1 Wednesday, 1 December 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone. Madam Registrar, would
6 you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-03-69-T.
9 The Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 I'd like to deal with a few procedural issues before we give an
12 opportunity to the Prosecution to call its next witness. The first, I
13 think I yesterday asked the Simatovic view on scheduling around Orthodox
14 Christmas. It might be that you had been clear on that already and that
15 you would prefer to sit on the 10th, 11th and 12th, that is Monday,
16 Tuesday and Wednesday after the court recess.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but first of all I
18 would like to apologise. Yesterday you told us that you wanted us to
19 send you a mail. Unfortunately we have just forgotten to do that, we can
20 do it subsequently or perhaps we can do it now verbally. If the Trial
21 Chamber is of the opinion that this is doable, the 10th, 11th and 12th
22 would be okay and we know that the 12th might not be doable but if it can
23 be done, even in the afternoon that would be okay and once again which
24 apologise for not sending you an e-mail as you requested.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine. As far as the Chamber is concerned,
1 the Chamber has decided that it, depending on practical matters, such as
2 availability of courtrooms, et cetera, but that the Chamber is willing to
3 adapt the schedule in such a way that we'll sit on the 10th, the 11th and
4 the 12th of January and we'll try, but that depends on the Perisic case,
5 and we'll try to sit on Wednesday morning, but if not possible then we'll
6 sit in the afternoon. Again this is to be verified with CMSS, but the
7 Chamber has made up its mind.
8 The Chamber has received scheduling for December. For the 13th
9 to the 15th of December, witness JF-056 has been scheduled and we see,
10 Mr. Groome, that you also had scheduled a witness for the 16th of
11 December, which would be the fourth witness that week. Now, in view of
12 the medical report the Chamber receives today, there seems at least to be
13 no medical objections against four days a week apart from other
14 objections. No medical objections for four days a week, and the Chamber
15 is inclined to agree with that schedule which would then be four days in
16 that week.
17 Mr. Jordash.
18 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, I only rise to remind Your Honours of
19 the submission we made concerning the opinion about four days a week and
20 what we submitted was absent from that assessment, which we felt was
21 important, if not essential for that assessment. On the other hand, our
22 objections to the four days was directed at a continuous four-day-a-week
23 programme and if it's only suggested four days a week for one week, we
24 probably wouldn't need to address Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At this moment we are discussing this one
1 week, which leaves alone that, of course, that the Chamber might
2 consider, but then we'll give you a further opportunity to address the
3 Chamber, if we would move to four days a week on a more permanent basis.
4 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I just may remind the Chamber that
7 there are there is at least one unresolved matter with respect to JF-051
8 that needs to be resolved before he is called.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll pay attention to that. Then next item I
10 read out a statement on behalf of the Chamber yesterday in relation to
11 Mr. Kovacevic, more or less between two sentences, Mr. Jordash expressed
12 that he did not, at least the not at that moment, want to make any
13 comments. I don't know whether now, having more time, whether it was
14 just due to the circumstances yesterday or that you had no comments to be
16 MR. JORDASH: No comments, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: No comments. I haven't asked -- I see, Mr. Bakrac
18 that --
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No objections from the Simatovic
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then that matter is -- stands as I
22 stated yesterday.
23 Then we have for Witness JF-057 admission of related exhibits.
24 Madam Registrar has filed a memorandum in which she lists the exhibits by
25 their 65 ter numbers, the proposed exhibit numbers, the description of
1 those exhibits, and in the last column whether they are confidential or
2 not. It ranges from P01629 up to and including P01653. Two out of that
3 range have already been admitted into evidence, that is P1647 and P1649.
4 When will the Chamber hear of any objections, if any?
5 MR. JORDASH: May we indicate by the end of the week. As I
6 recall, I don't think we have any, but I'd like to double-check that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Bakrac, same for you?
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Same for us, Your Honours. I would
9 like to check first but I don't think we'll have any objections.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then the Chamber sets as a time-limit the 3rd of
11 December, that is Friday close of business, for any objections to be
13 Mr. Groome.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, there is one kind of technical matter
15 related to one of these I'd like to bring to your attention. It relates
16 to P1632. It is an exhibit from the Milosevic case and is tendered as an
17 associate exhibit. In this case, the version we uploaded in e-court was
18 signed by the witness and bears the ERN 0291-0458, 0291-0464. An alert
19 member of my staff spotted that it appears that Mr. Nice in the Milosevic
20 case, through some inadvertent oversight used a version of this exhibit
21 that was not the final version. The text is exactly the same and the
22 only difference is that the font on the final ERN version is larger.
23 There is no practical difference between the two exhibits other than in
24 one case, Mr. Nice refers to a specific name, Kajman, and adds the
25 information that the name appears as the third name from the bottom.
1 This can be found at the bottom page T-09420. If the Chamber simply
2 ignores Mr. Nice's reference of the third name from the bottom, the
3 Chamber will have a correct understanding of what the witness said about
4 P1632 in her Milosevic case testimony. Or in the alternative, we can
5 replace the current P1632 with an exact version as found in the JDB
7 JUDGE ORIE: At my age, I would prefer the larger fonts as a
8 matter of fact, but I do understand that it gives a different picture.
9 Could the Defence teams include these comments. If there's any objection
10 against this version with the larger font but with exactly the same
11 content then we'd like to know, otherwise, Mr. Groome, the Chamber will
12 consider to admit the exhibit as it is uploaded now.
13 Thank you for this comment. Next item, the Nielsen report. The
14 Chamber has received a courtesy copy of I don't know whether it's filed
15 already but at least a notice of withdrawal of witness Nielsen.
16 MR. GROOME: That's correct, Your Honour, it was filed yesterday
18 JUDGE ORIE: It was filed yesterday evening. Then I hereby put
19 on the record that all motions in relation to this witness are hereby
20 declared moot. We might specify them in the near future, but I already
21 pronounce them to be moot. The instruction to the Registry in relation
22 to the pre-assignment of exhibit numbers is hereby also lifted because it
23 doesn't serve any purpose anymore. Any questions or comments in relation
24 to this? If not, we move to the next item.
25 Madam Registrar, the Chamber would like you to assign exhibit
1 numbers for any outstanding documents that have not yet been tendered or
2 MFI'd in relation to the testimony of Mr. Theunens. The Prosecution has
3 filed the table and the Defence teams have filed their comments on the
4 content of the table, so it's now time to pre-assign numbers to the
5 documents found in that table which, as I said before, are still
7 Then last item, Mr. Jordash, yesterday you indicated that you
8 needed urgently an order from the Chamber, an order to have the Victims
9 and Witness Section submit audio recordings to Witness JF-026. We
10 received a message from VWS that they were a bit surprised because there
11 had been no request, at least they were not aware of it. Perhaps I'm not
12 going to -- any request to -- prior to.
13 MR. JORDASH: We got a notification from the Prosecution that VWS
14 were not willing to do that. I think I'm speaking correctly.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then it's clarified. Mr. Groome, you informed --
16 MR. GROOME: I informed Mr. Jordash that last week I asked -- we
17 made that request of VWS and they said they were unwilling. They did not
18 think it was appropriate for VWS to hand a witness documents from a
20 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, that the
21 misunderstanding may have been resolved by your observation and the
22 confirmation by Mr. Groome. I leave it to that for the time being. I
23 have no other matters on my list. Then the next witness will testify
24 with pseudonym, face and voice distortion from what I remember.
25 Mr. Groome, is that --
1 MR. GROOME: That conforms with my understanding, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then are all the protective measures in place? If
3 so, may the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, while the witness is being escorted,
5 this witness has expressed in previous testimony some concern about his
6 identity being revealed. I have taken the liberty of including the two
7 cases which this witness has given evidence before on the pseudonym sheet
8 and I would ask if the Court Officer could hand a courtesy copy to the
9 Chamber of the pseudonym sheet at this point. I've already provided it
10 to the Defence. It is my suggestion that if myself and counsel on the
11 Defence refer to the cases as case number 1 and case number 2, we can
12 give full effect to the protections ordered by the Chamber. And finally
13 I would ask that a paper copy be left in front of the witness so it also
14 would serve as a reminder to him which case we are referring to.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the Chamber has received the courtesy copy you
16 have provided to the Registry, so we are aware of the ...
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ORIE: When I earlier referred to the table of the Theunens
19 documents, it was, I mentioned the Prosecution table but both filings of
20 course are received, that is the Stanisic and Simatovic Defence.
21 Good afternoon, Witness JF-026. Before you give evidence, the
22 Rules of Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn
23 declaration of which the text is now handed out to you by the usher. I
24 would like to invite you to make that solemn declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Witness JF-026.
3 Witness JF-026, I call you by that pseudonym because we'll not
4 use your own name in court. Apart from that, your face cannot be seen by
5 the outside world, neither can your own voice be heard by the outside
6 world. Face is distorted and your voice is distorted in our
7 communications with outsiders. Is that clear to you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You will now be examined by Mr. Groome. Mr. Groome
10 is counsel for the Prosecution and you'll find him on your right. Please
11 proceed, Mr. Groome.
12 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: JF-026
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Groome:
16 Q. JF-026, you are here today pursuant to a subpoena issued by this
17 Trial Chamber on the 15th of October, 2010; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You did not come voluntarily here?
20 A. Yes, that's true. I didn't come voluntarily.
21 Q. Now, JF-026, prior to your arrival in The Hague, I was informed
22 by representatives of the Victims Witness Services, that you did not want
23 to meet with myself or any staff member of the Office of the Prosecutor,
24 did they inform me correctly?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. So prior to coming to court today, you did not have any contact
2 with any member of the OTP staff; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, Judge Orie has just described the protective measures that
5 have been provided for you. I would just add one note, that because of
6 voice distortion, I would ask that you do not start your answer until the
7 question is completed so that we may turn off our microphones and that
8 your voice is truly distorted. Do you understand this?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that 65 ter 5869 be brought to our
12 Q. JF-026, you should on the right-hand screen before you see what
13 we refer to as a pseudonym sheet. Can I ask you, is that your name and
14 date of birth on this sheet?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. To give full effect to the protective measures ordered for you,
17 we will not refer to the date or the cases in which you previously
18 testified. Can I ask you to review the date of the statement and the two
19 cases listed on this sheet and indicate to us are those cases in which
20 you previously appeared?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would tender the following exhibit
23 under seal and ask that a paper copy be placed in front of the witness
24 for reference during the examination.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be?
1 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 5869 becomes Exhibit P1654 under seal,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P1654 is admitted under seal. Mr. Groome, you
4 didn't indicate that it should not be shown to the public, of course, in
5 view of the kind of document that goes without saying, but may I ask for
6 precision in respect of exhibits that will still follow.
7 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
8 Q. Now, JF-026, because you refused to meet with me, I'm not sure
9 which topics I may ask you about you may feel might identify you. If at
10 any time you are asked a question which you believe would reveal your
11 identity if you gave a complete and honest answer in open court, I ask
12 that you bring that to the attention of the Chamber. Do you understand?
18 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
5 JUDGE ORIE: I do see that you express concerns about your
6 identity having become public. First of all, when did you write and
7 perhaps I'm also looking at you, Mr. Groome, whether you are aware of any
8 correspondence on this issue?
