1 Monday, 23 June 2008
2 [Initial Appearance]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE STOLE: Good afternoon, everyone. Madam Registrar, can you
7 call -- or Mr. Registrar, it is, can you call the case, please?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honour,
9 good afternoon, everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case
10 number IT-99-36-I, the Prosecutor versus Stojan Zupljanin. Thank you,
11 Your Honour.
12 JUDGE STOLE: And may I have the appearances, please?
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is
14 Anna Richterova, and I'm assisted today by trial attorney Karen Beausey
15 and Crispian Smith, our case manager.
16 JUDGE STOLE: And for the Defence?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm Tomislav Visnjic
18 and I'm the duty Defence attorney in this case. I would just like to
19 draw your attention that it seems that the B/C/S translation, we are not
20 hearing it on channel 6.
21 JUDGE STOLE: Oh, that was my next point here, that I want to
22 make it -- to be sure, to feel confident, that everyone is following the
23 proceedings in a language they understand. The accused, you're not
24 following the proceedings in a language you understand?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'm receiving
1 the translation now.
2 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you. If at any time during this hearing
3 there is any problem, please let me know.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not getting the Serbian
5 translation on my monitor.
6 JUDGE STOLE: Can someone see to that?
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE STOLE: For the accused's information, there is no
9 transcript in B/C/S. It's only in English but you receive interpretation
10 through your headphones. So we will proceed.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
13 JUDGE STOLE: I did not receive interpretation of what the
14 accused said now. We may proceed? Yes.
15 Mr. Zupljanin, you understand that you have duty counsel
16 representing you here today for the purpose of this initial appearance.
17 We will come to the question of counsel and representation later on, but
18 do you have any comments to this, that he is assisting you today for the
19 purpose of this initial appearance?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have nothing particular to say,
21 and I'm really happy with Mr. Visnjic representing me at this time.
22 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you.
23 Before we proceed and go to the substance of this initial
24 appearance, it is my duty to inform you that you have the right to remain
25 silent. This is a right you enjoy under the rules of evidence and
1 procedure and basically it means that no one can force to you say
2 anything, to answer any questions, and this applies at all times, from
3 the beginning of the proceedings until they are brought to an end.
4 This right to remain silent arises out of a broader right that
5 you have against self-incrimination, to not be compelled to testify
6 against yourself or to confess guilt. Is that clear?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, it is clear. Thank you.
8 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you.
9 By the order of the president of this Tribunal dated 11 June
10 2008, this case was assigned to Trial Chamber II. In an order dated
11 23 June 2008
12 this case has designated me as the Pre-Trial Judge and by another order
13 of the same day, as the judge for the purposes of this hearing, this
14 initial appearance.
15 I will now proceed to give some basic information about the
16 indictment. Stojan Zupljanin is the only accused in this indictment,
17 with case number IT-99-36-I. This indictment was confirmed by
18 Judge Rodrigues on 17 December 1999
19 This indictment has later been amended and the second amended indictment
20 was filed on 6 October 2004
21 present case.
22 I have been informed, through the Senior Legal Officer, that
23 there may be a mistake in the indictment. If the Prosecutor wants to
24 briefly touch on that now perhaps?
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, Your Honour. That's correct. We
1 identified a small typo when the date of birth was typed as 28 instead of
2 22nd, and we submitted also the birth certificate of Mr. Zupljanin, which
3 is confirming the fact that the right date of birth should be 22nd of
5 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you. And this will, I guess, in due course,
6 then, be amended.
7 MS. RICHTEROVA: That's correct. It is our intention to file a
8 new amended indictment and, of course, this error will be fixed.
9 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you for that.
10 I will now proceed with a summary of the indictment, and this I
11 do also for the benefit of the public following these proceedings. I
12 will start with a few words of what kind of crimes you are charged with.
13 The accused is charged with the following counts as set forth in
14 the indictment. Seven counts of crimes against humanity under Article 5
15 of the Statute of the Tribunal. This covers persecutions, persecutions
16 on political, racial and religious grounds committed through a number of
17 acts including killings, cruel and inhumane treatment, unlawful
18 detention, establishment and perpetuation of inhumane living conditions
19 in detention facilities, forcible transfer and deportation, appropriation
20 and plunder of property, wanton destruction of villages and areas and
21 destruction of religious and cultural buildings, imposition and
22 maintenance of restrictive and discriminatory measures, extermination,
23 murder, torture, inhumane acts, deportation and forcible transfer as
24 inhumane acts. These are the crimes against humanity charged in the
1 Further, six counts of violation of the laws or customs of war,
2 under Article 3 of the Statute of the Tribunal.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, could we please ask you to slow
4 down for the purposes of the translation? Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE STOLE: I will certainly do that. I apologise to the
6 interpreter. I will speak more slowly.
