1 Monday, 13 March 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in the courtroom and around
6 the courtroom.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 There are a few procedural matters I understood the parties wanted
12 to raise. Mr. Stewart.
13 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. If -- I only raise the question
14 of where we are as far as witnesses are concerned. Mr. Josse is going to
15 deal with one or two other matters, if he may.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. STEWART: As far as witnesses are concerned, I have informed
18 the Trial Chamber, but this brings Mr. Krajisnik immediately up-to-date as
19 well, Your Honour, if I may, because I haven't had a chance to discuss it
20 with him. Happily, Mr. Lakic is able to travel tomorrow.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we were informed about that, that the withdrawal
22 of his visa was cancelled.
23 MR. STEWART: Yes, as you were, so that's good with Mr. Lakic.
24 The other piece of encouraging news, Your Honour, is that
25 Mr. Maricic, the next witness, is able to travel on Saturday. All the
1 technicalities have been taken care of, it's been confirmed that he will
3 Your Honour, if I may just look ahead to indicate a problem that
4 may arise but might not, and just to flag it. Mr. Maricic arriving on
5 Saturday, the Court is sitting on Monday morning next week. Your Honour,
6 depending on what happens with other witnesses, Your Honours can see
7 straight away that the only opportunity -- or the first opportunity we
8 would have to go and see Mr. Krajisnik with Mr. Maricic would be Monday
9 morning. It is quite impossible to go over the weekend, Your Honour.
10 Just in case there was any chance, I've checked that and have been told
11 unequivocally that's not possible. But, Your Honour, whether that in fact
12 creates a difficulty will depend on the progress we make with this next
13 witness, Mr. Radojko, and then the progress we make with Mr. Lakic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. STEWART: May I mention one other thing, Your Honour?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time already, explore the
17 possibility of not sitting in the morning of Tuesday, the 22nd [sic] of
18 March. But as you know, Friday afternoon and Monday morning are not the
19 most attractive --
20 MR. STEWART: I recognise that, Your Honour, yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But we already inquire into possibilities.
22 MR. STEWART: Yes. Your Honour, may I just mention this as well,
23 looking ahead, that perhaps we might bear in mind that Mr. Lakic, though
24 as far as we know in good health, is quite an elderly man, Your Honour,
25 and he's perhaps not -- not able to undertake the same sort of programme
1 that sometimes we do undertake with witnesses; fairly heavy meetings and
2 schedules when they arrive.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think information received -- this
4 information already came to the Chamber when earlier he was expected to
5 arrive. So that's understood.
6 MR. STEWART: Yes. I'm obliged, Your Honour, I'm never quite sure
7 exactly what information has reached everybody in all this, but there it
8 is. And Mr. Maricic is of a similar age, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that, Mr. Stewart.
10 Then there is a motion pending pursuant to Rule 90 bis. It has
11 been filed on the 10th of March. It's an urgent motion. I do not know
12 whether the time up until the 23rd of March, and then, I take it,
13 preferably one or two days before that date, will be enough. I see on
14 your schedule that the Defence would like to have the witness, at latest,
15 at Tuesday, the 21st of March. The only thing I can say is that to file a
16 motion 11 days in advance is not a guarantee for success.
17 Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, it is the position of the Prosecutor's
19 Office that we will not file a written reply to this motion.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Can we deal with the matter in open court?
21 MR. HARMON: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But before I give you an opportunity to respond,
23 Mr. Harmon - and I apologise for interrupting you - Mr. Stewart, I hope
24 you'll forgive me that I do not know all the criminal codes by heart. 211
25 and 226 of the Criminal Code of Republika Srpska deal with what type of
2 MR. STEWART: I have -- I have no more idea than Your Honour, but
3 Mr. Josse may have slightly more idea than both of us, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: But I take it that at least what the Defence would
5 have done in respect of a Defence witness, to see whether there is any
6 overlap with the questions to be put to the witness in the present case,
7 because if the witness would come and would tell us only that by answering
8 questions he would incriminate himself -- I've got no idea what this is.
9 Is this economic crimes, are these war crimes, are these crimes against --
10 crimes against humanity? I've got no idea, and I think it's relevant for
11 the Defence to know in advance.
12 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, two things: First of all, I'm
13 quite confident Mr. Josse can tell you more than I can straight away, Your
14 Honour, but also we have in mind that, even if there is an overlap, the
15 Court, in the usual way, as it has done previously in this case, can
16 direct a witness to answer on the basis that his answers are not to be
17 used against him.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You will understand - and I think that's a
19 matter that has been raised before - that of course we could check with
20 the Prosecution in this court, and perhaps the Prosecution is aware of
21 what type of charges were brought against -- against the witness, but --
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, Mr. Josse knows. Should I just hand
23 straight on to him, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. STEWART: Because we're proceeding on the basis of something
1 neither Your Honour nor I know about and we have someone in court who
3 MR. JOSSE: First of all may I say, Your Honour, we did not find
4 it very easy obtaining this information. The source is not as reliable
5 as, frankly, I might have hoped. That is one of the reasons we delayed
6 submitting the motion. But eventually the time arrived where we took the
7 decision that we could wait no longer.
8 JUDGE ORIE: May I interrupt you. When you say "the information
9 was not easy to obtain," are you talking about the content of the articles
10 of the criminal code?
11 MR. JOSSE: Not the contents of the code, as such, but exactly -
12 and I mean exactly - what this gentleman is doing in prison.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. JOSSE: But, Your Honour, I can tell you that it has nothing
15 to do with alleged war crimes; it's to do with an alleged fraud that
16 occurred after the war had ended.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. STEWART: Indeed, the matter has been reported on the Tribunet
19 briefly, and has been widely reported in the media in the Republika
20 Srpska. So I'm fairly confident about that. Your Honour, for what it's
21 worth, his co-accused, who's also in custody in the Republika Srpska, is
22 Momcilo Mandic. So --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, now at least the Chamber can understand that on
24 the basis of the charges brought against this witness at this moment in
25 Republika Srpska that we do not have to fear that more than you could, in
1 general terms, expect with witnesses, that he would -- he would refrain
2 from answering questions for -- out of fear of self-incrimination, apart
3 from the general fear, perhaps, that exists, but that usually is dealt
4 with this OTP, whereas of course what happens in Republika Srpska is a
5 different matter.
6 MR. JOSSE: Could I say Your Honour is very wise with respect to
7 use the word "general" because I suspect this witness might have general
8 concerns, from what I understand. But these matters have got nothing to
9 do with those general concerns.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear.
11 MR. JOSSE: I understand that he was in a prison in the Sarajevo
12 area. He's been moved out of that prison for logistical reasons, so I am
13 told. He has made a relatively recent contact with connections of ours in
14 the Republika Srpska from his prison cell, as I understand it - this is at
15 least second-hand hearsay, let me make it absolutely plain, not least
16 because of the language difficulties - has again expressed his willingness
17 to come to this court and give evidence, subject to physically being able
18 to and being brought here, and I hope that assists a little bit more.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. JOSSE: There's a little bit more information I may have if
21 Your Honour has any specific questions, but I can't promise to be terribly
22 helpful, and could I emphasise that really the information I'm relaying to
23 the Court, of course I'm doing it genuinely, but it's based on pretty
24 limited sources of information despite the best efforts of one member of
25 our team in particular.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's understood and accepted.
2 Mr. Harmon, response to the motion orally.
3 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we will not file a written response to
4 the motion. I direct the Court's attention to paragraph 4, relief sought;
5 paragraph 8 subpart (ii), we fully subscribe to that portion and we would
6 request that when he arrives here that he not be in contact in the prison
7 with the accused.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The request 8(ii) says more, and says:
9 "Protected from inference by other persons." That would be a bit
10 broader. I mean, would it be sufficient for you if he would be not in
11 contact with the accused in the Detention Unit, or would you like to have
12 him separated from others in that Detention Unit as well?
13 MR. HARMON: Well, our preference is to have him separated from
14 others in the Detention Unit.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Mr. Josse.
17 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, we couldn't object to this gentleman
18 being separated from our client or, indeed, anyone else in the prison, but
19 I am sure that in the normal course of events we would ask that he see
20 Mr. Krajisnik in the presence of one of us, as per any other witnesses.
21 MR. HARMON: We have no objection to that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's then clear. The Chamber will then deal
23 with the matter at a -- as quickly as possible.
24 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
25 JUDGE ORIE: I apologise for having to confer for a second. Yes,
1 the Chamber will give a decision as soon as possible.
2 Then I think we still -- we have a few other matters. First of
3 all, I think, Mr. Josse, that you would still need five minutes to respond
4 to the Prosecution's submissions in relation to the Savkic exhibits?
5 MR. JOSSE: Well, yes, I hope I'll be very much less than that.
6 I'm very grateful to Your Honour's opportunity to return to this subject
7 because we have considered the matter further. I have discussed it, in
8 particular, with Mr. Stewart, who wasn't in court when the matter was last
9 debated, so to speak.
10 So far as P1055 is concerned, we have changed our stance. Having
11 considered very carefully Your Honour's observations, so far as my
12 submissions are concerned, we are now of the view that that document
13 should be admitted into evidence. We accept that it would be, frankly,
14 nonsensical to not admit it into evidence, bearing in mind it purports to
15 come from the witness. And we accept that the issue as to whether or not
16 it's a forgery has nothing to do with its admission into evidence. I
17 repeat, in a sentence, of course the Court is going to need to decide
18 whether it is a forgery. I've made my submissions as to where the burden
19 of proof relies in relation to that, where the standard of proof lies in
20 relation to that, and my submissions have not changed at all as far as
21 that is concerned. But notwithstanding that, whether the Court finds it
22 is a forgery, it isn't a forgery, isn't sure it's a forgery, we do accept
23 it should be admitted into evidence so that the matter can be considered
24 properly by the Chamber.
25 Your Honour, in a further sentence, we do invite the Court to
1 treat that completely differently to our main grounds for objection in
2 relation to documents which contain second- or third-hand hearsay which
3 are put to the witness and which the witness then completely refutes,
4 because in effect that's trying to get 92 bis-type evidence in through the
5 book door. This document, 1055, doesn't fall into that category, and we
6 withdraw our objection to its admission.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, Mr. Josse, this Chamber has
8 accepted, to some extent, what we called contextual exhibits. And if a
9 witness doesn't recognise the document, that would not automatically
10 exclude that exhibit from being relevant and being admissible as a
11 contextual exhibit, but perhaps we should clearly separate that and see
12 that if a witness says "I don't know that document," that it could not be
13 admitted through that witness, which does not, under all circumstances,
14 would exclude the exhibit to be admitted as a contextual exhibit. That's
15 -- this is just a thought, this is not a decision, but a --
16 MR. JOSSE: Well, you can see, Mr. Stewart is anxious to try and
17 discuss the matter with me further, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Take your time, it's not urgent.
19 MR. JOSSE: Thank you very much. We're grateful.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then I think these were --
21 Mr. Harmon.
22 MR. HARMON: There was one additional matter, Your Honour, and
23 that is the request by the Prosecution to have relief from the deadline --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. HARMON: -- for an item that is found in the Court's 2nd of
1 March, 2006, omnibus order on the admission of exhibits and related
2 requests. I refer specifically to page 3 of that decision dealing with
3 contracts and other material relating to Prosecution Exhibit 340. And in
4 that, this was an exhibit, Your Honour, that dealt with the relinquishment
5 of property on allegedly a voluntary basis in order to leave
6 municipalities. The Court had ordered the Prosecution to provide the
7 requested documents to the Chamber and the Defence within two weeks of
8 this order. As I mentioned earlier, I had a limited number of such
9 documents. I had been in contact through my investigator with an agency
10 in Bosnia that said that they had a large number of these documents. My
11 investigator went to that agency, was informed that the agency had neither
12 the time nor resources to comply with the Court's order, and we couldn't
13 get them in time. They suggested, instead, that we go to the various
14 municipalities in the ARK where such repositories of such documents
16 Now, I have at this point in time directed my investigator to do
17 just that, subject to a Court's decision giving me some relief from the
18 deadline of this for compliance, which is the 16th of March. What I
19 propose, Your Honour, is the Court put -- grant my request for additional
20 relief, additional time. I will then send my investigator to 11
21 municipalities within the ARK, those 11 being the municipalities that have
22 been touched upon in the evidence before the Court, as opposed to 21
23 municipalities, some of which have never been touched upon, and my
24 investigator will then collect representative samples as the Court has
25 requested. He cannot do that by the 16th of March.
1 JUDGE ORIE: How much time does he need?
2 MR. HARMON: I need to be in touch with him. I would say two
4 JUDGE ORIE: Two weeks more.
5 MR. HARMON: Two weeks more from the --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, any objection to granting an additional
7 two weeks?
8 MR. STEWART: No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, your request is granted, Mr. Harmon.
10 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 MR. JOSSE: I've got two other matters. One I alluded to on
12 Friday, that is the issue to do with D14.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour originally gave us to today and then very
15 kindly granted an extension. The position is this: I have a person --
16 bearing in mind it was me he was effectively referring to in the course of
17 his evidence -- we'll assume it was me when he talked about Defence
18 counsel because I was the Defence counsel who dealt with it. I have a
19 limited recollection of this. The member of our team who is responsible
20 for these matters is away for another week. I would request two weeks.
21 In that time, I will speak, of course, to the member of the team when he
22 returns, instruct him to try and find the document, and if he doesn't,
23 then to try and contact D14. We would like to be as cooperative as we can
24 about the matter.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Mr. Harmon, you were given 14 days, now you are asked 14 days.
2 MR. HARMON: Yes, we do not object, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Granted, Mr. Josse.
5 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. The next matter, Your Honour, are the
6 exhibits related to Mr. Poplasen. I am not yet in a position to tell the
7 Court which I wish to argue and which I don't, but it may be, for
8 Mr. Harmon's benefit, the Court would like to fix a date for him to return
9 here, bearing in mind I think he is not dealing with the next witness, for
10 that argument to take place. The vast majority I am not going to argue, I
11 can already tell the Court.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 If you inform Mr. Harmon when you are ready and inform the Chamber
14 at the same time, then we will find a suitable moment to deal with them.
