1 Tuesday, 15 April 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.12 a.m.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then we can continue hereby immediately with
5 the rebuttal phase of the closing arguments. The floor is for the
6 Prosecution, please. But please, may I address both parties by saying
7 that from our perspective, the purpose of closing arguments is not to
8 fight against each other or to fight amongst the parties. I think the
9 main purpose should be to convince the Bench, and I hope that we can
10 continue this way. Thank you.
11 Mr. Koumjian, please.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honours, after listening to the closing
13 argument of the Defence, I got home rather late last night, and I have a
14 rather limited library at home. But thinking about some of the arguments,
15 I did happen to find a passage that I found of some relevance to this
16 case. This case is about Prijedor, and I think there's very limited value
17 in any historical analogies, but given the arguments of the Defence, I
18 think it's interesting to read that this is a cable sent from a western
19 young consul to his ambassador on July the 24th, 1915. The consul wrote
20 that "Everything was apparently planned months ago. First a few were said
21 to have been involved in a revolutionary plot, and they were arrested.
22 Some bombs were found, and further arrests were made. Those who were
23 arrested were subject to terrible tortures. Orders were given that all
24 arms of every kind must be surrendered to the authorities. At the same
25 time all the leading men were arrested, the authorities insisted most
1 earnestly that all who were arrested were involved in a plot against the
2 government. Many hundred of the prominent men were thus cast into prison,
3 and they were then sent away, and there seems to be no doubt that they
4 were all murdered a few hours' distance from here. When practically all
5 the men had been gotten out of the way and every weapon surrendered or
6 found by the police, it was announced that all of the population must be
8 That was sent in Harput in 1915, but Your Honour, the point is
9 that the Defence says the Prosecution has an imagination. We say that
10 these crimes that happened in Prijedor were not, unfortunately, unique in
11 history. What is unique in history, though, is that we have a Tribunal of
12 international judges trying to look at the facts, trying to bring justice
13 for crimes, horrible crimes, that were committed, in many case a very
14 unique institution and obviously we all have an extremely serious duty and
15 heavy duty to history, to international justice, in carrying that out.
16 There are only a few points regarding the evidence that I heard in
17 the Defence argument that I want to address. First, a few minor
18 corrections: In the argument, there were -- there was a couple pages of
19 references to Mr. Brown's testimony, and the Defence argued quite
20 strenuously that the report in a Defence document, I believe it's D6,
21 should have been reviewed by Mr. Brown, that his report could not be
22 relied upon since it had not been reviewed. That report by Mr. Rahmic,
23 who was a Muslim fighter. That report, Your Honours, is referred to in
24 Mr. Brown's report on page 49, in footnote 242; on page 50, in footnote
25 246; on page 51, footnote 258; and in the transcript of his testimony on
1 page 8602. So undoubtedly it was inadvertent that the Defence is
2 incorrect when they argue that Mr. Brown did not review, did not consider,
3 did not make that available to the Trial Chamber. I have been corrected.
4 The document was D12.
5 I'd like to also explain now something about Mr. Sebire's report,
6 which was Document S281-3 that perhaps I didn't do a good enough job in my
7 opening remarks explaining. That was the document - I don't know if it's
8 still possible to put that on the screen - of the months of court
9 declarations of deaths arranged by month. It's explained that figure 2 of
10 Mr. Sebire's report on page 13 of his report. As I said in my opening
11 argument, this is not the Prosecution case, that this graph and that these
12 court declarations of death include all of those who were killed in
13 Prijedor in 1992. Mr. Sebire explained in his report and in further
14 detail in his testimony that court declarations of death are something
15 that take place when family members come forward, it's voluntary, they
16 come forward. They have to go through various procedures with the court.
17 I believe there's a small fee. There's requirements. And then the court
18 issues a declaration. So certainly the Defence is correct that the number
19 killed in this chart, this only represents a survey, this is only a
20 portion of the population that were killed. But it does show us a good
21 survey of that population and when they were killed.
22 Although the chart stops at October 1992, Mr. Sebire's report, I
23 believe, makes it clear that there were no killings in November and
24 December 1992 for which there is a court declaration of death. The report
25 and this chart clearly shows the pattern of killings that began in May and
1 escalated to its peak in July during the cleansing of the Brdo region, and
2 then tailed off after the journalists' visits in August of 1992.
3 A few other documents I'd just like to briefly address. In the
4 SK46, the Defence referred to Dr. Stakic's statement at a public meeting
5 in the municipal hall of the SDS in which he said, I believe, that the
6 next two or three months are most important. The economy has to be
7 revived. Peace must be maintained at all costs. Your Honour, it's never
8 been the Prosecution's position, first of all, that Dr. Stakic or others
9 in the joint criminal enterprise announced their intent publicly or
10 outside of a very small circle. You recall even Mr. Zeljaja's interview
11 in which he indicated that he had two different command groups at the
12 barracks, an inner command and a larger group -- an inner command of only
13 those he could trust. But further, Your Honour, if you look at the
14 Prosecution indictment, what we indicate in paragraph 27 is that the joint
15 criminal enterprise was an evolving one, not every person joined it at the
16 same time, and the intent of that enterprise undoubtedly evolved. The
17 Defence has not pointed to any statements of Dr. Stakic, once the real
18 conflict began, the conflict that they were being -- that was being
19 prepared, once it began on May 23rd of 1992. In fact, if you looked at
20 S47, the interview of Dr. Stakic in Kozarski Vjesnik in 1994, I believe,
21 he talks about what happened being part of a long, but for the Serbs,
22 perilous plan.
23 The Defence also presented a new document during their closing
24 arguments. That would be D322. I'd just like to briefly comment. The
25 reason that those SDS cards were presented was it was my impression from
1 the Defence even as late as when Dr. Kovacevic -- excuse me, Mr. Kuruzovic
2 was testifying, that the Defence was maintaining that Dr. Stakic was
3 somehow not a member of the SDS. That does not appear to be the case
4 according to the Defence argument. They don't seem to be contesting that.
5 And I think certainly nothing that they have presented in D322 would
6 change what I said in my opening remarks, opening argument. What it shows
7 is that the accused was carrying until yesterday apparently four cards,
8 calendar cards, with the SDS, three calendars from 2001, with the symbols
9 and the representation of the SDS party.
10 What the Prosecution has always maintained is that Dr. Stakic,
11 once the elections in 1990 occurred, and he ran as an assembly member of
12 the SDS, was a full member of the SDS, became its vice-president, and
13 remained a member of the SDS all the way through the time of his arrest.
14 In its argument against the genocide charge and the charges in
15 this case about the plan and joint criminal enterprise, the Defence argues
16 that there could not have been a plan to kill so many people because when
17 Hambarine was attacked, why didn't they continue to go on and attack the
18 other villages? I'm sorry, let me go back a little bit and talk about
19 Hambarine, what the Defence said, for a second. First the Defence said
20 that Aziz Aliskovic should have surrendered following this attack at
21 Hambarine, what the Defence calls the attack on the soldiers. I'd also
22 like to just remind Your Honours of the testimony of Dr. Mujadzic, that
23 the soldiers, the wounded were lying out on the field, that he treated
24 them to the extent he could without any medical kit available. Clearly,
25 this was not an attempt to execute or kill Serb soldiers because the
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13 English transcripts.
1 soldiers were not being fired upon; they were being treated by, in fact,
2 the head of the SDA party in that field. The Defence says that Aziz
3 Aliskovic should have surrendered. Even if we accept the Defence
4 arguments about what happened and even if you accept the argument that
5 Aziz Aliskovic should have surrendered, what the Defence doesn't explain
6 is how that could possibly justify the attack on Hambarine. Even the
7 Defence -- the Defence military expert, although he did not state it in
8 his written report, admitted in his testimony that there was no military
9 justification for attacking Hambarine, for destroying at a minimum 40 or
10 50 houses which the Defence witness saw just from the main road.
11 Was there an armed conflict in Prijedor? Yes, we, the
12 Prosecution, has always maintained there was an armed conflict in
13 Prijedor. In fact, there were combatants, there were people such as
14 Slavko Ecimovic who certainly was a combatant, who after the attack on the
15 civilian population of Hambarine and after the attack on the civilian
16 population of the Kozarac area led a very desperate attack of about a
17 hundred lightly armed men in an attempt to re-take Prijedor.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I take the liberty and when you are
19 addressing this point, it seemed to be settled and it was not contested
20 yesterday by the Defence. But still the problem remains as we hear it in
21 other cases, do you regard this armed conflict as an internal conflict
22 solely or also as an international conflict?
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: We have called this an unclassified armed conflict.
24 We have not charged, Your Honours, the accused with crimes that require
25 proof of an international armed conflict. The crimes that we have charged
1 all require proof of an armed conflict, and the evidence has not
2 classified it. The Defence has talked about the JNA being present, in
3 fact they presented the Security Council resolution which called on the
4 JNA to leave Bosnia and Herzegovina in the middle of May 1992. But for
5 purposes of the charges in this case, it is unclassified because there was
6 an armed conflict. And whether if there were external pressures on and
7 involvement in the conflict or whether it was solely internal is not
8 necessary for the proof -- is not an element of the charges which are
9 alleged in the indictment.
10 Clearly, there was an armed conflict.
11 What I wanted to say about Slavko Ecimovic and the people who
12 defended Kozarac, the allegation at least and it appears that Becir
13 Medunjanin was helping to organise the Territorial Defence of Kozarac,
14 that while they may have been combatants and under the laws of war they
15 could have been detained, they certainly could not under the laws of war
16 and international humanitarian law be tortured and killed, as they were.
17 And perhaps this explains -- perhaps knowing what would have happened,
18 maybe that explains why Aziz Aliskovic chose not to surrendered to the
19 authorities who had seized power by force, not the -- legal authorities in
21 The Defence then says that if the attack on Hambarine, if there
22 had been an attempt to destroy the population, that the army would have
23 gone on and the forces would have gone on and continued to attack. But
24 Your Honours, that is exactly what the evidence shows. What we have shown
25 in this case is that on the 23rd of May, Hambarine and surroundings of
1 Hambarine, several other villages - you can look at the testimony of
2 Dr. Mujadzic - was shelled for seven hours, and the very next day, Kozarac
3 was attacked. Kozarac was attacked and thousands of people were either
4 picked up and put into camps or taken away. The evidence shows that the
5 attack moved on to the Brdo region in the middle of July, and it didn't
6 stop until the visit of the journalists on the 5th of August. So the time
7 period that we're talking about is about 75 days. The campaign that
8 resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the detentions of thousands
9 of individuals in camps and deportations of many, many thousands all
10 happened in a time period of about 75 days in one town, one municipality,
11 Prijedor, thousands were killed.
12 The Defence asked whether the attack was widespread and
13 systematic. The evidence has shown not just the attack on Hambarine,
14 which the Defence acknowledges; the attack on Kozarac and the destruction
15 of Kozarac; the destruction of Stari Grad, the evidence has talked -- you
16 have heard evidence about the detentions and the crimes in the Omarska
17 camp, the detentions and crimes in the Keraterm camp and Trnopolje. But
18 in addition, and perhaps it hasn't received the same amount of attention,
19 but actually resulted in probably more deaths, the campaign in July in the
20 Brdo region. We did have Ibela Atlija, for example, as one witness who
21 talked about all the killings in his village, and that is what Colonel
22 Arsic said was going to be the ciscenje in Brdo, a military operation,
23 ciscenje. He even shared with us the photographs he took later of his
24 village, some of which are now on the screen, S185-2, S185-6, S185-7,
1 Witness Q was from this region, talked about how many members of
2 her family were killed in that operation. Witness S and Witness C.
3 Witness G was a 92 bis witness from the Brdo region. And if I could just
4 read one small paragraph from that statement on page 3, Witness G told us
5 that: "It was clear that the Serb forces had started the cleansing of
6 Muslims on Monday morning in the eastern part of Brdo area. They slowly
7 made their way west hamlet by hamlet in the process executing Muslims by
8 the dozens and pillaging every settlement that lay along the way. The
9 Serb forces reached the western part of Biscani where lay Mrkela and
10 Begici in the late afternoon." Nermin Karagic was from the Brdo region.
11 I may have mispronounced his name and I apologise, in my opening
12 argument. And he talked about how after the initial attack the people
13 were waiting, that's the initial attack on the Hambarine region, somewhat
14 hiding out, and then in July the forces came back. He talked about being
15 arrested with his father, being taken to the stadium. We know about the
16 massacre at the stadium. He carried his own father's body to the bus. He
17 then was taken near the Kipe site, Redak, where another massacre of all
18 those on the bus except for he and a few others who managed to escape took
20 Even the Defence says this wasn't widespread in Prijedor and
21 mentioned Ljubija, but one of the Defence's own witnesses talked about
22 being in Ljubija and seeing over a hundred bodies on the side of the road.
