1 Tuesday, 9 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused Simatovic entered court]
4 [The accused Stanisic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-03-69-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 Could I have the appearances, Prosecution first.
13 MR. GROOME: Good afternoon, Your Honours. My name is
14 Dermot Groome and also representing the Prosecution here today is
15 Doris Brehmeier-Metz, Amir Zec and we are assisted by Thomas Laugel.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
17 And for the Stanisic Defence.
18 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour. Geert-Jan Knoops, myself,
19 and assisted by co-counsel Mr. Wayne Jordash and legal assistants,
20 Ms. Anne-Marie Verwiel, Ms. Amy Walsh and Ms. Rima Dykstra.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Knoops.
22 The Simatovic Defence.
23 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. My
24 name is Zoran Jovanovic, attorney, and today, together with
25 Vladimir Domazet and Mrs. Ingrid Morgan, we represent the accused
1 Franko Simatovic as Defence counsel. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Jovanovic. Could we just verify,
3 Mr. Simatovic, that you can hear me in a language you understand? The
4 microphone --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED SIMATOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you,
8 Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Simatovic.
10 On our agenda today is the opening statement to be delivered by
11 the Prosecution. Before we can move to that, we first have to pay
12 attention to the fact that Mr. Stanisic is not present in court.
13 Mr. Knoops, we have received a form in which we find a report
14 from the UNDU about the non-attendance in court. There is also a form,
15 absence from court due to illness, in which it appears that Mr. Stanisic
16 says that he's unable to attend court proceedings on this date due to
17 illness, that he has discussed the matter with counsel, and that he has
18 not waived his right to be present. Now we had some confusion last time,
19 but this time the empty box remains empty, from what I understand.
20 Then we have received the observations by the principal officer
21 and the UNDU medical service, and finally we have received a report by
22 Dr. Eekhof, reporting medical officer. These documents have been filed
23 this morning.
24 We find on these forms, Mr. Knoops, apart from the expression of
25 Mr. Stanisic that he feels not well enough to attend court, also that he
1 does not want to follow the proceedings through a videolink. Are you
2 informed about the reasons why Mr. Stanisic doesn't want to go to the
3 videolink room and follow the proceedings from there? Is there anything
4 with the technicalities of that or does he have any difficulties in
5 moving to that place? Could you inform us about the reasons.
6 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, the Defence would -- later on would
7 like to submit a formal application to the Court, but now that the Court
8 has invited the Defence to comment on this aspect, we can inform the
9 Court that both Mr. Jordash and I went to see the defendant this morning,
10 just before the medical examination, and we were informed that
11 Mr. Stanisic is not able to participate at this videolink conference
12 purely based on his mental condition. So it has nothing to do with the
13 technicalities, but purely on the basis of his mental stage at this
15 And to this extent, we have just filed courtesy copies to the
16 Prosecution of the report of Dr. Petrovic of the 10th of May, which was
17 referred to in the first report of Dr. Eekhof of 11th of May; and if the
18 Legal Officer is so kind to distribute the copies to the Justices. We
19 find support in this report for this conclusion that Mr. Stanisic is not
20 able to participate -- apart from physical aspects is not able to
21 participate on the basis of his mental condition. And we believe that
22 this support is also re-affirmed by the reports today filed by Dr. Eekhof
23 and the accompanying report of the -- I believe the medical service,
24 column 4(A).
25 So in sum, it's the position of the Defence that Mr. Stanisic is
1 mentally not able to participate during any alternative, namely, the
2 videolink conference apart from the fact that he is not able to be
3 transported at all to the court according to the report of Dr. Eekhof.
4 If Your Honours wish me to continue, we can also wait for the
5 moment to submit a formal application to the Court after potentially
6 hearing Dr. Eekhof on this matter.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, we will have an opportunity to put
9 further questions to Dr. Eekhof, but Dr. Eekhof comes to a different
10 conclusion, that Mr. Stanisic is fit enough to participate in proceedings
11 from -- through a videolink. Because you referred to apparently someone
12 who says, on the one hand, I confirm that he has no observable symptoms
13 with which I can judge whether or not he's too unwell to attend court and
14 at the same time gives an expectation that it will be different than one
15 day. It's not easy to understand how you could establish one and
16 conclude the other. But reference is made to the report of the reporting
17 medical officer, who confirms that there's still a depression. So
18 therefore, I think we should first of all consider whether we have any
19 additional questions to be put to Dr. Eekhof. Then after that you can
20 make your submission. And finally then the Chamber will decide whether
21 and how to proceed.
22 In order to put any further questions to Dr. Eekhof, I'd like to
23 establish the videolink with the UN Detention Unit.
24 Madam Registrar.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Dr. Eekhof, I can see you at this moment. Can you
2 see me?
3 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] [Microphone not activated]
4 JUDGE ORIE: I cannot hear you yet but it might be that I have to
5 move --
6 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No, I think I forgot to push on the
7 mute button, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I now can hear you. Can you hear me?
9 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I can hear you very clearly.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We received a report dated the 9th of June
11 in -- and I just briefly read the conclusions. You come to the
12 conclusion that Mr. Stanisic is not fit to be transported, that he's not
13 fit to sit for more than ten minutes, that he is fit enough to
14 participate in proceedings if sitting is limited to ten minutes, and that
15 he's fit enough to participate in proceedings up to one hour in the bed
16 that has been installed in the video teleconference room. I would like
17 to give an opportunity to the parties to ask for additional information,
18 and it may well be that we then would still have some additional
19 questions for you as well.
20 Mr. Groome, do you have any further questions?
21 MR. GROOME: Just a couple of brief questions.
22 Good afternoon, Dr. Eekhof. The first question that I would like
23 to ask you is in paragraph 5 of the report you drafted today, the
24 9th of June, you say that: "He," meaning Mr. Stanisic, "declined the
25 offer by Dr. Falke to consult a psychiatrist."
1 Do I take it from that that Mr. Stanisic was offered an
2 opportunity to meet with someone who could discuss his mental state but
3 that he declined such an offer?
4 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That is true. He declined it for the
5 reason that he wasn't prepared to tell all his story and all his problems
6 to a new psychiatrist.
7 MR. GROOME: Thank you. Now, you've heard Mr. Knoops say that
8 the sole reason for Mr. Stanisic not being here today is because of his
9 mental state, as he perceives it himself. Having heard that, does that
10 change your opinion with respect to your first conclusion, he is not fit
11 to be transported?
12 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] He is not fit to be transported on
13 somatic grounds not on psychiatric --
14 MR. GROOME: But now having heard Mr. Knoops say that
15 Mr. Stanisic is not putting forward any somatic grounds for his inability
16 to be present here, does that change your opinion as to whether he could
17 be transported here if he chose to come to court?
18 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No, as he still has his somatic
20 MR. GROOME: Thank you. No further questions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Mr. Knoops.
23 MR. KNOOPS: By the way, this was only mentioned in reference to
24 the videolink conference. Prosecution was summarising the Defence
25 comments, I think, in a different context.
1 Dr. Eekhof, good afternoon.
2 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Good afternoon, Mr. Knoops.
3 MR. KNOOPS: As you may remember, last week we were questioning
4 you on the same subject, namely, the underlying basis of your own
5 observation that there are, in your view, no evident psychiatric reasons
6 preventing him from participating in the proceedings.
7 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That is true.
8 MR. KNOOPS: Was -- after Tuesday, was there a new psychiatric
9 evaluation conducted by Dr. Petrovic?
10 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] As far as I know, no.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I have difficulties in hearing you, Dr. Eekhof. Is
12 there --
13 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I get a bit nearer to the microphone.
14 Can you hear me better now?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's fine now.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I'll do my best.
18 MR. KNOOPS: So, Dr. Eekhof, that means that the foundation of
19 the report also of 9th of June is relying on the report of Dr. Petrovic
20 of the 10th of May; is that correct?
21 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes, yes, and my own observation.
22 MR. KNOOPS: Yes. In the meantime, the Defence was able to
23 retrieve a copy of the report of Dr. Petrovic of the 10th of May, which
24 is now in possession of the Justices and the Prosecution, and in the
25 second paragraph of this report, in line 9, it's said:
1 "His intellectual efficiency is fluctuating, same as his overall
3 Are you familiar with this comment of Dr. Petrovic?
4 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I am, yes.
5 MR. KNOOPS: And you agree with this?
6 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Not completely. When I talked with
7 him he's able to discuss his illness. Of course I do not discuss the
8 case, but his state of his illness and his complaints were -- he's very
9 well able to discuss it. But as I stated in my report, I'm not a
10 psychiatrist. But as far as I can see it, as a general practitioner who
11 has training in psychiatry, I think that he's able to follow the
13 MR. KNOOPS: But in your previous report you state every time
14 that the psychological condition's unchanged, and during that you refer
15 to the report of Dr. Petrovic.
16 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes.
17 MR. KNOOPS: So actually, now that Dr. Petrovic is saying that
18 his intellectual efficiency to participate is fluctuating, same as his
19 overall participation, isn't it so that this isn't changed at all?
20 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Sorry, I do not understand your
21 question. What has not changed?
22 MR. KNOOPS: His intellectual efficiency is fluctuating as
23 same -- the same as his overall participation.
24 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] It is -- in the meetings I have had
25 with Mr. Stanisic, it was not a question I had. Of course his state of
1 mind is fluctuating, but there is a difference between being depressed as
2 a state of mind and depression as an illness.
3 MR. KNOOPS: And Dr. Petrovic also writes in the first paragraph
4 that his depressiveness and apathy has become permanent.
5 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That is not completely my
7 MR. KNOOPS: But you do refer to her report, and in the
8 subsequent reports you say that his psychological state has been
10 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes.
11 MR. KNOOPS: So you agree with me that the report of Dr. Petrovic
12 is at this moment the only foundation to have any grasp as to his
13 psychological situation?
14 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No, it is -- as a GP, I have to base
15 my opinion on reports of specialists but also on my own observations and
16 on diagnoses which I make.
17 MR. KNOOPS: Yeah. Now, today, for the first time in your
18 reporting system you say that in your opinion a report by Dr. De Man on
19 the present psychological and psychiatric state would provide us with an
20 expert view and advice.
21 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes.
22 MR. KNOOPS: What is the reason that you make this suggestion
24 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] In fact, the suggestion -- I talked
25 about De Man last time in the report. I mentioned Dr. De Man on the last
1 report -- on the previous report, I'm sorry. And at this moment as
2 there's a difference in opinion, partly between Mr. Stanisic and me, and,
3 as you said, Dr. Petrovic, over his state of mind, that's why I suggested
4 it would be a good idea to have an expert give his opinion.
5 MR. KNOOPS: So this is also based on your -- on the fact that
6 you're not entirely sure whether there is indeed any psychiatric reason
7 preventing him from participating in the proceedings?
