1 Wednesday, 23 January 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody, on the first day of this
7 trial. I see that the accused are already here and I would like the
8 registrar, deputy registrar, to summon the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number
10 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: First thing I am duty-bound to confirm, Mr. Brdjanin
12 and General Talic, is that you are hearing these proceedings, and
13 particularly what I am saying now, in a language that you understand.
14 Mr. Brdjanin, can you hear me in a language that you can
16 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: General Talic, can you hear me in a language that
18 you --
19 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for the Prosecution?
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, Joanna Korner and Andrew Cayley for the
22 Prosecution, assisted by Denise Gustin, case manager.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
24 For Mr. Brdjanin?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm John Ackerman. I'm assisted by my
1 co-counsel Ms. Milka Maglov, legal assistant Mr. Milos Peric, and
2 translator Ms. ^ Ratislava Mirkovic.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And for General Talic?
4 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] [no translation]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you all, and before we proceed, I would like
6 to introduce to you the other two Judges that compose this Trial Chamber.
7 To my right is Judge Janu from the Czech Republic, and to my left, Judge
8 Taya from Japan. Thank you.
9 There are a few preliminaries that I would like to touch upon
10 before we start our labours and before I give the floor to the Prosecutor,
11 Joanna Korner, and what I will be saying is partly to address you to some
12 of the practices and policies that will be adopted by this Trial Chamber
13 in the course of this trial.
14 The whole idea is that it is the opinion of this Trial Chamber
15 that you should not exactly be forewarned but you should be advised
16 beforehand of what to expect given certain circumstances, particularly
17 with regard to evidence and with regard to procedure, so that there will
18 be no room for discussion, further discussion, at a later time.
19 But before I move to these points, I would like to address the
20 accused in this trial, Mr. Brdjanin and General Talic, and draw their
21 attention to Article 21 of the Statute of this Tribunal, which spells out
22 a number of procedural guarantees in a human rights fair trial and due
23 process context that I suppose they have been made aware of already. But
24 since this is the beginning of the trial - in other words, this is another
25 phase of the proceedings and perhaps the most crucial phase of the
1 proceedings taken by this Tribunal against the two accused - I am going to
2 refer to the basic points of Article 21.
3 Mr. Brdjanin and General Talic, in terms of part 1, clause 1, of
4 Article 21 of the Statute, all persons shall be equal before this
5 Tribunal, and in the determination of the charges that have been brought
6 against you under the indictment as now finally amended, you are entitled,
7 in terms of part 2 of Article 21, to a fair and public hearing, subject,
8 of course, to what is stated in Article 22 of the Statute, which I don't
9 think is the case for me to go into.
10 You will be reminded later on as well, when I come to something
11 else, that under clause 3 of Article 21, you are presumed innocent until
12 you are proven guilty according to the provisions of the same Statute that
13 regulates the works and the constitution and the workings of this
15 Then, in the determination of any charge against you pursuant to
16 the Statute, you are entitled to the following minimum guarantees -- and I
17 emphasise the word "minimum" guarantees, because there will be other
18 guarantees that you will be -- you will benefit from as we go along, and
19 these are guarantees that more or less universally now and particularly in
20 Europe are considered to be essential for a fair trial. But basically,
21 the first requirement - and I suppose this has already been more or less
22 satisfied, even though challenged in the past - is to be informed promptly
23 and in detail in a language which you understand of the nature and cause
24 of the charges brought against you.
25 Then - and, again, this is something that we have discussed and
1 debated and which we will probably need to debate later on as well - you
2 are entitled to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of
3 your Defence and to communicate with a counsel of your own choosing.
4 You are also entitled to be tried without undue delay, and you can
5 rest assured that this Tribunal, this Trial Chamber will do its utmost to
6 finish this case as speedily as possibly but with all due respect to your
7 other rights.
8 You also have a right to be tried not in absentia but in your
9 presence and to defend yourselves in person or through legal assistance of
10 your own choosing. You are also entitled to be informed, if at any time
11 you do not have any legal assistance, of this right. I hope we will not
12 have to come to that, but if it ever happens in the course of this trial,
13 you will obviously be reminded of your rights.
14 You also have a right to have legal assistance assigned to you in
15 any case where the interests of justice require and without payment, in
16 any such case, if you do not have sufficient means to pay for your
18 Then something which is very important and which your lawyers
19 definitely know more than you do: You have a right to examine and to have
20 examined the witnesses brought here against you and to -- also you have a
21 right to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on your own
22 behalf, under the same conditions as those witnesses which are brought to
23 testify against you. This also means, although it is not stated, that you
24 also have a right to bring forward any documents, any exhibits that you
25 consider necessary in your defence, subject, of course, to various rules
1 of evidence that govern trials like this one.
2 You have also the right for the free assistance of an interpreter
3 if you do not understand or speak the language which at any time is used
4 during the proceedings. I see that we have a team of interpreters,
5 translators, here. If at any time in the course of the trial you
6 encounter difficulties in this, please do not hesitate. Interrupt me and
7 my colleagues and whoever would be in possession of the floor at the time
8 and let us know, because it is very important that at any given moment,
9 you are fully aware of what is taking place.
10 Then finally, you may -- you have a right not to be compelled to
11 testify against yourselves or to confess any guilt, which brings me to
12 something -- to the first point that I wanted to touch upon, that is, this
13 right to silence and also privilege against self-incrimination. I have
14 just told you that in terms of Article 21, you have -- there is a very
15 important principle that will certainly govern all these proceedings,
16 namely, that you are both presumed innocent until found guilty and that
17 the burden of proving your guilt rests generally with the Prosecution.
18 As a necessary consequence of this, we have a corollary principle,
19 namely, that you have a fundamental right to remain silent throughout the
20 whole trial if you choose to. You also enjoy a privilege against
21 self-incrimination, which this trial will guarantee to you. The whole
22 purpose of this right to remain silent and the raison d'etre of the
23 privilege against self-incrimination are meant to protect you from being
24 compelled to testify against your own will, against your own interest, or
25 to confess any guilt.
1 I also wish to affirm that it is not permissible for the
2 Prosecution in the course of this trial to make any adverse inferences
3 based on your silence. However, you should keep in mind that should, at a
4 later stage, you decide voluntarily to offer your own testimony, your own
5 evidence, then more or less, with some exceptions that have been
6 highlighted in previous case law of this Tribunal, you will be in the same
7 position as any other witness and be treated accordingly. In other words,
8 if you take the witness box and you make the solemn declaration to say --
9 to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, this is
10 precisely what will be expected from you.
11 There is, of course, a question that was raised by the learned
12 Prosecutor during the last phase or last part of Monday's session of the
13 Pre-Trial Conference as to what is expected from you should you at a later
14 stage decide it is in your interest to offer your own testimony. When
15 should you do this? I know that the practice in this Tribunal has not
16 been always the same, in other words, there has been a variation on the
17 same thing. But it is desirable that if you decide to give evidence, you
18 will give evidence before any of the other witnesses that you intend to
19 produce in your own defence. I'm telling you this in your own interest.
20 And in this context, I would also like to remind you that in the
21 only two other instances that I can remember when the accused, the
22 respondent, or the defendant decided to give evidence after all the other
23 witnesses for the Defence had given evidence, it was made very clear to
24 the accused that the probative value of his or her evidence in those
25 circumstances might suffer. I repeat the same advice, not a warning:
1 This Chamber as composed would expect you, if you decide to give evidence,
2 to give evidence before all the other witnesses for the Defence. If you
3 opt not to, if you opt to give evidence later, you may be faced with this
5 Leading questions. I think we should -- we opted to be open on
6 this straight away, play our cards openly. This is an area where the
7 practice of this Tribunal also has not always been constant. But I will
8 tell you how this Trial Chamber in the course of this trial will deal with
9 leading questions. This Trial Chamber in the course of this trial will
10 not allow leading questions during examination-in-chief or a direct
11 examination of a witness.
12 To make myself clear, also because I realise that we have counsel
13 coming from different legal traditions - and I come from a legal culture
14 which has succeeded in mixing the two - I will explain to you what I mean
15 by a leading question, what I understand by a leading question, at least
16 for the purpose of these proceedings. And a leading question to me - and
17 to us, actually - is a question framed in such a manner as to suggest to
18 the witness the answer required from him or from her.
19 There will be some exceptions which will be applied to this strict
20 rule, and these exceptions are based on the prior jurisprudence of this
21 Tribunal and also on the practice that more or less has been adopted in
22 the past with regard to leading questions.
23 First, there will be exception to this rule where a witness
24 affirms a certain fact and another witness is called for the purpose of
25 confronting or contradicting that witness. The latter may be asked, in
1 direct terms, whether that particular fact ever took place. Also,
2 questions which are merely introductory to others, that are material or
3 which relate to undisputed matters, will be in general terms allowed to be
4 asked in direct terms without objection. Also, leading questions will be
5 allowed to be put where the party calling the witness is given leave to
6 treat that witness as an adverse or a hostile witness. Leading questions
7 will, of course, be allowed for matters which are not contested. Leading
8 questions will also, on a case-by-case basis, be allowed in cases of
9 witnesses who happen to have a limited understanding. We hope to have
10 very few of these. And leading questions will also be allowed in cases of
11 a witness whose recollection has been exhausted but who there is reason to
12 believe should be in possession or know additional facts material to the
14 Finally - this is where the practice of this Tribunal has not been
15 always constant - finally, leading questions will always be applied upon
16 cross-examination. So I'm making this very clear: It applies equally to
17 Defence and to Prosecution. While it has been the practice in some Trial
18 Chambers not to allow direct questions, leading questions, upon
19 cross-examination, this will not be the system adopted by this Trial
20 Chamber. So I'm making that clear to you at the very outset.
21 Hearsay evidence. Now, as you know, this is a rule with which
22 practitioners in common law jurisdictions are very familiar. It is
23 obviously something that has come up on several occasions before this
24 Tribunal in different cases, and it is something on which this Tribunal
25 has pronounced itself. More or less I'm informing you that this Trial
1 Chamber in the course of this trial will adopt the jurisprudence of this
2 Tribunal on the matter. What -- I will be more precise. Basically, the
3 governing rule is that contained in paragraph (C) of Rule 89, which makes
4 it clear that this Trial Chamber may admit any relevant evidence which it
5 deems to have relevance. Also, this International Tribunal, as pointed
6 out in the Blaskic case, is a sui generis one with its own rules and
7 procedure and which does not merely constitute a transposition of national
8 legal systems. In fact, these last years have shown this Tribunal to be
9 heading towards more or less a hybrid system, and this has a bearing on
10 the way this Chamber will deal with the aspect of hearsay evidence.
11 The rule of -- against hearsay evidence in criminal cases, as this
12 Trial Chamber understands it, is in the following terms: Namely, former
13 statements of any person, whether or not he or she is a witness in the
14 proceedings, may not be given in evidence if the purpose is to tender them
15 as evidence of the truth of the matters asserted in them, unless they were
16 made by a defendant and constitute admissions of fact relevant to those
17 proceedings. However, in the Aleksovski case, this Tribunal defined
18 hearsay evidence in a more restricted manner; namely, the statement of a
19 person made otherwise than in proceedings in which it has been tendered
20 but nevertheless being tendered in those proceedings in order to establish
21 the truth of what that person states -- says.
22 The position that this Trial Chamber will be adopting in this
23 trial is that hearsay evidence - which in any case has never been
24 considered to be an absolute rule even in common law jurisdictions - will
25 not be considered inadmissible or made subject to any prohibition in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 principle, subject, of course, to it being deemed relevant and having a
2 probative value in the first place.
3 Two minor points that are more or less related, though they are
4 complementary, though one does not exhaust the other: I would imagine
5 that both the Prosecution and the Defence will encounter the phenomenon of
6 hostile witnesses. Sometimes it happens, and when it happens, it creates
7 problems, problems in the sense that you would be prepared one way in
8 examining or cross-examining that -- in examining that witness, which you
9 yourself would have produced, and which might take you by surprise. The
10 rule that will be applied by this Trial Chamber is that a party producing
11 a witness - we are talking of the witness that you yourself have produced
12 - will not be allowed to attack the credibility of that witness without
13 the permission of the Trial Chamber. In other words, first, you have to
14 ask for the permission of this Trial Chamber to treat that witness as an
15 adverse witness, as a hostile witness. Given that permission, then you
16 would be able to treat that witness as a hostile one, or as an adverse
17 one - the Americans prefer to use the word "adverse" rather than
18 "hostile," I understand - and in this context, contradict that witness by
19 other evidence, even evidence that may have been tendered in previous
21 That brings me to the second point, the use, permitted use, that
22 will be made of prior statements. The rule that will be followed by this
23 Trial Chamber is that prior, out-of-court statements will be allowed along
24 the lines indicated and decided in Prosecutor versus Pocka
25 ^ Papic? Prcac?. In other words, the rule will be that the principle of
1 the orality of debates, in other words, that evidence more or less as a
2 rule should be tendered viva voce. In particular, this principle that I
3 have just mentioned should prevail, but reference to prior, out-of-court
4 statements of the witness may be allowed, as previously indicated by this
6 Please do expect that in such cases this Trial Chamber will insist
7 that such statements be read to the witness prior to him or her being
8 questioned upon.
9 And it brings me to the last point that I wanted to make. I have
10 had the pleasure of working with you already for something like four,
11 nine, plus three -- 12 hours, during sessions of the Pre-Trial Conference,
12 and I have great expectations from you, but I also know that trials will
13 always be trials, that there will be incidents, that not everything will
14 be easy from beginning to end. Therefore, please allow me to draw your
15 attention to certain rules of conduct that will be expected from you, and
16 also please allow me to remind you of certain duties that are imposed on
17 you both by Statute, by the Rules, as well as by the Code of Ethics that
18 has been prepared. I will not be obviously exhaustive or deal with this
19 at length, but I think also it is in the interests of your clients to hear
20 what I have to say in open court.
21 First of all, hopefully we will - and I do not anticipate that we
22 will have to come to this - but please be reminded that in certain extreme
23 cases, you may be subject to - I'm referring to counsel here, both sides -
24 you may be subject to disciplinary proceedings under the Rules of
25 Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal, also as amended. And it is
1 therefore necessary that you are aware of these -- of your rights and
2 obligations as well as obligations towards this Tribunal.
3 You also have a duty to keep your clients informed about the
4 status of a matter before the Tribunal in which the client is an
5 interested party and must also -- in other words, you also have a duty to
6 promptly comply with all reasonable requests for information from your
8 It's important for me to remind you also that you must at all
9 times comply with the Rules and any rules as to conduct and procedure as
10 may be applied by the Trial Chamber in the course of the trial.
11 You are expected also to have due regard to the fair conduct of
12 proceedings. Something which is important and which I have no reason to
13 doubt but which I am reminding you of just the same, you may not, unless
14 permitted by the Rules or your Code of Ethics or by any of us three or the
15 Chamber hearing this trial or any matter related thereto, make contact
16 with any one of us three without first or concurrently informing counsel
17 acting for the other party to the proceedings.
18 You also may not submit exhibits, notes, or documents to us
19 without communicating them first or concurrently to counsel acting for the
20 other party.
21 We will be on the watch-out for something which is fundamental --
22 fundamentally important for the proper conduct of proceedings, namely,
23 that you are never expected to make an incorrect statement of material
24 fact -- of a material fact to this Tribunal or offer evidence which you
25 know to be incorrect. You also have a duty, and you are being reminded of
1 this duty, to maintain the integrity of evidence, whether it is in
2 written, oral, or any other form, evidence which is or may be submitted to
3 this Tribunal.