23 Men that had been executed.
24 What the evidence shows, Your Honours, is that throughout this
25 campaign, there was a coordination between the military, the police, and
1 the civilian authorities. Evidence that the Defence does not address in
2 their closing arguments, but which is clear, evidence that we presented in
3 many different forms, orders, public statements, and documents. If you
4 look at S107, it was a document mentioned by the Defence. And in this,
5 this is the document in which Simo Drljaca orders the Omarska camp to be
6 set up. He indicates on the very first paragraph on the orders of the
7 Crisis Staff. The Defence argument is because Simo Drljaca indicates that
8 the information should not be let out without his permission, that he's
9 not informing the Crisis Staff about what happened. But if you look at
10 the next page and the copies to whom this document is sent, the last page,
11 the very first addressee is the Crisis Staff, and the evidence is clear in
12 Dr. Stakic's interviews when he talks about Omarska, both in, for example,
13 S187, in the interview with Monika Gras, he gives detailed information
14 about the camps, about the numbers of people who went through the camps
15 and were processed. In S47, the interview in Kozarski Vjesnik, Dr. Stakic
16 talks about what was learned in interrogations. That's where he says "We
17 learned in interrogations that there was a detailed plan where each
18 neighbour had the Serb that they were supposed to kill. Each person knew
19 which colleague, which neighbour they were supposed to kill." This was
20 the kind of propaganda that Dr. Stakic was spreading.
21 The Defence talked about the document from Simo Drljaca, D99.
22 It's written -- I ask Your Honours to just pay attention, this is written
23 in 1993 after we know that Simo Drljaca lost power following a revolt in
24 the SDS in which Dr. Stakic and Drljaca, Ranko Travar were thrown out of
25 office, forced to resign. In the article when Simo Drljaca complains
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13 English transcripts.
1 about the civilian authorities, he clearly talks about those who were in
2 power in 1993. In fact, he specifically mentions the president of the
3 SDS, and we know from the evidence of the witnesses, particularly during
4 the Defence case, that it was Simo Miskovic, Srdjo Srdic, those people who
5 opposed Dr. Stakic and Mr. Drljaca and who led the revolt that led to
6 their replacement with Mr. Kurnoga and Radanovic as the vice-president of
7 the municipality.
8 If we could have S114 on the screen, please, and we could -- this
9 is, Your Honour, an article, a document, very familiar again, not
10 mentioned or explained in any way in the Defence arguments, about - if we
11 could have it blown up a little bit. It's about the reporting on the
12 implementation of Crisis Staff decisions. The first one that was blown up
13 was the famous one about no release of prisoners. But if we go on, the
14 Defence argued that there was no proof that the intervention squad was
15 ever set up. No proof that Simo Drljaca ever reported to the Crisis Staff
16 and Dr. Stakic. But if you look at the third conclusion on this page, it
17 indicates regarding order number, gives the number, 17 June, 1992, the
18 Prijedor SJB has established an integrated intervention platoon which
19 together with the military police is actively involved in the prevention
20 and deterrence of all sorts of crime. We heard about that intervention
21 squad and what it actually did from Witness B who was present in the
22 Keraterm camp, who talked about how they would come into the camp and
23 commit crimes. How the intervention squad was present when the buses came
24 the day the camp was closed and 120 men were called out and taken for
25 execution. We heard about it from Nusret Sivac who said that whenever
1 there was dirty work to be done in Prijedor, the intervention squad was
2 always there to do its job, and they did it well.
3 We even heard about it from the Defence's witness, Milos Jankovic,
4 a police employee who talked about hearing the sounds of the tortures of
5 the intervention squad, the loud screams in the SJB building, and
6 specifically mentions Dado Mrdja as being one of those people.
7 Certainly it is a key question in this case, key evidence in this
8 case regarding the influence of Dr. Stakic on the police. There's all
9 kinds -- there's a great amount of evidence showing the influence and
10 directions Dr. Stakic gave to the police that were carried out. If we
11 look at S64, it's a document of great relevance both to that question and
12 to the questions which Your Honours will have to deal with regarding the
13 accused's responsibility under 7(3) for failing to take action to prevent
14 or punish crimes. If we can blow up this document, in this document --
15 I'm sorry, this is Article 6. If we can go back to the first article,
16 perhaps I can find it. I don't believe it's blown up. This is a document
17 which says that all Serbs imprisoned by mistake should be released.
18 According to the Defence, Prijedor at the time was a victim of people
19 committing random acts of horrendous violence. The Defence blames this
20 mainly on refugees and drunken soldiers. And what is the response of
21 Dr. Stakic to these acts of violence and all of the crimes and suffering
22 that's occurring in Prijedor? He gives an order saying that all Serbs
23 imprisoned by mistake should be released. And how is that to be
24 implemented? If you then look at Article 6, and Ms. Karper can come back
25 to it, Article 6 indicates that the decision would be implemented by Simo
1 Drljaca, who would have the authority to decide himself on which Serbs
2 would be released from imprisonment. So this indicates not only the
3 accused's influence and interference with the police, but his interference
4 and influence on the judicial system or his complete evasion of the
5 judicial system, misuse of it.
6 S84 required the SJB, the police, to submit information to
7 enterprises on the inmates in Omarska and Keraterm. So over and over
8 again, we see the documents showing the police and the influence of
9 Dr. Stakic and the Crisis Staff on the police, on the camps, and on the
10 crimes. According to the Defence argument, these crimes were committed by
11 drunken soldiers, they were sporadic, random, uncontrollable acts of
12 violence. If the Defence is correct on that, then you should acquit, if
13 that's what you find. But does that make sense? Is there any doubt, is
14 there any reasonable doubt or any doubt at all that all of these deaths in
15 75 days of thousands of people were committed as random, sporadic acts by
16 drunken soldiers?
17 Can we look, please, at S337. This was part of Ms. Tabeau's
18 demographic report, and it deals with -- it has some information here
19 about the populations and has information about deaths that had been
20 recorded at the time she wrote this report and verified. She explained in
21 her testimony what her sources of information were.
22 The document shows that Prijedor in 1991 census had a population
23 of 112.000. All of these municipalities from the Krajina region together
24 totalled a little less than a million, 976.000 in population. The total
25 number of deaths in the 19 municipalities was 3.010. Of those deaths,
1 1.747 occurred in Prijedor. We've heard evidence about how Prijedor was
2 close to Banja Luka, Banja Luka was the centre of the region. Refugees
3 went to that, the largest city in the Krajina, Banja Luka, and
4 Mrs. Kovacevic talked about that, that Banja Luka received many, many of
5 the refugees from Croatia that came.
6 How did the number of deaths compare in Banja Luka to Prijedor?
7 In Prijedor, there were 1.747. And in Banja Luka, there were 16. How do
8 you explain that random, uncontrollable acts of violence are occurring on
9 that scale in Prijedor, and on less than 1/100th of the scale in Banja
10 Luka? The crimes were not random. You've heard evidence about the camps
11 being set up, the organisation of those camps, the logistics. You've
12 heard evidence of the attacks on Hambarine and Kozarac, the evidence of
13 the Crisis Staff giving ultimatums, providing fuel and logistics to the
14 army. You've heard evidence of transfers between the camps and the use of
15 buses provided by the Crisis Staff. The massacres in Room 3 where so few
16 of the victims have been found. It was not a random act of violence when
17 not a single individual was arrested. The massacre committed by policemen
18 from Prijedor on Mount Vlasic where 200 to 250 men were killed is not a
19 random act of violence when not only is no one arrested on a convoy that
20 was assigned to -- that group of policemen that were assigned to that
21 convoy all day, but in which, unlike -- apparently the Defence made an
22 error in its closing. The Defence said that the bodies had been exhumed.
23 The bodies from Mount Vlasic have never been exhumed. 200 to 250 bodies
24 disappeared. We have evidence of the mass graves all over Prijedor.
25 These mass graves were not created by one or two drunken soldiers and
1 people doing uncontrollable acts of violence.
2 In Miska Glava, a site at the end of Prijedor, we know that the
3 bodies were exhumed. We know that among those bodies were two women from
4 the Omarska camp, Sadeta Medunjanin and I think it was Edna Dautovic who
5 had been put on those buses in late July, 1992, and whose bodies were
6 exhumed and identified by DNA. Testimony came from Mr. Sebire, from that
7 Miska Glava mass grave site.
8 Mr. Marjanovic testified, we talked about the site that was
9 exhumed just about a year ago at Jakarina Kos where over 300, I believe,
10 body parts were found. We saw that those bodies -- included in there,
11 there were explosives, indications of some military hardware, and that the
12 explosives had been dug into the rock using an expensive drill, a drill
13 that I believe he said would cost -- I think he said 100.000, 200.000
14 dollars, that there were two of those that existed in Prijedor. The
15 bodies were hidden. The evidence shows overwhelmingly an organised
16 campaign, and I invite the Defence in its opportunity to give its final
17 remarks to explain why in Banja Luka, 16 people are killed while in
18 Prijedor, 1700 are killed. It's not -- the Prosecution does not believe
19 that the people in Prijedor and the Serbs in Prijedor are different from
20 the Serbs and people in Banja Luka. What was different was an
21 intentional, organised campaign in Prijedor to exterminate and destroy the
22 communities, to burn down the houses to, destroy the places of worship,
23 and whenever possible to hide the bodies so that people simply
25 Intent, of course, it an element of almost all of our charges and
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13 English transcripts.
1 certainly a key element, critical element in our genocide charges,
2 knowledge and intent, and we'll explain in our brief the complexities of
3 the various theories of liability. But let me make it clear that our
4 evidence shows, we believe clearly, that there was this intent to commit
5 these crimes and to destroy the community on the part of the accused,
6 Dr. Stakic.
7 In all of the crimes that happened, we saw the pictures -- we just
8 from Ivo Atlija, we've seen pictures of Kozarac. We've heard about Stari
9 Grad being levelled to the ground. We heard about the lines of women and
10 we saw videotapes of the women lined up desperate to leave Prijedor.
11 We've heard about how many thousands were killed and how many of them were
12 known to the accused, how many doctors, his colleagues, who disappeared
13 and were killed in the Omarska camp. How many prominent politicians and
14 people he had worked with in the assembly were killed, tortured and
15 disappeared from Omarska and other camps? We heard that the accused was
16 well known in Kevljani, and we have heard the testimony of people like
17 Sanja Poljak about the complete destruction of Kevljani, the murder of so
18 many of the people of Kevljani. And we've even heard that the very person
19 that Dr. Stakic replaced was taken from the camp and murdered, and that
20 was Professor Cehajic. Dr. Stakic was elected in 1990 as the
21 vice-president; he shared the office with Professor Cehajic until April of
22 1992. They sat next to each other at the Municipal Assembly. They both
23 had full-time jobs, went to the same office every day.
24 The accused was arrested in March of 2001. We've seen interviews
25 in Kozarski Vjesnik, we've seen interviews with the accused on television,
1 local television, interviews with the international press. When we look
2 at someone's intent, the only direct evidence would be an admission, a
3 complete admission of intent, which is rare. But one can view -- see
4 someone's intent from their actions, and also from their words and what
5 they don't say. In all of these interviews, from the time of these events
6 in 1992 through his arrest in April -- in March 2001, we never heard the
7 accused once talk about the crimes that were happening against the
8 non-Serbs of Prijedor. The only thing we heard from him in all of these
9 interviews were excuses. We heard justifications. We found lists that
10 each Muslim had the name of a Serb that they were supposed to kill,
11 telling the foreign journalists when he was asked about the Omarska camp
12 and the killings in S187, remember all of the witnesses who testified for
13 the Defence have talked about how people had heard about the killings,
14 there were rumours all over town about the killings, we know how many of
15 the accused's colleagues were in that camp and disappeared. And very
16 nonchalantly in that interview, Dr. Stakic says, "Well, there were a few
17 natural deaths." The journalist asks how many? "Well, I don't know. Not
18 many." He was the president when entire sections of his municipality were
19 being destroyed. When the population of non-Serbs went from 50.000 --
20 over 50.000 -- 49.000 Muslims, I believe, to 6, according to the Kozarski
21 Vjesnik article in 1993, I believe that is -- if we could have it on the
22 screen. I don't think it's necessary, Your Honours can view that
23 evidence. Went from 49.000, and it's interesting that Kozarski Vjesnik
24 reports upon this in 1993, to 6.000, to show that how much interest there
25 was in removing and how many knowledge there was of the removal and
1 destruction of the non -- Muslim and Croat populations. He doesn't once
2 admit to the crimes in these interviews. He gives justifications. He
3 tells outright -- he calls places like Omarska "reception centres." He
4 tells outright falsifications such as in Trnopolje, it was a place where
5 people could come and leave freely when we have orders from the Crisis
6 Staff saying that no one can be released from Trnopolje without approval
7 from the Crisis Staff. There were people who could leave freely, but
8 there were also obviously people detained who had to get permissions
9 signed by people like Mr. Kuruzovic. That's how we find person's intent.
