1 Monday, 19 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Happy new year. And welcome
10 back to this case. We noticed that the successor of Ms. Sinatra is
11 present in this courtroom. For the sake of the record, would you please
12 introduce yourself, please.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, my name is
14 Branko Lukic and I am representing Mr. Jokic as his co-counsel today.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. And we also notice that the
16 counsel for Mr. Deronjic is also present in this courtroom. For the sake
17 of the record would you please introduce yourself to the bench. Yes, you
18 have the floor, sir.
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am
20 Slobodan Cvijetic and I am the counsel of the accused, Miroslav Deronjic
21 in this case, and I am familiar with my rights aware that I can intervene
22 with legal questions but not as to factual matters.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So there is no need for me to
24 remind you about that. Before we have the next witness, there are several
25 procedural matters that we have to deal with. The first one is that the
1 Prosecution filed a motion on the 18th December last year asking for
2 dropping six Prosecution witnesses. During the breaks and after
3 consultations with my colleagues, we would like to say that this motion is
5 The next issue is that we believe that we should admit witness 80
6 under Rule 92 bis without cross-examination.
7 The third matter is that I would like to ask the views from the
8 parties about two 92 bis witnesses in relation to the cross-examination.
9 That was in a motion filed December 5th last year. The first one is
10 Mr. Erdemovic.
11 Mr. Karnavas, I would like to ask you first of all to know whether
12 you still want to cross-examine this witness or not.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
14 Your Honours. Happy new year. If we were to cross-examine Mr. Erdemovic,
15 we believe this could be accomplished within one or two sessions. It
16 would be limited to one particular matter. I have read all of the
17 statements. I believe that the Prosecutor and I are very close in our
18 interpretation of Mr. Erdemovic's prior testimony. However,
19 Mr. Blagojevic did express his discontent with respect to one aspect where
20 Mr. Erdemovic seems to have been somewhat equivocal. So our
21 cross-examination would be primarily focused on that. So I believe one or
22 two sessions at the very most.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much.
24 Could I turn to Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I believe the issue is
1 related to whether Mr. Erdemovic suggests in any way that the squad that
2 assisted him at the Branjevo Farm was from the Bratunac Brigade. And as
3 Mr. Karnavas and I have looked through the record and had agreed that he
4 never makes that suggestion, and I have, on his request, have confirmed
5 that for the record. As you recall, Mr. Blagojevic had some concern over
6 that. So we are prepared to stipulate on that. Mr. -- in my view, Mr.
7 Erdemovic has always been very clear and consistent on that point. This
8 Prosecutor will never suggest otherwise. However, I understand
9 Mr. Karnavas's concerns.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, even if Mr. Erdemovic mentioned
11 those people from the Bratunac Brigade specifically, but he did not say or
12 indicate in any way that this matter is related to any orders or
13 acknowledgment of your client in this point. So in these circumstances, I
14 believe there is a meeting of minds from both parties on that issue. So
15 do you think there is still a need to cross-examine that witness?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, if I may give an explanation, as
17 opposed to giving a yes or no answer. The -- Mr. Erdemovic has given
18 many, many different statements and has been questioned on a variety of
19 occasions in different proceedings. And on almost every occasion Mr.
20 Erdemovic has indicated that the soldiers or the people that came to
21 assist in the killings at Branjevo Farm on the morning of I believe it's
22 the 16th were from Bratunac, not the Bratunac Brigade. There were some
23 leading questions at one point that would perhaps leave to the suggestion
24 that Mr. Erdemovic was conceding at some point that they might have been
25 from the Bratunac Brigade. That's the very narrow issue. In my opinion,
1 a close reading of Mr. Erdemovic's testimony clearly indicates that at no
2 time he states that they were from the Bratunac Brigade. I believe
3 Mr. McCloskey on the record now is conceding the point, or acknowledging
4 the point I should say because I don't think there was ever -- the
5 Prosecution has never argued that Erdemovic has, in fact, stated that they
6 were from the Bratunac Brigade, and in fact we had Mr. Butler indicate
7 that as well on the record.
8 So I think the record is quite clear. Also, there is additional
9 testimony from other witnesses that would shed light as to who might have
10 participated, and of course would be helpful to the Trial Chamber in
11 making its findings of facts. In light of that, in my professional
12 opinion, I believe that there would be no need to bring Mr. Erdemovic.
13 However, irrespective of how I, as a professional, may feel,
14 Mr. Blagojevic may be of a different opinion. And given my position as
15 counsel, on this particular issue it would appear that I would need to
16 follow the instructions of my client, which would be Mr. Blagojevic. So
17 if Mr. Blagojevic insists on having Mr. Erdemovic over here, then that
18 would be my position, that I would make that request and then leave it to
19 the Court's discretion to make their determination.
20 On the other hand, if the Court were to make a finding of fact at
21 this point, that based on the stipulation or based on the remarks by the
22 Prosecution and the Defence, the Trial Chamber will indeed make a finding
23 of fact that those members were not from the Bratunac Brigade or at least
24 there's no evidence to suggest that from the Bratunac Brigade, pursuant to
25 Mr. Erdemovic's testimony. In other words, there may be some other
1 evidence out there yet to come from which the Court could reach their
2 decision. But I believe, at least with respect to Erdemovic's testimony,
3 then I think that would eliminate the need of bringing Mr. Erdemovic back,
4 because I understand there are some complications given that he is under
5 the witness protection program and there's a lot of logistical issues
6 and -- and again, as I indicated, his testimony would take probably one
7 session, two at the very most.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Karnavas.
9 As for this specific issue, I believe that there is a meeting of
10 minds between the two parties of this particular issue, and if there is
11 some areas which is equivocal or unclear, this Bench will interpret the
12 testimony of the witness in favour of the accused, which means that the
13 Prosecution has to present the evidence beyond reasonable doubt to
14 incriminalise the accused. So on this particular matter and concerning
15 with this particular witness, this Bench believes that we don't need the
16 cross-examination of this witness.
17 As for the next witness, her name is Ibrahimafendic. On the 17th
18 of December last year, Mr. Karnavas expressed a view that he would like to
19 cross-examine her and he might have some reasons for that. At that time,
20 we hoped Mr. Karnavas could reconsider his positions on this issue. If
21 you insist, Mr. Karnavas, would you please tell us the concrete reasons
22 for doing that.
23 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. With all due respect, if I
25 could ask for the Court's indulgence for -- to come back to the Court
1 tomorrow on that. In light of the Court's specific instructions, I would
2 like to be very careful and re-examine my position and be very specific in
3 the event I do wish to continue with my previous request. So if I could
4 have one day, Your Honour, and address this issue tomorrow, I would very
5 much appreciate it.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
7 Are there any other matters that the parties would like to bring
8 to the attention of this Bench?
9 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. If we could go into private
11 session just for a second.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
13 [Private session]
13 Page 6122 to 6129 redacted – Private session
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE LIU: We are now in open session.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: There is a technical matter here. Apparently,
25 Ms. Tomanovic's ear -- well, it says she has no acoustics --
1 JUDGE LIU: I see.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: And I'm afraid I'm unable to assist in these
3 technical matters.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: MIROSLAV DERONJIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please. I'm
13 sorry that we have kept you waiting for a long time, but you have to
14 understand that at the beginning of a year, there are a lot of
15 housekeeping matters to deal with. Are you ready to start?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honour. Yes, I'm
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.
19 Mr. McCloskey, your direct examination, please.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Examined by Mr. McCloskey:
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Deronjic.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Can you for the record give us your name and spell your last name.
25 A. My name is Miroslav Deronjic, D -- rather M-i-r-o-s-l-a-v,
2 Q. All right. Thank you. And as you know, I'll have just a few
3 questions for you this morning, pursuant to the Court process. And I want
4 to ask you about, to start off, just a few documents. But is it not true
5 that you are testifying today here pursuant to a plea agreement that you
6 entered into with the Office of the Prosecutor?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. And you pled guilty in an indictment that related to the May 9th
9 attack and burning of the village of Glogova in 1992?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Where I believe at least 65 Muslims were killed, murdered in that
13 A. Correct.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And Mr. President, we have marked that the plea
15 agreement and the factual basis with 689, and I don't believe we need to
16 go any further than that. And the B/C/S version is I believe as we
17 usually -- just 689(B).
18 Q. All right. Let's go now to 11 July 1995, where you have
19 previously said you were at Pribicevac I believe in the afternoon hours.
20 Can you tell us, did you have any contact with Mr. Blagojevic at that
22 A. I said in my statement that during the Srebrenica operation, I had
23 first seen Mr. Blagojevic on the 11th. It was a brief accidental
24 encounter at Pribicevac. At the time, the Army of Republika Srpska had
25 received an order to enter the town of Srebrenica. We met and spent five
1 to six minutes talking. That was all.
2 Q. And what did Mr. Blagojevic say to you?
3 A. It was an ordinary conversation. We exchanged our information as
4 to the ending of the Srebrenica information -- operation. And I think
5 that at one point we set out together in the direction of Srebrenica;
6 however, shortly after that I received invitation to return to Bratunac.
7 So that is why I didn't see Mr. Blagojevic after that.
8 Q. Do you know if Mr. Blagojevic's troops were doing anything
9 relating to that -- to Srebrenica, or whether he said anything about what
10 his troops were doing?
11 A. Yes, that the forces of the Bratunac Brigade were deployed along
12 that line, and at Pribicevac in those days I had an opportunity of
13 visiting some of the units deployed in the area. But at that moment, when
14 I encountered Mr. Blagojevic, the units were on the move towards
15 Srebrenica. They had received an order to enter Srebrenica, and the units
16 under Mr. Blagojevic's command were carrying out that order.
17 Q. All right. Now, let me briefly ask you about something you said
18 to Mr. Jean Rene Ruez, who I'm sure you remember. You've provided several
19 statements to the Office of the Prosecutor prior to your arrest, I take
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And on February 4, 1998, you mentioned to Mr. Ruez that you had
23 gone to Pale and spoken to the president on the 11th and 12th of July, and
24 that upon your return you called a meeting with General Mladic and some
25 civilian representatives, as well at the commander of the Bratunac
1 Brigade, what you identified as Mr. Blagojevic. Now, since that
2 particular statement, you have not mentioned such a meeting. Can you tell
3 us today whether what you told Mr. Ruez on February 4th, 1998, was correct
4 or not?
5 A. No. This was not correct. I did not correctly convey the
6 information as regards the events taking place in the evening of the 11th,
7 or rather, starting on the evening of the 11th and then going on for the
8 next couple of days.
9 Q. Can you briefly explain that, why you were not correctly relating
10 the events when you met with Mr. Ruez.
11 A. There's several reasons for that, Mr. McCloskey. Let me just
12 mention the most important ones. That was my first encounter with an
13 investigator of the OTP. I had been informed by an official of the
14 government of Republika Srpska that I should appear at Pale and give a
15 statement relating to the events this Srebrenica. So I was not fully
16 informed as to the contents of the conversation that was supposed to take
17 place at Pale. Of course it was a surprise -- this invitation came as a
18 surprise, and it was the first such invitation and it was only then that I
19 realised that I was interesting for the investigators of the OTP. So I
20 came to Pale. I gave a statement, and then another one in the premises of
21 the government of Republika Srpska. Those statements were given in very
22 complex circumstances. When I say "complex circumstances," I'm referring
23 both to political circumstances and a general atmosphere and climate, as
24 regards the political leadership of Republika Srpska and their attitude
25 towards the Tribunal.
1 I'm also referring to the security issues, because the very fact
2 that I gave this statement in the premises of the government of Republika
3 Srpska imply the possibility for such statements to be distributed or sent
4 to various addressees, the addressees that I didn't think would be
5 favourable to me. I tried to present the facts as regards the events in
6 Srebrenica, but at the same time I wanted to avoid mentioning the facts
7 that were directly related to the leadership of Republika Srpska when it
8 comes to these events. And that is the main reason for the discrepancies
9 between those statements, the statements that I gave at that time, and the
10 statement that I gave later on to the Office of the Prosecutor.
