1 Monday, 12 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.08 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 Mr. Stewart, is the Defence ready to call its next witness? I'm
10 asking you because although we had in mind to deal with some procedural
11 matters, I'm not properly prepared at this moment and therefore the
12 Chamber is not properly prepared. We'll do that as soon as possible, but
13 I'd like to continue now not to discuss these procedural matters at this
14 very moment but to do that at a later moment.
15 MR. STEWART: Yes, absolutely. Your Honour, may we simply say
16 that on behalf of the Defence team we do offer condolences for -- we
17 understand Your Honour has suffered a personal loss and we offer our
18 thoughts to you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much. I received already in writing
20 from both parties the -- their feelings, and I highly appreciate and --
21 and that's at the same time the explanation why we will not deal with the
22 procedural matters at this moment. So therefore thank you very much. And
23 you're ready --
24 MR. STEWART: The answer is yes, Your Honour, we are ready.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that will be a witness without any
1 protective measures and it will be Mr. Micic?
2 MR. STEWART: That's correct, Your Honour, Mr. Momcilo Micic.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
4 Madam Usher, would you escort the witness into the courtroom.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Micic. Can you hear me in a
7 language you understand?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Yes, I
10 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence in this court, Mr. Micic,
11 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn
12 declaration that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
13 but the truth. The text will now be handed out to you by Madam Usher.
14 May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Micic. Please be seated. You'll be
18 examined -- I take it by you, Mr. Stewart?
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, yes, it's me.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You will be examined by Mr. Stewart, who is counsel
21 for the Defence.
22 You may proceed, Mr. Stewart.
23 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 WITNESS: MOMCILO MICIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examined by Mr. Stewart:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Micic. Mr. Micic, I'm going to run through a
3 certain amount of what I believe will be basic background information,
4 some of it personal to you and some relating to the situation in Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina back in 1990/1991.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, of course in the usual way, if anybody
7 feels I'm crossing the line at any point, no doubt they will say.
8 Q. Your name is Momcilo Micic. You were born on the 21st of January,
9 1939, in Bijeljina. You are a mechanical engineer by training and
10 qualification. Up until 1990, you worked in a private firm, Ferotehnika
11 in Tuzla. Is all that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you remained in Tuzla until the 14th of May, 1992, when you
14 left for Belgrade, and your wife and your 25-year-old son, that's one of
15 your two sons, on that day or the day before, also went to Belgrade. Is
16 that right? We'll come back to these events in more detail, Mr. Micic,
17 but what I've said so far is correct, is it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you have lived in Belgrade ever since May 1992?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You were a member of the communist party for 30 years until the
22 collapse of communism in Yugoslavia and other places?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You have never been a member of the SDS?
25 A. No. No, I was never a member of the SDS.
1 Q. And did you join Ante Markovic's party, the SRS, when it was
2 founded in the spring of 1990?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And is it correct that you were active in launching that
5 particular party in the Tuzla region?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the Tuzla region for these purposes consists, does it, of 19
8 municipalities - I've -- I hope I've eased the pain for the interpreters
9 by given them a written list of these municipalities - but they are:
10 Tuzla, Zevinice, Vukavak, Klodinje, Srebrenica, Zvornik, Sekovici,
11 Bijeljina, Ugljevic, Lopari, Brcko, Gracanica, Vlasenica, Srebrenik,
12 Orasje, Puracic, Banovce.
13 Is that list correct? I missed one, did I?
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear what the witness
16 MR. STEWART:
17 Q. You'll have to repeat your answer. It's you the interpreters
18 didn't hear, Mr. Micic.
19 A. And the municipality of Kalesija.
20 Q. Thank you. What was your particular active role in relation to
21 the SRS party in Tuzla?
22 A. I was the president of the party for the Tuzla region.
23 Q. And was there any sort of group or committee in which you were
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What was that?
2 A. We formed a party which had its statute, its bodies, its
3 committees, subcommittees. It had everything that a political party was
4 supposed to have.
5 Q. Now, Tuzla, you lived in Tuzla at that time in 1990, did you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And Tuzla had for -- I won't say always, but for a long time, for
8 many, many years, if not decades, Tuzla had been the centre of the region
9 constituted by the municipalities which I mentioned with your addition.
10 That's right, is it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So it was pre-existing region which was adopted then after the
13 collapse of communism?
14 A. Before that and afterwards. It was also a region during
15 socialism, during the Socialist Federal Yugoslavia. And then later also
16 it was a region in the multi-party system.
17 Q. But what do you remember as being the ethnic division of the town
18 of Tuzla in 1990?
19 A. The town of Tuzla itself had about 130.000 inhabitants, 15 point
20 something were Croats, 15 point something per cent were Serbs, 16 per cent
21 I think were Yugoslavs, and I think about 43 per cents were Muslims.
22 Q. And approximately what was the population of the town of Tuzla at
23 that time?
24 A. About 130.000 inhabitants.
25 Q. Did you at any time consider joining the SDS?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Could you summarise how you saw the differences between the SDS
3 and the SRS in 1990 at the time -- well, in 1990?
4 A. The difference was in that we were a party of all the citizens of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We were a party that was in favour of Yugoslavia.
6 It did not differentiate in relation to the ethnic structure, while the
7 SDS, the HDZ, and the SDA were purely national or nationalist parties.
8 Q. Is it possible to say whether the SRS attracted a particular type
9 of person from those different nationalities?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So how would you put that?
12 A. All those who thought a little differently than just purely from
13 the national aspect. Bosnia is a republic that had a lot of basic
14 industries and also was dependent on the economy of Serbia, Croatia, and
15 was also reliant on those republics, especially Serbia, for its exports.
16 So any kind of secession or any kind of inference in that would mean a
17 loss of factories, a loss of markets, and would lead to a collapse. So
18 all those who thought that you needed something to make a living from were
19 actually those who supported us.
20 Q. Now, did you, as a representative of the SRS, attend SDS, SDA, and
21 HDZ meetings in Tuzla in the course of 1990?
22 A. Only some meetings and purely out of courtesy.
23 Q. Well, first, in July 1990 did you attend an SDS inaugural meeting
24 in a tennis stadium in Tuzla?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But, in fact, there was a mining accident that very day which
2 apparently significantly affected the attendance. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And how many people did attend that meeting?
5 A. A few scores of people, very few people.
6 Q. Who from the -- if anybody, from the SDS leadership was present at
7 that meeting?
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't understand whether the
9 witness said "yes" or "no."
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat your answer, Mr. Micic. The
11 interpreters could not hear your answer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there were members of the SDS
13 leadership present.
14 MR. STEWART:
15 Q. And who were present from the leadership?
16 A. I recall Radovan Karadzic being there.
17 Q. Anybody else?
18 A. Local officials from Tuzla who were members of the SDS. I don't
19 remember whether anyone else was there from Sarajevo or other places.
20 Q. Is Mr. Krajisnik somebody who you would have recognised at the
22 A. Naturally.
23 Q. Are you able to say whether he was or might have been there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Could Mrs. Plavsic have been there?
1 A. I think so, yes.
2 Q. Did you speak to Dr. Karadzic on that occasion?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was there any -- in the broader sense, was there any political
5 content to your discussion with or -- with what passed between you and
6 Dr. Karadzic on that occasion?
7 A. No. I simply talked about the mining tragedy. There were about
8 80 miners killed in the mine, and I thought it was inappropriate to play
9 music and to sing at the stadium in a town where there had been so many
10 casualties. And I said that it would be good for them not to do that on
11 that particular day, which he did not agree with. So after that, I left.
12 Q. Was there an SDA rally in some time around the middle of 1990 in
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And where any of the national leaders of the SDA present?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Which of them?
18 A. Fikret Abdic was there and Silajdzic.
19 Q. Anybody else?
20 A. There were local officials present, SDA leaders, and there were
21 also members or the leaders of the MBO.
22 Q. And you attended that rally, did you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you say how many people were there?
25 A. The meeting was held at the Tuzla hotel. There were a lot of
1 people whom I didn't know, even though Tuzla is not a large town. More or
2 less we all know each other, but there were a lot of people whom I didn't
3 recognise. There were a lot of slogans. But there were a couple of
4 hundred people, not more than that.
5 Q. Did the HDZ also hold a rally in or near Tuzla around the middle
6 of 1990?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was it actually in Tuzla town?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Where was it?
11 A. It was in a neighbourhood near Tuzla.
12 Q. Did you attend that rally?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Was there any difference that you saw in 1990 in the influence
15 that those three parties, the SDA, the SDS, and the HDZ, were able to
16 achieve in Tuzla?
17 A. There was no difference between those three parties as far as
18 their policies were concerned. They fought together against the former
19 system, and they felt that that was sufficient.
20 Q. You -- did you stand for election to the Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 parliament in the 1990 November elections, and were you elected?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Before your involvement in the SRS in Tuzla, had you held any
24 political positions?
25 A. No.
1 Q. What was the -- in the municipality of Tuzla, what was the outcome
2 in terms of voting in the 1990 -- November 1990 multi-party elections?
3 A. In the town of Tuzla itself, the national parties won very few
4 votes, practically nothing; the SRS and the League of Communists got the
5 most votes. So we made a coalition of those two parties and formed the
6 government in Tuzla.
7 Q. Can you recall what were the relative votes achieved by your party
8 and the League of Communists?
9 A. I believe it was -- I don't know, 39 or 43 -- no, we had 39 and
10 the League of Communists had about 30. The SDA nine, I believe. The MBO
11 probably seven. The HDZ around 5 per cent. And the SDS had 11 or 12
12 per cent or thereabouts. I can't be sure of the percentages, but that was
13 more or less the situation.
14 Q. Were you personally involved in power-sharing discussions in Tuzla
15 following those elections?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, was it -- your party -- after the election, did your party
18 remain a non-ethnic or multi-ethnic party?
19 A. It was a multi-ethnic party. All the ethnic groups were
21 Q. Were there, within your party, any differences in the approach
22 of -- within the membership of your own party I'm asking, were there any
23 differences in the approach of the different nationalities?
24 A. Initially not. However, when the municipal government was
25 established, then the differences could be felt.
1 Q. And what were those differences that could be felt?
2 A. Since we established a coalition with the SDP, which was the
3 former League of Communists, and we formed power together, we had joined
4 meetings in order to distribute positions in the local government. Nobody
5 else could be given any position but the Muslims, and both parties had
6 members of the Muslim ethnic group who supported those proposals for
7 Muslim holders of various positions.
8 Q. Then what was your personal attitude towards that position adopted
9 by the Muslims?
10 A. At that moment there were no major objections, because the people
11 appointed were professionals and had skills and knowledge for the
12 positions that they were appointed to. We didn't care much about the
13 ethnicity of those people; we just wanted them to be up to the positions
14 to which they were being appointed.
