1 Monday, 16 December 2002
2 [Sentencing Hearing]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Would the Registrar call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-00-39 and 40/1-S, the Prosecutor versus Biljana Plavsic.
9 JUDGE MAY: The appearances.
10 MS. DEL PONTE: Your Honours, I appear as Prosecutor, along with
11 my senior trial attorneys, Mark Harmon and Alan Tieger, who together are
12 responsible for the detailed aspect of the conduct of this case. Carmela
13 Javier as case manager. Thank you.
14 MR. PAVICH: Good morning, Your Honours. Robert Pavich and Eugene
15 O'Sullivan on behalf of Biljana Plavsic.
16 JUDGE MAY: Madam Prosecutor, before we begin, let me say this:
17 We have received a joint request for an order under Rule 70 in relation to
18 one witness. These are exceptional circumstances. And it being a joint
19 application, we propose to grant it. In doing so, we should make it plain
20 that we are not setting a precedent at all, because as I say, the
21 circumstances of this case and these proceedings are exceptional.
23 MS. DEL PONTE: Thank you, Mr. President. Before I proceed with
24 my introductory remarks, there is a short procedural point that might best
25 be dealt with at the outset. Today's hearing is in a public session, but
1 a key document, the factual basis for the plea of guilty, was filed
2 confidentially by the parties on 30 September. There is now no reason for
3 that document to remain under seal, and it would facilitate today's
4 proceeding, which I understand are to be broadcast live in the former
5 Yugoslavia, if a document were now made public. And therefore ask the
6 Chamber to order that the status of that document be changed so that it
7 can be referred to without difficulty.
8 I only seek the immediate unsealing of that particular document;
9 others should remain confidential until the end of the hearing.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MAY: The document will be unsealed.
12 MS. DEL PONTE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Your Honours, sentencing hearings are, by their nature, public
14 events central to the criminal justice. It is by open process in the
15 Court that the members of society learn about the nature of crimes
16 committed and the responsibility of individuals for them. It is often a
17 painful process, but it is a necessary one. I believe that today's
18 hearing is of unusual importance in bringing to light what occurred during
19 the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the first time in this
20 Tribunal that a senior figure in the former Yugoslavia indicted in a top
21 leadership role has admitted responsibility for horrific crimes committed
22 during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Mrs. Plavsic has pled guilty to count 3 of the indictment, which
24 is a comprehensive charge of crimes against humanity comprising
25 persecution and ethnic cleansing, crimes which resulted in untold
1 suffering for many thousands of innocent victims. Many of those who
2 survived will bear the scars for the rest of their lives, and I wish to
3 stress that there is nothing in the nature of a plea of guilty which in
4 any way alters the seriousness of the crimes themselves. They are of the
5 utmost gravity and are fully detailed in the relevant schedules to the
6 indictment. In my submission, the gravity of the crimes should be the
7 Chamber's primary consideration when determining sentence.
8 Leaders have a duty to protect all citizens of a country, and
9 crimes committed against people who deserve protection are all the more
10 serious as a result. Nevertheless, it is of enormous significance that
11 Mrs. Plavsic accept before this Chamber that horrendous crimes were
12 committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and that she acknowledge her own
13 individual criminal responsibility for them. Her position stands in sharp
14 contrast to that of other leaders of the period, who either continue to
15 deny that crimes occurred or who try to keep themselves beyond the reach
16 of international justice.
17 Your Honours, we should not forget that this Tribunal is
18 ultimately itself an instrument of peace. Reconciliation in the Balkans
19 will not be achieved so long as denial persists. The plea of guilty by
20 Mrs. Plavsic rests upon the acceptance of two inescapable truths: First,
21 that the massive crimes set out in count 3 of the indictment did take
22 place as they are described; and second, that in playing the role she did,
23 she bears criminal responsibility. Unless those stark truths are
24 confronted honestly, as they are in these proceedings (supported of course
25 by other findings in the jurisprudence of the International Tribunal)
1 there can surely be little hope for true reconciliation in society in the
2 former Yugoslavia.
3 I do not suggest that the plea of guilty by Mrs. Plavsic should
4 compel instant forgiveness from victims or indeed from the Chamber. The
5 crimes are too serious for that. In her plea of guilty, and certainly in
6 her dealings with my office, the accused has not sought to gain personal
7 advantage or to evade responsibility for what she herself has done. But
8 the fact of the plea in itself must be an important step towards
9 reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It must help to break down
10 revisionism and denial, and I hope that it will compel others to face up
11 to the reality of what happened during the conflict.
12 Your Honours, the Chamber will hear more on these aspects of the
13 plea from eminent witnesses called to give evidence in the course of the
14 next two days, as it will hear more on the crimes themselves and the role
15 played by Mrs. Plavsic. In their commission, I would now, therefore, ask
16 Mr. Harmon to outline in greater detail to you exactly how the proceedings
17 will unfold.
18 Thank you very much, Mr. President.
19 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Madam Prosecutor.
20 Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good morning to my
21 learned friends from the Defence.
22 The purpose of my opening remarks is to provide you with an
23 overview of the oral and written evidence that the Prosecution and the
24 Defence will adduce at this hearing and to identify for you the witnesses
25 who will testify and to describe the nature of their testimonies.
1 Both the parties in this litigation have conscientiously
2 endeavoured to identify critical issues and evidence that can assist Your
3 Honours in determining what is a just sentence for Mrs. Plavsic for her
4 admitted criminal responsibility for a crime against humanity. During the
5 next two days, we will present this evidence to you.
6 In considering the legal framework for this sentencing hearing,
7 the parties have considered the Statute of the Tribunal, the Tribunal's
8 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and the jurisprudence of the Tribunal.
9 We are in agreement as to the factors that are proper and relevant for
10 your consideration, and we have addressed each of them comprehensively in
11 our respective sentences briefs that were filed on the 25th of November,
12 2002. Those factors are:
13 One, the gravity of the offence;
14 Two, the individual circumstances of the convicted person;
15 Three, any aggravating and mitigating circumstances;
16 And four, the general practice regarding prison sentences in the
17 courts of the former Yugoslavia.
18 During the course of the next two days, we will be focussing our
19 attention on and presenting evidence about the first three of those
20 factors. The fourth factor, that is, the general practice regarding
21 prison sentences in the courts of the former Yugoslavia, will not be
22 addressed by the Prosecutor during this evidentiary hearing, as we have
23 addressed it comprehensively in our sentencing brief at paragraphs 35
24 through 39.
25 The evidence that will be submitted to you in the next two days
1 will be divided into three distinct blocks of evidence. The hearing will
2 commence with Prosecution witnesses and evidence that will focus on the
3 gravity of the offence to which Mrs. Plavsic has entered a guilty plea.
4 According to the jurisprudence of this Tribunal, it is the most important
5 factor to consider in determining sentence. I refer Your Honours to the
6 Trial Chamber judgments in Delalic and Kupreskic and to the Appeals
7 Chamber judgment in Aleksovski.
8 Now, turning to the crime to which Mrs. Plavsic has entered a
9 guilty plea. Its scale is simply immense. Count 3 of the indictment in
10 the four schedules annexed to it describe a persecutory campaign that was
11 waged in 37 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina between July 1991 and
12 December of 1992. The victims of this discriminatory campaign were
13 principally Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, although other victims
14 from other ethnic groups were ensnared in its hideous web. I refer, for
15 example, to the Bosnian Serbs who rejected the policies of Mrs. Plavsic
16 and who remained in Sarajevo throughout the long and terrible siege.
17 The persecutory campaign that was directed at non-Serbs included
18 killings, unlawful detentions, destruction of non-Serb homes, businesses
19 sacred sites and the forcible expulsion of whole populations of non-Serbs
20 from areas claimed by the Bosnian Serbs.
21 We acknowledge at the outset of this hearing, Mr. President, and
22 Your Honours, that we cannot present the evidence that comprehensively
23 addresses the magnitude of the collective and the individual human
24 suffering and the material destruction that resulted from this persecutory
25 campaign, nor can we fully demonstrate the corrosive consequences of this
1 campaign and what consequences occurred in 1991 and 1992 and continue
2 presently today to erode the social fabric in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A
3 fortiori, our submissions are but the dust on the mountain of human
4 experience and suffering and can only be illustrative of the past and
5 present consequence of this crime against humanity.
6 We propose that the voice of the victims be heard through four
7 Prosecution witnesses. The first of these Prosecution witnesses will be
8 Mr. Mirsad Tokaca. He's a representative of Bosnian state commission that
9 was established in 1992 to gather and collect evidence of war crimes
10 committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and his testimony will touch on the
11 scale and the scope of the crimes committed and the impact on the
12 victims. He will also discuss how a failure to talk openly about these
13 crimes impedes reconciliation.
14 The second Prosecution witness will be Mr. Adil Draganovic, who is
15 a representative from the Alliance of Former Camp Inmates of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. His testimony on behalf of thousands of former camp
17 detainees will focus on the camps, the conditions in some of these
18 facilities, and the impact that these detention crimes had on the lives of
19 the detainees, including his own life, and he will share with Your Honours
20 his personal experience as a detainee in both Sanski Most and in the
21 Manjaca camp.
22 The third Prosecution witness will be Mrs. Teufika
23 Ibrahimefendic. Mrs. Ibrahimefendic is a psychotherapist and clinical
24 coordinator at Viva Zene, a non-governmental organisation based in Tuzla
25 but was established in 1994 and which is funded by the European
1 Community. Viva Zene provides psychosocial support to victims of war,
2 specifically to women and to children. Her testimony will permit
3 Your Honours to hear from a clinical practitioner's point of view the
4 effects of war trauma on victims and the effects of that trauma on the
5 victims today, ten years after these crimes occurred.
6 We will augment the testimony of these three witnesses with
7 written submissions of two types. First, we will augment the testimonies
8 with submissions of witnesses who have testified in other cases. We have
9 selected victim testimony from eight past or ongoing trials. Those trials
10 being the Tadic, Jelisic, Krnojelac, Stakic, Kvocka, Brdjanin and Talic,
11 and Vasiljevic cases. We will also submit to Your Honours an expert
12 demographics report which was prepared by demographers Ewa Tabeau and
13 Marcin Zoltkowski, that illustrates the significant decline of the
14 non-Serb population in the 37 municipalities that were claimed by the
15 Bosnian Serbs.
16 The segment focussing on victims will conclude with the testimony
17 of Professor Elie Wiesel, author, moralist, and recipient of the Nobel
18 Peace Prize. He will address Your Honours on behalf of the victims and
19 their need and humanity's need for justice to be rendered in this case.
20 The second segment of evidence will relate to factors in
21 mitigation. The Defence will guide you through this portion of the
22 hearing. These factors do not derogate from the gravity of the crime, but
23 they may mitigate from the sentence to be imposed. Indeed, Mr. President
24 and Your Honours, the Prosecutor has identified in paragraph 22 of its
25 sentencing brief factors in mitigation that we believe merit your
1 consideration. Those factors include Mrs. Plavsic's entry of a guilty
2 plea, her acceptance of responsibility, her remorse, her voluntary
3 surrender to the Tribunal, her age, her post-war conduct, and her previous
4 good character.
5 The Defence witnesses who will testify on behalf of Mrs. Plavsic
6 are Milorad Dodik, who is the president of the Party of Independent Social
7 Democrats in the Republika Srpska; Ambassador Carl Bildt, the first high
8 representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and Ambassador Robert Frowick, the
9 former OSCE head of mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 The final block of evidence will be witnesses who are common
11 witnesses to both the Prosecution and the Defence. Their testimony will
12 focus on Mrs. Plavsic's plea of guilty and how it has contributed to the
13 establishment of truth for the events described in the indictment and how
14 that plea can contribute to reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
15 parties to this litigation share the view that it is only through the
16 establishment of truth about what occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina that
17 the fragile and vital process of reconciliation can begin.
18 Furthermore, we agree that it is only through the establishment of
19 truth that the unhealthy shackles of revision that debilitate the former
20 Yugoslavia and that foster suspicion, ethnic hatred, and civil unrest can
21 be broken.
22 The witnesses who will testify in this segment of the hearing are
23 Ambassador Madeline K. Albright, former US Permanent Representative to
24 the United Nations from 1993 to 1997 and former United States Secretary of
25 State from 1997 to 2001. She will be examined by both of the parties.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The second witness will be Dr. Alex Boraine, who is a former member of
2 parliament in South Africa, and he has served as the Deputy Chairperson of
3 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is the founding president of
4 the International Centre for Transitional Justice.
5 Finally, the evidentiary portion of the hearing will conclude by a
6 statement to the Trial Chamber by Mrs. Plavsic. On Wednesday afternoon,
7 the parties will make their final submission, and it will be Mr. Alan
8 Tieger, my colleague, who will make those submissions on behalf of the
9 Office of the Prosecutor. It is the expectation and the hope of both the
10 parties in this historic litigation that the evidence adduced during the
11 next two days of hearing will assist you in your deliberations and in your
12 arriving at a just and proper sentence. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Harmon, there's one matter I would be grateful if
14 you would deal with. It doesn't appear in the submissions or the briefs.
15 Or if it does, then I've overlooked it. That concerns the issue of
16 cooperation with the Prosecutor. It is one of the factors which we are
17 bidden to take account of, and I can see no reference to it. Perhaps you
18 would like to think about what you would say about that and address us on
19 it, and the Defence also, if there's anything they want to address us on
20 that topic.
21 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll hear the evidence.
23 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Might I make a brief opening statement,
24 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course.
1 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning to the
2 Trial Chamber and to my learned friends from the Office of the
4 Your Honour, it is not an overstatement, we believe, to describe
5 what will take place in this courtroom over the next three days as the
6 most important sentencing hearing which has been or will be conducted at
7 this Tribunal. A political leader charged with serious violations of
8 international law, including crimes against humanity, has voluntarily
9 submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. Subsequently, she
10 acknowledged that forces under leadership which included her conducted a
11 campaign of persecution which was organised, systematic, and widespread.
12 She has admitted guilt and accepted legal responsibility for her part in
13 this persecution. This admission and acknowledgement is detailed in the
14 documented factual basis of her guilty plea made public this morning. We
15 are confident that this document will withstand the intense scrutiny to
16 which it is certain to be subjected.
17 Against this admission of guilt and acceptance of responsibility,
18 the Trial Chamber must weigh Biljana Plavsic's extraordinary acts of
19 leadership and courage after the war, her acceptance of responsibility
20 before this Tribunal, and the effects of this hearing itself, which she
21 sees as an opportunity to build toward reconciliation. Her acts of
22 mitigation extend to the mission of the Tribunal, which itself was created
23 to restore peace and security to the region by establishing accountability
24 and promoting reconciliation. International diplomats at the highest
25 level will testify that Biljana Plavsic was instrumental, if not
1 indispensable in implementing the Dayton Peace Accords in the months and
2 years following the agreement. As president of Republika Srpska, and at
3 great personal and political risk, Mrs. Plavsic confronted corrupt
4 political and governmental structures, exposed and fought organised crime,
5 and took strong measures to re-establish the rule of law following the
7 In addition to her work implementing the Dayton Agreement, the
8 Chamber will be asked to consider the positive effects of her guilty plea
9 as the only political leader willing to step forward and act responsibly
10 for wrongs committed during the war. This is seen as so important that a
11 number of highly respected international politicians and moral leaders,
12 including Nobel Peace laureates have volunteered to participate in this
14 Finally, Mrs. Plavsic will address herself to this Chamber and the
15 people she had the responsibility to serve as leader. In the end, this
16 Chamber will be left to pronounce a sentence which will reflect all
17 aspects of this extraordinary hearing. Those are my opening remarks on
18 behalf of
19 Mrs. Plavsic.
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
21 Yes, the Prosecution to call its evidence.
22 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, the first witness is Mr. Mirsad Tokaca.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you would like to take a seat.
3 WITNESS: MIRSAD TOKACA
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I begin by noting that the
6 Prosecution has prepared and the Court has been provided with some binders
7 containing proposed exhibits. In that connection, I would ask the Court's
8 permission for Ms. Javier to take her place adjacent to the witness in
9 order to facilitate with the presentation of the exhibits for the
10 following two witnesses.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Examined by Mr. Tieger:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tokaca.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Can you tell the Court your present position, sir.
17 A. I am now, and as from 1992 - to be more precise, August of 1992 -
18 secretary of the state commission for collecting facts regarding war
19 crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, I'm not receiving any translation.
21 Q. Mr. Tokaca, how long have you served in that position?
22 A. For more than ten years. In August, it was exactly ten years, so
23 ten years and four months.
24 Q. Mr. Tokaca, when was the commission with which you have served for
25 that period of time established?
1 A. The commission was established by a decision of the Presidency of
2 the 28th of April, 1992.
3 Q. And what was its purpose?
4 A. Its role is to collect all relevant facts relating to crimes
5 against humanity, grave violations of human rights, and all relevant
6 documents, material evidence, witness statements, reports of competent
7 international state and non-governmental institutions which during that
8 period were involved in one way or another in the developments in
10 In addition to that, the task of the commission was to establish
11 contact with non-governmental organisations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
12 outside Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a view to collecting information from
13 them that they had at their disposal, and also to seek to inform the
14 public as to what was happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina. One of the
15 important tasks of this commission was to create an atmosphere within
16 which people would freely and without fear speak about what had happened
17 to them.
18 And finally, one of the very important tasks of the commission was
19 to cooperate with bodies of the United Nations, which in that period were
20 involved in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I have in mind, in the
21 first place, the commission of experts of the United Nations and also
22 investigating teams that came to Bosnia-Herzegovina, our aim being to help
23 them in their investigation.
24 Q. Can you tell us briefly the professional and ethnic backgrounds of
25 those who served on the commission.
1 A. Not only customarily but according to the laws that were in force,
2 all the bodies that were formed in Bosnia-Herzegovina were multi-ethnic.
3 So the commission had two parts, the expert and political part.
4 The political part of the body consisted of three members: one
5 Bosniak, one Croat, and one Serb. And the expert segment or section that
6 I led was also multi-ethnic. Though, we couldn't apply the criterium
7 fully because there were 20 experts involved and the prime consideration
8 was their capability. We wanted them to be independent, intellectuals,
9 professionals who could in a professional manner achieve their task at the
10 highest possible standard. It was multi-ethnic. There were Jews, Serbs,
11 Bosniaks, Croats, and of different religions as well.
12 Q. Mr. Tokaca, although I don't want to go into great detail about
13 the methodology adopted by the commission, I'd like you to provide the
14 Court with some understanding of the approach that was taken in gathering
15 the evidence in fulfillment of the commission's mandate.