4 An appeal that we are making to you and which was also
5 incorporated -- based on what is incorporated in the Code of Ethics is
6 that you are expected to recognise all other counsel appearing or acting
7 in relation to proceedings before this Trial Chamber as professional
8 colleagues and you are duty-bound and therefore expected to act fairly,
9 honestly, and courteously towards them and their clients. And this, of
10 course, applies equally to the Prosecution as well as to the Defence.
11 One very important rule of ethics which I emphasise is that you
12 may not communicate with the client of another counsel except through or
13 with the permission of that client's counsel.
14 Finally, something which in trials of this nature is perhaps more
15 important than in normal trials that we have in our home jurisdictions: I
16 expect you, both the Prosecution and the Defence, again, to show the
17 utmost courtesy towards witnesses, both in examination-in-chief as well
18 as -- and as well as in cross-examination. You are, of course, free to
19 examine and cross-examine witnesses to the best of your ability and in the
20 way you deem fit and proper and also considering the attitude that each
21 witness takes in any particular moment. But dealing adequately with a
22 witness is one thing; failing to show courtesy or resorting to practices
23 which will not be acceptable to this Tribunal, such as undue
24 aggressiveness towards the witness, will not be allowed. Also, you will
25 not subject witnesses to any unnecessary and unwarranted harassment.
1 I'm sorry to have taken all this time in going through all this,
2 but I think it gives me the opportunity and my colleagues the opportunity
3 to more or less direct you from the very outset as to what to expect in
4 certain circumstances when it comes to any of the aspects that I have
5 touched upon.
6 I think at this point in time I will look more to my left and call
7 upon you, Ms. Korner, to make your opening statement.
8 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: May I raise a matter before we begin that, Your
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, when I arrived this morning, I found
13 in my locker this stack of additional disclosure from the Prosecutor. I
14 told you last week in one of our Status Conferences that this trial was
15 not ready to start, and one of the reasons it was not ready to start was
16 that there are thousands of pages of material yet to be disclosed to the
17 Defence. Now, I understand that we are starting and that that is not
18 about to change, but I do have a humble request. It will take about two
19 days for me to catalogue this material, get it properly filed so that I
20 can find it again, and then read it in a way that I can understand it. So
21 what I would request is that any time a series of documents of this
22 magnitude -- there's a lot of documents here. There may be - I haven't
23 counted the pages - seven or eight hundred pages, I don't know. Any time
24 a pile of documents of this magnitude is served upon us --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I may have the wrong glasses -- I may be wearing the
1 wrong glasses, but I don't think there are 700 pages there.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, it may be. It may be double-sided, I haven't
3 looked. But in any event, however many pages there is, I think I may take
4 a significant amount of time just to get through and to understand it, and
5 to read it, and to get it properly filed. And so I would suggest that any
6 time we receive a large number of documents like this, we have to stop
7 whatever we're doing in terms of preparing for cross-examination of
8 witnesses, we have to stop all the preparation we are doing for coming in
9 here for trial, and get these catalogued and understood as to what effect
10 they might have on the next cross-examination that we're going to be
12 In addition, there are new materials here for the first witness,
13 Donia, who we just got this morning. Now, so what I would suggest is that
14 any time we get materials like this, which should have probably been given
15 to us months ago -- we're constantly getting materials that it's obvious
16 from looking at them have been in the Prosecution's possession for
17 months. So that any time we get this, I would request that the Chamber
18 give us a two-day recess of the trial so that we can prepare for the next
19 witness or whatever and have time to process these documents and become
20 familiar with them, because it's of no value --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: May I ask you the specifics of those documents?
22 What documents are they?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I haven't looked at them, so I don't know. They're
24 disclosure documents that were given to the Prosecutor. And apparently
25 they believe it's important and should be disclosed to us. Whether
1 they're Rule 68 material -- some of them have to do with -- I know some of
2 them have to do with Witness Donia, who is the next witness coming up.
3 And if they're not important, then we shouldn't be given them. We have to
4 treat them as if they are important. We have to treat them seriously. We
5 have to read them carefully. We have to compare them with other similar
6 documents on similar issues in the case. And at the same time, the
7 Chamber expects us to be prepared to cross-examine the next witness, and I
8 don't know how --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But you are -- may remind you or draw your attention
10 that you are falling into a contradiction here. Not last Monday but the
11 sitting before - that's Friday's - when we were discussing the 800-odd
12 pages of transcripts of the evidence that Mr. Donia had given in other
13 trials and a question arose as to how important they were or whether it
14 was wise to keep them or whether to withdraw those documents, Mr. de Roux
15 was very open about this and said it's the case that the Prosecution
16 withdraws these documents. They're not important. We don't want them.
17 The Prosecutor was prepared to withdraw those documents and you weren't.
18 And now you're saying if these documents that we have today are not
19 important, why do we have them, why should they be in the records of the
20 case, why should they occupy our time? I mean, decide, please. I mean,
21 but however, irrespective of this -- because obviously you're making a
22 complaint which may have -- may carry a lot of weight, I would like to
23 know from the Prosecutor what documents Mr. Ackerman is in receipt today.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I can assist on that. One of the
25 problems, as Your Honour will recall, that we've discussed over the last
1 few hearings is translations. One of the major problems is a diary that
2 was received by the Prosecution some months ago. And Your Honour will
3 recall I explained that the Translation Unit had offered or said they
4 could translate some 300 pages.
5 The bulk of the material that Mr. Ackerman and Mr. de Roux have
6 received this morning are further translated pages of the Banja Luka
7 diary. There are three translations of documents that will be referred to
8 by Dr. Donia, and those are the only documents that refer to him. It is a
9 problem that will arise throughout this trial because of the backlog of
11 If the situation is that Mr. Ackerman doesn't want to receive the
12 translations as they come in, then of course we won't provide them. But
13 if he does - and I anticipate that of course he does - then they will be
14 coming in either in dribs and drabs or sometimes in bulk. We try to
15 ensure the documents that will be referred to by witnesses have been
16 disclosed or translated in advance, but it's not always possible and
17 mistakes may arise. That is the situation in respect of the documents to
18 which Mr. Ackerman refers today.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And the three documents that Mr. Donia will be asked
20 to refer to or make reference to in the course of his testimony, what
21 documents are they?
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I can't give -- I can't describe to you
23 exactly what they are.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: How voluminous are they?
25 MS. KORNER: I think quite -- yes, Mr. Cayley has been dealing
1 with this matter. Perhaps he can answer the question, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cayley.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. They
4 are very brief documents in respect of Dr. Donia. The reality in his
5 report is that there are, I think, some 237 footnotes. All of those
6 footnotes in the report make reference to books, publications, and
7 documents, and some newspapers.
8 The only documents that we intend to offer in evidence are what I
9 would strictly call documents, rather than newspapers or books or other
10 publications, and we have disclosed all of those up to yesterday, apart
11 from three, which, for pure human failure, which is my fault, were missed
12 going through the footnotes. The documents -- I think the longest
13 document is two pages long, that was disclosed yesterday. That's the
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. de Roux?
16 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is not a
17 technical problem. It is not only a translation problem in this
18 particular case. The Prosecution is tendering a private diary kept by a
19 certain person. We have read it, and we have said that a private diary
20 consists of daily impressions, and the Defence would like to see the
21 totality of this document, because it is quite obvious that such and such
22 a daily reaction is important and can be interpreted in different ways.
23 That is why this is a problem of substance. But we have never had access
24 to this document in its totality, though we have been asking for it for
25 months, and we are now being given a part, a selected part, selected by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the Prosecution, and we are told that this selected part, though we don't
2 know the part that has not been selected, is going to be used for asking
3 questions to the first witness.
4 I think that if we begin this trial in this way, we are making a
5 bad start. We have been asking for some time to have access to documents
6 so that we may adopt our own opinion about the totality of those
7 documents, which is good sense, in my opinion. And secondly, we are only
8 counsel, and the people who were involved in those events are those who
9 are important, and it is important, therefore, that General Talic should
10 be able to read those documents, because he was there during those events,
11 and then tell his counsel what his reactions are.
12 A reading of a text of this kind in French or English is certainly
13 of interest for my understanding -- for a better understanding of things,
14 but the interpretation of the facts, it is only my client, General Talic,
15 who can give his version of the facts, his view of the facts contained in
16 that journal. And that is why I associate myself to what Mr. Ackerman has
17 said. I think that we should be able to begin this trial with an equality
18 of arms.
19 The Prosecution keep telling us - and I'm sorry to have to say
20 this again - that the Prosecution has had these documents for a long time,
21 even before the indictment was revealed to my client, and we are now being
22 given two, three, five years later, these documents. And if we are daily
23 given documents that we are not aware of, and for which we are given 24
24 hours, without our client being able to understand and read them in their
25 own -- in his own language - General Talic only speaks Serbo-Croat - then
1 I'm saying that this trial is getting off to a bad start.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Two things: The first one is that your comments
4 with regard to the prior statements, prior testimony of Dr. Donia that was
5 in about 800 pages given to us by the Prosecution, I never took the
6 position that that was not necessary. It's absolutely necessary. The
7 Rules require it. And she has to give it to us and we can't say, "Take it
8 back," and therefore somehow remove it from the case. She has to give it
9 to us, under the Rules.
10 Now, the Prosecutor has told you that the bulk of this material
11 that we received this morning was further translation of the [redacted]
12 This is the portion of it that is further translation of the [redacted],
13 and this is the portion that is other -- is mostly brand-new material.
14 This entire amount here is brand-new material. It's not translations or
15 anything else. This is material we've never seen before. I have no idea
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It refers to what?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: It refers -- how could I know?
19 MS. KORNER: May I interrupt for a moment? Could we refer to the
20 diary just as the diary, without any further description of whose diary it
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, that was a mistake.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: The rest of the documents--
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I'm reminded by Mr. Cayley,
25 could we have a redaction, please, of the transcript and the public
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It has been taken care of.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I apologise very much. I have no idea what this is
5 because it was received this morning. I got it ten minutes before I
6 walked in here. I have not had a chance to look at it, but it appears to
7 be a large bundle of material, mostly written in Serbo-Croatian so I won't
8 be able to read it in any event. Some of it I will be able to read. One
9 wonders if there will be a translation of this some day. I assume there
10 probably will. But it's characterised as brand-new material, batch number
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I have more specific information as to what kind
13 of material this is?
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm just trying to do a check on what
15 exactly it is. I was given information that it was the further
16 translation of the diary. It's -- Mr. Ackerman told me it's number 93,
17 disclosure number 93.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. It's called, "Index of disclosure materials,
19 batch 93, miscellaneous X, 22 January, 2002." And that's the bulk of it.
20 That's this large --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I want information because very much depends
22 on what kind of documents they are. And they are in a language that your
23 clients understand.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I've now become aware of it. What
25 happened is, literally very recently, we were supplied with minutes of an
1 assembly meetings which we had not had before.
2 I want to deal with what Mr. de Roux says about the diary in a
4 We disclosed them immediately but without a translation.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Are they documents to which witnesses that will be
6 called between now and the end of next week will make reference -- will be
7 asked to make reference to?
8 MS. KORNER: No.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's important to know.
10 MS. KORNER: May I, while I'm on my feet, just deal with a couple
11 of things Mr. de Roux has said?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour having earlier given a warning about
14 making misstatements of fact. In respect of this diary, the whole diary,
15 in the original Serbo-Croat language, has been disclosed. Therefore,
16 General Talic --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The Chamber is going to stop you on this,
18 Ms. Korner, not out of -- because this is a matter that has been more or
19 less decided. For me, it was a closed chapter on the first hearing, first
20 part of the Pre-Trial hearing. This was something that I asked several
21 questions upon, and I recall, recollect, being told, and there was general
22 agreement, that the -- that the diary itself had been made available, and
23 it's only the translation which was causing problems, and that there was
24 this arrangement that, for the purposes of -- for the practical purposes,
25 there would be 300 pages ready by the 21st of January, the date on which
1 the trial was expected to commence.
2 But we did debate in December, on the 10th of December, the
3 matter, and we had agreed that there was no room for disagreement on this
4 and that there was absolutely no way the Chamber could entertain any
5 doubts as to whether the Defence had at its disposal the entire document.
6 The original complaint, and again it was Mr. de Roux or Mr. Pitron who had
7 raised the matter, was precisely along the same lines and the matter was
8 closed then.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it does seem to me important because, as
10 Your Honour knows, allegations have been made on a steady basis about the
11 Prosecution's method of dealing with documents. May I just say this,
12 therefore, about the diary? The diary was not in our possession before
13 the arrest of General Talic. It came into our possession in August or
14 September of this year [sic].
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Ackerman and Mr. de Roux, in any case, the
16 Chamber is taking cognizance of your request and your observations.
17 Please, as soon as we reconvene after the break, or I would say as soon as
18 Ms. Korner has finished her opening statement, I would like to see those
19 documents to be able to confer or consult my other two colleagues and be
20 in a better position to make a pronouncement, as the need may be. So we
21 will revisit that matter at the end of today's sitting, after Ms. Korner
22 has finished her opening statement.
23 Now, Ms. Korner, I think you can start with your opening
24 statement. Just to give you an indication, we will break for a while, for
25 about 20 minutes, at 10.30, to start with.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, before I commence my opening statement
2 to Your Honour --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
4 MS. KORNER: Before I commence my opening statement, may I just
5 return for a moment to Your Honour's helpful remarks as to how the trial
6 will be conducted? And may I ask, at the end of today, that I can raise
7 one matter because it may affect tomorrow's witness? But Your Honours,
8 with that in mind, may I now start what I have to say to Your Honours
9 about this case?
10 Your Honours, in 1992, the region which was known as the
11 Autonomous Region of Krajina - in shorthand nearly always referred to as
12 the ARK - was the scene of one of the most concerted, violent and
13 ultimately successful campaigns of what is euphemistically described as
14 "ethnic cleansing."
15 It goes without saying that there is no such thing in law as
16 "ethnic cleansing." Conduct which that term describes encompasses the
17 range of offences which are set out in this indictment. At its lowest, it
18 is the denial of fundamental human rights, rights of employment, of
19 freedom of movement, the right to proper judicial process, moving through
20 deportation, destruction of towns, of villages, of religious and cultural
21 edifices and homes; going further, the detention of persons in camps in
22 which beatings, torture, rape, sexual assault of women in general, and
23 incidents of murder are a daily occurrence; and finally, killings, not
24 only of single individuals, but of groups, some of them in the hundreds.
25 All of those crimes which I have enumerated, the evidence will
1 show, were committed in this case by Bosnian Serbs, of which the two
2 accused form a part, and also by Serbs from Serbia and Montenegro. These
3 crimes were committed by them upon the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
4 populations who, for generations, had been their neighbours.
5 The greater part of the evidence that Your Honours will hear deals
6 with the crimes committed against the Muslim population. That is simply
7 because, in the areas which will be covered in this case, they formed the
8 greater part of the non-Serb population, a greater part than the Croats.
9 That is not to say that the Croats received better treatment, simply that
10 there were less of them.
11 What was the reason for these crimes? The Prosecution say that on
12 the evidence of what was said and what was done by the accused and others,
13 that the motive - and I emphasise that - the motive for these crimes was
14 to create a Serbian state within Bosnia and Herzegovina, or at least to
15 make it part of a wider Serbian state. And in order to establish that
16 state, the intention - and I emphasise that - was to permanently remove
17 the non-Serb population from the areas which had been designated to be
18 part of that state and to effect the permanent removal by the commission
19 of the crimes which are set out in this indictment. We submit that the
20 Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats were the object of these crimes for
21 no other reason than that they were Muslim or Croat.
