1 Tuesday, 3 November 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Zupljanin not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
7 IT-08-91-T. The Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL: Good afternoon, may we have the appearances, please.
9 MS. KORNER: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Joanna Korner and
10 Crispian Smith for the Prosecution.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Mr. Cvijetic,
12 Slobodan Cvijetic, Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan and Slobodan Zecevic appearing
13 for Stanisic Defence today. Thank you.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. For Zupljanin
15 Defence although he's not present in the courtroom, Igor Pantelic. And
16 welcome back, Judge Harhoff, to our proceedings.
17 JUDGE HALL: When we adjourned yesterday evening, I indicated
18 that we would give some thought over night to the last objection which
19 Ms. Korner for the Prosecution formally made, and before we proceed with
20 the witness, as promised, I will attempt to articulate what the -- what
21 our view is on that objection. During the course of yesterday's
22 proceedings from the several versions of that objection because
23 Ms. Korner's last objection was the last expression of a series of
24 objections that she had been taking to the -- certain questions which
25 Mr. Cvijetic was putting to the witness Djeric in cross-examination in
1 terms of the relevance and of course admissibility of certain
2 documentation, which he was putting to the witness on which he was
3 seeking the witness's comment. And from the comments that I myself would
4 have made, it would have been apparent that I found some sympathy with
5 the objections raised by Ms. Korner without formally ruling on the matter
6 and the comments that I would have made would have been to telegraph to
7 Mr. Cvijetic how he should proceed in this matter.
8 On reflection, I think that the -- that the -- we would formally
9 overrule the objection as articulated because notwithstanding, as I've
10 indicated earlier, that -- and this is probably because, like Ms. Korner,
11 I come from a background of a system whereby the way evidence and whatnot
12 is approached may be somewhat different from that of Mr. Cvijetic, and
13 more particularly from the Tribunal which, as has been stated before, on
14 more than one occasion the course of these hearings, the Tribunal of
15 course has its own -- has evolved its own system, which is neither common
16 law nor civil law. But the thrust of Mr. Cvijetic's explanation, as I
17 understand it, is that he is attempting to suggest to the witness and
18 seek his comments, that is the witness's comments, on a view of events
19 which is contrary to what the Prosecution is maintaining, mainly that
20 throughout the witness's relationship with the accused Stanisic, that the
21 witness was, to use a common expression, out of the loop, as it were.
22 And as Mr. Cvijetic has explained, that the case that he is attempting to
23 put is that the witness Djeric was not as disconnected as the Prosecution
24 in its case is seeking to make out. And to that extent, it is our view
25 that he should be permitted to put that -- to put that case by way of
1 suggestion to the witness.
2 The caution, of course, that we would give to counsel for the
3 Defence is that the rules at the end of the day in terms of the
4 admissibility and based on relevance of these documents would apply. So
5 it is -- in putting that case, he should bear in mind that no purpose
6 would be served by seeking to build that on the basis of documents which
7 would not be admissible in any event.
8 The -- I trust that the -- my attempts at an explanation as to
9 why we would permit Mr. Cvijetic to proceed in the manner that he is
10 proceeding towards his conclusion as his time is running out is clear.
11 Thank you. We'll have the witness back in.
12 MS. KORNER: While the witness is coming in. Can I just make it
13 clear, I don't suggest that any of the documents that are shown will be
14 inadmissible at some stage or another, indeed some are already in. What
15 I should make absolutely clear is my objection is the way that they were
16 being put to this witness and the fact that counsel is effectively giving
17 evidence himself and that's the real gravamen of my objection.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE HALL: Good afternoon, Mr. Djeric, I remind you you are
20 still under oath.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. I know.
22 WITNESS: BRANKO DJERIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic: [Continued]
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one technical
1 problem that we need to clarify. The binder that I gave to Mr. Djeric, I
2 don't have it. It's been left somewhere here. Is that it? Okay.
4 Q. Mr. Djeric, good afternoon.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Well, we can start with document, you have it in your binder
7 under 49, and for the courtroom this is Exhibit 65 ter 932. All right.
8 We have it in both versions. Mr. Djeric?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. This is the minutes from the 25th session of the Presidency of
11 the Serbian Republic. Do you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And do you see that among others you also attended that, do you
14 see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Since you did attend --
17 MR. CVIJETIC: Can we please now go down in the BH version to the
18 bottom of the minutes, the bottom of the minutes, first page, paragraph 6
19 from the bottom.
20 Q. Mr. Djeric, in the Serbian version it begins at the end of the
21 page. All right. And it says there that special attention was given to
22 questions of [indiscernible] and ensuring a better information system and
23 it was concluded that in future all visitors to the existing and
24 registered prison must give notice of their visits formally and in time
25 and so on. Do you perhaps remember the agenda and this item on the
1 agenda that was discussed?
2 A. Yes, I remember it. I remember it well. The matters that had to
3 do with this flower.
4 Q. Well, can you read the passage that has to do with the
5 international Red Cross. All right, you can comment on it now.
6 A. Yes, I remember this agenda and what was discussed was the supply
7 of electricity, and it was said that there were problems and we said that
8 it was not permissible to manipulate and blackmail anyone in terms of the
9 electricity. But we also had problems with electricity.
10 Q. Mr. Djeric, what I'm interested is only if you remember with
11 anything with these announced visits. Do you remember if anybody was
12 denied a visit because they did not announce that in advance? Just
13 slowly, just slowly. You must make a break because the interpreters
14 cannot keep up.
15 So do you remember that?
16 A. I don't remember the particulars. I don't remember. It's
17 possible that there was some problems in relation to that matter, so it
18 was placed on the agenda, but I don't remember, and I know that what was
19 agreed was to open the place up to visits, that nobody could forbid
20 visits, and in that regard from what I can recall certain ministers were
21 charged with keeping an eye on this more.
22 Q. All right. We'll stop there. I'm going to try to remind you
23 that from the command of the Krajina Corps command refused an application
24 for a visit by Mr. Mazovjtski. Do you remember that case, only because
25 he did not announce his visit in advance?
1 A. Mr. Mazovjtski was a high-ranking diplomat. I remember him, and
2 I remember the time that he was performing these duties, and I think that
3 there was some problems between Mazovjtski and the military.
4 Q. All right. This is what I wanted know in this part so you know
5 about that problem because it was noted, if you remember, that he did
6 come to a private visit after all, not an official visit and that is why
7 the army stopped him or did not permit him to visit. Do you have
8 anything else to say about that, can you confirm that?
9 A. I cannot confirm that. I don't know whether it was a private or
10 an official visit. I think -- I don't know. I don't know, but I do know
11 that he was there and that there was some problems with this corps.
12 Q. All right. Thank you, we will now just go back to the part that
13 has to do with the international Red Cross. It was announced that the
14 representatives of the international Red Cross should be permitted to
15 enter the camp; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. We are going to finish with this document. And in
18 the context of this conclusion by the Presidency, I would like now to
19 show you document 1D12. It's already an exhibit. I apologise. In your
20 binder that is number 50. I always forget to tell you that. Yes. Can
21 you please look at the document and then when you are finished, I'm going
22 to ask you. Have you looked at it a little bit? All right. Do you
23 agree with me that this is the practical implementation of the conclusion
24 by the Presidency because the command of the 1st Krajina Corps permitted
25 the entrance of journalists and international representatives, so the
1 position of the Presidency was complied with; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can we agree that this camp was a military camp?
4 A. The military at the time was in charge of these centres.
5 Q. All right. Mr. Djeric, I have finished my questions on this
6 topic. And I think I still have to cover one topic from this block. I
7 think that we did not deal with the issue of paramilitary formations. In
8 your testimony in the Krajisnik case you mentioned that problem, and I do
9 have the minutes from the Presidency of Republika Srpska when it was
10 dealing with this matter. I think the government also dealt with the
12 A. The government did not deal with this problem because this was
13 not in our domain of work. And I did not deal with that matter. I
14 didn't make any agreements or contract any paramilitary formations. I
15 did not finances them --
16 Q. Just a moment, just a moment, can you please wait, wait. I think
17 that Judge Harhoff at one point told you that you are not accused in this
18 case. Just one moment, please, be patient, be patient. Please be
19 patient, just wait. Be patient. May I be allowed to speak?
20 A. It go ahead.
21 Q. I'm asking you and you are answering question. Judge Harhoff
22 told you that you're not supposed to feel like that and there's no need
23 to defend yourself from my questions. I didn't say that you armed them,
24 that you invited them, summoned them. You have to wait for my question,
25 please wait for my question. Now, are we clear on that? In your
1 testimony in the Krajisnik case you mentioned the existence of a major
2 paramilitary formation, the Yellow Wasps and you said that you knew of
3 their existence; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, I did hear of them, that is correct.
5 Q. Since you attended the sessions do you know whether the
6 Presidency dealt with the matter of paramilitary formations? Do you
8 A. Well, this was referred to. It was a problem with the president
9 and the military. The army had problems with these paramilitary
10 formations, particularly on the border with Serbia. I do remember that.
11 You are asking me, I cannot really specifically tell you in what sense, I
13 Q. All right. You will agree with me then that the Presidency would
14 be able to receive information about the existence of paramilitary
15 formations from the military organs along that particular line of
16 professional chain of command?
17 A. Well, they could have received information along the civilian
18 line as well, because the paramilitary formations were part of the extra
19 military order.
20 Q. All right. I'm going to ask you --
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me. Mr. Djeric, what do you mean by the
22 extra military order? What was that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, look, I mean, since we are
24 talking about intelligence work, I'm not really well versed in that, but
25 if the paramilitary formations were in a conflict of interest with the
1 interests of the military and their military life and so on, then the
2 Presidency could have been informed about it along the military line, but
3 paramilitary formations are something that -- how can I put it, are
4 outside of the institutions. These are not regulated, regular military
5 formations, so they could have created problems outside of the military
6 sector. How can I put it, outside of their range of activities or where
7 they were positioned, for example, around the borders, around the
8 transports, convoys. So they created certain problems in that respect so
9 that information could have arrived also in another way, not only via the
10 military structures. This is what I ...
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Djeric, at some point, you may do it now or
12 later, but at some point you have to tell us how it was with these
13 paramilitary structures and what the problems were. You need not do it
14 now and I will give the floor back to Counsel Cvijetic, but I need you to
15 tell the Court at one point just what the problems were with these
16 military -- paramilitary formations and how you dealt with it. But in
17 order not to waste the counsel's time, I will give the floor back to him.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can do it now.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please for the counsel.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I asked for this 65 ter document
21 192 to be put.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I don't want to owe
23 an answer to His Honour, so I am prepared to reply about the paramilitary
24 formations right away.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I will ask you, I will ask you,
1 but let us look at the document.
2 Q. This is a report. It says "Army Main Staff." And it's a report
3 on the paramilitary formations in the territory of Republika Srpska. Do
4 you see that, that it's at the heading of the document? This is your
5 document 53, I apologise. Are you able to find it, 53? Have you found
6 it? All right.
7 On the first page, the military intelligence service provides a
8 kind of characteristic of the paramilitary formations, what are their
9 names, the motives, and so on and so forth, and it says the motive for
10 the vast majority of the paramilitaries is looting and committing murders
11 and all sorts of things and so on and so forth. The reason why I wanted
12 to open this document is on page 3 -- we are going to find this in the
13 English version, what the number is.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] It's on page 3 in the Serbian
15 version. And also page 3 in the English version.
16 Q. Have you found it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Well, I'm interested in this statistical data present. In
19 passage 2, in paragraph 2, which is, I think at the very beginning of the
20 English version. Let me just see where the statistical part is. It says
21 that there are about 60 paramilitary units which were registered between
22 4- and 5.000 people in total, and the ones they consider to be the most
23 important are listed here. In the area of Zvornik these are the Yellow
24 Wasps, 170 men, as it says here.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] And the next large group that the
1 army paid attention to is mentioned on page 5 of the Serbian version, and
2 in the English version it's the second paragraph on page 5.
3 Q. In your version it's the fourth or fifth paragraph, do you see?
4 Rather large group has been registered on the territory of Teslic
5 municipality. By showing you this, I simply wanted to let you know what
6 kind of units these were and what their strength was. And as you
7 yourself said that you knew about these Yellow Wasps. Through the next
8 several documents I will show -- I will deal with the question of how
9 these two units ended up.
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] So could we now have 1D00-5403.
11 Just let me see. And open page 8 in the BH version. It's page 9 in
12 English. Could you scroll down a little bit, please. And page 9 in
14 Q. This is just the beginning, we'll have to scroll down slowly on
15 these pages.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, tell us what this document is.
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] This is a criminal report
18 concerning the arrest and prosecution of this large Teslic unit by the
19 Banja Luka public security service, the Teslic public security station,
20 and I want to show the witness what number of persons were arrested, and
21 we can see that right away. And there is a description of the crimes
22 they are charged with.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, for your assistance it's the Mice.
24 It's the Mice group.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I was going to ask the witness
1 whether he knew if these were the Mice but all right now you've said it.