10 Your Honour, it's not easy to do, and it's not easy to look at a person
11 and understand who they are and what they think. We learned that in this
12 case recently, and we have seen people who come into court who look very
13 respectable and talked about his great empathy for non-Serbs, for his
14 brothers and sisters in Prijedor, and that was Mr. Kuruzovic, and we know
15 he is nothing like the person he appears to be on first appearance.
16 The reality is the crimes in this case were so massive that we
17 can't imagine. That's true. We've heard from 40-so witnesses I believe
18 or less, live in this court, from the Prosecution, victims, and the
19 stories are very emotional and touching, but they are just a very small
20 portion of the thousands of stories that were happening mainly in 75 days
21 in Prijedor. The Defence called many witnesses who knew the accused, who
22 had -- were friends with him. Mr. Prastalo still saw him in Belgrade,
23 presented evidence from relatives, but none of those witnesses ever talked
24 about Dr. Stakic expressing a single word, a single word of empathy or
25 sympathy for any of the people that died. He didn't ask where Professor
1 Cehajic was because he knew where Professor Cehajic was. He never
2 expressed empathy for the destruction of Kozarac, for Stari Grad, for the
3 thousands who were killed because they were killed according to a plan in
4 which he actively and willingly participated.
5 The Defence attorneys, I believe, have told us very sincerely that
6 they -- the sympathy they feel towards our victims, but in all of his
7 conversations with the press, with his own friends and family, Dr. Stakic
8 never expressed a word of sympathy for the victims in this case. And Your
9 Honour, I believe that evidence tells us what his intent was.
10 It's interesting that in the Defence argument, they asked the
11 Court to remember Mrs. Cehajic who testified and what she said about her
12 willingness to trust this Court to find the truth, and that she wasn't
13 prejudging anyone. But I'd like to go back to her words. And first, as I
14 was looking for those words, I came across a question from Judge
15 Vassylenko to Mrs. Cehajic at the end of her testimony. It's on page
16 3161. She was asked: "You were summoned for interrogation by the
17 military. Soldiers were put on guard outside your apartment. Soldiers
18 and policemen searched your apartment. Soldiers confiscated your car, and
19 you were advised to request an official confirmation about the
20 confiscation from the military barracks in Urije. Nevertheless, after the
21 arrest and detention of your husband, you for several times tried to reach
22 Dr. Kovacevic and Dr. Stakic, and not the police chief or military
23 command. Why? Can you explain?" And Mrs. Cehajic answered: "The mayor
24 was the person in the town who was supposed to care about each of the
25 citizens." That was the first explanation. "And I thought they had
1 worked together. And third, that he ought to know what had happened with
2 his predecessor. And also, they took over the authority, and the person
3 who had authority also was in charge of the police and the army, so it was
4 all connected, who was giving orders and who was listening to, obeying the
6 Your Honour, Judge Schomburg thanked Mrs. Cehajic, as you do for
7 all the witnesses for their contribution of your task of finding, coming
8 closer to the truth. And she asked to respond, thanked you. And she
9 said: "Thank you, Your Honours, Judges, who made it possible for me to do
10 it. I would also like to ask you of course to take this into
11 consideration in a real way and in an unbiased way, to judge to what
12 extent who has contributed to what had happened. Who was not guilty
13 should be freed. And who was guilty should suffer the consequences for
14 what he had done."
15 Your Honours, the Prosecution agrees a hundred per cent, as I know
16 you do, with Mrs. Cehajic. If you believe the Defence case that these
17 thousands of deaths were the result of random, uncontrollable violence,
18 then clearly it's your duty to acquit. But the evidence shows otherwise.
19 That is an unrational, unreasonable interpretation of the evidence that
20 you've received of the coordinated, organised campaign involving the
21 police, the military, and in the centre of the civilian authorities
22 coordinating, headed by Dr. Stakic. Mrs. Cehajic said that those who are
23 responsible must face the consequences of what they did. The suffering
24 that was created in Prijedor in 1992 is unimaginable. I can't imagine
25 really what it was. But it deserves justice even 11 years afterwards.
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13 English transcripts.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until half past 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
6 Let's hear now the closing arguments in rejoinder by the Defence.
7 Mr. Ostojic, please.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 What we do see from the evidence and what we can infer reasonably
10 from the totality of the evidence is that Dr. Stakic is not guilty of the
11 crimes alleged. The Defence has never taken a position that the crimes
12 did not occur; the Defence, we had hoped, in a public trial by not
13 subjecting the victims to further stress, pain, suffering, and possibly
14 even humiliation, that that would be, and in my opinion is, a significant
15 fact to show based upon Dr. Stakic's instruction and insistence to show
16 what his feelings were with respect to those victims. That's the
17 reasonable inference. That's, in fact, the undisputed fact in this case.
18 The Office of the Prosecution would love to have had articles, interviews,
19 and admissions. But let's be reasonable and see if they did, in fact, or
20 if they were to obtain any such articles, would they truly, honestly, and
21 objectively told this Court that sympathy and empathy is a Defence, and
22 because Dr. Stakic felt sorrowful and saddened by the tragic events,
23 therefore, you should acquit him? Or is it reasonable that a prosecution
24 would utilise those statements and say it's an admission, that he knew
25 what had occurred in that municipality and did nothing about it?
1 The Prosecution is steadfast in maintaining their theory of the
2 case. But when you read between the lines, when a prosecution -- a
3 prosecutor tells you on a direct question whether something is an internal
4 or international conflict and when they use the term "unclassified," it
5 can mean only one thing. There is reasonable doubt. There is no such
6 classification necessary. Either you take a position that it's an
7 internal conflict or an international conflict of law. Multiplicity and
8 duplicity, as we have argued in our motions prior to today, cannot and
9 should not at the very least at the end of the trial continue to be
10 utilised. Unclassified, without doubt, means there is reasonable doubt on
11 that rather significant and important element necessary for the
12 Prosecution to prevail.
13 They discuss briefly widespread and systematic. What did
14 Mr. Vulliamy say in his contemporaneous articles about widespread and
15 systematic? Does he not affirmatively in August of 1992 conclude after a
16 personal visit that he saw no evidence of systematic attacks? Should we
17 accept that evidence? How much weight do we give that evidence? That is
18 for Your Honours to decide. The theory has somewhat changed from last
19 Friday, in my view. Now the joint criminal enterprise did not announce
20 its plan publicly. It has been alleged that Dr. Stakic incited, inflamed
21 the Serb population with speeches that would have been considered
22 inappropriate, without doubt. They say that the joint criminal enterprise
23 and this criminal plan is evolving or was evolving. Not everyone joined
24 at the same time. The intent of the enterprise was undoubtedly evolving.
25 What does that mean when a Prosecutor tells us that? That the
1 facts do not exist in this case to convict Dr. Stakic. Is the
2 Prosecution's theory that Dr. Stakic was the superior to the military?
3 Friday of last week, they finally narrowed their position and said it was
4 Mr. Simo Drljaca and the police. I think we can all agree unequivocally
5 when we look at the evidence objectively, no one was superior and no one
6 was subordinate from a civil, municipal, political level to Mr. Simo
7 Drljaca. He took orders from no one; he did not respect anyone or the law
8 other than himself.
9 Was there evidence of coordination between the military, the
10 police, and the civilian authorities? Mr. Brown, although his remit was
11 rather limited, gives us those answers. He says "I can't tell you whether
12 the police coordinated, cooperated with the civilian authorities because I
13 honestly didn't review those documents." What he really meant, he wasn't
14 given those documents to review.
15 The Defence believes that the evidence is clear that only one
16 reasonable inference can be drawn from the evidence, and that is that
17 Dr. Stakic did not at any time possess the criminal intent for any of the
18 counts in the fourth amended indictment. The Prosecution, as we contend,
19 have tried to shift the burden of proof to the Defence so they challenge
20 us from time to time and state "Why not in Banja Luka? Why in Prijedor"?
21 Is there any evidence that military men were shot, ambushed, provoked, or
22 attacked in or around the municipality of Banja Luka? None. Why?
23 Because that happened and it was an omission by the Prosecution to bring
24 forth that evidence? No. The only reasonable inference that we can draw
25 from the facts is that there were no attacks on military convoys. There
1 were no ambushes on military convoys. There were no provocations on the
2 military in the Banja Luka municipality.
3 However, it is not our burden of proof in this case at any time to
4 prove a point or a fact. When we speak of cooperation, when we speak of
5 coordination, the OTP continues to ignore the evidence, continues to
6 ignore the evidence that the Defence brought forth as well as that the
7 Court called. Was there one witness that the Court called that said there
8 was close cooperation and coordination between the political, civilian,
9 municipal authorities and any of those other organs? Do we forget the
10 affidavits, the uncontested statements from Dr. Stakic's family supported
11 by death certificates, mobilisation papers, when his nephew was killed?
12 Should we draw a reasonable inference as once suggested by the Prosecution
13 that it was proud -- you should be proud to be in the military, and he
14 didn't want to necessarily ask for that individual to be removed from the
15 military. And ultimately, his nephew was killed. Is that the reasonable
16 inference? Or can we reasonably assume from the facts, from the
17 affidavit, that genuinely, objectively, there is no doubt that Dr. Stakic
18 had no influence on the military and could not even help his own family in
19 any regard when it came to the military?
20 Likewise, his brother-in-law, who suffered the same fate. Not
21 one, but two critical pieces of evidence that clearly indicate that
22 Dr. Stakic had no control or influence on the military. What about the
23 live testimony of a witness that this Court will recall and that
24 undoubtedly we'll cite in our brief who said she came to Dr. Stakic
25 because her son had a Muslim friend, wanted him released from one of the
1 detention centres. And Dr. Stakic couldn't help her either because it was
2 not within his control; it was not within his power, and he certainly had
3 no influence to release that individual or anyone else.
4 The Prosecution does not answer any of the questions that we
5 believe we raised yesterday. Was there effective control? Where are the
6 facts to support effective control, if any? The only question answered is
7 that there is reasonable doubt as to whether it's an internal or
8 international conflict, by their own admission. The only question they
9 answer is that the joint criminal enterprise seemingly does not and did
10 not exist, because now their position is that it's ever-so-rapidly
11 evolving from time and place, that they themselves can't figure it out.
12 The reason they cannot figure out who were members of the joint criminal
13 enterprise and when and where it evolved is because it didn't exist. When
14 I use words such as "sporadic," "random," and "uncontrollable," those are
15 not my words. Those are words that are in evidence. But it's hard to
16 hear those words, difficult to find them in the evidence, most difficult
17 to find them in the evidence from the Prosecution because Mr. Brown did
18 not review that body of evidence. He did not review the military reports
19 where the military and their daily reports, in my opinion, consistently
20 and often cite to words such as "random killings," "sporadic killings,"
21 "drunken soldiers," "paramilitary drunken soldiers attacking civilians,"
22 "uncontrollable behaviour from groups within the military and those
23 without". Those are not words that I chose to describe the events; those
24 are facts. Undisputable facts that in my view the Prosecution continue to
25 ignore as their experts have.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 They discuss the May 15th, 1992, UN resolution to disarm. There
2 is a resolution that discusses or that resolution in a separate paragraph
3 discusses the JNA. Paragraph 5, however, is a separate demand from the
4 Security Council, and as we placed it on the screen, it clearly states:
5 "Demands further that all irregular forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina be
6 disband and disarmed." What is an irregular force? Is it the Green
7 Berets that Mr. Brown denies existed? Is it the Patriotic League that
8 Mr. Brown denies existed?
9 D12, the document that the Prosecution or someone in their office
10 says it unbiased. When you weigh Mr. Brown's evidence and his testimony,
11 see how much weight he actually gives to the document. Note that the
12 document was not, at least the position at that time, was not fully
13 translated, and the Defence did not have a complete copy of that 226-page
14 report. An unbiased report by a Bosnian Muslim about the events in
15 Prijedor, and its cited in a footnote, it's barely relied upon. In fact,
16 it's summarily dismissed by all their experts.