11 Q. So does that mean that some of your statements regarding the
12 leadership of Republika Srpska, such as Radovan Karadzic, were
13 deliberately not true in order to --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And did that regard -- also regarding your involvement in some of
16 the Srebrenica events. Were you completely truthful about your
18 A. You mean in the last -- during the last interview or are you
19 referring to the first interviews?
20 Q. The first interviews prior to your beginning to enter into plea
21 negotiations with the Office of the Prosecutor.
22 A. Well, both facts that I omitted to mention in those statements are
23 related to me, including the encounter with President Karadzic and the
24 implications of that encounter. So the answer is yes, I'm directly
25 related to those events.
1 Q. All right. You understand Mr. Karnavas is, and perhaps the Judges
2 are going to be asking you questions specifically about many of those
4 A. Yes, I understand that.
5 Q. You understand that I will not be?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, if we -- we have some documents related to that time frame,
8 and if we could -- I just want to show you them very, very briefly. The
9 first is P686, if we could show him I believe should be (B), which is the
10 B/C/S version. And perhaps we can put the English version on the ELMO.
11 It's from the Gazette of the RS regarding strategic objectives.
12 And briefly, Mr. Deronjic, I don't want to go into this document
13 and its history. But can you tell us, is this a genuine document? Were
14 there -- was there a thing called the six strategic objectives? Does this
15 exhibit reflect the true and correct decision?
16 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. This decision, the document that I have in
17 front of me, talks about the strategic objectives of the Serbian people in
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is dated 1992. And in my statement I talked
19 at some length about this document and when I came to learn about it. The
20 document is a genuine one and it describes political objectives of the
21 leadership of Republika Srpska in 1992.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. And we do -- the Court does have the synopsis
23 of your statement, so I don't think we need to ask anything further on
24 that point.
25 Now, let me show you what's been marked P687. And you've also, as
1 you know, in your most recent statements to the Prosecutor spoken of your
2 appointment as civilian commissioner. In fact, I think you've spoken
3 about that in most of your statements. Is this document, P687, the actual
4 physical document appointing you as civilian commissioner?
5 A. Yes. That is the document in question. I've already had an
6 opportunity to see him. I had it in my possession, and I handed it over
7 to the Prosecutor. This is the decision on the appointment of myself to
8 the position of civilian commissioner for the Serbian municipality of
10 Q. When did you first get a -- actually a physical copy of that so
11 you could see what the president had done on paper?
12 A. I mentioned in my statement to the Prosecutor that it was on the
13 11th of July, and I'm referring to the 11th of July of 1995, that I had a
14 conversation with the President. And it was then that he first informed
15 me of my appointment to the position of civilian commissioner. I insisted
16 that he sent me a written copy specifying my functions, although I was
17 already familiar with the institution of civilian commissioner as such.
18 He promised he would send this to me. I believe that there should be a --
19 in the original document, the date when I actually received it by fax in
20 my office. But I believe it could have been three to four days after my
21 conversation with the President.
22 Q. All right. Now, just as a matter of procedure, you've prefaced
23 your remarks as you've said to the Office of the Prosecutor. And it's
24 important that when you're answering the questions that you speak directly
25 to those questions to me or to counsel or to the Court, so that we know
1 you're answering the questions directly and you're not just telling us
2 what you told the Prosecutor. I think I understand that as does the
3 Court. But it's for the record and for the process, it's important that
4 we understand that you're speaking today directly to us.
5 All right. And just another document, 688, the appointment to the
6 War Presidency. It's a document you received at the same time. And can
7 you just briefly tell us what this is.
8 A. On the 14th of July, 1995, at a meeting held at Pale, Mr. Karadzic
9 informed me that a decision on the appointment of civilian commissioner is
10 to be renamed, rephrased, and that a War Presidency would be established
11 in the Srebrenica municipality, which was the reason why we met with the
12 representatives of Serbs from Srebrenica. During the afternoon hours of
13 that day, we adopted a decision concerning the composition of the
14 War Presidency for the Srebrenica municipality, whereby I was appointed
15 President of the War Presidency. Whereas, the eight remaining individuals
16 named in this decision were appointed members of this War Presidency.
17 Once again, the decision was reached on the 14th of July, 1995.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, could we go into closed
20 session briefly?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to closed session, please.
22 [Closed session]
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
4 Mr. Karnavas, do you prefer to start your cross-examination now or
5 we might have an early break? The time is the same allocated to you, I
6 can guarantee you.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I would prefer that we
8 have a break so the Prosecution could get a chance to hunt down that
9 agreement that was signed back on I believe it's the 18th of June or July,
10 2003, for me to get set up so I can be most efficient with my time.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
12 So we'll resume at 25 minutes to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.05 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.37 a.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Your cross-examination, please.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Deronjic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Before we discuss your background, I thought we would begin with
21 the very first statement that you gave, that was in 16 December, 1997. Do
22 you recall that meeting?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And just for the record, when you stated earlier on direct that it
25 was the first meeting that you had back on February 4, 1998, and you gave
1 your explanation as to why you were less than truthful, that wasn't the
2 first statement, in fact that was a second encounter. Correct?
3 A. Yes, I understand that.
4 Q. Okay. Now, the first time that you met with them back in 16
5 December, 1997, that was in Pale, was it not?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. And you were informed on that occasion that you would be meeting
8 with representatives of the Tribunal, or did they just show up
10 A. If I remember correctly, I was informed about the meeting by
11 Mr. Neskovic. I don't know exactly what his post was in the government of
12 Republika Srpska at the time, but I think I was summoned to the meeting
13 and it was explained to me that I needed to come to Pale and to give a
14 statement to investigators of The Hague Tribunal regarding the events in
15 Srebrenica. And I was told that I was not subject of the investigation at
16 the meeting, but that I should give certain statements -- a statement
17 regarding the circumstances of the participation of Mr. Karadzic since the
18 indictment against him was already issued concerning those events. So
19 Mr. Neskovic informed me and gave me some details about that meeting.
20 Q. All right. Now -- and I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but
21 at this point were you still the vice-president of the SDS party?
22 A. No. In 1997, before this meeting, I left the majority of the
23 political functions that I had in the SDS until then, and I think that I
24 was not the vice-president of the SDS at the time.
25 Q. When you were vice-president of the SDS, was Mr. Karadzic the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And as the president, would that make him the head of the SDS?
4 A. Yes, of course.
5 Q. You would be his second in command, in the party that is?
6 A. Well, how should I explain that to you? At the time, there was
7 seven vice-presidents, so I was one of those seven vice-presidents.
8 Q. All right. We'll get to that later on. In any event, when you
9 also stated today that you were somewhat caught by surprise that you were
10 being summoned back in 1998 to give a statement, is it not kind of odd
11 that you would be surprised, given that you had already met with someone
12 from the Tribunal in December 16, 1997?
13 A. Yes. When I mentioned this meeting in 1998, I said that these
14 were the first meetings with the Tribunal, including this one from 1997.
15 I was somewhat surprised because of those meetings, because I was invited
16 by our government via Mr. Neskovic to come and provide the statement, even
17 though nobody explained in detail the nature of this statement that I was
18 supposed to provide, nor the status that I had vis-a-vis the Tribunal and
19 the investigators. And I believed that perhaps it was necessary for them
20 to give me some questions, and I did ask Mr. Neskovic if I could be
21 provided with some questions so that I could prepare and adequately
22 respond to them. But he said that I should just appear. And then in a
23 conversation with the OTP representatives, we will see what is connected
24 to me and those events and then we will see.
25 So for me it was somewhat of a surprise when Mr. Jean Rene Ruez
1 said that I needed to provide a comprehensive statement about all the
2 events in Srebrenica, including some preparatory actions and all the
3 things -- and how things proceed over those few key days in July 1995. I
4 was not prepared to provide such a comprehensive statement, and I told
5 Mr. Ruez in that conversation that I cannot provide a detailed specific
6 statement because I wasn't prepared for it for such wide -- a broad range
7 of events. And he agreed with that. And I think that is also stated in
8 the transcript.
9 Q. Okay. Mr. Deronjic, one thing I can assure you is that I will be
10 as thorough as I possibly can be with all of your statements, each and
11 every one of them. So I will try to narrow my questions, and if you could
12 narrow your answers to my questions, we might be able to get through this
13 as quickly as possible.
14 Now, getting back to my original question, today you were asked by
15 Mr. McCloskey with respect to your statement dated February 4, 1998. And
16 at that time Mr. McCloskey asked you, and I quote: "Can you briefly
17 explain that, why you were not correctly relating the events when you met
18 with Mr. Ruez?"
19 Okay. That was the question. And then you began to say in your
20 answer that you were surprised -- that this invitation came as a surprise
21 and it was the first such invitation and that it was only then that I
22 realised that I was -- that I was interesting for the investigators of the
23 OTP. And I'm reading from the official transcript that we have. That was
24 your answer.
25 Now, sir, here is my question: If this is February 4, 1998, that
1 would have been your second meeting with the Office of the Prosecution or
2 the Tribunal because you had a previous one, had you not, back in 1997, to
3 be specific, 16 December 1997. Correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Now, during that particular meeting you were asked questions and
6 you provided some answers. Correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And in fact before coming here today - and I would guess, given
9 that you had three very competent lawyers, one especially from the United
10 States, very familiar with entering into plea agreements - you had an
11 opportunity to go over all of your statements with your lawyers and for
12 you yourself, knowing that you would be testifying. Correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct, to a large degree.
14 Q. Okay. Now, I'm going to go over in great detail the first
15 statement that you made back on 16th December 1997. But is it not a fact
16 that during that conversation that you had, you informed them that it was
17 a pity, it was a shame that they did not have enough time or you did not
18 have enough time during that occasion and that you wanted to meet with
19 them again in order to give them more detailed information. Do you recall
20 reading that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. So in other words, you expected them to come back after you
23 had your first meeting in 1997. Correct?
24 A. I assumed that there would be more conversations.
25 Q. You assumed because of the nature of the questioning. Correct?
1 A. Because of the importance of the events that we had started to
3 Q. All right. Well, not just the importance of the events but also
4 because of your particular role, at least with respect to how you had
5 described it during that questioning process. Correct?
6 A. Yes. My role was very important in those events, and I assumed
7 that there would be more conversations because of that.
8 Q. Correct. And in fact you specifically stated - and for the record
9 this is D92/1 - I'm reading from your statement and it's on page 4 of the
10 English version. But I'll read it to you and if you need to look at the
11 Srpski version I can give you the particular line. But just let me read
12 it and see if it refreshes your -- if I'm correct. You say: "I hope next
13 time you come we have more time to discuss. There are a lot of details
14 which deserve to be explained better. I will be in a position to do so
15 next time."
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Now, one can only assume that after this particular meeting you
19 were fully aware of what sort of preparation you needed to make for the
20 next encounter with the OTP. Correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. So once again, getting back to what you testified earlier
23 today, you were incorrect in stating that during the February 4 meeting
24 you were not only taken by surprise but also you were unaware of the
25 general nature of the discussions, hence your inability of being more
1 precise, and that was one of the reasons that you gave. Correct?
2 A. Mr. Karnavas, perhaps I didn't understand too precisely about
3 which conversation Mr. McCloskey was asking me about. Perhaps I thought
4 that he was asking me about the first conversation, and perhaps that is
5 why I gave the answer that I did give.
6 Q. Okay. Well, thank you very much. And incidentally, if there ever
7 comes an occasion where you don't understand me, because I have this habit
8 sometimes as making long questions, please ask me to rephrase. But I'll
9 try to be as specific as possible.
10 All right. Now, if we could get to the very first statement. By
11 the way, do you have a copy of that, because I understand you have some
12 documents with you. Do you have it with you by any chance? And I'm
13 referring to specifically what is titled as Information Report dated 16
14 December 1997, and again for the record, it's D92/1. Do you have it with
15 you Mr. Deronjic?
16 A. I don't have it, Mr. Karnavas. So if you do have a copy, I would
17 be very grateful if you give it to me.
18 Q. I do have a copy, and I have it in Srpski. Before we get to that,
19 to the actual questioning, you indicated also today that you were
20 somewhat -- perhaps you were less than honest or truthful during that
21 occasion because of the place where the interview took, because you were
22 in Pale, and I believe in an office in the government building. Correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. May I ask: Who chose that particular venue, OTP or you?
