1 Friday, 30 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-08-91-T.
7 The Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL
10 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Crispian Smith for the Prosecution,
11 Your Honours.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
13 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan for Stanisic Defence.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honour, Dragan Krgovic for
15 Stojan Zupljanin.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, there is one preliminary matter which
17 I would like to raise with your leave, at this moment before the witness
18 enters court.
19 JUDGE HALL
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
21 Your Honours, it came to my attention yesterday when I was
22 reading the transcript that a part of yesterday's session was a closed
23 session when we were discussing 92 ter application. I analysed it,
24 there's nothing confidential in it, and I would like to move the
25 Trial Chamber to leave the confidentiality of this part of the
1 transcript. Thank you very much.
2 Yes, it was in a closed -- private session, I'm sorry, private
3 session, yes.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 MS. KORNER: It was the question of whether or not I had complied
6 with the formula on 92 ter. And one of Your Honours, I can't remember
7 which, said we ought to go into private session. So that's what the
8 discussion was about. I don't have any strong feelings one way or the
9 other about it.
10 JUDGE HALL
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 revisited and those proceedings which you recall as being in private
14 session are now open.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE HALL
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE HALL
20 your oath.
21 Yes, Ms. Korner.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, to you too.
23 WITNESS: BRANKO DJERIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
1 Q. Mr. Djeric, we are now going to have a look at one of the
2 documents that related to the ministerial counsel which we looked at
4 MS. KORNER: And that's 65 ter 1472, please.
5 Q. It's dated the 13th of January, the minutes, but it actually
6 relates to the -- a meeting on the 11th of January of 1992. And we can
7 see listed there the people who attended. Minutes, do you know who took
8 the minutes of these meetings? If we go to the end, and I don't want to
9 go to the end for the moment, but there's somebody called the ministerial
10 council secretary, Drasko Vuleta. Would he have taken the minutes?
11 A. I don't remember that. That was far away from me.
12 Q. Sorry, what was far away from you?
13 A. The minutes - about who was leading the ministerial council at
14 the time, I don't remember. I wasn't there, I mean, that's what I'm
16 Q. Well, you were at this meeting. If we look at the attendees, we
17 can see that you are listed as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth
18 person; is that right?
19 A. I'm not contesting that. You are asking me about who took the
20 minutes, and I can't remember that.
21 Q. That's fine. Don't worry. We can see also that Mico Stanisic
22 attended and also Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik. Rajko Dukic, president of
23 the executive committee of the SDS
24 MS. KORNER: Right. Could we go, please, in the English to the
25 second page, and in the B/C/S also to the second page. And I want the
1 second paragraph under item 2, please, up, thank you, and the last
2 paragraph in the English.
3 Q. As you told us yesterday, there had been the declaration in
4 January of the republic of the Serbian people, and there was then a
5 discussion. And one can see it said there:
6 "It was concluded that the priorities springing from the
7 declaration included the defining of ethnic territory, the establishment
8 of government organs in the territory, and the economic disempowerment of
9 the current authorities in the socialist republic of BH."
10 Now, what was meant by the defining of ethnic territory? It may
11 be obvious, Mr. Djeric, but perhaps you can explain to the Court.
12 A. To be honest that was within the purview of the party and with
13 the purview of the assembly of the Serbian people when it comes to those
14 political goals. I really can't talk about that in any detail. I can't
15 provide any explanation. That was within the purview of that party and
16 within the purview of the leadership of the Serbian people at the time.
17 The only thing that I might say is that it was about the regionalisation
18 or deregionalisation that was at the forefront at the time. And those
19 were the ideas that were the focus of all the thoughts and
20 considerations, if I have been of any help with that.
21 So nothing went beyond those ideas and that framework. Those
22 ideas and that platform was the basis of all the discussions, it was a
23 time of transition, the former communist system was being replaced by a
24 new democratic system, you will remember of course.
25 Q. Yes. Thank you, but you were present at this meeting, when it
1 said that the -- when whoever raised it said that ethnic territory had to
2 be defined, did they explain what was meant by that?
3 A. I don't remember. I don't remember, but there were discussions
4 about that as well.
5 Q. All right. Establishment of government organs in the territory,
6 what was meant by that?
7 A. Always in this period of regions and regionalisation.
8 Q. [Microphone not activated] All right. Yes, but whose government?
9 A. Well, the government of the region, the government of the region.
10 But it wasn't in dispute that when it came to defining the regions the
11 ethnic criteria will play the prevalent role, that was not in dispute.
12 There were a criteria of course that were the basis of all that, but the
13 prevalent criterion was the ethnic criterion.
14 Q. All I'm asking is what was the ethnic criteria? Mr. Djeric.
15 A. At the time it was the peoples that every people in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina should have its territory, as it were.
17 Q. Are you saying --
18 A. Predominantly. Which means that there was a certain set of
19 criteria, the fact that people were historically living there. This is
20 not something that I was ever dealing with. I'm just trying to help you
21 and I'm trying to remember what was discussed at the time, and that what
22 was discussed is exactly what I'm talking about.
23 Q. Sorry, you've said that the criteria was that the fact that
24 people were historically living there. So not who was living there at
25 the present in the territory, but who had historically lived there, was
1 that the criteria?
2 A. Well, you see, I mean, this is not something I would have dealt
3 with. I'm just helping -- I'm just telling you that this was discussed.
4 There were all sorts of discussions going on. There were discussions
5 about the ethnicity, history, this and that and the other, but all that
6 is far from me. The criteria, history, ethnicity, all that is beyond me,
7 and there's nothing special I can add to that or I can't remember. It's
8 all foggy. It's all as if through the mist.
9 Q. Right. You've said that it was to -- the criteria for everyone.
10 Are you saying that the defining of ethnic territory was for Serbs,
11 Croats, and Muslims, that's what was discussed?
12 A. Well, I mean discussions were going on about that and I, as the
13 minister of development at that time on the eve of the conflict I was
14 also preoccupied with that amongst other things. There were discussions
15 about that by the government of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia
16 Herzegovina on the eve of the war, and we had all sorts of disputes going
17 on because there were different visions and views.
18 Q. Right. All I'm asking you, don't worry about what anybody was
19 doing, at this meeting, was the discussion about the defining of ethnic
20 territory, ethnic territory for all three nationalities or just one?
21 A. Here we are dealing with the Serbian regional territory or space,
22 but I'm talking from the position of predominant ethnical criteria, but
23 others were not excluded either. Awhile ago I told you that that issue
24 was discussed even before the conflict and everything was said there, the
25 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina discussed that. There are recordings of
1 those discussions, all of them should exist. So this is not -- I
2 apologise --
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, stop, please. Please stop. I'm not - and I've told
4 you for the second time - interested in what was discussed at any other
5 meetings other than this one. Now, can we one more time, the defining of
6 ethnic territory, you said the criteria was historical. Does that mean
7 it wasn't concerned with who was actually living in the territories that
8 you were trying to define ethnically at the present time, in other words
9 January of 1992?
10 A. You see, I mean, this did not exclude other peoples. We are
11 talking about regions, about formulating regions. But based on the
12 ethnic criterion, the ethnic criterion was proclaimed to be predominant,
13 primary, but other criteria and rights of the other people residing in
14 those territories were not excluded as a result of that.
15 Q. All right. I'd like you to look at one other part of the minutes
16 for this meeting.
17 MS. KORNER: Paragraph 4, page 3 in the English, and also page 3
18 in B/C/S.
19 Q. Paragraph 4 of the conclusions:
20 "A Working Group comprising Mico Stanisic, Dr. Zepinic..."
21 somebody called Laic, I think it is, "... and Novakovic will deal with
22 the issues regarding the organisation and scope of national security and
23 will frame a concept about this. Mico Stanisic is responsible for the
24 work of the group."
25 Please, Mr. Djeric, we've got a number of documents to get
1 through. What was Mico Stanisic going to be looking at? What does the
2 scope of national security and framing a concept? What was he going to
4 A. It's simply a question which I can't answer. I can't talk about
5 that in any great detail. This was a matter for the assembly of the
6 Serbian people and party leadership. I already said something about that
7 yesterday. As to what that body was to be dealing with, what the matter
8 of security was, I really can't -- simply I can't, I never dealt with
9 that, I wasn't interested at the time, and therefore I can't say anything
10 about that today, as I sit here today.
11 Q. Mr. Djeric, I'm not interest in whether it was your idea or at
12 the moment whether you agreed with any of it. All I'm asking you is what
13 was discussed. What was Mico Stanisic supposed to be doing in respect of
15 A. I don't know. He got from the -- we are talking about the
16 ministerial council here, are we not?
17 Q. Yes, we are.
18 A. He received his tasks from the president of the ministerial
19 council. I suppose there must be documents to that effect. I wasn't --
20 I can't remember that discussion and the details about that. I don't
21 remember the discussion at all.
22 Q. All right. In the -- what the Court has heard, at the end of
23 March, beginning of April, the MUP split and a Serbian MUP was set up.
24 Did this discussion have anything to do with that?
25 A. I can't establish a link between the two, I mean ...
1 Q. And that's your final answer, is it?
2 A. I don't think so.
3 Q. Your final answer is you can't tell us anything about what
4 Mico Stanisic was supposed to be doing, is that what you are saying?
5 A. I don't remember that discussion. And as for any of the
6 documents, they were never presented to me. I was never given those
7 documents. It was a matter for the president of the ministerial council
8 and the security organ, and so on and so forth. I can't say anything
9 about that. I think that there wasn't a direct link between that and the
10 events from the very beginning.
11 Is there something wrong with my microphone?
12 Q. I don't think so.
13 Right. It has nothing to do with the eventual split in the MUP.
14 Just think for a moment, would you, Mr. Djeric, what was it that
15 Mico Stanisic was being tasked by the president or the SDS or
16 Dr. Karadzic or whoever, what was he being tasked to do? Much as I hate
17 that word.
18 A. Well, I mean, I really don't know what tasks he received, but I
19 told you yesterday it was the time of the peace accord which was
20 discussed at the time. I'm talking about the Cutileiro plan, and I
21 suppose that it was all about that. But I can't be sure of that. Well,
22 you know, all the sides were studying that accord and trying to find
23 their place in that accord and that plan.
24 Q. Don't worry about generalisations about the Cutileiro plan and
25 what other sides were doing. I'm asking you specific questions about
1 specific documents, and that's what I want you to answer, please. Right.
2 MS. KORNER: Let's look an another document, a meeting of the --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, I really -- I am
4 trying to be very concrete, as concrete as I can be, to the best of my
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's my intention.
8 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Mr. Djeric.
9 Can we look please at a meeting of the National Security Council.
10 65 ter 1164, please.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Djeric, while we are waiting for this next
12 document, I just want to remind you that, of course, you are not in any
13 way sought to be held responsible for any of the events that we are
14 discussing here. The only thing we are trying to do is to get as
15 objectively as we can some insight into the matters that were discussed
16 at the time.
17 And now that I have the floor, I just want to get back to one
18 thing that you started out by saying in your testimony this morning;
19 namely, that this was about regionalisation. And I'm not sure I fully
20 understand what that means. Can you briefly explain to me the intention
21 behind this and the rationality behind this concept?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'll try and briefly explain
23 things for you. Before the conflict, as you know, we lived in one state
24 which was the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. What happened
25 next were the events that you are already familiar with. You know that
1 Yugoslavia is a multiethnic community, underwent certain things, as you
2 know, and then in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were three peoples, including
3 the Serbian people. And what happened was there was an existential fear
4 because people felt that they were losing their general public good,
5 which was their state. And of course people were concerned, and they
6 were trying to find their place in the plans, and agreements that we are
7 talking about. They were seeking to try -- seeking to protect their
8 rights. And in that sense they wanted regions to be established.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: When you say that they were afraid of losing
10 their state, can you explain this to me? Who was afraid of losing their
11 state and who would come and take their state away from them?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, I'm talking about the
13 Serbian people. That's who I'm talking about. Because Yugoslavia was
14 the ideal solution for that people. Because the Serb people lived
15 everywhere in most of Yugoslavia, and they lived under a single umbrella
16 in one state, and when Yugoslavia disappeared, Bosnia-Herzegovina was a
17 place where an issue was raised. If a multiethnic community, such was
18 Yugoslavia, could not exist and could not survive. The issue was whether
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina could offer adequate solutions for all the peoples
20 including the Serbs who lived there.
21 I'm talking and I'm saying that the cessation resulted in
22 problems and in a national homogenisation because there was existential
23 fear present among people. My opinion is that it is bad practice to
24 break up a multiethnic state, and this was proven. And I'm talking about
25 the future. Let bygones be bygones, there's nothing we can do about
1 that. That's my opinion.
2 And then issues were raised within the framework of European
3 regionalisation processes.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
5 MS. KORNER: Can we have a look, please, at the meeting of the
6 National Security Council. Looks like the minutes were produced on the
7 the 18th of April, but the meeting was on the 16th. Could we look please
8 at the second page in English, and it's also the second page in the
10 Q. I see that the minutes were signed by Radovan Karadzic as
11 president of the council. Item number 10, it was decided to inform the
12 SAOs about the display of symbols at the borders of Serbian Bosnian
13 territory and then it goes on to the symbols, as well in -- each
14 territory is proclaimed as Serbian territories, as one of those in which
15 the authority of Serbian BH was later established formally occupied by
16 the Green Berets. First of all, by the Green Berets, who is being
17 referred to there?
