1 Wednesday, 28 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.13 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 I'd like to turn into closed session or private session. Is there
10 anyone in the public gallery? Can't see, no. Then the effect is still
11 the same.
12 [Closed session]
11 Pages 26411-26416 redacted. Closed session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, may I first ask you to give your full
5 A. Bogdan Subotic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Subotic, you were born when exactly and
8 A. On the 25th of April, 1941, in Turjak, municipality of Gradiska,
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Subotic. Have you received a copy of
11 the statement that was compiled by the legal officer of the Chamber and
12 was translated into Serbo-Croatian and sent to your home on the 8th of
13 June of this year? Did you receive that copy?
14 A. I did receive it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you have an opportunity to read that statement.
16 A. I've read it.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Are there any corrections would you like to
18 make to the statement as it has been put on paper by a legal officer.
19 A. There is just a typo. I didn't have the opportunity of getting in
20 touch with Mr. Zahar. Not everything was recorded in the sequence of our
21 actual conversation. The beginning and the end of our conversation are
22 not recorded in this report and they are very important for me. Further
23 on, if this statement of mine is accessible to you and to the Defence and
24 to the Prosecution, I don't see how they will know what kind of questions
25 were put to me. In view of the practice I had earlier on, with the
1 investigations Chamber of The Hague Tribunal, things were done quite
2 differently. I would like to ask you something, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: If I may first give you some information.
4 A. All right.
5 JUDGE ORIE: This statement has been written down mainly for the
6 purpose of having the most important information you gave during the
7 interview on paper. The parties have also available the full transcript
8 of the interview, so therefore this is mainly made for evidentiary
9 purposes. And the parties have everything available to them. So
10 therefore I would agree with you that not everything you said is reflected
11 here, but everything you said is available to both the Prosecution and the
12 Defence and the Chamber has read it as well.
13 Therefore, I come back before I give you an opportunity to put a
14 question to me, apart from typos, as you said, is there anything in this
15 statement, apart from that it does not completely reflect the whole of the
16 interview, is there anything you'd like to correct, which is wrong in your
18 A. Mr. President, in conversation with Mr. Zahar, I did not have
19 access to my statements made in 1997 and 1998. I didn't actually have
20 them before me. Practically all questions pertained to those statements
21 of mine. So I do not guarantee that I had the opportunity of repeating
22 verbatim the statements I made and said in 1997 and 1998. That is why I
23 ask you kindly, and I suggest to you, that at the hearing today, and
24 during the following days, that when questions are put that are identical
25 to the ones from my interview with Zahar, that previously I hear the
1 answers I gave in 1997 and 1998. Could the transcript please be read out
2 to me in my own language? As for that interview, or, rather, the
3 statements I gave then, this was contemporaneous information. The events
4 had happened only recently just before that. They were well supported and
5 documented and there are several hundred of these documents that were
6 handed over to this Tribunal in The Hague. I personally took part in this
7 at the time, so I cannot guarantee that in this conversation with Zahar, I
8 repeated verbatim what I said then, and I absolutely and fully stand by
9 the statements I made then.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Subotic, when the comparison of the earlier
11 statements with the statement you gave just a couple of weeks ago raises
12 some questions, at least as far as the Chamber is concerned, we'll put to
13 you what your earlier statement said and what you said in your new
14 statement, and of course the Chamber is aware of the lapse of time between
15 the first statement you gave and the statement you gave in May 2006. So
16 that's well understood.
17 I come back -- I didn't hear you say that you'd like to make any
18 specific corrections to the statement as put on paper. And my next
19 question would be whether you'd like to add anything which you consider
20 important before formally adopting this statement as your statement.
21 A. I would just like to ask for a correction to be made or rather
22 there are two mistakes on page 5.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And that's page 5 in your language, I take it?
24 A. That's right.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you slowly tell us what is wrong in your
1 language so that the interpreters can tell us what -- what it is and that
2 we can check whether it's a mistake in B/C/S.
3 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I presume that Mr. Subotic's copy is
4 also identified with paragraph numbers. Perhaps he could identify in that
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Page 5. What paragraph?
7 A. Paragraph 17.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 A. Line 3 in paragraph 17. It says here that I was deputy president
10 of the municipality in Banja Luka as a Lieutenant. Not as a Lieutenant,
11 but as a Colonel.
12 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, in English, Mr. Subotic, it
13 reads, "as a Colonel." So then it needs correction only in the version in
14 your own language.
15 A. Very well. Very well.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's on the record. And the other correction you
17 would like to make?
18 A. In the last sentence in the same paragraph.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 A. It reads as follows, "In the former Yugoslavia, I was elected as
21 JNA representative from Banja Luka. I was elected as a member of the
22 municipal government." Not as a member of the municipal government but as
23 a councilman in the municipal government.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Do you mean municipal assembly or -- I don't know
25 what -- we always heard that an assembly is called a --
1 A. Well, you can look at it that way. I was just a councilman. That
2 is to say I was an elected official. It's not much of a post. It's not
3 much of an office. It's just a temporary office in the political
4 establishment. I was a member of the military. That was my profession.
5 Whereas this word "member" in my language means that one belongs only to a
6 particular sphere.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll correct that then as well.
8 Any other correction needed, Mr. Subotic?
9 A. In paragraph 23, page 7, may I?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 A. In the last sentence, it says - this has to do with
12 Mr. Krajisnik - "If he had any private connections, I don't know of that.
13 But he had no powers to issue any orders to anybody." And it is supposed
14 to say if he had any private connections, I don't know about that, but he
15 had no powers to issue any orders to anyone. No one was obliged to act
16 upon his orders. There is a difference between decision and order.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The word "order" is used in English so it seems
18 that for our understanding of your testimony, there is no need for
19 correction, but we'll need to have a look, in view of your comments to the
20 original, to the B/C/S translation, because the -- this statement was
21 drafted in English first and then translated into B/C/S.
22 I suggest to the parties that we'll invite Mr. Subotic to, once he
23 has -- I come to that at a later stage.
24 Mr. Subotic, you said these were the corrections you'd like to
25 make. We'll take care of that. Is there anything you would like to add
1 which you say this is very important? Of course, you couldn't add the
2 whole history of what happened at the time but if you say, "I should add
3 this because otherwise it gives a wrong impression of what I stated," then
4 please tell us.
5 A. Mr. President, right now I do not have the opportunity to think of
6 anything like that, but please, through your questions, if you feel that
7 it is necessary to add something or to further clarify or explain
8 something, please go ahead. I make myself available to you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll do that. I suggest to the parties the
10 following, that we invite Mr. Subotic to sign the statement and ask a
11 number to be -- exhibit number to be assigned to it, but to do that only
12 once the corrections have been made, especially in the B/C/S, because
13 there seems not to be a major problem as far as English is concerned. And
14 therefore to proceed on the basis of the confirmation Mr. Subotic has now
15 orally given. Is that an agreeable way of proceeding?
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour.
17 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, the small corrections will be made and
19 then the document will be given to you to be signed and will then become
20 part of the evidence. I'll not proceed because we are not going to ask
21 you to repeat everything you said. It's on paper. It will be in
22 evidence. We have additional questions but I'll first read for the public
23 a summary of your statement, which does not cover everything but which
24 gives at least to the public a fair impression of what is approximately
25 the content of your statement.
1 But before doing so, Mr. Registrar, could you please assign an
2 exhibit number?
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be C3, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: C3 will be the number.
5 Then a copy of the document, have you received already a copy of
6 the statement?
7 MR. HARMON: We have, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. JOSSE: Of course.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't think it's -- I don't know whether you
11 insist on having -- well, once it has become an exhibit, then of course
12 you'll get another copy, the new one, with mainly --
13 MR. JOSSE: Does Your Honour mean the summary?
14 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm talking about the statement.
15 MR. JOSSE: Oh, we -- no, we've got that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you've got that. No, you haven't got any of the
17 summary. The summary has been prepared. I'll read out the summary and as
18 always, the summary is not the evidence but is mainly to inform the
20 And the statement will then be admitted under Rule 89(F) once
22 I nevertheless proceed already with the summary of the witness
23 statement given the answers and the small corrections only the witness
24 insisted upon.
25 The summary of your statement, Mr. Subotic, before we put any
1 further questions to you is as follows.
2 In 1992, you were a deputy commander of the military school of
3 tank units in Banja Luka. Professor Koljevic came to Banja Luka to ask
4 you to serve as Minister of Defence. You went to Pale on the 8th of April
5 1992 to establish the Ministry of Defence. You remained the Minister of
6 Defence for about a year.
7 The first step you took as Minister of Defence was to draft the
8 law on Defence and the army. The role of the Minister of Defence was
9 mainly political. His duties were strictly limited. The Ministry of
10 Defence was not in the chain of command of the military so the Minister of
11 Defence did not make any decisions relating to command in the army.
12 You did not receive any combat reports. The army was not obliged
13 to provide any such reports to you.
14 You stated that in the period, the 8th of April 1992 to the 12th
15 of May 1992, the Bosnian Serb armed forces were not properly organised.
16 There was no Supreme Command. The units were self-organised. In the
17 following period, namely from the 12th of May 1992 to the end of 1992, you
18 reported only to the government and to the Supreme Commander, that is the
19 president of the republic.
20 You stated that the Bosnian Serbs had no plan prior to the
21 conflict to seize territories. You said that there was a lot of justified
22 fear in the Bosnian Serb population and that the efforts of the Serbs were
23 directed at preserving Yugoslavia. You had a good relationship with
24 Mr. Krajisnik. You stated that there was no crossover of your powers and
25 that Mr. Krajisnik's duties were strictly defined. He appeared at various
1 meetings in his capacity as president of the assembly.
2 Mr. Krajisnik had no powers to issue any orders whatsoever. He
3 simply chaired the meetings of the assembly and he signed the enactments
4 it passed.
5 As Minister of Defence, you disagreed with the way General Mladic
6 conducted military affairs, which led you to offer your resignation to the
7 Bosnian Serb Assembly in August 1992. The problem with Mladic, according
8 to you, was that he acted as commander of the Main Staff. You warned the
9 assembly you could not work under two commanders at the same time, namely
10 Mladic and Dr. Karadzic.
11 You describe Mladic as pig-headed, stubborn, obsessed with
12 himself, and not caring much about other people's opinions.