15 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Let's wait until that moment for all exhibits
17 introduced through Mr. Poplasen.
18 MR. JOSSE: And the last matter relates to the next witness and
19 it's not really a procedural matter, it relates to his testimony, so I'll
20 turn to that when the Court is ready.
21 JUDGE ORIE: There -- the last witness --
22 MR. JOSSE: Did I say the last witness? Yes, I beg your pardon,
23 the next witness. I'm sorry.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Next witness.
25 MR. JOSSE: Next witness, I beg your pardon. It relates to
1 Mr. Radojko. It's introduction, so to speak, a preliminary
2 observation-cum-submission that I wish to make before he commences his
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and I take it that you want to make that
5 observation in his absence?
6 MR. JOSSE: Correct.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And there's no other procedural matter to be raised,
8 so therefore, Mr. Harmon and Mr. Margetts, I see that you're about to
9 leave, so you're excused.
10 Mr. Josse, please proceed.
11 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, before the flurry of e-mails this morning
12 between the Chamber, Mr. Tieger, and Mr. Stewart, I was aware of a
13 potential difficulty so far as the transcript of this witness's evidence
14 in the Brdjanin trial. I personally didn't deal with the matter this
15 morning because I was in the UNDU, seeing Mr. Krajisnik. The difficulty
16 that I was aware of was this: Mr. Radojko was originally due to give live
17 evidence at this court in April of 2004. There is no dispute that he came
18 to The Hague, he waited for about five days, he didn't get on, and he was
19 sent home.
20 Thereafter, as I understand it, the Prosecution sought to have his
21 evidence in Brdjanin, which lasted about four days, admitted pursuant to
22 92 bis. I assume that two members of this Chamber read those transcripts
23 and one did not, simply because of the time-span involved because Judge
24 Hanoteau wasn't a member of the Bench at that particular juncture.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see in -- you would -- why do you think that
1 the two other Judges would have read those transcripts?
2 MR. JOSSE: Because, Your Honour, I was under the impression that
3 if a piece of evidence is going to be admitted 92 bis, then the Judges
4 would have had to have read it in order, one, to decide if it can be
5 admitted, and, two, then to decide if it should be admitted subject to
6 cross-examination. So that's why I make that assumption.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I was confused when you said the person who you
8 sought to have his evidence in Brdjanin admitted pursuant to 92 bis.
9 That's fine, but none of these Judges have -- we are not -- now I do
10 understand, yes, and I misread you, admission not in Brdjanin under 92
11 bis, but the transcript of his Brdjanin testimony to be admitted under
12 Rule 92 bis in this case.
13 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely. Precisely. So I'm assuming that that's,
14 albeit a long time ago - almost two years ago - these four days of
15 evidence was read by two of the present members of the Bench.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At least there's a fair chance that if we have
17 not seen every letter of it, then at least we have seen quite some of it,
19 MR. JOSSE: Thereafter, the Court, as I've already said, ordered
20 that Mr. Radojko attend for cross-examination; and thereafter that, the
21 Prosecution decided to drop him as a witness, I accept, on grounds of time
22 and expediency. If I'm wrong about that, Mr. Tieger will correct me, but
23 he and I have discussed the matter briefly this morning and I'm sure that
24 is correct. So the Prosecution, having to make ruthless decisions about
25 time, decided not to call Mr. Radojko in those circumstances.
1 So my first observation prior to Mr. Tieger's e-mail of this
2 morning was there's a certain imbalance, because two members of the Court
3 have read, at least if not in whole, part of the evidence and the other
4 has not.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the last assumption is not a correct one.
6 Judge Hanoteau has familiarised himself with the case and that does not
7 say that he has only read transcripts and -- so therefore -- I mean, I
8 hope that you were not under the impression that whatever happened before
9 the arrival of Judge Hanoteau was unknown to him.
10 MR. JOSSE: Well, I wasn't --
11 JUDGE ORIE: For weeks and weeks he worked hard to get acquainted,
12 but of course I would not know whether -- I would not even know for myself
13 how -- if I read it all, but I have the habit of reading things very
14 intensive, but I could not say, of course, the same for Judge Hanoteau,
15 and I think it's not a matter to -- it's not a question to be answered in
16 detail at this moment.
17 MR. JOSSE: No.
18 JUDGE ORIE: But your assumption that two of the Judges would be
19 familiar with the material and the third would not be is an assumption
20 that I cannot at this moment accept as a correct assumption.
21 MR. JOSSE: Moving on from that, and frankly I don't think it
22 matters a great deal, the Defence position is that we're not relying on
23 the transcripts in Brdjanin and we don't wish to have those admitted under
24 92 bis. And I simply want to be clear that that is the present procedure.
25 I, of course, accept that Mr. Tieger is able to cross-examine the
1 witness with any proper material that he can use, and that obviously
2 includes the transcripts from a previous trial. That's obviously material
3 that can be used in the course of cross-examination, but I simply want and
4 need to be clear that this transcript, four-day transcript, is not part of
5 the evidence as we stand at the moment.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: I never understood anything to the contrary, Your
8 Honour, and I am not aware of any communication between the parties or to
9 the Court that would have suggested otherwise.
10 JUDGE ORIE: To be quite honest, I don't remember exactly what
11 happened two years ago. I take it that you have submitted for admission
12 92 bis material from Mr. Radojko, that we may have decided that you would
13 have -- that that material was admitted into evidence but that Mr. Radojko
14 should be called for cross-examination. Is that -- that you then said:
15 We're not going to call Mr. Radojko. And I'm not certain anymore whether
16 we then took a decision that you withdraw that 92 bis material because you
17 couldn't meet the condition set by the Chamber or whether the Chamber
18 decided that it was not any longer in evidence.
19 MR. TIEGER: Irrespective of the precise procedural background,
20 Your Honour, it is not the Prosecution's impression or position that those
21 transcripts are in evidence or that the Defence has sought to tender them
22 into evidence.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
24 MR. TIEGER: So I -- and as I say, I don't know if there was a
25 misimpression to that effect, but I hope that clarifies it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We'll -- of course we'll check -- for the Chamber
2 it's important to know exactly what the procedural steps have been that
3 were taken, and my memory just doesn't serve me at this moment, which at
4 least means, Mr. Josse, that this Chamber has not prepared itself by
5 studying these -- these transcripts. So therefore, we'll check it during
6 the first break, but we start the examination of Mr. Radojko on the basis
7 that nothing of any written statement -- of any written statement is in
8 evidence at this moment.
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I just add this because, since I
10 was here at that time - I have been always here, Your Honour; Mr. Josse
11 wasn't - it was always the assumption on the Defence side that where
12 material had been admitted under 92 bis subject to the witness being
13 produced for cross-examination, that if the witness then were not produced
14 for cross-examination, that 92 bis -- that would automatically lapse, that
15 it simply would fall out of evidence without any further technical step
16 being taken, but the practical result may be the same, however, exactly.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I just wanted to know whether we took any
18 practical steps or whether it's on the basis of what you just said that
19 this material is not in evidence.
20 Mr. Josse, are you ready to call Mr. Radojko?
21 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Madam Usher, could you please.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Radojko. Can you hear me in a
1 language you understand?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. I do hear you in a
3 language I understand.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radojko, before you give evidence in this court,
5 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn
6 declaration that you speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
7 truth. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration, of which the
8 text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I shall
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Radojko. Please be seated.
12 For those who listened on the English channel, I heard "... that I
13 shall speak ..." It reads "... I will speak ..." I take it that in the
14 original language it's "will" and not "shall," which, of course, is a
15 different -- I take it that you solemnly declare that you will speak the
16 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, Mr. Radojko?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There was a translation issue.
19 Mr. Josse, please proceed.
20 WITNESS: JOVO RADOJKO
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examination by Mr. Josse:
23 Q. What's your name, please?
24 A. My name is Jovo Radojko.
25 Q. You were born in the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it's right you, in fact, went to higher --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... school in Zagreb in about
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You then went to the political science faculty in Zagreb,
8 intending to become a journalist. You didn't complete that and went,
9 instead, to law school?
10 A. Yes. Afterwards I decided to switch over to the law school.
11 Q. You received your diploma from Zagreb University law school in
12 1987 and worked in Zagreb in 1990, until you passed the bar exam?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You worked for a time in Croatia, but due to ethnic difficulties,
15 you took a job that you were offered in Petrovac in the same year?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At the end of 1990 you were appointed secretary of the Executive
18 Committee of the Municipal Assembly in Petrovac?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. So far as your political involvement is concerned, you were a
21 member of the Croatian SDS party, which you had joined in 1990?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then you remained a member of the SDS when you moved to
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The job of secretary of the Executive Committee you remained in
2 until September of 1995?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You then went with your family to Derventa and you were a judge
5 there for approximately 10 years?
6 A. Nine years.
7 Q. In fact, in 2004 you were not re-appointed a judge in Petrovac due
8 to issues involving ethnic quotas, and you've done various things since
9 then and you're presently trying to qualify as a notary. Is that all
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. During the war, as we've heard, you were secretary of the
13 Executive Committee. You were also -- you also saw active service in the
15 A. On a number of occasions, I had been mobilised into the armed
16 forces. I wasn't an active officer; I'm a reservist.
17 Q. And it's right that, as you've said, on occasions you were
18 mobilised to a unit and then you would return and continue your job as
19 secretary to the Executive Committee?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I want at this point to this deal with this matter in real
22 outline, but it is right, isn't it, that after the Second World War there
23 was a great deal of ill feeling by Serbs towards Muslims and Croats as a
24 result of what had gone on during that war?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In communist times, were those feelings curtailed or contained in
2 any real and serious way?
3 A. Well, there was constant mistrust amongst the population and a
4 lack of sufferance, but the communist system and the communist regime was
5 relentless in trying to discourage it. They were aware of the risk of all
7 Q. It may be important for some of your subsequent answers: Though
8 you've just gone your history, you were away from Petrovac for a long
9 period of time. We know you came back in 1990. When in fact did you
10 leave the municipality?
11 A. I had never actually lived in Petrovac until 1990. My family had
12 land on the territory of the municipality of Kljuc and only a part of what
13 we had, some land and a flat, were in the municipality of Petrovac. I
14 went to school in Kljuc, and I left there to go to Zagreb in 1974, and
15 after 16 years, due to the circumstances, I arrived in Petrovac.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, just to clarify a matter. One of your
17 previous questions was about ill feelings, and the witness in his answer
18 referred to mistrust, and then at the end of his answer he says: "They
19 were aware of the risk of all that." I take it that the witness meant to
20 say that the risk of the events experienced during the Second World War
21 would repeat itself. Is that how I have to understand the risk?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I suppose you have
23 understood me well. What I meant to say was the communist leadership was
24 aware of the risk involved in even discussing these issues, and they
25 wanted to suppress them in every way possible, and that's what they did.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
2 MR. JOSSE:
3 Q. The president of the Municipal Assembly was a gentleman called
4 Mr. Novakovic. Is that right?
5 A. Up until the end of 1992.
6 Q. When he was killed in the conflict?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I know this is a generalisation, but as far as you could see, what
9 sort of president was he? Did he do the job well?
10 A. Well, under the circumstances, he did it to the best of his
12 Q. And was he a member of the SDS?
13 A. He was. He was one of the leading SDS members within the
15 Q. I want to ask you immediately about the growth of criminal gangs
16 in the municipality. When did it become apparent that there were criminal
17 gangs operating in Petrovac?
18 A. I cannot give you an exact date, nor was this a phenomenon which
19 came about all of a sudden. It is something that developed and started
20 escalating gradually. Basically, as the war was spreading on the area of
21 the former Yugoslavia, a certain number of people joined military units.
22 Certain people because they were conscripted or mobilised, and others were
23 volunteers. Amongst volunteers there were people who did not have an
24 acceptable goal, so to say. There were people who went, donned uniforms,
25 picked up arms, and when time came for them to take leave, because
1 everybody would get leave in between periods of time spent on the front
2 lines, they would go home but they would keep their weapons and their
3 ammunition, and at least those people who had less-than noble intentions
4 used a pretty simple method. The next time around, they wouldn't join the
5 unit that they came from but another unit, and then they would take
6 weapons there as well, and they kept quiet about their previous unit.
7 Since the system was in a total disarray, they were able to do so;
8 otherwise, under normal circumstances, they wouldn't have been able to get
9 away with it. So in the end they didn't even go to war, as such, but
10 those were people who were criminals or who had criminal intentions or
11 tendencies, even before the war. So they declared themselves to be some
12 kind of protection force of the people or whatever, but gradually they
13 starting using this apparent participation and membership of the armed
14 forces as an excuse in the public eye in order to avoid any pressure being
15 brought to bear in the sense that they should be arrested, and they
16 started using those weapons for less-than noble goals.
17 For example, if they were arrested by the civilian police and they
18 asked them for their IDs, they would be able to prove that they were
19 members of the military, so they couldn't do anything about them. So they
20 would turn to the military police, but in most cases they were too far
21 away - in this particular case, in Croatia - and when the feedback came
22 back, it would again be time for them to join the unit and that would be
24 Q. I'm going to stop you there. That's quite a lot of information
25 there. It's quite important perhaps to and define some sort of period.
1 Help us, if you can, with when you say these gangs started to emerge in
2 your municipality. If you don't know, say so.
3 A. In our area, at some point in the first half of 1992 was the first
4 time that this was noticed as far as I can remember, and this was the
5 first time that there was intervention on the part of the then-member of
6 the National Assembly. He first initiated this and he asked for them to
7 be stopped. I don't know whether at the time it was the Crisis Staff or
8 the War Presidency, because they tended to change their name quite
9 frequently, but I seem to remember that they asked the police
10 administration to arrest those people because -- I mean, they couldn't
11 actually order the police to do so, they could only ask them to do so.
12 And that was the system back then.
13 And I know there were some serious attempts as banning them from
14 the area, even though they were not brought to trial. I know they were
15 arrested. Some of them had been released, by force, by their own
16 colleagues, so to say, and so on.
