1 Tuesday, 4 April 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, 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, I did understand that you would like to raise an
10 issue in private session. May I take it that it's related to what we
11 discussed yesterday at the very end of our session, where we go into
12 private session?
13 MR. STEWART: Yes, it is, Your Honour. Mr. Tieger and I both
14 thought it would be better to briefly mention it this morning.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then it also gives me an opportunity to state
16 in public that we went into private session yesterday in relation with
17 protective measures and that for that same reason we'll now turn into
18 private session again.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 22398-22401 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 Madam Usher, could I ask you to escort Mr. Kecmanovic.
5 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, to add to the confusion, at line 9
6 the name there but so-and-so has written a book. It's the wrong name.
10 MR. STEWART: I knew that, Your Honour, but my pronunciation of
11 Serbian doesn't distinguish very well between the letters anyway.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Just -- good morning, Mr. Kecmanovic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by the
16 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony, but
17 before I give an opportunity for Mr. Stewart to continue his
18 examination-in-chief, just for the parties, day 207 in my
19 not-number-through transcript on page 89, second line, the book I just
20 mentioned appears with an unclear name with it, but just for your
21 information about sources.
22 Perhaps I could -- perhaps I could ask the witness right away
23 about it.
24 Mr. Kecmanovic, did you write a book in which any -- in which the
25 meeting of Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Izetbegovic are described? Or at least
1 reference made to that meeting?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible. Not a book,
3 certainly not. Maybe an article. You know, I have written a lot about
4 those events. That is one of my permanent occupations, and I have
5 published a number of articles on that. I'm not sure about the book.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because we heard evidence that in one of your
7 publications, let's say so, that meeting was situated in time on the 12th
8 of April. We have not verified that, but -- on the basis of your
9 publication, but that's at least what we received as evidence.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that I have mentioned
11 the date.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
13 Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
14 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: NENAD KECMANOVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examination by Mr. Stewart: [Continued]
18 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, when you became a member of the Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina Presidency, how frequently over -- it was a period of about
20 five weeks that you were a member, how frequently did the Presidency meet?
21 A. The Presidency was in a state of permanent session, so to speak.
22 We would meet in the morning hours and worked until lunchtime. Then we
23 had a lunch break, and after that we would continue in the afternoon. We
24 were sitting for several hours in the morning and again several hours in
25 the afternoon.
1 Q. Did you receive information during those meetings about military
2 activities and operations in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. We did not receive any specific conversation on war operations. I
4 believe that the only person who received that information was
5 Izetbegovic, but not the Presidency as a whole. The Chief of General
6 Staff Halilovic would occasionally provide us with some general
7 information, but that information was, in general terms, on the successes
8 of the BiH army and the Muslim casualties at the hands of the Serb forces.
9 That was general information which sounded non-authentically, and at one
10 point Izetbegovic replied to the general: General, you keep on talking
11 about your successes and all the while we're losing territories.
12 Q. And was there any report or discussion at Presidency meetings
13 about crimes committed by Serbs against Muslims?
14 A. That information was not precise. It was more of a general
15 nature. And as a result of that permanent session, the work of the
16 Presidency was very extensive. We talked about cooperation with UNPROFOR,
17 our international position, support coming from abroad, the successes of
18 certain units of BiH army, the situation in town. As a matter of fact,
19 the Presidency had very little information as to what was going on outside
20 of Sarajevo. The entire activity and all of the topics were more or less
21 related to Sarajevo.
22 Q. Was there any report or discussion about any prison or detention
23 facilities of any sort within Sarajevo?
24 A. Pejanovic and myself informed the Presidency about that based on
25 information that we received from the citizens who spoke to us on a daily
1 basis. Other members of the Presidency never spoke about that.
2 Q. And what -- what information did you convey to the Presidency on
3 that topic?
4 A. Part of the time -- or rather, all the time outside the sessions
5 the two of us would receive citizens and it would be mostly the Serb
6 citizens who approached us, complaining of all sorts of ill treatment.
7 Q. Did the Presidency receive any report or was there any discussion
8 about activities of the JNA outside Sarajevo?
9 A. No, no, not about that. The general term used was "the
10 aggressor," and then members of the Presidency of Muslim and Serb
11 ethnicities understood that as the JNA, the Army of Republika Srpska, and
12 all the other formations that were not under the command of the government
13 in Sarajevo.
14 Q. When you --
15 A. There was some discrepancies there when it came to HVO units,
16 which on the one hand acted independently and on the other hand in
17 alliance with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Q. Was there any discussion or report at Presidency meetings about
19 detention camps, prisons, any type of detention facilities away from
21 A. I can't remember. It is possible. Pejanovic and I mostly
22 focussed on private and official prisons in Sarajevo because Serb citizens
23 complained that their closest relatives had been taken away and detained,
24 that they did not have any information, that they had experienced their
25 apartments being broken into, losing their jobs, ill treatment, beatings,
1 and so on and so forth. In a way, we acted as protectors of the Serbian
2 population that remained in the town, and in that sense we asked from the
3 Presidency to take adequate measures.
4 Q. When did you finally leave Sarajevo in 1992?
5 A. This happened at the beginning of July 1992. To be more precise,
6 I believe that this was on the 5th or the 6th of July.
7 Q. And where --
8 A. Actually, I think it was on the 6th.
9 Q. And where did you go?
10 A. With the consent of President Izetbegovic and having informed
11 Fikret Abdic of that, I went to this meeting in Lukavica with the
12 representatives of the Serb side. I didn't know who exactly would be
13 there. It was the late Professor Koljevic who met me in Lukavica.
14 According to the previously agreed procedure, the UNPROFOR vehicle came to
15 the Presidency and Izetbegovic's daughter informed me that they were
16 waiting for me. I left the session, and in the UNPROFOR vehicle I went to
17 the central base of UNPROFOR in Sarajevo. And from there Mr. McKenzie
18 escorted me to Lukavica where I was met by Mr. Koljevic. That same
19 evening I went to Pale, also escorted by --
20 Q. Sorry, I just wanted to get one thing clear to avoid any possible
21 confusion. When you referred to this meeting in Lukavica, this is an
22 entirely separate from the meeting you've described earlier in your
23 evidence in Lukavica. Is that right?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. The -- you met -- you said then at this later meeting you've been
1 talking about you met Professor Koljevic. Were any other representatives
2 of the Bosnian Serb leadership present?
3 A. No, there was just Mr. Koljevic.
4 Q. Did you -- did you engage in a discussion with Mr. Koljevic there
5 in Lukavica?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. And can you say what was the topic and content of that discussion?
8 A. One could say that it was always one and the same topic. It was
9 always the same topic: How to stop the war.
10 Q. Were any specific proposals or possible solutions discussed?
11 A. No, not at that stage.
12 Q. How long was the discussion between you and Mr. Koljevic?
13 A. Between half an hour and an hour. Now, in order to make it clear
14 for you as to how it was possible for us to talk so long without any
15 specific results of the talk, I must say that every conversation involved
16 some private topics, because those people I had known before, some of them
17 were my university colleagues, and I know that one of the topics that we
18 discussed was the situation of the Serbian population in Sarajevo. In
19 more specific terms, the brother of the late Professor Koljevic remained
20 in town together with some members of his family, and he asked me if I
21 knew anything about -- about them.
22 Q. So what was the point of the meeting?
23 A. At a Presidency session which had taken place before, I pointed to
24 a stupid situation that the Presidency and the way it was functioning was
25 in. I said that this was all very empty, without any purpose, because the
1 Presidency was in some sort of isolation. Communication with other parts
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina for all members of the Presidency save for
3 Izetbegovic had been cut off. And at one point I said that we reminded of
4 a ship of fools and that we should do something, that we should take a
5 step towards communication with our surroundings. And in more precise
6 terms, I said that this communication should be with the Serb side and the
7 Croatian side, but not only in Bosnia-Herzegovina but also broader, and
8 that it would be good if one of the Croatian members of the Presidency
9 should go to Western Herzegovina and Zagreb, that one of the Serb
10 representatives should go to Pale and Belgrade, and that we should be
11 informed as to how things were outside of Sarajevo and what the political
12 positions were on both sides. A special initiative for that were
13 political changes that were taking place in Belgrade where Dobrica Cosic
14 became president and Milan Panic became Prime Minister.
15 Q. Did you, after that meeting with Mr. Koljevic, did you report back
16 to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
17 A. I was not in a position to report to him, because after my meeting
18 in Lukavica I went to Pale with Koljevic, and two days later I went to
19 Belgrade. And I stayed in Belgrade after that.
20 Q. Did you go to Pale on your own initiative or at anybody else's
21 request or suggestion?
22 A. As I've said, my initiative was more in general terms, but the
23 positions in the Presidency were different. Izetbegovic supported my
24 initiative, and as far as I can remember, the Croatian representatives
25 showed some reservations to any attempt at establishing connections
1 between the Muslim and the Serb sides. However, after that meeting I
2 spoke to Fikret Abdic, with whom I had rather good relations, and our
3 offices were adjacent to each other, and I told him that I did not need
4 the consent of the Presidency for such an activity because the Presidency
5 was a collective body and I was equal amongst the many. And that the
6 positions of the Croat representatives were not binding upon. In that
7 sense, we spoke to Izetbegovic, who supported my initiative. And as a
8 result of that, the communication with UNPROFOR and the organisation of my
9 departure was in -- carried out by Mr. Izetbegovic's office.
10 In addition to my contacts in Lukavica and Pale, I also had
11 contacts in Belgrade along the same line --
12 Q. Let's come to Belgrade in chronological sequence. So your trip to
13 Pale was with some support or approval or encouragement from Mr. Abdic.
14 Is that right?
15 A. Both Abdic and Izetbegovic, which is even more important.
16 Q. And how long did you spend in Pale?
17 A. I stayed in Pale for two days.
18 Q. And who did you talk to?
19 A. I talked to the entire top leadership of Republika Srpska; namely,
20 Karadzic, Plavsic, Koljevic, and Mr. Krajisnik. The Prime Minister wasn't
21 there -- or maybe -- maybe yes. And also there were no military or police
23 Q. So did you -- those four people you've mentioned, Karadzic,
24 Koljevic, Plavsic, Krajisnik, did you talk to them together? Separately?
25 Both together and separately?
1 A. You know, the situation in Pale was not regulated so as to provide
2 for separate offices for those people, and there was no formal procedure
3 in place. When I arrived, everybody was there. They were all gathered
4 there in a small room where we had dinner together, and we held a
5 conversation which was both formal and informal. And during the next
6 couple of days, I had individual meetings with some of them. I spent most
7 of the time in that room, and then somebody would come to that room, keep
8 me company, leave; another person would come. It all depended on the work
9 that was to be done.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, just for better understanding the
11 testimony of the witness:
12 You said you went to Lukavica, you went then to Pale, you went to
13 Belgrade. Did you ever return to, well, let's say, Muslim-controlled
14 Sarajevo in those years?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you said something about the initiative. I did
17 understand that you felt the need to communication with Pale/Belgrade,
18 just as there was a need to communicate with the Croatian -- Zagreb. Now,
19 to communicate doesn't mean that if you start talking with them, that you
20 do not return. I -- I would have understood an initiative to communicate,
21 that is, to speak with them, to talk with them, and then return back and
22 see what to do with that. So therefore, the question put to you by
23 Mr. Stewart: Was it -- was it your own -- yes. He asked you: Did you go
24 to Pale at your own initiative or at anybody else's request or suggestion?
25 Then you answered very much in terms of what was needed as far as
1 communication is concerned, but it doesn't answer the question as to who
2 took the initiative not to return. I mean, going to Pale, going to
3 Belgrade, and then not to return to Sarajevo. Could you tell us what made
4 you decide - was it decided before you went or during the trip? - that you
5 would stay in Serb-controlled area or in Serbia rather than to return to,
6 well, your own Presidency in Sarajevo?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I left, as I said. I went in
8 agreement with the leadership in Sarajevo, with Izetbegovic specifically.
9 He was the person -- or rather, his office organised my departure from
10 Sarajevo with UNPROFOR. Now, I decided to stay in Belgrade myself; I made
11 that personal decision. And I informed -- I sent a fax to the Presidency
12 or to Izetbegovic in person, actually, and I informed him of some of the
13 elements of discussions I had had in Belgrade and the talks I -- well, I
14 couldn't speak about the talks in Pale publicly. That would have been
15 indiscreet. I also gave news agencies statements official statements from
16 my talks with the president of Yugoslavia, who was Mr. Cosic, and Prime
17 Minister Panic, and my meeting with the patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox
18 church, Pavle. My decision to stay wasn't made straight away. I was
19 rather hurt in Sarajevo -- or rather, I was injured in Sarajevo and went
20 to Belgrade for treatment, and during that treatment I decided not to
21 return anymore, and then I informed Sarajevo of that decision of mine.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that answer.
