1 Friday, 30 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 11.13 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. Mr. Registrar, would you
7 please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Mr. Subotic, we are a little bit more distance compared to the day
12 before yesterday. But I still can see you. Mr. Subotic I would like to
13 remind you that you are still bound by the solemn declaration you've given
14 at the beginning of your testimony that you'll speak the truth, the whole
15 truth and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: BOGDAN SUBOTIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could the bundle be given --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 Mr. Subotic, I'd like to take you to tab 4 of the binder. You see
22 that document dated the 27th of April, 1992? For the parties, it's P1211.
23 Shown to the accused on the 6th of June on transcript page 25258.
24 Mr. Subotic n this letter you sent a request for reinforcements of the JNA
25 2nd Military District and I'll quote from this document. It reads, "In
1 view of the essential need to bring the Territorial Defence in the Serbian
2 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to the basic level of manpower, in
3 accordance with an agreement reached and a promise made in Belgrade, we
4 request your urgent assistance in providing us with the following
5 officers." Mr. Subotic, who has ordered or told you to issue such a
6 request on the 27th of April?
7 A. The Prime Minister, since the existing units of the Territorial
8 Defence had practically been deprived of the normal staff of other
9 ethnicities that was there in peacetime. That is Croat and Muslim
10 officers. So the staffs could not function.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And you were referring in this request to an
12 agreement reached and a promise made in Belgrade. Could you tell us what
13 exactly you were referring to when you wrote these words?
14 A. That agreement was reached between the federal Secretariat for
15 National Defence, to which a request was issued, since the previous TO
16 units had been practically disbanded, to provide new staff so that we can
17 avoid complete lawlessness. So we requested staff from them in order to
18 fill our vacancies pending the establishment of the army and other
19 structures in Republika Srpska.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And reference to a promise, is that that, when you
21 discussed these matters, that they promised to send the reinforcement as
22 you would request?
23 A. During the negotiations that took place between Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina and Yugoslavia, or rather the federal Secretariat, it was
25 agreed at the beginning that the JNA units, and this was also agreed with
1 Alija Izetbegovic, that the JNA units would remain in the territory of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina for the next five years, and since no other army
3 had been established, these units of Territorial Defence were some sort of
4 formation that had to be harmonised. I personally did not take part in
5 that agreement because it was reached before I took office. I took office
6 on the 8th of April and that agreement had been reached earlier. I was
7 not personally involved either in Belgrade or -- I was only informed and
8 the whole government was informed that the agreement had been reached
9 between the relevant agency in Yugoslavia, Alija Izetbegovic and the
10 Assembly of Bosnian Serbs that was in Sarajevo.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Would, then, the other party receive similar support
12 or -- because you earlier were referring to Bosnia and Herzegovina; now
13 you're referring to the Assembly of Bosnian Serbs in Sarajevo. Was this
14 assembly a party to these negotiations or to such agreement?
15 A. I'm not sure exactly who was there, who was involved, but I know
16 that the Bosnian side also presented such requests, and I know from some
17 later reports that President Izetbegovic demanded then that all Bosnian
18 officers be sent from Serbia and other parts of Yugoslavia back to Bosnia.
19 I know that but I have no written trace of that request.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And did that result in all Bosnian officers sent back
21 from Serbia and other parts of Yugoslavia to Bosnia?
22 A. In principle, yes, that was the outcome, with the proviso that a
23 small number of officers refused. However, the majority of officers
24 returned to Bosnia to their domicile, to their home places, from the
25 Yugoslav People's Army, wherever they had been located before.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us anything about the relationship
2 between the Bosnian Serb government and the JNA prior to the formation of
3 the VRS? You told us you took up office at the 8th of April. Until the
4 12th of May, how was the relationship between your government and the JNA?
5 A. I personally did not have good relations with the federal
6 Secretariat for National Defence of Yugoslavia and I didn't have any
7 personal contacts with them for almost three months, because I was not on
8 good terms with them because I didn't agree with certain premises that had
9 been proposed at the time. So I had no personal contacts. However, the
10 government did contact with the federal Secretariat, mainly to request the
11 JNA to protect the people, to calm the situation down in those first
12 months, in that first month, because we had the bad experience of Slovenia
13 and Croatia, where armed conflicts broke out spontaneously, and the
14 government expected that the JNA would be able to defuse the situation and
15 not allow internal conflicts. On a parallel track the assembly of the
16 Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina was trying to find a solution
17 together with other parties in Bosnia. Discussions were going on, in
18 which I was not involved but I was informed like everybody else, from the
19 media, and I know that you know all about them because you have documents
20 that cover all that.
21 So the cooperation boiled down to the request of Bosnian Serbs
22 made to the army of Yugoslavia to defuse the situation, not to allow
23 interethnic conflict and to protect the people both on one side and the
24 other side, and I must say that this was successful to a great extent.
25 Let me just remind you of the incident when this part of the JNA was
1 withdrawing from Zadar.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You earlier said that you didn't agree with
3 certain premises that had been proposed at the time and that caused your
4 relationship with the JNA to be a bad one. Would you tell us what you did
5 not agree with?
6 A. I didn't agree with Blagoje Adzic, Minister of Defence. At that
7 time his office was called federal secretary for National Defence of
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do you say that you did not agree that this man held
10 this position or --
11 A. It had nothing to do with him being in that position. It didn't
12 concern me. It wasn't any of my business. I simply didn't agree with his
13 attitude to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because we were
14 persistently asking the JNA units that were already in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 that had not pulled out yet. In fact, we thought that they failed to take
16 the measures they could have taken to prevent conflict. That's what we
17 disagreed on because I had expected much more, having been informed by the
18 president of the republic, in other words the Supreme Commander, that
19 there was an agreement between Alija Izetbegovic, Radovan Karadzic and the
20 authorities in Belgrade, that JNA units would stay in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina as a guarantor of peace, to prevent all conflict and war, and
22 the time discussed was five years. That's the point on which I disagreed
23 with the Minister of Defence of Yugoslavia because in practice they failed
24 to secure that or they secured very little.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you ever receive any information that
1 JNA units took part in combat activities at that time, where sometimes
2 militarily, power was taken over in municipalities, sometimes not
3 militarily but did you receive information as the involvement of JNA units
4 or members of the JNA armed forces in such operations?
5 A. I did not receive any such report, not a single one, and I know
6 that those units did not move at all until they received orders to
7 withdraw to Yugoslavia. They sat in their barracks without responding to
8 anything. I had no such reports.
9 JUDGE ORIE: So according to your knowledge, they -- the JNA units
10 stayed where they were, remained totally passive, until they withdrew?
11 A. Correct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever receive any information, for example, of
13 how -- no, I'm not going to further specify that.
14 I'd like to take you to the next tab, tab 5. Would you please --
15 Madam Usher will bring tab 5 to you. That's P583, tab 23. And in the
16 English, it's agenda item 10 on page 4, very top. And the B/C/S version,
17 it's the page with the number 01245374. That's the semi-last page in the
18 B/C/S version.
19 You found it, Mr. Subotic? I'm going to --
20 A. I did.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- quote to you from this record of the government
22 session. "The government has considered the proposed report. It has been
23 concluded that the issue of prisoner exchange is extremely important,
24 complex and delicate, and that if sufficient attention is not paid to it,
25 it can cause a number of negative consequences for the whole republic. It
1 has been agreed that a working group consisting of Professor Branko
2 Djeric, Milan Trbojevic, Dr. Dragan Kalinic, Miso Stanisic, Bogdan Subotic
3 and Momcilo Mandic, should consider all the aspects of the prisoner
4 exchange problem and that they should propose systematic and other
5 solutions, taking into account our international regulations. It is
6 obvious that solving this problem is urgent and that the regulations and
7 concrete measures for solving this issue should be proposed as soon as
9 Mr. Subotic, do you remember that this matter was discussed at the
10 government meeting or at this government meeting?
11 A. Yes. I remember.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Can you tell us what prisoners were being referred
14 A. What was meant were prisoners that were taken on both sides in
15 certain places, in municipalities, captured in the conflicts between those
16 armed groups. As for me, by the 12th of May, let me just see this paper,
17 I was working on the law on defence and the army, wherein I, as Minister
18 of Defence, wrote in accordance with international law all regulations
19 concerning the treatment of prisoners of war, and wherein I demanded, as
20 Minister of Defence, because the law had just been finalised, and I
21 provided a copy to the OTP, this law has -- includes special instructions
22 on the treatment of detained persons, signed by me as the minister. It's
23 on pages 189 to 191 of the law. That law came into force on the 13th of
24 June. So, as you can see, this session was held just two days after the
25 entry into force of that law. By that time, we already had some modest
1 information, I would say, that prisoners were taken by both sides, and
2 were being taken on both sides, in the territory of Republika Srpska.
3 On a local scale, let me be clear; those were not major battles.
4 They were other skirmishes, either planned or unplanned in my estimate, in
5 which people were captured on both sides, and as soon as we received such
6 reports, the Prime Minister proposed, since these regulations were already
7 passed, to start enforcing them.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Subotic, you used the words, "Prisoners of
9 war," you used the expression that people were captured. I think you said
10 in skirmishes. You used the word "detained persons." You also told us
11 that prisoners were taken on both sides on a local scale. A very direct
12 question to you. Was this discussion exclusively about prisoners of war?
13 A. Exclusively those who were captured in skirmishes. At that time,
14 we didn't call them prisoners of war at all, quite simply.
15 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber has received quite some information that
16 on both sides, that civilians, including sometimes women and children,
17 were not free to move but were kept in conditions described sometimes in
18 documents as a situation of detention or imprisonment. Did you ever see
19 any such documents? Did you ever hear about that?
20 A. I did not see documents about that, but I did hear that such
21 things happened, and I absolutely condemned them as the minister, and I
22 demanded from all governmental agencies and especially the army, once the
23 army was established, to act strictly in accordance with the regulations
24 passed into law. In addition to that, the president of the republic
25 issued a special order for that purpose, and I'm sure the Trial Chamber is
1 in possession of that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You said that you heard about that such things
3 happened and you absolutely condemned them. Are you aware of any clear
4 instruction that anyone, any civilian, should be immediately released
5 rather than be kept somewhere for purposes of exchange?
6 A. No. I'm not. I didn't give any such instruction, nor had I
7 occasion to see one.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Would it not have been appropriate, if a government
9 or members of a government hear about these things to happen, to be
10 entirely clear in their position, as you said, condemning it?
11 A. Well, you see, Mr. President, this working group that was
12 established, at that time the communications were very bad. For the whole
13 of May and June the communications, the communication lines with the local
14 level were very bad and it was mainly messengers that brought us reports.
15 It was really slow. However, this working group demanded that an order be
16 issued and an order was issued to all municipalities, Crisis Staffs, et
17 cetera, et cetera, that no prisoners should be taken, that the
18 International Red Cross should be contacted immediately, and that both
19 sides should immediately release those people who found themselves in
20 so-called collection centres and whatever, because as far as I know, in
21 Republika Srpska, there were no official prisons where civilians or any
22 other people would be held.
23 As for the local level and those temporary prisons they formed, I
24 don't know what it looked like because I was not informed, but
25 particularly with regard to civilians, the Ministry of the Interior
1 received strict demands from this commission that these things be
2 regulated and dealt with pursuant to the law, because these instructions
3 pertained mainly to prisoners of war, men who would be taken prisoner in
4 combat. It's the Geneva Convention that underlies this instruction. It
5 didn't pertain to civilians, women and children, because it's not
6 envisaged to capture women and children during the war.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand from your answer that the working
8 group was formed and did function. This -- you also said that they
9 requested an order to be given that those held in collection centres, that
10 both sides should immediately release those people who found themselves in
11 so-called collection centres. Did you verify or did the committee verify
12 or did you, as a -- in your position in the government, did you verify
13 whether this actually took place, immediate release of those who found
14 themselves in collection centres?
15 A. I personally was not involved in dealing with this problem. I
16 know that it was usually the Minister of the Interior who dealt with this,
17 together with his organisation.
18 JUDGE ORIE: My question was whether you know, and whether you, or
19 the committee, verified or let's put it broader, whether you in your
20 position in the government, became aware of immediate release of all those
21 who found themselves in collection centres.
22 A. I personally heard of the first case of this type when there was
23 this collection centre in Prijedor. Up until that case, as a member of
24 the cabinet and as a minister, I was not aware of any concrete cases. I
25 was not aware of the existence of any such cases anywhere. Only when the
1 collection centre was opened in Prijedor, that's when I heard about that
2 collection centre. That was also made public, international organisations
3 in Bosnia-Herzegovina were made aware of that, and then action was taken
4 with regard to that and you are familiar with the action that was taken in
5 this regard.
6 JUDGE ORIE: When you're talking about the collection centre in
7 Prijedor, are you referring to the -- we have several places in Prijedor
8 where people were detained, at least that's what some of the evidence
9 suggests, among them Omarska, Trnopolje, Keraterm? When you're saying --
10 when you refer to the collection centre you heard of in Prijedor, which
11 one did you have in mind?
12 A. I only knew of the collection centre in Trnopolje. I did not know
13 about others. Well, later, I heard Keraterm being mentioned and Omarska,
14 but I did not have occasion to obtain any direct information on this or to
15 take any part in any of this. As a matter of fact, I happened to have
16 followed the testimony of a Muslim here in this Court who was held in
17 Trnopolje, Mevludin Sejmenovic was his name. It just so happened that I
18 had the opportunity of seeing this on the internet, that he was released
19 from that collection centre, that he went to Bihac, to try to find some
20 opportunities for himself and he said then that there weren't any guards
21 or barbed wires in the southern part of the camp. I mean, it was called a
22 camp then.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, testimonies of a witness will be
24 evaluated by this Chamber, apart from -- if you would have followed these
25 proceedings, I can inform you that some facts, some adjudicated facts, are
1 before this Chamber.
2 A. I believe that, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, important is what this Chamber believes and
4 it's not up for you as a witness to give your evaluation of evidence that
5 was given before this Court. So would you please refrain from further
6 doing that?
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, just for the record, it should be noted
8 that Mr. Subotic is not reciting his recollection of that particular
9 testimony off-handedly but has -- is reading from a document that he's
10 brought with him apparently for that purpose.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, did you bring a document? Because
12 you -- I can't see it from here. Your desk is hidden by some monitors.
13 A. No, no, no. No, no. I haven't got a document. I just jotted
14 down a sentence, the name of this person, who I saw on the internet. I
15 don't have any documents, believe me.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Even if you write it yourself it still is a document.
17 Could you perhaps just by showing it this way give us an impression of
18 whether it's just one page or whether it's -- how many pages do you have
19 in front of you?
20 A. Yes, I have two pages but this is just one paragraph; the lady can
21 have a look. The lady can have a look.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that it's in your language. Could we just
23 have a look at the type of.
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, excuse me I have the benefit of this
1 particular angle and I was able to see that Mr. Subotic just removed that
2 from another number of other pages he has. So if the question is how many
3 pages he brought with him and how many are in front of him, it is more
4 than two.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, when I asked you how many documents,
6 over how many pages you had, did you mover away some of those you had in
7 front of you before?
8 MR. TIEGER: Just did it one more time, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, how many pages did you -- Mr. Subotic,
10 Mr. Subotic, how many pages did you have in front of you when you read a
11 line --
12 A. I have a total of -- well, these are my own notes because I did
13 not have enough time to prepare, three, four -- four pages. I can give
14 the lady -- give it to the lady. She can have a look.
15 JUDGE ORIE: That is all you had in front of you --
16 A. All I have, and also I have my own statements. I have my own
17 statements and I have the law, the Law on Defence, and the army. I also
18 had a video cassette which I brought, if some questions are put to me in
19 relation to that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, you should have asked permission to
21 consult any paper work. Perhaps I have not been clear enough in
22 instructing you to do so. But from now on, you're supposed to --
23 A. I beg your pardon.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. TIEGER: Finally, Your Honour --
1 A. Mr. President, I did not know that I didn't have the right to take
2 notes, bring notes, no one said that to me.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger?
4 MR. TIEGER: And finally, just for the record there were at least
5 five pages that I saw there. I don't know if there are more.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, the number of pages that I just saw were
7 five. So therefore that is then on the record as well.
8 Could you tell us a bit more about what your role was in that
9 working group, Mr. Subotic?
10 A. My role in this working group was the following. I was supposed
11 to see whether the army, the army of Republika Srpska, took part in this,
12 and since I prescribed instructions for camps, I was supposed to clarify
13 what was required in accordance with the international law of war. That's
14 my only role. I did not go into the field. I did not receive any
15 reports. So that's it. That is only on the basis of what I heard from
16 other people who worked together with me in the government.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Were other detention situations discussed in this
18 commission, in this working group, apart from strictly military? So what
19 you said, "I heard about what happened on the local level, people being
20 detained," was that ever discussed in this working group?
21 A. Well, this working group only worked in this particular case, only
22 in this particular case. Later on, it did not have any permanent tasks in
23 terms of controlling this. It was only supposed to investigate the
24 situation that was present then, as far as the government was concerned.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You say "this particular case." What were you
1 referring to? What particular case? Because it seems from the 15th of
2 June government session, that it was not a case, but it was, rather, a
3 problem of a more general nature, prisoner exchange problems. Now you say
4 the working group discussed a case.