13 Intellectually you felt closest to Prime Minister Djeric, Foreign Affairs
14 Minister Buha, and President Karadzic.
15 On the proliferation of arms you stated that about one-third of
16 the material at the Banja Luka school, of which you had been the
17 commander, ended up in the hands of the ARK administration in Banja Luka
18 and was used locally by the Serbs in Banja Luka.
19 You stated that the power to issue decisions rested with the
20 Supreme Commander, which was the president of the republic, but he made
21 decisions after consultation with members of the Supreme Command.
22 Mr. Krajisnik was involved in military strategy only in his
23 capacity as member of the Supreme Command.
24 As for strategic operations, they were prepared by the Main Staff.
25 Mladic was in charge of them. He submitted them to the Supreme Command
1 for information.
2 You also stated that the regions which formed in Republika Srpska
3 had no military powers as of the 12th of May 1992. As for the month
4 before that, they relied on Territorial Defence units, but during that
5 period there were no major military operations.
6 You stated that Vojin Vuckovic, leader of the Yellow Wasps,
7 paramilitary group, visited you in Pale in the second half of July 1992.
8 You had by that point drafted a presidential order to the effect that as
9 of the 12th of May, all armed units were to be placed under the command of
10 the army of Republika Srpska. You explained to Vuckovic that paramilitary
11 units would not be allowed to exist.
12 In your statement, you deny having direct knowledge of any illegal
13 camps in Republika Srpska. You had heard from the media about Manjaca and
14 Omarska camps but you also believed that some of that information was
15 fabricated. The President of Republika Srpska issued an order to have the
16 claims about these camps checked.
17 You stated that you were not aware of any attack by Bosnian Serb
18 forces on the village of Glogova on the 9th of May 1992, nor did you know
19 of the alleged indiscriminate shelling of Sarajevo between the 15th and
20 the 20th of June 1992. If Radovan Karadzic had issued an order to shell
21 Sarajevo, you would have known about it, you stated.
22 You also had not heard about the Japra Valley operations in late
23 May 1992, during which about 4.000 persons from Muslim settlements were
24 allegedly relocated to the village of Blagaj Japra by Serb forces. If
25 there was such an operation, you stated, there could have been absolutely
1 no connection between it and the civilian authorities in Pale.
2 One incident you had heard about involved the mass killing of
3 Muslim detainees at Koricanske Stijene. You stated that Dr. Karadzic
4 received a report on this incident from the Banja Luka MUP. He convened
5 an ad hoc session of the Presidency. You were ordered to go to Banja Luka
6 to make inquiries and report back, which you did.
7 This, Mr. Subotic, concludes my summary of your statement.
8 The Judges have a few supplementary questions for you. So
9 therefore I'd like to put those questions to you.
10 I'd first like to direct you to paragraph 24 of your statement.
11 Have you got the statement in front of you?
12 A. I do.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You talk in paragraph 24 of your statement about the
14 Bosnian Serb Assembly session of the 12th of August 1992. For the parties
15 this is P583, tab 87.
16 The transcript will be handed to you by Madam Usher, and I'd like
17 you to read -- I'd like to read to you a passage from that transcript and
18 ask you to comment. I start reading at the bottom of page 57 in English.
19 And that would be in B/C/S, Mr. Subotic, part of the speech you
20 delivered, which starts on page 54 in the B/C/S and then it's
21 approximately one page further down. I'll read a portion of you speaking.
22 You said, "Firstly, let me tell you this. Nobody informs me about
23 anything relating to things that are going on in the army." Mr. Subotic,
24 have you found the portion I'm reading at this moment?
25 A. Yes, I found it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: "Secondly," and I continue quoting you, "Secondly, I
2 do not take part in any decision-making regarding the use of the army of
3 the Serbian Republic. I cannot issue any orders to the SR army. I'm not
4 in a position to fulfil my basic duties towards the government, which
5 requests that I provide information daily as well as suggestions and so
6 forth. As Defence Minister, I've not been involved in any negotiations on
7 behalf of the Serbian Republic government regarding either military or any
8 other issues. I've never been consulted regarding that. All my
9 appearances before the public as Defence Minister were based on my
10 personal feelings and on what I had found out personally. I had no
11 official support in that."
12 And then in the next paragraph, I continue quoting you, "With the
13 army Main Staff, I had little or no contact at all. As Defence Minister,
14 I've never spoken to the commander of the Main Staff. Very rarely did I
15 have contact with other members of the command, and only when it was
16 necessary from their side. It was not even possible for me to get in
17 touch with them until a month ago."
18 A bit further down in this speech you delivered, you say that you
19 replied to General MacKenzie that you were in the field most of time and
20 then you say and I quote you again, "Let me tell you that I toured all the
21 front lines of the Serbian Republic on my own initiative, unannounced,
22 without escort, without reception."
23 My first question to you is the following, Mr. Subotic. Could you
24 tell us how many staff were employed at the Ministry of Defence in August
1 A. I don't remember exactly, but it was a relatively small number,
2 around 30, I believe. At the ministry itself. At the offices of the
3 ministry, because there were local organisation military departments,
4 military districts, scattered all over the republic as branches of the
5 ministry, in the field.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us was it divided in sections
7 these approximately 30 people? And could you tell us what sections there
8 were in the ministry?
9 A. I had a deputy. I had a section for logistics or, as we call it,
10 rear support. I had a section for finance, a legal section, a section for
11 mobilisation, and personnel.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Were they staffed equally or were there great
13 differences? Section on logistics, do you remember approximately how many
14 people were employed there?
15 A. Five or six people.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. For finance? Similar or different?
17 A. Finance, three or four people.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Legal section?
19 A. Another three or four people, I believe.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mobilisation?
21 A. That section had a little more staff, around ten, I believe.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And finally, personnel?
23 A. Up to five people.
24 JUDGE ORIE: In your speech, which I quoted from before, you said
25 that you obtained your information personally, without official support.
1 What type of information are you referring to?
2 A. Information related to the army and the leading of certain
4 JUDGE ORIE: And how did you go about to obtain this information?
5 A. Well, it was obtained mainly from reports received by the Supreme
6 Commander, that is the president of the republic, and parts of those
7 reports and requirements expressed in them were forwarded to the ministry
8 in the form of requests to deal with certain issues, or if the army was
9 making certain requirements of the government concerning supply, to meet
10 the needs of the war, then the Prime Minister would give me that for my
11 review, or I would get information from parties, individuals, who would
12 address me individually in passing.
13 JUDGE ORIE: This sounds a bit different from the beginning of
14 your statement, where you said, "Let me tell you this. Nobody informs me
15 about anything relating to things that are going on in the army." Whereas
16 from your answer, I now hear that you obtained your knowledge, you
17 obtained your information, mainly from reports received by the Supreme
18 Commander, the president of the republic, and that parts of those reports
19 were forwarded to the ministry.
20 Could you explain where you said that --
21 A. That relates only to the statements that had to do with the
22 Ministry of Defence, logistics, mobilisation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So I do then understand that you say the
24 information you gathered yourself was information not about logistics but
25 about operational issues.
1 A. No. For instance, when I had occasion to make some tours to see
2 how people lived, what kind of food is available, but without the
3 commander of the Main Staff, I did not even have permission to tour
4 certain positions where units, combat units, were positioned.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You earlier, when I asked you about what kind of
6 information you were referring to, you said information related to the
7 army and the leading of certain operations, which I understood to be at
8 least information about operations.
9 A. Only in terms of supply and in terms of logistics.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You said you didn't even have permission to tour
11 certain positions where units were positioned.
12 A. Correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: In your speech at the assembly meeting, you said you
14 had never spoken to the commander of the Main Staff and that you very
15 rarely had contact with other members of the command, but also that you
16 toured all the front lines of the Serbian Republic. I'm trying to -- I'm
17 seeking clarification on the issue of you touring the front lines where
18 you said you were not even allowed to go some places and needing
19 permission of military commanders who you hardly had any contact with.
20 Could you clarify on this point your answers, both as we find it in the
21 statement and -- in your -- in the speech, observations you made there,
22 and the answers you just gave to my questions?
23 A. Well, you see, Your Honour, I was a general, and Minister of
24 Defence. Often times, I wore a uniform and I put on my uniform only when
25 I appeared in the vicinity of military units or when I toured. It was
1 only natural for me to make appearances because I was their Minister of
2 Defence at various ceremonies, taking of oath. It was ex officio, under
3 the legislation, my duty to appear there. So I would go occasionally to
4 make such an appearance. It was my moral duty to go there to see how
5 people -- how personnel is supplied, how well they are supplied, whether
6 our shipments are reaching them. But I did not have occasion, and I did
7 not have the right, to visit the units that were involved in skirmishes
8 and battles.
9 The rule is that nobody can visit the front lines where battles go
10 on without special permission, special escort, et cetera. So I went to
11 visit only certain defence lines where personnel was positioned for a long
12 time, in bunkers, et cetera. Those were the tours I made, and perhaps I
13 also visited commands of certain units that were not directly in combat
14 positions, but somewhere in reserve so I was never anywhere close to the
15 range of fire, so to say. It's not necessarily what I would have
16 preferred, but that's the way it was, and one of the reasons why I
17 eventually resigned was this.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us one or two examples of a place
19 where you went and where you at such occasions went to the troops,
20 although not that close that you went to combat positions? Could you give
21 us one or two examples, without giving a full description of the whole
22 tour, but --
23 A. Well, I'll try. I have a very vivid memory of my tour of the
24 units in Majevica, on the Gradacac line, going to some other places,
25 Gradacac, Pelagicevo for instance, that's Mount Majevica. The units
1 positioned there were not involved in combat at the time I visited. They
2 were in a state of anticipation, expectation. I found them in trenches.
3 I saw what kind of supplies they had, how they were dressed, how they were
4 fed. I talked to soldiers and I remember I was surprised, it was a
5 typical case, I was surprised to see a significant number of Muslim
6 soldiers in the Serb army in those trenches and I talked to them.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us when you went there and in what
8 municipality could I locate Mount Majevica?
9 A. Bijeljina.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Bijeljina. And when approximately did you go
12 A. In August, approximately. It was a summer month, but I am not
13 sure. It could even have been the beginning of September, but it was
14 warm, relatively warm.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In your speech, you also said that -- the
16 speech I quoted from -- that it was only in July 1992 that you were able
17 to have contact with members of the army command. What made such contact
18 possible suddenly in July?