23 Mr. Stewart, please proceed. It was unclear to me when the
24 witness decided not to return, whether it was in Lukavica or Pale or
25 Belgrade, but it's clear to me now. Please proceed.
1 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, when you were in Pale, did you have any individual
3 meetings, which I mean just the two of you, with Mr. Krajisnik?
4 A. I don't remember exactly, but I think that at a certain point
5 Mr. Krajisnik did come in and we exchanged a few sentences but nothing
6 specific. And Koljevic and Mrs. Plavsic would come in in that same
7 fashion. There certainly weren't any important exchanges.
8 Q. When you say "come in," come in where or to whom?
9 A. They would come into the room that I was in, the premises. To
10 make things clearer, we conducted our talks that first evening when I
11 arrived. However, since I asked to continue to Belgrade from Pale, I
12 needed a certain amount of time to have my departure to Belgrade prepared.
13 Quite obviously they weren't able to see to that very quickly.
14 Q. What I was getting at, Mr. Kecmanovic, was when you said
15 Mr. Krajisnik came in, or Mr. Koljevic came in, Mrs. Plavsic came in, do
16 you mean come into a room where you were sitting, waiting, or come into a
17 room where you were already there with somebody else?
18 A. I wasn't sitting there, waiting. I wrote -- read all the
19 newspapers that I didn't have an opportunity of doing in Sarajevo. I had
20 taken some of my own papers and documents and notes, which I put into
21 order. So it wasn't just waiting. I was able to move around, and I would
22 leave the building from time to time, have a walk, got a bit of fresh air,
23 had breakfast, and things like that. But that room, that premises --
24 those premises, the room I was in, where I was in most frequently was
25 where they moved around. It's a relatively small area, small space. And
1 as far as I was able to see, there wasn't any special room that was
2 reserved for the president, the vice-president, the ministers, or anything
3 like that. It was all very improvised, the whole thing.
4 Q. Did you have any proposals or positive suggestions that you were
5 putting to the Bosnian Serb leadership in Pale during that time you were
7 A. In this case, as opposed to my previous departures to the other
8 side and the contacts, if I can put it that way, that I had and that I
9 took part in, this time there was no specific agreement with the
10 Presidency or the presiding person, who was Mr. Izetbegovic; it was more
11 or less a mission not only to see the general mood and atmosphere on the
12 other side. We wanted to find a way out of the situation, to see whether
13 there were any political solutions, any ideas being put forward on those
14 lines. So that on this occasion my aim, my reason for going, was not
15 agreed upon by the members of the Presidency or Izetbegovic personally.
16 Q. But that doesn't quite go to the point of my question,
17 Mr. Kecmanovic. With all that, did you -- you, in fact, have any
18 proposals or positive suggestions that you were putting?
19 A. I told the -- told the Serbian leadership what the situation in
20 Sarajevo was. I said that there was a very difficult humanitarian problem
21 and that the Serb population was a group at risk in an otherwise very
22 difficult situation and that it was the Serb population, the Serb
23 inhabitants, that were hit hardest and that were under jeopardy most. And
24 in order to ask them to do something for, of course, all the town's
25 inhabitants but to make the situation easier particularly for the Serb
1 population because I considered them to be additional -- I considered them
2 to be the right people to see to problems of that kind since they had the
3 legitimacy of the Serb people and the Serbian Democratic Party was a party
4 that the Serbs voted for first and foremost. And for the party I
5 represented, I assume there was a mixed voting from all three ethnic
7 Q. How much of the overall discussions that you had in Pale on that
8 visit, as far as you can put some sort of percentage on it or give some
9 guidance, how much of the discussion related to Sarajevo?
10 A. Most of it. I would say 80 per cent of it. Or let me be more
11 specific: I presented the difficulties, I explained the difficult
12 situation in Sarajevo, and the other side gave me information about the
13 very difficult situation around Sarajevo. And they warned and cautioned
14 me that the artillery from Sarajevo was firing at Serb positions around
15 town all the time, and I spoke about what I felt to be the situation in
16 town, that the Serb artillery was targeting towards town. Then they
17 warned me and said that the BH army -- or rather, the Muslim army
18 artillery was within the city zones at the most sensitive points and that
19 they were very often in a situation where they had to respond to the fire
20 coming at them. Of course, the fire was concentrated in the locations
21 from which the other side was shooting.
22 Q. Was there -- was there any member of the Bosnian Serb leadership
23 with whom you particularly discussed those matters that you've just
24 mentioned; artillery placements in and around Sarajevo?
25 A. No, nobody particular. As I said, there weren't [Realtime
1 transcript read in error "were"] people there who dealt with military
2 matters. Karadzic was there, who of course had the main say. He was the
3 number one man of that leadership. Mrs. Plavsic would take part quite a
4 bit as well, and Mr. Koljevic. Of course Mr. Krajisnik took part in the
5 discussions as well.
6 Q. Was there any discussion during that visit of yours to Pale about
7 crimes committed in the course of the war?
8 A. Nothing specific. It referred to the casualties, the victims, in
9 a state of war, and that was a difficult situation generally. A component
10 part were the casualties on all sides.
11 Q. Was there any discussion about detention facilities anywhere in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. I spoke about private prisons in Sarajevo where Serbs were
14 incarcerated and the opposite side did not tell me about the situation
15 outside of Sarajevo. It all must sound a little restricted and -- but it
16 must be borne in mind that I had those discussions some 10 or 15 years
18 Q. What was the point about the private prisons in Sarajevo?
19 A. In Sarajevo a chaotic situation prevailed. The city was divided
20 into zones controlled by some sort of paramilitary formations, and it was
21 very difficult to determine their links to the powers that be, the
22 authorities, and their relationship with the authorities. There were
23 formations which were completely independent and which were in conflict
24 with each other. Then there were other formations who had some formal
25 ties with the authorities, but it wasn't quite clear how much they were
1 under the authorities' control, whether they were or not. So these
2 paramilitary formations, which sometimes behaved as military formations,
3 sometimes as police formations and units, actually had power and authority
4 in the various districts. They held power in their own hands, basically.
5 They had their leader, or leaders. Those leaders were for the most part
6 people whom I knew by sight. Some I knew from Sarajevo -- life in
7 Sarajevo before the war, other people were along the fringes of society.
8 They were bouncers in clubs, bars, people dealing in shady business, they
9 were muscle men, things like that, and they were in power, they held power
10 in their hands. They had their own units, armed formations, and among
11 other things each of those districts and zones had their own prisons. The
12 locations of those prisons were not officially recognised and officially
13 known, but, quite simply, many people were taken to those places where
14 they were abused, held for several days. Some people were never seen
15 again; all traces of them was lost.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, could I ask for a clarification of one
17 of the previous answers of the witness.
18 May I take you back to one of your previous answers. You were
19 asked whether there were any members of the Bosnian Serb leadership. You
20 particularly discussed those matters, and these were artillery fire, et
21 cetera, with -- and then you said: "Nobody particular. As I said, there
22 were people there who dealt with military matters. Karadzic was there."
23 You mentioned Mrs. Plavsic --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter said not military matters, I
1 MR. STEWART: That's what I remember, Your Honour, I was going to
2 comment. It was "not" as the introduction to that answer.
3 JUDGE ORIE: It's not entirely clear at this moment where this
4 correction was made to line --
5 MR. STEWART: Well, it's -- it was that -- it was part of that
6 sentence. I understand the interpreter to be suggesting, Your Honour,
7 that we're talking about the second sentence of that answer as it appears
8 in the transcript.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter who interpreted believes she
10 said "not military matters," but she might be wrong.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That would be in the line: "There were no people
12 there who dealt not with military matters." Is that -- I'm looking at
13 this moment at page 18, line 18 and 19. Is that what you're referring to
14 at this moment?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, all I can say is that when I did
16 the interpretation I seem to remember having said "not military matters,"
17 but whether I said "not," I can't be sure now.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You're referring to that line --
19 MR. STEWART: My recollection is there were no people -- I
20 certainly remember the negative sense of the sentence, Your Honour,
21 because it would have struck me if it had not been that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So there was no one that dealt with military
23 matters. Yes, that's my recollection as well. Then you mentioned Mr.
24 Karadzic, whom you said he had a main say. You mentioned Mrs. Plavsic,
25 who you said would take part quite a bit as well; and Mr. Koljevic. And
1 then finally you said of course Mr. Krajisnik took part in the discussions
2 as well. Would you mean that you would discuss with all of them in the
3 absence of any, well, say specialists in military matters, that with the
4 four persons mentioned you discussed these military matters? Is that how
5 I should understand your testimony?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To be quite precise, what I said is
7 this: I said there were not any military experts present, so we didn't
8 speak about military matters specifically. But during the discussion
9 there were those four people present, it was a conversation over dinner,
10 and they took part in that conversation. Karadzic always had the main say
11 as the most senior person by virtue of his position among them.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And when you say "the discussion," you're
13 referring to the discussion about the Serb artillery and the Muslim
14 artillery, which one had to respond or fired at, et cetera. That's that
15 portion of the discussion you're referring to?
16 THE WITNESS: [No verbal response]
17 JUDGE ORIE: I see you're nodding yes. For the transcript --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart.
20 MR. STEWART:
21 Q. By the time you arrived in Pale on this occasion, had you heard
22 news or suggestions that there was ill treatment of civilians in Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina in any form of detention facility?
24 A. There was mention of that in the reduced media and the
25 war-oriented propaganda, and in the Presidency as well. But there was
1 never any specific, precise information about it. There was general talk
2 about that, that there was suffering, that many civilians had lost their
3 lives because there was fighting going on on all sides, and that the
4 Muslim people were suffering first and foremost, that their houses had
5 been burnt, that many had been killed. But they were not detailed,
6 precise pieces of information. It was talked about as if the whole of the
7 surrounding parts of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina was in the flames
8 of war in which everything was ablaze, in which people were losing their
9 lives, and things like that, but not any precise, specific information
10 coming in to us in the Presidency.
11 Q. When you first arrived in Pale on that occasion in July, based on
12 everything you'd heard and discussions in the Presidency, whatever news
13 you'd received, did you believe yourself at that point that there was a
14 problem about war crimes, ill treatment of civilians in any part of Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina?
16 A. Well, it was like this: I had direct access just in Sarajevo, but
17 everything else that I could have heard was second-hand information and
18 prejudice, just as the information that I listened to from Radio Pale were
19 biased. And I said in our talk yesterday that the perception by the
20 population was such that one side accepted just one set of information,
21 the other side accepted another set of information, and the two sides
22 didn't believe in these various sets of information being put out. As far
23 as I can see, I realised that the truth was not on any one side. It was
24 war and there were casualties on all sides because that's a component part
25 of war, suffering and destruction on all sides. And apart from that, it
1 was a civil war; therefore, it could only have been worse.
2 Q. Was your personal belief that things were happening which were
3 worse than inevitably to be expected in a civil war and things were
4 happening that were war crimes?
5 A. Would you be more specific, please.
6 Q. I'll take it in stages, Mr. Kecmanovic. What you said is correct,
7 is it, you had a clear personal conception of what inevitably would happen
8 in a civil war; that there would be terrible harm to people and property.
9 That was clear, wasn't it?
10 A. Precisely.
11 Q. And, Mr. Kecmanovic, at that time you -- can we take it you also
12 -- not necessarily with legal precision, but you also had yourself some
13 clear concept of things which were not permissible in war, particularly in
14 relation to treatment of civilians. You had a clear idea of that
15 distinction, didn't you?
16 A. At that point in time I didn't deal with the international legal
17 aspects of war crimes, nor any laws on war. But what I can tell you is
18 this, from my own experience in Sarajevo, which was my direct experience:
19 You know, people who some -- who a month before or one or two weeks before
20 behaved in the kind of way that I had been used to, they were my friends,
21 my neighbours, my colleagues at work, we had normal relationships and more
22 than that. Overnight, however, this mood changed, the general atmosphere
23 changed, and you could see changes in the course of the day, as the days
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kecmanovic, until now it's not an answer to the
1 question. The question was whether at the time you had yourself some
2 clear concept of things that were permissible or not permissible. Then
3 you said you did not deal with the international legal aspects of crime.