17 The illegal and irregular forces, did they abandon their theory,
18 that is, as in most genocides the first step or the first thing you do is
19 you disarm. I suggest to you that the Prosecution abandoned by virtue of
20 their comments the counts of genocide and complicity in genocide against
21 Dr. Stakic. I have no reservations to clearly say and unequivocally state
22 that Dr. Stakic at no time was a participant in a criminal plan, a joint
23 criminal enterprise which organised or assisted or cooperated with or
24 otherwise coordinated this theory to "Destroy Bosnians, Muslims, and
25 Croats in the Municipality of Prijedor."
1 What other evidence do we have to say or suggest that Dr. Stakic
2 had no influence, was not the evil man that the Prosecution wishes to
3 portray? In a public forum in July, in a restaurant, when he met his
4 schoolteacher, he didn't ignore him, a non-Serb. And Dr. Stakic, who is
5 beating the war drums, deceiving Serbs in a public forum would embrace a
6 non-Serb? What is the inference of that testimony? Should we ignore that
7 testimony? We cannot, under the law.
8 The only inference from that testimony is that Dr. Stakic did not
9 have criminal intent as alleged for any of the crimes asserted in the
10 fourth amended indictment.
11 This Court, as I suggested, based on the decisional authority has
12 the unique opportunity to render justice in a fair and even-handed manner.
13 This Court, we would hope, and are confident in, will review all the
14 evidence in its totality and will not allow unreasonable inferences to be
15 drawn and unreasonable presumptions of circumstantial evidence to be
16 drawn. This case is indeed complex. It's complex because on the one
17 hand, not just the victims of the Office of the Prosecution, but the
18 victims of all of us, of all society, these are all our victims, those
19 victims on one hand are not to be judged to compare and necessarily say
20 whether Dr. Stakic should pay for those incredibly horrible, tragic
21 crimes. They cannot and they continue to insist that their theory, in
22 essence, has been reduced to 7(3) and that Dr. Stakic failed to do
23 something about the crimes. In order for the Court to reach that
24 assessment, it must find Dr. Stakic to have been in a superior and
25 subordinate relationship with one of the perpetrators or some of the
1 perpetrators of that crime. He must have had substantial contribution and
2 effective control over that which was occurring. We heard none of that
3 testimony from any of the witnesses. All the witnesses uniformly and
4 unilaterally stated that the civilian municipal authorities had no control
5 or influence over the military. They had no control or influence over the
7 If we talk about 7(3) and the police and we want to talk about the
8 de jure alleged responsibility, what expert did they call to give us an
9 objective review? What witness stated that they reviewed the police
10 policy, regulations, and rules? In essence, they concede that point by
11 virtue of not calling any such testimony and not having any such witness
12 review those documents. De facto, whether they can prove that aspect of
13 the case is also clear; they cannot. Instead, they go back to our
14 emotional, our emotions and our hearts, and they dig deep and suggest that
15 many, many victims suffered. That is not and has never been a dispute in
16 this case. As the Court very well knows, from the outset, we did not and
17 we continue to maintain that position, that we do not contest that those
18 people suffered, that many were killed. What we do contest is the manner
19 in which the Office of the Prosecution believes those killings occurred.
20 In an organised fashion? One would think, if you discuss the Room 3
21 massacre and accept their position, that there was close to a thousand
22 detainees in that detention facility, 100 to 150 were killed in the Room 3
23 massacre on July 24th, 1992. Was that organised? Was that foreseeable?
24 What about the balance of those detainees? Can we take judicial notice of
25 the fact that genocide was not found in the Keraterm cases that have been
1 tried? Can we take or infer by way of judicial notice that the Omarska
2 case that was tried, that there were no allegations of genocide or
3 complicity in genocide against the camp commander or any of the shift
4 leaders? Of course we can. Of course we know from those two adjudicated
5 cases that indeed, these acts were random, sporadic, uncontrollable.
6 We do not and we have never taken the position that Serbian
7 refugees from Krajina committed these atrocities. We don't have the
8 burden of proof, nor would we ever in my view suggest that a whole group
9 of people, simply because they're refugees, or perhaps the Prosecution's
10 position is simply because they're Serbs, committed these atrocities.
11 What we hoped that we would have accomplished in this trial is break down
12 the evidence for the Court, to view it in an honest manner, to review it
13 in an objective manner, and then draw the reasonable inferences from that
15 Dr. Stakic's comments that are so heavily relied upon by the
16 Prosecution date two years post crimes that have occurred. We will find
17 and we can find that certain issues of Kozarski Vjesnik do not exist; and
18 undoubtedly, those publications were from the critical period in the
19 indictment. Should we infer from that that Dr. Stakic said negative
20 things, or should we follow the law where there's a presumption of
21 innocence and that we cannot make such a biased inference because it is
22 not the only reasonable inference from the lack of those documents being
23 presented? If there are two reasonable inferences on a fact, the Court
24 must, in our view, decide in favour of the Defence. If the Prosecution is
25 sincere and they tell the Court "If you find that these crimes are random,
1 sporadic, uncontrollable, committed by the paramilitary, committed by
2 fanatics, by drunken soldiers, acquit." I direct the Court's attention to
3 the military daily reports that were not included in Mr. Brown's remit.
4 Accept their proposition and acquit Dr. Stakic because justice
5 dictates that he, indeed, is entitled to an acquittal. Thank you, Your
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Prosecution, is there a request
8 for response?
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's not envisioned in the rules, and I would only
10 respond if there's a particular point that I could assist the Trial
11 Chamber on. I'd be happy to respond to that.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. We will come with some -- of course not
13 all -- questions immediately after the break. And it's at the same time
14 an attempt to a certain extent to streamline the case and at the same time
15 to try to get some more clarification on legal issues, but primarily on
16 doubts the Trial Chamber has expressed in the questionnaire. And maybe
17 based on this, the one or other point becomes more clear, or maybe even
18 moot. Therefore, immediately after the break, it's our intention to start
19 with the questionnaire. The two questions under III, seems to be limited
20 only whether or not they uphold their allegations in these paragraphs
21 mentioned there. But then, we'll concentrate on a question, and I believe
22 that whatever the outcome of the case will be, initially it has to be
23 discussed, what are the protected groups for the purpose of the definition
24 of genocide in general and what about the targeted groups for the purposes
25 of the definition of persecution and extermination in this case? We do
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 believe that a discussion on these two issues will assist both parties in
2 writing their final briefs.
3 And then we will address only a few factual points, and these are
4 primarily in the direction of the Prosecution. No doubt that also the
5 Defence has the right to address these issues in response, but maybe it
6 can assist us in shortening the final briefs.
7 But as to the fact that we need to have a final clarification of
8 the evidence before us before I can declare this case closed, I invite the
9 parties as I did already this morning to use the remaining time, until
10 half past 2.00, to clarify the issue on whether or not the Defence has had
11 access to all the issues available within the Office of the Prosecutor of
12 Kozarski Vjesnik. And please, let us know from both parties what the
13 result of this investigation during the break is.
14 The trial stays adjourned until half past 2.00. And we continue
15 in Courtroom III.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.39 p.m.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Please be seated.
3 May I ask the parties, what about Kozarski Vjesnik from April
4 through August 1992. Is there any solution?
5 MR. LUKIC: Maybe I should correct myself first. We were not
6 given access to the issues, if the Prosecution has it, from the 27th of
7 March until 22nd of May, and two other issues, from the 5th of June and
8 31st of July. Otherwise, we received issues from June and July. So when
9 I stated that we didn't, it wasn't correct.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification. May I ask the
11 Prosecution, what about the remaining issues?
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, Your Honour, we're actually preparing a
13 summary of what was provided to the Defence, trying to track down and
14 historically recreate what was provided and what was missing. There was a
15 list given to us, my understanding, from the Defence before. We located
16 those that we did have, and we gave those to the Defence. We gave them
17 access. There were two or three members of the Defence team who came and
18 spent a few days going through those records. So I'm not sure if they
19 kept records of which ones they saw or did not see. But given the
20 information that Mr. Lukic just gave us, I know that declaration and that
21 data is being prepared now. I shall email it from the court and see if we
22 have a response about whether we have these particular issues or not. My
23 understanding is all issues that we have have been made available to the
24 Defence, but I'll double check that, triple check that.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. I think we have time enough this
1 afternoon for this purpose.
2 May I ask Madam Registrar, save the unfortunate missing documents
3 D114 and D115, I think we'll track them down, is anything else missing,
4 not admitted, translation missing, or whatsoever?
5 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I take it that we have the translation now of
7 S430 and D305. Correct?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
10 Then let's hope that the two copies given to Prosecution and, no
11 doubt, the Bench of D114 and D115 during Mr. Trifkovic's testimony can be
13 May I ask the Defence, do you still have a copy of D114, D115?
14 MR. LUKIC: Madam Registrar asked us yesterday to try to track
15 those documents. But my search was unsuccessful. Fortunately, we have
16 our case manager today with us, and hopefully we will have more knowledge
17 and more luck with those documents but we need this evening to check that,
18 Your Honours, because all our documents are in our apartment.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We are looking forward to the same
20 good news.
21 Then, as indicated beforehand, we have some questions, and it goes
22 without saying that related to factual issues, the burden of proof is with
23 the Prosecutor, and therefore, primarily, the factual questions will be
24 addressed to the Prosecutor. But no doubt, whenever the Defence wants to
25 take the floor on a concrete issue, counsel may feel free to take -- to
1 request the floor.
2 As I said this morning, I want to start with the more easy
3 exercises, and this is the question that the Chamber invited the OTP to
4 consider, whether to withdraw the following allegations on the basis of
5 that they are not sufficiently precise, and this would be the ones
6 mentioned there in paragraph 54(3)(A)(xiii).
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. If I could just
8 preliminarily remark that I'm happy to try to assist the Court as much as
9 possible. As Your Honours know, there's about -- I think we are up to
10 close to page, is it 13.000 or something like that of the transcript?
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 15.000.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: 15.000 and I'll do my best, based upon my memory
13 and the collective memory of us sitting here, to answer Your Honours'
14 questions. But more detailed explanations will appear in our brief, which
15 we're still working hard on.
16 As to the allegations in paragraph 54(3)(xiii), the Prosecution
17 does believe that there has been evidence presented regarding Bosnian
18 Muslim and Croat hamlets attached to the villages. I don't know if Your
19 Honour wants me to go into the details now, but I can refer Your Honours
20 to, for example, Dr. Cehajic's testimony, transcript page 3105, referring
21 to destruction in Ljubija. Witness P, at page 3347, referring to
22 destruction and looting on the road between Kozarac and Trnopolje. And
23 also pages 3347 to 51, referring to houses that had been arsoned and
24 destructed in Koncari and towards Trnopolje.
25 Witness Q, on page 3930 and the following two pages, talked about
1 destruction and looting in Ljubija. Witness S on page 5954 through 5975
2 referred to destruction and looting. Mr. Sejmenovic talked about burnt
3 houses and destroyed houses on the road to Petkovci. I could go on, but
4 as Your Honour can see, these details will appear in our brief.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Here, related to these two points, the
6 question was only whether the indictment, in fact, this is no doubt a
7 question where both the confirming Judge and the Prosecution's response
8 before, that the question whether these allegations are pleaded
9 sufficiently, with a sufficient precision.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, we believe that they were, and we also
11 believe that in fairness to the Prosecution, that's an issue that should
12 have been and was decided or should have been raised prior to the
13 presentation of the evidence. The indictment is supposed to be a concise
14 document, especially when dealing with hamlets in Bosnia where three
15 houses may have the name of one hamlet, and you go down a dirt road
16 another hundred metres, and there's a name of another hamlet. It would be
17 ex-extremely difficult to precisely name each of those geographical
18 settlements and some of them even contain multiple names. The Defence was
19 put on proper notice because of the witness statements that were provided
20 long before trial of the evidence. The indictment, we believe, was
21 sufficiently precise in identifying these small hamlets in the manner that
22 it did.
23 And the other allegation was -- I'm sorry, which was the other
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 54(3)(B), during and after the attacks.
