1 Wednesday, 7 March 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
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: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Good morning to
10 May we begin by taking the appearances for the day, please.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honours. For the Prosecution, I'm
12 Tom Hannis; along with one of our interns, Nedim Muminovic; and our case
13 manager, Sebastiaan van Hooydonk.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan, and Ms. Isabel Düsterhöft appearing
16 for Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours, Dragan Krgovic,
18 Aleksandar Aleksic, and Miroslav Cuskic.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, my
20 learned colleagues on both sides, everyone in the courtroom. My name is
21 Aleksandar Lazarevic and I will represent Mr. Tomislav Kovac, who is
22 about to start his evidence today.
23 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
24 If there are no housekeeping matters, would the usher please
25 escort today's witness to the stand.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE HALL: Good morning, sir. Would you please make the solemn
3 declaration that's on the card the usher's now handing to you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: TOMISLAV KOVAC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. You may be seated. And although it may
9 be apparent from your responses to me thus far, would you please confirm
10 for the record that you're hearing me in a language that you understand.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I confirm that I can hear you
12 in the language that I understand.
13 JUDGE HALL: Well, I would, first of all, thank you for accepting
14 our invitation to assist us by appearing before the Tribunal. As would
15 have been pointed out in the letter that you would have received from me
16 writing on behalf of the Tribunal, you've been called as a witness by the
17 Chamber itself, not by either side in this matter. And the questions
18 that the Chamber has of you will be led by Judge Delvoie, who is at my
19 right, and I would now pass the matter over to him.
20 Judge Delvoie.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the Judge.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Does this work? It seems to. Okay.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Kovac.
2 A. Good morning.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can I begin to ask you to state for the record
4 your full name and date and place of birth, please.
5 A. My name is Tomislav Kovac. I was born on the 4th of December,
6 1959, in Sarajevo.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Before we proceed any further, I am
8 informed that you have present here with you Mr. Lazarevic as counsellor
9 for the purposes of your testimony in this case and that's pursuant to
10 our order of 16 February 2012. Can you confirm that?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Mr. Kovac, what is your ethnicity?
13 A. I am a Serb.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is this the first time you testify before this
15 Tribunal or have you ever testified before?
16 A. This is my first testimony before this Tribunal. I hadn't
17 testified before.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Did you testify before any of the courts in the
19 region about the matters relating to the war?
20 A. Yes, I gave evidence before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 on two occasions.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Let me explain very briefly to you
23 the proceedings before this Court. You have been called as a Chamber
24 witness, and the Chamber thinks that it will -- it can finish your
25 examination-in-chief within two hours. After that, there will be
1 cross-examination by OTP, by the Defence of Mr. Stanisic and by the
2 Defence of Mr. Zupljanin. And we hope to be able to finish your
3 testimony by tomorrow, end of the hearing.
4 We sit in the morning from 9.00 to a quarter to 2.00, and we have
5 breaks every one hour and a half. That's for technical reasons, the
6 tapes have to be changed and so on. But if there is for any personal
7 convenience you need another break or you need whatever, please let us
8 know and we will accommodate you.
9 I would also like to inform you that the questions the Chamber
10 has of you today pertain to the two accused in this case, Mr. Stanisic
11 and Mr. Zupljanin. It is not the intent of this Chamber to compel you to
12 answer questions that may affect your rights. The appointment of
13 Mr. Lazarevic was made for exactly that purpose. However, the Chamber
14 does expect you to be candid and forthcoming with your answers here
15 today. Is that understood?
16 Did you understand what I tried to explain to you?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I would also like to mention to you that we are
19 at the final phase of this case, and we heard already quite some
20 evidence, practically all evidence that will be in this case. So the
21 Trial Chamber has good knowledge of the context, and that is to allow you
22 to focus very much on the precise questions we ask you without wandering
23 off in contextual explanations. Okay?
24 With that settled, could you please briefly tell us about your
25 relevant educational background, very brief, please.
1 A. I finished elementary and secondary schools in Sarajevo, the
2 secondary school of engineering. I graduated from the Belgrade
3 university in criminology. At the time it was called the Higher School
4 for the Interior. At the faculty of security in Skopje, I acquired
5 another degree. And also in Skopje, I was nearing my post-graduate
6 studies; however, I did not manage to do my magisterial thesis because
7 the war broke out. I finished the School of State Security in Belgrade
8 and at the time I was also involved in sports. I finished all the
9 available training courses in martial arts and special units training
10 that were available at the time while the former Yugoslavia was still
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. And your professional background
13 until 1991, please? Very briefly, again.
14 A. Following the completion of the studies of criminology, I had a
15 scholarship, and therefore I started working for the State Security
16 Service at the covert operations department. After a series of
17 successful tasks in 1984, I was appointed chief inspector for state
18 security of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1986, I was transferred to the public
19 security service as the chief of police in Novi Grad in Sarajevo. Up
20 until the first multi-party elections is the period when I was dismissed
21 from that position and I was put on stand-by. After that, I became the
22 chief of the police station at Ilidza and that is where I was when the
23 war started.
24 Well, that would be as far as my career prior to the war is
25 concerned. As I said, in 1992 I became the chief of police station in
1 Ilidza until August; and then in August I was appointed assistant
2 minister of the interior in charge of police. In September of 1993 until
3 31st December 1994, I was an acting minister. And then in 1994 I became
4 the chief of the public security service. In January 1995 - I can't give
5 you the exact date - I became deputy minister of the interior, and in
6 that same year, September 1995, I was appointed minister of the interior,
7 which is the office that I held until December of that same year, which
8 is when I was dismissed and when my service in the MUP of
9 Republika Srpska was terminated, although pro forma I remained there in
10 the capacity of an advisor.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
12 Can the Registrar please pull up P599.
13 Witness, Mr. Kovac, in your binder, that is tab 4. Can you
14 please look at this document and confirm, if you can, that this is your
15 letter of appointment as an assistant minister.
16 A. Yes, I can confirm that this is the decision based on which I was
17 appointed assistant minister.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, is it correct that in October 1992
21 also you were designated the acting minister of interior by Mr. Stanisic
22 in order to act on his behalf in his absence?
23 A. As far as I remember, I was authorised by Mr. Stanisic. Since
24 the post of deputy minister did not exist, he said that I could stand-in
25 for him; and for that purpose he gave me certain authorities. Given the
1 specific role of the minister during the war, I was entitled that in
2 certain areas and certain lines of duty, I would act on his behalf
3 inasmuch as he was able to delegate his authorities upon me.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Can you look at tab 5 in your binder
5 and tell us whether this document is to confirm that assignment.
6 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may be of assistance, there is a
8 binder if you would like to use it. I have two --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: You have two?
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
12 So the witness has the binder now?
13 It's tab 5. And the document number so that we can put it up on
14 the screen is 0670-5858.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can confirm that I have seen this
16 and that it is correct that Stanisic authorised me --
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
18 A. -- to act on his behalf and to discharge the duties of minister.
19 But I would like to add that I was not de facto deputy minister. The
20 only body that could appoint deputy minister was the government. But, in
21 fact, we had this kind of mutual relationship, in that he delegated some
22 of his powers upon me so that I can perform the duties of the minister of
23 the interior.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Kovac. That's why I used the term
25 "designation" and not the term "appointment."
1 Can you tell us for how long this order was in force, for how
2 long did you act on behalf of this designation?
3 A. Only for as long as Mr. Stanisic was the minister. After he was
4 replaced by Ratko Adzic, I didn't have any decision, either factual or
5 formal, one similar to this one.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: And that was when exactly?
7 A. That was towards the end, or rather, on the 1st of January, 1993,
8 when the ministers were replaced. So, in other words, that would mean up
9 until the end of 1992 I had this authority, that is, while the government
10 in which Mr. Stanisic was the minister was in office.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. And did you ever use this authority?
12 Did you ever act as minister on behalf of Mr. Stanisic?
13 A. Well, certainly that was in operational sense and by the nature
14 of things that were inevitably happening, there were times when I had to
15 submit reports to the Government of Republika Srpska or intervened in
16 some personnel affairs or get involved in some operational tasks. So I
17 used these powers at certain times, and it was only normal. In such
18 institutions there's always someone who can always stand-in for someone
19 who is number one, although that person is not appointed by the
20 government. I think that Mr. Stanisic needed to have such an individual
21 because the ministry was scattered around during the war. That's what
22 the circumstances were at the time.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you. And a last question or it's,
24 rather, a request about this document. Could you read it aloud, please,
25 so that it can be translated for the record. Just read it aloud.
1 A. "Republika Srpska, Ministry of the Interior, Bijeljina.
2 "Number 10-2-75/92.
3 "Date: 21st October 1992.
5 "Whereby Mico Stanisic, the minister of the interior, authorises
6 the assistant minister for the jobs and duties of the police Tomo Kovac
7 to perform all the ministerial duties in his absence.
8 "Minister of the Interior, Mico Stanisic."