18 A. These were certain armed units that were being meant, among the
19 Bosniak people, maybe it was the SDA or the patriotic league. I don't
20 know where they were from, but in any case these were armed formations
21 within the Bosniak people.
22 Q. They didn't just mean Muslims generally?
23 A. I beg your pardon.
24 Q. It didn't just mean those of Muslim nationality; it meant
25 literally armed men, did it?
1 A. No, they were in the function of the SDA, and the SDA policies.
2 I don't know. I'm not going to go into the composition, but they were
3 predominantly for sure. In any case, they were working on the
4 implementation of the policy of the SDA as the leading party of the
5 Bosniak Muslim people.
6 Q. But you see, what it says here is, not only should the symbols be
7 set up in what was proclaimed to be Serbian territory, but also in
8 territories where the authority of the Serbs was to be established. Sir,
9 is what was being discussed here, actual -- the forceful taking over of
11 A. Well, in what way? But the fact is that there was operating here
12 with these territories which were -- which belonged to the Serbian
14 Q. Yes, but who decided they belonged to the Serbian people?
15 A. It was the political leadership that charged certain
16 cartographers who drew up those maps. I mean, I keep going back to these
17 agreements. There were always some sort of maps in circulation, and then
18 there were agreement that had to do with these maps. The maps didn't
19 appear. They were circulating, they were already present at the
20 negotiations, the peace talks, and they were already perhaps some
21 agreements regarding some territories.
22 Q. Yes, but we are way beyond the the peace talks now, aren't we?
23 We are April 16th, war has -- or conflict has already started, hasn't it?
24 A. Well, I think that, you know, negotiations were still going on.
25 The plan, as far as I can remember was still in play.
1 Q. All right. But I'm looking simply at what is recorded and what
2 is being talked about at this meeting that you were present at. That
3 what is being said there, isn't it, is that the Serbs were going to take
4 over territory that was not accepted as being Serbian? Bosnian Serb, I
5 should say. Isn't that what was being said there, Mr. Djeric?
6 A. Can you please additionally repeat this question for me, I'm
8 Q. The sentence that Serbian -- "symbols are to be set up in
9 territories in which the authority of Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina was
10 later established (formerly occupied by the Green Berets)."
11 It really is a simple question, is what is being discussed there,
12 the taking over of these territories by force?
13 A. Well, if the Green Berets were in these territories, then it's
14 just a question of a counter-action here. Evidently, what we are talking
15 about here are some disputed areas, disputed areas from these talks. The
16 whole problem lay with the disputed territories. Only in Dayton were
17 there boundaries established between Republika Srpska and the
18 Bosnian Federation.
19 Q. By April the 16th, Mr. Djeric, was it clear to you and everybody
20 else that the Muslims were not accepting the declaration of what the
21 Bosnian Serbs said was their territory? The answer is yes or no, please.
22 A. Well, the Muslim side rejected that in the same way that the
23 Serbian side rejected the forceful referendum on March 1st. The Muslim
24 side declared -- denied the declaration, and the Serbian side denied the
25 validity of the referendum. And things proceeded the way they proceeded.
1 At the same time, the peace agreement was unfolding. Let me just remind
2 you, Mr. Izetbegovic first accepted the agreement, he accepted the
3 agreement, you have to count on that, and then subsequently rejected it.
4 So it was in play, the agreement had been reached.
5 Q. Can we move to the next, because otherwise again we are going to
6 get stuck on this document. Paragraph 11.
7 "The attention of the MUP is drawn -- or was drawn to the
8 infiltration of a large number of emigrants in JNA uniforms and wearing
9 Serbian insignia, whose goal is the destruction of the legally elected
10 Serbian authorities and the execution of various forms of sabotage..."
11 Who were these emigrants whose goal was the destruction of the
12 legally elected Serbian authorities?
13 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I think these are things that are
14 connected to these structures, the police, the military, and they
15 operated with that. So now I assume that these were these aggressive
16 offensive party elements of the SDA, and so on and so forth. I think
17 that's what this is about. But for me to be able to tell you any more, I
18 simply never was in contact with any of that. Meaning, who was
19 specifically there. These are some party militias and so on.
20 Q. Right, but as far as this council was concerned, it was the job
21 of the MUP to deal with them, rather than the army; is that right?
22 A. We are talking about April?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I agree. On the one hand, the MUP, but the army was present
25 there too, you know. I think. This army was there, talks were being
1 conducted about whether the army should stay there. So this should also
2 be kept in mind, throughout April, talks were conducted for the JNA to
3 remain in that area because of possible conflicts or, you know, security
4 of factories, military facilities and so on, so this went on throughout
5 the whole of April, these talks. But it was present, and for as long as
6 it was present, I guess by definition its job was to deal with some form
7 of security.
8 Q. All right. And finally, paragraph 16, please:
9 "It was decided that a Commission to Determine War Crimes be
10 formed." War crimes against whom?
11 A. I don't remember at that time, but there was talk about crimes of
12 all types, all types of crimes in relation to the Serbian people, and we
13 will continue to persecute all the crimes.
14 Q. So it was war crimes against the Serbs?
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, Your Honours, the transcript did not
16 reflect what precisely the witness said.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Mr. Djeric, Mr. Zecevic raised that you said something different.
19 Your answer when I asked war crimes against whom, as recorded was:
20 "I don't remember at that time, but there was talk about crimes
21 of all types, all types of crimes in relation to the Serbian people, and
22 we will continue to persecute all the crimes."
23 Is that what you said, or did you say something different?
24 A. I said that these were all crimes no matter who committed them,
25 and there was talk about crimes in relation to the Serbian people, but
1 all other crimes too.
2 Q. So are you saying this was a commission that was to be set up to
3 investigate war crimes whether committed by Serbs or against Serbs or
4 Muslims or Croats; is that what you are saying?
5 A. Well, the talk was in the sense that there was a commission that
6 would deal with everything, but primarily and on a priority basis with
7 the crimes on the Serbian side.
8 Q. All right. That's all I want to ask you about that group --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Excuse me, Mr. Djeric, what do you mean with "the
10 crimes on the Serbian side"? Do you mean crimes against Serbians or
11 crimes committed by Serbians?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the commission
13 that was being discussed that would investigate all crimes, crimes
14 against Serbian people and also by the Serbian side committed against
15 others, but additionally what it had in mind were crimes against the
16 Serbian people. This is not a question of ignoring the crimes that were
17 committed by the Serbian side. These were not ignored. They were also
18 -- the idea was also to deal with them.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 MS. KORNER:
21 Q. All right. I want to move to a different group of documents, and
22 that's records of conversations that you had during the period April and
23 May. I think we ought to put into context that on the 6th of April with
24 the recognition of the independence of Bosnia by the EU, the police
25 school at Vraca was taken over, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Right. Now, you've had an opportunity, I think, to listen to
3 records of four different -- sorry, five different conversations; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And just to identify them, the first was a conversation between
7 you and Mico Stanisic which has a date -- there were two different copies
8 of it, but I think you say that the first is recorded as happening on the
9 18th of April, 1992.
10 MS. KORNER: Can we have up on the screen -- all right.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we object as you are put on notice by
12 our motion on oral -- all intercepts. Thank you very much.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, we semi discussed this, and I thought
14 that where -- that the witness can identify his own voice and that of the
15 person to whom he is speaking, then the objection was withdrawn, other
16 than the general objection that the intercepts were illegal.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, there is a couple of levels of our -- in our
18 motion. The legality of the intercepts, the preconditions for that, plus
19 the authenticity. And in case where the witness is the one who is on the
20 tape and can remember his -- the occasion and the person who he is
21 talking to, obviously then he can authenticate this conversation. But
22 the objection still stands. Thank you.
23 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, I'm in your hands, I mean, this
24 all came in very late.
25 JUDGE HALL
1 ago, that in terms of the different categories which counsel have
2 identified, that the jurisprudence on the question of these intercepts
3 being so well settled, your objection is noted for the record. But there
4 is, as Ms. Korner has indicated, as I recall, and counsel will correct me
5 if I'm wrong, no live issue in terms of where, as with what she now
6 proposes to put, the witness is able to identify his own voice, isn't
7 that where we are?
8 MR. ZECEVIC: That is exactly where we are, Your Honour, but our
9 motion -- our motion has different -- different aspects of objection to
10 the admission of intercepts as an exhibit. This one concerning the
11 authenticity in the particular case can be probably remedied in case the
12 witness can confirm that this is the contents of the -- that these are
13 the precise contents of his speech with this other person and identify
14 the other person. I understand that. But --
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, can I deal with it this way then, I
16 won't go into the actual content, I mean, it speaks for itself in any
17 event for most of them, and simply get the witness until we ruled on this
18 motion, which, I may say, I do find strange because these intercepts have
19 been in other cases on a number of occasions, but -- and simply I'd get
20 him to identify the intercepts, and then we'll see where we go. I mean,
21 the content does speak for itself.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: If I may just add one thing, I know of course we
23 are fully aware that there is a jurisprudence on the intercepts before
24 this Tribunal. However, this is the first, I think, case where our
25 position is backed up by the forensic findings, forensic institute, where
1 they say clearly that the authenticity cannot be confirmed. That is the
2 first case before this Tribunal as far as I can -- as far as I know and
3 we researched that, that the authenticity was backed up -- the
4 authenticity issue was backed up with the findings of the forensic
5 institute which is a clearly an expert body which did a lot of expertise
6 for the Prosecution before this Tribunal. Thank you.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: So now you are saying, Mr. Zecevic, that the
8 authenticity issue is the most important one. The other one, you know,
9 you are referring to the jurisprudence of the -- which you seem to
10 accept. Well, "accept" is perhaps a little bit too much.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honour, it's a little bit more complex
12 than that. I think it has to be regarded and addressed in its totality.
13 The authenticity, the legality, and everything. All the aspects of the
14 intercept, that's our position.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we made the point. You know, they've
16 got this so-called expert report in July. They file a motion about this
17 when a witness is about to appear who is going to deal with evidence. I
18 am afraid Mr. Zecevic can't have it both ways. I'm suggesting, however,
19 that the way of dealing with it so far is an aspect that you will want to
20 consider is whether a witness is able to identify his voice and that of
21 the person to whom he is speaking. As I say, at this stage, I'm only
22 asking the witness to do that, and I cannot see that that is not
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, the forensic report was done on July,
25 and it was done based on the intercepts which have been disclosed to us
1 in the pretrial phase. By filing the pre-trial brief, the Prosecution
2 changed the mandate, the intercepts and added quite a few new ones. And
3 we were exploring the possibility of having additional resources to
4 address these additionally disclosed intercepts with the forensic
5 institute; however, we failed with that because -- thank you.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Zecevic, we have read the report also, of
7 course. And while it is true that the report does conclude that it
8 cannot be established with any degree of full certainty that these tapes
9 are authentic, the report actually also does say that there are no traces
10 of these tapes having been tampered with. So I think that if the witness
11 can confirm that it is his voice and can confirm that the other partner
12 with whom he was speaking was your client, then I think at least for this
13 tape, for this recording we would go ahead and should go ahead and
14 confront it now to the witness.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I understand, Your Honour. But that is exactly
16 what I was talking about, but we still object to the intercepts as such
17 being admitted as evidence, for the reasons we stated in our motion.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: We are taking note of that.
19 Ms. Korner, please proceed.
20 MS. KORNER: All right. Can we just go through the intercepts.
21 We'll have them quickly, the transcript on the screen. The first is a
22 conversation between you and Mico Stanisic. It's number is 2877.
23 Q. And it's actually, as you pointed out, I think, the first version
24 seem to have a date of May, but the date is the 18th of April, and you
25 are speaking to him at Vraca school; is that right.
1 A. Can you please -- around the date.
2 Q. Sir, you've got some documents there, Mr. Djeric, can you tell us
3 what you are looking for? I see you've got the transcripts there.
4 A. These are transcripts, but the date here is a little bit -- I'm
5 not sure about the date. Can you -- can you --
6 Q. Mr. Djeric, stop for a moment. I'm not interested in the date,
7 I'm not interested in the content. Were you able to listen to a tape
8 recording of a conversation between yourself and Mico Stanisic?
9 A. Yes, this was shown to me.
10 Q. Now, you listened -- did you listen to the actual recording, not
11 the -- you were shown the transcript as well?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Right. Were you able to say that it was your voice and that of
14 Mico Stanisic to the investigator who was with you?
15 A. Yes. His voice for sure and mine, and mine, in places where I
16 can hear that well. I'm not disputing that.
17 Q. Right. Okay. Thank you very much. Then was there a second --
18 another conversation that took place, the number is 3231, between you and
19 Momcilo Mandic? Do you remember?
20 A. I can remember just -- well, that recording is not the best,
21 there is some sort of interference.
