1 Wednesday, 26 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number,
9 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
11 Mr. Brdjanin, good afternoon to you. Can you hear me in a
12 language that you can understand?
13 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your
14 Honours. I can hear you and understand you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
16 General Talic, good afternoon to you too. Can you hear me in a
17 language that you can understand? I see that your microphone is not on.
18 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
19 I am hearing you in a language I understand.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
21 Appearances for the Prosecution.
22 MR. CAYLEY: May it please Your Honours. My name is Andrew
23 Cayley. I appear on behalf of the Prosecutor with my learned friend
24 Ms. Korner and our case manager Denise Gustin. Good afternoon to you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Good afternoon to you.
1 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
2 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I
3 am attorney Milan Trbojevic. With me is lead counsel Mr. John Ackerman
4 and our assistant Marela Jevtovic.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you.
6 Appearances for General Talic.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Slobodan Zecevic and Natasha Ivanovic-Fauveau for
8 General Talic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And good afternoon to you too.
10 So Mr. Ackerman, regarding the -- regarding the matter you raised
11 yesterday, I -- we have made a find-out. And rather than taking time from
12 the sitting itself, I suggest that during the first break you contact
13 Madam Registrar who has all the information and the sort of a workable --
14 not exactly solution but a workable way out to lessen the inconvenience as
15 much as possible.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: We're very grateful, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm here just briefly, although I will
19 come back later if I may.
20 About this afternoon: Regrettably, as we rather suspected, the
21 witness is really too tired, having arrived last night and having been
22 seen this morning by Mr. Nicholls to commence testifying today. I'm not
23 sure how much longer there is for this witness.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We were given to understand that we roughly expect
25 about an hour and a half as a minimum.
1 MS. KORNER: Right. Your Honour, it's really hard to deal with
2 the remainder of the session, not to waste time. There are some
3 administrative matters. For example, it would help if Your Honour were
4 able to help us about days off Your Honour mentioned for the next quarter,
5 as it were.
6 There's two or three small matters that I want to mention. But
7 effectively that won't take very long. I was wondering whether we could
8 deal with this afternoon -- so I'm given advance notice -- with one
9 aspect, which is slightly troubling, which we haven't yet dealt with, and
10 it's really connected with the questions Mr. Ackerman was asking
11 yesterday. Sometime ago Mr. Ackerman wished to tender the transcript of
12 the examination and cross-examination in a previous case of a witness
13 unrelated to these matters, and it was rather left in abeyance. And I
14 wonder whether we could solve that, because it is connected with a matter
15 that I do want to raise, and that's this question of how witnesses are
16 being questioned about handwriting. It seems to me that we will need some
17 kind of ruling from Your Honour about the nature of this, and I wondered
18 whether we could deal with that after this witness has finished.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: With regard to the transcript that I submitted as
20 an exhibit, if I haven't already done so - I think I did, but if I haven't
21 I withdraw it - and if I'm going to submit it again at all, it will be
22 under Rule 92 bis in the Defence case.
23 With regard to the issue of handwriting, you know, I don't -- I
24 don't make those documents. I just look at them. And that has to be
25 dealt with.
1 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, that's why I think it might be
2 perhaps advantageous if we could just discuss the general principle of --
3 of this line of cross-examination at the moment, because it's obviously
4 something that's it's -- it's come up now -- it's the second time it has
5 come up.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, it has come up the second time. I am not at
7 all worried about the first time when it came up. I am a little bit
8 concerned with regard to the second time.
9 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I think it might be --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Because it was yesterday.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes. So may I suggest, if it's a way of at least
12 dealing with that particular issue after this witness has been completed.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: If the Defence is prepared to -- to discuss that
14 today. I mean, it seems that you are prepared and therefore if you want
15 to, I would definitely give you time. But I don't know if the Defence is
16 prepared to discuss --
17 MS. KORNER: I'm not -- at the moment, when I say "prepared," Your
18 Honour, obviously I was keeping an eye on yesterday's proceedings. And I
19 noticed it was coming up. It's not that I was suggesting at this stage
20 that we talk about authority. It's just the general principles. And if
21 need be -- and there needs to be a proper legal discussion, that can be
22 adjourned. But I'd like to just deal with the principles at the moment.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there any objection on your part? I don't think
24 there should be any objection at this point. The way she has put it --
25 the way Ms. Korner has put it, I think we can live with it today and then
1 we'll see later.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I don't mind her taking time to tell Your
3 Honours what it is she believes ought to be done with regard to that
4 issue. I may want some time to respond to what she has to say.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: This is -- this is why I have pointed that out
6 myself, actually.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: It also may be a very simple matter.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It could well be. It could well be. Because as you
9 know, there has -- between what happened yesterday and what happened
10 during the testimony of the previous witness, Draganovic, there's quite --
11 quite a difference and quite a substantial difference, because one witness
12 confirmed one time after another that in spite of appearances, that was
13 his signature, while the one we had yesterday himself could not confirm
14 it, at least in an -- unequivocal manner. And anyway, I mean, to be
15 very frank with you, even before you -- he started giving evidence, I knew
16 exactly what questions you would be asking him in that direction, because
17 I -- I have two eyes like you do.
18 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Well, I think, Your
19 Honour, if we can --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think it's definitely worth dealing with.
21 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much. I'm sorry. I didn't have my
22 microphone on.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It definitely calls for a ruling in due course, also
24 because to continue upon what I was telling you, when I went home
25 yesterday in my mind I had to come back on this matter and make it clear
1 to Mr. Ackerman that if the Defence or if he intends to ask for the
2 appointment of -- nomination of a calligraphic expert, that this be done
3 in good time, and not be postponed, and postponed, and postponed until we
4 are then suddenly faced with it. Anyway, this is something that I wanted
5 to come back to. But I think we can discuss it later on when we finish
6 with the witness.
7 MS. KORNER: Then the last thing, Your Honour, is I don't know how
8 much time that will leave. It really depends on the cross-examination --
9 was -- I tremble each time I mention the word, but documents. If there's
10 any spare time, would Your Honour consider perhaps going through some --
11 in court through some of the -- we never actually covered anything other
12 than the first volume of the Banja Luka documents.
13 I knew it -- I knew it would provoke this reaction, and I think it
14 probably provoke this is reaction from Your Honours as well. And I
15 know -- I know that it's difficult, but it does seem to me -- the trouble
16 is the further we move away from Banja Luka, the less likely it is that we
17 are going to look at these documents at the convenient time. But Your
18 Honour, I'm mentioning it. That's all.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see how much time we have left anyway.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And what will be the mood then, especially from the
22 two Defence teams.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Would Your Honours -- would you consider, each of
24 you, individually assuring Ms. Korner that you will read her exhibits. If
25 you would do that, maybe she would get over this. Because I just don't
1 want to sit here another two or three hours while she reads to us. It's
2 just bizarre. All of you are capable of reading and you are professionals
3 and you will do it; I know you will. And this just -- if she's going to
4 do it, then I would ask leave to be excused, because I don't want to sit
5 through it.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll come to that later, Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So the witness.
9 And we will inform you roughly -- in good time --
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's fine.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, Ms. Korner,
13 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To you and all those present.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And we'll go through the same procedure
20 as yesterday and the time -- the day before. Please repeat the solemn
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly.
23 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
24 and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: BESIM ISLAMCEVIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
3 And I'm sorry for keeping you waiting this time 12 minutes --
4 shorter than yesterday -- a shorter time than yesterday but still 12
5 minutes. Again, we had some problems to deal with; nothing to -- that
6 concerns you as such. And Mr. Zecevic for General Talic will be resuming
7 and continuing with his cross-examination of you.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zecevic.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Zecevic: [Continued]
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Islamcevic.
12 A. Good afternoon to you too.
13 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, yesterday we broke when we were talking about the
14 period when you were working in the water pump station in Zdena. On the
15 first day, on the 24th of June, you told us that one evening while you
16 were working there at that water pumping station you saw some trucks with
17 weapons, didn't you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You saw those trucks close to the building of the local commune.
20 A. The social club.
21 Q. Tell me, in that building of the social club there was a branch of
22 the Territorial Defence, wasn't there?
23 A. I cannot confirm that. All I can confirm is that meetings were
24 held there, and I said who was present at those meetings. I cannot claim
25 that the institution you mentioned was housed there.
1 Q. Thank you. You noticed those trucks in the evening, didn't you?
2 A. Just before dusk. But visibility was quite sufficient for me to
3 recognise and see at a hundred metres distance the trucks and the people
4 around the vehicles.
5 Q. Tell me please, on the first day you said that those men that you
6 saw, that you just referred to, that you saw them from a distance of 100
7 metres, were mostly Serbs.
8 A. Yes, certainly they were.
9 Q. You also said that they were all inhabitants of three streets,
10 Kolonija 1, 2, and 3.
11 A. Yes. That is a part of the Zdena local commune intercepted by
12 three streets called Kolonija 1, 2, and 3.
13 Q. Did you know any of those people?
14 A. I cannot say that just then I personally was able to recognise by
15 name any one of them, because as I said on the first day, I didn't want or
16 dare to linger there. It was just a moment when you become breathless,
17 you see what's going on, and then you withdraw to avoid any problems.
18 Q. So your observation lasted a minute or two for you to notice all
20 A. Excuse me. Would you repeat your question.
21 Q. I was saying your observation of this incident consisted of you
22 throwing a glance in that direction, so it didn't take more than a minute
23 or two if I'm not mistaken?
24 A. Quite sufficient, Mr. Zecevic, for me to have a clear
25 understanding of what was going on. If necessary on another day, my
1 kum, Marjanovic Drago and Jovo --
2 Q. No. Just give me -- just answer my question.
3 A. I was just going to say that I have corroboration from Serbs that
4 this was going on.
5 Q. On the first day you said that those people were wearing
6 olive-green uniforms.
7 A. Yes. Let me add, also camouflage. They were not all in the same
8 kind of uniforms.
9 Q. Tell me, was that location lit up when you noticed it?
10 A. There was no need, because one could still see well. That part of
11 Kolonija in those days and even today doesn't have any public lighting.
12 Q. Tell me, Mr. Islamcevic, is it not correct that around about that
13 time there was an operation of the takeover of weapons from the
14 Territorial Defence throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, that this operation was
16 A. If you -- if I may, I could link this to what happened, because I
17 told my director that the public utility company had purchased two
18 semi-automatic rifles, and I said, "If those weapons are going to the
19 warehouse of the Territorial Defence, does that mean that the next day
20 that weapons -- those weapons will be pointed at me even though I
21 contributed to the funds to purchase them?"
22 Q. I'm grateful for your explanations, but could you please focus on
23 my questions. My question was: Are you aware that around that time, end
24 of March/beginning of April, an operation was underway to take over
25 weapons from bodies of the Territorial Defence throughout Bosnia and
2 A. I am aware of those activities in Sip, the largest company in the
3 mines, and in other companies but not on the streets and not in such
5 Q. Tell me, the weapons that you saw, were they unloaded in boxes or
7 A. I cannot tell you with certainty that it was handed from one hand
8 to another, from one man to another. So what you observed was a group of
9 people standing behind the truck and handing weapons to people standing
10 behind the truck.
11 Q. Would you allow for the possibility that the weapons were being
12 loaded onto the truck?
13 A. No, no. Really, no.
14 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to something else. During your
15 testimony the day before yesterday you said that you were aware of a
16 paramilitary formation known as SOS.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You also said that they had some very clear insignia.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What did you mean when you said "clear insignia"? Could you
21 explain briefly what they were like.
22 A. In very brief terms, a ribbon round their foreheads with the
23 letters "SOS." Some had armbands also, but mostly these were ribbons
24 round their heads.
25 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, are you quite sure that all the members of this
1 paramilitary formation wore some sort of insignia?
2 A. When I was in the municipality building of Sanski Most and moving
3 across the bridge and in the park, I had occasion to see people that I
4 knew belonged to that unit without wearing those ribbons during the
6 Q. Tell me please, in your statement you said that that paramilitary
7 organisation started to throw grenades around town in Sanski Most.
