1 Tuesday, 19 July 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone, both in and just outside
6 the courtroom.
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is 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 your examination-in-chief
12 of Witness Neskovic?
13 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Usher, would you please escort the witness
15 into the courtroom.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Neskovic. May I --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE ORIE: May I remind you that you're still bound by the
20 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
21 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
22 WITNESS: RADOMIR NESKOVIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examined by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Neskovic.
1 A. Good morning. Thank you.
2 Q. Now, before we move on to the next document, I wanted to ask you
3 one additional question about the document found at tab 12 and in
4 connection with the Variant A and B document found at tab 11. So can I ask
5 you first to turn to tab 11 and look quickly at item 9 of the first level
6 Variant A.
7 And that provides, "Prepare an estimate of the number of
8 necessary active and reserve policemen, TO units, and civilian protection
9 units, and on that basis bring them up to full manpower levels and take any
10 other necessary action for their engagement in keeping with the
12 May I ask you next to turn to tab 12 and look at item 9,
13 reflected in the minutes of the 23 December 1991 meeting of the Crisis
14 Staff in Novo Sarajevo. That provides that "Persons responsible for item 9
15 are Drago Kovac, Milanko Jovanovic, and Momir Garic." And can you tell the
16 Court who those persons were and what positions they occupied. To the
17 right of their name on this particular document, we see civilian
18 protection, MUP, and TO. And can you tell us whether that -- whether or
19 not those are accurate reflections of the positions they occupied at the
21 A. Milanko Jovanovic was the chief of the police station in the
22 municipality of Novo Sarajevo. Drago Kovac was some sort of official in
23 the Territorial Defence Staff in the municipality of Novo Sarajevo because
24 according to the former law, the municipality had authority over
25 territorial units and the Territorial Defence. And Momir Garic, I don't
1 know whether at the time he worked in the Territorial Defence together with
2 Kovac; it's possible. But I think that Drago Kovac and Momir Garic were
3 from the Territorial Defence in Novo Sarajevo; whereas, Jovanovic was the
4 chief of the Novo Sarajevo police station.
5 Q. Thank you. May I ask you to turn next to tab 13.
6 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, tab 13 is already in evidence, P529,
7 Hanson tab 260.
8 Q. And these are the minutes of the Crisis Staff meeting of 29
9 January 1992, which was held at the Lukavica local community. As we see in
10 the first paragraph, the attendees are listed. The meeting was opened by
11 Mr. Bogdanovic, the deputy commander of the Crisis Staff. And then there
12 are 11 items enumerated, including assembly point, tasks, storage depot,
13 evacuation plans, et cetera.
14 May I ask you to look in particular at item 11, which lists a
15 task, and that task is to provide larger quantities of food and medicments
16 and to transfer them to a safe location, make contacts with the company
17 managers. In charge are Radomir Bogdanovic, Milivoje Prijic, Mr. Nastic,
18 and Mr. Sojic. And can I ask you whether or not those -- that is, the --
19 essentially the same task and the same persons assigned that is reflected
20 in item 7 of the December 23rd, 1991, meeting.
21 A. These tasks do overlap to a certain extent. There is something
22 lacking in this document, and that is the case in the previous document,
23 too. We can't see who the chief of the Crisis Staff was. We can't see who
24 was at the head of the staff. I remember this meeting. I attended it;
25 although, I did not participate in it very actively because these are
1 matters that I was not very familiar with. But as far as I can remember,
2 or given what I can see, I think that this is some sort of a plan for the
3 evacuation of the Serbian population from certain local communes in the
4 event of a crisis or of a war or something like that because item 11 is, in
5 a certain respect, related to item 6. Under item 6, we can see that there
6 are evacuation plans, and then the various local communes from which people
7 would be evacuated are listed. Under item 11, it says, "Provide quantities
8 of food and medical supplies. Transfer them to safe locations." So it is
9 obvious that there was an evacuation plan here, a plan to evacuate some of
10 the Serbian population from parts of the municipality of Novo Sarajevo.
11 And as in the case of the previous document, there is something that seems
12 to be missing in this document, too. I don't quite understand why such a
13 serious large-scale plan is being discussed at the Crisis Staff meeting of
14 a local commune. Perhaps such a serious issue would be discussed at the
15 municipal level, in a Municipal Staff. But I can't see who the commander
16 or the chief of the Crisis Staff was; that seems to be missing. But I
17 believe that this concerns an evacuation plan. Reference is also made to a
18 warehouse; the courier system is also mentioned, and I think the
19 communications between various bodies is also mentioned.
20 This is a plan for the evacuation of the Serbian population from
21 certain local communes in the event of war or in the event of some other
22 kind of crisis. That's my understanding of the document.
23 Q. Now, if you look at the attendees, Mr. Neskovic, including Mr.
24 Djurovic, Mr. Prijic, and most, if not all, of those persons who were
25 assigned tasks at the first meeting, and bear in mind the position of Mr.
1 Bogdanovic, is this a subsequent meeting of the Crisis Staff, a follow-up
2 meeting of the Municipal Crisis Staff held after the December 23rd, 1991,
4 A. Yes. Yes. It's related to that.
5 Could I just add something? Something seems to be missing here
6 again. Could we just discuss this document a little longer. I can't see
7 who the chief of the Crisis Staff was; that seems to be missing. And
8 operative duties are distributed in the Municipal Crisis Staff, so then
9 there should be a session of the Crisis Staff where a report should be
10 submitted on the tasks carried out. I can't see this other document. If
11 individuals carried out their operative duties, then at some other meeting
12 it would be necessary for them to submit a report stating what they had
14 I also believe that this second document is missing. But
15 reference is made to the second meeting of the Crisis Staff, but I can't
16 see who the president of the Crisis Staff is, who the commander is. Here
17 it says that Bogdanovic is one of the members.
18 Q. And I believe it also indicates that the meeting -- the minutes
19 of the meeting of 29 January that Bogdanovic was not only a member but the
20 deputy commander. Do you have any independent recollection of who the
21 commander of the Crisis Staff was?
22 A. Well, the problem is that I can't remember who the commander was.
23 I should remember who he was. I would have known such a person. According
24 to plan A and B, it should have been Zarko Djurovic, but these documents
25 seem to show that Zarko Djurovic perhaps did not attend the meeting on the
1 19th of December, and perhaps he did not personally receive plans A and B,
2 so perhaps that plan was delivered to the municipality of Novo Sarajevo by
3 courier. But Djurovic's conduct was a little specific in this case. He
4 tried to remain loyal and to abide by the orders of the leadership. But on
5 the other hand, he tried to obstruct matters, not to carry out all the
6 tasks because he didn't agree with everything. So the role he played was
7 quite specific, and by virtue of his position, he should be here, but he
8 wasn't presiding over the meeting of this Crisis Staff. Bogdanovic played
9 an important role here, so don't hold this against me, but there is
10 something missing here. We can't see who established the Crisis Staff, we
11 can't see who its commander was, and we can't see who assigned these tasks
12 to various groups. And I was in one group and was assigned tasks too.
13 Q. Now, yesterday, Mr. Neskovic - and I'm going to move away from
14 that document at this point - you testified that there was a major problem
15 in Novo Sarajevo between the party and the government of Mr. Djurovic, who
16 was the president of the Executive Board, and testified about a conflict
17 between Djurovic, as the head of the Municipal -- or the Executive
18 Committee, and the president of the SDS party, who I think you recalled was
19 Mr. Prijic. Now, if I recall correctly, you stated it was a problem of
20 such a scope that Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Karadzic had to intervene and that
21 they attended a meeting of the Municipal Board in person to use their
22 personal authority to solve the problem.
23 Let me now ask you a question or two about the conflict between
24 Djurovic and Prijic. You also told us yesterday about Mr. Djurovic's
25 contacts with the leadership and that Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik knew
1 him. Did Mr. Djurovic ask Dr. Karadzic and/or Mr. Krajisnik to use their
2 authority on his behalf in this conflict?
3 A. The conflict was really on a large scale, and those who followed
4 Milivoje Prijic were better organized, and they behaved in a slightly more
5 extreme way. So I think that they managed to replace Djurovic in the
6 conflict, and when Karadzic and Krajisnik arrived, I think that the two of
7 them managed to calm the situation down, and that meant maintaining the
8 status quo -- that meant that Djurovic would remain the president of the
9 municipal authority. Without their help, I don't think Djurovic would have
10 managed to hold onto his position as president of the municipal
11 authorities. So Karadzic and Krajisnik did not openly enter into a
12 conflict with either of the parties, but they used their authority to calm
13 the situation down, to maintain the status quo, and the status quo was
14 welcomed by Djurovic because they maintained his position. They calmed the
15 situation down. They helped Djurovic, and he held onto that position.
16 Q. And I understand from your testimony that Dr. Karadzic and Mr.
17 Krajisnik intervened in the manner you just described. My question was a
18 little bit different, and that is whether or not Mr. Djurovic reached out
19 to or himself sought the assistance of Mr. Krajisnik or Dr. Karadzic in
20 order to get them to intervene in this manner.
21 A. As far as I know, before that meeting was held he contacted
22 Krajisnik, his office, and the Assembly - and I don't know whether Karadzic
23 attended that meeting, too - as far as I know, he contacted him to obtain
24 assistance from him before that meeting was held.
25 Q. Can I ask you to look next at tab 18, please. Oh, before --
2 MR. TIEGER: And can this be marked next in order, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P913.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. Mr. Neskovic, P913 is the minutes from the 13th Extraordinary
8 Session of the Municipal Board of the SDS party Novo Sarajevo held on 28
9 February 1992. And if I may, I'd like to direct your attention to a couple
10 of portions of that, but let me give you just a moment to look at that
11 document quickly.
12 As I think you can see from even a quick review of the document,
13 there's a great deal of discussion about Dr. Prijic in particular. Let me
14 first direct your attention to the second paragraph under agenda item 1,
15 which is found at page 3 of the English translation and, I believe, can
16 also be found at page 3 of the Serbian copy. That states at the -- toward
17 the bottom of the page, "This also happened at the last meeting of
18 Municipal Board, which was attended by Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik."
19 Is that a reference to the meeting you were talking about
20 earlier, or is that another meeting attended by Dr. Karadzic and Mr.
21 Krajisnik? I'll give you a moment to find the reference. I'm sorry.
22 A. Let me just find that part. I'm not sure where it is.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, when the witness is finding the exact
24 location, on your list P913 appears as the minutes of the 13th Irregular
25 Session; whereas, the document itself calls it an extraordinary. I don't
1 think it's exactly the same. May I take it that "extraordinary" would be
2 the right description?
3 MR. TIEGER: I would think so, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, if you would take that ...
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Mr. Neskovic, if it's helpful, I think that's at -- that's at the
7 page 3 of the Serbian version, and there is some identification numbers at
8 the top of that page, which are SA029201.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. And then if you look down, you'll see agenda item 1 or
11 AD1. And I'm referring to the second full paragraph, where there's a
12 reference at what appears to be in the English the last sentence of that
13 paragraph, that says, "This also happened at the last meeting of Municipal
14 Board, which was attended by Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik."
15 A. [No audible response]
16 Q. And my question was whether that was a reference to the meeting
17 that you had mentioned in your earlier testimony or another meeting
18 attended by Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik.
19 A. I think this concerns the meeting that I have mentioned. As far
20 as I know, they only attended one meeting, and I think that this concerns
21 the meeting that I was referring to a minute ago.
22 Q. And if I could direct your attention next to page 6 of the
23 English version, and I think it's page 7 of the Serbian version. Just
24 above agenda item 2, there is a reflection of the results of this meeting,
25 indicating that Dr. Prijic was relieved of his post as president of the
1 Municipal Board, that Mr. Gajevic was tasked with running the board until
2 the next session, and that Karadzic and Krajisnik will be informed about
3 this decision.
4 And, again, is that a reference to the same conflict, same
5 dispute you were talking about earlier and the resolution of that dispute
6 with the termination of Dr. Prijic and the retention of Mr. Djurovic?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. I think Judge Hanoteau has a question.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes. I'd like to know the
10 nature of the conflict between Mr. Prijic and Mr. Djurovic. On page 4 of
11 the document shown to you by the Prosecution, line 3 on page 4, I can see
12 that it seems that Mr. Kutalj [phoen] is being referred to - I apologise
13 for the pronunciation - and it says, "[In English] ... make any efforts to
14 achieve separation of Serbian local communities from the administration
15 division of local communities are people who belong to Dr. Prijic's clan."
16 [Interpretation] So what is Dr. Prijic being criticised for?
17 Could you provide us with any clarification in that respect.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, three
19 factors were concerned. Firstly, Dr. Prijic believed that as a party they
20 should have influence over party members in the executive bodies. That
21 meant that they should consult the party, especially when personnel matters
22 were concerned. Djurovic was of a different opinion. He thought that the
23 president of the Executive Board of the municipality, that he was that
24 president, that the government was a multi-ethnic one. The municipality
25 had about 100.000 inhabitants; it was a very large municipality. To be the
1 head of the government is a very important position, and he wanted to act
2 in accordance with the municipality statute, without the party, and he
3 didn't want to obey the Municipal Board of the SDS. That was one of the
5 And the second reason is that there were a lot of flats and jobs
6 in office premises in the municipality, so it was very important for
7 someone to have influence on the Executive Board.
8 And the third reason is that they were both Montenegrins; they
9 weren't Bosnians. So they had old scores to settle that I'm not familiar
11 And there's another reason: Dr. Prijic was a respected manager
12 of Galenika, a pharmaceutical company, dealing with Bosnia-Herzegovina,
13 dealing with the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Kosovo,
14 and he had a tendency to control everything. And then when this conflict
15 with Djurovic became, Prijic started gathering people who were dissatisfied
16 with the power structure, and the other person started gathering people
17 around him who were content with the power structure and who were already
18 members of that structure. So finally Prijic was replaced, and Djurovic
19 came out of the conflict victorious.
