1 Thursday, 31 May 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.05 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is case IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Good morning to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
11 MR. HANNIS: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Prosecution,
12 I'm Tom Hannis, to my left, our Case Manager, Sebastiaan van Hooydonk, to
13 my right, Joanna Korner, Alex Demirdjian, Rafael La Cruz,
14 Matthew Olmsted, and on the back row, a young lady, our intern,
15 Lucy Eastwood.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
17 Slobodan Cvijetic -- sorry.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
21 Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan, Ms. Tatjana Savic, and
22 Andreja Zecevic, appearing for Stanisic Defence this morning.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic,
24 Aleksandar Aleksic, Michelle Butler, and Miroslav Cuskic, appearing for
25 Zupljanin Defence this morning.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. I will let you in on what we were
2 just -- the issue on which we were just conferring.
3 You will recall that yesterday in the light of a concern, I would
4 put it no higher than that, that Ms. Korner expressed, she asked us to
5 visit again the question of reserving some time tomorrow to tidy up any
6 loose ends in terms of any legal submissions that are left unattended and
7 we would invite counsel during one of today's breaks to agree as to how
8 much time you would need an so we would know what to block for tomorrow.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, can I assist. I -- I've spoken to
10 Ms. Butler, who's going to be dealing with submissions of law, and at
11 least on one of the aspects, I know we have come to an agreement. And I
12 believe certainly that another of the aspects which relates simply to the
13 way the burden of proof was expressed in the Stanisic brief could be
14 dealt with very simply because the word "any doubt" crept in when obvious
15 it's "any reasonable doubt." There are just two other matters which I'm
16 going to electronically speak to Ms. Butler this morning. And it may
17 well be hopefully that we can arrive at some agreement, so that the only
18 matters that will be left are the question of how to treat the Stanisic
19 interview and the question raised by Mr. Olmsted in his address of the --
20 the -- the question of a -- command and control and whether or not there
21 can be two superior commands.
22 So I -- I would hope that it would be relatively short.
23 JUDGE HALL: So do we, Ms. Korner. So do we.
24 MS. KORNER: I can imagine. And I have many, many good reasons
25 also for not wanting to be here too long tomorrow.
1 JUDGE HALL: One other matter before I invite Mr. Zecevic to
2 begin. I would just remind to counsel as to today's sitting times.
3 We would take the first break at 11.30 and the second session
4 will run from 11.50 to 1.20, and the lunch break would be for an hour,
5 and then we sit from 2.20 to 3.50 and the -- extended sessions takes us
6 from 4.10 to 5.40.
7 Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
8 [Stanisic Defence Closing Statement]
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday at the very end of the
11 sitting, I said what our closing arguments are going to address. Before
12 I go into detail, let me make a few preliminary remarks.
13 Everything that the Defence announced in the opening statement
14 was presented to the Trial Chamber and proven beyond doubt. A detailed
15 analysis of all the evidence and laws adduced was presented in our final
16 brief. Crucially, to this day, ever since Mico Stanisic was interviewed
17 in 2007, his Defence has not departed from its initial position by a
18 single centimetre. The statement made by Stanisic in the course of the
19 five days of the interview with the Prosecution, what the Defence
20 announced they would present in their opening statement, as well as the
21 positions advanced at trial, they were all proven beyond doubt without
22 any vacillation or variation, alternative explanations, or similar. We
23 were full consistent in our position. I underscore this because the OTP
24 position was quite the opposite. They advanced different positions at
25 trial. They presented alternations of different positions, alternations
1 of explanations, and alternations of their entire case theory that the
2 Prosecution argued at different stages of the trial.
3 To illustrate this, let me recall that in their pre-trial brief
4 the Prosecution do not say that the police was resubordinated to the
5 army; rather, they insist on co-ordination between the army and the
6 police. Then, at trial, the Prosecution argued, as did their experts,
7 that there were cases of resubordination but that they were relatively
9 Next, they argued that there was a difference between
10 resubordination and co-ordinated action. Subsequently, they held that
11 resubordination was carried out solely in the course of combat and not
12 otherwise in other actions. Two days ago, we heard yet another version
13 because at page 27340 of the transcript, in reference to P624 and the
14 percentage of the MUP members who were resubordinated, Ms. Korner said:
15 "Clearly the document says that they participated in combat but
16 it does not say that they were resubordinated in these actions."
17 On the other hand, yesterday, Mr. Olmsted said that MUP members
18 were resubordinated whilst on the front in combat. Laterally, they
19 argued that even when resubordinated the police retained the capacity of
20 authorised officials. They also continued having effective control over
21 their members and had the right and obligation to enforce discipline and
22 run criminal investigations.
23 The same applies to the Prosecution final brief. Here, again, we
24 have various alterations. Although in the opening statement I
25 highlighted the fact that the Prosecution completely misrepresented the
1 context of the events in 1992, and although I noted with concern the
2 extent to which the Prosecution exhibited a lack of familiarity with the
3 legal system and regulations of the former SFRY and BH, nevertheless,
4 throughout the case, the Prosecution chose to ignore these issues and the
5 same is true of their final brief.
6 As an English philosopher and historian Sir Isaiah Berlin would
7 put it, history is not only what happened but what happened in the
8 context of what could have happened. Clearly the Prosecution do not
9 espouse this line of thinking, which is very true, because their view of
10 history is monochrome and superficial.
11 Let me remind you of some of the changes that the Prosecution
12 went through during their case. From the start of trial, the Prosecution
13 withdrew 91 witnesses and added 74 others. They had 2.061 documents on
14 their 65 ter list, 509 of which were never presented, but 986 others were
16 During the Defence case [as interpreted], the Prosecution -- my
17 apologies. I'm sorry, I didn't say "during the Defence case."
18 Some of the crucial documents were disclosed and tendered into
19 evidence during the Defence case without having shown them to their own
20 experts or the numerous witnesses who testified precisely to these
21 circumstances, and I'm referring to P2320, P2339; next,
22 documents shown to Kovacevic and Lisica but not to their OTP military
23 expert. The OTP tendered a number of documents into evidence without
24 having ever disclosed them to the Defence previously. Despite our
25 objections, in most of these cases the Trial Chamber granted these
1 applications and admitted the documents into evidence. We did not press
2 the matter because we understand the position of the Trial Chamber as
3 being that the Prosecution have the duty to prove matters beyond a
4 reasonable doubt, a standard that is higher than the one that the Defence
5 has to meet.
6 However, there are several glaring examples that I will come back
7 to later which, in our view, have an impact on the integrity of the
9 Let me also remind you that in relation to the CHS, the
10 Prosecution tendered six different versions of documents as a result of
11 the objections and omissions raised by the Defence. They continued
12 modifying and adding documents into the so-called database even -- not
13 only after the end of their case but even after both Defence cases ended
14 on the 5th of April this year.
15 Specifically, in that group of documents supposedly supporting
16 the victim database and among the documents that are alleged intercepts,
17 there is a large number of documents that were admitted, in our view, in
18 violation of Rule 95 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the ICTY
20 I am sure that you will remember, Your Honours, how many times
21 the Prosecution challenged the authenticity of certain documents of the
22 Defence only to establish subsequently that they, too, were in possession
23 of these documents, but that, apparently due to difficulties in
24 conducting searches, they were unable to identify them.
25 There were also cases where suggestions were made, although not
1 directly, that the Defence had put some sort of pressure on witnesses or
2 contacted them before their testimony, all of which proved incorrect.
3 Your Honours, this was just a short summary overview of the
4 procedure, and I would like the Trial Chamber to note that there is an
5 identical pattern of conduct that can be observed in the Prosecution
6 final trial brief. I must say that the final trial brief of the
7 Prosecution came as a major surprise to me three years into the trial and
8 after all the evidence adduced, because most of what we were able to hear
9 and read at trial was simply ignored.
10 At first glance, the Prosecution brief appears to be a coherent
11 document with a great many references, but that is the case only at first
12 glance, since there is a considerable number of cases where the reference
13 given does not correspond to the conclusion drawn in the
14 paragraph involved. In some cases, it is probably an error; in other, it
15 is evidence misconstrued; still others, erroneous interpretation.
16 There is a considerable number of paragraphs where evidence as a
17 whole is completely ignored or disregarded or construed in a way that
18 doesn't have any foundation or there are paragraphs where all these
19 elements appear combined.
20 The impression gained from reading the Prosecution final trial
21 brief is that the events seem to have happened in a vacuum as there is no
22 mention of a cause and effect relationship between the various events.
23 The events appear to be unfolding, according to the Prosecution, without
24 any context whatsoever, especially perilous are the following examples
25 that I urge the Trial Chamber to pay special attention to. It is only
1 natural, given the nature of this procedure, that on account of
2 interpretation or a confusing question, a witness would misunderstand the
3 question put to him. As a result, when reading the witness's entire
4 evidence, one can tell that at some points the witness said something
5 that was quite the opposite of everything he had been claiming all along.
6 I think that Ms. Korner spoke of that yesterday.
7 I think it is inappropriate on the part of the Prosecution to
8 quote precisely these portions of evidence where it is obvious that the
9 witness concerned misunderstood an issue. For this reason, I would like
10 the Trial Chamber to pay special attention to such cases that I will
11 specifically refer to in the course of my closing arguments and to
12 consider when assessing the evidence as a whole the testimony in its
13 entirety and not the one lone sense quoted by the Prosecution.
14 From the very start of the Prosecution brief introduction there
15 are several examples of the OTP's lack of consistency that I will stress.
16 At paragraph 2, the Prosecution argues that the police was the only
17 organised armed force in Republika Srpska at the very start. Here, the
18 Prosecution exclude the Territorial Defence. Although in their pre-trial
19 brief at paragraphs 96 and 105, they argued that the police together
20 with the TO was the only armed formation. It is a fact that during the
21 Prosecution case a significant amount of evidence was adduced about the
22 existence, functioning and arming of the TO even before the RS MUP came
23 into being.
24 At paragraph 4 of the final brief, the Prosecution were commenting
25 on the position of the Defence that the Crisis Staffs had an impact on
1 the functioning of the RS MUP and said, “Such statements are easy to
2 make in the absence of accused persons who were members of these bodies.”
3 This comes as a surprise in view of the fact that in this courtroom we
4 heard dozens of witnesses who were members of various crisis Staffs as
5 well as members of the RS MUP who were Crisis Staff members ex officio.
6 In that same paragraph, Prosecution go on to explain that there
7 is overwhelming evidence which indicates that they all had a common goal.
8 They argue that everything was bent on furthering the alleged criminal
9 plan, although all the witnesses claimed that the common goal was to
10 defend the country which is only logical and is a paramount goal of any
12 Yesterday and the day before yesterday, at pages 10 and 11 of
13 yesterday's transcript, a similar baseless statement was reiterated. The
14 Prosecution said that the Defence had the advantage of being able to
15 shift the blame on the deceased, specifically Todorovic and Drljaca, and
16 the Prosecution were evidently oblivious to the fact that they,
17 themselves, sought the admission of portions of Todorovic's testimony,
18 pursuant to Rule 92 quater, and this is something the Defence
19 subsequently did in respect of other portions of testimony. Likewise, it
20 was the Prosecution that -- who, for the most part, sought the admission
21 of the documentation related to Simo Drljaca.
22 On the issue of Stanisic's interview, I refer you to what the
23 Prosecution had to say at paragraphs 10 to 12; whereas, the paragraphs of
24 our brief dealing with this issue are 15 to 17.
25 The Prosecution suggest that the Trial Chamber should trust only
1 Stanisic's incriminating statements and not the rest. This statement by
2 the Prosecution escapes comprehension especially in view of the fact that
3 it was the Prosecution who sought the admission of Stanisic's interview
4 and not the Defence, and as I said yesterday it was done through a bar
5 table motion. They relied entirely on that document for the truthfulness
6 of its contents, as was the case with all the other documents included in
7 the bar table motion.
8 This is an example of a striking lack of consistency on the part
9 of the Prosecution because the bar table motion does not contain any sort
10 of submissions of the kind that were set out in the final brief. If the
11 Prosecution had any sort of reservations as to the truthfulness of this
12 document, then, by the very nature of things, they would not have sought
13 its admission or relied upon it.
14 The Prosecution team, led by the experienced lawyer, Mr. Tieger,
15 interviewed Stanisic over the course of five days showing him documents
16 and asking that he answer questions. He answered questions and explained
17 the contents of various documents and why they were written, and he said
18 that all of his answers, as well as the entire contents of the interview,
19 can be used at trial. This is something that the Prosecution ultimately
20 did, and at paragraph 15 of our brief, we say what the bar table motion
21 had to say about this interview. Also, at paragraph 16 of our brief and
22 footnote 22, we cite examples where the Prosecution, clearly relying on
23 this interview in their pre-trial brief, in the opening statement, and in
24 the course of trial, spoke of this.
25 Yesterday, Ms. Korner cited the interview and read certain
1 portions of it, only to say at the end that they were not relying on that
3 Your Honour, I am aware of the fact that my knowledge of the
4 adversarial procedure and principles is very limited, and I offer my
5 apologies. However, I believe that one of the principles that should
6 stand is that the Defence should be put on notice of the nature of the
7 Prosecution case, and that it is on this basis that the Defence would be
8 able to build their case. If the Prosecution continue to rely on a piece
9 of evidence throughout only to say at the very end that they would no
10 longer be relying on it, I don't see how the Defence would in that case
11 be able to answer the Prosecution case. In that way, the Defence would,
12 in fact, be mislead.
13 A small aside, yesterday, when I quoted the jurisprudence of the
14 Tribunal on this issue and similar issues, I neglected to underline that
15 in all the three cases that I cited, the Milutinovic et al, Perisic and
16 Popovic et al cases, the interviews with the accused and the OTP were
17 introduced as Prosecution exhibits. In two of these cases it was done
18 identically as in this case, i.e., through a bar table motion, and in
19 Popovic through a Prosecution investigator who interviewed the accused.
20 The next example I want to refer you to is in paragraph 13 of the
21 final trial brief of the Prosecution and relates to the so-called insider
23 Let me remind you -- let me remind you that in the pre-trial
24 brief, the Prosecution -- at paragraph 18, the Prosecution argued that,
25 and I quote:
1 "The testimony of these witnesses would allow the Trial Chamber
2 to clearly see the joint criminal enterprise charged by the Prosecution,
3 its goals and methods, its members, and the role of the accused in the
4 joint criminal enterprise."
5 As you know full well, their testimonies, in fact, confirmed
6 quite the opposite. Yet again, the Prosecution insinuate, in a manner
7 that I have to say is highly improper, that the reason why witnesses
8 allegedly changed their previous statements was the discussions they had
9 with the Defence before that testimony. If such an insinuation was not
10 inaccurate, unfair and unbefitting of fellow members of the profession,
11 I would consider it a true compliment. The ability to use 30 minutes to
12 meet with a witness for the first time and managed to persuade him to
13 change his testimony would, indeed, amount to a supreme skill.
14 Furthermore, the Prosecution suggest that when assessing the
15 probative value and weight of these testimonies, the Trial Chamber should
16 bear in mind a number of factors, among others, the motive for giving
17 false testimony. Such a patently inaccurate statement requires some
18 attention. In fact, the Prosecution engages in an impermissible
19 speculation in this case in view of the facts. The Prosecution are
20 oblivious to the fact that although Trial Chamber repeatedly called on
21 them to disclose previous statements or interviews of the viva voce
22 witness, the OTP refused to do so, unlike the Defence who disclosed all
23 the interviews and statements of Defence witnesses to both the
24 Prosecution and the Trial Chamber. What is more, we even suggested that
25 the OTP interviews of Defence witnesses be admitted into evidence under
1 Rule 92 ter, an application that the Trial Chamber denied.
2 According, Your Honour, the interviews that the Prosecution claim
3 contain these inconsistencies in witness statements are not before you at
4 all. So, in fact, you should, if I may put it that way, make a leap of
5 faith and trust the Prosecution when they say that there are
6 inconsistencies and formulate your opinion of the value of their
7 testimonies accordingly. Let me recall that in the cases where the
8 Prosecution showed their witnesses the previous interviews, the witnesses
9 gave clear and compelling reasons and explanations accounting for certain
10 discrepancies in their answers. In fact, the very fact that the
11 witnesses -- that there are inconsistencies in their statements is an
12 indication that they tell the truth as established by the ICTY
13 jurisprudence in some earlier cases.
14 JUDGE HALL: Although the interpreters have not indicated they
15 have a problem, I suspect that you are going a bit too fast, so please
16 bear in mind that you have to be interpreted. Thank you.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I'm sorry -- I
18 apologise to the interpreters if I am rushing. I will keep a slower
20 [Interpretation] As far as I recall, there was only one case
21 where the Prosecution asked that one of their witnesses be declared a
22 hostile witness. To the best of my recollection, at no point during the
23 trial did they suggest that any of their witnesses were providing a false
24 testimony. This speaks volumes about how founded this OTP position is.
25 The Prosecution spoke about this yesterday at page 10 of the transcript
1 and reiterated their position from the final brief. I do not agree with
2 the assertion that the witnesses considerably changed their statements.
3 In my view, it was the case of the Prosecution teams who interviewed them
4 who were either not prepared sufficiently for these interviews, or, for
5 reasons known to them alone, failed to put crucial questions or address
6 material facts.
7 The Trial Chamber should always bear in mind that under such
8 circumstances, the statements of all these witnesses have to be
9 interpreted or translated and then they become documents.
10 Let me remind you of the case of Witness ST-187 who testified as
11 a 92 ter witness. The Defence interviewed the witness and it did so
12 several days before he took the stand because the Prosecution insisted
13 that we do it that way in order for them to have an opportunity to
14 additionally proof the witness for his testimony. In his testimony in
15 the Krajisnik case, the witness said that he was ordered to send the
16 dispatch of the 31st of March, 1992, which is P353, by Stanisic. The
17 Defence questioned the witness about this fact, and he reneged it, and he
18 testified as much in your presence, Your Honour. The Prosecution clearly
19 knew the Defence would be challenging this portion of his testimony from
20 the Krajisnik case because Stanisic himself denied it in his interview.
21 Instead, what happened, the night before the witness was to
22 appear, the proofing note did not contain a single word about this
23 particular change and the Defence counsel sent an e-mail to the
24 Prosecution -- was sent on this new development. And I'm sure you
25 remember that on the following day we had lengthy discussions about it in
2 However the gist of the matter is as follows: The Prosecution
3 never asked the witness to confirm this fact although they knew that he
4 spoke to the Defence and that it could be expected that the Defence would
5 be questioning him about it. This is a perfect example of the selective
6 approach adopted by the Prosecution which I believe is evident throughout
7 this case. The Prosecution developed a case theory suited to their own
8 needs, rather than the underlying evidence, and every interview that was
9 conducted with witnesses was aimed solely at confirming facts from that
10 imagined theory rather than eliciting credible information. This is
11 quite evident and can be readily seen in the contents of the final trial
12 brief of the Prosecution.
13 What poses a veritable problem for the Prosecution is the fact
14 that all these so-called insider witnesses were compelling. Their
15 testimonies were consistent with those of other witnesses who testified
16 to the same issues, and, more importantly, they were fully consistent
17 with the evidence both of the Prosecution and the Defence, with orders,
18 minutes from meetings and contemporaneous reports. That is the only
19 reason why at present the Prosecution is asking that you, Your Honours,
20 trust their witnesses in cases where it suits the OTP theory and to
21 mistrust them where that is not the case.
22 In their final brief, the Defence explicitly cited the portions
23 of testimonies of specific witnesses that cannot be accepted and
24 substantiated it with reasoning and evidence. We are convinced that the
25 Trial Chamber will, as stated on a number of occasions, assess the
1 totality of evidence and base their conclusions on that. We also believe
2 that the evidence can only be assessed in its entirety and we seek that
3 the testimony of these witnesses be assessed in correlation with the
4 evidence and testimonies of other witnesses on the same issues.
5 After all, it was the Prosecution who chose the witnesses to call
6 in their case and to base their case theory on. If they had any reason
7 to doubt the veracity of statements of these individuals who are now
8 being represented as alleged members -- as members of the alleged joint
9 criminal enterprise, then they should not have called them to begin with.