8 A. Yes. And setting fire to Muslim houses as well. Yes.
9 Q. Tell me, you also mentioned that grenades were thrown at shops and
10 businesses owned by Muslims, didn't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were they thrown exclusively at Muslim property?
13 A. Yes. Exclusively it was Muslim property that was at risk as a
14 result of these activities.
15 Q. And the property of Croats, members of the Croat ethnicity?
16 A. Very few, insignificantly, as compared to the Muslim property.
17 There were some individual cases, but nothing like the number against
18 Muslim property.
19 Q. Do you remember that on the 14th of April, 1992 a grenade was
20 thrown at a cafe owned by a Serb, a member of the Serb nation?
21 A. Just now I can't remember, but I can claim with certainty that
22 there were such cases as well. But again, with certainty I can claim on
23 the basis of my own knowledge, Your Honours, that these were mutual
24 settling of accounts between members of the Serb nation.
25 Q. Thank you. During the past two days you spoke to us about the
1 significance of a person called Vlado Vrkes. You frequently spoke to
2 Vlado Vrkes regarding various problems, didn't you?
3 A. As many times as I have informed you during my testimony here in
5 Q. So very frequently; is that right?
6 A. Well, you were able to see how many times. Five to seven times at
7 least during that period.
8 Q. You told us that in the second half of June 1992 - this is page 88
9 of the transcript of the 24th of June, line 14 - that you called
10 representatives of the SDS, including Vrkes, to come to a meeting at
11 Pobrijezje, didn't you?
12 A. Yes. I asked them kindly to come. I invited them to come.
13 Q. You asked them to come and they came. They accepted and they
15 A. Yes. After a couple of days, yes.
16 Q. You chaired that meeting, if I remember well.
17 A. I would rather say that it was a -- an assembly meeting of people
18 lost and crying out for help to people and appealing to their humaneness
19 to assist if they can.
20 Q. My question was: Did you chair that meeting?
21 A. Yes, I certainly did.
22 Q. Thank you. After that meeting the members of the Muslim ethnicity
23 had a rally, and on that occasion you were elected as one of the
24 representatives of the Muslim people.
25 A. Yes, one of five.
1 Q. Yesterday you told us that you -- that sometime in July 1992 you
2 asked to talk to Vrkes and that representatives and presidents of other
3 local communes be invited to that meeting so that they may too explain in
4 person their positions and give the reasons why they wanted to leave
5 Sanski Most.
6 A. Precisely so. And I explained what were the reasons and what
7 occurred prior to that because we wanted to hear the position of all.
8 This was prior to the first trip to Dvor Na Uni, which did not occur.
9 Q. You told us that you insisted on all representatives of local
10 communes being invited because, among other things, at what point in time
11 you were being accused of collaborating with the Serbs and you wanted
12 everyone to state clearly their positions and demands, didn't you?
13 A. This was done by uninformed Muslims and Bosniaks. Those who were
14 well informed and were aware of my mission at the time knew well that by
15 accepting to do this, I was risking my own life and that of my family.
16 But it was worth trying, sir. It was worth it because of human dignity,
17 to look people in the face and tell them that they are mistaken and that I
18 am not what they think I am.
19 Q. So if I understood you correctly, your answer to my question is
21 A. In the context in which I answered it.
22 Q. On page 22 of yesterday's transcript you said - and I'm going read
23 it out to you. I'll read it out to you in English since the transcript is
24 English and then it will be interpreted to you: [In English] "It was
25 clear to me that we were on the same wavelength and that we had the same
1 objective, which was to save our lives, not to have our families
2 separated, and to move onto territory which was more secure. At the end
3 of that meeting --" and so on and so on.
4 [Interpretation] Is what I have just read out correct?
5 A. Yes, it's correct. It's correct that most people shared my
6 opinion, and it's also correct to say that some of those who listened to
7 the official authorities from Sarajevo, who kept saying "Don't leave your
8 homes," and someone thought they had the right to make my situation and
9 that of my families uncertain, even if that person was perhaps Mr. Alija
11 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, I deliberately read out this part of your
12 statement in the transcript that you gave on page 78, line 12 to 14, and
13 in the testimony you gave yesterday you said that you all had the same
14 reason and the same motives for wanting to leave; isn't that correct?
15 A. Ask me why we all had the same reasons, what preceded that.
16 That's just the result of something that happened prior to that time.
17 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, yesterday you explained in detail the background
18 of these events, the background of this. I'm just asking about this
19 meeting and about the other representatives from local communes. Had you
20 all agreed?
21 A. I understand you very well, sir. If you had been by my side, you
22 would have reached an agreement too. That's quite certain.
23 Q. On that occasion -- or rather, after that you made a certain
24 document which was so to say a summary of what had been said at that
25 meeting. It explained your reasons, and in essence it explained what you
1 would say at the next meeting in Topusko; isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Among other things, in that document, if I have understood you
4 correctly - since we haven't seen the document - among other things, you
5 said that the Serbian -- you alleged that the Serbian authorities were not
6 in a position to secure education, medical care, pension schemes, et
7 cetera; isn't that correct?
8 A. After the president of the municipality of Sanski Most made a very
9 clear statement and his collaborators too -- after he said that they
10 wouldn't be in a position to provide such security. And I want to ask --
11 I want to put a question to you. Did they really want to provide such
13 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, isn't it true to say that at that time, the middle
14 of 1992, the schools and the municipalities weren't working and no
15 education institutions either?
16 A. I have to remind you of something. The situation was unclear for
17 many. The president himself, Mr. Karadzic, said, "This isn't going to
18 last for very long. Be patient. You'll work, and we Serbs will wage a
19 war." There was some sort of logic. If that doesn't last for long, then
20 the conditions would be created for those children to go to school, to be
21 educated. There was some sort of logic to this idea.
22 Q. My question was: Is it true to say that at that time the schools
23 were not open, nor any other educational institutions?
24 A. Well, let's forget about the summer holidays. But to tell you the
25 truth, the schools that were there, they weren't open, they weren't
2 Q. Isn't it true, Mr. Islamcevic --
3 A. Sorry, allow me. My son Harris Islamcevic enrolled in the first
4 class in October. The school is called, the primary school Narodni front,
5 the national front primary school. So yes, he did enrol in school.
6 Q. Tell me, isn't it true to say that in Sanski Most, at that time,
7 you often had the electricity supply cut off?
8 A. Yes. There were such cases too. For technical reasons, yes, it's
10 Q. Given that you worked in the water -- for the water supply, you
11 know that your water supply was made in such a way that when there was no
12 electricity in the town, there was no water either.
13 A. Yes. If you will allow me to say so, as far as the pump is
14 concerned it would fill up a basin which had a certain amount of cubic
15 metres. I won't go into details. And for a certain period the town could
16 be supplied with water. Up until the time that you would accumulate
17 sufficient water, the amount of water that had previously been
19 Q. The situation with regard to electricity and electricity
20 shortages, that situation affected the entire town of Sanski Most.
21 A. Yes. We all suffered the same fate.
22 Q. Isn't it true, sir, Mr. Islamcevic, that at that time, the middle
23 of 1992, because of the situation, pensions weren't paid out to anyone
25 A. That's true too. But later on certain payments were made. The
1 Serbs would receive payments, but not the Muslims.
2 Q. I'm asking you about the middle of 1992. It's a very specific
3 question, so please just refer to that period.
4 A. Yes. You're quite right.
5 Q. Isn't it also true to say that at that time because of the
6 situation in the market there wasn't enough food and there wasn't enough
7 medicine either?
8 A. Sir, let me tell you something: There was enough food in Sanski
9 Most, more than enough. I don't know where all those lorries -- or in a
10 certain sense I do. I don't know where all these lorries went to, towards
11 Banja Luka. What remained that -- if that had remained, there would have
12 been enough food for the Croats, the Serbs, and the Muslims, or in
13 whatever record you -- order you want to put them. But it's true to say
14 that during that period and later on, there was a crisis, if we are
15 talking about food.
16 Q. Thank you. Let's return to the meeting in Topusko. You told us
17 that you went to that meeting with Mr. Vrkes, Mr. Majkic, and Eso, isn't
18 that right?
19 A. Majkic Dragan, and Eso, whose surname I still don't know, and I
20 don't know whether he survived. We went there in one car.
21 Q. Yesterday, you also told us that you found out in Topusko that
22 Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Anicic with the driver Vlasto was in another
24 A. I found that out, and I saw them. I saw the lieutenant colonel.
25 On one occasion he took half a piece of bread from me. We had direct
1 contact. We saw each other.
2 Q. Do you know that Mr. Anicic was a pensioner?
3 A. I know that many JNA officers before the conflict broke out, they
4 had been retired and they were at the disposal of the Republika Srpska and
5 the Serbian army.
6 Q. Tell me, in your statement in 1999 given to the investigators of
7 the Prosecution, on page 5 of that statement, the fifth paragraph and the
8 last sentence in that paragraph, you said that Mr. Anicic didn't attend
9 the meeting in Topusko.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Tell me, yesterday you also told us that while you were driving
12 towards Topusko, at a certain checkpoint on the road from Prijedor to
13 Bosanski Novi you saw a group of Chetniks with Seselj's photograph and
14 that Seselj was a Yugoslav citizen and someone who lived in Belgrade?
15 A. Yes. And that's not just some checkpoint, but it's a checkpoint
16 which is as you enter the main road for Bosanski Novi. So the location is
17 in the municipality of Prijedor. It's the exit from the municipality of
18 Prijedor. I apologise, but I said the truth. Those people, they were
19 people that I had seen in partisan films. They were given a name that we
20 used. If they're not ashamed of using that name, why should I be ashamed
21 of saying what they were, of using that name.
22 Q. You are surely aware of the fact that Mr. Seselj was born in
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina and that he had lived in Sarajevo and worked as an
24 assistant at the law department in Sarajevo.
25 A. He graduated in -- from a university in the USA.
1 Q. You know that he was an assistant in the law department in
3 A. I know a lot about that gentleman and about his position with
4 regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Muslim people in Bosnia and
6 Q. Tell me, yesterday you went into details about your conversation
7 with representatives of the UN, and you told us both about the official
8 part and about your conversation which wasn't attended by Vrkes and other
9 Serbian representatives; isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. And at that point you said that you told UN representatives about
12 the events in Trnovo, Hrustovo, and Vrhpolje; isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And your information about those events came from third parties.
15 It's hearsay information; isn't that correct?
16 A. I personally heard information about Trnovo. Hrustovo was hearsay
17 information from Serbian sources and from Muslim sources, very reliable.
18 Q. What do you mean Trnovo was -- you had personal information about
20 A. That evening the SOS forces with a few lorries and something that
21 they had made armour on so that they could mount a rifle on it, they came
22 about 30 metres from me and I could see them quite clearly. I could see
23 who they were and what they were.
24 Q. Thank you. Tell me, on that occasion you spoke about the
25 involvement of the 3rd Battalion.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That information of yours was also hearsay information to say the
4 A. From my neighbours who were members of the 3rd Battalion,
5 inhabitants of the Podlug local commune.
6 Q. And tell me, who is in question? Who are you talking about, if
7 you can remember?
8 A. Of course I can remember. I can remember Juga, Peda, Mikan Tepic,
9 Predrag Banic, other Tepics, Kuzmanovics, Radujko, Vujkovic.
10 Q. That's quite enough, sir. The 3rd Battalion was in fact a unit of
11 the Territorial Defence; isn't that correct?
12 A. I wouldn't agree with you. I think it was part of the 6th Krajina
14 Q. I didn't ask you what it was a part of, but I'm asking you --
15 A. The answer is no, it wasn't the Territorial Defence. It was a
16 military formation.
17 Q. In your statement given to the investigators for the Prosecution
18 dated 1999, on page 7 of that statement in the second paragraph, in the
19 Serbian version -- it's the first paragraph in the English version -- you
20 said you had never addressed Mr. Basara; isn't that correct?
