1 Thursday, 8 March 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-08-91-T,
7 the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Good morning to everyone.
10 May we have the appearances, please.
11 MR. HANNIS: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Prosecution I'm
12 Tom Hannis. Along with me today is our intern, Ms. Taisier Adil, and my
13 case manager, Sebastiaan van Hooydonk.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan, and Ms. Isabel Düsterhöft for --
16 appearing for Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic,
18 Aleksandar Aleksic, Miroslav Cuskic, Gillian Kelly, and Milena Dzudovic
19 appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Aleksandar Lazarevic
21 for Mr. Kovac.
22 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
23 And could the usher please escort the witness back to the stand.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, Mr. Kovac. As the Chamber
1 moves into its final set of questions for you before it turns over to the
2 counsel for either side, I remind you that you're still on your oath.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
4 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Judge Delvoie.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
6 WITNESS: TOMISLAV KOVAC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Kovac.
10 Mr. Kovac, yesterday you told us how you personally had to deal
11 with people to be disciplined or removed from the service. You mentioned
12 in particular the proceedings against Stevan Todorovic, Simo Drljaca, and
13 Dragan Andan. Now, my question to you is: According to you, did -- in
14 1992, did the minister at the time, Mico Stanisic, enjoy the authority
15 and have the same responsibility to remove these persons, the ones you
16 named and we discussed, to remove them from service and initiate
17 appropriate proceedings against them?
18 A. Well, he had that authority and he indeed did that through me and
19 the institutions that I headed. We were a team, in other words. At the
20 Ministry of the Interior, the assistant minister cannot possibly want to
21 do some things that the minister does not want to be done. That was
22 obvious while Mr. Adzic was minister and wanted to do some things that
23 were contrary to the wishes of us professionals. I understood it to be
24 Mr. Stanisic's wish to do the things that I was doing. And it follows
25 from some documents that Minister Stanisic was involved in some
1 proceedings, except in the case of Todorovic.
2 Yesterday there was something of a mix-up. One document refers
3 to the time when I took measures and two other measures have to do with
4 Adzic and Kijac. But the one document that has to do with the time while
5 I was in office certainly shows the co-ordination of the various bodies
6 of the Ministry of the Interior.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you. Now then, still on that
8 authority to discipline and to remove eventually members of the force, I
9 remember your opinion about Mr. Zupljanin as chief of the Banja Luka CSB
10 and how things functioned over there. So I was wondering who had in
11 principle and in practice the authority to discipline and to remove a
12 chief of CSB, if need be? Who would have that authority in the first
13 instance and who would have that in appeal?
14 A. In the first instance, the centre chief had that authority --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: But if it is about the centre chief himself, who
16 would have the authority then?
17 A. The minister of the interior had authority over him. According
18 to the later organisation, well, I'm now referring to the time when I was
19 appointed, but at that time the chief of public security at the
20 Ministry of the Interior also had such authority. In other words, when I
21 took over public security, the centre chiefs were directly subordinated
22 to the chief of public security who was also assistant minister, that is,
23 assistant minister for public security. At any rate, the centre chiefs
24 were certainly also under the jurisdiction of the minister of the
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Now then in -- despite of your -- so you -- it's
2 the -- on -- the responsibility and the authority is on the ministerial
3 level, and you had a very particular opinion about the way the chief of
4 centre in Banja Luka functioned. You didn't think it was necessary to
5 take action then, against the chief at that time?
6 A. In 1992 we were going through the processes of setting up
7 communication through administrations and by way of audits in the
8 Banja Luka centre. The Banja Luka centre was differently structured than
9 later. According to the then organisation, the Banja Luka centre had
10 both a public security and a state security branch; and later on, when
11 state security was separate from public security, we had centre chiefs
12 for public security.
13 My opinion of Zupljanin - and now I'm referring first and
14 foremost to 1993 - was determined by his power to manage the centre. My
15 basic criticism of the centre was about their organisational capability
16 to keep the centre under control. I'm not saying that I had knowledge of
17 Zupljanin taking part in some criminal activities or supporting
18 sloppiness at the centre. I'm exclusively talking about an attitude that
19 they in that region did not understand and they were resisting the
20 centralisation of the ministry. They did not understand that such an
21 organisation was the only option for us to counter the very complex
22 situation on the ground, a situation that existed not only in Krajina but
23 in the entire Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it was called
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Kovac, can I remind you, your interview in 2003 at page 202
2 in the English version. I don't have the reference to the B/C/S version.
3 It would be 227 or 228. Where you said that Stojan Zupljanin needed to
4 be dismissed, and when that was done, it opened doors to the proceedings
5 against other people.
6 A. I apologise, but again I cannot ...
7 Things are actually simple. At the time I only didn't explain.
8 Replace Zupljanin at the time meant give rise to an unofficial existence
9 of an SAO Krajina and the minister of the interior. That was the reality
10 of the time. I don't know if you'll understand, though. It was my
11 opinion that removing Stojan Zupljanin and replacing him by staff who
12 were exclusively loyal to the MUP headquarters would enable us to access
13 more directly public security stations, which Stojan Zupljanin lacked the
14 power to do so. But eventually it turned out that we were not strong
15 enough either because the centres were too strong. We were striving to
16 centralise the entire police structure in the Krajina.
17 I don't know if I need to clarify additionally. I can provide
18 you with the causalities.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 Now, at page 200 in your October 2003 interview you referred to a
21 dispatch by Mico Stanisic in August 1992, asking for courts to be formed
22 and criminals to be tried. When was this dispatch sent and to whom was
23 it sent? Who was to set up these courts?
24 A. It seems to me that the English and Serbian pages don't match. I
25 cannot see this in the Serbian version and I also think it doesn't match
1 the English version.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you see it now?
3 A. What I have in front of me is about Zvornik, my statements about
4 Zvornik and the paramilitaries there. I can answer your question, but
5 what I see here isn't about any kind of dispatch. I see the section
6 where I speak about our tackling the issue of the paramilitaries in
7 Zvornik, Zuco, Cuko, and so forth.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can I quote from page 200, at the bottom of 200.
9 "And we from the MUP," you declared, "were the first ones who had
10 the guts to send the dispatch in which Stanisic demanded the courts to be
11 formed, that the criminals, the perpetrators, are to be tried."
12 You remember this; and if so, can you tell me to whom the
13 dispatch was sent and when it was sent?
14 A. Yes, I can. But still, I don't understand why I cannot see what
15 you read out in Serbian. I can see it's there in English and I partly
16 understand it, but I can't see it in the Serbian. But ...
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we have the correct page in Serbian.
18 Mr. Zecevic, could you be of assistance? Or Mr. Aleksic,
20 Yes, Mr. Aleksic.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's the right page in
22 Serbian. The paragraph in question is the top paragraph. It can be
23 enlarged if necessary.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah, I --
25 A. I see it now. Yes, I have it now. I cannot remember the details
1 of that dispatch because it's been 20 years. But I know of a dispatch by
2 which it was demanded that other bodies, apart from MUP bodies, be set up
3 faster so that all proceedings against all persons, all perpetrators of
4 crimes, can be started in accordance with the law. Because in some areas
5 the problem was that there were no organised institutions that could take
6 over and process persons from the Ministry of the Interior. I'm, first
7 of all, referring to prosecutor's offices and courts. There was an
8 institutional vacuum. There was no legal vacuum, though --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, we know the context. We would like to
10 know, if you can tell us, to whom this request was sent: Please organise
11 the courts so that perpetrators can be prosecuted. To whom was it sent?
12 Who was supposed to put that in place?
13 A. Well, first of all, the relevant ministries, like the Ministry of
14 Justice. But also regional organs that were already in place, the
15 regional courts could contribute as well who hadn't exactly been
16 developed up to the local level, and I know that there was such an
17 attempt both in the ministry and the regional centres where these
18 institutions existed. However, they did not exist at lower levels. And
19 I also think that many military units that were joining the VRS
20 definitely didn't have a fully developed system of military courts and
21 judiciary, and this caused the problems of how to treat the people who
22 committed crimes or members of the military involved in any illegal
24 There was, as I said, no legal vacuum, but we did have an
25 organisational vacuum at the lowest level and that was a priority for us,
1 in view of the fact that there were terrible devastations and destruction
2 and we were short staffed.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Can we have a look at tab 13, P408.
4 And can we have page 2. And could you read what is said there about the
5 municipality of Samac at -- it's at the bottom of the English version of
6 page 2. It's about Samac and Doboj high court.
7 A. The courts and the prosecutor's office in the Serbian
8 municipality in Samac were not operational; that was the information that
9 we had. And this exactly confirms what I said a minute ago to the effect
10 that the prosecutor's offices and courts had not been set up in Samac,
11 but that cases had to be referred to Doboj. So this is a true reflection
12 of the actual situation. It demonstrates that in the municipalities
13 where the crime rate was the most serious, the fully-fledged
14 institutional foundations were not set up for prosecuting certain persons
15 and for identifying the perpetrators and impose sanctions. So we have an
16 institutional vacuum here, as was the situation in Samac.
17 So we at the ministry were the first one to pin-point these
18 problems, and we requested the relevant organs and structures in the
19 political sphere as well to have an institutional system in place and we
20 see that the regional centre in Doboj took over the prosecutions.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. That's --
22 A. There is some inconsistency here whether there was no will to do
23 that, but anyway we were facing these problems.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you. So Doboj courts were
1 Now, can we turn over to the next page in English. In the second
2 paragraph it refers to crimes of thefts -- of thefts and aggravated
3 theft. And I was wondering were other crimes such as those encumbered or
4 such as those committed in detention centres not investigated and
5 referred to the prosecutor's office, whether it would be civilian or the
6 military prosecutor? This seems only to be about theft and aggravated
7 theft but not about the other serious crimes that were committed at that
8 time. Is there, in your view, any particular reason for that, why those
9 other crimes were not prosecuted?
10 A. In view of the situation in Samac, it only makes sense to me that
11 they would start with recording these minor offences and without any
12 serious attempts to remove the people who committed more serious crimes.
13 At this initial period this was probably the best that they could do on
14 the ground, the people who investigated the crimes in view of the
15 professional capabilities of Saric and another person because at that
16 time that was the maximum that they could do to reach those levels. So
17 as I said, this was an initial stage of dealing with criminality in that
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Kovac.
20 That is all I had for you as questions. I want to apologise to
21 the parties for the extension of time it took to examine Mr. Kovac in
22 chief. I have a few mitigating factors or circumstances to that, of
23 which one is that this is the very first time that I do this kind of
24 exercise. So I'm learning. Thank you.
25 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours. It's pretty
2 good for a first time, Your Honour, and I'm glad to see you suffer some
3 of the same problems that we've had for two years. We feel your pain.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
5 Q. Good morning, sir. I'd like to start with something that was
6 touched on this morning by Judge Delvoie concerning Mr. Zupljanin and
7 your opinion about him. I think at page 4 this morning of the
8 transcript - let me get it precisely - line 12 you said:
9 "My opinion of Zupljanin - and now I'm referring first and
10 foremost to 1993 - was determined by his power to manage the centre. And
11 my basic criticism was about their organisational capability to keep the
12 centre under control."
13 Now, I take it then you did not form that opinion until 1993; is
14 that right?
15 A. No, I had an opinion on that issue prior to 1993, already at the
16 end of 1992 or actually from the very beginning of 1993 I entertained
17 such an opinion.
18 Q. Well, we've seen evidence and we've heard from some witnesses
19 that suggest that CSB Banja Luka and Mr. Zupljanin in 1992 were held
20 generally in high regard and that his CSB was probably the best one
21 working in 1992 in the RS MUP. Would you not agree with that?
22 A. Look, the Banja Luka CSB was the only one among the centres in
23 addition to Doboj who maintained their HQ location. They were not
24 relocated, as was the case with other centres.
25 But there's another thing here: The right of each leadership,
1 including myself who was tasked with establishing public security
2 service, to make my own assessment in that respect and to set up the
3 central MUP, the central institutions, and the central management. Now,
4 when we speak about the Krajina and the relations between the Krajina and
5 the centre and Pale, has been a conflicting one to this day. So
6 Banja Luka wanted to have the central MUP all the time and they were
7 happy only when that happened in 1997 and 1998. So the residual elements
8 of the SAO Krajina were very much present, both in the police and the
10 So, to put it simply, in that area we had very much resistance to
11 the institutions, without which we thought it was impossible to establish
12 a proper system that would be suitable to a war time. So we couldn't
13 have SAO Krajinas and other small municipalities or principalities if we
14 were to combat all the difficulties that we faced. So this was the root
15 of all the problems that we encountered. And then, as a result of that,
16 in 1993 control was lost over CSB, both physically and operationally, and
17 as a consequence we from the central MUP had to put this under control,
18 arrest the people who were responsible and bring some order.
19 I think that this is a sufficient explanation as to why I thought
20 about their capabilities in that area the way I did.
21 Q. Okay. Well, let me stop you there. Yesterday the Judge
22 indicated to you that we have limited time and we hope to get you out of
23 here by the end of Friday. So I'll ask you to try and focus on my
24 question and if it calls for a simple answer, try and give me a short,
25 simple answer. My question was: Would you agree with that? A yes or no
1 would have done for a starter and then we could have gone on.
2 Now, Mr. Zupljanin had been appointed as chief of the CSB for
3 Banja Luka by Minister Stanisic, correct, in 1992?
4 A. Partly. I think that before that he was appointed to that
5 position by Alija Delimustafic. Before Stanisic appointed him, he was
6 the centre of the chief [as interpreted] while Delimustafic was in
8 MR. HANNIS: Could we go to tab 124 on the Prosecution's list.
9 In e-court the English page I want to look at first is at page 14 going
10 on to page 15, and the B/C/S is at page 9. And I've got a hard copy. If
11 the usher would assist me, I'll hand that to the witness.
12 Q. Mr. Kovac, coming your way is a document dated the 22nd of June,
13 1992. It's a decision from Minister Stanisic appointing Stojan Zupljanin
14 as chief of the Banja Luka security services centre in your Ministry of
15 the Interior. Have you ever seen that before?
16 A. Well, there was no need for me to look at it. I'm sure that it's
17 an authentic document, but I would just like to say once again that this
18 man was at the head of the Banja Luka CSB while the Ministry of the
19 Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina was still operational. So there is a
20 continuity there.
21 Q. Yes, but that's a continuity by choice of Minister Stanisic;
22 right? He didn't have to keep him on. He could have appointed somebody
23 else; right?
24 A. Well, in that period, the way we operated was to have the
25 personnel in certain positions, provided they accepted to continue to
1 work, Stanisic would confirm their appointments. He had the right not to
2 appoint people, but the majority of the staff had been originally
3 appointed by him and I thought -- I think that in war time he didn't have
4 much choice to look for other staff. And I don't think anything
5 disputable about Zupljanin's appointment at that time - particularly in
6 view of what he's been charged here. The only objection we had at the
7 time was that he was much too loyal to Delimustafic.
8 Q. Okay. And in what way did he manifest that loyalty to
9 Delimustafic in April, May, June of 1992? Can you give us an example or
10 show us a document?
11 A. Well, I think that there was a dispatch in that Zupljanin said
12 after the referendum at least, well, that's what Banja Luka was saying,
13 that he was going to perform his tasks. As far as I am concerned, I was
14 the SJB chief and this was not a criticism of Stanisic's attitude. It
15 was rather perceived as a process and as a continuity of the chiefs who
16 had originally been appointed by Delimustafic and then the Serbian MUP
17 just accepted and adopted this continuity. So nothing special about
19 Q. Well, in Prijedor, the SJB chief at the time the war began was
20 Haris Talundzic, a Muslim. He wasn't kept on in the RS MUP as the SJB
21 chief in Prijedor, was he? Because Simo Drljaca was appointed an SJB
22 chief. So no continuity in Prijedor; right?
23 A. I cannot speak about Prijedor. I was the chief of the public
24 security station in Ilidza. Therefore, I cannot make any comments
25 relating to Prijedor.
1 Q. Okay. But you were able to make the comment about CSB
2 Banja Luka; right?
3 Okay. Let me ask you then about something you said yesterday at
4 page 27071. You were speaking with Judge Delvoie and you said -- you
5 were talking about the rebellion in September of 1993 in Banja Luka, with
6 the CSB Banja Luka centre being thrown over as a result of this army
7 rebellion. You remember that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And I understood you to be saying that's when you really became
10 convinced that Mr. Zupljanin wasn't capable of controlling a centre, and
11 therefore he ought to be removed; is that correct?
