1 Thursday, 3 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-08-91-T,
7 the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL
10 MR. HANNIS: Good morning, Your Honour. Tom Hannis and
11 Crispian Smith on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
13 Eugene O'Sullivan, and Deirdre Montgomery appearing for Stanisic Defence.
14 Thank you.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of
16 Zupljanin Defence, Igor Pantelic and Dragan Krgovic.
17 JUDGE HALL
18 the stand could we move into private session.
19 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE HALL
9 oath. You may resume your seat.
10 Yes, Mr. Hannis.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honours. Good morning.
13 WITNESS: MILAN TRBOJEVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Hannis: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Witness. I would like to resume our discussion of
17 government meetings by showing you Exhibit P239. And with the usher's
18 help, I'll give you a hard copy of this one.
19 And you'll see in a moment, sir, this is from the 39th Session,
20 the meeting held, it appears, on the 14th of July. You were present at
21 this session. And the first item I want to ask you about is on page 5 of
22 your B/C/S, and it's page 6 of the English. Concerns item number 10. It
24 "Decision on establishing a government committee for the
25 investigation of the theft of both public and private property as
2 You are the president of the commission, it appears, and
3 Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Buha, Mr. Subotic, and Vojin Lale are appointed as
4 members. Did this commission ever manage to function and carry out any
5 of the proposed work?
6 A. The commission did not function like that. I don't know exactly
7 why, but Ostojic wasn't a man of that sort of job. Buha was more or less
8 absent all the time, because the foreign minister -- because he was the
9 foreign minister and he was a member of the negotiating commission that
10 negotiated on behalf of Republika Srpska. More or less he was absent all
11 the time. Subotic was the defence minister. Lale was an official in the
12 justice ministry. For the most part that commission didn't really do
14 I remember that Mr. Koljevic, I don't know if we amended or
15 augmented or tried to improve that commission, I know that he tried to do
16 something about it, but in any case nothing was done. There is no
17 material that would indicate that the commission implemented any
18 procedures or any investigation or confirmed any kind of suspicion.
19 Q. Thank you for that. I think we'll see reference to that
20 commission again in a couple of future ones. Next could you look at item
21 number 24. This is on page 8 of the English. It's page 7 of your B/C/S,
22 Mr. Trbojevic. And it deals with a letter from the Ministry of Justice
23 and Administration, and there were a couple of conclusions. I'm
24 interested in the second one which was:
25 "That the proposal for postponing of the execution of punishments
1 to thoroughly take in consideration both positive and negative aspects of
2 the proposal and that, based on that, a proposal for the government is
3 prepared." Then it says you and Momcilo Mandic are in charge.
4 Do you recall what that was about, postponing of the execution of
6 A. Momcilo Mandic and I did not make any material about that.
7 That's for sure. But it was generally known that people who were
8 sentenced to less severe sentences were not sent to serve the sentence
9 but were released so that they could be mobilised so that they could be
10 in the army or carry out wartime assignments, and that the serving of the
11 sentence was being deferred for later.
12 There was a procedure to defer serving a sentence from the -- in
13 the law before. I don't know if anything was changed and how, but I know
14 that in practice this did happen.
15 Q. Thank you. And the next item is on page 8 -- page 9 of the
16 English, I think it's on page 8 under item 26. It's:
17 "The government concluded again that decision on war commissions
18 provokes great doubts and lack in clarity in its application, causing
19 great problems in the field."
20 "It was concluded that it would be proposed to the Presidency to
21 provide its interpretation of the decision or, if necessary, introduce
22 changes and amendments."
23 Are these the war commissions that Dragan Djokanovic was
24 associated with as a war commissioner?
25 A. I think that this refers to this decision on the forming of the
1 war commissioners offices. I think that this was a sort of controversial
2 decision by its nature, and it involved a group of people that were now
3 supposed to be - I don't know how I can explain that to you - authorised
4 to go to a certain place and to be a representative of the Presidency to
5 help to set up whatever needed to be set up of the local organs of
6 authority. So in a way it would be an inspector in part, an advisory
7 person in part, a kind of authority. They would embody different aspects
8 of authority which actually are inappropriate to put together.
9 And there were some of us who thought that this was an erroneous
10 approach because these commissioners were creating a kind of system of
11 para-state authority that was bypassing the government and the Assembly.
12 This is something that quickly went into effect, but it's not unusual
13 that the government noted that this was creating a bit of indecision and
14 confusing, and I said that I did go to Herzegovina in that situation. So
15 you'll practically find yourself in a situation where you don't even know
16 what you want and you are not able to resolve whatever situation is going
17 on where you happen to be.
18 Q. Tell me if I'm correct --
19 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Oh, yes.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Page 5, 6, said: "... something that quickly went
22 into effect." I think the witness said quite the opposite. If you can
23 clarify that with the witness.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, it's been raised by Mr. Zecevic that perhaps you
1 weren't interpreted correctly. You are recorded as having said:
2 "... creating a kind of system of a para-state authority that was
3 bypassing the government and Assembly. This is something that was --
4 this was something that quickly went into effect, but it's not
5 unusual ..."
6 Is that what you said, that it quickly went into effect?
7 A. No, no, I said that it was actually taken out of commission very
9 Q. Thank you. I understood from some of the evidence that we've
10 heard and read so far that one of the ideas behind creating the war
11 commissions was because of some dissatisfaction with the Crisis Staffs
12 and how they had been working and relating with the republican level of
13 the government. Would you agree with that?
14 A. I would agree with that. The contact between the government and
15 the lower levels did not really proceed very much. It wasn't very
16 strong. The government was practically cut off from the lower organs,
17 and there was some attempts go to the municipalities to talk with them,
18 but it was hard to get to that part of the republic so that, more or
19 less, it was hard to get to a certain place. And then the essential
20 information was not available and there was no possibility to influence
21 the course of events.
22 Q. It also seemed that the proposed war commissions were objected to
23 by people in the municipality, primarily members of the local
24 Crisis Staffs who wielded some power in those positions and viewed these
25 new war commissions as something that was going to take away that power
1 or reduce that power. Would you agree with that assessment?
2 A. That's probably how it was and it must have been seen that way,
3 but these commissions were not formed. There were individuals who were
4 named, so one person with a first and last name would be assigned as the
5 commissioner covering an area of several municipalities. I don't know if
6 there were any commissions formed in that area.
7 Q. We saw evidence that there was an initial proposal for a war
8 commission in Zvornik that did not include Mr. Brano Grujic who had been
9 head of the provisional government or the Crisis Staff in Zvornik up
10 until that time. Were you aware that he was unhappy about that proposed
11 change in Zvornik?
12 A. That person by the name of Grujic, I never knew him. We probably
13 did meet, but I don't know what he did or what his positions were.
14 Whether he was meant or not meant to enter some organ or body.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Could I just ask for clarification of an aspect
18 relating to this issue. Mr. Trbojevic is testifying that the war
19 commissions were introduced because of dissatisfaction with the
20 Crisis Staffs, but I'm not quite certain about what was exactly the
21 dissatisfaction with the Crisis Staff. Was it either because they were
22 just too independent and too concerned with establishing themselves in
23 powerful positions on a local level, or was it because of the fact that
24 there was insufficient communication and insufficient means of
25 communication between the government and the local authorities. Could
1 you clarify that.
2 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, I hope you followed Judge Harhoff's question and I
4 would just modify it to say, was it either one of those two or something
5 else or some combination of those factors?
6 A. It was a combination of all of these factors. It's for sure that
7 the communication and links were not sufficient and it was essentially a
8 provisional organ and it was supposed to function in a time when regular
9 organs could not function at some republican level, you never know if
10 it's possible to put together a Municipal Assembly or not, so that it
11 could take decisions or it had to be the Crisis Staff that made those
12 decisions. And then you would be in the position of having doubts
13 whether this was necessary at all, if the Municipal Assembly was there in
14 full complement and could work and operate.
15 So there was some disagreement in that aspect. There was
16 information that members of the Municipal Assembly did not agree with
17 decisions of the Crisis Staff. You had party members in the Crisis
18 Staff, to a degree, that was not quite essential in order to step in
19 instead of the Municipal Assembly and do its work. Then you would have
20 the Crisis Staff president who was either the president of the
21 municipality or the president of the party in that area. He carried the
22 seal with him, or the stamp. He was a moveable municipality. And
23 whenever it was necessary, this stamp was used and used, and used
24 endlessly, so you never knew what was happening.
25 The commissioners were supposed to be some sort of link so that
1 you could know who was doing what, that they would try to influence
2 things and introduce some level of order, but the communications were
3 bad, it was not possible for you to come there every day or every week.
4 You would come there once every few months and then you would meet people
5 whom you saw for the first time. You don't know who is who, how they
6 came to that post. Everybody would be telling their own story, that it
7 was terrible, you had nothing to eat. There was no possibility for
8 anything to work, that they needed this and that. And, of course, you
9 couldn't react immediately, you didn't have authority or the possibility
10 to resolve things like that. And thirdly, you had no criteria to be able
11 to tell who is telling the truth, who was a good guy, who was lying. I
12 mean, it was just a system that was untenable.
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, did that clarify it for you or should I
14 make some further inquiry?
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, no, I'm perfectly satisfied with the
16 answer. But that raises the next question, how on earth was introduction
17 of the war commissions supposed to remedy all those dangers?
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Q. Could you answer that question?
20 A. I was convinced that it could not resolve these things, that you
21 had to insist that the Municipal Assembly works and not these provisional
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
25 Q. The conclusion here was that it be proposed to the Presidency to
1 interpret the decision about war commissions or make some changes and
2 amendments. Did that happen, do you know? Did the Presidency provide an
3 interpretation or make some changes?
4 A. I don't think so. I think things stayed the same for a period of
5 time until the Assembly adopted a decision and then put these things out
6 of commission.
7 Q. And last item I want to ask you about in this one, Mr. Trbojevic,
8 is on page 10 of the English, and it's on the last page right above the
9 signatures. It says:
10 "It was concluded that Ministry of Justice and Administration at
11 its first session is to inform the government on the work of the
12 commission for the exchange of prisoners and to propose personnel
13 solutions providing the normal working conditions ..."
14 Do you recall if after this meeting that there was information
15 from the Ministry of Justice about the working of the commission for the
16 exchange of prisoners?
17 A. I don't know that I ever saw a report like that.
18 Q. Let me go next then to the next session. This is Exhibit P240.
19 I'll hand you a hard copy of this one, with the assistance of the usher.
20 And as it's making its way over to you, I will tell you that this appears
21 to be the 40th Session of the government held on, I believe, the
22 16th of July. You are listed as being present. And the items I want to
23 discuss is the last one, number 8, which is on page 4 of the B/C/S and
24 page 4 of the English.
25 And it's the second or third paragraph. I guess Mico Stanisic is
1 apparently speaking. It says:
2 "Mico Stanisic has made an objection appointing Milan Trbojevic
3 to the post of president of the commission for throwing a light on the
4 plunder of governmental and private property that the government had
5 passed in its last session. As a reason for the objection, he stated
6 that Trbojevic occupied an apartment on Grbavica unjustified and that he
7 did not allow iron from Metalija to be exported to Serbia as compensation
8 for securing foodstuffs for the needs of the MUP."
9 Do you recall that objection made by Mr. Stanisic, and can you
10 give us any further clarification about what that was about?
11 A. Well, I do recall his objection but this related, more or less,
12 to actually questioning my role in the commission because I actually had
13 not ensured that there was this exchange of iron for foodstuffs. Also,
14 it had nothing to do with me appropriating some apartment or anything
15 like that, so that, in fact, no comment was really serious. It really
16 had to do with questioning my place in that commission. But as far as I
17 know, the commission -- as far as I know and as far as I attended the
18 meetings, the commission was really not very successful.
19 Q. We see two paragraphs down from where I finished reading off that
20 it says:
21 "As for the objection on the reservation on Grbavica, it has been
22 concluded that this matter has to be clarified. It has been stressed
23 that no one can be accused of something until proven guilty."
24 Was there -- did Mico Stanisic ever offer any later government
25 session evidence to back up this claim that you were occupying an
1 apartment in some unjustified fashion?
2 A. Well, no, there was no further discussion relating to that topic.
3 Q. Do you -- did you and Mico Stanisic know each other before you
4 started working as the deputy prime minister?
5 A. No, we didn't. We weren't close, in fact, we weren't close
6 associates, but I did meet him a couple of times before the -- on one
7 occasion actually, before the war. So, yes, we did know each other but
8 we weren't -- we didn't work together, we had no ties or no connections
9 of any sort. We weren't on friendly terms, but we were not adversaries
10 either. Simply I knew that he was someone who was an official. He
11 probably knew that I was an attorney but there was no more than that.
12 Q. This -- this allegation against you, though, made in front of the
13 other ministers in a government session, seems to be less than friendly
14 and more adversarial. Do you know any reason why he would have some
15 animosity against you to make that unsupported allegation?