9 MR. GROOME: I know that this witness had made this situation
10 known to the Office of the Prosecutor. I cannot cite the manner in which
11 that was done or the specific correspondent.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what in response the Office of the
13 Prosecutor did.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, it was my intention to speak with the
15 witness about this. As you know, he has refused to speak with me. I do
16 not know what Victim Witness has done with respect to this problem.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us, witness, when did you write
18 letters in relation to your testimony?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My identity was disclosed on
20 several occasions and my lawyer addressed the OTP on the 24th of
21 September, 2003.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And did you address the matter more recently,
23 well, let's say this year in any correspondence?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I did. After my testimony in
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I direct --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
13 JUDGE ORIE: But the question is whether you brought it to the
14 attention of the Tribunal, which would be the first most appropriate
15 instance to consider such concerns.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know. I have a
17 written document based on which I drew their attention to this. I did
18 this every time orally and in writing through my lawyer. I don't know of
19 any other way to do this.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you point at any specific instance during the
21 last year where you have tried to contact, either directly or through
22 your lawyer, the Tribunal?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before Judge Dilparic at the
24 special court in Belgrade. I don't know exactly who represented the
25 Tribunal there, but my witness is Judge Dilparic who was present during
1 these discussions before the special court in Belgrade.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Did you discuss the matter with the Victims and
3 Witness Section recently?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I sent them a letter the
5 other day, and I asked to have a meeting with them before my testimony
6 here. However, upon hearing that I did not wish to have contacts with
7 the OTP, they said that that would have contacts with me after my
8 testimony and they did not even want to carry or take upon themselves the
9 course of my stay on the 27th here.
10 JUDGE ORIE: When did you send them a letter?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Several days ago. I have a copy
12 here. On the 24th of November.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that was last week, Wednesday. Could you
14 provide a copy of that letter to the Registrar so that we can first of
15 all see in what language it's stated, that it can be copied, and that the
16 parties will have access to that letter.
17 I suggest to the parties that the letter, the letter being in
18 B/C/S, be copied. It's a handwritten copy apparently of a letter.
19 Meanwhile we'll verify whether this letter has been received by VWS and
20 what in response to that has been undertaken. Madam Registrar.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Did you have any meeting with any representative of
23 the Victims and Witness Section recently, Witness JF-026?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they told me that they would
25 be in touch with me after my testimony.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Have you asked to meet with them before your
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had earlier agreed that we would
4 meet yesterday, but then it turned out that they told me that we would
5 meet at the end of my testimony.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Did they give any reason why they did not meet with
7 you yesterday?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't give any reasons.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did you make yourself available yesterday to meet
10 with them?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've been here since the 27th
12 and I've been waiting to hear from them if we would meet or not. The
13 only answer I ultimately got from them was that we would meet at the end
14 of my testimony.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Where would you meet yesterday? At what time and at
16 what place, and you don't have to describe the address, but, for example,
17 in your hotel or in the Tribunal? So find a --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was ready yesterday at 5.00
19 p.m. in my hotel. They were supposed to come and pick me up and take me
20 to the office here, but they postponed it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ask for such a postponement or did they?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was available waiting. They
23 suggested that we should meet afterwards. I don't know if my
24 understanding of what they said was correct, that apparently they were
25 not allowed to talk to me until the end of my testimony or perhaps I
1 misunderstood it, I'm not sure.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will pay further attention to what you
4 just said and we'll verify the information with the Victims and Witness
5 Section. Now, there's one issue, I do understand that you did not make
6 yourself available to meet with Mr. Groome or one of his colleagues. To
7 whom did you tell that you would not be available to meet with the
8 representatives of the Office of the Prosecution?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that letter, I addressed the
10 Victims and Witnesses Section and told them so.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Was any material given to you to review, whether
12 audio material or whatever material, from your earlier testimony?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: When was that done?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday evening or yesterday
16 afternoon at around 5.00 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Was it given to you by someone of the Victims and
18 Witness Section?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So you finally met with them yesterday although
21 briefly. What did they tell you?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if you consider a brief
23 encounter with a driver of the Victims and Witnesses Section who brought
24 the material over to me in the hotel, if you consider that a meeting,
25 that was the extent of it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I did not specifically say meeting. I said you met
2 with them and you have now clarified that you only received some
3 material. We'll verify this information.
4 Now, witness, let's go back to the issue where we are, that is
5 your testimony. I do understand that you are reluctant to give evidence.
6 Do you think that in view of the fact that you say that your identity was
7 revealed earlier, do you want any further protection than you have at
8 this moment?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes and no because my wish is
10 not to testify.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Has anyone explained to you that there's a
12 civil duty, also a duty under the rules of this Tribunal that once called
13 as a witness and you are not just called but even subpoenaed to appear as
14 a witness, that you are under a duty to testify?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I read the order and the
16 representatives of the police from Belgrade who brought the order and
17 served it on me explained it to me.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I -- being aware that you are under a
19 duty to testify and that not answering -- willfully not answering
20 questions exposes you to contempt proceedings, and I again repeat the
21 question whether although you would rather not testify, whether in the
22 present circumstances you want the protective measures to be extended?
23 And what remains is as a possibility, I'm not saying that it will be
24 granted, but what would remain apart from the protective measures already
25 in place would be to give your testimony in closed session.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I must testify, then I
2 would prefer to do so with protective measures.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, protective measures are in place at this
4 moment, as I explained to you earlier. That is that no one sees your
5 face, that no one hears your own voice, and that we are not using your
6 own name, although the content of your testimony, unless that testimony
7 would reveal your identity, would be public. That is what is in place
8 and do I understand your answer that you would like this to be extended
9 to giving your testimony in closed session?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I would rather not testify at
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear, but at this moment we are discussing
13 where you are under a duty to testify whether you want to have your
14 protective measures extended beyond what is already in place.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain a bit in further detail what
17 concerns you have in respect of your safety or safety of your family
18 members, and you referred earlier to your identity having become known
19 after your previous testimony. Could you tell us what happened, what
20 effect it had?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, it's very difficult to
22 explain the situation because it is down to delicate details. It's not
23 that my personal safety is threatened, but it's the sort of Gandhi-esque
24 resistance in that the society, the community where I live refuses to
25 accept, to have in its midst people who testify before this Tribunal.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Can you explain what the community around you has
2 conveyed to you in this respect?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the message that I got after
4 my first appearance before the Tribunal was given to me through the
5 two-year ban on entry to Serbia that followed.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And that ban was lifted when?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was never officially
8 imposed. There was no decision to that effect. I would merely be told
9 to turn back whenever I wanted to cross the border.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And were you able to return to Serbia at a later
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us one example of the harassment you
21 experienced after the second testimony?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The business I run, well, there was
23 a tender for office premises where I would actually win the tender, but
24 then it would be taken over by the town authorities, that's an example of
25 how things would work out.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, that's a matter which is very difficult
2 to verify at this very moment. Do you have any other example which needs
3 less thorough investigations into the matter in order to understand?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, Judge. I tried to
5 explain my position, the position where both in Serbia and
9 all of this.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand you well that it's your position
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 26, I briefly consulted with my colleagues.
19 My first observation is that if you would have met with Mr. Groome, then
20 your concerns would have been brought to the attention of this Chamber in
21 a way most likely which would have facilitated any decision-making in
22 this respect.
23 Second, it seems to this Chamber that although you would prefer
24 to have an extended protective measures, that you do not know exactly how
25 to appropriately raise this matter, you apparently are not sufficiently
1 aware of the criteria that would be applied in reaching any decision on
2 this matter, and, therefore, on the basis of what you've told us now, the
3 Chamber is hesitant at this moment to extend any protective measures.
4 But, we'd also like to, after having consulted with the Defence, with the
5 parties, the Chamber is inclined to give you an opportunity to briefly
6 discuss these matters in an efficient way with the Prosecution, and I'm
7 now looking at the Defence, the examination has not really started, and
8 this might lead to a relevant application, a meaningful application for
9 extension of protective measures, which we could then consider. At the
10 same time, the Chamber would be in a position to seek further information
11 from the Victims and Witness Section on what you told us about your
12 communications with that unit until now.
13 This would allow us to consider the matter in a more meaningful
14 way, and then to decide whether we'll continue with your examination
15 either with extended or with the present protective measures.
16 Mr. Groome, you are on your feet, I presented it in a rather open
17 way in order to give the parties an opportunity as well to briefly
18 comment on what I just said.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have not spoken with this witness, so
20 I don't know exactly why he refused to meet with the Prosecution, but it
21 has been my experience that witnesses similarly situated to this witness,
22 that their problems are only exacerbated if it becomes known that they
23 have actually met with the Office of the Prosecutor. I do know this
24 witness. He is -- was the first witness to come forward and attempt to
25 assist the Tribunal with respect to events in Zvornik. He did that many
1 years ago. I do know generally that he has come under pressure. I
2 wonder if an alternative course of action might be to inquire whether
3 he'd be willing to proceed provisionally in closed session and then give
4 the Chamber an opportunity to be fully informed by Victim Witness Unit to
5 direct them to do a proper threat assessment, to make inquiries with this
6 witness, and then report back to the Chamber, that might have the virtue
7 of allowing us to proceed today and the Chamber could reserve its
8 ultimate decision on the protections until it has all the relevant
9 information before it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could I hear from the Defence how they respond to
11 the suggestion just raised by Mr. Groome.
12 MR. JORDASH: May I just briefly consult, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash.
16 MR. JORDASH: We agree with Mr. Groome. We think the witness has
17 got concerns, as he has expressed them. These things are subtle and if
18 the witness is given an opportunity perhaps with VWS to set out his
19 concerns, they may well turn out to be genuine and objectively based, and
20 we would be concerned to proceed without giving him the protection he
21 asks for until that assessment proves that he doesn't require that
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Petrovic.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we don't have any
1 problem with the protective measures for the witness that he deems
2 necessary. It would be most useful for everybody if this witness shared
3 his concerns with the Victims and Witnesses Unit and not with the OTP. I
4 believe that the best advice for this witness would be provided by that
5 service and not by the OTP. I believe that this would be the best course
6 of action for everybody concerned and not only for the witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. Let me just consult with
8 my colleagues.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness JF-026, I've consulted with my colleagues.
11 The Chamber follows the suggestion given by Mr. Groome, which means that
12 we will hear your evidence in closed session, meaning that the content of
13 your testimony will be confidential, apart from that no one will use your
14 name. At the same time, face and voice distortion will remain in place
15 so that we finally will decide on whether your confidentiality will
16 remain confidential not after you have explained in more detail the
17 reasons for your request for an extension of your protection to the
18 Victims and Witness Section, and the Chamber will take care that any
19 possible misunderstandings about whether or not to meet with them, at
20 what time, where to meet with them, making yourself available is -- are
21 avoided. The Chamber nevertheless during the next break, unless the
22 parties would object to that, then of course we would consider that
23 again, the Chamber would like to verify some of the information the
24 witness has given as to the communication over the last week to say. I
25 see that all teams apparently agree with the Chamber seeking
1 verification. Whether that will be by a telephone call or by inviting
2 the relevant persons of the Victims and Witness Section to meet with the
3 Judges or one of the Judges is still to be decided.
4 We'll proceed, Witness JF-026, therefore, in closed session.
5 Mr. Groome will now start his examination. Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just one additional matter before I
7 continue with my examination. I would note this witness has mentioned
8 two cases --
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, although it doesn't make that much of a
11 difference, we move into closed session at this moment. Mr. Groome,
12 please proceed.
13 [Closed session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in closed session, Your Honours.