21 A. No. And how should I say this to you? On the 1st of May in a
22 cinema in Sanski Most that officer -- a former JNA officer -- I think that
23 he was also mentioned. He had -- he was wearing two hats. It was quite
24 clear to me who he was and what he was. I thought that it wasn't
25 necessary for me to address him, but the result of that conversation would
1 have been quite certain.
2 Q. Let's go back to this meeting in Topusko. If I have understood
3 your testimony correctly, the testimony you gave yesterday, your main
4 objective and your principal request with which you went to that meeting
5 was to ensure that there were convoys -- organised convoys under the
6 control of the UN and in a certain direction which would also make it
7 certain that families wouldn't be separated and that those who wanted to
8 leave would actually manage to reach that destination; isn't that
10 A. Yes. That's what I said. And please don't take that part out of
11 context, because then it gets a different meaning. Then I seem to be the
12 organiser of the convoy and not the Serbian authorities. And all those
13 preconditions which led to the idea that it would be necessary to leave.
14 Q. This request of yours wasn't accepted by the representative of the
16 A. No. And he said that he didn't have the mandate to move anyone
18 Q. In your first statement, the 13th of February, 1995, you said in
19 the police station in Travnik, I think --
20 A. The security service centre in Banja Luka with its headquarters in
21 Travnik. That's what its real name was, Mr. Zecevic.
22 Q. On that occasion you stated that the Serbian authorities had
23 agreed that it would be possible to leave Sanski Most freely and that
24 anyone who wanted to could go abroad. This took place on the 27th of
25 July, 1992.
1 A. Under the conditions that they imposed. So there was no guarantee
2 to move out. There was no guarantee that children would not be separated
3 from their parents, because those who were military fit well, you know
4 very well, just as I do, where they ended up. This is not a matter for
6 Q. Thank you. You told us an anecdote on that occasion in Topusko
7 when Vrkes and Majkic were arrested because they hadn't announced their
8 arrival, and it was in another state and the anecdote amounted to saying
9 that you weren't arrested but they were.
10 A. Yes. Well, it was incredible to think that two Muslims could move
11 around Topusko without any protection, and on the other hand Serbians,
12 high-ranking officers, not ordinary Serbians, high-ranking political
13 representatives of a party which was in power, were where they were --
14 well, that was quite incredible. But they were immediately recognised,
15 and it was no longer a problem.
16 Q. I just want to clarify this. They were arrested by the Serbian
17 polices of the SAO Krajina which at the time existed in the Republic of
18 Croatia and that territory was under Serbian control; isn't that true?
19 A. If you want to use the word "arrest," well, it wasn't an arrest
20 in the traditional sense. They were just -- their papers were only
21 checked so they could determine who they were. Someone called Anicic and
22 someone called Vrkes, that would be strange if they were arrested in SAO
23 Krajina and imprisoned.
24 Q. So that was really another entity. It was the Serbian Krajina,
25 when compared with the Bosnian Krajina from where you come; isn't that
2 A. Yes. But they had the same objectives, the same strategic
3 positions, and they both knew what they wanted.
4 Q. Very well. Let's return to the convoys. Yesterday on page 33,
5 line 7 to 11, with regard to the convoy that went -- that left at the
6 beginning of August, when my learned colleague the Prosecutor put you a
7 question as to whether the convoys had been organised, you said that the
8 Serbian authorities allowed this convoy to leave and that people also left
9 in private vehicles.
10 A. Yes. Provided that the Serbian authorities had authorised them to
11 leave in their private vehicles, but a precondition for this was to have
12 paid and to have paid a significant amount for this favour.
13 Q. Tell me, those people who went -- who left in their private cars,
14 they joined the convoy on a voluntary basis too; isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes. First of all, they carried out all their duties. They
16 signed a document saying that they were leaving voluntarily, in inverted
17 commas, and then they joined the convoy that was leaving.
18 Q. You told us on page 36 of yesterday's transcript that from Mladen
19 Lukic -- that you asked Mladen Lukic for a meeting, which was attended by
20 representatives of the 14 local communes. They were Muslims. Isn't that
22 A. Yes. This was just before this convoy at the beginning of
24 Q. At that meeting you discussed and you tried to determine how many
25 people would be interested in leaving, and you established that you need
1 between 15 and 20 buses; isn't that right?
2 A. Yes. On the basis of people who had got this information from the
3 field in local communes, people such as me, who had been negotiating in
4 the name of the local communes. And we had discussed this with people who
5 wanted to leave, because there were people who didn't want to leave too.
6 Q. I'm just going to ask you to make a pause for the sake of the
7 interpreters, please.
8 A. Yes. Very well. Thank you.
9 Q. You also told us that when the convoy left more people came than
10 the number of people on the list. And you told us that you read from a
11 list and finally you said that this was your last duty, the last task you
12 had as a negotiator with regard to that convoy in September.
13 A. Not just some list but a list of the inhabitants of the Pobrijezje
14 local commune, and there weren't more people but there wasn't a sufficient
15 number of vehicles. And at that meeting too we knew more or less what the
16 number of people was that could be in that convoy.
17 Q. Tell me, the people who left in that convoy, no one so to speak
18 made them physically leave. They didn't go from house to house and make
19 them get on the buses. Isn't that correct?
20 A. Sir, that was just not necessary. The house of Avdija Halilovic,
21 Salija Salimtovic [phoen], Zikrija Hasic, Jakupovic Smajla, Rasim
22 Jakupovic, Dimke Kamber [phoen], Fade Jakupovic [phoen] -- these houses
23 had already been burnt and they had been mined. They had been blown up.
24 So it was not necessary for anyone to motivate them to get on the bus. It
25 was quite clear -- it was quite clear what had to be done and what one had
1 to try to do.
2 Q. Very well. Tell me, these convoys were organised in such a way on
3 a certain day -- a certain day a certain time a certain place, was it
4 determined. People would come then. They would get on the bus. They
5 would form the convoy, and then they would leave. Isn't that the way it
6 was organised?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Yesterday you also told us that about three and a half thousand
9 Muslims remained in Sanski Most, including yourself and your family.
10 A. After the 9th of February, 1995 when my family and I left. Not in
11 1992, not in the year that we are talk about right now.
12 Q. Tell me, do you know how many Muslims remained in Sanski Most in
13 1992 after the last convoy in September had left?
14 A. I don't know exactly, but I think that this information is not
15 relevant at the moment.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... asked that
17 question by Mr. Ackerman yesterday. He pointed out a particular date,
18 which I can't remember now, but basically it was the date of his
19 departure. And he gave a figure of 3.500.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. Your Honours. But as he just said, it is --
21 it is a date in 1995. I'm asking him for the relevant time for this
22 indictment, the end of 1992, if he can say that. It is just if he -- if
23 he knows. If he doesn't know, he doesn't know.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: If you know, Mr. Islamcevic, please tell us. If you
25 don't, don't tell us. Just tell us you don't know.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't give you a precise number,
2 but it's certainly a bit bigger than the one from 1995, because yesterday
3 there was no discussion about the last convoy in November which was called
4 the Capljina convoy. It was so called because that's where the present
5 Nedeljko Rasula was born, and I think that's the safest convoy. We didn't
6 include this figure yesterday in the number of those who left in 1992. I
7 didn't participate in the departure and in the preparation of this convoy.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Tell me, sir, although you didn't participate in that, do you know
10 that people left in 1993 and 1994 too?
11 A. 1993 and 1994? Yes, through the Fisher Agency. Small numbers,
12 but you are right. There were people who left then, but through these
13 individual agencies. Or if someone had a little money, if someone still
14 had some money, then it was possible for individuals to move to Belgrade
16 Q. These people, members of the Muslim ethnicity who remained at the
17 end of 1992, including yourself, who remained in Sanski Most, you stayed
18 on because you didn't want to leave. Isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes. Not with the first wave, and I explained to the Trial
20 Chamber why I didn't leave immediately, although I had the opportunity of
21 joining that convoy because I already had the paperwork.
22 Q. Very well. Sir, Mr. Islamcevic, if we could summarise all of
23 this. You have given us the reasons for which in your opinion it was not
24 possible to live in Sanski Most, and you told us what motivated the
25 Muslims to request to leave Sanski Most and to leave Sanski Most; isn't
1 that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You also told us that you had asked the Serbian authorities to
4 allow this departure and you had asked the UN to organise convoys under UN
5 control and that finally in collaboration with the Serbian authorities
6 you'd established how many people wanted to leave, and then you
7 successfully organised the convoy together with the Serbian authorities;
8 isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes. But that's a conditional answer. An please don't forget
10 this. This is the result of something. You're talking about the
11 consequences. But I am trying to take you back and to point out the
12 causes of -- of these events, what led to these consequences, why the
13 Muslim population in Sanski Most wanted to do what they did.
14 Q. So Mr. Islamcevic, if I have understood you correctly, you stand
15 by -- in spite of all of this, you stand by your position, which you
16 repeated on several occasions -- you stand by your statement that the
17 Muslims didn't leave Sanski Most on a voluntary basis.
18 A. No. They didn't leave voluntarily, and this was caused by the
19 physical conditions in which they were living in Sanski Most, the
20 circumstances that they felt -- the existential circumstances they
21 found themselves in in Sanski Most.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Please bear with me, Your Honours. There's some
23 problem with the transcript, I see.
24 Q. [Interpretation] In any event, Mr. Islamcevic, you remained in
25 Sanski Most until 1995.
1 A. I left Sanski Most on the 9th of February, 1995.
2 Q. You mentioned a statement of loyalty on the 24th in the LiveNote,
3 page 88, line 13 actually, it was a statement accepting the citizenship of
4 Republika Srpska, wasn't it?
5 A. No. It said Republika Srpska and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Somebody
6 did that intentionally. There was an indication of Republika Srpska, of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, something to that effect. I saw hundreds of such
8 statements. Unfortunately I haven't kept any one of them. I didn't know
9 this would happen. I would be glad to give Their Honours a copy to see.
10 And I will repeat once again that only Jews had this in the Second World
11 War and the Muslims in 1992.
12 Q. My question was, because of the transcript, please: This
13 statement of loyalty, was it in fact a statement on acceptance of the
14 citizenship of Republika Srpska?
15 A. Certainly not. What do you mean Republika Srpska? It wasn't
16 until the Dayton agreements. It was an artificial entity in those days, a
17 product of the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. Tell me please, during the past two days you mentioned some local
19 convoys as well. And on page 35, line 16 and on you mentioned the first
20 such local convoy that went from Mahala to Velika Kladusa; isn't that
22 A. These were citizens of Mahala, an area of Sanski Most, who after
23 being expelled from Mahala found shelter in the local commune of
24 Pobrijezje, and after a certain period of time by buses they were deported
25 to Velika Kladusa.
1 Q. You said --
2 A. I'm sorry. I do not know who organised and took part in the
3 organisation of this convoy.
4 Q. What I am interested in is when you said at one point in the
5 course of your testimony that the Serb army on the first day of the Bajram
6 holiday came to Mahala, and then you mentioned Mico and there's no
7 surname, and others head of police Majkic, and Tutic, and others. Do you
8 remember saying that?
9 A. No. It's not Mahala. It's Pobrijezje. Members of the Serb army
10 came on the first day of Bajram to the local commune of Pobrijezje. And
11 that is when they went from one house to another. And who was not an
12 inhabitant of Pobrijezje had to leave, thanks to Micko, a captain of the
13 JNA and later of the Serb army. My wife's family remained because her
14 father was undergoing dialysis treatment and her old mother was over 82
15 years of age. That is when all those who did not belong to the
16 Pobrijezje local commune were rounded up. And at the time they were
17 mostly the inhabitants of Mahala, a local commune in town.
18 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, for the needs of this transcript -- this is the
19 third time that you're answering a question by saying no and then yes.