2 In the English version can you scroll down so that the other names can be
3 seen. Only the first accused is written on this part.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I don't know what
5 document this is, I can't follow.
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] It's document 54. I do apologise,
7 I -- again I forgot to tell you what number it is in your binder.
8 Q. So look at page 8 now that you've found it. You'll come to the
9 criminal report if you look through the document. There is it, yes.
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] And in English could we scroll
11 down, please. Yes, yes. And just keep scrolling down, keep scrolling
12 down, please, so that you can see how many men were arrested and how many
13 witnesses and victims were interviewed. Yes, and please just keep going
14 in the English version. So, yes. So let's go on to the next page and
15 then the next.
16 Q. All right. If you look at the list of exhibits, you'll find
17 there are 160.
18 MS. KORNER: While that's happening can I correct the LiveNote,
19 it's page 13 line 21 where I speak, Mice is M-i-c-e.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Now, we have to go to page 82 in
21 the English and 54 in B/C/S, so we have the page in English. Yes, now we
22 have it in B/C/S as well. And now please scroll down in both versions.
23 Q. Have you found 54, page 54, Professor? The heading is "Report."
24 You can see it on the screen. This is a list of witness statements made
25 by witnesses of non-Serb ethnicity?
1 MS. KORNER: I'm really sorry to interrupt this again but this is
2 now becoming a speech. There is going to be a multitude of witnesses who
3 can deal and who are going to deal with this particular group and what
4 happened in Teslic. It was a slightly unique situation. Now, before we
5 go on with this exercise, I think -- I do really think that Mr. Djeric
6 should be asked whether he knows anything about the circumstances of this
7 group or this incident, and if he doesn't, this should be an end of it.
8 It's not that we are trying to stop this evidence going in, it will be
9 dealt with.
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can tell you what
11 the purpose of this exercise is. As the witness is evaluating the work
12 of the Ministry of the Interior, I wish to show him the scope and the
13 scale of actions undertaken by the ministry in order to eliminate
14 paramilitary formations. So I'm not going to comment on the content of
15 the document with the witness since evidently he is not in a position to
16 discuss it, but I just want to demonstrate that in order to deal with a
17 case of this kind, what it takes to open an investigation.
18 JUDGE HALL: What is the question?
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Djeric, did you know about the activities of the Ministry of
21 the Interior to eliminate such groups?
22 A. I did. Work was done on that but as regards this group
23 specifically, I didn't know anything about that.
24 Q. Did you know anything about the attempts to eliminate the Yellow
1 A. Well, I know that something was done because the Yellow Wasps
2 were active in the area towards Serbia, around the river Drina, and there
3 were frequent problems with that group.
4 Q. Do you know that the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with
5 the military police eliminated this large group also?
6 JUDGE HALL: That is a type of question that Ms. Korner -- to
7 which Ms. Korner was objecting. That last one was not a proper question,
8 Mr. Cvijetic.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] The witness knows the facts, Your
10 Honour. He knows that the group was broken up.
11 JUDGE HALL: Well, then let the witness give the evidence. Not
12 you. Ask him a question and we will hear his answer.
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] All right.
14 Q. Do you know how these proceedings ended?
15 A. What proceedings are you referring to?
16 Q. Against the Yellow Wasps.
17 A. I know that this group was broken up. I know that. Quite simply
18 there were problems at the border around Zvornik. For instance, I recall
19 that they even pulled a minister out of a car and ordered him to lie down
20 and graze grass. Those Yellow Wasps did that. And that's how I received
21 this information.
22 Q. Do you know that they committed war crimes on the territory of
23 Zvornik municipality?
24 A. Well, the information that reached the government had more to do
25 with obstructing traffic, economic activities, and so on.
1 Q. Will you believe me if I say that in cooperation with the
2 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska and the Ministry of the
3 Interior of the Republic of Serbia, persons were prosecuted for war
4 crimes committed on the territory of Zvornik municipality? Do you know
5 about that?
6 A. I don't because these are military and paramilitary units that
7 did not belong to me. They belonged to the government and the president,
8 so he dealt with them. So I don't have so much information of that kind.
9 Q. Well, my question was, do you believe me when I say that this is
10 true, or would you agree?
11 A. Well, everything can be proved.
12 Q. Now that you have mentioned the Presidency, you were present so I
13 have to show you the document.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] It's 65 ter 3033. It's 64 in your
15 binder, Professor.
16 Q. It's 3033. Have you found it? 64. It's a session of the
17 Presidency. This document refers to a session of the Presidency of
18 Republika Srpska held on the 28th of September 1992, and you were among
19 those attending; am I right? Please take a look.
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And the first item on the agenda was engagement of volunteers in
22 the defence of Republika Srpska. Do you remember that item of the
24 A. I remember that these volunteers were engaged because they were
1 Q. Please look at item 1 where it says that all volunteers will be
2 put under the single command of the Army of Republika Srpska; is that
4 A. Yes, that was the principle. They couldn't act on their own
5 initiative of their own free will. They had to be under the command of
6 the army.
7 Q. It also says that the Presidency stressed that the ban on the
8 establishment and activity of paramilitary units was still in force; is
9 that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you have occasion to attend the session of the Assembly when
12 this problem was being discussed?
13 A. I don't know. I suppose I was. What Assembly do you mean? I
14 don't know.
15 Q. Well, it's not an ordinary Assembly. It was the Assembly where
16 your resignation was accepted when the government fell, on the 24th of
17 November 1992. You were present then, weren't you?
18 A. Yes, I was.
19 Q. Let me jog your memory. It's document 65 in your binder,
20 Professor, and it's 65 ter 933. It's 65 ter 933.
21 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] In the B/C/S version we should be
22 on page 18. And in the English version - let me just find it. It's on
23 page 23 in English, the speech of Mrs. Biljana Plavsic.
24 Q. Have you read Mrs. Plavsic's contribution to the discussion?
25 Have you found page 18? Please find it. And Mrs. Plavsic's contribution
1 to the discussion begins at the bottom of the page. Well, now you've
2 found it. Please read what Mrs. Plavsic said.
3 MS. KORNER: I was going to say, I read this part to him when I
4 dealt with it. He has already read it.
5 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Well, there's no harm in him
6 reading it once again.
7 Q. Have you read it?
8 A. What she says about paramilitaries, that she invited them -- yes,
9 it says Mrs. Plavsic, but as I remember, Madam Prosecutor, it wasn't this
10 speech. It was another one when Mrs. Plavsic was talking about
11 percentages of the territory and so on. It's not this part.
12 Q. Please read the part that I asked you to read. And move on to
13 the next page. Have you had a look? You are talking about paramilitary
14 formations. It's this passage in the middle where she lists them.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. This is Mrs. Plavsic's reaction to the activities of Mr. Mico
17 Stanisic breaking up these paramilitary formations, and even the term he
18 uses, paramilitary formations that is. So what do you say to this
19 standpoint of Mrs. Plavsic?
20 A. She often spoke like this. This is her opinion. Of course, I
21 did not agree with it. I never approved such things being done. That's
22 why I should have clarified about these paramilitary formations.
23 Q. Just finish your answer.
24 A. Well, people, including her, allowed themselves to go around
25 looking for some sort of paramilitary units and engaging them. I did not
1 approve of this nor did I consider that that was the way things should be
2 done, but there were more people who held such opinions, that these were
3 people fighting for the Serbian people, that they were not criminals and
4 so on and so forth.
5 Q. Just a moment.
6 A. So her opinion was not something unusual.
7 Q. I agree with you that this is Mrs. Plavsic's personal opinion, or
8 the opinion of some other deputy, but what might have concerned your
9 minister who invested so much effort was that this was followed by
10 applause. He was not applauded for eliminating this sort of group. What
11 do you say to that?
12 A. Well, these are people's perceptions. The minister knew that his
13 task was to implement the government policy and the Presidency's policy.
14 Q. But such a high-ranking body would be expected to provide its
15 support; am I right?
16 A. Well, that's what political life is like, you know. There are
17 always some who are for and some who are against. People see things this
18 way or that way.
19 Q. Well, Mr. --
20 A. But this is an extremist opinion, the one held by Biljana
22 Q. We're finish with this document. You can close the file. I'll
23 just ask you one thing --
24 MS. KORNER: Before do you that, can I just ask, you put to the
25 witness that this was Mrs. Plavsic's response to Mico Stanisic breaking
1 up the paramilitary units. Can I just ask where you get that from? In
2 Mico Stanisic's speech.
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I'm drawing this conclusion from
4 Mrs. Plavsic's speech where she says to Stanisic, you call them
5 paramilitary formations.
6 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, that's the objection I have.
7 It's asserted by Mr. Cvijetic giving evidence that this is the reaction
8 to Mico Stanisic breaking up the paramilitaries. There's no such
9 reference in his speech to which Mrs. Plavsic refers. So, as I say, it
10 would be better if speeches were not made and simply questions were put.
11 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I don't think you're right. There
12 was a huge polemic at that Assembly between Mrs. Plavsic, Mr. Stanisic,
13 Mr. Mandic, and Mr. Djeric, and inter alia they discussed the results of
14 the work of the ministry of the interior, the Prosecution of paramilitary
15 formations. That was why this discussion was held and why Mrs. Plavsic
16 reacted. If you read the whole of the minutes, that was the conclusion I
17 reached. The witness may need not agree with me, but her discussion
18 speaks for itself, and it's what the witness said.
19 Q. Mr. Djeric, do you know how many men the administration for the
20 prevention of crime at the Ministry of the Interior had?
21 A. I don't.
22 Q. I'll tell you that this administration which was in charge of
23 these large operations -- well, when one says administration, you have
24 the impression that this involves hundreds of inspectors and policemen.
25 Do you know how many were actually employed there?
1 A. I didn't understand you.
2 Q. How many people were employed in this administration?
3 A. I don't know. We were working under very difficult conditions.
4 The government was being set up in a meadow without the proper
5 infrastructure, without any institutions, without appropriate staff. It
6 was something far removed from any modern understanding of what a
7 ministry or a government should look like. We didn't have large numbers
8 of trained staff, civil servants who were able to deal with that kind of
9 work. But I can't answer your question how many people were employed.
10 I'm sure there were far fewer than the situation required, but we
11 couldn't find people.
12 Q. I'll tell you that there are no more than five, believe it or
13 not. Can you believe that this was done by only five people?
14 A. I do believe you. There were ministries that didn't have more
15 than five people working on them because everybody else had been
17 Q. All right, Mr. Djeric.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Your Honours, 20 -- it's been corrected
19 right now.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Djeric, the time and you are not a witness where -- with whom
22 we can show all the things that the ministry did, and I claim that I
23 didn't even show you point 1 per cent of the results of the work of the
24 ministry for the Internal Affairs in persecuting -- in prosecuting the
25 perpetrators of the most serious crimes and sentencing them. Do you
1 agree that the results of the MUP were what I say they were?
2 A. Well, I didn't say that the ministry didn't work or that it
3 didn't do a vast amount of work. But I am going to say that I, as the
4 president -- the prime minister, was not satisfied with the engagement of
5 the ministry, or rather the minister, in terms of the implementation of
6 the government policies. I never said that the ministry wasn't working,
7 but it's more of a question of how much more it could have done.
8 Q. All right. Very well. And that is precisely the next topic. We
9 don't need documents. Mr. Djeric, you received the mandate to form the
10 mandate at the Assembly in March 1992, late March; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. I'm sorry, but since I owe --
12 Q. Well, just leave that. I'm the one who is asking. Is it correct
13 that this was in March 1992?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Then at the Assembly session, you received only two ministers,
16 you were given only two ministers; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Buha, the minister for foreign affairs and
19 the minister for the interior; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You said that - how shall I put it - the consolidation and the
22 staffing of the government lasted until July 1992; is that correct more
23 or less approximately?
24 A. Yes, yes, it was a long period of time, but.
25 Q. All right. Then you said that you submitted your resignation.
1 Now we are going to do a little bit something about the dates. I know
2 you don't like that. Resignation, which you were expecting to be
3 accepted at the Assembly in Prijedor which was held in October; is that
5 A. Yes. I was asked.
6 Q. Well, you replied. You would agree with me that perhaps you were
7 mistaken about the dates. You said that this was on the 9th of October,
8 and the Assembly was held on the 31st of October?
9 A. Well, as far as the dates are concerned, believe me, I didn't
10 have the opportunity to check the precise dates. There was manipulation
11 in the newspapers with these dates so that I'm not sure, and that is why
12 I would rather stay with the events so the Prijedor Assembly, when I
13 submitted my resignation and signed it, because I was asked to have it
14 signed, so I signed it, so conditions were created all of them for it to
15 be accepted at that time. But for certain reasons, this was not done.
16 Q. All right. Can I help you about those dates and even I'm not so
17 good with dates. Is there a possibility that on the 9th, you wrote your
18 resignation which should have been placed before the Assembly on the
20 A. Well, there are a lot of unclear things for me there still and
21 I'm even thinking that perhaps this was in late September, but I cannot
22 simply -- the best way to establish the precise date is to establish the
23 exact time of the dates.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There's a lot of
25 background noise. We are finding it difficult to hear the witness.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I signed the resignation and
2 then in the Zvornik Assembly, this is the only thing that I can state
3 with certainty.
