1 Wednesday, 12 July 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Good afternoon to
10 Before we continue the examination of Mr. Djeric, I'd like to deal
11 with a few procedural matters. First of all I would like to deliver a
12 decision on the Defence request that the Trial Chamber call an additional
13 witness pursuant to Rule 98. This is a decision on the Defence request
14 that the Trial Chamber call an additional witness pursuant to Rule 98. On
15 the 15th of June 2006, the Trial Chamber announced that it intended to
16 call some of the participants in the so-called bridge negotiations in the
17 municipality of Bosanski Novi.
18 This referred to four persons mentioned by Witness Radomir Pasic
19 in private session on the 15th of December 2005, who, according to Pasic,
20 could corroborate his testimony regarding the negotiations between the
21 Muslim representatives, the Serb authorities, and international
22 organisations in Bosanski Novi in May, June, and July 1992.
23 The Trial Chamber announced that it did not intend to call all
24 four persons. On the 20th of June, a legal officer of the Chamber
25 contacted three of the persons referred to by Witness Pasic for whom
1 contact details had been found. All three persons expressed willingness
2 to testify. On the 21st of June the Trial Chamber stated that it had
3 decided to call two of the bridge negotiators, Amir Delic, who came to
4 testify on the 27th of June, and Emin Puric, who testified on the 11th of
5 July, yesterday.
6 In its request, the Defence argues that the third person contacted
7 on the 20th of June should be called as a Chamber witness as well, since,
8 as the Defence put it, he has no real connection with Mr. Delic or
9 presumably Mr. Puric, while Delic and Puric are, according to the Defence,
10 friends. Another reason the Defence considers relevant is that the third
11 person not only lives but also works in Bosanski Novi today.
12 In its response, the Prosecution argues that the expected evidence
13 of the third bridge negotiator concerns, in essence, the question whether
14 the departure of non-Serbs from Bosanski Novi was voluntary but that Trial
15 Chamber has heard sufficient evidence to be able to make findings
16 concerning this question as well as whether crimes were carried out in the
17 municipality during the relevant time.
18 The Trial Chamber based its decision to call Mr. Delic and
19 Mr. Puric to testify on the understanding that they were the two main
20 negotiators at the incidents in question. This information was obtained
21 from the conversation held with those two persons on the 20th of June and
22 was reiterated by Mr. Delic during his testimony.
23 Mr. Puric described himself as the person who coordinated the
24 negotiation team and stated that he and Mr. Delic were in practically all
25 the negotiations. The Defence's argument for calling the third person
1 contacted on the 20th of June are speculative. The Defence suggests that
2 presumed differences in certain circumstances of the third person make his
3 testimony more credible, worthwhile and indispensable, but this is mere
4 speculation. The fact that the Chamber has heard two leading figures in
5 the negotiations and that their testimonies have been subjected to
6 cross-examination by both parties means that this area which does not
7 concern acts or conduct of the accused, has been sufficiently covered and
8 tested. Moreover, considering the range of testimonies and material
9 already in evidence regarding the events in Bosanski Novi, the Chamber
10 finds that it has now received sufficient evidence about events in that
12 The Trial Chamber therefore denies the Defence request. This
13 concludes the Trial Chamber's decision.
14 There is another matter that needs our attention and that is
15 concern expressed by Mr. Krajisnik on the transcript of the 20th of June
16 2006. Reference was made to his testimony in a question put to
17 Mr. Krajisnik on the 21st of June.
18 The English transcript has been officially corrected. The
19 checking and the correction of page 2645 [sic] on the 20th of June 2006,
20 has been done as promised on the 21st of June, and it is now accepted by
21 the Chamber on the one hand that on the 21st of June, at page 26187,
22 Mr. Harmon cited entirely accurately from the erroneous English transcript
23 as it then stood. But on the other hand, that Mr. Krajisnik had been
24 entirely correct in his recollection of his own evidence from the previous
25 day and in his refusal to accept that what was being put to him by Mr.
1 Harmon, that refusal was correct. When I am referring to the -- these
2 pages, a review and correction was done on lines 1 to 9 and lines 13 to 19
3 of page 26045. This concludes the procedural issues.
4 Could we then ask you, Mr. Usher, to escort Mr. Djeric into the
6 [The witness entered court]
7 WITNESS: BRANKO DJERIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Djeric.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That's one of the few words I even understand in your
13 Mr. Djeric, I'd first like to remind you that you're still bound
14 by the solemn declaration you've given yesterday that you'll speak the
15 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yesterday you told us that in mid-March, 1992, you
18 were -- you became the Prime Minister designate of the Bosnian Serb
19 republic. When did you -- do you remember when you exactly became the
20 Prime Minister?
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think I do hear you say Bosnia-Herzegovina but I
23 think we are now talking about the Bosnian Serb republic.
24 A. Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 A. I don't remember the actual terms or actually the dates but I
2 think it was sometime in mid-March.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us, why were you selected to --
4 for this post?
5 A. Believe me, I don't know. I assume it was for professional
6 reasons, as an economist, as a person who was not an activist in the
7 earlier period, or someone who was involved in politics.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know who selected you or who approached you to
9 take up that post?
10 A. I think that it was, as far as I can remember, Biljana Plavsic who
11 nominated me at the assembly.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But usually before being publicly announced in
13 an assembly and proposed, some contact is made with the candidate. Do you
14 remember who approached you?
15 A. I don't remember. It was probably the case that there was some
16 contacts but this is not something that I particularly remember. I know
17 that before that, in that time, I was -- I cannot remember.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, how was your appointment formalised? You were
19 proposed, as you said, in the assembly session, as far as you remember, by
20 Mrs. Plavsic.
21 A. Yes, in Pale.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then who finally took the decision to
23 appoint you?
24 A. The assembly did, a body of the assembly, representatives of the
25 Serbian people in the assembly, and this was in Pale.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said --
2 A. Representatives of the assembly, or the deputies of the Serbian
3 people in the assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They comprised the
4 Assembly of the Serbian People at the time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And they decided that you would be the Prime
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us, then, once you had become a
9 Prime Minister, what steps did you take to set up an office, an
11 A. I began to have regular contacts with ministers or deputy
12 ministers in the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who were
13 representatives of the Serbian people, and who were nominated to that body
14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had contacts with them.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us, in your office, in your --
16 in your Prime Minister's office, how many people were employed and did you
17 select them?
18 A. I didn't have an office, because when I was nominated as Prime
19 Minister designate, I was still a member of the government, I was a
20 minister in the government of the -- of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I said
21 yesterday that I was a minister without portfolio or actually it was
22 called minister for development, because I dealt with the matters relating
23 to development. I didn't have an office. I was in the government of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina and I had an office there. But I worked a little
25 bit on these tasks also.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But later on, when you were not functioning any more
2 as a minister in the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, how many staff
3 did you have available once you were in Pale, once you were functioning in
5 A. When the operations began, after the first conflicts broke out,
6 there were a number of them. They were arriving, all of these cadres that
7 I talked about. They were either ministers or deputy ministers or
8 assistant ministers in the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was
9 the makeup, more or less, of the future government.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And support staff in your office, how many people
11 were supporting you, who didn't hold any formal position as a minister or
12 a deputy minister?
13 A. There were several people. Mostly these were people from the
14 government down there, namely Sarajevo, and there, they performed the same
16 JUDGE ORIE: How many approximately?
17 A. Initially perhaps when I add them all up, there were perhaps ten
18 people, including drivers and other staff.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What resources --
20 A. I'm talking about the very beginning.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And how did that develop over the time you held
22 the position? When you resigned, how many were there approximately in
23 your Prime Minister's office?
24 A. The ministries had fewer staff members, but there were people -- I
25 mean, I don't know exactly how many. Maybe ten or more ministries, so
1 then if we say that they had an average of ten people, up to ten people,
2 then, yeah, that would be all right. It depends -- of course the ministry
3 for internal affairs had many more staff members.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I was focusing on your office, your office of the
5 Prime Minister, so not support staff in the other ministries but just who
6 supported your work.
7 A. I'm sorry, yes, I didn't understand. In my office, there was a
8 secretary, a woman, and there was also a male secretary, the
9 vice-president was there, and maybe two other people. That was the
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What resources were available to you, either in
12 terms of budget or by any other means?
13 A. In the beginning, it was all a little bit disorganised. We were
14 counting on the resources of the municipalities and on the budget of the
15 Serbian Republic and so on.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us exactly what was your role as
17 Prime Minister? What were your tasks?
18 A. It was my duty to coordinate the work of the government or the
19 work of the ministries and to deal with the economy, also the legislate
20 you are, to develop the legislature, the rules of the game, to establish
21 institutions, all those duties that are carried out by a government
22 usually. We started from scratch, as they say, so it was necessary to go
23 about creating all these things slowly.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said that it was your duty to coordinate
25 the work of the government or the work of the ministries, and to deal with
1 the economy. Was there not a Minister of Economy?
2 A. I'm speaking generally about the government. There was a minister
3 for the economy but I am talking about a government priority. It was one
4 of the government priorities to start up production and manufacture.
5 There is no future without production. So this was a priority. But of
6 course this was something that was in the domain of the ministry for
7 economic affairs.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, according to the constitution, so I'm
9 thinking in terms of the legal framework, how were the ministers of the
10 government selected and appointed?
11 A. They were simply taken from the previous government of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. These were government ministers in the government of Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina or their deputies or their assistants who were proposed
14 from the ranks of the Serbian people and they joined the new government,
15 except in a few cases, in some cases where the Serbian people, for
16 example, did not have their own minister or some assistant ministers did
17 not appear, in such cases other candidates were proposed.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I asked you specifically how this was done
19 under the constitution. What does the constitution say about selection of
20 ministers and appointment of ministers?
21 A. According to the constitution, the Prime Minister-designate
22 proposes certain candidates to the assembly and that is how they are
23 appointed. In this case, in the beginning, according to a decision,
24 people were assigned. There was a combined approach. There was a
25 decision of the Supreme Defence Council or the Security Council for
1 security that people who were part of the Bosnia-Herzegovina government
2 should join this new government, and I have to say that before there was a
3 ministerial council of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
4 these ministers were in that council, the ministers that we are talking
5 about, so these ministers simply then joined the government.
6 JUDGE ORIE: My next question would you, especially those
7 ministers who had not yet functioned in the government of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina before, who suggested or who proposed them to become members
9 of the -- of the ministerial council of the Serbian Republic of
11 A. The Prime Minister-designate initially, or later, if we were just
12 filling in certain posts, this was then done by the Prime Minister.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So it was you personally who made these
14 suggestions, the proposals for --
15 A. I put forward proposals but this was at the suggestion of the
17 JUDGE ORIE: And who or what body in the party would suggest to
18 you what ministers to propose for appointment?
19 A. The president of the party. These were his proposals.
20 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, sorry to go back a few lines but we are
21 not sure that the witness actually mentioned the Supreme Defence Council.
22 Perhaps that could be clarified.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll clarify that. There seems to be -- your
24 suspicion is that there is a translation problem.
25 MR. JOSSE: That's what we think is a possibility.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then I read to you -- I'll read to you part of your
2 answer as it was translated to us in English and I'd like you to verify
3 whether that's what you said in your own language. I'll read from the
4 transcript: "In this case, in the beginning -- no, no. Let me -- you
5 said there was a combined approach. There was a decision of the Supreme
6 Defence Council or the Security Council for security that people who were
7 part of the Bosnia-Herzegovina government should join the new government."
8 The issue is whether you mentioned here the Supreme Defence Council or the
9 Security Council for security. Is that what you said or did you say
10 something else?
11 A. No, no. This is not the Supreme Defence Council here. It's the
12 National Council for Security. That's what it was called. The Council
13 for National Security. That has nothing to do with the Supreme Defence
14 Council. It's a party body more than anything.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the suggestions made by this party body,
16 was that something we would find in the constitution or was it something
17 informal or practical? Could you tell us?
