1 Friday, 7 April 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.28 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Mr. Bjelica, before we continue, I'd like to remind you that you
12 are still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at the beginning
13 of your testimony.
14 Mr. Josse, please proceed.
15 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, one minor administrative matter. Some
16 more translations have come in. I don't know whether they've been placed
17 on Your Honours' Bench.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I see 12A, 12B, and a 15 --
19 MR. JOSSE: Yes, 15 of course we referred to, but in the end it
20 was not given a number.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. JOSSE: And indeed a significant part of 15 I notice has Latin
23 as well. I'm afraid that I'm --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, doctor's Latin.
25 MR. JOSSE: Yes, exactly.
1 I'll proceed, if I may, with Mr. Bjelica.
2 WITNESS: MILOVAN BJELICA [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Josse: [Continued]
5 Q. Mr. Bjelica, could you turn to tab 3, please.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You obtained this report. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And why did you obtain this report?
10 A. This report shows a lot about how members of the Muslim people
11 prepared themselves in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the secession, how they
12 armed themselves. It shows all of their plans, and it speaks about the
13 crimes they committed, the killing of the member of a wedding party. It's
14 an overview of the things that happened during the war.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Margetts --
16 MR. MARGETTS: I assume that Mr. Josse is going to proceed with
17 more preliminary questions in relation to this report prior to the witness
18 proceeding to talk about its substance, if --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The first question now whether Mr. Bjelica
20 obtained the report, he said he did. So your next question.
21 At the same time, Mr. Margetts, of course the -- we would get to
22 the content of the report of course within the understanding and within
23 the limits of this case.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
25 MR. JOSSE:
1 Q. The report that seems to come from the Federal Republic of
2 Yugoslavia, do you know who precisely was the author or were the authors
3 of this report?
4 A. The government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia established a
5 committee on collection of data on crimes against humanity and
6 international law. I have a lot of information about war crimes and all
7 the events in the former Yugoslavia, but I was more interested in the
8 segments that are relative to our territory, to our parts. I don't know
9 who members of the committee --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, again I have to stop you. The question
11 was whether you know who precisely was the author. It's not for you to
12 guide us through the report. Mr. Josse will put questions to you and of
13 course then you may explain everything to us. But please listen carefully
14 to the -- to the questions put to you by Mr. Josse.
15 Mr. Josse, I take it that this first answer has either been -- the
16 first question has either been answered or whether you'd like to further
17 explore who exactly within the government drafted the report?
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. And you have just said that you were interested in what it had to
20 say about your locality. What do you mean by that?
21 A. What I meant was to inform the Trial Chamber that it is not just
22 the Serbs who were responsible for what happened and to show the Trial
23 Chamber that the Muslims prepared themselves, that they committed crimes,
24 and how they prepared for the war, what crimes they committed against the
25 Serbian people. And what I was especially interested in was the topic of
1 the Patriotic League because that unit was established -- or that
2 paramilitary unit was established a year prior to the beginning of the
3 conflict, and this document shows it clearly.
4 Q. Let me ask you about a specific example. At paragraph 2.6, we see
5 reference to an incident which is well-known and which this Court has
6 heard a lot about and that I'm sure we don't need to go into as such
7 again. I take it what you know about this incident is only what you've
8 read and have been told by other people. Is that correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And based on the information that you have received, as far as
11 you're concerned, is this an accurate assessment as to what happened?
12 A. This is accurate. I had an opportunity to talk to the priests who
13 were also at the wedding and with son of Mr. Gadovic who is a priest
14 somewhere in Germany. He visited the military cemetery and the church on
15 Mount Romanija. That's when I spoke to him. The story -- his story was
16 the same. That's why I'm saying that this is certainly accurate.
17 Q. And so far as references in this document, not only have you read
18 but you brought to The Hague is concerned, in relation to the Patriotic
19 League, does it concur with what you've been told and learnt?
20 A. Yes, it concurs with that completely.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Your question covered the whole of the document,
22 Mr. Josse?
23 MR. JOSSE: Well, that --
24 JUDGE ORIE: I mean, we are not --
25 MR. JOSSE: That part --
1 JUDGE ORIE: We are not at 2.6 anymore?
2 MR. JOSSE: Correct. Sorry. That part that deals with Muslim
3 army, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I'd just ask for a number, please.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D167, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: D167.
9 Judge Hanoteau would like to put a question.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes. The witness mentioned the
11 creation of this Patriotic League one year before the conflict. Could he
12 give us some explanations on this and indications on this? Or if it's in
13 the document, could he tell us exactly where -- what is said in this
14 document regarding this issue and what he can add to this, the conditions
15 surrounding the condition of the Patriotic League?
16 MR. JOSSE: Could I just assist Your Honour in one sense. It's --
17 chapter 1 of the document deals with the Patriotic League.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but the witness could maybe
19 add what he knows. He said that he knew things.
20 MR. JOSSE: Of course, if I may respectfully say, I --
21 Q. Could you answer the learned Judge's question, please,
22 Mr. Bjelica. You've had a chance to read chapter 1. Indeed, as you've
23 already told the Chamber, you brought -- you provided this document to the
24 Defence. What do you know about the Patriotic League?
25 A. At the local level in 1991 we were aware of the fact that the
1 Patriotic League was being formed. We had some intelligence, and people
2 from the field informed us when things started getting pear-shaped in
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina and when the conflict started and when some members
4 of the Patriotic League already started speaking publicly about the
5 Patriotic League, like Mr. Halilovic, like Mr. Bisic, who was the deputy
6 minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the deputy minister of defence. He said
7 that in 1991 before the conflict they had already established nine
8 district staffs, 103 municipal staffs out of 109 municipalities, and that
9 they already had between 90.000 and 100.000 members of the Patriotic
10 League. At the proposal of Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina, I have a document to that effect from the
12 newspapers that was published in -- for the Federation.
13 The government had adopted an initiative showing that war veterans
14 who were involved in the establishment of the Patriotic League in 1991 and
15 who were its members are supposed to enjoy special benefits, and they
16 published that in the paper Oslobodjenje, published on the 10th of May,
17 2003. I'm going to provide you with that newspaper. I have a date when
18 this was published. It says here, amongst other things, that the
19 government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina two days ago
20 recommended to the Federal Ministry of Defence to establish the criteria
21 for issuing certificates, based on which --
22 Q. Can I stop you for a minute because we've all got this, in fact,
23 it's tab 5. I just want to check. Could we ask what you're referring to,
24 Mr. Bjelica, at tab 5.
25 A. No, this is not the same thing.
1 Just a moment, please, bear with me. This is a government
2 document establishing the rights of the members of the Patriotic League.
3 They -- in 2003, they fully legalised the fact and the government of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina stands by this document, but the article in the
5 newspapers just confirms all that and confirms what I've been talking
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please see that the witness
8 has tab 5 in front of him and direct him to the B/C/S at the very end.
9 No, no, Madam Usher, could you please look in tab 5.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I -- I didn't see
11 this, but that's the same thing and I apologise.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It has been copied and it has been translated so that
13 we can -- yes, please, Mr. --
14 MR. JOSSE: Yes, well could that now have a number, please, Your
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: D168, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D168.
19 MR. JOSSE: For the Court's information, my intention was going to
20 be to introduce that as the part of double pensions material which we're
21 still working on. But I'm quite happy to introduce it in this way,
22 bearing in mind the witness has alluded to it of his own volition.
23 Q. Is there anything else you would like to ask, Mr. Bjelica, to the
24 question asked by the learned Judge, Judge Hanoteau?
25 A. I believe that I have answered the Honourable Judge's question.
1 If there's anything else for me to add, I'm at your disposal.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. JOSSE:
4 Q. I want to move on to different topic, please, Mr. Bjelica, and
5 that is this: At the very beginning of your evidence this time yesterday,
6 in response to a question about your background and your removal from your
7 job with the Serb Sarajevo Assembly, you talked about your relationship
8 with Radovan Karadzic. Firstly, in 1991/1992, the period of this
9 indictment, how would you describe your relationship with Dr. Karadzic?
10 How close to him were you?
11 A. I can't describe that relationship as a very close one. I was a
12 member of the SDS and Radovan Karadzic was its president, and our
13 relationship can follow the party hierarchy. I didn't know Mr. Karadzic.
14 I did not have an occasion to see him until August 1990 when he arrived in
15 Sokolac to the founding meeting of the Serbian Democratic Party. And
16 after that I saw him several times before the beginning of the war. I was
17 not a member of the Municipal Board. I was not the president of the
18 Municipal Board, and I did not have any particular meetings with
19 Mr. Karadzic because I did not have any position in the Serbian Democratic
21 Q. What about as the war progressed in 1993 onwards, did you become
22 closer to him -- up until the end of the war, until the Dayton Agreement?
23 A. We did not become any closer. That was out of the question. When
24 I became a member of the Executive Board of the SDS and then when I became
25 the president of the SDS for Sokolac, we had more frequent contact. But
1 we talked about things that had to do with the party. That -- our
2 relationship was nothing but that; it was just a party dialogue. We
3 exchanged advice. I asked for his position as the president of our party,
4 and also at the time he was the president of the republic. And this is
5 what all of us did in the entire republic, and there was no other reasons
6 for the two of us to become closer.
7 I may have wished our relations to be a bit closer, but it was not
8 possible. We were not of the same generation. We did not know each
9 other. Our families never met. My family never saw Dr. Karadzic or his
10 wife or their daughter, and we did not have any close relations. If you
11 purport to be close to somebody, then you have to socialise with them,
12 your families have to socialise, you have to go to the movies, to the
13 theatre with them, then you can be close to somebody. Whoever says I was
14 close to him, it's nonsense.
15 But he was the president of the party and I respected him as such.
16 I respect every president of my party. Radovan, while he was the
17 president of my party, I respected him, and I respected Mr. Buha. And
18 I -- after Mr. Buha I also respected Mr. Kalinic, and I also respected
19 Mr. Cavic. I'm a party man and I only looked at the things through the
21 I didn't join the party because of Karadzic and Buha, but I saw
22 that their programme was close to my views and that that programme
23 contained most of the interests and feelings of the people that I belonged
24 to. That was the only reason why I joined the party, not because I was
25 close to Karadzic or any other president.
1 I hope I'm making myself clear. I suppose to Karadzic while he
2 was the president of the party. All the party presidents are the same for
3 me. Buha, Karadzic, Cavic, Kalinic because I am in this business because
4 of the party, not because of the individuals in it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I would let you finish your answer, but could you
6 please slow down a bit the speed because the interpreters -- you would
7 also want that we get translated every single word you speak.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
10 MR. JOSSE:
11 Q. You said yesterday that you refute any suggestion that you have
12 been responsible or involved in hiding Mr. Karadzic, following his
13 indictment. His having indicted, perhaps I should say.
14 A. I said that. This was also established by the authorities and
15 competent bodies. There were a lot of insinuations and allegations with
16 that respect. Mr. Karadzic did not hide in 1998. He met with a number of
17 people; he negotiated with them. As far as I know, representatives of
18 some countries, institutions, came, offered him things, and Mr. Karadzic
19 said when he left the position in 1996 and when he transferred his
20 authorities to Mrs. Plavsic, who became the president of the republic, and
21 Mr. Aleksa Buha, who became the president of the Serb Democratic Party, he
22 said that he had had an arrangement or an agreement with the American
23 administration, with Mr. Holbrooke, according to which he had to move from
24 the political life.
25 Mrs. Albright confirmed that in 1997 when she arrived in Banja
1 Luka and when she conveyed this to Biljana Plavsic, and the media conveyed
2 this message. Mrs. Albright says that Karadzic should leave Pale. He
3 adhered to the arrangement that he had reached with the representatives of
4 the international institutions that were involved in the preparations for
5 the Dayton Accords.
6 I don't know what happened next. Nobody ever asked me either to
7 support or to fund Dr. Karadzic. I am not a member of any special units.
8 I was never a member of any special units; I was never trained to do that.
9 I never engaged in any martial arts. I am a family man. I am a
10 responsible man. Nobody ever asked for me to participate in any such
11 thing, nor would I ever do that. I would never participate in any such
13 Q. Now, I am receiving information, Mr. Bjelica, that you are
14 speaking too fast and important parts of your evidence are not being drawn
15 to this Chamber's attention because you are speaking too fast.
16 A moment ago in the answer that you gave, you were talking about
17 Mr. Karadzic transferring his authority to Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Buha, and
18 you described Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Buha's relationship at that time with
19 Mr. Karadzic. What did you say about those two people's interrelationship
20 with Mr. Karadzic? Slowly, please.
21 A. Mr. Karadzic transferred his authorities to Mrs. Plavsic, whom he
22 probably deemed the person of his utmost trust. In 1996 he stood by her
23 candidacy for the president of the republic. He was the one who put her
24 up as the president of the republic. And at that moment he transferred
25 his authorities to a member of the Main Board, Professor Dr. Aleksa Buha,
1 in the party that he had chaired until the constitution of the new
2 Assembly of the Serbian Democratic Party and until the appointment of a
3 new president of the Serbian Democratic Party. That means that these
4 positions that he had held he transferred on to these two people and he
5 never even thought about anybody else who might fill those two positions.
6 This is how it stayed, and Mr. Buha remained the president of the
7 party until June or July, until St. Vitus Day 1998, and Mrs. Plavsic
8 became president in 1996 and stayed in the position until 1998. She was
9 the president of the republic. And I can add to this that a majority of
10 the members of the Main Board at the time were against the candidacy of
11 Mrs. Biljana Plavsic as president of the republic. Many opposed that even
12 publicly. They wanted somebody else instead of Mrs. Plavsic. Mrs.
13 Plavsic, whom many considered a hard-line Serb, a very extreme or even the
14 most extreme member of the leadership of Republika Srpska. And those
15 people wanted to see her as a member of the institutions of the
16 Republika Srpska.
17 Nobody wanted the position instead of Mrs. Plavsic. And finally
18 Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik accepted to be the candidate for a president -- for
19 the president of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And if
20 Mr. Krajisnik will understand when I say this, that nobody else but him
21 wanted to do that, wanted to be a candidate for the Assembly of
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, it's only now that the translation --
24 the interpreters have translated.
25 Could you perhaps look at your screen now and then and you see the
1 text is moving. Wait until it stops because then the text is processed
2 and translated for us and then you continue. So I would now stop until I
3 see the text stopping.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your advice.