9 And then you see beneath the date, 21st of October, 1992.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Kovac.
11 Mr. Kovac, during your meeting with the Chamber's Legal Officers,
12 you indicated that you can speak to several aspects of activities of
13 RS MUP leaders during 1992. The Chamber is interested in a very discrete
14 issue, that of the leadership of the MUP as you may have gathered.
15 Please bear that in mind when answering the following questions. You
16 obviously have knowledge of far more than we intend to elicit from you
17 today and you will have to be as brief as possible. When we need further
18 detail, we will ask follow-up questions. And if you think there is need
19 for further clarification, you will be provided with an opportunity to do
21 Now, I want you to look at your interview of October 2003, that
22 would be tab 1, page 28 in the English and -- well, there is again --
23 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- a problem -- yeah.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry to interrupt but the interviews of the
1 witness are not in that binder, I'm afraid --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: The --
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Because I have highlighted them --
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: -- and it's in a separate binder. I'm really sorry
6 for that.
7 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. It's on the screen, Mr. Kovac, and you
9 received a copy in B/C/S; is that right? That's your interview of
10 October 2003. And --
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- you refer in that interview to inappropriate
13 staff within the RS MUP in the time Mico Stanisic was the minister. Now,
14 my question is: Can you name a few of the individuals who you are
15 referring to here and give me the names of the individuals with the
16 municipalities or the areas of their responsibility.
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'm sorry to intervene. Even with my
18 rudimentary B/C/S, it appears that the B/C/S page on the screen doesn't
19 match up with the English page. Even though I see it's number --
20 page number 1 on the B/C/S, it appears to be referring to starting with
21 tape 3 as opposed to the introduction.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac seems to -- do you know what I'm
23 referring to, Mr. Kovac?
24 A. No. This isn't it. I believe that there has been a mix-up.
25 What I see now is not the first part of my interview and doesn't refer to
1 Mr. Stanisic, but actually has to do with quite a different topic.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may be of assistance.
3 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, yes, it is just that the pages on the monitor
5 do not correspond and we're trying to locate the one. If this is a
6 correct page in English that is needed, we are trying to locate it right
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's at line 13 of page 28 in the English and it
9 is -- it says:
10 "And we," so that's Mr. Kovac speaking. "We also tried to finish
11 up what -- to finish up squaring it out or clearing out the inappropriate
12 staff within the police stations and centres, which had begun back in
13 times of Mico Stanisic." So ...
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, maybe it's now my turn to assist.
15 What we now have before us in front of -- on the screen, on the
16 right-hand side is the right page in English which Your Honour has just
17 quoted; however, on the left side in B/C/S, this page does not correspond
18 to what is on the right side. And now it seems that we have inversion of
19 pages. What we have previously were both also these two pages, however,
20 the right one was correct in B/C/S, but the English was the wrong one.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, can you remember telling the people
22 that interviewed you that at the time that Mr. Stanisic was the minister
23 of the interior there was inappropriate staff within the MUP, within the
24 police stations and the centres?
25 A. I really would like to see my exact words in the Serbian
1 language, so as to avoid any ambiguity.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. We'll have to put it up and find it.
3 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think what has happened, based on
4 what I saw, it appears on these large interviews they're often --
5 interpretations are done by three or four different interpreters. So if
6 someone does tape one, someone will do tape two, et cetera. I think
7 they've been assembled out of order because that first page seemed to be
8 the beginning of tape 3. Perhaps if we could take a short break of
9 ten minutes or so, with my colleagues or a language assistant in my
10 office we might be able to more quickly find it than trying to do it
11 ad hoc here in the courtroom. Or if you wanted to continue on to another
12 topic and come back --
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Unless Mr. Zecevic has found it?
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I have found it, yes.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: I think it is page 18 in the -- it has number 18
17 out of 233 on it. It should be either 18 or 19 in the e-court --
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay --
19 MR. ZECEVIC: -- in the B/C/S.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we see then or show the witness page 18. And
21 are the lines numbered in B/C/S as well? Then, Mr. Zecevic, you could
22 perhaps --
23 MR. ZECEVIC: It starts on page 18, line 19, and then continues
24 on the next page.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
1 Can you see that, Mr. Kovac?
2 A. Yes, but we should now see whether that is what you have in mind.
3 The question was:
4 "What was your relationship with Mr. Rakic?"
5 This is what I see on the screen. And then my answer follows
6 after that question. If that's what you wanted to deal with, then we
7 have it.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's where I'm referring to, yes. And then at
9 a certain moment you say in the English translation:
10 "And we also tried to finish up what -- to finish up squaring it
11 out or clearing out the inappropriate staff within the police station and
12 centres which we had begun back in times of Mica Stanisic."
13 Do you see that or do -- do we have to turn over to the next
15 A. Yes, I can see it.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Now, the question is: Inappropriate
17 staff, can you be a little bit more precise? Name individuals you were
18 referring to, individuals and eventually the municipality they were
19 working in or the responsibilities they had?
20 A. As far as our professional approach was concerned, the approach
21 that we had at the time, and my interview, when I said "unfit staff" or
22 "inappropriate" as it was translated here, I was referring to people who
23 without the necessary ethical or professional qualities came to positions
24 at public security stations. They were able to do so after the
25 multi-party elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the then authorities,
1 the tripartite authorities that consisted of the SDA, the SDS, and the
2 HDZ, they at the time did not heed any professional qualities. They
3 selected people from the ranks of the local political parties, and those
4 were people - maybe not all of them - but certainly many of them, people
5 that they could handle. And those were the people that they used when
6 the war began. And these were the people at the public security stations
7 that we inherited, as it were. People like me, who were not like them,
8 were given the task by Mr. Stanisic to get rid of them, that is, get rid
9 of such staff who did not act in accordance with the police codex.
10 I initiated measures against all those who were not from the --
11 from the police, who didn't have the required professional or ethical
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Did you have particular people in mind when you
14 said this or when you are explaining this now?
15 A. Certainly, I did have some specific people in mind.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you tell us?
17 A. Some of them were station chiefs. Well, talking about station
18 chiefs, I can start from Samac, Steve. Then Bijeljina, the chief of the
19 station there --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Samac, who are you talking about precisely, which
22 A. I'm talking about - what was his name? - Steve or
23 Stevan Todorovic, he's the one I'm talking about. And then the public
24 security station of Prijedor, I think the one who was there was
25 Simo Drljaca.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
2 You mentioned --
3 A. I think that at Pale itself - although I didn't mention
4 that - there were also dismissals. That was at the time when I came
5 there. There were a number of public security stations such as Zvornik,
6 I can't remember the name of the man there, but there were a number of
7 stations where people had to be replaced. And all those who didn't
8 really have control of the police in their stations but tolerated or were
9 in practice replaced by para-police units there.
10 We also wanted to replace --
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, you mentioned Bijeljina. Any
12 individual in particular there?
13 A. Unfortunately there was some people who had come from Sarajevo,
14 such as Dragan Andan. There were also local staff there, the local
15 police station commander who was not capable of coping with -- but I
16 can't remember his name now. The first centre chief there, he was also a
17 local at the time, but I can't recall his name at the moment.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: And --
19 A. Anyway, I'm talking about --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: And for Pale, you have a name for Pale?
21 A. I know that we spoke about that. I don't know whether Stanisic
22 had already replaced him. That was the MUP headquarters there. I
23 believe that in order to honour the legality of work that the public
24 security station chief had to be replaced, but not because of war crimes
25 or anything like that but in order to make sure that the station
1 functioned properly. I don't remember when exactly it happened, but
2 there were also activities for the purpose of replacing the station chief
3 at Pale and in other stations too. There was a process, in the framework
4 of which where I'm sure we replaced at least 50 of the per cent of the
5 staff or at least we had rotated them, because there is this procedure of
6 rotating staff from one function or position to another.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: The names you mention are all people from police
8 stations. Any people from CSBs? Any people in particular from CSBs?
9 A. Certainly. Yes, certainly from CSBs. I mentioned the Bijeljina
10 centre. I can't remember the name of the man, but there were acting
11 officers. I don't know whether there was Dragan Andan, but the situation
12 in Bijeljina was unclear. The same applies to Banja Luka, the Banja Luka
13 CSB where there was Stojan Zupljanin, and I had this opinion of him too
14 because my assessment was that he was unable to control the situation and
15 cope with the chiefs of public security stations in Krajina. And there
16 was also the need for more integration between the centres and the
17 stations. The process had already been well under way and I believe that
18 it also concerned the centre chief in Sarajevo. A centre in Zvornik was
19 being established, there was reorganisation, so that there was this broad
20 process, the purpose of which was to set up the full jurisdiction of the
21 Ministry of the Interior and make sure the proper functioning of the
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry.
1 Mr. Kovac, the people who in your view or in the minister's view
2 were not only incompetent but were also misbehaving, how did -- well, let
3 me, first of all, ask you when did you learn about the activities of
4 these people?