12 A. Among other things, that was the ultimate reason and it was
13 impossible to go beyond that.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. HANNIS: Could we look at -- tab 124 is, I think,
16 65 ter number 20061, and I'd like to look at another page. The English
17 in e-court is page 16 going on 17, and the B/C/S is page 13.
18 Q. Mr. Kovac, I'll hand you a hard copy of this document, with the
19 assistance of the usher. This is dated 16 October 1993, so sometime
20 after the rebellion we're talking about. You'll see at the bottom it
21 appears to be your name and you're listed as the minister of the
22 interior, Tomislav Kovac. Is that correct on the 16th of October, 1993?
23 It's a decision appointing Stojan --
24 A. I cannot -- I cannot make any statement about this because
25 there's no signature of mine. I know that in another CSB headed by
1 Brane Pecanac there was a group, but I was all the time in Banja Luka
2 working as an acting minister of the interior because in that period
3 practically nobody was at the head of the Banja Luka CSB. First of all,
4 on the 16th of October, 1993, I was an acting minister, and that's how it
5 should be stated, not "Minister Tomislav Kovac." Therefore, I cannot
6 authenticate this document --
7 Q. Okay --
8 A. -- so I must tell you that I never signed such a document.
9 Q. Let me stop you there. On the 16th of October, Ratko Adzic was
10 no longer the minister of the interior, he had left; right?
11 A. He did leave, but based on a decree I was appointed acting
12 minister. I wasn't appointed to that post because I hadn't gone through
13 the proper procedure in the Assembly that pertained to all ministers.
14 Because there was an imminent threat of war, I was appointed acting
16 Q. That's right. And there was no one else in the ministry above
17 you at that time, in October 1993; right? You were the highest authority
18 in the ministry in October 1993; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And are you saying this document wasn't issued by the ministry
21 appointing Stojan Zupljanin as chief of the CSB in October 1993, or you
22 just don't remember whether you signed one?
23 A. What I'm saying is that I didn't sign this document and that at
24 the time it should have read "acting minister Tomislav Kovac." I'm
25 telling you that the factual situation was such that there was no need
1 for such a decision to be issued because a special working group was set
2 up to run the centre. At the time the group led by Pecanac. This group
3 worked all the way through January 1994 when Minister Stanisic came and
4 issued letters of appointment for the regular leadership of the centre.
5 Q. Okay. And what actions, if any, did you personally take in 1993
6 to try and remove Mr. Zupljanin, given your opinion of his work? Did you
7 do anything as acting minister?
8 A. I stated this several times quite clearly. In September 1993,
9 when the military forces occupied the CSB and the Banja Luka SJB, this
10 practically spelled the suspension of the operation of the Banja Luka CSB
11 physically, factually, and operationally. So this institution was
12 occupied and there was no functioning of MUP services. In view of such
13 extraordinary circumstances and after arresting the rebels, when we
14 entered the premises we simply took them over and that was followed by
15 assessing up of a commission that was to run the CSB Banja Luka.
16 So in actual fact we had a situation in which previously
17 Zupljanin and his group had been removed by coup d'etats as it were. And
18 in order to rectify this situation, which was very grave, we simply
19 appointed in group led by Brane Pecanac who until that time was a special
20 unit commander, which only demonstrates what kind of personnel we had to
21 appoint to these position --
22 Q. Let me stop you there. In 1994, when Mr. Stanisic came back for
23 his second term as a minister, did he discuss with you that one of his
24 primary goals was to try and do something about the crimes that had
25 happened in late August at Mount Vlasic, Koricanske Stijene, where 150 --
1 somewhere between 150 and 200 Muslims had been taken off the bus, lined
2 up along the edge of the cliff, and machine-gunned. You knew about that
3 crime; right?
4 A. I found out subsequently. I got information from groups that
5 went there on behalf of the ministry to deal with that situation.
6 Q. And you first learned about it in 1992; is that right?
7 A. I don't know. I cannot state with certainty when exactly I heard
8 it for the first time, but I was not involved in any actions taken by the
9 ministry with regard to that and therefore cannot comment on the exact
10 time when I learned about it. The chief of crime enforcement at the
11 time, Goran Macar, was in charge of the activities taken at the time;
12 that much I know. But I couldn't give you any additional details.
13 Q. Let me ask you, though, in 1994, when Mr. Stanisic came back for
14 his second term as minister, did he not inform you that this was a
15 priority for him and he wanted to try to get to the bottom of that
16 because there was good evidence that it had been committed by members of
17 the police or the intervention platoon from Prijedor. You remember him
18 telling you about that?
19 A. No, there was no reason for him to give me these specifics. When
20 Stanisic returned --
21 Q. Please --
22 A. -- he clearly insisted on the --
23 Q. Please stop. I just asked if you remember him telling you about
24 that. You told me no. That's all I need.
25 And regarding Mr. Zupljanin after the coup d'etat, did you take
1 any steps to make sure that Mr. Zupljanin didn't return to Banja Luka to
2 act as the chief there in 1993?
3 A. No, I didn't have any special need to take particular steps. He
4 wasn't an enemy of the state. I -- it was my assessment that I could go
5 through the commission of the Ministry of the Interior.
6 Q. Let me jump back in time to the beginning of your career. You've
7 had quite a career in the police. I think you told us that you started
8 out in the state security side of the MUP; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you told us that after a series of successful tasks, in 1984
11 you were appointed chief inspector for state security. That's a pretty
12 high position and by my calculations at that time you were 25 years old,
13 is that right? 1984?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You mention you worked in the covert operations department, that
16 means spy work basically; right?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. Well, tell me what it does mean.
19 A. Well, secret surveillance, secret arrests, when I say "secret,"
20 that's to be understood conditionally. But it's no longer secret now so
21 I can tell you about it if you want.
22 Q. No, but the point I'm trying to get at, the nature of that work
23 involves sometimes being able to represent yourself as someone you're
24 not, pretending to be someone else, giving misinformation to other people
25 as part of your investigations to see who's talking to whom, who's
1 passing or leaking information, et cetera. Is that one of the things
2 that you do in the secret police?
3 A. No. I was a police member who had particular mental and physical
4 abilities, and I took part in arrests and in the seizing of documents of
5 Alija Izetbegovic and Vojislav Seselj and some other terrorists who were
6 preparing to launch terrorist actions during the Olympic Games in
7 Sarajevo. Those were my results [as interpreted] why I was promoted at
8 such young an age.
9 And what you are talking about, yes, I made use of such people as
10 an operative worker. They were our co-workers, we worked with them, but
11 they weren't members of state security. They were hired guns, as it
13 Q. Okay. I understand. The actual work you yourself did, though,
14 included sometimes arresting and interrogating individuals; right?
15 A. People are arrested to be interrogated. Of course we did that.
16 The -- those people were a threat to the constitutional order as it
17 existed then.
18 Q. And sometimes during interrogations hands were put on those being
19 interrogated; right? Sometimes you used physical means during the
21 A. No. At the time we were a rather advanced service. We used
22 methods like those used in Western democracies.
23 Q. Well --
24 A. If you are talking about specific physical activity, I can
25 describe you a specific incident.
1 Q. Well, let me stop you. I'm just saying in regard to your answer,
2 I can tell you in Western democracies that police sometimes have been
3 known to put hands on suspects during interrogations, hands, telephone
4 books, feet. You understand what I'm talking about, don't you? And,
5 Mr. Kovac, there's no great shame in that because, as far as I can tell,
6 it happens in all police in all the world. Are you saying that that
7 didn't happen in your police, either before or during the war? Is that
8 what you're saying under oath?
9 A. No, there's a misunderstanding. I worked on such jobs. I used
10 my physical force to overpower terrorists and prevent them from murdering
11 people; that's -- that was my claim to fame. The work of state security
12 is different from public security when it comes to interrogating
13 criminals by making use of phone directories. Our job is particular,
14 after all.
15 Q. [Microphone not activated]
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. HANNIS:
18 Q. Are you saying, to your knowledge, in 1992, from April through
19 December, in the RS MUP physical force wasn't used during interrogation
20 of detained non-Serbs? You know that happened, don't you?
21 A. Well, yes, certainly. But let me remind you, since you have
22 mentioned my file. Up until the war I was chairman of the disciplinary
23 board for the Sarajevo region, and I was known for sanctioning members
24 for much lesser offences. And you probably know that people are
25 appointed to such positions who have -- who meet certain standards.
1 Q. You mentioned at page 27034 yesterday that when you got appointed
2 by Mr. Stanisic to be assistant minister for police tasks and affairs,
3 that later on he gave you that authorisation to act for him in his
4 absence. You said:
5 "The post of deputy minister did not exist."
6 I want to ask you, though, didn't Momcilo Mandic hold the post
7 and sign documents as deputy minister of the new Serb MUP in April and
8 May of 1992? Do you know anything about that? Before he went over to be
9 minister of justice.
10 A. I did not say that there was no post of deputy minister.
11 Momcilo Mandic was probably appointed by the government or maybe the
12 Assembly to that position. Stanisic skillfully circumvented my
13 appointment because he knew that I didn't stand a chance for political
14 reasons, at least that's my view. So he wanted to avoid going through
15 the process of getting political approval for my appointment. That's my
16 interpretation anyway.
17 Q. Makes sense. Thank you.
18 You were talking to Judge Delvoie yesterday about Exhibit P163,
19 which are the minutes of a collegium meeting on the 20th of August in
20 Trebinje. Do you remember that meeting? It was probably the first one
21 that you went to once you were on that level.
22 A. I remember that.
23 Q. And you mentioned that the participants in this meeting were
24 talking about the problems they had in their area and that there was a
25 process going on to eradicate the flaws within the MUP, as you describe
1 it. You say:
2 "The second part of my involvement was my suggestion to
3 Mr. Stanisic to tackle the matter of decision-makers because the existing
4 personnel were unable to do that. We needed a more efficient and more
5 decisive people from the level of the ministry all the way down to police
6 stations. So there was no doubt as to what to do with these people."
7 When you say "there was no doubt about what to do with these
8 people," are you talking about the indecisive ones in the existing
9 personnel? Is that who you meant?
10 A. I don't have that document here, but I'll answer you anyway. I
11 certainly was referring to indecisive people; incompetent people; people
12 who were under the influence of local structures and local politics; and
13 clearly, by extension, to people who couldn't continue due to their
14 criminal activity. And that attitude of mine also determined my
15 programme when it comes to the severity of measures to be taken in the
16 management process in order to tackle all these problems.
17 Q. All right. Do you -- can you tell me by name any people that fit
18 into that description of the indecisive ones that had to be replaced on
19 the ministry level, any assistant ministers that you put in that category
20 in August of 1992?
21 A. Stanisic had already completed the changes, he had already
22 appointed assistant ministers and chiefs of administrations; that was
23 done. I was assistant for the police, Macar was in charge of crime,
24 Dragan Kijac of state security, so the personnel roster was already
25 completed. As for the lower structures, there wasn't much left to remove
1 because the order of the day was to create institutions. That was my
2 task in Bijeljina, create administrations that will supervise the work of
3 the ministry in order -- or rather, in accordance with the laws and
4 regulations. We didn't have a central MUP, it stayed behind on the
5 Bosniak side, and we had to build the structures of our MUP
6 institutionally and personnel-wise.
7 Q. Okay. The next document that -- well, the next topic that
8 Judge Delvoie asked you about was your relationship with Mr. Stanisic in
9 1992 [Realtime transcript read in error "1982"] and then later when he
10 came back. At page 27050 you said:
11 "Well, we're different personalities. I wouldn't say we were on
12 exactly good terms. We were professionally on good terms. During his
13 second term of office there appeared some disagreements."
14 So what had changed between 1992 and 1994 that led to you having
15 some disagreements and what were those disagreements about, if you
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Just one intervention in the transcript, 23, 3, it
18 says "1982." I believe Mr. Hannis said "1992."
19 MR. HANNIS: I certainly meant to say "1992."
20 Q. Mr. Kovac, that was just to clear up the transcript. Do you
21 remember my question or should I ask it again?
22 A. I remember your question. You asked me what changed in 1994 in
23 the relationship between me and Stanisic. That was your question; right?
24 Nothing special changed except that Stanisic, when he returned for his
25 second term in office, at least to my understanding, he wanted to replace
1 some people in managing positions due to criminal activities and he
2 wanted to defeat them politically. I don't think that it was a realistic
3 assessment on his part, and subsequently it became clear that the MUP
4 would suffer a new blow. This was the difference between us. And after
5 one year Stanisic was removed again. The forces he stood up against were
6 stronger and I remained in my position for another year. I think it --
7 that year made a difference because I made a contribution. But after
8 that one additional year, I was replaced according to the same scenario
9 as he.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: I do apologise. One question for the transcript.
11 Witness mentioned specific name and it's not recorded.
12 MR. HANNIS:
13 Q. Mr. Kovac, you heard what Mr. Krgovic said. Did you mention any
14 specific names as -- and I take it that was referring to the people that
15 he wanted to defeat? In your answer did you mention some specific names;
16 and if so, in what context?
17 A. I mentioned Momcilo Krajisnik, the speaker of the Assembly of the
18 RS. I thought I was being clear enough.
19 Q. It wasn't picked up in the transcript, that's why we followed-up.
20 One more short topic before the break. You were asked about the letter
21 that you wrote I think three days after you came up to the ministry, the
22 one that was sent to the president and to the prime minister about the
23 need to categorise people who were detained. You remember that? I can
24 show it to you, but I think you remember that letter pretty well?
25 A. I remember it.
1 Q. Okay. And Judge Delvoie asked why did you send it to the
2 prime minister and the president instead of addressing it to your boss,
3 Mr. Stanisic? You said:
4 "There was no need for me to communicate with Stanisic because we
5 managed to agree on many things."
6 And then you said:
7 "I saw it as a reflection of the task that we had in
8 Trebinje ..."
9 But that can't be right because your letter was written on the
10 9th of August, 11 days before the meeting in Trebinje. So can you
11 explain that?
12 A. Well, maybe there was a mistake. The process that started before
13 Trebinje, and continued after Trebinje, went in that very direction. All
14 my contacts -- and as soon as I arrived at the ministry HQ, I explained
15 to Mr. Stanisic what the direction of action was and what we must tackle,
16 so that in essence there is no difference really. It's a result of the
17 activities from the very first day since I arrived. And I clearly stated
18 what was my intention as soon as I arrived at the ministry. We
19 constantly dealt with these matters from the first moment on, and all
20 this is a result of our talks and the directions of action that we had
21 agreed upon.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. HANNIS: With Their Honours' permission we'll take our first
24 break now.
25 JUDGE HALL: Yes, and resume in 20 minutes.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, before the witness came in I just
5 wanted to raise one thing. This is only the second time I think in 10 or
6 11 years here I've been in court in a situation where a witness has a
7 lawyer with him or appointed for him for the purposes of the testimony.
8 But I'm not sure how that interacts with our general admonition to
9 witnesses that they aren't supposed to talk about their testimony with
10 anybody, you know, during the recess or at the end of the day. Now, I
11 don't know what Your Honours' position is and I -- it just occurred to me
12 and I thought I would bring it to your attention, whether or not you feel
13 there's any need to make an instruction or direction to counsel or to the
14 witness, I would ask you to do so.
15 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, Your Honours, in my view such an
17 instruction was already issued by the Trial Chamber yesterday after we
18 finished with Mr. Kovac's testimony, and he was instructed not to be
19 approached by anyone but his counsel. This is in my view sufficient
20 instruction, and I did approach and I do spend these short breaks with
21 Mr. Kovac. I see really no need for this sort of intervention.
22 JUDGE HALL: Yes, I thank both Mr. Lazarevic and Mr. Hannis for
23 their observations, and of course the -- from Mr. Lazarevic's response,
24 he has indicated an awareness of the -- that balance which he has to
25 strike in terms of -- because, Mr. Hannis, you would be aware of the
1 reason why the Chamber agreed to the appointment of Mr. Lazarevic to
2 assist -- I shouldn't say to assist, to protect the interests of Mr. --
3 of the witness who's -- the content of whose testimony is finely drawn
4 but could easily shade into matters which involve -- which would invoke
5 Rule -- the provisions of Rule 90(E). So Mr. Lazarevic from his own --
6 what he himself has stated is aware of the -- that distinction between
7 not - for want of a better word - contaminating the witness's testimony
8 before the Chamber and ensuring that the witness's interests are thus
9 protected. And unless there is nothing further, we would have the
10 witness back on the stand.