16 A. We were guided by the conventions on human rights and the Geneva
17 Conventions on the customs of war, so that the methodology we applied was
18 based on those documents.
19 The main instruments we used were, in the first place, interviews
20 with witnesses and victims, people who were actually victims or who had
21 indirect knowledge as to what happened to some other people. Of course,
22 in addition to those direct contacts, there was investigation on the site,
23 collecting photo and video documents, and various other reports which
24 could assist in our in-depth investigations. For, I am sure, Their
25 Honours and everyone following these proceedings will realise that these
1 were only initial stages and nobody knew what would really happen
2 ultimately, so that these were quite new and novel developments to which
3 we had to adjust.
4 Q. Can you give the Court some idea of the scope of the commission's
5 work. Approximately how many documents has the commission gathered?
6 A. It is really a very voluminous undertaking. To this day, we have
7 collected almost a million pages of various documents, more than 5.000
8 statements in our archives, various reports, about 20.000 photographs,
9 videotapes, and a large number of other documents and reports of the
10 institutions that I have already mentioned.
11 Q. And how many witnesses has the commission interviewed?
12 A. More than 5.000.
13 Q. How many witnesses, Mr. Tokaca, have you personally met with and
14 talked to about their experiences?
15 A. With more than 1.000 witnesses. Of course, it was not my task to
16 take statements from them. My task was to establish the initial contact
17 with them. And if the situation so required - because these were large
18 teams consisting mostly of volunteers - then I, too, would take statements
19 from witnesses. But I can say that I certainly read all 5.000
21 Q. Have you also travelled to areas where crimes took place?
22 A. Of course. This was a component part of my activities and my main
23 task, because I realised from the moment -- from the first moment that
24 without looking for victims, it is impossible to establish the facts. In
25 the conditions we were working in, in a town under siege, I and my
1 associates availed myself of every possible opportunity to get out of
2 Sarajevo, either on foot or when the blue routes were opened, to visit all
3 the locations which were of interest to us. On the one hand, to establish
4 contact with potential witnesses; and on the other, to develop our own
5 network, which we managed to establish in Tuzla, Zenica, Travnik, Mostar,
6 in a number of places, because that is what the situation required of us.
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I ask that Exhibit 1 be placed on
8 the ELMO.
9 Q. Mr. Tokaca, Exhibit 1 depicts the 37 municipalities that are
10 listed in this indictment. Let me ask you, sir, if you are familiar with
11 the events that took place in those municipalities through your work with
12 the commission.
13 A. Regarding any place on this map, be it marked in blue or still
14 remaining white, virtually from each of these municipalities we have data
15 and I am personally familiar as to what was going on in those
17 Q. Mr. Tokaca, in light of your decade-long efforts with the
18 commission, I'd like to ask you to provide the Court with some assistance
19 concerning the details of the events listed in the indictment and to which
20 Mrs. Plavsic has pled guilty, and I'd like you to concentrate your
21 testimony, of course, on the 37 municipalities shown in Exhibit 1 and upon
22 the events that took place in 1992.
23 First, Mr. Tokaca, I'd like to ask you about the relative size of
24 the Muslim and Croat communities in the municipalities that are shown on
25 Exhibit 1. Were Muslims and Croats the majority population in a number of
1 those municipalities?
2 A. As you said yourself, you are familiar with the structure of
3 Bosnia. In some places the Bosniaks were irrelative and some an absolute
4 majority. In some municipalities, like Bijeljina, the Serbs were in the
5 relative or absolute majority. It is not possible to find a single area
6 which can be considered clearly dominated by one ethnicity. For instance,
7 Foca, the proportion was 51 to 49 per cent. The same applied, for
8 instance, to Cajnice. Visegrad, more than 50 per cent were Bosniaks.
9 Rogatica, 60 per cent were Bosniaks. Bijeljina had a majority Serbian
10 population. Bratunac had about 80 per cent Bosniak population. So when
11 talking about municipalities in the eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
12 with the exception of Bijeljina municipality, most of the municipalities
13 had a majority Bosniak population.
14 In Brcko, it was more mixed because there were Croats, Bosniaks,
15 and Serbs. The relative majority were the Bosniaks. And going towards
16 Bosnian Krajina, from Doboj, via Prnjavor, Prnjavor had a majority Serb
17 population; Banja Luka, again a relative majority were Serbs. But no one
18 had an absolute majority. In Prijedor the relative majority were
19 Bosniaks. Sanski Most was half half; Kljuc, also. So either these
20 municipalities had a Bosniak majority or the population was more or less
21 balanced evenly between the various ethnic groups.
22 Q. Were you able to determine from the witnesses you spoke to the
23 nature of their lives before the war with their neighbours of other
24 ethnicities? What was communal life like according to the witnesses who
25 met with the commission?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Actually, we would begin each of our interviews with that
2 question, what the relations were like before the war. And my experience
3 tells me - and I can only speak on the basis of the reading of those
4 witness statements - that the answers were that they were harmonious,
5 tolerant, relations of mutual respect. There was a firm social structure
6 that existed based on firm rules of reciprocal respect. There were people
7 living together. I am talking about towns now, with 50 to 100,000 people,
8 where that was even more true where people could not be identified by
9 their ethnic or religious affiliation. And a very pronounced
10 characteristic of Bosnian Krajina, that people would be best men in each
11 other's families. There were a lot of mixed marriages. It was a compact
12 social structure within which no ethnicity was isolated. Even in villages
13 which could be described as purer ethnically, though I do not like that
14 word, people from various villages communicated amongst each other.
15 We asked witnesses whether there were conflicts of any kind or
16 disputes based on religion, based on ethnicity, and not in a single
17 statement that I have read did people say that there were conflicts.
18 There may have been disputes over property, over land, plots at the
19 borders. Even between brothers and relatives these occur in Bosnia. But
20 they were never motivated by any ethnic affiliation or differences in
21 religion. So I can say as a person who spent all my life in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Sarajevo after all, was a harmonious life, when
23 people couldn't even recognise each other by name because there were many
24 names on the basis of which you could not tell who was who.
25 Q. Mr. Tokaca, I'd like to turn now to what happened to those
1 communities and to the crimes listed in the indictment. Can you provide
2 the Court with some understanding of the scale of -- and scope of forcible
3 expulsions that took place in the 37 municipalities shown in Exhibit 1.
4 A. Very briefly. I can say that there were few municipalities in
5 which the brutality and scope of expulsion was an exception and not the
6 rule. So I will begin with the exceptions, even though they are not
7 linked to 1992 but are important in the overall context.
8 There's only one place that can be an exception, and that is a
9 locality close to Bijeljina, called Janja, in which people remained to
10 live but they were expelled in 1995; and partly Banja Luka, which from
11 1992 until the end did have cases of expulsions but all the people were
12 not expelled. Everything else, going from Zvornik, Bratunica, Vlasenica,
13 Visegrad, and the other municipalities in Eastern Bosnia, and especially
14 along the Sana River Valley, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc, these places
15 were really subjected to brutal expulsions accompanied by violence,
16 because only by brute force was it possible to separate people. The
17 Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats did not live in isolated communities that
18 could be controlled, so it was only by brute force that people could be
19 separated, some expelled, and others kept to stay. So all these areas
20 that I have mentioned were subjected to forcible expulsions in the first
21 place of the Bosniak population but also the Croats. When talking about
22 Croats, they lived around Brcko and in very small numbers around the Drina
23 River. But they did live in Prijedor, Sanski Most, and Kljuc. So the
24 method was basically always the same, lightning attacks, shelling, and
25 then mechanised units entering villages and towns, the beginning of
1 violence, and everything else that followed.
2 Q. Mr. Tokaca, the Court has been provided with a demographic report
3 which illustrates the disparity in the populations of the Muslim and Croat
4 communities in the various municipalities between 1991 and 1997. In Foca,
5 for example, where the percentage of Muslims and Croats was 51 per cent in
6 1991, it was 3.8 per cent in 1997. Can you provide us with any indication
7 of the extent to which those expulsions took place in 1992 as opposed to
8 any succeeding years?
9 A. Actually, 70 per cent, and I can assert that with a great degree
10 of certainty, occurred in 1992. In fact, the year 1992 was a key year for
11 everything that would follow. And in particular, the period from April
12 until the end of 1992, and in particular, May, June, July, and August.
13 They were months of intensive expulsion of people from their age-old
14 homes. And I can tell you that today, as I sit in this courtroom, only
15 6 per cent of the expelled population has actually physically returned to
16 these areas, the Podrinje area, that is, the Drina River valley.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tieger, it would be helpful to know, when we deal
18 with figures like 70 per cent, what the number of that is. Obviously, it
19 can only be an estimate, but it would be helpful to us to know what that
20 is, if you would come to that at some stage, please.
21 MR. TIEGER: Certainly, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Tokaca, can you provide the Court with some guidance on the
23 specific numbers of Muslims and Croats expelled from the various
24 municipalities, recognising, sir, that you don't have those figures in
25 front of you, and that, as I mentioned before, there is a demographic
1 report which provides the differences between the 1991 populations and the
2 1997 populations.
3 With respect to any particular municipalities, for example, can
4 you indicate the scale of the expulsions based on the raw numbers of
5 people who were expelled?
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, and remembering we're dealing with 1992 here.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, of course. Of course,
8 Your Honour. I am focussing on 1992, but I'm just trying to make some
9 comparisons. By way of example, Foca: If you know that 51 per cent of
10 the population were Bosniaks and if you know that after the end of 1992,
11 there were virtually no Bosniaks left there, then it's pure mathematics.
12 Out of the 50.000, 50 per cent is 25.000, which means about 25 or 24.000
13 people were actually expelled from their homes. They didn't live there
14 any more. The situation was similar in Bratunac, people who ended up in
15 the Srebrenica enclave. I said that Bijeljina was to some extent an
16 exception, where everything was over at the end of March, beginning of
17 April, and a lot of people remained to live there, especially in Janja.
18 And that is an exception. As for all the others, Sanski Most, Kljuc,
19 Prijedor, more or less, the situation there was similar; that is, an
20 enormous number, the vast majority of people, left their homes not
21 voluntarily but by force. They were forced out.
22 Q. And perhaps you can provide the Court with some additional
23 understanding of the nature and the scope of the expulsions if we focus
24 even more narrowly on particular villages.
25 Were there some villages occupied by Muslims or Croats that no
1 longer existed after the campaign of persecutions in 1992?
2 A. Of course. An enormous number of villages which physically are
3 totally destroyed and no longer exist. In our archives, in our register,
4 our analyses show that more than 800, that is, 850 villages, have totally
5 been razed to the ground, especially in the areas I have been referring
6 to, so that in those villages, there are no inhabitants, be they Croats or
8 There's a whole series of villages. We could list them; we could
9 name them. For example, villages in which entire families have
10 disappeared, Srnja, Jelicka. In the area of Sanski Most and Kljuc, the
11 Draganovic family, the Potonic family. Then the village of Biljani in
12 which 250 people were killed in a single day. So one could list these
13 examples endlessly. I thought that my time was limited and wish to
14 respect that limit, but I do have some notes if I may be allowed to use
15 them. I could give you names of families or villages in which people
16 disappeared in a day.
17 In Nevesinje, the Colak/Hodzic family. And we found in a well
18 people who were killed. They were elderly, 70, 80, 90 years old. The
19 Stedin village. The well-known cases in Visegrad, the burning in
20 Pionirska Street, in Alispahic Mehmed's house where only one woman
21 survived. Then Foca. I have listed here about 10 families which have
22 been exterminated, Srnja; Hajric; Hodzic, nine members; Ceric, eight
23 members; Selimovic, 7; and so on and so on. I thought that this Tribunal
24 has already been provided with much of this evidence so that I didn't
25 think that it would be necessary for me to provide additional evidence.
1 But unfortunately, it is a very, very long list of villages, Hrnici,
2 Velagic, Biljani, Krasulje, Srnjani, Pehovo, Krustovo, Ogruc, in which
3 entire families or a large number of family members were killed in one
4 day; others expelled; villages destroyed.
5 I visited some of those villages after the war, and it was very
6 hard to find a single house intact. I visited Kozarac. I couldn't go
7 there immediately after the war. I went there in 1997, and it was already
8 in the reconstruction phase. But one couldn't judge from that everything
9 that had been destroyed. So unfortunately, the list is very long. And if
10 I were to go through it, it would take days.
11 Q. In the villages you mentioned, how long had there been a Muslim or
12 Croat presence and community?
13 A. All those people -- that is to say, when we're talking about the
14 Bosniaks and the Croats who had lived there and who were expelled, but the
15 Serbs, too, that lived alongside them, these were all people who had lived
16 there for centuries. They were people who had very deep roots there.
17 They had their traditions there, their customs, their culture, their
18 monuments, their cemeteries. So these were all families who had lived
19 there for a very long time, lived in the area for a long time. They were
20 not people who had moved into the area recently. For the most part, they
21 were people who had lived there a long time.
22 Q. Well, let's turn our attention, now, then to the means that were
23 employed to forcibly expel those people from those communities.
24 Beginning, for example, in Eastern Bosnia where the first wave of
25 expulsions began, can you provide the Court with some understanding of the
1 means that were used to force the Muslims and Croats from their
3 A. The method was always the same, it never differed in that period,
4 April - or rather the end of March and April 1992. There were no major
5 differences. There were these precipitous lightning artillery attacks,
6 the bombing of villages, the entry of units. Well-trained tank armoured
7 units would storm the villages. And you have a whole scale of violence
8 that was unleashed from that moment on.
9 I said a moment ago, and let me remind you of that, if I may, that
10 they wished to use brute force. Brute force was used to frighten the
11 people, to get them moving. There was no other way of doing it. So there
12 were killings. The killings that took place took place largely straight
13 away. There were lists that these people had with respect to the
14 different units. They were well-trained units who stormed the villages,
15 and then what followed was a manhunt. The women were separated from the
16 men. They were taken off in unknown directions to camps, to prisons.
17 There were expulsions and persecutions. People were expulsed to other
18 areas. And others who were not expulsed, they were frightened and fled to
19 other areas. For example, a portion of the people from Bratunac escaped
20 towards Srebrenica. From Vlasenica, the same thing happened. If they
21 weren't able to go to Tuzla and Svornik, they would try and escape towards
22 Srebrenica. And the people of Visegrad from the Zepa enclave. And the
23 people who were not able to flee in those first few days would take
24 shelter and refuge there.
25 And for a long time, although the people were hit by such a great
1 calamity, they were taken by surprise, they were shocked. They just
2 couldn't believe that something like that was going on. And they expected
3 that things might come to an end, that it would all go away. So people
4 just didn't believe that this was happening, and many people paid with
5 their lives for staying on their own thresholds at home. And when you
6 asked me for how long people had been living there and when I spoke about
7 the traditions of life in the area, according to Bosnian tradition, for
8 all people they were all very closely connected to their homes. And the
9 people were very loathe to leave their thresholds, leave their homes, and
10 many of them paid with their lives for their disbelief about what was
11 going on.
12 And in this whole scale of violence, which took different forms,
13 there were sexual assaults there. Women were raped. And I don't think
14 you can find a single town on this map - that has been recorded on this
15 map, of course, somewhere, the intensity was high, such as in Foca, for
16 example. Bratunac, Vlasenica, cases in points, Svornik, Prijedor, Brcko,
17 and so on, where you have a very high level of rapes that took place. But
18 they were rapes - how can I put this - and an expert expressed this at a
19 meeting recently: They weren't an expression of sexuality or sexual need
20 and sexual gratification. It was an attempt to demonstrate the sexual act
21 as an expression of violence so that in traditional families - and Bosnia,
22 as you know, is a traditional, conservative area - regardless of the
23 economic group of people, you can see similar characteristics. And rape
24 was always considered a tarnishing of honour for any family. So this was,
25 I think, a bomb that exploded, and the waves that the bomb issued led to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 terrible fear amongst the population.
2 And in addition to the rapes, I can also enumerate tens of other
3 forms of abuse: The killing of a hodza, for example, in a school in
4 Bratunac, for example. He was ordered to drink some alcohol or to change
5 his faith, and he refused to do so and they killed him. So there was this
6 violence and humiliation, and they were targeting the population to
7 humiliate it, to humiliate the victims, so that every self-respect would
8 be stifled in the victims. I know that my time is limited, so I will take
9 care of the time and not use up too much of Their Honours' time.
10 Q. For those people who remained, for those Muslims and Croats who
11 remained in the municipalities after the initial attacks, and for those
12 who were not taken away to camps, can you describe, beyond the description
13 you've just provided, what life was like for those Muslims and Croats?
14 Did they -- what was the nature of their civil life in those communities
15 before the time they actually were expelled or fled in fear?
16 A. I am talking about what people said in their statements; that is
17 my basis. And I can take that as an example, and also I took the example
18 of Janja, which was an exception, whereas the people lived there in 1992
19 and they were expelled in 1995. And we asked them what the conditions
20 were in which they lived, and all of them said that they were permanently
21 afraid, expecting somebody to come and knock at their door and expel them
22 from their own homes, to take them away to do forced labour, because the
23 people were exposed to humiliating behaviour, conduct.
24 They were a highly -- some of them were high intellectuals, and
25 they were sent out to clean the streets. They were treated as second-rate
1 citizens in those towns, Banja Luka, for example, or towns in which there
2 were no military operations at one point, Prijedor and those areas. In
3 that period, they were quite uncertain as to their fate, and they had no
4 legal protection. The laws did not protect them. There were no laws to
5 protect these people in any situation that might arise.
6 Looting, the storming and ransacking of houses on the pretext that
7 they were searching for weapons, taking personal property and so on, so
8 that there was this general insecurity for the people that remained there.
9 Q. Were Muslims and Croats separately identified from Serbs in those
10 municipalities? Were there ways of marking who was a Muslim or Croat or
11 identifying who was a Muslim or Croat in contrast to a Serb?
12 A. This was how it was: People knew each other very well. They knew
13 who lived where. However, there were even some cases in Krajina, for
14 example, in Prijedor and Sanski Most, where they placed bands, ribbons, on
15 people. And there were statements where this is mentioned, although this
16 was not widespread. There were individual cases in which people were
17 branded in this way. There was no need for that because people knew each
18 other very well, and so the people that stayed on knew who they were.
19 They knew each other.
20 Q. You mentioned the taking of personal property and the destruction
21 of personal property. Can you give the Court some idea of what happened
22 to the cultural property, the monuments and sacred sites of the Muslims
23 and Croats in those municipalities.
