1 Tuesday, 20 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 Before we go into private session for a few matters, perhaps the
10 first thing in relation to scheduling is that I was informed,
11 Mr. Krajisnik, that you have a dentist appointment this Thursday - is that
12 correct? - between 8.00 and 9.00?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I said that it should
14 be this week, but I don't know.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm informed that it would be this Thursday,
16 and so therefore Thursday is already a bit deviant from our usual days,
17 but that would then sit -- start at a late start. I take it, I hope, at
18 9.30 we could start, then we will most likely finish at approximately
19 11.00 and have a longer break, and then have a session until 3.00 or 3.30.
20 So that's the first scheduling issue.
21 Then I would like to turn into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 26030-26032 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session now, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Mr. Krajisnik, today again we received a short list of material
15 from you. We have dealt with it in the same way that it's given to the
16 parties. They can use it and introduce it into evidence if they think
17 that it would assist them. At the same time, at the end of your testimony
18 any documentation which is not adopted, so to say, by the parties, you
19 will have an opportunity to explain on the basis of the then-translated
20 inventories, as you know the inventories were the first ones to be
21 translated, to apply for admission into evidence of specific documents and
22 explain to the Chamber why you consider them of importance for the
24 Then at the very end of your testimony, we'll also go through the
25 list of exhibits that have been introduced through you as a witness.
1 We'll then hear -- we'll review the material. We'll hear objections to
2 the evidence which was introduced. Mr. Registrar is invited to prepare
3 that list so that the parties could prepare properly and that we do not
4 spend too much time on that evidence and the admission of that evidence
5 and that I can make short reference to the numbers on the list.
6 Then a very practical matter. I do understand that when I gave,
7 on behalf of the Chamber, the deadline for objections in relation to the
8 photographic material, Mr. Krajisnik, the deadline was addressed to you,
9 that the transcript now reads that it was one week after the 21st of June,
10 whereas from what I understood that's not what I said. You have up until
11 tomorrow to come up with any objections in relation to that photographic
12 material. And I already instructed you what kind of objections the
13 Chamber would expect.
14 Then another very practical matter is the following. It's quite
15 some time ago that there was an objection by the Defence to the admission
16 into evidence of the notebook of Mr. Karadzic. And at that time it was
17 uncertain on what other portions of that same notebook would be raised
18 during the examination of witnesses by the OTP. Therefore, we delayed at
19 that time a decision on whether the whole of the notebook would be
20 admitted or whether the Chamber would follow the objection by the Defence,
21 that is only to admit those portions that were specifically dealt with
22 during the examination of the witness.
23 We are now further on in the case. I do not remember that the
24 notebook of Mr. Karadzic returned since that date, so the OTP is invited
25 to reconsider its position as far as admission of the totality or just
1 part of the notebook of Mr. Karadzic is concerned, to express itself on
2 the matter so that we can hear from the Defence what their position is.
3 Then finally, and that is a procedurally bit complicated matter.
4 A letter has been sent by Mr. Karadzic to the Defence. That letter has
5 been translated. I take it that the parties received the translation.
6 The letter was introduced by Mr. Krajisnik as a witness. It is not clear
7 to the Chamber whether any of the parties would adopt that letter to -- in
8 the sense that they would tender it into evidence or whether they would
9 not. If they do not, then it still is a document which was in the hands
10 of a witness who presented it to the Chamber, and the Chamber would - so
11 therefore, if it's not adopted by any of the parties - would like to hear
12 whether there are any objections to admit this letter as a -- as an
13 exhibit brought by a witness during his examination as a witness. And
14 there I do understand that the position of the Defence is a bit
15 complicated because you are in a position to express a position as Defence
16 counsel of the accused in relation to a document which has been brought to
17 the attention of the Chamber by a witness who happens to
18 be the accused as well.
19 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm happy to say that we can at
20 least make it simpler in this respect. Two points: We don't adopt it,
21 but we don't object.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's clear.
23 Any position already from the Defence -- from the Prosecution?
24 MR. TIEGER: No, but we'll get one back to the Court very quickly,
25 Your Honour. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And of course an admission into evidence is
2 apart from weight to be given, how to evaluate the material, the level of
3 relevance, that's of course a matter which is apart from admission as
5 Having dealt with these practical matters --
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that CLSS would like to check the
8 translation of a document which the Defence expected to receive today, and
9 that would then be early tomorrow and same would be true for the OTP.
11 Then having dealt with these practical and procedural matters,
12 Mr. Krajisnik, I'd like to remind you that --
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau reminds me that there was a tiny
15 thing, Mr. Stewart, you would like to raise.
16 MR. STEWART: That's very gracious of him to remember that and to
17 note it. Yes, I did.
18 Yes, it was this -- Your Honour, it was only looking ahead in the
19 light of that timetable. We -- of course we have Your Honours' questions
20 now, Your Honours in the plural, is there -- may we have a -- is there
21 some indication -- do Your Honours have in mind a point at which
22 Your Honours will have completed your questions and there will be the
23 opportunity for the parties? Because I have it in mind also the apparent
24 slight uncertainty about the position in relation to next Monday.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
1 MR. STEWART: May I simply say -- Your Honour would appreciate,
2 the Trial Chamber and the parties don't always see a hundred per cent eye
3 to eye about the scale of the demands on the case, but at the very least
4 this is going to be a pretty demanding period for both parties. The more
5 we can know about where we're going -- and I rather feel that Mr. Harmon
6 is sharing my submission on this, Your Honour - the better for all
7 concerned. He apparently clearly does.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we go into private session for a moment.
9 MR. STEWART: Certainly, Your Honour, if that's more helpful.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 26038-26039 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, I would like to remind you that you
24 are still bound by the solemn declaration that you gave at the beginning
25 of your testimony.
1 And before I give an opportunity to Judge Hanoteau to continue to
2 put questions to you, I have one simple question on the documents you
3 provided to us today. There's one handwritten document on which I clearly
4 see the name of Mr. Silajdzic appear. Could you briefly tell us what the
5 document approximately is.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave evidence yesterday in
7 response to a question to a question by Judge Hanoteau concerning a girl
8 that I brought to the airport, and that is what the document is about. I
9 didn't want to mention either his or her name, especially not her name. I
10 typed it out on the second page, the exact same thing that I provided in
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then can -- who was Mr. Silajdzic exactly?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Silajdzic was a member of the
14 negotiating team on the Muslim side. He was the foreign minister of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina and also Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
17 WITNESS: MOMCILO KRAJISNIK [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
20 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Krajisnik, yesterday when
21 adjourned we had mentioned the presence of Mr. Davidovic on the territory
22 of your country, and I asked whether at one point in time you felt that
23 around you things were hidden from you. And you answered that you hadn't
24 felt that and that you couldn't even imagine that people were hiding
25 information from you. So in your answer I thought I understood that you
1 were reducing that to the presence of Mr. Davidovic on the territory, but
2 my question was a bit broader. I wanted to know whether you felt that the
3 information was hidden from you on the weapons that were equipping the
4 Serbs, on the problem of the role paramilitaries were playing. You know
5 that in this Tribunal you know we've heard a lot of evidence on this, and
6 often you told us: Well, I didn't know, I didn't know.
7 So here's my question: Have you ever felt that around you people
8 were hiding information from you, but deliberately because people didn't
9 want you to know about this?
10 A. Thank you for asking that question again because I don't think
11 I've managed to give a complete and good answer. When I responded to your
12 question I said that I didn't have the impression that people in my
13 immediate as I recall with whom I cooperated, Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Koljevic,
14 Mrs. Plavsic, people from the authorities with whom I had contact, were
15 keeping things from me at those consultative meetings. However, each of
16 us was busy doing his or her own job in an autonomous way, just like the
17 government is not aware of what I was doing, I was not aware what the
18 government was doing. It's similar with members of the Presidency. There
19 are many decisions of the Presidency - I'm not saying that they are
20 criminal - but that I was not aware of until seeing them here because it
21 was up to the authority concerned to issue such decisions.
22 As for paramilitary units, it was said here that the SDS, the Serb
23 Democratic Party, was involved in the distribution of weapons. That point
24 was made here several times. I really had nothing to do with that line of
25 party work, and I was not really informed whether somebody was shipping
1 weapons by trailer from some other area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As for
2 paramilitary units, I assure you that it was the firm position of the army
3 and also of the people with whom I had those consultative meetings that
4 that was an evil and that they had to be placed under the control of the
5 army, because otherwise there would be no control. Because the army was
6 badly organised as it was. It consisted basically of armed citizens. And
7 it was my sincere belief that everybody concerned was committed to
8 fighting against paramilitary units.
9 As for Pale and the leadership in Pale, I would be hard-put to say
10 whether somebody was concealing a group of, let's say, 20 men that I
11 didn't know about. But it's very hard to say because we were short of
12 man-power and municipalities wanted to fill those empty trenches, and
13 maybe on their own initiative they sought help elsewhere. However, that
14 was forbidden, and if that was done it could only have been done by the
15 lower level, on their own initiative, without the consent or the knowledge
16 of the government.
17 As for the government and the Presidency, I don't think they were
18 keeping things from me; they were just doing their job, although there
19 were a lot of things that came within their province that I didn't know
20 about until now. For instance, that law that we discussed earlier. It
21 was drafted, it was given to the president of the Presidency to sign, and
22 that was the procedure that completely bypassed me because it was not my
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And along the same line of
25 thought, Mr. Krajisnik, let's go back to the report that was drafted by
1 the Sarajevo MUP and that dealt with a police action that arrested a
2 vehicle that was loaded with automatic weapons, with a lot of ammunition.
3 It was a vehicle where a Mr. Kostic Dusan was, a person who was a member
4 of the SDS Main Board, Mr. -- and he was an MP, Mr. Kostic Dusan. So you
5 said that you never heard about this report that had been drafted by the
6 Sarajevo MUP. So here's my comment, and there's a question after it.
7 When a police department, police service, is in this delicate
8 situation like we have right here - there is the police that is in front
9 of an MP, and I mean they're very close to an offence here. So you could
10 think that the people in charge at the police department - you know, for
11 the ministry - would immediately alert the person in charge of the
12 institution that this person belongs to. So I would like to get an
13 explanation from you. I'd like you to tell us how you could imagine that
14 the minister of the home interior, learning this and being so surprised,
15 didn't report to you, you as president of the Assembly. I mean, you were
16 the boss of the MPs, after all, if I could say so, the "boss." Do you
17 think that this -- the minister of interior wanted to hide the reality
18 from you? And that was what I was talking about earlier, the deliberate
19 will to hide things from you. Or do you think there were other intents
20 behind all this? How do you feel about all this? Because the reality is
21 there, it exists.
22 A. Yes, Your Honour, at that time the MUP was a joint institution of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina and a Muslim man was at its head. Now, from this
24 distance, with hindsight, I can give you my opinion but that's probably
25 not what you're interested in. You're probably interested in what I
1 thought then. There was this story that the MUP was arming Muslims, that a
2 reserve police force was being established, etc. There were a lot of
3 irregularities and Parliament was never officially informed, instead there was
4 backroom talk, you know when... before the session, why it never...
5 What was the MUP Minister supposed to do? He should have presented it to the
6 Government, the Government presents to the Assembly the official information,
7 files a criminal report and it goes to the Public Prosecutorís Office and that
8 Office takes its own course. According to our Constitution, the Speaker of the
9 Assembly has no authority over the conduct of MPs, the Assembly does.
10 The Assembly itself does have that control. They can strip an MP
11 of his immunity and deprive him of other sorts of protection. However, it
12 was a time when there was no real authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
13 these illegal factions, they tolerated each other, knowing that the other
14 one was also distributing weapons. I have no other explanation for why no
15 measures were undertaken at the time to... there is a way for doing things,
16 no need to reinvent the wheel... Regardless of whether it was an MP, or anyone
17 else, things take their course as they should...and whoever ambushed the convoy
18 and everything else. So he did not have to report to me personally. He should have
19 informed the Government, the Government in turn should have informed the Assembly;
20 he could have reported it to me but he didnít have to, he was under no obligation
21 to do so or to say we demand that immunity be stripped or that the issue be
22 debated. So, that was the established route, unfortunately we kept blaming one
23 another and so you could never tell what was truth and what was rumour.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you another
25 question, Mr. Krajisnik, regarding another topic. At the Assembly session
1 held on the 25th of February, 2005 [as interpreted], you stated the
2 following, and I will quote you in English. You stated:
3 [In English] "We have two options: One to fight by political
4 means, to make the most out of the present time as a first phase; or to
5 break off the talks and go for what we have done over the centuries, win
6 our own territories by force."
