1 Tuesday, 25 October 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 I do understand that the Defence would like to go into private
11 session to address a certain matter.
12 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, before going into private
13 session, I've got just a couple of shortish points to address in open
15 Your Honour, first of all, it's this: The Trial Chamber is
16 continuing with Mr. Vasic's evidence this morning. We hope, of course,
17 that won't take too long, whatever "too long" is, and then we have a
18 witness, not protected. We have a witness, Mr. Divcic, coming afterwards.
19 Your Honour, we have, and of course we have been in frequent
20 communication with the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution as well at the
21 same time, about the arrangements for witnesses. We have done our best,
22 and we had intended and attempted to have another witness ready this week
23 to follow on Mr. Divcic whenever he might finish. Of course, we don't
24 know exactly when that might be and how much of this four-day week would
25 be left. But Your Honour, the position is we have simply been unable to
1 find a witness who meets all the necessary criteria to be here, including
2 such matters as having the travel documents and of course the time
3 available and so on.
4 So, Your Honour, with the assurance that we have really tried hard
5 and we have been doing our best on that, that is the position, Your
6 Honour. The witnesses, the only witnesses that are available this week
7 are Mr. Vasic continuing and then Mr. Divcic, where that ends up as a
8 matter of timing, of course, is slightly unpredictable.
9 So that's the first point. The second point, Your Honour, is that
10 I did at the very end of the sessions before we had the recent break, I
11 did indicate a couple of difficulties to the Trial Chamber as the Defence
12 saw it in relation to the timetabling and the scheduling. We have had no
13 response from Your Honours in relation to that. I just wish, therefore,
14 to make it clear, Your Honour, those difficulties do not go away, and in
15 particular, when we made our application for an extension of time to file
16 the various material in relation to 65 ter, I set out, intending to be
17 helpful, I set out in some detail a number of calls on the time of the
18 Defence team, and specifically a number of calls on my time.
19 Your Honours, those calls have not gone away. Matters on that
20 list, which are absolutely essential, remain undone. They have to be
21 done. They have to be fitted in. I cannot be in two places at once and I
22 cannot -- well, I can do two things at once, but I can't do two major
23 tasks at once. I have to deal with some of these long postponed,
24 important management issues and financial issues, and I cannot do all the
25 normal trial work at the same time. And some of those matters on that
1 list have to have my immediate priority and will have my immediate
2 priority. And I therefore, leaving aside the medium and longer-term
3 issues of timing, I have to stress that, Your Honour. And there is only
4 so much that I can ask my co-counsel to do, and he does beyond the call of
5 duty anyway, as on many occasions I had to ask my previous co-counsel to
7 And I do wish to stress that, Your Honour. This is a very
8 oppressive burden that is being imposed on this team, and that has not
9 changed. And I don't know whether we were going to receive any reaction
10 or feedback whatever from the Trial Chamber in relation to the concerns
11 which I expressed about ten days ago.
12 The third point is just this, Your Honour: Mr. Krajisnik has a
13 few matters which at some point he is particularly concerned to raise with
14 the Trial Chamber. They're not, let me say, directly related to the
15 immediate course of the trial, but they are matters, and I've spoken to
16 Mr. Krajisnik, they are matters which he has agreed, we have agreed, that
17 he and I should discuss first before we trouble the Trial Chamber any
18 further. But it is likely that at some point quite soon Mr. Krajisnik
19 will want to raise matters. Whether the Trial Chamber then wishes to take
20 them any further, well, we'll see when -- as and when they are raised.
21 So, Your Honour, that's all I have to say this morning, unless
22 Your Honours have any questions to put to me.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You raised three points. The first one, we just take
24 notice of it at this time. We can't do anything else. But of course,
25 there might come a point where -- well, let me not say anything prior to
1 having discussed it thoroughly with my colleagues. The same is true for
2 the second issue you raised. The third and the first are related to the
3 extent that if there's something to be raised that -- well, the first
4 point might create some additional time this week to raise any issue if we
5 have no witnesses anymore, then at least we could use our time to hear
6 what Mr. Krajisnik would like to submit.
7 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I doubt very much in fact whether
8 those points I mentioned at the end will take very long, but then one
9 often says that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Well, then at least we are prepared.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it's at this point that the Defence
12 would request going into private session for Mr. Josse to deal with
13 something that arose at the end of the week before last.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We turn into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Page 17596 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
25 Mr. Josse.
1 MR. JOSSE: Yes. I saw Mr. Divcic again in fact yesterday
2 evening, and unfortunately, he told me that he had ended up bumping into
3 Mr. Vasic. I'm bound to observe in passing, it's rather unfortunate that
4 they were both placed in the same hotel. I'm not going to be in any way
5 critical of the VWS, because we've asked for our witnesses to stay at this
6 particular hotel in terms of our own liaison. Having said that, of
7 course, we don't need to liaise.
8 In fact, we can't liaise with Mr. Vasic at this particular
9 juncture. I should say also one other thing by way of preamble. I had a
10 meeting with Mr. Margetts and Mr. Tieger in order to agree a formula to be
11 sent to Mr. Vasic to request more documents from him. That was done via
12 the victims and witnesses service. Exactly what has happened, I don't
13 know, and I very much doubt that Mr. Tieger knows either, because
14 effectively Mr. Margetts sent the document to the VWS, and we were reliant
15 upon them to convey the information to Mr. Vasic.
16 The point I'm coming to is this: Mr. Vasic handed to Mr. Divcic
17 some documents. Mr. Divcic brought them, in a rather embarrassed fashion,
18 to be fair to Mr. Divcic, to our meeting, and I've handed them to
19 Mr. Karganovic. I don't think -- well, he hasn't yet told me what they
20 say. They in fact contain a few English documents. So those I
22 It may be that before my learned friend concludes the
23 cross-examination, he'd like to know a little more about this. Clearly
24 I'll need to know a little more about it from Mr. Karganovic when he's
25 translated the documents. But I just thought I should put that on record.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 Mr. Tieger.
3 MR. TIEGER: Well, that's essentially an accurate summary of what
4 transpired at the end of last week, and of course my learned friend is
5 quite right. We, number one, don't know what action, if any, was taken in
6 response to the communication sent by the Victims and Witnesses Unit.
7 JUDGE ORIE: About the two documents the witnesses was invited to
8 bring with him?
9 MR. TIEGER: That's correct, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. TIEGER: So we certainly would invite the Court to inquire and
12 find out what the status is at this point, and if the documents that were
13 provided -- that are now in the hands of Mr. Karganovic via Mr. Divcic are
14 different, we would also like to know what those documents are about. So
15 we're in the Court's hands at this point and we know nothing more than has
16 just been explained.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would it be possible to hear from the Defence,
18 well, let's say, at the first break, what approximately is the type of
19 documents --
20 MR. JOSSE: Certainly. They're not very voluminous. That will be
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Yes. Then, if there's no other procedural
23 issue to be raised, we'd like to invite Madam Usher to bring Mr. Vasic
24 into the courtroom.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Vasic. Please be seated. First of
2 all, thank you very much for returning to The Hague, Mr. Vasic. I'd like
3 to remind you that you're still bound by the solemn declaration you gave
4 at the beginning of your testimony some two weeks ago, that you'll speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Is that clear that
6 that's still binding upon you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before I give an opportunity to continue your
9 cross-examination, I'd like to ask you: Did you receive a request from
10 the Victims and Witness Unit to bring some documents with you upon your
11 new appearance in The Hague?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I received the request last night,
13 so all I managed to do was receive a copy of one document through the
14 hotel fax, but I still haven't managed to get the second one. Because I
15 wasn't told about this before I left home.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That needs some further inquiries into the
17 communications between Victims and Witness Section and this witness, not
18 to say to blame anyone at this moment, but at least to find out what
19 actually happened.
20 MR. JOSSE: I'll take that upon myself, simply because Mr. Vasic
21 was a Defence witness. I'll speak to them.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Could you tell us which documents you were
23 able to obtain through this telefax?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you said last time that
25 it would be a good idea if I could provide papers from the Municipal
1 Assembly, not just the meeting on the 14th of August, but others as well,
2 and so I asked the people I knew and they tried to put it into a smaller
3 format, and so here you have the list of attendants for both 1992 and
4 1993, and you can see that Muslims attendance was actually higher, and
5 that goes for Croats, of course, and there were more of them on later
6 occasions than on the 14th of August.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course we can't see anything yet, because we
8 have not seen the document. Would you please be so kind to give the
9 copies --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. I also have the
11 complete set of minutes from the two subsequent meetings between the one
12 on the 14th of August and the end of 1992.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please provide them to Madam Usher so that
14 they'll be put in the hands of Mr. Registrar, who can take care that
15 they'll be copied for the parties.
16 Then another question I'd like to raise, Mr. Vasic: Did you have
17 any contact with other witnesses in this case?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I just heard that another
19 witness has arrived who is supposed to give evidence. I was told what his
20 name was. I couldn't remember it. But at dinner I saw him across the
21 room and then we simply shook hands in the presence of one of your
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you had no conversation with him, apart from
24 just saying hello.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a few words, yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Just courtesy, nothing else, just hello and "I'm
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the usual. He said: "I
4 haven't seen you for two years," and I said that I couldn't remember his
5 name at first. I said what used to be your job, and then he said he was
6 at Pale and that during the war he was working for an organisation called
7 Dobrotvor. And the thing is, we couldn't have easy communication between
8 Prnjavor and Pale back then. And then I asked him where he was working
9 now, and he said he's working for the electricity board at the moment.
10 That's all. And then I said that I'm a businessman now.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No exchange of documents?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask Madam Usher to escort the witness for one
14 second out of the courtroom and to remain standby.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I just want to be sure that I make no
17 mistake and that I did not misunderstand anything at all. From what you
18 said earlier, I did understand that Mr. Divcic gave you some documents
19 that he said to have received from Mr. Vasic. Is that correct?
20 MR. JOSSE: That's what I understood the position to be, Your
21 Honour. Could Your Honour give me one moment?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. JOSSE: Mr. Divcic, no secret about this, speaks a little bit
24 of English, so there have been times I communicate directly with him, but
25 for the most part, it's been through an interpreter.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Mr. Karganovic did translate that conversation
3 for me, and that is what we remember Mr. Divcic to have said.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, do you have any preference on whether the
5 Chamber would deal with it or would you make that part of your
7 MR. TIEGER: If I could have a moment, Your Honour.
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, we're content for the Chamber to deal
10 with it directly.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I intend to confront the witness with the
12 information we received and the answer he's given to my last question.
13 MR. JOSSE: Would Your Honour give me two minutes?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. JOSSE: Just so that -- because I think Mr. Karganovic had
16 looked at these documents. It might help everyone if we know what they
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But even if they were the same, my question was
19 simply whether there was any exchange of documents. I mean, even if it's
20 the same, it shouldn't --
21 MR. JOSSE: I couldn't possibly object to --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'll give you your two minutes, Mr. Josse.
23 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. JOSSE: I have now, Your Honour - excuse me - have some vague
1 idea what these documents are about. I'm going to hand them to Your
2 Honour, simply because if Your Honour is going to embark on this sort of
3 exercise, and I say I couldn't possibly object to that, ultimately it
4 might help if you're able to present the witness with the documents.
5 That's what I would want to do if I was cross-examining him in this way.
6 There are a couple of English-language documents, one from a
7 deputy High Representative, which just speaks for itself, at the bottom of
8 the bundle.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: There is one handwritten document among the
11 documents. Is Mr. Karganovic in a position to tell us approximately what
12 it is? It turns out that all the other documents seem to be
13 contemporaneous documents rather than documents from the 1990s.
14 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: But it's unclear, and perhaps we should go into
16 private session for one moment, to see whether Mr. Karganovic could help
17 us out to identify what this handwritten document approximately is.
18 MR. JOSSE: I'm happy with that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We'll turn into private session.
20 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
11 Page 17606 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session again, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, please be seated. I asked you whether,
20 when you met Mr. Divcic, whether you exchanged any documents. Your answer
21 was no. Is that still your answer?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You asked me whether I handed over
23 to the other witness any documents. I did not hand him over any documents
24 for him, but I gave him an envelope for the Defence, since he was saying
25 that he was going to a meeting with the Defence team. But it was not any
1 documents for him personally. It was just for the Defence team. And so I
2 gave it to him to take to the Defence team. And some of the evidence that
3 you asked for was placed in that envelope. So it was for the Defence
4 team. It wasn't for him. Because I thought that since I was under oath,
5 I shouldn't give anything to him personally. And that's the way I
6 understood your question. Did I give him any documents for himself? I
7 didn't. So there must have been a misunderstanding. And this envelope
8 that I provided here, and another sheet of paper that is in the same
9 envelope, was handed over to the Defence. This was the request that was
10 made. And I had no other communication with the Defence team. And he
11 just simply told me that he was going to meet with the Defence team, and I
12 asked him to take that to them. But I wasn't giving it to him for any
13 reason, nor would it be useful to him. It's just the attendance list for
14 those meetings, plus a kind of acknowledgment that I received. So yeah,
15 that was it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I didn't ask you whether you gave him any
17 documents for his personal use. I just asked you whether you gave him any
18 documents. The answer should have been "yes, I did," and then you could
19 have given the explanation you just gave. Is that clear to you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not 100 per cent sure. I seem
21 to remember that you asked, had I given any documents to the witness. I
22 can't claim with a great deal of certainty, but I seem to remember that
23 that was the form of the question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'll read to you exactly what I said. My question
25 was: "No exchange of documents?" Perfectly neutral. Your answer
1 was: "No." Your answer should have been: "Yes. I gave him an envelope,
2 not for his personal use, but in order to give this to the Defence team."
3 It also means that you at least discussed, that appears from your
4 answer, that he would have a further discussion with the Defence team,
5 which is different from what you told us before, that is, that you just
6 exchanged information like "I haven't seen you, I don't remember your
8 Then finally, didn't I instruct you not to speak with anyone,
9 including Defence, about your testimony?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood your question to mean,
11 and I might have misunderstood, whether I gave him any documents for his
12 own use. And the waitress at the hotel, or rather, not the waitress, but
13 the official who was taking care of us at the hotel, said to me, "Okay,
14 there's another witness and you might see him at dinner," and that was the
15 way it was. Perhaps for another five minutes, that person stayed there
16 for about two or three minutes, so I didn't feel it was a problem.
17 Because there was an official from the Tribunal present there, and it was
18 the lady who said to me, "Oh, another gentleman called Aleksandar is
19 there," and I said, "Well, I don't remember who he was," and then I saw
20 him across the room and he came over and then I talked to him.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, there was not even a suggestion of any
22 blame that you exchanged friendly words with someone you had already even
23 forgotten his name. The issue is: I asked you whether there was any
24 exchange of documents. Your answer was "no" and that was, as it appears
25 now, the wrong answer.