24 A. Well, it was like this: I said that to all intents and purposes
25 people's lives would end in a flash. They would leave with something they
1 could carry in a carrier bag or put in a rucksack. Now, "looting" meant
2 the destruction and seizure of property, and this took place in two ways.
3 And I should like to ask the Court's indulgence to describe this.
4 Private property was taken. Private property was destroyed.
5 Valuables were taken away. Gold, which is part of the culture of the
6 Bosniak people -- they knew that they possessed gold. It was a
7 tradition. It wasn't a question of the material value, the worth of those
8 items. They had cultural, historical value. Many families had things of
9 great value too. But usually they brought back memories, and these
10 memories were taken away from them.
11 When you talk about cultural and historical heritage -- we're
12 dealing with towns along the Drina River or in the Krajina area - for
13 example Foca, Visegrad, Zvornik, cases in point - they were ancient towns
14 in which various buildings existed dating back from the Middle Ages to the
15 present day. And these buildings marked the region, and it was they that
16 were destroyed. Mosques were destroyed. Houses and buildings, which
17 through their architecture reminded the people of the traditions -- the
18 architectural traditions of the area, they were destroyed completely. The
19 names of towns, the toponyms were changed. Everything that in any way was
20 reminiscent of the past, this was destroyed. From Aladza, for example,
21 the Aladza Mosque in Foca, the mosques in other parts of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It wasn't five or ten. We're talking about hundreds
23 of buildings and facilities of this kind that were razed to the ground,
24 either by placing explosives there or because they -- the tankists
25 underwent training in those buildings and targeted them. They were
1 buildings that were destroyed or demolished. And I have a catalogue about
2 that, and we have an extensive archives with photographs as to where and
3 under what conditions those buildings were destroyed. And we're preparing
4 a special conference that will be held next year devoted to that topic,
5 but that's subject aside.
6 MR. TIEGER: Could I ask that Exhibit 2 be placed on the ELMO,
7 Your Honour.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Tokaca, do you recognise what is shown in Exhibit 2?
10 A. Yes, yes. That is the Aladza mosque in Foca, which is a pearl
11 amongst the cultural heritage in this part of Europe. I can say that
12 quite frankly. It is 450 years old. It is a building which could have
13 served to -- for people to be proud of it. And as I said, the Serb
14 authors have written beautiful things about this particular mosque and
15 others like it.
16 Q. Mr. Tokaca, turning to another subject. Did the commission
17 investigate the incidents of mass killings in the municipalities shown in
18 Exhibit 1?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you give us -- I'm sorry. I'm just asking if you could
21 provide the Court with some understanding of the scale of mass killings
22 that took place in 1992 in those municipalities.
23 A. 1992 is a key year when we're talking about these kinds of
24 events. And I wish to link it to the problem of missing persons directly
25 because I engaged in an extensive study for the UN commission. Mr. Mesud
1 Novak led the commission, which dealt with the problem of persons listed
2 as missing. And in studying this issue, he arrived at this conclusion:
3 The people who were collected, separated from their families, separated in
4 groups, women, children - and sometimes the women separated from their
5 children - were the object of mass killings. And that study showed this
6 unequivocally to me because the curve, the statistical curve of these
7 events in May, June, July showed that the largest portion, 80 per cent in
8 fact - and we excluded Srebrenica, because it wasn't relative at that
9 time - but they were concentrated in those first few months, or rather,
10 the middle months of the year 1992, May, June, July, August, to quote an
12 For example, of 208 persons who were listed missing in Dragosicka
13 [phoen], all of them disappeared in that period of 1992. So the problem
14 of their disappearance, the disappearance of people, and the mass killings
15 of people, and the mass graves that we were to discover later on confirmed
16 that out. And for the killing of 250 inhabitants of the Biljani village,
17 we knew about that in 1992 but we didn't know what was actually going to
18 happen. And it was only in 1996 when we exhumed the graves did we
19 discover the fate of the 188 people who were thrown into a military
20 compound near Kljuc, above Kljuc, on a slope, an elevation above Kljuc.
21 And there were other similar instances.
22 Q. How many incidents of mass killings were brought to your
23 attention, and how widespread were they?
24 A. Our investigations, although they comprised the entire period, but
25 without doubt 80 per cent -- I can safely say that 80 per cent of those
1 events took place in 1992. And we recorded 1.100 cases of mass killings
2 of persons and 320 sites, potential sites where these bodies can be
3 found. And for the most part, these investigations are underway today as
4 well and they are reliable information. So the scenario was like that. I
5 described it. I described how people were collected up and taken off in
6 unknown directions.
7 Of course, if we agree what we mean when we say "mass killings,"
8 because experts differ as to what the term "mass killing" means. Is it 3,
9 4, or 5 people, 50 people, 100 people, or a military operation in which
10 one day in individual sites and locations you kill 3 or 200 persons? So
11 what do we mean by "mass killings"? But the criteria we used was that it
12 is three or more persons at one given point in time and with the intent to
13 kill these people, when villages were stormed and persons found there
14 killed. Had there been more people in the village, more people would have
15 been killed most probably. Had fewer people been there, fewer people
16 would have fallen victim.
17 Q. Mr. Tokaca, before I move on, I failed to ask you about the mosque
18 shown in Exhibit 2. Can you tell us quickly what happened to that
20 A. It was mined, blown up. And I visited the site. Parts of the
21 mosque were found scattered along the Drina River bank. Other pieces of
22 it were scattered and dispersed. And there were other similar examples in
23 which buildings of this kind were blown up.
24 Q. And did that happen in 1992?
25 A. Yes, 1992.
1 Q. Mr. Tokaca, you spoke about mass killings. Did you launch a
2 project in an effort to determine how many people had been killed in
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina during the conflict?
4 A. Yes. Everything that happened in those five years led me to
5 undertake one project. And there are two reasons for that, very vital for
6 what we're doing, regardless of the importance for this Tribunal, but for
7 the purposes of this Tribunal. For example, the victims in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina are still being manipulated. After the end of military
9 operations, a list was not drawn up, a regular population census to see
10 how many victims there were. So investigations of this kind were not
11 undertaken. There are still tendencies to cover up the facts and figures
12 about the victims and casualties, and they are -- the victims are being
13 manipulated. But we shall endeavour to complete our project and to arrive
14 at precise data as to all the victims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all those who
15 were, according to the 1991 population census, inhabitants of BH. We will
16 register the civilian victims, people who were killed in different ways,
17 people who were members of different military formations, units.
18 And the third category, the third part of the project would
19 comprise of the persons who are listed as missing. We do have certain
20 records and files, and this is an open issue, an outstanding issue. And
21 in our assessment, it is 20 per cent of the total number of victims. So
22 it is our goal in the coming two years, if possible, to complete this
23 project and have a complete list of all the victims. At this point in
24 time, in our database we have 90.000 names of victims. But this is an
25 incomplete project, as I say. It has not been finished yet. And I am
1 fully conscious of the fact that it must be completed if the truth is to
2 be seen in its complexity and entirety.
3 JUDGE KWON: Just before you go on, Mr. Tieger, I wonder if the
4 state commission to which this witness, Mr. Tokaca, belonged has ever
5 produced or published a comprehensive report of what the commission has
6 found so far and whether it's available in either one of our working
8 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Tokaca, can you provide the Court with guidance
9 on that.
10 A. Yes, I can. Of course. Unfortunately, a comprehensive report has
11 not yet been drawn up. We are applying a different method. As the scope
12 of the crime, the massive scale of the crimes, as such it cannot be
13 recorded in one comprehensive report. And so in order to objectify this
14 whole issue -- and I can say that not all the research and investigations
15 have been completed because this is not possible yet. This is a
16 preparatory phase. We prepare individual reports on specific issues.
17 These are reports that are ongoing, and we're doing them together with
18 international experts and we have organised an international conference to
19 be held every other year in Sarajevo. And at these conferences we discuss
20 certain issues. In 1999, we looked at violence against women, for
21 example, assaults against women. In 2001 we looked at the problem of
22 children. Next year we're going to look at the cultural and historical
23 heritage and problems related to that.
24 Once we complete that part of the project, we will undertake an
25 extensive report, which will be a sort of conclusion. They will represent
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 conclusions. And I am intensively involved in the commission for
2 reconciliation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We are have been working along
3 those lines for several years, and the scale and scope of the crimes are
4 the obstacle to having this extensive report, and the commission working
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MAY: Can you help us, give us some idea, dealing with the
8 scale of killings, how many people were killed in 1992, the period that we
9 are dealing with.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Without any doubt, Your Honour, yes,
11 I can tell you that. It is quite certain that in 1992, that that year,
12 1992, had the most massive victims, and the figure is not below 50.000.
13 But as I say, we will complete our data information, our facts and
15 But let me show you on the map and take it in order. Can we look
16 at the map. Let's start with Foca. The minimum number -- the lowest
17 number was 1.000 persons. Sanski Most, at least 1500 people. Prijedor,
18 at least 2.000 people. Bratunac, at least 1.000 persons. Zvornik -- the
19 same holds true for Zvornik. So using minimum figures, minimum estimates
20 in the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, this figure, as I say, would be a
21 minimum of 50.000 persons. Unfortunately, due to the limiting factors
22 that makes all this difficult - we're a small commission, just 15 members,
23 15-odd persons, most of them volunteers, people who worked on a voluntary
24 basis - they did not receive any assistance. We were unbiased,
25 unprejudiced. So within the frameworks of our possibilities and material
1 resources, we did what we could. But we do expect to get support to
2 complete the job to arrive at a final figure for the victims and
3 casualties, to avoid all manipulation with the figures of victims, which
4 does happen very often, because sometimes this figure exceeds 300.000 if
5 someone feels it is politically advantageous to bandy about figures of
6 that kind.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Mr. Tokaca, am I correct that the -- sir, the commission's mandate
9 was to identify victims of war crimes, irrespective of nationality?
10 A. Absolutely correct. We focussed throughout on the victims,
11 irrespective of ethnicity. We were not interested in classifying them in
12 this way or anything else.
13 Q. Then just to clarify. With respect to the -- to those killed whom
14 you identified in your answer before, in the 37 municipalities indicated
15 in the indictment, in such places as Foca and Bratunac and Zvornik, what
16 percentage of those persons killed were Muslims and Croats?
17 A. In all the municipalities, practically all those killed were
18 Bosniaks, Muslims, and Croats. There were even - and I have to say this.
19 I do apologise, but I have to say this - there were some Serbs who were
20 killed as well, some Serbs who helped their neighbours, Serbs who were
21 victims too, the victims of those who wanted through force to destroy all
22 the mutual links, the good neighbourly relations, the ties between
23 friends, between families on the basis of kumship relations, marriages as
24 well, mixed marriages. So when I go through all this database, it is
25 difficult to find a single municipality -- even if we focus on this circle
1 of municipalities alone that we're talking about in 1992, it is difficult
2 to find ones where Serbs, too, were not the victims of brute force in
3 cases when they attempted to assist their neighbours. So that if need
4 be - although I am not prepared for this - but if need be I could focus
5 more extensively on this. Although, I tried to rest on the important
6 points. But I must prevail upon you that that did happen too.
7 Q. Mr. Tokaca, you mentioned that you had been involved in work
8 toward reconciliation. In view of your lengthy efforts to identify the
9 scale and scope of the crimes committed and in light of your work toward
10 reconciliation, can I ask you your view of the potential contribution
11 toward reconciliation of Mrs. Plavsic's acknowledgement of the crimes and
12 acceptance of responsibility.
13 A. Absolutely so. On the very day that I read about this
14 recognition -- admission of guilt, some journalists came to me and I
15 stated this publicly. Although, in certain circles this triggered off a
16 different reaction, and there were people who did not agree with it. And
17 it was logical that there are such people. But it was my position that it
18 was an extremely courageous, brave, and important gesture and that it
19 represents support to what is the ultimate aim of all of us, I feel; that
20 at one point normal conditions of life should be resumed in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only in Bosnia-Herzegovina but in the entire
22 region as well. So I see this as being essential, and I do believe and
23 hope that this admission of guilt comes from the heart. And I don't wish
24 to doubt that it does. Indeed. It is a courageous gesture on the part of
25 a woman - and I repeat, a woman - who has come to realise, who has
1 understood that serious crimes against humanity did take place, and that
2 is why it is worthy of respect.
3 We can individually think what we like. But if we look at it in
4 general terms -- and let me also draw your attention to one other point:
5 There is still strong polarisation in Bosnia and in the entire region.
6 Criminals are still considered to be national heroes. And that is not a
7 good thing for peace. It is not a good thing for reconciliation amongst
8 people. And that is why I consider it to be so important. I consider,
9 and I know I am absolutely sure and certain, that there are many other
10 people who have not told their tales. And so when His Honour, the judge,
11 asked me whether we have completed our final report, I say we have not
12 because many stories have still to be told. And any such report would not
13 be comprehensive. It would not be the whole truth, as yet. And what this
14 August Tribunal is doing is a contribution to that whole truth and it is
15 particularly important for those people to speak up who in any way
16 perpetrated crimes, committed crimes, because I deeply believe and I am
17 quite sure from what I have been doing for the past ten years, that people
18 did crimes under different conditions and circumstances. Many of them
19 were pushed into them. They did not always do this of their own free
20 will. And that is why this recognition of guilt is so important, that we
21 can continue this narrative. For me, it would be a bad thing if
22 Mrs. Plavsic were to remain silent. She should speak up. She has to
23 speak up. She was a university professor. She worked with youth, with
24 the young people. She lived in my own town. And I knew her from that
25 ambiance, I know her as a university professor. So it is important for
1 our children. Not so much for us. It is important for your our
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would like to ask you if you can identify and
4 isolate in more specific terms why you believe the acknowledgement of guilt
5 will contribute to reconciliation. I mean, you have spoken generally. I
6 mean, can you be more specific.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When somebody acknowledges such a
8 grave crime, then this necessarily must have some influence on others who
9 have committed similar crimes because it is difficult to conceal such
10 acts. Because there are very intensive efforts being invested to conceal
11 crimes, and these efforts are still in evidence. Of course, I speak from
12 my own point of view. I still cannot get hold of certain facts which I
13 think are obvious, they shouldn't be a secret. But they are being
14 concealed. And these would clarify many things. Many people who are
15 aware of the sites of mass graves won't say where they are. So one
16 confession can start off a chain reaction. It could motivate other
17 people. It could assist them. I don't know how to be more specific in
18 explaining my view. This doesn't mean that somebody will not be held
19 responsible because he has confessed, but this requires inner strength on
20 the part of the individual. It's like when you start to topple dominos,
21 and we are in doing this beginning this process. And that is why I
22 consider this to be so important. I come from that area, and I know how
23 difficult it is for people to start talking and to confess. Even the
24 witnesses are afraid to speak. They are still afraid.
25 Just recently, in Banja Luka, for example, the broadcasting, a
1 very moving documentary film of a mother looking for her child who finally
2 found her has been banned. So this burden of silence is very dangerous
3 for any society, and that is why I think Mrs. Plavsic's acknowledgement of
4 guilt can be a motivating factor for many others. Of course, they will be
5 treated here in this Tribunal as individuals with all human rights
6 guaranteed by law, and of course they will get the penalty that they
7 deserve with all the mitigating circumstances that we are talking about
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We have come to the time for the break.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tieger, have you much longer with this witness?
11 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this is a perfectly appropriate time. I
12 have finished my questioning.
13 JUDGE MAY: You have finished. Any questions from the Defence for
14 this witness?
15 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very, well. Mr. Tokaca, that concludes your
17 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it.
18 You are free to go.
19 We'll adjourn now for half an hour.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honours.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 --- Recess taken at 11.06 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.37 a.m.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
25 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, the next witness will be Mr. Adil
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Harmon, he's going to testify pretty much as
3 to the happenings in 1992?
4 MR. HARMON: Yes, his testimony will be limited to the events in
5 1992, and specifically focussed on the camps, both in a broader sense and
6 his specific experiences in camps.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Would you be careful to structure the
8 questions so as to elicit the kind of evidence that we need.
9 MR. HARMON: Yes, I will. Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you would like to sit down.
15 WITNESS: ADIL DRAGANOVIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
18 Q. Mr. Draganovic, first of all, let me thank you for coming,
19 accepting the Prosecutor's invitation to enlighten the Trial Chamber about
20 the matter of detention facilities and camps. If you could begin, first
21 of all, by stating your full name and spelling your last name for the
22 record, please.
23 A. My name is Adil Draganovic.
24 Q. Could you spell your last name for the record, please.
25 A. A-D-I-L, first name. Draganovic: D-R-A-G-A-N-O-V-I-C.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Draganovic. Let's begin your examination by
2 focussing on your background. First, Mr. Draganovic, you are a law
3 graduate from the University of Sarajevo law school, and you graduated
4 from that institution in 1976. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Would you tell the Judges what your current profession is.
7 A. I am currently a judge, that is, president of the municipal court
8 in Sanski Most.
9 Q. When did you assume that position?
10 A. I have been a judge since 1982. I first worked as a judge in
11 Bosanska Dubica, and I have been working in Sanski Most since 1987. From
12 1988 -- ever since 1988, I have been president of the court in Sanski
14 Q. And you are a Bosniak. Is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. I would like to turn my attention to the Alliance of Former Camp
17 Inmates in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And if you could tell the Judges what
18 that alliance is, what its origins are, and what its purpose and goals
20 A. The Alliance of Detainees of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a voluntary
21 association of citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, former camp inmates. It is
22 a multi-ethnic alliance formed in 1996, mostly by citizens of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina who spent some time in concentration camps during the
24 aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina. The aim of the alliance is to draw
25 up a list of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and other people who
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 spent time in the concentration camps of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the
2 aggression for the period from 1992 until 1995, and to make a list and
3 classification of detention places, camps, to list them for the whole
4 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to provide appropriate documentation
5 for presenting the truth about the aggression against Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina primarily for the needs of criminal processing of war crimes
7 committed in the territory Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those who had formed,
8 founded, planned, and committed acts of violation of international norms
9 in the areas which we call concentration camps.
10 The Alliance of Camp Inmates of Bosnia-Herzegovina is comprised of
11 municipal associations and cantonal associations of camp inmates and the
12 regional association of camp inmates for the territory of Republika
13 Srpska, as well as the association of camp inmates formed abroad in the
14 countries in which former inmates of concentration camps are now
16 Q. Mr. Draganovic, what is your position within that organisation?
17 A. I am a member of that organisation, and on a voluntary basis I am
18 a legal advisor and expert for investigating the documentation.