7 [Interpretation] A little further down you stated:
8 [In English] "-- remain in a single Serbia, with Serbia and
9 Montenegro," and so on. "If we don't want to do this by certain methods,
10 let us put a stop to it. You know what our provision has always been, to
11 wage war."
12 [Interpretation] You recall, Mr. Krajisnik, saying this, do you?
13 A. Yes, I do. I don't recall which session it was, but I remember my
15 JUDGE ORIE: It certainly would not have been in 2005, as the
16 transcript reads, but please --
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sorry, it was the 25th of
18 February, 1992.
19 Mr. Krajisnik, my question was the following. In the statement
20 you are not saying that the use of force will be applied only if you are
21 attacked, but you are considering using force as of the moment where the
22 political negotiations do not work out. You say in your statement: If
23 the negotiations are not fruitful, we are going to wage a war. What did
24 you mean by that, exactly, or is this what you meant? You are not
25 alluding to an imminent aggression which would justify the use of
1 offensive or the use of force. We feel, when we re-read your statement,
2 that in case of the negotiations -- in case they don't work out, you will
3 take this initiative to wage a war. Should I understand you like this or
4 maybe did I perhaps misunderstand you?
5 A. Well, I will tell you what my thinking was and what things were in
6 reality, and it's up to you to judge that. What was on the agenda was an
7 agreement - you can look it up at that Assembly session - an agreement
8 from the conference that was to be discussed by the MPs. MPs had a
9 thousand objections. They were bothered by this and that, whereas the
10 Muslims had already declared their referendum and going for independence.
11 So you had many MPs saying: What's the use of talking to them anyway?
12 Because they are going for their referendum and they are going to vote for
13 an independent Bosnia without any transformation. So the point was to
14 persuade these people who were bitter about being led up the garden path
15 for a whole year, as they were saying, and to persuade them that we should
16 continue with negotiations. So I said we had -- we have two options: To
17 find a solution through negotiations. And then sarcastically I say: We
18 have option number two. Just as we waged war for years, losing lives,
19 getting killed, we can do that now, without having exhausted the
20 possibilities of option one.
21 And you will see from the transcript of that session that it was
22 with great difficulty that we forced the Assembly to approve the continued
23 negotiations, because they were up in arms saying: The Muslims are going
24 for independence irrespective of the constitution, irrespective of
25 anything. And I wanted to tell you this: I understood the role of the
1 Speaker of the Assembly in the following way. I thought that it was my
2 obligation to make sure that the conclusions and decisions were correct,
3 legal, and regular. And whatever contributions, whatever speeches by MPs
4 that were maybe immoderate and whatever it took to continue the
5 deliberations was a small price to pay for ultimately reaching a decision.
6 And I analysed the decisions taken by that Assembly, and I did not find a
7 single one that I would like now to dissociate myself from. Not a single
8 decision was illegal. For instance, if an MP rose and said: Let's vote
9 for option two, war, I never put such a decision up for a vote. I never
10 allowed a single decision to be taken under the influence of somebody's
11 passions. I only cared for the result, and that was the most important
12 thing for me. Because Serbs had gone through many wars. Each of those
13 wars halved their population. There could have been without wars 30
14 million Serbs instead of today's 7 or 8 million. The point of my speech
15 was not advocating war; on the contrary. If you analyse it, you will see
16 that it was all a commitment to peace and negotiations.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Changing topic to ask you the
18 following question.
19 Mr. Stewart quoted Mr. Karadzic and he quoted certain things. He
20 said, pertaining to the power, how to take power, so he is quoting and is
21 criticising little Napoleons who are trying to hurt or who are doing
22 things that will inevitably do the Serbian people wrong. When asked to
23 give your opinion on that quote from Karadzic you answered:
24 [In English] "People of the regional level got to be in charge of
25 the region SDS policies and grabbed power, elevated themselves, and
1 decided they were independent of the party."
2 [Interpretation] And later on you added.
3 [In English] " -- Mr. Karadzic put some people on the regional
4 level in charge of coordinating regional boards of the SDS so these people
5 acquired a certain power and, to put it crudely, they abused it."
6 [Interpretation] You did not want to give names, you did not want
7 to mention people whom you thought said that. You said it would be just
8 guesswork, you did not want it to go into detail. You thought that we
9 would definitely understand, but what did you mean when you said: These
10 people in fact had abused power, had -- when you said that these small
11 Napoleons, these people who abused power, what did you mean exactly, who
12 did you have in mind exactly?
13 A. Well, that was precisely this example when Mr. Karadzic used those
14 words, he was criticising one of the presidents, one of the regional
15 coordinators for SDS from Banja Luka. He is a wonderful man, but he is
16 very stubborn, not disciplined at all. And the policy of the SDS,
17 meanwhile, and our policy was to observe the Vance Plan in Croatia and to
18 work for the transformation of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to
19 Cutileiro principles. We couldn't split Croatia and split Bosnia and tear
20 them apart because that would be a blow to international agreements.
21 However, bowing to the great wish of the Krajina people from the Serbian
22 Krajina and the Bosnian Krajina, those people wanted to proclaim Krajinas
23 a state. We were aware that the Krajina people wanted it; however, we had
24 to tell them: No. No because of this reason and that reason. That
25 particular man was heading this initiative and making such statements, and
1 then people from the international community rightfully said: You are not
2 observing international agreements and how can we trust you in our
3 negotiations if you are obviously trying to split up Bosnia and Croatia?
4 That man in that job was under obligation to tell the Krajina people what
5 they didn't necessarily like to hear, namely that they had certainly
6 obligations, they couldn't just do as they pleased. And whatever action
7 they took would have certain consequences.
8 Another thing. Economic power lay with municipalities because
9 they had a certain income and revenues. They financed the army, the
10 refugees, and the fact is that political power is always coupled with
11 economic power. And in wartime when all ties are severed, it's difficult
12 to synchronise things. If you do not have any carrots to offer, those
13 people on that level will do as they please.
14 I'm not saying that everybody was like that. Those people like
15 him were exceptions. Most people behaved quite decently. But those few
16 exceptions were enough to create trouble. That is the example that I
17 remember when I hear those words of Mr. Karadzic.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Krajisnik, I would like to
19 quote you again. It is something that you said on the 18th of March,
20 1992. It is something you uttered during the 18th Assembly Session. You
21 stated the following.
22 [In English] "I think the problem is that they want BH to be
23 internationally recognised at any cost. They want it to be a state. In
24 this respect it would be good if we could do one thing for strategic
25 reasons, if we could start implementing that we have agreed upon the
1 ethnic division on the ground, that we start determining the territory,
2 and once the territory is determined it remains to be established in
3 additional negotiations whose authorities are to function and in what
5 [Interpretation] And you concluded by saying.
6 [In English] "I can't say whether we'll be fair in political
7 terms. There is no much fairness in politics after all, and if it doesn't
8 turn out to be fair, the Serbian will be blamed."
9 [Interpretation] You may recall your words. You may recall what
10 you said at that time.
11 A. I do remember.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] When you said: "We could start
13 implementing that which we had agreed upon, the ethnic division on the
14 ground, we have to start determining the territory," by that did you mean
15 that it -- does this involve a taking of a territory according to an
16 ethnic line or an ethnic division that was already decided upon earlier?
17 Is that what you meant?
18 A. Your Honour, the Cutileiro principles were on the agenda and I
19 state quite clearly -- well, perhaps what is written there is ambiguous.
20 Let us carry out what we have agreed on. I meant the principles, namely
21 that we should know what our ethnic areas are. There was a map there, and
22 what the ethnic areas were. Through negotiations we will try to get as
23 much as possible, at any rate I wanted to get even more territory because
24 this was say 44 per cent or whatever.
25 As for government and whose government would function where, it
1 depended on whether it would be the constituent unit or
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was said it would be the Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 government and the government of the constituent unit. I know that this
4 sounds equivocal, but if you analyse that Assembly people invariably
5 wanted to go back to the option of Yugoslavia. So that was a turning
6 point for us to say: Well, this is Bosnia -- well, I couldn't put it in
7 those words. But let us carry through what we've agreed upon and then
8 let's try to achieve as much as possible through talks. It took a lot of
9 time for people to move from one concept to another, namely from remaining
10 in Yugoslavia together with all the other Serbs to a Bosnia where they
11 would have their own constituent unit. You will see in the debate that
12 people said: What is this constituent unit? They will do this, they will
13 do that to us. A plan that was similar on the 11th of March went down the
14 drain, and then it was adopted through a major effort. That was my
15 objective. Of course my objective was not war if we were talking about
16 the Cutileiro principles. For me what was important was that we know that
17 we have in Krajina, Herzegovina, Semberija, what we have agreed upon,
18 these are our areas, but everybody would want his village to be in the
19 constituent unit or his own region, and then you say: Wait a second,
20 we'll negotiate -- oh, I'm sorry, I got carried away. I'm moving very
22 When the MPs were debating things, it was only maps that were a
23 problem, territories were the only problem. Everybody was just trying to
24 see on which side his own home area would be. Would it be green or blue
25 or red? And we say: Let us carry through what we've agreed upon, and
1 then we'll go on talking and we'll see what kind of government there will
2 be on the whole and what kind of government there will be in the
3 constituent unit. That was the only point of my discussion.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So there, Mr. Krajisnik, I will
5 tell you a bit what is puzzling me in the statement is that when -- what
6 you said in conclusion: "I cannot say whether this will be fair in
7 political terms," this seems to mean that what I'm saying here is try to
8 determine these territories. I know that it's not very, very pretty, but
9 that's what politics are. So that comment that you add at the end in fact
10 makes the beginning of your statement completely ambiguous. Do you see
11 yourself that one could understand your words that way or how should we
12 understand it, sir?
13 A. I fully understand that this can be understood in different ways.
14 We always had a club meeting before the Assembly, and the atmosphere there
15 was always more relaxed. I know that we were saying: Look at this. We
16 are 33 per cent and the Cutileiro Plan gives us 44 per cent. We wanted to
17 sell that plan, so to speak. And when we said we will go on striving for
18 territories, well perhaps it's not going to be fair for us to get, I don't
19 know, 50 per cent. What I was trying to tell them was that what will be
20 achieved in addition to all of this is perhaps not all that fair because
21 our percentage of the population is less. Well, I have to say that in
22 order to sell the plan so that the people would adopt it.
23 You know, sometimes you say something that you yourself know is
24 not correct, that is to say you have 64 per cent of the territory. And
25 then you say: Wait a second. You look at the arguments of the Muslims
1 and they say: Wait a second, there is only 33 per cent of you and you're
2 getting 44 per cent of the territory. That's what I'm saying. So if
3 through negotiations we get a bit more and that's unfair, that's politics.
4 I wanted them to realise that they should be satisfied with what we are
5 getting now as a point of departure, so to speak, rather than have
6 megalomaniac aspirations. Somebody would like to take, I don't know,
7 two-thirds of Bosnia, or whatever. It depends on how people viewed the
8 division of Bosnia. I'm so sorry. You can see that at club meetings the
9 atmosphere was far more relaxed than at the session, but then some things
10 only continued at the session itself.
11 I always wanted a fair settlement, always. And when we talked to
12 the other two sides as well I always said that I didn't want something to
13 work to the advantage of the Serb people and to the disadvantage of the
14 other two peoples. The Serbs really had a lot of territory, truth to tell
15 all of that are unproductive areas that were not exactly built-up. But
16 that is a fact. And we got these unproductive parts. We did not get the
17 developed parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Krajisnik, I would like you
19 to elaborate on one last point. If I understood correctly you were
20 elected by the Main Board of the SDS on the 12th of July, 1991. Is that
22 A. The Assembly of the Serb Democratic Party; yes, the 12th of July,
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And at that time you were a
25 member of the SDS for how long?
