1 Thursday, 2nd December, 1999
2 [Rule 77 Hearing]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.35 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Will the Registrar call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your
8 Honours. Case number IT-95-9-R77.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I say at the outset that
10 we're making every effort to complete the case today,
11 and I ask all parties to take that into consideration.
12 Mr. Haynes.
13 MR. HAYNES: Your Honour, I'm going to call
14 Igor Pantelic.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 WITNESS: IGOR PANTELIC
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Have the witness make the
18 solemn declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may be seated,
23 Mr. Pantelic.
24 A. Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Examined by Mr. Haynes:
1 Q. Your full name is Igor Pantelic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Pantelic, let's come straight to the
4 point. You were sitting in court yesterday when a tape
5 recording was played of a telephone conversation?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were you one of the parties to that telephone
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you recall it now?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where were you when that telephone
13 conversation took place?
14 A. On the street in Belgrade.
15 Q. So it follows, does it, that you were
16 speaking on a mobile phone?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. During the course of that conversation, the
19 other party to the telephone call talked to you about a
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you understand what he was talking about?
23 A. No.
24 Q. What was your attitude to that telephone
25 conversation generally?
1 A. Well, it's a question of interpretation. I
2 mean, in slang language we used to use this word as an
3 event or gathering or -- I mean, in terms of, "What is
4 the programme for tonight?" that kind of thing.
5 In this particular moment and this case, I
6 was probably -- my understanding was probably that it
7 was related to some kind of trial proceedings or some
8 witness protection programme or something like that.
9 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
12 Q. Mr. Pantelic, if, as you say, you had no idea
13 what the programme referred to, why in the world would
14 you say that it was sometime in November? What kind of
15 programme is going on sometime in November?
16 A. Well, Mr. Ryneveld, let me explain it to
17 you. The term "programme" -- as I said, in our
18 language, slang -- we used to use on a daily basis,
19 means to me that if I'm speaking with friends. That's
20 another meaning, as I just explained.
21 On this particular occasion, my understanding
22 was that this programme means an event, means some kind
23 of procedures, some kind of, as I said, a witness
24 protection programme, because I remember that we have
25 discussed that on many occasions, all the colleagues in
1 this joinder case, this issue. Because, you know, to
2 have a proper defence in this particular case, it is
3 not enough to bring Serb witnesses here. Our defence
4 strategy was based on the fact that we would need to
5 have witnesses from the other nationalities and, well,
6 it's a very sensitive issue. Most of them always
7 asked, "What kind of protection will we have in The
8 Hague? What is the procedure? What is the travel
9 arrangements?" and many other things.
10 So probably my understanding was that it was
11 related to something on this issue.
12 Q. So you did discuss this file with
13 Mr. Avramovic; is that right?
14 A. We always discuss. Not only me and
15 Avramovic, but me and my learned colleagues Pisarevic,
16 Brashich, and the others. I mean, it's the process.
17 We are all discussing general issues of the law, issues
18 of proceedings and including relations with witnesses
19 and all these things. I mean, it's a joinder case.
20 Q. Mr. Pantelic, you didn't say, "I don't know
21 what programme you're talking about." When he said,
22 "When did that programme with Bane start," your answer
23 is, "Toward the end of the year."
24 A. My belief is that it was related to some kind
25 of process. I didn't know in which capacity this
1 person is making some relations with my colleague or
2 who -- even I don't know him in person. And as you may
3 take a short look on the second page of your
4 transcript, you'll see that there is a small pause, so
5 it was -- in fact, it was a little bit strange to me to
6 give the answer like that.
7 But don't forget, Mr. Ryneveld, that I was in
8 Belgrade. It was, I think, early in the evening. The
9 air strike alert was just to be announced. It was a
10 bombing operation against Yugoslavia. I was heading to
11 the other part of town to be, you know -- across the
12 bridge, et cetera.
13 When I came from the Hague after the last
14 Status Conference at the end of April 29th, then we set
15 a trial date for 22nd of June.
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. The immense extraordinary efforts for us to
18 prepare the case, to arrange all necessary things, not
19 to mention travels and all these things, under these
20 circumstances, it was so, so complicated. There was no
21 electricity. Our work in our offices was practically
22 stopped, you know, in many period of days. So probably
23 I was not -- I wasn't so focussed on this kind of
25 As you can also see in this transcript, there
1 is a few things which is unintelligible or something.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. It's a street, it's noise, et cetera.
4 Q. Although, sir, in fairness, not in the
5 portion with you and Daki; this is in the second part
6 of the transcript, Bane and Daki, that it is
7 unintelligible. Your --
8 A. You can just take a look on the first page.
9 It says.
10 Q. I don't see a lot of unintelligible aspects
11 to the part of the conversation attributed to you, sir,
12 but I could be wrong.
13 A. Well, maybe you should not be so ironic, my
14 dear friend.
15 Q. I'm just looking, and I don't see any. Well,
16 there's one, "Igor: (Unintelligible)," near the bottom
17 of page 1.
18 A. It's minor, I would say. It's not so
19 important a point.
20 Q. I only have a couple more questions, sir.
21 A. Of course.
22 Q. If I understand your position, you were busy,
23 you had lots to do, you were on a mobile phone, you
24 were in Belgrade, and somebody else's client is phoning
25 you. You're confused about what he is talking about.
1 Then why would you give him an assurance that it
2 doesn't matter, that it's not that urgent yet?
3 A. Well, my understanding, as I said, was that
4 it is not a case now. I don't know in which capacity
5 this person was acted or made some relations with my
6 colleague. I was not aware about that.
7 I mean, that's general information, not only
8 to this person but to all persons that might call us at
9 our office, because we collect many informations, and
10 sometimes one of our witnesses will call maybe for our
11 colleague Pisarevic. It's a normal way.
12 I mean, it's a sensitive issue to deal with
13 the witnesses or with someone who will get some
14 information or whatever, so we always try to be very
15 polite, very understandable, and not to be, you know,
16 in some kind of, I would say, short conversation or
17 something like that.
18 Q. Sir, why, if what you say is true, you didn't
19 know really what that was all about, would you purport
20 to give advice to another lawyer's client about
21 something where there was a time issue? Why would you
22 purport to give advice about -- when he says, "I
23 thought it was going to be in" --
24 A. You know, the reason was simple. My guess
25 was that maybe someone is interested what is the
1 development in this case, or maybe he will act in
2 capacity or he will appear in capacity of witness, or
3 maybe in capacity of some other sort of person, so that
4 the issue was, I mean, the general information, not
5 only for this person but for all persons in our case,
6 is that according to predicted schedule in this case,
7 by the end of the year we could have our case here, I
8 mean the Defence case. That was my general impression,
9 and always I repeat that to all of our witnesses, the
10 same thing.
11 Like your team leader, Mrs. Inderhaug, she's
12 in permanent contact with all your witnesses, arrange
13 travels, see how they are doing. I mean, in spite of
14 the unproportion between the Prosecutor and Defence, I
15 mean in favour of Prosecutor, of course, with the
16 sources and all those things, basically it's the same
18 Q. So you didn't think that Daki would be
19 required as a witness until towards the end of the
21 A. Actually, I wasn't aware at all about his
23 Q. And yet you would give advice?
24 A. In general terms, because I didn't know.
25 Maybe he will give this information to a third person.
1 Who knows? I mean, you cannot act, you know, so
2 strictly on this kind of thing.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: If you say so, sir. Thank
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before re-examination,
7 Mr. Pantelic, the question which Daki asked was, "When
8 does that programme with Bane start?" Now, you say
9 that you believe that was a reference to a witness
10 protection programme. The witness protection programme
11 with Bane, Bane being Mr. Avramovic?
12 A. Your Honour, during the last almost two years
13 in this particular case, my colleagues and me, we are
14 dealing permanent with this issue. A lot of witnesses
15 ask, "How we can be protected? We are not Serb
16 nationals. How we can come in The Hague to give our
17 evidence, to give testimony?" In all our relations
18 with them, we tried to explain the role of the Victim
19 and Witness Unit here, I mean, in general terms. You
20 cannot be specific so much with laypersons.
21 So the same thing is with the Serb witnesses
22 which we intend to call. They require a so-called safe
23 passage issue, because they also have some, I would
24 say, not fear but -- well, they have some reserves
25 about their position because, frankly saying, they are
1 a member of a local government there in the Samac area,
2 et cetera, so it's understandable. So on many
3 occasions, we have to speak with them. We have to
4 convince them and to give some information such as.
5 So, frankly, I wasn't able to make this
6 slight difference, you know, at that moment. Maybe I
7 was thinking that this person is asking for some other
8 information about, you know, including this --
9 JUDGE MAY: A witness protection programme
10 is --
11 A. -- because you cannot explain to them it's a
12 unit. It's more familiar to them in our language to
13 say, "Well, there is a protection programme," or
14 something, you know.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Which is usually organised
16 by the Tribunal.
17 A. By the Tribunal, yes.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
19 Judge Bennouna.
20 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]
21 Mr. Pantelic, just a point of clarification.
22 You answered a question from Mr. Haynes,
23 saying that you had been called on a mobile phone.
24 Could you tell the Trial Chamber, how was it that
25 Witness Agnes had the number of your mobile phone?
1 A. Yes, Your Honour. It's a very simple
2 question. Actually, on many times we received the
3 faxes from the Registry on our telephone for colleague
4 Pisarevic and for many other colleagues in the
5 Republika Srpska and in Belgrade too, so I mean it's a
6 normal way of things.
7 In terms of this telephone number, it's also
8 usual for colleagues dealing with a joinder case, as we
9 are dealing, to give, I would say, many telephones of
10 all colleagues in case that someone wants to reach
11 someone and he cannot be in contact, and then --
12 because you never know. Maybe some kind of very
13 important information will come and a colleague is not
14 here. Maybe the other can take this information and
15 pass it to him.
16 I'm dealing with this thing, I mean, all
17 these years, and including with my colleague
18 Pisarevic. If I have something to do in the Bosanski
19 Samac area, I give to this person his number so he can
20 call his office, leave a message or something. I mean,
21 that's the way.
22 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] So it is
23 customary for you to give the mobile number to
24 potential witnesses?
25 A. I didn't gave this telephone. You should
1 ask, you know, the other persons. I didn't gave this.
2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] But you
3 didn't give the person your number?
4 A. [Previous interpretation continues]...
5 because I can't see this person, Mr. Agnes. I didn't
6 have any contact with him.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
9 MR. HAYNES: I have no re-examination. Thank
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Pantelic, that concludes
12 your evidence, and you are released.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours. If I
14 may, shall I just walk away or can I get my robe and
15 to --
16 JUDGE MAY: I think you can resume your seat,
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Haynes.
20 MR. HAYNES: I call Milan Simic.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may address
22 the Court, please.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I should like
25 to suggest, for the hearing of my client Milan Simic,
1 that the cross-examination be limited to general
2 matters linked to this particular case and not to be
3 expanded to questions that are not linked to this Rule
4 77 hearing. It is an irregular motion, of course.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, thank you. That will
6 be the case. That has been the ruling. The questions
7 have to be so limited. If they are not so limited,
8 then an objection can be made and the Chamber will
9 consider it.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
13 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
14 and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: MILAN SIMIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Haynes:
18 Q. Your full name is Milan Simic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What's your date of birth?
21 A. 9th of August, 1960.
22 Q. I think you were married in 1993. Is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you just give us the date?
1 A. The 1st of February, 1993.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the microphones be
3 moved up closer to the witness, please?
4 A. Yes, I married on the 1st of February, 1993.
5 MR. HAYNES:
6 Q. We see that you're in a wheelchair. The
7 event that caused you to be confined to a wheelchair,
8 when did that take place?
9 A. It took place on the 13th of February, 1993;
10 that is, the 13th day into my marriage.
11 Q. I think you're a graduate in economics; is
12 that correct?
13 A. Yes. I graduated at the faculty of
15 Q. Have you ever been charged or convicted of
16 any criminal offence?
17 A. No, never. I was never charged or
19 Q. Now, I want to ask you just one question
20 about events in Bosanski Samac in 1992. Did you, in
21 1992, ever go to the elementary school?
22 A. Yes. In 1992 I went to the elementary school
23 on one occasion, and that is what I told people from
24 the Office of the Prosecutor, and this was also
25 confirmed by Prosecutor witnesses that were interviewed
1 by the Prosecutor subsequently.
2 Q. Just so that we're clear, that's an interview
3 at which, I think, Ms. Paterson was also present?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, you were in court when the witness we
6 call Agnes was giving his evidence?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Had you ever seen that man before in your
10 A. No, never. I've never seen him before.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simic.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Paterson or
13 Mr. Ryneveld.
14 MS. PATERSON: Your Honour, if I'm to assume
15 that I'm to be limited to those basically two
16 questions, then my cross-examination is limited to that
17 or do I have a certain amount of leeway beyond these
18 couple of questions?
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not so limited.
21 You're entitled to deal with the subject matter of the
22 application, but of course, as we have ruled, you
23 cannot deal with questions which go to the guilt or
24 innocence in the wider issue which we have not yet
1 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Your Honour. I had no
2 intention of going into those matters.
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Paterson:
4 Q. Mr. Simic, we have met before, have we not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And as you said, we were together on the
7 2nd of March, 1998, when you gave a statement to the
8 Tribunal; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. At the beginning of March. I don't
10 know the date exactly.
11 Q. And in that statement, as you've already
12 said -- you admitted that you had been present at the
13 primary school sometime in 1992; correct?
14 A. Yes. I said that I was in the elementary
15 school. I didn't admit it. I just told you about
16 events that occurred in 1992 linked to the elementary
18 Q. And at that same conversation, I asked you
19 if -- I believe it came up in the discussions if there
20 was someone that was known to you as your kum, which
21 has been explained to me as your best man. Did we
22 discuss someone, who was your best man, that day?
23 A. No. You didn't ask me. I told you that he
24 was my driver. He drove me to the elementary school
25 and drove me back from the elementary school. So my
1 kum was, at the same time, my driver in 1992.
2 Q. Okay. And what is the name of that person?
3 A. His name is Stevo Markovic.
4 Q. Now, on the 23rd of June this year, a
5 statement was submitted from your lawyer, in which you
6 completely denied ever having met the person known as
7 Mr. Agnes; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. And you never, ever had a telephone
10 conversation with Mr. Agnes; is that correct?
11 A. You are right. That is correct.
12 Q. So you were here and heard the testimony of
13 Mr. Agnes, and all those times that he said that he had
14 meetings with you and all those times he said he had
15 phone calls with you, none of that is correct; is that
16 your testimony?
17 A. Yes. None of that is true.
18 Q. But you had heard about this person,
19 Mr. Agnes, before you came to court for this
20 proceeding, had you not?