5 A. As you can see, Mr. President, here, in paragraph 10, the
6 government looked at a particular piece of information to tell you the
7 truth I do not recall what it looked like. Well, perhaps if I were to
8 read it I could remember some of it. So there was this particular piece
9 of information about this and we, as members of the government, were
10 entrusted with the task of looking at this and proposing measures.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Subotic, you came spontaneously - I had not
12 mentioned any specific case - and you said, Well, we only dealt with that
13 specific case. And now I asked you what that specific case was and you
14 said I don't know any more. So you had a whole working group dealing with
15 one specific case, you remember that it was one specific case but ...
16 A. I cannot -- I cannot remember now whether it was the case in
17 Prijedor or some other case. Believe me. I simply cannot remember it.
18 It is not registered in my memory.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Now, this order that immediate release from those in
20 collection centres, who made that order and at what date?
21 A. As far as I can remember, the president of the republic issued
22 that order. Well, now, I cannot, since -- well, I haven't got anything to
23 see. As far as I can remember, on the basis of my statements from 1997,
24 that these issues were examined. We certainly gave these orders to the
25 Court. I know that orders were issued with regard to these so-called
1 camps and other things, but I do not remember anything specific right now.
2 To tell you the truth I didn't have it in my own hands, ever, so it's not
3 really fresh in my memory.
4 JUDGE ORIE: If you would consult your notes, would that help you
5 to find --
6 A. I haven't got that in my notes. In my notes I only have that case
7 in Trnopolje. That's what I happened to see, this very brief thing. It
8 was just a very brief report about the testimony of this man Mevludin and
9 I jotted that down. I don't really have anything else. Because most of
10 the polemics were focused on that, Prijedor, Trnopolje, Keraterm, was it a
11 camp? Were pictures taken from here or from there? To tell you the truth
12 I was not involved and I did not have any evidence about which I can speak
13 in a relevant fashion.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps during the next break the Chamber will have a
15 look at what documents there are perhaps to be put to you in this respect.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Canivell has a question for you, Mr. Subotic.
18 JUDGE CANIVELL: [No interpretation]
19 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. We are not
20 getting a translation in English.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I hear French now on the English channel.
22 Could we ...
23 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] May I try again? May I try again
24 and I'll see if we now receive a translation? Yes.
25 Paragraph 16 of your last statement, statement to this Chamber,
1 you say that you heard that Mr. Izetbegovic had said he intended to create
2 an Islamic state and that Bosnia-Herzegovina would become an Islamic
3 state, and in order to do this, he made a statement in Tehran according to
4 which he said that Allah had given the Muslims the right to use any
5 possible means to fight against the infidels, those who were not of
6 Islamic faith, and then you said that at that moment you understood that
7 there was going to be a massacre of Serbs, a slaughter, and this would
8 determine the conditions of a civil war. Could you explain to me what
9 according to you would be the mechanisms according to which this war would
10 break out? Would it be directly triggered by the attitude or was it the
11 Serbs themselves who would start a war to prevent these intentions of
12 Mr. Izetbegovic to become a reality?
13 A. I didn't really think about this, except that I read the Islamic
14 Declaration at least ten times. Alija Izetbegovic's Islamic Declaration.
15 It had been published earlier on, a few years before this conflict in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I consider there to be very dangerous, very
17 extremist, both as a human being and as a professional soldier. It was
18 clear to me that it was a type of threat. After all, Alija Izetbegovic,
19 as far as I followed things at the time, at the joint assembly that
20 existed, in the beginning, before the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina or
21 somewhere around that time, when Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised as a
22 state, he said roughly -- well, perhaps I cannot quote him verbatim but he
23 said that he was prepared to sacrifice the peace for Bosnia. That is to
24 say that on the basis of that, I made this proposal to the gentlemen who
25 had talked to me that he should find the Islamic Declaration and read it
1 for himself. It's not that I invented this.
2 There are some other statements there too that were made public in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I have a cassette here, a videocassette, an interview
4 of a professor, Miroljub Jevtic from Belgrade, who studies the Islamic
5 faith. If the Court wishes, I can hand over this cassette. Perhaps you
6 can have it recorded too, because there are some other statements there as
7 well that are perhaps not the subject of this hearing but they are the
8 subject of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I brought this video
9 cassette on purpose, because it is very specific, very argumented,
10 well-founded, referring to periodicals and books that were approved by
11 this government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I cannot remember all of that so I
12 brought this cassette in so that I could proffer it to you if it meant
13 anything to you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, it would be highly appreciated if --
15 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir. I want
16 to ask you -- I would like to ask you what were your impressions at the
17 time. The mechanism which would start such a civil war, would it have
18 been either the Muslims who would have started this war or did you think
19 that it would be the Serbs themselves who, anticipating an extermination
20 which might be possible, would have triggered or started the war? What
21 was your impression, the first possibility or the second?
22 A. I have understood your question, Your Honour. As a professional
23 soldier I was frightened by such statements such aspirations and I
24 personally was absolutely convinced that there was a looming threat of a
25 war that would be started.
1 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Right. Now, later in the same
2 statement, you say that, as from a given moment, it was obvious that Lord
3 Owen was partial that he had sympathies on the side of the Muslims. All
4 these things you mention before, these questions, the question of the
5 targets, the objectives of the Muslims to convert Bosnia into an Islamic
6 state, all these aspects such as partiality on Lord Owen's side, this
7 question of a situation of confrontation between Muslims and Serbs, was
8 this generally understood by a majority of Serbs, population of
10 A. I cannot make any claims, but I know that in my own environment
11 where I lived and worked, that is what people thought, practically without
12 any exceptions. I can only assume that people in other areas also thought
13 along those lines. After all, to this day, they've been asking for the
14 abolition of Republika Srpska, this entity, and so on and so forth. They
15 are not giving up on any of that.
16 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Eventually
17 I would like you to refer to paragraph 35 of your latest statement, in
18 which you say that even if General Mladic were possibly able to be in
19 disagreement with Dr. Karadzic, nevertheless he had -- nevertheless,
20 finally, he would submit to the direction of the leadership of Serbia --
21 of the Serbs of Bosnia, who would fix the objectives of the military
22 operations. You reaffirm in this -- do you reaffirm this again?
23 A. Your Honour, that statement of mine pertains to the Igman
24 operation. That is to say, there was a conflict between two sides, two
25 armies. General Mladic with his units had an advantage. Lord Owen forced
1 the leadership of Republika Srpska to stop that operation. That's when
2 General Mladic quarrelled with the Supreme Commander. I'm saying this as
3 a soldier. Every soldier in any army in the world has the task to disable
4 the enemy and to reach the set objective. As a soldier, I believe -- and
5 perhaps this is the only case, when I in my heart of hearts, supported
6 General Mladic. Did I not make any public statements to that effect and I
7 can could not have exercised any influence because I really did not hold
8 any kind of office from which I could praise anyone or criticise anyone.
9 But I'm saying what I felt in my heart of hearts and that is correct. I
10 know that during the course of the war, many times the international
11 community stopped actions of the Serb army, and I'm not aware of any
12 particular case when the action of the Muslim army was stopped. I'm
13 saying this as a human being and I have the right to say that because
14 there are hundreds of pieces of evidence to attest to that.
15 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. But
16 precisely what I'm interested in would be to know, when I asked my
17 question was, not only to see if that had to connect with a particular
18 fact of this operation of Mount Igman. What you say in this paragraph is
19 couched in general terms. Do you still maintain this in these general
20 terms, not only for the operation of Mount Igman but in general terms, do
21 you maintain what you've written there?
22 A. No. It did not pertain to everything else. I only had the Igman
23 operation in mind specifically.
24 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] There is another question I would
25 like to ask. I'd like to know from you, as you say in paragraph 41 of the
1 same statement, which you gave recently, well, what the military had
2 investigated in all -- and pressed charges in all cases of violations of
3 human rights, and that these courts had given about 300 judgements for
4 crimes against Muslims or Croats. Do you know what are -- the trend was
5 in these 300 judgements? Were those rulings which were sentencing or
6 acquittals? Or what was the general direction of these 300 judgements?
7 A. Your Honour, I had occasion to see those judgements. I mean, I
8 had an overview of those judgements. They were issued by the military
9 courts of the army of Republika Srpska. They issued at least 300 such
10 judgements - maybe there were more of them later - pertaining to crimes
11 committed by Serbs against non-Serb population, and if I remember well, I
12 no longer have that paper, the military Prosecutor of the army of
13 Republika Srpska had contacts with the Tribunal and I believe he handed
14 over those documents. Anyway, I know from those judgements that 90 [as
15 interpreted] of them involved convictions, according to the laws that
16 prevailed then. I cannot say that 100 per cent of them were convictions
17 but I believe around 90 per cent were. I no longer have that file but I
18 suppose you do because that was handed over to the Tribunal, and I know
19 that the military prosecutor of Republika Srpska, later the military
20 defender, had several contacts with the ICTY. I have no information,
21 however, that there were similar judgements on the other side. So I
22 cannot say one way or another.
23 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Have there been many cases in
24 which the result was like Koricanske Stijene that is once charges had been
25 pressed, finally the suspects were found or the accused were found and
1 then after that, there were no -- were charges pressed or ...
2 A. I don't know in detail what the outcome was, but I know from the
3 public media that one of the protagonists of the crime at Koricanske
4 Stijene was convicted here in The Hague. However, according to some
5 unofficial information that I got through inquiries with the MUP in Banja
6 Luka, I know that two of the participants -- there were three in all -- as
7 I was told, got killed sometime during the war while serving in the units
8 of Republika Srpska. As for these cases, those 300 judgements that I
9 mentioned, they were not of that nature. They involved mainly one or two
10 persons killed. I couldn't say exactly. There could have been some cases
11 involving more than one or two but as far as I know, none of them involved
12 mass murder. And I have no information as to whether those sentences were
13 really served. I know sentences were meted out according to court
14 regulations and laws. Whether the sentences were really served, I don't
15 know, but there is no problem in checking that, I believe.
16 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] You have seen the contents of
17 these sentences? What were the penalties to which these persons who were
18 sentenced -- what were the penalties? Do you remember? Were they long
19 prison sentences or what were they?
20 A. For instance, I remember -- I cannot tell you specifically but I
21 remember nine, 8, seven, 13 years, something like that, but please do
22 not -- I mean, I don't have that in my possession now. I just saw that
23 overview. I had it in my hands. I'm sorry, if I had had time I would
24 have looked for it in order to bring this paper, but I suppose that the
25 Tribunal must have that.
1 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] In your legal system or your
2 criminal military system, there is a possibility of sentencing in absentia
3 or if this person has disappeared, is it possible or not to give a
4 judgement, sentencing that person?
5 A. I'm not quite sure, but I believe such a possibility exists, and
6 that that was done, but I could not say for sure. I believe in principle
7 it's possible.
8 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] I'm asking you because you say,
9 for instance, when you refer to the Koricanske Stijene case, that the
10 people who were suspected and who were supposed to be three policemen,
11 police officers, whose family members had been killed, that these three
12 police officers, you say that they had escaped and they were charged but
13 you knew that a bit later one of them had been found leading a normal life
14 in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the centre of the Republika Srpska and was
15 transferred later to this Tribunal. Do you have any news about the other
16 two who were in the same situation or do you have -- do you know something
17 about them?
18 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether there may have been a
19 translation problem in French but I just like to verify. In my English
20 translation, I received as your testimony that the two others were killed
21 in a combat situation elsewhere in Republika Srpska. These were the two
22 you referred to, whereas the third, as you told us --
23 A. That's what I heard unofficially, from unofficial sources. I did
24 not have a document about it. But when this third one was tried, it was
25 said that the other two had got killed.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's -- perhaps there has been a translation
2 problem. I'm usually listening to the English and -- so therefore you
3 gave your testimony that the other two had died in combat. That's what
4 you unofficially heard.
5 A. Correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please continue, Judge Canivell.
7 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Do you think there were other
8 people? You say you don't know whether the penalties, sentences passed
9 were applied or not. This is what you told us, didn't you?
10 A. You mean those military judgements? I don't know.
11 JUDGE CANIVELL: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir. I have
12 no other questions for you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau has a question for you.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to know, sir, when
15 you were in business, when you were in the government, did you hear about
16 Milorad Davidovic? Ever heard about him?
17 A. Milorad Davidovic? No. No. I can't recall that name. I know
18 one Davidovic who used to be a minister but his name is not Milorad. I
19 don't know any other Davidovics.
20 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Have you heard about an agreement
21 concluded with the federal MUP, according to which the MUP would have sent
22 Milorad Davidovic, with a group of police officers, to try and control and
23 master the action of paramilitary units?
24 A. I don't know.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You never heard about this?
1 A. Nothing.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, I'm taking you back for a moment to your
4 statement about pictures taken and, as you say in your statement, that the
5 people in Republika Srpska knew that it's been a setup, that the pictures
6 were not taken in the camp but at another location.
7 These pictures, did they cause any concern in government circles?
8 A. No. But I can tell you --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let me first -- you said they did not cause any
10 concern. Now, you said that the people in Republika Srpska they knew that
11 it's been a setup. Were people aware of these pictures -- yes, please.
12 A. Most people believe that those photographs were a montage, and by
13 the way the European press published such information, and that
14 contributed a great deal to this public opinion prevailing in Republika
15 Srpska, and in addition to that, the testimony of some witnesses.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm focusing at this moment on the moment when these
17 pictures were published, not on later litigation on what was true or what
18 was false in those photographs, but do I understand that when you say they
19 did not cause any concern, that you are referring to that time?
20 A. Well, I mean, nobody believed that such a -- because this
21 collection centre was not a torture camp so that it could turn a normal
22 man into an emaciated one in just several days, because they had food,
23 they were able to leave, and it was strange to people. They could not
24 accept that it could be true.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When you're talking about people, would that be
1 the ordinary citizen of Republika Srpska as well? I'm talking about that
2 time, not about now, but what they felt at that time. Did they not
3 believe it at that time?
4 A. I know that people who were around me did not believe it, and I
5 personally did not believe it.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you just said, could not be true because
7 they had food, they could leave, et cetera. What was the source of your
8 knowledge on -- that there was food, that they were free to leave, that
9 they were --
10 A. Well, one of the sources was that the people of Prijedor were
11 saying so. Second, the collection centre was organised in the first place
12 in order to shelter the population from the army or, rather, those
13 fighters that turned up.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The people from Prijedor, who is that? I mean --
15 A. The citizenry, the civilian population.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Do I then understand that you were in direct contact
17 with the citizens of Prijedor who told you what this was or how do I have
18 to understand your testimony?
19 A. Later, after the fact; that's what they said after. Not when this
20 information appeared, but later.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I asked you before to focus exclusively on what you
22 thought and what you felt at that time. So what was your source of
23 knowledge when at that time you thought it could not be true because
24 people would be free to go and people would receive food? What at that
25 time made you believe that people got food, people were free to go in and
2 A. At that time, I don't have any arguments that I could substantiate
3 my opinion with. All I can say is that all the information the government
4 in Pale was getting, it was getting from the MUP and the municipality of
5 Prijedor. I personally didn't see any reports, but that's what they
6 thought after the information they got. I personally did not believe that
7 somebody could be torturing those people in such stretches of time. I
8 didn't believe that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you were talking about a picture. Is it
10 true that there were not only pictures but there was even video coverage
11 of what happened, leave it apart at this moment whether that truly
12 happened or whether it was a falsification?
13 A. It was shown on television. Publicly.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Do you mean also on Serbian television or Republika
15 Srpska television? Could you tell us where it was shown?
16 A. Yes, yes. And it was also in the press.
17 JUDGE ORIE: In your local press, in your Republika Srpska press
18 or --
19 A. Yes, yes, precisely that man, the skeletal one behind the wire.
20 He was shown.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Only the picture or also the video coverage of that
23 A. And video coverage, on tape, but you see, out of all those who
24 were next to him, he was the only one who was thin.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not asking you to comment about what was shown.
1 I'm just asking when it was shown, where it was shown. Now, you tell us
2 that you had reasons to believe that this was framed. Did in that
3 respect -- was it -- were you aware that these pictures were perceived not
4 in the same way in the foreign press, that they did not think that it was
6 A. Yes. I know. I think his name is Mazovjtski, he was the one who
7 was there. So, yes, I was aware. But it was odd that just that one man
8 was on that photograph looking that way, whereas the others around him
9 looked normal.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's exactly the reason why I ask you whether you
11 saw the video clip or whether you only saw one photograph.
12 But now, this was -- this was --
13 A. Mr. President, I saw the whole footage that showed another dozen
14 people, and that one is in the foreground. I don't remember his name.
15 The thin one, naked from the waist up, whereas all the others around him
16 were normal. They didn't look like him. They were not thin. That foot
17 age was shown on TV, on Serbian TV, several times.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, how did you appreciate that this was
19 interpreted in the foreign media in a totally different way from how you
20 interpreted those pictures? Did you have any specific reasons for not
21 believing the interpretation that was given to these pictures in the
22 foreign media?
23 A. Well, I have reason to doubt the veracity of that because
24 Mr. Mazovjtski expressed himself in a very biased way in general and his
25 cooperation in any matter with the Serb side was bad. That's why I have
1 the impression I have.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Mazowiecki, was he a reporter?
3 A. No. He was some sort of international representative. I think he
4 was a Pole. Maybe I did not properly name his position, but he had some
5 kind of role there.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I would like not to mix up official report and press
7 reporting on certain events. I'm talking about a video clip or video
8 coverage of something which you say was false, which is different from
9 official reports to the United Nations. Did you -- did you consider any
10 foreign publication, on whether it could be true or perhaps even if you
11 came to the conclusion that it would not be true, did you consider on the
12 basis of the content of that material, not just this video clip but
13 perhaps also other information, further comments on what happened, whether
14 it could be true or could not be true, what the foreign press was writing?
