1 Tuesday, 31st August, 1999
2 [Rule 77 Hearing]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellant entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Registrar, would you
7 please call the case?
8 THE REGISTRAR: IT-94-1-A-R77, allegations
9 against former counsel.
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The appearances are as
11 before? Mr. Clegg, you're on your feet.
12 MR. CLEGG: I filed a motion --
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: We must get the record
14 straight. Are you joining the ranks of counsel at this
16 MR. CLEGG: Yes. I represent the interested
17 party in the contempt proceedings.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Tadic?
19 MR. CLEGG: Mr. Tadic.
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. So you would
21 like the record to reflect that fact, that you are part
22 of the legal team representing the interested party
23 Mr. Tadic?
24 MR. CLEGG: Sorry to pause. I ought to know
25 who I represent, but I certainly do represent the
1 interested party Mr. Tadic. As the Court is well
2 aware, of course, I've been representing him in the
3 appeal, and I certainly, for today, wish to make a
4 motion to this Chamber on his behalf. So in that
5 limited extent, I represent him.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The bench approves of
7 your addressing the Court.
8 MR. CLEGG: I'm grateful.
9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And you're speaking of a
11 MR. CLEGG: I am. It's a motion that was
12 filed on the 26th of August of this year, and I would
13 ask for the Chamber to go into closed session for me to
14 address the matters raised therein.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Any objections from any
16 party, interested party?
17 MR. ABELL: No, Your Honour.
18 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Then, Mr. Registrar,
20 would you take the necessary steps?
21 [Closed Session]
6 pages 578 to 602 redacted - in closed session
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
12 11.13 a.m. for Ex Parte motion
13 pages 603-607 redacted – ex parte hearing
1 Tuesday, 31st August, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 12.03 p.m.
4 MR. ABELL: Your Honour, I noticed Mr. Vujin
5 and Mr. Domazet don't appear to be in the chamber. I
6 don't know where they've gone.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I am grateful to you for
8 pointing out that. I had assumed that all parties were
9 in court at this time. Perhaps we might await word
10 from the Registrar, who might have an explanation.
11 THE REGISTRAR: You had been very clear. You
12 said that we were going to resume after 30 minutes of
13 break, at 12.00, so the parties are supposed to be
14 ready to participate in the hearing at the due time.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: We have at last
16 Mr. Vujin and Mr. Domazet, and we are in a position --
17 we have with us Mr. Vujin and Mr. Domazet, and we are
18 now in a position to resume the proceedings proper.
19 The next witness, I believe, is Mr. Brkic.
20 Is that right, Mr. Registrar?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Quite, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic has been sent
23 for, Mr. Registrar?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The
25 request has been made. He should be here in a minute.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. Mr. Brkic, I
3 believe, is your name?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you read the
6 solemn declaration?
7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Please be seated.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you
12 WITNESS: MILOVAN BRKIC
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, would you
15 give the date of birth of your good self, as well as
16 the place of birth?
17 A. I was born on 11th November, 1956 in
18 Ljubovia (phoen) in the Republic of Serbia in
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And now would you please
21 state your occupation?
22 A. I'm a journalist.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And where do you now
25 A. In Belgrade, the Republic of Serbia.
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, you made
2 certain statements. Have you seen them recently?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Registrar, can the
5 statements be made available to the witness?
6 THE REGISTRAR: If you wish me to, I could
7 number the three statements from now on so that they
8 can be more easily referenced.
9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Please do.
10 THE REGISTRAR: The statement made in a
11 newspaper, together with a photograph, will be
12 number 8, Exhibit 8. Then there is a statement made on
13 the 8th of February, 1999. This will be Exhibit 9.
14 Finally, a statement, the latest date for which is the
15 18th of February, 1999.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That would be 10?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Sorry, I forgot that,
18 Your Honour. This will be Exhibit 10.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, do have a
20 look at those statements.
21 A. Your Honours, it is true that as a journalist
22 I'm the author of the text that has been shown me. It
23 is true that I myself have signed the statement. It is
24 true that under full moral and legal responsibility I
25 gave the statement that you have shown me and I stand
1 behind it.
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You affirm today the
3 accuracy of the contents of those statements?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Have the statements been
6 made available to the interested parties?
7 Mr. Domazet?
8 MR. DOMAZET: No, we haven't. I haven't
10 MR. ABELL: Your Honour, may I say I'm very
11 surprised to say that. The statements were admitted
12 into evidence on the -- forgive me -- I believe on the
13 24th of February of this year. That is the scheduling
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Domazet, did you see
16 a scheduling order of the 24th of February of this
17 year, attaching copies of those statements?
18 Mr. Registrar, may I suggest you show
19 Mr. Domazet the scheduling order with copies of the
20 attached statements.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Of course, Your Honour.
22 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you. Then may we
24 proceed on the basis that those statements are formally
25 admitted into evidence.
1 Now, Mr. Brkic, I would like you to turn to
2 Exhibit number 9. That is to say, your statement of
3 8 February 1999.
4 Would I be correct in summarising your
5 statements to mean this: That you are asserting that
6 Mr. Vujin had been manipulating evidence and
7 undermining the presentation of the case for
8 Mr. Tadic?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And that he was part of
11 a machinery of the state for ensuring that persons
12 connected with the state were not exposed to any risks
13 through the defence of anyone in this Tribunal?
14 A. Yes. Not with the state but with the state
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: State leadership. And I
17 understand you also to be saying that that was also the
18 policy regardless of whether or not the effective
19 defence of an accused person necessitated reference to
20 allegations against officials connected with the
22 A. I shall try to answer you in two words. The
23 state police ordered the State Security Service that by
24 a certain group of advocates, amongst them Mr. Vujin,
25 to exert control over the detained individuals which
1 this Tribunal have been charged with war crimes. The
2 intention of the state leadership was to exert control
3 over those individuals so that their Defence counsel do
4 not expand responsibility to include higher command
5 structures, police structures, and the state
7 The text that I published, which has been
8 attached here, already in 1995, I presented this plan
9 of the state leadership. Unfortunately, the events
10 completely confirm the quotations made in my text, and
11 one individual was made to commit suicide to -- in
12 order not to testify against others.
13 I don't know whether I can have three more
14 words, whether the rules allow me to explain this
15 procedure and how this was planned, how it was planned
16 that the Defence counsel at the Tribunal should exert
17 influence on the accused to instruct them how to behave
18 towards the Tribunal.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, Mr. Brkic, I
20 appreciate those observations, which lead me to the
21 penultimate paragraph of your statement of 8 February,
23 In that statement you say: "I'm aware of the
24 consequences of bearing false testimony, and I am
25 prepared to confirm before the International Criminal
1 Tribunal the truthfulness of the assertions in the
2 above-mentioned text."
3 And likewise in your statement of the
4 18th February, 1999, in paragraph numbered 5, at the
5 end you stated this: "I do not merely believe that
6 Mr. Vujin undermined Mr. Dusan Tadic's defence. I have
7 concrete proof of this which I cannot present in this
8 written answer."
9 Now, as you will appreciate, the Appeals
10 Chamber would be interested in knowing what is the
11 concrete proof that you could provide.
12 A. Your Honours, I made this statement on the
13 8th and 18th of February, the state in which I live and
14 where I come from at the time, after it was thought
15 that it would be at war. The circumstances have
16 completely changed since then, and those of us who live
17 in Serbia, we say "good morning" and we count each
18 other to see whether we are all there.
19 If I were to present to you the names of the
20 people from this State Security Service who gave me a
21 plan of activity, and proof, documents of the
22 activities of the lawyers before the International
23 Tribunal, please believe me, I would write the death
24 sentence for those people. I would have signed their
25 death sentence. So I cannot take this upon myself,
1 this responsibility and this courage.
2 I have no personal reasons for accusing
3 either Mr. Vujin or any other lawyers. I do this
4 exclusively by virtue of my conscience and to thwart
5 their activities; that is to say, to sell out their
6 clients and bring them in a situation in which they are
7 not able to defend themselves. I too was accused many
8 times as a journalist, and I know what it means to come
9 before a court and to have to prove yourself.
10 If I were to tell you the names of those
11 people, and as the hearings are public, then please
12 believe me that their lives would be worthless. You
13 will make the decision yourselves about whether I was
14 truthful or not.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So I understand you to
16 be taking this position: That to make good the
17 concrete proof which you stated you could present, you
18 would have to call the names of individuals and that
19 that would expose them to unnecessary risks.
20 A. Not unnecessary risk, but their lives would
21 be in danger. Your Honours, by an order of the
22 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
23 Slobodan Milosevic at the time, a state commission was
24 set up which was to have studied the responsibilities
25 of the head of the state security in giving facts to
1 me, because I have had many documents, and Slobodan
2 Milosevic published these. I have published many of
3 them, but there was no way in which this could be
4 linked to the responsibility of the head of the State
5 Security Service.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me take you to the
7 article which you wrote, Exhibit 8, at page 5, top
8 paragraph, in English. I don't know what it is in the
9 version before you, but it's the paragraph in which you
10 stated that: "Attorney Toma Fila has forever ruined
11 the career and life of actor Zarko Lausevic."