19 A. Well, it was probably the result of my complaint submitted to the
20 Prime Minister, because I have already mentioned that the Prime Minister
21 wanted me to make certain proposals and it was probably the case that at
22 one of the preliminary sessions I was forced to answer I cannot say
23 anything because I am not familiar with the situation and I suppose that
24 after that he talked to somebody in the Main Staff. At any rate, he told
25 me, "Go there, evaluate the situation." So there were no obstacles and no
1 delays then. I toured one unit on the bank of the Sava River between Brod
2 and Svilaj because those units were holding positions on that side of the
3 river, the Serb side. That's the right bank of the Sava River. And I
4 toured a rather large area in that region, where two brigades were
5 positioned, holding that line on the right bank of the Sava River.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you be a bit more precise? What region that
8 A. Well, that was precisely speaking between Orasje, up to Brod,
9 approximately. It's a line perhaps 30 kilometres long.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I found that in the northwestern part, near to
11 the Croatian border. Is that approximately the --
12 A. The Sava River was our border with Croatia, so on this side, the
13 Bosnian side, units of the Banja Luka Corps were stationed.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would have a question for you.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, while we are talking about
16 this subject, and to follow the same line of questioning asked of you by
17 the Presiding Judge, you said, "[In English] I did not have permission to
18 tour certain combat units where units were positioned." [Interpretation]
19 And you've also added, "[In English] I had no right to visit the units
20 that were involved." [Interpretation] Isn't that what you said, sir?
21 A. Right. That's what I said.
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] My first question is as follows,
23 therefore: Where was it written that you did not have the right to go and
24 visit the units that were involved in the combat? Was there a provision,
25 a formal provision, which prohibited you from going there?
1 A. No. There was no formal regulation but if I appeared at the
2 boundary of that region, such a region, I would be stopped by a military
3 police unit or some other unit and cautioned me that according to the
4 orders of the Main Staff, all entry into that region, into that zone, was
5 prohibited to everyone, and if I said that I was Minister of Defence and
6 that I should be able to visit, they would reply that they had explicit
7 orders and they cannot let me in. So I gave up at that point because I
8 did not want to put that soldier in a position where he would have to
9 answer for disobeying orders, and I would then accordingly report to the
10 Prime Minister.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So, in some cases you went to
12 areas where there was combat and you were refused entry; is that correct?
13 A. I did try. I did try. But I was not able to pass. And in those
14 areas where there was no combat, where units were only deployed, there was
15 no such prohibition. So I managed, in several locations, to tour such
16 units because nobody stopped me.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So how many times did you try?
18 How many times did it happen? How many times were you there and you
19 got -- you were stopped and not allowed to enter a combat zone?
20 A. Well, I'm not sure any more I can give you the exact number but I
21 believe I was stopped and not allowed entry at least ten times, and I
22 regularly reported that to the Prime Minister, who then reported to the
23 president of the republic.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Did it ever happen that you asked
25 authorisation from the commander or from the -- from the Main Staff, to
1 allow you to go where the combat areas were situated? You had the
2 legitimate right as Minister of a war to go and see what was going on.
3 You could have asked for an authorisation, couldn't you have?
4 A. My sense of honour did not allow me to submit to such
5 humiliation. As a Minister of Defence I was not supposed to ask the
6 commander of the Main Staff for anything. I had contacts with the Prime
7 Minister and the president of the republic, and I could not allow that man
8 to manipulate me as he pleases. Whenever I presented that issue, whenever
9 I raised that issue at sessions, however, one of such sessions was
10 attended by General Mladic, he told me, "You, Minister, take care of
11 ammunition, blankets, and food. Don't concern yourself with operations.
12 That's not your business." And that's when I decided to resign.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us how you -- when you were touring,
15 how did you travel?
16 A. I travelled with a jeep, with this one man in the jeep, a driver.
17 I had no escorts, no security men, nothing.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did you use a helicopter?
19 A. No, no, no. That was not made available to me.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, it's time for a break. I'll move to
21 another subject after the break. We'll have a break of approximately 25
22 minutes, and it may be that during the break already the new version of
23 your statement with the small corrections is ready for signature. We'll
24 see that after the break.
25 We will adjourn until 11.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, the corrected statement has been
4 prepared. I'd like to invite you not necessarily to do this right away
5 but to sign the cover page in B/C/S and to initial all the following pages
6 at the bottom and then give it back to us, perhaps after the next break.
7 I take it doesn't make that much sense to ask Mr. Subotic to sign or to
8 initial the English version because I take it that he would not be able to
9 read it, at least it's not the statement as he -- he didn't give the
10 statement in that language. Then we will ask the interpreter and
11 Mr. Zahar, the assistant to Mr. Zahar, to sign the English versions and
12 then it's in evidence as C3.
13 Mr. Subotic, I'd like to continue with the questions. Let me find
14 it. Yes.
15 The speaker that came after you, Mr. Subotic, on this 12th of
16 August assembly session was Dr. Karadzic, and then after Dr. Karadzic, it
17 was a certain Mr. Bijelic that spoke. You'll find that on page 61 of the
18 English. First of all, could you tell us who was or is Mr. Bijelic?
19 A. Well, right now I cannot say for sure. I can't remember. As far
20 as I can remember, it was an MP. But I don't remember his name. I know
21 his face, not a very tall man. Believe me, I don't know. I don't know
22 what municipality he was from, from which municipality he came as a
23 deputy, and was it from Krajina itself, Dubica, something like that, but
24 believe me --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'll read to you part of the speech Mr. Bijelic
1 gave. He said, "Many things are not good in the army. This was my
2 experience. I was hoping that we would be talking about this issue today
3 and I thought this was a result of that. Many armies are going across our
4 battlefields and our Serbian Republic, and I don't know whom they belong
5 to. They are fighting their private wars and we don't know whom they are
6 doing it for. I thought Mr. Subotic would say something about this. This
7 could be very important reasons, in my opinion, about which we need to
8 talk today. I know how the army was created. However, at this moment,
9 when we have the army, when we have the War Presidency, my question is,
10 who needs paramilitaries? Whose are those paramilitaries? Whose war are
11 they fighting and who for? I want to hear more about this and I would ask
12 Mr. Subotic to say something about this."
13 Now, Mr. Subotic, as it happened, you did not get a chance to give
14 an answer to Mr. Bijelic because the discussion in the assembly moved on
15 to other matters. But those questions put by Mr. Bijelic, how would you
16 have answered them if you have had a chance?
17 A. Well, more or less along these lines: We established the army on
18 the 12th of May. Actually, the decision was passed on that day, but the
19 army itself was established formally only around the 20th, or to be quite
20 frank, only towards the end of 1992, because we were not in a position to
21 bring all of this in order within a week or a month. You know already
22 from my statements that the legal regulations governing the army were all
23 written very precisely and on time. They were all actually ready on that
24 day when the army was supposed to be established. I can claim with full
25 responsibility that these regulations reached all units, all military
1 formations, that is. I can say that with certainty because that was
2 verified through a certain administrative system, through command and so
3 on. However, I cannot guarantee that all of that was carried through on
4 time. You see, Mr. Bijelic was actually right in saying what he said at
5 that point in time, when this assembly was held. That was right after the
6 establishment of the army so the period of time involved was very short.
7 Not all units had been placed under the control of the JNA. Oh, I beg
8 your pardon, not the JNA but the army of Republika Srpska. However, with
9 a certain degree of certainty, I can claim that by the end of 1992, the
10 system was established, say, up to a degree of 90 per cent, as far as
11 subordination is concerned and so on. There were perhaps some exceptions,
12 but generally speaking, in a war situation, exceptions are not rare.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You are talking about units. You said not all
14 units had been placed under the control of -- and then you corrected, the
15 army of Republika Srpska. What kind of units do you have in mind, if you
16 say this?
17 A. Well, you see, I explained it in my statement. If you read my
18 statement, and I suppose you did, that before the official establishment
19 of the army, these were groups or let's call them units, platoons, small
20 units, of the Territorial Defence in various towns, municipalities, local
21 communities. Throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only in Republika Srpska.
22 You know that the Territorial Defence existed in Yugoslavia as a system.
23 There was a law on Territorial Defence or, rather, on All People's Defence
24 and Territorial Defence and civil defence or rather social
25 self-protection, I beg your pardon. All of that was regulated by law. So
1 these were practically formations of the republics and the municipalities
2 but they were not subordinated to the Yugoslav People's Army. That is to
3 say that in this kind of organisation, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina broke
4 out. Of course, the Muslim units were established in their own areas,
5 their own groups were established there, and the Serb units in their
6 territories and so on. When I said units I was referring actually to
7 these groups that had been established outside the system of the army.
8 That is to say before the army had been already -- had been officially
9 established. That is what was meant, not brigades, battalions or any such
10 thing. Quite simply, formations in towns that were established.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You specifically mentioned Territorial Defence
12 units. Would you include police units as well?
13 A. Well, yes, I would include police units, because police units were
14 local units, too. And they were local in the political communities, that
15 is to say in the municipalities and the republics and so on. In the law
16 on all National Defence, it was stated that in a case of war, all armed
17 groups should be involved in a formation, that is to say that they should
18 be placed under the command of the army. Up until then they tried to make
20 JUDGE ORIE: And when you said that these units had not yet been
21 subordinated, would you also include paramilitary units?
22 A. Absolutely.
23 JUDGE ORIE: So where Mr. Bijelic was talking about the existence
24 of multiple, roaming armies fighting private wars, you said he basically
25 was right, is that correctly understood?
1 A. Well, he was basically right. Perhaps not in each and every
2 detail. You see, that is the way he felt. That is the way he experienced
3 things. For instance we have those yellow wasps there and whatever else.
4 They cannot be considered units. These were groups consisting of five to
5 ten men that did something on the basis of, well, I've already spoken
6 about that and when this person came to see me -- well, any way, this is
7 what Mr. Bijelic thought. One cannot say that this was a mass
8 phenomenon. Perhaps, as he travelled through the republic he came across
9 these small groups which were perhaps not even fully in uniform, and then
10 perhaps he saw something in their conduct and so on, but all orders had
11 been issued, everything had been regulated very precisely. No doubt about
12 that. I know about that because I personally worked on this. There was
13 control, but, gentlemen, this was a very short period of time. I don't
14 want to shift the blame to anyone else now, but all of us who were in
15 charge were responsible for this. But it was a war. I hope that you know
16 a lot about this war and all wars. Even today the most powerful world
17 organisations and the greatest powers of the world are not in a position
18 to control certain organisations. So we didn't manage to do that either
19 over a short span of time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Where you said, "all of us who were in charge
21 were responsible for this," what did you exactly mean with "this"?