25 A. Well, I was in no opportunity to pick the venue, so either it was
1 the OTP or somebody from the Republika Srpska leadership chose that
3 Q. Okay. And what about the particular room within the government
4 building? Did you pick it out or did somebody pick it out for you?
5 A. No. The office was allocated. I really don't know who allocated
6 the office. Inside they had the technical equipment which helped us to
7 conduct the interview. I'm thinking of the microphones, the cassette
8 tape, and so on.
9 Q. Now, there was an interpreter there to assist both you and the
10 Prosecution. Do you remember that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was the interpreter one provided by the government of the RS or
13 was that an interpreter that was there on behalf of the Office of the
15 A. I didn't ask such questions and I really couldn't give you an
16 answer. They just introduced him to me and asked me if I agreed for him
17 to interpret during the interview, and I agreed.
18 Q. In any event during that interview you did not at any time
19 indicate that you wanted to have the interview someplace else because you
20 felt uncomfortable?
21 A. I didn't say that at that point, and I think that if I had said
22 something like that at that location, assuming that they were taping,
23 something like that would be also recorded.
24 Q. Okay. Fair to say that subsequent to this occasion when you met
25 with the Prosecution on the other times, you did not feel that same fear.
1 Is that correct? Would that be a correct understanding?
2 A. No. That is not correct. The fear increased to a certain degree,
3 because later I found out that a part or practically all of my interviews
4 and their contents had reached some addresses as a result of which I was
5 very unhappy that they had reached these addresses. And I had warned the
6 Prosecution, Mr. Jean Ruez, at some point. And even during an interview
7 when Mr. Harmon was present, I had the exact information where these
8 interviews were being sent and who was using them and where they were
9 being used, and I warned the Prosecution about that.
10 Q. All right. So just to make sure I understand, it's your testimony
11 today that there was a leak in the Office of the Prosecution, and they
12 were somehow -- were passing on your interviews to folks in the community.
13 Is that a correct interpretation of what you're stating?
14 A. No. That is not correct. I didn't say that the Prosecution
15 directed these interviews or provided information to somebody, but simply
16 that there were other ways that these interviews were reaching addresses
17 that they were not supposed to address. But I did have absolutely clear
18 information about how some of my interviews or practically all of my
19 interviews were going where they should not have been going to. But I am
20 not aware of the way in which they got there.
21 Q. Well, I just don't want to give up on this point yet.
22 Mr. Deronjic, assuming that the Prosecution was taking these statements
23 and assuming that the members of their team, that is the interpreters,
24 were the only other people in the room while you were being questioned
25 other than your own lawyers, how would it be possible for somebody else to
1 be spreading that information? It would either come from the OTP or it
2 would come from your own lawyers or it might come from you. So either
3 you're accusing the OTP of leaking information or having a mole in the
4 sense of somebody acting as a spy in their office, or maybe there was a
5 leak by way of others participating in this conversation such as your own
6 lawyers or perhaps you yourself. Which one is it?
7 A. I cannot choose any of the options, but I can provide another one
8 and that is the premises where we were conducting particularly the initial
9 interviews. There were perhaps some bugging or recording devices. I do
10 not know too much about these technical details, but there is that
11 possibility. Secondly, I would like to say that during those initial
12 interviews it's true that I had lawyers. I think, if I remember
13 correctly, they did attend one of the interviews. I had two lawyers,
14 Mr. Neskovic and Mr. Pantelic. They were not my lawyers, but I was told
15 when I got to Pale that I had been provided with two attorneys who can
16 assist me during my giving of the interview. I cannot remember whether
17 they were present at one or two of these meetings, but as I had already
18 understood that some information was already being leaked from those
19 interviews, I, shortly afterwards, refused the assistance of both of those
20 attorneys in order at least to eliminate that particular possible source
21 of the spread of information. And I informed Mr. Ruez that in future I
22 would be coming to the meetings alone. Of course I do not wish to accuse
23 them in any way, because I have no proof that they were the source of this
25 Q. And of course one of the reasons you were also appearing alone
1 during those interviews while you were still consulting with your lawyers
2 was you wanted to give the appearance that you had nothing to hide, you
3 didn't need a lawyer, and therefore perhaps that would be somewhat
4 persuasive in not eventually charging you. Correct? Just a yes or no
5 would do.
6 A. No.
7 Q. Okay. All right. Getting -- now, let's focus on this initial
8 interview. Now, Mr. Deronjic, in your initial interview you indicated
9 that you learned of your appointment as Srebrenica -- when it became clear
10 that Srebrenica would fall. That's on paragraph 3. Do you recall making
11 that statement? It's on the first page, first page, there's no need to
12 turn the page, third paragraph. You indicate that: "I was appointed when
13 it became clear that Srebrenica would fall."
14 My question is: Is that correct, did you learn it when it became
15 apparent that it would fall or had it fallen? Which one is it?
16 A. I think that the correct answer is when I realised or when it
17 became clear that Srebrenica would fall, as our units were entering
18 Srebrenica -- or rather, while they were moving towards Srebrenica, I
19 received this piece of information. But practically speaking, Srebrenica
20 had not yet fallen at that moment.
21 Q. Okay. And so -- at that point you indicate that you first learned
22 of the decision of your appointment through the media. Correct? That's
23 the next line, through the media?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. So when you say "media," what are we talking about?
1 Television? Radio? Which media? Newspaper?
2 A. No. I was informed through the police that Karadzic wanted me to
3 get in touch with him as quickly as possible from Bratunac. They took me
4 in a police car to Bratunac, and the police officers in the car told me
5 that the possible reason as to why Karadzic was looking for me was the
6 fact that it was broadcast over the radio that I had been appointed to the
7 position of a civilian commissioner or some other position, I don't
8 exactly recall the name that they gave this position. That's what I had
9 in mind.
10 Q. Okay. So when you say that you "learned it through the media,"
11 that was false. Correct?
12 A. What do you mean when you say that it was false? That I
13 personally learned --
14 Q. Okay. Well, you state here, Mr. Deronjic, you state here: "I
15 first learned the decision through the media." That's here. And as we
16 will see, you repeat that on other occasions. And on one occasion I
17 believe you say mass media. Today for the very first time we hear that
18 the police came and got you and then transported you to the Bratunac
19 Brigade headquarters where you could make a phone call and speak directly
20 to the president.
21 So my question to you today is: Is it -- is this not false then
22 when you state that you first learned the decision through the media, yes
23 or no?
24 A. The -- this is not false because I learned it through the media
25 indirectly. It was the police and the people I encountered who told me
1 that this piece of information had been broadcast over the media. But I
2 learned about it directly from the police.
3 Q. Okay. So the police heard it, and they decided on their own, we
4 better go search for Deronjic. He might be somewhere on the front line,
5 our president of the SDS. And that's how they went and found you and they
6 transported you back to the headquarters?
7 A. I don't understand why you are misinterpreting my answer. Someone
8 was informed that the president was looking for me, that he wanted to see
9 me. This was conveyed to the police, and it was the police that looked
10 for me and got me. And the chief of the public security station probably
11 responded, and he called his men at the Pribicevac post by Motorola and
12 informed them that they should get me and bring me to President Karadzic,
13 who wanted to see me. So it was not those police officers who decided on
14 their own to get me and to bring me to the president.
15 Q. Why didn't you give this explanation back then when you were being
16 questioned? It seems somewhat innocuous, nothing to worry about, about
17 how you learned of your appointment?
18 A. Well, I must admit that it is rather difficult to provide detailed
19 explanation for everything. I perhaps didn't deem it to be very important
20 as to who it was who first heard it on the radio and who informed me of
22 Q. Okay. In any event, you state that you asked for -- you did speak
23 with President Karadzic at some point -- and you asked for a meeting.
25 A. Yes. I talked to President Karadzic in the evening of the 11th of
1 July. I talked to him on the telephone from the brigade headquarters.
2 Q. Okay. And then you state that: "We met I think one day after."
3 That's what you state. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So if you met with him one day after, that would have been in July
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. If I met with him.
10 Q. What do you mean if you met with him? You either met with him or
11 you did not meet with him.
12 A. No, I didn't meet with him. That's exactly where the problem is.
13 Q. All right. So you did not meet with him on the 11th?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Okay. And again I don't want to get ahead of myself, but do you
16 recall giving a statement at some other point in time where you indicated
17 that on that particular day, July 11th, 1995, you in fact drove to Pale
18 and spoke directly with President Karadzic. Do you recall making that
20 A. Yes, I recall making that statement.
21 Q. So I take it that statement, when you made it, was knowingly
23 A. I wouldn't call it knowingly false. Those were my first
24 statements, my first, my second, and my third statement concerning these
25 events. And frankly, at that time it was difficult for me to remember all
1 those events. I did as best as I could. And as you can see from these
2 statements, I often warned the Prosecution of my insecurity with respect
3 to the dates. I checked the dates later on and I'm sure you will realise
4 how difficult it is to remember particular dates, dates of the meetings,
5 the exact hours and so on and so forth. This is what I had to do on my
6 own. I had to refresh my memory of those years, and if you read carefully
7 my statements, you will see that with every subsequent statement, the
8 dates and the hours are more precise, the dates of meetings and various
10 Q. All right. Suffice it to say, Mr. Deronjic, that you are --
11 again, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but you are a student of
12 literature, correct, of the language?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. You have a degree in that. Correct?
15 A. Of course.
16 Q. You were a teacher. Correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. So you understand all about linguistic nuances. Correct?
19 A. Of course.
20 Q. All right. Now, getting back to what you just stated, Srebrenica,
21 the falling of Srebrenica, was a historic occasion during those days, was
22 it not?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. There is no doubt in your mind that Srebrenica fell in fact on 11
25 July 1995. Correct?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. You don't need to look at some notebook or some diary or ask some
3 neighbour when Srebrenica fell, because of your particular position and
4 because of the momentous occasion of the falling of Srebrenica, you know
5 that it was July 11, 1995. Correct?
6 A. Well, let me tell you -- let us not enter into a debate as to the
7 limits of the memory. Unfortunately Srebrenica was not the only event
8 that attracted my attention. Obviously it was the most important one, but
9 there was a number of other events taking place at the time. 13 to 1400
10 were killed -- people were killed in Bratunac, and I expressed my
11 condolences to all those families. So all of these events occupy my
12 memory. Some are clear and precise in my mind and some are not.
13 Q. Okay. Well, is the event of the falling of Srebrenica clear in
14 your mind, or are you having some difficulty recounting the events as they
15 occurred during those days?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I will move on, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: I believe you asked this question.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll withdraw and move on, Your Honour.
20 Q. Now -- so it's your firm testimony today that on the 11th of July
21 1995, you did not in fact go to Pale to meet with President Karadzic, yes
22 or no?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, you then go on to state that one of the reasons that you met
25 with -- you spoke with President Karadzic was because you wanted to have
1 clear guidance as to what your specific role was going to be as the
2 commissioner of Srebrenica. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And when you gave this statement, you indicated that it was
5 President Karadzic who told you that you, that is Miroslav Deronjic, was
6 directly responsible to the president in order to assist in -- to take
7 care of the citizens of Srebrenica. Do you recall making that statement?
8 A. Yes. This concerned directly the issue of providing assistance in
9 terms of securing accommodation for the civilians after the military
10 operation in Srebrenica, that that was what I was in charge of.
11 Q. Okay. But the civilians meant not just the Serb civilians that
12 were in Bratunac or in other places that wanted to get back to their homes
13 in Srebrenica, but also the civilians from Srebrenica - and I'm talking
14 specifically the Muslims - who had left Srebrenica and now were in
15 Potocari. Correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Okay. So was that statement accurate, that is that you,
18 Miroslav Deronjic, the President of the SDS for the Bratunac municipality,
19 now also wearing the hat of commissioner of Srebrenica, was ordered to --
20 by the President to be responsible in taking care of the civilians, both
21 Serb and Muslim. Was that a correct statement?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Okay. So in other words you, by this admission at least today,
24 would be responsible for the events that occurred subsequent to the fall
25 of Srebrenica?