12 Do you see that paragraph?
13 A. I remember, yes, as I am the author of the
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, in that paragraph
16 you are referring to a meeting at which you say
17 Mr. Vujin was present, and you say that at that meeting
18 Mr. Fila said, "Gentlemen, there is no client whom I
19 cannot sell. I am the biggest Judas of all and am
20 proud of it."
21 What is the basis upon which you make that
23 A. Your Honours, before I published the text
24 which you have just read out to me in part, I was
25 invited to the State Security Service. I cannot tell
1 you the name of the individual who showed me a
2 programme of activity of that service, and that it
3 followed orders from the President of the Republic of
4 the Yugoslavia, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic.
5 That task and assignment was to select a
6 group of attorneys to come before to the Tribunal, your
7 Tribunal, to defend the accused accused of war crimes.
8 And that group of lawyers was carefully selected on the
9 basis of the dossiers that they had on them in the
10 State Security Service.
11 The lawyers were given the task of
12 controlling the accused, of contacting the accused, of
13 threatening them that they should not in their
14 testimony implicate others, to tell them that their
15 families were in Yugoslavia in a difficult situation,
16 that they would be persecuted and, if necessary, to
17 compel them to submit suicide. That was the plan
18 which, for me, was a monstrous plan at the time, and I
19 couldn't believe it, in fact, but as this was told to
20 me by a man working in the State Security Service and
21 who occupied such a high position, I had to believe
22 him. I wrote this article as a result, and,
23 unfortunately, life has proved that this was so, and I
24 wrote the text in 1995. I would like to have been
25 wrong, that this was just one more bad newspaper
2 When one finds oneself in a prison in another
3 country, he is alone. He has the prosecutors, he has
4 the judges, and his natural ally is his lawyer. It is
5 the lawyer through which he has contact with the
6 outside, and it is the lawyer who helps him to function
7 socially, Your Honours. The role of lawyers in
8 communism and the country that I come from was that
9 this last straw, whether we're talking about a serious
10 criminal or not, it was the task to cut that straw.
11 Some Serbian lawyers used their profession and handed
12 their clients on a plate, and they remained completely
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, can you tell
15 me this: Did the material which you had enable you to
16 say what was the reaction of Mr. Vujin when Mr. Fila
17 said, "Gentlemen, there is no client whom I cannot
18 sell. I'm the biggest Judas of all, and I'm proud of
20 A. The member of the State Security Service or
21 the functionary which gave me these facts recounted to
22 me the contents of the talk with the group of lawyers
23 who were called to the security service. I do not know
24 in precise terms whether they were individual talks or
25 whether they were all invited collectively, to a
1 collective meeting, so that I cannot tell you in
2 precise terms, but I did make a note of those words
3 taken from my conversation with the man working for the
4 State Security Service who invited me to present the
5 plan of his service vis-a-vis the lawyers.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did that information
7 enable you to tell whether Mr. Vujin was present when
8 Mr. Fila made that statement?
9 A. Your Honours, as the journalist who had come
10 to get certain information, as I say, I wasn't too
11 curious, I wasn't too inquisitive, because my position
12 was one of a journalist, and it did not allow me to be
13 too inquisitive and curious. I just listened to what
14 was being told to me, and you will probably admit that
15 had I gone into details, I would have lost the
16 confidence of the man who had invited me there. He
17 gave me as much information as he saw fit, as he
18 thought necessary, if you understand me, and this is
19 the natural relationship between the person giving out
20 information and the person receiving information.
21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Should I then take it
22 that the limitations within which you work did not
23 enable you to tell whether Mr. Vujin was present when
24 Mr. Fila made that statement?
25 A. I personally was convinced that he was
1 present and that a dialogue of this kind had taken
3 Your Honours, if I may, I have just recalled
4 one point. Before I published the article, the editor
5 in chief of the paper in which the text appeared asked
6 me for proof. He wanted to see whether he would be
7 able to prove the truthfulness of the allegations in
8 the text because otherwise we would have probably been
9 sued for high amounts, and I myself would have had to
10 have rigid responsibilities. I asked to be received by
11 the individual at the State Security Service, and he
12 gave me a piece of paper to sign for keeping secrets
13 and confidentiality. He did give me some notes. I
14 showed this to my editor in chief. We sealed the
15 envelope, we returned the printed matter, and the
16 article went forward.
17 If it means anything to you, I published the
18 article in an opposition paper. The State Security
19 Service, by nature of their jobs, are there to protect
20 the state leadership. So I do not believe that the
21 information that I was given was false, was incorrect,
22 because they had no reason to do this, apart from the
23 fact that as individuals, they might not have agreed
24 with what was being done, that it was below their
25 dignity, and this, one day, would ultimately do our
1 country more harm. I think that they did this for
2 those reasons, but I leave it to you to assess.
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Indeed. In Exhibit 9,
4 in the second paragraph, you do, indeed, say: "I
5 published this text after the editorial board's
6 decision that I should give the editor in chief proof
7 of the truthfulness of the text and the assertions
8 contained therein," and in your testimony, you alluded
9 to the risk of your being sued. Has there been any
10 litigation between you and Mr. Vujin?
11 A. Yes. I think that the six lawyers who were
12 mentioned on this list have filed a charge with the
13 court for the harm done. This was done in 1995. They
14 had in mind procedural matters, and I think that it
15 would have taken effect up to now. I was a witness in
16 a court of law, although a ruling has not yet been
17 made. I know that two lawyers of the six have
18 withdrawn charges, of the six that tendered charges. I
19 can give you their names. They are Branimir Gugl and
20 Nebojsa Pavlovic, and they said that they do not feel
21 that they have been libelled. Mr. Fila filed the
22 charge for remuneration of damages, and they said that
23 their signatures were used.
24 At the court in Belgrade, several judges took
25 their turn in the case, and as I followed the work of
1 the court in my professional work and I know most of
2 the judges in Belgrade, one of the judges -- I wanted
3 to show to one of the judges what I had at my disposal,
4 the records and official notes made by the State
5 Security Service, and she said, "Well, we don't need
6 that. We all know who all those attorneys are. You
7 don't have to prove anything to us. We're well aware
8 of that." A ruling has not yet been made. The
9 judgement has not yet been made.
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you. Let me take
11 you specifically to your relations with Mr. Vujin. Has
12 there been any litigation between the two of you in
13 respect of any of these allegations which you have
15 A. Mr. Vujin is one of these six lawyers who
16 filed charges against me in court.
17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Thank you.
18 Following our usual procedure, I would now
19 invite Mr. Abell to ask any questions; thereafter, the
20 Prosecution and then Mr. Vujin.
21 Questioned by Mr. Abell:
22 Q. Mr. Brkic, I represent Dusko Tadic in these
23 proceedings, who is an interested party to the contempt
24 proceedings against Mr. Vujin.
25 I would like to start by asking you about the
1 litigation that you were just asked about. You told us
2 that there were six lawyers who sued yourself, and
3 amongst those six lawyers was Mr. Milan Vujin; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Was the litigation against you personally or
7 against you and your newspaper?
8 A. Against the newspaper, against the newspaper
9 because the newspaper carried the story, and I
10 testified as the author of that story.
11 Q. So you were a witness, but the defendant in
12 the litigation was the newspaper?
13 A. The newspaper. Yes, they were the legal
14 person, the publisher; that is to say, the newspaper
15 publishing house Srpska Rec, and I was only called in
16 as a witness, and I testified before the court as a
17 sworn witness.
18 Q. What stage have the proceedings against the
19 newspaper reached?
20 A. To be quite truthful, I can present only my
21 very own point of view. I don't think that the courts
22 or the prosecutors are interested in bringing these
23 proceedings to an end. Otherwise, if we take into
24 account how much time has elapsed, this should have
25 been over three years ago.
1 Q. The action, the litigation, commenced when?
2 A. If you wish to have a precise answer, the
3 trial started in 1995. Marina Govedarica was the
4 presiding judge, and that chamber rejected the charges
5 that were brought against the paper. They said that
6 due process was not taken into account. Toma Fila,
7 they say, did not know how to actually compose this
8 report. He brought charges against a newspaper, and
9 the newspaper is not a legal person, according to the
10 law that is valid in Yugoslavia, and that is why the
11 court had to reject this paper --
12 Q. Pause, please. The question I asked was when
13 the litigation started, and the answer is, to your
14 knowledge, in 1995. To your knowledge, has there ever
15 been a judgement in the proceedings against your
17 A. Yes. The first judgement was passed in
18 1996. It happened in Belgrade; that is to say, this
19 document was rejected as impermissible.
20 Q. In other words, it was a judgement in favour
21 of the newspaper?
22 A. Yes. The district court that ruled on this,
23 and I was involved, I had the status of an involved
24 person, I said that obviously the accused have a poor
25 lawyer, Mr. Toma Fila, who is not very knowledgable in
1 matters of law, and it would be a good thing to take
2 this back and --
3 Q. Mr. Brkic, I'm going to interrupt you and
4 stop you. I wanted you to clarify that the judgement
5 that you speak of was not against the newspaper; it was
6 against the people who had brought the proceedings, had
7 brought the litigation. Am I right in that?
8 A. Yes. Yes, you're quite right, and I thought
9 that I was quite accurate.