20 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, you are referring to
21 the part of the minutes that I had indicated to you. It's page 4. In the
22 English version of the text, it's the second line. And we're talking about
23 Mr. Kutalj, who's speaking here. And he says -- can you see that bit of
24 the text? So he says, [In English] [Previous translation continues] ...
25 "Dr. Prijic is not to be relieved of his post. Chaos is going to prevail."
1 [Interpretation] And just listen. Then he says, "[In English]
2 ... make any efforts to achieve separation of Serbian local communities
3 from the administration division of local communities are people who belong
4 to Dr. Prijic's clan."
5 [Interpretation] Now, I'd like you to comment on that sentence;
6 that is to say, with regard to efforts to accomplish a separation between
7 the Serb community and the administration of the local community. What
8 does it actually mean, and what was the problem?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this had been an ongoing
10 feud, and it went all the way down to the local community, so there were
11 local communities with Prijic supporters prevailed. That was the case in
12 the local community such as Lukavica, Tilava, and other suburban areas.
13 And then there were other local communities which tended to support
14 Djurovic. So that Gotalj [phoen], I think he was from Grbavica, which is
15 an urban community. So they kind of institutionalised the entire conflict
16 because they said, Okay; unless this happen, then we'll take out local
17 communities out of the area of competence of the municipal government, and
18 we'll no longer obey them, as it were. And so it had actually become fully
19 institutionalized, and basically the local communities are being misused
20 and taken advantage of, in terms of settling this conflict. And so there
21 was a division between the local communities, as well, in two camps.
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. Mr. Neskovic, can I follow up on Judge Hanoteau's question and
25 direct your attention to another portion of that same page, a little
1 further down. I'll check to see if that's in the same page of your
2 version, if I can. In any event, the portion I'm referring to states:
3 "Dr. Prijic was not present during plebiscite. He did not protest when
4 Muslims and Croats placed posters for their referendum in offices.
5 Immigrants from Sandzak started illegal building of houses, and Dr. Prijic
6 did not take any action to stop them."
7 Now, this complaint against Dr. Prijic about his failure to take
8 any action to stop the immigrants from Sandzak from constructing houses, is
9 that the same issue that was referred to in the telephone conversation
10 between Mr. Djurovic and Dr. Karadzic that was discussed yesterday, that
11 November 1991 telephone conversation?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. You also made reference to a multi-ethnic government at
14 that time. So is it correct to say that a Serbian Municipality of Novo
15 Sarajevo had not yet been declared by that time? And in that connection,
16 can I ask you to turn quickly to tab 22.
17 MR. TIEGER: The document at tab 22, Your Honours, is P826, tab
19 Q. And, Mr. Neskovic, P826, tab 3, found at -- found in this binder
20 at tab 22 is an April 1st, 1992, addition of Vicani Novani [phoen] from
21 Sarajevo regarding the decision from foundation of Serbian Municipality
22 Novo Sarajevo. The first sentence of that article states that "The
23 founding session of Serbian people of municipality of Novo Sarajevo held on
24 last Thursday." So since this is a Wednesday addition, without making the
25 mathematical calculation, I take that to be sometime in the latter part of
1 March 1992.
2 Does that correctly reflect the date of the establishment of the
3 Serbian Municipality of Novo Sarajevo?
4 A. Yes. I was present at that founding Assembly; I think it was by
5 the end of March. It happened at the memorial centre at Vrace. It is a
6 place where quite a few Jews lost their lives in the Second World War. And
7 there were the representatives of the city authorities from the SDS, and it
8 was about setting up the Serb Municipality of Novo Sarajevo, who was meant
9 to be merged with the Romanija area or something like that. And so the
10 Assembly was held, but it was a bit of a failure, in fact. The Serb
11 Municipality was not actually set up. Mr. Djurovic was basically perhaps
12 trying to show that he was doing something. He wanted to be seen to be
13 doing something, but he wasn't all that in favour. The others started
14 arguing about who the president was going to be, and still others talked
15 about territorial issues, as to where the government should be from. And
16 after about an hour, an hour and a half of discussions, it all ended in a
17 fray, basically. So there had been an attempt to set up the Serb
18 Municipality, but it never came about because this meeting ended in
19 failure, and obviously it transpired, however, and was reported in the
20 media, but probably the journalists did not know about the details.
21 And so there was a huge void which ensued, and this Serb
22 Municipality of Novo Sarajevo actually was set up only as late as the 10th
23 of June, 1992.
24 Q. Well --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, have you finished with this? Because
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 otherwise I'd like to take the witness back to the previous document.
2 MR. TIEGER: Certainly, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You're finished?
4 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Neskovic, could I take you back to the
6 previous document we find under tab 18, and could I invite you -- could I
7 draw your attention to page 3, in the first paragraph under AD1. Do you
8 see there the words "Bane Surbat," which is a name? Do you see that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please read slowly from that portion
11 down the whole of the paragraph, so on from the line where it reads "Bane
13 Yes, please, could you read it aloud.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "As of three days ago, in the
15 municipal" -- "in the local community" - sorry - "Bane Surbat, there was a
16 meeting which was interrupted because of the fact that Dr. Prijic allowed
17 himself to engage in a physical settling of accounts with one of those
18 present. So apart from doing the work of the Municipal Board, we also got
19 a glimpse of bad human relations which culminated at that meeting, was
20 stressed by Andric."
21 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether you noted, Mr. Tieger, there's
22 a whole line missing of the translation. This, of course, raises some
23 concern about the quality of the translation of these documents. There's a
24 whole line just not there. "After the fight with one of the
25 representatives," then it continues in the translation with who took part
1 in the discussion, which is, in the original, the next three lines, but
2 there's just two lines missing. The reference to Andric is missing, who
3 did what. The whole part -- "So apart from doing the work of the Municipal
4 Board, we also got a glimpse of about" -- I mean, that's just not there.
5 Of course, you didn't make the translation, so when I'm looking at you,
6 it's not because I blame you personally for it, but it is --
7 MR. TIEGER: No, I understand, Your Honour. And I'm not -- well,
8 I mean obviously -- obviously we'll address this specific problem, and in
9 the course of doing so we'll -- we'll try to step back and do as much of a
10 systemic overview as we can --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. TIEGER: -- to try to prevent problems like this in the
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you very much.
16 Q. Mr. Neskovic, I wanted to turn next to a document produced
17 sometime, approximately two months or so, after the decision to establish
18 the Serbian Municipality of Novo Sarajevo that you spoke of a moment
19 before. And in that connection, can I ask you to turn to tab 23, please.
20 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, tab 23 is P529, Hanson tab 158. It is
21 a report on activities by the Serbian Municipality of Novo Sarajevo Crisis
22 Staff directed to the attention of the president of the Presidency of the
23 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and bears the signature line for Mr.
24 Neskovic, as president of the Crisis Staff.
25 Q. Mr. Neskovic, was this a report on the activities of the Crisis
1 Staff that you prepared and submitted to the president of the Presidency?
2 A. Yes. That's the document in question. That's the document that
3 I drafted as a report.
4 Q. So after the problems that you described earlier in connection
5 with the establishment of the Novo Sarajevo -- or the Serbian Municipality
6 of Novo Sarajevo, you assumed the duties of president of this Crisis Staff
7 and were reporting to the president of the Presidency about the activities
8 undertaken by the Crisis Staff during that time.
9 A. If I may, just to make an indispensable clarification. Prior to
10 this Crisis Staff, another Crisis Staff had been set up, headed by Mr.
11 Djurovic, and I was a member of that Crisis Staff. And there were about 15
12 of us, and we were in a building in the vicinity of this memorial centre,
13 and we were all assigned our tasks. And that was the first and the last
14 meeting, in fact. Following that meeting, when we went out to do our work,
15 I was in charge of the reparations to buildings, business facilities, and
16 all that. Well, everybody scattered, basically, and left. Djurovic went
17 to Belgrade, another one went somewhere else in Serbia, and the other
18 members of the Crisis Staff simply fled. And I myself and Mirko Sarovic
19 were the only ones left behind, and so that original Crisis Staff basically
20 disappeared completely. And I believe at that time Djurovic was referring
21 to a government decision or a set of instructions regulating the work of
22 the Crisis Staffs on that occasion. But then Sarovic and myself found
23 ourselves in a pickle because all the other officials had fled, and the top
24 levels of the Serb Democratic Party from Sarajevo had fled, as well. And
25 so whoever could, left. And Sarovic and I were trying to decide what to
1 do, and we met there, and there were about 50 or 60 citizens who were in
2 that area. And we decided we should set up a new Crisis Staff, and I was
3 elected the president, and Sarovic remained a secretary because he was a
4 legal expert. And on that occasion we decided to set up a Crisis Staff and
5 to do our work as we best could, depending on the actual circumstances, and
6 not to ask for any instructions from any higher authorities or anything.
7 And so we did it of our own accord, and we tried to adapt our work to the
8 situation at any given time, and we never asked for guidance or
9 instructions from anyone else.
10 And after two months or so, I think Mr. Karadzic had invited all
11 the representatives of those Crisis Staffs Jahorina to the Bistrik Hotel in
12 order for them to report on their work. And mostly it was oral
13 presentations, and I actually drafted a written report. And so this date
14 basically stood to indicate the date on which this Crisis Staff ceased to
15 exist because on the 10th of June the Municipal Assembly and the Executive
16 Committee was set up. So basically at the end of the period in the course
17 of which we worked for the Crisis Staff, I drafted this report, and I think
18 I submitted it to Karadzic personally, and I think Ostojic was sitting next
19 to him, as well.
20 Q. I'm going to return to that document in just a minute, but I want
21 to ask you about another meeting first. And I'd like to direct your
22 attention to the period of time when -- or around the period of time when
23 the airport was handed over to the French Batallion and ask whether you and
24 others submitted a letter to the leadership at that time.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What -- what was the letter about?
2 A. Well, it was a huge meeting, organised at the Presidencies of the
3 Energoinvest company at Lukavica, and it was chaired by the government
4 commissioner for new Sarajevo, Mr. Milimir Mucibabic. Different groups of
5 people attended that meeting: the representatives of the armed forces, the
6 representatives of the police force, private citizens, soldiers, members of
7 the Municipal Crisis Staff and government, et cetera. So it was a varied
8 meeting with a picturesque attendance, and it was rather difficult. A
9 great deal of criticism was voiced in the direction of the leadership at
10 Pale, and the Presidency in the sense -- when we said "Presidency," what we
11 meant was Karadzic, Krajisnik, Plavsic and Koljevic, and a great deal of
12 dissatisfaction was expressed with regard to the government, as well.
13 Now, this was not what you could call a compact meeting. Whoever
14 had a grudge would air their grievances, and so then it was all listed.
15 And as far as I can remember, there were seven or eight requests that were
16 addressed to the Presidency of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina at
17 Pale; that is to say, Krajisnik, Biljana, Nikola, and Karadzic. And I
18 think there was something from the army. They were unhappy about the fact
19 that the airport was relinquished to UNPROFOR and placed under their
20 control, and they expressed their dissatisfaction at that. Another group
21 of reserve or non-commissioned officers were unhappy that their salaries
22 were lower than those of the officers in active service. Other people were
23 unhappy because there was a lot of looting, a lot of theft going on,
24 stealing and everything, so they felt that a state of emergency or war
25 should be introduced in order to introduce some order.
1 And then Mr. Prijic -- or rather, other people were also unhappy
2 about the fate of Sarajevo because within the city there had been rumours
3 about Sarajevo being left to the Bosniaks completely and that the Serbs
4 were going to leave it altogether, and there were 180.000 Serbs there.
5 Even though, I mean, it was just a rumour, it still sent shock waves
6 through the population. And I think that Mr. Prijic raised one issue. I
7 think it was item 3 at the meeting, in fact. And he was arguing against
8 the political legitimacy of the leadership of the Serb Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. He felt that they were traitors and that they betrayed the
10 Serb national interests, and he suggested that we from the municipality
11 should get in touch with other municipalities directly and agree with them
12 about setting up some different -- some new Serb policy.
13 So no matter whether you agreed or disagreed with any of those
14 items, it was all referred to in a document. Everybody made their own
15 contributions, and then we signed it in order to testify to the accuracy of
16 all that. And I think there were 18 of us who signed the document, and
17 then we sent it off. And after that document, there was a meeting that we
18 had with the leadership, with the Serb Bosnia-Herzegovina at Pale, and on
19 that occasion we talked about those requests. Unfortunately, I have not
20 managed to hang onto that document. I did keep it for a long time, but
21 then when I moved house, I somehow mislaid it.
22 But there were about seven to eight different requests coming
23 from different groups, and what is of interest in this respect is that the
24 government commissioner, Mr. Mucibabic, seemed to support us in all that.
25 He lent his support to everything we had to say. He, too, seemed to
1 believe that that policy should be criticised. And so that encouraged the
2 others, since there was somebody there on behalf of the government and he
3 was encouraging us, and that encouraged people to come forward and make
4 their points.
5 After that, I think Mucibabic got a bit scared of the possible
6 consequences of such actions, and I think he actually fled to Belgrade or
8 Q. How many people actually -- from the municipality actually went
9 to the meeting? You said about 18 signed it. How many showed up at the
11 A. I don't know. There were at least 50 to 60 people there.
12 Q. I'm sorry, yes, you explained that. I didn't mean at the
13 original meeting, but when there was the meeting with the leadership, how
14 many people who had been at the original meeting went to meet with the
16 A. Oh, right. I do apologise. Well, you know, this is a bit of a
17 black comedy, really, because all of us, all of the signatories were
18 supposed to go up there, and we set off on a road across Tvrdimici, and we
19 wanted to go to this hotel at Jahorina and for the 18 of us to coordinate
20 things because we met with the leadership at Kikinda. But there were 15 of
21 us going to Lukavica and about about 7 or 8 of us only managed to get to
22 Jahorina because we managed to leave about 12 people along the way. They
23 gave up or something. So when we got there, there were only about 7 to 8
24 of us. And as a sign of support for what we had to say, the representative
25 of Ilidza, Nedeljko Prstojevic, came along, as well. Even though we had
1 not invited him originally, he somehow showed up and wanted to lend his
2 support to our request even though he was not present at the original
4 And so we had a stiff drink when we got there to give ourselves
5 courage. So we went to where the Presidency was, and then on the way to
6 Kikinda we managed to lose four or five extra people. And so when we
7 finally got to our final destination, it was only myself, Mr. Prijic, Mr.