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13 English transcripts.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, we believe that is sufficiently descriptive,
2 and it is what the evidence showed, that during, for example, the attack
3 on Kozarac, houses were destroyed in the attack and the days following the
4 attack, they continued to be arsoned, there continued to be destruction
5 and looting of the houses. I don't know how we could have more precisely
6 pled that unless we indicate actual days, but we do believe it was
7 sufficiently precise for the Defence to fairly defend the charges and
8 there were no complaints on the form of the indictment regarding that
9 specific allegation.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Thank you for this clarification.
11 Then, a more problematic point, no doubt, and it was discussed
12 several times, but nevertheless, also in order that first the Defence has
13 to prepare in the final brief and also in order what it's for us to cover,
14 the question number 23 on the factual allegation is as precise as
15 possible. Is it still the OTP's case that there was a joint criminal
16 enterprise, or coperpetratorship? We're all aware that joint criminal
17 enterprise is not yet a safe haven in the jurisprudence of this trial.
18 It's just pending on appeal, this question, whether or not this Tribunal
19 has jurisprudence at all on joint criminal enterprise.
20 Therefore, we added the words "coperpetratorship" as one possible
21 alternative, if so. But you may have heard from our previous comments
22 that we have some doubts, especially whether it is the Prosecutor's case
23 that there is such a coperpetratorship or joint criminal enterprise, both
24 on a horizontal and vertical level. And if the latter would be true, what
25 is the evidentiary basis for this?
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. Your Honour, it is the Prosecution's
2 case, and in fact, I think it would be unfair to the Defence for us to
3 imply in this case that decisions were only made in Prijedor and there was
4 no influence above. But let me explain that a little further. There has
5 not been in this case, in the case that we have presented, we have not
6 presented any evidence against Dr. Stakic, nor was he charged, with crimes
7 that occurred outside of Prijedor Municipality.
8 The -- in my view, and let me first give a little caveat because
9 we are speaking of very complicated questions of law, as Your Honour
10 indicated, first impressions. There may come a point in our closing brief
11 that after reviewing my remarks, it's determined that the office policy
12 was slightly different or I was unaware of a position or jurisprudence
13 that existed. And definitely, our closing final brief takes precedence,
14 and that is the office position, not my oral remarks, but trying to be
15 helpful to the Trial Chamber. The key to the theory of a joint criminal
16 enterprise and the responsibility of the accused is linking the accused to
17 the crime. The links that have to be established, I submit, are in a
18 downward direction from the accused through perhaps other members of the
19 joint criminal enterprise, in this case, in Prijedor, the police and
20 military, to the perpetrators of the crime. There has been some evidence,
21 minimal evidence, but there has some evidence in this case regarding
22 coperpetrators on a level of the republic and the region.
23 But in our view, in my submission, the key is linking the accused,
24 Dr. Stakic, to the crime on which Your Honour calls the vertical level,
25 and I would say -- excuse me, horizontal level, and what I would call
1 vertically down, linking him to the crime, it really -- we are not trying
2 to charge him with any crimes outside of Prijedor under the joint criminal
3 enterprise form 3, so we are not -- we don't need, in our submission, to
4 link him to higher levels where these crimes were carried out beyond the
5 borders of Prijedor. All that is necessary for our proof, we submit, is
6 to link him to the perpetrators and, in the particular facts of this case,
7 to his coperpetrators in Prijedor, the military and the police.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But if you mention persons like Biljana Plavsic
9 and others on a higher level, isn't it under the rules of logic the case
10 that you, in fact, would hold Dr. Stakic responsible also for these crimes
11 committed on a higher level, and therefore have this vertical link? Isn't
12 it, in fact, the purpose of this joint criminal enterprise doctrine, with
13 all the question marks behind it, that those persons - I remember
14 Madam Korner elaborating on this - that the persons mentioned there in the
15 fourth amended indictment may never even have met but nevertheless are
16 mutually responsible because they are allegedly members of one and the
17 same joint criminal enterprise. So therefore, if I understand you
18 correctly, in fact, it's the Prosecution's case only that Dr. Stakic is
19 held responsible for that what happened in Prijedor and has -- in the
20 municipality of Prijedor, and therefore has nothing to do, and he as would
21 be normal under the joint criminal enterprise doctrine, that he would also
22 be responsible for that what happened in higher places. Correct?
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Our case is limited, and let me just -- to what
24 happened in Prijedor and by forces under the influence of the accused, and
25 I add that caveat, because, for example, we do have charged killings in
1 front of the Manjaca camp, the evidence showed members of the intervention
2 squad on the 6th of August transferring prisoners from Omarska, killed
3 them before they were allowed into the Manjaca camp, which is in Banja
4 Luka. Similarly, the Mount Vlasic massacre occurred outside the borders,
5 but was by Prijedor police, the intervention squad. And in that way,
6 Dr. Stakic is linked directly to those crimes.
7 As far as the crimes at a higher level, first, as a matter of
8 practicality, we are not presenting evidence in a case where there's a
9 joint criminal enterprise involving a great number of people of the
10 responsibility proving, for example, the responsibility of Mr. Karadzic
11 for the crimes. I think if we tried to do that, the Defence would
12 probably properly object that the case is about Dr. Stakic and not
13 Dr. Karadzic. What we -- we are not charging Dr. Stakic for crimes
14 committed in Zvornik or Biljani or crimes committed in the Herzegovina
15 region that Dr. Karadzic or others, or Srebrenica, that Dr. Karadzic and
16 others in the joint criminal enterprise may have carried out. As a matter
17 first of practicality and also in fairness to the accused, we are charging
18 him only with the crimes in this case that he directly influenced in
19 Prijedor as a member, we do admit, of a larger joint criminal enterprise.
20 But we are charging him with those crimes directly linked through the
21 horizontal joint criminal enterprise in Prijedor down to the actual
22 perpetrators in Prijedor and from Prijedor.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What would then be the factual and the legal
24 link to the other persons mentioned in the indictment as participants in
25 this one and the same joint criminal enterprise allegedly happened at that
1 time in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Why is it necessary to mention and have the
2 relationship to these persons?
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Actually, it was first deemed necessary because of
4 a decision on the form of the indictment in the Brdjanin and Talic case in
5 which it was stated that the Prosecution should name the other alleged
6 members of the joint criminal enterprise. Is that necessary to have named
7 those above the accused? Perhaps not. But then we only erred on the side
8 of caution in giving the Defence further notice of the crimes than perhaps
9 was necessary. It also, though, had some relevance in that part of the
10 motivations and the policies -- we did present evidence that there was a
11 motivations and policies for the crimes, to change the demographics to
12 create a separate state came from a republic level, regional level. And I
13 think if anything, it simply aided the accused in being put on notice of
14 that, and probably helped the Prosecution and the Trial Chamber in putting
15 on notice of why the Prosecution would present evidence, for example, of
16 decisions by the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff, of the RS
17 Assembly, because we did want to put the accused on notice and have the
18 Trial Chamber be aware that these crimes in Prijedor did occur in the
19 context of a larger, wider joint criminal enterprise.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. It might be that the Defence wants
21 to add something.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Not at this time, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
24 No doubt, we won't go through all the factual questions, but maybe
25 it can be of assistance that we discuss item number 15 on the factual
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13 English transcripts.
1 allegations. That's a question of the evidence to support the allegation
2 in paragraph 46 of the indictment. Asking for the basis for including the
3 Prijedor JNA barracks, the Miska Glava community centre, and the SUP
4 building in Prijedor on the same level as the Omarska, Keraterm, and
5 Trnopolje camps. Is it still the -- still the Prosecution's case that
6 these three buildings or areas can be seen as camps or in the sense as
7 allegedly Omarska, Keraterm, Trnopolje were, or based on the evidence we
8 have before us, to be extremely frank with you, it might be that at least
9 the three first ones can be excluded right now because of the limited
10 evidence and maybe that there's only evidence that the one or other person
11 was interrogated there. But please.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. Your Honour, paragraph 46 lists "camps and
13 detention facilities." It has never been our intention to put all of
14 these on the same level by no means. To be absolutely clear, and I think
15 everyone in this courtroom knows this, the Omarska and the Keraterm camps
16 were on a completely different level than the other facilities. Trnopolje
17 was completely different than the other facilities, one, because of the
18 size of the population; two, because of the type of acts and the frequency
19 of acts that occurred, certainly the killings and beatings were on a lower
20 level than -- lower numbers than in Omarska and Keraterm. But the number
21 of persons held in the facility was much greater.
22 The others were places where I think the evidence is going to show
23 or has shown, people were detained for much, much shorter periods of time.
24 We'll outline that evidence in our brief. But to directly answer your
25 question, no, we do not maintain that these are all on the same level, and
1 we don't -- we call them "camps and detention facilities." No way do we
2 intend to imply that there was anything like Omarska and Keraterm in these
3 other facilities that Your Honour mentioned.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So is it still your case that, as it is part of
5 the indictment, that the Prijedor JNA barracks, Miska Glava community
6 centre, and the SUP building were, in fact, illegal or not justified, even
7 under the Geneva Convention not justified detention centres?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's not illegal certainly to have a detention
9 facility. It is who you put into the facility. We heard about, for
10 example, what comes to my mind at the moment is the Prijedor SUP building
11 and people who were taken there, the people who were beaten there who were
12 absolutely not combatants, in no way involved in hostilities, in no way
13 could be seen as a threat to the authorities. I believe Professor Cehajic
14 was there taken there -- Dr. Beglerbegovic I believe went there.
15 Mr. Murselovic I believe went to the Prijedor SUP. It's not illegal to
16 have a jail to put criminals, but when you detain civilians because of
17 their ethnicity and beat them in that facility, then it does become a
18 violation of international law in our view.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the same is true for the JNA barracks and
20 the Miska Glava community, and you believe that you have the necessary
21 evidence to support this allegation?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, we'll address that in the brief. The
23 barracks, I believe, were addressed mainly in the testimony of one of our
24 92 bis witnesses, and I believe there's quite detailed evidence. The
25 Miska Glava, let me just see which ... I believe the Miska Glava
1 community centre is the one that Mr. Nermin Karagic discussed in his
2 testimony. But I think rather giving it off the top of my head and
3 incomplete or inaccurate data, we do believe at this point that we have
4 that evidence. We'll outline it in our brief.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
6 Point 5, only for a better understanding of the Defence, no doubt
7 we have written down this caveat, the absence of the question in relation
8 to certain facts does not mean that those facts have already been
9 established beyond a reasonable doubt. But there are some parts where we
10 believe that maybe elimine they could be defeated. And therefore, we come
11 back to point 5, and this is the question of the discriminatory element of
12 the alleged denials of fundamental human rights. For example, the curfew,
13 does the Prosecution really believe that there is enough evidence that the
14 curfew was imposed on a discriminatory basis?
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, it's not our belief that a curfew is
16 itself discriminatory. And although I don't have the exact language in
17 the indictment in front of me, I believe what we alleged was a general
18 denial of movement. The curfew itself would not be, we agree with Your
19 Honours, that itself would not be a denial of rights if applied to all
20 persons. And it does appear from the evidence that the curfew applied not
21 to all persons, it applied to most persons and it was not only on the
22 basis of ethnicity that there was a curfew. We do believe that the
23 evidence shows a general denial of the freedom of movement, and that will
24 be outlined in our closing brief.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But once again, is it your case that the curfew
1 was imposed with a discriminatory intent?
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's not our case that the curfew itself was the
3 discriminatory intent, no. Our case refers to general restrictions of
4 movement. Checkpoints where Muslims were not allowed to pass, what one
5 witness described as the ghettoisation of the Muslim communities.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We heard several times the allegation of the --
7 of imposing a curfew, so --
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: If I could just explain, add, I think we stressed
9 many times the curfew not for the purpose of showing alone that the curfew
10 was discriminatory intent, but to show the power of the Crisis Staff and
11 the accused to impose orders upon the police which were then carried out.
12 The curfew we believe was a very, very important piece of evidence, but
13 it's not for the purpose of showing discriminatory intent. It's for the
14 purpose of showing the accused's influence and ability to give an order to
15 the police that the police then carried out.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And now we come really closer to
17 crucial questions. And they are ambiguous, both factual and legal
18 questions. And this is about the protected groups for the purpose of the
19 definition of genocide in this case. I recall that this morning, you
20 mentioned related to the intent and also on Friday, related to the
21 genocidal intent, the non-Serbs. Can the non-Serbs be a targeted group in
22 the sense of genocide?