10 Q. What I want to ask you now is, to your
11 knowledge, has there, in proceedings brought by
12 Mr. Vujin and others against your newspaper, ever been
13 a judgement against you in this matter?
14 A. Sir, they could have started action on
15 several scores -- that is to say, libel, criminal
16 proceedings -- and then they could also seek
17 compensation, so there could have been several courses
18 of action taken. I already said that the initial
19 judgement rejected all of this for formal reasons
20 because they had not composed their criminal report,
21 because they brought charges against perpetrators
22 unknown, and the newspaper itself is not a legal
23 person, as I already said.
24 I already said to you that the judgement was
25 in favour of Srpska Rec, the publisher the charges were
1 brought against, and it was against the persons who
2 brought charges because their legal counsel, Mr. Toma
3 Fila, did not know how to compose the document
4 containing charges according to the law on litigation.
5 Q. I'm going to ask you, given what you've said
6 to us, to look, please, at a document which is at pages
7 602, really, to 617, which is in a filing made on the
8 23rd of April of this year by Mr. Vujin, information
9 submitted by Mr. Vujin.
10 MR. ABELL: As I say, it should be in Your
11 Honours' papers at page 602 through to 617, 618. A
12 scheduling order, on my pagination, is at page 634, if
13 that assists. Could it please be shown to the
15 Q. I appreciate, Mr. Brkic, that that document
16 you've been given is in English. It was filed, to the
17 best of my knowledge, by Mr. Vujin in English, and I
18 don't believe -- at least if there is, I've never seen
19 it -- that there is any Serbo-Croat, Yugoslavian
20 original document of which that is a translation. But
21 I want you, please, to look, if you can, at page 611,
22 top right, 6-1-1, top right.
23 A. I imagine that these were the charges brought
24 against -- yes?
25 MR. ABELL: I don't know whether Your Honours
1 have copies or whether it would be easier if the
2 document is put on the epidiascope so that the Court
3 can follow the document at the same time.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That will certainly be
5 helpful to me because I am not in the happy position of
6 having the documents, and I believe there are other
7 colleagues who are in the similar position.
8 MR. VUJIN: Your Honour, may I just intervene
9 at this point?
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes.
11 MR. VUJIN: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 In the brief that I sent by mail, in addition
13 to all the texts that were translated into English that
14 I sent by fax in order to save time, I sent to the
15 Court the originals or rather photocopies of these
16 documents in the Serbo-Croat language, and I'm sure
17 that the Court should have these documents in the
18 Serbian language as well.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Mr. Vujin.
20 Mr. Abell, are you in a position to proceed?
21 Is the witness handicapped in any way?
22 MR. ABELL: Your Honour, we shall have to
23 see. The document is in English. For reasons which
24 will become apparent in a moment, if I can just say,
25 for reasons which will become apparent in a moment, the
1 originals may be very important.
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Vujin is signalling
3 that he has an original.
4 MR. ABELL: That's helpful.
5 THE REGISTRAR: This document could be
6 numbered as being Exhibit 11 because we do not have the
7 original in Serbo-Croatian in our files.
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Any objections from the
9 Prosecution? No objections. Then the document is
11 MR. ABELL: May I see the document before
12 it's passed to the witness, Your Honour?
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, Mr. Vujin?
14 MR. VUJIN: Your Honour, may I be free to
15 leave for five minutes, please? I have to go to my car
16 only for five minutes in order to get the originals of
17 these documents.
18 A. Your Honour, I have understood the substance
19 of these documents, and I do not need the originals in
20 the Serbian language.
21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Vujin, you've heard
22 what the witness has said. It's now ten minutes to
23 one. We will be breaking off shortly, and you may then
24 conveniently go to your car for any additional material
25 you may require. Thank you very much.
1 MR. VUJIN: Yes.
2 MR. ABELL: What I want to ask you,
3 Mr. Brkic, is this: The document which we have in
4 English -- I wonder if it could be put on the screen so
5 people can follow it.
6 On page 611, the first page of the document,
7 it appears to be -- 611. Could it be moved, please, so
8 we could see the top of the document? Further down.
9 Thank you.
10 It appears to be a translation of a document,
11 and it says: "Law office, Fila, First Municipal Court
12 in Belgrade, Belgrade," filed on April the 27th, 1995,
13 and then there are a list of Prosecutors, Tomo Fila;
14 Guberina; Milan Vujin from New Belgrade, with an
15 address; and then there are various other names. Are
16 those the lawyers to which you have just referred to,
17 Mr. Brkic, who are suing your newspaper?
18 A. Yes. Yes, these are the lawyers concerned.
19 With your permission, I have here before me the
20 original, rather, a copy of the original that the court
21 or, rather, Judge Govedarica ruled on this and actually
22 rejected this, and I already said her name was
24 Q. I know. Can I come to that in a moment? The
25 accused, still on that page, is Slobodne Novine, Srpska
1 Rec. Is that a Serb word? That's for "newspaper"?
2 A. "Srpska Rec" is the newspaper, and
3 "Slobodne," that is a qualification. A newspaper is a
4 newspaper, and whether a newspaper is opposition or
5 pro-government, or free or not free, that is a question
6 of taste, and that is why a newspaper cannot be called
7 a free newspaper, Slobodne.
8 They didn't even know how to compose this
9 document. As I said, they could have brought charges
10 against Srpska Rec. Srpska Rec is a legal person.
11 They have a giro account, et cetera, et cetera. But
12 why did they put this, "Slobodne"? I mean, that shows
13 you how professional these lawyers are, begging your
15 Q. Mr. Brkic, that's the name of the newspaper
16 then. Then we see that the suit, the litigation, is
17 for compensation for damage in issue 199 of the
18 magazine for March the 13th of 1995, and the headline,
19 if the clerk can kindly move it up, the headline is the
20 journalist, Milovan Brkic, titled "Secret Police
21 Travels to The Hague", with the subheadline "The
22 Lawyers Provocateurs First Extort the Confession From
23 Their Clients and Then Deliver Them to the Police."
24 Is that a reference to the article that you
25 have referred to in your two statements which were
1 filed before this Court?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I want to, before the luncheon adjournment,
4 move to the point that I'm trying to make. If we go
5 now, please, to page 608, although the page number is
6 before 611, this, in fact, is page 4 of that document,
7 because the court pagination, forgive me, appears to be
8 in reverse.
9 On that page, towards the bottom, do we see
10 "The Judgement: The accused Slobodne Novine 'Srpska
11 Rec' from Belgrade is obliged to pay the prosecutors as
12 the compensation for the non-material damage of psyche
13 injury," it reads, "to Toma Fila for the injury of his
14 honour and reputation and the honour and reputation of
15 his father late Filota File the amount of 10,000.00
16 dinars, to Veljko Guberina for the injury of his honour
17 and reputation the amount of 10,000.00 dinars, to Milan
18 Vujin for the injury of his honour and his reputation
19 the amount of 10,000.00 dinars," and so it goes on, in
20 other words, purporting to be a judgement against the
21 newspaper? Do you understand?
22 A. I understand, but I think that you have not
23 understood. This is the proposal of a judgement that
24 is mentioned in the charges that are brought against a
25 person. You have to -- when you're filing charges
1 against someone, you have to say what kind of a ruling
2 you would like the court to pass and this is just a
3 proposal. Have you understood what I said?
4 Q. Yes, I think so. Is it in any way a final
5 judgement against the newspaper?
6 A. I think we have not understood each other at
7 all. You quoted a document to me which are the charges
8 that were brought by the lawyers. When they bring
9 charges before a court of law, then they have to
10 propose a judgement, what they would like the judgement
11 to be. So you can see this in the Serbian original.
12 Then it is the court that passes the judgement.
13 I'm sorry. You are not familiar with our
14 criminal procedure and legislation, but according to
15 our criminal legislation, when a party brings charges
16 before a court of law, then they have to put in this
17 document what kind of a judgement they would like the
18 court to pass. It would be very regrettable if we did
19 not understand one another because these are very
20 important things.
21 Q. I agree, and I want to be clear, and if I'm
22 the only one who is not, the position is this: That
23 this is not a final judgement. You're saying it's
24 merely a lawyer's document inviting the court to make
25 that judgement in the future; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Well, I have more questions to
3 put after lunch. I'm going to move from that topic.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Mr. Abell.
5 This is a convenient -- yes, Ms. Hollis.
6 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honours, if the Prosecution
7 could beg the indulgence of the Appeals Chamber and ask
8 to go into private session for a clarification before
9 the luncheon recess, not closed but private, as to a
10 matter earlier decided, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You assure the bench it
12 will not necessitate any considerable extension of time
13 beyond --
14 MS. HOLLIS: No, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: -- 1.00? Mr. Registrar,
16 you can do that.
17 [Private session]
13 page 634 redacted – private session
13 page 635 redacted – private session
13 page 636 redacted – private session
19 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.07 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.40 p.m.
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The sitting is resumed.
3 Mr. Yapa, you're on your feet.
4 MR. YAPA: I have an application to make,
5 Your Honour. May I be excused from the rest of the
6 proceedings this afternoon?
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Indeed.