8 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] It's to exclude that there would be
9 psychiatric reason included in the proceedings. It is normal -- even if
10 we know the diagnosis, even if we are quite sure in our profession to
11 seek advice from specialists.
12 MR. KNOOPS: All right.
13 The observation that Mr. Stanisic is fit enough to participate in
14 the proceedings up to one hour in the bed that has been installed in the
16 the context of somatic reasons?
17 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Somatic and psychological reasons.
18 MR. KNOOPS: Now you just said that -- to exclude any possibility
19 that Mr. Stanisic is not able to participate in the proceedings on mental
20 reasons. Is it your opinion that any further proceedings should be based
21 on such a report?
22 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] If the report is made as suggested,
23 then that would be a base to continue or to install treatment or to
24 change the treatment.
25 MR. KNOOPS: Now, has there been any psychotherapeutic treatment
1 of Mr. Stanisic since the 11th of May?
2 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] It has been offered but he has
4 MR. KNOOPS: Well, you just said that Dr. Falke offered to
5 consult psychiatrists.
6 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No, for him to consult, offered him a
7 consultation with a psychiatrist.
8 MR. KNOOPS: Well, I'm speaking about a treatment -- was there
9 any treatment --
10 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] -- with a treating psychiatrist.
11 MR. KNOOPS: But Dr.
12 Mr. Stanisic arrived; is that correct?
13 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That's correct, and she will not be
14 back until the end of the month, that's why Dr. Falke offered to consult
15 for treatment as a treating doctor another psychiatrist.
16 MR. KNOOPS: And when was this offer made?
17 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Last week.
18 MR. KNOOPS: Last week. So we can conclude that since the
19 departure of Dr. Petrovic until this offer there was no treatment of
20 Mr. Stanisic in a psychotherapeutic sense; is that correct?
21 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That is correct.
22 MR. KNOOPS: And do you agree with the view that Dr. De Man,
23 being aware of the background and history of the case, would be the best
24 suitable person to consult or to ask to file a report?
25 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I think he would be the best man to
1 file a report and to give advice.
2 MR. KNOOPS: And can you understand the reason why Dr. -- why
3 Mr. Stanisic is in this stage, from his perspective, is preferring
4 somebody who knows his story already instead of having a new psychiatric
5 evaluation by a new specialist? Can you understand that reason?
6 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I understand it fully.
7 MR. KNOOPS: Dr. Eekhof --
8 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] But --
9 MR. KNOOPS: Sorry?
10 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] What I was saying we offered -- he
11 was offered a treating psychiatrist, not an evaluation, last week.
12 MR. KNOOPS: Okay. Dr. Eekhof, this morning we were informed
13 that the medication changed of Mr. Stanisic; is that true?
14 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That is correct. That is regarding
15 his colitis. He was [indiscernible].
16 MR. KNOOPS: Because we read in your report of the 9th of June
17 that the colitis showed some signs of inflammation.
18 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes. We monitored him so closely
19 that at the least sign of change, we -- Dr. Falke consulted Dr. Cazemir,
20 and together they decided to change the medication.
21 MR. KNOOPS: So based on this inflammation, is it fair to say
22 that his somatic situation also decreased -- increased, sorry?
23 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, his well-being has not changed
24 much. The general condition hasn't changed much. What we are doing now
25 is reacting on the earlier signs of any common complications.
1 MR. KNOOPS: We were informed that Mr. Stanisic is now being
2 given the medication Tramadol; is that correct?
3 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes, that is correct.
4 MR. KNOOPS: Is that akin to some kind of a morphine?
5 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No, it's not an opiate. It's related
6 but it is not under the group of opiate and does not have the same
7 effects on the mind.
8 MR. KNOOPS: Well, we were informed that this medication does
9 affect the state of mind, the level of concentration, and the ability to
10 use intellectual capacities. Do you agree with that?
11 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Why, it is possible that it does like
12 a lot of other medication, but not the way an opiate would do it.
13 MR. KNOOPS: So it cannot be excluded that the change of
14 medication and the effects of this medication could be of influence on
15 his mental state of mind?
16 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, it cannot be excluded
17 completely, no.
18 MR. KNOOPS: We were also informed that the bleeding of
19 Mr. Stanisic restarted which was evidenced by the samples of his urine;
20 is that correct?
21 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, Mr. Stanisic -- no, the -- we
22 are talking about two different bleedings. The bleeding in his urine is
23 continuous. We only monitor the quantity of it. And the other bleeding
24 he's talked about is from colitis, which was reacted.
25 MR. KNOOPS: My last question, Dr. Eekhof, is: The formular
1 which is attached to your report which is titled "UNDU Medical Service,
2 Questions 1, 2, 4, and 5," it was answered in regards to column 4(A):
3 "Including today, I assessed that he will require a one-day
4 absence before he should be fit to attend court once more."
5 Have you noticed --
6 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes.
7 MR. KNOOPS: Was this approved by you?
8 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] It was approved by me.
9 MR. KNOOPS: So actually you're saying that for today
10 Mr. Stanisic is not fit to attend court?
11 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That's the benefit of the doubt which
12 we have as treating doctors.
13 MR. KNOOPS: Right. But the term "fit," is this mentioned here
14 or used here in a somatic mental or somatic and/or mental sense.
15 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Fitness in the medical world is also
16 somatic and mental.
17 MR. KNOOPS: So you are actually that also mentally, for today
18 Mr. Stanisic cannot attend court; is that correct?
19 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, in total -- the total is not
20 able to be in court.
21 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you. Your final --
22 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Until he's been seen by Dr. Falke.
23 That's [indiscernible].
24 MR. KNOOPS: And does this also include the videolink conference
25 for today?
1 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes, yes.
2 MR. KNOOPS: And your ultimate advice to the parties in this
3 courtroom today is that preferably a further psychiatric evaluation by
4 Dr. De Man should be conducted --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops. Mr. Knoops --
6 MR. KNOOPS: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Dr. Eekhof does not have to give any advice to the
8 parties in this court. He can give his opinion. That's it.
9 MR. KNOOPS: Okay. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. KNOOPS: I have no further questions. I look to my -- no
12 questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. It was not that Dr. Eekhof could not
14 give advice, but you asked him to advise all the parties in this court
15 and that's of course for the Chamber to decide. So any advice should be
16 addressed to the Chamber or to no one else.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Dr. Eekhof, I have a few questions for you. You
19 said that you considered that Mr. Stanisic was not able to attend court
20 that, I would say, already follows from your observation that he's not
21 fit to be transported. I might have questions on that at a later stage,
22 but then Mr. Knoops asked you whether that would also be true for
23 attending court through the videolink. And I think you answered in the
24 affirmative. Now, in your report of this morning I read that
25 Mr. Stanisic is fit enough to participate in proceedings up to one hour
1 in bed in the VTC
2 just said and what I find in the report of -- that was given this
3 morning. Could you help me out?
4 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, when I visited Mr. Stanisic I
5 made my own conclusion. I observed him. I talked with him. And my
6 report is based on that fact. As a doctor, say somebody reports ill, a
7 further assessment is necessary, and I told Mr. Knoops that until then,
8 as a treating doctor, the patient has the benefit of the doubt. I do not
9 have new information which would change my initial report. That's what I
10 said. Maybe not a real legal answer, but --
11 JUDGE ORIE: No, apart from a legal answer I do not fully
12 understand the answer. That's my problem. This morning you said he's
13 able to --
14 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- follow the proceedings through a videolink.
16 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes, and he reported ill after that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: He reported ill after that, and you say because he
18 reported ill, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt.
19 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, based on my report he is fit to
20 sit in the video teleconference room.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Did you establish any change since you have written
22 this report this morning?
23 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No.
24 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore the conclusion would be the same,
25 although in view of the fact that Mr. Stanisic feels he is too ill, that
1 you should give him the benefit of the doubt for that purpose?
2 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] The only change in opinion would be
3 the benefit of the doubt at this point.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you said he is not fit to be transported.
5 Is that for the reasons of physical illness?
6 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] For physical reasons.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And would that be the herniated disc which
8 causes the problem and together with the colitis?
9 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] At this moment, the colitis is a big
10 problem. I'd like to point out he does -- he has lower-back pain, but
11 it's not based on herniation at this moment; that has been excluded.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And no other cause has been established at
13 this moment?
14 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain to me why it was -- how I have to
16 understand that it was possible to transport Mr. Stanisic from Belgrade
17 to The Hague
18 between the UNDU and the Tribunal's premises where we are at this moment?
19 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] The back pain got much worse after
20 his -- on his arrival here. I did not examine him beforehand, but that
21 is the reason at this moment. That's also the reason why we are planning
22 a rehabilitation programme with a physiotherapist.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and you earlier reported that he had refused
24 physiotherapeutical treatment. No start has yet been made. Has he
25 approved already to be treated by a physiotherapist?
1 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I just got the report in, so I do not
2 know if he has agreed or not.
3 JUDGE ORIE: So matter is as it was before, that he had not given
4 his consent up to this moment?
5 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You said you did not examine Mr. Stanisic before he
7 left Belgrade
8 the back pain has become far worse?
9 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, I did -- I was present on his
10 arrival at Schiphol and the way he walked out of the plane with some
11 difficulties, but not the difficulties he's showing here.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And at present, walking, moving around, is
13 that -- can he get out of --
14 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] It's still very limited. As far as
15 we can see, it's getting a little bit more often, but still very limited.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could he -- that we do not find that in the report.
17 Could he, for example, walk to the videolink room?
18 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] No, he claims not to be able to. I
19 cannot check it, but I assume he's not able to walk to the
20 videoconference room --
21 JUDGE ORIE: What's the distance?
22 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] It would be about 20, 30 metres to
23 the lift and then about 10 metres here.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, it's your observation that you think he
25 would not be able to go there. As the parties are aware, the Chamber
1 has, I think, informed the parties that the Chamber would seek additional
2 information when needed. From the information we received - and that's
3 now put on the record - it was observed that Mr. Stanisic can move to a
4 cell for smoking. Could you explain to us why you consider him not to be
5 able to go to the videolink cell, whereas he is apparently able to go to
6 the smoking cell and stay there for a while to smoke?
7 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Well, that -- in fact, it is not,
8 from my point of view, important if he can walk it or not, as he's been
9 provided a wheelchair, so he can be brought to the videoconference room
10 without any problems. So his walking capacity is not a factor in being
11 able to be present in the video teleconference room.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That may be true. It's not an answer to my
13 question. Is he moving to the smoking cell while using a --
14 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I'm not aware of it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You're not aware of that.
16 Has it been considered for transportation purposes to -- to find
17 solutions, for example, transport in a more horizontal position rather
18 than normally be seated on a chair in a vehicle?