1 A. What events do you have in mind, concerning civilians or events
2 generally speaking?
3 Q. Concerning civilians and the events that took place, and we don't
4 have to get into a long debate about the events because I'm sure you know
5 them better than I do.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's vague. There are a lot of
8 events and he can't possibly be responsible for all of them.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour. I'll rephrase.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. Given your position, given your position, are you not responsible
13 for the events as they related to the civilians of Srebrenica, yes or no?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, objection. That is extremely vague.
15 Again, even defining civilians can be a difficult task, so that is not a
16 helpful question.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, please try to be more specific.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, when I'm referring to civilians I'm saying
19 non-military personnel, such as, if the Prosecutor wishes me to be
20 specific, the men that were separated from the women and children and
21 ultimately were massacred.
22 Q. Are you not responsible for those events, since you were given by
23 the president of the RS that responsibility, in your capacity as the
24 highest official in Bratunac at that time?
25 A. Mr. Karnavas, I must admit that you have confused me with a rather
1 complex question, containing a number of implications. You say that
2 Mr. Karadzic had tasked me with the treatment of civilians in Srebrenica
3 because he had information and I had information that the civilians had
4 separated from the military forces, the Srebrenica Muslims, and had
5 gathered around the UN compound in Potocari. When we discussed it around
6 the 11th, my task -- he said that my task would be the treatment of the
7 civilians who gathered there. And he gave me precise instructions as to
8 what I should do in order to fulfill this role that I had. He said that I
9 should invite or make contact with all relevant entities in Bratunac at
10 the moment, the police, the military, the international forces, and that
11 all together we should establish contact with the representatives of the
12 Srebrenica Muslims. And he told me clearly what it was that I should
13 convey to them at the meeting. This included three options as regards the
14 fate of those civilians. And let me finish. Among other things, the
15 treatment of any potential prisoners of war who might use this opportunity
16 to shelter themselves or to join this group of civilians, the order, the
17 specific order, was that those men should be retained. And this is what I
18 conveyed at the meeting in the Fontana Hotel with all the relevant
19 entities who happened to be in the field at the moment.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Deronjic, and we're going to get to that. But if I
21 can refer to one of the documents that was introduced today. And I'm
22 preferring to P687, and this is the decision appointing you as a civilian
23 commissioner for the Serbian municipality of Srebrenica. If you could
24 look at that document. I believe yours would be B, 687/B. Since this was
25 introduced today, I guess I can forego the foundational formalities.
1 You do recognise this document, do you not, sir?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And am I correct in stating that in fact you had provided this
4 document to the Office of the Prosecution?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I take it that you have had an opportunity to read it and read it
7 carefully, have you not?
8 A. Of course.
9 Q. If I could draw your attention now to paragraph number 4. If you
10 could please read it to yourself first, and then we will read it together
11 jointly piece by piece.
12 A. I am familiar with this. I have read it.
13 Q. Okay. All right. Now, does it not state, Mr. Deronjic, that the
14 commissioner, that being Miroslav Deronjic, shall ensure that all civilian
15 and military organs treat all civilians who participated in combat against
16 the Army of Republika Srpska as prisoners of war and ensure that the
17 civilian population can freely choose where they will live or move to."
18 Does it not state that? Does it not state that?
19 A. Yes, that's exactly what it says.
20 Q. Okay. The word "shall" means that you are mandated, that you are
21 required; it's not optional. Correct? Am I correct? We need to make a
22 record, Mr. Deronjic. You must speak up so we can record your answer for
23 the record.
24 A. That's exactly what it says, and I agree that that's what it
1 Q. Okay. And ensure means shall ensure, you know, that you have this
2 responsibility. Right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. That "all civilian and military organs," and by that we're
5 talking civilian such as the special police; and military organs such as
6 the VRS units. Correct?
7 A. Yes. I assume that that's what it means, that there was no other
8 army there.
9 Q. All right. "That they treat all citizens who participated in
10 combat against the Army of the Republika Srpska as prisoners of war."
11 Now, by that, by "all citizens," does this not mean that -- does this not
12 include those who were combatant from the age of 16 to 60, as was the case
13 that was singled out during those days after the fall of Srebrenica?
14 A. That's what follows from this wording.
15 Q. Okay. Well, I understand that it follows, but I want to a
16 commitment from you that that is your understanding to make sure that we
17 are on the same page, that we're talking about civilians -- when it talks
18 about citizens, it also refers to military personnel of the Muslim army.
20 A. If I can kindly ask you to finish your questions with respect of
21 this, and then I will give you my answer. But let me just remind you of
22 the fact that I did not have this document on the 12th when the meeting at
23 Fontana was held.
24 Q. That's not -- well, first, let's focus on what we're doing here.
25 And I'm breaking the questions down for the record, lest there be any
1 complaints from the Prosecution that I'm making compound questions and
2 confusing you.
3 So when I talk about all civilians, this all civilians includes
4 men of military age, Muslims from Srebrenica. Correct?
5 A. All civilians include men of military age, so I don't really
6 understand your question.
7 Q. Well, my question here, in particular, specifically, apparently
8 there must have been a reason for President Karadzic, he highlights and he
9 says, "Who participated in combat against the Army of Republika Srpska."
10 So by that, can we not agree, sir, that there can be no confusion that the
11 word "citizens" includes military personnel?
12 A. Yes. It follows from this text that citizens, the word "citizens"
13 also includes men of military age.
14 Q. Okay. And when it said that they are to be treated as prisoners
15 of war, does it not mean that they should be accorded all of the rights
16 and protections given to prisoners of war as were required at the time
17 under the Geneva Conventions. Correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. So getting back to my earlier question, the one that was rather
20 confusing that drew an objection, would it not be fair to say that you,
21 given your position, it had been given to you from President Karadzic
22 during those days, you were responsible for the well being of all the
23 citizens from Srebrenica who had gathered in Potocari. Correct?
24 A. It would be correct, provided that I had this document with
25 precise instructions at the time we were carrying out the instructions
1 given by Karadzic. However, those instructions were conveyed to me orally
2 on the 11th, and they did not contain these specific references. And I
3 carried out those instructions.
4 Q. All right. Well, we're going to get to all of that, and we will
5 see whether you had this or not. But my question is: Based on this
6 document, does it not put you responsible for the well being of all of
7 those citizens from Srebrenica that had gathered at Potocari. Correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. All right. And if we were to take this paragraph and read it
10 literally, it would also mean, would it not, that you were also
11 responsible for the well being of all of the Muslim soldiers that had left
12 in the column but later on were captured. Correct?
13 A. Theoretically speaking, yes, one could say so.
14 Q. Okay. Now, when we say "theoretically," that's how -- this
15 document is a legal document, is it not? It has lawful significance, did
16 it not?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Okay. All right. So it's not in theory, it's in fact. Correct?
19 A. Yes, the main facts.
20 Q. Okay. Now, if we were to look at paragraph 5, and I think this is
21 why you might have qualified your answer as theoretically, if we look at
22 paragraph 5, the next paragraph, it does state that your particular
23 decisions "shall be binding for all civilian authority organs in the
24 Serbian municipality of Srebrenica." Correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And so I can only imagine that when you said "theoretically," what
2 you meant was you as the commissioner perhaps did not have authority over
3 the military organs. That is, your decisions were not binding on the
4 military organs. Is that correct? Is that what you had in mind?
5 A. That and many other things. Of course that is one of the first
6 things -- facts that I wanted to point to.
7 Q. Okay. Well, to the extent that I can, I'm going to try to
8 forecast what your concerns might be. But even if we look at paragraph 5,
9 going back to paragraph 4, we must agree, must we not, that even though
10 your decisions may not be binding on the military, nonetheless by virtue
11 of paragraph 4 you are ultimately responsible for the well being of all of
12 those people that were there in Potocari and the soldiers, the Muslim
13 soldiers that were captured during those days. Correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Okay. Now, getting back to -- well, getting back to my initial
16 question. Then is it not fair to conclude that you would, by virtue of
17 the admissions that you have just made to my questions and based on the
18 document that you provided to the Prosecution, a document I am sure had
19 quite a significance during that period of time, isn't it a fact that you
20 would be responsible then for any harm that had come to those civilians
21 during those days?
22 A. Yes. You have drawn a fantastic conclusion. Let me just say
23 something. This is not about my responsibility, and I do not view it in
24 that way. So I am stating facts and it doesn't matter what they signify.
25 It's up to the Trial Chamber to determine whether I have some
1 responsibility or not. This is the first thing I want to say.
2 The second thing is that I was acting in accordance with oral
3 instructions or orders I received from President Karadzic, which I
4 received at the command. So these -- the only information -- this is the
5 only information that I had from a meeting which I attended, which was on
6 the 12th at the Hotel Fontana. But up until that time I had no other
7 instructions, even though I asked President Karadzic to send me more
8 instructions. Had I even had such instructions, it would mean that I was
9 being given a role above that of General Mladic by Mr. Karadzic, and if
10 anybody could draw the conclusion that I as a lower-ranking party official
11 was in a position to command General Mladic, and if that is accepted by
12 others I would accept it, too. But this has no logic at all. The meeting
13 I explained in detail. The majority of the conversations from that
14 meeting, transcripts exist at this Tribunal, and from them it's evident
15 how I acted in accordance with President Karadzic's instructions, what
16 General Mladic did when he took over responsibility for the fates of those
17 civilians and what did I do to help for those civilians to leave Bratunac
18 in a safe way.
19 At the end, I just wanted to say the following: You know,
20 probably you are aware that in front of this Tribunal de facto and de jure
21 responsibility of certain participants in certain events is being
22 established. And sometimes the de facto role can be more important than
23 the de jure function and the other way around. If you need broader
24 explanations, of course I can provide them. But in principle what I am
25 saying is that we are not establishing my responsibility here. I am just
1 stating the facts, no matter what their meaning is.
2 Q. Well, let me just be more direct then. Mr. Deronjic, do you hold
3 yourself criminally liable, responsible, for any of the events that happen
4 in 1995, in July 1995, from the period of, say, the 11th after the fall of
5 Srebrenica to, say, up until the period where the mass graves were
6 reburied and relocated? Do you hold yourself responsible for any of that?
7 A. You know, Mr. Karnavas, I had the opportunity during this long
8 period to think over each detail. I put in a systemic way some of the
9 common points between myself and the events in Srebrenica from that
10 period. And these are things where this mutual connection can be boiled
11 down to about 15 points, no matter how objective or subjective I can be,
12 you can take it as you wish. I personally, however, cannot state my
13 position in regard to that question, and I'm leaving it up to the
14 Trial Chamber and the Prosecution to make their conclusions on that. I am
15 leaving it up to the Prosecution after all the investigations, and this
16 was something that was told -- that I was told after all the
17 investigations were completed, that indictments in relation to Srebrenica
18 were being dropped against me. But even the direct question of the
19 President of the Trial Chamber which questioned me to a direct question,
20 the Prosecution stated that there is no direct responsibility on my part
21 for those events and that they have no intention of prosecuting me further
22 for the events in Srebrenica. I would like to stop now because I could be
23 understood subjectively in this or that way. I am leaving it up to time
24 also which will augment the things that I have stated once the whole truth
25 is discovered, and I think this will prove favourable to me once the whole
1 truth is presented.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Deronjic, before we go further on this information
3 report, let's touch upon a little bit on the agreement you've reached with
4 the Prosecution. Is it not a fact that in essence you have amnesty from
5 the Prosecution for any of your conduct with respect to the events in
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, we are not aware of any factual basis
10 for that question.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, would you please lay some ground
12 for that question.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I will, Your Honour, and I don't wish to get into a
14 debate with Mr. McCloskey, but I would appreciate if we could have answers
15 from the Prosecutor -- I mean from the witness.
16 JUDGE LIU: You may ask some questions in this aspect.
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. Mr. Deronjic, you entered into an agreement with the Prosecution
19 at some point, did you not?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. All right. Now, initially you had entered -- you signed an
22 understanding of the parties dated 18 June 2003. Correct? That was after
23 your arrest.