20 Please, because only the no has been recorded in the LiveNote. Please
21 tell us yes or no or I don't know or I can't say.
22 A. Your Honours, I said no because the gentleman was using the wrong
23 place. I said not Mahala but Pobrijezje. My answer to the rest of the
24 question is yes. I am not trying to complicate things. I just want to
25 make things clearer.
1 Q. Precisely for the sake of clarity is why I made my observation.
2 In your statement of 1995 on page 2, the last sentence, you said
3 that the organisers and perpetrators of this persecution was the SOS?
4 A. Will you please repeat the question. I was absent. I wasn't
5 concentrating just then.
6 Q. I'm talking about the previous question when you corrected me and
7 said it wasn't Mahala but Pobrijezje. And then in connection with that,
8 I'm saying that in your statement of 1995 you said that the organisers and
9 perpetrators of this persecution were SOS.
10 A. I really have to tell you, SOS staged an attack with the help of
11 the 6th Krajina Brigade, and I clearly saw who came to Pobrijezje and who
12 took these people, members of the army. I did not see Njunja and his men,
13 but possibly they were there too but I didn't see them.
14 Q. I will have to read this statement for you from 1995.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: This is a part that was read out to you yesterday
16 also by Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Islamcevic. Page 2.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Yes, the 15th of February, 1995, page 2, the one but last
19 sentence. "The organisers and perpetrators."
20 A. It's not on that page in my version.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's -- it's on page 2 -- Mr. Islamcevic, look at
22 the bottom of the page. It's not that final last paragraph. It's the
23 paragraph before. And it's the last sentence: "Organizatori i izvrsioci
24 ovog progona," et cetera. That's the sentence that Mr. Zecevic is
25 referring you to.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Exactly, Your Honours. Thank you.
2 A. Yes, you are right. The inhabitants of the upper part of
3 Pobrijezje saw members of SOS. I life in Donja Pobrijezje, so both is
4 true. I hadn't intended to say anything about SOS, but this realisation
5 came later. I mentioned SOS because I had heard it. I didn't mention
6 what I saw, the man who was at my door, in my yard.
7 Q. If I understand you correctly, in this statement of yours you
8 mentioned something that you personally did not know but you heard about,
9 and you didn't mention what you personally observed.
10 A. Yes. It can be interpreted in that way. I believe it's an
11 omission, and it wasn't intentional, Your Honours. With full
12 responsibility, I claim that in my yard were members of the army. And at
13 the upper end, near the bridge where the buses were, I heard from Zoric
14 and others who were there that members of SOS were present.
15 Q. You also mentioned somebody called Boro Tadic, who was secretary
16 of the Municipal Secretariat for National Defence, didn't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The Municipal Secretariat for National Defence is a municipal
19 body, is it not?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So a civilian body.
22 A. Who appointed Mr. Boro's secretary, Mr. Zecevic? You know that
23 very well, how things work.
24 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, will you please answer my questions.
25 A. If he's a civilian, why was he wearing a military uniform?
1 I apologise, Mr. Zecevic.
2 Q. To clear things up, you are claiming that this municipal body,
3 that is, the Municipal Secretariat of National Defence, is a civilian body
4 but that this gentleman, Mr. Tadic, was wearing a military uniform; is
5 that what you're saying?
6 A. In all civilised countries, that is how it is. But the situation
7 at the time was not normal. He belonged to that body. He signed things.
8 I got call-up papers from him for work duty -- signed by him.
9 Q. This means that he was a member of a civilian body, wasn't he?
10 A. A civilian and military body, sir.
11 Q. Talking about this subject, tell me, the secretary of the
12 Secretariat for National Defence, is he not appointed by the municipality?
13 A. In the system that existed before, it was quite clear who
14 appointed him. Sir, you're on very slippery ground now. Who forced Boro
15 Tadic to wear a uniform in Gornja Mahala and to point out which houses
16 should be burnt? I really do apologise. I understand your position and
17 your duties.
18 Q. Tell me please, in the course of that period of three years, did
19 you see other civilians wearing military uniform?
20 A. I saw Boro Savanovic; I saw Mikan Davidovic. He was in the office
21 when the camouflage uniforms arrived. He was sitting there, and they
22 unpacked with great satisfaction these uniforms and put them on, and they
23 were staff members of the administration, both Savanovic and Davidovic. I
24 don't need to enumerate others.
25 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to another topic now. In the autumn of
1 1992 you continued to communicate with the municipal bodies. And when you
2 were asked whether you wanted to go to the meeting with Vance and Owen,
3 you said you consulted some prominent Muslim intellectuals and agreed to
4 go, didn't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You met Mr. Radovan Karadzic, who was at the time president of the
7 SDS and of Republika Srpska.
8 A. Yes, very briefly.
9 Q. Yesterday you explained in detail the content of your conversation
10 with Karadzic.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell me, Mr. Islamcevic, on that occasion did you have any reason
13 to doubt the sincerity of what he was saying?
14 A. Yes, Mr. Slobodan. And again, yes. In spite of the statement he
15 made in the BH parliament that one nation may disappear, I knew well who
16 this gentleman Radovan Karadzic was, a man I could not trust.
17 Q. Is it not true that Mr. Karadzic on that occasion, during your
18 brief conversation, asked you, among other things, why it is you wanted to
19 leave Sanski Most?
20 A. I tried to fully present the course of the conversation and the
21 truth about the conversation we had.
22 Q. He asked you that, didn't he?
23 A. Among other things, yes, he did ask that.
24 Q. Tell me, very briefly please, in connection with the disappearance
25 of your father-in-law and two other persons you told us that this happened
1 on the 27th of July, 1992?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In your statement that you gave --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Which statement?
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Oh, I see that the witness is consulting his papers.
6 That is why I was waiting. I will, of course, tell him what
7 statement -- which statement.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm looking at yesterday's
10 Q. You said yesterday that this happened on the 27th of July, 1992.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I'm telling you now that in your statement to the investigators of
13 the Prosecution on page 6, second paragraph of the English version,
14 paragraph 3 of the Serbian version, you said that this occurred in June,
15 in June 1992.
16 A. The correct date is the 27th of July.
17 Q. I see.
18 A. Because the night before was the attack on Pobrijezje. It's ten
19 years now today. So this is the truth.
20 Q. Tell me, in the course of your statement here in court you said
21 that the driver of that ambulance told you that three soldiers took them
22 out of the car and since then they are registered as missing.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In your statement from 1995, 15th of February, 1995, on page 5,
25 the seventh paragraph towards the end -- do you have it?
1 A. No. It's not necessary.
2 Q. May I read it. You said the following: "When they had completed
3 the haemodialysis and on their way back to Sanski Most, in Carakovo,
4 Prijedor municipality, a group of armed Chetniks intercepted them, took
5 them out of the car, and executed them." That's what you stated on the
6 15th of February.
7 A. In February 1995 we learnt the painful truth that shortly after
8 they left the van I went to the spot that they were executed immediately,
9 but it took a long time for me to learn the truth.
10 Q. So it is true that a group of armed Chetniks took them and
11 executed them.
12 A. Even three men are a group. Two are not, but three are a group.
13 Q. Very well. My colleague is showing me that the day before
14 yesterday you told us on page 90 of the LiveNote, line 17 -- and we're
15 talking about the same event: [In English] [Previous translation
16 continues] ... missing, and we haven't learned anything about them to this
18 A. Translation, please.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Shall I repeat?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. I'll repeat it. I'll repeat it myself.
21 Mr. Islamcevic, please look at me. I'm going to repeat
22 Mr. Zecevic's question, because I understand you had no interpretation at
23 the time it was made.
24 "Very well. My colleague is showing me that the day before
25 yesterday you told us on page 90 of the LiveNote, line 17 -- and we are
1 talk about the same event: '... missing, and we haven't learned anything
2 about them to this day.'"
3 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What date is that of the statement,
6 JUDGE AGIUS: When you were giving evidence here, you remember
7 that you were telling us how you were worried when your father-in-law
8 failed to turn up -- back from the dialysis. And at --
9 THE WITNESS: Okay.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm quite sure that I said that
12 until the end of 1992, they were registered as missing, and I didn't go on
13 from there because we were talking about 1992. Towards the end of 1992,
14 we didn't know. They were recorded as missing. Even in the Keraterm camp
15 my mother-in-law went looking for him. And later we learnt -- I told the
16 truth. We didn't know until that point in time that they were executed.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Islamcevic.
19 My last question, to clarify something that was not quite clear
20 yesterday, in connection with a question that my learned colleague
21 Mr. Ackerman put to you. It has to do with this statement of the 15th of
22 February 1995. And in answer to a question by the President as to whether
23 that statement was typed out on the same day and whether you signed it the
24 same day, you stated that it wasn't written the same day but that you
25 wrote the statement yourself and signed it and that after that, the
1 statement was typed out and transformed into this statement.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, Mr. Zecevic, he never said that he wrote the
3 statement himself. He said that there was a handwritten version of it
4 which he signed on the same day it was written, but this particular
5 version, the typed-out version, was handed to him two or three days later
6 and he signed that too. That's what he said. But he never said that he
7 drew up one himself.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if -- if I may, if it please it is
9 Court, he -- what I am asking actually the witness is the fact that I only
10 found out last night when I was checking the transcript that this part
11 which he actually said in Serbian did not show up in the transcript. That
12 is why I'm trying to clarify this situation. Nothing else.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: And because --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: This has been --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I hope you understand the question. You --
20 A. There's no need. I understand, Mr. Zecevic.
21 Q. Will you please explain for the transcript.
22 A. I will explain, sir. I'll be glad to. I think that I correctly
23 stated that at that point in time and even today I didn't know the
24 personal identification numbers, that they were not my product.
25 Q. That was not my question, sir. I'm just asking you this.
1 A. Everything else I can confirm in this court. I said everything
2 that is contained in that statement.
3 Q. Sir, I'm just asking you one thing: Is it true that while you
4 were having that interview, a statement was compiled that was handwritten?
5 A. Yes. It was read and signed, and that is the content in the
6 version that you have before you.
7 Q. This handwritten statement, was it written by you?
8 A. No, not me. I dictated it. I was narrating the course of events
9 and answering questions.
10 Q. You dictated this to somebody else who wrote it out by hand.
11 A. Not to someone else, but an official person, a representative of
12 the competent institution in charge of taking a statement from me.
13 Q. And after that, you signed this handwritten statement.
14 A. I think so, yes.
15 Q. A couple of days later you were called in. The statement had been
16 typed out. And then you signed it. And this is the statement shown to
17 you yesterday.
18 A. And I am saying that this statement is mine with the exception of
19 the personal identification numbers. And not Mr. Zijad, as your colleague
20 wanted us to believe.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Islamcevic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
23 We have three, four minutes before we break. Is there a
24 re-examination? I would imagine so. How much time do you require?
25 MR. CAYLEY: 15, 20 minutes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think we better break.
2 We'll break and -- we are going to have a 15-minute break now. We
3 will resume at 4.00. Thank you.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cayley.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Re-examined by Mr. Cayley:
9 Q. Mr. Islamcevic, if you could direct your mind to the meeting on
10 the 19th of August of 1992 with Mr. Sergio de Mello in Topusko. It was
11 put to you that you had spoken at that meeting about members of the 3rd
12 Battalion of the 6th Krajina Brigade. Do you recall that question during
14 A. I don't remember --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: This is today, Mr. Cayley. No?
16 MR. CAYLEY: Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It was a very simple question. And you retorted
18 immediately. You said that that formed part of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
19 You took objection at the way the question was being put to you,
20 suggesting that this had nothing to do with the 6th Krajina Brigade, and
21 you said, "No, it was the 6th Krajina Brigade." This is -- if you want,
22 we can go back to the part of the transcript, if you can locate it,
23 Mr. Cayley.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please just remind me of
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can easily find it.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Let me try and remind him, Your Honour. And if we
3 can't --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Then we'll find it in the transcript and read it back
6 to him.