21 A. I heard about very many people that my
22 Defence counsel had contact with.
23 Q. Well, you, I assume, have regular
24 conversations with your attorney, Mr. Avramovic, and
25 discuss your defence and preparing for this case; isn't
1 that true?
2 MR. HAYNES: Can I ask Ms. Paterson treads a
3 little carefully here. She is going into the area of
4 attorney/client privilege.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Paterson.
6 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Your Honour. I am simply
7 asking did they have conversations. I have no
8 intention of going into the substance of the
9 conversations beyond the fact that they may, on
10 occasion, have discussed Mr. Agnes. That's the extent
11 of my question.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Confine yourself in that
14 MS. PATERSON:
15 Q. Did you, at any time in your conversations
16 with Mr. Avramovic, discuss the fact that Mr. Agnes had
17 volunteered to testify on your behalf?
18 MR. HAYNES: No. That's a step too far.
19 JUDGE HUNT: You're claiming the privilege on
20 behalf of your client, are you?
21 MR. HAYNES: It's only his to waive.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Yes.
23 MR. HAYNES: And yes, I am.
24 JUDGE HUNT: So he's not prepared to waive it
25 to answer that question?
1 MR. HAYNES: I don't know.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Don't you think it might be an
3 idea to have some instructions on the point, because
4 certain inferences can be drawn from --
5 MR. HAYNES: Certainly.
6 JUDGE HUNT: -- a refusal to answer that
8 MR. HAYNES: Certainly. Perhaps he should be
9 asked if he's happy to answer that question.
10 MS. PATERSON: Should I put the question to
11 him, Your Honour, or do you want to?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Put it to him.
13 MS. PATERSON:
14 Q. Mr. Simic, you have a right, if you want to,
15 not to answer that question. Do you want to answer
16 that question or not? It's up to you.
17 A. Yes, I do want to answer that question.
18 Q. Okay. Please do so, then.
19 A. Could you please repeat the question for me?
20 Q. Yes. At any time during your conversations
21 with Mr. Avramovic, when you were talking about
22 preparing for your trial, did he ever mention to you
23 the existence of this person known as Mr. Agnes, that
24 this man had come forward and offered to testify for
1 A. Mr. Avramovic did not tell me things to that
2 effect, though I did discuss this with him. But when
3 Mr. Agnes appeared as one of many that my attorney had
4 contacted, my lawyer at the time was Mr. Vukovic. So I
5 received the first information about Mr. Agnes from
6 Mr. Vukovic and not Mr. Avramovic.
7 Q. Okay. But the point is, you knew Mr. Agnes
8 existed. You knew that this man had come forward and
9 offered to give testimony favourable to you. Is that
10 not true?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Well, what did you know about Mr. Agnes?
13 A. On the basis of what Mr. Vukovic told me, I
14 knew that he had contacted a man whom we call here
15 Mr. Agnes, and he conveyed to me his impressions about
16 this man very briefly, because, of course, we didn't
17 discuss him only. We were having this conversation
18 after my return from the spa in Igalo, so he was
19 telling me about things that had happened in the
20 meantime. Among other things, he told me, very
21 briefly, with reference to Mr. Agnes, that his
22 impressions as regards that individual were that he was
23 a highly unreliable individual and that he would -- had
24 still not decided whether he would be of any use for
25 the defence.
1 Q. Mr. Simic, do you know a woman by the name of
2 Jasna Marosevic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. That's a young woman who testified here in
5 court earlier is week; is that not true?
6 A. Yes, of course.
7 Q. And Ms. Marosevic is a personal friend of
8 yours, isn't she?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And she's been trying to assist you in your
11 preparation to your defence for this case, has she
13 A. Yes, in a sense. Up to a point. Not
14 directly to assist the Defence, because she is not
15 qualified to assist, but she did tell me that she had
16 contacted a friend of hers that she thought might be
17 useful for my defence, and I told her then the
18 telephone number of my lawyer, Mr. Vukovic, that she
19 should contact him and tell him everything that she
20 knew, and that it was then up to him to decide what to
21 do next.
22 Q. Did Jasna ever tell you that she was a friend
23 of Mr. Agnes, that she had known him before the war
25 A. She told me that this friend of hers that she
1 thought might be useful, that she did know that person
2 from before the war and that she was a friend of his,
4 Q. And did you ever have any more detailed
5 discussions with her about Mr. Agnes, about the fact
6 that he had volunteered to testify on your behalf?
7 A. No, I didn't have any detailed discussion
8 with her about anything linked to my defence at all.
9 Q. Didn't you find it rather curious, Mr. Simic,
10 that a man that you claim you've never met before and
11 you've never seen before in your life was willing to
12 come forward and testify on your behalf in a trial as
13 serious as this here in The Hague? Did that surprise
14 you that Mr. Agnes volunteered to testify for you?
15 A. First of all, if we're talking about my
16 conversation with Jasna, all she told me was that he
17 was willing to talk to my attorney. Whether this was a
18 question of testimony or something else, I didn't
20 Secondly, it does not surprise me at all if
21 people want to appear in this court to tell the truth.
22 He's not supposed to testify for or against me but to
23 testify of things that he witnessed and tell the Court
24 what he saw. I don't see how the Court would operate
25 at all if people weren't ready to come here and tell
1 the Court what they know. So I'm not surprised at
2 all. And surely other witnesses come on the basis of
3 that same principle, to tell the Court what they know.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Simic, up until, I guess it was late
5 May or early -- I guess sometime in June of this year,
6 you were actually on what's called provisional release
7 and you were living in Bosanski Samac; isn't that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So unlike the other defendants in this case
11 who are in the detention centre, you've been in
12 Bosanski Samac and you've been free to move around and
13 meet people and have conversations, go out to cafes,
14 have you not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And one of the cafes that you hang out at,
17 that you go to frequently, is the cafe Lotos, where
18 Jasna is a waitress; isn't that right?
19 A. No.
20 Q. You don't go to the cafe Lotos ever?
21 A. Not frequently. You said whether I hang out
22 there and whether I go there frequently. I'm saying
23 that I don't. I don't hang out there and I don't go
24 there frequently. Sometimes, yes.
25 Q. Now, you heard both Mr. Agnes and Jasna say
1 that on several occasions Mr. Agnes went to Bosanski
2 Samac in 1998 and 1999. Do you remember that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And would it be fair to say that most people
6 in Bosanski Samac know who you are because of the
7 unfortunate fact that you're in a wheelchair? You're
8 well known around town because of your being confined
9 to a wheelchair; isn't that right?
10 A. Yes. Most people know me because of two
11 unfortunate facts. One is that I'm in a wheelchair,
12 and the other is that you have accused me. That is the
13 other fact by which I'm known.
14 Q. So is it your testimony, Mr. Simic, that
15 never, in all those months of 1998 and 1999, and all
16 those trips that Mr. Agnes went to Bosanski Samac, the
17 two of you never crossed paths? You never crossed on
18 the street? You never met in a cafe? You never laid
19 eyes on each other? Is that your testimony?
20 A. I'm saying that I never saw him or never
21 identified him. I may have come across him in the
22 street. I may have met you in the street sometime
23 before the war, but I don't recollect that. I don't
24 know all the people I come across in the street. It is
25 possible that I may have come across him but I am not
1 aware of it.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Simic, you've been here throughout
3 all of the testimony. You heard all of Mr. Agnes's
4 testimony, didn't you?
5 A. Yes, and I have read all his statements.
6 Q. Well, if you've read his statements and
7 you've heard his testimony, you know that he describes
8 several meetings in which he claims to have met you,
9 don't you?
10 A. No. I know that in his first statement he
11 said he never saw or heard me. Then in the second one
12 he said he heard me on the phone. Then in the latest
13 one he said he saw me several times. So my expectation
14 was that at the end we saw each other on a daily
15 basis. So he says all kinds of things in those
16 statements, so I don't know which one of those you want
17 me to comment on.
18 Q. I'll get back to that in just a minute. You,
19 in the past, have worked at several different jobs,
20 have you not, Mr. Simic?
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. PATERSON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
23 A. Actually, I was mostly doing the same work
24 but at different places.
25 MS. PATERSON:
1 Q. Mr. Simic, did you ever work for a company or
2 work at a company called Nova Forma?
3 A. It depends what exactly you mean. My
4 company, my firm, is called Osvit, and it did work for
5 a firm called Nova Forma, as it did for other firms in
6 Samac. I printed paper for them, publicity material,
7 and so on. So my firm did work for that firm. So we
8 have a business relationship, yes.
9 Q. So is it, then, just a complete coincidence
10 that Mr. Agnes mentioned the fact that on at least one
11 occasion you had a meeting with him at the Nova Forma
13 A. Mr. Agnes, according to what he said here,
14 doesn't even know where the premises of Nova Forma are
15 situated. Of course, that is not true, as everything
16 else that Mr. Agnes has said is not true. I was never
17 in Nova Forma with Mr. Agnes and, anyway, I went to
18 Nova Forma only once. When they were observing their
19 first anniversary, I went there. I was one of the
20 invited guests to that modest celebration. And it is
21 very complicated for me to reach Nova Forma, because
22 you have to reach it from the main road and not from
23 town. So you need to go through a different gate than
24 the gate leading to Buducnost.
25 Q. So then, Mr. Simic, in all the places in
1 Bosanski Samac that Mr. Agnes could have picked to
2 claim that he met you, it's just an amazing coincidence
3 that he picked the Nova Forma company with which you,
4 in fact, do have a business association; is that what
5 you're saying?
6 A. What I am saying is that I have business
7 relations with all firms in Samac. There isn't a firm
8 with which my printing firm does not have business
9 relations; some to a greater, others to a lesser
10 extent. That is my market. My printing office is not
11 a big one to cover a broader area beyond Samac. So if
12 you mention any firm in Samac, they would be my
13 business partners.
14 The fact that he chose Nova Forma, that
15 depended on his own sources of information, which were
16 mostly rumours and gossip. I have another link to Nova
17 Forma, and that is that I was president of the board of
18 managers of the state-owned company Buduchnost, and
19 then Buduchnost rented out a part of the premises to
20 Marijan Misic, who set up a company called Nova Forma.
21 So I was on the other side. I was working in the
22 state-owned company, which rented out the premises to
23 the owner of Nova Forma. So he may have linked those
24 up two. And the owner of Nova Forma is Marijan Misic,
25 who is my friend and who had worked with me in
1 Buduchnost before the war. He was technical director
2 and I was financial director. So we know each other
3 very well.
4 As for who is the owner of Nova Forma, that
5 is easy to check in court where the firm has been
6 registered. It can't be simply based on what Agnes
7 says or what you claim, but there are documents to
8 corroborate and to show who owns the company.
9 Q. Mr. Simic, you heard the testimony that
10 Mr. Agnes is not originally from Bosanski Samac, that
11 he's from -- was originally from the town of Bihac in
12 Bosnia. Did you hear that testimony?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you also heard the testimony that on the
15 17th of April, Mr. Agnes was arrested and then detained
16 in the camps until December, when he joined the VRS
17 army, and stayed in the VRS army until October, when he
18 went to Serbia. You heard that testimony; correct?
19 A. Yes, I heard the testimony, but I don't
20 recall all the dates. But I did hear the testimony,
22 Q. So what you're trying to tell us is that
23 Mr. Agnes, who was not even from Bosanski Samac, didn't
24 spend much time in Bosanski Samac, went to all the
25 trouble to apparently investigate who owned the Nova
1 Forma company, that there might be a connection between
2 you and the Buducnost company, and that maybe that was
3 a good place he could choose to say, untruthfully, that
4 he had had a meeting with you?
5 A. As far as I know, he didn't investigate
6 things properly, as far as I remember his testimony.
7 Perhaps I'm wrong, but he didn't convey a single exact
8 fact regarding the ownership of Nova Forma. Who he got
9 his information from, I have no idea; nor am I
10 interested; nor do I wish to investigate how he gets
11 his information. But they are obviously wrong. This
12 is something that you yourself can easily see for
14 Q. Mr. Simic, did you ever have an office with
15 your printing company or any of your other business
16 interests in the building called the Spomen Dom, which
17 I believe is also known as the Memorial Centre?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you also heard Mr. Agnes say that he had
20 a meeting with you in the Spomen Dom, in your office
21 there on one occasion, did you not?
22 A. When, when? When did we meet there in Spomen
24 Q. Well, I don't know if I have that exact
25 reference in front of me, but do you remember Mr. Agnes
1 testifying here that he met with you at least once in
2 the Spomen Dom?
3 A. I remember that he testified to that effect
4 here, but unfortunately at the time my office was not
5 in the Spomen Dom. So the period that he states that
6 he met me in Spomen Dom, my office wasn't in Spomen Dom
7 at all, so I couldn't have met him there. He did not
8 meet me there; anywhere or there either. If you can
9 check it out, do so and tell me when it was.
10 Q. Do you have a relative -- I don't know
11 whether it's a close or distant relative -- by the name
12 Simeun Simic?
13 A. Simeun Simic, yes, I have. He's a close
14 relative. It is my cousin, my uncle's child.
15 Q. Does he also maintain some offices in the
16 Spomen Dom?
17 A. He is the director of a state company called
18 Duga, and their premises are in Spomen Dom. So he's
19 the director of that company within the composition of
20 which is the Memorial Centre building, the Spomen Dom.
21 Q. So again, Mr. Simic, apparently we're left to
22 just assume that it's an amazing coincidence that
23 Mr. Agnes came in and said that he met with you in the
24 Spomen Dom, where you used to have an office and where
25 a close relative of yours still has an office; is that
2 A. I don't know what that's got to do with where
3 my relative works and where his office is. I have an
4 office there too today because I returned to the Spomen
6 But unfortunately, as I've already said,
7 Mr. Agnes and you said, to begin with, that people know
8 me in Samac because of one unfortunate incident, and I
9 said because of two unfortunate incidents, so people do
10 have information about me and it's no problem to learn
11 where my printing press outfit is located, because I
12 have a lot of advertising material. And the
13 unfortunate fact for Mr. Agnes is that this office
14 moved to the Duga and then back to the Spomen Dom, so
15 that he couldn't know exactly when the printing company
16 was where, and he mixed up the dates and he mixed up
17 the premises. He doesn't know. But I know when I was
18 situated in the office which was in the Buducnost
19 building and when I was at my office situated in the
20 Spomen Dom building, and Mr. Agnes simply did not know
21 that and he mixed up the dates. So when I was in the
22 Buducnost premises, he said he saw me in the Spomen
23 Dom. When I was in the Spomen Dom --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think you're creating some
25 hardship for the interpreters. Could you speak a
1 little slower.
2 A. I apologise. I shall try, Your Honour.
3 Thank you, Your Honour, for drawing my attention to
5 Well, that's my answer. I've answered it, I
7 MS. PATERSON:
8 Q. No, I think that you just mentioned that you
9 have now returned to the Spomen Dom, that you now again
10 have offices in the Spomen Dom. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And when did you return to the Spomen Dom,
13 take offices again in that building?