19 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] I'm not aware of a -- that question
20 has never been put to me, so I cannot answer it at the moment.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So therefore your conclusion that he's not fit
22 to be transported is -- could also depend on the conditions of
23 transportation; is that correctly understood?
24 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That is correct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
1 A final question to you, you said he would be able to participate
2 in proceedings up to one hour.
3 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Yeah.
4 JUDGE ORIE: How much time of rest would you consider appropriate
5 before resuming? Would that be half an hour? 40 minutes? 20 minutes?
6 One hour? Could you ...
7 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] This is always a very difficult --
8 it's always more or less a guess. I think after a recovery period of one
9 hour he could proceed further.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Thank you for your answers.
12 I've no further questions for you.
13 Mr. Groome.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, would it be possible for me to ask a
15 follow-up question for a matter that arose during Your Honour's
16 questioning of Dr. Eekhof?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do.
18 MR. GROOME: Doctor, when Judge Orie was asking you some
19 questions about Mr. Stanisic, you were describing what you are
20 characterizing as increased lower-back pain. Now, looking at a report
21 that was filed on the 15th of May, it seems that there -- an MRI did not
22 reveal any underlying organic reason for the back pain; is that correct?
23 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] That is correct.
24 MR. GROOME: So am I correct in saying that your characterisation
25 of the level of back pain is based upon Mr. Stanisic's own reports that
1 the back pain is becoming worse; is that correct?
2 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] In the case of lower-back pain
3 without herniations, we -- it's the only thing we can rely on as a
5 MR. GROOME: Okay. Thank you.
6 Nothing further, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the parties. I don't think that we
10 need the further presence and assistance of Dr. Eekhof.
11 That being confirmed, Dr. Eekhof, I would like to thank you very
12 much for making yourself available and we'll close the videolink. At
13 least I can't see you anymore.
14 MR. EEKHOF: [Via videolink] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Mr. Knoops, you announced that you'd make an application.
17 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, Mr. Jordash will file the application.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Mr. Jordash, could you give us any impression on how much time
20 you would you need for that?
21 MR. JORDASH: Five to ten minutes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. JORDASH: The application is for an adjournment of today's
24 hearing and tomorrow's hearing in order to have Mr. Stanisic seen and
25 diagnosed by Dr. De Man. We rely upon both Dr. Eekhof, who, as
1 Your Honours know, recommends that such a diagnosis should take place,
2 and we rely upon the report from Dr. Petrovic which buttresses that
3 suggestion. The report is dated the 10th of May, 2009, and, as
4 Your Honours know, indicates that his -- Mr. Stanisic's overall
5 psychological functioning has worsened. And so we submit the same
6 benefit of the doubt that Mr. -- Dr. Eekhof gave to the accused exists
7 and will continue to exist until a psychiatrist, and preferably
8 Dr. De Man because he's the one who has the history and a clearer picture
9 of Mr. Stanisic over a long period of time. Before he has seen him, the
10 Court, in our submission, will be returned again and again to this same
11 debate, which is Dr. Eekhof, as a general practitioner, coming to
12 conclusions which are undoubtedly well thought out from his perspective,
13 but coming to conclusions which he himself caveats constantly with, "We
14 ought to have the benefit of a specialist." "I might be wrong" is the
15 subtext to his detailed but caveated opinion.
16 And in our submission, this situation to a large degree has
17 existed for some time. We had a report from Dr. De Man dated the
18 19th of March, which led to the Prosecution's application to re-call
19 Mr. Stanisic for further treatment in -- sorry, for diagnosis at the
20 Pieter Baan Centre in Amsterdam
21 Mr. Stanisic to detention. And since that time Mr. Stanisic has only
22 seen Dr. Petrovic. That is the only psychiatric diagnosis which he has
23 had since that time. And there is no evidence on the record from a
24 psychiatrist since Mr. Stanisic's re-call which has indicated anything
25 other than there is a serious problem.
1 And we accept, of course, that Mr. Stanisic declined the offer,
2 but we would submit that a reasonable position to take in relation to
3 someone who is ill, whether that is a minor physical illness which has
4 been ongoing for some time or whether, in the case of Mr. Stanisic, it is
5 a serious and long-standing psychiatric condition, it makes sense, we
6 submit, for Mr. Stanisic to see a psychiatrist who is fully cognizant of
7 the history; and it makes sense, we submit, and it's realistic for
8 Mr. Stanisic to say, Well, I'd rather not describe the inner recesses of
9 my mind and my depression to a new person.
10 And so we submit every single pointer is suggesting more
11 information is needed before Your Honours could rule that the trial at
12 this stage should proceed. We are not asking for an adjournment of
13 several months; simply, these two afternoons so that Dr. De Man can
14 visit, diagnose, and then when we return to court we're all, and
15 particularly Your Honours, in a better position to decide what to do and
16 to decide if those veiled suggestions concerning Mr. Stanisic's
17 reluctance to come to court are in fact justified, or in fact the
18 diagnosis supports his position that he's not well enough to come to
19 court or attend the video conferencing room.
20 Those are my submissions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Jordash.
22 Mr. Groome, do you want to respond?
23 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
24 With respect to Mr. Jordash's submissions, a couple of
25 observations. Once again, I think we're running into a problem that's --
1 that arose last year and I think it's starting to make itself quite
2 apparent here is this conflation of the assessing of Mr. Stanisic and the
3 treatment of Mr. Stanisic. Mr. Stanisic and Dr. De Man have -- they've
4 never had a therapeutic relationship. Dr. De Man was a Court-appointed
5 expert asked to give his professional opinion about Mr. Stanisic.
6 It may be true that Mr. Stanisic needs some psychiatric treatment
7 and it may be true that if Dr. Petrovic can only see him what seems to be
8 at intervals of six weeks, that he may need more than that. And
9 certainly if it's the assessment of Dr. Falke and Dr. Eekhof that he
10 would benefit from more regular and predictable psychiatric therapy, the
11 Prosecution certainly would have no opposition to that. But it's clear
12 that Dr. De Man is not the person to be doing that if he is to maintain
13 his position as a Court-appointed expert to give his professional opinion
14 and his assessment about Mr. Stanisic to Your Honours.
15 I must take issue with what Mr. Jordash is putting forward now
16 as -- he's jumping or asking the Chamber to draw the conclusion that
17 Dr. Eekhof's suggestion, that it may be a good idea to ask Dr. De Man to
18 look at Mr. Stanisic, as undermining his own conclusion. And I would
19 draw the Chamber's attention to page 9 of today's transcript beginning at
20 line 19 where when Mr. Knoops put this proposition to Dr. Eekhof, he
22 "It is normal even if we know the diagnosis, even if we are quite
23 sure in our profession to seek the advice from specialists."
24 I submit that Dr. Eekhof's suggestion that it might be beneficial
25 to have Dr. De Man's view on it is not him expressing any doubt in his
1 own opinion which we have in his report dated from today in which he
3 "There are no evident psychiatric reasons preventing him from
4 participating in proceedings."
5 It is simply a statement of Dr. Eekhof of what any careful and
6 prudent physician would say when an expert might be invited to
7 participate in an assessment. I believe that there is a sufficient
8 basis, Your Honour, on the -- all of the evidence that's before you to
9 suggest that Mr. Stanisic can participate in proceedings today and
10 that -- the Prosecution submits we should move forward. I'd also ask
11 before I sit down for the Chamber to consider -- it seems clear that
12 Mr. Stanisic could be brought in a wheelchair to the video conference
13 link to -- if the Chamber has any doubt about this, to give some
14 consideration to whether it might not be prudent to have Mr. Stanisic
15 brought so the Chamber can make its own assessment of his state of mind
16 and his ability to participate.
17 And finally, Your Honour, I would just say that what we're --
18 what was on the agenda today is the opening of the Prosecution and that
19 is somewhat different from every other aspect of the trial, and that is
20 really the one part of the trial where there is no active participation
21 by an accused. The opening that I am going to give today is in
22 substantial part similar to the one I gave a year ago, that Mr. Stanisic
23 has had over a year to discuss it with his attorney. It is quite
24 possible for the Chamber or I would even request that the Chamber
25 consider issuing an order requiring a video copy of the opening be
1 provided to Mr. Stanisic within 48 hours of the opening so he could again
2 sit down with Mr. Knoops and Mr. Jordash and fully discuss this. And
3 also the opening is a mere expounding on the pre-trial brief which
4 Mr. Stanisic has had in his possession for approximately two years.
5 So there really is no active role for Mr. Stanisic to play. As
6 far as the content of the opening, that could be given to him fully by
7 this evening or tomorrow. So I submit, Your Honour, that there really is
8 no basis for us not proceeding today with the Prosecution opening. Thank
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
11 Mr. Jordash.
12 MR. JORDASH: May I briefly respond, please?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. JORDASH: Thank you. My learned friend makes several
15 suggestions, noting that Dr. Eekhof is merely being prudent and that
16 Your Honours might equally be prudent by having the accused brought to
17 court in a wheelchair. So we're really not arguing about much. We both
18 agree that it would be prudent to obtain further information about
19 Mr. Stanisic's condition.
20 Now, in our submission, before we start to bring somebody who
21 potentially may be seriously psychiatrically ill to court in a
22 wheelchair, we ought to take the suggestion which has been made by the
23 doctor, Dr. Eekhof, which is the prudent suggestion that we have a
24 psychiatric assessment and sooner rather than later. And prudence is the
25 right way because we are talking about a major war crimes case about to
1 start and prudence suggests that we should be sure if there is a viable
2 and relatively straightforward way of satisfying ourselves or the Court's
3 minds as to Mr. Stanisic's illness.
4 And my learned friend makes the further suggestion that, well,
5 it's the opening statement and therefore not much will happen and we can
6 give the opening statement to the accused tomorrow. But we're back to
7 the same place. If it's prudent to require further diagnosis, prudent
8 for Your Honours to see the accused, it's prudent to assume that whatever
9 mental condition Mr. Stanisic might be suffering will not entirely allow
10 him to read the opening tomorrow. So it matters not whether we take the
11 opening in a bundle of paper or we try to have Mr. Stanisic listen to it
12 on a video conferencing system. If he's ill, he's ill, and we won't know
13 that until we take, in our submission, this next step.
14 Those are our submissions. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you --
16 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, if I may add. The Prosecution, as you
17 may recall, last Tuesday I was standing here. I made the suggestion to
18 the Court, I said, We are back in the same position as last year if we
19 don't learn a lesson from the past, i.e., that we re-call a psychiatrist
20 for evaluation. I recall that Mr. Groome was supporting my submission.