19 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how you collect the data that you
20 do collect and how it is maintained.
21 A. The Alliance of Camp Inmates of Bosnia and Herzegovina compiles
22 files for each individual citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina who spend time in
23 a concentration camp and who joined his local association or the alliance
24 of his own free will. So data are entered on several pages, and these are
25 printed forms for each inmate, and that inmate is also duty-bound to write
1 a report indicating when he was detained, where, who was detained with
2 him, to mention witnesses who can corroborate his story, what time he
3 spent there, who arrested him, what acts of violence he was exposed to,
4 when he was released, data about his family, his place of residence, place
5 of birth, et cetera. These are all data that are necessary for research
6 and for analysis which we carry out in the alliance.
7 Q. Now, can you tell me how many former detainees have been
8 registered by your association.
9 A. According to some data which are still incomplete, lists have been
10 compiled of camp inmates in the alliance and we are dealing with figures
11 amounting to several tens of thousands of inmates. But we haven't
12 completed the process of registration and listing of all inmates, so that
13 this is still ongoing in all the municipalities, cantons, and abroad. At
14 this point in time we have between 7 to 10,000 files of camp inmates in
15 our database. However, in the cantonal associations and municipal
16 associations, there are also data banks, so that we still have not
17 compiled an exhaustive list, nor have we registered all the inmates. But
18 this process is underway, and it will certainly take several more years to
19 complete. I can say that according to the lists and estimates, there is
20 no doubt that up to 100.000 people may have spent some time in
21 concentration camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Draganovic, based on your personal experiences and based
23 on your work with the alliance, do you feel you're in a good position to
24 inform the Trial Chamber about the conditions in those detention
25 facilities and camps?
1 A. On the basis of my own personal experience, as well as the
2 documents and conversations with many victims or people who spent time in
3 the concentration camps, I can talk of the suffering that the people
4 experienced in those concentration camps all over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Mr. Draganovic, if we could turn to the first exhibit, which is
6 Exhibit 3, which is a map. And this map depicts the 37 municipalities
7 that are contained and identified in the indictment to which Mrs. Plavsic
8 had entered a guilty plea. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how many
9 detention facilities in 1992 -- by the end of 1992 were in those
11 A. In those 37 municipalities, there was a total of 408 concentration
12 camps or, rather, areas in which people were detained by force and exposed
13 to physical and mental abuse. Those are reliable data, based on documents
14 that we have at our disposal in Bosnia-Herzegovina in our alliance.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Draganovic, you yourself were detained in two facilities,
16 and I believe your experiences in both a very small detention facility and
17 a large facility, the Manjaca camp, can be a prism through which the
18 Judges can appreciate the conditions that you and other inmates
19 experienced. And I'd like to, therefore, start with your initial
20 detention. Can you tell the Judges about your initial detention. Where
21 did it occur? What were your duties and responsibilities at the time you
22 were detained?
23 A. As I said, I was president of the municipal court of Sanski Most,
24 and I was performing my duties. I did not wish to abandon the
25 municipality of Sanski Most, although I received threats that I would be
1 killed and executed as well as my family unless I leave the municipality
2 by May 15th, 1992. I stayed until the end in the court, until the 15th of
3 May, when Serb forces or Serb - let me call it authorities, illegal
4 authorities at the time - came under arms and simply threw me out of court
5 under threat of arms, and both me and my other Bosniak colleagues, judges,
6 and deputy prosecutor. So that from the 15th of May on, I was at home.
7 For a time, I went to stay with a relative in Kljuc, and then I returned
8 on the 25th of May.
9 On the 25th of May, I was taken into custody by armed forces, the
10 police, the military police, the civilian police. I was taken out of a
11 car by force under threat of arms and taken to the police station in
12 Sanski Most where they locked me up in a room, detention cell, in the
13 police station or the public security station in Sanski Most.
14 Q. If we could turn to the next exhibit, which is Exhibit 4, that is
15 on the ELMO, and will appear before you, Mr. Draganovic, on the screen, is
16 that the police station where you were detained?
17 A. Yes, it is. That is a public security station in Sanski Most. I
18 was detained behind this building. There were cells there for daily
19 detention. This wasn't a real prison. They weren't prison premises but
20 just for keeping people in custody during the day. And there were nine of
21 us in that cell.
22 Q. Mr. Draganovic, one question before you continue describing the
23 conditions in that location. How long were you detained in that one cell
24 at this location?
25 A. I was detained in that cell from the 25th of May, 1992, until the
1 17th of June, 1992.
2 Q. Can you tell the Judges about the conditions that you experienced
3 in that cell and your fellow detainees, as well.
4 A. The conditions we were kept in were disastrous. The very next
5 day, the SDS leaders of Sanski Most came and told us that we would be
6 killed and that our heads would roll first in Sanski Most. This very
7 threat was so serious that I realised that I would be killed, as did all
8 the other people who were with me. There were nine of us detained there
9 for -- this is an area of 2 by 2 and a half, which is totally closed in.
10 There's no light or air.
11 The window of the cell was boarded up with a steel sheet with a
12 few holes made with ordinary nails. So we didn't have enough air. There
13 was no light. We couldn't lie down. There were no conditions for life in
14 that cell. Our bodies were totally wet with perspiration. When we were
15 taken into the cell, the walls were white or yellow painted. However,
16 several days later, they became black with mould, and they started to
17 stink so that the conditions were really unbearable.
18 Twice, they would open the door for five to ten minutes for us to
19 go to the toilet if we had to and to eat. However, all this was in great
20 fear, and people under arms were there. Groups of soldiers and policemen
21 would take us out, and they would mistreat us, threaten us, spit at us,
22 humiliate us. While we were in the cell, they would throw against the
23 steel sheet that covered the window hard objects saying that they were
24 grenades, and we were terrified. And we waited for death to come at any
25 moment. Whenever they came and opened the cell, they came with fresh lies
1 and misinformation so that we were kept there in constant uncertainty and
3 Next to this cell was another one that was full of men. These
4 were all prominent citizens, civilians, of Sanski Most who had held
5 positions in the authorities or leaders of political parties or teachers
6 or prominent businessmen.
7 Q. Mr. Draganovic, could you describe to the Judges the sanitary
8 conditions that were available to you and your fellow detainees during
9 those three and a half weeks.
10 A. While we were in that cell, I've already said, it was only twice
11 that we were able to get out. Maybe even once a day. We had to relieve
12 ourselves in the corridor, which was about 5 to 8 metres long. And at the
13 end of that corridor, there was a lot of faeces, and it was -- it smelled
14 very bad. We had very little water. There were no sanitary conditions.
15 Conditions were catastrophic. And when the corridor became full of
16 excrement, they took us out to dig a hole behind these premises next to
17 the wall of the stadium. And then they told us that we were digging a
18 hole where they would bury us after killing us. During my time there, for
19 a couple of days I was in a bad state of amnesia because of all the
20 propaganda messages that reached me and because of the investigations and
21 accusations that were false against me, and I knew where this was leading;
22 it would lead me to death, as it would all the others who were with me
24 Q. Now, after you were -- concluded your stay at Sanski Most, where
25 did you go? Where were you transferred?
1 A. One morning - it was the 17th of May, 1992 - the warden of the
2 prison, Vujanic Drago, who was a colleague of mine - he was a legal man
3 in -- he's in Banja Luka now - came up with a list and read out my name
4 from the list and the name of another man, another detainee, who was in
5 the same cell as me. Jakupovic Ismet was his name. And we went out
6 believing that we would be released, not knowing what was actually going
8 However, he ordered us to bow our heads and to place our hands on
9 our backs, and two armed policemen went round about us with their weapons
10 cocked at us and we followed these two and left the compound of the police
11 station. We had to run the gauntlet of Serb policemen, soldiers, and
12 civilians, who spat at us and called us by derogatory names, insulted us,
13 humiliated us, and they led us on some 50 metres to the Betonirka building
14 or facility where the Bosniaks were detained. And I got onto a truck. I
15 was forced to get up onto a truck there.
16 Q. Where were you transported to?
17 MR. HARMON: And if I could have the next exhibit placed on the
18 ELMO, Mrs. Javier.
19 A. They transported us to Manjaca. Actually, we didn't know where
20 they were taking us until we actually arrived there.
21 Q. And were you a detainee at Manjaca until the 14th of December,
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Draganovic, there is an image before you. It is
25 Prosecutor's Exhibit 5. Can you take a look at that exhibit and can you
1 tell the Judges what this exhibit represents.
2 A. On this photograph, you can see a shed in Manjaca, a stable, and
3 that's where these people were. That's where I am myself. I'm on the
4 left at the bottom of the shed. There were six stables like this, and
5 they were all full of detainees, who were illegally deprived of all human
6 rights and brought to this place and held here right up until the camp was
8 Q. Now, were these people non-Serbs? Were they Bosniaks and Croats?
9 A. These were predominantly Bosniaks. There was a lesser number of
10 Croats and a few Serbs as well, deserters from the Yugoslav People's Army
11 who did not want to go to war in Croatia --
12 Q. Now, Mr. Draganovic --
13 A. -- and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Could you inform the Judges what the conditions were like,
15 focussing on the sanitary conditions, the weather conditions, whether you
16 had sufficient basic necessities such as shelter, clothing.
17 A. When they brought us to Manjaca, they started to beat us up
18 physically, each of us in turn as they read out our names to get down off
19 the truck. We had to run the gauntlet of soldiers, policemen, Serb
20 soldiers, and they beat us with different objects, wooden poles, batons,
21 and so forth. And once we all got off the truck - and there were 23 of us
22 in the truck - they forced us into the camp one by one with our heads down
23 and hands behind our backs. They then forced us into a stable, which was
24 known as Konjusnica, the horse stable, and I spent eight days there in
25 that stable and I was beaten every day, like all the others who were with
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 me in that horse stable. And at one point there were more than 70 of us
3 Q. Mr. Draganovic, what were the sanitary conditions like? And
4 Mr. Draganovic, just -- I need to inform you that our time is limited,
5 so -- and I'm watching the clock, so -- we have one other witness to
6 proceed with before 1.00, so if you can be brief on that but complete, I
7 would appreciate it.
8 A. Very well. There were no sanitary conditions. They were awful,
9 because this was a stable for livestock. And you can see from the
10 photograph what the stable looked like. The size of it was 16 metres by
11 50 metres. And in each of those stables, there were between 500 and 700,
12 sometimes even 800 persons. And that's where we spent our entire time.
13 It was cold in the stables. We slept on the floor, on the
14 concrete floor. We relieved ourselves there in the compound, between the
15 stables during the day and in a bucket at night, a bucket which was placed
16 by the door.
17 There was not enough water. The water there was was
18 contaminated. We drank the water from the river -- from the lake, and it
19 didn't have the minimum hygienic conditions. It wasn't potable water. To
20 begin with, there was actually no water at all. Quite simply, we had no
21 water. We had been beaten up, and I had received so many beatings that
22 I'd lost -- that my mouth was completely dry. I wasn't able to speak,
23 like all the other ones too.
24 As to the sanitary conditions and all the other conditions, I can
25 tell you this, in a word: The conditions were disastrous. They were
1 inhuman and really brutal.
2 Q. Now, you've mentioned beatings. Very briefly, were detainees
3 killed as well?
4 A. There were beatings and they went on all the time, especially in
5 the first two or three months. After that, the beatings became less
6 frequent. So until the International Red Cross had registered us and
7 until the journalists were there, international representatives,
8 journalists, and so on, and the representatives of the International Red
9 Cross -- but until that time we were beaten permanently, the whole group
10 that was there. And in the camp at that time there were 5.434 of us
11 exactly at that time.
12 Then -- you had one more question, I believe. Could you repeat
13 it, please.
14 Q. Were there killings as a result of those beatings?
15 A. Yes, there were killings too. As a result of the beatings, there
16 were killings of people, both in the camp and outside the camp. I saw
17 with my very own eyes how some people were killed.
18 Q. Mr. Draganovic, I'm going to turn to the topic of food that was
19 available in the camp.
20 MR. HARMON: And Mr. President and Your Honours, we have two short
21 film clips. The first film clip, just to give you a preview, because it
22 is a very short clip, is a view of the preparations that were made by the
23 Bosnian Serb authorities for the reception of the International Community
24 to come to the camp. You'll see it looks like Camp Abundance. It's a
25 virtual cornucopia of food available. In fact, Mr. Draganovic is in one
1 of the images carrying loaves of bread. I'll display that, and then I'm
2 going to ask Mr. Draganovic some questions. And then I'm going to go to a
3 second film clip that shows the actual condition of the people who were
4 housed in Manjaca.
5 So if we could play the first film clip. And then,
6 Mr. Draganovic, I will ask you to comment on it briefly.
7 This is Exhibit 6.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You saw me wearing a white shirt a
10 moment ago. I just passed by. And this is the day that the journalists
11 came to the camp for the first time and were allowed in. They waited at
12 this entrance gate which was now opened. You saw it in the previous
13 clip. They waited there. And there were large quantities of bread that
14 had been brought in on that particular day and piled up in the area. They
15 took us to carry the bags of bread into the other camp, or to come up to
16 the gate so that the journalists could take photographs of us.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Now, that obviously did not represent the amount of food that was
19 available to each of the detainees during your period of incarceration. I
20 would now like to play the next clip and have you comment on it.
21 MR. HARMON: If we could go to Prosecutor's Exhibit Number 7.
22 [Videotape played]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are typical images of the camp
24 inmates in the stables.
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. Do you recognise any of these people in these images?
2 A. I do. I recognise this man. He is a relative of mine and his
3 surname is Draganovic, too. He is from Kljuc, from Pudin Han. I
4 recognise all these people, in fact.
5 What I want to say is that in the first three months, it was a
6 camp of hunger. People were starved. There was not enough food. And
7 what food there was was poor quality food. We had two very small meals a
8 day. In the morning, half a cup of warm tea, but it wasn't actually tea.
9 It was just warm water without any sugar, and a piece of small bread. And
10 let me also tell you this: 90 loaves would be cut up for two and a half
11 thousand men which meant that one loaf of bread was divided into 20 or 40
12 pieces, and each of the inmates got a small piece of that bread. But they
13 were so thin they were transparent.
14 Q. What was the average weight loss of the detainees, if you know
15 that, in the Manjaca camp?
16 A. I can state quite freely on the basis of what I saw and what I
17 myself experienced that the inmates lost between 20 and 30 kilograms of
18 bodily weight. And this was also noted by the representatives of the Red
19 Cross who came to photograph the situation after they had registered us
20 because the state we were in, had not the International Red Cross arrived
21 and had not the UNHCR arrived, we would have all died of starvation.
22 Q. Mr. Draganovic, I'm keeping my eye on the clock and mindful of the
23 fact I have another witness, I want to touch on a number of other topics.
24 First of all, you were released from Manjaca camp on the 13th of
25 December. And briefly, did you have to sign a document in order to get
1 your release from the camp, and can you tell the Judges very quickly what
2 that document consisted of and what you were told about that document.
3 A. Each of us had to sign a document, and it was at the office in the
4 command that we did this, saying that we were leaving Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 for good, forever, and never to return to Bosnia-Herzegovina. And that we
6 agreed to be taken over by the UNHCR, or rather the International Red
7 Cross, in order to be deported elsewhere.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Draganovic, can you describe the dehumanising effect that
9 the conditions of the camp that you experienced had on you and your fellow
11 A. We don't have much time, but I could go on forever on this
12 subject. But let me just tell you this: I had serious -- it had serious
13 repercussions on my physical and mental health. And from the day I was
14 released, I have been undergoing medical treatments throughout. I am an
15 intellectual. And in a way, I have managed to get back to normal life.
16 However, I do still suffer lasting serious consequences of physical and
17 psychological trauma. And the same happened to the other inmates.
18 Let me say that in all the camps, including Manjaca, many people's
19 health was impaired, destroyed. And I think it cut their life down by ten
20 years, shortened their life by ten years. Many people have also died.
21 For Sanski Most and Prijedor, I can say that after the war ended in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, up until the present day, according to some facts and
23 figures that we have, about 500 of the former camp inmates died, their
24 ages ranging between 40 and 50, in that age group. And the Alliance of
25 Camp Inmates will be drafting a comprehensive study for the whole of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina in that respect.
2 MR. HARMON: Now, if we can put the next exhibit on the ELMO.
3 It's Prosecutor's Exhibit Number 8. And this, Your Honours, is a
4 photograph of an individual -- individuals at the Omarska camp.
5 Q. And my question to you, Mr. Draganovic, was the lack of food that
6 was present at Omarska -- I'm sorry, at Manjaca unique, or were other
7 inmates at other locations also malnourished as a result of not getting
8 enough food?
9 A. On the basis of research and from what I know in talking to
10 people, to other inmates, the methods were the same throughout. And these
11 pictures are proof of that from the infamous Omarska camp.
12 Q. In addition to this picture showing lack of food, you described in
13 your testimony in your experiences in Omarska physical abuse, lack of
14 sanitation, lack of proper clothing necessary to endure winters, and other
15 sorts of deprivations. Was that, in your view and based on your research,
16 also the case in many other of the detention facilities that were in the
17 37 municipalities that are in the indictment?
18 A. Well, let me give you a short answer to that question: In all the
19 places of detention, the same or similar methods were applied, and people
20 suffered. And the object was quite obvious.
21 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I need to proceed with great haste
22 because of my other witness, but I will draw Your Honours' attention to
23 Prosecutor's Exhibit Number 11.
24 Ms. Annink-javier, if you can put that particular exhibit on the
1 Mr. President, we have three exhibits, Prosecutor's Exhibit 10,
2 11, and 12. And these are excerpts from the Special Rapporteur for Human
3 Rights, Mr. Mazowiecki. These are contemporaneous reports that were made
4 in 1992, and there are highlighted portions of these reports that I have
5 shown to the witness.
6 Q. And given the shortness of time, Mr. Draganovic, I'd just like to
7 you to confirm: Have you had an opportunity to look at these excerpts and
8 do you confirm the contents of them?
9 A. I apologise. I wasn't getting the interpretation so I wasn't able
10 to understand what you had asked me.
11 Q. Mr. Draganovic, yesterday, did I show you some of the Security
12 Council Mr. Mazowiecki reports? Did we review some of those and some of
13 the excerpts in those?
14 A. Yes, I have looked at those excerpts of the reports.
15 Q. And are those excerpts accurate?
16 A. Completely accurate, all the excerpts that I looked at.
17 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have no additional questions. Thank
18 you very much.