1 A. I was a member of the SDS from the very outset, that is to say
2 from the 12th of July, 1990. I was a member.
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Very well. So I am not mistaken
4 in saying that you were not part of the Executive Board of the SDS. Is
5 that right?
6 A. No. I was not in the Main Board or the Executive Board until the
7 12th of July.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Well, I see. So the Main Board
9 was comprised of 45 members, if I understood you correctly. Is that
10 exact? Is that true?
11 A. I think so, yes.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And the Executive Board was
13 comprised of how many members?
14 A. Well, I think it was six, seven, eight, or nine, that's a smaller
15 body, as a government is in the republic. It's sort of an executive body.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could you please give me an idea
17 of the -- the number of meetings of the Main Board, what was the frequency
18 of your meetings, how often did you meet, as of the 12th of July, 1991?
19 As of the moment when you began to participate. Those meetings took place
20 at what frequency? How often would you meet?
21 A. It was here that I established how many session had been held. In
22 actual fact I think there were two or three sessions before the war broke
23 out. I think that there were several joint sessions of the members of the
24 Main Board and the Club of Deputies when an important problem was supposed
25 to be resolved. According to the records or minutes, I think there is one
1 or two sessions of the Main Board. There is also this telephone
2 conversation between Mr. Dukic and myself towards the end of the year when
3 he says that the Main Board had not met for almost a year. Indeed, the
4 Main Board was not operating. It was this joint Assembly that was
5 focussed upon in perhaps these joint meetings. So the work of the Main
6 Board was not really felt. Operative work carried by the Executive Board
7 of the Serb Democratic Party was in the forefront.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Is that what you meant when you
9 talked about the SDS Political Council, that council?
10 A. No, no, Your Honour. There was a separate body consisting of
11 prominent individuals, members of the academy, and so on. It was an
12 advisory body. I was not a member of the Political Council, but I am
13 aware of it.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I see. So this Executive Board,
15 if I understood you correctly, met two or three times before the beginning
16 of the war. Is that correct? And after that, there were no meetings and
17 the club -- the Deputies' Club was the instance where one would discuss
18 politics. Is that correct?
19 A. No, no. The Executive Board met frequently, that executive body
20 that I was not a member of. The Main Board had only two or three
21 sessions. So what was the policy? Unfortunately only one question. The
22 policy was discussing the fate of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At these joint
23 meetings that is what was discussed, if that was the subject involved.
24 Other matters, personnel movements and so on, were resolved by the
25 executive body. I did not attend any meetings of the Executive Board, due
1 to my own commitments.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Okay. Now I'd like to know how
3 this Deputies' Club operated. You know, it's mentioned often, so how did
4 it work? This Deputies' Club existed within the Assembly of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, right?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So was it a Deputies' Club with
8 only SDS members?
9 A. Yes, and two MPs of the SPO, that's the party of Vuk Draskovic.
10 In Bosnia-Herzegovina that's the way it was, yes. Later on there were
11 independent MPs as well in the Serb Assembly.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Okay. But at the level of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina - we'll stay there for now - this Deputies' Club
14 brought together the deputies that were SDS and two others that were of
15 another party. But at the time, what was the role played by this
16 Deputies' Club? Did they have a legal existence? Was it something that
17 was provided for in the constitution? And then secondly, what role did it
18 play? But only for Bosnia-Herzegovina right now.
19 A. Yes, yes. According to the rules of procedure of the Assembly of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, every political party that had its deputies in the
21 Assembly, if it had at least two deputies it had the right to establish
22 its own club. There were three political parties -- or rather, two
23 political parties that had two members respectively. They had their own
24 rooms, they had their own secretary that the Assembly gave them. The
25 club -- or rather, all clubs met when they would get materials for
1 Assembly meetings. Then before the Assembly meeting they would meet and
2 prepare for the session that was to be held the following day. This
3 material would be elaborated on in preparation for the following day.
4 There were also ad hoc meetings of the club during breaks if there was a
5 problem, and then the clubs would withdraw and discuss a particular
6 matter. The president of the club had an office of his own. There was
7 the secretary of the club, too, and there was an official representative
8 of the Assembly there from the administration who helped him in his work.
9 This was an official body. Every political party in the Assembly had
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Okay. But at the time of the
12 Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who was chairing the Deputies' Club, the
13 SDS Deputies' Club, who was chairing it?
14 A. We had a president and a deputy president of the club. The
15 president of the club was Professor Vojislav Maksimovic and the deputy
16 president was Trifko Radic, MP. They chaired the meetings of the
17 Deputies' Club, they gave the floor to others, they took part in the
18 discussion themselves, and so on.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] But you were president of the
20 Assembly and you also sat at the Deputies' Club, right.
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So when Republika Srpska was
23 created there was a new Assembly, and there again was there also a
24 Deputies' Club?
25 A. Yes, yes. The same two people were the president and the deputy
1 president, and all of us were the Deputies' Club, including the
2 independent MPs. At first they were together with us and later on they
3 had a separate club of their own, that is to say towards the end. Pretty
4 late, that is.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] In this Assembly of Republika
6 Srpska, if I understood things well, there were no new elections to elect
7 the MPs of Republika Srpska. It's the SDS MPs -- well, it's the Serbian
8 deputies of the Bosnian Assembly who became the MPs of the Assembly of
9 Republika Srpska. Is that the way it worked?
10 A. Yes, yes. Serbs who were deputies in the Assembly of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only from the SDS but also from other parties,
12 they became the Serb Assembly, only those MPs.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And in this Assembly of Republika
14 Srpska, were there several Deputies' Club or just one Deputies' Club?
15 A. At first there was just one, one club. We were all a club. And
16 later on -- well, maybe in 1994 and 1995, I can't say exactly, the MPs
17 from other parties established their own club.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And in this Assembly of Republika
19 Srpska, this Deputies' Club, did it meet every day? Could you tell me
20 exactly how often the Deputies' Club met?
21 A. It only met when an Assembly session was supposed to be held. The
22 club did not meet apart from Assembly sessions.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] But you did not chair this
24 Deputies' Club, right? Mr. Maksimovic was still chairing this Deputies'
1 A. Yes, yes, Maksimovic and Radic again, the two of them were still
2 president and deputy.
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So if I understood you well, Mr.
4 Krajisnik, during those meetings of the Deputies' Club in Republika
5 Srpska, there were also people who were not members -- MPs who attended,
6 right? I didn't think that I made a mistake, but I think I understood
7 that Mr. Karadzic sometimes attended, members of the government,
8 ministers, even General Mladic attended?
9 A. You're right. You're quite right.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So I'm afraid -- I'm sorry to say
11 that you're mixing this hodgepodge, you know, it's a bit strange. I mean,
12 a Deputies' Club would be a place normally where people would be thinking,
13 you know? Where MPs would be thinking about the decisions that they're
14 about to make in a session. But why is there such a mix-up? You know,
15 because here is a body where you're supposed to be thinking and drafting,
16 but you also have people who are in government who are attending. I mean,
17 I don't have anything against military, of course, but you also have
18 people from military come and attend. So how can you explain this?
19 A. No. I think that the military were there only if there would be a
20 session and then a break. If club meetings were held before the session,
21 I do not recall that the members of the military were ever present. If
22 they would come to a session and then if the club would meet -- well, I
23 don't even remember that they were at the club meetings.
24 As for the others that you're referring to, well, very often the
25 government had to perhaps explain a particular government, a government
1 representative would do that. Very often somebody from the Presidency
2 would have to say what something was about. The club was certainly very
3 autonomous, both in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Republika Srpska, because
4 deputies thought that their role was very important and they didn't allow
5 anyone to dictate anything to them, Karadzic or Plavsic or anybody else.
6 They were even more relaxed at club meetings. So it was far more
7 difficult to streamline views than at formal sessions. But there were
8 guests who helped the club, that's right, and even a record was kept. I
9 think even minutes were kept in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yes. But I think in
10 the Serb Assembly, too, there were minutes.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What was the proportion of SDS
12 MPs in Republika Srpska who were also member of the Deputies' Club? Were
13 all MPs attending or were only part of them, you know, the one that are
14 more involved that were part of it?
15 A. No, no. All MPs were in the Deputies' Club. Every member of
16 parliament was a member of the club. It wasn't that there was anybody
17 apart, I mean in Bosnia-Herzegovina and here in the Serb Assembly. There
18 wasn't anybody who was outside the club.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Well, thank you, Mr. Krajisnik,
20 for answering my questions.
21 A. Thank you, too.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's quarter to 4.00. We'll have a break of half an
23 hour to quarter past 4.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I take it the parties received the report we earlier
2 spoke about.
3 Then Judge Canivell will continue with questions.
4 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Mr. Krajisnik, I would like to
5 ask you a few questions. I know the history of your country. I would
6 like to know what was the -- questions about yourself. I don't really
7 want to know exactly what happened to you, you know, yourself, but I would
8 like to know in a broader sense what exactly happened to you. I would
9 like to know more things about your country, because you know your country
10 went through complicated times in terms of politics and that the Balkan
11 peninsula had been occupied by the Ottoman Empire at one time. Around the
12 end of the 19th century Bosnia-Herzegovina turned from being under the
13 Ottoman Empire to being under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But after
14 World War I, that's what I'm really interested in. What was the situation
15 of the Muslims in your country after World War I? I mean, after World War
16 I, Muslims were a group in a country -- you know, that they used to be
17 members of the country that occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Ottoman
18 Empire, ages ago, and then after World War I the occupying power was an
19 ally to the Central Empires. So after World War I these Muslims who used
20 to be -- who used to belong to the occupying power, the Turks before, and
21 now they were -- they had been defeated in 1918, and I guess that they had
22 to live through difficult times because they became a minority in a
23 state -- in this Yugoslav state -- I mean, even -- they were not even
24 recognised in the name of the country being Muslims and this being the
25 Yugoslav state, the state of the southern Slavs. So these Muslims -- I
1 mean, how exactly did they feel in this new country that had been created
2 after 1918?
3 A. Well, the former Yugoslavia one, second, or the third one that
4 began in 1918 is full of history. And to your question, Your Honour, I
5 would say this: When the southern Slavs united, they were considered as
6 Slavs who adopted Islam. There were some people who were left behind
7 after the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire but they were considered as
8 Slavs and I don't know what rights they enjoyed then because at that time
9 the prevailing distinction was between Catholics, Orthodox, and Muslims,
10 rather than Croats, Serbs, and Muslims.
11 The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was organised in the so-called
12 Banovinas. I'll give you an example. In Zabrdje, where I was born, the
13 vice-ban, like the vice-president, was a Muslim, Hadzi Omerovic. He had
14 his country house. Back then, and later, the Muslims had an identity
15 problem. It would take being in their shoes to give you a really
16 objective answer as to how they felt, but it must not be easy to be in a
17 position where two leading nations, the Serbs and the Croats, are there
18 with you in the middle. Whether they had adopted Islam by force or of
19 their own will, whether they were Slavs or not, it was a problem. This
20 balance and this reciprocity was the same in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia,
21 just as before this war. People tried to show tolerance and understanding
22 before the war, but it took very little when the war began for a rift to
23 occur. I don't know how objective I can be, but I can understand that
24 it's difficult when you can't find your own identity.
25 After the Second World War, by the way, Muslims were again not
1 recognised as a nation. They were like undecided, so they were either
2 Serbs or Croats. And they had this persistent ambition to realise their
3 own identity, until in the 1950s, 1950-something, I don't know which year,
4 the former president, Tito, recognised Muslims as a nation. In this
5 latest war that is relevant to this trial, they said: We are not Muslims,
6 we are Bosniaks. So this constant quest for identity reoccurred as a
7 problem. At one point they told themselves: This is our chance to get
8 Bosnia as our state, like Serbs have their own state and Croats have their
9 own state, because they had never had their state before. And because
10 this ambition went unrealised for so long, this desire was stronger than
11 anything conscious.