21 Your Honour, could I ask that a hard copy of the pseudonym sheet
22 be placed before the witness so that --
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think it was already.
24 Examination by Mr. Groome:
25 MR. GROOME: I don't see it.
1 Q. JF-026, do you have a hard copy of the pseudonym sheet that you
2 saw on the screen earlier? Do you have a sheet like this on the table
3 before you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If I could ask that you keep that on the top so when I refer to
6 cases, I'll do so without mentioning the case. My first question to you
7 is did you give evidence in the case indicated on the pseudonym sheet as
8 case number 1 on the days also indicated on that pseudonym sheet?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review this evidence prior to
11 coming to court today?
12 A. No.
13 Q. I was informed by the Victim Witness unit that you already had in
14 your possession audiotapes from that case and you would take it upon
15 yourself to review that. Is that information incorrect?
16 A. Not correct. The only thing I have is an audiotape from a case
17 number 2 on this sheet. I have that audiotape. I believe that I have it
18 here upstairs in the office, but that's only an audiotape from case
19 number 2.
20 Q. Could I then ask, did there come a time --
21 MR. GROOME: Or could I ask that 65 ter 5865 be placed on the
22 screen before you.
23 Q. Did there come a time when you provided a statement to
24 investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor in 2008?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is the statement 5865 which would he see on the screens before
2 us, is that a copy of this statement?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review this statement prior to
5 giving evidence here today?
6 A. Yes, this is more or less what I stated, summarised in some
7 hundred bullet points.
8 Q. Can you tell us when you last reviewed this statement?
9 A. Yesterday.
10 Q. Are there any corrections or clarifications you wish to make to
12 A. The statement contains everything that I stated, but I would have
13 to look at it more carefully. This is just a summary which contains
14 perhaps 200 sentences, not more. But this is indeed my statement.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, given that it doesn't seem that the
16 witness has properly reviewed the material, I have the binder with me
17 that I had asked he be given. It contains this statement in his own
18 language and it also contains the transcript from the first case in his
19 own language that has because of a recent project now available in B/C/S
20 in hard copy. I would ask that the witness be directed to review this
21 over the course of the break and I appreciate it may take longer than the
22 break, but so that we can proceed with my inquiry with respect to this
23 prior evidence.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I first ask the following question to the
25 witness: You said it was all reduced to approximately 100 paragraphs,
1 your statement, yes. Now --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, I don't know. I said that I
3 had read this statement. This statement contains 114 bullet points and I
4 really don't know what may be unclear about that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: My first question, when you reviewed that, did you
6 find anything, although perhaps it might not reflect every detail of your
7 answers, but did you find anything which you considered to be not
8 correct? Was there at any moment anything you read you said either this
9 is not what I intended to say, or although I said it, it's not true? Was
10 there any such moment when you read that statement?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was reading this statement and
12 being aware why I had been subpoenaed, I can say that this is my
13 statement, but the statement needs additional clarifications. Some
14 people are mentioned here and the years, I'm mentioning people here and
15 the questions were was he member of that or this or that organisation,
16 but nobody ever asked me about any time-frame. This needs to be
17 clarified. Everything that is contained in this statement is true, but
18 the statement needs further clarifications, similar to the clarifications
19 that I provided in the previous cases. Whenever I mention something, I
20 believe that the time-frame is very important.
21 And, Judge, if I may say something else, some people are
22 mentioned and the question was, was he a minister, and I answered yes,
23 but he was not a minister at the time when things happened in 1992. The
24 person, for example, became minister in 1998. And somebody who is not
25 familiar with the entire situation can gain a completely erroneous
1 expression by just reading this statement because the times of the events
2 happening or people being appointed to certain positions are not
3 mentioned in this statement.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Witness JF-026, if you were asked whether
5 someone was a minister, for example, without a time-frame, and if you
6 have answered that that person was, then without any time-frame, the
7 Chamber would, of course, never believe that that person had been a
8 minister from birth until he deceased, so therefore that goes without
9 saying that that needs further clarification. But I do understand that
10 you say there's -- we'll find ways to add to your statement further
11 details which you consider to be relevant for a better understanding of
12 your statement. One second, please.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, Mr. Petrovic, you are both on your
16 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, there are complications here which I
17 think Your Honours are not aware of. Number one --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Are these complications appropriately being dealt
19 with in the presence of the witness?
20 MR. JORDASH: Well, we understand that the witness's difficulties
21 when being asked these questions because of what we know about, one, the
22 way in which this statement was compiled, and, two, we also know from
23 subsequent evidence the witness has given in which he has offered
24 clarifications about this statement compiled by the Prosecution from a
25 suspect interview. So we understand and support the witness in the
1 expression of his difficulties and we think perhaps Your Honours should
2 be made aware of the way in which this statement came into being, and
3 also the way in which the witness clarified this statement and whether,
4 therefore, once Your Honours have that information, whether in fact we
5 ought to be addressing Your Honours about whether Rule 92 ter and
6 admission through that rule is in fact appropriate in these
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, I
10 would like to address the Trial Chamber briefly. The facts presented by
11 the witness with regard to his testimony in case 1 and the written
12 statement that he provided, it seems to me that his statement points
13 clearly to the fact that this witness cannot be heard as a 92 ter witness
14 based on previous statements, old statements, and corrections that the
15 witness may have done or may have not done. Maybe he did not have any
16 technical possibilities to do them, maybe he didn't have the time to make
18 The OTP should hear the witness as a viva voce witness because
19 this is the only way we can proceed under the circumstances that have
20 been presented to us here today.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I may.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, would you please respond to what the
24 Defence teams have raised.
25 MR. GROOME: I think there's one misstatement of fact that needs
1 to be corrected. The statement is actually done after the testimony in
3 rather than deal with the different precursors to the written evidence
4 submitted in that case, directed the Prosecution to come up with a
5 composite of the witnesses's evidence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You wish to refer to the first case.
7 MR. GROOME: I am sorry. I am sorry. A large part of what's in
8 the statement is taken from the first case which was done viva voce and
9 which the witness just has not had an opportunity to review. So I don't
10 accept that 92 ter is impossible. I think because of the situation that
11 we find ourselves in, JF-026 has not had the opportunity to review that
13 I have the binder of not only the viva voce testimony from the
14 first case, in that binder I have all of the associated exhibits in the
15 original and the language the witness can understand, plus I have his
16 statement in his own language. My suggestion would be that the witness
17 be asked over the course of the break to review this material or get as
18 far as he can, and to make notes in the margin of where he believes
19 clarifications are necessary and then upon returning we would go through
20 those clarifications one by one until we finish the 92 ter process.
21 If we were to proceed viva voce, it would essentially be me
22 reading the questions that I asked this witness many years ago, that I'm
23 now seeking to tender 92 ter to avoid that unnecessary use of time.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let me first ask a question to the witness. Witness
25 26, when you testified in the first case, did you tell the truth to the
1 best of your recollection on any matter that you were asked about?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, you have to understand that
3 I had been very close to all the events. I was on location. I'm
4 mentioned people who are now prosecutors in Bosnia-Herzegovina and we
5 were all afraid at the time and we all --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. I had a rather simple
7 question, whether or not you did tell the truth when you testified in the
8 first case to the best of your recollection?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's impossible to answer with just
10 yes or no. I'm telling you that we all wanted to grovel up to the OTP,
11 we mentioned names, we dropped names in order to save ourselves. We had
12 been very close to the events in our local midst; that's a notorious
13 fact. Second of all, at the moment when Hague issued all of the
14 indictments, we didn't know what would happen and we were all under
15 pressure, we all felt blackmailed when all the indictments were issued,
16 the situation changed, the tables turned. It may sound a bit silly now,
17 but that's how things were. And if you want me to testify in these
18 proceedings, I would like to answer questions about certain individuals.
19 I gave my solemn declaration to speak the truth and I would like to do
20 that. I met with the OTP some 20 times in all sorts of ways. I don't
21 want this to be mentioned in these proceedings and that's why I wrote in
22 my letter that I didn't want to meet with the gentleman from the Office
23 of the Prosecutor before this trial. And finally, I would like to be a
24 witness of the Court. I was subpoenaed to be a witness of the Court and
25 I don't want to be a witness of the Prosecution.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, even if you are called by the Prosecution or
2 called by the Defence, witnesses have only one duty, to tell to the Court
3 what the truth is, so to that extent although the selection of a witness
4 may differ from one party it to another, but once you are in this
5 courtroom, you are a witness - although called by one of the parties - a
6 witness of the truth, and it's the truth the Chamber is seeking.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will proceed as follows: Mr. Jordash,
9 we'll hear, but not immediately, any submissions you would like to make
10 in relation to the statement given by the witness in 2008. You'll have
11 an opportunity to do that.
12 Meanwhile, Witness JF-026, you will have a break already now.
13 You are invited to read again to the extent possible and tell us after
14 the break the statement, the 114 bullet points, as you said, and after
15 the break to tell us not the portions that may need clarification at this
16 moment, but first of all to tell us where in this 114 bullet points you
17 find something which you consider to be wrong, not to be in accordance
18 with the truth. So either that you didn't say it, or not said a similar
19 thing, or that although you may have said it, that it's nevertheless not
21 You are invited to do that over the next -- a little bit over
22 half an hour. Meanwhile, the Chamber will hear further submissions from
23 the parties. Is that clear, witness? Do you have something to write?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you are invited to follow the usher and
1 to do what I asked you to do. I add to this that it would have saved a
2 lot of time if this all would have been done already before you appeared
3 in court because it takes now an enormous amount of time, but that's the
4 situation we are in. We would have appreciated this to have been done
5 before you came to the courtroom. Could you please follow the usher.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, I'm also looking at the clock.
8 MR. JORDASH: That's what I was going to raise, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, at the same time, if you want the Chamber to
10 proceed after the break, if there's one or two minutes which you could
11 explain what apparently your concerns are, I'm also looking at
12 Mr. Stanisic, we also could have a break in a couple of minutes, because
13 it then allows us to further think about the present situation.
14 MR. JORDASH: In a nutshell, I think the problem is this: That
15 this witness has provided evidence on a number of occasions in a number
16 of ways. Off the top of my head, it's probably in excess of six or seven
17 different modes of providing detailed evidence. It's taken me several
18 days just to get through it all and to annotate and work out what the
19 witness has said on different occasions, there are many differences. And
20 so we are concerned that the way we are proceeding, trying to admit the
21 evidence pursuant to 92 ter is -- is artificial because even the request
22 for the witness to sit down and look at this statement in our submission
23 makes -- and offer up what he now says is inaccurate or in need of
24 clarification is a somewhat artificial exercise because he couldn't
25 possibly in our submission, do it in the next half an hour, hour, or even
1 probably in a day.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's also the reason why I phrased my
3 instruction to the witness not to tell us what needed further
4 clarification, but just what is wrong, either I didn't say it or didn't
5 say a similar thing, as I said, or it's wrong although I may have said
6 it. Which excludes for the time being, and I'm not yet at the point of
7 finally deciding on admission of this statement, but at least focuses
8 first of all on clear elements in his statement which are not in
9 accordance with the truth, if you need further clarifications, they are
10 not untruthful but they are not fully understandable or that they are --
11 so let's take it step by step. And I do see the issue you raise, but you
12 said the way in which the statement was produced, you would like to
13 address that.