7 Q. Witness, do you recall speaking at that meeting in Topusko about
8 the 3rd Battalion of the 6th Krajina Brigade? Do you recall that?
9 A. In the part when I -- well, you say a private meeting, but it
10 wasn't a private meeting. When the two Muslims -- when we two Muslims
11 remained there and when I mentioned the actions that had already been
12 taken in Trnovo and in Hrustovo. Is that the part you are referring to?
13 Is that the part about which you want to ask a question?
14 Q. That's right. That's right. Now, I'm looking at your statement
15 here, and I won't put it in front of you, but you said to Sergio -- you
16 spoke to him about Vrhpolje and Hrustovo communes and the crimes committed
17 there. And when I pointed out Vrhpolje, I made a gesture with the other
18 hand of cutting his throat. Sergio said, "I know. I told them mass
19 execution by shooting there, Vrhpolje and Hrustovo, and that people were
20 allegedly put in a house and the house set on fire. I also said that in
21 Vrhpolje men were stopped on the bridge, killed, and their bodies thrown
22 into the River Sana. I knew about what was going on in the town and in
23 the villages because every week I had meetings with representatives from
24 other communes at the marketplace."
25 A. What you have just read out is correct, Mr. Cayley.
1 Q. Now, in the next part of your statement it goes like this:
2 "Sergio asked who did this. I said that according to my knowledge, the
3 perpetrators were members of the 3rd Battalion of the 6th Krajina Brigade
4 stationed in Sanski Most."
5 A. That's correct too.
6 Q. How do you know that the perpetrators of these crimes were members
7 of the 3rd Battalion of the 6th Krajina Brigade?
8 A. I know this and I base my knowledge on several sources. One of
9 the sources is Muslim. People who recognised certain men -- certain
10 people in the town, certain people from the town. And the second source
11 is a Serbian one, which says that one old man was the first person to open
12 fire and that the army had nothing else to do -- could not do anything
13 else -- all they could do was to clean -- clean Hrustovo. I said that in
14 my statement, and this was the justification they provided for the
15 cleaning. And I said that among other things, this information was from a
16 civilian representative, a Serbian at that time, a representative for
17 Pobrijezje, Podlug, and Demisovci. His name was Mr. Hasikovic [phoen],
18 Pero Vujkovic [phoen]. Similarly I knew that our neighbours from Podlug
19 belonged to the 3rd Battalion. I also knew -- I also knew that because
20 part of the 3rd Battalion -- and surprisingly I can't remember who the
21 leaders were -- I knew that part of the 3rd Battalion was also located in
22 the social centre in the local commune of Pobrijezje. So I was able to
23 see those people who were coming and going, and I remember -- I can
24 remember a certain man, someone called Cemkovic [phoen], who was a guard
25 of the B Battalion, someone who was too old for combat and he made use of
1 the opportunity to fire a few shots from the street and to fire these
2 shots at the window of my father's house. There is no doubt that the 3rd
3 Battalion -- that parts of the 3rd Battalion took action in Hrustovo and
4 participated in the cleaning of Hrustovo and in everything that occurred
5 up there.
6 Q. Who was the commander of the 6th Krajina Brigade?
7 A. I think Mr. Basara was the commander.
8 Q. Now, you were similarly asked today about the individuals who
9 moved members of the Serb population from Mahala, living in Pobrijezje,
10 the individuals who subsequently moved those citizens out of the Sanski
11 Most municipality altogether. Do you recall that evidence?
12 A. Yes. I had an exchange with the gentleman over there about that
13 subject. So the expelled -- the Muslims expelled from the Mahala
14 settlement, the Mahala neighbourhood, spent a certain time in the local
15 commune of Pobrijezje. I had the figure written down, and I can
16 confidently state that the lower part of Pobrijezje -- soldiers took
17 people away from the lower part of Pobrijezje. And in the upper part, on
18 the bridge, which is further up from my house, I didn't see that but I had
19 information with regard to their departure because some people knew
20 Njunja, just as I did. They knew him and his men. I can quite claim -- I
21 can certainly claim when we are speaking about this convoy that both were
22 engaged in this.
23 Q. Now, the soldiers that you saw in the lower part of your commune
24 gathering the people to move them out, did you know to which unit those
25 soldiers belonged?
1 A. Milorad Cucak, known as Adi, born in Podlug, son of Rade -- son of
2 Rade, a man who in 1992 at an official meeting in Podlug said, "Thank God
3 that the time has come in which I can see -- a time has come in which I
4 can say that I'm a son of a Chetnik." On that day he was in front of my
5 father's house. He was on the road, N-15, the road from Prijedor to
6 Sanski Most. I saw him and heard him hurrying people up and shouting, and
7 I also heard in a more positive context -- I heard a captain who had left
8 the family of my wife. I knew a lawyer from the Sip in Sana, Jovo, called
9 the poor man. I can't remember his surname. He was at the door of Hasic
10 Teufik's house, 15 metres as the crow flies from my house. And there were
11 refugees too, refugees from Mahala, the woman's relatives. And I saw that
12 gentleman there too and some other people. And certainly some people who
13 belonged to the 3rd Battalion were in Pobrijezje on that day. There was
14 no doubt about that.
15 Q. And that was the 3rd Battalion of the 6th Krajina Brigade;
17 A. Members of the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Brigade [as said] members
18 of that unit.
19 Q. The 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Brigade or the 3rd Battalion of the
20 6th Brigade?
21 A. The 3rd Battalion of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact the previous intervention was -- it was put
23 to him that the 3rd Battalion was part of the territorial forces. And he
24 stated that it certainly wasn't, it was part of the 6th Brigade, yeah.
25 MR. CAYLEY: If these three statements could be placed in front of
1 the witness.
2 Q. Now, Witness, you will have gathered that it's basically been put
3 to you that one of your statements -- at least one of your statements you
4 did not sign yourself. So what I would like to do is to get through each
5 of your statements and have you look at every one of your signatures and
6 state to the Judges whether or not that is your signature.
7 Do you have your statement of the 13th of February of 1995 in
8 front of you? This is the statement that you gave to the Bosnian
9 authorities. It's countersigned by a man called Josip Ljubez.
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Can you look at the bottom right-hand corner of that statement
12 where it says "Besim Islamcevic." It's typewritten. And there's a
13 signature over the top of that typewritten name. Is that your signature?
14 A. Yes, that certainly is my signature.
15 Q. Could you now look at the next page --
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: The witness has been asked these questions by me.
19 He's been asked these questions by Your Honour. I don't think it's
20 appropriate redirect. He's been asked and answered. He's said it all.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, I mean, I'm -- I was pretty sure that
22 the re-examination would have concentrated on these three documents. So
23 I'm going to allow the question and then we'll take it up from there.
24 MR. CAYLEY:
25 Q. Could you look at the next page, again where it says in the bottom
1 right-hand corner "Islamcevic Besim." Do you see your signature
2 underneath the typewritten version of your name?
3 A. Yes, I can see it.
4 Q. Is that your signature?
5 A. That could create certain doubts, but given the situation at the
6 time that I signed this and the condition I was in -- and yesterday I gave
7 four versions of my signature. But given -- taking this into account,
8 it's my signature. But I did say with regard to the personal
9 identification numbers that these were things that I could not accept.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: He's -- he's mixing up. He's gone to the next.
11 MR. CAYLEY:
12 Q. I'm only interested in the signatures, Mr. Islamcevic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are still -- Mr. Islamcevic, please pay
14 attention. We are still referring to the first document that Mr. Cayley
15 referred you to -- asked you to look at.
16 MR. CAYLEY: I think he has that document.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: That is the statement of the 13th, a two-page
18 statement of the 13th of February --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have answered that
20 question, and I said that that was my signature.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But the question related only to the
22 signature on the first page.
23 MR. CAYLEY: No. I did ask about the signature on the second
24 page, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But that's when he mixed up and he started --
1 MR. CAYLEY: Talking about the content of the second statement.
2 If you want, I'll ask that question again.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
4 MR. CAYLEY:
5 Q. If you look at the second page of your statement of the 13th of
6 February of 1995, that is your signature; correct?
7 A. Yes, yes, that is my handwriting.
8 Q. But you stated at the time you were in a -- a fairly fragile
9 physical and mental condition, correct, when you signed this?
10 A. I said with regard to the time spent in Sanski Most and going out
11 into the territory, I said that the situation and the psychological states
12 that people found themselves in, it would vary. So it's perhaps not
13 identical. And I told the Trial Chamber and the Defence -- I showed them
14 four versions of my signature, and I provided them with these versions for
15 them to examine. There's no doubt about this. On the 13th of February,
16 yes, that is my very own signature.
17 Q. And the last question in respect of this statement of the 13th of
18 February, which you've read previously: Are the contents -- or at the
19 time that you signed this statement, did you believe the contents to be
21 A. Yes, I certainly did.
22 Q. If we could now -- if you could put that statement to one side --
23 MR. CAYLEY: Unless, Mr. President, you have any questions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I have a simple question.
25 With regard to this first statement of the 13th of February, what
1 was the procedure used? Was it like when you were interrogated by
2 Mr. Zijad Ibric? In other words, did you have an interrogation and a
3 statement -- handwritten statement prepared which you signed and then you
4 were asked to return to the office to sign the typewritten statement? Was
5 it like that, or was it different?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the statement wasn't
7 written in advance. It was written down on a sheet of paper that I
8 signed. Later on it was typed out and read back to me -- it was read out
9 and it was then signed.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Was it read out by Mr. Josip Ljubez?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. At that time I didn't know the
12 person, but he introduced himself, said his name was Josip Ljubez, and in
13 the course of a conversation I heard people calling him Josip.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But this document that we have here was not signed
15 by you on the same day you were interrogated by him. No?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Was it signed by you on the same day that Mr. Zijad
18 Ibric asked you to go back to the office to sign this statement that he
19 had prepared for you to sign? Did you go, in other words, once back to
20 the office or twice?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't sign this typed statement
22 up until the time when I gave this statement on the 15th of February. So
23 a few days later I signed this one too, the first statement.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: When you signed the two statements, did you sign
25 them on the same day or on different days? You were interrogated
1 definitely on different days.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: You signed them on different days?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Not on the same
5 day. On different days.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So you went back to the office where these
7 statements were twice and not once. Just to sign the statements.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Cayley.
10 MR. CAYLEY:
11 Q. Can you now look at the statement of the 15th of February. Do you
12 have that in front of you? And if you could just look at every single
13 page of that statement. There are six pages on which your signature
14 appear. And tell me when you've finished reading through. Have you
15 finished reading it through?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is that your signature on every page?
18 A. Your Honours, I would like to say I know that on that morning
19 before I went to sign this statement which Zijad Ibric asked for I had
20 solved my housing problems in Travnik and I was in a good mood. I know
21 that we had -- had coffee and I had a look at this, and I had an objection
22 to make with regard to the personal identification numbers. I said with
23 regard to the personal identification numbers that everything else that
24 the statement contained was something that I had said and that I accepted
25 it as such. I was told that this was no problem. And then I quickly
1 signed this.
2 MR. CAYLEY: I have no further questions, Your Honour. Thank
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Islamcevic, that brings us to the end of
6 your testimony here. And on behalf of the Tribunal, I would like to thank
7 you for having accepted to come over and give evidence in this trial. You
8 will now be escorted out of the courtroom by the usher, and you will be
9 given all --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, would you allow me to
11 address you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. Certainly. But let me finish first.
13 You will be escorted out of the courtroom by --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Naturally. Of course.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And taken back to your hotel and given all the
16 assistance you require to return back to your country. And we wish you a
17 safe journey back home.
18 Yes, you may say whatever you like provided it's short. You may
19 sit down. You may sit down.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to thank
21 you and your assistants. I would like to thank you for making it possible
22 for me to come here and for having listened to my testimony over these
23 days. I would like to thank the Tribunal, the Tribunal in The Hague for
24 making it possible for me to come here. I would like to thank the
25 United Nations for having made this possible. I would also like to greet
1 counsel for the Defence and to wish them a lot of happiness and a long
2 life, and this especially concerns Mr. Brdjanin and Mr. Talic, the
3 clients. I hope that their health will be good and that they will have a
4 long life. And that when conditions are right they will be able to return
5 to their homes and to their families.