15 A. Mr. President, I'm not saying at all that it was false. Far be it
16 from me to claim that. But that's what it looked like to me, and you
17 asked me about my opinion and my feeling. I do not say that the
18 collection centre did not exist. It existed and I condemned that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, that was not my question. My question
20 was whether, when making up your mind whether it was true or not, and at
21 this moment I'm not that much interested in the conclusions, but whether
22 you considered what was published about or around this photo or video
23 coverage, what was published about or around this in the foreign press.
24 A. I didn't know in detail what the international press and media
25 published, but just that one thing looked suspicious to me, that that one
1 man was so thin and the others were not. Otherwise, I am not saying that
2 these things did not happen. I have no doubts about that, and I have no
3 evidence to say that it didn't happen.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were you able to follow a bit of what happened
5 in the foreign press? You say, "I didn't see it in detail," but where did
6 you get your general knowledge of what was published abroad?
7 A. At that time, when it was going on, I did not read about it.
8 Later, when a debate started among the media, between our state and some
9 other states, then I followed more of it. But at the time, I did not have
10 occasion, and I did not have the opportunity to follow foreign sources.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you say "later," what -- when in time are you
12 referring to, if you know?
13 A. Later, when the debate started and the trial and --
14 JUDGE ORIE: You mean after the war? After the --
15 A. After the war, yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, one final question, as far as I'm concerned.
17 You earlier told us about an order that everyone should be released from
18 collection centres. In your statement you say, "I'd like to add," but
19 that must have been at a later stage, "an additional order was issued by
20 the president to check all these claims, to verify what was going on."
21 And you think that this may have been in autumn 1992. That order sounds,
22 in your statement, as an order to investigate rather than as an order to
23 immediately release whoever is held in collection centres. Therefore,
24 again, I'm trying to find out whether we have any specific order
25 saying, "Immediately release whoever is detained in collection centres."
1 A. As far as I know, just a few days after that publication was made,
2 an order was issued to deal with it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
4 Then before we have a break, you offered a video.
5 Mr. Subotic, we often take the approach that the parties can
6 consider whether they think it of any use. I'm not yet convinced on the
7 basis of your description, but I leave it to the parties to consider
8 whether the video you have brought and which I invite you to give to the
9 registrar so that a copy can be made, that the parties consider whether it
10 would assist their case to present it to the Court. That's one.
11 Second, and I'm now more directly addressing the parties. The
12 parties are aware that this Chamber always has been very interested in
13 finding records on serious Prosecutions and trials for crimes committed by
14 Serbs against Muslims and Croats. Therefore, I take it if ever such a
15 list of 300 judgements, which as far as I'm aware of I have not seen
16 during this trial, I take it that if it exists, and if it's given to the
17 OTP, that it would have been disclosed under Rule 68 to the Defence but I
18 also did not -- I do not recall that we ever received such a list during
19 the presentation of the Defence case. The witness says he doesn't have it
20 any more. I'm in the hands of the parties as to whether such a list does
21 exist, but not presented, or whether it is a phantom list. I've got no
22 idea. But the Chamber is always, and I repeat that, very much interested
23 to see whether serious attempts were made to investigate and to try Serbs
24 who had committed crimes, serious crimes, against Muslims and Croats.
25 If there is any information the Chamber would like and instructs
1 the party to try to find it and to present it to the Chamber.
2 Then we'll have a break, 25 minutes. We'll continue at quarter
3 past 1.00, then have another three quarters of an hour until 2.00. We
4 might discuss a few procedural matters to start with and then the
5 Prosecution can examine Mr. Subotic.
6 We resume at quarter past 1.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.50 p.m.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- On resuming at 1.24 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber would like to deal with some procedural
11 matters first. And to that end, I'd like to go into private session for a
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 26520-26521 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There is still an issue of checking the -- of
23 checking the translation of what Mr. Krajisnik said as a witness at page
24 26045. The Chamber is working on it, to have it resolved, the matter, so
25 it's verified whether the words of Mr. Krajisnik were translated properly.
1 That will be done on the basis of the audio and with the help of the CLSS.
2 MR. STEWART: I'm very grateful for that, Your Honour. May I say
3 on this particular point, Mr. Krajisnik himself has expressed special
4 concern to me which I then pass on now to the Trial Chamber.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but part of it was resolved about what he said
6 about whether he knew whether it was Mr. X, yes or no, but this issue had
7 not been resolved; I noticed that.
8 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then as far as scheduling is concerned, there was a
10 request to have closing arguments to be heard starting on the 29th of
11 August rather than on the 30th of August. The parties do agree on it.
12 The Prosecution's request that the schedule be amended to start closing
13 arguments on the 29th of August is granted.
14 Then the parties are again urged to see whether they could provide
15 the Kozarski Vjesnik article entitled, "Without censorship." The Chamber
16 already asked the parties to see whether they could locate this interview.
17 We have not heard since then. It might be of importance for the testimony
18 to be heard next week to have that, at least, available to us.
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I clarify one thing in relation to
20 what Your Honour said about starting on the 29th of August rather than on
21 the 30th of August so that what the Defence has agreed is clear. We have
22 agreed and there have been discussions, very friendly discussions between
23 Mr. Harmon and me, as always. We have agreed that the Defence takes
24 absolutely no objection to that one day adjustment from the 30th to the
25 29th of August but it is only that, Your Honour. The Defence should not,
1 please, be understood as agreeing that either of those dates are in the
2 overall context of the trial appropriate dates. It was that one day
3 adjust document which we had no objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You say given the situation, the situation you -- is
5 not in accordance with what you wished to be there, that the change of one
6 day that you agree on that but you still think it proper to have it done
7 in a totally different time --
8 MR. STEWART: If it's going to be the 30th we have no problem with
9 it being the 29th instead.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear.
11 Then these are the procedural matters I had on my mind.
12 MR. JOSSE: Could I mention, I think it's D174 and 175. The
13 Chamber has asked about the provenance of those documents. The answer
14 is: The Mali Dom in Pale.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mali Dom in Pale, and that you said was the 174 and
16 175. Thank you, Mr. Josse for this information.
17 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into the
18 courtroom again although we have only 25 minutes, yes, because we'll sit
19 until 2.00 and then resume at 3.00. So 25 minutes left until the next
21 Perhaps I could ask the parties the following. A reference was
22 made very often to a picture and a video which, as far as I remember, is
23 not in evidence. I take it mainly because Trnopolje is very much about --
24 is very much covered by adjudicated facts. Nevertheless, it has been
25 raised so many times and, of course, every one who is older than 30 will
1 have seen it 50 years ago in newspapers anyhow so whether it would not be
2 a good idea to -- but just to illustrate - not to establish anything
3 additionally - perhaps to have that in evidence as well.
4 MR. TIEGER: I quite agree Your Honour and the Court is of course
5 right that it had it not been for the adjudicated facts that information
6 and much other information would have been available.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the Defence would take a different position,
8 then --
9 MR. JOSSE: I would like to know what is going to go into
10 evidence. Perhaps I could discuss that with my learned friend,
11 Mr. Tieger, and is see if we can come to an agreement.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It's on my mind -- at least a picture which has been
13 commented so many times and perhaps the video clip of which it's -- most
14 likely is taken.
15 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, we'll direct ourselves during the course
16 of our discussions specifically to that, and if there seems to be an
17 additional material of the same sort of nature that would be of
18 assistance, I'll of course bring it to Mr. Josse's attention and we will
19 discuss that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The request at this moment is limited to this
21 material but of course if you would like to discuss that, then there is
22 nothing that prohibits you to do so.
23 WITNESS: BOGDAN SUBOTIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, I wasn't polite, paying attention to you
1 when you entered the Court. You'll now be examined by Mr. Tieger who is
2 counsel for the Prosecution.
3 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
4 MR. TIEGER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
6 Q. Mr. Subotic, good morning.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. I would like to pursue in a moment at least one of the issues that
9 the Judges were inquiring about earlier but one preliminary matter before
10 I get to that. You testified at page 21 of Wednesday's transcript that
11 you obtained "information related to the army and the leading of certain
12 operations" and then mainly from reports received by the Supreme Commander
13 which were forwarded to the ministry concerning certain issues.
14 Now, you also noted in your interview of -- or your statement of
15 December 1997, at paragraph 40, that you were aware that the Supreme
16 Commander "always received daily reports from the field, MUP reports,
17 police reports, army reports and reports of all the authorities and
18 bodies. They had to report everything that people thought he should know
20 Now, was your awareness that the Supreme Commander always received
21 daily reports from the field, including MUP reports, police reports, army
22 reports and reports of all the authorities and bodies derived from the
23 reports that were -- that you received from the Supreme Commander that
24 were forwarded to the ministry?
25 A. No. I did not receive any reports from anyone, but, for example,
1 the Commander-in-Chief a few times or perhaps should I put it
2 differently. Frequently, when things had to do with the Ministry of
3 Defence, that is to say my own provenance of work, then they would call me
4 in, in order to put some questions to me that only had to do with my own
5 authority. As for other things, for instance, the Commander-in-Chief
6 would forward them to the Prime Minister. These were things that were of
7 a general nature and that had to be discussed in relation to the reports
8 that he received. I did not receive any reports so I was not familiar
9 with all the details.
10 Q. Mr. Subotic, two questions and I'd like these initially answered
11 yes or no if possible and then we can clarify if necessary. Number 1, you
12 said in your statement of December 1997, at paragraph 40, that you knew
13 that the Supreme Commander "always received daily reports from the field,"
14 and I listed those reports. Is that correct, yes or no?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Number 2?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You told the Court on Wednesday that your information concerning
19 the army and the leading of certain operations was derived mainly from
20 reports that the Supreme Commander had received and that had been
21 forwarded on, that you had an opportunity to see. Is that correct, yes or
23 A. No. That is not correct.
24 Q. Okay. Well, I'm reciting your testimony verbatim. So from what
25 sources then did you learn about information related to the army and the
1 leading of certain operations?
2 A. I knew that reports were coming in because that was a procedural
3 issue. However, I was not familiarised with all reports, but only that
4 part of the reports, as I said a few moments ago, that had to do with my
5 own provenance of work, or on the other hand, if part of a report would be
6 interesting for the government, then as a member of the government I was
7 in the same position, but by no means was I aware of all reports.
8 Q. Now, speaking of reports received by the government, actually, it
9 takes me to one of the issues that the Judges were talking to you about
10 earlier. And that was the discussion that stemmed from the government
11 session of June 15th at which the working commission was formed to
12 address -- and I'll pull out that document, which is found at tab 5 -- to
13 address all aspects of the prisoner exchange problem and propose
14 systematic and other solutions. You said that the -- that your
15 involvement in that concerned clarification of the laws of war. What were
16 the other aspects of the prisoner exchange problem that were considered by
17 Professor Djeric, Mr. Trbojevic, Dr. Kalinic, Mico Stanisic, and Momcilo
19 A. Well, I think -- well, the only reason was a mutual exchange of
20 prisoners, quite simply.
21 Well, first of all, let me tell you something. These people,
22 especially in 1991, these people who were at local level, well, you know,
23 it was imprisonment only conditionally speaking. In the simplest possible
24 terms, they simply captured each other and set conditions for each other.
25 They didn't really have any proper conditions or criteria. I mean this is
1 what I think. This is my assessment. So quite simply, the reason guiding
2 them was to have all of this resolved as soon as possible. That's just my
3 opinion. I don't really have any information on the basis of which I
4 could make any assertions to you because really --
5 Q. I suggest you do have information since you were on that working
6 group. Wasn't the problem with the prisoner exchange the fact that the
7 prisoners, the many, many prisoners, gathered in by Bosnian Serb forces
8 were languishing in camps because the exchanges weren't going fast enough?
9 Wasn't that at least one of the problems considered by the working group?
10 A. Sir, just the way you are asserting that, I am asserting to you
11 that, as for that working group, I never went out into the field. I never
12 had any assignments except to explain the provisions of international
13 humanitarian law within that group that had to do with the treatment of
14 prisoners. That's the only role that I had in that group.
15 Q. You spent quite a bit of time in the Krajina, didn't you, visiting
16 the Krajina?
17 A. Well, yes, for the most part, I did, yes.
18 Q. For example, you were present at the session of the Assembly of
19 the Autonomous Region of Krajina of July the 17th, do you recall that?
20 A. Could you tell me the venue where the session was held? Because I
21 cannot recall the session now and perhaps I will if I hear what the venue
23 Q. I'll show you that in a moment but let me also ask you whether you
24 were present in the ARK region on 4 August 1992, the day before
25 international journalists entered Omarska?
1 A. Autonomous region of the Krajina, what was that? What assembly
2 was this? Was it the people's assembly or -- I don't know what assembly
3 you're talking about.
4 Q. Well, then just take a look at this next document which is, I
5 believe, P990. These are extracts from the minutes of the 18th session of
6 the assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina held on July 17th, 1992,
7 presided over by Vojo Kupresanin, attended by among others, General Talic,
8 Goran Hadzic, Milan Martic, Velibor Ostojic, Dragan Kalinic and yourself,
9 the Minister of Defence. And at that session there was a -- there were
10 reports by Mr. Brdjanin and Mr. Zupljanin concerning the current political
11 and security situation in the Autonomous Region of Krajina. You can see
12 that under item 1. In addition, General Talic and Mr. Ninkovic and Milan
13 Martic advised about the military operations of the army of the Serbian
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Posavina.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Zahar, during the course of your interview showed you a
17 report prepared by Mr. Stanisic and submitted to the president of the
18 Presidency and the president of the government on that very day, July
19 17th, 1992, in which he noted, among other things, as you heard during the
20 course of your discussions with Mr. Zahar, that the army and the War
21 Presidencies were gathering up as many Muslim civilians as possible and
22 placing them into camps where, to say the least, substandard conditions
23 prevailed. During the course of your discussions with any of the persons
24 gathered at the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, including
25 Mr. Zupljanin, what did you learn about the existence of facilities that
1 held Muslim civilians in the region of the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
2 A. I did not hear about any of that at that session. It wasn't at
3 that session. Well, perhaps it was in the couloirs but not the session
4 itself. No.
5 Q. So --
6 A. I personally was not addressed on such issues by anyone. I
7 remember that assembly. It was held in Banja Luka, at Banski Dvor. Now
8 that you've reminded me I know that.
9 Q. You knew generally, at least, and we will talk about the specifics
10 at the moment, what was happening in the region of the ARK. You knew
11 about the military successes, you knew about the territories controlled by
12 the Bosnian Serb forces, and you certainly knew something about what was
13 happening to the Muslim population. Whether you learned it during the
14 actual session itself or outside the session, tell the Court what you knew
15 about that.
16 A. At the session, I just heard what Talic said about the situation.
17 I heard about the situation as he presented it but at that assembly
18 session there was no reference to any taking of prisoners. No one talked
19 about that. No one discussed that.
20 Q. How long afterwards was it before you learned that prisoners were
21 being taken, that is Muslims were being gathered not in tens, not in
22 hundreds, but in thousands by Bosnian Serb forces and held prisoner?
23 A. The first case that I heard of -- well, I was in Pale at the time
24 when I heard of that, and that was when some people were taken prisoner
25 and taken to the camp of Manjaca. I think it was from that area -- well,
1 the present-day territory of Croatia, I mean, up there in Kostajnica. I
2 think it was from there. That was the first time that I heard of
3 something like that. I was in Pale. I was not in Banja Luka, when I
4 heard that existed. I put a question in this regard and I was told a that
5 a camp had been established at Manjaca. I asked over there whether this
6 was organised on the basis of instructions. Somebody made a comment
7 saying, yes, it will be seen, some commission went out there. I was not
8 involved in that. During the existence of that camp I was never in
9 Manjaca. I know that there was this Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel who was
10 appointed commander of the camp and so on and so forth and it was said
11 that everything was done according to regulations. But I did not have any
12 duties with regard to that. Another case that I learned of was this
13 collection centre or camp, depending on who called it what, in Prijedor.
14 Q. When did you learn about the establishment of Manjaca?
15 A. I heard about that -- well, I don't remember the date, but perhaps
16 a day or two after it had been established. I think it was pretty early
17 on. I think that Kostajnica had fallen then, some fortification, I don't
18 recall even the month, let alone the date, but after the fall of the
19 fortification in Kostajnica, this --
20 Q. How many people were held at Manjaca during the course of its
21 existence, at any given time and then throughout?
22 A. Believe me, I do not recall. I do not recall any figure
23 whatsoever. I did not have that kind of information.
24 Q. You didn't make an effort to receive any information about how
25 many prisoners were held at Manjaca? And no one made an effort to make
1 you aware of that?
2 A. No, no. I've already explained the day before yesterday that I
3 was pretty much on the sidelines as far as the army was concerned, and the
4 Main Staff and the corps. It was my understanding that that was not
5 within my domain and I didn't delve into that. And that was on the
6 territory of the 1st Krajina Corps; that is to say, General Talic.
7 Q. What was in your domain, Mr. Subotic according to what you told us
8 was logistics, including such things as food, right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So I think and I believe you made a point of telling the Court how
11 it was your moral duty to tour around so that you could ensure that the
12 soldiers had sufficient food and supplies. Correct?
13 A. In order to have an overview. In order to have an overview as to
14 what the situation was. Not to supply.
15 Q. But to direct your attention to the problem if in fact the
16 soldiers were not receiving sufficient supplies, such as munitions,
17 clothing, and food, correct?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Whose responsibility was it to feed these prisoners in the Manjaca
20 camp? It was not their own responsibility, was it? It was the army's
21 responsibility, wasn't it?