17 Q. Now, I have used the word "criminal gang" deliberately. By
18 "criminal gang" -- let me start that again. In your mind, does "criminal
19 gang" equate with paramilitary or are they different concepts and
21 A. I'm going to give you my own personal opinion. I do know exactly
22 what the distinction is and what the classification is, rather. I really
23 do believe that there were criminal gangs, criminal groups, whatever you
24 want to call them. There were several such groups appearing in our area.
25 Some were chased away straight away; others dwelt a bit longer. The
1 biggest problem was represented by those who originally came from the area
2 because you couldn't chase them anywhere. Why do I think that they're not
3 paramilitary units? In our area, there were no paramilitary units or
4 formations because all those who were soldiers had their specific and
5 well-determined affiliation. Paramilitary formations do have some kind of
6 system of command and all that. I mean, this group normally exists in the
7 shape and form of a military unit, even though it may not be within the
8 framework of the official armed forces. But that's not who they were.
9 They would don their uniforms, pick up their weapons, strut around town,
10 and then go in to rob someone, and then they would go back to a cafe or to
11 a bar and spend the money.
12 Q. Can you help at all as to any definition of these groups; how many
13 were there, how many people were in them, do you know the names of their
14 leaders? That type of thing.
15 A. In the area of our municipality, as far as I heard from members of
16 the Crisis Staff and the police chief, when he used to come, having been
17 invited by the Crisis Staff in order to intervene, two, possibly three,
18 groups had been identified. They had relatively few members, permanent
19 members, let's say. Three to four, they might have had other associates,
20 but leading members were very few in number. One of the group was led by
21 someone called Topalovic. As to whether he was the actual boss ... But I
22 think they were more or less equals. You couldn't really say that one
23 person was bossing everybody else about. Perhaps he was slightly more of
24 a leader than the others. And that group was arrested on the occasion of
25 that intervention that I referred to earlier on. And since there were the
1 four of them and they were arrested, and then another group came along and
2 they released them, they made it possible for them to get out of prison.
3 They threatened the police chief with weapons, they pointed guns at him
4 and they threatened everybody else, and so I suppose that there must have
5 been more than four in the gang. And the chief of police, I suppose, did
6 not dare give us any more details when he came to report on the situation
7 at the War Presidency.
8 I was present because I myself spotted one of those people in the
9 street and I was quite frightened and I came to tell them, and they made
10 jokes at my expense, telling me that I was scared of everything, but then
11 when they received the information from the police chief, they realised
12 how serious the situation is.
13 There was a second group, I think a young guy was a member, but
14 I'm not sure because I only arrived there a couple months earlier and I
15 was more involved in my own work and I didn't really visit the bars or
16 cafes and I didn't really know that many locals, but I know that people
17 would point to others who were involved in such shady dealings.
18 And there was another group, as I said. They had a white Golf
19 vehicle. They had Sarajevo licence plates. They might have stolen the
20 car, I don't know, but apparently they were originally from Petrovac and I
21 know one of them was killed in a car accident.
22 And there were rumours about another group which apparently came
23 from the outside. On occasion they would come and rest, so to say, in
24 Petrovac, about four to five people, and I know that somebody called Caric
25 was a member of that group, and at a later stage he was arrested by the
1 military police. What actually happened to him afterwards, I don't know,
2 but the leadership had told me that he was taken to prison at Kamenica
3 near Drvar, apparently due to some criminal activity on his part. What
4 exactly that criminal activity was I never found out, but when I did ask
5 questions, I was told it wasn't a good idea to ask too many questions
6 about these things.
7 So I know that there were at least three of those groups. As I
8 said, there were not too many people there, but obviously they must have
9 had associates, supporters, and people who may have participated in the
10 division of the booty. There wasn't all that much of it, I suppose,
11 because what could they have found in people's houses? There were not too
12 many wealthy people there --
13 Q. I'm going to stop you again. I'm going to stop you because I'd
14 like to be a little bit more specific. You discussed or mentioned the
15 fact that they robbed people, went into people's homes and stole booty.
16 What other source of crimes did these groups commit?
17 A. As far as I know, some of the robbers at the time - that is to say
18 the first half of 1992 - killed a man whom I knew by sight. He was an
19 attendant at the petrol station and he was killed in armed robbery, and
20 Mr. Jovica Sepa told me about it, and he knew about it because this guy
21 who had been killed was a close friend of his family.
22 Q. Stop there, please. What was the ethnicity of the man who was
23 killed at the petrol station, please?
24 A. He was a Muslim.
25 Q. So there was a robbery, there was some murder. Was robbery and
1 this killing directed at people because they were Muslims or was the
2 criminal activity random?
3 A. Look, I wouldn't say that those were accidental crimes. Those
4 people were guilty of a succession of crimes. They would run into
5 somebody in the street and relieve them of their car, for example. But
6 the truth is also something else. They normally picked on Muslims because
7 they expected that perhaps this made it less likely for them to be
8 prosecuted. They must have been very surprised when they were arrested,
9 but they robbed anyone. And I think one of the MPs, the one who
10 complained, I think -- well, he had an agricultural holding and some of
11 his flock of animals and -- were taken away and his shepherd was killed as
12 well, and I think they did it out of revenge at a later stage, probably
13 because he was the one who asked for those people to be brought to trial.
14 I don't have any hard and fast facts or information about it, but that was
15 the conclusion drawn across town.
16 Q. You have already mentioned in the course of one of your earlier
17 answers the inability of the authorities to deal with these people --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, may I first ask a clarifying question to
19 the witness.
20 Mr. Radojko, you said, "They normally picked on Muslims because
21 they expected that perhaps this made it less likely for them to be
23 Could you explain why it was less likely for them to be prosecuted
24 if they would choose Muslims?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time the conflict on the
1 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina had already started. The Croatian
2 armed forces had crossed over to Brod and a part of the territory was
3 taken all the way to river Ukrina in Derventa. In Herzegovina as well
4 some units had cropped up and started military action. And so there was a
5 great deal of tension. Tensions were mounting and there was a lot of
6 animosity and resentment in the media, through the radio programmes, et
7 cetera. So it was an ongoing thing, and I suppose that, in their frame of
8 mind, that must have concluded that they were allowed to do that, entitled
9 to do that. I don't know what else to say. But at any rate, the reason
10 I'm saying this is that they used to engage in attacks and plundering of
11 Muslim inhabitants rather than Serbs, and Serbs are in the overwhelming
12 majority in the area, so that led me to conclude this.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you be a bit more specific as far as the
14 time of that specific incident you mentioned is concerned. Until now you
15 said "beginning of 1992." You now said at that time the conflict had
16 already started. Could you tell us when in the first half of 1992 this
17 incident took place.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know a somewhat broader story
19 about this, but it would take up too much time. But I suppose it must
20 have been in June, July, I don't know. At any rate, it was by the middle
21 of the year. I found out about it from that guy who was a member of the
22 Executive Board, and he said that he was sorry that he hadn't done
23 anything himself because he felt that he might have been able to save that
24 man. In other words, that man had offered -- or rather, asked him to take
25 the property that had been looted and keep it at his house, and he said
1 that he couldn't because of the job he had and that everybody would say
2 that he took advantage of Muslims. And he refused them, even though they
3 were friends. And he said, "Had I taken this property, they wouldn't have
4 come and taken it because they wouldn't have had anything." So that's my
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
7 MR. JOSSE:
8 Q. You have already mentioned in the course of one of your earlier
9 answers about the inability of the authorities to deal with these gangs.
10 Firstly, what did the police try and do?
11 A. Well, the authorities were pretty powerless, not altogether
12 powerless. They did have some potential which they did use to some
13 extent, but it was inefficient because those regulations had been
14 inherited from the previous regime and the police administration or the
15 police chief would be at the regional level and the local police was
16 accountable to the regional administration. And that's who gave them
17 their orders, on the basis of which orders they could then act. And there
18 was never anything they had to decide, as such, at the local level. And
19 it was a pretty rigid system which made any efficient and swift reaction
21 Secondly, as to the armed forces, which had already descended upon
22 Petrovac in large numbers, because there are four regional routes crossing
23 Petrovac in all directions, so it was an area of transit for all military
24 and paramilitary forces, and very often it would happen that, for example,
25 the paramilitaries would enter the town and they would stay at the hotel
1 and they expected to be given everything, full hospitality, and they would
2 pay nothing because they were, so to say, going to war to defend Serbdom.
3 So they had no actual command structure, as such. I knew that the
4 municipal leadership complained because I myself was drafting these
5 documents and these requests addressed to the military command, and the
6 military command would write back saying they were people who had nothing
7 to do with them, and they actually had nothing to do with the actual armed
8 forces. They were the conscripts of the devil. They would join the unit
9 that they picked. They were these paramilitaries. They had some kind of
10 internal command with these smaller groups, but they were not within the
11 framework of the actual system. Sometimes, in order to avoid prosecution,
12 they would declare themselves to be a member of a certain unit and by the
13 time you found out they were not part of that unit, they had disappeared
14 and there was no trace of them, they're at the other end of the country.
15 They were stopped to a certain extent only as late as the end of 1992.
16 Not quite, but to a considerable extent.
17 Q. So you've mentioned the police, the army. What about the
18 municipal authorities which you were part of? Why didn't you do more to
19 control them?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, before you continue, I'm totally lost by
21 the previous answer of the witness. You asked him about the inability of
22 the authorities to deal with criminal gangs. First part of the answer the
23 witness explains the ineffective command structures of the police. The
24 second part of his answer is about the presence of military and
25 paramilitary forces and how these paramilitary forces behaved and -- well,
1 a lot more command structures. It's totally unclear what in this respect
2 these -- first of all, from paramilitary forces I would not expect much in
3 investigating criminal gangs. But it's totally unclear how the second
4 part of the answer deals with your question. The first part is clear.
5 Could you please try to clarify it.
6 MR. JOSSE:
7 Q. Well, Mr. Radojko, you've just mentioned paramilitaries in
8 relation to my question which related to control by the authorities of the
9 gangs. First follow-up question is: What have paramilitaries got to do
10 with control of the gangs?
11 A. Based on my knowledge, they were not subordinated to anyone nor
12 could anyone control them. These gangs had taken up the efforts of the
13 few police forces there were, whereas on the other hand the
14 paramilitaries, by the fact that they had passed through the town and
15 acted as they did, they incited the local thieves and local criminals, so
16 to speak, to even engage more in their misconduct. But I wanted to draw
17 your attention to the fact that they -- they were there only temporarily.
18 Most of the local men were on the front line and nobody could have stood
19 up to these people, even if they wanted to.
20 Q. What about the legitimate or regularised and mobilised armed
21 forces; what could they do about it?
22 A. As a rule, the mobilised forces were on the front line; however, a
23 good many members of these units were given to abandoning their positions
24 which would, under normal circumstances, be called desertion and would
25 incur criminal responsibility. However, I have to point out that in
1 Bosnia at the time there was no army. These were armed persons who simply
2 joined units. Even those who had not served or had not gone through
3 military service for whatever disability they had, even they joined units.
4 It was only when the situation became too difficult and complicated that
5 they suddenly invoked their disabilities.
6 The local authorities that I worked for had for many times sought,
7 both verbally and in writing, from the military commands that they do
8 something to discipline the soldiers, to prevent the soldiers from taking
9 weapons into town, because there had been victims as a result of members
10 of the army who would appear armed in town, intoxicated, and embark on
11 plundering enterprises, which only added to tensions, escalating them, and
12 nurturing total absence of the rule of law. That was as far as these
13 regular forces could have intervened.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, again, time-frame. The witness said: "I
15 have to point out in Bosnia at the time there was no army."
16 What time-frame do we have in mind? Because earlier, talking
17 about the incident, we're talking about June. The witness has testified
18 that there were no military force -- no paramilitary units or -- there. I
19 now do understand that sometimes paramilitary units were there and even
20 encouraged criminal gangs. It's becoming more and more confusing to me.
21 When you said: "At that time there was no army in Bosnia," which
22 moment did you have exactly in mind?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was not my intention
24 to confuse anyone. I simply tried to explain a state of affairs. I used
25 to be a member of an elite military unit and I know what the army looks
1 like. What we Muslims, Serbs, and Croats had was a sort of army which did
2 not really have any command structures, where soldiers could do whatever
3 they wanted. However, officially speaking, these persons were indeed
4 members of the army but they did not behave as such, nor did the command
5 structure have any effective control of them in the sense which a military
6 command structure is, because this person was free to join the unit or
7 leave at leisure. In my opinion and under the then-valid legislation,
8 such conduct should have been punished. Such a situation only served to
9 produce further disorder and lack of discipline.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
11 MR. JOSSE: Well, yes. How -- could --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Judge Hanoteau would have a question.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I just would like to understand
14 whether this was only for a time or whether this continued for a longer
15 time and whether this was the general situation. Was there a point in
16 time when this army suddenly became regular and became structured and
17 actually became consistent, you know, actually behaved like what you could
18 expect out of an army? Or you say throughout the conflict it was ongoing
19 and it was always like that, to have this disorganised and disbanded army
20 where everybody was doing whatever they wanted. So what exactly do you
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this situation
23 persisted throughout the war practically; however, the worst situation in
24 those terms was the one in 1992. Back in 1992, nobody knew what they were
25 supposed to do. The officers who had stayed behind, who had not been
1 accepted by the JNA in Belgrade, were felt abandoned and deceived. They
2 were not able to find their way in -- under a new system, whereas there
3 were new members of the army who refused obedience to what they thought
4 were communist officers. It was only after the war that order could be
5 brought to the army. Throughout the war, everyone knew that a unit of a
6 light brigade strength, which was perhaps a battalion of more strength,
7 could simply abandon their positions and go home because they were
8 dissatisfied with the situation. Of course, information about this was
9 suppressed because it was very dangerous for the other side, the enemy
10 side, to know what the situation was like.
11 Now, as far as robberies and general disorder in town was
12 concerned, this showed that the local authorities had no power. Everybody
13 was afraid. Nobody dared to enter a cafe or to try to intervene in any
14 such situation. This is what the situation was like in 1992.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but are you just talking
16 about the geographical area that you were in or the entire territory?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was general disarray in the
18 entire territory. There was no possibility of restoring order. In Banja
19 Luka there was a general unrest, a rebellion. A tank entered the town,
20 and of course the information about this was suppressed because they were
21 afraid the enemy side would find out about it. But in fact there was a
22 putsch effected there.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
24 MR. JOSSE:
25 Q. It's right, Mr. Radojko, that at least one, if not more, prominent
1 gang members were arrested by the police.