10 Now that we're on this issue, I'm sure that the Trial Chamber
11 also observed that the Prosecution did not call a single witness from the
12 MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a Muslim, to possibly refute the facts that
13 Stanisic related in his interview. In the course of his interview
14 Stanisic stated who were the colleagues from the former MUP of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina he spoke to, what they spoke about, and when. At
16 least several of them were mentioned during the interview, and they were
17 mentioned countless times during trial: Delimustafic, Hilmo Selimovic,
18 Mr. Pusina, Kemal Sabovic, Avdo Hebib. As far as I know, all of these
19 witnesses are alive and well and within easy reach of the OTP. These
20 witnesses could easily have testified to the facts related to Stanisic's
21 character, his alleged connections with the SDS, his alleged membership
22 of the JCE, the MUP -- the split in the MUP, and other facts on which the
23 Prosecution built their case.
24 At any rate, the Prosecution would not have had to, instead,
25 prove their points with evidence that had significantly less weight by
1 interpreting their probable contents. Nevertheless, the Prosecution
2 never invited any one of them, and chose to introduce Stanisic's
3 interview as evidence.
4 Yesterday, or, was it the day before, that Ms. Korner said at
5 page 42, that for obvious reasons you were unable to hear the testimony
6 of any of the members who were Muslims, members of the MUP BH. I don't
7 see why that would be so obvious. The only reasonable explanation for
8 such a position would be that in their contacts with the OTP, these
9 individuals confirmed what Stanisic said in his interview, and the
10 Prosecution did not call them because their testimonies confirming
11 Stanisic's interview would probably have fatal consequences for the
12 Prosecution case.
13 I suppose that was the only reason why they chose to call the
14 so-called insider witnesses so that in the event that their testimony did
15 not suit them they could suggest that the Trial Chamber should reject
16 their testimonies in their entirety. After all, this is what they did in
17 their final brief and what they reiterated in their closing arguments.
18 I will remind the Trial Chamber that several of the witnesses
19 called by the Defence were originally on the Prosecution list but were
20 subsequently withdrawn by the Prosecution.
21 Let us now move to the contents of the Prosecution final brief.
22 As follow-up to what I said so far, I will cite several examples of the
23 lack of consistency on the part of the Prosecution when it comes to what
24 they say in their final brief and the evidence that they adduced or their
25 misinterpretation in relation to the JCE.
1 On the issue of the JCE, at paragraphs 14 to 51, the Prosecution
2 speak about a clear pattern of conduct and the Defence deals with these
3 issues at paragraphs 89 to 97 of our final brief. Obviously all these
4 various occurrences that the Prosecution lists are viewed in full
5 isolation and outside of the context of the events in the former SFRY.
6 Once the right to self-determination was recognised to the peoples in the
7 Republic of Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia, under that same principle,
8 these rights had to be guaranteed to the other peoples including the
9 Muslims, Serbs and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The gist of it is that
10 there are reasons that are of a completely different nature but that are
11 equally rational and valid. There are other causes of these events that
12 need not necessarily be related to any sort of criminal plan. Therefore,
13 regional associations were created such as the ARK or Herceg-Bosna which
14 was created by the Croatian people at more or less the same time in a
15 manner that was quite legitimate and in accordance with the constitution
16 and laws. The Muslims were in favour of a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina and
17 did not create regional associations. Certain Serb regional associations
18 such as northern Bosnia have never really become operational, and this is
19 something the Prosecution did not dispute. Therefore, to assert that
20 regionalisation is part of the plan is something that is untenable. How
21 can one account for at least two facts that are contradictory? Namely,
22 that the Croats themselves were creating an identical association at the
23 same time and they were definitely not a part of the plan, and the fact
24 that some of the Serb regional associations that were allegedly so
25 important to the plan were not established at all or did not become
2 Similarly, the creation of parallel structures need not be
3 related in any way with the alleged plan. The evidence in the case file
4 indicates that this was a direct result of the violation of the
5 constitution committed to the detriment of the Serbs in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that the formation of the Assembly of the Serbian
7 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the subsequent plebescite were a
8 democratic responses on the part of one ethnicity to the fact that their
9 legitimate rights were denied as testified to by a number of witnesses
10 cited in paragraphs 93 and -- to 97 of our final brief. Propaganda and a
11 climate of fear are tools employed by all the media regardless of the
12 ethnicity they belonged to and invariably directed against members of
13 other ethnicities and that trend unfortunately emerged as early as in
14 1990, with the emergence of national parties throughout the SFRY, and
15 therefore this need not be the only logical explanation that that was the
16 part of an alleged plan.
17 I don't want to delve into an in depth analysis of the strategic
18 goals which are mentioned by the Prosecution at least in three places in
19 the final brief. I'm just going to present the facts which clearly show
20 that the conclusion by the Prosecution is not the only rational
21 explanation; namely, those strategic goals were defined for the first
22 time in mid-May 1992 when the war had already started. The list of those
23 goals was only published in 1993 and then that list became an official
24 document when it was published in the Official Gazette.
25 In the Prosecutor's reference with paragraph 43 it is stated or,
1 rather, one part of the Karadzic's speech is quoted and in that speech he
2 defined the goals and that speech was taken out of the context because
3 Karadzic says in there that the strategic goal of the SDS was a
4 three-partite Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that that goal had already been
5 achieved because it had been accepted by the European Union, by the
6 international community, by Cutileiro's agreement and this is a fact.
7 Strategic goal number 1 is quoted by the Prosecution in its
8 incomplete form because it omits to mention the word state. In the
9 speech, it is referred to the state separation from the other two people,
10 i.e., the creation of institutions in all of the three entities in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which, I believe, was a legitimate right of the
12 Croatian and Serbian peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were entitled
13 to taking their destiny into their own hands after the violation of the
14 constitution at the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina in October and
15 December 1991.
16 In paragraphs 52 to 62, the Prosecution speak or provides the
17 background for the creation of the RS MUP and the Defence deals with
18 these issues in paragraphs 44 through 88 and 98 through 161 of their
19 final brief.
20 Again, there is a very reasonable and very rational explanation
21 for the creation of the RS MUP which doesn't have to do -- anything with
22 the joint criminal plan. Namely, if a tripartite federation was created
23 based on negotiations and an agreement with the support of the
24 European Union, and if the entities were given the right to form certain
25 bodies, including the Ministry of Interior within such an organisation of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, then embarking on that was part of a legitimate
2 process which had been agreed.
3 The Dayton Agreement which was signed in 1995 provided for the
4 identical organisation which still exists. I'm sure that the Prosecution
5 do not want to apply the same standard to the Dayton Accord and they
6 don't want to put Dayton Accord into the context of the JCE. In light of
7 what the Prosecution said yesterday about the plan of the division of the
8 MUP, I would like to remind the Trial Chamber that the international
9 community had started negotiating with the warring parties in the former
10 SFRY already in the summer of 1991 and that the negotiations about the
11 future organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina started in September 1991 at
12 the latest; and, after that, Badinter's Commission started making
13 conclusions from 1991. In other words, Cutileiro Plan and Lisbon
14 agreements were actually only the end of the process which was launched
15 at least six months before that under the auspices of the international
17 Moreover, in paragraphs 63 to 68, the Prosecutor speaks about the
18 members of the criminal enterprise and provides conclusions without any
19 references in the footnotes; i.e., based on the same sort of
20 understanding and theory which the Prosecutor himself built without
21 relying on any evidence, on any piece of the evidence of 4.500, or the
22 transcript pages of over 27.000 pages. The day before yesterday,
23 Mr. Demirdjian said on page 14 that the JNA systematically distributed
24 weapons via the SDS within the framework of a well-orchestrated plan.
25 However, on page 54 on the same day, Ms. Korner said that even
1 before the Army of Republika Srpska had been established on the
2 12th of May, the MUP was the only armed force on which the Bosnian Serbs
3 could rely at the moment because they didn't know whether the JNA would
4 help them, whether the JNA would place themselves on their side in case
5 of conflict. The way I see it is the claim that the JNA was not part of
6 the plan, so I'm no longer sure what the position of the Prosecution is
7 on this issue.
8 In the part of the Prosecution brief entitled: Implementation of
9 the alleged plan, paragraph 69 through 85, I believe that one should
10 remember the findings of the Trial Chamber in the Galic case as a
11 preliminary legal issue. In paragraph 199, it was established that the
12 armed conflict started on the 6th of April, 1992, which is also the date
13 that the war crimes Tribunal in Bosnia and Herzegovina accepts in its
14 decisions; for example, designation number X-KR-05/58 and the appeals
15 decision X-KRZ-05/58.
16 In paragraphs 82 and 83 of their final brief, the Prosecution
17 speaks about the reports on the war victims by expert Ewa Tabeau and the
18 claim on the number of victims among civilians and soldiers. I believe
19 that the -- these claims have not been documented and cannot be relied on
20 in view of the serious faults of the CHS document that we came across.
21 It is indicative that the expert, Mrs. Tabeau, which is also an employee
22 of the Prosecution, did not have an opportunity to take a critical stance
23 and evaluate the accuracy of the information of the so-called victims
24 database of the Prosecution.
25 When it comes to the Prosecutor's final brief where the
1 Prosecutor deals with the implementation of the alleged plan in
2 municipalities, I will just provide a brief comment on those
3 municipalities which are not covered by the Zupljanin indictment because
4 I believe that the Zupljanin Defence will deal with that in quite detail.
5 Let me start by saying that there's no proof, that there's no
6 order by the RS MUP on any activity regarding the take-over of
7 municipalities. If the statement were -- by the Prosecution were correct
8 that the MUP was a hierarchical structure and that allegedly there was a
9 clear pattern of conduct with regard to the take-over of municipalities,
10 how is it then possible that there is no single order or instruction by
11 the RS MUP in that regard?
12 Your Honours, the first municipality that the Prosecutor deal --
13 deals with is Pale, and you saw from the evidence that Pale is one of the
14 municipalities of the city of Sarajevo. During the proceedings, it was
15 established that a lot of Serbs fearing the situation in Sarajevo fled
16 Sarajevo and ended in Pale.
17 Koroman was the chief of the SJB and he was appointed by
18 Minister Delimustafic. It is a fact. You also heard evidence and
19 testimonies that the take-over -- the police station at Pale was part --
20 or, rather, response to the situation at the SJB in Stari Grad from where
21 Chief Jahic expelled Serbs from the SJB, and all that happened before the
22 MUP of the Republika Srpska was even established.
23 In paragraph 104 which deals with the 400 people from Bratunac
24 which were brought to Pale, the allegations in this paragraph were
25 refuted by the testimony of another Prosecutor's witness, which was
1 explained in paragraph 500 of our final brief.
2 Paragraphs 109 to 124 of the final brief of the Prosecution deal
3 with the municipality of Bijeljina. The Defence brief deals with these
4 issues in paragraphs 487 through 494. Also, in paragraph 114, it is --
5 the statement in that paragraph is not founded, since Jesuric was
6 appointed chief of the SJB, or, rather, reappointed again by
7 Minister Delimustafic, and then from the position as the chief of the SJB
8 he became the chief of the CSB in the MUP of Republika Srpska.
9 P1409 speaks about the temporary appointment, starting with the
10 1st of April, whereas the appointment of the 15th of May is related to an
11 order which was issued on the 15th of May. And it is incorrect that that
12 appointment was permanent. We are explaining that in detail in our brief
13 in paragraphs 205 and 206.
14 The fact is that Jesuric was soon removed from that position and
15 the Prosecutor does not challenge that fact. Please look at P876.
16 In paragraph 116, dealing with the murders of Muslims in
17 Bijeljina and the murder of Muslims and families by Dusko Malovic in
18 September, the allegations are incorrect. If we look at what
19 Witness Adnan stated, and please look at document 1D97, we explain our
20 position in our brief in paragraphs 332 through 333 and 338 through 384.
21 I will re-visit this issue later.
22 And now onto paragraphs 117 through 119, where the Prosecutor
23 deals with Batkovic camp.
24 Your Honour, the police had nothing whatsoever to do with
25 Batkovic camp. It -- they did not have authority. They did not have the
1 any knowledge about that. Witness Adnan testified about that and there
2 is also evidence 1D730 that specifically confirms that. We deal with
3 this issue in our paragraphs 503 through 506 in our final brief. The
4 adduced evidence also confirmed that it was the police that liberated
5 Muslims from Mauzer's detention and arrested Mauzers and we speak about
6 that in paragraph 343 of our final briefly.
7 In paragraphs 136 through 144 the Prosecutor deals with Manjaca.
8 The Defence deals with these issues in paragraphs 503 through 506.
9 Your Honours, numerous reports about the work and the interviews of
10 military investigators in Manjaca were submitted to the military security
11 bodies. None of them were ever submitted to the MUP, and this all arises
12 from the evidence listed in footnote 988 of our final brief.
13 When it comes to Zvornik, the municipality of Zvornik, the
14 Prosecutor deals with that in paragraphs 145 through 156, and the Defence
15 deals with these issues in paragraphs 331, 472 through 486, 351 through
16 365, and 597.
17 And now onto Visegrad. The Defence deals with the issues of
18 Visegrad in paragraphs 373 and 469 of our final brief.
19 The Defence deals with the issues of Gacko in paragraphs 466
20 through 471, and 517 of our final brief.
21 When it comes to Visegrad, I would like to say that the
22 Prosecutor deals with the take-over of Visegrad and that the
23 Prosecution's allegations are a fabrication. The fact is that Visegrad
24 was taken over by the JNA and that there was a clear military need to do
25 that. Namely, several individuals occupied the dam and they threatened
1 that they would open the dam and all the settlements downstream of the
2 Drina river would be flooded.
3 In paragraph 182 of the Prosecutor’s brief, the allegations about
4 the Obrenovac detachment are incorrect. Obrenovac, Your Honours, is a
5 city in Serbia, some 30 kilometres away from Belgrade.
6 Indeed, Milan Lukic was a policeman there but he was a member of
7 the MUP of Serbia and the RS MUP did not have any authority whatsoever
8 over its members. For that reason, that group was attached to the
9 paramilitary group White Eagles as the Prosecution alleged.
10 Yesterday on page 50, Mr. Olmsted quoted Witness ST-79 and
11 confirmed precisely what I have just stated.
12 Paragraph 186 in the Prosecutor's brief contains an allegation --
13 a conclusion, according to which a report by Chief Perisic which was
14 submitted directly to the RS MUP, and it says in that report that the
15 police expressed a lack of professionalism. They're referring to P633.
16 I believe that this is very indicative and that it confirms the
17 assertions of the Defence. It is clear from the text that this is
18 actually the first report that was ever sent to the RS MUP from Visegrad.
19 It was sent in mid-July, to be more precise, on the 13 July. It was sent
20 by courier which means that there were no other means of communication.
21 And this document confirms that the local authorities appointed the
22 leading personnel of the SJB and it says furthermore that there were only
23 five active police officers there. That document also points to some
24 serious problems that the SJB had with paramilitary groups.
25 In paragraphs 368 through 373 of our final brief, we list all the
1 measures that were undertaken by Stanisic and the RS MUP with regard to
2 that part of Republika Srpska.
3 In the following paragraphs, namely, 188 through 210, the
4 Prosecutor deals with Bosanski Samac. The Defence deals with those
5 issues in paragraphs 492 through 453, 578 through 579, and 614 through
7 Two days ago, Mr. Demirdjian, on page 27307 of the transcript,
8 spoke about mass killings, and he mentioned the murder of 80 people in
9 Crkvine. A decision of this Tribunal in the Simic et al case for crimes
10 committed in Bosanski Samac, where I happened to be counsel so I'm very
11 familiar with the case and the decision, in that decision, in
12 paragraph 358, it is established that a total of 16 people were killed in
14 The indictment in this case, Annex 10.1, charges the murder of
15 18 people in Crkvine. I suppose that the Prosecutor misspoke or that he
16 made an unintentional mistake in the number. Paragraphs 228 through 250
17 deals -- deal with the municipality of Vlasenica. The allegations
18 proffered in these paragraphs do not correspond to the contents of the
19 evidence. During the proceedings, Your Honours, it was established, and
20 ST-179 testified about that, that he was appointed only on the
21 8th of August, 1992, as the chief of the SJB. The fact is that before
22 the 15th of May he never even set foot in the public security station
23 building because it had been attacked and taken over by paramilitary
24 formations. When he arrived he found a special attachment there as well
25 as a reservists' detachment.
1 The allegation in paragraph 228 according to which the chief
2 could report to his superiors in the CSB Sarajevo and the RS MUP about
3 what was going on in their municipality, including the massacre in Drum
4 and the beating at the SJB is absolutely incorrect. The evidence
5 referred to by the Prosecutor testified to quite the opposite. ST-179
6 testified that he had started to reporting to the -- his superiors only
7 after he was appointed on the 8th of August, 1992, which means nearly
8 four months from the start of the hostilities in the municipality.
9 The allegation presented in paragraph 236 of the Prosecutor's
10 brief where it says that when he was pressed, ST-179 agreed that the
11 police detachment that he had found there had been established pursuant
12 to Stanisic's order of 15 May. But this is incorrect. The witness on
13 several occasions during his testimony stated that that unit had been
14 established by the Crisis Staff, and that pursuant to a decision by the
15 Crisis Staff, it was attached to the SJB which neither him nor Bjelanovic
16 accepted. And that is on transcript page 7458.
17 In paragraph 234, the Prosecution claims on the basis of evidence
18 that that unit was established immediately after that -- after the
19 take-over of Vlasenica, i.e., in April 1992. So it remains, indeed,
20 unclear how come that the Prosecution concluded that it had been
21 established based on the order that was issued on the 15th of May, which
22 did not even exist at the time. It was established one month prior to
23 that order.
24 There is no proof that any information about the crimes committed
25 by this unit was ever sent to the RS MUP.
1 Your Honours, I'm looking at the time. The time is running out.
2 I'm going to skip a few municipalities that have been dealt with in our
3 final brief, and I will speak shortly about the municipality of Brcko.
4 I'm talking about paragraphs 302 through 325, and the relevant
5 paragraphs about -- of our issue are 328 through 330, and 347, 348 and
6 492 of the Defence brief.
7 In paragraph 315, the Prosecutor claims that Goran Jelisic was a
8 reserve policeman. You will remember, I hope, that during my opening
9 statement I suggested to Ms. Korner that the judgement of this Tribunal
10 in the Jelisic case did not establish that he was a member of the RS MUP.
11 The day before yesterday, Mr. Demirdjian showed some photos from Brcko on
12 page 27308, and he said the policeman killed three civilians in the
13 middle of the street, without stating the name of the policeman.
14 Your Honours, those are notorious photos depicting Goran Jelisic.
15 He documented his crime for posterity and he was convicted by this
16 Tribunal for this crime. It's very hard for me to believe that the
17 Prosecution doesn't know that. However, this is just yet another example
18 how the Prosecution case is built without any context. The Prosecution
19 relied on some lists of the alleged reserve policemen and we don't know
20 who made those list, when they were made. Your Honours, numerous
21 witnesses during the proceedings testified about the general mobilisation
22 and they said that chaos reigned supreme, that everybody who had some
23 clout or knew somebody in the municipality would be put on the lists of
24 the alleged reserve policemen in order to avoid being sent to the front
25 line. This is only logical and understandable. Even the well-known
1 criminals and psychopaths such as Celo, Prazina, on the one side, and, on
2 the other side, Jelisic and Cesic found themselves on such lists.
3 Now, what does that have to do with the MUP of Republika Srpska?
4 Because the MUP of Republika Srpska does not have those lists. The MUP
5 does not even have criminal records of those people because they were
6 destroyed. This is not the kind of evidence that the Trial Chamber can
7 rely on.
8 Another example is paragraph 321 where the Prosecution alleges
9 that the bulletin of the RS MUP of the 6th of May reports that there was
10 fierce fighting going on in Brcko. However, the evidence points that
11 civilians were being killed and not soldiers, and as reference, it states
13 If you look at that piece of evidence, and I kindly ask you to do
14 that, you will see that it only contains a statement that there
15 was fierce fighting going on, and that's all. Furthermore, the
16 Prosecution claims that the MUP ignored and covered up the killings of
17 non-Serbs in the same paragraph. However, Witness Ignjic
18 himself, that the Prosecution refers to, claims that on
19 the order of the chief of police, he performed forensic analysis of the
20 bodies and made records of that, and you will find this in Exhibit P144.
21 He also confirmed that there were investigations of those crimes and you
22 will find that on transcript page 1872.
23 So this is yet another case of incorrect and incomplete
24 presentation of -- over evidence.