8 Nedeljko Prstojevic, and, I think, Danilo Skrba. And so the four of us
9 were the only ones out of these people who actually attended that meeting;
10 whereas, as I said, we somehow lost the other people along the way. They
11 wandered off, in inverted commas.
12 Q. You mentioned that a number of people dropped out of the group
13 because they were scared of the possible consequences. What consequences
14 were they afraid of?
15 A. Yes. This is guesswork, of course, but there was war, and human
16 lives were not worth all that much. And if at such times you voice
17 criticism of certain things, especially your leadership, you can expect all
18 sorts of consequences. I can't really guess exactly what consequences
19 those could have been, but I must be honest and open here. When we arrived
20 at that meeting, there were Mr. Krajisnik, Karadzic in that meeting room,
21 and I was rather surprised by the fact that there were quite a few
22 representatives of the armed forces there, as well; Mladic, Gvero, Tolimir.
23 So those three top military commanders were there, and I was rather taken
24 aback by that. I mean, what were they doing at that meeting since we were
25 mostly addressing Karadzic, Krajisnik, Plavsic, and Koljevic?
1 And as to the meeting itself, Karadzic didn't say much. He
2 basically stayed silent throughout. Krajisnik did speak, and he tried to
3 defuse the tension and make sure that we could talk freely and -- but we
4 were frightened by Mladic, in fact. That was the problem, especially
5 because Prijic engaged in direct verbal conflict with Mladic, and so we
6 were really afraid for our lives because of Prijic's outright attack and --
7 at Mladic. He actually hurled an insult at him, and he was not very
8 pleased. And so we in the end were quite pleased to have escaped safe and
9 sound because we were very frightened of Mladic. He was very angry,
10 arrogant, and unpredictable, and there was no way of talking to him
11 normally or properly. And we had not been expecting him to attend that
12 meeting. We did not know he would be there. We were expecting to see
13 Krajisnik, Karadzic, Plavsic, and Koljevic. And for the most part, we
14 talked to Krajisnik whilst Prijic was arguing with Mladic, and in the end
15 he offended him in a big way, and we were pleased to have escaped
17 Q. And, Mr. Neskovic -- oh, yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You said that at that time there
19 was a state of war and that human life did not have much value, and you
20 said that when one allowed oneself to criticise the leadership, one could
21 expect to suffer all sorts of consequences. Are there any examples you
22 could provide us with, examples of certain individuals having suffered
23 serious consequences at the time? Were any individuals killed? Were they
24 threatened or obliged to flee?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I could only provide you with
1 the example of Professor Mucibabic, who fled from the area. As for whether
2 someone could have been killed for such matters, I know nothing about that.
3 You know, when there is a state of war, if someone acted in such a manner,
4 it wouldn't be done publicly, transparently. So I have no knowledge about
5 such matters. But to be quite frank, I must say that we were very afraid
6 of Mladic. But I think that Krajisnik managed to calm the situation down a
7 bit, and it was possible to discuss matters. Krajisnik was very skilful
8 when it came to engaging in discussions of various kinds.
9 Momo Mandic told me that everything was fine, but he advised me
10 not to come to Pale very frequently after that meeting because you had to
11 pass through a forest. He said I should remain down in Grbavica. He said
12 that I should not go on any particular trips for security reasons. I am
13 sorry, I can't really answer that question because I'm not familiar with
14 any such events. I couldn't provide you with the sort of example you've
15 been referring to. All I know is that Professor Mucibabic fled; they
16 criticised him for some reasons, and he quite simply fled and never
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I would have one question for you, as well: Could
20 you briefly tell us what exactly the subject was or the subjects on which
21 Prijic and Mladic had a clash during that meeting. What was the position
22 of Mladic? Could you tell us a bit more about that clash.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were sitting very close
24 to each other, and Mladic asked Prijic, who was a pharmaceutical expert,
25 what he thought about the Serbian officers, and Prijic said -- or asked him
1 whether he was referring to high-ranking officers or low-ranking officers.
2 And then Mladic said that, of course, he was thinking of high-ranking
3 officers. And then Prijic said that he believed that they were all
4 thieves, cowards, and incompetent individuals. Mladic became very angry,
5 and his face started changing colours, first red and then white, et cetera.
6 And then Mladic asked him what percentage of officers were such as he had
7 described them, and Prijic then said that he thought 90 per cent of the
8 officers were as he had described them. And that is the kind of exchange
9 they had.
10 JUDGE ORIE: There was no conflict on any operational matters,
11 military operational matters?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No. They only discussed the
13 quality of the officers, and Prijic said that he believed that they were
14 thieves, cowards, that they were incompetent, and so on and so forth.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. You mentioned earlier the issue of Sarajevo and what might happen
19 to it. Were you familiar at that time with the strategic objectives
20 adopted at the May 12th, 1992, session of the Serbian Assembly?
21 A. Not immediately because that Assembly session took place in Banja
22 Luka, but we did find out that that was a strategic objective, but that
23 objective meant nothing to the inhabitants of Sarajevo. We didn't know
24 what that meant; if it meant that a Serbian Sarajevo had to be established,
25 we weren't sure what that involved exactly.
1 And secondly, the Assembly didn't say whether the Serbian and
2 Muslim Sarajevo would, in fact, be a Serbian and Muslim municipality, and
3 then at the level of the municipalities there would be a joint town
4 administration, or perhaps they had imagined division of the town along the
5 lines of the Berlin division. But independently of that strategic
6 objective mentioned in Banja Luka, we constantly received information from
7 various circles, from Serbian circles, from Bosniak circles, according to
8 which they had already decided on a plan for Sarajevo and according to
9 which Sarajevo would go to the Bosniaks. And this made everyone worried.
10 And in addition, the entire leadership of Republika Srpska was
11 said to have quite simply fled, and that included people living in
12 Grbavica, such as Biljana Plavsic and Nikola Koljevic. Even they did not
13 remain there; they fled. So the fact that the leadership fled to Pale,
14 well, this made people think that the Serbs in Sarajevo would be traded at
15 some sort of high international level, and we were particularly afraid of
16 Milosevic. We were afraid that Milosevic might negotiate on behalf of the
17 Serbs because he didn't know anything about Sarajevo, so we were afraid
18 that he might engage in some sort of flippant trade with Sarajevo.
19 So a lot of rumours were spread, and unfortunately after the
20 Dayton Agreement what I have just been referring to was, in fact,
22 Q. Yesterday you discussed a telephone conversation between, I
23 believe, Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Djurovic during which Dr. Karadzic spoke
24 about "their settlements" and about "our territory" and about "everyone on
25 their land." And in that connection -- and that was in regards to
1 Sarajevo, if you recall.
2 In that connection, could I ask you to turn next to tab 21.
3 MR. TIEGER: I'd ask that that be marked next in order.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P914.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. Mr. Neskovic, P914 is a transcript of a film shot in 1992,
8 entitled "Serbian epics." I'd like to direct your attention first to page
9 5 of the English translation and to a portion which appears -- if you'll
10 see to the left, there are time indications for that film. On page 4 of
11 the English version, there's a time indication of 26.35. And the first
12 portion of the transcript to which I want to direct your attention appears
13 six entries after that and after the Gusolj [phoen] player sings a song
14 about the fair Turkish daughter and about -- and about the Serbs
15 surrounding Sarajevo. Do you see that portion wherein Dr. Karadzic speaks?
16 A. Just a minute. Let me just find the Serbian translation so that
17 I can find my bearings.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It is on the page, last three digits at the top,
19 852, Mr. Neskovic.
20 THE WITNESS: Mm-hm.
21 MR. TIEGER:
22 Q. And there Dr. Karadzic states, "We must prove to the
23 international factor that we are, in fact, not -- that we hold no siege
24 over Sarajevo. Basically we are protecting our territories, and here it is
25 visible that Sarajevo sprung up in Serbian territory, as Serbian property,
1 and the entire surrounding of Sarajevo is Serbian. These are all Serbian
2 villages, Serbian towns, Serbian settlements. We would not solve those
3 issues," et cetera.
4 And the next portion of the transcript to which I want to direct
5 your attention appears at page 8 of the English translation. It's in a
6 portion where Dr. Karadzic is speaking to Eduard Limonov.
7 A. What's the number at the top? I do apologise, but perhaps you
8 could help me.
9 Q. I think that would be -- just double-checking.
10 JUDGE ORIE: "Limonov" appears in English on the top of page,
11 last three digits, 856.
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes. The English version I'm look at, the last
13 three digits would be 859, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But we see at 859 "Limonov" just a bit below
15 the middle of the page, to say "its mighty weapon," which appears --
16 MR. TIEGER: I don't think it's going to help to direct the
17 witness to the Serbian version of the transcript because I believe that Dr.
18 Karadzic is speaking in English during this portion.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. TIEGER: So perhaps it's best if I just read that portion and
21 it's translated to the --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Sure. Yes.
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. The portion of the transcript which appears and I'm directing
25 your attention appears at page 8, and it is as follows: "The Turks and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 even Muslims who have" -- sorry. I'll start again. "The Turks and even
2 Muslims who have been previously Serbs and converted into Islam, they used
3 to live in centres of cities while Serbs used to possess the entire ground,
4 and that was Serbian country." And the transcript indicates Dr. Karadzic
5 is pointing towards Sarajevo. "When Turks came, we may be negotiating
6 about territory, but we own this country. This is our country. Turks have
7 been here occupiers, and the Muslims are successors of those occupiers."
8 And then he goes on to point out the mosques.
9 Mr. Neskovic, did Dr. Karadzic consider that Sarajevo was
10 essentially Serbian land and Serbian territory?
11 A. Well, I think that Mr. Karadzic expressed his position in
12 politically incorrect terms. He had lived in Sarajevo for a long time, and
13 he should have known where people had land. Most of the land in Sarajevo
14 was state land. Then there was Muslim land, Serbian land, Jewish land. In
15 the municipality of Novo Sarajevo, there was a lot of Croatian land. And
16 this was the case at the time of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After the
17 Communist revolution, all of this land that had previously been private
18 property was nationalalised, and it became state land. So to say that
19 Sarajevo is Muslim or Croatian or only Serbian, well, this is just foolish.
20 It's stupid, and it's not supported by the facts. There was privately
21 owned land that belonged to all three ethnic groups, and there were a lot
22 of buildings in the town that were owned by all three ethnic groups. So
23 this is quite simply incorrect. And Karadzic, as an intellectual who lived
24 in Sarajevo, could have been aware of these facts. I think that he
25 expressed such positions for political reasons and probably in order to
1 leave an impression on Limonov. I don't know what his reasons were, but
2 what Karadzic said has nothing to do with the actual state of affairs.
3 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would note the time. I don't want to
4 extend it further.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
6 We'll have a break until 11.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.09 a.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 One housekeeping matter before we begin. I believe that a
12 document -- or Exhibit 914 needs to be renumbered to encompass both the
13 transcripts and the video itself.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The video will be P914, and the transcript,
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Neskovic, I have relatively few remaining questions, and
20 they'll be largely focussed on events in Novo Sarajevo. Let me ask you
21 first whether in 1992 and more specifically the second half of 1992, let's
22 say beginning in May and June, Muslims began to leave Novo Sarajevo in
23 significant numbers.
24 A. As far as I know, initially they wanted to live there. They
25 didn't want to leave the territory of the municipality. As far as
1 relationships with the Serbs are concerned, well, the Muslims and Croats
2 were on very good terms. Initially the situation was fairly good, given
3 the wartime conditions. But sometime in the second half of 1992 - perhaps
4 that was in July or in August - certain groups started to expel the Muslims
5 and made them flee to the other side of Miljacka. In Grbavica, there -- we
6 have to distinguish between Grbavica I, where our Crisis Staff was located
7 and where the civilian authorities were located, and there was also
8 Grbavica II, which resembled Stalingrad; it was a military position. The
9 situation was far more difficult. And I think that the Muslims were
10 expelled in droves from Grbavica II. They were expelled over the bridge,
11 and I'm not sure whether some sort of a 3rd Battalion was involved whose
12 commander was Degbanovic [phoen] and whose nickname was Balija, but there
13 were various bandits, individual bandits, or illegal groups who committed
14 crimes, engaged in looting and maltreating of individuals. There was
15 someone called Vlahovic, whose nickname was Batko, who was one such person.
16 And then after Grbavica II, there was a critical day in Grbavica I, too. I
17 can't remember whether it was in August 1992 or perhaps around that time.
18 But on that occasion, one group of men in uniforms - I don't know who they
19 were; I didn't try to obtain such information - but this group expelled
20 some of the Muslims from their homes and made them cross over to the other
21 side. Olja Varagic then came to see me. She had found out about some sort
22 of a plan being prepared. I wasn't aware of that. She asked me whether I
23 could help her; I said yes. I said, "This is what we'll do. I said, I'll
24 go and see you in your flat." Orhan Dzipa, my colleague from Serbian Radio
25 Television was already there in the flat. There were a lot of Muslims in
1 the flat from the building, and they had a plan. If an armed group came to
2 the flat, the plan was for me to appear at the door and say, "I'm a Serb.