22 A. Well, that period of time, during which these groups had to be
23 squeezed in, in order to be under the command of the army. That's what I
24 meant. Because you know, for example, in those days, there were even
25 certain arrests of some of these groups, say those yellow wasps and they
1 had some other kind of names that they gave themselves, so the president
2 of the state, the Commander-in-Chief, issued an order, I know that you
3 have that, I personally took part in the handing over of this
4 documentation, and in this order the MUP, the Serb MUP, was ordered to
5 arrest all armed persons who did not have military documents, to disarm
6 them, arrest them, and for them to be treated accordingly, to be placed
7 under the jurisdiction of the military and so on. I cannot guarantee that
8 this was done precisely, expeditiously. I think that this is what Mr.
9 Bijelic was alluding to when he took part in the discussion. That's why
10 I'm saying that he's right; if he saw that, then it was correct. I am not
11 doubting what he said in any way. I have no doubts. Perhaps he did
12 indeed see a group.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You said, "By the end of 1992, we achieved
14 approximately 90 per cent of that goal to have all units subordinated."
15 Could you tell us by August, at the time of this assembly session, how far
16 had you -- what progress was made? Could you give us a percentage,
17 approximately of we then did 50 or 70 or whatever?
18 A. Well, I think objectively speaking, that it should be about 70 per
19 cent. I can tell you one thing, that after this assembly, it was taken a
20 lot more seriously, because this was, well, a slap in the face, if I can
21 put it that way. My resignation and everything else. And this affected
22 the situation and improvements were made a lot faster.
23 JUDGE ORIE: When you were touring, did you observe it with your
24 own eyes as well, what Mr. Bijelic describes?
25 A. No. To tell you the truth, in three or four cases, I had occasion
1 to familiarise myself with the existence of three or four groups, like for
2 example the white wasps and also in Sarajevo there was this other group.
3 I don't know what its name was. About ten or so men. I was personally
4 tasked with this, to go there and to get things in order and indeed I went
5 there, talked to them, and this was all regulated within a single day. As
6 for the Sava and other areas that I toured, I did not come across any such
7 cases. In Bijeljina, there weren't any either.
8 JUDGE ORIE: In paragraph 24 of your statement, you say, and I
9 quote, "I disagreed with the way General Mladic conducted the affairs and
10 commanded over the army. So as a professional I did not want to carry on
11 that way and I submitted my resignation." Could you give us some more
12 detail about your disagreement with General Mladic's conduct of military
14 A. Well, I presented some characteristics of General Mladic here.
15 For example, I'll give you this one particular example, it so happened
16 that it happened on this very day, Vidovdan, Saint Vitus Day. That is the
17 patron saint's day of the army of Republika Srpska. I hope that you're
18 aware of its historical significance. That's when the battle of Kosovo
19 started. When the first Saint Vitus Day of Republika Srpska was
20 commemorated, it's a patron saint's day. Well, it wasn't that there was a
21 large scale war going on yet at that time, so we had this celebration at
22 Sokolac, military celebration, an official state organisation. General
23 Mladic reviewed the troops, as he commanded the army, and I was also asked
24 to review the troops together with him but I was not invited to stand on
25 the stage with him.
1 Look, I am not a person who enjoys this kind of glory. I would
2 never want to be a commander of an army because in my heart of hearts I'm
3 an anti-militarist person although I was a military man all my life. He
4 did not offend me in this way but he offended the army and all of those
5 present because I know who General Mladic is. He's a robust personality.
6 He's a man who thinks that he's the only one who is smart, that he's the
7 only one who knows things and that the rest of us are just riff-raff.
8 That's the way he behaved. I knew that he and I were not on the same
9 line. He was afraid of me because I looked at the truth and I indicated
10 to the state leadership what his wrong conclusions were, what his
11 arrogance was like and so on and so forth. So there are other things as
12 well. But believe me, I tried to evade a conflict.
13 As you saw, at this assembly, I did not say anything bad about
14 General Mladic. I said a few concrete facts, quite frankly, but I did not
15 want to be the person that would lead to discord. Who am I to lead to
16 discord within a nation? I believed in God and I still believe in God. I
17 have a different view of the world. I have a different view of life than
18 Mladic does. So we were ideological opponents.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just -- you said, "He was afraid of me
20 because I looked at the truth and I indicated to the state leadership what
21 his wrong conclusions were."
22 Let me first ask you, when you are referring to the state
23 leadership, who do you have in mind?
24 A. Well, I had in mind those who were in contact with me while I was
25 minister in the government and later President Karadzic when I was his
1 adviser. I've already said here in my statement - perhaps you noticed
2 that? - the army of Republika Srpska had regulations that it could rely
3 upon in conducting a war. It was the rule of regiment, brigade, division,
4 which was the basis of the Yugoslav People's Army, and all of us officers
5 were trained along those lines.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to have a more precise answer. You said all
7 those -- those who were in contact with me while I was a minister in the
8 government. I would like to focus on that period of time. Who were in
9 contact with you that you considered to be persons, and just mention them
10 by name, or by category, that you thought belonged to the state
12 A. Well, you see, as far as the army is concerned, and that specific
13 question about my relationship with Mladic, well, specifically with regard
14 to that particular question, I had the opportunity of having contacts with
15 the Prime Minister of indicating certain things to him, certain
16 disagreements, and the Supreme Commander, Mr. Karadzic. I didn't go
17 beyond that circle, as far as those questions were concerned. As regards
18 other questions, logistics and so on, that did not have to do with command
19 and control, I had contacts with other members of the government as well.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the wrong conclusions, what did you
21 consider to be wrong conclusions?
22 A. In what context? I don't understand.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You said earlier that Mr. Mladic was afraid of you
24 because you would indicate to the state leadership his wrong conclusions.
25 A. Yes, yes, yes. Yes, I understand. I understand. I forgot about
1 that. Well, you know what, I mean, the state leadership, as far as I
2 knew, the entire state leadership, tried, in every conceivable way, to
3 reach a peace agreement, to have cooperation with UNPROFOR, with
4 international representatives who were in Bosnia at that time and so on
5 and so forth. The army always had a different attitude. In one
6 statement, as far as I can remember, in 1992, you know, every soldier is
7 taught that he should advantage wish his enemy in any school, in any
8 country in the world that's the way things are so if a soldier views these
9 things in an orthodox fashion it's the only thing he does. The army and
10 General Mladic himself had views that were different from those of the
11 president of the state, the government and so on. Even the deputies in
12 the assembly. He wanted to accomplish his objective and his task.
13 However, logically, the situation that we were in at that time could not
14 allow that kind of thing to happen. And he always had this very Orthodox
15 view of his objective, that he had to defeat his enemy, force him to
16 capitulate and so on. Do you see what I'm saying? I viewed this as a
17 political personage. I quite understand that there aren't any victors in
18 any war. I always understood that. That is why -- well, that's what I
19 meant when I said "his wrong conclusions."
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So if I understand you well, you said
21 Mr. Mladic was going for the military victory, whereas the state
22 leadership wanted to achieve results through negotiations. Is that a
23 correct understanding?
24 A. Correct. Absolutely. That's how I saw everything that was going
25 on around me.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And did you tell the state leadership that this was a
2 wrong conclusion?
3 A. Of course I did. Of course, I did. And they understood. For
4 instance, President Koljevic was our contact person with the UNPROFOR
5 because he had excellent English, and he was in charge of those contacts,
6 and he was always the one who talked to those agencies and he always had
7 to overcome certain resistance from the army, although I have to say that
8 in certain situations, when international representatives were biased in
9 favour of the other side, the army was sometimes right. General Mladic
10 was sometimes right. Let's take, for example, the Mount Igman case.
11 There is no dilemma in my mind about that. I'm telling you as a
12 professional soldier, that operation was stopped only because Serbs had an
13 advantage. Lord Owen did that and convinced the leadership, and Muslims
14 wreaked havoc after that operation. They brought in the mujahedin and
15 many other things, and that step led to many mistakes in the future.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us, if you know, who took that
17 decision on Mount Igman?
18 A. Which decision, to stop the operation led by Mladic?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Who stopped the operation?
20 A. Karadzic made that decision. And that's when they quarrelled,
21 Mladic and Karadzic.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know whether Karadzic took that decision just
23 on his own or whether he discussed the matter with others? Are you aware
24 of the genesis of this decision?
25 A. I don't remember. There was a session of the Supreme Command to
1 discuss that issue because the decision was made very quickly, I think.
2 He made that decision exclusively under the pressure of Lord Owen or maybe
3 some false promises that the latter made. But I'm telling you as a
4 soldier, that decision, and I stand by what I'm saying, if that decision
5 had not been made, Serbs would have taken Sarajevo. The citizens of
6 Sarajevo publicly demanded from Mladic to allow them to leave the city.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You just mentioned the Supreme Command. I would like
8 to draw your attention to the paragraph 30 and 31 of your statement
9 because there, you mentioned Supreme Command which you say was an advisory
10 body to the president of the republic.
11 First of all, could you tell us when exactly the Supreme Command
12 began to function? Have you found it?
13 A. Just give me a second. I think I noted it down somewhere.
14 I think it's somewhere in my first statement.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 A. If somebody could look through the statement, because I cannot
17 read English.
18 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, I'll read to you what is said
19 there at a later moment. But my first question, since you mentioned that
20 in your earlier statement, is when -- do you know when the Supreme
21 Command began to function? I'll put to you later the details of the --
22 could you please first focus on my question? I'll take you to the
23 relevant text, Mr. Subotic, later.
24 A. Well, I don't remember now how many months it took. I think it
25 was towards the end of 2002. Sorry, 1992. I know it wasn't right after
1 the army was established. It could have been even in early 1993. Several
2 months later. It wasn't straight away.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, as I said, I will take you to the
4 relevant portion of your earlier statement. One second, please. Yes. I
5 would like to take you first to your recent statement to paragraph 31. In
6 paragraph 31 of your statement, you say that Mr. Krajisnik was involved in
7 military strategy only in his capacity as member of the Supreme Command.