21 Your Honours can remember that. Mr. Groome was supporting my submission
22 that we should have a psychiatric evaluation before the start of the
23 case. Now today the Prosecution apparently changed their mind, but we as
24 Defence, we have alerted the Chamber to the situation that it is
25 absolutely, also from the perspective of efficiency of this case,
1 worthwhile to have this evaluation in place before the start of the case.
2 And I think it's important to notify the Court that the same Prosecution
3 today apparently changed their mind while Dr. Eekhof's report is actually
4 more in support of our submissions than last week. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME: I just wouldn't want my silence to be --
8 JUDGE ORIE: To be misunderstood --
9 MR. GROOME: -- to be misinterpreted as -- misunderstood as
10 consent. The point I simply made last week, and I think I discussed with
11 the Chamber and the Chamber responded, is just the Prosecution continues
12 to view it as essential that the treatment and the assessment be
13 separated. So I don't oppose whatever assessments are done. That's not
14 the same as saying that I believe that we need to stop proceedings for
15 that assessment process. I was simply saying to the Chamber I thought
16 that it was imperative that, as soon as possible, we have a completely
17 independent assessment procedure established.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn for -- I think in Latin one says if
21 it's for a longer period of time sine die, but I would say sine hora
22 which means the time the Chamber will need to decide whether the
23 application should be granted or not. We do not know yet, but let's say
24 that we'll certainly not resume before 20 minutes to 4.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.19 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.54 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before I deliver the ruling of the Chamber on the
3 matters we discussed before the break, I first inform the parties that a
4 decision was filed today to include in the modalities for trial, to that
5 extent it's an amendment to the modalities of trial, to include regular
6 reporting by an independent psychiatrist every two months.
7 The Chamber has carefully considered all the submissions made by
8 the parties and reject the request for an adjournment. This decision
9 will be given in writing with all the reasons, but just to give a very
10 summary explanation and the language not being authoritative, the Chamber
11 finds that no objective medical reasons were established that would
12 disable the accused to follow the proceedings, if not in court itself at
13 least through a videolink. Again, the reasons will be set out in a
14 written decision that will follow soon.
15 The application by the Defence was to adjourn the proceedings and
16 to order an examination, a psychiatric examination, so as to exclude for
17 the possibility that psychiatric reasons could oppose against a
18 continuation of the proceedings. That of course is implicitly rejected
19 as well but will be dealt with also in the written decision. And as a
20 result of the decision filed today, which you may not have seen yet but
21 you will understand that it was not drafted the last 15 minutes, we
22 discussed the matter earlier, that we were -- the Chamber expects to
23 receive relatively soon a new psychiatric report.
24 The Chamber has considered how to proceed and the Chamber would
25 like the Registrar to send a copy of the following lines to the
1 United Nations Detention Unit so that Mr. Stanisic will be informed about
2 the decision by the Chamber, the decision that a request for adjournment
3 has been rejected due to the fact that no objective medical reasons were
4 established that would disable the accused to follow the proceedings, if
5 not in this courtroom then through a videolink, which would also allow
6 for the accused to further consider whether he wants to follow the
7 proceedings from the video room.
8 For that purpose we will again adjourn and the Chamber would like
9 to be informed about once this message has been conveyed to the accused
10 whether he wants to follow the proceedings through the videolink, and as
11 the parties may understand, it will have some consequences for how long
12 sessions would be, how long breaks would be. Therefore, the Chamber
13 would like to be informed, if possible within 15 minutes, about the
14 result of this information to be conveyed to the accused.
15 We will resume at a quarter past 4.00.
16 --- Break taken at 4.00 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.26 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber received a copy of an e-mail sent by
19 Fraser Gilmour addressed to the Registry, a person in the Registry, and
20 I'll read it into the record. First the name of the addressee is
21 mentioned and:
22 "I have just spoken with Mr. Stanisic with the assistance of a
23 language assistant to avoid any problems of misinterpretation. I
24 explained the situation to him and informed him that the Chamber would
25 like to know if he wishes to participate in proceedings via videolink.
1 Mr. Stanisic refused the opportunity."
2 Then it continues:
3 "I left a copy of the following section of the transcript for
4 Mr. Stanisic to read in his own time."
5 And then the section starts with: "The Chamber has considered
6 how to proceed and the Chamber would like the Registrar ..." which we
7 find on today's transcript at 15.58.41 up to 16.00.34, the last words
8 being about the result of this information to be conveyed to the accused.
10 That is put on the record. In view of the present situation
11 we'll proceed.
12 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. KNOOPS: May I briefly, before the Prosecution starts with
15 its opening, address the Court with a request to the Chamber. We humbly
16 request the Chamber to instruct the Registrar to, if possible, have the
17 first psychiatric report available timely before the 29th of June. Many
18 of the reasons can be adduced for this, but one of the reasons is that --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Knoops. This is a request which could have
20 been easily addressed at another moment and even informally. Let's focus
21 today on what we're here for now after we have decided whether or not to
22 proceed, and just perhaps for the parties to explain. Everything that
23 can be settled without any negative consequences out of court we should
24 not use court time for that. We are limited in our time, and first of
25 all it goes almost without saying that the Chamber has taken the
1 initiative already that of course we start to have the first report as
2 soon as possible. Also in view of the frequency. But this is not
3 necessarily -- and let me just explain to you, we have -- for informal
4 communications there are three different kinds. The one is purely
5 practical, it can be exchanged without leaving any traces on the record,
6 such as are we moving tomorrow from Courtroom I to Courtroom II, these
7 are matters. If it has some substance, then I'll put it on the record by
8 referring to it in court, as I did, for example, today. And if it's of
9 great importance, then the Chamber will invite the parties to file it.
10 Let's proceed -- the message is clear, Mr. Knoops, so --
11 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, in view of the fact that Mr. Stanisic
13 has not opted for following the proceedings, this means that we can have
14 the usual court schedules, which means that we have two and a half hours
15 to go. I would say I leave it to you how to split that up and if -- I
16 think it was announced that you would need three hours. Is that --
17 MR. GROOME: My best estimate, Your Honour, is that the opening
18 would take three and a half hours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Three and a half hours. Then we have one more hour
20 to go tomorrow. I leave it to you where to have the break. We are
21 relatively flexible in view of the time.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Your Honour, before I begin, I will be showing different evidence
25 and other documents on slides. If the Chamber and all parties in the
1 court would so kindly press the e-court button they will be available. I
2 would also ask at this time if the Court Usher would distribute to the
3 Chamber and to the Defence a copy of those slides. It may be that I move
4 past one before you've had a full opportunity to read it. This way you
5 will be able to fully grasp, digest, what's on each of the slides.
6 And I'm providing Defence two copies, one for each accused and
7 one for lead counsel.
8 Your Honour, I'd like to begin my opening with the words of
9 Mr. Jovica Stanisic himself.
10 "We are now entering the decisive phase of the fight to achieve
11 the common goals of all the Serbian lands, more determined and prepared
12 than ever before."
13 These are the words of Mr. Stanisic in a telegram he sent to the
14 Ministry of the Interior of the Republika Srpska Krajina in Knin in
15 July of 1994. This case will be an exploration of the "common goals of
16 all the Serbian lands" referred to by Mr. Stanisic in his telegram.
17 Specifically, what were those goals, who shared those goals, what were
18 the methods employed to achieve those goals, and most importantly were
19 international crimes committed in pursuit of those goals.
20 Perhaps one of the most shocking pieces of evidence adduced at a
21 trial in this Tribunal is a video containing images of three men and
22 three boys, shot in the back, hands bound tightly with wire. Captured as
23 they fled a fallen Srebrenica, we watch them silently and with
24 resignation walk to the spot where they are murdered one by one. We
25 watch their captors, some mocking the six in their final moments, others
1 demonstrating a demeanour more akin to a routine task, one focusing on
2 capturing the executions on videotape.
3 Here on slide number 3 we see the youngest, Dino Salihovic,
4 moments before he is executed. The world recoiled as the image was
5 played repeatedly on news programmes. The day will come in this trial
6 when we will have to watch their death again, but not today.
7 Today I want to show you a different part of that video. The
8 video taken that day is approximately two hours long.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 MR. GROOME: The parts of the video that I want to show you this
11 afternoon, while at first appear less shocking, upon reflection are more
12 disturbing than the killings themselves because they reveal that the
13 perpetrators of these crimes were not rogue paramilitaries, not a band of
14 common criminals; no, the perpetrators of these crimes and the other
15 crimes charged in this indictment were a well-organised and equipped
16 group, part of the special units of the Serbian DB, the State Security
17 Service of the Republic of Serbia
18 Members of a unit that was well trained, well equipped, well
19 paid, they had everything they needed, including a licence to clear land
20 of unwanted peoples, a licence to murder.
21 What is now known about the special units of the Serbian DB has
22 left many Serbs wondering how it was possible that some of the most
23 grievous crimes committed during the war were committed in their name by
24 men paid by the government, men in a unit administered by the
25 State Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia
1 more specifically by Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
2 Your Honours, this case in its simplest terms is an examination
3 of the conduct of two of the people with primary responsibility for
4 organising, training, funding, equipping, and directing members of the
5 special units of the Serbian DB to perpetrate grievous crimes on the
6 territories of Croatia
7 securing for them a land free from Croats and Muslims.
8 Not too long ago a Serb journalist posed the question, in
9 reference to the special units of the Serbian DB:
10 "How did it happen that a group of armed and dangerous men dared
11 to shape the destiny of an entire nation?"
12 Can I draw your attention to the video playing now in slide
13 number 5. Here, in 1997, Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Simatovic celebrate their
14 work, forgetting the suffering they occasioned, while they pose with
15 current and former members of their special units. The proud founders of
16 that group of armed and dangerous men that so dared to shape the destiny
17 of an entire nation.
18 The tensions that fuelled the break-up of Yugoslavia and the
19 terrible inter-ethnic violence that spared no one are still the subject
20 of scholarly and popular debate, a debate that lies outside the task that
21 the Trial Chamber begins today. The Trial Chamber is not called upon to
22 adjudicate these issues, and I will spend little time on them here. The
23 focus of this trial is upon Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Simatovic and the role
24 they played in the commission of crimes in Croatia and Bosnia
1 fundamental demographic changes on the territories of the former
3 It is only right that we begin this task by spending a few
4 moments to consider who these two men were at the outset, what were the
5 legal -- what were the legal duties and what were the boundaries of their
7 Both Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Simatovic were employees of the
8 Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia
9 this ministry throughout this opening by its Serbian acronym, MUP or
10 M-U-P. The Serbian MUP's mandate is articulated in the Serbian Law on
11 Ministries which is reproduced here in relevant part on slide number 7.
12 Its legal authority is similar to other interior ministries in other
13 developed, democratic societies. In essence, it was responsible for the
14 protection of citizens and residents of the country and the regulation of
15 borders, passports, and identity documents. In short, the Ministry of
16 Internal Affairs, the Serbian MUP, was responsible for the safety and
17 security of persons inside the Republic of Serbia
18 One of the administrative divisions of the MUP was the
19 State Security Service, the part of the MUP headed by Jovica Stanisic.
20 This section, too, was more commonly known by its Serbian acronym, the
21 DB. Slide number 8 shows Article 3 of the DB's rules, the article which
22 defines its mandate as one of collecting information, data, and
23 knowledge. Information of general and counter-intelligence, information
24 concerning extremism and terrorism. And while it also included the
25 collection of information about "forms of threats to the national and
1 cultural historical identity of Serbs who live outside of the Republic"
2 of Serbia
3 organisation was entitled to do: Collect information.
