Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 23017

1 Tuesday, 2 December 2003

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,

6 please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Case Number IT-99-36-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow in a language that

10 you can understand?

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you. Appearances, Prosecution.

13 MR. NICHOLLS: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Julian Nicholls with

14 Denise Gustin and Joanna Korner.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good afternoon. Appearances for the

16 Prosecution.

17 MR. ACKERMAN: Defence?

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Defence, yeah.

19 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm John Ackerman --

20 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't recognise you, Mr. Ackerman. That's the

21 problem.

22 MR. ACKERMAN: I have been to a mad dentist since I last saw you.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I can see that.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm John Ackerman and I'm with David Cunningham and

25 Aleksandar Vujic, even though I know I don't look like him.

Page 23018

1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good afternoon to you.

2 I don't want to impose on you, Mr. Ackerman. I see that you have

3 a really swollen face. Are you in a position to follow the proceedings or

4 not? I know that it's the cross-examination, but...

5 MR. ACKERMAN: I wouldn't be here if I couldn't be here. I'm

6 fine.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm being courteous to you.

8 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that, and I appreciate it. I think

9 I'll be all right.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have a problem, let me know.

11 Any preliminaries?

12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, just two matters. Mr. Ackerman was good

13 enough to tell me today just before we sat that the documents that I asked

14 for the provenance of come -- came from a Mr. Glogovac who took over the

15 agency when Mr. Bojinovic left. Your Honour, I'm prepared to accept that,

16 and I withdraw my objection at the moment. I withdraw my objection to the

17 admission of those documents. Mr. Glogovac appears in the papers.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay.

19 MS. KORNER: So I'm prepared to accept that.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness said that the organisation was replaced,

21 not taken over, but -- his place wasn't taken over. He said that it was

22 replaced by the refugee or --

23 MS. KORNER: Let me put it this way, I don't think at this stage

24 of the game anyhow we ought to start delving into that.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's what he said.

Page 23019

1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it may well be THAT at a later stage we

2 may have to revisit this topic, but at this moment I withdraw my

3 objection.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I wasn't using precise language when I

6 said "taken over" after -- that was just --

7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay.

8 MR. ACKERMAN: Some kind of a successor who turned over the

9 documents. That's the best I can say.


11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the only other matter is if we have time

12 this afternoon I would like to address Your Honours very briefly on part

13 of the judgement that you gave, the written judgement on the Rule 98

14 decisions.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: I was reminded today to remind you when to expect

16 the revised indictment.

17 MS. KORNER: I'm so sorry, Your Honour. Of course, we had it

18 ready to go -- Your Honour, we can have it filed by the end of the week.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's start with the witness, Madam Usher.

20 Yes, exactly. The way it is, I am not seeing Mr. Ackerman, I'm

21 not seeing the accused, I'm not seeing Mr. Cunningham. Mr. Billow now is

22 used to being hidden from the scene.

23 MR. CUNNINGHAM: He says it's easier to play video games that way.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: I know.

25 [The witness entered court]

Page 23020

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good afternoon, Mr. Vidic.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to continue with your testimony on

4 cross-examination. Just reminding you for formality sake that you are

5 testifying under oath on the basis of your solemn declaration of

6 yesterday. So please, take a seat, a chair, and let's proceed.

7 Mr. Nicholls.

8 I have to repeat presumably. Were you receiving interpretation or

9 not?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I haven't received any

11 interpretation.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We are going to proceed with your

13 cross-examination and reminding you that you are testifying on the basis

14 of your solemn declaration of yesterday which you are not going to repeat

15 today because you don't need to. All right?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. Could the ELMO be moved

19 somehow so that I can -- thank you.


21 [Witness answered through interpreter]

22 Cross-examined by Mr. Nicholls: [Continued]

23 Q. Sir, I'm going to try to cover several topics today. I'll try to

24 make them clear. If both of us can try to be as clear and concise as

25 possible, we can finish today.

Page 23021

1 A. Fine.

2 Q. I looked at what we have been talking about yesterday and have

3 just a couple follow-up questions to you. You talked about with

4 Mr. Ackerman how your interest in regionalisation, your interest in

5 forming a new multiethnic body and your discussions on this topic led

6 to - one way or another - to the formation of the associations of

7 communities, first the ZOBK, Z-O-B-K, and then the Autonomous Region of

8 Krajina. Correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you were -- at that time, I think you said that you were

11 getting pretty excited about these new political developments in the early

12 1990s and wanted to be a part of it. Correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You said you talked about it with several people. I think you

15 said Mr. Brdjanin was one of the people you discussed these new

16 associations with, this new regionalisation process.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. He was also a strong supporter of this regionalisation process, as

19 you were yourself. Correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, I just want to very quickly -- you don't need to tell me the

22 dates. I just want to be clear on all the different positions you held.

23 At one point you were president of the Prnjavor SDS. Correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You have been a member of the SDS main board?

Page 23022

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You were -- and we saw this on P95 yesterday, the document where

3 you were addressing the ARK Assembly about the incident with

4 Veljko Milankovic. You were vice-chairman of the executive council of the

5 ARK. Correct?

6 A. Formally, yes, but not in any active sense of the word.

7 Q. You were a deputy in the association of municipalities of the

8 Bosnian Krajina?

9 A. No. I was a deputy to the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10 Q. All right. You were a deputy later on in the Assembly of the

11 Serbian People, or at some point?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And you were also a deputy in the Republika Srpska Assembly?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. All right. Now, I want to go back to and finish talking about

16 Veljko Milankovic. We talked yesterday, you talked with Mr. Ackerman and

17 with myself about the 14th of December 1991 ARK Assembly decision not to

18 support -- in fact, to support the actions to arrest Veljko Milankovic.

19 Correct? Do you remember us talking about that yesterday?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. I'd like to now play you a tape recording of a conversation

22 conducted on the 26th of November 1991.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, just out of an abundance of caution

25 based upon our objection to all of these intercepts, I want to make sure

Page 23023

1 that I make a formal objection to the use of this as evidence.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.

3 MR. NICHOLLS: This will be P2710. This is in Sanction. I've

4 never tried this before.

5 Q. I think, sir, you're going to hear yourself talking to

6 Radovan Karadzic.

7 [Audiotape played]

8 [Please refer to Exhibit 2710A for audio transcript]

9 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know if the interpreters can follow this

10 this quickly. We've got the transcript. Maybe we can just have him

11 listen to the tape and go along. It should be coming up on Sanction as we

12 go.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: It's all right for, I suppose, the three of us,

14 because we have the transcript. We don't need to hear the English

15 version.

16 MR. NICHOLLS: The screen should be synchronised.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: We can also read it. It's easier on our eyes.

18 MR. ACKERMAN: I was thinking it sounded impossible for --

19 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't exclude that someone might prefer to

20 listen to it or to -- so that one can check. I don't know.

21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's no problem with the

22 interpreter remaining silent. It's on the screen. It's going out --

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I know it's on the screen. And probably the

24 interpreter is reading from the screen anyway.

25 MR. ACKERMAN: It would be nice to start over at the beginning, I

Page 23024

1 think.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: That's what we're going to do.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: Listen to this whole recording, sir.

5 [Audiotape played]


7 Q. Let me stop it now and ask you a couple questions. Do you

8 recognise your voice on that tape recording, sir?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Do you remember having this conversation with Radovan Karadzic?

11 A. Yes, I'd forgotten about it, but now I remember.

12 Q. All right. Let me just ask you where we've got to at this point.

13 You stated: "Well, I'm calling you. Well, we agreed, I, Vojo and Vukic,

14 you know."

15 What were you calling Dr. Karadzic about? This was on 26th of

16 November 1991.

17 A. I called him to justify myself for what I had not been able to

18 do.

19 Q. Well, you said, and we've already heard this: "We have

20 everything, we accomplished everything, and today we're pursuing

21 something" and so on. So what had you accomplished and what had you not

22 been able to do?

23 A. There are no secrets involved. That much is clear. Mr. Rankic,

24 he and his wife, used to work for a company, a company that printed

25 propaganda material. They would agree on deals with the commercial

Page 23025

1 offices of the company concerning the calendars for the coming year, and

2 the rest of the propaganda material. They charged their fees, and this

3 was done by Mr. Veselinovic's [phoen] company. Let me see if I can

4 remember the name. They were, I believe, in charge of actually printing

5 the material. Probably though, some of the party activities were funded

6 from the same source. This had nothing to do with Krajina, therefore, and

7 my conversation with Mr. Karadzic was a private one. It was not on behalf

8 of Krajina that I talked to Mr. Karadzic.

9 Q. Let me stop you there. What was Mr. Rankic's first name?

10 A. Rankic -- truth to tell, I can't remember. I know that it was he

11 and his wife. They drove a car, and they sold books. Books and leaflets.

12 Q. The question was whether you remembered his first name. When you

13 say we agreed --

14 A. I don't know.

15 Q. Sorry, I cut you off.

16 When you say: "Well, we agreed, I, Vojo and Vukic," that's

17 Vojo Kupresanin, correct? And Dr. Vukic?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What sort of propaganda was this? You used that word.

20 A. Yes. This was not propaganda on behalf of the party. This was a

21 commercial activity, a commercial printing activity. Certain companies

22 would order propaganda material for themselves. I made a private promise

23 to find commercial people in Prnjavor Municipality, because I was myself

24 involved in the economy, I had plenty of contacts, and I was myself owner

25 of a company. I promised to put him in touch with certain companies and

Page 23026

1 certain people.

2 Q. Okay.

3 A. However --

4 Q. Go ahead.

5 A. Should I continue?

6 Q. I think you've cleared that up.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we play the tape.

8 We have no sound, Your Honour. Maybe if you start it from the

9 beginning again. It wasn't very far, if that works.

10 I apologise, Your Honours. I don't know why the sound has stopped

11 working on Sanction.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not playing, anyway. It's --

13 MR. NICHOLLS: She stopped it playing because there was no sound.

14 Ms. Gustin has stopped it because there was no sound.

15 [Audiotape played]

16 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think this is it.

17 MR. NICHOLLS: It's not it, Your Honour.

18 I propose, Your Honours, to give a copy of the transcript to the

19 witness in his language and we will go ahead without playing the tape.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: What I suggest you do is, Ms. Gustin, cancel it.

21 Exit from this particular exhibit. And then go into it again. First

22 exit.

23 [Audiotape played]


25 Q. Do you remember that portion of the conversation?

Page 23027

1 A. Not so well, but...

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Sorry, I apologise --

3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's a problem. If you saw the

4 transcript as it was coming off the LiveNote, that last bit said it was

5 Karadzic that was speaking. If you look at the transcript, it says that

6 it was Vidic that was speaking, in both versions. And I think the

7 transcript is accurate, and what was on the LiveNote is inaccurate because

8 I think it was -- it was Mr. Vidic who said they should really be

9 disciplined. That's absolutely clear. And then he's the one that's

10 saying "hello, hello, hello, hello." I believe that's the reality as

11 opposed to what we saw on the LiveNote.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I was following on the proposed exhibit transcript,

13 and not on the screen. But I take your word for it that is what has

14 appeared on the monitor. If that is the case, I would like confirmation

15 from you, Mr. Nicholls, that what Mr. Ackerman is saying stating is

16 correct.

17 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I was looking at my paper version as

18 well.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: I was following the paper version as well, so I'm

20 not in a position to say which one of this is right.

21 MR. NICHOLLS: I requested a draft translation of this. I

22 requested a translation of this. There may have been one from the day

23 before that was put on here. I think the only thing to do is to play the

24 tape and ask the witness. But we can hear it on the tape. It should be

25 apparent. They have distinct voices.

Page 23028

1 JUDGE AGIUS: The voices I was listening to because I still had

2 this, the earphones on. But I suppose you can play the last part and have

3 the witness confirm whether it's him or Mr. Karadzic.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: We can try.

5 MR. ACKERMAN: He might know right now, Your Honour. He was

6 listening to it as it was going forward. You might just ask the witness

7 righted now who the last speaker was.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was saying "hello, hello, hello, hello"? Was it

9 you or Mr. Karadzic?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Mr. Karadzic. He spoke at

11 the end of the tape --

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's listen to the last part because we have a

13 confusion here.

14 [Audiotape played]

15 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, we have to go further up, further back.

16 [Audiotape played]

17 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think, Mr. Ackerman, you were wrong, I am

18 wrong. The paper version is wrong. I think it's Mr. Karadzic who is

19 saying those words, the last four lines or five lines. Correct? Not you.


21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.