11 MR. HANNIS: I just would add this, and it's not -- this is not
12 anything pertaining to Mr. Lazarevic because I've only had good
13 experiences with him. But in -- I think in the other situation I was
14 involved in, what the Judge had done was allowed the lawyer to sit in the
15 courtroom and if the witness needed or wanted to consult with him during
16 the proceedings, he did so. But we all knew when that happened, and then
17 they were directed not to have any contact outside the courtroom. But I
18 don't know if that's necessary or desirable, but I only bring it to your
19 attention as to what was done in one other case to my knowledge. Because
20 it's only a matter of appearances, you understand --
21 JUDGE HALL: Well, your experience, of course, is more extensive
22 than mine in this regard, and the one other case with which I'm familiar,
23 counsel in the position of Mr. Lazarevic actually sat next --
24 immediately -- right next to the witness on the stand, so the -- but
25 we'll see, yes.
1 So could the usher please escort the witness back to the stand.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. Mr. Kovac, I will return to your August 9th letter, but I wanted
5 to talk about a different topic right now. And this relates to award
6 nominations. I'd like to show you Exhibit Number P648. This is at
7 tab 101 of the Prosecution's binder, and I have a hard copy for you.
8 This document is dated the 20th of September, 1993, and you'll see it's
9 from Tihomir Glavas, listed as a chief of the public security station in
10 Ilidza, your old station.
11 You knew Mr. Glavas; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was he a good policeman, an honest policeman?
14 A. He was a good policeman.
15 Q. Now, I think you've seen this document before during one of your
16 interviews with representatives from my office, the OTP. Do you recall
17 it now that you're looking at it?
18 A. Not much. I'm trying to refresh my memory by reading it.
19 Q. Okay. If you don't mind, I'd like to go to some particular
20 paragraphs and ask you about those, and if you feel like you need to read
21 the rest of it to answer my question, then indicate to me at the time.
22 But if you can address it right now, I'll try to proceed in that fashion.
23 And the first one I wanted to ask you about is on page 2 in both
24 the English and the B/C/S. Fortunately, this is a document where the
25 page breaks are the same. And it's in the middle of the page, the
1 paragraph reads in English as:
2 "At the beginning of 1991, during illegal meetings organised by
3 Kovac, Tomislav, commander of the Ilidza public security station at the
4 time, policemen of Serbian nationality were informed that the war option
5 for realisation of national interests was being increasingly promoted and
6 it was agreed that intense activity should be undertaken to arm citizens
7 of Serbian nationality."
8 Is that correct? Is that true?
9 A. This is inaccurate, and therefore it's not true.
10 Q. In what way is it not true? Did you not organise meetings with
11 the policemen of Serbian nationality?
12 A. Well, no. Probably they as the security centre did make some
13 reviews, but I was posted at Ilidza and all my activities were strictly
14 relating to Ilidza and the quoting all these places makes no sense. Let
15 me just remind you that in 1991, when I was the president of the
16 disciplinary court, I tried Malko Koroman from Pale because there was
17 suspicion --
18 Q. Stop, stop, stop, please, please --
19 A. I have to tell you.
20 Q. No, you don't. That wasn't my question. Would you wait.
21 A. All right. It's not true.
22 Q. Okay. So are you saying you didn't organise meetings with
23 policemen of the Serbian nationality to talk about the war option being
24 increasingly promoted, not just by the Serb side but by all three sides?
25 Did you not organise meetings with the Serbian policemen?
1 A. There was no possibility to do that according to this document
2 because this encompasses a wider area and I restricted myself to Ilidza
4 Q. So did you organise meetings of Serbian policemen at the Ilidza
5 public security station? Did you organise meetings of policemen from the
6 Ilidza public security station?
7 A. There was no need for that. I had a reserve police force and I
8 communicated with them daily within the scope of regular activities;
9 therefore, there was no need for an unlawful activities to take place.
10 Q. So I take it the only -- the only word you disagree with then is
12 A. No, I don't agree with the entire statement and the entire
13 paragraph or whatever you call it. All I can say is that this is not
14 true. And if you're asking me about some other things that are not
15 mentioned here, I already told you that in the area of the Ilidza SJB
16 where I was commander, I had direct contacts with reserve police force
17 and active-duty policemen. And if you want me to speak about that, I can
18 do so.
19 Q. No, I'm talking about did you have meetings with only Serb
20 policemen from Ilidza public security station to talk about the
21 situation? Were there only Serbs in your component, no non-Serbs?
22 A. No, not in 1991.
23 Q. How about early 1992, before April?
24 A. Not before April, or rather, from March onwards when a division
25 took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina between the Muslims, the Serbs, and the
1 Croats, organisation was being undertaken at the level of local communes,
2 and it did not pertain only to police stations. Other ethnic communities
3 did the same and they organised themselves in the very same manner.
4 Q. Stop. You are telling us that you weren't involved in arming the
5 Serb population in late 1991 and early 1992 before the war; is that your
7 A. I don't know what you mean by the beginning of the war. For us
8 the war started --
9 Q. Okay --
10 A. -- when the first activities -- I don't know what you mean by
11 this term.
12 Q. Okay. Before April 6th. In late 1991 and before April 6th,
13 1992, were you involved in arming the Serb population in the area of
14 Ilidza public security station, yes or no?
15 A. I'll give you a clear answer --
16 Q. A yes -- yes or no would be a clear answer.
17 A. -- in March when the Muslim forces --
18 Q. Please, can you not answer it yes or no? That would be a clear
19 answer, one of those two words.
20 A. No, no, no. The way you're putting this question is not proper.
21 Because in my area the war started --
22 Q. Stop, stop, stop, stop. Sir, you're a witness. Your job here is
23 to answer questions that are put to you. If I ask an inappropriate
24 question, your lawyer or one of those lawyers over there can make an
25 objection to the Judge and then they can tell me, "No, Mr. Hannis, you
1 can't ask it that way." But in the absence of an objection, I've asked
2 you a question and your role here is to answer it the best you can. And
3 my question called for a yes or no answer. Can you answer that yes or
5 A. The war started before the date that you are citing in my area
6 and I can only speak in that context.
7 Q. No, I'm only asking you between late 1991, let's say
8 September 1991 through April 6, 1992 - whatever date you say the war
9 started - during that time did you involve yourself in arming the Serb
10 population in the area of the Ilidza public security station, yes or no?
11 A. In March when the Muslim forces attempted to take over the
12 republic depots that were situated in my area, I blocked these depots and
13 that is how we got hold of those weapons.
14 Q. And actually, the Muslims had been trying to arm themselves even
15 before that date, right, as far as back --
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me, Mr. Hannis. Maybe there's an
17 intermediate question to the witness, namely, when you got hold of those
18 weapons, what did you do with them?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those weapons belonged to the
20 republican staff of the Territorial Defence. The Green Berets, with the
21 assistance of the then assistant minister of the interior Selimovic, were
22 very much engaged in retrieving the weapons from these weapons [as
23 interpreted]. The Crisis Staff of Ilidza decided that this area has to
24 be cordoned off. We blocked the depot, and from that, the Crisis Staff
25 of Ilidza took over the depot and distributed the weapons according to
1 its existing organisation, military organisation.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. And this had been a concern for some time before March --
5 March 5. It had been a concern for you for some time before that date,
6 right, because you saw the Muslims and the Green Berets trying to
7 organise by increasing the reserve police force and arming Muslims in
8 your area as far back as late 1991; right?
9 A. Right.
10 Q. Now, before I continue on in that document I want to show you
11 something else to see if that might refresh your memory.
12 MR. HANNIS: This is tab 111, Your Honours, it's Exhibit P841.
13 Q. Mr. Kovac, I'll hand you a hard copy of this, with assistance
14 from the usher.
15 This is from March 1st, 1996, and it purports to be an interview
16 by you given to a woman named Gordana Jovanovic with a publication called
17 "Interview." I think it was associated with "Borba." And I believe you
18 were also shown this document during one of your interviews with the OTP.
19 Do you remember seeing it before?
20 A. Well, I don't know whether it was shown to me by the OTP, but I
21 do remember this article.
22 Q. And you remember giving this interview?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Have you ever read it before?
25 A. Yes, when it was published in the magazine "Interview," that's
1 when I read it.
2 Q. Okay. And at that time did you find any inaccuracies or untruths
3 in it that you felt you needed to bring to the attention of the author,
4 or did you find it to be accurate?
5 A. I didn't think that everything was exactly correct. There were
6 some mistakes, but the interview was already published, and the practice
7 of this periodical was not the one that required authentication prior to
8 publishing. Therefore, there were some untruthful statements but not too
9 many of them.
10 Q. [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. HANNIS: Sorry.
13 Q. Did you ever bring any of those untruthful statements to the
14 attention of the author or anybody at the OTP or anyone else? Or were
15 they minor enough that you didn't bother?
16 A. Not to the OTP because I never discussed this topic with the OTP.
17 I don't remember discussing it with them and I don't think there were any
18 particular objections. Already at that time I was not minister any
19 longer. This was an unofficial interview and it's only to be expected
20 that there could be some inaccuracies, both on the part of the journalist
21 and myself.
22 Q. I certainly understand that based on my experience with some
23 journalists. Could you look at page 2 of your B/C/S copy, and in English
24 we need to go to page 4.
25 For you, Mr. Kovac, it's in the right-hand column under that big
1 heading about General Kukanjac's guilt and then a smaller heading about
2 "Let's go back to Sarajevo and the beginnings of the war conflicts ..."
3 And it's the second paragraph near the bottom of that paragraph. You'll
4 see a reference to 4.000 barrels. And below that I'm reading. It says:
5 "As far as I'm concerned there were no major battles in Ilidza,
6 at least not in the beginning. For a year there, I did everything that
7 the Muslims were doing. They were strengthening the reserve force, so
8 was I. They were arming themselves, I did not lag behind. I saw that
9 they were forming some paramilitary units, I did the same."
10 That's correct, isn't it? That's what you were doing in Ilidza
11 in late 1991 and/or early 1992, before April?
12 A. Can you please give me a little so that I can get to it?
13 Q. Sure.
14 A. Where I say that I saw that they were forming some paramilitary
15 formations, I didn't have the need to do so. I had my reserve police
16 force and I was primarily referring to them in terms of strengthening the
17 existing organisation. Therefore, I didn't set up any paramilitary units
18 because there was no necessity for that. I was probably referring to the
19 reserve police force. The chief Mlivic and I decided that the reserve
20 police would be under his jurisdiction and the majority Serb entities
21 would be under my command, and this is the agreement we had reached in
23 Q. Okay. But what about the part where you said the Muslims were
24 strengthening the reserves, so I take it that you were strengthening your
25 reserve force, and you were arming, you did not lag far behind the
1 Muslims who were arming themselves. So you were arming the Serbs as
2 well, right? That's what it says. That's what you did, isn't it?
3 A. I have no reason because I know exactly when the Muslim forces
4 started arming themselves, and the main agreement with the
5 Patriotic League was reached in Hrasnica. I knew --
6 Q. No --
7 A. -- very well about what was happening --
8 Q. Please, please, stop --
9 A. -- because that was --
10 Q. -- please, you're not answering my question. Is that what you
11 did or not?
12 A. On the 5th of March, following the occupation of --
13 Q. You told us about that --
14 A. -- a depot --
15 Q. You already told us about --
16 A. Well, this is exactly what I had in mind when I gave this
17 interview as well.
18 Q. Well, you were lagging pretty far behind the Muslims then if you
19 didn't start arming the Serbs until the 5th of March, right, because they
20 had been doing it for some months before; isn't that correct?
21 A. Unfortunately we were very much naive and, as a consequence, we
22 were lagging behind in my municipality.
23 Q. Okay. But that's not what you told the reporter. You said you
24 didn't lag far behind. And yesterday when you were talking about your
25 letter on the 9th of August about categorising prisoners, you noticed
1 that even though you'd only been on the job three days you'd done that
2 because you described yourself as a speedy individual who likes to get
3 things done quickly. It seems to me you would have liked to have gotten
4 yourself armed and your reserve force beefed up quickly when you saw the
5 Muslims were doing that. Come on now, that's what you did, isn't it?
6 A. I'm not a schoolboy to admit something or not admit something.
7 At the time, members of the Serb ethnicity responded en masse to the
8 call-up of the JNA and they entered the barracks in our area,
9 specifically Lukavica, and they took over all the most lethal weapons
10 like tanks, rocket-launchers, et cetera. On the other hand,
11 Alija Izetbegovic prevented Muslims from going to the army and they
12 seized the assets of the JNA. And that was the substance and the essence
13 of the arming of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Everything else, speaking about rifles, TO weapons, outdated weapons, is
15 something that forced the Serbs to take over only as a result of
16 erroneous decisions taken by Izetbegovic.
17 Q. My -- sorry.
18 A. Everything that they got hold of was only the result of their
19 response to the call-up from the army.
20 Q. Okay. I'm not -- I wasn't asking you whether this was being done
21 in self-defence or for some other reason. I was only asking you if you
22 did that. I guess my next question: Do you remember saying that to the
23 reporter? That's what you told her, isn't it?
24 A. Let me tell you something. When I spoke about the arming and the
25 reserve force and being the -- an army officer, I can tell you what the
1 truthful essence of the army of the Serb people is about.
2 Q. Please --
3 A. In Sarajevo there were enormous assets belonging to the JNA and
4 80 per cent of the personnel --
5 Q. Please, please, Mr. Kovac. Are you not getting a correct
6 interpretation of my question? It was: Is that what you told the
7 reporter, what we've been reading out there?
8 A. Look, you are changing the dimension. I spoke --
9 Q. No --
10 A. -- to this journalist and I told her about the disarming of the
11 5th of March --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Arming of the
13 5th of March.
14 MR. HANNIS:
15 Q. Okay --
16 A. Sir.
17 Q. Yes?
18 A. Let me tell you how the arming of all the three peoples in
19 Ilidza --
20 Q. No, please --
21 A. -- looked like --
22 Q. That's not my question and I don't have much time. I'm sorry,
23 I'll move on to something else.
24 A. All right, then.
25 Q. Could we go back to Mr. Glavas' recommendation, I think you have
1 it under the newspaper story there. It's the other document on top of
2 your binder. If you could go to page 3 and I think it's the fourth
3 paragraph down in both English and B/C/S. And Mr. Glavas is writing. In
4 the middle of that paragraph, he said:
5 "Covering the communications system was always done in the
6 presence of at least one Serb. All telegrams concerning important -- or
7 containing important messages addressed to Mlivic, Edin, chief of the
8 station, were first shown to Tomo Kovac and then they were acted upon
9 according to the agreement."
10 Is that correct? Is that what was happening? Some Serb who
11 worked in communication department made sure you got to see all incoming
12 documents before they went to the chief? That was a good way to keep an
13 eye on what the Muslims were up to, wasn't it?
14 A. Well, it wasn't like that. Through this form of communication
15 they couldn't prepare anything in particular. There was a Muslim and a
16 Serb always side by side. They probably wanted to earn for themselves
17 some credits because it seems that this document speaks more about
18 certain services trying to augment their role rather than to speak about
19 what I did, because those were epic times.
20 Q. Well --
21 A. Do you know what epic behaviour is when it comes to the Serbs?
22 Q. Maybe we can talk about that after court, but I need to move on
23 to the matters I'm limited to. You say that this isn't exactly right
24 because they probably wanted to earn for themselves some credit. You
25 mean Mr. Glavas is trying to earn some kind of credit for himself by
1 writing this about what happened and about your role in it? How does
2 that add to Mr. Glavas' status - I don't understand - to say that you,
3 Tomo Kovac, were getting all the communications before they went to the
4 chief? How does that make Mr. Glavas look any better to anybody? Can
5 you tell me?
6 A. Well, speaking about the people who were working at the
7 communications centre, maybe it was them who wanted to look better than
8 they did. So this was a fragmented statement. This speaks more about
9 themselves but not about me or himself. So quite simply that was, as I
10 said, epic times and people wanted to comment or praise themselves more
11 than they wanted to praise me. I didn't need any praise because I had
12 everything in my hands.