22 The Prosecution suggests that once the evidence has been heard in
23 this case, the Court will be satisfied that the crime of persecutions on
24 political, racial, and religious grounds, as well as the other crimes
25 which are enumerated in Article 5 of the Statute, were committed.
1 However, we go further. We suggest that the evidence shows that in some
2 municipalities, the ferocity of the methods used to remove the non-Serb
3 population, the scale of the killings, or the targeting of the leadership
4 in those municipalities, the beatings, the incarceration in detention
5 camps, the deportations, the attacks upon and destruction of homes and
6 villages, demonstrate an intention to destroy the Bosnian Muslim and
7 Bosnian Croat populations in part by destroying sections of the non-Serbs
8 in the ARK area.
9 In simplified terms, the Prosecution submits that the accused are
10 therefore criminally liable for this genocide, for that is what the
11 Prosecution say that it is, for four reasons: First, they intended the
12 destruction of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in part in order to
13 fulfil the aims of the objectives of the criminal enterprise where
14 persecutions alone would be insufficient to achieve the desired result; or
15 alternatively, the natural and foreseeable consequence of the joint
16 criminal enterprise to forcibly and permanently remove non-Serbs was that
17 genocidal conduct with the requisite intent would be committed; or
18 further, alternatively, the accused as superiors within the meaning of
19 Article 7(3) knew or had reason to know that genocidal conduct was about
20 to be committed with genocidal intent and did not prevent or punish the
21 perpetrators thereof; or finally, as accomplices, they knew that
22 principals were committing genocidal conduct with genocidal intent.
23 Thus we say, we submit to Your Honours, that as against certain
24 sections of the non-Serb population in the ARK, the aim of the campaign of
25 persecution - in other words, to rid the area of non-Serbs - was realised
1 through genocide. The accused, the Prosecution submit, bear criminal
2 responsibility for this genocide because (a), they intended it; (b), it
3 was a natural and foreseeable consequence of the criminal plan; (c), they
4 knew or had reason to know and did nothing to prevent it happening; or
5 they aided the principals in the commission of this crime.
6 The evidence will show that both accused were not only close to
7 the highest level of leadership within their respective spheres -- in
8 other words, Radoslav Brdjanin in the political sphere; General Momir
9 Talic in the military -- but also both exercised influence and authority
10 within the Autonomous Region of Krajina. The political and military wings
11 of the Bosnian Serbs were inextricably linked. The political arms
12 provided the goals. The military played its part in the achievement of
13 those goals. But they could not have done so without the logistical
14 support of the political arm. Moreover, we submit that on the evidence
15 that Your Honours will hear, it is clear that the military leaders of the
16 Bosnian Serbs, of whom General Talic was one, shared the ideologies of
17 their political counterparts.
18 The role of the police in this enterprise in the events that took
19 place in the Bosnian Krajina was no less important. In effect, they
20 straddle the divide between the political and the military wings. They
21 played their part in their civilian role by carrying out orders to disarm
22 the non-Serb population, by carrying out arrests of what were considered
23 to be undesirable persons, leaders of the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
24 populations. They staffed the camps. They provided personnel to conduct
25 interrogations. And Your Honours will hear the type of interrogations
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that were involved.
2 In respect of the military, they provided support by raising
3 battalions of fighting men, sometimes known as "special forces," who acted
4 under the command of the military. The concentration on the police may
5 not be as great in this case as it might otherwise have been for one
6 simple reason: Also charged in relation to these events in the Autonomous
7 Region of Krajina is a man called Stojan Zupljanin, about whom Your
8 Honours will hear quite a lot in this case. He was head of the State
9 Security Services Centre in Banja Luka, known as the CSB. He is not on
10 trial before Your Honours because, as of today, he has neither been
11 arrested nor has surrendered. But as I say, his name will figure fairly
12 large in this case.
13 Your Honour, with those introductory remarks, before I move to
14 some detail, perhaps I can explain briefly the purpose of this opening
15 statement and start with the negative, as it were. This is not intended
16 to be a complete rehearsal of all the evidence which Your Honours are
17 going to hear in this case. I see Your Honour smile. It would take days
18 and days and, in our submission, wouldn't be particularly helpful. Our
19 case has, in any event, been very fully set out in writing in the
20 Pre-Trial Brief.
21 It goes without saying that Your Honours will be arriving at your
22 decisions at the end of this case on the evidence that you hear and not
23 what the Prosecution says to you about it. What we are going to do is
24 merely anticipate what we think the evidence will be. We do not intend at
25 this stage, other than the submissions that I have addressed briefly
1 because it was important that Your Honours and the accused understand how
2 we put the case of genocide, because it is the most important charge and
3 the first time that it has been applied in this Court to such a
4 wide-ranging set of events. Your Honour, therefore, we will not be
5 addressing you any further on the elements of law. We won't even be
6 mentioning the vex topic of international armed conflict.
7 Your Honour, the purpose is really this: to prevent -- I'm sorry,
8 to present to Your Honours an overview of the evidence which we anticipate
9 will be given, to look at some of the context in which it arises, and some
10 of the themes which arise from that evidence. Ultimately, in making this
11 opening statement, we've had to make a selection. But we would say, and
12 stress before Your Honours, that simply because a particular aspect of the
13 evidence or a particular theme is omitted in this opening, it does not
14 mean that we do not consider it to be an important part of the evidence.
15 This opening is intended as a guide to the evidence which will come from
16 witness testimony and from documents.
17 Your Honour, may I very briefly outline the, as it were, biography
18 of each accused in turn. Radoslav Brdjanin was born on the 9th of
19 February, 1948, so he's now aged 53, very nearly 54. He was born in the
20 municipality of Celinac, which is outside Banja Luka, and about which Your
21 Honours will be hearing evidence. He was by profession a civil engineer
22 who worked in the construction industry. In November 1990, in the first
23 multiparty elections in Bosnia, he stood as the SDS candidate for Celinac,
24 and he was elected to the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 In April 1991, an association called the Association of Bosnian
1 Krajina Municipalities, known in its acronym form for -- in the Serb
2 language as ZOBK, and I won't attempt to pronounce the actual words in the
3 Serb language. But this association was set up. The President was a man
4 named Vojo Kupresanin, again a man about whom Your Honours will be hearing
5 in this case, and the Vice-President was Radoslav Brdjanin.
6 In September 1991, that association became transformed into the
7 Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, but the positions of
8 President and Vice-President remained as before.
9 On the 5th of May, 1992, there was on official announcement of the
10 formation of the Autonomous Region of Krajina Regional Crisis Staff.
11 Radoslav Brdjanin became the President. Kupresanin was simply a member of
12 the body. In due course, Your Honours, we'll have a look at the actual
14 On the 15th of September, 1992, Brdjanin was appointed a Minister
15 for Construction, Traffic, and Utilities, and became a Vice-President of
16 the Republika Srpska, as by then the Serbian state within Bosnia had
17 become known.
18 And just to complete matters, he was arrested in Banja Luka on the
19 6th of July of 1999.
20 Your Honour, Momir Talic, he was born on the 15th of July, 1942,
21 so he's now aged 59. And he was born in Piskavica in the Banja Luka
22 municipality. In 1961, he joined, as it then was, the Yugoslav People's
23 Army, the JNA, as a professional military officer. By July of 1991, he
24 had attained the rank of Colonel and he became the Chief of Staff or
25 deputy -- and Deputy Commander of what was then known as the JNA 5th
1 Corps, which was stationed in Banja Luka. And later, he was promoted to
2 the rank of what we would call Major-General, but I think in the Serb
3 language is General Major.
4 On the 19th of March, 1992, he was appointed the commander of the
5 5th Corps. When on the 19th of May, 1992, the Bosnian Serb army was
6 established, known as the VRS, the 5th Corps of the JNA became the 1st
7 Krajina Corps, often shortened to 1st KK. On the 31st of December, 1991,
8 he was promoted to General Lieutenant and he remained as commander of the
9 1st Krajina Corps throughout the conflict in Bosnia, until Dayton.
10 In February of 1998, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the VRS by
11 Biljana Plavsic, who was then the minister in charge of the army. And he
12 still occupied that position, that is Chief of Staff, when he was arrested
13 in Vienna on the 25th of August, 1999.
14 Your Honours, may I now turn to the background to these events?
15 We suggest it is impossible to understand these events, about which
16 evidence will be led in this case, and more importantly, the role of the
17 accused in these events, without some explanation of the background so
18 that those events and those roles can be looked at in context. Although
19 any starting point to a certain extent must be an arbitrary one, to most
20 of the witnesses in this case, it is the elections which were held in
21 November, 1990, which first brought clearly into focus the developing
22 nationalistic trends.
23 The majority, if not all, witnesses will say that before, and for
24 a period after the elections, the three major ethnic groups in Bosnia -
25 that is to say the Serbs, the Muslims who later became known as Bosniaks,
1 and the Croats - had lived together in harmony. Many worked together and,
2 particularly in urban areas, there was a great deal of intermarriage.
3 In those elections, three main parties emerged. The Serb party
4 was the SDS; the Bosnian Muslim party, the SDA; and the Bosnian Croat
5 party, the HDZ. It was the SDA who won the most seats in the Republic
6 Assembly, followed by the SDS and then, last, the HDZ. Again, it may be a
7 reflection of the fact that the Croat populations in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina were in fact smaller than the Muslim. The remaining seats
9 were split between other parties, which included the former Communist
11 When looking at the events of this case, it is also worth keeping
12 in mind that many of the trappings of the communist system remained very
13 much in place. All those who gained or took authority in the early 1990s,
14 and most of the persons who were subjected to that authority, were
15 products of that system. Control of the media was made simpler because
16 traditionally those in charge of radio and television stations were
17 political appointees. The directors of commercial enterprises were still
18 largely political appointees. Most such enterprises in the early 1990s
19 still remained politically controlled. Privatisation, as you will hear
20 from witnesses, was very much in its infancy.
21 Accordingly, for example, an order which was issued that
22 management posts in the Krajina enterprises must be filled by persons who
23 are absolutely loyal to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
24 which was an order issued on the 11th of May by the ARK Regional Crisis
25 Staff, was a relatively simple order to put into operation.
1 1991 saw the break-up, or the beginnings of the break-up, of
2 Yugoslavia. I know that Your Honours are probably very familiar and so I
3 propose to deal with that -- these events very briefly. On the 25th of
4 June, 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence, following
5 referenda which had been held in their respective republics. The JNA left
6 Slovenia after a mere ten-day war. In Croatia, the conflict between the
7 JNA, assisted by irregular paramilitary forces, began in June of 1991 and
8 lasted until January of 1992, when, as a result of international pressure,
9 the JNA largely withdrew into Bosnia.
10 The conflict in Croatia had a significant impact in Bosnia as a
11 whole. A mobilisation call had been issued. The Bosnian Serbs responded
12 but, on the whole, the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims did not, and
13 that caused a great deal of ill-feeling. More particularly, in the
14 municipalities with which this case is concerned, those which were
15 situated on or near the border with Croatia, in those municipalities, the
16 buildup to the takeover of control by the SDS began at an earlier stage.
17 It became clear that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be following Slovenia
18 and Croatia on the path to independence. The SDS did not wish to take
19 this path.
20 On the 24th of October, 1991, they formed their own assembly. It
21 was a meeting attended by, for example, Krajisnik, Karadzic, Biljana
22 Plavsic and Radoslav Brdjanin, and indeed the first speech after the
23 introductions had been made was, in fact, one made by Radoslav Brdjanin.
24 Your Honours, throughout the SDS assemblies which were held
25 between that date in October and in particular the 12th of May, 1992,
1 although obviously they continued thereafter, none of the leaders who
2 spoke made any secret of their intentions, which can really be summed up
3 in the document that was issued after the 12th of May assembly. It is one
4 of the tragedies, the Prosecution suggest, that people did not listen
5 closely enough to what was being said.
6 Your Honours, it may be appropriate at this stage to take the
7 break because what we propose to do now is to show you a short video clip
8 of that assembly on the -- of the 12th of May.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll break for 20 minutes and we will reconvene
10 [microphone not activated].
11 I think I would rather prefer to have a look at them during the
12 break. I promise to hand them all back to you later on.
13 Would you show them first to the Prosecution, to make sure that I
14 am being given what he was given, and not more?
15 MS. KORNER: I trust Mr. Ackerman implicitly.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I was only pulling Mr. Ackerman's leg. It's okay.
17 I think I can have them and --
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I fell off my bicycle and hurt my leg, so don't
19 pull it much, Your Honour. It can't stand any pulling.
20 MS. KORNER: That is confirmed.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll look through them and we'll approach
22 the matter. Thank you. So we'll resume this sitting at 10 to 11.00.
23 Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner, please.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, before I continue, Your Honours may
3 notice that Mr. Cayley is no longer with us. He's asked me to apologise
4 to Your Honours to assure Your Honours that it's not that he's bored with
5 what I'm saying or does not agree with it but that in actual fact, because
6 he's calling Dr. Donia tomorrow, he needs to make sure that everything, we
7 hope, will be in order so that there will be no more interruptions like
8 this morning.
9 Your Honours, when we broke, I was about to ask Your Honours to
10 look at a video clip which comes from Banja Luka Television, which shows
11 part of the assembly of the 12th of May, 1992 which was held in Banja
12 Luka, and which shows most of the protagonists and the accused in this
14 So I wonder if that could possibly be shown on the screens.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if I may, going through --
17 And I wonder if we could pause. Could we go back and pause for a
18 moment, if that's possible. Yes, if we could pause there.
19 The man sitting in the right of the picture that Your Honours
20 see --
21 That transcript has got nothing to do with this, so that can
22 wait. It's for a later --
23 Your Honours, that gentleman there in the apparently military
24 uniform is a man called Lieutenant Colonel Sajic, who you will hear
25 about. He was the commander of the Territorial Defence in Banja Luka and
1 was a member -- in fact, Vice-President of the ARK Crisis Staff. Sitting
2 next to him is General Talic.
3 Moving along the row, if we may.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MS. KORNER: There we have, sitting next to General Talic
6 amazingly enough, General Mladic, looking a great deal younger in those
7 days, it has to be said.
8 Your Honour, if we can then move on.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there will -- I don't think I need to
11 identify that gentleman, Krajisnik. And sitting next to him -- I'm not
12 sure we were able to identify him. We see again the front row there. And
13 I'm not sure we have been able to identify who that gentleman is.
14 Again, that man needs no introduction, Radovan Karadzic. And
15 sitting, as we look at it, to our left but his right, it was Subotic, the
16 Minister of Defence in the Republika Srpska.
17 The gentleman there with the glasses is Koljevic, one of the
18 acting presidents. And we believe that the gentleman with the moustache
19 is somebody called Rajko Dukic, who was the executive president of the
20 SDS. That man, if we can pause for a moment there, we believe to be
21 Dr. Vukic, who again Your Honours will hear quite a lot about in the
23 Yes, if we could move.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MS. KORNER: And there, sitting in the foreground for the first
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 time, the accused Radoslav Brdjanin.
2 I'm not entirely sure who that gentleman is. And Your Honour,
3 we're unable to identify who the woman is or that gentleman.
4 Your Honour -- yes, and again the camera draws back, and we see
5 the front row.