22 MR. NICHOLLS: And Your Honour, while we're here, I'll admit the

23 tape, and that will be 2710A.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I lost my pen now.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry that took so long, Your Honours. The

Page 23029

1 next time we'll just bring in a tape recorder. I have several at home,

2 and it would have worked just as well.


4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, we're not finish with this because the

5 transcript can't be admitted because of its inaccuracy. It needs to be

6 fixed. The transcript is clearly wrong.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll submit a revised transcript. That's the only

8 thing I've noticed that's wrong, and we can fix that and put in a final

9 translation.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. In the meantime, what's your question to

11 the witness?


13 Q. Now you've heard it twice. Clearly you were talking to Karadzic

14 about the arrest of Milankovic which had happened just a short time

15 earlier. Correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. How well did you know Karadzic at this point?

18 A. Well, not sufficiently. Only from the political meetings. I saw

19 him for the first time a year or so before that. It was in July 1990.

20 That was the first time that I saw him.

21 Q. You had talked to him on the phone person to person before this

22 though, hadn't you? This wasn't the first time you had a telephone call

23 directly to Dr. Karadzic?

24 A. Yes. That was the second -- I think I spoke to him only three

25 times over the phone. It was on my initiative.

Page 23030

1 Q. All right. Now, he asked you about who's still being held, and

2 you tell him that Veljko Milankovic is being held and somebody with the

3 nickname Crni. Correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Why -- briefly, why were all the rest of those men released so

6 quickly?

7 A. I called Karadzic to justify myself for what I had failed to do

8 for Mr. Rankic because I had promised to do so as a private citizen, not

9 in any official capacity. I didn't do it. I felt uncomfortable going

10 there and intervening on behalf of a company to get a job. And I was

11 opposed to the sale of these books because I personally did not like

12 them.

13 Q. Sorry, sorry, you're not answering my question at all.

14 Why were all of these 30 or so men in this criminal group released

15 other than the two people we've talked about, Milankovic and Crni?

16 A. I don't know why they had been released.

17 Q. You tell Karadzic that you went and talked to the judge about this

18 incident, the civilian judge. Why did you do that?

19 A. Due to a coincidence, one of the judges was my wife. But she was

20 not in charge of the case. She only had information about it. I didn't

21 say anything else. I just told Mr. Karadzic what I had heard, and I had

22 zero influence at that time. He was asking about this group over the

23 phone. He was asking me --

24 Q. Okay, you've gone --

25 A. -- But I --

Page 23031

1 Q. He asked you what is being ascribed to them, what are they -- what

2 is being ascribed to these men? What is it said they have done "this

3 time"? And you say: "They have been released. They have been a little

4 humiliated, but that was done in a stupid way, you know. It could have

5 been done differently. This is, well, our opinion."

6 How should that release have been done differently and what's your

7 opinion about that? You said the humiliation was done in a stupid way.

8 A. That's what I still think. If somebody is beaten in the course of

9 an arrest and hit with a rifle and so on, there was an easier way to do

10 so, easier way to arrest them without bringing the lives of other citizens

11 in danger.

12 Q. And when these men were arrested, they had stolen property,

13 Karadzic calls it loot, with them. Correct?

14 A. I don't know exactly what it is that they had. I was just telling

15 Mr. Karadzic what I had heard. So I did not have any access to

16 investigative organs. I didn't have any access to the institutions in the

17 executive --

18 Q. I'm only asking you to tell us what you knew. You were discussing

19 this with Dr. Karadzic, and you said that this so-called loot was

20 collected from apartments. And then you said the question was what to do

21 with it, and that depended on, if I read this correctly, where it came

22 from. Now, are there you talking about matters whether this property was

23 taken from Serbs or non-Serbs? Is that the distinction you're making?

24 A. No, no. Definitely not. I always felt that criminal offences

25 committed against all citizens are the same, regardless of their ethnic

Page 23032

1 background. And those people who know me can vouch for that. Many people

2 would be able to confirm this.

3 Q. So tell me what did you mean when you said words to the effect of

4 "Where did it come from? That is the question."?

5 A. What I heard was that during the arrest, in their apartments,

6 there were certain items that were found there, furniture, TV sets, things

7 like that. But the police did not have any evidence indicating that these

8 items had been stolen. In the course of the investigation, they were

9 probably trying to ascertain what had been stolen and what hadn't been

10 stolen and where these items had come from.

11 Q. Now there's a conversation between you and Karadzic that shows the

12 tension we were talking about yesterday. Karadzic tells you that what he

13 heard from reporters, that the way Milankovic's unit fight is incredible,

14 and you say words to the effect of: "It's incredible. They are real

15 fighters. No doubt about that." Correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And then you say: "And regarding this action and work, they were

18 really good with that in the last, well, two to three months." Now, tell

19 me what the action and work these men who we agreed yesterday were armed

20 paramilitary criminals were really good at and what they were doing so

21 well for the last two to three months that you praised them for?

22 A. It is strange. There's something strange about this speech. I

23 didn't mean actions. I wanted to say that they had been doing things

24 before, and then they were threatened. And after that, they were calm for

25 a while. They did not cause any trouble. But they were arrested all the

Page 23033

1 same.

2 What I meant had more to do with this. The outrageous things that

3 they did before, they were really impossible when they came back from

4 Krajina in Croatia. And since at that time there was a cease-fire in

5 effect, it had been signed in Krajina at that time, probably somebody who

6 was their commander probably advised them to calm down a bit. And I was

7 not quite sure whether Karadzic himself was behind it, and that is why I

8 was really very careful in the conversation. I was letting him say

9 things, and then I would agree to what he said. You can see that from the

10 conversation.

11 I was not in a position to influence anything. And I was also on

12 very, very bad terms with this group from day one.

13 Q. I'm not asking about your potential influence. Just try to answer

14 the question. You're the one who offered this comment, this is in

15 response to a question. After talking about how they were great fighters,

16 how everything was good in the last two to three months, are you sure you

17 weren't talking about the takeover of the Kozara transmitter and their

18 other paramilitary activities?

19 A. No. No. I was referring to newspaper articles and TV broadcasts

20 where there were reports about them as fighters, that they are well

21 trained and things like that. The newspapers were full of articles such

22 as this to that effect. And I could not oppose Mr. Karadzic because I was

23 not quite sure on what terms he was with these people.

24 Q. All right.

25 Now, again, yesterday with Mr. Ackerman and with myself, you

Page 23034

1 talked about the report you made to the assembly and the conclusion signed

2 by Mr. Kupresanin supporting the arrest of Veljko Milankovic's

3 paramilitary. I'd like you to look now at P2707.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: I have a highlighted copy, which may make it

5 quicker.

6 Q. This is a Glas article from the 11th of April 1992 with the

7 headline "Anatomy of betrayal, walking on Serbian thorns." It concerns

8 the -- it celebrates the fact that Veljko Milankovic is not going to be

9 prosecuted for his crimes in Prnjavor. I'd like you to read the first

10 highlighted portion I've provided for you which should start: "The walk

11 on thorns by the fighters of Veljko Milankovic's unit began on the early

12 morning of 14 November..." Do you have that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. That's talking about -- we're talking about the same arrest of

15 Veljko Milankovic that you were talking about with Mr. Karadzic on the

16 telephone. Correct?

17 A. I don't know because there were -- Mr. Milankovic was arrested on

18 several occasions, so I don't know --

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have no idea how this could be the

21 same one if the newspaper report is April of 1991 and the conversation is

22 November of 1991.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: It's April 1992.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: But still we're six months apart. I doubt it's the

25 same arrest.

Page 23035

1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we have heard of more than one

2 particular arrest of Milankovic.

3 MR. ACKERMAN: He was arrested at least twice, Your Honour, maybe

4 three times. But certainly twice.


6 Q. You were talking to Dr. Karadzic on the 26th of November. This is

7 talking about an arrest on the 14th of November. I understand that this

8 article was in the second -- another year. In any event, how many times

9 are you aware of that he was arrested with 33 members of his unit in

10 Prnjavor?

11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I was incorrect. It is

12 talking about the same. Obviously now that I pay attention to it.

13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I'll move on to my next question.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


16 Q. I'd like you to skip to the second highlighted portion. This is

17 Veljko Milankovic speaking. This is on page 4 of the English. "Although

18 this is not the time for disputes among Serbs, I must say something. We

19 were a unit of the Autonomous Region of the Bosnian Krajina. The

20 president of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina

21 Vojo Kupresanin and the Prime Minister Andjelko Grahovac, as well as the

22 members of the government and leadership of the Banja Luka SDS were fully

23 informed about all our operations. Actually, we took part in operations

24 at the order of the leadership of the Autonomous Region of Bosnian

25 Krajina. That was the case when we seized a repeater on Mount Kozara and

Page 23036

1 made it possible for Bosnian Krajina to watch Belgrade television

2 broadcasts."

3 Is that what it says in your version?

4 A. No.

5 I'm sorry. Do you mean is it written here in this version?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. I don't know what you're referring to.

8 Q. That's what you've just read in your language. Correct?

9 A. I do not agree with what is written here.

10 Q. That's not the question. I'm just trying to make sure we're on

11 the same page that you just read.

12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

13 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry.

14 Q. I'm just trying to make sure that we're on the same page, we've

15 read the same paragraph. The paragraph that I've just read to you, that's

16 been translated to you, that's what it says in your version. Correct? You

17 need to answer verbally.

18 A. Yes, I've read it, and yes, I understood what it says.

19 Q. Let me move on to P2577. I will be asking you a question about

20 this document.

21 This is -- this will be another Glas article from 28th of April

22 1992, two weeks later. This article is talking about a 27th of April

23 extraordinary session of the Bosnian Krajina AR Assembly held in the

24 afternoon, 1992. Did you attend that session?

25 A. No, I don't know. I cannot state with any certainty.

Page 23037

1 Q. Well, you've heard about this session, haven't you? This was a

2 pretty important one. Take a look at the first two paragraphs of the

3 article and let me know when you've read them. This was a session with a

4 great deal of concern about the possible withdrawal of the JNA.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, now that you've read that, do you remember whether you

7 attended the session or not?

8 A. Yes, I know about this topic, but I cannot say whether I was

9 present or not because I skipped quite a few of those sessions, especially

10 the emergency or extraordinary ones.

11 Q. Well, were you ever at a session which was addressed by

12 Veljko Milankovic? If you look down at paragraph 5, you'll see that he

13 spoke at this session.

14 A. No. I know that I was not there when he spoke.

15 Q. Now, on page 2 of the English, "Veljko Milankovic's speech" - he's

16 called the commander of the volunteers from Prnjavor - "attracted

17 particular attention during the debate. He called for reason and asked

18 for actions not just decisions and constant meetings." And

19 Veljko Milankovic talks about the Banja Luka Corps and giving them some

20 time.

21 Does that seem odd to you, this thug, criminal, paramilitary

22 leader who had been arrested and condemned by a resolution of the same

23 assembly is now addressing it?

24 A. Yes, but I don't know what date are we talking about. Was it in

25 April?

Page 23038

1 Q. Look at the headline of the article.

2 Yes.

3 A. Yes, at that time, I did not attend the sessions.

4 Q. That wasn't the question. If you don't want to answer that

5 question, I'll let you not answer it.

6 Dragan Djuric was --

7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm not sure he's not -- he's refusing

8 to answer the question. He may not understand it. I don't think he

9 doesn't want to answer the question. So I ask that he be given an

10 opportunity to answer the question.

11 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine with me.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's cut this. I mean, Mr. Nicholls.

13 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it's pretty obvious.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Just ask him again. I mean, it's...


16 Q. Don't you find it strange that this same assembly which heard

17 your report and condemned Veljko Milankovic, approved of his arrest, is

18 now having him there as a speaker?

19 A. Well, if it is true, then it really is strange.

20 Q. Dragan Djuric was the president of the SDS from Prnjavor April

21 1992. Correct?

22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think -- I think -- sorry. Dragan Djuric was the

23 one who replaced him. No?

24 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct.

25 Q. Dragan Djuric stated that coordination between the Tuzla and

Page 23039

1 Banja Luka Corps in that area, speaking of Derventa, was nonexistent and

2 openly called for Veljko Milankovic to be named commander of the Defence

3 for the Serbian Municipality of Derventa. Does that not indicate full

4 support for Veljko Milankovic and his unit from the SDS in Derventa in

5 Prnjavor?

6 A. It's possible. If this statement is --

7 Q. It's more than possible?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. He's arrested, the charges are dropped, he's released, he's

10 invited to speak at the assembly and they proposed to make him a commander

11 of a Serbian municipality's defence. That's support, isn't it, from the

12 party?

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes Mr. Ackerman.