7 Six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, under
8 Article 3 of the Statute of the Tribunal. These are murder, torture,
9 cruel treatment, wanton destruction or devastation of towns or villages
10 not justified by military necessity, and destruction or wilful damage
11 done to institutions dedicated to religion.
12 I will now proceed to give a brief overview of the contents or
13 the facts of the indictment.
14 According to the indictment, Stojan Zupljanin allegedly covered
15 the following positions from 1991 onwards. He was commander of the
16 Regional Security Services Centre, CSB, of Banja Luka, from at least 5
17 May 1992 until July 1992, he was a member of Autonomous Region of Krajina
18 Crisis Staff and in 1994, he became an adviser for internal affairs to
19 the President of Republika Srpska.
20 It is alleged that between 1st April and 31st December 1992, the
21 RS ministry, the Republika Srpska Ministry of Interior, MUP, forces,
22 acting together with the Bosnian Serb army, VRS, the Territorial Defence
23 and paramilitaries, carried out a campaign to disarm the non-Serb
24 population. The disarmaments campaign was frequently used as a pretext
25 for unlawful attacks on non-Serb villages and their inhabitants. At the
1 same time, it is alleged that the forces under the control of the Bosnian
2 Serb authorities seized power in those municipalities deemed to pose a
3 threat to the accomplishment of the overall plan to create a Serb state
4 within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 These takeovers allegedly initialised a series -- initiated a
6 series of events organised and directed by the Bosnian Serb authorities,
7 that by the end of 1992 resulted in the death of thousands and the forced
8 departure of tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats.
9 The indictment alleges that Stojan Zupljanin, as a commander of
10 the CSB Banja Luka was the most senior police officer in the ARK,
11 subordinated only to the Minister of the Republika Srpska MUP. According
12 to the Prosecution, Stojan Zupljanin had therefore overall authority and
13 responsibility for the functioning of the police within the ARK.
14 It is further alleged that he had operational control over
15 municipal and regional forces in the ARK, including those responsible for
16 the operation of detention facilities.
17 It is further alleged that Stojan Zupljanin exercised command and
18 control of the police at times in coordination with the Bosnian Serb
19 army, paramilitary forces and volunteer units, Territorial Defence and
20 civilian bodies, including regional and municipal Crisis Staffs.
21 In addition to his position as the highest police officer in the
24 Now, this indictment charges Stojan Zupljanin with individual
25 criminal responsibility under two categories. The first one is based on
1 Article 7(1) of the Statute. You are in fact charged with having
2 committed, planned, instigated, ordered and otherwise aided and abetted
3 in the planning, preparation or execution of the crimes charged.
4 By using the word "committed" the Prosecutor does not allege that
5 the accused physically committed any of the crimes charged. "Committed"
6 in this indictment includes participation in a joint criminal enterprise.
7 According to the indictment, Stojan Zupljanin participated in a joint
8 criminal enterprise, the objective of which was to eliminate and
9 permanently remove by force or other means Bosnian Muslims and
10 Bosnian Croats from the territory of the planned Serb state.
11 The indictment further states that Stojan Zupljanin worked in
12 concert with other members of this joint criminal enterprise, including
13 Radoslav Brdjanin, General Momir Talic, Slobodan Milosevic,
14 General Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic, Nikola Koljevic,
15 Momcilo Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic, Mico Stanisic and others listed in
16 paragraph 22 of the indictment.
17 Stojan Zupljanin is also charged with criminal responsibility
18 that we refer to as superior command responsibility and this is based on
19 Article 7(3) of the Statute. Basically, what it means is that the
20 indictment alleges that you, while holding a position of superior
21 authority, are also individually criminally responsible for acts or
22 omissions of your subordinates.