5 MR. JOSSE:
6 Q. Well, an illustration of the difficulty is you have just said that
7 Mr. Krajisnik accepted the candidacy as the president of the Assembly of
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Did you say that? Because, as we know, at that
9 time he was the candidate for the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 A. This is a mistake. I said he accepted the candidacy for a
11 member --
12 Q. I'm going to stop you. It illustrates the problems with speaking
13 too fast.
14 I want to move back, please, to 1991, and I appreciate that you
15 were not in a central position within the SDS at that time. It was only
16 much later that you became involved in -- well, the Executive Committee
17 and other positions. But how did you understand the SDS's division
18 between the party and state organs in 1991?
19 A. The Main Board of the SDS -- or maybe it was a different organ of
20 the SDS - at any rate at one of these organs a political attitude was
21 adopted that the holders of the highest offices, highest function, within
22 the SDS, both at the local and the level of the republic, would not be
23 nominated for certain state functions. The idea was to divide party
24 functions from state political functions. This would not have been good
25 for the party or for the state for that matter, to have two or more
1 offices or functions in one person. Mr. Karadzic at the time was the
2 president of the party but did not have any office. Mr. Rajko Dukic was
3 the president of the Executive Board of the SDS of Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 at the time. He, too, did not have any state function.
5 As for the local level, Mr. Mirko Malovic, who was the president
6 of the Municipal Board at Sokolac, which is the function that I occupied
7 later on, neither he nor I had any state functions. The situation was the
8 same at Pale. Mr. Vujacic was first -- is one such example, followed by
9 Mr. Sarac. Neither of the two had any state functions. The situation was
10 the same in Rogatica and in the majority of the municipalities which
11 implemented the decisions of the Main Board of the SDS.
12 Now, what I mean when I say that the decisions and attitudes were
13 implemented, I want to say that the SDS was a democratic party. Anybody
14 could say what they wanted and express all sorts of criticism. Anything
15 could become a subject of debate.
16 And finally, the decisions were reached by the majority, and those
17 decisions were binding to all. There were of course individuals who would
18 not implement all decisions, and it was probably a mistake, the fact that
19 during a certain period of time they did not suffer any consequences, that
20 there were no disciplinary sanctions within the party for those who failed
21 to respect the positions so adopted.
22 Q. I'd now like to ask you some specific questions about
23 Mr. Krajisnik. Briefly, it's right that you did not know him at all
24 through the war period?
25 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, there's no need for Mr. Josse to lead
1 on -- in respect to matters like this.
2 MR. JOSSE: Is there any dispute, Your Honour, in dealing --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that would be my question as well. Is there any
4 information with the Office of the Prosecution that Mr. Bjelica had any
5 contacts or that he knew Mr. Krajisnik during the war period?
6 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, there's substantial information we
7 have that, given the office and the function that Mr. Bjelica occupied, he
8 would have -- he was in a position to have substantial contacts. He was
9 involved in specific transactions, which we would say Mr. Krajisnik, if
10 not controlled, was a principal involved in those transactions. And,
11 quite frankly, I --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I do understand that you think that there are
13 good reasons.
14 The question put to you comes down to whether -- when did you get
15 to know Mr. Krajisnik?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I got to know Mr. Krajisnik on an
17 occasion in the National Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At that time we
18 had a problem with the deputy, Mr. --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name of the
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us approximately when that was,
22 or don't you remember?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember, but I was a member
24 of a delegation. I don't think that Mr. Krajisnik would have noticed me.
25 I don't know whether he knew me at the time. I doubt that he knew me
1 before 1992 because Mr. Simic and the president of the Municipal Assembly,
2 Mr. Tupajic, they could have contact with Mr. Krajisnik. Whether those
3 contacts were really entertained or not, I don't know. But at any rate,
4 before the war, I did not have any need to contact him.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One second, please. One second.
6 You say you "doubt whether he knew me before 1992."
7 On from when do you think he would have known you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think that it must have been
9 at the time when they arrive in Pale. I don't remember exactly. It could
10 have been from the month of May. What I know for sure is that since that
11 fall, when Mr. Krajisnik was in Kikinda, we were often members of the same
12 delegation, the president of the municipality and the president of the
13 Municipal Board. There was from time to time a need for such a
15 JUDGE ORIE: If you say the fall, are you talking about the fall
16 of 1992? That's the first year of the war.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I better now understand the opposition
19 against leading.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. JOSSE:
22 Q. When did you first have a one-to-one conversation with
23 Mr. Krajisnik?
24 A. I'm not sure I ever had a one-to-one conversation with
25 Mr. Krajisnik. No, I don't think I did.
1 Q. How did you assess Mr. Krajisnik's authority and power in the
2 Republika Srpska in 1992?
3 A. I don't know what exactly you're referring to, but whatever was
4 necessary for a municipality at the time was the subject of our contacts
5 with the president of the republic, the Main Board and the government. So
6 everything went through the president of the municipality and the
7 president of the Executive Board or the brigades towards the Main Staff.
8 The coordinator, on behalf of the political structures of the
9 Sokolac municipality who contacted with the Main Staff, was Mr. Milan
10 Tupajic, and he was authorised for a while by the Municipal Board of the
11 SDS to represent the SDS and to communicate with the Main Staff, if this
12 was needed, because he was the president of the municipality. And we
13 wanted to avoid any abuse on behalf of politicians. The politicians were
14 not supposed to interfere with the affairs of the military, so that's
15 how -- so that's what was done and how we operated. We did not have any
16 special need to communicate with Mr. Krajisnik. It is beyond dispute that
17 Mr. Krajisnik enjoyed respect of the entire membership of the SDS.
18 Q. What about outside of the SDS?
19 A. Outside SDS as well. In other political parties, too. And he was
20 respected by other communities, other peoples. Many people consider
21 Mr. Krajisnik to be a flexible man who obviously fights for the interests
22 of his own people but does not -- but respects interests of other
23 communities. And that is the reason why he was often exposed to criticism
24 from certain members of the SDS. He was suspected by some of them that he
25 may have become too close with the representatives of the Muslim and Croat
1 communities in the Assembly, where he worked.
2 And I know that in the Assembly - and this is what I learned from
3 the media, what I saw in the media - in the Assembly they -- it was their
4 custom to respect each other's religious holidays and pay each other a
5 visit. So this was a custom in the National Assembly of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, this mutual respect between different communities. And I
7 believe that he really did his utmost to prevent a forcible destruction of
8 institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was in favour of the principle
9 of consensus and compromise, which had been agreed, but which was rejected
10 by some. And he endeavoured until the very last moment to prevent the
11 representatives of Muslims and Croats from acting too hastily in
12 proclaiming or calling the referendum and proclaiming the independence of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it was because of these constant endeavours
14 to preserve peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina that Mr. Krajisnik enjoyed
15 deep respect amongst the people and also the respect of other political
16 parties. And I don't think that the representatives of Croats and Muslims
17 could express any significant criticism of Mr. Krajisnik.
18 Q. Did you understand Mr. Krajisnik to be a member of an expanded
19 Presidency in 1992?
20 A. I haven't heard the term "expanded Presidency." A Presidency
21 surely existed; it was established on constitutional basis in
22 Republika Srpska. And it was made up of the president of the republic,
23 Mr. Karadzic; and two vice-presidents, Ms. Plavsic and Mr. Nikola
24 Koljevic. There were no other members of the Presidency.
25 This was the only legal -- the only body after the government and
1 the National Assembly. Had anyone else been the member of the Presidency,
2 we would have known that, we would have learned that through the sessions
3 and through the media.
4 Three -- there were three members of the Presidency: Karadzic,
5 Koljevic, and Plavsic. Therefore, Mr. Krajisnik was not a member of a
6 Presidency, of the Presidency, because it was made up of three members
8 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, could I ask my learned friends, in the
9 last 65 ter that I sent them at paragraph 6 there is some evidence that
10 involves Mr. Krajisnik. Can I lead in relation to that? I ask my learned
11 friend generally yesterday. I appreciate I'm asking him to scramble
12 through his papers at the moment, and I apologise.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I thank Mr. Josse for that. When I
14 didn't have the document before me, I did consent to him leading, so I
15 thank him for again giving me the opportunity to put our position, and we
16 do object to leading in regard to anything involving Mr. Krajisnik.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, you'll understand that the Chamber can
18 give no ruling on this in such general terms.
19 MR. JOSSE: No, no, I'm not --
20 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that you at this moment are trying to
21 find out what the temperature in terms of leading is. You know it.
22 Mr. Margetts certainly remembers that I asked him yesterday not to be
23 oversensitive and we'll see what happens.
24 MR. JOSSE: I think I sent this document to the Chamber, but I'm
25 not asking for a ruling. I accept what my learned friend has just said.
1 Q. Mr. Bjelica, I want to ask you to describe slowly and clearly an
2 instant involving a Muslim girl called Minka from Gorazde, who was in a
3 military hospital in Sokolac.
4 A. Yes. This is a girl by the name of Minka. She had some health
5 problems sometime in early 1992 and was transferred to the hospital in
6 Sokolac because it was an emergency, and the military hospital in Sokolac
7 at the time had very good physicians who used to work in the military
8 hospital in Sarajevo, Dr. Tausan and Dr. Nakas, a Muslim who later on
9 returned to Sarajevo and who established a military hospital there. As a
10 result of the war activities and everything that was going on --
11 Q. Slowly, please, slowly.
12 A. As a result of the events taking place at the time, this little
13 girl could not be transferred back to her parents in Gorazde. So she
14 stayed there throughout 1992 and well into 1993. She spent her time
15 playing with the children of the hospital staff who lived in the vicinity.
16 And there was an occasion - this is something that became known to
17 me only later on - but at any rate the father of a missing person from the
18 area of Gorazde, I think this missing person -- actually, I'm sure that
19 the name of this missing person was Srdjan Djeric and his father's name
20 was Dobrosav. So the father could not obtain any information whatsoever
21 about his son, whether his son was still alive or had been killed; and if
22 so, if his body could -- his remains could be returned. Someone told
23 him -- because he went around, he knocked at many doors to the ICRC,
24 UNPROFOR, and so on and so forth. But could not find anything, could not
25 find an answer. So someone told him that a child from the area of
1 Podravanje was in this local hospital and he wanted to kidnap the child
2 but was prevented in doing so.
3 So the International Committee of the Red Cross contacted Mr.
4 Krajisnik at the time, asking him to use his authority and his -- and the
5 respect that he enjoyed, to do something, to transfer this child -- to
6 return this child back home. Mr. Krajisnik never issued any orders, never
7 told anyone that something had to be done. So he kindly asked that the
8 issue be investigated and an exchange team from the Ministry of the
9 Interior was established. I remember a person by the name of Sevo who was
10 a member of this committee.
11 So this transfer was organised and the little girl was taken back
12 to her parents to the territory that she had left a year and a half
13 before. She was safely transferred, taken back, to her parents.
14 MR. JOSSE: That concludes my examination, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
16 Mr. Margetts, are you ready to start the cross-examination?
17 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm informed in order to have the
18 documents here we would be grateful if we could have a break.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We could have the break now. It's quite early
20 because we had a start of half an hour later, and then of course I'm a bit
21 concerned of getting into difficulties later with tapes, et cetera,
22 because we have a session now of only 50 minutes and that could bring us
23 to some trouble.
24 How much time would you need to get the material here?
25 MR. MARGETTS: Five minutes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Five minutes.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, this will not be the first long break,
4 but my colleagues, generous as they always are, suggested six to seven
6 We'll adjourn and we'll re-start at 10.30 sharp.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.31 a.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, you'll now be cross-examined by
10 Mr. Margetts, counsel for the Prosecution. May I specifically instruct
11 you to carefully listen to the questions because you have a tendency of
12 telling us a lot, even portions that are not specifically asked.
13 Mr. Margetts is under some time restraints. So if you would go that way,
14 he might interrupt you, but I'll keep tight control over it.
15 Mr. Margetts.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Margetts:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bjelica.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Mr. Bjelica, yesterday you referred to an intercept of telephone
21 conversation between yourself and Mr. Karadzic wherein you discussed a
22 transaction regarding fuel. And at page 52 of yesterday's transcript and
23 from line 21, regarding that --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, you're looking -- Mr. Margetts is
25 referring to yesterday's session, so page 52 is not accessible to you.
1 It's just for the information of the Judges and counsel where to find your
2 testimony of yesterday.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. And it -- regarding that transaction you stated that it did not
7 take place, nothing came of it. And precisely what you said was this.
8 You said: "I don't think anything came of this. It was never realised.
9 This business was never realised. They were two cisterns full of fuel
10 that had to be paid for. We weren't able to meet those requirements, so
11 this was a business transaction that never went through."
12 Then further on at page 53, line 10, you stated: "We didn't have
13 the money to pay for that, and so this never materialised. This business
14 transaction never went through."
15 MR. MARGETTS: Now, at this stage, Your Honours, I'd like to
16 distribute the documents and I'd like to refer Mr. Bjelica to tab 36 of
17 the documents.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We have not many witnesses to go anymore, but the
19 Chamber would not have minded if it would have been on our tables already.
20 Thank you.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we'll bear that in mind.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, perhaps in order to avoid whatever
23 confusion, perhaps we should take back from Mr. Bjelica the other bundle,
24 unless you would use and need it immediately, Mr. Margetts. Yes.
25 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, that's tab 36 that we are referring to.
1 Q. And, Mr. Bjelica, you'll see that this is a remittance advice
2 that's on the right hand of your copy, the right-hand bottom, the
3 word "Sokolac" appears and the date, 30 December 1991. The transferee is
4 Boksit Milici, and the purpose of the remittance is payment for oil
5 derivatives. And you'll see that the account owner is a Sokolac-based
6 company and that the sum that is transferred to Boksit Milici is
7 1.1 million dinars. In fact, Mr. Bjelica, you did have the resources and
8 did pay for the fuel, didn't you?
9 A. What has this got to do with me? I apologise. The primary
10 school, Slavisa Vajner Cica, based in Sokolac paid for this, not Romanija.
11 Here it says: "By order of the account owners Slavisa Vajner primary
12 school Sokolac," and they remitted money to Boksit Milici. They needed
13 money for -- for the heating. And this has to do with them, with the
14 primary school in Sokolac called Slavisa Vajner Cica. You can read it on
15 this transfer note.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica. The -- there was substantial discussion
17 in your evidence yesterday relating to whether or not the person referred
18 to in the 27 December 1991 intercept was either Mirko Krajisnik of Boksit
19 or, alternatively, a chap by the name of Slavo Krajisnik, who worked with
20 Branko Ostojic. The fact is that Mirko Krajisnik, working at the Sarajevo
21 office of Boksit, procured oil for Romanija Petrol, and he offered your
22 company substantial quantities of oil, didn't he?