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I'm going to tell you what the reason is. My reason is not the
6 wish to confuse you with the dates. I would like to calculate the
7 effective time from the time that the government was operating in its
8 full composition, so July, August, September. We can take that. Is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You did not conceal your resignation from your ministers, if I'm
12 not mistaken, you submitted it publicly, did you not?
13 A. Yes, I wrote it, submitted it, I signed it, and I was actually
14 waiting for the first Assembly session in order to be able to submit it.
15 Q. I'm going to repeat the time for the transcript. This is June,
16 July, August, September, and October. Five months we are talking about.
17 And you will know about the parliamentary principle that each government
18 should be given the famous 100 days to do something in order to be able
19 to evaluate its work. You know about that rule, don't you?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Those 100 days in normal circumstances, and 100 days in the
22 conditions that you were working in could not be considered to be the
24 A. Yes, of course.
25 Q. Mr. Djeric, when we look at the number of the meetings that were
1 held, the agendas, the problems that you managed to solve in that period,
2 the proposed laws and documents and other measures, it has to be said
3 that the government was working despite of all the initial problems that
4 both you and I talked about, do you agree with me?
5 A. Yes, I'm not disputing that it was working and that we are
6 talking about vast tasks and big assignments. A lot of work. Every few
7 days practically we were in session. The government was permanently in
8 session, permanently in session.
9 Q. Then you will agree with me that the successes of the government
10 were actually the successes of the ministries because the government in
11 itself does not exist as a body unless it is comprised of ministries; is
12 that correct?
13 A. Well, I'm not disputing that. But the president -- the prime
14 minister, the person that is heading the government also tries to achieve
15 the best possible results.
16 Q. You will agree also that the problems that the government was
17 encountering, and we are talking about strong local power, the Serbian
18 Autonomous Regions, Crisis Staff, current wartime problems, refugees,
19 crime, that those problems were problems of the ministries as well; isn't
20 that right?
21 A. Yes, it was a context and environment in which the government and
22 its ministries were working.
23 Q. However, very early on you requested a reconstruction of the
24 government. You said even at the Assembly that you sought that as early
25 as May 1992; is that correct?
1 A. I don't remember that, but I did sense certain problems in the
2 government, in the functional and personnel sense, so I don't know if I
3 did that in May, but -- this is July that we are talking about, August,
4 and so on I think.
5 Q. All right. I do have a reference. I do have the minutes of the
6 Assembly when you -- session when you submitted your resignation, and you
7 literally said a long time ago in May, five months ago, I began to talk
8 about this problem in the work of the government.
9 A. Yes. The path was, first of all, to try to resolve the problems
10 within the government, then we referred to the political leadership and
11 this was then discussed there for several months, and then in the end it
12 had to be brought before the Assembly.
13 Q. Mr. Djeric, who did you talk to about this problem that you were
14 asking about?
15 A. Everyone was informed about it. First of all, the ministers knew
16 about it, the government knew about it. They knew that I was asking for
17 a reconstruction of the government primarily in relation to these two
18 ministries: The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior.
19 Although there were some others as well, other ministries but --
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. I was thinking about those two ministries, first of all, so the
22 government, the political leadership, all of them were informed about it
23 and this was constantly debated. We were looking for a suitable moment.
24 Q. All right. All right. Specifically the question was did you
25 specifically discuss this matter with Dr. Karadzic?
1 A. Yes. With Karadzic.
2 Q. All right. All right. You have to say yes -- answer with a yes
3 to my question because we need to move on. We must move on.
4 At that point in time when practically the government was not
5 consolidated, it had not been placed under oath, you had no results but
6 still you were seeking a reconstruction of the government. What was the
7 response of Dr. Karadzic?
8 A. His reply was that the ministers were working well, that this
9 should not be done, and so on and so forth. And he stood by these two
10 ministers. That is the main thing that I would like to emphasise.
11 Q. You would agree that in May, you didn't have the results of the
12 work of any of the ministries and that on the basis of the results you
13 were unable to evaluate somebody's work?
14 A. May, that's something else. I'm not talking about May. I'm
15 talking about this time there, the later period. In May, in May, what
16 was said was discussion in terms of looking for the adequate or
17 appropriate people. It was a question of finding these people at the
18 location where the government was. Finding the right people.
19 Q. In the Krajisnik case, you said that you could not influence the
20 composition of the government and that in some way it was imposed on you,
21 you had to take these ministers from before, from the B&H and the
22 ministerial counsel and that you personally were not in a situation to
23 create the composition of the government; is that what you said?
24 A. Yes, that is what I said in the Krajisnik case, and I'm saying
25 that today now. The party was the one that put forward the cadres, not
1 in the sense of providing alternatives. It would always be one single
2 solution, so I was not able to choose in that case.
3 Q. All right. Can I ask you more questions?
4 A. Yes, go ahead.
5 Q. You were a member of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Who proposed you for that post?
8 A. The party too, yes.
9 Q. Which party?
10 A. The SDS party. Serbian Democratic Party. It participated in the
11 government and they put me forward for that position. I was on their
13 Q. Were you a member of the Serbian Democratic Party?
14 A. No, I wasn't.
15 Q. All right. Just finish that answer. You've answered me and
16 that's that. Who proposed you for the ministerial council of Republika
18 A. This was done by the party and the presiding of the council of
19 ministers at the time, Mr. Simovic. He made that agreement with the
20 party president and --
21 Q. All right, you've answered, now let us move on.
22 Who gave you the mandate to form a government, the government of
23 Republika Srpska?
24 A. It was the president of the party.
25 Q. Which party and which president?
1 A. Well, look --
2 Q. Well, go ahead, say it.
3 A. I'm talking about the Serbian Democratic Party. The Serbian
4 Democratic Party was the one and then on behalf of the party before the
5 Assembly, and this was in Pale in March, I was put forward as a candidate
6 by Biljana Plavsic. From what I understood, she was the one who was
7 heading the party's personnel commission.
8 Q. Okay. You've answered. Mr. Djeric, in all parliamentary systems
9 when a party wins an election and when it has an absolute majority, it is
10 the one that puts forward the candidate to form the government; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And if it has a majority, absolute majority, it doesn't have to
14 put forward a coalition partner; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it logical that each prime minister designate takes care to
17 secure the support of the Assembly majority when he is putting forward
18 the composition of the government?
19 A. Yes, it's logical.
20 Q. So is it logical that you put forth -- forward such a composition
21 of the government because you were expecting to receive the support of
22 the party?
23 A. Yes. The support is given to me by the party because its
24 deputies are in the Assembly.
25 Q. Well, this is what I'm talking about. So you are careful to
1 secure support? You do take that into account?
2 A. Well, yes, I don't have any choice in that matter. I'm not a
3 party member, but I am on the list of that party, and I receive my cadres
4 from that party.
5 Q. All right. I'm going to read to you the names of some members of
6 the government about whom you said that you would never have picked them
7 had you been in a position to choose. So Mico Stanisic, Momcilo Mandic,
8 with the explanation that they -- and you said that here in the courtroom
9 as well, were closer to the president than to you. Is that the essence
10 of your objection to the two of them?
11 A. Well, I said that I would never have considered the two of them
12 to be members of the government because of the functioning of the
13 government and functioning in the government, and what you are asking me
14 simply -- well, one needs to have in mind here that simply speaking we at
15 the time had a system --
16 Q. Well -- I apologise but --
17 MS. KORNER: Let him finish, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you want me to answer?
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Yes, but in the cross-examination you have to answer me. Just
21 tell me, well, this is the reason -- if that is the reason why they were
22 closer to the president than to you, this is what you said in the
24 A. No, no, that was not the reason, you know. It was not the main
25 reason. They just ignored the government. They ignored the government
1 because they considered themselves to be the president's men.
2 Q. All right. No, no, no, I have to stop him. You replied, you
3 replied to my question but in a different way, but please tell me, what
4 did you find with Mr. Pejic, the deputy prime minister, what about him,
5 why wouldn't you have taken him?
6 A. Because he tended to work more for his own benefit than to
7 further the goals of the government, and secondly, Pejic also had health
8 problems. He was an invalid, although he did have the proper
9 professional background. He had been dealing with financial matters for
10 years, but because of his handicap had they asked me, he would never have
11 been nominated.
12 Q. Why would you not want Subotic as the minister of defence in your
14 A. Because it was difficult for him to establish communication with
15 the military. It simply did not function as a relationship, or rather,
16 not sufficiently. It could have been done much better.
17 Q. I'm also interested in the fact that you would never have worked
18 with Mr. Trbojevic who was never a party member. What was wrong with
20 A. Trbojevic was a careerist. He had careerist ambitions.
21 Q. What you held against Mr. Kalinic was that he leaned more towards
22 the president?
23 A. Yes, but it is more important to clarify things here, to explain
24 them. We are talking about people, people who had a good understanding
25 of the system as it existed at the time. It was a presidential system.
1 The government was simply an appendage of the president and the
2 Presidency, and they counted on being appointed by the party even if I
3 resigned. They knew what they were doing there, and they were simply
4 gathering around the president.
5 Q. Yes, I do have to interrupt you now because my time is running
6 out. The minister of external affairs, Buha, you didn't like him either?
7 A. Well, I can't say I didn't like him.
8 Q. Well, what do you hold against him?
9 A. He did his job, he did it, but I'm simply bearing in mind the
10 fact that people simply didn't understand the function of the government
11 in a parliamentary democracy. We said something and then they set out to
12 do something else. It's very important to say this. You are talking
13 about a time when I had already handed in my resignation.
14 Q. Just be patient. You mentioned three people: Buha, Pejic, and
15 now Milojevic [phoen] have leanings towards Belgrade, and I would never
16 have taken them, did you say that?
17 A. Well, they all had -- well, people acted in a way, the way I was
18 trying to reconstruct the government to make it more effective and so on.
19 People began to look for ways to turn things to their own advantage.
20 Q. Well, you didn't like Ostojic either. You said he was an
21 extremist and he was a minister of foreign affairs.
22 A. Well, he proved to be an extremist, but you keep mentioning
23 things from the last session that was already at the finish line,
24 because, sir, counsel --
25 Q. Just answer my question, please. I do have to interrupt you. In
1 the case of Ostojic, was this the decisive reason when you said he was an
2 extremist in your view? You said that in the Krajisnik case, I'm just
3 quoting your words.
4 A. Yes, he was an extremist, and if I had been able to constitute a
5 new government, he would never have been a member of it because he was an
6 extremist, and that's, I'm just speaking hypothetically.
7 Q. Now let's look at the ministerial departments. Ministry of
8 Justice, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two
9 deputy prime ministers, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defence,
10 all of them were key ministries. So with whom did you achieve the
11 successes we spoke about? For example, did the Minister of Forestry
12 really plant forests in Republika Srpska?
13 A. Well, the government did do its job, but it could have done it
14 better. Especially in the case of two ministries, and don't forget one
15 other thing --
16 Q. Mr. Djeric, I'll move on and mention a specific ministry.
17 Wouldn't it be fair to say that the government achieved its greatest
18 successes in these key areas: Security, defence, and probably justice?
19 I won't mention any more. Wouldn't it be fair to say that?
20 A. No, no, no. That's not how it was. Those were the two most
21 important, most necessary ministries, and I wanted to achieve more in
22 those areas. That's why I asked for those changes. These were key
24 Q. Very well. We then now have to move on to the session when your
25 resignation was adopted. Do you remember what you said at that session
1 of the Assembly?
2 JUDGE HALL: If you are moving on to something new, perhaps we
3 should take the break at this point.
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Okay. Thank you.
5 JUDGE HALL: Twenty minutes.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Recess taken at 3.39 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Cvijetic.
11 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Before I
12 begin, one brief apology to the professional services. At the beginning
13 of the transcript it says, and I said that there was a technical problem
14 with the binder. Actually, it was my problem. I had forgotten the
15 binder and they had put it away, and so it was not a matter of the
16 problem being a problem of the technical service, but it was my own
17 problem. So I would like to have that corrected in the transcript.
18 Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Djeric, we are now finding ourselves at the Assembly where
20 the resignation of the government was being discussed. This is document,
21 if you would like to refresh your memory and open the document, it's
22 document 65 in your binder.
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Very well, I have to explain that
24 in English it's probably page 15. First of all, I have to give you the
25 document number. It's 65 ter 933. It will be three pages: 15, 18, 19.
1 Those three pages are relevant, up until page 23. So from page 15
2 onwards and that's how we will follow it.
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, I think that in the Serbian version it begins on the
4 10th page. This is your address.
5 Mr. Djeric, you will agree with me that the Assembly is a body in
6 which all problems are discussed in the most democratic way; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That was the opportunity for your ministers -- to tell your
10 ministers that you were not happy with what it is about their work that
11 you were not satisfied with; is that correct? Is that correct,
12 Mr. Djeric?
13 A. Yes, I --
14 Q. No, no, no, no, I'm asking you. Did you --
15 A. I did say that.
16 Q. The question is, did you use the opportunity in the Assembly and
17 tell each of the ministers to their face what you thought was not good
18 about their work directly?