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I believe they certainly, can but let
24 me be clearer. Our evidence has shown much more specifically that the
25 groups targeted were Bosnian Croats and, in particular, Bosnian Muslims.
1 In fact, the evidence is not equal. The evidence shows a greater
2 targeting for obvious reasons of the demographics of Prijedor of the
3 Bosnian Muslims. But I would agree with Your Honour, we have not produced
4 evidence to show that all non-Serbs regardless of their ethnicity were
5 targeted. We have produced evidence to show that the group targeted for
6 destruction were the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's quite clear based on the
8 authorities that only a concrete group, and if I understand the indictment
9 correctly, this could be only limited to Muslims and to Croats, if any.
10 So let us start with the Croats. The targeted group must be targeted for
11 the genocidal intent in whole or in part. Is it the Prosecution's case
12 still that the Croats, as a group, was targeted in whole or in part in the
13 Municipality of Prijedor?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour. I don't know if you want me to
15 elaborate, but the answer is absolutely yes. During the 75 days or so
16 this campaign took place, we believe the evidence shows they were targeted
17 for destruction.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then this is now a real, not only academic,
19 but a question that has been addressed in several publications on the
20 question of genocide. Leaving aside the question of intent or knowledge
21 and so on, but when you speak about Muslims, what is the targeted group?
22 The Muslims in the entire world, the Muslims in Europe, the Muslims in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Muslims in the Municipality of Prijedor? And
24 would this be sufficient under the terminus technicus targeting a group in
25 whole or in part?
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13 English transcripts.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, first we do use in our indictment the
2 word "Bosnian Muslims" and let me first explain that the word is used in
3 the sense of an ethnic group and not in the sense of a religion in this
4 particular case because many of those people, we're using people who
5 identify themselves or were identified with that ethnic group, not talking
6 about their practice of their religion.
7 As far as the group being targeted, where it exists, we believe
8 there is jurisprudence in this Tribunal both here and in the ICTR that a
9 genocide can take place on a localised case, the Krstic case and I believe
10 the ICTR case, the Akayesu case. The evidence that we've presented in
11 relation to Dr. Stakic, we believe clearly shows that the groups Bosnian
12 Muslims, the Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats in Prijedor were targeted by he
13 and members of his enterprise for destruction.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So for the purposes of the establishment of the
15 crime of genocide, it's the Prosecution's case that it's related to
16 ethnicity and not to a religion. May I ask, is the same true when it
17 comes to the question of persecution? You may have seen that in several
18 judgements, it was extremely difficult to make the necessary distinction
19 on the targeted group. And what would be the basis for the discrimination
20 necessary for establishing the alleged persecution?
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: If I understand the question, the group we are
22 defining for persecutions in the same way that we define it for the
23 genocide, the Bosniaks and the Croats. Your Honours understand enough
24 about this area to know that people are very close descendents in the area
25 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I mean coming from very similar -- I'm at a loss of
1 words, very similar backgrounds, speaking the same language, identified
2 themselves variously based upon the religion that they or their fathers or
3 grandfathers or ancestors identified with, Catholicism, Orthodoxy or
4 Islam. And that has an ethnic identification, whether the person was
5 practicing that religion or not. There clearly was some overlap in the
6 persecutions between seeing the people by their religion and their
7 ethnicity. The question is not quite so simple, but that has been
8 presented in the evidence, and I'm sure Your Honours understand it. There
9 is an overlap in the region between a person's religion and ethnicity and
10 how that historically has developed and been identified.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So for the purposes of Article 5, you would make
12 a distinction. It's also more or less a judicial hint because this
13 Chamber is absolutely not clear on the scope of both genocide, the alleged
14 genocide, and the alleged scope of what is called crimes against humanity,
15 especially when it comes to persecution. The question is, is it the
16 Prosecution's case, for example, when I see paragraph 54 where you can
17 read the Bosnian Serbs, the Bosnian Muslims, and then non-Serb areas.
18 Would it be a discrimination from your point of view of all non-Serbs, be
19 they now composed of Muslims, Croats, Ukrainians, and also related to
20 their religion, but more or less making this discrimination related to all
21 non-Serbs, or would you also here make a distinction and bring together
22 the Bosnian Croats, the Bosnian Muslims, and others being non-Serbs?
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I believe there has been some evidence
24 of people other than Muslims, Bosniaks, and Croats being targeted. But
25 that was, I would submit, because they were identified with one of those
1 two groups, specifically I believe there was evidence of Albanians being
2 targeted in one of the camps who were identified, our submission is, with
3 being allies or part of the Muslim community even though ethnically they
4 are different than Bosniaks. And one other case that comes to mind is the
5 case of Dr. Sikora who was of Czech origin and we saw from the newspaper
6 article where he was accused of sterilizing Serb women, I believe, that it
7 was his religion that he was identified with and he was in that way seen
8 as being allied with the Croats. It clearly is our case that the
9 intention was to target Bosniaks, that is, Bosnian Muslims or Bosniaks and
10 Croats when we use the word "non-Serb" in the indictment, and perhaps I
11 think Your Honours could read that to mean Bosniaks and Croats, there were
12 other individuals who suffered such as these Albanians and the --
13 Dr. Sikora, but it was because they were identified with that
14 particular -- with one of those two ethnic groups that were seen as being
15 the enemies.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Nevertheless, I regard it as only fair, because
17 this Trial Chamber has not yet come to a clear opinion, leaving aside the
18 mens rea for the moment, discussing only the actus reus, but it might be
19 based on authorities that a distinction has to be made between genocide
20 where you, in fact, need a concrete targeted group in whole or in part,
21 whereas the crime of persecution following some authorities can be
22 committed also against a group described in the negative. This would be a
23 description of discriminating persons only for the reasons that they do
24 not belong to the group of Serbs. And this group of non-Serbs be composed
25 then of other targeted groups maybe in the sense of genocide, but I only
1 want the parties to know that these possibilities apparently, following
2 the authorities and in the last months, we have got a number of new
3 authorities related to this, that there might be a distinction in relation
4 to the groups in Article 5 and in genocide under the genocide convention.
5 I believe we have addressed our doubts related to the question of the
6 intent and the question of what is necessary for complicity in genocide
7 both in our 98 bis decision and in the questionnaire.
8 What remains for today is, maybe also in order to facilitate the
9 final brief for the Defence, it's in 54, paragraph 5. Once again, we want
10 to address that we should forget a word when it's on the denial of
11 fundamental rights, we should forget the word "including," because what is
12 not mentioned explicitly in the indictment, there the Defence has no
13 possibility of defending against other allegations. Therefore, it would
14 be first limited to the explicitly mentioned rights. But then the second
15 question is, what is the fundamental right and what is the legal basis for
16 believing that the right to employment or the question would be based on
17 the evidence we have heard, the right not to be dismissed? Can this be
18 really regarded as a fundamental right, as we have it enshrined in the
19 convention on human rights on European level or in the covenant on a
20 global level? Does this right is really such a fundamental right, the
21 right to employment?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I think the -- we have to explain this
23 in a little bit more detail. First, I think there's a difference between
24 being dismissed from a particular position, for example, if you simply
25 dismiss the president of the municipality from that position, and denying
1 a group all means of livelihood, all chances to find employment,
2 discriminate against them in all fields so that they are no longer able to
3 support themselves. And that is what we allege happened in the denial of
4 employment. Further, in the particular circumstances of the former
5 Yugoslavia, as in most former socialist companies or socialist countries
6 in transition at that time, there were other fundamental rights tied to
7 employment. Housing was normally tied to employment. Medical care,
8 medical insurance was tied to employment. So it is our position that in
9 the particular facts of this case where large numbers were dismissed from
10 their positions, that in fact there was a denial of a fundamental right to
11 employment that rises to the level of an international crime.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's easy to say international crime, but where
13 is the basis for this international crime to be found in 1992? Where do
14 we have the legal source that the right not to be dismissed is a
15 fundamental right on the same level of as, for example, the right to life
16 and limb?
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I would refer Your Honour to Article 6
18 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
19 Article 26 of the -- I have just been handed this, and to be honest the
20 ICCPR which means what I just said, the same covenant.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's your understanding, the fundamental
22 right in the same sense. Okay, I understood this.
23 The right to proper medical care, do you believe that there is
24 evidence that there was a discrimination related to the proper medical
25 care, being aware that we have a lot of evidence that there were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 shortcomings related to medical care and medication throughout the entire
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour, we do. We can answer that much
4 more better, in much more detail in our brief. There was evidence about
5 what the care was like in Omarska camp, for example, that a person with a
6 head wound, Dr. Sadikovic had to tie the person's hair together rather
7 than just a simple needle and thread to stitch the wound together. We
8 heard the testimony of Dr. Merdzanic about the children who were injured
9 in Kozarac and them being denied the right to any medical care, and as a
10 result they died, bled to death. The further evidence of reviewing the
11 15.000 pages of transcript we'll discuss in our brief.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But do you really believe that when a person
13 came to death, that you have an additional allegation of denying of proper
14 medical care?
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, we believe that Article 6, paragraph 1
16 of the ICCPR, which I believe is the International Covenant for Civil and
17 Political Rights which imposes upon all states the right to protect the
18 right to life, that this would include the right to proper medical care,
19 not being denied life-saving medical care.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's right. But take it as a symbol case,
21 when on a domestic level when you have a case of murder, would you at the
22 same time allege the accused for having denied the proper medical care?
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Not in the same -- not in the same case, but there
24 may be two separate acts. If one person fires a bullet, and the person
25 has a leg wound, and the second accused prevents the ambulance from
1 coming, prevents anyone from applying a bandage to the wound so the person
2 bleeds to death, our position is that both would be criminally
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Correct. Then we are coming closer to the
5 point. Is there any discriminatory element based on the evidence adduced
6 during the last year that you really can speak about a discrimination
7 related to proper medical care?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe there is. One part of the evidence of
9 that is the dismissals at the hospital. There is evidence that the
10 hospitals continued to function throughout the time period, and our
11 evidence, we believe, does show that there was a denial of medical care,
12 sometimes of fundamental medical care to persons, particularly in the
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then finally, it's in the same direction, the
15 question, in this same paragraph you mention the right to proper judicial
16 process. No doubt, we have in Article 14 of the covenant and in Article 6
17 of the ICHR some fundamental judicial rights. But it's difficult to
18 understand for us that on the one-hand side, the allegation is that people
19 were illegally arrested, and at the same time there was no proper judicial
20 process. Isn't this one and the same side of the -- of one coin?
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe Your Honour may be correct. It may be
22 that what we're pointing out is that the Defence can't have it both ways,
23 they can't say these people were lawfully arrested when in fact there was
24 absolutely no judicial process. They were unlawfully arrested, there was
25 no judicial process at all for most of the individuals.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this would be a plea in the alternative.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, adding the caveat that I did at the beginning
4 that our final brief may contradict my oral contributions. Yes.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes it's only for an easier understanding. And
6 then immediately emanating from this, I know that there's a lot of
7 movement in the relationship between 7(1) and 7(3) of the statute. And
8 also, in order to try to facilitate the work of the Defence and for our
9 better understanding, how do you believe is it possible that you charge a
10 person at the same time for committing a crime and then omitting to punish
11 the coperpetrators and maybe the accused as such in person? Is this
12 really possible to have both 7(1) and 7(3) responsibility in our concrete
13 case? Wouldn't this be to a certain extent a vicious circle?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I believe actually that there's a
15 lot -- as Your Honour knows, a lot of law in this Tribunal on the issue.
16 And in fact what some of the cases -- and I believe it's Blaskic -- talks
17 about is that some of the same acts that are failure to prevent crimes,
18 for example, can rise to such a level that it becomes aiding and abetting
19 a crime or it can rise to such a level that it becomes part of planning a
20 crime or being a coperpetrator of a crime. Undoubtedly, there's a split
21 in the trial Chambers and the jurisprudence about whether a person can be
22 convicted under both modes of responsibility. But certainly, they cannot
23 be -- and actually, there's even a -- I believe some of the Trial Chambers
24 say of course you cannot punish for both, but I think there's a decision
25 that says you can consider the fact that the person both aided and abetted
1 or planned, coperpetrated in some way a crime and failed to punish or
2 prevent in the sentencing, that dual convictions could be considered in
3 deciding on the proper sentences. Undoubtedly, clearly there is overlap.
4 This is a complicated case and it is a case involving the accused's
5 superior relationship through a complex interrelationship between the
6 military, the police, and the civilian authorities.