6 Yes, thank you very much.
7 Now, Your Honours, between October 1991 and May of 1992, when that
8 assembly took place, the following events or major events had taken
9 place: On the 9th and 10th of November of 1991, a plebiscite which had
10 been organised by the SDS had been held. The purpose was to ask voters if
11 they wished to remain within Yugoslavia. Very few non-Serbs voted. And
12 the result, not surprisingly, was an overwhelming majority by the Serbs,
13 who voted in favour of rejecting independence for Bosnia.
14 Now, on the 19th of December, 1991, the SDS Main Board issued a
15 set of instructions. Your Honour, they have become known as the "Variant
16 A and B" document. And I think it's worth just putting up for Your
17 Honours on the ELMO a few of those pages so that you can see what we mean
18 by the Variant A and B document.
19 If the usher could be kind enough.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, I just want to point out that we have
21 objected and are objecting to the authenticity of this document. I'm
22 given to understand that in a cross-examination conducted by a member of
23 the Prosecution staff in the Celebici case, the Prosecution also
24 challenged the authenticity of this document.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] the Prosecution or the
2 MR. ACKERMAN: The Prosecution. In that case, it was Muslims who
3 were on trial and it was being used as a defensive document by an expert
4 witness for a Muslim defendant, and Grant Niemann, on behalf of the
5 Prosecution, challenged its authenticity.
6 I don't have that transcript with me today. But in any event, we
7 are challenging its authenticity. I don't have any objection to her
8 presenting it to you, as long as you understand that we think it may not
9 be genuine.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] we will come to it when
11 the time comes. Thank you. In the meantime, you can proceed.
12 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much, Your Honour. Could I ask that
13 the first page be put up so Your Honours can see how it's headed?
14 Your Honour, this, of course, is a translation. There are a
15 number of copies of this document. This is copy number 96, headed
16 "Instructions for the organisation and activity of organs of the Serbian
17 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina in extraordinary circumstances."
18 Your Honours, if we could put the next marked page on? Your
19 Honour will see the reason for these instructions in due course. I have
20 no doubt, in the light of what Mr. Ackerman says, that Your Honours will
21 be having a fairly close look at this document, but if we go to the
22 bottom, paragraph number 4: "In order to ensure uniform and prompt
23 implementation, the establishment of the tasks, measures and other
24 activities are to be established in accordance with Variants A and B, and
25 in two stages."
1 I think if we go to the next marked page, Your Honour will see -
2 and I'm not going to go through that too much - but Variant A. Variant A
3 was to apply to municipalities where the Serbs were in a majority, Variant
4 B to municipalities where they were not. And for these purposes, item 3
5 is the most important. "The SDS municipal board will immediately form a
6 Crisis Staff of the Serbian people in the municipality comprised of the
7 following," and you will see the various descriptions of the persons who
8 were supposed to be on the Crisis Staff. I will return to the question of
9 Crisis Staffs later.
10 Finally, can I ask for one more page to be put up? There were
11 variations, and -- yes, I don't think that's, unfortunately, the --
12 although it's worth looking at item 8 on this. "Intensify information and
13 propaganda activities in order to inform the Serbian people, in a timely
14 and complete manner, about the political and security situation in the
15 municipality and beyond." Your Honour, the question of propaganda is
16 something that I will be dealing with as a separate topic.
17 I think it's just the last -- the last page. Is that the last
18 page? All right. I'm sorry, Your Honour, it's the difficulties of doing
19 -- could I just have a look at the document for a moment?
20 Your Honours, I would draw Your Honours' attention to item
21 paragraph 7: "The Crisis Staff is responsible for special forms of
22 defence organisation on the territory of the municipalities where Serbs
23 are not the majority population, and the Crisis Staff is obliged to
24 continually monitor the situation within the municipality as well as the
25 broader political, military and security developments. It also has a duty
1 to promptly initiate and take actions which are appropriate to any given
2 situation and its possible developments." Your Honour, that paragraph was
3 specific to the Variant B phase.
4 It is couched in anodyne language, as so many of these documents
5 that Your Honours will look at were, but the Prosecution suggest that it
6 was effectively giving these so-called Crisis Staffs carte blanche to deal
7 with the situation in the way in which, as we shall see, they did.
8 Yes, thank you very much.
9 Your Honour, having heard Mr. Ackerman's objection to the
10 authenticity of this document, Your Honours may find it somewhat
11 surprising - it's happened before, and I believe it's happening in another
12 case at this present time in this Tribunal - because those instructions
13 were published in full in March of 1992 in a newspaper called Slobodna
14 Bosna. In addition to that, in 1995, Karadzic made a speech in which he
15 referred to these instructions. It was a speech to the 50th assembly of
16 the, as it then -- by then was, Republika Srpska, and he said this: "You
17 will remember the A and B Variants. In the B Variant, where we were in a
18 minority," and he said 20 per cent or 15 per cent, "we had set up a
19 government and a brigade." And the rest of the speech doesn't matter, but
20 we suggest clearly he cannot have been referring to anything other than
21 those instructions. And we say those instructions were a basic blueprint
22 for what was to follow and what was done.
23 On the 29th of February and the 1st of March of 1992, the
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina government held its own proper, if that's the right
25 word, referendum in respect of whether or not they were to declare their
1 independence. The SDS urged the Serb population to boycott the
2 referendum, and for the most part, they did. Muslim and Croat voters in
3 Bosnia participated and the result was a vote in favour of declaring
5 The European Community had recognised the independence of Slovenia
6 and Croatia on the 15th of January of 1992, and in the light of the
7 referendum in Bosnia, they stated - that is to say, the European Community
8 stated - that it would recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent
9 state effective from the 6th of April, 1992. And it is that date that it
10 could be said marked the real beginnings of the conflict.
11 Your Honour, can I turn now to a little bit -- before I move to
12 the question of what was the Autonomous Region of Krajina, to deal with a
13 little bit about the background in relation to the military side as it
14 affects General Talic? I've already told Your Honours that in 1991, he
15 was the deputy commander of the JNA 5th Corps and took command around the
16 19th of March of 1992. Now, the Army of the Serbian Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was later renamed the VRS, was officially
18 created on the 12th of May of 1992, that is as part of the assembly
19 meeting, and General Ratko Mladic was placed at the head of the army. As
20 I've already also said, Talic remained as the corps commander throughout
21 the war in Bosnia.
22 Looking at the background of the transformation of the JNA into
23 that part that became the Bosnian Serb army, it would appear that the aims
24 of the JNA in the early part of 1992 were to maintain Bosnia as part of a
25 federal Yugoslavia. Equally, they made it plain that they wished to
1 protect the Serb areas of Croatia and to prevent ethnic conflict within
2 Bosnia so that it did remain within the Yugoslav state.
3 Now, the announcement of Bosnian independence, the international
4 recognition thereof, and the growing independence of the legitimate
5 Bosnian government, made the aim of keeping Bosnia within Yugoslavia
6 apparently an unattainable one. And once Bosnia had been recognised as an
7 independent state, this effectively transformed the JNA into an army of
8 occupation - it was the Yugoslav National Army - and in particular, an
9 army of occupation to those who opposed it. However, to the Bosnian
10 Serbs, it appeared as a protector. And Your Honours will see in the
11 documents many references to the JNA being told that they needed to remain
12 to protect the Serbs. And during this very tense period, assisted really
13 by nationalist propaganda and partly by self-interest, it would seem,
14 there was a clear convergence of interest which developed between the Serb
15 party, the SDS, and the JNA in Bosnia, in particular in the early months
16 of 1992.
17 And in order to overcome the issue of the JNA being seen as an
18 army of occupation, key decisions were taken to transform the JNA in
19 Bosnia into a predominantly Serb army so as -- so that the interests of
20 the Bosnian Serbs could be protected. And incidentally, of course, the
21 aims of the SDS would be furthered if they had an army in their support.
22 As far as the 5th Corps was concerned, in the spring of 1992 --
23 between January and the spring, in the early part, it was initially
24 operating in fighting in Western Slavonia - that's in Croatia - where it
25 had been deployed in late 1991. And the justification for the operations
1 there were later characterised as that of protecting the Serbs in that
2 part of Croatia from genocide.
3 As Your Honours will hear, "genocide" was a word that was bandied
4 about with a great deal of freedom by all parties in this period.
5 As the United Nations cease-fire was implemented in Western
6 Slavonia and concurrently the situation in Bosnia deteriorated, the 5th
7 Corps began to redeploy forces into what were anticipated to be crisis
8 areas and municipalities in the Bosnian Krajina area. This included the
9 moving of units and artillery into what were perceived to be potential
11 In a similar manner to the JNA as a whole, the 5th Corps initially
12 viewed the deployment in Bosnia as one to reduce ethnic tensions within
13 the area. But as this became increasingly unlikely, the position of the
14 5th Corps began, as we say, to converge with the position adopted by the
15 SDS, and increasingly it became a corps that backed the SDS political line
16 in the Krajina area.
17 We have looked very briefly at the video of -- that was -- or part
18 of the video of the proceedings on the 12th of May. It is clear that the
19 military were present and in the forefront of the ranks of people who
21 There were two key areas of discussions and announcement: First,
22 a declaration of the strategic goals of the Bosnian Serbs; and secondly,
23 the establishment of the Army of the Serbian Republic, the VRS. Those
24 strategic goals which were announced in that meeting laid out the
25 blueprint, effectively, of the establishment of that Serbian state which,
1 for convenience sake, I will call Republika Srpska although that was not
2 the original way it was described. They defined the borders of that state
3 and the territory that they claimed - the Bosnian Serbs claimed - was
4 theirs and, most importantly, laid out the type of state it would be; in
5 other words, a predominantly Serb state. And in essence, the so-called
6 ethnic cleansing campaign can be in part tied to this meeting and the
7 goals which were announced at that meeting.
8 Your Honour, I believe we've got -- we may not have -- a copy --
9 no, we haven't. Your Honours, perhaps we will in due course be looking at
10 that document.
11 The strategic goals were as follows: separation from the other two
12 national communities; the establishment of a corridor between the Bosnian
13 Krajina and Serbia -- again, Your Honours will hear a lot of references to
14 "the corridor" in this case. That was the area which lay between Krajina
15 and that of Serbia itself -- the establishment of a corridor in the Drina
16 Valley; and the establishment of a border on the Una and Neretva Rivers -
17 I still have a lot of difficulty with the names - division of Sarajevo;
18 and finally, access to the sea.
19 The establishment of a Serb army included an official
20 establishment, the renaming and integrating of Territorial Defence units -
21 TO as they were known - into the VRS; the establishment of units and
22 commands; and the appointment of Mladic as the chief of staff. And it
23 brought together, that meeting, the military and the political bodies,
24 together in a set of shared common goals. And those goals, as we say,
25 produced, as a natural consequence, really, the, as I say, so-called
1 ethnic cleansing.
2 Can I deal very briefly at this stage also with the formation of
3 the 1st Krajina Corps. There was a large-scale mobilisation and expansion
4 of the corps throughout 1992. Integrated into it were the Serbian
5 municipality Territorial Defence units, which became Light Infantry
6 Brigades. Talic in fact maintained the same corps headquarters and staff
7 bodies that had existed when it was the 5th Corps, and he maintained many
8 of the JNA units that had existed as part of the 5th Corps. They had
9 gained combat experience in Western Slavonia and had also acquired much of
10 the military hardware.
11 The corps really was one of the strongest and best equipped of the
12 whole of the VRS. It became, by the end of 1992, one of the larger if not
13 the largest corps of the VRS. And what was stressed was the cooperation
14 with civilian bodies at both municipal and regional level, cooperation
15 with police at the same levels, and the removal of Muslims and Croats from
16 positions of authority in the military at the same time as they were being
17 removed from businesses and political office.
18 In brief, the 1st Krajina Corps, under the command of
19 General Talic, conducted a series of operations during the summer and
20 autumn of 1992. Those operations were designed to seize control of
21 territory which had been designated as Serb, whether or not in actual fact
22 at that stage it was occupied largely by Serbs. The operations were
23 carried out to assist in the separation of the ethnic communities,
24 operations to secure the borders and boundaries of the state, and to
25 defend that territory once it had been seized.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Those military operations were publicly said to be justified to
2 protect the Serbs from genocide. In fact, there were a number of
3 municipal-level combat operations to take control of the territory within
4 the municipality and to crush any non-Serb resistance. There were also
5 larger scale military operations designed to secure key terrain or
6 objectives. One example was called "Operation Corridor" which
7 successfully did in fact restore the link between the Krajina and Serbia.
8 In respect of the municipality attacks, they really followed a
9 pattern, and I shall come back to the question of pattern a little later.
10 The pattern was as follows: There was a moving in of forces prior to the
11 attacks, including artillery and armour.
12 Deadlines were issued. There were then swift and overwhelming
13 response to flash-point incidents. There was shelling, attacks, killings
14 and retaliatory incidents. The population was rounded up. They were
15 removed to detention camps, and the consequences thereafter were
16 deportation or killing or whatever, or beatings; all the matters that are
17 referred to in the indictment. There was commendation of these units
18 after the actions.
19 Your Honours, I will deal a little later with the question of
20 resistance, but I want to make it clear straightaway at this stage, the
21 Prosecution does not suggest that there was no resistance to what was
22 happening. There was. And it may not be surprising in the
24 Your Honour, as far as looting is concerned, there was large-scale
25 looting which was reported in military documents. It often took place
1 after attacks, and it involved military personnel. Regulations were
2 passed by the military to forbid individual looting, but effectively, when
3 one looks at the regulations, it appears this was only because this type
4 of looting stopped the Serbian authorities' appropriating property for the
5 state coffers.
6 And the issue of propaganda, which I will return to again, that
7 was just as common within the military as in the political sphere, and the
8 themes were very, very similar. The themes were that there was a threat
9 of genocide against the Serbs, that the army was the protection of the
10 Serbs against genocide or an international Muslim-Croat conspiracy.
11 Your Honours, as far as command and control is concerned, which is
12 obviously an important issue as far as General Talic is concerned, he had
13 a functioning corps headquarters with all the staff branches that would be
14 recognised in any military command; that is to say, operations,
15 intelligence, security, morale, logistics. And many of the staff officers
16 who had been in the 5th Corps went straight into the 1st Krajina Corps.
17 In order to ensure a functioning corps headquarters and to ensure
18 that the passage of information was facilitated, Talic used the following
19 methods: There were weekly and ad hoc briefings with his corps star
20 officers; there were briefings of lower level commanders; there were daily
21 combat reports, written orders and instructions, requests for information,
22 visits to units and formation of the corps, and verbal as well as written
23 instructions. And General Talic, as is probably the same in any army all
24 over the world, passed and received information from his superior command,
25 which was the main staff of the VRS, in a similar manner.
1 The JNA regulations were effectively adopted in the VRS. They set
2 out the role and duties of a corps commander. It is the single, most
3 important position within the hierarchy of a corps, for the purposes of
4 absolute responsibility, authority and accountability. That was the corps
5 commander. The foremost duty of the corps commander was to actively
6 command the forces under his control, and according to the regulations -
7 and this is a brief summary - the right to command units and institutions
8 is under the exclusive responsibility of the commander. He bears the
9 responsibility for the accomplishment of a mission. He takes decisions,
10 gives assignments to his subordinates, organises coordination and
11 cooperation, and controls the implementation of decisions. He is
12 responsible for harmonising the activities of his command, subordinated
13 commands, and headquarters. And, in particular, where there are combat
14 actions, he is responsible for integrating the organisations in the
15 assigned zones.
16 He was legally and individually required, and I quote, "to control
17 the work of the corps" -- I'm sorry, "control the work of the corps
18 command, assign tasks to his subordinates, make sure that they were
19 carried out, and bear full responsibility for their completion." He could
20 authorise officers from the command to command units or to take decisions
21 or to sign reports, but he still bore the full responsibility for the work
22 of those units or officers.