19 A. I did not tell people at the government sessions what was not
20 good and what they were supposed to change and so on and so forth. I
21 don't want you to misunderstand.
22 Q. Mr. Djeric, I have to stop you. Did you use that at the Assembly
23 at such a place where really decisions are being made on the value of the
24 work of the entire government and each minister individually, yes or no?
25 A. Simply I did not discuss certain ministers at the Assembly. I
1 mean, you understand ministers are member of the government and you have
2 to understand that the government is a working entity.
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, if you didn't, and I see that you didn't, Mr. Mandic,
4 Momcilo, minister of justice, and Mr. Stanisic are calling you out
5 directly and they are saying -- stating their objections to your work and
6 asking you directly to come out and tell them specifically what in the
7 professional sense as ministers or their ministries you find fault with.
8 Do you remember their addresses?
9 A. I don't remember their addresses, but they know very well this is
10 just a manoeuvre of theirs. They know what my objections were, what the
11 objections of the government were on their account. It wasn't just me as
12 the prime minister, but it was all the other ministers, they all knew
13 very well about the two of them.
14 Q. All right. All right. A specific question.
15 A. Well, this is a session where the resignation of the prime
16 minister was being accepted.
17 Q. All right. Listen to me now, please don't interrupt me. That is
18 the session of the Assembly, and Mr. Mandic says that you never asked a
19 report from the ministries on their work. Is that correct what Mr.
20 Mandic said?
21 A. It is not correct because the government works by asking for
22 ministries to report back to it and the ministries react with their
24 MS. KORNER: Sorry, the English says that "has anyone ever seen a
25 report about our work, whose fault is that whether Momcilo Mandic or
1 Djeric? It doesn't say, Mr. Cvijetic, what you've just para-phrased. I
2 think if you are going so put things you've ought to read from the
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. My question specifically, my question is, did you ask for reports
6 on the work on these two key ministries?
7 A. Well, how could I have not asked for them. Yesterday we looked
8 at some of them. How would the reports have arrived had I not requested
9 them? The government works by periodically asking for reports from the
10 ministries about their work.
11 Q. All right. The essence of my question is, yesterday we looked at
12 the reports on the work of the Ministry of the Interior, and I did not
13 hear one single objection in the professional sense about the results of
14 the work of the ministry, and not in the courtroom either. I'm going to
15 of move to the address -- I just apologise for one second. I'm going to
16 move to the discussion of Mr. Stanisic.
17 Mr. Stanisic is remarking that his only -- that your only
18 argument at his expense is that he is allegedly Radovan's man. That's
19 what it says in the report. This is page 16 of the Serbian version and
20 we are going to do our best to find -- oh, yes, here it is. This is page
21 21 or 22, somewhere there.
22 Q. And -- page 21 towards the end. And just let me finish my
23 question. Mr. Stanisic says that that is no argument as far as he is
24 concerned, wasn't it then called for you to come out and bring out some
25 other arguments?
1 A. Well, no, that doesn't apply. That is really making the case
2 banal by Mr. Stanisic. He is making light of it. He's trying to find an
3 excuse for himself and to get out of it. I didn't have remarks or
4 objections in terms of his work because he is the president's man, but
5 because he was not implementing to a sufficient degree the policy of the
6 government. It was his problem that he was ignoring the government, that
7 he was constantly spending time with the president. That is his problem.
8 I apologise. Many of these things could have been done by the
9 bureaucracy by the clerks of the ministry.
10 Q. Well, all right, Mr. Djeric, you have responded now to this
12 MS. KORNER: Please, Mr. Cvijetic, don't para-phrase. Read the
13 exact words from the transcript and then identify them also please in
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] In the Serbian version it's page
16 16 at the bottom, and now we will see, let us see page 21 at the bottom,
17 last paragraph, I'm going to read what it says so that we don't have the
18 case that --
19 Q. "For that reason we insisted that somebody cannot, as they see
20 fit, say you are not good because I feel that you are Radovan's man. As
21 far as I'm concerned, that is no argument." Have I quoted correctly the
22 words? Mr. Djeric, allow me to put the question to you now.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So I have summarised the discussions from the Assembly, and I
25 have had some substantial problems to present to you the results of the
1 work of the Ministry of the Interior. I was following your reactions
2 when I was presenting you with this evidence, and I'm listening to you
3 now. I must note that your only argumentation that Mr. Stanisic was
4 Radovan's man and that you have know other objection in the sense -- in
5 terms of his professionality -- professionalism, quality, and the scope
6 of work of such a large ministry that was part of your government; do you
7 agree with me?
8 A. No, I don't agree. I disagree completely. Your questions and
9 your arguments and so on and so forth in the spirit of -- are in the
10 spirit of your client. What I want to say is --
11 Q. Mr. Djeric, all right, all right, you've responded. I'm
12 satisfied with the answer. Mr. Djeric, Mr. Djeric --
13 MS. KORNER: No, you cannot interrupt a witness's answer like
14 this because you don't like what he is going to say. He must be allowed
15 to finish his answer.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Madam Korner and Your Honours, the
17 witness has answered my question. I'm running the procedure, I'm putting
18 the questions, and I'm not going to remind Ms. Korner about the way she
19 questions witnesses, and I was never opposed to such a manner. Stop,
20 stop, stop, so I'm telling my witness stop. I received an answer.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you didn't get an answer. I
22 had only just began to answer.
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] The specific answer was that you
24 disagree with me, and we don't have to agree; is that correct?
25 A. But I wanted to answer you as well. It's not only that I
1 disagree. Your Honours, in the minutes or in the report you have a place
2 where it says -- where it is emphasised that this entire problem was made
3 up by the prime minister and that the prime minister is rebelling against
4 the president of the republic and that is why he is not tolerating these
5 two ministers and so on and so forth. This is not true, this is not
6 true. I knew very well what my position was and what the position of the
7 president of the republic was. Especially during a regime of one party.
8 So this whole story is made up. I exclusively had problems with those
9 two ministers because they did not engage themselves sufficiently on the
10 implementation of the policies of the government. Nothing more than
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Now that you are talking about the president, did you yourself
14 say we have to put to him his testimony in the Krajisnik case because
15 it's been admitted into evidence, did you yourself say that you diverged
16 in concept from the president of the republic, that he wanted a strong
17 presidential system and you were against the government being
18 marginalised; is that where you diverged?
19 A. Well, this was resolved by the constitution. The position of the
20 government and the position of the president. But we had different ideas
21 primarily as regards the effectiveness of government. Because the
22 president, when these two ministries are concerned, in particular said
23 we'll deal with this later, but I wanted things to be dealt with. I
24 wanted prosecutions to take place in compliance with the government
1 Q. Well, what prosecutions did you want to take place?
2 A. Well, I wanted everything done in compliance with the conclusions
3 of the government. Because as you see we spoke about the security of
4 persons and property, about crime. Crime was the greatest evil in our
5 society at that time.
6 Q. Very well. When it comes to prosecutions --
7 JUDGE HALL: You will remember the caution, counsel and witness,
8 about allowing a gap so the interpreters can keep up.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Let me just check whether
10 everything is in the transcript.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, before you proceed, I would be
12 grateful if you would be kind enough to explain where you are going with
13 all of this? For a long time we have been dealing with the issue of
14 whether or not this witness was satisfied with your client's work during
15 government time in 1992. And whatever the reason is, as much as I can
16 figure out, this witness was not satisfied with Mr. Stanisic's
17 performance in the government. And allegations have been made, I don't
18 know whether they are substantiated, allegations have been made that
19 apparently there was some rift between the government and the Presidency
20 and Stanisic apparently -- apparently I emphasise was on the side of
21 Karadzic. Now how does this assist your case? That's what I don't
22 understand. This is why I'm asking where you are going with this.
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] As the witness mentioned,
24 prosecutions I intend to put one more document in this line of
25 questioning, and I think it will answer your question. I propose that we
1 ask the witness to leave then I can answer your question. We could
2 discuss arguments and cases when the witness leaves.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm not interested in your answer. I'm
4 interested in how this witness can testify and contribute to the finding
5 of the truth.
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Well, that's the direction I'm
7 going in, and I wish to put a document to the witness and ask him to
8 comment on it. Could the witness be shown 65 ter 179.
9 Q. It's 66, Mr. Djeric, in your binder. The last document in your
10 binder. Mr. Djeric, have you found it?
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. Mr. Stanisic's letter sent to you personally and to the president
13 of the republic personally. Do you see it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you see the contents of the letter? Take a look. As you see,
16 in this letter, Mr. Stanisic in the first part of the letter as a
17 professional, draws attention to the danger that war crimes might be
18 committed and not prosecuted. He refers to international conventions and
19 claims that you personally have not sufficiently activated yourself in
20 dealing with these matters. Yesterday I showed you Mr. Stanisic's order
21 form from the field, and here on page 2 you see he says regardless of who
22 the perpetrators are and what their ethnicity is.
23 I asked you, Mr. Djeric, yesterday or on Friday, who raised the
24 issue of war crimes in the government, the issue of documenting war
25 crimes, prosecuting war crimes, and you didn't answer my question. You
1 didn't want to answer it.
2 A. Well, the government put this on the agenda at my initiative as
3 the prime minister. I'm the one who was leading the government proposing
4 agendas and so on and so forth.
5 Q. And was this letter -- what prompted you to put this item on the
7 A. No, this letter is a manoeuvre by Mr. Stanisic after pressure
8 from me to replace these two ministers, in particular Minister Stanisic,
9 so he went on the counter-offensive trying to have me replaced. When
10 they saw that the president was on their side, they went on the offensive
11 against me and that's why he wrote this letter, and I was the one
12 actually who prompted the government to deal with violations of laws and
13 regulations and to prosecute all this. You can see this from the
15 Q. Mr. Djeric, Mr. Stanisic did not stop at this letter. I showed
16 you yesterday specific documents dealing with -- discovering the
17 perpetrators of war crimes and prosecuting them. Do you remember when
18 and at what government session you initiated discussion of this issue?
19 A. Well, I was the one proposing the agenda, so it was my initiative
20 that this issue be discussed.
21 Q. Mr. Djeric, finally, wouldn't it be fair to answer my question by
22 saying that you accepted your minister's initiative in putting this item
23 on the agenda?
24 A. No, that's not how it was. I'm the one who implemented the
25 government policy and its programme and carried out our duties. And it's
1 highly impertinent to say to me that I was the one obstructing this.
2 There are witnesses who can testify to who did what.
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, since you often use the term government, the
4 government did this, the government did that, who was the government?
5 Were you the government?
6 A. Well, it wasn't me. It was the ministries. It was the organ
7 coordinating the ministries.
8 Q. And Mr. Stanisic with his minister, was he the government?
9 A. Well, he was a member of the government.
10 Q. So the results of his work on this issue are successes of the
11 government, results of the government, but you cannot take the credit for
12 this yourself without saying that he contributed?
13 A. Well, that's not in dispute. But every president, or rather,
14 every prime minister wants to achieve better results. And I --
15 Q. I do apologise. Mr. Djeric, I finished with these documents. It
16 is my duty to take you through some documents of the government sessions
17 and Assembly sessions and the National Security Council. I'm not duty
18 bound to explain the reasons for this to you, in order to evaluate the
19 possibility for the implementation of certain documents. I think that we
20 owe an explanation to the Bench as to how the Republika Srpska got its
21 president. You didn't answer that question, if you remember.
22 A. What president?
23 Q. The collective for Presidency and the president. You said that
24 Radovan Karadzic was only a member of a party and that you don't know how
25 he came to perform that duty.
1 A. I don't know. I don't remember, that is, when this Presidency
2 was appointed. I remember very well when he was elected at the Assembly.
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, you were the prime minister, you are a university
4 professor. I expected you to be aware of certain basic things from our
5 constitution and that you will be able to tell the Bench.
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the
7 constitution of Republika Srpska, that's 65 ter 49.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, we may have, but can you inform us before we
9 leave this document what is the date of the letter?
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. 18th of July
11 1989 [as interpreted] on the last page. It's not on the first page, it's
12 on the last page that the date is mentioned. Yes, the 18th of July,
13 1992. May I proceed?
14 Could we now have the constitution, please. 65 ter 49. And
15 could we come to the end, the final provisions. 140. Could you scroll
16 down until we come to 140. Article 137. Changes -- amendments, that is.
17 Q. Mr. Djeric, Article 142, on the monitor. It's on the monitor. I
18 don't think you have this in hard copy. Let's just see it in English.
20 It says:
21 "The Constitution of the Republic may be amended by a
22 constitutional amendment or a constitutional law."
23 Do you know about this?
24 A. Yes, I see it here.
25 Q. Do you know that on the 28th of February, the Assembly adopted
1 the constitutional law on the implementation of the constitution of the
2 Serbian republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. I don't remember that.
4 Q. Very well.
5 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Then I would like to have this
6 document shown you, 1D00-4266. In the Serbian version it's further down.