15 Q. Now, who was Mehmed Bajric?
16 A. Mehmed Bajric was the chief of the municipal secretariat of the
17 interior. He was in that position even before. He was the chief of the
18 secretariat of the municipality of Tuzla, and he was a non-party
19 candidate; he did not belong to any party. I believe that he should stay
20 in that position because he had proven himself as a professional.
21 Q. Is it correct he was -- are you saying he was not even formally a
22 member of any political party?
23 A. I didn't know that. Formally he was a member of the League of
24 Communists, and once the police was depoliticised, or at least that's how
25 they wished to be perceived, I did not object to him remaining in that
1 position because he was a professional. He knew the job well at that
3 Q. He was a Muslim, was he, Mehmed Bajric?
4 A. Yes. And the chief of the regional interior was Budimir Nikolic,
5 who was a Serb.
6 Q. Were you personally adopting any public position in relation to
7 the future of the Tuzla region?
8 A. At the moment of the elections, no.
9 Q. Did you subsequently -- well, either before or after, did you at
10 any time adopt a public position in relation specifically to the future of
11 the Tuzla region?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And, well, first of all, when was that? Before or after the
15 A. After the elections.
16 Q. What was that position that you adopted?
17 A. My position was for a civic Tuzla. Tuzla is an industrial complex
18 that was a very powerful complex with basic industry, and its produce was
19 mostly sold in Serbia. And once polarisation took place, I used the local
20 television and the local press to bring people to their senses. There was
21 even an initiative initially, and it was supported by all, for Tuzla to be
22 separated from the rest of Bosnia and to remain in Yugoslavia. However,
23 that initiative fell through very quickly because all who were in power at
24 the moment were mostly of Muslim ethnicity. And little by little they all
25 opted for the SDA policies.
1 Q. That initiative that you describe as having fell through, was that
2 one that you personally supported?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. It implied, did it, that Bosnia and Herzegovina would otherwise
5 become independent from the rest of Yugoslavia?
6 A. Well, if it could not remain in Yugoslavia, at least for it to
7 become independent or remain independent.
8 Q. Turning to the National Assembly, the Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 Assembly, after the election, it's correct, is it, that at the first
10 session Mr. Krajisnik was unanimously elected as the president of the
12 A. Yes. Unanimously on behalf of the three national parties. We did
13 not vote for that proposal.
14 Q. So it's the position that -- so the SDA, the SDS, and the HDZ
15 deputies, did they unanimously support Mr. Krajisnik's election as
16 president of the Assembly?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did the members of your party adopt a group position and all vote
19 the same way on that issue?
20 A. At that moment, yes. We were opposed to any election using the
21 national quota, not only of the president of the Assembly, his deputy, and
22 the secretary, but also prime minister, members of parliament, everybody
24 Q. Did you abstain or vote against the proposals?
25 A. I believe that we were against.
1 Q. Is it correct that Mr. Mariofil Ljubic of the HDZ was elected
2 vice-president and Mr. Avdo Campara of the SDA was elected secretary of
3 the parliament?
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer and speak perhaps
6 a bit more close to the microphone so that the interpreters can better
7 hear you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Momcilo Krajisnik was elected
9 president; Mariofil Ljubic was elected vice-president, and Sead Avdic was
10 elected the secretary of the Assembly.
11 MR. STEWART:
12 Q. And is it correct that the Assembly assisted of two Chambers, the
13 citizens' council to which you belonged, chaired by Mustafa Konjicija of
14 the SDA, and the Council of Municipalities chaired by Petko Cancar of the
15 SDS. Is that right?
16 A. Pursuant to the constitution of the municipality, it was a
17 two-chamber assembly with a house of citizens and a house of municipality
18 and a council for national equality. In other words, it had three
19 separate council or houses, which was provided for by the constitution.
20 Q. And what was to be the -- as you understood it at the time, what
21 was to be the position of the -- role of the Council for National
23 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of three constituent ethnic
24 groups: Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. And in order to avoid outvoting on
25 certain issues on the agenda or any other issue, the constitution provided
1 for 20 MPs to be able to take that off the agenda and for this to be
2 referred to the Council for National Equality where it would be a
3 consensus who would decide on that. Until this moment, this council never
4 took off the ground. It was never even established because the Muslim and
5 Croat representatives refused to do that.
6 Q. What was -- well, was your attitude - and we'll come to what it
7 was in a moment - but was your attitude towards that refusal by the Muslim
8 and Croat representatives the same as that of your own party colleagues?
9 A. We were the first ones to request that, and we even drafted a
10 request to that effect. We wanted the council to be established. But the
11 president of the council at the time, Mustafa Konjic, turned the proposal
13 Q. Your party had 13 members -- deputies in the parliament at that
14 time. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How many of those were Serbs?
17 A. Four.
18 Q. Was the -- was the proposal to --
19 MR. STEWART: Excuse me one moment.
20 Q. Yes. You said that the Council for National Equality never took
21 off the ground, was never even established. Was there any step taken by
22 any leading member of the SDS to try to get that body established and off
23 the ground?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you remember when any such steps were first taken by leading
1 members of the SDS?
2 A. Mr. Krajisnik was the one who made several attempts to put this on
3 the agenda of the Assembly, for the council to be established; this was in
4 the second half of 1991. But this was never adopted as an item on the
5 agenda because the Muslims and the Croats were always against that.
6 Q. And what was your own attitude towards Mr. Krajisnik's proposal?
7 A. We supported that proposal. I personally supported it because I
8 thought that this was the only thing that would provide for the equality
9 of all the three peoples.
10 Q. Was your personal -- was your support -- was support also given by
11 your colleagues in the SRS among the deputies?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All of them or was there some division of view among the SRS
15 A. Not at the time. We were all in favour of this.
16 Q. Did there at some point emerge any significant difference of views
17 among the SRS deputies in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When did that first occur?
20 A. This happened when the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina held
21 some of their meetings in the absence of other members. Only the Muslims
22 and the Croats attended those meetings and made decisions that were
23 supposed to be implemented and when the coalition between the SDA and the
24 HDZ was already very clear. They sent a request to the JNA to leave
25 Bosnia because they were a hostile army. That is when a polarisation took
1 place in the SRS itself.
2 Q. Did any of your colleagues among the SRS deputies participate in
3 those meetings and in those decisions referred to in your last answer?
4 A. The four of us who were Serbs in the SRS were also members of the
5 Main Board of the SRS for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this is what was
6 taking place at the Main Board of the SRS of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. I'm going to ask you to clarify. When you say: "This is what was
8 taking place at the Main Board of the SRS," could you be rather more
9 specific as to what it was that was taking place.
10 A. The Main Board of the SRS considered the newly arisen political
11 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and opted for some positions and gave
12 directives to the MPs as to how they were supposed to behave in the
13 Republican Assembly. We were -- we had some disagreements about the army.
14 Some were in favour of the army staying, for it to be a multi-national
15 rather than mono-national. Alija didn't want Muslims to go to the army,
16 that they should leave the army. Truth be told, only the foot-soldiers
17 were being referred to; the officers remained in the army. And this is
18 where we divided, whether the JNA should be a multi-national or for the
19 two nations to leave the JNA. This is what we could not agree on.
20 Q. How would you describe relations among the three national parties,
21 the SDA, the SDS, and the HDZ, in the first two or three months after the
22 multi-party elections in November 1990?
23 A. I'll try to answer your question. The relationship, if you are
24 asking me about the relationship between the three multi-national --
25 mono-national parties, at the beginning those relationship [as
1 interpreted] was very good. We had common positions, if that was your
3 Q. Was there at any point any significant change?
4 A. Those changes took place when there was a -- over voting when
5 there was an informal coalition between the SDA and the HDZ.
6 Q. Can you say --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would like to put a question to the
8 witness, Mr. Stewart.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm very sorry, Mr. Stewart,
10 for this. Before you go any further, I would like to seek some
11 clarification on two points from the witness and this is to do with the
12 Assembly. He told us that there was the citizens' chamber and the chamber
13 for the municipalities.
14 Is that so?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could you be more specific. How
17 were they made up, respectively?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the election results,
19 those houses consisted of Croats, Serbs, and Muslims. I wouldn't be able
20 to give you the exact percentages of those three peoples.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] In what were they different?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The house of citizens was elected
23 from the electoral units which were below the region. For example, the
24 municipality of Tuzla gave five or six MPs into the -- into the Assembly.
25 And all the other municipalities were entitled to one MP in the house of
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And for a bill to be passed, did
3 it have to be submitted to both houses? If there was a vote on a bill,
4 did it have to go through the two houses?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some yes, some no. Those that
6 concerned the municipal government, the local government, it sufficed for
7 the house of municipalities to vote on those.
8 As for the bills that concerned the entire republic, it was the
9 house of citizens that did that. There were also bills that had to be
10 voted on by both houses.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] My second question is about the
12 Council of National Equality. I didn't quite get what its role was.
13 Could you describe it again for me. What should its role have been? What
14 was the role it had under the constitution?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the constitution, this
16 council had to have an equal number of members from all the three
17 constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And whatever 20 MPs
18 believed could be harmful and at the expense of one ethnic group, they
19 could ask for such an item to be taken off the agenda and referred to the
20 council. The council was then supposed to consider such an item among
21 themselves, and they were supposed to come up with a joint position on
22 such an item in dispute.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Why did the Muslims and the
24 Croats not want to see this body work? What kind of explanation do you
25 have for it?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have my private opinion on that.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Go ahead, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croats were in favour of the
4 secession of Bosnia because the secession of Croatia had already been
5 underway. And Muslims believed that that's -- that was the way for them
6 to get their own republic with the help of the Croats, because both groups
7 were in favour of the civic Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and they
8 were not in favour of the civic state of Yugoslavia, which was much better
9 in respecting human and civic rights.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] One last question. If we keep in
11 mind the first, the inaugural session in Tuzla in July 1990, you said that
12 you had an opportunity to speak to Radovan Karadzic. Is that so?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Did you know him from before?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
18 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Micic, we know - and this is not in dispute, the Trial Chamber
20 has heard a lot of evidence already about it - there was a crisis in the
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly in the middle of October 1991; that's
22 well-established. Was there any sort of crisis or anything approaching a
23 crisis before that date?
24 A. There were attempts in the form of various questions about the
25 future of Bosnia, the secession of Bosnia, and so on. So there were
1 heated debates between the parties, but in the end, thanks to a rational
2 policy conducted by Mr. Krajisnik, everything would calm down and some
3 sort of order would be brought back.
4 Q. What was Mr. Krajisnik -- was Mr. Krajisnik, for practical
5 purposes, always present at Assembly sessions as president?