23 Before we now proceed to the procedural parts of this initial
24 appearance, the opportunity to enter a plea on the counts of the
25 indictment, I'm going to ask you a few questions. And my first question
1 is, could you please state your full name for the record?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you permit me,
3 before I give you my full name, about which a lot has been written over
4 the past few days, I would need to clarify some things and I would be
5 very grateful to you for that and I think that would be something that
6 would be of use to everyone.
7 JUDGE STOLE: You will certainly be given an opportunity to
8 address the Court, to make a statement. If this has a bearing on the
9 identity issue, you may do it now or we may do it later.
10 THE ACCUSED: [No Interpretation]
11 JUDGE STOLE: He's not receiving interpretation. Are you hearing
12 me now?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to discuss this matter
14 now, and I would be very grateful to you if you allow me to do that. It
15 is well known that a number of Serbs accused for war crimes surrendered
16 voluntarily and a number of them was killed or captured by SFOR members
17 and the intelligence services as well as that a group of them was or
18 still is at large. I was one among four who remained at large,
19 Your Honour. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I'm not sure any more,
20 Dr. Radovan Karadzic, General Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic are still at
21 large and I wish that they would remain at large forever.
22 When this first group surrendered voluntarily or under pressure,
23 there was a short lull and there was then a lot of media and all other
24 kinds of pressures. We began to be demonised, each one of us was aware
25 that we were about to be shot and life became more and more difficult for
1 us and more uncertain. And then, information reached me that Tadic,
2 Kostunica, Bulatovic, and Vukcevic met, analysed the overall situation
3 and came to the joint conclusion that, I quote, for the Republic of
5 the remaining Hague accused at large should be liquidated. So the
6 democratic rulers of Serbia
7 liquidation. They issued the authorised services with the task to
8 actually carry this out and a secret action for our liquidation was
10 From that point on, I was exposed to enormous suffering and
11 superhuman efforts to survive. There was a time of fear, hiding and
12 concern. Compared to all of this, prison was a welcome thing. I was
13 afraid of everything and anything, and that lasted for more than four
14 years. And then I was deprived of liberty. Praise God that they didn't
15 know who they were depriving of freedom because I had my original ID
16 documents from the Republic of Serbia
17 citizenship and my new name, that a lot has been written about,
18 Branislav Vukadin and there was never an attachment given to the Court in
20 confusion for the investigative judge as well. And the only straw to
21 save me was that name and the wish that the media deal with that and that
22 it would come to light what happened and the longer the time passed there
23 were less opportunity for them to take me out of a cell in the middle of
24 the night, to take me in an unknown direction and liquidate me.
25 A lot of lies were written about me dictated by the security and
1 information service in order to destroy my image to the end and to
2 justify their awful act and destroy my family even though they were not
3 aware how many actually they were assisting me because there was no way
4 back from there. In long, sleepless nights in my prison cell sometimes I
5 would wish to be taken to The Hague Tribunal as soon as possible. And
6 this time, finally came, and now here I am, here you are, and as our
7 famous military leader, Karadjordje Petrovic said to the Turks in 1804,
8 the proceedings can begin.
9 As for my remaining brothers that I mentioned, I would like for
10 them to be alive but I'm afraid perhaps night has swallowed them up. I'm
11 really afraid of them and from the bottom of my soul I'm aware of all the
12 suffering and the difficulties they are going through and which I went
13 through myself. I hope that the Lord God helps them and I wish them a
14 long life in freedom. I think it's evident from everything that we have
15 never had any support in Serbia
16 Quite to the contrary. I'm very unhappy --
17 JUDGE STOLE: Mr. Zupljanin, that was a rather long, rather
18 lengthy answer to my question, if you would be willing to state your full
19 name for the record. I think this suffices for now. You will have, of
20 course, ample opportunities to make submissions to this Tribunal, but I
21 understand from this statement so far that you are then the Zupljanin in
22 the indictment of this -- in this case. Will you be willing to now at
23 this stage to state your full name for the record?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you would just give me one more
25 minute, I would be able to finish everything.
1 JUDGE STOLE: If you would, then, keep to the circumstances of
2 your case and not -- we are not in this case and certainly not in this
3 hearing dealing with other fugitives, other indictees of this Tribunal so
4 keep it short and keep it to your own personal things.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. All right. Thank you.