13 Q. Well, I guess we disagree on that because it does look like
14 Mr. Glavas is praising you, and further evidence of that, if you could go
15 to page 6 of that document. In the middle of the page:
16 "Special credit goes to the following members of Ilidza public
17 security station:
18 "1. Kovac, Tomislav, commander, and later on chief of public
19 security station.
20 "He organised and was in charge of all above-mentioned
21 activities. He gave special contribution in preparation of Serbian
22 people for defence, formation of Serbian public security station,
23 organisation of the illegal work, and arming of Serbian people."
24 Is that not accurate? Or is he just laying it on thick again to
25 make himself look better somehow?
1 A. All the credit that I can claim was the fact that the Ilidza SJB
2 was the only public security station in Sarajevo in which the commander
3 managed to remain in his post. The Serbian personnel was expelled from
4 all other public security stations around Sarajevo and probably this is
5 why they think that this credit was due to me because I didn't allow
6 anyone to move me from my position.
7 Q. Okay. So in answer to my question, is what he described you as
8 having done true or not true?
9 A. On the 5th of March, we take the depots and manage to arm the
10 Serbian people, that is correct.
11 Q. No, no, I'm sorry. There's no mention of the 5th of March in
12 this paragraph.
13 A. No other dates are mentioned either.
14 Q. That's right. So why are you mentioning a date? My question is:
15 What it says here, you gave a special contribution in preparation of the
16 Serbian people for defence, formation of the Serbian public security
17 station, organisation of the illegal work, and arming of Serbian people.
18 Is that true or not true?
19 A. My particular contribution was the ability to stay in my
20 position, whereas all other Serbian personnel was expelled from town.
21 Only I stood my ground at the Ilidza station. That was my greatest
22 contribution and this is this view. And I repeat, we were arming
23 ourselves on the 5th of March and there were about 5- to 10.000 pieces of
24 weapons in that depot and we took the depots, that's correct, and we
25 distributed the weapons.
1 Q. Okay. And if you go to the very last page, I think it's page 11,
2 the very end, where you see Mr. Glavas' name or right above. One more, I
3 think. On the back of that page you're looking at. At the bottom you
4 see Mr. Glavas' name and right above that he said:
5 "We suggest that Tomislav Kovac in accordance with the medal
6 commission give his opinion for the type of reward for each individual."
7 That sounds like you must have been consulted about this. Do you
8 remember if you had seen this or you were consulted about the people that
9 were proposed for medals, including yourself as number 1 in that list, or
10 do you remember?
11 A. I do remember. This was absurd. Describing the good things that
12 I did, they listed all these people too, that's what I said. And with
13 regard to the positions in which these people were, this was a good basis
14 for them to pass the commission. And of course, since I was at the head
15 of the ministry, some sort of approval from me was required, although I
16 didn't really have much time to deal with such matters.
17 Q. I guess my question is: Did you see it at the time and call up
18 Mr. Glavas and say, "Hey, what you're writing about me is not correct and
19 you're overdoing it, it's too much"? You didn't do that, did you?
20 A. I don't think I put it to him like this. I think I said that by
21 praising me they're actually praising themselves, but that's nothing all
22 that special after all, especially given the circumstances at the time,
24 Q. Well, I will grant you that Mr. Glavas does actually list himself
25 in there as one of the persons who should get an award, but he put you as
1 number 1. The last name he puts on the list, I don't know if you see it
2 right above his signature, the last person he recommended for an award
3 was Sinisa Milic, and I believe that's the person that you and I probably
4 know by the nickname Mongo; right? Sinisa Milic, isn't that the guy --
5 A. That is not correct, no. Sinisa Milic was the member of the
6 special police unit who got killed. He was a member of a special police
7 unit before the war and during the war he was killed in the -- in a
8 traffic accident. He has nothing to do with Mongo. Mongo was a
10 Q. And what was Mongo's name?
11 A. His name was Sinisa too, but he was a Sinisa Milic from
12 Rakovica -- or rather, the Sinisa Milic from Rakovica was a police
13 member, a different man, and he got killed in a traffic accident. He has
14 nothing to do with Sinisa Mongo.
15 Q. Well, number 38 on the list is listed as Mongo; isn't that what
16 it says? "Milic Sinisa - Mongo, Ilidza." That's what it says.
17 A. Yes. I don't know how come, but it was impossible for this one
18 to be included because he was, after all, in conflict with the police.
19 This is somebody's mistake. He couldn't possibly be on a list of our
20 people. The other Milic who died in the accident was the one, whereas
21 Sinisa Mongo was in conflict with the police and with me personally too.
22 He tried to assassinate me two times, and eventually he overdosed and
23 that's probably how he died.
24 Q. [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. HANNIS:
2 Q. We may speak about Mongo briefly a little later on. But I want
3 to now go to the awards that actually culminated from this process.
4 There are other recommendations from Miloje Kolarevic, from
5 Branislav Okuka, and from somebody at the Blazoj reserve police station,
6 but I don't think we have time for that.
7 So if we could look at P732 at tab 106. This is a lengthy
8 document, Mr. Kovac, so I need to give you a hard copy of that one as
9 well, with help from the usher. And if you could give him back those
10 two, I'll take them away from you.
11 [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor.
13 MR. HANNIS: Sorry.
14 Q. This is a list of awards and I believe that these were probably
15 given out on Security Services Day in November of 1993, I don't remember
16 if that's November 27th, something thereabouts. Do you recall receiving
17 the Nemanjici commendation, Mr. Kovac? You're number 4 on the list here?
18 A. I remember.
19 Q. Okay. And the only ones above you are the ministry itself,
20 Mr. Stanisic, and Momcilo Mandic, who's listed as the former deputy
21 minister. And I take it that's the highest award, right, that's higher
22 than the next one down, the Karadjordjevic Star first class and
23 second class and third class? Isn't that the highest award that was
25 A. Yes, it's the highest decoration.
1 Q. Okay. Now, there are other names on the list. On the next
2 category of awards, first class Karadjordjevic Star, number 4 is
3 Stojan Zupljanin and number 5 is Simo Drljaca. Do you see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What's your opinion about that?
6 A. Such was the opinion of their base and the ones who decided to
7 award these decorations.
8 Q. And do you know who made that decision? Who was on the
9 commission? Were those members of the MUP or was if from the SDS or from
10 the government? Who was on the commission, if you know?
11 A. I do. Colonel - what was his name? - former minister of defence,
12 he was in charge of decorations all the time --
13 Q. Bogdan Subotic?
14 A. Bogdan Subotic, exactly.
15 Q. Anybody else? He's from the Ministry of Defence.
16 A. No, he was with the Ministry of Defence briefly and later he was
17 in the office of the president of the republic, and it was from that
18 position that he was involved. He may have been the president's advisor
19 or some professional staff, but anyway a member of his office.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. And there were commissions who made proposals. Two levels of
22 commissions, one from the basic body and then the state commission.
23 Q. Well --
24 A. The president's commission was there too.
25 Q. Okay. Did anybody from MUP in 1993 during this process have any
1 input on who got awards? I mean, was there any screening process where
2 the acting minister or the minister or some high-level people in MUP
3 headquarters got to review the list before the president actually issued
4 the awards and say, "Oh, no, you shouldn't include number 7 because
5 there's some problems with him"? Or was it simply -- well, do you know?
6 How did that work?
7 A. Well, no. As for these lower ranks, there were lists that
8 originated from grass roots, and they were reviewed by the commissions.
9 As for this highest decoration, decorations, the first two, they were in
10 the jurisdiction of the state commission and the president of the
11 republic. We could make proposals for the third level, but the highest
12 two levels are in the exclusive jurisdiction of the president of the
13 republic. There was such a rule book as far as I remember.
14 At any rate, there was a procedure and there was a decree by
15 which the president of the republic awards these decorations through his
16 commissions. Maybe the Assembly was involved too and its bodies, but I'm
17 not really all that familiar with the work of this awarding service. At
18 that time, in 1993, decorations were the least of our worries in
19 operational work. We had bigger fish to fry. But people -- some people
20 liked this type of folklore and dealt with that, but we had much more
21 serious work to do than this folklore, if you will.
22 Q. [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. And other award recipients that you might be familiar with
1 included Malko Koroman, Dusko Malovic, Ljuban Ecim, Mr. Glavas, and
2 Stevo Todorovic from Bosanski Samac are all among award recipients. And
3 I think you've given us some indication of your less-than-high opinion of
4 some of those individuals. Did you have no connection or involvement
5 with that process? For example, did you set up a committee to observe
6 Security Services Day in 1993? Do you recall?
7 A. I don't think that this was a committee for the Security Services
8 Day. There was some persons but not members of a commission. I know
9 about this man Todorovic and some others who would never have gotten a
10 decoration if anybody had asked me about it, but of course it wasn't up
11 to me, it was up to the office of the president of the republic, and it
12 was their right to decide who to decorate.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. These are not MUP decorations. These are decorations given out
15 by the president or -- those are state decorations, RS decorations. It
16 was in their jurisdiction --
17 Q. Okay --
18 A. -- we had commissions that could make proposals but -- what I
19 want to say is that I absolutely was not involved in this because I had
20 no time to deal with it --
21 Q. All right --
22 A. -- there were too many other problems.
23 Q. Just going back to Mr. Glavas, before I showed you the document
24 you told me he was a good policeman and an honest policeman. Why would
25 he have said anything in that recommendation that wasn't true?
1 A. I don't know. I said that he was a solid policeman. I said that
2 these documents are not really binding --
3 Q. Okay --
4 A. -- these are proposals for decorations and that sort of thing.
5 Q. All right. You also agreed that he was an honest policeman, I
6 thought, or are you saying something different?
7 A. I said that he was a solid policeman and that the documents they
8 submitted with the proposal are not binding. And the Serbs are like --
9 the Serbs like epic stuff, you know. They like to blow things up,
10 embellish things.
11 Q. We've heard that. Let me show you 65 ter number 30044, I
12 believe, it's tab 130 on the Prosecution list. I'll hand you a hard copy
13 of this one with assistance from the usher. While it's coming to you,
14 Mr. Kovac, I will tell you it's dated the 4th of November, 1993. And I
15 think at this time you were acting minister of the RS MUP?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this document is from you establishing an organisational
18 committee to commemorate the day of security services. Do you remember
19 that now?
20 A. I must say that these markings are not my strong side. What it
21 says here about the observing of the Security Services Day cannot be true
22 because Security Services Day was in April, and in November this -- it's
23 the MUP day or the MUP's patron saint's day. That may have been the
24 matter here --
25 Q. Well --
1 A. -- I don't know to what extent you're familiar with all this. At
2 that time there was the MUP's patron saint's day and the MUP security
3 service's day, but this document here referring to the MUP's patron
4 saint's day. It says here acting minister Tomislav Kovac, probably
5 somebody from the committee drew this up. I'm not saying that this is --
6 there's anything wrong about this, but it was done by some committee, I'm
7 sure. So that they made a mistake. The occasion was not Security
8 Services Day, it was the MUP's patron saint's day.
9 Q. Well, what does it say in B/C/S? Could you read that phrase
10 because my English translation says "day of security services." Could
11 you read that line, those two lines, before the list of names. Just read
12 it in your language and we'll hear the translation.
13 A. What do you mean, the names? Milos Zuban, Zoran Cvijetic --
14 Q. No, no, no, the two lines above the name, could you read that,
15 please, just out loud.
16 A. "I establish the organisational committee for the observing of
17 the celebration of Security Services Day."
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. And number 3 on the committee is Simo Drljaca
19 who is listed as being in the cabinet of the minister. So he was in your
20 cabinet in November of 1993; right?
21 A. I don't understand this to mean that he was a member of my
22 office. I don't know what he may have been doing there. I don't know
23 what's meant by this anyway because in the office of the minister there
24 was a secretary and that was more or less it. What could Simo Drljaca
25 possibly have done there? I cannot comment really. He was never a
1 member of my inner management circle. Who put him here as a member of
2 the minister's office, I really don't know, but it did happen that
3 sometimes the cleaning lady was also listed as a member of the minister's
4 office -- for payroll purposes.
5 Q. Well, this document says, "I herewith establish the
6 committee ..." and your name's the name on the bottom of the document.
7 So you don't know -- you didn't know that Simo Drljaca was part of the
8 cabinet of the minister? I'll withdraw the question.
9 Let me show you another document that may help and before I go,
10 look at the bottom. It says:
11 "The first session of the committee is hereby scheduled for
12 0900 hours on 10 November 1993 in 'Kosuta' building in Jahorina.
13 "Attendance is obligatory."
14 Keep that in mind while we go to another document. This is
15 tab 105, 65 ter number 20218, and I'll hand you a hard copy of that with
16 the usher's assistance before we take the break in a few minutes. And
17 while it's coming around, I'll tell you this document are the minutes of
18 the expanded session of the Ministry of the Interior collegium held on
19 the 10th and 11th of November in Jahorina and the meeting started at
20 1000 hours.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Can we have a tab number, please.
22 MR. HANNIS: Tab 105, it's at line 24 on page 49 in the
24 Q. I think you were acting minister at the time, Mr. Kovac, and it
25 says that at the session on the 10th of November -- this is after the
1 agenda and the second paragraph -- after the agenda you find that. It
3 "At the session which on 10 November Dragan Kijac presided and on
4 11 November the acting minister Tomo Kovac."
5 And it lists the people who were present and Stojan Zupljanin,
6 chief of CSB Bijeljina, is there, still the chief in November 1993
7 apparently. And chief of the department for public relations,
8 Simo Drljaca. Does that refresh your memory as to what his job was in
9 November 1993?
10 A. This can't help me, but it's quite possible that he was a member
11 of the office of the chief of state security, but no way he could have
12 been member of my office.
13 Q. Well, he's here at the collegium, he's listed as the chief of the
14 department for public relations. It seems to me that the minister or the
15 ministry would have an office for public relations rather than the state
16 security department would have an office for public relations. That's
17 the secret police. They don't want public relations. All right, then.
18 How about Mr. Zupljanin listed here as chief of CSB Bijeljina
19 November 10th and 11th?
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Hannis, I think Mr. Zupljanin is actually
21 listed as chief of security centres of Banja Luka.
22 MR. HANNIS: What did I say? I'm sorry, you're right,
23 Your Honour. I meant to say "Banja Luka" rather than "Bijeljina," and
24 the chief of CSB Bijeljina was Petko Budisa at that time, right, a guy
25 who used to work for you, I believe.
1 A. I don't understand what he did for me. Everybody worked for me
2 because they were members of that institution.
3 Q. I meant he'd worked for you in Ilidza; right?
4 A. He was commander while I was chief, that's true.
5 Q. But what do you have to say about this listing of Mr. Zupljanin,
6 still as the CSB chief in November 1993? That's after the September
7 rebellion you told us about, that's after the October 1993 document I
8 showed you with your name listed as the minister and appointing
9 Stojan Zupljanin to that position. You were the only one in the position
10 to appoint Mr. Zupljanin to anything in September, October, and
11 November 1993 because there was no minister. It was only you as the
12 acting minister; right? Mr. Adzic was gone. There wasn't another
13 minister yet?
14 A. Let me explain. It seems that you failed to understand --
15 Q. Can you make it -- wait --
16 A. -- this --
17 Q. Can you make it very briefly because we're past the time for the
18 break, so make it a short explanation and you can carry on later if you
19 need to.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be allowed
21 to answer. Mr. Hannis did not want to show the witness the list of
22 participants and it refers to what the witness spoke about when he spoke
23 about the commission in Pecanac, and I think that the witness should be
24 allowed to proceed --
25 MR. HANNIS: No, no, sorry, Mr. Krgovic is incorrect,
1 Your Honour. My question was: You were the only one in the position to
2 appoint him as a chief of the CSB in October or November of 1993. That
3 was my question.
4 Q. And what's your answer to that? There was no minister, there was
5 no one higher in the MUP of the RS than you in October and November of
6 1993; right? Yes or no, if you can.
7 A. You're putting me in a position in which the only answer I can
8 give you is that Brane Pecanac was the only one in charge of Banja Luka
9 centre --
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 A. -- along with this special commission. That was a factual state
12 of affairs. I don't know how else to explain to you because we had
13 emergency measures introduced in the area of Banja Luka. How can I
14 explain this if you are not willing to understand?