4 I do understand that. But did you know what was forbidden even without
5 studying the international law aspects? Some people, without ever having
6 seen a law, know that it's not permitted to kill your neighbour, as where
7 -- so even such a knowledge, such an awareness, may exist even without
8 studying the law. Were you aware of that and specifically what was
9 permissible to civilians and non-civilians? Did you have any awareness of
11 I think that was the question, Mr. Stewart?
12 MR. STEWART: Yes, that's entirely fair, Your Honour.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I can tell you is this:
14 Practically everything that happened around me in Sarajevo came into the
15 category of impermissible acts, fell into that category, impermissible
16 things. However, before that I said that that was a completely
17 deregulated state. I was a member of the state Presidency, for example;
18 however, I was not able to be fully informed or certainly not to control
19 or influence events in the district in which I lived, for instance.
20 Starting from that, and then everything else was abnormal and could have
21 been -- people were taken -- could have been considered reprehensible.
22 People were taken away, they were incarcerated. All traces were lost of
23 that. The divisions, ethnic decisions, were impermissible in a situation
24 like that, but it was a chronic state in Sarajevo during that time.
25 Of course, the fact hat it was chronic doesn't change anything in
1 evaluating the situation and sizing it up. When I said I didn't deal with
2 the legal aspects, I said that a little ironically, I was being ironic,
3 but of course everything that happened was not actually permissible.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You made a distinction before between I would say
5 private gangs and what you saw to be impermissible. Was that exclusively
6 behaviour of private gangs or did you also discern impermissible
7 behaviour, from whatever side, not committed by private gangs?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right. In
9 addition to those private gangs, there were those who had the insignia of
10 the official army or police, the BH army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they
11 too engaged in impermissible acts.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And I said before from both sides. Did you observe
13 any impermissible acts by the opposite armed forces?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that I did do was hear about
15 this, and this referred to artillery fire that came into town from up on
16 the hill. That was something that somebody living in town was present in
17 a very direct manner; otherwise, I didn't have any other contacts with the
18 other side. I didn't have any immediate experience as to what was
19 happening outside town, but the situation in town is -- was as I have
20 described it to you. There was artillery fire from the surrounding hills,
21 which was held -- which were held by the Serbs. That was it.
22 JUDGE ORIE: From what you saw, and I now refer to what
23 Mr. Stewart earlier asked of you, from the level of awareness you had on
24 what was permissible and not permissible in war, the effects of artillery
25 from the hills, as you said, did that give you the impression that it was
1 all permissible or did you also gain the impression that some of this fire
2 was impermissible? Just to give you an example: If you see a -- let's
3 just assume a tank being hit by a missile, my first impression would be
4 that the missile attacked a clear military object, being a tank, whereas I
5 can imagine other situations where the effects of the artillery fire would
6 not be obviously permissible or perhaps give an impression of being
7 impermissible. From what you observed in town, did you gain any such
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's not difficult for me to
10 answer that question of yours at all. I was down in the town myself, so I
11 was a potential victim of that artillery fire. So that is also something
12 that I experienced very directly, and I risked my life on a daily basis
13 being there. But I wasn't able to assess, nor am I an expert in the
14 field, of whether a projectile coming from the hill had missed a target,
15 missed a military target, for instance, and then hit something else or
16 not. All I can say and all I know is that that firing did exist, there
17 was shooting, and there were people who fell victim to that shooting, and
18 that I, myself, moving around town might have been hit by the same token.
19 And most of the citizens stuck to their own homes or didn't leave town
20 much. I moved around. So they were trying to protect themselves, but for
21 my job I had to move around town all the time, leave my home. And all
22 this was a risk. It was an adventure that you undertook that you could
23 have paid for with your life.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would one be safe if one would stay at home?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, because they were
1 projectiles which were not -- didn't have the explosive force and power to
2 destroy houses. So if you were indoors, in a house, especially if you
3 were in a more secure part of the building -- you see, mostly - and I did
4 this myself when I was at home, as did my family - we were in rooms that
5 were facing the front -- or rather, we weren't in the rooms facing the
6 front. We were in the back rooms that were not facing the outside world,
7 if I can put it that way. And the best places for rallying were the
8 landings between the apartments, between the flats. Everybody would
9 congregate there on these landings and they became a sort of joint sitting
10 room because that was considered to be the safest place, these landings
11 between the flats. And some of the inhabitants in the buildings who were
12 more afraid and who didn't have nerves that weren't that strong went to
13 cellars and basements and took refuge there. I myself was not able to
14 ensure that safety for myself because I just had to go to work every day
15 and come back home from work. I had a job to do.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So do I understand you well to say that if you'd stay
17 at home, that if you'd stayed at the side of your home that was not
18 exposed to -- to fire, that then you would be relatively safe but you
19 should take the precaution not to stay at the exposed side because you
20 were not safe there. At least there was a risk not to be ignored of
21 firing reaching the home or the apartment.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say that my apartment was
23 specifically targeted, but you know that in artillery activity you can't
24 -- when artillery fire was opened, we as civilians didn't know what their
25 targets were. In addition to that, there were artillery batteries in
1 defence of town that were deployed in different places, and there would
2 often be return fire. But that fire was not very precise and there was no
3 guarantee that a shrapnel wouldn't fall close or that a shell would miss
4 and that it wouldn't fall close to where we were. It did happen. It was
5 known to happen.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
8 MR. STEWART:
9 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, in the course of your visit to Pale, did you ever
10 suggest to any of the Bosnian Serb leadership there that they or anybody
11 under their control had crossed the line from between legitimate conduct
12 of war and criminal conduct of war?
13 A. Could you please be more precise in your question.
14 Q. Professor Kecmanovic, let's lay some groundwork then. We can
15 agree -- let's say -- use His Honour's example that normally speaking if
16 you see a tank taken out, there's a very strong presumption that that's a
17 legitimate military activity; unfortunately, though, the entire
18 circumstances of the situation are it's part of conduct of a war. We can
19 understand that. Agreed? You have to say something into the microphone.
20 A. I agree.
21 Q. We can also agree, can't we, that take the most terrible things,
22 if you send millions to extermination camps and kill them, that's plainly,
23 utterly, illegal. Everybody knows that, don't they?
24 A. Of course.
25 Q. Somewhere between those extremes, there's a line, hard to define
1 with precision, but you understand -- we understand the concept of there
2 being a line, Mr. Kecmanovic. Correct? That's all I'm seeking your
3 agreement --
4 A. In theory, yes.
5 Q. Well, in theory and in reality, in practice, Mr. Kecmanovic, there
6 is such a line, isn't there?
7 A. If you will allow me. Ten or 15 years later, as I sit here in the
8 courtroom, it is very different to discuss those things, especially your
9 views are different. I remember the situation well, even after those 10
10 or 15 years. On both sides those were town neighbourhoods, and when there
11 is artillery on both sides targeting town neighbourhoods, everything is so
12 close to each other and it is very difficult to achieve such an ideal
13 situation so as to hit your exact target. Even if the hits were precise,
14 there was still collateral damage because those artillery nests were
15 between the buildings. And as far as I know, this is not only on this
16 side but on the other as well.
17 Q. I'm going to stop you. I'm not making myself clear here; that's
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I think we could cut matters short.
20 Because lengthy discussion on whether lines are there in theory only and
21 how it worked out, I think the core of your question was, and I'll put it
22 to Mr. Kecmanovic --
23 MR. STEWART: May I just comment this, Your Honour: I'm informed
24 that the translation into B/C/S is not regarded as clear by the B/C/S
25 speakers, which I think I include Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Sladojevic. I
1 just raise that concern.
2 JUDGE ORIE: In general or a specific point?
3 MR. STEWART: Well, I haven't discussed with him what the specific
4 point is, but I can do, Your Honour. It clearly relates to this most
5 recent --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could we do the following: I try again to put the
7 question as I understand it to the witness --
8 MR. STEWART: Certainly, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- and see what the relevance still is of any
10 imprecision in earlier translation.
11 Mr. Kecmanovic, I think Mr. Stewart wanted to know whether you
12 ever said to your interlocutors in Pale: Be aware that what happens in
13 the war is not only horrible but even goes beyond what would be
14 permissible in a war? Did you ever say such a thing to your
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember having said that,
17 but I thought that this was implied, that it goes without saying, that
18 they were aware of that just as I was. We were in a territory that was
19 not large. They were in one part of the town; I was in another part of
20 the town. Sarajevo itself was divided into two parts; a smaller part of
21 the new part of town with the Serb forces, and the other side where the
22 Muslim forces were predominant. The distance was not that big.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If you say it goes without saying that they were
24 aware of that, just as I was, were you referring to a way of conducting
25 hostilities which was impermissible even in war?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is absolutely inadmissible.
2 There is no doubt about that. But those things happened in both parts of
3 the town. Let me be more precise. There is a river flowing through town;
4 its name is Miljacka, and in some parts of town only Miljacka separated
5 the two sides and the artillery fire was opened on both sides and the
6 consequences of that artillery fire was the same on both sides.
7 Therefore, I could not tell them anything new. I could not inform them of
8 anything they didn't know already.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's still not entirely clear, Mr. Stewart. At
10 the same time, the witness said he never raised such an issue but he
11 thought they would be aware, just as he was aware. And then we get a few
12 lines which might not demonstrate precise and full awareness of where the
13 lines should be drawn in a combat situation. Of course if you want to
14 further explore the matter, fine, but it's certainly that the matter has
15 not been raised by the witness, that seems to be clear.
16 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, I'm not going to carry the topic
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm looking at the clock and I'd like to -- ask
19 Madam Usher, first of all, to escort the witness out of the courtroom.
20 We'll have a break, Mr. Kecmanovic.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, just for scheduling purposes, what could
23 we expect in today, perhaps even tomorrow? You indicated that next
24 witness would not -- you couldn't start the next witness until Thursday,
25 but what is our perspective?
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, as far as this witness is concerned,
2 when we -- when we leave Pale, which we should do quite soon, we go very
3 briefly to Belgrade and then I'm going to tidy up as best I can, Your
4 Honour, those issues relating to the meetings that we discussed earlier.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The itinerary would take you how much time?
6 MR. STEWART: Yes, it's only those topics, Your Honour. Within
7 half an hour, I would suspect.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then we know what to expect approximately. We will
9 adjourn and resume at five minutes to 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
14 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I've handed in
15 to the Court through the Registry an extract from a book. Your Honours
16 may be familiar with it. I have a copy of the book in court for
17 reference. It's -- the author is Glenny --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Who is, from what I remember, a British journalist.
19 MR. STEWART: He is, Your Honour, correct. And it's called "The
20 Fall of Yugoslavia." I have the third edition with a new epilogue, third
21 edition, 1996. Your Honour, in accordance with the usual practice, I've
22 put a couple of pages around it for context, but the whole book is
24 JUDGE ORIE: I take it you want to exhibit this?
25 MR. STEWART: Yes, please, Your Honour, and I'm going to -- of
1 course it's in English --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar -- I take it just the pages you
4 MR. STEWART: Just the extract is all I'm proposing and the book
5 is, of course, available.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D157, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, there's one particular paragraph, it's
9 about 15 lines, it's at page 202 and it begins with the words: "Nenad
10 Kecmanovic." So that indicates why that paragraph is the paragraph --
11 JUDGE ORIE: It's a good start for the paragraph.
12 MR. STEWART: It's certainly a good start for this witness, Your
14 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, forgive me if I don't hand it to you because it's
15 simply going to be translated for you from the English into your own
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I ask for that to be done. It is
18 only about 15 lines.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. STEWART:
21 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic.
22 A. I wanted to ask for a short intervention, as I believe that before
23 the break I was not clear in what I said. May I please have the floor to
24 say that?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. When I mentioned that
2 the Serbian leadership was in a position to know what the situation was
3 and that I didn't think it necessary for me to ask them or to tell them
4 anything. I gave you the example of the Miljacka river as a small stream
5 and I said hat it was a separation of the two parts of the city of
6 Sarajevo. Those two parts of Sarajevo are very close to each other.
7 They're only separated by bridges. On the one side there was the Serbian
8 population, and on the other side there was the Muslim population. The
9 Muslim artillery opened fire on the Serbian part of town and vice versa.
10 And the same sequelae that I felt in my part of town from the Serb
11 artillery, the same sequelae must have been on the other side as a result
12 of the Muslim artillery. In both cases the artillery fire was opened on
13 densely populated areas. And this is what I meant when I said that they
14 must have been aware of the consequences because they themselves suffered
15 the same consequences at the hands of the other party.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's perfectly clear.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour.
18 Q. Yes, perhaps I should say, Mr. Kecmanovic, that the passage I'm
19 inviting the interpreters to deal with, I am going to ask you whether you
20 agree with it, whether there's anything in it that you disagree with.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I don't know whether it would be
22 helpful for Mr. Kecmanovic just to have a piece of paper and make any
23 notes while he listens.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. STEWART: I thought perhaps that might. That's completely --
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you're an author, you need a piece of paper.