16 A. Well, in my earlier evidence I explained that there was a
17 confrontation and a rift between President Djeric on the one hand and
18 Mico Stanisic on the other hand, and that, as vice-president, I sort of
19 sided with Branko Djeric, as it were, and found myself on the other side
20 vis-a-vis Mico Stanisic. And Momo Mandic, as a former policeman and the
21 man who came from the police circles, he was closer to Mico Stanisic than
22 to us, and he then happened to join, if I may put it that way, that side.
23 So that then we had a situation where it was not possible to communicate
24 well and to co-operate closely, rather there was a rift in our
25 relationship, and perhaps this could have been the reason. Perhaps it
1 was felt that it would be better to remove me and have instead someone
2 who would be less controversial and less opposed to their positions. And
3 of course, after all these years, I can state, although I don't have
4 strong arguments, but that whatever happened was not directed against
5 Mico Stanisic, or rather, if there were instances of misappropriations,
6 of theft, and abuse of power, that it would be a good idea to know who
7 was behind that and to prevent such activities in the future.
8 So that was the extent of my participation in the commission. As
9 I've already said, it wasn't possible to accomplish much. I do know that
10 there were some reports later on regarding some vehicles from TAS at
11 Vogosca. Whether there were any reports on the oil, crude oil from the
12 wartime reserves, I wouldn't know anything about that.
13 Q. Thank you. In the first part of that answer you said that you
14 had previously explained that there was a confrontation and a rift
15 between President Djeric on the one hand and Mico Stanisic on the other
16 hand. Did you ever personally witness a confrontation between Djeric and
17 Stanisic that would reflect that rift?
18 A. Well, when I came to Pale and when I became a member of that
19 government, I believe that that confrontation, that clash between them
20 had already been evident. I don't know what triggered that. I've
21 already said that I had occasion once to witness a brief -- a brief
22 altercation between the two on a corridor and where at one point he said,
23 You know, if you go on like that I'll arrest you, but then they just
24 parted ways.
25 Of course, I asked Djeric what that was about, but he is a man
1 who doesn't usually finish his conversations. He would just sort of wave
2 his hand and say, Well, never mind, let go. But, you know, I wouldn't
3 want to go into that any further. I didn't want to go into it any
4 further or investigate what that was all about. I didn't see any other
5 such instances, but I did observe that they were -- that their
6 relationship was cold.
7 Q. Can you clarify a couple of things or give me some details about
8 that. In your answer you said:
9 "... at one point he said, You know, if you go on like that I'll
10 arrest you ..."
11 Who said that to whom?
12 A. Stanisic said that to Djeric. I don't know exactly how that
13 went, but that was the general -- he said, you know, something to that
14 effect, I will have you arrested or something like that. I don't know
15 the exact words that he used, but it sounded -- well, the way it sounded,
16 it could be interpreted as a serious matter, but I myself did not think
17 that it was serious really. But then later on, when Djeric tried to
18 reconstruct the government, to reshuffle it, and to have Stanisic removed
19 from the government, there were those efforts and so on and so forth, but
20 that, too, was not brought to fruition.
21 Q. Okay. Can you tell us where this occurred, this confrontation?
22 A. This confrontation that I just mentioned, this discussion was in
23 Bistrica Hotel. That's where the headquarters, if I may use that term,
24 of the government was at the time. They were on the ground floor.
25 Q. Anyone else present to hear that other than you?
1 A. Well, there were just the two of them, and I just happened to run
2 into them, because I had just left the office where the government was,
3 and the secretary was there and some clerks, or rather, people who were
4 working on the drafting of regulations. On the other side was the lobby
5 of the hotel where somebody must have been. And then by the door, the
6 front door, there was probably a policeman sitting there, but I can't
7 really tell for sure. There would have been some 5 to 6 metres between
8 them and me. And then from the lobby to where they were, there would
9 have also been some 5 to 6 metres, but whether there was somebody sitting
10 there, I really don't know.
11 Q. Which hotel was this?
12 A. This was Hotel Bistrica.
13 Q. And their voices? Calm, spoken like you and I talking now?
14 A. No, they were raised voices and that's what actually drew my
15 attention, and that's why I looked in their direction because I could
16 hear these two voices, high-pitched. They were basically yelling at each
17 other. That's what it looked like. It was very loud.
18 Q. And do you recall what Mr. Stanisic was wearing at the time?
19 A. Well, I couldn't really say with certainty. He frequently wore a
20 uniform, but whether he was in uniform then, I really don't know. I
21 can't say for sure. And Djeric was in civilian clothing.
22 Q. Thank you. Let me move on to the last item in this meeting.
23 It's on page 5 of your B/C/S, and it begins at the bottom of page 4 and
24 goes on to 5 in the English.
25 "Mico Stanisic has informed that the making of rules on internal
1 organisation and work of the Ministry of the Interior is in process."
2 He mentioned certain questions that would have to be resolved, in
3 particular that about the authority and co-operation of the organs of the
4 interior and the army. It has been agreed that a meeting between the
5 Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence, and the Main Staff be
6 held as soon as possible. And going on to page 5 in the English, the
7 last line says:
8 "It has also been agreed that this meeting be organised by the
9 government prime minister."
10 Do you know, sir, if that meeting ever took place?
11 A. Well, I don't know specifically about this meeting, whether it
12 was organised or not, but I can only assume that there were several such
13 meetings because I know that there was talk about establishing joint
14 patrols, joint police and military patrols. And I know that the
15 recurrent problem there was the issue of mobilising police members in the
16 army, or putting them under the command of the army. So these were
17 recurrent problems that were ongoing. And I believe that there were a
18 number of meetings to discuss those issues. Whether this particular
19 meeting was held or not and what the outcome would have been, I really
20 don't know.
21 Q. Thank you. I'd like to go to the next meeting, which is the
22 41st Session, and I will hand you a hard copy of the minutes for that
23 one. While that's on its way to you, I'll tell you this was a session
24 that occurred on the 22nd of July. It's Exhibit P200. It shows you as
25 being present at this session. And the first point I want to ask you
1 about is found on page 3 of both the English and the B/C/S. And there's
2 some objections that have been raised regarding the minutes of the
3 previous -- or of the 39th Session that had taken place prior to this
5 Under number 2, Momcilo Mandic made an objection, and he said
6 that the doubts had been expressed regarding the legitimacy of appointing
7 you to the post of president of the commission for throwing a light on
8 the plunder of social and private property. And he proposed that the
9 president of the commission should be Velibor Ostojic and that
10 Mico Stanisic should be a member of the commission.
11 Do you remember that discussion in this meeting?
12 A. Well, it's the same discussion that we saw earlier in the
13 minutes, in the other minutes. The objections were the same, that this
14 had do with my being an unsuitable proposal or candidate, that I had
15 prevented this exchange of iron for foodstuffs, and that there should be
16 a commission established to establish whether I had actually appropriated
17 an apartment in Grbavica and so on. So more or less, this is the same
18 story that had been discussed in the earlier meeting.
19 As I've already said, there's nothing I can add to this, to what
20 I said earlier, nor was it me personally, Milan Trbojevic, who
21 actually -- who actually prohibited this exchange of iron for foodstuffs,
22 nor did I move into this apartment. As for the proposal that
23 Mico Stanisic should be the president of this commission, well, that
24 could have been the most reasonable proposal, but because there were some
25 stories going around about some warehouses where stuff was disappeared
1 from them and that this had to do with Stanisic and --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure if the witness said
3 Zupljanin as well.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it would have been logical for
5 him to have been appointed president of that commission and if it was to
6 be established.
7 MR. HANNIS:
8 Q. The interpreter noted that they weren't sure what you said at the
9 point where you said there were some stories going around about some
10 warehouses where stuff was disappeared from them and that this had to do
11 with Stanisic, and they didn't catch -- did you mention a second name
12 besides Stanisic?
13 A. I did mention Momcilo Mandic also.
14 Q. So in light of those rumours or stories going around, it wouldn't
15 be appropriate for Mico Stanisic to be part of the commission
16 investigating, would it?
17 A. Well, I said it would have been the most logical choice to have
18 the president -- the chief of the police to be at the head of such a
19 commission, but of course, it would have been much better if there was no
20 need for that kind of commission to be set up. But there was gossip that
21 there were some warehouses in Grbavica or around Grbavica. These were
22 police depots, that Mandic and Stanisic were aware of this, and that some
23 goods that were in the warehouses were seized in a manner that would
24 throw some suspicion as to how these goods disappeared. So in the sense
25 that there should be a commission that would investigate that, when I
1 told the two of them about this, they got angry and they said, Well, are
2 you trying to investigate us; whereas my intentions were really to just
3 try and throw some light as to what had happened with those goods because
4 we needed to have strong arguments to show that there was no crime
5 involved there, that perhaps the goods were used for the needs of the
6 army or something. But as I said, it wasn't really my purpose to allege
7 that they were involved in any crime or anything like that.
8 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Zecevic.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Page 18, 12. I think it says here that there
10 should be a commission and I believe the witness said that it was, in
11 fact, formed something. If you can really see with the witness, please.
12 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
13 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, your answer was translated in part as saying:
14 "So in the sense that there should be a commission that would
15 investigate, that's when I told the two of them about this." Did you
16 mean to say that a commission actually was formed or only that it was
17 being discussed that one should be formed?
18 A. Well, there are two factors here. I said had it been -- had
19 everything been as it should have been, there would have been no need for
20 such a commission to be established. However, if there was a warehouse
21 that was plundered, that was just -- all the goods were removed from it
22 and so on, then the regular police would have the task. It would be
23 their job to determine -- to establish a commission, and to determine
24 what had happened with the goods.
25 Now, if the commission was to be formed, if we were forming a
1 commission, it would be the most logical thing to have the chief of
2 police at the head of it. But he was not proposed as the head of it
3 probably because of the gossip that had already been circulating around
4 regarding these two depots or warehouses, to the effect that Mandic and
5 Stanisic knew about these depots, that they knew about these goods and
6 perhaps they even knew what had happened with them.
7 So that those --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. The interpreters have asked you to repeat the last sentence of
12 your answer, if you recall.
13 A. Stanisic was probably not proposed as president of that
14 commission, although it would have been the most logical thing for the
15 chief of police or minister of police to be at the head of such a
16 commission. Probably because this commission would have had to establish
17 the actual situation within these two warehouses. I can't recall whose
18 warehouses these were, what companies they belonged to, because there was
19 suspicions that perhaps Mandic and Stanisic knew about what had happened
20 with this -- with these goods and that perhaps they were the ones who
21 were responsible for the goods disappearing from there. So this was the
22 reason why the two of them would not -- or maybe this was the reason why
23 they were not members of this commission.
24 Q. Well, you've been a judge and a lawyer and a Defence lawyer,
25 would you agree -- I agree with you that, typically, I would expect the
1 chief of police to be involved in investigating this kind of activity.
2 But if there are suspicions that the police may have been involved in the
3 activity, then you wouldn't want to use the police; right?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. One last question about this point. Mr. Ostojic is proposed by
6 Mr. Mandic as a member of the commission, even as president of the
7 commission, and I think you said earlier when we were talking about this
8 commission, you didn't understand what qualifications Mr. Ostojic had for
9 working on such a commission. We know that he was the minister of
10 information, so why did you think he was not an appropriate person for
11 this commission?
12 A. Well, there is a number of reasons why not. Ostojic was a man,
13 he was a professor, I believe, a professor of liberal arts, someone who
14 had no experience with the police other than on one occasion -- on one
15 occasion his -- they actually smashed -- hurt his head and he ended up in
16 hospital. So for these reasons, he was not the appropriate, the suitable
17 person for this commission, but here he was proposed and then it was
18 like, well, whoever could be a member of the commission.
19 Ostojic was a politician and he was the advocate of the party
20 platform and political -- and he had the political authority as such a
21 person, as a member of that party.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: I think we have spent enough time on these sort
25 of internal matters at the government level, so unless you are able to
1 convince us that this is relevant, then I think we should move on to
2 something else.
3 MR. HANNIS: I can understand your bringing that to my attention,
4 Your Honour. I think it's important to see the relationship between
5 particular individuals and particular events that were going on at the
6 time that may support the Prosecution's submissions at the end of the
7 case about what weight to give certain evidence or certain witnesses,
8 motivations of certain persons for doing or not doing certain things at
9 certain times. But if I can ask two more questions on this, then I will
10 move on. May I?
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, quickly.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
13 Q. Based on your working in the government with these other
14 gentlemen, do you have an opinion about the relationship between
15 Velibor Ostojic with Mandic and Stanisic compared to what you've
16 described as the relationship between you and Djeric on the one hand and
17 Stanisic and Mandic on the other?
18 A. I don't know what their relationship was, their personal
19 relationship. I never witnessed anything, any conversation between them,
20 nor did I ever hear that anything was said in public about their
21 relationship. I can say about Ostojic that vis-a-vis the government, as
22 I've already mentioned earlier, he -- his position, he came from the
23 position of someone who was a member of the party and that all of us who
24 were not members of the party would be replaced soon and so on and so
25 forth, so that's about it.