15 Q. Okay. No, I'm just asking you to answer my question. Was there
16 anyone higher than you in the MUP that could have put Mr. Zupljanin in
17 the position of chief of CSB in October or November 1993, yes or no? I
18 understand about the commission and we can talk about that after the
19 break. There wasn't anybody, right? There wasn't a minister. You were
20 the acting minister, nobody higher than you, Tomo Kovac; right?
21 A. That is not correct.
22 Q. Okay. You --
23 A. Emergency measures were introduced in Banja Luka directly by the
24 president of the republic --
25 Q. -- answered my question. My question isn't about the emergency
1 measures of the commission. My question is about: Who was the top dog
2 in the RS MUP in October and November 1993? That was you, yes or no?
3 A. I think you're trying to make me to speak on cross-purposes with
4 you, and I'm really not willing to give you an answer in such
5 circumstances in such --
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think it's a fair question and I
7 would ask that you direct the witness to answer.
8 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Kovac, unless something is being lost in the
9 translation, what comes across to us is a question which easily admits of
10 a yes or no answer. Mr. Hannis' question relates to a specific period in
11 time, in October/November of 1993, and the question is simply whether you
12 were the - to use his word - the top dog, the only person who would have
13 been in a position to appoint the -- Mr. Zupljanin at the time. Yes or
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Who was then?
17 JUDGE HALL: So who then would have been in a position to do so?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since in the Banja Luka centre
19 emergency measures had been imposed by the president of the republic and
20 according to that he set up a commission to run the centre on a temporary
21 basis, that were the consequences of the rebellion that had taken place
22 in Banja Luka.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I think we're past the time for the
25 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. -- we would take a break and resume in
1 20 minutes.
2 And, Mr. Hannis, it was pointed out to me about six minutes ago
3 that you had 15 minutes left.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, can I confer about that because I
5 thought -- I originally had two hours, then I was granted an additional
6 session, which I take to be 80 minutes, and that would give me basically
7 three hours and 20 minutes or three hours and a half.
8 JUDGE HALL: We will return to that.
9 MR. HANNIS: Okay, thank you.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.36 p.m.
13 JUDGE HALL: As the witness makes his way back in, I must
14 apologise for the confusion in terms of time. The extended session today
15 and the sitting until the usual time tomorrow was to accommodate the
16 additional session that was granted to each of the -- to each side. And
17 we have been advised in the -- so, no, that's an additional 80 minutes.
18 And we have been advised, though, that with the -- that we can't go until
19 1.45. We must stop at 1.30 and then we pick up at 2.30 and then sit
20 until 4.00. So, what that means arithmetically is, Mr. Hannis, you have,
21 as we speak, 90 minutes left, 80 plus 10.
22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: And, Mr. Hannis, I would suggest that you try - I
24 say "you try" because I had the experience myself - but try to prioritise
25 so that you can get at the end of what you want to do.
1 MR. HANNIS: I understand, Your Honour. I tried to do that --
2 some of that during the break. When I first heard 15 minutes, I did some
3 prioritising. Thank you.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 MR. HANNIS:
6 Q. Mr. Kovac, during the time that you were minister, just as a
7 general proposition, when you sent out an order, did you expect it to be
8 complied with and did you require it to be complied with?
9 A. Well, each and every order in the Ministry of the Interior was
10 for the most part in the form of orders or commands, and in legal terms
11 they were binding, provided they were issued in line with the regulations
12 in force, so this is how the MUP operated.
13 Q. And I know it seems a fairly basic, fundamental question, but if
14 you would issue me an order to perform some legal task under the law and
15 the rules of the MUP and I failed to do it or refused to do it, what
16 could happen to me? Could I be disciplined? Could I be suspended? What
17 recourse did you have against me, who failed to follow or refused to
18 follow your order as the minister?
19 A. Well, the minister of the interior mainly issued orders mainly
20 addressed to administrations, centres, stations, and units, not so much
21 to individuals. And direct orders were then issued by lower-ranking
22 officials, if this is what you are talking about. So the procedure was
23 such that somebody would come up with a proposal to institute
24 proceedings, whether in the first instance or in an appeals proceedings;
25 and if the minister himself observed some irregularities, he himself was
1 entitled to instruct the supervisor to institute proceedings against one
2 of his employees. So the minister was entitled to order one of his
3 subordinates to institute proceedings if he himself observed some
4 infringement. Then the head of that department would then institute the
5 proceedings. It wasn't the minister who was directly involved in that
7 Q. Okay. I understand that. And I was asking you in the context of
8 when you were minister, was the situation the same in terms of orders
9 being expected and being required to be followed, was that the same in
10 1992 when Mico Stanisic was the minister?
11 A. Well, generally speaking, yes. I can't speak about specific
12 cases. That was the legal foundation and we had to adhere to it.
13 Q. I understand. And in that regard did Mr. Stanisic, to your
14 knowledge, ever have - as minister in 1992 - ever have direct
15 communication with an SJB chief or did he only do that through some other
16 means, do you know?
17 A. I'm going to give you a professional explanation. It was
18 possible for the minister to have direct contacts with beat policemen;
19 that was his right. He was entitled to communicate with police stations.
20 However, when it comes to disciplinary proceedings, the provisions are
21 quite clear. It provides for the first-instance proceedings and the
22 appeals proceedings. And it is the chief of the SJB or the CSB was the
23 one to institute first-instance proceedings, and it was always conducted
24 at that level. When it came to appeals proceedings, it was conducted at
25 a different level.
1 Q. Okay. I understand.
2 A. Or rather, by a court.
3 Q. I understand that. But talking outside the context of
4 discipline, the minister could call up an SJB chief without going through
5 the CSB chief; right? He could do that if he wanted to, in 1992? As a
6 matter of fact, didn't Minister Stanisic have some direct communications
7 with you when you were chief in Ilidza without going through
8 Zoran Cvijetic?
9 A. If we're talking about regular procedure, no; but if there was
10 some emergency situation, we had certain contacts. For example, if the
11 territory of my station was to be captured by enemy forces, I sought help
12 because the situation was so serious, and due to that I had several
13 contacts with him. And of course, later on I had other contacts in which
14 we had direct discussions about everything and eventually about my
15 transfer from Ilidza to the MUP.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. I next want to show you an order from
17 Mr. Stanisic in late July 1992. This is tab 36 in the Prosecution
18 binder. It's Exhibit 1D176. If the usher would assist me, I'll give you
19 a hard copy, Mr. Kovac. I know this is dated about a week or ten days
20 before you actually took up your new position as assistant minister.
21 While that's coming around, let me ask you one short question.
22 If the minister didn't have time to send a dispatch, could he issue an
23 oral order, either face-to-face or over the phone?
24 A. Perhaps if at issue were war operations or dangerous situations
25 or something of that nature.
1 Q. Okay. Let me know when you've had a chance to familiarise
2 yourself with that order enough to tell me whether you had seen it before
3 in 1992 or you were familiar with the general provisions of it, about
4 reducing the components of the police and disbanding special units,
5 removing criminals and other undesirables. Did you know about that order
6 when you came to the ministry in August 1992?
7 A. Well, looking at, I probably knew of it. This is a sequence of
8 activities that Stanisic undertook. I see that this is only a few days
9 after I already handed over my duties at the Ilidza station, and I see
10 that Vlasto Kusmuk was still the assistant minister and he was dismissed
11 during that period. But these are MUP activities that Stanisic
12 implemented during the time he was in the ministerial position. And
13 these measures coincide with a continuation of the activities at the time
14 when I took up the position of assistant minister.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. We may come back to that topic, but first I
16 now want to return to your letter of 9 August to the prime minister and
17 the president with your recommendation about sorting out the problems of
18 detained persons and needing to categorise them. Do you remember that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You said yesterday at transcript page 27051 that -- this was your
21 wish to do things as quickly as possible, and I wonder, you were there
22 only three days. How did you manage to gather the information to come up
23 with that proposed solution? I think you said you worked with other
24 people in the ministry, but can you recall who by name or position
25 assisted you in collecting that information?
1 A. I wouldn't like to be inaccurate, but I always used the word
2 "we," and by that I meant the institution. Of course, this document was
3 initiated by me and I stand behind it, but this is the outcome of the
4 work of the entire organisation. If you look at the previous Stanisic's
5 order and all the obligations contained there, just if all these
6 obligations were complied with, would give me enough material for
7 drafting this kind of document because good communication between the
8 ministry, the government, and the president was crucial. At the time
9 there were written traces left of them and they were binding for everyone
10 involved to undertake measures or be held to account if they failed to do
11 so. So this was the only format if you wanted to have your initiatives
12 complied with and if you want to leave a trace behind it, an official
14 So once again I'm talking about an institution, and I often use
15 the pronoun "we," but of course it is quite clear that I was behind each
16 and every document of this kind and my clear intention was to put a stop
17 to certain things. So that was a sequence of activities within the MUP.
18 Stanisic had an opportunity to look at this all afterwards and he never
19 had any objection. This is like a card game when you play in pairs, and
20 once it's over you can't do anything about it.
21 Q. Okay. I think that may have answered my next question which was:
22 Did Mr. Stanisic see it before you sent it out to the president and the
23 prime minister? And it sounds like he did not; is that right?
24 A. Look, let us be quite clear. I don't know if he saw it or not,
25 but this was the pattern of the division of power. If his closest
1 associate sent a government -- sent a document to the government, this
2 did not constitute anything irregular or part of discontinued practice.
3 This was in conformity with the continued practice.
4 Q. No, I'm not trying to suggest any irregularity. I'm just trying
5 to inquire whether he saw it before or only after. Now, you said at
6 27053 yesterday:
7 "In a civil war, everybody thinks it's only the opposing side who
8 committed all the crimes and that attacked the civilians, and I think
9 this is a phenomenon that is present in every civil war. I believe that
10 these were exactly the stages in a war that required our efforts to
11 strengthen the ministry, the judiciary, and all other institutions in
12 order for them to be able to wrestle with this problem."
13 And as I understand it, the problem that you were talking about
14 related primarily to the problem of you have these civilians, these
15 non-combatants, because they have no place else to go, there's a war
16 going on, they've been collected or gathered up or brought to places
17 where they're being detained. They're not prisoners of war, they're not
18 subject to regular criminal proceedings, and yet they're being detained
19 for longer than three days without any charge. Is that the problem you
20 were talking about or an aspect of the problem you were talking about?
21 A. This is not what I said exactly in the words that you quoted. I
22 never mentioned three days. I was speaking about the phenomenon itself.
23 And whatever I said is true, I stand by it, but I would like to clarify
24 something. We were not a separate institution within the body of
25 Republika Srpska which were pursuing one course of action and combat,
1 whereas there are others who are acting in a parallel or a contradictory
2 way. According to the law and according to the hierarchy, we were the
3 strongest structure within the state; and therefore, our legal and our
4 ethical duty and obligation was to try and prevent these occurrences.
5 Of course, when you have disintegration of a state, it always is
6 coupled with the destruction of the system of values. Yugoslavia and
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina broke up as states simultaneously. An attempt to set
8 up Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, and everything else that was
9 done, including the setting up of the institutions, were certain
10 processes. There were serious rifts, and these were difficult and
11 painful processes. But we managed to set up the structure with the
12 assistance of the international community.
13 Q. [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. I think we don't disagree. This kind of thing happened on all
17 sides with civilians who were sort of in the middle of the conflict. It
18 happened to Serb civilians in Croatia or in the Muslim-held territory in
19 Bosnia and vice versa. But I guess the point I'm driving at, this is not
20 a surprising event. It's to be expected in the context of a civil war
21 like that. Would you agree?
22 A. Yes. If you have professionals and experts involved, but where
23 did you have experts for civil war in Crisis Staffs and other bodies and
24 particularly among ordinary people? We didn't have such experts. People
25 acted on the basis of the so-called collective psychology, because very
1 often people do something to other people that they fear will be done to
2 themselves. So this is this loss of the system of value, where you have
3 collective consciousness which acts either aggressively or whether the
4 whole population surrender itself in order to avoid the loss of life.
5 And these are the instances of the so-called collective amnesia that has
6 been thoroughly studied, and that's what we had on the ground.
7 It was difficult to resume a state of normality and an order
8 among the ordinary people, and it's been going on for 20 years now and we
9 are still far away from the final goal. Would you agree with me?
10 Q. Well, I don't have to answer the question, but I would agree with
11 you on that.
12 Now, what I'm trying to drive at, though, is that in August of
13 1992 when you wrote this letter, it could not have come as a surprise to
14 anybody in the RS government or the police or the army, that this
15 situation was going on. Because -- I don't recall. I know you were not
16 at the July 11th meeting in Belgrade of the collegium because you weren't
17 in your position yet, and I don't remember if you ever saw the minutes of
18 that meeting, but Mr. Zupljanin spoke at that meeting and talked about
19 the problem of the Crisis Staffs and the army trying to arrest as many
20 Muslims as possible and bring them in and dumping them basically on the
21 police to guard and take care of. And knowing that many of these people
22 rounded up that way included civilians who were not combatants, not
23 prisoners of war, not subject to criminal proceedings.
24 So would you agree with me that it was not some sudden surprise
25 in August, or do you not know whether it was surprising to the
2 A. Look, there is not a single document, and that applies to the
3 preparations carried out by Crisis Staffs, that contains any preparations
4 for the war to be involved with the civilian population.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak more slowly.
6 The interpreters cannot cope with this pace. Thank you.
7 MR. HANNIS:
8 Q. The interpreters are requesting for you to speak more slowly,
9 Mr. Kovac. And if you could finish that shortly, I want to put another
10 question to you.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Just that the first part of the witness's answer
12 was not recorded properly. Either we do the verification request or the
13 witness again gives his answer, but slowly so the interpreters can follow
14 him. Otherwise, it's useless. There have been so many mistakes in the
15 transcript because of the witness's pace on answers that more or less a
16 lot of it is unusable completely. Thank you.
17 MR. HANNIS:
18 Q. Mr. Kovac, in light of that, please keep that in mind and try to
19 speak slowly. I know I speak too quickly sometimes too.
20 JUDGE HALL: Could we have him repeat that last answer for
22 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, actually my question was: Do you
23 agree with me? It could have been yes or no. Certainly if you want to
24 hear the whole answer, I was going to propose to move on and ask then
25 that the translation be verified for whatever it is, but it is sort of
1 non-responsive to my question.
2 JUDGE HALL: Very well, Mr. Hannis.
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Kovac, do you recall when there was an international furor of
5 sorts of non-Serbs being held in some of the facilities in the Prijedor
6 area like Omarska and Keraterm in early August; do you recall that? It
7 was big news in the region, wasn't it?
8 A. I remember, but I don't know why. It was the Ministry of the
9 Interior and my enactment -- it wasn't a letter -- was the document by
10 which the president of the republic and the government were requested to
11 take measures. I needn't repeat which. And it referred to these very
13 Q. But --
14 A. I don't know what you want to hear.
15 Q. No, let me --
16 A. Our proposal was for these or such things to be eliminated.
17 Q. The point I'm driving at is that before you wrote your letter on
18 the 9th of August, there had already been events that were causing the
19 government and the police and Ministry of Justice to be concerned about
20 conditions in the detention facilities and the camps, and I put it to you
21 that the reason behind that was because of all this international furor
22 arising from the visit of reporters to Omarska and Manjaca and the
23 publication in the media of videos and photographs of some of the
24 prisoners in those facilities. You don't remember that?
25 A. That did not influence me, it didn't matter. I was trained
1 differently and I thought along different lines. We had our own opinion
2 and our own position about the need to eliminate these things, and I
3 didn't worry in the least about the international community because in
4 the two preceding months I was involved in intensive correspondence with
5 them. That was at Ilidza.
6 Q. Then I guess I need to show you a couple documents. The first
7 one is tab 132, this is Exhibit P1330. I'll hand you a copy, Witness.
8 This is dated the 6th of August, the day I think you took up your duties
9 with the ministry. It's a decision from President Karadzic. It's a very
10 short one. It says that:
11 "The Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of Interior and
12 Ministry of Justice are obligated to obtain official written information
13 in a co-ordinated manner on the treatment of prisoners of war by the Serb
14 authorities and on the conditions in prisons."
