1 Wednesday, 5 July 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.22 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 MR. STEWART: I apologise for that, Your Honour. I have been
7 having some connection problems under here with the electricity.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Take care of yourself, Mr. Stewart.
9 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
11 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 I'd like to go into closed session.
14 [Closed session]
11 Page 26774 redacted. Closed session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Mrs. Plavsic, before you give evidence in this court, the Rules of
14 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that you
15 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. May I
16 invite you to make that solemn declaration, to stand up and to make that
17 solemn declaration, of which the text will now be handed out to you by
18 Madam Usher.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much. Please be seated, Mrs. Plavsic.
22 Mrs. Plavsic, could you first --
23 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour.
24 Your Honour, as a matter of practice we normally have in the past
25 introduced in public session those that are present, particularly
1 Mr. O'Sullivan, so that it can be clear his bar and that he's here on
2 Mrs. Plavsic's behalf.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for reminding me. I'm not very
4 consequent always in stating who is present, who is not. But since,
5 Mr. O'Sullivan, you're usually not in this courtroom in this case, could
6 you please introduce yourself.
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. Eugene O'Sullivan appearing on
8 behalf of Mrs. Plavsic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And you are a member of?
10 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Member of the bar of British Columbia.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you very much.
12 Mr. O'Sullivan, I think there's no need to further explain what
13 your role could be and what your role could not be. If there's any doubt
14 about that, then please address me.
15 WITNESS: BILJANA PLAVSIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, I would like you first to identify
19 yourself; that is, to give your full name and your date of birth.
20 A. My name is Biljana Plavsic. I was born on the 7th of July, 1930.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mrs. Plavsic. Mrs. Plavsic, did you
22 receive a copy of the witness statement that was compiled by a Legal
23 Officer of the Chamber, then translated into Serbo-Croatian, and sent to
24 Hinseberg prison on the 28th of June, 2006?
25 A. Yes, I did receive it. But what I would like to ask you is before
1 we move to this part that you would like to talk about, I would like to
2 state something.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you would not mind, I'll give you an
4 opportunity to state something, but I'd like to go first through a few
5 questions in relation to this document.
6 So you received it. Have you had an opportunity to read it?
7 A. Yes, I received it, and I've read it. And I gave some corrections
8 and I have them here with me. I didn't send them by post.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So that would have been my next question,
10 whether there are any corrections you would like to make. I do understand
11 that you have made them in the B/C/S version, then I take it -- "B/C/S"
12 we -- it's a term we use for what you might call Serbian or
13 Serbian-Croatian. Could I have a look to the corrections you made so to
14 get an impression on how much work it will be to have it translated?
15 Could you please give it for one second to Madam Usher.
16 A. I think that these corrections here could perhaps be a topic of
17 discussion with you. These are not minor corrections. I spoke with
18 Mr. Nilsson, who did come to Hinseberg. I think we talked for seven
19 hours, maybe more, and he sent a summary of not quite nine pages long of
20 that conversation. So it is to be expected that such a small summary of a
21 long conversation may have omitted some things. But there are also some
22 material mistakes here that I really cannot just let go.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you -- nevertheless, I'd like to have a
24 look at how much it is. And meanwhile, I inform you that the whole of
25 your interview was audio recorded and has been transcribed.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I make one observation, please, on
2 that matter?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. STEWART: The Trial Chamber very helpfully supplied a CD with
5 all the relevant conversations in accordance with the guidelines. It
6 should perhaps be noted that it was very clear in a conversation with
7 Mrs. Plavsic that she was requesting to receive the audio of her entire
8 interview but that she has not been given that. And whenever she asked in
9 the course of the conversation with the Legal Officer to have the entire
10 recording of the interview, the answer was to the effect: You will
11 receive a statement from the Trial Chamber. So that's the background to
12 it, that Mrs. Plavsic did make it very clear that that was what she
13 wanted, and to some extent it seems the difficulty may be that although
14 that audio recording was made, it's never been given to Mrs. Plavsic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that observation, Mr. Stewart.
16 I see that -- first of all, that it's -- your comments are often
17 written in handwriting which might be decipherable for persons who read
18 it. It also is, to some extent, limited in amount. I suggest that we
19 give you an opportunity, first of all, to perhaps summarise or tell us
20 briefly orally what is the main line of the changes you suggest, and that
21 at the same time we ask for urgent processing, first of course in B/C/S
22 and then for translation of the amendments or the corrections you have
24 Would you mind if I give it for those purposes to Mr. Registrar so
25 that a copy can be made immediately and that people can start processing
1 your changes so that we have them as soon as possible available in a
2 format which is accessible to us and in a language which is accessible to
3 us. At the same time, I'll give you an opportunity to orally explain to
4 us what are the major changes.
5 A. I'm afraid that I will not be able to tell you of the changes
6 without the text that you have in front of me. Maybe after I receive a
7 copy, then we can continue once I have the copy.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps a copy could be made. The handwriting
9 which is mainly in blue, which sometimes gives problems in copying, so ...
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I assume that enough copies will be
11 made for Mr. Krajisnik and the other B/C/S speaker that we have in court
12 and, similarly, on the other side of the case to have them available.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My first concern was that there would be a copy
14 which would be available for those who are processing it, but of course
15 those who may be able to it read directly, should receive a copy as well.
16 MR. STEWART: Well, if we're going to discuss it in court, Your
17 Honour, which is -- I don't know whether we are, but presumably we are.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course we'll not discuss it in court until
19 we have an English translation. I mean, the statement is one, and the
20 testimony to be given by Mrs. Plavsic -- it keeps us off at this moment
21 from using 89(F). We just can use it for orientation purposes. And of
22 course we can see whether there is any comment made and we could invite
23 Mrs. Plavsic, if any reference is made, to the statement to explain to us
24 what corrections she made.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, perhaps I had misunderstood where we
1 were going. I had in mind that what the witness wanted to do was explain
2 by reference to her own copy which is in her own language the changes she
3 wanted to make, in which case I had understood that that would need to be
4 done straight away as the basic foundation of her evidence before we moved
5 on to anything else.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we'll have to listen to that without having
7 an English translation available to us. So we'll --
8 MR. STEWART: That was precisely going back to why my request for
9 enough B/C/S copies, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to
13 ask you ...
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mrs. Plavsic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to ask in the meantime,
16 while we're waiting for the copy, I have some remarks.