14 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to make sure the record is clear that

15 we have objected to these kinds of newspaper reports. There's no

16 indication that this is an accurate report of what went on at that

17 meeting. And so every question I think that's being asked should start

18 with the presumption that this report is accurate because it may not be.

19 We know that Milankovic and the editor of Glas were buddies. Okay.

20 MR. NICHOLLS: This is a totally improper objection. The Chamber

21 can judge the weight --

22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not an objection. It's putting on the record

23 his general objection with regard to newspaper articles.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: Correct, but it was going into comment which is

25 what I object to.

Page 23040

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah. The witness wasn't present at this

2 meeting in any case, according to what he said. But let's proceed. Your

3 questions are perfectly valid, Mr. Nicholls.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: You have every right to base yourself on what

6 appears to be a report in a newspaper, the authenticity of which --

7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm going to intervene at this stage

8 because I'm really getting tired of these objections about newspapers.

9 Your Honours are aware that there's a witness who faithfully recorded in

10 his diary all the matters that these records refer to. So it's no good

11 Mr. Ackerman standing up each time he doesn't like what an article has

12 said. Newspaper articles are, per se, inaccurate. As Mr. Nicholls has

13 rightly said, it is for Your Honours to judge the weight, looking at all

14 the evidence. I do think that these objections particularly in front of

15 witnesses who hear them are --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand, Ms. Korner, you're perfectly right,

17 but I...

18 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

19 MR. ACKERMAN: There's no witness who faithfully recorded

20 everything in his diary. I think he was a drunk who unfaithfully recorded

21 things and made up a lot of stuff. So there's no evidence that that man

22 is a reliable witness.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: No further --

24 MR. ACKERMAN: And I have attacked him in that regard and I will

25 continue to do so, to say that this is some special witness --

Page 23041

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, no further comments like that in front

2 of a witness, please. You know what the Rules are.

3 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: May I make one more objection.


6 MR. ACKERMAN: It has been the rule that the person handling the

7 witness is the person who makes the objections. Ms. Korner is now

8 starting both with the last witness and now with this witness, making

9 objections while she is not responsible for the witness. We had a rule

10 that the person responsible for the witness --

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right as well, yes.

12 Yes, he's right, Ms. Korner. So next time, you make the

13 objection, Mr. Nicholls.

14 MR. NICHOLLS: I will, Your Honour.

15 Q. Looking further down in this article --

16 MR. NICHOLLS: Just one moment, Your Honour.

17 Well, Mr. Ackerman almost succeeded in stopping you from answering

18 the question. He's arrested --

19 MR. ACKERMAN: I really object to that. That is an absolute,

20 unfair attack on me.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman. I'll protect you, Mr. Ackerman.

22 Yes, Mr. Nicholls, please.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have a problem with repeating the question, I

25 will find it for you and --

Page 23042

1 MR. NICHOLLS: I have found it with Ms. Gustin's help. Thank you.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Repeat the question and the witness will answer.


4 Q. Talking about Veljko Milankovic, the question was he's arrested,

5 the charges are dropped. He's released and he's proposed to be made

6 commander of a Serbian Defence of a Serbian municipality. That's support,

7 isn't it, support from the party? It's more than just possible that he

8 received the support?

9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm going to have to object because

10 there's no factual basis for that question at all. One person, one

11 person, Dragan Djuric makes that request.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, please. Please.

13 Answer the question, please.

14 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me just make my objection.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: You made your objection and the objection is taken

16 and the witness will answer the question. Look at the head of this

17 document, and you know what this meeting was supposed to be about.

18 MR. ACKERMAN: I do want to get my objection clear in the record,

19 Your Honour.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

21 MR. ACKERMAN: The article says that Dragan Djuric made that

22 recommendation, not that the party did.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

24 Mr. Vidic, please answer the question. And the question is for

25 the umpteenth time, it's being suggested to you to agree that the SDS was

Page 23043

1 supporting now Veljko Milankovic. Would you agree with that?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not entirely certain because not

3 everyone supported that. There were some people who liked him, in

4 particular. And one of these was also a man to whom a reference is being

5 made here. Now, as to whether he was going to become a commander or

6 anything, it was down to the military to make that decision because by

7 that time everything had been placed under their command.

8 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine. I'll move on.

9 Q. But I think you'd agree with me that not just anybody off the

10 street of no importance came in and addressed the ARK Assembly at these

11 type of extraordinary, important meetings. Correct?

12 A. That's a bit ridiculous, but the Autonomous Region of Krajina

13 could be many things at once. I'll give you my own example --

14 Q. I don't think you understood my question. At an extraordinary

15 session of the Bosnian Krajina regional assembly, not just anybody was

16 going to come in and address the assembly on defence issues. Isn't that

17 right? It's a simple question.

18 A. No, it was perfectly possible for anyone to come in and address,

19 and that is the God honest truth. That really is the truth. It was

20 chaos, and it was precisely for that reason and for the way in which the

21 whole thing functioned that I refused to take any further part in that.

22 Q. All right.

23 When -- let's go to P1532.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, Your Honour, this is a videotape. I'm not

25 sure it it has been keyed up. It's in evidence. If possible, I think it

Page 23044

1 may be quicker for me just to put questions based on the transcript, which

2 is in evidence.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, do you agree to that, or do you

4 object?

5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I object to questions being put until the

6 witness has a chance to see what he is being questioned about, whether he

7 sees the video or reads the transcript.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: -- That also has its importance, I think.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: All right, we can play the video.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Problems.

11 [Videotape played]

12 [Please refer to Exhibit 1532A for video transcript]

13 MR. NICHOLLS: We can stop.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't like music, I take it, Mr. Nicholls.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, if we had more time.

16 Q. Now, you can see that this is an interview of Vojo Kupresanin on

17 the anniversary - we haven't played the beginning - discussing the

18 takeover of Kozara transmitter. Correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And it speaks about how the historical decision was made three

21 years ago to take over the relay, and it asks how and when did you get the

22 idea to take over the relay. That's what the reporter has asked.

23 Correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Mr. Kupresanin states: "We knew even back then that a state

Page 23045

1 cannot be a state without its radio, TV, and other media, and without its

2 currency. We, in the assembly of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, knew

3 that nothing could be achieved with the Muslims and Croats, the

4 anti-Serbian coalition, and we were happy to part ways with them. We

5 began the parting with the Autonomous Region and continued with the

6 takeover of the relay." That's what Vojo Kupresanin said taking over the

7 relay was all about. Correct? That's what he said. That's the question.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Does this sounds like he's talking about some kind of voluntary,

10 economic chamber of commerce?

11 A. I must say that Mr. Vojo, he wasn't clear about many things. He

12 didn't know what power meant. He didn't know what association meant. He

13 was fond of making statements --

14 Q. Stop, stop.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Answer the question. Does that sound like the organisation, the

17 association he's describing, is some kind of benign, voluntary, economic

18 association? That's very simple. Yes or no.

19 A. Quite obviously he sees it as some form of government, power, but

20 in reality, it was nothing.

21 Q. So you agree that what he was speaking about sounds like an

22 association with power, a type of government. That's what you just said.

23 Correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And he says: "We began the parting from the Muslims and the

Page 23046

1 Croats with the autonomous region." That's what regionalisation was

2 really all about, wasn't it, the forced separation of the ethnicities?

3 A. No, no. The view of Mr. Kupresanin after January and February of

4 1992, after the Assembly of the Serbian People had adopted certain

5 provisions, you can see from the statute of the Autonomous Region of

6 Krajina that it had been envisaged as an association of municipalities

7 using the provisions of the constitution of the former state. The

8 transmitter belonged to the association of municipalities. There was no

9 need to make any announcements about a violent takeover of the

10 transmitter. It was a futile exercise in power. Someone was flexing

11 their muscles.

12 Q. Someone was flexing their muscles. We can talk about the statute

13 later, and we will. I think you'd agree that there's nothing in the

14 statute which authorises the use of paramilitary forces; yet, that

15 happened.

16 You need to speak up. I heard him say yes.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: I heard him say yes.

18 MS. KORNER: It's not on the shorthand.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, I know. I agree with you, Ms. Korner. That's

20 why I'm saying I heard him say yes. Because it's not -- doesn't show on

21 the transcript.


23 Q. He said yes to that last question, correct? I heard you -- Can

24 you repeat your answer, please, sir.

25 A. Can you please repeat the answer -- question, I mean.

Page 23047

1 Q. Someone was flexing their muscles. That's what you said. We can

2 talk about the statute later, and we will. I guarantee that. I think

3 you'd agree that there's nothing in the statute which authorises the use

4 of paramilitary forces; yet, that happened. Correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to play the tape a little bit more. I'm

7 just going to let it play, because I don't want to try skipping around at

8 this point.

9 [Videotape played]

10 MR. NICHOLLS: We can stop now.

11 Q. Now, Mr. Grahovac talks about meeting with Milankovic's men in

12 1991 at this restaurant to - he disagrees with you - to take over --

13 because of the necessity of taking over the transmitter by force.

14 Correct?

15 A. I don't think I've understood your question. Who exactly does it

16 refer to? Can you please repeat the question.

17 Q. You heard Mr. Grahovac speaking on the tape in response to the

18 questions from the reporter about the significance of the Evropa

19 restaurant, that's where a meeting took place, a fateful meeting in 1991

20 with the Wolves of Vucak with Veljko Milankovic in order to plan the

21 military takeover of the transmitter. That's what he said. Right?

22 That's the question?

23 JUDGE AGIUS: If I read the witness well, there is a problem with

24 the interpretation.

25 Are you receiving interpretation?

Page 23048

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It stopped for a brief moment.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm wondering if we might break a few

4 minutes earlier because there's something I want to bring to your

5 attention.

6 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll stop here with the testimony. We'll go back

8 to your question in a minute, Mr. Nicholls.

9 We're going to have a break, and we'll continue in about 25

10 minutes' time. Usher, no, we are staying here.

11 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the first matter, we need to go to

13 private session.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.

15 [Private session]

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 23049

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 [Open session]

10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I just want the record to show that

11 the direct examination of this witness started at 9.22 yesterday morning

12 and ended at 11.30, and there was an intervening 25-minute break. I took

13 an hour and 15 minutes. The Prosecution has now used three hours and 35

14 minutes of cross-examination. I want to read from a transcript of 21 July

15 2003.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Baruch, how much time do you think

17 your require for your witness, your cross-examination?

18 MS. BARUCH: I can't tell you that, Your Honour, because

19 I had to listen to what he said before I could plan it out.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to know as well. I mean, it's...

21 MS. BARUCH: But I think it would be fair if Mr. Nicholls

22 had a day, that I had a day to do a cross-examination. Of course, I will

23 try, with the advantage of having heard what I heard, to --

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but no cross-examination takes the

25 same length of time as the examination-in-chief. So let's start from

Page 23050

1 there.

2 Now that was the rule that was imposed on us.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, it's the practice. In practice, the

4 cross-examination usually doesn't last as long as the

5 examination-in-chief. It depends. There are witnesses -- there are

6 witnesses that, for example, Madam Baruch took twice as long.

7 MR. ACKERMAN: But this has now taken three times as long.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, okay, but...

9 MR. ACKERMAN: And Your Honour, we -- unlike the Prosecution, you

10 have given us a deadline date, when we have to finish with our witnesses.


12 MR. ACKERMAN: If they keep taking three times as long as we're

13 taking, we're not going to get to put on the witnesses that we want to put

14 on.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman, but this witness will finish

16 today. I can assure you. There's no way I can extend the testimony of

17 this witness beyond today. That I am not prepared to do. But on the

18 other hand, I -- with the exception of may be some questions which were

19 less important than others, I don't think there's a case for us stopping

20 Mr. Nicholls in the series of questions that he has been putting.

21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, my request is this: That the Prosecution

22 know in advance that there is a limit to the amount of time they can take

23 on cross-examination because the entire cross-examination yesterday, Your

24 Honour, almost every question dealt with matters that I had not raised at

25 all on direct. I know that's not a rule. But it was things that you've

Page 23051

1 already heard over and over and over just being repeated to you again.

2 And it -- I mean, I really want to be able to put on the number of

3 witnesses for Mr. Brdjanin that I think are important to be able to put on

4 for him. But also, you've told me if I go past the end of January, I will

5 be penalised in terms of the time I get to write my brief.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I never said you would be penalised, Mr. Ackerman.

