was
15 "potjisili," "push back."
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, this is on the record. If Mr. Stewart would
17 disagree, then we'll certainly hear from him but let's not ...
18 Pushing back and expelling does not necessarily contradict each
20 MR. STEWART: We just haven't covered that in the B/C/S classes
21 yet, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness
23 into the courtroom.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Prstojevic, you'll be cross-examined by
1 Mr. Stewart, counsel for the Defence.
2 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
3 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
5 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, we notice --
6 MR. STEWART: I don't suggest, Your Honour, it's likely to be a
8 Q. We notice you take a notebook when you come to give evidence. Our
9 observation, Mr. Prstojevic, if you would confirm this, is what you do
10 when you're asked a question you jot down just a little note to make sure
11 that you got the question and you got a reminder of the question. Is that
12 right? Is that what you're doing?
13 A. Yes. I was never told I shouldn't be doing it.
14 Q. You're not being -- well, I'm not in charge here, Mr. Prstojevic.
15 I'm not through anybody suggesting that. At the moment I'm just trying to
16 get it clear. So that is what you're doing. May I just ask to confirm
17 then that you're not at any point -- you're not turning back to consult
18 any other notes, apart from just what you jotted down about the particular
19 question you've been asked. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I on the Defence side have absolutely
22 no objection to that process, which we can easily observe from here.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 You do not object, Mr. Tieger does not object, the Chamber does
25 not object, so let's proceed.
1 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, in your interview, and this is at page 6 of the --
3 MR. STEWART: Unless otherwise stated, Your Honour, I'm always
4 referring to the continuous 207-page big chunk of transcript.
5 Q. In the transcript your interview at page 6 you say that you were
6 the secretary for inspection in the municipality of Ilidza from 28th June,
7 1991, "at multi-party elections I became the head of the Serb Democratic
8 Party of Ilidza."
9 Did you mean to say multi-party elections?
10 A. Multi-party elections took place in 1992. And on the 28th of
11 June, 1991, we had our own regular intra-party elections.
12 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, that's exactly my point. You -- there were
13 multi-party elections we know in November 1990. When you referred in your
14 interview to multi-party elections you said from 28 June, 1991, "at
15 multi-party elections I became the head of Serb Democratic Party," you
16 actually meant the SDS internal elections, didn't you?
17 A. Yeah, it's a mistake.
18 Q. And then at page 43 you said that you had -- you said you'd been
19 involved in the party and you'd been there - clearly the SDS - some 25
20 days before the elections in 1990. So sometime around the beginning of
21 June, is that right? You actually joined the SDS, did you? I beg your
22 pardon. I'm sorry, misread that. I retract that. I'm causing confusion.
23 You became involved in the party some 25 days before the elections
24 in 1990. So is this right you became a member of the SDS in early
25 November 1990 just before the multi-party elections. Is that right?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. That's correct. I signed the papers joining the SDS on
2 St. Peter's Day in 1990 at Skenderija. But because I was busy with some
3 private family matters and affairs and my work at the company, all that
4 was basically brought down to those 25 days before the elections because
5 at certain meetings at the place where I used to live in Kasindol such
6 requests have been made and so we got down to business.
7 Q. And can you say in a nutshell what brought you to join the SDS at
8 that point?
9 A. Well, as a highly educated man and somebody who used to go on
10 business trips to Austria at the time a great deal, I was able to discern
11 that a slightly vague scenario was developing as far as the fate of Serbs
12 in Bosnia and Herzegovina were concerned. It is quite clear that the
13 Party of Democratic Action was likely to win the elections, that amongst
14 the Croat population, the Croat community, HDZ would win. And Serbs
15 seemed to be distributed amongst a number of parties, SDP, the former
16 communists, the Socialist Alliance of the Working People, where I was
17 offered the post of president. And then last but not least, the SDS.
18 Q. Let's --
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the reason I'm doing this, may I say,
20 is because in the interviews, frankly, there is a lot of confusion about
21 Mr. Prstojevic's precise political history and positions, which I hope to
22 clear up with the witness.