3 I live in this flat; don't come in", and so on and so forth.
4 I don't know whether that would have worked or not, but
5 fortunately no one came to that flat. So around August one could say that
6 the expulsion of Muslims was being conducted on a larger scale. Before
7 August there were individual cases of these people being expelled, but
8 there were also certain requests from Muslim groups. They themselves said
9 they wanted to cross over to the other side because they didn't feel safe
10 there. And then there were many secret exchanges. Muslims from Grbavica
11 went to the other side, and Serbs from Sarajevo came to this side. And
12 criminal groups were involved in these activities, groups who do not have
13 much respect for the law, because in the course of the war this cooperation
14 never ceased. So the population was exchanged in this way, too.
15 I spoke to certain people who wanted to leave at any cost. You
16 know, people from Sarajevo, the Serbs and the Muslims, they were quite
17 prepared to put up with hunger, with poverty, with the risk of war, et
18 cetera, but they were not prepared to put up with being humiliated. A
19 neighbour of mine -- a Muslim neighbour of mine said, "I will have to do
20 something. I'll have to take a spade and dig trenches or work for the
21 public utilities company. I can accept all of this, but I won't accept to
22 be made to sing Chetnik songs." And he said, "That's why I would like to
23 cross over to the other side." And then I contacted the chief of the
24 police, Sipcic Simo, and Simo Sipcic helped him to cross over to the other
25 side. Simo Sipcic could do that because his relative was the commander of
1 a corps, Tomo Sipcic. They were relatives, so he could help.
2 So in the first half of 1992, there were such individual cases.
3 In the second half, expulsion was conducted on a large scale. As far as
4 Grbavica I is concerned, as far as I can remember, this did not go on for
5 days and days. I believe that this only occurred on one day, but it was a
6 terrible day, an ugly day, and these very ugly things happened. On that
7 day, individuals were expelled and made to cross over to the other side;
8 this was quite unnecessary. I must emphasise that war was slow to break
9 out in that urban area, and the Muslims in Grbavica acted in a very correct
10 manner in relation to the Serbian army. But, on the other hand, there was
11 a commander, major, called Dragan Petkovic. He also treated them very
12 correctly because he lived there. So in April and May, the relationship
13 was very good, given the wartime conditions. And I regret the fact that
14 this relationship was not maintained. That is all I would have to say in
15 response to your question for the time being. If you have any other
16 questions you want to put to me, I can deal with them.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Just for clarification, when you said that Grbavica
18 II resembled -- did you say Stalingrad, or did you say Stari Grad?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I mentioned Grbavica II, and I
20 said it resembled Stalingrad, that armed combat was terrible. There was a
21 lot of sniper fire, and it really resembled Stalingrad.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for your clarification.
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. Mr. Neskovic, you mentioned someone named Batko. First of all,
25 do you know whether he -- he held any official position within the military
1 police or any other body?
2 A. No. He was an armed monster, a pathological type. He wore an
3 army uniform and nothing more than that. And I don't know whether he was a
4 member of a paramilitary unit or a regular army unit; I really don't know.
5 I don't know what the make-up of those military formations were. But he
6 did a lot of bad things there. Because with mutual efforts on the part of
7 both Serbs and Muslims, we managed to more or less strike a balance, and
8 then an individual like that comes along and acts like a monster, and he
9 spoils everything. And I mean, during the day, there were police officers
10 there, and later on we had the French army there, and the security
11 situation was rather good. But at night we had a problem because there was
12 no lighting; there was no electricity; it's a big town, and the front lines
13 were crossing across town. And so he, either on his own or with some of
14 his partners in crime, would enter people's flats at night, and he stole
15 property and was guilty of other misdeeds. There were even rumours about
16 certain killings and murders. I've only heard it secondhand, as it were.
17 I did not witness any of that myself.
18 So whenever you crossed him in the streets, you didn't know
19 whether he was going to say hello to you or he was going to shoot you.
20 And, secondly, if he wanted to take anyone in -- the person didn't really
21 have time to stay alive. He would never take a prisoner for one, two, or
22 three days. In order for anyone to have a chance to have saving that
23 person, it was a matter of minutes. Once he took my friend, Orhan Dzipa,
24 and his dog, and Olja Varagic came to me and she said, "Let's try and save
25 him," and I said, "I don't dare go there because he's going to kill me, as
1 well." And we went to Simo Sipcic, who was the head of the police at the
2 time, and then he ran to some -- Batko's rooms, and he saved Orhan Dzipa
3 and the dog. So Simo could interfere -- or rather, could intervene with
4 his cousin that this person should be taken away or imprisoned or sent
5 away. And we wanted to free Grbavica from this guy, but then somehow after
6 two or three weeks he would always come back. He kept coming back, and
7 then we would once again ask for this person to be removed. And then he
8 would be removed and then sent back again. And then we were even more
9 frightened because we thought that perhaps he was not an isolated case,
10 this Batko, and that he probably had some protection, and we didn't know
11 what the matter was because he kept coming back and terrorised the
12 population. I think even Biljana Plavsic intervened once and asked for him
13 to be removed from the area once, and then he kept being removed and sent
14 back. And I still don't know who he belonged to, what group of people he
15 belonged to.
16 Very sad things used to happen. I mean, we even had a
17 marketplace organised during the war. The farmers would bring their
18 produce to the market, and so the inhabitants would be able to buy stuff.
19 But whenever he came along, everybody would flee, the sellers and the
20 buyers, and the marketplace would be totally empty, and then he just helped
21 himself to whatever he wanted to --
22 JUDGE ORIE: May I just interrupt you. Your speed of speech is
23 such that it's difficult for the transcribers and the interpreters to
24 follow you. Would you please slow down.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. You've described everyone's fear and quite a number of incidents.
3 Did everybody in the area know about this guy?
4 A. Everybody knew of him. The military police knew of him; the
5 civilian police knew and the military, as well. He was not an unknown
6 phenomenon, as it were. He did whatever he did very openly. Don't
7 misunderstand me. I mean, he never used to hide what he was up to or his
8 misdeeds. So he was well known down there, and everybody tried to not --
9 not to cross paths with him, especially Muslims and Croats, but Serbs
10 didn't like to be around him either.
11 Q. Was it understood that the primary targets of his attacks were
12 Muslims and Croats?
13 A. To some extent, yes, but the main targets of his attacks always
14 had to do with money and looting, and then, of course, especially Muslims
15 and Croats. Mostly Muslims, or in case he perhaps heard that there was
16 some slightly better-off family and he supposed there might be money there.
17 But he was involved in all sorts of violence, violence against women, men,
18 looting, stealing, all kinds of violence, as I said. He was prone to
19 violence, and the only thing that is unclear to me is once he was taken
20 away, why was it made possible for him to come back again.
21 Q. I think you mentioned that he wore a uniform but you weren't
22 certain whether he belonged to a paramilitary group or military group. If
23 I could ask you a question about something you said during your April 2004
24 interview. At -- at that time, you were talking about Batko again. And
25 you said at the bottom of page 126, "It was still the responsibility of the
1 military police and army organs. Batko was a soldier, their member with
2 their uniform and gun, and it was their duty, too."
3 Do you recall now whether -- the kind of uniform Batko wore and
4 whether he was -- whether he was considered to be a member of the -- the
5 military police or army?
6 A. Yes. He wore a military uniform. There were all sorts of
7 uniforms at the time; I think it was a camouflage military uniform. And he
8 sometimes wore a beret, and sometimes he didn't. But that was some kind of
9 military uniform. He was not a member of the military police, though. And
10 he combined those army fatigues with various other items of clothing, but
11 there were no insignia denoting any ranks or anything. He was just an
12 armed individual wearing a uniform without any other indication or any
13 insignia on his uniform indicating that he was an officer or that he
14 belonged to any particular unit. But as far as I'm aware of, he never took
15 part in any real combat activity along the front lines, where real soldiers
16 were, and he mostly acted in the background, behind the front lines, and
17 did as he pleased. I do know -- well, there are not too many eyewitnesses,
18 but there is general knowledge of the fact that he was responsible for the
19 disappearance of a very respected gynaecologist, Miro Kundurevic, and I
20 think he was guilty of violence against his wife, as well. Mrs. Kundurevic
21 survived, and I think she is living abroad at the moment, and she is
22 certainly going to be able to provide the full story of that because what I
23 hear, what I know, is not firsthand knowledge; it's hearsay. But I think
24 this lady, she knows everything, of course.
25 MR. TIEGER: Sorry. Just one moment, Your Honour.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would like to ask a question.
3 MR. TIEGER: My question is about another subject, Your Honour,
4 so if you want to continue with this, please.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] At that period of time that
6 you're referring to, sir, you were in a position of responsibility within
7 the civilian government.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Maybe I should give you a
9 really specific answer. I became president of the Crisis Staff at some
10 point around the 10th of April, but this only referred to the area of Vrace
11 because at that time for about a month the area of Grbavica was considered
12 no man's land. It was not under the control of Serbs, not under the
13 control of Muslims either. So the Crisis Staff between the period of time
14 -- in the period of time between the 10th of April up until the 10th of
15 May, roughly speaking, was active only at the local community of Vrace.
16 And when Grbavica I was placed under the control of the Serb forces, well,
17 at that stage the Crisis Staff was moved to the premises in that area. And
18 as to Batko, straight away, at the very start, he was present in the area.
19 But as to the crimes that he committed and with regard to Miro Kondurovic
20 and others, I think that it happened slightly later. I think that it
21 happened at some point in June, July, and so on because in April, whilst
22 the conflict was going on, it was not an all-out war, in fact. People were
23 going to work from Vrace and crossing over to the other side. And even my
24 people used to cross over from one to the other side. So the war had not
25 started as an all-out war as yet, and at around the time we went down to
1 Grbavica, between May and June, as time went by, Batko himself stepped up
2 his own activities, his own crimes, as it were.
3 I was the president of the Crisis Staff up until the 5th of June,
4 roughly speaking, and we did not hear any direct information about his
5 crimes, but we did have complaints because Muslims were complaining about
6 the fact that he was terrorising them, he was dangerous, and they were
7 afraid of him, and the only thing I could do at the time was --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Slow down, please.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] At the Crisis Staff that you
10 were presiding over, were there any representatives of the military
11 authorities within the Crisis Staff?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Formally speaking, well, yes, we
13 had the representative of the Territorial Defence, but his presence there
14 was --
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] No, no, I'm talking about the
16 army, about the armed forces.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The armed forces, no. But
18 prior to the creation of the armed forces, there was the Territorial
19 Defence and the representatives of the Territorial Defence was there, and
20 he kept asking for supplies, for money and wages for the soldiers, but
21 there were no representatives of the armed forces.
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, could you first of all
23 kindly slow down because you are speaking very fast and it is difficult for
24 the record.
25 My question is the following: You are a man who is in a position
1 of responsibility within the civilian authorities, as it were, and you had
2 the opportunity to meet with the highest-ranking people within the
3 hierarchy of that republic. Faced with actions such as the ones carried
4 out by Batko, what was your reaction? Did you get in touch with somebody
5 higher up? Did you alert people to what was going on? And when Batko was
6 released after his initial detention, did you lodge a complaint? As a
7 citizen, did you live up to your responsibilities, as it were? Because in
8 a sentence earlier on in the course of your testimony - and I'm reading it
9 now - you refer to crimes committed in Grbavica II and -- Grbavica I and
10 II, and you're saying, "I can't really remember whether this was in August
11 1992, but on that occasion a group of uniformed men committed various
12 crimes," and you go on to say, "A group of uniformed men - I don't know who
13 they were - and also, I never tried to obtain any information to find out
14 what they were."
15 So what I'd like to know is why, when faced with so many crimes
16 committed by Mr. Batko and faced with crimes committed by other people, as
17 well, did you not reach any decisions in terms of alerting your authorities
18 in order to ask them to put a stop to such a situation. That's my
19 question. Thank you.
20 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I simply seek clarification before
21 the witness deals with it. That passage, with respect, His Honour Judge
22 Hanoteau has raised quite a number of questions, and I wonder whether it
23 could be clear to me and perhaps the witness that -- is -- is, as stated,
24 is Judge Hanoteau's question the very last question in those four or five
25 lines, with everything else being some sort of introduction or preamble, or
1 is the witness being asked to answer all or some of those questions?
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] The witness is meant to answer
3 this question; that is to say, how does he explain the fact that when faced
4 with actions carried out by this gentleman, Batko, and others he did not
5 decide to alert the highest civilian or military authorities, for that
6 matter, especially considering that he had the possibility of contacting
7 them on the basis of his position.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to my own situation, I informed
9 the chief of military police because I knew him in person. It was Mr.
10 Sipcic. The higher ranking officials at Pale had not been informed. I did
11 not inform them because I thought that it was up to the civilian police,
12 the state security services, the military police, and the military
13 structures and that it was up to them to solve the problem of Batko and all
14 the other crimes in relation to that. I was of the view that the military
15 structures and the police and especially the state security services were
16 called upon to deal with this because this was within their area of
17 competence, strictly speaking.
18 As to my civic duty to raise the issue of Batko at the Crisis
19 Staff or of opposing Batko openly, we did not dare do that because we would
20 have lost our lives, quite simply, because apart from all the other
21 obligations, we also had a duty to protect our own lives and those of our
23 I did send a report to Pale, and I distanced myself from the
24 military and the police, and I did indicate that I had nothing to do with
25 them and that Radovan would have to look for and ask for a special report
1 from the police and the armed forces. Why did I not do more as a simple
2 citizen? Well, quite simply because I thought it was up to the regular
3 police force and the regular military police and the state security
4 services and the military unit that Batko belonged to. Obviously I
5 disagreed with what Batko was doing. But had I been more open in my
6 criticism or had I opposed him more openly, I would have put my life at
8 And also, you've heard the fact that the top leadership at Pale
9 was told about Batko by Biljana Plavsic and it never yielded any results,
10 and that meant that the civilian authorities were not in a position to
11 prevent crimes unless they are in command of the military and police
12 forces, as well. Had I been a commander that had the power or control over
13 military and police units as the head of the Crisis Staff, in that case it
14 would have been my direct responsibility, and in that case it would have
15 been a question why I had not done something about it. But I was not the
16 person who was in control of the police or the military, and I didn't even
17 have any contact with them. And all the Crisis Staff could do was contact
18 the police or the military. And the fact that I did not contact anyone at
19 Pale, well, I found that it would have been totally useless. Why would I
20 be the person to report that particular crime to the top leadership at Pale
21 when it would have been more efficient on my part to get in touch with the
22 chief of military police who was there on the spot, and so it was up to him
23 to undertake certain measures.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You said in your answer that you
25 sent a report to Pale: "[In English] I distanced myself from the military
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and the police, and I did indicate that I had nothing to do with them."