7 Don't put words in my mouth that I haven't said. In fact, yesterday, you

8 remember well I said it's not going to be a big problem or the end of the

9 world if we go beyond the end of January. You can find it --

10 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to really wind up the testimony in this

11 case as early as possible because we do need, all of us, significant time

12 to do the rest of the work that's necessary in this case. And

13 cross-examinations that only keep showing you documents that you've seen

14 over and over and asking the witness to say isn't that what it says, we

15 had that today, just asked the witness isn't that what the document says,

16 and --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: He is an important witness. He is an important

18 witness for the Defence, and he is also an important witness for the

19 Prosecution.

20 THE INTERPRETER: May all the speakers please slow down.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologise. And he is being questioned on

22 something which is fundamental to the case. He is one of those SDS

23 members, actually a president of the SDS in his own community who became

24 an outcast, who was ostracised, supposedly, by the SDS. And we are trying

25 to find out exactly why. Because even your client at a certain time

Page 23052

1 clashed with the SDS. So in our quest for the truth, Mr. Ackerman, we are

2 trying -- we are trying not to be difficult with anyone. On the other

3 hand, I do realise that you can't go on forever, Mr. Nicholls.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't intend to go on forever.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: I took your word yesterday before we quit, you said

6 you will certainly finish today. And we are still here probably because

7 you finished early, Mr. Ackerman.

8 MR. ACKERMAN: What he said yesterday was he thought he had a

9 couple of hours of cross-examination.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I understood, too. But in all honesty,

11 I can't criticise Mr. Nicholls for the questions that he put to the

12 witness today, starting with the intercept and also because these are two

13 fundamental things. I mean, the role of Milankovic in the affairs

14 happening in the region at the time, was he acting on his own or was he

15 the instrument of someone else? That's number one. And secondly, also

16 the Kozara. We started with the event, hearing testimony on the event a

17 year and a half ago, if not more than that.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: May I respond. I'll be very brief, Your Honour.

19 Your Honours are correct. There is no rule placed on them as to the

20 length of their cross-examination. The Defence can't just limit the

21 amount of information which the Court receives from a witness by ignoring

22 whole areas. That's why the Rule 98 allows on cross-examination for a

23 party to ask questions which are relevant to their case. Mr. Ackerman did

24 that, and went into areas which he thought were important that we hadn't

25 asked about.

Page 23053

1 He has raised all of the issues, nothing I'm asking is beyond the

2 scope, because he's tried to suggest that Veljko Milankovic was sanctioned

3 and just looked at one document. He has tried to show that the

4 association had a particular purpose and the evidence I suggest today

5 that's coming out shows that that is not the case. And finally, when his

6 witnesses are testifying, I don't stand up and object and comment and

7 argue about what I think the documents are, but that eats up a lot of

8 time.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Now you are -- Mr. Nicholls, at the very end of it

10 you try to spoil it and get Mr. Ackerman to stand up and object once

11 again. Let's leave it at that. There is no hard and fast rule because we

12 are all trained in these type of cases. We have to adjust ourselves to

13 the circumstances that arise from witness to witness and from day to day

14 and from minute to minute sometimes. So at the present moment the only

15 rule is that there is is that you have to finish today. That's all.

16 MR. NICHOLLS: But when he asked questions like, "Could the ARK

17 Crisis Staff command anybody?" "No." "Thank you." It's a little --

18 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't have to preach that to any of us,

19 Mr. Nicholls. We know what the rules are and I think Mr. Ackerman knows

20 as well. And on that basis you can proceed. But please try to finish as

21 early as you can. 20-minute break so that we try and finish before 7.00.

22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes, although Your Honour I do want to

23 raise the matters because of the time limit. I'd be grateful if you

24 can --

25 JUDGE AGIUS: You can raise the matter regarding the decision now

Page 23054

1 if you want --

2 MS. KORNER: I think we've had an hour and a half. The

3 interpreters need a break.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's fair enough.

5 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.

6 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, you may proceed, Mr. Nicholls.

8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

9 Q. April 1992, Veljko Milankovic attends and addresses a special

10 session, extraordinary session, of the ARK Assembly. That same month, he

11 gives an interview in which he states that he is a unit for and under the

12 Autonomous Region of Krajina. Three years later on the anniversary of the

13 takeover of the Kozara transmitter, he's praised in a newsclip.

14 Kupresanin talks about how this was necessary, an armed takeover of the

15 Kozara tower as part of the autonomous region's plan to separate, and

16 there's a discussion about how they met with Milankovic at a restaurant in

17 1991 to plan the takeover of the transmitter.

18 You still maintain your position that Milankovic and his men were

19 not doing exactly as he said operating, as a unit for the

20 Autonomous Region of Krajina?

21 JUDGE AGIUS: You can answer yes or no or I don't know.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.


24 Q. All right. No, you don't maintain your stance -- no he was not

25 operating and he was lying in that interview, or no, you now change your

Page 23055

1 mind and you concede that he was telling the truth when he said that he

2 was operating under the Autonomous Region of Krajina's instruction?

3 A. No, they did not function under the Krajina region. What they

4 were doing was illegal, and certain individuals who were with them, that

5 was also illegal.

6 Q. I have no argument with you that what they were doing was illegal.

7 Now, I want to move to another topic. It's something you talked

8 about with Mr. Ackerman. You're an architect. Correct? That's your

9 training?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You're not a lawyer? You've never been to law school?

12 A. No.

13 Q. You're no expert in constitutional law?

14 A. No.

15 Q. All right. Now, the -- you were asked a lot of questions about

16 the Autonomous Region of Krajina, the ARK Assembly. And that's -- I want

17 to just follow up on that. I can show you the document if you need it,

18 but let me just see if you agree. Out of 196 members of the Krajina

19 Autonomous Region Assembly, only about 6 were non-Serbs. If you don't

20 know, that's all right.

21 A. I don't know. I don't know exactly.

22 Q. But you did agree yesterday that it was a Serbian initiative to a

23 question put to you by His Honour, the Judge?

24 A. Yes.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: My question referred not to the Autonomous Region of

Page 23056

1 Krajina, but to the ZOBK.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I wasn't trying to

3 confuse. And that's fine.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: I meant to ask the same question with regard to the

5 ARK, but later on.


7 Q. When the ZOBK became the ARK, in essence, all that changed was the

8 name. Correct, sir?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. All right. I'd like to show you P95. This shouldn't take long

11 because you've already looked at this document a couple times. These are

12 the minutes of the 14 December 1991 ARK Assembly meeting which you

13 attended and spoke at about Veljko Milankovic.

14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it's in the book that I prepared for

15 him yesterday which is right there. It might be easier than dragging out

16 all the documents.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman, for pointing that out.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.

19 MR. ACKERMAN: I'd recommend that we keep the pages in the book

20 and let him just use the book rather than taking the pages out. He'll get

21 all mixed up, I'm afraid.


23 Q. Do you have those minutes in front of you, sir?

24 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.

25 Q. If you look at the agenda for that meeting, number 2 is the

Page 23057

1 current political and security situation in the Autonomous Region of

2 Krajina. Right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And that includes a report from the Security Services Centre and

5 the security service of the 5th Corps of the JNA. Correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. There's not a single economic issue discussed at this session, is

8 there?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. By yes, you mean there is not a single economic issue discussed.

11 Correct?

12 A. No, no, there is not.

13 Q. Also, I notice, because we have the minutes of your conversation

14 here, that you don't mention multiculturalism, pluralism, or creating a

15 multiethnic society here, do you?

16 It's okay. I'll withdraw the question so you don't have to read

17 the whole document. If you want to answer, because I think it's apparent

18 from the face of the document.

19 This session -- go ahead.

20 A. I want to answer the question. May I make a comment.

21 Q. If you're answering the question, go ahead.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls is aspiring to become one of the Judges

23 later on.

24 Yes, answer the question.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Vojo Kupresanin, the president

Page 23058

1 of the assembly, called upon me to submit some kind of a report. That was

2 unexpected. And you can see that this is not a report of the government;

3 it is just an intervention on my part because I was not charged with

4 submitting a report on behalf of the government because I was not the

5 president of the government. I was, however, invited to the meeting, and

6 I was caught unprepared. And you can see from this text that this was

7 just a formal statement.

8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


10 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, you did not talk about

11 creating a multiethnic society at this meeting, did you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And like many sessions, and it increased, this one concerned the

14 political and security situation in the Autonomous Region of Krajina.

15 Correct? We've already talked about what was on the agenda.

16 A. Yes. Yes.

17 Q. Do you remember -- you've read the statute of the Autonomous

18 Region of Krajina. Correct? I think you were shown it yesterday --

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. -- P80.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you recall what Article 16 is about?

23 A. I don't recall.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this is also in his book. He could

25 refer to it if Mr. Nicholls would like him to.

Page 23059


2 Q. I'll read it out while you find it. Article 16: "The Autonomous

3 Region of Krajina shall monitor the situation and coordinate activities

4 for the organisation and implementation of preparations for All People's

5 Defence in accordance with the law, municipal defence plans, and the

6 republican defence plan." That was part of the role of the ARK. Correct?

7 Article 16.

8 A. Yes, I see it now. But...

9 Q. Now, I know you're not a legal expert, but do you know that

10 although there was a similar provision in the ZOBK Statute, that this was

11 new to the association of municipalities historically, to their statute,

12 this defence role?

13 A. I think that in the statute of the municipalities, there was

14 something similar. Perhaps it was adopted from the statutes of the

15 municipalities.

16 Q. That's okay. You're not completely answering the question, but

17 that's all right.

18 My point is you'd agree with me that this is not a purely economic

19 association; it has a defence role, a military role?

20 A. At the level of the municipalities, that was as far as it went.

21 They were not allowed to have more than that, even municipalities had

22 certain leeway or certain freedom to establish -- to set up their own

23 defence.

24 Q. We're talking about the statute of the Autonomous Region of

25 Krajina. Correct, of the region?

Page 23060

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. This --

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Article 16 states that the Autonomous Region of Krajina shall

5 monitor the situation and coordinate activities for the organisation and

6 implementation of preparation for All People's Defence. Monitor and

7 coordinate the activities.

8 The last time: Do you agree with me that under this provision --

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. -- There was a military role at the regional level?

11 A. I cannot answer specifically because the military role was

12 something that belonged exclusively to the military, and the Territorial

13 Defence and civil protection belonged to the municipalities. And we only

14 took over those elements that belonged to the municipalities. And that is

15 why I find it quite hard to answer your question. I'm sorry for that.

16 Q. Do you understand what the Article Number 16 says?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Do you understand that this is the statute for the region?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you understand that it says that the role is to coordinate?

21 A. Yes, that's what it says here.

22 Q. And prepare for All People's Defence?

23 A. Yes, that's what it says.

24 Q. And you think that this is put in there just to -- for no reason

25 whatsoever and has no effect? I know you're not a lawyer, but it doesn't

Page 23061

1 seem like a very complicated provision to me.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Let me just ask you this, if you know - we don't need to go into

4 it - do you know that on the 21st of November 1991 at the second session

5 of the Assembly of the Serbian People, the decision was made to verify, to

6 approve of the Autonomous Regions of Krajina, to legalise them?

7 The autonomous regions, sorry. Not just of the Krajina, but just

8 the autonomous regions.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I'm going to show you P118. This is an extract from the minutes

11 of the 14th session of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina,

12 from the 29th of February 1992. This was about the time that you were

13 kicked out from your position in the Prnjavor SDS. Do you remember if you

14 went to the 14th session? Do you remember, yes or no, if you attended

15 that session?

16 A. I didn't -- I'm not sure that I was at this session. I know that

17 after the session of the assembly of the Serbian People in Sarajevo where

18 I had some conflicts and some problems with the leadership, that after

19 that I, in most cases, did not attend the sessions. I'm not sure,

20 therefore.

21 Q. All right. You've answered the question. Thank you. You're not

22 sure.

23 You might have remembered this one if you were there because it

24 was pretty important. Radovan Karadzic was there, Krajisnik, Koljevic,

25 Ostojic, and some of the top Serb leadership. Correct?

Page 23062

1 A. Yes. I probably did attend these, if there were.

2 Q. Now, the agenda here, again, is the political and security

3 situation of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. That's the first item on the agenda.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, let's just go straight to the conclusions. It should be

8 towards the end. The deputies in the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of

9 Krajina accepted the constitution of the Republic of the Serbian People of

10 BH in full." Correct? That's conclusion number 1.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Conclusion number 2: "The status of the Autonomous Region of

13 Krajina will be incorporated into the constitution of the Republic of the

14 Serbian People of BH in accordance with its practical needs in order to

15 achieve its free economic development."

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Number 3 -- now, you understand what both those conclusions mean,

18 don't you? Those are pretty clear?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And number 3: "Establish immediately strict control of the

21 territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina."