6 It was an honour for me to be able to meet Mr. Cayley. I thank
7 him, and I hope that he will have a lot of success in his work and that he
8 will have a lot of success in his family life. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Islamcevic.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I suppose the next witness is still sick.
12 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, yes. I mean, he was never -- it's
13 not really sick. It's just that he --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: He hasn't recovered.
15 MS. KORNER: He needs time to recover, I think, from seeing Mr. --
16 Mr. Nicholls. Thank you.
17 So Your Honour, can I deal with the -- with a number of matters.
18 The first matter I think we need to go into private session for because it
19 was something that was raised in private session.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session,
21 Madam Registrar, please.
22 [Private session]
13 Pages 7582-7592 – redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, may I --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: We don't want to be in private session for me to
13 say this. I just want to be in the record that I have permission to make
14 disclosures to Mr. Shellow regarding the matters that have been discussed
15 in private session today.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You certainly have, Mr. Ackerman. And in
17 fact, if it can be of any help to you, we can have this part of the
18 transcript copied to you -- or you can -- you can -- and fax it over to
19 him --
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll have it at the end of the day and I'll simply
21 fax it to him.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm going to leave the handwriting
24 aspect to the end, because I think that's going to be more contentious
25 matters, although this one may be too.
1 Dates. And Your Honour, I'm sorry, I scrawled -- I suddenly
2 realised I scrawled some notes without realising on the back of Your
3 Honour's calendar.
4 Mr. Ackerman asked for a break --
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please go ahead.
7 MS. KORNER: Sorry. Well, first of all, it's the principle.
8 Mr. Ackerman is working on the principle of four weeks on, one week off.
9 I'm -- I made this point last time. Your Honour, I'm not in favour on
10 behalf of the Prosecution of an automatic week off. I mean, if Your
11 Honours are, then I'll -- I won't bother any further. But it seems to me
12 that there's a lot of ground still to cover in this trial.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We haven't been working on a basis of four weeks off
14 and one week off.
15 MS. KORNER: Well, that's what Mr. Ackerman told me he's working
16 on the basis of, and that's what he's put into his schedule.
17 Anyhow, can I just make the point that -- that October the 24th is
18 a UN holiday.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Now I need a diary.
20 MS. KORNER: Which is Thursday.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, do you have -- perhaps you can
22 print out.
23 MS. KORNER: But in fact at this moment all I wanted to do --
24 we'll put our suggestions in then. Is ask Your Honours for the dates
25 again. Your Honour has already given us a couple of dates when you are
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Judge Taya and myself require basically not to
3 be engaged here the week which -- in November which ends on the 17th.
4 MS. KORNER: So that's the whole week.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I basically need the Friday before the 16th. That's
6 the 15th.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And Judge Taya needs the 14th. So I would say --
9 MS. KORNER: So that week is out.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I would say the whole week if that's convenient for
11 you. If it's not convenient for you, then we can have a Monday and steal
12 a day or two there --
13 MS. KORNER: Those are the only dates.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise it will not be before January when I hope
15 to become a grandpa that I will need to go to Malta.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour that, assists. And I think all the
17 courts are adjourning for the -- for the Christmas recess --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
19 MS. KORNER: -- on the 14th. The last sitting day is the 14th.
20 Except for, I understand that maybe Milosevic is carrying on.
21 Your Honour, there is -- is there a plenary in December? That's
22 the only other thing I was --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. There will be a plenary. And it will be
24 roughly -- if we are stopping on the 14th -- the 14th is what day?
25 MS. KORNER: It's a Friday.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So the plenary would probably be the --
2 MS. KORNER: It's a Saturday in fact.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So it will be the 12th and the 13th
5 MS. KORNER: Right.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, don't quote me, because it's something that
7 the President decides upon, not me.
8 MS. KORNER: Right.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But usually the practice has been for a Thursday
10 and a Friday. Usually it has been Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And we
11 normally end our works on Thursday. This time it's -- instead of going to
12 be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, in July it's going to be Thursday and
13 Friday. And then December I would assume that it will be the same.
14 MS. KORNER: Yes. Well, that's -- Your Honour, that's very
15 helpful. At least we know we'll have to work around those dates. Thank
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And --
18 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, we'll come back to this on Monday.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And we also intend, unless there is any special
20 reason why not to, to resume the beginning of the last week in August.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes, the 26th of August.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MS. KORNER: Yes. I think so we -- again, all the courts are
24 doing that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's very helpful. If we can come
2 back to this on Monday.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise, as far as we are concerned, we do not
4 have any requirements. What we expect you to do is to try and accommodate
5 each other. We realise that this is not an ordinary case. It's heavy.
6 And it takes its toil. I mean, I guess sometimes I can see it on myself
7 when I look in the mirror at the end of the day or in the beginning of the
8 day, and sometimes I see it on your faces as well. So ...
9 MS. KORNER: Yes. Well, Your Honour, I think all -- all that --
10 my concern is, and it always has been, is that given that all teams now
11 have two counsel, it should be possible perhaps not to have full weeks
12 off -- obviously days will have to be taken off and the right. But that's
13 another matter.
14 Your Honour, that brings me on to the next aspect, which is we
15 have today filed -- we have today filed the motion for protective measures
16 for all the remaining municipalities.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: For all of them.
18 MS. KORNER: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That's good.
20 MS. KORNER: That was filed this afternoon.
21 It includes in them witnesses who we are anticipating we will be
22 seeking to attend under Rule 92. Your Honour said we should repeat
23 that -- I mean, Your Honour said we should put that in the motion, but
24 we'll just repeat it again. But that is now filed -- or should be by --
25 or should have been by 4.00.
1 Your Honour, Mr. Mayhew, he was one of the Rule 92 -- the
2 witnesses we wished to tender under Rule 92. And Madam Fauveau objected,
3 and it was said he had to attend for cross-examination. Your Honour, in
4 actual fact we will be calling him live because having heard from
5 Mr. McLeod, Mr. Mayhew can fill in gaps that Mr. McLeod couldn't. So
6 he's going to be called in both this and the Stakic case. I anticipate in
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Ms. Korner.
9 MS. KORNER: Then, Your Honours, I can now turn to what I'm
10 concerned about, and that is as a result of the cross-examination of this
11 witness today and Adil Draganovic.
12 Your Honour, the matter arose first with him, although I think
13 another intervening witness may have been asked without it, but I'm not
14 positive. In that, Your Honours will recall --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. There was another witness who was --
16 MS. KORNER: Yes. I think there was --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: There was no problem --
18 MS. KORNER: Well, it was abandoned at that stage, as far as I
19 recall that line of defence.
20 But it began with Judge Draganovic, it being suggested to him that
21 a particular signature on one of the statements taken from other witnesses
22 at which he'd been present was not his, that it differed in the method of
23 the signature. And the end result was -- and Your Honours may recall that
24 was not a particularly happy day when he left. The suggestion was clearly
25 that someone else unknown had forged the judge's signature on a statement
1 of another witness. That -- that witness was then called and gave
2 evidence to the effect that the judge had been there when that statement
3 was taken by AID. There isn't and never has been, as I understand it, one
4 iota of evidence on which the Defence base this suggestion that they've
5 been making that the signature of a witness, whether it is Mr. Draganovic
6 or this witness, that is not his signature, other than to the Defence's
7 untutored eye it looks different. And one of the rules certainly that we
8 apply in my jurisdiction, and I think Your Honour's, and most
9 jurisdictions is that laymen are not and cannot be handwriting experts
10 unless they're familiar with the disputed handwriting or have seen it
11 actually being written in front of them.
12 And so the first point that I want to make about this is I'm not
13 at all clear on what possible basis, on what evidential basis these
14 suggestions are being made. But can I -- can I move to what is the next
16 The response of Mr. Draganovic was that this was his signature,
17 that he signed in a number of different ways, which may not be a
18 phenomenon unknown to most of us. He's been asked to supply samples of
19 all his type of signatures. Let us suppose that Your Honour orders or
20 Mr. Ackerman obtains permission to instruct a handwriting expert and the
21 expert looks at it, if he's able to, because one is a photocopy and one is
22 an original signature, and says, "Well, I'm not sure one way or the
23 other." Or even, let's say, he says, "Well, it doesn't look to me -- I
24 am -- as far as I can be certain, it doesn't look like the same
25 signature." Where exactly does that leave us? Because the witness
1 himself is saying, "It is my signature. I was there. I did sign." And
2 indeed in this case, as I say, that was supported by the person whose
3 statement that it was.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why earlier on I told you I'm not that much
5 worried about Draganovic as such, because we have his statement on oath
6 that despite what appearances may or might be, that is his signature.
7 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, supported, for what it's worth, by
8 the witness himself whose statement it was saying he was there.
9 Your Honour, that's why my concern is arising about this, because
10 as I said before, all of this is happening in open court and these
11 allegations are being made which are serious allegations.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But there was the allegation -- the initial
13 allegation, Ms. Korner, was -- and I'm just saying this as I understood it
14 to be. If I'm making a mistake, Mr. Ackerman I'm sure will correct me.
15 But the impression I got at the time was that it was being suggested that
16 there could have possibly been some sort of conspiracy between
17 Mr. Draganovic and Mr. Ibric in procuring evidence in this legal fashion,
18 manner. If I am misinterpreting you, Mr. Ackerman, please do correct me.
19 MS. KORNER: That's certainly what I understand.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood it to be.
23 MS. KORNER: Absolutely.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We haven't had the -- Mr. Ibric come -- come here to
25 give evidence, so I would say nothing that could compromise or benefit
1 Mr. Ibric. But Mr. Draganovic, who was one of the persons against whom
2 these insinuations were being -- were being made -- and I am using the
3 word "insinuation" in a innocent way and not in -- did state, make
4 affirmations on oath which would a priori exclude what was being imputed
5 against him.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, may I say that's the second -- I
7 know I'm dealing with a limited aspect at the moment of what is this
8 allegation of a conspiracy.
9 Without at the moment any foundation having been laid to show
10 there is such a conspiracy -- and Your Honours, certainly we have no
11 intention of calling Mr. Ibric to give evidence until there's some
12 foundation being laid to show that there's the slightest truth in any of
13 these allegations. Because Your Honour, one of the things that this is
14 doing -- and this is my concern -- is it is distracting attention from
15 what are the real issues in the case. To what issue in the case does --
16 and I'm limiting it now to handwriting. Forget about -- of course the
17 issue is that these documents that we have produced -- received from AID
18 are no some way forgeries, and Your Honour, the burden is always on us to
19 show Your Honour that -- Your Honours that it is not a forgery. But this
20 question of the handwriting. To what issue in the case does it go?
21 Because these witnesses have testified on oath as to what they say
22 happened, which is contained within the contents of their statements. It
23 has not been suggested to a single one of these witnesses on the major
24 aspect to which they've been called to testify that in some way they're
25 lying about what they say happened. So in one sense it could be said to
1 say what is in the statement signed by them or not signed, as the
2 allegation is at the moment, is only relevant if it's inconsistent with
3 the testimony that they give or in some cases if there's a suggestion of
4 recent fabrication to show that it's consistent with what they said.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not going to comment on that. I will leave --
6 leave it to the Defence to make submissions upon.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Because there is much to say in favour and beyond
9 what -- in favour and against, but also beyond what ...
10 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, all that I'm concerned about is
11 that it's come up again today -- is firstly, how far are Your Honours
12 going to allow this to extend? Can I say that -- and if -- if I finish
13 then Your Honour can tell me -- if.