14 A. At the end of March or the beginning of April
15 this year.
16 Q. I'm sorry, end of April, beginning of
17 March -- or end of March, beginning of April; is that
18 what you said?
19 A. I said somewhere towards the end of March or
20 the beginning of April. That's what I think, although
21 I have it in my notes, in my documents, when I -- one
22 contract ceased to exist and when I signed another
23 contact, so I'm not sure whether it was at the end of
24 March or the beginning of April. But, of course, if
25 you want the exact date, I can get it for you, looking
1 back in my documents.
2 Q. Well, Mr. Simic, Mr. Agnes came to the
3 attention of the Tribunal in early May of 1999, this
4 year, so from what you're saying, you again had offices
5 in the Spomen Dom before Mr. Agnes left Bosanski Samac
6 and came and told the Tribunal his allegations against
7 you; is that correct?
8 A. I said when I was in the Spomen Dom again,
9 and that's got nothing to do with where Mr. Agnes was.
10 I don't know where he was, and I don't know when he was
11 where. I know when I moved from the Buducnost building
12 to the Spomen Dom, and I see no connection with where
13 he was, with anything to do with where he was at the
15 Q. And, Mr. Simic, I know you said that you were
16 getting rehabilitation in Montenegro, I believe, during
17 the month of August 1998. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And I believe in September that you were here
20 at The Hague for a few days for another court
21 proceeding. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. But considering the months of October,
24 November and December, 1998, during those months were
25 you in Bosanski Samac?
1 A. Yes, of course.
2 Q. And in 1999, were you in Bosanski Samac in
3 January, February and March?
4 A. Of course. Where else would I be?
5 Q. So while I know that you deny that you ever
6 met with Mr. Agnes, in fact you were in Bosanski Samac
7 during that six-month period when he claims to have had
8 several meetings with you; isn't that true?
9 A. It is true that I was in Bosanski Samac,
10 because that is what this Tribunal told me to do, and I
11 complied and did not leave Bosanski Samac in conformity
12 with the ruling made by this Trial Chamber.
13 MS. PATERSON: Just one moment, Your Honour.
14 I have no further questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any re-examination,
16 Mr. Haynes?
17 MR. HAYNES: No, thank you.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Simic, that concludes
19 your testimony. You are released.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Haynes, where are you
24 now in your case?
25 MR. HAYNES: I now have to move into evidence
1 a file of documents. I have a copy for each of Your
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: And one for the
5 MR. HAYNES: The Prosecution have had one for
6 some days now, I think.
7 If I may just take you through it briefly,
8 the first section is the entire documentary evidence
9 filed by the Defence during the course of these
10 proceedings. You'll see there's an index on the second
11 page which describes the document, gives the page
12 numbers of the document in both Serbian and in English,
13 and in the third column the date on which it was
15 The second section I need to take you to is
16 headed "Admitted Facts." Now, I've spoken to
17 Mr. Ryneveld about this, and the Prosecution have
18 considered their position so far as this is concerned.
19 Most of these facts were served on all parties, I
20 think, as long as three months ago, with a requirement
21 that they comment upon it, and, perhaps predictably,
22 the only response is from Mr. Brashich. But the
23 Prosecution position, as I understand it, is that they
24 cannot admit all of those as facts. They are happy
25 that the first four are admitted as facts, and they are
1 content that the documents in Section 1 purport to
2 establish each of those facts. So rather than it being
3 headed "Admitted Facts," it probably ought to be headed
4 "Statement of Facts," and I hope that's not
6 MS. PATERSON: That's a relatively accurate
7 description of our understanding. Our point was simply
8 on this Section 2 that's entitled "Admitted Facts," we
9 absolutely have no problem with numbers 1 to 4, but
10 numbers 5 to 11, which basically describe what is in
11 the documents that are listed in Section 1, we are not
12 in a position to confirm whether those things are true
13 or not. We have no way of verifying that information,
14 so we can't admit them as facts. But we have no
15 objection to the documents being admitted, and the
16 documents can speak for themselves and Your Honours can
17 give them whatever weight you see fit.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do I understand the title is
19 changed from "Admitted Facts" to "Statement of Facts"?
20 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
21 Now, it would normally be my practice to read
22 that document so that it appears on the transcript of
23 evidence. I would be grateful for some guidance as to
24 the practice in relation to such a document.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: That won't be necessary.
2 You're putting it in, you're exhibiting it.
3 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much, which
4 brings us to Section 3.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Before you do, I'm sorry to come
6 back to it, but it does not contain the interview which
7 Mr. Simic had in which he said that he had been at the
8 elementary school. I thought you were going to deal
9 with that.
10 MR. HAYNES: I'm endeavouring to. I obtained
11 a copy of that interview last night, and I have it
12 here. But I obtained it from Defence counsel in the
13 main case, who has heavily marked the relevant
15 JUDGE HUNT: There must be a copy available
16 from the Prosecution, surely.
17 MR. HAYNES: Well, I hope we can sort that
18 out before I close my case.
19 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Your Honours. If you are
20 going to give us time at the break, I can go to my
21 computer and print out a fresh copy.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: It was my understanding that
1 this copy should be redacted only to the passage which
2 contains his admission that he was at the elementary
3 school on one occasion, and not the whole statement of
4 my client.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes, that is how it
6 should be done. Yes.
7 MR. HAYNES: That's my intention.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
9 MS. PATERSON: Just so I can be clear, Your
10 Honours, basically the way the interview was conducted
11 was that Mr. Simic was given an opportunity, without
12 any interruptions, to tell us whatever he wanted to
13 tell us about what had happened, and it goes on for
14 approximately four pages in the transcript, and I
15 believe the first reference to the elementary school is
16 on the top of the third page of this part of his
17 testimony, where he states, and I'm just going to read
18 one sentence, quite simply: "So we went to the
19 elementary school between 11.00 at night and midnight."
20 Is that sufficient for Court purposes, to just have
21 that one sentence, or should I give you the whole four
22 pages of his statement?
23 JUDGE HUNT: I suggest that you speak to
24 Mr. Haynes about it. If he wants some more in, then
25 you may like to consider including it. But we
1 certainly don't want anything other than anything which
2 explains its context.
3 MS. PATERSON: Perhaps Mr. Haynes and I can
4 work that out at the break.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't want to go to the
6 wider issues, yes.
7 MR. HAYNES: Which brings us to Section 3 of
8 the bundle of documents and the vexed question of
9 affidavit evidence.
10 Now, I do submit that even under the old
11 Rule, the evidence of Spasoje Pisarevic is in a form
12 that is admissible before this Tribunal. Just so it is
13 clear, the witness statement is signed in the form of a
14 declaration admissible under Serbian law as a
15 declaration, and to double up, as it were, to add the
16 belt to the braces, it is postulated under The Hague
17 Convention of 1933.
18 Now, I know I don't need to address Your
19 Honours at any length about the absence of an
20 affidavit, as we in common-law countries understand it
21 to be, from the Yugoslavian legal system, but they do
22 have a system of declarations -- I see Ms. Paterson
24 MS. PATERSON: Perhaps we can speed things
25 up, Your Honour. I believe that we stated yesterday
1 unequivocally we have no objection to introducing this
2 document. Please submit it into evidence. We're happy
3 to have Your Honours consider it.
4 MR. HAYNES: Well, I was only concerned that,
5 notwithstanding concessions yesterday, the Court had,
6 on an earlier occasion, indicated that the document was
7 not in an appropriate form. If it now is, then I do
8 submit that into evidence, along with all the other
9 documents that the Defence rely upon.
10 JUDGE HUNT: The concession is not that it's
11 in an appropriate form. The concession is that you may
12 tender it. That's all we need to worry about.
13 MR. HAYNES: Well, I'm concerned that the
14 Court should receive it as admissible evidence, not
15 just as some document that has no status at all.
16 Very well. Then subject to the interview,
17 that is all the evidence that the Defence propose to
18 call in this case.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Paterson.
20 MS. PATERSON: Just before we leave this
21 matter of documents, I just want to clarify. We also
22 have another bright orange binder, which is the binders
23 Mr. Haynes has been using. It contains all of
24 Mr. Agnes' witness statements that were, I believe,
25 tendered as Defence exhibits. I would just like to
1 clarify. Have those been entered into evidence? We
2 would like that they be entered into evidence, so if
3 they have not, we would like to be sure they do go into
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We did make a ruling that
6 they should be admitted into evidence. Registrar?
7 THE REGISTRAR: All the statements, the
8 Prosecution statements of Witness Agnes, are admitted
9 into evidence, and they will be put on the list.
10 MS. PATERSON: Okay. I just wanted to
11 clarify that. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Haynes.
13 MR. HAYNES: There is, of course, one other
14 thing of actually great importance, and that is the
15 re-revised transcript of a telephone conversation which
16 ought to now become, I submit, Exhibit 1A, and all
17 other copies should be removed from the evidence.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: It would form part of the
19 evidence and would be an exhibit, but it wouldn't
20 displace those that had been submitted before, tendered
22 MR. HAYNES: Well, I am concerned about this
23 because I've seen the report from the translation
24 service, and it's significant because the effect of it
25 is that the most crucial line in the telephone
1 conversation between Mr. Agnes and Mr. Avramovic is now
2 said to be unintelligible.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but we will admit it.
4 MR. HAYNES: No, but the point is really
5 this: That therefore means that the original Exhibit
6 1A is an erroneous translation.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's a matter for us to look
8 at and to decide.
9 MR. HAYNES: Well, we did have a deal of
10 debate about this yesterday.
11 JUDGE HUNT: That's why it should be in
12 evidence. What weight we give to the first one is a
13 matter for us, but you may rest assured that if the
14 translation people say they can no longer decide
15 between one and the other, that may very well be the
16 attitude we take. I'm not going to bind anybody to
17 that, but it seems to be the common-sense one. But to
18 exclude an exhibit about which there has been a lot of
19 debate in the evidence seems to me, with respect, to be
21 MR. HAYNES: Well, it really depends whether,
22 in requiring a further translation, you were looking
23 for a definitive answer.
24 JUDGE HUNT: We are not a jury, so let's get
25 on with it. I do submit, therefore, that the new
1 translation should become Exhibit 1C, I think.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Registrar will see to
3 that. Is that your case now?
4 MR. HAYNES: Yes, subject to the passage of
5 the interview.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll now move to the stage
7 of addresses, beginning with the Prosecution.
8 Mr. Brashich?
9 MR. BRASHICH: Your Honour, with the
10 termination of the giving of evidence, I was wondering,
11 rather than my disrupting the proceedings thereafter, I
12 would beg leave to be released, inasmuch as I have to
13 be in court tomorrow in New York. I believe
14 Mr. Pantelic is in the same predicament as I am. And I
15 would again beg leave of the Court, since I have no
16 further role, that I be released.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Brashich, yes, you may
18 be released. I should say that the other matter in
19 which you are involved, obviously we will not reach it
20 and you will be advised as to the future dates.
21 MR. BRASHICH: Your Honour, I just want to
22 make it clear that I had also spoken on behalf of
23 Mr. Pantelic, so that we not speak twice.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Pantelic also may
25 be released.
1 MR. BRASHICH: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: In fact, all counsel that
3 wish to leave, other than those who are intimately
5 MR. BRASHICH: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Paterson.
7 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Your Honour. Just to
8 inform the Court, I appreciate the fact that Your
9 Honours are anxious to conclude the case today. I will
10 endeavour to keep that in mind. I just want to advise
11 you that I have read through my summation on a couple
12 of occasions, and I estimate it does run about an
13 hour. I will try to shorten it as much as possible,
14 but just so you know for scheduling purposes.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may also submit a
16 written form.
17 MS. PATERSON: Well, thank you, Your Honour,
18 but my submission is written in outline form, so we're
19 not prepared to submit anything that formal. If you
20 bear with me, I'll just go ahead and give it and I'll
21 try and be concise.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 MS. PATERSON: Your Honours, the issue before
24 you is whether or not Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Simic
25 threatened, intimidated, caused any injury to, offered
1 a bribe to, or otherwise interfered with a potential
2 witness, specifically the man referred to as Mr. Agnes,
3 before this Trial Chamber.
4 By its very nature, this crime is committed
5 behind closed doors, with few witnesses. Therefore,
6 for the most part, this case is going to hinge on the
7 credibility of the three key witnesses in this case,
8 that being Mr. Agnes, Mr. Avramovic, and Mr. Simic. So
9 in making your determination in this case, it's crucial
10 that you pay attention to the credibility of those
11 witnesses and particularly to their motivation in
12 coming before you and giving the testimony that they
14 Now, if someone were to come in and start to
15 listen to this case in the middle of the testimony,
16 they might think this was a fairly complicated case.
17 They would have heard about a lot of different meetings
18 on different dates, different occasions, different
19 people that were present. But Your Honours have been
20 here and have been listening to the testimony, and you
21 know that this, in fact, is not that terribly
22 complicated a case.
23 What it boils down to, quite simply, is the
24 word of Mr. Agnes against the word of Mr. Avramovic and
25 Mr. Simic. Yes, there were other witnesses called, but
1 those were the three key witnesses in this case.
2 I know there are many ways to evaluate a
3 witness's credibility, and I'm sure that each of you
4 have your own tried and true tested ways, but I would
5 stress that in this particular case, I think the
6 motivation in coming forward and giving the testimony
7 that they gave is especially important. We must ask
8 ourselves: What did Mr. Agnes have to gain or lose by
9 coming in and telling the Court the story that he did?
10 On the other hand, what motivation did Mr. Avramovic
11 have to give his version of events? Finally, what
12 motivation did Mr. Simic have to give his testimony?
13 Finally, the ultimate question that Your
14 Honours have to decide is: Did Mr. Agnes volunteer to
15 give testimony on behalf of Milan Simic, or was he
16 forced or were they attempting to force him to give
17 testimony on Mr. Simic's behalf?
18 Let's begin with Mr. Agnes. Your Honours saw
19 him come in and give testimony over several days. You
20 are aware of the fact that he has been here in The
21 Hague since May as a protected witness. He did not
22 testify until November. He was here almost eight
23 months waiting to give his testimony. You heard him
24 state that he left behind his family in Serbia. He
25 took it upon himself to leave and come to the attention
1 of the Tribunal by going to SFOR in Brcko. And you
2 heard him say that he was afraid to come forward, that
3 he was greatly concerned for his security and that of
4 his family.