23 He was required, in his reporting instructions, to monitor
24 constantly the situation in the zone of combat and support -- I'm sorry,
25 and report to his superior commander. And so, as can be seen from the
1 documents which were kept by his own corps, he required subordinates to
2 keep him informed, via frequent and regular reports, of all activity and
3 developments relevant to the corps. And he himself filed reports with his
4 superior command.
5 As far as discipline is concerned, the corps commanders were
6 provided with a wide range of legal and disciplinary powers to maintain
7 and ensure - and this is a phrase we've all heard before - proper military
8 discipline and the conduct of subordinates. And military discipline and
9 order were recognised by the JNA as basic requirements for the achievement
10 of military objectives. The corps commander was individually vested with
11 the legal and administrative tools necessary to maintain order and punish
12 violation of military regulations, orders and laws. And those regulations
13 provided that the corps commander could employ proceedings ranging from
14 disciplinary action to court-martial to the actual initiation of criminal
15 proceedings. And a military prosecutor's office and a military court were
16 established by the VRS and were functioning by the autumn of 1992.
17 And finally, the laws of war. The corps commander was
18 specifically made individually responsible to ensure the compliance of his
19 units with the international laws of war. He was obliged to institute
20 criminal proceedings for violations of international and domestic laws,
21 and was expressly tasked with ensuring that his - that is, Talic's - corps
22 command organs and subordinates' commands, units and institutions are
23 working within the law.
24 We say that these and other applicable sections of the regulations
25 are unambiguous. They leave no room for a corps commander to doubt his
1 personal responsibility and liability for violation of the laws of war
2 committed by himself or units under his control. And Your Honours, we say
3 that, in this case, the evidence will show gross and flagrant violation of
4 those laws.
5 Your Honours, can I turn now to the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
6 Your Honour, I'm going to ask that we put up a map. I don't know whether
7 it's appearing on Your Honours' screens because it's not on my screen. Do
8 we have a technical hitch?
9 May I ask, I'm sorry, do Your Honours have a copy of the map on
10 the screen?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No, not yet.
12 MS. KORNER: There may be a technical --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we have now. I just had it for a brief moment.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It's gone again. Yes, I have it now.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President.
17 MS. KORNER: It's coming now. I don't know whether we can bring
18 it closer into focus, probably not, but Your Honours will see the red
19 area, which was the Autonomous Region of Krajina. It was in the northwest
20 of Bosnia. And what you don't see there, but if you look at the top, it
21 is the border with Croatia, and down the side also was a border with
22 Croatia, the left-hand side.
23 It's important to stress at this stage that there were in fact two
24 Krajina areas: the Autonomous Region of Krajina, which was in Bosnia; and
25 what was called for short the RSK, the Republika Srpska Krajina, just over
1 the border in Croatia. There were attempts made to unite those two areas,
2 but they were ultimately unsuccessful. That took place in early
4 Your Honour, there were a number of municipalities within that
5 area, but the Prosecution intends to call evidence on about 16 of them.
6 Your Honour --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
8 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour, I'm going to go through the various
9 municipalities that Your Honours are going to hear evidence about.
10 Your Honour, the -- what the map also does, apart from
11 identifying --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: If it makes your life easier, because your monitor,
15 I suppose, is not any bigger than mine and I can barely distinguish the
16 names there, but if you have a look at page 6456 of the Pre-Trial Brief of
17 the Prosecution, there is a replica, a replication of this map, and you
18 can follow the names from that map.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we do actually have large versions. But
20 rather than having somebody come in and put them up and take them down,
21 it's probably easier --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm saying this because it is quite difficult to
23 read the names on the monitor.
24 MS. KORNER: Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But I can follow by cross-reference with the map
1 that you -- next to your Pre-Trial Brief, in any case. It's identical, so
2 there shouldn't be any problems.
3 MS. KORNER: Yes, exactly.
4 Your Honour, what it does, the ethnic composition, those are taken
5 from the census that was carried out in 1991. You can see the ethnic
6 composition as it was in 1991 and then the ethnic composition in 1995,
7 which comes from a document that was compiled by the Serbs themselves.
8 Your Honour, in 1991, Banja Luka had a majority of Serbs, 54.6 per
9 cent; the Muslim population was some 14.6 per cent; and the Croat, 14.8.
10 So -- and the remainder was made up of what's called "Others," and people
11 who called themselves "Yugoslavs." So as can be seen, they had a total
12 majority in that municipality.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me a moment, Your Honour. I'm not getting
14 the maps at all. They seem to be showing up on other monitors here, but
15 I --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you press the video monitor button?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I've tried that one. I've tried computer monitor
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No. But I think you have to press the video monitor
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I've tried that. What I mostly get is --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You also have to be patient, because it doesn't show
23 up immediately sometimes. You have to wait.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I can see it on the -- I can watch you, but I
25 can't watch the map, which maybe is better anyhow.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I was going to say it myself.
2 I can see the map now again on my monitor.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you see it on yours?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, right now I can.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So that's another problem solved.
7 Yes, Ms. Korner.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if we could move through to the next
9 map, which is of Prijedor.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MS. KORNER: Probably the most infamous for the events that took
12 place and about -- an area about which trials have already been held in
13 this institution, that had a 42.3 per cent population of Serbs; and the
14 Muslims formed 43.9 per cent. So it was an almost -- as one can see from
15 the pictorial representation, a slight edge, and few Croats. By 1995, one
16 can see the change.
17 The next municipality, Sanski Most, there the Muslims were in the
18 majority with some 46.7 per cent; and the Serbs, 42.1. So again, a slight
19 but -- majority of Muslims over the Serbs. Again, one can see what had
20 happened by 1995.
21 Your Honour, the next municipality in which we shall be leading
22 evidence is Kljuc. A slight Serb majority there over the Muslims. 49.5
23 per cent Serb; 47.3 per cent Muslim.
24 The next, Celinac. That was an overwhelmingly Serb majority. 88
25 per cent -- 88.5 per cent were Serb; Muslims were some 7.7. That is the
1 municipality from which Brdjanin comes and was one of the closest to Banja
3 Bosanski Novi, a border municipality. There the Serbs formed 60.2
4 per cent; and the Muslims, 33.7. So they had a total majority there, as
5 it were -- or virtually total.
6 Next, Prnjavor. Again, a strong Serb municipality, 71.2 per cent;
7 Muslims, 15 per cent; and a very small proportion of Croats. Again, as
8 Your Honours will see, only one really Croat village in the municipality.
9 Next, Sipovo. 79.2 per cent were Serb; 19 per cent Muslim.
10 Donji Vakuf, Serbs 38.8 per cent; and Muslims, 55 per cent. As
11 Your Honours will hear, one of the most remarkable things about this
12 municipality is that the Muslims were so terrified, most of them, in the
13 town of Banja Luka that almost without exception they fled very early on
14 in the conflict, despite the fact that there were more Muslims than Serbs
15 within the municipality.
16 Next, Bosanski Krupa, another border municipality. 23.7 per cent
17 were Serb; Muslims formed 73.9 per cent.
18 Bosanska Gradiska. 59.6 Serb; Muslims 26 per cent. So a strong
19 majority there in favour of the Serbs.
20 The next, Bihac/Ripac, because it was a municipality that became
21 divided, that had a Muslim majority overall. It was 66 per cent Muslim;
22 17.9 per cent Serb.
23 Bosanska Dubica, again a very strong Serb majority, 68.7 per cent;
24 the Muslims forming about 20 per cent; and a tiny proportion of Croats.
25 Teslic, a Serb municipality. 55.1 per cent were Serb; Muslims, 21
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 per cent odd; and the Croats there, slightly larger, 15.9 per cent.
2 Bosanski Petrovac. That was again a small majority, at 74.9 per
3 cent; Muslims, 21 per cent; Croats so small as to not appear on the
5 And finally, Kotor Varos. That was, as one can see, an easily
6 divided municipality. There was a slight majority in favour of the
7 Serbs. They had 38.1 per cent; the Muslims, 30 per cent; and the Croats,
8 29 per cent.
9 Your Honours, the SDS leaders appear to have developed an idea
10 that regional associations of municipalities would be a stepping stone
11 towards unification of areas considered to be historically Serb, whatever
12 the constituent elements of present-day populations were, and on the 25th
13 of April, 1991, the first assembly of the Association of the
14 Municipalities of Bosanska Krajina was held in Celinac. Fourteen
15 municipalities had voted to join that association. They included Bosanska
16 Dubica, Bosanska Gradiska, Bosanska Petrovac, Celinac, Kljuc, Prnjavor,
18 Kupresanin was elected President of the association; Radoslav
19 Brdjanin Vice-President. In fact, I think he may have been one of two
20 Vice-Presidents. A further ten municipalities in the region were invited
21 to join, and some joined at a later stage. Those were: Banja Luka
22 itself, Bihac, Bosanska Krupa, Bosanski Novi, Donji Vakuf, and Prijedor.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it ought to have improved a lot more
25 after so long. Your Honour, only Kotor Varos and Sanski Most, of the
1 municipalities about which we will lead evidence, did not form part of the
3 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] we plan to have a break
4 at half past noon. If, in the meantime between now and then, you prefer
5 to break earlier, just give me an indication of that. I realise that
6 talking for an hour and a half and then another hour and a half may be
7 tiring, so any time you feel you need a break, let me know.
8 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, on the 16th of September, 1991, the
11 assembly of this association voted to change its name to the Autonomous
12 Region of Krajina, the ARK. The name change took place more or less at
13 the same time that the SDS Main Board ordered the creation of four other
14 what were known as Serbian Autonomous Regions. It comes out as SAOs, I
15 think that's the Serbian.
16 It may be as well, Your Honour, if we look at a document, which I
17 hope we have -- yes. Your Honour, I'll ask this document to be put up in
18 a moment. The decision to change the name -- forgive me, Your Honour, I'm
19 just checking to see whether I need to put this up. Yes. Perhaps I can
20 put up -- ask to be put up on the ELMO this document, which shows the
21 decision that was made.
22 Can't see it. Can Your Honours see the document?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
24 MS. KORNER: Ah, thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: This is, of course, needless so I don't get any
1 reaction --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: This is obviously without prejudice to the
4 authenticity aspect, even should that arise at a later stage. So, yes.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honours will see --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you see it on your monitor?
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honours will see that it is the minutes of the
8 7th session of the Assembly of the Community of Bosnian Krajina
9 Municipalities held on the 16th of September. It refers to Vojo
10 Kupresanin, and there we see on the agenda the adoption of the decision to
11 declare the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
12 If we go down to under item 1, Vice-President of the assembly,
13 Radoslav Brdjanin. "By this decision, we are ensuring the region's
14 independence. We do not want to bother anyone who does not want to leave
15 Yugoslavia, but nobody here can be allowed to put various kinds of
16 pressure on us. The BH presidency again refused today to go to Belgrade
17 to negotiate. We are for peace, but we do not want that peace to be
18 implemented over our faces as Tudjman and the other leaders want. We all
19 know that the Serbs support the army."
20 And Your Honour, the decision was then passed.
21 Now, as I say at the same time -- thank you very much.
22 At the same time, the Main Board of the SDS created a number of
23 other autonomous regions; in fact, four. That decision was verified by
24 the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina held in Sarajevo
25 on the 21st of November of 1991.
1 Now, at its very first meeting, the ARK assembly took steps to
2 ensure its financing and to withhold funds from the legitimate government
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the minutes of the session held on the 6th of
4 November, 1991, show already at that stage the connections between the
5 regional republic and municipal members.
6 Can I ask that just the first page be put up of that document,
7 please? Your Honour will see that it's an extract from the session of the
8 6th of November, 1991, and if we could go down to below the agenda, to
9 item 1: "After a discussion in which a number of assembly members took
10 part, it was established that the presidents of municipalities had failed
11 to fully carry out the conclusions we adopted together at the last
12 session. It was also noted in some municipalities - Sanski Most, Kotor
13 Varos, Prijedor, Bosanska Krupa, Bihac - it was impossible to implement
14 these conclusions at all because they can only be carried out within the
15 party," the point being, of course, that in those municipalities, the SDS
16 was not the majority party.
17 And the reasons for the failure to implement are then given; and
18 if we could move a little further down the document -- sorry, just -- I
19 need to see the part -- if we could move the document up. Based on the
20 paragraph beginning, "Based on the above..." I want to read that
21 paragraph. "Based on the above..." Yes, could we go up? Yes, thank
23 "Based on the above, it was decided that the Vice-President of
24 the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, Radoslav Brdjanin,
25 should inform President of the BIH SDS, Radovan Karadzic, as to the
1 implementation of the conclusions adopted at the session of the
3 Your Honours, we see there already, we submit, the connection
4 between the lower levels and the higher levels. The regional level was,
5 as it were, put between the municipal and the top levels of, at that
6 stage, the SDS.
7 Thank you very much, Mr. Usher.
8 On February the 28th, 1992, the Serbian Assembly of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina met in Banja Luka, and they adopted the constitution of
10 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina the following day -- I'm sorry,
11 the same day. The following day, the actual ARK assembly, the regional
12 assembly, met, and it also unanimously adopted the constitution. It also
13 added a conclusion to that meeting, which was: "To establish immediately
14 strict control of the territory of the ARK."
15 Your Honour, can I deal, then, with the topic of Crisis Staff
16 before perhaps we break? Your Honours will recall that the Variant A and
17 B document instructed the SDS regional boards to set up - regional, I
18 should say boards were in the municipalities - to set up Crisis Staffs.
19 Throughout the period that this case is concerned with, it underwent
20 various changes of name, some official, some not. The body was referred
21 to as a Crisis Staff, sometimes as a Crisis Committee, sometimes as a War
22 Staff, sometimes as a War Presidency. The instructions to change the name
23 sometimes came from the leadership. But whatever name it went under, it
24 was the same body. The nature of it remained the same.
25 Your Honours, we hope, will hear from people more expert in the
1 constitution and the laws of Yugoslavia than certainly I am, but the
2 Crisis Staff body appears to have been derived from the laws of national
3 defence which had been enacted by the former Yugoslavia and within
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina itself. That allowed this body to perform all the
5 functions of the assembly during a state of war or in the event of
6 immediate danger of war. The functions of the assembly would, in fact, be
7 assumed by the presidency, so that the presidency could make the laws that
8 normally the assembly would make. Once the state of emergency was over,
9 any such decrees or laws would be -- would have to be submitted to the
10 assembly for ratification. And indeed, at the end of the period that the
11 Crisis Staff operated within the Autonomous Region of Krajina, those
12 decisions that it took were submitted to the regional assembly.
13 Now, in each of the municipalities that figure in this case, the
14 SDS formed a Crisis Staff drawn from the Serbian Assembly which had been
15 set up in the municipality and from other leading figures in the
16 municipality, which included the military. In all cases in the
17 municipalities, the person who had been president of the Serbian municipal
18 assembly became the president of the Crisis Staff. The exception to the
19 rule came with the declaration of the ARK Regional Crisis Staff on the 5th
20 of May, 1992.
21 Before that announcement was made, it should be noted that there
22 appears to have been a slightly earlier body formed, because in early
23 April, the 3rd of April, Banja Luka was taken over, if that's the right
24 word, by a paramilitary organisation styling themselves or being styled,
25 the acronym being SOS. This organisation erected barricades and took
1 over, amongst other buildings, the municipal building, and one of their
2 demands was the appointment of a Crisis Staff with whom they could
3 negotiate. One was appointed. It included Radoslav Brdjanin and some of
4 the other persons who later became members of the Crisis Staff with which
5 this case is concerned. But it appears that that earlier one lasted a
6 very short period. But it is important to keep that one separate from the
7 one which is really the subject and focus of this case.