6 A. Yes. I think so, yes.
7 Q. What was his own participation when such heated debates occurred?
8 A. Mr. Krajisnik is a pragmatic person. He tried to calm down the
9 situation and to find a solution which would be good for both sides.
10 Q. Did any member of the Bosnian -- of the SDS leadership, I beg your
11 pardon, did any member of the SDS leadership at any time before October
12 1991 bring any sort of pressure on you or your colleagues in the SRS in
13 relation to voting in parliament?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you -- I'll -- again, I'll take the period up to October 1991.
16 Did you ever meet Mr. Krajisnik in any way in connection with
17 parliamentary business?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you say for the period from the elections in November 1990 up
20 to the crisis which I mentioned in October 1991 how often or how many
21 times you met Mr. Krajisnik?
22 A. A couple of times, two or three times. I think the first time I
23 met Mr. Krajisnik was when -- when I left the SRS because of the earlier
24 described events, and then there was a request that we were going to lose
25 our mandate. This was done by the party, because we had left the party.
1 But since the party was dead anyway -- I mean, we stayed in the Assembly.
2 So that was the first question because of which I went to see
3 Mr. Krajisnik, not in order to attempt to persuade him to stay, but just
4 to hear what his views were on the topic.
5 Q. Can I just first, then, in the light of that answer, Mr. Micic,
6 ask you when was it that you left the SRS?
7 A. It's difficult to give the exact date, but once we left the SRS we
8 made a statement for the then-daily Oslobodjenja, so this is something
9 that you can then establish what date it was exactly because Oslobodjenja
10 published this information.
11 In any case, it was perhaps two or three months before the crisis
12 that then happened in the Assembly, perhaps even more than that.
13 Q. Was there -- well, how many of the SRS deputies left the party at
14 that time?
15 A. Four.
16 Q. Were those the four Serbs?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was there something specific which triggered off or finally
19 provoked you to leave the party?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And what was it?
22 A. I already explained at the beginning that there was a
23 misunderstanding relating to the implementation of the mobilisation to the
24 ranks of the Yugoslav People's Army and the demand that the Yugoslav
25 People's Army be ruled out, because that was when the Muslims had already
1 began to create the Patriotic League as well as some kind of reserve
2 police forces. We believed that two armies in one terrain or territory
3 could only fight, and we did not support this because we felt it was
4 leading to war.
5 Q. Now, first of all, can we be clear, you say there was a
6 misunderstanding relating to the implementation of mobilisation. Between
7 whom was that misunderstanding?
8 A. Alija first publicly addressed the nation asking that recruits,
9 Muslims, do not go to the army; and for those who were already in the
10 army, to leave it. So it was a public call. And then there were problems
11 caused by this between the army and the local branches that were carrying
12 out the recruitment, because the recruitment because carried out by
13 centres in the municipalities and not by the army. So then there were
14 problems and disagreements in relation to this. We were outvoted on this
15 without any proper documents or any proper explanation that this would be
16 a wise move. It was just simply a decision not to join the army and to
17 form two armies.
18 Q. What specifically were you outvoted on?
19 A. On the question of the recruitment of conscripts and regarding the
20 documentation which was being kept in the recruitment centres.
21 Q. So this was a motion or proposal put forward in the Assembly, was
22 it, on which you were outvoted?
23 A. I am talking about the Main Board of the party; this is still not
24 about the Assembly.
25 Q. I beg your pardon, Mr. Micic. Who -- within the Main Board of
1 your party, who put forward this proposal?
2 A. I think that it was Dzevad Sokolovic, Professor Dzevad Sokolovic,
3 who was actually not a deputy.
4 Q. When you -- did you formally resign, then, from the SRS?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did that have any effect upon your status as a deputy in the
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did anybody else suggest that it did have any effect upon your
10 status as a deputy in that Assembly?
11 A. SRS officially demanded from the Assembly to strip us of our
13 Q. Well, were they successful?
14 A. No.
15 Q. How were they blocked from stripping you of your mandate?
16 A. I think that the request was sent as a formal course of action.
17 Nobody actually asked for this to be put on the agenda, so this is not
18 something that was actually discussed by the Assembly itself.
19 Q. Do you know why it did not get on the agenda?
20 A. No, I don't. I said that no official deputy asked for it to be
21 placed on the agenda, or at least I don't know if such a request was made.
22 Q. Did you -- were you present on the night of the 14th and 15th of
23 October, 1991, in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly when the Serb
24 deputies at some point walked out?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And how would you describe Mr. Krajisnik's handling of that
3 A. He behaved the way he behaved up until that time. He tried, in a
4 way, to bring some sense to this matter, to kind of deal with this problem
5 in a different way, to put it off, to perhaps send it to the
6 constitutional commission. But the position of the SDA and the HDZ was
7 quite firm, and nothing could be done about it.
8 Q. Did you -- you continued, did you, after that crisis as a member
9 of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Had you at that time had any meeting with Dr. Karadzic since the
12 time that you had met him in Tuzla way back in 1990?
13 A. At the Assembly, no.
14 Q. What about outside the Assembly? And I'm talking about the period
15 now between when you met him at that rally in Tuzla in 1990 and
16 mid-October 1991 when there was the parliamentary crisis. Did you --
17 A. No, not since October, no.
18 Q. I beg your pardon, you say "not since October," just so that we --
19 A. Until October, no.
20 Q. Did you after mid-October and that parliamentary crisis meet
21 Dr. Karadzic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when was -- whether or not it was more than one occasion, when
24 did you first meet Dr. Karadzic after mid-October 1991?
25 A. I think in early 1992, perhaps sometime in March.
1 Q. Where did you meet him?
2 A. At the Holiday Inn.
3 Q. In Sarajevo?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And upon whose initiative did that meeting take place?
6 A. On my initiative.
7 Q. Was there anybody else at that meeting, apart from you and
8 Dr. Karadzic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who else was present?
11 A. Mr. Krajisnik was there as well as the general of the Tuzla Corps
12 command, General Jankovic, as well as his security chief, Milomir. I
13 really don't remember what his surname is at the moment. He was a
14 colonel. Rasulovic.
15 Q. And was there anybody else who was a member of the SDS present at
16 that meeting?
17 A. I think Professor Aleksa Buha was there.
18 Q. And what was the reason -- if there was one, what was the reason
19 for that meeting?
20 A. The reason for the meeting was simply for me as well as General
21 Jankovic, who was at the time the corps commander of the Tuzla corps, to
22 hear what the SDS thought about the coming period so that we could form
23 our own position. We wanted to get some information.
24 Q. And who in that context is we? You said: "We wanted to get some
1 A. At the time the Tuzla municipality was still a civic one and it
2 was very homogenous in its actions. So we tried to get some information
3 from all three of the national parties. We tried to see what their
4 positions were, what they were thinking.
5 Q. So was General Jankovic there with you, as it were, with you going
6 with him to find out jointly these matters?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Why did General Jankovic participate with you in that way?
9 A. I knew General Jankovic personally. I was on not friendly terms
10 with him, but we were acquaintances. And it was question for him as a
11 corps commander what to do, how to do things regarding the question of
12 whether the army would remain there or not. We just needed to know what
13 the positions were. We needed to get this directly rather than just hear
14 about it from the radio or television.
15 Q. Did you travel from Tuzla with General Jankovic to Sarajevo for
16 that meeting?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did others of your colleagues from Tuzla travel to Sarajevo at the
19 same time for a meeting or meetings there?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you and General Jankovic hold any other meetings or attend any
22 other meetings on that visit to Sarajevo, apart from the one with
23 Dr. Karadzic and the people you've mentioned?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you on any other occasions hold meetings with any other
1 representatives of any other political party in Sarajevo in connection
2 with the concerns you've indicated?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Before or after the meeting with Dr. Karadzic?
5 A. Before.
6 Q. How long before?
7 A. I think in late 1990 -- no, 1991, excuse me.
8 Q. And with what other political party or parties did you hold any
9 such meeting?
10 A. I was in the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was with
11 Minister Delimustafic. He was the minister for internal affairs.
12 Q. What was your position in the government?
13 A. I didn't have a position. I was not a member of the government.
14 Q. Well, you said you were in the government. In what sense then
15 were you in the government?
16 A. I was with the president of the Tuzla Executive Council together
17 at that meeting at Delimustafic's with the intention of trying to keep
18 these two people at the regional SUP and also at the municipal secretariat
19 for internal affairs, which by the party distribution of those posts were
20 given to others and they were supposed to be replaced, Dr. Sead Avdic and
22 Q. The two people you've just referred to in your answer, you
23 said: "With the intention of trying to keep these two people at the
24 regional but also the municipal secretariat," who were the two people?
25 A. I was thinking of Mehmed Bajric and Budimir Nikolic.
1 Q. Let's go back then, please, to the meeting that you held with --
2 you described with Dr. Karadzic and others you mentioned. Was Professor
3 Koljevic present?
4 A. It's possible. I can't be certain, but I can't remember.
5 Q. Mrs. Plavsic?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Now, you've already told Their Honours that it was at your
8 instigation or initiative that the meeting was set up. Did you at the
9 meeting put any proposals, questions, or items for discussion to
10 Dr. Karadzic or his colleagues?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what then?
13 A. We talked about the position of the Yugoslav People's Army in the
14 territory that was covered by that corps, and we wanted to see whether the
15 SDS, at the time one of the ruling parties, whether they had any thoughts
16 on that, any plans. We wanted to get some information. So it was the
17 eastern corps, the corps in the Tuzla region.
18 Q. And did you get information?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Was there an expressed or apparent refusal to give you
22 A. No.
23 Q. So what was your assessment of why you did not get the information
24 you were seeking?
25 A. First of all, we wanted to hear the programme, what the objectives
1 were. Then we understood that there was no programme and there were no
3 Q. You're talking about the objectives of the SDS, are you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was there -- well, before you started the meeting, did you have an
6 opinion as to what the essential objectives of the SDS were?
7 A. I personally think that the SDS is a forced party. It's a popular
8 movement created as a reaction to the forming of the Muslim party, the
9 SDA, and the HDZ, too. And I think the HDZ was actually formed later, but
10 I think that it was an organisation, a peoples', citizens' movement that
11 didn't have any clear objectives, positions, or any direction in what it
12 wanted, other than to be a partner in relation to these other two parties.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Micic, I don't believe there's going to be any challenge
14 or dispute about this. One thing was clear, wasn't it, that the SDS
15 wished to preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of Yugoslavia?
16 A. Yes. That was also the objective of my party because we were the
17 alliance of reform forces of Yugoslavia.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER: Well, I'm going to request that counsel be a bit more
20 cautious about leading. I think that's something that's been made clear
21 in the Prosecution's case. It's a bit of a time-sensitive issue.