14 MR. JORDASH: Well, it's a bit unclear from what I've read
15 exactly how the statement was produced, but what it does appear to me is
16 that it was produced from both the evidence in trial 1 and also his --
17 the witness 's suspect interview, and it's, in our submission, a pretty
18 selective collation, it has things which I would -- was surprised had
19 been missed out personally. And so to ask the witness to be looking at
20 the statement and to -- this creates the added difficulty that it was
21 created by someone else and put before him. The witness has just
22 clarified the pressure he felt under to give the Prosecution something
23 useful and so again it -- we are one step in our submission, further away
24 from 92 ter and again putting the witness, in our submission, under
25 pressure which will only in our submission lead to further inaccuracies
1 and thirdly, can I very briefly say.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. JORDASH: Given what the witness has said, we may well be
4 heading in a situation where Your Honours may feel you have to warn the
5 witness about self-incrimination and that is an added difficulty. Those
6 are just my initial thoughts, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic, anything to add.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, only one point, I
9 support everything my colleague Mr. Jordash has said. Now, a statement
10 which covers several years, dozens of people and events cannot be checked
11 in terms of the witness pointing to what was true and what was not true
12 from amongst the things he said. So I join my learned friend
13 Mr. Jordash.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, so the record is accurate about the
16 witness's opportunity to read the statement, it's not that he would be
17 just looking at it for the first time. When the witness indicated
18 through VWS that he would decline to meet anyone from the OTP, I had
19 prepared a binder of his prior evidence and asked VWS to hand it to him.
20 When they said that they would not, I asked would they inquire of the
21 witness whether he would receive a binder of his prior evidence so that
22 he could read it in advance of his appearing here today. On the 28th, I
23 received the following e-mail from VWS:
24 "For your information when our staff informed the witness that
25 statements would be handed out to him tomorrow, Monday, he informed us
1 that it is not necessary to meet Rita Pradan as he already has the
2 statement from his testimony, both in hard copy and on the CD, he has
3 been listening to his testimony prior to the arrival in the Hague. He
4 also has a laptop with him and will continue to listen to it before
5 appearing at court."
6 So I took from that that he was actively engaged in not only
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you the Chamber will consider how to proceed.
10 We'll take a break first, I apologise for having such a long first
11 session. We resume at 20 minutes past 4.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 3.51 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.24 p.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that the parties have had an
16 opportunity to familiarise themselves with the letter the witness has
17 sent by fax to the Victims and Witness Section.
18 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
19 Questioned by the Court on Protective Measures:
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness JF-026, we verified with the Victims and
21 Witness Section during the break the communications of the last week.
22 First of all, I was informed that the Victims and Witness Section had
23 responded to your letter, that the fax connections were unstable at the
24 time and that for that reason in a telephone conversation they read their
25 answer to you and that they agreed that they would send that telefax the
1 next day when you were close to your fax machine; is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that your observation that you never
4 received an answer is not very accurate. In that response, it will be
5 made available to the parties at a later stage -- well, as you may have
6 noticed, the first and the second issues are of a rather practical
7 nature. The third one, the last one, I just summarised the response.
8 The response is that this Tribunal's mandate does not make it competent
9 to either facilitate nor that the Tribunal has no power, and also that
10 it's not within its competence to facilitate issuing any EU citizenship
11 or that of the United States of America, for any witness or their family
12 members. And the last line is:
13 "Should you have any security concerns, the VWS protection unit
14 will be available to discuss them with you when you arrive. Please
15 inform" and then the name of the officer present upon arrival is
16 mentioned. "Please inform" that person "if you would like to meet with a
17 protection officer."
18 I was informed that upon arrival you informed the relevant
19 officer of the Victims and Witness Section that you wished to see a
20 protection officer; is that correct?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: They then informed me that they tried to make -- to
23 arrange for a meeting with you on Monday but that you were not available
24 because you were shopping with your family and that therefore no meeting
25 could be arranged on that day; is that correct?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what, in your view, then happened?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had agreed that I would be
4 waiting for them yesterday at 5.00 p.m. and that we would discuss the
5 issue of the -- with the protection officer, but they informed me that it
6 would be postponed for the end of my testimony.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That's about yesterday. I'm talking about the day
8 before yesterday, Monday. Did you make yourself available on Monday to
9 meet with a protection officer or were you busy shopping?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was available on Monday.
11 However, they told me that I would meet with them on Tuesday at 5.00
12 p.m., but it's not true that on Monday I wasn't available.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'll continue. So therefore there's a divergence in
14 the story. I was then informed that they contacted you on Tuesday where
15 you were called on your mobile phone and you apparently were in town and
16 that you asked to meet between 3.00 and 4.00; is that accurate
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
19 JUDGE ORIE: They then, as I was told, they then brought to your
20 attention that a meeting between 3.00 and 4.00 would create a logistical
21 problem and whether you agreed to meet after your testimony and that you
22 then consented to that proposal?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I also do understand that you did not insist at that
25 moment to say, no, I really need to see you before my testimony, but that
1 you did not express any further security concerns at that moment apart
2 from the reference in the letter just saying that your identity was
3 published in 2003, that you did not express any additional security
4 concerns at that moment?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I further asked whether since your testimony in the
7 second case you ever, either you yourself or your lawyer, contacted VWS
8 in relation to any security concerns. The answer was that you had not.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know who the
10 individual was from their section whom I talked to, but I think that
11 during my discussions before the special court in Belgrade with
12 Judge Dilparic that I referred to earlier on, there was somebody who
13 appeared to be taking notes as well. But I don't know what his actual
14 position was, what his function was.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We will verify whether anyone of the Tribunal was
16 present during those conversations. But at least after that you did not
17 contact, although there have been frequent contact about all kind of
18 travel arrangements. The answer by VWS to your letter starts:
19 "Firstly, we wish to apologise for the frequent phone calls you
20 have received over the last few weeks." So there has been frequent
21 contact. Can you confirm that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There have been frequent contact
23 but they had to do with the date on which I was supposed to appear.
24 Initially, it was the 22nd then the 27th then the 29th so it only had to
25 do with the date of my appearance.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You did not raise any security concerns or you
2 didn't ask for any further contacts in relation to security concerns at
3 that moment, did you?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't because I realized it was
5 futile and I would not be getting in touch with them for any reason.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has gained an impression of the
7 communications between the witness and the Tribunal and does not consider
8 the cause of these events such that we should not at this moment hear the
9 testimony of the witness.
10 Mr. Groome, there have been a few matters, we'll first ask the
11 witness whether he can point at any portions of his statement which he
12 considers to be not in accordance with the truth. That's another matter
13 of whether they are complete or not. The Chamber will defer its decision
14 on admission of any 92 ter statements at this moment, we'll first --
15 we'll first hear the answer of the witness.
16 Witness JF-026, could you tell us when reading the 114 paragraphs
17 or the portion that you were able to read, are there any portions which
18 you could point at as saying that they are not true?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are some points which do not
20 reflect my evidence since an audio recording was made at the time and a
21 written summarised version of it, I signed it as it was at the time. My
22 lawyer Tomic was present, and well, I signed it simply because we had
23 very little time before my flight. And if I look at point 90 here, the
24 Orthodox bishop is referred to here as an archbishop, so that's just one
1 And --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you tell us one by one. We have
3 pointed that you say 90, the bishop is an archbishop. That is, let me
4 see, I have some difficulties in finding any -- even a bishop in number
5 90. Do you have it in front of you? Could you tell us what line? I
6 can't find the bishop in paragraph 90, could you assist us, Witness
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My mistake, 102. I apologise.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you would say the Zvornik-Tuzla bishop,
10 Kacavenda, is an archbishop. That is -- could we take it any further
11 comments on matters which are not true. By the way an archbishop is
12 still a bishop, so to that extent it's not untrue but that's a
13 clarification. I'm not seeking at this moment, this kind of
14 clarification, but I'm primarily looking at portions of your statement
15 where you say this is wrong. Any other portions?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Point 32, paragraph 32.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we are with you, 32. What is wrong?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that where security
19 services mentioned it should state either civilian or military.
20 Evidently at the time the Prosecutor knew the point he was driving and I
21 didn't know what I was talking about.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Security service. Let me see, I find a reference to
23 state security in the third line, then I see another reference to the
24 Serbian state security in the sixth line, but let me see --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judges, I'm sorry, there is no
1 mention of the Serbian state.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if there's a translation issue, then I need to
4 have a look at the original as well. Is there any translation issue
5 there, Mr. Petrovic?
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] There is, Your Honour. In the
7 signed version which is a Serbian version it reads "security service"
8 which is a general term, quite indefinite. Whereas in paragraph 32 in
9 translation it is written "Serbian state security."
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, that word appears twice, is in both cases is it
11 your position that a reference is made to security services, that it
12 means both on the second to third line and also in the sixth line? Is
13 both instances a general reference to security services as far as you are
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's what it reads,
16 from the Serbian state security.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Or rather, interpreter's correction: It says
18 Serbian security service.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Which is different from the
20 Serbian state security as it reads in your translation. And in my
21 understanding --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That apparently is a matter which needs
23 further attention as far as translation is concerned.
24 Witness JF-026, any other instance where --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 37.
1 JUDGE ORIE: 37, yes. Tell us what is not right.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here I'm explaining my acquaintance
3 with Rade Kostic. This is something that I explained and you can hear it
4 in the audiotape, that Rade Kostic was from Zvornik and I knew him at the
5 time when he was -- I knew him from the time when he lived in Darda in
6 Croatia, but that I knew that later on he became an employee of the state
7 security service, that's not true because I never was in touch with him
8 while he was in that capacity. I was never in his office.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is a part of
12 what the witness just said that has not been interpreted. Can he please
13 answer the question again so that I do not suggest what he said.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could you guide us in relation to what Mr. --
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Well, line 24, after he said that
16 he lived in Darda, he also said who he was a member of.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Kostic told me that he was a
18 high functionary of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of the
19 Serbian Krajina at the time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is on the record as well. It might be
21 that this is a matter which could be verified also on the basis of
22 documentary evidence, but we may have two issues, first translation,
23 second content.
24 You said you listened to the audio, and have you explained it
25 properly in the audio?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That wasn't important in those
2 proceedings. Nobody ever asked me anything about that. I'm talking
3 about the audiotape that was made when the summary of this text was done.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear to me. We have had no access to that
5 audio, but I take it that Mr. Groome, you could help us if there's any
6 need to further listen to that audio.
7 Could you tell us what else you noted as being incorrect?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bullet point 44, paragraph 44.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please explain.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is where I speak why Marko
11 Pavlovic came to Zvornik, what I wanted to say here is that I had met
12 Pavlovic in Darda in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, where he was the TO
13 commander for the town of Darda.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You said you knew Mr. Pavlovic because you had
15 met --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That you had met him in Darda where he was the --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Baranja, yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Nothing here says you met him in any other way, but
20 this apparently then adds to how you got acquainted with Mr. Pavlovic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Also bullet point 90. Nine zero.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please tell us.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here that I took cigarettes
24 to the MUP members -- members ever the MUP of Republika Srpska in
25 Bratunac. No, I apologise, everything is fine here. No.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Next item where you say things are not in accordance
2 with the truth or reality.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this basically is all that I
5 JUDGE ORIE: So apart from the fact that you think that some of
6 the -- that part of the statement you made needs perhaps further
7 clarification, these are the clear inaccuracies which you identified.