1 Q. Thank you. If you could turn next to page 6 in the B/C/S. It's
2 page 6 of the English. Item number 11. On the occasion of the
3 conclusions by the Presidency, the following had been concluded, I'm
4 interested in the second one, (b):
5 "In connection with a conclusion that the decision to put the
6 police forces reserves under the unitary command of the army be passed,
7 it has been concluded that a state of war has to be announced prior to
8 passing this decision."
9 Can you clarify for us what that was about?
10 A. I can see from the text that a decision was requested for the
11 police reserve forces to be placed under the single command of the army,
12 and that the conclusion was that the adoption of such a decision should
13 be proceeded by the declaration of the state of war. So the army was
14 constantly looking for military conscripts and some of them were deployed
15 to the reserve police forces as their wartime assignment, so there was
16 probably a proposal for the reserve police force to be transferred to the
17 military units, and the minister then warned that it is not possible to
18 implement such a decision before a state of war is proclaimed.
19 Q. So was it your understanding, then, that in July 1992 in the
20 Republika Srpska, which was then in a state of imminent threat of war,
21 the police reserves could not be put under the unitary command of the
23 A. This is regulated by the law. I don't know exactly what the law
24 says on that. I'm not going to comment on that. But it is logical what
25 is concluded here, and it seems to be in accordance with the existing
1 provisions of the law.
2 Q. Let me take you to item 14 on page 8 of the English, I'm not sure
3 which page it is for you, but it's the third bullet point. It says:
4 "The government has been appointed on some occurrences of
5 unlawful treatment of war prisoners."
6 Do you recall by whom and how the government was informed about
7 these occurrences of unlawful treatment?
8 A. I cannot say that I remember specifically this. I see that this
9 was under current affairs and under the group of founding the AAA
10 Automotive Association. I think there was an order here about the
11 treatment of prisoners of war which was probably drafted the way it
12 should have been drafted. I don't know exactly what part of the
13 information this refers to, to which positions. I don't know.
14 Q. I'm somewhat confused by that answer. Do you know how and by
15 whom the government had been informed about the unlawful treatment of war
16 prisoners? Was that in a report, a written report or an oral report, and
17 if so, from which ministry or which individual did that come?
18 A. I said that I don't know. I know that there are several reports
19 in the documents about which I don't know when they were sent. Some
20 don't seem to be authentic by their content, some do indicate that things
21 happened which were not supposed to happen. I don't know what this
22 referred to specifically. I really couldn't tell you.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Trbojevic, was the issue of the conditions
25 for detention of people something that was discussed at the government
1 meetings on a regular basis?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The conditions in institutions for
3 detention was not something that was discussed separately. There were
4 existing prisons which were older institutions which functioned in an
5 ordered manner. They functioned the way they functioned, just like they
6 did before the war. They were under the monitoring of the president of
7 the district court, the police and so on.
8 As for these things that were happening about which we were
9 finding out later, that there were some collection centres that existed,
10 that there were camps such as Manjaca, Omarska, this is something that
11 was being learned about later. There were no debates or discussions
12 about that, that they should exist, how they would be provided for and
13 secured, or who would be in charge of that. I know that Kalinic from the
14 Red Cross agreed -- was negotiating how to get into these camps, who was
15 there, what were the conditions there, but the government did not
16 really -- the term of war prisoners is something that would eliminate the
17 government from that entire story. A prisoner of war captured in a
18 military action, in combat, in fighting, by the very nature of the thing
19 would have to be something that had to do with the military units, so
20 some actual information about capturing civilians en masse and bringing
21 them to the collection centres. This is something that we didn't know.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. I think this meeting was in late July. Do you recall that it was
24 approximately around the 8th, 9th, 10th of August that the international
25 community became aware of Manjaca camp and some of the other camps and
1 the conditions there?
2 A. I remember that it was said that Karadzic had approved visits to
3 Manjaca, and visits to Prijedor, and I remember the television programs
4 after that. I think Mr. Ashdown was in Manjaca, specifically. There was
5 a British TV station that showed pictures from Prijedor and that skinny
6 man in Trnopolje. I heard about this Trnopolje thing in Banja Luka, that
7 this was a place where Muslims were being protected from their own and
8 our extremists, that people would be able to go in and out freely, and
9 that it was a place where they were safe and removed so that other people
10 would not endanger them who were robbing the villages and things like
11 that. I don't know how many people were involved and I don't know that
12 this was something that was discussed at government meetings.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, page 25, 19 to 22. I believe the
14 witness said that the people were put in these in Trnopolje to be
15 protected from the extremist, and that they were allowed to go in and out
16 freely, meaning the people, not the extremists, and now it's totally
17 different in the transcript. I mean, maybe you can clarify that with the
18 witness. Thank you.
19 MR. HANNIS:
20 Q. I think the way Mr. Zecevic expressed it was probably what you
21 said. Can you confirm?
22 A. Yes. Yes, yes, that is so. I saw the footage, I don't know if
23 it was in some case here in The Hague
24 woman walking along the road and she was telling the journalists on
25 camera that she was rushing off to Trnopolje to seek refuge there. I
1 don't know if this was edited or who did it, but that was the story that
2 I, as a citizen of Banja Luka, heard.
3 Q. Thank you. I'd next like to go to P244. I'll hand you a hard
4 copy of this one with the usher's help.
5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
6 Q. I'll tell you, Mr. Trbojevic, this is from a government session
7 on the 8th of August. It's noted as the 45th Session. You are present.
8 And two things I want to ask you about in this one. Page 5 of your
9 B/C/S, and it's page 4 of the English, under questions and proposals. I
10 think it's the third paragraph under number 13. Concerning the
11 information that different salaries are being paid to interior ministry
12 organs and in different modes, it was concluded that the Ministry of
13 Interior should issue an order stating that interior ministry organs are
14 to be exclusively funded from the SR BiH budget. And that the salaries
15 of the MUP employees should be adjusted.
16 Can you elaborate on that paragraph any? What kinds of different
17 salaries were being paid and what different modes were they being paid
18 in, if you know?
19 A. I don't know anything about this, believe me. This is something
20 that is totally unknown to me, this piece of information.
21 Q. And the next line said:
22 "It was also concluded that the order should issue a standard MUP
23 uniform while speeding up production of the uniforms."
24 Before this date were there non-standard uniforms being worn by
25 the MUP, if you know?
1 A. I know that there were different uniforms that were ordered
2 through private channels, that were donated by various donors, that there
3 were different insignia on the uniforms, some where there were flags,
4 some were the four Ss, some were the eagles. More or less these -- this
5 insignia was just sewn on to the uniforms. There was no systematic
6 dressing in a particular type of uniform. As far as I know, there was
7 the standard issue blue uniform and the standard issue camouflage uniform
8 in blue camouflage colours.
9 Q. Thank you. That's all I have on that meeting. I'd like to go
10 now to the next one.
11 MR. HANNIS: I'll hand a copy to the usher to trade. This next
12 one is Exhibit 427.13.
13 Q. It's a session held on the 9th of August. It's the 46th Session
14 of government. And it looks like Mr. Djeric was absent and you actually
15 chaired this session.
16 If you could look at page 3 of your B/C/S, and it's in the
17 English page 2. This is the agenda. Item number 12 is agreement to
18 include tour of camps in SR BiH. And I guess for my question I need you
19 to turn to page 5 of the B/C/S. And it's page 4 of the English. You'll
20 see there item 12 states that the government formed two commissions
21 consisting of representatives of the interior judiciary and
23 "The commissions' task is to gain knowledge through responsible
24 state organs about the status of people in concentration centres and
25 other sheltering facilities, to speed up the procedure of categorising
1 these people, establishing responsibility and sanctions."
2 You were the chair of this meeting, can you tell us what these
3 two commissions were and who the members were?
4 A. I don't know why the members of these commissions are not
5 mentioned in the minutes. Usually they would be noted. I don't know who
6 would be in them. I can't remember that now. I can see that the way the
7 task is formulated here to see about the status of people and to speed up
8 the procedure of the categorisation and to gain knowledge about it, this
9 really indicates to what extent the government did not know exactly what
10 this was about. I'm surprised that there are no names of the people who
11 were supposed to be in these commissions. But basically, this talks
12 about facilities to shelter people, the need to categorise the situation
13 and to sanction the people responsible, but what it seems to be is that
14 these were people who had been deprived of liberty for some reason, who
15 had to be processed. But these shelters or collection centres are not
16 actually that.
17 Q. Okay. Let me ask you a question about that. My English
18 translation says "to speed up the procedure of categorising these
19 people." Is that a correct translation, categorising these people
20 meaning the people being held in these facilities and centres?
21 A. Yes, that's probably what it says. The procedure of categorising
22 the said people, talking about people who have been placed in collection
23 centres and other sheltering facilities. The term "prison," regular
24 prison is not mentioned here, but this is a formulation of the old
25 government [as interpreted].
1 Q. Now, I had gathered from our conversations yesterday about --
2 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry. I am sorry, 29, 9, I believe it says
3 formulation of the old government. I believe the witness said of the
4 secretary of the government. But maybe you can clarify that.
5 MR. HANNIS:
6 Q. Did you hear that, Mr. Trbojevic?
7 A. Secretary. I did say that this was a matter of the formulation
8 of the secretary of the government.
9 Q. Meaning Mr. Lakic who wrote the note?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. My question, though, was: Yesterday, I think we saw some
12 government sessions where there were discussions about the commission for
13 exchange and I think we talked about your impression that you understood
14 that to relate to prisoners of war. I asked you, I think, yesterday,
15 when did you first become aware that in some cases non-Serb civilians
16 were being detained, and I think your answer was sometime in November.
17 My question is about categorising these people in these
18 facilities and centres, and that seems to suggest to me that these are
19 people other than prisoners of war because if somebody is categorised as
20 a prisoner of war, you don't need to do any further categorising because
21 we know what the Geneva Conventions and the international laws require in
22 connection with that. Would you agree with that interpretation, this
23 must mean something other than prisoners of war?
24 A. You are quite right. I thought about what I said yesterday, and
25 thinking about that, I was aware that I had said that I did not hear
1 anything before I came and spent sometime with the citizens. This
2 formulation that a categorisation should be carried out indicates and
3 suggests that there is quite a number of people about whom there is no
4 evidence that they should be deprived of their liberty. It says here
5 that these are organs for placing people into these sheltering and other
6 types of facilities. And it is a fact that they are talking about people
7 that need to be categorised, and logic would seem to indicate that this
8 is not only about categorising criminal acts but whether these are people
9 who participated in combat or in financing or politically supported the
10 enemy side, and so it is closer to the logic that you would have also
11 people here who were there in an attempt to seek shelter or who were
12 deprived of liberty. I don't know how you could describe that generally
13 in some settlement or in some sector.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I know usually break at 10.25, but I
16 wonder if we might break a few minutes early today. This is a convenient
17 point for me. I'm about to go into another one that I need to make some
18 markings on.
19 JUDGE HALL
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
25 Q. Witness, the next one I want to show you is Exhibit P246. I'll
1 hand you a hard copy. This is from what is described as a closed session
2 of the government held on the 19th of August, immediately following the
3 conclusion of the regular 47th Session. I think I've only seen two
4 occasions where there were closed sessions of the government. Can you
5 tell me, if you recall, why these sessions were closed and was there some
6 provision in the law for having closed government sessions?
7 A. I don't remember whether there is a provision in the law,
8 probably so, but in this particular case, I don't even know why it was a
9 closed session, who decided upon it. More or less, all these sessions
10 were the same. We were on Mount Jahorina
11 it were, so calling a closed session could only mean that a number of
12 associates who would come with some ministers to these sessions would not
13 attend the sessions. But there was no -- it wasn't closed in the sense
14 that there was any kind of secrecy about it, or anything, so I don't know
15 what the reason could have been for this.
16 Q. Well, on this occasion, the topic appeared to be discussion about
17 the collection centres and the camps. The other one, as I recall, was
18 dealing with discussions about oil, oil reserves. On this one,
19 item number 1 says:
20 "The government will regularly follow the situation in the
21 facilities used for captives, collection centres, investigation centres,
22 and other similar buildings, and through its commissions will assess the
23 state of these buildings and the treatment of the people kept there..."
24 I recall from one of the earlier meetings, weren't you on one of
25 the commissions to do this kind of work?
1 A. I don't know that I was. I don't know that I was and I know for
2 sure that I did not visit any of these centres, regardless of what type
3 of centre they were.
4 Q. Do you know if any of the government commissions did do as was
5 concluded here, in terms of follow-up at these camps and centres?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Would you look at page 2 in the B/C/S. We're still on the first
8 page in English at the bottom. Item number 4 says:
9 "The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior will
10 take measures to ensure that the army ... takes over the task of
11 safeguarding all these facilities."
12 I infer from that that up to this date that someone other than
13 the army, and presumably because this talks about the Ministry of
14 Interior, presumably the police had been involved in guarding some of
15 these facilities. Would that be correct, to your knowledge?
16 A. I cannot say with any certainty, but whether the police did
17 provide personnel for -- to serve as guards in those facilities, that's
18 very likely.
19 Q. And still on that page for you and the next page in English at
20 the very top:
21 "The issue of the open collection centre in Trnopolje should also
22 be resolved as soon as possible, and in a way which will enable the
23 quickest possible departure from this area."