5 That was corroborated by the testimony of our
6 investigator, Tore Soldal. He told that he met
7 Mr. Agnes the day he had turned himself into SFOR and
8 that, in his opinion, Mr. Agnes was afraid. Mr. Soldal
9 told you that, despite his fears, the only thing that
10 Mr. Agnes asked from the Tribunal was for security. He
11 did not ask for a job. He did not ask for money. He
12 did not ask, even at that point, to be resettled to
13 another country. Ultimately, when we brought him here
14 and put him in protection, it was agreed he would be
15 resettled to another country, but that is the only
16 thing he has ever asked for and the only thing he has
17 ever been promised. All he really wanted was to be
18 safe and for his family to be safe.
19 What was his motivation in coming forward?
20 His motivation was to take control of his life back.
21 Now, we know why he came forward. Let's look
22 at the story he told. Now, I will admit that Mr. Agnes
23 was far from the perfect witness. There were times
24 when he was somewhat difficult, when he was frustrated
25 and angry, but in many ways that makes him a very
1 credible witness. You saw him come in here. You saw
2 for yourselves his emotions. He did not keep his
3 emotions to himself. You saw when he got angry, you
4 saw when he got frustrated, and you saw when he got
5 outraged at some of the allegations being made against
6 him by the Defence.
7 Now, from the very beginning he's admitted
8 some things about himself that were not necessarily
9 terribly positive. Mr. Soldal told you that in their
10 very first interview, Mr. Agnes admitted this
11 unfortunate incident where Mr. Agnes was accused of
12 accidentally discharging a gun, and a young girl was
13 shot, while he was in the army. He admitted that, as a
14 Muslim, he had joined the army of the Republika Srpska
15 and served for several months in that army. He
16 admitted to Mr. Soldal that he used a different name
17 when he was in Serbia. He also, when confronted with
18 the infamous blue bag, admitted that that was his. He
19 didn't attempt to deny that.
20 He also admitted that he had left certain
21 things out of his statements. He acknowledged that he
22 gave several statements to the Tribunal and that with
23 each successive statement, he gave some more details,
24 but he explained why he did that. Again, it was
25 because he was afraid. He was waiting to see if the
1 Tribunal could give him the security he wanted. Once
2 he started to feel comfortable with his protection, he
3 gave more and more information, including the fact that
4 he had met Milan Simic.
5 And if Your Honours look at the statement,
6 you will see what he was concerned about: protecting
7 not only himself and his family but his friends and
8 acquaintances in Bosanski Samac. And if you read his
9 early statement, you will see that he even went so far
10 as to try and protect Jasna Marosevic and her father.
11 And as you know, Jasna came and testified for the
12 Defence, but he tried to keep her out of these events
13 as much as he could.
14 Now, you will remember in his
15 cross-examination that Mr. Haynes challenged many of
16 the things that Mr. Agnes has said and done, and tried
17 to allude to the fact that these were all bad things
18 that he had done and that he was willing to do anything
19 to save himself when he was afraid. But what is wrong
20 with some of the things that he did? If you think
21 about it, almost anyone would do what he did in his
23 Mr. Haynes would like you to believe that it
24 was a terrible thing that Mr. Agnes may have left
25 Serbia -- one of the reasons he may have left Serbia
1 was to avoid being mobilised into the army of the
2 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and being sent to fight
3 in Kosovo, but, of course, hundreds, if not thousands,
4 of young men left Serbia to avoid being mobilised and
5 fighting in Kosovo.
6 Mr. Agnes did his time in the army, he did
7 his time in the detention camps in Bosnia, and he had
8 no desire whatsoever to be in any army ever again.
9 Yes, Mr. Agnes changed his name. Whether he
10 did it legally or not, what difference does it make?
11 He did it for very practical reasons.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, slow down,
14 MS. PATERSON: He was a Muslim living in
15 Serbia, and, as his uncle said, it would be easier for
16 him on a daily basis if he took a Serbian name. It's a
17 very practical solution under the circumstances.
18 Mr. Haynes also alluded to the fact that from
19 the day he joined the VRS, Mr. Agnes wanted nothing
20 more than to get out of the army. Of course he did.
21 He didn't want to join the army in the first place.
22 The only reason he joined the army was to get out of
23 forced labour, to get out of the detention camps that
24 he was in, and he was looking for an opportunity to get
1 Now, Mr. Agnes did discuss some questionable
2 things. The question arises about his testimony
3 concerning his uncle and whether or not his uncle paid
4 some money to get him out of the VRS. Now, Mr. Agnes,
5 in his statement, did tell Tore Soldal that his uncle
6 gave some money to someone that he thinks led to his
7 getting out of the army. When he came in to testify,
8 he was reluctant to admit that. But I submit, Your
9 Honours, that he was reluctant to admit that because
10 Mr. Haynes was fashioning that as a crime of bribery.
11 He was asking Mr. Agnes to say that his uncle, who was
12 acting out of concern for Mr. Agnes, had committed a
13 crime in order to him to get out of the army. He did
14 not want to characterise that as bribery, but he did
15 admit that his uncle did what he could to assist him
16 and perhaps even to get him out of the army.
17 Mr. Haynes has also alluded to the fact that
18 perhaps Mr. Agnes is a wanted criminal; that he's here
19 as a fugitive from justice; that he's been indicted for
20 murder and has fled from the prosecution. But I
21 contend, Your Honours, if that were the fact, the
22 Defence or the, in fact, government of Republika Srpska
23 would have brought to your attention the fact that
24 there was an outstanding warrant for Mr. Agnes's
25 arrest, and to my knowledge that has not been done.
1 Then there's the issue of the military ID
2 card that we spent so much time on. There's no need to
3 go over that again. Your Honours heard that testimony
4 in great detail. Mr. Agnes vehemently denied that that
5 was his document. It clearly is a tampered-with
6 document, if not an outright forged document, and we
7 contend that Mr. Agnes's testimony should be believed,
8 that that was not his document and that he never saw it
10 Now, many of the things that the Defence is
11 trying to argue in some way incriminate Mr. Agnes just
12 don't make any sense when you stop and think about it.
13 The Defence has made a big issue about this infamous
14 blue bag, this bag that, according to the Defence, was
15 left at Jasna's house, and, according to Mr. Agnes, was
16 left with his friend in Brcko. But as we've said, stop
17 and think about the circumstances. Mr. Agnes said that
18 he was planning to leave. According to him, he was
19 being put under pressure to testify. He wanted nothing
20 more to do with it. He wanted to somehow get to the
21 Tribunal and bring this to our attention. Needless to
22 say, he didn't want Jasna to know his plans. He didn't
23 want Mr. Simic or Mr. Avramovic to know. What he
24 wanted to do was try and slip away and stay away as
25 long as possible before anyone noticed. Now, if you
1 were going to do that, would you leave your bag at the
2 home of Jasna or would you leave it with a friend? I
3 contend you would leave it with your friend, not with
5 And if, in fact, you were trying to leave and
6 not be traced and not have people find out that you had
7 left, would you leave your identification card in the
8 bag? Why not throw it in the river? Why not burn it?
9 Why not bury it under a rock? There are many different
10 ways he could have gotten rid of that ID card. It
11 makes no sense whatsoever that he would have left the
12 card and the bag with Jasna.
13 And he gave you a logical explanation. He
14 left the bag with a friend in Brcko and he went to
15 SFOR. He thought, if he took the bag with all his
16 belongings, that it might be suspicious. What he might
17 have been thinking is, "Well, I don't know, when I go
18 to SFOR, if they're going to take me. I don't know if
19 the Tribunal is going to talk to me. If they kick me
20 out and tell me to go home, at least I can go back to
21 my friend's house in Brcko, pick up my belongings, and
22 go my own way." If he left the bag at Jasna's, was he
23 really going to go to SFOR, risk that they would not
24 let him in and then have to go back to Jasna's and
25 explain where he had been and perhaps have her become
1 suspicious? I contend that none of that makes any
2 sense, Your Honours, and the only version of the blue
3 bag that makes sense is that of Mr. Agnes.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Paterson, we'll have to
5 take the break at four, so when you come to a
6 convenient point.
7 MS. PATERSON: Okay. I'll try and get
8 through the section on Mr. Agnes. It shouldn't take
9 much longer.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Not too fast, though. They are
11 complaining about the speed of your address.
12 MS. PATERSON: I apologise to the
13 interpreters. I know this is a problem that I have,
14 but I'm from New York, and we speak fast in New York.
15 When you think about the story that Mr. Agnes
16 told, and of course we contend that it wasn't a story
17 but the truth, we have a saying in my country that the
18 Devil is in the details. And I think everyone knows,
19 if you're going to tell a lie, it's always easier to
20 keep it short and simple. And I contend that it's the
21 details that, in fact, are what corroborate Mr. Agnes's
23 If he was going to make up this entire story,
24 if none of this is true, why would he tell so many
25 details? Why not just say there was one meeting at
1 which the pressure was put on him? Just say there was
2 one meeting when the money and the job and the
3 apartment were offered? Why say that there were
4 several meetings at several different locations, that
5 many different people were present? Why go to the
6 trouble to say that it was at the Nova Forma company,
7 one of the meetings, and that another meeting was at
8 Spomen Dom, if that didn't really happen? By giving
9 that much detail, he was only forcing himself to have
10 to repeat that over and over and over again. And I
11 contend that if you compare the statements that he gave
12 to the Tribunal with his testimony here before you, you
13 will find that in the majority of cases the testimony
14 is consistent.
15 Remember some of the details that he gave.
16 For almost every meeting he described, he had something
17 in particular he could remember. Either it was where
18 the meeting took place, it was when the meeting took
19 place, it was who was present, or in some cases it was
20 things like the documents that were shown to him.
21 Remember when he talked about the last
22 meeting in Bosanski Samac when this man Spasoje
23 Pisarevic appeared. Remember how he talked about how
24 Mr. Pisarevic brought out these lists of names. He
25 asked Mr. Agnes to tell him everything he knew about
1 these names. Mr. Agnes said, "I couldn't tell him. I
2 only knew their nicknames. So Mr. Pisarevic
3 volunteered the information. And then we went become
4 to the house where Mr. Pisarevic had an office."
5 Why would he make up these details? How
6 could he make up these details unless these
7 conversations had actually happened, unless and he had
8 actually been to these locations?
9 And what about his allegation about the
10 witness preparation session? This was confirmed, Your
11 Honours, by the audio tape. Mr. Agnes told you the
12 very interesting detail, that Mr. Avramovic had told
13 him that sometime in May he would have to go to
14 Bosanski Samac where he would be put through what was
15 called a witness preparation session. They would go
16 over his testimony. And as Your Honours know, we
17 played the audio tape. It was their quite clearly on
18 the tape, the conversation with Mr. Pantelic, about the
19 programme. You heard Mr. Pantelic's explanation of the
20 programme, and I leave if to Your Honours to decide
21 whether you believe his explanation or not.
22 I contend that his explanation is incredibly
23 far-fetched, that Mr. Agnes's is the one that you
24 should believe, and that's just one more detail that
25 corroborates the testimony ever Mr. Agnes.
1 Remember too that Mr. Agnes did not
2 over-exaggerate his testimony. On one of the really
3 key questions put to him -- I believe by you,
4 Judge Bennouna -- you asked Mr. Agnes: "Did
5 Mr. Avramovic ever threaten you to your face? Did he
6 ever threaten to harm you? Did he ever threaten to
7 harm your family?" And what did he say? "No."
8 How much more compelling would his testimony
9 have been, how much more dramatic would it have been to
10 say, "Yes. He threatened me to my face"? But he
11 didn't. He didn't want to lie he wanted to tell you
12 the truth. He said, "No. The threats were more subtle
13 than. It was anonymous phone calls. It was people
14 coming by the house. It was gunshots. It was not a
15 threat to my face. No, Mr. Avramovic didn't do that,
16 and, no, Mr. Simic didn't do that either." He did not
17 exaggerate. He told you the truth.
18 It's our contention, Your Honour, at that Mr.
19 Agnes kept his promise to you. He came here, he
20 promised to tell you the truth. He stayed here eight
21 months by himself under very lonely conditions waiting
22 to testify. It was not an easy time for Mr. Agnes.
23 You saw him come in, you saw him come back day after
24 day. He submitted to a grilling cross-examination.
25 You saw his emotions out there on his sleeve, and I
1 contend, Your Honours, that that all goes to his
3 As I said, he's done his part, he's kept his
4 promise, and now he just wants his life back.
5 I think, Your Honours, that perhaps is a good
6 point to take a break.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take the break now for
8 20 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 4.03 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Paterson, I've been
12 requested to ask you to speak a little slower,
13 notwithstanding your place of origin.
14 MS. PATERSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll
15 do my best.
16 Now I would like to turn to the testimony of
17 Mr. Neskovic. As you know, Mr. Neskovic's testimony
18 was brief, but it was significant in its own way.
19 Mr. Neskovic did confirm some things and did
20 corroborate some things Mr. Agnes said. He confirmed
21 that, in fact, there was the meeting at Mr. Agnes's
22 house in late September in Sremska Mitrovica.
23 Mr. Neskovic admitted he was not present when
24 Mr. Avramovic spoke with Mr. Agnes, so he was not in a
25 position to know what the substance of that
1 conversation was about, and Mr. Neskovic did say that
2 when he went into the dining room to find out how long
3 they were going to be, he did notice files spread
4 around and he could hear them briefly speaking about
5 events in Bosanski Samac in 1992. All of that is
6 consistent with what Mr. Agnes said went on.
7 I think the one thing that's most troubling
8 about Mr. Neskovic's testimony is that, like
9 Mr. Vukovic, he wants us to believe that he had no
10 interest in Mr. Agnes either. Mr. Neskovic said that
11 the day before they went to this meeting, he had been
12 retained to defend Mr. Todorovic. Mr. Neskovic was the
13 deputy minister of justice for the Republika Srpska,
14 was familiar with the indictment against Mr. Todorovic,
15 and knew that among the charges against Mr. Todorovic
16 were some that allegedly occurred in the camps in
17 Bosanski Samac. Here he was sitting in a house with a
18 man who was detained in one of those camps, who,
19 according to the Defence, was willing to cooperate with
20 the Defence, and Mr. Neskovic would like us to believe
21 that he had absolutely no interest whatsoever in
22 talking to Mr. Agnes and asking him a few questions
23 about his client. I contend, Your Honours, that that
24 is a highly improbable sequence of events.
25 Now let's discuss the testimony of
1 Mr. Vukovic. Mr. Vukovic's testimony was also short,
2 but again he confirmed and corroborated some of the
3 things that Mr. Agnes said. As you will recall, he
4 confirmed that there were at least two meetings that he
5 had with Mr. Agnes, although they disagree on when and
6 where those meetings took place. Mr. Vukovic did
7 confirm that there was at least one meeting at the
8 Jetset Cafe in Bosanski Samac.
9 And again, most damning about the testimony
10 of Mr. Vukovic was his description of how he handled
11 the case for defending Mr. Simic. Again, Mr. Vukovic
12 insists that Mr. Agnes was of no value to him
13 whatsoever as a witness. Here is a witness who has
14 come forward, if you believe the Defence version of the
15 facts, and volunteered to testify for the Defence.