8 The other fact to bear in mind is that the Banja Luka municipality
9 had, apart from the regional assembly, which in fact moved for its various
10 meetings throughout the area, but its own assembly. The president of that
11 assembly was a man named Predrag Radic. The body was separate from the
12 regional assembly, and it had a municipal Crisis Staff during the period,
13 of which Radic as the head of the municipal assembly was head of that
14 Crisis Staff. So it does appear that at the same time there was that, as
15 it were, lower level Crisis Staff running.
16 Now, the ARK Crisis Staff was formally declared on the 5th of May,
17 1992. There is some suggestion that it was already unofficially operating
18 before that date. There are two versions in the possession of the Office
19 of the Prosecutor of that decision: one bearing the stamp; the other as
20 printed in the Official Gazettes. And I do have that -- no.
21 Your Honours, I'm sorry. I think it's important that we do look
22 at this and I've omitted to bring that with me. I wonder if it would be
23 possible to take the break at this stage so that I can do that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So we can break for 15, 20 minutes and then we will
25 resume at 25 past -- no, 25 past noon. Thank you.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.06 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, before I continue, may I just mention
4 one matter? I think Your Honour is rising at quarter to 2.00.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: 2.00, actually.
6 MS. KORNER: I wonder if -- I think it's unlikely that I can
7 complete entirely what I have to say this morning. I don't think there
8 will be much left for tomorrow, but a little, and there is a matter that I
9 want to raise arising from Your -- Your Honour's helpful comments this
10 morning, particularly about leading questions, because it may affect the
11 witness tomorrow. So if I could stop at a convenient moment and deal with
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time. If you want to deal with it now, you are
14 at liberty to do so.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think, if I may, I'll carry on because
16 I found the document.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Please yourself. I prefer not to interrupt you at
18 any moment so that you go ahead, but any time you want to bring it up, let
19 me know.
20 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much.
21 Your Honour, I was about to ask Your Honours to look at the list
22 that was published of the regional ARK Crisis Staff members.
23 Yes. Your Honour will see that it's dated the 5th of May. Now,
24 this is the --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: When you said "will see," that was the right word.
1 We are seeing it now, okay.
2 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues]... brought down.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We can see it now. I can't see the date.
4 MS. KORNER: The date is at the top. I'm sorry, could we -- I
5 want -- so that the top of the document is visible. Yes. There, does
6 Your Honour see the 5th of May, 1992?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mm-hmm.
8 MS. KORNER: This is the version that went into the Official
9 Gazette, which I believe came out late or later. There is, as I say,
10 another version, but I'm not going to trouble to show it to Your Honour at
11 the moment because, although there are some changes from the official
12 publication, it only arises in relation to some people at the end.
13 Your Honour, if we can go through the list, then, Radoslav
14 Brdjanin was President of the ARK Crisis Staff. Vice-President,
15 Lieutenant Colonel Milorad Sajic, the gentleman I pointed out in the video
16 of the 12th of May, who was sitting, as one looked at it, to the right of
17 Talic. The third name, Vojo Kupresanin, member; and as I said to Your
18 Honour, in every other case, I think, in the municipalities, it was always
19 the president of the assembly that became president of the Crisis Staff.
20 Here, for whatever reason, Vojo Kupresanin merely was a member.
21 The next man, Nikola Herceg, who actually signed this, he was the
22 minister of the executive council - I'll get the right term in a moment -
23 but in any event, a leading light in the politics.
24 Predrag Radic was the president of the municipal assembly,
25 sometimes described as the mayor of Banja Luka. People who met him,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 particularly from the international community, when talking about the
2 mayor, would mean him.
3 Dr. Radoslav Vukic was a doctor. He was also the president of the
4 regional SDS board. And I think -- I mean, I wouldn't like to swear to
5 that -- but he was the gentleman in the video with the beard.
6 Dr. Milovan Milanovic [phoen] was, I believe, just a doctor.
7 Eight, General Momir Talic.
8 Nine, Major Zoran Jokic. He was the air force.
9 Ten, Stojan Zupljanin was the head of the CSB, the state security
10 station in Banja Luka.
11 Dr. Rajko Kuzmanovic, was director of Banja Luka University.
12 Milan Puvacic [phoen], I'm afraid to say I can't remember what his
13 function was.
14 Jovo Rasic [phoen] was the president of the court in Banja Luka.
15 Nenad Stevandic [phoen] was, if I can call it, the youth wing of
16 the SDS.
17 I cannot also remember who Mr. Bulic was. But Nadzelko Kezic
18 [phoen] the head of the DSB, which was, I suppose, was the equivalent of
19 the Secret Service intelligence network.
20 So as Your Honours can see, using Variant A and B, people were on
21 this Crisis Staff from all walks of life, as it were, all walks of the
22 leadership within the Krajina.
23 Yes, thank you very much indeed.
24 How did the Crisis Staff operate, or Staffs? There seems to be
25 little doubt that meetings, particularly in the early stages, were held
1 virtually every day. For some of the municipalities, the Office of the
2 Prosecutor is in possession of the minutes which were kept of those
3 meetings. That is not the case in respect of the Regional Crisis Staff
4 meetings, but we do have copies of the decisions, some, as it were, in
5 their original form with stamps and signatures and some which appear
6 through the gazette. And it's certainly clear from those that the
7 meetings were extremely regular ones.
8 The Crisis Staffs dealt with every aspect of life in the
9 municipalities, from the most mundane to the most serious. And the
10 meetings of the municipal staffs show regular contact with and meetings
11 with local leaders -- I'm sorry, local military leaders.
12 Now, the role of the ARK Crisis Staff, the regional one, was
13 defined by itself in a series of decisions which it issued in May of
15 On the 9th of May, it said this: "Decisions adopted by the war
16 staff of the Autonomous Region are to be strictly respected in all public
17 and economic organisations."
18 On the 18th of May, 1992, it dealt with the role of the Crisis
19 Staffs in the municipalities, stating: "The Crisis Staffs are now the
20 highest organs of authority in the municipalities."
21 And the 26th of May, 1992, it said this: "The work of the Crisis
22 Staff of the ARK has absolute support, since it is now the highest organ
23 of authority in the ARK. Decisions of the Crisis Staff are binding for
24 all Crisis Staffs in the municipalities."
25 Now, the point has been made effectively on behalf of Mr. Brdjanin
1 that any body - and I mean by "any body," any public body - can declare
2 itself the highest authority. But if no one takes any notice of what it
3 says, then it can declare itself whatever it likes; it's a joke. Leaving
4 aside the fact that so many of the witnesses who will testify will give
5 evidence to the effect that, as far as they were concerned, the Regional
6 Crisis Staff was the voice of authority, the Prosecution say that the
7 evidence will show that it did have authority, that it was not a joke.
8 Stojan Zupljanin, on the 6th of May, the day this decision was
9 announced, called a meeting of the chiefs of the municipality public
10 security stations, short form SJBs. In that meeting, which was
11 documented, he told them this: "In all our activities, we are obliged to
12 observe all measures and apply all procedures ordered by the ARK Crisis
14 In the municipalities themselves where we have copies of the
15 minutes and decisions, one can see the decisions made by the Regional
16 Crisis Staff having an effect.
17 For example, in Sanski Most, on the 7th of May, 1992, the local
18 Crisis Staff there implemented three decisions which had been made by the
19 Regional Crisis Staff the previous day.
20 As far as Kljuc was concerned, they prepared a report in July of
21 1992 dealing with their activities over the period until then. And in
22 that report, they said: "The conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff were
23 binding as regards all issues connected with life and work in that
25 In Kotor Varos, in July -- events in Kotor Varos started a great
1 deal later than in the other municipalities and continued a great deal
2 later. There is evidence in a document that the ARK Crisis Staff
3 appointed a coordinator to be in charge of dealings with the Kotor Varos
4 Crisis Staff. The documents show that members of the ARK Crisis Staff
5 attended meetings at the municipality level and vice versa.
6 These decisions and conclusions make it absolutely clear, it
7 should be said, that the relationship between the ARK Crisis Staff and the
8 municipality Crisis Staffs was not a straightforward hierarchical one. It
9 wasn't an operational structure like the police or the military. It
10 appears to have been a relatively new, untried, and untested system, and
11 there seem to have been elements of improvisation.
12 It does seem that the municipal Crisis Staffs were given a certain
13 amount of autonomy. There weren't apparently strict reporting structures,
14 as existed in the military, as I earlier outlined to you, nor a clearly
15 delineated chain of command. The relationship between the municipality
16 Crisis Staff, the police, the military authorities, the ARK regional
17 Crisis Staff, and indeed at republic level, political and military and
18 police, it was a symbiotic one, and certainly there seemed to have been
19 instructions which may have bypassed what one might have thought was the
20 ordinary chain of command. But even if the actual reporting chain was not
21 a straightforward one, even if, in practice, the ARK Crisis Staff was not
22 able to exert the total formalistic control and authority that it wished,
23 the evidence will show that it had great influence on the course of events
24 which took place in the area of the ARK through the decisions that it
25 issued, and its role, if nothing else - and the Prosecution say it was
1 more than that - as a coordinator and intermediary between the levels of
2 the municipality and that of the republic government.
3 Radoslav Brdjanin was the president of this body. The decisions
4 -- the decisions which were issued by the Crisis Staff bore his name.
5 Your Honour is aware already that there is some issue as to whether where
6 his signature appears it actually is his signature. The Prosecution say
7 that it is inconceivable that if one looks at the evidence of his
8 relationship with the events which led to the establishment of this body,
9 the public statements he made, his activities during the period of the
10 indictment, and the position that he obtained after the abolition of the
11 Crisis Staff, that he was no more than a figurehead. He was, we say, a
12 politician committed to the goal of creating the Serbian state within
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina -- in fact, so committed as to often be described
14 as an extremist, and we say that, in the position which he occupied, he
15 was able to advance that goal.
16 In order for the Crisis Staff to have legitimacy and authority, it
17 had to have, in its membership, the leaders of the institutions which had
18 control or influence over events. Therefore, the police and military were
19 vital components of that authority. Your Honour, I have already reminded
20 or informed you of what Zupljanin said when calling a meeting of the
21 chiefs of the local police stations. But can I turn to the question of
22 General Talic's participation? His connection and role, or his connection
23 with and role in, the ARK Crisis Staff has been the subject of a great
24 deal of debate and legal motions in the pre-trial process.
25 We say that his part in the joint criminal enterprise was carried
1 out largely through his position as Commander of the 1st Krajina Corps.
2 But in order for the ARK Crisis Staff to have proper legitimacy and carry
3 weight, it had to have, as part of its membership, the leader of the
4 military. He may not have attended many of the meetings. There is
5 certainly a reference in one of the documents to General Talic being
6 requested to attend meetings or to send a member of his staff. There is
7 no evidence - and I make it absolutely clear - that he participated in the
8 discussions which led to the taking of decisions. There are no minutes.
9 The municipal minutes do show that the military at that level attended
10 meetings and participated in the discussions. But, as I say, we have no
11 evidence in respect of General Talic doing the same.
12 There is, however, some evidence that his assistant -- sorry, his
13 Assistant Commander for civilian affairs, a man named Colonel Vojnovic,
14 did attend at least one meeting, on the 12th of June, when the position of
15 the Muslim and Croatian officers who remained in the corps was discussed.
16 And moreover, at no stage did General Talic ever disassociate himself from
17 that publicly-announced position as being a member of the ARK Crisis
18 Staff. He could have done so, had he wished.
19 The rector of Banja Luka University, Mr. Kuzmanovic, whose name
20 Your Honours saw, did in fact resign and was replaced by another member of
21 that university. No doubt, had General Talic resigned, as he realised, he
22 might well have dealt a body blow to the united front that the Bosnian
23 Serbs were seeking to present to the international community, that this
24 was a combined political-military action, that they were acting as one.
25 The ARK Crisis Staff was not a stand-alone institution. It was
1 but one of the power structures that were put in place, we suggest, to
2 achieve the goal of that Serbian state. It did, in fact, have a
3 relatively short official shelf life, if that's the right term, because it
4 was formally declared to be in existence in May of 1992 and, theoretically
5 at least, was wound up in July, the 17th of July, when the ARK assembly
6 met to ratify its decisions, the decisions taken by the Crisis Staff.
7 In September of 1992, the Republika Srpska constitution - and I
8 use the Republika Srpska simply as the name that eventually was adopted -
9 was amended and the Serb Autonomous Regions, the SAOs, were abolished so
10 that government became centralised. There wasn't this layer, then, of
11 regional activity between the municipalities and the republic level. And
12 thereafter, Radoslav Brdjanin played his part in the pursuit of that goal
13 as a minister and Vice-President of the government. General Talic
14 continued as the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps and continued to act
15 in that capacity.
16 Your Honour, can I turn now to the development of the events
17 themselves and the pattern? Your Honour, I said earlier that if the world
18 had listened to what was being said in the assemblies and meetings, it
19 would have been quite clear what was intended by the Bosnian Serbs. There
20 was one particular speech made by Radovan Karadzic on the 15th of October
21 which really couldn't have made it clearer. And I'm going to ask that
22 that be shown to Your Honours now. It's a short excerpt. Your Honour, it
23 comes from The Death of Yugoslavia programme.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MS. KORNER: Thank you. Your Honours, I -- thank you. Your
1 Honours, as I say, it couldn't have been clearer what was intended.
2 Although there are variations in the themes and in the dates,
3 effectively the pattern of events in the establishment of SDS control in
4 the municipalities was broadly similar. The amount of force that was used
5 depended very much on whether the municipality in question had an overall
6 Serb majority. In an extremely simplified version, Your Honour, because
7 of course, there are gradations and grey areas and sophisticated areas --
8 sophisticated differences, but the progress of events roughly followed
9 this course: There was proclaimed in the municipality an Assembly of the
10 Serbian People. Although the process began as early as 1991 in many
11 places, the weapons which were held by the territorial units in their
12 various depots, and indeed in factories and the like, were taken over by
13 the JNA, and these weapons were then distributed to Serbs, ordinary
15 Next, a demand was made by the authorities that all non-Serbs
16 should sign an oath of loyalty to the Serbian state which had been
17 proclaimed. And they're supplied first and foremost to the members of the
18 police. Those who did not comply, immediately lost their jobs.
19 The next step was that the Serbian Assembly transmogrified itself
20 into a Crisis Staff.
21 On the 1st of May, a call for mobilisation was issued within the
22 area of the Autonomous Region of Krajina by Lieutenant Colonel Sajic, the
23 gentleman we saw. And I've now got his correct title; he was secretary of
24 the Council for National Defence within the autonomous region.
25 At the same time, an order was issued -- this is within the same
1 order -- that all paramilitary formations and individuals who illegally
2 possess weapons and ammunition are to immediately and by 1500 hours on the
3 11th of May, 1992 at the latest, surrender them to the municipal
4 headquarters of the Territorial Defence or to the nearest public security
5 station. This order to surrender weapons was perhaps one of the most
6 significant of all the issue orders given. It acted, we suggest, as a
7 catalyst for the outbreak of violence.
8 It was coached, it may seem, in rather neutral terms, that people
9 in possession of illegal weapons should hand them over, as should
10 paramilitary formations. As I said earlier, many of these decisions did
11 appear to be in neutral terms. In fact, in its execution and in its
12 intention, we say, it was directed solely at the non-Serb population.