4 Let me now speak directly about Mr. Stanisic and his place in the
5 Ministry of Internal Affairs.
6 Slide 9 contains a brief summary of his professional
7 appointments. Jovica Stanisic would join the MUP in 1975. His first
8 position there would be in the State Security Service, the DB. Although
9 throughout 1991 Mr. Stanisic was nominally the deputy head of the DB, the
10 evidence in this case will show that during this period the de facto head
11 of that -- he was also the de facto of that organisation. On the
12 31st of December, 1991, with Slobodan Milosevic's intervention, he
13 assumed the position of head or chief of the DB.
14 As you can see from slide 10, Mr. Stanisic had the responsibility
15 of implementing the mandate of the Serbian DB. I would also like to
16 point out the penultimate paragraph "organises the execution of tasks and
17 affairs within the competence of the Division in conditions of
18 emergency" --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
20 MR. GROOME: Sorry, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, it's common experience that when you're
22 reading that you speed up. The French interpreters were at least a
23 couple of lines behind, so I'd like to invite you to slow down.
24 MR. GROOME: I will, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 I would also like to point out the penultimate paragraph
1 "organises the execution of tasks and affairs within the competence of
2 the Division in conditions of emergency, imminent threat of war, and
4 Although there was conflict in Croatia and Bosnia
5 1995, Serbia
6 threat of war, and thus this paragraph never became effective during the
7 period of this indictment.
8 Let me now turn your attention to the career of Franko Simatovic.
9 Slide number 11 is a brief summary of his resume. He would join the DB
10 three years after Stanisic in 1978. He worked in the section responsible
11 for gathering intelligence.
12 As you can see from this description of Mr. Simatovic's job on
13 slide 12, he was primarily charged with implementing projects to gather
14 intelligence, data, and information about threats to Serbia. While the
15 mandate extends to collecting information about perceived threats to
16 ethnic Serbs living outside of Serbia
17 forcible intervention outside the country.
18 The internal laws of Serbia
19 states, laws designed to circumscribe the activities of a governmental
20 organ with precision and maintain a balance of power.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, I have to repeat my request.
22 MR. GROOME: They are there to ensure that the authority of the
23 state is not misused. While ideologically Stanisic and Simatovic
24 identified with Slobodan Milosevic and his goals for the Serb people, the
25 laws of Serbia
1 fighting force outside Serbia
2 When Croatia
3 presence of the Yugoslav Army there was no longer legitimate. It became
4 necessary for Milosevic to create a paramilitary force that could be
5 deployed covertly outside Serbia
6 paramilitary force that could be used in combat as well as in the
7 commission of the crimes necessary to implement Milosevic's goal of
8 creating ethnically pure areas in Croatia and Bosnia
9 Service, already engaged in covert information gathering, was a logical
10 place to create such a special unit. If the state is going to engage in
11 criminal conduct, it will use its secret services to engage in that
12 conduct --
13 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, at this point I raise with hesitance,
14 but is it --
15 JUDGE ORIE: One second --
16 MR. KNOOPS: Is it the personal opinion of the Prosecution we
17 hear or is it an opening statement without argument? It is improper in
18 an opening statement to argue a case on the basis of personal opinions
19 and views of the Prosecution. So I object if this is an opening
20 statement whereby the Prosecution presents its personal view on the
21 relationship between the accused and Mr. Milosevic and the DB and their
22 goals or their policies. An opening statement is meant to present what
23 the evidence will be presented by the Prosecution; it's not meant to be
24 an argument. It's not meant to be -- provide the personal opinion of the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, did you intend to do anything else than
2 to tell the Court what you will establish by presenting your evidence or
3 do you go beyond that?
4 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. The two things that I believe I'm
5 charged with here is letting the Chamber as well as the accused
6 themselves know what the theory of the Prosecution case is as well as
7 give an overview of the evidence, and those are the two things that I
8 intend to do, nothing else.
9 JUDGE ORIE: So what you're telling us is what you intend to
10 prove and what is underlying your case?
11 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, I do not see that there's anything wrong
13 with that, is it?
14 MR. KNOOPS: Well, maybe then the Prosecutor should for the
15 Defence's sake differentiate between what the evidence is going to say
16 and what the view is of the Prosecution's theory.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the two are intrinsically intertwined I would
19 MR. GROOME: And, Your Honour, I would note that all of the
20 evidence is clearly marked, as you will in the slides, with the 65 ter
21 number so the Defence will be very -- it will be very clear to the
22 Defence what is specifically evidence and what is the theory of the
23 Prosecution case.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed. At the same time, you're invited
25 to keep in the back of your mind what apparently is of concern for
1 Mr. Knoops. Please proceed.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, throughout the course of this opening
3 the Prosecution will introduce you to some of the people who are central
4 to this case. Each of the people we speak about in this way is a core
5 member of a joint criminal enterprise with Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Simatovic
6 or were prominent members of the special units of the Serbian DB.
7 One of the people the Chamber will hear a great deal about is
8 Slobodan Milosevic. It has always been the position of the Office of the
9 Prosecutor that he was the central driving force behind this joint
10 criminal enterprise. The Prosecution will tender evidence in this trial
11 showing the close working relationship that the two accused had with
12 Mr. Milosevic.
13 In October 1998 when Stanisic was dismissed by Milosevic he gave
14 a public statement. In that statement shown here on slide 13, Stanisic
15 states that he executed his duties within his constitutional and legal
16 powers. The Chamber's adjudication of this indictment will test the
17 accuracy of this statement.
18 He also made clear that he had aligned himself with
19 President Milosevic in the early 1990s. A careful examination of
21 circumvented the legally defined chain of authority.
22 Mihalj Kertes, like Jovica Stanisic, was born in a place in
24 in one of Serbia
25 financing for Jovica Stanisic to create the special units of the
1 Serbian DB.
2 I would like to play an intercept for you, the translation is on
3 slide 14, and we hear Kertes and Karadzic talk about the problems
4 Mr. Stanisic is having with his lawful superior, a person by the name of
5 Mr. Janackovic, suggesting that his trust in Mr. Janackovic was
7 [Intercept played]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, we read it in English. The audio is
9 just in B/C/S. We have no French translation of it, so we have an
10 incomplete record.
11 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I had provided all the booths with the
12 text, but I see now that I omit to have provided them a copy with the
13 slides. I will do that as soon as I can so that they have the text that
14 they can work from as well.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because this is just for informing the parties.
16 If any audio or if any video is played with sound, then I expect the
17 parties to provide in advance a transcript to the booths so that the
18 booths can translate into the relevant language the text spoken. Now,
19 sometimes the speed of speech is such that it may be difficult to
20 translate and then the booths are invited that one of the interpreters
21 follows on the text whether that reflects the words spoken and that the,
22 if I could say the teammate would then translate on the basis of the
23 transcript, which finally results in a complete record where we have the
24 original and the relevant translations.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Groome.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm going to ask if the usher could
2 provide to the French booth a copy of the slides in the event that
3 they're unable to read it from the screen. An electronic copy is also
4 being sent as we speak.
5 Your Honour, we heard in this intercept Kertes saying that
6 Milosevic had given Mr. -- him and Mr. Stanisic carte blanche.
7 I would like to show you a clip from a video we refer to several
8 times in this opening. The video was taken during an awards ceremony at
9 the Radoslav Kostic Training Centre in Kula, Serbia, in May of 1997.
10 Many of the people who were behind the formation of the special units of
11 the Serbian DB and supported its activities in Croatia and Bosnia
12 attended. During this clip, Jovica Stanisic is giving Milosevic a tour
13 of the facility and handing out awards to those who played a prominent
14 role in the unit.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Before we play it, can I just verify with the booths
16 whether the system is now in place --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note in the English booth the
18 system is not in place. We don't have the text and the screen keeps
19 flashing on and off, e-court screen, so we can't read it. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Written copies should be provided to the booths, and
21 I share the -- my eyes are moving quickly as well, Mr. Groome.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I see my own screen is flashing. We
23 came down yesterday evening after court to test that there would be no
24 problems and I was told that there were no problems. I'm not sure what
25 has happened today. I have another copy, Your Honour, that we can
1 provide the English booth.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then we wait until it has been provided to the
3 English booth and then everyone's -- yes.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ORIE: The usher is busy copying for all the booths so we
6 have to take our time, otherwise we are --
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. GROOME: If I might. If it's of assistance, I provided six
10 copies for the Chamber. If all of those copies are not in use, if --
11 well, I think --
12 JUDGE ORIE: My copy is available at this very moment for the
13 English booth and I --
14 THE INTERPRETER: We have the text. Thank you very much.
15 MR. GROOME: We'll replace those --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could someone give it to the -- perhaps if
17 everyone stays in this courtroom, they'll never be received by the
18 booths. I'm not criticising anyone and the last person I would expect to
19 do it would be our Registrar.
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, while that's being done --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, under those circumstances, I expect one
22 of your team members to immediately receive that and give it to the
23 booths instead of making the Registrar leave the courtroom and do the
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Which easily could be done by -- I see you're four,
2 two young, strong men, isn't it.
3 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. The matter has been resolved. Are all
5 the booths ready?
6 Then the video can be played. Please proceed, Mr. Groome.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 JUDGE ORIE: To be quite honest, I don't hear anything at all.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I hear some squealing sounds. As I've
10 told the Court, we were down here last night to ensure that there would
11 be no problems. If the director needs a break to resolve a technical
12 problem, if he could advise us of that, but all of our tests have proven
13 to leave us still with some kind of technical problem. We did not have
14 this problem last year. We attempted to ensure against any unforeseen
15 problems last evening.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, I suggest that we take the break now,
18 that there can be done a lot of more testing, and then we resume at
19 25 minutes past 5.00 and then you can continue until 7.00.
20 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.04 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, please proceed.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the flickering problem has been solved.