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And that's pretty clear to you, too, isn't it, what that one

24 refers to?

25 A. Sessions like these, in practice, as far as I know how it looked

Page 23063

1 like, if I may describe it, Mr. Prosecutor.

2 Q. I'd rather you didn't because it sounds like you're not answering

3 the question. The question was: Do you understand what conclusion number

4 3 means, what its effect is, what that is about, as you understand the

5 previous two?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. All right. What was that conclusion? What was going to take

8 place once that was passed? Let me start. That relates to the political

9 and security situation, doesn't it? It's talking about taking control of

10 the territory, doesn't it?

11 A. Yes, probably.

12 Q. And that fits in actually perfectly with what Vojo Kupresanin said

13 the purpose of the Autonomous Region of Krajina was in that videotape we

14 saw earlier, doesn't it? He was talking about forming a state, and at the

15 first step it was necessary to take this transmitter.

16 A. Yes, Kupresanin was saying that. But under this other item, that

17 the Assembly of the Serbian People would determine the position of the

18 Autonomous Region of Krajina, and it defines there how the government is

19 set up, including the police and any other branch of government, thereby

20 removing from the Krajina the right to have this kind of exercise, this

21 kind of control. So this decision would be in contravention or already

22 was in contravention of the decisions passed by the Assembly of the

23 Serbian People and constitution. I don't know -- as far as I remember in

24 February, the decisions and the constitution were already passed.

25 Q. The top Serb leadership came down to this meeting, and at this

Page 23064

1 meeting conclusion 3 was passed. Correct? At the ARK regional level, to

2 establish immediately strict control of the territory of the Autonomous

3 Region of Krajina. Correct?

4 A. Yes, that's what it says here.

5 Q. Let me take you to P159.

6 Just before we get to that, you've agreed with me that you

7 remember the decision verifying the autonomous regions. Correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And making them -- in this conclusion we have been looking at,

10 P118, the deputies of the ARK Krajina Assembly accept the constitution of

11 the Republic of the Serbian People in full. That was conclusion number 1.

12 A. Yes. But whether it was in full, we don't know because the

13 question is who was present at the session of the assembly. Anybody could

14 come to the assembly.

15 Q. This session -- this conclusion is signed by Vojo Kupresanin, the

16 president. Correct? It has got his name attesting to it.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And the secretary Boro Blagojevic.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. These regions were part of, integrated, and legalised into the

21 Serb Republic and the Serb constitution?

22 A. Yes.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we go to 159, please. P159.

24 Q. This is an ARK Assembly decision on the formation of the

25 special-purpose police detachment from 27th of April 1992. You have that

Page 23065

1 in front of you, sir?

2 A. Yes. Yes, I do.

3 Q. And in fact, the news article we looked at earlier - I don't want

4 to go back to it unless you need to be reminded - the article from April

5 1992 which spoke -- which talked about Veljko Milankovic speaking at the

6 assembly also talked about how at this session an order was made to

7 establish this special-purposes police detachment. Correct? That was

8 reported in the press. Right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And in fact, this detachment came into being; this decision was

11 acted upon and took effect. Correct?

12 A. I'm not certain about this.

13 Q. You don't know whether there was a CSB, special detachment formed

14 in Banja Luka in April 1992? Do you remember the parade to commemorate

15 the event?

16 A. Yes. In that period of time, I did not take part in these

17 meetings and sessions. But please believe me --

18 Q. That's not the question. I'm not ask whether you took part. The

19 question is do you remember this being acted upon, the Banja Luka special

20 unit was formed. You know that happened, don't you?

21 A. I am not sure that it was formed pursuant to this decision only,

22 Mr. Prosecutor. I'm really not avoiding an answer.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: But do I take it that at the same time you are

24 acknowledging and you are accepting that this unit was formed in April

25 1992, special detachment of the CSB?

Page 23066

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The special detachment of the public

2 security station was not under the authority -- or rather, it was not

3 formed pursuant to this decision. It was established pursuant to the

4 constitution and the ministry that had been established within the

5 framework of the constitution and the existing laws as adopted by the

6 Assembly of the Serbian People. Or rather, at that time, the Republika

7 Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not seeing Mr. Ackerman or Mr. Cunningham.


10 Q. Again, you're not a lawyer. Right?

11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


13 Q. You're not a lawyer. You haven't studied with law.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not argue. Leave it at that, Mr. Nicholls.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: I just want to know what his basis is for

16 thinking --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: His basis is that he's contesting you on the

18 authority under which this special detachment was created. So initially,

19 in the beginning, he was not even acknowledging that there was such a

20 thing. He said he didn't know or wasn't sure.

21 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll ask one more question, if I may, on this,

22 Your Honour.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, but not the same question again.


25 Q. Do you agree that this special detachment was formed around this

Page 23067

1 period? You remember the parade in May, you said.

2 MR. ACKERMAN: No, no, he did not say he remembered the parade in

3 May. You didn't give him a chance to answer the question.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: You suggested it was in April, and he seemed to take

5 that, but he never mentioned May himself.

6 MR. NICHOLLS: That's true. Let's clear it up.

7 Q. Do you remember the parade to commemorate the special detachment?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What is your basis -- you tell me what your basis is for saying

10 that it was not pursuant to this order, your legal basis or your factual

11 basis.

12 A. I was convinced at the time. However, now I believe that all the

13 power as far as the setting up of the police forces was concerned was

14 within the hands of the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The

15 relevant laws and regulations were passed. This document is illegal. All

16 it can do is express support on the one hand, but I really can't state

17 that anything was established pursuant to this document.

18 Q. You believe that the special detachment establishment -- the

19 establishment of the special detachment was legal. Correct? It wasn't an

20 illegal act?

21 A. What I believe is entirely a different matter. What my views were

22 on the laws that had been adopted by the Assembly of the Serbian People of

23 Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's one thing. But this assembly and this

24 government passed the laws that were imposed on Krajina and everyone else,

25 and it did have a police ministry. Krajina was in no position to set up

Page 23068

1 anything like that because it lacked the power to do so.

2 Q. And yet, this order is issued from the Krajina level, and the --

3 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour, it's not an order.


5 Q. This decision is issued at the Krajina level and the special

6 detachment is set up. Right?

7 A. The way I see it here, yes.

8 Q. Thank you. I'd like you to look at P153.

9 Now, this is a decision of the Serbian Republic Ministry of

10 National Defence on the establishment of the Territorial Defence, the TO,

11 as an army of the Serb Republic, 16th of April 1992. Right?

12 A. That's what it says here, yes.

13 Q. If you look down under where it says decision the second time --

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. -- An administrative war is hereby declared. Correct? Sorry, a

16 state of imminent threat of war is hereby declared. Correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And the prior decision number 1 states: "The Territorial Defence

19 of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina shall be established an armed

20 force of SBiH. Command and control of the TO will be exercised by

21 municipal district and regional staffs and a republican staff." Correct?

22 A. Yes, that's what it says. But may I just be allowed to clarify a

23 point. Before there were the municipalities and the second instance,

24 regional level of authority within the police, but make no mistake about

25 this --

Page 23069

1 Q. I'm going to stop you here --

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. -- Because that has nothing to do with my question.

4 This is an important document, an imminent threat of war,

5 mobilisation of the TO. We've just gone over those decisions.

6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think that was a question. "Is this

7 an important document?" I think was meant to be asked, or maybe there

8 isn't a question yet. I'm not sure.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I took it -- I'm still waiting for the question

10 actually.

11 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry.

12 Q. This is an important document relating to the defence, isn't it?

13 A. Yes, yes.

14 Q. This is addressed, among others, to the government of the

15 autonomous regions and districts. Correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. This, again, is a political and defence-related issue being put

18 under their jurisdiction. Correct?

19 A. There are organs established by the ministry. They're referred to

20 here as regional, but they're under no jurisdiction whatsoever of the

21 Autonomous Region of Krajina. This may be a very big mistake indeed.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Forget whether it's a mistake or whether it's an act

23 of wisdom. I mean, let's proceed with answering the questions that are

24 put to you.

25 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

Page 23070


2 Q. That's what this document --

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the word he used was not mistake. The

5 word he used was confusion. There was a big confusion. And I think in

6 all fairness, paragraph 1. Decision, Mr. Nicholls left out the last

7 phrase of that. "The municipal district and regional staffs and

8 republican staff of the SBiHTO," not like the autonomous region or the

9 municipality. But it was the TO staffs that's referring to.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Ackerman.


12 Q. You're not claiming this some kind of typo on this document, are

13 you? Just to make sure I'm clear on that with you, when you talk about

14 "confusion". You're not saying there's some kind of typing error on the

15 face of this document, are you?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: He has got problems with interpretation.

17 Mr. Vidic, can you hear me?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can explain to us what you meant when

20 you said on the face of it, there seems to be some confusion here on this

21 document. What were you referring to?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the following: The

23 government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted laws

24 governing the work of the ministry and defence. Within the framework of

25 those laws, they also regulated the work of regional staffs. But still,

Page 23071

1 it left within its own discretion for the ministers within the ministry

2 that the regional staff should be answerable to them, and not that the

3 Autonomous Region of Krajina should have any kind of command influence

4 over them. This is the error that I was talking about in order to avoid

5 confusion. It was not within the power of the Autonomous Region of

6 Krajina to make these decisions.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.


9 Q. We've looked at a lot of documents here. The republic level

10 accepted and verified the autonomous regions as part of the republic.

11 Correct? You agreed to that.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. They were constitutional. You've agreed to that. Correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. The government could act through these regions if it wished, which

16 is why they had their own secretaries of defence. Correct?

17 A. The ministry had its own lines of defence from top to bottom. But

18 the Krajina did not. The ministry and the government made all the

19 appointments from top to bottom.

20 Q. They may have made the appointments, if -- you can argue that.

21 However, the autonomous regions could be delegated the power to act and

22 could act in their own defence. We saw that in the statute, didn't we?

23 A. That's what the statute says, but this was never implemented. I

24 know that it was never done. For example, the regional minister of the

25 police was not answerable to Krajina, but rather to the ministry. The

Page 23072

1 president, Vojo Kupresanin, Mr. Brdjanin, everyone who was a member of the

2 government, they were merely puppets for the press. They made no

3 appointments. They had no influence, not as far as the direct chain of

4 command or military chain of command were concerned. That's as far as I

5 understood the situation.

6 If you study the documents more closely, maybe this could lead me

7 to change my mind. But I'm telling you what I know. I know how this was

8 done. It wasn't done in a serious manner. I know how decisions were

9 adopted. Anyone wrote whatever they wished to. Mr. Boro Blagojevic would

10 sometimes add things. You would never know at the next session what he

11 had added. It was a comedy. Even my driver once took a decision, and I

12 myself was chucked out of a session.

13 Q. You're saying all this and calling all these people and ARK

14 officials puppets simply because you know they were responsible for a

15 great deal of the crimes which occurred in the Autonomous Region of

16 Krajina. Correct?

17 A. Were they responsible or not? I don't know. They certainly were

18 naive. They had no influence over anything. They were merely expressing

19 their support for someone or other. They might as well have been just an

20 ordinary association. That's at least the way it looked.

21 Q. An ordinary association which could -- you've agreed that

22 Veljko Milankovic was a criminal and he took part in the ethnic cleansing

23 of Lisnje. Correct?

24 A. Yes. Yes.

25 Q. We've seen documents and first-hand statements from

Page 23073

1 Vojo Kupresanin, from Veljko Milankovic himself, and others that he was

2 working under the direction of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Correct?

3 A. They were merely boasting about doing something. They never

4 budged from their armchairs.

5 Q. These media puppets could call up, meet with, and control

6 paramilitaries like Veljko Milankovic's?

7 A. No. No. No. They had no power over that.

8 Q. They were legalised by the republic level in these regions; they

9 had their own statute; the statute called for defence; they sent out

10 documents as one we've just looked at mobilising the TO. That was the

11 legal chain which you do not accept. And on the other hand, they had

12 their other means of power and direct contacts with these paramilitaries.

13 Right?

14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, he has answered it maybe six times

15 now. And asking it over and over is not is going to change the answer.

16 Plus it's a very compound question. It has about six parts to it.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, let's play the game according to the

18 established rules that we have used so far. You should have never said

19 that the witness is not going to change his answer. That's what you

20 actually said in the presence of the witness.

21 Don't put the question again, Mr. Nicholls. Let's move to the

22 next question.


24 Q. Let me show you P166.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not quarrelling with you, Mr. Ackerman; I'm

Page 23074

1 quarrelling with your dentist.