23 A. No, I'm sure of that. I don't know. I don't know that he
24 delivered anything. He worked in that company, but we did not obtain fuel
25 from any company executives. I don't remember this. I never had any
1 arrangement with Mirko, and I don't know what is the basis of your
2 conclusion. Could you please explain. Could you please clarify. I'm not
3 clear. Why are you saying this?
4 Q. The first thing is, Mr. Bjelica, you need to listen very carefully
5 to my questions and you need to answer my questions and not to
6 re-formulate them in your own words. So instead of talking about delivery
7 of fuel, first of all answer my question about Mirko Krajisnik procuring
8 oil and making it available and offering it to your company,
9 Romanija Petrol. He did that, didn't he?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, did you understand the difference?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't understand. I don't
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even if I had --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The -- in your answer you said: Never oil was
16 delivered in that way, whereas Mr. Margetts asked you whether it was ever
17 offered. So apart from whether delivery finally would take place, yes or
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could refer to tab 2 of the
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. First of all, I think we have not yet given a
25 number to --
1 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, apologies, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- previous tab which was --
3 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 36, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Would be P1149.
6 MR. MARGETTS: And, Your Honour, if a number could be given to
7 tab 2.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, tab 2 --
9 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 2 would be P1152.
10 MR. MARGETTS:
11 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, you have before you a communication from Mirko
12 Krajisnik, and you'll see on the second page that it's signed and
13 stamped "Mirko Krajisnik, Boksit Sarajevo branch." I can refer you to the
14 first page, you'll see that Mr. Krajisnik had 420.000 litres of fuel
15 available at -- that he has stored in Zvornik on the 1st of April, 1992.
16 And he says this. He says: "We have offered our buyers part of the
17 quantity in the following fashion," and the fourth company listed is your
18 company, Romanija Petrol. And he's offered you, who he describes as one
19 of his buyers, 33.000 litres of fuel.
20 That's the case, isn't it? Mr. Krajisnik procured oil and he
21 regarded your company as one of his buyers.
22 A. No. You can tell from this document that the gentleman from
23 Boksit, joint stock company based in Milici, offered fuel, that they were
24 in a position to offer 193.000 litres of fuel. To Sinekop, 6.000; to
25 Autoprevoz, 66.000 litres; to Azbest Petrol, 28.000 litres; and to
1 Romanija Petrol, 33.000 litres. This was their offer. I don't know
2 whether this was ever implemented, maybe through Zoran Pantic. I don't
3 think it was ever purchased but it had to be paid for --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... stop you. The fact is we --
5 prior to presenting this document to you, there was some detailed
6 discussion about the difference between offering and delivery, and it was
7 clarified both by myself and by the Court what that difference was. It's
8 now not useful for you having looked at this document to go through that
9 again. So let's not reduce this to a farce whereby we're debating words;
10 let's just answer the questions precisely as they're put.
11 The fact is that this document is correct. Mirko Krajisnik
12 offered you fuel and he regarded you as one of his buyers. Correct?
13 A. No, he did not consider me one of his buyers. I represented a
14 state company called Romanija Petrol. I don't remember this document, and
15 this is nothing but an offer. Whether this was ever realised, I don't
16 know, it is possible, but I don't believe that it ever was.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I'm going to intervene here and I'm going to look
18 very carefully to my own words. I said to the witness that you asked him
19 whether it was ever offered, and then I added: "So apart from whether
20 delivery finally would take place, yes or no," and then the witness
21 said "no." And that could be well understood as a confirmation of that it
22 was not delivered.
23 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm sorry, Your Honour. We may need to listen
24 to the translation of Your Honour's question. With respect, Your Honour's
25 question was not grammatically correct in English at all. I'm sorry to
1 have to say that. It simply --
2 JUDGE ORIE: The problem was it was no question.
3 MR. JOSSE: Well, I remember when Your Honour said it thinking to
4 myself: That is not altogether clear. I decided not to interrupt --
5 JUDGE ORIE: But let's -- Mr. Josse, I suggest at this moment that
6 what I said, first of all, was not a question. And since my last line
7 ended with "yes or no," that was not a question. That was whether or not.
8 And then the "no" from the witness could be well understood as
9 confirming - although I didn't ask him for it - that there had been no
10 delivery, without expressing himself in any way as to the clarified
11 question as whether there had been any offer. I would consider this not
12 an explanation which would be unfavourable. I think it's a fair
13 explanation and it would certainly be rather in favour than disfavourable
14 to the -- to the witness and to the Defence.
15 Do you understand what I mean?
16 MR. JOSSE: I don't, I'm afraid.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour --
18 JUDGE ORIE: What I'm saying is the "no" from the witness -- I
19 understand the "no" from the witness, looking at my own language, not to
20 be an answer to the question whether ever it was offered, but more or less
21 echoing the last line -- my last line about delivery. I said whether -- I
22 should have said: So apart whether delivery final would take place --
23 MR. JOSSE: I think Your Honour's question was: Did delivery ever
24 take place?
25 JUDGE ORIE: No. I just tried to explain that an offer does not
1 necessarily include that there was delivery.
2 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Can I -- learned counsel for the Defence is moving
5 perilously close to making submissions as to what the record records. And
6 that's his -- we have a different view, and we are quite content on the
7 basis of the record to move forward.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me just --
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: After consultation with my colleagues, the "no" of
11 the witness is not understood my this Chamber as a "no" to a question
12 whether it was ever offered. It is understood as a "no" to whether it was
13 ever -- whether any oil was ever delivered -- was delivered. Is that --
14 does that satisfy you?
15 MR. JOSSE: Not really.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then I'll stay further out of it. I tried to
17 clarify the matter. I've not been successful. I leave it to the parties.
18 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm not entirely sure I'm content with
19 that explanation either.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then I leave it to the parties and then --
21 MR. MARGETTS: Well --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do -- I better understand it. You're not
23 entirely happy, Mr. Margetts.
24 MR. MARGETTS: It's just that I thought maybe Your Honour in
25 explaining it in fact --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that you -- I should have
2 possibly --
3 MR. MARGETTS: -- possibly contradicted the previous view. If
4 Your Honour could review the transcript, you stated that it was a no to
5 whether it was delivered, wherein in fact the specific intent of Your
6 Honour's question was to respond to my inquiry as to whether it was in
7 fact an offer.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I think there was some confusion there.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Okay. Okay. Thank you --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. MARGETTS: -- Your Honour.
12 Q. I'll ask you this, Mr. Bjelica: Whilst you continued to contend
13 that no fuel was delivered, you do concede that this document from Mirko
14 Krajisnik accurately sets out that he did offer you fuel?
15 A. I never saw this document before. It was not addressed to me. It
16 is possible that somebody offered fuel by phone, and then if the price was
17 not adequate we never accepted the offer. This is just a letter to the
18 marketing department of the Boksit DD company based in Milici, indicating
19 that they had a certain quantity of fuel at their disposal and that they
20 offered it to the aforementioned companies. And it was well-known whether
21 these companies purchased the fuel, whether they were going to purchase,
22 or not.
23 I see this document for the first time. Everybody offered oil at
24 the time, and we did purchase oil from any company that was duly
25 registered, as this company was, and if the price was adequate. If we had
1 purchased fuel based on this document, it would be nothing to -- nothing
2 questionable --
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica. But your evidence to this Court is that
4 as director of Romanija Petrol when at the start of April 1992 Mirko
5 Krajisnik offered your company 33.000 litres of fuel, you had no idea that
6 that offer was provided to your company. Is that your evidence?
7 A. Yes, this is what I claim.
8 Q. Mr. Bjelica, I'd like to move on to another topic, and that is the
9 issue of the Romanija Autonomous Region. In paragraph 2 of your statement
10 which you signed and is being presented as Exhibit D160 to this Court, you
11 stated that the first meeting of the SAO Romanija Assembly -- there's no
12 need for you to find the statement, Mr. Bjelica. You'll recall this. You
13 stated that the first meeting of the SAO Romanija Assembly occurred in
14 September of 1991 and there were no further meetings of that body.
15 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could refer to tab 15. And, Your
16 Honour, this already has an exhibit number, that is, P64A, P529, tab 466.
17 Q. Mr. Bjelica, you see the document before you. That is the minutes
18 of a meeting of the SAO Romanija Assembly of December 1991, and it's a
19 fact that that body did meet again after September 1991, didn't it?
20 And if it assists you, Mr. Bjelica, you'll see that you in fact
21 attended this meeting and spoke at it. That's at the bottom of the third
22 page of the document you have before you.
23 Mr. Bjelica, apart from possibly reading your own remarks, there's
24 no need for you to look at the full document; I won't be asking you
25 questions about it. The question is very specific, it's the fact that the
1 Assembly did meet again, it met in December 1991. Correct? Correct?
2 Just yes or no.
3 A. I can see now that it did. This was not an Assembly; this was
4 just a consultation meeting. And based on this, one can conclude that it
5 was a consultation meeting of the government in an extended composition,
6 the government of SAO Romanija, with representatives of Vlasenica and
7 Sekovici because at that time there was an initiative - I don't know who
8 launched it actually --
9 Q. Can I stop you there, Mr. Bjelica, because already your comments
10 are contradicting the terms of the document. Because if you look at
11 paragraph 1, the first item on the agenda, it's the decision to appoint
12 the SAO Romanija government. So it's not a meeting of the government in
13 extended form. As is set out in the heading of the document, it's a
14 meeting of the Assembly, and that Assembly appoints the government on that
15 day. Correct?
16 A. I said that this had been envisaged, and you can see here
17 representatives of Sekovici and Vlasenica. What they had got to do with
18 this meeting. This may have been the first session at which the
19 government was appointed, and my intervention was only to ask what the
20 purpose of the meeting was and who was it who was trying to hold this
21 meeting --
22 Q. Stop, Mr. Bjelica. Mr. Bjelica --
23 A. I may have even left the meeting before its conclusion --
24 Q. Mr. Bjelica, before you started your evidence in response to the
25 cross-examination, His Honour said I will be asking specific questions,
1 and I will do that and I again ask you for specific answers.
2 I'm going to ask you a simple question: Is this a meeting of the
3 SAO Romanija Assembly that you attended, yes or no?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, not only --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- in your statement you've given to this Court did you say that
8 no meetings of the Assembly occurred after September 1991, but you failed
9 to mention altogether the fact that there was a government of the SAO
10 Romanija, and also - I'll ask you two questions here - a Crisis Staff of
11 the SAO Romanija that met and functioned. That's correct, isn't it, that
12 those two bodies met in 1992 and issued decisions?
13 A. Nobody ever asked me about the government, whether it was
14 established or not.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now the question is - and forget about what
16 Mr. Margetts said about what you failed to say - did a government of
17 SAO Romanija meet and function in 1992?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember. They may have
19 met, but I don't know. It is possible. It is possible that there were
20 meetings, but I was not a member of that government and I don't remember.
21 It is possible. There may have been meetings, but, believe me, I can't
22 remember. I was not in the government. There were consultation meetings
23 between the leadership and others. Whether somebody thought that that was
24 the government or a Crisis Staff, I wouldn't know.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was the second question, apart from the
1 government: Are you aware of a SAO Romanija Crisis Staff meeting and
2 functioning in 1992?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember. There were
4 meetings of the leaderships from the territory of Romanija, presidents of
5 the party, presidents of the Municipal Boards, presidents of the
6 municipalities. I don't know what the name of those meetings was and
7 whether they consider themselves a Crisis Staff. I know that there was a
8 Crisis Staff in my municipality, and whether this was a Crisis Staff,
9 another one, I really can't remember. I don't know.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I can refer to tab 16, if that
12 could be given an exhibit number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 16 would be P1153, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
15 MR. MARGETTS:
16 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, if I could refer you to the article which
17 appears in the right-hand column of the document before you, and it's the
18 second from the bottom. And it's headed "announcement by the SAO Romanija
19 Crisis Staff." And it's published in the publication Glas on the 5th of
20 March, 1992.
21 The announcement that the Crisis Staff of the SAO Romanija makes
22 is this that: "The Serbian people have lost their confidence in the
23 possibility of a political agreement with the Muslim people because with
24 their attacks against innocent Serbs, even children, militant part of the
25 Muslim people have torn the last leaks between our two peoples in the
1 roughest manner."
2 That is the case in SAO Romanija, isn't it, Mr. Bjelica, that by
3 the 5th of March, 1992, the leaderships of SAO Romanija had lost
4 confidence in the possibility of any political agreement with Muslims?
5 A. I don't remember this. I don't know who declared this or signed
6 this, whether this was Mr. Drago Blagojevic or Nedeljko Djukic, I don't
7 know. But at any rate, this was not discussed at any forum. This was an
8 announcement of a personal kind.
9 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Bjelica. You have to listen to my questions, and
10 my question was specific. It was that the people, the Serb people of
11 SAO Romanija had lost confidence in the possibility of a political
13 Now, take your eyes away from the article and listen to the
14 question and answer the question. They had lost confidence in the
15 possibility of a political agreement with the Muslims, hadn't they?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, if I could move on. You can close the documents
18 before you. In -- at paragraph 5 of the statement that you signed and
19 handed up to the Court, Exhibit D160, you stated that Zoran Cvijetic set
20 up the SAO Romanija MUP ministry on the 30th of March, 1992. However,
21 prior to the 30th of March, 1992, in fact on the 20th of March, 1992,
22 Cvijetic had taken command of the SAO Romanija police and he had dismissed
23 all the Muslims. Correct?
24 A. Just a moment, please.
25 Q. No, Mr. Bjelica, please. Just if you could leave the documents.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Bjelica, if you want to consult any
2 documents you have brought yourself, please address me. Tell me what kind
3 of document you would like to consult and for what reason there's need to
4 consult the document before answering the question. Yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is not necessary
6 for me to look at the document to answer the question. But the
7 establishment of this unit in the month of March, I just wanted to
8 illustrate this with an example of an article from a Sarajevo-based paper.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We are, first of all, interested in your testimony,
10 Mr. Bjelica, because this Chamber heard that a lot of publications
11 appeared, some telling one truth, others telling another truth. So we are
12 a bit cautious with documents. We first like to hear your answer to the
13 question because you're hear to tell us what you know.