16 Mr. Agnes was willing to say, first of all, that he
17 never even saw Milan Simic in the primary school, and
18 at the very least, even if Mr. Simic was in the primary
19 school, Mr. Agnes never saw him lay a hand on anyone
20 and never saw him harm anyone. But Mr. Vukovic wants
21 us to believe that this is a witness who was absolutely
22 of no significance to him and that he immediately found
23 him to be not credible. As a result of that,
24 Mr. Vukovic threw away all of his notes that he had
25 made about his conversations with Mr. Agnes and
1 conveniently apparently for the Tribunal, he decided
2 not to bill for that meeting either. I contend, Your
3 Honours, that this is a highly improbable sequence of
4 events and puts all of the testimony of Mr. Vukovic in
6 Now let's go to the other witness for the
7 Prosecution, Mr. Mirsad Sahanic. As you will recall,
8 Mr. Sahanic was a friend of Mr. Agnes. He was a
9 policeman who happened to be assigned to Bosanski Samac
10 in April of 1992. Unfortunately for Mr. Sahanic, he
11 was in Bosanski Samac the day it was attacked and the
12 war started, and, along with Mr. Agnes, he was arrested
13 and detained for several months in the camps there.
14 You learned that Mr. Sahanic is a married
15 man, has a family, has a job, is living his own life,
16 minding his own business, when, out of the blue,
17 sometime back in 1998, he starts to get some phone
18 calls from Jasna Marosevic and Mr. Agnes. None of
19 those three witnesses dispute the fact that there were
20 phone calls between Jasna and Mirsad and between
21 Mr. Agnes and Mirsad. The Defence would like you to
22 believe that none of the meetings took place or that
23 other things happened at the meetings, but they cannot
24 dispute the fact that there were phone calls between
25 Jasna and Mirsad and between Mr. Agnes and Mirsad.
1 If you will recall, Mirsad's testimony was
2 basically consistent with that of Mr. Agnes, and,
3 except in a couple of ways, it was basically consistent
4 with the testimony of Jasna. The one part, of course,
5 that was somewhat different from Jasna's initial
6 testimony was that Mr. Sahanic explained that he
7 learned from his mother that Jasna had gone to the
8 great trouble to go to Tuzla to try and find
9 Mr. Sahanic. Not only had she gone to see his mother,
10 but she had gone to the police, and she had made these
11 extraordinary efforts to track him down and find his
12 phone number and call him.
13 Now, the one major inconsistency in their
14 story between Mirsad and Jasna is what happened on the
15 night of the arrest. Jasna would like the Court to
16 believe that Mirsad came rushing over to her home and
17 led she and her family to safety in a nearby shelter.
18 But Mirsad and Mr. Agnes both say that that did not
19 happen, that they were in the hotel, that they were
20 awakened in the middle of the night when the war
21 started. What does Mirsad tell you his primary
22 concerns were? He says, "My first concern was to get
23 to safety. The building was being shelled. There was
24 gunfire outside. The hotel was in an exposed location,
25 and I suggested to everyone that we go to the other
1 side of the building where it would be safe."
2 Then he went on to explain that during the
3 course of the day, he and Mr. Agnes discussed that
4 maybe their best plan was to simply try and get to the
5 river, swim across the river to Croatia, and get out of
6 Bosnia altogether. At no point in time did it occur to
7 Mirsad that his first priority should be to rush over
8 to his girlfriend Jasna's, make sure she was safe and
9 that her family was safe.
10 Now, I might point out as well that while
11 both Mirsad and Jasna say that they did have a
12 boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, as they described
13 it, let's be realistic. They both admit they only knew
14 each other for six weeks before the war broke out.
15 Now, of course it's possible to have a serious
16 relationship during that time, but they were together
17 only six weeks when the war broke out, and then they
18 did not see each other again and, as far as I know,
19 have not even seen each other to this day.
20 Consider the testimony of Mr. Sahanic. He's
21 living his life, minding his own business, in Germany.
22 He didn't ask to get pulled into this case. He didn't
23 ask to have anything to do with it. He simply sat
24 there and accepted a few phone calls. His testimony
25 was entirely credible. Why do we know it was
1 credible? For one thing, Mr. Haynes didn't ask him a
2 single question on cross-examination. What could he
3 ask him? There was nothing to challenge. At the end
4 of the day, there was simply no motivation whatsoever
5 for Mirsad Sahanic to come in and tell anything but the
7 Now let's turn to the testimony of Jasna
8 Marosevic. One of the first things that Jasna admitted
9 was that there is a very significant connection between
10 she and Milan Simic and her employer, Mr. Jankovic. As
11 she explained, the wife of Milan Simic and the wife of
12 Mr. Jankovic are sisters. So we have Jasna, who admits
13 to being a good friend of Milan Simic. Mr. Simic
14 admits that they are good friends. Jasna works at the
15 Cafe Lotos that is owned by a close friend and a
16 relative by marriage of Mr. Simic, and is it just a
17 coincidence that Jasna then is more than willing to get
18 involved in assisting Mr. Simic in his defence? She
19 agrees to take the phone number of his lawyer, and if
20 she can find people and witnesses that might be of
21 assistance, she promises to call the lawyer. And in
22 fact she does find a witness, Mr. Agnes, and his good
23 friend, Mirsad Sahanic.
24 Ms. Marosevic admitted she has close ties to
25 Simic and to other people in Bosanski Samac that are in
1 power, that are in the government in Bosanski Samac.
2 It's certainly understandable that she would be
3 motivated to help her good friend and her employer, and
4 when you listen to her testimony, you can see that she
5 corroborated most of what Mirsad Sahanic said.
6 Of course, she conveniently left out of her
7 written statement that was submitted to the Court any
8 details whatsoever about her calls to Mirsad in a trip
9 to Tuzla. I contend that that was not an accidental
11 But she also offers no logical explanation
12 for her reason to contact Mirsad after so many years.
13 Yes, they had this brief relationship, and for all we
14 know, it was an intense and serious relationship. But
15 by her own admission, she never saw him again after the
16 middle of the summer. He was still detained. She
17 cared so much about this man, she didn't even know what
18 date he was released. He was released in November, and
19 she thought he was released in July or August.
20 From 1992 to 1998, she made no attempts
21 whatsoever to get in touch with him. She didn't even
22 know if he was alive or dead. And then,
23 coincidentally, just at the time Mr. Simic has to start
24 putting together his case, she remembers Mirsad and
25 decides to make the effort to get in touch with him.
1 Was it really just for her own personal reasons, the
2 old boyfriend she wanted to look up, or did it have to
3 do more with the Defence and Mr. Simic and trying to
4 get Mirsad, a potential witness, to come to Bosnia to
5 talk to Mr. Simic, to talk to Mr. Avramovic, and, in
6 all probability, to be pressured, just like Mr. Agnes
7 was, to testify for them.
8 While I don't mean in any way to minimise the
9 situation of Ms. Marosevic, she and her family lived in
10 Bosanski Samac during the war in 1992 and I know it was
11 a difficult time for everyone; Croats, Muslims, Serbs.
12 Everyone suffered during that time. But the fact of
13 the matter is, as Ms. Marosevic admitted, she did
14 receive special treatment that other people in her
15 situation did not. Other Croats were forced leave
16 their homes or transferred to the village of Zasavica.
17 Other Croats and non-Serbs were forced to do forced
18 labour projects, difficult forced labour projects
19 around town. But she was given a pleasant job serving
20 coffee at the municipality building, conveniently at
21 the same building where Milan Simic and Blagoje Simic
22 had their offices. All of this goes to prove that
23 there was a special relationship between them, that
24 there was a reason, a motive, for her to help Milan
25 Simic, and for her to come in and testify about what
1 happened, and to contradict some of the testimony of
2 Mr. Agnes.
3 Of course, Jasna also told us the story about
4 the famous blue bag and how she had found it in her
5 cabinet. But apparently it just didn't even occur to
6 her for weeks that Mr. Agnes had left and wasn't going
7 to come back, and it didn't occur to her that there
8 could be any significance to this blue bag, and not
9 until September did she bring the bag to the attention
10 of Mr. Avramovic. Even if that were true, Your
11 Honours, the fact that the bag was in her apartment,
12 not under her control, makes the entire thing entirely
13 suspicious, and I contend, Your Honours, that again you
14 should believe Mr. Agnes's version of those events.
15 I believe I'll save my comments on
16 Mr. Avramovic to the end, so let me turn now briefly to
17 the testimony of Mr. Simic. You saw him here today.
18 His testimony was relatively brief. He says he never
19 met Mr. Agnes, he never had a phone conversation with
20 him, he's never laid eyes on the man until he came into
21 court to testify here. But as I pointed out, Your
22 Honours, it's quite amazing that Mr. Agnes, if you
23 believe the Defence version, came forward and
24 volunteered to testify on behalf of Milan Simic, and
25 yet Mr. Simic never once expressed an interest in
1 meeting Mr. Agnes, in having a conversation with him,
2 even in just shaking his hand and saying, "Thank you
3 for coming to my defence." I contend that that's
4 highly improbable.
5 Mr. Simic was in Bosanski Samac during these
6 months. So was Mr. Agnes, on occasion. Despite what
7 Mr. Simic said, I contend that he does spend a lot of
8 time at the Lotos Cafe and that in all probability they
9 had to cross paths at one time or another, even if just
10 informally, sitting in the same cafe where both Jasna
11 and Mr. Agnes said they frequented. Jasna worked at
12 that cafe, Mr. Agnes went to visit Jasna, and are we
13 really to believe that in all those times, they never
14 crossed paths once?
15 Again, isn't it just an amazing coincidence
16 that Mr. Agnes was able to come up with the details of
17 the fact that Mr. Simic had connections to both the
18 Nova Forma company and that he had an office at the
19 Spomen Dom? Mr. Simic would like you to believe that
20 Mr. Agnes went to incredible trouble to research his
21 background and his business connections and could have
22 figured out that there was some business connection
23 between him and the Nova Forma company. I contend,
24 Your Honours, that that's just ridiculous. Mr. Agnes
25 probably wasn't even capable of doing that if he wanted
1 to. I contend that the record-keeping probably in
2 Bosanski Samac leaves a bit to be desired, and even if
3 he wanted to, Mr. Agnes was not in a position to be
4 going around town asking for this kind of information,
5 collecting this information, and putting together this
6 elaborate story that the Defence would like you to
7 believe is an entire concoction.
8 Again I would remind you of the connection
9 that Jasna confirmed between Mr. Simic and
10 Mr. Jankovic, and there is an interesting connection
11 there between his wife, Mr. Jankovic's wife, and
12 Jasna. They are all good friends, they are all working
13 together, and there is ever reason to believe that the
14 events occurred as Mr. Agnes said.
15 So finally let's turn to the testimony of
16 Mr. Avramovic. If Your Honours will recall,
17 Mr. Avramovic made a very telling statement during his
18 testimony yesterday. When he was asked at one point if
19 he was not relying on rumour and innuendo in deciding
20 that Mr. Agnes was not a credible witness,
21 Mr. Avramovic said, "But when I paint a picture of
22 something, then you can believe me that I can also
23 paint a picture on the basis of rumour and innuendo."
24 That quote, Your Honours, gives us great insight into
25 how Mr. Avramovic operates, how he conducts his
1 business, and how he puts together his defence.
2 I would also contend, Your Honours, that
3 perhaps a more judicious look needs to be taken at the
4 behaviour of Mr. Avramovic, because he's a professional
5 lawyer. Higher standards should be applied to his
6 behaviour. Yes, the same standard of proof should be
7 applied to both he and Mr. Agnes, but I contend that
8 you should take an even harder look at the testimony of
9 Mr. Avramovic.
10 Let's consider his description of his
11 professional behaviour and how he represented his
12 client, Mr. Simic. He says that he took some notes,
13 including the names of potentially significant
14 additional witnesses who might be able to testify for
15 his client. But he tore those notes up and threw them
16 away, and with them threw away the names of as many as
17 three, four, maybe five additional witnesses that he
18 might have been able to seek out to testify on behalf
19 of his client. Why did he decide to throw them away?
20 Because he decided Mr. Agnes was not credible. He
21 minimises the potential evidence and witnesses when his
22 client is charged with some of the most serious crimes
23 that exist, war crimes.
24 Your Honours will have to examine the billing
25 records. We have not been privy to them, but I contend
1 if you look at them closely, you will find some
2 discrepancies in the billing records between the times
3 that Mr. Agnes claims they had meetings and the times
4 that Mr. Avramovic claims they had meetings.
5 Let's look at what he did with this infamous
6 blue bag. Mr. Avramovic is not a brand new lawyer.
7 He's an experienced lawyer. He even told you at one
8 time he worked for the Ministry of Interior in the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Ministry of
10 Interior is the police. He worked for the police. And
11 yet he shows a total disregard for the importance of a
12 chain of custody of an important piece of evidence.
13 If this blue bag were as important as he
14 would like us to believe it is, there are many things
15 he could have done to secure that bag. Admittedly, if
16 we were to believe it was found in Bosanski Samac, he
17 could have -- it was difficult, being in the middle of
18 Republika Srpska, but, for example, he could have gone
19 to the local police and informed them of the
20 significance of the bag and asked them to take custody
21 of the bag. He could have gone to the IPTF. The IPTF
22 is responsible for monitoring Mr. Simic when he's in
23 Bosanski Samac. He could have asked whether they
24 perhaps could have taken custody of the bag. But what
25 did he do? He took it back with him to his office in
1 Belgrade. And did he bring it to the Court's attention
2 in September as soon as he found out about it? No. We
3 didn't find out about it until the hearing started here
4 in late November. Where was the bag during all that
5 time? It was in Mr. Avramovic's custody, apparently at
6 his home or office in Belgrade. And even when the bag
7 comes into court, does he give it to the custody of the
8 registrar? Does it put it in a locked place? He takes
9 it home with him to his hotel.
10 We contend that because of that extremely
11 lacking chain of custody, that the entire testimony
12 about the blue bag and the contents of the blue bag are
13 highly, highly suspicious.
14 I've already commented on the fact that
15 Mr. Vukovic decided that Mr. Agnes was of no value,
16 even though, according to the Defence, Mr. Agnes was
17 detained at the primary school but never saw Milan
18 Simic lay a hand on anyone, and apparently
19 Mr. Avramovic came to the same conclusion.
20 Let's consider the really incredible
21 testimony about -- that Mr. Avramovic gave that when
22 Mr. Agnes told Mr. Avramovic that he could get in
23 contact with three or four other witnesses, what did
24 Mr. Avramovic say? According to Mr. Avramovic, he
25 said, "That's fine. If you feel like it, if it's not
1 too much trouble, go ahead and do that, and let me know
2 if you have any luck." Is that realistic? He's
3 defending a man for war crimes. He's being given a
4 gift of three or four potential witnesses. What he
5 should have done is said immediately, "Please, give me
6 their names. Tell me what I can do to locate them.