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Okay. Now, let me walk you down the events as they occurred prior
1 to that. You first -- your first contact with the Office of the
2 Prosecution or this Tribunal was 16 December 1997. That's the one that
3 we're discussing; that's the one in Pale. Correct?
4 A. Correct. I've already stated several times that that's correct.
5 Q. Then you gave a statement, again as a witness, on 4 February 1998.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Then on July 1st, 1998, you met with the Office of the
9 Prosecution; a statement was not given at that time. Correct?
10 A. Could you please repeat the date again. I'm sorry, I didn't
11 register the date.
12 Q. July 1, 1998. You did not provide a statement during your meeting
13 with Mr. Ruez on that occasion?
14 A. It's possible. I cannot remember that 100 per cent, but I don't
16 Q. That particular occasion was the one, if I may refresh your
17 memory, where you were formally informed that your status had changed from
18 witness to suspect. Correct?
19 A. Yes. Yes. Correct.
20 Q. Now -- again, not to get ahead of myself, on that particular
21 occasion, upon learning that your status had changed, you requested for
22 Mr. Ruez to provide you what areas, what elements, or what portions of
23 your previous statement specifically were relevant to your changing of
24 the -- your status change from witness to suspect. Correct?
25 A. Yes. I remember that.
1 Q. And of course you were -- if we were to go to the statement, and I
2 have it here. If we were to go to the statement, we would find, would we
3 not, that you insisted that you be told by Mr. Ruez what specific points
4 in your previous statement were relevant to the changing of your status?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And of course Mr. Ruez was not accommodating. He was friendly but
7 not accommodating. Correct?
8 A. I think that he was not, and I think I understand why he wasn't.
9 Q. Okay. Well -- but the answer is: He was not willing to give you
10 any specific reasons as to why your status had changed. Right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And of course it might have been because he did not want you then
13 to go back and perhaps try to figure out what explanations you might be
14 able to come up for those relevant points that had changed your status.
16 A. He wanted me to find an explanation, that's why I asked him.
17 Unless you think that that's giving me an opportunity to conceal
18 something. Perhaps that could have been the motive why he did not.
19 Q. Okay. And in fact during that meeting, it ended with your lawyer
20 who was present -- you had two lawyers present during that day, but one of
21 them who was acting as a consultant, he requested that the OTP would
22 provide you with all of the relevant documents so you could have -- in
23 order so the next occasion when you would be more forthcoming, you would
24 be able to be more helpful with more details?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. And is it not correct, sir, to state that at that time the
2 whole focus of the questioning of the Office of the Prosecution was on
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Srebrenica was in 1995; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, in your indictment, as we will see later on, there is nothing
8 there, not one iota with respect to the counts relevant to the events of
9 Srebrenica, is there?
10 A. Well, I did not write my own indictment.
11 Q. I agree.
12 A. I am thinking that you would probably compose it differently.
13 Q. Well, I'm a Defence lawyer, so perhaps. But needless to say, your
14 indictment, the initial one, that's dated 3 July 2002 is related only to
15 the events of 1992 commonly known as Glogova. Correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And yet prior to your indictment and subsequent to the time that
18 you were declared a suspect in July 1, 1998, you gave a statement on 21
19 October 1999, that being your fourth statement or the fourth meeting.
21 A. Before the indictment was issued, yes, I did provide more
22 statement, and of course that one was before the indictment was issued.
23 Q. And you gave another statement on 21 March 2001; that was your
24 fifth encounter with the Prosecution. Correct?
25 A. Well, I'm not quite sure about the number of them, so I'm not sure
1 whether that is how it goes in the chronological order, but I assume that
2 it is.
3 Q. Okay. And then we have one dated April 2002, and then the
4 indictment. Correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And in fact, it's not until you meet with the Prosecution for the
7 last couple of times that the issue of Glogova and your involvement is
8 really discussed at any detail?
9 A. No. I think that Mr. Ruez and I covered the questions relating to
10 1992 in an earlier interview, and he told me then that he would not really
11 be going into the details of those events and that there will be another
12 team that will be investigating 1992 and that I would be called in for
13 those interviews for certain. So this was already the second statement
14 relating to the events in Glogova, and it was more detailed and broader
15 and it encompassed all of the events outside of 1995.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to clarify. The meeting of March 2001 was on
18 the 12th of March, just for the record. I think you just reversed the
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. All right.
21 Q. Well, according to my reading of the statements, Mr. Deronjic, it
22 would appear that Glogova first comes into the picture in any real
23 significance during your statement given on 8 April 2002, that being the
24 sixth encounter with the Prosecution, the Prosecutor.
25 A. It appeared before. I don't know now to what extent, but I think
1 that we discussed Glogova in detail during a previous interview. But the
2 most serious conversations or interviews from that -- of that period are
3 from that date, yes.
4 Q. Okay. But in any event, is it not a fair characterisation that
5 the Prosecution focused initially on your involvement in Srebrenica.
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And in fact, if we were to look at all of your statements, would
9 it not be correct to state that that is the primary and predominant
10 importance of your statements, that is, Srebrenica and not Glogova?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is asking him to speculate --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the witness can --
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- perhaps more specific, but that's pretty
16 speculative because it's such a general term.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think there's some problem in
18 your question.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: And you have already asked the question when the issue
21 in Glogova was mentioned, and the witness answered that question. Then
22 you followed this question. You make the witness to arrive at kind of a
23 conclusion about the indictment, which is not proper. I know your point,
24 but --
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: -- I believe you have to rephrase your question.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. And perhaps we can go
3 through all of the statements, too. That may assist Mr. Deronjic. All
5 Q. In any event, you were never charged with Srebrenica. Correct?
6 A. No -- yes, I mean, it's correct, I was not charged.
7 Q. And your indictment -- you entered a plea agreement sometime on
8 the 29th of September, 2003. Correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Now, prior to that plea agreement, of course, you had an
11 understanding with the Office of the Prosecution. You entered into a
12 written understanding, like a contract, with the Office of the
13 Prosecution. Correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And at that point I believe you had three lawyers assisting you at
16 the time?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. You even had one lawyer, I believe it's Catherine Baen from the
19 United States who was to make sure that you had a lawyer who could really
20 understand the process of plea negotiations, since your counterpart or her
21 counterpart was Mr. Harmon, another Prosecutor from the United States,
22 both from a legal tradition where plea bargaining and plea negotiations is
23 quite artfully done. Correct?
24 A. Mr. Karnavas, the -- regarding the question of my defence, I named
25 the main Defence counsel, Mr. Cvijetic. Other than that, I was not really
1 involved in the question of my Defence. I did not ask them or request or
2 wonder about who they hired; it was up to them. I didn't interfere in
3 that. I think they did quite rightly. I did not comment on their
4 decisions. I think they made the proper decisions. Of course they
5 informed me that they had engaged somebody who would assist me further in
6 the -- my conversations and negotiations with the OTP.
7 Q. Okay. Now -- and it was through your lawyers that you and the
8 Prosecution were able to reach an understanding prior to entering any
9 formal agreement with respect to the charges that you would ultimately, if
10 successfully -- the negotiations went successfully, would be pleading out
12 A. I must say that sometimes I really don't understand your
13 questions. Could you please repeat the question more concisely.
14 Q. Okay. All right. This understanding of the parties that was
15 signed between your lawyers and Mr. Harmon, the senior trial attorney from
16 the Office of the Prosecution, that preceded the plea agreement?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. It was explained to me that it was a kind of
18 technical agreement which must be signed in order to establish the
19 obligations of the parties, and that it was a customary agreement of a
20 technical nature which is signed by all the parties and all the clients
21 who enter into such procedures also required to sign it. So I read it and
22 signed it.
23 Q. Well, I only wish that that were the case, that everyone signs
24 such understandings. But in any event, it was based on the signing of
25 this agreement that you then agreed to give tape recorded statements,
1 further tape recorded statements, with the Office of the Prosecution?
2 A. Yes. That is what I was told, that this is how it is, that's what
3 the procedure is, and this is how I acted. Had it been the other way
4 around, I would have acted the other way around.
5 Q. All right. But at least now we have an accurate and a transparent
6 transcript of what transpired between you and the Office of the
7 Prosecution when you were in that cooperative stage where you were
8 providing them with statements, pursuant to your efforts in reaching a
9 favourable agreement with the Prosecution?
10 A. Why do you think that the admission of guilt is favourable to
12 Q. All right. Well --
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it's time for the break. And
14 actually, you did not ask a question; you made a statement.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, there was a question in there, Your Honour,
16 but I am happy to note that His Honour has picked up on the point that was
17 being made. But, yes, I would agree we could have our break at this
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will resume at 12.30
20 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Please continue.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Deronjic, if I could direct your attention to the
25 understanding of the parties that was signed by your lawyers on 18 June
1 2003, for the record this would be D96/1 for identification. I do have
2 copies. I'm afraid I don't have a Srpski copy, but I'll cover it slowly.
3 Now, having read your statements -- let me back up. As I
4 understand it, all of the statements that you gave to the Prosecution as a
5 result of this understanding were tape recorded, were they not?
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphones for the witness, please.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. You need to press your microphone -- okay.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. And I take it that you had an opportunity, as it would
11 appear, to have gone over your statements and to have read them and
12 analysed them carefully. Correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. And if we were to go through all of the statements, it appears
15 that each and every time you meet with the Prosecution, that is, at the
16 beginning of the day, you are reminded of certain rights as agreed by you
17 and the Prosecution and as are reflected on this document titled
18 Understanding of the Parties?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. So even though you might not have a copy of this, perhaps when I
21 read it to you it may sound familiar. Now, on paragraph -- what is
22 numbered as paragraph number 7, it reads: "The Prosecutor agrees that
23 anything said by Mr. Deronjic during the interview will not be used as
24 evidence in legal proceedings against him before the Tribunal."
25 A. Excuse me, what is your question?
1 Q. Well, I was waiting for the translator, but thank you. The
2 question is: Do you recall being told that each and every time --
3 A. Of course I do.
4 Q. Okay. And I -- we can conclude then that it was your
5 understanding that everything that you were telling the Prosecutor would
6 at no time be used against you in any future litigations against you?
7 A. Yes, that is how I understood.
8 Q. So everything that you told them regarding your involvement, your
9 participation, your observations, with respect to Srebrenica could not and
10 would not be used by the Prosecutor in bringing charges against you with
11 respect to Srebrenica?
12 A. I did not have -- did not receive any promises in this regard,
13 that I would not possibly be charged with the events in Srebrenica, but
14 that what I say would not be used as evidence.
15 Q. Okay. And I agree with you. There is nothing in the
16 understanding of the parties that you would never be charged; however,
17 however, the questioning of you was quite extensive with respect to
18 Srebrenica. Correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And so that everything that you said with respect to Srebrenica
21 that would in any way incriminate you would not be used against you if the
22 Prosecutor were to ever file formal charges against you. Correct?
23 A. I assumed that this is the correct interpretation. However, I do
24 not fully understand the relevant procedure. I assumed that the
25 Prosecutor would have to lead evidence to this and not accept my statement
1 as evidence.
2 Q. Okay. So in other words, your understanding was - which may be a
3 correct one - that the Prosecutor could nonetheless prosecute you based on
4 evidence they had against you independent of your statements?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. And at that point in time when you entered into this
7 understanding with the Prosecution, is it not a fact that they had
8 documents and they had previous statements from you with respect to your
9 involvement and your participation in the events regarding Srebrenica?
10 A. Yes. They had all my previous statements.
11 Q. Okay. And in some of those previous statements and along with
12 some of those documents, it would appear, would it not, Mr. Deronjic, that
13 you in fact were significantly involved in one way or another with the
14 events of the Srebrenica case between the dates of July 11th all the way
15 until later on with the reburial process?
16 A. It follows from those statements that I was involved in those
17 events the way you describe, but that does not imply any criminal
18 participation in the events.
19 Q. Okay. And it's your understanding - and I just wanted to be very,
20 very clear on this - it is your understanding that you had, at least in
21 your own mind, you did not have any criminal participation in those
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. That is what I think.