14 Please proceed.
15 So the -- perhaps, Mr. Margetts, you repeat the questions which
16 were actually two questions.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'll make it one question, if that
18 would be more convenient.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
20 MR. MARGETTS:
21 Q. Mr. Bjelica, on the 20th of March, 1992, Zoran Cvijetic dismissed
22 all the Muslims from the SAO Romanija police, didn't he?
23 A. Not from the SAO Romanija police but from the police station in
24 Sokolac. That is true, that they left. Only with respect to Sokolac, not
25 with the entire region of Romanija.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, again Mr. Margetts is asking you whether
3 Mr. Cvijetic fired them or what term did you use?
4 MR. MARGETTS: Dismissed, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Dismissed, yes. Whether they were dismissed. You
6 say: "Yes, that's true, they left," which is not the same. Did they left
7 because they decided they didn't want to stay there anymore, this police
8 force, or did Mr. Cvijetic tell them that they had to leave? Do you know
9 that? If so, please tell us; if not --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know the answer to this question.
11 It is true that those days - I don't recall the exact date but it
12 shouldn't be a problem - that Muslims in the Sokolac police station were
13 told by the chief security station, Mr. Cvijetic, that they did not come
14 to work any longer until the status of Serbs in the old town, Gorazde and
15 other municipalities, is resolved because these had been dismissed by the
16 chief of the police station where Muslims were. So it was under these
17 conditions that they were dismissed. He told them not to come to work to
18 Sokolac until this issue had been resolved.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
22 MR. MARGETTS:
23 Q. If I could move on, Mr. Bjelica. At paragraph 12 of the
24 statement --
25 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, Your Honour, before I commence this
1 question, what time will we be having the break, if I may ask?
2 JUDGE ORIE: I have to now -- so we'll have another break.
3 It's --
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ORIE: If this would be a suitable moment, because we have
6 now -- we went on for approximately one and a half hours.
7 So then if this would be a suitable moment, we'll have a break now
8 and then we'd resume at 25 minutes to 12.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 11.08 a.m.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Krajisnik, the Trial Chamber
13 would like to address you regarding the procedure which has been adopted
14 with respect to letters - you may remain seated - you sent to the Chamber.
15 This procedure was prepared by the Judges in light of the submissions made
16 by the Defence at the Rule 73 ter pre-Defence conference on the 6th of
17 October, 2005, with reference to the transcript pages 17269 through 17271.
18 During that period, Chamber received several letters from you.
19 Some of the matters raised were properly addressed directly to the
20 Chamber, while others were not. We now understand that you asked
21 Mr. Josse to give an envelope to the Chamber on your behalf and that this
22 was presented to the Legal Officer after the close of last Wednesday's
23 session. We want to be sure that you understand how this and all other
24 letters from you will be handled today and in the future.
25 Matters that are not, generally speaking, properly addressed
1 directly to the Judges by an accused who is represented through counsel
2 are those matters which your counsel have been hired to handle on your
3 behalf as well as matters that are within the jurisdiction of the Registry
4 in the first instance. Other matters not falling within either of these
5 categories may also not be within the competence of the Chamber to deal
6 with, although questions of competence cannot be defined in the abstract.
7 Your counsel will be able to advise you on the question of the Chamber's
8 competence in relation to a particular matter.
9 According to the adopted procedure, Mr. Krajisnik, your
10 correspondence will first be given to the Registry. It will then be
11 translated into English and sent to one of the Chamber's Legal Officers.
12 The Legal Officer will review the contents of the letter for any matter
13 which is appropriately addressed directly to the Judges. Following the
14 review, if the letter contains a matter that is appropriately addressed to
15 the Judges directly by you, the Legal Officer will retain the letter for
16 consideration by the Chamber.
17 In the alternative, if the letter does not contain a matter that
18 is appropriately addressed to the Judges directly by you, the Legal
19 Officer will return the letter to the Registry, which will, in turn, send
20 the letter back to you, Mr. Krajisnik. In either case, depending on the
21 contents of the letter, the Chamber may send a notification and translated
22 copy of the letter to Defence counsel. This is the procedure.
23 Now, as far as this specific letter was concerned, the Chamber has
24 decided not to deal with it unduly formalistic -- yes, may I first finish
25 and tell us what we have in mind, and then I give you an opportunity to
1 respond to that.
2 Mr. Krajisnik, the letter has been translated. We have not read
3 it yet, but we were informed that it deals with an invitation the Chamber
4 gave to, I think to the Defence, and that's usually you and counsel, to
5 give further information on witness issues, witnesses who may have fear to
6 appear before this Tribunal. The Chamber considers this a matter which
7 would -- should be addressed through counsel. If it were only for the
8 reason that if it would be filed, then of course decisions can be taken,
9 otherwise part of the file is missing. So, therefore, it should have been
10 appropriately addressed to the Chamber through counsel.
11 At the same time, we're not going to be over formalistic on the
12 matter. But before we ask our staff to give the letter to us, I'd like
13 you to briefly consult with Mr. Josse - I don't know whether Mr. Josse is
14 aware of the content of the letter - and specifically discuss with him
15 briefly what the content is, whether Mr. Josse would prefer to have it
16 filed officially, because that's the problem with these kind of letters,
17 that they do not become a part of the file, and then please inform us. If
18 you say: Mr. Josse may file this information at a later -- well, tomorrow
19 or next week, in an other way but there's no problem the Chamber reading
20 the letter already, we'll just read it and then we'll see how Mr. Josse
21 would give a follow-up to it. But we'd very much like you to have at least
22 one or two words with Mr. Josse before we read the letter. It could be --
23 that's also a possibility -- and that's why the Chamber is reluctant, in
24 writing a letter not having seen by counsel, there's always -- even if it
25 would be small, there's always a small risk that it could damage your
1 position. I mean, you never know. Sometimes only when having studied the
2 letter very carefully it could be not good for your position. And
3 therefore we want to make sure that such a thing does not happen.
4 If there is anything you would like to add, please do so at this
5 moment; if not, please have one word with Mr. Josse - perhaps that's even
6 possible when the witness comes in - and see whether Mr. Josse -- whether
7 we could already receive that letter.
8 Yes, Mr. Krajisnik.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
10 I wrote the letter because of my intervention before this Chamber,
11 and you adopted a decision that certain documents should be advanced. I
12 told this to my counsel, and they handed over this documentation. I will
13 once again consult with Mr. Josse to see whether this should really be
14 contained in the documents, but I wanted to make sure that you get it as
15 soon as possible so that you can see for yourself that my remark in
16 connection with the witness's was justified.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Mr. Josse, I'm now addressing you. Are you satisfied with the
19 situation and that you look at it -- have you seen the documents --
20 MR. JOSSE: I really need the translation. When I handed it over
21 to the Legal Officer, I made it plain that we had not had it translated --
22 JUDGE ORIE: The letter or the documents?
23 MR. JOSSE: Either.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Either.
25 MR. JOSSE: I don't want to mislead the Court, because
1 Mr. Krajisnik had been good enough to discuss it with me.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. JOSSE: And -- in fact, Mr. Sladojevic summarised the letter
4 in part. I then consulted with Mr. Stewart, spoke to Mr. Krajisnik, and
5 we decided, for reasons I'm not going to go into now, the best course of
6 action was to do exactly what Mr. Krajisnik wanted and hand the letter to
7 the Legal Officer.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if that's --
9 MR. JOSSE: But I really, really need to see the translation. I
10 emphasised that when I handed the letter in.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Before we read it or ...
12 MR. JOSSE: Before -- I couldn't possibly advise my client without
13 seeing a full translation of the letter.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I'll first verify whether, apart from the
15 letter, any of the documents attached to it are translated as well. They
16 are --
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, we'll consider what to do, but perhaps
19 most likely -- I do understand your concerns. I also do understand that
20 Mr. Krajisnik would like us to be informed as soon as possible.
21 At this moment I think wisest would be to ascertain that apart
22 from the letter that also the newspaper -- I take it that the relevant
23 portion is well-marked of that newspaper?
24 MR. JOSSE: Or I'm not sure that -- it's not, but Mr. Krajisnik is
25 happy to do that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that would be important, unless the
2 whole of the newspaper deals with the same matter --
3 MR. JOSSE: No, I don't think so. There's one -- in fact, I've
4 just been told now that a portion of it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It's a portion. Yes. Because then, of course, it
6 saves a lot of resources if Mr. Krajisnik would then point out what is the
7 relevant portion of the newspaper, then -- I mean, under normal
8 circumstances, as I said before, if it's a matter which should be -- that
9 should not be directly -- or should not appropriately directly addressed
10 to the Chamber, we'd send it back. Let's not, as I said before, be unduly
11 formalistic. We'll see whether it can be translated.
12 Mr. Josse, you'll then have a very short moment to discuss the
13 matter once you have seen both the translation of the letter and the
14 translation of the newspaper, and then you decide together with
15 Mr. Krajisnik whether it should be filed in a formal way. Whether you
16 would consider you could advise Mr. Krajisnik on whether this is a matter
17 to be addressed directly to the Chamber. Would that be --
18 MR. JOSSE: Yes, it would. Although I don't quite follow why it
19 needs to be a short period.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course if you say -- Mr. Krajisnik sent the
21 letter to the Court. I said we will not unduly formalistically deal with
22 it, which opens the way of us reading the letter even before it was
23 officially filed. We have to decide at a certain moment whether we give
24 the letter back or whether we wait for your filing or whatever solution,
25 and we don't want to wait with that, because the matter is important
1 enough not to be pending for a long period of time. Because that's, I
2 understand, Mr. Krajisnik, was your concern that we would be informed as
3 soon as possible and, therefore, under those circumstances we'd like to
4 know as soon as possible whether to give the letter back to you, whether
5 it will be filed, or even in this case where we already decide that we
6 would read the letter and not rely formalistically on the procedure just
7 set out, although we will apply it in the future, that we will then read
9 MR. JOSSE: If I may say on behalf of Mr. Krajisnik and myself,
10 that is a fair summary of the situation, and it was time constraints as
11 much as anything which led us to decide jointly that the best course was
12 simply to hand the letter in.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. JOSSE: Time constraints on our part are the precise -- one of
15 the precise difficulties.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So the letter now will be given back to Mr.
17 Krajisnik. He will indeed mark in the newspaper article exactly what is
18 the relevant portion. Then we will receive it back. It will be
19 translated. You will have an opportunity, Mr. Josse, again -- briefly in
20 order to tell us what we are expected to do, and then we'll finalise the
21 matter, either through a formal filing, either by reading the letter in
22 this exceptional case.
23 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Then, Mr. Josse and Mr. Krajisnik, it may be entirely clear to you
1 that the Chamber is not the quickest way of getting translations. I do
2 not -- I do not -- it did not come into my mind that that was your
3 intention, but I just want to say that translations should be normally not
4 asked from CLSS by the Chamber but by the Defence. And the Defence
5 includes counsel and accused.
6 MR. JOSSE: Thank you for making that clear.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Mr. Margetts, once the witness has been brought in again -- I see
9 it's a limited portion.
10 Madam Usher, could you please ask the security to escort the
11 witness into the courtroom.
12 MR. JOSSE: Yes, they've been listening, Your Honour. So I think
13 Your Honour simply needs to say "bring the witness in," and they'll do
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm not yet used to the fact that everyone
16 hears what I say, Mr. Josse.
17 MR. JOSSE: He is being brought through the corridor.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, you may proceed.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Bjelica, in the statement that you signed and gave to the
24 Court, you stated at paragraph 12 that the local SDS never had its own
25 Crisis Staff. If I could refer you to tab 3 of the documents.
1 MR. MARGETTS: And, Your Honour, that is Exhibit P805, tab 2,
2 and P836.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, you'll see that this document is the minutes of
4 the meeting of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Sokolac held on
5 15 May 1992. And I'd like you to -- to refer you to the third paragraph.
6 There's the heading "minutes," then there's a short paragraph which deals
7 with the formal details. The second paragraph deals with the persons
8 present. And if you could read the first sentence in the third paragraph,
9 which reads as follows: "Before starting with the agenda Dragan Popovic
10 informed the Crisis Staff about the meeting of the Municipal Board of the
11 SDS Sokolac in which it was concluded that the Crisis Staff shall be
12 comprised of 11 members," and it says "which" -- but may mean -- "whom are
13 present today instead of 16 members."
14 It is the case, isn't it, Mr. Bjelica that the Municipal Board of
15 the SDS determined the constitution of the Crisis Staff of Sokolac?
16 A. Partly, yes. The Municipal Board of the Sokolac SDS did not have
17 their staff, party staff but they delegated their representatives. When
18 the SDS had representatives in the Municipal Assembly as deputies, there
19 was only one Crisis Staff, Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly of
20 Sokolac. And it is true that the Municipal Board asked Mr. Tupajic and
21 the existing Crisis Staff that the number of members of the Crisis Staff
22 be increased from 11 to 16, probably with a view of including a local
23 director or managers of some institutions, such as the health centre and
24 similar. So this is not in dispute. I can confirm this.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica. If we could move on, I'd like to refer
1 you to your statement again and also the evidence that you gave yesterday
2 in quite some detail. And that was, effectively, you referred to a series
3 of attacks on civilians, and in paragraph 18 of your statement you date
4 various attacks from the 30th of June, 1992.
5 And in paragraph 19 of your statement you say that as a result of
6 these events, being those attacks against civilians, the VRS commenced
7 various operations. The truth is, isn't it, Mr. Bjelica, that from early
8 June 1992 the VRS was conducting offensive military operations along the
9 corridor Pale-Sokolac-Vlasenica-Zvornik?
10 A. Could you clarify. What do you mean when you say "the corridor
11 Pale-Sokolac-Vlasenica-Zvornik"? I don't quite understand.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I think the best way to do that is to
13 refer Mr. Bjelica to three exhibits. The first one I'd like to deal with
14 is at tab 6. And if that could have an exhibit number, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1154, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. Mr. Bjelica, this is a directive from Ratko Mladic dated 6th June
19 1992. And I'd like to refer you, first of all, to paragraph 4, and that
20 appears in your copy on the first page. And the part of it I'd like to
21 refer you to is the part with introductory words which are "I decided."
22 And then the words as follows: "By using a part of our forces, implement
23 offensive actions in order to mop up or cleanse the territories from the
24 groups that stayed behind and from the individuals belonging to the enemy.
25 Provide secure communication throughout the territory of Serbian Republic
1 of BH as much as secure connections with FRY."