12 Every unfulfilled ambition can lead to such excess. Imagine a
13 small nation of only 2 million, they thought it was a great thing to be,
14 although it should have been great for the Turks. When they are
15 called "Turks," they understand that to be a derogatory term, the
16 equivalent of the term "Chetnik" for Serbs, although it shouldn't be
17 derogatory; on the contrary, because Turks are a great nation and a big
18 nation. So whenever there is an upheaval, those historical antagonism and
19 animosities come to the surface and lead to war. Bosnia used to be called
20 miniature Yugoslavia. And at a time when Yugoslavia was being torn apart,
21 it was difficult for Bosnia to stay together. It's difficult to me to
22 speak in their name. I can say that I understand them, although I believe
23 they were wrong in going against the constitution of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina and that is one of the main reasons for this war.
25 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes. You're telling me that in
1 a derogatory way these be called Turks, so this confirms the possibility
2 that in all that time between the two world wars and after the Second
3 World War, socially, despite, you know, the fact that what you told us --
4 you know, for example, in your family people would welcome Muslims and
5 have dinner with them, and so normally it wasn't the case. It seems in
6 the normal state of things it was always different, always these people
7 who felt that they weren't Muslim Turks but they had become Muslims, maybe
8 because it was easier for them to be under the Turkish domination at one
9 point in time. But all this determined the way they -- the -- determined
10 the fact that they felt that the others had contempt towards this ethnic
11 group, towards the Muslims. They felt, you know, that the others only had
12 contempt for them because for centuries it had a different religion, and
13 especially after the small Serbia, after World War I, transformed itself
14 into a major Yugoslavia.
15 So socially, how were Muslims seen by the others? Was it
16 normal -- for example, when a Serb or a Croat would marry a Muslim -- of
17 course you told us about a few cases yesterday, you know, where things
18 went well, but was that seen as normal? Obviously you told us, you know,
19 that you had good Muslims friends, but wasn't it the opposite that was
20 more of a general rule?
21 A. Right. As far as marriage is concerned, there were marriages
22 between Serbs and Muslims, Croats and Muslims, but they were in a
23 minority, a definite minority. Marriages were usually within one ethnic
24 group, although there were mixed marriages, of course. However, they were
25 a definite minority, as I said. As for your suggestion that they were
1 held in contempt, in Bosnia-Herzegovina where I lived, Muslims were
2 predominant and played a predominant role from the liberation until this
3 latest war.
4 The Muslims from Bosnia have absolutely nothing to do with the
5 Muslims that we see on television in the east. They were a peaceful
6 people, fair, decent, and if you had any business to do, they were much
7 easier and more pleasant to deal with than anyone else. Now, after this
8 war, it's incredible the radicalism that appeared among the Muslims, and
9 it's interpreted as if somebody robbed them of a state, somebody cheated
10 them. And on account of that, people who used to be incredibly tolerant
11 are now sowing hatred.
12 As for what you said, it was not official and it was not public,
13 but that point when people adopted Islam was held in disapproval by Croats
14 and Serbs and it was held against them. But in normal, everyday life,
15 since the 1970s when the Muslims became a majority - maybe they became a
16 majority even earlier, I don't know - they had one area which they
17 basically held as their dominion, that is craft and trades. Of course, a
18 certain number of Muslims went on to university, but mainly they were in
19 crafts and trades. Nowadays all that has changed. There are many artists
20 and highly schooled people among the Muslims, and it is this latest war
21 that turned Muslims into a nation. And nowadays they really feel like a
22 nation. They have matured. If this war has brought anything good to
23 them, it is that they feel finally as a nation. They can tell themselves:
24 We are no longer former Serbs or former Croats, we are finally a nation.
25 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you for saying this.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Judge please adjust his microphone.
2 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] I need to -- I'm sorry. I wasn't
3 close enough to the microphone.
4 A. We are both at a disadvantage. I can't see you either.
5 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] So on the one hand there was
6 resistance to this -- the resistance of this Muslim community was only in
7 Bosnia, right? But not in the rest of former Yugoslavia?
8 A. Well, there were Muslims living in Serbia, in an area that Serbs
9 called Raska and Muslims call the same area Sandzak. It is closer to
10 Kosovo. But Bosniaks are now called in Muslims in Serbia, in Croatia, and
11 in Bosnia, although earlier, while they were still Muslims, they were only
12 in Bosnia. Nowadays they identify themselves as Bosniaks.
13 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you for reminding me.
14 Another question now that I find it hard to understand. At the
15 end of World War II it seems that there was some kind of a genocide
16 carried out against the Serbs, and I think I understood that this was done
17 by Ustashi. So were they Muslim Ustashas? I am a bit confused here
18 because I thought there were only Ustashas. Muslims were aside and --
19 were they involved in this or not?
20 A. There were Muslims among the Ustashas. Croats called them Croats
21 of Muslim faith, and there was even a notorious Muslim division called the
22 Handzar Division. They wore their caps that are part of their national
23 costume, but they were Ustashas on the Croat side. There were, however,
24 some Muslims among the partisans but also among the Chetniks, although
25 very few because the Chetniks were derived from the old Yugoslav army.
1 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes. But the situation that
2 existed at the end of World War II, can't you say that it cropped up again
3 at -- during the war, you know, that we're interested in, because there
4 was more of a divide between the -- with the Croat -- with the Muslims.
5 Or is it because the Muslims were more numerous in Bosnia than the Croats?
6 How should I try and understand this?
7 A. Croats and Muslims, from the very beginning of multi-party
8 political life formed a coalition. Although they were sharing power with
9 the SDS, they immediately sided together and left the SDS on the other
10 side. And when the war began, they were already together. At a certain
11 point, I don't know whether it was at the end of 1992 or in 1993, they
12 started infighting over some territories or over some crimes, and a war
13 began between Muslims and Croats. At the end of the war, however, the
14 Federation was formed, comprised of Muslims and Croats, but it is not a
15 marriage based on love. There is antagonism against -- among Croats and
16 Muslims, just among Croats and Serbs, and Serbs and Muslims. The Croats
17 now believe that they are disenfranchised.
18 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] There was the independence of
19 Croatia, and chronologically that happened before the independence of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you think that that was a reason -- that was a --
21 sort of triggered what happened in Bosnia later on? Because apparently
22 they were supposed to respect the borders, you know, that were already
23 there after the -- between the six republics that had been set up after
24 World War II. So did you think that this complicated -- this was a
25 reason -- this was one of the reasons for the complications that occurred
1 later on, the fact that they wanted to make a state with the -- using the
2 territories that used to be Bosnia-Herzegovina before and the -- because
3 they couldn't -- the Serbs wanted to be with the -- maybe with the other
4 Serbs that were in other former Yugoslavian states, but because of the
5 borders the way they were they couldn't do it anymore.
6 A. Of course I always take it into account that I may not be entirely
7 objective, but it's up to you to judge that.
8 I believe that Muslims were instigated by Croats to go forward
9 with the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it were, and I believe
10 that the war was imported from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Croatia found it a relief because it had a war with the Serbs in Krajina,
12 and they wanted to take some territories in the west and in the north,
13 like Posavina. During negotiations I talked to Croat representatives. It
14 was their opinion that it was important for them in those areas where they
15 had authority and control, whereas the other things would be left for some
16 later stage. I'm absolutely certain that if the Serbs and Croats in
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina could have their way, they would both join Serbia
18 and Croatia respectively, whereas the Muslims would either have liked to
19 have all of Bosnia or would liked to have the most prosperous part of
20 Bosnia for their state. This is my perspective from here in The Hague and
21 of course the wisdom of hindsight when I look back on some conversations
22 that I had with them.
23 Both Serbs and Croats are all the nations who had lived there for
24 centuries, and they remember what happened 300, 500 years back. And in
25 the Second World War, the Serbs suffered a lot, including from genocide,
1 and especially in the regions that we have referred to a lot during this
2 trial. The Ustashas massacred people in Mount Kozara area, the Jasenovac
3 concentration camp, et cetera. Of course Muslims also remember being
4 victimised in Eastern Bosnia by the Chetniks. So everybody has their own
5 history and everybody looks back to it.
6 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] That's for a general aspect.
7 Now, if we go into more details, you said in your testimony that there was
8 a referendum in November 1991. I think I've understood -- I'm not sure I
9 understood. This was done along with the constitution; is that what
10 happened? Or is it the Serbs who decided to call for a referendum in
11 order to know who was in favour, who was against the situation as it was
12 at the moment?
13 A. That was not in accordance with the constitution of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In actual fact, when there was this rift in the
15 Assembly on the 14th of October, the SDS was advocating the following
16 view: That the Muslims and the Croats did not have the right to declare
17 the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina on their own and that the SDS is
18 the legitimate representative of the Serb people. And they said what it
19 was that the Serbs wanted. They wanted Bosnia-Herzegovina to remain
20 within Yugoslavia. Then objections were voiced in terms of the SDS not
21 having legitimacy because there were Serbs in other political parties,
23 It was then that the Assembly of the Serb People was established,
24 and they called a plebiscite in order to see what the will of the Serb
25 people was. Others voted, too, and then it was said: Well, now you have
1 information about what the Serb people think. It wasn't compulsory, this
2 plebiscite, but it was there to show whether that policy pursued by the
3 SDS had a certain legitimacy.
4 Actually, there is this one particular provision, the so-called
5 self-determination of peoples. It is a provision, but it was not really
6 elaborated upon in the constitution that you had the right to resort to,
7 say, a plebiscite and to carry this through in that way, because this was
8 actually never done in socialism, and this constitution dated back to the
9 days of socialism.
10 Well, perhaps it was legitimate, but it was not legal.
11 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand the difference.
12 But it was a referendum called by the SDS, and the only ones who could
13 take part in it were the ethnic Serbs. The others weren't even allowed to
14 take part in the vote, the Muslims and the Croats were not allowed to take
15 part in the vote. Okay.
16 Then there's another question which might be interesting --
17 A. Your Honour, everybody could take part in it, but there were a
18 certain type of ballots for Serbs who were in favour of Yugoslavia; a
19 second type for Croats; a third type for Muslims, so that others could
20 state their views, too, in terms of Bosnia remaining in Yugoslavia.
21 However, the absolute majority of voters who took part in it were Serbs.
22 And Yugoslavs as well.
23 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] So Muslims and Croats didn't vote
24 in that referendum, or did they vote? I don't think any Muslims or Croats
25 participated in the vote?
1 A. Very few non-Serbs voted in the referendum or people who did not
2 declare themselves as Yugoslavs. It was just a very small percentage of
3 Croats and Muslims who voted in the referendum.
4 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] So you told us in your testimony
5 that when -- on the May 12th -- in the Assembly that you chaired on May
6 12th, 1992, you voted on the six strategic goals and on your future and
7 what -- as you said, that was important in order to have something to
8 negotiate on, to negotiate on with the other -- with the international
9 community and with the other ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But I'd
10 like to ask you the following question: But wasn't that going to
11 stimulate what was going to happen? Wasn't it going to trigger what was
12 going to happen? A war. The fact, you know, that these six strategic
13 goals could be achieved in another way then through negotiation --
14 actually, through war?
15 A. Your Honour, we had been in a war for a month already. These
16 goals were presented when we presented our requests to Mr. Cutileiro,
17 namely that we wanted to have a constituent unit of our own, that we
18 wanted it to be linked up, and so on and so forth. That is to say that
19 these were objections voiced by the MPs, they were saying that they often
20 did not know what it was that we advocated in the negotiations. Then what
21 was stated was what we actually wanted. There is even a book
22 called: "What do the Serbs want?" And it was published. This is
23 actually a platform on the basis of which we had already worked with
24 Cutileiro. So these six strategic goals were adopted, but at the same
25 session we adopted the conclusions, stating that we wanted the conference
1 to continue and that we wanted it to go on until a political solution is
2 reached. You can read that from the session of the 12th of May, because
3 we knew if we do not verify something in a political way it doesn't matter
4 how you actually fair in war -- I mean, war brings you nothing, it brings
5 you only victims.
6 That was our objective on the 12th of May, and we did not vote
7 about the strategic objectives; we voted about the entire information
8 presented, not about the goals specifically. Within this information,
9 they were incorporated, too. It's a different matter altogether that
10 later on they were published as a document; I explained that in 1993 --
11 well, I don't know. Perhaps they were adopted on purpose or by mistake.