18 A. I think that it was more a question of the practical
19 implementation of policies. As I said, I wasn't really -- I didn't have
20 any function in the party so I wasn't really aware of all of these
21 details. I didn't know anything about the party structure or anything
22 that had to do with that particular aspect of policy.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I take it that you knew the ministers who
24 had served with you on the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Could
25 you give us a few examples of those who did not and you're perhaps
1 unfamiliar with?
2 A. The people that I didn't know were Mico Stanisic, Minister of
3 Police, Momcilo Mandic, Minister of Justice; then Subotic, the Defence
4 Minister, I didn't know him earlier, to go on.
5 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you did you inquire into their backgrounds,
6 their qualities, did you form your own opinion on their capacities to
7 become members of what was your government?
8 A. No. I did not at that point in time form an opinion because my
9 hands were tied. These were party nominations, so I practically couldn't
10 go into that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain that? I mean, you why the Prime
12 Minister. You said under the constitution it was you who proposed and at
13 the same time you say, well, at least if I understood you well, that your
14 hands were bound, you had to follow suggestions made by party organs.
15 A. I simply couldn't put forward anyone who was not from that
16 potential cadre pool allocated by the party. People were in a way put
17 forward for the post of minister, and all I had to do was to formally
18 nominate them. I didn't know too many people either.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So it was, if I understand your testimony well, it
20 was the party rather than you who decided who would become a minister.
21 A. The party made the decisions. All I did was to put people
22 forward. I was in the role of the formal nominator.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'd like to move to another subject. Could you
24 tell us, until when exactly you did remain Prime Minister of the Bosnian
25 Serb republic?
1 A. Until October 9th, 1993 [as interpreted]. That was when I
2 resigned, if I remember correctly, the 9th of October. That was the
3 assembly in Prijedor.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us for what reasons you resigned?
5 A. The main reason for my resignation, generally speaking, was
6 because the authorities or the government was not functioning. The party
7 structure outweighed the rule of law aspect of the state, let's say.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give an example of that, an occasion where
9 you felt that it was the party structure rather than the legal structure
10 of the state that was decisive?
11 A. Ministers would be in the circle of the party president.
12 Everything would happen there. The government was simply marginalised.
13 It was on the brink of what was going on. We were busy, and all our
14 initiatives about laws, drafts, certain procedures, seemed to be impeded
15 at some point. They were blocked.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us, as I asked before, could you give
17 us an example of something you would have liked to do which was, as you
18 said, blocked or where you felt that you were impeded at some point to do
19 what you had in mind or what the government had in mind?
20 A. For example, the replacement of certain ministers, primarily the
21 Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Justice, that simply wasn't
22 going through. Secondly, I asked for a procedure to be put in place --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please finish this portion of your answer. You
24 asked for a procedure to be put in place for what?
25 A. To have procedures put in place in relation to possible crimes, to
1 establish what a crime is, and then to deal with such matters, to process
2 these matters. This would then simply come to a stop and I wasn't -- I
3 was unable to do anything.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me just first focus on the first part of
5 your answer. You said, for example, the replacement of certain ministers,
6 and my question was where you felt that you were blocked in doing what you
7 had in mind. Do I have to understand this, that you had in mind to
8 replace certain ministers and you mentioned the Minister of Internal
9 Affairs and the Minister of Justice, did you have that in mind?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Who blocked you? Who blocked you to do so?
12 A. The president of the party was the one who did the blocking, first
13 of all, but I didn't really find any understanding with the others either.
14 It all centred on President Karadzic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The second part of your answer was that you had
16 in mind to put procedures in place in relation to possible crimes, to
17 establish what a crime is and then to deal with such matters, to process
18 these matters. Why did you feel the need to put procedures in place to
19 that end?
20 A. I simply thought, well, I'm not a lawyer, I don't know what a
21 crime is and what it isn't. So starting from the idea that we needed to
22 act preventively, that certain boundaries had to be crossed and that we
23 needed to have our own position on this matter, these two ministries were
24 key ministries in that sense, and the government on several occasions
25 adopted a conclusion on the responsibility in that sphere of the Ministry
1 of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, for us to receive
2 information, simply to know what's what. You know, I don't know. All I
3 can do is set out from the idea that the government was there either to
4 prevent something from happening or to process something if it did occur.
5 JUDGE ORIE: What caused the concern that you had that the
6 government had to deal with what crime was and how crime should be
7 prevented or processed?
8 A. Quite simply my responsibility in this respect. You see, I didn't
9 want to be taken by surprise. I didn't want things to go apart from the
10 government. I told you already that the government had been sidelined. I
11 didn't want things to happen without us having taken a stand with regard
12 to these questions. You know the way it is. There is always some kind of
13 whispering, some kind of rumours, and so on and so forth. So I really
14 don't know what is what, you see?
15 JUDGE ORIE: What were these whispers and rumours about? Could
16 you tell us?
17 A. Well, I mean quite simply, I mean, from the very outset, you had
18 conflicts, you see. It is possible that there were some transgressions.
19 I don't know. Well, if things like that happen, then the appropriate
20 ministries have to react. Furthermore, for example, I would hear of a
21 case in Sarajevo, in Grbovica, in the area where the Serbs lived, well, I
22 would receive information through private channels, you see, that a person
23 was creating certain problems and so on and so forth, with some person
24 nicknamed Batica, I think. When I heard about that, I did my best, after,
25 well, quite a bit of resistance, you see, on the part of these ministries.
1 They didn't want to detain that individual. Things like that. Quite
2 simply, I did my best so that the rule of law would be felt on the ground
3 so that the judiciary would work. I wanted to have cases tried.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Was the information you received through whatever
5 channels, private or not, limited to what happened in Sarajevo? You
6 specifically mentioned Grbovica. Or did it go beyond that geographical
8 A. Well, specifically this has to do with that particular case but I
9 simply proceeded from the fact that there were conflicts everywhere,
10 Bijeljina, Zvornik, from the very outset, and these questions have to be
11 dealt with, you see. In this respect, I encountered certain problems with
12 the very top of the Serb republic, specifically with Karadzic, because he
13 thought that this could be dealt with later. Do you understand that? And
14 I asked for this to be done immediately. This very top -- well, quite
15 simply, it's not that crimes as such were justified but with regard to the
16 timing of prosecutions, there was some procrastination or some tolerance,
17 if I can put it that way, but I wanted to have things dealt with
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you're using the name, the very top, the
20 expression, "The very top," and you then said specifically with Karadzic.
21 Was Karadzic, in your experience, the only one who took that position or
22 was this -- was the top in this respect broader?
23 A. Well, you see, I'm primarily referring to him because he was the
24 most explicit in this regard. He was. Others in a way, well, were, well,
25 sort of more passive in that respect. He was explicit. He thought that
1 this could be dealt with later.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And when you talk about others who were more passive,
3 could you tell us who you had in mind?
4 A. Well, you see, I mean, objectively speaking, I mean I'm referring
5 to the entirety of, well, there was this conflict between, say, the Prime
6 Minister and conditionally speaking the very top. Well, it started from
7 the very first days, in respect of the work of the government, the party
8 structure, a state based on the rule of law, and people would usually tend
9 to stick with those who were in charge, but, well, you know, the other
10 people, well, there was a certain lack of criticism, if I can put it that
11 way. A lack of a critical attitude. Well, I mean, they tended to go
12 along with this view that these possible crimes could be dealt with later.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You've not answered my question yet. Apart
14 from what you said you're referring to the entirety. The entirety of
15 what? Could I just, for example, would that include Mr. Koljevic?
16 A. Well, Koljevic too. Well, roughly, say there were five of us, and
17 well, more or less, always a session would end with a ratio of three to
18 two. Biljana Plavsic and I were on one side and the three of them were on
19 the other side.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You're talking about the five of you and you're
21 talking about sessions. Could you be a bit more specific? The five of
22 you, you mentioned yourself and Mrs. Plavsic. The three of them would be
23 the three of what exactly?
24 A. Karadzic, Krajisnik, Koljevic.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And if you say, "Of us", your answer seems to
1 take it for granted that there were five. Why specifically these five?
2 What does mean in this respect "us"?
3 A. Well, I mean it was some kind of a coordinating body which in a
4 state of war was supposed to be called the Presidency. Well, in a state
5 of war. But a state of war had never been declared. There was only a
6 state of immediate threat of war that had been declared so then there was
7 this sort of coordinating body which was convened by the president of the
8 party, Karadzic, and then before it would be the two members of the
9 Presidency, Koljevic and Biljana, who were members of the Presidency of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I, as Prime Minister, and Krajisnik as president
11 of the parliament.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You say a coordinating body, and you say it was
13 supposed to be called the Presidency in a state of war but there was no
14 state of war. Could you describe to us whether this coordinating body
15 functioned similar to how a Presidency would be functioning if a state of
16 war would have been declared or were there differences?
17 A. Well, it did not actually function because, well, the way I
18 understood things, that was one of the problems too. The top people,
19 those people who were supposed to be in charge of that body would be
20 Koljevic or Mrs. Plavsic because they were the members of the Presidency
21 before the war. You see? So there was this lingering conflict, whether
22 Koljevic or Plavsic or Radovan Karadzic should be in charge of that body.
23 And in that conflict of theirs, well, it was the president of the party
24 who handled it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But now, the -- as you said the coordinating
1 body. Explain to us what the situation was. But if you would have
2 considered how you thought a Presidency in a state of declared war would
3 function compared to how this coordinating body in fact functioned, apart
4 from disagreements on perhaps on who should be in charge but the practical
5 functioning of what you considered to be appropriate in a state of war,
6 and how it -- this coordinating body actually functioned, was there a
7 difference? Was it the same? If there was a difference, what would be
8 the difference?
9 A. I did not quite understand what you were saying. What do you mean
10 by this difference?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm trying to find out from what I understand
12 within the legal framework, if a state of war would have been declared,
13 then there should have been a Presidency expanded by the Prime Minister
14 and the president of the assembly. That's how this Chamber understood the
15 evidence before it. Now, there was only a state of imminent threat of
16 war, and you're talking about a coordinating body, and you mentioned five
17 persons, three members of the Presidency, the Prime Minister and the
18 president of the assembly. So in the composition of that coordinating
19 body, and the composition of what would have been a Presidency once a
20 state of war would have been declared was actually the same. Now, I'm
21 asking myself, and I'm asking you, as a matter of fact, whether the
22 functioning of this coordinating body differed from what you would have
23 expected a Presidency in a state of war, comprised of the same persons,
24 how that would have functioned.
25 A. In my opinion, there should have been a difference. You see, I
1 mean, formally it's the same people, the same persons, but my
2 understanding of the law is that it would only be natural for this
3 Presidency to be chaired by one of the members of the pre-war Presidency.
4 I mean those who were members of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 That is to say Plavsic or Koljevic because they were directly elected by
6 the people, and they were in executive positions whereas Karadzic was only
7 president of the party.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you said that it's how it should have been
9 but that wasn't the way it was. The actual situation, the five, as you
10 said, "us," did that function according to how you would expect a
11 Presidency, a five-persons Presidency in a state of war, would have
13 A. In my opinion, well, I've already told you. I mean, it should
14 have been different. It should have been the members of the Presidency.
15 It should have been chaired either by Koljevic or Biljana Plavsic.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's move on. You explained to us that the
17 members of the Bosnian Serb Presidency were Karadzic, Plavsic, Koljevic.
18 You also told us about the five. Would -- who was normally attending the
19 meetings of the Presidency?