2 [Interpretation] So you did send a report to Pale with regard to
3 those incidents in which Batko was involved.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I submitted a report on the 5th of
5 June. In that report, I did not actually make a specific reference to
6 Batko himself. I did make a reference to certain looting, and I did stress
7 that in as far as the police and military side of things is concerned, I
8 had nothing to do with that, and I told the president that he should seek
9 information from the military and the police on all those issues. Not
10 because --
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I do apologise for interrupting
12 you, sir, but if you submitted a report to Pale with regard to theft of
13 private property, can you tell me whether you also submit a report when
14 murders took place against civilians. Did you sent a report to Pale about
15 those killings? And I suppose you were a witness there, as well.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not an eyewitness to those
17 killings, and I did not send in a report on those killings because I felt
18 that it was up to the police and the military, and we were a civilian body,
19 a Crisis Staff, and we were not in control of the police. We were not
20 higher up within the hierarchy in the area of Grbavica, so that's why I did
21 not send in a report on killings.
22 And, on the other hand, in order for me to be able to file a
23 report on any killings at Pale, the police and the army would have had to
24 send a detailed report to me beforehand; that is to say, what had happened,
25 in what way, who exactly had been killed, who was guilty of those killings,
1 and I would have had to have some initial information on which to base my
2 report. But I never asked for this initial information, and I never got
3 that information either from the police or the armed forces in order for me
4 to be able to send a report to Pale.
5 And let me reiterate once again. I felt that it was a legal
6 obligation of the state security services, the civilian police, the
7 military police, and the military command.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Neskovic, I actually wanted to ask you a question about the
12 June 5th, 1992, report. And that can be found, if you recall, at tab 23.
13 And specifically I'd like to address your -- I'd like to focus your
14 attention on item 6, "Treatment of Muslims and Croats."
15 JUDGE ORIE: You find that at page 3 of the B/C/S version.
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. That states: "Citizens of all nationalities assemble frequently,
18 especially in Grbavica, and our public attitude is very correct. We
19 appoint a head of every building who is responsible for the situation in
20 his building and for all the information about the occupants. Secretly,
21 the police supply the usual procedure to people who were engaged in
22 military activities against us."
23 Now, first, where were the police operating who were responsible
24 for Novo Sarajevo?
25 A. Initially, in the beginning of April, they were at Vrace at the
1 local community premises. And when Grbavica was placed under the control
2 of the Serb forces, they were at Zagrebacka Street, pretty close to the
3 seat of the civilian authorities, in a kindergarten, and they were down
4 there on the spot in the Zagrebacka Street. That was the police station
5 for Novo Sarajevo.
6 Q. And you mentioned Mr. Mandic before. Were any of the high-
7 ranking police officials or highest ranking police officials located in the
8 general area of Novo Sarajevo? Either within the municipality or in the
9 general area of where the police in Novo Sarajevo were operating.
10 A. I think that at the premises of the police academy at Vrace, also
11 the entire ministry was there, and the Ministry of the Interior, Mico
12 Stanisic, spent time there quite often. I don't know. There was a fence
13 in there, and there were guards, so I don't know how often or for how long
14 they were there. But it was at the police academy at Vrace, and that was
15 where the MUP was operating. I don't know whether temporarily or for how
16 long or whatever, but Mico Stanisic was there very often.
17 Q. And do you know who Milenko Karisik was?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. And who was that? Who did you understand him to be?
20 A. He was a commander of the special police force, police unit.
21 Q. And was he also located in -- in your area?
22 A. I think he was there very briefly. I met him in the course of
23 the fighting around the police academy at Vrace, and I really don't think
24 he spent a long time there. At least, I'm not aware of that. Perhaps he
25 might have been in the area on private business. But according to my
1 recollection, he was there very briefly, and straight after the end of the
2 combat activities, a couple of days later, I think, he left the area. But
3 perhaps he visited occasionally. Maybe he went to Pale and then came back
4 with Stanisic and then went back to Pale, but he was going back and forth
5 between Pale and Vrace, and those people were there sometimes, and
6 sometimes they were not. But I think that after the end of the combat
7 operations around the academy, I think he left.
8 Q. Now, the last sentence in the first paragraph of item 6 of the
9 June 5th report, as I mentioned earlier, says, "Secretly, the police
10 applied the usual procedure to people who were engaged in military
11 activities against us."
12 If you know, what was the usual -- what was the procedure that
13 the police was applying to Muslims and Croats?
14 A. That meant that since all the Muslims had been asked to surrender
15 their weapons on a voluntary basis, and they did that, and Commander Major
16 Petkovic said, "Since you have done that, the army won't search your flats.
17 We'll have a Muslim at each entrance who will be in charge of that entrance
18 and will ensure that everyone is there every night," and I think that we
19 made some sort of a census there, listed the inhabitants who were there.
20 This concerned Muslims who didn't want to surrender their weapons and they
21 acted against the Army of Republika Srpska. They provoked action over the
22 radio, or there was sniper fire because they believed that those who were
23 carrying a weapon were no longer citizens; they were soldiers. And if any
24 inhabitants noticed such a person, they should go to the civilian police
25 and report on the fact, and then further police procedures would be
1 implemented. So it meant that if anyone noticed such a person in their
2 building, they should be reported.
3 Q. Why was that done secretly?
4 A. Well, you know, for the sake of the security of those who
5 reported on these people, and if anyone acted against the Serbian army,
6 they did so in secret, too, and the person who would report on them to the
7 police would do that in secret, to conceal his or her identity and to -- to
8 make sure that that person wouldn't suffer any consequences at a subsequent
9 date. But it was their obligation to inform the civilian police if such
10 information came to light. And then the civilian police would have to
11 arrest the individual concerned, and that individual would then be
12 subjected to the appropriate police procedure.
13 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me, Your Honour. If I could have just a
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. Neskovic. That concludes my
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
19 Before I give an opportunity to the Defence to cross-examine the
20 witness, I would have, since we have this document in front of us, have one
21 additional question to the witness.
22 Mr. Neskovic, under paragraph 8 of your report, it reads,
23 "Accommodation of fight fighters from other areas." And then "for those
24 fighters from other areas we provide accommodation."
25 What kind of fighters you were referring to when you drafted this
1 part of the report?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was thinking of people who
3 had come from the other side of Miljacka, from the other part of the town
4 that was under Muslim control. And then I had in mind combatants who later
5 left the area of Popalici, when the Popalici also fell into the hands of
6 the Muslim army. So the reference is to fighters from Sarajevo who were
7 not from Grbavica. They either came from other local communes, Popalici,
8 Velesici, central parts of town, or they came from some of the surrounding
9 villages. On the whole, the reference is to local Serbian fighters.
10 As far as I know, at the time there were no foreigners among
11 them, and some of the Muslims, especially in Vrace, left a certain
12 residential area on a voluntary basis, and occasionally we'd provide
13 accommodation for those combatants. Some had flats that were available.
14 We didn't provide them with permanent accommodation. And in some way, they
15 kept these flats. If the flats hadn't been used, they would have been
16 looted or damaged. So I think that what we did was useful. We managed to
17 protect those flats and provide these people with accommodation.
18 There were a lot of people from the Muslim side who were either
19 exchanged or released or they were released in exchange for money or they
20 fled, et cetera, but our front lines were sometimes 5 metres away, 10
21 metres away, sometimes 25 metres away. There was one front line that was
22 only 50 centimetres away; there was just a wall there. And those are the
23 combatants referred to. They usually were provided with accommodation in
24 the Vrace area.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You've answered my question. The details of
1 the confrontation lines are not vital for it.
2 Mr. Stewart, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
3 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. May I just recover the -- the
4 lectern. Excuse me.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 Mr. Neskovic, you'll now be examined by Mr. Stewart, counsel for
7 the Defence.
8 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
10 Q. Mr. Neskovic, you -- you signed your membership card and joined
11 up to the SDS, you told the Trial Chamber, on the 12th of July, 1990. Can
12 you say in brief terms what it was that encouraged or inspired you to join
13 the SDS at that point.
14 A. At the time, I was a member of another party, called the
15 Democratic Party of Freedom, which was registered in Mostar. The SDS was
16 formed by assembling seven or eight minor parties and groups, and the
17 representative of our party, Mrs. Bozana Radovic, established contact with
18 Karadzic in the Democratic Party of Freedom. We weren't aware of this, and
19 she decided to join our party to the SDS. She decided that our party
20 should join the SDS. We had certain problems, and then on the 11th of
21 July, just before the SDS was established, Radovan came and -- to the
22 Holiday Inn. He visited all the various -- or he spoke to all the various
23 party leaders and asked whether they wanted to join in. I was the
24 representative of the Democratic Party of Freedom, and it was at that
25 session that the SDS was joined. I signed a membership card for that
1 party. And what was the reason for doing that? Well, you know, there was
2 not really any other party you could join. There was the SDA, the Muslim
3 party; there was the Croatian party, the HDZ; then you had Anto Markovic's
4 party, and the SDP party, and these parties were falling apart. So as a
5 Serb, it was quite normal for me to join that party, especially since the
6 term "democratic" was included in the title of the party.
7 Q. So your own inclination coincided with the fact that your
8 existing party was joining up with the SDS, so, in a nutshell, it was just
9 really the obvious place for you to go at that time, the SDS.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Had you been politically active beyond membership of a political
12 party over the period up to July 1990?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Not held any offices or working positions in any political party;
15 is that -- is that the position?
16 A. No. No.
17 Q. You agree, that is the position?
18 A. Yes. Unless we mention the fact that I was somewhat involved in
19 the Democratic Party of Freedom with certain individuals, but I didn't
20 really have any particular duties. Up until July, I didn't have any
21 political party duties.
22 Q. Did you have any formal position in that Democratic Party of
23 Freedom, or had you had at any time?
24 A. Well, I was some kind of a vice-president there, and Mr. Djukic
25 from Sokolac was the president, and we remained at the level of a
1 committee. We'd been registered. We wanted a founding Assembly in
2 Sarajevo, in Skenderija, but given -- given the fact that not many citizens
3 responded, this fell through. But we were a minor party that had been duly
4 registered. I think that Djukic was at the head of the party, Djukic from
5 Sokolac. I've forgotten his name. Bozo Radic from Nevesinje was a
6 prominent member; then there was Goran Milic, who is now some sort of BH
7 diplomat, and there were several other individuals.
8 Q. Yes. Mr. Neskovic, probably it will help to proceed a bit
9 quicker if you try to resist the temptation to give a lot of more detailed
10 information in addition to the answer to the question and see what further
11 questions come along.
12 Mr. Neskovic, when you say you were some kind of a vice-
13 president, that simply means you were a vice-president, full stop, doesn't
15 A. Well, yes, I was the vice-president of that party, but at the
16 founding session, when a president and vice-president were to be officially
17 elected, well, this did not occur because the Assembly fell through, and
18 that is why the party then joined the Serbian Democratic Party because it
19 was quite obvious that it could not be established on an independent basis.
20 Q. I'm just trying to get it clear, Mr. Neskovic. Whatever -- so
21 whatever deficiencies there might have been in the formalities, in fact,
22 you had been the vice-president, as opposed to one of a number of vice-
23 presidents -- you had been the vice-president of that previous party, the
24 Democratic Party of Freedom.
25 A. Yes; although, that party wasn't really active. It hadn't even
1 made any public announcements. It had only just been registered, and it
2 was only going through -- it was only in its -- it was only starting out.
3 So, in fact, it wasn't really known.
4 Q. Let's -- let's move on, Mr. Neskovic. You -- you made a speech
5 at Pale on the 10th of August, 1990, and that was actually in, among
6 others, Dr. Karadzic's presence, wasn't it, when you made that speech; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And did you make that speech in any official capacity or just as
10 a speaker from the floor at the meeting?
11 A. I gave a speech on behalf of the Municipal Committee of the
12 Serbian Democratic Party in Pale. A day before, I went to a meeting of
13 that Municipal Committee, and it wasn't my intention to give a speech, but
14 they asked me whether I had any ideas as to what should be done on the
15 following day. I made a few suggestions. They then said, "Well, those
16 suggestions aren't bad. Would you like to give that speech," which I did.
17 There were other individuals who gave speeches, and that occurred on the
18 10th of August at the football stadium in Pale.
19 Q. So is -- is this what happened, Mr. Neskovic: Your -- your local
20 colleagues thought it would be a good idea if you made a speech setting out
21 these points, and then Dr. Karadzic liked what he heard from you?
22 A. Well, I don't know whether Karadzic liked what he heard or not,
23 but what you've just said is correct. My local colleagues thought it would
24 be very useful if I gave a speech, which I did.
25 Q. Well, Dr. Karadzic heard what you said and then very shortly
1 afterwards approached you to invite you to take an active role in the SDS,
2 didn't he? That's what happened.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So, Mr. Neskovic, can we agree Dr. Karadzic plainly must have
5 liked at least something of what you said? That's obvious, isn't it?