5 A. I would like to correct you. There was not only the category of
6 unfit people. There was also the category of those who were unable to
7 cope and have the centres, public security centres, under their control,
8 who didn't have the power. In the ministry especially at times of war
9 you cannot --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, I'm -- I do make that distinction, but
11 I wanted to focus now on those who were not only incompetent and could
12 not control their organisation, but I want to focus on the ones who
13 misbehaved and who were -- towards whom you were taking action because of
14 that. So my question is for those people, how -- when did you learn
15 about their misbehaviour?
16 A. I couldn't pin-point a date. It was a process. When I was
17 appointed to my position, Stanisic stated the reasons to me. He knew my
18 profile as a police officer. He knew that right before the war I was a
19 chairman of the disciplinary board for the Sarajevo region, and he made
20 it clear to me that he wanted me to set up a CSB in Bijeljina and that we
21 monitored the legality of work through the administrations and check all
22 staff - what they did and how they went about it - and replace some staff
23 by more competent people so that the ministry could carry out its tasks
24 at those difficult times when there was intense combat in that civil war,
25 when all the values of the previous states and societies had been
1 destroyed and law and order had to be established, and that was up to us.
2 That's why we needed strong people and strong institutions. And from
3 that aspect and from that level that we assessed the -- whether somebody
4 was fit or unfit.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, what I want to make clear here about
6 when you learned about this, in your answer you say this was in the
7 process when I was the assistant minister, so not before that period that
8 you learned about this; right?
9 A. Before that I was at Ilidza where there was intensive combat
10 activity, and I didn't have specific information about events elsewhere.
11 When Stanisic --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's a clear answer. My follow-up question is
13 then so now we're talking again about the time you were in the position
14 of assistant minister. How did you learn about these activities of
15 the -- or this misbehaviour? What was the reporting chain, I suppose,
16 that went up the reporting chain and then -- and reach you in your
17 capacity as assistant minister; is that right? So what was the reporting
19 A. What I found out officially about the problems that I faced in
20 the ministry, I found out at the collegium of the Ministry of the
21 Interior in Trebinje, I believe it was held in August. That is when the
22 centre chiefs and their deputies outlined the situation and the problems
23 in the territory of the then-Republika Srpska as well as within the
24 ministry itself. When I moved on, or rather, when I went to Bijeljina at
25 the same time I set up a group of co-workers, inspectors, who were the
1 embryo of the institution of public security. And we launched the
2 process of reporting to the organisational unit of the ministry in
3 Bijeljina. We received information about whether or not public security
4 stations worked in accordance with the law, both from the inspectors and
5 from the public security or security services centres.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, can you please look at tab number 6,
7 which is P160, at page 7, please. And my question is: Is this the kind
8 of meeting where you and the minister would be briefed at?
9 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably yes, although I
11 haven't had the opportunity to deal with this. I don't remember this
12 specific document, but this is a way of reporting -- actually, these are
13 more analyses and presentation of the directions of activity. This is
14 not the kind of document where daily reporting or reporting about daily
15 activities was made. Could we -- could I see it until the end?
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: You're completely right, Mr. Kovac. It's -- the
17 document is called "Brief analysis of the work to date and basic
18 guide-lines for the future work of the MUP." It's a summary from the
19 meeting of the MUP senior officials of the 11 of July, 1992.
20 Now, could you please look at page 8 and then 14 of that
21 document. There is reference -- reference is made there to crimes being
22 committed by men in uniforms, and both Mr. Zupljanin at page 8 and
23 Mr. Stanisic at page 14 say that the courts are not properly functioning.
24 Was this a concern throughout 1992?
25 A. Certainly. This was a great problem, but we continued our
1 activities. As far as all such events are concerned, we already had an
2 analysis in Bijeljina. I don't think I was present at this meeting,
3 though, because I don't remember it. Probably I couldn't attend. But I
4 know that we, or rather, that I sent a document to the president of the
5 republic and the cabinet about this very topic so that some things that
6 have to do with the functioning of the courts be dealt with.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: We'll come to that, Mr. Kovac.
8 Just to be complete and for the record, the document and the
9 meeting you were referring to before we got into this one is in your
10 binder at tab 22 and it is Exhibit Number P163. Can we pull that up.
11 And then, Mr. Kovac, could you confirm that that's the document and the
12 meeting you were referring to before we got to this one?
13 A. Yes, this is a document from the meeting in Trebinje, and I
14 officially started attending executive meetings as of that date because
15 before I wasn't in attendance.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 Now then, when you came into the top MUP administration, what did
18 you find was the policy of the -- or the attitude towards individuals
19 such as those we are now talking about and who were unfit for their task
20 and, more specifically, who were misbehaving? What was the policy or the
21 attitude within the MUP towards those people?
22 A. Well, starting from this senior officials' meeting in Trebinje, I
23 clearly remember that all the participants were aware that the process
24 was already launched in order to eradicate all the flaws within the MUP
25 as well as in other institutions and the society in general
1 Republika Srpska. Therefore, my feeling was that I already became part
2 of that process. And the second part of my involvement was my suggestion
3 to Mr. Stanisic to tackle the matter of decision-makers because the
4 existing personnel were unable to do that, that we needed a more
5 efficient and more decisive people from the level of the ministry all the
6 way down to police stations. So there was no doubt as to what to do with
7 these people. The only problematic thing was whether there was a will or
8 whether there was enough strength to deal and to bring into light all the
9 personnel problems and to resolve all the personnel issues which required
10 some radical moves on the part of the police in order to make it fully
11 operational in the area of public law and order, the protection of
12 property, the protection of other ethnicities, et cetera.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Now, before the break we can perhaps
14 deal with one other document issue. One of the first things you did when
15 you took up your position in August 1992 was to make a recommendation
16 directly to the president and prime minister with -- on how to deal with
17 prisoners. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct, but I only signed it. This recommendation
19 was actually put together by the ministry, so I didn't have any
20 significant contribution in it. It was just the outcome of an analysis.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's perhaps look at a document, please. It's
22 P192 and it's tab 7 in your binder, Mr. Kovac. Is that the letter we're
23 talking about?
24 A. Yes, that's the letter.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. How would you describe your relationship
1 with Mico Stanisic in 1992?
2 A. Well, we had a decent relationship in the course of 1992, which
3 was reflected in his providing support to me with regard to all the
4 activities that we became involved as the public security service in
5 order to redress all these problems. He never made any obstacles. He
6 let us go all through to the end. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough
7 strength and also he didn't have enough political strength to see this
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, in your October 2003 interview you
10 said about your relationship with Mico Stanisic, if I'm not mistaken,
11 that you were always - you and him - you were always on good terms. You
12 confirm that? We're talking about your relationship in 1992. Is that
13 correct, you were on good terms, is that --
14 A. Well, given that we are different personalities, I wouldn't say
15 that we were on exactly good terms. We were professionally on good
16 terms, so in -- during his second term of office there appeared some
17 disagreements, but before that we saw eye to eye in the professional
18 sense when it became -- when it came to how the service should be run.
19 And I can say that in that I had his full support.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Now, my follow-up question on your, let's say,
21 good professional relationship with Mr. Stanisic is: Why did you send
22 the letter we still have on the screen, I think, directly to the
23 president and the prime minister instead of addressing it to
24 Mr. Stanisic, who was your hierarchical superior, he was your boss?
25 A. Well, first of all, there was no need for me to communicate with
1 Stanisic in this manner because we managed to agree on many things. As
2 far as this letter is concerned, I saw it as a reflection of the tasks
3 that we had in Trebinje and as a reflection of the entire set of
4 activities that needed to be carried out. So the motive for sending this
5 letter was not to circumvent Stanisic - it wasn't possible after
6 all - but I was convinced that what we were doing and the letter that I
7 sent is the outcome of our overall activities.
8 In the ministry, Stanisic set up things in such a manner that
9 quite a lot of tasks he delegated and allowed me to do on his behalf. So
10 by sending this letter - and we never had any dispute over it - was
11 the -- not so the product of my conviction as to what I should do or
12 shouldn't do, but rather, it had to do with the circumstances that were
13 in place at the time and the place where Stanisic was. Therefore, the
14 content of this letter and the proposals that were made at the senior
15 executive staff meeting in Trebinje contain no differences.
16 My sole wish was to do things as quickly as possible, and this is
17 in line with Mr. Trbojevic, the vice prime minister, and I was often in
18 communication with him. There was a need to introduce speedy measures,
19 and this is the purpose of this letter.
20 So the time was like this and I was such a person who thought
21 that one should act rapidly and speedily and that certain measures needed
22 to be done immediately. After all, the government adopted this into its
23 document and introduced certain measures. So nothing was done by
24 bypassing anyone --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. We'll have to discuss a little bit more
1 this document, but perhaps we should do that after the break.
2 JUDGE HALL: We resume in 20 minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. This is supposed to work now and it does,
7 Mr. Kovac, before the break you seemed to indicate that this
8 document, that you signed it but it was not really your initiative, your
9 decision. It was something the administration prepared for you. Was
10 that what you're saying? Because it seems a little bit -- I don't read
11 that in your interviews. You seem to say in your interviews that it's
12 something you thought would be a good idea and that you did take the
13 decision and present it as a good solution. Can you clarify on that?