1 Secondly, I instructed you, because that was my second question to
2 you, not to speak with anyone about your testimony. That included the
3 Defence team.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understood your
5 question to mean what I've just explained. Whether I gave the other
6 witness -- I mean, as I said, I might have misunderstood. As to
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, I do understand from your last words that
9 you wanted to respond to my question. My question is that you
10 communicated with the Defence team through documents. I instructed you
11 not to speak with anyone about your testimony.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My statement was shown on television
13 and everybody saw that, and some even told me about it in a slightly
14 distorted manner. And it was on every TV station, B2 and so on.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, I instructed you at the end of your
16 testimony a little bit over one week ago not to speak with anyone about
17 your testimony. Nevertheless, you felt free to give documents to another
18 witness to give that to the Defence team, which means that you initiated
19 communication with the Defence team where you were instructed to refrain
20 from any conversation about your testimony.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood that the request was to
22 submit the documents to someone, and I didn't know how I was supposed to
23 do that, since I was banned from communicating with anyone, and I had to
24 submit the documents that I was asked to submit.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Did you submit the documents -- you told me that you
1 received the documents you were requested to bring with you, that you
2 received that request only yesterday. Is that correct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I received the request last night,
4 and I received the documents last night by fax. And when I faxed here.
5 So it got to the hotel fax. You can tell on the basis of the fax number
6 and the hour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, isn't it true that apart from a list of
8 those who attended, and apart from the minutes of the Prnjavor meetings,
9 that you gave other documents so that the Defence team could have a look
10 at them?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I gave him this kind of
12 diploma and acknowledgment in my name that I received for my merits in
13 promoting peace and security in the municipality, and I was the only
14 person in the entire municipality who received that certificate. And I
15 got it in 1994, and I've got the original here with me, and I got it from
16 the Municipal Assembly, mixed Municipal Assembly, and it was for
17 everything I did in the course of the war. And it is the highest possible
18 prize or honour that somebody could get at all. And I don't think anyone
19 else has ever received anything like that. And I felt that it was a good
20 idea to submit it, and this is the photocopy and I've got the original
21 with me. And perhaps I -- yeah, I should explain what it's about.
22 I don't know whether the Defence will understand why I'm
23 submitting that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You have a talent, Mr. Vasic, a well-developed
25 talent, not to address the matters what it's really about. You gave us
1 ten lines of explanation of a diploma. Did you give any personal opinions
2 on developments in the early 1990s? So not a document, but just your own
3 views on matters.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything I've said here in the
5 course of the trial, that is to say, that the Muslims left Prnjavor in
6 1991, in 1990, and in 1995, in the course of exchanges, was all aimed at a
7 practical explanation for the decisions of the UNHCR, OSCE, and OHCE
8 for -- OHR, sorry, with regard to ownership and property, et cetera. And
9 we were the first one which properly implemented those decisions.
10 And just to clarify matters, why were we the first? Because
11 during the war, we were not driving Muslims out of their own homes. It
12 was an economic immigration that happened. And then there were exchanges
13 in 1995. And this is something that I mentioned in my statement, that in
14 1991, because of family reunions, people took their women and children and
15 about 2.000 Muslims left in that way and then -- and yes, it was all by
16 way of explanation.
17 JUDGE ORIE: What was by way of explanation? Any handwritten
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything I've written, I
20 explained -- I mean, this is by way of explanation as to why I received
21 those honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, would you please have a look at this
23 document. Mr. Vasic, is that a document you gave to Mr. Divcic in order
24 to give it to the Defence team?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Did you write it yourself?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The document may be returned. The document may be
4 returned, Madam Usher.
5 I suggest to the parties that the document will be marked for
6 identification. The original to be returned to you, Mr. Josse, a copy to
7 be kept in the files.
8 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour. Am I allowed to ask questions
9 about it in due course?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may do so. A copy will be made during the
11 first break so that you have a copy available.
12 Mr. Vasic, do I understand that -- let me just show you from a
13 distance. You talked about a kind of a diploma. Is that this document?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is informed that there was some
16 correspondence between the deputy High Representative and Mr. Subotic and
17 Zivkovic. Are these documents you gave to Mr. Divcic in order to give
18 them to the Defence?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then finally, there's one document which seems to be
21 correspondence from the organisation for security and cooperation in
22 Europe to Mr. Zivkovic, sent by Igor Licina, OSCE Banja Luka. Is that a
23 document you gave to Mr. Divcic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That is the document I was
25 just explaining a moment ago.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What you did, Mr. Vasic, is to give further
2 explanations where you were instructed not to speak with anyone, including
3 Defence counsel, further explanations directly related to your testimony.
4 You should have refrained from doing that.
5 The documents will be put in the hands of the registrar. A copy
6 will be made available to the Prosecution. All documents will be marked
7 for identification.
8 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
9 WITNESS: NEMANJA VASIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be allowed to
14 address you. Upon arriving here, I received a note instructing me to
15 submit the necessary documents, and I believe that all the documents
16 stated herein were the ones that I was supposed to submit. Some of these
17 documents I was unable to obtain, even the ones that I obtained, I was
18 unable to contact the Defence team, and I was asking for a fax number of
19 the ICTY in order to deliver to them the Merhamet documents containing
20 numbers of the Muslims.
21 As for this particular document, this was a document from the ICTY
22 that I believe that I had to act upon the instructions and deliver the
23 documents somehow.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, did I ask you in the beginning whether you
25 received a request for bringing with you information?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Did you then explain to me what documents you were
3 able to obtain and that others you could not obtain?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they might have come through
5 the fax already, but since I am not in contact with the staff there, I'm
6 not aware of that now.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just asking you what I put to you. I asked you
8 whether you received the request. I asked you whether you were able to
9 obtain, and then you explained to us that, through telefax, you were only
10 able to obtain a list of those who attended the municipality meetings and
11 full minutes. You did not speak about any further explanations, any
12 further personal opinions about the events in the early 1990s. It now
13 turns out that you provided to the Defence team, through Mr. Divcic, your
14 personal opinion about certain matters in a handwritten document,
15 accompanied by some other documents you did not mention before. I hope
16 that that's clear to you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not. Your Honour, the first I
18 was told that the Defence gave this to be given to me. I'm not really
19 aware of the rules. I know that I'm not allowed to contact the Defence.
20 But if somebody tells me that I was given this document by the Defence, I
21 read the letter stating under number 2 that I needed to provide full lists
22 of Muslims who left Prnjavor in 1992, 1993, and 1994. And as I was unable
23 to obtain the documents containing the information, I tried to provide the
24 information in writing. The information now in the meantime might have
25 arrived. And I believe that the Defence was aware of the Rules and of the
1 proper way of communicating with me. I was told that it was the Defence
2 that provided this document for me.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, the Chamber has heard enough about it.
4 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
5 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Vasic, let's begin with the destruction of the mosques at
7 Lisnja and Poraci. The one at Lisnja was quite old, a couple of hundred
8 years old; right?
9 A. I never saw it in my life. I don't know how old it was, but I
10 suppose you're right.
11 Q. Do you know that it was constructed of thick stone, much in the
12 fashion of the Ferhadpasa mosque in Banja Luka, stone as thick as a metre
14 A. I don't know about that. I know that two Muslim soldiers told me
15 and another person that the mosque was on fire and --
16 Q. Mr. Vasic, I have a certain amount of time. I asked you a
17 question. You answered the question. If anyone is interested in a rehash
18 of your previous testimony, they'll ask.
19 A. No.
20 Q. As a result of the construction of that mosque, it took explosives
21 to bring it down, isn't that right, and the mosque was blown up with
22 explosives during or shortly after the operation in Lisnja; isn't that
24 A. During the operation in Lisnja and not after the operation. I did
25 not hear an explosion.
1 Q. And it was done by the forces you mentioned earlier which
2 participated in the operation in Lisnja, that is, the police and the TO,
3 including the Wolves of Vucjak; isn't that correct?
4 A. The police and the army, because the Wolves of Vucjak were members
5 of the army, but they were simply popularly called the Wolves of Vucjak.
6 Q. I want to next address the letter that you showed the Court from
7 Merhamet. That was included in tab 10 of the materials you provided. And
8 you stressed, in particular, when you presented that letter, that no
9 representative of the municipal authorities was present at that meeting.
10 First of all, Mr. Vasic, there was a Prnjavor policeman present at that
11 meeting; isn't that right?
12 A. I'm not aware of that, and I don't think so, although I cannot
13 tell you with any precision. Because I see that this was delivered to the
14 chief of the public security station, so it was sent over to him, which
15 means that he wasn't present.
16 Q. Well, I'm not sure how you can derive the conclusion first of all
17 that the chief to whom it was sent wasn't present, and even further, that
18 an emissary, representative of the police was not present, but you raise
19 an interesting point. That letter --
20 A. I don't know. I told you, I don't know exactly. But I don't
21 think that he was present, because it wasn't really customary for the
22 UNHCR to have a meeting and not write a list of attendees.
23 Q. Well, what you do know is that that letter was written with the
24 awareness that Serbian municipal authorities, including the police and
25 including the head of the municipality, would read it; isn't that right?
1 A. This letter was sent to us for our information, probably because
2 they wanted also to show us that the municipal authorities did provide a
3 certain degree of protection to the Muslims.
4 Q. Who sent that letter to the municipal authorities? It wasn't
5 UNHCR; right? They don't make a habit of sending their internal
6 correspondence or correspondence reflecting their meetings with victims to
7 municipal authorities, do they?
8 A. I received this through internal mail every day. I received some
9 10 to 15 documents, including this one. I believe that this document
10 arrived from Merhamet by mail. I know for a fact that I was not handed it
11 personally by someone, but through mail.
12 Q. And that letter was sent by Merhamet because Prnjavor municipal
13 authorities insisted that any meetings or complaints, any meetings with
14 internationals by non-Serbs in the municipality go through Serbian
15 authorities or that information about such meetings be provided to Serbian
16 authorities; isn't that right?
17 A. I'm not aware of any such form of an ultimatum. This wasn't
18 something that I was given to doing, issuing ultimatums or blackmails.
19 Q. Why don't we look at a document that was produced in 1992, where
20 Serbian municipal authorities were not present and where they were not
21 copied on the document. That's P794, which is contained at tab 34.
22 On the third page of that document, there's a special report --
23 MR. JOSSE: Sorry, Your Honour. Perhaps it's my problem, but the
24 bundle I've got only goes up to tab 31.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's the new bundle that was distributed this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 morning, from what I understand.
2 MR. JOSSE: I haven't been given that.
3 MR. TIEGER: I provided it to Mr. Stewart.
4 JUDGE ORIE: It has been provided to Mr. Stewart. There's an
5 additional copy available.
6 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Mr. Vasic, the third page of that document reflects a special
9 report on minorities in the Prnjavor area, and specifically, a meeting
10 that was held with members of the Ukrainian minority community in Prnjavor
11 on June 13th, 1992. As you'll see in the third paragraph of that report,
12 the document notes that at an earlier meeting with the Czech and Slovak
13 communities, a member of the SDS was present, but at this meeting, no
14 member of the SDS was present. At paragraph --
15 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I made this point on the last occasion
16 when we were pressed for time. The witness needs to read the whole
17 document. One really cannot cross-examine on a selective way like this,
18 in my submission. I need to read the whole document, and so does the
20 MR. TIEGER: The whole document is not relevant, Your Honour. I'm
21 directing the witness's attention and counsel's attention to portions of
22 that document. If the witness wants some time after his attention is
23 directed to those portions, of course I understand, but it seems absurd to
24 me to invite the witness to read irrelevant parts of the document rather
25 than focussing his attention on the relevant portions.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We could ask the witness to answer questions on
2 specific portions and give him an opportunity perhaps during the first
3 break, and giving you an opportunity as well, Mr. Josse, to see whether
4 any portion
5 is taken out of context.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already read it.
7 MR. JOSSE: Yes. As long as I have my learned friend's assurance
8 that nothing else in it could possibly affect the answer that he's going
9 to give, then I accept that, but only on that condition.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then you'll have an opportunity to verify that during
11 the first break.
12 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
13 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Vasic, let me direct your attention to paragraph 6 of that
15 special report, which indicates that the members of the minorities have
16 desired to contact members of the EC teams operating in the area, but were
17 told that requests are to go through the municipality offices controlled
18 by the SDS, and indeed in some instances, minority group representatives
19 were threatened not to contact EC teams.
20 That's in fact what was happening at the time, Mr. Vasic, isn't
21 it, and that's why the Merhamet letter too was copied to the municipality
23 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the letter of Merhamet -- from Merhamet was
24 delivered on the 30th of May, 1995. I don't know who wrote this, but of
25 course the municipal authorities were controlled by the SDS, because the
1 SDS won the majority seats in the elections. That is why.
2 As for these minorities mentioned here, they responded to military
3 call-ups in far greater numbers than the Serbs, and many of them got
4 killed, and they were very loyal to the Serb state, and this isn't -- this
5 simply isn't true.
6 Q. Mr. Vasic, you can deny it if you want, but please refrain from
7 providing a great deal of unrelated testimony about tangential matters
8 raised in this report. I'll put the question to you simply yes or no,
9 that from late 1991 and early 1992, the SDS in Prnjavor and in other parts
10 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, demanded that minority groups go
11 through the municipality offices controlled by the SDS if they wanted to
12 contact internationals. Yes or no?
13 A. I state with full responsibility that this simply isn't true that
14 we barred them from contacting members of the EC. That is simply not
15 true. The municipal authorities did not do that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, that was not the question. The question
17 was whether any contacts were channelled through the municipal
18 authorities. Mr. Tieger didn't ask you whether you allowed them or
19 whether you barred them, but did they have to go through the municipal
20 authorities to establish these kind of contacts. That was the question,
21 and not any other.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They did not make these contacts
23 through the municipal authorities.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Did they have to apply for approval or do they have
25 to apply in whatever way, or did they have to inform the municipal
1 authorities about their wish to seek contact with the internationals?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To my knowledge, and I was familiar
3 with these issues, no. Now, as to whether such a requirement existed with
4 the police, I would not know about that, because I was not informed about
5 these matters and it was not within my purview. As for the municipal
6 authorities, I can tell you that this was not case.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Mr. Vasic, you brought with you and showed the Court a letter
10 prepared by Merhamet, knowing that it would be reviewed by municipality
11 authorities in order to show that intimidation and pressure on minorities
12 had not taken place. Can we take a look at what the EC team was told on
13 this occasion when there was no member of the SDS present and when the
14 representatives of the minority community obviously believed that the
15 information would stay between them and the EC? And in that respect, I
16 ask you to look at paragraph 4.
17 Paragraph 4 states that a typical pattern of intimidation was
18 being conducted against the ethnic minorities. And it goes on to
19 enumerate the nature of that pattern, beginning with the spreading of
20 fear, then provocations, such as beatings, continued harassment by police
21 or shootings at night around the houses of minorities. And it was those
22 factors that was causing members of the minority communities to flee.
23 Isn't that in fact an accurate account of what was happening in Prnjavor?
24 A. In my earlier testimony, and I do not wish to repeat it, I stated
25 that at any given time, there were 2.000 soldiers shooting around, and
1 this was something that intimidated both the Serbs and the others. They
2 should not have allowed the soldiers to enter the town armed. I do not
3 know whether it was as a result of these events that the minorities fled.