17 Not only did I receive the text of my statement nine pages long,
18 but I also had the binding order for my appearance. So I really need to
19 state something. I'm not here voluntarily. From the order, I understood
20 that I must come. Why I'm not here voluntarily? First of all, my health
21 is not good. Yesterday in the Detention Unit, the doctor measured my
22 blood pressure and it's 180 by 95. Today, after the incident with the
23 handcuffs, I think that it is more elevated. I didn't know that once I'm
24 convicted I would not be able to care for my health. That's why I want to
25 tell you what my situation is.
1 The other thing is that although I am convicted and I am serving
2 my sentence in prison, I do not abandon my principles, and those
3 principles are the reason why I'm not appearing here voluntarily.
4 The first principle is I think people who are not free, who are
5 not at liberty, cannot speak freely or sincerely. I will use all of my
6 effort to be in control and to abide by the solemn declaration that I have
7 given. Many people are not in that position. The pressure on those who
8 are charged or who have already been convicted is something that exceeds
9 any moral bounds. This is my opinion that I'm giving. What Babic did by
10 placing a noose around his neck is just a consequence of the pressure that
11 was exerted. I have to say that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, I'm going to stop you here. You're
13 fully entitled to explain to us that you'd rather not have come to
14 testify. It's also understood by this Chamber that you were not willing
15 to come unless the Chamber ordered you to come, and that's what the
16 Chamber did. The Chamber has no problem in hearing from you that you feel
17 it to be a pressure if you have to testify once you're convicted. Of
18 course the Chamber is --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not under pressure.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let me just then read what you said.
21 "The pressure on those who are charged or who have already been
22 convicted is something that exceeds any moral bounds." And you said that
23 immediately following the line where you said that you think that people
24 who are not free, who are not at liberty, cannot speak freely or
1 That's what the Chamber understands, and you're entirely free to
2 express those feelings. You're not free to comment on what you think
3 happened to others; that's not a subject for discussion at this moment
4 here. So therefore, I stop you from doing that.
5 As far as your solemn declaration is concerned, what you are
6 expected to do is to give the answers fully in accordance with what you
7 know is the truth, which also means that if you do not know something,
8 that you should tell the Chamber. And that if you say: I may have known
9 but my memory doesn't serve me anymore, that -- to tell the Chamber that
10 as well. That's the situation.
11 Apart from that, if you feel at any moment that for medical
12 reasons you need assistance, if at any moment you say: I do not feel well
13 or I think that they have forgotten to measure my blood pressure after
14 what happened this morning, please address me and we'll try to respond
15 with proper concern for your health condition.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I am not
17 finished yet. I am on quite bad terms with Mr. Krajisnik, so there is an
18 ethical rule --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, your relationship with Mr. Krajisnik is
20 at least part of the statement which expresses clearly what you said about
21 that in the interview. And so that apart from whether any corrections are
22 there to be made as well, that will be in evidence, that will be clearly
23 on the record. It's entirely clear to this Chamber, on the basis of the
24 interview, that you said that you're on bad terms with him.
25 That doesn't change anything to your position to the extent that
1 you should tell us what you know, tell us if you do not know something,
2 and you should do your utmost best not to be biased by any negative
3 feelings you may have developed over the years or having them now towards
4 Mr. Krajisnik. That's my instruction to you, Mrs. Plavsic.
5 Anything else you would like to add?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can be sure that I will respect
7 the solemn declaration and abide by it, regardless of our relationship.
8 But there is a rule outside of this room as well, and I think that
9 you have all encountered that rule at some time in your profession. If
10 you're not on good terms with someone and if you are in the position of
11 saying something about that person, you are going to say: I'm sorry,
12 we're not on good terms and I will not comment about that. This is all I
13 wish to say.
14 I am not going to deviate from my principles and I will not also
15 deviate from saying what I know and from the obligation from the solemn
16 declaration. I had the interview at Hinseberg. I thought that -- I was
17 not aware that all of you received only the nine pages and not the entire
18 text of the interview.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We received the entire text, so don't be afraid,
20 Mrs. Plavsic, that we would have missed that.
21 As far as you said there is another rule outside this room and
22 that is that you're not going to comment on matters if you are -- if you
23 have a bad relationship with the accused, may I just tell you what you are
24 then expected to do. You are under a duty to answer questions. The
25 questions -- we'll try these and we invite you to follow us in that
1 attempt to keep them as factual as possible. Witnesses are expected,
2 first of all, to give evidence of facts more than on -- than to give their
3 opinion on certain matters. However, if a fact unfavourable would be
4 known to you, unfavourable to Mr. Krajisnik, you have to mention that fact
5 just as any fact favourable to him. You have to answer the questions in
6 accordance with the truth, the whole truth - that means everything you
7 know - and nothing else. You're under a duty to do so.
8 We now received, Mrs. Plavsic, your statement. Could you inform
9 us -- and perhaps we could go page by page. If you refer to the
10 paragraph, we'll look at the English as well. And if you could please
11 briefly explain to us what your corrections are. May I take you -- I see
12 that the first comment you gave is in paragraph 2, where you added the
13 word I think "savjet." Could you tell us what it means and what the
14 correction is?
15 A. First, something in general. On page 2, the main faults or
16 mistakes on page 2 are those relating to the failure to use official terms
17 or names. For example, "the political council," the word in B/C/S used
18 was "odbor," but the actual word is "savjet," "council." In my opinion,
19 this is a major mistake. The "politicki savjet" was an advisory,
20 non-binding body of the SDS. So it's a council, not a board. And --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, in the translation we have the
22 word "council." That's the word which is used to translate what you now
23 say is "savjet." Could you please --
24 A. All right. Then that is okay then.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I see your next correction on paragraph 4.
1 A. Yes, paragraph 4 and paragraph 6, and perhaps subsequent ones
2 relate to a remark which I think you will accept. The Presidency was not
3 the Presidency of Bosnian Serbs, as it is mentioned here, but it was the
4 Presidency of the Republic of the Serbian People of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina. So in official documents, this is how it should be.
6 Also, we are going to encounter the term "Assembly." It is not
7 the Assembly of Bosnian Serbs, but it is the Assembly of the Bosnian Serb
8 People of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is the official title.
9 This is all I wanted to state.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mrs. Plavsic, of course this Chamber has heard
11 a lot of evidence and has seen a lot of documents, official documents,
12 including -- that show us that names sometimes changed over the time. But
13 it's good that you draw our attention that we should use -- from -- just
14 from the top of my head, I couldn't say whether this is in accordance or
15 is not in accordance with the documents used there. But it certainly is a
16 matter the Chamber will pay proper attention to. And I do understand that
17 here your correction in 4 is that you are -- you say that it should be the
18 Presidency of the Republic of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 and that you make a similar correction in paragraph 6, that's understood.