7 It's further down. On the right-hand side there is a column where the
8 law begins. Over -- technically you can now move on to the next page.
9 Article 4. Excellent. And now in the English version, can we have the
10 same article and then we can deal with this.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Djeric --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for counsel.
15 JUDGE HALL: Please continue, Mr. Cvijetic.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Djeric, please read Articles 4, 5, and 6. These mention the
18 government. In Article 4, the manner of election of the president of the
19 republic is provided for. I wish to jog your memory, and that's in
20 Article 5, item 2:
21 "Until the election of the president of the republic, the
22 function of the president shall be carried out by the members of the
23 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina..." and so on.
24 A. No, it's not that I don't remember that. I do remember that.
25 Those two members of the Presidency represent the president.
1 Q. Very well.
2 A. And they performed the office.
3 Q. And that's how continuity was maintained until the election of
4 the Presidency, the collective Presidency. And now we have this law on
5 amendments to the constitution, and it's in the package, Your Honour,
6 which has not been admitted into evidence yet, so I will just read out
7 the provision which refers to changes in the way the president is
8 elected. This Article 5 that you read out was amended, and now it reads
9 as follows:
10 "Until the election of the president of the republic, the office
11 of president will be carried out by a three-member Presidency elected by
12 the Assembly of the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
13 And then the next item is:
14 "The Presidency shall elect the president from the ranks of its
16 Mr. Djeric, this amendment to the constitution was adopted on the
17 12th of May 1992 by the Assembly. Ms. Korner showed you the minutes, and
18 I can show them too, from the Presidency session which you attended on
19 that day when Radovan Karadzic was unanimously elected president of the
20 Presidency. You were there too?
21 A. I don't remember that.
22 Q. I find it hard to believe that.
23 A. Well, I may have left for a moment, but I really don't remember
24 that. I don't remember it.
25 Q. Mr. Djeric, I can't but tell you, you attended the Assembly
1 session presided over by Mr. Krajisnik. When you were shown the minutes,
2 you said they were false, that they were a pure forgery?
3 A. I don't understand.
4 Q. In the Krajisnik case when you testified, I'm not sure whether by
5 Mr. Stewart or by the Prosecutor, but you were shown the minutes from the
6 Presidency session not attended by Mr. Karadzic and Mrs. Plavsic, and you
7 attended it, and you said that this was a forgery pure and simple; is
8 that what you said?
9 A. I said that because I don't remember, I don't remember Krajisnik
10 presiding. That's my argument. It was either these two members who
11 presided or later on it was Radovan. That's what I can remember. Both
12 then and now.
13 Q. It's page 27025 -- 095 --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Krajisnik case line 15. Judge Orie put this to you. And you
17 said to Judge Orie:
18 "That is a forgery pure and simple."
19 A. I don't remember. I don't remember that Krajisnik presided over
20 the Presidency. I said it then, and I'm saying it now.
21 Q. Mr. Djeric, I can't help telling you this --
22 MS. KORNER: Sorry, you need then to look at what he said further
23 about this at page 27172 when he was cross-examined about that assertion.
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if I have the next
25 page. This is the only page I've brought with me.
1 Q. But can you explain what you meant?
2 A. I don't remember Krajisnik ever, ever presiding over a Presidency
4 Q. Mr. Djeric, I really am trying to preserve your credibility, but
5 with respect to the government instructions put to you by Judge Orie, I
6 have the page number and everything, you said that's a forgery too. Page
7 27108, line 18.
8 A. I don't know what you are referring to.
9 Q. The document I put to you first yesterday, government
10 instructions on the work of the Crisis Staffs.
11 A. I explained to you that I -- there was a document, some sort of
12 instructions, and I sent this document to the Crisis Staffs because of my
13 own responsibility. As I said, I said that I think Karadzic also signed
14 this document.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The page number was
17 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Mr. Cvijetic. It's no good partially
18 quoting. He was further asked questions about that at page -- of the
19 Krajisnik transcript page 27163, when he said that he didn't remember.
20 Not that it was a forgery. You must, must make a note of all the
21 references in the transcript.
22 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness
23 responded, and he explained what he meant when he said that it was
24 completely fabricated, and this is the problem. You don't seem to
25 remember that much, Mr. Djeric. That seems to be the case in my opinion.
1 JUDGE HALL: The point that counsel for the Prosecution was
2 making is that you are putting to a witness a previous inconsistent
3 statement but you are only putting a part of it because, as she says,
4 later on in the transcript on which you are relying, he explains what he
5 says, so in fairness to the witness and so that it makes sense to the
6 Chamber, you have to put it in its entirety, and that's the second time
7 she's had to make that intervention.
8 So notwithstanding what the witness -- what answer you were able
9 to elicit from the witness today, sometime after the Krajisnik trial the
10 proper context of the question would require you to put the full
11 quotation to the witness. It's quite simple.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I accept your
13 intervention, of course. I looked at the entire transcript and I also
14 looked -- listened to the audio records. It's been admitted as an
15 exhibit. You are going to listen to it and you are going to find the
16 place where the witness questions his own signature on the document. So
17 this was part of the testimony -- or the record of his testimony
19 Q. Witness, you objected to the attendance or lack of attendance at
20 the government sessions?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did the government adopt a decision that due to frequent sessions
23 and the commitments of the ministers they designate deputies or
24 representatives who would attend these meetings in their absence; do you
25 remember that?
1 A. Well, yes, there was that possibility.
2 Q. Please, please, not the possibility. Is there a government
3 decision on that?
4 A. It's possible that we had agreed to do that, and that is the
5 practice. Sometimes if the minister is unable to attend, then a deputy
6 should attend.
7 Q. Was that logical because of a large number of sessions and the
8 fact that the ministers had to do their job?
9 A. Well, it was not a consequence of it being logical because there
10 were too many sessions, but it was a consequence of perhaps too many
11 commitments that the ministers had.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] All Right. I'm going to show you
13 the minutes of a government session of the 22nd of July, 1992. This is
14 the 41st session, and it's Exhibit 65 ter 929. Page 2 in the Serbian and
15 perhaps it could be the case that it is also page 2 in the English. Let
16 us just see because in the B/C/S on the second page it's at the end so
17 perhaps let's see if in the English it's also at the bottom of page 2.
18 Well, the B/C/S is good. Now let us find the English, please. Just take
19 it slowly. All right. Yes, that's it.
20 Q. Mr. Djeric, do you see on the screen one of your ministers,
21 Momcilo Mandic makes the objection that there is no quorum at the
22 meeting, that the number of ministers is not enough for the government to
23 be able to work properly. Mr. Djeric, the minister, about whom you claim
24 was attending irregularly, was the most persistent on insisting that the
25 government should work in its full composition. How do you interpret
2 A. The government could not work and its decisions could not be in
3 force unless there was the required number of ministers. This is
4 something that was never done. Please find me a decision that was
5 adopted without a -- all the legal requirements being met.
6 Q. I'm not saying that. I'm saying that the next speaker at the
7 session of the government, Mr. Mico Stanisic remarks and objects because
8 the minister of foreign affairs, Aleksa Buha was not attending the
9 session, so the second minister, about whom you said did not attend
10 regularly, intervened and remarked that another different minister was
11 not attending the government session. How do you interpret that?
12 A. Well, if they were not present perhaps they were doing their
13 duties. As minister of foreign affair, perhaps he had some other
14 commitments. I mean, his job was not to spend time at Pale at the
15 Presidency or the government seat. That was not part of his job.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not interpret two or three
17 questions and answers.
18 JUDGE HALL: I just want to alert you that you have 10 minutes
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't even need
21 more than that.
22 Q. So Mr. Stanisic objected because Mr. Aleksa Buha did not attend,
23 and you in turn justify that absence by stating and by telling the
24 government that at a meeting of the Presidency it was agreed that the
25 seat of the foreign ministry is in Belgrade; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. The president asked him that he worked there, and Buha was
2 very tightly connected to him, so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was
3 closely connected to the political leadership.
4 Q. And let me remind you, earlier in response to my answers --
5 questions when I asked you why Buha was not good to you, you said that
6 he -- that was because he leaned towards Belgrade too much.
7 A. Well, I never said that. You interpreted that to mean that he
8 was leaning too much towards Belgrade. I think that is your decision. I
9 never said anything like that. This is a question of your decision.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes that the speakers are
11 going too fast for a proper interpretation.
12 JUDGE HALL: You heard what the interpreters have said. The gap
13 between question and answer.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Q. Like this, I'm not going to bother you any more about the
16 sessions, the positions. I would like to say something about the work
17 that is expecting us -- that is awaiting us, Your Honours, about these
18 documents. I would like to ask the witness about something.
19 A. Your Honours --
20 Q. Permit me, we have another 10 minutes, and I'm not going allow
21 you to even take a second of that time. I'm not even going to grant you
22 one second.
23 A. Well, I never said that the reason was because he was leaning
24 towards Belgrade. That is your interpretation.
25 Q. Please be patient. You are taking my seconds from me. The Trial
1 Chamber will weigh your answer.
2 Mr. Djeric, I would like to ask you a principled question. You
3 attended many Assembly sessions of the Assembly of Republika Srpska; is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Yes or no, just say that?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. I'm only asking you, don't be afraid. I'm just asking you
9 whether you did or didn't. Did you listen to the addresses of those
10 deputies who spoke?
11 A. Yes, when I was present I did listen.
12 Q. The Prosecutor showed you the addresses of deputies Prstojevic,
13 Madam Plavsic, and so on. I'm going to remind you about Mr. Prstojevic,
14 you said in relation to him that you couldn't know what he was thinking
15 when he was stating certain political positions or plans; is that
17 A. Well, I don't remember putting it quite that way.
18 Q. All right. I para-phased. The question was, what do you think
19 Mr. Prstojevic meant when his address was being quoted, so I'm asking you
20 concretely, can you remember that you said that Biljana Plavsic did have
21 a right to her own opinion and that --
22 A. Yes, you are para-phrasing again. This is bothering me. I
23 didn't say that she had the right to her own opinion. But what I said
24 was that this is her opinion and she stated that opinion. We are not
25 saying the same thing.
1 Q. All right. If these things are different that we are saying,
2 then I'm asking you, does every deputy have the right to their own
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does the constitution guarantee that a deputy can say anything at
6 the podium in the Assembly without replying, does it not say that?
7 A. Yes, that is parliamentary practice that any deputy can state
8 their own opinion.
9 Q. All right. Deputies, using that right of theirs in exercising
10 their right, did they frequently present some sort of personal promotion
11 or promote their region and then after those addresses of theirs, there
12 was no political action or any kind of parliamentary or Assembly decision
13 as a result of that address; am I right?
14 A. The deputies freely voiced their opinions. They discussed
16 Q. My question is, by taking out of context parts of certain
17 addresses, are you able to reach conclusions about the policies of a
18 state or a parliamentary body? Are there any dangers in that?
19 A. Yes, there's always a danger in taking things out of context,
21 Q. All right. Would it be the most proper thing then to take into
22 account only the final product of the Assembly, some law that it adopts
23 or a declaration, a resolution, and to consider them as the basis of some
24 policy being conducted by the Assembly; am I correct?
25 A. The products are the most important things, the outcome. But in
1 any case, part of the policy is also the discussion, all of that.
2 Q. Now I'm going to talk about the way or the manner of conducting a
3 discussion or a debate. If a third person is making the minutes and then
4 summarises your address in three sentences in the third person, so to
5 say, and that that person chooses what is relevant in summarising that,
6 can you draw conclusions on the basis of such a summary?
7 A. Well, that should not be the case. You are asking me now
8 something that, you know, I did not have the opportunity to look at the
9 minutes, how they were summarised, how this was done.
10 Q. I'm asking this because all the minutes, there is an Assembly and
11 then there is the summary of government meetings, they were all
12 summarised in the third person, and the summaries were two or three
13 sentences per person. Is this an authentic way of noting down what is
14 said and can it be taken as a authentic substance of the discussion?
15 A. You are asking me something that --
16 MS. KORNER: Sorry. Are you suggesting the Assembly minutes are
17 like that? They are not, they are taped. The government minutes, I
18 agree, but you said the Assembly. Do you mean the Assembly?
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Both. Well, you didn't understand
20 me. I found also an Assembly session whose minutes were done in a
21 summarised form. This is the 13th Assembly session of the 24th of March.
22 This is 65 ter 291.
23 MS. KORNER: But I'm sorry. You were dealing with the Assembly
24 where Mrs. Plavsic and Prstojevic spoke. That was a taped Assembly. Or
25 are you just saying there was one Assembly where there wasn't tapes?
1 That's what is not clear on the transcript, Mr. Cvijetic.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Correct, Madam Korner. I just
3 referred to one matter from the Assembly and the bulk of the example
4 relates to the government meetings where the minutes were taken in
5 summary form of the proceedings, so you are right, the Assembly sessions
6 were taped and then later transcribed, but government sessions were
7 recorded in this form that I'm referring to. I'm saying the whole of
8 this thing in order to see whether we would be able to use this document
9 or this -- these documents as authentic documents.