22 Positions and policies change over the time, so I would prefer to find out
23 from the witness what he understands about SDS positions, rather than
24 being told what an SDS position might or might not be at a particular
25 point in time and simply assenting. I'm not suggesting any attempt, any
1 inappropriate motive on counsel's part, but I would just like to urge that
2 approach from this point forward.
3 MR. STEWART: Well, I don't mind, Your Honour, if I'm going to be
4 that cautious, then Mr. Tieger might have to clear his diary for some
5 considerable time to come.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Stewart, of course there is an issue when
7 the witness testified that there were no clear objectives, and we are
8 talking -- I don't know exactly what time. And then you said -- you put a
9 question to him to see that there's hardly dispute about -- of course
10 there could be a dispute about whether the SDS had any objectives, yes or
11 no. I mean, that's what the witness testified, isn't it?
12 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm in Your Honour's hands. I
13 will be as cautious -- I said I will be as cautious as I'm required to be.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Where the witness testifies that there were no clear
15 objectives of the SDS, perhaps we could have heard from the witness
16 whether he was talking about a certain period of time. Because this
17 question follows a long line of questioning on meetings in early 1992, and
18 therefore I think -- I would agree with Mr. Tieger that without inviting
19 you to spend days and days on it, to be especially at this point -- there
20 were good reasons for being cautious.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I will be then. Now I see how cautious
22 I need to be, and I shall be that cautious.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Please proceed.
24 MR. STEWART:
25 Q. At the time that you had this meeting with Dr. Karadzic, before
1 the meeting, before the meeting started, did you have any idea of any
2 essential strands of SDS party policy?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what idea did you have?
5 A. I said that at the very beginning. The HDZ and the SDA had a
6 certain interest in the secession of Bosnia, not only of Croatia, and that
7 would have made the job of Croatians easier. The Serbs were not
8 interested in the separation of the Serb people along the Drina River.
9 There were various reasons, not only emotional, religious, and ethnic
10 ones. The priority reasons were economic reasons, and for that reason
11 there was a plebiscite for Serbs to opt for saying in Yugoslavia. The SDS
12 thought that Yugoslavia should be preserved in any -- within any borders
13 and that Bosnia should be kept within that Yugoslavia. Because the
14 question was: Why should it have not been kept in Yugoslavia since it was
15 already a civic republic of a civic state. That was my information. When
16 I said there were no goals, there were no objectives, I meant the specific
17 conversation that took place at the Holiday Inn hotel.
18 Q. Now you've told Their Honours that as far as you recall this
19 meeting was in early 1992 and you mentioned March. At the time of this
20 meeting, did you have some -- were you in a position to make some personal
21 assessment of how far momentum had been gathered towards independence of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 A. I believe that this was already a beginning of chaos. Some people
24 just couldn't cope. That's how I understood Radovan. Radovan simply did
25 not have a clear picture as to what he should have done at the moment,
1 what he was supposed to do at the moment.
2 Q. Did you see the SDA at that particular point as having a clear
3 policy? The SDA I'm talking about.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And what did you see as their policy?
6 A. Their policy was to create an Islamic republic in the territory of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina with the help of the HDZ. They expected that they
8 would get that support and that they would be able to realise their goal.
9 The basis for that was the Islamic declaration written by Alija
11 Q. Now, you said a couple of answers ago that "Radovan simply did not
12 have a clear picture as to what he should have done at the moment, what he
13 was supposed to do at the moment."
14 Did he - from what you could tell - have a clear picture about
16 A. The information that could be obtained at the time from various
17 corners of the republic about reactions, names, proclamations, I don't
18 think he had a clear picture.
19 What I'm saying is that there was no project telling us what to
20 do. I may be speaking as an engineer here, but I think that in every job
21 there should be a project, that there should be a design that guides
22 people when they have a job to do. And this is what we were after, a
23 project, a design.
24 Q. Did -- did what you heard from Dr. Karadzic or his colleagues at
25 that meeting match your expectations of the meeting?
1 A. I expected more.
2 Q. What more had you expected?
3 A. I thought that every serious party - and the SDS perceived itself
4 as a serious party - should have a programme, a policy. At the moment
5 when we were there, we should have been told how to do things, how to
6 remedy some things that were wrong.
7 Q. Did -- was this short-fall, as against your expectations,
8 something that you communicated to Dr. Karadzic at that meeting?
9 A. No.
10 Q. What -- what was Mr. Krajisnik's participation in the meeting?
11 A. He kept quiet.
12 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm just looking at the clock. I think
13 it's just an hour and a half since we began.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we had a bit of a late start. I'm just
15 wondering whether we could have one break, a bit longer, rather than two
16 breaks. If we would continue until quarter to 5.00, then have a break of
17 35 minutes; and then to continue until 7.00, would that be agreeable for
18 the interpreters and technicians? So have a bit of a longer break,
19 because if we take two breaks, they both have to be at least 20 minutes.
20 And this is perhaps a way of dealing with it.
21 Is there any objection from those who are assisting us? I do not
22 hear, but I should perhaps also listen to the French and the B/C/S booth.
23 THE INTERPRETER: No objections.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then please continue, Mr. Stewart, for another
25 seven minutes.
1 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, we welcome that course. Thank
3 Q. Mr. Micic, was any -- specifically any expressed at that meeting
4 by Dr. Karadzic or any colleague of his as to their attitude towards the
6 A. Their attitude towards the JNA was correct and the JNA was
7 supported. They believed that the JNA should stay in the area because the
8 JNA was a guarantee of peace, a guarantee that nothing would happen, a
9 guarantee for the people. There was a fear that once the JNA withdrew,
10 that there would be an exodus of the Serbian people. This was discussed,
11 but we couldn't hear any concrete agreement as to how and when to organise
12 that. The JNA could not count on any support by the SDS for doing that.
13 All that they could receive from the SDS were their good wishes.
14 Q. Did you -- did you form any impression at that meeting as to
15 whether on any level there was any sort of agreement between the SDS
16 leadership and senior officers in the JNA?
17 A. No. As far as I know, the JNA officers did not respect any
18 national party. They did that to the extent they had to.
19 Q. Did you have, before or after that meeting, private discussion
20 with General Jankovic about what you thought might happen at the meeting
21 or, if it was afterwards, what had happened at the meeting?
22 A. We arrived in the same car, and we did talk.
23 Q. And you talked after the meeting as well, did you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Was there any -- from your discussion with General Jankovic after
1 the meeting, was there any difference of impression or view between you
2 and him about the meeting?
3 A. There was a feeling of disappointment with the situation. I
4 believe that General Jankovic had expected to hear some talks about the
5 support of the international community or that sort of discussion, but
6 this did not happen. And I believe that soon after that he took some
7 measures in order to move the corps out of Tuzla.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, may I ask one clarification with the
10 MR. STEWART: Of course, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: One of your answers, one of yours previous answers,
12 Mr. Micic started where you said -- it just went off my screen.
13 "Their attitude," and that was the attitude of your interlocutors
14 at that meeting, Mr. Karadzic, "their attitude towards the JNA was correct
15 and the JNA was supported. They believed that the JNA should stay in the
16 area because the JNA was a guarantee of peace, a guarantee that nothing
17 would happen, a guarantee for the people."
18 And then a few lines later you said: "We couldn't hear any
19 concrete agreement as to how and when to organise that."
20 I don't understand that to be, but please correct me when I
21 understood you wrong, to organise that the JNA would stay where they were
22 in order to avoid an exodus of the Serbian people.
23 And then you continue to say: "The JNA could not count on any
24 support by the SDS for doing that. All that they could receive from the
25 SDS were their good wishes."
1 Now, the beginning of your answer very much suggests that the
2 people you were talking with were very much in support of the JNA staying
3 there, being a guarantee for peace. And at the end of your answer you
4 say: "They could -- the JNA could not count on any support."
5 How do I have to understand these two portions of your answer?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as your question is
7 concerned, the JNA was a -- an army of mixed composition consisting of the
8 three peoples.
9 As I already said, Alija wanted the foot-soldiers to leave the
10 JNA; the officers remained. All the colonels of Muslim and Croat ethnic
11 remained in the Tuzla corps. We believed that a multi-ethnic army is the
12 only one that could guarantee peace. A mono-ethnic army or any newly
13 formed army could not have done that. And as to your question why only
14 good wishes, for an army requires logistics not just verbal support by
15 somebody in the Assembly, if I have understood your question well.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, not really. Of course, I did not expect the
17 Assembly to provide for the logistics.
18 But in the beginning of your answer it sounds as if the --
19 Mr. Karadzic was in favour of the JNA staying, and the second part of your
20 answer you said the JNA could not count on any support by the SDS for
21 doing that, which, as I understand, was - but please correct me when my
22 understanding is wrong - to avoid that by withdrawing they would cause an
23 exodus of the Serbian people.
24 So the beginning of your answer seems to express support by
25 Dr. Karadzic; the second part of your answer - and that's confirmed in one
1 of your later answers - seems that the JNA could not count on the support.
2 I have some difficulties to combine these two answers -- two parts of your
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The SDS policy was to absolutely
5 support Yugoslavia, and with that to the Yugoslav People's Army. When
6 Alija published his declaration, when the Patriotic League was formed,
7 there was an objective danger that there would be a conflict between these
8 two militaries. We thought that we should receive a programme, a
9 position, that would be our guideline as to where, how, and on what places
10 we could count on because this corps covered the entire north-eastern
11 Bosnia. We were not satisfied only with a programme. We wanted to know
12 exactly what municipalities should be the future locations where the JNA
13 could withdraw. Those were our thoughts, but we did not get any thoughts
14 in return from Dr. Karadzic. And this is the support that was missing,
15 that was not there.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So I do understand that where you got a kind of a
17 general political support, that Dr. Karadzic failed to give - from what I
18 understand - you expected, to give more concrete support to say, well,
19 this is to be done; that's where we go, you have to go; and to find a kind
20 of -- well, to say a kind of plan on the role of the JNA in those areas
21 rather than general political support. Is that a correct understanding?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, correct.
23 JUDGE ORIE: What did you expect Dr. Karadzic could have done? I
24 mean, your expectations were not just general political support. Did you
25 think that Dr. Karadzic had the means to give the logistical, tactical
1 guidance you were seeking?
2 THE WITNESS: We knew he didn’t because he didn’t
3 have any role in the government. He was the president of the party. He
4 wasn’t even a member of the Presidency; I don’t think he had any power.