20 Mrs. Plavsic, I see your next comment on paragraph 9. Could you
21 explain to us --
22 A. I think - and then you will probably use the terms consistently
23 throughout the whole document. Page 2 actually has a lot of corrections,
24 so I will not mention that anymore because I see that you also agree with
1 JUDGE ORIE: You mean --
2 A. Paragraph 6 --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. On the -- you say on the second page, but
4 paragraph 6 on the first page. You want to return back to paragraph 6 or
5 are we on the second page?
6 A. This is on page 2 in my copy. The page 1 -- page 1 is the title
7 page with the signatures and everything, and then the actual text begins
8 on page 2.
9 JUDGE ORIE: If you please refer to paragraphs because then it's
10 more easy for us to follow.
11 A. [In English] 6.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph 6, yes.
13 A. [Interpretation] 6, yes. There are a number of remarks there. In
14 the first sentence it says: "I went to Pale approximately on the 22nd of
15 May." And from this it seems as if I simply took a walk to Pale;
16 actually, I was fleeing because the police was in the house and my brother
17 and my sister-in-law were already arrested and in prison. So, "left."
18 Actually, it's "fled," because I had to flee. I'm a refugee from
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's understood. That was clear to the
21 Chamber as well that you didn't just go out for a walk but that you moved
22 the whole basis of your life to Pale.
23 Please take me to the next -- take the Chamber to the next
25 A. All right. Jahorina is not a village; it's a mountain near
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 A. There is no Jahorina village.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 A. I don't know what is said in the English text, but I'm finished
6 with all my remarks concerning page 2.
7 JUDGE ORIE: It says "village of Jahorina," and from the evidence,
8 the Chamber takes it that Jahorina is an elevation where there was, at
9 least from what I remember, a hotel which was not a real village.
10 Yes, please, next correction.
11 A. Paragraph 9, this is on page 3 in my copy.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 A. I have an objection or a remark to make in relation to the first
14 sentence, and it says: "I believe that Mr. Krajisnik had a very important
15 role in the Assembly of Bosnian Serbs." Again, it's not the Assembly of
16 Bosnian Serbs, but the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina, but we've already dealt with that.
18 Actually, what I'm trying to say is I think that that sentence
19 doesn't make sense. Of course he had a significant role because he was
20 the president of the Assembly. You know the post that he occupied. He
21 was the president of the Assembly. And then emphasising his major role in
22 that Assembly -- well, it's natural for a president to play a significant
24 Now, the second part -- may I continue?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
1 A. The second part and the Supreme Defence Council, because without
2 him it would have been impossible to do anything. His influence in the
3 Supreme Defence Council was quite different than in the Assembly. He
4 chaired or presided over the Assembly and the Supreme Defence Council at
5 that time was presided over by President Karadzic. He would convene the
6 Supreme Defence Council as the Supreme Commander. Mr. Krajisnik was
7 present, but his influence was not expressed in any particular way in this
8 Supreme Defence Council.
9 Now, this part: "Without him, it would have been impossible to do
10 anything." That is a sentence which after knowing the whole situation you
11 could say that he was a very influential person, he was a powerful person,
12 but not in relation to the Supreme Defence Council because the Supreme
13 Defence Council comprised some other authorities which are not here before
14 this Tribunal. I'm talking about Karadzic and Mladic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think during further examination we'll come
16 in more detail to that issue. Now -- of course I can't read what you
17 added to it, but it's at least now on the record that you would like to
18 give at least more nuance and, to that extent, change your statement, as
19 you just expressed.
20 Madam Plavsic, next correction would be in paragraph --
21 A. Yes. Well, maybe this correction would not stand if there were a
22 full stop between -- after the words "Supreme Defence Council" and if the
23 next sentence "nothing would have been possible without him" were
24 separate. Because now that it is linked to the Supreme Defence Council as
25 it is, it makes it sound as if Mr. Krajisnik was leading the Supreme
1 Defence Council, but the main thing is that we understand each other.
2 JUDGE ORIE: So you would like to make a full stop after "very
3 important" and then leave out "since" and continue saying "without him it
4 would have been impossible to do anything." We take out the "since," the
5 link between Supreme Defence Council and "what could be done without him."
6 Next comment, please.
7 A. Supreme Defence Council, yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please give your next correction.
9 A. "The establishment of the Assembly of Bosnian Serbs," I'm not
10 going to repeat my objection in principle all the time. I believe that
11 this correction will be made consistently throughout the text so that the
12 terminology is correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 A. So the second sentence: "The Assembly endorsed or adopted this
15 memorandum after SDS MPs left thinking that the session was over for that
17 What I want to say is that the SDS did not think; they were
18 misled. They were tricked, cheated, including Mr. Krajisnik.
19 Mr. Krajisnik presided over that session of the 14th October as the
20 Speaker of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it took --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Of course this Chamber heard a lot of evidence on
22 what happened on the 14th and the 15th of October as well. Could we
23 change that then in "after they had been made believe" so that is not
24 their own belief, but that they were -- by others that this belief was
25 induced by others and incorrectly. Yes.
1 A. No. In our language, there is a word for what happened, and that
2 was deceit. Mr. Krajisnik said at 11.00 p.m.: We are adjourning and we
3 resume tomorrow at 1500 hours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, again, we --
5 A. At 11.00 a.m., rather, on the 15th of October.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You prefer your statement to be, and I'll try to
7 reformulate it. "This memorandum was adopted by the Assembly after the
8 SDS deputies were deceived" --
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we're not happy, with respect. Our
11 B/C/S speaker who is following this suggests that --
12 JUDGE ORIE: What would be --
13 MR. STEWART: Well, I better translate what I -- the advice I've
14 been given by my B/C/S speaker and translate it into this submission, Your
16 It's extremely important Mrs. Plavsic is, in the end, allowed to
17 make her own corrections to her own perspective statement and that, with
18 respect, Your Honour takes great care to allow her to do that and
19 ultimately will be translated. Your Honour --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
21 MR. STEWART: -- if I go into the details, I --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. If this is a specific matter, the
23 wording used, it's --
24 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, it's this: If I say any more,
25 I'm steering the witness and I don't wish to do that, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. STEWART: But we're suggesting, with respect, that nobody does
3 that, that Mrs. Plavsic is the witness and Mrs. Plavsic provides a
5 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to rephrase this line so not to tell
6 us a whole story about it but to rephrase this line in such a way that it
7 reflects correctly the situation at that time. So whether you use the
8 word -- this word "deceived" or whether you say "they were made to
9 believe" or whether you said "they believe," it's your statement. Please
10 tell us what -- how we should read this line. But you're not invited to
11 tell us the whole of the story. If that would be needed, further
12 questions will be asked to you and you'll have an opportunity to add
13 whatever you would like at the end of your testimony.