8 But you also said that the Supreme Command seems not to have been
9 established right after the formation of the army or at least about the
10 establishment of the army, and this Chamber has received evidence that it
11 was not established until the 30th of November 1992. Do you know whether
12 Mr. Krajisnik had any involvement in military strategy prior to the date
13 where the Supreme Command was established, so that is up to the end of
14 November 1992?
15 A. I'm not aware that he was involved in anything like that, because
16 quite frankly I wasn't involved myself. I became a member of the Supreme
17 Command later, when Krajisnik was a member. I said approximately towards
18 the end of the year, and you now confirmed it was indeed in November, and
19 as far as I knew, it was simply not possible for him to be involved.
20 Whether he had any talks with the president is something that I cannot say
21 one way or another.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In paragraph 32 of your statement, your recent
23 statement, you again refer to the Supreme Command. Who did General Mladic
24 report to about strategic operations, prior to the establishment of the
25 Supreme Command, as far as you know? Because if that body was established
1 only late November, to whom did he report prior to the establishment of
2 the Supreme Command?
3 A. I'll be very frank, quite frank. I don't think he reported to
4 anyone, and if he did report to anyone, it was only to President Karadzic.
5 But this is my personal, intimate opinion. I don't think he reported even
6 to him. It's my conviction. I don't have any evidence for it, but that's
7 what I felt at the time, and I haven't changed, as far as that feeling is
9 JUDGE ORIE: So your testimony would then be that he operated
10 entirely on his own, without -- or is that a wrong understanding?
11 A. Well, that word "entirely on his own," I don't know how
12 appropriate it is. But for the most part, in my personal opinion, he
13 mainly operated on his own until the establishment of the Supreme Command.
14 That is what I dare to assume.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Would not reporting also include not receiving
16 instructions, not receiving any orders?
17 A. Not necessarily. They consulted each other and agreed on certain
18 things, as far as I know. For the most part I didn't take part in such
19 consultations at the Main Staff. Primarily because nobody invited me,
20 neither the commander nor Mladic but I know that they met, either at the
21 president's office or at the supreme staff, and they discussed, in the
22 beginning, pending the establishment of the Supreme Command, I don't know
23 to what extent they managed to consult and agree and I don't know what
24 they discussed, to be quite frank. However, once the Supreme Command was
25 established I would be usually present and I was aware of what was being
1 discussed and what kind of decisions and conclusions are made, so that I
2 cannot tell you anything specific one way or another about the period
3 prior to the establishment of the Supreme Command.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I do understand from your answer that where you
5 said that -- yes, "I don't think he reported to anyone and if he did
6 report to anyone it was only to President Karadzic," and you now explained
7 that they would consult and they would agree on matters, just the two of
9 A. That's what I think happened, until the Supreme Command was set
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'd like to -- I'd like to refer to a paragraph
12 from the statement and now I'm referring to your earlier statement, the
13 statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor in 1997. It is
14 paragraph 30 of that statement, and I quote what you said there. You have
15 it in English only but as I said before, I'll put to you, then, what was
16 said so that you receive the translation.
17 MR. JOSSE: Is that going to get a number as a result,
18 Your Honour?
19 JUDGE ORIE: At this moment I'm just quoting from it. So whatever
20 at this moment is -- but we can see whether it will be an exhibit, whether
21 it will be in evidence, yes or no.
22 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I quote what you said then. "When the chief of the
24 Main Staff submitted a proposal, the president, with his deputies,
25 Koljevic and Plavsic, and the president of the assembly, and with either
1 the Ministry of Defence or the Minister of the Interior or the body that
2 controlled" and then there is a -- it's -- "would discuss the matter in a
3 joint conference and then it would be adopted." And then you continue in
4 paragraph 31, "This would happen with most military operations." And by
5 contrast, in your statement you gave this year, in 2006, to the Chamber,
6 at paragraph 31, so I'm now referring to your recent statement, you say
7 that, and I quote again, "Mr. Krajisnik was involved in military strategy
8 only in his capacity as a member of the Supreme Command which was an
9 advisory body. So he could present his opinion, he was allowed to do it,
10 but he had no powers to make these decisions."
11 Could you please help me to understand, then, what role Mr.
12 Krajisnik had? Was he a member of a group that approved proposals of the
13 Main Staff or was he a member of a purely advisory body on military
15 A. Mr. President, I have a transcript of my interview with the OTP of
16 1998, because in April 1998, in supplementary questioning they asked me
17 that question, just as you put it now, and I will only repeat the answer I
18 gave to them then, because I still stand behind it. It's from that
19 statement of 1998. "The Supreme Command is an advisory body of the
20 president of the republic, who is, pursuant to the constitution, the
21 Supreme Commander."
22 MR. JOSSE: Page 4, bottom of the page.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right, right. Oh, you have it?
25 That's good. Shall I continue or will you read it for yourselves?
1 JUDGE ORIE: We can read it ourselves, but perhaps you give your
2 answer. If you say it's the same answer we'll see whether it really is.
3 So tell us, but it seems that you have read it. And let's also see
4 whether it's exactly the same question that was put to you. One second,
6 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, can I make this observation?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Josse.
8 MR. JOSSE: Now it is going to matter whether these documents are
9 going to be exhibited because either they need to be read into the
10 record --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do agree.
12 MR. JOSSE: -- or they need -- yes, thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, excuse me, just in that connection, I
15 recall that the previous practice adopted to the best of my recollection,
16 and that began during the course of the Prosecution case in chief, I
17 think, was that the document would of course be given a number and then
18 portions which were the subject of attention during the examination would
19 become exhibited rather than the entirety of the document. If it's to be
20 otherwise we should -- or if anyone is suggesting that another approach be
21 adopted, we should all be aware of it as soon as possible.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, we had several discussions on whether to
23 admit a document as a whole or --
24 MR. JOSSE: Well, I wish to reserve the Defence position as to
25 whether we want to cross-examine the whole of this -- these documents, and
1 how practically to do that.
2 MR. TIEGER: No one -- if I may no one is suggesting --
3 JUDGE ORIE: I took it that only at the very end of the testimony
4 of the witness we would consider whether or not so the two -- not exclude
5 any cross-examination on matters which are in this statement. Is that a
6 correct understanding? Apart from other reasons.
7 MR. TIEGER: Right, and keeping with the previous practice, I
8 don't think there was any suggestion before and certainly not now that
9 relevant aspects of any document would be excluded from use during
10 cross-examination. The only issue is how much of the document was used
11 during examination-in-chief or cross-examination and therefore what parts
12 of the document would become exhibited.
13 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore, I'll invite at least at this moment,
14 Mr. Registrar, to assign an exhibit number to this interview which dates
15 from the 4th of February 1998.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be C4, Your Honours.
17 MR. JOSSE: And the statement of --
18 JUDGE ORIE: And the statement of course we could -- I mean,
19 assigning a number at this moment of course is not a final decision on
20 admission, admission as a whole or admission of portions.
21 MR. JOSSE: Precisely.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So that would then, I take it, Mr. Registrar,
23 be C5?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Indeed, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And that will would be the witness statement the 9th
1 of December, the 11th of December and the 12th of December, 1997.
2 MR. JOSSE: Nothing more to say at this stage. We put down a
3 marker and clearly the matter will need to be resolved in due course.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 You were asked during that -- you gave the answer I just stated
6 during the interview in December 1997, and that is about the president
7 with his deputies, Koljevic and Plavsic and the president of the assembly
8 and with either the Ministry of the Defence or the Minister of the
9 Interior would discuss the matter, the matter being a proposal submitted
10 by the chief of the Main Staff in a joint conference and then it would be
12 And then in the other -- the question I put to you is to clarify
13 what you stated in paragraph 31 in your 2006 statement where you said that
14 Mr. Krajisnik was involved in military strategy only in his capacity as
15 member of the Supreme Command. If you refer to the answer you earlier
16 gave, I would specifically draw your attention to the fact that in your
17 1997 statement you were referring to the president of the assembly, and
18 you were referring to a joint conference with the president. Could you
19 therefore tell us what now exactly the role was of Mr. Krajisnik?
20 A. You mean in this domain of military strategy?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 A. If you allow me, Mr. President, just one remark, and I hope you
23 will take it into account, in this paragraph 31 of my statement from May
24 this year, when I was interviewed by Mr. Zahar, I absolutely give priority
25 to my statements from 1997 and 1998 because in this statement I only
1 answered some additional questions. I hope you will appreciate that
2 because I do not change anything in my statements of 1997 and 1998, and I
3 stand by every word, and, please, take into account that 11 years later, I
4 could not remember everything precisely, whereas in the prior statements
5 from 1997, 1998, I carefully revised every word and every page. You see
6 that in the additional interview made by the OTP, they sought
7 clarification of that statement which includes the paragraph 31 in English
8 that you've read out to me.
9 Three months or maybe four months after that, from April to
10 December, I gave a clarification. That means that to the best of my
11 knowledge, Krajisnik, as the president of the people's assembly, was
12 involved in military strategy only when he became a member of the Supreme
13 Command. I claim with full responsibility that I have no information and
14 no knowledge about his possible involvement before he became a member of
15 the Supreme Command. He may have attended an occasional meeting, just as
16 I did, but I had no say, and no importance, as a visitor, whereas a member
17 of the Supreme Command I was entitled to voice my opinion, to defend it
18 and so on. I'm trying to explain here, to the investigator, that the
19 Supreme Command was an advisory body of the president of the republic.
20 After I ceased to be Minister of Defence, I became an advisor to the
21 president of the republic.
22 And forgive me in advance, Your Honour, for making this
23 comparison, it is questionable whether you should listen to every piece of
24 advice Mr. Zahar gives you because I had advisers as well but it was
25 ultimately up to me to decide whether I was going to listen to them or
1 not. I wanted to -- this to be perfectly clear. I have no information
2 that, prior to the establishment of the Supreme Command, some other people
3 were involved. Maybe they did but I have no knowledge about it and I
4 cannot say one way or another.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us until when Mr. Koljevic was a
6 member of the Presidency?
7 A. Mr. Koljevic was a member of the Presidency, I think until several
8 months before his death, and -- to be honest, I cannot remember precisely.
9 Until approximately the session that discussed the Vance-Owen plan,
10 around that time. I cannot be more precise than that because Mr.