2 MR. STEWART: Well, I think so. Do you -- thank you very much.
3 Is Your Honour then ready for --
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm ready to. You'll read it yourself, I take it?
5 MR. STEWART: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I mean somebody has to read it.
7 MR. STEWART: "Nenad Kecmanovic served for a short time after the
8 war had erupted on the Bosnian Presidency. In August of 1992, he
9 travelled to Belgrade with the approval of President Izetbegovic to hold
10 talks with Slobodan Milosevic although he never returned to Bosnia. En
11 route, he stopped off at the Serb headquarters in Pale when I spent a
12 boozy evening with him and Nikola Koljevic, Karadzic's deputy."
13 Q. May I just pause there. It says "August 1992," Mr. Kecmanovic,
14 whereas you have told us early July 1992. Does the date August in the
15 book there cause you to reconsider or do you wish to stick with what you
16 had told the Trial Chamber about the date?
17 A. I think -- actually, I'm sure that this information is wrong. I
18 am not disputing what he says here, but Mr. Glenny, whom I met and whom I
19 saw in Belgrade, never checked this with me. And it is also not true that
20 I went to talk to Milosevic. I didn't meet with Milosevic at the time. I
21 met with Cosic, Babic [as interpreted], and Patriarch Pavle. And a third
22 thing, if that is at all important, I was not the one who drank, and maybe
23 that is why I remember so well what happened. It is true that we dined
24 together and that this dinner lasted for a while - all the evening, as a
25 matter of fact - and that Professor Koljevic was with the two of us.
1 Q. Where would -- can you say how Mr. Glenny, the author, might have
2 got the idea that Koljevic was Mr. Karadzic's deputy?
3 A. I can't remember how it looked in particular stages, but I know
4 that at a certain stage there was the Presidency of Republika Srpska.
5 Karadzic was the president of that Presidency, and the others were members
6 of the Presidency. And then in the second stage he was president and they
7 were vice-presidents. And by being a vice-president, together with
8 Mrs. Koljevic [as interpreted], actually he was number two. He actually
9 shared place number two with Mrs. Plavsic, and I believe that in that
10 sense this was true, or was said like that.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, page 36, line 9, the second name there,
12 Babic, Your Honour, the witness said Panic.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's now corrected for the transcript.
14 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Then continuing the text here.
16 "Kecmanovic was in a state of depression and anger as the Bosnian
17 Serb news agency, SRNA, had blown his cover and reported erroneously that
18 he had fled Sarajevo for his safety, having arrived in Pale 'in a very
19 poor physical condition' (which implied that he had been beaten up by
21 Do you agree with or otherwise comment on that passage?
22 A. I don't agree.
23 Q. What specifically don't you agree with?
24 A. I don't agree with two of the three things. I don't agree with
25 the statement that I fled Sarajevo; to the contrary, I went very
1 officially, very openly. I also don't agree that I had been beaten up in
2 Sarajevo; that is absolutely not correct. And I can only agree with the
3 allegation that I was depressive, but this feeling was common to all the
4 citizens during the war and -- and political leaderships on the three
5 sides were not immune to that. But what might have created an -- a
6 stronger impression of that was the fact that I was not prepared to talk
7 to the journalists who were up there, although I knew all of them from
8 before the war. I simply believe that my stay there should have been as
9 discreet as possible. I was angry that the information had leaked because
10 that part of my journey should have become secret in agreement with
11 Izetbegovic. The contacts between the two sides, as a rule, were secret
12 because the grassroots did not look upon -- favourably upon such meetings
13 when I arrived in Belgrade. In Belgrade, people had a different opinion
14 about those things.
15 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, there may not be disagreement here, because you
16 don't have advantage of the text, but in fairness to the author he is
17 saying that it had been reported erroneously that you had fled Sarajevo
18 and that you had arrived in a very poor physical condition. You appear to
19 agree with the author that that report was wrong. Is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And then it continues: "During the course of the evening --"
22 A. I agree. I simply did not hear this no or negative sentence in
23 the sentence.
24 Q. So it continues: "During the course of the evening, he --" and
25 that's you, Mr. Kecmanovic -- "he cheered up a little and said to
1 Koljevic: 'You know, you are all too personally involved with Sarajevo
2 and I think that is why you spend so much time on it.' 'Yes,' Koljevic
3 nodded his head sagely as is appropriate for the leading Serbo-Croat
4 translator of Shakespeare. He then added absent-mindedly as an
5 afterthought, 'Of course with everybody worrying about Sarajevo, it means
6 that they don't pay much attention to what's going on elsewhere.'"
7 That's a number of years ago, Mr. Kecmanovic, but does that ring
8 true, did some such exchange take place?
9 A. Of course when it comes to more subtle things, my memory doesn't
10 serve me that well. It's easier for me to either confirm or refute some
11 specific things. I don't think that this is very precisely put. I
12 believe that --
13 Q. Was it your view that the -- all the people in Pale were too
14 personally involved with Sarajevo?
15 A. One might say so, and I was no exception. I believe that I said
16 it in the first person plural. Like on so many occasions during my
17 testimony, you have often asked me about the situation in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina and I have told you every time that I am familiar with the
19 situation in Sarajevo. We were all focussed on Sarajevo because we
20 resided there and Mr. Koljevic was not born in Sarajevo but in Bosnian
21 Krajina in Banja Luka. But he spent most of his time in Sarajevo; that's
22 why all of our conversations focussed on Sarajevo and things that were
23 happening there.
24 Q. Now, I finished with that passage.
25 MR. STEWART: And, Your Honours, I have nothing more on that.
1 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, you then -- you then went straight from Pale to
2 Belgrade by plane. Is that right?
3 A. No, not by plane but by helicopter. There was one offer on the
4 table -- actually, there was a discussion as to how we would go to
5 Belgrade and --
6 Q. Yes, Mr. Kecmanovic, I'm not --
7 A. And I believe it is important --
8 Q. Well, you said it's important. If it's important to explain how
9 you got to Belgrade, please do.
10 A. Maybe not, but I'll be brief: There was a proposal for me to go
11 with Mr. Karadzic by helicopter, which was supposed to leave immediately.
12 But that was a helicopter carrying wounded, and since I was no longer
13 popular amongst the Serbs because I was on the other side, I believed that
14 this might have been rather awkward, so I opted for the second variant,
15 which was for me to leave on the following day in a smaller helicopter
16 with Mr. Koljevic. And this is what transpired, and that's why I stayed a
17 day longer.
18 Q. Did the Bosnian Serb leadership in Pale regard you as being on the
19 other side?
20 A. This is a very complex question, and the answer is both yes and
21 no. I can't answer otherwise.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... can you answer it, in the
23 first place, in relatively simple terms, Mr. Kecmanovic?
24 A. Probably it will be more precise to try and describe the situation
25 from my point of view and how I view the leadership in Pale. On the one
1 hand this was the other side to the conflict, as I have already mentioned.
2 I was in the town of Sarajevo and I was at a risk from the Serb artillery.
3 However, at the same time those were my fellow nationals, people whom I
4 knew well before the war. And as I told you yesterday very explicitly, I
5 believed that the event in the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina when the
6 Serb side was over voted, which was a huge injustice, that that was an
7 immediate political introduction to the war. And this had -- this had
8 made my position very relative to a certain extent.
9 Q. But in -- in bare terms, were you regarded by Dr. Karadzic and the
10 other Bosnian Serb leaders in Pale as being on the other side in this
12 A. I'd say that they considered me as a person who is on the other
13 side but is not their enemy.
14 Q. In Belgrade you said whom you met. Did anything of practical
15 usefulness emerge from the discussions you had in Belgrade?
16 A. It's hard to talk about any practical use. In any case, those
17 talks had more content than the talks in Pale. In my conversation with
18 Dobrica Cosic, Professor Koljevic attended one part of that conversation.
19 Then Dobrica Cosic, with whom I found common grounds, unlike with
20 Koljevic, then Cosic asked Koljevic to leave us alone. Cosic was very
21 concerned and worried when I told him some things. He was very depressed.
22 At some points I could even notice that he perceived the situation even
23 worse than I who had been there. He showed more desire to help me. He
24 noticed that I had pain in my back, and he made sure that I was given
25 medical attention. My back pain was the result of the time spent in
1 Sarajevo. I will go back to that if necessary.
2 As for my meeting with Panic, the situation was absolutely
3 different. Panic exuded optimism, great optimism. With regard to the
4 situation, he thought things could be resolved quickly. And on the one
5 hand he really changed me with his optimism, but on the other hand I
6 realised that he did not understand the situation. I tried to make his
7 optimism more realistic. He was talking about buying out weapons from all
8 the three sides, approaching the matter in a very business-like manner.
9 And I told him that people were buying more rather than selling weapons.
10 I told him that I would like to join in his optimism if there was good
11 reason for it.
12 As for my conversation with Patriarch Pavle, we spoke in general
13 terms. He is a very deeply religious person, and in our conversation he
14 made a lot of reference to the Holy books. As for my concrete proposal
15 that the episcopate of Bosnia who was in charge of the general area of
16 Sarajevo to come to Sarajevo, the -- his predecessor had died and he was
17 just appointed in Belgrade. I asked for this new episcopate to come to
18 Sarajevo because that would mean a lot, not only for the Serbs and the
19 followers of the Orthodox religion, but for all the citizens it would have
20 been a symbolic sign that the situation was calming down. However, the
21 patriarch told me that such a decision is beyond his power and that I
22 should talk to the episcopate himself. And then he organised a meeting
23 for -- between me and the episcopate in the church building. And in a
24 nutshell, that would be the long and the short of all the three
25 conversations that I had.
1 Q. You said that you felt -- you realised that Mr. Panic did not
2 understand the situation. That's page 41, lines 19 and 20. Apart from
3 what you indicated about buying and selling of weapons, can you say what
4 else you realised Mr. Panic did not understand about the situation?
5 A. I had the impression that he was looking at things in more simple
6 terms and that he was simplifying them, although they were not simple at
7 all. At one point he told me: The two of us, we'll go there together,
8 and then we will resolve the situation very quickly. The war had already
9 been under way, and in Sarajevo I had witnessed the growing hatred among
10 the people, and I was absolutely clear that things would not be that
11 simple to resolve.
12 Q. Did you report back to anyone in Sarajevo the outcome of your
13 discussions in Belgrade?
14 A. As I knew that I would be hospitalised in the next few days, I
15 sent faxes -- a fax to Izetbegovic, and then I gave the press my written
16 statement very briefly, without any elaboration, and that statement went
17 through Tanjug to other press agencies, as is customary.
18 Q. Did you report the outcome of your discussions in Belgrade to
19 anyone in Pale?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Were you involved in any further political activity in relation to
22 conflict from that point onwards?
23 A. If you'll allow me, I've just remembered that with Prime Minister
24 Panic, who was a very pragmatic person, I agreed to open another blue way.
25 In that time that meant communication on the eastern part of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina for the delivery of humanitarian aid. And as to your
2 question, I can say that after that until this very day I have withdrawn
3 from any political activity. My hospital stay gave me ample time to
4 ponder upon things, and it was then that I decided that I would no longer
5 engage in politics, save for maybe only marginally.
6 Q. Do you have knowledge of circumstances in which Serbs left
7 Sarajevo in any significant numbers?
8 A. The situation was very specific when it came to the departure of
9 Serbs from Sarajevo. There was a kind of permanent ethnic violence. I've
10 already spoken about that. Serbs were not allowed to leave Sarajevo,
11 although a majority of them wanted to do that. But there were ways if you
12 had money, or if you ceded your apartment, to leave town with the help of
13 paramilitary or police forces. And people paid a lot of money in foreign
14 currency to save themselves and to leave town. Some tried to do that
15 without such help and they lost their lives on the separation line, or
16 when they tried to leave they were caught and punished because general
17 mobilisation was in place, and any attempt to leave the city of Sarajevo
18 was considered a crime.
19 Q. Did you at any time - and I mean at any time from 1992 onwards -
20 hear anything about Mr. Krajisnik advising or encouraging Serbs to leave
22 A. You mean during the war or after the war?
23 Q. Did you hear such a thing at any time; during or after the war?
24 A. No, no. During the war I believe that the Serb side, but not
25 Mr. Krajisnik personally, launched an initiative to allow the citizens of
1 Sarajevo of Serb ethnicity to leave town, not only Serbs but people of all
2 origin. The advantage was to be given to the elderly, to the sick, women,
3 and children. And it was said that they would guarantee safe passage
4 through the territory under their control.