1 Q. Now, incidentally in reaching in understanding -- or I should say
2 prior to reaching this understanding, there was no agreement with the
3 Prosecution with respect to how much time they would be recommending with
4 respect to your involvement on Glogova. Correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And in fact, if we look at the understanding as it reads, it
7 doesn't reflect that any recommendations or that any agreement was reached
8 with respect to that issue?
9 A. As I have already stated, no.
10 Q. So in other words, the Prosecutor first wanted to hear what, if
11 anything, Deronjic had to say implicating others that might be helpful in
12 their case before they would make an agreement with you with respect to
13 what their recommendations, their maximum sentence they would be arguing
14 for you. Correct?
15 A. No, that is not correct. I shall explain, so that there be no
16 doubt. The Prosecutor asked me to tell the whole truth, and it is on that
17 truth that the acceptability of my statement is based -- or
18 non-acceptability. The Prosecutor has in her possession a number of
19 documents, which she can confirm compared with my statement. The only
20 thing I was required to do was to tell the truth, and I told the truth.
21 And it is not correct that anyone suggested that I should say anything to
22 incriminate anyone. That is not correct.
23 Q. All right. Well, I am not suggesting that they were asking you to
24 incriminate anyone. But is it not a fact that they were asking you
25 questions, which upon answering them you would in fact be incriminating
1 people. Correct?
2 A. Facts can incriminate anyone, including myself. I presented the
3 schedule of the events in Srebrenica with respect to my case. As to what
4 they -- as to what those facts mean, it is up to the Prosecutor to
6 Q. Okay. But prior to giving these statements - now, and I'm talking
7 about after you wrote the agreement - you had this understanding the
8 Prosecutor had not committed himself -- Mr. Harmon had not committed
9 himself as to what he would be recommending as a maximum sentence for you.
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. In other words, he wanted to hear what you had to say before he
13 would agree to give you a figure that might be acceptable to you?
14 A. No. I simply didn't wish to discuss conditions. It was me who
15 didn't want to discuss them, nor did I set up any conditions. And when
16 you finish all your questions, I will tell you what I think about the
17 facts that you are now trying to present.
18 Q. Well, may I ask that in this -- in your agreement that you reached
19 with the Prosecutor dated 30 September 2003, is it not a fact that this is
20 the first time that we have on paper, concretely an agreement reached by
21 you or your lawyers and the Prosecution that the maximum sentence that you
22 would be facing for being directly involved in the killings of 65 to 70
23 people in Glogova would be only ten years?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. I think Mr. Karnavas will understand
1 that that was the recommendation of the Prosecution, not what he would be
2 facing mandatorily.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I stand corrected by the Prosecutor.
5 Q. That was the -- we see this for the first time that the Prosecutor
6 would be there arguing for a maximum of ten years. Correct?
7 A. Yes. After they interviewed, the Prosecution recommended this
8 sentence. Not only that, but also dropping certain counts of the
9 indictment, amending certain parts of the indictment, both quantitively
10 and qualitively speaking.
11 Q. And inherent in this agreement or this understanding is that
12 whatever you say with respect to Srebrenica, you, Mr. Deronjic, president
13 of the SDS, commissioner of Srebrenica, would not -- none of that
14 information would be used against you by the Prosecutor. Correct? That's
15 inherent in this agreement?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. There is no factual basis
18 for that in this particular agreement, and therefore that question does
19 not have a proper factual foundation.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, on this aspect I believe that you
21 asked the witness to speculate.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Very well, Mr. President.
23 Q. Now, after this agreement you gave -- after this understanding,
24 you gave several statements, did you not?
25 A. Yes. I believe that the interview lasted 11 days.
1 Q. All right. And it's your testimony today that during those
2 interviews, you, Mr. Deronjic, decided that you would be truthful and
3 candid with the Office of the Prosecution?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And of course if we were to follow or extend the logic to that
6 agreement, we would have to conclude, would we not, that up until that
7 point in time you had been less than honest, in fact you had been
8 dishonest with the Prosecutor in your previous statements?
9 A. I believe I have already answered that question. You cannot link
10 that up with the agreement, the reaching of the agreement, and I was
11 waiting for the opportunity to say this. I gave you one reason why my
12 initial statements are not fully correct. The security circumstances
13 being one of the key reasons. There is a number of them, and it would
14 take us too much time if I were to tell them all. The security concerns
15 were no longer present when I gave my last interview, so we cannot say
16 that this is only linked with the reaching of the agreement or the
17 understanding. I will tell you in due course a number of facts with
18 respect to that, but would you please finish and ask that crucial question
19 that I assume you wish to ask of me.
20 Q. Mr. Deronjic, when you say you were not fully correct, are you
21 implying that you just didn't tell the whole truth during those several
23 A. Yes. This is what I've already stated.
24 Q. So in other words, you did not misrepresent any facts in your
25 prior statements?
1 A. I wouldn't agree with that. There is confusion with dates,
2 attempts to eliminate some of the dates, a lot of things that are unclear,
3 mistakes, not tendentious ones, but makes anyhow.
4 Q. Mr. Deronjic, I will, to borrow one of your phrases, I will allow
5 for the possibility that one can make mistakes with respect to dates.
6 Allowing for that possibility, I want a clear answer. Are you stating
7 here today that you did not misrepresent any facts intentionally in your
8 previous statements up until the time you reached this agreement with the
10 A. I was clear. I didn't say certain things or I failed to fully
11 represent them. This was my intention, like I already said. Part of the
12 erroneous facts are due to my faulty memory of the events, because in the
13 course of giving these statements I was able to investigate further the
14 details and to complement my statement. Even after my arrest, the lawyers
15 had to investigate certain of the details that I mentioned for the purpose
16 of completeness of my statement.
17 Q. Okay. Let's move back now to what we were discussing earlier, and
18 that is the information report, your statement of 16 December 1997. And
19 again for the record, I'm referring to D92/1.
20 In this information report, you indicated that the President
21 ordered you to contact representatives of the Muslim civilian power in
22 Srebrenica and UNPROFOR in Potocari. Was that statement correct, yes or
24 A. Yes. This had to do with his information, or rather, his
25 instructions of the 11th; however, I'm not certain that I was correct in
1 specifying the date and how it was recorded.
2 Q. Okay. Now, you then go on to state that: "Through General
3 Mladic, I succeeded," I, that means you, Mr. Deronjic, "succeeded to
4 contact UNPROFOR and the civilian authority and propose an immediate
5 meeting in Bratunac."
6 In reading this part of your statement, it would appear as if you
7 had requested Mladic to organise that meeting, because it says through
8 Mladic you succeeded, you personally, personal pronoun. Is that correct?
9 A. Not correct. As I have already stated, some of the details
10 contained in my previous statements cannot be taken as true.
11 Q. Okay. Now, was that something that you just misunderstood the
12 question or was it that you just forgot the facts or is this something
13 that was an intentional misrepresentation of the truth?
14 A. No. That particular segment does not constitute an attempt to
15 intentionally misrepresent the facts. It's simply that I was not able to
16 be perfectly sure as to the way the meeting, the Fontana meeting, on the
17 12th was organised. It is correct that I remembered later on that I had
18 come back to my office in the evening of the 11th, and we had an
19 opportunity at that point to discuss the issue. We - I mean myself and
20 the relevant people who happened to be at that moment in Bratunac - to
21 discuss the instructions given by Mr. Karadzic. I'm referring to civilian
22 representatives as well. It was my intention to contact Mr. Mladic, but
23 at that time it was impossible to get in touch with him. But I remembered
24 that I wanted to contact Mr. Mladic. And of course I also wanted to get
25 in touch with Mr. Vidoje Blagojevic, the commander of the brigade. I
1 believe that I did ask the secretary to locate Mr. Blagojevic. Whether
2 she was successful in doing that or not, I don't know; however, he did not
3 come to my office. He was not present there when we discussed the
4 information that was conveyed from Mr. Karadzic. But once again, what I
5 remembered clearly was that I wanted to contact through Mladic, UNPROFOR,
6 or the civilian structures in Srebrenica.
7 So once again, it was not an attempt to conceal the truth, but
8 simply this inability to remember certain details. But also for the sake
9 of the truth, it is not important to -- whether I was the one who did that
10 or Martic.
11 Q. Okay. Now, I will get back later to your references with respect
12 to Mr. Blagojevic and your alleged attempts to contact him. But let me
13 ask you this: If we were to go on to the next segment of your statement,
14 it says: "The meeting happened immediately between me," again that would
15 be Mr. Deronjic, "and the Muslim civilian power and UNPROFOR battalion
16 commander Srebrenica, army power General Mladic was also present, and
17 representatives of the police of Republika Srpska."
18 Now, in looking at that statement it would appear that now you are
19 placing yourself in this meeting between you, the Muslim civilian power,
20 and UNPROFOR where General Mladic was also, was also present as
21 representatives of the police. In other words, it would appear that you
22 are chairing this meeting, you being the highest civilian authority in
23 Bratunac at the time. Was that a correct statement?
24 A. No, it is not. I think we were coming back to what I stated
25 initially, that parts of those statements are not correct with respect to
1 certain details. If necessary, I can explain.
2 Q. All right. Now, let me just ask a very concrete question. Were
3 you at any meetings with respect to either UNPROFOR or UNPROFOR and the
4 Muslim representative on the day of July 11th, 1995, yes or no?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. So we can conclude then, since you were not present on that
7 particular day, that this is a false statement, the one that you have put
8 in, that you immediately had a meeting with Muslim powers and UNPROFOR and
9 with General Mladic being present. That is a false statement?
10 A. Mr. Karnavas, this is a statement, if I'm not mistaken, of
11 February 4th, 1998. Is that correct? Or which statement are you thinking
12 of? Could you please just tell me the date.
13 Q. I apologise, sir. I'm still referring -- we're still on that very
14 first meeting you had of 16th December --
15 A. December.
16 Q. Yes. Now, I'm referring to paragraph 4. You'll find whatever I'm
17 saying is directly -- directly comes from paragraph 4. Okay. And in
18 fact, if you wish to read that entire paragraph which goes --
19 A. There's no need.
20 Q. Okay. All right. Well, good. Then you go on to say: "I" --
21 A. Excuse me. I didn't respond to your question. I would like to
22 augment the answer to the previous question. If we're talking about that
23 meeting, you're not taking one fact into account. Mr. Ruez and I, before
24 the official interview began, spoke for about 10 to 15 minutes in the
25 office at the -- of the Pale government. I mentioned Mr. Ruez, who told
1 me what he expected of me, to give a comprehensive statement relating to
2 all the events in Srebrenica. And I said, Yes, I can give you such a
3 statement, but I would like to express my reservations about the dates in
4 advance. Because at this point I'm not sure whether I can provide a
5 precise statement in relation to dates and the times. He said, We already
6 have the dates and the times so it doesn't matter if you make a mistake
7 with the date or the time. So I'm not sure whether we entered Srebrenica
8 on the 11th or the 10th. And I think this is mentioned somewhere in the
9 interview. And I said, You probably know the date better. The meeting
10 relates to the day after we entered Srebrenica, and I'm thinking now that
11 I know that this was -- the meeting was on the 12th, then we went into
12 Srebrenica on the 11th.
13 So because I could not remember the dates, we have the fact that I
14 said that this was on the 11th. But we all know today that this meeting
15 with UNPROFOR, Mladic, and high military officials and the civilian
16 representatives in Fontana took place on the 12th. So I wouldn't agree
17 that this is an untruth; it's just a question of the timing and the dates.
18 Q. Okay. Is there any more that you wish to explain with respect to
19 this or are you finished with this little explanation, with respect to
20 that you were confused over the dates? That's the bottom line of this
21 entire explanation. Okay.
22 A. Yes, yes. But, Mr. Karnavas, you did not allow me and you did not
23 even put a specific question regarding -- in relation to the previous set
24 of questions that you put. If you finish with that set of questions, then
25 I understood what question or claim these questions all impute and
1 suggest. But in that case, I would like you to ask me a direct question.
2 Or if you would then allow me also to give a correct answer to all these
3 implications that you are stating.