14 A. I think there's a slight misunderstanding. What I meant to say
15 was that the final version of this information is the product of the
16 activities of the entire ministry. It was me, indeed, who established
17 this in this form and sent this letter as it is to the government and the
18 Presidency. In other words, I stand by it 100 per cent. But this is not
19 a simple letter. This is analysis of all our activities and our
20 intentions --
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. I just wanted to clarify this little
22 point, but you did it perfectly.
23 Now, could you please explain what you meant when you recommended
24 that the status of members of other ethnicities be legally altered in
25 accordance with international conventions. What did you have in mind
2 A. Look, I think that this question that you asked me and the
3 proposals that we made are actually a key element and a key moment in
4 this civil war. And if you allow me to clarify, I would like just to be
5 given a little bit more time on this specific issue.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please go ahead.
7 A. The essence of this - and I'm going to input my professional
8 knowledge into this - the essence of the behaviour of people in a civil
9 war where you have a mixture of civilians of various ethnicities and in
10 addition to that you have armed people fighting each other, and in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina there was not a third power, a central government, a
12 central army that would separate or reconcile the warring parties. So
13 each and every ethnic group - and I'm talking now about the Serbian
14 side - had to establish or reinstate the values that had been lost. We
15 had to establish an army and we had to reintroduce a set of values that
16 have to be respected by warring parties. And I think these were the most
17 difficult tasks, that is, to reinforce our institutions and our decisions
18 and the awareness that among the warring parties in a civil war there was
19 enough strength to distinguish between the civilians, the people who
20 didn't have any uniforms, and of course also to distinguish a third
21 group, which is criminals who were committing criminal offences.
22 In a civil war, everybody thinks that it is only the opposing
23 side who committed all the crimes and that it attacked the civilians.
24 And I think that this is a phenomenon that is present in every civil war.
25 I believe that these were exactly the stages in a war that required our
1 efforts to strengthen the Ministry of the Interior, the judiciary, and
2 all other institutions in order for them to be able to wrestle with this
3 problem. So as a result of these negative processes and these awful
4 things that were happening in Bosnia when you had a mixed population,
5 ethnically mixed populations, where you had people armed among different
6 ethnic communities, the issue of the laws that govern the relation and
7 the treatment of prisoners of war and the criminal offenders, et cetera,
8 is something that is extremely difficult. And I think it was nearly
9 impossible to resolve that and eventually this necessitated the creation
10 of this Tribunal, among other things.
11 So this realisation contributed to us trying to go a step forward
12 and to try to solve these problems. As you can see, this document is
13 officially registered and it is officially being sent to both the
14 government and all other relevant representatives. So if you look at
15 this document and look at its purpose, by making it official it means
16 that at those times we had lengthy discussions about what was to be done,
17 but that was done outside the institutions. In this instance, the MUP as
18 an institution is sending an official document to the president of the
19 republic and the prime minister. And of course, in this document we had
20 to highlight exactly everything that was happening.
21 In my subsequent talks with Mr. Trbojevic, the vice-president of
22 the republic, the government acted quickly and adopted a series of very
23 specific measures aimed at eradicating these behaviours and to ensure
24 that the institutions, such as judiciary, correctional and prisoner
25 facilities and other institutions, have a clear vision as to how they
1 should act in accordance with these three guide-lines. After analysing
2 what needs to be done, I concluded that we need to construe the basic
3 provisions contained in the law with regard to categorisation of people
4 into the category who cannot be responsible for being member of a certain
5 ethnic group. Then you have prisoners of war, and everybody knows how
6 they should be treated; and a third category of those who may have
7 committed criminal offences.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: So --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness for the
10 benefit of the interpreters and the court reporter kindly be asked to
11 speak more slowly. Thank you.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, the interpreters ask whether you could
13 speak slower so that they can -- they have the better possibility of
14 making correct translations.
15 Now -- so I take it from your answer that what you are doing here
16 is you try to work something out for people detained that were not
17 combatants and that did not commit any crimes, who were detained because
18 they committed any crimes. And your solution was to categorise them as
19 refugees; is that right? Is that a fair summary?
20 A. Well, our proposal was that they be afforded the status of
21 civilians. Now, depending on whether they remained in their homes and
22 their native places, those were civilian populations. However, if they
23 were moved as a result of war operations and found themselves elsewhere,
24 they should definitely be given the status either of displaced persons or
25 refugees, depending on how they were treated and perceived. So this was
1 the option given to free people who should be taken care of by the
2 Red Cross and not government organs. But at any rate, they shouldn't be
3 treated in such a manner as to restrict their freedom of movement and to
4 judge them as possible perpetrators of crimes. So that was the main
5 direction that we took.
6 Now, as to the actual organisation and the accommodation and
7 other facilities, it was decided on the spot. So as for the civilians,
8 there are two subgroups: Those who remained home in their houses and
9 residential places and those who moved elsewhere. So this is something
10 that came out through our co-operation with international organisations,
11 humanitarian organisations; and in view of that, we made such a proposal.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one small clarification. When you say --
13 when you made a difference between depending on whether they remained in
14 their homes and their native places and you qualified them as civilian
15 population; however, you said if they were moved as a result of war
16 operations and found themselves elsewhere - and that's the second
17 category - if they were moved as a result of war operations and found
18 themselves elsewhere, that's a description of people being -- of the
19 people being detained. We are talking about detained people; right?
20 A. No, no, no. It is precisely why we provided this information
21 that the people who left the area can in no way be treated as detainees.
22 They can only be treated as civilians and that the Red Cross should
23 become involved and provide them support in terms of accommodation and
24 other forms of assistance, food, et cetera. And then, depending on what
25 their future decisions would be, they would remain in the area where they
1 came or they would move to third countries. So the civilian population
2 was treated in such a way that it should be exclusively in the care of
3 the government and authorities and humanitarian organisations.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, that is the goal you had, the purpose
5 for which you wrote this letter and made this suggestion. But it is -- I
6 understand it is about people who, before you made this suggestion, are
7 not in their homes anymore but are detained in camps; right? And you
8 tried to - that's what you say and what you explain about this
9 letter - you tried to give a solution to that problem. Is that correctly
11 A. In this letter we requested the government authorities to take a
12 clear position regarding the categorisation of individuals, and then if
13 we saw on the ground that there were categories that did not comply with
14 international conventions, this proposal and the request by the
15 government to undertake urgent measures and to apply a proper legal
16 treatment of these people, so if they were put in certain correctional
17 penal facilities, that should have been taken care of. We received
18 information that there were instances in which civilians were not treated
19 in an appropriate manner. And as the MUP, who is the first port of call
20 when we receive this kind of information, we thought it necessary to
21 inform the president and the prime minister immediately and that measures
22 should be taken at once.
23 I think that this was one of the crucial institutional moves that
24 would put a stop to all these negative aspects and misconduct, which
25 undoubtedly did happen, but depending on how powerful an individual or an
1 institution was, we did our best to eliminate all these negative aspects
2 which were definitely an outcome of civil war and conduct of individuals.
3 Whether that can be attributed to their ignorance or whether you can
4 attribute it to their mental constitution, that's a different matter.
5 I remember that after the government took its decision for
6 certain correctional and penal facilities --
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'll come to that, Mr. Kovac. I was just trying
8 to figure out whether we now agree or not on my question, and my question
9 pertained to not what your request was to the government, what your
10 proposed solution was, but what the problem was you tried to tackle. And
11 the problem was, as you've said, that people from the civilian population
12 were not treated correctly and that that should stop. And in clear,
13 being not treated correctly meant being detained although civilians with
14 no combatant status and no crimes committed. That's a summary of the
15 reason why you requested this to the government. Do we agree on that?
16 That's the problem you tried to solve.
17 A. Yes, partly. The basic problem was during all those operations
18 that were going on, there was no fast and adequate separation between the
19 civilian population and the members of fighting units or prisoners of war
20 who had committed crimes. There was no efficient and adequate approach
21 to that, and I explained to you how those processes went. Due to that
22 inadequate separation, there was also inadequate treatment sometimes of
23 those persons. If we hadn't -- or, rather, the fact that we didn't
24 notice the problem back then was the reason for the proposal made to the
25 state structures in order to bring about treatment that was in accordance
1 with the law and the circumstances of civil war. But there were not
2 enough trained people in the state bodies, or especially in the political
3 structures, trained for acting in civil war. I don't mean combat now,
4 but I mean -- I'm referring to internal structures under specific
5 circumstances where ethnicities are in conflict although they live maybe
6 in the same village.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Now, Mr. Kovac, now I would like to take the next
8 step and ask you what was done precisely to implement your suggestion, if
9 it was implemented? What was the follow-up on it? What measures were
11 A. I think that the most important measure that was taken was the
12 following. The deputy prime minister for the interior whose remit
13 included the MUP and the judiciary - and I'm talking about
14 Mr. Trbojevic - he called a cabinet session. I don't want to go into the
15 way the government functioned, but I know that he called that session.