11 Koljevic, as far as I know, because I attended that session of the
12 assembly that attended the Vance-Owen plan attended by that Greek and all
13 the other visitors and Milosevic too, Mr. Koljevic then differed from
14 everybody else in the Serb leadership. He took a completely different
15 line, and he was also ill at that time. I cannot give you a precise
16 answer to that question but up until that time approximately.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You, in your statement of 1997, you said that the
18 matter would be discussed in a joint conference. Who exactly were joined
19 in that conference?
20 A. I don't know. What conference, what commission? Can you be a bit
21 more specific?
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'll read it to you. The statement reads, "When the
23 chief of the Main Staff submitted a proposal, the president, with his
24 deputies, Koljevic and Plavsic, and the president of the assembly, and
25 with either the Ministry of Defence or the Minister of the Interior or the
1 body that controlled would discuss the matter in a joint conference and
2 then it would be adopted."
3 So you're talking about a joint conference.
4 A. Well, let me tell you. I said so in my statement and I can
5 confirm now as well, President Karadzic for the most part -- well, I'm
6 talking about the period of time before the establishment of the Supreme
7 Command, lest there be any misunderstanding. So in that period of time,
8 since President Karadzic did not have this advisory body, the Supreme
9 Command, it was his custom to consult someone, some of these people that I
10 mentioned. I had no insight unless he invited me too. It was his custom
11 to invite people over to consult with him. I know that he definitely
12 consulted with the two, Koljevic and Plavsic, as members of the
13 Presidency. That I know for sure. They were invariably there. As for
14 the rest of us, including me, including Krajisnik, the Minister of Police,
15 and so on, we were called in every now and then, depending on what he
16 wanted, what he needed, well, I cannot make any assumptions now when it
17 was that he invited us and when he did not invite us. It was his personal
18 decision. As for that part which I explained then is what I tried to
19 explain further to you now, if you've been able to follow me.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand that the portion I just read
21 from your statement refers to the period in which the Supreme Command was
22 not yet established.
23 Judge Hanoteau was a question for you.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, do you know in what
25 circumstances the Supreme Command was formed? Following what event,
1 following which meeting, following what discussion was it created?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will tell you. You know what,
3 after the Igman operation -- well, at that time we didn't have a Supreme
4 Command. I dare say perhaps I'm not right but in my view so I'm
5 restricting myself to myself only, there was a serious division between
6 General Mladic and the Supreme Commander, a rift. I think that Karadzic
7 then realised that quite simply, under such circumstances, he should not,
8 or he did not have the right to, I don't know really how to put this, that
9 he should not make this -- these decisions on his own with Mladic. He
10 should engage more people. The more people, the more wisdom. So it's not
11 only two people that can make decisions.
12 I think that that is what compelled him, Karadzic, as the Supreme
13 Commander, to establish the Supreme Command, because that is customary
14 practice in armies in the territory of Yugoslavia, in the Balkans,
15 absolutely, and in war situations, that exists in many other armies around
16 the world, perhaps the names are different but the purpose is the same. I
17 think that that was the reason, Your Honour, for him to come to this
18 conclusion to establish the Supreme Command. Karadzic realised that he
19 had made a mistake, that he actually did what Lord Owen was trying to talk
20 him into and I'm telling you this quite frankly as a professional, as a
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, could it have been
23 originated from the fact that General Mladic had to report to no one? You
24 said, "To be very honest, I do not believe that he had to report to
25 anyone, and if he did, it would have been only to President Karadzic.
1 That is my personal belief, and I believe that he was not reporting
2 everything to him any way."
3 So the fact that he acted in such an autonomous way, in such an
4 isolated way, that -- does that -- is that the reason why the Supreme
5 Command appeared all of a sudden or was created, was established?
6 A. [Previous translation continues] ... my personal belief. I have
7 no proof nobody gave me that kind of explanation, Karadzic or anyone else
8 but I personally think that that could have been one of the reasons.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Did you ever hear at the time
10 when General Mladic was not reporting, was not telling what was going on,
11 did you ever hear, did you ever understand, that military actions had not
12 really matched the expectations of political powers?
13 A. I wouldn't quite put it that way, so not fully, but as for the way
14 in which this was done, well I have my suspicions. You know what, there
15 is a problem which is more profound. With the permission of the president
16 I would like to explain. You will understand --
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Please just answer my question to
18 begin with. Did you ever hear, do you know, of anything which would have
19 made you believe that the military action went far beyond the political
21 A. I did, on the basis of my own personal thinking, as a general.
22 Because I myself never would have done that kind of thing.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What is it that you had heard?
24 Please elaborate.
25 A. Well, I -- well, you know what, for example, I know of a
1 particular operation, if you allow me I will give this concrete case, this
2 operation that took place in Zepa when there was fighting for a repeater,
3 a TV repeater. Well, I don't know if it was also a repeater for the
4 communications system too. But General Mladic sent his deputy,
5 General Milovanovic into that action at his own initiative. Quite
6 specifically, this military unit from Pale fell into a Muslim trap, an
7 ambush of the Muslim army, and there was a massacre that took place, a lot
8 of people were killed. And there was a state of emergency in Pale. As a
9 matter of fact, the president established a state commission to
10 investigate the matter. I was on the commission, as were other people,
11 but there was nothing to investigate. It was an unheeded operation. It
12 was an operation based on poor military judgement, preparation, operation
13 and so on. But by your leave, it is very important for me to say the
14 following to you. As regards this autonomy exercised by Mladic, a mistake
15 was made there. I said so in my statement. Perhaps you didn't
16 understand, but allow me to explain.
17 When the Main Staff was established I encountered my first problem
18 as Minister of Defence. General Mladic was smart. He imposed upon the
19 leadership of Republika Srpska that this should be called the Main Staff.
20 Up until then, never such thing had ever existed in any army in the world.
21 So he imposed this, that he should be appointed commander of the Main
22 Staff on the 12th of May. That did not exist anywhere else in the world.
23 So he's the commander and Karadzic is the commander.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, you've already explained, in
25 your interview actually, and thank you very much for answering my
2 JUDGE ORIE: I have one follow-up question in that respect. You
3 gave an example of General Mladic going beyond what he was expected by the
4 political leadership to do, and it had a bad result. You said it was bad;
5 militarily it was not well done. Did it ever happen that General Mladic
6 went beyond what the political leadership wanted him to do with positive
7 results, that is military success?
8 A. Well, I don't have any concrete data. I have some thinking of my
9 own, but I cannot support it with concrete data, although in my heart of
10 hearts, I think there were some situations where things happened the way
11 you had just put it. For example, in a concrete case, I've already said
12 that I think that General Mladic was right as far as the Igman operation
13 was concerned. That is what I think as a soldier.
14 JUDGE ORIE: But there, I do understand, he followed the
15 instructions of the political leadership. The question was, and again is,
16 whether there were any examples known of General Mladic going beyond what
17 he was expected to do by the political leadership, having military success
18 in doing so.
19 A. You know what? Now, I don't know whether this is a military
20 success or whether it's a catastrophe. Now, that is debatable. But
21 Srebrenica is one such example, because the political leadership did not
22 ask Mladic for Srebrenica to happen. I know with certainty that there was
23 no such directive.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let me take you back. I'd like to focus on 1992
25 rather than on anything that happened at a later stage. Do you have any
1 such example in 1992?
2 A. No, no. I don't know. I don't remember.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would that mean -- and I'm now putting it in
4 another way -- that whatever military action or military operation took
5 place under the command of General Mladic did not go beyond what the
6 political leadership wanted him to do?
7 A. Believe me, I do not recall. I simply cannot.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Because I invited you to give examples where he went
9 further than the political leadership would expect him to. You couldn't
10 give any such examples and I'm now asking whether that is to be understood
11 as that he stayed within what the political leadership wanted him to do
12 when instructions or -- were given or when the political leadership was
14 A. Well, you see, in 1992, there weren't any serious military
15 operations except for operation Igman. Later, there are some examples,
16 later, in the second half of the war, there are some examples that I know
17 of but I don't know of any examples up until the end of 1992 except for
18 Zepa. There is nothing that I could really indicate.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's continue. At the end of paragraph 45 of
20 the statement you gave to the Trial Chamber, the written statement, you
21 say, and I quote, "I state that Radovan Karadzic never issued an order to
22 shell Sarajevo because, if there had been such an order, I would have
23 known about it." How can you be sure that you would have known about such
24 an order in June 1992, if it would have existed, since from what I
25 understand, you were not in the chain of command and you were not yet the
1 adviser to Dr. Karadzic at that time? So how could you be so sure that he
2 never issued an order to shell Sarajevo? And I'm talking about June 1992.
3 A. I can just refer to this particular case, when in 1997 and 1998 we
4 were preparing the requested documentation for the investigations Chamber,
5 we were doing this from the archives of the president of the republic. I
6 was a member of that team and we never found any such order in the
7 archives. I'm talking about orders in writing. As far as I know,
8 especially later - especially later - and I assume that that's the way it
9 was beforehand too, President Karadzic did not give oral military orders.
10 I'm not aware of any such case. That is why I was so unequivocal, that I
11 would have known about this order, although I was not in a position to say
12 at that time. But we offered from the archives all the orders that were
13 there. On the very spot we offered that to the investigations Chamber and
14 no such order was found, as far as I can remember. I know, for instance,
15 that this shelling -- well, I know a lot of cases, Mr. Krajisnik does too,
16 when from Sarajevo, from Igman and Bijelasnica, they were firing shells at
17 our building where the Presidency worked or rather the state organs in
18 Pale, and then certain units would respond with individual shellings,
19 well, these were individual shellings too let me be quite clear from the
20 Muslim side and then this was returned. In military jargon, this is
21 called exchange of fire.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now you said that President Karadzic would
23 never give oral military orders. Earlier you explained to us that before
24 the Supreme Command was established in late November 1992, that
25 General Mladic would consult with Mr. Karadzic and that -- I should find
1 your words exactly, that -- I think you said but please correct me if I'm
2 wrong, that they would then agree on matters. Would that mean that to
3 agree on matters is something different from giving an order? Could it be
4 that, for example, they would have agreed on this matter where you later
5 did not find any written order?
6 A. Let me tell you, the Supreme Commander -- well, this is what he
7 was advised too. I mean I advised him to that effect, and I gave him some
8 military rules for him to read. Before some operations that are of a
9 stronger nature, if I can put it that way, strategically or operatively,
10 to speak in military jargon, he sought their advice first but then he
11 signed the orders that they would prepare for him. That's why I said --
12 JUDGE ORIE: May I stop you for a second? You're talking about
13 what period of time exactly? I'd like you to focus on 1992.