7 We think that 7(1) does describe and the modes of liability do
8 describe the accused's conduct; at the same time we think the accused
9 failed to do anything when he had the power to punish the crimes, in
10 particular to prevent crimes, that he did have the power to do that and
11 nothing was done to prevent the crimes. Because we have multiple,
12 multiple crimes in this case, we are not charging a single attack, when
13 crimes are committed over and over again, it does become, we definitely
14 acknowledge a blurred distinction between not preventing and planning and
15 coperpetrating a crime itself, when you encourage that crime, when you
16 continue to interact and support those committing the crimes and give
17 excuses for the crimes, then we think you are both liable under 7(1) and
18 7(3). The question of whether the accused can be convicted for both and
19 punished for both is a very complicated issue. If Your Honour doesn't
20 mind, I'd rather not address that at the moment in oral arguments, but
21 clearly there's a lot of conflicting case law in this Tribunal on those
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I'm not surprised that you can't
24 come to a final conclusion on this extremely difficult problem in the
25 moment. And I'm -- I think I only want to address the parties that I
1 believe there is just a case pending in the Appeals Chamber whether or not
2 the responsibility expressed under 7(3) is a criminal responsibility that
3 one can take as international criminal law applicable already in 1992. So
4 this is an additional question to be addressed.
5 And finally before I give the floor to my colleagues, I want to
6 add one point that's not included, our invitation to address certain
7 issues is also related to the following, the question of rape. We already
8 discussed -- we already asked the question if there -- in case there would
9 be a case of rape where Dr. Stakic would be responsible for, and this
10 addresses also the question of foreseeability, but in a very concrete
11 case, namely Trnopolje case, we would invite both parties to evaluate the
12 evidence. We have here, which is extremely typical for these situations,
13 evidence against evidence. (redacted). This would be
14 the first prerequisite, that one could only discuss this issue.
15 The second point --
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Excuse me, Your Honour, I think that was in closed
17 session. I don't know if Your Honour wants to redact.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Didn't I mention the name?
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: You just mentioned the pseudonyms, but there may
20 be -- can we go into private session for a second and I'll explain my
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
23 [Private session]
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13 English transcripts.
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: On page 8 of the fourth amended indictment, it
23 is para 25, "came across such a notion and terms as deportation/forced
24 transfers." Then on the page 12, we read in para 43, "the deportations or
25 forcible transfers." And on page 19, para 58, we read "the forced
1 transfers and deportations." How to understand all this?
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. Your Honour, first of all, the
3 indictment, and I think part of Your Honour's question relates to the fact
4 that we charged deportations in count 7 and forcible transfer as a crime
5 against humanity in count 8, as an inhumane act. The Geneva Conventions,
6 as I recall, discuss both deportations and forcible transfer but make a
7 distinction. Our particular statute has deportations, although they -- as
8 a separate crime. And while it is the position of the Office of the
9 Prosecutor that deportations as written in the statute should be read to
10 include transfers inside a country, an internal transfer, or at the very
11 minimum, it's our position - it's currently on appeal in the Kunarac
12 case - that it should be over a border even if not recognised, such as the
13 border of Republika Srpska, we believe that that's how deportation should
14 be read. So far, the jurisprudence in this Tribunal, the Trial Chamber
15 decisions that have come out have said deportation only, that definition
16 only covers crimes across international borders.
17 So if Your Honours, if this Trial Chamber makes the decision that
18 you agree with our appeal in Kunarac that deportation --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Not in Kunarac.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: In Krstic. In our appeal in Krstic that
21 deportation does cover an internal transfer, we would be happy with that,
22 with the following caveat, we don't know what the Appeals Chamber is going
23 to do. So we would ask you to make factual findings. In fact, the facts
24 of this case show people being deported across international borders to
25 Croatia, and across an internal, nonrecognised border, that is from the
1 areas controlled by the Republika Srpska army to the areas controlled by
2 the government in Sarajevo.
3 What we hope, in order to preserve our case on appeal, is that the
4 Trial Chamber makes very clear it's findings of fact that both these types
5 of forcible transfers across international borders and internal transfers
6 did take place in this case.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And one more question: What is meant by
8 physical destruction of the group as envisaged by Article 4(2)(C) of the
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: I want to be careful to give you a correct answer
11 on this, so I'm going to look for the ...
12 Basically, Your Honour, I haven't found the written answer, but
13 physical destruction of the group means the death of the members of the
14 group. It maybe manifested in a number of different ways, infliction of
15 conditions of life designed to bring about their destruction. It does not
16 mean the immediate death of every member of the group, but we do
17 understand the term physical destruction under the law to mean the death
18 of the members of the group. And that is the eventual goal. But under
19 the genocide, it's of a group or part thereof.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no more questions.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Judge Argibay, please.
22 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you.
23 A couple of questions, please. When you mention in paragraph
24 54(ii), you mention torture, physical violence, rapes, and sexual
25 assaults, constant humiliation and degradation. Due to the very broad
1 definition of the crime of rape in the Appeals Chamber judgement in
2 Kunarac, if you take this definition, this broad definition of rape, what
3 remains for sexual assault?
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I would also refer you I think to the
5 Omarska trial judgement, there's a couple paragraphs in that decision
6 dealing with it.
7 Kunarac, as I understand it, required sexual penetration. There
8 certainly are many types of sexual assaults that would include crimes
9 against a person where there was no actual penetration. And actually,
10 that's addressed in the Omarska case. In fact occurred, and it's
11 discussed in some detail in that decision. I will have to find the
12 paragraphs for you.
13 But our position would be that physical, sexual violence, for
14 example, just to give an example in this case, witnesses talked about the
15 day that the men from Brdo came to the Keraterm camp. I believe it was
16 Witness B. He said that they were taken out, they were forced to disrobe,
17 they were lined up next to each other, one behind the other, and forced to
18 simulate having sex. Simulate that there was sodomy, but no actual
19 sodomy. No proof of penetration or that actually occurred. That is
20 sexual violence. Any touching that does not involve penetration, that's
21 forcible, where a person is forcibly disrobed and touched in sensitive
22 areas, areas of a private nature, we believe would constitute a sexual
23 assault. So it would include a definition broader than Kunarac, because
24 it is not limited to penetration, but would include other acts of sexual
1 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you. On the same line, you have the legal
2 definition of torture in Kunarac. And so would that definition include
3 the beatings as torture, or are those different things?
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe those are different because torture has
5 requirements that's not required in order to show beatings. Torture
6 requires a purpose.
7 JUDGE ARGIBAY: No more.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Torture, then -- okay, thank you. But torture
9 would require, for example, an intent -- well, I better read the
10 definition of torture before I answer your question. I admit I am the
11 weakest link. I don't know if I should walk out.
12 JUDGE ARGIBAY: No further questions. Thank you.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's now for the Defence to address all those
14 questions if they so want.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm not sure if the Court
16 wants me to address all the questions that you have in the guidelines or
17 suggestions. But if we want to deal with the issue of genocide and
18 complicity in genocide, I think it would be fair to determine what that
19 group is. And when we say "that group," the Court did list out Muslims in
20 the world, Muslims in Europe, Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also
21 Muslims in Yugoslavia as a whole. We can't separate the theory of joint
22 criminal enterprise without including it when we examine, in our view, the
23 issues and the allegations of genocide and complicity in genocide. The
24 allegations that are made in this joint criminal enterprise do go vertical
25 and do go horizontal. It's not one way and it's not limited just to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Prijedor. We submit that the evidence that they have tried to establish,
2 that it's far broader than Prijedor, and that this Court in evaluating the
3 group should evaluate it consistent with the allegations that are made in
4 the fourth amended indictment, consistent with that which we were put on
5 notice of, that there is a joint criminal enterprise, far broader than
6 that of the Prijedor municipality. If that's true, and if they have
7 alleged that Biljana Plavsic, Radovan Karadzic, Mladic, and others were
8 involved in this joint criminal enterprise purportedly with Dr. Stakic,
9 then the group is not limited to Prijedor Municipality. It has to by
10 definition of their allegation be Bosnia and Herzegovina in its entirety.
11 Similarly, if we read into their allegation on this theory of
12 joint criminal enterprise "and others" or "among others," are they
13 referring to Slobodan Milosevic? Of course they are. I think it's a
14 rather straightforward assumption to make. If that's true, then the group
15 has to be by their definition not just Bosnia-Herzegovina, but all of
16 Yugoslavia or former Yugoslavia. In order to examine fairly what group or
17 part of group they contend that Dr. Stakic is culpable for, discriminated
18 against, and quite frankly intended to destroy, it's all the Muslims, all
19 the Croats, all the non-Serbs in the entirety of the former Yugoslavia.
20 That's their allegation. It's in their indictment. They have not
21 withdrawn it, despite invitations to do so. That's the group that this
22 Court must consider first and foremost in reaching any decisions on actus
24 We submit that in their contentions for limiting the group and
25 saying intellectuals or educated people and citizens were targeted, they
1 have not proved that, it's an alternative plea. But once again, the scope
2 of that group should not be limited to the Prijedor Municipality or just
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and perhaps not just the former Yugoslavia as
4 well. It is extremely complicated, although we have been put on notice
5 that it's all Muslims, Bosniak Muslims can live in other countries, do
6 live in other countries. In Germany, when you identify or when you ask
7 someone what is he, they say: "I'm a Bosnian Muslim," but they live in
8 Germany. In America, I have personally experienced that. They've
9 obtained American citizenship, and they still identify themselves as
10 Bosnian Muslims, proudly and rightly so. However that's the group that
11 this Court must examine in determining what the actus reas was in this
12 case based on their allegations and whether or not genocide was
13 perpetrated and whether or not there was complicity in that purported
14 genocide, to destroy with intent all Bosnian Croats and all Bosnian
15 Muslims, and the non-Serbs.
16 I also believe, Your Honour, although there is decisional
17 authority that I'm sure we're all anxiously awaiting from other appellate
18 decisions, we must contrast the difference between genocide and
19 complicity. You can't have a definition of complicity to include aiding
20 and abetting, because the statute itself has a specific paragraph and
21 specifically mentions aiding and abetting as a crime. To have an
22 affirmative act, direct participation, or a secondary participation, we
23 must contrast that, direct perpetrators with secondary perpetrators, both
24 when you aid and abet or directly intend and commit those crimes, it's
25 relatively straightforward that there must be affirmative action. What we
1 have here is allegations of omissions, allegations of complicity in a plan
2 that we suggest has not been proven to kill all Muslims and Croats in the
3 territory of former Yugoslavia, or even Bosnia and Herzegovina, or even in
4 Prijedor Municipality.
5 Specifically, when we discuss complicity, the individual must not
6 only be a participant or have knowledge of these what I consider to be
7 rather broad and loose facts which somehow can be reached or concluded to
8 be genocide, the individual, Your Honour, has to know and acquiesce to
9 that plan. The individual has to specifically understand the plan. The
10 individual in my view has to directly acknowledge the plan and directly
11 and openly submit to the furtherance of that plan. What we're doing with
12 respect to knowledge and complicity, I would say, in the arguments that I
13 have heard is reducing that very, very serious crime, as in most of the
14 literature and as the Court cites in its decision on 98 bis, the crime of
15 all crimes, genocide as well as complicity in genocide, we're reducing the
16 level necessary to prove someone's guilt on that by way of academic
17 issues. We're saying that all a person needs to get convicted of genocide
18 or complicity of genocide is knowledge of a bad act, of a terrible act, of
19 a horrific act. If that's true, are we all not regrettably in some way
20 complicit in that which occurs throughout the world if we don't
21 affirmatively react immediately to it. How remote will the definition
22 become if knowledge is the sole requirement for complicity in genocide?
23 I submit the case law does not state that knowledge without
24 specific mens rea is necessary. I think criminal mens rea is necessary
25 for complicity in genocide as well.
1 On actus rea, this Court, in determining which group in whole or
2 in part or as such is the group that should be examined should refer in my
3 view to the Keraterm and Sikirica opinion, and not the ICTR opinion in
4 Musema [sic]. I think that opinion clearly defines how it is that you can
5 reach a group or determine what that group is, despite alternative
6 theories and pleadings by the Prosecution. That case clearly held that
7 you cannot continue to limit a group and ultimately only argue the
8 targeted group that the genocide perpetrators wanted to exterminate were
9 those that they exterminated. Extending that logically to its most
10 ridiculous level, we would say that genocide can occur in the killing of
11 five, three, one individual. Does it still become genocide? Is there a
12 difference between massacres and genocide? Is there a difference between
13 murder and genocide? We believe, Your Honour, in this case those are
14 critical and very vital issues of utmost importance. We believe the group
15 is far broader than that just limited in the Prijedor Municipality. We do
16 not believe that it's all Muslims in the world. I cannot tell the Court
17 with all honesty if it doesn't mean all Bosnian Muslims throughout the
18 world. It makes some sense if the allegation is that there is an intent
19 to destroy Bosnian Muslims, that that does indeed mean all Bosnian Muslims
20 throughout the world.