15 Were you aware of this? Did you see this when you first arrived
16 and were working on your letter to send to the president?
17 A. No, I don't recall.
18 Q. Okay. Let me show you another one. Tab 133, Exhibit 179.23.
19 I'll hand you a hard copy, with the continued assistance of the usher
20 with my appreciation. This next one you'll see in a minute is from
21 Prime Minister Djeric. It's a public announcement dated the
22 7th of August, 1992. And you'll see he says at the beginning:
23 "In view of the CNN broadcast from 6 August concerning --
24 regarding the status of prisoners in Omarska, we could witness once again
25 this network has reached a high level in producing and not reporting the
2 Does that refresh your memory about there being some concern
3 about the publicity in the international community about Omarska?
4 A. I don't know how this could jog my memory. This is a public
5 announcement of the prime minister. We had our own ways of passing on
6 information and analysing information. This is an ad hoc move of the
7 political leadership, whereas we had a systematic approach. One thing is
8 issuing ad hoc public announcements and waving them to the journalists
9 and another thing is tackling things in a systematic matter.
10 Q. But are you telling me you never saw those images or pictures
11 from Omarska in early August of 1992?
12 A. I don't think I did not see them, but I look at all these things
13 through the eyes of a police officer. I didn't deal with that much
14 because we had operatives on the ground who were duty-bound to inform us
15 of everything they had observed.
16 Q. Okay. And --
17 A. These pictures may have been -- or these images may have been
18 impressive but --
19 Q. And you were not aware of the information that police were
20 involved in detaining and guarding of some of those persons? Looking at
21 it as a police officer, you didn't know about that?
22 A. I'm surprised that you're putting this to me because you see that
23 I'm one of the officials - that's clear to -- that's clear to see - who
24 was among the first to point out irregularities in documents originating
25 from me. I reacted to irregularities very soon, early on, and wanted to
1 put an end to them but in a legal and a regular manner, not by means of
3 Q. Okay. Well, I commend you for that, but the point I'm trying to
4 make to you is that it didn't get started with your initiative; it got
5 started because there was this public international outcry and that's
6 what got Mr. Karadzic to issue an order and start scrambling around to
7 find out what is the story with these camps.
8 Let me show you 1D563, which is tab 133, I believe. If the usher
9 could help me understand again.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think it's 134, Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: You're probably right, Your Honour. Well, I may
12 have mis-numbered them. 134 is a news article in my binder. Is that
13 different on the list?
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, no, you're right.
15 MR. HANNIS: Okay. Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Kovac, this is dated the 8th of August, 1992, from
17 Mico Stanisic as the minister to all CSBs, et cetera. And I think this
18 is in reference to that direction or decision of President Karadzic that
19 we looked at from the 6th of August for the Ministry of the Interior and
20 the justice ministry to get information about treatment of war prisoners
21 and conditions in those facilities. The second paragraph at the bottom,
22 Mico Stanisic says:
23 "We are stressing that the Ministry of the Interior itself is
24 responsible for taking measures to deal with civilian population."
25 Did you see this document? Did you know about this the day
1 before you wrote your letter to the president and the prime minister?
2 A. Look here. You said something very serious a minute ago, namely,
3 that we initiated these measures only after an international outcry in
4 the media. This is something that I find hurtful because only a few days
5 earlier, I protected 300 Muslim civilians with my own body. On the other
6 hand, I was instructed and trained by the international community because
7 I was there rapporteur for 60 days from Ilidza. I was the rapporteur for
8 OSCE for 50 days and I was trained as their collaborator about the ways
9 of conduct and the ways of reporting. So I knew how -- what I was
10 supposed to do at those times.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. I had the desire to --
13 Q. Okay --
14 A. -- to have an adequate and appropriate ministry in the RS. So I
15 don't think I deserve this from you.
16 Q. Well, you shouldn't take offence. I'm not trying -- I'm not
17 trying to offend you and I'm not questioning that perhaps you didn't know
18 about those things when you wrote your proposed solutions. But I'm
19 saying that other high-level officials were responding to a media event
20 and that's what the timing of all this shows.
21 MR. HANNIS: Now, Your Honour, I think I made a mistake in citing
22 the reference. 1D563 was not on my list. It was on, I think,
23 Mr. Stanisic's list at tab 27. So for the record I need to note that.
24 My apologies.
25 Q. Relating to prisoners, I want to ask you a question about
1 exchanges. Were you aware of the Republic Exchange Commission in the
2 Republika Srpska? Did you know about its existence for the exchange of
3 prisoners and dead persons and --
4 A. Yes. Yes, I did know.
5 Q. And did you know a policeman named Slobodan Markovic? I know
6 Markovic is a fairly common name.
7 A. I cannot remember precisely. I don't know where he's from, which
8 part of the RS.
9 Q. Do you know a Slobodan Markovic who worked with or on the
10 exchange commission in 1992? It doesn't look like you do.
11 A. No, I don't know. I can't remember. I don't know where he may
12 be from.
13 Q. Okay. And finally, let me show you one last document that I'm
14 curious about. Are you familiar with the minister ever requesting from
15 places of detention for an individual to be released for exchange in
16 1992? Do you know if Mr. Stanisic ever did that?
17 A. I cannot remember. I know that Mandic did. He intervened and he
18 wanted to exchange some people for his mother or somebody, but the ones
19 exchanged were perpetrators of criminal offences. I'm referring to
20 Momcilo Mandic, the then deputy minister.
21 Q. And that happened earlier in the war, April or May, right, that
22 event with Mr. Mandic and his mother? When you were still in Ilidza?
23 A. Yes, yes. I remember that well.
24 Q. Could I show you one more document? This is tab 49 in the
25 Prosecution binder, Exhibit P1475. There were a lot of exchanges going
1 on during 1992, not only by the official exchange commission but
2 privately as well. Isn't that true?
3 A. Yes, I guess. I was never involved in private exchanges. There
4 was one case where Mandic requested some persons to be exchanged, and I
5 think that -- or no, actually, I'm sure that he was successful in that.
6 I know of that case.
7 Q. This is dated the 30th of August, from Mr. Stanisic to the
8 administration of Kula prison and the Ministry of Justice Commission for
9 Exchange, asking to ensure the release of a prisoner Anes Bucan to be
10 exchanged for three Serbian families and the bodies of four Serbian
11 soldiers. Rajko Kusic, who I think was with the special police, was to
12 organise it. Do you know anything about this, why the minister was
13 involved with this exchange?
14 A. I cannot see that the minister was involved, only that he
15 contacted the Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners. But it can
16 clearly be seen from this that Anes Bucan is requested for three Serbian
17 families and some bodies. I know that -- I know from my experience with
18 Sarajevo that we exchanged soldiers for Serbian families in Sarajevo who
19 were unable to move freely. One way was for them to travel by illegal
20 channels and pay off criminals and the other way was this, and this was
21 probably what Minister Stanisic was faced with and he requested the
22 commission to carry out such an exchange.
23 Q. All right. I'm going to skip a couple of things here in the
24 interest of my remaining time and ask you about -- a few questions about
25 Dragan Andan. You knew Mr. Andan before the war, didn't you? You both
1 had worked in state security? How long have you known him?
2 A. I knew him. We were never close, but I did know him as he worked
3 in the state security, in another department, though, so we didn't work
4 together. Later on he was a commander in a municipality while I was
5 commander in another municipality of the city of Sarajevo. We did not
6 work together, but we belonged to the same secretariat and security
7 services centre.
8 Q. Okay. I think you testified that the reason that led to Andan's
9 eventual dismissal, the specific reason was using a gambling machine or a
10 poker machine that he'd gotten out of stores for -- allegedly to use for
11 some police purpose, but instead used it for private purpose. But you
12 mentioned there was a rebellion in Bijeljina by the police against Andan,
13 is that right, before you went up there and that's why you were checking
14 into it because the police wanted to get rid of Dragan Andan?
15 A. In Bijeljina there was a protest of members of the reserve police
16 mostly, and they demanded that the leadership be replaced not only Andan,
17 but the people who ran the Bijeljina centre. But they -- they stressed
18 the demand that Dragan Andan no longer be in a position to be in charge,
19 and their criticism was that they were badly equipped and there were also
20 allegations of material gain on the part of some individuals and
21 individual or --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Illegal.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- disposal of some assets at the
24 Ministry of the Interior. I proposed that he be suspended and that a
25 procedure -- the legal procedure be initiated.
1 MR. HANNIS:
2 Q. Okay. And we've seen in the minutes from the September 9th
3 collegium of the MUP that Dragan Andan was to be suspended for this
4 improper use of the gambling machine, but that's two days before the
5 documents that we have with Mr. Stanisic's name on them initiating or
6 requesting the initiation of disciplinary proceedings and then the actual
7 conclusion. Did you -- you were the one who informed Mr. Andan that he
8 was being suspended, aren't you? You did that personally, face-to-face?
9 A. I don't think that it was my duty to inform him of his
10 suspension, but I'm sure that I did inform him that he couldn't stay in
11 his position. Whether I told him about the suspension and whether I told
12 him that he couldn't stay in the ministry if he continued to act that
13 way, well, yes, I did, certainly.
14 Q. Yes --
15 A. And the commission was set up for his suspension, and I don't see
16 what could be -- what could be the problem with that because that was my
17 opinion, my position.
18 Q. The commission that investigated Mr. Andan also investigated
19 Cedo Kljajic for a number of irregularities. Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes. As I said at the outset, the protest of the police was
21 directed against the executives, Dragan Andan, Kljajic, and others. I
22 believe that Minister Stanisic removed them by circumventing me. There
23 was a certain Devedlaka, if I remember as well, he and his like were all
24 eliminated from the area of Bijeljina.
25 Q. Let me put a proposition to you. We have in evidence --
1 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honours, I would cite you to the
2 transcript at page 21454.
3 Q. -- that I suggest, Mr. Kovac, that the reason there was a
4 rebellion by the reserve police against Mr. Andan and perhaps Mr. Kljajic
5 was because Andan and Kljajic and Mico Davidovic, in order to deal with
6 the problem of a bloated component of reserve police, there was something
7 like a thousand reserve police in Bijeljina, including what was described
8 as a lot of mama's and papa's boys who didn't want to go to the front and
9 were hiding basically in the reserve police, they came up with a ruse to
10 trick those guys. They called them all in and they told them a false
11 story, the false story being that there was a breakthrough about to occur
12 on the front and he asked for volunteers who would come with Mr. Andan to
13 fight. And about a third stepped over and volunteered, and the others he
14 directed the police to take away their weapons and their equipment and
15 take them over to the barracks and turn them over to the army, and that's
16 what happened. And that's why there was such a fuss in Bijeljina,
17 because of what had happened to those reserve policemen. Did you know
18 about that? That's why people were upset.
19 A. I don't think that this story is true. I faced those people and
20 I don't believe that the qualification of mama's and papa's boys is true,
21 because I spoke to some parents of killed members who complained about
22 their sons of being sent to combat without adequate equipment. The three
23 people mentioned plus this certain Mico Davidovic, who behaved very badly
24 as a para group, he hailed from that area but his intentions were never
25 honourable --
1 Q. Let me stop you there. Mico Davidovic was there because he had
2 been requested by the officials in the RS, by Mr. Karadzic, by
3 Mico Stanisic. That's why he was there. Didn't you know that? He
4 wasn't a para group. He was from the federal MUP and he came pursuant to
5 an official request. You didn't know that? Yes or no, please. We're
6 near the time for our next break.
7 A. Well, you see, I didn't know anything about these federal
8 structures. I was a man from Sarajevo and I was only familiar to the
9 structures of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I neither recognised nor knew any
10 other structures.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. HANNIS: Time for our break, Your Honour?
13 JUDGE HALL: Yes, and we return at 2.30.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.30 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
17 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Hannis, I'm advised that you have 40 minutes
19 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. I think I will do my very best to
20 come in on time. And to save time, as the usher is passing by if he
21 would take a document from me and hand it to the witness.
22 Thank you.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 MR. HANNIS: This first one is tab 26 in the Prosecution's
25 binder, 65 ter number 20147.
1 Q. Mr. Kovac, the first document I want to show you, which will be
2 in your hand in a minute, is dated the 13th of June, 1992, from the
3 Ilidza national security department chief Predrag Ceranic. You know him,
4 of course?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And this is a report about Sinisa Milic, also known as Mongo.
7 Have you seen this report or do you remember seeing this report in 1992?
8 A. Yes. I think there's another report, yes.
9 Q. There may be. This is the only one I have seen. Paragraph 2
10 says that --
11 A. Yes, there is another one.
12 Q. Okay. Paragraph 2 says that Mr. Milic has been known to state
13 security. He was under operative processing. He was engaged as a
14 collaborator of the SDB. So I take it -- I mean, he was working for some
15 body like you mentioned in the beginning, that when you were in the SDB
16 you had sort of hired guns. Is that correct?
17 A. What is your question?
18 Q. Oh, I take it he was not an employee of the state security
19 department, but he was a contract worker for somebody who was in state
20 security? Is that right?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. He worked with Zeljko Kozina who was an operative, a Croat, and
24 Zeljko Kozina used him to disrupt inter-ethnic relations even before the
25 war in Ilidza started.
1 Q. All right.
2 A. Sinisa took part in physical abuse committed by the so-called
3 Serbian group from Ilidza. He used to beat up people upon orders of
4 Zeljko Kozina.
5 Q. Okay. And was he -- was he, in 1992, ever associated with
6 Brne Gavrilovic's group, Brne's Chetniks, do you know?
7 A. I don't think so. He worked mostly on his own, and I had
8 information that he was maintaining contacts with the SDB of the opposing
10 Q. Okay. And you'll see three paragraphs above Mr. Ceranic's name
11 and signature that it says Milic is a drug addict. He's been creating
12 numerous and big problems. For example, yesterday, on 12 June, he shot
13 dead 22 Muslims. He'd gone to Vogosca to take them over and then he
14 killed them. And the aggravating factor was that this caused political
15 damage because UNPROFOR men witnessed the incident.
16 So you knew about that back in June of 1992?
17 A. Yes, but if you look at this paragraph there, in addition to
18 this, each group that came to Ilidza, like Arkan's or Seseljevci --
19 Q. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Mr. Kovac --
20 A. -- Milic would try to persuade them --
21 Q. I'm sorry. You answered my question. I've only got 35 minutes
22 left. I have to be --
23 A. No, no, no, no.
24 Q. And the Defence will have time to follow-up on these things when
25 they have their turn, if they want. But my question was if you knew
1 about it back in June of 1992 and you said yes.
2 Was he ever arrested?
3 A. Please. Again --
4 Q. Was he ever arrested for that crime? Was he ever arrested for
5 that crime?
6 A. This is an individual who tried to assassinate me. Why are you
7 asking me about his arrest? He tried to kill me --
8 Q. Was he arrested for trying to assassinate you?
9 A. -- and it's clearly stated here -- there was no time. He died in
10 the meantime.
11 Q. All right. I want to take you then to a collegium meeting on the
12 3rd of October.
13 MR. HANNIS: This is tab 60, Your Honours. And with the usher's
14 help, if I could hand a hard copy to Mr. Kovac. It's 1D510. This is a
15 collegium on 3rd of October in Bijeljina.
16 Q. And, Mr. Kovac, I really only have one question for you
17 regarding -- one or two questions for this one.
18 You're listed as being in attendance. Do you remember this
19 collegium meeting on 3 October 1992?
20 A. Not particularly, but as I'm looking at the minutes I'm reminded
21 of it.
22 Q. Okay. If you would look at your page 2 at the bottom, under the
23 second paragraph, under item number 4, it says:
24 "Tomislav Kovac briefed the Advisory Board on the security
25 situation in the territory of Bijeljina ..."
1 Do you remember giving the group a briefing on the security
2 situation in Bijeljina at that meeting?
3 A. Well, since it's recording in the meeting -- minutes of the
4 meeting, I may have just said something briefly. I don't think that I
5 provided an extensive report at this kind of collegium meeting.
6 Q. Do you remember advising the group that about eight days before,
7 in Bijeljina, three Muslim families, a total of 25 persons from the
8 Malagic, Sejmenovic and Sarajlic families had been murdered in Bijeljina?
9 Did you tell them about that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. But you did know about it on October 2003, didn't you, because it
12 had been in the local media?
