1 Wednesday, 1st September, 1999
2 [Rule 77 Hearing]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellant entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Registrar, please
7 have the witness brought in.
8 THE REGISTRAR: IT-94-A-1, the Prosecutor
9 versus Tadic in the matter regarding allegations
10 concerning prior counsel.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The witness is being
12 brought in.
13 Mr. Registrar, subject to what counsel will
14 advise, may I suggest that we save time if, in future
15 cases, a part-heard witness and possibly even a fresh
16 witness were seated before the Court assembles
18 No objection to that?
19 MR. ABELL: No objection at all, Your
20 Honour. In fact, I positively encourage it, if I may
21 say so.
22 THE REGISTRAR: I will make sure this happens
23 in the future, Your Honour.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, you are still
1 under oath. You may be seated.
2 Mr. Domazet, you were on your legs at the
4 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 WITNESS: MILOVAN BRKIC
6 Questioned by Mr. Domazet:
7 Q. Mr. Brkic, yesterday, towards the end of the
8 day, we talked about the proceedings according to which
9 a definite decision was passed, a definite ruling, with
10 regard to Borka Vucic's charges brought against you.
11 In those proceedings, it was concluded that you
12 invented three interviews with her. You were heard in
13 these proceedings, and the court did not believe you;
14 is that correct?
15 A. What is correct is that proceedings did take
16 place before the district court in Belgrade at the
17 request of Borka Vucic, and this was against the editor
18 in chief of the newspaper Srpska Rec, and she wanted a
19 denial to be published. This is the same court that is
20 now in charge of the proceedings against the President
21 of the United States, the Prime Minister of Great
22 Britain, the President of France, et cetera.
23 Q. That was not my question.
24 A. I want this Court to understand what kind of
25 a court we are talking about.
1 Q. Please, will you answer my questions?
2 A. I answered your question.
3 Q. Is it true that the court ascertained that
4 all three alleged interviews with Mrs. Vucic were
5 false, invented, that she never actually talked to
7 A. When the court establishes that a denial is
8 supposed to be published, it does not state that
9 something is right or wrong. It simply says that a
10 denial has to be printed.
11 Q. Mr. Brkic, first the court established, and
12 that is what it says in the elaboration of the verdict,
13 that Mrs. Vucic never saw you, never talked to you,
14 never gave you any one of these three alleged
15 interviews with her?
16 A. It is true that I was heard as a witness in
17 those proceedings, and the other witnesses testified to
18 the same thing. However, the question that the court
19 was dealing with was whether legal requirements were
20 met in terms of having her denial being published, and
21 it is not for the court to ascertain whether
22 information published is right or wrong; it is for the
23 court to ascertain that a denial is supposed to be
24 published. Any person is entitled to that. So no
25 verdict was passed. There are proceedings that are
1 taking place before the court of Judge Ana Popovic in
2 the First Municipal Court in Belgrade. That is a fact
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, would you be
5 so kind to answer counsel's question, which is this:
6 Did the court make a finding that none of these three
7 alleged interviews actually took place?
8 A. The court did not pass such a ruling because
9 they are not authorised to do so. According to the
10 ruling that you have before you, the court decided the
11 newspaper had to publish the denial of Mrs. Borka Vucic
12 in respect of those texts. It is not for the court to
13 decide whether the facts published in a text are true
14 or false. That can be dealt with in criminal
15 proceedings and in legal action taken before another
17 In this particular court, the only decision
18 that is supposed to be passed is whether, by law, it is
19 necessary to publish a denial; that is to say, is there
20 a person involved that has a justified interest in
21 having a denial published in respect of a certain piece
22 of news related to that particular person and whether
23 this correction or whether this denial has something to
24 do with that particular person in respect of that
25 text. The court is not authorised to decide on
1 anything else.
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Please proceed,
3 Mr. Domazet.
4 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
5 Q. It is precisely in this ruling, on page 5 --
6 may I please read that part of the ruling? It reads as
8 "The court established that the articles, 'I
9 will die in a car,' 'Cobi is not owned by Milosevic'
10 and also another article entitled 'Silk cord is
11 waiting,' then also another article published in Srpska
12 Rec, number 148, of the 22nd of April, 1996; 146, dated
13 the 6th of May, 1996; and 150, dated the 20th of May,
14 1996, the court established that these articles are
15 invented, that the party bringing charges," reference
16 is made to Borka Vucic, "that she never gave any
17 interview, nor did she conduct any conversation with
18 Milovan Brkic, a journalist of this newspaper, that she
19 never entered the premises of Srpska Rec, let alone
20 engaged in a lengthy conversation with the director of
21 this newspaper, Danica Draskovic, the editor in chief,
22 Bogoljub Pejcic, and the journalist Milovan Brkic. The
23 contents of these articles ..." et cetera, et cetera.
24 The rest is not all that important.
25 MR. DOMAZET: Please, I would like to tender
1 this into evidence. Yesterday, we tendered part of
2 this ruling with an accompanying translation but not
3 the entire ruling. However, because of the statement
4 made by this witness, it is necessary to have a look at
5 the entire ruling with the accompanying explanation and
6 to present all of that as evidence.
7 A. Am I supposed to answer this? May I answer
9 Q. It is not necessary.
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me put this to you:
11 Do you recognise that passage as part of the judgement
12 in the case?
13 A. Your Honour, I was not a party in these
14 proceedings. I was one of the witnesses that was
15 heard, in addition to the director of the newspaper,
16 the editor in chief, and other witnesses. I was one of
17 the witnesses. I made a statement there. Several
18 persons corroborated that Mrs. Vucic came to the
19 premises of Srpska Rec. We also gave a photograph that
20 proved this.