5 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, I want to return to --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Before you do so, Mr. Stewart.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps one clarifying question.
9 Your last answer says that you believed that the Serb side
10 launched an initiative to allow the citizens of Sarajevo of Serb ethnicity
11 to leave town.
12 Was that to allow citizens to leave or had it anything to do with
13 the Serbs having to allow Muslim citizens to leave Serb-controlled areas?
14 Well, I mean, was this just one-sided or was it an exchange, something
15 like an exchange, you are -- you heard about or what you said you believe?
16 I don't know on what your belief is based.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. This was information that
18 arrived through the media. I've already said that in Sarajevo on the
19 Muslim side we could follow the Serb media from the Serbian part of the
20 town of Sarajevo. There was an urban area on the Serb side, and we could
21 listen to the Serb radio. And through the media I believe that Karadzic
22 himself, live on radio, invited the town of Sarajevo to allow the citizens
23 of Sarajevo who wanted to leave town and that the Serb side would allow
24 them safe passage through the territory controlled by them. This applied
25 primarily to the elderly, to women with children. This was an invitation
1 to all of those who wished to leave town. And let me add to that: This
2 was not in terms of any exchange, although there -- there were such
3 arrangements as well, but in this particular instance, that was not the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were -- this was a call upon the Sarajevo town
6 authorities to let Serbs go who wanted to leave. Are you aware in any way
7 of freedom of Muslims to leave --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And others.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And others, yes. Are you aware of the freedom of
10 Muslims and others to leave the Serb-controlled area and to move to the
11 city of Sarajevo or to move to any other Muslim-controlled territory?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember, and my knowledge on what
13 you've just asked me is rich but not immediate and not from that period of
14 time. I heard about that after the war when people told me about their
15 experiences throughout the war, but what I can tell you as an eye-witness
16 from the time when I was in town, that's in the early 1990s when the war
17 had just started, I can only say that during the first few months of the
18 war it was relatively easy for Muslims to cross from the Serb-controlled
19 area to the Muslim-controlled area and vice versa. For example, Grbavica
20 is one of the neighbourhoods in Sarajevo that was on the Serbian side, and
21 I know some people who moved with their family members on the Muslim side.
22 And I also know some Serbs who crossed over to the other side. But that
23 was just during the first few months when it was possible or not that
25 Later on it became more and more difficult to the point when it
1 became absolutely impossible to do that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you be more specific on that point in time when
3 it became more difficult. When you left - you said that was early July -
4 was it then still possible to move out freely?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, absolutely not, no.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So could you please then tell us when approximately
7 this became a problem.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say that already at the
9 beginning of May it was almost impossible. But in April it was still
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
12 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
13 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, I want to return to the meetings that you
15 described which involved Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Pejanovic, and in different
16 combinations Dr. Karadzic. You described one meeting in Ilidza and then
17 another meeting some weeks later, apparently, in Lukavica. Was there ever
18 a meeting in 1992 involving you, Mr. Pejanovic, and either or both of
19 Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic at the Hotel Serbia in Ilidza?
20 A. No. I believe that you are relying on Pejanovic's book. He made
21 a mistake. I don't think it was intentional. There is no reason for him
22 to make an intentional mistake. As far as I can remember that book, he
23 describes it as two meetings, one of which was at the Terme Hotel in
24 Ilidza involving Karadzic and Krajisnik, and he combined that with a
25 meeting in Lukavica with Mr. Krajisnik. He gave me that book of his, and
1 I pointed the mistake to him. He wrote the book much later, and this was
2 a genuine mistake on his part. There was no meeting at the Serbia Hotel,
3 which is also in Ilidza. The meeting -- the only meeting was at the Terme
4 Hotel, and that meeting involved Karadzic, Krajisnik, Pejanovic, and
6 Q. Was that a single meeting or was it a meeting that was split over
7 more than one day?
8 A. It was a brief meeting. As I already said yesterday, it lasted
9 less than an hour; half an hour, maybe.
10 Q. And during the course of that meeting, did Mr. Krajisnik discuss
11 the question of ethnic division of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. No.
13 Q. What would you -- from your being there in 1992, what would be
14 your comment on any suggestion that Mr. Krajisnik had developed any sort
15 of obsession about ethnic division in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
16 A. Well, it's like this, you see: One could say that the division of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina was -- well, I won't call it anybody's obsession, but
18 it was -- that it was the prevailing topic in all political talks, that is
19 a fact, and that was the concept of the European Union ultimately as well,
20 which Cutileiro, as a representative of Europe, proposed. It was a topic
21 I dealt with myself as one of the participants of one of the sessions
22 which was chaired by Cutileiro in Sarajevo, and it was a topic that I
23 dealt with in my party, as I mentioned yesterday, and I introduced
24 elements of that into our party platform. And that was something that was
25 just simply on the agenda, in the Assembly, in the government, in the
1 media, in the political parties, and so forth. I don't mean that
2 Mr. Krajisnik was somebody who especially dealt with the subject, but I
3 remember during that period of time also, for instance, that wherever you
4 would attend a meeting, the people there had before them the Swiss
5 constitution, the Belgian political system. So a quest was underway for
6 analogies and to apply parts of that in Bosnia.
7 Q. Was there --
8 A. I had in my party people who dealt with this specifically and
9 served as some sort of expert -- experts to provide us with reliable data
10 in the matter. Mr. Cutileiro, for instance, had an associate by the name
11 of Mr. Darwin, who was with him all the time, and as far as I remember he
12 was a specialist in cartography, for instance. And he was always in
13 charge of explaining the separation lines, demarcation lines, and what it
14 would look like on a geographic map.
15 Q. Was there -- and I don't need to distinguish between the two
16 meetings that you've referred to, one in Ilidza, one in Lukavica, so we
17 can -- this question can apply to either or both of those meetings. Was
18 there a difference of view between you and Mr. Pejanovic on the one hand
19 and Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic on the other hand on the question of
20 whether the Bosnian situation could or should be resolved by force as
21 opposed to by negotiations?
22 A. In that respect, absolutely not. Everybody, of course, not only
23 in declarative terms, but really did prefer favourised political
24 negotiations. I don't think any side opted for a war solution in actual
25 fact. And up to the very last moment, although war was in the air and you
1 could smell gunpowder, everybody harboured false hopes that this would be
3 MR. STEWART: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Perhaps I ask one or two questions before I give you an
6 opportunity, Mr. Tieger, to cross-examine the witness.
7 You also talked about a meeting between Mr. Krajisnik and
8 Mr. Izetbegovic. And I think you said you took the initiative for that
9 meeting. Could you give us a few more details. I think it was a meeting
10 that took place late at night, if I remember your evidence well. Yes,
11 could you please elaborate on where were you, who took the initiative, who
12 would go where to see, what was the planning? Was it planned well in
13 advance, a couple of days, or just at that very moment? Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It implied a certain amount of
15 preparation but not complicated preparation because I talked to
16 Izetbegovic about it and he agreed, and then I asked Pejanovic to come
17 into contact via Krajisnik's brother, Mirko Krajisnik, with the opposite
18 side and for them to call me. And I put forward this proposal, which was
19 accepted, and it was decided, and this is a sort of interesting point,
20 that it be on Muslim side first and then in the cabinet or offices of the
21 president of parliament, in the Serb parliament offices or in the offices
22 of the Serb representative, that it should be held late at night for
23 security reasons and conspiracy reasons, because the people on both sides
24 experienced these contacts very negatively, contacts with the opposite
25 side, the enemy side, if I could put it that way. And I came to see
1 Izetbegovic at the time we agreed on, and it's not a long way from the
2 presidential building to the parliament building. When we arrived there's
3 an underground garage. We went down into the garage and met Mr. Krajisnik
4 there already, who, as he told us, had tried to enter the building, but
5 the door was closed. The security guards had been placed inside, so he
6 was waiting for us there. And then in the meantime, the people who
7 escorted Izetbegovic returned and they also said they were not able to
8 come into contact with them. So then we were faced with a dilemma,
9 whether to go back to the Presidency building or to hold the meeting in
10 the corridor and to hold our meeting as we were walking. But at that
11 point in time, the door did open, we were able to enter the building -- do
12 you want me to continue?
13 JUDGE ORIE: No. I have some very specific questions. I do
14 understand that you have described the situation. Do you know where
15 Mr. Krajisnik came from? I mean, did he come from Pale? Did he come from
16 Vogosca? Do you have any idea from where he came on that evening?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You said that part of the meeting would take place on
19 Muslim-controlled territory and another part on Serb-controlled territory.
20 Did finally that second part of the meeting take place, and where did it
21 take place?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. To this day I
24 JUDGE ORIE: But you said it was agreed -- you proposed that part
25 of it would be here, part of it would be there. You --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me be precise. I'll go back to
2 what I said yesterday and to what you are referring to. The day after
3 those talks, following an agreement between Izetbegovic and Krajisnik, I
4 put forward the four variants and sent them by fax to Pale. I took them
5 to Izetbegovic. And while I was sitting there with Izetbegovic, and he
6 chose the fourth option or fourth variant of the four that I put forward,
7 the same one that the Serb side had opted for, the telephone rang. And
8 while I was listening -- well, I wasn't actually listening to the
9 conversation, but Izetbegovic at one point handed the receiver over to me
10 and I said: Who is it? Who is on the line? And he said: Krajisnik was
11 on the line, on the phone. And he told me then that the previous evening,
12 when he was going back to the Serb side, his car was shot at and et
14 JUDGE ORIE: We well understood the testimony of yesterday. Part
15 of the meeting to be held on -- in the city of Sarajevo, the other part to
16 be held on Serb-controlled territory. Do I understand you that that was
17 planned for -- well, let's say a couple of days after that and then
18 finally, through this telephone call, the second part of the meeting did
19 not take place, the follow-up meeting?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The second part of the meeting was
21 supposed to take place the next day at the same time, at midnight. And we
22 didn't say in advance where the location would be, but the question was
23 broached during the telephone conversation. Now, whether they met that
24 evening or later on or not at all, I really don't know, I can't say.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that is clear to me now. Just to be sure, that
1 meeting, that first meeting where you arrived in the garage, who -- did I
2 understand your testimony well that it was Mr. Izetbegovic, Mr. Krajisnik,
3 and you that were present, no one else, or were there any other persons?
4 Perhaps apart from guards, but ...
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood it well.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kecmanovic.
7 Mr. Tieger, did I understand well that you'd prefer to have the
8 break now and that you start your cross-examination?
9 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Mr. Kecmanovic -- yes, Mr. -- Mr. Kecmanovic, we'll first have a
12 break and then Mr. Tieger will start his cross-examination, which will
13 take another one hour and 20 minutes, approximately. We'll have a break
14 until 25 minutes past 12.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kecmanovic, you'll now be cross-examined by
18 Mr. Tieger, who is counsel for the Prosecution.
19 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Professor. Can I begin with one matter that you
23 raised briefly yesterday, and that was the issue of the selection or
24 election of the president of the Presidency of Bosnia. You indicated, if
25 I understood your testimony correctly, that according to rules that
1 pre-existed the election, the person who had garnered the most votes
2 automatically became the -- or was supposed to automatically become the
3 president of the Presidency. Was that a correct understanding of your
4 recollection of the situation at that time?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I had an opportunity overnight to take at least a quick look at
7 what appeared to be the rules governing that procedure, and I wanted to
8 ask you a couple of questions about that. And I'll mention in advance
9 that I -- the rules to which -- I have the rules to which I'll be
10 referring here. If you'd like to take a look at them, please let me know,
11 if that will be helpful.
12 The first rule I looked at was Article 20 of the Rules of
13 Procedure of the Presidency of SRBiH, the Socialist Republic of BiH, which
14 said: "The president of the Presidency is elected by the Presidency from
15 among its members for one year and may be elected one more time
16 successively to this function."
17 And similar to that, I looked at amendment 51 to the Bosnian
18 constitution at point 4, paragraph 6 - that was adopted in 1989, as I
19 understand it - which said: "The president of the Presidency is elected
20 by the Presidency from among its members for a period of one year and may
21 be elected one more time successively to this function."
22 Now, there are a couple of other provisions that -- one enacted
23 1981, that's amendment 8; one enacted in 1990, amendment 73, roughly to
24 the same effect, but my question is: In light of those provisions --
25 well, essentially this: What would have been the purpose of such
1 provisions and wouldn't they have been the superfluous and in effect
2 nugatory if there was a contrary provision that negated the need for any
3 such election; that is, for the automatic ascendancy of the top
4 vote-getter to that position?