13 That deadline of the 11th of May was extended later to the 14th of May
14 and, in some municipalities, to a later date, but all in May.
15 After the expiry of that deadline, the Serb forces moved into the
16 non-Serb areas. Can I give two examples of how this worked from
17 municipalities both of which came within Talic's area of responsibility.
18 In Prijedor, from the 23rd of May onwards, military attacks were
19 carried out by the combined forces of the 1st Krajina Corps, army
20 reservists from Prijedor, reserve police officers from Prijedor, together
21 with paramilitary units. The major attacks which took place were on the
22 Muslim villages of Hambarine, Kozarac, and Kamicani.
23 In Sanski Most, on the 27th of May, 1992, the predominantly Muslim
24 village of Hrustovo was shelled. It was shelled by units of the Serb army
25 which, as I say, came under the control of General Talic.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 On the 29th of May, the predominantly Muslim village of Vrhpolje
2 was attacked.
3 In Kljuc, the municipal Crisis Staff issued a final ultimatum for
4 the surrender of weapons to the police by the 28th of May. The shelling
5 of Muslim villages began that very afternoon.
6 The mention of Kljuc brings me back to the question of resistance,
7 which I touched upon when dealing with Talic's responsibilities. As I
8 say, it is no part of the Prosecution case to suggest there was no
9 resistance to what was happening. In Kljuc, in the village of Krasulje,
10 there was a clash between Muslim villagers and a Bosnian Serb police
11 patrol. In that clash, the Serb police commander was killed. It appeared
12 to act as a kind of signal for the attacks to begin.
13 In Kotor Varos, to take another example, the village of Vecici
14 mounted an armed resistance to the Serbs for a number of months, and there
15 were, throughout the municipalities, individual acts of resistance.
16 However, the Prosecution suggests that the resistance that there was
17 in response to a threatened and later actual widespread attack upon the
18 Muslim and Croat civilian population.
19 It is true that some non-Serbs obtained military weapons.
20 Sometimes, in fact, as you will hear, they were sold to them by Serbs who
21 had acquired them when they were being distributed and who were later able
22 to provide the information to the police as to who of the non-Serb
23 population was in fact in possession of a weapon.
24 Many of the Muslims and Croats had authorised personal weapons,
25 hunting rifles and pistols and shotguns and the like. The order that was
1 issued to disarm talked about illegally-held weapons. People actually
2 held these weapons legally with permits. Hunting was apparently a way of
3 life, particularly in rural areas of Bosnia. In many cases, the non-Serbs
4 themselves set up village patrols and set up checkpoints around their
5 neighbourhoods. But, we submit, all of this was done in response to these
6 threatened attacks.
7 In most, if not all cases, the resistance offered to the Serbs was
8 insignificant and hopeless, particularly when confronted with the reality
9 of the superiority of weaponry and trained manpower which was available to
10 the Bosnian Serbs through the support given to its corps by large numbers
11 of the JNA, now transformed into the Bosnian Serb Army.
12 The Bosnian Serb leaders from the very top of the republic level
13 to the municipality level at the lower had made their intentions clear.
14 They threatened non-Serbs with violence; not only with violence, but with,
15 we suggest, expulsion and possible extinction. And so those who were
16 threatened responded to the best of their limited ability. These acts of
17 resistance were exaggerated by the Serb media and used as a justification
18 by the Bosnian Serbs for them to say they were acting in self-defence and
19 for them to mount a widespread and systematic political, military and
20 police campaign against the non-Serbs.
21 I've described the attacks which took place in Prijedor, Sanski
22 Most, and Kljuc. In places where these kinds of attacks were unnecessary,
23 in the sense that the Bosnian Serbs formed an unassailable majority or
24 they were able to terrify the population into leaving - as happened
25 certainly in the time of Donji Vakuf - the pattern followed the course of
1 really denial, to begin with, of rights, dismissals of non-Serbs from
2 their employment. In many cases, that meant a loss of the houses because
3 the houses were tied together with the employment. Barricades and
4 checkpoints were set up, preventing any freedom of movement by non-Serbs.
5 The police and/or armed Serbs, sometimes members of regular military
6 forces, sometimes paramilitary formations, and sometimes simply local
7 Serbs, neighbours of the people who were threatened, who put on a uniform
8 and carried weapons, moved into the Muslim and Croat villages.
9 In some cases, individual arrests were made. There was, it
10 appeared to be, a clear targeting of men who were leaders of the
11 community. In other cases, there was a whole-scale rounding up of the
12 inhabitants of a particular village. People were forced to leave their
13 homes, which were subsequently looted and then damaged or destroyed by
14 explosion and/or burning. Populations were separated into men other than
15 the elderly, those over the age of 60 or 65, and women and children.
16 The men, some of them were taken first to the police station,
17 where they were interrogated. And before, during, or after - and
18 sometimes all three - such interrogation, they were beaten. From the
19 police stations, they were taken to camps. Others were taken directly to
20 camps, some of which were temporary accommodation, others of which were
21 more permanent. And in due course, I want to have a look at camps in a
22 little more detail as a particular topic.
23 Women and children were also taken to camps, and the conditions
24 were almost without exception substandard. And indeed the word "terrible"
25 is not one that is an exaggeration.
1 Removal of the non-Serb population was the aim of this campaign of
2 terror. By and large, the methods were remarkably successful. Many fled
3 before or after the attacks. As I've said now, I think twice, in May of
4 1992, most of the Muslim population left the town of Donji Vakuf. In
5 other municipalities, convoys were organised. In Bosanski Novi, for
6 example, in July of 1992, the officials from UN organisations who were
7 present across the border in Croatia were virtually blackmailed into
8 agreeing to assist with the transportation of hundreds, if not thousands,
9 of Muslims from the area.
10 Many of the people who had been detained in the villages and
11 towns, if they were not placed into camps, were forcibly marched to places
12 such as Travnik, and from there, they were taken into Croatia. And those
13 who were detained in camps, once released, were also forced to leave the
15 To add insult to injury, before leaving, non-Serbs were forced to
16 sign over their property and they were equally strictly limited on the
17 amount of valuables they could take with them. In June of 1992, the ARK
18 Crisis Staff issued a decision that anyone who tried to leave with more
19 than 300 deutschmarks would have the surplus confiscated, in inverted
20 commas. In essence, they were giving a licence to steal. People who
21 tried to leave would be searched and all their valuables would be taken
22 from them. On the 19th of June, the Crisis Staff stated that all, in
23 inverted commas, abandoned property, was to be proclaimed property of the
24 State. As I said earlier, one of the reasons for attempting to stop the
25 military looting was the fact that the State wasn't gaining the benefit of
1 that property.
2 And in essence, the Prosecution says that the evidence shows a
3 pattern of acts occurring across the municipalities which are the subject
4 of this case. It is submitted that the similarity of the events shows
5 that they did not come about through happenstance but were designed as
6 part of a coordinated campaign, the objective of which was to remove the
7 non-Serbs from the areas which the Serbs considered to be Serb territory,
8 and more than that, to make sure that those who were not killed or locked
9 up somewhere, never came back to those areas.
10 Your Honours, the next theme I want to touch upon is the question
11 of propaganda, which I raised earlier on. Propaganda is defined by the
12 Oxford English Dictionary - and I hope that people will forgive me for
13 using a dictionary native to my country - as an organised programme of
14 publicity, selected information, et cetera, used to propagate a doctrine
15 or practice. And it couldn't be a better description of what happened
17 Of course, the use of propaganda in itself is not a crime, but it
18 was an integral part of the buildup to the events in this indictment, and
19 in its most extreme forms, at the very least, creates a climate whereby
20 people are prepared to tolerate the commission of crimes, and at its
21 worst, propaganda can act as an incitement to commit crimes.
22 The Serb leadership was fully alive to the importance of control
23 of the media. Decisions were taken at both the republic and regional
24 assemblies to establish Serbian radio and television stations. One of the
25 earliest events in the ARK which was noteworthy, which occurred before the
1 period of this indictment, was the seizure of the transmitter on Mount
2 Kozara, which took place in August of 1991. After that seizure, the
3 communities which were served by the transmitter could only receive
4 television broadcasts from Belgrade, Banja Luka, Novi Sad and Pale, all of
5 which were strongly Serb. The seizure was, in fact, carried out by a Serb
6 paramilitary group from Prnjavor, about whom Your Honours will hear
7 something. It was known as the Wolves of Vucak, but it was assisted by
8 the chairman of the executive committee of the Assembly of the Autonomous
9 Region of Krajina, a man named Anjelko Grahovac.
10 In one of the first decisions of the ARK Crisis Staff on the 6th
11 of May, the media was ordered to "furnish maximum information on the
12 developments in the Serbian Republic." Radio stations, such as those as
13 Banja Luka Radio and Prijedor Radio, had their non-Serb employees replaced
14 by Serbs who effectively would follow the party - in other words, the SDS
15 - line.
16 At its most basic level, the propaganda took the form of always
17 describing the Muslim population as extremists or Green Berets or Turks,
18 and more vulgarly, balijas. Croats were always the Ustasha, referring
19 back to the Second World War. In its most extreme form, it reached the
20 very height of vileness, and if we could just show Your Honours one page
21 from a document which was issued. If that could be put on the ELMO?
22 Your Honour -- if we could can see the top of the page? Thank
23 you. This was a publication entitled, "The Informater" and was issued by
24 the SDS party in Sanski Most in July of 1992. And it begins:
25 "Dear brother Serbs, do you know what our bloodthirsty enemies
1 have been scheming for us? What they had in mind was to gouge out our
2 eyes and carve us up, hack our bodies to pieces, rape women and girls in
3 front of their dearest, to circumcise, to destroy our religion, to crush
4 us, just because we happen to be Serbs. Don't ever think that anybody's
5 family would have been spared. They had monsters ready and committed to
6 raping Serbian women and they had developed a system of killing each and
7 every Serb. Soon we will show everyone their horrible weapons, the swords
8 from the Middle Ages, sledgehammers, special knives, instruments to gouge
9 out eyes with and instruments to carve us up. A decent man shudders with
10 horror. In Vrpolje, a Ustasha killed his own two young children, then
11 turned around to shoot at the army. When one of our soldiers fell into
12 their hands, he was butchered in the most beastly manner. They had been
13 preparing for genocide against the Serbs but did not get away with it
14 because we saw what was coming. We warned and prepared our people in
15 time. The leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party are resolute in their
16 undertaking to accomplish all the Serbian people has entrusted them with.
17 Dear brothers, the war is not over yet."
18 It is almost inconceivable, standing here in this courtroom, to
19 believe that something like this could be issued and let alone that
20 anything like this could be accepted. However, in the climate of the
21 times, it was something that people did believe, apparently, and that type
22 of propaganda was there for one reason, and for one reason alone; to
23 encourage the ordinary Serbs to believe that they were under serious
24 threat from these vile enemies and to take the appropriate action.
25 According to witnesses, Radoslav Brdjanin, together with
1 Dr. Vukic, made some of the more inflammatory speeches on radio and
2 television. Brdjanin's most oft-quoted statement was to the effect that
3 only a small percentage, the figures vary between 2 and 5 per cent, of
4 Muslims should be allowed to remain in Banja Luka. And it became clear to
5 the people who heard his statements that the reason for him doing so was
6 to terrorise the non-Serbs into leaving.
7 Nor, it has to be said, was Momir Talic above using that type,
8 although not as extreme, of inflammatory or derogatory language. He gave
9 a TV interview in 1995. He gave a number of interviews, but in this
10 particular one, he was asked whether the fact that there had been no
11 genocide in his area of responsibility, the area of responsibility of the
12 1st Krajina Corps, was due to a genetic memory or the readiness of the
13 corps? And he said this - and of course accepting this is a translation
14 into English: "Well, I think you mostly answered the question," this to
15 the interviewer. "This generation was taught not only by history but by
16 its parents and grandparents, what the Ustasha knife means, what the knife
17 of the Turk convert means."
18 Your Honours, as we said earlier, it wasn't just that the military
19 was doing what it was told by its political masters. It actually shared
20 the views and ideology of other Serbs.
21 Can I turn now to the topic of the camps? The Serbs had to find
22 places to put the non-Serbs who were being driven from their homes and/or
23 being detained. So in each municipality, they set up places of detention,
24 sometimes euphemistically described as reception centres, and if we could
25 just put up on the screen a map which gives an overview of the number of
1 these camps?
2 Is it on Your Honour's screen? It's not on mine. Technological
3 wizardry sometimes doesn't work.
4 Do Your Honours have it? Do Your Honours have the map? No, they
6 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] it's on now, but it's out
7 of focus.
8 MS. KORNER: Yes, it is. Is it possible to focus it?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
10 MS. KORNER: Yes, it is. Is it possible to fix it? Yes, I'm
11 afraid that isn't very helpful.
12 Your Honour, the place with the -- perhaps one can see it. You
13 will see there's one municipality which has the largest number of camps,
14 roughly above the centre of the picture. That's Prijedor. But I don't
15 think, unfortunately, it's come out terribly well. And I shall promptly
16 blame my technological expert who did this.
17 Well, I'm sorry about that, but perhaps that -- it gives a general
18 picture of the camps. And Your Honour, may I say that that is just the
19 major camps, not what I described as the temporary makeshift ones.
20 Your Honour, the treatment which was meted out to the detainees is
21 set out very clearly in the indictment in paragraph 42, and I'm not going
22 to rehash it. At its very lowest, it could only be regarded as inhuman.
23 Overcrowding, lack of sanitation, insufficient food, limited if any
24 medical treatment.
25 The male detainees were regularly submitted to -- or subjected,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 rather, to humiliating rituals. That was the lowest. They were beaten,
2 sometimes so severely as to lead to death. And torture was not uncommon.
3 Camps were established in factories, schools, football stadiums. Some
4 were the temporary transit type; others more permanent. The guards on the
5 whole were police or military or a mixture of both.
6 Can I deal in a little detail with just two of the camps?
7 Prijedor contained some of the worst examples in Keraterm and Omarska,
8 both of which have been the subject of recent trials in this institution.
9 Keraterm was established on the 23rd of May in a disused factory
10 in the town of Prijedor itself. It was disbanded on the 21st of August.
11 It was the site of one of the more notorious killings in this area because
12 on the 24th -- around the 20th of July, some 150 to 200 civilians were
13 brought to Keraterm. They were detained in room 3. Some four days later,
14 they were fired upon and killed by Serbs who were using machine-guns. It
15 was acknowledged by the camp commander, Sikirica, when he tendered his
16 plea of guilty to the offences, that apart from that killing, other
17 individuals had also been killed in the camp. And detainees in that camp
18 were tortured and brutally beaten.
19 Omarska was operational from the 27th of May of 1992 until the
20 21st of August, 1992, when it was finally disbanded, although the majority
21 of its inmates were moved out in early August. According to the records
22 kept between the 27th of May and the 16th of August, a total of 3.334
23 persons were brought to, as it was described, the Omarska Investigation
24 Centre. Of those 3.000-odd, some 37 of them were women.
25 For the first days of its operation, the camp housed many of the
1 local Muslim and Croat elite: the political, the administrative, the
2 religious, the business leaders. Many of these people were beaten on
3 arrival. On a daily basis, virtually serious assaults and killings took
4 place. Detainees were made to beat each other, and many of the assaults
5 took place in front of other persons detained. Women were raped or
6 otherwise sexually assaulted. Analysis of Serb documentary evidence shows
7 that a large number of those 3.300-odd people are still unaccounted for.