12 It wasn't on my part at any rate, but they were published, yes.
13 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes. I am -- then you continue
14 to try and find solutions, negotiated solutions, you know, to find -- even
15 though, as you say, the war had already broken out a month before that
16 statement where you announced the six strategic objectives. But
17 afterwards -- well, you especially were negotiating, you knew that at the
18 same time these objectives had influence -- had an influence on the war
19 that was going on, didn't you?
20 A. Well, it can be taken that way, but believe me, ewe never knew
21 what you could achieve while the war was still on. The fortunes of war
22 changed to such an extent and ultimately -- well, I don't know. Apart
23 from one particular objective, I don't think that any one of these
24 objectives were attained. You simply have no idea what tomorrow will
25 bring because the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina is the front. So every
1 municipality had a plan of its own. If they could take a village of their
2 own or whatever else, quite simply, there was this confederacy, if I can
3 put it that way, a confederacy of goals. Everybody had a goal of their
4 own, a local goal of their own. This was a platform for negotiations, and
5 now what could you achieve if there is a war on? That depended on the
6 fortunes of war. You would gain a few, lose a few. War is, well,
7 something that is either imposed or not imposed; you either want it or you
8 don't want it. I mean, nobody wants a war, but once a war starts it is
9 hard to stop it.
10 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Fine. Then you also told us that
11 you were in favour -- you were in favour of -- you thought that the
12 changes in population had to be done deliberately. I mean, you wanted
13 only those to leave -- those who left their territories to be people who
14 wanted to leave their territories. That's what you said many times. So
15 you only wanted, you know, movements of population to be done through the
16 will of the people, but at the same time you seem to think that that was
17 an acceptable way of doing things, but you knew that there was a war going
18 on also. So didn't the fact that there was a war going on sort of force
19 people to leave on both sides? So people -- you say that people were
20 leaving of their free will, but it wasn't that free. They were leaving
21 because there was a war. Maybe for other reasons, but they were leaving
22 because of the war. Isn't that obvious for you that that's why people
23 were leaving?
24 A. Well, when there is a war going on, the most important thing is to
25 stay alive. The easiest thing in a war is to lose one's life; it's easier
1 than anything else. When I talked about Serbs who were leaving Central
2 Bosnia, when they were leaving their homes and when they were happy, I
3 understood them.
4 During the course of the negotiations, during those four years, 20
5 times or perhaps even more than that I thought: We've achieved peace.
6 Practically at every conference you would think: Yes, this has brought
7 the war to an end. You're absolutely right. People flee from war,
8 especially those who are a minority. They want to save their lives, and
9 they hope that the war would end quickly. That's what happened in the
10 Second World War, people fled from certain areas, the war was over, and
11 then everybody went back home where they had lived. This turned out to be
12 quite different. I was happy when, say, these Serbs -- when I saw that
13 they got out alive. Believe me, those who stayed on in territories where
14 they were a minority fared much worse than those who had left; I'm talking
15 about Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla, I don't know, other areas as well. When
16 you are a minority for a long time, there are various elements that get
17 out of control and therefore your life is in jeopardy and it is hard to
18 stay alive.
19 I have the example of a Croat doctor in Pale who came to ask me
20 for help. And I said: Yes, tell me. And he said: Well, I have this
21 friend. And that is when I called this Malko Koroman, I remember, and he
22 said: I'll find these criminals. This was a doctor, a paediatrician, who
23 had treated many, many Serb children, and a criminal threatened him.
24 Thank goodness he stayed alive. He survived and he wanted to be a witness
25 here, in fact, but he died a month or two ago. What I'm trying to say is
1 that in every environment there are people who could jeopardise your life.
2 If people were moving out under force, that was all -- that was not right.
3 If people left of their own accord, then it's different. I'm a refugee
4 myself, and I know what it's like to leave your home.
5 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] You also said during your
6 testimony that you did not know of serious offences made to human rights
7 and serious breaches of human rights that occurred, despite, I imagine-
8 that what I'm asking - that you often left your country, you attended
9 international meetings. So during these international meetings wasn't --
10 didn't you -- weren't you able to say: What's going on? What's happening
11 out -- you know, what's happening in terms of human rights? During these
12 negotiations, first with Lord Carrington and Cutileiro and then later on
13 with Vance Owen, didn't the people who were there never -- didn't it ever
14 occur to them to ask: What's going on? Do you know what's going on? Can
15 you -- what can you do to stop what's happening in the country? Didn't
16 that ever occur?
17 A. I explained that here. There were complaints made by the
18 representatives of the international community that there was ethnic
19 cleansing, that there were persecutions, and other things, too, camps, and
20 so on. I told you, there were people who were in charge of things, like
21 the MUP and people from the Presidency, and they were in contact with
22 certain structures. I would always receive information. We discussed
23 that at this consultative meeting. Information -- the information that we
24 got was that this was propaganda, that things were actually the other way
25 around. And when a commission was established, when they went to the area
1 and communications were very poor, then some things were actually
2 discovered. And this seemed to be only a small part of the problem, for
3 instance that there were prisons but not that there were murders. And
4 measures were taken, very strict measures. I don't want to commit a sin.
5 This was not my area of responsibility, but the government, the
6 Presidency, I felt that everybody wanted to have the rule of law
7 established and to have perpetrators punished. Nobody supported that, but
8 it is incredible the extent to which crimes were being concealed. I told
9 you about Sarajevo, a diameter of 2 kilometres, and the authorities did
10 not know what was going on there, in that area. A crime could happen in
11 the building next door, you wouldn't know during the course of a war.
12 Quite simply, people who committed crimes hid that and you did not have
13 sufficient information, you could not investigate that, the judiciary was
14 not functioning properly, and it was only later on that you would find out
15 what had happened.
16 So I know that whenever accusations were made, there was always a
17 discussion and measures were always taken. I do not remember a single
18 meeting where this was on the agenda and when measures were not taken
19 later on, to establish the truth, to punish the persons who were guilty --
20 I mean, I simply do not remember a meeting where somebody said it doesn't
21 matter, never mind what happened.
22 And in addition to that I'll tell you something else. I had my
23 own family problems. While my wife was alive, I had that problem; and
24 then I had three children. They were in Pale and I spent most of my time
25 in Pale. I didn't travel that much, except that I attended Assembly
1 meetings. So I could not tour the entire area, so I could not
2 establish -- I mean, that I myself could establish what the truth was.
3 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes, but you say that there are
4 many crimes that were hidden, maybe so. But there were other situations
5 that were shown to the entire world on the media, especially with the --
6 you know, this -- on TV. So when you left the country, when you went to
7 London, to Brussels, you told us that in July you went to London, in July
8 of 1992. I think there was another meeting at the end of August, also in
9 London, and another one in Geneva later on. Didn't that strike you, just
10 in passing in front of a TV, to see that on the screen, people coming to
11 ask -- asking: What's happening? What's going on? Didn't it occur to
12 you that you could ask what was happening?
13 A. First of all, I was highly interested in what was going on. At
14 these meetings that we attended, everything that was presented -- say this
15 meeting in London, conclusions were reached, decisions were reached to
16 disband all prisons and to have all persons exchanged. Then somebody was
17 supposed to carry this through and some things were indeed carried out. I
18 know that, for example, if there were such accusations made, then those
19 who were in charge, say Karadzic, Koljevic, would present certain views on
20 that, and indeed they had the same kind of information that I did. I
21 cannot say anything that wouldn't be right, and they probably got this
22 information from people they had consulted previously.
23 Regrettably, in the media, in foreign media, there were some
24 things that we knew were not true. For example, they would show a
25 graveyard full of crosses and then they would say - I heard that - this is
1 the graveyard of Muslims that were killed by the Serbs. We know that
2 Muslims do not have crosses on their tombstones. So for somebody out
3 there, that may seem to be true. But then you feel that there is no
4 objectivity in information. So I heard about that, and then you get the
5 impression that everything is rigged and that everything is false. You
6 saw Mrs. Plavsic's open letter. She said: It is not correct. There are
7 Muslims that -- there are also Muslim organised camps and so on and so
8 forth, and it is not civilians who are in prisons and so on and so forth.
9 I mean, I'm just saying that the situation was the same on other sides,
10 too. Quite simply, there was chaos all over the place and where authority
11 was brought down to the lowest possible level and very often was in the
12 hands of highly responsible people. We started from scratch, basically,
13 when we started building some kind of a legal system. I'm not trying to
14 justify people who were in charge of this, but that's just the way it was.
15 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes, but for example there was a
16 moment where Mr. Karadzic -- I don't remember if he learned it through the
17 Times or some minister of -- explaining that there were Arab attacks and
18 he said: Well, this is all fabrication. But did he have intelligence or
19 something? Because when you say, okay, somebody's been killed. You say:
20 No, it's not true. And you can deny it. But the opposite is difficult,
21 saying that this has not occurred. So how did he make that statement so
22 quickly? Did he investigate, you know? I mean, you were always with him,
23 so did you know what happened when he made that statement?
24 A. I'm not aware of that statement -- well, maybe my conclusions are
25 wrong. I'm not Mr. Karadzic's lawyer; I'm defending myself. As far as I
1 knew, information could come from the MUP, from the military, and perhaps
2 for -- from people who were in the field. But I hadn't heard of anybody
3 confirming such reports. If Karadzic received the same information, then
4 perhaps he reacted on the basis of that, and then later on you established
5 that there was something wrong and that some chief of police had
6 misinformed you or something. Well, he informed his minister and the
7 minister misinformed you. I mean, I'm talking about the persons who were
8 actually in charge of such things.
9 There is one thing, Your Honour, I myself, I personally, could not
10 punish anyone, could not promote anyone, I could not give anyone a
11 decoration, I could not give anyone a commendation. Had I received some
12 information - I've already given you an example - I would certainly want
13 for my own sake, as a human being, to see this through. Not because it
14 was my duty. I wouldn't want anything to remain unresolved because that
15 would give my people and the policy that I take part in a bad name. But
16 had I known of any such thing, I would have reacted and I always reacted
17 in order to have things investigated to the very end if there were
18 indications. However, I do not want to commit a sin. I should say that
19 others reacted, too.
20 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes, and finally, you said in
21 your testimony that when you were meeting in the Presidency of Republika
22 Srpska you were always there as a guest, you always attended those
23 meetings as a guest. So I think you were there in almost all the meetings
24 except for one, all the meetings of this Presidency from January all the
25 way to December. So I would like to know what it meant to be a guest at
1 those meetings. What did you do exactly? What was the role that you
2 played in those meetings as a guest?
3 A. I did not think that these were meetings of the Presidency. I
4 first saw these records here, in The Hague. I knew that there were
5 certain reminders. I thought that these were consultative meetings. Very
6 often we had consultative meetings. We'd discuss various problems,
7 various respective problems. As for these consultative meetings, I'm
8 the "guilty party," and Mr. Djeric, too, because we simply wanted to
9 consult about certain matters. Because I used to work in a company where
10 we would have senior staff meetings, we'd discuss a problem, and then
11 everybody would go and do his own job. We would discuss various problems
12 there. There were many decisions that were reached, say of the
13 Presidency, that were not reached at these meetings; they were reached
14 autonomously. For example, all orders issued by Mr. Karadzic were issued
15 apart from these meetings. Then there were laws and other things that
16 were not part of the agenda of these meetings. After all, that is his
17 right -- or rather, the right of the Presidency.
18 Now, whether they had any separate meetings -- well, I think that
19 was very seldom. These were sort of ad hoc meetings. They were not
20 particularly official meetings. At these meetings that were called
21 Presidency meetings, there was this discussion, debate, about all sorts of
22 things. And, quite simply, if somebody had a particular task or a
23 particular problem, we'd discuss it and then everybody'd go and do his own
24 work. I did not take over anything from the Presidency. I never did
25 anything that was not part of my own job. I would not allow myself to be
1 part of an illegal body. If they want me to become a member of a
2 particular body, have the Assembly vote on it. And if the Assembly votes
3 and says that I'm a member of the Presidency, then all right. But, I
4 mean, I would not do it any other way. We were all there, we consulted on
5 problems and our jobs. I remember most of the items that were on the
6 agenda, and then after that we all went out and did our own work. I
7 didn't know what the government did. They didn't know what I did. Others
8 didn't know either, then everybody went off and did their own work. Very
9 often these meetings were brief.