23 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, first of all it's correct, isn't it, that at those
24 multi-party elections in November 1990 you were elected as a deputy to the
25 Sarajevo City Assembly?
1 A. As a deputy.
2 Q. Yes. Then at the -- as we have heard at the -- in the June 1991
3 SDS elections, you became the president of the SDS in Ilidza. And in your
4 interview at page 43 you said: "I just by accident became the president
5 of the party."
6 Now, I'm not asking for some enormous elaboration, Mr. Prstojevic,
7 but when you say you "by accident became the president of the party," what
8 does that mean?
9 A. Well, that means that by accident I was the president of the party
10 and the mayor at the same time. At those inter-party elections I did not
11 want to stand as a candidate for the Municipal Board of the SDS party.
12 But on the occasion of the assembly which took place on the 28th of June,
13 1991, and there were about 250 members of the assembly at that time,
14 requests were made for many candidates for come forward and therefore the
15 candidate who won the most votes would become president and the second in
16 line would be his deputy.
17 And so, almost against my will, I won most votes at the assembly.
18 Q. You said in your interview you -- it was by accident you became
19 the president of the party. Now, can I just get this clear. You became
20 the president of the Ilidza SDS on or about the 28th of June, 1991.
21 That's correct, is it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when did you become the president of the Municipal Assembly of
25 A. I became the president of the Municipal Assembly on the 5th of
1 April, 1992. War was already underway and for about seven to ten days I
2 was being persuaded by other people to actually accept that post.
3 Q. So just looking at page 11 - you haven't got it in front of you,
4 Mr. Prstojevic - just to clear this up. At the foot of page 11 of your
5 interview, Mr. Mitford-Burgess -- it just says, Mr. Prstojevic: "You told
6 us previously that on the 28th of June, 1991, you were voted into position
7 of president of Municipal Assembly of Ilidza."
8 And your answer was: "Municipal Board of the SDS of Ilidza or
9 president of the political party."
10 So do we understand that you were correcting Mr. Mitford-Burgess
11 at that point, you're saying, no, you've got it wrong,
12 Mr. Mitford-Burgess, I wasn't elected president of the Municipal Assembly
13 at that point. I was -- I became president of the SDS which is the same
14 of being the president of the Municipal Board of the SDS? Is that all
15 correct as I've just put it to you?
16 A. Precisely.
17 Q. Then from the 5th of April, you were the president of the -- as
18 you've said the president of the Municipal Assembly. That was not, was
19 it, a professional, paid position at any time? Is that correct, it was
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. You refer to something different. You refer to being the
23 secretary, and the passage in question is at page 9 of the interview.
24 Mr. Mitford-Burgess says correctly: "The position that Mr. Prstojevic
25 obtained was the president of the Municipal Board of the SDS party,
1 Ilidza," and that's put as a question.
2 You say: "Yes."
3 Then Mr. Tate Haris with the OTP says: "Did that consume most of
4 your time up until the outbreak of war?"
5 You said: "No."
6 I said: "Okay, what else were you occupied doing?"
7 And you said: "As the secretary I was obliged to work at least
8 eight hours evermore."
9 Now, is that the position which you describe as the secretary for
11 A. Precisely. According to my contract with the Sarajevo railways
12 company, on the 1st of February 1991 I was appointed as secretary for
13 inspections. Basically, I wanted to become secretary for economic
14 affairs, but somewhere in the course of that process somebody else was
15 asked to take that position and it was felt that I could do a good job as
16 a secretary for inspections. And this is what I did all the way until the
17 5th of April, considering that there was a lot of construction work going
18 on in Ilidza without planning commissions. And there were quite a few
19 problems at that secretariat. And there were quite a few parties and we
20 had to do a great deal of work. And I even did not manage to use up all
21 my annual leave for that day -- for that year.
22 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, to get it clear then, that position that you are
23 talking about as secretary for inspections, that was part of your -- your
24 paid employment, your normal, paid employment?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So at page 16 of the interview when Mr. Mitford-Burgess says to
2 you, you said, "Okay. Going back to the Municipal Board at Ilidza there
3 was a local civilian -- was there a local civilian government or local
4 combined government of all three parties or all parties?"