3 Q. This is a dispatch to the chiefs of all public security stations

4 from the Banja Luka Security Services Centre, 4th of May 1992. That's

5 what you have in front of you. Right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. It states: "We have received a dispatch from the government of

8 the Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina in Banja Luka which we hereby

9 forward to you in full." And this dispatch is from the Serbian Republic

10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina regional

11 secretariat for national defence, signed by the secretary for the regional

12 secretariat for national defence, Milorad Sajic. That's the order being

13 forwarded. This actual document is signed by chief of the Banja Luka

14 centre, Stojan Zupljanin. Correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. The last line of Stojan Zupljanin's order states: "Chiefs of the

17 public security station are personally responsible for the implementation

18 of this decision. Correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. This is a mobilisation decision for the entire territory of the

21 Autonomous Region of Krajina ordered by Milorad Sajic. Correct? That's

22 item number 1 of the decision.

23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please read a bit slower.

24 A. Yes.

25 Yes. All these people, Stojan Zupljanin, Milorad Sajicic - I

Page 23075

1 think it reads Sajicic - they were employed by the different bodies of the

2 ministries. While I was there, I was not aware of Krajina or the Krajina

3 government having a ministry of police or anything like that.


5 Q. This order from Sajic is in his capacity as the secretary of the

6 regional secretariat for National Defence. Correct? That's where this

7 order is coming from?

8 A. The secretary of the regional secretariat, I very much doubt that

9 he was appointed by the Autonomous Region of Krajina. I would like to

10 have a clarification on this, please. I'm not sure myself. I don't think

11 he could have been appointed by the Autonomous Region of Krajina, but this

12 certainly needs checking.

13 Q. That wasn't the question. You don't need to answer questions

14 which haven't been put to you.

15 This is a real order with real effect at the Krajina level being

16 distributed throughout the Krajina. Correct?

17 A. I must ask this question: Who does this order come from? Who is

18 Sajic or Sajicic?

19 Q. You've never heard of Milorad Sajic?

20 A. No. No. No. Really, I never have.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, let's go to the next.


23 Q. You may not have been the best-informed person of what was going

24 on in the Krajina region in 1992. Is that fair?

25 A. As concerns this specific period of time, I may not be.

Page 23076

1 JUDGE AGIUS: But if you aren't, what makes you doubt your ability

2 to speak to us with authority on this period? Why are you so unsure? Why

3 do you not consider yourself as best informed or well informed?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the reason is that I

5 know that throughout this period, all official appointments to positions

6 of executive power were being made by the Republic of the Serbian People

7 in Sarajevo. This is what I knew.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.


10 Q. How do you know that? What's your basis, please, for that

11 statement? You don't know who Milorad Sajic is. You don't know what

12 orders he made. How can you tell us who made all the decisions at the

13 time?

14 MR. ACKERMAN: Can he be allowed to answer the first question

15 first, and then the second one.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman is right.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This date is the 4th of May 1992

18 when most of the laws were passed in connection with the functioning of

19 the defence ministry and police ministry. And this is where the authority

20 of Krajina ceases to exist. You can see this clearly, both in the

21 constitution and in the relevant laws of the Serbian Republic of

22 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: So the time when the ARK Crisis Staff comes into

24 being? So doesn't it look strange or sound strange or seem strange to you

25 that at the same time you're saying that the ARK practically disappeared,

Page 23077

1 for all intents and purposes, the same time one of the creations of the

2 ARK, namely the ARK Crisis Staff, comes into being at the same time? It

3 calls for an explanation from you.

4 The ARK was a puppet --

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: The ARK and its components were puppets according to

7 you. I would assume that the ZOBK before, perhaps, was also puppets at

8 the higher degree. So now we move from the ARK to the crisis staff when

9 you say that the ARK practically became unimportant. So what's happening

10 in May of 1992?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As early as in January and February,

12 it in fact began in December with the adoption of the constitution which

13 was promulgated by the Assembly of the Serbian People in Sarajevo. For

14 all practical purposes, the jurisdictions were defined there, and Krajina

15 existed only pro forma. But in the laws on defence, which had been passed

16 by that time, it was determined how the crisis staffs should be

17 established in emergency situations. And I think that it also stipulated

18 how war presidency would be established. And that is how the

19 Autonomous Region of Krajina and its crisis staff, according to the

20 constitution and the laws, was an extraneous body as far as its

21 functioning was concerned. And the communication went from the ministry

22 down to the municipalities. Krajina was just a puppet. It was there just

23 for show. You can see that when you read the constitution and the laws

24 passed by the Assembly of the Serbian People or by the Serbian Republic of

25 Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to these laws, everything was set up.

Page 23078

1 Any police authority would be illegal for the crisis staff and the

2 Autonomous Region of Krajina to assume would lead to conflict of

3 jurisdictions.

4 That is why Krajina and its crisis staff was used more in the

5 media. It was presented to a greater extent in the media. It was quite

6 clear to me that all the communications went up to Sarajevo, and the

7 municipalities had direct communications with Sarajevo. Sarajevo

8 established the regional levels of government according to its own laws,

9 but it had nothing to do with the Autonomous Region of Krajina, and the

10 crisis staff merely approved what had already -- or rubber-stamped what

11 had already been decided elsewhere.

12 Quite a few of the decisions passed by the crisis staff of the

13 Krajina and the Autonomous Region of Krajina itself that were passed by

14 them could not be implemented at the municipality level because the filter

15 was there, and this is where the government actually functioned, at that

16 level. I remember only one of the sessions of this kind. I was invited.

17 I went there with my driver --

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Session of what?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.

20 It was ridiculous. There was no protocol. There were no accreditations.

21 Nobody knew who was invited. And because I did not agree with this kind

22 of work, to work without the rules of procedure, and Mr. Brdjanin probably

23 remembers that. He said, "Well, why are you bothered with that?" I know

24 that I was quite literally thrown out of the session. It was held in a

25 hall which was twice as small as this one here. I was kicked out, and my

Page 23079

1 driver remained there, and he laughed later on saying that he, in fact,

2 passed some of the decisions.

3 It was quite ridiculous. I refused to go there any more because I

4 couldn't do anything.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never had an opportunity to get

9 things that had been adopted by the Krajina Assembly, by the regional

10 board, at those -- by those institutions. Mr. Blagojevic, he drafted

11 these documents later. We had quite a few disagreements about that, and I

12 always strenuously protested. And that is why the validity of these

13 documents was always in question because none of these documents was ever

14 adopted at the next session. If you have a normal session of a government

15 or any other kind of a session, item 1 on the agenda is always the

16 adoption of all the written documents that were made at the previous

17 session so that you can check what is it that had been adopted.

18 I also have my doubts about the quorum, the required number of

19 people. Many of such sessions, they were not there.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't need to know now.

21 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

22 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.

23 Q. So thank you for telling us. You were thrown out of the Krajina

24 Assembly as well as your local SDS presidency.

25 Let me show you P285. This is the extract of the minutes of the

Page 23080

1 17 July 1992 Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.

2 Agenda item 4: "Verification of the decisions and conclusions

3 adopted by the crisis staff and war presidency of the Autonomous Region of

4 Krajina."

5 If you look at item 4, you'll see the following debate. All

6 decisions and conclusions adopted by the crisis staff and war presidency

7 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina were verified by a vote of 98 to 1.

8 A. Yes, I see that. But -- well, I wasn't present there in this

9 period.

10 Q. Look who was present. Momir Talic, Milan Martic,

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina Minister of Defence Subotic, Bogdan Subotic, that is.

12 Mr. Ostojic, members of the Republic government, members of the ARK,

13 Krajina government. High-level military and political leaders taking part

14 in this decision to verify all the decisions and conclusions of the ARK

15 Crisis Staff. That's what this is --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: This is dated when?

17 MR. NICHOLLS: 17th of July 1992, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: The other document which you showed the witness

19 earlier which decision number 1 is to incorporate the status of the ARK,

20 of the region, that is dated when?

21 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll have to find that.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it was 80 --

23 MR. NICHOLLS: 21st of November 1991, Your Honours.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have this document here.


Page 23081

1 Q. That's not the one we're talking about. Do you have --

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Just look at this document. I wanted to tie up the

3 dates in order to understand better.


5 Q. Now, do you remember my question?

6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not hear the witness.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vidic, you said something which the interpreters

8 couldn't catch. I heard you, but it didn't reach the interpreters' booth.

9 Could you repeat what you said to Mr. Nicholls, please.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand the question.

11 Could you please repeat it, Mr. Prosecutor.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


14 Q. Did this ARK Assembly session attended by the top political and

15 military leadership, attended by representatives at the ARK level, the

16 Republic level, all the decisions and conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff

17 are verified by a vote of 98 to 1, that's a pretty strong endorsement.

18 Wouldn't you agree with me?

19 A. Yes, that's what it says here. But --

20 Q. Are these --

21 A. -- But I --

22 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... decision for the media?

23 A. But I have my doubts about the number of 99 councilmen.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about it.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have my doubts about that.

Page 23082

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about it. For the moment, that's what

2 we have anyway.


4 Q. Well --

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Unless the witness has got first-hand information to

6 contest what is contained in that declaration. But he wasn't there in any

7 case.

8 So Mr. Nicholls, I suggest you move to something different.


10 Q. Let me show you P182. Pretty early ARK Crisis Staff decision, 9th

11 of May 1992. The decision number 1 says that "all decisions and

12 conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina are

13 binding for all the municipalities." And we know that this decision was

14 verified by those top leaders on the 17th of July 1992. Correct?

15 A. I'm not sure, or perhaps this was illegal at the time. This was

16 an illegal act, according to the laws and the way that they stipulated how

17 government should be exercised.

18 Q. I think what you're starting to tell us is that in your view, the

19 entire Serb Republic government structure, all the way up from the top,

20 the presidency down, was illegal in your view in light of the

21 constitution. Is that what you're saying?

22 A. No, no. That's not what I wanted to say. I wanted to say that

23 this decision, first of all, is in violation of the statute of the

24 Autonomous Region of Krajina; and secondly, which is even more serious, it

25 is in violation of the constitution of the Serbian people of Serbian

Page 23083

1 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its appropriate laws which concern

2 jurisdiction, which were passed long time ago before the 9th of May.

3 Q. You may say it's illegal, but it was verified by the Autonomous

4 Region of Krajina.

5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I don't think there's any

6 factual basis for that. There's no list of what the decisions were that

7 they verified on the 17th. We have no idea what decisions were presented

8 to them on the 17th of July that they verified.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: It states that they verified them all.

10 MR. ACKERMAN: Who knows what "all" is? Boro Blagojevic could

11 have put his own package in there.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: All is all. When you say all decisions, it means

13 all decisions, Mr. Ackerman.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, Mr. Nicholls --

15 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll move on.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is this, the witness is getting involved

17 in legal pronunciations some of which are very delicate constitution

18 nature which I am sure will be addressed at a higher level and not at this

19 level.

20 MR. NICHOLLS: That's why I asked about his legal background,

21 Your Honour.

22 May I have P202, please.

23 Q. Now, first of all, before we get to this, you will agree with me

24 that the Muslim population, the Bosniak population, of Prnjavor was

25 disarmed during the summer of 1992? They were told to surrender their

Page 23084

1 weapons, right, to the police?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. What you're looking at is a 20th of May 1992 Banja Luka Security

4 Services Centre document --

5 MS. KORNER: He has got something else. Look at what's on the


7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner is correct.

8 MS. KORNER: He has been given the wrong document.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: It should be P202.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it says here -- yes.

11 MR. NICHOLLS: You've got the wrong one, I think. I can give you

12 my copy.

13 Q. Sir, I don't want to spend a lot of time on this because the Court

14 has seen this document before. This has gone out to all chiefs, all

15 departments, all police departments in the region, in the autonomous

16 region, other than Jajce. It's signed or it's from Stojan Zupljanin.

17 Read 23 -- paragraphs 23 -- just paragraph 23 to yourself, and the

18 following paragraph which is not numbered.

19 A. I apologise. I have only three paragraphs here, so I don't

20 understand what you're referring to.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Usher, please. Show him this paragraph here.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I wasn't given

23 paragraph 23.


25 Q. I'll read it out. "In all our activities we are obliged to

Page 23085

1 observe all measures and apply all procedures ordered by the crisis staff

2 of the autonomous region. With regard to disarmament, when the deadline

3 for surrender expires on 11 May 1992, we should take no action until the

4 crisis staff makes the relevant decisions. It is very important that we

5 solve this problem comprehensively insisting on the disarmament of

6 extremist groups."