4 Q. All right. Well further on to -- the very next sentence you say
5 that: "During this meeting, I explained," I being Deronjic,
6 "explained to UNPROFOR, Muslims from Srebrenica, Mladic, the orders I had
7 from Radovan Karadzic, and that I was personally responsible to
8 Radovan Karadzic for the treatment of civilians."
9 Let me read the rest of the paragraph, because it might be
10 helpful. "I asked the Muslim civilians to decide whether to stay in
11 Srebrenica under the protection of the police in Srebrenica or UNPROFOR or
12 to leave Srebrenica. They answered they would think about it and answer
14 Now, do you recall making that statement not to Mr. Ruez but to a
15 Mr. John Ralston who was with the -- I would suspect the Office of the
16 Prosecution? Do you recall making that statement, Mr. Deronjic?
17 A. Yes, I do remember making that statement.
18 Q. Okay. Now, we know for a fact, Mr. Deronjic, that a meeting was
19 held on the 11th with Mr. Mladic, General Mladic, and UNPROFOR. That was
20 the first meeting. Are you aware of that?
21 A. No. Do you think that I was at that meeting on the 11th? I don't
22 know about any such meeting. I only said that there was a perhaps a
23 possibility that such a meeting was held, but I was not present at that
25 Q. All right. Subsequent to that meeting, there was another meeting
1 at the Hotel Fontana between Mr. Mladic and his entourage, both on the
2 military and the civilian side, UNPROFOR and a sole, a single
3 representative of the Muslim community, an individual that you happened to
4 in fact be acquainted with, Mr. Mandzic. Correct? Were you aware of that
6 A. No, I didn't know about any such meeting at the time.
7 Q. Okay. And we know for a fact - this is a fact beyond change, we
8 can't change it, it's a fact - that the following day on the 12th, there
9 was a meeting at the Hotel Fontana where - and this took place on the --
10 around noontime or perhaps slightly earlier - between General Mladic and
11 his entourage, both on the military and on the civilian side and, if I'm
12 correct, you were present, and three members of the Muslim community?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And we also know for a fact - this is a fact beyond change; we
15 can't do anything about it - that there was no meeting held on the
16 following day, on the 13th of July, between you and/or Mladic and
17 representatives of the Muslim community. We know that for a fact, and you
18 would agree with me on that, would you not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So if we were to analyse this paragraph, could we not conclude
21 that when you say "through General Mladic I succeeded to contact UNPROFOR
22 and the civilian authority in order to propose an immediate meeting at
23 Bratunac," you, Deronjic, were taking credit for the meeting that Mladic
24 had with -- I believe it was Lieutenant Colonel Karremans in the
25 Hotel Fontana on the 11th. Correct?
1 A. I wasn't thinking about that meeting, but the meeting on the 12th.
2 I didn't know about this meeting.
3 Q. And if we are to look at the -- what comes next where you say you
4 chaired this meeting -- you don't use the word "chaired," but you say:
5 "The meeting happened immediately between me and the Muslim civilian power
6 and UNPROFOR," and so on and so forth. If we take that and we look later
7 on where you say you tell the Muslims to think about what their options
8 are and to come back the following day, can we not conclude that what
9 you're talking about is the second meeting on the 11th at the
10 Hotel Fontana. Correct?
11 A. No.
12 Q. All right. And if we go on -- let's go on then to the -- with the
13 rest of your statement. You then say: "The same people met the next day.
14 Three representatives of the Muslims from Srebrenica, UNPROFOR, and
16 Now, if we are to accept, if we are to accept, what you're stating
17 here today to be fact, then it must have been -- you must have had a
18 meeting on the 13th as well, since the first time you have a meeting with
19 the Muslim representatives is on the 12th?
20 A. Yes, that's correct. But why are you saying that I should accept
21 that for which I said was not true?
22 Q. I'm merely trying to see, Mr. Deronjic, whether in your answers to
23 the representative of the Office of the Prosecution were truthful or not
24 at a time when you were a witness.
25 A. I responded to that question, Mr. Karnavas, and I said that my
1 previous interviews do not quite coincide in some details with my last
2 interviews. In my last interview everything I said is correct, and if you
3 do not mind wasting time on establishing the truth about things which I
4 have already said are the truth, then you are free to do so.
5 Q. All right. Incidentally, when you were giving all of these
6 statements to the Office of the Prosecution prior to your indictment, were
7 you not representing to your interlocutors that you were being honest and
8 truthful and complete.
9 A. I don't know how I was representing myself, but that has nothing
10 to do with the facts. I was talking about the facts in the best way that
11 I could recall at that time.
12 Q. Well, you didn't want to be indicted, Mr. Deronjic?
13 A. Of course not. Of course I didn't want to.
14 Q. And your answers, the answers that you were giving to the Office
15 of the Prosecution, their investigators, were given in the hope -- perhaps
16 not the expectation, but in the hope that you would not be indicted.
18 A. Well, you are contradicting yourself a little bit, if I can say
19 that without any ill feeling. You are saying that I was -- I had said
20 that I was organising it, I was taking credit for those meetings, that I
21 was responsible for those meetings. So I don't know in what way that
22 would diminish my responsibility. At that point, I didn't even know that
23 there would be an indictment. Obviously at that point, I wasn't quite
24 sure about the dates and the times, and it was very difficult to check
25 some things at the time. That was very dangerous at that time, even now
1 it's dangerous to question me about some of those particulars.
2 Q. Okay. Well, if I'm in any danger at any point in time,
3 Mr. Deronjic, please point it out and we can go into a private session. I
4 certainly want to place myself in harm's way as a result of any questions
5 I might be asking you. Okay.
6 Now, Mr. Deronjic, you later on say that when you meet these
7 people the very next day, the Muslims claim they wanted to leave
8 Srebrenica. And then you state: "I said," I being Deronjic, "said okay.
9 I was charged to organise transport in the direct they wanted. I asked
10 units of UNPROFOR to be involved and after consulting the commander of
11 UNPROFOR obtained the green light for it. I asked for the help of
12 General Mladic and the military police."
13 Now, Mr. Deronjic, are those truthful statements? Did you or did
14 you not represent to the Muslims that it would be okay for them to leave
16 A. Mr. Karnavas, as far as the chronology is concerned, I've already
17 said that things are not quite the way I said they were. As far as the
18 essence of the statement, I believe that to a large extent all of that is
19 truthful. If you look at my last statement, I stuck to the most important
20 things, but I didn't go into each minute part or every detail of it. I
21 didn't quote my every word or the word of other people. I said there that
22 I conveyed the main orders of Mr. Karadzic, and that when that meeting was
23 finished, we discussed who had which tasks. And I had the opportunity to
24 exchange a few sentences with the UNPROFOR commander, and we agreed for
25 UNPROFOR to escort those convoys. I stated that at the time, perhaps the
1 chronology wasn't quite exact, but the essence of the conversation and of
2 my proposals and what I said at that meeting is there. But I am not
3 claiming that everything single word there is correct.
4 Q. All right. Now, you also then go on to state that: "I asked for
5 the help of General Mladic and the military police."
6 Is that a correct statement? Did you in fact ask help from
7 General Mladic and did you in fact ask help from the military police, yes
8 or no?
9 A. Yes. We talked -- well, now that you are making me do it, we did
10 speak in more detail. We did talk about the way in which those convoys
11 would be secured. It was the military and civilian police who would be
12 escorting the convoys. And I was entrusted with that, and I insisted that
13 that is the way that it should be done.
14 Q. All right. And when you say that you ask for help from the
15 military police, did you ask General Mladic to provide that help or did
16 you go to anyone in particular, the commander of any particular unit of
17 the military police? How was that?
18 A. I was talking about the meeting on the 12th, what was said there.
19 General Mladic was present at the meeting. After the official part of the
20 meeting was finished, when Mladic interrupted us or interrupted me, the
21 meeting was closed, was finished. So on the way, we were talking about
22 how to do all of that, with the presence of the UNPROFOR forces and the
23 presence of Colonel Vasic who was then the security chief in Zvornik. So
24 we were just trying to see how to secure the convoy. These were some
25 technical details. We did comment on that; Mladic was present there. So
1 we were just talking about who would provide the escort, who would
2 participate in that. The military police, of course for that we had to go
3 to Mladic. Then there would be the civilian police, that would be Vasic,
4 and the represents of UNPROFOR were there. So we were discussing that all
5 of those three forces should be included in the escort of the civilians
6 from Potocari. So I don't see what else there could be.
7 Q. Okay. So if I understand you correctly, during this conversation
8 you're asking General Mladic to provide you with assistance -- with the
9 military police assistance in carrying out the mandate that you had been
10 given by President Karadzic?
11 A. I corrected myself on your insistence about the word "requesting."
12 I said we discussed it and perhaps in some form I said that it would be
13 good perhaps if the military police also did the escort.
14 Q. Well, Mr. Deronjic, the reason I injected the word "requesting" is
15 because you, even though you had this powerful position which we will
16 discuss in great detail later, you as a civilian could not order -- or at
17 least you should not have been ordering the military police to do
18 anything. Correct?
19 A. I really cannot understand your questions. These were very
20 complex circumstances in which it was normal that people who were
21 responsible for that job discuss and assess what would be the best way to
22 carry out such a risky and complex operation in the best possible way.
23 Who's talking about ordering there? I didn't order Mladic, neither did he
24 issue orders to me. We just discussed in a few sentences what would be
25 the best thing to do. That's what it was all about. I don't see what is
1 not clear about that.
2 Q. Very well. Now, before incidentally --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I want to make sure Your Honour is okay.
4 Q. Now, before this meeting, before this meeting, Mr. Deronjic, you
5 already had a breakfast meeting with General Mladic, had you not? At
6 least he was eating breakfast. I don't know about you. Did you have
7 breakfast with him or did you just meet him at the Hotel Fontana.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand whether the
9 witness said yes or no to the previous yes.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not have time to have
11 breakfast, if that is important in any way.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. But in any event, as I understand it, General Mladic summoned you
14 to meet him at the Hotel Fontana, where he was having breakfast?
15 You need to speak up so we can hear -- have a record.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. And along with you were some of your colleagues from the
18 civilian side, other members of SDS who held important positions in
19 Bratunac. Correct?
20 A. With me and Mladic, yes.
21 Q. And it was during that time, if I understand your previous
22 statements, it was during that time, that meeting, with General Mladic
23 that you conveyed to him President Karadzic's position with respect to the
25 A. Yes. If I had managed to convey that to him, because the
1 conversation set out in an unpleasant tone. But I think that I did manage
2 to convey to him the essence, both of my function and also the orders that
3 I had.
4 Q. Okay. And when you say "unpleasant tone," General Mladic, in
5 essence, had very little respect or tolerance for the civilian -- members
6 of the civilian government, such as yourself and even President Karadzic.
8 A. I do not want to go into any comments of that kind, but Mladic and
9 I, myself, did not have very professional relations. I can just say that
10 they were on the very borderline of being professional relations. But ...
11 Q. Mladic accused you or was inquiring where were you when Srebrenica
12 was being taken and you were running around in civilian clothes. Correct?
13 A. Yes. He said something to that effect.
14 Q. Okay. And he also said, Where was Karadzic when Srebrenica was
15 falling as well. Right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So here was the highest military commander speaking in a rather -
18 how shall I put it - disrespectful manner towards the commander-in-chief,
19 President Karadzic. Correct?
20 A. He was ironic, very ironic, yes, and I can also say with a lack of
22 Q. Okay. And he was also ironic and was acting or speaking with a
23 lack of respect to President Karadzic's number one man in Bratunac, and
24 that would be you. Correct?
25 A. I don't understand this numbering, number one. He was referring
1 to the civilian commissioner or the President of the SDS.
2 Q. Okay. Well, I just want to get the record straight right here
3 before we go into your background. You were, you were, the most powerful
4 civilian person in Bratunac during that period, were you not?
5 A. What kind of power are you talking about? Power within the
6 political duties that I had or power in relation to executive authority or
7 the legislative assembly or in relation to the military? There are
8 several types of power. What type of power were you thinking of? Of
9 course I was the most powerful political figure in Bratunac, so as much
10 power or authority I had in that -- within that post is something that can
11 be assessed.