10 Q. Mr. Djeric, do you know how the government session meeting
11 minutes were processed?
12 A. Well, you asked me --
13 Q. Now I'm going to give you a specific question. Who summarised
14 the discussion?
15 A. This was done by the government secretary. She took minutes.
16 She was responsible for the minutes and so on and so forth.
17 Q. Do you consider that he is qualified to summarise your, let's
18 say, voluminous discussion or discussion by some other member of the
19 government? Is he fit to properly summarise what was being said and pick
20 the most important things? Can he perhaps fail in this task?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: First part of the
22 witness's answer we did not catch.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it depends whether there was
24 a proposal of some discussion or, I don't know exactly what to answer.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. All right.
2 A. Whether he can or not, I mean.
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. All right. Well, they are saying that the first part of your
5 answer was not recorded. Can you please repeat now what you said. If
6 I'm not mistaken, who summarised?
7 A. The minutes were summarised by the secretary of the government.
8 And he is the person who, according to his job specification and the
9 usual practice was charged with taking minutes of government sessions and
10 he did that in the manner that is presented here.
11 Q. Okay. So my question --
12 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Cvijetic --
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no more
14 question, I have no more questions, I have no more questions. Just one.
15 Just one. I'm finishing. I'm finishing with this.
16 Q. My question was, I am afraid that the answer was not recorded,
17 would such a summary of the minutes regardless of his qualifications has
18 the potential danger that he did not accurately summarise the discussion
19 in three sentences that was much longer than that? Is there such a
21 A. Well, if somebody deliberately would like to do something, that
22 is always possible.
23 Q. All right. Mr. Djeric --
24 A. Some minutes were adopted.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. Djeric. Thank you
1 very much, Your Honours, I have finished with my cross-examination, and I
2 think that some procedural questions about these minutes we can discuss
3 without the witness. As far as I'm concerned, I have no further
4 questions for this witness. Thank you.
5 MS. KORNER: Just before Mr. Pantelic cross-examines. Can I say
6 that the answers to the questions about Mr. Prstojevic and Mrs. Plavsic
7 come in the transcript of the 30th of October 2370. And Mr. Cvijetic's
8 summary is perhaps not very accurate.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Pantelic. Sorry, Mr. Cvijetic --
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, while we wait for Mr. Pantelic to get
12 prepared, there is one intervention in the transcript. Page 55, row 12.
13 Mr. Cvijetic said 65 ter 2 -- sorry, can I just -- let me just check the
14 other number, Your Honours. Please just bear with me. He said 65 ter 29
15 -- sorry. We will make a proper objection. I'm sorry, he lost it
16 because I didn't want to interrupt and now I forgot the number. I'm
18 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, may I proceed, please?
19 JUDGE HALL: Yes, please.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Pantelic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Djeric. I'm attorney
23 Igor Pantelic, and I am defending Stojan Zupljanin.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. The best way for us to speed things up is that when I put the
1 question to you, you can look on your screen and when the cursor stops
2 moving then you can begin your answer because then we are also helping
3 the court reporters and the interpreters. I think it's proper to proceed
4 in this way.
5 Mr. Djeric, I formed the impression from your testimony and on
6 the basis of analysis of the documents in this case, that you, in spite
7 of major difficulties in the beginning of the establishment of Republika
8 Srpska, nevertheless worked professionally and diligently when you were
9 prime minister; is that correct?
10 A. As to my work, others can evaluate it, but I did my best to build
11 rule of law and to secure conduct that was in keeping with the law.
12 Q. And with that goal in mind you placed a lot of emphasis on having
13 the Justice Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior do their duties
14 professionally; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, because I considered them to be key ministries without which
16 there would be no government. If those two ministries did not function
17 at the appropriate level, the government would not be a successful one
19 Q. And in terms of the Army of Republika Srpska, a member of your
20 government was the minister of defence; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But, of course, the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska in
23 the professional sense carried out its duties in relation to the
24 organisation of defence of Republika Srpska and in military
25 organisations; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, in cooperation with the command of course, meaning the
3 Q. But you and I can agree that the basic principle is that when war
4 operations are underway, the military commander is the main coordinator
5 in all aspects in a specific area of responsibility; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's how it was for the most part. In places where
7 operations were being conducted from what I know everything was
8 subordinated to the army.
9 Q. And in that context, from what I can remember, a meeting was held
10 of the extended War Presidency in June 1992. This is document on 65 ter
11 list 1229. You mentioned that document in response to a question by
12 Ms. Korner.
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the Registry
14 to show the document on the screen, please. 65 ter 1229. Thank you very
16 Q. At this meeting General Gvero informed, as we can see in
17 paragraph 2 of these minutes, he reported of a certain situation in the
18 area of the Banja Luka corps because it was noted that there were
19 widespread crimes prevalent in that area; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, yes, yes, I was just looking at it.
21 Q. Also in item 11, it was decided to draft instructions to the
22 Serbian Army, Army of Republika Srpska, in relation to the compulsory
23 provisions of the Geneva Conventions; is that correct? Are you able to
24 see paragraph 11?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now we are going to look at another document that is related to
2 this one because this document, if I'm not mistaken, is dated the 9th of
3 June, 1992.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Now, I would like to ask the
5 Registry to put on the screen for us our document 2D07-0049, which is in
6 the e-court.
7 Q. Probably this copy is not the best, but can you please look at
8 this document. It's dated the 20th of June 1992, and the Main Staff is
9 sending a dispatch and instructions out. Can we please scroll up so that
10 we can see who signed the document and to whom the document was sent.
11 We can see the document was drafted by Milan Gvero, General
12 Gvero, and that it was sent to the command of the 1st, 2nd Krajina Corps
13 and to certain brigades; is that correct, Mr. Djeric?
14 A. Well, I'm unable to know that.
15 Q. Well, we are just noting whether that is what it says in this
16 document. I'm not asking you if you know whether this was dispatched or
17 not. I mean, it's in the document, you can see it, right? Now, if we
18 look at paragraph 1 of this document, we can see there that the Main
19 Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska in paragraph 1 is talking about
20 cases of retribution against -- or reprisals against innocent people such
21 as looting, burning, destruction, and mistreatment. Then it says that
22 such actions damage the reputation and the moral image of the Serbian
23 soldier. Can you see that?
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the transcript, do we have the answer?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters did not hear the witness's answer.
2 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Could you please repeat for the sake of the record?
4 A. What should I repeat?
5 Q. Do you see what it says in item 1?
6 A. Yes, but I need time to read it.
7 Q. Well, please go ahead, read it.
8 MS. KORNER: While that is happening can I just ask, because
9 we've got two witnesses here at the moment, how long Mr. Pantelic thinks
10 he is going to be. I think we might as well send one away.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Ten minutes more.
12 MS. KORNER: Okay.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can you complete your cross-examination?
14 MS. KORNER: Re-examination. Yes, it's going to be fairly short.
15 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. So, for the transcript, Mr. Djeric, in item 1 you've read it,
17 have you?
18 A. I have.
19 Q. And it says that the Main Staff is pointing out that members of
20 the army have to respect certain international norms and not allow
21 retribution against the civilian population; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I assume that at government level, attention was drawn to the
24 fact that the army needed to prevent such occurrences, the army was told
25 about this; is that right?
1 A. Well, that was our standpoint in general. As you were able to
2 see, I wrote. But the army as an institution was a problem of the
3 Presidency. The government had no connection to the ministry except for
4 quartermaster affairs, financing and so on. I'm saying this for the
5 simple reason that the idea of government, the concept of government has
6 been transposed to various other institutions, and that's how certain
7 problems arose.
8 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] I have to apologise, I don't know
9 if this is in e-court. I just have the ERN number. It's 03605772.
10 Let's just see whether we have this document in evidence.
11 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Pantelic, the -- it's 5.20. It's time for the
12 usual break.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
14 MS. KORNER: Can I assist, Mr. Pantelic. It's 65 ter 2673.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you so much.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Recess taken at 5.20 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 5.43 p.m.
19 JUDGE HALL: While the witness is on his way back in I just
20 wanted to alert counsel, they may have heard it already, of the shift on
21 Thursday from the afternoon to the morning.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE HALL: You are about to show a document to the witness,
24 Mr. Pantelic.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, Your Honour. This is, thanks to the
1 intervention of my learned friend Ms. Korner, this is 65 ter document
2 2673, please.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Djeric, this is a document which is
4 practically an order issued by the government of the 21st of May, 1992.
5 In the preamble, as you see, the session was held on the 21st of May; is
6 that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the gist of this order is, if I'm not wrong, in view of the
9 fact that wartime activities are going on, the movements of men liable
10 for military service or conscripts are to be limited, and those who fail
11 to respect this will have measures taken against them by the military
12 organs; is that right?
13 MS. KORNER: It may just be my screen, but all I've got in front
14 of me is the B/C/S.
15 JUDGE HALL: Same here.
16 MS. KORNER: It would be nice to have the English.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE HALL: Yes, I think we all have it now.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honours have it in English, do you? I don't.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Djeric, I'm looking at point 3, item 3 of this order. It
22 came into effect right after it was adopted, and it was sent to the
23 municipal Crisis Staffs, was it not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. We may conclude then that the government in cooperation with the
1 appropriate ministry, it was the Ministry of Defence in this case, took
2 all measures to put all available human resources at the service of the
3 defence of the republic?
4 A. Well, this was done by the Ministry of Defence which was in
5 charge of mobilisation so that --
6 Q. Yes, that was the goal, was it not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Djeric.
9 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] I would now like us to see the
10 document which my colleague Mr. Cvijetic discussed -- let me just see
11 what number it is. It's MFI P260.
12 MS. KORNER: It's 1229. 65 ter 1229.
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I have
14 only ERN number. It's 00949847. No, no, it is the other one. 65 ter
15 1129 [sic]. 65 ter 129. Yes, thank you.
16 MS. KORNER: 229, I think.
17 MR. PANTELIC: 65 ter 192. Then we have a -- mixing up
18 something. Mr. Cvijetic has a number of 65 ter 192, but obviously it is
19 not the same.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: That was the report on paramilitary formations.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, paramilitary formation, Your Honour. Yes.
22 Okay. Thank you.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Djeric, when answering questions put to you
24 by my colleague Mr. Cvijetic, you looked at this document. As the author
25 of this document, is the security service of the Main Staff, Colonel
1 Zdravko Tolimir, who was the chief, tell me the following: In your
2 contact with Colonel Tolimir, did you see him as a professional, a
3 military professional? Was that your assessment of him?
4 A. Please, I didn't make any assessments of Tolimir. I didn't have
5 any contacts with him because he was in the military line and had contact
6 with the Presidency. He had nothing to do with me. That was the army.
7 And the president of the republic had relations with the army. I neither
8 assessed him and I -- nor was I involved in any of this. I was very far
9 away from it. The government had no connection at all. It had nothing
10 to do with military cadres apart from mobilisation, the quartermaster
11 service, the budget, financing. That was what the Ministry of Defence
12 dealt with.
13 Q. Would you agree with me if I said that the armies of Republika
14 Srpska, the Muslim Federation, the HVO consisted of former officers of
15 the JNA for the most part?
16 A. Well, there were professional officers there, but to what extent
17 they made up the army, I can't say with any precision. It's correct that
18 there were former officers there in the armies.
19 Q. Bearing in mind that they had gone through rather good military
20 training, we have no reason to doubt that they were professionals in
21 their job, that they knew how do their job; isn't that right?
22 A. Well, that's how it should be.
23 Q. And this report compiled by Colonel Tolimir on behalf of the Main
24 Staff, as it mentions events that you yourself referred to, we have no
25 reason to doubt the authenticity of this report?
1 A. Well, I cannot verify it, I cannot check it, I can only accept it
2 as it stands, but I have no knowledge of this.
3 Q. Very well. You know that there were paramilitary formations?
4 A. Well, that's another issue. But as for Tolimir and the army, I
5 can't speak about that because simply they had no links to me. As for
6 paramilitary formations, that's another issue.
7 Q. This document was compiled by the security service of the Army of
8 Republika Srpska, the author is Colonel Tolimir, and it speaks of
9 paramilitary formations. You went through this with my colleague
10 Mr. Cvijetic; isn't that right?
11 A. Yes, I did, but I was even asked by one of the Judges, and I can
12 answer his question now, that paramilitary formations were
13 extra-institutional. They emerged at a certain point of time. There
14 were various groups of various strengths, but what was most important
15 certain local authorities and even commercial enterprises or companies
16 from those areas recruited and paid these units. They found them, the
17 members in Serbia and throughout the region, they brought them there to
18 guard their villages, and quite simply, they found men, paid them, and
19 these local authorities often used the budgets of the local companies to
20 pay the wages of these groups. And it was very hard --
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Did they also arm these groups?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who armed them. I
23 don't know, but I believe that the local authorities and the companies
24 paid for everything, and these groups had their own interests, and later
25 on, it was very difficult to deal with these groups because they got used
1 to having their own interests there. So it was very difficult to
2 eliminate them. They became very deeply routed in these areas, and it
3 was very difficult to get rid of them. It was very difficult to deal
4 with them afterwards.