14 If Your Honour does feel that the Defence are entitled to take
15 this line, although as we submit it has absolutely nothing to do with the
16 issues in this case, which is whether or not these people who are before
17 Your Honours are telling Your Honours the truth and are accurate, of
18 course -- whether or not, now that a second set of handwriting has been
19 demanded the Court should take the action, because I don't know that
20 Mr. Ackerman has done anything about it. Your Honour raised it -- of
21 saying, "All right. If you, Your Honours, think that it is relevant and
22 that something needs to be done about it, well, then a graphologist ought
23 to be instructed straight away let's deal with that and that may bring an
24 end to it." Your Honours, those are the matters that I want to raise.
25 Because it seems to me that we're spending an awful lot of time and indeed
1 making a lot of public accusations which at the moment there's foundation
2 made as to relevance or to what issue they go, or indeed if there's any
3 foundation for making a --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let me before I give the floor to either
5 Mr. Ackerman or to Mr. Zecevic tell you something. Having been a Defence
6 counsel myself, I'm pretty sure that both Mr. Ackerman and both
7 Mr. Zecevic, when they raised the issue or tried to put in doubt the
8 authenticity of a signature, particularly of a witness who can very easily
9 say, "It may look different, but that is mine," are doing so with their
10 eyes wide open. In other words, they know that if they do it once and
11 they get nowhere, they do it a second time and they get nowhere, they
12 do it a third time and they get nowhere, at the end of the day it could
13 turn out to work against them. So I'm saying this because I was a Defence
14 lawyer and I know that each and every Defence counsel will go this far but
15 not beyond. And in fact you would notice that in the three witnesses that
16 we have had so far, where in the case of Adil Draganovic there was
17 certainly one of the signatures or more than one of the signatures on the
18 face of it that did not really look or resemble the other signatures. But
19 the difference was not much. And when he tendered -- gave us specimens of
20 his signature, one could possibly also see -- see clearer.
21 Second, the witness that we've had here -- I think -- I think it
22 was pretty plain sailing and it was not taken at any -- to any distance by
23 the Defence, and I would have exactly -- done exactly the same thing. The
24 witness we had yesterday, when I, as I usually do, was going through the
25 documentation that you had provided us with -- I mean, if there was
1 anything that struck me from the word go was that the signature on the
2 statement of the 15th of February had absolutely nothing visibly to do
3 with the signatures appearing on the other -- on the other two documents.
4 And I would have downgraded my esteem of Mr. Ackerman considerably had he
5 not brought it up, especially if he had not brought it up considering that
6 we are talking again of the same person against whom he had made an
7 insinuation in the first place when he was dealing with Adil. So if you
8 ask me at this particular stage whether at -- now this Chamber will close
9 the door upon the Defence and preclude them from -- from proceeding along
10 these lines any further, for the time being certainly not. Certainly
11 not. Because first of all, it's -- I mean, anything can happen on the
12 face of this -- of this earth, and it's not to be ruled out that we may
13 not be talking of a fabrication. And if a witness realises that his
14 signature has been forged but it is -- it would be very much
15 counterproductive for him to admit that and have the contents of that
16 statement thrown out completely when it's to his advantage, it's -- it's
17 something that we have to keep constantly in mind. We are an open book --
18 we -- in other words, at this particular point in time, we do not draw
19 conclusions. I may in my mind have come to certain conclusions with
20 regard to this witness that we had today. I may have come to certain
21 conclusions with regard to Adil Draganovic. But I don't know what to
22 expect next. The next witness -- we have, for example, the next witness,
23 7.59 -- 7.59 has also made a statement to Mr. Ibric. And you look at the
24 two signatures, the ones on the statement released to the Prosecution, and
25 you look at the statements released to Mr. Ibric - and I don't know. I
1 don't want to --
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour is doing what --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Exactly. But I suppose at this stage you are
4 doing exactly the same thing. You wouldn't have bothered about comparing
5 signatures had this incident of Mr. Draganovic not come up in the first
7 MS. KORNER: We haven't been comparing signatures, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But we have.
9 MS. KORNER: I know --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But the matter has been brought up. And until we
11 are satisfied that this is either a -- an approach that the Defence
12 should -- it's high time that they drop or that it is something that
13 should be investigated as we -- as we go along and conclusions reached
14 then on the ensemble of the evidence that is brought forward, we -- I
15 don't think we are in a position to take a decision. What I can be clear
16 about is a simple matter, that basically the rule is that we would stop
17 the Defence if questions are put to the witness based on mere suspicions,
18 not based on anything - at least prima facie.
19 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour -- I'm afraid that's the point
20 then, isn't it? Because --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. Okay. That's the point.
22 MS. KORNER: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But if the -- on the face of it the signature of
24 Mr. Islamcevic on the three documents was identical and Mr. Ackerman tried
25 to question -- question it, I'm not saying that I would have necessarily
1 stopped him, but I would have certainly drawn his attention to the fact
2 that on the face of it the three signatures were identical.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And therefore no insinuation should be made any
5 further with regard to that particular --
6 MS. KORNER: I know. But Your Honour, that's -- that's really --
7 I say this with the greatest of respect -- what none of us should be
8 doing. Because in fact it is just as conceivable that a signature that
9 looks identical can be forged. We're making -- Your Honours are,
10 Mr. Ackerman is - because as I say, he's got no evidence as I understand
11 it to suggest this - a value judgement based on a -- an ignorance, if you
12 like -- or because we're not experts, of handwriting. And Your Honour,
13 that's the difficulty. Your Honour is saying if it looks the same, I'm
14 going to stop Mr. Ackerman, but if it's looks different, I'm not.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No. If it look it is same, I'm going to ask
16 Mr. Ackerman why he is questioning it. And if Mr. Ackerman says because I
17 just have a suspicion, I will stop him. If Mr. Ackerman, however -- I'm
18 sorry I'm referring to Mr. Ackerman. It could be Mr. Zecevic or
19 Mr. Trbojevic. It could be anyone. But unfortunately I don't think that
20 we have that situation. We have a situation where however fragile it
21 might appear to be, there is an allegation that we could have a massive
22 fraud having taken place.
23 MS. KORNER: The massive fraud being --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: A massive fraud is what Mr. Ackerman hinted at, is
25 not in a position to prove, is awaiting information -- further information
1 from Sarajevo about, and matters on which you have four boxes or five
2 boxes of material that has arrived that has not been yet vetted and has
3 not, of course, yet been translated or disclosed to the Defence. So at
4 this point in time you will understand that I am not going to close doors.
5 I am going to leave all options open.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes. I just want to point out that Mr. Ackerman
7 launched this particular attack before there was any arrests had taken
8 place of any other people in AID in these matters, which are unconnected
9 with this case. But Your Honour, all that I am saying -- and I'm not
10 going to pursue this any longer, because at the moment I can see Your
11 Honours are against me -- is this: That it is not in our submission
12 proper to start cross-examining witnesses and taking samples of
13 handwriting from witnesses without, A, some foundation - and by that I
14 don't mean simply having a look at it and saying the signature looks
15 different - or secondly, at least, dealing with it. Your Honour, I think
16 what must happen is that if these signatures are being taken for the
17 purposes -- and they're now court exhibits -- for the purposes of
18 handwriting comparison, then Your Honour can order such handwriting
19 comparison to take place as soon as possible. The signatures can be --
20 you the Judges can order handwriting comparisons with the signatures that
21 are now in dispute.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Before I answer that, if I
23 answer it.
24 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'll try to be quite brief. I think
1 to some extent Ms. Korner is handicapped by not having been here
2 yesterday, and I'll get to that in a moment.
3 We were frankly -- Your Honour, we were discussing this last
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: And one of the things that we are concerned about
7 is that with this situation in existence regarding the suspicions about
8 Mr. Ibric and AID, we were all somewhat concerned that when you look at
9 these documents, as Your Honour did, it jumps out at you that the
10 signatures on these three documents appear dramatically different. And
11 bearing in mind the -- the obligations of people who prosecute, we were
12 concerned as to why the Prosecution clearly did not ask this witness
13 before he came into this courtroom if these were his signatures. It would
14 seem to me if the Prosecution --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You're taking it for granted that they didn't, and
16 that you are imputing to the Prosecution a shortcoming. I don't know what
17 the Prosecution did.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, let me tell you, I don't either. But I think
19 it's clear, and that's where I get to my second point.
20 When I asked the witness yesterday - and Your Honour knows this
21 well, and Mr. Cayley know this is well - when I asked him yesterday to
22 look at the document of 15 February 1995 and tell me if it was his
23 signature that appeared on those documents, his response was something to
24 the effect "I can't be sure." That was the response. Now, that gives me
25 a basis to go a bit further, it seems to me, and certainly justifies to
1 some extent what I've been doing in the past with regard to that matter.
2 It certainly gives me a basis for requesting that he give us some
4 We have been challenging many of these witnesses on what it is
5 they're testifying about, not just signatures but what it is they contend
6 the facts were. And Your Honours know that. It's -- that's not the only
7 thing they're being challenged about.
8 Now, let's assume that I contend that with two of these witnesses
9 it appears on the face of it that what -- their names signed were signed
10 by different people. If that's the way it appears on the face, and I
11 don't ask that. I just forget it. And then in the Defence case I bring a
12 handwriting expert and say, "Did you compare these signatures? "Yes, I
13 did." "Are they the same?." "No they were signed by different people."
14 Then what I would get from Ms. Korner is Rule 90(H) requires that you
15 should have put that to the witness if that's what you were going to do.
16 So I have to put it to the witness under Rule 90(H). I have to say, "Are
17 these your signatures?" I have to do that. Now, I haven't said to one of
18 these witnesses, "Isn't that a forgery? Did someone else sign that?" I
19 haven't done that. I've asked them if it was their signature. And I've
20 had them sign papers. With Draganovic I showed him blown-ups of the
21 signatures and I said, "Which one of these is not yours?" I did do that.
22 But I don't think there's anything wrong with what I've been doing. I
23 don't think there's anything improper with what I've been doing.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: The Chamber doesn't think that what you have been
25 doing is improper.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: We looked at --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm being very blunt on that, especially having seen
3 the specimens that the last witness gave us yesterday. And this is why I
4 am -- I am definitely not closing doors for the time being, because
5 if it's still difficult to find an explanation for the diversity in the
6 signatures upon those three documents that we saw during his testimony, I
7 am absolutely -- I feel at a complete loss when I try to compare the
8 signature which he had before him -- in front of him there, the signature
9 on the second of those statements, the one co-signed by Mr. Ibric, and the
10 specimen signatures that he gave us yesterday. And this is the problem
11 that the Trial Chamber has. The Trial Chamber cannot operate on
12 suspicions and will not allow the proceedings to deviate based on mere
13 suspicions. But on the -- on the other hand, what do we have? We have
14 three statements containing three signatures, two of which are seemingly
15 identical. And okay, we are not calligraphic experts or graphologists, we
16 are not. But we operate first and foremost on the basis of what is
17 apparent. And then we go further, if there is need, and then we resort to
18 experts. But on the face of it, what we had were three statements, each
19 containing a signature. One of, which did not at least on the face of it,
20 at least as it appeared, correspond to the appearance of the other two
21 signatures or the signatures appearing on the other two documents. I ask
22 you does that signature correspond to the eight signatures -- that
23 specimen signatures that Mr. Islamcevic gave us yesterday. None of us is
24 an expert, but on the basis of what we saw would you say that it is a case
25 of appointing a graphologist -- a calligraphic expert to -- to decide this
1 for us or to give us an expert opinion? Well, it depends. If there is a
2 request from the Defence, we will go ahead with that. If it's -- there is
3 no request from the Defence, we will not take the initiative.