6 A. Dr. Karadzic didn't approach me for the speech. He approached me
7 for different reasons, because of the profession that I had, because of the
8 job I had in the radio and television company in Sarajevo. I was well
9 acquainted with election campaigns and with elections, and those are the
10 reasons for which he approached me. It wasn't because of my speech. My
11 speech was given in the way that other people gave speeches; my speech
12 resembled the speeches that other people made. Dr. Karadzic approached me
13 because he thought I was someone who could help with the election campaign
14 since, given his profession, he knew very little about such things.
15 Q. Did -- what you had said -- this is at page 12 of yesterday's
16 transcript, at line 3 -- was that -- "But after my speech at Pale on the
17 10th of August, Radovan did ask me whether I would like to take on
18 analytical tasks within the SDS."
19 Now, did Dr. Karadzic himself suggest what those analytical tasks
20 should be?
21 A. Yes. He mentioned analytical tasks that had to do with analysing
22 the statute of municipalities, analytical tasks that had to do with
23 changing the laws, analytical tasks that had to do with all the factors
24 that influence an election. He also referred to the analysis of the media.
25 An overall analysis was concerned as far as the elections are concerned.
1 This is what he said, and I then accepted this task. It was interesting
2 for me; it was a challenge. It was something that I was professionally
3 interested in.
4 Q. And did Dr. Karadzic make it clear to you, then, on the occasion
5 of that speech and meeting on the 10th of August that your responsibilities
6 would involve your attending meetings of the Main Board of the SDS?
7 A. He didn't assign such a task to me, but he put me on the list of
8 the Main Board, not as a member but as someone who should attend the
9 sessions of the Main Board, which were held in the Hotel Serbia in Ilidza.
10 I attended these sessions, and I actively participated in the discussions
11 at those meetings of the Main Board. These discussions had to do with the
12 election campaign, as this was the main subject of discussion at all these
13 sessions. I was very active, and I attended those meetings regularly, and
14 I did the job I had or I carried out the task I had been assigned to the
15 best of my ability.
16 Q. Did it -- did your attendance at meetings of the Main Board start
17 pretty much straight away after the invitation by Dr. Karadzic for you to
18 become actively involved?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Is there any -- any note or record whatever of your speech that
21 you gave on the 10th of August, 1990, in Pale?
22 A. No. All I can say is that I remember parts of the speech that I
23 gave. I'm not sure whether anyone else has a written record of my speech.
24 Q. Was -- was the meeting at which you gave the speech open to the
1 A. Yes. It was a meeting in the open, at the football stadium. It
2 was quite open, and anyone could have attended it.
3 Q. Do you remember whether there was any newspaper report of what
4 you said?
5 A. No, I don't remember. I think the newspaper reports stated that
6 a Municipal Assembly was held on such-and-such a day in Pale because there
7 were many such Assembly sessions that were held during that period. In two
8 or three months, there were almost 70 or 80 boards that had been
9 established. So you would receive information on a daily basis about the
10 establishment of such boards. Usually the press would report on Karadzic's
11 speeches, as he was a more prominent figure; whereas, the speeches given by
12 other individuals were not really something that the press was interested
14 Q. Did your visits - and you've described those in your evidence,
15 particularly - don't worry about this reference -- page reference yourself,
16 Mr. Neskovic. It's page 19 of yesterday's transcript. But did your visits
17 to municipal meetings begin at some time after you were elected as deputy
18 chairman of the Executive Committee at the end of July 1991?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Yes. I'm sorry to interrupt. I just need to note
21 that for some reason we have different pagination on -- I'll just need a
22 little bit more guidance when there's reference to the page numbers or a
23 little more time to find it.
24 MR. STEWART: Oh, well -- yes, of course. Could -- I'm, of
25 course, more than happy to do that. I'm familiar with this problem. Could
1 I have a clue as to what the discrepancy or disparity is, and then I might
2 be able to help more.
3 MR. TIEGER: Yeah, on the -- on the other reference, the first
4 reference you made - I think it was page 12, line 3 - it shows up on my
5 transcript or it showed up on my transcript at page 11, approximately line
6 18. So there was that difference in the early portion of the transcript.
7 MR. STEWART: Yes, I see. And then -- and then page -- I've got
8 page 19, line 3, a reference to -- or line 2: "I attended a number of
9 municipal meetings all over the place." It sounds as if that might be at
10 page 18.
11 MR. TIEGER: With that kind of help I'll be able to find it. I
12 just wanted to ask for that early. Thank you.
13 MR. STEWART: Yes. I'll try and give a clue as to a phrase or
14 something like that that will pick out the passage, then.
15 Q. Yes. Mr. Neskovic, apologies. We sometimes do need to sort
16 those things out. You were -- just to recap on that, you were, you said,
17 elected as deputy chairman of the Executive Committee of the SDS on the
18 31st of July, 1991. My question was, Did your visits, as you've described
19 them, to municipality meetings begin sometime after that?
20 I think that's a yes or no question.
21 A. No. Far earlier.
22 Q. Yes. All right. Then when did -- and I'm talking about, just to
23 give you some sort of factual reference point -- you said - and this is
24 page 19 of my transcript, line 1 - it's probably a few lines earlier in a -
25 - it's in a 12-line answer from you, Mr. Neskovic. You said, "I was a kind
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of party activist who travelled around trying to solve organisational or
2 staff issues in various municipalities. I attended a number of municipal
3 meetings all over the place, so I was a party activist."
4 And just as an introduction to this question, what you were
5 talking about there was how in 1993 you had really picked up the same job
6 you'd had, you said, in 1991. So the question is, That sort of activity
7 that you describe, going round to municipal meetings all over the place,
8 when did that start?
9 A. There are two types of activities. What you have just mentioned
10 took place after the 12th of July, but before that date I also travelled
11 around and was involved in Municipal Boards of the SDS, but I was involved
12 in other activities. I was involved in the elections in the SDS because
13 the Serbian Democratic Party from spring 1991 until July 1991 had elections
14 in the party and it was being reformed. There were local boards that were
15 becoming the basic boards, so I spent that period working on elections in
16 that party. When the elections were completed, I continued working as a --
17 a member and vice-president of the Executive Board, and I attended meetings
18 and dealt with regular party issues. Unfortunately, the main subject was
19 the clash of fractions, and I spent most of my time dealing with these
21 MR. STEWART: Perhaps, Your Honour, I'll be permitted this
22 comment. At page 12 of the transcript yesterday, we've got the 12th of
23 July cropping up as a date, both in 1990 and 1991, and we also have some
24 confusion between 12th of June and 12th of July. So it's just that these -
25 - that particular date, it requires to be approached with some degree of --
1 of care and caution, which is why I'm going very specifically here with the
3 Q. Mr. Neskovic, please, with -- avoiding any confusion as far as
4 you can or ambiguity about which year, could I invite you to be as specific
5 as you possibly can be about when you began to make these visits to
6 municipalities around Bosnia.
7 A. I can't remember the exact date, but the electoral activities,
8 with the aim of organising the elections, went on between March and the
9 12th of July when the electoral Assembly took place. After the 12th of
10 July, after that Assembly, a couple of days later, the Executive Committee
11 was appointed, and then I continued to visit municipalities as a member of
12 that Executive Committee, after the 12th of July, and all the way up until
13 perhaps the end of that year. I can't be really specific; this is a long
14 time ago.
15 Q. Mr. Neskovic, it seems, first of all, clear now that because of
16 your reference to elections that those dates you've just been referring to
17 are clearly 1991. We -- we agree about that, do we?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It's just that you referred to "I continued to visit
20 municipalities as a member of the Executive Committee," and I -- my
21 previous question was specifically concerned to know when those visits
22 began. So did you make such visits with any sort of regularity or
23 frequency -- did you make such visits earlier than the period of electoral
24 reforms and activities that began in March 1991? Did you -- I'll shorten
25 that question, make it very simple, Mr. Neskovic: Did your visits to the
1 various municipalities, as you've described them, did they begin earlier
2 than March 1991?
3 A. As far as I can remember, prior to March 1991 I visited perhaps
4 two municipalities. And on the 11th of August, I was at the founding
5 meeting for the setting-up of the SDS in Sokolac, and I went to Rogatica
6 for the same reason. And I can't remember anything else really, if I went
7 anywhere else. I don't think so.
8 Q. And that 11th of August you're talking about is the 11th of
9 August, 1990, isn't it?
10 A. It is.
11 Q. Was your task of visiting municipalities a development of the
12 analytical work for which you had first been brought in, or was it a
13 separate job that you were given within the SDS?
14 A. No, it was a separate job. At Sokolac, I was present as a
15 delegate from Pale to give a speech; I was a visiting speaker there. And
16 as to Rogatica, I was there together with other SDS leaders. I think
17 Danilo Veselinovic was there and somebody else, probably. And we witnessed
18 the founding of the Municipal Board of the SDS. So it was a different
19 role, nothing to do with analysis.
20 Q. All right. Let's take the date that you were elected as the
21 deputy chairman of the Executive Committee of the SDS. So that's the very
22 end of July 1991, the 31st of July. Up to that date, can you say, as
23 accurately as you can manage -- can you say how many visits you had made
24 for the SDS to other municipalities in Bosnia?
25 A. I'm sorry, I'm really unable to answer that question. I never
1 recorded it all, and I just can't remember. I don't want to guess. But I
2 visited municipalities if there was need for me to do so. I did not visit
3 them as a tourist. I would go if there was a problem, but unfortunately I
4 really don't know. I've forgot, and I haven't recorded all those
5 occasions, and I can't give you a specific number of times after 14 years.
6 I believe that we are talking about the period of time between July 1991
7 onwards, and I think --
8 Q. No, Mr. Neskovic, please listen more carefully to my question.
9 That is precisely not the period I was asking you about. You've just said,
10 "We're talking about the period between July 1991 onwards." I had
11 specifically asked you about the period up to the end of July 1991. So,
12 Mr. Neskovic, with the greatest respect, please concentrate very
13 specifically on what I'm asking you.
14 So I'm going to put it again, then, and invite you to just give
15 the best estimate you can, if you can, from your recollection. How many
16 visits to other municipalities in Bosnia had you made by the time you were
17 appointed deputy chairman of the Executive Board on the 31st of July, 1991?
18 A. I think I visited quite a few municipalities. There were only
19 very few left that I had not visited. I think the only ones I had not
20 visited were in Herzegovina. And as to all the other municipalities in
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, I visited them and some of them on many occasions.
22 So there were quite a few visits. It would probably be easier for me to
23 tell you where I did not go rather than where I did go because I went to
24 quite a few places throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. But I never went
25 down to Herzegovina, Foca, Gorazde, and Herzegovina; those were the only
1 places I did not go to. And as to all the other areas -- but no, I didn't
2 go to Western Herzegovina, either. But I went everywhere else, and I
3 visited almost every single place, and some of the places I visited several
5 Q. Mr. Neskovic, let's just deal first of all with some very simple
6 numbers, then. First of all, maybe I've got this wrong. Were there --
7 were there 109 municipalities at that time, or was it some different
9 A. There were 109, with Neum, but I think in about 10 to 15
10 municipalities there was no SDS organisation, such as Western Herzegovina.
11 There was nothing -- there were no Serbs there, so there wasn't any
12 possibility to organise that. But I believe that in the majority of
13 municipalities, 80 or more, SDS had an organised party structure.
14 Q. Mr. Neskovic, again, just some -- perhaps we're coming to a
15 break, but just some very simple ground rules, if I may respectfully
16 suggest them. I -- that question simply asked you for agreement or
17 correction as to the number of municipalities. That was all I had asked
18 you. So if you agreed with my number, all you had to do, please, was say
19 you agreed, and then we could have moved on to something else.
20 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, would that be a convenient point to
21 have a break?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, it at least is a convenient moment to
23 interrupt the examination of the witness. I have to deal with a few
24 procedural matters, which takes us another five minutes, but the witness
25 can leave the courtroom and is expected to be back at five minutes to 1.00.
1 So you can escort the witness out of the courtroom, Mr. Usher.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to give two decisions. The first
4 decision is a decision on admission of certain items into evidence. For
5 various reasons in the course of the proceedings, these items have been
6 admitted only provisionally, although no objection has been raised by the
7 parties so far. Therefore, the Chamber admits all the following items into
8 evidence as of tomorrow, unless last-minute objections are raised by either
9 party within the next 24 hours.
10 These items are: P292 - and there's a clarification. P292 is
11 admitted without the comments of the witness recorded before the intercept
12 tabs; then P573 to P574L, P575 up to and including P580; P742 up to and
13 including P746; P392 up to and including P406; P763 up to and including
14 763.B; P764 up to and including 787, and P817 up to and including 826; P791
15 up to and including P800; P814 up to and including 816; P827 up to and
16 including 846; P890 up to and including P892.
17 I also confirm to the registrar that P220 was admitted into
18 evidence on the 7th March of 2005. I refer to transcript page 10091
19 because there might be some confusion on the basis of that transcript.
20 Yes, as it says here, "Although a problem with the transcript might have
21 created misunderstanding on this."
22 This concludes the Chamber's decision on admission of certain
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then a handout is given to the parties which
1 indicates clearly what is admitted public and what is admitted under seal.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Instead of reading all the numbers again, Madam
4 Registrar is invited to file the handout just given to the parties, which
5 clearly indicates what exhibits are admitted under seal and what exhibits
6 are admitted as public documents.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it's been extremely helpful to have
8 been sent these electronically in the past, as well, which we have been.
9 We'd be very grateful to -- to have that again on this occasion.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's on the record, Mr. Stewart.
11 Then the next decision is a decision regarding the exhibits in
12 relation to witness Nielsen.
13 Mr. Nielsen's exhibits have been provisionally numbered, but not,
14 as yet, admitted into evidence. The reason for the delay is that the
15 Prosecution choose not to use all the tabs in the three presentation
16 binders. Mr. Tieger has since met with the Defence and has given his
17 reasons why the Prosecution wishes to retain in evidence 32 of the unused
18 tabs. We were informed today that the Defence does not object to the
19 admission of these items.