4 I don't know that there were any Ukrainians among the refugees. I cannot
5 speak for the period after the blowing up of the mosque. The fact is that
6 there were Serb refugees who arrived in Prnjavor, in thousands. I did not
7 deny that there were shootings and that the population in general was
8 being intimidated.
9 Q. Let's turn our attention to another document that you produced and
10 that you sought to bring the Court's attention to, and that was the letter
11 from Bishop Komarica, which was located at tab 9, I think the second
12 document of materials in that tab. And in fact, I'm not going to draw
13 your attention to the details of that, but that was in fact a letter to
14 Mr. Vincic, was it not?
15 A. Yes. The chief of the police, who implemented my agreement
16 reached with Mr. Komarica in Banja Luka, through the police force.
17 Q. Okay. So in that case, you were taking credit for what the police
18 had done. Now, first of all, Mr. Vasic --
19 A. I was given credit for the agreement reached. I simply submitted
20 this document as proof, contrary to what your witness stated, that all the
21 mosques were torn down. I told you that not a single Catholic church was
22 blown up. And this is the document that I would value, rather than the
23 reports written by different intelligence officers, communists, who hated
24 us immensely.
25 Q. We'll take a look at such an intelligence report shortly. But
1 before that, I want to ask you about your reliance on Bishop Komarica.
2 First of all, you know very well that Bishop Komarica was widely known for
3 his public and courageous denunciation of widespread ethnic cleansing in
4 the Banja Luka area; he's someone who told the world that ethnic cleansing
5 was taking place in the Autonomous Region of Krajina; isn't that right?
6 A. I think he did, yes. But not for Prnjavor.
7 Q. Well, in fact, he also complained to you about violence against
8 minorities in Prnjavor, but you did not bring that particular letter, but
9 it's contained now in the materials at tab 19. Let's take a look that at
10 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this needs an exhibit number, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 19, Your Honours, will be P955.
13 MR. TIEGER:
14 Q. Mr. Vasic, this is not a letter to Mr. Vincic. This is a letter
15 directly to you, dated the 3rd of August, 1992. I presume you've seen
16 this before.
17 A. Yes. I did receive this letter, and as a result of this letter, I
18 met with Bishop Komarica, and this meeting then resulted in all the other
19 events that I was given credit for later.
20 Q. And in the letter, Bishop Komarica notes that Catholics in
21 Prnjavor don't cause trouble, that he is appalled by violence against them
22 and against religious facilities that is being carried out in the
23 municipality, and he complains about the lack of interest of the official
24 public organs to resolve the problems, and even notes that the police have
25 threatened a priest for reporting such an event. That's all correct,
1 isn't it?
2 A. No. I already explained this earlier. I did not say Greek
3 Catholic, but rather Orthodox Ukrainian priest. And I explained how all
4 this violence came about and how people who were responsible for the
5 events in Kulasi were reported to the police. At the time the bishop was
6 writing the letter, he probably wasn't aware of all the steps that we had
7 already undertaken. The bishop stated here that the church in Kulasi
8 was also destroyed, which was not the case. He was obviously misinformed.
9 It was simply that the priest was beaten up, that a TV set and some other
10 appliances were stolen from the church, and then these eight people were
11 prosecuted as the perpetrators of these deeds. And as a result of all
12 these events, a meeting was held with Bishop Komarica and then further
13 measures were taken. All of this came about after this letter.
14 Q. We'll compare the dates of Bishop Komarica's initial letter and
15 the dates of the events that you referred to which were provided in other
16 portions of the materials. But it's a fact, isn't it, that Bishop
17 Komarica was someone who had the ear of the international community and
18 that whatever action, if any, you and Mr. Vincic took was in response to
19 the fact that Bishop Komarica was bringing this to the attention of the
20 international organisations, the international media, and the
21 international community, which had an eye on the Banja Luka area; isn't
22 that right?
23 A. I am familiar with the situation in Prnjavor, but I am not that
24 well-informed about the situation in general around Prnjavor and I do not
25 wish to speak about that. I know that many Croats and Ukrainians even
1 more, were members of the army and were loyal to the Serbs. Many of them
2 got killed in the war. And that is why all the different minorities in
3 Prnjavor should be regarded in a different manner than others, perhaps. I
4 was an official there, but I am not familiar with what was going on around
5 the municipality. That is all hearsay.
6 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I note the time.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a break for half an hour and resume
8 at five minutes past 11.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.14 a.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, the Chamber would like to address
12 a matter which seems to be rather urgent.
13 Mr. Josse, you told us about what I understood to be visa problems
14 for one of your witnesses. That's a witness for which no protective
15 measures --
16 MR. JOSSE: He will not require protective measures. I'm sure
17 about that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So we can talk about --
19 MR. JOSSE: His name.
20 JUDGE ORIE: His name, Mr. Bjelica.
21 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica is on what is often called the blacklist
23 of the European Union, which essentially is a kind of a travel ban within
24 the EU. I did understand that the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
25 expected a safe conduct to be ordered by the Trial Chamber in order to
1 grant a visa to Mr. Bjelica, and if there will be any other witnesses
2 which are on similar lists, the same would be true.
3 I've given it some thought. I have briefly discussed the matter
4 with the Victims and Witnesses Section. I was a bit surprised that a safe
5 conduct would be the solution, because every witness who arrives in Dutch
6 territory enjoys a safe conduct as far as the Dutch government is
7 concerned, under the host agree. That means that safe conducts usually
8 are issued in order to protect witnesses against prosecution by anyone
9 else, third countries or even by the Office of the Prosecution. Because
10 the safe conduct, as far as the Dutch government is concerned, is in the
11 host agreement.
12 Therefore, I think the problem is a different one. The problem
13 being that the Dutch government might be inclined, or let's say it in the
14 negative, might not be inclined not to apply the agreed common position of
15 the EU unless there would be a clear expression by the Tribunal that it
16 would be in the interests of justice to make this witness enter Dutch
17 territory to testify and then to leave the territory again, which would
18 not require a safe conduct, but rather would require the Dutch government
19 to prioritise at that moment the interests of the Tribunal above any
20 travel limitations imposed by the European Union.
21 At the same time, the reasons -- I mean, the purpose of this
22 travel ban, or blacklist, is to impose sanctions on individuals who are
23 engaged in activities which help persons at large continue to evade
24 justice or who are otherwise acting in a manner which could obstruct the
25 ICTY's work. And of course it would be a snake that bites in its own tail
1 to say because of the EU restrictions, you're not allowed to enter the
2 Dutch territory, which would prevent you from testifying before this
3 Tribunal, which of course would not serve the interests of justice, would
4 not serve the interest of the ICTY.
5 So therefore, I suggest to the parties that this Chamber will give
6 a written instruction to the Registrar to address the Dutch government
7 through the minister of foreign affairs, requesting, because we usually
8 address governments by way of requests rather than by any orders, unless
9 there is a clear reason to expect that requests would not be taken
10 seriously , to request the Dutch government not to apply the common
11 position agreed within the EU not to allow one of the persons on the list
12 entrance, but for the limited purposes of testifying before this Court, to
13 apply the host agreement, giving entry to this country, giving safe
14 conduct as far as the Dutch government is concerned, and to apply whatever
15 other limitations the Dutch government might feel necessary.
16 I suggest that the Chamber would give such an instruction to the
17 Registry, as a matter of urgency. I do understand that I can imagine that
18 the Registry would first consult with the Dutch government to see whether
19 what kind of wording one might need, but in order to resolve this matter
20 as soon as possible, I think the first step would be that in such an
21 instruction, this Chamber expresses as its view that it's important that
22 it's in the interest of justice that the Defence can call the witnesses it
23 wants to call, in the interest of the defence of Mr. Krajisnik.
24 Any submission in this respect?
25 MR. JOSSE: That's very helpful, Your Honour. We had begun making
1 some inquiries. We were clearly barking to some extent up the wrong tree.
2 We were approaching the matter in the wrong way. The request to the
3 Registry by the Chamber will, no doubt, assist matters.
4 There's still a minor logistical problem. For example, Mr.
5 Bjelica lives in Sokolac. He's almost certainly going to have to travel
6 to Belgrade, because I was told there will be a problem with him coming
7 via a third country, in other words, another EU country.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If there would be a third country, then of course the
9 safety conduct under the host agreement would not apply and then we would
10 have to issue a safe conduct for any transit country. Under those
11 circumstances, we would need a safe conduct because the safe conduct in
12 the host agreement is of course limited to the Dutch authorities and does
13 not apply to German, Belgian, whatever other authorities. But I was
14 informed from Belgrade a direct flight would be possible, which would
15 result in no need for any safe conduct in respect of third countries.
16 MR. JOSSE: If there's any difficulty with that, then I would
17 refer to either the Court or the Registry.
18 I should say that originally, Mr. Bjelica had been lined up for
19 the end of this week. When these problems became apparent, he was called
20 off, so to speak. In fact, that may not be such a bad thing, because he
21 did provide me, on my recent trip to Bosnia, with a significant number of
22 documents. They're being sorted out before being submitted to the CLSS.
23 And therefore, so far as he is concerned, there is no immediate urgency,
24 but I am very grateful to Your Honour and the Chamber.
25 JUDGE ORIE: If in any future situation you would have -- if you
1 would face this kind of difficulties which are, to a large extent, of a
2 legal nature, in which you would need the help of the Chamber, do not
3 hesitate to ask for it.
4 Mr. Harmon.
5 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we have no submissions as to the
6 solution proposed by the Trial Chamber. Our only request is that we are
7 aware that Mr. Bjelica provided a significant number of documents and it's
8 our request that at some point in time before he testifies in 14 days
9 before he testifies that we receive the translations of those documents.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, perhaps you could already inform
11 Mr. Bjelica that if he thinks that he has relevant and important documents
12 available to him at this moment, that if he doesn't provide them to you at
13 shortish notice, that there might be a risk that there would be no
14 opportunity to look at them. And I take it that relevance would primarily
15 be relevance for the Defence, of course for the truth, but we know that
16 looking at the truth from different points of view could influence the
17 selection of documents you would find most relevant.
18 MR. JOSSE: Well, to be fair to him, he gave me a large number of
19 documents. In fact, the gentleman to my left, who I was about to
20 introduce, Mr. Marko Sladojevic, who has recently joined our team, has
21 been tasked by me with looking through those documents. He in fact did me
22 a preliminary report last night and that's a matter I'm going to discuss
23 with him later today. But this witness will not be called in the
24 immediate future, for these two reasons that the Chamber has identified,
25 partly the documents, partly his travel arrangements. But thank you very
2 JUDGE ORIE: But then I take it that you filled in -- well, we
3 heard from Mr. Stewart about the remainder of this week. We'll discuss
4 the matter this afternoon, how to deal with these intervals. Let me be
5 quite clear that of course the Chamber is finally not going to accept the
6 situation in which we say, well, we have got one witness for this week and
7 then perhaps another one for the next week. I mean, that certainly will
8 not be accepted by the Chamber. But we'll further discuss the matter.
9 May I take it that if you have postponed the testimony of
10 Mr. Bjelica, that you're doing your utmost best to get other witnesses in
11 time here, so as to continue.
12 MR. JOSSE: I devote a lot of my time to this particular problem.
13 I'm hoping there are going to be two shortish witnesses here for the
14 four-day week next week. That's the present plan.
15 Perhaps I could report back at 9.00 tomorrow morning. An
16 application form was with the VWS, so I was told by Mr. Karganovic, at
17 9.00 this morning for those two witnesses.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Josse, you may be aware that even although
19 we had a recess and even although I was not in this country, that I was
20 kept informed.
21 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- minute for minute on when you had delays for your
23 flights, well, whatever you did, and you informed us. So therefore, don't
24 be afraid that it has not the full attention of this Chamber.
25 Then any other matter in relation to this? If similar situations
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 would arise in respect of other witnesses appearing on similar lists,
2 please take the necessary measures well in time. I'll inform you tomorrow
3 where we stand on the matter of safe conduct or the whole Mr. Bjelica.
4 In that respect, I'd like to get a scheduling -- well, scheduling
5 information from the Defence, because even if it's no safe conduct, you'll
6 understand that making an exception to the blacklist would be limited in
7 time, and therefore we would have to know exactly when you expect
8 Mr. Bjelica to arrive to testify or to be prepared for his testimony, so
9 that we could introduce that in the conversations between the Dutch
10 government and the Registry.
11 MR. JOSSE: If Your Honour wants that done in open court, could I
12 deal with that tomorrow? Otherwise, administratively, within the next 24
13 hours, please?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you could do it by tomorrow morning, that
15 would be fine.
16 Any further --
17 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour, two matters, one extremely brief.
18 Through an oversight, we didn't have those additional documents
19 from the Prosecution tabs until the break, but we have got them now, both
20 Mr. Krajisnik and I.
21 Secondly, and rather more importantly, it's this: The reason
22 Mr. Karganovic is not in Court is I've caused him to make some
23 inquiries about what passed between Messrs. Divcic and Vasic. I do want a
24 full answer in relation to that before I have a chance to re-examine
25 Mr. Vasic.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me turn into private session for one
3 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: To bring Mr. Vasic into the courtroom again and then
8 he may continue his cross-examination.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, please be seated. Mr. Tieger will
11 continue his cross-examination.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just ask a
13 question before we go on?
14 Since in the beginning I was very shaken by this misunderstanding
15 that we discussed, maybe it was my fault, but there's this letter which is
16 of key importance with reference to all the events that was not included
17 in that set of documents. I would like you to take account of that
18 letter. Because ten days ago, our lawyer said that he would be in touch
19 with me through the Tribunal's services, but he hasn't been in touch with
20 me. And the arrival of the official from the Tribunal and the handing
21 over of this letter was something that I considered a contact, a form of
22 contact. However, I don't know whether it was done on purpose or not.
23 Everything was written in English and I don't understand English. There
24 are only two sentences in a language that I understand, and there was a
25 request for documents and I tried to submit all the documents. I
1 submitted one and I didn't submit the other, and I tried to explain this.
2 And I was not given any instructions as to how to submit this sort of
3 document, so I tried to make do. And the first person that I set eyes on
4 that I knew was going to meet them, I thought it would have been
5 permitted. And so that's why I acted the way I did. And it was not my
6 intention to establish contacts for any other reason. And I would also
7 like you to take account of this letter because that led to this confusion
8 on my part, more than anything else.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Is that the letter by the Victims and Witnesses
10 Section in which you are invited to bring documents with you?
11 MR. JOSSE: Well, I was going to get him to hand it in as part of
12 my re-examination. Why doesn't Your Honour look at it now.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We'll wait and see.
14 MR. JOSSE: I was going to suggest Your Honour looks at it now or
15 it can wait until re-examination. It doesn't really matter.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we just have a look at what letter the witness
17 is talking about.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Court official did say to me
19 that this came from the Defence.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: I will return it to the witness. We received, as a
22 matter of fact, a copy of it. I do understand that this is the
23 translation by the Victims and Witnesses Section, not literally
24 translation, but the transfer of a request by one of the parties.