22 Q. Yes, agreed. But having listened to a conversation with a
23 transcript that was said to be between you and Mr. Mandic, are you able
24 to confirm that you did have such a conversation? That it was
25 Mr. Mandic's voice on the tape and yours?
1 A. The recording is not good, but at some points I do hear myself
2 and him thus at some points. But I cannot recall that conversation now
3 when you are asking me -- when you ask me, do I recall that conversation,
4 I don't.
5 Q. All right. But you're able -- all, as I said, I'm interested in
6 the moment is your voices. Did you also listen to tapes, first of all,
7 with the number 3237 where you had a conversation with Milenko Karisik?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Right. And there was one tape where the quality was, I agree,
10 absolutely appalling. We enhanced it, sort of. And I just want -- we
11 are going to try --
12 MS. KORNER: I am sorry, Your Honours, we got the papers, we
13 didn't have an opportunity to play it to him because he already started
14 giving evidence. I'd like you to listen to at lease part of it, which
15 hopefully through the earphones you can make out some portions. And it's
16 in sanction, sorry. The number of this one is 3238.
17 [Audio-clip played]
18 MS. KORNER:
19 Q. Are you able to -- Mr. Djeric, are you able to identify the voice
21 A. I can't hear a thing.
22 Q. You mean you didn't hear it being played through the earphones at
24 A. This was a bad recording.
25 Q. All right. One could -- some of us may think that one could hear
1 a voice even through the terrible background noise. Did you hear that
3 A. No, I didn't.
4 MS. KORNER: All right. If Your Honours don't mind, we'll just
5 try one more time.
6 [Audio-clip played]
7 Q. Did you hear that, Mr. Djeric?
8 A. Well, I can't -- this -- I can't actually -- this is a bad
9 recording. I can't follow that.
10 Q. Yes, you may not be able to follow it, but I'm asking you,
11 whether however bad the recording, it may have seemed to some people that
12 you could distinctly hear two different voices. Were you able to
13 recognise either voice?
14 A. No, no. There is a lot of background noise, you know.
15 Q. All right. Well, I don't want to waste any more time on that.
16 So you are able to identify the call between you and
17 Mico Stanisic, the call between you and -- your voices, and
18 Momcilo Mandic, and one call between you and Mr. Karisik?
19 A. Well, yes, but you know, though, the one that you have just
20 played back to me was really bad, so I can't --
21 Q. No, leave aside that one. All of these calls, I mean, that's the
22 only thing I want to ask you about, seem to have taken place between you
23 and the Vraca school. Can you explain to the Court why you were getting
24 in touch with people at the Vraca school?
25 A. Well, you see, at that time I was a member of the leadership, and
1 you may have noticed that they often requested the leadership, or rather
2 the officials in Pale, and they didn't find them because they were
3 tending to their own business because -- and I would be there because I
4 was dealing with the operative tasks, and then they would find me. And
5 when they say they want to communicate and they say we want to talk to
6 you, they don't mean me, but one of us. They don't mean me expressly,
7 but just one of us, and then they put me through to them.
8 In one of the conversations, I was the one who wanted to talk to
9 Stanisic because I was interested in what was going on down there.
10 That's why I asked you about the date because I was not clear about the
11 date. The date was not clear. It seems to me that that conversation
12 took place immediately after the entry of the Serbian police into the MUP
13 building in Vraca. I wasn't there when that happened. It's very
14 important to know that the police entered the premises of the MUP in
15 Vraca on the 4th of April, I suppose. And I was in Banja Luka at a
16 meeting. I returned on the 5th, I believe. On the 5th of April I would
17 say. And that conversation could have taken place at that time. Judging
18 by everything, it could have been at that time because I arrived, and I
19 inquired as to what was going on, and so on and so forth. So I am not
20 very clear from the conversation which two people are in question. I
21 know for one -- I know about one vice-president who is mentioned in the
22 conversation, but as for the other two, I don't know whether I had
23 Karadzic and Krajisnik in mind or somebody else. I really can't identify
24 that. I arrived, I found the situation as it was --
25 Q. Stop for a minute.
1 A. Okay, okay.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I mean, he is actually going to the
3 content, and to make sense of it, I mean, I think I better have it up on
4 the screen. Presumably you are overruling Mr. Zecevic's objection to any
5 discussion of the content?
6 JUDGE HALL
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, clearly the witness is
8 questioning the contents of it, so.
9 MS. KORNER: He is not questioning, he is talking about it.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Yeah, but he is questioning the date when it was
11 taken, so it's not this date which is on the document. That is exactly
12 my -- the point why we are objecting to these intercepts, exactly.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, all I'm asking is whether -- the fact
14 that he is querying the date is neither here nor there, it's the content
15 that he is now referring to. But in any event, Your Honour, I think I'll
16 move on because I've still got some other classes of documents to put to
17 the witness.
18 Q. Mr. Djeric, all I want to know about this is, were you aware in
19 advance, even though you were in Banja Luka and not in Sarajevo, that the
20 police school was going to be taken over by Mico Stanisic and
21 Momcilo Mandic, amongst others? Before it happened, did you know about
23 A. I didn't know. I didn't know. And the best argument to
24 corroborate that is that I left my apartment and everything in the
25 apartment. My car was in the garage. If I had known, I would have
1 evacuated some of my belongings, the ones that could be moved. I didn't
2 know because after that I never returned to my apartment, the one that I
3 resided in before that. And this is the best proof of that.
4 MS. KORNER: All right. Let's leave the question of the
5 intercepts please, and can we have a look at one of the meetings which
6 was a joint NSC
7 Q. This is dated the 10th of May. Very briefly, Mr. Djeric, why had
8 the National Security Council and the government joined together in a
10 A. I explained yesterday, what the regime of one party means and
11 what the government in that regime means, the party leadership, or
12 rather, the president of the party and the president of the council for
13 national security invited people from the government, as many as there
14 were at the time, to that meeting. That was more of a coordinating -- I
15 don't know how to put it, but it all boiled down to coordination.
16 I apologise, yesterday I explained that the government was, as it
17 were, within the regime of that party just a token government, like a
18 toolbox. If a minister was needed to do a professional job, then he was
19 taken like one would take a piece of -- a tool from that box, and that
20 would be that.
21 Q. Sorry, you say it was a token government. What do you mean by
23 A. What I'm saying is that the power was in the hands of the
24 president of the party.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. Which means that he was the power. You saw yesterday that even
2 those members of the Presidency that were supposed to do their jobs
4 Q. All right. Let's just briefly look at this meeting then. This
5 is on the 10th of May, and what is decided there, I think we can see from
6 the first session, it was decided that the assembly session be held on
7 the 12th of May in Banja Luka, and then the agenda, and then item
8 number 5 was to be the decision on the take-over of soldiers of the JNA
9 Yugoslav People's Army by the armed forces of the Serbian Republic of BH.
10 And so can we summarise this meeting as deciding what was going
11 to happen at this agenda -- I am sorry, at the 12th of May assembly?
12 A. Well, I mean, I don't remember what the objective of the meeting
13 was, why it was called, and so on and so forth. It was simply at a time
14 when the council for national security, which means the president, play
15 the main role, and so on and so forth. And he was the one who run
16 things. And I can't remember the details really.
17 Q. Yes, but --
18 A. I can't claim that this was a preparatory meeting for an assembly
20 Q. Are you saying you can't claim?
21 A. If I understood you properly, you are asking me whether this has
22 anything to do with the events that would transpire later, that will
23 follow. I really can't remember what was discussed at the time in what
24 spirit, and so on and so forth.
25 Q. I'll give you a moment to read through the document again,
1 Mr. Djeric, but isn't this setting the agenda for the 12th of May
2 assembly, this meeting?
3 A. Well, a lot of issues were raised and motions tabled, and
4 Krajisnik was a member of that body as the president of the assembly. He
5 may have tabled some of his agenda also.
6 Q. You were the prime minister of this government by then, weren't
7 you, Mr. Djeric?
8 A. Well, actually I was, I mean, well, there's no dispute about
10 Q. Right.
11 A. The government had been established, the ministers had already
12 taken their positions. That's not in dispute. But I wasn't the one who
13 prepared the assembly, I just participated in the preparations.
14 Q. And was this meeting a preparation for the 12th of May assembly
15 where one of the most important decisions was to create the Army of the
16 Serbian Republic?
17 A. I don't remember. But as I'm looking at the document, as I'm
18 looking at the minutes, I would say that it turns out to be that way, but
19 I'm saying that from just looking at the minutes I don't remember the
20 session itself.
21 MS. KORNER: All right. Can we move then to the Presidency,
22 please, meetings, just a selection. 1227 which I think will be the last
23 document before the break, and which may answer the question that
24 Judge Delvoie put yesterday.
25 Q. You were asked yesterday by Judge Delvoie about the Presidency
1 and Dr. Karadzic. On the 31st of May, the second session of the
2 Presidency was held, attended by Dr. Karadzic, Dr. Plavsic, Dr. Koljevic,
3 and Momcilo Krajisnik -- sorry, I've got the wrong one. No, that's
4 right. The session was chaired by Dr. Karadzic, the president of the
5 Presidency. I have got the wrong one.
6 A. I can't see my name here. I'm not there.
7 Q. No, sorry. I've got the wrong one. You aren't the one that I
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, in fact, can we take the break so I
10 can drag up the right one which is the one that I wanted. It's the first
11 one of the 12th of May, and I just made a wrong note.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.43 a.m.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I've asked that 1226, I was one digit
19 out, is put on the screen.
20 Q. This is, in fact, the minutes of the first session of the
21 Presidency on the 12th of May, so it's held -- indeed it says it was held
22 after the assembly, in addition to the the members of the Presidency, the
23 session was attended by Krajisnik and yourself, and we see the last line:
24 "Member of the Presidency, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, was unanimously
25 elected the president of the Presidency." And you were there for that,
1 weren't you, Mr. Djeric?
2 A. Well, I don't remember this. I remember that there came a point
3 in time when he was elected, but I can't remember that it was right here.
4 I can't remember. Well, he was elected somewhat later as the president
5 of the Presidency. I believe it was at an assembly session, but ...
6 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Djeric, you are looking at a document signed by
7 Karadzic, Plavsic, and Koljevic, aren't you, that says that day, the 12th
8 of May, after the assembly, he was elected?
9 A. I don't remember. I mean, I simply -- well, I don't remember
10 this session.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. For the president of the Presidency to be elected after an
13 assembly session, well, I --
14 Q. What is the problem with him being elected after the assembly
16 A. Well, I mean, I simply don't remember. That's why this is a bit
17 -- I can't establish any links. Why should Karadzic and Plavsic sign, or
18 rather, Koljevic, put his signature here, why should they do that? As
19 members of a Presidency where Karadzic was president, I don't remember
20 that. I remember that at a later assembly session, and I believe that
21 there is a video recording of that, that he was -- that his candidacy was
22 put up and that he was elected by a wider audience. I really don't
23 understand. I don't remember when a two-member Presidency was
24 transformed into a three-member Presidency. I simply can't recall that.
25 Q. Right. Yes. Let's look at a couple of other meetings of the
1 Presidency when you were there.
2 MS. KORNER: Can we have a look, please, at 1229, very quickly.
3 Q. This is the 9th of June, at which time the Presidency is calling
4 itself the War Presidency. Present was you and indeed General Mladic,
5 General Gvero, and Colonel Tolimir. I think this is the first time we've
6 come across Colonel Tolimir. Can you tell us who Colonel Tolimir was.
7 A. He went along with the Commander Mladic, although he was a
8 security officer, a military security officer. He was a member of the
9 military security, but the two always went together. I know as much.
10 And War Presidency, to be very honest, I don't understand the --
11 Q. Don't worry about whether it's a War Presidency. I just want to
12 deal with two matters on this meeting.
13 "General Gvero reported on the situation in the area of the
14 Banja Luka Corps and proposed that the authorities be established at all
15 levels swiftly because of the widespread crimes."
16 Do you remember if he expanded on what widespread crimes were
17 being committed in Banja Luka or in the Banja Luka area?
18 A. I don't remember. It was a long time ago. In any case that was
19 his job. He was some sort of a political factor within the army, so the
20 story went together with him. And he often said that, however, within
21 the context of this particular session, I can't remember that that was
22 the case. I can't remember.
23 Q. All right. And finally on this document, item number 10 and 11,
25 "Decision that the strategic goals and the map of Serbia BH and
1 representations to the European community be published," and, "Instruct
2 members of the Serbian army to abide by the Geneva Conventions in their
3 treatment of the prisoners of war." And we see it's signed, don't we, by
4 Dr. Karadzic as president of the Presidency.
5 MS. KORNER: 1243, please.
6 Q. This is the 13th of June, so four days after the last meeting.
7 Again you are present.
8 MS. KORNER: And if we look, please, at the second page of the
9 English and the second page of the B/C/S version.
10 Q. Item number 4, conclusion was adopted that the ministry of the
11 Interior of Serbia and Montenegro, ministries of the interior, be
12 requested to conduct investigations into the purchasing and selling of
13 all Gulf cars of Vogosca make and other products of the TSA factory which
14 occurred on the territory of those republics in the last three months.