2 Now, if you could turn over the page, I'd now like to refer you to
3 the specific tasks that were given to the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. And in
4 here you'll see the definition of the assignments given -- the definition
5 of the corridor. And that is in page -- on page 3 of your version, and
6 it's the paragraph in the middle of the page. And the part I'd like to
7 refer you to is the last sentence. And these are assignments that are set
8 by Mladic in order to achieve the objective that he described in
9 paragraph 4. And the assignment of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps --
10 A. Just a second, please. I don't see that.
11 Q. Okay. It's at --
12 A. Item 4?
13 Q. First of all, at item 4, did you follow me, the part that I read
14 out to you initially was on page 1 and --
15 A. Yes, I am on page 1.
16 Q. Now I'm referring you to the third page, and I'm referring you to
17 the paragraph in the middle of the page which commences with the
18 words "Sarajevo-Romanija Corps." And I'm referring you to the last
19 sentence of that paragraph. And it says this. It says: "Further deblock
20 the communication Sarajevo, Trnovo, and Pale, Zlatiste. Securing the road
21 from Gorazde, Rogatica, and Zepa."
22 Then it says this, last sentence: "Secure the communication
23 Sarajevo-Sokolac-Vlasenica. Establish stronger communication with East
24 Bosnian Corps."
25 And of course the East Bosnian Corps -- their area of operations
1 was north, including the municipalities of Sekovici, Bratunac, and Zvornik
2 in the Birac area.
3 So that's the corridor that I'm referring to. And that corridor
4 that ran from Pale through Sokolac, Han Pijesak, Vlasenica, from Zvornik
5 to the Drina and ultimately to the FRY is the corridor that Mladic ordered
6 on 6 June 1992 should be the area in which offensive military actions take
7 place. Correct?
8 A. I don't know whether it should be. First of all, the Eastern
9 Bosnia Corps did not cover -- what is this? I think they were stationed
10 in Bijeljina, had to go to do with Bihac [as interpreted]. This is in
11 Republika Srpska, the Eastern Bosnia Corps --
12 Q. A subordinate brigade was the Birac Brigade, it must be my
13 pronunciation. The Birac Brigade?
14 A. Okay. Yes, okay. You confused me a little. I thought you
15 said "Bihac."
16 Q. My apologies. I'll state the question, and the question is simply
17 this: That in accordance with this order offensive military operations
18 were conducted along that corridor or that communication line, if you'd
19 like to refer to it in that manner?
20 A. I don't know. In our area they were not conducted, not as far as
21 Konjevic Polje, perhaps with a view of linking up with Yugoslavia near
22 Konjevic Polje. The communication lines were cut off in Konjevic Polje
23 towards Bratunac and Zvornik. Likewise, parts of Ilidza were cut off, as
24 were a number of parts of Novo Sarajevo, where Serbs were the majority
25 population, the area which was controlled by the forces of VRS because it
1 was not safe to go across Trebevic but Tvrdinici.
2 So probably in order to secure the communication lines for the
3 parts of Sarajevo where Serbs were in majority, including Grbavica,
4 Nedzarici, part of Ilidza, Novo Sarajevo and Trnovo, this order was issued
5 and these actions were carried out as far as I can remember in the area of
6 Zlatiste and Osmace in order to liberate that communication line and
7 render it safe for passage of civilians, the military, and the equipment.
8 So I think that it was with that objective in mind that this was carried
9 out. I never saw any documents to that effect.
10 I'm speaking from my memory and as a person who lived in the area.
11 Nobody asked us whether this was necessary or not, but I know that after
12 a while that communication line was safer, the one across Trebevic because
13 up until that time the route via Tvrdinici was used. Those were bad
14 roads, in poor condition, dirt roads. Even later, after that, the road
15 was not entirely safe because of the constant activity of sniper shooting
16 at the passing vehicles from Trebevic. There was also a lot of shelling,
17 and quite a few people from Sokolac perished in the area, in that portion
18 of the communication line I'm talking about.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, are you seeking all these details?
20 MR. MARGETTS: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Sorry --
23 JUDGE ORIE: At a certain moment, of course, you -- you may --
24 it's your own responsibility to use your time as good as you can.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. MARGETTS:
2 Q. Mr. Bjelica, I will intervene, as I have been doing to date in --
3 when you're giving further details than those which I've sought in my
5 Now, to assist you with specifically the actions that were being
6 conducted in your municipality, I have two further documents, and they are
7 tabs 7 and 8.
8 MR. MARGETTS: And if they could both be given numbers.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 7, Your Honours, will be P1155; and tab 8,
10 Your Honours, will be P1156.
11 MR. MARGETTS:
12 Q. Mr. Bjelica, if you could first turn to tab 7, and this is an
13 order the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. And the portion I'm
14 interested in is in paragraph 2 which appears as the second paragraph on
15 the first page. And again, reflecting the order that you've just seen of
16 Mladic, it again sets out that these operations are to be conducted along
17 this axis. And the last sentence of paragraph 2 reads: "Further on to,
18 unblock the Sarajevo-Trnovo and Pale-Zlatiste roads, and simultaneously
19 secure Rogatica, Zepa and Gorazde axes, and the Sarajevo-Sokolac-Vlasenica
20 road to establish firmer connection with the Eastern Bosnia Corps."
21 And if I could just refer you to the top of the document, you'll
22 see under the heading "Sarajevo Corps command," it says: "Strictly
23 confidential number 10-74-44." And if we could refer to what has been
24 given the number P1156, which is at tab 8, you will see now this
25 document - if you could turn to tab 8 - is the order from the
1 2nd Motorised Brigade command based in Sokolac. And if you look at the
2 introductory details in this order, you'll see the first paragraph refers
3 to the implementation of the order 10-74-44, dated 7 June 1992. And
4 again, if you look at paragraph 2 of this order, once again the order of
5 Mladic is carried through and refers to providing security and
6 establishing a connection with the East Bosnia Corps through the road
8 Now you actually see this order of 8th June 1992 issued from the
9 command in Sokolac. Do you now recall that offensive military actions
10 ordered by the Main Staff of the VRS were conducted along that axis from
11 early June 1992?
12 A. As far as I can see, first there was the order of the Main Staff
13 issued to the corps -- the corps command, and then the corps commands in
14 turn issued orders to brigade commands, the command of the 2nd Motorised
15 Brigade. I don't know who this was issued to, their subordinate units, I
16 think. This is probably in relation with the order issued by the Main
17 Staff. This is the first time that I'm looking at this document; I've
18 never had an opportunity to see a document of this kind, to be frank.
19 And a moment ago I tried to explain what I knew --
20 Q. Yes, Mr. Bjelica. But having seen these orders now and having
21 seen that they were implemented, do you see that the military actions
22 conducted by the VRS were commanded from the highest level and they were
23 offensive actions along that corridor. Do you now understand the reason
24 for the actions that you observed?
25 A. I indicated a moment ago when the Presiding Judge instructed me to
1 do so, I explained what I know of this issue. Once the command of the
2 2nd Romanija Brigade informed the leadership of the municipality - and
3 we're talking about the same period of time - that as many as 7.000
4 members of the Muslim forces from Olovo and Kladanj, which were active in
5 the direction of Sokolac and a number of surrounding villages, that there
6 was an imminent danger for Pale and Sokolac because Sokolac borders with
7 Sarajevo, Gorazde, Kladanj, and also Zepa, partly with Srebrenica as well;
8 I'm referring to the wooded area around Bature [phoen]. So there was a
9 lot of fear whether this pressure would be eventually resisted or not.
10 Q. Unfortunately again the level of detail that you possess in
11 relation to the actions that were taken is not the focus of my question
12 because we're not talking about specific matters. We're talking about
13 your statement where you said that there were actions initiated by the
14 VRS, and what we're -- what I'm presenting to you is the series of orders
15 which preceded those actions.
16 And having seen those orders, do you now see why these offensive
17 military actions were undertaken from early June 1992? In other words,
18 you see that what you saw on the ground was being conducted pursuant to
19 these orders. Correct?
20 A. Yes, and I explained in my previous answer that there was an
21 assessment on the part of intelligence services that these forces were on
22 the move. And this is the reason why these activities subsequently took
24 Q. Yes. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica.
25 If I could move to another topic, and that's the issue of
1 disarmament. In paragraph 14 of your statement, you stated that in the
2 summer of 1992 the VRS issued a disarmament order, but no one acted on
3 this request. If I could refer you to tab 29.
4 MR. MARGETTS: And, Your Honour, if that could be given a number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 29, Your Honours, would be P1157.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
7 MR. MARGETTS:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, this is a report dated 27 July 1992 from
9 Zoran -- Captain Zoran Markovic and it's to the commander of the
10 2nd Romanija Brigade in Sokolac, and it sets out that on 27 July 1992
11 weapons were confiscated from the village of Novoseoci, a number of
12 hunting guns, one carbine, and a number of pistols. And if I could refer
13 you also to tab 12 which is related to this.
14 MR. MARGETTS: And if that could have a number, please.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 12, Your Honours, would be P1158.
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. This document at tab 12, Mr. Bjelica, is a report to the Main
19 Staff dated the same date as P1157. And that reports the Main Staff -- if
20 you look at the second part or the last paragraph referring to Novoseoci
21 in paragraph 1, and it reports to the Main Staff that: "Arms and other
22 lethal equipment were handed over by the Muslim population to the
23 2nd Romanija Brigade representatives in the village of Novoseoci," and it
24 specifies where that village is. And it says that: "The handover was
25 carried out according to the arrangement and it believes -- it's believed
1 that all -- it's believed that all weapons were not handed over."
2 And in that regard, Mr. Bjelica, I have yet one more document
3 which will provide the complete picture as to what the situation was. And
4 unfortunately now if I could refer you to tab 44. I say "unfortunately"
5 because it's some distance from tab 12. It also should be helpful.
6 Tab 44, do you have that there?
7 MR. MARGETTS: And if I could have a number for that?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 44, Your Honours, will be P1159.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 MR. MARGETTS:
11 Q. This is dated 28th July, the day after the weapons were handed
12 over. And it's a report from Radislav Krstic, the commander of the
13 2nd Romanija Brigade, to the corps. And I'm referring to the last
14 paragraph of that report and Lieutenant-Colonel Krstic states
15 that: "Within this territory in the villages of Micivoda, Raktitnica,
16 Kramer Selo, and Novoseoci, there is a certain number of extremists who
17 are peaceful for now. They are not causing problems for the Serbian
18 population, but were keeping them under control."
19 So my -- after reading those documents that describe the handing
20 over of the arms, do you see that, in fact, the village of Novoseoci did
21 act on the request of the VRS to hand over their weapons?
22 MR. JOSSE: Sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. I mean, clearly I'm
23 scanning these documents very quickly. The last document, in my
24 submission, needs to be read by the witness in whole before he answers the
1 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we do not consider that to be the
2 case. The question is very specific, it's about the village of Novoseoci.
3 The rest of the document does not address it. If my learned friend wishes
4 to address other issues in the document, then obviously he's welcome to
5 it. He can do so in re-examination.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just have a look before ...
7 MR. MARGETTS:
8 Q. Mr. Bjelica --
9 JUDGE ORIE: One second, Mr. ...
10 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. Bjelica was just indicating to me possibly
11 he wanted to respond, but if you could just wait --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if you have asked your
13 question. I am not quite clear as to what I'm supposed to answer.
14 MR. MARGETTS: If you could just wait --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you could ask your question
16 again, please.
17 MR. MARGETTS: -- for a second, I'll ask the question again.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Just for a second, Mr. Bjelica.
19 Yes, I think it's fair that the witness reads the -- tab 44.
20 Mr. Bjelica, could you just read the document under tab 44 in its
21 entirety just to have a general impression of what the content is without,
22 perhaps, trying to understand every and each single detail but ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, please put the question to the witness.
25 You've confronted him with quite some documents, so try to formulate your
1 question as clearly as possible.
2 MR. MARGETTS:
3 Q. Yes. Mr. Bjelica, you've read this last document. It could be
4 that my learned friend wishes to ask you questions about other aspects of
5 this document, but my request -- my question is limited to the last
6 paragraph and limited to the issue of Novoseoci. And the fact is that the
7 three documents you have seen, P1157, P1158, and P1159, demonstrate that,
8 in fact, contrary to your understanding set out in your statement, that no
9 one acted on the order for disarmament. Contrary to that statement, in
10 fact, Novoseoci did hand in its weapons. Correct?
11 A. No, it is not correct. With all due respect, we are talking about
12 hunting weapons after all. Nobody made an issue of hunting weapons.
13 However, military weapons, automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles, mines
14 and explosive devices, that was not handed over. People had licenses for
15 hunting weapons and pistols.
16 As for the military armament, no, nothing was handed over. So
17 we're talking about mines, explosive devices, and other military types of
18 weapons -- at least that was the information that we received formally
19 from the brigade command. True, some of the hunting rifles were handed
20 over but nothing else.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica, for that clarification. I'd now like to
22 move on to the events that occurred at Novoseoci. And you told the Trial
23 Chamber about a young man who committed suicide because of what happened
24 at Novoseoci. And it's correct, isn't it, that this young man had been a
25 soldier and Radislav Krstic was his commander?
1 A. Correct, yes.
2 Q. And as you understand it from his father, he committed suicide
3 because he was haunted by what he'd been ordered to do on that day in
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If I could refer you to tab 28 of the materials. That's tab 28.
7 And, Mr. Bjelica, I'm referring to the report -- sorry --
8 MR. MARGETTS: If I could have an exhibit number for --
9 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1160, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 MR. MARGETTS:
12 Q. This is a report dated the 22nd of September, 1992, which is the
13 date that the action we've referred to in Novoseoci occurred. And if I
14 could refer you, Mr. Bjelica -- it's a report, just to give the details,
15 from Commander Radislav Krstic to the Main Staff of the army and the
16 command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. And if I could refer you,
17 Mr. Bjelica, to paragraph 1(B), and you will see that the third sentence
18 down - and that's on the first page of your document - states as follows,
19 and that is: "Radislav Krstic reports that during the day the village of
20 Novoseoci was ciscenje, cleansed or mopped up in Glasinacko Polje."
21 Now, this report of Krstic is about the events at Novoseoci that
22 we have been talking about. Correct?
23 A. Yes, I can see that this was addressed to the Main Staff of the
24 RS army, so this is not in dispute, no, I mean what he is sending.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica. If we could move on to -- now to tab 45.