2 A. After the intervention by the MP Milanovic, who went to the
3 municipal building and told the president of the municipality, Novakovic,
4 that he was going to be the first one to move out of town unless the
5 situation is changed, thereupon Mr. Novakovic invited me to keep the
6 minutes of the meeting, and the chiefs of both the military and the
7 civilian police were invited. The public prosecutor was there as well, as
8 were probably some members of the Crisis Staff. Conclusions were adopted
9 at this meeting which were more of a declarative nature, I believe, to the
10 effect that all those responsible should immediately arrest the
11 perpetrators and that the prosecutor should immediately proceed to produce
12 an indictment against them, because the identities of the most prominent
13 gang members were known. I remained by the phone as the duty person
14 throughout the afternoon and the evening. Then the public prosecutor, who
15 could not reach Mr. Novakovic, informed me of the arrest of these persons.
16 I congratulated him on this.
17 The next morning, as I was on my way to work, I saw one of the men
18 leaning against a kiosk there, holding an M-84 machine-gun with ammunition
19 belts, and as I saw him I was shocked and frightened because I was afraid
20 that he would open fire at me. I recognised him. I tried to pass by him
21 inconspicuously because I thought he was going to perhaps recognise me. I
22 knew that this was a dangerous person, and I informed the officials in the
23 municipality that I had seen him, and they were laughing at the fact that
24 I was frightened.
25 Then I asked Mr. Latinovic, the president of the Executive
1 Committee, to call the police chief to double check what the situation
2 was. The police chief said he was going to come over to the municipality
3 building rather than talk over the phone. As he reached the municipal
4 building, he told us that he did not wish to speak over the phone because
5 he believed the phones were tapped. He threw his police cap on the desk
6 as a protest and said that he was no longer going to discharge the duty
7 because they had threatened him with a gun, pointed a gun, put a gun into
8 his mouth. That was the end of that part of the story.
9 The public prosecutor was no longer able to activate the
10 indictment he had written the night before because he did not dare to.
11 There was no police chief anymore, and of course this meant that at that
12 point in time the police would not have been able to act upon the
14 However, this incident did yield some positive results because
15 later on Mr. Novakovic used his offices to intervene everywhere, including
16 Banja Luka. Mr. Milanovic, who had been thus frightened, and rightly so
17 because later on they had robbed him of his flock of stock and had killed
18 his shepherd, he himself, when he went to the municipal building, said
19 that they had probably done so out of revenge. Still, these gangs seemed
20 to have gone a bit quiet because the -- some of their members had been
21 arrested, after all, and so they lay low for a while.
22 Q. I just want to clarify -- I'll repeat that. I just want to
23 clarify when this occurred that they were arrested and effectively
24 immediately released.
25 A. This might have been in June, July 1992. I'm not sure. I know
1 that the Muslim population was still there, the majority of them, at any
2 rate. A group of them might have asked to go to Bihac. It was in this
3 period of time. Because of -- and this was because -- exactly because of
4 this criminal conduct expressed in robberies which were done simply
5 because these people thought that they needed these items that they
6 robbed. This was the rule of the Wild West, where the sheriff was
7 powerless in the face of these men.
8 Q. And I just want to be clear about one other thing, and if this
9 leading is unacceptable, I'll be stopped. You're saying in effect that
10 the chief of police --
11 MR. TIEGER: That is, I'm afraid, clearly an attempt to sum up the
12 witness's testimony.
13 MR. JOSSE: All right. I have no problem, Your Honour. As you
14 know -- as Your Honour knows, with respect, I've got no difficulty about
15 not leading, it just takes an awfully long time. That's the first
16 attempt, and if that's going to be the reaction, I'm going to be a long
17 time. I've got no difficulty with this, let me make that clear.
18 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I mean, that's extremely unfair.
19 Mr. Josse has asked a number of leading questions in the course of this
20 session and this is the first time I've objected. And after the witness
21 has -- only after the witness has been asked, in essence, to encapsulate
22 or summarise a fairly long explanation, and I think it should come from
23 the witness.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Mr. Josse, I understand that you accept the objection.
1 MR. JOSSE: I do.
2 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time, it should not be understood as an
3 invitation by Mr. Tieger to -- not to put leading questions to the witness
4 to the extent he -- as the objection stood, and you'll find out by doing
5 it, as you did before, where the limits approximately are. Please
7 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
8 Q. I'd like you to clarify again, Mr. Radojko, what you were told by
9 the chief of police as to why the men that he was -- that he arrested were
10 -- was released -- were released, perhaps I should say.
11 A. He did not tell me that, he told the leadership. He did not tell
12 me that they were released, but rather that they had been kidnapped from
13 the detention unit in the police station, or rather, that they had been
14 freed by force.
15 Q. And any idea how long they were in detention of the police before
16 they were freed by force?
17 A. To the best of my recollection, which is not really reliable -
18 it's difficult to remember these things - at any rate it was already
19 getting dark when I managed to send the copies of the minutes to everyone
20 which stated what they were expected to do. It must have been around 9.00
21 or 10.00 in the evening. I don't know when it was exactly that they had
22 been freed. Probably during the night or in the early morning hours. I
23 don't know how long it took their associates to get organised for such an
24 action. We did not have a detention unit downtown, and they were supposed
25 to be transferred to Banja Luka directly from the police station.
1 Probably this was why this action ensued so soon, because it is very
2 difficult to pull anyone out of the detention in Banja Luka -- out of the
3 prison facility in Banja Luka.
4 MR. JOSSE: Would that be a convenient moment, Your Honour?
5 JUDGE ORIE: It is, Mr. Josse. We'll have a break until quarter
7 --- Recess taken at 3.52 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: The 90 bis decision has been signed and perhaps even
10 already been filed, but if not then it will be filed this afternoon.
11 Then as far as the transcript, the 92 bis transcript of
12 Mr. Radojko is concerned, it was admitted into evidence by a decision
13 dated the 7th of April, 2004, and I read: "... are admitted into
14 evidence, provided that the witness appears for cross-examination."
15 Then we have a decision of this Chamber which is called "Order
16 relating to Prosecution's applications to admit evidence pursuant to Rule
17 92 bis," which is a decision of the 19th of July, 2004. On the third page
18 it reads: "Considering that the Chamber ..." et cetera, "... has
19 gradually come to the conclusion that the 33 Rule 92 bis witnesses
20 admitted thus far (five of them with cross-examination 6)." Footnote 6
21 reads: "Another 92 bis witness, Jovica Radojko, who was admitted on the
22 condition that he be cross-examined, was withdrawn by the Prosecution."
23 That means it is in footnote 6 on the record that the witness was
24 withdrawn, which means that no evidence under Rule 92 bis is at this
25 moment before this Chamber.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
2 MR. JOSSE: For what it's worth, it's on that basis and with that
3 knowledge that I had made the assumption that I had alluded to earlier.
4 JUDGE ORIE: It's now on the record again where we find it and
5 what procedural course it took.
6 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MR. JOSSE:
9 Q. Mr. Radojko, I next want to turn to the issue of the departure of
10 the Muslims from your municipality. It might be helpful if I summarise
11 the position with a short leading question. There were three convoys of
12 Muslims that departed; two in 1992 and one in 1993. Is that right?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. The first convoy went in the direction of Bihac?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Via, in fact -- by crossing the Croatian border?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Which month in 1992 did that convoy leave?
19 A. I can't remember. I only remember that I was accompanying the
20 convoy as a negotiator, and there was at least one representative of the
21 Muslims with me. These were people who had long been asking to go to
22 Bihac. I remember that the weather was pinching cold, although I can't
23 date it, really. There are documents somewhere about it. We were
24 assisted by the CzechBat of UNPROFOR. They provided logistics support.
25 There was some exchange involved here as well because the president saw
1 the possibility to allow a certain number of Muslims to leave for Bihac,
2 including -- there were some also inmates who were held in Drnis but some
3 of them had fled. And however, there were the families of these persons
4 who were left behind.
5 Q. I'm stopping you because I think we can simplify this a little
6 bit. First of all, the Muslims that departed from your municipality,
7 where were they living immediately prior to their departure?
8 A. In Petrovac.
9 Q. And were they living freely or were they detained? That's really
10 what I meant.
11 A. Up until that point, there was no violence, nobody was being
12 detained or anything of the sort. There weren't even tensions, really,
13 not any to speak of.
14 Q. How many people departed in that first convoy?
15 A. Only some of them left, those who wanted to. Based on some lists
16 that were drawn up by the Muslim leadership in Bihac and in the general
17 region and by our representatives, there were about 130 to 150 Serbs, some
18 of whom came from this camp near Cazin. The village is there. And some
19 of them were from Bihac town who wanted to cross over to the Serb
20 territory. In order to justify the fact that the Muslims were allowed to
21 leave for Bihac, the president allowed also that some of these people be
22 transferred over there. He also promised that everybody else who wanted
23 to leave would eventually be allowed to do so.
24 Q. In this convoy of people from your municipality, to what extent
25 did the group include prominent members of the Muslim community?
1 A. If you mean their leadership, their leaders, as far as I'm
2 concerned, left in secret and they crossed over with the help of
3 Mr. Milanovic and I believe Mr. Ivanic, either in their own cars or I
4 don't know, but they helped them cross over to Bihac. These people, I
5 mean these were normal citizens, and I remember one was an entrepreneur
6 because he, together with my president of the Executive Board, had a
7 private deal which involved the exchange of their property. So they each
8 minded the other's property in Bihac and Petrovac respectively. I only
9 met him a couple of times in my whole life, so I can't remember his name.
10 But at any rate, those were just normal, common citizens. But they had
11 seen that there was risk of further escalation of conflict, and at that
12 stage they asked to be allowed to go. They were probably scared to be
13 found in the wrong place at the wrong time when they might be threatened,
14 and probably they -- most of them wanted to go but our armed forces didn't
15 let them because in the direction, on the road to Bihac, there was a unit
16 made up of Serbs who had already left Bihac. And there was no way you
17 could take that route because they would have shot anyone, and that's why
18 we found a round-about way, going through Croatia, through the
19 then-Republika Srpska Krajina, because the president asked them to
20 cooperate and not make any trouble for us and help that population get
21 out. And since UNPROFOR was there already, they -- I believe -- I don't
22 know who -- what their leadership or our president, they coordinated
23 things with UNPROFOR and made sure they would help them cross the border
24 from the west to the east. And there was this exchange which took place
25 at an area which was manned by the Czech Battalion, and the place is
1 called the Japanese curve. That's where it is, and it is in the area
2 which is now called --
3 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter didn't hear what it's called
5 MR. JOSSE:
6 Q. What is that area now called please, Mr. Radojko? The interpreter
7 didn't pick up what you said.
8 A. The area is called the Japanese curve because there is a curve
9 there on the road, a bend, at which there was a car accident and a number
10 of Japanese businessmen were killed there in the accident, and that's why
11 it's called like that. It was the first time I heard the name and I had
12 never heard of it before, even though I travelled down that road pretty
13 often when I was coming back from Zagreb.
14 Q. And how many Serbs did your municipality receive in exchange for
15 the Muslims that left?
16 A. Well, approximately as the number of Muslims that left, even more
17 Muslims wanted to leave but the president and the other members of the
18 leadership, because of the pressure that was being brought to bear by
19 those on the front lines, could not allow them to go because the military
20 kept complaining that this was making things more difficult for them, this
21 sort of behaviour.
22 Q. There was a second, much larger, convoy in September of 1992. Is
23 that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. At that point in time it was -- the situation in your municipality
1 became extremely difficult and dangerous for Muslims. You would accept
2 that, wouldn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Why -- let me rephrase that. What had led to the increase in
5 tensions so that the situation became extremely difficult for them?
6 A. I explained this, and it can be found in the transcript. After
7 the first convoy, there were supposed to be --
8 Q. Can I stop you there. I think "by the transcript" you mean your
9 interview with investigators and lawyers from the Office of the Prosecutor
10 that was held in Banja Luka in the summer of -- June of 19 -- June of
11 2003, I beg your pardon.
12 A. I mean that too, but I also mean the part of my statement that
13 I've gave before the Court in that same case. But briefly, after that
14 first convoy, since Muslims wanted to go to Bihac, we have to understand
15 the fact that they had family ties to Muslims living in Bihac. And they
16 would have felt safer, since they were more numerous and many of them had
17 property, houses, families there. And in relatively large numbers, I
18 don't know how many, but at any rate many more people than the number of
19 people who managed to cross over wanted to go, even back then, and the
20 president, as far as I know, promised them they would be able to do it but
21 at a later stage when the conditions were more propitious and when there
22 was a little bit less tension with regard to the military. However, the
23 way things developed meant that the military became even worse because the
24 fighting was ever more severe.
25 And I think there was somebody either from the War Presidency or
1 the Crisis Staff - I keep calling it the War Presidency because I don't
2 know at what period of time they had what name - but at any rate, there
3 was this man who was a member of that body, the Crisis Staff or whatever
4 you want to call it, and he said in so many words that there's no
5 possibility of allowing them to go to Bihac, that it couldn't be done.
6 And that's why that kind of transfer was stopped, and so they remained in
7 Petrovac. And so there was this constant threat. The president sent me
8 on a number of occasions to talk to representatives of UNPROFOR and
9 International Red Cross at Lapac, Licko/Petrovo Selo, and Knin, and to ask
10 them to send those people to Split, if possible, if indeed we couldn't
11 send them to Bihac. Initially they accepted, and then afterwards they
12 didn't quite dare go ahead with it and so everything was suspended.