15 Can I deal just deal with this very quickly because it's going to come up
16 in other contexts. There was a scandal, was there not, about the thefts
17 of Volkswagens from this particular factory Vogosca?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then item number 8. Which I think we need to go to the third
20 page of the B/C/S. It's on the second pages -- same pages. Under 2:
21 "Urgently activate the work of the commission for war crimes
22 committed against the Serbian people of BH."
23 So do you remember you were answering questions earlier when the
24 commission was established, it's clear, isn't it, from this, Mr. Djeric,
25 that this was a commission to investigate crimes against Serbs, and
1 nobody else?
2 A. Well, you see, I mean when we spoke about crimes we meant all
3 crimes. And you will see that I'm talking about myself, about the
4 government, about government meetings. This was always discussed at
5 government meetings, and relevant ministries were tasked with reporting
6 on the security of people and their property irrespective of their
7 ethnicity and to prosecute those who committed crimes against people.
8 That was the position of the government, the conclusion of the
9 government, and of the commission.
10 In this specific case, I simply believe that this does not
11 reflect to the largest possible extent the spirit of our efforts, well --
12 Q. [Overlapping speakers]... If that's what you say let's have a
13 look at --
14 A. Which means that all I'm saying is that this conclusion, if you
15 compared this with the conclusions of the government, you would see
16 discrepancies, you would see differences in the sense of the words that
17 I'm saying. We were talking about the -- persecuting all crimes
18 including crimes committed against other peoples.
19 Q. Right. In that event, let's have a look at one more out of this
20 selection of documents, please.
21 MS. KORNER: 931. We are moving to the 6th of August now.
22 Q. Again a meeting which you were present, and if we go to page 2 in
23 the English and page 2 also in the B/C/S. Where in this meeting,
24 Mr. Djeric, you actually discussed the work of the commission for
25 investigating war crimes committed against the Serbian people. Now, are
1 you saying that was discussing crimes committed against Muslims and
2 Croats as well?
3 A. I'm talking about the policies that we pursued at the time. I'm
4 talking about the government, and so on and so forth. You can't see from
5 this what crimes are being discussed, were they the crimes against people
6 in Sarajevo. I can't see it from here.
7 Q. You can't see what from here? All right. And indeed at this
8 meeting, just to remind you, this was just after, wasn't it, the camps in
9 the Prijedor area had been brought to public attention by the
10 international media because that's what the last part of this meeting was
11 discussing, wasn't it?
12 A. I don't recall. I don't recall that. I don't recall what was
13 discussed, whether that was discussed at all. I really can't tell you.
14 Q. Sorry, Mr. Djeric, just have a look at the last part of this
15 document which talks about the treatment of what is described as
16 prisoners of war and then the conclusion that the Ministry of the
17 Interior "... will be ordered to examine through its municipal branches
18 the behaviour of all civilian authorities and individuals guarding
19 prisoners of war. The information will be passed to the MUP which will
20 pass it on to the Presidency..."
21 A. That was the practice. That was the practice to issue orders to
22 the MUP and the Ministry of Justice to have the information to submit
23 reports to the authorised bodies. That was the practice.
24 Q. Well, what the Presidency was ordering, that Mico Stanisic
25 investigate and report to it, wasn't it?
1 A. The Presidency and the government asked for regular reports, and
2 you can see that in the minutes of meetings of the government and in the
3 records of their meetings that such reports were requested.
4 Q. Yes, well, we are going to look at a couple of the government
5 meeting minutes in a minute. But this was an actual order, wasn't it,
6 that the Presidency wanted to find out what was going on?
7 A. Well, this is in the domain of Karadzic because he has the
8 jurisdiction over the MUP, the military, so this would have the
9 indications of an order. He frequently mixed those up.
10 Q. Yes, but you had jurisdiction, you've explained this to us
11 yesterday, over the MUP, or the minister was obliged to report to you
12 over non-military matters?
13 A. In certain segments MUP would be responsible to the government in
14 the cases of budget, certain issues, judicial matters. It should have
15 been like that, but most often this didn't occur. That wasn't the case.
16 Because the minister believed that he had more connection to the
18 Q. All right. Well, let's look at a couple of examples, please, of
19 the meetings that you held as the government.
20 MS. KORNER: First of all, 1180, please.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner, can I ask as long as this document is
22 still up to the witness, Mr. Djeric, on this commission of -- for
23 investigation war crimes, there was only one commission for investigation
24 -- investigating war crimes, wasn't there? There was not a second one?
25 There was only one?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only one. One commission that was
2 dealing with this matter, yes.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: And the name of that commission was the
4 commission for investigating war crimes committed against the Serbian
5 people; right?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's possible that that is what it
7 was called, but it did encompass other problems.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MS. KORNER: Can we have 1180 now on the screen, please.
10 Q. This is a government meeting of the 31st of May. If we go to the
11 last page in each just to confirm that it's your typewritten signature.
12 MS. KORNER: And can we now go back, please, to the 5th page in
13 English and the third page in B/C/S.
14 Q. Item 15:
15 "The Ministry of the Interior has informed the government about
16 the current issues in the political and security situation in the
17 republic, about the degree of public order and peace and about other
18 issues of importance for safety in the republic. Regarding this issue,
19 it had been concluded that the government is not sufficiently informed
20 about the issues relevant to its work, especially about the situation in
21 the front. It has been concluded that the government must be regularly
22 informed about the said issues through the Defence, Main Staff, and
23 Ministry of Interior in order to be able, within its rights and
24 authority, engage into formulating policy and attitudes coming up with
25 appropriate solutions and their realisation."
1 Now, does that accurately reflect what your view as president of
2 the government was, was the role of the government?
3 A. I think that what is written here is written in the sense that we
4 did really in a certain way express our dissatisfaction because we had
5 been marginalised, pushed to the side. We didn't have any information
6 about anything. In order to do anything, you need to have the
7 information and you need to know. So we did place this particular
8 question on the agenda several times, several times, but the focus of the
9 authorities was around the president, and I hope that I clarified that.
10 It's the regime of one party, that's what the situation was. The
11 president had the cadre suggestions and solutions, the influence lay with
12 the president, and so on and so forth. We asked to be informed, to know.
13 Q. Right. You've answered the question, thank you.
14 MS. KORNER: We'll look at one more on this aspects of
15 information, 1183, please, which is the 3rd of June. And can we go to
16 the third page in the B/C/S and the third page in English.
17 Q. There we see under item number 2:
18 "The report of the work -- about the work of the National
19 Security Service should be prepared and submitted to the government for
20 adopting - responsible: The Ministry of Interior." And again we are
21 back to war crimes. "A procedure for determining war crimes should be
22 initiated - responsible. The Ministry of Interior and the committee for
23 war crimes..."
24 I want to ask you about a meeting in -- on the 18th of June,
25 which is 1192. 16th of June, you are presiding. The deputy prime
1 minister, Mr. Grubojevic [phoen] is there. You who else is there. Also
2 present, secretary of the governor. And Slobodan Skipina standing in for
3 Mico Stanisic. Now how often did it happen that somebody stood in for
4 Stanisic at your meetings?
5 A. It happened often. Especially after July when there were certain
6 disagreements and a certain conflict between myself and my colleague the
7 minister, Mr. Stanisic. Especially from July onwards, he simply didn't
8 appear at the government meetings; he would always be sending someone.
9 For example, there would be 15 meetings that would be held, and there
10 would only be attendance at one or two occasions. He kept justifying
11 himself that he was on some other assignments and so on, but he simply
12 wasn't there.
13 He was just ignoring the government.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are finding it difficult to
15 hear the witness because of background noise.
16 MS. KORNER: Can we just look, please, at item 8 which is on the
17 fourth page in the English and fourth page in the B/C/S as well.
18 Q. "The government took notice of the letter by the Sarajevo corps
19 command related to, among other things, problems with the functioning of
20 the civilian authorities in the municipalities."
21 What was the problems with the functioning of civilian
23 A. I am sorry, I don't see that text. Oh, yes, there it is. For
24 the most part, the military would come with certain remarks that they had
25 problems with the municipalities, and so on and so forth, that the
1 communication wasn't well, that they were not working enough, that they
2 were not active enough. And then you would always have a mention of
3 crimes there, so in that case, I mean, I guess there was a bit of
4 distrust and so on. They always complained about one another. They
5 would be the civilian authorities coming from the municipalities
6 complaining about the military; the military would be complaining about
7 the civilian authorities. This is how it was.
8 Q. Two other documents, and then we'll move to the final, as it
9 were, the ending of your Presidency.
10 MS. KORNER: 1199, please.
11 Q. This is the 9th of July. We can see again that again
12 Mico Stanisic isn't present, but sends somebody called Pero Vujicic. Can
13 we go, please, to item number 8, page 4 of the English and page 4 in
15 MS. KORNER: Page 4, please, item 8.
16 Q. The question has been raised whether there are agreed criteria
17 regarding the moving out of the Muslim population from the territory in
18 the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been concluded the
19 government has not until now had a point of view on this matter.
20 "The Ministry of the Interior is entrusted with preparing
21 information on this issue that the government would consider and take the
22 appropriate standpoint."
23 Okay, Mr. Djeric, what criteria for the of moving out of the
25 A. I think somebody posed this question that had to do with some
1 kind of moving out voluntarily, if they wanted to move to a different
2 territory for security reasons. I assume that this question was put and
3 then the reply was that we don't have a position on that, nor did we
4 discuss that, nor was something like that asked of us. So somebody put
5 that question.
6 Q. But why was the minister of the interior supposed to deal with
8 A. Well, simply, the ministry of Internal Affairs had the power, let
9 me put it that way, it had its people out in the field. This was an
10 operational ministry, operative ministry that could inform us what was
11 going on in the field. I wasn't able to know what was going on
12 throughout the whole territory, which in any case was subject to
13 migration and, you know, voluntarily -- voluntary migrations, forced ones
14 due to fear. The ministry was asked to prepare information about what
15 was the situation in the field, what was happening out in the field, so
16 that we could have the information. It was not --
17 Q. If it was voluntary moving out by the Muslims as opposed to
18 forced moving them out, why would that involve the Ministry of the
20 A. Well, it's not a question of a role. What was being asked here
21 was information. We didn't have control over the territory, so in that
22 sense information was sought from the ministry.
23 Q. But why couldn't the government seek information from the
24 political leadership in the various territories as to the voluntary
25 nature of this moving out by Muslims?
1 A. Well, I think this is the time of tectonics, so we didn't have
2 any contact with the territory. The territory was not integrated. You
3 couldn't reach the territory often. You had enclaves often, and besides
4 that, that part of the party, the party aspect of it, you still had the
5 Serbian autonomous provinces functioning still. They were not abolished
6 at that time. So you had a parallelism of power. You had the power, and
7 then you had these autonomous regions which were functioning by
8 themselves in their own way, and they also had the power and the
9 authority. The government did not have full effective power here, and we
10 were trying to get to some information, specific information.
11 Q. Can you explain what you mean please by tectonics?
12 A. What I mean simply is that the strings had snapped, you
13 understand, the former state that existed before didn't exist, all the
14 strings had snapped. The enclaves were formed on all sides. You had
15 several territories which were separate, isolated islands, you didn't
16 know what was going on. So we didn't have access to those areas.
17 Perhaps you could reach somebody by helicopter in some way.
18 Q. Yes, but you did have assembly meetings, didn't you, in this
19 period? If fact we are going to look at one from the 23rd of July, so
20 why couldn't this have been discussed with the deputies to the assembly?
21 A. At the assembly there was a certain agenda and then, amongst
22 other things, the functioning would be discussed at the assembly as well.
23 The functioning of the power. No assembly passed without this being
24 discussed. And it was noted that there were problems and so on.
25 Q. All right. We'll have a look, as I say, at the 23rd of --
1 MS. KORNER: Then one last document from the government minutes,
2 28th of July; 1211, please. Page 2 -- sorry, not page 2. Page 4 in the
3 English and -- sorry, I've lost it. For some reason I don't seem to have
4 marked it in the B/C/S. I'm sorry, what did I say? No, page 4 in
5 English, I want. I see now, yes, at the top, yes. I have marked it,
6 sorry, it's page 4 in the B/C/S as well. Second paragraph.
7 Q. That's you, Mr. Djeric, reminding the cabinet ministers of their
8 obligations to attend government sessions, emphasising it's unacceptable
9 that some ministers have attend only one or two out of the 14 government
10 sessions held in the last two months. Who did you have in mind when you
11 were reminding them of it?
12 A. First of all the minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Stanisic, that
13 is him, but then there's also Mandic. First of all the two of them
14 because they liked to be with the president to spend time with him and so
15 on, and he also believed that the minister of Internal Affairs of
16 justice, the defence ministers, all, that their place was with him, he
17 thought that.
18 MS. KORNER: Right. I am sorry, there is one last one because it
19 reflects, I think, what you've been talking about. 1506, please, which
20 is handwritten notes. We need to go to the second page in B/C/S, and the
21 first page in English. Sorry, third page in B/C/S. It's just the cover
22 of the book.
23 Q. Mr. Djeric, this is a handwritten record of the meeting that was
24 apparently held on the 14th of September in Bijeljina. Do you know who
25 wrote those minutes? Do you recognise the writing?