19 Mr. Draganovic, thank you very much.
20 JUDGE MAY: Have the Defence any questions?
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Draganovic, that concludes your evidence. Thank
23 you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honours.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Harmon, we'll go on in the session until 10
3 minutes past 1.00.
4 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much.
5 My next witness, Mr. President, will be Mrs. Teufika
6 Ibrahimefendic. As a summary to Your Honours while the witness is being
7 brought into court, Mrs. Ibrahimefendic is a health-care professional who
8 has been treating war trauma victims since 1994. And she will give you,
9 from a clinician's point of view, in other words, on a detailed,
10 on-the-ground, day-to-day, her experiences in dealing with people who were
11 traumatised, specifically women and children who were traumatised, during
12 the relevant period of time of this indictment and who remain
13 traumatised. And she will describe to you some of the problems that they
14 are experiencing and they confront in everyday society in Bosnia.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE MAY: Could the witness take the declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: TEUFIKA IBRAHIMEFENDIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to sit down.
22 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
23 Q. Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, if you would move up a little bit closer to
24 the microphone. Thank you. And let me first of all thank you for coming
25 to the Tribunal to participate in this very important hearing. I've had
1 an opportunity to tell the Judges a little bit about your background while
2 you were being -- while you were coming into court and before you were
3 coming into court. What I would like you to do, first of all, is have you
4 state your name and if you would spell your last name for the record,
6 A. My first name is Teufika. Surname Ibrahimefendic,
8 Q. And rather than have you tell the Court about your qualifications,
9 I will state your qualifications. And if you can agree with me if my
10 recitation is accurate, we can proceed much faster.
11 Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, you're a psychotherapist for Vive Zene, which
12 is a non-governmental organisation in Tuzla; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you are a member of the management team and a clinical
15 coordinator in charge of outpatient development programmes with the
16 traumatised victims that that particular programme deals with; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In addition, you carry -- you're a psychotherapist who carries a
19 case load of her own; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, from an educational point of view - and I'll just review all
22 of this, and then if you can confirm this - you went to secondary medical
23 school in Tuzla in 1967. Between 1970 and 1972, you were at higher
24 school, where you were trained as a social worker. Between 1975 and 1980,
25 you attended the University of Sarajevo and received a degree in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 psychology and pedagogy. And additionally, you have taken the following
2 course work: In 1995 and 1996, you received a certificate from the World
3 Health Organisation and Columbia University for course work related to war
4 trauma. In 1996 and 1997, you had course work at the University of Koln
5 in psychosocial counselling for work with traumatised women and children,
6 a total of 300 hours of training. Between 1998 and the year 2000, you had
7 300 hours of training in psychodrama, which is a special method of work
8 with women and children traumatised by war. That programme was sponsored
9 by the European Community. You've had three years of training in Gestalt
10 therapy. You've had 200 hours of training in body therapy. Between 1997
11 and 1998 you have had training in therapy through painting and additional
12 training in family therapy. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Turning to your work experience. Between 1967 and 1970, you were
15 a paediatric nurse. Between 1970 and 1994, you were a psychiatric social
16 worker at the clinical centre at the hospital in Tuzla. And from 1994 to
17 the present, you are a psychotherapist at Vive Zene. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, you lived in Tuzla at the beginning of the
20 war and have remained there until the present day; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Briefly, can you describe the community that existed in Tuzla
23 before the war started.
24 A. Tuzla was known as a city with a large measure of democracy. We
25 can say that. The pre-war elections brought into power the reformist
1 forces, and we felt free - I can put it that way, quite frankly - in our
2 deliberations and in thinking of the future, and we felt that there was
3 something ahead of us. And it was in an atmosphere of this kind while the
4 war was going on in Croatia that rumours began to spread that the war
5 would come to Bosnia-Herzegovina as well. There were intimations from the
6 neighbouring states, from Croatia, for example, and through the media.
7 And I must say that I myself and my friends, the people I worked with, did
8 not have sufficient information about all this, and we were rather afraid
9 and rather upset. We were confused. And for all these reasons, and
10 because of the situation, we thought that the worst would never actually
11 happen. We were optimistic in our outlook. We had hopes for the future.
12 However, with the beginning of 1992, as of March, in fact, 1992,
13 the situation changed. There was a lot of uncertainty. People were
14 rather nervous, confused. There was fear, quite a lot of fear and panic.
15 And people began to prepare for a sort of war. Nobody could actually know
16 how long this war would go on for and what kind of war would be waged and
17 what can happen in such a war. And it was in this atmosphere of panic
18 that reigned in Tuzla that many people sent their children out of town and
19 the majority of the Serb inhabitants started leaving town. But other
20 ethnic groups started leaving too. Some of the better educated people and
21 well-to-do people started sending their children off to their relatives
22 who lived elsewhere and who lived abroad too. And we felt this tension in
23 the air. We felt that something was looming, that something was going to
25 I worked in the hospital at that time, and I must say that we
1 didn't undergo any special preparations for war but perhaps we did do some
2 preparatory work with respect to the Red Cross. There were some activists
3 there, and they had special assignments and positions if war would break
4 out for collecting blood, for the needs and requirements of the hospitals
5 during the war.
6 Q. Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, let me -- let me stop you there because I
7 want to turn to the war and the commencement of the war. The Judges have
8 heard from the first witness who testified in these proceedings about an
9 enormous number of crimes that took place throughout Bosnia. And when the
10 war started -- I want you to focus on the refugee crisis in Tuzla. Would
11 you tell the Judges what happened once the events of the war occurred in
12 municipalities that surrounded Tuzla and the refugee crisis that descended
13 upon Tuzla.
14 A. The first refugees started arriving at the beginning of April from
15 the surrounding villages and from Zvornik. People were in a panic,
16 anxious, confused. They carried very few belongings with them. Even the
17 town itself was not ready to accommodate them, so they were put up in a
18 sports centre in Tuzla. They came to the clinic offering to give blood
19 because they said that there was a war going on over there. Those were my
20 first contacts with them. And the medical services were equipped for
21 extending first aid and the Red Cross was involved in providing food. But
22 there was also a degree of solidarity among the population of Tuzla, so
23 they came to their assistance, carried food, et cetera.
24 However, already at the end of April and the beginning of May
25 large numbers of people came to Tuzla. I can't know the exact figures
1 because I wasn't directly involved. I do know that special services were
2 formed to register the number of arrivals in Tuzla, because officially the
3 war in Tuzla started on the 15th of May, when Tuzla was blocked and no one
4 from that day on could leave the town and those who happened to be there
5 had to stay there.
6 At the time, the town - that is, the 15th of May - the town
7 started losing its civilised aspects. We were deprived of electricity, of
8 water. It was general chaos and panic. And then at the end of May and
9 the beginning of June, fresh groups of refugees started arriving from
10 other municipalities, like Bratunac, Zvornik, Bijeljina. So I think that
11 the largest numbers came from those municipalities, though there were also
12 some from Doboj and from municipalities in other parts of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, depending on if they had friends or acquaintances
14 there. So that is why they came.
15 Q. And can you tell me, from the point of view of their mental
16 health, can you describe the condition of those refugees. Were they
17 traumatised? Can you tell the Court what it was that traumatised these
18 people, from your point of view, from your observations.
19 A. The people had lived through an emotional shock. They were
20 completely distraught. They simply were not conscious of what was going
21 on. They weren't conscious of the realities around them. They found it
22 very hard to deal with problems like food and clothing, the essentials, in
23 other words. The medical staff who took care of them at the time would
24 extend medical aid, depending on whether there was any physical trauma.
25 As for emotional suffering, I must admit that in those days we couldn't
1 pay much attention because there was a shortage of professionals.
2 Everyone was confused. The town simply wasn't prepared for such a chaos
3 and such a vast number of people seeking aid. So they had to rely on
4 their own forces and deal with their own fears and emotions. Somebody
5 just had to be close by to show them some attention, empathy, but to calm
6 them down, maybe encourage them, to make some suggestions by way of
7 solutions, to offer them food, clothing, to evacuate those in bad
8 condition, the elderly and children.
9 Many children were then hospitalised because they were physically
10 exhausted and sick, as many women had covered large distances on foot. It
11 took them several days to reach the town from their villages. They had
12 fled their homes, which had been destroyed or burned down. They withdrew
13 to the woods, and then they somehow managed to reach Tuzla. So once they
14 arrived, they were physically exhausted, no energy, no strength in them.
15 They could hardly take care of themselves and their children. Everything
16 was so confusing. It was a situation that left some very bad memories,
17 not only for the women who came but for all of us who were living there,
18 because we, too, were helpless in a sense.
19 Q. Now, let me ask you, Mrs. Ibrahimefendic: You mentioned to me
20 yesterday - and I'd just like you to confirm this - the initial services
21 to deal with the mental elements of the trauma that these people had
22 suffered was insufficient in Tuzla at the time, and ultimately the
23 International Community, along with volunteers from the medical community
24 in Tuzla, started to mobilise, to pay attention to those kinds of
25 problems. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct. Professionals, psychologists,
2 psychiatrists, social workers at first simply didn't know what to do.
3 They had their professional experience with care. So they approached
4 these people on a man-to-man basis, without any specialised knowledge
5 linked to trauma, because this was something new for all of us. A large
6 group of civilians in one place, in a disastrous situation that was
7 suddenly provoked, so that it took time for us to consolidate, to realise
8 that what we had to do, and then we volunteered to visit these refugee
10 Q. Ms. Ibrahimefendic, let me interrupt you because we're spending
11 some time on background and I have a limited amount of time here, and I
12 want to spend more time on the issues that you can address in a
13 professional sense.
14 So if you could, first of all, tell us and tell the Chamber a
15 brief description of Vive Zene, when it was founded, when it was created,
16 what its purposes are, and what kind of work it does. And if you could do
17 that briefly, I would appreciate it.
18 A. I shall just say that the end of 1992, beginning of 1993, experts
19 started arriving from abroad who offered to us the first training in
20 trauma, how to deal with it. And then a group of women in 1993 arrived
21 from Germany to assist the women and children, the traumatised children in
22 Bosnia. They knew that there was a large influx of refugees to Tuzla, so
23 they focussed on Tuzla. And in 1994, Vive Zene received the first
24 refugees for stationary accommodation. Vive Zene is a nongovernmental
25 organisation which, to this day, is providing psychological and social aid
1 to traumatised women and children, those traumatised by war or some other
2 trauma. And in our centre, an exhaustive programme is provided in the
3 stationary facility and in the outpatient clinic and in refugee
5 Just now, I'm working in two such refugee settlements with
6 refugees and the population as a whole. And in the outpatients'
7 programme, we work with those who need aid. And the more serious
8 conditions are accommodated in stationary facilities together with the
10 Q. Now, let me ask you, this, Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, are
11 the -- actually, let me preface it by saying this: The Court is
12 interested in hearing about the types of symptoms and the trauma that
13 exists for the victims that occurred in 1992, the events that occurred in
14 1992. And I know in talking to you, you continue to treat people who
15 remain traumatised from the events in 1992. If you can separate, please,
16 in your testimony the -- put aside the war trauma victims that you have
17 been treating who were traumatised from January of 1993 onwards and focus
18 your testimony on those victims who were traumatised in 1992, that would
19 be helpful to the Trial Chamber.
20 And if we could just begin by saying you are involved principally
21 in dealing with the psychosocial services to women and children who were
22 traumatised. The question I have is: The types of trauma and the
23 symptomology of what you're seeing in Vive Zene, is it typical of the
24 types of symptoms and trauma that is being seen and is being reported at
25 other treatment locations throughout Bosnia?
1 A. First of all, let me say very briefly what trauma is and how we,
2 or rather I and my whole team, have addressed it over the past ten years
3 and how we defined it, or rather adjusted it to our context. There are a
4 large number of clinical definitions of trauma. But the definition of
5 trauma that corresponds best to our context is that trauma is an event
6 provoked by abnormal conditions under threat, which means a condition sets
7 in in which the body is in jeopardy, under threat, and threat to personal
8 integrity and exposure to coercion. These are initial traumas among
9 people who arrived in 1992 and 1993, consists of a feeling of intensive
10 fear, helplessness, inability to control the situation, and the feeling
11 and fear of being destroyed, because war is a major catastrophe. It is a
12 great triggering event, an event that can lead to the person being unable
13 to react.
14 A human being has instinctive reactions to flee or to fight when
15 an event is adequate. But this was an event of great stress, a
16 threatening event, and the action is not provoked. And an enormous amount
17 of fear sets in and a feeling of helplessness that I've already said,
18 inability to control the situation, fear of being killed, of being
19 destroyed, of his body simply disappearing. In some cases, more serious
20 cases, the body may go through nervous breakdown, and these did happen.
21 The stress was too strong for people to be able to cope with these
22 situations. And then symptoms developed; memories of an event which
23 tormented them. They do not wish to think about them, but they are forced
24 to think about them. They keep going back to those events, remembering
25 them in fragments, as if they were a part like a flashback.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 And then this leads the individual back to the condition he was
2 in. And then other kinds of symptoms occur, also the wish to avoid
3 remembering. And there's this constant conflict between these imposed
4 flashbacks and the wish not to think about them. And he is constantly
5 expending energy, "I don't wish to remember but yet the pictures keep
6 coming back and forcing themselves on me." And then later on, as the
7 trauma develops, there's a reaction to trauma, and other symptoms set in:
8 Insomnia, various kinds of fear, hyperactivity, on the one hand. And on
9 the other, there can be hyposensitivity, that is, lesser sensitivity.
10 Narrowing of consciousness. "I can no longer feel anything. I cannot let
11 myself feel anything."
12 Q. Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, my question I asked you is whether the types
13 of symptoms that you described and that you're still seeing today from the
14 events and traumas of 1992, are those types of symptoms affecting people
15 who were being treated for trauma in other parts of Bosnia? And if you
16 can answer that yes or no.
17 A. Yes. Trauma is trauma.
18 Q. And are there other organisations besides Vive Zene that are
19 treating people who are traumatised from the war and from the events in
20 1992? And if so, can you briefly list those organisations that are
21 being -- that are treating these types of victims elsewhere?
22 A. In Tuzla, there are several organisations financed by the
23 international community. For instance, there is Amica of Italy, financed
24 by Italy; Amica Educa, financed by Switzerland; the Amica of Friends, from
25 Germany; T and I from Sweden. There are other organisations in Sarajevo,
1 Prijedor, Banja Luka that we cooperate with and that we are in touch
2 with. For instance, in Zenica, there is the Medica Zenica organisation
3 since 1993, also financed by the Germans. And there are some other
4 organisations whose names I cannot recall just now, but I do know that
5 there are many organisations. I think there are about 160 of them in all
6 dealing with trauma victims, war-trauma victims, with a view to providing
7 prevention and protection of mental health. And they are dealing with the
8 refugee population, which is treated as the normal population, but which
9 are high-risk mental conditions.
10 Q. All right. Now, these people who have been traumatised, just if
11 you could confirm this for the Judges: Yesterday when we talked, you said
12 some of the traumatic events that caused the people who continue to suffer
13 today and whom you continue and your organisation continues to treat, the
14 causes of those trauma included seeing relatives killed, having people's
15 houses burned, having to be forced out of communities where they had
16 lived, having ruptured the social and environmental fabric of the
17 community. Is that correct? Is that the source of the kinds of traumas
18 that continue to haunt and effect the people you are treating today?
19 A. The traumatic event is any event that can provoke a stressful
20 reaction. For example, forced expulsion from one's home, forced
21 separation from the family, witnessing a killing, torture, rape, a person
22 need not be present, but he or she may hear from someone else, so that
23 very frequently, children are traumatised simply because they heard adults
24 talking about their experiences. A traumatic event is also a lack of
25 water or food. We have registered about 13 or 14 traumatic events either
1 personally experienced or hearing from others about those experiences.
2 Q. And are --
3 A. But to this day, there are reminders of trauma. That is what we
4 discussed yesterday; ordinary triggers can lead to renewed traumatisation
5 and memories of those events. For example, last week a woman told me
6 "When I see somebody with a beard, I'm frightened immediately." Or if,
7 on television, they see images reminding them of the war, they take them
8 back to the situation they were in years ago.
9 Q. And you mentioned to me yesterday an event where a woman saw a
10 marble. Could you just very briefly, very briefly, describe to the Judges
11 what that sort of trauma was about.
12 A. The woman comes from Svornik municipality, a village there. She
13 was forced out of her house, together with her husband and children. I
14 think they were expelled from nine villages of the Svornik municipality,
15 and this was preceded by a roll call, by mistreatment, searches of houses,
16 surrender of weapons, drawing up of lists. And then they separated the
17 men from the women. Her husband was taken, together with her father and
18 three brothers. And she never heard anything about him again. She was
19 left with two daughters and one son. In that condition, she arrived in
21 And then in the refugee settlement in Zenica, a shell fell. And
22 in 1995, her only son was killed so that she was again traumatised.
23 Again, she had experienced a great tragedy. She found herself in an even
24 worse, stressful situation. And when she joined our project with her two
25 daughters, a little boy was playing with marbles, and she fainted. She
1 totally lost control over all her bodily functions, and it took time for
2 her to muster up strength to recount her story. So that an ordinary
3 marble can trigger their mental pain and mental suffering.
4 Q. Can I take it from what you told me yesterday, she associated the
5 ordinary marble with the son that she had lost?
6 A. Yes, that was a reminder. The marble was a reminder of what had
7 happened to her son. Of course, she linked the two together.
8 Q. Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, what I'd like you to do is please tell the
9 Judges now, since you're treating this community of victims who remain
10 traumatised from the events in 1992, can you tell the Judges how the
11 trauma affects these people in their ordinary everyday life of
12 reintegrating into Bosnian life and society?
13 A. I would like to say in that connection that trauma is a process.
14 And in Bosnia and Herzegovina, one could apply Hans Keilson's division
15 into sequential traumatisation, so that one cannot say that trauma is an
16 act of rape or an isolated traumatic event. But trauma is the pre-war
17 period, the exile, the return. All this is part of trauma. So that
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina is now in a traumatic situation, and it is very hard
19 still to provide effective aid linked to the protection of mental health
20 in such a traumatic situation.
21 The symptoms now present differ substantially from the initial
22 ones so that the presence of fear for many years leads to withdrawal,
23 isolation, passiveness. Life in refugee centres for many years
24 accumulates the stress so that all the refugees are tired of this refugee
25 lifestyle. They are tired of expectations, they are tired of inefficiency
1 at all levels. Sometimes they don't have any feelings left. Sometimes
2 they are hyper-reactive, aggressive, angry. They find it difficult to
3 deal with their pain and suffering. Whereas on the other hand, nothing is
4 happening; their position is not being changed. So as a result, not only
5 their mental condition, the health of their entire body is deteriorating.