21 However, I have to repeat this: The court is
22 only authorised to see whether there are conditions to
23 publish the denial or the correction, and what the
24 conclusion is, I really don't know.
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The Tribunal has heard
1 you on that point more than once. You have explained
2 that you were only a witness and the case did not
3 involve you as a party. Be that as it may, my question
4 to you is this: Although you say you were only a
5 witness, did you become aware of the judgement, and if
6 so, did you recognise the passage read out to you by
7 Mr. Domazet as part of the judgement?
8 A. Your Honour, as a witness, I could not see
9 the judgement. The judgement was received by the
10 person who represented Srpska Rec, the lawyer of Srpska
11 Rec. I'm surprised by this. According to the rules
12 according to which courts operate, other persons are
13 not entitled to get a judgement. I don't see how --
14 and you are going to be the judge of that -- this
15 gentleman got a copy of the judgement.
16 I, as a witness, was not entitled to a copy
17 of the judgement. I don't know what the judgement says
18 because I never read it in the original. I was only a
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, the Bench wants to
21 understand you. Should the Bench understand you to be
22 saying this: that in your system, judgements are not
23 publicly available documents?
24 A. No, no, no, no, no. Absolutely. Only the
25 parties involved can receive it; that is to say, the
1 attorneys of those parties. I, as a witness, I could
2 not receive a copy, and according to law, if the
3 president of the Supreme Court issues a document
4 stating that a particular party can have an interest in
5 seeing the judgement or copying it, then that can be
6 made possible. I don't see how come Mr. Vujin managed
7 to produce some kind of document showing that he was
8 entitled to see a copy of this judgement.
9 Witnesses were heard in the proceedings
10 between Srpska Rec and Mrs. Vucic. However, Mrs. Vucic
11 has been dragging her feet on this because she did not
12 want to be heard by the court, and we --
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, we've heard
14 enough on that point. May I return the microphone to
15 Mr. Domazet?
16 MR. DOMAZET:
17 Q. Mr. Brkic, quite a few of your articles are
18 related to court proceedings, and you claim yourself
19 that you are knowledgeable in these affairs, but we're
20 going to prove this in another fashion.
21 Judgments are accessible to all, especially
22 this judgement, because it says explicitly that it's
23 supposed to be published.
24 A. I do not know of this. However, the court
25 has a copy of this judgement, so they will see for
1 themselves. Nor was it ever publicly published.
2 MR. ABELL: May I just say something? I've
3 noticed whilst Mr. Brkic is being asked what are,
4 frankly, lengthy questions containing assertions by my
5 learned friend Mr. Domazet, whilst Mr. Brkic has been
6 listening to those questions, he doesn't appear to have
7 been provided with a copy of this judgement to be able
8 to follow what's being read to him.
9 I'm bound to say that is a concern of mine if
10 this line of cross-examination is going to be pursued.
11 JUDGE HUNT: We haven't got copies either.
12 MR. ABELL: Neither have I.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Registrar, do you
14 have a copy in your hand?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. It is an exhibit read
16 by Mr. Domazet, Exhibit 14, which is the same document
17 as the document presented, numbered as Exhibit 12, but
18 it is then the integral -- the total document.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Registrar, is it
20 possible for copies to be made available to the parties
21 and to members of the bench?
22 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit number 14 and
23 it is a document only in B/C/S.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, you have the
25 document before you. Do you know the style of the
1 judgement of your courts? Could you identify the
2 document --
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: -- and tell us whether
5 you recognise it as a judgement of your courts?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You do. Yes.
8 A. Yes. Your Honours, it is clear from this
9 document that the court made it incumbent upon
10 Mr. Bogoljub Pejcic to publish Vucic's denial and
11 that's all. I haven't seen the rest; that is to say,
12 the explanation provided by the court, the comments.
13 That is up to the court.
14 But what the ruling has to do with is simply
15 this obligation of the editor in chief, Bogoljub
16 Pejcic, to publish Mrs. Vucic's letter. That is the
17 only thing they ruled on. The rest are comments and
18 explanation. Probably the court is presenting its
19 opinion. But it is not that they passed a verdict as
20 to what the story carried in Srpska Rec is like or
21 whether it's true or not. You're going to read that
22 for yourself. It is only for Mrs. -- it was only
23 made possible for Mrs. Vucic to have her denial
24 printed. Mrs. Borka Vucic is a key figure of the
25 Milosevic regime, and --
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: We have heard you,
2 Mr. Brkic. Let's see where we have got to. You
3 recognise that as a judgement of the court, leaving
4 aside the issue how Mr. Domazet came by a copy of that
5 document, may I ask you this: Do you see in that
6 judgement the particular passage to which Mr. Domazet
7 has been referring, a passage in which the court said
8 that the alleged interviews never, in fact, took
10 A. Your Honour, I see that this has been
11 highlighted. This is the comment of the court. On the
12 contrary. Bogoljub Pejcic was not trusted and what he
13 said was not believed, and Milan Brkic was not
14 believed either. So that is how the court felt.
15 However, I wish to say that this is the same
16 district court that ruled that the president of the
17 United States, of France, et cetera, were supposed to
18 be held in custody right now. So that's the court
19 we're talking about.
20 So that court did not trust me. That's the
21 only thing I can say.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, you
23 recognised the document as being in the style of a
24 judgement of your courts. Are you questioning the
25 authenticity of the document? Are you saying that the
1 document is or is not really a judgement of the court?
2 A. It is the judgement of the court.
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. The Registrar is
4 suggesting that the particular passage in the judgement
5 be put on the ELMO and that perhaps it be read out by
6 the translators.