24 Do you recall was that so that the people who had been detained
25 there could be removed or taken out of the RS?
1 A. I've already said that the purpose for Trnopolje, as far as I can
2 recall, was to provide shelter for people there, and what it says here is
3 that this issue of the open collection centres should be resolved as soon
4 as possible so that they would be able to depart the area as soon as
5 possible. That seems to be consistent with that. But whether these
6 people -- whether what is meant there is that these people would leave
7 Republika Srpska or whether they would return to Prijedor, or to wherever
8 they had come for, I really don't know and cannot conclude from what it
9 says there. Whether there was a general position taken that they should
10 leave the territory of Republika Srpska, there was no such position
11 adopted. But what is meant by this specifically, I really couldn't tell.
12 Q. Thank you. I'd like now to show you Exhibit P247. And with the
13 usher's help I'll trade you hard copies.
14 MR. HANNIS: A couple things I would note, Your Honours, in terms
15 of this document is that -- I'm not sure how it is in e-court, but what
16 is page 2 of the document is actually behind page 16 in my hard copy. I
17 think when it was stamped and printed, it was copied in the wrong order.
18 Q. And the other thing, Mr. Trbojevic, I know that the date on these
19 minutes on the 48th Session says it was of a meeting held on the
20 28th of July. However, the date of the minutes appears to be
21 September 9, and I know that the 47th Session that we've just looked at
22 was held on the --
23 A. It says on the 19th of August.
24 Q. Yes. And the 49th Session apparently was held on the
25 7th of September, so I am assuming this is a typographical error and the
1 48th Session was probably on the 28th of August. Would you disagree with
3 A. I have no idea but it's possible.
4 Q. And on this one I just want you to look at page 15. It's the
5 next to the last page before the signature, and it's page 11 in the
6 English. Item number 33.
7 MR. HANNIS: I guess in B/C/S we have to go one page forward.
8 Sorry, page 15 in the B/C/S. Thank you.
9 Q. Item number 33 says:
10 "The government decided to organise a meeting in Banja Luka
11 the 29th of August, to include," you, "Dragan Kalinic, Subotic,
12 General Gvero, Avlijas, Stojan Zupljanin, and other Krajina
13 representatives to discuss the situation and agree the disbanding of
14 concentration centres for prisoners. This should be placed in the
15 context of implementing the decision of the London conference, and the
16 Ministry of Information is due to inform the public about this and
17 exploit it for propaganda purposes."
18 Did you take part in such a meeting?
19 A. I think not.
20 Q. Why not?
21 A. Well, I really don't know. It says here Dragan Kalinic, Bogdan
22 Subotic, Avlijas, Gvero. I don't remember attending this meeting so I
23 can't -- I can't claim that I wasn't, with certainty.
24 Q. Did you know, if you weren't there, whether or not the meeting
25 took place?
1 A. I really couldn't say with certainty but I do know that Kalinic
2 went with the Red Cross, that he agreed with the Red Cross, the
3 International Red Cross, on some aspects. I don't know if this was in a
4 meeting with General Gvero -- whether this meeting with General Gvero and
5 Mr. Subotic was just a follow-up on those meetings, but -- and those
6 negotiations with the International Red Cross, but I think there was an
7 agreement on Manjaca, that there would be -- that they would enable the
8 International Red Cross to have access to Manjaca and things like that.
9 So whether it had do with that or not, I'm not sure.
10 Q. Do you recall attending any meeting at which Stojan Zupljanin was
11 in attendance, in Banja Luka?
12 A. Stojan Zupljanin and I, well, I've said on a number of occasions
13 that I didn't have any official contacts with him. In one of the
14 meetings where -- when the government was in Banja Luka, he attended one
15 of those meetings, but I don't know that I attended a meeting where --
16 which he attended also where we discussed some official situation,
17 something that had do with his line of work.
18 Q. Let me show you now another meeting. This is Exhibit P272. All
19 I have are handwritten notes from this meeting. I'll hand you a hard
20 copy. This is described as a government session on the 14th of September
21 in Bijeljina. And it appears that you were in attendance because you are
22 listed as a speaker.
23 When you have that in hand I'll ask you to look at page 5 and --
24 it's page 6 for you, I guess, and it's page 5 of the English. Do you
25 find where you are at the top as a speaker and the five items under your
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Number 5 says:
4 "The Law on Internal Affairs in a similar way, minister is tied
5 to the Presidency and the government has no influence."
6 Can you explain what you meant by that? How was the minister
7 tied to the Presidency rather than the government?
8 A. I can't say that I remember this specific session. I do recall
9 some other sessions held in Bijeljina regarding the London conference.
10 There was an Assembly and government session, and then the Presidency and
11 the government convened a session, and then there was a session where the
12 matter of the government being moved to Banja Luka was discussed. So I
13 remember those, but this particular one I can't really say. But what
14 I've said, what I apparently said here was that there should be more
15 frequent meetings between the government and the Presidency, and that, in
16 my view, there were some very irregular provisions on the Law on the Army
17 and the Law on the Police. I don't know what that referred to.
18 Then I see there's mention made here of the Main Staff and the
19 relationship -- and I see mention of the minister of police who has
20 direct ties with the Presidency and bypasses the government, the
21 government has no influence on him. I think this had to do with the fact
22 that he was more frequently in contact with the president than with the
23 prime minister which, of course, has its history because, of course, he
24 was also in charge of the state security which, by its very nature, is
25 more within the ambit of the Presidency rather than the government. But
1 what the specific trigger for this discussion was on this occasion, I
2 really couldn't tell you.
3 Q. Farther down on that page, you speak again. You say the
4 government is incomplete. Three ministers are in Belgrade. Can you tell
5 us what you meant by that? Which ministers were in Belgrade and why, if
6 you know?
7 A. Well, I know that Vice-President Pejic, who was in charge of
8 finance, had offices in Belgrade
9 move easily, so he didn't spend much time in Republika Srpska. I don't
10 know whom else I had in mind, but I do know that everyone tried to spend
11 as much time in Belgrade
12 big city than being on top of a mountain, but I don't know whom I meant
13 here specifically.
14 Q. All right. Then --
15 A. Buha was in Belgrade
16 time they spent in Belgrade
17 was actually referring to here. Antic was in Belgrade, for instance. He
18 spent almost all of his time there.
19 Q. Thank you. Let me take you next to exhibit -- sorry, I guess
20 it's 65 ter number 1216. I'll give you a hard copy of this one.
21 While that's on its way to you, I will tell you this is a meeting
22 on the 26th of September, 1992. It's the 52nd Session of the government.
23 You are listed as being in attendance.
24 JUDGE HALL
25 25 minutes remaining.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. And I hope to finish by or
2 before then. Thanks.
3 Q. I just want to ask you about item number 53, which is at page 11
4 in your hard copy, page 9 of the English. That's a topic entitled
5 "Questions and Proposals." The first one says:
6 "The Ministry of Interior is to prepare a report on security in
7 Republika Srpska for the next government session. The report should
8 focus on theft of socially and privately owned property. After it is
9 verified in a government session, the report shall be discussed in a
10 joint session with the Republika Srpska Presidency. The TAS," T-A-S, the
11 car factory in Sarajevo
12 following government sessions."
13 Do you recall, was such a report prepared and presented to the
15 A. The government that would actually cease to exist in a month or
16 two from that moment on, I think, did not receive that report. There was
17 a report discussed later on, I think, at an Assembly session, but we did
18 not discuss it. And I know that I am deeply convinced that all the facts
19 were not actually cleared up. Those vehicles were stolen. They were
20 gone. The spare parts were stolen, they were gone. Their value was in
21 the millions but we never actually established who was responsible for
22 that and who organised this theft.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. HANNIS: I would like to tender that one, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE HALL
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P428, Your Honours.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. And next, Witness, I'd like to show you 65 ter number 1219. I'll
4 also give you a hard copy of this one.
5 MR. HANNIS: I'm advised that this one apparently does have an
6 exhibit number, P251. My apologies.
7 Q. And, Mr. Trbojevic, I'll tell you these are the minutes of the
8 55th Session, held on the 12th of October. You are shown as being in
9 attendance. And I want to ask you about item -- an item on page 8 of
10 your B/C/S. It's page 7 of the English. Near the bottom. Says:
11 "The Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior Affairs
12 together with the Republika Srpska army's responsible organs are due to
13 criminally prosecute persons who are currently in the Serbian Radical
14 Party's paramilitary formations on charges of draft dodging and other
15 crimes they have committed as a paramilitary formation."
16 What can you tell us about that, do you know what crimes they
17 were alleged to have committed as a paramilitary formation, and whether
18 or not this was carried out and any prosecutions were actually held?
19 A. I don't know what this refers to specifically or which
20 paramilitary unit it has in mind, which locations, and what events or
21 incidents. As far as I know, there was no follow-up prosecution or any
22 proceedings where anyone was convicted of any crime. I don't know what
23 this means specifically.
24 Q. You hadn't heard, either officially or unofficially, about
25 paramilitary formations connected with Seselj or Seselj's radical party?
1 A. Well, the stories about paramilitary formations and units were
2 plenty. We had problems with them and we received sporadic information
3 regarding incidents involving them, but what this specifically referred
4 to, I really wouldn't know. I know that there was a unit on Grbavica
5 whose leader was, if my memory serves me well, a certain Vojvoda Aljic
6 [phoen]. There was a unit in Vogosca. There was also a unit on
7 Grbavica, I don't know who that belonged to. So there were many
8 paramilitary units, at least there were many stories about various
9 paramilitary units, but I don't know specifically of any particular one.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. Let me show you next Exhibit P253. And I
11 will tell you, as it's coming around, that this appears to be the minutes
12 of the 57th Session of the government, held on 27 October. Again, as
13 usual, you are shown as being in attendance. And I'd like to have you
14 look at page 6 and that's also page 6 in the English. Item number 22,
15 which reads that:
16 "Momcilo Mandic, Minister of the Judiciary and Administration,
17 has informed the government on the situation in Republika Srpska camps
18 and assembly centres. It is concluded that the existing illegal camps
19 and assembly centres are to be dissolved as soon as possible."
20 I take it from that that as of 27 October, there were still some
21 illegal camps and assembly centres in the RS? Would you agree with that?
22 A. Yes. You can see from here that Mandic is informing about the
23 status or the situation in the camps and the collection centres. This
24 would be my conclusion but I don't know specifically what this refers to.
25 Q. Did you have any information, official or unofficial, at that
1 time about the number or nature of those camps and the persons, the
2 category of persons that were being held there, the conditions, any of
3 that information known to you?
4 A. There were several reports, and I did say that I didn't know
5 which one arrived when, something of that was known, but I don't know
6 what this report by Mandic specifically referred to. I don't know. This
7 is already late October. The government was already outgoing. Djeric
8 had submitted his resignation. It was known that he was going to submit
9 his resignation. He insisted that this be in the Assembly, that a
10 work -- a report on the work be discussed which would then be followed by
11 his resignation.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last
14 MR. HANNIS:
15 Q. You've been asked if you could repeat the last sentence of your
17 A. This was already actually a phase when the government existed
18 formally. Djeric was known to be about -- to submit his resignation, he
19 was supposed to do it at the Assembly session after his report on work
20 was reviewed, which happened on the 24th of November.
21 Q. Okay. Then I want to take you to one final meeting.
22 MR. HANNIS: This is 65 ter number 1225. 1225.
23 Q. And I'll give you a hard copy of that. This one appears to the
24 minutes of the 61st Session of the RS government, held on 21 December.
25 You are present. And the only question I want to ask you about this one
1 is basically this appears to be the session in which the hand-over of the
2 government took place between the outgoing prime minister, Mr. Djeric,
3 and the incoming prime minister, Mr. Vladimir Lukic. Do you recall that
5 A. I don't know any specific details. I know that the meeting did
6 take place, and I know that Lukic's government was formally elected, if
7 I'm not mistaken, in January. What we did in December, hand-over of
8 duty, because Lukic's government was elected at the Assembly session, I
9 think, of the 18th of January, or thereabouts.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. Perhaps he handed over the duty to the next prime minister
12 designate who was then about to elect the other members of the
14 Q. Okay. Thank you.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I would like to tender 1225.
16 JUDGE HALL
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P429, Your Honours.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
19 Q. And lastly, Mr. Trbojevic, I would like to hand you a hard copy
20 of an excerpt from, this is 65 ter 2653. This is from the minutes or
21 actually, from the transcript of the 20th Session of the RS Assembly,
22 which was held in Bijeljina on the 14th and 15th of September. And if
23 you want to look at the first two or three pages to see that it does
24 appear to be referring to that 20th Session of the Assembly, and I want
25 to direct you to a particular page where you are listed as the speaker.
1 MR. HANNIS: And I want to go to page 36 of the English in
2 e-court, and I believe in e-court it's page 40 of the B/C/S.
3 Q. For you, Mr. Trbojevic, I think I've put a sticky on the side of
4 the page that I want to direct your attention to.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hannis, just to clarify, you said it was
6 65 ter 2653. In your mail you mention it as 2635.
7 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Mr. --
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is it 53?