20 To make matters more comprehensible, also in this respect we have
21 prepared a handout, which I would now kindly ask Madam Registrar to
22 distribute to the parties.
23 As indicated in the handout, of the 78 tabs in the three binders
24 of exhibits provisionally marked P763.C, a certain number of tabs were
25 blank and a certain number of them were already in evidence.
1 Mr. Tieger has indicated that the Prosecution is not seeking
2 admission of the tabs shown under (d) - that's small (d) - in the handout.
3 The Prosecution does, however, seek admission of the 32 items under (e) -
4 that's small (e) - in the handout.
5 The Chamber accepts that these items represent essential
6 reference documents to understand Nielsen's testimony, or are summary
7 diagrams, or are documents implicitly or explicitly referred to during the
8 testimony of the witness, albeit not physically handled by the witness in
10 In summary, the Chamber admits the following items into evidence:
11 P763, this is the expert report.
12 P763.1 is the B/C/S translation.
13 P763.A, this is an addendum to the report.
14 P763.B, this is Mr. Nielsen's CV.
15 P763.C, this stands for the three presentation binders.
16 The tabs to be admitted into evidence are shown in the handout
17 accompanying this decision.
18 The status of all the exhibits is public.
19 This concludes the Chamber's decision on the matter of Mr.
20 Nielsen's exhibits, and Madam Registrar is invited to file the handout so
21 that we know exactly what tabs are in evidence and which tabs are not in
23 This concludes the Chamber's decision.
24 MR. STEWART: Yes. Your Honour, could I --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. STEWART: -- just ask -- it's just a simple practical
2 question. I had -- I had -- I had looked earlier today at an exchange of
3 e-mails between Ms. Loukas and Mr. Tieger, and I noted that they had
4 reached agreement in relation to these matters, and who would I be to
5 interfere with such a happy situation, Your Honour. May I just ask -- Mr.
6 Tieger probably can confirm -- that this handout, as far as he's concerned,
7 it reflects and coincides with that agreement reached between Ms. Loukas
8 and him in the e-mail; is that right?
9 MR. TIEGER: I have not checked the numbers specifically, but I
10 understand that it's based on that e-mail, and my -- my cursory look at it
11 at this point suggests that it certainly is consistent with it, yes.
12 MR. STEWART: No, that's quite enough for my purposes, Your
13 Honour. I wasn't pinning Mr. Tieger to say he poured over it item by item.
14 But if that's -- they're intended to coincide, that was my question. Thank
15 you very much for that.
16 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour --
17 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber was informed about the content of the e-
19 mail, and the Chamber checked it.
20 MR. STEWART: Well, in that case, I'm doubly grateful, Your
21 Honour. That seems to deal with that completely.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If I say "the Chamber," at least the legal staff of
23 the Chamber checked it.
24 MR. STEWART: I have a faint idea of how these things might work,
25 Your Honour, yes, on that level.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
2 MR. TIEGER: Very quickly, Your Honour. I won't take the Court's
3 time. We had begun working out the process whereby the Prosecution would
4 receive copies of any documents that Mr. Krajisnik wanted to use during his
5 cross-examination. I have not received any for this witness, and I would
6 ask for that or at least an opportunity to see any documents that he
7 intends to use for --
8 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that there are some documents
9 provided by Mr. Krajisnik, and this also gives me an opportunity to --
10 where some of the exhibits that were not yet admitted were waiting for a
11 further evaluation of the documents provided by Mr. Krajisnik, that the
12 first matter on our programme is now to clearly identify what was
13 presented, what was already in evidence, what was not in evidence, whether
14 we have translations, so to go through all this material in detail so that
15 finally proper decisions will be taken in respect of the admission into
16 evidence of these documents.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may we just ask that particular care
18 is taken with line 8 of the transcript as it stands at the moment when it
19 comes to be completed.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just see.
21 MR. STEWART: That was all, Your Honour. Your Honour, that was
22 intended as a fairly light-hearted remark, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. Perhaps I'm not light-hearted enough to
24 immediately understand, Mr. Stewart.
25 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.41 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
4 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Neskovic, you -- you made an offer which I'm not going to
6 take up, which was to list the municipalities that you didn't visit during
7 that period, but I am, then, in the light of that going to just press you
8 to give your best estimate of the total number of municipalities that you
9 did visit up to the 31st of July, 1991.
10 A. Between March 1991 and the 31st of July, 1991, I would have had
11 to visit at least something in the range of between 25 or 30
12 municipalities. I do apologise for a certain lack of precision. It is a
13 bit difficult to give you a precise answer because there were quite a few.
14 Q. Mr. Neskovic, of course, I'm quite sure neither the Trial Chamber
15 and certainly not I am asking you to say anything more than you actually
17 MR. STEWART: Excuse me one moment, Your Honour.
18 Q. What you said - and this is at page 60 and -- the top of page 61
19 today --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Into the microphone, please.
21 MR. STEWART: So sorry.
22 Q. What you said at the top of page 61 today was that -- you said,
23 "I think I visited quite a few municipalities. There were only very few
24 left that I had not visited."
25 Now, Mr. Neskovic -- Mr. Neskovic, the arithmetic doesn't really
1 quite work there, of 109 municipalities and you say that you estimated --
2 that you visited something like 25. I'm just going to urge you, please, to
3 try and be a -- as clear as you possibly can. Which is it? That you
4 visited the vast majority of the municipalities or something like 25 or --
5 or what? Can we just be clear about what you do now remember about how
6 many municipalities you visited during that period.
7 A. It would be easier for me to list them one after the other. That
8 would jog my memory.
9 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm just slightly reluctant
10 because of how long it might take to do that.
11 Q. Mr. Neskovic, do you say you can just reel them off quickly for
12 us in a matter of -- of three or four minutes?
13 A. I'll be quick. Novo Sarajevo, Sokolac, Pale, Rogatica, Konjic,
14 Tuzla, Travnik, Busovaca, Brcko, Modrica, Obudovac, I think even Doboj,
15 Derventa, Prijedor, Maglaj, Zenica. I think I went to Jajce, as well. And
16 then there are several other municipalities that I visited.
17 Q. And was the -- was the pattern and frequency of visits to
18 municipalities then similar from the 31st of July onwards to the end of
20 A. No. Up until the 31st of July, it had to do with the pre-
21 electoral activity within municipal organisations, electoral matters.
22 After the 31st of July, we are talking about other activities, routine work
23 of Municipal Boards and their functioning and overcoming problems and
24 disagreements between fractions within those Municipal Boards. So those
25 are two different types of work.
1 Q. So is it -- is it this, then, Mr. Neskovic: In the first phase,
2 up to the 31st of July, it was to do with organisational and structural
3 matters relating to elections?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In the second phase, after the end of July, it was
6 troubleshooting or sorting out problems?
7 A. Yes. The functioning of those municipal organisations in line
8 with the statute that was approved at the electoral Assembly.
9 Q. But it was troubleshooting. You went to -- after the 31st of
10 July, you -- you generally went to municipalities to sort out specific
11 problems that had arisen in those municipalities; is that right?
12 A. Yes, generally speaking. Yes.
13 Q. Were they frequently infighting or personnel problems?
14 A. Unfortunately, yes. There were ongoing conflicts amongst
15 fractions because some members of SDS were in power and others were not,
16 and there were differences along those lines and then also with regard to
17 different settlements. For example, some area might have considered
18 themselves to be neglected, and then there was lobbying and private
19 interests and all sorts of things. But that was an enormous permanent
20 characteristic within the SDS that people kept bickering all the time.
21 There were conflicts and arguments all the time, and it was very
22 exhausting, especially for me. Other people did not really deal with that
23 or to a lesser extent, so I was the one who had to carry that burden.
24 Q. So you went often, did you, as some sort of conciliator or
1 A. I went to solve problems, to bring about reconciliation.
2 Compromise was just one option. And if it was not possible, we would
3 sometimes even dissolve those Municipal Boards and organise fresh
4 elections. And another possibility was to de-legitimise both factions and
5 look for a third option. Well, there were different ways of solving those
6 problems. But it mostly depended on our own behaviour when we visited
7 those municipalities. First of all, did we have good background
8 information? Did we act respectfully, et cetera? For the most part,
9 people in the field didn't want us to come along and issue orders and act
10 like some kind of authority and preach to them because otherwise we would
11 have been chased away. So we had to adopt an analytical, a serious
12 approach, act in an objective and unbiassed way, and listen to the
13 arguments put forward by both parties. So compromise was the most
14 frequently adopted solution.
15 Q. Now, witness, I want to ask you about a particular point in your
16 evidence yesterday, but I -- I am --
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, I am going to have to give you quite
18 a little bit of context as will become apparent, I think.
19 Your Honour, this the whole passage begins at -- it's page 18 of
20 my transcript. It's probably a little bit earlier in Mr. Tieger's. But
21 there's an exchange, Mr. Tieger, Judge Orie, the registrar, Mr. Tieger, and
22 then a question beginning "Mr. Neskovic, the document before you now,
23 Prosecution 895." I hope that helps to -- I see that that has identified
24 the passage.
25 And then the document that was put was dated February 1993.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. It was then the next bit, where you say that in February 1993 you
2 continued in the same job you'd had in 1991, and then you were going on to
3 give that description of attending municipal meetings. So the reason I'm
4 giving this introduction is because this whole passage involves some
5 mixture of 1991 and 1993.
6 You were asked, "Were you considered a de facto member of the
7 Executive Board," and you said, in a nutshell, yes. And then you went on
8 to deal with questions of commodities reserve.
9 Them the question of Mr. Ostojic came up, and you were asked --
10 this is page 20 in my transcript, line 5: "Was Mr. Ostojic still the
11 Minister of Information at that time?" You said, "I can't remember
12 exactly. At the time, I think he was no longer information minister."
13 Now, do you agree at this point, Mr. Neskovic, you're clearly
14 talking about 1993?
15 A. Yes. February 1993, after the renewal of the party because
16 between June 1992 and February 1993 the party had actually been banned, so
17 it was newly set up in February 1993. And a new Executive Committee was
18 selected with a new president, Jovo Mijatovic, and they were distributed
19 various tasks. And I don't think that Mr. Mijatovic was a member of the
20 government anymore because the journalists had signed a petition against
21 him, so he was chased away from the government. And as to whether -- and
22 as to whether Ostojic --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Neskovic, you really have to slow down because
24 the interpreters cannot follow your speech.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honour. I'll
1 keep it in mind.
2 MR. STEWART:
3 Q. Can I just say, Mr. Neskovic, you're being doubly enthusiastic
4 because you're, first of all, volunteering quite a bit beyond what I
5 specifically asked you the question, and then in your enthusiasm, you're
6 going at the high speed that His Honour mentioned.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps if you'd very much limit yourself to
8 answering to the specific question of Mr. Stewart, this will also prevent
9 you from getting at high speed.
10 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. So, Mr. Neskovic, you're talking about Mr. Ostojic. You agreed
12 we're talking about 1993. And then you said, "Ostojic might have had a
13 role because he was Minister of Information" -- it must be "in" the
14 previous government. I'm filling in the word "in." "So he probably had
15 some kind of link with the government."
16 And then you went on -- and this, after all that, Mr. Neskovic,
17 this is what I want to ask you about. You say, "It doesn't really make
18 sense because all the liaising with the government went through Karadzic
19 and Krajisnik as top officials."
20 Now, first of all, in giving that bit of your answer there, about
21 all the liaising with government going through Karadzic and Krajisnik, were
22 you talking about 1993 or 1991 or both?
23 A. The liaison with the Republika Srpska government always went
24 through Karadzic and Krajisnik, at all times, in all the relevant years.
25 Q. So you're talking about 1992, as well, are you, there? Or let me
1 rephrase it. Would --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- that answer would apply -- in what you're saying, would apply
4 to 1991, 1992, and 1993, would it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. First of all, then, liaising with the government; you
7 are talking about -- perhaps you indicated this a moment ago. Please
8 confirm. You're talking about the government of Republika Srpska, are you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Are you --
11 A. But I am also thinking about the government of Bosnia and
13 Q. All right. Well, you've answered my next question --
14 A. In which there were eight Serbian ministers.
15 Q. You've answered my next question, Mr. Neskovic, so we can move
16 on, then.
17 Let's take first of all liaison with the government of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina, then; let's take that first. If you're now talking about
19 liaison with the Bosnia and Herzegovina government going through Dr.
20 Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik, what period do you mean there?
21 A. I mean the period from January 1991, when the government of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina was being established, and then right up to February
23 -- or rather, December 1991, when a special Serbian ministerial council was
25 Q. So there you are meaning, are you, that high-level contacts
1 between the Bosnian Serbs and the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina went
2 through Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And so the thrust of what you were saying about -- well, let's
5 forget Mr. Ostojic. That's a different period. What -- what you are
6 saying is that -- let's look at the period from the middle of 1991 onwards,
7 Mr. Neskovic. The difficulties that faced Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
8 difficulties that faced the Bosnian Serbs within Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 were fundamental, big political issues involving the different nations
10 within Bosnia, weren't they?
11 A. To a certain extent, I would say that that is correct, but to the
12 -- to a certain extent, I would not agree with that.
13 Q. All right. Well, let's see what we can agree about. The second
14 half of 1991 and into 1992 the big issue was what was going to be the
15 future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, wasn't it? Whether it was going to
16 remain part of -- of Yugoslavia or whether it was going to -- to go down
17 the route of independence, following Croatia and Slovenia. Do you agree
18 with that?