7 Tell me how I can assist you to locate them." But no.
8 He says, "If you get around to it, if it works out, you
9 let me know."
10 And Mr. Avramovic also claims that he knows
11 several people in Bosanski Samac who could discredit
12 Mr. Agnes, people who either were detained with him in
13 the primary school or knew of him when he lived in
14 Bosanski Samac, and yet none of these people were
15 called here to testify and no affidavits were submitted
16 from any of those people.
17 And consider also the incredible and
18 considerable gratuitous testimony that Mr. Avramovic
19 gave denigrating Mr. Agnes. Every opportunity he was
20 given, he went on to explain just how incredible
21 Mr. Agnes was, why he didn't believe him, why he was
22 such a bad witness. But the problem with that is if he
23 found him such an incredible witness, why did he keep
24 going back and continue to have dealings with him? If
25 he found him so incredible, why didn't he just drop him
1 and say, "This man is worthless to us"?
2 He didn't. He continued to go back and have
3 several meetings. He claims he met him first in early
4 September, again on the 28th of September. He talks
5 about a meeting at this Mimoza Hotel, and there's
6 probably one additional meeting, Mr. Avramovic says, in
7 Bosanski Samac. Why is he having all these meetings
8 with a man that he claims is completely incredible?
9 I contend, Your Honours, that this should
10 give you great question about the credibility of
11 Mr. Avramovic.
12 And again I return, as I said earlier, to the
13 issue of details, and here again is where Mr. Avramovic
14 gets tripped up. Because there's one small detail
15 Mr. Avramovic simply could not explain: the detail
16 about the witness preparation programme. Again, Your
17 Honours, you remember this was on the audio tape, and I
18 suggest that you take the time, when you can, to listen
19 to it again, to listen to the tone of the
20 conversation. You heard Mr. Pantelic's elaborate
21 explanation about that word and his explanation that he
22 was stressed because the bombing was going on in
23 Belgrade and he didn't really understand what this man
24 was talking about. But I contend, Your Honours, if you
25 listen to that tape, you will see that that was not
1 reflected at all in the tone of voice of the two people
3 But let's look simply at the comment of
4 Mr. Avramovic when Mr. Ryneveld asked him about this
5 witness protection programme. What did he say? The
6 question put to him was: "What programme does that
7 refer to, sir, if it isn't the rehearsal programme that
8 Mr. Agnes talked about?" And Mr. Avramovic's answer
9 was: "It is very difficult to answer that question
10 with complete certainty on the basis of what I have
11 just heard." That answer says volumes, Your Honour.
12 He couldn't offer an explanation because there was
13 none. The version that Mr. Agnes gave of the witness
14 protection programme or the witness preparation
15 programme is the one that is the truth.
16 So finally let's turn to the motivation of
17 Mr. Avramovic to come forward and testify as he did.
18 Let's not forget the situation that Mr. Avramovic found
19 himself in. We discussed the situation Mr. Agnes was
20 in. Let's think about the situation in which
21 Mr. Avramovic was.
22 He's defending a man accused of one of the
23 most serious crimes there is. His defendant has
24 already admitted to the Prosecution that he was at the
25 crime scene. There are a limited number of witnesses
1 that he can find to testify for his client. Both sides
2 agree that there were only approximately 50 men
3 detained at the primary school. Mr. Avramovic knows
4 that the Prosecution -- we've already turned over our
5 witness statements. He knows that we are in contact
6 and are planning to call several of the men that were
7 contained at the primary school, and he can probably
8 guess that we have been in touch with additional ones
9 that we may or may not be calling. That lowers and
10 lowers and lowers the number of potential witnesses
11 that he can contact.
12 By his own admission, he said a lot of the
13 witnesses no longer live in Bosanski Samac.
14 Mr. Avramovic made a rather impassioned plea to
15 understand how difficult it was for him to conduct the
16 investigation that was necessary. He had to operate in
17 Republika Srpska; he had to operate in Bosanski Samac;
18 the war was going on. This was all true and this is
19 all part of the reason why he was in that much more
20 difficult of a situation.
21 He had to assume that many of these witnesses
22 that were detained in the primary school were not going
23 to want to testify on behalf of Milan Simic. Even if
24 Milan Simic didn't harm them personally, these
25 witnesses knew who Milan Simic was, they knew he was a
1 powerful person, and they probably were of the opinion
2 that he had something to do with their detention.
3 Mr. Sahanic explained he did not want to
4 return to Bosanski Samac and give testimony for Milan
5 Simic. Why would he want to do that, the man that had
6 been involved in some ways of keeping him detained in
7 the camps.
8 So I contend, Your Honours, that
9 Mr. Avramovic was in the situation that he was
10 hard-pressed to find even one witness that would
11 testify for his client.
12 And then, thanks to his connections with
13 Jasna, he finds Mr. Agnes, and through Mr. Agnes he
14 finds Mirsad Sahanic. So he found himself in this
15 great good fortune to have these two witnesses who
16 might testify. But again, these two witnesses are
17 going to be reluctant to testify. Why should they
18 testify for Mr. Simic? They were detained in the
20 Well, the one thing that he had going for him
21 was that Mr. Agnes was in a vulnerable situation. He
22 knew that Mr. Agnes had joined the army of Republika
23 Srpska. He knew there was the incident where Mr. Agnes
24 had shot the young woman. He knew that Mr. Agnes was
25 living in Serbia under an assumed name. There were all
1 sorts of ways that he could exploit and take advantage
2 of Mr. Agnes. And it's our contention, Your Honours,
3 that because he was desperate to get witnesses for his
4 client, that he went to the extreme to put the pressure
5 on Mr. Agnes that he did; that he threatened him; that
6 he intimidated him; that he brought him to Bosanski
7 Samac, and he and Milan Simic offered him money, a job,
8 and a flat, just as Mr. Agnes said.
9 In conclusion, Your Honours, I think it's
10 important to keep in mind something that Mr. Agnes told
11 me over and over again during the conversations I had
12 with him during the preparation of this case. When we
13 tried to sort out how many meetings there were and when
14 they happened and where they happened, Mr. Agnes kept
15 insisting to me there were really only three meetings
16 that are important.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Is this in evidence?
18 MS. PATERSON: No, Your Honours. I'm just
19 making a comment.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Well, you can only comment upon
21 the evidence, can't you?
22 MS. PATERSON: Fine, Your Honour. There are
23 three meetings that I would encourage you to consider
24 are important. Whether you take it from me or from
25 someone else, there are three meetings that are
1 important. The meeting in Bosanski Samac, when
2 Mr. Agnes says he first met Milan Simic and he was
3 offered the money, the job, and the apartment; the
4 meeting at his uncle's house, when he contends that
5 Mr. Avramovic came and took a detailed statement from
6 him and even audio taped the statement; and the meeting
7 when he was given Mirsad's phone number and encouraged
8 to contact Mirsad. All of the other meetings, all of
9 the other phone calls, all flow from those three
10 meetings, and those are the three crucial meetings that
11 you should focus on.
12 As I've said, Mr. Agnes is far from the
13 perfect witness. He was difficult at times, but he
14 kept coming back. He told you his story. You could
15 see for yourselves, you can compare the demeanour of
16 the two witnesses. Think about how Mr. Agnes looked
17 when he was testifying, the emotions he showed.
18 Sometimes he was calm, sometimes he was upset. At
19 times he was angry. At times he was greatly
20 indignant. Contrast that with the testimony of
21 Mr. Avramovic.
22 Your Honours are lawyers, you're professional
23 lawyers. You can imagine what it would be like to be
24 accused of the crime that Mr. Avramovic is accused of:
25 bribery, contempt of court. How would you be acting
1 during your testimony? Wouldn't you at least express
2 some indignation, some anger, some outrage at the
3 charges against you?
4 Mr. Agnes was able to explain his story
5 consistently, with all the prior statements he had
6 given. Most of the inconsistencies he was able to
7 explain legitimately and logically, and in the end his
8 testimony was corroborated by some irrefutable
9 evidence, the audio tape, that confirmed that both
10 Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Pantelic knew Mr. Agnes, had had
11 contact with him and had had detailed discussions with
13 If you contrast his testimony with that of
14 Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Simic, I contend that you will
15 have to come to the conclusion that Mr. Agnes is the
16 credible witness.
17 It's our contention, Your Honour, that we
18 have proven the case against both Mr. Avramovic and
19 Mr. Simic.
20 Mr. Agnes has testified that threats were
21 made to him and to his family, that he was harassed and
22 intimidated. Mr. Agnes even brought to your attention
23 that those threats and intimidation continued right
24 through his testimony. He was reluctant to testify one
25 day because of the continuing threats and harassment to
1 he and his family.
2 Mr. Agnes was encouraged by both
3 Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Simic to give false testimony
4 before this Court. Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Simic offered
5 Mr. Agnes money, a job, and a flat, or at the very
6 least were present when that offer was made to him.
7 Mr. Agnes was encouraged to contact another witness for
8 the same purpose, to give false testimony before this
9 Court. And both Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Simic were
10 involved in, knew about, and condoned this behaviour.
11 Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Simic threatened,
12 intimidated, offered a bribe to, or otherwise
13 interfered with Mr. Agnes, potential witness before
14 this Tribunal.
15 Your Honours, I would ask you to find both
16 Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Simic guilty of the charges
17 against them. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Haynes.
19 MR. HAYNES: I shall endeavour to do a number
20 of things during the course of this closing statement.
21 I shall endeavour to be concise and not repetitive, to
22 speak slowly for the benefit of the French translator,
23 to remember that there are only six months between May
24 and September and that we began the hearing of this
25 case in September, but I should also endeavour to be
1 faithful to the evidence that we've heard and not give
2 evidence myself.
3 One of my clients, Milan Simic, faces a trial
4 on indictment. That indictment was drafted, confirmed,
5 he was interviewed under caution, the indictment was
6 amended, the evidence in support of it was served, and
7 in due course this Trial Chamber will have to determine
8 whether the evidence on oath substantiates the charges
9 that are laid against him.
10 This is not a case on indictment, but this
11 Trial Chamber has endeavoured to adopt a procedure that
12 is pretty much the same as the procedure for a trial on
13 indictment. It considered written evidence. It
14 formulated charges, for that is what we've called them
15 throughout these proceedings. Those charges are
16 particular in their detail, both as to time and as to
17 the substance of the allegations that my clients have
18 come here to meet. They have come here to meet no
19 other allegations. They have not, for example, come
20 here to face allegations concerning Mirsad Sahanic.
21 And during the course of the extraordinary address that
22 we've just heard, I was surprised that no reference was
23 made to the charges that my clients have come to face
24 and the charges that were read to them before the
25 proceedings started and upon which this Trial Chamber
1 must adjudicate.
2 I would like to turn to them now, because, I
3 submit, that on any version of the evidence, there is
4 little or no evidence left upon which either of my
5 clients could be convicted on those allegations.
6 In relation to Milan Simic, he stands
7 accused, firstly, between July and September of 1998,
8 that he knowingly and wilfully interfered with the
9 International Tribunal's administration of justice by
10 making threats by telephone to a potential witness
11 described in the request as Mr. Agnes; and secondly,
12 being in a black motor vehicle, driven to the house of
13 Mr. Agnes between 2.00 and 3.00 in the morning.
14 He is, secondly, under paragraph (B) -- it
15 being phrased in that way because, of course, the Rule
16 was reworded in December 1998 -- alleged to, between
17 January and May of 1999, have offered a bribe and
18 interfered with a potential witness described in the
19 request as Mr. Agnes, with the intention that Mr. Agnes
20 should give false evidence.
21 I'm going to say straight away that you have
22 not heard one word of evidence that would permit you to
23 convict Milan Simic of that charge. The evidence is
24 perfectly clear that after late October or early
25 November of 1998, there was only one further meeting in
2 The details of that meeting are set out at
3 pages 91 to 96 of the transcript, and you will not find
4 one word of evidence to substantiate the charge that
5 relates to Milan Simic after the Rules changed in
6 December 1998, and my primary submission is that you
7 must acquit him because there is simply no evidence.
8 Can I turn to Mr. Avramovic. I will leave
9 aside, for the time being, the allegations that
10 pre-date the change of the Rule in December 1998 but
11 turn again to paragraph (B), the allegations he has
12 come to meet.
13 Again, I remind the Trial Chamber that
14 Mr. Agnes's evidence on oath was one meeting after
15 November 1998, and yet we turn to the charges:
16 Between January and May 1999, he offered a
17 bribe to and interfered with a potential witness
18 described in the request as Mr. Agnes, with the
19 intention that Mr. Agnes should give false evidence by,
20 (A), telling Mr. Agnes in January that he would be
21 rehearsed further in the false version throughout the
22 month of May, five days a week; two, he would be given
23 money for his needs by Milan Simic, an apartment, after
24 he had given evidence in the trial.
25 There is not a word of evidence to support
1 that allegation.
2 (B) Telling Mr. Agnes in February that he was
3 to say, falsely, that Milan Simic was not at the school
4 alleged by the Prosecution to have been a detention
5 camp and in which prisoners were beaten.
6 Again, not a word of evidence to support that
8 (C) Showing Mr. Agnes, in March, a list with
9 about 160 names on it and telling him that the
10 rehearsal in May would include looking through the list
11 and falsely marking off the names of those who had been
12 at the school.
13 The evidence does not reveal any meeting in
14 February and those particular details were not given in
15 evidence by Mr. Agnes after November 1998. There is
16 thus not a word of evidence to support that
18 (D) Telling Mr. Agnes in April that he would
19 be given employment after he had given evidence in the
20 trial. Not a word of evidence of a meeting in April or
21 any conversation of that type after December 1998.
22 (E) Telling Mr. Agnes in May, this is in
23 relation to the telephone transcript, that he would see
24 the next day about the money to be paid to Agnes. I
25 submit that the state of the evidence is now such that
1 there is insufficient evidence to convict him of that
3 And so I say this isn't a broad-brush case.
4 You're not going to just look at the overall picture.
5 A procedure was set up by this Trial Chamber for people
6 to meet specific charges, and in relation to the events
7 after December 1998, the second charges laid against
8 both my clients, I submit whatever findings of fact you
9 may make, there simply isn't any evidence to support
10 any of those charges.
11 Now, what is left are the allegations prior
12 to December 1998, and in simple terms, they amount to
13 this: As against Mr. Simic, he is alleged to have
14 taken part in telephone harassment and late-night
15 visits to Mr. Agnes's house in Sremska Mitrovica. In
16 relation to Mr. Avramovic, a little wider. He is
17 alleged to have done both that and, in effect,
18 persuaded him to give evidence substantially at the
19 meeting of the 28th of September.