9 MR. HANNIS: It is 53.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
11 MR. HANNIS: Mr. Zecevic kindly pointed out to me that I
12 transposed those numbers and I wrote back, copying everyone I think I'd
13 sent the original, to advise that Mr. Zecevic was right.
14 Q. Do you find that page?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the part I want to read is you talking about -- at the bottom
17 of page 36:
18 "Camps for inmates, prisoners, and civilians and who knows what
19 are opened in republic but no one or most authorities know nothing about
21 Yesterday, I think you told me that you thought you only became
22 aware of civilians being detained in November when you started talking to
23 people on the ground and heard about it unofficially. But here we have
24 you in the middle of September speaking in the Assembly making reference
25 to camps for civilians. My question is: Does that refresh your memory
1 about the earliest time you might have learned about civilians being
2 detained in these camps?
3 A. Look, I'm saying here that camps for prisoners, civilians,
4 detainees, for whoever are being opened across the republic. Nobody from
5 the authorities or the majority of us do not know who is opening these
6 camps. The minister in charge of refugees is stunned when
7 representatives of the Red Cross tell him, Well, there is a camp in such
8 and such a place, is this a state or not? So what I'm saying here is
9 that most of us who were members of the government did not know who was
10 opening camps and I'm wondering how a minister entrusted with the care
11 for refugees does not know if somebody tells him that there is a camp in
12 such and such a place. Of course this is not all right. That was not my
13 point. There were rumours constantly going around, but what a person can
14 know specifically and reliably about specific particulars, this is quite
15 a different matter.
16 Q. But if civilians were being detained in camps run by the army or
17 the police, the minister of refugees wouldn't necessarily be informed
18 about that, would he?
19 A. The person who detains someone must take care about that person
20 in any option. Food has to be provided for at least, and then the
21 directorate for commodity reserves would know that food is being
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Trbojevic. I have no more questions for you.
24 MR. HANNIS: And I would like to tender that Assembly session.
25 JUDGE HALL
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P430, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Trbojevic, before we pass the word on to the
3 Defence teams, could I just ask you to clarify what these rumours that
4 you heard were about. You said that rumours were circulating around but,
5 of course, you couldn't rely on rumours, but what did the rumours say?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's difficult after so many years
7 to say what rumour was heard, in which context, at what place, and there
8 were some suspicious reports which came to the government's attention as
9 well. One of them I looked at and it did not contain any relevant points
10 which would characterise the situation. It spoke about medical and
11 health measures, food and things like that. But then later it would turn
12 out that the situation was quite different.
13 As for what information reached me when, I really couldn't tell
14 you. My first specific information at firsthand was that there was a
15 collection centre in Trnopolje where Muslims were being sheltered. This
16 is the first thing that I heard realistically. Of course it was on
17 television when the international institutions were permitted to enter
18 Manjaca and Omarska. There was footage from Trnopolje, footage from
19 Manjaca, where Mr. Ashdown even commended the way Manjaca was being run.
20 There was a whole bunch of information, but as for the real state of
21 affairs, that was something that a person could hear about only when they
22 became familiar with this case.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Hannis asked you just a while ago whether you
24 began to be suspicious about what really happened in September or
25 November, I think. But I wasn't sure about your answer. Do you recall
1 when you first had suspicions about what was really going on in the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the fall, September or October,
4 it was clear that the government was falling apart, that it was going to
5 be replaced or disbanded, that our mandate was ending. So the need for a
6 person to officially monitor something or the possibility to have an
7 effect on anything was actually being lost here, and from being in the
8 forefront, it kind of receded towards the back. So I was brought into
9 the situation where, as a regular citizen, I was no longer to say
10 anything to anyone. You cannot really reach and see which military unit
11 was doing something where. It was more important to see if somebody
12 would be mobilised and sent to the front, rather than whether somebody
13 was fulfilling their duties or not.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
15 JUDGE HALL
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Just for the record, Your Honours, we are joined, the Stanisic
18 Defence is joined by our legal consultant assistant, Mr. Andreja Zecevic,
19 thank you, who is present in the courtroom.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Zecevic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Trbojevic.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, you were a member of the Assembly of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina and after the Assembly of Republika Srpska was formed
25 you remained a member of the Assembly of Republika Srpska; is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, just one request, we need to make a pause. We
4 speak the same language but we need to take into account the
5 interpretation in order to avoid problems with the transcript.
6 Mr. Trbojevic, can you please tell me, you are familiar with the
7 plan of the European Union which was popularly called the Cutileiro plan
8 after the Portuguese foreign minister, Mr. Cutileiro. Do you recall
10 A. Yes, I don't recall the particulars, but I do recall it
12 Q. You recall that the plan provided for the division of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina into three entities with a central government or a
14 federal government headquartered in Sarajevo?
15 A. Yes, I remember our relief that all three parties to the
16 negotiations reached an agreement, and that this could mean that our
17 expectations would be met and that the war situation would no longer
18 apply. But as for the contents, I do remember that there were three
19 regions at the national level, or according to the ethnic or national
20 level, and they would be united into one state community union.
21 Q. Do you recall that this division into three so-called entities,
22 according to the national principle, and that each of those entities,
23 according to the agreement reached on the 18th of March in Lisbon
24 the representatives of the SDS
25 existence of certain organs of state administration, which would be
1 separate for each entity with one federal ministry in Sarajevo, a
2 headquarters that would cover that particular area. Do you know that?
3 A. Well, I really couldn't confirm and say that I was very familiar
4 with the structure. I know that in the Serbian ranks this was accepted
5 with relief and I know that the public opinion that prevailed was that
6 efforts needed to be made immediately to achieve a real situation in the
7 field that would approach as closely as possible the Cutileiro plan. So
8 this is not an official conclusion by any organ, but this was the
9 prevailing opinion that you could hear.
10 Q. If I understood you correctly, the Serbian side was completely in
11 accord what the Cutileiro plan, it accepted it, and tried in the field to
12 adjust the situation in the field in accordance with the solutions from
13 the Cutileiro plan. Did I understand you correctly?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Of course you recall that the plan was signed on the
16 18th of March, as I just said, actually, it was signed in principle, and
17 then after some time, after a couple of days, Mr. Izetbegovic withdrew
18 his signature to the plan, to these joint principles that were agreed on
19 in Lisbon
20 A. Yes. It was in the press.
21 Q. We mentioned the position of the Serbian side. When you said
22 that the Serbian body of the population accepted the Cutileiro plan with
23 relief, is it not true that the position of the Serbian side was
24 primarily guided by the desire to remain in a common federative Republic
25 of Yugoslavia
1 A. The platform that preceded all of this was a firm political
2 position of the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina that the final and basic
3 objective was to preserve the unity of Yugoslavia.
4 Q. And the basic tenet -- that was the basic tenet of the position
5 of the Serbian side, and this Cutileiro plan envisaged -- what it
6 envisaged was a kind of position in reserve that the Serbian side
7 accepted to have Bosnia-Herzegovina leave Yugoslavia but to be divided
8 into three entities according to the national principle; is that right?
9 A. Well, you could say that it was the forced acceptance of a lesser
11 Q. So the Dayton Accords from 1995, in essence, accepted with small
12 modifications the basic positions of the Cutileiro plan and this actually
13 came into being and is the reality on the ground today, is it not?
14 A. More or less.
15 Q. Thank you. Mr. Trbojevic, did you know that the SDA, Party of
16 Democratic Action, as early as the 1990s, actually, as early as 1991,
17 called upon members of the Muslim ethnic group not to respond to the
18 call-up to the JNA, not to serve their military term of duty. Do you
19 know that?
20 A. I'm familiar with that political position. I think that the
21 decision of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina was published on that
23 Q. Do you know that along with that position about refusing to
24 respond to the call-up and to serve the military tour of duty, the young
25 men were placed by the SDA into police reserve forces and were sent for
1 training to the Ministry of the Interior in Croatia on the basis of some
2 agreement or under the alleged agreement between the MUP of Croatia and
3 the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Are you aware of that?
4 A. Actually I didn't know that in 1991 and 1992. Today, from these
5 cases that are being tried, I know that there is a lot of evidence in
6 that sense. I mean, this was more or less published, the forming of the
7 Patriotic League and the co-operation and the provisions provided by the
8 Croatian police to the Patriotic League and so on and so forth. There is
9 numerous documentation about this, much more voluminous than what I know.
10 But I did have the opportunity to see these basic things.
11 Q. You are aware that other than training they also took part in the
12 combat within the ZNG units; isn't that correct? I mean, you know that
13 now; right?
14 A. Yes. Some things I did know in 1991 as well. In Kupres, the
15 conflicts in 1991 were between the Croatian units and the Serbian
16 population. And in March 1992, there was an incursion by the Croatian
17 units into Sijekovac, near Brod, and so on and so forth. These were
18 things that were known even then. And after the Storm action and so on,
19 and Flash, they were known.
20 Q. Let's make a small digression. You lived in Sarajevo; isn't that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know where the seat of the Party of Democratic Action was?
24 A. No, I don't know where that was.
25 Q. Does Titova Street, Marshall
1 A. This is the main street of Sarajevo. It's the main street.
2 Q. You don't recall that the seat of the SDA, original seat, was in
3 Marshall Tito Street 7A?
4 A. No, I don't know that.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Trbojevic, since you were a member of the
6 Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you were present at the Assembly session
7 on the 15th of October, 1991; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, Your Honours.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record, Your Honour, courtroom is too
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Life is dangerous, Mr. Pantelic.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
14 Q. [Interpretation] The document is here, 65 ter 1483. You will
15 recall that on this day --
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] And I would seek the assistance of
17 the usher to give the witness these minutes from this session. This is
18 document 65 ter 1483.
19 Q. These are minutes of the 8th joint session of the Chambers of the
20 Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina held over a
21 period of three days, on the 10th, 11th, and 14th October 1991, and which
22 ended in early morning hours on the 15th of October. Do you remember
23 that session, and if I understood you correctly, you actually attended
24 it; right?
25 A. Yes. I did attend it and I'm just trying to get my bearings and
1 see whether the dates as mentioned here are what I had in mind.
2 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, perhaps I can leave the document with you so that
3 you can leaf through it during the break and then I can come back to the
5 But tell me now, you surely remember that the declaration on the
6 sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina was adopted at this session; correct?
7 A. Well, that's what I was trying to actually find in the minutes.
8 I do remember that I left this -- I walked out of this session together
9 with the Serb deputies because -- and this declaration was adopted in our
10 absence, and we considered that to be at that time, and I still feel the
11 same way, an illegitimate or rather unlawful act.
12 Q. But as far as I know, the specific aspects of the
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina constitution, because of the fact that there were
14 three constituent ethnic groups there was set up in such a way so that
15 neither one or not one of those ethnic groups would be able to decide on
16 their own, or rather, vote over the decisions that would actually put
17 them at a disadvantage?
18 A. Well, there were actually discussions on amending the
19 constitution to allow for constitutional guarantees which would provide
20 for these vital interests of each of the constituent nations and that
21 they would actually be specified in these constitutional amendments, so
22 that not one of the groups could actually be voted over by the other two.
23 And this was discussed on several occasions before a number of different
24 bodies also in committees, but as far as I know, this job was never
25 actually completed.
1 Q. But as you were a member of the Serb caucus in the Assembly, you
2 were on the SDS
3 tried through the institutions of the country to block the implementation
4 of this declaration that you considered unconstitutional and unlawful,
5 and you actually sought to accomplish this through legal methods provided
6 for by the constitution, the parliamentary rules, and the rules of
7 parliamentary democracy, all those means that you had at your disposal;
9 A. Well, there was a dead-line given for the submission of a request
10 to have the independence recognised, and I know that within our own
11 Assembly club, the club of the Serb representatives in the Assembly of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we discussed this with a number of experts on
13 constitutional law, how to actually oppose this, and how to fight it,
14 because we were still on the position that we should seek to preserve the
15 territorial integrity of Yugoslavia
16 independence, the declared independence by Croatia and Slovenia
17 already been recognised internationally.
18 So we had these discussions as to how to prevent Bosnia
20 community, and we concluded that there was no instrument that we could
21 use to efficiently fight this other than a kind of filibuster or
22 obstruction in the Assembly session so that the -- so that we would push
23 the time and have the dead-line expire for this decision. But we
24 realised that, in the final analysis, if our obstruction or filibuster
25 threatened to actually push back the dead-line, that the president of the
1 Assembly would actually just sign this decision and send it to the
2 international community.
3 Q. Without the approval of the parliament; correct?
4 A. Well, yes, and as we saw later on, it was actually adopted in
5 this Rump Assembly, as it were.
6 Q. Thank you. You said during your evidence that sometime in May
7 you left Sarajevo
8 that you become a member of his government, and he said that he would
9 clear this with Krajisnik and Karadzic. And in fact, immediately
10 following this, you accepted that offer and you began your work in the
11 government; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. This government, as we've already seen because you've said this
14 several times, and yesterday you said this on page 4.084 of the
15 transcript, the government fell on the 20th of November and you remained
16 in your post for some one month and a half on doing the technical work
17 until the new government would take over; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. We saw today that the new minister designate had already taken
20 his -- taken over on the 21st of December and the new government was
21 proclaimed, or elected I believe you said, at a session on the
22 18th of January. Yesterday, on page 4.085, Mr. Hannis, my learned
23 friend, asked you something about the war crimes commission, and he read
24 out to you the minutes from a government session of the 3rd of June.