5 A. I'll try to explain. I'm absolutely certain that such a provision
6 did exist. I don't have any documents with me. I could deliver them
7 subsequently, but I am convinced that the first president should have been
8 the person -- the highest vote-getter. The provision applied to the first
9 member of the Presidency, and after that, what you spoke about would
10 apply. The next one would be selected from amongst the members of the
12 As for the articles of the law that you're talking about, I don't
13 know whether it says there that every subsequent president should be from
14 a different ethnic group. Since this is not provided for by the documents
15 that you are referring to, but I am certain that it has -- it was provided
16 that such a procedure was in place and should have been respected. Every
17 subsequent president had to be from a different people. They should have
18 taken turns. But as so many other things that the Honourable Chamber
19 found surprising, in this respect the rules were not strictly adhered to.
20 To illustrate that, I can tell you about the rule that you quoted, that
21 the president was elected for a term of one year plus possibly another
22 year. The situation in practice was not that. President Izetbegovic
23 remained in his position much longer than one year plus a possible --
24 another year.
25 Q. Well, first -- I understand that. Let me ask you a couple of
1 questions. First of all, is it possible that the understanding you had
2 that the top vote-getter was to become the president of the Presidency was
3 essentially some form of inter-party understanding arrived at before the
4 elections rather than a provision of law that abrogated these
5 constitutional provisions?
6 A. You may be right. In any case, this is a rule which was not an
7 informal agreement amongst the parties of the ruling coalition. That was
8 public knowledge that the general public counted on as a done deal.
9 As for the form of that agreement and the document that regulated
10 it, I can't remember, but I believe -- I'm certain that it was a law. One
11 has to bear in mind, however, one more thing: On the eve of the
12 elections, after the elections, the three national parties formed one
13 bloc. They were an informal coalition which appeared jointly against all
14 the other parties, including mine. That was before the elections. After
15 the elections, during the division of power, the situation will change
16 only later. When they formed a coalition, they could easily agree but
17 they could also easily bend any laws that they wanted to bend. Those of
18 us who were opposition, since we were a minority, we did not have any
19 political strength to oppose any of their arrangements.
20 Even when it came to that question that you put to me in a
21 different situation, I -- I could find the text in the press that provided
22 a very critical overview of the violation of the law. To start with, the
23 first president should have been the top vote-getter, and so on and so
24 forth. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we've now spent ten minutes on an issue
1 which is relatively marginal, although I realise that I was the one who
2 put questions on the matter yesterday.
3 I take it, Mr. Stewart, that --
4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. TIEGER: Sorry to interrupt, but I do intend to go on with
7 this matter.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I would just like to address Mr. Stewart for
9 one second. In view of the position Mr. Krajisnik held at that time, if
10 there really was any legislation in existence which would give this rule a
11 rather than an informal agreement, I think it should not be too difficult
12 to find it. So if you find it important enough, provide it to the
13 Chamber. If you find it not of that relevance, then we'll just leave it
14 as it is.
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we have already put that in motion on
16 the footing that it should not be too difficult and time-consuming.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
19 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. And Professor, the Court's gentle admonition is a reminder of our
21 limited time and the need for me to craft the questions as narrowly as
22 required and also for you to focus on those questions and just answer
23 that. So if I feel that your answers, however well-intended, may be
24 straining beyond that, I will interrupt you.
25 You testified about some meetings that you held with various
1 members of other parties. I would like to take a look at at least some of
2 those now.
3 MR. TIEGER: If I could have the binder of materials handed to the
4 witness and distributed as well.
5 Q. While those are being distributed, Professor, let me indicate that
6 you're going to receive a bundle of materials. They're going to be
7 identified and separated by tab numbers. I'll direct your attention to
8 particular tabs containing certain documents and we can discuss those
10 Now, Professor, during the course of your answer this afternoon to
11 the question I posed earlier, you mentioned some of the difficulties of
12 your position as a member of the Alliance Reformists. And I believe you
13 said yesterday at page 29 that your position was complicated. Is it
14 correct that one of the complications, particularly as time went on and
15 events moved closer to the conflict and then into the conflict, was that
16 members of the SDS, Serb National Party, did not consider you to be a
17 "real Serb" or to represent real Serb values?
18 A. Yes, there was such a position in the Serb Democratic Party. They
19 did not approve of my affiliation with the Reformists. The fact that I
20 mentioned that I was invited to become the head of the SDS, which I
21 refused and became the head of a different party, spoke a lot to that
22 effect. There was another element in which they were right, unlike the
23 first one, because one thing is to be a true Serb and a different thing is
24 to represent the Serbian people. I did not consider myself any less a
25 Serb than them, but there was one thing in which they were right, and that
1 was that they were the legitimate representatives of the Serbian people
2 because as a Serbian party they received a majority of the votes, and on
3 the other hand I, as a multi-ethnic party, I received a lot less votes.
4 Q. Let me trace that quickly through certain of the documents
5 contained here. First of all, tab 4, which I believe needs a number.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 4, Your Honours, would be P1145.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Reflects a conversation of 4 June 1991 between Dr. Karadzic and
10 Mr. Krajisnik. Very quickly, after preliminaries between Dr. Karadzic and
11 Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Krajisnik indicates that: "I have here two old
12 buddies, and I've promise that we'll talk to them, and we didn't have
14 Dr. Karadzic asks: "Which buddies?"
15 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Professor Kecmanovic and Dr. Kalinic." And
16 then continues: "The driver will pick you up, so we can have a little
17 talk. You know, they're fine, they're not even real Serbs, but they are.
18 They're both from Krajina."
19 Dr. Karadzic says: "Do you think we could spice them up a little,
20 and make them better?"
21 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Spice them up?"
22 Dr. Karadzic says: "Yes."
23 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Sure, I guess we could spice them up a
24 little, not that much."
25 First of all, Professor, although I don't --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps you should explain to the witness
2 - I don't know whether he's aware - that he always finds the B/C/S
3 version just at the back of the English version.
4 MR. TIEGER:
5 Q. And that will be true for every tab. There will be an English
6 translation first and then you'll find the B/C/S version immediately
7 behind it in each tab.
8 Professor, did that reflect the kind of contact you had with
9 Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic in the middle part of 1991?
10 A. I don't know whether this is understandable for anybody reading it
11 who wasn't there, but this is a colourful comment to what was going on.
12 People in the SDS believed that we who had not opted for the Serbian Party
13 did not display the same degree of national consciousness that the
14 majority of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina displayed, and this was
15 especially applicable to me. However, you can see by the wording and the
16 way this was spiced up that the tone is colourful and joking. That's how
17 we often spoke, Mr. Krajisnik and I and Mr. Kalinic, who later on became a
18 member of the SDS. After greeting each other, he would often express
19 regret, the fact that we as intellectuals, as educated people, as
20 well-known and popular figures, were not together with the rest of the
21 Serbs. But that was a running joke at every meeting, and neither on my
22 part nor on the part of Kalinic this was construed as something insulting
23 or bad. Koljevic shared the same view, Mrs. Plavsic as well, and so on
24 and so forth.
25 Again, you can see by the choice of words that this was more of a
1 joke than anything else. Otherwise, we very rarely spoke about that in
2 serious terms.
3 Q. Let's move on to a period of time after the establishment of the
4 Serbian Assembly, and that's found at tab 7.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could I nevertheless ask one question.
6 Did you have a meeting then with Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Karadzic,
7 together with Dr. Kalinic or did you not have such a meeting early June
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember that, but there
10 were such informal meetings in any case.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, we are talking early June. I do
12 understand that you are still in Sarajevo. Mr. Krajisnik was not in
13 Sarajevo at that time, so it would have taken quite some efforts, isn't
14 it, to get to him? It was not that you -- I mean, it needed quite a lot
15 of preparation --
16 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, it's 1991 --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm in the wrong year. I'm really --
18 yes. You're perfectly right. I apologise, Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. Professor, I indicated I wanted to move to a period of time
21 following the establishment of the separate Serbian Assembly, and in that
22 connection if I could ask you to turn quickly to tab 7, a conversation
23 between Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Cosic. And if --
24 JUDGE ORIE: There's no year on it, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: No, that's -- I don't know if -- if that prevents
1 problems or creates them, but ...
2 Q. And, Professor, I'm directing your attention to the English
3 translation at page 10, and in your B/C/S version the relevant portion can
4 be found at the page that's marked on the top 02066158, if you can see
5 those markings at the top. So it's the page ending 58.
6 That occurs at a portion of the conversation when Dr. Karadzic and
7 Mr. Cosic are speaking about the Serbian Assembly and Mr. Cosic asks:
8 "But tell me, did Kecmanovic remain with his own?"
9 Dr. Karadzic: "Yes. Yes, he is ..."
10 Mr. Cosic: "That's no longer ..."
11 Mr. Karadzic: "No, he's a small fish."
12 Cosic: "There is nothing to be expected from him anymore."
13 I'm sorry, the portion I'm reading probably appears at the
14 following page, which is 6159.
15 Continuing: "There's nothing to be expected from him anymore."
16 Karadzic: "He is not up to it."
17 Cosic: "Just so, formally."
18 Karadzic: "He sometimes helps if he can and if he really does not
19 dare to as it would be open betrayal, but basically he is not reliable."
20 Professor, was it your understanding that following the
21 establishment of the Bosnian Serb Assembly and the resignation of certain
22 members of the Reformists Party and their joining the Serb Assembly, that
23 you had become regarded as someone who could only be counted on if it
24 didn't appear to be open betrayal with the Reformists Party but were
25 generally seen as unreliable by the SDS? Does that accurately depict your
1 understanding of how you were viewed by the Bosnian Serb leadership?
2 A. First of all, let me draw your attention to the fact that after
3 the events, the decisive events in the Assembly when the Serb side was
4 out-voted, the situation became very difficult for my party. A lot of
5 people in the party, in the grassroots, and in the leadership were
6 dissatisfied with the situation and with my attempt to strike a balance in
7 that situation. But neither the Serbs nor Croats in most of the cases
8 could not support that balance. It was very difficult to create one. At
9 one point, in order to preserve the party, I gave the right to the members
10 of the leadership and the members to opt for their own option. When the
11 Serbs joined the SDS, the Croats joined the HDZ, and the Muslims joined
12 the SDA, the membership dwindled. As for the position of the SDS towards
13 me, I did not find that very important. I thought that I had my own
14 political route to follow and --
15 Q. Now I have to stop you. I think you largely answered the
16 question, although -- certainly I wasn't asking about your personal
17 reaction to it at this point. But if I understood you correctly, you had
18 a general understanding that you were regarded in such a fashion and
19 accordingly tried to walk a very narrow path at that time, to the extent
20 you could?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And just one more intercept, and it does have a date and that may
23 be helpful. That's found at tab 8.
24 MR. TIEGER: It needs a number, Your Honour.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1146, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 MR. TIEGER:
3 Q. P1146 at tab 8, Professor, is a conversation between Dr. Karadzic
4 and Mr. Krajisnik on 13 December 1991. Again, following a brief
5 introductory conversation between Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic, which
6 they discuss getting together after the session, Mr. Krajisnik indicates,
7 at about nine lines down from the top: "Well, we have to finish it, it
8 won't be for a while, I'm afraid, you know. But, now, I said Professor
9 Kecmanovic dropped by." And then he continues: "Because, he's not
10 exactly a good Serb, but he's intelligent; in that case we also have to be
11 ... But he was our head of university, wasn't he?"
12 Dr. Karadzic says: "Yes, indeed."
13 Mr. Krajisnik appears to laugh.
14 Mr. Karadzic says: "He's still our candidate for all things
15 except politics."
16 Mr. Krajisnik says: "He's our candidate; with all due respect to
17 you, but we'll have to examine you as well. It seems that you turned
19 Dr. Karadzik says: "All things that have to do with science,
20 tell him, yes, all of them, he'll be our candidate everywhere except ...
21 there where we don't have ..."
22 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Listen, then, I'll tell Nikola, then we'll
23 meet, the four of us. Is that okay? And Dragan Kalinic is the fifth."
24 Dr. Karadzik says: "Good, when can that be?"
25 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Well, listen, as soon as we're finished with
1 this, we can get together."
2 Again, Professor, does that reflect this balance that you were
3 attempting to strike, knowing that you weren't regarded as a -- exactly a
4 good Serb or real Serb, but maintaining contact with the SDS leadership?