6 That is how I would put it.
7 Because there's very serious concern for their health as to what
8 will happen. And in this atmosphere, many dream of going to other
9 countries, and large numbers have left Bosnia. Those who have stayed
10 behind have to grapple with day-to-day problems and situations which are
11 extremely traumatising.
12 Q. Can you explain to the Judges the types of problems that children
13 who were traumatised in 1992 are experiencing today? And please, base
14 that on your own experiences as psychotherapist in your treatment of these
16 A. On the basis of my personal experience and the research that has
17 been done in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Sarajevo in particular, for
18 instance, the results obtained are that children are terribly easily
19 scared, that they're excessively tied and dedicated to their mother when
20 they're already in puberty. These were all children who were small in
21 1992, who could not feel the care and attention of mothers in those days
22 because mothers were preoccupied with their own problems, on the one hand;
23 and on the other, the conditions in which they lived resulted this these
25 They have also had problems sleeping, depression. They cry
1 easily. They're sad. And sometimes they become aggressive. Variations
2 in concentration, problems with studying, incontinence, a large number
3 tend to withdraw into themselves, to be isolated. They lead a life in
4 isolation without friends and are very active. That would roughly be the
5 picture of the condition of children today; of course, those I'm working
7 Q. So what you're saying, Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, is that ten years
8 after the events that have been the subject of this particular
9 indictment -- ten years after those events there are victims who continue
10 to be traumatised and who continue to be affected by those events.
11 A. Yes. Remembering events of that kind, a series of traumatic
12 events, events of that kind cannot be forgotten. You can't forget the
13 trauma of it because it is imprinted on the memory through the senses, the
14 eyes, the ears, what they heard, what they felt, what they saw, and this
15 all lays an imprint on the brain, so that all investigations done into
16 trauma say that traumas can never been forgotten. Traumas have to be
17 treated, however, and taken care of, and people ought to be given the
18 chance of feeling that they are protected and that they can feel free to
19 recount their traumas and what happened to them and thus become integrated
20 into society and that this should become part of their lives, part of
21 their life's experience, which will help them ultimately in the future.
22 Q. Now, the percentage of people who continue to be traumatised - and
23 I'm talking about the events from 1992 - the percentage of those people
24 who are receiving the type of care and treatment that is offered by Vive
25 Zene and by these other organisations, Amica, that you identified, is a
1 very small portion of the victim community; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. From your point of view in terms of recovery, in terms of the
4 types of successes that you're seeing in your programme, can you tell the
5 Judges a little bit about that.
6 A. It is a highly complex and difficult question to answer, and it
7 calls for general mobilisation at all levels, the pooling of resources.
8 It is difficult to explain this in a few words, although I myself am an
9 optimist. I think that many things are changing and have changed, but
10 that in the future many more centres should be set up which will be able
11 to cater to these needs and give care and attention and to foster an
12 atmosphere in society to encourage people themselves, to put forward their
13 experiences, not to be ashamed of them, so that they could become educated
14 and gain more knowledge about traumas, because the more people know about
15 what traumas are, what they entail, they will have greater control over
16 their lives and thus have the feeling that they are in control of their
17 lives, that they are able to make their own decisions, and that they can
18 be taught to be people who will demonstrate that everything that they have
19 lived through and experienced has given them a dose of wisdom, which is so
20 important in life generally.
21 Q. Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, from the therapeutic point of view, from the
22 proper balance and regaining one's equilibrium mentally, what is the value
23 of being able to talk about the events, as opposed to not talking about
24 them and internalising them?
25 A. People have to talk about these events. They have to talk about
1 them because trauma demands that events be verbalised, and that is a form
2 of recovery. It is the way to go about it. If we say things out loud and
3 give shape and form to them and if our feelings and sentiments --
4 actually, we have to verbalise our feelings, our sentiments. They must
5 gain verbal expression. And once they gain verbal expression, we'll be
6 able to see that these sentiments don't have the power -- the terrible
7 power that they had before. They don't seem as terrible as they once
8 did. And there should be discussions about this subject because unless
9 there are discussions, unless people talk about what happened to them,
10 they will feel isolated. Not only individuals but groups of people will
11 become isolated. There will be an isolation of ideas. So it is a
12 necessary requirement to talk about it, to talk about what happened.
13 Q. And once the people that you are treating are able to talk about
14 that, do you see that they are healthier in terms of their mental state?
15 And then I'd like you to comment lastly - because we're just about
16 out of time - how the ability to talk about the events of the war could
17 contribute to a greater understanding and tolerance and possibly
18 reconciliation within Bosnia. And these would be your personal views.
19 A. The first part of your question, what was that?
20 Q. Can you just tell the Chamber how talking about the events from
21 the war can create a healthier person and how it could contribute to a
22 greater understanding and tolerance among the people in Bosnia and
23 possibly contribute to reconciliation.
24 A. Talking about it is a healing process. It helps heal; so that it
25 is indispensable. People must be able to communicate amongst themselves
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and to communicate with themselves ultimately. And if I view this from
2 the aspects of therapy, then this is how I see it: A trauma took place
3 between 1992 and 1995, and memories of that trauma still persist. They
4 still give rise to fears and anxieties. They are still secret fears that
5 can be poisonous, because it is difficult in normal life to keep a
6 secret. But to keep secrets of this nature, that were caused by trauma,
7 is even more difficult. It is even more disruptive and poisonous to the
8 individual. That is why it is absolutely indispensable that each and
9 every person, each and every individual becomes fully conscious of what is
10 really going on now, today. And this awareness, this consciousness of the
11 present, would be a starting point.
12 They have to ask themselves, "What am I really feeling now, at
13 this point in time, from the aspects of 2002? If I look at the year 2002,
14 what is it that I see? What is it that I am doing now? What is it that I
15 wish? What can I do," so to become conscious and aware of oneself at the
16 present time. And if we become aware of ourselves, we will have control
17 of ourself. We will have the feeling of being able to control the
18 present, to control ourselves and our relations with others, to control
19 the situation. We won't be helpless. We won't be impotent. We will feel
20 that we are able to undertake something. And then in this way we will
21 create a feeling of security and safety for ourselves.
22 All that happened to us is behind us now, and then from this
23 position of security and safety - and that's what I do in my therapy - I
24 am now going to go back to 1992 from the vantage point of a secure 2002
25 and see what I thought at the time, what I felt at the time, what my
1 wishes were at the time, what I did at the time and what I felt. And this
2 would be linked up. It would be a linkage to history for each and every
3 person in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They would be able to link this all up. It
4 is a story, a narrative, a tale. Each of us has their own. We have our
5 own histories. And it is this story, this tale that we tell, that can
6 give birth to something new, to build bridges, bridges of trust and
7 confidence of frankness and security and honesty. It can lead us into a
8 situation in which we will be able to console people or to calm down
9 others, to encourage others yet again in all this, so that this could
10 ultimately bring about a healthier relationship amongst people, a
11 relationship of three ethnic groups, three religions and three cultures
12 together, three in one.
13 But to also set oneself a distance, because in the period that has
14 gone by there were things that happened to set us apart. We must accept
15 that. That is true and that is what happened. And we must give serious
16 consideration to this. We must be conscious and aware of all the things
17 that came to pass but we must also be conscious of the future and try to
18 lend some sense to the past, to give it some meaning, to lend it the
19 characteristic of having happened. That would be what I can say on that.
20 Q. Well, thank you very much, Mrs. Ibrahimefendic.
21 MR. HARMON: That concludes my examination, Mr. President, Your
23 JUDGE MAY: Have the Defence any questions?
24 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: That concludes your evidence, Mrs. Ibrahimefendic.
1 Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
2 We'll adjourn now for the usual break, an hour and a half.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.13 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.43 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
3 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, our next
4 witness is Professor Elie Wiesel whose testimony will be heard by
5 videolink. I understand that the technicians have advised that that
6 procedure is now ready.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If the witness would take the
9 [The witness appeared via videolink]
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
12 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
14 Yes, Mr. Tieger. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: ELIE WIESEL
16 Examined by Mr. Tieger:
17 Q. Professor Wiesel, good afternoon, and thank you for joining us in
18 this important proceeding. I'd like to begin, rather than asking you to
19 recite your background at length, to simply affirm the following
20 highlights which I will state now.
21 You are the author of 40 books, some of which address your
22 experience in concentration camps in World War II. In 1986, you received
23 the Nobel Peace Prize as, in the words of the Nobel committee, "a
24 messenger of mankind who is one of the world's important spiritual
25 leaders." You are the founder of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity,
1 established to combat intolerance and injustice, and have yourself used
2 your public stature to plead for justice for oppressed peoples in the
3 Soviet Union, South Africa, Vietnam, Biafra, Bangledesh, and in Bosnia.
4 Is that correct, sir?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Professor, both the Prosecution and Defence have asked you to
7 offer your testimony to this Chamber. I understand that you have prepared
8 a statement, and I would ask you now to address the Court.
9 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, having been approached by both
10 Prosecution and the Defence for Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, I am offering myself
11 as a witness for whom nothing matters more than the fate of the victims.
12 To understand their suffering and make others understand it, too, is for
13 me not only a moral duty, but also a way of serving justice.
14 I realise that the war in the Balkans has ended, but its history
15 has not. The pain of war continues to weigh down on the families of the
16 victims, and in a sense, on our collective conscience, just as it forces
17 us to draw lessons from it for the future.
18 The war in the Balkans is an especially heavy burden on its
19 victims and its families. For the orphans, be they children or adults,
20 the world is no longer the same. A woman who has been raped remains so
21 for life. That has been established. Their dreams have become
22 nightmares. For them, the past lives on in the present. Those guilty of
23 crimes against humanity are responsible for this as well.
24 What is the proper definition of a crime against humanity? In
25 simple psychological terms, it is a crime committed against the humanity
1 of another person, and also, so to speak, against one's own. A person who
2 starves and rapes helpless women takes away their humanity and his own as
3 well. In committing these crimes, the criminal cuts himself off and
4 excludes himself from a society which claims to be moral and civilised.
5 In legal terms, a crime against humanity is the gravest abuse of
6 power. It is the official or even "legal" implementation by a government
7 of a system designed to humiliate, persecute, deport, imprison, and murder
8 innocent and defenceless civilian communities and individuals.
9 In reviewing the charges against the accused, I remembered my
10 visit to her war-torn and tormented country in late 1992. There, I met
11 with several Serbian leaders, at least two of them this Tribunal has
12 charged with the same crimes against humanity: Slobodan Milosevic and
13 Radovan Karadzic. In Sarajevo and Banja Luka, and elsewhere, all my time
14 was spent listening to the survivors speaking about the anguish inflicted
15 on them by the Serbian leaders. They often broke off, unable to finish
16 their stories. For those who see them fall, their tears also form part of
17 the indictment.
18 The importance of this trial is recognised universally. The act
19 of bringing to light the reality of the crimes committed is as important
20 as punishing their perpetrators. More often than not, once in high
21 government positions, those responsible for crimes against humanity rely
22 on being able to use their evil power to mask and pervert the truth, if
23 not to bury it forever. They count on lies; and even more, on the
24 knowledge that people forget.
25 Here at the Tribunal, international justice must also take on the
1 responsibility of keeping the memory alive. For the victims and their
2 survivors, this remains the absolute priority.
3 The problem does not arise in the case of Mrs. Plavsic, since she
4 has acknowledged her responsibility and guilt in the atrocities
5 perpetrated by her government against the Croats and Muslims in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina. A political figure respected amongst her peers, a university
7 graduate distinguished by a Fulbright scholarship, she held a leading
8 position in the highest circles of her country. As such, she approved the
9 objective of dividing the citizens of Bosnia by force. She was familiar
10 with Radovan Karadzic's address of 1991 threatening the Muslims with
11 extermination. And worse still, she often, if not consistently, supported
12 the efforts of the Serbian military in their abominable acts of ethnic
14 Population transfer, cruel and inhumane treatment of civilians,
15 forced labour, use of prisoners as human shields, Mrs. Plavsic supported
16 it at all.
17 How was she able to do that? How did she reconcile that with her
18 education, culture, conscience? How did she hope to remain at peace with
19 herself while forging an alliance with that part of some people which is
20 ignominious and shameful?
21 I do not know whether Mrs. Plavsic will speak or how she believes
22 she must explain or can explain her actions. I know only that nothing can
23 and must justify or excuse a crime against humanity.
24 That said, the fact that she is the only accused to have freely
25 and wholly assumed her role in the wrongdoings and crimes set out in the
1 indictment, even though she once moved in the highest circles of power in
2 her country, could and should make her an example for similar cases. So
3 far, the others accused in other similar trials have, on the whole, chosen
4 to repudiate the truthfulness and truth of their crimes in the hope of
5 assisting those who falsify history to sow the seeds of doubt amongst an
6 uninformed public.
7 In reading and rereading the indictment against Mrs. Plavsic, I
8 began to wonder about her personality. She is not accused of having
9 personally participated in the persecution, torture, and murder of
10 innocent human beings, but of having exploited her position within the
11 leadership to encourage and support the crimes. It was also in her name
12 that she allowed the torturers to torture and the killers to kill. Now,
13 then, how could a woman like her, a renowned intellectual, undoubtedly
14 intelligent and gifted, how could she remain silent in the face of so many
15 violations, so much humiliation, so many crimes, so much spilled blood,
16 and so many summary executions ascribed to the servants of the government
17 of which she was one of the leaders? How could she remain human in the
18 face of such a betrayal of humanity?
19 Mr. President, Your Honours, allow me to reiterate this to you:
20 In addressing you today, it is the victims I have in mind. To avenge
21 them? Certainly not. Vengeance has never been my motivation or
22 inspiration. Quite simply, I don't believe in it and never have. It is
23 not to avenge my people, but to ensure that they do not die a second time;
24 that, as an adult, writer, and teacher, I have devoted myself to
25 preserving their memory, and also to defending the prisoners of fate or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the victims of despair, the starving children, and those who have been
2 uprooted and hounded out. In other terms, to defend their human rights.
3 Here, too, before you, Mr. President, Your Honours, this remains my sole
5 More specifically, I have not come to plead extenuating
6 circumstances of Mrs. Plavsic. The role of the witness is to speak out
7 and call for justice without passing sentence. Were all the suffering of
8 the victims to be placed on one side of a set of scales, how many years of
9 prison would it take on the other to achieve a balance? In this respect,
10 too, the civilised world is relying upon you and upon your conscience.
11 Your sentences will reverberate across national and ethnic borders.
12 Through the work that you and the Court accomplish, the words uttered in
13 this courtroom will be taken in, studied, and remembered far beyond the
14 frontiers and far across the centuries.
15 As for the witness that I am, today I simply wish to tell you that
16 your deliberations and verdict will be present everywhere crimes against
17 humanity have sown bereavement and despair or will do so in the future.
18 Today, Mr. President, more than ever before and more than anything
19 else, we know that humanity needs hope. It is for you to give us the
20 pledge that it is not misplaced. Thank you.
21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Professor.
22 I have nothing further, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: Do the Defence wish to ask any questions?
24 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Professor, thank you for coming to give evidence which
1 we've now seen and which is now concluded. As I say, thank you very
2 much. And that brings your evidence to an end.
3 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE MAY: We've got the statement of the last witness in the
6 bundle. Do you want it exhibited?
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I believe all those exhibits will be
8 introduced at one time, if that's permissible for the Court.
9 JUDGE MAY: You want it exhibited.
10 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It will be given an appropriate number.
12 Yes. Well, I'm just going to ask the registrar if the exhibits
13 are plain for the record. And if so, I guess we'll move to the Defence.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, yes, the statement will be marked as
15 S13. We have Exhibit -- the Prosecution exhibits so far have been marked
16 S1 to S13, with the statement being the last one.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Pavich.
18 MR. PAVICH: Your Honours, the Defence wishes to call Mr. Milorad
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: MILORAD DODIK
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE MAY: We don't seem to have had a translation of that.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English channel? Can the
3 English be heard?
4 JUDGE MAY: I don't seem to have got that. It's not on the
6 Yes. Would you try again, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
10 MR. PAVICH: May I proceed, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Pavich.
12 Examined by Mr. Pavich:
13 Q. Mr. Dodik, will you please give us your full name and spell your
14 last name, please.
15 A. My name is Milorad Dodik, so D-O-D-I-K. And M-I-L-O-R-A-D, first
17 Q. Thank you for coming with us this afternoon, Mr. Dodik.
18 Will you please tell us what position, if any, you hold -- elected
19 position in the Republika Srpska today.
20 A. Today I have no official position except being a deputy in the
21 People's Assembly of Republika Srpska, and I am president of a political
23 Q. What are your duties and responsibilities as a deputy in the
24 parliament of Republika Srpska?
25 A. They are prescribed by law and include the obligation to attend
1 parliament sessions in accordance with the political programme that we
2 have, to represent the interests of voters who gave me their trust at the
4 Q. Would you please identify for us the name of your political party,
5 Mr. Dodik.
6 A. It is called the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, and it
7 is active throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a
8 parliamentary party both at the level of Republika Srpska and at the level
9 of the other entity of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is
10 also a parliamentary party at the level of joint institutions of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina. In Republika Srpska, there are deputies from this party
12 who are both Serbs and Croats; therefore, it is multi-ethnic in nature.
13 Q. What position do you hold with the party, Mr. Dodik?
14 A. I am president of that political party; ever since it was founded
15 in 1996.
16 Q. When did you first become active in politics in the region?
17 A. I became active in politics upon graduation from the School of
18 Political Sciences in Belgrade; that was sometime in 1985. And in the
19 period up to 1990 I was president of the local government in the
20 municipality of Laktasi; from 1988 sometime until the end of 1990.
21 Q. Were there significant elections held in the year -- in the fall
22 of 1990 and in the summer, I should say, of 1990 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. Yes. That year in the autumn the first multi-party elections were
24 held, and they were important because there were several parties
25 participating in the election and not, as hitherto, only one political
2 I was a member of the Alliance of Reformist Forces, a party that
3 was formed at the level of the whole of the former Yugoslavia, and its
4 president was the prime minister at the time of Yugoslavia, that is,
5 Mr. Ante Markovic. And in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the president of that same
6 party for Bosnia-Herzegovina was Dr. Professor Nenad Kecmanovic from
7 Sarajevo. I was president of the regional board of that party for Banja
8 Luka and also a member of the top leadership of the party for Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. At those elections, I became a deputy of that party in the
10 Assembly of the then-Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was 12 or 13 of us
11 from that party, and we were in the opposition at the time.