20 A. You see, I was present perhaps in 50 per cent of all situations,
21 you see. Everybody came there. Well, as the president deemed necessary,
22 often even his wife was there. Sometimes some other persons would attend,
23 persons who would be invited. Things like that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were there members not -- were there persons
25 who attended those meetings on a regular basis, that is frequently, who
1 were not specifically invited for the occasion but attended the meetings?
2 A. In my domain, well, from the point of view of my own domain I
3 could not have known who was invited and who was not invited, but there
4 were people outside this circle.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And did they always or almost always or now and then
6 or frequently attend? Could you give us an impression of those --
7 A. From time to time, when invited, sometimes they would invite
8 experts, sometimes they would invite lawyers, sometimes they would invite,
9 well, sometimes a military man would be there.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When you were talking about the five, "us,",
11 were they usually attending the meetings of the Presidency and you
12 mentioned them, that is apart from Karadzic, Koljevic, Plavsic, yourself,
13 and you said already that I think that you said that in 50 per cent you
14 would attend, and the last person you mentioned, Mr. Krajisnik, was he
15 usually attending the Presidency meetings?
16 A. Yes. He attended.
17 JUDGE ORIE: How often did the Presidency meet, Presidency
18 meetings where you and, as you just told us, Mr. Krajisnik, would often
20 A. I mean, I've said that perhaps I attended about 50 per cent. I
21 mean, I did. Krajisnik was there too -- well, actually I didn't really
22 understand your question.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, how often did you meet -- but before I go into
24 that any further, let me just -- earlier you said that you resigned in
25 October 1993. Is that correct?
1 A. No, no, no, no, no, no. October 1992. On the 9th of October,
2 1992. That's what I said.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It appeared in English as 1993 on the
4 transcript, but that has been corrected. All the other questions --
5 A. No, no.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- I asked you about meetings of the Presidency in
7 which you attended, Mr. Krajisnik attended, other people attended, was --
8 were your answers limited to 1992?
9 A. All of it was limited to 1992. You asked me how often. Well, in
10 the beginning, these sessions were held, well, practically quite often.
11 Sometimes, say, today, and then tomorrow or perhaps in two days. But then
12 as time went by, they did not take place that often.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And if you say not that often, what frequency? Once
14 a week, once every two weeks, two times a week, once a month? Could you
15 give us an indication for the later stages?
16 A. In the last stage, it was, say, once a week, once fortnightly.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Who chaired the meetings of the Presidency?
18 A. Well, as I said, in the beginning, well, conditionally speaking,
19 there were these clashes, sort of who would be in charge, and for the most
20 part it was Karadzic who chaired the meetings. Well, when I say for the
21 most part, at first there were some misunderstandings and then he took
22 over and then he chaired the meetings.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Who did call the meetings exactly? Who
24 said, "We'll have a meeting tomorrow or next week"?
25 A. Well, he called the meetings. You see, at first it was some
1 National Security Council and things like that. Well, perhaps -- was it a
2 month and a half, a bit more? Actually, that's what it was, and then it
3 got the contours that I have just referred to.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This Chamber received evidence that the
5 Presidency was established on the 12th of May 1992. Would you agree with
6 that or would you have another date in mind?
7 A. I know that on the 12th of May, there was an assembly session in
8 Banja Luka. I remember that. And believe me, I mean, well, quite simply,
9 as far as these dates are concerned, I cannot remember.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the agenda for such Presidency meetings, did you
11 receive an agenda in advance?
12 A. Well, you see, that was usually set at the session itself,
13 usually, and, well, in a way, we asked for this mode of operation to be
14 changed. Quite simply that was Karadzic's nature, that -- I mean, that
15 kind of work was based on his nature.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And if you suggested to -- you asked to change this
17 mode of operation. What did you suggest?
18 A. Well, I mean, well, a lot of, well, a lot of things as far as the
19 mode of operation was concerned. For example, to schedule meetings on
20 time, to know when meetings would be held, to know what the agenda would
21 be, to know who was invited to attend the meeting. Well, I mean, to
22 improve all of that, you see. But it was very hard. Ultimately I
23 realised that I had -- I have to say that I did not understand who the
24 first man was, and ultimately I understood that the first man was
25 everything. I mean, we insisted, we said things.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you would suggest something to be put on the
2 agenda, would that receive a positive response?
3 A. Well, for the most part.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Were minutes distributed to all those who attended
5 the meetings?
6 A. Well, minutes, well, you know, at first things were a bit shaky.
7 There were problems with minutes and so on and so forth, the way in which
8 minutes were kept and so on. And -- that was insisted upon, to have
9 minutes written, to have minutes adopted, so that it's not just talk, you
10 see? Well, then, things got a bit better.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Would you receive a copy of the minutes?
12 A. No. I mean, well, we got the minutes -- well, it wasn't that it
13 was made for anyone in particular, individually.
14 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. I'm just asking whether you received --
15 well, some document which were the minutes of that meeting? You said you
16 insisted upon to have minutes written so I understand this to be that they
17 were written down on paper. Did you receive such a document, such a piece
18 of paper?
19 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I mean, well, as far as these minutes
20 are concerned, well, as I was saying, well, it was not easy for us. I
21 know things were improved. I think that some minutes, well, ultimately,
22 well, were being adopted.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, from your recollection, when did you
24 receive the minutes of such meetings, prior to the next one or do you know
25 when and by whom they were prepared?
1 A. Well, usually we would receive this in some kind of abridged
2 version at the beginning of the next meeting. I mean, well, there weren't
3 any special preparations involved, you know. Since we were all there sort
4 of nearby, a meeting would be called sort of please come, well, say, when
5 the meeting would start, then an abridged version of the minutes of the
6 previous meeting would be looked at and then we'd move on.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did those who occasionally attended the
8 meetings, those who were invited, you said sometimes even a military or an
9 expert, are you aware of them receiving copy of the minutes as well?
10 A. Well, I cannot assert anything. I cannot say yes or no. Well,
11 they were at the meeting so they could have been made aware of this.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Now, were these minutes, you said, "adopted," I
13 think. Were they signed?
14 A. No. They were not signed at that time. I assumed that they were
15 signed later when they were archived.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was there a possibility to -- or did you or did
17 the meeting review the minutes they had received from the previous -- one
18 of the previous sessions, was there any discussion about, "This is not
19 reflecting" or "this perfectly reflects what we discussed last time"?
20 A. No, because simply these minutes were very brief, on a piece of
21 paper. They could not really reflect all of the talks. It was more in
22 the form of notes of a meeting. It wasn't a proper record of a meeting.
23 It was a record with just very brief notes, the agenda and what was
24 discussed or what the conclusions were, for example.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This brings me -- you said what the conclusions
1 were. Could you tell us in what way were conclusions adopted during these
2 sessions? I mean, was there a vote, was there -- I take it from your
3 previous answer, matters were discussed and you said these discussions
4 were not reflected in the minutes but as you said, it wasn't a proper
5 record but it was the agenda and what was discussed and what the
6 conclusions were. How were conclusions adopted?
7 A. There was no voting, simply speaking. You could see who was for
8 and who was against. I said earlier that in most cases, and on all
9 issues, Biljana Plavsic and I were in a minority, in a way. You could
10 simply note that. There was no need for a vote. I don't remember.
11 Perhaps there was a vote but I'm just saying that that was the situation.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And if there had been a majority, and a minority, as
13 far as conclusions were concerned and where you said there may not have
14 been a vote, how did you find this in the minutes later on? Did you find
15 that as a conclusion adopted or was it stated that it was a split decision
16 or --
17 A. No. It wasn't something that was on the basis of split opinions.
18 The president simply thought that in time of war, it should not be like
19 that. It should not be said that there were any divisions, there should
20 be no sign of that. There was simply a statement such and such a
21 conclusion was made, this and this was resolved. So it was never actually
22 recorded who was in favour and who was against.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you said that it was usually three against
24 two. Do you remember occasions where Mr. Krajisnik was a minority who was
25 overruled -- was in a minority or perhaps was a minority that was
1 overruled by a majority?
2 A. I don't remember. I don't remember anything like that happening.
3 For the most part, Krajisnik was -- he had no reserves about the opinions
4 of Karadzic, and Koljevic would usually take their side, the side of those
6 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to move to another subject. Could you tell
7 us how the Presidency communicated with the government and perhaps
8 governmental organs? Did the Presidency receive reports from the
9 government? Did the government receive reports from the Presidency? How
10 was the communication? What happened?
11 A. The communication generally was very bad, and I said that before,
12 because of the position of the government and its views. Karadzic
13 considered himself to be the government, that he was the be-all, and that
14 in a way it was not permitted that the government works properly, that it
15 establishes a legal basis, and it acts according to the rule of law.
16 Simply, it was the concept of a party state, and that was the biggest
17 problem of that government, conditionally speaking. The government didn't
18 have any opposition. Had there been an opposition, things would have been
19 different. According to what he thought, the government was there just as
20 a kind of technical attachment, not a body that should create policies, in
21 a way. I had problems the entire time, because the government was
22 uninformed about policies, strategies, about the current situation. So
23 can you imagine a government operating in such conditions? The
24 legislature could not be established, never mind any other things. I
25 don't know if I need to elaborate.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Not at this moment. I'd like to take you back to two
2 of your previous answers, one being how conclusions were adopted and
3 another one on an example you gave on the government obstructed in paying
4 proper attention to the definition of crimes, how to prevent or how to
5 process crimes. Was this discussed at any Presidency meeting you
7 A. Well, I'm sorry, I had the impression that you actually put more
8 than one question to me.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I referred to two of your previous answers, one about
10 your concerns that the government was obstructed in taking proper action,
11 that is defining crimes, et cetera, et cetera, and your answer about how
12 conclusions were adopted at Presidency meetings. I'm asking you whether
13 that concern of the government was ever discussed during a Presidency
14 meeting; that is, how to deal with rumours and perhaps gossip about
16 A. Yes. I did put that question in the context of a state with a
17 rule of law, and I believe that all of these problems, if they did exist,
18 had to be processed. I said earlier that I wanted to deal with this
19 primarily for preventative reasons.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm going to stop you there because what your concern
21 was became clear from your previous answer. What I'd like to know,
22 whether these concerns were discussed in any Presidency meeting you
24 A. Yes. I did open up that question, that this had to be done, but
25 Karadzic was strictly in favour of leaving that for later, that this was
1 something that could be done later. That's where the problem was. It
2 wasn't a question of whether possible crossing of the border should be
3 sanctioned but simply when this had to be done. As the Prime Minister, I
4 wanted this to be taken care of by the two key ministries, the Ministry of
5 Internal Affairs and the ministry for justice, and this is where we had
6 these problems within the government and also in communication with the
7 Presidency, with Karadzic, in other words. First of all, with Karadzic
8 because he was the key person there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You told us that Karadzic was very outspoken on
10 this matter and that the others were more passive. Is that what you
11 experienced during such a Presidency meeting or did you experience that
12 outside any of these meetings or sessions?
13 A. Outside of the Presidency, I didn't discuss that with anyone else.
14 The question was discussed within the government. There were commissions
15 and groups formed. But then it would stop somewhere. So then I thought
16 that the thing would stop with Karadzic because the ministries and
17 everyone else would need to work, but then it would just stop there. What
18 I'm trying to say is that physically we were separated. The government
19 initially was about a kilometre or two from the Presidency building, and
20 conditionally speaking, then later it was 12 kilometres away from the
22 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you earlier said that Karadzic was very
23 outspoken. I do understand that you discussed the matter in Presidency
24 meetings you attended. You said the others were more passive. Was that a
25 passivity which tended to support your insistence to deal with the matter
1 with criminality very seriously or was it a passivity which would give
2 although passive support to Mr. Karadzic, his preference to delay the
3 matter and not pay attention to it at that moment?