16 And there was an item on the agenda about this very report of the MUP,
17 including proposed measures. That's -- that was the follow-up. I
18 noticed that you have these decisions at your disposal. It followed very
19 soon. I don't think it took more than ten days when this item was dealt
20 with by the government, namely, the report of the MUP.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Can we please look at P193, which is tab 8
22 in your binder. It's an order issued by Trbojevic on behalf of
23 Prime Minister Djeric. Is that the follow-up you're talking about or
24 part of the follow-up you're talking about? Is that the response to your
1 A. I cannot state with certainty that this was part of the response
2 to my letter, but I know that this was part of the activities that we
3 carried out. I know that there was this cabinet session. This is about
4 part of the activities we were engaged in, but I cannot be specific as to
5 your question. Maybe this followed the letter or preceded it or went
6 parallel to it. I know that this inspector carried out audits. I know
7 of these activities, but I cannot be specific as to the chronology.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Can we then look at tab 8A, which is
9 Exhibit Number P601. Was this the commission that we saw in the
10 decision, the decision tab 8, was this commission effectively formed?
11 Was it established?
12 A. This is a commission of the security centre. I think that the
13 government commission had a different composition. I believe that it was
14 set up later, the government commission. I see that this is a commission
15 of the security services centre and it consists of inspectors from that
16 centre, and they were touring the stations.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay --
18 A. This is the process of establishing the situation on the ground.
19 They went there and informed us what --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we --
21 A. The government issued a special decision about the setting up of
22 their commission --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we now --
24 A. This is a decision of the security services centre --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, can we turn to tab 9, the next tab,
1 Exhibit Number 2D90, and can I ask you: Have you seen this before?
2 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot read the document well --
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, if I may be of some assistance. I
5 mean, I have just noticed that Mr. Kovac is looking at the screen right
6 in front of him and I believe it would be much easier for him to have a
7 hard copy. He does have it, this binder. So maybe if he can turn to
8 what Your Honour just said, the document which is under number 9 in his
10 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, Mr. Kovac. We might have a
12 problem with the numbers.
13 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Could we try to turn to page 26 of this
15 document, 2D90.
16 [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry.
19 So we turn to page 26 of 2D90, and it states that the
20 Prijedor SJB provides to the commission the information it requires for
21 its investigation and it is signed by Simo Drljaca.
22 We don't see that here but we can show that at the end of the
23 document, the last page.
24 [Microphone not activated]
25 There it is with Simo Drljaca's handwritten signature. So my
1 question would be, if you know: Was Mr. Drljaca assisting that
2 commission? Was he assisting with the commission's work at -- in
4 A. Well, you see, I cannot comment on that, but since I have this
5 hard copy before me from my first report all the way to the government
6 decision - and it's in neat chronological order - and therefore it can
7 clearly be seen how the process went through these commissions and all.
8 So we launched a process which was clearly painful and we pointed out
9 everything that was bad, all the shortcomings in the work. And it can
10 clearly be seen how much they deviated from the attitude of the ministry
11 with regard to the treatment of civilians and prisoners and so on.
12 It is clear from all these reports what the situation was on the
13 ground and the chronology is clear. From the 8th of August, the proposal
14 of the MUP to the government, after which there was the decision, the
15 government decision. After that, there was the decision of the centre
16 chiefs about the setting up of the commissions, and the commission
17 reports. It is clear that we launched a process and it is clear that not
18 everything was impeccable. We are not shying away from that fact. But
19 still, we did something to rectify all that wasn't all right.
20 There were professionals involved, inspectors - after the war
21 they became inspectors and before the war they must also have been in
22 positions, whether you worked responsibly. It is clear that they
23 mustered all their strength to come up with reports pin-pointing
24 everything that was bad and showing that there were many shortcomings in
25 the work. There was -- there were the Crisis Staffs, there was the
1 conduct of some people, and everything else.
2 As for Simo Drljaca, I didn't receive any information about his
3 relations with the commission. If I never got reports about him, then I
4 couldn't know how he acted in any given situation. I don't know whether
5 he obstructed or not. But irrespective of that, the commissions did
6 their work, which is clear from the report.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we have page 25, please, where it says that
8 the -- the commission's report is based on the reports received from the
9 SJB of Bosanski Novi as well. So that seems to be part of the process;
11 A. Certainly, it's part of the process.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: So this was how the commission obtained its
13 information and conducted its investigation. What comes in mind, isn't
14 that not the report then written by the people who were supposed to be
15 investigated upon?
16 A. Yes. Well, you see, let me explain. With regard to many
17 territories of the RS, we had no influence over them, either physical or
18 through government structures. If we take the Krajina, if you look at a
19 number of these documents, then you will see a government decision, then
20 a decision of the centre chief, then -- and there's little mention of the
21 Ministry of the Interior. So much lay with the security services centre,
22 and the units on the ground were so independent that rarely did anybody
23 dare to go there and conduct an audit, let alone deal with these matters
24 which were the most sensitive and which could incriminate the people in
25 those stations.
1 We did launch this process, though, and the most important thing
2 regarding this is that after that process this sort of conduct was
3 eliminated. And we certainly identified through this process what had
4 happened and what the attitude of some individuals toward these matters
5 was. And I'm now referring to the most serious problem in this territory
6 during that civil war. I mean it can clearly be seen that since
7 launching the process or by launching the process we forced the station
8 chiefs to co-operate and give information about the events in their
9 territory. And in their reports, they drew a picture of themselves.
10 They do their own profile and showed their attitude toward the ministry
11 and everything else. There's not much to add to these reports. I really
12 don't have anything to add to them.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: One clarification question. This commission, was
14 it only appointed for the area under CSB Banja Luka or in other
15 municipalities as well?
16 A. I think that this commission covered the territory of the
17 Banja Luka CSB, as far as I can tell from this. It was set up for that
18 CSB. And objectively speaking, at that time the most problems with
19 treatment of civilian population were to be found there, because that's
20 where most people who are of other ethnicities lived, in the area around
21 Banja Luka and all the way to Doboj, and that was the greatest portion,
22 almost 80 per cent of the territory.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay, then. Are you aware of what precise action
24 was taken following the submission of the report of -- the report of this
1 A. Well, first of all, the Ministry of the Interior and the public
2 security stations distanced themselves very soon from such an unnecessary
3 treatment of the population. They distanced themselves from all sorts of
4 centres and correctional facilities and the like. Wherever we
5 went -- and the process was basically finished at the time. Anyway, at
6 that point in time, we had no more information that such activity was no
7 longer possible there and those centres were disappearing. Pursuant to
8 some measures taken by the government these centres were being closed.
9 They were no longer there as institutions or para-institutions.
10 This process involved a number of activities and the commissions
11 themselves acted in a preventive manner. The police officers came to
12 their senses and it was no longer possible to induct the professional
13 police into -- or maybe in exceptional cases where we -- about which we
14 didn't know anything. So it was no longer possible for them to be
15 involved in such activities.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, apart from all that, was there any
17 specific action taken against people who were responsible for the
18 conditions in these circumstances, in these detention camps and centres?
19 Was there any action taken against responsible people?
20 A. All centre chiefs were given the task, because it comes under the
21 remit of the first-instance body, to take measures, disciplinary
22 measures, that is, and possibly also launch criminal proceedings. That
23 was the duty of every centre chief, and they were able to take a stance
24 or -- by their activities and by possibly filing criminal complaints.
25 They had the documents at their disposal about all these persons. I
1 cannot now go into specific cases.
2 We sometimes directly intervened and arrested individuals - we
3 from the ministry headquarters I mean - when there was some illegal
4 activities. So we did some things directly. Where an assessment already
5 existed and when there was a situation that could no longer be tolerated,
6 then we took immediate action. I'm referring to the specific case of
7 Todorovic in Bijeljina. We were directly involved in that during that
8 initial period. Although, when we set up the administrations, we got
9 more involved in audits of the centres and personnel-related processes
10 were underway there, people were being replaced. I believe that this was
11 stopped in 1993, unfortunately, when Ratko Adzic became minister --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, please don't wander off too far. You
13 said that the chiefs -- the centre chiefs were given the task to take
14 disciplinary measures and so on, launch criminal proceedings. Did you on
15 the level of the ministry do any follow-up on whether the centre chiefs
16 executed these tasks? Do you know of disciplinary measures taken by the
17 centre chiefs or criminal proceedings launched?
18 A. I can say that as the process established in the administrations
19 progressed, we monitored them more and more. However, at the very CSBs
20 there wasn't enough power or strength to carry the burden of these
21 problems and to solve them finally - due to the war or maybe to some
22 other circumstances - but nevertheless, they were unable to carry out the
23 process through. That is to say, to hold people accountable, to
24 institute criminal proceedings, et cetera. This is my personal view,
25 that they were not strong enough and they didn't have acumen enough to do
2 In January 1993 this process lost its edge and it was eventually
3 stopped. At the time I was a pro forma assistant minister, and for the
4 following nine months, we faced a total blockade of the operation of the
5 Ministry of the Interior while Mr. Adzic, the -- Mr. Stanisic's successor
6 was in his office.