14 So could you please -- the line reading "this session had been
15 adjourned for the day" -- no. "This memorandum was adopted by the
16 Assembly after the SDS deputies" and then please fill in the correct
18 A. After the SDS MPs -- but again, it's not just the SDS MPs. There
19 were other parties there who also, hearing this information, left. That's
20 why I don't know what to do with this "SDS" designation, because they were
21 not the only ones.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then you say "after MPs" without any --
23 A. Well, then that would apply to HDZ and SDA as well.
24 But the point is that the decision was made without the presence
25 of the representatives of the Serbian people. 32 per cent of the
1 population of Bosnia and Herzegovina were not represented in the Assembly
2 when the memorandum was discussed, when the decision was made.
3 I am really trying to make this text reflect the reality of that
4 time as closely as possible. I would put it this way: Serb MPs, whether
5 they were in SDS or not, you don't have to put that, Serb deputies or Serb
6 MPs, after hearing that the Assembly session would resume on the 15th
7 at 11.00 a.m., left the building of the Assembly.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 A. I think that would be it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So then we -- it will read that the memorandum
11 was adopted by the Assembly after Serb MPs --
12 A. Pursuant to the information that --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That the Serb MPs had left the building of the
14 Assembly, having heard that the Assembly session would resume on the 15th
15 at 11.00 a.m., yes. That's clear.
16 A. I think it's best that way.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Next correction, please, Mrs. Plavsic.
18 A. I hope that we will come back to this Assembly session.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
20 A. In my opinion --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, we have heard this Assembly session and
22 what happened I think some ten times, and therefore I do not think that
23 what factually happened, what actually happened there is a matter of great
24 dispute between the parties. So therefore, we try to avoid repetitious
25 evidence on issues that may be interpreted in different ways but is not
1 really something I think it's a subject of great dispute between the
3 I'm looking to you, Mr. Stewart; and I'm looking to you,
4 Mr. Harmon, and they confirm that.
5 So we might not specifically pay attention to this at a later
7 A. I'm just saying this because -- because when the issue arises of
8 when the war began, it began with that Assembly session.
9 Now, paragraph 11 --
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's your opinion. As again I am very much seeking
11 facts primarily. But it played a role in the events; that is a thing
12 without any doubt, Mrs. Plavsic. That is something that the Chamber is
13 reminded of many, many times.
14 Next correction, please, would be?
15 A. 11. Again, it's "council" not "board."
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 A. So the correction made on page 2 stands and applies to this page
18 as well.
19 Number 11 -- number 12 --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 A. 13.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 A. It says: "Around the 2nd of April, 1992, I was contacted by a man
24 with the last name of Jankovic." At that time I was a member of the
25 Presidency, and I would not be talking to just anyone, a man. That
1 Jankovic was a colonel, and he was the one who notified me. So instead
2 of "man" I would say "Colonel Jankovic."
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You were contacted by Colonel Jankovic.
4 Next correction, please?
5 A. [In English] Yes.
6 [Interpretation] And right below that, the next line: "He said
7 that Fikret Abdic, Jerko Doko, and Miodrag Simovic were in danger and were
8 held by Arkan, whom I did not know at the time." He was not holding them;
9 he had captured them. The word "capture" would have been -- would be more
10 appropriate. They were taken prisoner by him.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We'll then read that "were in a dangerous situation
12 and they were captured by Arkan." Yes.
13 A. Right.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Next correction, please.
15 A. In my version it's page 4 now, paragraph 15.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 A. The end of the penultimate sentence reads: "And that Serbs
18 therefore addressed themselves to Serbia for help." That is a substantial
19 mistake and a horrible one because it does not correspond to the truth at
21 A ham radio amateur was concerned, and they have connections with
22 ham radios on the other side. He is the one who informed me. So this ham
23 radio amateur does not represent Serbs. And he did not inform Serbs in
25 I'm now telling you how I received official notification as member
1 of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of course I asked: Who was
2 it who called Arkan? And this ham radio man called up and said: I
3 contacted my colleagues in Serbia, ham radio amateurs, and informed them.
4 I don't know how it goes, but ham radio amateurs on either side do not
5 represent their peoples. That is the correction I would like to be made
7 You can check it in the original. I could not have put it this
9 JUDGE ORIE: Would it be a suggestion that we replace just this
10 portion of the statement, take it out, and have now on the record what the
11 evidence of Mrs. Plavsic is in this respect.
12 Then, Mrs. Plavsic, we'll take out from your statement this
13 portion and of course what you just said is your testimony now. So the
14 line now still reads: "I attended a meeting in the municipality, during
15 which I was told the Muslims from outside Bijeljina, Albanians, had
16 occupied positions around the town." Take out "and that Serbs therefore
17 had contacted Serbia for help," which is now replaced by the oral
18 testimony as it appears on the transcript of today.
19 A. Right, right.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Next correction, please.
21 A. Yes. And now the last sentence.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 A. In paragraph 15. "Fighting broke out between Muslims and
24 Albanians on one hand and Serbs from Serbia on the other hand."
25 JUDGE ORIE: What would you like --
1 A. This is simply untrue. Muslims -- it was a group, I don't know
2 how many there were. I was not there when the fighting was going on. I
3 was in the Presidency and I came when it was all over, I think two days
5 JUDGE ORIE: What would you like to correct?
6 A. Those were not Serbs from Serbia. Let me tell you, Arkan -- and I
7 don't know how many of his men were with him, they could have been, let's
8 say, 20. I'm trying to remember. They were lined up outside the
9 Assembly -- outside the municipality building. It's a small group. When
10 they say "well-armed," I am certainly not a person who's competent to say
11 whether they had good equipment or not. They had weapons, of course, but
12 they were not Serbs from Serbia.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, at this moment we're trying to make
14 your statement such. It will not completely address everything. There
15 might be things not in it, less relevant. It was quite a lot of work to
16 reduce your -- to make it a statement. You would like to change "coming
17 from Serbia." What should it read? So "fighting broke out between the
18 Muslims and the Albanians on the one side and Serbs on the other" or --
19 A. "Muslims and Albanians on the one hand" -- it is known
20 specifically who was there: Arkan and his company. I don't know how to
21 put it.