6 I will be very brief. I just wanted to say two more sentences. I'm very
7 unhappy that war broke out at all in the territory of the former
9 least wanted, but I deeply believe, Your Honour, that I'm going to prove
10 in the course of these proceedings all the untruths from the indictment
11 and that all Serbs, Croats and Muslims will erect a large brilliant
12 monument to me in some square in Banja Luka in order to affirm that war
13 will never break out again and that we would live as brothers just like
14 we did from 1945 to 1990 and that they will never allow anyone to
15 manipulate them again.
16 Since I have not received the indictment I would like to use my
17 right this time not to plead on the indictment even though you wanted to
18 do that, but now I'm going to answer to your question specifically. I
19 state so that there are no more dilemmas on this matter, I am
20 Stojan Zupljanin, the son of Aleksandar and Dragica, born not on the 28th
21 as the Prosecutor mentioned, but actually that's the date of birth of my
22 wife, so I like that date as well, but actually I was born on the 22nd of
23 September, 1991 [as interpreted] in a quiet Bosnian village, Maslovare,
24 in the municipality of Kotor Varos. I am a Serb. I have completed law
25 school and I have passed the bar exam. I am a master of legal sciences
1 since 1995 and, well, whatever you need.
2 JUDGE STOLE: Yes. Thank you. We can take this in its own
3 order. That would be nice but thank you for that. So the full name is
4 then on the record. And my next question to you is your date of birth.
5 When were you born? Maybe that's already on the record in what you said
6 but your date of birth is 22 September?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was born on the 22nd of
8 September, 1951
9 JUDGE STOLE: And you were born in Maslovare?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, in a quiet village of
11 Maslovare, in the municipality of Kotor Varos. It's some 46 kilometres
12 from Banja Luka.
13 JUDGE STOLE: And then next, if you're willing to state that,
14 also I'll ask for your -- the last address you stayed at, but if you are
15 willing to state that, we will go into private session for that. It's
16 not of interest to the public, that bit. We go into private session.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no, there is no need to keep
18 this confidential. The public can hear that my last address was in
19 Banja Luka, Stevana Markovica number 3. It's true it's no longer being
20 guarded by the SFOR members as it used to be. Up until now there were
21 always three or four vehicles in front of the building but I think from
22 now on it will still continue to be safe.
23 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you. So that's also now on the record.
24 Has your family been informed of your transfer to The Hague and
25 of your detention in the United States detention -- in the United Nations
1 Detention Unit? Or would you like the Tribunal to notify any family
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm very grateful for the Tribunal
4 for this nice gesture but I have already notified them, or, rather, they
5 learned all about that on Saturday through the media.
6 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you. As for legal representation, as we
7 mentioned already, you are represented here today by duty counsel, and
8 maybe he has had the opportunity to briefly give you some -- give you
9 some guidance as to your rights to counsel, to legal representation. You
10 have a right to be assisted by counsel of your own choosing, subject to
11 certain rules and discretion exercised by the registrar of this Tribunal,
12 or you have the right to represent yourself, if you so choose. The rules
13 also provide for legal aid should you qualify for this according to the
15 Do you have any comments on this? Is it clear for -- is it clear
16 for you, your rights to counsel?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. My rights to counsel are
18 clear to me and I will decide in the forthcoming period what to do. I
19 have already contacted some counsel and I will notify the Tribunal
20 promptly about any decision that I make.
21 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you for that.
22 Mr. Zupljanin, I want to ensure that you are informed that you,
23 as an accused in proceedings before this Tribunal, you have certain
24 rights, and these may also have been touched upon by counsel in your
25 brief meeting, as I understood, today, but I want to go a little bit more
1 into your rights.
2 I draw in particular your attention to the rights enshrined in
3 Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute for this Tribunal and among these
4 rights are the following: The right to be informed promptly and in
5 detail in a language you understand of the nature and cause of the charge
6 against you; the right to have adequate time and facilities for the
7 preparation of your defence and to communicate with counsel of your own
8 choosing; the right to be tried in your presence and to defend yourself
9 in person or through legal assistance of your choosing; and as mentioned
10 earlier, the right not to be compelled to testify against yourself or to
11 confess guilt.