20 Ms. Paterson is right: The conviction or
21 acquittal of my client in relation to those -- clients
22 in relation to those charges depends entirely on the
23 witness Mr. Agnes, and about him I make five
25 I say, firstly, he has lied to you on oath
1 repeatedly, on occasions for no good reason, save that
2 for him to lie is a reflex reaction. Other times there
3 is a clearly demonstrable purpose to his dishonesty.
4 I say, secondly, that he has told many, many
5 lies to other people, in particular Mr. Soldal.
6 I say, thirdly, that he is incapable of
7 belief on any matter of importance, given especially
8 his clear motivation for lying.
9 I say, fourthly, that against this background
10 of base and wholesale dishonesty, his evidence on the
11 principal issues you have to decide is so full of
12 inconsistency and anomaly as to make it impossible to
13 rely upon.
14 And fifthly, that he is contradicted on
15 almost every material point, not only by the evidence
16 of credible witnesses of good character, but also,
17 where available, by documentary evidence from
18 independent sources.
19 Now, I know on occasion in the past I have
20 perhaps over-egged the pudding, so I have chosen not to
21 enumerate for you what I say were 17 lies on oath that
22 Mr. Agnes told you, but simply to highlight four or
23 five which I say indicate his base dishonesty and
24 something of his motivation, and you will forgive me,
25 please, if I start with the army pass.
1 I hope that when you retire to deliberate in
2 this case you will take it with you and you will look
3 at it. It is something that it was open to the Office
4 of the Prosecutor to do at any time during the course
5 of the last three months, and they have chosen not to,
6 save to have it translated.
7 Look at its age, its obvious age. Look at
8 its condition. Look at the way in which the pages on
9 the outside of the booklet have aged together. Look at
10 the way in which the transparent plastic has filmed
11 over and become dirty. Look at the bindings and decide
12 for yourself whether that is not truly a document that
13 has been carried around for the last seven years,
14 rather than one, which it is suggested rather lamely,
15 has been created this year.
16 Consider where the weight of the evidence
17 suggests it was found: in a bag that Mr. Agnes
18 acknowledges was his, together with belongings he
19 acknowledges, some of them, were his.
20 Look at the details it contains and think who
21 could have supplied those details: the blood type, the
22 details of military service in the army of the former
23 Yugoslavia, the names of his fictitious parents, even
24 his date of birth. And look at the alterations to
25 those details, the change of the name, the change of
1 the names of the parents, the change of the date -- the
2 change of the place of birth, all designed to support
3 his false Serb identity, and really, to nobody else's
4 benefit. Only he would want to change the date upon
5 which he joined that army, and change his name and his
6 parents' name. It's his document. It's his photograph
7 in it.
8 But if you doubted anything at all about it
9 being his document, I would invite you, please, just to
10 look at two small passages of evidence which say
11 volumes about this man, and it relates to the name
12 written in biro in the back of the army pass, Dragana
13 Stefanovic, and her address and telephone number in
14 Leskovac, a town we know he was associated with.
15 At page 280 of the transcript, I asked him to
16 turn to the back of the book, and he smiled. And the
17 next question was: "You smile. Do you recognise that
18 name?" His response: "Perhaps. Depends on your
19 question." Well, I submit to you that was a smile of
20 recognition. But it wasn't recognition of the name,
21 because earlier at page 262 you will see that I asked
22 him specifically, did he know Dragana Stefanovic. His
23 answer: "No. Stefanovic, no. Draganas, I know many
25 So he didn't recognise the name. What I
1 submit to you is that he recognised the writing. I'm
2 not even suggesting it was his writing, but we all know
3 that there are things written in the back of our
4 diaries or chequebooks, perhaps written by Dragana
5 Stefanovic herself or perhaps written by a friend of
6 his who had met her and wanted to record this name.
7 But when he saw that name, he smiled, because
8 he knew the game was up. He knew that we had
9 established beyond any doubt that this was his
10 document. And it's such an insignificant document. In
11 the context of the evidence in this case, it's an
12 utterly pointless document. If he had said to me, when
13 I first put it to him, "Yes, of course it's my military
14 pass. So what?" and, "Yes, of course the name in it
15 has been changed from my former name to (redacted)
16 (redacted)" that would have been the end of that
17 document as a feature in this case. But he didn't do
18 that. He chose, I submit to you, to lie about it and
19 make that document highly relevant. I submit that that
20 is the clearest indication that this is a witness whose
21 first reaction is to lie and whose second reaction is
22 to think about it afterwards.
23 Now, it goes rather further than that,
24 because you'll recall, and Ms. Paterson appears to have
25 adopted this without any further investigation on her
1 part, he chose to make a series of outrageous
2 accusations, and I use the word "outrageous"
3 principally from a personal point of view, because
4 those accusations included accusations that I had been
5 party to the forging of this document. And so he's not
6 just a witness who will lie as a first reaction. He's
7 a witness who is perfectly prepared to make outrageous
8 accusations against anybody and everybody.
9 But the basest lie of all in relation to that
10 document was the denial of his own image in a
11 photograph. Can you imagine a more childish and reflex
12 lie than to be shown your own picture, and Jasna
13 Marosevic had no difficulty identifying him, to be
14 shown your own picture and to say, "No, that's not me."
15 A base liar. But, of course, if that is an indication
16 of his reflex, then some of his lies have a hidden
17 purpose. Not very well hidden, but hidden
19 I want you, please, to consider his evidence
20 about the outbreak of war in 1992. I don't think it's
21 beyond any dispute that he lied about that. It was the
22 first line of material evidence that he gave, so he
23 began with a lie. It was the first thing he ever told
24 Tore Soldal, so he began with a lie there. Mr. Soldal
25 knew it was a lie. Jasna Marosevic knew it was a lie.
1 Mirsad Sahanic told you it was a lie. He was living in
2 Samac before the war started, not passing through in a
3 bus, staying either in a car that night or in a hotel.
4 He was living in Samac. He himself eventually
5 acknowledged it was untrue in his cross-examination,
6 though he called it a misunderstanding.
7 The curious thing is that having acknowledged
8 it was untrue, he went on later in cross-examination to
9 reassert the lie. But what this shows is a desire to
10 invoke sympathy for himself, I submit. He wants to
11 appear more the victim. And let's be perfectly
12 honest. I, for my part, and I'm sure we all have every
13 sympathy for him for what happened to him in April of
14 1992, but that's not enough for Mr. Agnes. He has to
15 be caught up in all this as an innocent bystander. He
16 can't even tell the truth about events that are beyond
18 Similarly, you may think the events in
19 Pelagicevo in 1993, when the 15-year-old girl was shot
20 dead and his uncle secured his release from prison, are
21 again an attempt to paint himself white rather than
22 black. And please, I trust Ms. Paterson will forgive
23 me if I submit that in conjunction, Judge Bennouna and
24 myself left him in no doubt about what questions we
25 were asking him. He wasn't under any misapprehension
1 about the word "bribery." He chose to say one thing to
2 Tore Soldal and quite a different thing when he came
4 The third serious lie that I choose to
5 highlight at this stage is Mirsad Sahanic. Mirsad's
6 evidence was unchallenged. Again, in relation to the
7 charges that this Court has to deal with, largely
8 irrelevant, but of course a tremendous key to Agnes'
10 I submit, in round terms, that it is
11 inconceivable that you can come to any conclusion other
12 than that Agnes got Mirsad Sahanic's telephone number
13 from Jasna Marosevic. That must be the case. Why on
14 earth would she bother going to Tuzla to find his
15 mother and his family if she could simply have asked
16 somebody else for it? I submit you will come
17 inevitably to the conclusion that she gave him that
18 telephone number in late October, early November of
20 Sahanic gives evidence of two phone calls
21 from Mr. Agnes, one in the middle of the night when he
22 was drunk and another late in the evening when Jasna
23 also spoke. He gives evidence of four additional phone
24 calls from Jasna, all in the calendar year 1999. And
25 what does Agnes say about that, because this is not
1 something about which there can be any mistake. What
2 he says about that is in his fifth witness statement,
3 that he was given that number by Mr. Avramovic in
4 September, and when he came to give evidence before
5 this Tribunal, he was given the number by Milan Simic
6 in August. Now, that's a very illustrative lie,
7 because it indicates two things; firstly, that he knows
8 exactly where to fire his bullets when he wants to
9 lie. There's no point in telling the Tribunal about
10 Jasna Marosevic. You don't get relocated to a country
11 of your choice for that sort of story. He knows he has
12 to emphasise whenever anything questionable was done,
13 it was done by the people who stand accused.
14 But also if you consider further his evidence
15 that he made on one occasion, he said, hundreds and
16 hundreds of phone calls to Mirsad Sahanic, starting in
17 September of 1998, and on another occasion umpteen
18 phone calls to Mirsad Sahanic, you see that this is a
19 man whose exaggeration of things that did happen makes
20 his evidence really about any point incapable of
22 There is a very important ancillary point to
23 this, which is that if Mirsad Sahanic's evidence is
24 accepted and he was only phoned twice by Mr. Agnes,
25 once in the middle of the night and once late at night
1 when Jasna was present, it admits of no possibility of
2 any call being made to Mirsad from Milan Simic's
3 office. It simply would be against the weight of all
4 the evidence to find that any such phone call was
6 I'm going to come now to the last of the lies
7 I choose to highlight, and that's the bag. I say that
8 is a lie of concealment and a lie into which you can
9 read quite a lot about his motivation. It was found at
10 Jasna Marosevic's flat. What on earth would be the
11 point of standing here, as a Defence advocate, of
12 making that assertion if it were not true?
13 He has tried, since he first crossed the
14 border, to distance himself from Jasna Marosevic. It
15 took him five witness statements before he mentioned
16 her, and it is significant, I submit, that the first
17 mention he made of her was after Avramovic had set his
18 case out in detail to this Tribunal. I submit that
19 shows he was notified of the Defence case, whatever he
20 may say, and I question what the purpose was of taking
21 that further unscheduled statement if he had not been.
22 But the point about him distancing himself
23 from Jasna is because he was perfectly aware that as
24 she had previously done with Mr. Avramovic, she could
25 unstitch the whole of his account from the first word
1 to last. You may think it's significant that in the
2 course of his evidence he denied having had any contact
3 with her after February 1999, an assertion he later had
4 to retract, and that it's significant that he denies
5 meeting her prior to meeting any of the lawyers.
6 But let's just briefly consider Jasna
7 Marosevic. She's a simple, working-class Catholic
8 girl, living a simple existence on 350 Deutschmarks per
9 month. She's not a major power broker in Bosanski
10 Samac, and she's not somebody who came to this Tribunal
11 terrified that if she didn't say the right thing, she
12 would be in trouble. And she surely can't be both of
13 those things, which the Prosecution asks you to
15 I submit to you that in her garish and rather
16 cheap-looking clothing, she was an honest and
17 thoughtful witness, one whose evidence you can rely
18 upon, because when you test it against the independent
19 factors, it is proved to be true. She told you where
20 Agnes was when war broke out, a fact confirmed by
21 Mirsad Sahanic and at some stage by Agnes. She told
22 you about seeing Mirsad and Agnes in custody. True.
23 She told you about seeing Agnes in 1993 in the army of
24 Republika Srpska uniform. True. But, and here's the
25 crux of Jasna Marosevic's evidence, and since I've been
1 criticised for not cross-examining Mirsad Sahanic, I
2 offer up the same criticism, no challenge was put to
3 her evidence on this point. Jasna Marosevic introduced
4 Agnes to Drago Vukovic, and that must be right, that
5 must be right.
6 I just want you to stand back a minute and
7 think about this. You get a bit lost when we call a
8 witness "Agnes" because you forget that in July of
9 1998, this was a man who had a name. It wasn't the
10 name he was born with, it wasn't the name by which
11 anybody who had known him in 1992 would recognise him.
12 The name by which he was known in 1992 was dead, in
13 effect. That man had died. His identity had been
14 destroyed. (redacted), a Serb living in Sremska
15 Mitrovica with relatives that nobody knew about,
16 unregistered as a refugee, not known to the local
17 Ministry of the Interior at the address at which he was
18 currently living with relatives that nobody knew about,
19 was untraceable. He could not have been found by the
20 lawyers. He had to find them. And that is the crux of
21 Jasna Marosevic's evidence, that she introduced Agnes
22 to Drago Vukovic. If you begin to accept that that is
23 an inevitable conclusion from the evidence, then the
24 whole of his account about what then happened begins to
25 unravel, because if that's right, then you must lend
1 real weight and due credence to the account that Drago
2 Vukovic gives about being introduced to Agnes by Jasna
3 Marosevic, about talking to him.
4 Agnes' account that these lawyers simply
5 stumbled upon his house in July or August of 1998 is
6 incapable of belief. The truth is, and Jasna Marosevic
7 says so unchallenged, that she introduced him to them
8 and that he was introduced to them perfectly willing
9 and enthusiastic to talk to them and see if he could
10 help them.
11 Now, before I pass on briefly, I want to deal
12 with his motivation for lying. I say it's clear and
13 it's naked before this Tribunal, and it's again not
14 altruistic. It's squalid and greedy and selfish.
15 This was a man who, prior to meeting Mr.
16 Soldal, was, I submit to you, without family in the
17 real sense. He was a Muslim from Bihac, so he says. I
18 mean it may well be that we can't even accept that. He
19 says he was a Muslim from Bihac who was not welcome
20 back in Bihac. He says he was living -- he couldn't
21 live in the Republika Srpska, I submit, because he was
22 wanted for murder, and he couldn't carry on living in
23 Serbia because he was living on false identification,
24 life was miserable, and that there was a fair chance he
25 was going to be drafted into the army.
1 We know that prior to Agnes ever meeting a
2 lawyer, plans were afoot, instigated by him, for him to
3 find somewhere else to live. He told you about going
4 to Belgrade in the, I think, middle of 1998 to see the
5 International Commission for the Red Cross. He told
6 you that the purpose of obtaining that document that we
7 discovered was to see whether it would help him be
8 allowed to live in another country, and we know that
9 for his pains in this Tribunal, he is going to achieve
10 that end, whatever the outcome of this case.
11 Now, I don't know where he's going to live,
12 but we have a pretty good idea where he wants to live
13 because he told us. You will remember an odd passage
14 in the evidence where he talked about applications
15 being made to the consulates or whatever, the embassies
16 of Australia, Canada and the United States. He doesn't
17 want much, does he? I mean none of those places would
18 let me go and live there, but Mr. Agnes has come and
19 that's what he wants. That's what he wanted then and
20 that's what he wants now. And if you ever doubted
21 that, and please forgive my language, you will only
22 have to recall the obscene piece of theatre that was
23 that man sitting outside this Trial Chamber refusing to
24 come in until he got his way. I submit to you that for
25 somebody who has no family, no country, no job, no
1 prospects, citizenship of a country of that sort is the
2 equivalent to you and I of a win on the lottery. But
3 here is a man who, having been guaranteed a win on the
4 lottery, wanted the cash in his hands before he would
5 even pay for the ticket.