7 MR. ABELL: Your Honour, it may be, if this
8 is of assistance -- I thought Mr. Domazet was saying
9 this morning that he was putting some extra papers
10 before the court, but it may be that what's been asked
11 about is what appears at page 618, 617, 616, and 615.
12 I'm sorry to be counting backwards.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is it in English?
14 MR. ABELL: Yes. It may be that it is that
15 he's referring to. With all due respect to
16 Mr. Domazet, I'm not clear what article he's referring
17 to. It may be that.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me ask Mr. Domazet
19 this question: Mr. Domazet, would it be possible for
20 you to identify the particular portion of the judgement
21 in which you're interested, and then we would have it
22 put on the ELMO and I would ask the translators to read
23 it out?
24 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please read
1 out the judgement in the B/C/S language from the ELMO?
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Domazet, would you
3 read out the passage in B/C/S and then the translators
4 will follow you and translate it in English and
6 Mr. Brkic, would you look at the passage and
7 satisfy yourself that Mr. Domazet is reading the
8 passage before you?
9 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, but I have one problem. I
10 have no --
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You don't have --
12 MR. DOMAZET: I have only one copy of this.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: It's on the ELMO.
14 MR. DOMAZET: Okay.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Could you read it from
16 the ELMO?
17 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. [As read]:
18 "In the statement of the plaintiff Borka
19 Vucic" --
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: It's not coming through
21 in English.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English?
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I can hear you now.
24 Yes, now it's perfect. Shall we start again?
25 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. [As read]:
1 "From the statement by the plaintiff Borka
2 Vucic, who was heard as one of the parties in the case
3 and whom the court completely believed, with a view to
4 the fact that the same was logical and mutually linked
5 up with the written documentations of the file itself
6 in this legal case, and quite certainly she was
7 convincing in this particular matter so that the court
8 had no reason not to trust her.
9 "The court ascertained that the articles
10 entitled 'I Will Die in a Car', or 'Cobi is Not
11 Milosevic's Property', or 'The Silk Noose is Waiting,'
12 published in the newspaper Srpska Rec, number 148,
13 dated the 22nd of April, 1996; number 149, dated the
14 6th of May, 1996; and number 150, of the 20th of May,
15 1996, were invented articles that the plaintiff never
16 gave any interview whatsoever, nor did she have any
17 kind of conversation with the journalist writing for
18 the paper, Milovan Brkic, that she never set foot in
19 the editorial offices of the newspaper Srpska Rec, let
20 alone that she spent some lengthy time there in a
21 discussion with the director of the editorial board of
22 this newspaper, Danica Draskovic, and the accused and
23 editor in chief Bogoljub Pejcic, and journalist Milovan
24 Brkic, and that the contents of these articles are
25 profoundly insulting to her honour and position and
1 esteem, both in the country itself and abroad,
2 undermining what she has achieved through many years of
3 work and through her life.
4 "By listening to the plaintiff as a party in
5 the court case, the court has ascertained that from his
6 fax machine in Nicosia -- from her fax machine in
7 Nicosia, she sent three corrections, which have been
8 appended to the case and are to be located in the files
9 of this court case, and that the accused, not a single
10 text -- published a single text of these three
11 connections and amendments given.
12 "On the contrary, the court did not believe
13 the statement made by the accused Bogoljub Pejcic, who
14 was heard as a party in the case, and witness Milovan
15 Brkic, as they were illogical and mutually
16 contradictory, and even if they were put forward by the
17 accused and testified to the same circumstances and
18 facts, and when they made their statements they were
19 insecure in presenting them. They were not convincing
20 and left the impression that they were hiding the
22 "In answer to the accusations, and the power
23 of attorney has remained as it was, the accused will
24 make corrections of the information received and given
25 by the plaintiff as the plaintiff wrote them down, but
1 she is required to send them to the accused once again
2 so as this can be fully complied with."
3 If it please Your Honour, you have this on
4 page 616 in the English.
5 MR. ABELL: Part of it, about the last six
7 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
8 MR. ABELL: Whilst I'm on my feet, if I may
9 express my concern. What appears to have been read out
10 is an extract which has never been translated in the
11 documents submitted to this Chamber, only, as I say,
12 the last six or seven lines under the heading, in the
13 English translation I have at 616, "Explanation," and
14 that in itself is part of a document purporting to be a
15 decision of the District Court in Belgrade. The part
16 headed "Judgement," and I'm looking at page 618, the
17 part headed "Judgement," if I may just read it:
18 "The request by the prosecutor Borka Vucic
19 is accepted, and the accused Bogoljub Pejcic, as editor
20 in chief of the newspaper 'Srpska Rec', is bound to
21 publish in the first or second following issue of the
22 magazine, after receiving the written Judgement, in the
23 same manner as the texts that were published in ... 'I
24 will die in the car' ... 'Silk cord is waiting,' the
25 following correction:"
1 There is then large chunks in inverted commas
2 which say this, for example: "Regarding the article in
3 the articles identified titled 'I will die in the car',
4 written by Milovan Brkic, pursuant to the provisions of
5 Article 31 of the Law of the Public Information, I
6 submit my denial. Pursuant to the mentioned Law, I
7 oblige you to publish the denial in the following issue
8 of 'Srpska Rec'" --
9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Abell, you are
10 making a long statement. Are you objecting to
11 something that Mr. Domazet is doing?