5 We simply tried to obtain some information, any sort of information, so as
6 to be able to draw up our own plans and programmes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How could you be disappointed if you said he
8 was just a member of parliament and was really not even a member of
9 Presidency? You addressed him. You didn't got what you were seeking; you
10 were disappointed. How could you be disappointed if he had not been in a
11 position where he could have given you what you expected? I mean, I'm
12 trying to understand your testimony.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say, we do believe, and
14 Mr. Sladojevic confesses that there is some sort of mistranslation on the
15 transcript and the answer that begins "we knew he did not have any such
16 thing." It seemed to me, actually, just on the sense of it there might
17 be. Mr. Sladojevic, with the linguistic advantage, says that he believes
18 there was.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please sort that out then during the next
20 break to see what problem there is and inform the Chamber in such a way
21 that it doesn't give any clue to the witness --
22 MR. STEWART: Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- on what the issue is.
24 But before doing so, I've got one other question.
25 You told us that you were seeking to get information from three
1 parties and that you met with the other two, I understand SDA and HDZ,
2 before you went to see Mr. Karadzic. Is that correctly understood?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It was not me who went. It
4 had been agreed by the bodies of Tuzla, the president of the municipality,
5 Selim Beslagic, was to try to talk to the MBO and the SDA. And after that
6 we were supposed to obtain some common information. We were the
7 opposition, and information was not given readily to us. And that's why
8 we tried to obtain that information, and that's how we operated.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you say -- but let me just try to be sure
10 that I fully understood you. You say: "It wasn't me who went," so that
11 means that you didn't go to the SDA, you didn't -- you did not attend a
12 meeting with the SDA or a meeting with the HDZ to --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. That's correct.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So where the question was, page 27,
15 line 25: "Did you at any other occasion hold meetings with any other
16 representatives of any other political parties in Sarajevo in connection
17 with the concerns you have indicated?"
18 You answered: "Yes."
19 And then you said: "Before or after the meeting with
20 Dr. Karadzic?
22 Do I have to understand this that you didn't have meetings with
23 the other parties but, well, let's say, other people from Tuzla more
24 affiliated with SDA would have meetings with the SDA, and others more
25 affiliated with the HDZ would meet with the HDZ people?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand the question in
2 that way. I didn't understand that you were focussed on that meeting with
3 three ethnic parties. The way I understood it was whether at any time I
4 was at a meeting with these parties, and I said yes. I was in the
5 government building when I tried to keep the chiefs of the SUP. Those two
6 things have nothing to do with each other. The Defence counsel did not
7 ask me why I went to those meeting [as interpreted]; he only asked me if I
8 went, and I said that I did go to these meetings.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You earlier -- talking about these meetings,
10 you said: "We tried to see what their positions were," and you were
11 talking about the national parties, "what they were thinking."
12 Later on you testified about your meeting with Dr. Karadzic and
13 you said that meetings with the two other parties were held before that.
14 Now, did you participate in these two other meetings with, I take it, the
15 two other parties being SDA and HDZ, before you had a meeting with
16 Dr. Karadzic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You did not. Have you information about these
19 meetings? Who went to these other parties?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Meetings with the SDA and the MBO,
21 it was to be the then-president of the municipality, Selim Beslagic.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Now, was General Jankovic also present during those
23 meetings which you did not attend with the other parties?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I did understand that you in Tuzla were trying
1 to find out the positions of the other parties. The two others go
2 there -- well, perhaps not alone, but were they accompanied by any JNA
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think so -- actually, I
5 don't know.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Why was the meeting with the SDS not [sic] a meeting
7 with a Tuzla Serbian official together with a JNA officer, whereas the
8 other two went to their national parties without someone from the JNA
9 being present?
10 MR. STEWART: Sorry, is there a wrong "not" in that answer, Your
11 Honour, line 7.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just read again. The "not" is wrong, I think.
13 MR. STEWART: That's what I had in mind, Your Honour, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I apologise.
15 So my question -- and it was -- I must have made a mistake.
16 Why -- let's keep it simple.
17 Why did the others go to their national parties without a JNA
18 officer? And why did you go to the SDS with a JNA officer?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The SDS supported the Yugoslav
20 variant of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it supported the JNA, whereas the
21 HDZ and the SDA were opposed to both. So it would have been pointless to
22 have a JNA officer attending a meeting where he would not have been
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for those answers.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Just one question.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do we still have enough tape for one more question?
2 If not, I'd like to hear from you.
3 Yes, please proceed.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, you just said that the JNA
5 was a -- was to be multi-ethnic in order to maintain the safety of the
6 inhabitants. Is that correct?
7 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So were you expecting that
9 Mr. Karadzic shares that point of view? Did you expect him to say that he
10 was also absolutely convinced that the JNA should be multi-ethnical [as
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no dispute about that.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Did he contest it?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He advocated that, a multi-party
15 army, an army of all citizens, that is.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll now have a break until 5.35.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.01 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.39 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to make one observation
21 in relation to scheduling this week. The Chamber is considering to sit on
22 Thursday, both morning and afternoon, and then we have of course a bit
23 shorter sessions because we can't have ten hours. We then hope that we'll
24 finish with both witnesses of this week by Thursday. If not, then
25 Rule 15 bis might apply. That means that since I will not be available
1 for urgent personal reasons next Friday, the two other Judges will then
2 decide whether to sit, the two of them, it will only be one day, and not
3 more, and I think it's limited to five days. So that's what the Chamber
4 is considering. If, especially, the Thursday would cause great problems,
5 then of course the Chamber would like to know before taking a final
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. STEWART: Could I just say on that point, Your Honour, we --
9 if we may, we'd like to take it under advisement, as they say, and discuss
11 JUDGE ORIE: Certainly --
12 MR. STEWART: We're not inclined to be obstructive, Your Honour,
13 but we would like the opportunity of --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand, of course. But then at least
15 you know what the Chamber has on its mind.
16 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And of a course a decision would be taken relatively
19 Then please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
20 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. So far as that translation point
21 was concerned, it turned out to be procedurally a little bit more
22 difficult to sort out than one perhaps expected. But I understand that if
23 I issue an invitation, I think, to the interpreter's booth to help us on
24 that, it was at page 39, line 3, was where the answer began.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any page 33 -- it might be difficult
1 for the interpreters to verify or to consider whether, as usually is case,
2 gave the perfect translation, but of course now and then it's a human job.
3 But then of course it might be difficult for them to do that if they have
4 not heard the original again. So therefore, I would say if the
5 interpreters -- you said page 33, line --
6 MR. STEWART: 39.
7 JUDGE ORIE: 39, I'm sorry.
8 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry, if I said --
9 JUDGE ORIE: No, perhaps I made the mistake.
10 MR. STEWART: Page 39, line 3 was where the relevant answer
11 started and the particular point was on the next line then.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It now reads at this moment: "We knew he did
13 not have any such thing. He was not anything in the party; he was just a
14 member of parliament."
15 That's the lines you're referring to, Mr. Stewart?
16 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. And I think Your Honour can see
17 how applied to that particular person, at least a question arises.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the interpreters could safely on their
19 recollection, on their recollection of what was said in the original, tell
20 us whether there could be any doubt on the correctness of the
21 interpretation, they're invited to do so. Otherwise, we'll see that the
22 original portion of the audiotape is reproduced in such a way that the
23 interpreters can, with that in their mind, give the answers to the
24 questions put to them.
25 May I hear from the interpretation -- from the interpreters.
1 THE INTERPRETER: There may have been a misunderstanding, but the
2 interpreter cannot remember the exact words that the witness used.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll have to find the original audiotape
4 and see whether there's any mistake. We will sit tomorrow in the
5 afternoon. I'm quite confident that it could be done tomorrow in the
6 morning. We have now clearly identified which portion it is, so therefore
7 I think we can clarify the matter tomorrow in the afternoon.
8 MR. STEWART: Yes, it's certainly not urgent now for today, Your
9 Honour. That's entirely satisfactory. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
11 MR. STEWART: Excuse me.
12 Q. Mr. Micic, was there -- was there any expression of expectation by
13 Dr. Karadzic or his colleagues at that meeting in 1992 as to what the army
14 might be imminently going to do?
15 A. I think not.
16 Q. Was there any -- first of all, let me ask you this: The -- can
17 you say with confidence whether this meeting with Dr. Karadzic that you've
18 described was before or after the European Union recognition of the
19 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
20 A. It was after the Serb deputies left the Assembly, the joint
21 Assembly, in any case and on the declaration of the memorandum on the
22 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Muslim and Croat delegates
23 of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I couldn't really say whether
24 it was before or after recognition. I think that it was before
25 recognition, but I'm not sure.
1 Q. The -- was there any discussion at that meeting with Dr. Karadzic
2 about ethnic division of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. No. There was no discussion about the ethnic division of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Was there any discussion about any imminent risk of violence and
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was the nature of that discussion?
9 A. The arming of a part of the Muslim population by the Muslim
10 Patriotic League and the police reserve was discussed.
11 Q. Can you say who raised that topic?
12 A. The topic was raised by General Jankovic. He had information,
13 probably through his intelligence service.
14 Q. And what information did he have?
15 A. Well, I couldn't say. But he did assert that certain groups of
16 people were arming themselves and that preparations were being made.
17 Q. Was there any reaction from Dr. Karadzic and his colleagues to
18 what General Jankovic said on that topic?
19 A. I think that they knew about that.
20 Q. Now, by the time you had this meeting with Dr. Karadzic, had you
21 personally become a member of the Serb Assembly?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And had you already attended at least one meeting, a session, of
24 that Assembly?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were there any significant differences of view within the SDS as
2 to the developing difficulties between the SDS on the one hand and the
3 SDA/HDZ on the other?
4 A. I don't understand the question.
5 Q. I'll slightly rephrase it, Mr. Micic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you include the source of knowledge from what
7 happened within the SDS?
8 MR. STEWART: Yes, I -- it may be covered by my rephrasing of this
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. STEWART:
12 Q. From what you were able to observe within the Bosnian Serb
13 Assembly, Mr. Micic, did it appear that there were any significant
14 differences of view among the SDS deputies in that Assembly as to the
15 developing difficulties between the SDS on the one hand and the SDA and
16 HDZ on the other?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did the -- who appeared, if anybody, to lead the views and
19 policies of the SDS deputies and the Bosnian Serb Assembly?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Yes. You -- there was nobody who clearly led those views and
22 policies. Is that --
23 MR. TIEGER: Well, that's -- when a question is asked that doesn't
24 call for a yes or no question [sic], it may have simply been
25 misunderstood. I don't think it's an invitation to a leading question.
1 MR. STEWART: Yes, well I accept that, Your Honour. I'm trying to
2 steer the line to get the clarification. If you'll allow me just to see
3 how I might best meet Mr. Tieger's concerns.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you could meet his concerns, that would be
6 MR. STEWART: That's what I'm trying to do; it would certainly be
7 appreciated by him, Your Honour.