22 A. It was the responsibility of whoever had set up the camp. But
23 believe me, speaking quite frankly, from a legal point of view, I cannot
24 tell you who it was that had set up the camp. Was it the military? Was
25 it the police? I don't know. I think it was the army because the
1 commander of the camp was a military officer. So my logical conclusion
2 would be that General Talic had established the camp and therefore he was
3 responsible for it. I did not have a single document about that camp in
4 my own hands, not ever. Nor did I ever go up there. Everything I heard I
5 heard either from the media or from some informal conversation, but
6 nothing officially.
7 Q. Before we break, let me show you at least one picture, and I'm
8 going to show you some more of prisoners at Manjaca.
9 MR. TIEGER: If this can be placed on the ELMO, please?
10 Q. You see that picture, Mr. Subotic?
11 A. Yes, yes. I see this photograph and I saw it on television on TV
12 Republika Srpska, precisely this one. The man in the middle, the one who
13 is tied.
14 Q. The two men on the side with those bony shoulder blades don't look
15 too well-fed to me. Do they look pretty healthy to you?
16 A. No, no, no. They don't look good to me.
17 Q. Look at their condition carefully, Mr. Subotic. Wouldn't you say
18 it is improper, indeed illegal, to hold people in detention and treat them
19 in a fashion that results in a condition like that?
20 A. That is absolutely what I think.
21 Q. There were thousands of those people in Manjaca camp. It
22 required -- the food to feed them, as you just noted, was at least
23 General Talic's responsibility but ultimately it was the responsibility of
24 those who were in charge and accountable for ensuring that the army
25 received sufficient food to discharge its responsibilities, including
1 taking care of prisoners, isn't that right?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Are you suggesting that no one ever came to you and said, "We have
4 thousands and thousands of prisoners in this condition and we need
5 additional food to feed them"?
6 A. No. I know that the state leadership had been informed about
7 that, and then the president of the republic started a campaign to go
8 there. He sent certain ministers there, of the Interior and I don't know
9 exactly who all. And with the International Red Cross, and I don't know,
10 some other international organisations, certain activities were launched
11 but I was not aware of that. I was not involved in any of that.
12 MR. TIEGER: I have additional questions, of course, Your Honour,
13 but I'm trying to be scrupulous about the time in accordance with the
14 Court's instructions.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We will consider since the Court took more time this
16 morning in putting additional questions to the witness, how to proceed.
17 Mr. Subotic, your testimony was scheduled for two days. If we
18 would not finish today, would you be available to stay over the weekend
19 and be available on -- after the weekend?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can stay, if necessary.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, we have not yet decided on the
22 matter and one of the additional problems would be that perhaps a
23 videolink has to be used early next week. But we'll consider the matter.
24 We'll now have a break until 3.00 and then we'll continue.
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.08 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before we start, just for scheduling purposes, how
3 much time would the parties need at a minimum? I add that. And whether
4 that's your minimum or our minimum is still to be seen but --
5 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I of course begin with a customary
6 caveat that it's always difficult to know. I will say that I attempted to
7 craft the cross-examination along the lines suggested by the Court
8 earlier, that is with the expectation of two hours. Of course, the hope
9 that, if necessary, it would go longer but so that was what I was trying
10 to do. I expected that I would have to truncate it, so I would estimate
11 perhaps an additional two hours but maybe I'll be more efficient.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I hope you will. Mr. Josse or Mr. Stewart?
13 Mr. Josse, I see you're on your feet.
14 MR. JOSSE: Yes, I'm going to be cross-examining this witness.
15 Your Honour, depending on how long the Chamber grants the Prosecution, I
16 will do what I can to finish by 6.00 so long as the Chamber are not
17 overgenerous to the Prosecution.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand. The Prosecution has taken
19 until now approximately half an hour. You would like to have the same
20 time as the Prosecution, is that a correct understanding?
21 MR. JOSSE: Ideally, yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, actually I said half an hour. That might be a
23 bit too much. I could check it of course. We have a remainder of 2 hours
24 and 50 minutes so including the time you took this morning, that would be
25 a little bit more altogether for the parties, three hours; of course some
1 time will be taken by a break. We'll try to keep that as limited as
2 possible. Then let's try to -- let's see where each party would be able
3 to finish in one hour and 20 minutes. And the Defence has used a little
4 bit over ten minutes already. Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm sure the Court meant the
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'm sorry, yes. It's Friday for me as well. Please
9 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Subotic, I'm going to try to move through this material as
11 quickly as I can so I'll be returning to the issue that we were discussing
12 before the break but let me address a few other issues first. During the
13 course of your examination by the Chamber, you discussed some of the JNA
14 activities that preceding May 12th. Now, this Chamber has heard
15 considerable evidence, some of it from JNA documents, some of it from
16 Bosnian Serb documents, some of it from other sources indicating that
17 members of the JNA assisted in arming Bosnian Serbs before the war or
18 otherwise assisting the Bosnian Serb military effort either before the war
19 or prior to the establishment of the VRS. Did that happen or not,
20 according to you?
21 A. I'm not aware of any such thing.
22 Q. Now, there were JNA officers -- let me take your example. You
23 were a member of the JNA who, according to your statement, believed that
24 Mr. Izetbegovic was a criminal, that he advocated that Muslims had the
25 right to use any means possible against infidels, that he and other
1 Muslims planned a massacre of Serbs, that it had been decided in Teheran
2 to kill a million Serbs, and furthermore, that Muslims were essentially
3 Turks. Now, what about those officers who fit roughly into that category?
4 Did those people participate in assisting the Bosnian Serbs by providing
5 weaponry, or participating in military efforts in any way before the
6 establishment of the VRS?
7 A. You know what, Bosnia and Herzegovina was a republic in the former
8 Yugoslavia, and most of the weapons of the JNA were in Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. The reason for that are somethings in the pre-war years, the
10 relationship with the Soviet Union, let me not go into any further detail.
11 The Territorial Defence had its depot full of arms and ammunition and my
12 conclusion is that when it comes to the first year of war, my conclusion
13 can be applied to both sides, and it is my own conclusion which I cannot
14 prove, I wish to say that both the Muslims and the Serbs used the depots
15 in their respective territories and that they did not need any additional
16 weaponry. I cannot prove that there were no private arrangements and so
17 on and so forth; however, when it comes to the army itself, save for what
18 the JNA had left when they were withdrawing, I am not aware of any
19 organised arming in that first year of war.
20 Q. Well, a lot of caveats there, it seems to me, organised and you
21 may have said formal, I have to look for it. In any event let me be a
22 little more direct. Didn't you personally engage in action before the VRS
23 was formed to ensure that weaponry of the JNA was available to the Bosnian
24 Serbs, and in particular, tanks?
25 A. Not me personally. In Banja Luka, there were tanks that belonged
1 to the school centre that I was the commander of, and some others belonged
2 to the Banja Luka Corps, and the Banja Luka Corps did have some
3 activities, for example, in Plitvice and some other activities during that
4 period of time.
5 Q. Can we turn to tab 15, please. If it hasn't been distributed, I
6 would ask that it be distributed and other tabs be distributed. And tab
7 15, when it's received by the Court and the parties, is P64, P65, tab 128.
8 Also P529, tab 49.
9 And perhaps there is an additional page I think that can be
10 distributed. I'm not sure we'll get there but it might be helpful.
11 I'm directing the Court's attention to page 323 of the English.
12 This is Dr. Karadzic speaking, page 176 of the B/C/S, Mr. Subotic. And
13 this is Dr. Karadzic speaking at the 50th session of the Bosnian Serb
14 Assembly. You'll see in tab 15 --
15 A. 176? I don't see that page. Ah, well.
16 Q. All right. And that's about ten lines down from the top, and in
17 the English, Your Honours, it's the second paragraph beginning
18 approximately ten lines down, where Dr. Karadzic says, "I want to say how
19 it was at the moment the war began in the municipalities where we were in
20 the majority we had municipal power, held it firmly, controlled
21 everything," the Court is familiar with this passage, of referring to
22 Variant A and B. You will remember the A and B variants, describing the B
23 variant. And then, Mr. Subotic, we get down to the portion I wanted to
24 bring to your attention: "The war began and the JNA helped as much as it
25 could here and there. It had helped before. I hope this will not be
1 going out on HTV. General Subotic helped just before the war began by
2 sending tanks. He took the risk and signed for them to go for servicing
3 while in fact he sent them to Banija. When Kostajnica fell we captured
4 300 to 400 Ustashas. It was done with the tanks of General Subotic who
5 was a Colonel here." And then Dr. Karadzic goes on to speak more
6 generally about the distribution of weapons and the organisation of the
7 army by the SDS and that the armed forces, together with the police, were
9 Mr. Subotic, that's a reflection of your efforts prior to the war
10 to assist the Bosnian Serb military effort in precisely the manner
11 described by Dr. Karadzic, correct?
12 A. No. This is not correct. It is known and it has been recorded
13 when the conflict -- that is not conflict but a crisis situation broke out
14 in Kupres - this is a well known event - then the tanks from my centre
15 went to Kupres, and their role was to separate the sides and no conflicts
16 arose as a result of that and the situation lasted for some three or four
17 months. However, those were the tanks from my centre, and what President
18 Karadzic is saying about Banija, these were not the tanks from the centre
19 but rather the tanks from the corps, and this is a fact, and this was
20 registered, recorded, even filmed and it is no secret the JNA approved
21 that from Belgrade, it was approved for the tanks to go to Kupres in order
22 to prevent the -- a conflict. There was a colonel there; he was the
23 commander. I can't remember his name, but this is the only thing that was
24 ever done.
25 Q. So Dr. Karadzic mistakenly thought that you were actually
1 assisting the Bosnian Serb side when in fact you were just engaged in
2 peacemaking efforts, is that it?
3 A. That was also the JNA. I was a member of the JNA, and I was given
4 the task from Belgrade to send that unit to Kupres. This was no secret.
5 It was all legal and public knowledge. And there were no conflicts there.
6 And as for Banija, those were the corps tanks.
7 Q. You were asked a few questions about, I believe by His Honour
8 Judge Hanoteau about your views concerning the imminent massacre of Serbs,
9 the plan in Teheran to kill a million Serbs, the belief by Izetbegovic
10 that Muslims had the right to use all means to deal with infidels. Was
11 that your unique view among the members of the Bosnian Serb leadership?
12 Were you, like, really the sole person who held that view or was that view
13 shared by other members of the Bosnian Serb leadership?
14 A. Listen, all the people in the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs were
15 aware of the Islam declaration and of the principles that are described
16 both in the Koran and in the Islam declaration. I did not discuss those
17 things with them but all of us listened to the speech of Alija
18 Izetbegovic. Everybody listened. And Mr. Krajisnik listened. When Alija
19 Izetbegovic spoke on the radio, when he addressed his fellow citizens, and
20 when he said at the end, "Brethren you have to know that only the chosen
21 ones can die for the Allah. Allahu Akbar." This was also recorded and I
22 was clear when I heard that, and I believe that everybody else was clear
23 as well as I was but --
24 Q. Let me -- okay. I appreciate you're trying to answer the question
25 but let's be a little more specific. I understand that --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps before doing so, I would like to
2 have a clarification of a previous answer about these tanks being sent to
3 Banija. I understand your testimony to be the tanks of my school, they
4 went to Kupres, that was -- these were different tanks. Which leaves that
5 Mr. Karadzic says that.
6 THE WITNESS: From the corps.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
8 THE WITNESS: But that was the JNA. That was the JNA, Mr.
9 President. The corps was part of the JNA.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And they were sent to Banija, I do understand, and
11 then Mr. Karadzic says that when Kostajnica fell, we captured three to 400
12 Ustashas, it was done with the tanks of General Subotic. Do I have to
13 understand that he made a mistake there and this was done by the tanks of
14 the 1st Corps because you said those tanks were sent to Kostajnica.
15 THE WITNESS: This it was a slip of the tongue. Both groups of
16 tanks belonged to the JNA but I was not engaged on that side. I had my
17 engagement on Kupres.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand, but those tanks that were sent
19 to Banija, were they involved in what happened in Kostajnica?
20 THE WITNESS: Kostajnica is in Banja. You go from Kostajnica to
21 Dvor Na Uni and then you proceed towards Topusko and --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Kostajnica came under the control of which
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is in Croatia. This was the
25 Croatian side. It was Croatia then and it is still Croatia.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When it was said when Kostajnica fell, it was
2 done with the tanks of -- and now we have to say the tanks that were sent
3 to Banija, under whose control was Kostajnica when it fell and who took at
4 that moment with those tanks control of Kostajnica?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under the control of the corps. As
6 a matter of fact, it was under the control of Croatia because Kostajnica
7 had a unit of Croatian forces, the ZNG forces. There was no major
8 fighting there through [unintelligible]. There was just a -- the
9 situation when the Croatian forces withdrew, some people were captured and
10 from there they were taken to Manjaca, as far as I know.
11 JUDGE ORIE: My question quite simply is what party took, with the
12 help or with those tanks, control over Kostajnica?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The JNA.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The JNA of --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was not a matter of the Serbian
16 side here and the others there because at that time the JNA still existed.
17 It was not disbanded yet. This was the beginning and the composition of
18 it was mixed but it was allied under the command of the JNA.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if the parties could in any way enlighten me at
20 a later stage on what actually now happened, it suggests - this language -
21 that the tanks were used in support of the Bosnian Serb side to take
22 control over Kostajnica. It's not entirely clear to me what it exactly
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The war had not started by that time
25 in Bosnia.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know exactly what date it was that this
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was during the months when
4 there was all that situation in Plitvice. I can't remember exactly when.
5 But the war in Bosnia had not started. The first conflicts were with the
6 Croatian side. This thing in Kupres and the other thing in Banija, I
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
9 MR. TIEGER: I need to move on.
10 Q. Mr. Subotic, in your statement and during the course of your
11 testimony, well certainly in your statement, you suggested that or
12 indicated more explicitly that the TOs, that is the military forces before
13 the formation of the VRS, were essentially self-organised and not directed
14 or linked to any central body, referring here to paragraph 13 of your
15 statement. This Court has received evidence, and I want to bring some of
16 it to your attention and then ask you a quick question. P64, P65, tab
17 120, reflect the minutes of the national courts and government of the
18 Serbian BiH from April 15th, 1992. I'm going to cite awe number of these.
19 That one can be found at tab 4. That is a recommendation, it contains
20 among other things a recommendation to declare an imminent threat of war
21 and that you were temporarily appointed in charge of the TO. That same
22 session reflects that in item 3, that the Minister of Defence shall order
23 the use of the artillery and heavy weapons against the targets in the city
24 of Sarajevo only when exceptional conditions justify such action. Tab 8
25 contains the minutes of the session of the NSC held on the 22nd of April
1 1992 and in the first item, strategic issues with regard to that item, it
2 was agreed that the Serb Republic of BiH would maintain the positions that
3 had been taken especially in Sarajevo and that Dr. Karadzic would
4 coordinate commanding the TO.
5 Tab 9 are the minutes of the session of the NSC from 24 April, in
6 which a decision was passed on the formation of a Territorial Defence town
7 staff from the former municipal TO commanders. Dr. Karadzic was put in
8 charge of implementing the decision.
9 Tab 11 is a session of the NSC on 28 April where the NSC adopted a
10 decision to send a request for uniforms to the JNA. That is a decision
11 was adopted on sending a request to the SSNO and the JNA General Staff to
12 secure uniforms for the TO, and the ministry for National Defence is
13 responsible for executing the decision.
14 All of these decisions made during the course of sessions of the
15 national Security Council and the government, Mr. Subotic, reflect the
16 effort to direct those TO units that you claimed were self-organised and
17 essentially independent, isn't that right?
18 A. Yes. This was on the 15th of April when this meeting took place
19 and when the tasks were distributed. Before that, the units had already
20 taken over their depots and whatever they had and this was no longer under
21 any command and then this decision was issued to do something about that.
22 A Colonel was appointed commander of the Territorial Defence because
23 somebody had to organise things and to prevent anarchy from developing,
24 and this was the situation until the 12th of May, until the army was
25 created. This was just a temporary situation that we organised in order
1 to prevent anarchy, and that was that.
2 Q. To prevent anarchy and direct the forces in the manner indicated
3 in those minutes, correct?
4 A. No. Just to have somebody supervising them, to have somebody
5 controlling them and establish a link. And that same thing was true of
6 the Muslim side. Because the commander of the Territorial Defence of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, General -- whose name I can't remember at the moment,
8 went to Belgrade. He just abandoned his post and left because there had
9 been a commander of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So
10 we just filled the gaps in the organisation for the duration of a month,
11 in order to prevent anarchy during that month. And this colonel
12 coordinated the Territorial Defence Staffs in Sarajevo. He was in
13 Sarajevo. He never went anywhere outside Sarajevo.
14 Q. Now, there was considerable discussion during the course of your
15 testimony on Wednesday about your -- what I understood to be, well, what
16 you said was your personal, intimate opinion, having to do with
17 General Mladic and what you "assumed without any" -- that's quote
18 "assumed" without "any evidence" - that's at page 42 - about
19 General Mladic. You also indicated at page 42 that you didn't know the
20 extent to which Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic met, for example, because
21 nobody invited you. But you did offer some opinions that prompted some
22 questions about General Mladic -- the extent of General Mladic's autonomy
23 or departure from Dr. Karadzic and the other members of the political
25 Now, the best example you gave of any alleged conflict between the
1 political leadership and the military, and you referred to it again today,
2 if I recall correctly, was the operation on Mount Igman. Right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In fact, the -- although you indicated to the Court that the
5 operation on Mount Igman occurred in 1992, the fact is that that occurred
6 in July and August of 1993; isn't that right?