25 Paragraph 325 is where the Prosecution claims that Avlijas was
1 told only about 226 bodies, and, furthermore, according to Ignjic's
2 testimony that was an attempt of the SJB Brcko to cover up a mass murder
3 of non-Serbs and that the SJB Brcko did not give him anything with which
4 he could carry out the forensic examination of the victims. This is
5 incorrect. Namely, the evidence speak about the opposite. Namely P393
6 is indeed Avlijas's report that he drafted in October 1992, and it says
7 in that report that due to the alarming information by the ICRC, that in
8 Brcko there were allegedly 2500 bodies. Avlijas checked the situation
9 and he was able to establish that there were 226 bodies that had been
10 buried and the documentation on the death and identification was kept,
11 and he suggests that the documentation should be submitted to the ICRC
12 and if the international organisation demanded, that exhumation should be
13 carried out.
14 The information about 226 victims which was presented in
15 October 1992 fits in with P146 where Witness Ignjic recorded up to
16 mid-July 1992 a total of 216 bodies. Ignjic was not shown P393 and he
17 never provided any comments on that exhibit. However, the witness
18 confirmed on transcript page 1921 that the forensic examination was not
19 done by the book but that was due to the war. Therefore, the OTP's
20 conclusion that this was an attempt on the part of the SJB Brcko to cover
21 up a mass murder is not correct because it is not corroborated by
22 evidence. Never after that, information about 2500 victims in Brcko was
23 either repeated or verified; i.e., the information was false.
24 Your Honour, I will now skip a few paragraphs, and I will go to
25 page 38. I'm saying this for the benefit of the interpreters.
1 When it comes to the implementation on the regional level, the
2 Prosecution deals with the CSB Sarajevo, and we deal with this issue in
3 our final brief in paragraphs 472 and 476. The allegation presented here
4 about the CSB Sarajevo - this is the Prosecutor's claim - according to
5 which the CSB Sarajevo mostly had good communication with the
6 subordinated SJBs is absolutely incorrect as may be concluded from the
7 overall evidence. This statement arises from the report from
8 October 1992 where it says literally that communication had been
9 established with all SJBs but that was only six months after the
10 beginning of hostilities. I will re-visit this issue when I talk about
12 In paragraphs 555 through 561, the Prosecution says that
13 Crisis Staffs functioned as the co-ordinators of municipal authorities,
14 the SDS, the central republican bodies, and the VRS, the police, and
15 other forces as well. Our detailed explanation on this issue may be
16 found in paragraphs 189 through 196 and 595 through 613. Again, this
17 conclusion is erroneous because the instruction for the work of the
18 Crisis Staffs which was issued by the government, which is P70, puts an
19 explicit ban on ordering the army and the police. Many witnesses,
20 including the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the
21 War Commissioner asserted that the Crisis Staffs were the biggest problem
22 and an obstacle to the functioning of central authorities and that they
23 did not have any control whatsoever over them.
24 It is for that reason that they were soon to be abolished or
25 rather there was a proposal for their abolishment. When that failed they
1 were transformed into War Presidency. Only ten days later, they were
2 transformed into War Commissions, and for the first time, commissioners
3 were appointed by the president of Republika Srpska. And this
4 all obviously points to the fact that this was done in order to
5 establish control so that the president of Republika Srpska could
7 Further on in the following paragraphs, the OTP obviously ignores
8 evidence and laws, lists all the decisions of the bodies which they
9 passed in keeping with their constitutional authorities, and the OTP
10 treats them erroneously as one part of the implementation of the plan.
11 For example, in paragraph 559 the Prosecution alleges that a National
12 Council of Defence was the predecessor of the Presidency of
13 Republika Srpska. This is not only absolutely incorrect and arbitrary,
14 but it could have been established beyond any doubt, had the Prosecution
15 taken the trouble to consult at least the Constitution of Republika
16 Srpska, if not the other regulations as well.
17 Within this chapter, as part of the implementation of the plan,
18 the Prosecution mentions the decisions such as the selection of the
19 vice-president of the government, the decision on the establishment of
20 civilian and military courts, and so on and so forth. This suggests that
21 the Republika Srpska was as a result of a -- of a criminal enterprise and
22 not the expression of legitimate needs and interests of the Serbian
23 peoples as was finally confirmed by the international community and the
24 Dayton Accord.
25 Your Honours, as I will be moving on to the criminal liability of
1 the accused, under his participation in the JCE, I suggest that we take
2 the break now, perhaps three minutes early, so that I can continue after
3 the break.
4 Thank you.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, before Your Honours rise, I did not
6 interrupt Mr. Zecevic at the time because I take the view that you should
7 wait until there is a break.
8 Your Honour, while a certain amount of hyperbole is to be
9 expected and not to be commented on, Mr. Zecevic this morning said, and
10 I'm just going back to -- I believe it's page 12. Sorry.
11 Yes, Your Honours, it's page 12, line 1:
12 "The Prosecution engages in an impermissible speculation in this
13 case in view of the facts. The Prosecution are oblivious to the fact
14 that although the Trial Chamber repeatedly called on them to disclose
15 previous statements or interviews of the viva voce witnesses, the OTP
16 refused to do so, unlike the Defence who disclosed all the interviews and
17 statements of Defence witnesses to both the Prosecution and the
18 Trial Chamber."
19 Leaving aside the true situation, Your Honours, what is being
20 suggested here, that we have deliberately flouted a Trial Chamber order
21 to disclose. We, therefore, ask for chapter and verse, rather than these
22 vague and utterly, we say, impermissible statements.
23 Your Honours, there are another matters I'm not seeking to -- at
24 the moment to apply for rebuttal, but this matter is too important, we
25 say, to leave. So we ask for chapter and verse.
1 JUDGE HALL: Well, in a similar vein, Ms. Korner, when
2 Mr. Zecevic was making those representations, he seemed to be criticising
3 the decisions of the Trial Chamber in terms of the admissibility of
4 certain evidence, and it's something on which the Trial Chamber either
5 would have spoken and made a decision, and therefore the parties are
6 bound by it, or it is -- and/or it is something which they could have
7 sought to appeal and didn't.
8 I was going to intervene but I -- inasmuch as just -- just as
9 with the criticism that you have identified in terms of what the
10 Prosecution would have done, he left that area and didn't return to it,
11 so I said nothing further about it at that point.
12 But in terms of the specific and -- and to use your words, the
13 almost inevitable, although unfortunate, hyperbole which one tends to
14 expect in closing arguments, the Prosecution having challenged this
15 assertion which, of course, is on the record, at some point, I expect
16 that the -- Mr. Zecevic, that you would either support it or withdraw it.
17 So we take the adjournment, to come back at 11.50.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.30 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.56 a.m.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before I continue, I
21 wish to apologise to the Trial Chamber and the OTP and, of course, the
22 interpreters. This was absolutely my mistake because I was too fast.
23 What Ms. Korner said was recorded in this transcript is not at all what I
24 wanted to say. We discussed this during the break, and I would provide
25 an explanation once I conclude my closing statements both to the
1 Trial Chamber and Ms. Korner. I will tell you what I had in mind and I
2 will give you the necessary references. But, in any case, I wish to
3 apologise now both to the Trial Chamber and the OTP because of this
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in view of the issue
8 of the criminal liability of the accused under JCE, that is to say, the
9 joint criminal enterprise, the Defence deals with these issues in
10 paragraphs 636 through 651 and 664 through 670 of our final brief.
11 In the Prosecution final brief, in paragraphs 601 through 607,
12 the Prosecution deals with the claim that Stanisic contributed to the
13 common plan. We state our arguments in paragraph --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Can the counsel please repeat the number of
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] The paragraphs are 27 through 43
17 of our final brief.
18 The Prosecution claim that Stanisic allegedly provided crucial
19 information from his position in the Sarajevo SUP. There is no reference
20 what information they have in mind. No evidence on any information from
21 the Sarajevo SUP was ever presented; therefore, this claim has no
22 foundation whatsoever. It is certainly true that the Presidency and the
23 president of Republika Srpska could have information from a much higher
24 level, the Ministry of the Interior, such as Zepinic or Mandic;
25 therefore, a higher positioned official than Mico Stanisic.
1 In paragraph 602 of the Prosecution final brief, there is a claim
2 that Mico Stanisic was a member of the SDS, and then that he was
3 supported by Karadzic when he was under investigation for providing
4 weapons to the SJB Pale and Ilidza.
5 The reference for these claims are two intercepts of telephone
6 conversations between Mandic and Karadzic in which Mandic provides
7 information that Mandic informs Karadzic in one part that investigation
8 against Mico Stanisic is unfounded because he was doing everything in
9 accordance with the law, as established. Both the Defence and
10 Mico Stanisic personally claim that he was never a member of the SDS.
11 Once again, there is an inconsistency on part of the Prosecution here.
12 If I understood well Ms. Korner, on page 2743 [as interpreted],
13 yesterday, when she talked about Zupljanin, she said the following:
14 "There is no direct evidence that he was a member of the SDS, as
15 opposed to Stanisic."
16 It is on page 27343. However, yesterday on the closing arguments
17 on page 22 of yesterday's transcript, Mr. Hannis said: We believe that
18 he was a member of the SDS. Even if he was not a member of the SDS, he
19 was certainly a sympathiser, an important associate or supporter, in
20 other words, Your Honour, there is no evidence that Mico Stanisic was,
21 indeed, a member. Therefore, this is quite contrary to the claim
22 made in the final brief.
23 We do not dispute that all parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 supported the members of their ethnic groups and their cadres but that
25 was because of nationality rather than because of their political
1 affiliation. After all, the Trial Chamber is well aware of our position
2 with regard to intercepts as evidence which we treat in paragraphs
3 6 and 48 of our final brief.
4 I will move to page 45.
5 In paragraph 605, it is claimed that Stanisic had a key role in
6 the ethnic split in the MUP, and Karadzic's words are quoted as evidence
7 for this claim. So, Your Honours, I will ask you to look at
8 paragraph 605 of the Prosecution final brief and have a look at
9 Karadzic's words which, as I claim, are unclear. It is not clear whether
10 they referred to Zepinic or to Stanisic, and it is also a fact that no
11 witness testified about this or commented on it.
12 A check-point at Vrace and Grbavica is mentioned there, and it is
13 our position that the claim which the Prosecution makes cannot be founded
14 on this. The situation is the same with the Prosecution conclusion about
15 the document, Variants A and B, because there is really no evidence that
16 Mico Stanisic ever received such a document. The fact that someone wrote
17 several names on the back side of the document, including Stanisic 's
18 name, really does not mean that Stanisic did receive this document.
19 The next Prosecution subtitle is Stanisic participated in the
20 formation of bodies and forces that implemented the forcible take-over of
21 the municipalities.
22 Paragraph 609 contains the claim that during the first two
23 meetings of the ministerial council, it was decided to establish an
24 ethnically divided MUP and this was weeks before the Cutileiro Plan. The
25 references are to the two meetings of the ministerial council in which
1 not a single word was spoken about splitting the Ministry of the
2 Interior. I believe that this is another example of misrepresentation
3 and misquotation of evidence. After all, I recently spoke about the fact
4 that discussions about tripartite Bosnia-Herzegovina had been conducted
5 beginning in September 1991 under the auspices of -- or, rather, with the
6 pressure exerted by the international community.
7 In paragraph 611 of the Prosecution final brief, the claim is
8 made that at a subsequent meeting, and then under brackets, probably late
9 March, Mico Stanisic instructed leading member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 MUP to disobey any orders issued by their superiors if they are of Muslim
11 ethnicity and if they were contrary to the interests of the Serbian
12 people. The reference given there is the testimony of Witness Scekic,
13 and the reference given for this claim is transcript page 6528 through
14 6529. However, this is another instances of misquotation of the contents
15 of the witness's evidence. Namely, the witness discusses this meeting on
16 the following pages of the transcript: 6528 through to 6533, and then
17 6572 and 6573, and then again answering the questions by the
18 Trial Chamber on page 6587, and, finally, on pages 6590 and 6592. Once
19 you read all the relevant sections of the transcript, you can see that
20 his testimony is the following: That the meeting was most probably held
21 in early April, that it was chaired by Dragan Kijac, it was a brief
22 meeting, and Dragan Kijac was the one who informed those present rather
23 than Mico Stanisic. The witness also said that he is not certain whether
24 Mico Stanisic was introduced at the meeting as the future minister of the
25 MUP of Republika Srpska or as the person who was already the minister.
1 So even in this case, in our view, the contents of the testimony is
2 misrepresented and misquoted.
3 In paragraph 613 of the Prosecution's final brief, it is claimed
4 that the barricades set up on the 1st of March were apparently an attempt
5 to disrupt the pending referendum. Let me just mention one fact here. I
6 thought that it was not in dispute because taking into account the
7 exhibits in this case, the referendum was held as early as on the
8 29th of February. Therefore, the claim that the barricades were an
9 attempt to disrupt it are unfounded. After all, we have heard what the
10 reasons were, and this is all contained in the exhibits. I mean, the
11 reasons for setting up the barricades.
12 And just to mention this for the sake of interpreters, I will now
13 move onto page 50.
14 Another claim in the Prosecution final brief is that Stanisic
15 communicated and co-ordinated with the Serbian political leaders. These
16 are paragraphs 627 through to 637.
17 Paragraph 629, the reference given for this claim about alleged
18 communication is an alleged intercept. However, once this document is
19 analysed, one can see that this is a transcript made by someone who took
20 notes for a while, noting what the persons engaged in the conversation
21 said, and then the person noting it all provides his own comments and
22 then continues quoting what the interlocutors originally said.
23 Inter alia, it is evident from the contents that Mico Stanisic complained
24 because Mr. Koljevic, who was a member of the Presidency, interfered or,
25 rather, publicly said something that was confidential in connection with
1 an investigation that was conducted by the ministry.
2 Your Honours, it is normal, I believe, and cannot be considered
3 an element of the JCE or anything similar if the minister of the interior
4 is called by the prime minister or members of the Presidency. It is a
5 fact that at that time Stanisic holds a public office and he cannot,
6 in any way, avoid being called by someone on the telephone. The further
7 claim that he was connected with paramilitaries with a reference to
8 the testimony of once of the witnesses is, once again, erroneous, if you
9 take into account the totality of this witness's testimony. Namely, the
10 witness confirmed that he received this information from General Mladic
11 and that therefore he had no direct knowledge. We deal with this
12 issue in our brief in paragraphs 334 through to 350.
13 Answering to Prosecution questions, the witness then claimed that
14 Mico Stanisic gave him carte blanche to take legal measures against all
15 paramilitaries and arrest them. Asked specifically about Arkan, the
16 witness insisted that Mico Stanisic had never told him not to arrest
17 Arkan or anyone else, and that he would have done this with pleasure if
18 he had had the chance. This is on transcript pages 13625 and 13626.
19 After all, Your Honours, there is even not a single piece of
20 evidence that Arkan was present in Sarajevo in 1992 in the first place.
21 For the needs of interpreters, I will now move to page 53.
22 The claims contained in the Prosecution final brief in
23 paragraphs 646 through to 648, I believe that Stanisic made it possible
24 to facilitate the establishment and operation of detention facilities
25 where non-Serb detainees were mistreated and killed. We deal with this
1 issue in paragraphs 511 through to 516 of our final brief.
2 As for the claim that Stanisic was aware of and supported the
3 role of the police in establishing and operating detention facilities at
4 which non-Serbs were held, which is contained in the Prosecution final
5 brief, paragraphs 649 through to 660, I will just comment on this. I
6 already said that we deal with this issue in specific paragraphs of our
7 final brief. I have given you the reference. But the claim contained in
8 paragraph 650, once again, in our view, represents a misinterpretation of
10 There is, again, a reference to an intercept, and we already
11 noted our position with regard to intercepts and their value. However,
12 the Prosecution claims, based on the transcript of the intercept, cannot
13 be accepted as they are a product of the Prosecution's selective
14 interpretation. Namely, from the transcript of the document P1115, we
15 cannot conclude with certainty what the word "fine" refers to in either
16 instance which the Prosecution quotes. Namely, the word "fine" can be a
17 mere speech filler without any actual meaning or confirmation that he can
18 hear his interlocutor, rather than an expression of his approval.
19 After all, Your Honours, when I reviewed the document, believe
20 me, I established that a reply consisting of the word "fine" is repeat 24
21 times throughout this document, including contexts which certainly could
22 not denote approval because they refer to the incursion of Muslim units,
23 and so on and so forth.
24 Let me use this occasion to make a comment. The greatest problem
25 with such evidence is precisely that the meaning can be this or that, and
1 neither of the participants in this conversation testified, providing the
2 actual context of the conversation and what the answers referred to,
3 which leaves room for speculation and for different interpretations.
4 In the Defence view, this is impermissible, and this is why, in
5 our final brief and during the Defence case, in principle, we did not
6 rely on intercepts. After all, during his interview with the
7 Prosecution, the OTP did not confront Mico Stanisic with the -- these
8 intercepts in order to establish the context of this conversation and ask
9 for an explanation of the contents.
10 I will now move on to page 56.
11 The claim related to the same topic, which is contained in
12 paragraph 654, that, clearly, the RS MUP was aware that civilians were
13 detained is, once again, an erroneous conclusion. Namely, the
14 Prosecution claims in this paragraph of its final brief that the
15 awareness followed the collegium meeting held on the 11th of July, 1992,
16 in Belgrade which the Defence does not dispute. However, the Prosecution
17 still claims that such an awareness existed even earlier, that the RS MUP
18 was aware of all these things, and then they link that with instructions
19 which are Exhibit P568, which allegedly confirms such a conclusion of the
21 Later on, in its final brief, the Prosecution does say that the
22 instruction is of a general nature and insufficient. However, it is a
23 fact that the witness who is the author of this document explained in
24 detail the context and the reasons for sending such an instruction. He
25 explained that the reminder of the application of the rules of the
1 international law of war and the strict observation of the law was caused
2 precisely by the existence of an armed conflict in the territory and that
3 no -- that he had no information about detained civilians at the moment.
4 Therefore, once again, the conclusion which the Prosecution has drawn is
5 not founded on evidence. The paragraphs of our final brief in which we
6 deal with this issue are 394 through to 396.
7 Further on, it is claimed that Stanisic aided in the government's
8 cover-up of the detention facilities. The relevant paragraphs of our
9 final brief dealing with this issue are 511 through to 517. In the
10 Prosecution claim in 664 that, allegedly, these orders failed to provide
11 details on how the police were to implement these orders or verify that
12 they complied with them, as a result, non-Serb civilians continued to be
13 held and mistreated, is really completely erroneous. Namely, as we
14 explain in our final brief, and as I will touch on later during my
15 closing arguments, such a conclusion is completely wrong.
16 As far as this issue is concerned, please review the documents
17 1D563, 1D55, 1D56, and 1D57. On the basis of these exhibits, and, of
18 course, the testimony of witnesses, you will conclude that once he
19 learned about this, Stanisic requested that, in all instances when the
20 police detained persons, they should be immediately released and granted
21 freedom of movement, that the police should immediately stop securing POW
22 camps and collection centres and leave it to the military, because the
23 army was in charge of that. In accordance with that, as we can see from
24 all these exhibits, Mico Stanisic ordered that an investigation be
25 conducted, collection of evidence, and filing of criminal reports.
1 Let me remind you that in one of these documents, 1D57 -- I hope
2 you can have a look at it. 1D57, says the following:
3 "The name of the place where the detention camp" --
4 Mico Stanisic, that is to say, the RS MUP:
5 "Requests the following:
6 "Regardless of jurisdiction, it is necessary that you provide the
7 following data:"
8 Under 1, "the name of the place."
9 Under 2, "who ordered that the institution in question be
10 established and when."
11 Under 3, "who gave the order for people to be brought to these
12 detention camps, collections centres and prisons."
13 Then, "the number of imprisoned people and the number of persons
15 I think that this sufficiently tells us what Mico Stanisic was
16 aware of and what the position of the MUP of Republika Srpska about this
17 issue was.
18 Further on, the Prosecution claim that Stanisic failed to take
19 adequate measures to protect the non-Serb population and ensure that
20 crimes committed against them were investigated and prosecuted is
21 something that we deal with in paragraphs 378 through to 380, 388 through
22 to 393, and 664 through to 670 of our final brief. So, due to the short
23 time at my disposal, let me not repeat our arguments now.
24 The Prosecution claim made in paragraphs 671 through to 675 that
25 Stanisic had the duty to act is something that we deal with -- deal with
1 in paragraphs 231 through to 245, and 394 through to 408 of our final
3 However, let me comment on this and specifically paragraph 675 of
4 the Prosecution final brief, in which they claim that there is an
5 obligation to ensure that a transfer of prisoners of war to another agent
6 will not diminish the protection the prisoners are entitled to.