1 A. No.
2 Q. All right.
3 MS. KORNER: Can we go, please, in the English to fifth page, and
4 in the B/C/S to the fourth page.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Trbojevic is saying there's a government crisis, and he
6 is at item number 5:
7 "The law on internal affairs is in a similar way. The minister
8 is tied to the Presidency, and the government has no influence." It goes
9 on to say:
10 "We have not succeeded in gaining sovereignty, because we have
11 not taken control over the territory." Then Mr. Subotic, the minister of
12 defence speaks, and can with question down to the bottom, please, of the
13 first page.
14 Stanisic replies, saying, Mr. Trbojevic speaks improperly of the
15 police, we have more than a thousand reports, the law was adopted, we
16 reassigned assistants. And then the MUP is being used as an organ for
17 exercising power.
18 Do you remember this meeting, when there appears to be a row
19 between Mr. Trbojevic and Mr. Stanisic?
20 A. I don't remember the meeting, the particulars of it, but I do
21 remember that at one point in time there was some difference of opinion
22 between them, a quarrel, and so on and so forth. Because vice-president
23 Trbojevic was coordinating internal policy; he was vice-president for
24 internal policy. So the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and the
25 Ministry of Justice were under his jurisdiction, and he was placed in a
1 situation that he was unable to control those two ministers. When I say
2 control, I mean to work with them simply. And what happened was that the
3 government was already being informed about it.
4 MS. KORNER: Okay. Finally, Mr. Djeric, I want to look at
5 briefly the minutes of the 23rd of July, the assembly there, which is
6 928, please.
7 Q. The 17th assembly, 17th session, which was held in Jahorina,
8 wasn't it?
9 A. Several, many were held, I guess, I assume it was what it was.
10 Q. Well, I am sorry, do you remember this one in July?
11 A. I cannot remember the particulars, but I know that one was held
12 in early 1992. When I say early, what I mean is in the middle, at
14 Q. There was a lengthy speech from Mr. Karadzic and then you spoke.
15 MS. KORNER: And that's page 20, I hope, in the English, and
16 page 18, I think, in the B/C/S. I don't know how it comes out in
17 e-court, that's the trouble. It's page 19, is it? Okay, 19 in B/C/S.
18 It would be 18, first, just so you can see his name. Can we have page 18
19 in the B/C/S and then page 19.
20 Q. I tell you what, it's probably easier -- you've got to look at it
21 as well if he has the binder. Right.
22 Mr. Djeric -- I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to go to
23 the next page. Do you see, you speak there. I just want going to ask
24 you about something you say.
25 MS. KORNER: If we go to the next page in each document, please.
1 Q. All right. You're complaining about the running of the
2 government, Mr. Djeric, and you say, you are drawing an analogy with
3 children's diseases, and say about three quarters of the way down the
5 "This refers primarily to the numerous flaws in the running of
6 the judiciary, the interior affairs organ, and even government."
7 What flaws were you trying to identify in the interior affairs
9 A. The basic weakness when it comes to the Ministry of Interior and
10 I'm talking about the minister, is a poor coordination, poor coordination
11 between myself and the minister. To put it simply, the minister ignored
12 the government, or rather, he simply believed that he belonged to the
13 president along the chain of command. And for him, the government was a
14 secondary thing, and so on and so forth. And we could not work, of
15 course, if we did not have an adequate insight into the work of the
16 Ministry of the Interior. The key issue was coordination. The
17 government could not operate without information. It could not manage
18 control without information. We always sought information from the
19 ground, from the municipalities, we always sought information that also
20 implied certain proposals for measures, and we never received that, those
21 things were discussed by the president and the Presidency, that was the
22 major problem. And in addition to that, the minister was, you know, a
23 bit rough around the edges, and he could be unpleasant, so that
24 coordination was becoming more thwarted and made our job more difficult.
25 And that's the main reason why he became more and more distanced from the
1 government. I don't know if this is a good opportunity for me to talk
2 about such things. I really -- we simply thought that the ministry was
3 not working as well as it should, that it could be engaged to a larger
4 extent down there, that they should cooperate with us, that we should do
5 things together. The minister, to put it simply, started to live a role
6 as a commander, his command function was more important to him than his
7 function as the minister. And that was a big problem on his side. Well,
8 I think that's enough from me on that issue.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, this is the assembly - I don't want to take you
10 back to it because it takes so long to get to it - where Mr. Karadzic
11 said that all of the territory that the Serbs had claimed was controlled.
12 MS. KORNER: I want you to look at one thing that Ms. Plavsic
13 said, which is on page 38 of the English; and it's 39, I think, of the
14 B/C/S. Is that page 39? Can we maybe go back, please, sorry. Try 38,
16 JUDGE HALL
17 MS. KORNER: I wonder if I could ask the Court Officer to give
18 this binder to the witness, at least he can get to it.
19 Q. All right. I'm not going to -- Your Honours, can I -- this is
20 going to take too long otherwise, and he needs to look at the one where
21 he resigned. But you've got in front of you, haven't you, Mr. Djeric,
22 Mrs. Plavsic's speech. And did she say there:
23 "Let me tell you immediately that I feel no difference should be
24 made between the two" -- I'm sorry. "I will begin this topic with the
25 relationship between the maps and the conquered territories. Let me tell
1 you immediately that I feel that no difference should be made between
2 these two concepts. 65 per cent of Serb territory belongs to our people
3 according to the cadastre," whatever that may be, "and 70 per cent of the
4 conquered one, which is only a 5 per cent gain in relation to the
5 previous number."
6 Now earlier today, you referred to the maps that had been drawn
7 up for the Cutileiro agreement. Did you understand Mrs. Plavsic to be
8 saying that the fact that more territory had been taken over than was
9 originally envisioned by these maps didn't matter?
10 A. Well, I mean, I don't know what Mrs. Plavsic meant here.
11 Especially in light of the fact that she socialised with officers because
12 her role was also the role as a commander. I can only tell you that
13 there was an opinion going around that 64 per cent of the territory of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina belonged to the Serbian people, judging by the maps
15 and the zoning ordinances, and that was the starting point for all the
16 negotiations. Maps were being drawn and all sorts of things like that.
17 I can tell that you. But I don't know what she meant, I can't comment
18 upon that. I don't know what territory was held, what the army held.
19 I'm sure -- well, I would say that she was privy to some information or
20 dealt with some information that I don't know anything of.
21 Q. All right.
22 MS. KORNER: Can we move to the next page into each of, I think,
23 the B/C/S and English because this bears on what we were talking about,
24 in fact, one of your meetings.
25 Q. Mrs. Plavsic also went on to say, didn't she, the following,
1 which is --
2 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, I can't read the English page, can we
3 make the English page slightly bigger. Right.
4 Q. "We must be prepared to move large masses of people from place to
5 place within our conquered territories in a short period for the sake of
6 defensive activities. Unfortunately we can count on Serbia less and less
7 which is already exhausted by receiving our refugees and those wounded,
8 while it's also in a difficult situation. That is why we have to create
9 conditions for domestic, military, and forced emigration, and we cannot
10 do that without territories."
11 Now, do you remember a few minutes ago, Mr. Djeric, we discussed
12 the question of why Mico Stanisic had been made responsible for Muslims
13 moving out, and you said it was because you couldn't talk to people about
14 this -- the political leaders. Why couldn't have that been discussed at
15 this session where Mrs. Plavsic is raising that question?
16 A. Well, okay, this is her opinion. She is thinking here the way
17 she is thinking. But to put it simply, it's not -- it's her -- well, her
18 opinion, and I don't think that it attracted much attention at all.
19 Q. No, but, why didn't you at that stage say, Well, Mrs. Plavsic has
20 raised this; we've discussed in the government what needs to be done.
21 How should we cope with the Muslims who want to move out? What criteria
22 should we adopt?
23 A. Well, you see, I simply -- I did not deem it important to
24 intervene at every single meeting when somebody went off on a tangent. I
25 didn't think it was necessary for me to say we had discuss that at our
1 government meeting, and this is our conclusion. I didn't think it would
2 be prudent for me to go against a member of the government. But what is
3 important is that the government did things differently than Plavsic put
4 -- made it believe. We tasked the Ministry of the Interior to brief us,
5 to secure order down there, and these are some ideas voiced on the part
6 of Biljana Plavsic, why don't you ask her about them? These are an
7 individual's thoughts.
8 MS. KORNER: Well, I'm going to ask you to look at one more
9 speech then by Mr. Prstojevic. It's page 68, I believe, in the B/C/S,
10 and it's about -- it's 65 in the English. Can we just -- no, that's not
11 -- sorry, 67 in the B/C/S. I thought it was one page ahead. Sorry, 67
12 in B/C/S. 67, please, not 68. My mistake. One page behind in the the
13 B/C/S, please. Thank you. And in the English it's page 65. So whatever
14 that page is, it's not the right one. Thank you, that's it, yes.
15 Q. First of all, can you tell the Trial Chamber, please, who
16 Mr. Prstojevic is?
17 A. Prstojevic, I assume that you are talking about the chief of the
18 municipality of Ilidza at the time. I suppose you're talking about
19 Nedeljko Prstojevic because I don't see his -- if that's him, then --
20 well --
21 Q. It clearly is because it says he is being asked to speak by
22 questions he is being asked by the citizens of Sarajevo. And he says the
24 "Namely when the Serbs started the uprising in Sarajevo and when
25 they seized control over certain territories, there was no government, or
1 at least it was not known where it was then. More over, we did not even
2 know Mr. Karadzic was alive during the first couple of days. When we
3 learned that he was alive and when he visited us Ilidza and encouraged
4 us, the Serbs from Sarajevo retained control over the territory, and even
5 extended their territory in some areas, driving the Muslims out of the
6 territories where they had actually been a majority."
7 Now, was that an accurate description, Mr. Djeric?
8 A. Well, I think I -- well, this is what he says. I don't know what
9 was going on down there. He was the chief of that municipality, and he
10 was also in charge of the municipal SDS, and he was also a member of the
11 Crisis Staff. So they were the government, the authorities at the time.
12 Q. Well, if that was correct that they had driven Muslims out of the
13 municipalities in which they were a majority, Mr. Djeric, was that
14 something of which you as the prime minister approved of?
15 A. Well, I did not approve anything, this is what I've been telling
16 you all this time. Did I everything in my power to prevent that. The
17 government arrived at conclusions to draw information and reports about
18 the security of people and their property irrespective of their ethnic
19 affiliation. Our position is clear, we did not support that. But those
20 were party activities. The activities of the Crisis Staff. Prstojevic
21 [realtime transcript read in error "Plavsic"] was also a member of the
22 Crisis Staff. They were the power.
23 You have to bear in mind, I would kindly ask you to bear in mind,
24 that we tried to exert effective control. I even resigned and walked out
25 because the government did not exert control over the territory, did not
1 exert effective power in the proper sense of that word. But we tried
2 hard, and it wasn't easy, believe me. We are talking about very complex
3 problems, but we did try. We showed goodwill.
4 Q. All right. That's all I'm going ask about that meeting. Finally
5 the meeting where you resigned or your resignation was accepted, the 23rd
6 and 24th of November.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Ms. Korner, just transcript, page 50,
8 line 24, it says Plavsic was also member of the Crisis Staff. He said
9 Prstojevic, I believe.
10 MS. KORNER: Okay. Can we finally look at the record of the
11 meeting where you gave your explanation for resigning, 933. And your
12 speech starts at page 642 in B/C/S. Page 11 in the B/C/S. And page 15
13 in the English. Right. And then we need to go on, please, in that to
14 the next page in both the B/C/S and English. I'm sorry, Your Honours, I
15 don't know why -- it's been photocopied with some highlighting obviously,
16 I missed it when I was going through it the other day.
17 Q. But you said first of all in that paragraph: "I will never be
18 against changes in the government, but I will always be against the
19 bullies in the government."
20 Who were you referring to as the bullies in the government?
21 A. I was referring to the two ministers, the minister of the
22 interior, Mico Stanisic, and the minister of justice, Momcilo Mandic. I
23 was referring to two individuals who simply ignored the work of the
24 government, didn't keep in touch, did not do their jobs well. Rumour has
25 it and I can't be --
1 Q. Don't worry about who you were referring to, that's all. So it
2 was those two ministers again. And then you went on to say at the next
3 page -- and you named the both of them - I didn't want to trouble you
4 with that - but you had named the minister of justice and the minister of
5 the Internal Affairs not coming to government sessions, only to the
6 president of the republic or the president of the assembly. Stanisic
7 responded to you, didn't he?
8 MS. KORNER: And can we go, please, to page -- page 15 in the
9 B/C/S, and page 19 and in the English. First of all just to see the
10 beginning. You responded after Mandic had responded. And then can we go
11 over to the next page in each English and B/C/S.
12 Q. He said, in the paragraph -- third paragraph in the B/C/S and in
13 the English, he is referring to you, and he said:
14 "I, of course, did not accept that. There are a lot of examples,
15 and I emphasise here in front of you that I had followed a policy of the
16 Presidency of the Serbian Democratic Party and our deputies in the former
17 state and, I have always been in favour of the policy."
18 From what you knew of Stanisic from the time that you began
19 working with him, was that an accurate statement?