12 Q. Can you tell us briefly, Mr. Dodik, what the political platform of
13 that party, your party, was.
14 A. The political platform of the party was the preservation of
15 Yugoslavia as a community, which should have undergone transformation in
16 the sense of the ownership relations in the country, so that the problems
17 that existed at the time between the republics and also the nations should
18 be resolved by peaceful means and through political dialogue. And the
19 ultimate proposition was that the former Yugoslav republic should remain
20 within a community which would have some common competency, such as
21 foreign policy, the monetary sphere, the armed forces, and a unified
22 economic area, and that on the basis of those principles the community
23 should be preserved and the area prepared as a whole for approaching --
24 joining with the European Union.
25 Q. Mr. Dodik, you mentioned other parties during that election. Can
1 you tell us briefly about the most significant other parties that existed
2 during that election campaign.
3 A. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, several political parties came to the
4 fore at the time. There were many that took part in the elections. But
5 the most significant political parties were the Party of Democratic
6 Action, which is the party of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, whose positions were
7 absolutely nationalistic, and it was the first of such a nature to be
8 formed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was followed by the Serbian Democratic
9 Party and the HDZ, which had already existed in Croatia and which
10 developed its own branch in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So these three political
11 parties were the most powerful, and they were the absolute winners at the
12 elections. And also, there was the Alliance of Reformist Forces that I
13 have talked about and to which I belonged, and the Party of Reformed
14 Communists, the SDP of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which also won a certain number
15 of seats in parliament, and then there were some smaller parties like the
16 Liberals and some others, but really of less significance.
17 Q. You mentioned one or identified one party as a nationalist party.
18 Were any of the other major parties in your opinion taking nationalist
20 A. Yes. The SDS as well, whose positions were to protect Serbian
21 national interests; and the same applies to the HDZ, which was a party
22 that gave absolute priority to the defence of Croatian national interest
23 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, in the former Yugoslavia. Therefore,
24 these three parties -- the SDA, that is, the Party of Democratic Action,
25 was designed to represent Muslim or Bosniak national interests; the SDS,
1 that was designed to protect the Serbian national interests; and the HDZ,
2 to defend Croatian national interests. And in those parties the members
3 were exclusively people from those ethnicities.
4 Q. Did Biljana Plavsic become active during this campaign?
5 A. I had heard of the name of Mrs. Biljana Plavsic from earlier on as
6 an important member of the academic community in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
7 in political terms I was not aware of her political commitments until
8 those elections. I noticed her in the political sense for the first time
9 when she was a candidate for a member of the Presidency of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina on behalf of the Serbian people. The Presidency had
11 seven members. Two members were elected from each of the three nations -
12 that is, the Muslim, the Serbian, and Croatian nation - and one member
13 represented the other ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So I heard of
14 Mrs. Plavsic's name for the first time when I saw it on the list of
15 candidates for the Presidency.
16 Q. Did you know her by reputation at that time?
17 A. I said that up until then I had heard of Mrs. Plavsic as an
18 academician, as a respected professor at Sarajevo University. In the
19 election campaign itself conducted within the framework of the Serbian
20 Democratic Party, she spoke at those rallies. I didn't notice that she
21 was very active. But in any event, she was a candidate of that party at
22 the time. And I was, however, involved with the campaign of the party
23 that I belonged. And in those days these were opposing parties, competing
24 parties. And at the time I really did not notice any particular political
25 involvement by Mrs. Plavsic.
1 The elections showed that the three nations or ethnicities
2 extended absolute support to their national parties. The Serbs voted for
3 the SDS; the Bosniaks for the SDA; and the Croats predominantly for the
4 HDZ; and a very small number of people voted for the Alliance of Reform
5 Forces and for the SDP of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. What were the results of this election regarding Mrs. Plavsic
8 A. She was voted into the Presidency in direct elections. She was on
9 a joint list for members of the Presidency. And on behalf of the Serbian
10 people, she represented the Serbian people together with Mr. Koljevic in
11 the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the Bosniaks, there was
12 Alija Izetbegovic, and Fikret Abdic. And for the Croats, I know there was
13 Franjo Boras. I don't know who the other representative was. And the
14 others were represented by Ejub Ganic.
15 Q. Did these three parties that you've mentioned, the nationalist
16 parties, did they continue to promote parties that served their particular
17 ethnic groups throughout the year of 1990 and 1991, as far as you could
19 A. At the time, I was a witness of cooperation among those three
20 political parties. And this helped establish institutions of authority in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the basis of an agreement among these three
22 political parties that we have mentioned, a government was set up, that
23 is, the executive council of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And according to the
24 agreement among the parties, each party had a certain number of ministers
25 in that government. The joint parliament was headed at the time by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik, who was the speaker. And for almost a year, or a
2 little less, after the election, that is, up to sometime in June 1991,
3 that is, from the elections until the month of June, the cooperation
4 between these three parties was good.
5 In June 1991, what happened was that the Croatian parliament took
6 a decision to leave Yugoslavia as a community. And from then on, many
7 differences arose among those three political parties, and also the
8 political conditions in Bosnia-Herzegovina became far more complicated.
9 After that decision, the HDZ and the SDA supported Croatia's secession and
10 its right to secession from Yugoslavia. The SDS demanded and advocated
11 the preservation of Yugoslavia as a community so that after that event,
12 significant political differences among those three political parties came
13 to the fore.
14 Q. Did Mrs. Plavsic continue to hold her position through this
15 period, through June of 1991, in the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina as
16 the Serb -- as one of the Serbian representatives in the Presidency?
17 A. Yes, that was the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not the
18 government. Yes, Mrs. Plavsic did remain in that body. I could see her
19 at parliament meetings where she was mostly present. But I can hardly
20 remember her ever taking the floor at those meetings.
21 Q. Did she continue to be a member of the SDS leadership during this
23 A. Yes, I think that she was a member of the SDS at the time. As far
24 as I know, she wasn't a member of the top leadership of the SDS but was a
25 member of the party. In those days, I was a deputy representing the
1 opposition in that same parliament.
2 Q. And how long did you continue to be a deputy representing the
3 opposition in that parliament?
4 A. For as long as it existed, and I think this was up until February
5 1992 when the parliament met for the last time, or it may have been the
6 end of January. Anyway, from June up until next February, there was a lot
7 of political debate in the parliament. And at those meetings, the debates
8 focussed on political issues. And it was quite clear that as a rule, the
9 representatives of these three political parties, or rather the presidents
10 of these three parties, Mr. Izetbegovic, Mr. Karadzic, and Mr. Stjepan
11 Klujic, who was then the leader of the HDZ for Bosnia-Herzegovina, were
12 among the most frequent speakers. That was when the idea came up to call
13 a referendum on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I must say
14 that this was sometime in the autumn when the decision was taken --
15 Q. That was the autumn of 1991, Mr. Dodik?
16 A. Yes, yes, that's right. The decision was taken by a majority of
17 votes of these two political parties, that is, the SDS, Mr. Izetbegovic's
18 Party of Democratic Action, and the HDZ, headed by Stjepan Klujic. The
19 Serbian Democratic Party at the time was against that referendum.
20 We, in the opposition, considered this to be a very serious matter
21 which could provoke a major crisis and even war. We didn't take part in
22 the vote itself, but we felt that this issue should have been avoided.
23 Q. When, in fact, did that vote take place?
24 A. I think this was towards the end of that year. And the reaction
25 of the population was such that the Serbs did not vote at that referendum,
1 but the referendum did have the majority of the two other nations or
2 ethnicities. And I think that this was an event that predetermined
3 subsequent major conflicts that occurred. The impression was that a
4 formal majority needed to be obtained for such a major issue as the change
5 of a status of a republic, and this was pushed through by the Bosniaks and
6 Croats; whereas on the other side, the Serbs felt in jeopardy because any
7 future decision -- in any future decision-making, they could be outvoted,
8 and that is why they felt extremely frustrated. I have to say that I
9 personally did not take part in the vote on that referendum because I felt
10 that it wouldn't bring anything -- any benefit to anybody in
12 Q. Can you describe the political situation following the referendum
13 until you left your position in the parliament.
14 A. Generally speaking, it was a state of euphoria on both sides that
15 I have just described. The Bosniaks and Croats were very glad to take
16 part in the referendum and to vote in favour of the constitution of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a separate state outside the former Yugoslavia,
18 where the Serbs were resigned. And in places where Serbs lived, people
19 did not go and cast their votes. This deepened the political rift on an
20 ethnic basis due to the fear of outvoting and fear of being dominated,
21 that I have already referred to. And as a result, I think that all
22 subsequent events revolved around this struggle and debate as to whether
23 the referendum was correct or not. And of course, everyone had his own
24 arguments in favour or against based on what I have already said.
25 What happened then was that within the framework of a
1 parliamentary group of Serbian deputies, I think this was in November
2 1991, a separate assembly of Serb deputies of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
3 formed, the aim of which was to continue to assert and defend what in
4 those days were considered to be Serbian national interests, and that was
5 the preservation of Yugoslavia as a community that we were familiar with
6 from the past.
7 In Croatia, the armed conflict of significant proportions had
8 already started. And this, without any doubt, had major influence on
9 developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Did at some point the actions of the Serbian leaders result in the
11 declaration of a government by the Serbs?
12 A. Yes, the event that I have referred to, the formation of the
13 parliament by Serbian deputies. And this was not an elected government;
14 this happened several months later when it already became obvious that the
15 conflict had started and that there was no possibility any longer for
16 maintaining the bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina in operation.
17 Q. I think you told us that you left the parliament in Sarajevo in
18 the spring of 1992. Is that correct, Mr. Dodik?
19 A. In the spring, the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina was no longer
20 working. It was impossible physically for the parliament to continue
21 operating because after February, there were sporadic armed conflicts.
22 And then as of April that year, major conflicts which made impossible the
23 holding of parliamentary meetings. And I attended the last parliament
24 meeting - I think it was the last one - held at the end of January or the
25 beginning of February of that same year.
1 Q. You've mentioned the Serbian government that had been proclaimed.
2 Did that government consist of a Presidency during this period, in the
3 spring of 1992?
4 A. I think it was not proclaimed then, not the Serbian Presidency,
5 that is. But I'm not quite sure of the date, but I think it may have been
6 in March that the government was set up, of the Serbian Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, by that assembly which assembly meeting was held in
8 November 1991.
9 Q. Did Biljana Plavsic hold a position in that government, Mr. Dodik?
10 A. She was a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
11 which was still functioning in those days. So she was a member of the
12 body to which she had been elected in October 1990. That Presidency
13 sought and made every effort to calm those sporadic incidents and to seek
14 and find a solution by political means. And I do know and I noticed
15 Mrs. Plavsic's involvement at that time. During those months, together
16 with Mr. Fikret Abdic and Mr. Franjo Boras, and she were in Bosanski Brod,
17 where these incidents had occurred. I know that they also went to
18 Bijeljina and to Kupres. So as representatives of the Presidency of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina in those days, that Presidency would send a mixed
20 delegation into the field to try and deal with problems. I think that the
21 other bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the parliament and also the
22 government, had more or less stopped operating.
23 Q. And did there come a time when the Presidency essentially stopped
24 operating as it had been created through the election of 1990?
25 A. Yes, I think that was after April. I don't know whether a session
1 of that particular Presidency was held, the one that was formed in 1990,
2 or not. I can't say for sure. Perhaps there was another one towards the
3 end of April, but I'm not quite sure. But what I do know is that after
4 that, after the conflicts that started to take on great proportions, that
5 the national homogeneity that was done and the functionaries at the level
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina remained within the frameworks of their political
7 parties and their ethnic groups or nations.
8 Q. I'd like you to direct your attention now to the period from April
9 of 1992 until the end of 1992, during the time that the BH Presidency, as
10 it had been elected in 1990, no longer existed. Did Biljana Plavsic hold
11 any positions in the Republika Srpska at that time, April until December
12 of 1992?
13 A. I know that there were several assemblies of the then-Serbian
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina at which Mrs. Plavsic was not present at
15 those meetings. I think she was in Sarajevo at the time and that it was
16 only in June or the beginning of June, rather, that she left Sarajevo with
17 the assistance of the organisation of the international forces. And after
18 she left --
19 Q. I'm sorry. Why was it necessary for her to leave the -- Sarajevo
20 with the assistance of international forces?
21 A. I know that that is what happened. It's a fact. Now, I don't
22 know -- I suppose Mrs. Plavsic was a prominent personage and therefore she
23 and her family were exposed to dangers precisely because of the conflict
24 that was going on in Sarajevo itself and that her presence -- further
25 presence there after the month of June was putting her life and the life
1 of her family in danger. That is how I understood it, and that is how it
2 was. And at that time the leadership, the Serb leadership, was already
3 located at Pale from the month of April onwards.
4 Q. And did Biljana Plavsic continue to be a part of that leadership
5 from April until the end of 1992, as far as you could see?
6 A. I assume that communication was impossible while she was still in
7 Sarajevo between that leadership and herself, the leadership up at Pale
8 and herself because she was in Sarajevo. But I know that after that time
9 she did appear at the meetings. She attended parliament sessions, the
10 ones we had, and I noticed her presence there then. I don't know exactly
11 when she tendered her resignation to the membership of the Presidency of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but I know that people talked about it for a time and
13 that the Presidency was constituted of the Serbian Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think that was its name and title.
15 Q. Can you tell us what your situation was from April to December of
16 1992, Mr. Dodik. Did you continue to hold any positions, either
17 representative positions or governmental positions?
18 A. I didn't hold any positions within the government. At that time
19 let me say that I considered that during those times my participation in
20 the parliament would have been normal, of the Serbian Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And as a deputy, I agreed to continue my work in that
22 same parliament. I was never a member of the Serbian Democratic Party,
23 and at the time I took part in and behaved in conformity with my own
24 sentiments, linked to political actions. So regardless of the fact that
25 those were difficult times, I thought that people recognised me in the
1 parliament as a man who thought differently about all those events.
2 And I think that it was at the end of April that I was mobilised
3 to join the Army of Republika Srpska, or rather, the army at that time,
4 which in May became the Army of Republika Srpska, and I was there until
5 the end of that year. I was mobilised and involved in it. But at the
6 same time, I took part in the parliament sessions that were held, several
7 of them, or rather, the Assembly of the Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Did there come a time in late 1992 when you observed that Biljana
9 Plavsic had separated herself from the leadership of the SDS?
10 A. Well, I can only say what I saw at the parliamentary session
11 meetings. I did not have any other information as to what was going on at
12 any other meetings or in the relations they had amongst themselves. But
13 at the end of the year - I think it was a parliamentary session that was
14 held in Prijedor, actually - but it was quite obvious that Mrs. Plavsic
15 had quite a different position with respect to the overall situation and
16 the fact that an informal group of wartime profiteers were turning what
17 was happening to their own ends and to enrich themselves. And she stood
18 up to this fact, to this fact that they had become close to some leader
19 circles in Republika Srpska, and she spoke out against this loud and
20 clear. And this unequivocally left the impression that there was reason
21 to do so in that respect.
22 Q. From that point on, how would you describe what you could see as
23 her relationship with the leaders of the SDS, from the point of this
24 confrontation in late 1992?
25 A. This was always present when parliament made its decisions on
1 different points, and there was a clear difference that was evident as to
2 what Mrs. Plavsic advocated and what the other portion of the leadership
3 advocated of the then-Republika Srpska. I think that this conflict had at
4 its core the activities of some ministers of the judiciary and the police
5 force at that time, and I remember that Mrs. Plavsic attacked very
6 severely the work and practice of those two ministries during those years,
7 that is to say, the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993. And I also
8 know that Mrs. Plavsic still was the vice-president of Republika Srpska at
9 the time.
10 My role and presence also allowed me to observe all these things
11 and how parliament functioned. The dominant role was played by the
12 Serbian Democratic Party, and I have to say that I was witness to several
13 proposals put forward by Mrs. Plavsic at that time which were not accepted
14 by the parliament, and they related to the work of the two ministries I
15 mentioned a moment ago. And she advocated that the ministers be replaced
16 and that they -- the whole thing must be put under control, and she was
17 dissatisfied with many things, which were not brought out into the open at
18 the time, but there was discussion that they had to be taken away from the
20 Q. I believe she continued to hold that position as the
21 vice-president until sometime in 1996; is that correct, Mr. Dodik?
22 A. Yes, that is correct. She was the vice-president of Republika
23 Srpska throughout those years. And let me say once again that my meetings
24 and encounters with her work and her positions were through the work of
25 the parliament of Republika Srpska. And let me also say that in addition
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to the struggle to normalise the work of the government of Republika
2 Srpska, that she would often come forward in parliament with her efforts
3 to gear the work of the government to help the refugees; that is to say,
4 the Serbs coming in from Croatia into the Federation of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and their numbers rose from one month to the next.
6 And she also took part in discussions of a humanitarian nature linked to
7 Serb refugees that were pouring into the area of the then-Republika
8 Srpska, and I know that regularly she would tour places like schools,
9 sports halls, and others, factory halls where the refugees were
10 accommodated, and she would speak about the situation she encountered
11 there. And she asked the government to have an adequate programme for
12 taking care of those people and for their accommodation.
13 Q. Was this what you perceived to be her major work during this
14 period, after she had distanced herself from the leadership of the SDS
15 until 1996, Mr. Dodik?
16 A. Well, I think that was her exclusive involvement; that is to say,
17 she dealt with humanitarian issues. And I can say with absolute certainty
18 before this lofty Tribunal that the sentiments during those days, months,
19 and years that Mrs. Plavsic in the leadership of Republika Srpska in the
20 political sense of the word was completely marginalised. And quite
21 simply, this was evident at all the parliamentary sessions that were held
22 because many of her proposals from the humanitarian sphere were outvoted
23 by the deputies of the party that she until that time formally belonged to
24 herself. So I'm a direct witness of that kind of situation.
25 Q. Now, you had mentioned, Mr. Dodik, that she held the office of
1 vice-president until sometime in 1996. What happened at that time that
2 caused her to leave that position?
3 A. I think she remained a member of the -- or rather the
4 vice-president of the republic formally until the first elections were
5 held after the Dayton agreements. They were elections that were held in
6 September or October of 1996. In the meantime, because of the great
7 pressure that was brought against Karadzic to relinquish the post of
8 president, I remember that at the time as the deputy, she was the acting
9 president once again in preparations for the post-Dayton elections and for
10 agreements with the international community, which unleashed cooperation
11 to implement the Dayton Accords.