7 The Prosecution claims that Stanisic was responsible, regardless
8 of whether the investment or responsibility was made through a
9 legislative enactment of a superior order or as a result of him finding
10 himself with de facto custody over the detainees. This claim from
11 paragraph 675 is linked also with paragraphs 690 and 664 of the
12 Prosecution final brief.
13 For this position, the Prosecution refers to the Mrksic Appeal
14 Judgement. However, Your Honours, this reference to the Mrksic Appeal
15 Judgement is, firstly, a completely erroneous interpretation of the
16 Judgement. Firstly, the facts in the Mrksic case are completely
17 different. Namely, the accused, to whom this section of the
18 Appeals Judgement refers, was on the site and present while the TO
19 members were mistreating the victims. It is therefore evident that he
20 was aware of the possible consequences of transferring prisoners to such
21 a group, and the Trial Chamber was well aware of this. That was why it
22 found him guilty and sentenced him, which, of course, is not the case
23 here because Stanisic was very far removed.
24 As for this conclusion from the Mrksic Appeal Judgement which the
25 Prosecution refers to, the Appeals Chamber, in paragraph 71 of the
1 Appeal Judgement -- I have to place it into the appropriate context
2 because the Prosecution fails to do so. The Appeal Judgement --
3 therefore, in paragraph 71 of the Appeal Judgement recalls that both the
4 TO and the JNA were agents within one and the same command structure
5 under the command of the Supreme Defence Council, which is not the case
6 here, because the police was not that. Therefore, this position of the
7 Appeals Chamber evidently relates to agents within one and the same
8 command structure.
9 Further, this position relates to the obligation of one agent to
10 ensure that when transferring prisoners to another agent -- will not
11 diminish the rights that the prisoners are entitled to. In other words,
12 the agent must be aware that the agent receiving the prisoners will
13 observe the rights guaranteed to prisoners. In contrast to the Ovcara
14 case where the military police delivered prisoners of war to a group in
15 which, as the Court established, anarchy and violence reigned which did
16 not have clear command structure within the unit, in this case, police
17 handed over the prisoners to the only organ and agent of the state
18 authorised by law, i.e., the Army of Republika Srpska which, as the
19 police knows, pays special attention in its rules to the protection of
20 prisoners of war.
21 In addition to this, it is not disputed that, at the moment, the
22 MUP of Republika Srpska was aware of the instructions of the
23 Supreme Commander and the Ministry of Defence, about strict observation
24 of the international humanitarian law and specific Geneva Conventions.
25 It is also especially important that regulations, and I mean the Law on
1 Military Courts, gives jurisdiction over POWs only to military judiciary.
2 As for the detainees who do not have the status of POWs but who
3 have been arrested, they are transferred to the Ministry of Justice,
4 which, according to the law, is in charge of holding and detaining
5 prisoners in official penal and correctional facilities and prisons, the
6 operation of which is strictly regulated by the rules, just like the
7 obligations and responsibilities with regard to prisoners.
8 Therefore, in this instance, even if we consider that there is an
9 obligation to ensure that the rights guaranteed to prisoners will be
10 observed by other agents, and I mean the military and the
11 Ministry of Justice, this request has absolutely been met.
12 Further, the Prosecution claims in paragraphs 676 and 683 that
13 Stanisic had the ability to act. The Defence position about these issues
14 is expressed in paragraphs 381 through to 387, 416 through to 427, and
15 583 through to 594 of our final brief.
16 In paragraph 681 of its final brief, the Prosecution makes a
17 claim which is, again, erroneous. Namely, the Prosecution here claims
18 that Mico Stanisic was -- that a lack of expert staff in the police was
19 the result of his own doing, meaning Mico Stanisic, and that this problem
20 that the MUP of Republika Srpska had was a problem of their own doing.
21 However, once again, this claim is unfounded. The evidence
22 shows, and we give references in the paragraphs which I already
23 mentioned, that Stanisic requested that absolutely everyone should stay
24 and decide voluntarily whether they would remain in the Republika Srpska
25 MUP or not. Let me remind you of a document which is dated the
1 1st of April, 1992, and these are the minutes from the collegium which
2 deal with this, the agreement which was reached at the collegium of the
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP, precisely with regard to these issues.
4 Further, the obligations which are defined by law, such as the
5 obligation to take the solemn oath certainly cannot be changed by a
6 minister's decision. This is also true about the official insignia of
7 the republic, such as the flag, or the insignia. Really, objectively
8 speaking, this all outside the minister's power.
9 In paragraph 684, there is again an evident error or a
10 misinterpretation of the evidence. In any case, the result is a
11 misquotation in the Prosecution footnote 2417, in which it is claimed
12 that Exhibit P190 dates from November 1992, though it actually bears the
13 date the 19th of July. I will return to this document later on and then
14 I will show this to you.
15 The Prosecution claim made in paragraphs 692 through to 696 of
16 their final brief, namely, that Stanisic focuses his resources on
17 combatting looting of state property of Republika Srpska. This is
18 something that we deal with in our final brief in paragraphs 207 through
19 to 222, and paragraphs 231 through to 245.
20 As the Trial Chamber is well aware of, as this has been
21 established during the case, the Ministry of the Interior deals with all
22 forms of crime, and that is his -- its duty according to the law. Once
23 again, this is a characteristic instance of interpretation by the
24 Prosecution where they interpret evidence outside of any context.
25 Namely, Republika Srpska was established, but, clearly, its fiscal organs
1 did not exist, nor was a financial system in existence. Therefore, the
2 state had no income from taxes or similar levies and it was at war.
3 There was no economic production in Republika Srpska at the time because
4 of the war. The only thing that existed were the factories and the big
5 enterprises which needed to be preserved. It is completely normal that a
6 state has an interest to protect its property of great value, such as the
7 TAS factory and several thousand cars. Document P239 deals with that and
8 the deputy prime minister, Mr. Trbojevic, also testified about this. He
9 even said that for this reason the government established a commission to
10 deal with such issues. Exhibit 1D98 is Djeric's letter, that is to say,
11 the letter of the prime minister, addressed to Mr. Kljajic in which he
12 requests information about looting of state property.
13 Considering the totality of evidence and the fact that in -- many
14 evidence presented before the Trial Chamber, it is stated that the
15 priority in the police work were war crimes. The Prosecution claim that
16 Stanisic focussed on combatting looting of state property is evidently
17 wrong. Mr. Macar, who was a witness, testified that the police work
18 cannot be measured by the time spent on a specific case. After all, as
19 you will see later on, Stanisic's letter to Djeric, which is P190, does
20 not talk about TAS or other instances of the looting of property but only
21 about war crimes.
22 As for the claim that Stanisic focussed his resources on
23 documenting and investigating war crimes against Serbs, which the
24 Prosecution deals with in paragraphs 697 through to 702 of its final
25 brief, I will give you a reference because the Defence explains its
1 arguments in detail in paragraphs 409 through to 415 of our final brief.
2 As for Stanisic's action against the Yellow Wasps, which the
3 Prosecution references in paragraphs 703 to 712 of their final brief, and
4 which the Defence addresses in paragraphs 351 to 365 of our final brief,
5 the totality of the evidence presented at trial in relation to this
6 action is completely disregarded and ignored. In the course of their
7 closing arguments yesterday, the Prosecution addressed this issue, and
8 specifically at pages 62 to 63 of the transcript, Mr. Olmsted followed up
9 on what Mr. Hannis had to say on this issue the day before; i.e., that
10 Witness Macar was not a credible witness, in other words, a Defence
12 Interestingly enough, there was another witness, Witness Andan
13 who testified to this issue and there were a number of Prosecution
14 witnesses who testified the same way Witness Macar did. However, their
15 credibility is not raised.
16 Further, the Prosecution quote Exhibit P403, and they say that
17 the issues of war crimes were not raised, only looting. But evidently
18 the Prosecution forget P1539, a Prosecution Exhibit, and it is a record
19 of the statement made in relation to war crimes. After all, the fact of
20 the matter is, Your Honours, that brothers Vuckovic were indicted and
21 convicted of war crimes as a result of a report and documentation
22 gathered in the course of this particular investigation. The fact that
23 they were convicted in Serbia, and they are -- they are nationals of
24 Serbia, only speaks about the fact that the justice administration, the
25 judiciary, did not function in Republic of Serbia -- in Republika Srpska,
1 which is something that the Defence have advanced as their position
2 throughout and something that Mr. Stanisic himself spoke of in the course
3 of 1992.
4 As for the allegations made at paragraphs 709 and 710 about the
5 alleged reasons behind the action against the Yellow Wasps, I think that
6 Witness ST-179 clearly explained his positions and dilemmas on this
7 issue, on the issue of the related incidents. After all, the evidence
8 demonstrates that Stanisic had been preparing the action against the
9 Yellow Wasps for sometime. You will recall that Zugic of the
10 National Security Service was charged by Stanisic as early as in May to
11 start collecting information and evidence related to the Yellow Wasps.
12 Furthermore, the Prosecution fully disregard the evidence that the
13 special police unit, together with a unit -- detachment of the federal
14 SUP, went to Brcko before going to Zvornik to deal with the paramilitaries
15 there. We have written evidence and we have Mica Davidovic and
16 Dragan Andan and many other witnesses testifying to that effect. After
17 Brcko, they went to Bijeljina on the same business. They clashed with
18 Chetnik units, with Mauzer, and at that point they went to Zvornik. They
19 were supposed to go to Foca and Visegrad, but for the reasons known to
20 the Trial Chamber that were told by Witness Andan they were unable to
21 do so because Serbia would not allow them to transit their territory.
22 At the end of the year, that same special unit went to Trebinje,
23 Gacko, Rudo, and Cajnice, in other words, the south-western part of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, on that same business; namely, to arrest, to prevent
25 the activities of, and prosecute these paramilitary units.
1 When it comes to the responsibility under other forms of
2 responsibility -- under other forms of liability, rather, that the
3 Prosecution address in their brief, starting from paragraph 809. I will
4 say this briefly because we deal with the topic in paragraphs 625 to 663
5 of our final brief.
6 At paragraph 809, the Prosecution say only that the Prosecution
7 proved that Mico Stanisic instigated crimes. The fact of the matter is
8 that instigation is not only addressed, but it isn't even mentioned in
9 any of the other paragraphs of the final brief. Therefore, this
10 conclusion, as was the case with many other Prosecution conclusions, do
11 not relate to facts, to all intents and purposes.
12 When it comes to aiding and abetting, as I said, the issue was
13 addressed in our paragraphs between 652 to 663 so I will not
14 repeat that.
15 Under the issue of superior responsibility, we explained our
16 position in paragraphs 671 to 686 of our final brief.
17 I would like to say a few words about this issue.
18 For interpreters, it's page 67.
19 Where the Prosecution say that the accused had effective control
20 over their subordinates, they substantiate their claim with the following
21 statements: That the accused exercised administrative authority over a
22 highly organised and hierarchical police forces. The position of the
23 Defence on this issue is contained at paragraphs 529 to 537 of our final
25 The other assertion made by the Prosecution on effective control
1 says that the accused had strict control over information. The position
2 of the Defence on this issue was explained in detail in paragraphs 261 to
3 278, and 279 to 284 of our final brief.
4 The Defence brief provides a detailed analysis of the quality of
5 the existing communications as well as the amount and quality of
6 information reaching the RS MUP. The assertion made by the Prosecution
7 that the system of informing and reporting was satisfactory and
8 operational is simply hard to believe, in view of the totality of
9 evidence which speak to the contrary.
10 Can you please look at slide 5 now. It's a graph that we made on
11 the basis of the testimonies of Witnesses Pejic and Kezunovic, as well as
12 based on Exhibit P265 and 1D338. I believe that the graph clearly shows
13 what the situation was in the relevant period, objectively speaking.
14 The accused had the authority to undertake criminal and
15 disciplinary procedures against subordinates. This assertion was made at
16 paragraphs 860 -- 850 to 862.
17 Now, the position of the Defence is -- is expounded at
18 paragraphs 538 to 563 of our Defence brief. I have to stay with this
19 issue for a while.
20 Give me a moment, please.
21 [Defence counsel confer]
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 It is beyond dispute that it is the duty of a superior to take
24 necessary and appropriate measures within his power. That would, by the
25 very nature of things, include the initiation of a criminal procedure if
1 the instant case includes criminal responsibility. However, when it
2 comes to superior responsibility within the Ministry of Interior, the
3 situation is quite specific. Such an authority to undertake a criminal
4 investigation or a criminal procedure is vested with all the authorised
5 officials of the Ministry of the Interior who are duty-bound under the
6 law to initiate a procedure as soon as they learn of the perpetration of
7 a crime. This is something that we address in paragraphs 381 to 387 of
8 our final brief.
9 Therefore, this duty, possibility, or authority to file criminal
10 reports, which arises from the law, has no cause-and-effect relationship
11 with their command position or any other post within the hierarchy of the
12 ministry. Since such an authority is vested with a rather large number
13 of individuals, as I say, regardless of their place within the hierarchy,
14 in my view, the question that the case law will have to give an answer to
15 is whether this authority can, in this sense, be considered to be an
16 authority strictly related to superior responsibility or not; of course,
17 within the context of the Ministry of Interior.
18 On the other hand, in view of the fact that there is a wide
19 circles of individuals who are vested with the same authority and in view
20 of the obligation that exists under the law that in every single case
21 they have to exercise this authority and initiate a criminal
22 investigation, the question is: Does a minister have any reasonable
23 basis on which he should doubt that the subordinates within the ministry,
24 authorised officials, are using and exercising this authority in view of
25 the imperative obligation that they have under the law? And I mean these
1 authorised officials.
2 I believe that there is foundation in the position whereby it can
3 be reasonably presumed -- or, rather, that the minister can reasonably
4 presume that his subordinates are exercising this authority because they
5 are duty-bound to do so under the law.
6 In that context, the Prosecution position comes as a surprise to
7 the Defence -- or, rather, their suggestion. Because they seem to
8 suggest that it is the minister of the interior who should be the one to
9 file criminal reports and that would, indeed, in my view, be excessive,
10 in view of the context of the entire situation.
11 Therefore, it is our position that the only thing that can come
12 under command responsibility - and that would be strictly in keeping with
13 the Law on Internal Affairs - is the authority to undertake disciplinary
14 procedures and not the authority to undertake a criminal procedure.
15 The assertion made at paragraph 852 of the Prosecution final
16 brief where it is stated that even where a policeman voluntarily resigned
17 from the police on account of a serious disciplinary offence, he is -- he
18 was still subject to disciplinary procedure. This is one of the examples
19 that I drew your attention to at the very start of my submissions today.
20 The Prosecution references this assertion with Witness Rodic. That's
21 transcript T8902 to 8903. However, shortly before the answer quoted here
22 by the Prosecution, this is what Mr. Olmsted asked the witness, and I'll
23 quote it so it will be in English:
24 [In English] "Q. You discussed a couple of issues with regard
25 to -- about the police officer who resigns during the process of
1 disciplinary proceedings, and, therefore, the disciplinary proceedings
2 are cancelled. Do you recall that at the beginning of the session?
3 "A. Yes."
4 [Interpretation] Therefore, not only does the Prosecution in this
5 particular case quote a portion of the testimony that would lead to an
6 erroneous conclusion but also by the very nature of things, the
7 conclusion is pointless.
8 Your Honours, it is not possible to carry out a single
9 disciplinary measure envisaged by the law unless the individual in
10 question is an employee of the police. This because all these
11 disciplinary measures relate to and arise from the individual's
12 employment, such as pay cuts, transfers to a different post, or, as the
13 severest measure under the law, termination of employment with the
15 Therefore, if, where a procedure is initiated against an
16 individual, the individual voluntarily resigns from the police, what
17 sense would it make to initiate a procedure? It would be moot and a
18 waste of time and resources. Because the effect that -- the outcome that
19 could be the result of such a procedure has already been achieved through
20 his departure from service.
21 In relation to the positions as stated in the Prosecution final
22 brief at paragraphs 863 to 870 which relate to the assertion that the
23 Crisis Staffs did not diminish the effective control that the accused
24 had, I wish to state that the Defence addressed these issues at
25 paragraphs 595 to 613. The assertion made at 867 reads:
1 "The appointments made by the Crisis Staffs were considered to be
2 the proposals on which the RS MUP -- what the RS MUP considered when
3 making a final determination," and in our view it amounts to the
4 misinterpretation of evidence.
5 The evidence confirms that the local organs were the ones who
6 made appointments within the Ministry of the Interior regardless of what
7 the positions of the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska were.
8 They were made completely without the knowledge of the RS MUP and, in
9 some cases, the chiefs that had been appointed by the RS MUP were
11 You can read more about that in our brief. I do not wish to
12 reiterate our positions, but I do ask Their Honours to read the relevant
14 The last topic before our break will be the assertion that the
15 Army of Republika Srpska did not diminish the effective control of the
16 accused. The Prosecution addressed the matter at paragraphs 871 to 880
17 of their final brief, and the Defence presented their positions at
18 paragraphs 223 to 230 of our final brief.
19 The most interesting issue here that I would like to mention in
20 my arguments is the issue of the existence of a parallel chain of
21 command, as indicated by the Prosecution at paragraph 639 of the final
22 brief. That's where they mention the issue for the first time. Such a
23 parallel system of command is, in my view, key to proving the existence
24 of other independent authorities who had effective control over RS MUP
25 members. In other words, in support of a position that is the opposite
1 of what the Prosecution contend.
2 Your Honours, if we accept that there is a strict hierarchical
3 structure within the MUP of Republika Srpska, as the Prosecution claim,
4 and if the MUP was, indeed, the way the Prosecution claimed it was,
5 that's to say, a part of a criminal plan, why would it be necessary in
6 that case to form a parallel structure within that same alleged plan, as
7 indicated by the Prosecution? Why would that be necessary?
8 If you have a MUP which is part of a joint -- a common criminal
9 plan and there is a common chain of command, and the Prosecution claim
10 that this sort of MUP is a part of a criminal plan, why would that
11 criminal plan also include a parallel structure? What would be the
12 rationale? What would be the reason for something like that?
13 Your Honours, it is our position that the MUP was not a member of
14 the joint criminal enterprise as a hierarchical structure. According to
15 the evidence, there is an explicit request that the government sent to
16 the Crisis Staffs in its instructions that they should not interfere with
17 the command and control of the army units. And despite such an
18 instruction, the Crisis Staffs were, indeed, in command of the police and
19 the army. This is not in dispute. However, this means that in each and
20 every one of these cases, the Prosecution had their duty and obligation
21 to prove beyond a reasonable doubt which of the two or more order-issuing
22 authorities of the SJB or RS MUP members were, indeed, being obeyed,
23 who -- whose orders were they carrying out, who were they held answerable
24 to, and who did they report to? The evidence adduced at trial, in my
25 view, are evident in that sense. Unfortunately, the priority was indeed
1 with the local authorities, and we did raise this issue more than once in
2 our brief and today.
3 Yesterday, at pages 68 and 69 of the transcript, the Prosecution
4 said, in relation to the principle of the unity of command, where they
5 cited the Strugar Judgement, paragraph 367, something that is obviously
6 misplaced and inapplicable to this situation. However, since it is
7 likely that some of these issues will be discussed on Friday, I will not
8 be spending time on it. All the factors that are familiar to the
9 jurisprudence and which point to the absence of effective control, this
10 is something we discuss at paragraph 677 of our brief, have been proven
11 beyond doubt in this case.
12 The totality of evidence shows that, without a doubt, there were
13 independent authorities who had, without any doubt, effective control
14 over specific RS MUP members. These organs made appointments and
15 replacements of certain individuals, paid them, and gave them orders.
16 In return, these individuals carried out their orders, reported
17 to those organs, and carried out their decisions and regulations. Such
18 organs issued decisions appointing chiefs and even lower-level leaders of
19 public security stations or Security Services Centres. These organs were
20 the ones who changed the territorial jurisdiction of the MUP of
21 Republika Srpska as envisaged by the law. This was in the case of
22 Teslic; the decisions of the Crisis Staff and the municipality to join
23 the ARK Krajina. At times, they would directly change the functional
24 organisation of the MUP of Republika Srpska by subordinating
25 Security Services Centres to the authority of public security stations,
1 as happened in the case of Doboj.
2 All these events, without a doubt, happened independently of the
3 MUP of Republika Srpska and without its knowledge. The evidence shows,
4 beyond doubt, that some of these RS MUP members clearly perceived local
5 authorities as their bosses, rather than the RS MUP, as was the case with
6 Drljaca. This is something witnesses testified to during the instructive
7 visit and this is supported by a number of other exhibits in this case.
8 On the case of Todorovic where the chief of the CSB received
9 threats from the president of the Bosanski Samac Crisis Staff, serious
10 threats, when the former asked for his removal; there are many other such
11 examples, and you can find them in the Defence brief.