13 A. No, not in the sense that I knew of it officially. I didn't have
14 any official report about that.
15 Q. I take it then you had some sort of unofficial report or
16 information about it, and as a policeman, didn't you have an interest in
17 following up on the murder of 25 people, including women and children?
18 A. I didn't have any information about 25 people being killed.
19 There were some accusations on Radio Bijeljina and certain services were
20 tasked to investigate this within the regular scope of their work. I
21 think that at that time all the other organs became involved, but this
22 was not my area. This was the area of the security services centre and
23 the district prosecutor's office. But specifically because at that time
24 I didn't have any information about any families being killed.
25 Q. Let me take you now to the next collegium meeting on the
1 5th of November, 1992.
2 MR. HANNIS: If the usher could assist. It's Exhibit P1270.
3 Thank you. This one was also held in Bijeljina. The tab number is 74.
4 Q. Mr. Kovac, you're listed among the attendees of this meeting.
5 Let me tell you what I'm specifically interested in in this one, on the
6 first page it mentions the minister chaired the meeting until the
7 third item of the agenda when he had to leave. And then Under-Secretary
8 Cedo Kljajic took over. And on the bottom of your page 1 and on to
9 page 2 of the English, it mentions that Mr. Kusmuk, Mr. Karisik, and
10 Rade Radovic had attended the meeting but they also were excused due to
11 problems which emerged in Zvornik.
12 Do you know that the minister went to Zvornik from this meeting
13 because of some problem that had arisen between the special police and
14 the military police in Zvornik? Did you know about that?
15 A. I cannot remember at the moment that that was the reason for his
16 visit, but I am aware of the problems that occurred between the special
17 police and some elements of the military police unit.
18 Q. Okay. Let me show you a couple other documents related to that
19 one. This is tab 76. It's 65 ter 30033. And with the usher's help I'll
20 hand you a copy of the hard copy.
21 While it's on its way, Mr. Kovac, I'll tell you it's a regular
22 combat report from the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade, and item number 4
23 is about extraordinary events. It says:
24 "... as previously reported, a serious clash between the military
25 police and a Republika Srpska Special Unit is still taking place. It is
1 being kept under control and likely to be resolved favourably without
2 consequences. In the course of the day, General ... Gvero and the
3 minister of internal affairs visited Zvornik Garrison."
4 Did you have any conversation with Mr. Stanisic about this
5 conflict or his visit on 5 November to deal with it?
6 A. I don't remember having spoken to him, but I think that later on
7 I think I talked to Karisik who was an official there.
8 Q. Was anybody disciplined in either the special unit or the
9 military police concerning that event?
10 A. I can't remember. I'm not aware of any proceedings instituted
11 due to this particular case.
12 Q. All right.
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, before I forget, I had showed the
14 witness the 13 June report from Ilidza concerning Mongo. I'd like to
15 tender that document. He's identified Mr. Ceranic and talked about the
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
21 Exhibit P2459, Your Honours. Thank you.
22 MR. HANNIS: My apologies to the Registry. I think I may have
23 cut you off.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
25 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: So my question was to have the tab number for
3 this document.
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Or the 65 ter number.
6 MR. HANNIS: I'm trying to find it. I think that was tab
7 number -- tab number 26, I believe, Your Honour. Do you find it?
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, thank you.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Kovac, concerning those murders of the Muslim families in
11 Bijeljina, I'd like to show you Exhibit Number -- 65 ter 30035. It's
12 tab 116. This is a document you will have seen before. This is a record
13 of taking of statement from persons - in this case the person is you - it
14 was taken on or it's recorded on the 13th of April, 2005, and I believe
15 this was done in Zvornik. And do you remember having given this
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And this is in relation to a criminal investigation that was
19 being done concerning those September 1992 murders; right?
20 A. All I can say is that I stand by this statement that I made to
21 the authorised officials, and that's it.
22 Q. Okay. It's correct and true and you don't have any changes to
24 A. I don't want to change anything. It is as it is.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Just a couple more topics, Mr. Kovac, and
1 then we'll be done. I want to talk about Mr. Koroman briefly.
2 MR. HANNIS: If we can show the witness 65 ter 10373, tab 91.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: The document under tab 116, the --
6 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- previous one, is not exhibited. That's right?
8 MR. HANNIS: No, it's not, Your Honour. It just had a
9 65 ter number. But I would like to tender it now that the witness has
10 identified and confirmed it.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, we do object, Your Honours. First of all, a
12 number of these documents - and we intended to raise this issue after the
13 witness is excused - there is a number of documents that has been
14 disclosed to us in the last two weeks, a number of Rule 68 material which
15 was never shown to us. It was shown -- it was disclosed to us the day --
16 in the 11th hour, the day before the witness arrived. Some of these
17 documents we've seen like -- yesterday in the evening for the first time
18 they were disclosed to us. They're not on the Rule 65 ter list and I
19 don't see any basis how Mr. Tom Hannis can offer these documents to be
20 admitted at this point. They have closed their case. We have the
21 procedure in this -- in this case from the very outset how the amendment
22 to the Rule 65 ter list has to be made, with the leave of the
23 Trial Chamber, and then offered to the -- and it has to be in writing if
24 I correctly remember the Rules. And only then can the document be
25 offered for admittance into the record.
1 On this -- in this case, all this is without the merit because
2 the documents have not been disclosed to us properly in the course of
3 this trial. They are disclosed right now. Thank you.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, first of all, we're talking about one
5 document. That should be addressed specifically than this blanket claim
6 about having received a bunch of documents that were Rule 68. This guy,
7 this witness, Mr. Kovac, was not a witness on the Prosecution's list.
8 I'm not sure how Mr. Zecevic reads this document as being Rule 68 for his
9 client --
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm --
11 MR. HANNIS: We couldn't have known that -- he wasn't called by
12 the Defence as a witness either. It was only when the Trial Chamber
13 called him as a witness that it became pertinent.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I was -- I'm sorry if perhaps I wasn't -- I wasn't
15 clear enough. I was making a general observation of the situation that
16 we are faced with in the last week or so. That goes for the Rule 68 and
17 the newest disclosure. However, in this case, in this particular
18 document, the witness is a viva voce witness. If Mr. Hannis wants to
19 raise an issue from his statement, he should do so and we will have it on
20 the record.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zecevic, putting aside your general complaint
23 about disclosure - which we may or may not have to come to - in dealing
24 with this particular document haven't we previously dealt with the matter
25 of documents which come up for the first time in cross-examination?
1 Because this is -- this is not a -- the present witness is not a witness
2 called by the Prosecution; it's one of the Chamber witnesses. And like
3 yourselves, Mr. Hannis is cross-examining. So wouldn't that rule about
4 the inapplicability of the necessity of documents having to come in by
5 way of having been first entered on the Rule 65 ter list apply?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: I understand, Your Honours, but the -- in this
7 specific case it is not the cross-examination of the witness. My
8 understanding would be, with all due respect, as yours, Your Honour, if
9 this was an issue of the credibility of the witness. In this case,
10 Mr. Hannis is trying to further his case, which he closed a year ago,
11 through the Chamber's witness with the documents he failed to put on his
12 65 ter lists, he failed or the Office of the Prosecutor failed to tender
13 those documents during their case. Now, at the minute to 12.00 with the
14 very last Chamber witness, he's furthering their case by presenting some
15 additional documents, tendering some additional documents, through this
16 witness. It is not the issue of the credibility of the witness. It is
17 in this specific case, it is for the purpose of furtherance of the OTP
18 case. And I -- we -- with all due respect, I don't think that this is a
19 proper moment to -- that we exercise in such a -- that we undertake these
20 exercises when it comes with the -- with the testimony of -- testimonies
21 of the Chamber's witnesses. Perhaps -- I stand, of course, in your
22 power, Your Honours. But that is my opinion at the top of my head.
23 Thank you very much.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE HALL: The Chamber is not persuaded on -- on the -- that
1 the objection raised by Mr. Zecevic has any basis because the nature of
2 the -- it would have been impossible for either side to anticipate
3 months - in some cases years - ago that the Chamber may have been calling
4 a witness which they themselves, which either side did not at the time,
5 consider necessary, and therefore the issue of entering a relevant
6 statement on the 65 ter list would not have arisen. And to the extent
7 that either side uses the -- takes advantage of the presence of a witness
8 called by the Chamber to supplement its case is to be expected. That is
9 the advantage which the Chamber, having called witnesses, affords to each
10 side. And -- however, in terms of the particular document which the
11 Prosecution wishes to now tender through this witness, subject to the
12 Prosecution being able to identify the relevant parts of the statement in
13 question, which, if memory serves, was a statement that the investigating
14 authorities in, was it, Zvornik, the Chamber by a majority, myself
15 dissenting, would agree to its admission.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Do you need me to elaborate
17 what portions I think are relevant? It's a very -- it's a short
18 statement. It primarily has to do with this witness's knowledge of
19 Dusko Malovic and his group and under whose authority they were, which
20 has been a contested issue throughout case.
21 JUDGE HALL: Well, the disadvantage that we have is that we don't
22 have it immediately up before us.
23 MR. HANNIS: I'll move on because I think my clock is ticking.
24 No, okay.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hold on.
2 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
3 JUDGE HALL: So with myself dissenting, the document is admitted
4 and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 30035 will become Exhibit P2460,
6 Your Honours.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Kovac, you have that January 11, 1993, document from
9 Mr. Njegus in your hand? I don't remember where we left off -- yeah,
10 that's it on the --
11 A. I don't know. Can you please -- I see you're very skilful in
12 placing documents before my nose. I would like to ask you not to do
13 that. The document that I do have in front of me is of the 1st of April,
14 1992, and on the other side of it is the 11th of -- some month 1993.
15 I would like Your Honours to be spared from being toyed by the
16 Prosecutor. I am trying to co-operate. I'm willing to do that. Maybe I
17 cannot read documents well. I'm not sure about the date. In this
18 document I have two dates on one sheet of paper. Can you please make
19 sure that you do not manipulate documents in such a way. 1st of April,
20 1992, one document; the other date is 11th of January, 1993, on the same
21 sheet of paper. I don't know whether this is normal here, where you can
22 have two documents on one sheet of paper.
23 Please, can you explain in relation to which document.
24 Q. Mr. Kovac --
25 JUDGE HALL: If I might intervene. I don't know that it's
1 necessary for the Chamber to come to counsel's Defence.
2 But, Mr. Kovac, as would have been pointed out to you at several
3 stages. In order from -- apart from the discrete issues which you were
4 invited to assist the Chamber on, the method of counsel's question and
5 the witness's answer is to aid the smooth flow of the receipt of evidence
6 by the Chamber. And I can assure you that if counsel abuses his position
7 as counsel, we would bring that to his attention. So unless and until
8 there's an intervention by the Chamber, with or without the prompting of
9 counsel from the other side, there is nothing improper in the way that
10 counsel -- the Prosecutor in this case is proceeding. So if you would
11 listen to the question and then give a short answer.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hannis, with all this, I lost track of the
14 tab number. Could you remind us?
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, it's tab 91.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. HANNIS: 65 ter 10373.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 MR. HANNIS:
20 Q. Mr. Kovac, I assure you I'm not trying to manipulate you in that
21 fashion. I think what you have is some documents have been copied on two
22 sides. I have the 11 January 1993 document with a blank side on the
23 back. If you would prefer I can give that to you. But I'm only talking
24 about the side that talks about 11 January 1993, which is apparently the
25 decision -- or it says:
1 "Please find enclosed the decision to assign Malko Koroman to the
2 administration for police tasks and duties."
3 Did you know about that in 1993, that Mr. Koroman the former SJB
4 chief in Pale was being assigned to the administration for police tasks?
5 Did you know?
6 A. Can somebody please explain what this decision that's on the same
7 sheet of paper dated 11th of April -- or 1st of April, 1992. Is this in
8 any way related? This is what I'm asking you about. I have documents on
9 both sides --
10 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Koroman. I don't read B/C/S very well and I don't
11 know what that is, and it's not my job to answer your questions here
13 So did you know about Mr. Koroman being appointed to the
14 administration for police tasks and affairs in January of 1993?
15 It doesn't do you any good to look at that side. That's not the
16 one I'm asking you about.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hannis, would it perhaps assist when you give
18 the witness a document --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is this other --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovac, please.
21 You give the witness the document with the blank other side.
22 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: And, Mr. Kovac, Mr. Kovac, please, in order to
24 save paper we have taken the habit of for copying purposes to print on
25 both sides. So this is why you have one sheet of paper with a decision
1 on each side. This is not an original; it is a copy. So please bear
2 with that and move on.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't aware of that. I somehow
4 seem to lack trust, but I do have the document clearly before me. This
5 document says:
6 "Please find enclosed the decision to assign Malko Koroman to
7 your administration ..."
8 Yes, I did know about that. I knew that he was assigned to the
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. In the position you held in January 1993, did you have any input
12 or say so about that appointment?
13 A. No, I did not. At the time the minister was Mr. Adzic and at the
14 time I did not have any influence on the personnel policy, not even
15 within my administration. I simply was not one of the associates that
16 Ratko Adzic would listen to. We were in a kind of a conflict and that
17 was the situation.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. Now let me show you another document and
19 I take the risk, it's a two-sided document. It's actually two separate
20 documents but I want to ask you about both of them in sequence. So if
21 you'll please bear with me. If the usher would hand you this. This is
22 also from the same tab number, it's just a different ERN. The B/C/S page
23 is 03240402 and 0403. These documents were received from the
24 Republika Srpska as part of a request for personnel documents so they all
25 came together in one batch, I believe.
1 Mr. Kovac, this will be two separate documents. And the first
2 one is dated 18 January 1994 and I'll ask you about that one first, and
3 the other side is a document dated 27 May 1994 and we'll talk about both
4 of them briefly.
5 Do you have 18 January 1994 on top? This is a decision by
6 Minister Mico Stanisic assigning Malko Koroman to the task of chief of
7 the department for police duties in the Sarajevo security services
8 centre. Right. And if you want to look at the next page, it's the
9 27th of May, 1994, it's another decision by Mico Stanisic regarding
10 Malko Koroman and assigning him to the duty of chief inspector for police
11 special operations in the office of the minister.
12 Did you know about those appointments by Mr. Stanisic in 1994
13 concerning Malko Koroman?
14 A. I did know about this chief inspector assignment and I cannot
15 remember the other one, but I believe it must have been so. I want to
16 believe that the documents are correct. Malko was often appointed to
17 different positions, so most probably this is correct. What we see in
18 the document must have been so. I do remember that he was assigned to
19 the position of inspector for special purposes unit, so I don't recall
20 the other appointment but it must have been so.
21 Q. Okay. And one other document from this series I'd like to show
22 you, if I could get help from the usher. The ERN for this one is
23 03240408 -- no, I'm sorry, 0392. This is dated the 20th of October,
24 1995, Mr. Kovac. And this is a decision on early promotion to a higher
25 rank. Promoting Malko Koroman from the rank of major to the -- an early
1 promotion to the rank of colonel. And it appears to be signed by you as
2 the minister. Do you remember promoting Malko Koroman in 1995?
3 A. I most probably did. I have no recollection at the moment of
4 these promotions because these were not my main functions, but I do see
5 my signature. So yes, I must have done so.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. HANNIS: [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Sorry.
10 I would like to tender those documents, Your Honour, but there
11 are other documents concerning personnel status. I don't care about
12 having those in. I don't know if the Defence wants them in because it
13 may have something they want. Otherwise, we can take it out of e-court
14 and put in only the ones that he's been shown and talked about
16 JUDGE HALL: To what end, Mr. Hannis?
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'd rather not make that submission in
18 front of the witness. He understands more English than I do B/C/S, if I
19 can do that at a later point.
20 JUDGE HALL: So we would hold over your application until the
21 witness is released.
22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
23 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
24 MR. HANNIS: And now may I inquire how many minutes I have left?
25 I want to do my last topic and I have, I think, four documents.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could please any
3 unnecessary microphone be switched off. Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE HALL: We think you have just sufficient time to deal with
5 your four documents in 15 minutes, Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Kovac, in one of your interviews with the OTP I think in
8 August -- yes, August 10 and 11, 2010, you met with Paul Grady,
9 Julian Nicholls and Patrick Hayden. And during that interview, at one
10 point they were giving you a hard time a bit about Simo Drljaca and
11 wondering why he had not been punished because of the suspicion that he
12 had not performed very well in connection with investigating or
13 prosecuting people from his SJB in connection with the Koricanske Stijene
14 murders. Do you remember that? Just in general, you remember having a
15 conversation with Mr. Grady, Nicholls, and Hayden?