25 MR. JOSSE: In Mr. Vasic's absence in due course, I will give a
1 full history of the matter. I'm quite anxious to see what's written on
2 the envelope, because that may have some bearing.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Oh. Yes. I have not looked at the envelope. I just
4 have looked at the ... Yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's in English.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It says "for your information." "Please ask
7 Mr. Vasic to bring the documents as described in this letter on Tuesday to
8 the Tribunal."
9 I was informed that the Victims and Witnesses Section received the
10 request only last Friday and that therefore it was of no use to try to
11 send it to the former Yugoslavia, but rather to wait until he would arrive
12 and then give it to him personally. And then there's an indication of the
13 hotel where to find Mr. Vasic which I'll not read out in open court.
14 Then, Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Vasic, before we adjourned, you had explained that at the time
17 the bishop wrote the letter, the first letter we've been referring to, he
18 wasn't -- he probably wasn't aware of all the steps that you had already
19 undertaken and was misinformed about what happened in the church in Kulasi
20 because what happened, according to you, was simply that the priest was
21 beaten up, that a TV set and some other appliances were stolen, and that
22 eight people were prosecuted.
23 That latter information about eight people was something you
24 talked about in your earlier testimony; is that right? That's an incident
25 you referred to earlier and brought to the Court's attention in the
1 materials you provided?
2 A. Yes, I knew that the case was processed. I knew -- I mean, I
3 mentioned that I had a meeting with the citizens in the church.
4 Q. You pointed out a document referring to the church in Kulasi and
5 eight alleged perpetrators, I think, on your second day of testimony;
7 A. Probably, yeah. I can't remember correctly, but yes, I must have
8 done, certainly.
9 Q. Well, perhaps you can explain, then, how Bishop Komarica could
10 have been misinformed about this incident in which the priest was abused,
11 a TV set stolen, and eight individuals allegedly involved, when that
12 incident did not take place until more than three months after the
13 bishop's letter.
14 The incident in Kulasi, to which you referred and which was the
15 subject of your earlier testimony, occurred on the 27th of November, 1992,
16 according to the documents that you provided; isn't that right? And let
17 me refer the Court and counsel's attention to the LiveNote of
18 October 11th, at page 12.
19 A. I said that Komarica was probably misinformed, and I was actually
20 referring to the fact that, amongst other things -- I mean, and he did
21 indicate that there were two facts, that there were shooting and people
22 were frightened and all that, but he also indicated that the church was
23 destroyed in the paper that you showed me earlier. And it wasn't fully
24 destroyed, and so that's what I was referring to when I said he must have
25 been misinformed. And I mean now everything that's being indicated by
1 Bishop Komarica was taking place in relation to everyone, without
2 distinction. I've said it a hundred times already. The fact that people
3 were frightened by shooting and that they were being intimidated. It is
4 just a part of my story that I'm not going to repeat for the umpteenth
5 time here. But it is a fact that all attempts were being made in order to
6 normalise things. I had already mentioned before that we made an official
7 request for General Talic to ban soldiers from carrying weapons and I had
8 a meeting with the [indiscernible] at the factory and --
9 Q. Mr. Vasic, you're repeating your earlier testimony. It's not in
10 response to any question I asked.
11 A. I've just given you an answer.
12 Q. So Bishop Komarica was referring not to the incident you drew our
13 attention to earlier, not to the incident in which there was a criminal
14 report against eight perpetrators in late November for beating up the
15 priest and ransacking the church, but to an earlier incident of a similar
17 A. As far as I understood the letter by Bishop Komarica, it was a
18 general statement about pressures, events, et cetera, and a specific
19 reference to the church having been destroyed. But I don't know about
20 that. I know that the church at Kulasi had not been destroyed.
21 Q. No, Mr. Vasic. The fact is that Bishop Komarica referred to an
22 incident, and then you tried to tell us, oh, that incident had been taken
23 care of and eight perpetrators had been arrested, when in fact that
24 incident upon which you relied didn't take place until three months later,
25 and in fact the documents you provided don't even indicate they were
1 arrested, just that a criminal report was filed. In short, Bishop
2 Komarica was referring to an incident about which there was no action, and
3 you tried to convince us it was an incident about -- over which action had
4 been taken; isn't that right?
5 A. It is not just one event, actually. There are dozens of events.
6 Amongst other things --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, let me be -- try to listen to the
8 questions. Mr. Tieger asked you the following: In one of your earlier
9 responses, you said a response was given to the event described by the
10 bishop because against eight persons action was taken, or at least reports
11 filed, whatever. That's what you said in response to that question.
12 Now Mr. Tieger confronts you with the fact that you earlier
13 testified about action taken on the basis of an event which took place on
14 the 27th of November. And therefore, he says, the events described in
15 this first letter a couple of months before, I do not understand how you
16 can tell us that action -- or that a response was given to that letter,
17 where you told us before that this response or this action was taken as a
18 response to something that happened on the 27th of November and not
19 somewhere in July or August. That's the question. Therefore, clearly
20 explain to us whether any specific action against eight individuals was
21 taken as a result of this letter or whether it is your testimony that only
22 eight individuals were taken action against, reports, whatever way, as a
23 result of something that happened in November.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I tried to explain that similar
25 events took place before and afterwards. And matters had always been
1 undertaken. Obviously 12 or 13 years later I can't be quite sure which of
2 those events happened three months later or three months before. But, for
3 example, this Ukrainian church that is being referred to as Greek Catholic
4 church, I said that when there was an attempt to destroy the Roman
5 Catholic Church, the perpetrators were arrested and one woman recognised
6 one of them, but they were military personnel and so they were handed over
7 to the military authorities, and one of them was from Banja Luka and one
8 of them was from Cilinesa [phoen]. We didn't just take all the necessary
9 measures in order to be able to solve this problem. And we did undertake
10 many other measures as well.
11 THE INTERPRETER: And could the speaker slow down, please.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to slow down.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So the event at Kulasi was not to do
14 with this letter. I simply made a reference that within the overall
15 context of all these events. Because, Your Honour, there was a persistent
16 effort in trying to prove that religious -- places of religious worship
17 were being destroyed and people were being frightened, and I'm trying to
18 prove that this is not the case. And as to how many events there were and
19 how many measures were taken, well, this is 12 or 13 years ago, so I don't
20 know. I'm trying to prove that the authorities did their job properly
21 within limits.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you be very precise. The action taken
23 against, as you said, these eight people were prosecuted as the
24 perpetrators of those deeds, did that happen after the 27th of November
25 events or did that happen at any time earlier?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I may fall into the trap of
2 giving the wrong date, but if there is an event with reference to a Greek
3 Catholic Church, measures were taken prior to this letter. And the event
4 of the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church, in case it was earlier.
5 But what I'm trying to say is that the police forces tried to keep things
6 under control at all times. Perhaps I should check the dates in my list.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, you testified about eight people being
8 prosecuted as the perpetrators of these deeds. What deeds did you have in
9 mind? Anything that happened in November or anything that happened in -
10 what was it? - July, August? August.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those eight people were arrested due
12 to the events that took place in relation to the Kulasi and Kopa Lozancic
13 church. It must have been in November, obviously, as the Prosecution is
14 claiming, but this was just one in a series of events and one in a series
15 of measures.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Vasic, I want to move now to a telephone conversation, an
19 intercepted telephone conversation, involving three persons. We have two
20 clips for that. The transcript of that conversation is contained at
21 tab 3. And I believe it needs a new exhibit number.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That would be, Your Honours, P956.
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. Mr. Vasic, let me say at the outset that I'm not going to play the
1 entire intercept in the interests of time. I'll play two portions of it.
2 The entire transcript is available to you, however, if -- should it become
3 necessary in the course of responding to any question.
4 If we could begin, then, with the first clip. I have a couple of
5 brief questions for you about that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you indicate for the interpreters and for the
7 Court what page, what box?
8 MR. TIEGER: That should begin on the first page, Your Honour, and
9 consume basically the first page.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 [Intercept played]
12 Yes, yes. What's up, Dragan? There's nothing. The army was
13 called up, mobilisation, TO, and in local communities, take away and so
14 on. I see. And who mobilised the TO? TO district staff did. District
15 staff? Yes, district staff. There's an order. Order from whom? Just a
16 moment. Who issued the order? It is from the command in Banja Luka.
17 From the command in Banja Luka. Yes. Okay, Dragan. I mean, nothing has
18 been done without an order. No, no, I just wanted to know if it was from
19 Sarajevo or Banja Luka. From Banja Luka, from Banja Luka. From
20 Banja Luka, excellent. You know what? We have -- I have a small problem.
21 I think it is a bigger one. Yes. That's why I insisted to talk to you.
22 The first one is this thing with Cvijic, it was carried out. The thing
23 regarding civilian protection, but not everything. However, it doesn't
24 matter. But the second thing, he did not observe our agreement. He took
25 the stamp and he carries it around. I see. We don't have a stamp. We
1 don't know what to do. I will send you a letter, decision of the party
2 board, which has been unanimously adopted. So if you could order him or
3 maybe I could call you, if you have some time to come to one of our
4 meetings. Fucking hell. I should come. I --
5 MR. TIEGER: I know the French translation sometimes is a little
6 slower. I'm just waiting.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I have to ask Judge Hanoteau to inform us. Judge
8 Hanoteau was following the English. But I take it that this now took so
9 much time, I'll change to French. This now took so much time that the
10 French translation will have finished. Otherwise, I'll hear from anyone.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. For the record, this is telephone conversation dated 25 September
15 Mr. Vasic, did you recognise the two persons speaking, the voices
16 of the two persons speaking?
17 A. Yes. That's the president of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina, as it then was, Radovan Karadzic, and the MP from Prnjavor,
19 Dragan Djuric.
20 Q. Let me ask you -- turn your attention next to the second clip of
21 that intercept.
22 MR. TIEGER: For the benefit of the interpreters, that begins --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. There seems to be a
24 mistake here. It says Cvijic, but it's Vidic, the president of the party,
25 Dobrivoje Vidic, in relation to this stamp. I don't know what kind of
1 disagreement there must have been between the two of them and one of them
2 got the stamp. I don't know what it was about.
3 MR. TIEGER: Okay. Thank you. I was just about to mention that
4 the second clip begins at page 5 of the English translation.
5 [Intercept played]
6 Okay, Dragan, and take care of things, for fuck's sake. He's the
7 municipality president. Okay. Doctor, how are you? Thank God, I'm fine.
8 I'm Nemanja, president here. I have seen you here a couple of times.
9 Twice you were here. I'm glad to talk to you. I remember. We usually
10 communicate through Dragan and the guy with the beard. Yes, yes,
11 president of the Executive Committee, Radivojevic. I see. Please, take
12 care of Dobrivoje, pay him some respect but ... well, it's getting a bit
13 better. I mean, it is a bit difficult to deal with him, you know. I
14 know, I know, what he's like. To avoid explaining ... I know what he's
15 like. And regarding the biggest problems on arms, that is settled. I
16 know what he is like. That is settled. But in general I have control of
17 the situation in the municipality in full and I can tell you that we are
18 one of the rare municipalities where 111 soldiers were called up and 111
19 went. Excellent, excellent. Even the Croats and the Muslims went. We
20 had such activity and it worked. I see. And people responded well to
21 training. Good. Through them. I called the Muslim officers from the
22 staff and I told them: If you were honest when you put on the uniforms,
23 then go to these villages and tell people to respond to the calls, if you
24 did not ... so they left and it all worked. Excellent, fine. Everything,
25 apart from this thing with the SUP, this is difficult, doesn't work. Did
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you reach the agreement with the Muslims that the commander is yours?
2 Yes. We sent it up to MUP in writing. All parties and SDA and us in
3 Prnjavor. Yes. Agree that the commander is a Serb and the deputy is a
4 Muslim, and if it hasn't been so far until now. And they only did not
5 agree. They called a few times. He won't. He played some games. Vito
6 was here and promised in two days. They're playing games. They probably
7 want the Muslim commander, that's it. Yes, they said it openly. But
8 until now commander, deputy and secretary were all Serbs and it didn't
9 bother them. But now they're pushing it to be that way. People are
10 prepared and the Assembly adopted a decision and now just because of that
11 it turns out that this government is not capable. How many Muslims are
12 there in total? In percentages, there are four to five per cent, and the
13 chief of the crime service is a Muslim. I see. The SUP deputy will be
14 the Muslim, deputy commander. So, practically, they'll have 23 per cent.
15 Only 14 per cent of them. And they have 23 per cent of power there.
16 They'll have 23 per cent of power. Okay. Yes. They have 18 per cent in
17 reserve formations and there are 14 per cent of them in the municipality.
18 I mean, we have them a bit more everywhere so they cannot complain. I
19 see. But it doesn't work. This change is not happening. It seems that
20 it is in their interest to ... Okay. I will call Zepinic now to try to
21 push even though according to some agreement ... so, how many of them are
22 there in the municipality, 14 per cent? 14 per cent something. And how
23 much power they got, the parties? The parties, they got 9.8 per cent.
24 9.8? Yes. Well, this is below 10 per cent. They cannot get commander.
25 You're right. They cannot get commander below. Well, they are the fourth
1 party in the municipality. The party is the second, reformists third,
2 they're fourth. Okay, but from ruling ones ... they're not ruling. Yes,
3 yes. The others are not ruling. Yes. I will now call Zepinic in Odzak.
4 Okay, so ... all the best. Okay, thank you. And appoint that man. Let
5 me be there. Introduce him and they may accept him one day. We cannot.
6 And how, when the secretary is not allowed, cannot, you know. My god, you
7 Serbs just stick to the law. How come it cannot? Stojan Zupljanin from
8 Banja Luka will. He is the head of the regional office. Yes. If we
9 wanted to appoint him, we would pay for it. It wouldn't be a problem.
10 Make an agreement with him and if the MUP does not want to accept it, you
11 just appoint him. Then I will say that you told Stojan, that you gave a
12 green light that he does it. Just appoint him and let them go to fucking
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. Mr. Vasic, if you could quickly identify the participants in that
16 latter part of the conversation.
17 A. The second part is President Karadzic and I myself, as the
18 president of the municipality. This was my first conversation with him.
19 Q. I have one question for you. Shortly after your conversation with
20 Dr. Karadzic begins and after there's a brief discussion about Radivojevic
21 and taking care of Dobrivoje, you advise Dr. Karadzic that regarding the
22 biggest problem on arms, that is settled.
23 What was that problem, Mr. Vasic, and how did you settle it?
24 A. The arms, the TO arms, were distributed according to the orders
25 from Banja Luka. The arms were to be distributed and the then operator in
1 Prnjavor, somebody called Debeljak, who was afraid of it and he sent a
2 letter saying that he did not dare to do that, even though it was in line
3 with the TO law. And then afterwards we followed this from Banja Luka and
4 it was the district staff that was bound, duty-bound, to do that, and so
5 we carried out the orders.
6 Q. Mr. Vasic, it was the case, was it not, that in fact weapons were
7 being smuggled into Prnjavor by Serbian officials, including yourself, for
8 the purpose, as you viewed it, of defending the Serbs?
9 A. No. Never in my life did I smuggle weapons. I was the president,
10 and I was in charge of the municipality as such. I claim with full
11 responsibility that the municipal staff never smuggled any weapons. There
12 may have been such incidents that were then dealt with by the police.