7 I don't know if you understood my answer.
8 So in August and September we launched a series of activities,
9 but only a few months later - that is to say, on the 1st of January - a
10 political decision was made to install a new minister who didn't have
11 professional credibility to do the job or any other mental capabilities
12 to do that as far as my department is concerned; and as a result, he put
13 all the activities to a halt and he put the ministry in such a difficult
14 position that there was confrontation between administrations on the one
15 hand and the CSBs on the other hand. And it reached its peak at one of
16 the meetings of the executive staff and the ministry almost totally
17 disintegrated during his term of office. So that was the reason why we
18 were forced to stop all these activities.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. I would like to go back a little bit. If
20 you would like to, please, look at tape -- at tab 9A, which is P679.
21 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Have you seen this document before?
23 A. I cannot remember seeing it. I see that this document was
24 drafted on behalf of Simo Drljaca, but I can't remember exactly whether I
25 have seen this document or not. And I don't see any link or any
1 communication here with the MUP. This is a letter coming from the public
2 security station of Prijedor.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you tell us whether this was something that
4 resulted from the report of that commission? And I'm referring to --
5 A. Yes, I think that it did result. Yes, of course, this is a
6 result and it depicts certain activities as ordered by the minister of
7 the interior.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you. Now, at pages 151 and 201 of
9 your October 2003 interview, you said that Simo Drljaca was beyond the
10 control of the MUP in 1992. What did you mean by saying he ran Prijedor
11 on his own and that you had to breakthrough the CSB Banja Luka --
12 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we can go back to the previous
14 document to look at the signature, you can see that it wasn't signed by
15 Simo Drljaca but somebody did that instead of him. This demonstrates his
16 overall attitude towards all these activities. Maybe the CSB of
17 Banja Luka should be asked as a whole to tell whether he was capable of
18 carrying out their duties.
19 On the other hand, we were completely physically separated from
20 the Banja Luka centre until the corridor was open. So, in fact, we did
21 not have any physical access to the Banja Luka centre and Prijedor in
22 particular. For that reason, it was impossible to impose the
23 jurisdiction of the MUP over them, let alone engage some more repressive
24 forces such as special units that we had already been using in eastern
25 part of Republika Srpska in order to control the conduct of para groups
1 and individuals out of control.
2 So this is my interpretation why it was impossible for us to
3 reach the public security station of Prijedor.
4 There was a physical barrier; but on the other hand, we also had
5 a barrier which was erected in general with regard to the jurisdiction of
6 the MUP. I thought it to be, at least at the beginning, of more
7 declaratory than factual nature. Having in view the previous system and
8 regime, I perceived this subordination to be more solid and something
9 that demanded the undertaking of much faster measures. Now we had quite
10 a lot of correspondence going to and fro between the chiefs because they
11 had some -- probably some hunch that they were each and every one of them
12 a government per se. And our intention and our efforts were to place the
13 whole area under our jurisdiction.
14 I also think that the Banja Luka centre either did not have a
15 proper position. Maybe they'd not share my opinion, but it's up to them
16 to prove that.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's try to get a little bit more precise about
18 this, Mr. Kovac.
19 Can we have 151 in the English version and 173 in the B/C/S
20 version on the screen, the October 2003 interview. Because my question
21 was two-fold, Mr. Kovac. It was: What did you mean by saying
22 Simo Drljaca ran Prijedor on his own? And on the other hand, what did
23 you mean by saying that you had to breakthrough the CSB Banja Luka? And
24 if I remember correctly - let me just have a look --
25 A. As --
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please.
2 A. May I?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, not yet.
4 Here it is. I'm having in mind -- you said on page 2 -- on
5 page 150:
6 "I'm having in mind Banja Luka and Prijedor, until we literally
7 got into the Banja Luka centre or actually breakthrough the Banja Luka
8 centre and until we had Stojan Zupljanin and his associates dismissed as
9 the MUP centre. We had no jurisdiction over there."
10 So my question is: What did you mean by that in relation to
11 Simo Drljaca and in relation to Stojan Zupljanin?
12 A. Well, when I said that we virtually broke into it refers to
13 September 1993. As you know, in September 1993 there was a rebellion
14 among the army in Banja Luka. And one of the offences that they
15 committed was that these military units took complete hold of the CSB
16 Banja Luka in a manner that they entered all the premises of both the
17 state and public security services. They misappropriated all the
18 equipment and all the assets that were there on the premises. So what we
19 had there was a total militarisation and the total deprivation of the MUP
20 to carry out these duties. Any official of the MUP was not allowed to
21 even approach close to that centre.
22 Now, in order to quell this rebellion and this uprising against
23 the state with some ten people from the state security and some
24 30 special forces from the centre of MUP, we managed to arrest the
25 ring-leaders of the rebellion and that is when we physically entered --
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, excuse me, excuse me, but unless I'm
2 very wrong, this would not be the reason or this would not justify your
3 opinion that you had to dismiss Stojan Zupljanin and his associates.
4 Isn't that right? That has nothing to do with a military rebellion. So
5 my question was about this opinion of yours, that before you could do
6 something you had to dismiss Stojan Zupljanin and his associates.
7 A. Maybe I was giving you a much too lengthy answer. At the time
8 when the CSB Banja Luka was completely thrown out of the system as a
9 result of the rebellion, we physically entered the centre. And since the
10 centre had no function at all and there were no executives there, we left
11 it all to the commissions. At the time, Stojan Zupljanin was unable to
12 run the centre, so that was the sequence of events. A few months later
13 his dismissal was only confirmed and we restored the functioning of the
14 centre by employing such personnel that would establish good links
15 between the MUP and the CSB, because I always believed that to be the
16 best option and it proved to be correct before and after. Because
17 without proper connections with the MUP, no CSB can be sustainable and
18 cannot operate under the law.
19 So at the time, Stojan Zupljanin lost his position at the time
20 and he eventually had to be removed. This was later confirmed by
21 Stanisic and Rakic and they said that Zupljanin could not have stayed in
22 position because of the issue of jurisdiction vis-a-vis the MUP, and
23 because I personally believe him unable to govern such a big and complex
24 area covered by the CSB Banja Luka.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 I think this is a convenient point, yes, indeed.
2 JUDGE HALL: So we take our second break to resume in 20 minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.34 p.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay, Mr. Kovac, we -- I think you did a very
6 good job in the beginning of your testimony by giving short answers, but
7 probably due to the fact that this is a tiring exercise you lost a little
8 bit of focus. I'm afraid we are having a little bit of a time problem.
9 So if I could ask you to focus again on the precise questions and, as far
10 as possible, give short answers.
11 I want to go back for a minute to Simo Drljaca of whom you said
12 that in 1992 he was beyond the control of the MUP. My question is:
13 According to you, who had the authority to discipline him? In 1992, I
15 A. The authority to discipline him according to the Law on the
16 Interior, it was the chief of the Banja Luka CSB because he belonged to
17 that centre.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And have you any explanation as to why
19 that did not happen, why he was not disciplined, while obviously -- yeah,
20 go ahead.
21 A. I think that the then chief of the centre didn't have either
22 personal or political power to settle the scores with Simo Drljaca and
23 everybody else because that would imply having political power and the
24 power to deal with the entire Crisis Staff. And in my view, the chief of
25 the centre didn't have such capacity, either in political terms or
1 otherwise, and I also have doubts about how courageous he was to become
2 involved in such a conflict. As I said, that was what was required in
3 order to deal with him and the entire Crisis Staff. One had to really
4 have proper political power and all other capacities required.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. In your interview of October 2003,
6 page 28 - and I'm looking for the B/C/S page number, I don't seem to have
7 it on the my list -- no.
8 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's page 18 in the B/C/S version. Thank you.
10 You said that you, along with others, dismissed those responsible for
11 crimes in 1992, including Simo Drljaca. Can you please clarify when you
12 took this action?
13 A. I can't understand which part of my interview are you referring
14 to or are you just asking me a question that stems from my interview?
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: It stems from your interview. You said in your
16 interview that you dismissed those responsible for crimes in 1992 and
17 that was including Simo Drljaca. And the rather simple question is, if
18 you remember, is a question to clarify when you dismissed the people
19 responsible for crimes in 1992.
20 A. As I already said, this happened both in the latter part of 1992
21 and then in the first half of 1993 and then again in 1994 when Stanisic
22 and Rakic as his deputy came. Now speaking about Simo Drljaca
23 specifically, we managed to neutralise his powers and influence in the
24 area; however, under enormous political pressure he managed again to
25 resurrect. I don't know exactly when. So we had this wrangling with
1 Drljaca the whole time, but he was politically much too strong to be
2 completely eliminated politically.
3 Concerning Todorovic of Samac, I know that we arrested him I
4 think in 1993, yes, he was arrested in 1993, and we removed him. There
5 were other chiefs as well. In 1992 I think that we removed Dragan Andan,
6 the chief from Visegrad, and quite a few others. So this is as specific
7 as I can be by giving you these names.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. In -- you say "we." You also say
9 "we" in the interview. The first question is: In what capacity did you
10 take this action, and who are you referring to when you say "we"?