14 A. I'm talking about the entire period, from the establishment of the
15 army, from the establishment of the army and later on the Supreme Command
16 too, because then there were discussions at the Supreme Command, at
17 Supreme Command level, so there was a discussion, but what would
18 invariably follow would be his order. In some smaller operations, say
19 like this one in Zepa, I'm not sure that there was an order involved that
20 was issued by the president. I'm not sure that Mladic informed him about
21 it either but this was not an operation. One unit, say, at company level
22 took part in this - you know, not the Supreme Commander - decides about
23 the participation of individual companies. He would decide when several
24 brigade-level units were to be involved or units at corps level, and so
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me now try to see whether I well understood the
2 situation that existed before the Supreme Command was established in 1992.
3 I do understand, but please correct me when I'm wrong, is that
4 General Mladic and Mr. Karadzic would discuss operations, at least if
5 there were major operations, and that as you said in your 1997 statement,
6 to which you added today that that described the situation before the
7 Supreme Command was established, that others, you specifically mentioned
8 in your statement Koljevic, Plavsic, president of the assembly, Minister
9 of the Interior and the Minister of Defence, were consulted, not at every
10 occasion but these were the persons you specifically mentioned that were
11 consulted, that this would then lead to a common understanding or an
12 agreement between Mr. Karadzic and General Mladic, and that that would be
13 the basis for orders and, as you said, you're not aware of any orders
14 given unless they were written down. Is that a correct understanding of
15 what approximately happened, well, let's say, in 1992, up until late
17 A. That's right. That's right. I think that you are quite right.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
19 I'm looking at the clock. Mr. Subotic, we'll have another break
20 for 20 minutes. Could you please have a look at the corrected statements,
21 initial every page and sign the cover page in B/C/S?
22 We'll resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to deal with a few very
1 practical matters. Next Friday, this Friday, we'll have a bit of an
2 irregular day. That is we'll start in Courtroom III at 11.00 in the
3 morning, not at 9.00. We'll continue until 2.00 in the afternoon and then
4 after a break of one hour, we'll be in court from 3.00 p.m. up until 6.00
5 p.m. So that's a bit of an irregular schedule for that Friday only.
6 Then I have another request. During the testimony of Mr.
7 Krajisnik on the 15th of June, two times reference was made to a visit of
8 journalists, I think accompanied by Mr. Ostojic to camps, and reference
9 was then made to an interview and a -- and/or an article, it might be the
10 same, in Kozarski Vjesnik and it was then repeatedly said that this was
11 among the material that we had. It's in your material, it says, on
12 transcript page 25828, which was the last reference.
13 And we have some difficulties in locating that Kozarski Vjesnik
14 article or interview. If the parties could assist the Chamber in locating
15 it, then that would be highly appreciated.
16 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, on our side the Defence, I will
17 certainly do what we can.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And for the OTP that goes without saying, I
19 would say.
20 MR. TIEGER: Of course, Your Honour. No immediate answer but we
21 will look at it as quickly as possible.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll then now continue, Mr. Subotic.
23 In paragraph 46 of your statement, that's the next paragraph to
24 the one I referred to before the break, in reference to the alleged
25 displacement of thousands of Muslims in the Japra Valley, you state, and I
1 quote, "They," meaning the groups that carried out attacks, "had
2 absolutely no connection with the civilian authorities in Pale because, as
3 a member of the government, I would have known about this."
4 At the same time, we see that you complained to the assembly that
5 you were left in the dark about many matters. How can you be so sure that
6 you would have known about incidents occurring in municipalities such as
7 the one, the alleged incident I just mentioned in the Japra Valley? So
8 how can you be so sure that you would have known about it?
9 A. Since this was about Krajina that was partially involved in the
10 conflict at the time, partially, the information coming from
11 municipalities and deputies from municipalities would come to Pale, the
12 government, and occasionally even the assembly. So on account of that, I
13 assert that as a member of the government, I would have known about that
14 case, had it been discussed by the government. I'm not sure whether it is
15 defined which period in 1992 it was. I don't remember whether Mr. Zahar
16 put it to me. Can we specify which period that relates to?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We are talking about June, July, 1992,
19 A. Well, you see, Mr. President, by that time telephone and other
20 communications had already been established with Krajina, so I personally
21 think that this would have been known to the government or the MUP, which
22 is part of the government after all, and that's why I was so determined in
23 my opinion.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you say that you personally think that this
25 would have been known to the government, whereas in your statement you
1 said there was no connection with the civilian authorities in Pale
2 because, as a member of the government, I would have known about this.
3 It's not entirely clear to me yet what position you now take.
4 A. You see, Mr. President, this involves a huge amount of people,
5 4.000 people. It's not a small group, it's neither four nor 40. I
6 believe that there is no municipal authority or police force in that area
7 that could have kept this from the government or Pale. Since that was
8 never a subject of discussion, ever, I can simply not conceive that
9 something like that could have happened without anybody having been
10 informed, whereas the communication lines were working.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Is it now -- is your testimony that it could not have
12 happened because you didn't know about it and such a massive operation was
13 inconceivable without being known even at a distance or do you say they
14 must have known about it when it happened but for whatever reason you were
15 not informed about it, if you were not informed about it? And that's what
16 you seem to say in your statement.
17 A. Well, I cannot fathom that an operation on that scale or let's say
18 event, not an operation, that an event on that scale could have happened
19 without the authorities in Pale being informed in some way, and I was part
20 of those authorities in Pale. That's the only thing I am saying. I have
21 no information. The first time I heard of it was from a question put to
22 me by Mr. Zahar. Until then I had never heard anything about that event,
23 that version.
24 JUDGE ORIE: So you're inclined to believe that it did not take
25 place because you and others would have known about it, and you were not
1 aware of it? Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
2 A. Right, right. I'm inclined to believe that on that scale,
3 something like that would -- could not happen without it being known. But
4 I have no evidence.
5 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber received evidence which suggests that
6 such an event did take place, and that is not just stories but that
7 includes documentary evidence, that includes some pictures. So,
8 therefore, if you say, well, hardly could have taken place since we didn't
9 know about such a massive event, I just inform you that of course there
10 was no finding from the Chamber in that respect but there is quite a bit
11 of evidence.
12 A. I have no reason to doubt what you're saying, but I do have reason
13 to doubt that anybody in Pale was informed. I can simply not fathom that
14 somebody could have been informed at Pale without raising a campaign on
15 that issue. That's the only thing I'm saying. I cannot claim whether it
16 happened or not, and if it happened, if you have evidence that it did,
17 then all I can say is that I have no information and I have no way of
18 explaining why that was not communicated. I'm telling you the first time
19 I heard about it was in the form of a question put to me by Mr. Zahar. I
20 had never heard of it before. You have to believe me. Neither then nor
22 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I should -- I might have not correctly linked
23 what we see in paragraph 46, and I think I should tell this to the parties
24 at this moment, because the statement of the witness was not about any
25 knowledge of displacement of thousands of Muslims but was about the
1 connection of groups that carry out attacks with the civilian authorities.
2 I think I should have been more clear that these are two different issues
3 and, in view of the answers, what I said about the evidence I should have
4 been more clear about what -- on what issue this Chamber received
5 evidence, including documentary evidence, and pictures.
6 I'll move on to the next subject but not until after
7 Judge Hanoteau has put question to the witness.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, after the war ended,
9 within the months and the years that went by, were you aware of the fact
10 that some incidents that could be interpreted as war crimes could have
11 been committed without you having been informed of them when they took
12 place? Or in other words, in the following years after the end of the
13 war, did you ever discover that some events took place of which you had no
15 A. I've heard of such things, but I didn't discover any of them
16 myself. I read in the press. I found out from some other sources. From
17 reactions by international organisations and so on, of course I knew and I
18 heard of some such things.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So how can you explain that you
20 could have missed something like that at the time when these events took
22 A. How could I know, Your Honour? How could I know? I'm trying to
23 tell you all the things that happened on the territory of the republic,
24 that were notified in any way to the leadership at Pale, resulted in some
25 sort of response, reaction. I don't know of a single situation when the
1 government in Pale was informed and failed to react. I don't know of any
2 such case.
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
4 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, but if I could seek a little
5 clarification about the last point Your Honour made before yielding the
6 floor to Judge Hanoteau about paragraph 46.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. About 46, I -- there are two issues, I think,
8 in paragraph 46. One is -- let me just -- I think I started the question
9 about how the witness could be so certain as to the fact whether there was
10 absolutely no connection between the groups that carry out the attacks
11 with the civilian authorities in Pale. That's such not a problem but when
12 I later referred to evidence this Chamber received, I had in mind
13 photographs of buses, I had in mind not specifically evidence on the link
14 between Pale and the group that carried out attacks, but I had something
15 different in my mind and I therefore was a bit concerned that I would have
16 created confusion. This is not to say that there is no evidence or no
17 evidence whatsoever on the other matters but that's what I had in mind and
18 was a bit afraid that there would be confusion as to evidence on the
19 displacement of Muslims on the one hand side and on the links between the
20 civilian authorities in Pale and the groups that carried out the attacks.
21 MR. TIEGER: That's essentially what I understood the Court to be
22 saying. I rose because, for what it's worth, and I don't want to start a
23 debate about that, but I was hoping that we could clarify that. I
24 understood the witness's response to be, to implicate at least in part the
25 size of the displacement, the issue of displacement and I looked at the
1 statement again and the transcript to see if that was part of it as well,
2 so --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what I understood as well but at the
4 same time I quoted his words on the links between attacks and the civilian
5 authorities in Pale, and that could have created confusion and, being
6 aware of that, that doesn't mean what the witness said about to what
7 extent big events must have been known in Pale is a different matter but I
8 just noticed that I was switching from one subject to another and I just
9 wanted to make clear that I had some concerns about creating confusion.
10 I'll move on.
11 Mr. Subotic, this was just a procedural matter which might not be
12 of primary importance for you.