8 Now, did I understand you well that you had an opportunity to read this
9 before you came to court and that you had an opportunity to, although
10 briefly, read it over the half-hour break as well?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Now, as far as the audios are concerned, I do
13 understand that you received yesterday an audio of the -- of your
14 testimony in the second case. Were you able to listen to that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'll not further deal with it in much detail, but
17 did you find clear inaccuracies in that audio of your second -- of your
18 testimony in the second case?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I was informed, but please correct me when it's
21 not true, that you were offered at an earlier stage to listen to the
22 audio of the testimony in the first case, but when this was offered to
23 you that you had told the person offering it to you, which was someone of
24 VWS, that you were already in the possession of that first audio and that
25 you had listened to it already. Is that correct?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. But I thought that that
2 concerned the audio recording of this summary. I didn't realise that we
3 are talking about the audiotape from the first trial. It is, however,
4 correct that I was offered to listen to some other audiotapes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you are talking about the audio of the --
6 of this summary, are you talking about the audio of an interview, the
7 interview which resulted in your 2008 statement, is that what you are
8 referring to, or is there any other audio?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me tell you, there are a
10 few, but I meant the year 2008 when a summary was finally made of all of
11 my statements.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And when you gave that, in 2008, statement,
13 was that audio recorded, that interview?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, if there would be any challenge to
16 whether the witness would have said as is found in his written statement,
17 would that audio recording, is that available?
18 MR. GROOME: It is, Your Honour. Just so the record is correct,
19 it's a video, so it has video plus audio recording. Your Honour, I think
20 it's also important to note throughout that interview the witness's
21 lawyer sat at his side and advised him.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Was that the litigated video, was that the one?
23 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, that's then clear which gives the
25 opportunity to verify whether this statement as we find it on paper is
1 accurately reflects what was said during that interview.
2 Under the present circumstances also in view of the answers given
3 by the witness, the Chamber allows Mr. Groome to proceed. The Chamber
4 does not yet decide on admission of the statement or any of the
5 transcripts. The Chamber reserves its position as far as whether at any
6 moment the Chamber would prefer to hear the evidence more in a viva voce
7 way rather than by referring to a statement or transcript, but at the
8 same time allows you, Mr. Groome, to proceed on the basis of an
9 assumption that 92 ter might appropriately be applied here.
10 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. JF-026, you have just in an answering Judge Orie's questions
12 described a number of corrections that you wish to make to your statement
13 from 2008 and to your testimony in the second case. Now that you have
14 taken the solemn declaration, do you affirm the accuracy and truthfulness
15 of your prior evidence if it's taken in conjunction with your corrections
16 which you've just stated on the record?
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: If there is any objection to this question, you
19 would have to limit yourself ...
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask
21 you to allow me to say two sentences. This all sounds very artificial --
22 please allow me to say two sentences.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, I'm here in charge, would you please
24 keep that in mind. Do you speak any English, witness?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you take your earphones off until I -- yes.
2 Mr. Petrovic, I wanted to instruct the witness to take his earphones off.
3 Under those circumstances, you should patiently wait until I have
4 finished what I wanted to say, and then I would have decided on your
5 application to give two sentences. You may address the Court.
6 MR. PETROVIC: Sorry, Your Honour, I just wanted to say, to ask
7 the Trial Chamber to look at the portion of his testimony today, pages
8 30. Over there he expressed his view that his previous statements were
9 given under specific circumstances which influenced truthfulness of those
10 statements. So I'm not sure we can proceed having that in mind on this
11 basis. And I'm sorry, Your Honour, for --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, that is exactly what we considered
13 when we said that the Chamber will not yet decide on admission of the
14 92 ter statement and something you have not heard often from my mouth is
15 that the Chamber would consider it's possible that at any stage we would
16 rather have the evidence be elicited as viva voce. So that's exactly --
17 these are the kind of reasons which we had on our mind when we decided to
18 take this course.
19 This having been considered by the Chamber, we will invite the
20 witness to put his earphones on again, and Mr. Groome may proceed.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Groome.
23 Examination by Mr. Groome:
24 Q. JF-026, you did not have a chance to answer the question. So
25 that there's no confusion, now that you've taken the solemn declaration
1 do you affirm the truthfulness and accuracy of the statement you gave in
2 2008 and your testimony in the second case if it's taken in conjunction
3 with the corrections you've just identified for Judge Orie?
4 A. I believe that those circumstances were different then and I must
5 admit that we played tactical games at the time. All of us did, and you
6 can understand this any way you want.
7 Q. I'm asking you to confine yourself to the very specific questions
8 that Judge Orie asked you with respect to your 2008 statement. Is there
9 anything in that statement, apart from what you've already told us, which
10 is not the truth?
11 MR. JORDASH: Sorry to leap to my feet, but I feel compelled to
12 object to the continued questions. I think in our submission --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to -- let's try to cut those matters
15 Witness JF-026, I asked you whether you had reviewed your 2008
16 statement, whether you went through it again and what was not in
17 accordance with the truth. You gave us a few -- you gave us a few
18 comments on the content. You took us through the various paragraphs.
19 Now, apart from whether your answers were always complete, are there any
20 other matters in that statement where, reading it again, you say it's not
21 true what is stated there, either because you didn't say it or because
22 what you said is not in accordance with the truth. Are there any other
23 such matters?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, most of the things contained
25 in here are the things that I did say. However, I still believe that
1 this summary can provide a completely different picture to what I
2 actually said. Having said that, I did say what I said.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And did you lie or did you speak the truth when
4 you -- I'm not asking you whether you said everything, but whether you
5 specifically did not tell the truth?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you can call it the truth or
7 not. I told you that all of us who were close to the events played
8 tactical games in order to put ourselves in the OTP's good books.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then tell us where you played a tactical game which
10 makes your statement untruthful apart from the portions you addressed
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the -- that would apply to
13 the entire statement.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You would say it's all untruthful, the whole
15 statement is untruthful?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. 90 per cent of it is truthful
17 and adjusted to what the OTP wanted to hear.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us one example where you told us you
19 told anything where you thought that the OTP wanted to hear something
20 which differs from what is the truth?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The example was the second
22 statement where I mention Mr. Zoran Subotic. He was the deputy minister
23 in Milosevic's government and he was also a very close collaborator of
24 Seselj and when I said that Zoran Subotic had been mobilised by the
25 JNA --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Second statement, are you talking about the one that
2 had the 114 paragraphs, the bullet points, this one, which you reviewed
3 during the break?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know where that is
5 mentioned. I don't know the number, and that gentleman is mentioned
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's actually bullet point 65.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look at it. It reads:
10 "Zoran Subotic was replaced by Zoran Pazin as commander of the TO
11 who was soon arrested and replaced by Marko Pavlovic."
12 Now, tell us what game you played here and why it is not true
13 because you gave an answer which the OTP wanted to hear and which is not
14 in accordance with the truth? Let's take it one by one; was
15 Zoran Subotic replaced by Zoran Pazin as commander of the TO?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is correct, however, in
17 the statement --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Was Zoran Pazin soon arrested and then replaced by
19 Marko Pavlovic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So that statement is fully correct, if I understand
22 you well. If we are talking about your testimony, we'll deal with
23 that --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, bullet point 65.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You have drawn our attention to it. In view
1 of the -- in view of the testimonies, we'll discuss that at later stage.
2 We, at this moment, focus on your statement. Any other matter in your
3 statement at this moment where you can point at an answer which is not
4 truthful and explained by you as a result of playing games?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember. I don't know,
6 there's nothing.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that you reviewed this statement
8 before you came to court and that you spent another half an hour on it
9 during the last break; is that correctly understood?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, you may proceed.
12 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that P1623 in evidence be brought up to
13 the screens.
14 Q. JF-026, I am going to ask that you be shown a photograph in which
15 one person in the photograph is circled. I would like you to focus on
16 the person who is circled and tell us if you recognise that person. If
17 it assists you in determining whether you recognise this person, I can
18 show you a short video-clip in which this person is walking. The photo
19 on the screen before you is a still photo made from that video. Do you
20 recognise the person who is circled?
21 A. This is not a very good photo, is it? I really don't recognise
22 the person.
23 MR. GROOME: I am going to ask that 65 ter 596 --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Groome.
25 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask that 65 ter 596.3 be played for the
2 Q. I will play the video for which this still photograph is taken
3 and you will see the person enter the room. See if this assists you in
4 whether you recognise the person.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. We can see the person enter the room now. Do you recognise that
9 A. I'm not sure but I believe that that was Arkan's Major Peja.
10 Q. So the record is clear, when you are identifying someone as
11 Arkan's Major Peja, is that the person who was circled in the photograph?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you see this person in Zvornik?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell us when the first time you saw this person in
16 Zvornik was?
17 A. As a matter of fact, I saw him in Bijeljina even before that.
18 I'm not sure about the date. I believe that it was either on the 5th or
19 6th of April, 1992.
20 Q. Can you describe what circumstances you saw this person in
21 Bijeljina on that approximate date?
22 A. Well, that was a day after an armed conflict broke out in
23 Bijeljina, the JNA barracks came under attack and that developed into a
24 fully-blown conflict. They asked for help. I was sent to Bijeljina
25 where Arkan's Unit was and my task was to bring them over to Zvornik and
1 to billet them there to help us because we requested assistance.
2 Q. You've just testified that you were sent to Bijeljina. Who sent
3 you to Bijeljina?
4 A. Well, we called that the department of the ministry for looking
5 after non-Serbs and Mr. Bogdanovic was in charge. I was referred to
6 Mr. Kostic, I called him and he told me to go to Bijeljina to find a man
7 whose name was Arkan.
8 Q. What is the first name of the person you've just referred to as
9 Mr. Kostic?
10 A. Radoslav or Rade Kostic.
11 Q. With as much precision as you are able, what did Rade Kostic tell
12 you when he sent you to Bijeljina?
13 A. Well, it was a long time ago so I can only tell you that that was
14 more or less what he told me. That Arkan's Unit was in Bijeljina, that I
15 should report to them, to tell them that we had a problem in Zvornik, and
16 that they should go from Bijeljina to Zvornik.
17 Q. At the time that you were instructed to go to Bijeljina, do you
18 know if the decision had already been made to send Arkan to Zvornik?
19 A. I don't know whether such a decision had been made. That was the
20 first time I ever heard of Arkan. Actually, I had bought a newspaper at
21 the news stand, the Sarajevo Oslobodjenje and the front page depicted a
22 photo from Bijeljina. There was a dead body on the street, somebody was
23 kicking that dead body and the title was "War in Bijeljina, Arkan
24 plunders and murders." That was the title on the front page of that
1 Q. A few minutes ago on page 53 at line 18 you said the following:
2 "My task was to bring them over to Zvornik and to billet them
4 At the time you were sent up to Bijeljina, was it your
5 understanding that you were to make arrangements for their billeting in
7 A. Well, you see, let me tell you this: My task was to seek
8 assistance. We couldn't billet them in Zvornik because Zvornik had been
9 occupied by Muslims. All of us Serbs had been expelled by Zvornik; we
10 could not even come close to the city and that's why we billeted them in
11 a hotel across the river from Zvornik and the name of the hotel is
12 Radaljska Banja.
13 Q. In your prior evidence in your statement of 2008, you describe
14 two visits of Biljana Plavsic to Zvornik, the first one before the
15 outbreak of conflict and the second one after. Can I ask you to assist
16 us with the chronology of when you went to Bijeljina, was it before or
17 after Ms. Plavsic's first visit to Zvornik?