13 There may have been such incidents, but they were definitely not carried
14 out in an organised manner or under the auspices of the authorities, but
15 rather than individuals trying to procure weapons for themselves for their
16 own protection, which was of course contrary to the law.
17 Mr. Prosecutor, we were discussing about the numbers of the
18 Muslims armed, numbers of those who responded to the TO call-ups. These
19 were recruits who formed the regular forces. I wasn't referring to the
20 persons in general but to the recruits who were sent into the army. This
21 conversation must be dated before the war, although I don't have the date
22 before me, because before the war it was through the army and the
23 recruitment centre that people were recruited, both the Muslims, Croats,
24 and Serbs. And then it was only at a later stage that Croats refused to
25 respond to the call-ups, Muslims responded to a certain extent, and of
1 course the Serbs responded 100 per cent.
2 Q. Mr. Vasic, I'm not suggesting that there was not any discussion
3 about mobilisation but that there was also a discussion about arming. And
4 in that connection, I would ask you to turn to a document located at
5 tab 8, which is a report prepared by an intelligence officer. I think you
6 referred earlier to reports written by different intelligence officers,
7 and I told you we'd have an opportunity to look at one of those.
8 MR. TIEGER: It needs a new exhibit number, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 8 will be given Prosecution P957 and the
11 English translation will be 957.1.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. Mr. Vasic, this document is entitled summary of information of
14 interest for security in Prnjavor municipality. And as you can see, it
15 begins with a great deal of detailed information about the demographics
16 and background of Prnjavor and then goes on to an evaluation of the
17 political parties, the executive government, the administrative organs,
18 the public security station, and is dated 15 March 1992.
19 First of all, Mr. Vasic, is this the kind of intelligence report
20 that you were referring to when you indicated that you would prefer or
21 that you would credit the reports that you had brought to court rather
22 than reports written by different intelligence officers who, as you put
23 it, "hated us immensely"?
24 A. All the documents I brought here were the ones that bore the stamp
25 of an institution and the signature of the person who drafted the
1 document, and I'm prepared to defend any such document.
2 As for the documents originating from intelligence officers who do
3 not place any stamps on them and sign themselves in code-names, they
4 contained merely subjective views of the persons drafting these documents
5 and these were persons who hated us immensely because we came to power
6 after 50 years of Communist rule. They, as remnants of the Communist
7 system, remained in the ranks of intelligence organs. And I have to tell
8 you that we had more conflicts with these cadres from the former system
9 than with the so-called nationalist parties. We even entered into a
10 coalition with the SDA. These were reports by persons who followed the
11 political events in all these municipalities that after 1990 had a
12 multi-party system. I proved myself, I believe, to be quite a
13 knowledgeable person about these events rather than the person who wrote
14 this report, who is a good for nothing and who signed himself in a
16 An illustration of the worthlessness of these documents is the one
17 that originated from the General Staff, where you have the corps commander
18 signing orders for these same units and calling them the 1st Assault
19 Battalion, whereas in a different document they are described as
20 paramilitary units. These were persons working for the intelligence
21 service in the Communist system. And in every single municipality you had
22 about a hundred such people who were tasked with shadowing people,
23 monitoring what these people were doing, down to what they were eating.
24 And I believe that their reports do not even deserve to be commented upon.
25 Q. Mr. Vasic, you've made your position clear about these
1 intelligence officers who were shadowing people. Let's just focus for one
2 moment, and I'll give you a chance to either accept or deny the points
3 raised by this operative. Number 1: The operative states that extremist
4 tendencies predominate in the senior leadership of the party. It states
5 that in the very second paragraph. Is that accurate or not? It's the
6 first sentence of the second paragraph.
7 A. It states here that they have a tendency to divide. Well, of
8 course every person has a tendency to lean either towards a more moderate
9 or a more extremist position. Perhaps Djuric was considered a more
10 extremist nationalist and I wasn't.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, your attention is drawn to the previous
12 line, which reads: "But extremist tendencies predominate in the senior
13 leadership of this party."
14 It's not the first time that you are drawing our attention to --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Predominate.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It's not the first time that you are drawing our
17 attention to something which is not included in the question. I would not
18 prevent you from telling us any relevant matters, but please first respond
19 to the question.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated in my reply that not all of
21 us are the same, but none of us were really extremists, because if there
22 were such people, then we would have had problems.
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. Did the leadership of the SDS in Prnjavor, as indicated in the
25 first sentence of the second paragraph under the heading "evaluation by
1 political parties" espouse a struggle against the Muslims? Just yes or
3 A. No. I did not hold a leadership position in the SDS, but there
4 were two such leaders, president, who was Dobrivoje Vidic at the time, and
5 a vice-president. Dobrivoje Vidic was considered to be a more moderate
6 person, whereas Dragan Djuric was considered to hold harsher views.
7 However, the leadership, as such, was regarded as moderate, although not
8 even Djuric could be regarded an extremist.
9 Q. And just one more section. If you look at -- just one more
10 question. If you look at the section marked "executive government." The
11 second sentence of the second paragraph, or first full paragraph,
12 states: "The president of the Assembly is Nemanja Vasic, an economist,
13 director of Autoprevoz, professionally competent, but as yet politically
14 inexperienced, inclined towards the extreme faction, involved in the
15 smuggling of arms, oil, and other things."
16 Now, first of all, I think it's difficult to tell from that. It
17 may be difficult to tell from that sentence whether the writer is saying
18 that you are inclined toward the extreme faction which is involved in the
19 smuggling of arms, oil, and other things, or whether you yourself are
20 involved in the smuggling of arms, oil, and other things. But with both
21 of those possibilities in mind, can you tell us whether you regard that
22 statement as accurate -- that sentence, rather, as accurate.
23 A. No. We are a small municipality, and the people would not have
24 given me 90 per cent or so of their votes if I had been involved in such
25 dealings. These are unmitigating lies.
1 Q. And finally, you're aware that there were --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, Judge Hanoteau would like to ask a
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You said, sir, that this report
5 had been drawn up by somebody who was biased, hostile to you, et cetera.
6 Do you know who was the recipient of this report? This report, who was it
7 drafted for? Who was it addressed to? Do you know?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were two intelligence
9 services, perhaps even more. There was the military and the police
10 intelligence service. This person, as many others within the Communist
11 system, worked for one of these; I don't know which. But they differ in
12 very insignificant details in their views of the political parties that
13 came to life after the elections.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but you did not answer my
15 question. Who was this report for, and who had it been drafted for?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. They all had their
17 superiors in the intelligence service hierarchy, but I'm not aware of that
18 and it's very strange. I was never involved in such things.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And as president of this
20 municipality, did you have any knowledge of such reports having been
21 drafted by these officials, these men? And did you know who they were
22 addressed to?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We did not know the people
24 either. They were always working under cover. It's difficult for you to
25 understand, because you did not live in such a system. These people are
1 among us, but nobody knows who they are. They are writing reports for
2 someone, somewhere. It's all a mystery, really. But they were really
3 powerful under that system. They had some privileges, those who worked in
4 the municipalities. But those who were uncovered were then thrown out of
6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, I myself, on a
7 personal level, would really be interested to know who the recipients of
8 these reports were, if it is at all possible.
9 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this document was recovered from the
10 archives of the CSB Banja Luka, that is, the regional police centre in
11 Banja Luka.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] It was drafted for this regional
13 public security centre in Banja Luka, and it was meant for the higher
14 echelons of power or was it the end of the road for the report?
15 MR. TIEGER: The information I just provided the Court is as much
16 as I can say about the route of this particular document. Whether or not
17 a copy of this document was sent further, I'm not in a position to say.
18 However, I think it does clearly shed light on the witness's indication
19 that it was one of the two services.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you.
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Vasic, I want to turn next to the suggestion you made in your
24 earlier testimony that the Prnjavor Crisis Staff was isolated from the
25 Republic leadership, and I think your words were "left to its own devices"
1 because there was no corridor.
2 A. The communication flow was very scarce, and we were almost left to
3 our own devices. We did have some communication with Banja Luka.
4 Q. Okay. And with respect to the Republic leadership, it's accurate
5 to say, I think, that the establishment or liberation, or whatever term
6 one would want to use, of the corridor had not yet taken place in May of
7 1992; is that right?
8 A. The dates marking the closure of the corridor are known. I'm
9 afraid I might make a mistake by naming a date. I'm not sure.
10 Q. Let me ask the question in this way, then. When virtually the
11 entire Republic leadership visited Banja Luka for the 16th Assembly
12 Session on the 12th of May, 1992, had the corridor been established?
13 A. I can't remember at this time when the corridor was closed down.
14 But this is a matter of common knowledge. I don't wish to go through my
15 papers now. I can't remember. But I do remember that for quite a long
16 period of time, some two months or maybe more, the corridor was closed.
17 Q. I take it that you do not dispute that - and I'll give you a few
18 examples - Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, Dr. Koljevic, Mr. Stanisic were
19 all present for Police Day in Banja Luka, for a big parade on May 13th, or
20 that there were plans for Karadzic, Krajisnik, Koljevic, and Subotic to
21 visit the ARK, as reflected in the ARK Crisis Staff minutes of May 18th,
22 or, as is reflected in a number of Glas articles which are contained in
23 the materials distributed today, that Bogdan Subotic was in the ARK on
24 June 1st, Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic were there on June 2nd, that
25 General Gvero of the Main Staff was there on 7 June. You don't dispute
1 any of those visits, do you?
2 A. I don't know. I don't remember, but I don't dispute that. At
3 that time, one could perhaps fly by helicopter and expose their life to
4 risk. But I don't dispute that, and I'm sure it must be documented in the
5 press. I personally don't know. They could have used Red Cross
6 helicopters or other devices. Anyway, I don't know which method of
7 transport they used.
8 Q. The Glas article, which reflects a visit of Dr. Karadzic and
9 General Mladic on June 2nd, indicates that they were meeting with leading
10 personalities from the politics and security department of the Autonomous
11 Region of Krajina and Banja Luka. You don't dispute that either, do you,
12 that that was at least one of the purposes of their visit?
13 A. I was president of Prnjavor municipality. It would be quite
14 logical that if they visited Banja Luka, they would go to visit the
15 president of the municipality. They would do the same had they come to
16 Prnjavor. They would come to see me.
17 Q. Well, then let's focus for a moment on the relationship between
18 the Prnjavor Crisis Staff and the Prnjavor authorities and the ARK Crisis
19 Staff. It's correct to say, is it not, that the ARK Crisis Staff enacted
20 decisions, made decisions which were then followed up on or enacted by the
21 Prnjavor Crisis Staff? And if it's any assistance to you, let me make
22 sure you're provided with both a copy of the ARK Gazette and the
23 Prnjavor Gazette, reflecting various decisions by both bodies. And those
24 are contained in tabs 32 and 33.
25 MR. TIEGER: I think tab 33, Your Honour, needs a new exhibit
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 33, Your Honour, will be P958, and the English
4 translation will be P958.1.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Vasic, it may or may not be necessary for you to look at
8 particular decisions, but I will identify the number as it appears in the
9 relevant gazette so they can be easily located. I indicated I'd give you
10 a few examples of the Prnjavor Crisis Staff acting upon ARK Crisis Staff
12 First of all, on May 15th, a decision we discussed before, the
13 decision on confiscation of hunting weapons was made "pursuant to item 5
14 of the decision of the government of AR Krajina." That's contained in
15 item 38 of the Prnjavor Gazette.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Would you guide us to the right page, Mr. Tieger.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've found it.
18 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, in the English translation, that's found
19 on page 1.
20 MR. JOSSE: And 2.
21 MR. TIEGER:
22 Q. Similarly, Mr. Vasic, if you look to item number 43, the decision
23 of 23 June 1992, on resident searches and confiscation of property, that
24 was taken "on the basis of conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the AR
25 Krajina of 10 June."
1 And that's found at page 10 of the English, Your Honours and
3 I'll just give you two quick additional examples. Number 44 is a
4 23 June 1992 decision on movable and immovable property, providing that
5 those who left the territory and failed to report by a certain date will
6 have their property declared the property of the state "in accordance with
7 the decision of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina."
8 That's found at pages 11 and 12 of the English.
9 And finally, number 46 in the Prnjavor Gazette, the decision of
10 26 June 1992 on mandatory termination of employment for certain categories
11 of employees. And it provides the specifics for that, the number of years
12 of service, the age of the employee. And it precisely tracks the 8 June
13 1992 decision by the ARK Crisis Staff, which is number 29, and the
14 Prnjavor decision can be found at page 13 of the English.
15 Mr. Vasic, those are all examples of the Prnjavor Crisis Staff
16 acting upon the decisions of the ARK Crisis Staff or government; correct?
17 A. Yes. In this period, when the communication with the government
18 of Republika Srpska was severed, we decided to turn to the ARK decisions
19 because they were -- some of them were actually passed as a result of
20 government decisions. And that is how we passed these decisions, and I
21 still stand by these decisions today as I did at the time. I believe that
22 they were proper decisions. We were trying to solve vital problems.
23 Q. The last decision we looked at was a decision on termination of
24 employment. That wasn't the only employment-related decision the ARK
25 made. Let me point you and the Court and counsel to a few others.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 First, number 7 of the decisions of the Autonomous Region of
2 Krajina found in the ARK Gazette, made on 11 May 1992, stating that
3 management posts in Krajina enterprises must be filled by persons who are
4 absolutely loyal to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 And in the interests of time, let me move directly to the last
6 decision in sequence that I wanted to bring your attention to. That is
7 22 June 1992 of the ARK conclusions. That's a previous exhibit, P358,
8 which states that: "All executive posts involving a likely flow of
9 information and so on may only be held by the personnel of Serbian
10 nationality." In addition, the decision provides: "These posts may not
11 be held by employees of Serbian nationality who have not confirmed by
12 plebiscite or who in their minds have not made it ideologically clear that
13 the SDS is the sole representative of the Serbian people."
14 And for everyone's benefit, that is located in tab 15.
15 Now, in that regard, Mr. Vasic, I want to bring your attention to
16 some of the things in the Prnjavor Gazette and to just a handful of those.
17 So if you're looking at the Prnjavor Gazette, decision number 81, we see
18 the termination of Jervo Jugo [phoen], who was the former director of the
19 agricultural cooperative. At 84, Ejub Didic [phoen], director of the
20 commercial department of the agricultural cooperative. 96, Dzevad Klokic
21 [phoen]. 97, Slavko Kolunic [phoen]. 99, Suad Klokic [phoen]. 106,
22 Nevenko Kuzmanovic [phoen]. And there are others contained in the
23 Prnjavor Gazette.
24 Mr. Vasic, those were all people who were either not of Serbian
25 nationality or who were not considered loyal or who had not made it
1 ideologically clear that the SDS was the sole representative of the
2 Serbian people; isn't that correct?
3 A. No. There were managers in Prnjavor who were Croats and
4 Ukrainians. These decisions on the removal from certain posts are due to
5 a change in the rules. All the managers were relieved of their duties,
6 and I myself should be among them as the manager of the company where I
7 was, because they were supposed to be given new decisions appointing them
8 under a new title, wartime managers. However, in this process, some
9 managers left, either because they wanted or because they were incapable,
10 like the manager of Sloga and some other managers who were actually not
11 necessarily non-Serbs. For instance, Momcilo Mandic, Slobodan Vukovic,
12 all these are Serbs, and therefore all the managers of companies in
13 Prnjavor who were being relieved and then reappointed but not as managers
14 of companies but as I believe wartime managers or perhaps some other title
15 was given to them. Such were the rules.