25 This is Exhibit P224. And among other things, it said there that the
1 government concluded that a proceedings should be initiated to
2 investigate the war crimes, and the Ministry of the Interior and the
3 commission for war crimes were actually tasked with this job. Do you
4 recall discussing this yesterday?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You answered that you could not remember that that commission was
7 established in June 1992, but that the war crimes commission to
8 investigate crimes committed against the Serb population was only
9 established in 1993, and then Mr. Karadzic actually tasked you to be at
10 the head of this commission. But as far as you could recall, it never
11 actually began its work, but rather, it began its work in co-operation
12 with the federal commission for war crimes in Belgrade; correct?
13 A. Yes, that's what I said.
14 Q. And you said at the time that a judge was the -- at the head of
15 this commission and you said that you couldn't recall his name, so I
16 wanted to remind you. Could this be Judge Ilija Simic?
17 A. Well, yes, it's quite possible. I think he was Ilija, his first
18 name, I know that he was a district court judge. I visited him on one
20 Q. Yes, the late Ilija Simic, he was a district court judge in
22 elaborate on that, but you mentioned the government worked under very
23 difficult conditions, that they were on Mount Jahorina. There was no
24 heating, no electric power, that the snow made the things even worse
25 because the roads were not passable, and that you did not have any means
1 of communication. So in effect, the government actually did not have any
2 kind of infrastructure which would enable it to work?
3 A. That's correct. We literally did not even have typewriters, no
4 telefaxes, nothing. We would -- if we got hold of one, we would bring
5 it, whatever we could find.
6 Q. I believe that you mentioned somewhere, but I just want to make
7 sure and verify that with you, were the roads to other parts, to all
8 other parts of Republika Srpska open? Was it possible to communicate via
9 road traffic with other parts of Republika Srpska?
10 A. Well, to go to Banja Luka you had to go travel via Bijeljina, and
11 then along Posavina which is some 500 kilometres. So it was impossible
12 to use the normal road via Travnik, which would be some 200 kilometres,
13 that distance would be some 200 kilometres. And the situation was such
14 up until the end of July, approximately, when the corridor was opened up.
15 The way to Serbia
16 toward Karakaj. And then at Sekovic that road was cut off because it was
17 within the area of responsibility of some units that were deployed there
18 and that were under fire, so at times this road was passable and at
19 others it wasn't because there was fighting going on. Some villages were
20 burned down there and so on. So as far as I could see, that was the
21 situation. These were the two main roads.
22 As for the others, I don't know exactly how that went. I think
23 the road to Foca was passable.
24 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, do you know that the Ministry of the
25 Interior made and invested a lot of effort into ensuring that information
1 was -- flowed in from the field to the centre?
2 A. Well, I do believe that the ministry, because of the nature of
3 its work, would have had to have connections with their field offices,
4 the police stations and so on. Whether those communications were always
5 possible or not, I don't know, but there must have been some form of
6 communication because the structure of the ministry was such. It was
7 organised in this vertical manner, hierarchical matter.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to show
9 you now 65 ter 177. This is a communication from --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: If I'm not mistaken, you didn't tender
11 65 ter 1483.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours -- no, no, no, I understand.
13 But I suggested to the witness that he reads it through the -- during the
14 break and then I will ask him some more questions, and that is why I
15 didn't want to lose the time. Thank you very much for reminding me.
16 [Interpretation] Could we now show the witness 65 ter 177,
17 please. Could the usher also provide a hard copy to Mr. Trbojevic,
19 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, this is a document from the Ministry of the
20 Interior in Sarajevo
21 information was forwarded to all security centres. And it was to the
22 chief, personally, and it was signed by the minister, Mr. Stanisic, and
23 he is requesting information regarding all significant information of
24 security interest, the situation, the security status on robberies,
25 profiteering, and other serious criminal offences. And he also
1 instructs, in the second paragraph, that such information should be sent
2 every day by 1900 hours, and then at the end he adds in hand:
3 "Non-compliance with the order shall constitute a serious breach
4 of the work obligation in time of war," and so forth, "and I will
5 immediately and energetically take all measures necessary in order to
6 establish who is responsible."
7 From this it arises, no doubt, that there were many difficulties
8 in this flow of information; is that correct?
9 A. Well, that's correct, because otherwise it wouldn't be necessary
10 to actually provide specific instructions, and it was specifically
11 mentioned there that non-compliance will be considered a serious breach
12 of the work obligation in time of war. I think that's quite logical.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The document date is
14 18th of -- 17th of July, 1993.
15 MR. HANNIS: That raises a point I wanted to raise, Your Honour,
16 that the 17th July date doesn't appear to be on the English translation.
17 I can see it there but I just would like to make sure the record reflects
18 that. And also, the handwritten original, there's a word crossed out and
19 I don't see that reflected in the translation as well. I don't know if
20 Mr. Zecevic and the witness can help us with that.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Just one moment. Just allow me for a moment. First of all, at
23 58, 7, the date there is wrong, it says 1993, whereas in fact the date
24 should be 17th of July, 1992. That is what we can see below the sentence
25 strictly confidential, or rather, the abbreviation strictly confidential.
1 Number 10-11/92. In the upper left corner of the document that is the
2 date noted there, 17th of July 1992.
3 As for the word that is crossed out, in the original text,
4 Mr. Witness, could you please tell us, could you read this.
5 A. Well, it says here, non-compliance with the issued order. The
6 word "issued" is crossed out. Probably what was intended there was
7 non-compliance with issued obligations or -- and then they probably put
8 "orders" and then crossed out the "issued" so that that word was used to
9 actually mean an order and that is reflected.
10 Q. Well, very well. If there is there are no --
11 JUDGE HALL
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. Yes, Your Honour, I wanted to tender the
13 document if there's no objection.
14 MR. HANNIS: I don't have an objection with those changes
15 reflected on the record, but I don't know if you want to have it
16 submitted to CLSS to have a revised translation.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Okay. Well, if we can have it MFI'd and then
18 we'll -- pending translation from the CLSS.
19 MR. HANNIS: That's fine.
20 JUDGE HALL
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zecevic --
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- I'm a little bit confused. You said the date
25 of the document is 17 July. I read 18 on the original.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: No, Your Honour, in the first -- if you look at the
2 original --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay, okay.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: -- there is a 17 --
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Scrolled up, yes. Okay.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: -- and it says, By the 18th of July 1992 at 12 noon
7 you have to submit the following.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
10 JUDGE HALL
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document marked at the end of
15 the last session will become Exhibit 1D91, marked for identification.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you. Thank you very much.
17 Your Honours, we were instructed --
18 THE REGISTRAR: I do apologise, 1D91.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we were instructed this morning to
20 expedite our response in relation to the motion for amendment of subpoena
21 by -- oh, but that has to be this closed session, I think.
22 JUDGE HALL
23 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, have you had time to look at the document that
12 I've given to you?
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we call it up again. It's
14 65 ter 1483.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've looked at it.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] 1483. 1483.
17 Q. I asked you if that was the meeting that we talked about?
18 A. Yes, that's the one.
19 Q. Since we've already commented about it, I would just like to ask
20 you something about what is on page 2 on the document that is seen on the
21 e-court. The marking on the top of the page of that document is 012 [as
22 interpreted] in the Serbian version. And we will look at item 2. So
23 this is on the seconds page of the e-court document, both in the B/C/S
24 and in the English.
25 A. Is this the page which is marked 102?
1 Q. Yes, 102, item 2 begins with Bosnia-Herzegovina will continue and
2 so on.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. You can see there that Bosnia-Herzegovina shall
5 continue to advocate the survival of a Yugoslav community on new
6 foundations, which would be acceptable to all. In the meantime, it will
7 also support the mutual co-operation between old institutions, thinking
8 of the institutions of the federal state, but its representatives will
9 not attend meetings of the Assembly in the Presidency of the SFRY unless
10 they are attended by representatives of all the republics and the
11 autonomous provinces. Decisions made in an incomplete session not
12 attended by everyone will not be considered binding on Bosnia and
14 This is October 1991. At that time Slovenia and Croatia
15 already voted on and declared -- voted on their own declarations of
16 independence; is that correct.
17 A. Yes. And if you permit me, this position clearly indicates that
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina also will leave any kind of community in
20 Q. You have just anticipated my question so this, in fact,
21 essentially means the obstruction of federal organs, although it is
22 coached in this nice form, basically it signifies an obstruction of the
23 federal organs in the sense that Bosnia-Herzegovina will leave the
24 Federal Socialist Republic
25 A. Yes. It is stated quite clearly. It says that, We support our
1 common, joint organs but we will not participate in them unless Croatia
2 and Slovenia
3 announced that they were going to not participate, so it means that they
4 would not participate, and that also it says that decisions accepted
5 without us will not be acceptable. And it is clearly stated in a way, it
6 says, We are staying in Yugoslavia
8 Q. Thank you. Now that you've looked at this document, does it
9 accurately reflect the situation that prevailed during that period at the
11 A. Well, you can see the emotional charge that accompanies these key
12 things that are being said. Much of that is important. The departure of
13 the Serbian deputies, continuation of the work, adoption of decisions --
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please -- I would like to
16 have this document admitted into evidence. Just one moment, please.
17 I was given the suggestion that on page 62 there is no division
18 between my question and answer by Mr. Trbojevic. I think that my
19 question ends on page 62, line 6, and that is where the answer by
20 Mr. Trbojevic begins. So can we just please correct this now in the
21 transcript. I apologise, it is -- on my LiveNote I have a different
22 marking, so it is 62, 12. I'm being told that that is that -- page 62,
23 line 12 is where my question ends and Mr. Trbojevic's answer begins.
24 Thank you.
25 Your Honours, if there is no objection, I would like to tender
1 this document, the 65 ter 1483 document.
2 MR. HANNIS: No objection.
3 JUDGE HALL
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D92, Your Honours.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, you joined the government in late May. I don't
7 know if you are aware that the government, on the 24th of April, and it
8 was signed by Mr. Djeric, issued some instruction on the conduct and the
9 forming of Crisis Staffs. I don't know if you are aware of that. This
10 is document P70.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at that on the
13 Q. You were not in the government then, so the document is probably
14 not familiar to you.
15 A. I was not in the government but I had the opportunity to see this
16 document later, and also to see the notification that it is being
17 suspended very quickly after that.
18 Q. That is -- the document that suspended this bears the date the
19 27th of April, 1992, and it is marked in this case as P186. I'm not
20 going to show you that document either because as you say, you were not a
21 member of the government then, and this is already an exhibit in this
23 What I wanted to show you is document P217. P217, and that is a
24 record of a meeting from the government session of the 23rd of May, 1992.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] And can our -- our assistant can
1 provide a hard copy of the document to you.
2 MR. HANNIS: If it's an exhibit already in evidence, I don't need
3 to see it. I trust, Mr. Zecevic.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
5 Q. [Interpretation] It's a government meeting held on the
6 23rd of May. I assume that you also attended that session even though we
7 don't have a record of those who were present at that time at government
8 meetings. Can you please just glance over the document, maybe you
9 remember that session? This could be the first or the second session
10 that you would have attended perhaps.
11 A. It's possible that I did attend, but to tell you the truth, I
12 really couldn't tell you either way.
13 Q. Can you please look at item 4, the conclusion of the government.
14 Item 4, it was concluded that measures should be taken to abolish the
15 Crisis Staffs. Do you see that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Perhaps you remember that?
18 A. Really, I don't know.
19 Q. Very well. You were probably familiar with the fact -- I mean,
20 even those -- those Crisis Staffs didn't even function for a month and
21 the government had already concluded that measures should be taken for
22 their abolishment. You spoke a little bit about that, but the essence
23 was that the government, or rather, the central authority practically
24 could not, did not have control over the work of those Crisis Staffs and
25 could not influence them; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that was the gist of the situation.
2 Q. Thank you. You know that in the old Yugoslavia, the Socialist
3 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
4 and Social Protection; do you remember that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I'm not going to show you in order not to burden the
7 Trial Chamber with that --
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] But for reference, that is the Law
9 on All People's Defence and Social Self-Protection. This is 1D --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the number.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] 1D00-4042. But since all the legal
12 documents will be stipulated between the parties, there's no need to
13 tender these documents as separate exhibits.
14 Q. You know that the Law on All People's Defence and Social
15 Self-Protection provided for the creation of certain organ staffs,
16 committees which took over the role of municipal organs in the event that
17 due to different reasons, extraordinary circumstance, these organs are
18 unable to convene. You are aware of that, aren't you?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. Do you know that on the basis of that law, these organs take upon
21 themselves all the powers of the organs of powers for the period that the
22 extraordinary circumstances are in effect and that also includes the
23 sphere of defence?