5 A. Yes, I was aware of this. And as I've already told you, although
6 I knew of that position, this was not an obstacle to our communication,
7 which was always with -- with some joke. Here you see that they're
8 talking about themselves being Reformists amongst the SDS. This is the
9 joking tone that I'm talking about when somebody addresses the president
10 of the Serbian Democratic Party like that. Those are the jokes that could
11 be felt in all of our conversations. I was often in contact with the
12 leadership of the HDZ and the leadership of the SDA. Maybe from this
13 perspective it is very difficult to understand this, but these were all
14 people whom I knew well who knew me well -- very well. And my big
15 advantage in the politics was the fact that all these people knew me well,
16 and I tried to maintain good relations with all sides, meaning that this
17 was the way that I could best serve the Serbian interests but also the
18 interests of all the others in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And I was acting
19 in that way until finally I concluded that all was in vain and I withdrew
20 from the political life altogether.
21 Q. Now, the situation in which you were -- went from being viewed in
22 one way because you were a member of a multi-ethnic party and because you
23 declined to join the Bosnian Serb Assembly intensified considerably,
24 didn't it, when you became a member of the Bosnian Presidency following
25 the departure of Professor Koljevic and Professor Plavsic?
1 You were aware, for example, of -- this Court has seen evidence,
2 for example, of a document issued by Republika Srpska authorities - in
3 this particular case at P997 - referring to you and Mr. Pejanovic as
4 traitors and degenerates. You were aware at that time of the
5 intensification of the hostility toward you and Mr. Pejanovic for the
6 position you had assumed?
7 A. Well, it was like this: It was wartime and you had not objective
8 information but war propaganda. And as was mentioned at the beginning of
9 yesterday's testimony, I was accused by the authorities, the previous
10 authorities, communist authorities, of serious crimes. But that was in
11 peacetime, although we had a communist regime. It was a sort of Stalinist
12 mounted process as a spy, but it was peacetime. It was a time when I was
13 able to say something, to write something, whereas a wartime situation did
14 not allow that to take place. There were three conflicting parties, and
15 the fact that they referred to me as a traitor of the Serb people, that in
16 a situation of that kind was to be expected because I had entered the
17 Presidency that had been -- where two SDS presidents had left. It was the
18 other side in the war conflict. However, I knew that the people who were
19 leading the SDS intimately did not have this same opinion. They knew me
20 well. They knew that I wasn't a traitor or an enemy of the Serb people.
21 Had they thought that I was, they wouldn't have invited me to become their
22 first president before Karadzic, and Karadzic prevailed upon me to take up
23 the post himself -- or rather, that I should take up the post.
24 So I continued to communicate with them and I knew that that
25 wasn't their real opinion of me, but a war is a war and war propaganda was
1 what it was. There were tensions were rising high and it would be a risky
2 business had I appeared on the Serb territory among the Serb people. A
3 lot of time has passed since then. People don't think the same way now,
4 but that's what the situation was like then.
5 Q. Well, in fact, at the time -- right around the time in fact that
6 you explained to us that you left your position with the Bosnian
7 Presidency, the RS leadership was talking to you about -- or at least
8 making it known that you were invited to withdraw, along with other Serbs
9 who had joined the Bosnian government, and publicly renounce your role.
10 Isn't that right?
11 A. I do apologise, but you what invitation are you referring to
13 Q. It may be easier if I simply direct your attention to tab 18.
14 MR. TIEGER: That's P64, P65, tab 172, Your Honours, reflecting
15 the minutes of the 14th session of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic
16 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Q. Professor, if you'll turn to -- that's held, by the way, on 3 July
18 1992. And, Professor, if you turn to item number 12, which indicates
19 that: "It was concluded that Mr. Kecmanovic, Mr. Pejanovic, Mr. Simovic,
20 Mr. Nikolic and other Serbs shall be publicly invited to withdraw from
21 their positions in official bodies of the Republic of BH or to publicly
22 renounce their role as representatives of the Serbian people in these
24 And in connection with that, if you can turn immediately to page
25 -- to tab 19, the minutes of the 15th Session, held on 6th July. And if
1 you could turn in particular to item number 3, indicating that
2 Dr. Koljevic and Mr. Krajisnik were appointed to conduct talks with you,
3 Professor Nenad Kecmanovic. "The aim of the talks would be to determine
4 conditions for the resignation of Mr. Kecmanovic.
5 "In order to resign, he should present the following demands to
6 Mr. Izetbegovic:
7 "1. Annul the decision on the mobilisation and proclamation of a
8 state of war and all other decisions adopted in that connection;.
9 "2. Enable all Serbs detained on Muslim territories to move
10 freely to desired territories;.
11 "3. Unconditionally accept negotiations with representatives of
12 the Serbian Republic of BH --"
13 A. Excuse me.
14 [Interpretation] Could you help me find that portion, please.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's found at the B/C/S middle of page 3, item 3, or
16 is it 4 --
17 MR. TIEGER: No, that's correct, Your Honour, page 3, item 3.
18 Q. And item 4, indicating that: "The Serbian Republic of BH shall
19 amnesty, protect and enable all those who resign from the Muslim Croatian
20 leadership to leave the Serbian Republic of BH."
21 Were you made to understand, Professor, that you would be
22 amnestied and protected if you resigned from the -- your leadership
23 position in the Bosnian government and presented the list of demands to
24 Mr. Izetbegovic?
25 A. I have to say that these documents are quite unknown to me. I see
1 them here for the first time. Nobody on the Serb side ever put any
2 conditions to me. And in connection with this I've just remembered that
3 -- well, the first point is this: I mentioned yesterday already that at
4 the meeting in Lukavica, Pejanovic and I myself informed Krajisnik about
5 our intention to enter the Presidency. He did not prevail upon us either
6 to join or not to join. At my suggestion that Plavsic and Koljevic should
7 be put back to the Presidency so that we should not take their places, as
8 I mentioned yesterday, to that Krajisnik said that it was their individual
9 decision, just as he had individually decided to remain in his post of
10 president of parliament.
11 And I'm reminding you of this and what I said yesterday. When you
12 read this out, I happened to remember, for example, that on the eve of my
13 entry into the Presidency, becoming a member of the Presidency, Nikola
14 Koljevic called up by phone but didn't find me at home, so he talked to my
15 wife. He told her that it wouldn't be a good idea; quite the contrary, it
16 would be a bad thing if I were to join the Presidency, that that would be
17 a great detriment to the Serb people. My wife recounted that conversation
18 and said she had told him that I certainly wouldn't do anything that would
19 be to the detriment of the Serb people, as I would not indeed do anything
20 to the detriment of any other people.
21 As far as I can see, this kind of conversation never took place
22 with me. Koljevic and Krajisnik never talked to me in this way, nor did
23 anybody discuss it with me, that I should tender my resignation and that
24 there were some conditions being set. That is something I see for the
25 first time.
1 There is another thing I happen to remember just now, and that is
2 that at the time of my work in the Presidency, sometime in June, Simovic,
3 who was the vice-premier, but he was a member of the SDS who stayed in
4 Sarajevo and retained that position of power and authority, at one point
5 in time told me orally that there were messages from Pale that we should
6 leave our posts in Sarajevo. And I said half jokingly, half in serious
7 terms, said to him that he had duties and obligations in that respect
8 because he came to the function as a member of the SDS; that I didn't have
9 the same obligation so that I was free to decide for myself, so that I
10 expected him to tender his resignation first and then we could discuss
11 what I was going to do after that. And that's all that I can remember in
12 respect of this question raised by you.
13 Q. Professor, there's no dispute, is there, that the Bosnian Serb
14 leadership would have regarded it as a preferable situation if there had
15 been no Serbs in the Bosnian government. Correct?
16 A. Well, I have to tell you that that is not -- I'm not quite clear
17 on that point. That is to say, certain names stipulated here, Simovic and
18 Nikolic, to be precise, they were ministers who were members of the
19 Serbian Democratic Party, and they were in the government before the
20 parting of ways and conflict came about. However, as opposed to certain
21 other functionaries of the Serbian Democratic Party, they stayed, they
22 remained in Sarajevo. So they were members of the SDS, and on that
23 party's list they came to occupy their posts, but they remained. They
24 stayed on. Now, what their motives were and what their relationship was
25 with the party headquarters, whether this was on the basis of agreement or
1 not, I don't know. I wasn't in the party, so I don't know about any of
2 their internal arrangements.
3 Q. Well, Professor, I don't want to split hairs about particular
4 people and the reasons they may have entered or remained for a particular
5 period of time, but in the political situation of that moment when the
6 Bosnian government wanted -- was presenting itself as a unitary
7 multi-ethnic government and the -- and Republika Srpska wanted to
8 repudiate or denounce that position, it was advantageous if the Serbs who
9 were in the government departed. Correct?
10 A. Yes, you're right. That is correct. But I think that the
11 situation is best explained if I recount an event briefly. May I? Thank
12 you. At a certain point in time during my work in the Presidency, Lord
13 Carrington came by, accompanied by Cutileiro, on a peace mission of some
14 kind. At the Presidency in Sarajevo it was decided that Izetbegovic and I
15 and Mariofil Ljubic, as representatives of the three ethnic sides in the
16 Presidency, should speak, and in the Presidency I said that I cannot
17 represent the Serb side because I didn't have the legitimacy to do so. I
18 was a Serb member of the Presidency, but I didn't represent the Serb side
19 as such. And that's what I said in talking to Carrington as well.
20 I said -- or actually, my colleagues, the Muslims and Croats,
21 didn't like this, didn't seem to like it, but there was a reaction from
22 Pale, as far as I was able to see on television, whereby this
23 representation of mine was favourable to them. So that could explain my
24 situation. It was a very delicate one. I tried to strike a balance
25 between my positions in the Presidency and my Serb identity.
1 Q. Professor, I want to move on to the discussion or to testimony of
2 yesterday concerning aspects of the Cutileiro negotiations. Now, you
3 indicated that it was a well-known fact that all three parties signed the
4 agreement, but it was Mr. Izetbegovic who backed out of that. Is that
5 your position?
6 A. I think that corresponds to the facts. It's not my opinion, I
7 think it's a fact.
8 Q. Well, it's -- it's actually true, isn't it, that the -- although
9 there was an agreement on certain principles that was reached, that the
10 document was not signed by any of the parties.
11 A. I apologise, but then I don't know what Izetbegovic retracted his
12 signature from if that was the case.
13 Q. Well, if you can look quickly at a couple of documents, please.
14 First, an article from Oslobodjenje of 19 March 1992, which will need a
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1147, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And we find it under tab -- oh, it's new.
19 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I do not have an available translation
20 for distribution of the relevant portion. I will direct the witness's
21 attention to it, read the translation that's been provided to me, and ask
22 the witness if it corresponds, and then we will, with the Court's
23 permission, subsequently provide the translation to the Court.
24 Alternatively, I could have the interpreters read the relevant portions.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think if the witness reads the original and if you
1 would read the translation, he could confirm that what you read is what he
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. Well, first of all, if I can direct your attention, sir, to the
5 headline from page 1, which indicates: "Agreed but not signed." And then
6 if I could direct your attention to page 3, the first paragraph of the
7 article that appears at the left, entitled: "BiH: Sovereign, independent
8 and unified," which I understand says: "With satisfaction I can say that
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the 5th session of talks in Sarajevo, is a
10 sovereign, independent, and unified state. The Sarajevo document which,
11 in truth, is not signed yet represents in fact that starting basis for the
12 continuation of talks in Brussels on the 31st of this month says that
13 Pejanovic, the spokesperson of the SDA at yesterday's regular press
14 conference for the media."
15 First of all, Professor, I need you to confirm whether or not the
16 translation that you heard corresponds to the -- that section of the
18 A. Although it's difficult for me to follow the text, it is indeed in
19 my language, but the photocopy is such a bad one -- or rather, it's very
20 small print, extremely small print, so I can barely read it. But I do
21 think that the interpretation I'm getting over my headsets is correct and
22 that it follows what you have been saying.
23 Q. And then a related document.
24 MR. TIEGER: And if this could be provided to the witness in both
25 English and B/C/S. It's an excerpt from the 11th Session of the Bosnian
1 Serb Assembly.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, may I take it that this is found already
3 somewhere in the evidence?
4 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you could give us a -- oh, it's on the list,
7 MR. TIEGER: P65, tab 109.
8 Q. Now, Professor, this is Dr. Karadzic talking on 18 March to the
9 Bosnian Serb Assembly, and as you can see from the excerpt, he indicates:
10 "The document has been accepted as a basis, as a foundation, for further
11 negotiations. The document has not been signed. We would never sign
12 anything that we did not agree upon."
13 And as he notes further on: "The document therefore is not final.
14 Now I will read for you a few important segments in the back. It is
15 printed in block letters. This paper is a basis for further
17 Professor, can we agree, then, in light of these documents, that
18 the results of the -- of that segment of the negotiations did not produce
19 a signed document but an agreement on certain principles and serving as a
20 basis for further discussions and further negotiations?