5 I heard about some of the groups mentioned here and others I've
6 never heard of mentioned here. For example, Suva Rebra I've never heard
7 of them. As for Arkan's men, Seselj's men, Captain Dragan, yes, I have
8 heard of them.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: But, sorry, some of the groups apparently were
10 not recruited on a local basis such as, for instance, Seselj's men, I
11 would imagine that they would be recruited through Mr. Seselj's political
12 party. Can you confirm this, that some of the groups were not recruited
13 on any local basis but were recruited throughout Serbia and in Bosnia?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I didn't say that these were
15 local people, but it was the local authorities who found these men in the
16 general area. Most often they were not local people. There may have
17 been some local people who joined them, I don't know. I can't be precise
18 about this, but they were found in the general area and paid.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Now, it appears that at least at some point the
20 paramilitary groups were assisting the army in some of the combat
21 operations in that they would perform ancillary duties during and after
22 combat operations. Are you able to provide any information about the
23 relations that existed between the paramilitary groups and the army based
24 on the knowledge or the information that you received as prime minister?
25 What I'm asking you is that since we have seen that apparently the
1 problem of controlling the paramilitaries was brought up at several
2 occasions in meetings not only in the Presidency, but also in the
3 Assembly, so you must have been present at at least some of the occasions
4 where these problems were discussed. And so my first question to you is,
5 from that information that you received during these meetings, did you or
6 were you able to form any opinion about how the army and the paramilitary
7 formations worked together? And, sir, if you don't know then just say
8 so, but please be brief.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I heard that they
10 had problems because in the end the army wanted to get rid of
11 paramilitary formations as well. The government discussed this issue
12 more than once and demanded that these paramilitary formations be
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand that this was the -- I understand
15 that this was the position of the -- of your government, that they should
16 be prevented from taking any part in the armed conflicts as such. But
17 what was the position in the Presidency and in the Assembly? Are you
18 able to tell us about this?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, they approved of that.
20 There were different views here held by the government and the
21 Presidency. The Presidency approved, as you were able to see from what
22 Mrs. Plavsic said in the discussion. She thought they were fighters and
23 so on and so forth. But the problem of these military units and armies,
24 it was more within the competency of the Presidency. We dealt with the
25 paramilitary formations insofar as they were obstructing normal life and
1 the normal order of things, and we asked that they be removed.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And you will agree with me when I say that both the government
5 and the Assembly and the Army of Republika Srpska issued several
6 decisions to put the paramilitary formations under the control of the
7 Army of Republika Srpska; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And now that we are looking at this document, let's look at page
10 5 of the Serbian version, and that's page 4 of the English version. In
11 paragraph 2, you see that this is about a paramilitary formation called
12 SOS from Banja Luka; is that right? Have you read this part?
13 A. Where is it?
14 Q. It's the second line from the top. The text begins "the Serbian
15 defence forces, SOS..." read just that paragraph.
16 A. It's not very legible.
17 Q. Have you read it?
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. What do we see here? We see that this paramilitary group, SOS,
20 was under the command of a man called Nenad Stevandic, and he was also
21 the president of the Serbian Sokol society; is that right? Do you happen
22 to know whether this is an association of people raising hawks, or do you
23 know what this society is?
24 A. It's a sports society. A sports association. It existed in the
25 time of the first Yugoslavia, the one that lasted from 1918 to 1941. I
1 don't know what this society dealt with specifically. It was called the
2 falcon, the falcon society, Sokol, falcon, but here the name reads
3 slightly differently, it's not Sokol, it's Sokolsko.
4 Q. And now an experienced intelligence man, Colonel Tolimir says in
5 his document that some private businessmen have a considerable influence
6 over this SOS group, leaders from the public security station in Banja
7 Luka as well. That's what it says here, does it not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. SJB is short for the local police station, public security
10 station; is that right? Do you know that this is the abbreviation?
11 A. Well, now you tell me, I know.
12 Q. What, you are not a policeman?
13 A. No, I'm not a policeman, I didn't work in the police.
14 Q. But it's quite simple, Mr. Djeric, it's a question of etymology.
15 Just for the sake of the record.
16 A. Well, if you tell me it's an abbreviation, I have no reason to
17 say it's not. You are just helping me to find my way in this document.
18 Q. Precisely so. So SJB is a local police station, is it not? It
19 refers to any local police station; is that right? For the sake of the
21 A. Yes, yes, I've already agreed to that. You have translated these
22 abbreviations to me, and I accept your explanation.
23 Q. SNB is the service of national security, so before 1992, this was
24 the state security, the DB, but then from 1992 there was a change in the
25 law so now that indicates the service of national security, SNB; is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And the experienced Colonel Tolimir goes on to say that a number
4 of criminals had infiltrated that group; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's what it says. I'm seeing this for the first time so
6 all I can do is note what I'm seeing.
7 Q. All right. But you know that in many such groups, there were
8 many criminals and persons of a dubious morality?
9 A. Yes, yes, like I said, that person was a businessman and so on.
10 Q. And now the document goes on and it said that a part of that unit
11 was incorporated into that formation of the Special Police detachment of
12 the CSB but is not under the actual command of the detachment or the CSB.
13 That's what it says, doesn't it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And finally, it says that a part of those -- that group of
16 criminals headed by a certain Branko Palackovic is investigative jail, so
17 something was done by the police to place these people under control; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you please now look at the last page of this document. That
21 is page 6 in the Serbian, and it's page 6 too in the English version.
22 And what we can see is that the dispatch was received on the 13th of
23 August 1992 at the 1st Krajina Corps in Banja Luka; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the conclusion in the document, which was drafted by the VRS
1 Main Staff, is that every armed Serb in the territory of the Serbian
2 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be under the single command of
3 the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and if not, would
4 need to be disarmed and subject to the provisions of the law; is that
6 A. Yes, that's what it says here.
7 Q. And I assume that you have some information that the army did
8 take certain measures and that once the military Prosecution and military
9 courts were formed, such crimes were prosecuted; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, I could see that here and that -- that's what they did, yes.
11 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Professor Djeric, I have no more
12 questions for you, Professor Djeric.
13 Re-examination by Ms. Korner:
14 Q. Mr. Djeric, I want to go back over a few matters that you were
15 asked about in the last few days. First of all, you told Mr. Cvijetic
16 yesterday when you were being shown a document about the Crisis Staff in
17 Banja Luka about a number of regions being cut off. Do you remember
18 saying that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The Krajina region, the Herzegovina region, so on and so forth.
21 For how long do you say these regions were cut off?
22 A. The Krajina was cut off until the units managed to break through,
23 until the corridor was formed. The corridor of life, as they called it.
24 But even then the corridor was not safe, it wasn't safe for a long time.
25 Q. Can you give us a rough date, before I put a date to you, when
1 the corridor was opened?
2 A. I am not able to. I think that it was in the summer, but simply
3 it wasn't in my domain, so I really don't -- I mean, it was a matter for
4 the army -- army, actions I'm unable to remember.
5 Q. Yes, but you've asserted that these areas were cut off, and I'm
6 just going to see if you can assist. Would the middle of July sound
7 about right, when the corridor was opened?
8 A. I know that it was summer when the corridor was opened, but it
9 did remain unsafe for a few months after that, but I think it was summer
10 when the corridor was opened.
11 Q. Yes, but we've looked at the minutes of the Assembly meeting of
12 the 24th of July, and a number of people were able to attend from the
13 Banja Luka area, weren't they, Mr. Djeric? Including Mr. Kupresanin?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So it can't have been that cut off by July, can it?
16 A. Look, until the corridor -- or before the corridor was
17 established, it was not possible to pass. We were unable to pass. It's
18 another matter if the army was able to get through by helicopters or some
19 other ways. I mean, regular people were unable to and we were not able
20 to pass through.
21 Q. Yes, but, sorry, Mr. Djeric. The Trial Chamber is going to hear
22 some evidence in any event about the corridor operations, but do you
23 accept -- do you agree you've seen the minutes, that Mr. Kupresanin was
24 at the meeting of the 24th of July? Just get the right date actually.
25 Yes, between the 24th and the 26th of July. Mr. Djeric?
1 A. I didn't see that report. You are mentioning Kupresanin. I
2 didn't --
3 Q. We looked at the minutes of the -- and you can have them up again
4 on the screen.
5 MS. KORNER: 65 ter 928, please. English it's page 40, and in
6 the B/C/S it's page 41.
7 Q. Did Mr. Kupresanin come from Banja Luka?
8 A. Yes, he is -- he comes from Banja Luka, so he should have come
9 from Banja Luka.
10 Q. Did Mr. --
11 A. I don't -- I have it on my screen now, yes.
12 Q. Did the gentleman below whose name I always have terrible
13 difficulty with, Cancar -- Cancar? Did he come from Foca?
14 A. Yes. Can you just please tell me where this Assembly session was
15 being held? I'm not able to follow.
16 Q. This Assembly session I can tell you, was held, I believe, in
17 Pale. I can confirm that in a minute. Sorry, just give me one moment,
18 and I can tell you where it was held.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: I think the meeting on 24th to 26th July was held
20 in Jahorina.
21 MS. KORNER: Jahorina. Jahorina. Thank you. Much the same
22 thing I think to all intents and purposes.
23 Q. Anyhow, I don't want to spend too much time on this, Mr. Djeric.
24 By July, it does appear, doesn't it, that areas which had at some stage
25 or another been cut off, had not -- were no longer cut off? Do you
1 accept that?
2 A. I do in principle accept that. As of the end of July definitely
3 it was possible to pass. I don't know what the security status of the
4 roads was though. I couldn't say that.
5 Q. Next I want to -- you were shown a document which was 65 ter 606
6 which was the Sanski Most Crisis Staff decision apparently appointing Mr.
7 Vrucinic. I don't want to have that up again, but could we look at,
8 please -- perhaps I can just ask you to deal with that without the
9 document. Were you aware that Mr. Zupljanin had in fact confirmed the
10 appointment of Mr. Vrucinic? Did you know that or not?
11 A. I didn't know. I didn't know.
12 MS. KORNER: Next I want you to have up again, please, 65 ter
13 176. You were asked about that yesterday at LiveNote 24 -- page 2459.
14 And it's page 3 of the English version, I think. Paragraph -- is this
15 the right one? Never mind that. I won't bother to ask you anything
16 about this.
17 Q. Then you were asked a number of questions about the TAS
18 Volkswagon saga. Now, you were shown a document, first of all -- I hope
19 this is the right number, 1398.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes, that's the one. Yes. I'm very sorry, there's
21 volumes of documents.
22 Q. Here. This was the report of the inspectors to the minister of
23 the interior.
24 MS. KORNER: Could we go to the second page in the English and
25 presumably the second page in the B/C/S, because it's the last paragraph.
1 Q. Now, I can't remember whether you said you ever saw this report,
2 I don't think you did. But do you see in the middle of that paragraph --
3 A. No, no, I haven't seen it before.
4 Q. For some reason you were shown this report. But in the middle of
5 the last paragraph do you see:
6 "In addition, Borislav Maksimovic stated that almost every one of
7 his police employees had stolen a Golf which can be seen, but they would
8 return them if anyone ever asked them to do so."
9 Now, were you aware that Mr. Maksimovic, who was in fact the
10 chief of the SJB, was saying that all of his employees had stolen the
12 A. I didn't know, and I didn't say. You mentioned me saying
13 something. I didn't say anything. I'm seeing these documents for the
14 first time.
15 Q. Yes, I know. You were shown this yesterday, so I thought I'd ask
16 you about that. Did Mico Stanisic ever report to you that his inspectors
17 were reporting to him that members of the police force were stealing
18 these Golfs?
19 A. I don't recall, no. It was, among other things, one of the key
20 points in the context of this entire problem that we were discussing, the
21 TAS factory, the Golf cars. I mean, that was a problematic issue.
22 MS. KORNER: Can I just correct line 15. I said, did Mico
23 Stanisic ever report to you that his inspectors were reporting to him.
24 Q. I want you to look at a couple of other documents about this
25 particular event.
1 MS. KORNER: Can we have up on the screen, please, 65 ter 3094.
2 That last report was the 12th of July. There's no English. Why is there
3 no English?
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Djeric, while we are looking for the
5 document, did you ever know about how many stolen Golfs this was about?
6 How many cars were involved? Because I'm a little bit surprised that
7 this is something the government was dealing with.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we'll see a reason why in a minute. If
9 I can get this -- I don't know why we only seem to have the B/C/S, but --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: All right. Sorry.
11 MS. KORNER: Have I got the right -- is this -- yes, 16th of
12 July. For some unknown reason, although I seemed to have managed to
13 download the English version last night, it doesn't appear ... Sorry.
14 All right, I can move on to a further document and come back to this one.
15 Can we try 65 ter 318.
16 Q. This again is the CSB from Romanija Birac reporting on the 27th
17 of August, 1992 about the Vlasenica SJB. Talking again about vehicles.