12 There is a category of individuals who had never become members
13 of the MUP. There was an absence of effective control in that case, in
14 view of the explicit legal regulations. All these categories of
15 individuals did not obey the orders or instructions of the accused.
16 Furthermore, we cited on several occasions during trial examples which
17 show that it is true that members of the RS MUP at the point where they
18 become resubordinated lose the capacity of authorised officials. Whilst
19 they are under the command of a military commander, they cannot exercise
20 the -- the powers vested in them by law because they would highly likely
21 not fall within the scope of the task given to that unit, such as, for
22 instance, manning a firing position, or similar. Therefore, to exercise
23 their powers would be contrary to the order issued by the military
25 On the other hand, if we were to accept the position of the
1 Prosecution, failure to exercise such powers would constitute, under the
2 law, a breach of duty. I suppose, Your Honours, that it is obvious that
3 the theory advanced by the Prosecution is completely untenable.
4 I also wish to say that it was proven beyond doubt that all the
5 witnesses who had leading positions in the RS MUP agree with what I've
6 just said, with the position I've just relayed. They did not consider
7 themselves as superiors to the policemen who were resubordinated.
8 As for the reporting from the subordinates to the accused, the
9 totality of evidence shows that this reporting and informing was not only
10 insufficient in terms of the amount of information available, but the
11 quality of information was unacceptably low, especially in the first six
12 months. There is a considerable number of orders and instructions that
13 the RS MUP was issuing to the lower organs through to the end of 1992.
14 We still have on our screens the graph that I showed you a moment ago.
15 Your Honours, I do think that this is the crucial argument where
16 it comes to the issue of communication. I assert that the issue and the
17 problem of communication was sufficiently addressed and substantiated
18 with the evidence in this case and indicates the permanent nature of this
19 problem that prevailed throughout 1992.
20 Your Honours, I suggest that we take the break now, as I am about
21 to move to a different topic. Thank you.
22 JUDGE HALL: So we return at 2.20.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.19 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 2.24 p.m.
25 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] yes, Mr. Zecevic.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 [Interpretation] Your Honours, my next topic for the benefit of
3 the interpreters, I'm on page 76.
4 My next topic, therefore, that I wish to deal with in reference
5 to the Prosecution's brief is the Prosecutor's claim that the accused
6 knew or had reason to know that their subordinated officials committed
7 crimes charged in the indictment.
8 Under 1, it says that the system of reporting in the RS MUP
9 allowed the accused timely access to information about the criminal
10 conduct of subordinated individuals. I have already explained our
11 position at great length. I don't want to go over the same grounds
12 again. I would like to mention for the benefit of the Trial Chamber that
13 we deal with that issue in paragraphs 261 through to 284, and 428 through
14 494 of our final brief.
15 When it comes to the knowledge and the participation of
16 subordinated individuals in the unlawful detention of non-Serbian
17 population and their ill-treatment, let me say that we deal with this
18 issue in the paragraphs that I have just referred to, but I would also
19 like to provide comment on paragraph 892 of the Prosecutor's final brief.
20 Namely, in paragraph 892 of the Prosecutor's final brief, the Prosecutor
21 claims that Zivko Lazarevic sent regular reports to the
22 National Security Service in Sarajevo about the unlawful detention of
23 civilians in the bunker. A references for this claim is in transcript on
24 page 13009 through page 13015, a total of six pages. However, when you
25 read the testimony in that reference, it is hard to see why this was put
1 on paper. There's no foundation for that. Because what the witness said
2 is literally, I sent my report to Ilidza, and what happened to the report
3 from then on, I don't know. So it is clear that he didn't know that the
4 report was sent to the national security in Sarajevo, and it is also
5 clear that this claim by the Prosecution is founded on misrepresented
7 In paragraph 938, which refers to the alleged knowledge on the
8 participation of subordinated individuals in the commission of other
9 crimes against non-Serbian population, again, a reference is made to the
10 murder of three Muslim families in Bijeljina. It is stated in here that
11 witness who spoke to Stanisic in the year 2000-and-something, heard from
12 Stanisic that he should not be mentioned in reference to that murder.
13 The Prosecutor spoke about that the day before yesterday in their closing
15 The fact is, Your Honours, that Stanisic provided a statement to
16 the official judicial bodies. That statement is P1543, page 65, and it
17 is in evidence. As the Prosecution also confirms, this murder is not
18 mentioned in the indictment as one of the incidents, and the claim
19 that was done either by Malovic or another member of the MUP of
20 Republika Srpska has not been corroborated.
21 Document P1543 is a complete court file about the event, and that
22 document does not lead to conclusion that either Malovic or the RS MUP
23 platoon from Sokolac were involved in that killing. If there was such
24 evidence, they would have been prosecuted, either Malovic or somebody
25 from that platoon.
1 I'm sure that you will remember that Witness Andan testified that
2 he had relaunched investigation in 2005, and he actively worked on that
3 investigation about that crime. He pointed out that he had information
4 that the crime was committed by paramilitaries, some individuals from
5 Bijeljina, and that one such piece of information named Malovic and
6 members of his platoon as possible perpetrators of that crime. That is
7 on transcript pages 21825 through 21827.
8 Based on what the Prosecutor said yesterday in the closing
9 argument, it may be concluded that Mr. Hannis has the kind of knowledge
10 that neither the police nor judiciary bodies have. That is why we
11 believe that the assertion proffered by the Prosecution yesterday during
12 their closing argument is totally arbitrary and inappropriate, as such.
13 This claim, as the Prosecutor himself confirmed, is based on propaganda
14 launched by a group of Chetniks in Bijeljina. According to the evidence,
15 the MUP of Republika Srpska fought against that group, and it is more
16 than obvious and it may be concluded that it only shows that the Chetniks
17 sought to falsely accuse the RS MUP for a crime, and court witness Kovac
18 also testified about that.
19 In our final brief, in paragraphs 347 and 348, we provide the
20 explanation for the arrival of Malovic's platoon in Bijeljina. We
21 explained how they behaved, why they had arrived, and on whose orders.
22 As regards the Prosecutor's position that the accused failed to undertake
23 necessary and reasonable measures to either prevent or punish crimes
24 committed by the police, we provide our positions in paragraphs 629
25 through 635 of our final brief.
1 Yesterday, on page 76 of the transcript - and for the benefit of
2 the interpreters, I would like to say that I'm on page 81 - the
3 Prosecutor claimed that, based on Stanisic's actions and acts in 1994, it
4 may be concluded that he -- that what his mens rea was in 1992, but this
5 is obviously without any foundation. The context of 1994 was never
6 established in these proceedings. Likewise, his mens rea in 1994 was
7 never established because it was not relevant for the indictment period,
8 and that's why it was never established in these proceedings. I'm sure
9 that you will remember that the Defence asked Witness Andan to testify
10 about the facts -- about the facts after 1992. However, the Prosecution
11 objected to that at the time, and that is why I don't understand why the
12 Prosecution is presenting such claims now. I suppose that according
13 to the same principle and on the same basis following the same logic,
14 yesterday the Prosecutor tried to draw a parallel with the laws
15 which were passed in 1994, with regard to resubordination and the
16 status of MUP members when they are resubordinated. The laws that were
17 passed came into effect after the period relevant for the indictment,
18 and that's why they cannot be of any relevance.
19 Your Honours, I have come to the conclusion of my closing
20 argument. I would like to conclude my closing argument - and for the
21 benefit of the interpreters, we are on page 82 - by summarising the facts
22 that, in our view, are relevant for your decision and put the facts
23 within the context of the events that transpired during the time relevant
24 for the indictment and the state of mind of the accused, Stanisic, at
25 that time.
1 I do not wish to deal with the matters of law because the legal
2 practice is mostly clear when it comes to the elements of crime, as well
3 as the necessary elements to establish the criminal responsibility of the
4 accused. The relevant parts of our closing -- final brief which refer to
5 those issues are paragraphs 652 through 687.
6 As I've already stated, the context in which the processes
7 transpired and the events in the indictment happened is very important
8 when it comes to considering the causes of the events. The context is
9 also very important for -- to establish the possible criminal plan and
10 how it reflected in reality.
11 The Prosecution -- when setting the context, the Prosecution
12 paints a picture of normalcy in Stanisic's life. So one might be
13 inclined to conclude that Mico Stanisic got up every morning, went to
14 work, to the ministry, that the ministry was well organised, that the
15 officials also came to work every day, and that they worked in their
16 offices and their administrations or services. When the minister came,
17 they informed him about the all the events, he briefs the heads of
18 sectors, he issued orders, he received timely information, and he
19 communicated constantly with the heads of the CSBs. And after the end of
20 the working day, he went back home.
21 However, the evidence proves beyond any doubt that just the
22 opposite was the fact. Neither Mico Stanisic, nor a majority of the
23 employees of the ministry had their homes, because their homes in
24 Sarajevo, and they had fled Sarajevo. They made do as best as they can.
25 The ministry does not operate from a single building. Actually, it
1 operates from several building scattered all over the neighbourhood. In
2 Pale, in the central part of the ministry, there were no offices as such.
3 All the employees shared one or two rooms. They had one telephone which
4 worked very erratically. They did not have means to communicate with
5 most of the part of Republika Srpska. Of the five CSBs, three were under
6 establishment, and the two which were in existence were completely cut
7 off. There were, all together, 40 employees in the ministry, including
8 drivers and administration, or administrative staff. There was no
9 electricity. There was no paper. There were no typewriters, fuel, cars.
10 Actually, there were no bare necessities. So this would be the true
11 context within which the ministry headquarters operated, and this was
12 established during the proceedings beyond in any doubt.
13 The situation in entire Bosnia-Herzegovina is anything but normal
14 in any sense of the word. Chaos reigned supreme and former friends and
15 neighbours were embroiled in a civil war. There was chaos in the state
16 and the state effectively did not exist or at least it did not function
17 as it should have. There's no food. There's -- there are no medicines
18 or fuel. Nothing workings as normal.
19 Your Honour, Stanisic spent a total of 230 days in his office as
20 minister from the 1st of April to the 24th of November when the
21 government fell, and perhaps another month as a member of the caretaker
22 government. When you look at the context, please bear that in mind.
23 The Prosecutor claims that there was a criminal plan whose
24 objective was to expel non-Serbs forcibly and permanently from the
25 territory of the planned Serb state in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that
1 was to be done by committing crimes charged in the indictment. The
2 Prosecutor claims that Mico Stanisic was a prominent member of this
3 criminal association and that he considerably assisted in the
4 implementation of the criminal plan. The Defence claims that such a
5 criminal association never existed and if it had existed, then
6 Mico Stanisic was not a member of such an association, nor was he aware
7 of it, nor was he guilty of doing something or omitting to do something
8 to -- contributed to such a plan. If such a criminal association did
9 exist, Mico Stanisic, if he did anything, he just hindered its
11 Your Honours, the accused and the Defence sincerely regret every
12 innocent victim of this war; however, a possible responsibility for any
13 crime by any individual has to be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.
14 Your Honours, if, as the Prosecution claims, it is true that
15 Stanisic was a member of a criminal association who significantly
16 contributed and assisted to the commission of the criminal plan in such
17 ways as they claim he did, then, in our view, the Prosecution had to
18 explain to the Trial Chamber the following acts of Mico Stanisic which I
19 will briefly list now.
20 Firstly, the Prosecution would have to explain to the
21 Trial Chamber why Mico Stanisic, if he was a member of a joint criminal
22 enterprise, and if he significantly contributed to it, why, in his
23 inauguration speech he insisted on professionalism of the police and a
24 strict application of the law without any influence of the politics.
25 Several days after that in Sokolac during a troop review, he
1 repeated this again, and he emphasised the obligation to protect the
2 public law and order and security of all people living in the territory
3 of Republika Srpska.
4 Further, why did Mico Stanisic in his orders, from the first to
5 the last, which have been admitted into evidence, request conduct in
6 accordance with the law, the regulations, and insist on criminal and
7 disciplinary responsibility of the RS MUP employees?
8 Further, why did Mico Stanisic send inspectors throughout
9 Republika Srpska with the task to set up public security stations,
10 Security Services Centres, and, in doing so, fight all sorts of crime,
11 even at the cost of their own lives?
12 Further, why did Mico Stanisic, if he was a member of a joint
13 criminal enterprise to which he significantly assisted, draw up an
14 instruction that the war crimes be documented and investigated; and why
15 did the RS MUP issue compulsory forms in order to inform all the
16 employees about these sort of activities that the RS MUP was engaged in
17 at the time?
18 Further, why did Mico Stanisic request and order that certain
19 paramilitary formations -- or, rather, not certain, but all paramilitary
20 formations be routed and their members arrested and prosecuted? And, to
21 that effect, he sent the RS MUP employees to fight paramilitaries and
22 arrest them in Brcko, Bijeljina, Zvornik, Foca, Rudo, Visegrad.
23 Why did Mico Stanisic request the assistance of the federal SUP,
24 and why does he request that a unit be sent to assist in that if he was a
25 member of a joint criminal enterprise?
1 Why did Mico Stanisic, after the arrest of the Yellow Wasps,
2 personally go to commend the RS MUP employees for this operation,
3 requesting that they continue to carry out tasks at the cost of their own
5 Further, when at the meeting held on the 11th of July,
6 information was received that detention centres existed, Mico Stanisic
7 immediately informed both the president and the prime minister about
8 that, requesting that the situation be urgently resolved and that
9 everything be placed within lawful framework. Two days after that, he
10 wrote a letter to the prime minister, requesting that the government
11 adopt a platform which would clearly express its civilised orientation
12 and operationalise the legitimate political goals of the Serbian people,
13 while, simultaneously, distancing itself from individuals and groups who
14 may have different intentions, requesting at the same time that
15 international humanitarian law and the law of war be strictly applied and
16 war crimes be prevented.
17 Why, in such a situation, he ordered that such detention centres,
18 which were secured by the police, be immediately closed down and all the
19 innocent detainees be released?
20 Why did Mico Stanisic insist with the relevant organs that
21 judiciary bodies be set up, both military and civilian ones, emphasising
22 at the same time that the police could not implement laws because these
23 bodies did not operate?
24 Eventually, because of all this, Mico Stanisic came into
25 conflict, as we have seen and heard from evidence, with members of the
1 Presidency and the prime minister and was eventually relieved of his
3 So when one takes into account everything that I just listed, and
4 I believe that the evidence proves beyond any doubt that all this was
5 done in 1992, one may ask: How does such conduct fit with the
6 Prosecution claim?
7 Let me tell you: It simply does not fit. Every single of these
8 acts is, by itself, contrary to the alleged JCE objective.
9 If these were isolated acts and activities, one might possibly
10 talk about an attempt to cover up the actual intentions. However, in the
11 present instance, you can quite clearly see a pattern of behaviour which
12 is consistent from the beginning to the end, and, clearly and directly
13 directed against the alleged objective of the JCE and the crimes by which
14 such an alleged objective was to be achieved.
15 In this pattern of behaviour and the acts which he committed,
16 there is nothing unlawful or any criminal purpose. Quite the contrary.
17 If one compares all the minutes of collegiums held in the year 1992 and
18 the conclusions which were adopted, it is beyond any doubt that between
19 April and late December, he insisted on the same things, all the ones I
20 listed. This is confirmed by the documents from the relevant period, all
21 the witnesses we have heard, and eventually Stanisic himself in his
23 In order to illustrate this, I wanted to reading something from
25 Your Honours, this is the letter which Mico Stanisic sent on the
1 18th of July, one day after he sent information to the president and the
2 prime minister with regard to the information and problems which were
3 discussed at the first collegium of the Republika Srpska MUP. So, on the
4 following day, he wrote a letter to Branko Djeric in which he said:
5 "As a government member, I have repeatedly requested the drafting
6 of a proposal of a document" --
7 You can see it on the screen in front of us.
8 Can we please go on to the next slide.
9 Further in this section he says the following:
10 "Let me list the crimes against humanity envisaged in the
11 international law:
12 "War crime against civilian population.
13 "War crime against civilian population.
14 "War crimes against prisoners of war.
15 "Unlawful killing and wounding of the enemy."
17 "Unlawful seizure of items."
18 So these were all the crimes that were envisaged in the rules and
19 regulations of SFRY from the relevant field.
20 Thirdly, he says:
21 "In order to negate the existence of the above intent and
22 activity, you should have proposed or initiated the establishment of a
23 platform or another document which would present a clear and civilised
24 implementation of what I believe are just political goals of the Serbian
25 people. The platform ... would, at the same time, disassociate itself
1 from all the groups and individuals with different intentions ..."
2 Further in this section, Mr. Stanisic requests the setting up of
3 military courts, and said:
4 "We have many perpetrators of various crimes, a few even from the
5 above categories, against whom measures cannot be taken as they are army
6 members and as such fall outside the responsibility of civilians before
7 civilian institutions."
8 And finally, once again, here he informs the prime minister that
9 the Ministry of the Interior is working on collecting and documenting
10 everything relating to the crime of war crime, regardless of who the
11 perpetrators are and what their ethnicity is. He says that he will
12 inform about this, the Presidency, the federal SUP, and so on.
13 Your Honours, this is a Prosecution Exhibit. I find it quite
14 difficult to understand that, on the basis of the analysis of this
15 document, the Prosecution failed to draw what I believe are adequate
16 conclusions. What is the adequate and reasonable conclusion? I believe
17 that the only reasonable conclusion is that Mico Stanisic was not a
18 member of the JCE, if it existed at all. And not only did he not
19 significantly assist the achievement of such an enterprise's objectives
20 but he was evidently on the opposite side.
21 As for the crimes of the JCE and his liability under commission
22 through the JCE, I have discussed this in detail in our final brief and
23 during the closing arguments when I analysed it paragraph by paragraph.
24 And for the sake of reference, the Defence deals with this in
25 paragraph 664 through 670 of our final brief.
1 Also, everything that I mentioned also relates to liability for
2 instigating or aiding and abetting. Your Honours, not only that there
3 was no instigation in the acts of Mico Stanisic, nor was there any aiding
4 and abetting in any of his acts, but all of them taken together, as I
5 said, and as we have written in our final brief, are clearly directed in
6 the opposite way. For this reason, Mico Stanisic is not criminally
7 liable for instigating or aiding and abetting, because there is
8 absolutely no evidence for anything like that. None of the elements
9 necessary for the existence of those forms of liability has not been
10 proven, including liability under commission through the JCE.
11 As for superior responsibility, let me list, once again, the
12 facts, some other facts, which have been established beyond any doubt
13 during the proceedings. These are the facts that Prosecution should have
14 explained why Mico Stanisic in a significant number of orders emphasises
15 and insists and says, You're personally responsible. I will hold you
16 personally responsible for the implementation of this order. This is
17 what he says to the heads of CSBs. Why did Mico Stanisic request
18 permanently better reporting, not just Mico Stanisic but the RS MUP as a
19 whole? Why was an order issued to disband the so-called special units?
20 Why were rules and instructions issued? Why did he adopt rules by which
21 he expands disciplinary responsibility of MUP employees, at the same time
22 imposing stricter disciplinary measures and shortening disciplinary
23 proceedings and extending the statute of limitations. Let me dwell on
24 this, Your Honours, because I think it is necessary that I should do so.
25 Our final brief deals with this issue with the subtitle:
1 Imposition of stricter disciplinary measures. Paragraphs 538 through to
2 563. Your Honours, during the relevant period, Mico Stanisic issued
3 instructions that rules on disciplinary responsibility be drawn up. He
4 added to those rules 18 new serious violations of disciplinary
5 responsibility; 18, in total. Inter alia, omission to inform or to cover
6 up what another employee of the MUP did. Now this is one of the serious
7 violations. Expression of ethnic, racial, or religious intolerance.
8 That's another one. And 16 others.
9 In addition to this, in order to speed up disciplinary
10 proceedings, Mico Stanisic shortened the time available for appeal from
11 15 days to three days, and he extends the statute of limitations from
12 three to six months, for minor violations; and from six months to one
13 year, for serious violations.
14 Your Honours, in terms of standards for superior responsibility,
15 it is our claim that the adoption of such disciplinary rules, which
16 extend and expand disciplinary responsibility in this manner, even goes
17 beyond the standards of what is reasonable and necessary. In addition to
18 this, the Prosecution should have explained to us why, during the year
19 1992, from July onwards, Mico Stanisic relieved of their duty a
20 significant number of employees who were members of the management staff
21 in the RS MUP. We call -- talk about that in paragraphs 564 to 582 of
22 our final brief. Why did he dismiss all members of the MUP who did not
23 meet the criteria? And why did he advocate that the army should stop
24 resubordinating MUP employees so that they could be engaged in
25 maintaining public law and order and the security of all citizens of
1 Republika Srpska?
2 As with the JCE, we claim that such conduct and such behaviour,
3 which has been established beyond any doubt during this case, shows that
4 Mico Stanisic is not liable under superior responsibility because
5 whatever such responsibility implies as an obligation is something that
6 he, indeed, did do. He even did more than that.