12 MR. ABELL: I'm simply concerned that what
13 the Court has had read out under "Explanation" is one
14 thing, but what the court apparently ordered -- I'm
15 sorry to have taken time over it, but I needed to just
16 explain -- what the court apparently ordered was that a
17 denial by the person spoken of in the article should be
18 published. That's what the court appears -- if I've
19 understood it correctly from the partial translation
20 I've received of it, that's what the court apparently
21 ruled, merely that the newspaper should publish a
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The bench would give you
24 a chance to sum up in the end.
25 MR. ABELL: I'm grateful.
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: At this point, the
2 bench, I think, is only interested in the reasoning of
3 the court which led to that order for publication of a
5 MR. ABELL: Your Honour, I quite understand
6 that. I simply wanted to make sure that the Court knew
7 the nature of the document or parts of which are being
8 referred to.
9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, Mr. Domazet?
10 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please,
13 MR. DOMAZET: Sorry.
14 Q. Mr. Brkic, do you recognise this document
15 sent to the First District Court in Belgrade by the
16 editor in chief of the newspaper Vecernje Novasti, a
17 lawyer, Toma Fila, and the other journalists listed
19 MR. DOMAZET: I would like to have this
20 document shown to the witness. It is in Serbian and it
21 has an English translation.
22 A. If you read the judgement out to me, could I
23 now present my own views, if I may?
24 Q. With regard to the former judgement, we did
25 not ask for your opinion.
1 A. Then I don't know why you read the judgement
2 out to me. You should have just read it out to the
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: We've passed that stage
5 now. Was there something you wanted to say on the
6 judgement which Mr. Domazet read out? Yes?
7 A. I would like to say that the judgement was
8 brought by a judge who is a member of the main board of
9 the ruling party, the Socialist Party, and that many
10 people were heard before this court who have confirmed
11 that Mrs. Vucic gave the interview and that Mrs. Vucic
12 denied this, but that all our statements and
13 testimonies were assessed as unconvincing, as can be
14 seen, and that is the assessment of a court. I don't
15 know how -- I don't think I need comment on that kind
16 of judgement, with all due respect to the court in
17 Belgrade as it stands.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Can you now recall the
19 last question posed by Mr. Domazet and answer it, or
20 shall I invite Mr. Domazet to repeat his question?
21 Mr. Domazet, would you kindly repeat your
23 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
24 Q. In the Court of First Instance in Belgrade,
25 is there proceedings against the editor in chief of
1 Vecernje Novasti, Mr. Toma Fila, Attorney at Law, and
2 other individuals with regard to the charges that I am
3 having shown to you? Do you know about the action
4 taken and has it been concluded?
5 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be marked
6 Exhibit 15.
7 A. I have no knowledge about this because I am
8 not a party in the case. It is true that I am the
9 author of the text that has been incriminated, but had
10 there been a judgement and ruling, I would have been
11 invited to be a witness and testify as author of the
12 text. But I do recognise the stamp and seal of the
13 court itself, and this charge was brought in 1995 by
14 the following plaintiffs. Had a judgement and ruling
15 been made, I would have quite certainly been called as
16 a witness to testify because a judgement could not have
17 been made without my own testimony, as I was the author
18 of the text.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is that an admitted
20 exhibit before the Court? Is that an exhibit before
21 the Court?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it has just been marked,
23 and it has, I think, the number 606 in the other
25 A. If I may, I have just remembered something.
1 It is true that Lawyer Rajko Danilovic, who is the
2 lawyer for Srpska Rec, did show me a judgement whereby
3 the First Municipal Court in Belgrade rejected the
4 charge because Attorney Fila did not know how to write
5 the document in proper legal manner.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes.
7 MR. DOMAZET:
8 Q. Mr. Brkic, do you still write for the
9 newspaper, Srpska Rec, today?
10 A. No.
11 Q. How long did you go on writing for the
13 A. I stopped a year ago.
14 Q. Can you tell us the reasons why you ceased to
15 work for Srpska Rec?
16 A. Well, because I work for other newspapers
17 now, and that is the main reason.
18 Q. What newspaper do you work for now, if you
19 can tell us that?
20 A. I am going to show the court my journalist ID
21 card and I think that all the relevant data is in it.
22 I work for a foreign employer, so I would prefer not to
23 answer that question, but I will show you my ID.
24 I am a member of the International
25 Journalists' Association, and I'm sure you can check
1 this out through the proper channels.
2 Q. Mr. Brkic, I apologise for asking you that.
3 I just wanted to know.
4 A. I'm working for a foreign paper.
5 Q. When did you publish your last article in
6 Yugoslavia, in a Yugoslav newspaper? What was that?
7 A. Well, I give interviews frequently.
8 Q. Not interviews; I mean articles written by
10 A. Well, I think the last time was three or four
11 months ago. It is war now, and a law was passed on
12 public information, and that is that in 24 hours all
13 your property can be confiscated. So it can be seized
14 within 24 hours. So this is a difficult situation, and
15 I would bring into question my life, the property of
16 editors, and some of them lost their lives in April.
17 Q. So is that the reason why you no longer
19 A. The reason I no longer write is the law on
20 public information in Serbia in which every citizen can
21 bring charges against you before a magistrate, which
22 has 24 hours to bring in a decision and ruling. If the
23 court concludes that you are in error, and they can do
24 this, they can have a sitting at midnight or 1.00 a.m.,
25 then you are fined $100.000 or 200.000 marks, you go to
1 prison straightaway. You do not have the right to
3 It is usually just one magistrate, just when
4 you -- the procedure is the same if you're crossing the
5 road drunk. That's the same thing. I think the
6 international public is well aware of the restrictive
7 rule of that kind that is in force in my country
8 governing public information.