4 A. Well, I'm not a psychologist and I cannot really assess something
5 like that, but if you understand me, this would turn into a conflict
6 between myself, as the Prime Minister, and the president of the party,
7 Mr. Karadzic. It would be a very intense conflict. It would turn into a
8 conflict between me and him.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I was asking about the positions taken by
10 the other three. You said they were more passive -- or even passive, I
11 should check there exactly what you said. Let me just find it so that I'm
12 not quoting it in a wrong way. If you give me one second, I'll try to
13 find it, what you exactly said. Yes. You said earlier today, when you
14 were discussing the very top, when you said specifically Karadzic, you
15 said the following: "Well, you see, I'm primarily referring to him
16 because he was the most explicit in this regard. He was. Others in a
17 way, well, were, well, sort of more passive in that respect. He was
18 explicit. He thought that this could be dealt with later."
19 If I analyse your words, it seems that Karadzic was very explicit
20 in dealing with it at a later stage and that the others were more passive,
21 which I did not understand that in this passivity they opposed Karadzic's
22 views but they were not explicit. I'm trying to find out exactly how this
23 went on, what happened in this meeting, where you, as I understand, were
24 in favour of dealing with crime and criminality right away, Mr. Karadzic
25 very much and explicitly opposing to do it at that moment. Could you tell
1 us a bit more in detail what the others said or what made you believe that
2 they were more passive? Did they not say anything at all? How did this
4 A. When I said more passive, I simply meant that they were silent
5 during this debate between Karadzic and me on this question. I mean that
6 they didn't have enough -- it's not clear to me. I mean, I cannot know
7 who thought what in their own mind at that time. I cannot even remember
8 specifically the actual situation, and right now I cannot really tell
9 whether this silence on the part of these people was something that was
10 prompted by the actual problem itself or whether it was something that was
11 caused by a standard conflict between myself and Karadzic on many
12 questions, and the attitude to the government in general. So it was just
13 a scene or something that in a way reflected that entire situation. To
14 understand me better, the Presidency didn't feel that it had to keep quiet
15 any crimes, if there were any crimes. It wasn't a question of that, but
16 as I say, there were two lines of thought, whether to do it immediately or
17 whether to process these problems later, and these opinions were expressed
18 by me on one side and Karadzic on the other.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that answer. I have a last
20 question for you, last few questions before we'll have a break.
21 Mr. Djeric, did you attend a meeting in which you received or
22 discussed any reports on an event at a place called Koricanske Stijene?
23 A. I didn't know anything about that. I did request information,
24 requested information, formed commissions, formed groups so that we had
25 information about that. Thus, I didn't know about it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You say, "I didn't know about that" and "I did
2 request information," I mean, if you request information on a certain
3 event, there must be a beginning of awareness. I mean, otherwise, you
4 couldn't ask for information. Or is this --
5 A. See, the entire time, from the beginning, I persisted on the
6 question of rule of law, legal conduct in the field, respecting laws in
7 the field; if it was necessary to process any violations of the law, then
8 that should be done. So simply my manner of work was to form commissions.
9 I did form commissions to find out -- you know, the commissions' work had
10 to do with going around to see the camps, these collection centres.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We'll come to that at a later stage but it's not
12 really an answer to my question, because I focused my first question on an
13 event at Koricanske Stijene. You said, "I didn't know about it. I did
14 request information." So there must be a nucleus to say what caused you
15 to ask information.
16 A. I requested information pertaining to the reports by world
17 reporters that had to do with the collection centres. That's why I
18 requested information, and a group was formed that would --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. I was specifically asking
20 about an event at Koricanske Stijene. I don't know whether you are now or
21 were then aware of information, rumours, from whatever source about an
22 event at a place called Koricanske Stijene. Let me perhaps ask you, are
23 you now aware of an event that has taken place at a place called
24 Koricanske Stijene?
25 A. I do know, but to this very day, I don't know what happened there.
1 I just heard about it.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ask, was this ever subject of discussion or
3 reporting or -- at any Presidency meeting you attended?
4 A. No, no. This was not discussed or reviewed at any meeting, and I
5 never heard of it at any of the meetings.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a break and resume at 25 minutes
7 past 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.57 p.m.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- On resuming at 4.35 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to briefly address another procedural matter
12 and perhaps the witness could be kept already standby and to re-enter the
13 courtroom because it will not take more than two or three minutes.
14 I'd like to address the parties regarding exhibits which have been
15 tendered and are still pending admission.
16 During the housekeeping session that was held on the 26th of June,
17 the Prosecution requested additional time to review the exhibits tendered
18 by the Defence during the testimony of Mr. Krajisnik, and to discuss with
19 the Defence any objections they may have. Therefore, the Prosecution's
20 objections were not heard on that day on exhibits D197 through and
21 including D257. Since then the Chamber has heard several Chamber
22 witnesses during whose testimonies additional exhibits have been
23 introduced in court. In total there are now approximately 70 exhibit
24 which are pending admission. The Chamber would like the parties to raise
25 their objections, if any, to these exhibits in writing to be filed no
1 later than Wednesday, the 19th of July 2006. The parties will then have
2 until Friday the 21st of July 2006 to respond in writing to any objections
3 raised by the opposing party.
4 There are a few exhibits which are still missing English
5 translations. All translations must be provided to the registrar no later
6 than this Friday, the 14th of July, 2006. Any exhibits for which we do
7 not have English translations by this date will be denied admission into
8 evidence unless good cause is shown on or before Friday. In such an
9 event, an email to a legal officer of the Chamber copied to the other
10 party will be considered adequate communication.
11 In fulfilling these obligations the parties should refer to
12 exhibit lists which are provided by the registrar.
13 On a related matter, regarding the video which was provided by
14 Chamber witness Amir Delic, on the 27th of June, 2006, the Chamber would
15 like to inform the parties that we are not considering to call for this
16 video into evidence as a Chamber exhibit. Should either of the parties
17 wish to tender it, you're invited to take such action today or tomorrow,
18 even if it's not yet fully translated, then at least the Chamber is
20 This concludes our statement on exhibits.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I just raise -- there are two
22 points, Mr. Josse would like to raise a supplementary point on another
23 matter that Your Honour has just covered but on the directions Your Honour
24 has just given us to exhibits to be filed next Wednesday and Your Honour
25 has, well, given seven days from today, Your Honour, there is a he real
1 practical problem about that. This Defence team is not actually working
2 after this Friday. We have made our arrangements on that basis and ...
3 JUDGE ORIE: If the parties can agree on another date, then the
4 Chamber will accept that. But the Chamber is anxious not to end up in a
5 situation where we would be very generous in giving dates and at the same
6 time at a later stage the party might be unhappy that they had no time
7 to -- that at least they were not sufficiently aware of what was in
8 evidence and what was not. And I can tell you that although it was not in
9 what I just said, that although this Chamber also had in mind that we
10 would stop working next -- this Friday, that from the moment you would
11 hear our decision on the matter, you could have concluded that this wish
12 might not have been fully fulfilled.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, yes. Your Honour --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore if the parties agree upon another date then
15 the Chamber will seriously consider that.
16 MR. STEWART: I can see, Your Honour, that it's likely that we are
17 going to be able to sort that out so you can leave it with us.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll hear from the parties. And then, yes, is
19 that something, well --
20 MR. JOSSE: Sorry, Your Honour. Very briefly we are working on
21 the bridge video. As Your Honour was speaking, I consulted with
22 Mr. Krajisnik about it at the break. We are going to attempt to at least
23 have an extract admitted into evidence.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. JOSSE: One other matter, and that's the Islamic declaration.
1 That was left open after Mr. Subotic's evidence. We are trying to have a
2 portion of that, small portion, translated and admitted into evidence. I
3 will supply the Prosecution with the untranslated portion forthwith, at
4 the next break.
5 MR. TIEGER: I don't have any comments about its admissibility
6 at this point, but I don't think any translation is necessary. I'm sure
7 the document exists in English and I'm sure for a variety of reasons
8 it's --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then the parties are invited to communicate any
10 knowledge of existing translations.
11 MR. JOSSE: Grateful.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Madam Usher.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 WITNESS: BRANKO DJERIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djeric, you had to wait for a couple of minutes
18 because we had to deal with some procedural matters first. Apologies for
20 Mr. Djeric --
21 A. No problem whatsoever.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of the Presidency receiving reports
23 from municipal authorities in 1992? Did you ever -- when you were there,
24 did you ever receive any or become aware of reporting by municipal
25 authorities to the Presidency?
1 A. I don't remember that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This would cover both written and/or oral
3 reports. Would your answer be the same?
4 A. Well, as far as oral reports are concerned, there were
5 representatives of some municipalities that were sort of milling about.
6 They often came to see Karadzic and Krajisnik on assembly business,
7 especially the Sarajevo municipalities. I saw them often. As for written
8 reports, I don't recall any.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You're now referring to assembly business. My
10 question was mainly about Presidency, reporting to the Presidency.
11 A. I mean, well, in both cases. Well, I told you that I don't know
12 about written reports; I mean, I don't remember. Orally, well, I saw
13 people there. Now in what capacity they came and to see who, I don't
14 know. Especially from the Sarajevo municipalities. And even some others,
15 even beyond.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give examples of that, and also how you
17 knew that others even beyond the Sarajevo municipalities came to see --
18 A. Well, for instance, representatives of Banja Luka came often to
19 have some talks or some contact with Karadzic. Then from Sarajevo
20 municipalities, Vogosca, Ilidza, they were there all the time. How can I
21 know? Say, the Foca municipality. I saw those people there and I assumed
22 that they held certain positions in the municipality but I did not know
23 about that because I was not kept abreast of these contacts or talks.
24 JUDGE ORIE: In your first answer you referred to Karadzic and
25 Krajisnik. You said they often came to see Karadzic and Krajisnik. In
1 your second answer, you said, for instance, representatives of the --
2 Banja Luka came often to have some talks or some contact with Karadzic.
3 Were you intentionally making that distinction in your first answer where
4 you mainly referred to "especially people from the Sarajevo
5 municipalities," and your second answer going beyond that?
6 A. Well, somehow the people from the Sarajevo municipalities came to
7 see Krajisnik more often because he is from Sarajevo and he was with them
8 all the time and I assume that these people from Banja Luka and others
9 came to see Karadzic along party lines, along this political party -- I
10 mean, well, I cannot make any assertions to you now. I mean, I cannot
11 tell you anything more reliable on that. I'm sorry. Often there was this
12 conflict between Banja Luka as a centre and Sarajevo as a centre. So they
13 clashed all the time.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us whether Mr. Krajisnik had any
15 particular responsibilities within the -- within the Presidency -- well,
16 let's say within the, as you called them, the five, the -- which you
17 described as a coordinating body consisting of Karadzic, Plavsic,
18 Koljevic, yourself, and Mr. Krajisnik. Did he have any specific -- any
19 particular responsibilities?
20 A. Well, he was a member of the Presidency by virtue of his office as
21 speaker of the parliament, so that is how he was a member of that body,
22 just like I was there as Prime Minister. That is, as far as the general
23 situation goes. Secondly, I assume that he had quite a few ties to these
24 people. Now, why they came to see him, I don't know that. First of all
25 you should bear in mind that -- well, Karadzic and people around Karadzic,
1 well, that is where the action was. That's where international factors
2 went, international diplomats, military diplomats, international military
3 diplomats. Party people went there. People went there along different
4 lines. That's where the policy making took place. Quite simply, people
5 went there. Now, who played what role, that I cannot tell you
6 specifically, except for the fact that that is where the action was. That
7 is where the centre of all action was.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How was Mr. Krajisnik regarded by other members
9 of the Presidency or at least those who attended these meetings of the
10 five? What position did he have in the view of the others, including your
11 view? Not from a formal point of view but what role he played, what his
12 actual position was, because we do understand that since you attended the
13 meetings being the Prime Minister, Mr. Krajisnik attended the meetings
14 being the speaker of the assembly. But in more factual terms.