8 Many were taken from the room in which they were being held and never seen
9 again. Bodies were seen in areas of the camp before being loaded onto
10 trucks and removed. And that camp was visited by members of the ARK
11 Crisis Staff, who included Radoslav Brdjanin.
12 Now, it was the visit of the ITN news crew on the 4th of August,
13 1992, to this camp and to another camp called Trnopolje which first drew
14 the attention of the world to what was actually happening in Bosnia.
15 And Your Honour, I think it's worth reminding ourselves very
16 shortly just of some of the footage that was shown on television. May I
17 say that we have in one part edited out the sound where there was
18 allegations being made by people who were behind the wire. We've only
19 dealt with the parts where we don't think there's going to be a dispute.
20 So I wonder if I could -- we could just have a quick look at
22 [Videotape played]
23 "These are the Muslim prisoners of Omarska. In small groups,
24 under heavy Serbian guard, they are ushered into the canteen for their
25 single --"
1 MS. KORNER: Is it being shown on Your Honours' screen?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We have it on the screen.
3 MS. KORNER: You have it on the screen. All right. I don't.
4 Yes, thank you.
5 Yes, thank you very much.
6 [Videotape played]
7 "Most have been here for two months. They say they don't know
8 why, that they were rounded up from their homes. They were too frightened
9 to talk about the way they have been treated and the conditions in which
10 they have been kept, conditions which have been hidden from the world, as
11 the Serbs have denied access here to the United Nations and to the
12 International Red Cross. Their prison is an old mining complex outside
13 Banja Luka in Northern Bosnia. In an office above the canteen, the camp
14 commandant and the spokeswoman for the local Serbian authorities said they
15 have two and a half thousand of what they called internees who were being
16 interrogated as possible Muslim fighters."
17 "No, this is not a camp. This is a centre, Omarska and
18 Trnopolje. Both centres, not camps."
19 "The prisoners were being brought to the canteen from a large
20 industrial building in the centre of the mining complex. It, too, was
21 under heavy guard. And we asked to be allowed to look inside. But in
22 spite of promises of openness from the Serb Bosnia leader, Dr. Karadzic,
23 we were told we could see no more."
24 "Why are you not fulfilling Dr. Karadzic's promise to us?"
25 "He promised us something else and said, 'You can do this and
1 this, and that, and not that.'"
2 "Our armed escort made it clear. Our visit was over. We are now
3 being asked to leave this camp, having seen nothing more than the
4 canteen. We have been told that Dr. Karadzic's promise, while good to us,
5 does not carry any weight here.
6 "As we were moved on, soldiers told us the army did not control
7 the camp, which they said was run by the local authorities and militia.
8 We had asked to be taken to a second camp, at Trnopolje in the same area,
9 to which several hundred prisoners from Omarska had last day been
10 transferred and which had also been at the centre of allegations of
11 atrocities. Conditions at this camp were appalling. In 100 degree heat,
12 hundreds of men were forced to eat and sleep outside in a field, behind
13 barbed wire. Their meagre rations consist of a small hunk of bread and a
14 bowl of soup every day. Here, too, they said they had been rounded up,
15 whole villages emptied of their men, and they were afraid.
16 "In the makeshift medical centre, there were cases of scabies,
17 malnutrition, and diarrhoea. Local doctors said they were chronically
18 short of medicine and drugs. Among them was a Muslim doctor. We asked
19 him whether there had been any cases of beatings."
21 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
22 Your Honour, interestingly enough, the day before that visit, on
23 the 3rd of August, General Talic sent an order to Manjaca camp command to
24 the Prijedor - which I will come back to in a moment - to the Prijedor
25 43rd Brigade and the Prijedor police, ordering them to make conditions
1 satisfactory in Manjaca, Trnopolje, Omarska, and Keraterm because of a
2 forthcoming visit to the International Community and media. Your Honour,
3 the Prosecution say that he and Brdjanin were well aware of the conditions
4 of these camps.
5 After the visit of the television crew, most of the detainees were
6 transferred either to Trnopolje or to Manjaca. Manjaca was a 1st Krajina
7 Corps detention facility. It was on a JNA or VRS training ground which
8 was south of Banja Luka. From June until December of 1992, thousands of
9 civilians were detained in animal stables. Part of the ground was a
10 farm. Juveniles and sick prisoners were detained with men who were aged
11 between 18 and 60. Conditions in the camp were inadequate. Prisoners
12 were frequently and systematically beaten, beatings which caused severe
13 injuries and sometimes death. Again, Muslim intellectuals and leaders
14 appeared to be targeted.
15 In June of 1992, a group of prisoners was brought from Sanski
16 Most. Six of them were killed directly outside the camp. In August,
17 another group was transferred from Omarska. They were beaten on their
18 arrival at the camp by their police escort, and many of them died.
19 The camp was visited at the end of August 1992 by an international
20 delegation led by Sir John Thompson. The mission was accompanied by
21 members of the European Community Monitoring Mission, as it was then
22 known, ECMM. And Your Honours will hear from two of these monitors their
23 impressions of the camp. They were, to say the least, appalled.
24 Although interestingly enough - and it is a sad reflection on what
25 happened - to many of the people in Manjaca who had come from other camps,
1 particularly that of Omarska, the conditions were themselves almost
2 bearable. Manjaca was controlled and staffed by the 1st Krajina Corps.
3 The camp commander reported directly to General Talic and many documents
4 demonstrate that Talic was aware of the details of the facility and was
5 personally involved in its operation.
6 General Talic did allow visits by a Muslim humanitarian
7 organisation called Merhamet, but it is not clear what happened to the
8 food and clothing which was delivered. The International Committee of the
9 Red Cross made an inspection in July of 1992. One of General Talic's
10 officers, Lieutenant Colonel Vukelic made a report on that visit to the
11 general. He said that the Red Cross had been critical of the conditions
12 and had demanded the release of some of the prisoners who were clearly
13 ill. Colonel Vukelic's recommendation was that, in future, they should
14 ask for two to three days' notice before the Red Cross carried out any
15 such inspection.
16 Manjaca was certainly visited by Kupresanin, and there is some
17 evidence to suggest that it was visited by Radoslav Brdjanin. Brdjanin's
18 view on the camps was apparently expressed in a TV programme at the end of
19 August, when he appeared and stated, "If Hitler, Stalin and Churchill
20 could have working camps, so can we. We are at war."
21 Your Honour, perhaps before we can break, I can -- if Your Honour
22 would care, agree to break, I can deal with one more topic and then I can
23 complete what I have to say tomorrow. I don't think it will take me more
24 than an hour or so.
25 Your Honour, can I turn to the topic of destruction, in particular
1 religious and cultural destruction? And there should be another map which
2 may or may not appear on Your Honours' screens and may or may not be
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, while we are waiting on the map, can I
5 just advise the Chamber that I have a short oral motion that I would like
6 to make for your consideration before we leave today? And I think it's
7 important timing-wise that I make it today.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, would it be better --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: If you could close now? I could [Microphone not
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I suggest you stop now for the moment and resume
13 tomorrow, and we could deal with the point that you wish to raise and also
14 the oral motion that Mr. Ackerman would like to raise as well. Shall I
15 start -- shall we start with you?
16 MS. KORNER: Yes, please.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it was simply this. It's a very simple
19 point. Your Honour, describing the situations in which leading questions
20 might be asked, and obviously dealing with the obvious that if it's done
21 by agreement or so on, Your Honour, in respect of experts, where an expert
22 has prepared a report in which he gives his opinion which is an analysis
23 of documents and the like, Your Honour, we would submit the normal
24 practice is that -- simply to get through quicker, is that he may be --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, what I failed to state or add this
1 morning was that there will be moments when I myself will realise or come
2 to the conclusion that I would direct you or it could be Mr. Ackerman or
3 it could be Mr. de Roux to forget about non-leading questions and put a
4 direct question. There are instances where that becomes convenient. It
5 doesn't wreak any havoc or cause any prejudice to anyone. So rest
6 assured, we will use our good judgement. This is not an area which is new
7 to any one of us. I understand what you say. I mean there will be
8 moments, however, where on the basis of what I have read from General
9 Talic's note in response to your request for admission of adjudicated
10 facts, where more or less I am in a position to tell you go ahead, you can
11 put a direct question here, or more or less, no, let the witness say what
12 he has to say and please don't put any suggestions to him. I mean, we
13 will direct it as -- I know -- I can imagine what the problem is. It will
14 arise not only with expert witnesses, it will arise with other witnesses
15 as well. One uses the experience that we all have in this regard.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, what I was hoping, as I think I raised
17 with Your Honour at the last Pre-Trial Conference, was that the Defence
18 counsel will agree to meet with me before a particular witness is called
19 or to indicate in open court which areas will not be in dispute and
20 therefore which evidence may be led.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Actually, that is an exercise that this Chamber will
22 also be doing on its own, in preparation of the interim Status Conferences
23 that I suggested, recommended yesterday -- the day before yesterday,
24 sorry. It -- I'm studying it at the moment, and I don't think it should
25 be a very controversial or a very difficult exercise. However, I must
1 point out to you that you're not to expect that on what you think or
2 thought or indicated could be easily admitted as adjudicated facts, there
3 is going to be either the consensus on the part of the Defence. Much of
4 that material is controversial, inherently controversial, and you're never
5 going to get the consensus of the Defence. There will be other
6 adjudicated facts that the Chamber itself will intervene upon and admit
7 them, probably ex officio or motu proprio. We will deal with that as we
8 go along.
9 And I'm also sure, going through the response of General Talic in
10 this regard, that there are also other points, material facts, that they
11 are not contesting, which -- there are not many and -- but they are still
12 material facts, and provided we are all aware of them, it could -- they
13 could be helpful in reducing the time required by several witnesses in
14 giving evidence. But anyway, I think we need to cooperate, you and the
15 Defence bench, in any case, but also together with the Tribunal, I'll try
16 to help you in that direction, and I don't think the exercise should be
17 that difficult.
18 But don't expect, I repeat, that all that you thought initially
19 could be admitted as adjudicated facts could easily be admitted as
20 adjudicated facts. I mean the Tribunal, the Chamber itself, does not
21 agree with you in many, many respects.
22 MS. KORNER: In that case, we are lost, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But we will face that as we go along. I mean,
24 because it's no use taking a document which is that thick and telling you
25 -- I mean, waste more time than gain any mileage out of it.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I then - very quickly because I know
2 -- so I don't eat into Mr. Ackerman's time - I do want to mention
3 something about the question of hostile witnesses, but it's nothing
4 urgent, but in relation to the Rule 92 witnesses, counsel for Talic put in
5 a motion after we'd replied.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: Having declined to give reasons in court. In
8 respect, I don't think we need to deal so much with the matters in the
9 earlier witnesses, but the dead witness, Your Honour, we would wish to --
10 well, we would seek to persuade Your Honours that he can be read, but I
11 would prefer to do that, I think, as an oral argument. We don't require a
12 prior ruling on that.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest that we do that, yes.
14 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I rise with some trepidation, Your Honours, because
17 it seems that I'm always making some kind of points about the excessive
18 work and how little time and things of that nature, but this one, I think,
19 is really quite important and I'm actually trying to seek some guidance
20 from the Chamber.
21 In consideration of the time of Dr. Donia, what I would like to
22 do, unless the Chamber has already decided otherwise, is to work extremely
23 hard from now until Monday morning in the hope that I can be prepared by
24 that time to conduct the cross-examination. I think if I work very hard
25 at it between now and then, I can. That would mean, however, that another
1 task that has been ordered that I perform by this Chamber, I wouldn't be
2 able to do, and so I think it really has to be the Chamber's decision what
3 priority I should place on these two matters. The first is preparing for
4 the cross-examination. The second is a -- my -- the requirement that I
5 supplement my Pre-Trial Brief with a response to the Prosecution's section
6 on the law.
7 I don't have time to do both of those things. I can do one or the
8 other. My suggestion - and I think probably what makes the most sense in
9 terms of time and everything else - is that I be given an additional
10 couple of weeks to do the supplement to the Pre-Trial Brief because I
11 think that is probably lower priority than trying to finish with
12 Dr. Donia, rather than have him have to come back at a later date. But
13 I'm asking for guidance. I'll do what the Chamber --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, would an extension of the time limit
15 already granted to Mr. Ackerman with regard to his deficiency in the
16 Pre-Trial Brief disrupt your programme or cause you any undue prejudice?
17 MS. KORNER: I don't think so at all, Your Honour. I wanted Your
18 Honour to order that he give us more detail of his Defence. I'm less
19 interested in the law.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is this; I realise what Mr. Ackerman is
21 mentioning now is indeed a real problem.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I have no objection at all.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So Mr. Ackerman, how much time do you require
24 by way of an extension?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I think probably an additional two weeks, Your
1 Honour. I think we could probably have that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The Chamber is giving you three weeks.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay. I'll probably use every bit of it, then.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And I hope you also use the short break in Sarajevo.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll do nothing but work on this case, Your
6 Honour. I promise.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure. So that brings our work for the day to an
8 end. I am to understand that tomorrow you will conclude, Ms. Korner, your
9 opening statement.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes, certainly.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And then we will proceed with Mr. Donia. How long
12 do you expect Mr. Donia to be on the witness box -- witness stand?
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, in chief --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: In chief, yes.
15 MS. KORNER: I can't assist because Mr. Cayley, as you know, is
16 dealing with him, but I can make inquiries. My guess would have been
17 certainly the whole of tomorrow's session, if I take, say, another hour
18 tomorrow, the remainder, and possibly going into Friday.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think the Chamber is still in
21 possession of the disclosure materials that were given to me this
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and in fact, I'm going to return them now to
24 you. I will not give you two days because I almost went through the whole
25 of them in about 20 minutes the first time and about 20 minutes the second
1 time. Most of them are photographs. Some of them you need to read
2 because they are statements by, I suppose, witnesses that will be
3 produced, but the rest is the diary that was mentioned earlier. Most of
4 it is in the B/C/S language, which you don't understand in any case, and
5 which your clients will have ample time to go through. Maybe there will
6 be instances when new documents will be thrown on your lap later on which
7 will require not just two days, even more, but certainly not this batch
8 that you gave me this morning.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, life will improve after Saturday because I
10 will have a new case manager kind of person who can do a lot of this for
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose what we did today should guide us for the
13 future. When you have such a problem, please don't hesitate to raise it
14 because it may be a very valid one. It could be very flimsy, like it
15 happens to be today, but certainly it's not your fault because I concede
16 that you had not read them before.
17 Please, could you hand these back to Mr. Ackerman. Thank you.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll try to avoid raising flimsy things if I can,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I do not expect you to avoid raising such issues.
21 You are duty-bound towards your client to raise such issues when they need
22 to be but, you realise that had you waited until the break and did what I
23 did, perhaps you could have kept silent.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, for much time now, I've been looking at this
25 pile of documents that I haven't gotten to yet.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it's frightening. And yesterday I saw a whole
2 team of employees here coming into my Chamber with volumes and piles of
3 paper, and I barely have space for myself in that room, let alone for all
4 these documents that are flowing in. But anyway, that's not a problem.
5 We will deal with it as we go along. Everyone has to organise oneself.
6 And we will see.
7 I thank you all for the cooperation that you have shown this
8 morning. This is more or less what my idea of proper conduct of a sitting
9 should be. There have been no interruptions. That's how it should be.
10 And hopefully tomorrow, you will be able to conclude your opening
11 statement within a short time so that we can commence with the evidence
13 I thank you and see you all tomorrow morning.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
15 13.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
16 the 24th day of January, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.