16 Oh, it states here, "managers in time of war." So these were
17 merely decisions relieving them from their duties in order for them to be
18 reappointed under a different title. However, the ARK Krajina organs took
19 some decisions that were not really -- did not really make any sense, so
20 we decided to only act upon some of them that we thought were proper. But
21 I myself was not an official of Krajina.
22 Q. Two questions. Number 1: Are you suggesting that the people I
23 mentioned to you, as well as others contained in the Prnjavor Gazette,
24 were appointed after their termination?
25 A. Not all of them. Some of them were, yes.
1 Q. And second question --
2 A. But if I may explain, please.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. We won the elections. It was quite a normal procedure, at least
5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that those parties that come to power appoint
6 their own people, and this is the case today. We should look at it
7 rationally. You saw the correspondence between the police and in the
8 conversation with Karadzic, that we were discussing the different
9 percentages, and we were trying to reach some agreements. Unfortunately,
10 at that time it was the political aspect that carried greater weight than
11 one's capacity to do the job. And this was normal at the time. But I
12 mentioned three companies where the managers were reappointed, although
13 they were not Serbs. Perhaps there are other such instances of smaller
15 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask a few questions, Mr. Tieger?
16 You're referring to what happened as a result of elections. What
17 elections did you have in mind specifically to this, well, large number of
18 decisions end of May 1992/early June 1992? What elections did you have in
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I was saying was that in 1990,
21 November 1990, we came to power after the elections, and these managers
22 were moved around or replaced due to imminent threat of war. So new
23 terminology was coming in, and bodies belonging to political parties tried
24 to come up with some new concept. What I meant were the elections in
25 November 1990 when we came to power.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Are you saying these decisions just after the ARK
2 decision on who could stay in their positions, yes or no, was a result of
3 you winning the 1990 elections? Because that's what you, as I understood
4 it, suggested.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to explain this. In 1990, we
6 won the elections, and with the SDA, we formed a government. And we left
7 the Muslim managers in place who enjoyed the support of the SDA. They
8 continued to act as managers and directors. When, in the month of May,
9 the SDA left the coalition government, and these changes in managerial
10 positions took place, the new municipal majority asked for new ones to be
11 appointed, and the ones that enjoyed the support of the SDA were not left
12 in their jobs and they had left the coalition at some point in May, even
13 though two members of the Executive Committee remained within that body
14 all the way until August. They did not obey the orders coming from their
15 party, or rather, the requests from the party or instructions or whatever.
16 And the members of the Assembly remained until the very end, but they left
17 the executive power. It just happened to coincide in terms of time, but
18 so it turned out that everybody who enjoyed the support of the SDA was
19 replaced at that point.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So late May and early June, as far as timing is
21 concerned, was just a matter of coincidence; do I understand this to be
22 your answer? Had nothing to do with the decision --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it coincided. The ARK decision
24 has nothing to do with it in Prnjavor. These two things coincided.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
1 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I have a few matters left. I note the
2 time too. I would use that time to try to pare it down as much as
3 possible, so it might be the right time to break now.
4 MR. JOSSE: I'd like a few moments before the break with the Court
5 without the witness, please.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll invite Madam Usher to escort the
7 witness out of the courtroom.
8 Mr. Vasic, we'll resume in approximately half an hour and then
9 finish soon.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse.
12 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, this may be my relative inexperience, and
13 I appreciate that this may be a rather large topic, and if it is, then I'm
14 not inviting the Chamber to embark on it at the moment. But I too was
15 interested, to put it mildly, in the document introduced at tab 8. And
16 what I need to know, if at all possible, with respect from Your Honours,
17 prior to my re-examining the witnesses, is what the evidential status is
18 of this document. Now, I note that the Prosecution didn't adduce it as
19 part of their own case. They adduced it in cross-examination of the
20 witness. The cross-examination was quite proper inasmuch as my learned
21 friend was inviting Mr. Vasic to accept or deny certain passages. Not
22 surprisingly, Mr. Vasic denied the passages, didn't accept them. It's
23 fairly inevitable, I'd have thought. It's a comment on my part and it's
24 neither here nor there.
25 What I want to know is now that this document has been introduced,
1 whether it has any evidential status over and above the witness's denial
2 of the parts that were put to him.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I should first give an opportunity to
4 Mr. Tieger to explain what, in his view, at this moment the evidential
5 status is.
6 MR. TIEGER: I certainly understand the point raised by counsel
7 coming from a system that at least at one time was mindful of the manner
8 in which such documents were brought to the attention of the court. I
9 think this document must be regarded in the same light as other documents
10 and subjected to essentially the same kinds of tests, that is, balanced
11 against and weighed against all the other information available in the
12 case, so that the Court can consider it and give it whatever weight it
13 feels it's entitled to receive. So it doesn't have a unique status by
14 virtue of the way it was brought to the attention of the Court.
15 Clearly -- I don't need to belabour this. Obviously there are some
16 documents that have great weight in light of their provenance, the nature
17 of the testimony, and so on. There are other documents that have less.
18 And where this document falls in the spectrum is up to the Court.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I could give you some guidance.
20 Mr. Josse, usually, and that's the practice before this Chamber,
21 we do not take a decision, as you may have noticed, immediately on whether
22 or not a document will be admitted. If there are any -- admitted into
23 evidence, which does not say any more that we can consider it in making
24 the determinations we have to make. If there's any issue of authenticity,
25 we'd like to hear that right away. So if it's on the admission you'd say
1 this is a forgery or this is -- we have got no idea who Clara is, might be
2 the sister of the composer Schumann, then we'd like to hear that
3 immediately. Otherwise we usually decide on the bulk of the documents at
4 the very end.
5 Now let's just assume that -- which is of course not perfectly
6 clear with this document, let's just assume that there's no authenticity
7 issue to be raised in this respect. Then, and let's just take one example
8 about whether Mr. Vasic was involved in smuggling or not. Well, it's
9 quite clear that we have a document in front of us, let's just assume for
10 argument's sake that it is a document which ended up in the archives of an
11 intelligence service of the Banja Luka police, in which it is stated that
12 Mr. Vasic either was involved in smuggling or was associated with others
13 who were associated with smuggling. That's one.
14 Second, we have the testimony of Mr. Vasic, who says that relying
15 on logic, that he could never have been elected if this would be true,
16 which of course immediately raised in my mind whether everyone voting
17 would have known about it. So the logic is, well, to say the least not
18 for the full hundred per cent compelling. So, therefore, if we would have
19 to establish whether Mr. Vasic would be involved in smuggling, I hardly
20 would expect, and let me -- that the Chamber, on the basis of this
21 material, would ever come to such a conclusion.
22 At the same time, if -- of course we do not know, if we get other
23 reports about smuggling or if we get other evidence, it might support that
24 evidence, despite the logic of Mr. Vasic. But you'll understand that a
25 document which is not clear as to its sources, of which we have now heard
1 the testimony of Mr. Vasic that those who were important in the former
2 system were hostile against many people in the new system, that before
3 even accepting it as support of Mr. Vasic's behaviour, that we would be
4 very cautious, or even reluctant, to do that.
5 I hope that I explained sufficiently that the document, as such,
6 could play a role, although not sufficient in itself to establish any firm
7 fact, in, well, understanding some of the events and the power structures
8 in the municipality. But you don't have to be afraid that a conviction
9 for smuggling would be -- could be accepted on the basis of this document.
10 And of course -- but if you say, is the status only that Mr. Vasic denies
11 being a smuggler, and I'm just taking this as an example, of course it
12 would have two elements.
13 First, Mr. Vasic testifying under oath, solemn declaration,
14 denying it, and an unclear document, unclear to its sources, unclear as to
15 its author, et cetera, saying that he or those he associated with were
16 involved in smuggling. I hope by this explanation that you understand the
17 formal status might be something quite different from what weight really
18 to attach to such a document.
19 MR. JOSSE: Thank you very much, Your Honour. That's very
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll adjourn until -- will 20 minutes do,
22 Mr. Registrar? 10 minutes past 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.49 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.17 p.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into
1 the courtroom.
2 At the same time, I already draw the attention of the parties to
3 the blacklist. Since the common position seems to provide for a solution
4 to the extent that the measures taken, in paragraph 1, "shall be without
5 prejudice to the cases where a member state is bound by an obligation of
6 international law, namely, number 1, as a host country of an international
7 intergovernmental organisation."
8 I don't know whether we are an international intergovernmental
9 organisation, but at least it seems that due attention is paid to
10 international obligations stemming from other sources than the common
11 position taken by the EU.
12 MR. JOSSE: With respect, Your Honour, if Your Honour doesn't know
13 that, I certainly don't, and I mean that with the greatest of respect.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. But it seems to me that the blacklist is
15 not intended to serve as an obstacle to fulfilling its obligations toward
16 international organisations and their organs.
17 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Vasic, moving to a different subject: You indicated that you
22 didn't know about or were not familiar with any strategic goals of the
23 Bosnian Serb political authorities or people. This Court has received
24 evidence that on the 14th of May, the presidents of Kljuc, Sipovo,
25 Mrkonjic Grad, Jajce, Donji Vakuf, Bugojno had a meeting with military
1 officials within that area of responsibility, at which, among other
2 things, the strategic goals which had been promulgated at the
3 16th Assembly Session two days earlier were discussed.
4 MR TIEGER: And for the benefit of the Court, that's P244 and also
5 P529 in evidence. It's also tab 35 in these materials.
6 Q. Mr. Vasic, are you saying there was no similar contact between
7 military officials in your area of responsibility and the political
8 officials in your area concerning the strategic goals?
9 A. I didn't have any meetings with the military leadership, and no
10 aims or goals were being looked into or -- I mean, I can claim upon my
11 full responsibility that there were no meetings of that sort in our area,
12 and I've already said everything I can say about this document, because
13 I've never set eyes on him. And we had a very bad relationship with the
14 military. Three or four presidents had been arrested and then released.
15 They were a state within a state.
16 Q. You never set eyes on a document reflecting the strategic goals;
17 is that what you're saying?
18 A. Yes. I was really surprised to have seen it here for the first
19 time. I'd never seen it before. Let me not repeat who I was and what I
20 did. As the president of the municipality, I can claim that there were no
21 meetings of that sort, nothing where this document would have been
22 presented. I had never seen it before.
23 Q. Mr. Vasic --
24 A. I have never seen it, ever.
25 Q. I just stopped you because you had answered the question and then
1 you were going on.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You know, that document was published in the Official Gazette.
4 How did you miss it?
5 A. Well, I must have missed it, but I can't believe it was published.
6 I know that I'm speaking under oath, and I can tell you that I've never
7 seen it, either in the Official Gazette or anywhere else.
8 Q. Well, irrespective of whether you saw a specific document listing
9 the strategic goals, you were aware of at least a number of the goals of
10 the Bosnian Serb authorities and military organs, weren't you?
11 A. Yes. The ones that were presented publicly at meetings, yes.
12 Q. For example, you knew that one of the goals was the establishment
13 of a corridor linking the Krajina to Serbia?
14 A. The basic goal was for Bosnia and Herzegovina to remain within
15 Yugoslavia together with Serbia. That was the goal and the wish. And as
16 to your question, it is normal that the goal for the corridor was that.
17 Because we were terribly frightened, since we had been cut off from our
18 mother state, which was very important for the Serb people then, as it is
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, Mr. Tieger did not ask you what was the
21 rationale for a corridor. His question simply was whether you knew that
22 one of the goals was the establishment of a corridor linking the Krajina
23 to Serbia. May I take it from your answer that you were aware?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that that was the goal, the
25 general, overall goal within the people. And as to whether it was a
1 strategic goal, I don't know. I had never seen that document and I don't
2 know what goals were listed there. Don't catch me in a trap of
3 misunderstanding once again.
4 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm not catching you in a trap. I'm inviting you
5 to answer the questions rather than to explain a lot of other things.
6 If what you're saying is that the corridor could be an important
7 element for not losing touch between Bosnia and Serbia, but the question
8 simply was whether you were aware that the establishment of the corridor
9 was one of the strategic goals. And at least you understood how important
10 it was.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You are not aware of it to be a strategic goal, but
13 [Previous translation continues]...
14 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
15 MR. TIEGER: Let's not have any magic language here. Didn't you
16 know that it was an important military goal and therefore a strategic goal
17 in that sense?
18 A. It went without saying that it was both a military and a strategic
19 goal, but not in the sense of any strategic goals, any purported strategic
21 Q. And didn't you know that another goal was a unified state and
22 contiguous territory so that the Serbs wouldn't be separated from one
23 another by a border?
24 A. The goal of the Serb population was that, yes. But you are trying
25 to establish a link between myself and this document and strategic goals.
1 It is still my desire, even today, but desires are one thing and political
2 possibilities and politics are totally something else.
3 Q. Let's not worry about what you think I'm trying to do. Let's just
4 worry about what you knew. And so the answer is yes, you knew that it was
5 a military objective, and in that sense, a strategic objective, of the
6 Bosnian Serb forces to establish contiguous territory and prevent any
7 border from separating the Serbian people?
8 A. Yes, precisely.
9 Q. And you also knew that one of the, if not the primary objective of
10 the war was the establishment of a Serbian state and the ethnic division
11 of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina into a Serbian state, and then -- where
12 the Serbs would be, and then Muslim territory and Croat territory?
13 A. It was one of the variants that were being looked into at the
14 time, at a higher level, though.
15 Q. That was the primary focus, wasn't it, the creation of a Serbian
16 state and the ethnic division of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina? It's not
17 a hard question.
18 A. The main aim was, if there was no other way, to have a peaceful
19 separation, so to say, without any war. If we really didn't want to live
20 together. And during talks amongst the three parties, attempts were made
21 to negotiate that, and the war was not the goal.
22 Q. All right. I'll move on, in the interests of time.
23 You also mentioned Variant A and B, the instructions of
24 19 December 1991, and indicated that you'd never heard of them, I think.
25 Do you think that Dragan Djuric, for example, had ever heard of them?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I had never seen him before coming here. I've already mentioned
2 that. It was shown to me by the Defence team for the first time. And at
3 that meeting, I mean the Holiday Inn meeting, I attended the meeting, and
4 it was not circulated to all the delegates and I didn't get a copy and I
5 didn't hear about that having been discussed. As to whether Dragan Djuric
6 had heard of it, had been given a copy or whatever, I do not know. Had he
7 been given a copy, he would have been forwarded -- he would have forwarded
8 it to us, presumably.
9 Q. Because, as you indicated to Dr. Karadzic, you usually
10 communicated with the leadership through Dragan Djuric; right? Just
11 referring to the telephone conversation we heard.