11 A. All the steps that I took I firmly stand behind that and I would
12 always tell you that it was me personally who did this. However, I
13 always have the need to mention the institution because our intention and
14 the intention of MUP was always to have a proper institution. But as I
15 said, I stand by each and every action that I myself did, especially when
16 I took the decision or signed the decision because the responsibility
17 lies with the decision-maker under the law. I didn't want to emphasise
18 "I." That's why I used the pronoun "we" because I preferred to speak on
19 the behalf of the institution, but I would like to underline that the
20 decisions I took were mine.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Then my question is: In what capacity did
22 you take this decision, as assistant minister? As acting minister? Is
23 there a difference to be made?
24 A. Only in two capacities, when I was assistant minister in 1992 and
25 I had the authorisation by Minister Stanisic; and in the other capacity
1 when I was acting minister from September 1993 till January 1994. Of
2 course also at the time when I was the minister in 1995, that was in the
3 latter half of 1995.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's take the very precise example of
5 Simo Drljaca. The formal authority to discipline him, who would that be?
6 A. Under the -- or given the organisation that existed then, it
7 would have been the chief of the Banja Luka centre. That was in place
8 until 1994.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: And the formal authority --
10 A. Let me explain. The proposal to launch disciplinary proceedings
11 under the laws and regulations that existed then - and I was chairman of
12 the disciplinary board before the war - could come from any staff member
13 of the administration that controlled the work of the Prijedor CSB. So
14 the initiative didn't have to come from the centre chief. It could also
15 come from others, inspectors and so on. And the centre chief was
16 duty-bound to implement the first-instance disciplinary proceedings.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. The formal authority to dismiss
18 Simo Drljaca, who would that be? Or -- no, let me just stay there for
19 the moment. Who was the formal authority who could dismiss Drljaca, as
21 A. Drljaca could be dismissed by the minister of the interior as the
22 result of second-instance proceedings. If such proceedings were
23 implemented and the decision confirmed, that had to come from the
24 minister himself. If that went through disciplinary proceedings. If
25 some other proceedings were in place or consensual termination, for
1 example. But then again it was -- it came under the remit of the
2 minister of the interior according to the then law. The minister who was
3 the head of a state body - in this case the minister of the
4 interior - was the one person who had to make the decisions on both
5 accepting people into service and dismissing them from service. That was
6 prescribed by the Law on Internal Affairs.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: So then your decision to dismiss Simo Drljaca was
8 taken either acting as a minister or minister as such, not as an
9 assistant minister. You couldn't do that as an assistant minister. You
10 could do that as an assistant minister acting on behalf of the minister;
12 A. That is right, but I think I could elaborate only based on a
13 specific document. Certainly the transfer of authority was
14 sufficient - I mean the authority of the minister of the interior - was
15 sufficient to dismiss somebody from the service formally speaking, if
16 that's what you mean. If you are referring to the process of dismissing
17 somebody, then the interpretation is different.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Let's move to some of the other persons
19 you mentioned earlier. On the 1st of December, 2005, at page 19 of your
20 interview, that is 77-78 of the B/C/S version, you once again said that:
21 "Bosanski Samac was an area where the central authority had no
23 What did you mean by that?
24 A. Well, I wanted to say that at Samac - and now I'm talking about
25 or from the vantage point of the analysis that was carried out - there
1 was a renegade group and the chief of the public security station was
2 head of it. They were acting like a criminal organisation almost. No
3 disciplinary proceedings were initiated. We took the decision - and I'm
4 saying "we" again, although it was me personally at that time - we
5 decided to directly arrest Todorovic. I believe that we arrested him in
6 the Brcko municipality and we used a special unit to do that because that
7 was the way or the -- that we had to resort to in dealing with such
8 persons. The conduct of the number one man was totally criminal and even
9 the group of persons around him, they weren't even our citizens. It was
10 basically a criminal organisation using the public security station as a
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you tell us when Todorovic was arrested?
13 A. I think he was arrested -- but I'm afraid I can't give you a
14 precise answer. I remember all the elements and how we arrested him, but
15 I'm afraid of saying something wrong if you want to hear a date.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we perhaps look at tab 14, that is P406 at
17 page 4.
18 It says that at 9.00 a.m. on 15 November 1992, you were informed
19 of the arrest of Todorovic by a military group. Does that refresh your
21 A. Can I see the following page because this is the report of the
22 centre chief.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: You see -- do you see your name in the -- on that
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: So can you confirm that that happened and ...
3 A. I cannot fully confirm this because the sequence of events
4 doesn't seem to -- I also had other information about the processing of
5 this Steve and I believe that we met him again. This was his military
6 arrest, but there was another arrest carried out by the police and it was
7 during one of my terms in office, but I can't tell when.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: So do I understand --
9 A. This doesn't refer to --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Do I understand you correctly, Mr. Kovac, that
11 your order to arrest him was followed by an arrest which was made by the
12 police? Then my question would be this -- and you say this is another
13 arrest. Can you tell us on the order of whom this other arrest had been
14 made, if you know?
15 A. No, no, I can't. He was never arrested by the police except
16 pursuant to my orders. I don't believe there was another instance. But
17 he also had a conflict with the army. He was also arrested by the army
18 at one point, and it's that part that ... at that time we were settling
19 accounts with him and his activities in Samac in 1992. Bjelosevic, the
20 centre chief, was involved on the one hand, and there was also an overlap
21 with regard to the Samac station because the Bijeljina centre also had
22 some jurisdiction over them.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please.
24 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that this is how it went.
1 We started squaring our accounts with the whole station, but the very
2 arrest is something about which I can't really seem to make up my mind.
3 I think that there were two, first with the army and then with us, the
4 police, that is. The police also had some activities directed at him.
5 But I believe you do have all this information.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Would --
7 A. I'm clear about the first encounter with him and his arrest by
8 the army, but there were also some other measures of which he was the
9 target, and I mean measures launched by the Ministry of the Interior.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, are you saying now that the RS MUP
11 authorities were not aware of this arrest, the military arrest, the
12 arrest by the military?
13 A. No, no, we were aware. Of course we knew about the arrest
14 effected by the military.
15 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean, let's explain this. As far
17 as this whole process of resolving the situation in Samac is concerned.
18 By that time we had completely -- we had -- we were completely clear
19 about how things stood there, in Samac. It's just this section of the
20 report about the arrest, there's some elements that somehow don't fit in,
21 they don't seem to. But never mind.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: I had a little trouble finding the right
23 document, Mr. Kovac, sorry about that. Can we now turn to page 1, it
24 should be page 1 in the B/C/S as well, where it says that you ordered an
25 investigation into the circumstances of the arrest of Todorovic.
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you now turn to page 2, at the bottom. I
3 hope it's at the bottom of the B/C/S as well. It says that:
4 "The team that interviewed Todorovic after his arrest heard of
5 two crimes, looting and theft of weapons."
6 And at page 3 and 4, it describes the circumstances of general
7 lack of discipline and control.
8 Is -- does this document point to the reasons of Todorovic's
9 arrest like this? Are these the reasons of Todorovic's arrest?
10 A. Well, amongst others, Todorovic's activity and his attitude, as
11 well as the overall situation at the Samac public security station, and
12 his conflicts with the army which also had detrimental consequences on
13 the relations between the army and the MUP, clearly all these were the
14 reasons that brought about his arrest. Only it doesn't -- it isn't
15 presented that way in this report from the Bijeljina centre.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Now then can you look at tab 12A, that's 1D518.
17 Is this the MUP decision suspending Todorovic after his arrest?
18 A. Yes. We can see from this the request made to centre chief
19 Bjelosevic to remove this person from his position and to appoint at the
20 same time Savo Cancarevic and there is a reasoning. He states his
21 reasons, namely, that Todorovic never received a decision on the
22 appointment to these duties, but I know that the motive was that he
23 should be removed due to the numerous illegalities in his work.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: But the fact that he was arrested before this
25 decision is not mentioned in it; right? Isn't that odd?
1 A. No, it isn't odd because the manner of his arrest was not in
2 accordance with the Law on Criminal Procedure. It was a result of a
3 number of other circumstances. That was probably the reason why his
4 arrest is not mentioned here, among others, that he was arrested and all
5 that, formally speaking I mean.
6 You may have noticed that the Bijeljina centre reported on his
7 arrest and the proposal came from the chief of the Doboj centre. Andrija
8 Bjelosevic was chief of the Doboj centre. There was some personnel
9 reshuffling, and it's difficult for me to reconstruct who was in which
10 position at what point in time. I know that Bjelosevic was in Doboj,
11 though. And then he had also some activities regarding Bijeljina and
12 then it was Doboj again. I know that in some periods Doboj was
13 mentioned, at others Bijeljina, and Andrija Bjelosevic features as chief
14 of the Doboj centre, but before that there is a report from the Bijeljina
16 So there was this territorial overlap, but it doesn't matter for
17 this -- for these proceedings.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you --
19 A. Anyway, the situation was very difficult.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you look then at P2 -- at tab 11, P2438.