25 The sound problem has only been partially solved. So I will not be
1 playing any audio of the videos but I will be asking the Chamber to look
2 at them, and we will see about what we can do to remedy that for
3 tomorrow. Your Honour, the video that was showing, if I might just point
4 out, about half way through that video you could see Mr. Milosevic
5 shaking the hand and greeting Mr. Simatovic, and then you can see at the
6 end of that video Mr. Stanisic giving both Mr. Milosevic and
7 Mihalj Kertes awards on behalf of the special units of the Serbian DB.
8 The Prosecution's case is broader than simply the relationship
9 between Slobodan Milosevic, Mihalj Kertes, Jovica Stanisic, and
10 Franko Simatovic. The Prosecution will establish in this trial that the
11 crimes charged in the indictment were perpetrated as part of a joint
12 criminal enterprise, a collective criminal effort. It is the
13 Prosecution's case that Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Simatovic were willing
14 members in a core group of persons who shared the intent to remove large
15 populations of non-Serbs, mostly Muslims and Croats, from their homes and
16 land by force, doing this by perpetrating the crimes of murder and
18 In some cases their lands were targeted because they lay in areas
19 in which Serbs were a majority; in other cases their lands were targeted
20 because the land was necessary to bridge disconnected concentrations of
21 Serbs; in other cases their land was targeted simply because it was
22 considered a necessary acquisition in order to secure the success of the
23 overall plan. The crimes perpetrated during the conflict are of a
24 magnitude and a scale that challenge our ability to comprehend them in
25 the detail we need in the context of a criminal trial. It can be equally
1 difficult to conceptualize the large group of people who must necessarily
2 work with a common purpose towards realization of those crimes.
3 Each person in this collective having a different contribution to
4 make, having a different position and role to play in the enterprise. I
5 submit that this diagram on slide number 16 as one way of conceptualizing
6 this core group of perpetrators. While it is undoubtedly an
7 oversimplification of the joint criminal enterprise, it is a starting
8 point. As we progress through the trial, the Court will become aware of
9 the nuances in the relationships between these core members that I cannot
10 capture in such a simple diagram.
11 The vertical columns represent from left to right core members of
12 the joint criminal enterprise who were Croatian Serbs, Serbs in Serbia
13 Proper, and Bosnian Serbs. The top row represents those core members who
14 were in the military; the middle role, those who held governmental
15 positions or figures or whose contribution is best characterised as
16 political; and the bottom row, those participants who worked in the
17 respective MUPs of the three regions.
18 As you can see, Mr. Stanisic appears in both the political and
19 Ministry of Internal Affairs boxes. This is because his role in the
20 joint criminal enterprise extended beyond his job in the State Security
21 Service. As you will hear on this intercept I will play, his actions are
22 in some cases best characterised as political. In the intercept on
23 slide 17, you can hear Jovica Stanisic and Radovan Karadzic discussing
24 Milan Babic, a prominent leader of the Croatian Serbs in the Krajina.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 MR. GROOME: I see that the director has shut off the sound -- I
2 would just give the Chamber just a couple of seconds to view the text and
3 then I will move on.
4 In this conversation we can hear Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Karadzic
5 express their view that Babic is not adept in political matters.
6 Stanisic informs Karadzic that he has had a serious discussion with Babic
7 about how he should act politically.
8 Similarly, as you can see on the left-hand side of the diagram,
9 Milan Martic can be found not only in the Republika Srpska Krajina, or
10 the RSK, Ministry of Internal Affairs, but also in the box for RSK
11 political figures. This represents the dual role he played.
12 Ms. Brehmeier-Metz and myself will come back to this diagram on
13 several occasions during the course of the opening statement.
14 The Prosecution over the course of this trial will establish the
15 shared intent of these core members with a primary focus on the accused
16 present, their intent and their acts of contribution to the overall
17 criminal plan.
18 It is difficult to trace the routes of a covert criminal plan,
19 particularly in a case such as this in which secrecy and surprise was
20 viewed as an essential component of the plan's success. As best we can
21 determine, we see the germination of this criminal plan in the words of
22 its primary architect, Slobodan Milosevic.
23 Slide number 19 shows the words of Milosevic, the words which he
24 spoke on the 16th of March in 1991 to a closed group of deputies after a
25 period of steadily increasing tensions. In this context and at a meeting
1 with the presidents of Serb municipalities, Milosevic said:
2 "The government has been tasked with creating suitable units
3 which will make us safe at all times, that is, capable of defending the
4 interests of our Republic, but also the interests of Serbs outside
6 It is the Prosecution's case that approximately six weeks after
7 Milosevic gave this order for the creation of special units tasked with
8 protecting Serb interests outside Serbia
9 these units in the State Security Department of the Serbian Ministry of
10 Internal Affairs.
11 Let me once again direct your attention to the dedication
12 ceremony in Kula in May of 1997, where Franko Simatovic gave a
13 retrospective of the special unit's history. A candid history of it in a
14 private setting to a select group of people. Here on slide number 21 you
15 can take a look at the two statements side by side and consider that
16 there is no other unit that we know of that Milosevic created. It
17 becomes clear that we are talking about one and the same unit.
18 Simatovic would go on to say in this speech:
19 "The contribution of the Special Operation Unit is enormous.
20 47 soldiers were killed and 250 wounded in combat operations at
21 50 different locations."
22 With his own words Simatovic tells us that the special units of
23 the Serbian DB operated in 50 different locations in Croatia and
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He would also say:
25 "Twenty-six training camps for special police units of
1 Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina were also formed in
2 that period."
3 Twenty-six training camps in Bosnia and Croatia
4 The genesis of the special units was the day that Milosevic
5 charged Stanisic with the task of establishing a covert fighting force
6 not bound by the law but only by the dictates of Milosevic.
7 On this day which we are able to identify with no greater
8 precision than it was during the spring of 1991, Stanisic would join
9 Milosevic's plan to ensure that in the break-up of Yugoslavia, a break-up
10 which appeared inevitable, in this break-up they would ensure that Serbs
11 came out on top, regardless of in which republic those Serbs were and
12 regardless of the cost or harm to other ethnic populations in Yugoslavia
13 Stanisic in turn would give the day-to-day administration of the special
14 unit to his entrusted subordinate: Franko Simatovic.
15 From the outset, secrecy was an important principle for the unit.
16 Former members of the unit who will come before you and testify
17 will describe how they only learned that they were working for the
18 Serbian DB sometime after they were full-fledged members of the special
19 unit. Often these men only knew their comrades by aliases and nicknames,
20 forbidden to reveal or ask another's name. Such secrecy helped create
21 confusion over who was behind the unit. Public knowledge that the
22 Serbian DB had created and maintained such an extra-legal unit would have
23 had negative consequences for Milosevic.
24 Such secrecy was also essential because Milosevic, Stanisic,
25 Simatovic, and other members of the core group knew that their work in
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- if I give you a sign to slow down, then look
3 at me then I'll tell you when you can continue.
4 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour. I appreciate that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. GROOME: They knew that their work in Croatia and Bosnia
7 would be criminal, involving the perpetration of serious crimes against
8 the non-Serb populations there. They realised at the outset what the
9 world would come to understand as the tragedy unfolded. You cannot
10 forcibly remove large civilian populations from their homes without
11 committing grave crimes against them.
12 I would like to play, hopefully, an intercept for you to
13 illustrate Mr. Stanisic's ever-present concern for secrecy. On slide
14 number 22 Stanisic reminds Karadzic that they must be careful what they
15 say on the telephone.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] That's --
18 MR. GROOME: It appears we still have technical difficulties.
19 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] That's not possible. We can't do
20 that --
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, in another intercept --
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] I have nothing here. I need to
24 The interpreters apologise, but they cannot hear what the speaker
25 is saying.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I could perhaps give a direction to
2 the director. Please do not play any more audio and I will proceed
3 without audio, and hopefully the problem can be corrected for tomorrow.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you will just briefly point at what the
5 quintessence is of the clips you'd like to play, or the audio you'd like
6 to play, then the Chamber and the public will understand what you're
7 talking about.
8 MR. GROOME: In another intercept Stanisic says to Karadzic:
9 "Could you maybe do it in a way so that I am not shown as part of
10 the initiative?"
11 In other intercepts you will hear Franko Simatovic talk in
12 guarded, cryptic sentences to another core member of the criminal
14 The map that Stanisic shows Milosevic in the earlier clip is
15 affixed to the wall at the Kostic Training Centre in Kula. It is a map
16 of Yugoslavia
17 and Bosnia
18 Mr. Simatovic lists these locations in his speech. Here on the bottom
19 left corner of slide 23 is a photo still of that map. On the right are
20 those same locations marked on a standard map of Yugoslavia. Those
21 indicated in green boxes are located in Croatia. Those in yellow in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those in pink are located in Serbia proper.
23 Over the course of their establishment and evolution, the special
24 units of the Serbian DB would refer to themselves by several names.
25 Slide number 24 contains a list of these names as well as some of the
1 badges that members of the special units displayed on their uniforms.
2 Some of these names, such as the JATD and the JSO, would be official
3 names used within the State Security Service. Some of the units were
4 named after the individuals who led that particular unit, Arkan's Men,
5 Arkan's Tigers, Martic's Men, Captain Dragan's Knindzas. One of the
6 names they are commonly referred to described the head gear they often
7 wore on operations, the Red Berets.
8 Your Honours, the special units of the Serbian DB was a large
9 organisation with many members. We will throughout this opening
10 introduce you to a few of the most prominent members, those particular
11 members you will hear referred to numerous times during this trial.
12 Slide 25 is of Milorad Ulemek, or more popularly known as Legija
13 because of the time he spent in the French Foreign Legion. His uncle,
14 Mihajlo Ulemek, was a member of Arkan's Serbian Volunteer Guard, and
15 Legija, after joining his uncle in the Guards became one of its most
16 respected and feared members.
17 Because of his leadership ability, Legija quickly rose to become
18 one of the main instructors and ultimately one of the main commanders of
19 Arkan's Serbian Volunteer Guard. He is the special unit member who
20 features most prominently in the Kula video because he is always at
21 Stanisic's side, as they show Milosevic their new centre. At the bottom
22 of slide 25 you can see payment records from the State Security Service
23 indicating payments to Legija. His uncle was also on their payroll.
24 Slide 26 concerns Zika Crnogorac, or Zika, the Montenegrin. He
25 was another prominent member of the Red Berets. You will hear of his
1 involvement in Mount Fruska Gora and at the training centre in Ilok. I
2 will show you a clip from the Kula video in a few moments in which he
3 greets Milosevic and introduces him to senior members of the special
4 units of the Serbian DB. And as you can see at the bottom of slide 26,
5 he is also listed on payment records of the State Security Service from
6 this time-period.