4 MS. KORNER: Well --
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, let me just --
6 MS. KORNER: Sorry.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Before she does.
8 At this point I'm -- ordinarily this is the way it would work:
9 The way it would work is that I would get the specimens from the witness,
10 like I have, that I would find an expert that I would get authorisation
11 from the Registry to retain that expert, that I would submit the materials
12 to that expert, that that expert would submit a report, that I would name
13 that person as an expert who would be testifying in the Defence of my
14 case, and that the report would be delivered to the Prosecutor as the
15 Rules require and that person would be called as a witness in my case.
16 That's the way it would ordinarily work.
17 When I wanted to read some documents to you just as retaliation
18 for Ms. Korner reading documents to you, I was told that I could only do
19 that in the Defence case. I think I can only bring an expert on
20 handwriting in the Defence case too. So to somehow speed this up -- I
21 don't know how. If Your Honours want to -- want to have me try to do this
22 more quickly and bring an expert in out of order -- a Defence expert in
23 the middle of the Prosecutor's case, I wouldn't mind doing that. It
24 might -- it might actually solve something.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Our point -- our point is that I don't know if
1 we have come to that stage where we need to appoint an -- a graphologist.
2 I don't know. And we don't have a request at this -- at this point in
3 time. And I would imagine that a request would only be forthcoming after
4 one has evaluated the substance of the evidence as well.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I have been in --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But there are many things to say, Mr. Ackerman. I
7 mean, if you look at statements tendered to the Prosecution, they are
8 professionally prepared and presented. Each page is initialed by not --
9 by all the persons -- all the persons involved. So we're talking of one,
10 two, three, sometimes even four persons. If we're talking of the
11 statements to Mr. Ibric and to whoever, you -- you look at them. I mean,
12 at least the copies that I have you have the first page signed by both of
13 them, the second page I have a signature of just the person interviewed,
14 the third the same, the fourth the same, the fifth the same, and then on
15 the sixth I have both signatures. But this is -- this is what I have. It
16 may be the result of -- of photocopying process, but this is what we
17 have. And I don't think it is, because on the first page they are aligned
18 on the same line; on the second and subsequent pages, the signature or
19 countersignature of Mr. Ibric is -- is possible. So in theory there is
20 the possibility of having a person sign one page and sign another page
21 or -- and replace those in the middle.
22 MS. KORNER: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, it's ...
24 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honour, can I perhaps put it this
25 way: Let us say for the sake of this argument that Mr. Ackerman's
1 suggestions - and I beg leave to differ with him - he actually put in
2 terms to the judge that that wasn't his signature. None of this "Is this
3 your signature?" And I see --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, he did --
5 MS. KORNER: I mean, let's not get away from that. That was all
6 out --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: He did -- you did definitely put to the judge that
8 it wasn't his signature.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: [Microphone not activated]
10 MS. KORNER: But Your Honour, let us say that just for the sake of
11 this discussion, Mr. Ackerman's absolutely right, and that for some reason
12 or another Mr. Ibric filled in this man's name on the statement that he
13 undoubtedly made but didn't sign for some reason and so Mr. Ibric signed
14 it. To what actual issue in this case is that going to go as respects the
15 witness? Because the witness has given you -- and this particular
16 witness -- I wasn't here. I did actually see what was happening yesterday
17 because I was watching it -- the witness gave evidence of deportation of
18 everything that he said had happened to him. That wasn't challenged.
19 That's in his statement. So where does -- where does the fact go that he
20 may not have signed that one page of his statement or whatever?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. Two things were challenged, Ms. Korner.
22 MS. KORNER: All right.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One is his signature.
24 MS. KORNER: Yes, quite.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The other thing is that even given that that is his
1 signature, the statement is not entirely his.
2 MS. KORNER: I --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That was another thing that was -- that was put to
4 the witness.
5 MS. KORNER: Which he objected other than the personal
6 identification numbers.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes. There -- we did not have the
8 opportunity, neither because the matter was not prosecuted any further by
9 the -- either by the Defence or by the Prosecution as to the -- the rest
10 of the details of -- of the statement, because --
11 MS. KORNER: No. But --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm pretty sure that if you had gone through that
13 statement sentence after sentence, there would have -- there would still
14 have come out certain other detail that is must have been filled -- filled
15 in, not just -- I'm pretty sure that if I had asked the witness "Let's go
16 through all the persons that are mentioned here" and Mr. X, son of -- if
17 there are 30 persons mentioned with the father's name, et cetera, I'm
18 pretty sure that at the end of the day he would have given us half of them
19 but not the whole 30 of them.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm -- I find that slightly worrying, if
21 I may say so. Because if Your Honours are going to take that view, that
22 there is something, then there is an obligation on Your Honours to ask
23 these questions. As it is, there is an unanswered question. The Defence
24 dump it, if I can put it colloquially because they don't think it's
25 getting them anywhere. Of course we don't -- but if Your Honours --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course not.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I do feel Your Honours are the triers of
3 the fact. That rather than a doubt or a suspicion lingering, Your Honours
4 should ask those questions or make it clear to us for the Prosecution that
5 you expect us to go through it.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Ms. Korner, if no questions are forthcoming,
7 then the Trial Chamber will take the statement -- that statement as it --
8 as it -- as it is.
9 MS. KORNER: Well, exactly, Your Honour. That's what I mean. And
10 if the witness --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: What I'm saying is that my hunch is that if one had
12 tried to take that statement one by one -- sentence by sentence, the
13 probability is what exactly happens in the case of all the interrogations
14 that I have had to deal with in my -- in my career. When you have a
15 system whereby everything is tape recorded and you have the question which
16 is reproduced and the answer that is reproduced, then that problem becomes
17 much -- much, much less. When you have --
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: -- the questions tape-recorded and then someone
20 creates the statement, then you have if you try to really extract the
21 whole truth and all the details, you are going to -- and that's --
22 Mr. Ackerman tried one yesterday and he failed when he tried to get the
23 infamous --
24 MS. KORNER: Yeah. I saw that, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: He failed. But I mean, that's his problem. He
1 tried it and he got nowhere.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry. That is the whole point,
3 isn't it? That there is no real -- we all know, of course, when police
4 officers take statements what comes out sometimes is not the actual words
5 of the witness but the words used by a police officer.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I get.
7 MS. KORNER: Absolutely. But what is being suggested here, Your
8 Honour, is that it's not just that the police officer has used phraseology
9 which weren't the witness's own but actually convey what the witness
10 meant. It's suggested, as I say, without any foundation that I can see
11 that parts of the statement have been put in by Mr. Ibric - which they
12 have -- the personal identification numbers - but it's going further.
13 That's the underlying, that somehow or other, because there was part put
14 in by Mr. Ibric, somehow that statement is not true.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But that's a supposition.
16 MS. KORNER: Exactly, Your Honour. But that's -- that's the
17 implied suggestion that that's why this whole business of the signatures
18 and all that is being brought up. But, Your Honour, the witnesses are
19 giving evidence before you of what they say happened. And when I say it's
20 not being challenged, that the actual fact that this man says "My father
21 was murdered," or huge amounts of people -- there's no challenge being put
22 to it.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course not, yeah.
24 MS. KORNER: But then -- Your Honour, that's my point. I'll come
25 back to it for the last time. What is the issue in the case to which the
1 signing or non-signing of this statement by the various -- the various
2 statements by the witnesses goes to? If it's a matter of credit, then
3 answers going to credit are final. You can't call evidence on extraneous
4 issues. Your Honour, we could actually spend a very long time in
5 Mr. Ackerman's case listening to handwriting experts I suppose
6 theoretically on whether or not a particular statement contained the
7 signature of this particular man, and how would that help Your Honours in
8 deciding whether or not the allegations made by the Prosecution through
9 the witnesses of whole-scale murder, of destruction, and whatever are
10 true. That's -- that's the only -- the only reason I'm raising this.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It might have absolutely no bearing on that. It
12 could well be. But this is why I premised everything on something
13 fundamental. That -- I believe that Defence counsel know perfectly well
14 that the moment they decide to engage the Chamber -- the Trial Chamber in
15 this sphere, that they are doing this with their eyes open. Because I
16 mean if they can manage to prove, without having a burden of proof -- I
17 mean, if they manage to create a scenario on the basis of which doubt is
18 put or is inserted in -- in the case of the Prosecution, that's one
19 thing. If they are not successful in this exercise, it could have the
20 opposite effect; it could bounce back on the Prosecution -- on the
22 I mean, I'm saying this because we are still at pretty much -- I
23 don't know if Zijad Ibric, for example, is a person that is only involved
24 in the Sanski Most municipality or he may be involved in other
25 municipalities. I haven't got a clue. I haven't got an idea. I don't
1 know if the suspicions of the Defence are restricted, limited to Mr. Zijad
2 Ibric or whether they extend also to other persons.
3 MS. KORNER: I think, Your Honour, as far as I understand, it's
4 AID as a whole.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But I say I don't know because so far we have
6 had a -- a statement to that effect but we haven't had evidence to that
8 MS. KORNER: Correct.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are -- we are still waiting for that. So I would
10 give the Defence credit that so far the only two instances in which they
11 raised the matter both involved a person, the credibility of whom or the
12 integrity of whom they seemed to be attacking - that's Zijad Ibric within
13 an AID framework - and they raised the matter in only two cases where at
14 least on the face of it there was something to say.
15 Now, in the first case we had the witness categorically stating
16 that the signature that was being put to him as not being his was his,
17 followed by the production, bringing forward of the other witness who
18 confirmed that the signature was his and that of Adil Draganovic and Ibric
19 were theirs and it was -- they were put in his presence. That chapter was
21 We didn't have the same problem with a subsequent witness that had
22 also released a statement to Mr. Ibric, or it seemed to start but
23 stopped -- was nipped in the bud by the Defence itself. I mean, never
24 went any further than that.
25 We had the second case yesterday. And on the face of it, at
1 least, without going into -- into details or without purporting to be an
2 expert on -- in handwriting, on the face of it justified the Defence at
3 least raising the matter. I would have raised it; for sure. This is
4 the -- this is the situation.
5 Now, if there's going to be a third case, I don't know. If it's
6 going -- there's going to be a fourth case, I don't know. And what's
7 going to happen if there is a third, fourth, and subsequent cases, I don't
8 know. I mean, there is another witness coming forward very soon. I don't
9 think we will have a problem, but that's because I am just -- I am just
10 looking. Mr. Ackerman may -- may have a deeper insight or more
11 information or information that I certainly don't have and question that
12 signature too. How do I know? This is the situation.
13 I don't think that we are -- or we have arrived at a stage or we
14 have been dealing with a case where stopping the Defence from proceeding
15 any further was called for. I mean, I don't think so.
16 MS. KORNER: No. All right. Well, Your Honour, I've made -- I've
17 made my submission, and I'm not going to take up any more of the Court's
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
20 Any submissions from --
21 MR. ZECEVIC: None, Your Honour.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorely tempted, but I think I'd better not.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Are you still in the mood for reading to
24 us, Ms. Korner?
25 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I took the view that Mr. Ackerman
1 was going to walk out of court.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
3 MS. KORNER: And I think it's quarter to 6.00 now.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think -- I think let's join with
5 Mr. Ackerman and we all --
6 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I haven't brought any with me,
7 so ...
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I want to make sure, Ms. Korner, that we don't
9 have any health problems with the next witness tomorrow. And for that
10 reason, I would ask you to make sure with the Victims and Witnesses
11 Section to be on the alert, be present here, I don't know.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it going to be a closed session or not?
14 MS. KORNER: Yes, he's in closed session.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Closed session, yes.
16 MS. KORNER: Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But that's even more important.
18 MS. KORNER: Yes. He is closed session, yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That's even more important that we have someone.
20 Because if we were in open session, it would be all transparent.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's in closed session, I don't want anything to
23 happen with the --
24 MS. KORNER: I'm told --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: -- the lingering suspicion that we did not take
1 precautions or --
2 MS. KORNER: Well, we'll certainly -- but I'm told at the moment
3 his treatment -- his course and treatment has halted. So I think it's
4 just a question of tiredness today.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. But I'm sure you understood what
6 I meant.
7 MS. KORNER: I do.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
9 And we will resume tomorrow at 2.15, in
10 this same courtroom, I think. Thank you.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
12 at 5.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
13 the 27th day of June, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.