20 A. Well, you see, I mean, I did not know Stanisic well. I knew him
21 superficially, but I didn't know whether he was a competent, whether he
22 could do the job. The party was looking for somebody, Karadzic insisted
23 on the names, Stanisic Buha. Stanisic's candidacy put up; he was
24 accepted. I don't know what he was like. I don't know anything about
25 his productivity. I can't talk about that. He -- well, you know, I
1 don't know how he worked as a member of the party because I'm not a party
3 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Mr. Djeric, that's all I ask.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Djeric, am I right to understand that you
5 finally decided to resign from the government because of the fact that
6 you were unable to control these two ministers?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. Please, bear in mind
8 this: I did not resign in late October. I did resign in late October;
9 it was accepted in November. But the problems were put on the agenda
10 even before that. First at the government sessions in August and then
11 that discussion spilled over and reached a political leadership, but I
12 could not receive the green light for --
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Djeric, please listen the question that I'm
14 putting to you. The question is the following: Did you choose to resign
15 from the government because you felt at the time that you were unable to
16 control ministers Stanisic and Mandic? Yes or no?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, yes, yes. I first
18 asked for their resignation two or three months before I asked from the
19 political leadership to remove those two men. But they wouldn't do that.
20 They wouldn't accept that. And that's the long and the short of it, and
21 the government was paralysed, without the Ministry of the Interior, and
22 just as the government could not operate. And in addition to that,
23 Mr. Stanisic is rough around the edges. There is a lot to be desired in
24 the area of communication and --
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: So you did try to get rid of them and when you
1 discovered that you could not throw them out of the government, you chose
2 to leave the government instead; is that a correct understanding?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did everything in my power for
4 them to be removed and replaced. Not only them, but primarily them.
5 There were some other personnel issues, and changes had it to be carried
6 out in the echelons of the power because the crime -- criminal activities
7 escalated and paralyzed the power. I wanted to do it already a few
8 months before, but I never -- my agenda never reached the assembly.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
10 JUDGE HALL
11 -- are you ready to begin? You have five minutes before the break.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Shall we start, or shall we take a
13 break to provide for some continuity in my cross-examination,
14 Your Honours? I'm in your hands. Maybe the five minutes will spoil the
15 context of my cross-examination.
16 JUDGE HALL
17 means we are coming back five minutes early. 20 minutes.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.24 p.m.
21 JUDGE HALL
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 MR. CVIJETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic:
25 Q. Mr. Djeric, I am Slobodan Cvijetic representing Mr. Stanisic as
1 co-counsel. Before I start putting questions to you about your
2 testimony, I'm going to ask you, and this applies to me as well, to pay
3 attention to this technical problem that we can make together. We speak
4 the same language actually, and it's happened to me very often that I
5 start talking with the witness and that I forget that all of that has to
6 be interpreted by the interpreters. So when I finish my question, could
7 you please make a short break and you can follow on the screen when the
8 cursor stops, indicating that the translation is complete. So that way
9 we can then make sure that all is in the transcript and that the
10 Trial Chamber and the interpreters do not have to warn us to slow down or
11 make a break.
12 So let's begin. You were a member of the government of Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina, a member of the ministerial council of Republika Srpska,
14 and prime minister designate, and then the prime minister of the
15 government Republika Srpska. So you were at the very top as events were
16 unfolding in the period that is relevant to this indictment, or these
17 proceedings; is that correct?
18 A. Well, I wouldn't agree with you that I was at the top because
19 events there were focused at the top of the parties or between or among
20 the parties, and so a lot of things were happening there, and not in the
21 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time or at the ministerial
22 council of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and later
23 Republika Srpska.
24 Q. All right. But in any case you were in those bodies, this is not
25 something at that is contested?
1 A. Yes, that is correct, I was.
2 Q. And you also are a university professor, an economist, and in
3 view of that fact as well as what I said earlier, whether you wished so
4 or not, you are suitable as a witness for me through to you try to
5 present and get an idea of the situation in which you took over the
6 responsibilities you took over in the government of Republika Srpska for
7 Republika Srpska. So I'm going to begin from the period when the
8 generating of the crisis in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina began.
9 You would agree with me, Mr. Djeric, that the former Socialist
10 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for decades following World War II built
11 and achieved a system practically in all spheres which was - you are an
12 economist, you will understand - complimentary, would you agree with me?
13 A. This is a system that had its problems, I don't know what you are
14 thinking of when you say complimentary. There was some
15 inter-independency [as interpreted], that is correct.
16 Q. Yes, yes, that's right.
17 A. But the system had problems.
18 Q. Well, you changed the word that it was interlinked and
19 interdependent, and this is precisely what I was thinking of. No single
20 federal unit had everything it needed in order to be autonomous.
21 A. Well, that's how it should have been, but not all the the federal
22 units were in the same position.
23 Q. Well, that is exactly what I'm saying. This was done through
24 administrative measures and some where the natural resources didn't
25 permit or allow a federal unit to be absolutely independent from all the
1 others; is that correct?
2 A. Well, yes, simply as a rule, no one was able to exist unto
3 themselves, but that was another reason, and that later turned out to be
4 true with some federal units, that they were able to secede and continue
5 an independent life with the assistance of external economic aid.
6 Q. So you will agree that the cessation of one part -- with the
7 cessation of one part of the former Yugoslavia, the whole system was
8 disrupted, it wasn't any more a single system?
9 A. Yes, it was disrupted. It ceased to exist as a single system. I
10 said that yesterday. Separatism on behalf of certain republics led to
11 the crisis overall and to the existential fear that was felt among all of
12 us in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. Well, you have answered my nest question, thus, that's what
14 happened. Actually the separatism of Slovenia followed by that of
15 Croatia began to destroy the singleness of that system.
16 A. Yes, and Bosniaks, as a people.
17 Q. Well, I haven't entered Bosnia yet.
18 So we have agreed, Slovenia is leaving -- Croatia is leaving, the
19 whole system is collapsing. And then two troubles arrive at the borders
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if I can put it that way. First of all, the
21 unified single system was disrupted in all spheres. I don't have to go
22 into all of them, but beginning from the economy, the transportation
23 system, culture, tourism, and so on. And then there is a second trouble
24 that arrives at the borders, and this is the war in the neighbouring
25 Croatia; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot be immune and keep itself separate from
3 all of those problems which are going to enter its territory.
4 A. In view of the fate that met the former Yugoslavia, one could not
5 expect Bosnia-Herzegovina to avoid that fate because it was Yugoslavia in
7 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to put some questions which are going
8 to indicate what the situation was in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So, other
9 than these external factors, Bosnia and Herzegovina had its own internal
10 problems; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I would begin from political problems. Following multiparty
13 elections, new power was elected and constituted which followed upon the
14 previous communist one; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The mainly nationalist parties came into power; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So they jointly worked together in the period when they needed to
19 defeat communism; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's when they cooperated.
21 Q. All right. Then after that goal was achieved, some secret plans
22 of some parties began to come to light leading to the implementation of
23 some other goals; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. This was evident especially in terms of the SDA.
25 Q. You are thinking of the party of democratic action which
1 represented the interests of the Muslim people; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Yesterday I think in your testimony you said that you pointed to
4 two events which you believed generated the crisis and led to the
5 government that you were at the head of becomes a practically wartime
6 government instead of working normally in peacetime conditions. Just one
7 second. Well, you can answer now.
8 A. Yes. Yesterday I particularly emphasised that we hoped and
9 expected that we are going to have full control over processes and that
10 the government would rule in a normal manner like a peacetime government.
11 But this was disrupted primarily by two events, which I'm going to refer
12 to once again. And that is the failure of the Cutileiro plan and
13 particularly, particularly, particularly -- well, this first plan --
14 there was a plan, then it fails; then there's another plan, and so on.
15 But in particular in this sense an event that had a particularly negative
16 effect was the attack on the army in the Tuzla airport, and so on. This
17 came as a shock.
18 And also I am not overlooking the referendum which at that time
19 was the most burning problem in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
20 Q. Well, when you refer to that, tell us which referendum
21 specifically you are talking about.
22 A. I'm thinking of the referendum conducted in Bosnia-Herzegovina on
23 the 1st of March, 1992, about the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 on which two ethnic groups voted because the referendum was organised in
25 such a way that two ethnic groups could vote to the detriment of the
1 third one, even though such a referendum could not have been organised
2 from the point of view of the constitution. So this is a referendum that
3 was not constitutional. All people should have been consulted. So after
4 these two events, everything that followed after that was a consequence
5 of that.
6 Q. Since in the transcript it does not say what you said, and that
7 that is that it was a forceful violent act, I'm going to say that.
8 A. Yes, yes, that is what I meant, that it was a forceful violent
9 act in terms of the constitution.
10 Q. Well, let us wait for it to be recorded in the transcript.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes, I really don't think that Mr. Cvijetic ought to
12 tell him what he said. He should ask him again what he said.
13 Your Honours, it's line 20 through to 24.
14 JUDGE HALL
15 it's obvious. It's a recurrent problem, which we visited before. But
16 when the witness is asked to clarify -- well, in this case, although he
17 is -- the transcript says that that is what he meant, but could you for
18 the sake of accuracy ask the question again and get the answer from the
19 witness in terms of what he said.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the problem is very
21 simple. I'm going to say it. A part of the witness's answer was not
22 entered in the transcript. Mr. Djeric said it was a violent act. All I
23 wanted to know -- the question was what sort of violence was he thinking
24 of? That is -- here it is; that's the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to clarify. I
1 explained that yesterday, and I'm going to do it again today. It's a
2 question of violating the constitution. A referendum was carried out in
3 a way that was not provided for under the constitution.
4 MR. CVIJETIC:
5 Q. All right. Very well, I think we've covered that.
6 A. I think that it was an unconstitutional act.
7 Q. All right. I'm going to have to take you back to another event
8 from 1991, and that is the assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was
9 convened on the 15th of October, 1991, I think. Do you know about that
10 assembly session?
11 A. I don't remember. Perhaps I was there. I don't remember.
12 Q. All right. I'm going to remind you, in that assembly session a
13 decision was reached on the declaration or proclamation of the
14 sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, do you remember it now?
15 A. I cannot, I mean, details. I know this was spoken about and this
16 was the time of those events and happenings, but as for which assembly
17 session adopted which document, and so on...
18 Q. All right, I'm going to tell you. It's the assembly session
19 following which the Serbian deputies left the session because they did
20 not wish to participate and give legitimacy to the voting of such a
21 decision. Do you remember it now?
22 A. Yes, yes, I do.
23 Q. So I cannot but not ask you whether you perhaps attended this
24 assembly session.
25 A. I cannot really say whether I actually was present there.
1 Q. All right. But can you at least confirm for me whether you were
2 a member of the government at the time?
3 A. Yes, I was a member of the government. I should have attended by
4 virtue of that, but I don't really remember. I don't know.
5 Q. All right. I'm going to remind you that assembly was -- let me
6 put it that way, was covered from the perspective of the media very well.
7 And very often in the media and here also in all the opening statements
8 in the cases before this Tribunal, the address of the then president of
9 the Serbian Democratic Party Mr. Radovan Karadzic is referred to?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you remember that? Do you remember that address of his?
12 A. I don't know what address you mean. If you are thinking about
13 the address when he said that is that, you know, one of those statements
14 of his concern about events, the disappearance of the people, isn't it,
15 and so on and so forth, yes, I didn't attend that meeting. I definitely
16 did not attend that meeting, but I don't [as interpreted] know that I
17 watched that on the television screen, but -- on the television, but I
18 wasn't there.
19 Q. So you watched the session on television?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Very well. Very often from the context of that address, one
22 sentence is taken out. He is addressing the MPs of the Croatian
23 democratic union and the SDA, the party of democratic action. And this
24 particular sentence is often singled out:
25 "Don't think that you will not take Bosnia and Herzegovina into
1 the hell and the Muslim people into an oblivion, because the Muslim
2 people cannot defend themselves from a war should it take place here."
3 So you will agree with me that that sentence has been articulated
4 many times in the media; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. However, it has been taken out of the context of a very broad
7 discussion. And then this was done to give that sense the character of a
8 threat. Let me rewind a little bit and quote Mr. Karadzic who says:
9 "Gentlemen, I assure you, firstly, even if you took a decision
10 this evening, but there's no way for you to take that decision, because
11 we have constitutional ways to prevent you from taking a vote. Even if
12 you did vote and took a decision, that would be a shame for
13 Mr. Izetbegovic in The Hague because we have a way to prevent that from
14 taking place, from that happening in The Hague."
15 Do you agree with me that Mr. Karadzic as a matter of fact,
16 issues a threat by resorting to a constitutional means to prevent a
17 decision from being taken?
18 A. Yes, that's a conclusion that can be arrived at, and that's
19 clear. And it is also clear that he is concerned about
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, although he says that Mr. Karadzic -- Mr. Karadzic
21 used to say things in a haste without really thinking, not speaking as a
22 politician should. It shouldn't have [indiscernible].
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap. Thank
25 MR. CVIJETIC:
1 Q. I'm going to read to you a few more sentences before we bring
2 this matter to an end.