7 A. I know that at that time there was a conflict between Mladic and
8 Karadzic and I apologise if I was mistaken in the date, but there was a
9 conflict regarding the end of those activities under the pressure of Lord
10 Owen and so on and so forth. I may have been mistaken on the date because
11 I'm not that clever to be able to retain for 12 years all those things
12 that happened at the time.
13 Q. So you don't -- I'll show you some documents, if I may, in a
14 moment, but those events were in July of 1993. You don't dispute that?
15 A. No. I'm not contesting anything. If that is the case, that is
16 the case, but that was the result of that operation.
17 Q. And the fact of the matter was, in that case, that the Bosnian
18 Serb military forces launched an offensive which had the potential to take
19 the high ground and control Sarajevo but air strikes were threatened by
20 the international community and the Bosnian Serb offensive was also
21 condemned by the Security Council; isn't that right?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. And that's what prompted the decision by the political leadership
24 to halt the offensive?
25 A. That is correct. Pressure was put on Karadzic as a result of
1 which Karadzic put a stop on the offensive and Mladic was against that,
2 and Mladic was the commander.
3 Q. Mladic didn't want to do it because it looked like the operation
4 was succeeding but in the face of Dr. Karadzic's objection, General Mladic
5 relented and stopped the operation, correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Now, during the course of that discussion, you were asked by I
8 believe His Honour Judge Orie for any examples of operations in 1992 which
9 were successful for the Bosnian Serbs, and which basically any operations
10 in 1992 that were instituted against or over the objections of the
11 political leadership, and you explained that at page 55, "you see, in
12 1992, there weren't any serious military operations except for the
13 operation Igman." That's 55, 13 through 18. Now we know that now that
14 the Igman operation was in 1993.
15 A. Very well. Yes. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Can you tell the Court then that you, Mr. Subotic, the Minister of
17 Defence, were not aware of any serious military operations in 1992 by the
18 Bosnian Serb forces?
19 A. I can't remember any of those operations.
20 Q. Can we take a look at tab 68, please?
21 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I believe this will need a number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1262, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
24 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I realise I'm at risk of going -- having
25 to track back to get a number but I realise that the photograph did not
1 receive a number.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes the photograph has not received a number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1263, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Mr. Subotic, P1262 is a document dated 29 June 1992, to the 1st
7 Krajina Corps command, sent by you, the Minister of Defence,
8 Colonel Bogdan Subotic, extending "sincere brotherly regards to the brave
9 soldiers and officers of the heroic 1st Krajina Corps from Banja Luka for
10 the results achieved in the honourable combat to open the corridor. Hope
11 and salvation for Krajina."
12 You indicate your pride in the heroic deeds realised so far, and
13 in the last paragraph indicate that you trust in God and the bravery of
14 the 1st Krajina Corps for the victories to come.
15 Does that document, Mr. Subotic, reflect or refresh your
16 recollection about the existence of military operations by the Bosnian
17 Serb forces during 1992?
18 A. You know that the corridor towards Brcko and further on towards
19 Bijeljina was closed.
20 Q. No. No, Mr. Subotic, I'm not look for an explanation of why
21 Operation Corridor was instituted. I just want to know if you acknowledge
22 now that there were military operations, serious military operations by
23 the Bosnian Serb forces in 1992.
24 A. Twelve babies died for the lack of oxygen in Banja Luka. This is
25 a well known fact.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, that is in already quite some evidence
2 we heard before. Would you please concentrate on the question put to you
3 and answer whether, where you said there were no major military
4 operations, that being -- it's now been put to you the operation which
5 created the corridor, whether this you consider this to be a major
6 operation, military operation.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. The road was made
8 passable for the supplies.
9 MR. TIEGER:
10 Q. Let's look at tab 35, Mr. Subotic. That's P727, tab 18. This is
11 operational directive number 4 of November 19th, 1992. And if you'll look
12 through that quickly, you'll see directives to the various corps, many
13 references to the liberation of territories or the protection of
14 already-liberated territories, to the recovery of any lost territories, to
15 the launching of offensive operations, and if you'll turn to page 5 of the
16 English, referring to the Drina Corps, and in your version you'll see that
17 under the directive to the Drina Corps, "From its present positions its
18 main forces shall persistently defend Visegrad, Zvornik and the corridor
19 while the rest of its forces in the wider Podrinje region shall exhaust
20 the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on him, and force him to
21 leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas, together with the Muslim
23 You were aware of those offensive operations, weren't you, Mr.
24 Subotic, in 1992?
25 A. I know that in Zepa, our soldiers died and I told you about that
1 in -- but I have -- I have never seen any orders about any of the other
2 operations but I was aware of the Zepa operation and I spoke about it in
3 answer to Mr. President's questions.
4 Q. No. You told the Court you weren't aware of any serious military
5 operations, and yet serious military operations were occurring; serious
6 offensive and liberating operations were instituted by the VRS throughout
7 the second half of 1992 and you knew about that. That's right, isn't it?
8 A. I knew then, but I could not remember. I only remembered the Zepa
9 operation, no other. Of course, I was aware then of all these operations
10 but I did not have any influence on any of them.
11 Q. All right. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Subotic, that any
12 suggestion that might have been made by you during the course of your
13 testimony on Wednesday or in your statement that General Mladic acted
14 independently of the Bosnian Serb leadership is just -- in 1992, is just
15 wrong, isn't it? The VRS and the political leadership pursued the same
16 objectives and everyone was aware of the subordination of the VRS to the
17 political leadership of the Bosnian Serbs. That's the truth, correct?
18 MR. JOSSE: I suggest they are basically two questions there.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let's start with the last one, Mr. Subotic. Whether
20 everyone was aware of the subordination of the VRS to the political
21 leadership of the Bosnian Serbs. Is that true?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, it was.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And the first one was whether the political
24 leadership and the VRS pursued the same objectives. Is that true as well?
25 Or is it not?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe in terms of plans, the answer
2 would be yes, but in the implementation of these goals, not necessarily.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. Well, it's correct --
5 MR. JOSSE: The specific question was about General Mladic as
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well then there are more than even two questions.
8 MR. JOSSE: Precisely.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I've now specified two questions. If
10 would you like to get an answer on other questions that were all packed in
11 one, you perhaps should --
12 MR. TIEGER: It seems to me the same question, Your Honour, I
13 don't know how General Mladic can be distinguished from the VRS.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well weeks can ask Mr. Subotic.
15 Mr. Subotic, whether we are talking about shared objectives and
16 about whether the VRS was subordinated to the political leadership, would
17 your answers include General Mladic as the --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. Yes. He was
19 subordinated but the question was to what extent he observed these orders
20 and to what extent he implemented them. That was within his own
21 autonomous realm.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand and were you asked earlier -- I
23 asked you that question, whether you could give any example of 1992 where
24 General Mladic -- so apart from Zepa and apart from Igman which was in
25 1993 most likely, whether you could give us any example on where General
1 Mladic proceeded in a way which would be inconsistent with what he was
2 expected to do by the political leadership.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not say now. I don't
4 remember that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. Now, in terms of that subordination to the political leadership,
8 the political leadership in Republika Srpska in 199 -- or the chain of
9 command in 1992 had the VRS subordinate to the Presidency - correct? -
10 which in 1992 was a collective Presidency, until December?
11 A. The army was subordinated to its Supreme Commander,
12 President Karadzic.
13 Q. Well the army according to the laws of Republika Srpska was
14 subordinate to the president under the constitution, and under the laws on
15 implementing the constitution, there was a Presidency until a president
16 could be elected. You knew that, right?
17 A. That's the way it was, yes. If those dates did not overlap with
18 certain operations, yes.
19 Q. Okay. And for the bulk of the second half of 1992, that
20 Presidency was a War Presidency, and you knew that as well, correct?
21 A. It was not called a War Presidency. It was called the Presidency.
22 No official document said War Presidency. It said Presidency of Republika
23 Srpska. At that time we had not had a declared state of war. We just had
24 declared a state of imminent threat of war. That is official.
25 Q. All right. Just a couple --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps we should not revisit the
2 imminent threat of war and the state of war in full detail again.
3 MR. TIEGER: I don't intend to, Your Honour; I appreciates the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. Mr. Subotic, you knew there was a War Presidency and you knew that
8 for any number of reasons. You were present at the 22nd session of the
9 Bosnian Serb Assembly when the existence of and continuation of that War
10 Presidency was discussed at length. You were present at the session of
11 the Bosnian Serb Presidency, one of three sessions of the Presidency, at
12 which -- which you attended, when the retention of the War Presidency was
13 discussed. And you yourself talked about the War Presidency at the 19th
14 session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly.
15 A. Well, I don't know. I don't understand the question. What is the
17 Q. The question is that in light of all those -- all that exposure to
18 discussions about the War Presidency, you were very well aware of the fact
19 that there was a War Presidency at that time, and that it consisted of the
20 original three members of the collective Presidency, the president of the
21 assembly, and the president of the government. That's the truth, right?
22 A. That's true. But it wasn't called the War Presidency. It was the
24 Q. Okay, it was called the Presidency by most people but that's what
25 it was. It was the War Presidency consisting of the people I mentioned,
2 A. Well, if you say so, then you consider it to have been the War
3 Presidency but it was the Presidency. That is official. In the
4 constitution, in the assembly, in the documents that exist. So we cannot
5 call it the War Presidency if it was not called the wards in the Official
6 Gazette. I don't see why you insist on this word "war." We had not had a
7 declared state of war. That's a fact.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, let's try to get to the basics. If you
9 say someone couldn't call a body a War Presidency if it's not in the
10 Official Gazette, then one thing may be clear, that I have seen human
11 beings doing things which were not in the Official Gazette. So this kind
12 of reasoning and drawing conclusions is perhaps not the best way to assist
13 this Chamber.
14 It was put to you that you even used those words, but let's try to
15 get two matters clear and not confused. The first is how it was called,
16 the president, War Presidency, or not, that's one issue. The second is
17 how the Presidency or War Presidency, whatever name you give it,
18 functioned in that year. Mr. Tieger has put to you that it was Mr.
19 Karadzic, Madam Plavsic, Mr. Koljevic, the president of the assembly, and
20 the Prime Minister, Mr. Djeric, that those five people functioned as
21 Presidency; whether you call them War Presidency or not is a second
22 matter. Is that correctly stated by Mr. Tieger or is it not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. As far as I know, it was only
24 the three, Karadzic, Koljevic and Plavsic. They were the only members of
25 the Presidency. The rest were there from time to time but I'm not aware
1 of them being members of the Presidency and that is not mentioned anywhere
2 in the Official Gazette. Djeric and Krajisnik. That's for sure. I know
3 that they were not -- well, perhaps they were invited. I was invited
4 sometimes to these sessions. But we were not members of the Presidency.
5 The United Nations is aware of that too, and all of us who were in
6 contact with --
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps next subject would be good idea.
9 If you want to do that, to put to the witness directly words he used
10 himself that might --
11 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn to the 19th session of the Bosnian
12 Serb Assembly. And specifically to page 57 in the English, page 58 of the
13 English and page 56 of the B/C/S. We found it, it's at tab 25. P583, tab
15 Q. You had an opportunity on Wednesday to see portions of this, Mr.
16 Subotic. This is your lament about the fact that nobody informed you
17 about anything, you don't take part in any decisions and little or no
18 contact with the army Main Staff, on and on, and finally on page 56 of the
19 B/C/S and page 58 of the English, the last sentence before the final
20 paragraph at page 58, you say, "Anyway, I am probably the only Defence
21 Minister in the world who is not a member of the War Presidency of the
23 A. That's just a slip. Perhaps it was some kind of jargon and
24 customary but I'm talking about official documents. Perhaps this was,
25 well --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it doesn't really change
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, you were asked earlier whether such a
5 War Presidency existed and you were confronted with the use of the words
6 and you said no one called it that. And then you refer to the Official
7 Gazette. But now, it's now put to you that whether we found it in other
8 documents, you said it never appears in documents, might not be the case,
9 we have to consider that, but at least you yourself used at this occasion
10 this terminology. Is that correct?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably so. This is a
12 stenographic recording. I'm not denying it, but in principle it's a
13 mistake because it wasn't the War Presidency; it was the Presidency. Now
14 why did I utter this? Perhaps it was sort of customary jargon that we
15 were not even aware of at that moment because in the Official Gazette and
16 in the official documents of the Presidency of the republic, well, I don't
17 know why you find that so meaningful. I really don't understand that at
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. Don't try to pretend, Mr. Subotic, that that is a reference -- a
21 slip of the tongue when you said "War Presidency" and simply meant the
22 regular Presidency because, as you know yourself, it makes no sense
23 whatsoever to suggest that you're the only Defence Minister in the world
24 who is not simultaneously a member of the Presidency. It only makes sense
25 in the context of a War Presidency, and you know it. That's right?
1 A. Okay. Let it be.
2 Q. Now, His Honour Judge Orie asked you about your testimony
3 concerning the shelling of Sarajevo and how you could be so sure that
4 Dr. Karadzic hadn't issued orders to shell Sarajevo and you assured him
5 that you could be completely confident because you personally went through
6 the Presidency archives in response to requests by this Tribunal and you
7 didn't find any orders to shell Sarajevo. Right?
8 A. That's right. And I gave three books, three protocols, to
9 Mr. O'Donnell and they selected the documents that they would take away.
10 They themselves chose the documents. Among these documents there was not
11 a single document that was like that. That is what I'm claiming. I'm not
12 claiming anything else. If there was some secret order, well, but I don't
13 think so. I don't think that there could have been a secret order that
14 was not registered. I personally do not believe something like that, but
15 I do not rule out the possibility that in some other way --
16 Q. So the logic of your suggestion to the Court is that if there had
17 been shelling orders or other military orders of that nature, you would
18 have found it in the archives, where you expected it to be stored?
19 A. That's right. That's right.
20 Q. You also said at page 36 of your statement that Dr. Karadzic never
21 issued any order to you said -- containing the words, "kill," "destroy,"
22 "burn," "slaughter," and I take it that two things, number 1, that
23 referred to any orders, not merely containing those precise words but
24 directed towards such activity, number 1, right?
25 A. Correct. Absolutely correct.
1 Q. And number 2, that was based at least in part on this search of
2 the Presidency archives you talked about, right?
3 A. I know that, because I worked on most of his orders, in pencil,
4 the orders that he official -- that he did himself or, rather, that -- it
5 was different when Mladic was preparing documents for him. That was not
6 accessible to me. I am just confining myself to the decision that is the
7 president reached himself and that he himself sent directly to someone.
8 Q. Now, I am aware that you and your team didn't provide documents
9 reflecting such orders to the Tribunal but I'm also aware that the
10 Tribunal conducted a number of search and seizure operations to obtain
11 documents that weren't otherwise provided. And let me show you one
12 document that was located during the course of such an independent search
13 and seizure operation --
14 MR. TIEGER: And if we could have that distributed and given a
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1264, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
18 MR. TIEGER:
19 Q. Mr. Subotic, this is a document directive for further operations
20 number 7, signed by the Supreme Commander, Dr. Karadzic, it's in March of
21 1995. And if I could direct your attention quickly to a couple of
22 portions of that, first, to page 4 of the English at the top, and that
23 would be in your version, the B/C/S, Mr. Subotic, page 6 or at the top of
24 the page, you'll see the number 00823169, the tasks of the Republika
25 Srpska army, and the last section of that first paragraph on page 8 of the
1 English, "thus by force of arms impose the final outcome of the war on the
2 enemy, forcing the world into recognising the actual situation on the
3 ground and ending the war; 2, to improve the operational and strategic
4 position of the RS; 3, to reduce the front line and create conditions for
5 economic revival in the RS by sending a number of military conscripts
6 home; 4, to create optimum conditions for the state and political
7 leadership to negotiate a peace agreement and achieve the strategic
8 objectives of the war."
9 And then if we could turn quickly to page 10 of the English, and
10 in the B/C/S, Mr. Subotic, that will be found on page 00823173, under the
11 directives to the Drina Corps, last paragraph on page 10, beginning in the
12 latter part of the -- just -- not the last sentence but the latter half of
13 the sentence that precedes it, "While in the direction of the Srebrenica
14 and Zepa enclaves, complete physical separation of Srebrenica from Zepa
15 should be carried out as soon as possible, preventing even communication
16 between individuals in the two enclaves. By planned and well thought out
17 combat operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with
18 no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and
20 And then quickly turning to page 14 of the English, and page
21 00823179 of the B/C/S. That will be at the top of the page for you, sort
22 of the beginning of that, just before that second paragraph, Mr. Subotic,
23 and, Your Honours, it will be the third paragraph from the bottom on page
24 14 of the English, "The relevant state and military organs responsible for
25 work with UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations shall through the
1 planned and unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits reduce and limit
2 the logistic support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of
3 material resources to the Muslim population, making them dependent on our
4 goodwill while at the same time avoiding condemnation by the international
5 community and international public opinion."