15 A. Well, you see, Mr. Krajisnik, well, was considered to be a strong
16 personality. First of all it was the parliament that gave him strength;
17 the parliament, then the party where he had a certain position, and this
18 interpersonal relationship, conditionally speaking this relationship of
19 friendship with Karadzic. I had the feeling, well, that Karadzic trusted
20 only Krajisnik. Now, was that on account of their friendship or was it
21 because he chaired the assembly, I don't know. I cannot make any
22 assertions. These are just my, well -- well, my impressions.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Any further objective basis for those impressions?
24 Any examples of where you remember that the occasion reflected and what
25 you just described as your impression?
1 A. I mean, well, I mean, quite simply, conditionally speaking, these
2 were two men in one body, you see? There was very little dissonance there
3 or very little divergence of views. As a matter of fact, I had the
4 impression that Mr. Karadzic considered Mr. Krajisnik to be his very own,
5 private Prime Minister.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I take you to the minutes of the session
7 of the Presidency of the Republika Srpska of the 9th of October 1992?
8 Could the witness be presented with the B/C/S copy of P65, tab
9 203, tab 3 in this bundle.
10 Mr. Djeric, could you first have a look at this document? You
11 earlier described what you called very brief minutes, not really records
12 but rather reflecting agenda and conclusions. Do you recognise this
13 document as of the kind you described before to us?
14 A. No.
15 JUDGE ORIE: How did they look different, the other ones you
16 described before? I mean what's the difference? What makes you say that
17 this is not the kind of document you described earlier as the minutes?
18 A. Well, quite simply, I mean, even formally I see that there are
19 several conclusions here. You know, that's not the way things were done.
20 There would be a text and then at the end the conclusions would be
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So it's different from what you remember to
23 have received as minutes.
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now I'd like to take you to the top of this
1 document where it says, "Minutes of the session of the Presidency of
2 Republika Srpska, date, 9th of October." It then, two lines further down,
3 reads, "The session was attended by the following members of the
4 Presidency: Momcilo Krajisnik, Dr. Nikola Koljevic, and Dr. Branko
5 Djeric." This was the 9th of October which was, if I understood you well,
6 immediately before your resignation; is that correct?
7 A. I mean, well, it doesn't even say where it was held. As far as I
8 know, the 9th of October, as far as I can remember is the day when I
9 resigned, and that was in Prijedor. Do you understand what I'm saying?
10 It doesn't say that it's in Prijedor; again, if I remember correctly.
11 Further on, I see it says present, Krajisnik, Branko Djeric and then there
12 is Koljevic. Now, he's no longer alive so only Krajisnik and I are left.
13 This is a forged document. That can be noticed on the basis of many
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please tell us. If you say -- if you can draw
16 that conclusion on the basis of many things, please tell us what things.
17 A. At first glance, well, I mean I'd have to read it. I'd have to
18 read it.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Take your time, if you need to read it.
20 A. I mean, quite simply, well, as far as I managed to read this,
21 Boban-Izetbegovic agreement, Boban-Izetbegovic, I don't remember that at
22 all. And then telephone communication with the commander of Slavonski
23 Brod? I mean, you know what? I mean not even in one's wildest dreams, I
24 mean, this simply never happened. And I claim that with full
25 responsibility that this is the first I hear of it. I mean, we never
1 discussed these things at our sessions. No military things. No telephone
3 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember the last meeting or meetings you had
4 with the -- you earlier said the Presidency or the five where there are
5 only three present here?
6 A. I didn't quite understand what you were saying. I don't remember.
7 But the session of the Presidency was never held in this capacity. That
8 is what I assert. Never.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That means in the absence of Dr. Karadzic and
10 Dr. Plavsic, you said you never met; the three of you, that is.
11 A. And Biljana. Never, never.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes so you say these minutes do not reflect what
13 could have happened according to your recollection, that is a meeting
14 between --
15 A. I mean, I assert that this is a pure forgery.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand your testimony. So therefore
17 does it make that much sense to ask you about the signature underneath
18 where it reads, "Chaired by Momcilo Krajisnik"? Did Mr. Krajisnik - apart
19 from this meeting, which you say is not a meeting which, in your
20 recollection, ever took place, and could not even have taken place because
21 you never met, the three of you, Krajisnik, you, and Mr. Koljevic - did he
22 ever chair a meeting in the absence of one of the members of the
24 A. I don't remember, especially that I was considered to be the
25 chairman. I don't remember.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you said you never discussed military
2 matters. At the same time earlier in your testimony you said that
3 sometimes military people were invited. What is the use of inviting
4 military people? And we have seen minutes where -- I don't know whether
5 they are forgeries as well, but at least where military people attended
6 the meeting, if you never discussed military matters?
7 A. Well, sometimes they were invited. I mean, when things were
8 discussed. I mean, but if this has to do with giving tasks, objectives,
9 no, never, no. And I mean these telephone communications, quite simply
10 that makes no sense. Please, the Supreme Commander had communication with
11 the president. You know, he was the commander. It wasn't the Presidency.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, could you then explain to us where you
13 said, I mean, when things were discussed in the presence of the military
14 people attending the meeting, what kind of issues were then discussed if
15 they were there, because you say it was not military matters. But what,
16 then, was discussed in their presence?
17 A. There were certain figures there, you know, who were not at the
18 top but they were from the Sarajevo region, they were fighters, maybe --
19 actually it was more that these people self-organised and they would come
20 there, asking for some kind of assistance and they would attend.
21 Sometimes they would invite the army commander. He was there also. It
22 was more a conversation about problems in the military, in the army, and
23 not in the sense of command.
24 JUDGE ORIE: But what kind of problems? It's rather vague in your
25 answer. What kind of problems are you referring to?
1 A. Well, for example, financing problems, crime and so on and so
2 forth. I can't remember because I know that this question wasn't really
3 that pronounced so I can't recall details.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll leave it for a moment, and move to --
5 perhaps I'll come back to it at a later stage. No, first, one additional
6 question. You explained that the document shown to you must be a forgery
7 because it contains information which you said could never have been
8 discussed, nor would such a meeting be composed of the three of you
9 mentioned. Any other reason apart from [indiscernible]. One second.
10 A. And not just that. There are many things here. For example, the
11 Herzegovina theatre. I think that was, let's say, at the end, maybe it
12 was November. And then this here, Trbojevic, Milojevic, about borders. I
13 don't recall this. Especially not then.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. All the reasons you gave are reasons based
15 on -- please. Are reasons based on the substance of the content of these
16 minutes. Is there anything of another category that would make you
17 conclude that this is a forgery?
18 A. I simply don't remember that there was a session of the Presidency
19 then, when I resigned. You know, first of all I prepared myself to give
20 up my post. There was no Presidency meeting or anything like that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: If you'd give me one second, please. Yes. I'll move
22 on to another subject.
23 Could you tell us a bit more about your personal relationship with
24 Mr. Krajisnik?
25 A. I didn't know Mr. Krajisnik before he came to the assembly,
1 shortly before the war. This was in 1990. I didn't know him at all
2 before that. Then I got to know him in a way, I got to know him better
3 when I became a minister in the government. That's when we were
4 acquainted. But throughout the period before, I didn't know him. All I
5 knew about him was that he worked in a company, that he was an economist;
6 in a company, the financial director in the firm and so on.
7 JUDGE ORIE: What --
8 A. And I heard that he was of a patriarchal mind, that he worked in
9 that environment and so on.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think my --
11 A. A believer.
12 JUDGE ORIE: My question, my previous question might not have been
13 translated. You said he was an economist in a company, the financial
14 director in the firm and so on. In the firm. What firm did you mean?
15 A. It was the TAT Energoinvest enterprise.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You said earlier I think you worked at Energoinvest
17 in your --
18 A. Yes. I worked as a young economist for less than two years, and
19 then I got my post at university.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You never met him when you were working for,
21 Energoinvest at the time.
22 A. No.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to move on because you elaborated how you
24 got to know him, when you got to know him better. I was asking you about
25 what your relationship was like. Was it a relationship of friendship?
1 Was it at a distance? Was it as you described earlier that Mr. Krajisnik
2 was close in his opinions to Mr. Karadzic? Could you tell us a bit more
3 about the relationship in more substantial terms rather than when you met
4 him, when you got to know him better?
5 A. I had a formal relationship with Krajisnik, official relationship.
6 As for our relationship during the war, it was a working relationship, and
7 our relations were pretty cool, and we were at a distance. Briefly, what
8 I can say is that we had an official relationship.
9 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time you call it "cool." I wouldn't say
10 that everyone I have a professional or an official relationship with, that
11 it would be cool. What's the reason why you described it as cool? Was
12 this -- I'm not going to suggest anything to you. Could you tell us why
13 you use that expression?
14 A. I used it for the simple reason that the government was
15 marginalised, it was left out of things, and Mr. Krajisnik was the
16 president of the assembly. According to some logic -- first of all, the
17 president of the assembly -- actually, the assembly and its president
18 should be in favour of a strong government. That would be in their
19 interest, in that sense.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand you well that you say that "I didn't
21 like his attitude which was not strongly supporting the government"?
22 A. In that sense I said that and I said in the beginning, too, if I
23 may put it like that, I was bothered somewhat by Krajisnik's
24 indiscriminate, uncritical relationship to Karadzic. I think that they
25 were friends but I still think that his attitude should have been
2 JUDGE ORIE: Since you now for the second time are referring to
3 the relationship between Karadzic and Krajisnik, the --
4 A. Go ahead.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We heard some evidence describing a situation in the
6 meetings of the five, as I call them, in which Karadzic and Krajisnik were
7 very dominant, and the others playing a role, second-class role. Would
8 you -- could you comment on what we heard in this respect, to what extent
9 you share such a view, to what extent you think it does not accurately
10 describe the situation?
11 A. I said that in the Presidency, there was Biljana, I was there on
12 one side. On the other side there were Karadzic, Krajisnik and Koljevic.
13 I'm simply trying to say that Karadzic mostly relied on Krajisnik. That
14 is my impression. And a little bit on Koljevic too. I don't know why. I
15 assume it was because he was a large regional entity so he was important
16 to him. But he relied on Krajisnik in any case. Was this because he was
17 the president of the assembly or because he thought him to be
18 exceptionally wise? I don't know. I'm just giving you my impressions.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
20 I'd like to move to another subject.
21 At the 22nd session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, which was held
22 on the 23rd and the 24th of November 1992, you complained that the
23 Minister of Justice, that is Momcilo Mandic, and the Minister of the
24 Interior, that is Mico Stanisic, reported to the president of the republic
25 and to the president of the assembly. If you'd like to look at it, you'll
1 find that under tab 4 of this bundle. And let me just find the right
2 page. I haven't found yet the page. One second, please.
3 I will read it out to you slowly and I think you can find it on --
4 I'm a bit surprised by what I find on page 12, as a matter of fact, but --
5 one second, please.
6 [Trial chamber and legal officer confer]
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if I may --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djeric, I think you'll find it at page 12,
9 approximately the middle of the page. I received a copy where I find a
10 white empty space in the middle of the page.
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 MR. TIEGER: Once again the same issue we discussed before. There
13 was revised translation of this session. I believe the document, at least
14 in front of me which is a copy of that --.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps --
16 MR. TIEGER: -- is a pre-revised translation. I have here for the
17 Court -- in any event, the witness will be looking, of course, at the
19 JUDGE ORIE: At the original, yes.
20 MR. TIEGER: -- B/C/S, but if it's useful to the Court, I --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see -- I do understand that there was a
22 revised translation. Let me then just take care that I do not quote from
23 the wrong translation. Do you have the revised English so that I can be
24 certain that I'm not going to quote from --
25 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour, I'll hand up pages 10
1 through --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, if I heard some whispering about notes.