9 Q. Mr. Brkic, you said that you did write an
10 article three or four months ago. Did you have any
11 unpleasantness in that regard?
12 A. No, I did not have any unpleasantness because
13 the censor on duty was not fully alert, I suppose.
14 Q. Would you tell us what article, please?
15 A. The article was in the newspaper called
17 Q. During your career as a journalist did you
18 write for Balkan Express?
19 A. Yes. I was the editor in chief of that
21 Q. Yesterday, when you talked about Mrs. Borka
22 Vucic, you said that she was on the list of persons
23 that cannot travel abroad, according to a list
24 published by the European Union. Did you personally
25 see this list?
1 A. Yes, I saw it. It was published in our
2 newspapers quite a while ago.
3 Q. The entire list?
4 A. Yes, the entire list.
5 Q. If you saw this list, did you see on that
6 list the name of Bogoljub Pejcic, the editor in chief
7 of Srpska Rec of whom you spoke with high regard
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know why he is on that list if this
11 is, as you said, an opposition newspaper, a newspaper
12 that is in opposition to the regime?
13 A. Mr. Pejcic received information from a
14 commission that he addressed, and since he is an MP in
15 the Serbian parliament, and during one month he was
16 chairman of the committee for security and he was
17 replaced very quickly, after a month only, and that is
18 the explanation I was given. That is why Mr. Pejcic
19 was put on this list. But if he is guilty and the
20 international community has proof that he did something
21 wrong, there is no reason why he shouldn't be held
23 Q. Mr. Brkic, in the Tadic case, you said that
24 you had quite a bit of information as to who the
25 investigator was and who statements were given to. Do
1 you know the time during -- when Mr. Vujin took over
2 this case?
3 A. Well, as far as I know, as soon as the
4 Yugoslav authorities decided to extradite Mr. Tadic, a
5 tournament was organised and Mr. Tadic was taken away,
6 and the people who took him there handed him over to
7 the German police so that they would see what the
8 proceedings in The Hague Tribunal would be like and how
9 they could affect them and what they could do about it,
10 et cetera.
11 Q. Mr. Brkic, now that you mention this, I
12 wanted to ask you about it anyway. Yesterday you said
13 that it was the Serb police that handed over Tadic to
14 the German police.
15 A. Mr. Tadic knows who took him to this karate
17 Q. Well, the people here probably know that, but
18 I'm asking you how you received this information. Is
19 it the same source that you spoke of yesterday or a
20 different source?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Tadic, I'm going back to the question you
23 put yesterday. You did not give a definite answer.
24 That is to say, from the moment of Mr. Tadic's arrest
25 in Germany, if I understood you correctly, do you know
1 until when Mr. Vujin was his defence attorney?
2 A. I don't know. I cannot give you a specific
3 answer, because I did not really ask for such details
4 from the source I talked to and I was not really all
5 that interested. And of course, this man would not
6 have been pleased had I been putting all these extra
7 questions, because he would say, "I'm telling you all
8 this important stuff and now you're asking about
10 Q. Well, it's the state security, you said.
11 A. Well, I personally am not that interested in
12 all the details. If I was all that interested I could
13 have read about it in the newspapers, but I'm
14 personally not interested in such facts. So I'm not
16 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Vujin defended him at
17 all in the initial proceedings?
18 A. Well, what I know is that Mr. Vujin was -- I
19 don't know whether he was formally engaged, but I know
20 that from the very outset, from Mr. Tadic's arrest, he
21 was involved in the case, either through contacts with
22 his family or in another way, but it was his obligation
23 to be actively involved in these proceedings.
24 Q. Do you know that there were interruptions in
25 his participation in this case?
1 A. Privately I heard that Mr. Tadic was
2 unsatisfied with Mr. Vujin's defence and that he took
3 the power of attorney away from him. In Belgrade,
4 rumour had it that he bought Mrs. Tadic an apartment
5 from the money that he got from the Tribunal, and these
6 are vast amounts.
7 Q. Do you know exactly how much money he got
8 from The Hague Tribunal?
9 A. Well, I don't know, but I'm sure that the
10 court has its own records.
11 Q. Did you publish this amount in any of your
13 A. Well, I think it's about a couple of hundred
14 thousand German Marks.
15 Q. My question was whether you published this in
16 any one of your articles.
17 A. I don't know whether I mentioned it in any
18 one of my articles, but I think I mentioned it in some
19 of my interviews.
20 Q. In the evidence here we have your article
21 from the beginning of 1995, your article concerning The
22 Hague Tribunal. Did you write any other articles about
23 the work of this Tribunal in The Hague, and if you did,
24 when and where?
25 A. I'm a journalist who is involved in engaged
1 journalism. I write an article or two every week. To
2 tell you the truth, I do not recall. It's the same if
3 you asked a driver whether five years ago he drove on
4 the main street or a small street and which
5 traffic-light he reached. I don't know. I can't
6 remember now.
7 Q. Before you came to The Hague yesterday, or
8 one of these days when you came here, were you ever in
9 The Hague before?
10 A. I was, at the invitation of the Tribunal.
11 Q. And you were in the Tribunal?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you tell us when this was?
14 A. I was in the Tribunal at the time when the
15 proceedings were initiated against Mr. Vujin.
16 Q. When Mr. Vujin was here?
17 A. No. Mr. Vujin informed the court that he was
18 busy and that he couldn't show up.
19 Q. Do you need this for your police report?
20 A. Don't worry, our police knows about it.
21 Q. I'm sorry. Please. I have nothing to do
22 with the police.