12 A. As I was a newly elected president, and it was just a matter of a
13 couple of months, and for the first few months I communicated through him
14 if there was anything to say. I didn't mean in terms of communication as
15 such, but if we had some needs within our municipality, we would get him
16 to get in touch. So, for example, when -- I mean, that was customary, to
17 go through the local MP to get in touch with the top authorities. And so,
18 for example, the time we wanted Mr. Karadzic to get Mr. -- General Talic,
19 rather, to ask soldiers not to carry weapons in their home leave. So that
20 was the sort of communication we're talking about.
21 Q. I'll just draw your attention quickly to late January 1991.
22 Mr. Djuric attended the Bosnian Serb Assembly Session on the 26th of
23 January, 1991, at which it was publicly stated, stated at that meeting,
24 openly, by one of the persons present: "To solve this problem, I propose
25 that we begin with an urgent operationalisation and a declaration on the
1 establishment and promulgation of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. Tasks set out in the instructions of 19 December 1991 should
3 be carried out."
4 Does that refresh your recollection about whether or not
5 Mr. Djuric might have mentioned the instructions of 19 December 1991?
6 A. I'm certain that I had never seen it or heard about it before
7 coming here. As to whether it was such a carefully kept secret for him
8 not to mention it, I don't know, but I can honestly say that I had never
9 either seen it or heard of it before coming here.
10 Q. Mr. Vasic, I suggested to you the other day that you were an
11 extremely loyal and indeed fervent supporter of Dr. Karadzic and
12 Mr. Krajisnik, and you agreed that you thought highly of both men. But
13 let me focus on a couple of examples of the extent of your commitment to
14 the Bosnian Serb leadership.
15 When Dr. Karadzic was removed from office, isn't it the case that
16 you called the international community responsible for that the enemy?
17 A. First of all, all that was misinterpreted in the media. I don't
18 know exactly in what way it was interpreted here, because it was reported
19 that I said that I was and remained a follower of Radovan Karadzic's and
20 Momcilo Krajisnik's policies, and I said that I was and remain, and I
21 still am, a supporter of the policies pursued by the Serb Democratic
22 Party. And that in relation to Prnjavor, these two gentlemen were not to
23 blame for anything, and if anything happened there, those of us at the
24 local level would be to blame. I mean, I am not into idols, and other
25 than God I'm not into worshipping anyone else.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, the question was whether you referred to
2 the international community responsible for Mr. Karadzic to be removed
3 from office as the enemy. That's the question. Did you ever refer to the
4 international community in this context as the enemy?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not within that context. Otherwise
6 not either. I mean, that's not my usual vocabulary.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. You said you're not into idols. Didn't you say that the removal
10 of Dr. Karadzic had accelerated the process of creating a living saint?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And isn't it --
13 A. That's the opinion and the sentiment of the Serbian people, that
14 he is a living saint. I believe you know what I'm trying to say, that
15 when somebody's absent, he seems to be even more precious because there's
16 some sort of a mystery enveloping the person.
17 Q. And finally, didn't you encourage people to meet illegally with
18 this living saint, despite the actions that had been taken by the
19 international community? Didn't you say to a crowd of supporters, "They
20 can't prevent us from meeting illegally with him, receiving directions"?
21 A. Never in my life did I hear about his whereabouts, did I meet with
22 him, or did I tell anybody.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, again, Mr. Tieger asked you whether you
24 ever said to a crowd of supporters, "They can't prevent us from meeting
25 illegally with him, receiving directions." That's a simple question, not
1 whether you knew where he was living, but whether you said that to a
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer was no.
4 MR. TIEGER: And Your Honour, I'd like the document found at
5 tab 27, an article from the Moscow Times of July 26, 1996 marked and
7 Q. Mr. Vasic -- I'm sorry. I should have waited for the number.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be, Your Honours, P959 and the English
10 translation P959.1.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. And, Mr. Vasic, I'll just bring to your attention, this is an
14 article by journalist Christine Spolar following a rally in Prnjavor, and
15 I'll simply note that the quotes that I asked you about are found in an
16 article, in particular, the last comment that I asked you about is found
17 on the second page of the article, indicating that you made those remarks
18 to more than 300 applauding people.
19 Do you recall that rally?
20 A. Of course I do. It was a rally of the Serbian Democratic Party
21 during the electoral campaign for the 1996 elections, I believe it was,
22 the first postwar elections.
23 Q. Is it also the case that --
24 A. There were more than 300 persons present.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps first the question and the last
1 line, does that reflect what you said? On from "they can't prevent us
2 from meeting illegally."
3 MR. JOSSE: The last paragraph, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The last paragraph, yes. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what -- what's the
7 JUDGE ORIE: The question is, if you look at the --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke at this electoral rally
9 during the electoral campaign, at the time when Karadzic was still at
10 large, and there were no measures in place at the time, as there do exist
11 today by the ICTY to the effect that one can't meet with him or --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, this question simply is whether this
13 reflects what you said, not whether you were entitled to say it, not
14 whether it was -- well, whatever. The simple question: Is this what you
15 said, as reported in the Moscow Times?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With hindsight, I cannot claim not
17 to have said so, but since I don't remember, I will say that I did not,
18 although it is possible that I did say that, because it wasn't illegal at
19 the time, because the man was still at large, he was meeting with other
20 officials and public figures, and that's why I find it hard to grasp why I
21 would have said that at the time in the first place. Since I do not
22 remember, to be on the safe side, I will say that I don't know.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger. You've got two minutes left. I take it
24 that we finish today.
25 MR. TIEGER: Yes, of course, Your Honour.
1 Q. Didn't you also anticipate a time when Dr. Karadzic and Mr. -- and
2 General Mladic would need to hide, and didn't you offer them refuge in
3 Prnjavor by saying: "If you are in trouble, you should know where to
4 come, to a place where there is an army and a people who will be able and
5 know how to protect both themselves and you"? This is at a different
6 rally. Or maybe the same rally, pardon me, but this is at a rally for
7 Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic. Do you recall saying that?
8 A. I don't recall saying that. Many different things are said at
9 rallies in order to score votes. I don't remember whether I said this or
10 not, but I wish to point out that in this period, the man was still free
11 to move around and meet with public figures. I have a different opinion
12 today, however. I believe that they should appear before the Tribunal and
13 prove their innocence.
14 Q. I have that on video, Mr. Vasic. If you'll take my word for it
15 and trust the translation, it won't be necessary to play it. Of course,
16 I'm prepared to do so if you find that necessary, but in light of your
17 answer, I thought not.
18 A. I don't think it's necessary, because I said that this was uttered
19 in the context of an electoral rally, where -- prompted by the national
20 euphoria, might have uttered those words, but I did also say that at that
21 time the man was still free.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, you said: "I don't recall saying that."
23 And then you explained in your first answer that if you would have said
24 it, it would have been under those circumstances. In your last answer,
25 you said: "I don't think it's necessary," that's to play the
1 video, "because I said that this was uttered in the context of an
2 electoral rally," which seems to say that you do remember you said so.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The Prosecutor asked me whether
4 I trusted him and whether there was any need for him to show it to me, and
5 I believe that the OTP is not given to producing fabrications. I do trust
6 them, and I said that I do not remember, but if the video shows the
7 contrary, then I must have said it but forgot. But I also wanted to
8 provide an explanation as to the time in which these things took place.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We're running out of time at this very moment.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I'm looking at the clock.
12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I'd offer the video in evidence, and
13 then I have one additional question and that would conclude.
14 JUDGE ORIE: One question. Okay.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, just before Your Honour says anything,
17 unsurprisingly I now have about a 15-minute re-examination. The witness
18 has been cross-examined for what, two and a half days?
19 JUDGE ORIE: No. You will start re-examination tomorrow.
20 MR. JOSSE: Oh, tomorrow. I beg your pardon.
21 JUDGE ORIE: There's no way, Mr. Josse --
22 MR. JOSSE: Sorry, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I feel even a little bit embarrassed that you had the
24 impression that -- first of all, we usually stop at a quarter to 2.00, but
25 apart from that, I'm really a bit embarrassed by even the idea that we
1 would say, well, this is it.
2 MR. JOSSE: If Your Honour will remember, I made that offer when
3 we were last in Court.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But in the present circumstances, I would not
5 hold it against you.
6 MR. JOSSE: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, one little question: Your return has not
8 been scheduled for today, has it? It has not been -- your return has not
9 been scheduled for today, has it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was scheduled for tomorrow.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it the second half --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would find it very important to
13 fly out tomorrow, if possible.
14 JUDGE ORIE: At what time is your flight scheduled?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I have a flight scheduled
16 at about 12.00. I believe I have it here with me.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any later flight tomorrow? We'll deal with
19 that outside of --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there are none. This is the
21 only flight.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. I do understand that you would prefer to fly
23 back tomorrow. Nevertheless, this Court might insist --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, if possible.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- also in respect of the rights of the Defence, that
1 at least some additional time would be available, both for questions of
2 the Judges and of the Defence, and we'll see how to schedule that. We'll
3 even look at possibilities this afternoon. I don't know, Mr. Tieger,
4 whether that would at all be possible, as far as the Prosecution is
6 MR. TIEGER: We're flexible and amenable to whatever suggestion
7 the Court has, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse.
9 MR. JOSSE: Yes, I'm available, no problem.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We'll see, Mr. Vasic, to what extent we can
11 meet your wish to fly back tomorrow morning. If not, we'll have to try to
12 seek further arrangements for the re-examination and the questions of the
13 Judges. It would certainly help if you would start answering the
14 questions instead of giving explanations on matters unrelated, at least
15 not directly related to the question.
16 Mr. Tieger, the Chamber would like to see, once we resume, the
17 video. It's not only offered, but we'd like to see it. Last question.
18 MR. TIEGER: That's fine, Your Honour. I just wanted to note that
19 the Court had asked earlier for the OHR decision. We have that and can
20 tender that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. TIEGER: It's located in tab 36.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's located in tab 36.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 MR. JOSSE: Mr. Krajisnik had said some time ago that he was
1 anxious to see the video. I know Your Honour said the Chamber wants to
2 see it. I don't know whether there's any chance of him seeing it advance
3 of the witness tomorrow. Perhaps that's something I could discuss with
4 Mr. Tieger.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just informed that we could continue until 2.30,
6 but that would most likely not meet the time you would need.
7 MR. JOSSE: It might, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: It might.
9 MR. JOSSE: It might.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Since you're not strongly opposing, the Chamber would
12 like to give it a try to see how far we come in the next 40 minutes. I'll
13 use as little words as possible.
14 Mr. Tieger, did you have any -- was there any additional question
15 or did you --
16 MR. TIEGER: No, Your Honour, that's fine.
17 JUDGE ORIE: If we would play the video now. And then, Mr. Josse,
18 if you would re-examine the witness. Let's, then, play the video.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm sorry. I do understand that we need -- at least
21 we could play the video, but we still need the consent of the head of the
22 department of the interpreters. So let's see whether we get it.
23 Otherwise we would have to stop and have to find other solutions.
24 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, for the benefit of the interpreters,
25 they'll find the interpretation beginning on the second page, which is
1 headed chapter 3.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]... President Karadzic, General
5 Mladic, the black sheep of the Brankovic historical Serbian traitor, in
6 this area, and therefore, if you're in trouble you should know where to
7 come - to a place where there is an army and a people who will be able and
8 know how to protect both themselves and you."
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we had some problems as far as the
10 translation is concerned. Of course, we were able to read the
11 translation. It's not on the transcript. There are other technical ways
12 of getting it into the transcript, either by reading it in at a later
13 stage or by referring to it as an exhibit.
14 MR. TIEGER: I welcome the Court's suggestion. I trust the
15 Defence has no problem with that, Your Honour.
16 MR. JOSSE: No, there's no trouble with that. Mr. Krajisnik is
17 anxious to scrutinise the whole video. Could I just ask him in private
18 why? Because it may be that's something I'm going to need to deal with
19 with Mr. Vasic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 [Defence counsel confer]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is that the video
23 recording, the video footage, that the Prosecutor was putting questions to
24 me about?
25 JUDGE ORIE: The text --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that the footage we were talking
2 about a moment ago?
3 JUDGE ORIE: The question about giving a place where there's an
4 army to protect was taken from this video, so to that extent, the question
5 of Mr. Tieger seems to be related to this video.
6 MR. TIEGER: Yes. If Mr. Vasic's question is whether I had
7 additional areas of inquiry about that rally, of course the answer is no.
8 I simply asked about whether that last statement was made and that's in
9 fact even the portion we heard translated in English. So for the
10 witness's benefit, it was just a question about that one comment that is
11 reflected in the video.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Mr. Josse.
14 MR. JOSSE: Well, my position is that in due course, I would ask
15 the Prosecution to make the video available to the Defence in its
17 MR. TIEGER: That is the video in its entirety as we have it.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It's not played in full, but I do understand that the
19 transcript is the transcript of the full video. That's at least the
20 position of the Prosecution. But I do understand that Mr. Krajisnik might
21 not have seen now the whole of it. That might be a problem. But --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But this was the rally in
23 Prnjavor, not at Vucjak. This was the electoral rally in Prnjavor.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It seems to me there's no misunderstanding.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And there is no mention of the
1 international community.
2 JUDGE ORIE: There were two questions. One was the international
3 community as the enemy. That's one. And then another question was put to
4 you in relation to, well, giving a safe place for those who would need it.
5 I have not understood that the Prosecution claimed it to be the same
7 MR. TIEGER: That's correct, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Josse.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely. This is what was
10 said. If you find it hard to be on your own, you have a place to turn to.
11 But there was no mention of them being chased after and us offering them
12 shelter at that period in time.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please, Mr. Vasic, it suggests that it's of any
14 relevance that there was an army to protect them.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
16 MR. JOSSE: Could I just again ask the Prosecution the date of the
17 video, please.
18 MR. TIEGER: I'm only able to contextually date it based on a
19 comment in the course of the video, after four years of war, but that's
20 the best I can do.
21 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think the witness said something about elections in
23 1996, or did I misunderstand?
24 MR. JOSSE: May I perhaps begin my re-examination this way:
25 Re-examined by Mr. Josse:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Are you able to help us with the date that you made that speech,
2 Mr. Vasic?
3 A. This was the electoral campaign for the 1996 elections.
4 Therefore, it must have been sometime in summer 1996.
5 Q. Have a look, please, at tab 27. In the report from the Moscow
6 Times.com there are various quotations from a speech that you made at
7 Prnjavor. Are you able to tell us: Is that a different speech, the one
8 we saw you make on the video, the same speech, or don't you know?
9 A. This here is a speech delivered at Vucjak, at a pre-election rally
10 there. And the one we saw on video was in Prnjavor, which was the very
11 end of the pre-election campaign, and it took place after the one that is
12 referred to here.
13 Q. Thank you. Were any leaders of the SDS present at the speech that
14 you made on the video, the later one, in other words?
15 A. I have no recollection, but it is only normal for them to be at
16 the central meeting, since there were representatives at Vucjak also,
17 somewhat lower-ranking. And therefore, it simply could not have happened
18 for no one to attend that central meeting.