10 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Yes, but how can you explain that
11 in the minutes of what happened over there the mention is decisions made
12 on problems, you know, appointment of this person, appointment of
13 commissioners to Crisis Staffs or to war staffs? And at one point in time
14 also if I remember on June 27th, 1992, at the meeting of the Presidency
15 and in the minutes that we got, it was -- General Mladic was ordered to
16 stop bombing Sarajevo, not just that, it wasn't a consultation, you know,
17 it was a decision, it was an order, that was given to General Mladic. And
18 after that order given to General Mladic, bombing actually stopped, right
19 there. So how -- it looks like these meetings were decision-making
20 meetings. They weren't just consultative meetings, at least from what we
21 saw, it definitely looks like they were decision-making meetings.
22 A. If that refers to a meeting that was not attended by Karadzic but
23 was attended by Koljevic, Plavsic, Djeric, and I, and when we said that
24 firing at Dobrinja should stop -- I mean Sarajevo, and that the Supreme
25 Command should be told to issue orders to the Main Staff to that effect.
1 It's probably the case that somebody who was in contact with the
2 UNPROFOR received complaints about Sarajevo being shelled -- or maybe
3 somebody said the conference can't go on because the Serbs are attacking
4 the city, and Koljevic presented that at the meeting. And it was
5 concluded that regardless of the crime that it constituted, it did us
6 political damage and that indeed the Presidency should issue orders to
7 stop that, regardless of whether the military had any excuse for that or
8 not. The recording secretary wrote that, not because the order was issued
9 then and there, the orders were issued in due course by whoever was in
10 charge. But the Presidency did note that such an order should be issued
11 because it was doing us political damage. The military justification was
12 maybe there, but it was doing us political damage because the conference
13 could not go on.
14 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] So you mean that in these
15 meetings decisions were never made, except by those who were in the
16 Presidency, Koljevic and you didn't mention Mrs. Plavsic. But there was a
17 meeting in November 1992 where the three members of the Presidency were
18 present. So how were the decisions made then when there were only one
19 person who was able to make the decision --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter made a mistake.
21 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] At that meeting the only person
22 available to make the decision was one of the members of the Presidency;
23 the two others were only consultative.
24 A. Well, that speaks volumes. A certain problem would be discussed,
25 and if the problem fell into the jurisdiction of the Presidency, the
1 Presidency would decide. If it fell within the province of the Assembly,
2 the Assembly would deal with it. The same goes for the government. And
3 the implementation would be up to the competent body, whether it would be
4 by an order, whether it would be placed on the agenda. The initiative
5 would come from the competent body. It would be placed on the agenda to
6 hear the opinion of others, but the implementation was always in the hands
7 of the body in charge. I, for instance, could not issue orders to the
8 army to stop the shelling. It could be done by the president of the
9 Presidency, as the supreme commander, just like they could not preside
10 over an Assembly session. The same is true of the government.
11 I, for instance, did not attend a single cabinet meeting. I don't
12 know what was decided there because finally it was -- I mean, in 1992 it
13 was their province. But it was quite normal for them to attend Assembly
14 sessions when I presided and members of the Presidency attended, too,
15 although because they not have the right of vote at Assembly sessions.
16 Only MPs had the right to vote. But we were anxious to hear their opinion
17 when they rose to spoke to tell us their opinion. Of course, the MPs
18 appreciated that.
19 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Krajisnik.
20 A. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, I'll not start right away with my
22 questions because we'll first have a break. But I have one follow-up
23 question for you. One of your last answers to Judge Canivell's question
24 you responded in the following way. You said: If that refers to a
25 meeting that was not attended by Mr. Karadzic, but -- and then you
1 mentioned those who were present.
2 "And when we said that firing at Dobrinja should stop, I mean
3 Sarajevo, and that the Supreme Command should be told to issue orders to
4 the Main Staff to that effect, it is probably the case that somebody," and
5 then you continued. I think correctly you said "and when we said,"
6 because if we read what it says, it says: "The Main Staff of the Army of
7 the Serbian Republic of BH is ordered to cease all infantry and military
8 operations in the suburb of Dobrinja immediately."
9 Do we immediately that at least the text, the language, does not
10 say that you are asking the Supreme Command to issue orders to the Main
11 Staff, but that, at least in this text, there was a direct order to the
12 Main Staff to act immediately. That's what it says, isn't it?
13 A. No, no. Maybe on page 2, I think. You have it in some record
14 that the Main Staff should report to the Supreme Command or seek
15 information. If I had that record I could answer this. It's difficult to
16 say something like this off the cuff.
17 JUDGE ORIE: If someone would have the B/C/S version of the 12th
18 Presidency Session of the 27th of June, then we could -- it's P65, tab
19 171, I take it. Yes.
20 Yes, could it be given to Mr. Krajisnik.
21 Mr. Krajisnik, I have in front of me the minutes of the 12th
22 Session, and I was referring to paragraph 3, first full sentence, which
23 reads in English, but if it's not well translated then we have to verify
24 that: "The Main Staff of the Army of the Serbian Republic of BH is
25 ordered to cease all artillery and infantry operations in the suburb of
1 Dobrinja immediately."
2 A. Yes, yes. It says: "The Main Staff is ordered." But it's not an
3 order. This is up to somebody to implement after this because there was
4 no representative of the Main Staff. Somebody had to write out an order,
5 somebody in the Presidency, and to send them that order. And it must be
6 linked with this last item where the Main Staff is instructed to establish
7 contact with the UNPROFOR and start implementing -- no, sorry, the
8 previous one. "Fire is to be opened only in necessary defence" -- that's
9 what I meant. "Fire is to be opened only for necessary defence, but only
10 with prior notification to the Supreme Command and the UNPROFOR is the
11 mediator in the airport operation."
12 This is what I mean. This is just a memo because Karadzic was not
13 there. It's probably the case that somebody said: The Main Staff should
14 be ordered immediately to stop this, and the recording secretary wrote it
15 down. But this is not the way you write orders. Somebody should --
16 somebody over there should have written it and sent it to the Main Staff.
17 If the representative of the Main Staff was there, then you could say that
18 he heard this, but normally an order is not written this way. It had to
19 be an order in writing.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Krajisnik, it also could be read, I'm just
21 putting this to you, that an order was given to cease all artillery and
22 infantry operations immediately, that -- as the second line says, that the
23 armed forces should move from offensive to defensive positions, which at
24 least suggests that they were in offensive positions. And that, for the
25 future, fire should be opened only for necessary defence, after having
1 consulted with the Presidency, the Supreme Command, and UNPROFOR. So
2 apart from whether the Presidency and the Supreme Command both played a
3 role there. But you could also read it as making a clear distinction
4 between orders that took immediate effect and orders that would need
5 further consultation, that is to respond to open fire only for necessary
7 A. Yes, but this is not an order. On the basis of this paper,
8 somebody was to write out an order, the competent body was to write an
9 order and approve this. It's true that two members of the Presidency were
10 present, but this was to serve only as a basis for further enactments.
11 That's why it was a consultative meeting. Yes, we could have noted
12 whatever we saw fit, but somebody else was to write an order. This is not
13 enough. This is not something received by the -- or receivable by the
14 Main Staff or the Supreme Command. The Main Staff did not receive this.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, that's not what the text says. Do we
16 agree on that?
17 A. Yes, we agree, we agree completely. It's written just as you
18 said, but after this somebody was to write an order to implement this.
19 The Main Staff did not receive this.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The second portion of your reasoning is that you
21 say: "This was to serve only as a basis for further enactments." Then
22 you said: "That's why it was a consultative meeting."
23 Here your assumption or your testimony that it was a consultative
24 meeting explains why something was still to be done. That also means that
25 if it was not a consultative meeting, that that reasoning is not valid
2 A. No. You see, this is a consultative meeting, not an advisory
3 meeting. People consult each other.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Where does it say so? Could you please tell me, this
5 is decision A, decision B, order A, order B. Where does it say -- I mean,
6 you have repeatedly told us that, and one of the things which is very
7 important is that you gave your interpretation of the text on the basis of
8 what you say what is your knowledge, but of course the Judges have their
9 own responsibility in interpreting texts and to see whether the text
10 support your testimony in this respect. So therefore I'm inviting you to
11 give us those portions of the text that clearly indicate that these were
12 consultative meetings rather than decision -- rather than meetings where
13 decisions were taken, because the text so often says: Decision this,
14 order that. So if you would assist us in -- help us in finding textual
15 support for your interpretation of these texts and your recollection of
16 what happened during those meetings, then it would highly -- be highly
18 A. You see, Mr. President, you see this paper was signed by
19 Mr. Karadzic; it means that it was typed out later. Because we, when we
20 hold the meeting, somebody takes notes, and afterwards writes it all out.
21 Especially when Karadzic was not present, he wrote it out the next day or
22 even later. When I say that it was a consultative meeting, it's not
23 written anywhere that it was a consultative meeting. It says: "A meeting
24 of the Presidency in immediate threat of war," not in a state of war --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not saying --
1 A. And the attendees discussed things --
2 JUDGE ORIE: You're now mixing up a few things. I think I never
3 put it to you that it said that it was during a state of war. I'm just
4 asking you to point at those portions in the text which would support your
5 testimony that these were consultative meetings, and I just heard you say
6 that the text doesn't say so.
7 A. It's not written in the text, but look where it says: To hold a
8 patron saint's day, for one of them to go to Ilijas, for a delegation of
9 the government to go -- it's not even specified who should be on the
10 delegation. There were lots of such conclusions. This thing should be
11 done and that thing should be done, et cetera. Things should be done is
12 the wording.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Now you say it's not even said who would be in the
14 delegation. I see under 1 that for St. Vitus day, the patron saint for
15 the army of the Serbian Republic, the following appointees go, under A:
16 For Han Pijesak, Biljana Plavsic, Dr. Branko Djeric, and Bogdan Subotic.
17 B: For Ilijas Dr. Nikola Koljevic and Momcilo Krajisnik. C: For Res
18 [phoen] Velobar Ostojic and Ljubomir Zukovic. Your testimony just was
19 that it wasn't even said who would be the delegates. Could you explain to
20 me -- and you took this example, how could I read it in such a way that
21 the delegates were not even, as you said -- let me just check that. "It's
22 not even specified who should be on the delegation."
23 I see for all three delegations, I see persons clearly mentioned
24 to be on that delegations.
25 A. Well, what I meant is this: The government is instructed to
1 appoint a delegation to tour military units and hospitals. Here, the
2 government is urged to appoint units to visit military units and hospital.
3 We were there and we were talking about who should go to some sort of
4 celebration. It was not a decision; it was simply an understanding
5 between us.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that the decision is laid in the hands of the
8 We'll first have a break. We'll resume at five minutes past 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, I've got a few questions for you as
12 well. First of all, you explained many, many times that it was
13 unconstitutional what the -- the Muslims and the Croats did in the way
14 they sought independence for BiH. Could you tell us what would have been
15 the constitutional way to do it, step by step. What would have been
16 needed in accordance with the constitution to gain independence?
17 A. Independence could have taken place only by way of changing the
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And how would you change the constitution?
20 A. Well, the constitution would be changed in the following way. The
21 constitutional commission would, well, provide a draft and then there
22 would be a public debate and then a proposal would be presented, and this
23 would go to the Assembly. And two-thirds from both chambers, that is to
24 say the Chamber of Nations and the Chamber of Citizens, two -- there would
25 have to be a two-third majority that would vote in favour of the new
1 constitution that would provide for the independence of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is what Slovenia and Croatia had done; before
3 that, they had had a referendum to see what the public thought and felt.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So do I understand well that so a minority
5 could have blocked independence if it was at least one-third of the vote?