22 JUDGE ORIE: We then make that --
23 A. And that company was armed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: "And Arkan and his company on the other." Is
25 that ...
1 A. Because they were not Serbs from Serbia.
2 I can tell you about another situation. On the 3rd of March, the
3 whole 108th Brigade from Croatia crossed over into Bosnia and Herzegovina,
4 but nobody's asking me about that. But I understand what you are driving
6 JUDGE ORIE: I want to help you. I take it that you could speak
7 for a hundred or 200 hours on everything that happened. I invite you to
8 focus at this moment on what we are specifically doing, that is making
9 corrections to your statement so that it does not contain anything that
10 you do not consider right, and we have just now corrected "Serbs coming
11 from Serbia" into "Arkan and his company."
12 Could you please take us to your next correction.
13 A. All right. 16, 17 I have no corrections. 19.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 A. "During my visit to Bijeljina, I did not see dead bodies, but I
16 did talk to a number of people whose family members were killed."
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, in Serbian it could also
18 be "murdered."
19 A. I went into those homes. Those were people who were killed by
20 shrapnel during the fighting. I know of a case and I went into that home
21 to offer my condolences. A woman was holding a cup of coffee, and she was
22 going toward her window to see what was going on outside, and she was hit
23 by shrapnel. There was several such cases; if I remember correctly, there
24 were nine such cases when people were killed that way.
25 So from what we read here, it could be understood that somebody
1 came and killed them. No, they just got killed by shrapnel or otherwise.
2 I think this word "killed" --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note again, the word in Serbian
4 could also be understood as "murdered."
5 A. -- I believe this word is not the most appropriate.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Shall we then replace it "I did talk to some people
7 whose family members got killed." Would that reflect --
8 A. "Got killed," yes, "got killed during the shooting, during the
10 JUDGE ORIE: "Got killed during the fighting." It has been
12 Madam Plavsic, please take us to your next correction.
13 A. 22, last sentence. "I think that Mr. Krajisnik was not informed
14 of my departure to Bijeljina." I think this sentence is pointless. At
15 that time, I was a member of the Presidency, and it was the Presidency
16 that sent me there. Mr. Krajisnik was the Speaker of the Assembly, and as
17 far as I'm aware it was not necessary for him to be informed -- or rather,
18 the Presidency was not duty-bound to inform the Speaker of the Assembly
19 that they were sending a delegation to Bijeljina. I think it doesn't make
20 much sense.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but it is not incorrect. You do not think that
22 he was informed. You also -- you don't think that he was informed about
23 your trip --
24 A. I think that he was not informed.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. You have now -- it's now --
1 A. I think he was not informed. You know why? Because of those
2 relations, the hierarchy. The Presidency is above the Assembly in one
3 sense; in another sense, the Assembly is perhaps above the Presidency
4 because it represents the people. I couldn't really --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, you are --
6 A. You can leave it this way.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We leave it this way. Your explanation is now on the
9 Could you please take us to your next correction. Could I expect
10 that to be in 26? Could you please tell us how you would like to have it
12 A. Yes. Again, could we replace this wording by "Presidency of the
13 Serb people" because we are talking about year 1992. I don't think that
14 this name changed in Republika Srpska.
15 And then in the last sentence of 26 --
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... you would like to
17 have that "after I had fled to Pale around ..." Yes, it's corrected.
18 A. That was it.
19 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ..."after I had fled
20 to Pale around" --
21 A. That was the point.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see. Your next correction?
23 A. 28, again, the same terminology point. Official names should be
24 used consistently.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The first line of 28 and then -- there's a
1 question mark at the last sentence.
2 A. 28, the last sentence. I cannot recall completely, but if I
3 remember well, some local problems were discussed, maybe the repair of
4 transmission lines, power transmission lines, because the Presidency was
5 asking that Sarajevo and the surrounding area be supplied with electrical
6 power. And the transmission lines were down. And maybe somebody was
7 present there because it was a big problem, who would actually climb up
8 there and repair the transmission lines. So the solution was found for a
9 Serb, a Croat, and a Muslim to go together, as a group. There were some,
10 at first glance, minor problems sometimes discussed by the Presidency.
11 Maybe you can leave it this way with the proviso that I cannot remember
12 it. You know, it was 14 years ago.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You've given your explanation. That is now on the
14 record as part of your testimony. And from what I understand, it's not
15 wrong what it says there, but it's better understood on the basis of your
16 explanation you gave today.
17 Could you take us your next -- I take it at the end of
18 paragraph 30?
19 A. 30. I was in Scheveningen for eight months the first time and
20 later four months. In that time I received a lot of material that
21 accompanied my indictment. I received various documents, and I had
22 documents by other means also. And then I noticed that some documents -
23 how shall I put it? - are well ironed out, that they were written on
24 computers. As far as I know at that time, we didn't have any computers.
25 I think that there was perhaps just an Olympia typewriter.
1 I also saw - and there were other things by which I conclude - and
2 you most probably know that - that they were sent subsequently. Who did
3 it I really am not interested in. That some materials, for example
4 additional decisions, were sent later. Some documents were signed by
5 President Karadzic at the time when he actually was not the president; he
6 was just the president of the Presidency.
7 And if this is something that you're interested in, I could
8 perhaps dwell on this a little bit. It's just a curiosity and I did set
9 aside several papers as examples.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, you have now explained on what basis
11 you came to the conclusion that after having reviewed the minutes why you
12 believe that at least some of them were written many years later. I did
13 not here a clear correction, and at this moment I'm mainly interested
14 in -- of course in whether there's anything wrong with it. I didn't hear
15 that. You have explained why you came -- why you came to this conclusion,
16 and you have drawn our attention to other matters. We'll see whether we
17 will find an opportunity to discuss these other matters.
18 Next correction would be in 31, I take it?
19 A. 31. On the 6th of July, 1992, I was tasked by the Presidency with
20 the things that I needed to do as a member of the Presidency in the
21 humanitarian sphere, assistance to refugees, like it is stated here, and
22 contacts with the Serbian Orthodox church. And it states here: "And
23 other religious institutions."
24 Actually, it was my job to maintain contacts with the Serbian
25 Orthodox church in case of problems and with institutions of other
1 religions. There is a significant difference. Here it says "and other
2 religious institutions." I suggest that it should say "with institutions
3 of other religions." For example, I had contact with Archbishop Puljic.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The distinction is quite clear to us and now it
5 reads "and institutions of other religions."
6 Yes, please, the next one would be on 34, I take it. Then could
7 you explain what you would like to correct there.