3 "I implore with you - once again, I'm not threatening, I'm
4 imploring - that you should understand the interpretation of the
5 political will of the Serbian people seriously. They are here being
6 represented by the Serbian Democratic Party and the Serbian renewal
7 movement and some other Serbs belonging to some other parties, please
8 understand the situation seriously. What you are doing is not good. The
9 road to which you want to take Bosnia and Herzegovina is the same highway
10 to hell and hardships that Slovenia and Croatia had opted for and have
11 taken before you."
12 You will agree with me, won't you, that this could be a
13 benevolent way to draw everybody's attention to the perils of such a
15 A. Well, you see I've already spoken about this existential fear and
16 the concern of the Serbian people and its leadership about the further
17 destiny of Bosnia. Bosnia within the framework of Yugoslavia is one
18 thing, and Bosnia as an independent state is a different thing. At that
19 moment, the leadership were trying to make an effort to pull the three
20 people's together and organise Bosnia and Herzegovina but not at the
21 detriment of any other people.
22 Q. Let me give you one more sentence, and we will arrive at the same
23 conclusion as you did. Further on Mr. Karadzic says as follows:
24 "From now on, gentlemen, until the moment you remove the issue of
25 the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the table, from the
1 agenda, I will take the floor regularly. It's my right."
2 Mr. Djeric, you know from your own parliamentary practice that
3 sometimes speakers when they want to obstruct a process of
4 decision-making behave by abusing their right to a limitless number of
5 appearances, and time for discussion given to them. And that
6 Mr. Karadzic, as it were, resorted to that last means to prevent a
7 decision from being taken by announcing that he would not stop talking.
8 A. I don't know what to say to you. I don't know what to say. He
9 behaved the way he did.
10 Q. Very well. Anyway, be it as it may, the decision on the
11 declaration of independence was taken without the consent of one of the
12 three constituent peoples; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was that decision entire anti-constitutional, could it have been
15 taken at the detriment of another people, with that one people's vital
16 interest being threatened by that decision?
17 A. As far as I know, the constitution imposed a consensus when it
18 came to taking such decisions. All three peoples had to be in consent
19 pursuant to the constitution.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. However, if that consensus on such an
21 important issue as was the organisation of a future state was not
22 reached, what would have been an available alternative?
23 A. I didn't understand you. I didn't understand your question.
24 Q. Okay. If the three peoples could not reach a consensus on such
25 an important issue, what was the alternative?
1 A. The alternative was chaos, disorder, problems, and so on and so
2 forth. That was the alternative. The situation that couldn't be
4 Q. I don't want to tell you who it was, but one witness told us what
5 followed was a divorce.
6 MS. KORNER: No, no, no, no.
7 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I withdraw. I withdraw my
9 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Strike that.
11 Q. Mr. Djeric, war did not take place after the assembly session; is
12 that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. What happened was peace negotiations under the auspices of the
15 European community with the mediation of the Portuguese diplomat
16 Mr. Cutileiro; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes, you're right.
18 Q. The peace talks or negotiations about the constitutional
19 principles of the organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina were successful
20 by the signatories putting their initials on those constitutional
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. According to those constitutional principles, Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina persisted as an international subject and as an independent
25 and sovereign state?
1 A. Yes, and that was accepted by all the three sides.
2 Q. Very well. However, it's internal organisation envisaged the
3 protection of the vital interests of the three constituent peoples within
4 the Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 A. Yes.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to come
7 closer to the microphone and could all the unnecessary microphones please
8 be switched off, thank you.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. The authorities that the entities or cantonal units, or whatever
11 they were called according to the plan at the time, would have?
12 THE INTERPRETER: The first part of the question was missed.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was envisaged by the plan and
14 some solutions were proposed by that plan as well.
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Therefore, you've already mentioned that in practice a process
17 started to implement those constitutional principles that were
18 initialled; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct. Every side in the spirit of that document
20 and that plan started to build whatever was planned.
21 Q. And what was planned there was for the entities to have their own
22 governments and their own ministries; isn't that correct?
23 A. I really can't remember the details of the document. I know that
24 there were some functions, some organs, and so on and so forth, and
25 everything else that a state should have. Some fundamental things were
1 offered in that document.
2 Q. Amongst other things, what was offered was the alienation in
3 certain spheres of government which were not entrusted to Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina as a state?
5 A. Yes, that plan was based on regionalisation, decentralisation of
6 the state, and provided for some functions to be given to those
7 decentralised units.
8 Q. However, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic withdrew his initial from that
9 plan; is that correct?
10 A. It is correct, this happened, I really can't say when, after how
11 long. First the plan was adopted and initialled, and subsequently the
12 Bosniak side and Mr. Izetbegovic withdrew their consent and gave up on
13 that document.
14 Q. Then you'll have to agree with me that the previous decision
15 taken on the part of the assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina about the
16 declaration of sovereignty which was taken on the 15th or the 16th
17 October, 1991, could have been the first or the initial generator of the
18 political crisis that struck Bosnia and Herzegovina after that time. And
19 as you've already told us, everything else what happened was just a
21 A. It is very difficult to anticipate what could have or should have
22 or might have happened. In any case, that date, the date of that
23 assembly and the way it ended and what it concluded about the sovereignty
24 was the cross-roads for everything else that happened afterwards.
25 Q. And after all that, the things that you are talking about, this
1 second point in time for which you say is very important, and that is the
2 rejection of Cutileiro's plan and the attack on the JNA column?
3 A. Yes, those were the two points in time which simply had an impact
4 on the government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
5 put it in a very dire position. Those were the events that resulted in a
6 state of chaos without any control.
7 Q. Very well.
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could the Court
9 please produce a document. 1D00-3812. Your Honours, it is a set of
10 documents, therefore, I would ask you to allow me to provide the hard
11 copies to Mr. Djeric, which would make his life easier. He would not
12 have to refer to the screen.
13 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honour, I think that we need to -- the
14 first question he is being asked is whether the witness has ever seen
15 this document before or knows anything about the contents.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this will determine
17 whether I tender this document or not, but that does not exclude my right
18 to discuss the document with him; am I right?
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: As long as we can also follow what is going on,
20 because we need to see the document as well.
21 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
22 JUDGE HALL
23 are showing now is just one of a bundle?
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, and we will be going through
25 the pages, we'll take them one at a time. They are all connected. And
1 you will see on the screen the same documents that the witness will be
2 looking at. May I, please, be allowed to proceed?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Cvijetic, is this document on your list?
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: I can't find it. It's 3815.
6 MS. KORNER: What is on the transcript is 381.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: 3812.
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Very well, okay. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Djeric, do you have the first document in front of you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you understand what this is all about? The minister --
12 MS. KORNER: No, no, I am sorry, before he can start making
13 comments which will effectively [indiscernible], the first question must
14 be, has the witness ever seen this document before; second, if he hasn't,
15 does he know anything about the contents. Otherwise it's just pure
16 comment that's going to be made by counsel.
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to be given an
18 opportunity to put my questions to the witness. I've not had an
19 opportunity to put those questions to the witness, have I?
20 Q. Mr. Djeric, I'm not going to ask you about the document. I will
21 start by asking you something else.
22 A. I've not seen the document before to get that out of the way.
23 Q. Do you know the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina took a decision
24 about the withdrawal of the JNA units from the territory of the Republic
25 of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do you know about that in principle?
1 A. I heard that.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to come
3 closer to the microphone.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did hear about the decision,
5 I was taken to that effect. I heard that they did take the decision
6 about the withdrawal of the JNA from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Very well. And this is the decision on page 1, you will see the
9 accompanying letter by the Ministry of Defence Mr. Jerko Doko. And could
10 we please go immediately to the following page, and here you can see the
11 decision on the following page, the decision follows. Can you see that?
12 So you know about this decision. You probably didn't have the
13 opportunity to see the text, at least that's what you said.
14 A. Yes, I didn't see the document, the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina worked on this which was headed by minister Jerko Doko.
16 Q. One more thing. Was Minister Doko minister at the same time as
17 you were in the government?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Very well.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at the next
21 document in this package, 1D00-2795.
22 Q. It's the document that follows immediately after.
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] In the B/C/S, it's the bottom
24 part. And that's the part with the signature, so we'll have to go
25 forward with the English version. We need to look at item marked 4, so
1 we will have to look at the next page in the English. All right. This
2 is good.
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, do you see whose signature that is?
4 A. Alija Delimustafic.
5 Q. Who was Alija Delimustafic?
6 A. He was the minister of Internal Affairs of Bosnia and
8 Q. Was he also a member of the government that you were a member of?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In paragraph 4 of his order, it says, literally:
11 "Planning and launching of combat activities throughout the
12 territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is to be accomplished
13 as soon as possible and coordinated with the Territorial Defence staff of
14 the region, district, and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
15 The order in the heading refers to the decision of the Presidency
16 ordering the withdrawal of the JNA units. However, Mr. Djeric, you can
17 see from paragraph 4 that the army will be -- will not be permitted to
18 leave peacefully, but an attack is being planned on the military columns.
19 A. This order is clear, and it says to plan quickly and launch
20 activities, military activities, so you cannot conclude anything else
21 other than these are combat or offensive activities, assault activities.
22 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at 1D00-2798 next,
24 MS. KORNER: Not a question has been asked effectively other than
25 to read out a document that we can all see. It's clear -- he wasn't even
1 asked whether he had ever seen this before. I have no objection to the
2 Defence putting in the documents in a proper way, but this is not the
3 proper way. This witness is not being asked for anything other than read
4 what we can all see on the screen. He can't comment on the document
5 because he hasn't seen them before, and they were issued by the
6 government of Bosnia.
7 As I say, no objection to the documents going in, but in a proper
8 fashion. And this witness is not the person to put the documents in.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, I, for one, do not quite understand
10 the implications of the paragraph that we see on the screen.
11 Unfortunately I do not have the entire document in front of me, so I can
12 only see what we can see on the screen, and that seems to suggest that
13 the planning and launching of combat activities throughout the territory
14 of the republic of BiH is to be accelerated. And I understand that this
15 was done in response to the decision made by the Muslim and Croat parts
16 to secede from the old state of Bosnia, if I can put it that way, but
17 maybe I misunderstand. So if you could clarify with the witness,
18 Mr. Cvijetic, the planning and launching of combat activities throughout
19 the territory of BiH, which event triggered this decision and order to
20 plan and launch combat activities?
21 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honour, my objection is still that how
22 can the witness really answer that one either? He is looking at a
23 document that, although he wasn't asked, I anticipate him to say he has
24 never seen before. He wasn't then part of the government. This is well
25 after -- this is after April the 6th, when the two sides had split. He
1 was part of the Serbian government. This is the BiH government. This
2 document has got nothing to do with this witness at all.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, there you go. That's one misunderstanding
4 that I was led into.
5 MS. KORNER: This is the -- that's the problem with this. That
6 is why I'm objecting, saying that this is not the witness to deal with
7 these documents.
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I, with the
9 witness and with you, the document I'm showing you to the witness in the
10 context of the witness's assertion that one event, according to him, was
11 the main cause of what he was talking about, that his government must
12 work in wartime, non-peacetime conditions, and that that was an attack on
13 the column of the Yugoslav People's Army.
14 I would like to show only how this attack occurred and who stands
15 behind it, and if that is not in the context of what the witness said,
16 then I don't even know how to be talking about this topic at all.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I have no objection. I think there is
18 a real misunderstanding by Mr. Cvijetic of how to deal with
19 cross-examination. He can certainly put to the witness that the attack
20 on the JNA army, people's army, whatever it was, took place on whatever
21 date and that was it was an attack by the Bosniaks. But what he can't do
22 is show him a series of documents about which this witness doesn't know
23 anything and is simply not even being asked a question about the
24 documents; he is being asked to read out paragraphs of it. As I say, the
25 documents can come in through a witness who is a properly qualified to
1 deal with it or through the Defence case or through a bar table motion,
2 but not through this witness.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, we agree, so we accept the
4 objection made by Ms. Korner.
5 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, I didn't mean
6 to tender the document into evidence. And from what I understand of your
7 decision, I take it that you do not permit the witness to say anything
8 about this document. Is that correct?
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: There isn't much he can say apparently.
10 JUDGE HALL
11 he -- to you, he said he had never seen the document before.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] But he also said that paragraph 4
13 of the order is very clear to him and that he now knows what this is
14 about. In any case, we can ask Mr. Djeric.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's clear to me too, Mr. Cvijetic. You could
16 ask me. You could ask me.
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 Q. Mr. Djeric, from what you've seen, were you able to conclude how
19 this attack occurred and who stands behind it? There, we don't have to
20 put it any other way.
21 A. How do you mean, how did it come about?
22 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, but this is really -- it's
23 time wasting as well. He can read the document, and he can make an
24 educated guess. As His Honour Judge Delvoie has pointed out,
25 Mr. Cvijetic, so can we all. That's not the purpose of
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, when you said that one of the events that generated
4 the problems that you spoke about was the attack on the JNA columns, did
5 you think of the attack in Sarajevo, Tuzla, on the attacks on barracks,
6 individual attacks that followed; is this correct?