3 MR. HARMON: I may have notes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. TIEGER: I'm looking to see that that's not the case and it
6 does not seem to be the case.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If not, I'm willing to read it. Otherwise I would
8 invite to you slowly read the English but -- now I have to find it because
9 it's a totally different layout. I'm a bit lost, unfortunately.
10 I quote your words where you said, "If somebody else insists on
11 appointments of certain ministers, then the gentleman, that person, needs
12 to assume responsibility for the work of those ministers as well. So far,
13 not a single member of state leadership did that. On the contrary,
14 everybody says the government is responsible, the Prime Minister is
15 responsible, orchestration is responsible, and when it comes to the
16 legislature, when we are dealing with the Minister of Justice, the
17 Minister of the Interior, they are not even members of the government.
18 They don't attend government meetings. They meet with the president of
19 the republic and the chairman of the assembly. Not a single one of them
20 ever appeared before the people or on TV and said they were responsible
21 for their work and what they were doing, thereby releasing the Prime
22 Minister of any liability. That would be fair."
23 My question to you is: What exactly happened that made you
24 express these or to speak these words in this assembly meeting where, if I
25 understood your words well, you say they are not functioning within the
1 government, they do not give me any possibility to take responsibility
2 because they are directly dealing with the -- well, with Mr. Karadzic and
3 Mr. Krajisnik. What had happened that caused you to speak these words?
4 A. Yeah. I simply said at the beginning that I was for the rule of
5 law, that there should be a functioning state based on rule of law, and
6 you cannot have that without certain functions of the ministry for
7 internal affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence and so on.
8 Simply, as far as I was concerned, those ministries were not functioning
9 in a certain way. The Ministry of Defence had a minister whom the army
10 did not want to accept. The minister for internal affairs and the justice
11 minister did not attend meetings. They were most frequently down there,
12 at the Presidency, conditionally speaking. Problems were piling up.
13 I mentioned earlier that I insisted that if there were crimes,
14 they had to be processed. Somebody had to establish that such and such
15 and act was a crime. I don't know the law of the perhaps the military
16 police, the army, the police, can cross certain lines, but I wasn't
17 qualified to establish whether that was so or not. So I asked the
18 ministries of police, defence and justice to deal with that. That's one
20 The other thing was the level of criminalisation. This was
21 something that was also an aspect of the rule of law. There were some
22 other things too. I did not want to create the impression that this is
23 just what we were talking about; the context is broader. These were the
24 people who had to implement the activities of the government but they
25 happened to be down there all the time. And then it turned out, since I
1 kept asking that they be replaced in a certain way, I wanted the party to
2 make that possible, then it turned out that they were openly saying that
3 the Prime Minister was fighting against the president of the republic,
4 that the Prime Minister had a different concept, that the president had
5 a -- acted in accordance with the concept of the rule of law but the other
6 one was acting in a different way and had a different concept. In any
7 way, they were down there, with Karadzic. I'm saying Karadzic because he
8 symbolised those events, that circle. Why? Because the government was
9 marginalised. Why? It was just the set of circumstances that just
10 created this situation where the government was simply left outside of
11 what was going on.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djeric, first part of your answer, you explained
13 that it was more or less the same issue that you explained to us before,
14 definition of crime, the -- how the military police, the police can cross
15 certain lines. You said I wasn't qualified to establish whether that was
16 so or not. And then one line further down, you say, "The other thing was
17 the level of criminalisation." Could you explain to us what you meant by
18 that sentence?
19 A. Just a bit earlier, I said it was possible for the border to be
20 crossed. I mean I'm speaking in the conditional. That is why I wanted
21 these two ministries to function. As for this question of
22 criminalisation, you know ...
23 JUDGE ORIE: What do you mean -- what were you referring to
24 specifically when you said the level of criminalisation?
25 A. There was looting, simply put. Property was being alienated.
1 Companies were being misused. Goods were crossing the border without the
2 relevant documents. Resources were being wasted. Many questions. There
3 was simply illegal action at work here.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Was that crime committed by -- if such a distinction
5 could be made -- crime committed by people of what nationality or
7 A. The term "criminalisation" can also encompass that. All kinds of
8 crimes, you understand, regardless of who committed them, whether it was
9 committed by a member of this nation or that ethnic group or that ethnic
10 group, whoever perpetrates a crime must be punished. We are talking about
11 everything that can be considered a crime in a very broad sense.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then let me ask you more specifically. Did you have
13 specific concerns about, for example, Muslims committing looting in the
14 territory of Republika Srpska?
15 A. No. I primarily meant members of -- well, the Serb people,
16 regardless of whether they were civilians or in the armed units, all of
17 those who behave in an unlawful manner. I was not referring to the
18 representatives of other ethnic groups, other nations. I was referring
19 exclusively to the members of my own nation.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. May I ask you, could you tell us something
21 about the relationship these two ministers, Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Mandic
22 had, with, to start with, Mr. Karadzic? Do you know anything about that?
23 If so, please tell us.
24 A. I don't know what their relationship was from earlier on, since
25 when they had known each other and so on. In this period of time, while I
1 was there, now, how long was this, seven months, while I was in
2 government, well, I mean they were less in the government and they went to
3 see him often.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So apart from the substance, you say they saw each
5 other often but you have no further information about how close or how
6 professional or --
7 A. Well, no. I mean, I don't know. I cannot talk about that. I can
8 assume that in part -- I mean, well, let's put it this way: It had to do
9 with the actual office held because the Minister of Police, particular in
10 conditions of war, right, well, he really does fall within the purview of
11 those who are in charge of the army, and that was Karadzic, because
12 according to one decision of the National Security Council, the army and
13 everything that belongs to the armed forces was left to Karadzic. Others
14 had nothing whatsoever to do with that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now a similar question as far as the relationship
16 between these two ministers and Mr. Krajisnik is concerned. Do you know
17 anything about that?
18 A. Likewise, I cannot say anything definite about that, except that
19 Karadzic and Krajisnik had their offices right next door to each other,
20 and in that building where they were, that's where these other people
21 were, down there. I mean, I was informed or notified that they were down
22 there for the most part. I told you that the government was 12 kilometres
23 away, on the top of a mountain, 12 kilometres away from where Karadzic,
24 Krajisnik, Koljevic and Plavsic were.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll move to another subject.
1 At the 13th assembly session, which was held on the 24th of March,
2 the government was tasked with creating, and I now quote from the minutes
3 of that session, "tasked with creating an operational plan for assuming
4 power, that is for establishing power in the Serbian Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in particular in the field of internal affairs,
6 National Defence and money transactions in all municipalities where we
7 already have Serbian authorities and in those municipalities where we have
8 only recently established Serbian municipalities."
9 This was a quote from the stenographic record of this assembly
10 session. If you'd like to have a look at it I'll give it to you but it is
11 a quote, of course, a translated quote.
12 Now, on the -- yes?
13 A. I beg your pardon. I don't know what assembly this is. As far as
14 I can remember, there was no assembly -- I mean, of the Serb republic? Or
15 perhaps of the Serb people? I mean, quite simply, I don't remember what
16 assembly this was. But never mind. Please go on. I mean, where was this
17 assembly held?
18 JUDGE ORIE: I couldn't immediately tell you. I have a list
19 somewhere but I haven't brought it with me, but, if we know, I'll -- I
20 hope we can tell you --
21 MR. STEWART: It was Pale, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart says.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. STEWART: I was not near enough to the microphone; it was
25 Pale, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It was Pale, the 24th of March 1992. I quoted about
2 the government being tasked with, and then I read what the government was
3 tasked with. Now, on the 26th of April 1992, the Bosnian Serb government
4 issued the so-called instructions for Serbian peoples, Crisis Staffs in
5 municipalities. You would find that in the bundle you have in front of
6 you, under tab 6. You see that document, Mr. Djeric?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My question would be whether these
9 instructions, whether this document containing these instructions, was a
10 response to the assembly request I just read to you, if you remember?
11 A. You see, well, first of all, at this point in time that you are
12 referring to, there was no government. There was just a Prime
13 Minister-designate. There was no government. The government was
14 established gradually. Perhaps only by the 1st of June or the end of May,
15 there was a government of sorts, but at that time there was no government.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
17 A. Secondly, who signed this? Who signed this document? I don't
18 find this clear. I mean, this document -- I mean, this is a forgery too.
19 JUDGE ORIE: What makes you conclude that this is a forgery? It
20 appears, at least, to be unsigned. That leaves hardly any doubt.
21 A. Because -- well, quite simply, because it refers to me and I see
22 that I never came across this document, especially because certain
23 prerogatives are given here, and I never dealt with this, you see. So
24 it's a pure forgery. A set of instructions was sent to Crisis Staffs
25 signed by Karadzic, and me, but meaning that they should be careful as to
1 how they behave. I mean, if there is a conflict, that the conventions
2 have to be borne in mind. I mean international rules and conventions.
3 This was sent by fax at one point in time. And that would be obvious now.
4 Whereas this was never sent.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I --
6 A. Pure -- pure forgery. That's what this document is.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Any idea, where you say it's a forgery, who may
8 have forged it? Do you have any knowledge of that? I'm not asking for
9 any speculation.
10 A. I don't know. I mean, I cannot talk about that because obviously,
11 well, this was done in a premeditated way. I don't know.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then it doesn't make much sense to ask further
13 questions to you about this document so I'll move on.
14 A. Oh, please, don't. You see, I see the vocabulary used here,
15 "hordes of robbers," "looters," and that is typical of the terminology
16 used in the previous order, in the previous system, or "do not hinder
17 trade," things like that. Quite simply, my own style of writing, this is
18 not it. And I claim with full responsibility that this is a forgery.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I then move on to my next subject. Earlier,
20 when I asked you about an event on Koricanske Stijene, you started your
21 answer, there was some confusion, where you thought that I was asking you
22 for how -- whether you discussed or received information about collection
23 centres. Could you tell us whether you received information about
24 collection centres and what kind of information that was?
25 A. We followed the work of these centres, and, well, we received some
1 information and at any rate, I can tell you that these are reception
2 centres, reception centres. Collection centres? Well, although in our
3 own lexicon, the word camp is used alternatively, I mean, often this is
4 done in a negativist way or rather it is read with a negative connotation.
5 Well, these are purely reception centres, collection centres, for the
6 population -- oh, please go ahead.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you for a moment. Could you tell us
8 first of all -- no. Let's -- if you say these were reception centres,
9 could you name some of them? I mean, otherwise, we are talking about a
10 category rather than -- could you tell us what -- about what centres? And
11 let's leave out for the time being the terminology. What centres you
12 received information on? You said, "We followed the work of the centres."
13 So could you please name a couple of them?
14 A. Trnopolje, further on -- well, Bileca, then out there in the
15 Krajina, there was, I guess, Omarska and so on. I mean, I'm trying to
16 tell you that more or less in every municipality there was such a
17 reception centre, a bigger one or a smaller one, in order to protect the
18 population of other ethnic backgrounds from possible retaliation or
19 possible revanchism, especially in view of what happened in the first and
20 Second World Wars and so on. I hope that you're aware of that, that this
21 is an area with a great deal of national ethnic hatred, a lot of
22 conflicts; this is such an unhappy country. And in the previous war --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you for a moment. I can confirm to you
24 that we heard a lot about that. So don't be concerned that we would not
25 have received information on what we often heard Serbs feared would happen
2 Now, how did you -- you mentioned Trnopolje, Bileca, Omarska. How
3 did you receive this information? Were there reports?