18 A. My departure to Bijeljina has nothing to do with
19 Biljana Plavsic's visit to Zvornik. I went to Bijeljina in order to seek
20 assistance from Arkan and his volunteers. I wanted them to come to
21 Zvornik. Biljana Plavsic visited Zvornik for the first time before the
22 fighting broke out. It could have been either the 7th or the 8th of
23 April, 1992. I do know that when I left to Bijeljina to see Arkan,
24 Fikret Abdic had been to Bijeljina and that's what they told us back in
25 the staff.
1 Q. Can you describe for us which members of Arkan's organisation you
2 spoke with in Bijeljina about coming to Zvornik?
3 A. I went to the community centre in Bijeljina. There were quite a
4 few people there from Bijeljina whom I know and quite a few of those who
5 I didn't know who wore uniforms. At one point a man entered the room,
6 everybody sprang to their feet. Somebody said it was Arkan. I
7 approached him, introduced myself to him, described to him what the
8 problem was that we had in Zvornik, and then he instructed the men we saw
9 on the photograph, Pejic, to take some 20 men and to follow me to
11 Q. And was Major Peja present at that time?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Who did you believe Arkan worked for at that time?
14 A. I think that more than anything else he worked for his own
15 benefit. But I also know that he arrived in Zvornik at the time with a
16 licence plate of the federal SUP because normally you could tell by the
17 first number of the licence plate to whom -- who it belonged to. I saw
18 that his licence plate had "9" as the first number which denoted that it
19 was from the federal level. So he came to Zvornik in the official car of
20 the federal SUP.
21 Q. Were there any other letters or numbers from that licence plate
22 that you recall?
23 A. I think that in one of the statements I even stated the number,
24 but I can't recall it now.
25 Q. In your prior evidence you describe volunteers arriving from
1 Serbia. Do you recall giving that evidence?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How did they arrive in Zvornik?
4 A. Among other things there were several calls from our Crisis Staff
5 in Zvornik and from various political parties which dispatched their
6 volunteers as well as from some groups that were arriving. For the most
7 part these were volunteers which had had some combat experience at the
8 front line in Croatia.
9 Q. How did they arrive in Zvornik? Did they take their own
10 transportation, was transportation provided for them? What was the means
11 on which they came?
12 A. There were various means of transportation, some came with their
13 own vehicles, others with organised transport, for others it would be the
14 Crisis Staff that would organise. If there was a group of volunteer
15 appearing at the Crisis Staff, we would arrange transportation for them.
16 There were also instances where political parties would get involved as
17 well if they supported this sort of activity.
18 Q. Did some of these people arrive with their own weapons?
19 A. I believe that some did, yes, because they had already been to
20 the front line in Croatia.
21 Q. For those in the courtroom who may not be familiar with the
22 geography of Zvornik, is it true that the river Drina flows along the
23 border between Bosnia and Serbia through Zvornik, and the Bosnian portion
24 of Zvornik is on the west bank and Mali Zvornik, which lies in Serbia, is
25 on the east bank? Is that correct?
1 A. Yes. The Drina is a administrative border between Serbia and
2 Bosnia throughout the territory of the Zvornik municipality. We are now
3 discussing a period of time when Bosnia had not yet been recognised. In
4 our mind this was one state, one territory because the JNA was still
5 present in Zvornik in the time-period we are discussing.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could I stop you there. I think Mr. Groome wanted
7 to know whether the Drina separated the Mali Zvornik from the Bosnian
8 Zvornik and I think you have answered that question by your first yes and
9 by the following sentence. Mr. Groome, please proceed. Could you please
10 focus your answers very much on what is asked.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. In your prior evidence, you describe the relationship
13 Marko Pavlovic had with the Serbian state security service. Can I ask
14 you to describe that for us today?
15 A. I described how I came to meet him. We were at the ministry for
16 the Serbs outside of Serbia. We saw that the war was in the offing and
17 based on some historical experience, we asked for them to procure weapons
18 for us. They told us that we should report to Darda at Kostic's. That
19 was when I met Marko Pavlovic. I know that his name at the time was
20 Branko Popovic. He was the TO commander for the town of Darda. Since at
21 that point the hostilities had come to a stop in the Republic of Croatia,
22 he moved to Zvornik where he assisted us in the arming effort because he
23 had very good connections in the JNA. It's common knowledge that the
24 Tuzla Corps headed by General Sabo Jankovic, its commander, was aware of
25 his stay in Zvornik.
1 Q. Can I ask a few different questions. You've identified this
2 person as having two names, do you know which was his rightful name and
3 if you do, tell us which one it was?
4 A. I know his real name is Branko Popovic.
5 Q. When did he begin using the name Marko Pavlovic?
6 A. Well, the first time I heard him use the name was when the
7 conflict in Zvornik broke out, when he was introduced to us as
8 Major Marko Pavlovic.
9 Q. Do you know why he began to use an alias when he took up duties
10 in Zvornik?
11 A. Well, he used a false name and a false rank probably to protect
12 his identity in order for it not to be revealed. To my knowledge, he was
13 not a major.
14 Q. Did there come a time when he was arrested?
15 A. At some point, perhaps in June of 1992, he and a group of
16 volunteers were arrested in Zvornik. This came as a great surprise to us
17 because he was a person of great authority in that community.
18 Q. Who arrested him?
19 A. He was arrested by the police of the Republika Srpska. As far as
20 I know, he spent several days in the prison in Bijeljina.
21 Q. Was he released after spending several days in the prison in
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Zuca?
25 A. Yes, he led a group of volunteers in Zvornik.
1 Q. What was the name of the group of volunteers, if you know?
2 A. Yellow Wasps.
3 Q. Do you know Zuca's full name?
4 A. Vojin Vuckovic.
5 Q. Was he also arrested?
6 A. Yes. He was arrested together with the group including
7 Marko Popovic.
8 Q. He was arrested at the same time as Marko Pavlovic; is that
10 A. Yes, we are talking about the same person, Branko Popovic,
11 Marko Pavlovic.
12 Q. Was he also released after two to three days?
13 A. As far as I know they were all released.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I see that we are nearing the break.
15 Could I ask that the witness be escorted out, there is a brief matter I'd
16 like to discuss with the Chamber before I continue with my examination.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll take a break but you'll first be escorted
18 out of the the courtroom. We'd like to see you back in half an hour,
19 Witness JF-026.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I recognise that we are in an unusual
23 predicament at the moment. If -- how I continue with my examination
24 would depend upon the Chamber's decision on the 92 ter, I only have a few
25 more questions if the evidence is accepted in 92 ter. So I would
1 appreciate some guidance whether to continue asking some more detailed
2 questions but I feel after not a very long period of time I've -- I would
3 have come to the junction that I would -- it would be important to know,
4 if possible.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, you asked for guidance, not for a
7 decision yet, and the Chamber at this moment would give you the guidance
8 that you, as we said before, you can proceed as if a 92 ter application
9 was appropriately been made. Now, that hasn't changed since I said that.
10 However, the Chamber reserves its right to finally decide on the matter,
11 but in view of this guidance, if during cross-examination there suddenly
12 other reasons would arise why the Chamber would be unwilling to accept
13 the 92 ter application, then an additional opportunity will be given to
14 you to further examine the witness. So by acting on the basis of the
15 assumption that 92 ter might appropriately be applied, if that assumption
16 turns out finally not to be true, then an additional opportunity will be
17 given to you to elicit further evidence which is then missing because you
18 couldn't apply 92 ter. Is that sufficient guidance?
19 MR. GROOME: That is, Your Honours, that's helpful. Can I ask
20 that the Chamber consider during the break, I do have a copy of the
22 exhibits he gave evidence about, whether the Chamber would consider
23 directing him to review that tonight and making notes in the margin and
24 then giving me an opportunity to go through any corrections tomorrow.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, when I earlier said that we'll deal with the
1 transcript at the a later stage that was one of the things that the
2 Chamber, I with the other judges, had on our mind.
3 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Does this raise any questions or further comments?
5 If not, we'll take a break and resume at 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The material Mr. Groome wanted to give to the
9 witness has been inspected by the Defence teams as far as I understand,
10 therefore, Madam Registrar is instructed to provide the hard copy to the
11 witness at the end of today's hearing.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, are you ready to proceed?
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
15 Q. JF-026, I now want to draw your attention to the portion of your
16 evidence in which you describe the second visit of Mrs. Plavsic after the
17 outbreak of conflict. In response to a question in the first case about
18 what was discussed with her, you had said the following, I'm quoting from
19 the bottom of 21209:
20 "I informed her as far as I knew about the situation in Zvornik
21 after it was placed under the control of the Serbs of Zvornik and she
22 inquired as to the extent to which we were implementing the plans, how
23 organised we were."
24 My question is the following: When you said implementing the
25 plans, what plans were you referring to?
1 A. Well, it's generally known that the Serbian Democratic Party,
3 already evident, drafted a plan of activity and in view of what
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina was like, there was a plan A which referred to the
5 areas where Serbs were in a majority and where they were already in
6 power, and I am talking about the local authorities, and there was a plan
7 B relating to the areas where the Serbs were a minority.
8 Q. Which version or plan A or plan B did you inform her you were
10 A. We were in a minority in Zvornik. The Muslim population was in
11 the majority and according to the instructions, we had a plan B to
13 Q. And to the best of your recollection, what aspects of plan B did
14 you inform her had been successfully implemented?
15 A. Given that the international recognition of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina was detrimental for us, we proceeded to implement plan B
17 which meant that all the territories where there were Serbs would be
18 placed under Serb control, the police force would be split into Serb and
19 Muslim forces, and a number of other activities that I can't recall at
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I have no further
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome. Could I ask the Defence who
24 is going to cross-examine the witness first? Mr. Petrovic, it's you?
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it's me, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: By the way, Mr. Petrovic, when I early was a --
2 earlier was a bit critical about that you didn't stop speaking, I
3 appreciate it very much that you continued after that in English,
4 apparently fully understanding what my concern was at the time. That's
5 appreciated. Please proceed.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I wanted to
7 apologise to you once again because I didn't understand your intervention
8 properly at first but I would like to proceed with my cross-examination
10 JUDGE ORIE: I wasn't seeking further apologies. I wanted to
11 express my appreciation for what you did immediately after that. Please
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I know that that wasn't what you
14 were seeking, but I felt the need to do so.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Petrovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I will have some questions for you and
17 I kindly ask you to answer them, but please be mindful of the break that
18 you must make between question and answer because we speak the same
20 Tell me, witness, when did you get in touch with the Prosecution
21 of the ICTY for the first time? Do you remember the year?
22 A. 1999 or perhaps 1998.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you tell us what this first contact was like?
1 A. They invited me to come to Budapest.
2 Q. And did you go to Budapest? What was it like? Who did you meet?
3 A. The problem which is present in all these statements is that it
4 was always somebody else and then you always had to correct them and
5 explain it them that Slavonia was not Slovenia, that Slavonia was where
6 it was, because they kept confusing these things.
7 Q. On this occasion in 1998 or 1999 did you give a statement, if you
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell us, please, what sort of status did you have, legally
11 speaking, in 1998, 1999, 2000, how did they treat you, if you know?
12 A. As a suspect.
13 Q. How did you understand the fact that you were regarded as a
15 A. Well, I already referred to it in passing. I believe that I was
16 one step to being indictment -- indicted and I wanted to be as
17 forthcoming as possible in my contacts with the Prosecution.