16 A. Do you have a document to that effect? Can you show it to me? I
17 do remember that we talked about it in general but not any details. I
18 don't know what you wanted to ask me about. It was a long conversation.
19 They put a lot of questions to me so --
20 Q. I have a difficulty. I have an English transcript of that
21 interview but that's one that I don't have a B/C/S transcript for. I
22 think all we have is the audio. And I understand you were given a CD of
23 it, but I don't have the time to try and find the audio and find the
24 exact place on the audio where this was said. But let me read you what's
25 said here and then I'll ask you if you remember saying this and then
1 we'll go from there. It -- you're reported to have said -- let me find
2 the exact page reference.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Can we have a tab number and reference, please?
4 MR. HANNIS: Well, this interview was tab number 3 on the
5 Trial Chamber's list, and in the English transcript it's at page 76,
6 line 18.
7 Q. And in response to this hard time you said:
8 "It's important that you look at the causes and the movement of
9 everything to see where we got at the end because Simo Drljaca was not
10 created by Serb MUP. Simo Drljaca and many like him were placed on the
11 basis of negative selection, what I call -- and compromises between the
12 SDA, SDS, and HDZ. And Simo Drljaca's decision on appointment for the
13 chief of the station in Prijedor was signed by Alija Delimustafic and his
14 assistant, Selimovic. They appointed" --
15 JUDGE HALL: Sorry, Mr. Hannis. May I remind you that the --
16 what you're saying has to be interpreted so perhaps you need to slow down
17 a little.
18 MR. HANNIS: I'm on my last two short sentences.
19 Q. "Signed by Alija Delimustafic and his assistant, Selimovic. They
20 appointed him and they got what they got."
21 Do you remember saying that? Or if not, do you agree with that?
22 A. I remember talking about what the results were on the basis of
23 appointments that were made as a part of the distribution of power
24 between the three parties. Many of the personnel were not appointed on
25 the basis of their quality, but because they wanted to have their people
1 at certain positions. Through such processes, we got some of the
2 personnel and I believed that Simo Drljaca was - at least that was my
3 view at the time - I believe that Simo Drljaca was one of such personnel
4 members. I did specify some other people. When I speak about these
5 people, I speak about people who were appointed or proposed for the
6 positions by the Crisis Staffs, the SDS, SDA, and so on,
7 Municipal Boards, and that's how the things worked at the time, you see.
8 Q. Well, do you know, Mr. Drljaca was never appointed by
9 Alija Delimustafic because Mr. Drljaca didn't become an SJB chief until
10 mid-April 1992, after the war had already started. Did you know that?
11 He couldn't have been appointed by Delimustafic.
12 A. I didn't know that, but at that moment I was thinking of
13 Crisis Staffs, so it must have been the Crisis Staff. Given their
14 political power, it must have been them who in fact - not officially but
15 in fact - appointed him.
16 Q. I think you're right about that. But let me show you now tab
17 number 135. This is Exhibit 65 ter 30046. I'll give you a hard copy.
18 While it's on its way, Mr. Kovac, I'll tell you it's dated the
19 30th of July, 1992, as you may see on the screen. It's a decision
20 appointing Simo Drljaca as chief for Prijedor Public Security Station by
21 Stojan Zupljanin. And I note the first paragraph makes reference to this
22 decision being pursuant to the Law on State Administration, a decision of
23 the minister of 25 April 1992, and with prior approval from the minister
24 of the interior. I take it you've never seen this before? But do you
25 have any reason to doubt the authenticity of that document, which appears
1 to be from Banja Luka by Stojan Zupljanin?
2 A. This clearly shows the illegality of this decision because it
3 should have been taken by the minister with the approval of the centre
4 chief. It is very clear that such a decision was not --
5 Q. Stop. Stop. Because this is by the centre chief,
6 Stojan Zupljanin, and it says within it it's with the prior approval of
7 the minister. So it appears it has been done in compliance with the law;
9 A. No, sir. I'm sorry. But these are things that I do know about.
10 This is a flagrant contravention of the law, and the law was very clear
11 on this. The Banja Luka centre cannot appoint a --
12 Q. Well --
13 A. -- public security station chief.
14 Q. I'm sorry --
15 A. The centre chief is below the minister in the hierarchy and not
16 the other way around.
17 Q. I'm sorry --
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Mr. Hannis, please, this is at least for the third
19 time. Whenever -- I must say, it appears almost that whenever you don't
20 like the answer, you are cutting the answer of the witness in half.
21 MR. HANNIS: That's not --
22 MR. ZECEVIC: So please -- well, that is my impression. I'm
23 sorry and I do apologise if I'm getting the wrong impression but that is
24 what I -- I was tend to -- for some reason, I have that impression.
25 Perhaps I'm wrong and I do apologise. But in any case, the witness
1 should be allowed to finish his statement, his answer.
2 MR. HANNIS: It appears to have been done in compliance with the
3 law; right? No, sir. That's an answer. If there's a further
4 explanation, I can ask for it or you can ask for it on your turn.
5 I'm sorry. I apologise, Your Honours, I shouldn't be talking
6 directly to counsel.
7 I apologise, Mr. Zecevic.
8 Q. But, Mr. Kovac, you don't know what that 25 April decision, 1992,
9 says, do you? That was a decision by the minister specifically
10 delegating his authority to the centre chiefs to appoint SJB chiefs. Do
11 you see the reference to a 25 April 1992 decision, number 01-25/92?
12 You're not familiar with that document, are you?
13 A. I'm not familiar with it, but this decision shows me how Drljaca
14 rose to power, and if we were to continue to analyse this, we would
15 probably come up with the conclusion that the centre chief didn't have
16 much say in this either. To my mind, this is illegal. I have never seen
17 anything like it before and this is all I have to say.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: I do apologise, but I think there's something wrong
19 in translation or in transcript, rather, because -- can the witness
20 repeat that because what is recorded is not what the witness said.
21 Witness said the chief of CSB didn't have anything with that or didn't
22 have too much influence on that post.
23 JUDGE HALL: If it's a question of a misunderstanding or
24 mistranslation, perhaps the witness can repeat his answer.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: It is good now. It is corrected, Your Honour. I
1 saw after that.
2 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. Just a couple more documents, I hope, Mr. Kovac. If we could
5 look at 0 -- I'm sorry, this is -- this is 65 ter 30043 -- or -- yes.
6 And this will be tab number 129. And I want one particular page out of
7 it now which is 03240291, dated 17 January 1994. I don't know if you can
8 see it on the screen, but it is from Minister Mico Stanisic,
9 17 January 1994, a decision temporarily assigning Simo Drljaca as
10 assistant chief of the Banja Luka security services centre. Did you know
11 about that appointment by Mr. Stanisic in January 1994?
12 A. I cannot remember, but if it bears his signature than he probably
13 carried it out. He probably tactically shifted him around, I suppose to
14 keep him away from operative management.
15 Q. Well, I know earlier you told us that you talked about this
16 rotation of staff to keep some of these guys from thwarting
17 investigations. But sending Mr. Drljaca, who was suspected in connection
18 with misconduct, at least, connected to the Koricanske Stijene case,
19 sending him to Banja Luka as deputy chief doesn't seem to be a very good
20 place to put him, is it?
21 A. Well, you're not being precise. This is assistant centre chief,
22 but I think he was assistant chief without specific tasks. I don't know
23 if he really had any work at the time. That's when you give a decision
24 to somebody without any duties, to remove him, to put him on ice. And
25 this -- but this man had stronger political support than all the rest of
1 us together; that must have been why.
2 Q. And two more pages to look at. 20 October 1995, which -- I'm
3 sorry, I'm having trouble with these double-sided pages. Again, the
4 ERN in B/C/S is for a document in which Mr. Drljaca is being appointed or
5 being promoted exceptionally from the rank of major to the rank of
6 colonel by Tomo Kovac. Do you remember making that promotion?
7 A. I don't remember. I may have, I may not have.
8 Q. And finally 03240287, which is dated the 7th of October, 1994, if
9 you help me with this one. I think this is a different minister. And do
10 you recognise which minister that is?
11 A. It says here, Zivko Rakic.
12 Q. And he's appointing Mr. Drljaca to the position of the chief of
13 Prijedor CJB; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I have nothing further. Again, with
17 this personnel package I'd like to call out the ones we've shown him and
18 he's talked about and submit that later on once we've done that.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
20 MR. HANNIS:
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovac.
22 JUDGE HALL: Again, I assume that the Defence have decided how
23 they're going to -- who's going first and how they've divided up their
25 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honour, but -- I sincerely believe that
1 it would be better if we start in the morning because I understood that
2 Mr. Hannis was to make the submission on the documents he proposed to
3 tender after the witness is excused. We have 15 minutes and I think that
4 would be ample time for that, and that will of course help us to
5 streamline our cross-examination. And I can assure the Trial Chamber
6 that until the last session I didn't have any cross-examination for this
7 witness. So perhaps I'm going to be fairly shorter than the time
8 allocated to me, and my understanding is that Mr. Krgovic also will have
9 a short cross-examination of this witness. So we can assure the
10 Trial Chamber that in any case we will finish fairly early tomorrow.
11 JUDGE HALL: I'm sure the witness will be relieved to hear that.
12 Mr. Kovac, as you would have gathered from what has just passed
13 between the Bench and counsel, there is certain procedural matters with
14 which we have to deal with before we rise for this afternoon. But
15 because they would not concern you, we would invite the usher to escort
16 you outside now while we continue our other work and we will pick up with
17 your cross-examination by counsel for the Defence tomorrow morning.
18 And as we come to the end of a day, I remind you, as I did
19 yesterday, that you can't discuss your testimony with anyone. You cannot
20 communicate with counsel from the other side and your communication with
21 your own lawyer is limited to the matter of anything that would -- might
22 touch on the possibility of your self-incrimination. Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, Your Honour. I got a little befuddled at the
1 end because of some of the two-sided copies and not being able to find
2 what I was looking for, but Your Honour will understand my problem.
3 I was supposed to make a submission, but I understand that the
4 Trial Chamber had ruled two-to-one to admit the document so I don't know
5 if you need me to make a further submission at this time.
6 JUDGE HALL: No, we dealt with that one.
7 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
8 JUDGE HALL: It was another document where the question
9 was relevance --
10 MR. HANNIS: Ah --
11 JUDGE HALL: -- and you indicated that you couldn't -- you would
12 wish to address in the absence of the witness. I can't remember what the
13 document is but -- sorry?
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Koroman. About Koroman.
15 JUDGE HALL: It's about Koroman, yes.
16 MR. HANNIS: Okay. The promotion of Koroman or his position in
17 the administration as an inspector, it's part of our argument,
18 Your Honour, that certain of these individuals, Mr. Koroman,
19 Mr. Todorovic, Mr. Drljaca, others for whom the MUP had information that
20 they had committed disciplinary violations at least, if not criminal
21 matters that they should be prosecuted for, instead of being disciplined
22 or suspended or prosecuted, they were actually, some views, moved
23 sideways or promoted. And that goes contrary to the argument that: We
24 were trying to do something to remove the bad eggs, and therefore we
25 think it's relevant to that issue, the failure to punish.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, we do object, of course, as you
2 can imagine because -- let me give the reasons why. We know that this is
3 the Prosecutor's case. However, the issue of Malko Koroman has been
4 dealt with with a number of witnesses - I don't remember at this point
5 how many - from Pale. Then we had witnesses from the MUP, the ones who
6 were working in the personnel administration. Then we had in our case we
7 brought Mr. Tusevljak, who was from the CSB Sarajevo, therefore directly
8 superior to Mr. Koroman.
9 Now, in all these cases, in all these available points, the
10 Office of the Prosecutor chose not to present this document to these
11 witnesses, ask their comment, and then offer these documents at the -- as
13 Now, if they will be permitted to do at this point such a thing,
14 then it practically leaves us, the Defence, without the possibility to
15 remedy that. Because had we known that this document is a part of the
16 Prosecutor's case or had we known that this document was shown to the
17 witness, we would have called, perhaps we would have called, the evidence
18 to counter that or to explain these documents and why it was taken.
19 Now, if we are -- if we are brought at this point to this
20 position, then there would be no other remedy but to ask that we re-open
21 our Defence case and bring some witnesses and then explain this because
22 that -- I don't see any -- because I can't explain these documents with
23 this witness because this witness can only say: Yes, I'm aware of the
24 fact that this person was promoted in 1995.
25 We have a very strict -- all this -- during the whole trial it
1 was insistence, insistence on the time and the geography of this case.
2 The case is -- alleges the crimes committed between 1992 April and
3 31st December. Now we are expanding the case by bringing the documents
4 from 1995 in order to explain the state of mind of our client at the
5 11th hour. And that is why I say this, in my opinion, goes to the
6 fairness of these proceedings and therefore we -- if your trial -- if the
7 Trial Chamber would admit these documents at this point, we would have,
8 unfortunately, no other way but to ask that we be allowed to re-open our
9 case and call these witnesses and explain this situation.
10 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zecevic, the -- what struck me as well was the
11 dates, and that is why I asked Mr. Hannis to what end. But the -- I will
12 ask him to respond to the specific point you made about having not taken
13 the opportunity of having these documents tendered through some witness
14 while their case was still open. But after the application was made,
15 the -- perhaps an -- let me say parenthetically that I am by no means
16 anticipating what final conclusion I might reach on this question. But
17 the - to my mind - somewhat helpful answer which the witness also gave,
18 that any suggestion which the Prosecution may wish to make based on what
19 these documents say on the face of it, is not the only conclusion that's
20 possible because not every promotion is a promotion. And it is something
21 that you may have the opportunity to explore further in
23 But let me hear Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE HALL: Why weren't these tendered previously?
1 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, for example, if I tried to show a
2 document signed by Tomo Kovac or Mico Stanisic from 1994 or 1995, I might
3 have had an objection from the Defence that, well, they need to tender it
4 through another witness, Mr. Kovac or Mr. Stanisic. That's the kind of
5 objection we ran into during the case on more than one occasion.
6 Secondly, Your Honour, with regard to the 1995 document signed by
7 Kovac, they also go to his credibility as a witness because he's told you
8 that when he was the assistant minister and when he was head of the
9 police administration and when he started in the ministry, part of his
10 task was to remove those people who weren't good decision-makers or who
11 were engaged in bad conduct. Well, he had opportunities to do something
12 about those people and not only did he not do anything, he promoted them,
13 early promotion, or gave them a better job or an equal job.
14 With regard to 1994, it's Mr. Stanisic in his second term as
15 minister having another opportunity to do something regarding people he
16 didn't have time to do anything about in 1992 and not doing anything that
17 appears to be in the nature of a punishment or a reprimand or a
18 discipline. That's why these documents are being tendered. And absent
19 of showing a prejudice, which I've heard the argument, but just because
20 it hurts doesn't mean it's unfair prejudice that needs a remedy. It's
21 just something that needs to be dealt with. Cross-examining this witness
22 is one way to do it.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE HALL: So the documents are admitted and marked, and we
25 would point out for the benefit of the Defence, who have yet to begin
1 their cross-examination of this witness, that the stage that we are at is
2 that this is something they are able to fully explore with the witness
3 who appears best able to answer the issues surrounding these promotions
4 or lateral transfers, as they may have been.
5 So --
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, ERN 03240402 shall be given
7 Exhibit P2461. And ERN 03240392 shall be Exhibit P2462. Thank you.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hannis, do you have the tab numbers at hand,
9 please? That would be helpful.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, some of those individual documents were
11 in the same tab because it was a dossier of personnel files --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, right.
13 MR. HANNIS: -- for Mr. Koroman or Mr. Drljaca.
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Hannis, we're advised that there is a technical
16 problem in terms of marking these documents, so the Registry and the OTP
17 will consult out of court and we will formally on the record tomorrow
18 morning indicate the appropriate numbers.
19 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE HALL: And with that, we take the adjournment and I
21 thank -- sorry.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. So we rise until tomorrow morning. I
24 thank the support staff and the accused for their co-operation.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.59 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Friday, the 9th day of
2 March, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.