6 Now, this directive which refers to creating an unbearable
7 situation, which orders, in fact the creation of an unbearable situation
8 of total insecurity, with no hope of further survival or life for the
9 inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa, Mr. Subotic, is a document that was
10 not turned over to the OTP during the course of the search that you relied
11 on to assure the Judges that Dr. Karadzic had never issued such an order.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I see you nodding. Is that an affirmation of what
13 Mr. Tieger just said, Mr. Subotic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say to the Prosecutor that
15 this is a document of the Main Staff. It is not a document of the Main
16 Staff. It is -- it was never in the archives of the president of the
17 republic and I claim that with full responsibility, and also, your
18 investigation team can confirm that. They had all the sealed protocols
19 with all the marked pages. So it is a document of the Main Staff, and
20 they prepared it and it was signed somewhere outside the Office of the
21 President of the republic. There is the first time I see this. I know
22 that there were some directives but this was never in the as of the
23 president of the republic.
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. You were the Minister of Defence. You were special advise tore
1 Dr. Karadzic. What's the point of assuring the Court that orders like
2 this don't exist if they are not to be found in the Presidency archives?
3 A. I claim that they are not there. I mean, I'm not denying or
4 challenging this directive. I see that it is regular.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, I think the matter put to you is the
6 following: In answering questions, you relied upon the absence of certain
7 documents in archives you searched. Mr. Tieger now puts to you that the
8 reliability of the absence -- that the absence of those documents as such,
9 where important documents were found elsewhere - although you would expect
10 them in such archives - limits the reliability of an answer that so
11 heavily relies on what is found in archives. That's what Mr. Tieger puts
12 to you. Any comment on that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can just say that that document
14 was never in the Presidency. It was never in the Office of the President
15 of the republic.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I think neither Mr. Tieger denies that, nor was that
17 contested in the question I just put to you. Please move on, Mr. Tieger.
18 MR. TIEGER:
19 Q. Before I move on from the Presidency archives, why don't you tell
20 the Judges what happened with the Presidency archives when you were
21 through with them? They disappeared, didn't they, and were not available
22 to investigative bodies. Isn't that right?
23 A. I gave a statement in writing at the request of Mrs. Carla Del
24 Ponte two years ago in relation to that and I will repeat to you what I
25 said in that statement. That is correct. When the president, as
1 requested, handed over this duty to Mrs. Plavsic he handed over the entire
2 office, including all the binders with all the orders and documents that
3 were in the Presidency. I was present there when this handover took
4 place. I was present and the civilian chef de cabinet, Professor Micic,
5 so the entire office remained under Mrs. Plavsic then. I stayed on, I
6 continued to work in Mrs. Plavsic's office. Further on, in the month of
7 March, the following year, we moved to Banja Luka, and Mrs. Plavsic was in
8 charge. I don't know what she did with these presidential archives.
9 JUDGE ORIE: So the answer is, if they disappeared, it was -- it
10 disappeared later, and not under our responsibility, because we
11 transferred the archives once Mr. Karadzic has -- yes?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, absolutely --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then you give a long statement on that, these
14 archives were transferred to the responsibility of Mrs. Plavsic, once
15 Dr. Karadzic withdrew or at least resigned from that office. Okay. Did
16 they finally -- do you know whether they disappeared after that? Whether
17 they were not available any more?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They disappeared in Pale after --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So they disappeared. And do you know anything
20 about it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Disappeared. I gave a statement
22 that the then newly appointed --
23 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not asking you whether you gave a statement. I
24 want an answer to my question. Do you have any knowledge on how they
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, Mr. President. I do have
2 knowledge. The newly appointed director of the police of Republika
3 Srpska, in an action that was more of a political nature, and based on
4 some discord among politicians, the following year, I think it was 1998,
5 please don't take my word for the actual date again, he seized these
6 archives. I absolutely do not know what happened to it. This gentleman
7 later got killed. He was assassinated. So I really do not know about
8 what happened to this and where this is.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Mr. Tieger, we have to finish approximately
10 within the time limits set.
11 MR. TIEGER: Okay, Your Honour, I had one more topic and I'll just
12 indicate to the court I wanted to ask some questions about Koricanske
13 Stijene. I'm at the court's disposal with regard to that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to keep it as brief as possible. Yes.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. Mr. Subotic, you indicated you reported to Dr. Karadzic about your
17 meeting with Zupljanin and others concerning Koricanske Stijene. May I
18 ask you to look quickly at tab 28.
19 MR. TIEGER: Tab 28, Your Honour, is P64, P65, tab 195.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, 27th Presidency session.
21 MR. TIEGER: That's right.
22 JUDGE ORIE: 1st of September 1992.
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. Item 4, Mr. Subotic, as you'll see, it reflects that you briefed
25 the members of the Presidency who are listed above about your visits to
1 certain towns and military formations in the Bosnian Krajina and the wider
2 area and informed the president of your military observations. Also
3 indicates that the reports and conclusions were adopted in their entirety
4 and you agreed with the order the president of the Presidency regarding
5 the engagement of certain military formations in the forthcoming period.
6 Is that the meeting at which you briefed -- you provided a briefing about
7 your meeting with Zupljanin and others concerning the events at Koricanske
8 Stijene which had occurred on August 21st, 1992?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Now, I'm going to look at two items quickly. Tab 56. P892, tab
11 84. This document is a report from the 1st Krajina Corps command
12 intelligence and security division indicating that at about 1630 hours on
13 2192 and it is dated the 21st as well, that a convoy was stopped in the
14 area of Koricanske Stijene, refugees were taken out, and genocide against
15 the civilians was committed.
16 In that connection, too, if I could ask you to look at the next
17 document, I believe this is P892, tab 83. A report from the 1st Krajina
18 Corps command to the Serbian Republic army Main Staff. On page 2 of the
19 English, item number 3, indicating that a massacre against civilians,
20 Muslim men, was committed on 21 August between 1830 and 1900 by a group of
21 policemen escorting a convoy of refugees to Travnik. The massacre took
22 place at Koricanske Stijene.
23 Mr. Subotic, this event was clearly known to the intelligence and
24 military forces of the Bosnian Serbs virtually immediately, as we saw from
25 the August 21st document. Were you dispatched to, according to you, to
1 Banja Luka to meet with Zupljanin immediately after the event happened and
2 was made known?
3 A. Yes, that's correct. As soon as the first signal reached Pale, on
4 that very same afternoon, I left. I can't remember the exact date but
5 that meeting in the Banja Luka MUP took place on the following day, but
6 that was maybe two days after the event.
7 Q. Now, that was a huge convoy, correct, many, many buses that
8 travelled from Prijedor all the way through to Travnik, going through
9 Banja Luka and other areas with the coordination of all the forces en
10 route, right?
11 A. I was not informed of that. I didn't know how it was staged. I
12 was only informed about the event that had taken place at Koricanske
14 Q. It was not a secret convoy?
15 A. I suppose not.
16 Q. How many of those policemen who escorted or guarded the convoy
17 were interviewed about what happened to what as it turned out were more
18 than 200 Muslim civilians who were massacred?
19 A. I don't know. This was up to the judiciary and the civilian
20 police, the MUP. The military did not take any part whatsoever in all
21 that. I did not look at any of those reports. This was not my duty and
22 they were not available to me, for that matter. I know that there was an
23 order for investigation, for trial. This was all ordered to the judiciary
24 and to the MUP. I don't know what transpired later on. I was not
25 informed about that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I think we nevertheless are at a point
2 but I'll put one or two questions in this -- relation to this.
3 When you were at this 27th session of the Presidency, when you
4 briefed the members of the Presidency, did you tell them that over 100
5 people were killed?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the Presidency meeting, they
7 had received an official report from the MUP. They had received a
8 telegram and I did not have to mention any figures or what had been
9 undertaken. There was a commission on the spot on behalf of the judiciary
10 and the MUP. Measures were taken because the president insisted on those
11 measures, on a trial. I did not mention any details. I just confirmed
12 that it had been mentioned at the meeting in Banja Luka that the military
13 units had not taken part in that, just the MUP and that the judiciary
14 organs had taken the matter over into their hands.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you have any reason at that moment to
16 believe that any of those present were not familiar with what -- with the
17 event, with what was in the report?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not have any reason, for
19 that no fact or anything. Everybody knew.
20 JUDGE ORIE: From the conversation you understood that the
21 seriousness of the matter was clear to all present?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely. And everybody was
23 determined that this should be processed in a dignified way. Nobody was
24 against it. I just conveyed the message from the president, who insisted
25 on the strictest possible measures to be taken in keeping with the law and
1 he insisted on a good team of people to deal with all that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we are about to close.
3 MR. TIEGER: I just want -- one document, it's at tab 60, just
4 have it marked, and that will be it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then let's have a look at that and then we'll
6 finish it.
7 MR. TIEGER: It needs a number, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Tab 60, Mr. Registrar, is a -- is a letter or a
9 message sent by the chief of public security station, Simo Drljaca, dated
10 14th of September, 1992.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1265, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And it's addressed to the security services centre,
13 Banja Luka, to the chief. Yes.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. Very quickly, Mr. Subotic, this is Mr. Drljaca indicating to the
16 CSB that he was unable to investigate the alleged killing in Koricanske
17 Stijene because the policemen were transferred to Han Pijesak and he's
18 unable to provide a list of those persons who were travelling in the
19 convoys. Are you aware of any investigative action undertaken after this
21 A. I'm -- no, I'm not aware of that in any concrete terms but the
22 Court in Banja Luka should know about that because that case did come to
23 court. I believe that the record still exists. However, I was not
24 consulted in that matter after that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: The question was about your awareness.
1 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break. We'll try to keep it as brief
3 as possible. Mr. Registrar, minimum is, 18 minutes? We will resume at 10
4 minutes to 5.00, that's 15 minutes from now, sharp, please.
5 --- Recess taken at 4.35 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.52 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Subotic, you'll now be examined by Mr. Josse,
8 counsel for the Defence. Mr. Josse, please proceed.
9 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, we are not desperately pleased with the
10 situation in terms of the time but we are determined to finish this
11 witness today. Perhaps for future Chamber witnesses we can review the
12 situation on Monday to make sure that this does not happen again. That's
13 my first point. My second point is this: Mr. Krajisnik has literally
14 just now indicated to me that he would like to ask one or two questions to
15 this witness about one particular topic; in fact, it was the very last
16 topic my learned friend cross-examined upon. We haven't had an
17 opportunity he and I to discuss the matter properly, and in those
18 circumstances, if the Chamber is, to have him ask questions on that
19 particular matter and that particular matter alone.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It is a very sensitive issue. Therefore, let me
21 just --
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, you know that the Chamber would always
24 prefer to have questions put by counsel. It will not disallow
25 Mr. Krajisnik but first an attempt should be made by Mr. Krajisnik to see
1 whether he can write down the two questions and if finally that would not
2 result in you being in a position to put the questions to the witness, the
3 Chamber will be very precise on the way questions are put. Of course we
4 usually rely on your professionality as professional lawyers and counsel,
5 and also in view of the sensitivity of the issue the Chamber will not be
6 very flexible but will not disallow Mr. Krajisnik to put questions, if you
7 see no other way to resolve the matter.
8 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. I'm going to start on another matter.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
11 Q. Exhibit P1263, Mr. Subotic, is the photograph -- you don't need to
12 see it again. We are all sadly familiar with it. Can you recall when you
13 first saw this image, either by way of this photograph, another
14 photograph, or a video clip?
15 A. I saw it for the first time on television but I really can't
16 remember when. Because it was shown on TV many times. And it was also in
17 some of the newspapers, but whatever I -- whatever time frame I could give
18 you, I'm afraid I might be wrong. I don't know exactly how much later,
19 after the fact, after it was taken, I saw it.
20 Q. I'm assuming from your answer that it was sometime in 1992; is
21 that right?
22 A. Believe me, I really can't say. It's just that there is no wire
23 fence on this photograph, whereas on the video clip that I saw, you could
24 see the barbed wire.
25 Q. When the video clip was shown and seen by people living within the
1 Republika Srpska, was it a matter that was discussed, as far as you were
2 aware, at a high level within the leadership of that entity or country?
3 A. Yes, it was.
4 Q. And what was said about it at that time?
5 A. Well, great doubts were expressed in the authenticity of that
6 photograph, as I said in response to some of those previous questions.
7 Q. And just to go back to where I began, you are unable to say at
8 what point in time that discussion, amongst leaders, took place? You
9 can't remember now when the discussion first took place?
10 A. No, no. I can't.
11 Q. You were asked by the learned Judge, His Honour Judge Hanoteau,
12 about someone called Milorad Davidovic and you said you did not know
13 Milorad Davidovic, it was a name you hadn't heard of. That's right,
14 isn't it?
15 A. I have no idea who that person is.
16 Q. And I think you were also asked about whether you had heard about
17 agreement with the federal MUP that allowed Mr. Davidovic to control and
18 master the action of paramilitary units and you said you didn't know about
20 A. Absolutely not.
21 Q. Have a look, if you would, please, at paragraph 37 of the
22 statement that you prepared for the benefit of this Chamber. Do you have
23 the bundle in front of you?
24 A. I do. You mean what I prepared just before arriving here?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. Yes. I have it in front of me.
2 Q. In paragraph 37, you talk about Vojin Vukovic, and approximately
3 the middle of that paragraph, you say, "I later learned that the MUP
4 arrested the yellow wasps because they were involved in some criminal
5 activities. I know that Mico Stanisic did it. He's now in The Hague."
6 Firstly, what did you mean when you said, "I know that Mico Stanisic did
8 A. I said it because this Vojin Vuckovic had committed a robbery. He
9 had looted some valuable goods. I don't think it was weapons. I think it
10 was money or jewellery, and he was generally speaking a problem. And
11 President Karadzic tasked Stanisic to deal with it. So soon after that
12 conversation that I had with him, where I lectured him that there could be
13 no paramilitaries, he came to me to complain that he was being persecuted.
14 I was however emphatic in my position and after that I learned that the
15 Minister of the Interior organised his arrest and that he was arrested. I
16 never heard of this Vuckovic man again. I don't know what happened to him
17 or what became of him, to tell you the truth.
18 Q. And do you have any idea how Mico Stanisic facilitated the arrest
19 of Vuckovic?
20 A. I don't know. Believe me, I don't know.
21 Q. And at what juncture, if at all, did you become aware of the
22 criminal activities that the yellow wasps were involved in?
23 A. I think they had committed robbery of some gold jewellery or
24 something, in the area around Pale. I heard something about it but no
1 Q. Would you have a look at this document, please?
2 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, we don't think this has previously been
3 exhibited in this case.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then it needs a number. Mr. Registrar, that would be
6 THE REGISTRAR: D258, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
8 MR. JOSSE: I'm afraid, I don't think this has been distributed to
9 the booths.
10 Q. But this is a report by a district public prosecutor, a
11 Mr. Negovan [phoen] dated November 1993, requesting an investigation to be
12 conducted against the Vuckovic brothers, and at the bottom of page 1 in
13 the English, near the bottom of page 1 in the B/C/S, we see a brief
14 description of some of the appalling events that went on in the Celinac
15 cultural centre on the 12th of June of 1992. When did you become aware of
16 those specific events, if at all, Mr. Subotic?
17 A. You mean what is described in this document? You mean the event
18 that the investigating judge dealt with here? I never learned about that,
19 and I had no knowledge that he had anything to do with Serbia, with Sabac.
20 I had no idea.
21 Q. And we are getting back to where I began with this line of
22 questioning: You are unable to -- you have no knowledge of Milorad
23 Davidovic's involvement in events involving the yellow wasps?
24 A. No, absolutely not.
25 Q. You were asked some questions about the JNA and its involvement
1 with the VRS. It's right, isn't it, that so far as remuneration of
2 active-duty JNA officers serving in the VRS, you had some knowledge that
3 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would remunerate them occasionally?
4 A. An agreement was reached between the Serbian leadership and the
5 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Serb leadership, in fact, and the
6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the effect that the federal Secretariat
7 in Yugoslavia, since all the personnel files and documents of officers
8 were in Belgrade, so it was agreed that they should pay the salaries of
9 officers who had either stayed in Bosnia-Herzegovina as natives of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina or who came back from Yugoslavia to Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 because they were natives of BH. I can tell you that the number of
12 officers paid by the army of Yugoslavia includes Atif Dudakovic and
13 another officer, the federal Secretariat was then Blagoje Adzic. I don't
14 know about the rest but I know about these two, Drekovic and Dudakovic
15 because they were my officer I flew them and I knew them well and I know
16 that they received salaries from Yugoslavia to 1993.
17 Then Yugoslavia established the so-called 30th personnel centre so
18 that all of us who come from Bosnia and Herzegovina were paid out by that
19 personnel centre while being in Republika Srpska. But only active-duty
20 officers were covered by this arrangement, not reservists.
21 Q. Both Mr. Dudakovic and Mr. Adzic were of --
22 A. Drekovic.
23 Q. Were of Bosnian ethnicity both of them?
24 A. Yes, yes, but I believe that some others received their salaries
25 too. I have no specific information but I know about these two and also
1 Mehmed Alagic, who was also one of my subordinates, a general, now of the
2 Muslim army. He also received his salary.
3 Q. In the long answer that you just gave, did you mention that at
4 time these officers were officers of the Muslim army, because it doesn't
5 appear on the translation.
6 A. Didn't understand the question.
7 Q. Yes. Let me put it another way: Atif Dudakovic, which side did
8 he fight on in the war?
9 A. On the Muslim side. And Ramiz Drekovic as well. They were corps
10 commanders; in fact, commanders of the Bihac corps, both of them, and
11 later they were promoted to even higher positions in the BH army.