24 A. Well, I don't know the text of that regulation off by heart but I
25 think that under the law, it was established who of the existing
1 functionaries enters that organ and how that organ functions until the
2 circumstances cease, due to which the organ was activated, and until the
3 regular organs authorised for those particular duties again take these
4 duties upon themselves.
5 Q. That organ, that law also laid down the powers of those organs
6 and, what was a key point, it set a limited time-period for their work
7 and their existence, i.e., until the extraordinary circumstances were
8 valid or applied; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, are you aware that the Party of Democratic Action
11 and it's leadership in the area, as well as the HDZ especially in
12 Herceg-Bosnia and other places, had already formed their Crisis Staffs in
13 their municipalities, these same types of organs, even before these
14 organs started to be formed by the Serbian Democratic Party? Serbian
15 Democratic Party, I apologise.
16 A. Yes, I think that that is more or less a matter of public
17 knowledge. There was some testimony in these cases where it was noted
18 that Crisis Staffs in Croatia
19 all three sides.
20 Q. From one of such cases, I got the information that at the time,
21 in late 1991, in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were more than 950 different
22 Crisis Staffs. This is in late 1991. Are you aware of that?
23 A. I don't know the exact number, but I know that they were in the
25 Q. Do you know that the Presidency of the Socialist Republic
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina formed in September 1991 the Presidency Crisis Staff
2 headed by Mr. Ejup Ganic, and whose members were the Defence minister of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Jerko Doko, the commander of the Territorial
4 Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the minister of the interior of
5 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Delimustafic,
6 among others. Are you aware of that?
7 A. Yes, I think I did see that. I saw the document.
8 Q. I'm just going to give a reference since you have confirmed that.
9 This is 1D00-4585. This is a document, it's a Presidency record of a
10 meeting where Mr. Alija Izetbegovic accepts to disband the Crisis Staff
11 of the Presidency sometime in 1992, during negotiations with members of
12 the Yugoslav People's Army.
13 Mr. Trbojevic, you will agree with me, I hope, when I say that
14 the need for such organs, such as the Crisis Staffs emerged because of
15 the deep crisis that came about as far as the functioning of the central
16 government and the regional or municipal authorities. Would you agree
17 with that?
18 A. Yes, I would agree that the crisis was deep, all encompassing and
19 that you had to find a way to get out of it.
20 Q. A little bit earlier we looked at this document, these
21 conclusions from the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina from October. It
22 is evident that the obstruction by Bosnia-Herzegovina in relation to the
23 federal state, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was being
24 reflected broadly within Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that the lower
25 municipal organs were obstructing in the same way the central organs of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Would you agree with this assumption of mine?
2 A. Yes, I would agree that that is more or less what it was like,
3 that the republics, one by one, were leaving the community, leaving the
4 joint organs, the financing of the common budget. And in the case of
6 municipalities had suspended their payments of taxes, and participation
7 in the budget contact, and so on and so forth.
8 Q. Thank you. So that means that the total falling apart of the
9 state system was considerably underway?
10 A. Yes. I would say that that breaking apart and the destruction
11 was proceeding from the top down.
12 Q. And these organs that were being formed in these extraordinary
13 circumstances from that initial role of theirs to organise life in a
14 territory during times of crisis and extraordinary circumstances with the
15 deepening of the crisis and the escalation of the conflict suddenly
16 became practically very powerful centres of power; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes. Local administration organs that were part of the system
18 now became set apart from the system. They became independent and there
19 was no other authority next to them, alongside them or above them so that
20 they constituted the only power in a given area.
21 Q. Based on this process where they became a power in and of
22 themselves, they began to issue orders to some organs which were
23 absolutely incongruous [Realtime transcript read in error "in congress"]
24 with the role of these bodies as originally envisaged?
25 A. These staffs took upon themselves the power to, for example,
1 command a military unit that was like a local brigade or a local unit,
2 the local police, which was not local by its structure and in it's main
3 system because hierarchically it was connected to the state, but
4 practically, there were people in the police station living in that
5 particular area and they were subject to the authority of local power
6 brokers. And this is now another question as to how this authority was
7 imposed. Some places it functioned harmoniously, it varied from area to
8 area. There were different circumstances.
9 Q. Thank you. In such circumstances and at times such as those,
10 Republika Srpska in effect established its government of which you were
11 the prime minister; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I believe that it is uncontested that the main stumbling block in
14 the functioning of the government and the state was the fact that both
15 the state and the government were being established under general wartime
16 conditions; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It is obvious that the problem that we've just discussed, the
19 problems relating to the Crisis Staff and the local centres of power, was
20 something that was recognised early on by the central government, as
21 early as May 1992, and then the Presidency, too, became aware of it
22 because the Presidency made a decision to establish wartime presidencies
23 in place of the Crisis Staffs. Would you agree with me?
24 A. Well, it is obvious that the government was trying to accomplish
25 something. We can see that because there was -- that instruction from
1 the month of April, but then it was withdrawn and the decision was made
2 to establish wartime presidencies, which decision, in fact, exacerbated
3 the situation, in my view, and I've said so on a number of occasions.
4 I'd like to explain that. The Crisis Staff under the earlier
5 provisions of the law on All People's Defence, they were established
6 pursuant to that earlier law. The wartime presidencies, however, were
7 established based on the realities on the ground for pragmatic reasons,
8 and it became more obvious that people who had not been elected in the
9 elections that had preceded were not becoming members of those bodies,
10 but, rather, people who were members of the party saw that they were also
11 now concentrating in their hands both the executive and the legislative
12 powers they were taking upon themselves the powers that they were unable
13 to actually sustain. And for pragmatic reasons, this was an attempt to
14 actually hold under firm control by the party these powers, that's in my
15 view at least as far as I could observe, and in fact that was a step back
16 because it only led to further anarchy and lawlessness.
17 Then there was the attempt to establish commissioners.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] For the record and for the
19 Trial Chamber, I would like to say that the decision on the establishment
20 of wartime presidencies is document 65 ter 145. I don't know if it has
21 already been exhibited in the meantime. That is 65 ter 145. If it
22 hasn't already been admitted into evidence, perhaps we could show it to
23 the witness. I don't have it in hard copy. Or rather, I'm sorry, this
24 document is from the Official Gazette, so there is no reason to actually
25 submit it now because it would be stipulated between the parties.
1 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Excuse me, one point, a correction for the
2 transcript, I believe. On page 69, line 6, the transcript has the words
3 "in congress" where I believe the -- it should be the single word
4 "incongruous." Quite the opposite.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Mr. O'Sullivan.
6 Q. [Interpretation] So, sir, if I understand your evidence
7 correctly, this decision on the establishment of wartime presidencies was
8 actually an attempt at taking control over the Crisis Staffs and which,
9 in your view, in fact only contributed to further chaos. So that it was
10 followed by an amended decision and in place of the wartime presidencies,
11 it was decided that wartime commissions should be established; correct?
12 A. Well, yes, you are correct. Speaking about the ramifications and
13 the consequences, I have to say that the decision on the establishment of
14 these wartime presidencies also envisaged these commissioners to be their
15 members and some sort of liaison between the central powers and the
16 municipal authorities, the municipal bodies. But the commissioners who
17 could not attend because they were at the other end of the world, as it
18 were, and were unable to actually deal on a day-to-day basis with all
19 these matters.
20 Q. If I remember correctly, there was -- there were situations where
21 in some municipalities there were war commissions but the Crisis Staffs
22 remained actually in operation. Do you know of any such cases?
23 A. Well, yes, there were instances where there were all three types
24 of bodies in operation at the same time.
25 Q. Very well. You said a moment ago a thing that I would like to
1 examine now with you.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 1D60.
3 And perhaps the usher can assist us, we have a hard copy of the document.
4 1D60. Six zero. Could the usher please assist me and provide the
5 witness. I just need the last page. There is a comment that I would
6 like to elicit or discuss.
7 Q. Sir, before you see this document in a moment or so, let me just
8 explain. This is a document, a report, from a collegium of the Ministry
9 of the Interior, the date of the document is 16 November. It is dated
10 the 16th of November, and this document was sent to everyone. This
11 collegium of November 5, 1992
12 issues within the Ministry of the Interior. I assume that you haven't
13 seen this document before, but what I would like to ask you about is just
14 a comment noted, a remark at the end of the document, the document which
15 was signed by Mr. Stanisic, or rather, by someone on his behalf, and
16 which remark reads as follows:
17 "Due to the interference of the organs of the government and
18 individuals within the Municipal Assemblies in the administrative
19 policies of the SJB and CSB
20 informed thereof in a separate letter which is to follow."
21 So even in mid-November, meaning immediately preceding the fall
22 of the government, the Ministry of the Interior was dealing and had
23 problems with the local organs, Crisis Staffs, commissioners, and
24 similar, because they were interfering in personnel issues that were
25 within the ambit of the Ministry of the Interior. Are you aware of that?
1 A. Well, I'm not really well acquainted with this, but I know there
2 was situations where a number of these Crisis Staffs and municipal
3 authorities, municipal administrations, sought to make sure that people
4 who were, in their view, more malleable and more suitable enter these
5 bodies, whether this was only because it was necessary to fill the
6 positions that had been left vacant when the Muslims and Croats left, I
7 don't know whether that was the reason, but there were various attempts
8 within municipalities, but all of that was illegitimate, which we can
9 actually read from this letter.
10 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, on a number of occasions today you mentioned this
11 rift, the confrontation between Mr. Djeric, the president or the prime
12 minister, and Mr. Stanisic. And you said, you described some clashes
13 that you yourself witnessed, and so on and so forth. One of the things
14 that I could infer from your testimony was that in effect neither you nor
15 Mr. Stanisic at this point in time -- you yourself are unable to actually
16 describe or explain what this conflict meant, how it had originated, and
17 what it was about; correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Isn't it a fact that one of the rare ministries that really
20 functioned or at least did their best to function optimally in this
21 government, of which you were the deputy prime minister in this period
22 between May and November 1992, was in fact the Ministry of the Interior,
23 of course, compared to the work of the other ministries?
24 A. Well, you see, the army actually, and that's a fact, managed to
25 impose their own chain of command and structure, and it is also a fact
1 that the Ministry of the Interior also implemented in the field their own
2 structure and hierarchy. And in my view, this is a natural outcropping
3 of their functions. All the other ministries were, in fact,
4 administrative bodies. You had to find the person who would be the
5 minister, and then you had to find their associates who would be willing
6 to come up to Jahorina to begin with. And then there was the next step
7 where you actually had to make them work.
8 So both the military and the police had a very clear ambit of
9 work and they had a clearly defined structure which naturally grew out of
10 their -- of the nature of the service which -- because in each police
11 station there was the structure and infrastructure as it normally
12 existed, and your conclusion is quite correct that their structure was
13 far more elaborate and far more complete than the structures of any of
14 the other ministries.
15 Q. Very well. One of the objections that Mr. Djeric put forth in
16 these government sessions was the fact -- was to do with the fact that
17 some of the ministers, including Mr. Stanisic, did not attend all
18 government sessions. However, I would like to show you a document,
19 that's 65 ter 1179 [as interpreted]. This is a government session of the
20 30th of May, 1992, at which time you were already a deputy prime
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the last page
23 of this document. Perhaps the usher could assist in providing a hard
24 copy of this document to the witness.
25 MR. HANNIS: I think this is Exhibit P220 in evidence already.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. I'm sorry.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Please take a look at this last page, that's
3 page 5, the third paragraph from the bottom, where it says that the
4 ministers are to appoint their deputies who will stand in for them in
5 government sessions. Can you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And for the most part, in most of these government sessions where
8 Mr. Stanisic was absent, one of his deputies from the Ministry of the
9 Interior always attended and there would be a remark stating that
10 Mr. Stanisic was absent for official reasons; correct?
11 A. Well, yes, you could see that from these various minutes.
12 Q. Thank you. When we talked about the possible reasons for the
13 clash between Mr. Djeric and Mr. Stanisic, I believe that my learned
14 friend asked you something about a letter that Mr. Stanisic had sent to
15 Mr. Djeric in the month of July 1992, and I believe that you said that
16 you had never seen that letter; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] That is document 65 ter 79, just
19 for purposes of a reference.
20 Q. I'm not going to show the document to you.
21 Can we analyse now what you analysed with my learned friend in
22 relation to the request or the conclusions of the government on the
23 duties of the Ministry of the Interior, and to analyse a little bit what
24 the ministry carried out of those duties.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at 1D496. I
1 think the same document is the 65 ter document 136.
2 Q. It's an instruction by the prime minister, Branko Djeric, sent to
3 the MUP, to the attention of the then undersecretary for public security
4 matters, Mr. Cedomir Kljajic. This was on the 25th of May, 1992.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can the usher please just give
6 Mr. Trbojevic the hard copy of the document.
7 Q. This refers to the government meeting of the 25th of May, 1992.
8 Mr. Hannis also showed you this document a little bit earlier. This is a
9 direct instruction issued from the prime minister, sent to the MUP, where
10 it says that the government has concluded that it is necessary to submit
11 information quickly about the security of people and property in the
12 territory of the Serbian Republic
13 in parentheses, this refer especially to the facts relating to the
14 vehicles from the TAS compound in Vogosca, the oil in Ilidza and the
15 like. And then the prime minister continues that, after that, measures
16 should be proposed.