21 A. Yes. Are you referring to this decision to appoint
22 Stevan Todorovic?
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment.
24 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: So now obviously we have the same in B/C/S and in
1 English; right? And there it says - and that's what's troubling me a
2 little bit, Mr. Kovac - is here it's -- the decision is that the
3 employment of Todorovic was terminated by agreement. Have you an
4 explanation for that? Do you know?
5 A. This is a decision issued by Minister Kijac which is after my
6 time, and what I'm looking at is a decision of Minister Adzic. And this
7 is 1996, a year after I had left the Ministry of the Interior, and it's
8 one year after the war. It was issued by Dragan Kijac.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: And you don't know about this?
10 A. Well, I don't know. It was one year later. It speaks here about
11 consensual termination of employment, but before that there is a decision
12 issued by Ratko Adzic in 1993 on his appointment. I'm not aware of this
13 document dated 1996. It was not the time when I was at the ministry. It
14 was a year after I had left. Minister Kijac was my successor and this
15 happened one year after my departure, this consensual or termination of
17 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry.
21 Can we have page 6 of the same document. My question here is
22 whether you could -- whether you can explain the retroactive appointment
23 starting 28 March 1992 issued for Stevan Todorovic as SJB chief in Samac
24 and the decision taken on the 3rd of June, 1993.
25 A. I can explain that.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Please do.
2 A. This could only have been issued by an incompetent person who
3 doesn't know anything about the law. This is totally illegal and
4 unprofessional, and I think that for a good part it was done
5 intentionally. This decision for Stevan Todorovic was issued by
6 Mr. Adzic, who during his term of office annihilated and halted a lot of
7 activities that we conducted against persons such as this one. So while
8 he was minister, for example, in June 1993 I witnessed him issuing a
9 retroactive decision for Stevan Todorovic on his appointment in 1992.
10 So clearly if you look at the previous information and the
11 proposal made by Andrija Bjelosevic for Todorovic to be removed from his
12 position because he didn't have the letter of appointment in the first
13 place, this was a simple cover-up. So in addition to it being an
14 unprofessional, it is a criminal act as well. And one of the conflicts
15 that I had with this minister was exactly because of this unprofessional
16 conduct, because he destroyed and obliterated lots of things that we did.
17 And this document is proof which policy he pursued because that's why he
18 came to the ministry and not to run the ministry.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 Can we move now to the proceedings against Dragan Andan. In your
21 interview of December 2005, page 21 and 22 in English, which are 80 --
22 page 80 in B/C/S, you say that the police in Bijeljina were rebelling
23 against Andan. Can you put a time-frame to that? When were the police
24 requesting his removal, if you know?
25 A. I think that it was sometime in late August --
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
2 A. -- or early September --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: 1992?
4 A. -- when I came there at around 20th of August.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: 1992?
6 A. Yes, 1992.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Do you recall --
8 A. -- yes, 1992.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- what it was that they were protesting against?
10 A. They were protesting against the bad conditions and bad equipment
11 issued to them, and they were also criticising misconduct by a number of
12 employees who came to this area from the MUP. This included members of
13 the federal Ministry of the Interior, and they specifically named
14 Dragan Andan --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: What was done about it?
16 A. Well, when they were describing their difficult material
17 situation and lack of equipment, they were pointing out the behaviour of
18 certain employees or executives who were involved in certain activities,
19 which would provide them with certain material gains --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, can we try to stick with Dragan Andan.
21 What was done about this situation?
22 A. As far as he's concerned, I said at one local meeting that I was
23 going to institute proceedings in order to establish all the illegal
24 activities that Dragan Andan was involved in. I initiated disciplinary
25 proceedings and a decision, or rather, the proposals already made to
1 suspend him pending the completion of the proceedings. The minister set
2 up a disciplinary commission whose task was to investigate these illicit
3 activities, or rather, allegations about the illicit activities relating
4 to Dragan Andan.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: And what was the result?
6 A. It was a standard procedure, and the result was that the minister
7 issued a decision on temporary suspension from the MUP. The disciplinary
8 proceedings were conducted, but I think that during the proceedings he
9 himself left the MUP and he joined the Army of Republika Srpska. And
10 that's what happened with Dragan Andan.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you -- you say the minister issued a
12 decision. Was it the minister or was it you yourself? Or were you the
13 minister at the time?
14 A. No, no, I wasn't minister at the time. I was assistant minister
15 of Mico Stanisic at the time. The minister issued a decision on
16 suspension --
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay --
18 A. -- and he set up a commission. So that's it. So that's it, what
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you look at P2349, tab 14. Have you seen
21 this document before?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Is that the decision, Mico Stanisic's
24 decision, you were talking about?
25 A. This is a request to initiate disciplinary proceedings, and this
1 is a document issued by Minister Stanisic, but I know that I was involved
2 in drafting this. I was fully involved in all the preparations for this
3 document and it was the office of Minister Stanisic who issued this and
4 it was signed by the minister himself.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: And was this the reasons, the reasons stated
6 here, that -- for which he was suspended?
7 A. Yes, these were precisely the reasons such as misappropriation of
8 property and taking property from depots and using it for private
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Can we move now to Malko Koroman. I
11 understand that you never mentioned Koroman in any of your prior
12 interviews, but at the meeting with the Chamber's Legal Officers you
13 confirmed that you were aware of his activities at the moment you became
14 assistant minister. Is that right?
15 A. Well, I was aware of his official duty, that's what I meant. Of
16 course when I assumed the duties of assistant minister and since one of
17 our headquarters was at Pale, I was aware of professional career of
18 Koroman in that period. I mainly knew the things that pertained to his
19 professional duties and I'm referring to the period starting from August
20 when I went to the MUP HQ. And if you wish, I can give you some details
21 regarding some situations. Please feel free to ask me.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: My next question would be: Are you aware of any
23 measures that were taken against him for his role in the events of Pale
24 in 1992?
25 A. I can't remember. I think that these activities took place prior
1 to my arrival. Therefore, I cannot think of and I cannot remember any
2 specific activities.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
4 A. I wasn't involved in that at the time.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Shall we have a look then at tab 17, which is
6 P1461. The first question is whether you've ever seen this document
8 A. I can't remember. I don't think I have seen it before.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Having read part of it I can
11 say that I wasn't aware of this document.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Without going into the details, Mr. Kovac, are
13 you aware of any proceedings initiated as a result of the complaints that
14 are made in this document?
15 A. I can't remember any proceedings in relation to this document.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Are you aware whether Mr. Koroman was
17 dismissed or removed from service in 1992 or in 1993? Do you know? If
18 not, just say so.
19 A. I don't know that he was removed from this service. There was a
20 dismissal of the chief of the public security station, and later on he
21 was issued a decision appointing him an inspector at the police
22 administration or the security services centre. I know that at one point
23 he was dismissed as the chief of the police station, but I don't think
24 that he was entirely removed from the MUP. I'm not aware of that.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Can you look at tab 18 now, that is
2 [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry.
5 Are you familiar with this document? Have you seen it before?
6 A. I don't know if I've seen it before. I know of the dismissal of
7 Malko, but this very document didn't reach me at all because in 1993 I
8 was at the administration for police, and I didn't have any other
9 specific duties that would entail my being fully informed about such
10 operative things. But I was aware of the dismissals.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: So you would say that this is not a hand-over
12 pursuant to a regular change in personnel, but rather, the result of some
13 actions against Koroman?
14 A. Well, as I said, I had no part in this and I can see that this
15 hand-over or this record on hand-over is completely - how shall I put
16 it? - it's not even signed by either the receiving or the handing over
17 party. So it is obvious that this record doesn't reflect the factual or
18 the legal situation which would make it a proper document on hand-over
19 between two executives.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay --
21 A. So in my view, this is a completely and utterly incomplete
22 document. And as I said, I did not participate in this.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Just one moment,
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE HALL: Well, we've reached the point where, although it's a
2 few minutes -- we're a few minutes shy of the 1.45 because of the topics
3 that the Chamber still has to cover, we will reserve that to resume
4 tomorrow morning at 9.00. And we alert the parties and the witness as
5 well that we have made arrangements for an extended session tomorrow. So
6 when we rise at 1.45, we would sit -- we will have an extra session from
7 2.30 to 4.00. And then it appears inevitable that we will be here on
8 Friday, and we will -- although you had previously indicated that we
9 expected that we would finish by the end of the second session, it was
10 ordinarily the second session at noon on Friday, that we would go through
11 until 1.45. Because it is in everybody's interest that we complete this
12 witness's testimony so he doesn't have to return. So with that, we take
13 the adjournment until tomorrow morning.
14 Before we rise, Mr. Kovac, I would point out to you that having
15 been sworn as a witness, you cannot have any communication with any of
16 the lawyers - apart from your own lawyer who has a peculiar role in
17 this - and should you have any conversation with anybody else outside of
18 the Chamber, you cannot discuss your testimony.
19 So with that, we take the adjournment to continue at
20 9.00 tomorrow morning.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 8th day of
23 March, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.