18 Q. In other words, there was this possibility open at all times for
19 you to be indicted, is that how you understood the situation to legally
21 A. Well, nobody told me that in so many words, but I did feel this
22 possibility hanging over me.
23 Q. Tell me, if you know, up until what time did you hold the status
24 of suspect? I observe that during your testimony in case 2 you were also
25 accompanied by a lawyer?
1 A. At that time I also gave a statement as a suspect.
2 Q. You told us today that the fact that for full ten years you were
3 treated as a suspect had a bearing on the weight of your evidence. Can
4 you explain in what way this was?
5 A. Well, we from the local level wanted to appear interesting to the
6 Prosecution and to achieve this we mentioned names of individuals whom we
7 never met in person. We tried to snuggle up to them.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, one second. Your last question was
9 translated as having a bearing on the weight of your evidence. Of course
10 the weight is of evidence, I don't know whether, you used the equivalent
11 in your own language, but of course the weight is only to be decided by a
12 court. But apparently the witness understood your question as being, and
13 it may have been that that was your question, in what way his position as
14 a suspect influenced the answers he gave when interviewed.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my question may have
16 not been interpreted properly. I never thought for a moment, nor did I
17 say that I considered the legal weight of the evidence. I just asked the
18 witness whether his status had a bearing on the contents and he answered.
19 I will continue with your leave.
20 Q. You said that you shared the things with the Prosecutor that he
21 perhaps wanted to hear. What is it, in your view, that the Prosecutor
22 wanted to hear from you and is now mentioned in this statement?
23 A. These are the things that I mentioned and I did not participate
24 in those things directly. I drew conclusions based on the things that I
25 heard about people whom I had never seen or spoken to. Serbia had a
1 status that it had been the international framework. We were popular and
2 we all competed in smearing Milosevic, smearing the regime and everything
3 it represented. That's what we all did.
4 Q. Are you saying that it was popular to speak about the
5 involvements of Serbia in the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina, would that be
6 one of those facts that you are mentioning now?
7 A. Yes.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Petrovic.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You didn't say that you were popular, but rather that it was very
11 popular to present claims about Serbia, Milosevic and his regime?
12 A. Yes, you did and it was all done in a very negative context.
13 Q. You thought that if you presented a fact, for example, about the
14 Serbian police, that that might have a bearing on changing your position
15 before the OTP, changing it for the better; right?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And the facts that you presented about, for example, the Serbian
18 police, those were not things that you knew firsthand, those were just
19 rumours or unverified information or a combination of what you read in
20 the papers and what you heard from other people?
22 worked as a police employee. I joined another company. I was no longer
23 a police officer.
24 Q. Within that context that we have now before us, when you spoke
25 about the Serbian police, this is not your direct knowledge; right?
1 A. No, this was not my direct knowledge. This was a combination of
2 rumours, newspaper articles, only the things that I participated in
3 myself I describe with a hundred per cent accuracy. As for the rest, I
4 really don't know why we needed all that.
5 Q. When you told us earlier today that in your statements there are
6 certain things that are correct, however, that the intention or the
7 intonation of the statement itself does not reflect what you wanted to
8 say, is that what you were saying, that you described your participation
9 very accurately, but everything else falls under the category of rumours
10 and speculations?
11 A. Precisely so, maybe I could not describe it as accurately as you
12 did now in legal terms. I describe accurately only those things that I
13 participated in. Everything else was my free interpretation which might
14 have led to erroneous conclusions amongst other things.
15 Q. On several occasions you used the pronoun "we," are you referring
16 to some of your colleagues who participated in the events and who were in
17 a similar or even the identical position?
18 A. Precisely so. All of us who were at a local level close to fire,
19 those of us who were close to some incidents and events at a local level,
20 that's who I meant.
21 Q. We are in closed session, sir, could you please give us a name of
22 the people who were involved in those events and who portrayed the events
23 in the same way while they provided the statements and while there was
24 still a threat upon you and your personal safety?
25 A. Those were mostly members of the Crisis Staff in Zvornik, Radic,
1 Grujic, Savic, Ivanovic, and some others whom I can't remember at the
2 moment. I can't remember all of the names.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, perhaps I'm mistaken, but I don't
5 recall where the evidence said that he felt there was a threat to his
6 personal safety. Maybe Mr. Petrovic could indicate where that came in
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] A misinterpretation. I said legal
10 status, not personal safety.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please turn his microphone
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, you are invited to turn your
14 microphone on, but that has been done. Please proceed.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Petrovic kindly turn on and off his
16 microphone himself because we cannot hear the beginning and end of his
17 sentences because his colleague is doing it for him. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You got the point that before you start talking
19 about the microphone should be on and it should not be switched off
20 before you have finished. And the tandem work is appreciated. Please
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. You mentioned certain names. Does this refer to a person whose
24 name is Goran Zugic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what about Vojislav Jekic, the late Vojislav Jekic?
2 A. Yes. All those persons were involved in the events and they had
3 the same problem of relationship with The Hague Tribunal as I did. It
4 was a personal problem for all of us.
5 Q. Tell me, please, how was your 2008 statement created, if you
7 A. It was created here in the offices of the Tribunal. There is a
8 video-clip, there is an audio recording of that statement. We went
9 through my previous statements and then 114 bullet points were drafted, I
10 signed them. I didn't wait for the statement to be printed because I was
11 in a hurry to catch my flight.
12 Q. Sir, this is not a result of an interview, but rather this is a
13 compilation of various prior statements that you provided between 1998
14 and 2008, did I understand you properly?
15 A. Yes, they made an excerpt from all the prior statements of all
16 the things that they found interesting and that is a collection of all
17 those numerous prior statements that I had provided.
18 Q. In other words, this is a selection but who made that selection,
19 who chose the paragraphs that we see today?
20 A. It was done at the OTP's proposal.
21 Q. Thank you. To my learned friend's question you spoke about the
22 plans of the SDS, plan A and plan B, that is first of all, could you
23 please tell us what was your position in the SDS? Were you a high
24 official, a local official? What was your status within the party?
25 A. I was a local official in Zvornik municipality. I was the deputy
1 president of the SDS, or rather, the deputy president of the Municipal
2 Board of the SDS.
3 Q. In your position did you participate in formulating the SDS
4 policies, did you participate in the work of the SDS for -- at the
5 highest levels?
6 A. No.
7 Q. As a local party member, in addition to what was general
8 knowledge, did you have any information about what was being decided,
9 what was being considered at the top of the party that formulated
10 policies for the entire state of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. No.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you one question in this respect. You
13 talked about the instructions, plan A, plan B, was that not decided on
14 the SDS highest levels?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We received that as an instruction,
16 as a written instructions from the SDS leadership.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now, if a question is put to you, did you have any
18 information about what was being decided, what was being considered at
19 the top of the party that formulated parties for the entire state of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, would that plan A and B not be an example of what was
21 decided on the highest levels for the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, that was a decision made
23 at the very top of the party and applied to the entire state of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, as a local official, I didn't participate
25 in the passing of that decision. I didn't know who participated in that;
1 we just received that instruction to be carried out.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did everyone in Bosnia-Herzegovina know about
3 those plans or were they to some extent secret?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as soon as the plans were
5 distributed to several hundreds of people, I suppose that they were no
6 longer secret. But on the other hand, I believe that they were internal
7 party documents.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So they were not general knowledge, but it was
9 limited to local and central party leadership?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, those documents were
11 distributed along the party lines, among the party members.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore the question which Mr. Petrovic put to you
13 whether you had any information about what was decided beyond what was of
14 general knowledge, should have been yes instead of no, if only for this
15 example, would you agree with me?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You have completely lost me now.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'll put it again to you. Mr. Petrovic asked
23 that formulated policies for the entire state of Bosnia and Herzegovina?"
24 You said you had no information, but the example shows that you
25 did have information, isn't it?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, you are not right. I didn't
2 have any information. As for plans A and B, we received those as a
3 written instruction from the party and that instruction was distributed
4 among Municipal Boards.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So what is found in plan A and B, therefore, was
6 what was decided by the high party level for the whole of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina; would you agree with that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then your answer should have been not a simple no.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Petrovic.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Witness, did you know anything about the reasons behind the
13 passing of the party documents of this kind such as plan A and B?
14 A. Yes, the explanation was that this was due to an overall
15 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the pre-existing situation in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the SDA was a majority, they centralised their power
17 and that was our response to that centralisation of the entire power
18 which was in the hands of the SDA.
19 Q. Sir, you are saying that that document was considered at the
20 municipal SDS board meeting, kindly tell us how many people were involved
21 in the municipal SDS board meeting where that was considered?
22 A. About 50 or so.
23 Q. Do you know whether that document was submitted only to your
24 Municipal Board or also to some other Municipal Boards in
1 A. I heard that it had been submitted to some other Municipal Boards
2 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Do you know how many Municipal Boards of the SDS were there
4 approximately in Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time?
5 A. Almost every municipality had a board which means there were 110
6 Municipal Boards because this is exactly how many municipalities there
7 were in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
8 Q. Thank you. So you are privy to the contents of the plan and you
9 told us how you became familiar with the contents thereof and you said
10 that for your municipality you have just told us that, that Variant B of
11 the plan applied to your municipality. Tell us, please, that
12 Variant B -- I apologise, first of all, could you tell us what you
13 remember from the contents of Variant B, what was to be done, what were
14 you supposed to do in conformity with the B plan submitted to you by the
16 A. The documents had some ten bullet points and spoke about the
17 protection and salvation of the Serbian people and all those who
18 supported Yugoslavia who were not in favour of the Yugoslavia breaking
19 up. It was still a whole state. It was still not a rump Yugoslavia at
20 the time.
21 Q. And in that plan, do you remember whether there was a reference
22 to the expulsion of non-Serbs or anything even worse that should be done
23 to those people?
24 A. No, plan B did not envisage any measures against any ethnic group
25 or any individual or any group or party. That plan only spoke about the
1 protection of Serbs and the survival of Serbs in the territories that --
2 where they resided.
3 Q. Tell us, please, at the time when that plan reached you, just
4 briefly, what was the political situation like in Bosnia-Herzegovina when
5 that plan was created, when it was submitted to you, what was the
6 political situation like?
7 A. That plan was created as a consequence of the division of powers
8 and the centralisation of power on the part of the SDA and that was a
9 situation that existed even before the war, that preceded the war.
10 Q. Did that plan envisage the establishment of a Crisis Staff in
12 A. Yes, that plan envisaged that. We did establish a Crisis Staff,
13 but the SDA also had a Crisis Staff and we shared the same building. Our
14 offices were next to each other. We almost shared the offices, as it
16 Q. And your Crisis Staff, therefore, shared the same building as the
17 SDA Crisis Staff?
18 A. We were next door to each other and the only thing between the
19 two offices was a plaster-of-paris partition. The building was the
20 so-called Russian building in Zvornik in the -- on the ground floor of
21 that building, the two offices, theirs and ours were on the ground floor
22 of the so-called Russian building in Zvornik.
23 Q. Did they know that you were sitting there, did you know that they
24 were sitting in their office?
25 A. Absolutely.
1 Q. And you knew all those people, did you not? You had known them
2 all your life?
3 A. Yes, you are right.
4 Q. Can I then assume that they knew what you were up to and
5 vice-versa, that you knew what they were up to?
6 A. Precisely so. And we even discussed those things openly amongst
7 each other.