5 And you said: "Yes."
6 And I take -- we take it, please confirm, that the three parties
7 being talked about are the SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ. Correct?
8 A. That's correct. My paid employment was as an inspector. And at
9 Ilidza after the multi-party elections we had an agreement with the HDZ
10 and SDA and we set up a joint coalition government. And on the basis of
11 how many each votes got, we distributed portfolios. And I must say that
12 we had fairly harmonious relations amongst the leadership of all those
13 three parties.
14 Q. Mr. Mitford-Burgess immediately after that continued: "Did you
15 play a role in that civilian government?"
16 And your answer was: "I was a secretary for inspections, or a
17 secretary for inspections," but Mr. Prstojevic, please confirm if this is
18 correct that from what you said your position as secretary of -- for
19 inspection works was actually not a role in the civilian government but
20 was part of your job.
21 A. The job of secretary for inspections would have been within the
22 government. So I was one of the members of the Executive Board of the
23 municipality of Ilidza. Because we had this coalition government and the
24 Serbs, that is to say the Serb Democratic Party, was given the portfolio
25 for inspections. Muslims got, for example, the defence affairs. And the
1 secretary of the government, that post went to Croats, and so on and so
2 forth. And the Muslims got to appoint the president of the Municipal
3 Assembly, the Serbs got to appoint the secretary of the Municipal
4 Assembly, and the Croats got to appoint somebody as an expert within that
5 secretariat, and so on.
6 Q. So, Mr. Prstojevic, in summary, is it this, that although the
7 position of secretary for inspection works became part of your paid
8 employment from day-to-day, that the decision on that appointment was
9 essentially local political decision?
10 A. I was appointed, or rather elected to that position on the basis
11 of an assembly decision, a decision of the assembly of Ilidza, which
12 included the representatives of all parliamentary parties elected in the
13 month of November 1990.
14 Q. And Mr. Radomir Kezunovic, he was -- was he your predecessor as
15 the president of the Ilidza Assembly before you took that role in April
17 A. Yes, he was. He was the first president.
18 Q. And at page 17, I don't know whether you can help with this,
19 Mr. Prstojevic, but at page 17 of the interview, Mr. Mitford-Burgess put
20 it to you: "And the only role you played in this municipal government was
21 as the secretary for inspection works."
22 And you answered that question by saying: "The organisation of
23 local government in the municipalities looked this way."
24 And then you set it out in some detail which I won't go into.
25 And Mr. Mitford-Burgess then said: "And this is an organisational
1 chart of the municipal, the local parliament, local civilian parliament,
3 Was that organisational chart, can you remember now, prepared by
4 you or prepared by Mr. Mitford-Burgess and his colleagues?
5 A. I don't see an organisation chart here in the Serb language, but I
6 believe that there is no reason whatsoever for Mr. Mitford-Burgess to
7 write anything I did not say. I can, even now as civil servant from 1990,
8 1992 give you the organisation chart for the municipality of Ilidza and
9 the government. And of course it should tally with what you have here. I
10 might make a mistake, though.
11 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I'm not going to invite you to go over that ground
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I just ask if that organisational
14 chart, which one would suspect it might be in the OTP files, might I
15 overnight have a copy of that?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, would it be available for Mr. Stewart?
17 MR. TIEGER: If it's available to me, it's available to
18 Mr. Stewart.
19 MR. STEWART: That's music to my ears [Realtime transcript read in
20 error "years"], Your Honour. That's all I can ask.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. STEWART:
23 Q. The -- now, Ilidza, we can see this from the map. Ilidza is a
24 municipality. It appears to be roughly 20 kilometres across east to west
25 and about 10 kilometres north to south. Does that sound about right to
1 you, Mr. Prstojevic?
2 A. That's approximately right but our front lines in the war went
3 further than that. We were surrounded from both sides, and especially to
4 the west in the urban area.
5 Q. Yes. But moving on then, Mr. Prstojevic, in your interview at
6 page 19 you gave some figures for the population or inhabitants of Ilidza.