8 Mr. Abell, you were on your legs at the
10 MR. ABELL: I was, indeed.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. Do be seated.
14 MR. ABELL:
15 Q. Mr. Brkic, I want to continue to ask you
16 questions, and I don't want you for one moment to
17 misunderstand me in the questions I was asking you
18 before lunch. I am not suggesting that there was a
19 judgement by the court against your newspaper. I
20 simply wanted your evidence to confirm that the case
21 was not decided in favour of Mr. Vujin. In case
22 anybody who saw the papers that I showed you before
23 lunch had misunderstood and thought that that was
24 actually a judgement, I wanted your evidence to say
25 there was none. Do you understand?
1 A. Yes. Yes, I've understood now.
2 Q. Thank you. Let us leave that topic alone
4 I have a series of questions for you, and it
5 will help me and it may help Their Honours, if you, as
6 I'm sure you will, listen carefully to my questions and
7 try to answer just the question I ask. If I want more
8 information from you, I'll ask it. All right?
9 A. All right.
10 Q. Firstly, can I ask you this: Do you know
11 Dusko Tadic personally?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know any member of his family
15 A. No.
16 Q. Do you know Mr. Vujin personally?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Have you met him?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Have you ever been present at any meetings or
21 conversations that he has had?
22 A. I was present with one of my colleagues, the
23 editor of Student, in the office of Mr. Guberina in
24 which Mr. Vujin was also present and a lady, Mrs. Mara
25 Pilipovic, who works in the same office as Mr. Vujin.
1 I think that we were even on friendly terms. That is
2 what we could term them. That is how I envisaged
4 Q. Do you have any personal grudge or bias
5 against Mr. Vujin?
6 A. No, I personally do not. Really, I do not.
7 I have never had any personal conflicts with
8 Mr. Vujin. For your information, Mr. Fila's offices
9 have sued me on several occasions with regard to their
10 clients, but we are on very good terms. We sit down
11 together, we talk together, and it's their job to do
12 what is their job, and luckily, they have brought no
13 charges, nothing personal.
14 Q. Do you have any particular favouritism or
15 feelings towards Mr. Tadic or bias towards him?
16 A. I see the man for the first time. I can only
17 suppose that the man sitting over there is Mr. Dusko
18 Tadic, but I have never seen him before. I just know
19 that our police turned him over in Germany, that is,
20 they took him to Germany for him to be turned over to
21 the Tribunal, for them to bring an indictment against
23 Q. My question was: Do you have any personal
24 favouritism or bias towards Mr. Tadic?
25 A. No, I cannot have any personal favouritism
1 for somebody who I did not know existed. I don't know
2 where he comes from, I know none of Mr. Tadic's family,
3 and I am not really interested, that is to say, I have
4 no relationship towards the acts that he performed.
5 Whether he's guilty or not, that is something for the
6 Tribunal to ascertain. So I cannot comment and,
7 therefore, I have no personal relationship towards
9 Q. Thank you. What is it that drove you or
10 motivated you to make the two statements that you --
11 well, no, firstly, the article which you wrote, the
12 newspaper article which is attached to the two
13 statements that have been filed in this Court? What is
14 it that drove you or motivated you to write that
16 A. I wanted, as a journalist, to inform the
17 public of the Republic of Serbia, the state in which I
18 live, that our political leadership is endeavouring to
19 behave in such a way as to obstruct the International
20 Tribunal in a way that is not -- does not befit it, and
21 I wanted to inform my readers of the intentions of the
23 Q. Were you aware, when you wrote the article,
24 that it obviously contains serious allegations about
25 members of the legal profession?
1 A. At all events, I consider myself to be a
2 responsible individual and against me as a journalist,
3 and I have always given my all to the profession. I
4 have given my life to the profession in the struggle
5 for democracy in my own country, and I risked my own
6 life in doing so.
7 More than 570 times criminal charges were
8 brought against me for slander, liable and so forth by
9 the protagonists of the state. Of the 570 charges
10 brought against me, I have only lost one case with the
11 son of the president of the Federal Republic of
12 Yugoslavia, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic. The court
13 concluded in that particular case that I presented
14 untruths with regard to the property and riches of the
15 son of the president of Yugoslavia, Mr. Milosevic, and
16 I had to pay compensation, fines. But from all the
17 others you can deduce whether I have done my job
18 professionally or not.
19 Q. So out of 570 cases brought against you, 569
20 you have won is what you're saying?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you help me about this --
23 forgive me, but back to the question I asked you which
24 is this: When you wrote the article, presumably you
25 realised that it contained serious allegations against
1 members of the legal profession in the former
3 A. As you're asking me that question, I suppose
4 that you know of the country I live in, and that for
5 assertions and allegations of that kind in a text you
6 can be brought before a criminal court of law. You can
7 lose a lot of money and you can lose your head, because
8 privately any associate of the regime or criminal can
9 ask for your head and ask for your murder.
10 I had no personal reason to subject myself to
11 that danger. I wanted to help the democratic forces in
12 the country so that in my own country too conditions
13 could be made for democratic institutions to flourish.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Abell, may I ask you
15 to explore a little more this aspect, whether these
16 slander actions were of a criminal nature or a civil
18 MR. ABELL: I will, Your Honour. Can I just
19 deal with this point?
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Of course. Of course.
21 MR. ABELL:
22 Q. Mr. Brkic, you have really answered the next
23 question that I was going to ask, which was that you
24 are aware of the consequences of telling such serious
25 lies if they are lies?
1 A. Yes. If I may, I would like to quote the
2 example of 1987, when I published an article in a
3 newspaper which was published in Ljubljana, Slovenia, a
4 text and the title of "There Are People at Play in Our
5 Country of Serbia", and I set out the initial policies
6 of the president, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic. I analysed
7 his personal and family circumstances.
8 As I say, I analysed his personal and family
9 circumstances, and because of that text which was
10 published in Slovenia, that is to say, in another
11 republic, the magistrate in Belgrade gave me 50 days
12 imprisonment for violating the repute of social and
13 political organisations, and nothing like that existed
14 in any laws of the world apart from that of Hitler's
15 Germany and in Stalin's code of law.
16 So I spent 15 days in prison, but the Supreme
17 Court of the Republic of Serbia refuted its sentence
18 and set me free. That is to say, fined me with a fine
19 of 1.000 dinars because I did not give my correct
20 address. For that incrimination I paid the fee and the
21 fine and I was released.
22 So I am conscious of the repercussions of the
23 articles I write and the risks I run in writing those
24 texts, of course, if the facts are incorrect and
1 I am not a masochist, nor am I a psychopath
2 to go against me, so it is very difficult to prove the
3 correctness of your quotations, particularly if -- even
4 if you do do so in a court of law. This has no
5 repercussions on the people that you have quoted, and
6 20 per cent of my texts, luckily, that I have published
7 were initiated by proceedings against people who abuse
8 their functions, state functions, political functions,
9 or functions within courts of law.
10 Q. Please pause there, Mr. Brkic. Just help me
11 with this question, just to clarify the situation. If
12 this article that you had written was a tissue of lies
13 in the allegations it makes against Mr. Vujin and his
14 colleagues, would you be subject just to possible civil
15 liable action or could you be subject to a criminal
16 charge in your country?
17 A. Mr. Milan Vujin, the lawyer, could, according
18 to the Criminal Code, bring in a criminal charge
19 against me on the basis of Article 92 of the Criminal
20 Code of the Republic of Serbia, that is the criminal
21 action of slander and liable, and Article 93 of the
22 Republic of Serbia.
23 For that kind of crime you can go to prison
24 for one year. The prison sentence is a maximum of one
25 year, or if the prosecutor has proved that there were
1 more serious violations, then the imprisonment can be
2 from six months to three years imprisonment.
3 The criminal charge -- Mr. Milan Vujin or the
4 other lawyers did not file criminal charges against me,
5 nor did they mention me as the individual encompassed
6 in the charge and action, although, according to the
7 law on public information in the Republic of Serbia,
8 which was in force at the time, according to Article
9 13, I was subject for a misdemeanour, but as I say,
10 they only sued the paper and not myself as the author
11 of the article. By filing a criminal charge, this does
12 not exclude proceedings and litigation. They are two
13 actions that can be brought parallelly.
14 Q. So in other words, you could personally have
15 been sued in the civil courts for liable and also been
16 made a defendant in criminal proceedings if this
17 article contains lies about Mr. Vujin and his
19 A. In the criminal proceedings I could only have
20 been responsible, because I was the author of the
21 text. So I could only have been incorporated in this
22 criminal proceeding. In the civil courts, according to
23 Article 13 of the Law on Public Information for Serbia,
24 which was abolished last year but was strict at the
25 time in the extreme sense for payment of fines, and it
1 is the publisher of the newspaper that could have
2 been -- that charges could have been filed against. So
3 I was left out of all that. I was left out of the
5 Q. Your editor, he obviously would have seen
6 your article before a decision was made to publish it
7 in the newspaper; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. Is he also a man who is well aware of the
10 consequences of publishing serious lies that could
11 damage an important man's reputation, in his
13 A. Perhaps you consider us coming from Serbia
14 citizens of the Third Order, but the man editing the
15 paper is a serious man and, therefore, I see no reason
16 for you to ask me questions which -- do you want to say
17 that we are all irresponsible?