8 Q. The -- who were -- were there among the Bosnian Serb -- the SDS
9 deputies in the Bosnian Serb Assembly, were there some who were more
10 vociferous than others?
11 A. Well, in every Assembly you have people who talk a lot, those who
12 don't talk so much or little, but I don't think that those who are more
13 vociferous have more influence or affect the work of the Assembly more
14 just by that very fact.
15 Q. Were there then among the deputies any that you can identify as
16 having more influence, effect, or impact in the Assembly sessions?
17 A. I really couldn't say. People were different in terms of who
18 could be expected to express their position more eloquently or less
19 eloquently. But I don't really know if anybody was consistently like
20 that. Perhaps if once they were very eloquent in explaining their point,
21 it wouldn't mean that they would always be as eloquent whenever they
23 Q. Were there in the Bosnian Serb Assembly SDS members that you can
24 identify with whom you, for practical purposes, agreed on the important
1 A. There were, yes.
2 Q. And can you, therefore, identify who those members were?
3 A. Mostly we had a similar position. There were about nine of us
4 independent deputies, from the SRS, from the League of Communists, from
5 the Socialist Alliance, and I don't know what other party it was. But
6 there were a total of nine of us, and we had the same opinions and we
7 represented the opposition in that Assembly.
8 Q. And in representing the opposition, were there -- and I'm
9 focussing on the time of the meeting you described, so I'm focussing on
10 March 1992. Were there issues and points in which you, the opposition,
11 took a different view from the prevailing view in the Assembly?
12 A. If you're thinking about the visit, I didn't talk about the visit
13 at the Assembly.
14 Q. Well, just to clarify, I wasn't asking about the visit; I was
15 asking about the Bosnian Serb Assembly sessions. You've told Their
16 Honours you and your eight colleagues were the opposition, and I'm asking
17 you whether from that opposition position you took a different view on any
18 issues from the prevailing view in the Assembly?
19 A. Yes. Not always, but yes.
20 Q. Can you identify any points of, in your view, significance on
21 which you took a different view?
22 A. When we are talking about different laws that were being adopted
23 concerning the economy and the various taxes imposed by the state on the
24 economy, we viewed that differently and explained it differently. And we
25 always sought to have a more realistic basis for such things, according to
1 our views.
2 Q. Did you personally support the Cutileiro Plan and the Lisbon and
3 Sarajevo agreements?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did your eight colleagues in opposition also support those
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you have -- and I'm talking about you individually. Did you
9 have at that time, in March 1992, any significant difference of view from
10 Dr. Karadzic on any of the current political issues?
11 A. The only thing I wanted was to avoid any kind of conflict.
12 Q. Did you have proposals to make on how that could be done?
13 A. It was difficult to suggest anything sensible or clever at that
14 time. It was simply an attempt to seek some kind of understanding, some
15 kind of backing away or compromise.
16 Q. As conflict emerged - and I'm talking about armed conflict in
17 April 1992 - did any differences of view emerge among the SDS deputies in
18 the Bosnian Serb Assembly?
19 A. Yes, that's true.
20 Q. And can you identify such differences and between whom they arose?
21 A. There were differences in the way the situation was understood and
22 assessed. Everybody came from a special terrain, so the situation was not
23 the same in all the areas. It was not identical. It wasn't even close to
24 being the same. Some people expressed large degree of concern, some did
25 not, they were not as concerned. So that was where the difference lay.
1 Q. Were there any significant differences as to what various
2 deputies, SDS deputies, in the Serb Assembly suggested should be done?
3 A. Some were more radical, some were less radical. But the situation
4 on the ground was already very complicated and probably difficult.
5 I can tell you what I know about Tuzla. Already at that time
6 after the recognition of Bosnia on the part of the international
7 community, there was the situation when people were removed from all the
8 bodies -- all the Serbs were removed from all the bodies in the
9 municipality of Tuzla. And that is something that tells you a lot.
10 Q. Could we just leave Tuzla for the moment, please, Mr. Micic. Just
11 staying with the Bosnian Serb Assembly, when you said "some were more
12 radical, some were less radical," can you be specific as to what the more
13 radical elements were saying that was different from the less radical?
14 A. The more radical people wanted for -- wanted arms to be
15 distributed, to start armed conflicts, to seek help from outside. The JNA
16 was still there, but they were not doing anything. They thought that they
17 were in the garrison and they were not doing anything. Those were the
18 requests by the radicals, for the arms to be distributed. The others, the
19 less radical ones, were against that.
20 Q. When you said "to seek help from outside," did you understand what
21 that meant?
22 A. Yes, I did. I didn't think it was important where it came from,
23 as long as it was some sort of aid. I thought that anybody should be
24 brought in, but those ideas just did not fall on fertile ground.
25 Q. Who did you understand who could be brought in from outside?
1 A. I remember that Mrs. Biljana Plavsic mentioned Arkan.
2 Q. Was Mrs. Plavsic -- she -- in what way did she mention Arkan?
3 A. As a man who could help Serbs. That's the way she was thinking.
4 I mean in military terms.
5 Q. Was she specific about how Arkan could help Serbs?
6 A. No, she was not specific. But I remember that she kept on
7 repeating that any kind of help from anywhere in the world, America,
8 Australia, from volunteers, that all those were welcome.
9 Q. Was Mrs. Plavsic supported in these views by other members of the
11 A. Not many.
12 Q. Can you remember, so as to be able to identify them, anybody who
13 did clearly support Mrs. Plavsic in those views?
14 A. I believe that those are minutes from those Assembly sessions.
15 I'm sure that they can be located.
16 Q. I'm asking you specifically about your recollection, Mr. Micic.
17 A. It's hard for me to say, some more, some less. You know, it's
18 very difficult to go back in time. It was some 14, 15 years ago, or 13
19 years ago.
20 Q. Are you able, from your recollection, to identify members of the
21 Assembly who clearly did not support Mrs. Plavsic in those views?
22 A. Yes. That position was mostly supported by the people who were
23 already members of the Territorial Defence, who had already established
24 some paramilitary formations in their respective municipalities who
25 already had some armed groups of people. They supported or had the others
1 condemn her.
2 Q. I was asking if you could identify members of the Assembly who did
3 not support Mrs. Plavsic in those views. If you are able to do so, please
4 would you do so.
5 A. For example, MPs from Bijeljina did not support her in her views.
6 I believe that even MPs from Sarajevo did not support her. Mostly MPs
7 from Eastern Bosnia did not support her.
8 Q. Were there any members of the Assembly who were in the army?
9 A. You mean as active-service members of the JNA?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. No.
12 Q. Were there any -- was there anybody present in the Assemblies
13 since, speaking was an active-service member of the JNA?
14 A. Throughout all this time while the JNA was in Bosnia, I don't
15 remember that any members of the JNA were there. When the Army of
16 Republika Srpska was established, then yes.
17 Q. At that point when the Army of Serb Republic or Republika Srpska
18 was established, who then was present at Assembly sessions who was a
19 serving member of that army?
20 A. Very often General Mladic, General Gvero as well, sometimes
21 General Talic, General Tolimir. It all depended on the area where we
23 Q. Did -- do you recall General Mladic's -- an expression of views by
24 General Mladic as to how the Bosnian Serbs should proceed from that point
1 A. He presented plans, the assessments of the situation, and he
2 called for the state of war to be declared. He often did that.
3 Q. Can you remember anybody who was specifically opposed to General
4 Mladic's view on that point?
5 A. Opposed to the declaration of a state of war and general
6 mobilisation, the removal of all the civilian bodies of a power was
7 Mr. Krajisnik and also Mr. Karadzic. They were categorically against
8 those things, both of them.
9 Q. Were there any differences in Mr. Krajisnik's conduct of the
10 Presidency of the Serb Assembly as compared to the way in which he had
11 conducted the Presidency of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly?
12 A. There was no difference. He acted in accordance with the book of
13 rules and the constitution.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, may I just seek a clarification on the
15 subject which you seem to have left but I'd like to better understand.
16 MR. STEWART: Of course, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: In one of your previous answers you told us that the
18 radicals also requested the arms to be distributed. What exactly do you
19 mean,"arms to be distributed," by whom? To whom?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You didn't understand me. I did not
21 mean the radicals as a political party. I meant those members of the
22 Assembly who had a more radical position.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes -- no, I think I fully understood you in that
24 respect. When I was talking about radicals, I was not talking about a
25 political party, but I was talking about people who were more on the
1 radical side than others. So you said they requested for the arms to be
2 distributed. By whom? To whom?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until the moment the JNA left Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina, the depots of arms of the Territorial Defence were under
5 the control of the army in the barracks. They asked for those weapons.
6 And I believe that the owner of those weapons were the municipalities or
7 the Territorial Defence. They wanted the army to give them that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: But you say: "They were under the control of the
9 army in the barracks. They asked for those weapons, and I believe that
10 the owner of those weapons were the municipalities."
11 So they insisted on giving the arms to the municipalities?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the Territorial Defence that was
13 in that municipality.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Irrespective of what kind of municipality that was?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those who came from those
16 municipalities who had established that there, they were the ones who
17 asked for that. But it was common practice in the entire territory.
18 Everybody wanted arms, in the places where the Muslims were a majority,
19 where the Croats were a majority, where the Serbs were a majority. There
20 was no difference there.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But do I have to -- then to understand that in the
22 Serb Assembly, those who were more radical requested arms to be given to
23 municipalities where there was a Muslim majority so that the weapons would
24 become available for Muslims? Is that what I have to understand?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Or was it that they wanted the arms under the control
2 of the JNA to be given to the municipality where there was a Serb
3 majority? Is that how I have to understand it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everybody asked for their respective
5 municipalities, but that was a common practice in all and every
6 municipalities, irrespective of which municipality it was.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I did understand you. But I'm talking about what
8 radicals proposed in the Bosnian Serb Assembly. So -- and you said -- did
9 I now understand you well that in this Bosnian Serb Assembly they were
10 asking for the weapons to be given to the municipality with a Serbian
11 majority or ...