13 Whenever I was travelled with a delegation I was accompanied by
14 two, three respectable Muslim citizens who were the representatives of
15 that Muslim community, and I was both the driver and was in charge of
16 information and talks and everything, so we travelled together as a group,
17 as a single delegation, single unit, as it were. And when that failed and
18 we have told them that there was this risk that in case of further
19 escalation of conflict, the local authorities would not be able to protect
20 the population, because that was the assessment on the part of the
21 president and everybody else. That was their own assessment and,
22 unfortunately, it came true. After an event happened on the battle-field,
23 there was total escalation of conflict and everybody grabbed their rifles
24 and arms and walked up and down town and fired their arms blindly, almost,
25 and they were victims.
1 Q. Stop there. It was that event on the battle-field that I was
2 specifically asking you about first of all. Was there an event which made
3 the situation particularly difficult? If so, describe that event briefly.
4 A. Yes, there was one such event in September 1992. Namely, a unit,
5 a Serb unit, mostly made up of people from Petrovac and the refugees from
6 Bihac who, together with their families, came to Petrovac. Well, a lorry
7 was caught in an ambush of a Muslim group, and they killed and massacred
8 people, because it was a swift attack from all sides. And 23 Serb
9 fighters were killed, and I think either 17 or 19 of them were actually
10 originally from Petrovac. It was an odd number and it was less than 20.
11 Anyway, they were taken to the local morgue, to the hospital, and some of
12 the wounded were taken to the hospital as well, because the fighting was
13 still going on. And already on that evening the situation became totally
14 horrible. I went to donate blood, and I was attacked by some people
15 there. According to them, the people from the municipality were
16 protecting the Muslims, so I had to flee because they were armed. And
17 mostly there were shots fired all over town. The president convened the
18 meeting on the same evening, tried to find a way out. He phoned everyone
19 left, right, and centre. He phoned the police, but the whole city was on
20 the boil, as it were.
21 And the police people were called. There were guards around
22 houses. To some extent it was successful, but there was simply no
23 possibility of protecting every single household. And so there was some
24 kind of spontaneous revenge underway. And under those circumstances, two
25 or three days later -- that is to say that as the day on the funeral. The
1 funerals probably took place on that evening. And respectable citizens
2 who were Muslims asked for a meeting with the president, and I know that
3 because I was manning the phones all the time. And he somehow, through
4 what channels I don't know, asked them to come at dusk so that they would
5 not be seen, in order to -- for their own safety. And at that stage they
6 found themselves in a very uncomfortable position, and they attended that
7 meeting, and the representative of the military security services from the
8 corps was invited, as well as the chief of police and the commander of the
9 Territorial Defence, and each and every one of them had to report on the
10 situation, and they did that. I know that the TO man complained that his
11 people were being shot at, that actually they were not shot at as such but
12 the shots were being fired in the air and they were being told that
13 everybody knew who they were and their families would be killed. And so
14 those people were a bit reluctant to engage in armed conflict with those
15 groups who were totally out of hand. They were not just robbers anymore
16 but it was a spontaneous kind of movement. There were people who were
17 seeking revenge for the death of their relatives, their brothers, and so
19 And so they -- when they came to the meeting and I was taken -- in
20 charge of the minutes, and they turned to the president as some kind of
21 fellow citizen, friend, et cetera, and they called him by his first name.
22 And they said to him: Well, Rajko, brother, what's going on? What is
23 this? This is a shame. Are we meant to be killed in this way? And he
24 felt uncomfortable and he kept apologising. And he said that there was
25 nothing he could do, that he did all he could, but they could see for
1 themselves and they said they did see the guards and that was not
2 sufficient. And the two houses had been set on fire in one part of the
3 town. First they were plundered and then torched, and there were victims,
4 people who had been killed in town. I remember I didn't dare go out on my
5 lunch break on that day, I didn't dare go out of the building. And quite
6 a few people from the town hall felt the same way, because there were
7 shots being fired all over.
8 And somebody was spreading the rumour that Muslims had stayed
9 there thanks to the municipal leadership, and since I myself felt a part
10 of the team, as it were, and I never dared go out because I didn't know
11 that many people, I didn't know what they thought of me, at any rate the
12 news reached us that a woman and a 6-year-old girl were killed, and the
13 situation was horrible. It is simply very difficult for me to describe
14 the way things were and how people who were still in their right minds
15 felt, and especially those who were at the receiving end of all that.
16 Under such circumstances, the president said -- well, on occasion
17 they were involved and on occasion there were only the Crisis Staff
18 people. They were in the hall, outside this delegation, and they were
19 coming in and out, and on the other side there was this meeting of this
20 Serb leadership, and I was sitting at a side table and taking the minutes
21 of the meeting, and those minutes were done in an ad hoc way. I didn't
22 even have a proper notepad. I just had some paper that I had surrendered
23 to the Prosecution on the occasion of the last time that I gave evidence.
24 So basically there was no representative of the military, and in
25 my view, that was the key fact that they had to consider in terms of
1 deciding whether the Muslims could go or not. Because the military guy
2 was the one who was making threats all the time, and that evening he
3 couldn't make it to the meeting because he was somewhere on the
4 battle-field near Bosanska Krupa, together with his unit.
5 Q. All right. It might be a good idea just to pause for a moment.
6 There's a lot of information there, and no criticism at all, Mr. Radojko,
7 but you're moving around the issue from one aspect to another quite
9 Let's go back, if we may, to the approach that you'd begun to
10 describe by various members of the Muslim community to the president of
11 the Municipal Assembly to leave. How did that proceed? How did those
12 negotiations proceed?
13 A. I'm certainly not going to be able to give you every single
14 detail. I do appeal to you for some understanding also because a great
15 deal of time has passed, but some things are still etched in my memory.
16 The president of the municipality and all those present from the Serb side
17 had a funny feeling. They were embarrassed, they felt uncomfortable
18 because these things were happening. In the end, I mean, these people
19 used to live together. I wasn't there before, but on the basis of my
20 previous contacts and on the basis of what I had heard, even when some of
21 them had left, some of them were friends, were very close, and in some way
22 the president felt uncomfortable on account of the fact that he could do
23 nothing for them. The only thing he managed to do was to -- well, he
24 simply stopped the meeting and he said we had to help them to get out and
25 that there was no question about it. And then he only asked from the
1 representatives of the military security services to provide guarantees
2 that the army would not attack them as they left and that they would offer
3 assistance. And they promised that they would do that and that they would
4 provide a battalion of military police, basically the entire military
5 police service of the entire corps, in order to ensure the safety of those
6 people when they gathered, to depart, and a part of the way.
7 And he asked the civilian police chief to get in touch with his
8 counterpart in Banja Luka and to explain to him what was happening and
9 that there was no excuse for ignoring it and that people would be held
10 accountable unless they provided proper safety for those people on that
11 morning when they were supposed to leave, because the curfew -- I had
12 forgotten about the curfew. It had already been introduced. They came at
13 dusk and they had to sneak into their own houses and get in touch with
14 their own -- with their own and tell people to try and gather their
15 belongings, et cetera, because there was a request -- for example, they
16 were not allowed to take any valuables with them, any money, any foreign
17 currency, or any jewels, or anything like that, any valuables in general
18 because they were saying, oh, they might provide funding for the war on
19 the basis of that. And then the president said that I would be in charge
20 of their escort and that I would make sure that they had a safe passage.
21 And I said to him that if people were going to be searched for money and
22 valuables, that I wouldn't be able to do that. Even if I had wanted to, I
23 wouldn't be able to do that. And we had to go through enemy territory.
24 Attacks had already taken place there, and one convoy narrowly escaped, et
1 Q. I don't want to quite go on to the convoy yet. How many Muslims
2 left in that -- in the convoy that you're about to describe,
4 A. I think between 2.000 and 2.500. Most probably 2.100 or 200.
5 There was no time to actually count them. There were problems with
6 transport -- there were millions of problems. It was extremely difficult.
7 Q. Okay. We're going to come to transport next. That's -- people
8 left in buses. Is that right?
9 A. On buses, but there were not enough buses. So some used local
10 trucks owned by the local haulier.
11 Q. And -- because it's 40, 50 vehicles; would that be right?
12 A. Believe me, I have no idea. I set off before everybody got on
13 because I had to go at the head of the convoy with the representatives of
14 the police and make sure that there were no ambushes.
15 Q. Could we come to that in one moment again. What efforts, if any,
16 were made to try and keep the departure of this convoy secret?
17 A. Well, everybody who attended that meeting, both the Serbs and the
18 Muslims, agreed that nobody would say a word to anyone, and that's the way
19 it stayed. Plus the Muslims, since they all lived in the same area, the
20 same neighbourhood, and they had to secretly inform their neighbours in
21 the course of the night in order to make it possible for them to prepare
22 for the journey, to get the clothes and valuables or whatever. And as to
23 Serbs, they had to keep silent about it, and that's the way it was. And a
24 sign was agreed on the basis of which we would gather very quickly so that
25 the local Serbs wouldn't find out about it in order to avoid anyone
1 deciding to attack them, because all that was the consequence of this
2 revenge. So it was agreed that at 6.00 in the morning the police car
3 would -- there would be the police call for people to gather. And that's
4 what happened, and within a short period of time they came to the agreed
5 spot. And the police was already there, the civilian police, and some
6 from the military police as well. And it's a rather large area, large
7 square, which is surrounded by more or less two rows of police officers,
8 soldiers, I don't know who else was there, they were fully armed, and they
9 kept guard. And --
10 Q. You went off, as you've already told us, at the front of this
11 convoy. How far in front of the first vehicle carrying these departing
12 people were you?
13 A. I don't know; a couple of hundred metres, 500 metres. At any
14 rate, we tried to keep some kind of visual control and contact so as for
15 the convoy to stay together.
16 Q. We haven't discussed and I haven't asked you about the direction
17 in which this convoy left. There's no dispute, I'm sure, it went towards
18 Travnik, in Central Bosnia. Why didn't it go to Bihac? Why did it go to
20 A. Precisely for the reasons I've already mentioned: Those people
21 didn't want to go to Travnik; they were made to go there because the
22 circumstances made it necessary for us to take them there. They wished to
23 go to Bihac, and afterwards, as far as I can tell since the fighting in
24 Bihac intensified and they would have been mobilised straight away and
25 sent into battle, when there was the possibility of talking to UNPROFOR,
1 they actually would have preferred to go to Split because they discovered
2 that from Split they would have been able to go to other Western countries
3 and escape the war. But it wasn't possible, due to the circumstances, so
4 they went there against their will because they were mobilised there as
6 Q. At some point --
7 JUDGE ORIE: May I just ask one question.
8 You said they wanted to go in this direction, that direction was
9 all not possible. "... so they went there against their will because they
10 were mobilised there as well."
11 Why did they have to go there? Why couldn't they -- if they did
12 not want to go into the direction in which they were taken, why not leave
13 them where they were?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely for the reason that the
15 situation had become untenable. The president told them openly that he
16 was unable to guarantee their safety any longer, that he was doing all he
17 could, but there were those attacks still taking place and there were
18 victims. And for some time already prior to that he had tried to make it
19 possible for them to leave, but since in the direction of Split UNPROFOR
20 didn't allow for that, when I went together with the Muslim delegation, I
21 mean we went as a single delegation, to speak to them, they told us openly
22 when they gave up the idea of helping us with this journey. I don't
23 remember whether those people were from UNPROFOR or from the Red Cross,
24 but at any rate one of those people said that their head office considers
25 this type of departure of the population as ethnic cleansing. That was
1 the first time that I heard the term "ethnic cleansing." I didn't know, I
2 found out later what it was all about. And they said -- when I said that
3 the local authorities had no powers over the police and that they would
4 never have any powers over the military command and that we were
5 powerless, they said that it was our problem.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me stop you. And then did they say: We
7 want to go? Or did you say: There's no other way out than to go? I
8 mean, I asked you: Why not leave them where they were? And you said:
9 Well, the situation had become untenable and the president had told them
10 openly that he -- that's all -- did they then say: We, nevertheless, want
11 go? Or did they say: We'd like to stay in the cellars of our houses and
12 we'll see what happens? I mean, who finally said: Let's get on the bus
13 and let's move out? Who finally took that decision?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They came up with the request to
15 leave right at the start. They came with this request, and I mean the
16 respectable citizens representing the Muslim community. They had been
17 requesting to leave for months, but the president could not allow them to
18 leave because the other side had openly been threatening and saying that
19 nothing of the sort should be allowed. This is, of course, an
20 interpretation of mine. I'm afraid that this other side wanted them to
21 stay behind as sort of hostages, because they kept saying that women and
22 children were free to leave while the military-age men were to be left
23 behind. But something of the sort could not be allowed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Why not? Why could women and children not leave as
25 they wished? Are they not -- are they not --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That wasn't the way the people
2 wanted to leave. They stated openly that they did not wish to be
3 separated from their families. And I think that they were right in
4 insisting on this because there was a far greater danger in leaving the
5 able-bodied men behind because they would indeed be left as sort of
7 JUDGE ORIE: Why would they be hostages?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because of all the things happening
9 on the front line and they were in an encirclement. Well, ultimately,
10 that was the way they felt, at any rate, and they stated that they did not
11 wish to stay behind. They said that if their families were leaving, they
12 would leave, too. You see, this was one of the options that the president
13 had presented them with at this meeting. It was solely on this request of
14 theirs that the meeting was held.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We'll go into further details perhaps at a later
17 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. We've got to the point in time where the convoy departed. You
20 were at the front of it. You were with a police officer, is that
21 correct? A police commander, I think.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when you arrived in Kljuc, you learnt that the convoy had been
24 attacked. Is that also correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. What information did you learn in Kljuc about this attack and from
2 what source did you receive this information?
3 A. Directly from the people there. When we arrived in Kljuc, we
4 realised that our column, the column behind us, consisted of only three to
5 four buses. We realised this as we were passing a curve. That's why we
6 stopped at Kljuc, waiting for the others to come up. As the others were
7 coming up, somebody told us that the convoy had come under attack, the
8 latter part of the convoy. Shots were fired, and that perhaps there were
9 even people wounded. I went to the rear of the convoy, asking whether
10 anyone was wounded, and they told me that there was somebody wounded in a
11 truck somewhere. I later found out that a boy was, in fact, killed and
12 that several persons were wounded. I told them that they would be given
13 medical assistance. I got into a car and hurried to the hospital there
14 because I was in charge of logistics. I got some medical staff there and
15 an ambulance and went to that section of the convoy where the wounded
16 were. Unfortunately, the boy was already -- the young man was already
17 dead, but there were several wounded who -- in fact, one of them was taken
18 back to Petrovac and I don't know what happened to him later on.