7 This is Stojan Zupljanin, head of the centre, making it clear to

8 every policeman in the ARK region that they are to obey -- "observe all

9 measures and apply all procedures ordered by the Crisis Staff of the

10 autonomous region." Correct?

11 A. I think that Mr. Stojan Zupljanin was merely hiding behind the

12 decisions taken by the Crisis Staff of the ARK. And he had

13 jurisdiction -- or in fact, he was obliged to work in accordance with the

14 laws and not in accordance with the political decisions in his police

15 work.

16 Q. He is making an order based on ARK decisions saying ARK decisions

17 must be observed. Correct? It's an order. He's not hiding behind

18 anything.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, I'm not going to go through a long chain of documents that

21 this Chamber has seen before, but will you agree with me that after May

22 11th, after the 14th of May deadline expired, that the police all

23 throughout the ARK with the military began disarming Bosniaks and Croats?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you.

Page 23086

1 I'd like to now have you take a look at P2608. I can give him my

2 copy.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Here, here, here, here. I don't need this. That's

4 the English text? And this is the one in his own language. Because I see

5 that they are of equal...


7 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?

8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


10 Q. Have you ever seen this document before, the Official Gazette from

11 your municipality?

12 A. No. No, really, I haven't. I really haven't seen it.

13 Q. Well, that sort of explains a few things, I think.

14 If you look at item number 38, conclusion 38, okay? Go to there,

15 first.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the first page -- it's the first page.

17 MR. NICHOLLS: It's actually only the first page in English, Your

18 Honour, because the entire gazette has not been translated. It's page 7

19 in your B/C/S version, sir.

20 Q. Go to page 7, it has a number on the top that says 02949295.

21 Number 38. Have you found that?

22 A. Okay.

23 Q. That's a decision on the temporary confiscation of hunting weapons

24 dated the 15th of May by the president of the crisis staff, Nemanja Vasic.

25 Do you see that?

Page 23087

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. "This decision is being taken pursuant to item 5 of the decision

3 of the Government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina number 01-1/92 dated

4 the 4th of May 1992." Isn't it?

5 A. Yes. Yes, but they passed the decisions they wanted to. Not all.

6 The municipality implemented only those decisions that it liked. Not all

7 of them.

8 Q. Have you done a survey of every municipality and every decision?

9 Because before you were telling us you were telling us you weren't the

10 best-informed person in the Krajina?

11 A. I'm sorry. I have to apologise to the Prosecution. I did not.

12 Q. And you did not know that this decision was, in fact, implemented,

13 did you, before now?

14 A. I did know that this was implemented.

15 Q. This was one they did want to implement, disarming people.

16 Go to number 42, please. I'm sorry. That's an interesting one

17 about the expulsion of refugees. But because of the timing, let's go to

18 number 43, the next one. This states: "At its 14th session held on the

19 23rd of June 1992 and on the basis of the conclusions of the Crisis Staff

20 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina of 10 June 1992, the Crisis Staff of

21 Prnjavor Municipality adopted the following decision on residence searches

22 and confiscation of property."

23 Again, relying on the ARK Crisis Staff, their authority, to

24 implement this conclusion, correct, this decision?

25 A. I see that this is correct, but that was after I left, and I did

Page 23088

1 not know about all these drastic things they had.

2 Q. Let's go to number 44, the very next one.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, we need to have a break. How much

4 longer do you need to conclude?

5 MR. NICHOLLS: I think I'm going to fill up the session, Your

6 Honour.

7 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I must have some time for

8 redirect. He can't take all the time.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what I'm asking.

10 MR. NICHOLLS: How much time does he need for redirect?

11 MR. ACKERMAN: I think probably half an hour.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: Does the Chamber have questions?

13 JUDGE AGIUS: At least I can forget my questions.

14 Can I ask the cooperation of the interpreters and everyone to have

15 just a 15-minute break? No, I can't. Mr. Ackerman will have all the time

16 he needs for his redirect. If the cross-examination has lasted so long, I

17 can't...

18 I need a feedback, because I can't see.

19 Okay, so we'll have a 15-minute break now, and then I will direct

20 both of you accordingly to make sure that we finish with the witness

21 today.

22 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, see which questions you really need

24 to ask before you bring your cross to an end, Mr. Nicholls.

25 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.

Page 23089

1 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I know what my deadline is, Your Honour.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman needs half an hour.

4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.

5 MR. ACKERMAN: I think probably about half an hour.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Half an hour.

7 MR. ACKERMAN: Could be a little less, a little more. It's hard

8 to tell at this point.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I have until 6.30, Your Honour?

10 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. Of course not. You need to conclude in

11 15 minutes.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: Fifteen minutes, okay.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think this chapter on the implementation by the

14 Prnjavor... I think you can skip it. Because it's documented anyway.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: There are some more, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: He isn't going to enlighten us much more anyway.

17 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll abandon that.

18 Q. You said yesterday speaking with Mr. Ackerman, that the time you

19 stopped -- I'll read exactly what you said.

20 Q. When did you officially end your membership in the

21 party?

22 This is on page 16.

23 A. There were some periods in which I was strongly

24 opposed or when my views were very different from their views. It was in

25 February 1991, and then in December, January, or February 1992. And in

Page 23090

1 February or March of 1992, I did not attend the sessions of the main board

2 at all, and also the sessions of the assembly until the fall of 1992.

3 Is that right? So did you attend any assembly sessions in March

4 1992? That's my question.

5 A. No. No. Excuse me, if I may, Mr. Prosecutor, I said no too

6 quickly. I think I misunderstood.

7 Which assembly are you referring to?

8 Q. I meant all assembly, but instead of that, let's just go to the

9 Assembly of the Serbian People on the 11th session in March of 1992. You

10 were there. You spoke at length. This is P2474.

11 Now, I don't know if I have enough time to go through every word

12 of this, so I've highlighted some points for you to look at. You speak,

13 and I'd like you to go to the third section. Well, because of the timing,

14 let's go to number 4. Do you see where further on I've written the number

15 4 next to a highlighted section? It states: "The only road we can take

16 is to make a confederation out of the BH to reach no agreements, to keep

17 on buying time and negotiations, and to achieve something at the Belgrade

18 level.

19 "If that does not happen, there will be no war, true. There will

20 be peace. The Serbs will lose everything. The worst possible scenario.

21 I am much more afraid of peace than of war."

22 That was your contribution to whether the problems should be

23 solved by agreement or by violence. There's nothing in there about

24 establishing a happy, pluralistic, multicultural society, is there?

25 A. Yes. I couldn't say what I really wanted to say within the

Page 23091

1 framework of every single item on the agenda.

2 Q. So you concentrated on the important points which was that you

3 were in favour of war. I understand that.

4 Look down at where I've highlighted number 6.

5 MR. ACKERMAN: Was that last part a question? Starting with "so

6 you concentrated"? And if so, does he get to answer it?

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

8 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll withdraw it.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Question withdrawn.


11 Q. Go to number 6, sir. "The status quo on the ground" - and I'm on

12 page 39 of the English - "has to be taken in Banja Luka and in Serbian

13 towns. And the question is how? We can do it by following certain rules,

14 but not through chaos. That is why I propose that the local Krajina

15 Assemblies should act as more extreme elements."

16 Now, that kind of contradicts what you have been saying, doesn't

17 it?

18 MR. NICHOLLS: If you give it to me, I can find the spot.

19 Q. You're suggesting that the Krajina Assemblies, the Krajina

20 Assemblies have an even more active role on the ground, in taking the

21 ground. Correct?

22 A. This expression here, "more extreme," it is not what it appears to

23 mean. My aim was for the association of municipalities to go officially

24 into the assembly where the representatives of all the ethnic groups from

25 a given area would take part, not only Serbs. Let me just check the

Page 23092

1 context of this, please.

2 Q. You can put this in context, too, that after your advocacy, that

3 the Krajina assemblies should act as more extreme elements. "There are

4 undoubtedly many concrete actions, concrete actions that can be taken. We

5 also have methods for financing this, and all it takes."

6 A. Listen, more extreme in terms of the way the authorities were

7 functioning because in this shape, they had no power whatsoever. My idea

8 was for this to evolve as some kind of autonomy, to go in that direction.

9 This is no secret. But a multiethnic autonomy which would have the power

10 of negotiating with the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the aim was

11 to develop its own diplomacy. But the aim was to have a war, the grey

12 eminences inside the government had paved the way for this. It was

13 obvious. There were invisible, hidden centres of power who governed the

14 entire thing. This expression "more extreme" did not mean that it had to

15 be a Serb-only government. I know what the colour of my personal politics

16 was at the time. I'm not saying that I felt no fear back then concerning

17 the risk to my own life, the hostile environment that I lived in, the

18 frustration that was felt among the people. Everyone felt this. The

19 question was how to survive, how to protect yourself in those times. I

20 felt this fear, too.

21 Q. I think you've explained that. Just last question on this

22 document. Go to where I have highlighted number 1. It's right after you

23 begin speaking. You start off by saying: "I would like to salute you

24 all..." And then you say for the first time that you would not be pleased

25 at least with any agreement, and you continue to state: "Why would I not

Page 23093

1 be pleased if any agreement would be made in the BH? Not because I'm a

2 hawk or because I want war. I'm trying to point out there are other Serbs

3 in other places with whom we have to work to arrange things jointly. The

4 problem with the remainder of this country is a problem with Serbs," and I

5 think you mean just of the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

6 You kind of failed to mention there the problems facing non-Serbs

7 again, don't you?

8 A. Yes. I did fail to mention that at the time because this was a

9 different subject.

10 Q. All right.

11 Now, the last part I want to cover with you very briefly, you

12 stated yesterday to me that you were never involved in weapons smuggling.

13 You maintain that. Correct?

14 A. Yes. Smuggling, no, never.

15 Q. During the wartime, at any time during the war, were you involved

16 in any unlawful activity which could be considered profiteering from the

17 wartime conditions?

18 A. No. But I was on a number of different occasions accused. I was

19 being accused beyond belief whenever I failed to consent to agree with

20 everything that was being done within the SDS. I was facing difficulty

21 throughout the whole period of time, and then some of the accusations were

22 made public, that I was involved in the obtaining of weapons, that I was

23 working with the SDO, that everyone knew I had contacts in Belgrade, that

24 I was a personal acquaintance of Mr. Dzindzic, or Mr. Peric who was a

25 member of his board who is a friend of mine from my university days.

Page 23094

1 Everyone knew that I had attended meetings of that party in Belgrade.

2 However, there were certain circles who did not exactly like this and

3 described me as SPO.

4 Q. Okay, I understand you're saying you were attacked because you

5 weren't in line with the SDS by some people. My question is was one of

6 the accusations placed against you that you were involved in actually

7 running illegal, organised telephone communication with the people in the

8 Republic of Croatia in 1994?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Let me show you P0032946. This is an RS Ministry of the Interior

11 state security department centre, Banja Luka, strictly confidential

12 information on illegal organised telephone communication in the Republic

13 of Croatia, 16 November 1994.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

15 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, my only concern is relevance. He has

16 already indicated that yes he had been -- that there was an accusation

17 made against him in that regard. What's the purpose? There's nothing to

18 impeach here. He agreed that he had been accused and it's 1994.

19 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, in all fairness, I think I should let him

20 read this document quickly. This is an act of dishonesty. He has only

21 said that he was accused. I haven't asked him whether or not in this

22 case -- whether in this case he did it, whether he's guilty of this crime

23 against state security for profit.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: It goes directly to his credibility.

Page 23095

1 MR. ACKERMAN: In addition, Mr. Nicholls is 5 minutes past the

2 time you allowed him.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I'm pushing Mr. Nicholls to conclude it

4 here, but the witness must answer this question.

5 You've read the accusation that is directed against you in that

6 document. Yes, your question now, Mr. Nicholls.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know if we need a warning.

8 Q. Are you guilty of that offence? I don't know if that case is

9 still open or pending against you. Were you diverting calls for profit to

10 Croatia in violation of state security laws? And I've got one more

11 document you might want to see before you answer. P0012794.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: And that will be the last one.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do wish to comment on this,

14 if you want to know.


16 Q. All right. But I think I should let you read this other very

17 short document. This is the next day, 17 November 1994, stating, again,

18 RS MUP, official note, stating that you appeared. You were at that time a

19 deputy of the RS Assembly. And you came to the CRDB in Banja Luka and you

20 wanted to talk to the officials there, the officers, about the issue and

21 that you may have been imprudent when you joined the mobile phone business

22 and asked what could be done.

23 The only question I want you to answer is if it's true you were

24 involved in an unlawful activity for profit as stated in this first

25 document I showed you.