12 Do you understand these rights, that you have these rights?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE STOLE: Have you received the indictment in your own
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I have not. But after the
17 hearing, I plan to take receipt of it and I think that I have enough
19 JUDGE STOLE: You have a right under the Rules for the indictment
20 to be read out in full. This is a right that you can waive and state for
21 the record that you waive the right for a full reading of the indictment,
22 that for now it is sufficient with the summary that I've given earlier
23 today. Since you already have stated that you're not prepared to enter
24 any plea today, maybe you will waive the right to have a full reading of
25 the indictment? If not, we will read the indictment in full.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since you have been so kind and
2 have given me so much time to tell you what I wanted to say, I don't
3 think that there is any need for us to waste time on that. I will read
4 it, perhaps not only once but several times, and I will avail myself of
5 the right to enter my plea 30 days after today.
6 JUDGE STOLE: And I understand that so far you have had only
7 limited time to go through this at all with counsel present here today.
8 Thank you.
9 And since you already have stated, and it is on the record, that
10 you will not enter a plea, and also referred to the Rules that seemed to
11 suggest to me that you also are aware of the rule of your right to then
12 enter a plea within 30 days from this initial appearance so that is what
13 you will do, you will take the time and revert to this within the 30 day
14 limit, according to the Rules? If you please will state, because the
15 nodding doesn't go into the transcript. If would you state it for the
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Okay. Yes, I fully agree with you
18 and I think that it is the best time.
19 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you.
20 After this initial appearance is adjourned, you will remain in
21 custody for the time being, according to the order that exists for that.
22 You have, however, a right to file an application for provisional release
23 pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the
24 Tribunal. If you -- I should also inform you that if such a request is
25 filed, you will have the opportunity to avail yourself of legal counsel
1 also for that purpose.
2 For the Prosecution, I would like to remind the Prosecutor that
3 pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the
4 Tribunal, within 30 days of the initial appearance of the accused, will
5 make available to the Defence all the supporting material which
6 accompanied the indictment when confirmation was sought. I'm sure this
7 is something that the Prosecution will act upon.
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, Your Honour. We are aware of our
9 obligation according to Rules. However, we found it more efficient now
10 to wait until the permanent counsel is assigned because the material can
11 get lost or -- so I think it will -- let's wait until the permanent
12 counsel is assigned. Of course, if he is not assigned within this time
13 period, we will disclose it according to Rules.
14 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you for that.
15 And for the information of the accused, after that, after you
16 have been served with the supporting material, pursuant to Rule 62(A) of
17 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal, you will have then a
18 30-day period for filing of preliminary motions, once you have received
19 all this material.
20 And this 30-day time-limit shall not run until the -- until
21 permanent counsel has been assigned to the accused.
22 Is there any matter now that the Prosecution wishes to raise at
23 this stage?
24 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, Your Honour. There are no other matters to
1 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you. Any matters to be raised by the Defence
2 at this moment?
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We've covered
4 everything that we've planned.
5 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you.
6 And it is my duty under the Rules, Mr. Zupljanin, to enquire if
7 you have been treated well in the UN Detention Unit, if you have received
8 adequate health care or assistance. If need be we will go into private
9 session for that but -- do you have any comments to make on the
10 conditions in the Detention Unit?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you allow me before that, just
12 to say one thing, I would like to receive the materials in the Serbian
13 language. I don't speak other languages. I'm familiar with Russian but
14 it's not an official language at the Tribunal so I would like to ask to
15 receive the materials exclusively in Serbian so that I would be able to
16 use them. This is my only request.
17 As for the conditions, if a person can be satisfied with
18 conditions in detention, then I am satisfied and I have no particular
19 remarks to make in that respect.
20 JUDGE STOLE: As for the materials in Serbian language, I will
21 not make any comments on that at the moment. Does is the Prosecution
22 have any comment to make on that specific issue?
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: Of course, the material will be disclosed in the
24 language which the accused can understand.
25 JUDGE STOLE: Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Okay.
2 JUDGE STOLE: As mentioned we will then arrange for a subsequent
3 hearing within the 30 days from today, for the opportunity -- where the
4 opportunity will be given for the accused for entering a plea. And if by
5 that time you should choose not to enter any plea, even after having
6 consulted with your counsel and having had time to go through the
7 indictment in full and plea -- a plea of not guilty will be entered on
8 your behalf by myself or by the Tribunal. You understand that?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, it is, thank you.
10 JUDGE STOLE: Thank you.
11 Yes. I think I have then covered the matters that I wanted to
12 raise today. And if no one has additional comments or matters, we will
13 adjourn this hearing. This hearing is then adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned
15 at 3.48 p.m.