1 MR. MARGETTS: And if we could have an exhibit number for tab 45.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1161.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 MR. MARGETTS:
5 Q. And -- and this is an approval issued by Commander Krstic, and
6 it's to certify that Dragomir Bozic from the 2nd Romanija Motorised
7 Brigade is able to transfer various materiels from Novoseoci to Sokolac
8 and that they're going to be transferred to Sokolac. In the second
9 sentence it says: "Until final moving into a house in Novoseoci which the
10 above named has chosen for future living."
11 The date of this approval is the 26th of September, 1992.
12 Now, Mr. Bjelica, it's the case, isn't it, that following the
13 cleansing of the village in Novoseoci, Serbs moved in to the vacated homes
14 in that village?
15 A. Trust me, I've never been to Novoseoci. I heard that some of the
16 property was damaged and I also heard that some people were still living
17 there. I didn't hear anything about the details, but I did hear that some
18 people had moved into some houses there.
19 I don't know how this can be done. I don't know how this person
20 by the name of Bozic can be given such an approval. It -- this really
21 escapes me. I don't understand how this was possible, but it seems to be
22 an authentic document. I -- but simply, this is something that I haven't
23 heard before. This is the first time that I see a document to this
25 Q. Now, just if you can confirm my understanding, that is that there
1 were 144 people in Novoseoci, according to the census of 1991, and they
2 were all Muslims. Now, it's the case that all the Muslims left and the
3 people that you're referring to who lived in that village after the
4 22nd of September, 1992, they were Serbs. Correct?
5 A. If anyone was there, then they must have been Serbs. No one else
6 left the area. When this happened in Novoseoci, as far as I can remember,
7 women, children, and elderly left for Sarajevo. And now we know what
8 happened to the rest of the population. Muslims certainly did not stay,
9 so if anyone could live there then they must have been Serbs.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica. I'd like to turn to another topic, and
11 that's a matter that you raised yesterday in the context of discussing the
12 detention of Karan Saronjic and Karmen Konda and the process for the
13 transfer and release of those detainees, and you'll remember that there
14 was a list in correspondence from Velibor Ostojic where they were
15 mentioned as persons who may be exchanged. And you said this, just to
16 refresh your memory. You said: "The Sokolac municipality had its own
17 commission, just like any other municipality, its commission for searching
18 for and exchanging persons who were missing and prisoners of war, and the
19 president was Dragan Podinic. And this was constitutional procedure
20 according to the rules and regulations that were in force at the time."
21 Now, the first question is this: Dragan Podinic, he was a member
22 of the Crisis Staff, wasn't he?
23 A. I think the -- he either attended or he was a member. I don't
24 know who the members were. It is possible that he attended the meetings
25 of the Crisis Staff or he was instructed by the Crisis Staff. I can't be
1 sure of that, but I'm sure that he attended most of the meetings and it is
2 possible that he was the president of the Crisis Staff -- actually, a
3 member of the Crisis Staff rather than president. I can't remember
4 exactly. I know he attended meetings. I remember that he attended
5 meetings. I don't know what his role was, whether he was the president of
6 the commission or a member of the Crisis Staff. There were a lot of
7 people in the Crisis Staff, executives, holders of various positions in
8 various institutions, and so on and so forth.
9 Q. Mr. Bjelica, my question is based on the documentation. In fact,
10 we've seen documentation in which his name appears as being a member. But
11 the one thing that you did say was that he was the president of the
12 exchange commission at the municipality level. That's correct, isn't it?
13 A. Yes. He could have been the president of the Crisis Staff and the
14 president of that commission for exchanges. I'm sure that he was the
15 latter in 1992.
16 Q. Thank you. If I could refer you to tab 35.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, I don't think it has a number yet.
18 Tab 35 would be ...
19 THE REGISTRAR: P1162, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It has no description on your list. For the record,
23 it is --
24 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, and I believe there is no
25 translation in the tab --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, there is no translation.
2 MR. MARGETTS: -- And we have the translation here. It's
3 correspondence from the Sokolac municipality, prisoner of war exchange
4 committee, addressed to the Army of Republika Srpska Committee for
5 Exchange and its president Dragan Bulajic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. MARGETTS:
8 Q. First, Mr. Bjelica, if you could refer to this document which is,
9 as I described, it's a 9 November 1992 communication from the exchange
10 committee of Sokolac to the military exchange committee. And if you could
11 look at the last page, and you'll see that it's signed by the
12 president of the Sokolac committee, Dragan P., and can you confirm that
13 that's a reference to Dragan Podinic?
14 A. Yes. Dragan Podinic, the president of the army. I believe that
15 the second person was Zoran Markovic and the chief of police, Predrag
16 Krsmanovic. Those three members were members of the commission, the army,
17 the police, and the court. Podinic was the president of the basic court
18 in Sokolac. Zoran Markovic I believe is the second name, I'm not 100
19 per cent sure, he could have been the representative of the military. He
20 worked in the security organ. And the third person, the third member,
21 Predrag Krsmanovic, the chief of the Sokolac police. Those are the three
22 members who signed this document.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica. If I could refer you to the first page
24 and there is a list of prisoners who are put at the disposal of this
25 military commission. And can you confirm that it was part of
1 Mr. Podinic's role to maintain lists of the detainees in Sokolac.
2 A. He had to have lists to know who the detainees were. If somebody
3 was in charge of the missing persons or the prisoners, then had to consult
4 the list to see whether they had been kept by a unit or in an institution.
5 Q. And we have looked at various statements of the persons listed
6 here and other statements referring to them. These people were detained
7 from around late summer 1992, first of all, in the Sokolac primary school;
8 and secondly, around September 1992, transferred to the school in the
9 village of Cavarine. At some stage in early 1993 most of them were
10 transferred to Vogosca --
11 A. Cavarine.
12 Q. Cavarine. Is that consistent with your knowledge as to the places
13 that the people were detained in Sokolac?
14 A. As far as I know, a certain number of persons whose names I never
15 knew were kept in the primary school in Sokolac, Cavarine, and in the
16 third place called Knezina, but I'm not sure about the third place. And I
17 believe that they were kept there for a while. Those were Muslims, but
18 they -- those were military prisons and they were also used for Serbs.
19 And most often it was the Serbs and the Muslims who were there together.
20 Even two Serb executives were kept there for some disciplinary issues.
21 They either failed to return to their units or they had deserted. And
22 that's why they were brought in.
23 So it was not just the Muslims who were detained but also the
24 Serbs. I'm not saying that these people were not there. I know some of
25 the Muslims, I don't know who they were by name, but I'm sure that they
1 were taken there and that they were kept in designated facilities that
2 were designated for that person by the security organs. Both Serbs and
3 Muslims, and there's nothing disputable about that, and this was signed by
4 the commission for the exchanges, and this document is valid, a hundred
5 per cent.
6 Q. Now, you say "both Serbs and Muslims." Now, the information that
7 we have is that -- well, I'm not in possession of any information about
8 Serb detainees. But nonetheless, if we accept there were some Serb
9 detainees, the vast majority of the detainees were Muslims?
10 A. I'm not saying that this was not the case, but the Serbs could not
11 be on the list because nobody was looking for them, they were not to be
12 exchanged. They hailed from Sokolac, Pale, Rogatica, that's where they
13 resided. Their families knew where they were.
14 I'm not disputing anything, but I can say that there were a lot
15 more Serbs there than Muslims for various disciplinary offences. There is
16 information on who was taken in, who was punished. I'm sure you will find
17 that in the files of the army of the defence ministry and other archives.
18 Q. And Mr. Podinic did possess that information as to who was taken
19 in, the circumstances in which they were taken in, and the results of any
20 interrogations that may have been conducted and the length of the person's
21 detention. He was in possession of that information, wasn't he?
22 A. No, he did not have that at his disposal because the
23 investigations in this case were conducted by the military investigative
24 bodies, and Podinic could only have information. And if somebody searched
25 for certain people, Podinic would then send a request to the brigade
1 command to see whether the latter had information as to what the case may
2 have been with those people who were searched by somebody. And if the
3 feedback was positive, and it was only a matter of their goodwill whether
4 they would provide the commission with the information, then Podinic would
5 inform a commission at a higher level that was in charge of the exchanges
6 that the person in question had been located and where they could be
8 As for the investigations, I'm sure that he did not have
9 information about any investigations.
10 Q. And that information would have been held by the investigating
11 bodies; namely, the police and the military. Correct?
12 A. If we're talking about military conscripts or officers, then it
13 would just be the military security, not the police. The two were
14 separate. If the person in question was a war prisoner, they would
15 conduct interviews and then they would inform whoever. I don't know the
16 procedure. I'm not privy to the procedure, but I know there was a
17 procedure in place as to how these investigations and interviews were
19 Q. Now, it's the case, according to our information, that most, if
20 not all, of the people that are listed here, that's the first 18 people,
21 were civilians not combatants. And is that consistent with your knowledge
22 that a large number of civilians were detained in these places?
23 A. I don't know why you're saying that I said a lot of civilians were
24 detained. It says here that they were prisoners of war --
25 Q. That's right. I didn't say that. There must have been a
1 translation problem.
2 MR. JOSSE: May I interrupt, Your Honour. In my submission, and
3 it's an unfortunate term of phrase that Mr. Margetts has used on two
4 occasions, "According to our information." If he wants to put his case,
5 and I encourage him to do that, but he should avoid using that expression.
6 He should put the case to the witness.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm not sure I agree with my learned
8 friend, but I don't have much time, so I will proceed and I'll do that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Matter resolved.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. MARGETTS: And if I could do that by referring to tab 40 --
12 sorry, an extra document, or is that tab -- it is tab -- it is at the
13 document at tab 46, and if that could have an exhibit number. The
14 translation is being distributed.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 46, Your Honours, will be P1163.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, if you look at number 8 on the previous
19 document, the document that was at tab 35, you'll see that that's a woman
20 who was detained. It's Sema Mujanovic. And what I've now provided to you
21 which is P1163 is --
22 A. What page am I supposed to look at?
23 Q. On the first page of the 9 November 1992 document, which is at
24 tab 35, there is a person listed at number 8, and it's a woman by the name
25 of Sema Mujanovic.
1 A. I haven't a clue, believe me. I don't know whether her name was
2 Sema, whether she was a female. I haven't a clue. Everything is
3 possible, but I don't really want to go into --
4 Q. That's the reason I've presented to you the next document, which
5 is P1163, and you'll see this is a statement given in January 1993 by Sema
6 Mujanovic. And she describes -- first of all, she describes that she's a
7 housewife born on the 5th of May, 1930, in the village of Knezina and
8 accordingly she would have been 62 years old at the time of her listing on
9 this exchange document. And she describes the fact that she was taken
10 from the village Sahbegovici and she was detained in the prison in the
11 primary school, and she provides other details.
12 But the reason I present that to you is to ask you this question
13 and put it to you that in fact the Muslims detained in these facilities
14 we've described, they were not POWs but they were civilians, and Mrs. Sema
15 Mujanovic is an example of that. Correct?
16 A. Believe me, I don't know. I can't confirm this. I never heard of
17 any of these people or most of them. I don't know whether they had been
18 armed. I don't know what is at stake. I really can't be a judge of that.
19 I haven't a clue.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm not quite sure what time we will
22 take a break, if we will take one.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We will take one more break. We -- since we had a
24 late start -- could you tell me how much time you would still need? That
25 could be of importance from a scheduling ...
1 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, obviously, depending on the answers,
2 but I think half an hour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Half an hour. Then --
4 MR. MARGETTS: If we could go a little bit longer now, then I
5 would have a better idea, if that's possible.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please continue for a while and then we'll see
7 in some 20 minutes where we stand.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. MARGETTS:
10 Q. Mr. Bjelica, you gave evidence about the Presidency of the
11 Republika Srpska. You never attended a session of the Presidency of
12 Republika Srpska, did you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Mr. Bjelica, in the context of the video that you were shown of
15 the funeral that took place in December 1991, you mentioned the
16 relationship between the JNA organs and the attitudes of the Serbian
17 people. And in that context I'd like you now to refer to tab 1 which is
18 an intercept of 13 December 1991 between yourself and Radovan Karadzic.
19 MR. MARGETTS: And, Your Honour, that has -- that has an exhibit
20 number of sorts. It's P64A, and I will attempt to get to you the footnote
21 and binder number. But it's an intercept of a conversation between
22 Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Bjelica on 13 December 1991.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, it's a short conversation so I would invite you
24 to read the full conversation.
25 A. Very well.
1 Q. Now, you refer to the fact that there were -- you say to
2 Mr. Karadzic when he asks you to deploy units under the command of
3 Milosevic for combat in Slavonia you say to him: "We have two units up
5 And that's the case, that these were units that the party had
6 formed. Correct?
7 A. First of all, this conversation transpired after Mr. Karadzic
8 wanted to talk to Mr. Tupajic, the president of the municipality.
9 Mr. Karadzic wanted to talk to him but could not locate him in his office.
10 Mr. Tupajic and I were in the SDS office at the moment, and then
11 Mr. Karadzic left a message with the secretary for him to get back to him,
12 for Mr. Tupajic to get back to him, and if Mr. Tupajic couldn't do it,
13 then I was supposed to get back to him. Since we were together in the
14 office, we were there, the two of us together, and I was the one who
15 actually returned the calls for Mr. Karadzic --
16 Q. So my question simply -- it actually isn't important for our
17 purposes to have the details of what transpired on the day.
18 It's just that the two units you referred to, they were units
19 formed by the SDS. Correct?
20 A. No. SDS -- the SDS did not form a single unit. This was the
21 regular JNA, and those units were under the command of Colonel Milosevic,
22 Dragomir. And the Chief of Staff was Mr. Asim Dzambasovic. Dzambasovic
23 took the unit towards the end of 1991 to Krajina --
24 Q. I'm going to stop you there, Mr. Bjelica. The Court has in fact
25 heard evidence from Mr. Dzambasovic, so I'm not interested in these
1 further details.
2 What I'd like to move on to you then -- Mr. Karadzic then
3 says: "You should find Rajko Dukic to send a company from Milici."
4 And then he says to you: "They have all that formed. They have
5 it formed down there."
6 And it's the case that in Milici the SDS had formed units and, in
7 fact, around about the date of this intercept, within a few days, they had
8 a parade in Milici where about 400 men were gathered and they celebrated
9 the formation of those units. Correct?