7 The last person I want to introduce you to at this juncture is
8 Rajo Bozovic, here on slide number 27. Rajo Bozovic was one of the most
9 senior members of the special units and appears in many places throughout
10 the former Yugoslavia
11 charge of the Red Beret operations in Doboj, the Drina Valley
12 in Western Bosnia. The Prosecution will also tender payment records
13 establishing his relationship to the State Security Service.
14 We can play the video without sound.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MR. GROOME: Over the course of the celebration in Kula in
17 May 1997, Mr. Stanisic would give Mr. Milosevic a tour of the equipment
18 the special unit of the Serbian DB had. In this video-clip Milosevic is
19 shown a mobile operating room, armoured personnel carriers, and trucks
20 with rocket-launchers and anti-aircraft guns mounted on the back.
21 Keeping in mind that the legal mandate entrusted to Mr. Stanisic and
22 Mr. Simatovic's department was the collection of data and information,
23 these images make clear that the unit had equipped itself for a very
24 different task.
25 While the idea of creating a special unit was conceived in
2 The Krajina is the southern part of Croatia
3 the Dalmatian coast. The Krajina had a large majority of Serbs who felt
4 increasingly vulnerable as they listened to the nationalistic Croatian
5 rhetoric being spoken in Zagreb
6 In the context of this fear and mistrust, several ordinary
7 Croatian Serbs would rise to prominence and become pivotal players in the
8 unfolding of events. I would like to introduce you to some of them now.
9 Milan Babic was the first prime minister and president of the
10 government of the Serbian Autonomous Region of the Krajina. This
11 self-declared region was more commonly referred to as the SAO Krajina.
12 He testified in several trials before the Tribunal and pled guilty to the
13 crime of persecution. He was sentenced to a term of incarceration of
14 13 years. A little over three years ago he committed suicide in the
15 UN Detention Unit. His testimony before this Tribunal sets out the
16 events of the Krajina from an insider's perspective. Admission of that
17 testimony is a matter that is pending before this Chamber and I will
18 therefore refrain from discussing his testimony during this opening.
19 Another Croatian Serb who rose to prominence was a local police
20 official by the name of Milan Martic. In time he would come to hold
21 several leadership positions in the SAO Krajina and subsequently
22 so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina. On the 12th of June, 2007
23 Trial Chamber convicted him of murder, persecutions, deportation, and
24 other crimes. Here on slide number 30 you can see an excerpt from his
25 driver, a witness in this case, describing how Milan Martic and
1 Jovica Stanisic met regularly.
2 This close relationship becomes apparent in September 1991, after
3 Milan Martic was arrested in the Bosnian town of Bosanska Krupa. His
4 release was arranged after a series of telephone calls, one of which I
5 will play as an example. The call transcribed on slide 31 is a call from
6 the 9th of September, 1991.
7 In this intercepted phone conversation we not only see Milosevic
8 and Karadzic discussing how to free Martic after he was arrested, but how
9 Jovica serves as the person who was carrying Milosevic's directives to
10 another core member of the joint criminal enterprise.
11 The special units of the Serbian DB would take their initial form
12 by supporting, training, and facilitating the crimes committed against
13 the non-Serb population of the Krajina. Franko Simatovic personally
14 oversaw this effort.
15 When he first went to the Krajina, he would take with him a
16 person by the name of Dragan Vasiljkovic who would develop the training
18 Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan, born in Serbia
19 moved with his parents to Australia
20 early 1990. He was a veteran soldier and the DB took advantage of his
21 experience and sent him to the Krajina in order to act as an instructor
22 for the newly established Krajina police forces. As the report from the
23 Yugoslav Army on slide 32 demonstrates, it was clear that Captain Dragan
24 was working with and for the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs under
25 the supervision of Jovica Stanisic.
1 I would like to show you on slides 33 and 34 a letter drafted by
2 Captain Dragan on the 8th of November, 1991. You can see his signature
3 at the bottom of slide 33. At this time Vasiljkovic did not fully
4 appreciate Stanisic's demand for secrecy and candidly revealed his
5 connections with the DB in this request we see on slide 34, where he
6 stated that he had "... the obligation towards the State Security Service
7 of the Republic of Serbia
8 accordance with the mentioned service."
9 In this excerpt from the Kula dedication tape on slide number 35,
10 we can see Jovica Stanisic embrace Captain Dragan when he gives him an
12 [Video-clip played]
13 MR. GROOME: In early April, as Milan Martic began to cobble
14 together a police force of mostly unarmed and untrained men, Simatovic
15 and Captain Dragan arrived bearing the support of Jovica Stanisic and
16 Slobodan Milosevic. Martic took the state security delegation of
17 Simatovic and Captain Dragan to Golubic, 9 kilometres north of Knin,
18 where within a few days they established a Serbian DB training centre to
19 prepare Serbs for the take-over of Serb lands in Croatia.
20 The training that would take place created a formidable,
21 well-equipped fighting force that not only prevented the Croatian
22 government from imposing its will in the Krajina but would be used to
23 ethnically cleanse the Krajina of non-Serbs. Six years later in Kula,
24 Mr. Simatovic would refer to Golubic as one of the accomplishments of his
25 unit. In all, over 3.000 men received training in Golubic. Some who
1 received this training would go on to set up some of the next 25 training
2 camps Stanisic and Simatovic would establish. These first members of the
3 special units would be dubbed with the name "Knindzas" because of the
4 proximity of the Golubic camp to Knin.
5 One of the early battles that the Knindzas would fight in was in
6 Glina. After the battle Captain Dragan would distribute some Red Berets.
7 This would become one of the emblems of the unit and be the basis of
8 their most commonly used name: The Red Berets. Here on slide 36 there
9 are some pictures of prominent members as well as a display case in the
10 Kostic Training Centre in Kula in which the Red Beret is in the centre of
11 the display surrounded by weapons.
12 And while the unit was referred to by several names over the
13 course of its history, its use of the Red Beret remained a constant; and
14 although some military units not directly affiliated with the DB also
15 donned berets of this colour, the Red Beret soon became emblematic of the
16 units of the Serbian DB.
17 Much of what we know about the birth of the special units is
18 corroborated by documents the Office of the Prosecutor has been able to
19 obtain. I will take this opportunity to show the Chamber some of the
20 most significant -- to show the Chamber some of the most significant of
21 these documents.
22 Slide number 37 shows a proposal drafted by Captain Dragan. In
23 May 1991, Captain Dragan sent a proposal to set up a new training centre
24 and transfer the main staff of the Territorial Defence to the
25 Knin Fortress. To whom did he send this proposal? Commander of the TO,
1 the Territorial Defence; the president of the Municipal Assembly; and the
2 Security Service. It is the case of the Prosecution that the phrase
3 "Security Service" refers to the Serbian State Security Service, and more
4 precisely Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
5 As we can see from this document on slide number 38, on the
6 14th of June, just a few weeks after Captain Dragan made his proposal,
7 Captain and Frenki - the name that Franko Simatovic was known by - held a
8 planning meeting attended by several officers of the Yugoslav Army. This
9 document confirms what witnesses will describe, that the Yugoslav Army
10 was not a neutral presence in the Krajina.
11 Two days later Simatovic would issue a written order. Slide 39
12 is a photo of the original document. It is an order signed by
13 Franko Simatovic ordering the removal of all weapons and armaments from
14 the Knin Fortress to Golubic. This order gives an insight into how
15 Mr. Simatovic viewed his authority in the Krajina. It is he, and not the
16 Yugoslav Army, not Milan Babic, not Milan Martic, who gives the order on
17 such an important matter as the removal of weapons. You will by this
18 time have noted the letter-head:
19 "Republic of Serbia
20 He would sign the order, not with his full name, but in keeping
21 with the importance of secrecy, with his nickname, "Frenki," the name
22 most would come to know him by.
23 The Prosecution will also tender documents such as the one on
24 your screens which makes reference to orders given by Frenki. According
25 to the author of this report shown on slide 41, the Serbian Ministry of
1 Internal Affairs previously provided four vehicles. Two months after
2 receiving the equipment, the author reports that he received an order
3 from Frenk, F-r-e-n-k, who he explains is the chief representative of the
4 Serbian MUP, to remove radio equipment from two of the vehicles.
5 Around this time-period Captain Dragan drafted a report. Based
6 on the initial success of Captain Dragan, he now proposes a way for the
7 special units of the Serbian DB to grow. He believes their objective
8 must be more than simply training individuals. He has a vision for
9 training men who can go to other areas of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 and establish new training facilities and new branches of the special
12 As slide number 42 shows, he suggests that the three men directly
13 responsible for this initial success tour the field to boost morale;
14 those three men being Milan Martic, Frenki, and Captain Dragan himself.
15 He suggests that these three as well as prominent specials, a reference
16 to members of the special units, visit these newly formed local
17 formations to boost morale and to "give advice on further formation of
18 units in the field."
19 The Prosecution will produce other reports that demonstrate
20 Frenki, or Mr. Simatovic, along with the local Serb leaders were provided
21 detailed information about what was transpiring in the Krajina.
22 On slide 43 you can see a report, the 19th of July, 1991. It
23 bears pointing out with this document the use of the term "special
24 units," perhaps the first use of this term to describe these units
25 created by the Serbian DB. The significance of the training they
1 received is evident in the last sentence:
2 "Our forces are deployed according to the training plan."
3 Slide 44 shows a report from the 6th of August, 1991, announcing
4 a cease-fire. We can once again -- sorry, announcing a cease-fire, and
5 we see Mr. Simatovic's alias or nickname "Frenki."
6 On your screen you will see two excerpts of reports from
7 July 1991. Also during that summer on the 19th of July, Captain Dragan
8 made a detailed report to his superiors, Frenki, Milan Martic, and
9 Major Fica, who, according to the JNA intelligence service, was an
10 inspector in the MUP of Serbia.
11 From the outset it is clear that the people they have trained and
12 equipped are perpetrating war crimes. To Captain Dragan's credit, his
13 initial view of this behaviour was that it was something that needed to
14 be corrected. As the Chamber will see over the course of this trial,
15 these crimes were not incidental to the plan but an integral part of it.
16 In the second report on slide 45, an excerpt from a 23rd July
17 report, we can see from the earliest days of the unit, less than
18 three months after its establishment, an organised system of reporting
19 has been established.
20 We can see from this document that one of Captain Dragan's
21 foundational tasks in the Krajina was to organise a system of command and
22 reporting that included the Republic of Serbia
23 Did Stanisic and Simatovic receive reports about the activities
24 of the units they created? Did Milosevic know what they were doing? I
25 draw your attention to slide 46 and once again to the Kula video. In
1 this segment, Stanisic takes Milosevic over to a dress formation of the
2 unit's senior commanders and they introduce themselves. After being
3 saluted by Crnogorac, Milosevic shakes his hand and then walks over to
4 Colonel Rajo Bozovic. We do not have the sound on the video, but I would
5 ask that the video be played now and I will make an observation about
6 their exchange once it's concluded.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 MR. GROOME: For the benefit of those who will be watching this
9 in B/C/S, I will read the English and ask the translators to translate
10 into B/C/S.