18 And saying:
19 "So far 23 vehicles have been confiscated which five have been
20 returned after checks. They stress there are big problems as a result of
21 constant requests from the political leadership and the Republika Srpska
22 MUP that vehicles be returned to certain persons without any checks, and
23 there have even been occasions when requests have been made for the
24 return of the vehicles that were being driven with obviously false
25 documents." Now, this relates to the political leadership and the MUP.
1 Were you aware of the -- anybody -- firstly, did you ever deal
2 with that?
3 A. Your question is not clear to me, excuse me.
4 Q. It talks about the political leadership ordering vehicles to be
5 returned. Did you ever make such request?
6 A. I would sometimes write to the army asking them to check if these
7 cars were being used to simply exclude them from the traffic. I remember
8 writing an order to the army to put a stop to these things. To the Main
10 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't follow that answer at all. What this note is
11 saying is that they have been, the SJB in Vlasenica has been confiscating
12 cars, there's not proper documentation. They say there's been an
13 interference from the political leadership and the Republika Srpska MUP
14 asking that vehicles be returned to persons without any checks. And I
15 didn't quite understand your answer. Did you ever write, not to the
16 army, but to the police, saying they should return vehicles to people who
17 had been stopped?
18 A. I don't recall writing, but it was asked of the Ministry of the
19 Interior to be active in that respect. I don't recall, although, I did
20 make efforts to put this under control, to prevent these thefts.
21 Q. I'm sorry, I still don't understand your answer, Mr. Djeric, but
22 I think it's getting late so I'll move on. Can I now come back to the
23 document --
24 A. I don't understand your question so that's why it's hard for me
25 to answer it.
1 Q. The police here -- I'll try one more time. The police here are
2 complaining there is political interference in their work from people who
3 are in the leadership, who when they stop people and take away cars
4 because they don't have proper papers, someone in the leadership orders
5 the police in Vlasenica to return them. And I'm asking whether you ever
6 interfered to this extent? Now do you understand?
7 A. I certainly did not interfere. I never intervened in that
8 respect. Everything I did was quite simply to put a stop to this kind of
9 behaviour. But I did it through the Ministry of the Interior or through
10 the army to have this prevented. It wasn't me. But probably there were
11 such things in the highest leadership because how would the convoys be
12 able to pass through had not that been there?
13 Q. All right.
14 MS. KORNER: Can we go back to the document I was trying to ask
15 you about because we do now have it. We have it in sanction, not in
16 e-court. It's 65 ter 3094.
17 Q. This is a note, again, by the CSB in Romanija Birac dated the
18 16th of July, 1992. And again we are still referring to this question of
19 the TAS motor cars. In the second paragraph there's an interview with
20 Mr. Maksimovic, again a second interview. Then we see that in later on
21 six of the Golf vehicles were registered for the needs of Vogosca, and
22 then Mr. Koprivica and Nikola Poplasen, who you said you knew, is that
23 right, you knew who these people were?
24 A. Poplasen was an university Professor, and I knew him as an
25 assistant professor.
1 Q. Right. "...a government commissioner gave us information on how
2 vehicles from the factory had been put at the disposal of various organs
3 and institutions." And at the bottom of that paragraph does it say this,
4 Mr. Koprivica also said that before the war Presidency passed a decision
5 that is to say for the vehicles, he ordered that six Golf vehicles be
6 given for the needs of the government of the Serbian republic of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina and the vehicles were sent directly to the prime
8 minister. Now, that's you Mr. Djeric. Did you get those vehicles?
9 A. The government made official orders and these were paid for.
10 Everything that the government ordered, it paid for.
11 Q. Is that the answer --
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm terrible sorry, I didn't want to interrupt, but
13 this document in fact doesn't say, this in Serbian. I didn't have time
14 to check the English translation, but this one talks about the --
15 MS. KORNER: Where doesn't it say that?
16 MR. ZECEVIC: On page 1 it talks about the Presidency, but the
17 War Presidency.
18 MS. KORNER: The best thing would be if the witness reads out the
19 last sentence of that paragraph.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: I agree. I agree.
21 MS. KORNER: If he can.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last sentence?
23 MS. KORNER:
24 Q. The last sentence of the third paragraph. We are on the wrong
25 page, aren't we?
1 A. The last sentence of the third paragraph?
2 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, I withdraw. I haven't seen this part.
3 I was watching the first page. I'm sorry. It's probably the time and
4 everybody is tired. I'm terribly sorry.
5 MS. KORNER: It does say prime minister there.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: It does, it does, it does.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Ms. Korner.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Don't worry about reading it out, Mr. Djeric. So what this is
10 saying is that vehicles have been taken from the TAS factory and supplied
11 to the government and that you had got them all, and you're saying, yes,
12 you did get them all but you paid for them; is that what you are saying?
13 A. Yes. When the government ordered goods, it paid for them. The
14 government certainly paid what it received. The problem here is theft,
15 so these things are being mixed up here. The government asked for
16 vehicles because it needed them, but it paid for them.
17 Q. All right. Do you know when you ordered and paid for the
19 A. I can't remember now, but the vehicles were paid for immediately.
20 Immediately. Delivery could not be taken without evidence that the
21 payment had been made.
22 Q. Yes, but what was happening here apparently, as you know, was
23 there was whole scale theft of motor vehicles from this factory by police
24 officers and everybody else as far as one can tell. That's what the
25 scandal was, wasn't it, Mr. Djeric?
1 A. No. The government is only mentioned here because some vehicles
2 that had been on stock had been delivered to the government, so somebody
3 stood there and didn't let the vehicles leave without certain documents.
4 A lot of things are being mixed up here. The problem here is vehicles
5 being stolen, vehicles not being paid for. And how this was possible?
6 How was it possible for this to be done in the face of the minister --
7 Ministry of Interior and the factory services and other services? How
8 can cars leave the factory without somebody checking what was going on?
9 Q. All right. I want to move then to another topic. You were asked
10 for some reason to look at documents --
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner, may I ask. Mr. Djeric, do you know
12 how many cars were involved? How many cars were stolen more or less?
13 10, 50, 100, more?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think there are thousands of cars
15 at issue. I don't know the precise number, but this factory was a very
16 rich one.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: In the first document Ms. Korner showed you a few
18 minutes ago, it was said 2300; would you agree to that? Okay. Thank
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, I know that -- well, I
21 can't say how many precisely, but I know that the company had
22 considerable amounts of goods on stock. It was a well to do factory, and
23 that's why the problem was so huge. This was --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Djeric, just for the record, I see that your
25 answer is not on the record when I asked you 2300, would you agree more
1 or less to that figure. What was your answer to that? So in the
2 document they said 2300. Was that more or less the figure you were
3 thinking about? You said thousands.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said some thousands, 1- or 2.000.
5 I'm just speaking in general terms. All I know is that there were
6 considerable stocks.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Just two other matters, please, or three really. For some reason
10 you were asked to look at documents relating to the arrest of men
11 connected with the Mice and you were also asked about the Yellow Wasps.
12 Do you know what happened to the people who were arrested from the Mice
13 and the Yellow Wasps? And if you don't know, say so.
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. All right. You were also shown a letter written to you by
16 Stanisic on the 18th of July of 1992, and it was put to you that it was
17 Mico Stanisic who was the person who originated the idea that there
18 should be an investigation into war crimes.
19 MS. KORNER: Could you have a look very quickly please at 65 ter
20 1180. And can we go, please, to the third page in English and the third
21 page in B/C/S. I think you may have looked at this document already.
22 These are government -- just a minute, what was that date? 65 ter 1183?
23 No, no, no, no. I should a have said 118 -- it's my own note, yes. Just
24 a minute, let me check. Yes, sorry, it's my mistake, 1183, please, third
25 page in English, third page in B/C/S. Should be the 3rd of June.
1 Q. So that's the 3rd of June, a month and a half or nearly two
2 months before Mr. Stanisic writes that letter. Do we see that at the
3 session of the government a procedure -- it's discussed that a procedure
4 for determining war crimes should be initiated responsibility of the
5 Ministry of the Interior and the Committee for War Crimes formed by the
6 government. Do you know whose idea it was that this --
7 A. It was the government's idea. The Commission for War Crimes, you
8 see, is something the government had been working on for a long time. It
9 established this commission, and it was decided that all perpetrators
10 should be prosecuted.
11 Q. And finally, Mr. Cvijetic put to you that the essence of your
12 objection to Mico Stanisic and Momcilo Mandic was that they were closer
13 to the president than to you. That was at page 29 today. And he
14 interrupted your answer. Can you tell us now finally what your objection
15 was to both Mico Stanisic and Momcilo Mandic?
16 A. Quite simply this intervention by counsel does not hold water. I
17 didn't have problems with them because they were the president's men, but
18 simply because I was not satisfied with their work because these were two
19 key ministries in implementing certain government decisions, especially
20 those government decisions concerning security of property, security of
21 persons, and so on, and all decisions of that nature. And that is why I
22 had certain problems with them. Because we concluded that all
23 perpetrators of crimes should be prosecuted and who can do that on behalf
24 of the government but the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of
25 Justice. These were the two ministries that were supposed to implement
1 the government decisions. But they were ignoring the government. They
2 kept visiting the president, or going out to the field. They didn't
3 attend one session after another. Sessions were held in their absence.
4 So quite simply they felt, well, that the government could be pushed
6 They thought of themselves as belonging to the top leadership and
7 that was the problem because the government was unable to do its work in
8 those areas. We didn't have basic information, the necessary
9 coordination was not in place, you know. There are some jobs falling
10 within the purview of the Ministry of the Interior that can be done by
11 clerks and civil servants but there are things that cannot be done
12 without the minister. So there was lack of information, lack of
13 coordination. And if you insisted on that, you would come up against
14 resistance or you would be ignored because in a one-party regime things
15 like this happen. And they did happen.
16 It wasn't that I had a certain attitude towards them because they
17 were the president's men. Of course they were the president's men. No
18 president would allow a minister of justice or a minister of the interior
19 not to be his man. I didn't mind that. What I minded was that not
20 enough work was being done on implementing the government programme, and
21 implementing government decisions, especially as regards these matters
22 that I've mentioned.
23 You see, it's a crime when you fail to prosecute crimes.
24 Q. Finally, did you ever raise this with Mico Stanisic before you
25 complained at the meeting at the end of November, the Assembly at the end
1 of November? Did you ever raise this with Mico Stanisic personally, that
2 in your view he was not doing the job?
3 A. Yes, that was my practice with Minister Stanisic and other
4 ministers. First, I would speak to them, you know. I always tried to
5 correct things, clarify things, point out problems, and only then would I
6 turn to the government and after that to the political leadership, and
7 after that to the Assembly. When I saw that nothing could be done and
8 that it was reflecting on the government, because when the other
9 ministers saw that you were unable to get anything done, then they too
10 simply gave up, so to speak.
11 Q. What was his reaction --
12 A. Gave up on you.
13 Q. What was his reaction when you raised it with him?
14 A. He… simply protested, he believed that was not the case. He was
15 generally impertinent, impertinent, and he wasn't in favour of a dialogue,
16 of an agreement. You know, he was a man who sort of… liked a bit to play the
17 role of a powerful man surrounded by five or six escorts in full armour and
18 so on... He even told me once that he would cool me down, and what can you…
19 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Mr. Djeric, that's all I ask.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Djeric, I have one question. Yesterday you
22 said about crimes, and especially robbery and looting, you've said and I
23 read the transcript:
24 "This was quite prominent for the reason that the crime which was
25 rampant was undermining the authority of the government, especially if
1 ministers or parts of the state administration were actually taking part
2 in such activities." Can you explain what you meant by that? Ministers
3 or parts of the state administration that are actually taking part in
4 such activities.
5 A. I think this has not been noted down properly because I was
6 talking about crime and that it was not a good thing when ministers
7 participated in crime because it then affected the functioning of
8 government, but I was speaking in another context when I said that we
9 took measures to prosecute all those who are violating the law --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Djeric, you say now that ministers take part
11 in crime. What do you mean by that?
12 A. Information reached me to the effect that crime was made possible
13 primarily by the participation of these two ministers in those crimes.
14 Minister Stanisic and Minister Mandic.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Djeric.
16 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Djeric, you are now released as a
17 witness. You may return to your home, and we wish you a safe journey.
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that the last
19 statement -- I will -- the last statement made by the witness I think
20 gives the Defence a right to -- the right to cross-examine him on this,
21 on the statement he has just made. Otherwise it will remain unclarified
22 what sort of crime he is referring to and so on.
23 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Djeric, I regret that I would have spoken
24 prematurely. You heard Mr. Cvijetic's comment, and it's something that
25 we would have to pursue tomorrow morning. So the cautions, the usual
1 cautions continue and we -- tomorrow afternoon, I'm sorry, I notice the
2 look of alarm on the Registry's face. Tomorrow afternoon. So tomorrow
3 afternoon in this Chamber. Thank you.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.
6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 4th day of November, 2009,
7 at 2.15 p.m.