18 Q. No. You may misunderstand me. I'm not
19 trying to suggest that at all. I'm trying to establish
20 that you as a journalist, and your editor as a
21 newspaper editor, would not be in the business of
22 publishing serious lies. That's what I'm trying to
23 establish from you, bring out in your evidence.
24 A. In the society in which I live and in the
25 state in which I live, sir, the publication of
1 falsehoods is not only sanctioned legally but my very
2 life can be in danger.
3 Q. Does it come to this: That you were driven
4 to publish that article because it was the truth from
5 your investigations, and because you considered that it
6 was a serious enough situation that your investigations
7 had uncovered that it should be published and made
8 known to the public?
9 A. I deeply believe in freedom and democracy.
10 My people, unfortunately, are not free, and in the
11 state that I come from there is no democracy. This is
12 shown by the fact that the key people in my country
13 have been indicted by this Tribunal for the gravest of
15 Being a journalist and publishing articles,
16 including the one that we are discussing right now, I
17 wanted to avoid new scandals. I believed that one day
18 the role of our lawyers in the defence of indictees
19 before The Hague Tribunal would finally be revealed.
20 At that time I could not have envisaged that
21 proceedings would be initiated against Mr. Vujin before
22 this Tribunal. I did not initiate these proceedings.
23 I published this article four years ago. I believe
24 that you do not think that I am a prophet and that I
25 was in a position to foresee this.
1 Q. The question was: Were you driven to write
2 and have published this article because your
3 investigation showed that it was the truth? It's a
4 very simple question.
5 A. If it were not the truth, I would not have
6 published the article.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, I just want to ask you one
8 or two questions to expand one or two points that you
9 raise in the article.
10 Could we please look at page 2 of the
12 MR. ABELL: If it assists Your Honours, it
13 probably doesn't, but the top right it's page 5356.
14 Page 2, bottom right of the article.
15 Q. Do you have it, Mr. Brkic? You have the
16 original in your language. If it helps, I will read
17 out the paragraph that I am referring to:
18 "When the possibility of trying war
19 criminals was announced and the proposal for
20 establishing a International Tribunal was put forward,
21 the president," there's a gap which isn't legible, "the
22 president of the Serbian bar association, Milan Vujin,
23 and statements by Mr. Guberina, they all denigrated the
24 idea of trying war criminals."
25 Do you have that passage?
1 A. If I understood you correctly, you are asking
2 me whether it is true that all lawyers who appear
3 before the International Criminal Tribunal as defence
4 counsel for the accused, in their statements, and in
5 the bar association of Serbia, and in the Yugoslav and
6 Serb media reject --
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, counsel is
8 only asking you at this time if you have located the
9 passage in the article.
10 MR. ABELL: I'm very grateful to Your
12 Q. Mr. Brkic, please don't worry. I'm just
13 trying to do -- I'm just trying to make sure that
14 you --
15 A. Translation is no good.
16 Q. All right. Please listen, Mr. Brkic. I'm
17 trying to make sure that you have got the paragraph
18 that I am trying to ask you about. That's all. I'm
19 not making any accusations. I'm not attacking you,
20 Mr. Brkic, at all. I hope you understand me. I just
21 want you to identify the paragraph. Okay?
22 If it helps, I have it in the English
23 translation, two or three paragraphs down from a
24 heading "Opposed But Ready". I don't know if that
25 helps you, Mr. Brkic. And the paragraph describes a
1 declaration --
2 A. Yeah. Right.
3 Q. -- denigrating the trying of war criminals.
4 Tell me when you've found that paragraph.
5 A. Unfortunately, this translation is no good
6 or, rather, the photocopy is no good.
7 Q. Do you mean the original newspaper article?
8 A. Yes. Yes. You can see it from there, can't
9 you? See? It's a very bad photocopy. I know what I
10 wrote in the text but I can't find it here. See? You
11 can see what a poor photocopy it is.
12 Q. I don't know whether there exists with the
13 Tribunal a better photocopy. The only document that
14 has reached me is the English translation. I think I'm
15 the same as everyone else, all the other lawyers in the
16 case, all the other parties.
17 A. I found it. I found it.
18 Q. Good. Thank you, Mr. Brkic.
19 A. It says all of them were opposed to the idea
20 of trying individuals for war crimes.
21 Q. Does that include Mr. Milan Vujin?
22 A. Yes. Yes. Mr. Vujin often appeared in the
23 media, and he denied the right of The Hague Tribunal to
24 try war criminals, and then he said that this court was
25 unfounded, and that they were not in charge, and that
1 the United Nations were not entitled to set up ad hoc
2 Tribunals for war crimes and that the aim of this was
3 to discredit Serbs.
4 Q. Were you ever present at any meeting, either
5 private or public, to hear Mr. Vujin expressing those
7 A. I watched Mr. Vujin on television. I saw him
8 appear on TV programmes and I read what he said in the
10 Q. And it was on that topic, was it?
11 A. Yes, on that topic, on the topic of the
12 attitude of the Yugoslav judiciary towards the
13 International Tribunal.
14 Q. So opposed to the Tribunal, opposed to the
15 work of the Tribunal, and opposed to discrediting
17 A. They believed that the Tribunal was a
18 political means of pressure against the Serbs and that
19 it was created with a view to depicting Serbs as
20 criminals in the eyes of the world. It did not
21 recognise the legitimacy and legality of the Tribunal,
22 but they all came to defend persons accused before this
23 very same Tribunal.
24 Q. So in our English translation, just a few
25 lines further down: "When the Serbian Bar Association
1 received a polite call to draw up a list of ten
2 attorneys and send it to the Tribunal," do you have
3 that part?
4 A. I know I wrote that, yes. Yes, I can see it
6 Q. Thank you. Just read the paragraph to
7 yourself. You say: "The same lawyers who vowed
8 that 'In the name of constitutional principles, we must
9 not allow the surrender of our people' made a secret
10 list in the State Security Service signing a statement
11 that they would loyally cooperate with the service and
12 that as defence counsel, they would report on the
13 behaviour of suspects in court."
14 What was the basis of your saying that, that
15 there was a secret list of lawyers who would cooperate
16 with the service, UDBA, and report on the behaviour of
18 A. I already told you that I had established
19 contact with a man in a high position in the State
20 Security Service, and he showed me this list that was
21 made up and was headed by Mr. Vujin. I think at that
22 time, he was the president of the bar association of
24 Q. That is Mr. Vujin?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would you have ever published such a thing if
2 you had not been convinced that it was a true fact?
3 A. I never would have published it otherwise
4 because, indeed, I hold nothing against Mr. Vujin.
5 Would any normal person accuse anyone of that? What
6 would be my reasons for doing that? Why would I expose
7 myself to the danger of being criminally charged and
8 being tried and being ordered to pay fines, et cetera?
9 After all, various persons could say, "Look, this man
10 is persecuting me. Take care of him." Of course I
11 would not have exposed myself to all of that had I not
12 profoundly believed in it.
13 Q. Can we go to a place a little further in your
15 MR. ABELL: Your Honours, it's near the
16 bottom of page 5.
17 Q. "Sources acquainted with the work of this
18 group of provocateurs from the ranks of attorneys claim
19 that the preparation and special training of Hague
20 attorneys has already begun to make them capable of
21 controlling their clients, to warn them to keep their
22 mouths shut and to be careful not to get carried away
23 and denigrate Serbian leaders."
24 Again, would you have contemplated publishing
25 such a thing if you had not been convinced that it was
1 the truth?
2 A. No. No, I, indeed, would not have written
3 that otherwise for various reasons, for several
4 reasons. Persons who were already aware that they were
5 going to The Hague, I mean, I would not want to upset
6 them, that they would have to face such lawyers. I
7 would not wish to expose the State of Serbia to yet a
8 new shameful thing that could compromise it even more
9 before the international public.
10 Q. Was Mr. Vujin, from the information you
11 received, one of these people you referred to as Hague
12 attorneys involved in controlling their clients,
13 warning them to keep their mouths shut and not to get
14 carried away and denigrate Serbian leaders?
15 A. Whether he did that in the case of Mr. Tadic
16 or not, I do not know. But I know that as for the
17 plans of the State Security Service, he held a
18 significant position in those plans.
19 Q. Mr. Vujin held a significant position in
20 those plans, if this is a fair way of putting it, to
21 control --
22 A. The secret service.
23 Q. -- to control defendants before the Tribunal,
24 to prevent them implicating, saying anything that may
25 implicate other people as yet undetected?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Does that include, if need be, to control
3 their clients for the "good of the state" even at the
4 expense of those individual defendants' own chances of
5 putting forward a proper defence?
6 A. Individuals indicted by the International
7 Criminal Tribunal are of no significance whatsoever to
8 the state leadership of the country. They only wanted
9 them not to go too far in their defence, and they had
10 their families as hostages.
11 Q. I just want to ask you one or two questions,
12 Mr. Brkic, about the two statements that you made dated
13 the 8th of February of this year and the 18th of
14 February of this year. Please go with me to the one
15 dated the 18th of February. I want now to be very
16 specific about Mr. Tadic's case and Mr. Vujin.