19 At this stage, I didn't know whether there were any other persons
20 injured. I was told that there were none, but they told me that there was
21 one truck, the tires of which had been punctured, and it stayed somewhere
22 behind. Since the column had stopped at a curve, I said that we should
23 move on because it was a dangerous position, and I said that we should
24 keep on moving until we went past Kljuc at a point where we would meet
25 again. When we met up there, I went down the convoy and realised that
1 there were more people wounded.
2 I agreed with the commander, the police commander, that several
3 police officers were to go to a cafe in a village nearby to simply see
4 whether there was any danger lurking there, as a sort of reconnaissance.
5 As soon as they returned, they told us to leave the place immediately, and
6 we asked why. They said that once the people in the cafe found out that
7 we were heading from Petrovac, that they said that they were going to take
8 up arms. That's why the convoy started moving again, and this police
9 commander, who was in fact an ad hoc commander, had two cars of police
10 officers. One of the police cars went at the rear of the column to wait
11 for the truck that had been left behind, dragging behind, and the column
12 proceeded, whereas I went to the hospital to make sure that the wounded
13 were medically treated.
14 So the other police car was at the head of the column. We agreed
15 at which location near Mrkonjic we would stop which was appropriate.
16 There, as we reached this particular site, we met up with a medical
17 vehicle who had come to take care of the wounded. However, the Muslims
18 who were in these vehicles told us that the wounded did not wish to stay
19 in the Mrkonjic hospital, but rather that they only wished medical
20 supplies -- to be given medical supplies, because apparently there were
21 some medical staff among them. The ambulance that was there gave them
22 whatever medical supplies they had, and they said that this was enough for
23 them and that we could resume our journey. We continued the journey up
24 until Knezevo where the army took over. The army took over from there.
25 Q. And as far as you know from information you subsequently received,
1 the convoy then did proceed without further attack into Muslim-held
3 A. Yes. There were no further attacks. We hurried through the
4 territory -- across the territory, and I don't believe anybody was aware
5 of us passing through there.
6 Q. And let's just be clear about this in relation to the questions
7 that the learned Presiding Judge asked you: There was no international
8 assistance whatsoever in relation to this particular exodus.
9 A. There was none.
10 Q. The third convoy was in the early part of 1993. Is that correct?
11 A. As far as I remember, yes, that's correct. It was wintertime. I
12 believe it was in February 1993.
13 Q. And very brief questions about that. How many people were in that
15 A. Perhaps 150, 200, 240. Let's say from 150 to 240. I can't give
16 you the exact number. I wasn't escorting the vehicles or anything of the
17 sort, so I don't know how many had been ordered. I was only tasked with
18 making sure that they reach their destination and to negotiate with the
19 authorities there on behalf of the municipality that we would take care of
20 food and -- or rather, that we would cover the expenses entailed by the
21 food and accommodation given to them, and that they not be attacked.
22 Q. In which direction did this convoy go?
23 A. It went to Bihac.
24 Q. And do you know why these 150 or so Muslims left at that
25 particular point in time?
1 A. I do. Because of the fact that this second convoy had departed so
2 suddenly and these people resided in rural areas, not in towns, it was
3 impossible to organise their departure swiftly. And in order to make sure
4 that the bulk of the people leave, they -- these people were not even
5 informed of the convoy. And the -- these persons lived in mixed villages,
6 where there were both Serbs and Muslims residing, and they had their
7 village guards which kept them safe. There were no attacks against them.
8 In order not to jeopardise the departure of this other large group of
9 people, for whom there was risk of attack, these other people were not
10 even notified of the possibility for departure, as far as I know.
11 Q. I want to briefly return to the second convoy, the one that you've
12 described in some detail. I forgot to ask you about what happened to the
13 homes and property of the departing Muslims. Please tell the Chamber
14 about that.
15 A. Their houses and property were left behind. When it was agreed
16 that they should leave, and I had already relayed the views presented by
17 the Red Cross and UNPROFOR to the president, who had known of these
18 positions even before from his own contacts, I told him that the
19 municipality was in charge of the property of all these people and that
20 these people had -- were entitled to indemnity in case their property was
21 damaged. That's why I told them to tell the people at the meeting that
22 whoever wanted to leave should lock up their homes and outbuildings and to
23 hand the keys over to the municipal officials before their departure in
24 order to make up a list of the properties and in order for these
25 properties to be listed. The following morning -- and for the property to
1 be sealed.
2 The next morning the municipal officials were collecting the keys,
3 and in cases where the keys were not brought over to them, they were told
4 that the keys were waiting for them at the property themselves. After
5 that, they started touring these properties and making up lists of all the
6 items left and sealing all these houses. They itemised all the belongings
7 in order for everyone to know what had been left behind and to prevent the
8 indemnities being asked for items that had not been, in fact, left behind.
9 Since refugees had been streaming into the area from all sides, some of
10 the properties were given to them to be used.
11 Q. Are you able to assist with what percentage were used and what
12 percentage remained sealed and unused?
13 A. In the beginning, all the properties were sealed. At a later
14 stage, a certain percentage -- or rather, almost all of them were given
15 over to the refugees because 4 to 5.000 refugees came from Bihac. They
16 were staying at their relatives' or at their friends'. They were even put
17 up in some public buildings, and most of these properties were given to
18 these refugees. There were other refugees from Central Bosnia that
19 streamed into the area. Several houses were occupied by the local
20 residents, who were not entitled to do that, and I know that there were
21 some difficulties with them, that there were cases when these people were
22 evicted from such houses. I was not, myself, involved directly in the
23 paperwork but I know of such instances. Therefore, it was refugees, for
24 the most part, who occupied these properties.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, isn't it true that one of the core issues
1 in this respect would be whether proper care was taken of the property,
2 immovable and movable, of those who left or whether a different course of
3 action was taken, such a course of action as, for example, described in
4 Prosecution Exhibits 748, tab 9? I mean, isn't that the core of the
5 issue, and whether the keys were given in the morning or the afternoon,
6 isn't it true that why the keys were given is the core issue? We hear a
7 lot of evidence, a lot of details, which is rather irrelevant if the core
8 issue has not been dealt with. I'm using these words and I'm referring to
9 this exhibit because I think I can do that in the presence of the witness
10 who might not know all the P exhibit numbers by heart, but I take it that
11 you understand what I mean.
12 MR. JOSSE: I do, but I'm unable to take this matter any further
13 at this stage. Would Your Honour give me one moment?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm -- I'm going to move on. If Your Honour
18 wishes to pursue that matter, then of course it's a matter --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, perhaps it will be done in cross-examination.
20 I -- I mean, it's part of the evidence that is in front of us. But we
21 spent a lot of time where the core issue is not dealt with, and,
22 Mr. Josse, if the core issue, on the basis of the information we get, goes
23 to the favour of those who left -- in favour of what could have asked in
24 two or three questions, which is: Those who left, did they still own
25 their property? What was done with it? And then let's forgot about keys
1 to be given in the morning or the afternoon or what else do we have on
2 whether there were even a few people who illegally occupied that other --
3 I mean, this case is not about whether some individuals may have taken
4 some of the -- may have occupied some of the property at a certain moment.
5 The core issue is before that.
6 MR. JOSSE: Well, I've already gone this far. I'm not able to
7 cross-examine my own witness.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No, I do understand. I do understand. And at the
9 same time, of course, that's the question that the Chamber finds at the
10 core of -- of this matter. If you say: Let's then wait, what happens,
11 but spend not too much time on details which are irrelevant if the core
12 issue is not clear. I'm not saying that they could be relevant once we
13 have a better view on the core issue, but the main questions are not yet
14 put to the witness, and perhaps we should then wait, Mr. Josse, perhaps in
15 re-examination that you would deal with the matter further to that extent
16 at that moment relevant.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. I want to move to a different topic altogether, please,
20 Mr. Radojko, and that relates to the degree to which you recall the
21 municipality complaining to the republican government in Pale about the
22 activities of these gangs. Did you communicate with Pale in any way?
23 A. At that time, the communications with Pale went mostly through
24 MPs, people who went over there, and in writing. The telephone lines were
25 functioning on occasion. I know that the president of the municipality
1 would use the lines whenever possible, but then one or two or three days
2 would pass with the lines being down. That's why we could not rely on the
3 telephone lines and neither could they.
4 On several occasions in this period of time and later, some
5 documents were dispatched, mostly to Banja Luka because that's where the
6 security centre of the police was located, and requests were sent to the
7 2nd Corps command which was, in actual fact, located in our area. All of
8 us at the municipality felt, as citizens, that there was a lack of order
9 in many aspects and the local leadership oftentimes made decisions asking
10 that certain shortcomings or deficiencies be rectified, that the police or
11 the military command, depending on whose members were wreaking havoc
12 throughout town, that they take these matters into their hands. I
13 remember that a member of the Assembly himself asked that something be
14 done by -- about the fact that armed people were entering town, that the
15 military commands take care of this. I recall, for instance, that
16 soldiers would go to the cafes in the town because their unit was deployed
17 near, and they also drove up in a tank once. They would open fire from
18 their arms indiscriminately.
19 There were such requests put forth, and as a result of these
20 requests, steps were taken and the situation was rectified, although there
21 was disorder in this particular point in time. We used a round-about way
22 to ask from the police station, which is only 1 kilometre from the
23 municipal building -- so we could not ask anything from them directly. We
24 had to go through Banja Luka to send any requests we had, and it took a
25 day, whereas it should have taken an hour. The president would sometimes
1 phone the police chief, who was a professional police officer, and I know
2 that he himself had to deal with any order that the police administration
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, time-frame for question and answer, could
5 you assist me, together with the witness?
6 MR. JOSSE: Well, yes, I clearly need to break this down in a
7 number of ways, if I may?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps it's time for a break anyhow, so that
9 gives you some time to further -- if there are -- if there's anything
10 else, I would like to have a break to start within the next two to seven
11 minutes. I'm certain that you'll find a suitable moment.
12 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
13 Q. I'd like to be a little bit more specific about this, if we may,
14 Mr. Radojko. Did you personally write any memos or letters to the
15 republican leadership?
16 A. I did.
17 Q. About how many and at what period of time did you do that?
18 A. Throughout the time period I spent there as a civil servant, I
19 recall that I wrote 30 to 40 different memos to the superior bodies, and
20 this is in this four- to five-years period. These were official letters
21 sent to competent bodies in a given field, be it education, health care,
22 army, administration ministry, ministry of the police. Some letters were
23 sent to the then-president of Republika Srpska. We mostly sent different
24 requests to him.
25 Q. In 1992, how did these communications get to Pale? How were they
1 sent there?
2 A. I don't recall that it was possible to send letters by mail. It
3 had to be taken by a courier or, rather, whoever was going to Pale, a
4 functionary, an MP, they would take letters along. If there was someone
5 headed for Banja Luka, then this person would take whatever mail was there
6 for Banja Luka. Or, it would be sent through coded mail by the
7 communications centre. I don't recall anything being sent by ordinary
8 mail, as is done in peacetime.
9 MR. JOSSE: Yes, that would be a convenient moment, thank you,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break until ten minutes to 6.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 5.59 p.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
15 MR. JOSSE:
16 Q. You've just told us about how you communicated in 1992 with Pale.
17 Did you ever get a response in that year?
18 A. Well, in relation to these events there wasn't much communications
19 with Pale. We mostly addressed the Banja Luka centre and the military
20 command, which was initially in Drvar and later on in Sibelj [phoen]. In
21 the later period, there weren't any responses or reactions, really, from
22 Pale that would have been helpful.
23 Q. I think --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I think when we are talking about
25 communication responses, whether they're helpful or not, a really totally
1 different subject.
2 Do you understand my problem with your answer? The answer is
3 about whether you could communicate with Pale -- I take it at least,
4 Mr. Josse, that you're talking about the technical possibility of
5 communicating, or were you asking about the content of the communications?
6 MR. JOSSE: Well, I was content with the answer, but if Your
7 Honour is not, I understand, and Your Honour can pursue the matter.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But --
9 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour looks at me to pursue it, but --
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, I'm trying to understand what you want to
11 learn from the witness. Is this about what the communications, as far as
12 subject is concerned, were about or whether there was a possibility to
13 communicate? On one of the earlier questions that was questioned just
14 before the break, the witness said to us that 30 to 40 communications in
15 writing in five years, so that's an average of six to eight a year, on
16 many subjects. When I heard the answer and when I heard the question, I
17 thought: Are we going to learn anything about what was in this
18 communication or are you seeking to establish whether there was technical
19 possibilities for communications at all?
20 Now your question was: Did you get a response? There again, are
21 you seeking to know what the response is? Then of course we would know
22 what the question had been so that we are talking about the content of the
23 communication, or were you interested to know whether it was at all
24 possible to give a response? And then the witness says that he mainly
25 addressed Banja Luka but in the later period there weren't any responses
1 or reactions. We still don't know whether from Pale -- oh, yes, he says
2 from Pale. But there were no responses or reactions that would be been
3 helpful. That leaves a complete mystery of why it was not helpful. If it
4 was about medical care, whether they could not provide any additional
5 beds. It's totally -- I don't know what to do with it.
6 MR. JOSSE: I don't want to spend any more time on the issue.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I want to let you know why I'm puzzled, both by
8 answers and the questions.
9 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. Thank you for so informing me.
10 Q. Mr. Radojko, I want to ask you some specific matters. Really two
11 issues. The first is the unlawfulness and the picture that you painted of
12 the Wild West in Petrovac. Did you or any of your colleagues inform Pale
13 of the situation in that regard?