6 Is that correct understanding?
7 A. Yes. A change of the constitution, yes. But there was an
8 instrument perhaps; that's very important. In fact, national questions,
9 questions that were of vital interest, could not be, well, voted on until
10 this would be considered by the council for the national and ethnic
11 equality of peoples, and it would be that council that would have to pass
12 a two-thirds decision. And once there is such a decision, then the
13 proposal will be presented to the Assembly, and then two-thirds of the MPs
14 will have to support that decision made by the council. Something similar
15 is in place in Bosnia-Herzegovina now with regard to these questions --
16 well, there's actually a council of peoples rather than this original
18 JUDGE ORIE: And this council for national equality, there in that
19 council, a minority could have blocked a way to independence. Is that a
20 correct understanding?
21 A. Only in terms of vital national interests, that is to say a
22 minority could do that -- well, they could not discuss any issue, laws, or
23 whatever. But as for vital interests, a minority could block a majority.
24 This exists to this day -- or rather, it was introduced after Dayton.
25 What was insisted upon was consensus and accommodation of views rather
1 than out-voting.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Do you consider that a question of independence could
3 be resolved by a consensus, where the parties were so much opposing each
5 A. I believe that we absolutely could have done it that way, and I
6 can even explain how.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
8 A. Well, we had two extremes. Say the Serbs wanted Yugoslavia and
9 the Muslims wanted an independent, unitary state. The Croats were sort of
10 in between. Agreement was reached, either under pressure or by way of a
11 reality. You recognise Bosnia and you give up on Yugoslavia and agree
12 that Bosnia will be a complex national community like Switzerland,
13 Belgium, and so on. So those are the principles involved, and on the
14 basis of that there could have been an independent Bosnia without any war.
15 People were delighted when these principles were agreed upon. People did
16 not want war. And I think that this is a great pity, historically
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, things went otherwise. A constitutional
19 solution was not found. Now, looking at the new situation in the
20 Republika Srpska - and I'm first concentrating on the central level - how
21 were the minorities represented on the central level, be it government, be
22 it Assembly, be it Presidency, in Republika Srpska?
23 A. You mean once the war started?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Once the Republika Srpska was established and that
25 the war started soon after that.
1 A. Yes, yes. Republika Srpska was established on the 9th of January,
2 1992. That is to say two or three months before the war. It was
3 established on paper - on paper - that is to say it was almost a fiction.
4 On the 25th of January, so that is to say just a bit after that, there was
5 an Assembly meeting of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the referendum, and I
6 asked the MPs through my own authority to go to this joint Assembly. And
7 we discussed this for two days, to see how the Serbs could take part in
8 the referendum, too, and indeed we found a solution. The government
9 agreed on regionalisation. There is a recording of that and there is a
10 transcript, too. That would have satisfied the Serbs. So we all would
11 have taken part in the referendum, Bosnia would have been independent, but
12 we would have had these units, these constituent units. Of course that is
13 what was supposed to be done. And you even have this decision, that is to
14 say the deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Cengic, who was also vice-president of
15 the SDA. He went to the rostrum together with Karadzic and he said:
16 We've reached agreement. And everybody was so pleased. However, after
17 that, Mr. Izetbegovic went back on that and said: We give up on this.
18 That was the last session of the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina that was
19 held. So agreement was reached at 3.00 at night. I had this session
20 going on for two days, and we kept discussing and trying to reach
21 agreement, and that was the last chance to avoid everything. And then
22 there was Cutileiro and so on and so forth.
23 JUDGE ORIE: But My question was how the minorities were
25 A. Well, I said that on the 9th of January Republika Srpska existed
1 only on paper. It did not actually start functioning at all until the war
2 started. So the Muslims and Croats did not even take part in this state
3 that existed only on paper. No territory, no nothing, you just have this
5 JUDGE ORIE: Now things moved on. At a certain moment there was a
6 territory, there was -- there was an Assembly. What steps were taken then
7 to have the Muslims and the Croats represented in the newly established
8 organs of Republika Srpska?
9 A. I have an example, say of an attempt. Mr. Kupresanin asked an MP,
10 a Muslim, to enter the Assembly. He came to Banja Luka, and he had had
11 contact with Karadzic over the telephone. You have a recording here, and
12 he said: Please, join the Assembly because you're from Banja Luka and
13 you're from that old Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Apparently he agreed
14 to that, but later on he refused. MPs from the HDZ and the SDA did not
15 want to take part in this "artificial" Assembly. During the war, whether
16 we like it or not, it was exclusively Serb. I'm talking about the
17 authorities at the level of Republika Srpska. That's what you asked me
18 about. But say at municipal level, Mr. President -- well, and this is a
19 smaller part. For example, in Banja Luka the vice-president was a Croat
20 and then there was some Muslims, but only at first. Later on, quite
21 simply, there weren't any, like on the other side, too.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now in some municipalities where the Muslims
23 were a majority, for example in Prijedor, what -- what happened there as
24 far as the rights of Muslims and Croats were concerned?
25 A. Well, you saw Mr. Srdic's statement here, that they did all of
1 that on their own, that we did not have any contact with Prijedor until
2 the end of June because there was no communication. So what was done?
3 They got into a fight. Without a war, the Serb side took the
4 municipality, and then the fight broke out, that is to say the war broke
5 out. I don't think that the Assembly operated at all. They had a Crisis
6 Staff or a Presidency. I learned that later.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you've told us that Serb Assemblies had to
8 be formed in the municipalities. They were mainly, as you told us -- were
9 an instrument to express the views of Serbs on vital issues, vital to
10 them, not for any decision-making. Could you tell us: What happened
11 later with these Serb Assemblies? Did they ever in a later stage -- not
12 necessarily before the year 1992. Did they function? Did they finally
13 play a role as an Assembly or ...
14 A. You mean during the war? I did not quite understand,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, you said it was -- these Assemblies,
17 these Serb Assemblies, were formed. Of course we know about Crisis
18 Staffs, we know about war commissions or War Presidencies, but what
19 exactly happened with these Serb Assemblies? Did they ever function as an
20 Assembly at a later stage?
21 A. At a later stage in most municipalities, yes. Practically in all
22 by the end of 1992, the organs of government, if I can put it that way,
23 started to function, the executive councils, the Executive Boards of
24 municipalities that consisted of Serbs, of course for the most part,
25 during the war. So there weren't any commissions or commissioners, so
1 they did start functioning, yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And did at these later stages -- was an opportunity
3 given to be represented in those representative bodies as an Assembly to
4 Muslims and Croats who had remained on the territory of those
6 A. I cannot -- well, it would be dishonest of me to try to give a
7 quality answer now. I can give you my opinion, though. I know that we
8 would have been glad had the Muslims from those areas been in the
9 municipalities, and then we would have said: Well, we have mixed
10 municipalities and Assemblies, just like the Muslims did in Sarajevo with
11 just a couple of Serbs. But that simply didn't happen. Even those who
12 were in the Assembly left. So there was an absolute majority of Serbs,
13 although I know the policy was it would be a welcome thing if we were only
14 to look at politics -- of course we'd be happy if we had members of the
15 Municipal Assembly who were not Serbs. But the same goes for the other
16 side. But never mind about the other side; I'm talking about the Serb
17 side now.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Wasn't this a constitutionally guaranteed right
19 to be represented on the local level?
20 A. You are absolutely right. We had the most democratic of
21 constitutions. But there was a war and, quite simply, this was a utopia.
22 You could not carry it through. Well, after the war, yes, but not during
23 the war.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So the right to be represented in directly
25 elected representative bodies was a dead letter at that moment. Is that a
1 correct understanding?
2 A. Well, first of all, there were no elections during the course of
3 the war. There were only old Assemblymen from 1990. They were not in
4 parliament. For the most part, they didn't want to be there. They left
5 that parliament where Republika Srpska was, if I could put it that way.
6 However, they certainly would have been received had they been willing to
7 join the parliament, the municipal parliament, I mean. The republican
8 parliament, too, yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Was any, apart from that telephone call you just
10 referred to by Mr. Kupresanin, was any initiative taken to -- to make the
11 rights of Muslims and Croats any more than a -- as you just confirmed
12 this, of a dead letter.
13 A. Well, more was done to protect people along the lines of the
14 Geneva Conventions and so on and so forth. Really, as far as political
15 life is concerned there were Crisis Staffs or Presidencies or commissions.
16 So in that period when the Assemblies started to operate, that was already
17 the second half of 1992, perhaps even the fourth quarter of 1992. So -
18 how should I put this? - one could not talk about a productive product,
19 that you were involving Muslims in municipal government, although the door
20 was always open. People were, quite simply, leaving. Serbs were leaving
21 and, of course, Muslims and Croats, too.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You say: "More was done to protect people along the
23 lines of the Geneva Conventions and so on and so forth."
24 Is my recollection correct that war crimes against Serbs were
1 A. No, Mr. President, not investigated at all, although a commission
2 had been established. They should have been investigated, just like a
3 commission was established on the Muslim side for all, and as a matter of
4 fact papers were being collected and war was being waged. I don't know
5 whether the Serbs investigated anything against the Serbs -- I mean --
6 well, the central commission. I'm talking about the central commission,
7 but I don't know about what was done at municipal level. I do not recall
9 JUDGE ORIE: You said a commission had been established to
10 investigate although they didn't do it, to investigate war crimes
11 committed against Serbs. Was a similar -- were similar initiatives taken
12 in -- to investigate violations of the Geneva Conventions against
14 A. There was a standing order several times that if there were any
15 indications that things should be looked into and that the perpetrators
16 should be punished. I'm sure that this exists on paper, too, these
17 orders. Now, how that was actually carried out in practice, that I don't
18 know. That is a different matter.
19 This was an enormous burden, and also that was not one's goal, to
20 violate the Geneva Conventions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: What was exactly the enormous burden?
22 A. Well, if you have negotiations, and if somebody keeps accusing you
23 of something all the time. I'm talking apart from crimes. I mean, that's
24 not permissible, of course. Of course you do your best to investigate
25 that and to get that out of the way because, to put it mildly, this is not
1 in your political interests, it's not politically useful. How can that be
2 useful if somebody is killing, raping, looting, whatever? It is not in
3 the interests of normal politicians, especially if you want to resolve a
4 problem by political means. Why would you be under pressure all the time?
5 I don't know. Especially if this is being done by criminals who are
6 robbing Serbs and who are committing crimes against the Serbs, too? Why
7 would you protect criminals? You would not have a single reason to
8 protect criminals.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You were asked by Judge Canivell earlier on how
10 seriously you took the media reports on -- blaming the Serbs for
11 misbehaviour. And then you answered that by saying: Well, they would
12 come with a graveyard with crosses on it saying: Well, these are all the
13 Muslims that died. And of course Muslims have no crosses on their
14 graveyards, so it is -- that was more or less the answer you gave. Did
15 you also see information -- information which was not obviously and
16 immediately recognisable as total nonsense?
17 A. I mentioned an example of a lack of confidence in the
18 international media, so I referred to that.
19 This is what the measures were: We took a statement. The
20 minister of information took all the journalists who had written against
21 us before that. He took them out on a trip to show that this was not true
22 and he had a press conference in that same place, Prijedor. And his
23 impressions when he got back were quite different. Now, was he deceived?
24 How did this turn out to be so different? Well, journalists from all
25 media went there and he said: Write about everything that you've seen.
1 There's no censorship. What could I do? I could only believe or not
2 believe him. If I would not believe him, then I would have to go to check
3 things out and I would probably get the same information, although that
4 was not my job, it was his job.
5 Mr. Bozanic went, too, and that woman who was here, who was a
6 witness here, she took journalists, too. That is what could be done, to
7 see whether journalists were right in terms of what they were writing
8 about or was the situation different. That what I can -- well, I don't
9 know. What could I do? Would I have to turn into a traveller to follow
10 in the trails of a delegation to see whether everything was correct?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, among the adjudicated facts we have information
12 about serious malnutrition in some places of detention. Did you ever see
13 the television broadcast at that time, whether you saw it directly on
14 television or on any picture, of people that were visibly malnourished?