12 Q. I'd like to move on, briefly, I hope, to the issue of the
13 so-called expanded Presidency. And I'd like to look at what you had to
14 say about this in some of your earlier statements. In your 1997
15 statement, which I hope -- well, you may have it in front of you. It's
16 only in English so you'll need my guidance. You say --
17 A. Only in English. So would you please read it? I have only the
18 English copy. That's why I'm asking to you read it.
19 Q. Yes, I will do. At paragraph 49, in the middle of that paragraph,
20 you say, in terms, there was no War Presidency at the republic level. And
21 it's right, from what you said earlier, you obviously stand by that
23 A. Absolutely.
24 Q. At paragraph 50, you say that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state of
25 war was proclaimed a lot earlier than in the Republika Srpska. In fact
1 the state of war was not proclaimed until the spring of 1995. And I don't
2 think there is any dispute about that. You were then interviewed a couple
3 of months later by John Ralston on the 4ing of February 1998 and at page 5
4 of that interview, you said, the middle of the page, "We had the
5 Presidency of the republic. We had the Presidency that existed for about
6 a year previously. I told you who made up the Presidency and they met
7 every day." Now, it's not clear to me what you had previously said to Mr.
8 Ralston as to who made up the Presidency but who did you have in mind when
9 you gave that answer in 1998?
10 A. I don't know what is written in the statement of 1997 but this was
11 just a supplementary interview or questioning in 1998. Of course, when
12 they typed out the transcript, they asked me to be interviewed again in
13 1998 and then they asked me these supplementary questions for the purpose
14 of clarification of some answers given in 1997.
15 Q. That's very helpful but my question was: When you gave the
16 answer, who did you have in mind as members of the Presidency?
17 A. Well, the members of the Presidency were the three, Karadzic,
18 Koljevic, and Mrs. Plavsic, and it's written in the Official Gazette as
19 well. There is no dilemma about that.
20 Q. And finally, we can see what you said at paragraph 21 of the
21 statement that you prepared for this Chamber, so you do have that in your
22 own language. You say, in relation to Mr. Krajisnik, "He was at meetings
23 in his capacity as president of the assembly, so he was a very important
24 figure. Also, there was the Prime Minister, there were members of the
25 three-member Presidency so they had their own meeting. As for the
1 expanded meeting when all of us were present, the Prime Minister and also
2 the Minister of the Interior we discussed questions of everyday life,
3 questions of survival, so on and so forth." Is there any question in your
4 mind that what you were saying there was that there were only three
5 members of the Presidency in 1992?
6 A. Absolutely. That's what I think. That's what I know. I don't
7 know of anything different.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, after a couple of questions were put on
9 this matter but Mr. Tieger, I gave him the guidance that the Chamber would
10 not be greatly assisted by further pursuing that matter. The same
11 guidance is for you.
12 MR. JOSSE: Can I ask one more question?
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not -- as I say, I'm not saying you can't put any
14 more questions.
15 MR. JOSSE:
16 Q. Mr. Djeric, the Prime Minister of the government of which you were
17 a member, did he ever say to you in 1992, Look, I'm not just a member of
18 the government, the Prime Minister, but I'm also a member of the expanded
19 Presidency? Did he ever say anything like that to you?
20 A. He never said that and he never was that. All of us who were on
21 the cabinet know that. He was invited to certain sessions but only to
22 some of them.
23 Q. Now, I have made reference to the statement that you gave to the
24 Office of the Prosecutor in 1997 and the supplementary interview in 1998.
25 It is right, isn't it, and I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, that
1 Mr. Krajisnik is not mentioned in either of those documents by name?
2 A. He isn't.
3 Q. It is fair to say that in each, there is a reference to the
4 president of the assembly. Obviously references to Mr. Krajisnik.
5 Firstly in paragraph 30 of the witness statement and on page 4 of the
6 interview. Mr. Krajisnik, we know, had not been arrested in 1997 or 1998.
7 I dare say you know that, that he was only arrested in the year 2000. I
8 see you nodding your head. The interviewers were clearly interested in
9 what you could say about the chain of military command in the Republika
10 Srpska. In your estimation, is the fact that Mr. Krajisnik is not
11 mentioned by name in either the statement or the interview a reflection of
12 how insignificant --
13 MR. TIEGER: Objection, Your Honour. Asking this witness to gauge
14 what the interviewers might have had in mind with --
15 MR. JOSSE: The question is quite proper, Your Honour. I'm
16 entitled to lead this witness as I please, as I want. I'm entitled to
17 cross-examine him and he's entitled to comment on the answer -- beg your
18 pardon, on the question I am just putting to him. There is nothing
19 improper about that at all.
20 MR. TIEGER: It calls for utter speculation about what may have
21 been or may not have been in the minds of other people.
22 MR. JOSSE: No, Your Honour, it's this gentleman's statement. He
23 signed it. If my learned friend wants me to stick to the 1997 statement,
24 I will do. He hasn't brought these interviewers here for us to
1 JUDGE ORIE: To be quite honest, on the transcript, the question
2 is not yet finished. The Chamber is always a bit hesitant if estimates
3 are asked from witnesses but would not preclude it. Could you try,
4 Mr. Josse, to again and now in full put the question to the witness, also
5 keeping in mind what Mr. Tieger said? I'm not saying that you're not
6 allowed to put the question but I'll first listen to it in its entirety
7 and then invite the witness to answer the question or not.
8 MR. JOSSE:
9 Q. I want to ask you only about the 1997 statement. You signed that
10 as a witness statement, didn't you?
11 A. I did.
12 Q. Did you agree with my proposition that what the interviewers were
13 interested in was the chain of command within the Republika Srpska? Did
14 they ask you about that specifically?
15 A. They did.
16 Q. Or were they interested in what the weather was in 1992? I'm
17 sorry, excuse me for being facetious. You don't need to answer that
19 A. No, no. They were not interested in that.
20 Q. In your estimation, your opinion, is the fact that Mr. Krajisnik
21 is not mentioned by name in that witness statement a reflection of how
22 insignificant he was in the chain of military command in the Republika
24 MR. TIEGER: I put my objection again and let the Court rule.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well -- you mean, Mr. Josse, both in questions and
1 answers? No, the statement of course is just the answers.
2 MR. JOSSE: Only answers.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Only answers. Yes, the witness may answer the
5 Mr. Subotic, the question is whether the fact that the name of
6 Mr. Krajisnik does not appear, whether this is in your view an expression
7 of his unimportance, that he was not important in the chain of command?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I absolutely think that he was not
9 important, because I know he was not important. It's not just that I
10 think. I know. Nobody had to obey him and he had no right to order
11 anyone anything. I know his job description according to the
12 constitution of Republika Srpska, and as far as I know, speaking only in
13 my own name, of course, but with full responsibility, he never addressed
14 me any orders or any requests or demands that would have the nature of an
16 MR. TIEGER: The witness's answer can stand but in the future, I
17 would appreciate it if counsel would not build false premises into the
18 question. I see Mr. Krajisnik's name mentioned twice, at page 3. I
19 haven't looked at any other page.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse?
21 MR. JOSSE: I certainly accept that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because, as you said, you claimed that you
23 could lead. You could not mislead.
24 MR. JOSSE: I most certainly accept that and I apologise.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. Please proceed.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. Let's look at these two passages --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Also, of course, but that goes without saying that
4 the answer will be interpreted by this Chamber on the basis and you might
5 have made it a bit more difficult for yourself, Mr. Josse, by there
6 because the witness answers on the assumption you gave to him. Please
8 MR. JOSSE: Let me deal with it on that basis.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. JOSSE:
11 Q. Mr. Krajisnik's name, I concede, is mentioned on at least two
12 occasions in this witness statement. Does that change the answer that you
13 have just given?
14 A. It doesn't change a thing.
15 Q. I want to ask you about matters which are alluded to on page 3 of
16 that statement and also in other statements which perhaps I'll come to in
17 a moment. You say at paragraph 9, where in fact Mr. Krajisnik's name is
18 mentioned, "Between the 8th of April and 12th of May I participated in
19 meetings with Dr. Karadzic, Professor Koljevic and Professor Djeric,
20 Professor Plavsic and Mr. Krajisnik. We met quite often according to
21 needs. There are some decisions from that time, mostly regarding
22 organising living conditions in municipalities, supplies, breakdowns of
23 communication, no telephones."
24 My first question is: Where did these meetings take place?
25 A. These meetings took place at Pale, in the Presidency building.
1 That's what we called that building. It was the so-called Kikinda
2 building. It used to be a holiday place and that's why they referred to
3 it as Kikinda.
4 Q. And would you accept that the facilities that were available to
5 you all were poor?
6 A. Absolutely so. Very modest, very modest.
7 Q. At that time, how did you assess the information that was coming
8 from the ground?
9 A. I personally received very little information from the ground.
10 The Presidency did receive information of some sort, and when they invited
11 us to their meetings, then they informed us about certain problems that
12 existed on the ground. They asked for our opinion or proposals as to how
13 to deal with such matters. Those of us who were not members of the
14 Presidency did not receive information, because this was not provided for
15 by any regulations.
16 Q. At paragraph 12 of the same statement, you say that
17 Prime Minister Djeric chaired the meetings. There would be some meetings
18 of only Dr. Karadzic, Koljevic, Plavsic, and Krajisnik, and afterwards
19 they would call Djeric and the Minister of Defence. We were in separate
21 Where did these meetings, these joint meetings, take place?
22 A. These joint meetings took place in that facility called Kikinda,
23 in 1992 we even slept there, or at least a majority of us stayed there.
24 As far as I can remember, Mr. Krajisnik also stayed there on the first
25 floor of that building. There were some very small rooms there where we
1 had short meetings.
2 Q. In your witness statement to the Chamber, it is apparent in
3 paragraphs 12 to 15, that you split your governmental experience into
4 three distinct periods. The first we have just discussed, the 8th of
5 April to the 12th of May of 1992. The second was the 12th of May of 1992
6 to the end of 1992. And the third was thereafter. Is that correct?
7 A. That is correct, yes. There are some very significant things, the
8 situation changed significantly. First of all, we did not have all the
9 bodies, then the army was set up. After that the Supreme Command was
10 established. That is the reason why, as the laws were passed, as the
11 solutions were found, the situation changed and moved forward in terms of
12 organisation and in terms of laws.
13 Q. What about information from the ground, in the middle period, 12th
14 of May 1992 to the end of 1992? It's right, isn't it, and, need be, I
15 could show you a number of sessions, that the government was continually
16 asking for more information from the army?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It was a constant refrain of the government that they simply
19 weren't being told sufficiently what was going on, on the ground, correct?
20 A. Correct. They put those questions to me and I told
21 them, "Gentlemen, I can't answer any of your questions. You have to put
22 your questions to the army commander." And then the Prime Minister
23 directly through Mr. Karadzic asked from Mladic - Mladic never attended
24 any government sessions - and Djeric invited him. He wanted him to talk
25 to the cabinet members. However, he did not hold any of us in very high
1 regard, me included, and he never turned up.
2 Q. Did the Prime Minister ever say to you specifically, "Look, you're
3 the Minister of Defence, you're going to have to do better. You need to
4 try and rein in man in. You need to try and find out what he's up to."
5 I'm talking about Mladic here. Did he ever say anything like that to you?
6 A. Yes, he did tell me that and I answered him, and I state this for
7 the record. I told him, the government and the assembly allowed Mladic to
8 assume the role of commander and there cannot be two commanders. There is
9 no army in the world with two commanders. The Supreme Commander and the
10 commander of the Main Staff. And I told him, you are the ones who have
11 allowed him to do that and I myself observe the law, the law on the army,
12 and Mladic teamed up with the authors of the -- this law, the assembly, to
13 pass such a law in which it is stipulated that I, as the Minister of
14 Defence, did not have any rights or involvements with the army.
15 Q. Did the Prime Minister ever suggest to you that you should go and
16 speak to Mr. Krajisnik, for him to intercede on your behalf with --
17 A. No, absolutely not. Never, never ever, absolutely nothing.
18 Nobody ever suggested anything. Only when I resigned they all tried to
19 convince me that I should continue performing the duty until a better
20 solution was found.
21 Q. I didn't quite finish the question. What I was asking you is
22 whether he should intercede on your behalf with General Mladic. You
23 assumed I was going to ask about that, I take it?
24 A. No, nobody asked me to do that. Or at least as far as I know, I
25 don't know whether anybody discussed this issue with the Prime Minister,
1 without my knowledge.
2 Q. And where did your offer to resign fit in to the difficulty that
3 you have just told the Chamber about?
4 A. What do you mean when you say how did that fit? I don't
5 understand your question.
6 Q. By that, I mean did your offer to resign have anything to do with
7 what you had just been describing, your failure to have any control over
8 General Mladic?
9 A. Absolutely so. Not only over Mladic but also the army. I said to
10 the president when he commissioned me that I could not bear some of the
11 things that he did and that had nothing whatsoever to do with the military
12 rules nor with anything that we were taught at military academies and
13 other high schools.
14 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour we would next like to ask the witness a
15 little bit about the Islamic declaration. Based on the questions both
16 Your Honour and my learned friend Mr. Tieger asked the witness. There are
17 one or two passages we would like to point to which indicate that the
18 declaration states in terms what the witness said he feared was going to
19 happen. I'm to some extent in the Chamber's hands.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is it -- I mean, is there any dispute as to what
21 document is to be considered as the Islamic declaration? And is there any
22 need, having heard the testimony of the witness, to ask the witness
23 again? Or could the Court just read what it says and then establish by
24 itself that this is what the witness said, or establish that that is not
25 what the witness said? Is that ...
1 MR. TIEGER: I can only presume that counsel is talking about the
2 same document that all of us assumed to be the case. If there is any --
3 if there arises any dispute about that, we can deal with it. But I don't
4 think there is.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, if the only purpose of reading it to the
6 witness would be to see whether what he said before we also find in that
7 document, then the Chamber can read and the Chamber has heard the evidence
8 and is, if you draw our attention to the fact that we should compare that
9 and see whether it's reflected in that document; I think, as a matter of
10 fact, that that would do.
11 MR. JOSSE: Yes. And that would have the advantage of giving us
12 the chance to send the relevant passages for translation.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes that would be an advantage. And also I take it
14 then that the document that will be sent, that the Prosecution will then
15 also say that this is the document, always referred to as the Islamic
17 But I -- Mr. Tieger, yes. I take it that you --
18 MR. TIEGER: I agree, Your Honour; that's a fine solution.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I had one short question in relation to what you just
21 Mr. Subotic, you said that you resigned because Mr. Mladic did all
22 kinds of things, not the things you learned at -- in the academy. Two
23 questions. First of all, you also testified that the law was such that it
24 was not within your responsibility, so what then made you resign? I mean,
25 the law that was created was such that Mr. Mladic was not subordinate to
1 you in any way. So therefore what he did was not your responsibility, was
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. What you're saying is true.
4 However, Mr. President, he simply eliminated me from his view. He acted
5 as if I did not exist. I could not tolerate such humiliation. Not for
6 myself. I did not desire power. I never wanted to be the commander in
7 the army. And especially not in a religious or civil war, I would not
8 have been a commander. However, he did not tolerate me for the mere fact
9 that I did not lie to the state leadership, that -- for the fact that I
10 pointed to some of his bad or wrong moves and so on and so forth.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from the bad and wrong moves you described
12 earlier, what else would that be, what you would not learn at the academy
13 and which was nevertheless, as I understand, within the behaviour of
14 Mr. Mladic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The way operations are conducted,
16 the way the subordinated personnel is treated. My impression is that he
17 treated his generals and those who are here in the detention unit as
18 nobodies, that he never listened to any of them. That's my impression. I
19 cannot prove any of that because I was not with him. I only know that a
20 lot of them feared him and that they were his yes-men. They just said
21 yes. Whatever he said they would just say yes, as if he -- if they had
22 not had their own intelligence, their own brains, and I didn't like that.
23 And that's why we parted ways, the two of us.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you're referring to that when you said that
25 he didn't act as you had learned at military academy; that is, the way he
1 treated his subordinates. Is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is also true: That was just
3 one of the elements and I could go on.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Was there anything else apart from personnel
5 management and the way he treated people, the way he treated you, was
6 there anything else in his behaviour that would not be in accordance with
7 what you had learned at the military academy?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that he -- actually, I have
9 the impression that he belittled the Supreme Commander, the Prime
10 Minister, not to even mention other republican bodies. He simply ignored
11 all of them.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That would not be the first thing I would think
13 of, what you learn at military academy, but if you say that's it ...
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you know, Mr. President, at
15 the military academy, you are taught that the Supreme Commander is the
16 Supreme Commander, and that all of his orders have to be carried out.
17 There is just one exception to that rule. You cannot carry out an order
18 of the Supreme Commander if that person is acting against his state. And
19 that is the only exception to the rules whether it comes to orders and the
20 execution of those orders.
21 JUDGE ORIE: When you're now talking about Supreme Commander are
22 you talking now about Mr. Mladic or are you talking about Mr. Karadzic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I'm talking about
24 Mr. Karadzic, because he was officially the Supreme Commander. Although
25 the other person was the real commander of the army; Mladic, that is.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said you were taught that the Supreme
2 Commander is -- that all of his orders have to be carried out. And that
3 is what you said in relation to the behaviour of Mr. Mladic, which
4 suggests that Mr. Mladic did not follow the orders of Dr. Karadzic, and
5 that's a question I've asked you before in different forms. To what
6 extent, and where can we see that Mladic, General Mladic, did not follow
7 the orders of Karadzic, therefore went beyond what he was expected to do?