Page 23096

1 A. I did do that, but that was no profit. There was an agreement

2 between myself and other people in Croatia to set up a link and to make it

3 possible for those people to speak to their families whom they hadn't

4 heard of or from in years. This was not about mobile phones; this was

5 about telephones.

6 Q. So this was a crime committed out of charity, not because you were

7 charging 6 DM a minute, as it states in the document?

8 JUDGE AGIUS: It wasn't charging actually. They were being

9 charged 6 and were getting 4. That's the allegation.

10 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right. I'm sorry.

11 Q. You committed this crime out of the goodness of your heart, not

12 because you were getting 4 DM a minute.

13 A. Please allow me to tell you this: Mobile telephones and related

14 expenditures at the time, I'm not sure how much a mobile phone in Croatia

15 would have been charged, and the local telephone lines and so on and so

16 forth. This entire service, it was merely about covering the expenses,

17 and no one at all was obliged to pay. It was said at the beginning 4

18 Deutschemark. Whoever could pay simply paid up. But not too many people

19 could actually afford to pay. But as soon as we started doing this, the

20 police cracked down.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we close here, Mr. Nicholls.

22 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I think the document speaks for itself.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, I need to just tender these as 2711 will be

25 P00 --

Page 23097

1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I need to mark them. The first

2 one which is dated 21st November.

3 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, 16 November.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: 16th November, yes.

5 MR. NICHOLLS: Is 2711.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: 2711. Yes.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: And the second one, 17 November is 2712.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: 2712. Are you tendering the one dated 21st

9 November?

10 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. That would be 2713.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.

12 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: You have all the time you require.

15 Re-examined by Mr. Ackerman:

16 Q. Mr. Vidic, in your testimony yesterday at page 82 of the LiveNote,

17 you were responding to one of Mr. Nicholls' questions, and you said this:

18 "Brdjanin had a run-in with Mladjenovic regarding Milankovic." Do you

19 remember that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. What -- tell the Chamber what you know about Brdjanin's run-in

22 with Mladjenovic regarding Milankovic. What was that about?

23 A. Mr. Mladjenovic was a journalist, and he was a boastful person.

24 He took photographs of himself. He made comments in the papers. He would

25 bring Milankovic to Krajina, and everyone was sick of them coming there.

Page 23098

1 There was a great deal of tension and disorder at the time. I know that

2 Mr. Brdjanin complained, and as Mr. Brdjanin complained there was

3 disagreement between Mr. Brdjanin and Miro Mladjenovic. I know that

4 Mr. Brdjanin reacted vehemently, as he usually does, with a great deal of

5 energy. He wanted those people to stop loitering about, to stop

6 compromising Krajina's image and so on and so forth.

7 Q. When you say "he wanted those people to stop loitering about" are

8 you referring to Milankovic and his people?

9 A. Yes. Mostly I was referring to Milankovic and his people.

10 Q. And what was the dispute between Brdjanin and Mladjenovic as

11 regards Milankovic? Why did Mladjenovic and Brdjanin have a dispute about

12 Milankovic?

13 A. To the extent that I understood this, Mr. Brdjanin refused to have

14 an informal unit doing something, or rather in Krajina, in Croatia, moving

15 about, throughout the area to start loitering about the assembly, to be in

16 the way. I know there was disagreement over this.

17 Secondly, I know that Mr. Boro Sendic, who is also in favour of

18 Milankovic's people in that group, they were seen together and at the same

19 time they were trying to hang about Krajina. This was impermissible. I

20 shared this view. But Mr. Brdjanin was very much of the view that those

21 two did not belong together. We were merely a municipality at that point.

22 We had no jurisdiction over everything -- over anything. No power. We

23 just had meetings that meant nothing at the time because there were no

24 instruments for us to use. There were attempts to set up an association

25 within the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a legal association.

Page 23099

1 At the very outset there were earnest attempts made to this effect.

2 Despite the extremism manifested by certain individuals, this was only

3 about the association.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm leaving him in your hands, Mr. Ackerman.

5 Whenever you want to stop him, stop.


7 Q. This issue that Brdjanin had with Mladjenovic as regards

8 Milankovic, do you have any memory of which side of that issue

9 Vojo Kupresanin was on? Was he supporting Mladjenovic or was he

10 supporting Brdjanin, or do you remember?

11 A. I believe he was supporting Brdjanin. Brdjanin, yes. Yeah, I

12 think so.

13 Q. I'd now like you to - it's in your book - look at the document

14 P0095. This is that meeting of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of

15 Krajina on 14 December 1991. If you look at the first paragraph, you'll

16 see that that meeting started at 10.00 in the morning.

17 I'm sorry, you haven't found it yet. P95. This is an extract

18 from the minutes. This is not the full minutes, it's just an extract.

19 You'll notice that the meeting started at 10.00 in the morning. And then

20 if you look at the very last page, it's only a three-page extract, I

21 believe, if you look at the very last page, you'll see that the session

22 ended at 7.00 that night. In other words, it lasted for nine hours, did

23 it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And Mr. Nicholls, in his questions of you, said there was no

Page 23100

1 discussion of any economic items during that meeting, was there? Can you

2 be sure that in that nine-hour meeting, that you never discussed economic

3 items, like under item 4 "other business" perhaps?

4 A. I can't be sure. It was a long time ago. I can't remember. If

5 it took such a long time, probably there was something else being

6 discussed.

7 Q. All right. Let me have you look now at -- it's in your book.

8 It's Exhibit P35. Mr. Nicholls talked about it as P118, but they're the

9 same document. And this is the 29 February 1992 meeting. And that's the

10 meeting that was attended by Karadzic, and you were asked about, under

11 conclusions, paragraph 3, which read "establish immediately strict control

12 of the territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina." At the end of

13 February 1992, what was going on in the Krajina that would have caused

14 this group to want to exercise some control over the territory? Was there

15 some out-of-control activity going on?

16 A. Yes. There was widespread feeling that there was no control.

17 There were three ethnic groups and three groups within those three ethnic

18 groups. The Green Berets had been set up in the Muslim towns and cities,

19 in the Croatian ones, the Croatian Defence council. They had already

20 mobilised people and set up informal military forces. It was in the same

21 period that they had disarmed the legal police forces in Bosanski Brod.

22 There were grey centres of power at the time. Those were party armies.

23 There was a risk of chaos where, for example, the majority population of

24 one of the ethnic groups would get itself armed and start conflicts. The

25 whole thing could have easily got out of control and consequences would

Page 23101

1 have been unforeseeable. There were attempts to do something about it.

2 There were different activities that were underway. I know that there was

3 a good number of municipalities that wanted peace and this desire for

4 peace would override everything else.

5 People wanted safety. Everyone was happy when an armed group was

6 disarmed. And immediately, there was order back in place. There was

7 pressure from the public to bring back peace and order. You couldn't go

8 anywhere any longer. There were roadblocks manned by armed people who

9 were not particularly good at handling weapons. There was a danger that

10 they would kill you just out of fear by a knee-jerk reaction. So yes,

11 there had to be some form of authority. What sort of authority, that was

12 the question.

13 Q. Was this related in any way to the initiative to disarm the

14 various paramilitaries like Milankovic's group and other similar groups?

15 Was this paragraph related in any way to that?

16 A. This date here, 1992, I'm not quite sure whether this refers to

17 that particular thing. I can't really answer you. I believe that this

18 decision was just a formal decision to make certain things possible. I

19 can't really say.

20 Q. All right. Let me take you to another issue.

21 You spoke very briefly about a session of the Autonomous Region of

22 Krajina that you attended in the company of your driver. Was your driver

23 a deputy in the ARK Assembly?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Was he sitting in the meeting with you?

Page 23102

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And you told the Chamber that you got thrown out of the meeting

3 because you wouldn't go along with something and that your driver remained

4 there. And I think you said your driver took part in a decision or

5 something. Can you explain that in a little more detail.

6 A. I was invited. I don't know exactly what date it was, which

7 session it was. I was invited to many such sessions, but I didn't go. I

8 decided to go for once. Mr. Njezic - I didn't want to go alone because

9 it was wartime - he was my driver. We went there. It was held in a small

10 hall of the Banja Luka Municipality building. There were so few people

11 there. The person I knew was the commander of the Banja Luka Corps, the

12 late Mr. --

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you want to know, Mr. Ackerman, whether it's

14 true that his driver actually reported to him that he had voted.


16 JUDGE AGIUS: Just confirm that yes or no.


18 Q. Did your driver actually participate in something in the assembly?

19 Did he vote or anything like that?

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Did he tell you that he had voted actually? Because

21 you were not present.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I entered the hall, the session

23 began. It was chaired by Mr. Brdjanin --

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, please, answer the question.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

Page 23103

1 JUDGE AGIUS: You already told us the story when you were being

2 asked questions by Mr. Nicholls. Mr. Ackerman only wants to know whether

3 it's true that your driver later on, when he came out of the assembly

4 after you had been chucked out, told you: "this is all a farce. I even

5 took part in the voting."

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: That's it.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He would tell me that story for

9 years.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. That's all we needed to know.

11 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.


13 Q. Did that cause you to have any kind of an impression about that

14 body, cause you to arrive at any conclusions about that body, that

15 incident?

16 A. Yes, yes.

17 Q. And what was that? What did you conclude from that incident?

18 A. That it did not have any real jurisdiction, that it was there just

19 pro forma, and that it served a certain purpose, that this was not a

20 serious institution, and that this was done on purpose.

21 Q. So Boro had reported the vote was 24 to 1 in favour of something.

22 One of those votes probably would have been your driver. Right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. I want you to look now at another document, P227. And it's not in

25 that book. Yes.

Page 23104

1 You should be looking at the Official Gazette of the Autonomous

2 Region of Krajina. Is that only in English?

3 JUDGE AGIUS: We certainly have it in B/C/S somewhere,

4 Mr. Ackerman.

5 MR. ACKERMAN: We certainly do. I can put it on the screen if the

6 technicians are up to doing that rather quickly. I don't know that they

7 are.

8 Yes. We've got it on the screen now, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.

10 MR. ACKERMAN: I just have to switch to the right one.

11 Q. You'll see there now in your language on the screen, it's decision

12 number 1 in the Official Gazette. And this is -- I'm just going

13 to -- because of the time, I'm going to tell you what this is. This is

14 the order of Milorad Sajic that Mr. Nicholls was showing you within that

15 document from the police where Milorad Sajic is ordering mobilisation

16 within the Autonomous Region of Krajina. And what I'm interested in

17 having you look at is the first paragraph right at the top. Do you see

18 that?

19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ackerman, because you may have it on

20 your screen but we don't have it on your screen, and I want to make sure

21 that the witness has it on his screen.

22 MR. ACKERMAN: I had it for a minute. What happened to it?

23 JUDGE AGIUS: It is on the screen now.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: There.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

Page 23105


2 Q. That's the language I'm interested in right there.

3 Now, my only question about that is does that indicate to you on

4 what authority that mobilisation issue was being promulgated? Was it on

5 the authority of the ARK -- Autonomous Region of Krajina or was it on the

6 authority of the Minister of Defence?

7 A. Pursuant to the Ministry of National Defence.

8 Q. All right. Mr. Vidic, I thank you very much for your time and

9 being here with us.

10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all the questions I have of you.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.

12 Mr. Vidic, we've come to an end, to the conclusion of your

13 testimony. And before you are escorted out of this courtroom by

14 Madam Usher, on my own behalf, on behalf of Judge Janu and Judge Taya, on

15 behalf of the Tribunal in general, I should like to thank you for having

16 coming over to give testimony. You will be given all the assistance you

17 require to enable you to return to your home as early as possible. Madam

18 Usher will now escort you, and our last words to you we wish you a safe

19 journey back home

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, for your

21 patience and for having listened to me.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we wind up for the day, I think it is my duty

23 as Presiding Judge in this trial to officially thank the interpreters, the

24 technicians, the rest of the staff, and the counsel for Defence and

25 Prosecution for your cooperation without which this witness would still be

Page 23106

1 with us tomorrow. I really appreciate that, and particularly --

2 particularly we appreciate the cooperation of the interpreters, as I said,

3 and of the technical staff.

4 Yes, Ms. Korner.

5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, simply to say I'd ask for 15 minutes

6 tomorrow morning before the next witness to deal with the matter arising

7 from Rule 98.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, well, but I don't think it's...

9 MS. KORNER: No, no, no. Absolutely not, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, everyone. And we'll

11 meet again tomorrow in this courtroom at 9.00. Please be informed, I am

12 doing my best to try to shift to other courtrooms as much as I can.

13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.45 p.m.,

14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of

15 December, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.