14 A. I myself was not authorised to do so, and had I tried to do that
15 it would have been considered as overstepping my authority. That was not
16 part of my duties; however, I do not know that MP Milanovic talked about
17 the unlawfulness in the circles he frequented, and certain steps were
18 taken both by the army and the police. The situation gradually was
19 brought under control because I know that some of the groups that had
20 initially been wreaking havoc in town were, in fact, mobilised. I don't
21 know whether it was forcibly or not --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radojko, the question was whether you informed
23 Pale or whether one of your colleagues did so. The answer, apparently,
24 is: No, I didn't. Whether you think you couldn't, that's another matter.
25 And what I understand, you do not know whether Mr. Milanovic, I took that
1 for an answer that you did not know whether any other person --
2 MR. JOSSE: Yes, I didn't entirely understand that, frankly, and I
3 assume it should read "I do not know whether MP Milanovic --"
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's how I understood it. It could have been
5 clarified. We could have interrupted it.
6 Then you start talking about whether the situation improved. The
7 issue at this moment is communication with Pale on the problems. So let's
8 keep it to that.
9 And, Mr. Josse, you're invited also to keep strict control that as
10 soon as we move out of where -- what apparently the relevance of your
11 questions is, let's try to focus entirely on it.
12 MR. JOSSE: That, with respect, I entirely agree with.
13 Q. And, Mr. Radojko, these are very specific issues I'm asking about.
14 You state you didn't contact the republican authorities because it wasn't
15 within your remit. Were you aware as to whether anyone else did?
16 A. As far as I know, Milanovic relayed Mr. Novakovic's requests on
17 these matters. I know this from the conversations the two of them had.
18 In what form the request was in fact relayed and what its substance was, I
19 don't know.
20 Q. Specifically I now want to ask you about the convoys that
21 departed, and in particular the second convoy of in excess of 2.000
22 people. As far as you are aware, was there any communication with Pale
23 about that departure?
24 A. Not on the departure -- or rather, at the point of departure.
25 When we returned to Petrovac after having escorted the convoy part way,
1 Mr. Novakovic told me that the then-President Karadzic had contacted him
2 on this issue. He told me that the conversation had taken place at the
3 time we were roughly in Knezevo and that Karadzic had raised his voice at
4 him, that he had criticised him strongly for the fact the people were
5 relocated and that Novakovic replied by saying that he could do nothing
6 more about it, that he could not protect the population adequately. I
7 don't know whether this was the motive why they had contacted each other,
8 but as I -- as far as I was told, this was what they talked about.
9 Q. Have you any idea why Mr. Karadzic took the stance that he did?
10 A. As far as I was able to understand Novakovic's reaction, his -- he
11 reacted negatively because already at the time there were stories of
12 ethnic cleansing going on and he wished to put a stop to that.
13 Q. In general, were there communications that you were aware of
14 between Mr. Novakovic and Mr. Karadzic?
15 A. There were exchanges of information, although I don't know of what
16 nature. I know that whenever Mr. Novakovic was able to get hold of him
17 over the phone when the lines were on, he talked to him. I don't know
18 what they discussed. I sometimes happened to be in the office when they
19 spoke over the phone, but I would then leave the room out of discretion.
20 I know that they had contacts but I don't know what on exactly.
21 Novakovic did not hesitate to contact him, although he was a
22 person of authority. But he did not feel any reservations in getting in
23 touch with him.
24 Q. There was a general story, or joke, in circulation about Pale and
25 the type of ministers who were accepted into the government in Pale and
1 the distance of Pale from the rest of the Republika Srpska. Perhaps you
2 could tell the Chamber that joke or that story.
3 A. Yes, I can. In our contacts with the government at Pale, we
4 realised that they were more confused than we were and were unable to
5 understand our problems. I told this as a joke to a circle of persons I
6 was able to tell that at the time. I told them that the government was at
7 a military check-point between Sarajevo and Pale and that people who were
8 felt to have the necessary professional qualifications were invited to
9 become members of the government as they were fleeing Sarajevo. We simply
10 did not receive the instructions or assistance of the kind one would
11 expect to receive from ministers.
12 Q. What would -- do you say, Mr. Radojko, to the suggestion that the
13 lawlessness in your municipality that you have described was inspired by
14 the Pale administration?
15 A. Well, perhaps this would, to a certain extent, clear the faces of
16 our municipal authorities if this were indeed the case; however, not even
17 at the beginning or later on, when the situation improved, did the
18 municipal authorities have any impact on the events. They wanted to have
19 a positive impact on the situation but could not even have impact on the
20 negative -- on escalating the negative impact. They could not have the
21 police arrest the perpetrators. They could not make the prosecutor's
22 office prosecute those that were arrested by the police. There was the
23 general inertia of the state authorities. They did do something. I
24 remember the Crisis Staff asked that the police make a list of all the
25 persons who were known to steal the property of the Muslims. I believe
1 that some of the names were listed and such reports can be found in the
2 Petrovac files. So they were doing something but -- for instance, if you
3 found a person stealing someone's property, they would be taken into
4 custody, but the prosecutor's office would not issue an indictment.
5 Q. I've stopped you because you have just described --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. JOSSE: I'm sorry.
8 Q. I've stopped you because you have just described what was wrong
9 with the local administration. What I was asking you about was the Pale
10 administration. It's the Prosecution case, Mr. Radojko, that the violence
11 that you have described was inspired by people in Pale. What do you say
12 to that proposition?
13 A. It was not inspired by them because they were unable to control
14 the situation back in their court. I can give you a few examples. They
15 appointed completely incompetent persons to some positions, like the
16 general director of the commodity reserve agency, where in, my contacts
17 with him, I realised that the man was a wall painter by profession. I
18 also recall instances when the property from Tas was seized. The story
19 went around that whoever wanted to get hold of the property there would
20 simply go over there and take what they liked. Well -- and you can judge
21 what they were able to do by taking a look at what they were able to
22 assist us with. Many people liked the fact that they were able to
23 formally hold high positions but were in fact lacking any qualifications
24 for the job they did. I recall that many of the ministers had not even
25 passed the official state exam.
1 Q. The Prosecution for that position is that the lawlessness you've
2 described was condoned by the authorities in Pale. What do you say to
3 that proposition?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
5 MR. TIEGER: I think Mr. Josse can ask questions to the witness
6 without attempting to characterise the Prosecution's position one way or
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think he could do that at the same time. I
9 do not hear you say that he's presenting -- he may have carefully listened
10 to the Prosecution's position falsely, and it certainly speeds up.
11 MR. TIEGER: No, I have no objection to the questions. It's just
12 that I want to --
13 JUDGE ORIE: But at the same time, Mr. Josse, if you phrase the
14 question: If someone would say ... and then you exactly formulate the
15 Prosecution's position, then the matter's clear enough and the witness is
16 not confronted with the fact that this is the Prosecution's position.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. Mr. Radojko, did the Pale administration condone the lawlessness
20 that you have described in such detail?
21 A. When I think back about that period, I don't think that they
22 condoned what was happening. I know that we were asking them to rectify
23 the situation, and eventually they did. I'm simply telling you that they
24 did not have quality mechanisms enabling them to react swiftly. Rather,
25 the -- it took a long time for the information to reach a point; it would
1 always take a round-about way. And the situation we found ourselves in
2 was difficult. In short, no, they did not lend any support to such
3 behaviour. Rather, they supported the requests that we put forth to them,
4 and this is something you can see for yourselves from correspondence.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I haven't seen any specific correspondence. If
6 there's any, the Chamber, of course, is very much interested because in
7 this testimony no document whatsoever, whereas there seem to exist a lot,
8 has been presented.
9 MR. JOSSE: There are a lot of documents in existence.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But not presented yet through this witness.
11 MR. JOSSE: I have presented none through this witness; that is
13 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would have a question for the witness.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] In your reply, sir, you mentioned
15 you were not inspired of them because they were able to control the
16 situation back in their court.
17 [In English] "I can give you a few examples. They appointed
18 completely incompetent persons to some positions, like the general
19 director," and so on.
20 [Interpretation] What is your explanation of this state of
21 affairs? Why -- how can you explain this -- managed so badly --
22 administration so bad. Why were there appointments of incompetent persons
23 made? When you say "they appointed --" "they appointed incompetent
24 persons." When you say that, what do you mean? Who were these persons
25 who were appointed? Who were in charge of these appointments, and for
1 what reason -- why was their administration so bad?
2 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps we should check, Your Honour. There's clearly
3 a problem there. We were getting -- the translators were translating in
4 the alternative one after the other. The learned Judge, Judge Hanoteau,
5 wouldn't know that because clearly he was speaking in French. Perhaps we
6 can just check what was happening. That's very clear on the English
8 JUDGE ORIE: It's not entirely clear to me, but if there's any
9 confusion, perhaps you can repeat the question, Judge Hanoteau, although
10 it was a long one.
11 MR. JOSSE: Save for the fact of course I assume in B/C/S it
12 wasn't a problem.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I listen with one ear in French, and with the other I
14 listen to the English translation. I did not hear, apart from always
15 minor choices interpreters have to make, I did hear any major problem.
16 MR. TIEGER: For what it's worth, I had the impression that the
17 interpreters were assisting or supplementing each other. Maybe speaking
18 with them would clarify that that was or was not the case.
19 MR. JOSSE: Okay. Thank you. I'm sorry for interrupting.
20 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Did the witness understand my
21 question? That's the most important thing. Did you understand my
22 question, Mr. Witness?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, Your Honour. If you allow
24 me, I'd like to try and answer. It is the Assembly that is responsible
25 for the appointment of the ministers; however, for the appointment of all
1 the other staff charged with operative duties, it is the government or
2 individual ministries who are responsible for appointing them. The same
3 situation exists today. Now, I'll give you my opinion why they were felt
4 to be incompetent.
5 First of all, they were completely isolated up there at Pale in
6 all the different senses. Most of the people over there never visited our
7 areas, never came to ask us directly what sort of problems we were
8 experiencing and how they could be remedied. They seemed to be operating
9 as an end unto themselves.
10 As for the staffing issue, they simply appointed persons who were
11 within reach. As these persons were not familiar with the operation of
12 the state administration and the government, they tried to recruit other
13 people from other areas of the country who had the necessary expertise. A
14 large percentage of the government at the time was made up of physicians
15 who, of course, have no knowledge of how a government should operate in
16 wartime. It started out chaotically and continued so. In -- under such
17 circumstances in the absence of qualified persons who would take positions
18 and steps, the chaos spread out into the lower institutions as well.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but within these incompetent
20 persons, do you include the accused and Mr. Karadzic?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not saying the accused was
22 incompetent, because the way he presided over the Assembly at the time
23 when it was still a joint Assembly, and later on, was professional, as far
24 as I was able to glean by watching Assembly sessions on TV. He -- his
25 name was never raised in these discussions that I'm dealing with just now.
1 Nobody mentioned his name or his role. Up until 1994 or 1995, he was the
2 president of the Assembly, nothing more. He had no special authority nor
3 was mentioned as a person of particular significance back in our area.
4 Only in 1994 when Serbia introduced a blockade on the import of some goods
5 did he start saying, as far as I recall - and I'm talking about the
6 accused - that we should try to obtain some of the staple food that we
7 lacked in our area through the accused. It was only in this context that
8 he was mentioned.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but you were saying that the
10 Assembly was in charge of appointing the ministers and the -- and if I
11 understood you right, you said that the ministers were not competent. So
12 Mr. Krajisnik being the president of that Assembly, did you think that he
13 was involved somehow in the appointment of these incompetent persons?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have understood your
15 question. You probably are drawing the conclusion that the speaker of the
16 Assembly can't be competent if the ministers are incompetent. Let me
17 explain. As the speaker, he had the same role as the speaker in the UK
18 parliament, for example, and as such, he had one vote. In that Assembly
19 where, I don't know, except for one or two members, everybody else was
20 from the SDS party. And there were lots of rival groupings within the SDS
21 itself. It was not a fully developed party with a fully developed party
22 structure; it was just a movement. Many people, even in that period of
23 time, had to be thrown out of the party because of their dishonourable
24 behaviour, at least in our area, and basically because they were
25 criminals. And for these reasons, on the basis of what I saw on
1 television, those broadcasts which were live broadcasts, I'm drawing the
2 conclusion that he as a person, as an engineer or an economist, I don't
3 know, that he's -- he was pretty skilled at his job. But as to ministers,
4 very often different factions would support their man and very many of
5 them were totally incompetent.
6 If I think back, for example, very often key ministers were being
7 switched. The minister for police and army matters was switched in the
8 middle of the war. On the other hand, I myself participated in -- in a
9 meeting at which the defence minister attended and the military
10 representatives wouldn't even say hello to him. So that was the
11 situation. It was all kept hidden in order to prevent people from getting
12 too frightened and running away, as it were. But everybody else, the
13 people who were in the know, as it were, knew about it. There was a great
14 deal of intolerance amongst different factions. I'm not going to say it
15 was outright hatred, but it wasn't good.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] One last question, if I may.
17 When you were in your municipality during this war period, if there had
18 been a competent government, what would you have expected from a competent
19 government? How could things have turned out otherwise had the government
20 been competent?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that period of time it was very
22 difficult to improve the situation. The state was falling apart and the
23 professional members of the military were not in favour of anyone in the
24 beginning. Obviously they had sympathies for their own ethnic groups and
25 that's how they joined their national armies, but most of them, the
1 overwhelming majority, who were honourable men, the never allowed for
2 crimes to happen. I do remember at the beginning of the war I saw a
3 soldier who actually stole somebody's TV set, and he was shot on the spot.
4 I saw his dead body; I was passing by. Unfortunately, those officers as
5 well were scattered all over the place wherein many of them were from
6 Serbia and other republics, and they went back home. And those who
7 remained were not very numerous and many of them felt that they were in
8 some way condemned to stay there and they were unhappy that they had
9 nowhere else to go.
10 On the other hand, the civilian authorities did not really accept
11 them as such, did not really have any understanding for them. They were
12 deprived of their property, of their real estate, of their flats that they
13 had back in Slovenia, in Croatia or whatever, so there was a general state
14 of disorderliness and a lot of ignorance. Supposedly, probably,
15 presumably something could have been changed --
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but in your municipality,
17 what did you expect from the Pale government had it been competent?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We, to be honest, did not expect a
19 great deal. We made do as we best could, but it would have been realistic
20 to expect for the police powers to function at the local level, the
21 immediate level, because we had difficulty even communicating with Banja
22 Luka at the time, let alone Pale. It would have been realistic to expect
23 that there would be a minister who would have been able to understand that
24 police had to react on the spot.