21 A. I agree that that wasn't a definite agreement yet, final
22 agreement. But on the piece of paper that I have received from you here,
23 it does not say that, but you said that that is what Karadzic informed the
24 Serb Assembly about. I think that in these few quotations, that the basic
25 principles were established, as you said, of an agreement to re-organise
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I think that these were key points, key matters;
2 all the rest were technical considerations.
3 So that was the formula that we in Bosnia -- or rather, in
4 Sarajevo referred to as the whole of Bosnia in three parts. And this was
5 a happy balance that was struck, I believe, between the requirements made
6 by the Muslim side that Bosnia should remain centralised and unitary, a
7 unitary, centralised state; and the Serb and Croatian sides' requirements
8 that their parts be separated towards the original states. So this was a
9 happy medium between those two demands, that is to say that the state of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina be accepted both by the Serbs and by the Croats, which
11 was a concession to the Muslim nation, and a counter-concession was that
12 three consecutive units be set up based on the ethnic principle, taking
13 into account the economic, geographic, and other criteria. And that
14 roughly was my party's approach as well to this same problem.
15 So a definite, officially signed document, not, but the succous of
16 the agreement was found here and everything else had to be deduced and
17 derived from those basic principles.
18 Q. Well, you understood at that time that the -- as you've just
19 explained, that the principle or at least most focussed on general
20 principle involved was the division of Bosnia into separate regions.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you understand that for the Bosnian Serbs, that was
24 considered to be essentially a triumph of and a validation of their claim
25 for the imposition of the ethnic principle in the division?
1 A. No. I don't think that could have been understood as the triumph
2 of Serb expectations and ambitions for the simple reason that -- and let
3 me remind you here of --
4 Q. Professor, I apologise for interrupting, but I think it would be
5 helpful for me to re-focus you on the question, and perhaps it was
6 inelegantly asked. I'm not asking for your overall assessment of the
7 agreement, but whether or not you were aware that for the Bosnian Serbs it
8 was regarded as a triumph because it demonstrated that, to them, that
9 Bosnia could be divided on the ethnic principle?
10 A. It could not have been understood as the triumph at this because
11 the Serb people, at a plebiscite that was held before the referendum,
12 opted in fact for remaining in Yugoslavia, with Serbia, Montenegro and
13 other republics and nations who wished to do so. So the first goal or
14 ambition or greatest desire of the Serb people in Bosnia was that they
15 should remain living in the same state with the Serbs, the Montenegrins,
16 and as I've already said, I was quoting the official formula when I said
17 what I did, but this was a deviation from that basic principle or ambition
18 or greatest desire; that is, to agree that a compromise should be struck
19 with the Muslim side and therefore to recognise the borders of Bosnia as a
20 state border. That was the Serb's compromise for the fact that
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina was supposed to become a state of three constituent
22 units based on - and I emphasise this - not only ethnic principles, but
23 economic, geographic, and other criteria as well. And let me add the
24 traditional, historical principles as well, linked to what I said
25 yesterday, and that is that ethnic regions existed that were inherited,
1 that existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina before any negotiations got underway
2 about some sort of regionalisation or cantonisation, and I mentioned the
3 example of Western Herzegovina, Cazinska Krajina, et cetera.
4 Q. Professor, let me ask you to turn to tab 9, please.
5 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this needs a number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1148, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Tab 9 is a personal organiser miss -- that was recovered from
10 Dr. Karadzic's office that reflects notes of the discussions during the
11 course of the Cutileiro agreement.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I remember a discussion on authenticity
13 of a document seized in Mr. Karadzic's home. Was not a number then --
14 even if it would be provisionally assigned to this document, or is that
15 another --
16 MR. TIEGER: It's not related in any way to that document and it's
17 not recovered from the same place or the same time.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then Mr. Registrar, I missed the actual number, and
19 since it doesn't appear in the transcript, could you repeat it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: P1148, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. Now, Professor, if you could turn quickly to page 7, which would
24 be -- and that's bearing the date of February 27th, 1992. The heading is:
25 "Conference on BiH 27 February, 1992, in Sarajevo third floor."
1 Mr. Cutileiro being the first to speak after that section.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Have you found it? It's -- in the handwriting, it's
3 last four digits 4096, I think.
4 MR. TIEGER:
5 Q. Now, there at the bottom of the page Mr. Izetbegovic makes
6 reference to the need for principles other than ethnic principles, and is
7 expressing the willingness to resume the talks on that basis. And that's
8 a reference to the various other criteria which were relevant to any
9 potential division of Bosnia and Herzegovina territory. Correct?
10 A. I can't read this, but I am getting a good interpretation so I'm
11 able to follow what you read out. And I can say in that connection that
12 in this previous document, when Karadzic provides information to the
13 Assembly of Republika Srpska, I assume, or the Serbian Assembly, that he
14 also says that it's not only national but also economic, geographic, and
15 other criteria. And I should like to repeat the historical principles,
16 traditional ones, and so on.
17 Q. Well, I suppose -- sorry, I'm not --
18 A. And there's no difference there between the position given by
19 Karadzic and what you quoted as having been said by the late
20 Mr. Izetbegovic.
21 Q. Well, one might understandably assume that, Professor, but in fact
22 what Dr. Karadzic said at page 8 of the same session is that: "The heart
23 of the matter is that the principle that BiH is not divisible along ethnic
24 lines has been undermined. That is not true. It is true that it is
25 divisible precisely along ethnic lines."
1 Sorry, and I apologise for that, I'm reading from something that
2 is not available in front of you, although this was a meeting you didn't
3 attend. But this is something the Court has in evidence and this is what
4 Dr. Karadzic said to the Bosnian Serb Assembly on March 18th.
5 So at a minimum, Professor, there is a difference between the
6 insistence that these negotiations represent -- represent proof that
7 Bosnia can be divided along ethnic lines and the insistence, on the other
8 hand, that the ethnic criteria has to be considered along with many other
10 A. As you've said, I don't have it in front of me, I would like you
11 to read what Karadzic said. You said that you have another document. As
12 you were reading, I tried to locate that piece of paper but I couldn't.
13 Could you please then --
14 Q. Certainly.
15 "The heart of the matter is that the principle that BiH is not
16 divisible, this is not true, along ethnic lines has been undermined. That
17 is not true. It is true that it is divisible precisely along ethnic
19 A. I'm not Mr. Karadzic's lawyer. I cannot comment on what he
20 actually meant in this context. However, in my testimony yesterday I said
21 that in Bosnia there was a possibility to draw up such ethnic lines
22 without any intervention into the existing situation. I mentioned Western
23 Herzegovina as a predominantly Croatian region, the Cazinska valley as the
24 predominantly Muslim region. Karadzic probably did not have an insight
25 into ethnically pure regions, but those that were historically inhabited
1 by a majority number of a certain ethnic group. In historical terms,
2 there were regions where certain people dominated, establishing their
3 culture, their traditions, and all of this could have been taken into
4 account. In all that, I would support your doubts into the feasibility of
5 such a plan. In only some points there were the so-called zone of mixed
6 population where separation was not possible, and this primarily applied
7 to urban areas and those areas would have been proclaimed districts or
8 extraterritorial territories.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there, Mr. Kecmanovic. I got the
10 impression that Mr. Tieger wanted to know from you whether the outcome of
11 the talks that further talks would be held on the basis of ethnic division
12 was welcomed by the Serbs and met more hesitance with the Muslims, even to
13 the extent that the Muslims -- Mr. Izetbegovic did -- after that did not
14 want to continue on that basis.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Recently I have read a text written
16 by Mr. Cutileiro -- actually, his presentation at the Brussels Conference
17 at the 10th anniversary of the Dayton Accords. He said that Izetbegovic
18 didn't hesitate and that is why he signed the preliminary agreement on
19 principles, but that he withdrew his signature under the pressure of the
20 state department. It was the first time that Cutileiro ever said it, at
21 the conference that I just mentioned.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you would say it was not hesitation but it was
23 influence from elsewhere that made him change his mind.
24 Please proceed.
25 Could you try to very much concentrate on the core of the
1 question, just as I tried to do. Because we could spend here weeks and
2 weeks, I take it, to go through all the details of what happened at that
3 time. We are under time constraints.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Professor, were you aware that the international negotiators
7 themselves, Mr. Cutileiro, Mr. Darwin, were themselves aware of the
8 Bosnian Serb insistence on the primacy of the ethnic issue and questioned
9 that, questioned the feasibility of that?
10 A. It was obvious that a disagreement or a conflict existed among the
11 three ethnically based parties that were supported by 80 per cent of the
12 electoral body. They were seeking a sort of agreement on the
13 transformation of Bosnia-Herzegovina which could not remain the way it
14 was, and there was a quest for solution.
15 Q. And, Professor, that disagreement was that the Bosnian Serbs were
16 -- were unwilling to accept a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina and insisted on
17 the ethnic division of Bosnia.
18 A. One could say that they were looking at some sort of a federal
19 transformation of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a most fortunate solution to the
20 problem of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that Muslims and Croats were in favour
21 of that and those three constituent peoples constituted over 80 per cent
22 of the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was a compromise by which
23 the state would have been preserved as a whole, which was the desire of
24 the Muslims, and at the same time, the other two sides would have been
25 satisfied It was a compromise, and I believe that the Dayton Accords were
1 formulated according to the same principles, weren't they?
2 Q. Well, again I'll ask you not to turn to an overall assessment of
3 -- your view of what the negotiations were attempting to accomplish or
4 might have accomplished but instead what the objectives of the parties
5 were. And before we break, I want to direct your attention to one more
6 portion in tab 9, and that's contained in the following page, and that's
7 the page after the one you're looking at, where Dr. Karadzic explains
8 that: "We've had a bad experience with Muslims. They go down in
9 everything we agree upon. He refers to the unwillingness to accept a
10 unitary most likely Bosnia and Herzegovina. Essentially, they are taking
11 us out of Yugoslavia forever and enclosing us in BiH. Freedom first
12 before money and bread. And on the heels of that, Dr. Koljevic says:
13 "Are Muslims going to accept ethnic principles? And Darwin says: I
14 cannot -- the cartographer you mentioned before. "I cannot accept that
15 they become ethnically clean entities because it is not feasible in the
16 field. On the -- if you look at the map, this is not feasible."
17 And then Mr. Cutileiro asks: "Why are you insisting on this
18 ethnic principle?"
19 And Dr. Karadzic refers to not believing the Muslims and
20 unwillingness to accept domination.
21 Now, Professor, that is an expression of the insistence of the
22 Bosnian Serb leaders and negotiators on the ethnic division of Bosnia in
23 lieu of a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina and the concerns by the international
24 negotiators about its feasibility. Correct?
25 A. I believe that at the end of the quote that I don't have in front
1 of me but I have a very good interpretation of what you are reading, that
2 the last sentence is very important, and that is a fear of the Croat and
3 Serb relative minority that there would be a domination on the part of the
4 predominant people and that there would be a majority principle applied
5 rather than the consensus. And finally, that fear proved to be justified
6 in that voting in the parliament. And the goal of the Serbian side was to
7 absolutely protect its equal position in Bosnia and Herzegovina in that
9 Q. So with that explanation, for the reasons or motives, the answer
10 to my question was yes, it's correct?
11 A. Kindly could you repeat that conclusion together with your
12 question so I can be absolutely sure of that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kecmanovic, unfortunately, there's no time for
14 that left yet at this very moment, but Mr. Tieger will consider your
15 request when he starts tomorrow.
16 May I ask the attention at this very moment, specifically the
17 attention of the Prosecution, but it's more general, to the following
18 observation: This case is not how bad it is to violate the constitution
19 when you want to become independent; this case is not primarily on how bad
20 it is after you had signed or after you had given the impression that you
21 would sign a certain agreement, how bad it is not to sign it or to
22 withdraw from further negotiations. Of course the Chamber is aware that
23 the circumstances are very relevant for understanding what happened later
24 on. At the same time, the Chamber is also a bit concerned that these
25 circumstances get more attention and become more important than what is at
1 the core of the case; that is, the crimes that were committed and the
2 responsibility of the accused for the allegedly committed crimes.
3 I'd like to, because we spent a lot of time on -- a lot of details
4 on matters. Again, I'm not saying that they're irrelevant, but at the
5 same time the balance between relevance and time spent on it seems almost
6 to be a continuation of what certainly will have been a very intense
7 political discussion at the time now approximately 14 years ago.
8 We'll adjourn until tomorrow, 9.00, in this same courtroom.
9 Mr. Kecmanovic, could I again instruct you not to speak with
10 anyone about the testimony you have given and you're still about to give
11 in this courtroom. We adjourn.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 5th day of
14 April, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.