4 A. For the most part, these were certain reports by the ministries in
5 charge, the ministries in charge, primarily the Ministry of Justice and
6 the Ministry of the Interior. And then, well, when journalists started,
7 well, debating this to a greater extent, then I asked for these centres to
8 be visited and to compile a report in writing about that. And a certain
9 team was established which went out there and toured these, well,
10 collection centres, and then we saw, well, that there were some objections
12 The different centres involved certain differences. Some were
13 purely military ones, you see, like I mean, well, this Manjaca, it was a
14 military centre before. I don't know much about this but I'm just telling
15 you. I mean, I'm not really well-versed in this. It was only from this
16 report that I saw, well, say, I mean, well, that somewhere out in the
17 open, like Trnopolje, you see, that they were being visited by the
18 International Red Cross. I mean, that's what's being written in some of
19 these pieces of information, that they were being visited by charity
20 organisations, even Muslim ones and Serb ones, and others, that some do
21 not have a wire around them and so on, and that people are out in the
22 open. I mean, it was even written that this was this open reception
23 centre and so on. Well, in the case of others, you could see that there
24 were even prisoners there.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Tell us, you mentioned specifically, when you were
1 talking about these reports, people being in the open, visits of the Red
2 Cross, charity organisations visiting it. Was that about Trnopolje?
3 A. I mean, believe me, I don't know the details. I'm only speaking
4 from memory on the basis of this information, that that is what was
5 written in that information.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you remember anything about reports you
7 received on Omarska?
8 A. I don't remember. I mean, I don't remember any details. I just
9 know that we concluded that conditions should be improved, that, well,
10 quite simply, some people should be handed over to the military, well,
11 generally speaking -- I mean, that they should be disbanded. I mean, as
12 soon as we received this information, we reacted in that way. I mean, not
13 much time went by and they were disbanded.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you talked about media. How did the
15 information from the media come to you? I mean, did they come to your
16 office? Did you see it when it was published? Did you see it on
17 television? I mean, in what way did you receive what you just said was
18 information by the media?
19 A. I mean, well, this information, well, I mean, for the Minister of
20 Information, or was this just a brief resume by the SRNA news agency? I
21 mean, I don't remember.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But did you receive that directly or was it through
23 clippings prepared for the government or -- I mean, did you read the
24 newspapers yourself? Did you read any magazines? Did you watch it to be
25 shown on television? Or was it indirect?
1 A. Well, a bit -- well, a bit indirectly but then also there was this
2 information provided by the news agency.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 A. I mean, I heard some things myself and then there were these brief
5 reports of the news agency and then I asked the Minister of Information to
6 explain this to me, to tell me what this was about.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you discuss this within the government?
8 A. I mean, what? You mean the media?
9 JUDGE ORIE: The reporting in the media which was -- was the
10 reporting alarming for you or -- you said you immediately took action.
11 A. Well, first and foremost, and I've already said that and that's
12 what I assert, there was a certain report or rather the Minister of
13 Information spoke about that at a government session, and basically this
14 was brought into the context of, well, sort of the world media were doing
15 that at someone's intervention and so on and so forth, in order to cause a
16 bombing of the Serb side and Serb positions. Those were more or less the
17 comments about that. I mean, but I'm saying that independently of that
18 and independently of such views, the government, as I've been saying, set
19 up a commission, set up a working group, in order to tour the reception
20 centres and to therefore receive better information about this.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And this caused you -- may I first ask, was
22 this discussed in the -- in any Presidency meetings as well?
23 A. I don't remember, except that Karadzic was always sort of, well,
24 linked to some information, media gave interviews, talked to them, but
25 that this was discussed, no, I don't remember that. Possibly.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I'd like to take you -- do you remember when
2 this media reporting became reason to discuss matters where you asked for
3 further explanation to the ministry -- Minister of Information? Do you
4 remember when that approximately was, in time? I'm trying to locate it.
5 A. Oh, I think it was -- well, I don't know. Mid-summer. Now, when
6 was this? Say, the end of July or August maybe.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'd like to take you for a couple of minutes
8 until we have a break, take you back in time a little bit. According to
9 the minutes of the government meeting on the 24th of May, that's far
10 before the time you just mentioned, teams of ministers were formed for
11 on-site investigations in municipalities and would prepare reports and
12 suggest measures to be undertaken. And let me just see whether I've --
13 yes. I'm consulting my staff because there was a translation issue in
14 relation to this document. Yes. So I just told you then that on the 24th
15 of May, teams of ministers were formed for on-site investigations in
16 municipalities - for the parties I'm referring to P65, tab 139 - and would
17 prepare reports and suggest measures to be undertaken. Now, if you'd like
18 to read it, Mr. Djeric, you would find it in tab 7. According to the
19 minutes from the government meeting on the 29th of May, that is five days
20 later, the ministers should and I now quote from tab 8, which is P65, tab
21 140 -- so I'm now at the 29th of May.
22 A. The 24th?
23 JUDGE ORIE: The first one is --
24 A. I beg your pardon. I'm so sorry. You are referring to the record
25 of the 24th of May? Are you?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 A. I see that this hasn't been signed either.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's good that you draw our attention to it.
4 A. I mean, I used to sign records, all of them, minutes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then -- but if we look at the content, you
6 could tell us whether this reflects what was discussed so whether it's
7 just a document which -- of which we received an unsigned version --
8 A. You mean these minutes? You mean the minutes of the 24th of May?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'd like to look at the content first, and of
10 course it's good that you draw our attention to the fact that it's not
11 signed, whatever that would mean under the present circumstances. But in
12 the document --
13 A. These minutes simply are a forgery. They are not authentic. And
14 you can see it was agreed that the president of the Assembly of the
15 Serbian People, Momcilo Krajisnik, organises a meeting. The government
16 did not have the authority of tasking Krajisnik, and so on and so forth.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you are now referring to what specific
18 portion, Mr. Djeric, so that I'm able to follow you? Under 3?
19 A. ED 31, minutes of the 24th of May. That's what it says here.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say that this is a forgery because that
21 could not have taken place, that it has been agreed that Mr. Krajisnik
22 should set up a meeting, because you were not in a position to -- not to
23 order him to do so or not to --
24 A. I could not issue him with a task. I could not entrust anything
25 to him.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, that's clear. Nevertheless, I'd like
2 to -- I quoted, as a matter of fact, but it's good that you draw our
3 attention to your opinion that this is a forgery. I just read a portion
4 to you that is -- that these minutes say that teams of ministers were
5 formed for on-site investigations in municipalities and would prepare
6 reports and suggest measures to be undertaken.
7 Mr. Djeric, do you remember, so apart from these minutes, whether
8 ever a decision was taken that teams of ministers would be formed for
9 on-site investigations in municipalities and prepare reports? So apart
10 from --
11 A. It was the usual procedure in the government to entrust a certain
12 ministry or a number of ministries with visiting and then informing the
13 government about certain questions. This was our practice.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And --
15 A. Especially if it was within their responsibility --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 A. -- to inform us how the law was operating on the ground.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. May I then take you to the minutes of the
19 government meeting on the 29th of May? And perhaps it's good to ask you
20 whether you consider them to be -- they are unsigned. You find them under
21 tab 8, whether you consider them to be a forgery as well. Yes. There we
22 read that -- which ministers are responsible for the visits to what
23 municipalities, and then I quote, "In the course of these visits, they
24 should talk to the Crisis Staffs, take note of the situation, by all means
25 visit the front, make contact with the soldiers, and prepare a report
1 about it for the government."
2 A. Where does it say that? Ah.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I will assist you. You see that Mr. Trbojevic and
4 Mr. Ostojic should go to Vogosca and Ilijas and Mr. Lajic and Zukovic
5 should go to Stari Grad and Centar. Have you found that? You can find it
6 under 1 at the very end. You found it?
7 A. Yes. Very well.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us why the ministers, so Mr. Trbojevic
9 and Ostojic for Vogosca and Ilijas, and Mr. Lajic and Zukovic for Stari
10 Grad and Centar, why they were tasked with these kind of visits, including
11 visiting the front, make contact with soldiers, then prepare a report for
12 the government?
13 A. See, this is not the front in the sense that it is usually
14 understood. This is just an organised people, people who were in their
15 homes, defending their homes, their hearths and so on. So we are talking
16 about self-organised people affected by war, and that is why the
17 government asked these people to go and visit them, to see there was some
18 kind of line of conflict there, where the operations were. So we are
19 talking about self-organised people here.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember whether these ministers made these
22 A. I don't know. I'm not sure. I don't know if they were there, if
23 they went. I don't know. But the practice was to go see those people --
24 see the population actually, because I'm reminding you, the army, the Main
25 Staff, was appointed on the 12th of May, so practically it was the -- just
1 self-organised people. So it's very far from being an army in the proper
2 sense, you understand.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand your answer.
4 We'll have a break at this moment, 20 minutes. We'll resume at
5 5.30 -- at 6.30.
6 --- Recess taken at 6.12 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.33 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Djeric, during the fifth session of the
9 Presidency, you'll find the minutes, or at least brief notes, under tab 1.
10 It is a meeting held on the 10th of June 1992 and you are reported in this
11 minutes as being present. The government is tasked to submit a report on
12 prisoners with proposed measures. Yes, Mr. Tieger?
13 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if I may, this is also the subject, in
14 fact, of a recent e-mail. I lap to have the correct translation provided
15 by the translation unit and the court officer --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps, Mr. Djeric, would you please listen
17 carefully to the correct translation of what I just read? Perhaps you
18 first of all look at the version in your own language because you're not
19 dependent on any -- on any translation, since you have the original in
20 front of you, or at least the B/C/S version.
21 Mr. Tieger would you please read slowly how the line is translated
22 in the newest version?
23 MR. TIEGER: That "the government submit a report on prisoners,
24 with proposed measures."
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's approximately what was in mine because I
1 discussed the matter with the staff and asked to have the newest
2 translation to -- okay. So therefore, the government is given the task to
3 submit a report on prisoners, with proposed measures.
4 Could you tell us whether the government ever reported to the
5 Presidency or any other body on the situation of prisoners?
6 A. I don't recall this assignment at all, because if someone was
7 assigned to this, then it could have been the Ministry of Justice only.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the Presidency session minutes say that it
9 would be the government. Have you found it in the original? It's at
10 the -- almost at the very end.
11 A. Yes. I can see that that is what is written here but I don't
12 recall that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, whether or not you recall that, do you
14 remember whether ever a government report was addressed to the Presidency
15 or any other body on the situation of prisoners?
16 A. I don't remember. That's why I said just now I don't know whether
17 the Minister of Justice, who spent all of his time with the president, was
18 the line that was used. I don't recall whether it went along that line
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps I put to you a document.
21 And for the parties, I'm referring now to P583, tab 20, of which I
22 understand a copy is prepared. Yes. Oh, that's an extra one. It should
23 be found in the bundle under "extra one," which are the minutes of the
24 25th session of the Bosnian Serb government, 10th of June, that's the same
25 date as the previous document, item 7, Mr. Djeric, where the Minister of
1 Justice is tasked with reporting on present conditions and specifically
2 contacting the managers of Panorama, Buducnost, and Kikinda. Does that
3 refresh your memory in any way as to reporting on prison conditions?
4 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour, I'm not seeing the word
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then I again let me just have a look --
7 MR. STEWART: I see the word somewhere on the page but I don't see
8 it in that context directly.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps I should -- it was a short version.
10 I'll read the whole of it to Mr. Djeric. "That the Ministry of Justice
11 should make a report about prisoners. This report should pay special
12 attention on treatment of civilian population, prisoners of war,
13 accommodation, food, et cetera. The report would be considered by the
14 government after which it would be submitted to the Presidency of the
15 republic." Let's leave it to that and leave out the following portion.
16 Does this refresh your memory where it seems that the Minister of Justice
17 is tasked with preparing a report, specifically to be later then sent to
18 the Presidency.