25 Secondly, something else that would have been useful had it been
1 done back then: For the military commanders, for some kind of regulation
2 to have been passed, in order for the people who had been caught stealing
3 to be arrested and to do forced labour or have a penitentiary unit or
4 whatever and that they would not be allowed to go home until the end of
5 the war.
6 So those things were the things that we asked for, requested them,
7 very firmly. I know the president asked for it very firmly. I don't know
8 whether he did it in writing or not. I suppose there must have been
9 something in writing. I don't know whether he used exactly the same
10 language as I'm using now, but we tried to choose the best possible way of
11 putting this to the leadership, et cetera. But had these two things been
12 done on time, presumably all the bad things would have been less.
13 Unfortunately, for example, the armed forces -- I mean, we had
14 understanding for those reasons as well, but the armed forces wanted to
15 direct and manage everything during the war. They asked for the command
16 posts to be created in our area. They came in and they asked for it, but
17 legally speaking it was impossible. It wasn't a place that they had freed
18 or liberated in any way, and it wasn't a place where there were no
19 authorities either, but the president didn't allow for that to happen and
20 I said that I would personally run away from any place which was managed
21 and governed by the army. And that's when the first conflicts started to
22 happen between the local authorities and the military command, and this
23 kind of conflict went on until the end of the war.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
25 MR. JOSSE:
1 Q. Mr. Radojko, did you in 1992 receive any order from Mr. Krajisnik?
2 A. No.
3 Q. In fact, did you receive any communication from him?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And are you aware of any communication from him to any other
6 member of the municipal authority?
7 A. No, not at that time. He had no communication with our
8 representatives. Perhaps with Milanovic when they met at the Assembly.
9 Q. I'd like to turn briefly, please, to the departure of the Serbs
10 from your municipality. When did the Serbs leave Petrovac?
11 A. In September 1995, on the 14th of September.
12 Q. Why did they leave?
13 A. Well, they fled. They fled before the Muslim army.
14 Q. And as far as you're aware, have many -- any Serbs returned once
15 peace was established?
16 A. I don't know how many exactly returned. Quite a few people
17 registered because they wanted to regulate property matters, et cetera,
18 and they got their IDs, local IDs for that reason. But those people don't
19 actually live there. They live on the territory of the Republika Srpska.
20 Most of them live in Republika Srpska, in Banja Luka and its surroundings,
21 and some of them in Derventa and other places. Some of them returned to
22 that area of the municipality, Petrovac, that went to the Republika
23 Srpska, and that's the area towards which many people gravitate.
24 Q. I'd like to take you back in time and ask you about something that
25 I failed to deal with much earlier. Could you have a look at this
1 document, please.
2 MR. JOSSE: The Variant A and B document, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. JOSSE:
5 Q. Just before you look at that -- leave that to one side, please,
6 would you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radojko -- Mr. Radojko, Mr. Josse is asking you
8 to put the document, for a minute, aside.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. I should have asked you this: When the Serbs left Petrovac, did
11 all the Serbs leave?
12 A. All those who managed to flee did so. A certain number of them
13 had not managed to do that, either because they were elderly or disabled
14 or lived in out-of-the-way places and nobody informed them that they
15 should leave, so they stayed.
16 Q. And what happened to those Serbs who remained?
17 A. Well, all Serbs who remained were either killed, and mostly
18 massacred, even though we're talking about the elderly or those who were
19 psychiatric patients, so they didn't even know what was going on. And
20 some of them who lived in outlying villages were either killed or were
21 brought to the prison in Petrovac and they were exchanged as war prisoners
22 in 1996. That was a smallish group of people.
23 Q. All right. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, is there any documentation about this, as
25 we have lots of documentations about other massacres or mass killings, so
1 that we get an impression of the numbers we are talking about?
2 And I'm also addressing the Prosecution to ask whether there is
3 any documentation which would then be exculpatory material? That's a
4 thing for --
5 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour, I'm --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness testified about a later period in
7 time where Serbs had to flee the municipality, or at least major part of
8 the municipality, and that those who remained were either killed and
9 mostly massacred. Is there any documentation on -- well, reports on
10 numbers or --
11 MR. TIEGER: There may be, Your Honour, but it's not something to
12 which the Prosecution has directed its attention to my knowledge, and I
13 certainly can't -- you mention exculpatory information, and I can't see
14 any way in which that would be -- have an exculpatory component in the
15 context of this case. I -- I didn't object --
16 JUDGE ORIE: On the whole of the balance --
17 MR. TIEGER: I didn't object to the questions because the Defence
18 has previously said that they were interested in eliciting some forms as
19 contextual or background information, and I leave that to them in that
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not blaming you for not having focussed. I just
22 wonder -- first of all, I address Mr. Josse because he put the question to
23 the witness, but Mr. Josse might not have exactly the same resources, and
24 if such material would be there --
25 Mr. Josse, have you --
1 MR. JOSSE: No, I have got no material in relation to this
2 whatsoever. The best the Chamber can do is to ask the witness. I ask
3 Your Honour to do that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we could ask you. Mr. Radojko, you told us
5 about those who had remained in the municipalities where most of the Serbs
6 had fled at a later stage, that they were killed and that -- massacred.
7 Is there any report known to you about this specific -- was it at one day?
8 Was it during a couple of weeks? Was it -- how many victims were there?
9 Were there 20? Were there 200? Were there 2.000? Are you aware of any
10 such specific report on your municipality? Not general reports, but ...
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our municipality no longer exists.
12 There's nobody doing any official research on this, but I talked to people
13 from those parts. My aunt was taken prisoner and she was exchanged, and
14 she was 78 years old at the time, and she was not very mobile, to be
15 honest, but she was exchanged as a POW. I talked to a man who was from
16 the same village as my father-in-law. He had been tortured, his feet were
17 smashed, and he was made to stand barefoot and then his toes were broken
18 by a rifle-butt, and he was taken a month after Petrovac was taken by the
19 other side. And his name was Niko something. I can't remember his family
20 name. He's from the village of Risovac. And apart from that, talking to
21 people in Banja Luka, I obtained information that through those
22 associations and organisations of the families of the missing, et cetera.
23 They obtained data about several dozens of people killed in that way, and
24 there were not many more. There were not too many people there. The
25 entire municipality of Petrovac must have had about 15.000 people, and
1 basically all those who were left behind -- I mean, they were not allowed
2 to stay at home. They were either killed or deported to prisons or camps,
3 and basically they were deported. For this reason, the rest of the
4 population was basically on the run, because there's a very negative
5 overall context when those self-same Muslims perpetrated genocide in that
6 area. I don't know whether you're aware of it, but in the area of the
7 Kladusa municipality, according to the census from 1991, there was 80 per
8 cent of Serbs, 40 per cent in Bihac, Bosanska Krupa 70-something per cent,
9 and Sasin was the only area in which Muslims were in the majority because
10 they were about 40 to 42 per cent of Serbs. After World War II, Serbs
11 were either in the minority or didn't exist in that area. According to
12 the census from 1991, there are also no Serbs in Kladusa or Sasin and it
13 is a municipality of 60.000 inhabitants, and so on and so forth, and this
14 is the reasons why these people were on the run.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was not my question, but nevertheless
16 could you please -- you referred to the earlier census, where you said the
17 area of Kladusa, 80 per cent Serbs, and then you referred to 1991, but
18 that must be a mistake, I take it, because later on you referred to the
19 1991 census. Could you tell us, what was the first census you referred
20 to, what year?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honour, perhaps
22 I didn't quite make myself clear. The first census where there is a clear
23 Serb majority was before World War II. After the genocide which took
24 place in World War II, and then there is the other set of data where there
25 are next to no Serbs, and it is for this reason that those tensions
1 existed --
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, I just asked you to correct what reads as "1991."
3 Now you say it's the census from before the Second World War. You've
4 answered my question.
5 MR. JOSSE:
6 Q. 1931, is that right, Mr. Radojko, rather than 1991? Is that
7 right, Mr. Radojko?
8 A. I apologise, I still haven't made myself clear, I suppose. The
9 first set of data refers --
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Radojko, you have made yourself perfectly
11 clear. The first set of data was before the Second World War, and whether
12 that was 1931 or 1935 is not of great importance at this moment.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
14 MR. JOSSE:
15 Q. I want now to turn to the document that you have in front of you,
16 please, Mr. Radojko. That is the document known in this court as the
17 Variant A and B document. I'll be stopped if there's any objection to my
18 leading on this. When you were interviewed by investigators and lawyers
19 -- yes.
20 MR. TIEGER: Well, I was just anticipating, but since counsel's
21 already stopped, I think he's about to -- this is clearly about to be a
22 leading question and I don't think leading in this area is appropriate,
23 and he can proceed to ask the questions, in my judgement.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse.
25 MR. JOSSE:
1 Q. When did you first see the document, Mr. Radojko?
2 A. As far as I can remember, I saw it on the occasion of giving
3 evidence in another case, I believe 2003. I said on that occasion that
4 notwithstanding the fact that I was only seeing the document at that
5 stage, I did remember references to that, but most of it had never been
6 implemented. I do remember that case. I'm not going to go through this
7 in any great details so as not to waste anyone's time.
8 Q. That would suffice for my purposes.
9 MR. JOSSE: Could Your Honour give me a moment?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please take your time.
11 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
12 MR. JOSSE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour, I have nothing else.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, unless you would think that the first of
15 your series of questions could not be completed in the next seven minutes,
16 I would like to invite you to start your cross-examination.
17 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I'm going to be hard-pressed to be
18 prepared to begin tomorrow, in light of a number of factors that I've
19 brought to the attention of the Defence, particularly the quality of the
20 65 ter, an issue that's been raised time and time again. I anticipate I
21 will be ready, I'm making every effort to do so, but this would not be an
22 appropriate time to begin.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 From my question you may have understood that even six or seven
25 minutes count for the Chamber, but under the circumstances, you'll be
1 allowed to start to cross-examine the witness tomorrow.
2 Mr. Radojko, may I first instruct you not to speak with anyone
3 about the evidence you have given and the evidence you are still about to
4 give. And we'd like to see you back tomorrow, when you'll be
5 cross-examined by counsel for the Prosecution. That would be tomorrow
6 afternoon, quarter past 2.00, in this same courtroom.
7 Madam Usher, would you please escort Mr. Radojko out of the
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: I would nevertheless like to use the remaining couple
11 of minutes and see and hear from the parties, who are all well-trained
12 common-law practitioners. Let me just put a scenario in front of you.
13 Let's just assume that in a case the Prosecution has presented a bank
14 transfer of 100.000 German marks with something written to it like: "For
15 services provided." Now, the Defence calls a witness and starts examining
16 him on how many bank accounts he has, on whether the maximum -- what would
17 have been the maximum balance on any of his bank accounts ever, whether he
18 would usually make his transfers through internet or whether he would
19 write them down on paper, whether, if he would write them down on paper,
20 whether he would put them in the mail box in branch office X or in branch
21 office Y. But finally, Defence counsel would not tell the witness -- or
22 ask the witness whether it ever happened to him that he made a bank
23 transfer of 100.000 Deutschmarks with described that it was for services
25 I think there are two possibilities. Either if this would have
1 been put to the witness, he would have said: Oh, yes, of course, I fully
2 understand. This was a mistake by the bank. Two weeks later you find the
3 bank transfer where the bank corrects their mistake, so that explains
5 Under those circumstances, I would not have need to know how many
6 bank accounts the person would have had. The maximum balance at any other
7 time would be totally irrelevant. If, of course, the core of the case
8 would be about the transfer of 100.000 marks, I would not even want to
9 know whether he usually makes his transfer through internet or whether he
10 does it in writing and what branch office he needs.
11 Now the other possibility: That witness starts rushing a bit and
12 says: 100.000 marks, well, that's what happened often with my bank, that
13 they make a mistake. They often write "100.000," where it's actually
14 10.000. But that's administration of the bank. Although it's
15 computerised, it's a very bad administration. Then of course the next
16 question would be: Could you give me one or two other examples where they
17 missed one nil on their bank transfers? At least we would rapidly come to
18 what the problem is. Either it's a mistake, either the bank is very
19 sloppy, what would certainly need further -- should be further explored
20 because most of the banks do not every week leave out a nil.
21 I hope you understand what my question is. How do those
22 experienced in the common-law tradition prevent that we have to hear
23 evidence for a long period of time which, for one reason or another
24 reason, may be totally irrelevant. Because if the witness later says: It
25 was a mistake by the bank, it has been corrected two weeks afterwards,
1 then of course the matter has been clarified sufficiently without all the
2 other information. If, however, he says that the bank always makes this
3 mistake with the nils or that -- he could have said: Well, my brother has
4 a bank account. He has got the same first name, and so therefore it's
5 explained this way, then of course we could start investigating on whether
6 he has a brother, whether he has the same -- at least that becomes
7 relevant, not anymore whether he transferred by wire, whether he
8 transferred on paper, whether he used branch office A, whether he used
9 branch office B.
10 I am inviting the parties to assist this Chamber in seeing whether
11 we could get the relevant information on the core issues in such a way
12 that we do not spend much time on matters that most likely at the very end
13 will be irrelevant.
14 I don't know -- I said I would use the five minutes. I'm not
15 going to ask the interpreters to stay any longer. My reputation is
16 already bad in this respect. I would invite the parties to -- to give it
17 one or two nights of sleep - of good sleep, I hope - and then perhaps take
18 five minutes at lunch to see whether, even in this tradition where the
19 truth comes to the surface quickly and -- how they would consider that --
20 first of all, whether you would agree with my analysis of this
21 hypothetical case; and second, how, Mr. Josse, you would resolve the
22 matter if you were a Prosecutor in this case or in the case of the bank
23 account, and how you, Mr. Tieger, would resolve the matter if you were
24 defending in the case of the transfer of 100.000 Deutschmarks.
25 We'll adjourn until tomorrow, quarter past 2.00, same courtroom.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day of
3 March, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.