17 Did you see this document? Or do you remember seeing it?
18 A. Yes, I can see that it's my signature. I did sign it instead of
19 the prime minister.
20 Q. Oh, yes, it's your signature.
21 A. There's nothing new here in relation to what we talked about.
22 There are numerous pieces of information about the attacks on the
23 personal and property security, and then there was a special point about
24 the Ilidza oil, the TAS Vogosca matter. These were two topics that were
25 particularly current and immediate. They were evident and a lot of
1 people were aware of them.
2 Q. Very well. Because you signed this document, you evidently
3 remember it?
4 A. Yes, I think this was initially when I came. You say that it was
5 Cedo Kljajic. I have nothing to disagree with. I did hear about that --
6 the name. I probably could have had contacts with him, but I don't
7 really recollect any contacts with him since then.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there are no objections, I would
9 like to tender this document.
10 MR. HANNIS: I was going to say no objection, but I would
11 indicate that I don't recall showing this document to the witness as
12 Mr. Zecevic said in his testimony -- in his questioning.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that I saw it either.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] No, no, no. Probably it's a
15 interpretation that is in question. I said that this relates to the
16 conclusion of the government of the 25th of May, and that, if I recall,
17 you showed him that record of the government meeting, the minutes
18 meeting, where it was asked that information be provided regarding the
19 TAS matter. This is only a written instruction to the MUP as a
20 consequence of the decision by the government and I apologise for being
22 Q. I would like to ask you --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Registrar, please indicate the number of the --
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P188, Your Honours.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. I would like to ask you to look at this document. This is
3 document 1D62, and we have it here. We have a copy of it here for you.
4 It's a document by the Ministry of the Interior of the 26th of May. The
5 day after you sent that instruction out to the ministry.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please just hand
7 the document over to the witness so that you have a hard copy.
8 Q. The document is dated the 26th of May. The previous instruction
9 was of the 25th of May, this is the 26th of May, and it says in the first
11 "Since it is crucial that we urgently write a report for the
12 government of the Serbian Republic
13 required to provide information about offences against people and
14 property within the territory of the Serbian Republic
16 And then it lists what is expected to be contained in the report.
17 On page 3 it says that the dead-line to submit the report is five days
18 from then on, and that is the 31st of May, 1992.
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. The Ministry of the Interior acted pursuant to a conclusion by
22 the government the following day after it received your dispatch; is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now show the witness
2 document which is an order, or rather, instruction of Mr. Goran Macar.
3 This is 1D623 -- 1D00-0623.
4 Q. That specifically relates to the issue of TAS and Vogosca --
5 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, that's that document.
6 Can we please give Mr. Trbojevic a copy of this document so he could look
7 at it.
8 Q. This is a document by the Ministry of Interior of Republika
9 Srpska with the markings 02-16/92 of the 29th of July, 1992, although
10 there is a mistake, doesn't matter, whatever the date is, the year is
11 1992. It's been delivered to the public security stations and to the
12 minister of the MUP and information. It was signed by the administrator
13 for the administration for crime prevention, Mr. Macar. This document is
14 directly connected with that instruction and conclusion of the government
15 regarding the TAS vehicles and parts that had disappeared.
16 You can see in the first paragraph that:
17 "In order to analyse the problems regarding theft of passenger
18 vehicles from the TAS DP Vogosca and the theft of vehicles from the area
19 of the SJBs, you are required to furnish the following information:"
20 Then they request the list of -- stock list of the Vogosca company,
21 information about the confiscated or stolen vehicles in other depots and
22 warehouses, as well as the report from TAS on the number of vehicles the
23 Crisis Staffs, companies, and other institutions which had taken
24 vehicles. Then also the number of vehicles taken from other storage and
25 warehouse facilities, the quantities still in stock, and so on and so
1 forth. Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. You will agree with me that the Ministry of the Interior in this
4 case, too, is acting pursuant to conclusions and instructions of the
5 government; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, I agree.
7 Q. Thank you. Did you ever see this document before?
8 A. I don't know that I've seen it before. It's not important if
9 anyone has seen it or not, information is being requested here so what is
10 necessary is to see the response.
11 Q. Do you know Mr. Goran Macar as the head of the crime-fighting
13 A. I know of him. He is some sort of functionary. I don't know
14 exactly what he was in charge of.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there are no objections I would
16 like to tender this document in evidence, please.
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I would like to request that this one
18 be marked for identification at the moment. I think the author is
19 scheduled as a witness later on in the case and there's nothing on the
20 face of the document --
21 MR. ZECEVIC: No, that's perfectly all right, Mr. Hannis. I
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
24 JUDGE HALL
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D93, marked for identification,
1 Your Honours.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please now show
3 the witness document 65 ter 306.
4 Q. This is a dispatch by Mr. Stanisic of the 23rd of August, 1992
5 Again it relates to TAS and it is a repeated instruction by the
7 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please ask the usher to hand
8 the document over to the witness. [In English] Yes, I know it's in
9 e-court, but I believe Mr. Trbojevic said that he is experiencing some
10 problems in following the documents with the monitor. He said something
11 with the glasses, but that's why I provided the ...
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 MR. ZECEVIC: May I proceed, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE HALL
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry if I'm creating any problem. I believe
16 Mr. Hannis was assisting the witness in the same manner. That is why
17 I --
18 JUDGE HALL
19 MR. ZECEVIC: -- I tried to accommodate the witness. That is the
20 only reason I'm providing him with hard copies.
21 JUDGE HALL
22 process that both of you followed is accommodating, so we have no
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Trbojevic, this is a document by the MUP in
2 was dispatched to the CSB
3 prevention and detection. It's signed, you will see, by -- or for
4 Mr. Stanisic. I'm not sure if it is his signature, but in any case, it
5 is signed and stamped by the Ministry of Interior.
6 The document states that the prevention of criminal offences was
7 discussed again at the 47th Session of the government of the Serb
8 republics held on the 20th of August, 1992, and it was concluded that:
9 "It was high time that the MUP compiles a report on the theft of
10 Golf-made cars from TAS and on the necessity to start confiscating booty.
11 There was also talk of there being another 300 of these Golf vehicles and
12 that a new 'channel' was opened in the direction of Kiseljak." Then the
13 MUP asked the CSB
14 located to compile a report about the to date work. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. In the next paragraph, the Ministry of the Interior constitutes
17 that there is insufficient activity of the Sarajevo CSB and that has
18 brought into question the legal safety of citizens and the confidence
19 into the rule of law, and that is why it is necessary that the Sarajevo
21 statistic indicators and so on and so forth. And in the last paragraph
22 it says the dead-line to submit information about the theft of Golfs from
23 the TAS and other information is the 28th of August, 1992
24 Do you see that?
25 A. Yes. All of that is written in the document.
1 Q. You will agree with me that after the criticism by the government
2 on the 47th -- at the 47th Session, there was a reaction by the Ministry
3 of the Interior, and again a request seeking information from the
4 Sarajevo CSB
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there is no objection, I would
9 like to tender this document. Mr. Hannis, perhaps we can also MFI the
11 MR. HANNIS: Yes, I know you said you didn't know whether it was
12 your client's signature or signed by someone else.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I absolutely agree. I suggest the
14 document be marked for identification, and then when Mr. Macar comes, we
15 are going to see about the document with him.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D94, marked for identification,
17 Your Honours.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I would like to show you another document now that deals with TAS
20 and these Golfs and I think that it's an important document in order to
21 potentially indicate where the problem is.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] This is document 65 ter 1350. And
23 I would like to ask the usher to give the witness a hard copy of the
25 Q. Mr. Trbojevic, while we wait for the document to come up, please
1 tell us, do you know Mr. Nikola Poplasen?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter 1350.
4 Q. You know that Mr. Poplasen was the republic commissioner for
5 Vogosca municipality, are you aware of that fact?
6 A. Yes, I am.
7 Q. Now, here we have before us a document produced by Mr. Poplasen,
8 and signed by him, of June 24th, I believe, 1992. The heading is
9 "Wartime Presidency," and I assume this relates to Vogosca municipality,
10 and it reads as follows:
11 "After the evaluation of the current situation on the territory
12 of Serbian municipality Vogosca, at this point in time, I suggest that
13 the following initiatives be implemented." Under 1, ensure the sale of
14 TAS products, in parentheses Golf and Caddy, these are types of vehicles;
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The sale of these products on Serbian and Montenegrin markets for
18 stable currency or goods that we are interested in, this task should be
19 given, we can't read clearly here, and an expert group from TAS and
20 Vogosca, and so and on and so forth. Now, you can see here that in
21 June 1992, the Wartime Presidency, it would appear, is taking initiative
22 and seeking to sell these vehicles. Was the government aware of such an
24 A. As far as I know, no.
25 Q. And did you know that the Wartime Presidency was implementing
1 this initiative, selling these vehicles in Serbia and Montenegro
2 currency or for some barter agreements? Were you aware of that?
3 A. No, I wasn't.
4 Q. Tell me, please, do you know -- can you recognise Mr. Poplasen's
6 A. Well, I couldn't really say that. I don't think so.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there are no objections, this
9 being the Prosecutor's document, I don't know if we should MFI it and
10 wait for a witness who can actually authenticate it.
11 MR. HANNIS: At the moment I would request it be MFI'd.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D95, marked for identification,
14 Your Honours.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Q. I think you said earlier today, during examination-in-chief, that
17 you are aware that at a later point in time this complete report was
18 actually submitted to a later government and Presidency, but that it was
19 not complete, as far as you can recall?
20 A. Well, I said something to that effect. There was a report
21 submitted but I don't know how it was actually implemented in the final
22 stages. I don't know if anyone was found guilty of this or not.
23 Q. Well, in any case, in the government -- in your government, the
24 government of Mr. Djeric, which went on until November 1992, and in the
25 course of 1992 in any case, that such a report was not submitted either
1 to the government or to the Assembly, correct, as far as you can recall?
2 A. Yes, I don't think it was.
3 Q. Sir, could you be very brief in your answers, we just have five
4 or six more minutes. But you being an expert on these matters, tell us,
5 please, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in our system, it is part of
6 the state administration; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Our system also classifies -- there's a certain classification
9 within our system of administration, communications, and documents that
10 they produce?
11 A. Well, yes, there are regulations as it to the type of document
12 that a certain administration or body can produce and what their meaning
13 is, and I think that this was stipulated in the Law on Government
14 Administration. I think the names of such documents and their ranking
15 was provided for.
16 Q. As the Ministry of the Interior was part of the government or
17 state administration, it was also subject to the Law on State
18 Administration and also subject to the Law on the General Administrative
19 Procedure in executing its powers; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When speaking about these documents and enactments, I will name a
22 few and I would like you to confirm for us whether these are
23 administrative enactments. So rules of procedure; correct?
24 A. Well, yes, rules of procedure are an administrative enactment of
25 the highest order.
1 Q. Instructions?
2 A. Well, instructions are -- I'm not certain right now whether the
3 law defines it as an act of the -- of an administrative body, but in
4 practice it was very common and it would provide practical instructions
5 as to how to proceed.
6 Q. What about written decisions?
7 A. Written decisions are enactments that define a certain right, so
8 they are decisions basically, which implies that there was a procedure in
9 place, that there is also the right to appeal that written decision and
10 so on.
11 Q. And you can agree with me that an order is, in fact, the lowest
12 ranking. In this nomenclature, this is an enactment of the lowest rank
13 or lowest order and its effect is the weakest?
14 A. Yes. In that sense, it is an enactment of the lowest order, and
15 it in fact defines, for instance, the scheduling or timing of a certain
16 procedure and so on. So it does not really decide on anything. It's not
17 a decision-making enactment.
18 Q. Well, your last sentence was not actually recorded in the
19 transcript, and it in fact answered my question. So what is the
20 difference between this order and a military order, because in the
21 Serbian language we use the same word, the identical word, but if I
22 understood you correctly, there was a very important difference between
23 an order of an administrative body and a military order.
24 A. Well, that's exactly -- that's what I just said. I wasn't really
25 looking at the text. But a decision issued by a superior to a
1 subordinate in the army is an enactment that implies subordination and is
2 obligatory. It has to be executed. Whereas an order of the
3 administrative body is a process or procedural enactment that does not
4 decide anything. It is just something that, for instance, calls for a
5 scheduling or calls for a meeting to be held on so and so day, and so on.
6 So there is no implied obligation to implement it.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation], Your Honours, I believe that this
8 would be a good moment to break up for the day because we are moving on
9 to another topic, and I'm pretty certain that we will finish our
10 cross-examination in the course of the first session tomorrow. This is
11 for my learned friend's information and for the Trial Chamber's.
12 Thank you, Mr. Trbojevic, we will resume tomorrow.
13 JUDGE HALL
14 Mr. Trbojevic, I would again, as I would have done yesterday,
15 remind you of the fact that having been sworn, you -- your communications
16 are limited. Thank you.
17 So we resume in this courtroom at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Friday, the 4th day of
20 December, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.