10 A. I don't know that this was the SDS. This was organised by the
11 municipality of Milici, not the SDS. I can't see anywhere that the SDS
12 did that. The SDS was in power, so everything can be ascribed to the SDS
13 as a political organisation because it had power and it did whatever it
14 did through legal institutions.
15 But it wasn't the SDS who did that. This was done according to
16 the prevailing need, and here Mr. Karadzic doesn't tell me: See what you
17 can do. He says: First see how you can replenish the units because there
18 was a lot of desertion. You should see how you to replenish units through
19 the military department. The Territorial Defence was in charge of
20 replenishing the units that were sent anywhere. An appeal was to be sent
21 to conscripts to respond to the call-ups in order to be able to form these
22 two units. It was nothing that was apart from the legitimate and legal
23 institutions that existed at the time.
24 Q. Well, to assist you with the details here, I'd like to refer you
25 to tab 31 which is a -- which already has an exhibit number, which is P64A
1 and P259.
2 And I can now assist with the exhibit number for the intercept at
3 tab 1, and that is P64A, binder 5, footnote 82.
4 And this intercept, you'll see, Mr. Bjelica, is an intercept that
5 describes the nature of the units that were formed in Milici, those units
6 you were referring to in your conversation with Mr. Karadzic. This is a
7 conversation that Zvonko Bajagic of Milici has with Radovan Karadzic,
8 whilst Mr. Koljevic is present with Karadzic.
9 Now, the substance of the discussion is that Bajagic communicates
10 to Mr. Karadzic that they formed -- in two days they've recruited about
11 600 volunteers. And he says: "They are all trained and armed." And
12 that's at the bottom of the English on the first page, and it is -- it is
13 at the bottom of the B/C/S and top of -- B/C/S page 1 and the top of the
14 B/C/S page 2.
15 And that's the case, isn't it, that Bajagic and Dukic had formed
16 units of that strength and they trained them and they'd armed them and
17 that was an activity of the SDS, and that's why the report is going to the
18 president of the party, Radovan Karadzic?
19 A. The battalion that was billeted in Milici was based on the
20 216th Mountain Brigade based in Han Pijesak. The person who had been sent
21 by the brigade from the command was Major Grajic, and he was sent to
22 establish the battalion because a lot of people had deserted. I'm talking
23 about Muslims who had deserted the battalion in Vlasenica.
24 Now why Mr. Bajagic is saying this, I don't know, but I know this
25 was a legal and legitimate battalion who was -- which was on the strength
1 of the 216th Mountain Brigade, and General Rado -- Colonel Milosevic was
2 directly in charge of the establishment of that unit. And Dzambasovic and
3 him sent Major Grajic to carry out the establishment and replenishment of
4 that unit. There may have been people who wanted to gain political points
5 for that, but I'm sure what I'm saying and I'm sure that your analysis
6 will eventually demonstrate that, that this was a legal and legitimate
7 unit of the 216th Mountain Brigade, the command of which was in Han
9 Q. Now, you mentioned legality in your answer, the previous answer,
10 and you emphasised with some strength when reviewing the video of the
11 funeral that -- the fact that at that funeral there were no nationalist
12 symbols. The only flag displayed was the Yugoslav flag and the only
13 symbols were that of the JNA. And I'd like to draw your attention to the
14 comments of Mr. Bejagic where he informs Mr. Karadzic that the parade they
15 intend to hold will not only display the Yugoslav flag but, he
16 says: "Tomorrow we are going to hold the Serbian flag alongside the other
17 one." And Mr. Karadzic acknowledges that.
18 MR. JOSSE: Well, read out what Karadzic's response is, please,
19 and what Bejagic says thereafter. It's rather important.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, you're invited to give the context to
21 the witness as well.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
23 Q. You'll see that, Mr. Bjelica, on the third page of the intercept.
24 And I'll read out the exchange.
25 Karadzic -- they're talking about whether or not a representative
1 of the party can attend this rally. And Karadzic says: "Maybe state
2 body, state body, yes, but it would not" --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Is the third page English or B/C/S?
4 MR. MARGETTS: Second page English, sorry, Your Honours. And it's
5 at the bottom of the second page of the English, and it's the third page
6 at the top for the B/C/S.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We have problems anyhow because all pages are
8 numbers 5 out of 5, which is not very helpful if you want to find your
10 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. Apologies for that error.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I've now found it. Please read it in its
12 entirety the relevant portion to the witness, please.
13 MR. MARGETTS:
14 Q. Karadzic says: "Maybe state bodies, state body. Yes, but it
15 would not be good to send a party body."
16 Bejagic says: "But army wants it. Tomorrow we are going to
17 hold Serbian flag alongside the other one."
18 Karadzic says: "And Yugoslav?"
19 And Bejagic says: "Precise. The army is not concerned about the
20 symbols. This is clearly" --
21 Karadzic says: "Uh-huh."
22 And Bejagic continues what he was saying. He's saying: "This is
23 clearly patriotic Serb army. This was not organised by JNA or anybody
25 So Bejagic, that's our submission and on the face of this text,
1 Bejagic makes it clear that it's a patriotic Serb army who are not
2 concerned about flying the Serb flag. And he states quite clearly: "We
3 are going to hold the Serbian flag at this rally."
4 And that's the case, isn't it, that these units were organised by
5 the SDS and they considered themselves patriotic Serb units?
6 A. No, I cannot accept that. This is not correct. Those units were
7 organised by the JNA. The SDS was engaged in a political propaganda.
8 They motivated -- tried to motivate people and appeal to able-bodied men
9 because Muslims had refused to join the JNA, which at the time was the
10 only legal and legitimate military formation in the area of Serbia,
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Yugoslavia, generally speaking. So now some say
12 that those were SDS units. It is true that the SDS made the request to
13 that effect because SDS fought for Yugoslavia. This can be seen from the
14 video that was shown yesterday. Only Yugoslavia was mentioned, not
15 Serbia, Serbdom, or Greater Serbia, which was never mentioned at all. So
16 we're talking about the regular unit, that is, the 216th Brigade of the
17 Yugoslavia army.
18 You're now mentioning Bejagic. Bejagic was not a member of any
19 body. He did not have any function. I don't see the reason why a
20 conversation with him is here deemed relevant. I don't know that he had
21 any official formal function whatsoever at the time.
22 Q. But it's the case that the -- this formation of units and the
23 deployment of the units was none of the legitimate business of the
24 president of the SDS, Radovan Karadzic. Correct?
25 A. No. It is true officers relied on Mr. Karadzic as the leader of
1 the Serbs because the SDS, the leadership of the SDS, was the only one who
2 publicly declared their positions, that is, that they were fighting for
3 the preservation of Yugoslavia and the preservation of the Yugoslav
4 People's Army. The representatives of the SDA and HDZ called upon members
5 of their community not to respond to the call-up papers for the JNA. So
6 Dr. Karadzic, Nikola Koljevic, and Biljana Plavsic were actually appealing
7 to Serbs to respond, because Serbs saw their protection and their
8 salvation in the JNA.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I have about five minutes of
10 examination left. If Your Honour would like to take -- if we could take a
11 break now --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think it would be better to continue for another
13 five minutes if the interpreters are able to assist us for the next five
14 minutes, then have a break. Then, Mr. Josse, there will be an opportunity
15 for re-examination and we'll see whether the approximate two Judges have
16 any additional questions. Because we -- since we started late we are
17 finishing late as well. This was announced so that we are compensated for
18 the first half-hour we lost. Thank you.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelica, yesterday your response to the government of
21 Republika Srpska in relation to the document known as the Variant A and B
22 document was referred to. And His Honour, the President of the Court,
23 informed you that the Chamber had received evidence that reference to the
24 document had been made in official settings and he mentioned the Assembly.
25 Now, there was a meeting on the 14th of February, 1992 at the Holiday Inn
1 where Radovan Karadzic called for activation of the second level of the
2 Variant A and B instructions. And I'd like to refer you to tab 47 and the
3 translation's here with me.
4 MR. MARGETTS: And this document is part of a -- is part of P64A,
5 and again I'll attempt to get the more precise reference in relation to
7 Q. Particular page that I'm referring you to, Mr. Bjelica -- the
8 particular page is marked with eight symbols at the top, SAO3016. And
9 this confirms that the deputy from the Sokolac, Marko Simic, was present
10 at the Holiday Inn on the 14th of February, 1992.
11 Now, Mr. Bjelica, it's the case, isn't it, that in fact the
12 Variant A and B instructions were simply, as it appears on their face,
13 party instructions and that on the 14th of February, 1992, Marko Simic
14 attended the Holiday Inn. He received further information from the party
15 president as to how these instructions were to be implemented, and he
16 returned to Sokolac. And he informed the members -- the leading people,
17 including yourself, of what was required to further implement these
19 A. May I?
20 Q. Well, is that correct or not?
21 A. No. No, it is not correct.
22 Q. You may be asked further questions about this in re-examination.
23 If you have something very brief you would like to state now, do so, but
24 there's no need for any lengthy response.
25 A. I don't have anything to say because Marko Simic never handed me
1 over anything, nor did he ever explain anything to me. I have never seen
2 the document. The document was never seen by anyone in our area. I
3 believe that Tupajic testified here, and others as well, and I don't think
4 that this document was seen by any of them.
5 Milan Tupajic was the one who would have got this document, but he
6 didn't, nor did I get it. And I never heard of the existence of this
7 document; I'm referring to Variant A and B. This is something entirely
8 new to me. I never heard anything about the existence of such a
9 document. At any meeting Mr. Simic never gave me anything. It is true
10 that he travelled from Sokolac, he was a deputy after all, and he probably
11 spent a night at the Holiday Inn hotel. He may have had company there, so
12 he probably stayed on for a while.
13 Q. Yeah, Mr. Bjelica, it's our case that you did receive it, and it's
14 our case that the letter you wrote and the explanation you've provided in
15 relation to this document has no substance at all. And whilst it may
16 demonstrate loyalty to the party to continue to deny the document, as you
17 must be now aware, the overwhelming evidence you will have seen watching
18 the various trials before this Trial Chamber mean that that denial is now
19 of no assistance to your party. Do you agree with that?
20 A. I agree with that, I mean, that it would be of no assistance to
21 our party, but I aside by what I said. The organisation of the party was
22 in the hand of the Executive Board and the Main Board, and it all remained
23 there at the Holiday Inn hotel.
24 This issue, the issue of two variants, was never discussed, never
25 debated, at any level, at any meeting. And once again, all of these
1 documents were published. They can be found in the archives of the
2 Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They took them all.
3 They published all these documents, and they would have probably published
4 that one -- this one as well if it had indeed existed.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica. The document that I referred to as P64A,
6 being the Holiday Inn receipt in relation to Mr. Simic is binder 11
7 footnote 188.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. I'll noticed that you provided us with a
9 translation. It may have been an easy task for the translators since the
10 firm -- the Holiday Inn puts everything in English on it as well. I was a
11 bit surprised that even you did not translate the back the English into
12 B/C/S which would, of course, have been the ultimate perfectionism.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The one and only document hat was not in need of
15 being translated, at least as far as what has been translated, the
16 translation was provided very quickly. The Chamber wonders whether the
17 other translations will arrive as quickly as well.
18 Did you have any further questions?
19 MR. MARGETTS: I have one further question, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: One question. Then that's the very last one.
21 MR. MARGETTS:
22 Q. Mr. Bjelica, you've described in your evidence the tensions
23 between the ethnic communities in Bosnia. And it's a fact, isn't it, that
24 you have advocated and you continue to advocate separation between the
25 Serbs and the Muslims, don't you?
1 A. No.
2 Q. If I could refer you, Mr. Bjelica, to tab 21.
3 MR. MARGETTS: And if that could be given an exhibit number --
4 MR. JOSSE: Well, isn't he entitled to say a little bit more than
5 that? He was about to. Before he sees the document.
6 MR. MARGETTS: In fairness to --
7 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether he was about to do that. I
8 heard him say "no" and not much else.
9 But, Mr. Bjelica, if you would like to add anything to that where
10 you said that you did not advocate and that you do not continue to
11 advocate separation between the Serbs and the Muslims, could you -- before
12 looking at the document, Mr. Bjelica. Before looking at the document.
13 Mr. Bjelica. Yes, I understand, you do not know who is addressing
14 you because you hear it all through the interpreters.
15 Could you explain? You said "no." Mr. Josse --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the
18 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you advocated or -- and
19 continue to advocate separation between the Serbs and the Muslims. You
20 said simply "no." Mr. Josse had the impression that you'd like to add
21 something to that, although a simple no is a clear answer. But if you'd
22 like to add something, please do so.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are reasons for me saying
24 that. We fought for Yugoslavia. We wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina to
25 remain within Yugoslavia. When we realised that it was all to no avail,
1 that this was not accepted by the representatives of the other two
2 communities, Muslims and Croats, then as a compromise we accepted the
3 Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina, compromised of two entities. If Dayton Accords
4 were to be called into question and if the pressure on Republika Srpska
5 continued, then we would raise the issue again.
6 However, once the Serbs accept something then they abide by it
7 completely. I fully support the Dayton Accords, that is, Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina made up of two entities where three communities live together.
9 This is what I accepted and this is what I am not giving up.
10 If we were to engage in out-voting once again and have the same
11 situation as it prevailed in 1992, then Serbs would be again in a
12 difficult position and would again -- and would advocate an independent
13 republic. Nothing should happen, nothing should be happening, in Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina without the consent of the two entities and the three
15 constitutional communities or peoples.
16 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time, if I just may -- you say, "Well, we
17 accept the Dayton Accord." Of course the Dayton Accord includes this
18 administrative separation between Republika Srpska and the other entity,
19 but the Dayton Accord does not say, as far as I'm aware - and please
20 correct me when I'm wrong - that human beings should separated, Muslims
21 not living together with Serbs, or Croats not living together with
22 Muslims. It doesn't say anything about that, isn't it? It's -- even goes
23 rather in the direction of giving an opportunity to go back to where you
24 come from or to --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dayton Accord became acceptable and
1 convenient for all. None of the communities -- no community can feel
2 endangered and threatened. As Serbs have the same rights in the
3 federation as other peoples have in Republika Srpska. I'm talking about
4 two entities. I know that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state today, that
5 is true, but we are talking about two administrative units within that
6 state: The Federation and Republika Srpska. And I fully respect and
7 support the Dayton Accords.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 Mr. Margetts.
10 MR. MARGETTS:
11 Q. Mr. Bjelica, your support for the Dayton Accords is certainly not
12 recognised by Lord Ashdown, is it? He considers you to be someone who is
13 destroying the rule of law in Bosnia and conducting yourself in a way
14 inimicable to the implementation of the Dayton Accords. Correct?