11 It seems that the audio problem has been corrected, so it appears
12 that the B/C/S was broadcast.
13 It is the Prosecution's case that Milosevic through Simatovic and
14 Stanisic were regularly informed of where their unit was and what it was
15 doing. In this exchange, Milosevic is meeting Bozovic in person for what
16 appears to be the very first time. Milosevic, upon hearing the name,
17 recognises it immediately from reading his reports, reports the
18 Prosecution asserts must have passed through Simatovic and Stanisic,
19 reports that were provided with sufficient frequency that Milosevic
20 quickly recognised the name.
21 I would now invite Ms. Brehmeier-Metz to address the role
22 Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Simatovic played in the crimes committed in Croatia
23 and in Bosnia
24 MS. BREHMEIER-METZ: May it please the Court, Mr. President,
25 Your Honours.
1 As the seams of Yugoslavia
2 Serb minorities living in Croatia
3 autonomous region, a region that while it lay within the geographic
4 boundaries of Croatia
6 These self-declared regions were called Serb Autonomous Regions
7 or SAOs, the acronym from the B/C/S language.
8 In August 1991, Milan Martic decided to take control of the
9 Croatian village of Kijevo
10 an ultimatum to the Kijevo police station, threatening to attack the
11 civilian population of the village. At this moment, the Yugoslav Army
12 openly entered the conflict on the Serb side. After the ultimatum had
13 expired, a combined force of Martic's Men, the Yugoslav Army, and the
14 local Serb reservists or TO members attacked and took control of Kijevo
15 and removed the entire Croat population.
16 From this time onwards, the Yugoslav Army and the local Serb
17 Krajina armed forces, that is, the police forces, the TO units, and some
18 Serb volunteer units, many of them trained, equipped, financed, and
19 supported by the Serbian DB under Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic,
20 started attacking Croat villages in the SAO Krajina.
21 The TO, that is, the Territorial Defence, in the former
23 that retained their uniforms and a weapon and remained as reservists
24 under the command of the republic in times of peace and were incorporated
25 into the Yugoslav Army in times of war.
1 In August 1991, Slobodan Milosevic would settle a dispute between
2 Babic and Martic over the control of the TO forces by forcing Babic to
3 appoint Milan Martic as deputy commander of the TOs. This appointment,
4 together with the fact that many of the TOs in SAO Krajina were loyal
5 only to Martic, ultimately led to Martic's control over the TOs. On
6 1st August 1991
7 special purpose units and the TOs would jointly form the armed forces of
8 the SAO Krajina.
9 Slide number 47 that is now shown illustrates the locations in
11 and villages that are of relevance for the indictment against
12 Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic. The villages in SAO Krajina that I
13 will deal with now have been marked with red circles, and in the circle
14 that is at the bottom of the map you can also see the town of Knin
16 Dubica, Bacin, and Cerovljani are villages situated on the border
17 between Croatia
18 half of the inhabitants living in Dubica were of Croat ethnicity with a
19 small Muslim minority, whereas the villages of Bacin and Cerovljani were
20 predominantly Croat. Until 1991 the relations between the ethnic groups
21 had been friendly and harmonious. In summer 1991, however, these
22 relations deteriorated.
23 Armed clashes occurred between the Croatian and Serb armed
24 forces, and in September 1991 the Croatian army withdrew, Serb
25 forces - and in particular Martic's police and his TO - took control of
1 the villages. They came repeatedly, burning the houses of Croat
2 inhabitants, using them as human shields and killing people. They did,
3 for example, not refrain from firing a rocket-launcher at the bell-tower
4 of the Catholic church of Dubica
5 their village. Only a few elderly and sick remained.
6 On 20th October 1991, members of Martic's police and of
7 Milicija Krajina went around Dubica with a truck, picking up a total
8 number of 53 of the remaining civilians and taking them to a fire station
9 in Bacin. They pretended that a meeting would be held there. In fact,
10 at the fire station the people were detained. One of those detained was
11 Slavko Kucuk. He witnessed that some ten civilians were later released
12 apparently because of connections they had with Serbs. He himself was
13 let go by one of the guards who happened to be a former student of his.
14 Slavko Kucuk later compiled a list of the people that were detained
15 together with him in the fire station.
16 Looking at the ages of the civilians on the list that is shown
17 now on slide 48, you will notice that the vast majority of them were
18 older than 60. The following day, the remaining civilians in the fire
19 station were executed by the Serb forces, together with a number of
20 elderly civilians from Bacin and Cerovljani. One of those killed was a
21 90-year-old woman.
22 The village of Saborsko
23 Plitvice. In August 1991 its population was almost entirely Croat, as
24 was that of the neighbouring villages of Poljanak, Lipovaca, and
25 Vukovici. These villages were surrounded by villages with mostly Serb
1 population. In August 1991 Serb forces started shelling Saborsko, aiming
2 at linking the Serb territories that were separated by it. In the
3 following months, members of Martic's police and other Serb forces
4 started a campaign of harassment, arbitrarily arresting, detaining, and
5 in many cases severely beating Croat civilians. Most of the Croats left
6 the villages as a result of this.
7 In late October and early November 1991, Poljanak, Lipovaca,
8 Vukovici, and finally Saborsko, were again subject to attacks by Serb
9 forces. In the course of these attacks Croat civilians were deliberately
10 and intentionally murdered. In Vukovici, for example, members of
11 Martic's police, JNA and local Serb Territorial Defence units removed
12 eight Croat civilians from a house, among them both elderly and women.
13 They lined them up against a wall and simply shot them. Another man, who
14 was too sick to leave the house, was shot by Serb forces while still in
16 On 12th November, 1991, Serb forces started a further heavy
17 attack on Saborsko. The village was first attacked by JNA planes
18 dropping bombs and then by heavy artillery. Afterwards, ground units
19 moved into Saborsko. Slide number 49 refers to this attack. It is a
20 letter of a representative of the village of Plaski
21 attack as directed against evil people.
22 The Catholic church in Saborsko was shelled and damaged.
23 Subsequently, the artillery withdrew, leaving Serb soldiers and policemen
24 in the village. Those Serb forces then started looting the hamlet,
25 driving away private cars, stealing household goods and cattle, and
1 burning houses. Civilians were pulled from basements, men were separated
2 from women, and some 20 men were executed. Most of the inhabitants of
3 Saborsko fled or were taken by bus and released in Croatian territory.
4 During the course of this trial we will present witnesses that
5 will speak about the attack on Saborsko. On slide number 50 you see
6 quotes of the testimony of one of them during the trial against
8 who took part in the attack on Saborsko, the witness answered that these
9 had been men trained in Golubic, the Red Berets.
10 And as a final example, Skabrnja. Skabrnja and the surrounding
11 villages are situated near Zadar in south-western Croatia. In 1991, the
12 village was almost entirely Croat. Following the pattern that I have
13 described, this area was shelled and bombed by Serb forces from
14 September 1991 onwards. The final attack took place on 18th November,
16 There were three Catholic churches in and around Skabrnja. One
17 of them was the church of the Assumption of the Virgin. The following
18 photos on slide 51 show this church before the attack and afterwards. It
19 was shot and damaged by a JNA tank. Members of Martic's police, JNA, and
20 local Serb Territorial Defence units took the civilians out of the
21 village and transported them against their will to territory controlled
22 by the Croatian government. Serb forces moved from house to house,
23 searching for those who remained and looting and burning the houses.
24 In all, some 38 civilians were killed in Skabrnja. On
25 21st December, 1991
1 forces forced themselves into houses in the tiny village of Bruska
2 is situated between Skabrnja and Benkovac. They took the men outside,
3 lined them up, and shot them. They also fired at a fleeing woman. In
4 all, nine people were killed.
5 All this shows the repeated and eventually predictable pattern of
6 attacks on Croat villages in the Krajina in the fall and winter of 1991.
7 Villages with Croat population were first put under JNA siege, blockaded,
8 and then often shelled. After that, Serb forces including Martic's
9 police entered the villages, non-Serb buildings were destroyed, non-Serb
10 property looted. Very often individual Croats were arrested and
11 detained; others were driven out. Those that remained, mostly the
12 elderly population, were murdered, thus ethnically cleansing the
14 Again, I would like to refer you to what a witness who is going
15 to be called by the Prosecution said in the trial against Milan Martic.
16 An excerpt of his testimony is shown in slide 53. This witness was
17 personally present when Franko Simatovic, acting on behalf of
18 Jovica Stanisic, brought weapons and money to Milan Martic in Knin. For
19 reasons that are unclear, the relationship with Captain Dragan
20 temporarily cooled after the summer of 1991, and he was recalled to
22 Captain Dragan's Knindzas broke up, Franko Simatovic hand-picked the best
23 among them to create a select group that would be cultivated into a more
24 organised and professional covert fighting force. This would take place
25 in Mount Fruska Gora in Serbia
1 Your Honours, if I might refer you back to slide 22 of this
2 presentation or map 6 of the map book, we will show it again later in the
3 opening, but you will see Fruska Gora on the right-hand side of the map
4 just outside Eastern Slavonia, on Serbian territory. It's the fourth box
5 from the top where it states: Lezimir - Mount Fruska Gora.
6 Here, on Mount Fruska Gora, the elite force was within striking
7 distance of Eastern Slavonia where there was a tentative peace or Bosnia
8 which was quickly reaching the boiling point. Dragan Vasiljkovic would
9 be brought back to help train these men on Mount Fruska Gora. Zika, also
10 known as Crnogorac, was appointed the head of the unit. He, like the
11 others, would be issued a red beret, a State Security identification
12 number, and a nickname. Stanisic would keep this evolving unit out from
13 the public eye by keeping them as part of the State Security Service and
14 not part of the ordinary police or military units of Serbia or the SFRY.
15 The Prosecution's case is summarised on slide number 54. It is
16 the Prosecution 's case that Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic's role
17 in the organisation, training, and outfitting of the direct perpetrators
18 of these crimes as one of the contributions they made to a joint criminal
19 enterprise to forcibly remove Croats and other non-Serbs from targeted
20 lands through the crimes of persecution and murder makes them
21 individually criminally liable for these crimes.
22 I'm looking at the clock, Your Honours. Before I move on to an
23 entirely different subject, I would propose that this is a convenient
24 moment to break up for today.
25 JUDGE ORIE: It is.
1 We adjourn for the day, and we'll resume tomorrow, the
2 10th of June, quarter past 2.00 in this same courtroom, I.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 10th day of
5 June, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.