12 Q. And as the most powerful political figure in Bratunac at that
13 time, the members of the executive government, that is, the mayor, the
14 executive board, others, were below you and answered to you. Correct?
15 A. Maybe in some other societies, but if we're talking about elements
16 of a democratic society - and I think I behaved in that way throughout the
17 war and I have much proof of that - that does not imply at all that they
18 are to report to me. They are responsible in relation to the law, and
19 that is how they acted.
20 Q. And according to the law, at least the way it was applied during
21 those days - and I'm referring to 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 - you as
22 president of the SDS party were above the members of the executive, were
23 you not?
24 A. That is not correct.
25 Q. All right. Well, we'll get to that later, but just by way of
1 example on this issue, Mr. Deronjic, do you recall at one point stating
2 that on the 11th when Srebrenica was falling, your friend and colleague
3 Mr. Simic had gone to Nis to look for a job. Do you recall that?
4 A. Yes, yes, I do.
5 Q. And do you recall saying that had you known, had you known, that
6 Srebrenica was going to fall, that you would not have let him go to Nis?
7 A. Not that I wouldn't have let him go, but that I would have told
8 him not to go to Nis.
9 Q. Do you recall telling the Office of the Prosecution that you would
10 not have let him go?
11 A. We're discussing terms here. Very well, I agree that I said that.
12 Q. And being a student of language, as precise as you are, can we not
13 conclude that if you had the power to keep him or to let him go, that he
14 would be below you and you above him?
15 A. If we take it to correspond to what I wanted to say, then it is.
16 Your conclusion is correct.
17 Q. All right. Now, getting back to your statement, again D92, you
18 indicate --
19 A. Sir, just a moment. With all due respect, you are making an
20 argument here on the basis of one single element. I can state five
21 situations in which they did not obey me. You're talking about
22 Srebrenica, about possible takeover of Srebrenica. And it is only logical
23 that I, had I known at the time that we would enter in Srebrenica, that I
24 would have told Simic that he didn't -- he was not to go to Nis on that
25 day. Because we are to enter Srebrenica, there is a lot of work to do in
1 Bratunac. You are trying to say that I was ordering him. And there are
2 lots of elements on the basis of one could see that I could not -- I did
3 not tell him to go to Nis. You are trying to say now that I could always
4 issue an order to Mr. Simic. But no, we are talking about a situation in
5 which -- where a number of reasons why one should act on the basis of the
6 recommendation of the other. But this is nothing to do with ordering,
7 issuing orders to say.
8 Q. May I ask what Mr. Simic's function was in the municipality.
9 A. President of the municipality.
10 Q. Okay. And you were just the president of a political party.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. You did not have a particular portfolio, executive portfolio?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Okay. Now, getting back to the statement, you state that you
16 organised the convoys. Is that correct? Was that a correct statement?
17 A. Yes. Throughout that time, I was convinced -- I mean, I've always
18 been convinced that I was the one who had organised the convoys and the
19 buses, but it was only subsequently that I learned that the number of
20 buses had already been organised, a fact which I learned later. I called
21 neighbouring municipalities to send buses. I asked President Karadzic to
22 issue a statement on the radio. I called upon various individuals to send
23 vehicles there, and this is why I was absolutely convinced that I was the
24 one who had secured all of those vehicles, which is not true. A number of
25 buses had already been there at the time the initial -- the first convoys
1 started. And that is the fact that I did not have in mind at the time I
2 was giving my first statements.
3 Q. Okay. Then you go on to state that: "I asked through the media
4 to send any free trucks or buses to Bratunac, because it was trouble to
5 organise it. And I," that is you, "wanted to do it quickly because there
6 was permanent chance of accident."
7 So my question is: Did you ask the media -- through the media
8 that buses and trucks come to Bratunac to assist in this evacuation
10 A. Yes. Indirectly I did. I asked the president that such an appeal
11 be launched through our media. That's what I had in mind.
12 Q. Now, the following paragraph you state that for two days you
13 supplied water and food for those that were in Potocari. Is that correct?
14 Did you supply water and food for two days?
15 A. If you're referring to the civilian structures from Bratunac, yes.
16 But if you're trying to say that I was personally present there, no, that
17 is not correct. As far as I can recall the tasks were issued to Mr. Simic
18 and Mr. Davidovic. They were to secure as much food and water as
19 possible -- bread and water, actually, and that that be distributed in
20 Potocari. This was done, as far as I know - I am not 100 per cent sure
21 that this is all correct - but as far as I know this was done on the 12th
22 and the 14th -- bread and milk, correction.
23 During the conversation after the meeting held on the 12th, I
24 spoke with Mladic and a couple of others who were there. And it was
25 Mladic who issued tasks for President Simic and the President of the
1 executive counsel, Mr. Davidovic.
2 Q. How could Mr. Mladic order members of the civilian government when
3 he was military and they're civilians?
4 A. Well, on the same basis as I was able to recommend, not order, to
5 someone from the military to do something. If something is perfectly
6 clear, convincing, and logical to carry out, it is not important who is
7 proposing or recommending that it be done. I did not say, Carry out this
8 task. But I just proposed, I just recommended that this be organised,
9 food and water, and that it be brought to those people over there. I
10 don't see anything strange or illogical in this type of behaviour.
11 Q. Let me ask the question again, Mr. Deronjic. I understand that
12 now you're stating that you recommended that water and food be supplied.
13 But my question is: How is it possible that Mladic could order, could
14 task the president of the municipal government to carry out his, that is,
15 the military's orders? How is that possible, especially in light of the
16 decision by the president placing you as the commissioner?
17 A. Let me try to answer your question as to how this is possible. At
18 a rally, a military rally held in Bratunac, General Zivanovic in the
19 presence of the commander - I don't know whether it was Mr. Blagojevic at
20 the time - ordered the director of the agricultural association in
21 Bratunac that the wheat should be transported -- that more wheat should be
22 transported. So this is how it worked. So this is not unusual for the
23 military structures to ask something of the civilian structures. If this
24 was logical and normal in view of the situation we found ourselves in, do
25 you really think that Mladic never addressed himself to the civilian
2 Q. You then state that you gave medical treatment. In a small
3 hospital in Bratunac about a hundred people were treated. Is that
4 correct, were about a hundred people treated in the Bratunac medical
6 A. In the first information, I'm not saying are 100 per cent correct,
7 contained this number. I'm not sure that there were a hundred people; I
8 did not count them. I do not wish to negotiate with respect to these
9 figures. However, a large number of wounded, the sick, the old, and the
10 infirm, were taken to the local medical centre. This information, the
11 correct information, can be found at the centre or obtained from the
12 director of the medical centre.
13 Q. Okay. Then I'm going to read the next couple of sentences. You
14 say: "The whole convoy was organised by my efforts. A number of trucks,
15 buses, followed by police and UNPROFOR, more buses, trucks, police,
17 And then you go on. And in the end you say: "This convoy
18 organised by me was followed by UNPROFOR to the border. I have no exact
19 number but I think it may have been over 10.000."
20 My question is: Is this statement true, that this convoy was
21 organised by you?
22 A. In the sense of providing security to a large number of transport
23 vehicles, yes.
24 Q. All right. Now, you then go on to the next paragraph where you
25 say that "After the transport finished, I asked before -- well, you say:
1 "I asked before the transport for a new meeting at the end with the
2 commander of UNPROFOR and the Muslim authorities to analyse how the convoy
4 You then go on to say: "The representatives stayed in Potocari
5 until the end of the negotiation. So we had an agreement that if
6 everything was okay, all three sides had to sign. At the end, we made a
8 Now, Mr. Deronjic, is that entire statement that I just read
10 A. Whether that is the statement that I gave or whether the contents
11 are correct?
12 Q. Thank you for correcting me. Whether the contents, whether the
13 contents, in your statement are correct?
14 A. No. No. To a large extent, no.
15 Q. In fact, they're not only not correct in the sense that some
16 information was left out, but they are some intentional - and I underscore
17 the word "intentional" - misrepresentations by you in this statement, are
18 there not?
19 A. I agree.
20 Q. Okay. So at least with respect to this part of the statement, you
21 were providing false facts, false information, to Mr. Ralston. Correct?
22 A. I believe I've already answered the question five times. Yes,
24 Q. And when you were providing this information, you knew that it was
25 false. Right?
1 A. I have already explained that with respect to certain parts of the
2 information I was either confused or did not remember. But not everything
3 was incorrect.
4 Q. Okay. But on this particular portion of your statement, you were
5 neither confused nor did you have a lapse of memory. Isn't that a fact,
6 Mr. Deronjic?
7 A. No, not at all. With your permission, I would like to provide an
9 Q. I will give you an opportunity to provide an explanation, but
10 allow me to ask my series of questions and you can explain on this issue.
11 Isn't it a fact, Mr. Deronjic, that you wanted Mr. Ralston to believe you
12 on this because there was a document that had been signed. Correct?
13 A. Why do you think that if I had said something erroneously that he
14 would have believed me because of that. I mean ...
15 Q. Okay. Mr. --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand we're going past. I just have --
17 couple of moments, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Deronjic, the information that was on the document was false,
19 that is that the transportation of the evacuation of the people in
20 Potocari had been done, you know, in a correct manner. That was the
21 essence of the document. Correct?
22 A. Who says this is incorrect?
23 Q. Okay. I think --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Given that answer, I think we should probably
25 break, Your Honour, because if Mr. Deronjic is of the opinion that the
1 document that was signed by him with the representatives of the Muslims
2 and UNPROFOR was a correct document, I think we're going to have to
3 explore that so we can get the full truth, at least as it has been
4 outlined by Mr. Deronjic in some of his other statements.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, it appears clear Mr. Karnavas is now
7 referring to a new document, aside from the interview of this statement.
8 And if that's going to be dealt with, I think it's fair to show the
9 witness what document. I'm not sure what you guys are talking about the
10 same thing at this point.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: The document I'm referring to, which I'm sure
14 Mr. Deronjic knows, is the one that's referred to in paragraph 6, the one
15 that we've been talking to.
16 Q. And that's the one that you had the Muslims' representatives sign
17 in the presence of Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel or Major Franken.
18 A. That document was also signed by Major Franken and Mr. Mandzic.
19 Let me say one thing, Mr. Karnavas. You're saying that what's contained
20 in the text of this document is incorrect. So you're excluding the
21 possibility of there being anything correct, at least that is how I
22 understand your question in light of your remarks about linguistics.
23 Later on when I explained the circumstances of the composition of this
24 document, I said that the document also contains correct information,
25 correct facts, and that is why I said what you were saying was incorrect.
1 Because you, with your questions, are trying to lead me to give you that
2 particular answer, but you're not telling the whole truth about it. That
3 agreement has a portion that is correct and another one that is not
4 correct. And there is a third portion that is lacking concerning, for
5 instance, the overall situation in Bratunac. Because the document
6 concerns exclusively the issue of transport of civilians, as stated in the
7 title of the document. And to a large extent I said that it is a truthful
8 document, at least the way I understand the truth, and that is that the
9 civilians of Potocari to a large extent -- and I'm not saying that I know
10 the whole truth, were transported in the direction of Kladanj in a correct
12 Q. Okay. Well --
13 A. Of course we can discuss the document further, but I know exactly
14 what I said in response to a question of the Prosecutor concerning this
15 document. You have to be aware of the fact that your questions are very
16 narrow, and I'm obliged to give you a negative answer because you are
17 deliberately excluding some facts. And in this manner you're forcing me
18 to say that the document, the whole document, is incorrect, but this is
19 not what I want to say. But I'm obliged to say because I have to provide
20 narrow answers to your narrow questions.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we are five minutes past the
23 MR. KARNAVAS: That's unfortunate.
24 JUDGE LIU: We have been informed by the Registrar that if we are
25 sitting in the morning session, we have to stop punctually on time, at
1 most less than five minutes past.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: I understand it's an important issue and we still have
4 the opportunity to revisit it tomorrow morning, after reading the
5 transcript, especially Mr. Deronjic's answer.
6 So we'll resume tomorrow morning in Courtroom III, so I advise you
7 to bring all of your personal documents out of this courtroom.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
9 at 1.51 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
10 the 20th day of January, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.