8 It's for -- it's not for the first time that I put this question but in
9 your answers it is -- it comes back in some way, so again --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You know, Mr. President, the best
11 answer would -- to that would be provided by Mr. Karadzic, if he ever
12 comes to trial. However, this is what I felt. This is what I saw. I
13 have nothing to hide. That was that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you have no examples of that.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
16 MR. JOSSE:
17 Q. Are you able to give any concrete examples?
18 A. About what, for what? About the fact that Mladic acted
19 independently, without consulting anybody? Is that what you're asking me?
20 I can say -- I can share with you one of the most drastic examples, if you
21 will. In 1995, on the 1st of May of that year, without consulting the
22 Supreme Commander or any other state body, he called all of his generals
23 and they signed the putsch against the state leadership. Every single
24 general but for me signed that, and then they sent General Tolimir to put
25 pressure on me to sign that and then I said, I am an honourable officer
1 and since my Supreme Commander didn't do anything against humanity, I
2 don't have the right to treat my Supreme Commander in such a way. This is
3 just one example amongst many.
4 And when this thing comes to trial, I offer my services as a
5 witness. I will come, I will testify, I will prepare myself, I will find
6 some papers and so on and so forth. I will not speak without documents
7 off my head or just trying to remember things.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, of course the beginning of the question
9 was about what this witness did not like and what made him resign and
10 what -- so therefore we are now in 1995 which of course is a totally
11 different time issue -- time-frame, but Judge Hanoteau would have a
12 question for Mr. Subotic.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Subotic, you have just told
14 us that your impression of Mr. Mladic was that he treated his generals in
15 a certain way. These generals, are those the ones who are here in prison?
16 Are those the ones you refer to? You said that he never, never listened
17 to anybody.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This refers to those generals
19 that are in prison as well.
20 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And you have also said that you
21 know that many of them feared him, that they were afraid of him. What did
22 you mean by that? What did you mean when you said they were afraid of
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were not allowed to use
25 their own heads to think. They were yes-men. They did what he told them
1 to do. And that is something that was prevalent during the -- Tito's
2 communist times. You did not have the right to think with your own head.
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, I'm just asking what you did
4 you mean when you said they were afraid of him, they feared him?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were afraid of him. They did
6 not dare make decisions without first consulting him. If -- and he never
7 wanted to listen to anybody's opinion. He was arrogant. He had absolute
8 power. He thought that he was the only one who had answers to all the
9 questions, that he knew everything, and that nobody else knew anything.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You believe that the generals
11 that were around him, or do you just mean the generals that were around
12 him or the politicians as well? Who did you have in mind?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the politicians as well. I
14 believe that they also feared him to a certain extent.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So you're saying that those
16 generals who are in detention today, you say the generals -- you said
17 exactly this: [In English] "My impression is that he treated his generals
18 and those who are here in the detention unit as nobodies. That he never
19 listened to any of them, that is my impression. I only know that a lot of
20 them feared him and that they were his yes men." [Interpretation] Do you
21 believe that those who feared him, at that time, were both his generals as
22 well as the politicians who were in power at the time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, quite a number of the
24 politicians also feared Mladic.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
2 MR. JOSSE:
3 Q. It's right that as far as you're concerned, the government in Pale
4 did what it could to ensure the rule of law and respect international
5 humanitarian law in 1992?
6 A. Correct, correct.
7 Q. So far as communication is concerned, I want to go back to that
8 for a moment, the situation presumably improved in the second period, from
9 the 12th of May of 1992, when at least you had a number of telephone lines
10 available to you in the Kikinda building?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. By the end of that year, how sophisticated was the operation of
13 the Ministry of Defence in the Republika Srpska in terms of communication?
14 A. Well, until 1993, it was rather poor. The situation improved only
15 sometime in the first half of 1993. Until that time everything was on a
16 very modest level.
17 MR. JOSSE: I think, Your Honour, that Mr. Krajisnik is content
18 for me to ask a question or two about Koricanske Stijene.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so and Koricanske Stijene is difficult to
21 MR. JOSSE: Very difficult. It's one of the reasons I was quite
22 keen to have my client help me out, quite frankly.
23 Q. In your witness statement, the very last paragraph, paragraph 47,
24 you talk about this unfortunate incident and you say, "I do not know about
25 the Koricanske Stijene incident. President Karadzic received the report
1 at Pale from the Banja Luka MUP about this event, so he convened a session
2 of the Presidency. I think present were Presidency members, Karadzic,
3 Plavsic, Koljevic and Mico Stanisic, MUP chief, and I don't remember if
4 anyone else was there. It was really organised sort of on an ad hoc basis
6 I want to suggest to you that you are correct when you do not
7 include Mr. Krajisnik as among those people that were present at that
8 meeting. That's right, isn't it?
9 A. It was not a real meeting of the Presidency any way. It was just
10 a meeting, quite simply. On that occasion, messenger came to fetch me,
11 said, you are wanted by the president of the republic, Mico Stanisic and I
12 arrived together. The president shared with us the information he had
13 received, and I could see that he was -- his greatest concern was whether
14 the army had done it because he had no idea who had. So he told the
15 minister, get ready, you go to Banja Luka now. He called up Mr. Zupljanin
16 to tell him to organise both the police and the SUP and everybody to meet
17 me. He told me that my mission was to establish whether the army had a
18 role in it and to see what they had done about it by that time, and to
19 convey to them that he was demanding the heaviest sentences, the heaviest
20 possible sentences for the perpetrators of that crime. He was literally
21 yelling because he had received calls from representatives various
22 international organisations and he simply couldn't believe that something
23 like that had indeed happened.
24 There were no minutes taken and no records, it was not an official
25 meeting according to procedure. It was an ad hoc meeting. I was supposed
1 to leave that very night to be in Banja Luka the next day, to organise
2 that meeting, because maybe a day and a half had elapsed since the
3 incident. I don't know exactly, because I never made a time line. And
4 the site of the incident was already cordoned off, taped off by the police
5 and waiting for some state authorities to appear. And after that meeting,
6 a team of judges from Banja Luka, including an investigating judge and I
7 believe also the president of the district court, came and I don't know
8 who else. In fact I remember there were three judges, there was Stojan
9 Zupljanin, there were some other police officials, Simo Drljaca. They all
10 went to the site of the incident. And later on, they reported to the
11 president of the republic, to the head of state, along MUP channels.
12 Q. You have no reason to suppose, do you, that Mr. Krajisnik knew
13 about this incident at the time?
14 A. I think that on that day, when I received my mission, he wasn't
15 there. I don't know whether Mr. Krajisnik was there at all. I don't know
16 whether he was at Pale at the time. I didn't ask about his whereabouts,
17 and I don't even know when he found out, whether he found out in the days
18 that followed after some reports were received, because some reports were
19 sent to the Minister of Justice, and to other people. Some activity was
20 taking place. So I don't know when he learned of it.
21 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm out of time, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would -- if you would have a few more
23 questions, I know that it's 6.00 but I of course I would need -- it's not
24 entirely in balance at this moment, unless you say, well, I've put the
25 most important questions to the witness, of course, and you are aware.
1 MR. JOSSE: Well, I tried to tailor my cross-examination. I know
2 there was another matter that Mr. Krajisnik wanted me to address.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps if -- with the consent of the interpreters,
4 and I usually -- when a party says time is over now, I usually do not
5 encourage that party to continue, but given the circumstances and given
6 also the fact that Mr. -- that we all tried to do our utmost best to
7 finish with this witness today and also taking into account that the
8 Prosecution -- whether there are good reasons for that is a different
9 matter, had a bit more time than the Defence had, but if there is one
10 issue you would like to complete, then with the assistance and with the --
11 MR. JOSSE: How much more time do I have, Your Honour?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just look at the booth. Eight to ten minutes,
13 would that be acceptable and then to adjourn.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Eight to ten minutes would be okay. Please
17 MR. JOSSE:
18 Q. As a member of the government, I would like to ask you a little
19 bit about the coordination between the government and the municipalities
20 in the Republika Srpska in 1992. Firstly, to what extent were you
21 involved in that sort of coordination?
22 A. I was involved because I had some sections within the Ministry of
23 Defence. In municipalities they were called sections of the Ministry of
24 Defence. In Banja Luka in Bijeljina and in Sarajevo, I had districts of
25 the Ministry of Defence. So those were my units of the Ministry of
1 Defence. And I had coordination with them regarding mobilisation,
2 personnel, record-keeping, purely personnel matters, because their job
3 mainly had to do with staff issues. I have to say our communications were
4 very poor, very poor indeed. They were on a very modest level, very slow,
5 and that improved only in the first half of 1993. But we would write, for
6 instance, to them that when MPs go to attend sessions of the assembly,
7 they should take back post addressed to me, and that is the usual form of
8 communication we had until mid-1993. And all the other ministers did the
9 same. Maybe the Ministry of Police had the best communications because
10 they had their police stations that were able to communicate amongst
11 themselves, whereas all the other ministers were reduced to telephones or
12 written communications sent by messengers or couriers, et cetera.
13 Q. In your 1998 interview, Mr. Ralston said at page 3, "Just one last
14 question on that aspect. Was there any requirement that after operations,
15 the military report back through the political side?" And you said, "Yes,
16 of course, regular reports were sent, regular reports, practically daily
17 reports, after the communication system was set up. I would say that that
18 started in the beginning of 1993. Halfway through 1992, to the end of
19 1992 was based on what was possible but from 1993, we had communications
20 between" -- "and then there was an unclear word -- we had daily reports."
21 In that answer, you were clearly talking about military reports.
22 To what extent did the same apply to reports to the government from civil
23 authorities, as far as you were concerned?
24 A. Well, more or less it was the same thing. In other words, at the
25 beginning of 1993, these reports of the civilian authorities were improved
1 and before that time, it was through messengers who brought mail to
2 certain departmental ministers, and I also believe that they were
3 delivered to the assembly and so on and so forth, and that will be that.
4 And the Supreme Commander received reports from the army, and to
5 the extent necessary, he would inform the rest of us of some of the
6 aspects and things that he believed that either the government or some
7 other state bodies should be privy to. Those reports arrived at his desk
8 and we could not obtain those reports unless he invited us to inform us
9 about some developments that he deemed necessary to share with us.
10 Q. The final topic I would like to ask you about is contained in
11 paragraph 2 of your statement to the Chamber. And there, you talk about
12 your contact with the Defence team of Mr. Krajisnik, and you talk about
13 having a meeting with two Defence counsel in 2005, that you said I had
14 nothing to add to what I've already said in the written statement. You
15 then said they contacted me again this year and they insisted on me being
16 a witness.
17 Now, Mr. Subotic, this isn't in the least bit critical but it's a
18 fact, is it not, that you were not very keen to come and give evidence on
19 behalf of the Defence, for whatever reasons?
20 A. Let me put it this way. First of all, I did not have contact with
21 the two Defence counsel. There was somebody else and the interpreter. I
22 may have been mistaken when I said two lawyers. I may have been wrong.
23 Q. I'm not trying to give evidence. It was me and an interpreter,
24 wasn't it? And we met at the Hotel Bosna in Banja Luka. It was my
25 sole --
1 A. I apologise. Yes. Yes. But I -- I forgot the way you look. Let
2 me put it this way: On the order of Mrs. Carla Del Ponte and some other
3 people in Republika Srpska, I was duty bound to provide the team of
4 Mr. Krajisnik when they came to Bosnia or at least Mr. Niskovic was a
5 member of the team at the time, with a written statements. We received a
6 specific questions from the Defence and there was also Mrs. Del Ponte's
7 order. Then Mr. Niskovic and the lady came to me I believe it was a laid
8 abut that was not important. They brought those questions to me. They
9 showed me this order by Mrs. Carla Del Ponte and I simply sat down and I
10 answered those questions as best as I could.
11 Q. I'm going to stop you, if I may. I'm going to stop you because my
12 question related to the last contact which was between you and an
13 interpreter on our team, the earlier part of there year, where you, for
14 whatever reason, and I emphasise I'm not being critical, you basically
15 made it clear that you were not anxious to come and give evidence on
16 behalf of the Defence. That's right, isn't it?
17 A. I shall explain and I will be very honest. Your Honours, and all
18 of you in the courtroom, in 2003 when the Milosevic trial was ongoing,
19 Mr. Bernard O'Donnell called me. He was the head of the investigation
20 team who interviewed me in 1997 and 1998. He called me personally, on the
21 phone, and they asked me to come here because there were, as the
22 interpreter put it to me, there were at least several hundred of questions
23 that they wished to put to me. They asked me to come for an interview.
24 That's what they told me. And then I said, at the office of The Hague
25 Tribunal, I didn't want to do it on the phone. I'm a professional, I know
1 what telephone communication means, and through the office of the ICTY in
2 Banja Luka I established contact and I accepted to come here. Everything
3 was arranged but I wanted my lawyer to be present, because I am here
4 exposed and I knew that you would ask me all sorts of questions, and I'm
5 not so powerful and so clever to be able to deal with the prosecutors,
6 with the judges.
7 "You can entrap me any way you want." That's what I said to
8 Mr. O'Donnell. That's why I asked for my lawyer to be present to protect
9 me. I had same request now, and since the ICTY did not want to cover the
10 cost for my lawyer, who lives in the United States, and he has a Ph.D. in
11 Anglo-Saxon law. Still I spoke to him and I accepted to come here and put
12 an end to this never-ending story because I simply did not want somebody
13 to think that I was afraid to come, that I did not respect this Tribunal,
14 that I did not respect justice. And this is exactly what I told you on
15 that occasion. And I told you -- I don't see after my statements given in
16 1997 and 1998 and you can obtain those statements because you're a lawyer,
17 I assumed that that was the case and after the statement that I wrote down
18 at the request of Mrs. Carla Del Ponte, I told you I don't see any purpose
19 of me coming here to repeat all that in the courtroom. I apologise to the
20 Presiding Judge, I didn't know that the living word is more powerful than
21 a written word but I now understand that this is a fact. And if I had
22 none that, maybe I would have behaved differently, if somebody had
23 explained that to me. And then I told you in our second contact when you
24 called me I told you, if I have to come, I still want my lawyer to be
1 JUDGE ORIE: Of course the Chamber is aware of communication
2 between Mr. Subotic's lawyer and -- I think as a matter of fact that the
3 Defence is aware of that as well. It has been always --
4 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Do we need more details on this.
6 MR. JOSSE: We don't. Could I just ask -- this was leading
7 somewhere, Your Honour, and it was leading to this question, Mr. Subotic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please lead Mr. Subotic. But eight to ten
9 minutes are 12 by now so --
10 MR. JOSSE:
11 Q. You expressed a reluctance to come and give evidence on behalf of
12 the Defence. Nonetheless, that doesn't diminish your respect for
13 Mr. Krajisnik, does it?
14 A. No. I respect Mr. Krajisnik. I never had any problems with him.
15 I know him as a person. I know his behaviour. I know how he behaved
16 during the war, after the war, I know how he behaved as a member of the
17 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I can say that I'm very sorry, very
18 truly sorry that Mr. Krajisnik is in the situation to be charged with
19 crimes. And this is my very honest opinion and I'm sharing this opinion
20 with you with any -- without any doubt or fear whatsoever.
21 MR. JOSSE: Out of time for a second time, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have one final question for you, Mr. Subotic.
23 You told us about meeting with those who were already informed about the
24 Koricanske Stijene incident, where it was discussed and where it had to
25 be, as you said, it had to be thoroughly investigated. In that period of
1 time when this happened, did you have another meeting for example with
2 Mr. Karadzic where you discussed this matter or is it once that you
3 discussed the matter with Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Koljevic, as you said, and
4 I think Madam Plavsic that you mentioned. Was it once or was it several
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only when I was tasked with that,
7 and when I returned I just orally interpreted what I had done, what I --
8 what messages I had conveyed. I made a note of his order and I told him
9 the Judges are on the ground, the police officers, the investigators are
10 on the ground, nobody objected to that. I saw the atmosphere. I saw that
11 everybody was of the opinion that this had been a terrible thing, that it
12 was impossible for something like that to have happened. And so on and so
13 forth. And later on, believe me, I did not follow any of that. I don't
14 know how much was implemented. I only followed the media to a certain
16 JUDGE ORIE: But when I'm talking about a meeting as you -- in
17 your statement you say a meeting with Mr. Karadzic, Madam Plavsic,
18 Koljevic, you said that the subject of that meeting was Koricanske
19 Stijene, in a similar setting, did you discuss this once or did you
20 discuss this more times? So not exclusively with Mr. Karadzic --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. Only once when I
22 received my orders. And as for Mr. Karadzic, I just submitted my report
23 to him on my return. However, he had already had written reports from the
24 MUP and from other sources, for example, the Court, I suppose. So the
25 report that I submitted to him was no longer very important. I just told
1 him what I had done.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Tieger you were on your feet.
3 MR. TIEGER: I'm a little confused, Your Honour. The Court
4 referred to the tasking that this witness referred to. I had specifically
5 asked him about the reporting back that he referred to in his statement
6 and I directed him to --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was mainly concerned -- well, let's ...
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber feels no need to further expand on this
10 matter at this moment, Mr. -- this then concludes your testimony,
11 Mr. Subotic. First of all, we would like to return to you the video you
12 were so kind to give to this Tribunal, which has been copied and which has
13 been or will be made available to the parties. I'd like to thank you very
14 much for coming your long way to The Hague and to answer the questions of
15 this Bench, of both parties, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
16 We adjourn until next Monday, 9.00, Courtroom II, I take it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Courtroom I, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Courtroom I, next Monday. We stand adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.19 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Monday, the 3rd day of July,
21 2006, at 9.00 a.m.