19 According to the speech, on the basis of the speech, I would say
20 that Karadzic himself was present, because since I am addressing him, in
21 case you're in trouble, I suppose he must have been there.
22 Q. Have a look, please, at tab 26. That shows a photograph of
23 Mr. Krajisnik making a speech. Where did he make that speech, please?
24 A. This is a pre-election rally at Vucjak, describing the document
25 that we just saw.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Has that document already got a number? 26? It's an
2 existing exhibit.
3 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
4 MR. JOSSE:
5 Q. I want to ask you about that speech that Mr. Krajisnik made at
6 Vucjak. He makes reference to the Wolves of Vucjak, doesn't he?
7 A. Perhaps if I could read the journalist's text first, because I
8 can't remember.
9 Yes, the last sentence by Mr. Krajisnik: "We were Wolves and we
10 shall remain Wolves, for all those who want to snatch away our freedom and
11 the Republika Srpska from our people."
12 Q. So you've already told us this was at an electoral rally; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you discuss the Wolves of Vucjak with Mr. Krajisnik prior to
16 his making this speech?
17 A. I don't remember. There was no need to discuss them, because it
18 was common knowledge. Perhaps we might have commented.
19 Q. And the reference at tab 27 to your speech, are you able to tell
20 us whether that was the same meeting?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You don't know?
23 A. At tab 27, the reference is to the speech from the rally in
24 Banja Luka. Oh, no, sorry. I do apologise. Not in Banja Luka; at
1 Q. And one further point on this. Let's be fair to the Moscow Times.
2 It's Moscow Times, not a local paper. How far is Vucjak from Prnjavor
4 A. 15 kilometres.
5 Q. So far as the video is concerned, you've told us that it was an
6 election speech. Just remind us: What position were you standing for?
7 A. I was a candidate as an MP for the Assembly of the Republic, the
8 Republic of Srpska, I mean.
9 Q. And were you elected?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is there anything else about the video you'd like to tell us?
12 A. Nothing, except that it was pre-election rally and the tensions
13 normally mount. And on the basis of the speeches delivered, in order to
14 win votes, I didn't say that we would be their shelter; we just said that
15 you have the people and the army, as throughout the war, Prnjavor was well
16 known for good and strong armed forces and that's why we had as many as
17 540 fallen fighters and that's why there were almost no Wolves left,
18 because most of them were killed during the war.
19 Q. All right. I'd like to move on to a different topic, and that is
20 the documents that you brought to the Court with you. You've explained
21 that the letter from the VWU you only received when you arrived at your
22 hotel. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes. From the Tribunal official.
24 Q. Now, there are two different issues here. Firstly, as a result of
25 that letter, what did you do to try and obtain the information contained
1 within it?
2 A. I rang a friend in Prnjavor and asked him to get in touch with the
3 municipal secretary, somebody who was there when I was there, and to fax
4 me the minutes from the Assembly meetings and the attendance lists, and I
5 asked him to go to Merhamet to see whether they had any copies of letters,
6 including the lists of Muslims who, back in 1992, 1993, and 1994, applied
7 to leave through the Red Cross, the lists that would have been submitted
8 to the Red Cross, and if possible, to fax all that through as soon as
9 possible, and at any rate, by 9.00 a.m. this morning.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I just consulted with my colleagues. The
11 matter of what happened exactly not fully correct or correct, et cetera,
12 is not something that's bothering the Chamber very much. Of course, in
13 the questions this morning, we'd like to have clear answers on some
14 matters, but we are not -- don't consider it to be of dramatic dimensions.
15 MR. JOSSE: In other words, in relation to this witness's
16 testimony in general --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, if there's any specific issue you
18 would like to raise with him, fine, but the events we talked about are not
19 determinative for the Chamber, although perhaps not agreeing with the way
20 it happened, does not necessarily explain it as some intelligent way of
21 trying to deceive whoever.
22 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. That is very helpful. Could I just make
23 this comment, really, and I address this to my learned friends through
24 Your Honour: It was the Prosecution who wanted this witness to produce
25 these documents, the ones I'm referring to, in other words, the ones that
1 have been faxed to him this morning. I assume they have received them and
2 I assume they have chosen not to cross-examine upon them, either because
3 they haven't had a chance to have them translated or because -- I just
4 want to be clear about this, because I'm not going to ask any questions
5 about these documents, because could I emphasise again, it was the
6 Prosecution who asked Mr. Vasic to obtain them, in effect.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. JOSSE: In effect.
9 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. Counsel is quite right. It was
10 really no decision to be made because there was really no opportunity to
11 either examine the documents, or had there been such opportunity, there
12 was no translation facility available either.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could we agree that at this moment, there was no real
14 opportunity for the Prosecution to do so. I also do understand that at
15 this moment there's no claim for recalling the witness on the basis of an
16 unknown document yet. May I also understand, and I'm just thinking on
17 what I would do under similar circumstances, that is to reserve the right
18 to use those documents at a later stage properly introduced through other
19 witnesses, through other means, whatever, but that the Prosecution does
20 not give up its right to ever use the documents? Is that a correct
22 MR. TIEGER: Yes. I think the Court anticipated precisely the
23 only position we could take under the circumstances.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Josse, you can act on the basis of
25 this assumption. It's now confirmed.
1 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
2 Q. I want to turn immediately to the other documents, the documents
3 that you handed to Mr. Divcic. Have you got those there, Mr. Vasic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Right. You, for better or for worse, brought those along to this
6 Court on this, your second visit to The Hague; that's right, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I want you to briefly explain why. Let's go through them document
9 by document. Firstly, we have the document which looks like a certificate
10 in Cyrillic, dated the 24th of March, 2004.
11 MR. JOSSE: Does the Court have copies?
12 JUDGE ORIE: We have copies. We received copies of it, yes.
13 MR. JOSSE:
14 Q. You've got the original there, I see. What is it? Briefly,
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Just tell us briefly what it is.
18 A. This is the highest honour that the Municipal Assembly of Prnjavor
19 can award, and it is normally awarded on the day of the municipality.
20 This is called the charter of respected citizen for the municipality of
21 Prnjavor, and of a worthy citizen, and there is a coat of arms of the
22 municipality, and I'm the only one who has been awarded this so far. And
23 it says the reason just below my name. It says: "For exceptional
24 contribution to the maintenance of peace and stability, as well as the
25 development of the municipality of Prnjavor."
1 Q. And which body in Prnjavor awarded this to you?
2 A. The Prnjavor Municipal Assembly awarded it to me; therefore, the
3 highest body of authority in the municipality.
4 Q. Moving on: You have produced various letters, some in English,
5 some in B/C/S, from the OSCE and from the OHR. Why did you produce those,
7 A. This document indicates that Prnjavor municipality essentially
8 completed the application of property-related laws. It was therefore the
9 first municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina which essentially completed the
10 application of the property-related laws, which means that in Prnjavor,
11 these matters operate precisely as indicated here.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
13 MR. TIEGER: Witness, excuse me.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
15 MR. TIEGER: This is re-examination, presumably for matters
16 arising out of the cross-examination. I appreciate the circumstances are
17 a little unusual --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I did not -- I think I was quite clear when I
19 said these documents should be marked for identification rather so they're
20 not in evidence at this moment. So just to see if there would be any
21 procedural issue in giving these documents. They're not in evidence.
22 They are, as I said before, copies provided to the parties, marked for
23 identification, and unless any of the parties would produce them in
24 evidence, they're not.
25 MR. JOSSE: Yes. Your Honour, the OSCE documents I'm not
1 interested in. I do submit that bearing in mind this witness's
2 credibility's being impugned, the certificate is admissible.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar, the certificate would have
5 THE REGISTRAR: D70, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D70. Please proceed.
7 MR. JOSSE: And finally, I had no intention of putting in the
8 handwritten note. That's clearly not admissible, under any rule.
9 JUDGE ORIE: It's just marked for identification so that if there
10 would be any issue of communication which was intended to disturb the
11 procedural rules, at least we would know what we are talking about. And I
12 haven't heard about any of such applications until now.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. JOSSE:
15 Q. Mr. Vasic, put those down for a moment. Put the documents down,
16 please. When did you cease to be involved in Prnjavor politics?
17 A. Having been appointed the manager of the Putevi company in 2001,
18 under the law on labour relations, I was duty-bound to withdraw from my
19 political functions because the post of the manager of the Putevi company
20 is not compatible with any political office, which is actually a roadworks
21 company. So I could only remain a member of the political party, which I
23 Q. It's been suggested to you that you were president of a Municipal
24 Assembly in 1992 that discriminated against Muslims. You dealt with that
25 in your evidence in chief. How, after the war, did your Municipal
1 Assembly treat Muslims?
2 A. Precisely the document that I brought with me indicates this.
3 Wherever there was ethnic cleansing, the property-related laws and the
4 return of the refugees was not made possible, whereas in the areas which
5 were specific in 1995, where people from two villages would, based on an
6 agreement, exchange places, as it were, and exchange keys for their
7 private properties, that is where the property-related laws were
8 implemented. All those who wanted to return applied for being considered
9 in the context of returning to their homes. And that is what in fact was
10 done. And this is what this document testifies to, especially in the
11 areas where there were expulsions.
12 Q. The next matter that I want to refer to is tab 19 of the
13 Prosecution bundle, please.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask for one clarification, Mr. Josse. You
15 said especially in the area where there were expulsions. In what area
16 were there expulsions, who was expelled?
17 MR. JOSSE: I think, because Your Honour said "could I ask for one
18 clarification, Mr. Josse," the witness may think it was addressed to me
19 rather than --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said that "especially in the area whether
21 there were expulsions." Who was expelled, from what area?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you referring to Prnjavor
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said in the areas where there were
1 expulsions when I was talking about the exchanges, in the context of 1995,
2 when all the Serbs from Petrovac, Grahovo, Drvar, Glamoc, Kljuc and
3 Sanski Most municipalities were expelled, and the Serbs from Kljuc came to
4 Prnjavor. Bravsko village came to Mravica village where there were
5 Muslims. Bravsko came from Kljuc, where there were Serbs. So there were
6 entire villages that agreed to exchange places and residences, as it were,
7 just on a temporary basis. There were many instances where people would
8 come to the houses of the other ethnicities to take the keys, spend the
9 night there, and then they would exchange homes. This was done on the
10 basis of an agreement, simply to avoid --
11 JUDGE ORIE: When you explained about the document, you
12 said: "All those who wanted to return applied for being considered in the
13 context of returning to their homes, and that is what in fact was done,
14 and this is what this document testifies to, especially in the areas where
15 there were expulsions."
16 I understood it, but please correct me if I'm wrong, that the
17 document related to those who applied for returning to their homes, which
18 I understand to be the homes where they used to live, and the document
19 testifies to it, especially in the areas where there were expulsions. So
20 from those areas where people were expelled from their homes, that's how I
21 understood it. But please correct me if I'm wrong.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the war, all the people were
23 termed refugees or displaced persons, and then the institutions of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina set down the procedure for their return and the
25 deadlines, together with the High Representative. Whoever wanted to
1 return had to apply. These deadlines were changed as time went on, and
2 then a final deadline was set, and the rules had to be put into place in
3 order to facilitate the return of the people.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I just want to understand your answer. Was your
5 answer that those who returned to their homes and what was achieved in
6 that respect was especially in the areas where those who now returned were
7 previously expelled during the war?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All those who left were refugees or
9 displaced persons, and I have already been explaining why they were
10 leaving. Some left out of fear. But they were all called refugees or
11 displaced persons. Now, depending on whether you speak Serbian, Bosnian,
12 or Croat.
13 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, may I?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but there's one thing, Mr. Josse, and also you,
15 Mr. Vasic: You used the term, but if there's any translation problem, you
16 did not use the words "especially in the areas where people had to flee"
17 or where people -- but you're talking about expulsions. You used the
18 word "expulsion."
19 MR. JOSSE: The question I was going to ask the witness in
20 relation to that was: When you used the word "expulsions," what did you
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said "especially in the areas where there
23 were expulsions." What did you mean, is what Mr. Josse asks you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If that's what I said, I might have
25 misspoken or it might have been a misinterpretation. That's not what I
1 had in mind. What I had in mind were people who left, refugees.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I'd like to check, not at this very
3 moment, but at a later stage, whether -- of course, whether the witness
4 misspoke or not, we can't establish easily, but whether he was
5 mistranslated, that's more easy to establish. And I'd like to know
6 whether it was a mistranslation, yes or no.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, after consultation with my colleagues, we
9 come to the conclusion that this is not a way to end a re-examination.
10 Therefore, it's too important, both for the Defence, for the Judges as
11 well. How to proceed is a different matter, which means that I'll explore
12 any possibility to continue later this afternoon and would -- well,
13 Mr. Registrar is nodding no.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE ORIE: There seem to be no interpreters available. We'll
16 verify that, whether that's still true also for later this afternoon.
17 Otherwise, Mr. Vasic, I do understand that you'd very much like to
18 return tomorrow. I also do understand that your flight has been scheduled
19 for 10.45. That's what I by now have understood. I'll verify that. If
20 we would have an early start tomorrow, would that cause any problems as
21 far as the -- let's say from 8.00 to 9.30? Would that be any problem? Of
22 course, there are more people involved. We have the transportation of
23 Mr. Krajisnik, we have -- we'll explore all possibilities to see whether
24 we can finish by 9.30 tomorrow morning. If we finally would not succeed,
25 then we would ask the witness to rearrange with the Victims and Witnesses
1 Section his return.
2 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I see Mr. Vasic is very sensibly
3 scrutinising his ticket. Could he just confirm the time of his flight?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My flight is scheduled for 11.50.
5 JUDGE ORIE: 11.50.
6 MR. JOSSE: 11.50. I thought so, because it was the return flight
7 from the one I took here the other day.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I've forgotten about the times.
9 MR. JOSSE: And so I thought that was the only flight out of
10 Amsterdam to where this witness -- I know where this witness is returning.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If he would have a tight schedule, that means flying
12 at -- 10.50?
13 MR. JOSSE: 11.50, I'm glad to say.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That means to be at the airport, electronic checking
15 in included, well, somewhere between 11.00 and 11.15, which would at that
16 time of the day take you by car approximately half an hour. We would then
17 have until 10.30, at its latest, 10.15, a very tight schedule, I'm aware
18 of that. If we would have an early start, then we might have all together
19 some two hours in court, which -- but I'm looking to the parties, might be
21 MR. TIEGER: It seems to me that would be adequate, Your Honour,
22 and of course we're at the Court's disposal.
23 MR. JOSSE: I'd like to say ample.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Well, of course, we could have a later start,
25 but let's not -- it always turns out to be more difficult.
1 Mr. Vasic, what we'd like to do is to have an early start tomorrow
2 morning and to have it organised in such a way that you could take the
3 flight as scheduled, but your testimony, in the interests of justice, I
4 hope you do understand that should perhaps prevail above returning home as
5 scheduled. But --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. I thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We try to do our utmost best. The parties will be
8 informed about any practical aspects of resuming.
9 We'll adjourn most likely until tomorrow morning, if not, until
10 later this afternoon.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.33 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day of
13 October, 2005