7 And the figures you gave were 29.000 Muslims, 25.000 Serbs, 10.000-plus
8 Croats, and you said you couldn't remember but Yugoslavs were bigger or
9 more than Croats, over 10.000 Yugoslavs, and there were some others. In
10 your -- just pausing there but for a moment then, please. In the evidence
11 that you gave yesterday, the figures you gave were 25.000 Muslims, 22.000
12 Serbs, 10.000 Croats, 8.000 Yugoslavs.
13 The difference is -- between those figures is -- are relatively
14 obvious. Is the -- is the position this, Mr. Prstojevic, that it follows
15 from that that you are only in a position to give a very rough estimate of
16 those figures?
17 A. Look, if I gave you this information yesterday, I must have made a
18 mistake because I must have felt that I did not have to be all that
19 specific as to the number of inhabitants. However, when I spoke to the
20 investigators I gave them a list from Ilidza and there is a proper
21 breakdown of population per each local community. And you can tell
22 clearly how many inhabitants were in what community. But these figures,
23 25.000 Muslims, 25.000 Serbs, and 10.000 Croats, and about 10 or 8.000
24 Yugoslavs are probably more accurate. But there is the original document
25 which gives you a proper breakdown and all the specific information and I
1 really don't think it is necessary for me to try and pinpoint it exactly
2 because I might even make a mistake. And you do have the document.
3 Q. Well, Mr. Prstojevic, in fact I'm not going to press you that it's
4 necessary, but as His Honour indicated earlier, please, if you would
5 answer the questions and leave the assessments of what's necessary or
6 useful to others, that would be appreciated.
7 The -- you gave a list to the interviewers; that was a list
8 prepared by you, was it? I'm talking of a list of the population
10 A. That's a document from 1991 which indicates the official
11 statistical data, the census, and the breakdown of the local community and
12 I think it's a good-quality document. And I wonder if any other
13 municipality in the area of the city of Sarajevo had such a detailed
14 record. It is an official document.
15 Q. Well, we can wonder about that, Mr. Prstojevic. But do we
16 understand that it wasn't actually prepared by you, but it was got from
17 some other source, that you handed a copy over to the interviewers in
18 November 2003?
19 A. I only gave a copy of the document, which originates from the
20 office of statistics for the town of Sarajevo. That's where the census
21 was processed.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I make the same request. If that
23 document is available to Mr. Tieger, might it be also available to me.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I understand that whatever's available to Mr.
25 Tieger's in this respect available to you Mr. Stewart.
1 MR. STEWART: I'm very much obliged, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: When you said before it was music to your ears, it's
3 translated and I'd like to correct that for the record that it's "music
4 for your years," but I would not allow that to remain on the transcript.
5 MR. STEWART: Well, if I daughter had been in court, she would
6 have made a comment about that. But, yes, thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. The -- Mr. Prstojevic, you talked about Mr. Krajisnik, and this is
8 at page 22, you were asked about Mr. Krajisnik's attendance at a Municipal
9 Board meeting or meetings in Ilidza and you said this is at the foot of
10 page 22: "Mr. Krajisnik" -- well, I'll lead into it. It -- the question
11 from Mr. Mitford-Burgess was -- I'm going to start a little bit early up.
12 Mr. -- both Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Velibor Ostojic participated sometimes
13 on occasional basis in the work of the Municipal Board. Mr. Krajisnik for
14 special reasons and special cases and Mr. Velibor Ostojic because he was
15 from Ilidza, even for the territorial reasons, he was often more
16 present" --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, you're reading.
18 MR. STEWART: Am I going too fast, Your Honour? I thank you for
19 the reminder.
20 "Mr. Krajisnik, for special reasons and special cases and
21 Mr. Velibor Ostojic because he was from Ilidza, even for the territorial
22 reasons he was more often present because someone" -- well, I'll skip the
23 next sentence and then it says, Mr. Mitford: "You're saying that Mr.
24 Velibor Ostojic and/or Mr. Krajisnik from time to time attended the SDS
25 assemblies at Ilidza and gave directions or instructions to the SDS
2 And you said: "They took part in participation, in the work of
3 the assembly."