17 You make an assertion or a conclusion in your
18 evidence, in your written statement, number 2: "I have
19 information that he controlled evidence," that is,
20 Mr. Vujin, "in the case of the criminal proceedings
21 against Mr. Dusko Tadic and that he manipulated the
22 evidence on the orders of the Serbian MUP ..." Help us
23 with that. "MUP" is?
24 A. Ministry of the Interior. Within the
25 Ministry of the Interior is the State Security
2 Q. Reading on: "... and the Information and
3 Documentation Service of the Ministry of Foreign
4 Affairs with the aim of preventing Mr. Dusko Tadic from
5 implicating other perpetrators in his testimony before
6 the Tribunal and exposing high officials in Republika
7 Srpska, Serbia, and Montenegro to prosecution. This
8 information comes from the highest ranks of the Serbian
10 Then at paragraph 5, you say: "I do not
11 merely believe that Mr. Vujin undermined Mr. Dusko
12 Tadic's defence. I have concrete proof of this which I
13 cannot present in this written answer."
14 Those two paragraphs pose a very serious
15 question, Mr. Brkic. Are they the truth as you know it
16 to be from your investigations and your information?
17 A. I don't know whether my statement will make
18 Mr. Tadic's defence more difficult, but I'm going to
19 tell you the truth, and I hope Mr. Tadic will forgive
20 me. The wife of Mr. Tadic is not a citizen of the
21 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Mr. Vujin made it
22 possible for Mrs. Tadic to obtain Yugoslav
23 citizenship. Of course, the granting of citizenship
24 was a protracted process, and when Mr. Dusan Tadic
25 became aware or, rather, when he withdrew his power of
1 attorney, when he did not want Mr. Vujin to represent
2 him anymore, Mr. Vujin helped the family of the accused
3 Tadic financially from the money that he got from the
4 Tribunal for the defence of Mr. Tadic.
5 Q. The question I ask is whether the statements
6 you make in paragraph 2 and 5 of your statement are the
8 A. Yes. Do you want me to explain how I came to
9 know this?
10 Q. Yes, I was just about to ask you. Did you
11 have a source? I'm not asking you at the moment to
12 name that person, but did you have a source or sources
13 for this information?
14 A. Yes. A man from the State Security Service
15 showed me that Mr. Tadic, when he talked to the
16 investigators in the International Criminal Tribunal,
17 he "talked a lot", and that he told the Tribunal about
18 everything that he knew that was going on in Republika
19 Srpska, and that his defence had implicated quite a few
20 persons in Republika Srpska as persons who had
21 committed grave crimes against humanity, and that is
22 what this Tribunal was set up for.
23 He asked his defence counsel, Mr. Vujin, to
24 investigate this, to go and to see people who could
25 testify on behalf of his defence, and Mr. Vujin,
1 underground, refused to send the statements that he
2 obtained with Mara Pilipovic underground, he refused to
3 send them to the Tribunal.
4 Q. Did you speak face to face with this source
5 within the State Security Service?
6 A. Yes. This is a very important individual,
7 and I could not but believe him because he had no
8 personal reasons whatsoever to speak otherwise of these
9 questions. Several people would be arrested some day,
10 and this proved to be true, and these people that
11 Mr. Tadic mentioned, indeed, were arrested afterwards.
12 Q. Were you satisfied that your source within
13 the security service was a source independent of
14 Mr. Tadic himself?
15 A. I was not satisfied to have heard such
16 things, but I trusted my source. I did not pay him.
17 He was not motivated to sell information to me, as is
18 done, for example, in Western countries, for example,
19 in the United States of America and in other countries
20 where journalists pay people for providing
21 information. He gave me information free of charge,
22 running the risk that I might tell someone who told me
23 all of this, and perhaps this would entail grave
24 consequences for him. So this was a risk that he did
1 Q. Did you ever see anything in writing at all
2 when you had a conversation or conversations with this,
3 as you say, high-up source within the security service?
4 A. He had a file, he had papers, but I trusted
5 him. I did not ask him to have a look myself at these
6 papers because, after all, how should I put this, he
7 could have written these statements himself. I don't
8 know how these things are done, but I trusted him. In
9 such affairs, you either have to trust a person or
11 Q. Had you had conversations on other occasions
12 with this individual, I don't mean about Mr. Tadic, but
13 had you had conversations with this individual on other
14 occasions where he had given you information?
15 A. Yes, yes, and quite a few articles --
16 Q. Did that information that he'd given you on
17 other occasions ever prove to be wrong or unreliable?
18 A. No. No, otherwise, I would not have used
19 him, no. No one in the state that I come from could
20 believe how come I came to receive such information.
21 They thought that I was in the employ of foreign
22 intelligence services, that I was working for some
23 foreign agency or for the KGB or whoever.
24 Q. Are you able to give any specific example,
25 Mr. Brkic, of how it was that Mr. Vujin undermined the
1 defence of Mr. Tadic before the International Criminal
2 Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia?
3 A. Mr. Tadic, as he was defending himself from
4 the accusations brought against him, asked his defence
5 attorney to go to the places where he had allegedly
6 committed crimes and to talk to other people who could
7 testify on his behalf and who could prove that he had
8 not committed the crimes that he was charged with
9 having committed. Mr. Vujin had also employed Mara
10 Pilipovic from his office, and she talked to persons
11 who could have testified on his behalf in his defence,
12 and they could have refuted this thesis, that he had
13 committed crimes. I think that this was Mr. Simo
14 Drlaca, and it was his operations in that part of
15 Republika Srpska that were supposed to be concealed.
16 Q. Who was doing the concealing?
17 A. Well, Mr. Vujin had statements made by
18 various persons and also the notes made by his
19 assistant, Mr. Mara Pilipovic, but he did not inform
20 Mr. Tadic about this and he did not intend to present
21 this in court so that the Court could have insight into
22 the activities of the accused and other persons who at
23 that time were in the territory where these operations
24 were conducted or, rather, where there was a conflict,
25 a war, a civil war.
1 Q. Please stop me if I am overstating the case,
2 but does it come to this: An effort was made if
3 Mr. Tadic's defence might have involved other people as
4 yet undetected being named and being put at risk of
5 arrest and prosecution themselves --
6 A. Yes, that's right. Yes, it boils down to
8 Q. -- that their existence or their names would
9 be concealed even at the expense of putting forward
10 Mr. Tadic's own personal defence in its best possible
12 A. Yes. An effort was made with regard to the
13 persons who were much, much higher up in the hierarchy
14 than Mr. Tadic, that they should not be detected
15 because they could bring down with them the leadership
16 of the so-called Republika Srpska or of Yugoslavia,
17 according to the principle of command responsibility.
18 Q. From what you understood and your information
19 from the source you've mentioned high up in the
20 security service, what, if any, consideration was given
21 by Mr. Vujin to Mr. Tadic's own interests as an accused
22 person before this Tribunal?
23 A. Well, he showed consideration to the
24 assignment and task that he was given, that is to say,
25 that Mr. Tadic in his statements, both to the
1 investigators and before the Tribunal, should not
2 expand the list of people responsible for what had
3 happened in the region of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
4 territory of the Republika Srpska.
5 Q. Let me put it this way: From the information
6 that you saw and heard from this source, was Mr. Vujin
7 representing Mr. Tadic to the best of his ability, or
8 was Mr. Vujin representing, if I can put it this way,
9 the interests, good or bad, of his state?
10 A. He was not representing the interests of the
11 state but tried to represent the interests of the
12 ruling powers, the regime, the representatives of that
13 state. We know that they are all accused by this
14 Tribunal, stand accused by this Tribunal.
15 Q. If the interests of the regime conflicted
16 with his duty to his client, Mr. Tadic, from the
17 information you received which would come first, the
18 regime or his client, Dusko Tadic?
19 A. The regime, of course.
20 Q. I must ask you this: You have referred to a
21 source or sources of information high up in the
22 security service. You were asked by Their Honours
23 earlier on whether you could, if I can put it bluntly,
24 name names.
25 I'm conscious, of course, that this court is
1 in public and in open session. May I be permitted to
2 put it this way, and it would not be my decision, it
3 would be a decision for Their Honours: If this court
4 were to go into closed session and you were permitted
5 to write a name or names on a piece of paper to be
6 shown to Their Honours, would you consider, Mr. Brkic,
7 would you consider putting on a piece of paper the name
8 or names of your source, sources high up in the secret
10 A. If that paper is accessible to Mr. Vujin,
11 then I would be signing the death sentence for those
12 people, the people whose names I can write down. If
13 you think you can bear them on your conscience, then I
14 will do so, I mean, the Tribunal.
15 I hope that the Honourable Tribunal will bear
16 in mind the fact of the country that I live in and that
17 the key people within that state, within that country,
18 occupying the top posts are accused of the worst crimes
19 committed in the history of humankind, and you're
20 asking me to do something that places me in a very,
21 very difficult situation, to be responsible for the
22 lives of people, for the life of a man.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Are you pressing this
24 point, Mr. Abell?
25 MR. ABELL: I'm going to pass the buck, if I
1 may be rude, to Your Honours. If Your Honours wish to
2 go into closed session. It's a matter for Your
3 Honours. We've heard the evidence of this gentleman as
4 to why he feels he cannot unless very special
5 circumstances apply. It would mean certain parties but
6 not all parties in these proceedings seeing those
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, the court would
9 feel safer to be guided by the counsel who is examining
10 the witness.