19 A. I don't recall the details, I don't, but that's why I intervened
20 earlier, because if anything was there, it could only have been addressed
21 to the Ministry of Justice and not to the government. My whole problem,
22 and I keep underlining this, was the problem in communication with the
23 Minister of Justice, because if he was being tasked to do things, then he
24 also had to implement these tasks. He had to carry them out.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 A. I don't remember these details.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, shortly after that, we find in the minutes of
3 the 28th session of the Bosnian Serb government, 15th of June 1992, we
4 find that in item 10, a working group is created consisting of Mr. Djeric,
5 Mr. Trbojevic, Mr. Kalinic, Mr. Subotic, and finally Mr. Mandic to
6 consider all aspects of the prisoner exchange programme. Do you have any
7 recollection of such a working group being formed?
8 A. I don't remember, but I don't think that that is correct, that the
9 minutes are correct, because -- it's not correct simply because the Prime
10 Minister would not take part in something like this. Usually, when teams
11 were being formed for certain assignments, then that could have been the
12 Deputy Prime Minister, who was a lawyer, and certain ministers, from the
13 justice ministry, from the MUP or the Defence Ministry and so on. The
14 Prime Minister was not the one to be dealing with these questions. I
15 think that something here is not quite correct.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Was such a working --
17 A. I don't remember. Perhaps I could have been tasked with visiting
18 Krajina, in the political sense and so on, but as for these questions, I'm
19 sure that I would not be the one to deal with them, no.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So you do not remember that such a -- you do not
21 remember that such a working group was formed or that you took part in it,
22 is that -- or do you --
23 A. The working group was formed. I said earlier that the government
24 did form it. I kept trying to establish rule of law on the ground. We
25 were asking for a state of rule of law to be set up. I just want to
1 remind you that these party organs had ruled for a long time so it was
2 very difficult for the rule of law to come into being. So I insisted on
3 that and exposed myself to various unpleasant things, and I strived to
4 bring the laws into operation, to implement them. So I'm just asking who
5 could that have been?
6 Earlier, when you were asking me about visiting the municipality,
7 I really don't remember specifically whether that team was in Vogosca or
8 so on. I don't remember that. But it was my practice to send teams to
9 visit the population that was self-organised because they needed food, and
10 other articles that were essential for their everyday life, and we were
11 trying to be present in those areas.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now let me take you back because we have these
13 10th of June minutes, and could you please have a look at the original?
14 Is that your signature which we find at the bottom of this document?
15 A. Well, I cannot be absolutely 100 per cent certain as to this.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That it is, you would say?
17 A. I think actually that it is. There is something. It does
18 resemble it, but ...
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 A. I cannot state that with certainty.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But -- okay. I take you back to that meeting and
22 again read a specific portion of the task given to the Ministry of
23 Justice, it reads that, "The Ministry of Justice should make a report
24 about prisoners." That's how it starts. Then it says, "This report
25 should pay special attention on treatment of civilian population,
1 prisoners of war, accommodation, food, et cetera." Could you explain the
2 two categories to us, two categories mentioned in a report about
3 prisoners; that is, 1, civilian population, and, 2, prisoners of war?
4 A. I'm not a lawyer, and I cannot give you a precise classification
5 of what at the time was civilian population and what was a prisoner of
6 war. I assume that those persons who had entered the ranks of armed
7 conflict and who carried weapons and acted against the armed forces of the
8 armed -- of the Serbian people, that they would be considered prisoners of
9 war. I assume again, as I say.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You've not explained the second category,
11 Mr. Djeric.
12 A. It's a question of regulations.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, the second category, I'd like to -- you've
14 explained to us what you understood, not being a lawyer, what were
15 prisoners of war, but I asked for two categories, the one, prisoner of
16 war, and the other, one civilian population.
17 A. That's why I said -- I said that I don't -- not that I think but
18 that I assume that the difference is in the fact that who carried weapons
19 and fought against the armed forces of Republika Srpska and those who did
20 not. The people who did not bear weapons and did not participate in the
21 fighting, I assume that that was the civilian population and the others
22 were prisoners. I assume that you're asking me something that is not
23 something that I am well-versed in. I can -- it's not my profession. I
24 mean, I can just tell you in general. I mean, it's a question of what the
25 regulations are.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, it suggests, the wording suggest that
2 among prisoners you would find a category, prisoners of war, and a
3 category described as civilian population. I'm seeking your explanation
4 on how civilian population would be among a group which is called
6 A. I'm simply starting from the fact that all this was done within
7 the relevant regulations by the Ministry of Justice and that these
8 categories existed. What they stood for, I really cannot speak about
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, if I ask you, write a report about prisoners,
11 and pay specific attention on how civilian population is treated and pay
12 specific attention to prisoners of war, would that not suggest that among
13 prisoners there was a category described as civilian population?
14 A. I don't know, but it seems more natural to me, when you put it
15 like that, that in the civilian population there were certain persons
16 identified who bore weapons, participated in the fighting and so on but I
17 really cannot speak about that. These are things that I really didn't
18 deal with.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The government tasked the Ministry of Justice to
20 report about it, isn't it? And the government specified the specific
21 points which would need attention.
22 A. Yes. The government set off from certain regulations in this
23 particular field, and according to the regulations, you know who is a
24 civilian, who is a prisoner of war, and the Ministry of Justice was
25 supposed to submit a report.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Djeric, I move a little bit further on.
2 Exchange of prisoners. What would that mean? You said a working group
3 was formed, apart from whether you were involved in that. What did you
4 understand by exchange of prisoners?
5 A. One side and the other captured persons during the fighting,
6 soldiers, and then they would exchange them. I cannot be more specific
7 about that because I wasn't involved in those things.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Exchange of prisoners had nothing to do with the
9 exchange of civilians who were in prisons or were detained?
10 A. I really am unable -- well, the task here is quite clear, that the
11 ministry should prepare the question of the civilian population, prisoners
12 of war and so on, to create rule of law, to respect rule of law, and to
13 make sure that suitable treatment is being respected or applied. They --
14 these things were something that was conducted by certain groups, by the
15 military, the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They were involved in these
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Are you aware of whether the Bosnian Serb
18 Presidency, or in your contacts with the Bosnian Serb Presidency, that
19 there was awareness that they learned about the detention of Muslim or
20 Croat civilians in areas under Bosnian Serb control?
21 A. There were a lot of problems there. I think that the leadership
22 didn't have the real information about that. For a long time, the Crisis
23 Staffs were in charge, the local factor was in charge down there, and they
24 didn't report back or inform anyone about that. We were cut off for a
25 long time, physically. Information-wise. In different ways, we were not
1 able to reach certain points, certain areas, certain municipalities, and
2 so on. So that awareness about these problems, in the beginning, was
3 totally -- there was just no way to do this.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You say in the beginning. When did such an
5 awareness, that is awareness about detention of Muslim and Croat -- Muslim
6 or Croat civilians in areas under Bosnian Serb control, you said in the
7 beginning they were not aware. When did they become aware of such
9 A. I cannot talk about others. I'm just speaking for myself. I
10 found out more about it only -- or rather, in relation to these -- these
11 camps and so on, certain information that the government received, this
12 was already the month of September. That's when I found out about it.
13 Before that, I had no idea that there were such things, except in --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
15 A. Except in this option that I was talking about, the collection
16 centres or the reception centres. These reception centres were organised
17 in municipalities by the local authorities to protect the -- the other
18 population, until the crisis blew over.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you form an opinion when this
20 reporting started? This Chamber received evidence that it was on the 6th
21 of August that CNN reported on Omarska. Did you know actually what
22 happened in Omarska?
23 A. No, we didn't. I didn't know. I didn't know. And you see there
24 was constant activity. The government was sending teams to prepare
25 information so that we would be updated. Many things went on without the
1 knowledge of the government, because of the pronounced strength of the
2 local factor.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now, do you know now, at this very moment, what
4 actually happened in Omarska?
5 A. Believe me, even at this point, right now, I don't know much about
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were you in a position to almost immediately -
8 that means within one or two days - to deny that the reporting had at
9 least some truth in it?
10 A. Which reporting, I'm sorry?
11 JUDGE ORIE: The CNN reporting. You just referred to the media.
12 Were you in a position to state whether the reporting was true or was not
13 true, almost immediately after this reporting took place?
14 A. Well, for me, that was simply something that was ultimately
15 indicative and that's how I behaved.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Indicative of what, Mr. Djeric?
17 A. I mean, I simply -- something was happening, something was going
19 JUDGE ORIE: Did you take it seriously, this reporting? Did you
20 accept that it could -- could be true or at least partially be true?
21 A. Well, I proceeded from the premise that there could be something,
22 and that is the attitude I took to that afterwards. I mean, not only then
23 but before that too.
24 JUDGE ORIE: May I present to you -- and I'll finish in a couple
25 of minutes.
1 May I present to you P1248?
2 Have the parties received copies of it? It's -- yes.
3 Mr. Djeric, could you please indicate where in this document,
4 which appears to be, but if I'm wrong, please correct me, a press release
5 from the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina government, where the
6 government expresses that the reports are taken seriously and that, as you
7 said, the reporting was indicative and that something was happening,
8 something was going on?
9 A. I mean, well, I don't know who wrote this, because -- I mean, I
10 don't know who made this on behalf of the government. I mean, let's first
11 clear that up, because it was customary there, often, that this term, "the
12 government" would be launched and I don't know who it was.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 A. You see?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand that you say that this was -- do you
16 dispute that this was a government press release or do you say may have
17 been issued but I was not aware? I mean, what's exactly your situation,
18 your position?
19 A. My position is quite simply that if the government had stated
20 this, then it would have to be signed by the Prime Minister, and if it was
21 released by I don't know who, then some other factor would have to sign
22 this. One has to know if it's the Presidency, then it's the Presidency.
23 If it's the Ministry of Information then the Ministry of Information. You
24 see, if it's the government, then -- well, it would have to bear my
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you point at any public statement you
2 made at that time which would reflect what you just told us, that the
3 reporting was indicative and something was happening, something was going
4 on? Did you ever make a public statement in that respect?
5 A. Well, you see, I was not involved in this matter. I mean, well,
6 you see, I mean, as for myself, I did practically, well, everything that
7 on the groundworking groups should go there and this should be visited.
8 That's what matters, as far as I'm concerned. I established working
9 groups to tour the area and to do whatever was possible. So possibly if
10 there were some negative or adverse sides to this, then that should be
11 redressed. That is where I saw my role, not in statements. I made very
12 few statements, if I made any statements. And if I made any statements
13 they were along the lines of, well, equality in resolving conflicts. I
14 mean, well, within some rules that suited all three sides. So, I
15 proceeded from the premise that once again the area should be toured and
16 that the situation should be recorded as it was, fully.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that answer.
18 We'll finish for the day, Mr. Djeric.
19 Could we ask Madam Usher to escort Mr. Djeric out of the courtroom
20 but not until after I instructed you, as I did yesterday, Mr. Djeric, that
21 you should not speak to anyone about the testimony already given or still
22 about to be given. And we would like to see you back tomorrow at quarter
23 past 2.00 in the afternoon in this same courtroom. Yes.
24 Madam Usher could you please escort Mr. Djeric --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: I note that the parties always would like to know how
3 we use our time further on. The Chamber expects that it would not need
4 more than one hour tomorrow. And then the remaining time the Chamber
5 would like to hear from the parties how much time they would like to have
6 for the time remaining, and that would be the remainder of Thursday and we
7 have planned that on Friday, although perhaps not fully until 7.00, but at
8 least most of a normal session could be spent on the examination of
9 Mr. Djeric. So I'd like to know from the parties, perhaps by tomorrow,
10 how much time, keeping in mind how much time is approximately available,
11 that is altogether, I would, say some five to six hours. Yes. Then we
12 will adjourn to tomorrow, quarter past 2.00 in the same courtroom.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.12 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day of July,
15 2006, at 2.15 p.m.