4 Mr. Mitford-Burgess: "Yes."
5 You: "Mr. Krajisnik in particular was present at one meeting of
6 the Municipal Board, maybe two months after my election."
7 Now, Mr. Mitford-Burgess had put it to you that you were saying --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you --
9 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, but I think the record is
10 going to be confused if I don't address this now. It appears that
11 Mr. Stewart began by reading Mr. Prstojevic's remarks, but inadvertently
12 indicating that that was a question by Mr. Mitford-Burgess. As I see the
13 transcript, Mr. Mitford-Burgess asks: "Did you as the president of the
14 SDS Party of Ilidza receive instructions from these people?"
15 And then Mr. Prstojevic goes on to make the comments that are
16 reflected in the first part of the transcript from which Mr. Stewart just
17 read beginning with: "Both Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Velibor Ostojic
18 participated sometimes."
19 MR. STEWART: Mr. Tieger is absolutely right. I see that
20 Your Honour. I had noticed at the last second that it would make more
21 sense to start higher up. But I hadn't made that clear. Thank you.
22 The -- those were -- the document in front of him can see, but for
23 the record, of course, I acknowledge that. The -- so then it was --
24 Q. It was you, just to get it absolutely clear, it was you,
25 Mr. Prstojevic, saying: "Mr. Krajisnik in particular was present at one
1 meeting of the Municipal Board."
2 But Mr. Prstojevic, can you confirm, Mr. Krajisnik never attended
3 assembly meetings in Ilidza, did he?
4 A. Of which assembly?
5 Q. Well, let's go back then. Mr. Mitford-Burgess said -- I'll
6 ignore, with all respect to Mr. Ostojic now. Mr. Mitford-Burgess says in
7 his question: "You are saying that Mr. Krajisnik from time to time
8 attended the SDS assemblies at Ilidza."
9 So my first question is: Was there such a thing as a meeting of
10 the SDS Assembly in Ilidza?
11 A. There were SDS assembly sessions in Ilidza like the one on the
12 28th of July, 1991, at which I was elected president. Of the high-ranking
13 political leadership, Mr. Velibor Ostojic and Mr. Jovo Jovanovic,
14 president of the SDS city board were present at the assembly.
15 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, now first of all just a small point. You said
16 there were SDS assembly sessions in Ilidza like the one on the 28th of
17 July, 1991." You meant June 1991, didn't you?
18 A. Yes, yes, June.
19 Q. But you are talking then about -- not about any organ of Ilidza
20 but assemblies of the whole SDS party that happened to be held in Ilidza.
21 Is that correct?
22 A. Yes. You caused confusion when you said he asked whether he
23 attended the assembly sessions because there are of course the Ilidza
24 assembly sessions as well. There are also party assembly sessions like
25 those of the SDA, HDZ, and SDS.
1 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I'd -- I'm trying to clear up confusion at the
2 moment, but I'm not sensitive about what you said. The -- there was such
3 a -- an organ or a body as the Ilidza SDS assembly, was there?
4 A. Yes, there was. Yesterday when I was indicating the
5 organisational hierarchy of the party, I omitted saying that on lower
6 levels there were SDS assemblies at the city level, at the local level.
7 And as a rule, these were electoral bodies electing officials and
8 discussing on an annual basis the activities taken by the organs on their
10 Q. Right. But quite separately from the Ilidza SDS Assembly, we've
11 got what I'd call for want of a better phrase perhaps the national SDS
12 party assemblies, one of which was held in Ilidza on the 28th of June,
13 1991. Is that correct?
14 A. On the 28th of June, 1991, at Ilidza, the assembly of the Serbian
15 Democratic Party for Ilidza was in session; therefore, of the local
16 assembly of Ilidza.
17 Q. Mr. Krajisnik didn't attend that meeting, did he?
18 A. Mr. Krajisnik did not attend that particular meeting, no.
19 Q. And is it correct that Mr. Krajisnik never attended any meeting of
20 the SDS Ilidza assembly?