7 Your Honours, let's me just emphasise that, for an accused to be
8 found culpable under superior responsibility it is necessary for him to
9 have specific knowledge about a specific event or crime which was
10 committed by a specific subordinate. So it has to be known directly who
11 was the perpetrator. There are several questions which I believe we
12 should ask at the very end.
13 Your Honours, why does the Prosecution, in its final brief,
14 disregard the majority of evidence presented during the trial in such a
15 large degree?
16 The second question: Why does the Prosecution, in its final
17 brief, in terms of percentage, deal with the Defence case only rarely and
18 does not suggest to you not to trust those witnesses?
19 Then, why does the Prosecution suggest that you should not
20 believe in Mico Stanisic's interview when it was the Prosecution evidence
21 tendered by the Prosecution? Why does the Prosecution suggest that the
22 evidence of all their insider witnesses should be treated in a selective
24 So why is the Prosecution trying, in essence, to minimise and
25 limit its own case, its own evidence and its own witnesses? Well, the
1 answer to this question, Your Honours, is because this evidence and the
2 statements of those witnesses is the most consistent evidence in this
3 case; because all the statements those witnesses gave primarily to the
4 Prosecution are consistent in detail with one another. They are
5 consistent with Mico Stanisic's interview and, what is most important,
6 they are consistent with the written evidence from the relevant period
7 which has been presented to you. This, Your Honours, is, in our view,
8 the only reason.
9 If one were to literally interpret the Prosecution claims
10 presented during their closing arguments, they would, in fact, mean that
11 the Prosecution suggests to the Trial Chamber not to accept the greater
12 part of the testimony of Prosecution witnesses, and their interpretation
13 of facts and documents relevant for this case. Instead, what is
14 suggested to the Trial Chamber is to accept the interpretation of
15 documents, facts, and reasons for drawing up those documents which is the
16 result of the Prosecution reasoning and the Prosecution's understanding
17 of their contents. On the basis of that, the Prosecution is asking you
18 to impose a life sentence for the accused Stanisic.
19 The Defence stands by its proposal from the final brief that
20 Stanisic be acquitted of the charges that he committed any of the crimes
21 under charges 1 to 10 by which he is charged in the indictment.
22 Thank you, Your Honours. With this, I have concluded my closing
23 arguments. I just wish to apologise once again to Ms. Korner because her
24 intervention was justified completely, and as I am unable, at the moment
25 to find the references that I had in mind, and as it was phrased in a
1 different way than I intended, then I would ask you to withdraw my words
2 from page 11 of today's transcript, line 23, to page 12, line 11. I
3 apologise once again both to the Trial Chamber and to the Prosecution
4 because of my imprecision.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic ... [Microphone not
7 activated] and we accept your apology.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 [Zupljanin Defence Closing Statement]
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE HALL: You may begin, Mr. Krgovic. I just wanted to alert
12 you as to how much time you have left. The Court Officer is working that
13 out now.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: Okay. Thank you, Your Honours.
15 [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. Yes, I'm advised that three hours and 20
18 minutes have been spent. So doing the arithmetic, I think it's three
19 hours and 40 minutes.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 [Interpretation] Let me start again. Good afternoon,
22 Your Honours. It is a bit inconvenient to start one's closing arguments
23 in the afternoon following my learned friends, and I hope that the
24 closing arguments for the Defence team for Mr. Zupljanin will not make
25 you drowsy.
1 First of all, Your Honours, I would like to say that we are
2 joined by other members of our team. Mr. David Martini, Lennart Poulsen,
3 and Madam Joyce Boekestijn.
4 Before I set out an overview of our closing arguments on behalf
5 of our client, Stojan Zupljanin, I seize this opportunity to thank all
6 those who assisted us in court in the course of this trial. All of us
7 who are in this courtroom today worked well together over the course of
8 several months. I primarily refer to interpreters, the Registry staff,
9 security, legal officers, and other important members of the ICTY
10 community. For this reason, my gratitude and that of the entire Defence
11 team for Stojan Zupljanin goes to all these persons. We have also had
12 good co-operation with the team who presented their closing arguments
13 yesterday, as well as with other individuals who used to work with us
14 earlier but moved to other cases subsequently. It was a honour and
15 privilege for us to defend Stojan Zupljanin throughout this case. It is
16 also a privilege and honour for us to be able to present our closing
17 arguments before this Honourable Chamber.
18 Several members of Stojan Zupljanin's Defence team will present
19 our closing arguments. Following my introduction, Ms. Michelle Butler,
20 our legal advisor, will first make a few preliminary remarks. She will
21 then speak of the weight and standard of proof and address specific legal
22 issues that we believe relevant to this case. At the very end of our
23 closing arguments, Ms. Butler will address the issue of the sentence
24 proposed by the Prosecution.
25 After Ms. Butler's presentation, I will be dealing with the
1 following topics. First, I will respond to several statements made by
2 the Prosecution with regard to specific incidents and documents that the
3 Prosecution placed an emphasis on in their closing arguments. I will
4 next speak about the role of the special detachment and detention centres
5 and about Stojan Zupljanin's alleged responsibility in connection with
6 these centres. I will then address the take-overs in certain
7 municipalities, and at the end of my presentation, I will speak about
8 Stojan Zupljanin's character.
9 My co-counsel, Aleksandar Aleksic, will be dealing with a number
10 of different topics referred to in the Prosecution's final brief.
11 Firstly, the credibility of specific Prosecution witnesses; then, with
12 the alleged effective control of Mr. Zupljanin's over the perpetrators of
13 crimes; thirdly, Zupljanin's alleged knowledge that these crimes had been
14 committed; and, fourthly, Zupljanin's alleged failure to take necessary
15 and reasonable measures to prevent or punish police crimes.
16 I will now give the floor to Ms. Butler who will make a number of
17 preliminary remarks relating to the case.
18 MS. BUTLER: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
19 Before I begin my introductory remarks about this case, I would
20 just like to make some brief corrections relating to the matters which
21 Ms. Korner addressed in the beginning of her submissions on Tuesday.
22 At transcript page 27275, my learned friend Ms. Korner mentioned
23 that in our Defence brief there are several propositions made without any
24 citation. She gave two examples. The first came from paragraph 1 of our
25 brief and related to Mr. Zupljanin being an only child to a poor, rural
2 The other came from paragraph 201 of our brief and related to the
3 special police contacting Mr. Zupljanin because it was a convenient thing
4 for them to do.
5 Ms. Korner is right to point out these errors in our brief and we
6 are very grateful to her for that. We would, of course, invite the
7 Chamber to treat those as matters of submission, and, indeed, our case on
8 Mr. Zupljanin's relationship with the special police will be developed
9 further by my learned friend Mr. Krgovic later in these closing
11 Ms. Korner also noted on Tuesday that there was a misleading
12 assertion in relation to the evidence of Prosecution expert Brown. That
13 assertion related to his views on the exceptional circumstances in which
14 police could be resubordinated for combat activities without informing
15 the MUP organs. The particular citation she referred to was in
16 paragraph 235 of our final brief, and in that citation it states:
17 "Such exceptional circumstances, i.e., war, were in fact the norm
18 throughout the indictment period."
19 Unfortunately, there's no reference provided for that statement
20 in our brief. Ms. Korner -- so Ms. Korner is again quite right to pick
21 us up on this. The fact that we don't have a reference there
22 unfortunately implies that it was Brown who testified to that effect.
23 We, of course, don't make that assertion. This statement was intended as
24 a more general observation, and therefore it's right that, again, this be
25 treated as a matter of submission, and Mr. Aleksic during the course of
1 his submission today will be dealing more with this issue.
2 We do, of course, sincerely apologise for these errors. It's an
3 unfortunate fact of life that when preparing a document of this scale and
4 nature, under very strict timelines, unfortunately, some errors of this
5 kind inevitably creep in. For that reason, we would wholeheartedly agree
6 with Ms. Korner's warning that the briefs invite careful reading. In
7 fact, as Mr. Zecevic also suggested this morning, we would suggest that
8 the Prosecution's final brief also invites very careful reading.
9 We note, for example, that in a number of places in the
10 Prosecution's written submissions similar errors have struck in. No
11 doubt, entirely by accident and likely occasioned by the need to
12 dramatically reduce word count under strict timelines. One such example
13 of this is it in paragraph 801 of the Prosecution brief. That
14 paragraph states in relation to crimes committed against non-Serbs at
15 detention facilities that Mr. Zupljanin's special police followed the
16 line of least resistance by adopting a passive stance towards crimes.
17 For this proposition, the Prosecution cites P595 at page 4 and P624 at
18 page 15. I won't read out the entirety of those documents due to time
19 constraints. They're unfortunately quite long. But what I would ask is
20 that Your Honours take a close look at them. Because on their plain
21 meaning they show that Mr. Zupljanin was not referring to police officers
22 taking a passive stance in relation to crimes committed at detention
23 camps. Rather, he was referring to certain incidents at check-points,
24 and these were check-points that paramilitaries and armed groups had been
25 establishing and had been conducting searches of police officers.
1 In fact, he says in those two documents that the searches --
2 during the searches that police officers were being mistreated. He goes
3 on to then berate his police. He says, You're undermining their [sic]
4 own legitimacy in the eyes of the civilian population. You are allowing
5 yourself to be the subject of ill-treatment, and this behaviour calls
6 into question the reputation and honour of our profession.
7 But I won't belabour the point further before Your Honours, but
8 the underlying message is that the Trial Chamber would benefit from a
9 careful review of all of the transcripts and exhibits cited in the final
11 I will now begin our closing submissions by making some
12 introductory remarks about the context to the case and about
13 Mr. Zupljanin in particular.
14 Any person who has followed the more than two and a half years of
15 this trial, no doubt, examining with great care the immense volumes of
16 evidence from the Prosecution and the Defence that has been adduced
17 before this Trial Chamber might expect some great rhetorical flourish or
18 even a quotation from a famous jurist as an opening line for a closing
19 speech. Such an approach would certainly be in keeping with many other
20 war crimes trials in which the speeches of Robert Jackson and other great
21 Nuremberg advocates are quoted to such an extent that they are now almost
22 hackneyed. The Defence for Stojan Zupljanin has deliberately chosen not
23 to take this tack.
24 In our view, this is not a case in which a world leader used to
25 clutching at the straws of power wishes for his lawyers to make as grand
1 a final statement as possible in order to secure maximum coverage in the
2 evening news. Likewise, and unlike many of the cases which Your Honours
3 have determined in the many years of judicial experience that you have,
4 this is not a case about a politician bent on re-writing the unfortunate
5 events of a particular time to favour a particular ethnic bias. Rather,
6 this case is about one man. It's about Stojan Zupljanin, a man who was a
7 regional-level police commander in the Bosnian city of Banja Luka. This
8 case is about the tragic events which this man who likened himself to an
9 English Bobby was confronted in 1992. It is about the considerable
10 efforts that he took in the face of opposition from a multitude of
11 different entities to prevent harm to all persons in the Krajina, whether
12 they be Serb, whether they be Muslim, whether they be Croat.
13 In assessing this case, we say that it's critical for this
14 Honourable Bench to take into account the catastrophe situation in which
15 Mr. Zupljanin was forced to operate. It was a situation of war where his
16 locality was overrun with poverty-stricken refugees. It was also overrun
17 with criminals, criminals of all ethnicities. There was a proliferation
18 of arms, widespread disregard for the law. There was rising banditry,
19 rampant and escalating levels of serious crimes.
20 In all of this, Mr. Zupljanin's subordinate officers, instead of
21 being available to deploy at his command to prevent and punish crimes,
22 were, for the most part, resubordinated to the army to assist in combat
24 We had said in our final brief that over 80 per cent of
25 Mr. Zupljanin's subordinates were resubordinated during the indictment
1 period. In fact, as we saw yesterday in -- from the extract from P2065,
2 now that was the video in which we saw Zupljanin in 1993 giving a press
3 conference. In actual fact, the truth figure was at least 91 per cent of
4 his officers. Given the vastly increased crime levels and the demands of
5 armed conflict, it's clear from this that the Banja Luka CSB was
6 catastrophically under resourced when it was functioning with only
7 9 per cent of its intended capacity.
8 The Trial Chamber has heard the considerable evidence adduced
9 during this trial which has consistently affirmed the dire problems with
10 communications across the RS territory. This was an unfortunate
11 consequence brought about by the war which exasperated the considerable
12 change already faced by Stojan Zupljanin. These challenges originated
13 from local Crisis Staffs who took it upon themselves together with the
14 army to usurp Mr. Zupljanin's authority and to assume control of local
15 police to pursue their private agendas. With all the will in the world,
16 Mr. Zupljanin was simply unable to counter their combined influence.
17 Your Honours, the situation in which Mr. Zupljanin found himself
18 in 1992 was ill-fated and regrettable to say the least. Despite his
19 best intentions to protect all those around him regardless of ethnicity
20 or religion, despite the tremendous efforts he took to try to get his
21 subordinates to apply the law equally, some terrible crimes, crimes that
22 scar the soul, took place on his watch.
23 Given the array of dreadful circumstances in which Mr. Zupljanin
24 was forced to operate, this is not surprising. We say that having an
25 accurate understanding of this context is critical for assessing
1 Zupljanin's alleged criminal liability. You will recall that this very
2 point as to context was emphasised by my learned friend Mr. Krgovic
3 during his opening statement for the Defence.
4 At that stage, Mr. Krgovic spoke of the importance of -- that the
5 Trial Chamber considering the wider context to the evidence presented at
6 trial when determining the truth of this case. We maintain that,
7 Your Honours.
8 It's regrettable that the Prosecution apparently do not appear to
9 consider the war time context as being of significance in their
10 submissions. Their suggestion that Mr. Zupljanin could have stopped
11 these dreadful crimes and could have punished the perpetrators of such
12 acts is, with the utmost respect, naive. It is the Defence submission
13 that they are asking of him tasks that are superhero couldn't have
14 achieved. Given the extraordinary circumstances taking place then, no
15 mere mortal in Mr. Zupljanin's position could have prevented and punished
16 those crimes in the Krajina in 1992, and this is the very issue which
17 this Trial Chamber will need to determine in its deliberations. As
18 everyone here in this courtroom knows only too well, the mere commission
19 of terrible crimes, and they were indeed of the most heinous kind, does
20 not mean that everyone in the vicinity at the relevant time bears
21 responsibility for them.
22 In the course of this closing submission, and particularly in the
23 submissions of my learned friends, Mr. Krgovic and Mr. Aleksic who will
24 be dealing with the key factual allegations made by the Prosecution we
25 will seek to illustrate that when one evaluates each transcript and each
1 exhibit with the anxious scrutiny that it deserves, that the Prosecution
2 have failed to discharge their heavy burden and that Stojan Zupljanin
3 should be accordingly found not guilty on all the counts in the
5 I will turn now, Your Honours, to the fundamental tenant of any
6 fair system of justice: The burden and standard of proof. I make no
7 apology for addressing this important topic despite the fact that I
8 appear today before a Bench of professional and extremely experienced
9 Judges. This issue, as you are no doubt well aware, should always be at
10 the forefront of your minds. It should be there as a niggling little
11 voice in relation to each and every element of the crimes charged.
12 We suggest that a cursory review of the Prosecution's final
13 brief, despite the extremely eloquent manner in which it is worded, we
14 will deal later on with whether it's evidentially sound, we say that that
15 brief gives one the impression that the Prosecution and the Defence are
16 operating on some sort of evidently level playing field, that plainly is
17 not correct.
18 We trust that whenever Your Honours weigh two explanations of an
19 event, applying, as it were, the scales of justice, that you place a
20 marker on the side of the accused representing the presumption of
21 innocence. This is because the scales of justice are not level. They
22 are rightly tipped in favour of the accused. That is the genius of our
23 criminal justice system in which the accused is presumed not guilty.
24 As this Court well knows, Mr. Zupljanin does not have to prove
25 beyond a reasonable doubt his innocence. He does not have to prove it on
1 the balance of probabilities. In fact, Your Honours, he does not have to
2 prove anything at all. For him to be acquitted it suffices merely that
3 the Prosecution have not proved their case. Indeed, we say in relation
4 to Mr. Zupljanin that the Prosecution have not proved their case in
5 relation to any of their allegations. It is with regret that I note that
6 on occasion our learned friends on the other side of the bar table have
7 misapplied the burden and standard of proof. We say that such errors
8 left unchecked by the Trial Chamber could easily result in a miscarriage
9 of justice.
10 One example of getting the burden ever so slightly wrong can be
11 seen in the -- in relation to the state of communications in the Krajina
12 in 1992. In his erudite submissions yesterday, Mr. Hannis, at T27381
14 "When the telephone didn't work, then they tried to set up a
15 radio-relay connection. They used couriers. They delivered messages
16 face to face. It is obvious that communications were occurring. Things
17 weren't ideal. They never are. But we can see from the totality of the
18 evidence that people who needed to know got the information, maybe not as
19 quickly as they would have liked in the ideal circumstance, but it was
20 not the situation the Defence would have you believe that some kind of
21 prehistoric situation with no communications or a post-apocalyptic
22 situation where everything has been destroyed and you have to resort to
23 signal flares and smoke signs. Communications worked."
24 Said Mr. Hannis.
25 We suggest that stating "the Defence would have you believe" the
1 Prosecution are applying the wrong test. The Defence are not required to
2 have the Trial Chamber believe anything, and the Prosecution do not
3 satisfy their heavy burden simply by asserting without any reference to
4 particular time-periods, without reference to particular locations, that
5 communications worked.
6 With the greatest of respect to my learned friends, that is
7 simply not good enough. The Prosecution must establish that the only
8 reasonable inference to be drawn from the evidence was that
9 Mr. Zupljanin's ability to communicate with his subordinates and his
10 superiors was such that at all the critical times in the indictment
11 period, he was on notice of the crimes for which he is charged, or he
12 could have foreseen that those crimes were likely to take place.
13 This example demonstrates that even the most learned and even the
14 most experienced of individuals can make errors in the application of
15 this important concept. We seek to draw this to your attention, together
16 with my sincere apologies to Mr. Hannis for singling him out in this
17 way - I'm glad perhaps that he is not here at this moment - only so that
18 such errors are not repeated by this Honourable Trial Chamber. All the
19 Defence ask is that Your Honours judge Mr. Zupljanin solely on the facts
20 that are proved by the Prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt because
21 those facts argue more eloquently for his acquittal than anything that I
22 could ever say, could do.
23 I will turn now to my learned friend, Mr. Aleksic. No?
24 Mr. Krgovic.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: I think it is about time for break, so I suggest
1 we're going to break now because we should change the Case Manager place
2 because I want to play some document which I need assistance for my
3 Case Manager.
4 JUDGE HALL: Should we come back at the set time of 4.10 or
5 should we come back a little early?
6 MR. KRGOVIC: A little bit earlier, if you wish.
7 JUDGE HALL: So 4.00.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
9 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] to use the time to
10 explain to Your Honour about -- Your Honours asked about timing tomorrow.
11 As it turns out, with the best will in the world on either side,
12 we can't reach an exact agreement on what's to be said about the law.
13 But, Ms. Butler, I understand, as I think Mr. Krgovic explained, is going
14 to deal with it. Then, tomorrow, the -- the -- the two major points of
15 this question of the interview of Stanisic. What I've already explained
16 to Mr. Zecevic is a misunderstanding by him of what I said about it, but
17 there's obviously what Mr. Hannis said, and, secondly this question that
18 came up in Mr. Olmsted's review of the evidence.
19 So I would have -- I would have thought, Your Honours, it --
20 it -- it probably be dealt with in about 45 minutes give or take. After
21 the end of all the speeches.
22 JUDGE HALL: Before you indicated that, Ms. Korner, I was going
23 to say that in terms of -- apart from any difficulty that counsel on both
24 sides may have in terms of what you're going to do in the time, the
25 Chamber was going to assist you by fixing a time, and I was going to say
1 20 minutes. But I suppose --
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE HALL: At the outside, we must be completed by the time the
4 ordinary break, so at the -- including the Judges' questions we could not
5 exceed one session.