7 A. Please, well, I hope that I was clear, and I'm going to repeat
8 that again. The government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina at the time had the best intentions together with the
10 governments of the other ethnic groups to build Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 We had the best intentions, peacetime intentions.
12 And I'm convinced, I repeat, that we would have been successful
13 in that had two unfortunate events not taken place, the definite
14 rejection of the Cutileiro plan and the attack on the Yugoslav People's
15 Army as it was withdrawing. We are talking about Sarajevo, Tuzla, and
16 the barracks before that, but primarily about the attack on the army
17 columns at that time, and this created an inflammable situation that
18 could get out of control. And this document, please, I said I didn't see
19 it. I said that I didn't see it. But now I see that having this in view
20 anyway, you could not expect the army to withdraw peacefully. You could
21 not expect that on the basis of this document, whereas we believe that
22 all of that would proceed nicely. Now when I see this document it's all
23 clear to me.
24 Q. Well, that was the point of my showing the document, but since
25 the Trial Chamber decided that I cannot show it to you, at least you did
1 answer the question, so thank you for that anyway, and I need to
3 Mr. Djeric, other than these political problems at the level of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina, much of that had an effect on you as well having
5 to start your mandate with major and serious problems that needed to be
6 resolved. You would agree with me that now even within Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina as part of its system, that it had -- what happened was the
8 multilayered collapse of the same; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So other than the things that we talked about in terms of the
11 economy, tourism, transport system, the telecommunications system, what
12 occurred was total disruption and breaking apart?
13 A. Yes, everything just collapsed, all the mechanisms were
14 weakening, the state was weakening, dissolving, effective power was
15 disappearing and problems were piling up.
16 Q. All right. And what also occurred was the territorial division,
17 are you aware, Mr. Djeric, that as early as 1991, the Croatian Community
18 of Herceg-Bosna was formed?
19 A. I did hear about it, but I don't know any particulars or the
20 dates and things like that. But I know that this did happen.
21 Q. And there was a division, unfortunately, along the line of the
22 front between the part that was controlled by the Serbs and the part that
23 was controlled by the Muslims.
24 A. I mean, these facts, these particulars, I really don't -- I mean,
25 remember these details, and so on.
1 Q. I'm not asking you about details.
2 A. Well, I think what -- I mean, there was a conflict and there was
3 a separation, that did happen.
4 Q. So this precipitated the crisis even more, did it not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. However, Republika Srpska was facing its own problems, was it
7 not? One part of the territory, the western part, was physically
8 completely inaccessible for several months to the organs of central
9 power; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you tell us which part of the area that is?
12 A. It is the Krajina which was cut off for a long time up until the
13 moment when the corridor was opened, the Posavina corridor, as an
14 elementary condition of life in that area, it's a large area of Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina, a large area.
16 Q. Will you explain to the Trial Chamber. Where is that? Where is
17 that region that you are talking about?
18 A. Krajina is in northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
19 biggest town is Banja Luka. This is a region which now has about 800.000
20 inhabitants. And at that time it was physically cut off, could not be
21 supplied, there was no communication. There were no conditions for any
22 kind of life there and in such a situation. The situation was desperate
23 and that caused fervent fear among people for their life and future. A
24 solution was sought to deal with that situation, to find an exit out of
25 such a situation.
1 Q. Very well. Was the southern part of Republika Srpska in a
2 similar position, maybe not in the same position, ans I'm referring to
4 A. The southeastern part of Republika Srpska or, rather, Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina now, with the biggest town being Trebinje, was also in dire
6 straits. Somewhat less complicated and difficult, however, but it was
7 also cut off.
8 Q. When you said cut off, let me just ask you this, how far was that
9 from Pale as the crow flies, for example?
10 A. A Well, ball park figure, I can't be sure, but let's say it was
11 perhaps 100 kilometres as the crow flies. Conditionally speaking,
12 because I had never measured the distance. But you could simply not get
13 there because of the configuration of the ground. There was no control
14 over the area. The only way you could reach it was via Montenegro, but
15 it was completely cut off from the rest of the territory. So there was
16 no communication with the leadership -- there was no communication with
17 Sarajevo at all.
18 Q. You answered my next question to a large extent, so there was no
19 communication with the leadership of Republika Srpska and the government?
20 A. Yes, since the territory had been disintegrated, it was difficult
21 to communicate, there was no traffic and transport lines, telephone lines
22 were down. There was no electricity. And to put it simply, the
23 communication was either difficult or non-existent with the leadership.
24 That was part and parcel of the picture. For months the leadership
25 didn't know what was happening on the ground.
1 Q. And if you wanted to reach that area physically, you had to enter
2 a neighbouring state and then take it from there?
3 A. Yes, that's how it was. You had to go to Montenegro, and then
4 from Montenegro you could enter that part of Herzegovina. There was no
5 other way.
6 Q. Mr. Djeric, was it safe to take the route through the corridor,
7 even after it had been militarily broken through?
8 A. No, it wasn't safe. I assure you it wasn't safe. There was no
9 single road that was safe, and corridor was no exception to that. For a
10 long time, those are all narrow passages which served primarily for
11 supplies. It was -- they were life-lines. Oxygen lines, if you will.
12 So it wasn't safe. It wasn't safe in any way.
13 Q. Very well. I believe that we have managed to portray the
14 physical part of the ambiance and situation as it was in the
15 Republika Srpska when you assumed your duties as prime minister; is that
17 A. Well, yes, partly because I assumed those duties at the end of
18 March. The situation was on the verge of bursting at the time
19 politically, but we hoped that we would be able to control the situation.
20 However, the events that I've spoken about generated everything else that
21 happened thereafter, and all that put us in an impossible situation after
23 Q. I don't know how much time I have to embark on my next topic
24 after this; however, let me say that Republika Srpska also had its
25 internal political problems which awaited you when you became
1 prime minister. Let me tell you what I'm referring to. You inherited a
2 state, as it were, with the concept of regionalisation. At the moment
3 when you became prime minister, that state had so-called Serbian
4 autonomous provinces; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Could you, please, remember how many there were? I'm not
7 insisting on your answer.
8 A. Majevica, Semberija, Birac, Romanija, also known as Sar-Romanija
9 [phoen], Herzegovina, Krajina, and so on and so forth. There were many.
10 There were a lot. It was one of the biggest problems that we faced at
11 the time.
12 Q. Could you please slow down.
13 Finish your answer. You started you may as well finish.
14 A. I started off facing major problems. Firstly there were
15 political problems that we have just tackled.
16 Q. I am sorry to interrupt you, please focus on my question. I'm
17 talking about Serbian autonomous provinces. I am going to be taking you
18 through the rest of my case, but let's talk about provinces first?
19 A. Yes, we had regional unities that were known as Serbian
20 autonomous provinces where local factors ruled, and it was very difficult
21 to communicate with those people, with those authorities. They all had
22 different views of the problems. They all looked after number one. They
23 all dealt with their own local issues, and nobody actually looked at the
24 central government. Everybody saw what had happened with the central
25 governments first in Yugoslavia and then in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so they
1 all started looking after themselves first and foremost.
2 For a long time, I apologise, let me finish. I don't want to
3 take up much time. But let me say that for a long time those provinces
4 would remain to be a factor in the political life of Republika Srpska,
5 firstly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later on Republika Srpska. That
6 will go on for a long time because they were not prepared to be
7 integrated into the central government for various reasons. It suited
8 the local power wielders or council, or call them what you will, county
9 prefect -- in any case, local power wielders, it suited them to rule the
10 way they wanted, unobstructed from anybody.
11 Q. Very well. Since you've already mentioned counts or earls, I
12 believe that in your previous testimony, you called them local feudals or
13 even furors; do you remember that?
14 A. I don't remember having used the term furors, but I did call them
15 feudal lords.
16 Q. Very well. Let's try and deal with that through my next
17 questions. When we are talking about the Serbian autonomous provinces,
18 did they have an assembly? Did they have a government? Did they even
19 have ministries?
20 A. That's how they envisaged things, and that's what they had.
21 That's what they called those things, but as it to what the actual nature
22 of those things was, I don't know. They referred to them as ministries,
23 ministers, and assembly, their regional governments.
24 Q. Very well. Was that a restricting factor when it came to the
25 functioning of the central government and the central bodies of
1 Republika Srpska, especially the government?
2 A. Yes, and it was not a minor problem, it was a hugely restricting
4 Q. Could you please try and remember when were the Serbian
5 autonomous provinces abolished, and how did that transpire?
6 A. To be honest, I can't give you any dates. I can't even be
7 specific about events. However, up to the moment I resigned, there was a
8 strong influence of those part, and it was only then that things started
9 breaking up little by little. It took months for that reality to be
10 overcome and for the self-governing Serbian autonomous provinces to be
11 forced, to be integrated into the central authorities of the Serbian
12 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina which would then be transformed into
13 Republika Srpska.
14 Q. You will agree with me --
15 A. Up to the months of August or September, perhaps that problem
16 still persisted.
17 Q. Very well. Let me jog your memory. I am not asking for you to
18 be well versed in constitutional laws, but what happened to the
19 constitution of Republika Srpska when the Serbian autonomous provinces
20 were abolished around the time when you had already planned or filed your
22 A. I apologise, when to comes to the facts, it's very difficult for
23 me to remember everything as I sit here today after such a long time. I
24 don't know when things happened. I'm just saying bearing in mind the
25 year, which was the year 1992, when approximately the influence of the
1 autonomous provinces started subsiding as the local factor in place. It
2 remained present all the time, especially in the first part of that year,
3 in the first half of that year, it was a major problem.
4 Q. Can we then say that this problem persisted all the way up to the
5 month of October of that year?
6 A. It was already on a downward curve, but up to the month of
7 September, it could be felt as a problem. Even up to the month of
8 October. I really can't draw a very clear-cut line. It's very
9 difficult. But I'm sure that it was up to the autumn of 1992 that they
10 were relevant and strong factor, a fact that you had to reckon with.
11 Q. Very well. At the moment when new measures, the government
12 measures should have taken off across the entire territory, you actually
13 resigned, isn't that true?
14 A. Well, now that you put it that way, you may be able to establish
15 all sorts of links, but those were things that were happening on
16 parallel. It's not proper to establish a direct link. All that time the
17 government did its best to break up the resistance of the local factor to
18 introduce the rule of law and order. That's why I was talking about a
19 state with the rule of law. And local government certainly contributed
20 to the factor of the autonomous provinces to be minimised. Without the
21 influence of the government, that factor should have never been abolished
22 because there were all sorts of interests at play there.
23 Q. I don't know if I have the time to do a calculation with you.
24 For how long did the government of Republika Srpska effectively exist and
25 function? And if this is the time for us to break for the day, maybe I
1 shouldn't even start dealing with that issue. I am in the Chamber's
3 JUDGE HALL
4 minutes. Well, there is an administrative matter with which we have to
5 deal, so perhaps this would be a convenient point.
6 Mr. Djeric, your testimony, as you would appreciate, is not
7 complete, and I repeat the warning that I would have given yesterday, and
8 the -- about not communicating with counsel from either side or speaking
9 with anybody outside of the -- outside of the Chamber about your
10 testimony. We trust that you have a safe weekend. And we resume in this
11 Chamber at 2.15 on Monday afternoon. You are now excused.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will certainly bear
13 in mind the oath and my solemn promise to you, so you shouldn't worry
14 about that at all.
15 JUDGE HALL
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: I am sorry, I just realised that I closed the
18 document, but it seems to me that from next week we got a list from OTP
19 with the witnesses to be heard next week, and then we got a mail from
20 Mr. Zecevic from the Defence of Mr. Stanisic giving time for the
21 cross-examination, but it seems to me that we are not talking about the
22 same witnesses.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm not sure that I follow you. As
24 far as I see the mail from our colleagues, it contains already the
25 estimation of our cross-examination.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, but on what witnesses?
2 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: What are the numbers of the witnesses?
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, ST-15, ST-14, ST --
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Then I got another mail, sorry. With 150, 1-5-0,
6 and 1 -- well, 44, something like that. I got another mail, but --
7 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm so sorry, because we were exchanging some
8 mails, Your Honours.
9 MS. KORNER: The witnesses for next week as notified by
10 Mr. Smith, are continuation of Mr. Djeric obviously for Monday, ST-15,
11 ST-14, ST-156, ST-28 and ST-144.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we provided our estimation for the
13 whole -- the for the whole list of witnesses until the end of the year to
14 the Prosecution, I believe.
15 MS. KORNER: I don't think so, but certainly for next week.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: If we didn't, we have it, and we will provide it.
17 MS. KORNER: [Overlapping speakers]...
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry about that. I see --
19 MR. ZECEVIC: There was a communication between myself and
20 Ms. Korner about one specific witness because he had to be rescheduled.
21 Maybe that is the mail that you received, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's okay. I have an old e-mail in front of me.
24 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
25 JUDGE HALL
1 had gone into private session which we would now wish to have recorded as
2 being open session, it's page 2288, lines 4 up to and including page
3 2290, line 20. Thank you for that. So it only remains form to be to
4 wish everyone a safe and restful weekend.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd of November
7 2009, at 2.15 p.m.