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The request was not to be applied to
13 the entire territory of Bosnia where there was a Serb majority. There
14 were specific requests coming from specific municipalities for a specific
15 problem. If somebody came from Sarajevo, they made requests in respect of
16 Sarajevo. If somebody came from Brcko, they requested something in
17 respect of Brcko. They were not interested in any other municipality in
18 Bosnia, and this is what I call more radical people, with more radical
20 JUDGE ORIE: And you used the word "distribution." To whom would
21 they have to be distributed? I mean handing over the control of certain
22 depots is not yet distribution. To whom should these weapons be
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would have been taking out
25 weapons from under the control of the army, the weapons that were in their
1 safe-keeping. And it was to be done by the Territorial Defence of that
2 particular municipality, and the MP coming from such a municipality would
3 raise that issue as a specific problem of that municipality.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I still have not fully comprehended what you meant
5 by "distribution" then.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't mean that somebody would
7 distribute weapons. I don't know how the weapons would have been
8 distributed. In any case, their intention was to take the weapons from
9 the garrison and the weapons that were the ownership of the Territorial
10 Defence, and that was being safeguarded by the army. They wanted that
11 weapon -- those weapons to be taken from the control of the army.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for those answers.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
14 Judge Hanoteau has a question for you.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Stewart asked you this.
16 [In English] "Did you have at that time in March 1992 any
17 significant different view from Dr. Karadzic on any of the current
18 political issues?"
19 [Interpretation] And you answered:
20 [In English] "The only thing I wanted was to avoid any kind of
22 [Interpretation] Does this mean that Dr. Karadzic did not share
23 your wish?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation on the ground was such
25 that we received constant information about the arming of people and the
1 entering of weapons into Bosnia and Herzegovina from Croatia. We knew
2 that the Patriotic League was being armed under different names. There
3 were constant discussions as to what should be done once they are fully
4 armed, and somebody said: We will defend ourselves. And I thought that
5 we have had to talk, and that was the difference.
6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. STEWART:
8 Q. Mr. Micic, did you at any time in the second half of 1991 or the
9 first three months of 1992 attend any political meetings in the Holiday
10 Inn in Sarajevo?
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't understand the answer.
12 MR. STEWART:
13 Q. Perhaps you just repeat the answer into the microphone, Mr. Micic,
15 A. Yes, I was there.
16 Q. On one occasion or more than one occasion?
17 A. During that period of time, I believe I was there maybe three
19 Q. And what was the nature of those meetings?
20 A. The first time the meeting was held once we had walked out of the
21 Assembly; the second time was the constituent Assembly of the Serbian
22 people; and the third meeting was a working meeting.
23 Q. Let's take them one by one in that order then. The -- you
24 say: "The first time the meeting was held once we had walked out of the
1 So you're meaning immediately after or very shortly after the
2 14th, 15th of October, 1991, are you?
3 A. No, not immediately. I believe that this meeting was held in the
4 blue room in the building of the BH Assembly. That was the hall normally
5 used by the Council of Citizens.
6 Q. Seeking to clarify. Let's just focus on your answer. You said
7 the first time that there was such a meeting at the Holiday Inn was
8 once -- you said "we had walked out of the Assembly."
9 Let's just be clear. When you say "walked out of the Assembly" --
10 A. Yes. Immediately after we walked out of the Assembly, but I did
11 not consider that to be a very important meeting. We focussed more on the
12 comments as to what they would do there.
13 Q. I just want to be clear. First of all, you say -- when you
14 say "immediately after we walked out of the Assembly," by talking of
15 walking out of the Assembly, do you mean the occasion on the 14th, 15th of
16 October, 1991?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'll move on to the second time then. You said the second time
19 there was a meeting at the Holiday Inn that you remember attending was the
20 constituent Assembly of the Serbian people. Now, first of all, are you
21 saying that an Assembly meeting itself was held in the Holiday Inn?
22 A. It's very hard for me to say whether it was in the Holiday Inn or
23 in the blue room. It was one of the two in any case.
24 Q. But you were referring to an actual Assembly meeting, are you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And then you said the third meeting was a working meeting. Now,
2 before I ask you about the nature of that meeting, are you able to say
3 when that third meeting took place?
4 A. I wouldn't be able to give you the exact date.
5 Q. Would be able to give any helpful indication as to the date, if
6 not exact?
7 A. I believe it was in spring 1992. Probably in April. Or maybe
9 Q. And you say it was a working meeting, meaning what? A working
10 meeting as opposed to what other sort of meeting?
11 A. A special, as a special occasion. There are special-occasion
12 meetings in celebration of something or a working meeting.
13 Q. So it was a working meeting of what or whom?
14 A. Of the Assembly of the Serbian People.
15 Q. Held in a Holiday Inn?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Have you -- in 1991 or 1992, did you ever attend any meeting in
18 the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo of a wider nature, including not only members
19 of the Assembly but others?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And what was the nature of that meeting?
22 A. I don't remember the agenda. There were a lot of people at that
23 meeting. There were a lot of guests as well. There were also members of
24 the Main Board of the SDS who were present there.
25 Q. Can you remember what the purpose of the meeting was?
1 A. I can't remember what the agenda was, but I believe that it was
2 dedicated to the organisation of work of the Assembly.
3 Q. And can you remember who presided over that meeting?
4 A. The sessions were always presided over by Mr. Krajisnik.
5 Q. Sessions of what?
6 A. Of the Assembly.
7 Q. Did Mr. Krajisnik ever preside over any other sorts of meetings,
8 apart from sessions of the Assembly?
9 A. As far as I know, there were also the Deputies' Club meetings of
10 the SDS party deputies, which he did not preside over. But there were
11 probably other meetings that I don't know about.
12 Q. Did you ever attend Deputies' Club meetings of the SDS party
14 A. I think that I did once or maybe twice, but very briefly.
15 Q. And who presided?
16 A. Vojislav Maksimovic, Professor Maksimovic.
17 Q. Have you ever heard of a document known as Variants A and B or
18 some such similar name?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Have you ever been to a large political meeting at the Holiday Inn
21 in Sarajevo where any documentation was distributed?
22 A. Each Assembly session -- at each Assembly session, documents were
23 distributed, so I don't remember anything in particular. But every time
24 the Assembly discussed something, then the relevant documents were
1 Q. In Tuzla --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, before you continue --
3 The last question put to you was: "Have you ever been to a large
4 political meeting at the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo where any documentation
5 was distributed?"
6 And then your answer was: "Each Assembly session -- at each
7 Assembly session, documents were distributed."
8 Were now Assembly sessions usually held in the Holiday Inn, and do
9 you call a large political meeting, is that an Assembly session or ... I'm
10 just trying to understand your answer in relation to the question.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was not possible at the time to
12 have the deputies receive the regular or proper Assembly documents. It
13 was -- there wasn't enough time so -- to have them given out in advance.
14 So usually what happened was that this material was given to the deputies
15 once they came to the meeting. That's what I meant, these Assembly
16 materials. As far as attendances at the Assembly sessions, there were
17 always many people present.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I did put two specific questions to you.
19 First: Were Assembly sessions usually held in the Holiday Inn? That's
20 the first one.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE ORIE: My question was about a large political meeting at
23 the Holiday Inn. Was there ever an Assembly session held in the
24 Holiday Inn in Sarajevo?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said that it was once or
2 JUDGE ORIE: Once or twice. And you say --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- there were many others as well. If a question is
5 about a large political meeting, you would include in that formulation an
6 Assembly meeting?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it cannot be understood in that
8 way. An Assembly meeting is an Assembly meeting, but there was no perfect
9 discipline at the Assembly only to have sessions by deputies of the
10 Assembly. Very often there were others present: Certain members of the
11 Main Board who were there from the SDS or a president of the municipality,
12 somebody from the army, somebody from the clergy. So every time somebody
13 would be present. So this is what I would call a meeting. But however,
14 the Assembly sessions were also held at the same time. The Assembly
15 sessions were conducted regardless of the presence of these other people.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It still confuses me a bit because the question was
17 about a large political meeting, and your answer was about Assembly
18 sessions. Now, when I ask you whether an Assembly session would be
19 something within the scope of what you understand to be a large political
20 meeting, you said: "No, it cannot be understood in that way."
21 So you leave me with quite some confusion in this respect. If you
22 can clarify it, please do so; otherwise, we'll proceed.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I can. No problem.
24 I said that the Assembly sessions were usually attended by certain
25 guests, whether they were from the ranks of the Main Board of the SDS or
1 if they were from the area where the Assembly session was being held.
2 There was always somebody from the Orthodox church clergy present also.
3 There were also people who were there. I mean, I don't know all the
4 people who would come inside. They were sitting there. But as far as I
5 was concerned, it wasn't an organised political meeting of the type THAT
6 you are thinking of. It was an Assembly where anybody, practically, could
7 walk in.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I wasn't thinking about anything. It was part
9 of the question put to you by Mr. Stewart.
10 But let's proceed, Mr. Stewart, please.
11 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Micic, you told Their Honours earlier today that after the
13 1990 elections, November 1990, it was your party and the League of
14 Communists who were in control of Tuzla. That was what you've already
15 said. Did that change subsequently?
16 A. Yes, it did change, quite radically as a matter of fact.
17 Q. When did that change occur?
18 A. The changes occurred after the declaration on the independence of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted, and in particular after the
20 international community's recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. And -- well, we -- do you remember when that was, the
22 international community's recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 A. I think that it was in late March or early April 1992, but I'm not
24 sure. The declaration on an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina was voted
25 on the 14th and 15th of November.
1 Q. The -- so you told Their Honours that the changes occurred
2 particularly after the international community's recognition of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina, but also you said "after the declaration on the
5 When did -- let's start with when did significant changes first
6 occur in Tuzla?
7 A. Right after the declaration on an independent autonomous Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina was voted on. There was certain shifts in the thinking of
9 people who were in power at the time. At that point, the Municipal
10 Assembly of Tuzla also had its own National Defence Councils, and there
11 were only Muslims in these councils. And it was my fault, perhaps, that
12 this happened like that. There wasn't a single Croat in them even. Then
13 the chief of the Tuzla region internal affairs department was replaced.
14 Also some judges of the municipal and the higher court in Tuzla were also
15 replaced. And then it went on like in a chain reaction to encompass the
16 professors at schools, at universities, and then also in the town's
17 clinics, because Tuzla was a university town. Even the dean of the
18 university, who was with us at the SRS, very quickly moved to the SDA and
19 became a prominent member of the SDA.
20 Q. You've said that the -- it went on like in a chain reaction to
21 encompass the professors at schools, at universities, and then you
22 referred to the university. What happened and when in relation to the
24 A. These professors were replaced. There was also a boycott of
25 certain professors. The students conducted this boycott. A known case or
1 an example of that was that in the hospitals if there was a Serb who was a
2 prominent professor, and Bozidar Radovic was one of these people. He was
3 a very reputable world medical expert. He also had some uncomfortable
4 situations. For example, if he went in to see a woman patient, she said:
5 I don't want to be examined by a Vlah, a Serb. That was the term used.
6 It was an attack or an assault on everything that was Serb, even
7 though this professor, Radovic, was somebody who enjoyed a very high
8 reputation in Tuzla before that.