12 Q. Was there a meeting of the Serb Assembly following the Dayton
13 Accords in early 1996 that you can recall, Mr. Dodik?
14 A. Yes. I think there was an assembly session, perhaps at the end of
15 January or the beginning of February or before February. It was at Mount
16 Jahorina where the Dayton Peace Agreements were discussed. And I know
17 that the atmosphere was that the agreement was a bad thing for the Serbs
18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the prevalent view. And that the Serbian
19 Democratic Party did not accept them, and the discussion was on those
20 grounds. We, from the opposition at the time, considered that the
21 agreement should be accepted and that it should be put into practice.
22 First and foremost because it brought peace to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
23 also it defined the groundworks for the political system for
25 And according to us, there were considerable mechanisms to protect
1 Serb national interests within them as well, because there were
2 institutions of the Republika Srpska and within the joint institutions of
3 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, mechanisms through decision-making and
4 parity participation at all levels of decision-making in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I should like to note at the time, Mrs. Plavsic
6 in a brief address, in a short speech she made, she was closer to our
7 views, our way of thinking, although there were few people who would state
8 so in public on the basis of the need to accept the Dayton agreements
9 because for the simple reason that the leadership at Pale considered that
10 this was a transitional phase which would lead to quite a different
11 situation ultimately.
12 Q. At that time, was Mrs. Plavsic supporting the Dayton agreement
13 even though almost everyone else and all the leadership in the SDS was
14 against it?
15 A. I have already said that it was very difficult at that time to be
16 definitively along the lines of the Dayton agreement. But what I myself
17 felt was a good thing was that the doors were open for acceptance of it,
18 because this was a transitory phase before we accepted the Dayton
19 agreement in chapter and verse. And I remember that Mrs. Plavsic said
20 that Dayton was not to the advantage definitively of anyone but that
21 everyone was dissatisfied, the Bosniaks, the Croats, and the Serbs alike.
22 And that what was its value was the peace that it brought, and so that we
23 should take the road of peace.
24 And therefore, I considered that this was far different from the
25 positions that said that the Dayton agreement should be rejected, that it
1 was unacceptable and did not reflect the interests of the Serb people at
2 all. So there was a discussion along those lines on the other side of the
4 Q. Did there come a time when Mrs. Plavsic became acting president?
5 And can you describe how that came to be. Briefly, Mr. Dodik, because we
6 have only about 15 minutes left, and there are several important points we
7 still need to cover.
8 JUDGE MAY: In fact, we started rather later, 2.45, so we'll go on
9 until 4.15.
10 MR. PAVICH: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to say once again that I was
12 in a sort of opposition status. I don't know the details of the event
13 itself; that is to say, when Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Koljevic replaced each
14 other's position. And according to the Dayton agreement, this
15 was -- Karadzic had to withdraw. And what was important to me as a man
16 from the opposition was that Mrs. Plavsic promoted under those conditions
17 a maximum possible neutral position for preparing the political elections
18 and the activities of other political parties who had been set up in
19 Republika Srpska and throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina in large numbers. So
20 the elections took place eight months after the signing, rather nine
21 months after the signing of the Dayton agreement. Therefore, in that
22 respect, I do know what her work was like.
23 As to some other details, I can't say that we had any encounters
24 at that time. But from this prism, I can say and testify that the
25 possibility was open for the establishment of other political parties, and
1 that the accent was placed on representation and the possibility of having
2 them represented through the media and elsewhere.
3 Q. And did Mrs. Plavsic become an elected president at some point
4 during this period?
5 A. Yes, she did. At those particular elections, the first elections
6 to be held after Dayton.
7 Q. And that was in what month and year, Mr. Dodik?
8 A. That was in -- at the end of 1996.
9 Q. And from the end of the Presidency that Mrs. Plavsic held, did it
10 have an unusual power to it? And I'm referring you now specifically to
11 the power to dissolve the parliament. Do you recall whether it had that
12 power, Mr. Dodik?
13 A. After those elections, there was no Presidency of Republika Srpska
14 any more, but the functioning president of the republic, and
15 vice-president, one vice-president of the republic, was inaugurated. And
16 the competencies or authorities of the president, among others, was the
17 right to dissolve parliament, or rather the Assembly of Republika Srpska.
18 Q. And was that a power that Mrs. Plavsic held then during the last
19 part of 1996 and the first half of 1997, Mr. Dodik?
20 A. When she was elected president of the republic, she did have that
21 constitutional power. According to the constitution of Republika Srpska,
22 among others, she had the power to dissolve the assembly and to hold new
24 Q. During this period then, from the fall of 1996 to the summer of
25 1997, were you able to determine whether she continued to support the
1 implementation of the Dayton agreement, Mr. Dodik?
2 A. Yes, there were more and more activities along those lines. A new
3 organ was introduced, the OHR, for supervising and monitoring the
4 implementation of the Dayton Accords on the part of the international
5 community. And when the first high representative arrived in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was able to note that there was a great deal of
7 activity on the part of all the organs in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the
8 elections cooperating with the OHR. And as an opposition man myself, this
9 was indicative to me that matters in the leadership of Republika Srpska
10 were not functioning, and the fact that Mrs. Plavsic, at one point in
11 time, as president of the republic, transferred her cabinet to Banja
12 Luka. She didn't stay on up there at Pale.
13 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Dodik, approximately when that occurred.
14 A. I think that this took place at the start of her mandate, her term
15 of office, as president of the republic.
16 Q. And do you know what the purpose of that decision was? Did she
17 give a public reason?
18 A. I think the aim was to enable the normal functioning of it without
19 an atmosphere which had reigned up until then, in my view. And they
20 thought that it was necessary for Mrs. Plavsic just to be an exponent of a
21 policy or to carry out certain orders.
22 Q. Was that decision to transfer the parliament opposed by other
23 members of SDS, to your knowledge, Mr. Dodik?
24 A. Yes. Well, it wasn't very evident at the time. But with
25 subsequent events, we saw that there was a difference. We came to realise
1 that there was a difference in the leadership of the Republika Srpska, and
2 this came to the fore at the beginning of Mrs. Plavsic's term of office
3 when she continued, through the institutions of the system, to settle
4 accounts and unmask the various criminal affairs that were going on. And
5 through the organs of Republika Srpska, that is to say, the police force
6 and other of its organs, she endeavoured to have them wind up in court and
7 have a legal epilogue to them. And that is when they opposed her being in
8 Banja Luka. They wanted her to return to Pale, and that was the
9 culmination of all these relationships. Sometime in mid-1997, or more
10 exactly in August, she used her right to disband -- to dissolve
11 parliament, the parliament of Republika Srpska, and she called for new
12 elections to be held.
13 Q. Before she did that, in your opinion had her actions exposed
14 herself to political and personal risk? I'm talking now about the actions
15 that you mentioned, transferring the government and the parliament to
16 Banja Luka from Pale, actions to implement Dayton. Can you recall any
17 specific incidents that represented the political and personal risk that
18 she had exposed herself to in making these decisions?
19 A. I said that her cabinet, her offices functioned in Banja Luka,
20 whereas parliament continued to function at Pale. And precisely because
21 of this difference and the fact that parliament was at that time under the
22 direct control of -- the majority control of the SDS, in fact, parliament
23 implemented the policy advocated at that time by that particular political
24 party. And I think that the events that followed testified to just how
25 much this was dangerous, this dissolution of parliament. And I know that
1 Mrs. Plavsic during those days at that time spent all her time in her
2 office, days and nights. She never went to her apartment. Also for
3 security and safety reasons.
4 Q. Was there a time when she was at an international conference and
5 felt it necessary to return because of a crisis? I'm talking now about
6 the summer of 1997, before she dissolved the parliament and after the
7 transfer to Banja Luka.
8 A. Yes. She travelled to London to attend a meeting there. And
9 quite literally, because an urgent meeting was called of the
10 then-leadership of the SDS, which took advantage of this particular moment
11 when she wasn't there and the fact that the political situation had
12 deteriorated in Republika Srpska generally, she had to come straight back
13 from the airport to Republika Srpska. And in Belgrade, when the plane
14 touched down - and the public knows this very well - she was detained
15 there in a separate room, a premises of the Belgrade airport. And after a
16 certain amount of time she was deported to the border between Yugoslavia
17 and Republika Srpska, or rather, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where responsibility
18 for her was taken on by the police force of Republika Srpska. And several
19 hours later, some people from the Army of Republika Srpska brought her to
20 Banja Luka. And she did not go to Pale, which was the initial objective
21 of the leadership of the SDS. That is what I know about all that. That
22 is my interpretation of the events.
23 Q. When she was arrested and detained in Belgrade, this was in the
24 summer of 1997, Mr. Dodik?
25 A. Yes, that's right. I think it was July 1997, thereabouts.
1 Q. Who was the President of Serbia at that time, Mr. Dodik?
2 A. The President of Serbia was Mr. Milosevic.
3 Q. Nonetheless, did she proceed and dissolve the parliament after
4 this incident?
5 A. Yes. Several days after this turn of events some decisions were
6 made by the leadership at Pale, and her stay in London was used to
7 inaugurate the then-vice-president of Republika Srpska, with all the
8 competencies and authorisations that the president had so as to ensure
9 control over that position of president. And Mrs. Plavsic looked at the
10 overall relations and the situation, the conflicts, et cetera, and used
11 her constitutional right to dissolve parliament and call for new elections
12 to be held.
13 Q. Did you participate in those elections, Mr. Dodik?
14 A. Yes, I did. Already at that time I was the president of the
15 Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, a party that had been formed on
16 the 15th of January, 1996.
17 And I must say -- let me just point out one more thing: In
18 1994 -- sometime towards the end of 1994, in fact, I and a group of
19 deputies who did not belong to the Serbian Democratic Party at that time
20 in that first parliament of Republika Srpska established an independent
21 deputies group, of which I was president. So after Dayton, the Alliance
22 of Independent Social Democrats was formed. I was president of the party,
23 and the party took part in the elections independently.
24 Q. And those elections occurred in the fall of 1997, Mr. Dodik?
25 A. Yes, that's right. They were extraordinary parliamentary
1 elections of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. By that time had Mrs. Plavsic formally removed herself from the
3 SDS and formed a new party?
4 A. Yes. After parliament was dissolved, several weeks later,
5 perhaps, a new political party was formed of the Serbian national
6 alliance, of which she was president, and she put herself forward at the
7 elections. And this was a political party which at the elections was one
8 of the stronger ones. Actually, it came second.
9 Q. And this was a party that came in second even though it had
10 existed only for a matter of months?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. What were the results generally of the election? You've mentioned
13 that her party came in second. Can you tell us about your party and the
14 SDS and any others that you believe were significant at that time.
15 A. My party was elected to parliament. We had two deputy seats. But
16 what was most important at that point in time was the fact that the SDS no
17 longer had absolute authority in parliament. It was a relative winner,
18 but it didn't have a political ally with whom it could achieve a majority
19 to form the government in Republika Srpska. So I think that was the
20 greatest achievement of those elections, that the SDS no longer had
21 absolute power.
22 Q. And as a result of those elections, did Mrs. Plavsic gain the
24 A. She was the president. The elections were just for the parliament
25 of Republika Srpska. She continued to perform her office. The mandate
1 was from 1996 to 1998. And these extraordinary elections were just for
2 members of parliament. So she remained president of Republika Srpska
3 after those elections as well, and at the same time she was president of
4 this political party that I have identified.
5 Q. As president, did she have the right to nominate the candidate for
6 prime minister?
7 A. Yes. She alone has the right as the president of the republic to
8 nominate the prime minister. At the time, it was sufficient to have a
9 parliamentary majority to form the government without the SDS and the
10 Serbian Radical Party. And Mrs. Plavsic then nominated Mr. Ivanic as the
11 prime minister elect, though he did not represent any political party at
12 the time. He was politically uninvolved in the sense of being a member of
13 any political party. He was a person who was known in the public as an
14 expert, as a professional. And in those first weeks she gave the mandate
15 to Mr. Ivanic to compose a cabinet, and Mr. Ivanic for reasons he
16 explained at the time returned the mandate. Maybe two or three days prior
17 to a parliamentary session which was to elect the government he returned
18 the mandate, claiming that he could not compose a government.
19 Q. Did she then nominate you, Mr. Dodik?
20 A. Yes, she then gave me the mandate to form a government.
21 Q. And were there parties that were opposing her nomination of you at
22 that time?
23 A. Yes. The Serbian Radical Party was against it, and there was a
24 major media and political campaign against that nomination. Nevertheless,
25 at a meeting of the parliament of Republika Srpska that was held on the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 18th of January, 1998 the government was elected, of which I was the prime
2 minister, with a majority vote which did not include representatives of
3 the SDS and the Serbian Radical Party.
4 Q. Who were the leaders of the SDS at that time, primary leaders,
5 that opposed your nomination and election?
6 A. The SDS was still the most powerful political party in
7 parliament. It had the largest number of seats. And together with the
8 radicals, they had 39 deputies. And to have a majority, they needed 42.
9 So they were a strong grouping. As far as I know, the president at the
10 time was Aleksa Buha, I think it was, who was president of the Presidency
11 of Serbian Democratic Party, as it was called then.
12 Q. Who was the leader of the radical party at that time?
13 A. At that time the leader in Republika Srpska was Nikola Poplasen.
14 But the general, if I can call it that, the general president, the overall
15 president of that party is Mr. Seselj.
16 Q. Mr. Dodik, I'd like to talk now briefly. And you've described for
17 us the efforts that you made together with Mrs. Plavsic during this period
18 from 1997, while the two of you held office, to continue to work toward
19 the implementation of the Dayton Accords and what was your priority in
20 that implementation.
21 A. I have to say that our main and joint priority then was to
22 integrate Republika Srpska within international political relations on the
23 one hand; and on the other, to join international financial courses which
24 would provide for stabilisation and reconstruction of Republika Srpska,
25 reconstruction of the damages suffered during the war. I had full support
1 of Mrs. Plavsic for these priorities, and together we were active to join
2 in international affairs and assert the provisions of the Dayton Accords,
3 which implied a communication within international representatives and it
4 also implied a settlement of the domestic situation within the
5 competencies of the government and also adequate representation and
6 participation in the work of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 So this was very hard work, to which Mrs. Plavsic as president of the
8 republic fully contributed and assisted the government for as long as it
9 existed. And I must say that one of the more difficult parts of the
10 Dayton accords was the process of the return of refugees, and this was a
11 dominant theme and a dominant area that we were committed to. And our
12 assessment was that we need to ensure the formal preconditions for that
13 return, that is, the restoration of property rights. And Mrs. Plavsic and
14 her party, as well as the government, supported all activities designed to
15 that goal. And while she was still a president, there was a major debate
16 on the law on the restitution of abandoned property which was passed in
17 1999. Several months after she ceased to be president, but in any event,
18 her party played an active part in that.
19 Q. She ceased to be president, and that brings us to the election,
20 Mr. Dodik, of 1998. Can you tell us whether she took any political risks
21 in that election, which I believe resulted in her defeat as a candidate
22 for Presidency?
23 A. It is a fact that Mr. Poplasen won those elections, being the
24 joint candidate of the Serbian Democratic Party and the Serbian Radical
25 Party. In view of the fact that in the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 a candidate needed to be elected who would represent a grouping of
2 political parties, the coalition that we had that was called Sloga at the
3 time, Mrs. Plavsic abandoned her presidential campaign to assist
4 Mr. Radisic's campaign for membership in the Presidency. And as a result,
5 she lost the presidential elections and Mr. Radisic won the elections for
6 a member of the Presidency. So he defeated the candidate for the Serbian
7 Democratic Party and the Serbian Radical Party who was Mr. Krajisnik.
8 Q. Mr. Dodik, I'd like to ask you now a question that I'm sure has
9 been asked you many times. How can you justify, as a Serb, your work and
10 Mrs. Plavsic's work to dedicate yourselves to the implementation of the
11 Dayton Accords?
12 A. I personally believe that the events we have mentioned here and
13 the acts taken by Mrs. Plavsic to dissolve parliament and call the new
14 elections preserved Dayton, not only in Republika Srpska but in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was as a result of that that an internationally
16 acceptable government took over in Republika Srpska which could work on
17 the implementation of the project which was called the Dayton agreement.
18 We frequently discussed this, and we knew that the Dayton agreement had
19 many good things in it that suited the interests of the Serbian people as
20 well, and that it needed to be implemented. And that is why we supported
21 the implementation of the Dayton accords. We didn't see it as something
22 being directed against the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But we felt that
23 only through adequate activities, through the institutions of the system,
24 and assuming responsibility for the implementation of that agreement could
25 we preserve it.
1 Any neglect or undermining or ignoring the provisions of that
2 agreement most frequently ended up by the responsibility for the
3 implementation being taken over by the high representative, and that is
4 why we felt that our political and every other responsibility was to
5 assume responsibility to the implementation of the Dayton Accords. Of
6 course, there were certain problems with regard to understanding for each
7 and every move and the timeliness of those moves, but the overall
8 implementation of the Dayton Accords was never called in question.
9 Q. Do you believe that that overall implementation of the Dayton
10 Accords served all the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina? And if so, please
11 explain why you believe that.
12 A. Yes, the Dayton Accords without any doubt showed that there was no
13 victor of the armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So no reward was
14 given as a result of the war to any people. It was also a compromise with
15 respect to requirements of all three parties that were in conflict in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And such a compromise did not fully satisfy any
17 particular party to the conflict. And it was a framework within which a
18 path to peace was to be found, a path to the stabilisation of relations, a
19 path to reconciliation and better understanding of what were until
20 yesterday warring parties, and all of which should have resulted in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina becoming integrated within European trends.
22 The various political parties from the war and wartime political
23 leaders stood by their maximalist demands and frequently interpreted the
24 Dayton agreements exclusively from positions of their own interests, which
25 to a high degree prevented the comprehensive implementation of the Dayton
1 agreements. But like any other process, it has its ups and downs, and I
2 am convinced that what happened in 1997, that is, the extraordinary
3 elections, definitely preserved and defined the commitment of Republika
4 Srpska to the Dayton Accords.
5 MR. PAVICH: Thank you very much, Mr. Dodik.
6 I have no further questions, Your Honours.
7 MR. TIEGER: We have no questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Dodik, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
9 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now, half past 9.00, tomorrow morning.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
14 at 4.15 p.m., to be reconvened on
15 Tuesday, the 17th day of December, 2002,
16 at 9.30 a.m.