21 However, if we look at the Sikirica opinion and the rationale in
22 Sikirica, we can find, we believe, that the group and the analysis there
23 will be of great benefit and assistance in determining the issues of
24 genocide and complicity in genocide. It is, I believe, the only case
25 where complicity in genocide was discussed and was alleged in the former
1 Prijedor Municipality in this Tribunal.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I be so impolite, for technical reasons we
3 need a break now the tape has to be exchanged. How many minutes do we
4 need? Three minutes? Would it be sufficient?
5 So please, we are waiting in front of the courtroom. The trial
6 stays adjourned.
7 --- Recess taken at 4.09 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And sorry for the
10 interruption, Mr. Ostojic.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Your Honour, we will obviously attempt to cover this complicated
13 and very difficult issue of complicity in genocide in our brief, but it is
14 important even when you examine the court's 98 bis decision in paragraph
15 26 of that decision where the court says that acts can be elevated to
16 genocide if the perpetrator wants the desired result. We submit when the
17 question of intent, criminal intent, the mens rea for genocide must be
18 proven, not just by virtue of knowledge of actions. When the Court uses
19 the word "want" in paragraph 26 of its decision, want in my view is a
20 desire, a wish, an intent. You must intend, and you must prove that the
21 accused had the necessary criminal mens rea to be convicted of complicity
22 in genocide or genocide.
23 I know this Court has given us significant judicial hints with
24 respect to many issues, as well as our conduct. However, I must add that
25 this Court did take the position that we should examine first the actus
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 reas to determine whether it existed, and then fall back on evaluating the
2 evidence when it comes to the mens reas. We believe that the Sikirica
3 decision determines properly, in our view, states that first determine if
4 there's a mens rea and then proceed with the evaluation of the protected
5 group, et cetera. But we'll address that, I hope, in a little more detail
6 in our brief.
7 The question was asked, what is a fundamental right? We can argue
8 that all individual rights are fundamental in one way or another.
9 However, when the international criminal jurisprudence suggests and uses
10 the word "fundamental right," I do not believe since the Office of the
11 Prosecution has admitted the case is confined to 75 days or 72 days,
12 whatever the number was, less than 90 days, is it a fundamental right of
13 employment not to be dismissed for employment? All those rights may be --
14 or judicial process may be at some point over a longer period of time
15 constitute fundamental rights, but the question is do the violation
16 alleged of those rights for that 75-day period constitute a fundamental
17 right? Does not the Geneva Convention suggest that you may detain a
18 suspect during a conflict for 90 days? Is it a breach of that fundamental
19 right of judicial process if you release that detainee within that 90-day
20 period? We hope to address that with some more clarity in our brief.
21 The Honourable Judge Vassylenko raised the question of deportation
22 and forced transfer. When we evaluate that, we hope to evaluate what role
23 the international community as a whole played in removing individuals from
24 the municipality, whether it be from Trnopolje Detention Centre or camp to
25 other parts of former Yugoslavia or other parts of the world. I don't
1 know that I'm prepared to quantify the numbers. There has been some
2 testimony that after the 6th of August, 1992, the Red Cross -- the
3 International Red Cross was permitted to go to the detention centres and
4 the camps and, without overstating the evidence, in some way either
5 assisted, guided the transfer of some of these individuals from the
6 Prijedor Municipality to other parts of the world.
7 In order to determine those issues of deportation and/or forcible
8 transfer, we must examine that evidence. Or do we really quantify it in
9 another manner? We hope to address that specific issue in our brief.
10 I'm thankful that the intent to destroy and/or physical
11 destruction of a group, it is another stipulated fact. We agree that if a
12 criminal plan with the intent to destroy or the words "physical
13 destruction" undoubtedly means death. That, I think, is a fact, and that
14 is the way I think both parties are proceeding.
15 We do have obviously many comments with respect to the Court's
16 memo issues that need to be addressed. We expect fully to address them in
17 our brief, and if necessary, in our reply once we obtain the Prosecution's
18 final brief. If necessary or if the Court has any specific questions, we
19 would be happy to address the Court on those today or at any time
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is there anything to be added by one of the
22 parties before we come to the last word of the accused?
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'll just say briefly that the law is absolutely
24 clear in the ICTR jurisprudence, complicity in genocide does not require
25 on the part of the accused on trial a specific intent to destroy the
1 group. The mens rea of the accused would only be knowledge of the crime
2 and knowledge of the specific intent of others perpetrating the crime.
3 When the statute of this Tribunal was set up, it's our position that it
4 was not the intent of the authors to limit the definitions of genocide and
5 the modes of responsibility so as to cover as little and as few people as
6 possible; rather, the intent was to protect societies from genocide. For
7 that reason, Article 4 of the statute includes modes of liability and
8 inchoate offences not included in 7(1) such as conspiracy to commit
9 genocide and attempt to commit genocide and complicity to commit genocide.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But only that the parties are aware, the
11 question we have before us is whether or not in 1992, one could really
12 speak about international criminal law applicable at that time to a
13 certain extent going beyond that what has been at that time the
14 jurisprudence under the genocide convention of 1948. We should be aware
15 of this problem and the problem that maybe something has been added,
16 especially with the words "aiding and abetting." But we all know that we
17 have a number of authorities, and unfortunately a number of different
18 decisions on this issue, and it will be extremely difficult for the
19 Appeals Chamber to bring all these decisions at one day under one roof
20 without sending them back.
21 I think we have heard evidence. I would have appreciated if we
22 could have had the chance to discuss also orally legal questions a little
23 bit more. But sometime the day has come and the time has come that we are
24 close to the end of the case, and as it is the custom in most continental
25 European countries, and also in former Yugoslavia and here in the
1 Netherlands, I think it is important to get a final impression of that
2 what the accused. And I started this case by stating the main person in
3 this case is Dr. Stakic, what Dr. Stakic has to tell us at the end of this
5 May I therefore ask that Dr. Stakic please take the seat where
6 normally the witness takes a seat, that he can address us directly.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I sit down?
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I begin now, Your Honours?
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
12 afternoon to all those present in this courtroom.
13 The indictment against me was written in horrendous manner, and it
14 struck deep. It hit me hard. It struck me even harder than the very fact
15 that I am detained in a prison. Regardless of the outcome of this trial,
16 this is something which will stay with me until the end of my life.
17 Unfortunately, my family will also be affected. This very fact as well as
18 another one; namely, the distortion and misinterpretation of my words, the
19 words I said, in newspaper interviews, all this has fortified me in my
20 decision to invoke my right to remain silent so as not to be subjected to
21 further distortions of my words by the Office of the Prosecutor.
22 However, the way the Trial Chamber has treated me from day one to
23 this very day, regardless of anything that is alleged in the indictment,
24 the Trial Chamber has always seen in me primarily a human being. That is
25 my honest impression. I am in a way for this very reason indebted to
1 address you with a few words.
2 Firstly, in order to tell you about my deepest regret for
3 everything that happened in the area of Prijedor Municipality, and this
4 goes to all citizens of Prijedor Municipality, I would also like to say
5 that I grew up in peace. I became a grown person in peace. I was raised
6 in my family not to argue with my neighbours. When I started going to
7 primary school, we had a mixed group of both teachers and children there.
8 All children were the same I was taught regardless of which God they
9 prayed to. I was taught that this should not be held against them because
10 that could not be held against them in any way that would have been
11 permissible. As a boy, I used to travel to Slovenia to the Slovene
12 coastline where my aunt lived. When I was 12, I went to Trieste in Italy.
13 When I was 15, I first went to Germany. I served my military service in
14 the JNA in Skopje Macedonia. I know what freedom means. As for war, I
15 read about war in domestic literature and in foreign, international
16 literature too. I watched movies. I pictured war as something
17 horrendous. Regardless of the fact that back then, there were wars in the
18 world, in Asia, in Africa, I believed, I was deeply convinced that no such
19 thing would ever be possible in Europe. I never believed it could happen
20 in my country, in Yugoslavia, which is part of Europe. Unfortunately, it
21 did happen.
22 All I can tell you is that the reality of that war was more
23 horrible than anything I could read in books. Who can be in control in a
24 situation like that?
25 The first fallen person, the first person who was killed in
1 Prijedor Municipality, was a young man, aged 18. A Muslim young man. He
2 was killed in Slovenia in early summer of 1991. This was not a death in a
3 pawnshop or in a car accident. He was a member of the JNA which still
4 existed. And he was killed by members of Jansa army or the Slovene army,
5 whatever its name was. Someone had to go to the family and express their
6 condolences. On one hand, the duties of the president of the assembly in
7 peacetime, he presides over the sessions of the assembly, he attends the
8 ceremonies in companies, in cultural associations, in sports clubs or if a
9 factory is being opened, if a new road is being opened. In wartime, what
10 it mostly boils down to is expressing condolences to the families of those
11 killed, the care of invalids and handicapped people, the care of families
12 so that an invalid person can access their own home, and all the other
14 The war did happen. A number of crimes did happen in that war.
15 As my attorney said, it wasn't their aim or my aim here to prove that no
16 crimes ever occurred. Our aim, rather, was to try to show this Tribunal
17 and the public at large that I was no part to those crimes, and especially
18 not -- especially to show that I did not instigate, aid, and abet any of
19 those crimes. I can only ask myself whose conclusion was that and on the
20 basis of what was that conclusion reached? I did hear of some of the
21 crimes even during the war. Some of the crimes I only learned about to
22 tell you the truth here in this courtroom. But I had no real power ever
23 to effect or influence any of those crimes, to prevent them or to punish
24 the perpetrators.
25 I was not even in a position to issue an order to the communal
1 inspector, the municipal inspector, to go to an open-air market or a bar
2 to carry out an inspection. I simply didn't have the authority to do
3 that. It was outside my own purview, outside my own jurisdiction. All
4 the same, I would like to thank each and every one of the witnesses who
5 came here to testify and help each in their own way to in some way get as
6 close as possible to the truth of what really happened there. Although I
7 would like to note just briefly that I was not present at all the places
8 that the witnesses claimed I was.
9 Once again, I would like to say that everyone was the loser in
10 this war, no matter if they were hurt or killed personally or if they lost
11 members of their family, they lost a limb or were maltreated in any way or
12 if their house was destroyed. What I want to do and what I can do is to
13 express my deepest regret to all citizens of Prijedor. When I say "all,"
14 this comprises Croats, Serbs, Muslims, and all the other ethnic minorities
15 living there, or rather, who lived there.
16 Once again, may I be allowed to express my debt of gratitude to
17 this Trial Chamber for the fair way in which they treated me. I also want
18 to thank all the other participants in this trial whom I may have observed
19 at certain points a bit too obtrusively. I tried to look into their eyes.
20 I wanted to see, I wanted to find out how they were looking at me and when
21 they were looking at me, what they were seeing.
22 I have nothing further to add except express my thanks yet again.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, take your seat again.
24 Now, after exactly 150 days and exactly one year of hearings, we
25 started the 16th of April, today the 15th of April, having heard witnesses
1 from all areas, all backgrounds, on more than 15.000 pages of transcripts,
2 having before us about 1.500 exhibits, having taken a number of
3 depositions, videolinks, 92 bis witnesses, it is now to find the facts, to
4 find the applicable law, and then to find out what about the accusations
5 in the fourth amended indictment. I hope that the participants will
6 present their views as precise as possible in the final briefs to be
7 expected as scheduled for the 28th of April. And it is on purpose that we
8 granted additional days, until the end of that week, that in case the one
9 or other party, but in this case, especially the Defence, believes to be
10 taken by surprise, that there is a possibility to respond to this.
11 As I mentioned this morning, we can't promise when we can hand
12 down the judgement. It's by experience, and I know how difficult it is
13 for an accused and the family of an accused, to wait for the judgement in
14 the first instance. So we'll try to do our very best, but we don't want
15 to make any promise. But ask the parties to be prepared by the end of
16 July this year in case we are ready until then to hear the judgement.
17 Following Rule 87 of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, I
18 declare hereby the hearing closed.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
20 at 4.41 p.m.