15 A. Mr. President, if you're referring to the example from Prijedor, I
16 ask you, please, there is this film here, I gave it to my Defence, where
17 the journalist states that all of that was stage-managed. Could the
18 Defence please find that cassette that I provided? So the journalist
19 himself says: This is how they stage-managed all of it. So then you
20 really have this dilemma as to what was correct out of all of this or not.
21 Please, I gave the Defence this cassette where the man says how all of
22 that was stage-managed.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it did occur to me to suggest when
24 Your Honour put the question, a need to be a bit more specific. I decided
25 to wait to see whether Mr. Krajisnik, well, picked up in a way that meant
1 that there wasn't any problem or uncertainty about what we're talking
2 about, but it's apparent that there might be. So I would invite
3 Your Honour to be a bit more specific than just refer to the telephone
5 JUDGE ORIE: It's there -- well, I would say it has become a
6 notorious picture of -- I've forgotten the name. I think it is in
7 evidence, the man who is behind the barbed wire.
8 MR. STEWART: I can picture it myself. Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
9 But Mr. Krajisnik responded by asking a question for confirmation of what
10 was being talked about.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I think we're talking about the same, but let's get
12 it confirmed. That's -- I've forgotten under what number it is in
13 evidence, but the one who is standing behind barbed wire. That -- it
14 seems that Mr. Krajisnik has the same. Yes.
15 Now, Mr. Krajisnik, apart from to what extent that is staged, was
16 the state of malnutrition staged as well in view of -- I mean, I was
17 talking not primarily about who was behind the barbed wire and who was,
18 but I'm mainly talking about the visible malnutrition of the person on the
19 picture, was that staged as well?
20 A. I didn't see that footage then. It was published later, and then
21 I got curious and wanted to know what it was about. I don't know why the
22 man looked like that. If he was thin, then obviously he didn't eat
23 enough. But really, at that time I didn't know anything about it.
24 Instead, I got a film in which it is explained that the man was not behind
25 the wire fence, he was outside the wire fence. I don't know what's true,
1 whether he was in prison and lost weight there or not, I don't know. But
2 I really did watch that film that was broadcast on television several
3 times later. But I didn't see it at the time, nor do I know why the man
4 appeared like that. It would be a good idea to show that film that I have
5 produced on a cassette. I don't know what's true.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm not primarily interested in to what extent
7 all the other parts were staged; I'm primarily interested in a state of
9 But let's move to another subject, Mr. Krajisnik.
10 A. Excuse me, Your Honour. Ten people around him look quite well
11 fed, and he is really thin, that's true. All the other people around him,
12 who are apparently in the same prison, look quite normal. So you have to
13 wonder why he is only one who is so thin. You will -- you can have a look
14 at that photo, and if you pay attention to the people standing next to him
15 they are all- how shall I say? - normal.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to move to the next subject which is, to
17 some extent, related to what we earlier discussed. That is the
18 functioning of the judiciary. To what extent were you involved in the
19 setting up or establishing the judiciary?
20 A. The minister of justice had a great difficulty assembling
21 personnel and filling in vacancies because there were few lawyers who were
22 qualified to be judges and that was discussed at cabinet meetings. And
23 then they would bring nominations to the Presidency to sign, and then
24 these nominations were forwarded to the Assembly. So you have a whole
25 set of appointments prior to the 11th of August signed by Karadzic that
1 were published in the Official Gazette directly, only for some
2 modifications to be later made by the Assembly because the MPs objected to
3 certain people. Karadzic signed appointments for a large number of Croats
4 and Muslims. And this met with resistance at the Assembly, so that
5 eventually some of those people were revoked from those positions,
6 including some Montenegrins even, because people at the local level
7 objected to some people being judges there. Even Karadzic said it was
8 very detrimental, very damaging, and Mr. Koljevic said the same. They
9 said something along the lines: How are we supposed to build a democratic
10 state if we act like this? You can read about this in one of the
11 transcripts. I, however, did not decide on a single appointment. This
12 was the proper procedure for appointments.
13 JUDGE ORIE: What happened to those who belonged to the judiciary
14 that was functioning before the war?
15 A. I really don't know. They must have remained, most of them, even
16 if some left. But I know that a -- they had a shortage of personnel
17 because there were not enough lawyers, not enough qualified judges. And
18 it was an even bigger problem when the Assembly refused to approve certain
19 appointments and there was no replacement available or when a judge left
20 of his own accord.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Did you raise your voice when the Assembly refused to
22 approve certain appointments?
23 A. Well, we did have a consultative meeting about these appointments
24 and we were quite satisfied, because you cannot come across as a
25 democratic state in the eyes of the international community if your own
1 people are against judges simply because they belong to a different ethnic
2 community. But the atmosphere was such that the MPs were convinced that
3 it was up to them to decide. So when it came to a vote, they got their
4 way. What I could do and what I did do as the speaker, I tried to
5 organise discussions in such a way as to protect these nominations because
6 it was politically wise and also fair in the humane sense. It was very
7 politically unhelpful, to say the least.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you point us to any of the stenographic notes
9 or the minutes of the Assembly meetings where we can find confirmation of
10 how you organised discussions in such a way as to protect these
12 A. Well, on the 11th of August there was a proposal for the MPs just
13 to confirm an appointment signed by Mr. Karadzic, including a large number
14 of Croats and Muslims. Prior to that, of course, I was in favour of
15 approving these nominations. And there were deliberations and debate, and
16 Karadzic himself defended his own proposal, Koljevic and others. You can
17 find it in the record. As soon as it was placed on the agenda of the
18 Assembly meeting, I took my position in favour of that proposal. 11th or
19 12th of August, one of those two days.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll check that overnight and see whether I can
21 find that in the ...
22 A. I could bring it tomorrow, if you like, and we could see exactly
23 who was appointed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At earlier occasions, were you aware of --
25 because I asked you before about -- about the fate of the judges that were
1 functioning before the war. Was that ever discussed? You said: I don't
2 know where they went, and you spoke then about new appointments.
3 A. Well, many of them were judges before. I really don't know what
4 posts they occupied before, but they must have passed the bar exam. I
5 don't know who served where, but I know about the Supreme Court.
6 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be a misunderstanding. I asked you
7 whether it was ever discussed what happened with the judges who served
8 before the war and may not have served anymore when the war had started.
9 A. No. That was within the province of the minister, and I didn't
10 get involved in that. I didn't find out why they did not occupy that
11 post. Nobody actually wanted to be a judge during the war because anybody
12 could take justice in their own hands at that time. They could barge into
13 your courtroom and tell you what to do. That was within the province of
14 the ministers I said. He is the one who formed the entire ministry.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I earlier asked you whether you raised your voice in
16 view of new nominations. Did you raise your voice when on the 25th of
17 July, 1992, Mr. Lukic, who was the Vlasenica deputy to the Bosnian Serb
18 Assembly, asked why we expelled all Muslim judges from Vlasenica,
19 Bratunac, and Zvornik. Did you then comment on this matter?
20 A. I don't know who Lukic from Vlasenica is. Maybe Dukic?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, I may have -- Rajko, yes, Rajko Lukic must be
22 Rajko Dukic, yes. On the first name I --
23 A. No, Mr. President. On the 25th of July I know that we were under
24 great pressure to go as soon as possible to the London Conference. I even
25 seem to recall that I didn't share all of that session, that Mr. Milanovic
1 took over because we had to leave to make it to the London Conference.
2 And that was our priority at that time. In that month, we went to London
3 twice. I don't remember what happened there, and I do not trust myself to
4 remember that now. There were all sorts of proposals and all sorts of
5 speeches. What I cared about were the conclusions. Everybody else had
6 the right to say whatever they pleased, and even if I objected it didn't
7 matter one bit. All I could do was try to use my influence to arrive at a
8 good decision at the end. If I objected, it could only lead discussion up
9 a wrong path.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. To go to more specific issue, also about the
11 functioning of the judiciary, we heard the evidence of Mr. Mandic, who
12 said he was very much in favour of the -- of the merging, I would say, of
13 the military judicial organs with the -- with the civilian judicial
14 organs. Do you remember that testimony?
15 A. I do.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And he told us that he discussed the matter with you.
17 Is that also what your recollection tells you?
18 A. I have shown here that I put it before the Assembly, the military
19 were against, and they took it off the agenda. However, it wasn't he who
20 talked -- he talked with the government and then he talked to me.
21 However, when the proposal from the government came, it was put before the
22 Assembly. He understood that that was needed; however, the Main Staff was
23 against and they managed to take it off the agenda. They did not accept
24 the joinder. Health services were supposed to be joined, but the MPs
25 rejected even that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said: They managed to get it off the
2 agenda. On the basis of what exactly did they manage to get it off the
3 agenda? I mean what was the competence of the military to remove items
4 from the agenda of the Assembly?
5 A. No, the military did not have that right, but the so-called party
6 concerned, the proponent was in this case the military prosecutor and they
7 are under the Main Staff. And they come to the session to defend their
8 position; the government defends its own position. They took opposite
9 views, and after discussion the solomonious solution was found --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Who proposed that?
11 A. Well, we arrived at it through debate. It was decided that was
12 the best thing to do. I can't tell you now who decided that, but that
13 solution was found to avoid making a decision then and there because the
14 Main Staff was absolutely against and the government was backing a
15 different proposal. Of course, it was possible to put it up for a vote,
16 in which case one party would be out-voted and that would not have been a
17 good thing.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I do understand that the government and the Main
19 Staff had a different position. Who decided to postpone the matter? I
20 mean, within whose competence was it to postpone the matter?
21 A. Well, the Assembly could agree with that or not. But the party's
22 views have to be harmonised. Everybody has to substantiate their
23 argument. We didn't want to play arbiters. We wanted them to bridge the
24 gap between their positions. We didn't want to root for any of the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, the "we" is not always clear to me,
2 who "we" exactly was. Was the postponement to delay any further
3 decision-making, was that put to a vote? If not, who then decided?
4 A. Well, Mr. President, if for instance you have a speaker chairing
5 the Assembly session and one party is making a proposal, whereas another
6 party is opposed. A debate follows. And if you are then placed in a
7 situation to put something up for a vote without any hearing of arguments,
8 then the only solution --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krajisnik, let me stop you at this moment. Let
10 me then perhaps ask it directly, because it seems that -- did you decide
11 that it would be postponed on the agenda? I mean, was it within the
12 competence of you -- your --
13 A. No, I have no such power, but I could only approve the
14 postponement. Of course I couldn't do it on my own, but I could
15 propose -- I could suggest that it should be postponed, yes. And however,
16 if the Assembly did not agree with that, my proposal would not pass.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was there a vote on it or was it just silent
18 decided -- you say: Let's postpone it and then without any further --
19 A. I would never have put it on the agenda in the first place had I
20 been against. Why would I have put it on the agenda then and then
21 postponed it?
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just trying to find out who took that decision to
23 postpone the matter. I now understand that it was you and you said -- let
24 me just --
25 A. I didn't take the decision.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. You say: Of course, I couldn't do
2 it on my own, but I could propose -- I could suggest that it should be
3 postponed. And that's what you did, that it should be postponed?
4 A. That's probably what I did.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 A. After a long debate in which various interests clashed.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did Mr. Mandic earlier or later address the
8 same matter to the Presidency?
9 A. I don't remember it. It was discussed by the government, by the
10 Assembly, but we couldn't arrive at an agreed position. But it was not
11 the problem that the prosecutor's office was separate from the judiciary.
12 They could well work as separate institutions. Why not?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Mandic also testified that he specifically
14 informed you about all matters in his knowledge, including irregularities
15 and inhumane treatment in detention facilities. Could you confirm this
16 or ...
17 A. No, that's not what he said. Later he said only as regards
18 Sarajevo. But when Mr. Stewart was questioning me, I only informed him
19 about Kula, because he wasn't aware of anything going on around Sarajevo.
20 I know exactly what he said. And I know that he didn't know much more
21 because otherwise he wouldn't have sent out that commission to
22 investigate. You can find it in the transcript. You'll see that what I'm
23 saying is right.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm looking at the clock, Mr. Krajisnik. Even
25 for me I have to obey the laws of the clock. I have violated them too
1 often. We'll adjourn for the day and we'll continue tomorrow at a quarter
2 past 2.00 in this same courtroom.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of
5 June, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.