6 Now, the danger always is, with a witness
7 like Mr. Agnes, that his account necessarily contains
8 an element of truth. It must do. You will appreciate
9 how ludicrous it would have sounded if he had come and
10 made these accusations against Mr. Avramovic having
11 never met him. There has to be an element of truth,
12 and the difficulty for this Tribunal is to sift what
13 actually happened from what is a lie, an exaggeration,
14 or just plain unreliable.
15 I want you, please, to consider the Defence
16 case. I put it to him for his consideration, but I
17 want to set it out now, and will help you, I submit,
18 decide how much of the detail that he has given you
19 leads you to lend further weight to his evidence.
20 It is our case that having met Jasna
21 Marosevic in July, he was introduced to Drago Vukovic
22 in August; that Mr. Vukovic saw him for a period of
23 time, but being in the process of handing over the
24 case, he had to be introduced to Mr. Avramovic on the
25 22nd of September, and there was a further meeting on
1 the 28th when some details were written down and some
2 lists were shown to him. It is our case that following
3 that, the next meeting was in November at the Mimoza
4 Cafe, and that thereafter there was only one meeting
5 this year in Bosanski Samac where also present was
6 Spasoje Pisarevic.
7 Now, in all that come the bones of his story,
8 because of course those events did happen. They
9 indisputably did happen. You're going to have to ask
10 yourselves whether his account in evidence is nothing
11 more than him taking the details of events from
12 meetings that happened and either multiplying them,
13 spreading them over a number of visits, or mixing them
14 up and throwing them in where he thought it was
15 merited. I'll give you an example.
16 It is not in dispute that Mr. Avramovic, on
17 the 28th of September, showed him some lists.
18 Mr. Agnes places that event quite literally all over
19 the place. He says, in his evidence, that that took
20 place at the Mimoza Cafe in November; in his first
21 statement, that it took place in February; later on, at
22 his uncle's house; in his fourth statement, in April
23 with Milan Simic; and his fifth statement, it took
24 place in mid-November after he and Jasna had made a
25 phone call to Mirsad Sahanic. It happened, and our
1 case is that it only happened on the 28th of
2 September. Do you think that might be right or do you
3 believe a witness who, in the course of a number of
4 witness statements and the course of his evidence, has
5 that event taking place at four different locations in
6 the company of different groups of people and at
7 different times?
8 He was given the lawyers' telephone numbers.
9 That happened. And yet when he gives evidence about
10 that and makes witness statements, it's all over the
11 place. He says given to him by Mr. Avramovic in
12 September. Compare that with his witness statement
13 number 1, where it was given to him by the lawyers at
14 his uncle's house, and his fifth witness statement,
15 where it was given to him by Drago Vukovic.
16 The offer of money, which of course we say
17 didn't happen. He says in his evidence that he was
18 offered 10.000 Deutschmarks by Mr. Simic the first time
19 they met in about August. Compare that with his
20 witness statements, where he says it was offered to him
21 by Avramovic and Simic in January, and in his fifth
22 witness statement, where the money was offered by
23 Mr. Simic curiously, it appears from my note, at his
24 uncle's house.
25 That's the pattern. The pattern is of events
1 being moved around, events being slotted into the
2 account where he saw fit, at times, I suggest, in his
3 evidence, in desperation. This was the evidence of
4 somebody who was prepared to lie first and think
6 Now, I do submit, as I began, that the issues
7 you have to decide now are really very narrow. You
8 have to decide whether the incident of shooting and the
9 incidents of phone calls and harassment ever happened,
10 because I submit to you that they didn't. They are
11 very simple allegations. They are easy to make. They
12 are utterly uncorroborated by any evidence that you
13 have heard. And let us be perfectly clear about this.
14 I do criticise the Prosecution. His uncle and aunt
15 were there, were available to be called, and nobody has
16 chosen to do so. They occurred, on any version of the
17 evidence, at a time when Milan Simic was either in
18 Igalo, receiving medical treatment, or at The Hague.
19 He has, in effect, an alibi for those allegations. And
20 you will also bear in mind his physical condition,
21 given that the allegation he faces is that he went to a
22 house in a car, stalked it, and fired shots in the
23 air. He plainly did not.
24 The allegation is countermanded by the report
25 of the local police, who say that during that relevant
1 period, the only time they were called out to that
2 village was to deal with a fight, and you'll bear in
3 mind that he said that the police were called on
4 several occasions.
5 But perhaps the killer point in relation to
6 that is his own evidence, because we are supposed to
7 excuse him, that he is not very good with times and
8 dates, even though I do submit to you he only had to
9 look back over the last eight or nine months and put
10 events into context or history, but we're supposed to
11 forgive him that. But this is one of the odd occasions
12 when we can tie down the dates. We know that the visit
13 of Mr. Avramovic and Mr. Neskovic was on the 28th of
14 September because Stevan Todorovic was arrested the day
15 before, and we know that on the 14th of September, from
16 the International Commission of the Red Cross document,
17 that he was issued, I think he said, somewhere in
18 Bosnia -- I can't recall now -- with that piece of
20 Now, you're going to have to consider his
21 evidence carefully, but I submit to you that when you
22 read it, you will come inevitably to this conclusion:
23 that he said that the visit of the lawyers prior to the
24 28th of September took place a couple of weeks before;
25 that that visit was preceded some three days earlier by
1 the cessation of the shooting and the late-night phone
2 calls. So that puts it around about the 10th of
3 September that this business was still going on. But
4 you'll bear in mind also that his evidence was in order
5 to obtain that Red Cross document, he had to go to
6 Bosnia, stay with an aunt for a few days, hang around,
7 I think, for ten days waiting to get the document. So
8 you're driven inevitably to the conclusion, on his
9 evidence, that what he told you about as happening in
10 Sremska Mitrovica, it was impossible for him to witness
11 because he wasn't there.
12 Now, let me move on, please, to the meeting
13 of the 28th of September with just this comment:
14 We have called witnesses. They are credible
15 witnesses. They are witnesses of good character, each
16 of them. They are middle-aged professional men, in the
17 main, and they tell you, where they can, that these
18 events did not happen. And when you consider the
19 evidence about the 28th of September, please, please
20 bear in mind that that -- that the original allegation
21 in this case involved Mr. Neskovic, the lawyer from
22 Doboj. He is named in the charge, and nobody did him
23 the courtesy -- nobody did him the courtesy of
24 suggesting to him, "You were involved in this." He was
25 allowed to give his evidence and say he sat outside; he
1 was unconcerned; there was no tape-recorder. And I
2 want you to please -- and I hope this isn't
3 impertinent -- just think of that man in comparison to
4 Mr. Agnes and decide whether you prefer Mr. Agnes's
5 evidence to a middle-aged man who has been a president
6 of the high court. He's like you. Don't you attach
7 credibility to what somebody like that says? Don't you
8 attach credibility to Drago Vukovic, who similarly was
9 not challenged about a meeting which, if Agnes is
10 believed, simply didn't take place?
11 So I do submit to you that when you look at
12 things in the round, when you look at the way in which,
13 in his first witness statement, Mr. Agnes pretty much
14 describes the history of meetings that the Defence
15 would agree with, that he does not describe any meeting
16 with Milan Simic, but that with each witness statement
17 and each version of his evidence his allegations become
18 greater, more numerous and more ridiculous, you don't
19 need me to remind you that the meeting of the 28th of
20 September was in his first witness statement the 2nd;
21 his fourth, the 3rd; his fifth, the 5th; in
22 cross-examination -- I'm sorry, in
23 examination-in-chief, the 6th, and by the end of his
24 evidence, the 10th. This is just exaggeration for
25 exaggeration's sake. It's just not credible.
1 Now, I must briefly deal with two or three
2 things. Firstly, you are going to be concerned with
3 whether there is any evidence that he met Milan Simic.
4 Again, I emphasise, far from being consistent in his
5 first statement, "No." In his second and third
6 statement, "No." By his fourth statement, once in
7 April, and by his fifth statement, three times, and by
8 the time he came to give evidence, many times. Indeed,
9 you will recall the very graphic protestations he made
10 that in October and November, months which in his first
11 statement he did not describe any meetings, he was
12 talking about 5, 10, 20 meetings a month, 50 phone
13 calls a month. And for what? Because I do submit to
14 you that he was not a potential witness, either in law
15 or in fact, and I'll deal briefly with the law.
16 I do stress that I trust you will not take
17 this as being in any way a concession that this man's
18 evidence has any credibility at all, but you're going
19 to have to consider the ambit of Rule 77 in any event,
20 and I submit to you that he was at no time a potential
21 witness, and if you cannot be sure of that, you cannot
22 convict anybody under this provision.
23 If he was a potential witness, then the
24 logical conclusion is that anybody who might have seen
25 anything that might be tried by this Tribunal on
1 indictment is a potential witness, and I submit to you
2 that that is nonsense. The Rule prior to December
3 1998, and that is only -- that, I submit, is the only
4 charges that remain, did not include that phrase, and
5 it is plain that it envisaged people who were in the
6 course of their evidence or people who were about to
7 give evidence. What it didn't cover, and what I submit
8 all the Rule does now cover, are people who are
9 expected to give evidence in a trial that hasn't
11 If "potential witness" means anybody who
12 might be able to give any evidence about any matter
13 that might come before this Tribunal, then you have
14 this nonsense, don't you: You have the situation where
15 if two men are sitting in a bar somewhere, anywhere in
16 the world, and someone knows something about what has
17 happened in Kosovo and he said, "Do you know, I think
18 I'm going to make myself available to give evidence
19 about this matter," and his friend says to him, "You
20 cannot do that. It is an act of disloyalty," punches
21 him and then said, "There. Be warned," then the
22 logical conclusion would be that man, wherever, could
23 be dragged before this Trial Chamber in contempt of
24 this Tribunal. That's nonsense.
25 Similarly, what is going to happen when
1 Defence lawyers look for witnesses who are unwilling
2 because their family, their friends, the people they
3 live with are persuading them, putting pressure on them
4 not to come forward, out of loyalty? Are we to come
5 here as Defence lawyers with ex parte motions, inviting
6 this Trial Chamber to issue arrest warrants for half
7 the people in a village in Bosnia? Obviously not.
8 My submission is that the only sensible
9 construction to Rule 77 is that "potential witness"
10 means somebody who, in contemplation of the parties, is
11 likely to give evidence before the Tribunal. It means,
12 in effect, witnesses named in the Prosecution papers in
13 relation to a trial that is either some way off or in
14 some way adjourned.
15 Now, in fact, I submit to you he never was a
16 witness. He was never going to be called as a witness
17 and was thus not a potential witness. You'll have to
18 consider the evidence of Mr. Vukovic and Mr. Avramovic,
19 and you might like to think this: Given what you have
20 heard, given what you now know about him, given what
21 these men then knew about him, what lawyer in their
22 right mind would have called this man as a witness? He
23 was marginal, his evidence was in conflict with
24 Mr. Avramovic's client's instructions, it was
25 dangerous, and very likely to inculpate his client.
1 You may also be helped in that regard by his
2 own evidence, that no contact was made between him and
3 Mr. Avramovic between October and February and,
4 thereafter, no contact at all. Does that give you a
5 clue as to the level of his importance in the scheme of
7 You'll also consider, please, and I do submit
8 that they are corroborative of the Defence case, the
9 billing records that show this man was visited on the
10 22nd and the 28th of September and not thereafter.
11 They're corroborative of his lack of status as a
12 witness and they're corroborative, I submit, of the
13 Defence case, that those were the only times he was
15 Now, that is all I really propose to say. I
16 really return to my initial --
17 JUDGE HUNT: Before you start your
18 peroration, if I may put it that way, there were
19 documents filed, first of all by Mr. Morrison and then
20 by yourself, which raised a series of legal issues
21 about the procedure which was followed, the ultra vires
22 nature of Rule 77, and a number of other matters. Are
23 you going to rely upon any of those?
24 MR. HAYNES: I began, really, with those. I
25 began by acknowledging that the Trial Chamber has
1 adopted a procedure, and my submission is that the
2 procedure drives the Trial Chamber to try these men on
3 the specific charges they face.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Then your answer to my question
5 is that you don't rely upon the suggestions made in
6 those documents?
7 MR. HAYNES: No.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
9 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. My peroration is
10 really this, and it's in two sentences: that to find
11 these matters proved beyond reasonable doubt would be
12 an act of utter infidelity to the evidence and an
13 offence to any burden or standard of proof anywhere,
14 and that, in law, Agnes was never a potential witness
15 and thus never came within the scope of Rule 77.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Paterson.
17 MS. PATERSON: Just briefly, Your Honour.
18 First, we would take strenuous objection to one comment
19 by Mr. Haynes in his statement. He basically accused a
20 member of the Prosecution staff themselves of
21 committing contempt.
22 On the 17th of September, 1999, this Court
23 issued an order which, among other things, stated
24 that: "The Prosecution is further ordered not to
25 disclose the witness statements or the content thereof
1 to any person or organisation, other than the
2 Prosecution investigators, until further order, except
3 to the limited extent necessary to investigate the
4 allegations of contempt."
5 Mr. Haynes has alleged that at least one
6 member of the Prosecution team allegedly informed
7 Mr. Agnes about the contents of at least one witness
8 statement or information that had been made available
9 to us in this case, and I would like to state for the
10 record unequivocally that nothing of that sort took
11 place and that those allegations were entirely
12 inappropriate under the circumstances.
13 Finally, Mr. Haynes asked us to put together
14 an extraction from the statement of Milan Simic that
15 was taken by the Office of the Prosecutor in March
16 1998. We have done so at the request of Mr. Haynes. I
17 suggest he perhaps review this to make sure it meets
18 with his satisfaction before it be presented to the
20 MR. HAYNES: How many do you need?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please,
22 Mr. Haynes.
23 MR. HAYNES: I suppose the sensible thing to
24 do with that would be to put it at the back of the
25 folders I gave you earlier. I think it will
1 become D8. Am I right or wrong?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Registrar, what number would
3 this have? Acknowledge.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. It will become D13.
5 MR. HAYNES: Oh, dear. I wasn't even close.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you have anything in
7 rejoinder, Mr. Haynes?
8 MR. HAYNES: No, nothing.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not inviting you.
10 The Chamber will consider this matter and
11 give its decision later. The proceedings stand
13 --- Whereupon the Rule 77 hearing
14 adjourned at 5.58 p.m., sine die