6 MS. KORNER: Right. I wasn't aware that Your Honours had any
7 questions because do you remember I asked ages and ages ago whether that
8 was going to happen; if so, we could have advance notice of those
9 questions, it would assist us.
10 JUDGE HALL: Let me rephrase what I said, including such
11 questions as the Judges may come to appreciate tomorrow that they have.
12 MS. KORNER: Right.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.41 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm sorry. I understand that I kept
16 Your Honours waiting. For some reason I thought you said 10 past 4.00
17 after all that. So I do apologise.
18 JUDGE HALL: Thanks for the apology, Ms. Korner. But, save for
19 your confession, we wouldn't have been aware of it.
20 MS. KORNER: Confess and avoid has disadvantages, Your Honours.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yesterday the
22 Prosecution showed in their own way and quite effectively so the crime
23 committed at Koricanske Stijene and the supposed role and position in
24 that of my client, Mr. Stojan Zupljanin, in respect of these events. The
25 Prosecution did so by picking out specific evidence and portions of
1 evidence in order to place my client within the context of a joint
2 criminal enterprise.
3 I will now be dealing with the other part of evidence that
4 relates to this incident but that was not shown by the Prosecution,
5 either in their closing arguments or brief. One of the charges or
6 accusations was that Mr. Zupljanin, in spite of the fact that there were
7 several survivors who gave statements, could easily identify or establish
8 the identity of perpetrators. I will now show you P1567 --
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I rather think that might have been
10 partly in private session, that part of the transcript. It's an exhibit
11 but the actual part of the transcript --
12 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Ms. Korner, but I take out all necessary --
13 MS. KORNER: All right. Well --
14 MR. KRGOVIC: So this part of statement is without name and
15 without any further --
16 MS. KORNER: All right.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Ms. Korner mentioned one of the
18 survivors and the fact that he gave several statements to the judicial
19 bodies and the police. This is a portion of the statement given by this
20 individual referred to by Ms. Korner. Please look at what it is that the
21 individual said when the police asked him about the identity of the
22 perpetrators. Somebody shouted that they should come out and that an
23 exchange was about to take place. They were lined up in two lines near a
24 gorge, facing the gorge, and as they had to bow their heads, he saw
25 nobody from the police, nor did he see who was lined up except for those
1 who were closest to him. When the shooting started, he does not remember
2 what happened afterwards.
3 Your Honours, this was the kind of statement that all the
4 survivors gave. In other words, none of them were able to identify the
5 perpetrators, although they were questioned by policemen and the
6 investigating judge. How could then Stojan Zupljanin know who the
7 perpetrators were without resorting to some other measures? Furthermore,
8 the Prosecution also dealt with the attitude that Mr. Zupljanin took in
9 relation to this incident, relying on the statement of the chief of the
10 forensic technicians team. I will present to you what it is that
11 Mr. Zupljanin said. You had occasion to see this, not in the statement
12 that was modified and prepared by the Prosecution, but live.
13 Witness Pejic at transcript page 1448 said the following:
14 [In English] "Q. What was Mr. Zupljanin's response to this?
15 "A. When I met with chief Zupljanin in private at -- in the
16 morning before the meeting, I noticed that he appeared to be shaken. He
17 was visibly shaken. He condemned the incident strenuously. He called a
18 spade a spade. He said it was a crime."
19 [Interpretation] this is what Stojan Zupljanin said. This is the
20 gist of his attitude towards this event -- this incident.
21 At transcript page 1451, Witness Pejic goes on to say on the
22 issue of how Mr. Zupljanin treated the survivors, and I quote:
23 [In English] "A. She [sic] ordered me very strictly that I'm
24 personally responsible for the security and safety of that person and
25 that I should bring him as soon as is possible to the Security Services
1 Centre in Banja Luka ...
2 "Q. Did you discuss -- once you arrived Banja Luka did you
3 discuss with Mr. Zupljanin what would be done with this man?
4 "A. Yes, and he told me that he would be turned over to the
5 Swiss Red Cross."
6 [Interpretation] Your Honour, there are other testimonies in this
7 case, but Zupljanin told the witness here that he did everything in his
8 power and he would do everything in his power to make sure that all the
9 six survivors had their wounds treated, would recover, and be handed over
10 to the Red Cross. Had Stojan Zupljanin wanted, as the Prosecution
11 alleged yesterday, to cover up this crime, why would he then do as he
12 did? Why would he protect the survivors? Why would he hand them over to
13 the Swiss Red Cross, if his intention was to cover up the crime and make
14 sure that nobody came to know of it?
15 Yesterday the Prosecution played a video-clip that was filmed
16 shortly after the crime where Zupljanin spoke in public about the
17 investigation in a way to make sure that he would not divulge any
18 details. He did not -- not want to speak of any possible eye-witnesses,
19 and that was only natural that a policeman would speak in such subdued
20 terms when the investigation was still going on, and I want to recall the
21 testimony of Mr. Krejic again in this respect because he was shown the
22 video. At transcript page 1496 to 97, he answered to a question that was
23 put to him:
24 [In English] "Q. And disclosing the identity and the number of
25 survivors of the massacre to the public would put them at risk and would
1 jeopardy size the investigation, isn't that so?
2 "A. Yes, well, I suppose that would be the case."
3 [Interpretation] Your Honours, no police force in the world
4 would, if there are survivors around who are at risk, divulge any details
5 of the incident, and this is what Zupljanin himself made sure he did.
6 Your Honour, the Prosecution also tried in their closing
7 arguments yesterday to present the police force as not having done their
8 job properly. Neither in this case, nor in the case of killings or
9 murders in Vrbas does that apply. Perhaps this would be the case in an
10 ideal world, but not in Banja Luka, in the area of Krajina in the course
11 of 1992.
12 A Prosecutor who was seized of both these cases testified before
13 this Tribunal. I will present to you what it is that he said about the
14 work of the Banja Luka services centre and, in my view, he is much better
15 placed to speak -- than the Prosecution to speak of the abilities of the
16 CSB Banja Luka in this criminal period, and he said, I will quote:
17 [In English] "Q. But we would agree that the operative officer
18 in CSB Banja Luka, under the circumstances, did everything to document
19 the crime and created a basis for eventual closure of the case 18 years
22 "A. Yes."
23 And furthermore, Your Honour, [Interpretation] When our learned
24 friend Mr. Pantelic, whom we all miss, as Ms. Korner said herself, when
25 he asked the witness whether the Prosecution did everything in their
1 power to investigate and adequately process those crimes, let me remind
2 to look at transcript page 14292 and 293. You will see what he answered.
3 He said clearly that he as a prosecutor personally considers that he
4 could have done more.
5 Your Honours, the Prosecution, when saying that nothing was done
6 after October 1992 also stated that it was, indeed, possible and I would
7 like to remind you of a testimony we heard in this case where members of
8 the unit who were involved in the crime were deployed and assigned to
9 a -- military units at least until the end of 1992, and they were not
10 available to the police bodies, despite all the efforts made by
11 Stojan Zupljanin in order to learn their identity and in order to bring
12 them in.
13 And let me just remind this Trial Chamber, today, 20 years after
14 the crime, the proceedings are still under way based the evidence that
15 was collected by the CSB at the time and based on the criminal report
16 that was filed by nobody else but Stojan Zupljanin himself. And then
17 when it reached the hands of a more capable prosecutor, has this criminal
18 report been processed in a more appropriate way?
19 Moreover, the Prosecutor showed you a document yesterday.
20 According to the Prosecutor, that document reveals some of the positions
21 of Stojan Zupljanin. The number of that document is P583. I would like
22 to call up the document. We were not able to present it as a PowerPoint
23 document, so I would like to call it up in e-court.
24 I would like to display page 2 in this document and the same page
25 in the English version as well.
1 Your Honour, here the Prosecutor claims that Stojan Zupljanin
2 resisted -- or, rather, he demonstrated his discriminatory intent. The
3 gist of the document is this: Mr. Zupljanin expressed his
4 dissatisfaction with several things. Under 1, the police being used to
5 secure and guard people who were detained in this manner, and he
6 believes, and there's a word here in which -- which in our language has a
7 totally different meaning. And it was translated as hostages, "totci"
8 [phoen] in Serbian, "hostages" in English. Hostages sounds horrible in
9 English. However, I'm going to show you another document. This applies
10 to people who were unlawfully detained without any foundation or grounds
11 for their detention. And it is used --
12 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honours, this is obviously an
13 important document, that's why I raised it. It is not for Mr. Krgovic to
14 give evidence as to meaning. If he says that is the wrong translation,
15 the word is not hostages, it should have been raised some time ago and it
16 should be raised now. It is not for Mr. Krgovic to say this is the wrong
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Maybe Ms. Korner was not listening
19 carefully. I'm not talking about mistranslation or misinterpretation. I
20 was talking about the way, this expression, or term, or word may be
21 interpreted, may be explained. You will see later on, you will see there
22 is another term used for this category of people and the term is
23 "isolated." They were isolated.
24 What I'm trying to say with this is that this document should be
25 interpreted in its entirety and in relation to other documents, and when
1 the Prosecutor showed his PowerPoint, and I don't know whether there was
2 a mistake in interpretation, and when Mr. Zupljanin asked for something
3 that can be seen on the following page of the document that we have on
4 the screen now - can we go to the following page, please - when he
5 requested something and the prosecutor said that Zupljanin requested an
6 action to be taken, whereas, in this document, it says a clear position.
7 Be it as it may, I'm going to show you what the position of
8 Stojan Zupljanin was with regard to this category of people and what
9 actions he called for in relation to these people.
10 Your Honour, yesterday the Prosecutor addressed you and showed
11 you a document that I would like to call up now. This is P750.
12 You see, Your Honours, this is a document issued by the
13 War Presidency of Kljuc municipality. In this document, the Presidency
14 informed the CSB about people who were released from Manjaca and who
15 belonged to the category referred to by Mr. Zupljanin. The Prosecutor
16 used this document to show that the War Presidency did not have control
17 over public security stations but that it was the other way around; that
18 War Presidencies actually implemented Zupljanin's order. This is what
19 the Prosecution tried to demonstrate using this document. And this is a
20 trick. Because if you look at this document in isolation, on its own,
21 you might arrive at that conclusion. However, look at the document that
22 precedes this document, which is P607. This is the initial document
23 that's -- that Stojan Zupljanin dispatched. Look at the heading. It
24 says, "To the chief of the public security station."
25 And then the chief of the public security station, instead of
1 replying to Stojan Zupljanin or taking any kind of measures, actually
2 went to his own War Presidency, and the War Presidency then answered
3 Stojan Zupljanin by saying the public security station is not capable of
4 taking the necessary measures. And, here, Your Honours, from this
5 letter, you will see what the position of Stojan Zupljanin was with
6 regard to these categories of individuals.
7 In the third paragraph from the top where it says:
8 "However, there is some information that indicates that [word
9 illegible]." It should be isolated individuals this is a bad
10 translation, and this is the category that existed in our system. And as
11 Mr. Zecevic said, the Prosecutor did not interpret the legal terms and
12 the legal system in the way it existed in the former Yugoslavia because
13 in the former Yugoslavia, in the Yugoslav legal practice, the term
14 "isolated persons" or "hostages," we all know that it was illegal to keep
15 hostages but this refers to people who were detained or kept without any
16 grounds for that.
17 And what is the position of Stojan Zupljanin with this regard?
18 Let me remind you. It says:
19 "To their obligation to take proportionality measures to protect
20 these individuals, guard their houses and property, and prevent any
21 attempt at threatening or in any other way intimidating these people."
22 Or applying force against them.
23 Moreover it says:
24 "Any possible incident, event, attack, or any other form of
25 threat against these people should be thoroughly analysed by operational,
1 tactical, and criminal experts. Everything should be recorded and the
2 necessary measures taken to identify and arrest the perpetrators of these
4 And then Mr. Zupljanin went on to present his categorical
5 position vis-a-vis these people:
6 "In co-operation with municipal bodies, the Red Cross
7 organisation, humanitarian organisations, and other bodies, if necessary,
8 these people should be provided with food, accommodation, medical and
9 other forms of help" when they returned to their former places of
11 What I'm saying with this, Your Honours, may be taking it much
12 further than Ms. Butler said. When you judge Stojan Zupljanin, when you
13 make a decision on his responsibility, and I am taking this further, you
14 should not be reading the Prosecutor's final brief carefully. What I am
15 saying is that you should not even attempt to read that part that speaks
16 about the responsibility of Stojan Zupljanin. Instead you should be
17 reading the evidence. Because the technique of taking things out of the
18 context, taking documents out of the context and linking them up in the
19 way it was done in the Prosecutor's final brief is not going to amount to
20 much, and it's not going to take you anywhere.
21 Moreover, Your Honours, the Prosecution, in their final brief,
22 and yesterday in their closing argument dealt with what happened in
23 Prijedor during the take-over. And yesterday the Prosecutor showed you
24 an excerpt from Simo Drljaca's document about the number of policemen and
25 the way the power was taken over. I invite you to read this document,
1 and when you do this, could you please also refer to the testimony of
2 Witness Jankovic who commented upon this document when asked about the
3 number of police officers.
4 He says, when it comes to the number of police officers:
5 [In English] "as a [indiscernible] dispatches, I think it tallies
6 with my figures, more or less, according to the books, but as of for his
7 numbers of policemen, et cetera, no way. 1300 policemen? Where did you
8 come up with that? No way. It's an exaggeration. Before the war,
9 entire station had 230 employees ..."
10 [Interpretation] And when you judge the possible role that the
11 police played in the take-over of power in Prijedor, please bear this
12 testimony in mind.
13 Your Honours, and now I'm going to address another topic, and
14 that's the special unit of the police, and since both the Defence and the
15 Prosecution in their brief -- final briefs and the Prosecution in their
16 final -- closing argument dealt with that unit, if you looked at the
17 documents that were presented and that were highlighted by the
18 Prosecutor, you will see that the two documents that were presented were
19 issued at the beginning of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you will
20 see when that unit was actually established. That unit was established
21 at the moment when nobody actually knew what the role of the JNA would be
22 in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina because the JNA was in the
23 processes of withdrawing and the Army of Republika Srpska had not been
24 established yet. That is why the Assembly of the ARK and not the
25 Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska issued a decision in order to
1 establish that unit because only the MUP of Republika Srpska had the
2 authority to establish such a unit, but he failed to do that.
3 From the evidence presented by the Prosecutor, you saw that the
4 CSB played a certain role in the setting up of that unit. However, when
5 the Army of Republika Srpska was established, it is our position that
6 both the structure and the goals, as well as the composition of that unit
7 were changed, and that is why the unit became predominantly a military
8 unit. This shows that that unit was composed mostly of the troops and a
9 minority of the police officers who had the necessary experience. The
10 formal or the official commander of that unit was Captain Lukic. He was
11 appointed by Colonel Stevilovic. The organisation of the unit as
12 described by several witnesses in this case and I would like to highlight
13 Witness SZ-02 [as interpreted] on transcript pages 25419, 25418 and
14 25655. Moreover, the Prosecution say in their final brief that Ecim and
15 Samardzija were members of the SDB and that they were factually the
16 detachment commanders after Captain Lukic was injured in a traffic
17 accident in late May.
18 This claim, Your Honours, is a far cry from the truth. When you
19 listen to the testimony of Witness Gajic who spoke about the disbanding
20 of the unit and when you saw who were the people who were present there
21 at the time and let me remind you who were. You will find that on
22 transcript page T10760 and 10796.
23 The commander of the unit at that meeting was there, and he
24 objected to the disbanding of the unit. If you pay attention to the
25 testimony of Witness Tutus, transcript page 968, you will see that in
1 July 1992, the commander of the unit, Captain Lukic, together with
2 Captain Dubocanin exerted pressure on Tutus to release the arrested unit
4 So the unit had its commander all the time. Perhaps he was
5 absent for a while, but you can see him throughout the period in which
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 27573-27574 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] In paragraph 721 and 833 of the
5 Prosecution final brief, it is claimed that Zupljanin was authorised by
6 the minister to set up, equip, finance and maintain special units of the
7 CSB. Of course, this is not contained in any document. A document which
8 has to do with the reorganisation of the MUP because of the war
9 conditions is the one that is quoted by the Prosecution.
10 Further, in paragraph 748, the Prosecution claims that, I quote:
11 "Zupljanin must have been aware of the activities of these police
12 units on the basis of regular reports and meetings with SJB chiefs."
13 Once again, a term that my learned friend, Ms. Butler, dealt
14 with, that he must have -- he must have been aware. In this trial,
15 Your Honour, after the outbreak of conflict in May 1992, there was just
16 one collegium held on the 30th of July, 1992, which was held -- and
17 Zupljanin's urgent reaction on the basis of what he learned at the
18 meeting is contained in Exhibit 2D25. It is a document that was drawn up
19 on the very same day.
20 In paragraph 974 of the Prosecution final brief, the Prosecution
21 claims that Zupljanin ordered the release of two members of the special
22 police from the Banja Luka prison. If you have look at what witnesses
23 ST-123 said on transcript page 7968 and Witness SZ-002 on transcript page
24 25713 and 25714, who requested that these men be released and what
25 Zupljanin essentially wanted, and it was not that the men be released but
1 that they be handed over to the judiciary organs in order to avoid a
2 conflict between the army and the police.
3 Your Honours, let me not deal any further with the claims in
4 which the Prosecutor talked about the links between the CSB and this unit
5 because I think we have already said quite a lot about that in our own
6 final brief. Only when it comes to the link this is the paragraph 723 of
7 the final brief about the SOS and Zupljanin's relation to them. Let me
8 quote Witness ST-123 on transcript page 7780 and 7652 when he talked
9 about engaging SOS with the police and when he said that Zupljanin was
10 against members of the SOS joining the police but that he was unable to
11 prevent this.
12 Further, in paragraph 738 of the Prosecution final brief,
13 Witness ST-197 is quoted. The Prosecution uses his words to illustrate
14 that Slobodan Dubocanin was never placed under the command of the
15 22nd Light Brigade. The Defence claims that Slobodan Dubocanin, firstly,
16 never was a member of the special unit, that he was a member of the army,
17 holding the rank of captain, who spent late summer and early fall of 1993
18 under the direct command of the commander of the 22nd Light Brigade;
19 exhibit which I refer you to is 2D63. Please have a look at this,
20 Your Honours. This is Slobodan Dubocanin file card. You have had the
21 occasion to see it. From the 12th of September, 1992, up until the
22 20th of October, 1992, he is in the military post 7404, Knezevo. The
23 claims of Witness ST-197 were directed at evading his known
24 responsibility for the actions of units which were subordinated to him.
25 My learned friend, Mr. Aleksic, will talk more about this.
1 You have heard that most of the criminal activities committed in
2 Kotor Varos could be traced back precisely to Slobodan Dubocanin and his
4 Further, Your Honours, the Defence also wants to clarify a
5 dilemma which the Prosecution may have about our position with regard to
6 the alleged murders in front of the health centre in Kotor Varos.
7 Firstly, in order to make myself entirely clear, the Defence claims that
8 the special unit did not have anything to do with the murder committed in
9 front of the health centre and that during its cross-examination of
10 eye-witnesses, it opposed the claims that the special unit was involved
11 in this crime.
12 Your Honours, the Prosecution founded the count of the indictment
13 relating to this event on three documents. The first of these are the
14 minutes from the Crisis Staff meeting in Kotor Varos, P46. The second is
15 P1790 which is a report of the 2nd Krajina Corps. And, finally, a report
16 of the so-called expert Brown who erroneously linked these two documents
17 in the Talic case and whose work from the Talic case was admitted into
18 evidence in this case.
19 So, to make myself clear, the incident about which the first
20 document talks, the one from the Crisis Staff, was the most difficult day
21 in Kotor Varos when there were six dead Serbs and some wounded who were
22 brought to the health centre. That was one incident.
23 Another incident was the massacre against special police members
24 which happened on the following day and about which the 1st Krajina Corps
1 And the third incident is the murder in front of the health
2 centre which occurred between these two dates.
3 And this is what Brown accepted as his wrong conclusion; namely
4 that these were three separate incidents.
5 The Defence only tried to prove during the cross-examination of
6 the survivor that the special unit was not involved in the incident but
7 that the incident was committed by the locals, and we deal with this in
8 our final brief.
9 Further, Your Honours, yesterday the Prosecution, and the day
10 before yesterday as well, the Prosecution showed you some photos from
11 Kotor Varos - actually, one photo - on which one can see men with red
12 berets walking down a street as if they were models. No shooting is
13 going on. There are no signs of combat, and I recall that when this
14 exhibit was shown to SZ-02, this is what he said on transcript
15 page 25818.