8 A. As you can see, I didn't underline it with a full line but with a
9 dotted line. I think that this would perhaps need to be formulated
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
12 A. The Presidency -- I'm sorry, I'm just thinking aloud now. The
13 Presidency does not stand for burning money. I felt that the institutions
14 that existed formally and not actually should not exist because it was
15 just a waste of money.
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated].
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that you are more or less confirming
19 what it says here, "I said many times that the Presidency was only a waste
20 of money and should not have existed." Is that -- or "and therefore
21 should not have existed." Because you say more or less the same as I read
22 at this moment.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I've got to say we did not understand
24 what the witness was saying as being confirmation, but I say no more than
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's ask you for more detail. Could you try to
2 explain to us in one or two lines, Mrs. Plavsic, what you think is not
3 correctly expressed in this sentence.
4 A. It is not properly expressed that when looked literally it was as
5 if the Presidency was wasting money, but if the Presidency was not the one
6 making the actual decisions but it was a question of some persons doing
7 that, then it was a waste of money. Then we needed to decide whether we
8 would have a Presidency or an autocracy. I don't know how to --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could we --
10 A. Well, it would be my suggestion to leave this as it is, and then
11 in the course of the testimony you can put questions and we can change
12 this later.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I did not read the line as expressing that the
14 Presidency was wasting money, but that a Presidency that did not function
15 properly was a waste of money if -- if two persons decided everything.
16 Could we then perhaps change that "I said many times that the --
17 that perhaps the Presidency that did not properly function was only a
18 waste of money, and that two persons, Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik,
19 decided everything." Is that a correct -- that's how I understood it, as
20 a matter of fact, but perhaps it's more precise.
21 A. Yes, yes. You can put it like that. In any event, there are
22 minutes from the meeting when this was stated, and Professor Koljevic said
23 it very well: "Let us stop with this collective mimicry."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, I see that your next correction, at
25 least in the written version, appears in paragraph 40. Could you tell
1 us -- let's try before the first break to finish the corrections so that
2 we can start your testimony after the break.
3 40, what would you like to correct?
4 A. This word "no control whatsoever" is too strong; this formulation
5 is too strong. The president of the Presidency was the Supreme Commander.
6 He kept repeating that continuously; there was no need to repeat that
7 because this was already something that stood in the constitution. The
8 relation between Karadzic and Mladic who embodied or represented the army
9 is something that I really don't know about. I know that they were not on
10 good terms, but do this, don't do that, and so on and so forth, that's
11 something that I really don't know.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Now, how would you like then to express that in the
13 first line? It now reads: "Neither the Bosnian Serb Presidency nor the
14 Supreme Defence Council" -- it now reads "had any control over the VRS."
15 I do understand that you considered this to be too strong. I just -- not
16 to say that it is --
17 A. Maybe you can write "very weak control." You know, in view of --
18 JUDGE ORIE: If that is how you consider it to be, then we'll
19 change it so it now reads: "Neither the Bosnian Serb Presidency nor
20 the" -- we should then say "the Bosnian Serb Presidency" --
21 A. Or "the Supreme Defence Council" --
22 JUDGE ORIE: "And the Supreme Defence Council had very weak
23 control over the VRS." Is that a better expression of --
24 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, shouldn't the "neither" disappear
25 somewhere? It's --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I think in my second attempt I do so where I
2 started -- Mr. -- one second, please, Madam Plavsic.
3 Mr. Stewart, page 32, in my first attempt I started with --
4 page 32, line 6, I started: "Neither the Bosnian Serb Presidency nor
5 the" -- then I stopped and I said we should then say: "The Bosnian Serb
6 Presidency" and I should say "and" -- I think I said "and the Supreme
7 Defence Council had very weak control over the VRS."
8 MR. STEWART: I think it's the "and" that does the trick, Your
9 Honour. I'm not interested in analysing, with respect, what has been said
10 but in getting it right now. And I think that last suggestion of "and"
11 does do the trick.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay.
13 Mrs. Plavsic, let's see if we can get this through until the
14 break, but we have to try to do it as efficiently as well.
15 41, what would you like to change?
16 A. 41, the last sentence: "I was personally in favour of the use of
17 paramilitary forces because we were short of soldiers, but General Mladic
18 was opposed to that idea. And I accepted his arguments."
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then added "and I accepted his arguments." Next
21 A. This was discussed, and he, as the expert in that area, managed to
22 convince me by the force of his arguments. So I accepted that.
23 Nothing in 42.
24 And then we have 44. "War commissioner."
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 A. I did not know that I was a war commissioner; that doesn't mean
2 that this is not how it was written.
3 I must explain. There were a bunch of commissions, commissariats,
4 and I have to say that Karadzic was very skilful in naming these things,
5 giving them well-sounding names. And then after that he would forget that
6 anything like that existed.
7 But actually the population of Pale increased three-fold and
8 four-fold because people were fleeing to Pale. And able-bodied men were
9 at the front. Pale had to function normally as a small town. And all I
10 know is that I had two or three meetings with a group of people. These
11 were people who were not fit for service, fit for the front. They were
12 mostly elderly people, and we were trying to see what to do. I remember
13 there was a problem. They kept stopping me and asking me: When are we
14 going to receive our pensions?
15 What I'm trying to say is that I do not deny that --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, I think the text as it appears in 44
17 does not suggest that you deny that you were appointed in whatever
18 position. Everything you said until now seems to me be very consonant
19 with what I read in 44. And you are -- you were about to give more
20 details. It is not a matter the Chamber would seek at this moment further
21 details to be adopted in the statement. So I then conclude that there's
22 no need for corrections in paragraph 44. And it's on the record how you
23 explained that.
24 Could we please move to -- next one is 45, I think.
25 A. Very well. Very well. Yes, 45, Grbavica.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 A. The name "Batko" is written. I think it's a nickname. I don't
3 know the actual name to this day. "And a group of Serbian soldiers."
4 These were not Serbian soldiers. When I saw them, they were dressed the
5 same way that Batko was dressed, in jeans. There were no insignia. You
6 couldn't really tell who was a soldier. So this "group of Serbian
7 soldiers" is not accurate.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could we change that --
9 A. It was his company -- I mean, the -- a group of people with whom
10 he worked together. I don't know in relation to the -- when we talked
11 about Arkan's group, was that his bunch, group? It was the same thing
12 except the Arkan's men were in uniforms. There was no insignia on the
13 basis of which I would be able to conclude that these were soldiers,
14 Serbian army soldiers.
15 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it from your explanation that they were
17 A. Yes, they were armed.
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
19 A. I remember that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... and then between
21 parenthesis: "(Batko) and an armed group of Serbs." Would that reflect
22 better ...