23 A. So why are you interested in my stay at the
25 Q. Maybe it's important for us. You said that
1 you made a statement to Mr. Bozovic, an attorney. Did
2 you make this statement here in The Hague or in
4 A. In Belgrade.
5 Q. Yesterday, in your statement, you mentioned
6 that you knew that Mr. Vujin wrote written reports to
7 the state security about his work in The Hague. What
8 proof do you have of such allegations?
9 A. This was given to me by this man who read
10 these reports and who decided which of the state
11 leaders he should send them to.
12 Q. Is this the same source that you already
13 referred to?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. In your statements, and in your written
16 statement to Mr. Bozovic, and Exhibit 10 that is
17 mentioned here, you said not only from Mr. Vujin but
18 also from Mr. Fila and Mr. Guberina, you said that --
19 I'm quoting you, I'm quoting the translation I got:
20 "They are old informers of the secret police."
21 A. Your Honours, if I were in Serbia and if I
22 were asked about this, to prove this would be as if you
23 were trying to prove that water was wet. Everybody
24 knows this. Only in Belgrade we have at least 2.500
1 In this text that I wrote five years ago, I
2 said who would be coming to the Tribunal, and this
3 proved to be true.
4 Q. You probably know that precisely
5 Mr. Guberina, Mr. Fila, and Mr. Vujin are the three
6 last presidents of the bar association of Serbia. That
7 is to say, Mr. Guberina, Mr. Fila, and Mr. Vujin,
8 exactly in that order. Are you aware of that?
9 A. Well, that just shows what the situation is
10 like in Serbia. You cannot be a receptionist in a
11 hotel unless your credentials have been checked out.
12 Being president of the bar, that means that you are
13 highly trusted by the regime and that you're in
14 constant contact with the regime; otherwise it wouldn't
15 have been possible.
16 Q. Do you know that the president of the bar
17 association is elected by the lawyers themselves and
18 exclusively by secret ballot and that this is done in a
19 procedure involving several candidates and that is how
20 all the three above-mentioned persons were elected?
21 A. I know that Mr. Vujin has been holding this
22 office for the past few years and that elections were
23 never held, because the lawyers wrote a petition
24 concerning this. They said that their assembly could
25 not be convened. Only a hundred persons would come
1 rather than 2.500, and they could not have a proper
3 Q. So your claim is that Mr. Vujin was not
4 elected in this way by secret ballot?
5 A. Of course he wasn't. You know that too.
6 Q. Well, I'm not a witness here, so it's not for
7 me to say, but, yes, I do know.
8 A. Well, you're asking me and I'm answering as a
10 Q. Do you know who the vice-president of the bar
11 association of Serbia is now, either during this term
12 or the last term?
13 A. No. I wasn't really interested in this.
14 Q. I am this vice-president and that's why I
16 A. Oh. Oh. Thank you for telling me. Wow.
17 You should just bring in Igor Pantelic and that will
18 round off things nicely.
19 Q. Well, I hardly know this man, and I'm not a
20 lawyer in Belgrade, but I've been a lawyer for 30
21 years, and if you want to know the facts, I am in
22 opposition to the regime, but I'm not sure about you,
23 but we're not going to go into all of that.
24 MR. DOMAZET: I apologise to the court.
25 Q. I put a question related to the evidence,
1 that is to say, that these three highly distinguished
2 lawyers are, according to you, informers of the secret
3 police. If I understood you correctly, you say this is
4 a well-known fact but you have no other proof of this.
5 A. I think I published about 30 articles about
6 Mr. Guberina, and I started this series sometime in
7 1989. Whether he sold off his clients, and whether he
8 delivered them, and -- he never denied this.
9 At some press conference he said that he
10 could not bring charges against me because I'm not a
11 citizen, because I don't have a registered place of
12 residence anywhere. So it's probably the police that
13 told him that my residence was not in Belgrade. And
14 that's what he was asked, and he said, "He's not a
15 citizen and he has no address."
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Domazet, the court
17 has listened to this last question and is wondering
18 whether your cause might be better served by focusing
19 on matters of greater relevance to the issue, and that
20 is as to the knowledge which the witness has of
21 Mr. Vujin's conduct in relation to this case.
22 Would you, at the same time, like to indicate
23 to us how much longer you will be? This question I ask
24 only from the point of view of the managerial functions
25 which the court must discharge.
1 MR. DOMAZET: Your Honour, just a few
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: We're not in any way
4 hurrying you up or urging you to curtail your --
5 MR. DOMAZET: I understand that, Your Honour,
6 but I'm really at the end of my --
7 Q. I appreciate the suggestion made to me by the
8 Honourable President of the Chamber, and I want to ask
9 you whether you know more than you said about the Tadic
10 case, that is to say, the role of Mr. Vujin and his
11 work in this case, or whether everything you told us so
12 far is everything you actually know about this.
13 A. I answered all the questions that were put to
14 me and in this way I gave answers to these questions.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Brkic.
16 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, I would just
18 ask you one or two questions. You spoke of a number of
19 cases which were brought against you or in connection
20 with your work. I think 570 cases. Some were
21 dismissed on the basis of an argument that they were
22 time barred or statutorily prescribed or on other
23 technical grounds.
24 Were any of these cases dismissed on the
1 A. I think that I have understood your
2 question. About 570 cases, criminal cases and civil
3 cases. I hope that the distinction is clear between
4 civil and criminal in the Yugoslav context.
5 As far as I know, only five are still
6 ongoing. All the others have been settled and I have
7 been acquitted. I lost only one case, that is to say,
8 not me but Srpska Rec, following a charge by Mr. Marko
9 Milosevic, the son of the president of the Republic,
10 and we were fined 140.000 dinars, which is the
11 equivalent of approximately 10.000 German Marks.