11 MR. ABELL: I'm not going to press it.
12 Q. One last topic, Mr. Brkic. You mentioned
13 earlier, in answer to me, about people higher up who
14 needed to be protected. Did your source high up in the
15 secret service, in the regime, did he indicate any
16 names of individuals, however high up in the chain of
17 things, who needed to be protected in this case?
18 A. I think they were people who were -- Momir
19 Talic, Mr. Brdjanin, and some other individuals who
20 have not been imprisoned yet and the first who already
21 have. So I don't want to incriminate them.
22 Q. I'm not going to press that aspect any
23 further. Mr. Brkic, I don't have, thank you very much,
24 any further questions for you. Thank you. Would you
25 wait there, please?
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Keegan?
2 Questioned by Mr. Keegan:
3 Q. Thank you Your Honour. Mr. Brkic, to assist
4 you in framing your answers, the time period, the
5 relevant time period that we're concerned with for
6 these proceedings is September of 1997 to April 1998.
7 When I'm speaking or asking you questions, I'm
8 referring to what you may have known during that -- or
9 become aware of events that occurred during that time
11 You refer to, just to go back to the last
12 section of questions asked by Mr. Abell, your
13 Exhibit 10, which is your statement of 18 February,
14 1999, the fact that that Mr. Vujin controlled
15 evidence. What evidence that you know of did he
16 control and when was that?
17 A. Mr. Vujin, in talks with his client,
18 Mr. Tadic, acquired knowledge of what kind of direct
19 knowledge his client had that took place in the events
20 for which Mr. Tadic stands accused. He asked that his
21 Defence counsel go and ascertain who was in command in
22 the area, in command of the units, the police, the
23 army, who had command responsibility in the crisis
24 staffs, who could have committed a crime, who could
25 have committed ethnic cleansing or transfer of the
2 So Mr. Tadic, as a direct participant and
3 somebody from the area, knew by name the people who,
4 during that period of his indictment, were in the area
5 at that time, and he asked that his Defence counsel
6 should check this out and said that he, of course, did
7 not commit the crime that he committed.
8 Mr. Vujin, with his associate from his
9 office, Mara Pilipovic, he entrusted her as his
10 investigator and she would go to the area to talk to
11 the people named by Mr. Tadic himself.
12 Q. All of these specific areas which Mr. Tadic
13 advised Mr. Vujin to investigate, you learned all of
14 these specific questions from your source in the SDB?
15 A. Yes. Yes, yes. He did not, of course, say
16 whether everything that Mr. Tadic said was correct,
17 that is to say, in the sense that he wasn't at such a
18 place at such a time, but what was the defence, the
19 overall defence of Mr. Tadic and which could have
20 compromised others and possibly bring -- throw doubt,
21 cast doubt on the participation of Mr. Tadic. That
22 evidence did not turn up before the Tribunal or before
23 Mr. Tadic, as the accused, as evidence in his favour.
24 Q. Did your source from the SDB tell you how he
25 became aware of these very particular instructions that
1 Mr. Tadic had given to Mr. Vujin?
2 A. Mr. Vujin, as a lawyer who did not recognise
3 the competencies of the International Tribunal, had
4 strong contacts with the state police, with the secret
5 police, and so in his work and presence at this
6 Tribunal he, of course, wrote reports about that, and
7 his contacts with the accused, the judges, the lawyers
8 and so on. Everything was recorded in detail so that
9 our police, that is to say, the police in Serbia, had
10 insight into what was going on at the Tribunal.
11 Q. You also say that, in your statement,
12 Mr. Vujin manipulated the evidence. What specific
13 instances are you aware of that he manipulated
14 particular evidence and when would that have occurred?
15 A. The man from the State Security Service that
16 I talked to gave the assessment that on the basis of
17 what he had before him, Mr. Vujin had been given a task
18 and that he was fulfilling it very well, and that the
19 evidence which would incriminate other people and which
20 would throw doubt on the indictment of Mr. Tadic
21 generally, then Mr. Vujin did away with that evidence.
22 I was not personally interested in
23 Mr. Tadic's case and people indicted for crimes, war
24 crimes. I would just like the Tribunal to pass
25 sentence as soon as possible, and I can't believe that
1 they're so slow in doing so for people that are accused
2 of murdering hundreds of people.
3 So I personally wasn't interested to ask why,
4 what witness and so on, because I would show a lack of
5 trust towards the individual that was giving me this
6 information. So I just heard his assessments and the
7 information that he gave, and I took them to be
8 absolutely correct but I did not enter into detail.
9 As I say, I wasn't personally interested in
10 Mr. Tadic's case in particular. He was accused of war
11 crimes, and I was sure that the Tribunal would reach a
12 judgement in the case.
13 What I want to say, I did not take the
14 testimonies of one witness or another witness. I
15 didn't go into details, into any complete details
16 because, as I say, it was an individual who wielded
17 considerable influence and perhaps even decide on
18 whether Mr. Vujin was to go ahead with his job or not.
19 Q. So I take it then that your source in the SDB
20 did not explain to you what the contents of any of
21 these statements were that Mr. Vujin and his associates
22 took, so you have no idea whether, in fact, they would
23 have helped Mr. Tadic or hurt Mr. Tadic and his
25 A. Well, at all events, it wouldn't have made it
1 more difficult for him to defend himself because
2 following some logics, Mr. Tadic would not have
3 proposed somebody to be heard and to testify who would
4 testify against him.
5 So as I say, had I insisted, I could have
6 obtained details, but as I personally was not
7 interested in the case, then I was not interested in
8 the details. I didn't want to burden myself with such
9 names as Mita Mitrovic, just to quote an ad hoc
10 example. I believed the man who was providing me with
11 this information, because I considered him to be in the
12 very peaks of the security service and that he was in
13 charge of this operation, working with the lawyers, and
14 that the information that he was giving me was, in
15 fact, absolutely truthful.
16 So in simplified terms, he told me that
17 Mr. Vujin -- the evidence that Mara Filipovic had
18 collected, his investigator, which indicated that other
19 people had committed crimes in the area during the time
20 of the indictment and for which Mr. Tadic was accused,
21 that the reports and statements of those witnesses were
22 given neither to Mr. Tadic nor to the Tribunal.
23 Q. Did you ever take it upon yourself to review
24 the evidence actually submitted by Mr. Vujin in the
25 Tadic case to determine if, in fact, he had submitted
1 information which implicated others?
2 A. I do not know how Mr. Vujin -- in which way
3 he defended Mr. Tadic and what evidence he submitted to
4 the Tribunal, but I know that the security service has
5 control over Mr. Vujin, and I was informed by the man
6 there that Mr. Vujin had been given instructions to do
7 away with that evidence.
8 MR. KEEGAN: No further questions. Thank
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Mr. Keegan.
11 Mr. Domazet?
12 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour. Your
13 Honours, I'm going to pose my questions in Serbian,
14 because I think that that will facilitate matters both
15 because of the witness and for purposes of the
16 interpretation as well, because they had some problems
17 when I was speaking French earlier on today.
18 Questioned by Mr. Domazet:
19 Q. Can you tell me please, Mr. Brkic, in what
20 way you came to be a witness in this case, through your
21 own initiative or through somebody else's initiative?
22 A. I was invited one day by a lawyer. I think I
23 saw his name here somewhere. Vladimir Bosovic, that
24 was the man. He called me and asked me -- he told me
25 that he had read my text from the Srpska Rec, and he
1 asked me how far it had gone with regard to the
3 I told him that -- of the court where the
4 proceedings were going. I photocopied the charge
5 brought by Mr. Toma Fila, and the judgement of the
6 court, and the district court abolishing the charge,
7 and the instructions given to the court of the first
8 instance in its decision-making, and in that talk he
9 told me that he was -- had been engaged by the defence
10 counsel of Mr. Tadic to study the allegations made in
11 the text with regard to the previous activities of
12 Mr. Vujin, his professional activities, and he asked me
13 to -- whether I would be ready to answer some of his
15 I answered -- he sent me his questions in
16 writing, and I responded to those questions in
18 Q. Was it a case of the evidence that we had
19 here today, Exhibits 9 and 10?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell us, please, Mr. Brkic, how long
22 you have been a journalist? When did you start working
23 as a journalist? I suppose you're a journalist today.
24 A. I started working in 1978. I got a job as a
25 journalist for the first time in 1978.
1 Q. Can you tell us what schooling you've had?
2 A. I have graduated from the faculty of
3 mathematics, but I don't know if the State Security
4 Service gave you other information about me.
5 Q. Today you testified that there were 570
6 charges brought against you in courts in Yugoslavia,
7 against you.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Does that also refer to charges brought
10 against you and the papers you work for?
11 A. No, only against myself.
12 Q. So exclusively against you yourself?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Both in civil actions and in criminal
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Of those actions, how many have been
18 completed up till today?
19 A. Well, I think that five are still ongoing,
20 that judgments are pending in five cases.
21 Q. You said that in only one case you were
22 proclaimed guilty, that is to say, you had to pay a
23 fine, if I recall correctly.