21 A. I don't know, but during my term of office he did not attend any
22 of the sessions of the Ilidza SDS Assembly.
23 Q. But you did say in your interview at page 22 that he was present
24 at one meeting of the Municipal Board. And to clarify, you were meaning
25 he attended one meeting of the SDS Ilidza Municipal Board, were you?
1 MR. TIEGER: Well, Your Honour -- sorry, if Mr. Stewart is indeed
2 trying to clarify confusion. The -- there are two -- there are a number
3 of references to attendance at the Municipal Board. It begins with the
4 comment that -- of attendance on an occasional basis -- or "sometimes on
5 an occasional basis and the work of the Municipal Board ..." "Mr.
6 Krajisnik for special reasons and special cases ..."
7 Then the phrase -- the portion of the transcript in -- which
8 Mr. Stewart is referring says in particular present at one meeting, and I
9 suppose the question then is whether "in particular" refers to that
10 meeting or -- or to Mr. Krajisnik in particular, but focussing unduly on
11 that one portion without having it in context, I think, is not completely
12 fair opportunity for the witness.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I take it as a matter of fact that Mr. Stewart is
14 aware that if he focuses on one portion only that in re-examination you
15 would create the context. And at the same time, Mr. Stewart will
16 certainly be aware that it makes not much sense to forget about the
17 context if that context will at a later stage be restored anyhow.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, well, I must say that was one of
19 Mr. Tieger's most unhelpful interventions. What I'm doing here is I'm
20 clearing up confusion which is plainly created by the questioning in the
21 interview where the tangle of which body is what appears throughout this
22 document and that's what I'm doing. I'm focussing on it because that is
23 the only way a clear picture will emerge and it will emerge more quickly
24 if it's not confused by going go back up the page to the questions we've
25 already covered.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed.
2 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
3 Q. My question, for clarification, please, Mr. Prstojevic, when you
4 talked in your interview, you said: "Mr. Krajisnik in particular was
5 present" -- I'm not asking you about the meeting at the moment,
6 Mr. Prstojevic -- "was present at one meeting of the Municipal Board," you
7 were talking, were you, please confirm, about the SDS Ilidza Municipal
9 A. Yes. It was a meeting of the SDS Municipal Board in Ilidza just
10 about at the time I indicated here --
11 Q. Mr. Prstojevic, I said expressly, that I was not asking you about
12 the meeting. I just wanted an answer to the question about the identity
13 of the board, and you have answered that, and I'm coming with the next
15 So that was the body which you said Mr. Krajisnik was present at
16 one meeting and you said that he attended for special reasons. And you
17 went on in an answer at page 23 of your interview to say -- you were asked
18 to describe by Mr. Margetts, so I I'm not going to ask you the same
19 question again, he said: "Please describe to me the special reasons for
20 Mr. Krajisnik's attendance."
21 And you said, simply: "The members were requesting presence of
22 someone from the high levels, some official, for they were requesting
23 persons present. They were requesting presence of some officials or they
24 were requesting to organise some speech or something in the municipality
25 in the local community."
1 So, Mr. Prstojevic, is this right that that one attendance by
2 Mr. Krajisnik at the SDS Ilidza board was in the nature of a -- you wanted
3 a political celebrity or you wanted someone to come along on that
4 occasion. Is that right?
5 A. That's precisely what I wanted to explain. What I said here was
6 true. On many previous occasions, other functionaries were present,
7 including Mr. Koljevic and Biljana Plavsic, but always on our insistence.
8 In such circumstances, whoever was available at the time was free would
9 come and we would be grateful for them assisting us in our work.
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, that looks like a spot on time and
11 point on which to conclude for today, if that suits Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It is, Mr. Stewart.
13 Mr. Prstojevic, we'll finish for the day -- could you please keep
14 your earphones on. We'll finish for the day. We'd like to see you back
15 tomorrow morning, 9.00, same courtroom. And I again instruct you not to
16 speak with anyone about the testimony you have given or you're still about
17 to give.
18 We stand adjourned until tomorrow morning.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Friday, the 17th day of
21 June, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.