8 Q. And your colleagues from the SDA staff probably knew that there
9 was a plan, that you had a plan that would be put in place if
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina decided to secede from Yugoslavia?
11 A. Well, we discussed that.
12 Q. And you also -- you actually told us just now that you discussed
13 things with them very openly, that they were familiar with the details of
14 the things that we are talking about here today?
15 A. Just before the war Radovan Karadzic held a rally in Zvornik and
16 the president of the Bosniak organisation, Zulfikar Alipasic [phoen] was
17 there and he said that should Muslims decide to leave Bosnia, that we had
18 a plan as to what to do. There were some Muslims who wanted to stay in
20 Q. Witness, you said if Muslims decided to leave Bosnia, is that
21 what you meant, or --
22 A. If Muslims decided to break Yugoslavia up and to go their own
23 separate way, away from Yugoslavia. That's what I meant.
24 Q. In other words, the essence of that plan, or the gist of the plan
25 was about Yugoslavia, whether Yugoslavia would remain a state or whether
1 it would be broken up?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you please define what the Serbian side wanted, or rather,
4 what was the policy and desire of you SDS members?
5 A. The objective of the SDS, its foundation and its struggle was to
6 fight for Yugoslavia, for Yugoslavia to stay as it was, because that was
7 the only way we knew how to live. It was the only acceptable solution
8 for us.
9 Q. Witness, you also mentioned the SDA Crisis Staff, do you know
10 anything about the arming of the Muslims in the Zvornik municipality at
11 the end of 1991 and in 1992 prior to the outbreak of the conflict?
12 A. Since we knew that they had established the Patriotic League and
13 that in the village of Godus they took up positions, there's still a
14 memorial plaque there in that village testifying to that. When they did
15 that, we went to Belgrade taking along the relevant documentation with a
16 request that we too be armed in view of the negative experience we had
17 from World War II.
18 Q. Witness, can you repeat what the name of the village was, the one
19 you referred to?
20 A. The village is called Godus and it's in the municipality of
22 Q. Tell us, you mentioned the ministry in Belgrade, can you tell us
23 specifically what ministry this was, if it was a ministry at all?
24 A. No. I misspoke. It was the Municipal Board for the Serbs living
25 outside Serbia. There was never a ministry with that title as far as I
2 Q. Witness, can you repeat the name of the body?
3 A. Board for the care of the Serbs outside Serbia, and I know
4 that -- and it was a body attached to the Assembly of the Serbs, and I
5 know that we were in the Assembly building, that's where we were housed.
6 Q. Witness, tell us who was the head of the board, if you know?
7 A. At the time we left there, it was Radmilo Bogdanovic. At the
8 time we went there.
9 Q. Can you tell us who went to visit the Assembly board for the
10 Serbs outside Serbia together with you?
11 A. From what I recall, there was Branko Grujic, Jovo Mijatovic, and
12 I'm not sure if there was anyone else with us.
13 Q. You said a moment ago that you took along some sort of
14 documentation. What documentation was it and who did you present it to?
15 A. It was a video-clip. When I talked about the contacts we had
16 with the people in the office next door, well, one of those people gave
17 us footage featuring the Patriotic League and people lined up with
18 automatic weapons. There was around 100 people lined up and they were
19 fully equipped.
20 Q. You tell us that Bogdanovic was there, do you know what role he
21 played before he took up the position with the Assembly board?
22 A. Well, I know from the mass media, that he was minister of the
24 Q. Of which country?
25 A. Serbia, or rather, he was the Republic of Serbia minister of the
2 Q. When you visited the Assembly board, who did Radmilo Bogdanovic
3 refer you to?
4 A. He referred me to Radoslav Kostic, to Darda.
5 Q. What did Radmilo Bogdanovic tell you about weapons? Were you to
6 expect any sort of assistance and from whom?
7 A. He recommended that I should tell the story to Kostic, that there
8 was a Trusine place in Croatia, that they had weapons available from the
9 TO and that we should try and obtain some weapons from that source.
10 Q. Did Kostic refer you to the JNA which was present at the time? I
11 am sorry, Bogdanovic, did he refer you to the JNA as a potential sponsor?
12 A. Since it was common knowledge that Slovenians, Croats and Muslims
13 did not want to responds to call-ups for the JNA, one of the instructions
14 was that we should liaise as far as possible with the JNA, that we should
15 pull our ranks together and obtain weapons from them because there was
16 already a disproportion between the assets that they had and the men at
17 their disposal.
18 Q. In other words, the JNA was in need of men and you were in need
19 of weapons; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What view did the SDS take with regard to the JNA?
22 A. It was amicable and we were told that we should be forthcoming to
23 any and all requests we received from the JNA, because the JNA was
24 working toward keeping Yugoslavia together and this was something that
25 they advocated through the mass media until the very last day.
1 Q. The Serbs from the Zvornik municipality, did they respond to the
2 JNA call-ups in late 1991 and 1992?
3 A. Yes, in as many numbers as possible.
4 Q. Can you tell us which units were manned by people from the
5 Zvornik municipality?
6 A. For the most part, they were units which withdrew from Slovenia
7 and in part from Croatia. I know that there was a large strength unit in
8 Zvornik which had been pulled out from Jastrebarsko in Croatia, so they
9 were for the most part units that had been withdrawn from Slovenia and
11 Q. The unit which had been pulled out of Jastrebarsko, was it a tank
12 brigade which was deployed to the municipality of Zvornik?
13 A. Yes, it was a tank brigade under the command of Colonel Tacic.
14 Q. Can you tell us, and I am referring to March and April of 1992,
15 where were Tacic's units billeted, if you can recall?
16 A. I know that most of the tanks were parked in Karakaj at Celopek
17 next to the community centre there. They had units in Mali Zvornik, they
18 had some units at Caparde, in Sekovici, at Branjevo and Pilica in the
19 direction of Bijeljina.
20 Q. If I know the geography of the area well, these were strategic
21 locations around Zvornik and parts of the Republic of Serbia that these
22 tank units were deployed.
23 A. Yes, as well as in other locations that were strategically
25 Q. I heard you say in Serbian -- but I'll ask you again. Where else
1 were Tacic's units deployed?
2 A. At bridges. I mentioned Celopek, Pilica, Branjevo, Sekovici.
3 Q. Tell us, in the town of Zvornik, were there or are there bridges
4 between Zvornik and Mali Zvornik?
5 A. There is a bridge which separates Zvornik from Serbia and it's no
6 more than 150 metres, the distance that it spans.
7 Q. And how many other locations in Zvornik have bridges, dams and
8 such-like features?
9 A. The municipality of Zvornik has three bridges for road traffic, a
10 railway traffic bridge, and a hydroelectric plant which was also of
11 service to Serbia.
12 Q. And all these features, were manned by JNA units?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Witness, who is Dusko Vujkovic, if you know?
15 A. I think there's another typo there, I think I spoke of
16 Dusko Vukotic who is a reserve officer -- no, he is an officer who hails
17 from Zvornik but was in service somewhere in Serbia. Then at the start
18 of the war he came to Zvornik where he spent his entire time as an
20 Q. You say that he was an active-duty officer and that he came to
21 Zvornik. Do you know anything of this individual's role in the arming of
22 the Serbian population in the Zvornik municipality?
23 A. Yes, this was yet another way of arming people because he had a
24 position with the JNA as an officer, he could obtain weapons and that was
25 the sort of assistance he provided for the war.
1 Q. Vaso Eric, who is he?
2 A. Vaso Eric was a member of the Municipal Board of the SDS and the
3 president of the Zvornik court. I probably mentioned him as part of the
4 arming effort because he was good friends with Colonel Milosevic who was
5 commander of the Romanija Corps or the Romanija Brigade, I'm not sure.
6 JUDGE ORIE: May I just ask one question, Mr. Petrovic. You
7 earlier said that that is another typo when Mr. Petrovic asked you about
8 Dusko Vukovic, where did you find that typo?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was just one letter that was
10 different. It's not Vukovic but rather Vukotic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: But you said that another typo. I observed you when
12 you said it, I don't think you were looking to your screen. Did you want
13 to refer to your statement where it is also said Dusko Vukovic, were you
14 referring to that or were you referring to your screen?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the statement here. Vukovic
16 is written here and it's in the context of the arming and I know it's
17 Vukotic, but we have another person Vuckovic, that's different story.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I just, when you said that is another typo, I
19 wondered whether you referred to your statement as we find it on paper,
20 is that what you refer to or did you refer to anything else?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I noticed the typo when I was
22 reviewing it, but I just didn't think it so important. His name is
23 Vukotic and he lives in Zvornik today.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed, Mr. Petrovic. Well, at
25 the same time, I would like you to finish in one or two minutes so that
1 we can instruct the witness.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honour.
3 Q. The last question had to do with Vaso Eric and his role. You
4 said that Vaso Eric was the president of the court; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know how many pieces of weaponry were obtained through
8 A. I'm not sure, but perhaps most of the weapons came through him
9 since he had good connections, the man was the commander of the Sarajevo
10 Romanija Brigade and I think that it was through that channel that most
11 of the weapons were obtained.
12 Q. In other words, he, as the president of the court, was supposed
13 to prosecute people who had unlawful weapons, at any rate, he was
14 supposed to be involved in trying persons in possession unlawfully of
16 A. Well, the justice administration broke down completely. I did
17 not dare to go into a Muslim village as a Serb, as my colleagues.
18 Q. So the judiciary was practically non-operational in March, April,
19 May, of 1992?
20 A. Well, even before that. As of November or December 1991, no
21 authority was operational. It was the law of the highwayman and those
22 who were strong could wield power.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, I will
24 stop here and resume my examination tomorrow.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
1 Witness JF-026, we'll soon adjourn for the day. Some material
2 has been prepared, that is material from the -- your testimony in the
3 first case. Would you please be so kind to review that material this
4 evening and tomorrow morning so as to tell us or give answers to
5 questions similar to the one that is were put to you today, that is to
6 review it and to point at specific places where you would say that the
7 content of your testimony is not correct. I do understand that you have
8 already worked on the -- your testimony in the second case; is that
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore, it would be appreciated if you write down
12 the pages on which you find any inaccuracies and then to explain to us
13 tomorrow where they are and what they are. This might take some time.
14 Are you willing to do that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have it in writing, Judge.
16 I only have the audio recording.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you'll get it. It has been prepared and
18 you'll be provided with it. Madam Registrar will take care of that.
19 Mr. Groome.
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I might suggest an instruction, the
21 the version that he has -- that he'll have in his own language does not
22 have the same pagination as our English. I was going to suggest that he
23 be instructed to draw a line under any sentence which he believes to be
24 either untrue or inaccurate and then in the margin to write what would be
25 the correct statement that he wishes to make and perhaps that might be an
1 orderly way for us to be able to go through it and to keep track of where
2 we are in the English.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please do that, underline the phrases
4 which you consider to be not correct. Not to say that you could say more
5 about these matters, but just where you think that the testimony is not
6 correct. I further would like to instruct you that you should not speak
7 with anyone or communicate in any other way whether that communication is
8 about your testimony already given today or still to be given in the days
9 to come.
10 And I finally would like to instruct you not to seek eye contact
11 in this court with any of the accused in order to have unspoken
12 communication between you and the accused. Would you please keep that in
13 mind for the days to come as well.
14 We adjourn for the day and we'll resume tomorrow, Thursday, the
15 2nd of December, quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
18 December, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.