23 A. Well, I couldn't really say for sure whether they were only Serbs,
24 all of them, if they were all Serbs. I didn't know them.
25 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Madam Plavsic,
1 yes --
2 A. "An armed group," excellent.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then we move on to the next one, which is in
4 paragraph 48. I take it --
5 A. 48.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 A. These were refugees from Trebinje. I was not in Trebinje. I
8 didn't go to Trebinje during the war. I don't know that, but once - this
9 was in the summer of 1992 - they called from Trebinje and they were asking
10 either for Mr. Krajisnik or Mr. Karadzic. I was by myself, and they
11 informed me that Muslims from Trebinje wanted to leave Trebinje.
12 As far as I know, what would I have done? This is something that
13 I dispute, and I did not say that, that the Muslims were afraid because of
14 the crimes committed by Serbs. You here probably know what happened in
15 Trebinje. All I know is that in 1992 this wasn't something that
16 happened. If I can remember well, in some places they were leaving in
17 accordance with an SDA directive. They were leaving in accordance with
18 that directive. In my book I testify -- I described that on pages 203
19 and 204 quite accurately.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So -- of course we could check in the audio
21 transcript what you exactly said, but I do understand now that you want
22 your statement to read that you were informed that Muslims in the village
23 of Trebinje wanted to leave their homes" --
24 A. Trebinje is a very pretty Mediterranean town. It's small, but
25 it's a cultural centre.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Plavsic, it's not the core of --
2 A. It's enough just to say "Trebinje."
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you say that you were informed that Muslims
4 in the village of Trebinje wanted to leave their homes. And you said: I
5 did not say that it was because they were scared because of crimes
6 committed by Serbs. So you would like to have that taken out. Is that
7 correctly understood?
8 A. Yes. "Homes" and then "their homes." There should be a full stop
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then finally --
11 A. And then this "afraid of crimes," that can be left out. I don't
12 know that they were afraid of the crimes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Madam Plavsic --
14 A. And I don't think that there is anything more.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I do see that you suggest to add pages 90, 101, 203,
16 204, and 217, and 329 to the list of pages you consider to be relevant.
17 And I also see that you want to take out of that list page 207. Is that
18 correctly understood?
19 A. If I crossed it out, I probably thought that I made a mistake when
20 I was quoting these pages. Page 207 probably is not relevant, something
21 like that. I mean, we can check that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mrs. Plavsic, although the tape almost ended,
23 we managed to get all the corrections before the break.
24 We'll have a break until 20 minutes -- yes.
25 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour. Could I ask, if the tape
1 may be running out, but where we then go as a matter of pure practicality,
2 bearing in mind that Mr. Krajisnik does not speak English and Your Honours
3 know that he has to operate from the audio tapes, because Mrs. Plavsic's
4 statement will, before, and assuming she approves it, will have been
5 really quite significantly amended. Mr. Krajisnik of course was supplied
6 with the B/C/S version of the previous draft. But how quickly now is her
7 statement in B/C/S, at least in the first place, to be produced, please?
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. STEWART: It may be Your Honour will have to investigate that
10 during the break. I quite understand. That's why I raise it now.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber intends to continue on the basis of the
12 written statement and that the amendments and corrections made are such
13 that they would be a basis, even if not fully processed yet, that they
14 could serve as a basis for further examination of this witness.
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I make it clear, I was not
16 suggesting anything different. I wasn't suggesting that the Trial Chamber
17 shouldn't proceed. I'm asking when Mr. Krajisnik might have this
19 JUDGE ORIE: The answer is: As soon as possible, Mr. Stewart. We
20 are working on it I said. Of course we had to go through this whole list.
21 We have to see whether there's someone available at this moment to work it
22 all in, to have it translated into B/C/S. And I -- on the basis of the
23 type of changes that are made, of course we can proceed and you said you
24 do not oppose against that. I can't promise you at this moment when an
25 interpreter is -- when a translator is found to translate it. And when
1 someone has worked this all in in the English at this moment. We have
2 most of the information, at least in our minds at this moment, and for
3 those who can read English, on the screen as well.
4 MR. STEWART: Which doesn't include Mr. Krajisnik, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand.
6 MR. STEWART: But, Your Honour, the simply inquiry is this: I
7 entirely understand and accept all that, Your Honour. We're simply asking
8 to be informed -- Your Honour says: As soon as possible. Could we be
9 updated? And in the planning and the organisation of the Defence case and
10 in consultation with Mr. Krajisnik, it's important and helpful to us to
11 know when that will be and when we can expect that Mr. Krajisnik might get
12 such materials.
13 So I understand Your Honour will have to make inquiries. That's
14 understood. I'm just asking for practical help, please.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Once I would have information on when to expect the
16 translation, I'll inform the Defence.
17 We stand adjourned until 25 minutes past 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.39 a.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. O'Sullivan, you're on your feet.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 During the break Mrs. Plavsic was experiencing some difficulties
23 and the doctor was brought in, and her blood pressure was taken. And it
24 is 190 over 90; it has gone up. She can tell you more about the symptoms
25 herself, but as she has informed me --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. O'Sullivan, should we deal with it in open
2 session or ...
3 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I believe so Mrs. Plavsic is comfortable in open
4 session with this.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, Mr. O'Sullivan raised health issues.
6 Would you mind to continue in open session or would you rather deal with
7 them in closed session -- or in private session?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want everything I say to be heard
9 in public.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Then, Mrs. Plavsic, would you --
12 Mr. O'Sullivan, you are -- you're finished, I take it, or would
13 you like to add something to that?
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Just to inform the Chamber that the symptoms
15 she's experiencing are throbbing in the back of the head, temples, behind
16 the eyes. She did travel yesterday seven hours from Sweden, and we're
17 experiencing this hot and heavy Dutch summer weather which is taking its
18 toll on her as well, and she's having difficulty focussing and
19 concentrating. That's how she's explained it to me, and she can add more
20 if she pleases.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, would you like to add more to what
22 Mr. O'Sullivan just said?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hope you don't get the wrong
24 impression that this is only caused by the very unpleasant trip from
25 Hinseberg to The Hague that took longer than seven hours. It was
1 impossible for me to get out of the car, and I had to be two hours in
2 direct sun. That's not the reason. I was hypertonic before and I have
3 had hypertension for two years now. But of course in the circumstances
4 that I am living that pressure can be held within reasonable levels, 150
5 or so.