12 All the other cases -- I was acquitted in all
13 the other cases, and five or six were dismissed for
14 formal reasons, official reasons such as -- of
15 Mr. Fila's charges, because he was not capable of
16 writing them in the proper legal manner. So the court
17 rejected them, and the court made it incumbent upon the
18 plaintiffs to write the charges as befits charges in a
19 court of law.
20 The others are still pending, still ongoing,
21 and I cannot tell you that in advance, but in all the
22 other cases the court determined the facts and found
23 that there were no grounds for pronouncing me guilty.
24 Sometimes I was found guilty of impinging upon the
25 dignity of individuals who brought charges against me.
1 As far as the charges brought by Mr. Vujin
2 and the other lawyers in the text, they seek for
3 remuneration. They seek 10.000 dinars, which is about
4 800 German Marks, for their dignity and infringement
5 upon their dignity. And that is the price of their
6 dignity, I take it: 800 German Marks. Just to show
7 you how far they assess their own dignity, Your
9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, tell the court a
10 little about the case in which the Yugoslav District
11 Court held that a certain story had been invented. Did
12 the newspaper appeal from that decision?
13 A. I don't know. I don't know the fate of that
14 appeal, but for you to understand the judgement --
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That answers my little
16 question. You don't know whether there was an appeal.
17 My question was whether there was. Now, the other
18 thing --
19 A. Please. I do apologise. For Srpska Rec
20 this was not an important case, because the court made
21 it incumbent upon Srpska Rec just to publish
22 Mrs. Vucic's letter. Usually it would publish
23 reactions by the individuals, but as Mrs. Vucic sent
24 her fax -- her letter by fax, it was not signed by her,
25 so for these reasons her corrections were not
1 published. But of course it was in our interests and
2 the readers' interests to publish all corrections,
3 denials and so on, but the Judges used this to comment,
4 and by law the Judges were not authorised to do so
5 because this was meritoriously done by a judgement, or
6 ruling, or fine enforced, but in this kind of case the
7 court took it upon itself to comment on our testimony,
8 something which it is not entitled to do by Yugoslav
10 So that is just what I wanted to say by way
11 of clarification, because this was a precedent by the
12 court in commenting on testimony and statements made by
13 the witness, which were not essential in bringing about
14 a ruling, in fact, and contrary to legal practice.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you for giving me
16 the reasons why you consider there was no appeal.
17 Now, tell the court a little about the extent
18 of the circulation of Srpska Rec in which your article
19 appeared, your article of the 13th March, 1995. Was
20 this a daily newspaper or a weekly journal?
21 A. It is a magazine and is a bimonthly. It
22 comes out twice a month. I don't know the exact
23 circulation. Twice a month, yes.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Was the circulation of a
25 kind which would suggest to you that Mr. Vujin was
1 likely to see that particular issue?
2 A. Your Honours, I don't like saying this, but
3 in the state in which I live, to publish any kind of
4 fact bringing into question the integrity of the key
5 figures of the regime is tantamount to pronouncing
6 one's own death sentence.
7 The Srpska Rec was one of the rare newspapers
8 willing to publish other people's views. Most of the
9 newspapers, TV stations, are under the most direct
10 control of the Milosevic regime. They have a monopoly
11 over the imported paper. They control the printing
12 presses, which are state-owned. If you want to put out
13 a paper, to print a paper, you have to buy paper from
14 the regime. You have to go to their distribution
15 network, because they -- and sell in their kiosks. So
16 this is all absolutely under the control of the
18 So Srpska Rec is printed in a private
19 printing press, in Glas, in Vlajkoviceva Street. It is
20 a modest printing house, of modest capacity, and the
21 Srpska Rec newspaper is read and photocopied. So that
22 when it comes out in a photocopy -- it had more
23 photocopies, in fact, than copies in circulation. So
24 the circulation was much bigger than the actual copies
25 put out. So for every one copy you would have at least
1 ten photocopies. My articles in the Srpska Rec were
2 the most largely quoted articles in foreign newspapers,
3 and over the past twelve years I gave about 170
4 interviews to world newspapers, such as The New York
5 Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, and all the
6 leading --
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Brkic, I'm talking
8 not about your interviews but about that particular
9 publication. You have said that it was possible for
10 photocopies to be made in the ratio of 10 to 1. Can
11 you tell the Court this: What was the geographical
12 base of the publication? Was the newspaper published
13 in Belgrade? How many copies were published initially?
14 A. It is published in Belgrade. I think the
15 circulation is small compared to Dutch circumstances,
16 20.000. The circulation was 20.000. Those are the
17 capacities of the printing press and printing house.
18 Other magazines in Serbia are published in the
19 circulation of between 10.000, 15.000. Due to the
20 economic crisis and consumers -- powers of purchase, it
21 goes up to 25.000. Circulation is 25.000 at the most.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Anything on that?
23 Thank you very much.
24 Mr. Keegan?
25 MR. KEEGAN: Your Honours, if I might, we
1 still find ourselves a bit confused about the time
2 frame in which the particular discussions with his
3 source may have taken place. We would like, if the
4 Court permit, two or three very brief and direct
5 questions to clarify this time frame because we have a
6 specific time frame as well --
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What you're saying to
8 the Court is that this aspect was not before you at the
9 time when you examined the witness; is that what you're
11 MR. KEEGAN: We attempted to elicit the
12 information, Your Honour, and we don't believe we were
13 very successful. We find ourselves still confused
14 about this aspect.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: But you did have an
16 opportunity to examine the witness?