24 What about all the other cases? Were you
25 also -- were you found not guilty? Were the charges
1 rejected, dismissed?
2 A. Well, they were either dismissed -- in five
3 cases the proceedings were interrupted because they
4 were outdated and abolished by the higher courts, and
5 in the meantime, the passage of time, that is to say,
6 four years had gone by, and they were discontinued as
8 Q. So at this point in time, there are only five
9 cases that are ongoing; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you regularly go to court when you were
12 called up, for the most part?
13 A. Yes. On a regular basis I went when I was
14 called. It's rather a large number.
15 Q. Well, that is why I have asked you the
16 question, because it would appear that you appear in
17 court every week.
18 A. Well, I did not turn up for a court hearing
19 on one occasion and I was fined by a judge.
20 Q. Mr. Brkic, you told us that the individual
21 that gave you the information in the State Security
22 Service, that you saw a list of Yugoslav lawyers,
23 Serbian lawyers compiled by the bar association as
24 defence counsel for The Hague.
25 Do you recall how many lawyers were on that
2 A. Well, that event took place five years ago, a
3 little over four years, in actual fact, and I think I
4 stipulate them all in the text, that is to say, the
5 more important names, the ones that I thought would
6 play the major role. I stipulated them in the text and
7 they, in fact, did appear as defence counsel.
8 Q. Well, how many lawyers were on the list all
9 in all if you remember?
10 A. Well, I think about 13 or 14.
11 Q. Do you now recall the lawyers that were
13 A. Well, I stipulate this in my text.
14 Q. What about the other lawyers on the list?
15 A. Well, they're probably waiting. There will
16 be other accused.
17 Q. No. What I mean is did that same source tell
18 that you these people were working for the security
19 service as well?
20 A. Well, as to their daily activities, I wasn't
21 really interested in them because there are other
22 affairs that I deal with. I can't ask them all the
23 time what their informers are doing. I'm not a clerk
24 for relationships between the source and the
1 Q. As far as I was able to understand, you
2 received all this information from one individual in
3 the State Security Service echelons?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When we're talking about Mr. Vujin, you said
6 today that you saw him personally and talked to him
7 personally and that your relations were good.
8 A. Well, I said that our relations were
9 correct. That is to say, we have no conflicting
11 Q. In your letter which is Exhibit 10, under
12 item 1, towards the end of item 1, we have your
13 statement that you don't know Mr. Vujin personally and
14 that you were not in contact and not in conflict.
15 Q. Well, as I say, I met him once in
16 Mr. Guberina's office. He was there with Mara
17 Pilipovic. We were introduced there but we didn't
18 discuss anything that could compromise our relations on
19 the occasion.
20 Q. But you wrote that you did not know him
21 personally and that you had no contacts with him.
22 A. Well, I assessed that relationship as -- by
23 virtue of the fact that we did not have any business
24 relations and he just happened to be in Mr. Guberina's
25 office on the occasion.
1 Q. When did that meeting take place?
2 A. I think it was four years previous to the
3 event. That is to say, it would be sometime in 1990,
5 Q. So in the same section you state that
6 Mr. Vujin did not rebut any of the texts in which he
7 was mentioned by you. However, today you said
8 precisely that Mr. Vujin is one of the accusers in the
9 1995 charge brought against you for the article.
10 A. Yes, he is accusing, but the paper would have
11 denied this and the paper would have said that the
12 quotations were not correct.
13 Well, he did not accuse me, he accused the
14 paper, and if somebody thinks he has been slandered,
15 then the natural thing to do would be for the paper to
16 publish a denial. That is the easiest way in which an
17 injustice can be corrected, but as you can see, the
18 proceedings are ongoing today.
19 Q. The paper Srpska Rec, did it publish a
21 A. Yes. This is regulated bylaw. If there is
22 no denial, then the court can order it.
23 Q. Yes. I know the legal provisions, but I'm
24 asking you whether your newspaper published any
1 A. Well, I'm not the editor in chief and have
2 nothing to do with the editorial policies of my
3 newspaper. So as denials and the way in which they are
4 published are regulated by law, then the length of the
5 denial must be directly proportionate to the article
6 published. You are a lawyer and you know the rules and
7 regulations governing that and the fines that a
8 magistrate can enforce. All of that is regulated by
10 Q. That's precisely why I'm asking you this
11 question, Mr. Brkic, because Srpska Rec refused to
12 publish a denial and that is why charges were brought
13 against it. Do you know anything about that?
14 A. Well, as I say, I am not the editor in chief
15 of the Srpska Rec newspaper, and whether the editor
16 refused to publish a denial -- the newspaper carries 50
17 texts every time, which means that there are many
18 individuals quoted for different things in the articles
19 published. Now, whether the Srpska Rec newspaper
20 published any denials or not, as far as I know, it did
21 publish readers' letters, the letters of readers, and
22 these reactions by the public were published if their
23 contents were in order. You would have to ask the
24 editor in chief of Srpska Rec because I, as a
25 journalist, cannot decide on what is to be published in
1 the newspaper and what is not.
2 Q. Do you recall being a witness in a case of
3 this kind, that is to say, when charges were brought
4 against the Srpska Rec, when denials were not published
5 and it was a case of one of your articles? Do you
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Do you remember which case it was?
9 A. It was the case of Mrs. Borka Vucic.
10 Q. Do you know how the case ended?
11 A. No, I do not. I know that the proceedings
12 were ongoing and that Mrs. Vucic, who was an individual
13 whom -- the international community forbade her to
14 leave the country because she is the personal banker of
15 Mr. Milosevic, and she is responsible for many millions
16 that were looted, and she is one of the basic criminals
17 that jeopardised the vital interests of the people and
18 country that I live in. She brought charges against
19 me, that is to say, she brought charges against the
20 newspaper Srpska Rec, and these proceedings are being
21 tended by the Ana Popovic chamber in the court in
22 Belgrade and have not been concluded, and I say this
23 with full responsibility. You can check this out, you
24 can check out the case that exists, but a judgement has
25 not been made yet.
1 Q. Mr. Brkic --
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Domazet?
3 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: May I suggest that you ask
5 your last question for this afternoon? One of our
6 colleagues has another judicial appointment, and so we
7 have to conclude at about now.
8 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour. My
9 last question --
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I'm not suggesting you
11 should terminate your examination, but just for today.
12 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, I understand very well,
13 Your Honour.
14 Q. My last question, Mr. Brkic: Unfortunately,
15 what you have just said is not true.
16 A. I leave it to the Court to assess.
17 Q. The Court shall assess it, and that
18 particular case, those particular proceedings that you
19 mentioned with Mrs. Borka Vucic, have been ended, and a
20 judgement was made by the district court in Belgrade
21 and the Supreme Court of Serbia, and Srpska Rec,
22 because of your alleged interviews with Mrs. Vucic, was
23 found guilty. It states that you thought up three
24 interviews with Mrs. Vucic, and it was proven that you
25 never saw Mrs. Vucic, nor could you have ever talked to
1 her, and you published three interviews which had been
2 judged invented by you, and I am going to hand over to
3 the Tribunal this as evidence.
4 A. May I answer those allegations?
5 Q. You can see this, this evidence, this proof,
6 if you so desire.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do you want to answer?
8 A. Yes. Your Honours, the judgement that
9 Mr. Vujin's counsel is giving you was brought for
10 corrections, and in that case, it is not up to the
11 court to determine the truthfulness of the allegations
12 but whether there were valid circumstances for the text
13 to be published, that is to say, whether the text was
14 signed by an individual to whom the information refers,
15 whether the text is equal in length or proportionate in
16 length, and you will be able to see that the court
17 orders Srpska Rec to publish denials. It does not
18 enter into the fact of whether it was true or not.
19 This is done in criminal proceedings, that is to say,
20 whether the allegations and quotations were correct or
21 not, and this is a criminal proceeding, but in the
22 civil proceedings, in the civil reports, this is a
23 different matter, and that they cause psychological
24 damage to the individual concerned.
25 I'm sure that in reading the documents, you
1 will be able to see that the court is merely
2 ascertaining whether conditions have been met for a
3 denial to be published and whether this particular lady
4 has the right to a published denial.
5 We live in a country in which key individuals
6 have been accused of war crimes, amongst them judges,
7 and most judges have been denied the right to leave the
8 country. As I live in a country where there are no
9 independent courts of law, then how could I have won
10 these cases?
11 So I should like to ask you to read the
12 documents carefully, and what counsel has just stated
13 is incorrect.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Have you seen the
15 document, Mr. Brkic?
16 A. Yes. Yes, it is not a question of criminal
17 liability. They are separate proceedings which --
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: No. I'm asking you
19 whether you have seen the document.
20 A. Yes, I know what he's talking about.
21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Registrar, are you
22 marking them?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, I have marked them, Your
24 Honour. The first document of the 29th of April, 1998
25 will be Exhibit 12, and the second document under the
1 heading "Gz. 82/97" will be Exhibit 13.
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Any objections to
3 admission? Then the documents are admitted.
4 The Court will now rise until 10.00 tomorrow
5 when we shall resume. Thank you.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
7 4.07 p.m., to be reconvened on
8 Wednesday, the 1st day of September,
9 1999, at 10 a.m.