6 However, since I received your letter, they have been unable to
7 reduce my pressure. I have been taking pills for my blood pressure for
8 years. If somebody who is usually hypotonic gets an increase in blood
9 pressure, it's not the same thing as for somebody who usually has high
10 blood pressure.
11 Of course everything comes into play, this courtroom and my entry
12 into Scheveningen. And I would of course like to get this unpleasant
13 business done and over with as soon as possible. I just don't know if I
14 can take it.
15 You think about it, whether you want to take that risk or not.
16 It's not risk to me; that's what I think.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Plavsic, I think we should consider the matter
18 seriously, which means that -- first of all, did the doctor advise you to
19 say that your medical condition is such that at this moment he advised you
20 not to continue in this court? That would be my first question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not ask him. It's up to me.
22 He is a doctor. He can say whatever he likes. But to me it's unpleasant
23 business and I want it done and over with, but I don't know how it will
24 end. I am simply having a sensation of fire in my eyes. I have a
25 sensation of a clock ticking within me, waterfalls, that's the reason why
1 I had my blood pressure taken yesterday in Scheveningen, and it was the
2 same as today during this break.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mrs. Plavsic, of course we could ask a doctor
4 to give you advice on the matter, and this Chamber could even, at least if
5 you would allow -- if you would tell us or allow the doctor to tell us
6 what his advice would be, of course we could decide on whether we proceed
7 and perhaps also at what pace we would proceed. So therefore, if you say:
8 The doctor can tell whatever he wants, of course that may be true for
9 you because you can take your own decisions. But we have our
10 responsibilities as well.
11 I have a few more questions -- as far as you are concerned, would
12 you, under the present circumstances, would you, first of all, feel able
13 to continue? I'm not saying that we are continuing, but just trying to
14 find out what your position is. Do you say: The symptoms I feel disallow
15 me to concentrate on matters in such a way that I could reliably answer
16 any questions we'd put to you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can take a great deal, and that's
18 a bit dangerous as a trait. I can take a lot more than can be imagined.
19 It's almost as if I had no self-control. Don't ask me.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but then I've got no one to ask anymore. You
21 say the doctor can tell what he want -- at the same time --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that you are in a difficult
23 position; I am aware of that. I told you as much. I can tell you that I
24 can continue until midnight, but whether I will survive until midnight is
25 another matter, whether I'll live to leave this courtroom. I mean,
1 everything is in God's hands.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: I just asked you and your answer was more or less:
4 I'm very strong, but you would never know what happens even with strong
5 persons. If - and I emphasise if - you were left the choice whether or
6 not to continue at this moment, would you choose for a yes or no? And I'm
7 not saying that the choice is yours, but I'd just like to know what you
8 would prefer to do.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've told you, all this is very
10 unpleasant for me. I would like it best if we could do this business
11 quickly, both you and me.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If we would consider to take additional time,
13 for example, to say that we would continue tomorrow, would that something
14 that you would consider to be of assistance, to get into a better
15 condition than you feel you are in now?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot say what my blood pressure
17 will be. I can only suppose, but I really cannot tell. And there are
18 considerable ups and downs in that pressure, which is quite a shock to the
19 body. It's better when it's a flat line, somewhere in the middle.
20 Let's -- shall we try? Shall we try to continue?
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm not that far yet, Mrs. Plavsic.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Would you allow us to seek information from the
24 doctor that just saw you because you said you didn't ask him certain
25 questions and we might be considering to ask him certain questions and
1 perhaps to decide on the basis of the answers he would give. Would you
2 allow the doctor to give us the information, because that's of course
3 patient-doctor privileged information.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's then on the record, I take it,
6 Mr. O'Sullivan.
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Can I add this, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Aside from what Mrs. Plavsic says about herself,
10 I think it's important to know that the doctor was the treating -- the
11 house doctor here at the Tribunal who did the classic blood pressure test.
12 Now, I'm sure that person's a very competent doctor, but I think the real
13 issue here is the full battery of tests that may be needed to give a
14 proper prognosis or a diagnosis of Mrs. Plavsic's situation now.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that, but of course I do not know
16 what information the doctor received when Mrs. Plavsic arrived. That's
17 perhaps something that should be checked. I am not even a general
18 practitioner who could say when some tests should be done, yes or no. But
19 of course the first step would be to ask him.
20 And apart from that, Mrs. Plavsic, we have heard what you said
21 about it. At the same time, your testimony is not just for you and for us
22 but is something for the parties as well. I mean, the parties in this
23 case may have a view on whether we could or whether we should at this
24 moment continue or not continue. And I'd like to invite the parties to
25 express themselves on it at this very moment.
1 And if the parties would feel that they would rather do that in
2 private session than in open session, because I do not know what you're
3 going to say, I do not know what you're going to disclose as your
4 position, then please ask for private session, if you want.
5 Shall we -- Mr. Harmon, would you be the first one to --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Can I just try to help
8 My medical file is here. I was informed in Hinseberg that the
9 Tribunal had asked for my medical file, and I saw it yesterday on the desk
10 of the doctor in Scheveningen. That's all I wanted to say.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That's exactly the type of information -- of course I
12 do not know exactly what check-up has been done upon arrival. So
13 therefore we would have to inquire into that matter.
14 Mr. Harmon, Mr. Tieger.
15 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 It's -- it appears to us that the preliminary step that appears to
17 be suggested by the Court and also, at least impliedly suggested by
18 Mr. O'Sullivan, is indeed a prudent course, obtaining medical information
19 that may well be of great utility to the Court in making its decision on
20 whether and how and when to proceed.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Mr. Stewart.
23 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, we support that and any further
24 submissions really consensably await that information.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Mrs. Plavsic, both parties advised the Court to seek further
2 medical information. The Court has carefully listened to what you told
3 us. That, on the one hand side, you feel symptoms which are worrying for
4 you; at the same time, that you say: I can take a lot but I do not take
5 how much -- I do not know how much I can take. And that you have a
6 preference to go through this as quickly as possible, but of course this
7 Chamber has its own responsibility in looking after your welfare.
8 The Chamber will have a break now and consider what to do. It
9 might well be that the Chamber is seeking further -- further medical
10 advice on the matter and approach the doctor that has just seen you.
11 Before we have a break, I'd like to go into private session for
12 one second.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, before we go into private session.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. STEWART: Could I just add that when I said a moment ago that
16 any further submissions could await that information, if the Court does
17 not decide to obtain that information first, then I would have further
18 submissions to make at this point.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand.
20 MR. STEWART: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But let's go into private session for one second.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 26819-26820 redacted. Private session.