17 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour, we did.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You want a second
20 MR. KEEGAN: Just very briefly on the time
21 frame issue.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would that require the
23 Court to give a similar opportunity to Mr. Domazet and
24 Mr. Abell, do you think?
25 MR. KEEGAN: I would imagine it would be up
1 to them whether they found anything new in the
2 questions which we asked, but we intend to focus
3 strictly on the time frame.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I'm only sitting in the
5 middle. Let me confer with my colleagues.
6 [Appeals Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Keegan, my
8 colleagues are with you, subject to your colleagues on
9 the other side being afforded an opportunity to reply.
10 MR. KEEGAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Further questions by Mr. Keegan:
12 Q. Mr. Brkic, I wanted to focus just
13 specifically on the time frame in which your
14 discussions with your source from the SDB took place,
15 the discussions you referred to yesterday.
16 First, let me ask you: When is it that you
17 spoke with your source from the SDB about Mr. Vujin's
18 alleged activities in Prijedor? Can you remember the
19 time frame, the approximate date?
20 A. I think that in answering questions before
21 this Tribunal, I have already said that my first talks
22 were before the publication of the text in Srpska Rec,
23 and the text was published in March 1995, that is to
24 say, one to one and a half months prior to that, I had
25 talks with the source about the planned activities of
1 the service in engaging attorneys.
2 I talked to him on several occasions later
3 on, which I couldn't specify now, as to the activities
4 of the lawyers in The Hague. So I can't tell you of
5 those subsequent talks now. I didn't attach importance
6 to those events and that I would have to bear this out
7 before anybody. So I can't tell you the exact time of
8 that. It escapes me.
9 Q. If I may now, I want to be very clear with
10 you. The discussions involving Mr. Vujin and what he
11 may or may not have done in Prijedor with respect to
12 interviewing witnesses, when were those discussions
13 held, to the best of your recollection?
14 A. I talked to the man from the State Security
15 Service on several occasions. I had several contacts,
16 not only with respect to the participation of the
17 lawyers themselves, but I would frequently receive
18 information which I then made public. I can't remember
19 now what information and what facts I received during
20 which particular talk, whether it happened in August or
21 April. I can't orientate myself in time that
23 Q. Thank you. What year are we speaking of?
24 Can you recall that? Were all your discussions within
25 the same year?
1 A. No, no. I had at least 20 talks every year,
2 at least 20 talks per year with that particular
3 source. Now, in which year, month, day in this case I
4 devoted attention, I really can't tell you exactly. I
5 know that it was not this year.
6 Q. Did you make contemporaneous notes of your
7 conversations with this source?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Would you have retained those notes?
10 A. I could take a look. I keep my notes at my
11 friend's places because it is quite normal in our
12 country for our homes to be ransacked and searched.
13 Q. Just to clarify a point you made earlier when
14 being questioned by Mr. Domazet, this source that we're
15 speaking of, the one who informed you of Mr. Vujin's
16 activities in Prijedor, this is the same source who
17 told you that Dusko Tadic was extradited or turned over
18 by Yugoslav authorities to the German authorities; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes. He told me that our authorities wanted
21 to start having contacts with the Tribunal, and so they
22 selected Mr. Tadic and took him to a competition of
23 some kind and then told somebody to recognise him, a
24 man who was a professional policeman in our police
25 force, a member of the Associated Leftist Party of
1 Yugoslavia, the YUL Party of Merdana Markovic. So they
2 needed somebody who would do this.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. KEEGAN: Nothing further, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Abell?
6 MR. ABELL: Could I just please clarify one
7 matter as a result of what my learned friend has said?
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Just one matter.
9 MR. ABELL: I will be very brief, I hope.
10 I'm grateful.
11 Further questions by Mr. Abell:
12 Q. Mr. Brkic, you were just asked some questions
13 to see if you could pin down the date when you had
14 conversations with your source about Mr. Vujin, and I
15 think you said you would have had maybe 20 meetings of
16 that sort of order. You told me --
17 A. Per year.
18 Q. Per year. Thank you. You told me, during
19 the course of my questions of you yesterday, that
20 amongst the topics you discussed was Mr. Vujin's
21 involvement in the Tadic case.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Abell, how is this
23 relevant to the question of the time frame?
24 MR. ABELL: Because I'm going to ask him
25 right now if he can say when that was. That's the
2 Q. Would some of those conversations have been
3 last year, in 1998?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you remember --
6 A. Please, I can't quite know what conversation
7 took place at what time, in which period, what I talked
8 to my source about, what particular subject matter,
9 because, as I say, I had contacts with him, and that is
10 my job, to be able to obtain information, because the
11 sources of information are closed in Yugoslavia, and
12 you can't come by information in any other way, unless
13 you have some personal contacts and sources who are, of
14 course, high-risk ones.
15 Q. All I'm seeking to clarify is this: Is it
16 your evidence that in 1998, you would have had
17 conversations with your source in the secret service
18 concerning what Mr. Vujin was up to in the Tadic case?
19 A. Mr. Vujin. The translation came in as
20 "Vujic." It's Vujin. The answer is yes.
21 MR. ABELL: Thank you.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Domazet?
23 MR. DOMAZET: Your Honour, we have no further
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Then that ends the case
1 so far as this witness is concerned. The witness may
2 now stand down, I believe. Nobody needs the witness
3 any further. The witness may stand down. He's
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The sitting is suspended
7 for 30 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 11.25 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12 p.m.
11 [Closed session]
13 pages 729-835 redacted – closed session
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 5.45 p.m., to be reconvened on
24 Thursday, the 2nd day of September,
25 1999, at 10 a.m.