13 In paragraph 26 of your statement, you say that intellectually you
14 felt most close to or you felt most respect for Prime Minister Djeric,
15 Foreign Affairs Minister Buha and Dr. Karadzic. Did you feel the same
16 intellectual closeness and respect for Mr. Krajisnik or was that
18 A. Well, you know, I had very few points of contact with
19 Mr. Krajisnik, because from my field of expertise, he was of no interest
20 to me because he was not making decisions, he was not issuing orders. Of
21 course, we would meet at assembly sessions when I would come. Whereas the
22 Prime Minister was somebody I met every day, I had to discuss all problems
23 with him, and also the foreign minister, Buha, was also a member of the
24 cabinet. I saw him every day, and the President Karadzic, both as head of
25 state and Supreme Commander, was somebody I saw every day. And that's why
1 I said what I said. I didn't mean to say that our relations were bad or
2 anything. It's -- except that we had nothing that would link us in
3 everyday work. I had no problem with speaker Krajisnik. I simply had no
4 need to see him or discuss with him because he had nothing to do with my
5 area of work, and I gave the answer to the question put to me by Mr. Zahar
6 spontaneously. We were close, the people I enumerated, but I don't mean
7 to say that I didn't like Mr. Krajisnik. He was a charming man, very
8 witty. His demeanour in conducting the sessions of the assembly was
9 very -- very good, but he was like that with everybody, not with me in
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My next question is about paragraph 29 of your
12 statement. You're talking about material that was taken from the Banja
13 Luka military school. I have some very short questions on that. Could
14 you tell us, when were these weapons removed from the school?
15 A. That was in the beginning of the war, in April 1992. You see,
16 before that, I used to be the commander of that school, before I took the
17 office of Defence Minister. That used to be the school of armoured units
18 of the JNA, which means that all tank crews got schooled there. It had a
19 lot of equipment and teaching aids, but the Yugoslav army which was no
20 longer JNA at the time --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm not specifically interested in further
22 details about the school. But these weapons, were they stolen from the
23 school? Were they removed? Were they shared on the basis of any
24 agreement? I mean, removed under what circumstances?
25 A. You see, by that time I was already at Pale, serving as Minister
1 of Defence, but I was informed by the president of the municipality, now
2 late Mr. Radic, it was simply a reaction of the people, of citizens. When
3 the army came to withdraw its equipment from the school, the people of
4 Banja Luka took to the streets and came to the representatives of the army
5 of Yugoslavia and told them that, "You can take your teaching aids and
6 your staff but we have no units here and we have to defend ourselves. The
7 war has started." And although I have no precise knowledge, but I think
8 that about one-third of the equipment stayed behind. A part of it was
9 given to the police in Krajina. Mostly APCs and lighter equipment and a
10 couple of tanks.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, on my earlier question, you said these
12 weapons were removed from the school in April. When you described the
13 circumstances, I do understand your answer to be that this was what was
14 left behind when the JNA moved out.
15 A. That school withdrew in April. Well, of course, there were some
16 units who withdrew later, in the Sarajevo region that I know of, and
17 throughout the republic, but that particular school, I know for certain,
18 withdrew in April. I don't know the exact date. Many people left, the
19 teaching staff, the equipment, computers, et cetera.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you earlier said that it surprised you that
21 there were at a certain moment still Muslims in the army when you were
22 touring the separation lines. Here you say it all -- at least you say
23 it -- your answer was about -- about Serbs who did get these weapons.
24 Therefore I asked whether there was any agreement. Are you aware of any
25 of these weapons ending up in the hands of non-Serb units or ...
1 A. I don't think so, not from the school. I don't think so.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know any further details about how this
3 happened? You told us already that you heard from it from the late
4 Mr. Radic. Are you aware of any further details on how this weaponry
5 ended up in the hands of the, as you said in your statement, ARK
6 administration of Banja Luka?
7 A. Well, they simply left behind part of the weaponry, and the
8 territorial units in the region of Krajina took it over. Some were formed
9 later, some were already formed at that time, because there were no armed
10 conflicts in Banja Luka in 1992, I can say that a -- considerable parts of
11 Muslims inhabitants of Banja Luka remained in the Territorial Defence
12 units there. Some of them are receiving war disability pensions. They
13 are veterans of the previous war. But Banja Luka was a rather exceptional
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to move to paragraph 47 of your statement.
16 You make reference there to the Koricanske Stijene incident which
17 Dr. Karadzic asked you to investigate, and you describe an ad hoc meeting.
18 Do you know who initiated the ad hoc meeting of the Presidency at which
19 the Koricanske Stijene incident was discussed? Do you know who initiated
21 A. I don't know who initiated that but the president told us that he
22 had received a telegram or a report from the Banja Luka MUP, and he also
23 got a call from the International Red Cross or some other international
24 organisation, but I think it was the ICRC, who had the same information,
25 so he gathered us all pronto, he was very angry, and as I understood from
1 his reaction, he suspected a military unit of being the culprit. That
2 military unit, what was its name, right across from Koricanske Stijene?
3 Can anybody help me?
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid I cannot. You're the witness. It's not a
6 A. Just a minute, please. Let me try. It's on the road to Vlasic.
7 Maybe Mr. Krajisnik can remember what it was called, this particular
8 place. I simply cannot remember right now. My mind has simply stopped.
9 JUDGE ORIE: If it comes back into your mind, please tell us, and
10 if not, we'll have to do without.
11 So you said the ad hoc meeting -- the ad hoc meeting was convened
12 very quickly, you said. Have you any recollection on such ad hoc meetings
13 of the Presidency to discuss current issues, whether they were convened on
14 other occasions as well in 1992?
15 A. Well, up to that time, no, I don't remember any such case.
16 Believe me. I do not remember any such case in that period of time.
17 Perhaps there were some cases later, but ...
18 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not specifically talking about this type of case,
19 but any current issue which would cause the Presidency to be convened,
20 such a meeting to be convened to --
21 A. Yes, yes, yes. For example, I remember this particular case in
22 Zepa. I think that was before this, or somewhere around that time. I'm
23 not sure of the date now. When this thing happened in Zepa, I told you
24 about that, when those soldiers were killed, the soldiers led by
25 General Milovanovic, so there was an evening session when people were
1 trying to decide what should we do? People reacted and the international
2 organisations became involved too. Mr. Akashi and whoever else. I think
3 there were about 54 fatalities involved. Please don't take my word for
4 the actual number. It was a very painful situation. And that's the way
5 they reacted, at least up until then.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Did that happen more often that on the basis of some
7 urgency coming up that a Presidency meeting was convened on very short
9 A. Well, I could not say more often. Well, it didn't really depend
10 on anyone. It depended on what would actually happen.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But this Chamber has seen minutes or at least
12 documents about Presidency meetings which takes place now and then a bit
13 irregular now and then, sometimes two days after another, sometimes more
14 time in between. These -- the Presidency meeting, as far as you were
15 aware of, would that be very frequent or --
16 A. Well, as necessary, in my opinion, as necessary. If the situation
17 called for a meeting, then there weren't any special pre-set times and it
18 was done in a formal way. It was done in an ad hoc manner.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us how often you approximately
20 attended meetings where the -- at least all the members of the Presidency
21 were present in a small setting?
22 A. Well, it's hard to say now. I was present when I was invited. Of
23 course, I was not even aware of many meetings, but their custom was -- oh,
24 I beg your pardon. Their custom was to invite some people who were
25 required in a particular situation, who were supposed to help them by way
1 of providing information, taking measures and so on and so forth. We, the
2 rest of us, who were not on the presidency, were not invited that often.
3 Well, perhaps I dare say that -- well, it depended on the situation. But,
4 say, two or three times a month, maybe, that might be an average. But it
5 depended on the situation. It had to do with the situation.
6 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, it just occurred to me that there
7 was an issue previously with respect to 92 versus past 92. I don't know
8 if that was a distinction -- I don't know that it's become --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I was just about to ask. Now, focusing on 1992,
10 Mr. Subotic, you said two or three times a month. Did you say that in
11 this period of time, when you were Minister of Defence, that you would be
12 invited two or three times a month to attend a meeting of this character?
13 A. Approximately that would be it. Not that that's when meetings
14 were held. I don't know. I'm sure that they were held more often. But
15 how can I know how often they were being held?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you were invited two or three times a month
17 during that period of time when you were a Minister of Defence to attend
18 meetings. Did I understand you well? Because it was part of my question,
19 where would be present Mr. Karadzic, Mrs. Plavsic.
20 A. Koljevic.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Koljevic, frequent presence of others during those
23 A. Yes, yes. Sometimes there were others too. Sometimes Krajisnik
24 was there. Sometimes Mico Stanisic. Sometimes Prime Minister Djeric.
25 Well, perhaps in some situations even some other ministers. I don't know.
1 Well, depended on the issues that were being discussed. Sometimes this
2 man, the foreign minister, would be there, Buha. If it had to do with
3 talks with some foreign delegations or, say, Cutileiro or whoever else.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Subotic, we'll stop for the day as far as
5 your testimony is concerned. We are not sitting tomorrow because there is
6 a Plenary meeting of the Judges so we have one day of not sitting. We
7 would like to see you back, although in a different courtroom, Courtroom
8 III, at 11.00 this Friday.
9 Mr. Subotic, I have to instruct you that you should not speak with
10 anyone about the testimony you have given until now and you're still about
11 to give next Friday.
12 Then we would like to see you back on Friday. Would you please be
13 so kind to follow Madam Usher?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to turn into private session for a second.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 26482-26485 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we adjourn, Mr. Registrar, I received a
20 signed B/C/S copy of the statement of Mr. Subotic which was provided,
21 number C3. I've now given it to you.
22 We will --
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour there is one point, Your Honour.
24 Your Honours, understandably Your Honours gave instructions that
25 Mr. Krajisnik's privilege line was to be removed during the course of his
1 evidence. It hasn't been restored but we would understand that the Trial
2 Chamber would take whatever steps were necessary to give whatever
3 directions were necessary for its restoration.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll give the necessary information, as far as
5 the Chamber is concerned, of course, we are not competent to further deal
6 with the matter apart from what we would oppose against or what we are not
7 responsible for any other -- any other circumstances that might perhaps
8 not but might --
9 MR. STEWART: That's understood. It's -- in effect, it's -- it's
10 if you like a revocation or an indication that the Trial Chamber's
11 direction in relation to that has now expired or is revoked or whatever
12 the appropriate course. Thank you very much for that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We will pay proper attention to that.
14 We will then adjourn until next Friday, 11.00, Courtroom III.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.56 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 30th day of June,
17 2006, at 11.00 a.m.