9 Q. And when did this occur?
10 A. This began in late 1991 and early 1992. The parties -- so that
11 you understand. The Tuzla municipality was actually in the hands, in the
12 talons of the region, the regional board of Tuzla, and the Tuzla regional
13 board was under the control of the SDA. So according to the party
14 affiliation, the professors, the judges, were replaced because this was
15 taken to be one of the rights of the party. And that's when many of them
16 left, not only the SUP, not only did the Serbs leave, but many Muslims
17 also left, those who did not accept membership of the SDA. They, too,
18 were driven away from their posts.
19 Q. Now, you've referred to Serbs leaving. Can you indicate to Their
20 Honours what scale of Serbs leaving do you recall?
21 A. Well, you cannot talk about a mass exodus, such as the one from
22 the territory of Croatia where there was an armed conflict. It was just a
23 question of a slow tide. Every day people were leaving Tuzla. They were
24 going in all directions, and I assert that out of 20.000 Serbs and about
25 20.000 Yugoslavs, on the 15th of May when there was a settling of accounts
1 with the Yugoslav People's Army, there weren't more than 4.000, both Serbs
2 and Yugoslavs, left in Tuzla at that time. Now I don't think that there
3 are any of them left in Tuzla now. They just simply left town and I was
4 among them.
5 Q. Can I just clarify. You say "there weren't more than 4.000, both
6 Serbs and Yugoslavs, left in Tuzla at that time."
7 Do you mean 4.000 Serbs and 4.000 Yugoslavs? Or 4.000 altogether,
8 embracing both Serbs and Yugoslavs?
9 A. I cannot really tell you the exact number for the Yugoslavs, but
10 the Yugoslavs included a smaller number of also Muslims and Croats. After
11 Yugoslavia was abolished, this term "Yugoslav" also disappeared. So they
12 returned to their national or ethnic core. In Tuzla, after the 15th of
13 May, not more than 4.000 Yugoslavs and Serbs remained living in Tuzla.
14 This is after the 15th of May, 1991.
15 Q. We haven't quite --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
17 MR. STEWART: I was going to say, Your Honour, we haven't quite
18 cleared up the point.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No.
20 MR. STEWART:
21 Q. Mr. Micic. I'm just seeking clarification of your answer. When
22 you talk about 4.000 Yugoslav and Serbs, do you mean -- you said you can't
23 be precise. But are you talking about 4.000 Yugoslavs and 4.000 Serbs, or
24 are you talking about 4.000 altogether?
25 A. A total of 4.000 people of Serb ethnicity that remained in Tuzla,
1 regardless of whether they were from the ranks of those 20.000 who had
2 declared themselves as Serbs or from among those who had declared
3 themselves as Yugoslavs. Because after the 15th of May, Tuzla became a
4 closed environment. The town was encircled. It was not possible to leave
5 after that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, it still doesn't seem to answer your
7 question directly. May I give it another effort.
8 The 4.000 remaining, would that -- I do understand there were
9 Serbs remaining. The number of 4.000, did that also include those who had
10 declared themselves Yugoslavs?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: So I take it, then, that we have a single number of
14 I would seek some clarification of one of your previous answers as
15 well. You said that professors were replaced. And then you continued in
16 your answer describing how, for example, Professor Radovic felt quite
17 uncomfortable in those circumstances, and you were talking about boycotts
18 by students and patients not wishing to be examined by a professor.
19 Replacing - but please disagree with me if you have a different
20 understanding of that word - is to put someone in the place previously
21 occupied by another. It is ambiguous to the extent that you either take
22 one person from a position and put another there or that someone feels
23 very uncomfortable in the position, leaves, and that you fill in the
24 vacancy which you have not explicitly created yourself, although it may
25 have been under the circumstances that one could expect someone to leave.
1 Now, when you are talking about replacement, are you talking about
2 some people leaving in the circumstances you described which are
3 characterised by being very unpleasant for the person and then the vacancy
4 re-filled, or were professors or the others you mentioned, were they just
5 fired and then replaced by someone else? Perhaps you could start with the
6 example of Professor Radovic. Was he fired or did he leave under the
7 circumstances that you described and was then replaced by someone else?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will start from the regional SUP.
9 As soon as the regional SUP chief was replaced, automatically all the
10 others in the SUP were replaced who were not loyal to the SDA, regardless
11 of whether they were Serbs, Muslims, or Croats.
12 As far as Professor Radovic is concerned --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there because you do not answer my
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I will. I will tell you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The regional SUP chief, was he fired and then
17 replaced by someone else or did he --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That's a clear answer.
20 Those others you said who are automatically replaced because they
21 were not loyal to the SDA, were they fired and then replaced or did they
22 leave and then --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: They were fired. Okay.
25 Now we come to Professor Radovic. Same question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Professor Radovic was not dismissed.
2 He was the chief of the clinic, and he was replaced as the head of the
3 clinic, and he continued to work as a regular surgeon.
4 As far as the university is concerned, simply the university
5 council or board voted someone else to replace these people from their
6 posts. They didn't dismiss them, but they just replaced them. So there
7 were also cases where these people who had been replaced felt in danger,
8 so they would leave Tuzla for a day or two until things settled down a
9 bit, but then as soon as they were away from Tuzla for two or three days,
10 then they would be dismissed from their job. So that's basically the
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart. Oh, just Hanoteau
13 whispers in my ear that he has a question as well.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Precisely regarding that exodus
15 of Serbs and Yugoslavs, how do you explain it? Did it occur after this
16 institutional violence or were there any other violences? And by
17 institutional violences, I mean this obligation to leave, to change their
18 employment, or was this something else?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You cannot just look at one element
20 as a key element in that period. There were checkpoints set up --
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: An element?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Checkpoints were set up, and these
23 checkpoints were set up in the town itself. So if you wanted to defend
24 Tuzla, then the checkpoints should have been set up on the outskirts of
25 the Tuzla municipality. But they were placed in the neighbourhoods where
1 the Muslims were a majority and they were facing the neighbourhoods where
2 the Serbs were the majority population. There was constant harassment
3 also. At the time, I enjoyed immunity. And from my apartment to my place
4 of work, they were about three kilometres apart, and I would have to pass
5 through four checkpoints. If I came back within a very short period of
6 time, I would still have to go back through all of those checkpoints. If
7 I returned home, I would have to go through the checkpoint that was
8 located in my building. So this is what the atmosphere was like, and
9 people began to feel afraid. So one by one they simply fled, they left,
10 and then also on top of that when you had dismissals from their posts.
11 All the posts that were of a regional significance were automatically
12 purged of the Serb population.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Those checkpoints were manned by
14 whom exactly?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were manned by the Patriotic
16 League. It -- they were not wearing the sign or the insignia of the lily,
17 but they were using the Tuzla coat of arms. And by using that Tuzla coat
18 of arms, they were trying to conceal their real name. And they were part
19 of the broader forces of the Tuzla MUP. And I mentioned him earlier,
20 Mehmed Bajric, was the one who led that particular group. I mentioned
21 that he went to the SDA in order to remain at this post. Later he even
22 became the president of the SDA.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And, Witness, how can you tell
24 with certainty that these people were people from the Patriotic League if
25 they wore different uniforms?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were the same uniforms; it was
2 just a question of different insignia. Those same people from that same
3 league attacked the column of soldiers that was leaving Tuzla on the
4 15th of May, and they killed approximately 200 people. According to some,
5 it was 80 people; and according to others, it was 200; according to
6 information of the medical centre, it was 204; however, the exact number
7 was never established. But these are the same people. Even today that
8 day is celebrated as the day of independence. Independence from what? I
9 don't know.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, we interrupted the flow of evidence.
12 There are three minutes left. If you can deal with any subject in three
13 minutes, fine; if not, then perhaps it's better to stop for the day and
15 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, there's a couple of small points
16 which would be useful just to sweep up.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. STEWART:
19 Q. The name of the regional police chief that you said was replaced
20 was what?
21 A. Budimir Nikolic.
22 Q. And the checkpoints about which His Honour Judge Hanoteau has just
23 been asking you, when did they first appear?
24 A. They appeared right at the start, I think already in November
25 1991, with the idea of forming an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina and
1 passing a vote on that through the Bosnia and Herzegovina Assembly and
2 along with some ideas that the local SDS had. And they had some
3 aspirations in relation to Tuzla. So that's where these disputes arose,
4 but I really don't know what the substance or the essence of the disputes
5 actually was.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, those were the couple of points I
7 wanted to clear up now.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
9 Mr. Micic, we'll finish for the day. I would like to instruct you
10 that you should not speak with anyone about the testimony you have given
11 today and you're still about to give in the days to come. We'd like to
12 see you back tomorrow in this same courtroom at a -- in Courtroom I at a
13 quarter past 2.00.
14 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Micic out of the
16 Mr. Stewart, it has turned out to be now and then useful to
17 inquire into the estimate given by the Defence on how much time they would
18 need for the examination-in-chief.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE ORIE: For this witness I think it was scheduled for six
21 hours. Are you going to need those six hours? We had a short day today.
22 MR. STEWART: I probably would need -- well, yes, or near enough,
23 Your Honour. Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then that certainly assists us in knowing
25 what's -- so that would take approximately the whole of tomorrow?
1 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm going to do my best
2 overnight, as I think we always do on both sides, to see what I can pare
3 down in the light of today. But I can't be overly optimistic at the
5 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. It's your time, it's your witness. So
6 then --
7 MR. STEWART: I believe, Your Honour, I've had -- we started just
8 after 3.00 today.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. You've spent only two hours and 15 minutes
10 until now. So it's not any kind of criticism, but just for us to know.
11 MR. STEWART: I certainly don't want to be too pessimistic. Your
12 Honour said that take approximately the whole of tomorrow.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One day in court gives an effective four hours
14 of examination-in-chief. And if you have estimated this witness for six
15 hours, then after two and a quarter, there remains three and
16 three-quarters to go, and that's close to four hours.
17 MR. STEWART: I was taking a positive view, Your Honour. I
18 wouldn't be taking the whole of tomorrow. I was trying to be encouraging.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, it's fine. As I started these words that
20 it's -- that it has turned now and then out to be useful to inquire into
21 the estimate given.
22 MR. STEWART: Indeed.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Stewart's just trying to show he's sort of the
25 glass-is-half-full kind of guy.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. TIEGER: If there's 15 minutes left in the session, he hasn't
3 used he whole thing, as I understand it.
4 MR. STEWART: Well, I am that kind of guy, Your Honour, so --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not start. I always wish there to be glasses
6 with one-quarter on the top empty and one-quarter on the bottom, but
7 unfortunately they do not exist. So, therefore, the half-full or the
8 half-empty is -- is our fate.
9 So we will adjourn until tomorrow, Courtroom I, quarter past 2.00.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day of
12 December, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.