16 This man, whom the Prosecution showed to you yesterday walking
17 around and these other men were not members of the unit because the
18 Prosecution also showed you the film of the parade with the unit members.
19 Did you see any red berets among the members of the special unit from the
20 month of May? Did you see any green uniforms in this video-clip?
21 Your Honour, I will now be dealing with the Defence position in
22 respect of detention centres. It relates to paragraph 761 of the
23 Prosecution final brief, where it is asserted that the Manjaca camp was,
24 in fact, a police facility, although it was primarily secured by the
25 army. The Prosecution -- the Defence want to recall the Prosecution
1 witness, ST-172, transcript page T5266 and page T5267. This testimony
2 will clearly indicate who had the authority over Manjaca.
3 The witness confirmed that at no point did a single civilian
4 policemen enter the camp because all the policemen who were ever there to
5 secure the camp had been resubordinated.
6 It is the position of the Defence, which is firmly supported by
7 evidence, that the civilian police, who accompanied -- or were the escort
8 of the prisoners -- they were guarding the prisoners were resubordinated
9 and were given an assignment that fell outside the scope of activity of
10 the Ministry of the Interior. The relevant reference is Witness ST-139,
11 transcript 8691; ST-172, transcript 5281; P1284.55; and 1D43.
12 On the issue of Prijedor, which we addressed extensively in our
13 final brief, I would like to remind the Trial Chamber of the
14 Prosecution's position that Stojan Zupljanin was informed of the
15 situation in the camps in Prijedor. Let me say what Witness --
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the code-name of
17 the witness.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] -- said at transcript T2116, where
19 he clearly said that Drljaca and Bera misled Zupljanin deliberately by
20 feeding him misinformation. Let me tell you precisely what the witness
22 [In English] "... that Simo Drljaca, Vojin Bera and others
23 painted an untruthful picture of the events that were taking place in the
24 area. They painted a picture that was much softer in terms of
25 consequences. They were doctoring information, and they could have
1 prevent the crimes which have been established in their number and nature
2 in both Omarska and in Keraterm and in the general area of Prijedor
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Krgovic.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: What was the pseudonym of that witness?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that was
8 Witness Radulovic.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Since I disclosed a couple of names
11 a moment ago, I am now using their pseudonyms in order to avoid any
12 inadvertent mistakes.
13 At paragraph 763 of the Prosecution final brief where the
14 mistreatment of prisoners at Teslic is discussed, the Prosecutor
15 maintains that Zupljanin did nothing upon learning of the mistreatment of
16 prisoners in the SJB building in Teslic.
17 Your Honours, can anything be further from the truth than this
18 statement by the Prosecution? We have heard here countless testimonies
19 about how Zupljanin organised the Mice Group's arrest in Teslic, how he
20 removed the chief of the public security and the commander of the
21 station, Markovic, for their failure to protect the non-Serbs, and he
22 appointed Radulovic as acting chief of public security station. He
23 undertook a criminal procedure against them and secured the release of
24 the Croats and Muslims from detention. Perhaps we found ourselves in
25 different places, we and the Prosecution, since the Prosecution dare to
1 come up with a statement such as this one.
2 Your Honours, as for Sanski Most, I will not be dealing with this
3 in detail as it has been addressed in our final brief, but it is obvious
4 that all the evidence related to this territory demonstrates that
5 Zupljanin had no authority over detention centres in Sanski Most or any
6 other detention locations in that town.
7 This applies to Kljuc as well, where there is only one post
8 festum report, which is P96024, where Chief Kondic says that there are
9 reasons to undertake criminal proceedings against all these men and they
10 should be prosecuted for the crimes they committed and they should be
11 prosecuted before a military court as soon as may be.
12 Donji Vakuf we addressed it in our final brief was under military
13 administration and document 19 -- or, rather, P1927 clearly indicates
14 that the detention or the collection centre in Vakuf was set up in the
15 month of May by the command of the 19th Partisan Brigade. And this claim
16 that all the detention centre in Republika Srpska were under police
17 authority is absurd.
18 In paragraph 367, the Prosecutor says that Zupljanin allowed the
19 mistreatment of prisoners in CSB and they quote ST-27 as their reference.
20 I appeal to Trial Chamber to look carefully at what this witness said at
21 T747, 748, and onwards.
22 In paragraph 795 of the Prosecution final brief, the Prosecution
23 claim that Zupljanin conveyed the 10 August order to Stanisic with a
24 delay to carry out the transfer of the camp to the army and that he
25 delayed it until the end of August. The Defence is of the position that
1 there was no delay. The order was conveyed on the 19th of August. Only
2 nine days later, upon receipt of that order, in view of the state of war
3 and the fact that the communications system was not operational, the
4 time-period was reasonable.
5 I will give you an illustration, just as my learned friend
6 Mr. Zecevic showed you an example at the level of Republika Srpska, at
7 the Banja Luka CSB, based on exhibits and evidence, what the scope of
8 communications was in 1992 compared to 1991. Here you have the relevant
10 Your Honours, I will now move to a different topic, namely the
11 takeover of municipalities and the division of public security stations.
12 The Defence is of the view that the division of SJBs and
13 takeovers of municipalities were two completely separate processes. We
14 want to highlight this. Zupljanin's participation in peace negotiations
15 was in contradiction from the very start to the actions taken by the
16 Crisis Staff and the army. Zupljanin met regularly with municipal
17 leaders of different ethnicities long before the start of the armed
18 conflict and encouraged co-operation between different ethnic groups in
19 order to reduce tensions.
20 At paragraph 129, the Prosecution, yet again, misquote --
21 misquote evidence when referring to Zupljanin's contact with SOS and
22 quote Witness Radulovic, they take his sentence out of context.
23 Radulovic clearly said who it was he considered was close to SOS. He
24 said, Kesic, my head of the security service. And where is Zupljanin in
25 this? And Zupljanin is being mentioned in that context by the
2 Your Honour, I will not dwell on Sanski Most or the takeover of
3 municipalities because I am pressed for time. We dealt with these
4 matters in detail in our brief. I would like to show up -- or, actually
5 to refer you to P390. This is the chief of the public security station
6 Sanski Most sending a letter to Zupljanin, wherein it is said the
7 Sanski Most police was not deployed nor did it take part in the combat
8 activities that were carried out by the armed force -- by the parties to
9 the conflict because they did not have the necessary training, nor was
10 that the purpose that they served.
11 Let me go back to Kljuc and give you another example,
12 Your Honours, of this cherry picking of specific portions of testimony
13 that are then taken out of context.
14 In paragraph 378, the Prosecution quote what -- what a witness
15 said, and it was said that Zupljanin said that by the 2nd of May, the
16 change of uniforms was already a done deal and nothing could be done
17 about it.
18 But, in fact, if you look at the following response, at page 4745
19 to 9, you will see what it was that the witness said when he spoke about
20 Zupljanin. It was our understanding that he wanted to say that he was
21 unable to take a decision, one way or the other, because some other
22 persons or other organs were the ones who had already made a decision on
23 this issue. We spoke to a person who was in no way able to assist us in
24 that matter.
25 Your Honours, at paragraph 392 of the Prosecution final brief, it
1 is stated in reference to Zupljanin that both he and Kondic knew that the
2 police helped the army to arrest people. There is evidence that
3 indicates that Kondic informed the chief, Zupljanin. Let's see where do
4 we find this evidence.
5 Transcript page 15980, Witness ST-218. His Honour Delvoie asked
6 him the following. And it's about Biljane.
7 The witness said:
8 "We did not investigate into this further because it was
9 committed by the army, and criminal reports were already filed. It was
10 a -- well-known who it was who perpetrated these crimes and we did not
11 investigate them. Chief Kondic was aware of it and probably through a
12 regular report he informed the chief of the centre, but this is only a
13 conclusion on my part."
14 His Honour Judge Delvoie said:
15 "You said probably so you're not quite sure.
16 "A. I am not sure because we never mentioned that topic."
17 Furthermore, another example of how the Prosecution created their
18 final brief and how they interpreted evidence. That's paragraph 456,
19 where they claim and they say:
20 "In early April a meeting was held at the CSB Banja Luka where
21 Zupljanin explained to the leadership of Kotor Varos that all policemen
22 had to sign a pledge of loyalty to the RS. Although the meeting was
23 supposed to resolve any conflicts that may arise due to request,
24 Zupljanin did not offer any comprise and addressed Djukanovic.
25 "President, bang your fist and resolve this situation.
1 Zupljanin then said:
2 "Allow Nedeljko Maric to be the chief of the Croats,
3 Muhamed Sadikovic to lead the Muslims and Savo Tepic to lead the Serbs."
4 All in all, those present, the context and the meaning that the
5 Prosecution reads into this meeting are completely erroneous. Djekanovic
6 was not at this meeting. He is not there. Look at what witness 258 said
7 about who met with Zupljanin on that day. Transcript page 17542 to
8 17544. There, you will kind, and I quote:
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm really sorry but private session
13 testimony is not testimony that is open to the public. Parts are quoted
14 in final brief because it's -- they are all confidential final briefs.
15 This is a public session. The reason that private session testimony is
16 in private session is -- is so that it's not going out to the general
18 JUDGE HALL: Yeah. Mr. Krgovic, perhaps the course that you
19 should take is -- I assume that this is incorporated into your own brief
20 and you need merely in these public sessions draw the Chamber's attention
21 to the particular parts of your brief, but out of an abundance of
22 caution, I think we will redact that -- that portion of what you have
23 just --
24 MR. KRGOVIC: I follow your suggestion. This part, particularly,
25 wasn't incorporated in our final brief because that was first time we
1 were aware when Prosecution quoted this particular piece of evidence in
2 his own final brief.
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE HALL: Ms. Korner, could you assist me and the
5 Court Officer with the lines, please.
6 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] [Overlapping
7 speakers] ... it's line -- sorry, it's page 112 from effectively line 4
8 through to the end of whatever Mr. Krgovic quoted. Line 11, we think.
9 No, it's goes on further. All right. Okay.
10 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. Yes, so that will be redacted.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there are many such
12 examples of misinterpreting evidence and taking things out of the
13 context. You will find so many of them in the Prosecutor's final brief
14 that I should be standing here for three days to highlight every one of
15 them. My colleague Mr. Aleksic will go on and deal with some other
16 matters but let me repeat what I already stated at the beginning of my
17 presentation. Look at the evidence when it comes to the responsibility
18 of Stojan Zupljanin. Do not read the Prosecutor's final brief. Look at
19 the evidence.
20 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour there are two matters that I
21 really need to deal with. I don't know whether it would be appropriate
22 to deal with them now or whether at the end of the day or tomorrow. I
23 would submit that it is probably better to deal with then now. One of
24 them goes back to Mr. Krgovic who is giving evidence about translations.
25 The is in relation to Kotor Varos.
1 JUDGE HALL: Could we confirm from Mr. Krgovic that we are
2 effectively at the end of the day. I thought he was about to hand over
3 to Mr. Aleksic. In which case the few remaining minutes we can deal
4 with -- with these matters if you wish to raise.
5 Is that where we are --
6 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, I have finished my part of the
8 JUDGE HALL: Yes, so Mr. Krgovic will take the baton --
9 Mr. Aleksic will take the baton tomorrow morning.
10 Yes, Ms. Korner.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it's -- if we go back, please, to what
12 Mr. Krgovic was saying at page 96 of today's transcript -- sorry. It's
13 maybe ...
14 Actually, it's before 96 where he is dealing with the document I
15 raised yesterday, P583. It's the next document there I've marked up ...
16 Page -- I'm sorry. Thank you very much. It's page 93,
17 Your Honours. I'm sorry, I failed to mark it. Yes. P53. And this is,
18 Your Honours, where I objected. He says that he is going to show you
19 another document that applies to people who are unlawfully detained
20 without any foundational grounds for their detention. It is not much
21 better but it's not what hostage means, as Your Honours know.
22 Your Honours, before we dealt with that document because it was
23 such an important document we had double-checked, as far as we're
24 concerned, that that was the correct translation. No one has, throughout
25 this trial, and this document is a reasonably early document, I think it
1 may have come in through Mr. Nielsen, suggested that that was a wrong
2 translation. It is therefore not for Mr. Krgovic to give evidence that
3 it has a completely separate meaning and to go on to compound the offence
4 of giving evidence by purporting to read what has been said in the B/C/S
5 to be -- and English an illegible part of a document which is P601.
6 That's what he mentioned at page 96, where he purports to give a
7 translation going along this theme of what this particular word is, or a
8 different word, but that translation does not appear. We have the hard
9 copy of it. It's illegible.
10 So we say Your Honours cannot take that into account. The
11 evidence is closed. If the Defence want to file an application to
12 re-open the case to deal with that, they can do so. But we invite
13 Your Honours to totally disregard what Mr. Krgovic has said about that.
14 JUDGE HALL: The -- the short response, I suppose, Ms. Korner, is
15 that that would be the course that the Chamber would take. But unless I
16 misunderstood Mr. Krgovic, he seemed to have - and you would both correct
17 me if I'm wrong -- he seemed to have -- resiled would be the wrong word,
18 but modified, as it were, his challenge to the mistranslation because as
19 you have indicated, the proper course would be to make the appropriate
20 application and where I understood him to -- to place himself was that
21 the inference -- the understanding -- I don't want to use the word
22 "interpretation," I don't want to use the word "inference" because it is
23 neither of those, but the understanding taken as a whole, and I'm putting
24 aside wholly what you have just indicated would have been his
25 interpelations of illegible parts in the B/C/S that he read in the
1 record, let's ignore that. But what I understood his position to become
2 was that we read the document and this is, in fact, the effect.
3 So in other words it's a type of argument which could be properly
4 advanced even if translation wasn't involved at all. We have a document
5 in -- in say, English and everybody is an English speakers and counsel A
6 says, This is the interpretation that you, the Trial Court, should find.
7 The other side says the opposite. That's what I understood him to be at
8 the end of the day.
9 But if I got to wrong then, of course, the Chamber need simply
10 ignore the -- his -- his effective supplementing of the record.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I -- I would admit that when I got up
12 to object to this but except that he went on this, and this was the part
13 at page 96, to draw the analogy from document P601 where he says it
14 should -- it says, "word illegible" should be "isolated individuals."
15 This is a bad translation.
16 This is the -- I may say it's not the clearest what he is saying.
17 This is the category that existed in our system, and as Mr. Zecevic said,
18 the prosecutor did not interpret the legal terms and the legal system in
19 the way it existed in the Yugoslav legal practice. The term "isolated
20 persons" or "hostages," we all know that it was illegal to keep hostages,
21 but this refers to people who were detained or kept without any grounds
22 for that.
23 Your Honour, it's of course for Your Honours to read the context
24 of the term "hostages" but what now seems to be suggested is that
25 Your Honours should take into account, about which again you've heard no
1 evidence, something about the Yugoslav legal practice.
2 We say the word is "hostages." It is it properly interpreted and
3 the context makes it clear and Mr. Krgovic cannot seek to go behind that
4 by giving evidence. And that's the first thing.
5 Did Your Honours want to hear from Mr. Zecevic -- I'm sorry,
6 Mr. Krgovic on this.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you understood me
8 well when it comes to the first objection by Ms. Korner.
9 I didn't say that was it a wrong translation but it was the
10 literal translation and that the meaning of that term had to be put in
11 the context of our formal legal systems. What it meant and how we used
12 it, that was the meaning of my interjection. Because the term was not
13 mistranslated. It was literally translated.
14 I did not object, I did not claim that the translation was wrong.
15 Not for a moment that was my position or intention. And when it comes to
16 the second document that I read from the screen, in the Serbian when I
17 read, the document reads "isolation," and that is why it should be
18 re-sent for translation because it is very important that this document
19 be put in the context of my whole presentation.
20 I presented my position with regard to this document and how it
21 should be (a) translated; (b) interpreted.
22 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours -- Your Honours, that's the
24 We have had no evidence at all about how that term should be
25 applied in the previous -- or was applied in the previous Yugoslav
2 So, therefore, we submit that Your Honours should ignore
3 Mr. Krgovic's submissions on this point because that is giving evidence.
4 And, literally, the word is "hostages." Your Honours can see the
5 context, and it's a matter for Your Honours to decide what's meant by
7 I think that's as far as I can take that point.
8 JUDGE HALL: Your second point.
9 MS. KORNER: The second point relates to Kotor Varos and
10 Mr. Brown.
11 Mr. -- and they did the same in their brief. Mr. Krgovic said --
12 and this is at page 104, I think.
13 Takes it -- found a mistake. Yes, page 104, line 10.
14 Where Mr. Krgovic says he is going to clarify the dilemma which
15 the Prosecution may have about the -- the Defence, Prosecution, in regard
16 to the health centre killings. And he says that we founded the count of
17 the indictment on the killings outside the health centre and assert that
18 it was committed by the special police on the Kotor Varos minutes of
19 meetings; P46.
20 We do not, Your Honour, we never have, and in the final brief, it
21 is P81 -- can we -- can I ask for it to be put up. P46 is a totally
22 different thing. Your Honours, this is --
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to this.
24 This is rebuttal.
25 Ms. Korner should not be allowed to present her position on this
1 occasion. She shouldn't be allowed to do that now.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm trying to correct a total
3 misrepresentation of the evidence. It has nothing do with rebuttal.
4 I am saying that Mr. Krgovic, by saying that we found this on
5 P46, is deliberately, as they did in their final brief, misrepresenting
6 the evidence, first of all, of Mr. Brown, and secondly, of the
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] However, you don't have the
9 procedural right to respond to that. You could do that in your final
10 brief, in your closing argument, because we represented my position in
11 our final brief and during our case and the presentation of evidence in
12 our case, and we only repeated it during our closing argument.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: So, Mr. Krgovic, if Ms. Korner claims that the
14 correct reference should have been Exhibit P81 and not P46, would you
15 agree to that? Then we can settle the issue here and now.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. My reference was
17 to P46. I did not mention P81.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: I know you did not mention P81. But I think the
19 issue is here that a possible mistake may have been made by you by
20 quoting 46 rather than 81. So if that was a mistake, then we can settle
21 it. If not, then it is subject to --
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will check whether
23 that is the case. I will respond tomorrow.
24 I'm not sure. I said from the outset that P81 describes a
25 different event, whereas P46 -- actually, there were three different
1 events that took place.
2 P81 speaks about the killings in front of the health centre. The
3 other two documents that Brown used - P46 and the report of the
4 1st Krajina Corps - had nothing whatsoever to do with that event. The
5 case is that Mr. Brown associated them erroneously with that event.
6 MS. KORNER: I -- I'm perfectly happy -- we've dealt with --
7 with -- or I dealt with that in my final address on this.
8 All that I'm concerned about is, as he's said, we base the case
9 of the crime on that document, and we do not. And we have never said
10 that we did. It's P81. That's all -- the rest, leaving -- is for
11 Your Honours to decide, having read that.
12 But it is totally erroneous to say that we base our allegation of
13 the crime committed by the special police on P46.
14 JUDGE HALL: And to that extent, it should be patent from your
15 final briefs. So there's -- there's nothing for us to ...
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated].
17 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Krgovic. It
18 is not right that in a public speech Mr. Krgovic should make a total
19 misrepresentation of what our case is about.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I must say, I
21 must remind Ms. Korner of her claim.
22 When she examined Witness Brown, she suggested, based on the
23 document by the 1st Krajina Corps, and Brown admitted that the massacre
24 was committed by specials. That was her expert. Her examination. What
25 was that but the basis for her claim that the special unit committed the
1 crime? And when that claim fell through, then she changed the reference
2 to P81.
3 I am not misinterpreting things. I'm listening to the way the
4 evidence was presented by the Prosecution. I'm qualified to assess what
5 the Prosecutor's case against my client is.
6 JUDGE HALL: Well, we can't take this matter any
7 further [Overlapping speakers] ...
8 MS. KORNER: No -- but, Your Honour, no, I -- I -- very well.
9 But I want it just very clear. As I say, this is in public, and I think
10 it's right, at no stage have we ever said that anything other than P81
11 was the basis for the allegation -- the later, accepted misunderstanding
12 by Mr. Brown of the later document, which Mr. Krgovic showed Mr. Brown,
13 is right. But the allegation has always been based, and if Mr. Krgovic
14 checks our brief, pre-trial brief, he will see on the document, P81.
15 JUDGE HALL: Yes. So we have heard you, and we now have it on
16 the record. And we take the adjournment to 9.00 tomorrow morning.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.41 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Friday, the 1st day of June,
19 2012, at 9.00 a.m.