19 A. Yes. That was the crucial issue; what the future of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina was was the key issue. The status of the state was the main
21 issue. But in addition to that, there was another problem. The party
22 leaders and primarily Karadzic and Alija Izetbegovic in a certain sense
23 transformed the political system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and made it a
24 party state, so those fundamental state issues were not discussed that much
25 in the official institutions of power. These issues were more discussed by
1 party leaders, and there were many people in Bosnia and Herzegovina who
2 expected a favourable outcome when these conversations were -- or
3 discussions were conducted. I think the main problem in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina was the fact that constitutional issues were ignored and
5 problems were not resolved in accordance with the Constitution and in
6 accordance with international law. Problems were resolved through
7 interparty agreements, which did not yield any results, which did not
8 provide any solutions.
9 Q. Let's try and deal with this as quickly as we can, Mr. Neskovic.
10 Such was the importance of these issues that their attempted resolution
11 involved some very high-level players from the international community,
12 didn't it?
13 A. Yes. But I was under the impression that all the powerful people
14 in Bosnia and Herzegovina - and that includes Serbian, Croat, and Muslim
15 individuals - my impression was that they were trying to create a situation
16 on an independent basis -- they were trying to deal with the situation
17 independently, and they weren't asking the international community to get
18 involved, although it was quite clear that the issues in Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina and its status as a state could not be dealt with without the
20 international community becoming involved.
21 Q. The people who were particularly active on the part of the
22 Bosnian Serbs during that period in dealing with the other party leaders,
23 such as Mr. Izetbegovic and representatives of the international community,
24 included, didn't they, Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, and Dr. Koljevic?
25 A. And Biljana Plavsic and to a certain extent Aleksa Buha, Vojislav
1 Maksimovic, and as I have said, there was Biljana Plavsic, too.
2 Q. You were not yourself involved at all at all in that level of
3 discussions, negotiations, were you?
4 A. I personally attended one such meeting in the office of -- in Mr.
5 Krajisnik's office. These were interparty discussions between the SDS and
6 the SDA.
7 Q. All right. When was that?
8 A. I really can't remember. It was around 1991, but I really can't
10 Q. You've never attended any meeting with any representative of the
11 international community, did you?
12 A. No.
13 Q. When you made your visits to the municipalities, as you've
14 described, in 1991, you were not carrying to the municipality instructions
15 from the leadership of the SDS, were you?
16 A. I wasn't carrying any particular kind of instructions. The
17 statute was quite sufficient for me, the statute that was in force. To be
18 frank, I acted in a fairly independent manner. It was possible for me to
19 decide on how to deal with certain problems; I could do this in an
20 independent manner. But I had not been issued any precise tasks.
21 Q. Did you ever -- and let's -- we're talking about 1991 now, but
22 any time, the whole of 1991 is covered by this question, Mr. Neskovic.
23 Before you visited any municipality, did you ever sit down or discuss on
24 the -- sit down with Mr. Krajisnik or have a telephone conversation with
25 Mr. Krajisnik in which he gave you any sort of briefing in advance of that
2 A. No. As far as I can remember, Krajisnik wasn't involved in those
3 party activities. I would usually appear on my own, or I would discuss
4 matters with Karadzic. But as far as my work is concerned, Krajisnik
5 didn't get involved in the regular activities of the party. He was the
6 president of the Assembly. He had a high-level position, and he and
7 Karadzic were involved in far more serious matters. As far as I know, he
8 did not meddle in the activities of the party itself; at least, he didn't
9 meddle in party activities as far as my activities are concerned. I don't
10 know if he got involved in any other activities, though.
11 Q. Did you ever -- following a meeting to -- a visit to a
12 municipality in 1991, did you ever meet Mr. Krajisnik or telephone him to
13 give him any report back on that visit?
14 A. No. I didn't have anything to do for him. I was a member of the
15 Executive Committee; he was -- Krajisnik was a member of the Main Board.
16 So I didn't have the responsibility of reporting to Mr. Krajisnik. I
17 submitted reports to the Executive Board or to Karadzic himself; although,
18 when I returned from the field, if I wanted to submit a report to Karadzic,
19 I realised that he was already informed of what I had been involved in,
20 even before I returned from the field.
21 Q. You described the structure. This is at page 22 of -- of my
22 version of the transcript, and it begins -- the answer -- it's quite a long
23 answer from you, Mr. Neskovic, and it begins at the foot of page 21 of my
24 transcript: "Well, if I may make a correction here." It follows a six-
25 line question, and then the answer starts "Well, if I may make a correction
1 here. According to the statute from 1991, the 12th of July." I think that
2 identifies that passage.
3 You then go on about 12 lines or 13 lines or so down: "And two
4 key principles were decided upon on that occasion," which is 12th of --
5 sorry, I'm just trying to identify that occasion. 12th of July, 1991. I
6 stand to be corrected because the 12th of July seems to, of course, keep
7 coming up, perhaps not surprisingly.
8 "The basic body" -- you said, "Two key principles were decided
9 upon on that occasion, one of them being that the main structure or the
10 basic body would be a local community or a local committee and not a
11 municipal one. So they would start at the very lowest rung."
12 And you said -- the next paragraph: "The basic structure or the
13 basic part of the party structure was this local committee, so that was the
14 most important body at the local level; whereas, the president" -- and
15 you're talking about Dr. Karadzic there -- "had the most power at the
16 global level." So that's the two ends of the chain, if you like.
17 This was the basic structure, wasn't it, but -- from the bottom
18 up. You get the local committees; then you've got the Municipal Board, and
19 then in some cases there's a Regional Board. And then you move to the Main
20 Board of the SDS, and then -- well, you've got the president of the party.
21 That's -- that -- that's right, isn't it, that -- that brief summary, Mr.
23 A. Well, I have to explain this. Party activities were organised in
24 such a way that local boards formed its basis. As far as Dr. Karadzic is
25 concerned, in accordance with the statute, he represented the organ of the
1 party, and he had a lot of authority. There was the Main Board and the
2 Executive Board, which was the Executive Board in relation to the Main
3 Board. So Karadzic was someone who represented the organ of the party, but
4 the local board is the main way in which the party would become involved
5 and take action in the field. So I don't see any contradiction here.
6 Q. Mr. Neskovic, in effect notionally I was, if you like, well,
7 inviting you to just imagine you're drawing up a simple chart on a piece of
8 paper. So at the bottom we've got the local committee; then above that you
9 write in "Municipal Board"; and then above that in some parts of Bosnia you
10 write in "Regional Board"; and above that you put "Main Board," with
11 perhaps "Executive Committee" sort after alongside that. You're nodding.
12 You seem to agree so far with that as a simple description of the
13 structure; is that right?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. In your municipality, how many of these local committees were
17 A. It depended on the number of local communes. These local SDS
18 organisations would usually overlap with the territory of local communes.
19 If we're referring to a town such as Sarajevo, Banja Luka, in which local
20 communes were too large, then you might have a number of local committees.
21 But the rule was that a local committee would have up to 15 members, and
22 each member of the local committee would be active on behalf of about 20
23 households. So in a given territory, you could have one or several local
24 committees. It depended on how densely inhabited these areas were. But in
25 essence, these local communes existed to avoid the party from becoming too
1 bureaucratic and from ensuring that party organs did not exert too much
2 influence. To become a member of the Municipal Board, you had to pass
3 through the local committee, and then on the basis of such activity, you
4 would become a member of Municipal Boards. That concerned two-thirds. So
5 this was a principle that existed to prevent the party from becoming too
7 Q. Mr. Neskovic, I'd just ask you about the -- if you like, the --
8 the executive chain relating to these bodies. First of all, would you
9 agree that Municipal Boards claimed and liked to exercise a fairly high
10 degree of autonomy from the higher bodies within the party?
11 A. They did have such authority; I believe that that was the case.
12 But they were very independent when it came to local issues. At the same
13 time, in accordance with the party's statute, they were obliged to
14 implement the policies of the higher bodies; they were obliged to implement
15 party policies. They had a certain degree of independence when it came to
16 dealing with local issues, but, on the other hand, in accordance with the
17 statue, they had to abide by the decisions of those above them, and higher
18 level bodies also had to respect their programme and the statute. So the
19 programme and the statute was binding on these higher level bodies, as
20 well. In each and every party, a balance has to be struck between
21 centralisation and decentralisation. You have to try and reconcile these
22 two principles, in a certain sense.
23 Q. Well, Mr. Neskovic, you -- you had all this experience of
24 visiting municipalities. Was the pattern also perhaps a perfectly natural
25 one, that what you saw on paper, as to the -- the -- the way it was
1 supposed to work, was very imperfectly reflected in what happened in
2 practice? I'm talking about the chain of command, if you like, down from
3 the Main Board to the Regional Board to the Municipal Board to the local
4 committees. It -- it never -- never worked as neatly as it looked on
5 paper, did it?
6 A. Well, we'd have to examine individual cases and examine each
7 individual municipality. It depended on the people in leadership positions
8 in the municipalities; some had a tendency to act more independently. In
9 the case of the Municipal Board in Banja Luka, that board did not really
10 feel it had to respect party discipline. There were other such Municipal
11 Boards. It all depended on the people in charge of those Municipal Boards;
12 it depended on their political capacity. But the party structure
13 prescribed in the statute was somewhat disturbed by the unlimited
14 possibility that representatives of Municipal Boards had to go and see Mr.
15 Karadzic, speak to him in person, and inform him of problems they had
16 encountered. Karadzic might tacitly authorise them to act in a different
17 way, and they would then do so. So the contact that Municipal Boards had
18 with the president himself was the sort of contact that they were quite
19 capable of establishing; it was possible for them to have such contact.
20 Q. By the time we got to late 1991 and early 1992, Mr. Neskovic,
21 such instructions or directions as went down to the municipal level, did
22 they come from Dr. Karadzic, as the president, or from the Main Board, or
23 from the Executive Board, or some mixture, or from somewhere else?
24 A. This is a very difficult and complex question that you have put
25 to me, and I would need some time to answer it. It's an extremely
1 important and extremely difficult question. If I may.
2 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it may be that it's a good question to
3 leave the witness to reflect upon, and I could return to it very first
4 thing tomorrow morning.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Looking at the clock and considering that it's
6 always good to have time for reflection, I follow your suggestion.
7 Before we'll adjourn, I'd first like to instruct the witness that
8 he should not speak with anyone about the testimony you've given until now
9 and that you'll give when you'll be back with us tomorrow. We'd like to
10 have you back at 9.00 in the morning, same courtroom.
11 And perhaps you'd first escort the witness out of the courtroom,
12 Mr. Usher.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, could you give us an impression on how
15 much time you'd still need?
16 MR. STEWART: [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. STEWART: Oh, sorry. I certainly wouldn't finish in the first
19 session, Your Honour. I would -- I would hope and aim to finish -- it
20 would probably be rather late in second session.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a look, then, how that fits into
22 our -- I'll have to do the calculation. I've got no idea whether it fits
23 in well or not.
24 Mr. Krajisnik --
25 MR. STEWART: It's not all that far off, I think, Your Honour,
1 from a very rough calculation in my head.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. STEWART: But again, I hope Your Honours are not going to
4 approach it with a too rigid calculating approach.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You know my constant fight with my love for
6 and the testing of arithmetics.
7 Mr. Krajisnik, would you have, as far as you could imagine now,
8 have any questions for the witness?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've told Mr. Stewart what
10 questions should be put to this witness, and whatever he puts to the
11 witness I won't have to. And I think that here we are talking about a
12 certain number of important questions. We must get facts established
13 through this witness. And he can be -- this witness can be of great
14 assistance to the Trial Chamber. I'm really unable to tell you how long it
15 will take because I always take the leftovers, as it were.
16 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I make an observation.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. STEWART: Which is -- and it's very pertinent, Your Honour.
19 Mr. Krajisnik and I don't have anywhere near as many differences as might
20 be thought. However, line 15 and line 16 exactly encapsulates the
21 fundamental problem because if that is not giving directions to counsel
22 about how to conduct the case, then I simply don't know what is. I ask
23 what is left of the notion that counsel conducts the case. It's
24 instructions given by counsel as to precisely what questions to ask and it
25 being implicit that if he doesn't ask it, they will be asked anyway. And
1 there it is, Your Honour. It just jumps off the page.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I had in my mind at that very moment -
3 and I do not know whether it's a translation issue or not - I know that
4 it's a very sensitive issue, but I was about to ask Mr. Krajisnik whether
5 he meant what questions he would wish you to put to the witness. It might
6 have been that he thought of it in this way. And let's not make a drama
7 out of this one line at this.
8 MR. STEWART: I'm not making a drama. But I can interpret that
9 question in the light of many, many hours of discussion with Mr. Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. STEWART: So, Your Honour, I know what is meant, anyway,
12 despite -- leaving aside the fact that it is, in fact, very obvious what it
13 means as a matter of wording. That's exactly what it means because if I
14 don't ask the questions, it's clearly stated there they will be asked.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let's --
16 MR. STEWART: I'm being told -- I'm simply being told what to do.
17 I'm being -- as counsel with the conduct of the case, I'm just being
18 directed what to do. Really, Your Honour, perhaps I might as well just go.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Now we have all time for reflection until tomorrow
21 Mr. Tieger, is there anything?
22 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. In light of the time estimates, I
23 would ask the Court to consider the possibility of an additional session
24 tomorrow or Thursday. I suppose Thursday might be the safest, in -- in the
25 sense that we might make up time or that the additional time might not be
1 needed, but I'm a bit concerned about that. And I would --
2 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand.
3 MR. TIEGER: I think it's important to consider it.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. Thank you for your suggestion. I
5 couldn't say that the Chamber had not thought about it without this
7 We'll adjourn until --
8 MR. STEWART: May I say, Your Honour, I firmly would resist any
9 suggestion of an additional session tomorrow. Your Honour, I --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. STEWART: I'm doing these witnesses this week.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: And Thursday -- I'm certainly open minded about
14 Thursday, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I can cut that short. Yes. Well, if it had
16 been on the mind of the Chamber, then it would be Thursday that was on the
17 mind of the Chamber.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm grateful for that. Thank you.
19 That solves that, at least.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00, same
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 20th day of
25 July, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.