15 A. Could you please repeat the question. My apologies.
16 Q. Lord Ashdown --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let's keep it short.
18 Lord Ashdown says that you are conducting yourself in a way not in
19 accordance with the Dayton Agreements. Any comment on that? First of
20 all, do you know that, that this is the position taken by Lord Ashdown?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that this was his opinion.
22 In the introductory part I mentioned the reasons why, but this is not
23 justified. I'm convinced that this would be corrected and cleared up in
24 the next following days when talking about the suspicion that was cast
25 upon me, and not only myself but a number of other individuals who were
1 sanctioned. I assure you that there's nothing in it, and I'm sure that
2 the future will show that I'm right. We're talking about political gains
3 and political interests of certain individuals. I'm not responsible for
4 this. I am once again in favour, entirely in favour, of the Dayton
5 Accords and the respect of the three constitutive peoples in Bosnia and
7 I never tried to apply for citizenship --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
9 MR. MARGETTS: This is my final question, Your Honour.
10 Q. I would just like you, Mr. Bjelica, to read a portion of the
11 article which is before you.
12 MR. MARGETTS: For the Court's reference, it's on page 3 --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Tab what?
14 THE REGISTRAR: 21.
15 MR. MARGETTS: If we could have an exhibit number, Your Honours.
16 THE REGISTRAR: P1164.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 MR. MARGETTS:
19 Q. P1164 is an article published in the Washington Post, and it's
20 written by Daniel Williams, and it's dated the 26th of July, 2004, and it
21 quotes Mr. Bjelica. And I would just like Mr. Bjelica --
22 MR. MARGETTS: First of all, the part I'm referring to is on
23 page 3 of 3. You'll see in the middle of the page there's a paragraph
24 starts about the word "Ashdown." Following that paragraph, there is a
25 paragraph starting with the name "Bjelica." And then a paragraph starting
1 with the words "Serbs fled." It's the two paragraphs, the one starting
2 with the name "Bjelica" and the one starting with the words "Serbs fled"
3 that I'm referring to.
4 Q. And for your information, Mr. Bjelica, it is on the second page of
5 what is a partial translation of the article. And it's the two -- the
6 second and the third paragraph on that translation, Mr. Bjelica, that I'd
7 like you to read. The first paragraph refers to the fact that you were
8 organising an expansion of the Sokolac cemetery to accommodate bodies of
9 Serbs brought from Sarajevo. And this is what you said, Mr. Bjelica, you
10 said: "Serbs fled that" -- well, the commentator says: "Serbs fled that
11 city by the thousands after war ended."
12 And you say: "We wanted to have a complete break from the
13 Muslims. We do not want to live with them and we don't want to be buried
14 near them."
15 A. This is taken out of context. This is not an integral
16 conversation. This was recorded by a camera. I remember this clearly.
17 There was a woman whose husband and two sons had been killed, and it was
18 in that context that I said that everything that happened they did not
19 want to live next to each other. And that is why the dead were
20 transferred from Sarajevo.
21 I did not expand cemeteries. They were expanded because of the
22 circumstances. And the property were transferred after the signing of the
23 Dayton Accords. Although the Municipal Assembly of Sarajevo reached a
24 declaration on the stay of the Serbs in Sarajevo, they advocated further
25 attempts at talks and that Sarajevo should be organised in districts and
1 apply a model similar to Washington, or to Belgium, that the same model
2 should be applied here. But they simply could not be convinced, and that
3 is why they took out 1.000 of their dead to Sokolac. They even re-buried
4 the dead who had died years ago and transferred them elsewhere. They were
5 not interested in their property.
6 Your Honours, I assure you, this was all done during that period
7 of time in April -- from January to April and later in -- but at any rate
8 in the winter, where temperatures are very low, minus -- up to minus 30.
9 There was nothing that could be done about it. They could not be
10 stopped. That was the decision of the main leaders from the republic,
11 because the leadership of the Republika Srpska was accused of having
12 handed over Sarajevo at the table, of having betrayed Sarajevo. The idea
13 of district was agreed upon. However, later on, Milosevic gave up the
14 idea, although the same idea was proposed in the Cutileiro Plan advocated
15 by Izetbegovic.
16 After the signing of the Cutileiro Plan, we could read in the
17 papers --
18 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't get the title quoted by the witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So this is an emotional -- this was
20 an emotional conversation that took place at the military cemetery. You
21 have to bear in mind the context.
22 I apologise for speaking into greater detail, but you need to know
23 the context. This was happening at the military cemetery in the presence
24 of the mothers who had lost their sons and their husbands. The woman here
25 was talking about how she had lost everyone and how she could no longer go
1 on living together with them.
2 So this should not be taken out of context. This doesn't affect
3 what was agreed upon in Washington by our leadership. And whatever was
4 agreed upon by the three communities is binding for me and nothing else.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelica.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honours, and thank you,
7 Mr. Bjelica. I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
9 Mr. Bjelica, we'll have a break.
10 Perhaps you -- could the witness be led out of the courtroom so
11 that we look at time issues. Yes. Could you lead Mr. Bjelica out of the
13 Mr. Josse, how much time would you think you would need for
15 MR. JOSSE: Five minutes.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Five minutes. Then -- yes, we have --
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: We could have a break now of 20 or 25 minutes and
20 then have that five minutes' re-examination. But I'm looking at the
21 interpreters and the technicians, also for tapes.
22 We also could see whether re-examination could take place
23 immediately. If it's five minutes, Mr. Margetts, I don't think that you
24 would need much time after that, certainly not after the questions of the
25 Judges because the Judges have no more questions.
1 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, that sounds appropriate.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then -- I don't know whether it's still possible to
3 get Mr. Bjelica back into the courtroom at this moment.
4 MR. JOSSE: Whilst that --
5 JUDGE ORIE: As I said before, I'm not used yet that everyone
6 listened to what I said.
7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, the procedural matter, to do with the
8 letter, that presumably does not now need to be dealt with?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I can tell you something about it; it takes 30
11 We were informed that the relevant portion of the newspaper
12 appears in the letter written by Mr. Krajisnik. So the translation of the
13 letter, and it is available for you now, Mr. Josse, for inspection -- at
14 least the suggestion is that there would be no need to have any further
15 translation of the newspaper article.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE ORIE: It's being translated in the letter.
18 MR. JOSSE: I'll have the weekend to consider it with
19 Mr. Krajisnik, will I?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that we'll not take any action before
21 the weekend so --
22 MR. JOSSE: Well, Mr. Krajisnik is indicating he's happy with
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then the envelope will be returned to you at this
25 moment -- after this session by the -- or do we have it now -- I have it?
1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
2 JUDGE ORIE: The letter remains in the hands of Mr. Registrar.
3 You'll receive a copy of the B/C/S original and the English translation,
4 Mr. Josse, and we'll hear from you next Monday.
5 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. That's --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, since Mr. Josse announced that he would
7 need only a couple of minutes for further questions, we decided not to
8 have a break and finish now.
9 Mr. Josse, please proceed.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Josse:
11 Q. Could you turn to tab 16, please, P1153.
12 MR. JOSSE: This relates to page 34 of today's transcript for the
13 Court's benefit.
14 MR. MARGETTS: I'm informed that possibly the reference is to the
15 Prosecution exhibits. Is that correct?
16 MR. JOSSE: Indeed it is.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, let's at least try to have the --
18 tab 16, Prosecution bundle. Yes --
19 May I inform the parties that where earlier I asked myself whether
20 the interpreters and technicians would agree, it now turns out that we
21 have only six minutes.
22 MR. JOSSE: Wrong bundle. I'm grateful to Mr. Margetts. Wrong
23 bundle. It's my fault. I didn't make the position clear.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid that -- I asked interpreters and
25 technicians whether we could do -- if you can do it in six minutes.
1 MR. JOSSE: The Defence would be anxious to get out of this
2 courtroom early as well today, but -- but, I don't want to put myself
3 under that sort of pressure. On balance, I think we should take the
4 break, please.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because the tape, if it runs out, then we have
6 no transcript of the session anymore. Would we then agree that we would
7 have the -- well, a relatively short break?
8 MR. JOSSE: Short as possible, I'm happy to admit.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That means that we would re-start at 2.00 sharp and
10 not spend more than 10 to 12 minutes from that.
11 Yes, we'll adjourn.
12 --- Recess taken at 1.38 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 2.13 p.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, please proceed, and the apologies from the
15 Chamber for knowing that you would like to start as quickly as possible.
16 MR. JOSSE: Well, in fact, we've altered our plans and we are no
17 longer in a great rush.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Oh.
19 MR. JOSSE: But, Your Honour, I'm not going to take very long. I
20 can assure everyone of that.
21 Q. Mr. Bjelica, I wanted you to look at tab 16 of the Prosecution
22 bundle, P1153. And as I've already indicated your evidence, as far as
23 this is concerned, is found at page 34 -- no, that's not a reference you.
24 Just that page, for you, please, Mr. Bjelica.
25 A. I don't have that.
1 Q. Yes, you do. Is that the page that you have open in front of you,
2 the extracts from the Glas newspaper. That's the English. I want you to
3 look at the original.
4 Do you remember, it's the article in the bottom right-hand corner
5 or just above the bottom right-hand corner, which says "Sarajevo, 4th of
6 March," and it's -- have you got that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You were asked about the document. You were asked about its
9 contents, and you said: "I don't remember this." You were then asked in
10 turn whether the Serb people of the SAO Romanija had lost confidence in
11 the possibility of a political agreement with the Muslims, and you
12 said "yes." On what basis did you give that answer?
13 A. After the killing of the wedding party member, Mr. Gardovic, and
14 everything that happened around that time and as -- as a result of violent
15 behaviour of the Muslim Assemblymen in the National Assembly, they didn't
16 send the request to the Council for the Equality of Peoples and National
17 Minorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the referendum was organised
18 for an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, what else could the Serbs do?
19 The Serbs couldn't do anything else. Not a single request, not a single
20 position of the Serbs was ever taken into account. On the day of the
21 referendum, this man in the wedding party was killed. They torched the
22 Serb flag. What could we expect under such government of Mr. Izetbegovic
23 and likes of him?
24 Q. Yes. Thank you. I'm going to move on.
25 You were asked at the end of cross-examination by my learned
1 friend Mr. Margetts about your views on ethnic division. When you were
2 its president, what did the Municipal Assembly of Serb Sarajevo say to the
3 inhabitants of the old city of Sarajevo in relation to whether or not they
4 should leave that city?
5 A. At the time this Assembly passed a declaration. According to that
6 declaration, the Serbs were to remain in Sarajevo. They were not to move.
7 Our politicians, including the president of the National Assembly,
8 Mr. Krajisnik, launched an appeal of the Assembly of the Serb Sarajevo to
9 the Serbs not to move out of Sarajevo but, rather, to build their own
10 Sarajevo. Those were the messages and those were honest and sincere
12 However, nobody could convince the Serbs from Ilidza, Vogosca,
13 Rajlovac, Hadzici, Ilijas, Grbavica and other parts of Sarajevo where
14 Serbs formed a majority and which were under the control of the Army of
15 Republika Srpska and which were parts of Republika Srpska to remain an
16 integral part of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina because nobody
17 trusted Mr. Izetbegovic and the extremists from the SDA. In other words,
18 the town assembly adopted the declaration, it publicised it, it sent it to
19 the population of all these municipalities asking them not to move out
20 but, rather, to remain, to stay put, to go on living in Sarajevo.
21 MR. JOSSE: I have nothing else, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
23 Mr. Margetts.
24 MR. MARGETTS: No further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bjelica, since the Chamber has no further
1 questions to you either, this concludes your testimony in this court. I'd
2 like to thank you very much for having come to The Hague in circumstances
3 that are not very comfortable for you, not very pleasant for you; at the
4 same time, they exist. Nevertheless, thank you very much for coming, for
5 answering questions from both the parties and from the Bench, and I'd like
6 to wish you a safe trip home again, but since you are accompanied, I take
7 it that your safety is guaranteed, Mr. Bjelica.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have nothing to say.
9 Everything was correct. My accommodation was correct. People were
10 correct there. I don't have a single objection to anything, regardless of
11 the situation that I am in. And I would like to thank you for the
12 correctness extended towards me in the situation that I'm facing. Thank
13 you very much.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I'm pleased to hear that. Thank you very much.
15 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, we'll not at this moment deal with the
18 exhibits --
19 MR. JOSSE: Could I just assist?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. JOSSE: By saying that, as far as Prosecution exhibits are
22 concerned, I object to none of them, save P1163, which I am going to
23 object to as strongly as I can, and I can deal that at any convenient time
24 next week.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's already on the record, 1163. Strong -- not
1 only an objection, but a strong objection.
2 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely, Your Honour. If my learned friend could
3 give me notice if when he's going to take objection to any exhibits.
4 During the course of the afternoon by e-mail would be fine. I would be
5 grateful for the same courtesy.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, I'll provide an e-mail.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's fine. Because we have now Prosecution
8 Exhibits 1149 and 1152 up till and including 1164, objections on 1163.
9 Defence exhibits 162 up to and including D168. Some descriptions have
10 still to be finalised, so I'll not give a decision at this very moment,
11 apart from that 1163 would need more time, anyhow, I take it for the --
12 your objections as such.
13 All the documents first have to be checked by Mr. Registrar,
14 translations, their descriptions, et cetera. So we'll deal with --
15 finally deal with it either Monday or Tuesday, because we'll resume, once
16 we have adjourned on next Monday at 9.00 in Courtroom I, but I also would
17 like to announce to the parties that the Chamber intends - and we hope we
18 can finish it in time - to file this afternoon a very short decision to
19 which is attached the rules of procedure for Chamber witnesses which we
20 may call, as we said before. We would start already preparations because
21 otherwise we would be too late, although a final decision on whether or
22 not to call those witnesses will be taken at the end of the Defence case.
23 But you're invited to give any comments on the procedure attached to it by
24 next Tuesday during the time available for procedural matters.
25 MR. JOSSE: So we'll have an opportunity to make oral submissions
1 on Tuesday?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. JOSSE: Is that --
4 JUDGE ORIE: But I'm drawing your attention to it now that you
5 don't miss it and only find out Monday morning.
6 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll adjourn until next Monday morning, 9.00,
8 Courtroom I.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.25 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Monday, the 10th day of
11 April, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.